Tag Archives: travel

When I win a few million dollars

Just so you know, this is going to be a deeply profound post tonight.

It’s all about how I would spend my money if I won the lottery.

I was thinking about this last night in the shower as I shaved my bristle pad legs.

Here’s waht I came up with:

1. Get laser hair removal treatment on my legs. And pits. And anywhere else that needs it.

2. Get laser surgery on my eyes. (Seriously, I want to do this one even if I don’t ever hit hte jackpot.)

3. Buy Ryan that new car so he doesn’t have a heart attack every time he wrangles stuff in and out of the trunk.

4. Hire a cook that will prepare us healthy and delicious meals and snacks. On demand.

5. And a cleaner.

6. Give my brother the Lava Street house.

7. Buy a house in Bend and in Sydney near family and somewhere on hte Oregon coast… ya know, for vacations.

8. Fly business class from here on out. Or maybe even first class?

9. Figure out how much our supporters have given us over the last 11+ years and surprise them with triple that amount as a fun gift.

10. And some other less superficial, more noble stuff that I’m running out of time to share here. (Or maybe best kept secret anyway.)

That’s it folks. taht’s my list for now.

Too bad I never actually play the lotto.



Q for you: If you won 10 million dollars, how would you spend it?



p.s. I didn’t even write “get a new wardrobe”. That’s a given. Duh.


Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes on motherhood and parenting (using spellcheck) on The Mommyhood Memos.



Chasing cows and investing in young people

Camping was amazing.

Dirty. Wet. Beautiful.

We had an ant invasion (not awesome), ate s’mores around the campfire (awesome), got super dirty (expected), ran out of water (unexpected), and had enough gear to fill a trailer (we’ve given up on trying to fit in our car).

Teaching and ministry was incredible. Ryan and I tag-taught everyday for three hours, and then six hours on Thursday and 13 hours on Friday. (I’m totally serious.) Then we got up at 6:am and baptised about 15 or 20 young people on Saturday morning before we left to drive home.

Did I say amazing yet?

Have you ever been camping with 90ish people? In the rain? WIth babies?

Camping with babies is fun. Tricky, but fun.

Naps are hard (the tent is hot and bright), but other than that they are so adaptable.

Levi chased cows (and now finally calls them “cows” and not just “moooo”) and threw a million rocks in the creek. Judah got to ride around in the Ergo for most of hte week.

Ryan and I enjoyed doing what we do best – working as a team and investing in young people.

I didn’t have any free time really, so my writing fell by the wayside. (And I’m ok with that.) But I did manage to read two thrids of a book since I was reading while breastfeeding Judah instead of scrolling through facebook or pinterest or blogs or emails on my phone.

And now we are home. Clean hair, clean sheets, clean clothes, and plugged in again.

I’m not finished uppacking but Ryan is repacked and on the otherside of Australia.

I’ve done six loads of laundry and have four more to go. (Really wishing I had a dryer.)

And, as much as it urks me, I’m keeping the boys in disposalbles until I get the camping laundry all finished, thankyouverymuch.

Now it’s just me and the boys.

I managed baths and bedtime on my own beautifully tnight, with both kids in bed asleep by 7:25 – Levi by 7:00 and Judah by 7:25. (Yes, I’m feeling accomplished. And exhausted.)

I think it might take me a week to recover from camping. (So tired.) and then another week to recover from Ryan being gone this week.

But life is good and meaningful and full and happy.

And I’m really glad to not have ants crawling over me in my sleep anymore. But I keep imaging them and squirming anyway.



Q for you: What are you glad for today?


p.s. Although I missed a couple of days, I did write while I was camping. I’ll try to post those entries soon, but I’m in no rush. I have my hands full, so when I get to it, I get to it. Just thought I’d let  you know.

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos

The one that’s not about Morocco

When I imagine the prefect space for writing, two images come to mind.

One is a second story cafe in Newington Green, London. It’s a bit dark, a bit smokey, and has a couple small windows that overlook an old cemetary.

In no way does this place excite me as a writing space, but I always think of it.

Perhaps that’s because I have distinct memories of sitting alone there, journalling my heart out as a 19-year-old. Handwritten, of course, in little books…. long before the days that laptops were as common as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The other place I think of is a small office on the second story of an old farm house. There’s an oversized desk, a huge window, and lots of natural light. On the desk are a couple of framed photos, few pieces of paper, and several pens scattered aorund. (Why are there pens? I write on my laptop.) Ouside there’s a looming oak tree, sprawling lawns, and of course a babbling brooke.

(This place doesn’t exist. Well, I’m sure it does. I’ve just never been there.)

I’ve never wanted to live in teh country. But I can certainly imagine wriitng there.

Neither of those places are my ideal writing spaces, and yet they are the ones I always think of – one real and one pretend.

When I sat down to write this post I was going to write about Morocco.

About the shapes of the doors and the colors of the shoes. About the flicker of lanterns and the cobblestone alleys adn how it all made me long to write and create so desperately.

How did I get to a smelly old cafe and imaginary farm house from that?

Someday I will write about Morocco. A strange and beautiful and far away place.

Until then I’ll keep writing from my couch in this old Queenslander I call home.


Q for you: What’s your ideal creative space?


Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.

I write to remember

There are many reasons I write.

I write because I enjoy it. I also write because I’m good at it. (And don’t we all like to do things we’re good at?)

But I also write to remember.

I’ve never been one of those people who can sit around and tell stories.

My husband is like that. I lvoe that about him – he’s never without some story to tell.

Often I try to think of stories to tell… and I just can’t think of any. Seriously. It’s like they don’t even exist in my brain.

I know they must be buried in there somewjere, but wherever that somewhere is, it’s not close to the surface.

So one of the reasons I write is to remember.

I really started writing when Levi was a couple of months old. I’m SO glad I did.

Even now I thnk back to those days (which aren’t that long ago) and the details are hazy.

What helps me to remember are the things I wrote about and the things I photographed.

If I’ve somehow captured it on paper or in image, it’s much more cemented in my mind. (Luckily I have thousands of photos to help jog the old memory!)

But what I don’t have much recored abotu are my travels.

This makes me incredibly sad.

I’ve been to around 35 different countries I think, some of them multiple tiems. Some just for fun, adn some with my work.

I remember a story here and there. I remember how I felt. I remember random facts about hte people I met or something I ate or did.

But largely, my memory is hazy.

How I wish little laptops had been available then like they are now!

I’d have volumes and volumes of stories recorded.

I’m grateful to have (already) lived such a full and interesting life.

I only wish I could remember it a little better.



Q for you: Do you write? If so, why?



P.S. This is the same reason I’m a “list person”. I’d remember nothing if it weren’t a part of some list or another. *sigh*


Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.

Different isn’t wrong, it’s just… different.

Culture shock is a funny thing.

People often think they don’t have it. I don’t have culture shock, I like it here they say. As if “liking” has anyting to do with “shocking”. (Yes, “shocking” is a word I just came up with to shorten for culture shock. And then by explaining it I made it a thousand tiems longer anyway. Humph.)

When I was living in Greece my culture shock came by way of please and thank you.

I was 18 and working as a waitress at a restaurant on Santorini Island. Most of our customers where vacationers from Eurpoe and America and Canada and AUstralia. They wanted english-speaking staff for that reason.

But every once and a while we’d get a day with lots of Greek holiday-goers.

One day in particular I was serving Greek couple after Greek couple after Greek couple.

“Coke!” they would shout at me. “Spaghetti Bolonaise!” they would shout next. “Refill!” And on and on it went.

Never a please. Never a thank you.

maybe I woke up on the wrong side of hte bed that day, but for whatever reason by mid-shift I was ready to break down into tears.

They don’t appreciate me. They’re so rude. They’re condescending and belittling.

They haaaaaaate me.

(Why do they hate me so much?)

And then I realized… it’s cultural.

As an American it’s considered rude to throw out your orders to the server. You request. You use pleasantries. You make eye contact.

But as a Greek these people weren’t being rude in teh slightest.

They were just being Greek. THeir role was to tell me what they wanted. My role was to follow directions adn deliver. End of story.

They didn’t hate me. They weren’t being rude. (Well, most of hte time anyway.)

They were just being Greek. They were different. And different isn’t wrong, it’s just… different.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said htat over the last 15 years, most of whichI’ve lived abroad.

Different isn’t wrong, it’s just different.



Q for you: Have you ever experienced culture shock? How did you handle it?



p.s. went over time today!


Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.

Come on sausage

It was about ten years ago.

I hadn’t been in Austrlaia that long, but long enough that I didn’t feel like I was experienceing “culture shock” anymore.

Until one lovely Saturday afternoon……

I was downtown shopping and just in front of me on an escalator traveling up was a mother and her young son. He looked around 2 or 3 years old.

“Come on sausage” she said to the little guy as she tugged his hand to walk onto teh platform.

I was mortified. SAUSAGE? Are you kidding me?

Child abuse! Emotional child abuse!

How could this woman call her son SAUSAGE??!!! Surely he would be scarred for life. Probably end up in counselin.g

I shook my head in dismay and wished I could somehow “fix” the situation and tell the little guy that he was just perfect as-is. Definitely not fat!

To me, calling someone “sausage” was akin to calling them “porker”. Or “bacon”.

totally rude.

Totally demeaning.

And then, a few days later I heard it again.

This time it was my boss’s (lovely, Christian) wife talking to her child.

And it hit me: that was not a mother talking down to her child, that was an Australian pet name!

I couldn’t believe it!

Really? Sausage?

(Hello culture shock!)

Since then I’ve heard it a thousand times.

Just as my own mom used to call me “pumpkin” (kind of weird now that I think about it, but also totally common in America), so this term – sausage – is a common term of endearment in Australia.

So there you go (Branson).

Have you hugged your little sausage today?



Q for you: What’s your favorite term of endearment?




Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


The gentleman in Vienna

I had always wanted to go to a “real” ballet.

As a kid my mom had taken me to see our local production of the Nutcracker several times over the Christmas holidays. I always loved it.

But going to a real ballet? With professionals in a grand old building?


That, I dreamt of.

When I was in Vienna at eighteen I got my first chance.

I had been travelling for a while and didn’t have much money, but I did have enough to buy a ticket for the standing section in the balcony of the Vienna Opera House to see the Royal Ballet.

Can you imagine? The Vienna Opera House?

It was spectacular.

I dressed in the best outfit I could muster our of my backpack – a black mini-skirt, black tights, chunky ankle boots, and a vintage leather jacket I had bought at a flea market in London. Perhaps for an 18-year-old snowboarder in the mid-90s I looked quite cool, but I’m sure to everyone else I looked ridiculously out-of-place.

I didn’t care; I was so excited.

Entering the Opera House was like magic. It was every bit as spectacular as I imagined it would be.

I took my spot up on the highest (nose-bleed) balcony and not long after, an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked me if I’d like a better seat.

He explained that he and his wife had season tickets and never miss a performance,but she was home ill and her seat was free.

Of course I jumped at the chance and enjoyed the ballet in one of the best seats in the house.

During intermisison he took me around the opera House telling me stories and personal accounts of all that the beautiful old walls had held.

After the show we went across the street with all the other locals to a café where they sipped Vienese coffees and talked about how lovely the performance was.

It was one of my favorite memories from over a year spent in Europe.

I can’t remember the gentleman’s name, or even picture his face anymore, but I’ll never forget how he made me feel – special and valued and… even a little bit cultured.



Q for you: When is the last time you allowed a stranger to make your day?



P.S. I ran out of time but wanted to mention that this “stranger” ended up being a friend of my 4th grade teacher, who at some point had done a teaching exchange in Austria. It’s a small, small world. (And this was before the days of the internet!!)


Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.

The swearing Malaysian pastor

I had only been in Malaysia a few hours before I found myself in church.

The pastor spoke English in a thick Chinese-Malaysian accent.

I sat a few rows back from the front, straining to listen and understand what he was saying.

The message was about sin, and how it ruins lives.

He began to use an illustration about stepping in dog doo-doo and how that was like sin – messy, smelly, leaving a trace wherever it was tracked.

Except he didn’t use the word “doo-doo”… or even crap or poop. He used the word $hit. He used it over and over and over again.

He seriously used it at least twenty time.s

At first I thought no, surely that’s not what he’s saying. But then, as giggles from the rest of the non-Malaysians began to errupt from my row, I realized he was indeed using a swear word in his message.

I learned something new that day.

Apparently what is a swear word in one culture is not in another.

(Hello and welcome to Malaysia.)

Needless to say I will never, ever forget his illustration abotu sin.



Q for you: Living in Australia I’m faced with this often – words that are considered rude in America aren’t here and vice-versa, but none make me chuckle like the swearing Malaysian pastor. What defines a swear word to you?




Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos