Monthly Archives: December 2009

This Family of Mine

This photo is a rare memento of a truly remarkable occasion:  all of us kids, together with our significant others, hanging out in Beaverton with Dad at the same time.

We try to get together simultaneously, but our plans are often thwarted.  Like the time when everyone was eating brunch at a restaurant and Ethan never showed up.  Hours later he was found in the restaurant parking lot, sound asleep in his car. Then he wanted breakfast and wondered why everyone was leaving already.   College kids.  Sheesh.

He almost didn’t make it this time either…something about still being in bed at 11:30 a.m. when we called him.   On further thought, I’m just going to blame all of our get-together issues on Ethan, since he probably won’t read this blog.  I like that idea.

So, back to the Sunday after Thanksgiving …

We delivered Mom to her Airport Destination and then treated Dad to brunch at Sweet Tomatoes.  I love everything about that place, except for the vegetarian part.   Which is fine if you subscribe to Mom’s philosophy: “Meat is Excessive”.   I give her the side-eye for that one because she, a) is the daughter of a rancher  b)  taught her children how to raise livestock for market and c) now is the mother of a farmer.    Have a steak, Mom.    For the rest of us eating at Sweet Tomatoes, we just eat lots of scrambled eggs and dream of bacon on the side.

Here’s a picture of Dad and Danae at the restaurant.  Scheming . You can see it in their eyes.  Don’t be fooled by the innocent smiles.

Danae & Dad, wishing Sweet Tomatoes had breakfast sausage

I need to go back to the original picture for a moment.  I’d like to know why my brother is 3 feet taller than anyone else in the family.  I believe he got some mutant height gene and may have super powers.

And Andrew is looking kind of sketchy…but what do you expect from a brother-in-law?

Dad appears to be taking a quick nap when he didn’t think we were watching.

But we girls look great. Naturally.

Everyone but Keith who was taking the picture

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Chocolate

After a huge Thanksgiving feast, while you still have 6 pies left in your fridge, what better activity to do than to throw a chocolate party? After all, one can never have too much dessert!

Right?

So, I called up all my girlfriends and tempted them with chocolate martinis and decadent chocolate fountains, and big surprise: they showed up!

The men in their lives were pretty bummed about not being invited. That was a twist I didn’t expect. Some of them even came anyway, but Danae deftly removed them from the premises.

Just look at that chocolate fountain!  You really can’t blame the guys for wanting to crash the party.

I am so lucky to have such great girlfriends.  Some I’ve known for forever, like Danae. (Some days I’m still nostalgic for the time before we met, when I used to get all the attention. Those were the days, and they ain’t never coming back.)  Some are bestest buds from my college days.  And some are fashionable farmers who share my love for piglets and the Pearl District.  And many others have wisely refrained from starting blogs, so I can’t publically call them out.   But I love ’em.

Even if I have to bribe them with chocolate in order to get them to visit me.

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This is the Song I Sing

I was sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee in hand, and I was going to tell you about my Thanksgiving weekend and my chocolate party and my inside-and-out-beautiful girlfriends.

That’s all still relevant and I will definitely share it soon.  But God walked into my life just now in a way that made me catch my breath, and I have to tell you about it.

For the last couple years, I have been so sick of Christian music.  What it boils down to is this:  I want reality.  I want a relationship with God that is based on reality and truth, not sentimentality and formulaic phrasing.  For most of my teen years I lived and breathed K-Love and its “positive, encouraging music”, but these days I can’t even scan past that radio station without gagging.   Perhaps it’s indicative to me of American Christianity, which seems to exist in a big Christian bubble where the scientific method has joined Rock and Roll in the devil’s camp.  Where one’s relationship with God is measured by how far removed they are from the lives of wordly neighbors.  Where broken hearts are patched with arbitrary Psalms and cares should be “turned into prayers”.  Where followers of Christ are more proud of being known for what they stand against than what they stand for.   And I hate that I can’t stand Christian music because, more than anything else, I love to worship my God.  I cannot wait for the day I finally see Him face-to-face and can lift my hands and raise my voice in adoration.   But Contemporary Christian Music just doesn’t do it for me.  It’s cheesy, over-produced, ruins most genres it attempts to emulate, and rarely speaks to my personal relationship with the Lord.

The great thing about God is that He knows what I need even before I’ve actually consciously acknowledged it myself.  And this morning, I stumbled across this video which gives me so much joy because, here, finally is an uncompromising artist who is an incredible lyricist as well as musician and to top it all off:  a Christian with a real love for his Savior.

John Mark McMillan makes dang good music.  Here’s what music critic David Kern has to say, “The Medicine has an epic sound – a grand, impressive, emotional, heart-on-sleeves, rock sound. The kind with aggressive guitars and aggressive vocals. But it’s also air-tight, precise, measured rock n’ roll, with just the right amount of whiskey soaked folk; McMillan is confident in his vocals and his songs are consistent with his vision. Think Springsteen, Tweedy, or Yorn singing about the troubles and rewards of faith.”  YES!  THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!  CHRISTIAN MUSIC YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO LISTEN TO!

Go to John Mark McMillan’s website and listen to some more of this music.  You will be moved.  And maybe you’ll feel His love for you in a way you never expected.   Because today, I have.

Edited to Add: John Mark McMillan has never heard of A Daring Adventure, Provenance Farm, or Rachel Prickett. All aforementioned entities could disintegrate tomorrow and he would not even blink. Or care. Or give a rip. Or bring a pot roast to the funeral.

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