Friday, December 28, 2007

Yule Blog

I like it when the bible says about the birth of Jesus, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all men” – and so this is the time of year when we “celebrate” that. As best we can we try to integrate that into our festivities & traditions, but if you’re like me, you quickly forget, or don’t necessarily know how to do that. I easily get distracted by iTunes and surfboards, and my own wish list, more like a grown up toy list: D-SLR Camera, and a GPS Navigation system, etc. Before Christmas I went to Best Buy pretending to shop for Katie, but I was really there looking at toys for myself. Stuff. We want stuff, so we convince ourselves that want is an understatement, we say we need it. Whatever it is, can leave you bankrupt once you get it, because it didn’t deliver the ultimate. After a couple of minutes, or days, or months, the shine wears off and you need something shinier.

So we come back to Christ and His birth. The ultimate Gift that delivers; in Him there is no letdown or disappointment. If there can be Peace on this earth, if we can walk with our Savior, if we can know Him, and experience His shine, a shine that doesn’t fade, then there is a God to give Glory to.

Some things we give Glory to God for:

::a healthy & happy family. We are enjoying a sweet season of life (with the addition of our son Judah), blessed with God’s great provision & love for our family.

::hope & peace – life can throw curve balls and stress is real (those aren't blond highlights in my hair), but there is always hope & peace in our Lord now and in the life to come.

::My wife & son - I don't deserve either of them. In them is a display of God's grace for my life.

::His Son. the sacrifice in sending His Son, we can never fully grasp its weight. I now have a son, and my mind CANNOT conceive of giving him up for anyone, let alone the undeserving.

- joey

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kissing, clapping and biting...

This morning the three of us were lying in bed, Joey and I trying to coax Judah back to sleep for just 10 more minutes. Historically this only leads to a super early family play session, but it's worth a try for the slight chance that he can snuggle up and go back to sleep. I finally decided to get up as he's basically hanging from our head board, talking his head off. While I was getting a sweatshirt on Joey told Judah to clap, and he did. He's never done that on command before. He also gives kisses (open mouth, teeth and all) when asked. Now, clapping is no event to devote an entire blog to, but what I'm so stoked about is that we're starting to communicate. He's understanding more and more of what we say to him. The thing that bewilders me though is that we clap together maybe 3 times a day, whereas I tell him NO like a broken record and he looks at me like I'm an alien. He soo busted now, no more Mr. Niceguy. Especially as he's going through yet another phase of biting everything and everyone. Somehow biting has become an expression of excitement. The unfortunate part of teaching him not to bite is that I can't remember what to say to him consistently as he's gnawing on one of my limbs. Sometimes it's "no biting", "don't bite me", "stop biting", or my favorite, "holy crap that hurt". The cat's out of the bag Judah... I know you're teachable now.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Elmo Adventures...

Joey's been working a ton lately, so a Saturday family date was in order. With a baby it's hard to find fun things to do as a family. I love hiking, but Joey's never really taken to it, so I was excited when we came to an agreement on hiking Madonna Mt. after a light lunch at Subway. I had to run a quick errand so I sent Joey to Long's to get a birthday card for my dad. Once there, Joey proceeded to buy Judah a $7.00 Elmo balloon. No surprise as anytime I take Joey to the grocery store we end up with a bill big enough to pay the mortgage. When we get to Madonna Mt. Joey insists on bringing Elmo along for the ride. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time. Judah loves being outside and riding on daddy's back was a bonus. Unfortunately, Elmo had a run-in with some wild, bushy sticks and didn't make it back to the car in one piece. All in all, the day was wonderful and we really got some good quality time. Love my boys!

Judah's First Haircut...

Our boy has been working a mullet for the last few months so we decided that we had to nip it in bud... literally, before he actually looked like he was from Bodfish (my hometown). This was a difficult decision for me as I have had a really hard time letting Judah grow up. It's like his first step into boyhood and he's not even a year yet. Well I gave in and I saved every strand that I could, here's our little boy's before and after...

BEFORE. Can you see a potential rat tail?

Sweet face

AFTER. I'm starting to get used to it. What a handsome young man!

Marlene & Jose

So I confess that I bit off a little more than I could chew with this one... Marlene and Jose are an awesome couple that we met while hosting a home group here in Nipomo. They met while working together in social services in Santa Maria. Marlene began sharing with Jose about the Lord and they soon began a friendship that centered around Jose's search for some meaning in his life. One night after home group, Joey had it on his heart to go on a prayer walk around our neighborhood. He and our friend Matt went out and they met Jose on the street taking out his trash. They proceeded to invite him to our home group and he displayed a sincere interest. Little did we all know, Marlene had been urging Jose to find a place to fellowship and learn more about Jesus. This was an amazing answer to their prayers. A few weeks later Jose showed up with Marlene. Over the next few months their friendship deepened and Marlene took him to one of Greg Lowry's Harvest Crusades where Jose gave his life to Christ. They soon began to fall in love, and the rest is history. They were married on November 24th at the Kaleidoscope Inn in Nipomo.
I agreed to do their flowers thinking that it was going to be a small task, little did I know they had around 300 guests and Marlene's vision for her flowers challenged me creatively and with the sheer volume. We had feathers, beads and kissing balls; all things that I have never used before, which was really fun. The most stressful aspect was that my wholesaler wasn't delivering on Friday due to Thanksgiving so I had to get all the flowers on Tuesday, for a Saturday wedding. SCARY! Everything held up very well though and it was beautiful. We love you guys and are so happy for you!

The bride's bouquet: white roses, calla lilies, lisianthus, stock, ranunculus, and dark blue bella donna delphinium. I used chocolate brown ostrich feathers and strands of beads for the finishing touch.

Marlene was such a beautiful bride! Sorry Jose, I didn't get any photos of you.


I love the Kaleidoscope gazebo.

Funny story about the vine balls. I searched on eBay and all sorts of craft sites for a large vine ball, but could only find small ones. So what you see is actually the vine pumpkin that my mother-in-law gave me for fall decor. I cut off the stem and the leaves and you couldn't even tell.