Monday, June 30, 2008

Missing Milestones

I can't believe that K and N had their baby early and that my hometown team Fresno State Bulldogs won the College World Series while we've been away, SO SAD, and SO EXCITED for both those events, even if we're half a world away! Can't wait to meet Baby Pap!!! We bought him a little Greece tshirt:)

Greece and Turkey Trip

Hey all,
Here's a pic from Meteora, Greece, of a monastery we went to today. Our cruise in the Greek Isles and to Turkey was amazing. We were in Mykonos and went on scooters to this great beach. We also went to Rhodes, Patmos and Kusadasi. Very cool We have a million pics to share all in good time. Today we came up here to Kalambaka, and the view from our hotel is unreal. Flory's, it is worthy of your presence:) (that's how we judge things, p.s.)
We are going all over mainland Greece, to Thessaloniki, Philippi, Berea, and then back down to Athens and Corinth at the end of the week. Lots of blogs to come, sorry to be sparse, I haven't seen the internet for almost a week:)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ANGLOPHILIA! We heart England...

Just a quick update- we have to come back to this place, it's so amazing. We had such a fun time at Wimbledon, I was 1 foot from John McEnroe! And 4 feet from Venus and Serena Williams' dad. Too cool. We loved watching tennis with spectators from 100 other countries, so fun. I love eastern European females, they are hard core. Such competition and drama, more to come about this when we have more computer access. We've had fun living right off of Hyde Park, have seen a lot and went to a performance of Wicked last night, which was fabulous, I'm so glad we finally saw it. My favorite memory so far, apart from the tennis, is sitting outside the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, watching and listening to moms and little kids speak in tons of different languages, so cute, and on the tube, listening to Italian and Japanese teens speak to eachother in broken English.
We're exploring some more today and flying a red-eye to Athens, so we'll try to update you from there; our experiences will probably be quite different, seeing sports, gardens and culture here, and history and islands there:) Such a great trip so far!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

London, Greece and Turkey Trip

For inquiring minds (mostly our parents), here is our itinerary (that we know of). In London, we're staying at the Copthorne Hotel in Kensington, right off Hyde Park (excited about that), then we stay at Titania Hotel in downtown Athens the first night. Compared to the London Tube, doesn't the Athens tube look so simple?!

6/26/08 Athens
Upon arrival our guide will accompany us to the Dionysus Theater, House of Parliament, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Odeon of Herodes, and the ancient Agora (marketplace). We will check into our hotel and the remainder of the day is free to explore Athens on own. Dinner and overnight in Athens.

6/27/08 Athens, Greek Isle Cruise & Mykonos
This morning we travel to Port of Piraeus to begin our cruise to some of the Greek Isles Weather and time permitting there will be a short stop at Mykonos with its dazzling white houses, narrow paved streets, shops and windmills. Dinner is served on board the ship.

6/28/08 Rhodes
Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese with a population of 98,181. Optional city tour and Lindos is available along with Temple of Athena per person entry fee not included)Our ship enters the port of Rhodes, largest island of the Dodecanese, which was once dominated by Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Optional Excursion (price not included) Tour of Rhodes and Lindos: Drive along the southeastern coastline to Lindos- the most important of the three great cities of ancient times- overlooking the Aegean Sea and St Paul's Bay. Lindos was visited by Paul on his way to Rome. Free time for wandering Lindos before driving back to the City of Rhodes for a walking tour through medieval Rhodes Old Town.

6/29/08 Kusadasi, Ephesus & Patmos
Early morning arrival in Kusadasi-a lovely Turkish port and gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus. We will take an excursion to Ancient Ephesus . Drive along the coast to Ephesus, famous in antiquity for its Temple of Diana - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and later as the home of St. John as well as where Paul spent 3 years of his ministry. View ancient monuments such as the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Bath of Scolastika and the Great Theatre, built in the Greek era and reconstructed in the Roman period. Walk along the Arcadian Way, where once Mark Anthony and Cleopatra rode in procession. On this excursion we will also visit the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. John's Church built by Justinian in 527-565. Sail for Patmos arriving about 4:00 pm. On Patmos, Excursion to the Monastery and Grotto of St John. Departing the port of Skala by motor coach you will enjoy the short drive up to the Monastery of St John, which has been magnificently built within the walls of a strong fortification. Walk uphill towards the entrance of the Monastery; view the courtyard, the Monks' dining room and the main church with its outstanding frescoes and the small but beautiful museum. Continue on to the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse where above stands the church of the Apocalypse. Once inside the grotto, see the silver niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by St. John as he wrote the Book of Revelations, and view the three-fold crack made by the Voice of God. Dinner served on board. A full & unforgettable day!!

6/30/08 Piraeus, Corinth, Kalambaka
Morning arrival at Port of Piraeus for day trip to Corinth. A scenic drive along the Saronic Gulf across the Corinth Canal through rolling vineyards to ancient Corinth, the most beautiful & frivolous city of Roman Greece! While in Corinth we visit the Bema and remember Paul's trial and ministry followed by a visit to the temple of Apollo, the Agora (ancient market place), museum, and the Fountain of Peirene. We continue onto Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.

7/1/08 Meteora, Thessaloniki
This morning we depart for Meteora, in Western Thessaly, where the world famous Byzantine monasteries perch precariously on top of strange rock formations. We will have an opportunity to visit one or more of the monasteries. We travel onto Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.

7/2/08 Berea
Today finds us in picturesque Veria (Berea) and flourishing Thessaloniki, both important stops in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. In Veria, we will view the monument erected to Paul and in Thessaloniki, we will tour the 5th-century Church of Agios Dimitrios, Greece's largest church & St. George's Basilica, traditionally believed to be built over the synagogue where Paul preached. Time permitting, we plan to visit the church of Ayia Sophia. Overnight in Thessaloniki.

7/3/08 Philippi, Kavala, Athens
After breakfast, we travel to Philippi for a visit to the ruins - the tribunal (Bema) where Paul was beaten, the prison where Paul and Silas were held in wooden stocks, and the small church of Lydia, over the stream where Paul baptized Lydia, the first Christian convert on European soil. We will tour Kavala, one of the most attractive towns in Greece and where Paul visited and preached in 49AD. Overnight in Athens.

7/4/08 Athens, Mars Hill, Acropolis
This morning we have the opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. The highlight of today’s guided tour will be our visit to the Acropolis, the crown jewel of Greece, which includes ~ the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion,the Parthenon, and Mars Hill. Our guide will accompany us to the Dionysus Theater, House of Parliament, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Odeon of Herodes, and the ancient Agora (marketplace). Afternoon may be free to explore Athens on own or enjoy an optional journey (additional fee not included) to Sounion to visit the famous Temple of Poseidon. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Then Saturday is on our own and we fly back to London that eve. Sunday we'll play a bit before our afternoon flight back to WA. See you when we return!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ciao Bella

Tonight's our last night at home before heading across the pond to Europe once again. We've been cleaning the house and readying the garden for our departure. This means the fridge is empty- so pizza, beer and a movie it was... Always a good option. I was taking care of any number of our long list of to-do's before we leave, so Los went out to get the stuff and came back with the movie Bella. I hadn't heard of it, but it's the first feature length film from a new production company called Metanoia. That is a Biblical Greek word for repentance, changing your mind, turning and going another way... So I was curious about it. The main characters (including "Mexico's Brad Pitt") have a sweet friendship and we always love redemption themes. We both cried and appreciated the last scene. It was shot in NYC in 3 weeks, which is crazy; lots of potential, we look forward to what these guys do in the future. Let me know if you check it out.

London is Tube-ular...

Off we go to our next adventure.

Let's hope navigating that map is a piece of cake and that the queues at Wimbledon aren't that long. I can't wait to see Roddick, Nadal and Federer, oh my! I will give them a pound or a head nod on behalf of you all.

Not so sure about my internet access while we're in London and Greece/Turkey, but I'll be sure to write upon our return:)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our New Old Truck

In the late 1950's, International made about 500 A-100 trucks a year. It just so happens that my great grandpa bought one. He sounded like an interesting character; one who could've easily become a multi-millionaire if he'd hung on to his 40+ acres of Orange County property just a little longer... I never got to meet him, as he died tragically by drowning during a fishing trip with my dad. 50 years later, my dad still has Bompa's truck, and this weekend, he told Carlos that he could have it some day. So introducing our new old truck- how fun is this?!

Santa Monica and Venice Beach

On Sunday we had Father's Day brunch with my dad and Cindy and then they dropped us off at the beach so they could go home to have Father's Day with Cindy's dad. Floyd is 87, and amazingly youthful. He and Lois have been married 63 years and are just now starting to age. We were sad to miss that party, but our ticket was from LAX back to SEA.

Father and Father to-be (some day) on Father's Day on the famous old pier

After they left, I rented a beachcruiser bike, and rode alongside Los who ran from the SM pier to the Venice Beach pier and back (7 miles or so- and amazing people watching!) There were so many athletic people there, swinging from rings, climbing ropes, doing Capoeira, etc. It was nuts. So was the 3rd Street Promenade, where we had lunch.

We got to hang with KC again, as well as Kelsey, one of my fave, like-minded friends from SPU. She's about to move to Greece to work in the human traficking sector with prostitutes from Eastern Europe and Africa. She shared the appalling statistics of human slavery and her heart for freedom and restoration of the women she'll encounter over there (and currently encounters in Hollywood). She inspired us on many levels, as Los also picked her brain about triathlons. She had completed one that morning and still had energy to hang with us!

A grand weekend it was!

So Cal Celebration

After the ceremony Saturday, we headed to the OC to my uncle Dennis and aunt Elaine's home. I love being around them, they're big travelers like us and we always swap tales. While we're in Greece/Turkey, they'll be in Italy, Croatia and Greece. They've been married 40 years, and when I asked for marital wisdom, they said, "one day at a time!"
Their back yard makes me SO excited to live in CA and have outdoor living rooms some day. Despite all the botanical Latin/plant ID I've been learning, almost every plant they have is different from what we have in WA, so I'm gonna have to learn a whole new climate of plants...
It was a really relaxing evening, we played croquet and got bossed around by Carter:) (he knew the rules)

KC (my friend since age 12) came and we hung beneath the gazebo

Outdoor fireplace= dreamy

Outdoor grill and cooler= awesome. The grilled pineapple changed my life:)

Love the chandelier

Sweet Lola (one of their 3 mini-Schnauzer's) in my lap

our happy family

Fuller Pasadena Graduation

The Pasadena graduation was a lot longer and more special than the Fuller Northwest graduation. About 800 of us made up the largest class ever to graduate from a seminary. All 50 states and 35 countries were represented, S. Korea dominated with about 100, but there were individuals from surprising places like Iran, Myanmar and Ethiopia. Rick Warren (aka Purpose Driven Life) was the recipient of an award (he got his D.Min at Fuller in the 90's) and gave us our benediction. It was neat to see him again (Los and I went to his church on our honeymoon, since it's right down the street from my aunt/uncle's) but it was even more special to see Earl, our pastor, there. His son-in-law finished his Ph.D. and Earl was there to support him, even if it meant flying back up immediately to preach 5 sermons in Seattle the next day!

It was special to share that accomplishment with my parents, who have seen me from pre-school though grad school.

Wearing the robe was much more uncomfortable in the CA heat!

I got to see the Dayton girls whom I know from Jacksonville, which was fun- big fan of theirs.

Back in the hotel suite relaxing. Carlos is bonding with my dad, by jumping on top of him; my dad's face cracks me up. They had a good time together being silly.

Going Going back back to Cali Cali...

Our trip couldn't have been better. Amie picked us up on a warm Fresno night. After freezing in June (!) in Seattle, it was a welcome change. We got to have a great morning with my mom and spent time outside in the sun with her Newfoundlands Moses and Munson.

We drove with my dad and Cindy to LA, and got to Fuller in the nick of time to get my regalia. They hadn't seen Los in a year and a half, so we had lots of great conversation and laughs together. We stayed in the same hotel as Lisa, JJ and their parents as well.

This hotel had a 6 drink/person Happy Hour, unreal. I rarely drink, but this was my graduation and we were celebrating. Team Pierce (the more accomplished drinkers) beat Team Evans, and 23 drinks later, we walked to dinner...

With God in the Weeds

So my final research paper on Proverbs 31 got written after a delightful all-nighter... then we packed, had a great dinner with Jodi and flew down to CA. The next few days were amazing and pics/stories will ensue, but have been delayed because of... weeds. Many, many weeds inhabiting our property- more than seemingly possible. It is a sad thing when two people spend six hours in a garden and only get about 1/6 of the weeds up. However, some comical moments and spiritual nuggets always accompany our times in the garden. Here are a few of today's:

1) I always want to do the front yard first, because that's what neighbors and passers-by see. But the back yard is the beast that needs to be conquered. Likewise, in our lives, we try to take care of what's up front, and act like we've got everything together some times, to the neglect of real issues in our lives. Let me tell you people, the backyard weeds don't just disappear on their own! And neither do issues in our lives, I'm sad to say; I wish they did. But they need our attention. We can pretend to be happy and like everything is fine, but if the weeds in the back aren't rooted out, they'll keep on growin until they're almost unbearable. I hope your lives and mine don't get to a place like that. Take care of the back yard first.

2) Some times it's really hard to tell between a weed and a plant. Some weeds aren't spiky and ugly, they're deceivingly attractive. But I'm the gardener, and I know what belongs and what doesn't. I was reminded of Jesus' parable of The Weeds and the Wheat. a) I want to be a plant, not a weed and b) pray for others to be as well and c) while I'm fine being the judge in our yard, I'm glad I'm not the eternal judge between the two.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Close, but yet so far... gotta love all-nighters...

It's 12:30. In the morning. And I am 2000 words away from being done with my last Hebrew Exegesis paper ever. Which means two things: #1) I dominate Proverbs 31 and could write a book on it, or preach a sermon series at least. And #2) it's likely I won't be sleeping. But it's the last all-nighter I'll ever pull. I can almost hear the nostalgia being queued.

And sleep is overrated. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself. I can sleep on the plane to Cali. Or during my hair appt. But then my highlights may look weird.

It's a good thing I have an IV of espresso running through my veins, in spite of doctor's orders... I told the doctor, who is a psychiatrist, that the paper has the potential to make me certifiably insane otherwise; so the espresso is the lesser of two evils. True enough. I thought he, of all people, could appreciate that.

Obscure, yet interesting fact: My 1899 commentary on Proverbs titles the wisdom woman in Proverbs 31 "the ideal housewife." My 2005 commentary calls her "the woman of strength." Funny how phraseology changes in 100 years. She used to wear an apron and bake muffins. Now she's a boxing and pilates aficionado who runs a real estate business and wineries in her spare time. Hoo rah.

On other notes, if I had a dollar for every time this blog has been read; I could make up my $50,000 of tuition that's been forked over to Fuller lickity-split. REI should be paying me for the free advertisement.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


THIS is why we can't WAIT to move asap. Unbelievable.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Seattle Graduation Dinner Party

We had a fun, private meal on Lake Union, a good ending to a good day:)

My crab-stuffed Mahi Mahi in a mango sauce- so good...

Girl's and Boy's sides segregated:) (unintentionally, it just evolved that way)

Playing around with colors

Graduation: Take 1

Putting on my hood for the first time- I wanted to wear it like the Miss America contendants but that was vetoed

With Springer, Brant and On, some of the cohort-mates

Cheeks were getting a little sore by then

Grateful to have friends and fam there

New fave pic

Kiesha had a crush on my copper and green eye-shadow and made me document it

Silly huge robe

Finally we got smart and took some outside shots

It was a good day. Thanks to everyone who's sent cards/gifts/flowers, they are prominently displayed in the kitchen:)

How to Boil an Egg

I'm not a dumb person, and this is a dumb task, I should be able to do it flawlessly time after time. However, this has not been the case, and various techniques have disappointed, so I'm throwing it out there: do any of you know the perfect way to hard boil eggs? I'm talking, one crack, two half shells, piece of cake, perfect. If so, let me know!

Bye bye B-E

Friday night we got to watch some of the YL seniors Los loves graduate from Burlington-Edison High School. I hadn't been to a high school graduation in a long time and definitely loved going, as a closing piece of this chapter of our lives. We are proud of them, and know that college will be a fabulous transition for them.

Josh was the last person in the recessional line. He spotted Los and I, spontaneously ran over to hug us, and then had to run back through all the junior girls to catch up:)

Josh and Los

Matt makes out with Burly too, he's an affectionate guy:)

Bourne... Jason Bourne (way better than Bond!)

So with all the graduation festivities and everything going on, we needed some down time as well- so we holed up and hosted our own little Bourne Trilogy movie festival. It had been a while... we forgot how much we LOVE them! Love all the international locations (London to India, and everywhere in between, Germany, Russia, Tunisia...) and the story line and the action. Now I feel inspired to write my last 16 pages:)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Snapshot from 2am

I should be sleeping. I tried to go to bed 3 hours ago. I’ve been checking the clock since 11:30. My mind won’t turn off. Does a spoonful of Nutella have that much caffeine? Is it excitement about graduation? Anxiety about finding a job and a new home? Anticipation of traveling this summer? And in years to come? (Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and World Cup?) Talking about getting Burly a sister again- a Pug, or maybe another breed? Decisions, decisions. Making lists in my head. Things on back burners and things on front burners of our lives. Thinking about buying and selling furniture, yet wanting to live simply. It’s hard to have a “style” when your location and space changes every few years. Rustic pine? Espresso? Glass? Wood? New? Antique? Who knows! Where and when will we end up somewhere? We hope we land permanently in CA, but are we the kind of people that land permanently? We’ll never stop exploring, but is it in our DNA to settle? There’s so much to experience in life! So much wonder, so much beauty and creativity. We are on the cusp of new life, full of surprises around every corner, I can feel it, it makes me hyper and giddy. The yearning to experience as much as possible in this life makes me ache! It makes me want to burst!

Yet it’s 2am. And I should be sleeping. I’ve done all my tricks, performed all my acrobatics, went pee another time, closed the shutters even more tightly. Cuddled with my dog. Put him in another room, so I don’t hear him snoring. It’s raining outside. That should be soothing. My husband is sleeping next to me. I put my ice-block feet on his warm legs. Listening to him breathe should be soothing. Yet here I am, twiddling my thumbs at 2am. There must have been something in that Nutella.

World Cup 2010- South Africa

Maybe one of our next adventures? Who's coming with us?