Sunday, December 29, 2013
Gonna start doing this. I think it's super important to also document things to be able to find them during the year -- thus the blog, which is more searchable than tracking back thru FB or a handwritten journal, but a year's summation of good times and moments sounds incredible. Happy 2014!
Thursday, December 26, 2013
But this sandwich was amazing. Yesterday's sandwich was amazing. How can you turn this down? This IS the good stuff! So I had a little outburst:
Why are you fighting me on this? It's like God's hot pocket!He tried the sandwich.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Personally speaking, when my grandfather was finally able to come clean about his identity, he got a declaration page that something like seven different aliases would all be known as R____. Over the course of time, my mom and every one of her sibs actually had their names changed to add in the true family name. Some added it as a middle name, others as a surname.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things– That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light. [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins. [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Meet Sheena. She's 4yo and Deaf-of-Deaf. She is Deaf and her mother is Deaf. (Approx 90% of Deaf people are born to hearing people.) (And when Deaf have a Deaf child, there is rejoicing to have a child who is "like us". Like recognizing a family nose.) She tells Twas the Night Before Christmas in full ASL (her native language). Please read this article before you watch the video. It will help you appreciate the linguistic complexity of what this little girl is doing. Thanks to Tim for the find! P.S. This spring's CVHS musical is Children of Eden, a retelling of the Adam & Eve, and Noah's Ark stories. It is a Bible-as-literature version, not a Christian perspective. A lot of fun, but we'll set aside the theology of it. Interpreted matinee Tues 4/8/2014.
It's a whole other world here. Example: Big Frog is drinking a beer-you-can-chew (that's how I describe anything in the same vein as Guinness) from a mason jar, in front of a door with a stained glass window mended by duct tape, in front of a cafe stage. We are loving The Purple Fiddle.
Found a new cool group: Loves It. Folk-rock. Super fun. Two guitars, also sometimes violin and banjo. Big Frog is rubbing off on me. I really enjoyed their opening number, Katydid, and also a new, unrecorded song ("Lay it"... I think), which has an amazing boogie-woogie bass line on blues guitar. They have been touring constantly for three years. Their goal was 200 gigs/year for two years. Tonight was the last of a very long run. (Also, they had tees with glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs at their merch table.)
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Recently I asked my mom if she had any index card file boxes. She found three of her parents', and we found a treasure trove in them. All this was in three index card boxes! I was expecting to find recipes, or perhaps just empty boxes.
Typeface. These were bundled up like a small pile of matchsticks in a tiny square of cellophane. I asked mom, but she didn't know anyone who actually had a printing press. Murg thought they were typewriter letters to swap out. It wasn't until we unbundled them that he realized what a laborious process printing was. These make me glad to live in an era of blogging.
A size comparison w/ galena & silicon. Don't you have mineral samples around your house for this? Mom actually used to work at Cranbrook Institute of Science, which has a fabulous rocks and minerals display, and a better public display than the Smithsonian puts out. FWIW, the galena weighed about the same as the typeface, and each weighed about 20x what the silicon weighed. Size aside, the density difference was remarkable.
Gung Gung's pincushion. He was a man whose faith could move mountains. And what an evangelist -- I remember him sitting me down to show me how the Chinese characters for man appear in come2 -- a cross on which was a big man in the middle, and a smaller man on either side. A picture of the crucifixion. My Sunday School kids also get GungGung stories about snakes, figs, and faith on a regular basis. Jesus Saves indeed.
2 Come. source: left: zazzle.com; right: Messianic-Torah-Truth-Seeker.org Frog buttons from where? and when?: These wired frogs (frog buttons is redundant, but makes for greater clarity) are so much prettier than western buttons (although my knitting friend Dee gets some pretty nifty ones, like the Legos she put on a pair of mittens recently). The fasteners are frogs, regardless of the shape of them. These particular ones are frogs shaped like butterflies. Interesting bit about these frogs. First notice they're from Toronto. I asked mom when her parents would have been in Toronto. She said they were back and forth across the border all the time. Sure, but that was when they lived in Detroit. My grandparents moved from Detroit to the San Francisco area before I was born. Then take a look at that phone number! There's an exchange on that phone number. So these frogs are at least 50 years old.
Mom says her parents were big on finding "good deals". Then they'd tuck them away and find a use for them later. Well, even years after they went home to Jesus, their treasures made for a delightful evening of discovery and storytelling for my family.
My parents celebrated 46 years married this past summer. Big Frog's celebrated 51 years in the spring. We're both grateful for their example of longevity and perserverance.
Also, when our 2002 Saturn SL2 topped 200k in May 2012, we made a special both-of-us excursion in which we sang 500 Miles by The Proclaimers, held our breath in the last mile or so, topped 200k, and celebrated with ice cream. Yay us!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Westjet Airlines put an interactive Santa in their terminal, then fulfilled gift requests at the baggage claim at the end of the flight! (Full article in The Huffington Post)
Also, an outtakes reel. I particularly like Santa's response when, at 1:55, a woman requests a pair of warm socks.
I'm also delighted to be involved in redditgifts' 2013 Secret Santa gift exchange, making a stranger's day as part of a 160+ country, 110k+ Santas exchange. It's more than doubled in size since last year's, which was itself, a Guinness World Record exchange. If you get right on it, the redditgifts Holiday Cards 2013 exchange is still open for signups thru Thursday, December 12!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
To add to my project list: Dino hat, with spikes, with this as the base hat.
Or maybe this Steggy hat?
Monday, December 2, 2013
That being said, my parents had other "loaner" kids before they had me and my brother. Much like my hubby and I are involved in our godkids' lives on an active basis, my parents loved to love on their nieces and nephews. One summer they had cousin Optimista & her brother L over for a whopping seven weeks. A few photos are here. (It's a snapfish album. You will need a (free) login and password to view.)
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Honest congrats to all participants in this year's Nanowrimo, no matter whether you hit your goal or just made progress on particular projects.
I don't think this of your work. You rock, authors! My brother showed me this strip today in context of my 3Doodler art which, as I told him, I spent minutes perfecting, and I just fell out!
Friday, November 29, 2013
And when he latches on to a group, they're stuck with him, for good or ill. He is your most passionate unpaid PR guy.
I just need to learn how to communicate with him so I feel encouraged by his zealotry instead of crushed by overwhelming exectations. For example:
The Tap Pups: LIVE dvds finally came in from this past year's spring show. (The show was June 29, and dad's queries about when to expect the dvds started in July.) Vicki blessed us with the opportunity to share our first viewing together; often there's a bus trip or similar and we can see watch the previous year's show on the way up. This year, without having a road trip in the plans (for the week of Thanksgiving, no less), she rented Midtown Cinema and we got to see ourselves on the big screen. (Great new tradition! Sure hope we do that every year!)
Dad was beyond delighted to get his own copy of the DVD this year. My parents purchased one for themselves because 1) their oldest child, their only daughter, was in five dances plus the opening number, and 2) last year the whole borrowing-my-copy thing, which had worked in previous years, went sadly awry and there was much indignation about who had it when in its circuit thru MD, never mind that I-the-owner had it for a week before ceding it at Thanksgiving and getting it back at EOPS.
Dad's favorite dance of all time is Acapella. Which is, admittedly, fabulous and one of my favorites as well.
But his question to me about it was:
Did you memorize it?By which he meant, "You could throw that down, right here, right now, couldn't you? Of course you could." He knows I'm not in Advanced. It doesn't seem to matter. My stupefied, dumbfounded, spluttery response was, "How? From seeing it?" Dad, cool as a cucumber, pointed out that
"One" you knew even before you were at that level.Somehow he missed, in all the conversations he and I had leading up to the show, that we worked our brains out for One. We worked our butts off for One. And those of us who learned it new for the 2013 show danced full-out but very much tucked away in the corner of the back row. And we still felt a HUGE sense of accomplishment just at that. For me it was an incredibly emotional experience. Vicki, you have been warned. The bar is set very high. Evidently the Tap Pups are so good that people in the stands now think we learn by osmosis.
I better practice some more. That helicopter step in this year's piece...
I better practice some more.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
So we took on a new Adventure, capital "A" Adventure, in our Thanksgiving leadup. (Our godkids, when they hang out with us, don't necessarily come over to our house, or go to the same place, so every time is an "Adventure with Auntie Middle Frog & Uncle Big Frog".) We had the kids, M&D, aged 5&3, stay at our place overnight.
My mom has always maintained, since I was little and asking if I could sleep over at a friend's or have them sleep over, that such an event is not a sleepover but a stayover. Sleep is not a priority. But fun is!
Some highlights included:
- Making monkey bread in the crockpot. They were very excited about it at the making stage, and not at all interested in eating it in the morning. Curious.
- "Building" a bed. When I told him that was our next project, he wanted wood and a hammer. What I meant was inflating the airbed. No matter. Big hit regardless.
- Classic family film: SpaceCamp. Hadn't seen it in years, but I loved it as a kid. With the kids' interest in astronomy and aeronautics, it was a huge hit. Bonus: Did you know Joachim Phoenix was in it? That was back when he went by Leaf. And Kate Capshaw (Willie Scott in Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom). And Lea Thompson (Kate Kennish in Switched at Birth; Lorraine Baines McFly in Back to the Future). And Kelly Preston.
- Watching the Macy's parade in the morning, and talking about balloons so big that they need dozens of people to keep them from flying away. (resource: Geekmom article -- Did you know you can see the balloons being inflated the night before the parade?)
All in all, a huge success. And we would do it again. But not tomorrow... or next week... When we told some friends that we were hosting an overnight for our godkids, we got such responses as, "Testing the water?" And we really do love our littles. But we're still at the catch-and-release point in our lives.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Here are a few of the things that most struck me.
One can affect many.
Affirmations re imprinting:
My mind is a tape recorder.
My mind is a sponge.
My mind is a copy machine.
All riches and all material things that anyone acquires thru self-effort begins in the form of a clear, concise mental picture of the thing one seeks. (CCMP)
All means ALL. All riches. All things.
Anyone. Not all white people or all old people or all ___. All means all.
Begins: starts, forms
Clear not fuzzy. Concise, shouldn't take you forever to explain. Mental picture, staring at you all the time.
The common denominator of success -- the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful -- lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do. ~Albert Gray, The Common Denominator of Success
There are only two kinds of habits: good ones and bad ones. You need to learn to maximize your good ones or your bad ones will kill you. ~Saff's advice to each of his grands when they turned 18
The first step towards wealth is the most difficult. Consequently most don't take it. Most don't have a plan for wealth, therefore they get mediocrity or normalcy at best and oftentimes poverty.
(Wealth is not just in $$ -- wealth is in all areas of life: spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, etc.)
Manage the moments, not the day.
Plan your day in 15min increments.
Excel and max out in whatever talent God has given you.
Dream while it isn't working.
Every adversity carries within it the seed of equivalent or greater benefit.
Your responsibility now is to discover what's the equiv benefit.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
source: The Christmas Candle Facebook page
Go see The Christmas Candle right away.Opening weekend. Make time. THIS Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I can count on ONE FINGER how many movies I've seen in theaters since last Thanksgiving. And that movie is Les Mis, which I've since seen at Toby's, twice, live theater. (Read about that here and here.) So when I tell you to go see The Christmas Candle right away, you need to understand the urgency I'm putting behind it. Coming from a girl who waits for movies to come to dvd, and then further waits in the "library netflix" (holds) queue to see things months, even years after they were at peak popularity, this is a really big deal. Our church, New Covenant Fellowship (PCA), was honored to host an advance screening of The Christmas Candle, followed by a Q&A session with the CEO of the production company, former Senator Rick Santorum. The Christmas Candle will open in approximately 400 theaters in the US and UK on Friday. In Central PA, it will be playing in three locations, the Regal Cinemas in Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York. (Harrisburgers, that's the theater at Harrisburg (East) Mall.) A complete list of theaters is available online. Let's fill the movie theaters. Request the film come to more locations as well!
What if the movie theaters were packed to Standing Room Only for a movie that celebrates miracles? What if people stopped cursing the darkness and started lighting candles? What does faith look like, lived out? How does love show up on your hands and feet to serve others? In The Christmas Candle, a priest leaves his work with the London poor when he is called to serve in a tiny town. The villagers expect him to preach all through Advent about the expected miracle: that as has happened once every 25 years for the past two centuries, a single candle will be touched by an angel and will grant a Christmas miracle, a direct answer to the prayer of the bearer. But in a modern, 1890's world, an electrical and steam-powered world, the progressive new minister wants to end this fairy tale and see instead the miracle to take on human form, acts of kindness and good deeds. Then God steps in. And God's ways are indeed exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all we ask or imagine. source: The Christmas Candle Facebook page
There is so much symbolism to candles. A few near and dear to my heart include:
- My childhood advent calendar. I used the same one for advent scriptures every year growing up, and the very first day was Isaiah 9:2. "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."
- The opening of the gospel of John. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." This also was the first of Mrs Who's quotation in A Wrinkle in Time that I could identify the source.
- Hanukkah. A single night's oil burned for eight nights, long enough for more oil to be pressed for use at the temple. Don't let the Light go out (Peter, Paul & Mary).
- In a similar Jewish vein, the Sabbath Prayer song from Fiddler on the Roof. "May the Lord protect and defend you..."
- Matthew 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."
Who else might enjoy The Christmas Candle?
- Max Lucado readers -- he wrote the book upon which the movie is based.
- Les Mis fans -- Samantha Barks, who played Eponine in the movie version, plays the antagonist-slash-love-interest. In fact, the night after she sang at the Oscars, she was in the Cotswolds to start filming.
- Susan Boyle fans -- not only is this her acting debut, she also sings the theme song, which is also featured on her newest CD.
- Downton Abbey viewers -- as I understand it, all the costumes are not replicas but are original to the time period. They are gorgeous1.
- Christmas movie lovers!
What if people stopped cursing the darkness and started lighting candles? Go see The Christmas Candle. And please, tell others. Let's change the way Hollywood sees faith and families.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
"Please refrain from singing along. We know you have the score memorized and you sing it all the time at home, in the car, and in the shower, but you did not practice with us."
Without caveats like the one above, I have no doubt things like THIS AWESOMENESS would happen. Kudos to Toby's for a fabulous, beyond fabulous run. (Javert still had the Best. Death. Scene. Ever.)
Interviews "Beyond the Barricade at Toby's" from DC Metro Theater Arts. Links to the full series I particularly commend to you Part 4: The Boys of the Barricade and Part 8: Javert, played by Larry Munsey
Saturday, November 9, 2013
I made this more difficult for myself by not learning it with regular yarn. Honestly, as much as I love the look of all the fancy and vareigated yarns, I work best with just-plain-yarn. But here I used RedHeart Symphony, which I assumed would be more like Homespun but which turns out is mostly fluff on a sport-weight yarn.