April 30, 2009

Back in the Nation's Capitol...

We can't seem to get enough! Political power and busy lobbyists mixed-in amongst gorgeous architecture & fascinating history means Washington DC is always intriguing & charming.

And in Spring time - wow - gorgeous! It looked like a different city from the one we saw in January.

(I just re-read that & it sounds like a DC Tourism Ad! Ha! Sorry)

So, nothing totally new from us but because I like you feeling loved and kept in the loop, here are just a few pictures from our sneaky days off...
National Art Gallery
Union Station
Thomas Jefferson Memorial - nicknamed the "Jefferson Muffin" :)And that right there is my own gorgeous "Muffin"

Blossoms in Georgetown

One thing is for certain - Washington LOVES domes.

We are now homeward-bound for a few days rest. These traveling bones are weary. x

April 28, 2009

God-stories from India

Our good friend Keely Scott takes pictures for Compassion International, trekking around the globe to capture on film the faces of Compassion & the countries from which they come.

And you guessed it - she blogs as she goes! Wonderful...

The latest trip has taken her to India, into the slums of India, to the poorest of the poor. Quite unimaginable really.

And what should she find amongst it all? School girls singing praises to Jesus - the song "Give Thanks".

I wont ruin it by trying to describe it - please click the link and check-it out for yourself. It's the first in her story titled "The sound behind the photo"

Are you back? Did you go check it out? Yes? Good!

Funny thing is I just had a day of feeling sorry for myself & complaining of unimportant woes. And then I looked at her beautiful pictures and listened to the audio clip.

Gulp.

We have such a wonderful, hope-giving God.

Be sure to check back-in with Keely again! There will be more amazing pictures & stories from India (& beyond) that are worth a look-see now & then.

Want to know more about Compassion? Want to sponsor a child? Just click the Compassion picture on the side bar - it's that easy.

C & Nt.

April 26, 2009

Springtime on Porter

This lovely little crop bloomed at the beginning of spring, in what I thought was an empty garden bed...
After digging-up bucket loads of bulbs (which, if you remember, I THEN heaped all in one spot along the fence, which NOW is an overcrowded mess), I was a little surprised that any remained in the flower bed. They seem to divide and conquer.

And I'm certainly not complaining - they are so very pretty!! I don't think I've ever seen purply-black tulips before & it was love at first sight..

They may grow like weeds for seasoned Southerners, but I remain enthralled that in my death-valley of a garden they break through and flourish!

So beautifully created by the Master artist.

x

(yes, purply-black is now a word.. I just decided.. it's perfect for these lovelies)

April 22, 2009

Remembering The Anzacs*

I've started this blog many times over, wondering how best to tell the story. In the end, I thought I'd start at the beginning.

Please meet my Grandpa Chapman:

He was my dad's dad.

And at the age of 20 he enlisted with the 8th Army, serving in the highly respected & decorated "Fighting 9th Division".

My earliest memories of Grandpa were created through vivid stories told by my dad, and black & white, well loved pictures in my Granny's home. He was the handsome young man in a slouch hat & army uniform.

As a little girl, adding to those first impressions were the army medals I marveled at and the yearly ANZAC Day Parade down King William St. I waved with great enthusiasm as old soldiers marched by, only partly aware of what it all entailed. What I did know for sure - by the way my dad talked about him and how my granny missed him with quiet sorrow - was my Grandpa was a brave, loyal & funny man, with a wife & son that adored him.

Grandpa fought at Tobruk, El Alamein & in the jungles of Tarakan during WWII as a Maintenance Signaler. His was one of the more dangerous & daring jobs in the army. To put it very simply, Maintenance Signaler's had to keep communication lines open and in tact during battle between the forward observation posts and the guns, ensuring each group knew what they were doing.

Positioned out in no-man's-land in a fox-hole, he would run out, find the break, fix the wires & return to his hole. The whole time at risk of enemy fire & tanks and often dodging infantry clashes too.

In this job he survived three of the more intense, bloody & terrifying battlegrounds of the war.

My Grandpa is standing far right - waiting to head to Tarakan

Recently my dad put into writing the stories Grandpa had shared during his life, along with pictures and snipits from the War. Dad wanted to pass-on the most complete picture of what Grandpa, and so many others, had been through & how brave his fighting unit was. At the same time it has painted a picture of who Grandpa was as a person.

The book is one of the most special gifts I have ever received (and yes, it did cause a few tears!)
What extraordinary things were done by ordinary men.

Grandpa was discharged in November 1945 after 5 1/2 years as a Digger.

I try to imagine what it must've been like coming back to Adelaide after what he'd seen & done - and think it's astounding that those lucky enough to return home managed to get on with life, marry and have families.

It wasn't a tragedy of war that took my Grandpa before we could know him. Not directly anyway... In the end, his heart gave out when he was only 50 years old.

I may not have met him, but I miss him. I wish he could've known the family he has helped create, and see the way his own traits have carried through to even the littlest of us.

Grandpa's tales of life and war, passed from my dad to us, have created a legacy that I'm so proud of & made him a special part of my life. On this Anzac Day I remember my Grandpa - Gunner Doug Chapman SX9723 - with great admiration & a touch of sadness.

Ct.

*For my American buds, ANZAC = Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

April 17, 2009

Time for the Sympathy Vote

I fell off my bike today.

Yes, you read it right...

I fell OFF my bike..

At the age of 27 I stacked-it.. I ate-it.. I got gravel in my knee.

(but then, age is irrelevant when the bike is pink with a basket!)

The cause of the damage? A tiny little lip on the curb that caught my tire.

The damage?
My knee - ouch!
I feel like I'm back in primary school...


My right shoe - sad.


My Earnest Sewn jeans - NOOOOOOO !!!!!
These are my favs, and not even 1 yr old :(

Stay tuned - as I know you're extremely concerned (!) - it's off to Denim Therapy for my Earnest's for a little TLC and repair.

And my pride? Hmmm, perhaps a little torn too, considering my jibes to Nate that I was fine to ride home without him - "Gosh, I do know how to ride a bike, I'll be fiiiine"

Yep.. well... as it turns out, maybe not! Back to training wheels for me?

We drive to Virginia tomorrow, so I'm off to pack... :)

April 13, 2009

Goodbye poo-brown...

And hello "Basalt".
Or pale blue if we're talking real people's language.

My mode of operation when left alone for a weekend is to paint. I can't get enough of it.

True, it might have been a bit extreme this past weekend considering the lingering head cold - there's nothing quite like paint fumes and physical exertion to help along the healing process!

But the repetitive, therapeutic, room changing effect of painting is a bit compulsive for me - and like a perfect match, it's debilitating for Nate! So, I save it up for when he's gone. This time around it was the guest bedroom's turn...

BEFORE:

AFTER:
Ahhh, it's like a cool breeze; fresh water; clear skies...

With the morning sunshine & tasty new flavor, this is becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house. Visitors - please visit! This room is for you...

Next-up - the chest of drawers. Any color suggestions??

April 12, 2009

Easter Happenings

Nate flew to Sacramento early Saturday morning & I stayed-back in the unfamiliar (but refreshing) territory of aloneness. Since I am one giant walking head cold, with the very un-hip accessories of tissues and sneezing, it was a good thing I wasn't in-tow for the shows.

[Yes, I was sick, and yes I was abandoned by my primary care giver. But no, I was not embittered - time together is not lacking in our world!]

So, I started out with a quiet, relaxing saturday morning, did a bit of painting, talked to myself aloud more times than is considered sane, & quickly decided it was time for some human interaction.

Because it's a great excuse to share a couple of our TN friends with you, here are some of my Easter happenings..

To welcome springtime our neighborhood group grilled-out - complete with homemade ice cream!!
New to the neighborhood, lovely Miss Paige (and behind the lense, her hubby Chase). The little set of eyes down the bottom, desperate to make the pic, belong to Sera. She's a mini-member of neighborhood group.

My sweet friend Ruthie was also solo this weekend, with her husband Will out playing drums for Nate. We felt it only appropriate to treat ourselves to lunch at Marche and a movie...
And although I didn't quite role out of bed in time to hit the sunrise service on sunday morning - evening church was an awesome time of praise & celebration in remembrance of Christ's resurrection.

"Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia. Sons of men and angels say Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high! Alleluia! Sing ye heavens and earth reply! Alleluia! "

Oh, and did I mention that I did some painting?! Yes-sir-ie. I couldn't pass-up the chance to inhale some paint fumes, as is my tradition whenever Nate leaves town without me. But more about that later...

Alone time is done. Nate is back in town. Easter homesickness successfully avoided. :)

April 10, 2009

Easter

Reading these bible passages recently made such an impact on me. Taking them in succession I was overwhelmed at the judgment Jesus endured because of my sinful heart & the wonderful salvation He brings.

I know these passages are not specific to Easter... But they are specific to Jesus and all that He saves us from. Praise God for sending His Son! And Praise Jesus for drinking the cup of God's wrath on our behalf.

Exodus 19 [NLT]
16 On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently.... 21 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to break through the boundaries to see the Lord, or they will die.

Isaiah 6 [NLT]
2 Attending him were mighty seraphim....3 They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Hebrews 12 [NLT]
18 You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking.... 22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance...

This last verse is like a healing balm to my soul.
We have come to Jesus, because He first came to us.
What amazing grace!

April 8, 2009

Day 3 & counting...

I have a mental block with unpacking and re-settling our life after getting back from Oklahoma.

This is a first for me.

It's strangely liberating, and overwhelming at the same time - a combination that results in unpacking-paralysis.

How long before I simply decide to live out of my suitcase permanently?

How long before my mum rings and says it's just plain lazy, and not paralysis at all?!

[Nate would like to state for the record that none of this mess is his]