Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy 27th birthday - Amy Teegan Schubert!!

Amy, I know that you're leaving on your birthday to travel to London, so I decided to post this a day early so that you could see it before you go.

I'm so excited for the new adventures that you get to experience this year. London and Italy in the same year. Wow! I'm jealous, but can't wait to hear the stories and see the pictures.

But today our focus is you and the special woman that you are.

On the day you were born (two weeks after your due date), I got just a quick glimpse of you, then Dad was led into the nursery to watch the nurses clean you up and check your stats. For some reason you didn't look anything like l expected, but since Dad was with you, I knew you were ours. I remember that beautiful round little face. You were perfect in every way. 8 lbs, 8.5 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. Always a quiet and happy baby that slept a lot and was easy to care for. You made my transition into motherhood very easy. I took you everywhere and you were content wherever you were.
Originally I was concerned with having a girl first, because I thought Dad would be afraid to interact with you. But actually (as God knew) it worked just the opposite way. It was love at first sight! Since you were his only child (at the time), he learned to care for you, play with you and enjoy you splendidly. There were times when he was better at putting you to bed than I was, because I was working in the evenings (as a waitress at Coco's) and he was home with you more at that time of day. You were Daddy's girl and you have always had him wrapped around your little finger.

Of course, being the first grandchild on Dad's side and the first girl born to his family in 3 generations, you were quite the center of attention. Your 4 grandparents and dozen or so aunts and uncles couldn't wait to play with you!

I included the picture of you, Kevin and Uncle Ted to give an idea of how excited Ted & Kristi were when you were born. They used to bring me pickles and ice cream every week while I was pregnant with you. They were your biggest fans and your chief babysitters and have some great stories to tell. We loved having them nearby and I'm so glad that they live so close to you now so you can still spend time together.

In looking thru some of our old pictures, I had a hard time choosing just a few to post. There are so many that bring a smile to my face. These are just a few that are windows into your personality.

Everyone who knows you knows that you have ALWAYS loved to read! I know I have a picture of you in diapers looking at a book, but we'll just have to post this one from a few years ago. It's a good thing your grandmother worked for a bookstore.

I love that you are creative. Someday I'll have to get out the drawings you did in your early childhood and post them. The amount of beauty & detail was amazing! Now you use that same creativity in your photography and it shows. And look at the concentration you had hanging tinsel on the tree, just like Grandma Irish taught piece at a time.

While you were somewhat cautious, you still loved to try new things and were never afraid to pursue a new sledding without a sled!

You have always been independent. When I saw what you were wearing in some of these photos, I wondered why I had dressed you that way. But then I realized that from a VERY young age, you wanted to choose your own clothes and I let you, so I can't take the "credit" for those lovely outfits. The good news is that you don't feel the need to follow the crowd in anything. You take the time to think things thru and make decisions on your own and don't worry about what others think about your choices.

I am still in awe the way God blessed you in singing and acting. Those are things that I love to watch and you do them so well. Thanks for those years of using those gifts to bring joy to others. I hope someday you share them again.
I love the way you love children and animals too. I know that someday you'll be an amazing mom.

I am so proud of the way that you look straight to the heart and choose your friends wisely.

In that same way, you fell in love with Andrew. You knew that he had a heart full of love and kindness. Who else would make a scrapbook page for your proposal! Dad and I are so glad you two are together forever.

God has filled you with beauty and gifted you in so many ways. I truly believe that with the Lord's guidance, you can do anything that you dream of doing and I look forward to seeing where He leads you.

Have an absolutely fantastic birthday my precious daughter, and a year filled with the joy and love of your family and friends.
Shredder's Latest Antics

We've been trying to figure out what's up with Shredder. She's been doing all kinds of things that we haven't seen her do before. Maybe she's becoming senile or maybe she's just being more adventurous in her old age.

I caught her on the kitchen counter in the middle of the night even when I was sitting in the same room. She's also been climbing up on the bathroom counter. No idea why!

We've seen her fairly regularly drinking out of the swimming pool. Fortunately it's a salt water pool so the chlorine's not quite as strong as in other pools. I hope she doesn't fall in.

And she's been sitting on Terry's lap more, even though he says he doesn't like it.

Crazy cat!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hand in Hand beginnings...

My friend Barb has recently created a group on Facebook for those who were involved or interested in the Christian ministry called Hand in Hand from back in the 70's and 80's. She asked those that were involved there to post a bit about their story and I decided to write mine.

Unfortunately, FB doesn't have the capacity to post this much info at once so I decided to do it here then just link to it from FB. If you have an interest and some time, go and look at some of the old photos from those hippie days. They are quite entertaining.

Hmmm...where do I start? My family moved to Phoenix from a little town in Ohio just a few short weeks before I turned 16. That would have been around June of 1974. After I was here a few months, I learned about Hand in Hand from a connection I had in Ohio that published a “Jesus Freak” Newspaper. The guy's name was Craig Yoe (Google him sometime-he's a crazy man even now). I had been going to a west Phoenix Assembly of God church and wasn't thrilled with the youth group. They were all very lukewarm for Christ, having been raised in the church (not that it’s always the case). I had only been a Christian for a year, so this was NOT the place for me. Once I started coming to Hand in Hand I felt like I was home. I was thrilled to also find out that there was a church meeting there on Sunday mornings that I could attend. So sometime in the fall, I started going to Open Door and getting to know the gang.

I was one of the few single girls in the group of “regulars” and once I settled in, I became the resident kid sister to all the guys. They all seemed to be comfortable telling me about their girl problems. (What was I, chopped liver?) Really it was great. I developed some very precious friendships during that time that I still enjoy today.

Sometime in the next year or so, I really don’t remember when, Bernie decided that he wanted to start a folk band and he asked me to be a vocalist. Shira consisted of Sharon (Chesnut) Haugen (vocals), Jay Haugen (vocals & guitar), Lee Chesnut (vocals & guitar), John McDonald (vocal & drums), Apryl (Mott) Ballard (vocals), Dan Malmgren (banjo) and me (vocals).

Most of the members had a lot more musical training than I did, but I loved to sing. Problem was that I sang all the time in my car with no music, so when the notes in the song were out of my range, I’d just change the key that I was singing in, and never even realized it. I also never learned how to find a harmony in a song except in choir when there was always a group around me that I could listen to. So I’m sure that my contribution to the group was quite challenging for Bernie. I loved the experience though and am so thankful to Bernie for taking the time to work with those of us who were novices. What a patient saint he was!

God, of course, thru Hand in Hand was also key in me marrying my husband, Terry (the one with the blond hair & beard in the photo). I won’t go into the whole story, but suffice it to say that I was in a season of life when I was trying to “keep busy”. Because of that, Bernie invited me to come down and hang out at the HiH building to watch a new band practice. They were brand new and mostly a bunch of guys that I didn’t really know that well. Toni (Skiles) Brunner and I would go down and make coffee for the guys during practice and just enjoy Glory Road’s music. As you’ve probably guessed, Terry was one of those guys. Our friendship started there and was deepened in the times that I gave him rides home from practice. He didn’t have a license at the time (long story) and I lived closest to him, so I’d give him a ride home and we’d sit out in front of his apartment (that he shared with Dennis Martin) and just talk about all kinds of things…including other girls that liked him, for hours and hours. Long story short, that friendship turned into romance and here we are still together 31 years later. He’s still playing beautiful music and I’m still making coffee for him.

O.k. sometimes he makes his own coffee. It is the 21st century after all.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chris & Christina's Wedding Shower
Last Saturday we helped with a wedding shower for Chris and his fiance, Christina. Chris is the son of two of our favorite friends and we have known him since he was born. It's been so much fun watching the kids that we've known since birth grow up to be amazing adults. It's exciting to see them take steps like going to college, joining the workforce, searching for their path in life, traveling, falling in love, getting married and even beginning to have families of their own. It's always a blessing to see where the Lord is leading them in these early days of their adult lives.

Jay and Sharon hosted the shower at their beautiful home for some of our closest friends, and a few Thrush family members. It's interesting that this group of our closest friends all met around the same age that our kids are now (or even younger). We cherish these friendships that are taking us thru all seasons of life. It's amazing that we've all known each other for nearly 30 years. Wow!

It was a beautiful spring evening here in Arizona. Perfect weather! Jay served 3 of his homemade salsas with chips, grilled up some delicious chicken and we enjoyed lots of other salads, sides, homemade rolls & brownies and other goodies as well.

We got to watch them open some gifts, then loved listening to them share how they met and fell in love. What a beautiful story!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the evening. If you want to see more, you can watch the slideshow here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Worship Team Breakfast
Saturday morning Terry and I went to a worship team breakfast meeting and I decided to take a few pictures just for historical purposes.

The worship team at Open Door Fellowship is a wonderful bunch. There are musicians, vocalists, sound technicians, A/V technicians (that set up & run the slides for the worship songs) and others.
This morning was a low-key meeting and a great breakfast. Lori is working on helping Randy with the logistics on Sunday mornings to try to free him up from the details. Her husband, EJ generously agreed to make us all fresh waffles that morning as well as sausage, OJ, coffee, etc. What a prince!

Randy & Lori led the meeting. We are so blessed to have someone like Randy who works so diligently to coordinate all the details of every Sunday morning...beginning with choosing musicians, selecting songs, then music and tech rehearsals on Wednesday nights all the way to praying, leading, singing, playing and troubleshooting everything that goes on for 3 services on Sunday.

What an amazing man! And right now, that's just a small part of his weekly responsibilities. I'm not sure how he does it all, but I'm thankful that God has given him the strength to do it. I pray that he'll be able to continue to focus on the things that God has so wonderfully gifted him in and find help and support for the things that are a drain on him.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! See below...

This was our dinner tonight. The traditional corned beef and cabbage. One of the easiest meals on the planet. Throw it all in a crockpot (except the cabbage). Add a few bay leaves, cover it with water and let it cook on low all day. Throw in the cabbage for the last 20 minutes or so, then serve it up. Easy and oh so tasty too.

So, I'm bummed that when I wrote my St. Paddy's Day post and tried to save it for a future date 3/17, it actually posted on the day I wrote it.

If you haven't seen it, please click here and you'll find it. Sorry about that. Hope you had a wonderful day!

The luck o' the Irish to ye! (although I really don't believe in luck)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

If you have some time to kill, visit the Facebook Group called Hand in Hand (Phoenix, AZ). It's a collection of friends that experienced the old days of the Hand in Hand Christan evangelistic ministry in the late 70's. Terry and I were both in bands back then. There are some pretty funny pics there.

Our friend, Bernie Rolfe has also created a website with lots of history and even quite a few recordings from that season of life. There are photos there too.

Terry's band was Glory Road, and the band I was in was called Shira.

Valentine Branch
I'm finally getting around to posting pics of my branch decorated for Valentine's Day.

I added a metallic heart garland this year and I left up many of the snowflake decorations that were up there for the winter holiday season, since February is a snowy month in most parts of the world.

I must say that the Valentine decorations are one of the sets that go best with the red sofa and other red accents in the room.

My pastel Easter Egg decorations are up now and I'm not sure what I'll do after that...

Any ideas?

If you haven't visited recently, be sure to scroll down and see the last post of Coffee Cup History below.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coffee Cup History - Continued...

I'm sure this coffee cup will be familiar to you. It's from "Friends", the TV Show.

I bought this cup at NBC studios when I had a chance to go to a taping of the show with one of my own friends (Kathy Oatey). We were there in one of it's last seasons in production. It was a special privilege to see the cast and their relationships with each other in real life while on the set. There were many laughs and a long night of taping, but I'm happy that I had the chance to witness that little bit of history.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Honorary Irish - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

As mentioned in my profile, I have Irish blood, but probably not too much of it. I am told that I'm English, Irish, Dutch, French, German, Indian and Italian. I don't remember much of the specifics about my heritage except that one of my great, great, great grandmothers was full blooded Ohio Indian. Really! I have some other documentation somewhere about the Perkins side, but know very little about my mom's side (Crider). You see, my mom's birth mother was an orphan and I seem to recall that at some point the orphanage burned down and all the records with it. Also in those days it was very difficult to track down heritage when you didn't know your direct relatives.

Anyway, I consider myself to be honorary Irish. We have lots of red heads in my birth family on both sides and I always wanted to have a red headed child because they are so unique and beautiful. Both Amy and Kevin ARE unique and beautiful and when either of them have colored their hair in some shade of red, it looks wonderful with their complexion! (a hint at their Irish heritage, I suppose.) Also, Kevin can pull off a very convincing Irish brogue when he wants to. (It's in the genes.)

Terry has quite a bit of Irish blood (as well as had red in his beard before it turned gray - which is a sure sign). His mother's maiden name was Manion and has direct relatives from Ireland. Rumor has it, they're related to an Irish Statesman.

Did you ever hear of the miniseries in the early 80's, "The Manions of America"? That was probably their family, although I seem to remember the show being a bit racy and his family was filled with good Irish Catholics with lots of children, that I'm sure led spotless lives. I don't remember watching the miniseries due to some scheduling conflict (since we didn't have TiVo or Netflix at the time) but when I just looked it up, I discovered that Pierce Brosnan (now there's an Irishman!) was in it (well before he was famous in the U.S., I think). I checked to see if Netflix carries the miniseries, but it's not there. Maybe we should campaign to get it on there.

Terry's Mom and her 3 sisters have even traveled to Ireland to find the remains of the "Manion Castle"...which is clearly no more than a small pile of rocks. Ireland is probably at the top of the list of places that Terry and I want to go someday (soon I hope). It just seems so magical, green and lovely.

I also recently found out that our good friends, Randy and Linda will be visiting Ireland as part of their trip to England to see their daughter, Miranda who's in college over there for a semester. Needless to say, I'm so excited for them all and can't wait to hear the stories and see the photos that they bring home. Hopefully it will give us a few more folks to get tips from when we go over there ourselves.

Oh, one other little St. Patrick's Day tidbit. The pastor at our last church was from Ireland and according to him, over there the holiday isn't nearly as popular as it is here. Americans just like an excuse to get drunk, I think.

I hope you all have a tip top St. Paddy's Day...and the luck o' the Irish to ye!
Spring Flowers

This spring we were blessed with a new surprise. Along with the gorgeous orange African Daisies that cover the front yard for a month or so every year, God has added to our front yard garden these lovely purple spires, which I believe are Desert Lupine.

If you look closely at the base of them, you'll also see a dainty little blue flower peeking out as well.

What a wonderful gift that we look forward to each new year.

I only hope that we can recreate this after our new landscaping is finished. Good news is that I save some seeds from last year and will gather more of the Lupines hopefully this season.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Seasons Change
Worked on getting out some Spring and Easter decorations today. I took down the Valentine's decor off my branch too. I'll have to post that later if I have a chance.

Here's the branch with Easter Eggs.

I realize that since the outdoors don't change much here with the seasons, I'm forced to change things inside just to have some variety of color and view. I get bored when things stay the same too long. It's the decorator in me. Fortunately, Terry doesn't seem to mind too much.

I also rearranged the living room after the holidays. Here's the new view. This one also shows what the branch looked like with our Christmas cards on it.

Shredder likes the new arrangement because she can sit on the back of the sofa and soak up the sun in the morning. Now I have my eye out to get a new slipcover for the sofa. Pottery Barn has some now that are quite a bit cheaper than the standard ones. I'll probably look for some kind of a neutral so I can change all the accent colors as much as I want. The red is a bit limiting, although I've found ways to work with it over the last few years.
Garage Cleaning & Coffee Cup History

As is the tradition in the Hann household, Monday holidays are reserved for big projects at home. Not that it's a requirement, but it just seems to work out that way. So, I didn't mention it, but sometime last year (we think it was Memorial Day) Terry and I painted the inside of the garage before it got too hot to be in there.

We knew the garage needed a thorough cleaning and organizing, but I wanted the walls to be painted and in better shape before we got everything organized and put away. Besides, I KNEW that it would probably be decades before we ever did anything with it again.

So, nearly 9 months ago we pulled all the stacks of boxes, decorations, yard tools, camping gear, old paint cans and junk away from the walls and painted everything. We used a couple of cans of "Oops" paint so it doesn't all match exactly, but it's close enough for a garage and looks MUCH better than the old dirty white paint that was probably done when the house was built. The photo at the top is pretty much what it has looked like since then. We had just enough of a path from the front to the back to get thru if we needed to, but really no space or order to accomplish anything in there.

Since last May, we somehow just couldn't find a full day to work on the next step, which was the organizing. Finally we were motivated to get some things together for our nephew, Daniel's fund raising yard sale (which is this weekend) so on President's Day we were able to get to it.

The 2nd pic is what it looks like now. We add more shelves and got rid of some stuff, and were able to get about 99% finished with just a few more racks to hang, but it looks and functions so much better. We're actually thinking that we may be able to park a car in there soon! Wow!

So this brings us to the coffee cups. Some of you know that I used to collect coffee mugs back in the 70's and 80's before many of them were broken in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. I never counted exactly how many I had, but it was probably somewhere in the range of 200. I used to have many of them hanging on pegs around the top of our kitchen and dining room and many fell during the earthquake. It was quite a mess!

So after that, since we still lived in earthquake country, I decided to collect something a little less breakable (like birdhouses). Now I don't really collect anything specifically (except pictures).

Anyway, when we were cleaning the garage, I decided to go thru several crates of coffee mugs to see if I could whittle down the collection that I kept. I decided to just keep mugs that had personal significance, like belonging to someone who had passed on, or had historical significance, with dates or memorable info on the mug (like the ones I'll blog about). I have several others that I'll post later, but since I've been so long winded today, I'll start with just one.

This is from a restaurant named Sambo's. Do you remember it? It was a coffee shop, like a Denny's or Bob's Big Boy-type place. The tops of their walls were covered with murals from the story "Little Black Sambo". (Did you have that book growing up?) I don't remember the specifics of the story, but I seem to recall that it wasn't very politically correct, which apparently led to the end of the restaurant chain.

I was amazed to discover that the original Sambo's wasn't really even named after the book and that the founding restaurant is still open in Santa Barbara. We'll have to visit sometime.

The Sambo's I spent the most time in, was the one that was on Indian School and around 28th Street in Phoenix. That's the one that was closest to our church, "Open Door Fellowship" (now in a different location) and the outreach ministry "Hand in Hand". Large groups of high school and college age kids would migrate to Sambo's. We would drink gallons and gallons of coffee mostly and sometimes scrape together a few bucks to get a salad or fries. If we were really rich, we'd actually get a burger! I'm sure the servers dreaded having to wait on us, because we were all poor and no matter how much we wanted to, never tipped very well. We had some deep and meaningful conversations there and I got to know many who are still my friends today, including my husband (before he was even my boyfriend).

I have wonderful memories of those times when we could just sit and chat for hours on end till well into the night or the wee hours of the morning. What a precious season that was...