October 30, 2007

Engagment Pictures!

A few weeks ago, Kaylee and I clicked away at Max and Jenny in an attempt to get a few more engagement pictures. Woodward Park in Fresno proved to be a lovely setting for a lovely couple. :-) More than once laughter overtook us as we tried different poses, thankfully taking some serious photos in the midst of all the 'fun' ones. :-) Kaylee has an excellent eye and it was great wonderful putting our heads together in that way.

The photographers became a little over enthusiastic about their results. :-P

October 26, 2007

Our Jayni Kajooner

October 17, 2007


Wow! These past few weeks have been blessed and busy for the Parish family! Here are a few highlights from the last two weeks:

* Tuesday is our big music day. Everybody who takes lessons of any sort takes them then. It's also the day when choir and classes of other kinds happen; all at Peoples Church! It's always a big day but very rewarding. After all the normal activities the Tuesday before last, Mrs. McCracken informed us of a special opportunity to go sing Christmas carols for a precious little nine year old (please correct me if I'm wrong about her age) girl who is struggling through a battle with Leukemia. With all the uncertainties that occur during the struggle for life, Kerrigan desperately wanted Christmas now. . . so we went caroling for her in October. Watching the shy smile that crept across her face as she stood there, so sick, touched my heart in a deep way. As we sang songs of celebration about the birth of our Saviour to that precious one who is enduring extreme pain, I rejoiced at the message of hope each hymn portrayed, but ached for her and her parents. It was a touching experience and I'm so glad we were able to be a part of it.

*Simon became an officially licensed driver! He made his first solo trip on Friday when he drove to Fresno to sing with his choir in a choir festival at Fresno State University. Unfortunately, no one was allowed to watch any of the performances, so none of his family could go to cheer him on. A great pity!

Simon behind the wheel

*With all the crisp fall weather we've been enjoying, we were finally able to start a winter garden, and bring in a large harvest from the summer plants. I began a much desired herb garden, Jeremy started a small box of his own, and Jayni planted 'her' garden of watercress by the spigot. Sometimes there is nothing so therapeutic as getting your hands in the dirt.

* Jayni is doing so well in her school. I've enjoyed helping to teach her this year, but I think she's taught me just as much as I have her.

* I recently returned home from a trip to Arizona with Daniel and Kendra. They had planned to attend the Uniting Church and Home conference in Phoenix, and invited me to come along. Jaelynn, Olivia and I stayed in the hotel together most of the time, but I still enjoyed sitting in on several sessions. What a joy to spend one on one time with my precious little nieces! As always, it was great to meet the other families there and be convicted and encouraged to live 'sola scriptoria'. Frustratingly, I didn't pack the camera with me during the trip, so don't have any pictures! Scott Brown has some wonderful posts about the conference on his blog; if you're interested check it out!

Jaelynn demonstrating her accomplished Mommy skills

*Last Wednesday, our elderly neighbor, Mr. Marxmiller joined us for lunch. He was a shop teacher in his younger days, so Jeremy learned more woodworking skills as they made an owl box together in our shop. Mom had put together some squash soup to serve but it just didn't taste right. Frantically, we tried various different things but nothing seemed to fill the empty spot in that soup! With one more thing left to try, Mom took the plunge and began dumping in spoonfuls of brown sugar. Holding our breath, we called everyone in and sat down to lunch. I'm sorry to say, the soup wasn't popular. Picture a mix between pumpkin pie and roasted squash mixed up in a hot soup. . . thanks to Mr. Marxmiller's reminder, we won't be serving it again. :-)

* Learning to drive stick-shift has been a new adventure in my life. Ha! Between jerks and stalls, I'm lucky to even get the car moving. This educational experience was forced upon me when Mom and Dad bought a Toyota Scion (otherwise known as a box on wheels :-) which is stick shift. Having no other choice, I'm learning to face my fears and keep that hand on the gear shift! Please pray for me! :-)

* Simon had another cello recital in which he played a duet with Connor McCracken. We also enjoyed performances from Nicole Werzinski and Kaylee McCracken. It was a wonderful evening of music!

Singing together at the McCracken's home after the recital. Twas' wonderful to blend our voices once again!

October 05, 2007

Lovely Love

Love. What it is, where it is to be found, how we love, who we love, when we love, celebrating love . . . love has been the hot topic of conversation around our home for the last few months. With an adoption, many new friendships and cherished older ones, a courtship which has now matured into an engagement, Daniel and Kendra's third anniversary, and Mom and Dad's twenty-fifth all happening this year, God's Word, in all of it's wisdom, has become more and more precious as we endeavor to learn how to truly love each other as families, couples, sibilings, or friends.

"Time is:
Too slow for those who wait
Too swift for those who fear
Too long for those who grieve
Too short for those who rejoice
But for those who love,
Time is not."

~Henry Van Dyke

And now . . . for the post about last weekends festivities!

Jacob starts the weekend with a horseback ride. A boy after my own heart. :-)

Jenny and Max decide to start theirs with a little music. (Max is sitting at the piano in this picture) Another great way to start off the weekend.

Daniel, Kendra, Jaelynn, and Olivia arrived Friday night to spend Mom and Dad's anniversary weekend with us. Olivia was soon claimed by Grampa who, like the rest of us, was charmed by her every coo. Aunt Jayni and Uncle Jacob enjoyed her smiles also.

Saturday morning, Simon and I took off early to meet some puppy customers at the bottom of the grapevine. One showed up, one didn't, due to miscommunication. After completing the 'adoption services', we headed for home. Upon arriving home, eating some delicious veggie soup, I received a call from another puppy customer, received them in a few hours, sold the pup, then hurried to get ready for the evening! Simon, pictured above, was our chauffeur, as we all packed into the van. Dad and Mom treated us to fine dining at the Vintage Press in Visalia. Fine conversation complemented the fine dining, as we all questioned Mom and Dad about life, marriage, and love. It was an encouraging, enriching time together as we celebrated the love that has matured into full bloom through twenty-five years.

No more bucket seats for this couple!

Over the hill and through the groves we go!

The Vintage Press

Our WHOLE family!! (Well, almost) ;-)

The honored couple

Ordering is always a challenge. Which delicious dish to choose?

Jayni was all smiles

My handsome brother and his adorable baby. She was a perfect angel the entire evening. What a joy to be all together!

After dinner, we all zoomed home for another celebration. Max's birthday! Thanks to Jenny's expert baking skills and Max's generosity in sharing, we enjoyed a festive, scrumptious dessert. Fresh apple pie and Breyer's vanilla ice cream! Whoa . . . a little too much heat for the ice cream going here eh Max?

Woosh! Happy 22nd Max!

There were happy couples everywhere you looked!

Carefully made cards from the Littles,

And presents! With lots of help to open them. :-)

Enjoying some great family time.

Ha! Can anyone guess what this is? Or what it is a result of?

I love you Mom and Dad! Happy, happy 25th!

As soon as the wrapping paper was somewhat cleared away, and dessert eaten, Dad led Mom up to the front of the room and in the sight of all renewed his vows to cherish, love, and protect her the rest of their married life. It was an tear-filled, memory making, precious evening.

Carmel, California! One of the most enchanting places to visit in the Southern part of the state. This is where Mom and Dad spent their 25th anniversary together.

With the proposal and anniversaries we've been celebrating, the beach seems to be the romantic place of choice for the Parish clan this year. :-)

October 04, 2007


Our first chocolate litter arrived weeks ago, and are almost all successfully placed in their new families. This has kept me very busy with phone calls, e-mails, and attempting to take pictures of these adorable, constantly moving bundles of fur. :-) It's an enjoyable experience to meet each new owner, and present them with their new forever-friend. Here are a few pictures of our litter.