Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Beyond All Measure

This past Sunday we sang a hymn written by Stuart Townsend named "How Deep the Father's Love for Us." Stuart Townsend also wrote the hymn "Before the Throne of God" which we sang at our wedding. Since Sunday I have been constantly singing this hymn, and last night sang Hadleigh to sleep with it.

How deep the Father's love for us.
How vast beyond all measure.
That He should give His only Son
to make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss,
the Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
bring many sons to glory.

Behold a Man upone the cross,
my sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life.
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything:
no gifts, no pow'rs, no wisdom.
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart;
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Grand Ole Duke of York

Yesterday was our first day of swim class! There were three other moms in the class and the babies ranged in age from 6 months to a year. Hadleigh had a blast. Her favorite part was when we all sang "The Grand Ole Duke of York, he had ten thousand men..." We had to sing this while lunging across the pool and lifting the babies out of the water...good grief it was a bit difficult especially since I am short and so only my shoulders are out of the water. That made it easy to sqat (since I could only go down an inch), but difficult to lift her up out of the water. Hadleigh was the only girl, but didn't seem to mind all the attention from the boys. We can't wait until next week.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Betcha Didn't Know

...that the GA Aquarium is the largest in the world! All the Atlanta residents reading this are saying "duh", but I bet all my CA buds are very confused. What would a large aquarium be doing in a city that isn't remotely close the ocean? I am not exactly sure of the answer, but I will say that I am glad it is here because it is amazing.

Since we didn't get Hadleigh anything for Christmas (not like she knows any different since she was 9 months old at the time), we decided to get an annual pass to the aquarium. It basically pays for itself in 3 visits, so I figure if I go once a month I will more than pay for it. This past Saturday we headed down to the aquarium for our second visit.

Our first visit was the beginning of January and we went with Hadleigh's bud Sadie and her parents Paul and Lisa. It was pretty cool, but this time when we went Hadleigh was REALLY into it. She was screaming, reaching out to try to touch the fish, laughing, etc. It was pretty fun to see the change in her.

The other fun part of the day was that it was gorgeous outside, so we walked to Marta because we live about 5 minutes from a station, and then took the train downtown. I felt very European not having our car, and it was a gorgeous day, and the whole outing was a blast.

I do think that in March we will try to go mid-week, since it is jammed-packed like Disneyland in the summer. It just cannot be as crowded on a work/school day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chili's in Germany?

Did you know that Chili's opened a restaurant in Germany? Well, to be exact, the restaurant is on Ramstein Air Base, which is kind of America, but in Germany. It was a great little piece of home while we were there. We only lived about 45 minutes from Ramstein. This pic was taken last September when we celebrated Jan's birthday at Chili's. I found the pic while I was going through my inbox, missed my buds and decided to post it. The pic: me and Sara, Jessica, Jan and Beth

What Is So Wrong About Religion Anyway?

On my plane ride back to Atlanta from LA, I sat next to an older gentleman who is a pastor of a church in south Atlanta. He told me how "he found Jesus" and then talked at me for a long while about his church and finally asked me if I knew "him". He then said, "You see, I don't have a religion, I have a relationship." I have heard this said again and again, and if the dude had seemed remotely interested in anything I might have to say, I would have questioned him on it. Alas, he was more impressed with his own voice, than with mine.

Don't even get me started on his little tale of how "he found Jesus". Dude was so lost he couldn't see a hand in front of his face, but somehow he "found Jesus". Don't get me wrong, it was neat to hear his story and about his life, and it was neat that he took the opportunity to share with me. But had I not been a believer, I don't think his approach would have done anything for me. Even being a believer, his approach didn't do much for me.

What struck me, and has irritated me for a couple of weeks was that he said he had a relationship, NOT a religion. I have heard this said a lot, I remember it being said when I was in high school. I liked the saying back then, but now, it bugs the crap out of me. I get the idea...that it is personal. Unfortunately, God is so much more than personal. Salvation is about me in a sense, scripture is filled with references to how God chooses and saves. That is a very personal thing. Fortunately all of redemptive history did not begin and end with me. Redemptive history began with creation and will end when Jesus returns. I am a part of that, but not the only part.

Webster's definition of religion is: (1) the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance. OK, nothing wrong there. It also connotes traditions and an establishment or institution. I think this is where people get all bent out of shape, as if all religious traditions are empty and vain. Throw out the hymns, and the liturgy, anything that dates before the first Billy Graham crusade. I suppose if we were really to take this seriously we would stop baptism, and communion...oh wait, some churches have already done that. And I guess we will have to throw out church as well, because it is an institution and establishment, but wait that has been done as well.

What I should have said to that man was, you can keep your relationship and I will keep my religion. Christianity is about being part of redemptive history. I am connected to the church, historical and eternal. My relationship with Jesus is about me, but that is just a small, small part of it. It is about Jesus Christ saving and redeeming his bride, the church. The church began with Adam and continues to this day. We shouldn't throw out things because we think they might be empty rituals, we should admit our sin and ask God to speak to us in a new way through the traditions and instituions that he established and loves.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

For Sar

1. What time is it? 7.07am.
2. Name? Ami Marguerite.
3. What are you most afraid of? Raising Hadleigh without Dave.
4. What do you drive? A '93 Buick LeSabre.
5. Have you ever seen a ghost? No.
6. Where were you born? Newport Beach, CA.
7. Ever been to Alaska? Soon.
8. Ever used toilet paper decorating in trees? Yes, but most recently TPed a car, as in about 5 years ago.
9. Croutons or Bacon bits? Croutons.
10. Favorite day of the week? I love Sundays!
11. Favorite restaurant: Ted's Montana Grill, yummy bison!
12. Favorite Flower: Hyacinths, Dave always buys me a hyacinth for V-Day.
13. Favorite sport to watch: I enjoy watching Tennis with Dave, and love going to a baseball game.
14, Favorite drink: Water, but if we are talking about alcoholic drink, then I love Cosmos.
15. Favorite Ice cream: Vanilla.
16. Disney or Warner Brothers: Disney.
7. Favorite fast food restaurant: I don't do fast food.
18. What color is your bedroom carpet? Hardwoods.
19. How many times you failed your driver's test? Zero.
20. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail? Brea, she was telling me that Brennan can come to Hadleigh's birthday party in a couple of weeks.
21. What do you do most often when you are bored? Read or computer time.
22. Bedtime: Around 9 pm, we start the day early in our house.
26. Favorite tv show? Survivor, and Extreme Home Makeover.
27. Ford or chevy? I agree with Sar, neither, but if someone was giving one away I will take the Ford. Me, myself, I prefer Toyota.
28. What are you listening to right now? Hadleigh is playing and singing.
29. What are your favorite colors? Red and Green.
30. How many tattoos do you have? Zero.
31. Do you have any pets? Zero.
32. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Chicken.
33. What would you like to accomplish before you die? Travel the world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Television 1994-2006

So, this post is going to go on a little trek through my TV habits over the last 12 years. You see last night Dave and I watched the season finale of Lost Season 2, and while I will talk about this later, I will just say for now, I wasn't happy.

In college, my show was ER. Thursday nights at 9.45 we would all make sure to be back on our hall, and would tear down to Elaine's room to see what Carter, or Susie, or Dr. Green or Dr. Ross would do that week. Way back then the show was actually about more than just who was sleeping with whom. Those were the days when you actually liked Mark Green and before Carter got weird. After graduation, somehow Er just lost my interest, and seemed to go downhill from there, though oddly enough, I just saw that the show is still on TV. Insane!

After college I took a little hiatus from TV, didn't have much time for it and was into other things, until...I moved in with Bif and Kris in 2001. They had their little group of shows they were into, so I jumped on the Survivor: Kenya bandwagon...go Ethan, and of course that was the first year of Alias, when Sydney Bristow had crazy hair, and we didn't know that "The Man" was really her mother, who was never killed in the first place. So, even after moving out, I was still hooked on those shows.

My new roomie Hoxter introduced my to 24, when the Season 1 discs came out. My other roomie, Sharon and I were addicted, and I think that I wastch the whole season in a weekend. I was hooked until the last episode, when Jack finally just went a little too far and, in my opinion, was unjustified in the actions he took against people. To, me he became dishonorable, and let his personal vendetta get in the way of correct moral decisions. This especially rings true to me today, when our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have to put their personal feelings aside, when they have to pick up someone who might have just killed their buddy. These soldiers are true heros...but Jack is just a little angry man. So, all to say after that season, I dumped 24.

Once we moved to Germany we stopped watching TV altogether. My bud Jess taped the end of Survivor Allstars and some Alias for me. And we lost touch of TV in general.

Last year right before Hadleigh was born Dave picked up Lost Season 1, and we spent a weekend watching it. I will have to say I liked parts, but wasn't overly hooked. Last night we watched the last episode of Season 2. I am going to refrain from commenting too much, though if you want to see an interesting Lost debate you can go to my bro's blog..."Dan and Karina" link above. I agree with pretty much everything he has to say. I am unimpressed...who the crap are the others? Why are their polar bears and horses on the island? What is it with the numbers? And is this just a lame comment on the state of religion?

So, all that to say, not much has changed in my TV viewing. I am still addicted to Survivor, everything else I can live without. I was happy to come back to America to catch the middle and end of Survivor Cook Islands, Yul was awesome, and now I can't wait to see what happens in Fiji.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

11 Months

Hadleigh Claire turned 11 months old last week while we were in Cali. I can't believe that my baby is almost 1 year old!

She is doing all sorts of new tricks. As I mentioned before she is pulling up to standing, she is also great at peek-a-boo and waving hello, goodbye and good night. Dave taught her how to throw, so now she will throw an object and then put her arms up in the air, as if to ask "where did it go?" She is chattering up a storm and always has a new sound she is working on. She loves music and dancing and books.

She loves to be chased, and to be snuggled. In the mornings she comes into bed with me for about 30 minutes, she loves it when I knock her over. In fact this morning I wasn't knocking her over enough, so she picked up my hand and pushed it into her chest to knock her over.

She loves bath time with Dada. I am also thinking about taking her to a mommy-baby swim class.

As of yesterday she is fully weaned and we are looking forward to our new found freedom. It means a weekend away for Dave and I together and then in March I am going to attend Intown's women's retreat.

We are looking forward to celebrating her first birthday in just a couple weeks.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cali Time

Last week HC and I had a surprise visit out to Cali. Dad's gallbladder decided to stop working, so he had emergency surgery 1/26. All seemed to go well, but afterwards he lost some mobility, and since it seemed like it was going to be a long recovery Hadleigh decided that we needed to go out to help Nana Patti and to cheer up Papa Froggy.

We had a great flight out there with an extra seat so that we could carry-on HC's carseat. She even had a good nap on the plane and was quiet the whole ride home from the airport. Here is a pic of her with her wings. God bless everyone out there who has ever helped a mom with a young child who is traveling alone. It is quite a feat getting through security and carrying everything onboard the plane, etc.

By the time we arrived Dad was home from the hospital and able to do some things on his own, but we spent the week cooking up some good food, like a huge pot of sloppy joes. I helped clean and organize a little so that Mom wasn't so behind and we just had fun hanging out.

While there HC decided it was time to pull herself up to standing, and impress Papa and Nana with her tricks.

Over the weekend Uncle Chris and Aunt Rubie drove up from the dessert to visit. HC just loves her Rubie and her Chris. We took her down to the park and she enjoyed playing in the swings, on the slide, and especially in the sand.

While out in Cali we also got to see Auntie Erica, and Sar and Annie, and Em. Unfortunately I only have a pick of Auntie Erica.

We made it home safely over this past weekend and are glad to be home with Dave.