chelan rene’ russ

on ministry, motherhood, marriage, music, munchies…

Summer time pics 2014

For memories sake! This summer’s already been so fun.
Papa Rick and Granny came to visit:


We day tripped to Silver Falls:


We goofed off:


We hosted a End of 6th grade party:







Went to the park:


And the beach:





Braylon’s End of 6th grade Party

…Celebrating the now-7th grade-ness of Braylon and some of his 9 classmates…
With pizza, egg toss, roasting marshmallows, ping pong, Switchfoot in the speakers and two backyard swings – the tire and the handlebar swing. The moment of the night: when Lana Brady literally ran AT an egg being tossed her way. Results? Well, you can see in the pics…





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17 years with this Guy

He got us some overnight childcare (the Piland’s!) and we had ourselves a great day on the town to celebrate 17 years of marriage.

I started the day at a local church parking lot sale fund raiser with Angel and made out like a bandit! Then I got to make out with my husband for a while…even more fun.


At Red Robin, we enjoyed fries and campfire sauce among other sauces – and the server GAVE us a free Mountain High Mud Pie which was so delicious. It was the exact meal we had on a date we had about a month ago. The server told us she was impressed at 17 years and added “my parents made until 17 years when they got a divorce. They regret it now. So DON’T GIVE UP!” Ricky kept bringing up her comment throughout the night saying she jinx’d us. We might get a divorce this year, but hey – at least we got a free Mountain High Mud Pie out of it.

We then drove around Wilsonville and made our way to Sherwood for the best Sushi around, at Crazy Sushi where we ran into some friends. That sushi is SO good! We were jammed packed with deliciousness.

We went over to Beaverton (per my lame direction giving) and eventually ended up where we wanted to go: Progress Ridge in Tigard – our first visit there.

We found ourselves pretty entertained at the candy / gag store, wide-eyed and smiling in the comfy GXL theater seats at Cinetopia (How to Train Your Dragon 2), fashionably inspired at Urban Outfitters, and in tastebud-heaven at Ava’s Coffee House which to me, was a throwback to a classy, warm SunRiver Resort-style café bordering a duck lake and donning a live guitarist. Plus i’s open 24 hrs! I’ll definitely be back and may just order the same drink Ricky did – their Kahlua Creme Latte’.





Trying on girlie stuff at Urban Outfitters

The print of my new skirt

at Crazy Sushi

Ava's Coffee House from the outside

Ava's Coffee House and Cafe' from the inside


Busiest Week of the Year. What a great family I have.

Just an update of my life…

This week, as with all 2nd weeks of June, we celebrate 5 things in 5 days:

June 10: Ricky’s b-day (38)

June 12: Mom’s b-day (61)

Last Day of School (for Angel)

June 14: Our Anniversary (17 yrs)

June 15: Father’s Day

So it’s been a whirlwind! But pretty great. I had to back out of worship practice Wednesday (which means Sunday as well) but did keep my standing Monday night commitment w/my Mending the Soul class. Three weeks left and I’ll have completed the class and be better equipped to help those affected by abuse, neglect or trauma. I’m praying that even though I don’t know what’s around the bend or who God has in store for me to meet and help through healing, He will use this training. He will take  what I’m learning and I’ll be able to understand someone – maybe even lots of people – and take their hand as they journey toward mental, emotional and spiritual healing and health. If not one-on-one, then maybe I’ll use the wisdom to become a facilitator of a related class, myself some day.

Braylon and I have been getting in the Word in the mornings this week too. It’s been pretty cool. 10-15 minutes, we each read. He reads from Proverbs (the chapter of the day) and Ephesians – his book of choice written by Paul. I loved that he chose such an encouraging book. We’re talking about reading until something jumps out at you, writing that thing down, and then we’ll talk about why it seems significant – and today I talked to him about why it’s important to go deeper than just reading to cross it off your list – but read to really understand what God’s saying to you in that moment. Instead of reading and writing it down and moving on, we’re praying a quick request to God beforehand that He’s speak to us and help us understand and apply what we read, we’re then reading, writing and talking about how it might apply…with one example we can think of.  I think this will really pay off. Heck, I know it will! Isaiah 55:11-13 promises! It’s always a battle to start getting in the Word more intentionally and consistently. But once you’re there, you’re like – this is sweet! Why did I ever stop?! God is speaking right to me!  or – that would be perfect for me to send to so-&-so right now!  It’s cause it really is ALIVE and active – full of power and life.

Angel is still so sweet. Every year I keep waiting for her to turn bratty and sour. But NOPE. Not yet. :) She told me yesterday that she wants to be a singer when she gets older and my heart stopped and did a happy dance in my chest for 2 seconds. She’s good at it, too.

I had to re-wash and re-rinse her hair tonight. I thought she, at 7 1/2, would be old enough to wash her hair by herself. But alas, she hopped out without yelling at me to check it first…and she had weird dry scalp flakes (or hair gel pieces) and soapiness still in there! So here we go again. She loves to play outside with her bro who she still at times calls “bwud-ger” and their favorite outdoor activities lately involve the “over the creek” swing their dad made, hanging with the 5 “Buck Boys” down the street  jumping on their trampoline or shooting hoops, riding bikes or rip-sticking.

Sometimes Bray goes exploring in the big backyard, takes his knife and cuts or whittles whatever wooden thing he can get his hands on. When I look for him from the back porch, I usually find him just in time to see his arm flailing as he chucks a rock or a stick as far as he can. Which is SO Braylon. He’s been doing that since he was like 3! He’s really worked on drawing this year and has gotten so dang good at it! I love his determination. His perfectionism is an unfortunate genetic obstacle to artistic greatness. It’s ok though. It’ll hopefully equally help him achieve his artistic goals! He is just like his daddy who used to draw and doodle in high school and then way after that, he realized – wait a minute! I think I GOT somethin’ here! And next thing you know he’s like Creative Director Web Designer and Marketing Consultant for a major corporation. But whatevs ~ Braylon will be fantastic at whatever he does with the Lord’s help and guidance. His openness, compassion & humor light me up…and his dad loves how sensitive, creative and confident he can be.

It’s now after midnight on 6/14 – which means it’s Ricky’s and my 17th anniversary! We’ve been hanging out lookin at our wedding photos and he was kind enough to oblige me and pick out his favorite one of just me, just him and both of us. Today we played ping pong (I beat him again! All three games this time. Hee hee). We listened to the Lionel Richie Pandora Station during dinner (I made us raspberry salad and grilled bacon sandwiches) and  afterward when we found ourselves alone by the ping pong table he made, right after I beat him, we kissed and slow danced for a minute to Journey’s “Open Arms”…despite my garlic bread breath.

I can’t wait to see what later today has in store for us.

Or the rest of our lives.

Chicken Divan – my take on it

Chicken Divan Recipe Collage

Basically, I thawed out 6 or 7 frozen chicken tenders in a bowl of cold water for 10min. in the sink. Then cut em up with scissors into a big pan – with heated olive oil, salt and pepper.  I boiled frozen broccoli in a saucepan for 6-8 minutes and drained well. – BOOM…1st 2 ingredients taken care of.

I preheated oven to 450, sprayed PAM into a 9×9 (you can use a 9″round pan) and spread the broccoli and then chicken chunks all over the dish.

For the cream sauce, I didn’t have cream of chicken, so I used what I had – Progresso Recipe Starters “Creamy Parmesan Basil” Cooking Sauce, and didn’t need to add the milk! I did however, add some mayo and of course, some curry. Perfecto – tangy, creamy and even a hint of basil.

I poured the sauce over the broccoli and chicken, & sprinkled Italian mix cheese over it all.

Lastly, I didn’t have bread crumbs! Soooo, I once heard you could make your own by blending up any bread. Yes, blending. So I took 2 hotdog buns, and plopped them into my blender til they were all crumby. Then put them in my toaster oven on the tray and let the crumbs get brown and toasty. Then in a bowl, I dumped the hotdog crumbs and added a little melted butter, salt and pepper. Bread Crumb mix was ready to sprinkle on top of it all.

Into the oven went the dish and because the oven was set so high, it only took 10 min.s before I checked on it and saw it was melted and bubbly. I let it cool for 5 minutes and served it up. The top had this thick crunchy, buttery yummness to it, that had Ricky and the kids going back for bite after bite…&  there was a little left for seconds for the hungry hubby. No left overs – which is GOOD in my snooty-booty family, cause as much as I try to not waste extra food and offer it later, they rarely agree to it. PFFFFTTTT!

Anyway, I’m lovin’ this because I got smiles and full tummies all the way around the table…and I think you will too.

“WARNING: Side Effects May Include Bondage”

As I searched my little medicine shoebox tonight for allergy pills, my fingers ran across an old friend. She’d managed to stay loyal and close by, for 8 1/2 years, through six moves and two states.

This bottle represents a period of my life when I questioned my calling and the motives of my heart to such an obsessive degree that depression took over. My mind and body warred with my spirit for months.

Anxiety, with its parasitic hunger attacked with no warning in public places like the church lobby and the Starbucks line where I’d stand there motionless, wondering if anyone around me could tell.

This bottle represents fear. It’d whisper, “what if it ever happens again?” and taunt, “would you dare throw me out…now?” My answer back was the “no-action no”. You know, the answer that cowards you call friends give when you desperately ask for support or money.

No, I didn’t have the courage nor the faith to answer back, “so what if it does? I’ll pray.” and follow through with a “hell yes, I’m throwing you out along with the lies I believed about myself.”

What’s silly is that I probably only took 10 pills. I was never addicted or bound. But that’s just it. I was bound. Not by the medication. But by the lies I believed when I took it and for the many years to follow: “I won’t fully recover. I’m not fully healed of this. God is punishing me for my pride by allowing me this affliction. Statistics on depression are reliable. Anxiety and panic are recidivistic.”
And the big one: “These pills are more trustworthy than the healing power of God.”

But tonight, May 2nd, 2014, I renounce them all. I state with resoluteness and conviction that my caring God healed me the day I vacuumed my apartment in a worship whirlwind to hymns on a spinning Crystal Lewis CD, seven weeks after I fell into the hole.

This bottle is going in my trash tonight. Sealed tight with every one of those lies. And I will fall asleep with this smile, a direct result in the truth I’ve come to know. He’s always been there. He’s always more powerful than a man-made drug, as helpful as it was in those seven weeks. And this Prince of Peace has always cared about my peace of mind.

Good night.



2014 Easter Ping Pong Tourney

There were some major upsets (BB) and some victory howls too during this tourney, and it was a fast-paced elimination round competition. Here are the results!

Semi-finalists: Chelan, Marda, Schearon and…Schearon.
The finalists: Marda, Schearon.
Winner: Schearon!





Before the Triumphal Entry

He still heals today! If you need healing, Jesus can heal you any time, any place. Today will be dedicated to healing and testimonies at Father’s House City Ministries, Portland, 11am. Free PSU lot parking. If you need healing, go to this celebration of Jesus and his compassion! They will continue to join with Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to help release freedom and wholeness to people here in Portland. They’ve already seen so many healed and deciding to follow Jesus since April 8th this week!

In Matthew 20:29-34 – just before the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in the road and asked two men who were loudly calling for him to have mercy on them, “what do you want me to do for you?” Of course, he knew, but he wanted them to speak their need to him…a courageous display of submission and humility. “Lord”, they said, “we want to see!” BTW, “Hosanna” is an exclamation of praise that literally means “save now”. So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. “Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.”

This stood out to me this morning – it took place just before the triumphal entry. Jesus took time to notice those in need and touched them. It was instant. They could see. And so they followed him. It the literal sense, no one can expect a person without sight to follow anyone. They are blind, for goodness sake! But once they see, all bets are off. They can now follow, with no excuse, the One who cares completely. The One who dissolved their affliction.

Spiritually, no one can be expected to follow him either, unless their eyes are touched with the undeniable truth of Jesus’ love and power. An no one can judge their behavior. Unless their heart is supernaturally turned toward his truth and they receive it, they are blind. But once they see, see the Truth for who he is, he will be absolutely magnetic! The things of earth will grow strangely dim around him and like these two blind men, they will follow him, too. Healing is so amazing. But to be a devoted follower of Jesus is even better. May the Church rise up, bring the sick (heart, mind and body) to Jesus, infuse courage to speak loudly their need to him and believe with them for his healing touch and for transformed lives.

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