7 Quick Takes: Momcation Recap

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

You know you’re loved when you walk into church on Sunday and the acting music director hugs you and tells you that you should have shown up earlier so you could have sung with the choir. Before June, I hadn’t been back to the church for 11.5 years and in the two times I’ve been home since, I’ve gotten recruited for music the next Sunday. (I’m not THAT good — the music director has known me since high school and knows that I can sightread vocal music passably on my first try.) This Sunday, the anthem is “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” with organ and violin. I haven’t sung soprano in 16 years… but I’ll be trying to help the section on Sunday and practice went really well tonight. Thankfully, it’s a piece I know backwards and forwards.

— 2 —

Coffee dates. I got coffee with my friend Rebecca twice while I was home. It’s hard to do, given that I usually come up here with Daniel, so it was good to see her. She also came to church with me on Sunday which was lovely.

— 3 —

World Series. I’m kind of bummed that the Series is tied at 1 game apiece because I was hoping the Giants would sweep and I’d get to see all the games. (I don’t have access to TV in southern California and I’ll also be driving home during the game on Sunday.) Still, Game 1 was glorious and I’m glad that Blanco got a lead-off homer in Game 2.

— 4 —

I’m (almost) caught up on all the TV I usually watch. My parents have “On Demand” so I’ve been able to catch up with all the CBS stuff I usually watch but haven’t this fall because I don’t have much online time and that makes watching my shows online hard. I haven’t watched the new NCIS spin-off yet and I may not just because it’s another couple hours of stuff to watch.

— 5 —

I’ve gotten some fabulous walks in. I’ve taken some walks on the trail by Los Alamitos Creek and they’ve been really nice. It’s a good setting for getting in some prayer time because while there are people around, it’s also pretty quiet.

— 6 —

I’ve unfortunately had to watch political ads. “On Demand” usually protects me from them but I’ve had to put up with them if I’ve wanted to watch baseball. It’s kind of scary how normal people don’t actually look to see who has paid for the ads… because it is really quite telling. I also wish there was something that killed all the ads, mailings, etc. if you have already voted. (I’m a permanent absentee ballot voter so I voted about a week and a half ago.)

Thankfully, the only really contentious races this year for us in California are the House ones and some of the ballot measures. Neither of our Senators is up for re-election and our Democratic governor is about 20 percentage points ahead of the Republican challenger. (He’s so far ahead that I think the GOP in California has given up on the challenger because I haven’t seen *ANYTHING* about that particular race since the primaries in June.)

— 7 —

I’ve gotten to see rain for the first time in months. We got some rain on Monday. It was glorious.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

Max Lucado Prayer Gathering and Ebola Kits

For those who don’t run in evangelical circles, author Max Lucado (whose works are accessible and useful for Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians) had an online prayer gathering for ISIS and ebola (among other things) at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT today. If you didn’t get to participate, you can watch the video below and pray along — our God is outside of time and your prayers are just as useful, necessary, and welcome now as they were during the live recording.

Max mentioned that World Vision had Ebola kits where you could donate to send supplies. I found two separate links for what he might be talking about:

Donate to the Ebola Outbreak

Assembling kits for Ebola caregivers

I know there are a few non-Christians who read this blog and I’m sharing all this for the purpose of disseminating information and calming false panic. One of my Facebook friends posted an image which reminds us that more people have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died of Ebola in the US.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 19, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 19, 2014

Outside my window… sunny and in the 80’s. We might see some rain tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.

I am thinking… about many many things that I’ll journal out later after I do the watering and shower.

I am thankful… that I got to be present for Rev. Kate’s last Sunday at the Episcopal Church in Almaden, the church that loved me as I was a teenaged convert trying to figure out my salvation with fear and trembling.

In the kitchen… Jimmy chicken, a family recipe. I made a normal batch for myself so I’d have a few days of dinners.

I am wearing… my Reclaim Hope shirt and running shorts.

I am praying for… a call for Jon, for a few intentions for people in my life, and for discernment as I’m kind of in a crossroads of my life.

I am going… for lots of walks this week.

I am wondering… where my parents’ Maine Coon cat is.

I am reading… Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans. It’s a re-read.

I am hoping… for rain tomorrow.

I am looking forward to… more quiet time and maybe even coffee with Rebecca later this week.

I am hearing… the whirring of the fan on my computer.

Around the house… cat fur.

One of my favorite things… solitude.

A few plans for the rest of the week: walks, taebo, prayer, journalling, and resting.

A peek into my day… Here is the picture I submitted for the Run for the Little Flowers Virtual 5K.

Me after my 5K walk.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Back in Northern California

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

THE GIANTS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!! That was an insane game tonight. I’m glad the Giants won but I am also glad that I got to watch it tonight and that St. Louis played pretty well. One of Jon’s higher ups used to live in Kansas City for a number of years and I’m hoping for a fun series for both our sakes.

— 2 —

NCIS binge. I’m taking care of my parents’ cats while they’re up with my grandmother and this means that I have access to TV. I only watched one episode of NCIS tonight but I’m planning a binge of it in the next week and a half. I’ve missed it and while I could theoretically watch on my computer, I don’t normally have a huge amount of computer time so watching it and my other shows isn’t happening right now… except being up here on my “Momcation”.

— 3 —

What is a “Momcation”? Essentially, I’m on vacation from being a mom for the next 10 days. It’s a long story as to why but I’m cat/house-sitting for my parents and Daniel remained down south with Jon and my in-laws. Don’t worry — my marriage isn’t in jeopardy. I’m doing my parents a favor and my in-laws and parents are happy that it’s giving me a break that I haven’t had in 5 1/2 years.

— 4 —

So what am I doing? I drove up yesterday and today, I did errands and went food shopping for myself. I’m planning to spend some time praying and journalling about how to move from the crossroads where I’m at in my life and I also have plans to have coffee with Rebecca. Oh yes… also catch up on all the TV I’ve missed, hence the NCIS binge.

— 5 —

Completely shocked. I weighed myself yesterday for the first time in months (the last time was at a doctor’s appointment) and I’m 3-5 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight. I guess all the core work, the walking, and other changes I’ve made are helping? I’m wondering if I can’t increase that loss so that I’m down to my pre-Montana weight when I leave my parents’ house.

— 6 —

Just a thought. Is there any chance that a device could be created that stops all political ads on TV and in the mail once one has voted or submitted an absentee ballot? I voted this past week (permanent absentee ballot FTW!) and I really don’t need to hear about who wants my vote anymore.

— 7 —

Possible rain. Weather.Com claims we’re not going to have rain in the next 24 hours. My head disagrees! (I freaking love weather change migraines.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 12, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 12, 2014

Outside my window… dark. It was in the mid 80’s today which is so wonderful compared to the triple digit temps of a week or so ago.

I am thinking… about all I need to do before leaving for San Jose on Wednesday morning.

I am thankful… for a fun day: singing with the contemporary worship team at church this morning (“contemporary” in that everything we sang was written in the 20th century — the “contemporary” period in classical music) and heading to the birthday party of Jon’s best friend’s oldest daughter who turned 6 today. Her mom was in labor with her when I found out that I was pregnant with Daniel. It was a Frozen-themed party (surprise surprise) and they had a bouncy castle. Daniel enjoyed himself and I even got to bounce a little bit in the bouncer under the guise of making sure Daniel was OK in there. Other moms were looking at me and telling me that I was brave for going in it. I shrugged and told them about how much fun I was having.

In the kitchen… cleaned up after making my dinner (black bean and jack burrito from Trader Joe’s).

I am wearing… gray v-neck and capri sweats.

I am praying for… travel mercies for my drive on Wednesday, some special intentions, and a call for Jon.

I am going… to see if I can’t get some more CD’s at a heavily discounted price at the Office Depot which is going out of business.

I am reading… Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans.

I am hoping… to get some decent sleep tonight.

I am looking forward to… seeing my parents on Wednesday.

I am hearing… some John Michael Talbot on iTunes.

Around the house… silence.

A favorite quote for today… “I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” — C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite things… listening to good music.

A few plans for the rest of the week: dental work tomorrow, various things on Tuesday, and driving to San Jose on Wednesday.

A peek into my day…

It was Contemporary Sunday today so I ditched some of my prettier clothes in favor of a simple v-neck shirt and my faded denim skirt.

Me in the mirror.

(Ignore the smudgy prints on the mirror. I have a small child who is entranced by his own image.)

Shirt: Foot Locker
Skirt: Hand-me-down from my sister-in-law who probably thrifted it.
Flip-flops: Old Navy

Here’s a picture showing how long my skirt actually is:

My skirt and sandals.

Hosted by The Simple Woman. Go see the pretties at Fine Linen and Purple for more Sunday outfits.

7 Quick Takes: Best Week Ever

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

REAL public health challenges. Here are 6 diseases that should worry you more than Ebola. I’m thankful that I’m current on my vaccines for 3-4 of them (measles, pertussis, and influenza/pneumonia). I can attest to the scariness of RSV though — Daniel has had it twice (nearly killed him the first time) and had to be vaccinated for it during his first year of life because the fatality risk was so high.

— 2 —

Vote early! Vote often! I just got my absentee ballot in the mail. The gubernatorial race here isn’t even close (Jerry Brown has a 20-point lead over his challenger) and neither of our senators are up for re-election so I think the only tight races are the ones for the various House seats and maybe for some of the propositions? I don’t have access to TV so I haven’t been forced to watch all the political ads.

— 3 —

An interesting argument. One of Jon’s seminary classmates linked a blog post about how a growing church is a dying church. I’m inclined to agree. We get asked frequently in call interviews how we would grow the church and “attract young people” but very rarely is the congregation doing anything themselves to actually make their church a welcoming place. (I’m not talking about doing things like replacing the organ with a rock band and watering down the theology — I’m talking about being actually friendly to outsiders and making people feel like it’s a place where they’d like to belong.)

— 4 —

Cynthia Jeub speaks out. I remember watching Kids by the Dozen on either TLC or the Discovery Channel and seeing the Jeub family of Colorado. Apparently, things weren’t so rosy in that household and daughter #3 Cynthia is speaking out. I’m watching the blogs on this one to see how this all turns out. I’m saddened to hear what Cynthia is saying because I hate seeing abuse or hearing about it in any form.

— 5 —

New blog. I’m starting a blog separate from this one that is related to health issues and my journey to develop healthier habits. If you want the URL, email me (jen at grace-filled dot net).

— 6 —

Baseball. The Giants beat the Nationals to advance to the NLCS and the Cardinals did the same to the Dodgers so I now have my two favorite NL teams playing each other. I’m not going to lie — I’d like it if the Giants won this best-of-seven series and went on to win the World Series but I’ll also root for the Cards if they do the same. I think my greatest joy is the Dodgers being knocked out as I’m married to a Dodger fan and I live among them down here in southern California. Maybe I should start wearing all my Giants gear when I leave the house… (Relax, I only have two pieces.)

— 7 —

Prayer request. I would muchly appreciate it if you could lift up some serious prayers for the Lenaburgs as they are dealing with the reality of Courtney’s last days. Mary (Courtney’s mom) is one of the most amazing people I’ve been blessed to know online and has the same sense of humor that I do (pretty dark given what we both deal with on a daily basis) and I wish I could take the pain from her.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: Blessing of the Animals Edition

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 5, 2014

Outside my window… dark. It was near 100F today which I think is hideous, even for October. I miss my -20F temps (not including windchill) in Montana!

I am thinking… about worship today. It was the Blessing of the Animals for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and people brought their pets to church to be blessed. Most people brought their dogs, a few (like me) brought cats, and one family even brought their chickens!

I am thankful… for Edda doing so well at church this morning. I didn’t know if she’d be OK or if I’d have to send her home with Jon partway through or what was going to happen. She was pretty content to stay in her crate and nap. I barely heard a peep out of her.

In the kitchen… lemon ricotta ravioli from Trader Joe’s for dinner tonight.

I am wearing… my Momcat shirt and black capri sweats.

I am praying for… a call for Jon, healing for various people, and some special intentions.

I am going… to have some pretty epic errands to do tomorrow morning on account of Daniel having a surprise three-day weekend.

I am wondering… why people still believe all the lies about a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Yet another study on the subject was just disproven and the claims were retracted. (HT: Simcha Fisher) I think I need to start making tin foil hats for all the people who spout these lame conspiracy theories.

I am reading… Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans. It’s a re-read.

I am hoping… my walk goes well tomorrow morning and resting my foot this weekend has helped.

I am looking forward to… various things this week.

I am hearing… mostly silence given how late it is.

Around the house… again, silence as I’m the only one up.

A favorite quote for today… “Human will becomes truly our own when it is wholly God’s, and this is one of the many senses in which he that loses his soul shall find it.” — C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite things… my choir director’s face upon finding out that he’d have to play the “arky arky song” during the blessing of the animals. (He hates it.) Given the ferocity with which he was playing the postlude by Mussorgsky, I think he was working out his frustrations on the piano afterwards. (He has a Masters and DMA in piano performance and is a piano professor at Azusa Pacific so we get some pretty amazing preludes and postludes on Sundays.)

A few plans for the rest of the week: errands, Daniel’s IEP on Tuesday, and whatever else comes up.

A peek into my day… Edda being blessed by Rev. Kelli Grace.

Edda being blessed at church.

The cute story behind this picture: the little boy is Rev. Kelli Grace’s grandson (she so does NOT look old enough to be a grandma) and at the end of the blessing, I heard her say “Do you see the ‘at’? Can you say ‘God bless the ‘at’?'” I looked up and her grandson had his fingers stuck into Edda’s crate and my princess was nuzzling his fingers. His mom told me later on that I had completely made his day because he loves “ats”.

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook