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Drumroll Please...

6.29.2007

I am writing this post SOLELY to pass along some very fun news to you...

Katie, a wonderful friend of mine and long-time college roommate, has recently started her very own blog!! How much more exciting does it get? Not very. So I would like to encourage you to support her in her blogging ventures. Click here to stop by. In case you'd like to put a face with the name...

Here we are at our college graduation.


I believe this was taken after one of my soccer games our senior year.
Katie was always a great supporter!


Who knows what this picture is all about, but it looks like we're having fun!


Ah yes, the time we broke someone's glass and didn't want to fess up, so we took a secretive picture of it instead. Can't even remember who it belonged to...silly college freshmen.

Here are some interesting facts about Katie:
-She is a home decorating/style guru! She should have her own interior design business.
-She is passionate about restorative justice.
-She was freshman class senator in at FPU.
-She is currently an elementary school teacher.
-She is a wonderful friend and lovely to talk to!

And that's that! In case you missed the links earlier, click here to visit her site, or click on "Katie's Site" on the right side of my blog. It is quickly shaping up to be one of my new favorites! Yay Katie!

The End of One Beginning

6.27.2007

Well, the time has come to bring an end to all the wonders of our Montana trip. But fear not! This is merely the beginning...of...more frequent blog posts...increased enjoyment of where I live...all sorts of things really. Isn't it funny how vacations are over so quickly?


This post is late in coming, I admit, but it is here. After waking up in what proved to be a spectacular town - Jackson Hole, Wyoming - geno and I set out for a cup of coffee to kick off a long day of traveling. The night before, we had spotted a little place called Jackson Hole Roasters and made plans to stop by in the morning. No disappointment here!! What a delightful place! After grabbing a delicious cup of coffee and the most delectable peach/blackberry muffin of all time, the roasters offered to share various samples of coffee with us. They were experimenting with roast times, methods and beans and asked our opinions. And geno was sooo smart! He used big coffee words like "acidic" and "full-bodied" and "chocolatey" and we sounded decently intelligent. We only wished gene's dad, a true connoisseur, was with us to experience it.

After we got our caffeine squared away, we set out for the ride home. We gave THREE CHEERS for Wyoming for being a kindler, gentler state toward Californians, then drove through a beautiful part of the Greater Yellowstone Area. We enjoyed seeing a deer and some more pretty scenery. Until we got to Idaho. When we got to Idaho we just buckled down and prepared for the many hours it would take us to get to Reno, Nevada for our overnight stopover. But, interestingly, we decided we had the fortitude to continue on home instead of stopping, so on we went! (Hence the late post - we didn't have any internet connection until we actually arrived back in Hanford, which was into the wee hours of the morning.) We hit Starbucks hard and made it happen.

And here we are! I adored this lovely trip and all it's many facets, especially the priceless time I got to spend with the most fascinating, loving husband of all time. Plus, it gave us a chance to flaunt our blogging skills and increase our google analytics data. Special thanks to Pam for all the thoughtful and regular comments she left for us along the way! And super honorable mention to Mary for doing the same! Who knows what kind of a post awaits you from here on out...you'll just have to wait and see. For now, geno and I are resting assured of the Lord's calling in our lives here in Hanford. How nice to be home.

5 Alive

6.25.2007

Splendid! I would describe our day today as splendid. And lovely. This morning when we went to Starbucks for breakfast, we had our first KIND inter-statial encounter. Well, not our first, but certainly our nicest. The barista inquired as to where we were headed and then shared that it would be lovely this time of year, he hoped we had a great time, and that he was from California too. He was pleasant and our white mochas tasted better than ever. Thanks, Missoula Barista guy!

Our visit to Yellowstone was everything we had hoped for. We stopped leisurely wherever we saw something interesting, and enjoyed the scenic drive it afforded us. The highlights include seeing a herd of bison very close-up, and seeing a mother and three baby grizzly bears!

Bison!


The grizzlies are small in the picture (on the grass) but they are BIG in real life!

After Yellowstone we drove right down through Grand Teton National Park, which was also gorgeous. One of the big attractions here (aside from more beautiful scenery) is a big lake which has the majestic Rocky Mountains for a backdrop. Once we got through that national park (aren't we blessed?) we arrived in Jackson, Wyoming - also known as Jackson Hole - where we are staying for the evening. What an adorable town! We forgot to get more pictures than the one below, so it will have to suffice:

The downtown is adorable and quite bustling, and we enjoyed dinner at Mountain High Pizza Pie. I've never had pizza that good. Special thanks to Pat and Kathy Mundy for suggesting such an idyllic location! We've fallen in love with little old Jackson Hole.

Tomorrow will be the start of the long journey home, pray for our safe travel. Today as we drove out of one national park and into another, I realized I had forgotten to thank our great God for creating such beauty for us to behold. So THANK YOU Lord!

Check out geno's blog for more anecdotes and pictures. And thank you to all of you who have been posting on our sites - we just LOVE seeing them every night when we get to the hotels! See you soon!

Day the 4th

6.24.2007


Welcome back! How lovely to see you again. As I promised yesterday, the picture above is of a very large chicken that is on the main street of Hamilton here in Montana. To give you some perspective, the top of my head only reaches to the bottom of the chicken's waddle (the red thing hanging down from his beak). It's unreal! What a landmark.

Today we had a pretty leisurely day. We got up and went to church, where geno led worship for both services. (No pictures, it would've been akward.) Then we grabbed some lunch and headed back to the room for a nap. After a few good episodes of 'Little People, Big World', we went to the local hot spot, Lake Como, for a hike.



Lake Como is a man-made lake that is used for irrigation, etc. in this area. There were lots of Montanans hanging out on the small beach-ish shore, which is probably because it's the closest thing they have to a beach for miles! I would be there too. We had a nice hike and then started back to the hotel.

After a last dinner meal with Dale and Donna, the pastor of BVCC and his wife, we went to the local Safeway for some ice cream to take back to the hotel room. While we were there, the check-out girl tried to get us to sign up for a Safeway discount thing and we told her we lived far away, so we wouldn't be interested. (We were being very nice.) Then she asked what supermarkets we have around us, to which we answered "save-mart and vons". She replied that our vons card would work, and then commented that we were probably from California. We smiled and said "yeah, but don't tell anyone, we already got our car keyed" in a joking manner. And then she just looked at us and said "yeah". "Yeah" - like we deserved it or something. Like it's a crime to live in the greatest state in the US. It sure is a good thing we're not moving here permanently, because those few weeks that it would take us to get new plates would be brutal! Gene and I are just loving the endless conversation that these inter-statial events have been giving us.

Tomorrow we begin our trip home via Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Jackson, Wyoming. We're looking forward to a beautiful drive and some pleasant stops and sights. We'll keep you posted! Once again, check out geno's blog for extra info. on our trip.

Le Troisieme

6.23.2007

For everyone else but me, that title means "third" in French. The third day of our road trip is now coming to a close, which means it's time for YOU to see a brand spanking new blog post! By the way, I spent a solid four years taking French in high school and, despite some of the more negative American sentiments toward the country, I adore the language. That explains that.

First things first, my adoring husband was amazing this evening! Tonight was the big Worship On The Green concert, for which we embarked on this entire journey. Calvary Chapel Bitterroot Valley barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers at a local park and invited the community to come out and enjoy a time of fellowship. It was great! Geno played worship songs, including many that he wrote, and we all listened intently for a good 75 minutes.




Look at my lovely!














So that was fantastic. Tomorrow morning he'll be leading worship at CCBV, which I am looking forward to very much. I'm ALWAYS blessed when I get to worship the Lord with gene, his passion for the Lord is so evident and he has a wonderful heart for ministry. What a great husband I have.

In other news, we are officially the victims of an inter-statial (get it?) hate crime. Interestingly, we discovered this morning that some loving person decided to key our (rental) car. KEY OUR CAR. Who does that? What kind of person does that? It boggles the mind. I can only hope it was a distraught three-year-old who was acting out because his mommy wouldn't let him play near the red-hot stove like he wanted to. Because seriously, that's how immature you have to be to key someone's car. And even then...well, you get the point. The picture is below - it's hard to spot because of the glare, but check out the huge circle on the middle of the hood, and just know that the damage extends farther down toward the grill.


The reason I call this an inter-statial crime is because the incident occurred either in Idaho or in Montana. I mean, everyone knows that bordering states are not always fans of Californians, and the fact that we are the only California plated car for miles does suggest a certain amount of prejudice in this situation. Don't you think? We certainly do. Why else would someone key a perfectly innocent minty green Subaru Outback? These are the questions we'll never know the answer to. FORTUNATELY, it's a rental! And EVEN BETTER, we got the insurance on it!! That means that when we get back to the rental location, we just turn in the keys and say hasta. Praise the Lord.

After the above-mentioned events, as well as a delicious breakfast at Perkins, a yummy scoop of huckleberry ice cream (!), and some down time with gene joseph, it's time to call it a night. More tomorrow, as per our original agreement. I leave you with the following pictures and an enticing tip to visit after tomorrow's post, because it promises a picture of my favorite Hamilton, Montana landmark: a 7 foot chicken. Yes.



I love feet. See you tomorrow!

Day 2

6.22.2007

Wow, what a day. Let's see...we started our morning with a trip to the overlook at "the bridge" on the Snake River before leaving Twin Falls. It was beautiful!





Then, after heading back for the car (because some guy was changing his clothes right in front of us on the overlook! gross!), we hit the dusty trail on our way to Hamilton, Montana. And I must say that we encountered some interesting things on our journey. For example, did you know that the Craters of the Moon Monument and Preserve is in Idaho? You might be thinking "I didn't know a meteor landed in Idaho!" And you would be wondering correctly - there are no craters at Craters of the moon. In fact it's just a large area of volcanic rock. Geno and I were expecting more, well, craters. Craters and maybe some moon candy or astronaut food or something like that. But even without craters, it was a nice stop. Here's a highlight photo (notice that the rock piles are black and volcano-y, very unlike regular Idaho soil):


Other notable incidents include: passing a sign which let us know that we had officially reached the HALFWAY POINT between the North Pole and the Equator (i love America); traveling through the city where Sacajawea was born; and...



Yay! Now it's time for a cup of my new favorite tea, Tazo
Wild Sweet Orange. Then my beloved and I will watch the latest Man vs. Wild and *hopefully* have a wonderful slumber. The concert is tomorrow, should be a hoot!

For more of our Montana exploits (and a much more detailed one, at that) visit geno's blog.

So it begins...

6.21.2007

...i love ellipses. You know what else I love? Day 1 of the Montana trip with my darling husband!



In case you were previously unaware, geno and I are on our way to Hamilton, Montana so he can participate in an outreach that Calvary Chapel Bitterroot Valley is putting on. How exciting! So we packed up the car - with lots of snacks - and headed out. Today we visited two states other than our native California. And OH, how we love California. But so far we've had the chance to enjoy Nevada and Idaho! I can even prove it:


See? How fun is that?! We accidentally missed the "Welcome to Nevada" sign because it was out in the middle of nowhere. Well...now that I think of it, I guess that's not entirely true. When we passed the Idaho sign, geno was in the passenger seat and promptly got out the camera (for blogging purposes, of course). When we passed the Nevada sign, I was in the passenger seat and did nothing. It wasn't an intentional oversight, but it was an oversight nonetheless. Sorry honey! And sorry faithful blog readers. Idaho will have to suffice for today.

So, after a good 12.5 hours of driving, we arrived in Twin Falls, Idaho. There's a really cool river called the Snake River that actually has a golf course in it! We plan to take pictures on our way out in the morning and I'll post about it post-haste tomorrow. For now, it is close to bedtime - even closer than in California because we're now on Mountain Time. That's one hour ahead, for all you Pacific Time Zone loyalists (myself included).

See you tomorrow! (p.s. - check out my new haircut at the top! Thanks, Summer!)

Alumni-tastic

6.16.2007


Recently, the ladies in the picture above (of which I am one) gathered together for one incredibly exciting and noble purpose: to play an alumni soccer game. 'Big deal' you say? Hardly. This was no ordinary alumni game - rather, it was the first ever women's soccer alumni game at Fresno Pacific University. 'Unprecedented' you say (with a very impressed tone of voice)? Absolutely.

Good old Coach Eric Farfan called me a while back and left me a voicemail, saying that we were to be having our inaugural game in the near future and would I able to make it. I'm thinking "great - gives me some time to warm up the old soccer legs. ...and heart and lungs and what not." But I was sorely mistaken (and that will be the first and last pun I ever use in blogdom). I then listened to the rest of his message, which said that the game would be in three weeks time. And THAT'S when I had serious second thoughts about such a mission. Are you kidding me? I mean, we would be playing the current FPU girls team. The team full of 18 year olds who train year round. The team that doesn't have any nursing mothers on it.

Which brings me to my next point - although the alumni may not have won the game, per se, we did have quite a moral victory. See, when members of our team have to ride the pine just to nourish their infant children before half-time (I kid you not), there should be a certain level of respect given. When other members of our team are playing with child (yes, pregnant), there is clearly a certain level of sacrifice that has been given. And I think the crowd knew that. Or at least I hope they did, because otherwise they may have been surprised to see little ones scurrying around our bench and nursing with their beautiful athletic mothers. So, what would have otherwise been a terribly demoralizing loss (approximately 12-0) turned into..well, a lot of fun.

Here's a look at me, valiantly stepping off the field for a break
(I was one of the non-nursing players)


And here's one of the entire team, new and old...
quite a turn out for a program that has only been around for 6 years!

Congratulations, ladies, on a job well done. Happily done. And by the way Audrey, we missed you! Looking forward to next year!

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Congratulations, Feils!

6.10.2007


This weekend we were blessed to attend the wedding of our friends Andrew and Denise. It was a lovely soiree! Congratulations guys! (By the way, the picture above is the only one I got of the lovely couple...but you get the idea.)

I love weddings...not only are they a beautiful symbol of our Lord Jesus and His bride, the church, but it's also a lovely reminder of God's plan for us in marriage here on earth. Each wedding geno and I go to reminds me that the Lord chose my husband to be my perfect match before the foundations of the earth. Gene complements me in ways I never thought possible, and he is the best gift my Jesus could have ever given to me. I just love being reminded that we are in God's perfect will for our lives just by being married!! Nothing could be more precious to me. With that being said, here are some of the highlights of the blessed event:

My beloved and I


The Matron of Honor and a darling friend, Katie


Geno and Andrew, the groom


Another wonderful friend and college roommate, Sheila

To learn how to have a Godly, loving marriage, read this.

Cinnamon

6.09.2007

Have you ever said a word so many times in a row that it started to sound fake? You know what I mean...like, when I was a kid and I learned the word "vitamin" - I said it over and over and over again and after a while it just sounded like a pile of letters that someone squished together to form a word. Funny, isn't it? I think so. So I was thinking about that and then I got to thinking about some of my favorite words, and I decided to post about them. These are some of my favorites - NOT because of what they mean (at all), but because of how they sound when you say them. So here goes...

-cinnamon (thus, the title of this post)
-soiree (technically a french word, but used in english nonetheless)
-moxie
-posh
-equine
-persia
-lush
-persnickety
-salamander

...I could go on and on! And maybe I will in some subsequent post.


Just in case this post bored you, here's a picture of geno and I at my cousin's wedding (which, interestingly, was the first wedding geno officiated at! He was great!)

Big Sky Country

6.07.2007



Recently geno was asked to do worship at a calvary chapel in...drumroll please...the great state of Montana! Not only were we blessed that someone would ask, we were excited at the prospect of a getaway. And get away we will. On June 21st we will be departing by car, and beginning what is shaping up to be the roadtrip of a lifetime. Certainly our first married road trip, to say the least. I decided I should do some research on the world wide interweb (for those For Your Consideration fans out there) and see what awaits us in the 41st state. Here are some not-so-useful but interesting facts that I uncovered:
  • Montana's state motto is "Oro y Plata"; translated into Spanish it means "Gold and Silver"; translated into 'why is that the state motto' yielded no results - alas, it will have to remain a mystery.
  • The state dinosaur of Montana is the Maiasaura Peeblesorum. In case that doesn't mean much to you, maybe you'd better listen to this: the fossil of Maiasaura Peeblesorum, state dinosaur of Montana, was the first fossil to be launched into space! That's right - the final fossil frontier.
  • In relation to the fact you just read, apparently Montana is a big site for paleontology in the U.S. Who knew? If you did, 5 bonus points.
  • For those of you who have been calling Montana's highways the Montanabahn for years, think again. Changes within the last 8-10 years have created new speed limits on state highways that were previously un-speedlimited.
That's all for now, perhaps more to come as our journey gets closer. And for fans of my brand spanking new blog AND, more likely, fans of geno's blog, I can guarantee with great certainty that there will be blog updates while we are away. 6 days is a long time not to share our lives with you.

My only question is, do any of you have any car games to share with us? These would need to be games that can be played by driver and passenger, so checkers and the like are out. I can't wait to hear some!

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Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles

6.02.2007

I'll go ahead and admit that I have often claimed to know the titles of many of the seven ancient wonders of the world. (An odd start for a post, I do concede.) The pyramids in Egypt come to mind, perhaps the Hanging Gardens of Babylon...but I've also said that Mount Rushmore is in the mix. How I came to that conclusion - what, with it being less than 100 years old and all - I may never know. But I digress.

The true purpose of this post is to inform you about an interesting website I have discovered. Recently, while substitute teaching in a 6th grade classroom, I had to do a lesson plan that allowed each student to do research on various world landmarks and then present on why that landmark should be included in the "New" Seven Wonders of the World. That's right! The New 7 Wonders campaign has chosen 21 "wonder" candidates and we, the people, get to vote for a new set of world wonders! You may be thinking "what's wrong with the old seven wonders?" And I will tell you "Exactly that. They're OLD." That's just a joke. But truthfully, only one of the ancient seven wonders still exists (The ancient Pyramids in Giza, Egypt); the rest are all extinct. Or rather whatever word that is synonymous with 'extinct', but is used for inanimate objects instead of animals.

And I say it's high time! And you can hardly blame the committee that came up with this idea - especially when you hear the actual list of the original 7 wonders. You already heard about The Pyramids in Giza, and here are the other 6: The Temple of Artemis, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (you probably knew about that one), The Colossus of Rhodes, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, The Lighthouse at Alexandria, and The Statue of Zeus. See? Don't lie, if you're like me you've never really heard of any of those, other than the Hanging Gardens and The Pyramids. Or maybe you are much much smarter than I and HAVE heard of some of these...and if that's the case, I commend you. Either way, I think we can all agree that the aforementioned list is in great need of an update.

SO - in conclusion, I encourage you to go here and vote! You have 21 great choices (including The Great Wall of China and The Colosseum in Rome, and a few really cool ones you may never have heard of) and you get to choose your 7 favorite wonders. But hurry, because on 07.07.07 they will be announcing the winners. That gives you just over one month to go online and make it happen. What are you waiting for?

This is one of my favorite candidates...
you get to go online and see which one it is!

I'm not one for...

6.01.2007

...fancy titles or anything. At least not for now. For now, I feel like I need to focus on getting started. And as for my initial musings, I choose dogs.

For quite some time now, gene and I have been absolutely DYING to have a puppy. And we would just get one - if it weren't for the constraints of our living situation. You see, most one-bedroom apartments have limits on the size and weight of pets, and ours is no exception. In fact, our current apartment requires that all pets weigh 20 pounds or less. And therein lies the problem: our desired pet is a Newfoundland dog. According to a number of dog breed information websites, adult Newfoundlands can be anywhere from 25-29 inches tall (at the shoulder), and can grow up to 100-150 pounds. Although the size of these well-tempered behemoths delights gene and I very much, it is a teense over the weight limit. (By the way, I've seen cats that are well over 20 pounds...come on. Maybe gene and I should devote all our spare time towards revolutionizing the pet policy at Windgate Apartments in Hanford. Or maybe we should just move.)

Despite our current inability to acquire such a massive dog, we continue to dream of owning this giant breed dog and imagine how happy our lives will be when we are finally able to have one. This effectively wards off any desire to be a "caretaker" (ergo, we're not having children anytime soon). We have even taken to calling said dog "Humphrey", since it seems to us to be a suitable name for such a massive yet majestic dog. Interestingly, we plan on getting a female dog, so this temporary name will probably be rendered useless. Oh well. Some things to note about Newfouldlands or Newfies, as they are affectionately called: they were originally used as water rescue dogs and, therefore, love to romp in the water; they have "webbed" paws which aid them in their watery excursions; they are notoriously sweet and gentle, and wonderful with little babies and children; and they LOVE to pull carts behind them and there are even competitions to this effect! Who wouldn't want one of these??

When we're feeling blue about not owning our own little pet, we sometimes visit gentle giants rescue. These wonderful people rescue hundreds of all types of giant breed dogs, welcome them into their own home, and then adopt them out to loving families! We can only hope to adopt a dog from them one day. You should visit them and see all the adorable puppies (and by puppies I mean dogs of all ages) that inhabit this haven.

(How could you not love that??)

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