Monday, June 22, 2009

Hawaiian Licenses Plate

Did you ever play the license plate game?

When we were kids and we'd take a long car trip, to Wisconsin, or DC or Gettysburg, we would get out a notebook and keep track of all of the license plates we saw. I really don't remember ever coming up with an overly large list. I remember being frustrated - probably on our trips to Wisconsin, through Canada- frustrated with the number of non-US plates we'd find. Never being that great at Canadian geography, Canadian plates did not thrill me.

As I mentioned before, when Liz and I hit the road for our Great Western Trek to Nebraska and back, we made ALL SORTS of lists. I really think our License Plate list was my favorite. Maybe it was because we are now two competitive adults, riding in the front seat, needing to pay attention to the road and the other cars on it.... but...


At the end of our 10 days, we had seen 46 US states, 5 Canadian Provinces and 1 Mexican State (Chihuahua).

The only states we didn't see were Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware and Kentucky.

By the time we got home, I would find myself obsessively checking plates in parking lots and tailgating to see what plate just passed me. At one point, I think it was on our last day - the 12+ hour drive- I even walked past a guy at a rest area and turned around to look at his back and see where he was from. Did I mention that was the longest day in the car???

So yesterday, on my way to church, wouldn't you know it?? I finally saw a Hawaiian license plate. Not sure if it made me feel victorious or defeated.

Oh what's in a name?

Why is naming a baby such a big deal?

Some parent have names that they have always "liked" and so they will find something that suit them as a couple and go with that. Maybe they choose to honor a beloved friend or family member. Maybe it is to memorialize someone that they idolize or respect. Maybe there are other reasons parents might have for choosing names, but for me, it's different still.

I firmly believe that names are prophetic. Each time a child's name is spoken, there are certain qualities and characteristics that are being encouraged in that person. The name of God has a place of such reverence that keeping HIS name holy makes the top ten list.

As a first time parent considering the name for our oldest, Noah, wasn't so seemingly serious. Nor was the naming of our second child, Hannah. I believe that we were guided to the right names for them. And by the time our third, Zakeaus, came around, I really started to see that choosing the right name can make a world of difference. We also prayed about the names for Zakeaus and Madgalyn, and I also know we were guided to their names as well, but there came a new awareness of meaning as well.

Noah, was a name that both my husband and I were drawn to separately. So when we discussed it and both thought "Noah", well that decided it! In addition to the wonderful example of faith that we see in the biblical character of Noah, we came to learn later that "Noah" means rest. And oddly enough, Noah was known for sleeping a LOT of an infant. Even now, at the age of 7, I ask him to lay down for a rest at least a couple of days a week, and it is not unusual to have him enjoy 2 hour naps or longer. And he does have a wonderful faith for a child his age, that brings encouragement to his family and his friends.

Hannah means "favor" or "grace", both of which our daughter is full of. Her middle name is Elizabeth, for my sister. Hannah and Elizabeth, in the bible, are two mothers of significant men, Samuel and John the Baptist. Our Hannah is a natural mother and caregiver... and I don't think that it a coincidence.

(Zaccheaus) was a wee little man and a wee little man was he...
He climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wante to see...
And as the Savior passed his way, he looked up in that tree..
And he said "(Zaccheaus) you come down, for I'm going to your house today."

Oddly enough, Zakeaus is small for his age, the only one of our children who is not above average in height for his age. Zakeaus is a natural climber, requiring several times a day "Zak, get down from there." And the story in Luke 19, continues on past the children's song
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
I hope and pray that the faith and generosity of the man Zaccheaus to be birthed in the heart of Zakeaus as he grows. I have confidence that it will.

Madgalyn's name comes from the biblical character of Mary Madgalene. Madgalene was used to distinguish that she was from the Magdala, which meant "tower". I had liked this name early in the pregnancy, but Shane was not as convinced. One day at work he heard a song from the band Kutless, called "Strong Tower", not just once, but 4 times in one day! And it was decided that would be her name.

When I wander through the desert
And I'm longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray
When I'm stranded in the valley
And I'm tired and all alone
It seems like I've lost my way

I go running to your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty
Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You're my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder's all I hear
You speak softly to my soul

The song speaks of God's strength as our tower, shelter and strength. I pray the name of my daughter will be true in her own independence and strength, but also in her faith in the Strong Tower of God.

So now the daunting task of finding names for our next two boys... who will they be?

Honestly, we don't have any solid ideas. But here are some sites we have had fun with:
The Fantasy Name Generator
  • Aughenkel
  • Theymhon
  • Onali
  • Ris'ryn
  • Ashew
  • Enneynn
  • Menos
  • Echagei
  • Essem
  • Honcha
  • Rakvormor
  • Rankelm
  • Onny
  • Rhusdar
  • Nihemo
  • Torach
  • Emhat
  • Lyeachrod
  • Nemac
  • Isturo
  • Rayser
  • Loryl
  • Risit
  • Yerus
  • Sametenth
  • Nelony
  • Unttonlor
  • Ightise
  • Acherd
  • Ash'ar
  • Sulisul
  • Pert
  • Oldque
  • Voighmor
  • Ina'que
  • Tiadeleld
  • Inasaugh
  • Toraw
  • Ageume
  • Sayuroth
  • Belashril
  • Dr'dartur
  • Tohyxuho
  • Aughiss
  • Peras
  • Kerocy
  • Haic
  • Thequaust
  • Dobdar
  • Skelmosnal
  • Stoich
The name genie:
Armani, Julian, Malcom, Samuel, Carl, Alfred, Ethan, Vance, Elijah

Fake Name Generator
Darius L. Cox, Jerry C. Parker
(and we hadn't even considered the possibilty of NOT using Vertner!)

Hobbit Name Generator:
Grigory Burrows, Drogo Hamwich of Buckleberry Fern

As you can see, none of these are much help. Feel free to leave your suggestions.... all will be considered, few will be used.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

With out my husband, I could not be a mother.

And I don't mean to say that in the "well duh!" kind of way... yes, he and I together have children, and keep doing so... well, duh! I mean that I could not be the mother I want to be or the wife I want to be or even the woman I want to be with out his love, support, guidance, direction and encouragement.

Today was a wonderful day. We went to the Oregon Zoo with his Mom and Step Dad. It was meant to honor a couple of wonderful guys, and yet I left with my heart full and feeling further blessed.

Thank God for my husband! Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful men who speak love, support guidance, direction and encouragement into their sons and daughters, wives, families, friends.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Them babies, those boys, will be boys

We had the 20 week ultrasound today and the verdict is....
2 BOYS!!

They are very active and growing exactly as they should be at this point! We have not decided on any names yet.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wild, wild west

One of my favorite parts of our trip was the variety of wild life we saw. Some how, on our first day out, Liz decided that we should have lists. So we had:
  • lists of the times we left each morning
  • lists for how much we paid for gas
  • a list of all the license plates we saw
  • lists of the DVDs that were currently in the disc changer (IMPORTANT to know!)
  • lists of things we wondered but didn't know the answer to
  • lists of the wild life we saw

Here is our list of wild life, and of course, we tried to capture many of them in photos. Not all the photos are clear, but I think you'll get the idea.

Deer - wrong turn off a scenic detour in Mosier, OR
Robin - Mosier, OR
Hawk - Columbia River Valley
Crow - Columbia River Valley
Squirrels - Mosier Rest Area
Bald Eagle - Wasco County
Ducks and Very Large (domestic?) goose - Arlington City Park, Arlington, OR
VERY large bird, possibly a eagle or falcon - Hwy 84, milemarker 185
Black, Blue and White Jay-type bird with really long tail - Park City Utah thru Wyoming
Small prarie dogs - rest area in Momma Sage, WY
Antelope* - Wyoming
Hawks - Wyoming
Snakes - On the road, Nebraska
Zebra- Cow** (actual note from Liz) - "Similar to zebra-mussels but much, much larger and less sharp"
Wild Buffalo - Custer State Park, SD
Baby Wild Buffalo - Custer State Park, SD
Wild Turkey-lurkey - Custer State Park, SD
Pheasant - nearly road kill - Northern Wyoming
Prairie Dogs - Prairie Dog Town, Greyclif, MT

*ANTELOPE - apparently, what we saw might or might not have been considered Antelope. A certain someone, who will remain nameless, insisted that what we saw could not have been antelope, because there are not antelope in North America. Of course, we argued the lyrics to "Home, Home on the range. Where the deer and antelope play...." That certain someone then read to us from a wiki page the following:

Confusingly, the pronghorn antelope of North America is not an antelope, and no antelope species are native to the Americas. The pronghorn is not a member of the family Bovidae, but the family Antilocapridae. True antelope have horns which are unbranched and never shed, while Pronghorns have branching horns, shed annually.

Disappointing, I know... but what they said, the pronghorn, we're pretty sure, that's what we saw.

**Zebra-cow - That same un-named person finished the phone call with a sarcastic "let me know if you see any ZEBRA." So the next day, as we drove through the plains of Nebraska, we passed a open grid cattle truck. I looked over and saw through the slats, of course, cows. And then I saw a nose, virtually pressed up against the grate watching us pass, and I swear - it was a Zebra.... ok... well I only thought that for about 3 seconds, just long enough to shout "It's a Zebra!" and then come to my senses and spend the next 5 minutes in uproarious laughter. It was of course a cow nose I saw, not a Zebra.... or was it? Or maybe, we had just spent a few too many hours on the road.....