31 December 2007

it feels like saturday.

it is 2pm on monday and i am home alone. this rarely...if ever...happens. even if i do happen to find myself alone in the house...it is usually only for a short amount of time...and for the most part, my precious boys are only a shout down the street away (at grandma's typically). but not today. no, today, they are miles away. i told myself that these next few hours alone shouldn't bring such exhilaration to my soul...but honestly...i can't lie. i welcome the unexpected aloneness and relish the ability to do whatever i want, listen to whatever music i want (even christmas music) at whatever volume i choose. i almost feel guilty about it. but then i remember how good this is for me, and i get excited again.
john took his nephew, miggy and elijah on a little drive up into the foothills where john's uncle has a cabin. we spent the day there yesterday (pictures to come) with john's parents and aunt and uncle. john's parents decided to stay the night last night while we came home instead. therefore, they need a ride back since john's aunt and uncle aren't coming back until tomorrow evening. john, miggy and elijah will get to play in the snow for a bit and then they'll head back home and we'll all trek over to john's cousin's house for a new year's eve party. the cabin is only an hour-ish drive away so it's not super far...but far enough to give me a few precious hours to do whatever i want.

so. i'm off to do something i normally can't when they're around...hmmm...what to do? what to do?

my prayer for the coming year...let US be the remedy.

and the problem is this
we were bought with a kiss
but the cheek still turned
even when it wasn't hit

and i don't know
what to do with a love like that
and i don't know
how to be a love like that

when all the love in the world
is right here among us
and hatred too
and so we must choose
what our hands will do

where there is pain
let there be grace
where there is suffering
bring serenity
for those afraid
help them be brave
where there is misery
bring expectancy
and surely we can change
surely we can change...
something


and the problem it seems
is with you and me
not the Love who came
to repair everything

where there is pain
let there be grace
where there is suffering
bring serenity
for those afraid
help them be brave
where there is misery
let us bring them relief
and surely we can change
surely we can change
oh surely we can change...
something


oh, the world's about to change
the whole world's about to change.

____________________________________________________________________

david crowder*band
the remedy
surely we can change
written by david crowder
www.davidcrowderband.com

29 December 2007

silly boy.


my sweet boy.
at the park.
enjoying the sunshine.
making silly faces and noises that match.
too cute.
so special.
my love.

23 december 2007

28 December 2007

joy to the world...

ok. to be honest. i am completely overwhelmed by the amount of holiday stuff i feel i must share on my blog. ridiculously, utterly blindsided by the hundreds of photos, memories and magical moments i want to remember and relish and reminisce about...*sigh*...it's making it hard for me to even start. so. as i have done in the past...i will try and do a little bit at a time...like maybe once a day for a week. or maybe once every other day. we're still kinda in holiday mode here. at least i am. it's so hard to jump back into normal, daily life after a week of lazy, celebratory days.
anyways. to start things off...let's talk about christmas...the actual day...the 25th of december. seems like a good place to start.

it was chilly here...not as chilly as it has been (my birthday was frigid.) but still...cold enough that it induced much snuggling down underneath the covers...that is until elijah got impatient and wanted to get down and play (which was only about 5 minutes). john's niece also called around 7.30am to ask why we weren't at grandma's house yet...i think the word lazy was used in the conversation. the nerve. anyways...

after a hurried reading of the christmas story from the gospel of luke...
and an even more hurried opening of gifts...we headed over to elijah's grandparents house for breakfast. e was a bit too excited to eat much...he saw the presents he'd opened the night before (a post on that later) and simply wanted to play.
so...play we did...while watching the cheesy of all cheesy-ness disney christmas parade on tv. did i mention it was cheesy? well, it was. after the parade was over...it was naptime for e so back to the house we trooped, gifts in tow. elijah slept the afternoon away while john and i just kinda dinked around...cleaning up wrapping paper, washing three day old dishes...the usual.
after elijah's nap, we went for a walk over to john's parent's old house (which they still own and are renting out to friends) and picked oranges from the copious amounts of heavily laden trees. yum. we came back with a bucket full of citrus-y goodness, along with frosty noses and chilly fingers (especially elijah's since he refuses to wear gloves).
elijah and i visited the infamous, inflatable santa across the street (which he loves...for some silly reason. he's not scared of the ten foot tall, fake santa but he was very apprehensive about the "real" santa at the mall. weird, no?). the rest of the day, we just hung out at home, enjoying a restful evening of bad, made-for-tv christmas movies, popcorn and elijah's crazy antics. all in all, it was a nice day. nothing over the top...no huge meal to plan, cook and clean up after...a small number of gifts...just family. and that was nice. i definitely missed my family...but knowing that we'll all be together in hawaii in just a few short weeks helped ease the ache of homesickness. can't wait for that...

definitely much more to tell...
i promise...it'll be coming soon.

27 December 2007

it's a comin'...


new posts are brewing...got tons of pictures to catch up on first.

hopefully tomorrow will deliver the goods.

until then...here's a picture to tide you over. love what's in the bottom right corner. :D

hope your holidays were happy and merry.

22 December 2007

my twenty-seventh year.

today is my birthday. i am 27. i feel i must announce this simply because it is 22 december. three whole days before the biggest holiday of the year. most people are out shopping today...buying sweaters and video games and slippers that will be worn once out of politeness. they are scrambling to finish up the wrapping, the baking, the preparations. they're sitting in traffic, or at home, making family memories and the like. they are not, for the most part, thinking of anyone's birthday except for the one that is celebrated on the 25th (even if they're not aware of the true reason for the celebration). yes. it's true. i get forgotten. and really, i'm ok with that. i wasn't always ok with it...but i've come to terms with my unenviable fate. so. please don't feel obligated to go out of your way to wish me a happy birthday. i will have a great day regardless of the number of birthday greetings i receive. i actually had a chance (however brief) to read in bed this morning before e decided to wake up. that was birthday gift enough. after that, i had a very yummy breakfast at my in-laws, topped off with a wonderful mimosa. my sweet little boy helped me open my presents (pictures to come later). i am wearing fabulous, brand-new clothes and my husband is taking me to the nutcracker in a couple hours and then out to eat at my favorite restaurant. it has been and will continue to be a great day. i will be sure to post pictures later. for now...here's a picture of what i was doing last year on this day. crazy how time flies...

20 December 2007

a suggestion.

nay...a recommendation.

no...really. an urgent bit of advice.

from me to you. consider it a christmas gift of sorts.

never.
i repeat. never.
just for good measure...i repeat again. NEVER.
never ever ever ever go to toys 'r' us on the 19th of december at 7pm.

just don't do it.

normally, i wouldn't need to pass this bit of advice on to you as i would never have experienced what i experienced last night under normal circumstances. but...against my will...it happened.

i went to that blasted store six days before christmas.

*sigh*

first of all...i feel i must tell you...i hate toys 'r' us. to me, it's just another example of mass consumerism and the gross consumption of the american people. ugh.

plus...the store in modesto is never clean. i feel the need to shower after i go in.

whatever happened to the sweet little toy stores of yore? honestly...some of my favorite memories from my childhood stem from trips to anchorage and a unique toy store called classic toys. the name says it all. what a great little place. how i wish there was something like that here. i remember spending hours in that store with my brothers. i'd always run to the playmobil section first...then to the dolls...then to the legos...and around i'd go. i'd search every aisle, every display at least twice...sometimes three times. up until i was about twelve (and maybe even some after that), the majority of the items on my christmas list could be found on the shelves at 341 east benson boulevard (i love that it is still there!). seriously...a great little place. if you ever visit anchorage...be sure to go (and mom, next time you're there...just go for nostalgia's sake!).

but anyways.
back to my story of why i was at toys 'r' us last night.

my mother-in-law, bless her sweet heart, wanted to get elijah a christmas present. obviously.

so. after spending two hours at the mall (another event i'd recommend you avoid as i wish i had...however...i was present in order to pick out a birthday outfit for myself, at the request of my mother-in-law. i was happy to obilge. and such a great outfit i got too! anyways...), we maneuvered through going home/shopping traffic to the toy store. i had to circle the parking lot several times just to find a parking spot. not a good sign. the store was crowded. the shelves were not. it was dirty. it was messy. i was nauseous. and hungry. not a good combination. but at least elijah was entertained.

after quickly perusing the empty shelves...we found the ride-on car section. it was, as the majority of the store was, mostly empty, very messy, and very, very crowded. we let elijah play on a couple of the cars and then decided he was a bit young for something like that...maybe next year.

in the end, after an hour of searching, we found a few things. and i'm actually pleased with them. elijah will be unwrapping on christmas morning: a set of "first crayons" (called tadoodles which i've been meaning to get him for a while), a set of wooden blocks (another thing i've been meaning to get as e has chewed through his foam ones) and a "racin' ramp garage" that he wouldn't leave alone. i just hope he enjoys it as much out of the packaging as he did while it still in the box. so. all in all...not a bad haul. i just couldn't bring myself to tell john's mom, "sorry. all the toys i want for elijah cannot be found in this town. you have to order them online". nah...this was just easier...albeit a bit more stressful. maybe next year, if there's something i really want elijah to have...even if it is online...i'll tell john to get the money from her and we can order it in november and avoid all this craziness.

a good plan, i think.

16 December 2007

about a boy.

well. i survived. my son is officially one year old and i am here to tell about it. kinda amazing. there were days when i wasn't so sure i'd survive. but regardless...it has flown by.

elijah's party was a success. i will blog about it later. right now...i want to share his "first year" album with you. i'm really excited about how it turned out and would love to hear what you think. it's called "about a boy". here goes!


to view the pictures bigger, please visit my facebook page or my flicker site or simply click on the image.

14 December 2007

frosty winds...

been having some super cold weather lately...well...super cold for here anyways. the last few mornings we've woken up to a world of frosty white. love it. not as much as i love waking up to a snowy landscape...but i'll take what i can get. speaking of snow...i wrote out a christmas list for john a couple weeks ago (at his request) and one of the last things i put on it was a white christmas. he came to me later after reading it and was like, "what gives? i can't control the weather!". silly john. i had to explain to him that i didn't want him to bring the snow to me...i wanted him to bring me to the snow. took him a few minutes but he finally got it. and then we briefly discussed going to tahoe for a couple days to hang out in the snow...but in the end, decided not to. we're just going to stay here and have some precious, relaxing family time. no agenda, no commitments. just family, christmas jammies, and yummy food. can't wait.

thought i'd share a bit of our christmas decor. while the tree is still depressingly bare, the rest of the house is quite festive. here's a couple pictures to prove it.

here's my little advent calendar. yes i did get it at starbucks. but it was on sale! only $10. i just found another one at michael's today...it was on sale also...from martha stewart crafts that i'm super excited to use next year. it's a way cute little house with flaps hidden all over it.

this is what our family room looks like right now. i've been meaning to hang a wreath over the "noel" sign but just haven't gotten around to it. maybe this weekend? the lovely poinsettia is from john's mom and it is gorgeous. i wish i could have it sitting on the ground so i could enjoy it a bit more...but the fact that it's poisonous and elijah can't keep his hands off it...well...on top of the tv it will stay.

this is one of my favorite things in the house...my collection of berry wreaths. i hope to continue adding more as the years go on...for now...i'm content with three. i might just leave them up through the entire winter months...they're just so happy hanging on the wall right there. i know it sounds cheesy but i like looking at them when i'm doing the dishes. i know. i'm weird...

i do think that's it for now. i have been working on elijah's "one year" album that i'm excited to share with you. it's almost done...just the december 2007 page and the cover to do. i'll be finishing it up today and hopefully posting pictures sometime this weekend. elijah's birthday party is saturday afternoon though...so we'll see. pictures of that will definitely be coming by monday at the latest.

happy weekend!

11 December 2007

i need your help!

edited: thank you all for your comments! i have finally choosen just one and sent it in. the one i decided on was number two. so. we'll see how it goes! i'll know by monday, the 17th, if it made it into the finalists. i'll be sure to let you know so you can stop by and vote! thanks again.





ok. i need your opinion. there's a photo contest going on on this blog and i'd really like to enter. only problem...i can't decide which photo to pick! so...that's where you come in. please help me choose between these four beautiful photos. the theme is feet...can you tell? i've got too much sentimental attachment to them to choose just one. help me please!

10 December 2007

festivities.



our great tree hunt...in pictures.

yesterday was tree day at the anaya house. finally. typically, i am adamant about getting a tree the day after thanksgiving. however...this year it just didn't happen. and for some reason, i didn't push it. i think part of me just really didn't want to deal with teaching elijah that the tree is just for looking. at this point...he's really not a great listener. surprise. and i was envisioning a trip to the emergency room with a pine needle stuck in elijah's little throat. not fun. so. with john gone all last week...we weren't able to actually get a tree until yesterday. and after much discussion, (do we get a small tree and put it up out of e's reach (and be extra vigilant about cleaning up the needles)...or get a big tree and put a gate around it?) we decided to go neither route and instead decided to buy a tree we can plant outside after christmas is over. it is a smaller tree, that sits up out of elijah's curious fingers but since it's a live tree, it doesn't drop as many needles. a good compromise, i think. it's not decorated yet...i'm saving that for this evening after john gets home from work. pictures will follow. speaking of pictures...the kids (as in john's niece and nephew, jackie and miggie) and i also made christmas cookies this weekend. tres fun. i will have pictures of those soon. until then...

04 December 2007

christmas pictures.





i snagged these pics the other day while e was playing before his morning nap. love the christmas jammies. while john and i don't get to wear our special christmas pajamas until christmas eve...i figured i'd let e wear his throughout the whole month. no harm in that right? especially since he's so darn cute in them! i considered using these pictures for our christmas card...just because i wanted to get them sent out this week...but seeing as how that hasn't happened yet...i may hold out til john gets home so we can do a family shot. i have so few pictures of all three of us...it'll be a good thing. even though it means my christmas cards will go out much later than i had hoped. oh well...in the scheme of things...not a big deal.

john should be home sometime saturday...definitely looking forward to that. it has literally been the longest week of my life. not that it's been that hard being a single mom for the week...it's just so lonely. although...i have gotten a lot more done in the evenings than i would have with john here...simply because i don't have as many "wifely" responsibilities (cooking, cleaning up after cooking, etc.). it's not that i don't do those things...it's just that i'm only doing them for me and e...it's less somehow.

i'm off to go work on some more christmas presents. kinda cutting it close here...hopefully i can get everything done in time.

02 December 2007

ah...december.

happy december everyone!
the month of birthdays.
at our house anyways.
we celebrate four birthdays in december.
one a week.
(kinda)
it's true.

first, we have my mom's birthday...on the 8th (not that we really celebrate it here...but still...it's a birthday. and there is usually a card and a present and a phone call involved...does that count as a celebration? i think so.).
then...the next week...we celebrate elijah's birthday (16).
and then...the week after that...we celebrate MY birthday (22).
and then...finally...just three days after my birthday on the 25th, we celebrate the most important birthday.
so. december is busy with celebration. obviously.

speaking of celebrations, after much deliberation and discussion...we decided to have a party for elijah. i'm still not really sure why we're doing it...but john's parents were simply aghast that we would even consider not throwing him a party. but really? he doesn't know the difference. we were just going to bake him a cupcake and let him have at it, cameras at the ready. maybe let him play with some wrapping paper or something. but...at the insistence of john's parents...we are having a party after all. it's going to be at their house...and it will hopefully be a low-key affair. hopefully. anaya parties are rarely low-key. so. we shall see.

well...john left this morning for new jersey. poor guy...he had to leave the house at 3.30am in order to be at the airport on time for his 6am flight. no fun. he's made it phoenix...and is currently winging his way to the philadelphia airport where i suppose he will pick up a rental car and drive to new jersey. it's all so crammed together over there...hopefully the hotel he's staying at isn't too far. heard on the news that the east coast is supposed to get slammed with a storm this week. seriously hoping it doesn't delay john's homecoming in any way. oh...and just an fyi...my mom decided not to come down...so as is turns out...it is going to be just e and me this week. should be good times. i'll be sure to update...

i'm off to go work on some christmas gifts...happy sunday.

30 November 2007

vroom.


did i mention elijah likes steering wheels? i should rephrase that. elijah loves steering wheels. anything round really. he'll take a tupperware lid and "drive" it around the kitchen while i'm making dinner. he's still learning how to make the car sounds...the sounds he does make however...are stinkin' hilarious. love it. love that he's using his imagination already.

the pictures above was taken just after elijah's cousin, miggie, brought over an old steering wheel he had from his nintendo game system. he has a playstation now...so obviously doesn't need or use the nintendo. wow. what a great "gift". miggie just thought he was cleaning out his closet...but really...elijah won't leave that thing alone. so great. a true lifesaving at some points of the day. when he's trying to get into the cupboards for the sixteenth time, all i have to say is, "where is your steering wheel?" and he's off and running. of course, he's back in the kitchen with me in minutes...but at least i have a moments peace.

john and i have been talking about starting to wean elijah. i was prepared to let him go as long as he wanted...but lately...he's been waking up 2-3 times a night, wanting to nurse. i simply don't have that much milk anymore so e gets frustrated and hysterically upset at times. i'm beginning to think that he just wakes up at night and instead of going back to sleep, assumes he needs to eat. it's a habit really. last night, he woke up at one...and after trying to let him nurse...unsuccessfully...i handed him over to john. john rocked him for a bit and e slept on til six am. so. that tells me he's not really hungry...just hungry out of habit i suppose. that still leaves the question though...do i wean him completely? or just break the habit of waking up at night? hmmm...i'm definitely going to wait til john gets back from new jersy to do anything though. yes...john is leaving me at home, alone, again. he's got another training session for work. therefore...he'll be leaving me and elijah for a week. not sure how this is going to go over...it will be an interesting experience to be sure. i almost bought tickets to fly up to visit my parents in alaska for the time john's going to be gone. i let myself hope and dream about playing in the snow with elijah...sitting in the living room of my parents house with just the christmas lights on...seeing the mountains again. for a moment i let myself dream. then i remembered that horrible thing called reality. and the reality is: elijah will hardly sit in my lap for 30 seconds (literally) let alone 3 hours. and really? flying with a one year old = zero fun. so. i came up with a better plan...fly my mom down here to keep me company. yes...she did just leave...but she's willing...so why not? in all honesty...i could do a week with elijah on my own no problem. millions of single moms do it all the time. but really...i'd rather have my mom here if just for the company. so...we're working on that.

*sigh* elijah is awake. and not happy about it from the sounds of it. must go tend to that.

28 November 2007

quote.

found this today on a blog i read. love it. a bit convicting for me...for this place i'm at in my life. a good reminder i suppose.

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored."

-Earl Nightingale

27 November 2007

bono's best sermon yet.

have you seen this? read it. absorb it. it is good stuff. then...when you're done reading. do something. it's christmas. the season of goodwill. let's show some, shall we?

Bono's best sermon yet: Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast

If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I'm here because I've got a messianic complex.
Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation.
Well, I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural...something unseemly...about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the south of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert...but this is really weird, isn't it?
You know, one of the things I love about this country is its separation of church and state. Although I have to say: in inviting me here, both church and state have been separated from something else completely: their mind.
Mr. President, are you sure about this?
It's very humbling and I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned - I'm Irish.
I'd like to talk about the laws of man, here in this city where those laws are written. And I'd like to talk about higher laws. It would be great to assume that the one serves the other; that the laws of man serve these higher laws...but of course, they don't always. And I presume that, in a sense, is why you're here.
I presume the reason for this gathering is that all of us here - Muslims, Jews, Christians - all are searching our souls for how to better serve our family, our community, our nation, our God.
I know I am. Searching, I mean. And that, I suppose, is what led me here, too.
Yes, it's odd, having a rock star here - but maybe it's odder for me than for you. You see, I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was...well, a little blurry, and hard to see.
I remember how my mother would bring us to chapel on Sundays... and my father used to wait outside. One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.
For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land...and in this country, seeing God's second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash...in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment...
I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV.
Even though I was a believer.
Perhaps because I was a believer.
I was cynical...not about God, but about God's politics. (There you are, Jim.)
Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my shtick - my reproachfulness. They did it by describing the millennium, the year 2000, as a Jubilee year, as an opportunity to cancel the chronic debts of the world's poorest people. They had the audacity to renew the Lord's call - and were joined by Pope John Paul II, who, from an Irish half-Catholic's point of view, may have had a more direct line to the Almighty.
'Jubilee' - why 'Jubilee'?
What was this year of Jubilee, this year of our Lord's favor?
I'd always read the scriptures, even the obscure stuff. There it was in Leviticus (25:35)...
'If your brother becomes poor,' the scriptures say, 'and cannot maintain himself...you shall maintain him.... You shall not lend him your money at interest, not give him your food for profit.'
It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he's met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he's a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn't done much...yet. He hasn't spoken in public before...
When he does, is first words are from Isaiah: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,' he says, 'because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.' And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord's favour, the year of Jubilee (Luke 4:18).
What he was really talking about was an era of grace - and we're still in it.
So fast-forward 2,000 years. That same thought, grace, was made incarnate - in a movement of all kinds of people. It wasn't a bless-me club... it wasn't a holy huddle. These religious guys were willing to get out in the streets, get their boots dirty, wave the placards, follow their convictions with actions...making it really hard for people like me to keep their distance. It was amazing. I almost started to like these church people.
But then my cynicism got another helping hand.
It was what Colin Powell, a five-star general, called the greatest W.M.D. of them all: a tiny little virus called AIDS. And the religious community, in large part, missed it. The ones that didn't miss it could only see it as divine retribution for bad behaviour. Even on children...even [though the] fastest growing group of HIV infections were married, faithful women.
Aha, there they go again! I thought to myself judgmentalism is back!
But in truth, I was wrong again. The church was slow but the church got busy on this the leprosy of our age.
Love was on the move.
Mercy was on the move.
God was on the move.
Moving people of all kinds to work with others they had never met, never would have cared to meet...conservative church groups hanging out with spokesmen for the gay community, all singing off the same hymn sheet on AIDS...soccer moms and quarterbacks...hip-hop stars and country stars. This is what happens when God gets on the move: crazy stuff happens!
Popes were seen wearing sunglasses!
Jesse Helms was seen with a ghetto blaster!
Crazy stuff. Evidence of the spirit.
It was breathtaking. Literally. It stopped the world in its tracks.
When churches started demonstrating on debt, governments listened - and acted. When churches starting organising, petitioning, and even - that most unholy of acts today, God forbid, lobbying...on AIDS and global health, governments listened - and acted.
I'm here today in all humility to say: you changed minds; you changed policy; you changed the world.
Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.
Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone.
I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill. I hope so. He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff. Maybe, maybe not. But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor.
God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. "If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places."
It's not a coincidence that in the scriptures, poverty is mentioned more than 2,100 times. It's not an accident. That's a lot of air time, 2,100 mentions. (You know, the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor.) 'As you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40). As I say, good news to the poor.
Here's some good news for the president. After 9/11 we were told America would have no time for the world's poor. America would be taken up with its own problems of safety. And it's true these are dangerous times, but America has not drawn the blinds and double-locked the doors.
In fact, you have doubled aid to Africa. You have tripled funding for global health. Mr. President, your emergency plan for AIDS relief and support for the Global Fund - you and Congress - have put 700,000 people onto life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and provided 8 million bed nets to protect children from malaria.
Outstanding human achievements. Counterintuitive. Historic. Be very, very proud.
But here's the bad news. From charity to justice, the good news is yet to come. There is much more to do. There's a gigantic chasm between the scale of the emergency and the scale of the response.
And finally, it's not about charity after all, is it? It's about justice.
Let me repeat that: It's not about charity, it's about justice.
And that's too bad.
Because you're good at charity. Americans, like the Irish, are good at it. We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can't afford it.
But justice is a higher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.
Sixty-five hundred Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity, this is about justice and equality.
Because there's no way we can look at what's happening in Africa and, if we're honest, conclude that deep down, we really accept that Africans are equal to us. Anywhere else in the world, we wouldn't accept it. Look at what happened in South East Asia with the tsunami. 150,000 lives lost to that misnomer of all misnomers, "mother nature." In Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it's a completely avoidable catastrophe.
It's annoying but justice and equality are mates. Aren't they? Justice always wants to hang out with equality. And equality is a real pain.
You know, think of those Jewish sheep-herders going to meet the Pharaoh, mud on their shoes, and the Pharaoh says, "Equal?" A preposterous idea: rich and poor are equal? And they say, "Yeah, 'equal,' that's what it says here in this book. We're all made in the image of God."
And eventually the Pharaoh says, "OK, I can accept that. I can accept the Jews - but not the blacks."
"Not the women. Not the gays. Not the Irish. No way, man."
So on we go with our journey of equality.
On we go in the pursuit of justice.
We hear that call in the ONE Campaign, a growing movement of more than 2 million Americans...Left and Right together... united in the belief that where you live should no longer determine whether you live.
We hear that call even more powerfully today, as we mourn the loss of Coretta Scott King - mother of a movement for equality, one that changed the world but is only just getting started. These issues are as alive as they ever were; they just change shape and cross the seas.
Preventing the poorest of the poor from selling their products while we sing the virtues of the free market...that's a justice issue. Holding children to ransom for the debts of their grandparents...that's a justice issue. Withholding life-saving medicines out of deference to the Office of Patents...that's a justice issue.
And while the law is what we say it is, God is not silent on the subject.
That's why I say there's the law of the land. And then there is a higher standard. There's the law of the land, and we can hire experts to write them so they benefit us, so the laws say it's OK to protect our agriculture but it's not OK for African farmers to do the same, to earn a living?
As the laws of man are written, that's what they say.
God will not accept that.
Mine won't, at least. Will yours?
[ pause]
I close this morning on...very...thin...ice.
This is a dangerous idea I've put on the table: my God vs. your God, their God vs. our God...vs. no God. It is very easy, in these times, to see religion as a force for division rather than unity.
And this is a town - Washington - that knows something of division.
But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the scriptures call the least of these.
This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith.
'Do to others as you would have them do to you' (Luke 6:30). Jesus says that.
'Righteousness is this: that one should...give away wealth out of love for him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives.' The Koran says that (2.177).
Thus sayeth the Lord: 'Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard.' The Jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.
That is a powerful incentive: 'The Lord will watch your back.' Sounds like a good deal to me, right now.
A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it. I have a family, please look after them". I have this crazy idea...
And this wise man said: stop.
He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing.
Get involved in what God is doing - because it's already blessed.
Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe, is what God is doing.
And that is what he's calling us to do.
I was amazed when I first got to this country and I learned how much some churchgoers tithe. Up to 10% of the family budget. Well, how does that compare with the federal budget, the budget for the entire American family? How much of that goes to the poorest people in the world? Less than 1%.
Mr. President, Congress, people of faith, people of America:
I want to suggest to you today that you see the flow of effective foreign assistance as tithing.... Which, to be truly meaningful, will mean an additional 1% of the federal budget tithed to the poor.
What is 1%?
1% is not merely a number on a balance sheet.
1% is the girl in Africa who gets to go to school, thanks to you. 1% is the AIDS patient who gets her medicine, thanks to you. 1% is the African entrepreneur who can start a small family business thanks to you. 1% is not redecorating presidential palaces or money flowing down a rat hole. This 1% is digging waterholes to provide clean water.
1% is a new partnership with Africa, not paternalism toward Africa, where increased assistance flows toward improved governance and initiatives with proven track records and away from boondoggles and white elephants of every description.
America gives less than 1% now. We're asking for an extra 1% to change the world. to transform millions of lives - but not just that and I say this to the military men now - to transform the way that they see us.
1% is national security, enlightened economic self-interest, and a better, safer world rolled into one. Sounds to me that in this town of deals and compromises, 1% is the best bargain around.
These goals - clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty - these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a globalised world.
Now, I'm very lucky. I don't have to sit on any budget committees. And I certainly don't have to sit where you do, Mr. President. I don't have to make the tough choices.
But I can tell you this:
To give 1% more is right. It's smart. And it's blessed.
There is a continent - Africa - being consumed by flames.
I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did - or did not to - to put the fire out in Africa.
History, like God, is watching what we do.
Thank you. Thank you, America, and God bless you all.

o holy night.

have you ever stopped to listen to the words of the popular christmas song, o holy night? i mean, really stopped and listened? without going over your shopping list in the back of your mind, without mentally calculating exactly how long it will take you to actually get out of the mall's parking lot on a saturday afternoon in december, without sighing at the thought of another cheesy rendition of this oh-so-popular song? because it is. popular i mean. and for good reason i suppose. it is a beautiful piece of music, at times, hauntingly so. honestly, i could listen to a couple versions of that song (namely jewel's version and one other that i can't remember who sings) over and over and over again. all afternoon if john would let me (he wouldn't).
i think i started loving that song...i mean really loving it...in high school. i was in choir all four years (i think...or was it just the last three? really...where is my memory?) anyways. every year for our christmas concert, all three main choirs (concert choir (the big dogs), soprano choir (just girls) and mixed choir (kind of an entry level choir)) got together and sang an incredible version of that song. i know for a fact that in some sections there were eight different parts being sung. it was well...awesome. chills and chills and chills running up my arms and over my head and down the back of my neck. beautiful. i loved the experience and looked forward to it all year. i so wish i had a recording of it. i could probably find one if i looked hard enough...and i know i have a copy of the music somewhere.
but even then, in the midst of the beauty and majesty of the music...i guess i forgot to listen to the words. or maybe over the course of the years, i've forgotten the poignancy of them. or maybe i've heard that song one too many times...so many that the words have lost their intensity. because they are intense. i discovered that this morning while i was driving home from my dentist appointment. as i was busy clicking through songs on my ipod, trying to find one i wanted to listen to, jewel's version of 'o holy night' came on. i stopped clicking. and started singing along. not too loudly as elijah was sleeping in the back seat. and maybe because i wasn't thinking about hitting that high note (which i didn't even attempt due to my lack of volume), the words slowly came through all the other thoughts that were hazily filling my mind. traffic, to-do lists, my growling tummy, my intense craving for a chai from starbucks slowly faded away and the words, the incredible words of that song filled up the car and erased any niggling concerns that were still pressing on my mind. it was 'a moment' i suppose.
i listened to the song on the way back home, through the starbucks drive-through, all the way until i pulled into the garage. the beauty of the truth tucked away in a silly little christmas song had a profound affect on my outlook on the coming season. i love christmas. i always have. but this year, i've found that while i look forward to the giving and the baking and the music and the decorations...there's an underlying layer of melancholy. maybe because it's been so long since i've shared a christmas season with my family. maybe it's because i really do miss having a white christmas. maybe it's because i'm just so tired. i don't know. but i think that maybe the words of that song inspired a bit of hope...a bit of joy...a bit of anticipation for the coming festivities. just like the song says...i felt that "thrill of hope" and my "weary" soul "rejoice[d]". i hope it really is the dawn of "a new and glorious morn"...because honestly, i miss the little kid excitement i usually have bubbling just underneath the surface the entire six weeks before christmas. i don't want to lose that. ever. not because i'm tired...or missing my family...or missing a silly thing like snow. this is an amazing, divine event we're celebrating. God, come down. in flesh. for us. for you. for me. amazing. truly. i want to celebrate that. despite the melancholy that has invaded my soul. so. this is a good thing. a very good thing.

maybe i'll go put out some more christmas decorations in celebration of our "dear Saviour's birth". while i go do that, i encourage you to read the lyrics of the song and just soak them in. i hope and pray that their beautiful truth will find a home in your heart...and help you celebrate this new and glorious morn with a new outlook this christmas.
Oh holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born;
Oh night divine, Oh night, Oh night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

26 November 2007

holiday weekends are exhausting.



whew. the holiday weekend is over. finally. part of me feels like it flew by but there's another part of me that feels like we celebrated for a week. maybe because a lot of that celebrating happened at my house...the cleanup always adds hours and days...

a not-so-brief itinerary. mostly for my sake...so i can remember all that happened when it comes time to scrapbook.

thursday. 22 november 2oo7.

7am. elijah wakes up. therefore john and i wake up. funny how it works that way.
8am. breakfast at john's sister's house. and coffee. must have coffee.
9am. i head back home to shower and start preparations. make a new playlist for my ipod (with christmas music!), set the table, get the turkey and apple pie out of the fridge, etc.
11am. the turkey is in the oven. finally. it took longer to prepare than i originally thought.
11am-3pm. juana, jackie and maria arrive (around 11). massive food preparation ensues. the menu is thus:
  • turkey. duh. which i made.
  • two kinds of stuffing. mushroom sausage and apple cranberry. yum. which i also made.
  • mashed potatoes. which i didn't make.
  • roasted yams. i cut them up but i didn't roast them.
  • corn. from a bag. hmmm.
  • rolls. homemade even! i wasn't planning to make rolls but jackie was complaining about the quality of rolls that her grandmother purchased...and since they're not my fav either...homemade rolls it was. and man! they were so worth it.
  • cranberry sauce. which i also made.
  • macaroni and cheese. not the from-a-box kind either. homemade. guess it's traditional. who knew? obviously, i didn't make this one.
to drink: wine (for the adults), sparkling cider (for the kids), and water (for elijah, though i think we all had some)

i think that's it for the menu. but for some reason i feel like i forgot something. oh well. it'll come to me. elijah loved his thanksgiving meal...gobbled it right up (and yes, i used the word "gobble" on purpose). i was a bit sorry there was no green salad on the table...but seeing as we had too much food anyways...i think i was the only one who missed it.
3pm. eating. eating. eating. more eating. more eating. oof.
4pm. head outside for a walk. we went to mistlin sports park, a ten minute walk (walking slow) from our house. john, juana, jackie, miggie and juan all played soccer/football/frisbee while maria and i watched elijah toddle around. then we took e over to the slides until it got too dark to see. juan and jackie had a foot race home...i think juan ultimately won though jackie will vehemently deny this.
5pm. pie time. we had pumpkin and apple. the pumkpin was made by none other than jackie...the apple pie was purchased at apple hill a few weeks prior (we have one saved for christmas too. yum!)
6pm. start the gingerbread mayhem. i purchased three gingerbread house kits (one for each family) at trader joe's and we went to town decorating them. john tasted the "frosting" which is a lot more like glue than frosting since it has vinegar in it. poor john. he thought it was regular frosting! the look on his face though...ha! the end result was gingerbread masterpieces...of course.
8pm. everyone pretty much headed home at this point. john and i cleaned up but thankfully most of the dishes had already been done. all that was left was the dessert dishes and the gingerbread mess. i think we headed to bed around 9pm.

friday. 23 november 2007.

8am. elijah slept in. nice.
9am. john leaves for carnegie...a dirt biker's mecca. ok. maybe not a mecca. but certainly a gathering for the crazies that insist on participating in such a silly sport. hmm. it's basically just hills and a few tracks...i find it all rather boring to be completely honest. but john loves it and it's a great outlet for him...so i try not to say much. except when he hurts himself...like he did this day. i didn't see it happen but supposedly he hit a rock and flew over his handlebars...then after he finally tumbled to a stop, his bike landed on him. ouch. he bruised some ribs and jacked his shoulder up pretty bad. he still can't really lift e without wincing or lift his arms over his head. but really...what can i say?
11am. juana, jackie, elijah and i leave for carnegie with lunch for the boys. we stopped at old navy on the way so i could return a few things. i think that was the first time i've ever entered a store on black friday. the crowd wasn't terrible while we were there...but we certainly didn't stay long. and technically, since we weren't really shopping...it doesn't really count, right? after picking up lunch at the store, we made the 45 minute drive over the river and through the woods. we hung out at carnegie for a few hours, watching miggie and jackie ride. elijah was loving it! he couldn't get enough of the bikes...*sigh* well, at least john will have someone to go with him in a few years.
4pm. arrive back at home. dusty and dirty.
5pm. john comes back home.
6pm. dinner. at our house. again. this time we had a casserole made out of the leftovers from the day before. at first i was a bit skeptical (so were the kids. enough so that they convinced their grandpa to take them to taco bell.) but it was actually really good. surprisingly.
8pm. elijah goes to bed...and so do i. the events of the previous two days had worn me out. sleep is good.

saturday and sunday aren't really that interesting...they really don't need an hourly itinerary. saturday we drove into redwood city so i could do a maternity photo shoot for a friend of mine. the pictures turned out cute and we got to stop at the pleasanton mall on the way back home. usually i'm not a big mall shopper (i prefer online shopping. no crowds! and a way better selection typically.) but there were all the sales going on...so i did get some stuff for e and got really good deals. sunday i sang at church...then the rest of the day was pretty chill. i did get a bit of christmas merriment put up...but not as much as i wanted too. i think it's going to be an ongoing project. hopefully, it'll all be done by this weekend. don't know how long i can handle having all the boxes lying around...especially when all elijah wants to do is explore their contents. we'll see. i kinda find the whole prospect a bit daunting. which surprises me.

anyways...elijah just woke up from his nap. he's probably hungry. that pretty much concludes the weekend update anyways. more later!

22 November 2007

gobble gobble.

happy thanksgiving to all...

it is my dearest hope that your pants no longer fit you after today...
because i know mine won't.

many blessings on this special day...

21 November 2007

just a few tidbits...

just a few things that i feel like noting on this particular (maybe peculiar would be a better word?) day.

first of all...the shower curtain in our guest bathroom just dislocated itself from the wall, making a huge crash and scaring my heart out of my chest. this happened just after my phone rang, the doorbell buzzed and i dropped a large jar of buttons on the floor. and still e sleeps on. hallelujah.

second of all...tomorrow is thanksgiving. and despite my lengthy list of things to get done today, i'm actually feeling pretty prepared for it. the turkey is defrosting itself nicely in the fridge, the stuffing ingredients are prepared (for the most part and that's not because i'm making it from a box), the wine is chilling and well...my house is a disaster. it can't all be peaches and cream right? so. here i sit, blogging, instead of cleaning. i did get the upstairs toilet cleaned. that must count for something.

thirdly...my mother is no longer here. and that makes me sad. it's really amazing to me how quiet the house is now that she's gone. not that she is a loud person by any means, but still, just the fact that i knew there was another person in the house with me (besides e...who is very much a loud person, except when he's sleeping) kinda made up for the perpetual quiet...during naptime anyways. wishing she lived next door...and that she could help me with the disaster that is my house.

fourth. i've come to a very important decision. christmas just isn't christmas without snow. i was leafing through martha's latest...and found myself longing for that cold, wet, white stuff. and i just really felt...deep down in my soul...that i can't go through another christmas without it. is that silly? i feel like it is...but at the same time...it's not. it's not silly...it's necessary. for me anyways.

fifth of all. speaking of christmas...there seems to be an abundance of early preparations this year. several houses in our neighborhood already have lights up and i know of more than a few people with trees up already. makes me feel a bit better about my covert christmas carol enjoyment and the NOEL sign that is sitting in my entryway. maybe i'll put my garlands up today. because really...i have nothing better to do. (complete sarcasm there.)

sixth of all...i've run out of things to say.
seventh of all...the laundry is done and i must get it out of the dryer before all the shirts are wrinkled beyond recognition.
eighth of all...happy thanksgiving to everyone.

16 November 2007

pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!


it's all about pumpkins here at the anaya household. e cannot get enough of them. if you ask him where the pumpkins are, he will immediately point out the closest one (we have lots scattered all about the house, inside and out) and shout "puh!" as he runs over to play with it. so very cute.

still having fun with my mom. trying to have a lazy day today. been doing too much shopping. poor e has definitely had enough. so...we'll hang out here today...hopefully i'll get some more christmas presents finished...or at least started. one can always hope...

14 November 2007

pumpkin head.


there is a story behind this hat.

first of all...my son is not in need of any more hats. at all. or shoes either. but that's a different story. no. my little man has enough hats to last him a very long time. however...as fall approached, i felt that he needed a pumpkin hat. what first halloween/harvest season is complete without one? so. i embarked on a journey...a quest actually...to find the cutest pumpkin hat pattern EVER. i searched high. i searched low. i scoured books, internet sites, knitting blogs, crocheting blogs...all in vain. i could not find the cute, little boy pumpkin hat pattern that i was looking for. i wanted it to be cute (obviously) but also with a bit of texture to the pattern. unique. i wanted unique. i could find nothing. not even a NON-unique pumpkin hat pattern. i began to fear that there was not such a pattern in existence. so i resigned myself to using a generic baby hat pattern. by using orange yarn and adding a top knot/i-cord to the top of the hat, i could make my own pumpkin hat from the generic pattern. i purchased the yarn and settled in to knit elijah's hat.

the very next day, i happened to stop by the local library. i perused the new book section, as is my usual, looking for any titles that popped off the shelf, looking like a good read. in that quiet, little new book section, i stumbled upon a treasure. a knitting book. due to the small-ish size of our library, knitting books, or any type of crafting book for that matter, rarely make an appearance on the shelves. needless to say, i was excited. then i read the title a bit more carefully. and i got even more excited. the book is entitled: "charmed knits: projects for fans of harry potter". seriously. i am so not even kidding. so stinkin' cool. obviously, i checked it out. oddly enough, it was written by the author of one of the knitting blogs i read regularly so i knew the patterns would be cool. i didn't bother to look inside...until i got home. then as i excitedly flipped pages, marking patterns i wanted to try, i stumbled upon it. a pumpkin hat. THE pumpkin hat. everything i had been looking for in a sweet, unique child's pumpkin hat was staring back at me from this silly little book.

i was ecstatic. ridiculously happy. more happy than i probably should have been. my hubby actually encouraged me to take my temperature. in a word, i was thrilled.

only one small problem. i was already halfway done with the other hat. no worries. i pulled the other hat out...totally intent on finishing the hat before halloween.

i had twenty-four hours.

needless to say...i was unable to meet my goal of finishing the hat in the remaining time period. not a problem, i decided. the hat can be in celebration of harvest...which continues through to thanksgiving, in my humble opinion. i had plenty of time to finish.

it's a good thing too, as the hat proved to be a bit more of a challenge than i originally thought. the pattern was easy enough, however, i typically knit/crochet listening to an audio book. my brain oftentimes wanders off and gets lost in the plot lines of the story. in this case, it was "the kite runner". a great read. i highly recommend. but maybe not the best knitting read. perhaps something a little more along the lines of chick-lit would have been a better choice. as i lost myself in the nuances of the story...my fingers also lost the rhythm of the pattern. several times.

i ended up knitting the hat three times. however. it is now finished. mistake free. and it is darn cute. and i could probably knit that hat in my sleep, i know the pattern so well. which i suppose is a good thing; i can make him another one next year.

13 November 2007

tuesday.


just another picture from this past weekend. taken while walking around the campus at biola. pretty fun to see it. can't believe my little brother's gone to school there for as long as he has and this was the first time we visited him. kinda sad. sorry luke. it's not like it's that far. well...relatively speaking i suppose. hopefully we can make the trek again in the spring. maybe next time we'll fly...

12 November 2007

this weekend...

my mom is here. still. (not in a bad way). my dad just left us this morning. still waiting for the phone call to tell us that he made it home ok. he's probably somewhere over canada right now. or maybe the pacific ocean.

elijah with his apple (yes, that is my hand. i am oh so talented.)

had a great time while he was here...a little bit too much time in the car...but that was hard to avoid. thursday...we drove up to apple hill. little did i know how far it is or how much there is to do once you get there. i had always just assumed it was simply one apple farm...but it is actually about 50 different farms. some with apples, some with pumpkins, some with christmas trees...a few wineries, a brewery...the list goes on. obviously we couldn't do or see everything...so we stuck to just one of the apple farms and saw/experienced it in its entirety. we had hot spiced apple wine to warm our hands while we walked around...tasted some amazing apple pie and fudge...went to visit the little christmas tree farm they have on the edge of their property...and shopped...of course. we bought lots of apples and i got some of my christmas shopping done at the craft stands. it was a lot of driving for the short amount of time we got to spend there (relatively) but it was fun and well worth doing again.

everyone. minus me. as usual.

then...on friday...we left for the trek down to southern california to visit luke and his girlfriend, heather. we spent two nights down there, seeing the sights, visiting the beach, eating good food, going to church at one of luke's friend's dad's church (that last part looks really weird. too many apostrophes i think.) it was wonderful to see luke and heather again...to see them in their element...to visit their campus...see their world for a bit. just wish it could've been a bit longer. oh...and the drive back. yuck. elijah was definitely not a fan of that. he actually did a lot better than i thought he would...but he was still a bit of a crank-ster. not that i blame him. poor baby. but thankfully...we are done with long car rides for a while...
rather than inundate you with hundreds of pictures from the past week...i'll keep it to just a few for now. but hopefully i'll continue to add a picture and a story here and there over the next couple weeks. i want to write about the pictures so i can remember what i wanted to say about them when it comes time to scrapbook them. i figure this is a good place to do that...

07 November 2007

a brief update.

it's been awhile. a long while since i sat down and actually wrote something in my blog. it's not that i haven't wanted to...it's just i simply haven't had the time. some excuse yah? well...my apologies. my life is full of hanging out with elijah (who is only taking one nap on most days), working on christmas presents (got a TON of knitty projects to get done) and just general life stuff. seems like we have something going on every weekend. birthday parties, bar-be-ques, visitors, etc. etc. etc. it is seriously crazy. and the fact that thanksgiving is only three weeks away just boggles my mind. gotta get crackin'.

my parents are here, visiting for a bit. my dad will be here until the 12th; my mom until the 19th. very excited to have some time with them. i will be posting pictures soon.

hopefully my posts won't be so sporadic as they have been. i'll work on that...

27 October 2007

the horn kids.

last weekend, we had our wonderful friends, jake and wendy, come stay with us. they brought along their two beautiful children, hannah and austin.
hannah is three and just darling and precocious.
austin is exactly two days older than elijah and the two couldn't be more opposite. while elijah has to be "doing", austin is just content to observe. austin is also a cuddler which elijah is most definitely not.

it was so fun watching the three kids interact over the course of their stay. super fun. elijah loved playing with hannah; she was great with him. so wish they lived closer so we could do this more often.

just wanted to share a couple pictures from their visit. i am a bit behind in the whole picture thing...but will be posting more early next week...hopefully.

24 October 2007

hoo boy.

yes. it has been a while. so sorry. life is just...well...for lack of a better word (or excuse)...BUSY! especially now that elijah is walking EVERYWHERE...i find it hard to grab a quiet moment to sit down and update everyone on our little lives. but...hopefully i will be able to remedy that soon and fill you in on the anaya happenings. until then...here's a picture to tide you over. crazy baby...

16 October 2007

weary.

i am tired.
weary might be a better word.
i'm hearing elijah playing in his crib right now...
and i know i should go get him...
but just the thought exhausts me.

maybe i should just go to bed at 7 o'clock tonight.

there's an idea.

pumpkin patch pics and other such nonsense

08 October 2007

whew.



whew.
this weekend was...
well...
in a word...
exhausting.

not nearly enough items on my list got checked off...
but that's what monday's for...
right?

friday, we went to the ripon high school homecoming parade. apparently, in this little town, the high school parade is big enough news to warrant shutting down main street at two o'clock on a friday afternoon.
big stuff.
elijah really couldn't care less about the parade...but john's niece was participating in it so we went to support her. it was fun...and short...which was nice.

saturday, john bought a new dirt bike (new to him anyways). hmmm. not sure how i feel about this one. but at least i can use it as collateral when i spend too much at the scrapbooking store. :-) so, we spent a great deal of time at the bike shop, getting it checked out. elijah loved sitting on the little mini four-wheelers...uh oh. i didn't have my camera so i couldn't take a picture but i know we'll be going back there eventually (probably sooner than i'd like...) so i'll get one then. we finally got to john's cousin's wedding...around 8pm. poor elijah. not only did he have a little cold, but we kept him out way past his bedtime. thankfully though, we didn't stay super long at the wedding. just long enough to say congrats, chat a bit with the fam and drop off the gift.

sunday, john was itching to ride his new bike so he took off for a morning of riding. elijah and i were going to go to church; we were actually getting ready to head out the door when i remembered that the nursery won't take kids with runny noses. so...home it was. we went over his grandma's instead and had yummy soup and homemade tamales. so good. when john got home, we went to the park and hung out a bit...finally a bit of relaxation in our crazy weekend.

07 October 2007

i am so tired...


...of this.
this mess.
this room.
this...this...
whatever you want to call it.
it is making me crazy
(crazier than i was before?)...

argh!

you ask: why don't i clean it up?
because as any scrapper knows...
you must be able to see what products you have in order to use them.
therefore...
i cannot put everything away...
because then i never use anything.
and then i go out and buy the same stuff over again
because i can't remember if i have it or not.
(trust me...this has actually happened. more than once.)

so.
a mess it will stay...
because i am a better crafter when it's there.
the floor will remain covered with bits of creativity and glue...
mostly impassable except for a spots to place a foot...
until i can convince my husband that a organizational system is needed.
desperately needed.

(i know you can't see it but i find it funny that the magazine in the middle of the floor says "get organized" right there on the back cover. interesting no? and no...that was not planned.)

05 October 2007

lists.

whoa.
life is busy.
i just sat down and wrote out a list for the next three days of everything that needs to get done.
it's long.
too long.
and i know not nearly enough of it will get checked off...
that makes me feel overwhelmed.
*sigh*
superwoman i am not.

friday, 5 october 2007:
in no particular order
  1. wash and dry cloth diapers
  2. bleach inside of washing machine
  3. wash rest of laundry
  4. address pampered chef party invites
  5. buy stamps for said invites
  6. talk to juana about said party
  7. go watch jackie in the homecoming parade
  8. figure out something for dinner
  9. clean up craft/mess room
  10. make picture cds for sean, shannon and steph (weird that they all start with 's')
  11. think of something to do for john on saturday since it is our 5 year "we got together today" anniversary (cheesy, i know.)
  12. make anniversary card for ben and laura
  13. mail said anniversary card
saturday, 6 october 2007:
again, in no particular order

  1. clean house. especially kitchen floor
  2. make wedding card
  3. attend said wedding (reception only. elijah and i don't do catholic wedding ceremonies. especially when they're in spanish)
  4. bake bread for upcoming week (my new tradition...hope i can keep it going!)
  5. go to joann's and get material for elijah's halloween costume (which i'm going to keep a secret...but trust me...it's cute!)
  6. research organizational systems for craft/mess room and kitchen
  7. surprise john with whatever i decided to do for our 5 year "we got together today" anniversary
  8. mail pampered chef party invites
sunday, 7 october 2007 (happy anniversary ben and laura):
and once again, in no particular order
  1. church. obvious. i know.
  2. remember to take picture cd to church for sean
  3. finish cleaning house (since i know it won't get done on saturday)
  4. figure out what to get juana for her birthday
  5. research calendar kits for mom's christmas calendar
  6. work on pictures
*sigh*
that is a lot of stuff.
suppose i better get with it.
elijah's not going to nap forever...

hope you enjoyed the pictures yesterday...

27 September 2007

truth.

driving around town today, i saw this pasted to the back window of a smallish toyota:

love wins.

that's all.

that's it.

that's everything it said.

and it hit me...

as i was driving along sisk road on my way to michael's for the second time in three days:

that is truth.

in a nutshell.

in it's simplest form.

at the end of it all...

despite life and it's distractions...

that's it.

that's all that matters.

love wins.

how am i going to let that truth change me?

change my day to day?

change my attitude? my dealings with others?

those two little words left an imprint on my soul.

love wins.

period.



above all?

it makes me smile.

wowheee

yesterday was a GOOD day. a very good day.

elijah took his first steps. so stinkin' cool.

we were just hanging out at john's sister's house...waiting for john to get home from work. elijah was being his usual busy self...cruising all over the furniture...trying to eat his cousin's shoes...you know...the usual. and then...without any warning...without any pomp or circumstance...he just let go of the couch and toddled over to jackie like it was no big deal. like he'd been walking his entire life. of course, we all erupted with cheers and clapping, which startled him to his bum...but he got up and did it again and again and again.

disappointed that john missed the first official steps but elijah showed off for him too once he got home. super excited for this milestone. so glad he's got the confidence to just let go. gonna try to get some pictures today. we'll see. amazing to watch him grow...learn...be. loving this time of his little life. we have so much fun together...

also got some good news yesterday. our neighbors and good friends just found out they're pregnant...AGAIN! kendall is five months old...so this was a bit of an oops baby...but still...they're excited and so are we. can't wait to meet the little one. we're gonna celebrate this weekend...because you should always celebrate babies. kinda wish it was me...k...i more than kinda wish...but that will come when it's time i suppose.

made chicken pot pie for dinner last night...YUM! it was a low-fat version...and it was still super good. and super easy. here's the recipe...

deep dish chicken pot pie

prep time: 20 min
total time: 50 min
makes: 6 servings

ingredients:

1
lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15-oz. pkg.)


PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Cook chicken in dressing in large skillet on medium heat 2 min. Add Neufchatel cheese; cook and stir until melted. Add flour; mix well. Add broth and vegetables; simmer 5 min.
POUR mixture into deep dish 10-inch pie plate (note: i do not own a deep dish pie plate so i used a cake pan instead and it worked just fine). Arrange pie crust over filling; flute edges. Cut four slits in crust to allow steam to escape.
BAKE 30 min. or until crust is golden brown.

this song's been running through my head the past week or so...thought i'd share the lyrics.

when the sun starts to rise and i open my eyes
You are good, so good
in the heat of the day, with each stone that i lay
You are so good
with every breath i take in
i'll tell You i'm grateful again
when the moon climbs high before each kiss goodnight
You are good

when the road starts to turn around each bend i've learned
You are good, so good
and when somebody's hand holds me up, helps me stand
You are so good
with every breath i take in
i'll tell you i'm grateful again
'cause it's more than enough just to know i am loved
and You are good

so, how can i thank You?
what can i bring?
what can these poor hands lay at the feet of a King?
i'll sing you a love song
it's all that i have
to tell You i'm grateful for holding my life in Your hands


when it's dark and it's cold and i can't feel my soul
You are good
when the world is gone gray and the rain is here to stay
You are STILL good
so, with every breath i take in
i'll tell you i'm grateful again
and the storm may swell even then: IT IS WELL
and You are good.

so, how can i thank You?
what can i bring?
what can these poor hands lay at the feet of a King?
i'll sing you a love song
it's all that i have
to tell You i'm grateful for holding my life in Your hands.


taking those words to heart as i sing them throughout the day...reminding myself that despite my reluctance to be HERE...God is still good. always. every day. every day. every day.

elijah is calling...gotta go get my little walker...