Thursday, May 28, 2009

Daddy Tom

i was just thinking of something.
this is my daddy tom, my mom's dad, and i miss him so much. he was such a great part of our lives and he died when i was a sophomore in high school. anyways, he would always take care of us when we were out of school for the summers and my mom had to work, or just whenever. i vividly remember when he'd drive us back and forth to his house we'd usually take the same route...but every now and then, when i noticed we were a little off path, and mention it, he just cover by saying we were taking the scenic route today. he'd take us on this one street that was kinda hilly and he'd refer to it as the 'hills and dales'...oh it makes me miss him just thinking about that.
anyway, he'd point things out and notice the ordinary and make something positive or beautiful out of them. he'd see old houses that needed to be redone and say that was a 'fixer-upper' i think he also thought that our little youth group should become involved and fix up house like the ones we'd used to see together. he was a quiet man and it was a sad day when he fell out on the front steps of his house, while sweeping the walk way (a regular pastime of his). he ended up breaking his hip, and had to go to a nursing home. while there, his Alzheimer's increased and we'd visit him a lot, but it was always SO hard.
on the regular route of our drive, he'd usually always point out this one car, it was an old red car, but he'd always say, 'look at that pretty magenta car'. i always would think that's not magenta, it's red...and later on, i remember becoming fascinated when realizing he may just be seeing that color; which i saw as red, as magenta!
now, we never did an actual color comparison test, but it is just the concept that NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW OR BE ABLE TO VERIFY WHAT YOU ARE REALLY SEEING; what goes in through your eyes and registers in your brain and comes out in an observation.
taking it a step further today, i recognized something else. the same is true about how we perceive God. i remember going to a talk in college, at church, about how to 'think of God', so that when you're meditating or praying, you can apply your newly attained ability of how to focus on a higher, more productive level. i found this profoundly interesting, that no one person ever has the same thought or picture in their mind, when they imagine God!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

violin tribute...

stop watching right after the music stops at 1:13 (i couldn't find a shorter clip anywhere)...
and TURN IT UP, this song is much better loud!

i love this song. i've found myself repeating it 4 times over. i love war/strings music.
it reminds me of my Uncle Bruce. he would always listen to these songs, and still does. He is a Civil War/History buff.
i used to play the violin in 4th, 5th and 6th grade.
i'd give anything to be able to play this now...

this is my Uncle Bruce! He's great!

Oh God...

oh, how I can feel God is working in my life...

Memorial Day...

what a fun Memorial Day weekend! matt found the Memorial Day concert in the park at Flag Pole was a blast! there were a ton of people there, kids playing, beautiful Symphony playing appropriate war-era music and then a great firework show to top off the evening. kind of scary how much the blasting fireworks resembled what the bombs and shooting and war might have been like against the night's backdrop! it really makes you think about what's all going on out there.
on a lighter note, I enjoyed all the time i got to spend with my husband matt!
we really caught up on movies and had some good meals out together! it was great!
we saw:
Benjamin Button (which we'd already seen, but good the second time around anyway),
The DaVinci Code (which we'd yet to see, but are glad we did and look forward to Angels and Demons),
Grizzly Man (which was crazy, but nice to see the bears and fox in their environments), and
The Motorcycle Diaries
we also tried the new Grimaldi's in West Village and it was good! We went b/c our friend Blakely took us to the original Grimaldi's in Brooklyn when we stayed with them almost 3 years ago, so we had to check this one out. I just remember them rolling the dough behind the clear, plastic wall at the og location. this one was obviously much newer feeling, not the same feel, but still good...

Monday, May 25, 2009

yummy, healthy lunch!

this is thanks to my friend, lacey, showing me something new to eat at her house the other week.
i got all the fixin's and made it myself! delicious!

Friday, May 22, 2009

more backwards birds...

my husband found some more...
the last image is on a cd cover that my dad had...

here is some info on this photographer:
LYNNE ROBERTS GOODWIN - Born Sydney, Australia
Lynne Roberts-Goodwin’s work is grounded in a deep concern for nature and humanity. Her strategic partnerships with industrial and scientific communities underpin photographic artworks relating to endangered species and their environments that transcend geographical representation, creating ‘a characteristic push–pull … between the aims of truth on the one hand and those of rhetoric and desire on the other ... Roberts-Goodwin is constantly investigating the possibilities whereby images, even for an instant, can cross the borders of language.’ (Adam Geczy).

i can't help it...i love these!

but not that nasty shoe-looking one in the corner, or the cream-filled.

reverse bird portraits...

love these!
they are from the blog: a cup of jo and aucoti.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

visual device

what a special time in our lives...
getting to meet our sponsor child Adam Inusah. back in the summer of 2007, our dream would come true!
i posted the note i sent him once we finally were given the "okay" that we could share with him the "news that we were COMING!" i was so excited and couldn't believe that we were actually going to Africa and were going to get to meet Adam. (it just shows this world isn't so big afterall, anything is possible!)
after we'd arrived in Ghana, we took a small airline up to Tamale. then we met with Paul Azeka, our contact through World Vision, to hear out plans for meeting Adam the next day!
it was everything i'd hoped for...i was tremendously overwhelmed and realized once we left Adam, that i didn't get to hear him speak very much. He said a few special things: 'I love you', 'God bless you', and 'thank you'. and i also didn't get to see him play soccer...
i obsessed about this for a short time and was afraid it had the potential to ruin my experience b/c i regretted it so much. then i realized there were disposable video cameras that i could send out to adam and someone could film him playing soccer and get him speaking (even if it was in his own language, Dagbani) i've had much success sending him regular disposable cameras over the years. he'd take pictures and send the camera back to me and then i'd develop them, make doubles and mail him back the pictures! it is a great idea. so i did that with the video camera.
i got great footage of Adam playing soccer, holding a conversation (interview with Bawa) and also Paul Azeka speaking on behalf of World Vision...When i got home, i became a World Vision Child Ambassador for a year and got 4 children sponsored! i had hoped to get way more, and even had a few prospects to speak to large groups with a lot of planning, but unfortuantly those fell through. Regardless, i am thrilled that 4 new children became sponsored b/c of my story!
Anyways, below is the clip of Paul speaking on behalf of world vision, based on my request.
I highly encourage child sponsorship. i started in college and it's been 8 years now and i LOVE it!
here is the link and let me know if you decide to!

our announcement to Adam, that we'd officially be "seeing him soon!"

boarding the 14 seater plane...yikes!

Paul Azeka and me in Tamale, Ghana

Paul's footage

cool interiors...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

meet freddie...

he's the turtle at our apartment's pond... we sat and watched him for a while this afternoon and grew to really like him. he'd always poke his little head up to say hello and blink his eyes at us!
hi freddie

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Wonderful Wedding Weekend...

julia and brian's wedding!
it was such a great weekend! so many fun gatherings and such a beautiful back drop for my great friend julia. 
Congratulations Brian and Julia!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

so encouraged...

last night, at our foundation group meeting, one of our leaders brought out their 3-year-old little boy, before putting him to bed, so he could share something with us!
he'd learned Romans 5:8...
he stood there and quietly recited it to us in a three-year-old, shy, typical voice...but i was BLOWN away. i cried b/c i couldn't believe how special that was.
i am just so impressed with our leaders that they are already being able to instill the truth in their little boy and have him remember it!
way to go WILL!

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(i'm not sure i got the correct Bible translation, b/c we actually couldn't really understand the words Will was saying, but heard what verse it was and heard "Christ died for us" in there!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bird Hand Book

The Bird Hand Book by Victor Schrager is so interesting! i wanted to post info about it b/c, as many of you know, i like birds. i have done a whole series on birds. check it out here...

On a separate note, a week or so ago, matt and i were walking around Mockingbird station, of all places, when we came across a pretty little green finch, lying dead on the walkway. it made me sad, so we stood and looked at him for a minute. by the way, matt has become so much more compassionate since he's learned how sensitive i am toward situations as these. after trying to figure out what might have happened to him, matt knew i wouldn't want to just leave him where he landed, so he picked the tiny body up and placed him gently on a small mound of dirt, up against a tree, in the nearby flower bed. we left him there, and though it was hard, i felt much better than if we'd just left him on the walkway for someone to kick or accidently step on. i believe every living thing deserves respect, and i felt we gave him just that. so in honor of the small green finch, enjoy these beautiful bird studies.

black rosecomb chicken
snowy owl
black and white marblers  
tufted titmouse
zebra finch
barbed owl

matt meets richard petty

i just think this is picture is cute and kind of funny...
matt's starting to shoot more and this was when he got a job for goodies headache powder and had to fly to North Carolina to shoot richard petty and tony stewart a couple months ago...

Friday, May 8, 2009

kenya's masai...

my friend, Jana's picture, of the masai tribe when she was in Kenya...
i love the colors of their wraps and i love this photo.
so different than where we went in Ghana...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

old picture of parker...

too funny not to post...

Julia's getting married in 9 days!

julia, my best friend from high school, is getting married in 9 days! i am so excited for her!
she is the one in the blue shirt. we are with her sisters here, at their parents home, which so warmly displays one of my paintings over their family room's fire place! 
i am honored and love that they have it...

oh my darling clementine...

i stole this clip from matt's blog, he calls it a 'time lapse tilt/shift short film'... shows how much i know!
Click here for more info about it...

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Complete Lyrics
Take me out, take me home, take me anywhere
I walked a hundred miles so I could give a dog a bone.

I'm alright, I don't mind.
I'm just running into something bigger than the something that I left behind.
Oh my darling, Clementine.
Turn the water into holy water.

You are restless, very young.
Got a message from your mother,
said to tell you she'll be coming round the mountain when she comes.
Oh my darling, Clementine.
Turn the water into holy water.
Oh my darling, Clementine.
Turn the water into a little bit more time.

Take me out, take me home, take me anywhere.
I walked a hundred miles so I could hear them play your song on the radio.

one of the sickest things ever...

i know i said, in an earlier post, i'd prefer the 'chicken option'...
well, this is something i'd NEVER get close to eatting!
we pulled this image off the internet...WE DID NOT BUY THIS NASTY THING!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Next Step...

Well, it's official...
Matt and I just became members of Watermark Church!
We've been attending for a year and 4 months, now, and are glad that we can officially call it home. We love the way we are literally being pushed to grow and develop our walk with the Lord, and how we're taught to continually be pursuing oneness with our spouse. We've been plugged into a couple of wonderful small groups and we cherish our new friendships!
Thanks Watermark!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

i guess this is worth blogging about...

Okay, at work today, i helped this lady and didn't realize until nearly 1 hour later, at lunch, that it was someone i've seen on tv...Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
Tracy Hutson was in our store...
i didn't know her whole name until i looked it up on their website.

i greeted her as she passed by, thinking to myself that she looked familiar, but being out of context, i didn't think twice about it...
she asked about nightgowns, so i directed her to our lounge section, then she asked about robes, so i showed her what we had and what was on sale...she looked around and i went back to i passed by again, going to the back, i asked if she was still doing okay? she asked me if i knew if someone had located a pair of jeans for her yet...she said they told her they'd be at the cash wrap, so i asked if she'd given them a name? and she said yes, 'tracy'. they were not at the cash wrap and were not in the fitting room, so i told her i'd go check in the backstock for her size...not there either. 
my whole reason for telling you all this, is b/c when i went out to report that we didn't have her size but that we could try to locate them at a different store, she said, 'oh that's okay, i'm only in town for the day."
at the time that meant nothing to me...but as i caught myself thinking about it over lunch, that is was triggered my realization, b/c it confirmed where i knew her from. the show! they're always on the road, hence, 'she was only in town for the day'!

hey, it was fun for me...that NEVER happens. i wish i could have realized it sooner, just so i could have said, "hey are you on extreme makeover home edition?" that would have been cool!

the only other times i have been star struck was: in NY when i saw Meredith Vieira, outside Rockefeller Center. she had just started with the Today show, which i love, and so i knew of her, and was, way too excited to see her standing there, not on the show, but just out and about...she was so nice, came over, chatted and took a picture.
then another time, i passed by Matt Lauer, as he was coming out of Fresco, when i was with my family. i was 18 and thought that was so cool...
also, when in LA, i think i might have seen Kirstie Ally, from a distance, getting into her car?
that's as exciting as it gets!
i love it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Halt Child Soldiers

a tidbit of info I read in my World Vision magazine which relates to the Invisible Children...

'One of President Bush's last acts in office was to sifn the Child Soldier Prevention Act. World Vision initiated the bill and served as a key advisor in its drafting. The act restricts U.S. military assistances to governments using child soldiers. Countries that could be immediately affected are Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda. An estimated 250,000 children serve as soldiers in government and rebel armies around the world.'

Nobel Peace Prize

In church today, we learned that Alfred Nobel, of the Nobel Peace Prize, had a rare experience. When his brother died, the newspaper mixed things up and posted his obituary, instead. Upon reading that his invention of dynamite, which was intended to be used as a safe explosive within construction sites, was turned and used to make it easy for one to kill people; he had an epiphany.
Thus, the birth of the Nobel Peace Prize. 
Nobel had the opportunity and decided to change his intention/meaning of the rest of his life.
He set up the foundation and according to his will, the Peace Prize should be awarded to, "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for his fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." 

What an awesome award and achievement!
It'll be neat to see during our lifetime, who becomes awarded.

To tie this back to church this morning; we were just encouraged to live as though we only had 30 days left. 
What would change? How dramatic would our sense of urgency be? How intentional and clear would our decision and actions become? and who would we share the story of Christ with, that we haven't yet?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


my dad took this...

Invisible Children

friday's Oprah opened with a huge crowd holding up peace signs, crowding the streets and dressed alike in shirts with machine guns on them. with that being the 'opener',  i thought, "well, what is this going to be?"
when Oprah came on, she began speaking about her experience, as she was greeted, when she arrived at the studio. basically, it was not planned, but the Invisible Children crew got air time, to promote Northern Uganda and the plea to help rescue the children soldiers, 1 hour prior to her going live.  
this movement is extreme. there are a lot of followers raising awareness and funds to help.
i think they've been at this for 6 years...

back in '06, matt and i actually took part.
i heard about this Global Night Commute and just felt called to act instead of just feeling. we were to wear a yellow t-shirt and meet to walk 2 1/2 miles, in silence, to raise awareness for these children in Uganda, along with others doing so all over the US. we walked to a field (some barefoot) with packs to stay the night (which we actually bailed mid way through the night, as the field's sprinklers came on and walked 2 1/2 miles back to our car). the point was to mimic (and respond to) the walk many of these children make every night, in the dark, for fear of attack. while there we wrote awareness letters to congress, as well.

Friday, May 1, 2009

in galisteo...

me, my mom and agnes



Adam Inusah

i've sponsored Adam for 8 years! he is about to be 16 years old!
this is when we went to meet him summer '07!

one of the greatest times in my life...

african plane

this is a cool african plane of our friends pat and stan who were missionaries in Ghana for 20 years!
i love the red lights!

the chicken option

interesting fact about me...
i've always chosen the chicken option, all through my growing-up years... at mc donald's, burger king, etc. in fact, with the exception of several 'back yard' cooked burgers with ketchup only, i've only had maybe 1 or 2 restaurant hamburgers in my lifetime. crazy, i know. 

that's like one of the only claims i can make about myself!

this picture is evidence...look closely, i have a 'box' of chicken nuggets in front of me, where my brother and cousin are enjoying a mc donald's burger.

first post...

let's see... 
it's hard to make the first step...what should your first post be...
let's just start with a picture of parker, she went to the vet today and hated it, so, i owe it to her.