Friday, March 28, 2008


This is from a couple weeks ago. I ran across it today and it made me laugh :)

Snowflakes keep falling on my head

It is snowing like crazy outside my window right now. It's not sticking, because we're only at about 50 feet, but there are giant white flakes coming down all around. I think I'll start a fire in the fireplace and curl up with some cocoa. What a lovely spring treat!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Celebration of life

My free time allowed me to help my grandparents today as they hosted lunch after a memorial service for a dear friend. It was a very nice service and a good time for friends and family to fellowship over food. It was an honor to be able to help and be there for them. Even when we thought our work was done for the day, a needy family came by asking for food, and our leftovers fed their children.

Whenever I'm feeling down because I've yet to find my new place in the (working) world, I am reminded that I have a wonderful purpose and I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing right now. I am truly blessed!

-Liz :)

Monday, March 24, 2008


"In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

We sang this Sunday at NFC and today I found a Newsboys version on You Tube. Both excellent! Check them out :)


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Christ is Risen!

He is risen indeed!

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

Matthew 28: 5-7

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

For Christmas this year, we gave our aunts, grandparents and cousins a snowshoe adventure on Mount Hood. They cashed in today, and we spent a picture-perfect day in the snow.

We started at the Glacier View Sno-Park just across Highway 26 from Ski Bowl and tromped around the Kurt's Connection trail. Then we took a little side trip down the Glacier View trail for this awesome view of the... glacier:
Aren't we a good-looking bunch?!?!

Then we went to Enid Lake for a sunny lunch break. We dined on PBJs, apples, granola bars, Chili Cheese Fritos, fruit snacks, cookies, Triscuits and Easy Cheese.

Ma and Pa had to head home to prepare for the big Easter brunch at their house tomorrow, but the rest of us stayed and played in the snow for a couple hours. Brad dug us a quick snow cave: We made trails all along the bank and slid down on our butts over and over. The weather was awesome, but we still had piles of fresh powder from the recent snow storms. It doesn't get better than that!

We ended the day by meeting back in town for Mexican food to celebrate Kayla's 11th birthday (March 19). HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAYLA!!

-Liz :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Luke 23:44-49

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm no longer awesome

At the end of Day 1, I am tied for 23rd place in Gregg's group with 71.4% - down from 98% just a few short minutes ago. Eryn, however, finished the day tied for first!

Good thing I looked when I was ahead :)

I'm awesome

I know it's early in the tourney, but I have to brag now while I can. Friend Gregg invited me to join his traditional for-bragging-rights March Madness pool. I don't like college hoops and have never paid any attention to the annual craziness. But since I like Gregg, I decided to add to his fun. Well, his fun has turned to my fun!

With 12 games out of the way, I'm in first place (along with two others in his group)! I never thought I would enjoy that so much! Knowing that my moment won't last long, I've already sent off an e-mail to Gregg, made a call to my sis and snapped a screengrab of the bracket before it all changes (it may have already).

-Liz :)

PS - Eryn is right behind me with just two losses - yay!

PPS - Where's Gregg?!?!

Sweater Day

Today is Sweater Day in honor of the late, great Mr. Rogers. So put on your favorite sweater and help celebrate what would have been his 80th birthday.

-Liz :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My turn

I chuckle in the fall as everyone groans about raking their leaves. In my yard, most leaves stay where they fall or get shoved onto the beds to make a nice winter blanket for my plants. But come springtime, my beauties are awakening from their slumber and need my help getting out from under that now-wet, heavy and decaying blanket.

I avoid carbon-producing leaf blowers and instead choose the old-fashioned way -- manual labor! That means lots of raking and, around my tender perennials, crawling around on my hands and knees and hand scooping. I never think of my yard as very big until this time of year.
After a couple hours of sweaty work, my yard-debris bin is full and my deck and rock walkways are sporting a leaf-blanket of their own. AND - I've only done one corner of my property (the easy corner)! But now my plants can bask in the spring sunshine and flourish.

-Liz :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why did I get married??

We went to Whistler about a year ago with friends Sean and Karen for some Canadian skiing. The trip was excellent - full of lots of fun stories and great snow. One day as we were heading from the slopes to our mountainside condo, we literally walked through a movie set right outside our building. We recognized Janet Jackson with her hair in a bun and wearing a long fur coat. We watched for a while while they reset the scene over and over for different shots. Later in the day, they moved the filming inside a shop, lighting it from the outside. Here's the view from our condo balcony of the night-turned-to-day inside shot: I looked it up when we got home and found out that it was a movie called "Why did I get Married" due out in the fall. We're too cheap to see it in the theater, but we rented the DVD and watched it this weekend. The story was entertaining but not earth shattering. I'm not sure we would have watched it if we weren't looking for "our scene" to show up. But it wasn't a waste of an evening.

So the movie was set at a cabin in Colorado. The women in the group head out to go shopping, and there's a very brief scene with them walking outside the shop and then a bit more when they are inside. That's our scene! But the funny thing is, it was all closeups with no way of identifying anything in the background. It could have been shot anywhere - even in a soundstage. I'm not sure why they took production all the way to Whistler when you couldn't see any snow or mountain or anything in the shots. Perhaps any establishing shots ended up on the cutting room floor. But it was still neat to see our little vacation on the big screen!

-Liz :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

...A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, "Praise God!Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! Hail to the King of Israel!"

John 12:12-13 NLT

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Devil's Rest

Despite today's sketchy forecast, Brad, Steve and I hit the Devil's Rest trail in the Columbia River Gorge for some training fun.
Brad and I had done the lower Wahkeena Falls section before but hadn't gone the next 1.6 miles to the Devil's Rest summit. The weather was a bit drizzly along the way, but the shelter of the trees kept us mostly dry. There was plenty to look at while we tromped up the trail next to Wahkeena Creek: drippy moss-covered slopes, fallen trees, beautiful waterfalls.

The upper section lacked waterfalls, but it made up for it with spectacular views of the river and Washington side of the gorge. As we neared the 2,450 summit, we began to see snow patches. Pretty soon we were post holing in the snow-covered trail and getting pelted with clumps falling from the trees above. The rain turned to hail and then to giant, wet snowflakes. We nearly lost the trail a couple times because of all the snow.
We finally reached the top and took a quick stop for some cold, foggy photos.

It was a great day in the woods and a great trail for a moderate workout.

-Liz :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wow. Talk about divine intervention

I never created a writing/Web design portfolio for myself for a couple reasons: I never really thought I'd leave KOIN, it was a solo operation for so long that I thought it was silly to save my work when it was all my work, the lack of resources forced me to be a bit less than proud of my work at times, and, through a series of issues, our archive was lost several times and my writing was destroyed.

But I was at a throw-away interview last week when they asked for some samples. I ran home, went through and pulled some links to e-mail back. I created a list of headlines and links and was going to call it good when Brad suggested that I don't know when the KOIN site will change, so I should copy the text, too. So I painstakingly went through the links and pulled the actual stories and accompanying photos. I also made a couple screengrabs of some sections that I designed and made notes on what I'd done.

Well, I just now learned that the new KOIN owners have relaunched the Web site. The new site is hosted by a different company, and the archive apparently DID NOT transfer. Meaning: If I had not saved my work at the end of last week, it would be gone forever.

I'm sad that my legacy is gone. There's nothing left on the site from my nine years at the station. BUT, I'm extremely thankful that I was prompted to sit down and pull some of my work before it was too late. Thank you, God!

-Liz :)


I just finished a fascinating book about a fascinating subject: Starbucks. I've long been enthralled with the cultural obsession with Starbucks. Those white-and-green cups have changed our society, and I wanted to know how.

Mind you, I'm not a coffee drinker. I don't like the stuff, I don't want the dependence on caffeine and I don't want to spend the money. But I worked downtown Portland for nine years with a Starbucks just a block away in two different directions. Most of my coworkers went there daily - many two or three times a day! I occasionally tagged along to be social and found myself in a huge line with all kinds of people craving their Starbucks. Honestly, I don't even know how to order a drink. If I ever went to pick something up for someone, I had to write it down just as they said it so I could get the lingo right. If I ever got myself a hot chocolate, I'd fumble through the order (probably doing it all wrong) and then be embarrassed because I wasn't part of the Starbucks culture (by the way, I don't like their hot chocolate - too bitter!). And when I walked around the corner to my building, I was torn between feeling proud and trendy with my white-and-green paper cup and feeling dirty and trendy with my wasteful "treat".

I digress.... I just got around to reading "Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture", written by Portlander Taylor Clark. The incredibly quick read covered a multitude of subjects, including the company's beginning, the history of coffee, the truth about Fair Trade coffee and the international market. It also had some Portland references - always a fun bonus! I could not put it down.

I found myself loving Starbucks and then hating Starbucks, admiring Starbucks and loathing Starbucks. Overall, I'm still fascinated with the phenomenon. I have to admit that the people in charge are geniuses. But so were the inventors of the atom bomb. Hmmmm.

If you've ever had a Starbucks drink, passed a Starbucks shop, seen a Starbucks cup in someone's hand, read this book (I'll loan you my copy if you want!). I'd love to hear your thoughts.

-Liz :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two-Bean Tamale Pie

Tonight's menu featured Two-Bean Tamale Pie from It was super simple and quick -- and yummy! I followed the recipe but with loose measurements. I forgot to buy cilantro, so I added a dash of coriander instead. It had a bit of a sweet flavor. Next time, I might add a little hot sauce or ground red pepper to the bean mixture to spice it up.

Two thumbs up from us both!
-Liz :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Just like riding a bike? Not so much

Brad and I spent a beautiful Sunday on Mount Hood. It was his last ski race of the year, so I tagged along to get in a few turns of my own.

I knew I'd be rusty because I hadn't down-hill skied since last spring. We stepped into our bindings and headed up the lift for some warm-up runs. The sky was covered in high clouds, but we could still see the top of the mountain - and Jefferson and several other peaks to the south! The shade made the snow icy, and when you combine that with my lack of recent experience, I was a mess. Serious, I was skiing like a beginner and getting really frustrated. (It didn't help when some guy clobbered me in the lift line and knocked me to the ground!)

FINALLY, the sun came out and softened the snow just about the time my body was remembering what it was doing. We found some great sunny steeps covered in moguls and had a great time. I even think that my back-to-basics warmup helped me improve my balance and off-groomers skiing. I also learned that I need to suck it up and buy some lift tickets next year so I don't completely forget how to do this sport that I worked so hard to get good at in the first place.

-Liz :)

PS - After the sky cleared, this was the view all day!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Love In The Name Of Christ

"At Love In the Name of Christ, our mission is to connect families in need with local churches and service agencies who can help them. We believe that by serving others and demonstrating the unconditional love that Christ has for us, God will work through us to transform lives in our community."

Our church organizes a firewood ministry for Love INC, collecting, processing, storing and delivering firewood for needy families in the Newberg area. The second Saturday of each month is a workday, and Brad and I go whenever we're around. Today, a whole bunch of us split and stacked piles and piles of wood. It's a great time to hang with friends, meet new people, get some exercise and help those in our community who can use a hand. Join us sometime!

-Liz :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Herding chickens

My grandmother (the Master Gardener and giver of many free garden starts!) invited me to join her today as her garden club toured a hellebore garden in southwest Portland. Having a very shady yard, which includes a couple of hellebores blooming right now, I jumped at the chance.

Jim the grower was full of information about hellebores, both technical and practical. (Did you know that the "flower petals" aren't really flower petals at all?) I told Jim that I had a hellebore (like the one pictured) that did well for several years and then just died. He said it's a foetidus and not a true perennial. They live a while and then die. BUT there's hope. He said they are prolific seeders, and if I don't stay on top of my weeding, I could have some new ones coming up! We'll see. The foetidus is also called the stinking hellebore. I never noticed that mine smelled funny, but I took a sniff of his and there was sort of a burnt-coffee odor.

After learning all about his hellebores, the garden clubbers all debated which ones they should take home - there were so many beautiful plants to choose! Because she said it made her happy, I let Ma get me this new foetidus. I promised Jim I wouldn't weed around it until May :)
Jim was a really cool guy with a great sense of humor. He attends Multnomah Monthly Meeting and had a bunch of anti-war signs in the windows and bumper stickers on his older Volvo (we talked briefly, and he recommended "The Three Trillion Dollar War"). The garden looked great, even during this transition time of year. The enthusiastic gardeners were learning about hellebores but also running around the garden, investigating his plant selections and techniques. Their attention was a bit unfocused, and at one point while giving his talk and trying to answer their (sometimes unrelated) questions, Jim said it was like "herding chickens." He was right :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chipmunk Cheek

One cool advantage of being home most days is that I get be there to care for my family. My dad had a wisdom tooth extracted today and needed a ride. Because I didn't have anywhere else pressing to be, I was able to drive him there, wait (while reading a fascinating book about Starbucks), get him home and down on the couch and then pick up his prescription. That might seem like a chore to most people, but I think it's one of the reasons that I'm not working right now - to help those around me, including Chipmunk Cheek :)


Monday, March 3, 2008

Reward night

Last night was the second workout reward night for the McKee family. Everyone met their February workout goals (except for some excused absences due to illness and a back injury), so we all got together for dinner and games.

Hopefully we can go through March illness-free and meet again in a couple weeks for another great reward! Yay!

-Liz :)