Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My Man!

I just took some pictures of Keith for a web project he's doing - this is my favorite. Such a gentle giant!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Our 7 year old wants published!

Jake has requested that his story for school last week get published to the family blog, so here it is - (2nd grade creative writing isn't worried about spelling yet):

Grumpy Old Bus driver

Ond day Joe was wating for the bus. Joe said "here comes the bus." The busdriver said "GRRRRRRRRRRR" and drov by. Joe said "hay wate!". Joe starts runing after the bus. he was to late. it turned the corner. Then The Grumpy old busdriver came to Bob's house. Bob said 'thers the buse, what is this it isn't my WHOAAAAAAAAAA" The Grumpy old bus driver grabd Bob by the shert and puld him in. The end.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Settling In

There's so much to post I hardly know where to start, so I am just going to ramble to keep you posted. Life here is flowing nicely. We are enjoying the community, the area and our new church. Yes, we have chosen already, it was the first one we went to, but it was so welcoming and warm it felt just like home. The kids loved it, we loved it and we're thrilled to have another piece in the puzzle of our new lives in place.

We've had no end of frustration with our printer. We upgraded our computer before we moved (thank you Ed Gouldsbary!) and our old printer won't communicate with Windows XP - argh! We have spent literally hours and hours scouring the web for a driver to replace it, and only recently remembered that Keith's laptop (thank you John Mine!) would be able to still communicate with the printer - so now we have to transfer files back and forth to print, but at least we're able to FINALLY get the resumes out and hopefully ABOUT! :) (good Canadian lingo, eh? Must be pronouced "OOT & ABOOT")

We've got some good leads and really would love to have this piece (or pieces) falling into place too. All prayers would be appreciated!

Ali and Jake are still wonderful, amazing kids. We received their cyberschool report cards and it was so nice to read how well they did (it was mommy's report card too!). That time of homeschooling will be a fond memory for us all. They are enjoying school, but really enjoyed the "ice day" on Wednesday - the ice never manifested, but we had a really windy rainstorm. Other than that we've had glorious blue skies and we even took a family walk last night down to the river.

Our new friend Smigel (the bald eagle) meets us there nearly every time we cross the border or near the river. He is glorious and such a sight to see. We first met him as we crossed the border the very first time we visited. He was carrying a large stick for his nest in the park by the river. When we returned the truck after the move he flew right over it and Ali, Jake and I were treated to an upclose view of him. Keith and I were driving through town and saw him in a tree perched and I tried to creep up to snap a picture - but he flew away just as I had focused. Still a wonderful gift.

Last night he was fishing right by the lighthouse as we walked along the shore in the very windy, chilly night air. We have named him Smigel (Gollum before he found the ring in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and he is "ours" - we'll gladly share him with our community, but he'll always be our family pet. I promise, as soon as I have a picture I will share it with you here.

So, we're settling in, looking for work and enjoying all we can along the way. Keith's off this afternoon to support Jake on his skates at the rink for a field trip. Hope this post finds you all well. We'd love to hear how you're doing too!

Friday, January 13, 2006

A Stop Doing List

My cousin Kristy sent me this and it's so good I had to pass it on:

This article by Jim Collins (author of Good to Great and co-author of Built to Last) first appeared in USA Today on Dec. 30, 2003, my friend Tracy W. sent it to me in January 2004, and I’m sharing it with you to inspire you for 2006!

Best New Year's resolution? A 'stop doing' list.

Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.

One day, Rochelle pointed to my ferocious work pace and said, "I notice, Jim, that you are a rather undisciplined person."

I was stunned and confused. After all, I was the type of person who carefully laid out my BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), top three objectives and priority activities at the start of each New Year. I prided myself on the ability to work relentlessly toward those objectives, applying the energy I'd inherited from my prairie- stock grandmother.

"Your genetic energy level enables your lack of discipline," Rochelle continued. "Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life."

She then gave me what I came to call the 20-10 assignment. It goes like this: Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

That assignment became a turning point in my life, and the "stop doing" list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions -- a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.

Rochelle's challenge forced me to see that I'd been plenty energetic, but on the wrong things. Indeed, I was on entirely the wrong path. After graduate school, I'd taken a job at Hewlett- Packard. I loved the company, but hated the job. Rochelle's assignment helped me to see I was cut out to be a professor, a researcher, a teacher -- not a businessman -- and I needed to make a right-angle turn. I had to stop doing my career, so that I could find my real work. I quit HP, migrated to the Stanford Business School faculty and eventually became -- with some remarkable good luck along the way -- a self-employed professor, happily toiling away on my research and writing.

Rochelle's lesson came back to me a number of years later while puzzling over the research data on 11 companies that turned themselves from mediocrity to excellence, from good to great. In cataloguing the key steps that ignited the transformations, my research team and I were struck by how many of the big decisions were not what to do, but what to stop doing.

In perhaps the most famous case, Darwin Smith of Kimberly-Clark - - a man who had prevailed over throat cancer -- said one day to his wife: "I learned something from my cancer. If you have a cancer in your arm, you've got to have the guts to cut off your own arm. I've made a decision: We're going to sell the mills."

At the time, Kimberly-Clark had the bulk of its revenues in the traditional paper business. But Smith began asking three important questions: Are we passionate about the paper business? Can we be the best in the world at it? Does the paper business best drive our economic engine?

The answers came up: no, no and no.

And so, Smith made the decision to stop doing the paper business - - to sell off 100 years of corporate history -- and throw all the resulting resources into the consumer business (building brands such as Kleenex), which came up yes, yes and yes to the same questions.

The start of the New Year is a perfect time to start a stop doing list and to make this the cornerstone of your New Year resolutions, be it for your company, your family or yourself. It also is a perfect time to clarify your three circles, mirroring at a personal level the three questions asked by Smith:

1) What are you deeply passionate about?
2) What are you are genetically encoded for – what activities do you feel just "made to do"?
3) What makes economic sense -- what can you make a living at?

Those fortunate enough to find or create a practical intersection of the three circles have the basis for a great work life.

Think of the three circles as a personal guidance mechanism. As you navigate the twists and turns of a chaotic world, it acts like a compass. Am I on target? Do I need to adjust left, up, down, right? If you make an inventory of your activities today, what percentage of your time falls outside the three circles?

If it is more than 50%, then the stop doing list might be your most important tool. The question is: Will you accept good as good enough, or do you have the courage to sell the mills?

Looking back, I now see Rochelle Myers as one of the few people I've known to lead a great life, while doing truly great work. This stemmed largely from her remarkable simplicity. A simple home. A simple schedule. A simple frame for her work.

Rochelle spoke to me repeatedly about the idea of "making your life a creative work of art." A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally important, what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit -- to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort -- that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company or, most important of all, a life.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

We're here

It took four traveling days and way more miles than I'd care to remember - but we are here! We have to say a HUGE thank-you to all of you who came to help us on our way and we are so very grateful for the assistance. There are too many names to list when we come to think about all the people we will miss. We are also aware that there are many who wanted very much to connect with us before we left but because our move day was mid-week, could not. We were so bogged down with the actual mechanics of the move that we couldn't get to see everyone we had hoped to see either. Please know that we understand and we hope that you will understand too. Leaving is never easy.

Our re-entry into Canadian society could not have been easier - much of that was due to Heidi's diligence in having all of our paperwork together. We did have one tense moment at the border when they asked for the title of our vehicle and I went "Uh...title....Yeah we have that....One sec...(Honey? Where is the title for the wagon? [please don't say in the truck - please don't say in the truck]"

"It's in the truck...[argh!]...Under the front seat." Bless you and your children's children (OK our children's children.) Anyway with that they gave us the Okey Dokey and in we went!

All is new and bright, possibilities abound - God is good.

Questions still remain and we very much need your prayers in regard to work, but at the end of it we are eager to sit in the quiet confidence of God's great provision and watch it all unfold.

We have a St. Stephens phone number - email us if you want it. And if your a poor student whose parents might take exception to lots of long distance calls to Canada, just email and we'll set up a time to call you - we have flat rate calling.

We love you, love one another - outrageously.

More later,
Keith and the rest of the Turners

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Safe & Sound!

Hi all,

Just blogging from the hotel in Portland - we returned the moving van last night and are taking dad to the airport this a.m. (sigh...)

Move was wonderful - I never want to have to have to be responsible for a 26' vehicle again - the different ways you have to think when you travel with a truck are exhausting!

Border guards were fun and friendly and almost 30 people helped us move in in under ONE HOUR!! We feel very welcome, safe and HOME! Yipee! The house is ENORMOUS and the kids are having a ball - there is even a secret passage out to the barn/garage in the upstairs - will be fun for Ali and Jake when the weather gets a bit warmer.

So, I have no idea when the cable goes in and I'll get another chance to blog, but I wanted to quickly update and thank all of you for your prayers, they are working!

Much love!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The end is near!

Maybe this time tomorrow we'll be luxuriating in the pool at The Inn at Nichols Village. I LOVE hotels.com - we got the same price at this wonderful place as we'd have to pay for a roadside motel. Yipee!

We're meeting my sister Denise, her husband Andrew and the new baby Mary Beth (for the first time!) there tomorrow. It won't be a long visit, but a respite away from the packing and hauling and driving.

The moving company is allowing us the truck tonight, so we might even be able to get a lot done tonight so we can head out earlier tomorrow. I don't know how much access we'll have to the internet, but we'll try to keep you posted.

Please pray that those who have committed to help (on both ends) are able and that the packing and driving (and border crossing especially on Friday) will be smooth and trouble free. Thanks!


How hard it is to know
when the pot is too small for the plant.
Some plants need to be contained, held very close.
Others cannot be crowded.
I don't know when I myself am too pot-bound,
lacking courage to be replanted,
to take the shock of new soil,
to feel into the unknown and to take root in it.

This drying out, this self-crowding
sneaks up on me. It seems I must always feel
a little wilted or deadened before I know
I'm too pot bound.

This african violet must first be cut
and divided. The knife goes through the root.
The white flesh exposed and moist
looks as if it is bleeding.
It must have soil immediately
so the plant won't die.

Then water. Water taken in from below.
This water must seep up into the plant
by infusion. Then comes the waiting
as the shock registers.
Days and weeks of waiting.

It will be months before a new leaf appears.
Perhaps the plant won't make it.
So it is when the time comes for me to be cut
and divided so as to grow again.

Help me to see this not as a problem
but as a process. Help me surrender
to the growth that only comes with pain,
with division, with helplessness, with waiting.
Especially the days and weeks of waiting.

~ Gunilla Norris in Being Home

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy is a Yuppie Word

I think the word happy is a weak word. Wishing someone a 'happy new year' is a lot of pressure when you think about it. Happiness can be so fleeting and random. Joy is so much deeper and richer. Happy means circumstances must all go 'my way' and feeling deep emotions will keep me from my goal, if it is indeed happiness.

I even struggle with the wording in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I personally feel that the pursuit of contentment would be a much better goal. I wonder if it's having the goal and pursuit 'happiness' that brings so much ruin and disappointment to so many lives? Is happiness really ever truly in our grasp? Is it ever anything we truly have control over? How much less debt, depression and frustration might come if we changed our goal of happiness to something like joy, contentment and/or peace?

I even struggle with some translations of the beatitudes. 'Happy are those who mourn'... Really? That kind of translation smacks of delusion and rubs me the wrong way - it makes Jesus sound like a sadist - like he's clueless and can't grasp how much mourning really sucks.

Blessed is even a weak word. I've packed my library, so I can't quote it verbatim, but Larry Crabb, in The Safest Place on Earth speaks of that word being 'an island of calm' - a place of safety where others are drawn to - I like that.

I think that's what I wish us all this year - that we can become 'islands of calm' in the sea of our communities - we can be the people that are stable and solid that others are drawn to. So, yes, may you find times of happiness this year, but may your new year be much, much more than just happy!