Let’s get Henry a dog!

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Henry is the son of my friend Kendra. He was diagnosed with autism a few years ago and we’re trying to raise the funds to get him an autism-awareness dog that can be trained to find Henry if he’s missing (a huge risk with autistic kids, especially ones like Daniel and Henry who are non-verbal) and can sense if he’s overwhelmed/overstimulated so his people can get him to a place where he can get back to calm. This post is going to stay stuck at the top of my blog until further notice.

7 Quick Takes: Cleaning Out My Bookmarks from the Last Week

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Worship Music Link #1. I’ve been a worship musician (not a choir member) for almost 16 years and while I like doing “contemporary music” every so often, I really prefer the older hymns. It’s an issue of musicality for me and also that many praise songs are theologically-shallow or inaccurate. Here are a few examples and why we need to stop singing them.

— 2 —

Worship Music Link #2. Here is a fabulous piece addressing why we need to stop singing praise songs. Be sure to click on all the links to understand why it is so wonderful.

— 3 —

Worship Music Link #3. I found this in the “I’m fed up with bad church music” group on Facebook and I know there are some praise songs I would pay serious money to not have to sing. What hymn/praise song/service music would you pay good money to blocK?

Block a hymn

— 4 —

Worship Music Link #4. One of the rants I see online frequently has to do with how the Catholic church has a beautiful tradition of choral music going back 1500 years and yet we have to settle for Marty Haugen, David Haas, and so on. Someone posted the “Glory Pony” mass on there and it’s facepalm-ingly bad how similar the mass setting is to the “My Little Pony” theme.

— 5 —

Twitter does it again. One of the best things I’ve seen online in the last few weeks is the #ThingsJesusNeverSaid hashtag on Twitter.

— 6 —

For those who love people with anxiety. Those who have anxiety or who love people with anxiety need to read this piece.

— 7 —

It makes a difference. While I was up in San Jose this month, I was worshipping with my friend Rebecca at my home congregation and I was in the pews this last week at my church here with my VBS music partner-in-crime Margaret. It was a content feeling each Sunday and upon reflection, I think the reason is that I didn’t have to explain what I was doing (standing, kneeling, sitting, singing, genuflecting) or *why* I was doing it as I frequently have to do when I’m at church in Jon’s Lutheran parishes given that my practice of the faith is more toward the Catholic and Anglican part of the spectrum. I’m liking the opportunity to worship with like-minded people and to not be on display all the time.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

#5Faves: Miscellanea (XLIV)

#5Faves

One

Rend Collective. I am seriously in love with this band. Their music is stuck in my mind and right now, it’s actually keeping me going.

Two

Margaret Maron. My mother-in-law was #1 on the library list for her latest book and she gave it to me to read when she finished it. Of all the murder mystery authors I read, she is in the top 3 favorites if not my favorite because I can actually get lost in her books without realizing it.

Three

Air1. Listening to music keeps me sane while driving and Air1 is the local nationally-broadcasted Christian station that I can get down here. (I could actually get it and KLOVE equally well when we lived up north and would switch off when a song came up that I didn’t like.)

Four

Trader Joe’s. The people at my Trader Joe’s are just fabulous and they love Daniel. (Then again, who doesn’t love Daniel that has met him?) I’ll be having some of their chili when I get home.

Five

Iced vanilla lattés made with whole milk. I fully believe that the existence of these is proof that God wants me to be happy. 😉

Go love up Jenna and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 23, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY August 23, 2015

Outside my window… dark. It got into the 90’s here today which was irritating but unfortunately not uncommon for August. (And yes, I’m seriously praying that Jon gets a call to a colder climate. The Arctic Circle is looking lovely right now.)

I am thinking… about some of the more asinine arguments and statements in favor of homeschooling that I saw on the Web today. I have friends who are amazing homeschooling parents like Dawn and Kelly so I’m definitely not opposed to it (also because my husband was homeschooled); but seriously, some of the crud I read today would be at home on the Sanctimommy page on Facebook.

I am thankful… for Daniel going back to school tomorrow. I’m kind of bummed that we didn’t get to go to Meet-the-Teacher on Friday but it was worth it to get the extra respite time with my parents.

In the kitchen… cheese and crackers because it’s too hot to do anything involving the oven, microwave, or stove.

I am wearing… the black cat nightshirt that my mother-in-law got me here as a coming-home present.

I am going… to pray Compline from the Book of Common Prayer when I’m done here.

I am wondering… how Daniel will do tomorrow with his longer school day.

I am reading… Friendship Cake by Lynne Hinton. I was reading Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu but it deals with the subculture that surrounds families like the Duggars and it just wasn’t a good thing in which to immerse myself at the moment.

I am hoping… the pain in my foot from walking almost 6 miles on Friday will go away.

I am looking forward to… being able to go for prayer walks and work out once Daniel is on the bus tomorrow.

I am hearing… various things on iTunes and YouTube.

A Daniel story for today… he said “mo nanna” (“more banana”) to my mom when she was watching him while I was somewhere last week.

Around the house… silence. It is positively blissful.

A favorite quote for today… “The worship-to-panda ratio has gone a different direction.” — Rend Collective in this video:

One of my favorite things… club soda when I’m trying to beat my Coca-Cola addiction.

A few plans for the rest of the week: PT on Tuesday, a bunch of phone calls, and getting medical records and such ready for a bunch of Daniel appointments.

A peek into my day… I was trying to explain this video to a friend last week. I find it hysterically funny because I’ve attended a church like this.

Post Script…

This is my favorite worship song and very few people outside of the UK or my chapter of Intervarsity know of it.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Life’s A Beach!

7 Quick Takes

I’m unexpectedly hanging out with my parents in northern California for a week longer than planned so Dad suggested that the four of us (him, my mom, Daniel, and me) go to the beach as Daniel had never been before and it would give us a chance to tire him out. It was a wonderful trip but it has also meant that with software updates and my laptop being pissy, I’m just now writing my Quick Takes at almost 1 a.m.! So… here are seven beach pictures.

— 1 —

The Pacific Ocean near Watsonville, CA.

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— 2 —

Daniel checking out the waves.

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— 3 —

Daniel with Grandma Kathy (my mom).

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— 4 —

Daniel and I examining some kelp. (The bandana on my head is to prevent my scalp from frying.)

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— 5 —

Headed north in search of sand dollars.

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— 6 —

Mom and I swinging Daniel into the water.

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— 7 —

Holding on to Daniel in order to keep him from getting knocked over by waves.

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For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

#5Faves: Miscellanea (XLIII)

#5Faves

One

Iced vanilla lattés. They aren’t quite my comfort food but they’re close. I’m constantly searching out the best one. (The current winner is It’s A GrindC in Elk Grove.)

Two

Coca-Cola. This one *is* actually my comfort food. It’s also one of the worst things I can put in my body and a hard addiction to break. The thing that is helping me do so right now is that I’m with my parents who do not allow it in the house except on rare occasions. (They’ve been referring to it as “hemlock” so every time I’ve gotten to drink one in their presence, I comment on the lovely “minty” flavor as I hear that hemlock tastes minty.)

Three

Lamb gyros. We got food from Yiassoo last Thursday and I had one at my favorite place in Elk Grove on Friday. I love them with onions, feta, and extra tzatziki sauce.

Four

Redwood forests. Daniel and I got to go to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Saturday and I had no idea how much I missed them until we went. It had been 20+ years since I had been there and 9 years since I had seen redwood trees in person. (I’m a UCSC alum so I lived in a redwood forest for 3 years.)

Five

The ocean. We’re going to try to go on Thursday as it has been 9 years since my feet have been in the Pacific Ocean. (The last time was Lincoln City, OR when I was in Oregon for my grandfather’s interment.)

Go love up Jenna and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 16, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY August 16, 2015

Outside my window… dark. It was over 100F in San Jose today which did not make me a happy Jen. We also have smoke from the wildfires in the northern part of the state so it’s not good air for walks with the small child. *makes mental note to go in and record miles walked in the last week on MapMyRun*

I am thinking… about things in the coming week.

I am thankful… for the time with my parents. It’s been a good week with them and I’ve gotten to get together with a few people including Rebecca.

In the kitchen… Dad made hot dogs again tonight.

I am wearing… jammies (charcoal v-neck from Old Navy and black capri sweats from Target).

I am going… to the store tomorrow for more apple juice for Daniel.

I am wondering… about a lot of things right now.

I am reading… The Alpine Yeoman by Mary Daheim for the third time. (2nd re-read this time.)

I am hoping… for resolution in some areas of my life.

I am looking forward to… a mall date with Rebecca to get some Giants socks. I’m going to my first MLB baseball game in a few weeks and it’s at Dodger Stadium so I can’t wear my Giants stuff. Before I even knew about the game, Jon and my priest were negotiating the terms. I can’t wear my Lincecum shirt (which I only have because they weren’t selling Romo shirts at Target) but I can wear Giants socks. I am also not allowed to boo Kershaw or Puig, which I think is completely unfair.

I am hearing… David Wesley singing on YouTube. (He’s a Canadian Christian version of Peter Hollens.)

A Daniel story for today… He’s been taking over closets at my parents’ house and playing with his tablet in them.

Around the house… silence as I think everyone is likely asleep.

A favorite quote for today… “When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person.” — Philip Yancey

One of my favorite things… Coca-Cola which is pretty much banned at my parents’ house – my mom got me some one night when I needed “comfort food” (I’m weird, OK?) and she was referring to it as “hemlock”. Whenever I’d take a sip, I would say, “mmmmm… minty!” (According to a murder mystery, hemlock tastes minty.)

A few plans for the rest of the week: drive back down to LA and whatever else comes up.

A peek into my day… Daniel and I in the redwoods.

Daniel and I in the redwoods at Henry Cowell State Park.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Ramblings from Tiredness

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

504 plans and IEP’s. Around this time of year, the question of 504 plans vs. IEP’s comes up in the groups with whom I hang on Facebook. This is the definition of a 504 plan and this is how it compares with an IEP. (The difference is accommodations vs. specialized instruction.)

For those keeping track, Daniel has an IEP.

— 2 —

For moms of non-verbal kiddos… Daniel’s 1:1 buddy from VBS at my church sent me this. It also works for elderly adults who may wander.

— 3 —

Prerequisite baseball take. Currently, the Dodgers are losing to Cincinnati and the Giants are beating the Nats. Life is as it should be. :) (Why yes, I am conveniently ignoring the fact that the Giants are 3.5 games behind the Dodgers in the standings and am instead baiting my husband with tonight’s scores.)

— 4 —

Cosmo and controversy. Last week while heading somewhere with Daniel (I think to get x-rays), I heard something about Rite Aid and a couple other national supermarket chains putting Cosmopolitan magazine behind a screen in checkout stands because the titles are too lewd for kids to read; and apparently, kids are asking their parents some pretty uncomfortable questions based on them. (We’re talking questions about sex acts and anatomy that their parents aren’t comfortable explaining to a 4 year old.)

So… should Cosmo be put behind a screen: yea or nay?

— 5 —

Don’t piss off women! Donald Trump insulted Megyn Kelly last week by blaming her hard questioning of him on her being on her period so there’s now a hashtag on Twitter with which women are trolling him with their period announcements.

I’m also heartened by Donald Trump being uninvited from the RedState Gathering for being such a jerk to Megyn Kelly. Even better: Megyn Kelly was invited in his place. It shows that Republicans are taking women seriously this time.

— 6 —

Eschet chayil! Dr. Frances Kelsey, who protected Americans from thalidomide, died last week at the age of 101. Because of her, the US was spared the scores of kids born with deformed arms and legs, deformed eyes and hearts, deformed alimentary and urinary tracts, blindness and deafness born in other countries where the use of the drug hadn’t been restricted. (It was used as an anti-nausea med and crossed the placental barrier.)

Irony of ironies, it is actually one of the chemotherapeutic agents used for my father-in-law’s type of cancer but they are meticulous about making sure that anyone prescribed it has no chance of getting pregnant or getting anyone else pregnant. It is also used to treat leprosy.

— 7 —

For Potterheads. This is funny but mildly NSFW.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.