Thursday, December 17, 2009

far and few between


I can't believe it has been 3 months since i last blogged. Worst blogger ever right here!! I think that will be one of my new years resolutions, to blog more....we will see how that goes.

Alot has happened since I last blogged, alot of art work created, and some of it even sold, but I will talk about that another time.

Today I want to share one of the most awesome moments/experiences of the last 3 months, actually of this entire year (and it has been a pretty awesome year). A good friend of mine was expecting her second child and asked if i would photograph the birth. She said I went white after she asked me, and I believe her, I felt "white". She thought I was "white" because of the idea of witnessing a birth for the first time in my life without having a child of my own. And although that was a slight concern, the biggest "whitening" effect for me, was the taking photos part. I felt more anxious about it then how I have felt when I have done weddings in the past. I took a week to think and pray about it before I made up my mind and called her. I think the main thing that pushed me to decide was, waking up every day wondering if she had had the baby and I knowing that if I found out she had, I would have regretted not being there to capture it. So I made the call and said I would do it.

A week and a half went by of clutching my phone wondering if and when it would ring. Of going to bed with the biggest butterflies in my stomach. Finlly 12:50am Wednesday the 18th of November I got the call. I was up and at the hospital in 15 minutes flat (be impressed!), and 45 minutes later Miles Warren King was born, a perfect, very handsome baby boy.

2 hours later I drove home, tears streaming down my face, I was completely overwhelmed and in awe of how great and awesome our God is. I had no words to describe, still don't, every time I look back at the photos I get goosebumps, and I love to cuddle Mr Miles whenever I get the chance.

Monday, October 12, 2009

fancy feet

a couple of weekends ago we traveled south for a wedding.
one of josh's good friends growing up was getting married, and the celebration was taking place in the los angeles area. so i got the opportunity to see a little snippet of the southern part of california.

the wedding was a fancy affair. the ceremony was at a church in bel air, on top of a hill with a magnificent view of the valley below..... it was hard to know what to focus on the beautiful bride or the beautiful view (might be because i am a romantic at heart, but the beautiful couple won my attention)....the reception took place at an expensive restaurant in down town LA with valet parking and a giant chrystal chandelier....it was a very very fun wedding with dancing all night long.

in order for me to fit into the posh occasion i had to raid my friends closets for suitable attire. and i even decided i would probably have to over come my fear of high heels for this one time. so i borrowed a pair of cute black high heels. the night before we left i tried a couple of outfits on, with the heels and toppled around the house practicing my walk on the stilts. when a friend of mine came over to drop off another couple of dresses to try, i proudly showed her the HIGH heels i would be wearing. she looked at them and said "oh those are just kitten heels, you will be fine!!".... kitten heels??? to me they were neck brakingly high heels, not kitten heels.....but i smiled and acted cool.."yeah...ha ha....just kitten heels".

on saturday we drove to santa monica pier and wondered the wide expanse of beach, dreaming of ways in which we could one day live in such a place.....our conclusion was: change jobs and become famous (easy peasy right).....then we drove down rodeo drive keeping half an eye open for a movie star or something, but mostly just gazed at the fanciness of the place....

then we headed back to our hotel and donned our fancy attire, high heels and all, and headed for the wedding. at the reception i noticed another girls shoes, and had to giggle to myself in understanding as to why my friend had called my heels, kittens....this other poor girl really was walking on stilts....i don't know how she did it and still looked glamorous.

i am very proud to say that i lived to tell my tale. the heels didn't kill me...the kittens didn't turn into terrifying tigers part way through the night and bite at my little feet. in fact i even danced the night away in them, and i didn't take them off once!

it was a fun fancy weekend, and i look forward to one day exploring more of the south, but probably not in heels.

Monday, September 21, 2009

the kings and i.




love these lovely ladies.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the 19th of september 2009, my 27th year on planet earth


so it is 4:30am (did i say am??...well i meant AM!!) on my 27th Birthday and yip, i am wide awake! the rest of my household (being josh and moose....no guests at present) are sound asleep! so far i have had THE most amazing birthday and it has not even been my birthday yet until now....and now i am up all alone at some strange hour of the day...but its more like night, 4am could never be day??? anyways it brings me some comfort and warm fuzzy thoughts knowing that i have dear friends on other sides of the world who are also up and about right now enjoying the 19th of september 2009, only they are enjoying it at a more decent hour, an hour that is actually day, with sunshine and birds and other such happy things. not to say i am unhappy, quite the contrary, i am so happy i am keeping myself awake which is kinda making me grumpy. so to sum up i am just a happy grumpy 27 year old i guess.....
so back to my amazing birthday (so far)....it has been one happy surprise after another. the celebrating seemed to start last saturday, my mother in law had us over for my birthday dinner of deliciousness (italian bbqed chicken, with yam fries, and some veggies that were delicious but i cannot remember what they were, the other things over shadowed them i guess....poor veggies.... followed by cheesecake). we shared the meal with josh's grandparents who are on their annual visit from arizona. we played a new, somewhat competitive game ( very much like the board game "sorry" i used to play alot when i was a kid). i learnt alot about the ebersoles competitive spirit and the ebersole men's "mean" streak...it was a VERY close game but the men did win....however we had a rematch a couple of nights later and the ladies triumphed, in case you were wondering. so that was the beginning....
THEN...now this is new news, and i am very excited about it.....but i will have to bore you with some details before i get to the point of it all so bear with me.....
so josh and i, since we started talking about getting married, have always wanted to try and be a single income family. my hearts desire is to one day be a mom, and to be a stay at home mom. its just been something that is very important to my heart and to josh's and so that has been our plan. most of the world probably thinks we are nuts, especially with a teachers salary, but that's ok, they can think that, i kinda like being nuts (in a good healthy, unique kind of way). so we hoped to kick the "plan" into gear once josh had a full time teaching job, which this time last year we weren't sure if or when it would happen with the economy etc...actually even a couple of months ago we had no idea if or when it would happen. so the "plan" was once he was full time i would quit working and be home ( seemed to make sense to be able to live off one salary with just the two of us before we added little peeps to the mix of all the good things in life),
and the idea was for me to work on my art. when josh first got his job in turlock, as i wrote before, it was only a 40% position. so we thanked God for a job at all, and his dream job none the less, and accepted the fact that i would be working for a little bit longer. in two weeks josh's job had been bumped up to 100%!!! but we decided i would still work at least for the winter as winter is the fire place stores busiest season and i would have felt terrible leaving right before that, plus the extra money would help us get to south africa, hopefully next summer. so away we went into the new school year of 09/2010 ( still doesn't make sense to me to have the school year different to the actual year, so confusing....also how do you write 2010? just 10? or 010? or the whole thing 2010??....hmmm so did i mention it is 4:55 am in the MORNING!!!...yip...still awake....and as you are realizing, my mind is very much alive and on full speed ahead! lucky you, you can stop reading at any moment, i have to live with it alllll time)......so where was i...oh yes, both of us working like busy bees in the year 09/2010, or 10? or 010?...whatever, its irrelevant write now cos it is still 09....as in 2009.....however so as you have all probably heard, the economy is slow right now....i think the words "its the economy" is the new buzz word of these last couple of years, like "the world wide web" was for a few (lots of) years ago....again not important.....so thankfully in "this economy" up until this point the construction and fire place company i work for has been with business. until a couple of weeks ago the construction side slowed down alot. so i felt i needed to let them know of "the plan" and then we could decide from there what was the best thing to do and figure out the best for all of us. i didn't feel right not sharing where i was at, and what my intentions where (to quit after winter), i figured maybe not having to pay me would help in some way, and besides i really only answer the phones, i am not the biggest asset to the company!!! just a lil helper bee. a very happy helper bee might i add, i have loved working where i work for the last two years, i feel like i have become a part of the family (its a family run business, or businesses....its two companies, owned by brothers that share the same office space, and i answer both of their phones....let me tell you it is always a mouthful when i have to explain something about my work....its fun, it kinda adds to my answer to "so where are you from?"...and by the end of it all the person i am talking to is wishing they had spoken to someone who looked more like a modesto native then i do, kinda like the way you are feeling about starting to read this early morning novel about nothing and everything all at the same time..... and i am just thirsty, like i am now, i have cotton mouth...bleg!....!).
so yes where was i?...i feel a part of the family, and working there has been such a huge part of making me feel at home here in modesto. so i will be eternally thankful for that. i have made some lasting friendships that i know will be a part of my life and my kids lives one day, and they mean the world to me!!! (my kids will too one day, but right now i was referring to my friends from work, who are also my bosses....just to correct my grammatical error with a longer more incorrect grammatical sentance....i am sure if my english teacher was reading this she would be as mad as she used to be if the word "chick" was used in reference to a lady (? woman? I can't remember what she wanted to be called but it wasn't anything that could be belittling to the female person)). So back to the point of all of this....there really is one i promise.....so i made known to my bosses the "plan" and then they figured out a plan. and so as of this week i am down to part time hours, i work mondays and thursdays. and i LOVE it! i am so stinkin excited about it. i think all day tuesday i walked around (my own house and the grocery store....and other places i went to on tuesday) with a gigantic goofy grin plastered on my face. and i kept saying to myself "oh how i love the morning light in my house", or "oh how i love winco (the grocery store that is usually a very unpleasant, not for any reason, experience) at this time of the day", or "how beautiful the day is today", and i would do a little jig and grin to myself. i was just so full of joy, goofy joy, and excitement. i still am, i think its part of the reason i am still up....it is now 5:21 am......
so a little bit more background to all this......(seriously this is all going through my head right now, and if i don't write it out somewhere i think i will go crazy, or just plain grumpy from no sleep, and i don't want to be grumpy on my 27th birthday)....so a year ago if you mentioned art to me, i would have responded.....hmm....how would i have responded????.....i don't know how i would have responded exactly, my face would have probably contorted into something resembling a confused face, a face of someone battling something, battling a love/hate relationship. i both loved art and was terrified of it. it has been a very painful process for me to create art for as long as i can remember, well actually since i started studying it at university (weird i know, but true). so any art i created really was a labor of love. and as much as i hated that i struggled so much with the process and with myself, i could also some how be thankful for it because of the growth that came from it, and as unbelievable as it is, the joy i did eventually experience when i started creating. so a year ago, even though i had this "plan" i was no were near being ready to pursue it, i didn't feel good enough, passionate enough, anything enough, i didn't feel. it mostly made me sick to my stomach and like such a failure. and i say failure only because i had this dream and have had this dream forever, and yet had nothing to drive me towards it, no desire, no passion, no umph....i was quite content to just sit and dream and answer phones. and it broke my heart and i felt like a failure, especially when i watched other people just strive for, and love what they were doing. i wanted that so much. i have never been really ambitious or competitive, so the idea of making loads of money or pursuing fame didn't grab me at all, infact it pushed me further back into my shell of double glazed protection (i need double glazing cos i get cold really easily). so i was far away, i did art every now and then, mostly as gifts for people, infact for the last 4 years most, if not all my art has been gifts for people, little personalised pieces. they where what inspired me in my art and drove me to do it, and i am thankful for that. but mostly i just beat myself up about it. i can't really tell you what changed exactly, or when it changed, i think this summer sometime. summer is SLOW at the office, so i made a little art carry thing and brought some art stuff into work and worked on some, mainly gifts, and commissioned pieces. then one day i didn't have any more art that i HAD to do for anyone, so i just played, no agenda, no plan.....i just had fun.....actually.... i just remembered what kinda triggered my "playtime", it was when were up in Canada over the summer, and walking around downtown vancouver, i stumbled upon an artist, and her studio, and fell in love with her work, i walked out so inspired and excited....so maybe that was when it changed. since then i have felt more and more ready to just be home and do some art, i still don't want to pursue being famous or getting my name "big", i just want to create and do it.....and let it be as it will be, fall where it may fall. i have a couple of ideas of how to sell it, only one of which involves approaching a gallery here in modesto (that's mainly because there are not many art galleries here in modesto that i think would be interested in my art....). so this part time gig came at THE most perfect time in my life. this week on my days off i created 5 pieces of art and i think i have opened a can of worms, a can of gummy worms (so a good thing), maybe a can of sour gummy worms, the sour part being the lack of sleep due to the ideas that are pouring through my head. i have never experienced this before, i mean i have experienced sleepless nights due to my mind being on overdrive, but never because of art related things, unless it was being in angst over it. literally every time i close my eyes i see a new art idea in my head.....its crazy....i have started writing them down so i can remember them all. so that has been one of the best birthday presents this week, time at home to create art. AND we still get a little bit of pocket money to go towards our south africa trip, it will take a bit more discipline and saving up, but that's ok....i am ok with that.
back to my birthday. on thursday my wonderful work bought me a delicious apple pie and we all had break time together with grandpa and grandma king. that night i was serenaded by my small group with a great rendition of "happy birthday" with a candle to boot! then friday i was invited to lunch at my friend/bosses house (i feel weird calling her my boss cos she is more my really good friend, as is her oldest daughter, its really fun!). they surprised me with a couple of other friends joining us and we had a lovely time hanging out and eating more delicious food off purple violet plates. then when i finally returned home (after an expensive trip to the art store), josh surprised me (and i was really surprised cos i didn't think he had planned anything, i didn't even know he had remembered that it was my birthday, i kept reminding him that he had better buy me a birthday present....inside joke....). so he surprised me first when i came from the bathroom after my bath, and he was all dressed up. a good indication to me that i should probably put something nicer on then my ripped denium shorts for dinner, and a good indication of where we were going to dinner. Gelatos, one of the two (that i know of) fancier restuarants in modesto. we had a lovely dinner together, feeling all posh and pretty. then we left and headed....home....i smiled and said to josh "you know what i thought? i thought you were going to surprise me and take me to tap dogs" (an awesome australian tap group that was in town, i had seen them twice back in south africa). he smiled and said "oh sorry"....and home we went to our poor puppy who had been outside most of the day and was dying for our attention once more. when we got into the house josh plonked down on the couch and i moved towards the bedroom to change into those ripped denim shorts, but then thought it was strange that josh was not rushing towards the bedroom for more comfy attire, so i sat down next to him. and there on the coffee table was a card he had made, with a finger and a dog drawn onto the front. i picked it up suspiciously, and read it.....and then looked at him blankly but smiled a thank you at his sweet note.....then he pointed back to his drawings on the front (as I had clearly missed the point).....and i said; "yeah that is your finger representing you, and that is moose, so it is from both of you, thank you". and he pointed out some other pencil lines near the finger and said "what is the finger doing?" and i replied "um....its pointed like this" (and i made the weird gnarly curled gesture that the finger was making) ...."yes, but what is it doing....you do it alot"........a moment of blank silence....you would think with a mind that whirs at this capacity at 4am i would get there quicker.....nope, it just whirs at this capacity to keep me up at night, morning, or whatever it is right now.........whirrrrr......."Oh!!" (light bulb)..."its tapping"......yay i figured out what that finger was doing but still not the point.......another blank moment.......whirrrr....finger tapping and a dog....."TAP DOGS!!!!". and so my second surprise was a date to see the tap dog show......we had finished dinner too early to go straight to the theatre (we both didn't eat very much and where stuffed so couldn't fit dessert in, such lightweights!) so we came home, which actually ended up being a perfect diversion as i was hoping he would take me, but this way i didn't think he was because we headed home and i thought we would watch a movie or something. so we put poor pup outside again and headed back down town.......loved it!!! this may sound silly, but it was so meaningful to me to be able to share something that i had enjoyed in south africa, with josh, its a gap filler, until i can share south africa with him in its fullest, its these little experiences that are possible to share with him here, and it means the world to me.......
so as of 6:10 am on the 19th of September 2009, my 27th birthday, i have already had a blast.....i am just super sleepy...........maybe i will sleep now?
well the positive to all of this is that even if i don't get any sleep tonight, today? i am pretty sure this blog has put some of you to sleep...so someone is getting some sleep, or rather someone else is getting some sleep, as josh and moose are already someone(s) getting sleep in this house.
goodnight.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the thoughts that travel through


These are just totally random thoughts that I am having right now.....a little snap shot into the very unprofound yet thoughtful (as in Full of random unprofound) mind of Pips.....


1) judging by the rate at which the hair grows on my legs, if I was a man I would have a 5 o'clock shadow by noon!
2) I would like to live in a song, like a worship song, or a Coldplay song, or a Jon Foreman song.
3) parenting....nope nothing to announce, but parenting is on my mind a lot it seems....parenting and Mohawks.....
4) whats for dinner?....oh wait I have to decide that.....hmmmm.....blaaank!
5) I wonder how many balloons it would take to lift a kid off the ground...
6) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. - Isaiah 55:8 .... thank goodness, judging by my thoughts nothing would get done. Also this may not seem random but amidst the rest of the thoughts it is.....And thankfully so.
7) what to do to Celebrate Josh's Birthday next week???
8) I need to get a filing cabinet so that I can organise all the loose papers flying around the guest room closet. And when I get said filing cabinet I need to paint it some fun colour....probably orange, unless I can find an orange one, then my work would be done....except the filing part....hmmm
9) I need to pee
10) wonder where my family are right now.....
11) wish I had time to work on some art.
12) 15 minutes until home time. Until I see Josh. Well a little more then 15 before I see Josh....
13) things I need to do: clean the house (in preparation for a friend visiting from Canada this weekend! Yay!). Send off paper work to hand in my Canadian Residency (which I have had filled out for a month now), get a passport photo for the Canadian Residency thing so that I can send it. Pay off my student loan, figure out how to wire money so that I can pay off my student loan. Buy avocados for dinner tomorrow night.
14) Why do I procrastinate, even in the middle of getting organised?
15) that's a nice number to end on, can't possible have more then 15 random thoughts pouring through my head can I?
P.S apparently "unprofound" isn't a word...interesting, I am still using it though.....that doesn't count as a thought though 'cos it is a P.S......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

missing you







You are there
I am here
and then there is distance
and time
and memories
they create space
in that space
I am thankful
for you
-Pips.

eye love



I love these two photos for two reasons. One cos I love both subjects, and two, I love both of their eyes. My husbands baby blues that caught my attention and heart, that make me smile daily, that look at me and know me and love me. And Moose's Big brown puppy eyes that seem to look into my soul, I mean how on earth can you stay mad when he looks at you like this? Even after chewing up my couch!!! Which by the way I have great news, I ordered a replacement cushion cover for like $35!! How awesome is that?

Monday, August 24, 2009

photo a day phinish





One year ago a casual facebook chat with a close friend from art class turned into a "photo-a-day" project. The idea was to take one photo a day with no pressure, no rules, just for fun. I was at a very frustrated point in my photography and art, and needed to remember again why I did it. I needed to enjoy it again. And so began my "photo-a-day" album on facebook. It started out with no rules or dates (the only rule was one photo a day). After I filled up one facebook album with 200 photos I decided to put an end date on my project and see if I could complete a year. This past Thursday was the last day of my "photo-a-day" project. So I created a couple collages of some of my favorites and thought I would post them here for you all to see. It was a fun year. I definitely discovered and learnt alot about myself and my art, I found my fun in it again, and I felt hugely encouraged all along the way. To be honest towards the end it began to feel little bit like a chore I had to do, that is why I am taking a break from it for a while, but my mind is already thinking up some new different project I could start on. The next project I do I will be sure to share it on my blog too.
Its kind of weird not having to come up with a photo for the day or take my camera everywhere, although it is very hard to not bring it along, it seems to be a permanent attachment to me these days.

feeling blue?



This what we were up to this weekend....Being blue.
As tempted as I am to leave it at that I suppose I should give more of an explanation.
We were acting (miming) in a short (5min) film that our previous church is making for one of their events. It was a lot of fun. I always left the acting side of things to Danny, being terrified as a kid on stage for all my ballet recitals, I never really pictured myself in any sort of acting position. But it was actually a lot of fun.
Don't let our faces fool you (or scare you).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Goodness



New News. As of Friday Josh is now up to a 100% position. The school liked him so much that they kept adding periods to his schedule so he is now a full time employee. God is good!
And a few random photos we took the other night in our street. For fun.

Drama Queen

I had a rough end to my weekend, and decided to have a mini break down yesterday. Lately Moose has been breaking out of the barricade of baby gates we create for him, and has been good at roaming the house free and not creating destruction and havoc. So we have been leaving him to roam. As we did yesterday when we went to our Church's BBQ, only yesterday Moose decided was the day he would create some havoc, and decided our couch was THE best chew toy in the house (see photo above). So we arrived home to a cloud of couch stuffing (yes I am being overly dramatic because that is how I am feeling right now) and one of our couch cushions a little worse for wear. Not pretty. Our friend Jess had ridden with us to the BBQ and was witness to the fiasco. I waited until she left and then just broke down. Just like that. I was a puddle of tears. You would have thought I had just heard the worst news in the whole world! But I hadn't, my couch just has holes in it. Now I would not consider myself a particularly materialistic person at all, and so I was more puzzled and perplexed as to why this upset me more then anyone.
Poor Josh.
Eventually, after a nice bath and a delicious cup of tea I calmed myself down and snuggled up with Josh on the couch, holes and all, to watch our favorite show, "friends". Best way to cheer me up.
Here is my theory....I have been told by a couple of counselors I have seen in the past that I am someone who tends to bottle things up. Push things way down and store them, and then one day I just erupt.
When I was growing up, my best friends family and my family had a bible study together, and one night we had to make drawings describing each other. She drew a volcano for me......I didn't understand back then, but I am beginning to more and more. Perhaps she should have been a counselor......
Over the years I have seen a bit of a trend and pattern with this theory. The most frustrating and embarrassing thing about this is that it seems to be the silliest things that cause my eruption, like Moose chewing up our couch. It leaves me feeling so confused and, well plain old silly. If it was something more heart wrenching, or hard, I would feel like it was worth the tears and grief, and I would feel like I was really processing through something. But a couch! Seriously the way I reacted you would think it was the end of the world as we know it. And inside is this strange war going on between the very reasonable, even keel Pips, "its just a couch!" and the drama queen Pips, "MY COUCH.....baaaaaaaa". Sometimes I try just let myself weep, I try to tell myself that it is OK, its good to have a good ol cry every now and then, and I so very rarely am able to even shed one tear, that I should take advantage of the opportunity. But since it is always over something really dumb its hard to really give myself that liberty. I mean I would rather bawl my eyes out over a sad movie, but that is hard to do too cos I have Josh staring at me and asking every 2 seconds "are you crying?".
So here I am Monday morning, exhausted and dramatic, with a holey couch, and wondering what my puppy is up to as I sit here at work. Otherwise life is awesome. I have an AMAZING husband, the best! A great lil house. I have an incredible family and wonderful friends. And I have an adorable puppy, whom I love to bits, even though he does like to chew up my things, I am thankful he is OK. I mean it could have been worse, he could have been missing, or he could have choked on a piece of couch fluff!
Just thought I would share this with you to give you a bit of a giggle this Monday morning. I think it is hilarious, and ridiculous. I would rather be laughing at it then crying. I am done crying for a while. Had my dose.
Time for this volcano to be dormant for a while.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

lemon and honey


A week ago today at this very time we were driving my Mom back to the airport. She was with us for a week and a half. I had such a special time with her. We shopped, we gardened (kinda), we had coffee (well tea) and lunches, we supervised painting, and went on beach visits. But most special to me where the many heart to heart, mother daughter chats we had. I feel like we caught up on the last 5 years. The last few years after moving to Canada have been tough, especially for my parents, and I feel like my Mom and I lived on Parallel lines for a lot of the time. This trip our lines came together again and it made my heart happy. And then sad to say good bye again. I have come to realise that as much as I love visits and visitors, I still don't like the goodbyes, and I have also come to realise that there are a lot of goodbyes in life. Goodbyes are like lemons. My Mom has lemon and honey every morning, it is her morning drink. Whenever she visits there is always a lemon sitting on a saucer near our kettle. Honey is a good pairing for lemons. Just like thankfulness is a good pairing for goodbyes. Being thankful for the memories created, and the memories yet to be made, has carried me through many a heart wrenching goodbye. So my new motto is: when life hands you lemons, add honey.
Thanks for the visit Mom.

Monday, August 3, 2009

its official


I am officially and unconditionally a Permanent Resident of the United States of America. Last week I received a letter congratulating me because the 2 year conditional status has been lifted from my residency, and in 6 weeks I should receive my "green card". A couple of Months ago we sent in another package with lots of proof that we were still married in order to get the conditions removed. What a long journey it has been. A Good, sometimes bad, long journey. I went back and read some of my old e-mails that I used to send regularly from around the time of our wedding. It was fun to remember the obstacles we had to maneuver around, and be reminded of God's faithfulness, perfect timing, and better plan. So it seems Flyingpips is settling for a while on Californian soil. Lets see how long that lasts. I got a fortune in a fortune cookie today saying I will set foot on many soils around the world. Looks like I am a step ahead of my fortune cookie.

Friday, July 24, 2009

knowing

This week was a big week for Josh with 2 interviews. We went into it praying in faith that one of the 2 positions would work out for him, but at the same time trusting Gods plan whatever it looked like. Whether it looked like one of the two teaching jobs, or some other job in a different field.

Turns out it didn't look like either, and once again God surprised us with His perfect plan and infinite knowledge of us and our needs.

During the interview Josh had with the High School, they mentioned that there was also a part time ceramics position open at the school. At that point it was a 40% job. So when Josh got home, he sent in an application for it. Even though it wasn't a full time position, it was still exciting for him. Josh took ceramics classes both in High School and at college, and ever since I have known him he has always ultimately wanted to be a ceramics teacher one day.

Yesterday Josh got a call from the Principal of Turlock High School (the High school he interviewed at, it is about a 15-20 minute drive from where we live) and was offered the job of ceramics and photography teacher! Since he had spoken to them at the interview they had added a photography class, making the position a 60% position which means we get benefits and better pay then what we are getting on unemployment at the moment. Josh is so excited. He will be teaching a subject he has always wanted to teach, and teach in a High School, but not have to take on the intimidating load of an entire art program the first year he teaches at High School level. There is also potential for the program to eventually become full time. We are very EXCITED and thankful for Gods awesome provision once again. His plan is always better then ours.

I don't know if I mentioned if Josh accepted the position? Well he did, and will start teaching at Turlock High on August 18th!

Thank you for all your thoughts prayers and encouragement, it means a lot!

Monday, July 20, 2009

the Great KNOWN


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".


Jeremiah 29:11

change is hard


In other news, we have officially moved churches. It has been a 2 and a half year journey, but we finally feel settled and excited in our new little church. It's strange how something exciting can still be hard.

In moving to Redeemer we felt we needed to join a small group at Redeemer and get more plugged in and involved, however this meant we had to leave the small group we have been a part of for the last two years. One of the hardest decisions we have had to make. A decision that took months for us to actually muster up the courage to do.

Last night we hung out with our small group for the last time and my heart ached. As I looked around the room at the other couples we have shared life with over these two years (pretty much as long as we have been married) my eyes welled up as I realized how much I loved them all. Change is so hard.

It reminded me of the feelings and emotions I had when I moved countries (both times). It's this strange mixture of excitement for the new, for the adventure that lies ahead, with sadness and heart aches for the memories and people you are leaving behind. It feels silly cos we aren't moving away, we can still see these people we have grown close to and love, just not as often. I will just have to more intentional now.

I think these big changes (and losses) that occur in our lives (although compared to moving countries this isn't that big, but for some reason feels like it, and is evoking similar responses and emotions in me), makes us take a step back and look at life from a different perspective, it gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude and love for those we don't necessarily always take the time to tell how much they mean to us. It reminds me that I need to be better at telling people how much they mean to me and my life.

So to our dear small group, this is what I couldn't put into words last night (mainly cos I am ridiculously shy in big groups and my face would have been as red as a tomato, and I probably would have burst in to tears, and been utterly dismayed, but it was on my heart and in my thoughts)......We love you all so much. We are so thankful for having you all as a part of our lives these last 2 years, to share the ups and downs of life. Thank you for all your prayers, encouragement, love, memories, and much laughter. You are a special group and we will miss being a part of it. Thank you for all your support and understanding as we make this move. You guys are awesome, and will continue to be in our prayers. I will not say goodbye, but see you later!!!

And away we go into another great unknown, taking baby steps and excited for what God has in store for us.

The Great Unknown



"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"
Ephesians 3:20
We find ourselves once again looking blindly ahead into an unknown future post the hot summer days. Josh was laid off at the end of the school year from the school he was teaching at, something we had expected to happen when he was first hired on. The position he had was funded by grant money and so it all depended on whether they got the money or not for the next year, that, and the declining economy, which saw schools cutting art and music programs from their budget, made it unavoidable that he would be laid off.
We held loosely to the hope that the grant money would still come in so that he could get rehired at the school he was at. Even though he desired to move to a school district closer to home, in this economy he would have been content to stay another year or too, and had grown quite attached to the kids he was teaching. But that was not an option. We didn't expect there to be many job opportunities out there for him in the art field, due to many art teachers being laid off with more experience, scrambling for available jobs. But amazingly three art positions came up that he applied for in school districts closer to home. We were amazed and excited, and waited expectantly for 2 weeks before he got a call back for an interview for two of the three positions. Funny how, just when you are about to start biting your fingernails and worry a little more, God plonks a bunch of hope in your lap to carry you a little further.
Both interviews are this week, one was this morning at 8am (he thinks it went well) the other is tomorrow morning at 9:30am. The one this morning was for a high school position, and the one tomorrow is for a junior high position. Up to this point he has taught junior high, but would ultimately like to be a high school art teacher. So we are hoping and praying for the high school position but will be happy and content with either position.
We have both felt an incredible peace these last couple of months, even though everything ahead is so unknown at this point. Sometimes I feel like I should be worrying more, praying harder, feeling more anxious. I mean we have a MORTGAGE to pay now! I have been waiting for all those feelings to tumble down on top of me. But to be honest I feel so at peace, so secure in my faith and knowledge that God has a perfect plan, perfect timing, and that he is in complete control. I have no idea what that plan will look like, if it will match up to what we are hoping for it to look like or not, all I know is that His plan is the only plan I want for our life, it's the best plan for us. I am praying with all my heart that one of these teaching positions will open up for Josh (all we need is one), because I believe he has a gift to teach kids, to impact their lives and love on them. At the same time I know that if no teaching job opens up for next year there is something else God wants Josh to be doing for now, and so even though it may make no sense to us, what will ALWAYS make sense is that God knows best and has the best plan for us. He is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine". Thank goodness! My fingernails can stay intact. With God the unknown is great!
I will keep you posted.

big kids





Monday, June 29, 2009

Best



I LOVE surprises, the thing is that somehow I figure them out, not because I am nosy (well I don't think I am), or curious, but just because I do. I stumble over them and figure them out (maybe I should be a detective or something.....then again stumbling over the things detectives stumble over is not all that appealing to me....waaay different to surprises...so maybe not).

Two days after we arrived back from Canada my amazing friend Jess booked me for a girls night with her, filled with a pedicure, dinner and a wonderfully girly movie. I was so excited and touched, I thought it was her sweet thoughtful way of cheering me up, which it was and it did. In the meantime guys went to play Frisbee.

Towards the end of our wonderfully girly movie the guys arrived home (to our house), we said a quick hallo and then continued to be glued to the tele (well at least I was). So Josh started telling us a funny story of something that happened to them at "in and out", a fast food restaurant (I thought they had gone to P.Wexfords, the local pub...but let him finish his story). This was his story: " So this random girl came over and stole our fries, she just sat down at our table, wearing an "in and out" hat and started eating our fries, Dave got a picture of her". At this point I was thinking my husband ate too many fries or something. But Dave proceeded to show me a photo of this girl on his iPhone. She indeed was wearing an "in and out hat", and she looked ALOT like my good friend Kirst. I can't really remember what I said but I know in my head I was thinking "what the heck? why does Dave have a picture of Kirst on his phone? and why is she wearing an "in and out" hat? did he photo shop it in? Why would he do that?". I was so confused. I had a split second thought that she may be here but then pushed the thought away thinking that was so impossible, and continued to be completely confused about this joke the boys were trying to play on me. In my confusion I went to the front door, muttering that I didn't get whatever they were up too and just wanted to finish watching my movie. And there standing on the other side of my front door was Kirst, my childhood friend from South Africa, who is now living in London, on my doorstep!

I was in complete shock and disbelief and yet at the same time it felt so completely normal to have her in my house. It was the best night. My toes were all pretty and orange, I got to hang out with my lovely Jess AND my other lovely friend Kirst came all the way from London to surprise and see me!!!! Happy.

So in case you were wondering, the boys didn't go and play Frisbee but in fact went to the airport. Josh had known for a month that Kirst was coming (kinda scary how well he kept the secret from me), AND I got another week off work to hang out and spend with Kirst.

Very Happy.

Thanks Kirst! You are a huge blessing my friend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Blue Chair








I love randomness. I love it when it catches you by surprise and makes you smile. When it presents a fun opportunity. My most recent collision with randomness came in the form of a lovely blue chair. (see above)
We just spent two wonderful weeks up in Canada with my family and friends. Our amazing friends, Jess and Dave, from California, drove up with us (we did the beautiful coast drive up the 101 that stretches the trip over two days). The first week was a full house, people and dogs everywhere (we brought Moose along and Jess and Dave brought their dog Emmi, I think Chester realised how old he was with our two bouncing puppies ready to play at ANY time of the day). It was Brilliant.
The Second week was quieter, but as full and wonderful. The Sunday that Jess and Dave Left, Dan and I took a morning walk with the dogs, and there in the middle of our path was this marvelous blue chair. We were so excited we practically skipped home and couldn't wait until after church to come back and do a photo shoot (of course). I am happy to say that the next day the chair was smuggled safely into my parents shed for future fun photo shoots!
Always let randomness catch you by surprise. It will make your day brighter, and perhaps even bluer....(in a good "blue sky" kind of way).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nostalgic trails

Every morning I take Moose for a run along this bike path by our house called the Virginia Trail. It is quite lovely. Along the edge there is wild grass, cosmos, Californian poppies and Daisy's growing. The combination smell of all of them brings back memories of my summer on Keats Island in Canada, working for Barnabas family ministries, the first year I arrived in Canada, in fact I had arrived 4/5 months prior to going to Keats. This nostalgia I feel always takes me by surprise. I am used to remembering South Africa and having the most random smell or sound set off a memory or a longing for the place I grew up. But when something sparks that same feeling for Canada, a place I lived for three years I am often caught off guard. It makes me realize that the short time I spent in Canada, as unsettled as it was, was so meaningful to me and to who I am today. Those memories contribute in shaping me just as much as my South African memories. This morning it got me thinking about years down the road, when I am 36, and I have lived the same amount of time out of Africa, as I have in Africa, I will probably still feel a deep connection to the place where I grew up. It makes me realize once again how integral and foundational my childhood really is. I am so blessed that I had an amazing childhood and can only pray that I will one day provide a similar foundation for my own kids. By the Grace of God.

Friday, May 8, 2009

home time


"To know God is to be free of the incessant need to understand exactly what He is doing before you place confidence in Him." - Joni Eareckson Tada, When God Weeps

Friday, May 1, 2009

simple smiles

Things that made me smile so far today: Waking up next to Josh. Moose nudges for cuddles. Going for a run with Moose. A clean house. Wearing boots one last time. Seeing a big rugged man walking his daughters to school with a multi coloured umbrella, Hawaii print board shorts and work boots. The fresh smell of rain, cleaning the dust away. Its Friday! Yay! Sweet messages from friends in my inbox. Thinking about having a rainy BBQ tonight with friends and watching "Yes man". Danny, even though he is not here right now, he can always make me smile. The predictions of hot sunny weather next week. Josh is almost done with the credential program. Thinking about going to Canada in one month time! I found a shorter (or quicker) route into work. Did I mention its Friday!....Have a nice day.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Left or Right

" When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy one of Israel your savior"
Isaiah 43:2-3
We have been attending a new church, and love it. A couple of weeks ago the pastor stopped and chatted to us as we came into church. My first random thought was "that's cool", (the last time we spoke to him was a year ago when we were introduced, and he remembered us). Somehow our conversation led to South Africa, and before we knew it he asked if we would be interested in incorporating our trip back there with a missions trip, as they are sending some people back this summer. He gave Josh his e-mail and told us to go pray about it and talk about it and then let him know. We were both very excited about the prospect. We had originally wanted to do a mission trip as part of our trip back to South Africa, and this seemed to have landed in our laps. We talked and prayed.
My prayer went something like this: "I don't know how, or if this will pan out like my deepest desires hope that it will, but what it reminded me of is your faithfulness and provision, always. Lord thank you for the reminder. The reminder that you are faithful, and that when we go to South Africa it is because you provided for us to go." I realized whether this trip happened or not, this would be what I was walking away from it with. An awesome reminder. An awesome promise.
So Josh sent off the e-mail. And then we waited.......and waited. By the following Sunday we still hadn't heard anything. During the sermon my friend Jess wrote me a note saying "Jim didn't get the e-mail". So after church we tracked Jim down to make sure he was aware that we were really interested. Josh gave Jim his number and he told us to think of dates that will work for us, and then he would call later that afternoon before the board meeting to talk more about it. So we figured out the dates that would work, chatted to Jim and then waited....again.....
Monday afternoon Josh got the call.....and..... we are not going. This trip is apparently a scouting trip for the church, and the board felt that the four people already going were enough to scout. However Jim assured us this is not a "no" but a "on pause", if the church decides to get more involved in doing more missions in South Africa, then there would be more trips. And so we are back to our original plan of saving and hoping to go in December.
I was not as bummed as I thought I would be. In fact I felt totally at peace. And when I was puzzling over the whole experience, like why would such an exciting opportunity come along only to immediately fall through. I could say I don't get it.....but I kinda do, cos I am walking away with the knowledge, peace and complete confidence that God is in control, He has a plan, and He IS faithful. And so if the sole purpose of this experience was to remind me of that, then that's worth it to me.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
So our summer plans remain to head up to Canada for a couple of weeks. Our good friends, Jess and Dave may be joining us, with our puppies, Moose and Emmi....watch out Canada!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

new and old

Our new old chairs.

Our new lawn.