August 24, 2006

More photos . . .

From our week with Daniel and Kendra! Very special times . . .

Jaelynn loves her daddy! The moment he steps in the door and gives her a smile, she is all grins and giggles, wiggling to get to him. Daddies and their daughters enjoy a special bond that is different than any other relationship on earth. This special and delicate bond of love begins right at the moment of her birth!

Quilting on Mrs. Wold's wonderful machine! Thanks to Kendra and her Mom, I was able to complete 99% of my quilt. Thank-you both for the time and effort you took in teaching me so much. I can't wait for my next project!

Jaelynn enjoyed a free Gymboree trial class that Kendra and I attended together. She loved the other babies and colorful climbing toys.

Kendra had the splendid idea of fixing a yummy apple crisp for dessert! What do you think Dan? :-)

Can't you just hear the giggles? Daddy is so funny!

Kisses from Mommy

Grampa and his little girl.

Jaelynn Grace~ We Love You!

I enjoyed an extra-special week with Daniel and Kendra after the family reunion. It was a treat be able to kiss my little neice as much as I wanted to, chatter all day with Kendra, and hug my brother when he came home from work! I thank God for His blessing me with my family. I don't know what I would do without them!

Below are a few pictures of Jaelynn I took while I was there. She is crawling up a storm, and wanting to see, know, and learn about everything! I love the wonder that lights up her eyes as she discovers her world. Jaelynn is so kissable and huggable and snuggable that when she is at Grama and Grampa's house, you must exert yourself if you want a turn holding her! She will even give kisses back! Complete with the "Ummmm" sound that goes along with them. What is a joy!

Papers, Papers

After Jaelynn Grace discovered the joy of newspapers, her world was never the same again. :-)


While we enjoyed the ocean with boogie-boards and such, Simon decided to bring along his kayak and challenge himself with something he'd never tried before . . . ocean kayaking! He did very well and really enjoyed himself. It looked like a blast!

Wind, Waves, and Great-Grandpa's!

Last weekend was Mom's annual family reunion, scheduled to take place on Carpenteria beach. My Grampa (Mom's Dad) was going to be there with his sister Aunt Vernell and we were excited to see them! The beach in itself was lovely. The older I become, the more I love the power and majesty of the waves. God's creation is so restful and awe-inspiring! Above is Grampa Nile, overjoyed at meeting his first great-grandchild. :-) We love you Grampa!

Grampa Nile posing with his "favorite great-granddaughter"

Here's Mom, Grampa Nile, and Aunt Vernell. Aunt Vernell was like a second mother to my Mom and her sister while they were growing up. They are still close, and it was special spending time with her!

Hi Jaelynn!

Jaelynn and one of the most important people in the world . . . Mommy!

August 12, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

Any conspiracy theorized about is a bad one. It has already proved itself incapable by being detected. I think I just broke the code of possibly the best conspiracy yet. It is the best because no one, I repeat, no one, up until now has ever thought such a thing would or could happen. Contrary to what you are all thinking, it was not developed by the likes of Brutus or Benedict. No, our adversary is much more invisible and insignificant then such flaunted figures. They disguise their intellect with pointed hats. They wear their bulbous beards with a dignity only the deepest of deceptive minds could devise. They are smart enough to leave a three toed track so as to fool the public into believing they belong in a cartoon. Who are these hideous enemies of humanity that manage to strut around like they are the sole inheritors of the earth, while 99.99999999 percent of the population proceed in ignorance? They would prefer to be known by their scientific name: Gallus gallus. Most of us know them by the name of: Chickens.

Another common occurrence with conspiracy theories is that the tenants of them are commonly thought of as obtuse; perhaps a bit naive in the matter of reality. But before you dismiss me as one of the same, please read on so as to make an educated and informed decision.

I observed the conspiracy this morning. Here is the setting: my family is gone, enjoying the sunny beaches of southern California. I had to stay behind due to an unexpected work schedule. This morning it was my duty to go outside and do all the chores. Feed the dogs, horse, water the garden, and then I remembered that I had forgotten the chickens. (Already a cause for suspicion.) As I entered the lair..uh...chicken house, the first thing to catch my eye was, well, a bunch of chickens. But then I saw them. The instrument that Gallus gallus would use to destroy humanity, starting with me: eggs. Eggs on the ground, eggs in the nest, eggs in the other nest, eggs in the OTHER nest. This should have given me enough clues to turn me into a a hound on a fresh scent, but I was more like a lazy Lab, and smelled nothing...besides the chickens. With their creepy yellow eyes, they all peered up at me like I was a gigantic chicken food pellet. But they didn’t use any force. No, their ways are far more subtle.

I brought the bucket of eggs (wretched things) into the house, and opened the fridge to find an empty egg carton. That was when the walls of naivety came crumbling down. There before my eyes were several egg cartons ALREADY FULL. I was forced to wash the eggs, place them in a bowl, and stuff them into the fridge. Don’t you see it now? Gallus gallus is launching an organized effort to fill our refrigerators with eggs, and nothing else. Of course, eggs are good, but if you have a nine course meal and it consists of fried eggs, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, etc..., you have no choice but to peacefully give up the ghost. Their scheme is to systematically starve us by saturation. I must say, that is pretty clever.

One more note I must add. I mean no offense with this comment, and have absolutely nothing against women, so I say this completely objectively. I noticed that the protagonists of this conspiracy are all females. These female Gallus gallus must be unbelievably cruel because it seems most females have nurturing instincts. Female Gallus gallus must have the nurturing instincts of an ice cube. I mention all this as a caution. When an entire gender of a species unites with one purpose, watch out! (However, I did notice one male. It would be an easy case to prove him guilty by association.)

So there you have it. You thought that the Middle East was the greatest crisis in the world today, but you were wrong. Or were you? Isn’t a conspiracy theorized about, a bad one?

Concerned for your safety,


P.S. Always watchout for the creepy yellow eyes.

August 10, 2006

Confession of Love

My vow.

Whatsoever Thou sayest unto me by Thy grace I will do it.

My constraint.

Thy love, O Christ my Lord.

My confidence.

Thou art able to keep that which I have comitted unto Thee.

My joy.

To do Thy will, O God.

My discipline.

That which I would not choose, but which Thy love appoints.

My prayer.

Conform my will to Thine

My Motto.

Love to live, live to love.

My portion.

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance.

Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thous deservest; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward save that of knowig that we do Thy will, O Lord our God.

~ From "A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael"

August 05, 2006

Herb Gardens

There are few things more uplifting than burying your nose into a bouquet of fresh herbs! The different flavors, textures, and smells of God's natural medicine are enough to tingle your senses deliciously!
A few weeks ago Mom and I zoomed up the hill with Ashley and Kristen Haymond, who stayed the weekend with us, and visited the lovely garden of Rosemary Nightingale. What an inspiration!

Set in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills, Mrs. Nightingale's garden is overflowing with herbs of every kind. As she led us through as a part of our tour, she kept us thinking with tidbits of information and folklore about each herb. Using her trusty garden sissors, Mrs. Nightingale snipped us each a stem of the herbs that were in season in her garden. By the end of our tour, we each had a bouquet of fragrant herbs to take home and dry ourselves.

Mrs. Nightingale served a delicious herb/ginger iced tea in delicate stem goblets as refreshment. She also demonstrated creative ways to use herbs in your home. It amazed me how many ways we can use God's creation in place of many chemicals on the market today.

Below, Ashley is enjoying the Russian Sage.

Stepping into the coolness of the garden Giftshop, the first thing that struck my eye was the thick bundles of lavender hung up in a row to dry.

As I looked further into the shop, my senses were stimulated by the variety of textures presented, such as the homemade soaps sitting in beds of dried herbs; cool and inviting to the touch. Her corked glass bottles of herbs sat waiting on the glass counters, anxious to have their secrets revealed. The homemade "lotions and potions and vanities in a bottle" as Max would say, sitting in another area were especially intriguing to me as I've tried my hand at making those before. Passing my sniffer across the top of the bottle, the powdery smell of lavender reached up to tickle it. Delightful!

The shop was a visual delight because on the walls and scattered throughout the garden and shop Mrs. Nightingale and her husband shared their artwork. Every corner of the shop was filled with homemade industry! Using God's creation and the bounty of nature, the Nightingales had created a paradise that they are sharing with the world.