Monday, October 27, 2008

Some Wonderful News!
The San Francisco 49ers have already made a coaching change this season. Now they apparently have their eyes on an even more high-profile front office move.

The 49ers have expressed interest in Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a possible candidate for team president, reported.

"If she's interested in talking to us, I'm interested in talking to her," one high-ranking 49ers official told Rice has expressed a desire to be an NFL team president as recently as last week, according to the report.

Rice has already indicated that she will return to Stanford in January, a school where she served as provost from 1993-99, which would put her in the northern California area.

Rice has a long and documented interest in football, and has often been asked football questions during otherwise political interviews.


In light of Condoleezza Rice moving back to Stanford, guess where I'm going to be taking Russell to play during the lunch hour? I'd love to meet her one day! (April, you can scout with me;-)

Off to Texas

Yesterday after church, we dropped Dan off at the San Jose airport for his flight to Austin, TX. There are three direct flights on American Airlines each day since Austin also has a high-tech sector and there is a demand for direct flights. SFO doesn't have direct flights to Austin, although we do prefer that airport.

So, tomorrow, the little man and myself will be in route as well. Dan called last night to let us know there was an indoor pool so Russell is very excited and already has his swimsuit out. Let's see if he actually uses it!

I plan to visit my Camp Tejas friend, Linda, and new friend Beth. I really want to visit two friends in Houston as well but since the drive each way to Houston is 3hrs, it seems a little much to squish into a two-day-trip. Hmm. We'll see. I wouldn't think about it twice if I was a single woman without a toddler in the back seat. Texas is a beautiful state to 'roadtrip' through and I really enjoyed the two summers I worked there (April-August, 2000 and 2001).

Back next week...

Friday, October 24, 2008

1988 and Beyond

What do Sunday, February 12, 1995, and Thursday, October 23, 2008, have in common? If you guessed Amy Grant, you are correct. Thirteen years and eight months difference. A lot of water under that time bridge! High-school, university, marriage, a child.

The concert last night was part of a 20-city tour celebrating the Lead Me On Tour/Album of 1988. Ahh. 1988. Twenty years ago. Where was I? Fourth grade and an awkward nine-year-old who knew absolultely nothing about the Christian music world. At one point, our family had visited my 'cool' (read: young, single, beautiful, fun) aunt and I came across an Amy Grant cassette (Unguarded) and I asked her who the woman was on the front cover. I don't even remember how old I was at that point but it was after 1985 but before CD's were produced (1990).

I first discovered that Christian music existed during the Christmas of 1992 when my parents bought me a single-cassette player/radio. Scanning the FM range I found KLYN, the Christian station out of Bellingham, WA. For me, it marked the beginning of my teenage years in more ways that one. I had just turned 13 and I was learning quickly that my world was quite small. The world of Christian music allowed me a place to dream of travelling, music, and the life of stardom- all under the safe cover of loving God. What more could you want? I read the CCM magazines and only dreamt of the concerts I could attend. There were little to none in Victoria and few even in Vancouver, and the closest American city was Seattle. How was I to get to Seattle without time, money, and a driver's license?

In December of 1994, KLYN was promoting the upcoming Amy Grant concert (House of Love Tour) in Vancouver, BC. It was a rare opportunity for them to promote such an artist. There was a special family pack of tickets being sold for $55/4 tickets. And I wanted to go. Boy, did I give my parents grief. Looking back, I was sure a brat about it. I sulked and complained and all the rest. Besides, the concert was a Sunday night. School was the next day. How was that work out?

Soon, Christmas rolled around. We had gathered in the living room when there was a knock on the door. A delivery man (FedEx?) delivered a large, stiff envelope that my dad handed to me in turn. I opened it. There, in my hand, were four Amy Grant tickets. Guilt overwhelmed me because of my behavior but I don't think it last long... I was going to my first big concert (my first concert was David Meece in Victoria in November '94, the month previous. My dad was wonderful and took me to that concert).

I don't remember too much now, but I know that my sister, Candice and I took the ferry to Vancouver and my Aunt Annette took us to the concert. We parked in the back alley behind the Pacific Coliseum and paid some guy $5 for the parking space. The concert was all I imagined and more. I later mailed my ticket stubs to Nashville in hopes that Amy Grant and Gary Chapman would sign them. They did, and the ticket is a blast-from-the-past because they have divorced since that time.

In talking with Dan last night, he agreed with me as well that the Christian music industry was his life-line in high-school, when everyone else was listening to secular music, he felt like he had an outlet as well. He like Margaret Becker, the Newsboys, and Stryper.

I think it helped me feel cool and self-assured, knowing I was listening to these artists like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Margaret Becker, and the rest of the 1980-early '90's rollovers. By the end of the '90's, the Christian music world had exploded into the music it is today... more praise/repetitious music and unambiguous. I returned from camp the summer of 1998 to find that KLYN had strictly switched to a praise format and at that time, I moved my dial over to the country station and never switched back. I've lost touch with the industry now with exception of the big names like Chris Tomlin and Matt Redmond. To me, the 1980's and 1990's will always be my Christian music era.

Amy last night...

My hot date;-) The concert was outdoors under the stars. The evening was mild at 73F and the cool breeze felt refreshing.

The music took us back to another time but when all was said and done, we drove home to pick up Russell from being babysat. Memories are wonderful but today is today, and it too, is a precious time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple Picking

This post is a little late in posting, as we went apple picking on Friday and then to the pumpkin patch on Tuesday, but that's okay;-) I met up with five other ladies and their munchkins (eight, in addition to Russell) about 45 minutes south of here at an orchard just off the coast. Beautiful drive as always.

The apples were probably as organic as could be but at the price of $1.25/lb, I only bought a small bag. I gave Russell the paper bag and he picked up the apples off the ground (yes, bruised, wormy, rotten) and put them in the bag. Once the bag was full, he dumped it and picked up more apples. He was so happy and kept saying, "George picks apples, Russell like George," (in reference to the episode where Curious George goes apple picking).

These boys are only 17 days apart. The middle child was actually born the day after Russell in the same hospital, just across the hallway:-)

Once the picking was wrapping up, I convinced Russell to dump his 'ground-picked' apples once more and to help me pick 'new' apples from the tree. Then, a good tumble on the ground was in order.

I really appreciate the effort the other women make in getting together for play-dates. Honestly, the dates are more for the moms to have some adult talk-time. It takes time to grow friendships and setting time aside isn't always easy but it is so worthwhile when all is said and done.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


On Tuesday, I met up with three other gals and their little ones at a local pumpkin patch. Quick play-date for the kids with no toys to clean up afterwards:-) Russell put as many pumpkins as he could into the available wagons and then commenced to play in the dirt. Good times!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We Must Vote 'Yes' on Prop. 8

Included on the ballot of the November 4th general election is Proposition 8 which defines the definition of marriage (legally) in California. A 'yes' vote "eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry." I would have preferred it to say, "upholds the Biblical/ Judeo-Christian belief that marriage is the union between one man and one woman" but this is California. The term 'eliminate' conjures up a picture that something is being taken away from the rightful owner.

Once the belief that a man can marry another man, and a woman marry a woman is endorsed legally, what stops the next bill from allowing three men to marry? If they're all in love, what is then the true definition of marriage?

This is a link for a 6.49 minute web video testifying the results of the legislation of gay marriage in Massachusetts. Already, James Dobson can not broadcast anti-homosexual programs in Canada and I fear this will soon be true in the United States. For those in California, we must vote yes on 8.

Lessons Learned

While rifling through a box of books stored in a cabinet, I came across these two books: Hinds Feet on High Places and Mountain of Spices, both written by Hannah Hurnard. The books are allegorically written about the main character, Much-Afraid (she is transformed into 'Grace-and-Glory' after the journey is completed), who is invited to journey to the High Places by the Shepherd. Her companions, Sorrow and Suffering accompany and assist her along the way. The book is listed as a devotional which I think may be a little bit of a stretch but it is certainly more powerful than a novel.

It had been a few years since I read it last and the book provided food for my soul and encouragement for my heart. The chapter entitled, The Desert of Loss, really hit home and the introduction of the character Acceptance-With-Joy was bittersweet.

The sequel is just as powerful. I have only begun to reread it, but essentially, it is the allegorical tale that "personifies unhappy, tormenting attitudes of the mind, heart and temperament" and how these "can be transformed into their exact opposites and can therefore produce in us the loveliest of all qualities." (Hurnard) It is the tale of the Fruit of the Spirit.

To share a little from the second chapter which talks about the Fruit of Love, Grace-and-Glory reflects:

"It is happy to love and healthy, too. It is utter misery to withhold love and to live only and always for oneself alone. I see that it is exactly as He says. Love must express itself in giving; must find a way to become one with others, just as He found a way to give His own life to us and thereby to become one with us! And all the misery down there in the valley is because the inhabitants are breaking this law of their existence without realizing it."

The chapter caused me to reflect on the most well known verse of the Bible, "For God so loved the world that He gave..." I know that in my own life, it has been the giving of one's self that has shown love to me: the affection/attention of my parents, the devotion of my husband, the kisses from my son. Powerful.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's That Time of the Year...

Yes, it is that time of the year... brisk, cool days, fall colours on the trees, and the unveiling of the winter wardrobe. And. Desserts. Lots of yummy desserts. From Halloween candy to pumpkin cheesecake (pictured above. Thanks, Martha!) and gingerbread, it is coming.

In the past, I've spent the ten weeks from October to January gaining the lovely pounds and then I've spent the next forty trying to lose and then maintain. You do the math. Is it worth it? (Well... cough, cough, I mean no!) I've always struggled to keep the weight off since I don't have the 'eat-whatever-you-want-whenever' genes.

We've started to try and curb the dessert fest early by only making baked goods on Fridays and then allowing the left-overs to be the only sweets for the weekend (fruit excluded, of course). I asked Dan to back me up on this one since I like to use him as a great excuse to bake (food= love, right?) If you were to look at my favorite recipes, nine out of ten would be desserts. The other few are vegatable dishes with cheese sauces. Eek.

So, that is my goal this fall/winter. Try and find more vegatable recipes (without cheese sauce) and not to consume too many empty calories (how can they be empty when they seem so heavy later?). Watching Russell's consumption of sugar has weighed on my mind as well, since he eats what we eat. I must admit, it is a lot harder to eat a garden salad in the winter time than the summer. Steamed veggies, here we come!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Low Cost Car Wash

After the rains finished yesterday, the skies cleared and today was sunny albeit cool. Welcome to fall:-) When we came home from church, Russell noticed one of the neighbors washing her car and he wanted to watch. Dan suggested that he wash his own car, which he did. He loved it and insisted that Dan watch him (he loves the verbal affirmation of doing something well). Good clean fun- literally!

On another note, Russell and I will be accompaning Dan in Austin for a few days at the end of the month. It has been five years since visiting (during Dan's lengthy deployment) in October 2003. I'll be visiting Linda and hopefully, meeting a new friend named Beth:-) Since Dan's company pays for the hotel and rental car it would be a shame not to take advantage of those. Yee haw!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October 1st ramblings

As I've posted before, I love the first day of the month and a semi-new start (kinda like January 1st)... so, Happy October 1st!

This October marks one year of miscarriage bloodwork for me. Most doctors don't start worrying about the cause of miscarriage until you've experience three consecutive losses. Russell knows the lab as the place where he gets free stickers so he doesn't mind going along with me. I usually get my bloodwork taken from my left arm because I've been told I have nice veins in that arm (I'll take any compliments I can get;-) In the last few months, I've started alternating arms just to give each vein a little resbit.

My latest diagnosis from the OB and RE was elevated anti-thryoid antibodies. Even though my thyroid is in the normal range, my RE put me on levo.thyroxine to try and regulate the antibodies. The side effect? Hair loss. Great. So, in the last two weeks I've been taking this medication, my hairbrush has been full in the mornings. Supposedly, the side effect is temporary until the hormone levels stabilize. I called my RE and she said to wait it out a little longer and as long as there were no clumps of hair being lost, I should be okay. For the first time in almost two years, infertility is no longer on the top of my stress list but now, hair loss. (Dan can't tell I've lost more hair than normal, so I don't look sick or anything.) The thyroid anti-bodies haven't been proven to cause miscarriage but in my case, it couldn't hurt to treat it, either.

I don't know where we'll be next October in this journey. Russell will be almost 4 years old and eligible for preschool. If he is our only child, I don't think I could send him off at such a young age. Besides, for $250/month I could buy a lot of art supplies for him to use at home.

I'm looking forward to this month. We hope to go to Gilroy Gardens (childrens non-profit play place) and see the Halloween/fall displays. The cooler weather will allow us to enjoy Gilroy a little better as it tends to be quite hot there during the summer. Dan will be in Austin, TX, for the last week of the month for technical training. We'll miss him a lot but I like that he gets to expand his world and be challenged.

That's all for now.