Sunday, October 28, 2007

Quick Post:

Isn't this a fun picture? My friend, Julie took it when we were on a weekend trip last year...or was it earlier this year...

I like the pop of red.

Today we're going to see Terry's mom to celebrate her birthday (a little late). We're going to Prescott. Highs are only in the 70's, and we're hoping to see a little Fall color somewhere around, although that's not the best place in AZ for it.

I'm taking my camera so I'm sure I'll post about the trip.

We're looking forward to a great day with Amy, Andrew and mom.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We got an update from Terry's brother last night and they have their most important items packed and ready to leave their house if they need to evacuate. The fires have come pretty close to them in the last day or so. If we were still living there we would have had to evacuate our home, but so far its still standing.

Here's a little excerpt from their email.

"So yesterday, we spent most of the day watching the news, thinking, "Wow!"...but thinking we weren't really affected. But late last night, it started to change, and we kept watching it getting closer and closer because of the CRAZY wind. So I slept from 2-5 this AM, and Kristi slept from about 5-7. So we're kinda tired, but as it NOW looks, the wind is in our favor. Of course, the wind seems to shift every 5 minutes (and they predict these winds to last through Thursday), so we're still on alert. But Spencer gets to have fun on the roof with the hose, and Lucas gets 2 days off of school, so there's always a silver lining!"

Be in prayer for all those families that are out of their homes. Some will go back to rubble and some to the place they love...its a very traumatic time to say the least...and imagine what you would take if you just had a few minutes to grab things.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Agua Dulce "Buckweed" Wildfire:

Some of the fires in So Cal are dangerously close to our old neighborhood and there's an evacuation station set up at Amy & Kevin's old high school! If you click the link above to the map, imagine that we lived near Copper Hill and Bouquet Canyon Roads.

Here's more info as well.

We had some close calls when we lived there, but not as close as this is and there were times when there was so much soot and ash in the air that it looked like a war zone. We still have lots of friends and family that live in that area.

Those wildfires can be so unpredictable, especially with the strong winds they're having. There are wind gusts of up to 30 mph which is making the fires so difficult to contain. At least 25,000 acres have burned and mandatory evacuations are happening now.

I'm sure this is all very scary for please keep them in your prayers.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Another crazy busy weekend...

Terry was out of town and I crammed way too much into the time. I really didn't have much time to rest, but did have some fun with lots of friends and family.

Here's a quick recap:

Friday night:
Dropped Terry off at the airport
Stopped by Ikea to pick up a couple of things for our upcoming Catalyst event.
Then attended and took pictures at opening night of our friend Jenna Thrush's show, "Annie". Jenna played Miss Hannigan and did an awesome job in acting and singing. It brought back memories of when Kevin played Daddy Warbucks in elementary school. What fun!

I also went with Jenna & Julie to Baskin Robbins for the cast get-together, then back to the house to look at photos of the play.

Took my car to be detailed since it was absolutely filthy inside and out...that's a story for another day.
While it was being cleaned I killed time shopping at the mall.
I was supposed to pick up my car between 12 + 1 pm but my watch stopped around 12:30. It didn't register that it had stopped until after 1:20 pm and I had a hair appointment across town at 1:45. I raced over there and she was still able to fit me in, then I left the appointment to find out that the 50 th birthday party I was to attend that night started at 6 pm instead of 7, like I thought.

Ah well, more hurrying...fortunately after postponing a small task that I had hoped to accomplish, we got there on time and I enjoyed being the volunteer photographer for the evening. It was a great time and Debbie's daughters did an amazing job putting the yard and food and everything together. I was very impressed. These photos capture just a little bit of the atmosphere of the evening. They are a fun group and we're happy to be getting to know them. This is the birthday girl, Debbie, her husband and daughters at the toast.

The next photo wasn't taken by me (since I'm in it). The birthday girl is on the left and the others are all dear friends from our home group.

Well, as you can imagine, I got home and fell into bed.

Met some of our friends from Tucson who came up to visit and brought some of their friends to attend Open Door Fellowship.

After church we enjoyed a great lunch together with Bernie & Kayelen as well. What a precious group they are.

Afterward I zipped over to the mall to meet my mom and sister to watch the movie, "Michael Clayton" with George Clooney. Pretty good show actually!

Well, now I'm off to pick up Terry from the airport and will again crash when I get home, only to get up for work in the morning... Today I need a weekend from my weekend, but how can I complain with all the fun I had!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Mosaic - Pieces of My Life So Far" by Amy Grant

I just finished Amy' s new book and really loved it! Of course, being the sentimental gal that I am, I cried most of the way through it. I was reading it in the waiting room at the doctor's office the other day and had to put it away because I kept crying and people were staring. I'm not ashamed of crying in the right setting, but somehow I just didn't think these folks would get it. Besides, I knew that if I went into the exam room with my eyes all red, the doctor would ask me a bunch of questions.

Anyway, it's not that the book is tragic or heart-breaking. As the title explains, it contains snippets of Amy's life so far with the good and the bad...reflections on the lessons she's learned and the blessings she's received. I appreciate that she spends time sharing vulnerably about her life struggles, her losses, as well as her bouts with depression. I think what makes me cry is how she shares from the heart. There's something about being let into the feelings of others that makes me emotional myself. I feel along with Amy. Her songs affect me the same way. So many of them express feelings, thoughts, dreams and struggles that I've felt myself and just don't know how to explain as eloquently.

You see, Amy Grant and I have a lot in common. She's close to the same age as me (just a few years my junior, although she looks a decade younger at least), she's a wife and mother and became popular during the time that I was involved in singing Christian music myself. And actually our daughter Amy was named in honor of Amy Grant to some degree. Among other reasons, I chose the name of someone that I admired and found beauty in their life. There were two Amy's that impressed me at the time we were choosing a name for our firstborn. Amy Grant and Amy Irving. I don't really know much about the character of Amy Irving, but I knew that both women were beautiful and I loved the honesty that they portrayed in their respective crafts of acting and music. (I wonder if that's why our Amy's such a talented actress and singer...hmmm)

Now more about the book. Here are a few of my favorite parts...

I love the fact that Amy Grant likes James Taylor's music (another thing we have in common).

And her story of going swimming off a yacht in the Mediterranean with First Lady Barbara Bush was so much fun! She doesn't talk like she's bragging, she just shares her own joy in having the privilege of sharing a private time with such special people.

Don't miss the magical story about the deer on page 163-164. Sounds crazy, but it will make you realize that God sends angels in many forms to comfort us when we need it.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is one that I've been learning myself recently.
"We never really know what's going on inside another person. It's a good reason to be gentle." Sometimes I'm so arrogant to think that I know what's going on in someone else's heart and mind only to find out that I was totally wrong. God, help me to have a sensitive heart like You do towards all.

I really appreciate Amy's comments about children, faith, grace and the vibrant knowledge of active mercy. It sounds like she's read TrueFaced (or maybe I should send her a copy). I think from her honest sharing in Mosaic that she's moving into the Room of Grace and is learning to trust God and others with who she really is.

I definitely recommend reading Mosaic. To purchase a copy click here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fall Decorating in Arizona
Remember when I mentioned that I had found the perfect branch for my house? Well, this weekend I cleaned it up and varnished it and now it's hanging in my living room. I thought it was appropriate that it have Fall leaves in October, so that's what I did. The silk leaves are hanging from little clips on hooks that I bought at Ikea. I think their original purpose was for curtains.

I'm looking forward to doing lots of fun things with my branch. How about icicles and snowflakes in the winter, Christmas ornaments in December, Hearts at Valentines' Day, Family photos at birthdays, etc. I'd love to hear other ideas as well.

Here's a closer shot and a few other pics of fall decor. See, we have ways of making it seem like Fall in the desert even if it doesn't really look like it outside.The Grandma Perkins sign is special because I found it pre-made at a craft store in Ohio (where I grew up) and my grandmother really had a pumpkin patch or more like a roadside fruit and vegetable stand. I remember one year she ran a special for all the pumpkins you could carry for $1. It was so funny to see all those big farm boys trying to carry as many as possible to the cashier without dropping them. Oh and her name really was Perkins! How cool is that!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The history of Amy Teegan's name:

Our daughter, Amy (Teegan) has new business cards for the photography business that she's building in portraits and weddings, etc.. Here's the front & back of the cards (mounted on an aqua background because my scanner kept cropping the edges for some reason). Aren't they cool? And I love the photo of Avalon that Amy took!

Take a look at her site.

Also, there seems to be some confusion about how she got the name, Teegan, so I'll fill in the gaps on her name. Later I'll share a few other fun stories about Amy & her name, as well. (Amy, don't let me forget.)

When Terry and I first got married, we started talking about baby names, as young couples often do. We realized that there weren't a lot of names that we both liked and it took us quite a while to agree on even one name for a girl and one for a boy. The names that we finally agreed on several years before we had any kids were Brian for a boy and Amy for a girl. I actually don't even remember if we had middle names chosen yet. I had a few different criteria for our kid's names:
  • I wanted a name that sounded good with Hann (it's English, not German and sounds like "hand" without the "d", not Hawn or Hahn like most people say it.)
  • My theory is that a one syllable last name should have a two or three syllable first name...just sounds better to me for some reason.
  • And because we knew they would constantly be correcting people when their last name was misspelled or mis-pronounced we wanted a first name that was fairly straight forward and hard to misspell or mis-pronounce.
  • We also wanted names that were not being overused at the time. Names go through cycles, and since I grew up with a ton of Nancy's in my classes, I wanted something that wasn't attached to every 3rd child in the world. We didn't want their names to be boring, though.
So those were the ground rules for how we picked their names. Now a middle name is different, because most people seldom use or see it and it can go in so many different directions. We decided early on not to name our kids AFTER any extended family because we have just too many relatives and didn't want to choose one and leave the others out. Actually we really thought Amy was going to be a boy, and I hated the idea of calling that mysterious child inside my round belly "It", so most of the time we called her "Brian". (maybe that's why she's not such a girly girl - doesn't matter, we love her just the way she is.)

So as the pregnancy weeks went on, we didn't know the sex of the baby, and we hadn't yet decided on a middle name for our potential little girl, Amy. We looked at baby name books all over the place and scanned every other source we could think of, but nothing really clicked. Finally just a few months before the baby was to be born, we were at the house of our friends, Randy & Linda. Linda was also pregnant and let me borrow her "Unusual Baby Names" book. Now it is true that they had a cat, named Teegan at the time and we really liked that name. But we didn't actually name her after the cat.

When we heard the name Teegan, and found out that it was Welsh for "beautiful" and that it fit all our other criteria, we fell in love with it. But because it was close to the delivery date and we didn't have a long time to ponder the idea of using it as a first name, we decided to use it for her middle name, in case she didn't really like it later on, she wouldn't be stuck with it so prominently. After she was born and when I was pregnant for the second time, we actually thought about using Teegan as a first name if we had a girl because we loved it so much. It would have been a little strange, to have two kids with the name Teegan (one first, one middle) but who cares. Turns out we had our son, Kevin instead so we didn't have to make that decision. (By that time everyone was choosing Brian so we gave that one up.)

So we're very happy with the name Teegan. Her uncle still calls her that, and Amy, if you want me to start calling you Teegan, I'd be happy to do that. I love the name and I'm glad you do too! Good news for you that you don't have to deal with the "Hann" corrections any more...

And here's a photo of our sweet little Amy Teegan in her rosebud dress, on her first day home from the hospital! Isn't she beautiful...just like her name? Note that there's lots of yellow in the accessories, since we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's been quite a busy week!
On Thursday we went to the Diamondbacks vs Cubs Playoff game with Andy & Julie and watched the Dbacks win the 2nd of their 3 games to sweep the series! It was a dark & stormy night...well, we had a few drips come down, but I caught a full rainbow on the way home from work before the game! The photo at the end of the post is the downtown sky before the game.

This photo of Terry, Andy & Julie gives just a glimpse into the fun we had together.

Check this out. Tony Clark uses a verse as part of his signature: Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Cool huh? This was up on the huge scoreboard for all to see.
And here's a photo of a die-hard Cubs fan. There were a huge number of Cubs fan there. Did you know that they have now gone 100 years without winning a title? How sad is that! Still after 99 years, this fan still had some hope. His shirt says "It's Gonna Happen!" this had to be a heartbreaking week for all Cubs fans. I guess that's the reason for the beer in his hand...

On Friday Catalyst had a staff and spouse dinner with a few honored guests. It was a gorgeous night! A little too "breezy" at times, but we were thrilled with the cooler temps so we put up with the candles being blown out once in a while. Grace made an awesome Beef Bourguignon and Debbie made homebaked Apple Crisp...mmm delicious!

Saturday night Terry played mandolin with our friend, Bob Ryan at his CD post-release party. What a fun time! Check out Bob's website and buy his CD. His songs are also on iTunes. And his MySpace is quite informative, interesting and entertaining! FYI, Terry didn't play on the CD. Bob played both guitar and mandolin (I think), but couldn't quite manage that when playing live. It was another fun night for all.

Today Terry played bass at church, but I got to sleep in some. The combination of getting ready for the staff dinner, hosting our home group this coming Thursday and the cooler temperatures have motivated me to work on getting out all my Fall decorations. I did a lot of that this weekend, but still more to go. Maybe I'll post a few pics later... we'll see...

Have a great week. I'll be posting my "Mosaic" review in the coming days so check back again.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just a little treat from WaterBrook Press:

Hey, have you heard of the book, Mosaic by Amy Grant? I just received a free copy to read and review on my blog! Isn't that awesome! To be honest, I don't even remember how I got it. I just remember responding to either an email or an ad on a website telling them that I'd be interested in reviewing it. In order to qualify I had to send the link to this blog so they could see that it was "established" and probably that I wasn't some lunatic. Of course, I probably fit pretty perfectly into their target audience, so I'm in and I got the book in the mail today.

Those of you who know me well, know that I'm a big fan of Amy (Grant, that is). Well, also of Amy Schubert, but that's another story. Anyway, I'm supposed to post my review between Oct 15 and 19th, and I haven't even started reading, so I'd better get busy...and you'll have to check back later to see the review and the full story behind the connection between Amy Grant and my daughter, Amy (Schubert). There really is a story!

So mark your calendars to come back for a visit next week to see the rest of the story...