Sunday, March 30, 2008

Eight is Great...

Today my little Josh turned 8!! Josh's birthday festivities always begin with what we have affectionately named "Duck Day." You see, the day before he was born, my mom and I went down to feed the ducks in Oceano. I fit right in, waddling around with my overdue belly. Done with nesting at home, I was more than ready to see my little boy.
Continuing the tradition, each year on March 29th, I take Josh to feed the ducks. Some years he has run after the ducks, seagulls, geese, and various other birds with glee and reckless abandon, and others he has quietly sat on the hood of the car watching the birds and throwing stale bread from afar. This year there was a bitter cold wind that seemed to have chased the ducks and geese away. We were greeted by a flock of seagulls and black birds with big feet. Since it was a Saturday, Dad got to join us, which was fun. Unfortunately, he was was targeted twice by two bomber seagulls with exceptional aim.... sorry, hon!!
I am amazed how Josh has grown and all that he has learned. When he born, he had a blood condition. The doctor said that if it is not caught and treated, the condition leads to learning disablities and other things. I am grateful for the care God provided for my little one. I am especially grateful for a nurse that ministered to a set of unsure, first-time parents. She always had a smile, a word of encouragement, and a hand extended to help. She wasn't afraid that we might accidentally disengage Josh's IV or otherwise disrupt the paraphernalia that dangled from his body. She knew we needed reassurance and a cheerful heart, and she went beyond her call of duty to provide those things.
I am so blessed to have Josh in my life. He is fiery and sensitive, silly and serious, thoughtful and imaginative... He wants to do what is right. He wants to follow after Jesus and is growing in faithfulness each day. I pray that I will have more wisdom in his upbringing and that I will learn to love him well. He is a precious child of God. I am thankful to have him on loan...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Over the Rainbow

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! And Happy Birthday to my wonderful Dad!! I love you!

Josh and I spotted this gorgeous rainbow outside our living room window during the last rains we had. He wanted to go looking for a pot of gold, but unfortunately it disappeared from view almost as quickly as it came.

We have, however, been trying to bring rainbows into the house through our eating habits, as of late. A couple years ago, my friend Deborah E., a former nutrition major at Poly, taught my women's Bible study about healthy eating habits. One of the things I remember her saying... eat a rainbow of foods every day. By eating more naturally colorful foods (no, bubble gum ice cream doesn't count), we are more likely to get the variety of nutrients we need. Kind of like the "5-a-day" rule, but with some visual appeal.

The last couple weeks, I've ordered a box of organic, pesticide-free veggies from Rutiz Farms. Here's what I got this week for $12 (plus 3 more kiwis, eaten immediately by 2 hungry leprechauns).


We are having a lot of fun trying to figure out ways to use these vibrant veggies. This weekend, I made a yummy braised fennel dish (up until this point, I hadn't ever seen fennel!!). In addition, Patrick concocted some homemade mint frozen yogurt... yummy!!

We're look forward to dishing up more colorful adventures!!! Bon Appetit!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mod Podge... Who Knew??


Does anyone remember the crafting scene about 15-20 years ago? As I recall, it had a lot to do with decoupage and dried flowers. Several dried flower arrangements graced the house during those years, but I couldn't for the life of me understand why people would want to decoupage their furniture and other random objects.

On Tuesday I saw the Mod Podge (translation: the stuff you use to decoupage) light. I was trying to think of something cute to give Joshua's student teacher as a farewell gift, and I came up with the idea of decorating a clipboard... thus the wild decoupaging frenzy begin. Josh helped out and it was done in no time. Basically, it's just advanced cut and paste. All we ever need to know we learned in Kindergarten, right?

I like to create. I guess that's cause we're made in the image of our Creator. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to be God and stand back after each day of creation and say, "It is good." If I'm this excited about decoupage, He must have been just busting at the seams!! No wonder He wanted to make people to share it all with. Today I'm going to listen closely to see if I can hear all of creation shouting out His praise.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

No Further Than my own Backyard

Sometimes I'm really quite astounded by the amazing musical talent that surrounds me. It's kind of like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz... if I want to go looking for my heart's desire, I don't have to go any further than my own backyard. Almost literally!

The last couple Fridays I've had the pleasure of sitting in on some live music at the Vertex, which is a new venue at New Life Church down the street. My friend Deborah, who is a really amazing songwriter and musician has been playing recently with the band called Only Everyone. They have a much different sound than I usually listen to, a sort of ambient, celtic sound, and I really enjoyed it. Chloe, the lead singer and driving force behind Only Everyone is a petite, humble woman, who has an incredibly powerful and haunting voice. She sings of her faith, her beliefs, and journey of desire for her savior. I feel as though she has given me permission to peer into her heart and join her pilgrimage. I also loved watching Deb skillfully play 3 keyboards, flute, percussion, and singing backing vocals, while looking completely cool and relaxed!! The other band members blended and supported Chloe beautifully, and I loved the added bonus of Chloe's twin sister rounding out the vocals.

This past Friday, I made my way back to check out another band, Lakes. Totally different crowd... mostly teenagers, for whom the Vertex was really geared. As a sidenote, I felt about 50+ years old at this concert, but really enjoyed it anyway. Seth Roberts, the lead singer, has a way of writing positive, thoughtful lyrics without sounding preachy or contrived. The melody lines are super memorable and the harmonies with fellow guitarist, Jason Massey, are so tight. I could listen to these guys all day (and sometimes do)... they remind me a bit of Switchfoot. I hope they come out with a new Lakes CD soon, but until then, I'll continue listening to my EP and older Watashi Wa (same Seth, different band) stuff.


On the homefront, I'm currently working on Requiem with Gracefull (the choir I'm singing with). It's a long, classically styled piece by John Rutter and it's beginning to grow on me. A lot of it is quite dark and minor sounding, quite appropriate for Good Friday. I used to like to avoid these types of pieces, and now I savor them. Without darkness, there can be no light, no dawn at the end of a long night. Its the darkness of the cross that makes the power of the resurrection astounding.

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