Tag Archives: memories


It seems like something profound should come with returning from a long blog absence, but I don't have anything profound. Just a bit of advice.

If you're not sure if the fireplace flue is open or closed, by all means, don't start a roaring fire in order to find out. You might find yourself yelling at your husband to evict himself from his YOU-imposed exile in another room to come help you remedy the smoke rapidly filling your house.

And when you're trying to pair iced coffee, a fancy little cake, and a romantic fire to make a nice surprise for him, hollering at him to come put out the fire/open the jammed flue/heroically carry burning pieces of wood out of the house with a paper towel is the last thing you want to have to do. ...continue reading

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You'd think after getting to go somewhere I've wanted to go for a very long time that I would have posted pictures and blog posts about it a long time ago. After all, we've been home for over a month.

But there's something I've been wanting far more, waiting for far longer, than a trip to New Zealand, amazing as that was. And now a certain little boy is making that dream come true, and he's also making our house a busier place, and things like blog posts and pictures just aren't quite as important right now.

The trip really was an amazing privilege and blessing though, and this blog was supposed to stay at least somewhat up to date with it. According to it though, we still haven't even come home. Thank God we have. 🙂

So here's just a few pictures from one of the most amazing places I've ever seen. New Zealand doesn't disappoint, not even when you're hoping for snow-capped mountains like you've seen in pictures but happen to be there toward the end of summer when the snow is at its lowest. ...continue reading


I’m one of those Oregonians who has grown up thinking they live in one of the prettiest places in the world. I still think that. But since we’ve been married, we’ve been in two (and soon three) other places that might rank even higher.

Kaua’ii, Hawaii, fully lived up to its name as the Garden Isle. Killarney, Australia, was as breathtaking as I’d imagine its predecessor in Ireland to be. And while we haven’t yet been to New Zealand, I’m assuming it will soon trump all the rest—we’ll find out here shortly. 🙂

We have one week and two days left here at Jazam, two weeks and two days till we go home. That’s part of the beauty of traveling—looking forward so much to finally going home.

Another part is sharing bits and pieces of those travels with the friends and family who wish they could’ve come, too.

But maybe the biggest part is reveling in the beauty each place has to offer and glorifying the Hands and the Spirit and the Voice Who made it. So here’s a bit of His beauty that we’ve enjoyed in the past two weeks . . . ...continue reading

Jazam. The name is enough to make me like living here.

I wasn’t so sure about it at first. The place, that is. We got here in the dark after an eight-hour train ride from Sydney, and it felt so cold and empty and kind of spooky. Big, naked windows everywhere. Echoing, concrete-walled rooms and corridors. Rugged floors that made you resolve to keep your flip flops on. And later, stories of snakes and rats in the kitchen.

But we found ourselves here, and there were seven weeks ahead of us, and the more we got used to it, the more we started to see the character in the place and to like it for what it is. Apparently no one wants to leave Jazam after having lived here for a while. $400,000 is a bit beyond our range though, even if we did want to move to Australia. 🙂 So we’ll enjoy it while we’re here, and dream of all the things we would do to it if it was our house, and be ever so glad to walk back into our double-wide in Gervais when we finally are home again. ...continue reading


The plan was simple: drive ten or eleven hours north, see the Great Barrier Reef, spend a couple nights at Oaklea Bed and Breakfast, and then come home.

Enter Cyclone Debbie. I can’t complain—all we suffered from her was a little upheaval of our plans, which turned the trip all the more into an adventure. There are others who suffered far worse from her turbulent waves and awe-inspiring winds. She left behind a lot of wreckage, and for some, a heartful of grief. So before you keep reading, stop and say a prayer for those affected the most. Next time it could be any of us. ...continue reading