Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm a Crier

My mom has always been especially sensitive to emotional things. Hallmark commercials, a childbirth in a movie scene, hurting people, you name it and she cries. As a kid I thought it was ridiculous to be sitting next to a box of tissues at the end of "Dances with Wolves." I was never really a sensitive person myself...until recently.

I noticed this habit occurring about a month ago when I would come home thinking through things (work, ministry, direction in life, etc.) and find myself crying after a few minutes. I found myself weeping at work or driving home from youth group. I would call my mom on especially hard days and just cry through talking to her. Sorry, mom. I'm sure that wasn't too easy on you.

Over Thanksgiving a friend & I were talking about how we've never cried during a particularly good sermon or corporate worship service. He commented how he feels kinda guilty about it; like others are more holy than him because they're lead to tears through their experience. This is not true for obvious reasons, but still intriguing to think about. As we were having that conversation I was thinking about how I cry, but not at stuff. Not because I'm learning something new and phenomenal or because my emotions are triggered by noise or pictures. I don't cry at people's circumstances or death.

I cry when I don't "get it" or can't seem to understand what God is doing in the midst of my life. I cry about souls that don't know our Creator God. For Abigail who is showing so much understanding of spiritual things in her limited 5-year-old heart. I cry over my high school girls who are dealing with rebellion toward their parents. I cry after reading missionary letters of villagers coming to an understanding of their sin and Savior. I cry when I'm tired of running the race. I cry out of frustration or when things don't go the way I hoped they would. A couple of weeks ago I cried after someone text messaged me (it had been a long day, and they didn't mean the message in the way I thought).

I definitely cry on a weekly basis, sometimes multiple times a week. I don't want to be a "dumb girl" about it, though. If I must cry, I want to cry for the things that matter. Like Jesus who wept not because Lazarus had died, but because the people around him just didn't get it. They didn't understand who He was. I want to cry like Mary at Jesus' death. Like someone who had a greater understanding of the loss that was happening. I want to weep like Joseph did when he saw his brother Benjamin after so many years of separation. I want to shed tears like the Prodigal son's father did when his repentant son came home. In short, I want to be moved by the things that move the heart of God.

I'm praying through and learning what it means to not be circumstantial, but to be moved and changed by the circumstances of life that God so delicately and perfectly places us in.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Done Dooter

It's official; I submitted my letter of resignation from my current nanny job. Stay posted (no, tuned...I'll stay posting) for further details.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tagging Game

I don't really know what the rules are, and I'm not sure anyone who tagged me knows what they are, either. I'm pretty sure that this tagging game involves listing 6 things about yourself. Hopefully there's something here you didn't know!

1. I have a passion for helping people. I will help with basically anything, and for nothing in return. I don't know why (spiritual gift, perhaps?), but I think it's more of the aspect of doing life with someone that I enjoy. I enjoy babysitting children for free so that parents can get away. I had a really good time helping VBS coordinators clean out the storage bins at the end of the week. Doing chores around the house or making a meal for someone else is definitely a priority on my list. I love it when people ask me for favors!

2. My childhood ambition was to be a hairdresser. Seriously. My aunt was a hairdresser. But I genuinely was just fascinated by hair and all of its endless possibilities. Cut, color, style, updo...whatever. Whenever I go to the salon to have my own hair updated I think of what it would be like to be one of those girls.

3. I am an aesthetics person. I care deeply about the appearance of things and how they match or coincide with their surroundings. I am inspired by things looking nice, whether it's a particular outfit or a scrapbook page; an element of nature or the way books are arranged on the shelf. This can be annoying to some people, and it's definitely something I have to be careful in being shallow about.

4. I am a stationery and invitation know-it-all. Many thanks to working at Papyrus in the early years of college. Before working there I could have cared less about where my counter cards came from, and I definitely used fill-in-the-blank invites. Now I do my best to write on only the finest of paper (Crane's) and do all of my own printing. I care about how an invitation is worded and can tell you how different wordings are supposed to convey different things. It's fascinating, really. My dad calls me a paper snob.

5. Mornings are my favorite. There's just something about waking up before the rest of the world, taking time to think and to read, meditate and pray with absolutely no distraction. Hot coffee and crisp air are worth getting up for!

6. I prefer to eat with plastic utensils. But the catch is that I don't like plastic knives. Just the plastic forks and spoons. There's just something about metal in my mouth that just gives me the heebie jeebies. Like nails on a chalkboard to some people. On top of all that, I have a preference in the plastic. I especially enjoy the clear plastic utensils. I only use metal if I absolutely have to. Weird, I know.

I tag:
Abby Shearer
Eric Margrave
Summer Martin
Heather Turek
Phil Anderson

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #25

25. I am thankful for David Crowder. I'd definitely have to describe him as the U2 of Christian music. Worship music. One of the greatest things I appreciate about Crowder is that he genuinely loves the Lord & that is clearly portrayed in the lyrics he writes and the genius of his music. If you could only buy 1 music album in your life, or if you had to purchase a Christian album, I would definitely recommend any of Crowder's albums. There's too many things I am thankful for about Crowder, but mainly, it's his passion for our God and his desire to lead worshippers in spirit and in truth through the medium of music. Here's a cool story about Crowder:

My friend Josh used to be in a band. His band had many Dove Award nominations over the years (the "Christian Grammy"). During this particular Dove Awards ceremony Josh made it priority to meet Crowder before he left. So Josh, afterwards, seeks Crowder out of the crowd to briefly introduce himself.
J: "Hey David. I'm Josh Zegan from Dizmas. I just wanted to introduce myself to you."
D: "I know. I know who you are. I listen to your music all the time. I think you're genius. I don't know why you don't sell more albums or why your music isn't as popular."

Whaaat? Who goes up to Crowder and his response is "I know who you are."????
Here's what's even cooler.

The next night Josh went to say goodbye to Crowder, and Crowder's wife happened to be there. She got to meet Josh and her reply in meeting him was, "Josh! So nice to meet you! David never comes home talking about work; he tries his best to keep work separate from home. But you must have made a huge impression on him the other night because he came home talking about you." I know, right..."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #24

24. I am thankful for babies. I met a new baby today, Blake. Blake is 3 months old and the most precious, mellow little one I've seen in a while. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a baby lover. I think babies are quite boring and much prefer being around active toddlers or energetic children. But no one can deny how precious the moment of staring into a baby's eyes. Or watching the little creature sleep. Or suckle. Or explore their toes. Or pick their mother's voice out of a crowd. I think that babies are a part of the natural revelation that God has given to us. One cannot deny the existence of a divine Creator when studying the intricacy of an infant. May we be amazed at God's creation even in our own flesh and blood.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #23

23. I am thankful for hard times. James writes,
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have a perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
Hard times seem to be surrounding me right now. There are hard times with our youth in the church. There are hard times with situations my work. My roommate is having hard times with her work, too. My sister is having hard relational/friendship times. Some of my students are enduring hard times with divorce or persecution. The American economy is having "hard times." The list continues.

comments on the above verses (James 1:2-4): "The natural human response to trials is not to rejoice; therefore the believer must make a conscious commitment to face them with joy." Amen! Though times are hard or difficult or challenging, we have reason to rejoice. The battle belongs to the Lord. He has already conquered the grave and sin and eternal death. Therefore, rejoice! Rejoice that trials are in our life to grow us ever so close to our Creator and Savior. Hard times bring people together, as we suffer with one another in genuine fellowship. May God receive the glory He is due for bringing us through trials and hard times.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #22

22. I am thankful for books. I grew up in a home where reading was a priority. Our TV went on "vacation" whenever we did. Literally, we unplugged the television set & drew a picture of it surfing in Hawaii during Summer break. So to pass the time we (my sisters & I) would ride our bikes down to the library (a 3.6 mile journey), check out a whole backpack of books, and ride back home. We did this 2 or 3 times a week. Most people think that I have read many books when they see my full bookshelf, but what they don't realize is that I probably read the least out of everyone in my family. Some families collect sports memorabilia, others collect antiques. Well, mine collects books. The people at the used book store know us by name. There's nothing quite as sweet as curling up in the winter or laying out in the summer with a novel. I am thankful in particular for the classic Christian books: Pilgrim's Progress, The Gospel Primer, or The Divine Conspiracy. Currently I'm reading Age of Opportunity, Ishmael & The Puritan Dilemma. Books have taught me so much, and continue to teach me. May we all learn from the words of the wise (and not-so-wise) men and women who have taken the time to put their thoughts into words and endure all the hard work that it takes to publish books!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #21

21. I am thankful for flexible time. Sometimes we just run across those days where time has little to no bind on us. Saturdays might be such a day. They're Fridays for me. Once I'm done with work on Fridays, I usually only have a couple of things on my agenda that I can get done whenever. For instance, the only things on my agenda this afternoon were to run up to church and then go running at the gym. Because my time was flexible, I was able to stay at church longer than I had expected, and I had the freedom to have a 45-minute conversation with someone there. It was profitable and encouraging, I hope to us both. As I was leaving church I thought a lot about how I was thankful for days like today, where I can just go about my responsibilities and leave room for significant conversations and moments like that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #19 & #20

Sorry for the delay again. Yesterday was crazy crazy!

18. I am thankful for Abigail. As stated in previous posts, she is the youngest of the family I nanny for. Lately we have been able to spend many hours together, and yesterday the Lord was kind enough to reveal some fruits of my labor with her. Abigail is a good listener, even at age 5 and shows remorse for her sin. She is sorry for mistakes that she makes and lets me know. We're working on turning the sorrow into true repentance. Abby is an excellent helper. She learned yesterday how to put pillowcases on pillows and was eager to help with the chore. But most of all, Abby has an extremely good memory, and she consistently asks questions about God based on previous conversations I've had with her. Praise be to Him! My prayer is that she continues to ask questions and seek truth for the rest of her life, and that the truth does not lead her astray.

19. I am thankful for washing machines. This thankfulness idea is a little less sentimental, but I truly am thankful for clothing washers and dryers. They rock! They make laundry a light task (in perspective) and cause clean clothes to always be at hand! It is good to be reminded of the luxuries we have and to be thankful for them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #18

18. I am thankful for my roommates! There is a unique story behind how each of us ended up rooming here and together. I love coming home to Christians and having meaningful conversations with them. I love that we pray for one another. I love that we're at different churches and in different ministries. Sad will be the day that we no longer room together! Thanks, girls!
Brynne, Kate & me
May 2008

Summer (before we were roommates)
February 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #14-#17

I have a lot of catching up to do. My lack of posting has no reflection of my mindset of practicing thankfulness. On the contrary, this posting series has been very convicting as I am forced to think each and every day about what I can practically and thoughtfully be thankful to the Lord for. Sorry, Eric, if this post is too long for your Google reader. :)

14. I am thankful for medical care. I had quite a surprise this week as I discovered that I have a little parasite living in me. As I was waiting in urgent care on Thursday evening and enduring all the "sample" tests for parasites (trust me, you don't want to know...), I was thankful that I have a trained team of doctors and specialists who know what they're talking about and who genuinely care for my well-being as a human. I am thankful that they took the time and energy and effort to go through medical school. I understand that is not an easy task. I am thankful that they decide to come to work each day and listen to our problems, doing their best to find a solution. I think it's easy to become frustrated with the medical system, and I am definitely known to be short with doctors when they don't know what's going on or making me jump through hoops. May my response to such situations be full of thankfulness in the future.

15. I am thankful for the United States of America. We took some of our youth down to Mexico on Friday and Saturday this weekend. We take them every year to partner with Spectrum Ministries, which is a ministry based in San Diego. Spectrum's main ministry is to take care of some of the physical needs of local, impoverished Mexicans, that they might display the work of Christ and be a living testimony to those who may not believe. We spent Saturday morning and afternoon bathing local children, giving them a new outfit to have (our own hand-me-downs) and trimming and brushing their hair. Spectrum serves many different areas of northern Mexico, and this time we went a little further south to an area in the dusty hills. Apparently Spectrum staff gets to this location about once a month, so some of the children we were bathing and taking care of literally hadn't bathed in a month. As we crossed the border back into the United States on Saturday evening I couldn't help but have the stereotypical yet appropriate attitude of thankfulness for the provisions we have in the United States. I am thankful that God had be born in this country and can (I think) genuinely appreciate it.

16. I am thankful for safety. Some of you are aware that my city/area, Santa Clarita, is on fire...again. And those of you who have lived here longer than me know that it happens around this time every year. Again, it's one of those "out of sight, out of mind" things where it's very stressful when the fires are happening, but I don't do very many practical things to be more prepared when there are no fires. Yesterday in 2nd service at church Brian prayed and thanked God for the safety that He has provided us with: the safety from fires for some, the safety that the firemen provide for us all, but ultimately, the safety that we have in knowing that God is in control and has planned every detail of our lives from eternity past. It was a very thought-provoking prayer to listen to, and has caused me to be thankful in particular for our safety.

17. I am thankful for Whole Foods Market. As a part of my job I am required to make weekly rounds at Whole Foods. As shallow as it sounds, I have come to have a bond with this supermarket. Let's just face the facts: it's a cool place. I know a few of the employees at the Valencia store by name, and it's fun to catch up with them, hoping in the midst of it to be some sort of light and encouragement. As I was having casual conversation with Danny, the butcher, this morning, I caught myself in a moment of thankfulness for the store. I am thankful that, though I'm sure much of it's marketing hype and "go green" strategy, they employ local farmers and growers by buying produce from them. Danny was telling me that he has worked 6 days in a row now (much due to the Thanksgiving prep), and we talked about how good it is to have a job right now. There's another Italian man, Ande, who frequently bags my groceries. Though he did not today, it was fun to wave to him from across 3 lanes and yell, "Hey Ande!" and hear, "Hello, miss!" There's just something really meaningful about someone insignificant knowing your name, for you to have an identity with them. I am thankful for the market and the relationships God has allowed me to build there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #13

13. I am thankful for the mornings. I was thinking on Monday morning as I was sitting downstairs on the couch reading my Bible what a blessed time the early mornings can be: a quiet house, the sun just beginning to rise, and yesterday's worries somehow scaled down to almost nothing. It's amazing how the morning times can be such a blessing to the rest of the day, if they're used rightly. There are other morning (today) that I didn't wake until just enough time to get ready before work. When I start my day unfocused, it remains unfocused. But when I start my morning at the feet of Christ and seeking the presence of God, the rest of the day falls into place with a focused mindset and attitude. Praise God for the mornings!
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

- Lamentations 2:22-23

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #12

12. I am thankful for my mom. If I ever had to get up in front of a crowd and thank people (such as at the Emmy's, Grammy's, etc.), I would start with, "I'd like to thank my mom...for having me..." haha I know I already posted about how thankful I am for my parents and their faithfulness in my and my sisters' lives. But today especially I am thankful for my mom. There are many reasons for which I am thankful for her, but the one that really hit me today was that she is so concerned for her children and cares deeply for them in practical ways. She's called me 4 times already and my sister texted me that mom called her too, out of concern for me. I call her crying sometimes because I know she will emphathize with me and offer gentle ways to think through and improve whatever situation. Mom is sensitive to the Spirit and what is going on in the lives around her. She does not take lightly the wounds we endure from this wicked world. All of her patients love her (she's an RN), and we're always hearing ways of how she impacts the lives of her patients and co-workers. Her faith is great--she continually reminds us that God is in control and we are responsible to trust Him. May the Lord grow me to be like my mom.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #11

11. I am thankful for my high school students. I've been serving on youth staff at church for over 3 years now and as the time goes on, I fall more in love with these students God has so intricately placed in our church's youth group! I'm up late tonight working on a little something for our girls going to Mexico this weekend. I love the ways that God reveals their hearts to us as leaders, and how He allows us to minister to and shepherd them by His grace. It is easy to become discouraged in this ministry (or any ministry, I suppose), when all we can see is sin and disobedience. And many people find it crazy that I even hang out with high schoolers. But it's more than hanging out. It's investing in lives for eternity, as people in the past have done with me. Praise God for His faithfulness in all of our lives!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #10

10. I am thankful for the leadership in my life. A few of the direct leaders who hold me accountable & who I answer to:

- dad
- Pastor Bob
- Tim Roney (high school director I serve under)
- Pastor Roger
- Jason Beals (missions director)
- Eric Margrave (Bible study leader)

I am continully thankful for these men in my life and the unique ways they have invested not only in my life, but in the lives that surround them. I told Jason a couple of weeks ago how, though it may be a weakness at times, I fully and confidently trust both his leadership in my life as well as the others listed above. I literally trust my life to them. Thank you, all, for your godly example and ministering to my life!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #8 & 9

8. I am thankful for hymns. There's nothing that ministers more to my soul than singing a hymn. I find myself singing hymns most when in the midst of persecution or a downcast spirit. Not that I am anywhere near what the African American slaves in the United States endured, but I have been told that the old Spirituals they wrote and sang came about because singing was one thing that could not be physically taken from them. Music is a gift, and sometimes I find no more joy than to sing good theology and thanksgiving back to my heavenly Father. The hymn that I have been revisiting this week goes,
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full on His wonderful face
And the things of this world will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

9. I am thankful for friendship. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with all the people in my life and the responsibility to keep up with them. In taking a step backwards I can only respond in thankfulness to God for blessing me with so many loved ones in my life. I am thankful for their investment and encouragement. I pray that my life is a mere tool for growth in theirs as well. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #7

7. I am thankful for life. As much as I complain about life here on earth or selfishly wish to be in heaven, I am thankful for this mortal life. Today I found myself talking to the cashier at Sport Chalet. He had just gotten into a car wreck the night before; he was with a friend doing 70mph down Boquet Canyon, plumeted off the road and missed two trees by mere inches before being stuck in the creek. The employee seemed rather sober about the whole deal, and as I left I prayed that his soul might turn to Christ in the coming days. Death is one of those "out of sight, out of mind" concepts for me. Yes, it's a reality for every human, but I think it's easy to forget about dying until you have a brush with it. I am thankful that God has chosen to bless my earthly, mortal life, and I am even more thankful that I have the assurance of eternal heavenly life as well. Praise be to God!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #6

6. I am thankful for my parents. My dad called me last night just because he was concerned for my state of well-being. He still calls me his "little girl." I still feel like his little girl, too (in a good, warm way). The more I experience children and have a taste of their fallen nature, the more I am thankful for my own parents' rendering of my sisters and me. I am thankful that they spanked me in times of need and they held me in times of need. I am thankful for the Lord's provision of such attentive parents. I am thankful that they raised me in the church and taught me to make good decisions. I am thankful for their home training. Many times throughout the week I find myself commenting to others, "oh, my mom taught me that..." or, "I'll have to ask my dad how to..." The more I am away from home, the more I miss them. I am thankful for my dad and mom!

Dad (not Jesus) holding Sarah (3 yrs) & me (6ish months)

Mom with me, Tamsen & Megan last Christmas

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #5

5. I am thankful for rest. Today I took a 1-hour nap, which I practically never do. I am thankful that God created us to rest, that He created us with a dependence on Him to rest. For when we rest, we are trusting Him in His sovereignty, that His perfect will is still being accomplished. I am thankful that rest is good. I am thankful that God set the example for us to rest by resting Himself on Day 7 of the Creation account (Genesis 1 & 2).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #4

4. Today I am particularly thankful for a newer friend, Tonde (pronounced, Taun-dee) Razooly. Tonde's son, Griffin, is Abigail's best friend. Tonde is a fellow NorCal-er (Humboldt). For some reason she and I have connected in a different way than other parents of the kids' friends. She has a sweet personality and reminds me of my sister in many ways. This morning as we were walking out from dropping our respective children off at preschool, she asked me how I was doing. She told me that she noticed that my demeaner had changed and was concerned for me. Tonde does not know Christ as her Savior, and I pray that one day her soul might find rest in Him. Regardless, I am especially thankful this morning for God's kindness and concern for me through other people. Tonde & I talked for about 10 minutes, and it was genuinely encouraging that someone noticed and cared that I was quite discouraged. Thank you, Tonde!

On another note, I have 2 birthday shout outs:

Happy Birthday Jessica Brown! We were best friends starting in 4th grade and mostly through high school. She recently graduated from Chico State and opted to stay in Chico. Love ya, girl!

Happy Birthday Lawrence Daniels! Lawrence is the Jr. High intern at church. He's fun to serve alongside!

Hope the Lord provides a grand birthday for you both!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #3

3. I am thankful for the cool weather. Since moving to SoCal, I have learned that I much prefer the cooler weather over the heat. Go figure. It remindes me of home, of baking with mom and having picnics in the living room while it was raining outside. As little ones we were allowed to go on "rain walks" down to the end of the street, all decked out in rain coats, golashes and a few umbrellas. I loved watching the creek across the street rise to threatening levels (threatening to a 7-year-old, at least). Long sleves and beanies are my preference! I woke up early Saturday morning to the clapping of thunder and brightness of lightening. I thought of how majestic God is in creating the weather and how His power and might is displayed in such huge ways.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Practicing Thankfulness #1 & 2

Most of us relate the month of November with the holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving allows for such an appropriate atmosphere of expressing our thanks; thanks for family, friends, homes, a free country, and for some, salvation. The title, "Practicing Thankfulness" comes from our pastor. He has been preaching through Colossians for a while now and last month spent a hefty amount of time expositing Colossians 3:12-17. Many times in that passage alone Paul writes how a Christian should naturally be a person characterized by thankfulness. Pastor Bob remarked at the end of a recent sermon how salvation and a relationship with Christ should pour out thankfulness in our hearts. We are to be a people of practicing thankfulness.

I have decided to [try to] post at least one thing I'm thankful for each day leading up to this national holiday. This is my form of practicing thankfulness for now. Since I'm already behind, I'm posting to make up for yesterday, too. :)

1. I am thankful for salvation. Seriously. Being thankful for salvation sometimes seems cliche or the "easy" answer. But Christ sacrificed staying in heaven, humbled himself to become man & dwell among us, lived a perfect life in the midst of trial and temptation, then died a horrible death on the cross and rose from the dead on the 3rd day, all to bridge the chasm between us and the Father. Is there anything more valuable? For this, I am eternally thankful.

2. I am thankful for my church. My sister thinks that it's just pride, but seriously, my church is the most biblical, New Testamental church I have ever experienced. I know that it's not perfect, and I'm sure that there are additional solid and legit churches out there. The more I become involved in the different ministries or meet people of our congregation, the more I am driven to thankfulness for such an institution. I am thankful that God has brought me to this church, for the people He has brought me into relationship there, for the ways that He has used the pastors and teachers to preach truth into my life, and for using the congregation to encourage me toward more holy living.

Friday, October 24, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

First of all, this is not Kate-y. Nay, this is Tamsen (the younger sister by 14 months. We practically are twins). In honor of my visit, Kate-y has given me the first-ever guest post on her blog. I guess since we were birthed by the same parents she figures that I am equally knowledgeable when it comes to being witty and full of random facts. So here is my fact for the day!

Did you know that...

Green bean casserole was actually a marketing ploy? In 1955 a chef named Dorcas Reilly created the recipe for a cookbook designed to promote Campbell's Soup products.

Sure am glad that it happened! I loooove green bean casserole.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Knees to the Earth

This song has been coming up on my iPod a lot recently. The lyrics are pretty sobering, especially catching myself in the middle of mindlessly singing them and realizing that mindless singing means not truly believing the words in my heart.

Wonderful Savior
My heart belongs to Thee
I will remember always the blood You shed for me
Wonderful Savior
My heart will know Your worth
So I will embrace You always as I walk this earth

Be blessed, be loved, be lifted high
Be treasured here
Be glorified
I owe my life to You my Lord
Here I am....

Beautiful Jesus
How may I bless Your heart?
Knees to the earth I bow down to everything You are
Beautiful Jesus
You are my only worth
So let me embrace You always as I walk this earth

Be blessed, be loved, be lifted high
Be treasured here
Be glorified
I owe my life to You my Lord
Here I am....

For Your Enjoyment

I love this picture of Abby & wanted to share it with y'all!
Enjoy the weekend!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Back!

Last week I was at Hume Lake for women's retreat. My church's group of about 40 women joined 710 other women from all over California to enjoy one another in God's creation! It was a splendid weekend full of great memories. Heather & I went running on Saturday afternoon, and it was COLD! Though the run was short I was able to sneak in a fun fact for Heather that I'll share with you.

Did you know...
...that when the air you breathe is too cold for your system to take in, tiny little capallaires in your nose burst to make up for the lack of warmth?

This happens to me during the winter seasons, and I can tell because I start tasting hints of blood in my saliva. Gross, I know! But fascinating how God created our bodies to work!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You are what You Worship

Through various circumstances I have come to a place where I must consider the seriousness and vastness of worship. For the past few weeks I have been praying and thinking through what genuine worship of our Creator God is. More specifically, I have been thinking through what true humanly worship of our Creator tangibly looks like. Though we are unable to worship God with total purity (at least on this side of heaven), we are called by Christ to worship God in "spirit and in truth" (John 4:23ff).

It is eternally important who you worship. Psalm 115:1-8 is clear on this subject (emphasis added):
(1) Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness
(2) Why do the nations say,
"Where is their God?"
(3) Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
(4) But their idols are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
(5) They have mouths but cannot speak,
eyes, but the cannot see;
(6) they have ears, but they cannot hear,
noses, but they cannot smell;
(7) they have hands, but they cannot feel;
feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their
(8) Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.
The things which are not God are blind, lame and lifeless. If we aren't worshipping God we are worshipping self, no matter what idol we have set up in our lives. May we prayerfully consider what or who it is we are truly worshipping. To God be the glory.

Friday, October 3, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

We're talking about fun things to do as a youth staff, and croquet was mentioned. It put me on a kick to learn a little bit more about the history of the game.

Did you know...
...that croquet is thought to have originated in Ireland, moving then to England, then as it died out in England quickly caught on to east-coast hoity toities in the United States?

We're going to dress up like this when we go to play. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sad Times

Yes, yes, I am a Trojans fan. Let's just set it straight: they rule. Okay, so the loss last night was pretty hard. And this football season hasn't been as much of a powerhouse as last year. But losing to Oregon last night was not the worst thing that could have happened. SC still has a good chance at winning the Pac10 title. There are still more games to redeem. In honor of USC football, here's a fact not everyone might have known:

Did you know...
...that Matt Leinart stayed to play for his senior year when he could have gone on to the pro's after his Junior year?

I got to meet his sister and parents last year in Chicago at the SC/Notre Dame game. He himself doesn't have the best reputation around, but his family was pretty cool.

Fight on!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday!

Today Abigail Ella turned 5 years old! She is a sweet blessing from the Lord to her family and all whom she interacts with. I have loved watching her grow up these past few years, and it's hard to believe that I first met her on her 2nd birthday. Here's the traditional acrostic Birthday greeting!

A - all about herself (hopefully only for a season...)

B - big blue eyes, her best feature!

I - illuminates the room with her sweet smile

G - growing bigger & bigger as the days pass!

A - all-around sassy

I - instantly remembers almost every event in her life

L - loves Jesus a lot (so she says...I pray it carries throughout her life!)

I pray, sweet Abigail, that your life continues to be influenced by those who love the Lord and desire the same for you. Be patient with me as I discipline you and snuggle with you. Love you!

Here is Abby painting a couple of weeks ago. Painting is one of her new favorite things!

And this is her with Griffen (about 6 months younger than her), her new favorite friend, and Griffen's sister, Ella. The four of us have such a blast together when the moms go out!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fine, Fine

Some of you fanatics have sent me this email a bagillion times, so I'm finally giving in. Enjoy yourselves.

20 years ago I…

1. had only two sisters (and one on the way).
2. lived in the greater Sacramento area.
3. started saying words.

10 Years ago I…

1. had just started junior high school.
2. lived in the greater Sacramento area.
3. started taking Christ seriously.

Five years ago I…

1. read Jim Elliot's biography & my life was changed.
2. was being scouted by water polo coaches.
3. hung out with church friends ALL the time.

Three years ago I…

1. started school at The Master's College.
2. found Church of the Canyons!!
3. finally started appreciating my parents' renderings.

1 Year ago I…

1. moved back from Papua New Guinea.
2. started life in "the real world."
3. lived in a pool house with two almost complete strangers, and now we're the best of friends!

So far this year I…

1. have been on 3 real dates (that's for dad).
2. committed to being a missionary (Lord willing).
3. cried more than I ever have in a year

Yesterday I…

1. worked in the morning.
2. had an MRI on my left knee.
3. celebrated Brynne's 24th birthday.

Today I…

1. will lead corporate worship through music for about 75 women.
2. need to work on homework.
3. am going to see Dizmas play at Magic Mountain!

Tomorrow I will…

1. go to church. Holla!
2. spend some quiet time by myself before going to Abby's crazy 5th birthday party.
3. top the weekend off by going to Bible study. Another holla!

In the next year I will…

1. visit a foreign country.
2. go on a cool backpacking trip (Grand Canyon, Appalachian trail, etc.).
3. continue serving in the local church, waiting for the time of missions to come.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Material Things

There are very few material things I am attached to, and one of them is fresh flowers in the home. There is nothing more welcoming than a fresh boquet of arranged flowers pouring out their aroma across the kitchen. I believe that much of the boquet's beauty comes in the reality that so many different things God created are gathered together in one small space. Daisies from Santa Clarita, Lupines from Santa Barbara, and the Baby's Breath from the LA flower mart are brought together, in harmony and unison, to esthetically compliment one another.

Here is the fresh boquet currently sitting on our kitchen table. Come over and enjoy them with me!

Yet Again

Sorry this blog has been nothing but fun facts for the past two months. Yes, there are more interesting thigns going on in my life besides just fun facts. Maybe that's the problem. There's too much going on! I'm taking this fabulous missions class right now, so hopefully I'll be able to post more about that this weekend.

But for now, here's another Fun Fact:

Did you know...

... that it is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood Bouldvard at one time?

Betcha didn't.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Fun Fact

I taught this fact to Kate this morning & Summer suggested it be today's fun fact. Here ya go, fun & practicality all rolled up in one.

Did you know... microwaving a sponge for 30 seconds you kill the bacteria, and thus the smell on it? You can also run it through the dishwasher, and Kate even suggested running it through the wash.

This is a 4000x microscopic zoom of bacteria living on a stinking kitchen sponge. According to the research of this particular bacteria, most of it came from old milk and human skin cells.

Friday, September 5, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

I got a new pair of running shoes this week. I tried out an Asics one this past time, but I keep going back to the Adidas Supernova line. They're qality. Except they have purple on them this season. The aqua blue a year ago was far more esthetically pleasing. Oh well. Maybe green is next? In honor of new running shoes:

Did you know...

... that spraying a light layer of ironing startch on your athletic shoes helps keep the white mesh whiter for longer?

'Tis true. I do it every time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy happy birthday to.... Summer!

In honor of all her birthday posts, I hope you enjoy the following acrynom!

S - sunshine lighting up the room when she enters it

U - unfailing love for the Lord, well, as much as possible here on earth

M - most creative person I know

M - math whiz (maybe?)

E - elates her love of the Lord by sharing the gospel with those around her

R - roommate of my [current] life!

Happy birthday, my dearest Summer Martin! May the Lord's face shine upon you as you continue to sacrifice your life for the sake of His kingdom. Love you!

Friday, August 29, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

In honor of the 08 Summer Olympics being over:

Did you know...

...that there is a nerve in your upper lip that, when bit, will allieve muscle cramps? So next time you have a muscle cramp, bite your upper lip hard and your cramp should be less.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Many are Called...

I was sobered by the reality of Matthew 22:14 this morning,

"Many are called, but few are chosen."

Jesus said this at the end of the parable of the wedding feast. The feast's host threw out an unwelcome guest after realizing that the guest was not dressed in the proper attire. Matthew Henry commented, "Those that walk unworthy of their Christianity, forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously laid claim to." May we be Christians who walk worthy of the calling to salvation (Ephesians 4).

Friday, August 22, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

Sorry it's been so long for the fun facts! Life has been busy, to say the least. Here's a fun history fact that my little sister and dad brag about knowing all the time.

Did you know...

...the horse that Paul Revere rode ("The British are coming, the British are coming!") was not actually his horse? It was a borrowed horse named Brown Betty. This famous ride marked the beginning of the American Revolution. Revere was captured toward the end of his ride but was later released.

Monday, August 11, 2008

They've Forgotten

Today was my first day back at work with no more summer vacation time to look forward to. The new house is almost done (just enough "done" to be moved into) and school starts day after tomorrow. Since we're still kinda moving in and there is no real structure to anyone's time, the day ends up being a chaotic, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of day. In the midst of it the kids were arguing with one another, making mess all over and being quite disobedient and rude to their parents and myself.

At one point I had the opportunity to talk with one of the kiddos about their previous response to their at wit's end mother. I explained to him why she was frustrated by him and we visited though the situation from her perspective. At the beginning of the summer I would have asked him, "What are the fruits of the spirit? Which ones could you have practiced in that situation?" (By the way, he loves reciting Galatians 5:22-23.) So today I naturally asked the same question. My heart sunk when he looked at me blankly. He had forgotten.

The same thing happened earlier today when I was disciplining his sister.

I thought about these two circumstances as I drove home. I prayed for their young souls, for the teachers at their school, and that the Lord will soon draw them to Himself. I am thankful for their school's influence and the way that God has allowed them to attend and learn there.

The more I thought, the more I realized how their environment has fostered their little hearts. They came off of 9 months with a Christian teacher, assistant teacher, and mostly Christian staff at school in general. They had chapel once a month, learned worship songs, had memory verses. They were basically saturated in the gospel five days a week. Then they went into a summer of foreign travel, 24 hours with one another, in a non-believing home and no church. Though disheartening, this is the reality of their surroundings.

How careful we have to be with our own souls. When we get out of the habit: out of the influence of other Christians, out from under the teaching of the Word, out of the habit of meditating and memorizing Scripture, we, too, will fall. There are too many distractions and we are too weak. The words of Hebrews 10 really came alive to me today. We too soon and too easily lose sight of our precious Savior and His work on the cross. May we be sobered by the reality that the only thing that separates us from the unregenerate is God's grace.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Thought on Prayer

A couple of months ago I met and quickly befriended a family who immediately became dear to my heart. Donovan & Cate, along with their 4 children, came into my life at the most unexpected yet perfect time. At our sad farewell Donovan gave me one of his books, a biography on the life of Oswald Chambers. Donovan advised me to take my time reading though it, thus allowing Oswald's life and dedication to our Lord be an encouragement to my own. Today I came across Oswald's thoughts on prayer and was challenged by these words:

The purpose of prayer, in Chambers' mind, was to get into step with God, not to manipulate or coerce Him into blessing personal plans. He told his theology students in Cincinnati, "Prayer is not a preparation for work, it is work. Prayer is not a preparation for battle, it is the battle. Prayer it two-fold: definite asking and definite waiting to receive."

Friday, August 1, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

This fun fact is thanks to Anna!

Did you know...

...lady bugs will sometimes roll over and play dead as a form of self defense?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

praise, praise, PRAISE the Lord!

Sorry for the lack of a fact on Friday--busyness and no computer got the best of me. I figure it will just set you up to enjoy next week's fact all the more. :)

The good Lord has blessed my past few weeks in a rather different way than I'm used to "looking out" for. I have been receiving a mass of emails from missionary friends these past 2 weeks. Some of them are friends who I hear from on a regular basis (career missionaries who send me their monthly update), and some are on short-term missions as they write to me. They are in many countries: in the United States, in the Czech Republic, in Papua New Guinea, in Kenya and in Mexico. Furthermore, a family I met in PNG last year is on furlough right now in Orange County! I can't wait to visit and fellowship with them again.

I just finished reading through 2 separate updates from missionaries in PNG & was so overwhelmed with reading of God's goodness! He continues to draw tribal people toward Himself, saving their souls from eternal separation from Him. Likewise, youth in the Czech are hearing accurate teaching of God's Word--some for the first time--and responding with hearts of humility and surrender. Lives are practically and physically being ministered to as orphans are fed and medically tended to in Kenya. Needless to say, there are prayer requests attached to each of these emails. They include but are not exclusive to: further salvation from some, health issues for others, local fighting/warfare in one place, sanitary living situations in another. May we be reminded that God uses the hard times to prove His character just as much as He uses the joyful times.

As I read and reflect on the words these faithful men and women write to me, I cannot help but exclaim through tears, "praise, praise, PRAISE the Lord." My heart years to be in those countries laboring alongside my church family, and to know that my meek prayers carry them through is contentment enough. To God alone be the glory!

Friday, July 18, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

Here's this Friday's Fun Fact:

Did you know...

-the brain tends to remember black writing on yellow paper.
-the eye is more inclined to read black writing on light blue paper.
-the eye is hesitant to read black printing on red paper.

Therefore, you should use yellow paper for flashcards or memos, light blue paper for brochures or newsletters, and you should avoid printing black on red paper.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Everyday Evangelism

The mats where I stretch before and after runs at the gym are directly opposite of a few cardio machines. I like to take my sweet time stretching and just people watching others around me. This morning I was stretching after the run and listening on the conversation between 2 moms who were on the stairmasters. I heard their entire conversation, a mom of a 2-year-old (& I'm pretty sure she was pregnant again) was chatting with the mother of an elementary-aged child. These two moms had just met each other while working out. They talked about everything from discipline to potty training. Though I am not yet a mom, I understood and could sympathize with every comment they made. I was tracking with every situation they were describing, rolling my eyes when they did, giggling when they did, etc. 
The toddler's mom was describing her recent potty training endeavors (joy mixed with frustration) when she started talking about how she prays. She told the other mom how she prays for everyday grace from God, and how she finds herself stopping in the middle of frustrating situations to remind herself that God has granted her this "lot" for the day. It was sooooo cool! It was apparent that the elementary-aged mom was pretty clueless as to why toddler mom would do such a thing, and it was a beautiful lead-in to sharing the gospel!
Watching their conversation happen was such an encouragement and definite reminder to me of the situations our Lord puts us in to share the gospel of grace to this world! It was a reminder to be sensitive to the Spirit, to always be ready for any opportunity to boast of my Lord. May He continually be on the forefront of our minds.

Friday, July 11, 2008

411 Fath's Fun Fact Fridays

This new Blog themed Fridays is all due to the credit of Phil. There's a little history some might find useful to fully understand the "Fath" and the "fun facts" parts. First, Fath was a nickname I gained in college. As innocent little "wow-ies" we had name tags we were supposed to wear throughout the week. Well, whoever wrote my name decided to be artsy-fartsy with it, and the "K" for "Kathryn" ended up looking more like an "F." Therefore, my name tag ended up reading "Fathryn." Over time the nickname evolved to just plain "Fath." Only select friends are allowed to call me "Fath," so don't go getting any ideas. The fun facts part comes in because--according to the sources--I know a lot of random facts. But they're useful! In all reality, I'm surprised that most people don't know them anyway. Maybe you will stumble across some of mine that you already know, so good for you! But enjoy the rest...

It's hard coming up with a fact on the spot. Usually they're "in the moment" kind-of facts. I'll give you one I told Anna & Monique on the other day you might not know:

Did you know...?
...hairy legs on middle-aged men means that they have good circulation? Hairless legs on middle-aged men could be early signs of heart problems. I know, you 'll be looking every time you see a middle-aged man now...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, MOM!

Today is my mom's birthday! A cute story about her life is that she was actually born in Germany but moved to America when she was just a few weeks old. She grew up in America like any average American child, but her dad told her that the 4th of July fireworks were for her. She was the only one who got fireworks on her birthday. She was led to believe this until she was seven or eight years old, and when she found out the truth (that the 4th of July is also Independence Day and the fireworks were for that), she was crushed!
Here are some things I appreciate about my mom:
  • she domesticated us. Seriously. Knowing how to cook, sew, clean, and do domestic things has been SO useful!
  • she is hospitable. Mom knows how to make anyone feel welcome into our home and always accommodates for the last-minute friends we are always bringing home.
  • she's a nurse. Mom's medical knowledge has saved us in many circumstances, and has potentially even saved a few of our friends lives. We always call her for medical advice before anyone else. Usually the doctor ends up telling us to do the exact same things that she already told us.
  • she is a giver. Anyone who knows my mom knows that she loves to give gifts. She is always thinking of someone else when she's out & about...and she never hesitates to purchase something "just because" it reminds her of someone. So fun!
  • her faith. Mom has a simple faith that believes the promises of God's Word are true. She is quick to pray and has a teachable heart. Her example is contagious!
I love you, Mom! Happy birthday!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Check out our God!

In Genesis, He's the breath of life
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He's our high priest
In Numbers, the fire by night
Deuteronomy, He's Israel's Guide
Joshua, He's salvation's choice
Judges, He's Israel's Guard
In Ruth, the kinsmen's redeemer
1st and 2nd Samuel, our trusted prophet
In Kings and Chronicles He is Sovereign
In Ezra, He's the true and faithful scribe
In Nehemiah, the re-builder of broken walls and lives
In Esther, He's Mordecai's courage
In Job, the timeless redeemer
In Psalms He is our morning song
In Proverbs, He is our wisdom
Ecclesiastes, He's the time and season
In Song of Solomon, He is the lover's dream
In Isaiah He is Prince of Peace
In Jeremiah, the weeping prophet
Lamentations, the cry for Israel
Ezekiel, the call from sin
Daniel, the stranger in the fire
Hosea, the forever faithful
Joel, the spirit's power
Amos, the strong-arms that carry
Obadiah, the Lord our Savior
Jonah, the great missionary
Micah, the promise of peace
Nahum, our strength and shield
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He's brings revival
In Haggai He restores that which was lost
IN Zachariah, He's our fountain
And in Malachi, He's the son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings

In Matthew Mark Luke and John, He is God and Messiah
In the spirit filled book of Acts, He is the reigning fire from Heaven
In Romans, He is the grace of God
Corinthians, the power of love
Galatians, freedom from the curse of sin
Ephesians, our glorious treasure
Philippians, the servant's heart
Colossians, He's God and the trinity
Thessalonians, our calling King
In Timothy, Titus and Philemon, He's our mediator and our faithful pastor
In Hebrews, the everlasting courage
In James, the one who heals the sick
In 1st and 2nd Peter, our faithful shepherd
In John and Jude, He's the lover coming for His bride

AND in the Revelation, in the very end, when it's all over, said and done, when time is NO MORE. He is and will always be the
King of Kings and
Lord of Lords,
Prince of Peace,
son of Man,
Lamb of God,
The Great I am,
Alpha and Omega,
God and Savior
He is Jesus Christ the Lord!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vacation is Here!

Hi friends. I know it's been a while. Too long. Life as a nanny is busy, what can I say?! Well, I'm proud to announce that today is my SECOND day of vacation! Yay! I have the next THREE weeks off, and I'm already enjoying having the extra time! Summer moved in on Saturday, and since that deserves its own entry itself, I'll write more about that later.

My older sister came to visit for a few days. She got in yesterday evening and is leaving again on Thursday morning. She had an interview in Costa Mesa so decided to stay here with me! It's been so fun. I made dinner tonight to enjoy with Sarah (sister) and the roommates. So even though it's not Thursday, here's a yummy and EASY recipe! I tore it out of a CookingLight magazine recently. It's really affordable to make, too!

Mediterranean Garlic Chicken

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 lb. small creamer potatoes, cut in bite-size chunks
1/4 cup canned whole olives, cut in half
1/4 cup California Sun-Dry Garlic with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(found in the produce section in a glass jar)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon oregano

Toss all ingredients lightly in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl.
Cover (with paper towel) and MICROWAVE on high
for about 15 minutes
--I checked every five minutes and stirred--
or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.

Serve with baby greens salad and sliced apples!
Yield: 4-5 servings

Monday, June 16, 2008

I've been calling the kids out on their sin by having them recite the fruits of the Spirit in discipline circumstances. For example, when one yells at another over selfish motives, I simply ask him, "Ryan, what are the fruits of the Spirit?" His response (as quickly as he can talk) is: "love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things..." Then I ask him, "Tell me which of those you just practiced." Then he shamefully says, "none." Yay, Holy Spirit! We continue our conversation with examples of how to practice the fruits in future situations. It's great!

Well, tonight there are many friends over & they are enjoying some bagles and cream cheese. One of the friends shared her bagel with another friend, and my kiddo started reciting the fruits of the Spirit. Then she said, "Kindness! Rachel was just kind to Courtney!" So sweet!

But here's the funny part. I asked Courtney (the friend) if she goes to church. She told us that she used to go to church when she was three (she is now 5). Then she said, "Now my mom doesn't take me to church. Except to wash cars. That's not fun."

hahahaha! I thought it was so funny!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thanks, Abby!

I was catching up on my blog reading (it's been a while, to say the least...) when I realized that Abby tagged me to write about my "top 5" in a post! Since I have nothing better to do with my ya go. Actually, I think these are really interesting and I learned a LOT about Abby through hers! haha

Top 5...

... things under $5 that I couldn't live without
- hair ties/pony tail holders
- a book
- milk
- thrift store tee-shirts

... favorite Movies
- It's a Wonderful Life
- Cool Runnings
- Sense & Sensibility
- Rudolph (yes, the traditional puppets one)
- Beauty & the Beast

... baby names I love
Weird, since I don't have a baby, but nonetheless...
- Olivia
- Matthew
- Caleb
- Heather
- Kyle

... songs I could listen to over and over again
- Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken (Henry Lyte)
- Before the Throne of God Above (Charlie Bancroft)
- Here Comes the Sun (Beetles)
- Dare You to Move (Switchfoot)
- Song Without Words (Mendelssohn)

... people who have influenced me in a positive way
my dad
- my mom
- Matt Coulombe
- Kara Montgomery
- Jesus!

... things that are always in my purse
- a Bible
- keys
- misc. papers
- chapstick
- wallet

... moments that changed my life forever
understanding the true gospel message
- moving to Santa Clarita
- living in Papua New Guinea
- joining youth staff at Church of the Canyons
- being born? :)

... obsessions I currently have
turning lights off when they're not necessary
- sleeping with the window open
- reading fiction books
- making sure the dishes are done
- longboarding

... places I would like to go
Oregon (lame, I know...and I've been before...but lately I've been in the mood to go back)
- Papua New Guinea, of course!
- Morocco
- Singapore
- home

... appliances or kitchen tools I couldn't live without
food processor
- the spanking spoon...seriously
- cereal bowls & spoons
- coffee maker
- dishwasher

... people who I would like to see their top 5's
- Becca
- Tamsen
- Summer
- Phil

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh my land!

Brian & I saw this on the freeway tonight driving home from church.

I know the pics aren't the greatest quality, but this is what I got for taking them while driving with my phone's camera.
Shh...don't tell mom.
If you look closely you can see Brian's white car on the lower left in the top picture.

Basically there were a whole bunch of yellow, white & blue flashing lights once I got on the 5N from the 5S. I was too far away to tell what it was, and I seriously contemplated calling 911 because they were such a distraction while driving (but I couldn't justify it being an emergency). Good thing I never called, because once I got closer I was able to read the words on the sides of approximately:
5-6 SUV's
2 police cars
2 semi-truck looking things with what appeared as chambers on the back

The words read one of the two following:
"LA County Bomb Squad"
or just plain
"Bomb Squad"

They kept going when Brian & I exited Pico Canyon, but who knows where they got off (maybe they're even going further than CA...?). I tried looking up any sort of news report online when I got home but didn't find anything. It was actually pretty freaky. We both agreed that it was weird.

PS- The "Oh my land!" title was for Brian. It's his trademark phrase and we've missed it with him being in Chicago for 3 weeks!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chocolate Pudding!

Thanks, little sister for the great recipe! I just finished making it, and the boys are over to try it out when it cools!

Chocolate Pudding

1/3 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa
3 tbs cornstarch
dash of salt
2 c skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

put first 4 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl
stir in milk until smooth
microwave uncovered for 3 minutes
microwave 1 minute at a time 4-6 minutes
stirring after each time
split into individual serving bowls

Here's Kate peeking over the yummy pudding!
(not coming out of it...)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Taco Cereal

This recipe was inspired by Paula Higuchi. She came over last night to enjoy tacos with Kate & I (of course followed by a rad jam session). It looked so interesting when she made it last night that I tried it with the leftovers for lunch today!

Taco Cereal
in a cereal bowl place desired amount of
taco meat
reheat in microwave
top with
sour cream
crumble tortilla chips over the top
stir, and enjoy!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Recipe Catch-Up

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, but I meant to all day!

Last week when I was sitting in the doctor's office they had some health channel on and the guy was making smoothies. Everyone loves a good smoothie (except Kate because she's allergic to fruit...), so I was highly interested. Usually I just blend whatever frozen fruit is around (Trader Joe's puts together great mixes) with a little bit of juice. But this guy blended his fruit with milk! thought this was convenient for those who don't enjoy the taste of milk but need their calcium! So I went home and tried it...the plain fruit with milk was pretty awful, actually. I added vanilla extract and it still tasted pretty bad. Finally I added a splash of vanilla coffee creamer, and it was so delish! So here's a new smoothie blend to try:

frozen fruit (I enjoy berry mix with tropical mix)
vanilla coffee creamer
flax seed oil (no more than 1 tsp per serving)

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Thank you, little sister! for showing me how to post YouTube videos on my blog!
For those of you who haven't seen the Changed video I helped with this summer in PNG, here she goes!

Health & Wealth

Summer showed this video to me a while ago & I came across it again today. I hope it encourages you to preach the true gospel!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Redirected Paths

Many of us are familiar with the proverb stating that man may make plans in his heart but the Lord ultimately directs his path. And oh, how the Lord has made this very evident in my own life! So many plans I make or dreams I aspire to are changed because of certain events that happen along the way. This is beautiful, really. I want to be directed by the Lord. I desire to follow the perfect path that He has chosen for me according to His will.

Well, yesterday one of my paths was redirected. It may be a small and insignificant path, but it was a redirection nonetheless. I broke my right ankle. How?! Well, just walking through my backyard on an uneven surface. Bummer that it wasn't some glory moment. I actually just rolled it, and in my pride, chose to run the planned 4 miles on it afterward (I was headed to the gym when the event occurred) because it did not swell immediately. Throughout the rest of the day the swelling increased only slightly and no bruising appeared. Yea, it was sore, but a little ibuprofen took care of that.

My mom talked me into going to the doctor just in case, and since I had some time this morning I went to urgent care. However, on my way out to the car I rolled it AGAIN. I made it out to the driveway and started talking to the sound guy (Brandon, we've become friends) and the contractor. The next thing I knew I found myself on the ground with the two guys looking down at me. Brandon said, "uh, are you ok? you just passed out." Due to the pain from the roll, clearly. Ouch. That second one REALLY hurt!

So I made it to urgent care and was in so much pain that I was shamelessly crying in the waiting room. I went through the "see the nurse-go get xrays-then see the doctor" routine. The outcome: the ankle is too swollen to get a picture perfect x ray, but there is somewhat of a hairline fracture. It's too swollen to cast, so I have to go in early next week to get better x rays and a possible cast. Ugh! So annoying!

So the redirected path is the triathlon. The doctor firmly said no high-impact activity for 6-8 weeks (such as running). The triathlon is in 3 weeks. Go figure. I was really looking forward to participating it that! My stupid pride is hurt more than my ankle. I'm praising God that the injury wasn't worse and that healing is an option. But man oh man I was praying for Jesus to come back and give me a new body while sitting in that doctor's office.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I have been noticing the little things in daily life that are so satisfying. I know and firmly believe that, ultimately, our greatest satisfaction comes from Christ and Christ alone. Perhaps I may blog about that in the future. For now, I am thankful also for the graces of small, rather meaningless, satisfactions.

landing a jump snowboarding
peeing (that was for Kate!)
the end of a long, hard run
a clean kitchen
finishing a project or paper
unpacking from a trip
ending a good conversation well
going to bed tired
an empty laundry basket
longboarding down a hill without having to jump off
finding a great deal
understanding pieces of Scripture
reading a good blog entry (Gunner, Piper, Summer, etc.)
a hard laugh
popping zits (let's be honest)
finishing a book, good or bad
visiting home
crying out of brokenness
rearranging furniture
getting a good haircut
brushing your teeth
waking up to a warm morning
being at church

Spaghetti Sauce!

Hi friends. I know many of you were extremely disappointed & let down by the lack of Recipe Thursdays post last week. Sorry. :)
This recipe for homemade spag sauce was learned from an Italian "Noni" (grandmother) and passed down to me. It's not exactly a family secret--just incredibly good! There are different things you can add to "personalize" it, and I'll include the list of options at the end!

3 lbs 15% ground beef
1/8 c Italian seasoning
2 bunches Italian parsley
2 large white onions
2 average cans reduced salt chicken broth
80 oz tomato sauce
1/2 c merlot wine
1 c tap water

in a BIG pot on stovetop brown meat with Italian seasoning
while meat is browning
chop 1 onion & 1 bunch Italian parsley (stems & all)
put in a blender or food processor & puree,
adding 1 can chicken broth
add puree mixture to browned meat
add tomato sauce
add merlot
add water
stir until mixed evenly
simmer for about 3 hours (or until desired consistency)
stirring occasionally (about every 10-15 minutes)
freeze unused sauce

other possible ingredients:
minced garlic
diced tomato
bay leaves (but remove before eating)
chopped onion (rather than pureed)
sliced mushrooms

This recipe makes about 8-10 cups of spag sauce (ok, that's a guess--all I know is that it's a LOT). You can add this to spaghetti noodles, brown rice penee (my fav!) or even make a lasagna with it! Once I made this for my family, served it over rice & added pieces of cooked sausage to it. That was fantastic! Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

March Madness

I never appreciated the notion of "March Madness" until March 2008! This month has potentially been the busiest month of my entire life. No kidding. Not to mention that it's only just half-way through the month!! And because I really don't have time to post all the details of why, here are a few pics to describe the madness!

Monique & I trying on crazy ugly hats at Cost Plus (we really went for the $1 mugs)

running the kiddos around

Sarah & Aimee at youth event "Dinner & Diddy's"

with friends at Pita Kitchen
(authentic Israeli food--legit!) in downtown Burbank

home for 3 reasons:
(1) Sarah came home after 18 months in South Korea
(2) Dad's birthday

(3) grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary!

basketball games!
I almost cried
Friday night when we lost to
UCLA (not really, but almost)

Dizmas show with 2 of my high schoolers, Kylie & Amanda was

building Leprachaun traps!
Kara started it all about 3 years ago when she made the kids sit & listen to the whole story of the REAL St. Patrick, & since they listened well she helped them build a trap & the little "creatures" come & leave them treasures overnight! The tradition continues...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Upcoming events in March:
- going to Bakersfield on Good Friday to be fitted for Courtney's bridesmaid dress!
- going to Legoland for Ryan's 8th birthday on Saturday
- Easter Sunday at church, brunch with the Stevens & afternoon with the Roneys
- home again for Jenn's (close high school friend) wedding in Sac Town on the 29th!

Stay tuned for more fun pictures!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Muddy Buddies

Another hit recipe from MHBS.
Here you go!

Muddy Buddies

2 c (1 average bag) chocolate chips
1/2 c (about 2 heaping big spoonfuls) creamy peanut butter
6 c chex rice (or the generic brand) cereal
1 c powdered sugar
dry roasted unsalted peanuts (optional)

melt all of choco chips & peanut butter in microwave
(cook for 1 min, stir, cook 1 more min)
stir & heat until all choco chips are melted
stir in (gently!) rice cereal
put powdered sugar in gallon ziplock baggie
add cereal & choco/pb mixture to ziplock bag
zip shut & shake! until well-coated
add peanuts if desired

chill in fridge until serving (or freezer if in a hurry)


*also known in other "circles" as Sweet Minglers, Puppy Chow, etc.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy Birthday x4

Happy Happy Birthday to the following family & friends in my life!


Chrislyn Wilder (the big #21!)

Clinton Magee (I think he's 30 this year!)

Becca Boone (have fun in HI!)

I love you all & wish the best day on earth as you celebrate another year of life given to you by the Lord.

Friday, February 29, 2008

You're Beautiful

I have been burdened since the early days to participate in theologically sound worship through music--much of what I attribute to the early days of training under Matt & Randy. I have found increasingly more and more that music worship leaders do not take theology into as much consideration as they should. Many are more concerned more with sound and appearance than anything else. But we all know this. One of my favorite worship song writers is Phil Wickham, and his newest album, Cannons, is off the charts! Each song is unique and well-written, and definitely theologically sound. I've been struck by one song in particular this week, and thought you might be encouraged by the lyrics, too! It's called You're Beautiful.

The song consists of four verses, the first two recognizing God in the light of day and His power in the stars at night. In the last two verses Phil tells the story of Christ's redemption, sharing the truth of His suffering, death, burial, resurrection and ascension in verse three, and painting a beautiful picture of the hope to come in verse four, when "death is just a memory and tears are no more", and we are united with Christ. Here are the lyrics:

You're Beautiful
by Phil Wickham

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say... You’re Beautiful

I see your pow’r in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
Its all proclaiming who you are... You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are setting on your heavenly throne
Soon you will be coming home... You’re Beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing... You’re Beautiful

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Cloudy weather provides for a taste for yummy soup!

PLS--or potato leak soup is one of my family's favorite homemade soups to enjoy in the rainy weather. My mom found it in a
Sesame Street magazine in 1992--
a secret recipe for
getting kids to eat their veggies. :)

4 fat leeks: cut off the root, green parts and 1st layer of skin,
cut the rest of the stalk in 1/2 pieces and break apart
so you can wash the sand out of the leek. Let drain.

Melt 3 tablespoons of margarine or butter in a large pot.
Place the washed and cut leeks into it and cook
approx 5 min until tender.
Add slowly 1 can of chicken broth
(beef and vegetable broths taste icky)
and 1 can of water.
Cut and peel about 1 lb of potatoes (2 large bakers)
and toss into the pot.

Boil all of it about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
Let cool until room temp-(-VERY IMPORTANT-
if it is hot in the blender, it will explode all over and burn you),
then put into a blender and puree.

Add 1 can of EVAPORATED MILK (not condensed sweetened milk).
Heat up slowly as it will burn once the milk is added
if you heat it too quickly.

Serve with bacon bits and warm bread, YUM, Yum...
Supposedly it can also be served cold,
but I have never liked cold soup.
This soup tastes just as great reheated for leftovers!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Saturday Snowboarding

Team K squared hit the slopes at Mt. High yesterday! Kate & I spent about 4 hours on the east side of the mountain, riding, carving, jumping, and having a blast! Unlike Dave, we experienced no casualties. Our bones are happily intact to tell the story today!

Enjoy the following footage we put together to tell the story...