Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Make new friends....

but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."
Yesterday I had lunch with someone that I've known since about second grade.  It was fun to see her (we haven't seen each other since I was pregnant with Elisabeth).  She is now married with two young kids and it was good to catch up after 18 years!

I've also spent time with my dear friend, Sue who was my neighbor until 7th grade when she moved to another city across the street from my friend from church, Liz.  We have maintained our friendship for many, many years.

When we were in Seattle last week, we spent the night at the house of some new friends.  Previously I "knew" them through an internet connection (not a dating service).  No, this lovely woman is the ESL coordinator for our company and we have done some work together.  We were able to meet and spend a lovely evening with her and her husband.  They have served faithfully overseas for 18 years in Hong Kong and the Philipines.  They came back to the states quite a while ago and continued to serve in many capacities.  Now, close to retirement age, they continue to work and travel training different teams to teach ESL in many countries.  What an example to us!

When we left them in the morning, we drove down to the Ft. Lewis area and met up with my next door neighbor from my childhood neighborhood.  She is married to a really nice man who has served in the Army for almost 25 years.  It was interesting listening to him about the current situation in Iraq and other matters.  Best of all for Elisabeth, they have a teen daughter her age and they were able to drive away from all the adults and go and have ice cream.

After visiting with Christie, we drove further down Washington state to see my college friend, Tami and her family of eight children! 

Here we are trying to blend in with seven of the eight!

Any of my Chico friends remember this warm and truly fun friend?
What I love about Tami is that she is truly a friend of the heart.  We live such different lives- she home-schools , has eight children and is just so content.  We public school and have one child.  Yet, we each live by our convictions for our own lives and there is no division or tension at all.  That is true Christian unity.  I love her!
Tami's oldest daughter makes soap and it is just the best.  Do yourself a favor and buy some-it's wonderful!

After leaving this fun family, we drove back through Ft. Lewis and spent about an hour and a half with some other friends.  When we lived in Germany, we were involved with the Bamberg Hospitality House.  Mark and Carol were the missionaries there and played an influential role in our lives.  We have kept up and it was sweet to see them now serving at Ft. Lewis.  The military has changed and they are serving many men with real needs and hurts.  They are quality people doing an important work.

Then we drove up to Canada and saw my aunt, two cousins and their families.  Somehow, I forgot to take pictures.  But it was a fun evening with nice people and very relaxing.

Tuesday we drove to a tour of Trinity Western and then we drove farther into the Fraser Valley to meet a friend that I  have known through an on-line community for about 10 years.  She is Sarah of Emerging Mummy fame - a writer, a thinker and everything she portrays herself to be.  She and her family are the real deal. Just lovely. Love is growing in their marriage and in their home.  What a joy to meet them in real life.

Tomorrow I leave California for three weeks in Missouri.  More friends, more sharing, more time in familiar places.  Looking forward to seeing many of you!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Places we've been.

I put Elisabeth on a plane to Minneapolis today and I am sitting in a hotel room near the Seattle Airport.  I leave at 7AM tomorrow morning to go back to California for a few days before we meet up again next week in Missouri.  I skyped with Paul for a while today, catching up on China news and sharing about our time in the USA and Canada.  Our little guy is doing well with his Chinese family but I just ache for him.  Maybe it's because we've been so busy and I miss our quiet days in our apartment.  
Anyway-here are some of the places we've been so far this summer.

Stanford.  The beauty of the chapel is amazing.

Santa Cruz-seals and beautiful beaches with fun cousins.

San Francisco- city hall, the Asian Art Museum and coffee with an old college friend.  There is nothing like a bright, sparkly day in San Francisco.

Seattle!  Aside from a being a nightmare to drive in, what a city.  So beautiful and so much to do.

The World Vision Headquarters in Federal Way, Washington.  Elisabeth has a great interest in this organization and it was an honor to visit this place that has done such great work for children all over the world.

Highways.  Many, many miles of highway.

Canada!  Peach Arch at the Border.

Vancouver-what a city.  I wish we'd had time to see more.

We happened to turn down a wrong road when we were driving back to Seattle.  This is what we found- a stunning sunset against the ocean.  Food for our souls.

Chinatown in Seattle.  Loved the dragons!

Seattle Pacific.  This may be the one for Elisabeth.  All the right things that make it a great fit.  Now let the scholarship work begin!

Friday, June 24, 2011

More blogging to come.

We've been in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Vancouver and Seattle.  We have met fantastic people, caught up with old friends and seen two colleges.  I haven't had time to blog but I'll try to catch up tomorrow.
But first...look- I saw my first yarn bombing!  Fantastic!

How I love the creativity of knitters.

Oh and this....a wonderful plethora of grossness.  The Gum wall at Pike's Peak Market.

Quick...replace those images with these.

Aren't amazingly weirdly beautiful?  This was the first time I had ever been to the Stanford Succulent Garden and we were blown away.

More updating soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Of cousins and such.

Yes, we do miss him.  The first few days were fine.  Then, on Sunday we were in church.  Babies were baptized. We got choked up. The congregation sang "Might to Save" right after the baptism.  That is our song that we sing over our little guy.  Elisabeth and I started crying then and we've been aching for him.  He is in good care and doing well.  Paul went to see him and he was fine.  But we do miss him...a lot.

We do have some good distractions in things that make us know that we are in Palo Alto!  Electric cars!

The Farmer's Market with food  from Oaxaca. Overheard by Elisabeth "No, that's just pesticide free.  It's not organic."

A hummus shop...coming sooner or later!

It's a little hard to see, but this is a group of veiled Middle Eastern girls.  We love the variety of people here.

Of course we had to go to Foothill Park for a barbeque.  Elisabeth and her cute cousin gave my youngest brother tips on the  hamburgers.

My dad.

Attack of the tongs.

Cold Cousins.

We also went out to Shoreline to see the pelicans.

We saw two in the sky.  It's a little early for them.

Sunset over the bay.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to go to the beach in our part of California

When you hear the words "sun", "beach" and California, you may think that involves bathing suits and swimming in the water.
That is true in some parts of California...but not our part.  Here is what it is like to go to the beach in our part of Northern California.

Walk down to the small but interesting lighthouse.  Look at the Youth Hostel that is there and consider what it would be like to spend the night there.  Without your teenager.

Look at the waves dashing against the rocks and imagine yourself falling into the water and what you would do if that happened.

Think about the book The Water Babies.

Look at the brown cormorants flying across the horizon.

Look at the signs that have different milages to different cities and realize again that you are really far away from China.

Consider this. 

You have known this your whole life.

When you go to the beach in our part of California, you wear heavy sweatshirts and blankets.

The waves with the dangerous rip tides.

Some teenagers have to feel the water to be reminded how blood chilling cold it is.

The seagulls wait eagerly for  left over sandwiches.

Walk away happy and refreshed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finally, Filoli!

For years, I have heard people talk about Filoli.  Somehow, despite growing up in this area, I have never been.  I've seen the house from highway 280 but never knew it was Filoli.  Filoli is a beautiful home and grounds built by a family that got their money from the Empire Mine.  For more information, click on this link. 

It was warm and sunny and it was fun to walk around with my daughter.

This is the house.  It was used in the filming of the old  night time soap opera "Dynasty." Not that I ever watched that of course.

Floo network anyone?

Ready to travel.

The hills were gorgeous.

These were a kind of ball flower.

Close-up- it was really funky.

The pool- stunning.

The hills, the colors....lovely.


The knot garden.

The Door to the Secret Garden.  Elisabeth played Mary in last years school play so we had to take a picture for her director, Mrs. Johnson.

Again my soul was fed with beauty and I am so glad we went.