Apr 28, 2008

Triathlon Turned Aquathlon

Due to the severe weather Texas got this weekend, my triathlon on Sunday morning turned into an aquathlon. Not just because we got soaked by rain during the whole event, but the cycling leg of the event was canceled due to very wet roads which caused hazardous conditions. We ran on the hazardous conditions, but I guess our footing is safer than wheels. The race was also delayed two hours because of the severe weather. Roger and I waited at home during the hail and torrential downpour before we left the house for the race downtown at the Texas School for the Deaf. I was a little disappointed about the cycling leg being eliminated but completely understood the safety issue. This was the first Ranger Triathlon and therefore it was a tad unorganized. There wasn’t much direction and communication was difficult at times. Thank goodness I know American Sign Language and could understand what was trying to be communicated. There were many lull periods when no one knew what was going on. But overall it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. The kids were so much fun to watch. Many deaf kids from the school who couldn’t or don’t go home over the weekend participated. And there were lots of families. I was only able to watch the kids swim because we were swimming while they were running. And by the time I got out to run, the kids were done. My transition wasn’t bad and since the cycling leg was canceled I completely turned the event into a fun, non-competitive, socializing gathering. My official chip time was 00:33:55. Not bad, but not great. I enjoyed it and plan to participate next year. Hopefully I can get Roger to do it also. Check out the pictures Roger took here.

The rest of Sunday we spent working on the patio electrical project, doing laundry and other household chores and I finished sewing my niece Elizabeth a dress with a matching purse and headband. I was able to finish it because I got a new sewing machine on Friday. I am so excited. I love it! I got a Baby Lock Crafter's Choice. And I practically stole it from the dealer, Sew Much More. They were having a 50% off sale. This sewing machine is great. It has sparked a lot of creativity and motivation in me. I was a little nervous about getting an electronic sewing machine compared to the mechanical machines I grew up using. But after a quick demonstration at the dealer, I was sold. While I was sitting there I was literally thinking of forty million different things I could do with it. I really like my sewing machine. I can’t wait until after I graduate and we get back from our vacation so I don’t have to study, or feel bad about not studying when I’m sewing. I have enough material left over to sew my other niece Ariana the same dress with a matching purse and headband. I have another project I want to start this week but I need to see what patterns are available for what I want to make and find the right material.

Roger got back last Thursday evening. I’m glad. I was starting to miss him around the house. He had a great visit to Los Angeles. I’m so glad he had the opportunity to go. He posted more pictures in the set LA 2008 but hasn’t had a chance to blog. So you can check them out there. It turns out I don’t have class at all this week so I will be catching up on reading and studying for my final next Tuesday and helping Roger with the patio project. It’s actually not a final exam but the last test for the semester. And it’s my last exam ever! I can’t wait. I graduate the following Friday. Whew-hoo! Then we’re off to O´ahu for a vacation. More details about that later. Oh, by the way, I also got my ring back last Wednesday. I love it!!! I’m so glad to have it back, but I seriously love it. And yes, Kezia, I want to marry it! Oh wait, I already have. :)

Apr 20, 2008

David & Solomon

I am enjoying my archaeology class so much! We finished the beginning of the Iron Age, the period of the united monarchy in Israel and shot through 500 years of the divided monarchy to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in the matter of about 45 minutes because my professor wanted to make sure we got into the time of Jesus. You think he might be a believer? We finished last week with King Herod’s rebuilding of the Temple Mount. It has been awesome. I am learning so much. The readings have been amazing. And next Tuesday (April 29th) is the last day of classes. I’m so sad. I really want to take this class again. If it weren’t for the drive to College Station and the fact that I’ll have graduated and won’t be a student at the university, I would. I am going to have to look into Concordia and see what classes they teach. I know they have an Old Testament class. Of course it won’t be the same as Archaeology of the Bible, because I really like the archaeological evidence that proves it. But I would still be learning about the Bible.

This weekend I read about the closest parallel to Solomon’s Temple found to date and a third reference to King David found on a pharaonic mortuary relief in Egypt. It’s just amazing! And these articles, written by scholars, archaeologists, trusted experts in their fields, state over and over again how the archaeological evidence corroborates the Biblical record. My professor was exactly right when he told us a few weeks ago when we started this new section that we could use the Bible as a guide from here on out. It was so cool last Thursday when he got so excited explaining to us three separate extra-Biblical sources found in the archaeological record regarding the measures King Hezekiah took to strengthen and protect the city of Jerusalem from attack by the Assyrian Sennacherib. We thought he was going to jump up and down. It was exciting. Find after find illustrating the same stories we can read in the Bible. It’s just unbelievably exciting. This class has made archaeology so much more for me and higher learning well worth it. I really want to go to Jerusalem now.

Apr 18, 2008

Catching Up With Friends in LA

LA Trip 019We had a pretty darn-near perfect day yesterday! I’ve got a head cold thing going on here, so it took me a while to get started, but we eventually did. Greg and I motored down to Norwalk to pick up Cassie and we ate lunch at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine in downtown LA. Greg has always wanted to try it and since we’ll be headed to Hawaii soon, it was a good idea. In my younger years I never ventured into downtown and walked around! I remember there not being a whole lot down there. I understand that over the past few years they have been trying to revitalize the area with housing, shops and restaurants. It was nice to see things from a different perspective after all these years. I had mostly seen downtown only from the freeway and never on foot. So, after lunch we walked around downtown and checked out the kinda’ new Walt Disney Music Center. It is a structure covered with wavy curly sheets of metal. Check out the pics to see what I mean. Then we ventured over to the San Antonio Winery for a little wine tasting. With the cold my taste buds are way off and it wasn’t that great of an experience. But some wine was bought and we were on our way back into the traffic.

We headed back to Norwalk to drop Cassie off and then we drove back out to West LA to meet a few friends for dinner at Guido’s Italian Restaurant. We met up with some friends from High School, Joanna, Irene and Quynh. The weather was so nice that we sat outside and had a nice time catching up on all our adventures over the past fifteen years (eeeek!) Dinner was tasty and it sure was nice to see them again.

This morning my nose isn't as bad, but I'm coughing a lot and I'm looking forward to a hot shower and some meds. Tonight I am going to hang out with and also stay with my cousins in the valley. I'm looking forward to spending some more time with them.

Apr 17, 2008

Nobody walks in LA...

Anyone remember that song? I forgot how much you ave to drive out here. Gas is up to $3.80 a gallon too! I'm having a great time... the weather is fantasic... and it is soooo good to see my friends and family again. From the airport Tuesday I went over to Yoki's house to pick her up for lunch. We also picked up Cassie along the way and went to a fabulous hole in the wall mexican joint in Hawaiian Gardens. In the afternoon I spent time with Cassie's family at her aunt's house. Yesterday I spent most of the day with my cousins and aunt in the valley. They've grown quite a bit in the past five years since I saw them last! We ate dinner together and are planning to spend Friday evening and Saturday hanging out. I'm going to to spend some time with friend Greg and Cassie today and then have dinner with friends Irene and Joanna this evening. And I seem to have caught a cold too... so I'm not running at 100% Darn public spaces like trains and shuttle buses. I need to remember to be more careful in the future. Please pray that I feel better as the week goes on. Click the pic below to see more pics.
LA Trip 015

Apr 15, 2008

No Ring Yet

After an awesome weekend in Bryan-College Station with my parents for Parent’s Weekend at Texas A&M and Houston with our friends, the McPherson family for their children’s dedication, I was excited about picking up my ring on Monday. Although my ring was ready, the appraisal was not so we couldn’t pick it up. I was a little disappointed because you know I wanted my ring back but especially since I dropped Roger off at the airport this morning he won’t get to pick it up with me or see it until he gets home next week. He’s off to Los Angeles to visit friends and family. He’s got a whirlwind trip planned. And although I’d love to see everyone, L.A. is too much for me plus I can’t because of school anyway. I’m always exhausted when I get back from L.A. Hopefully I get to pick up my ring Wednesday.

We really did have a blast all weekend. Parent’s Weekend was great. This is my last one. We wished we could have stayed with the McPherson family longer, but Roger had to pack and we had a lot of chores to do and errands to run before he left me again. Sigh… It was great meeting the extended McPherson & Tsui family and hanging out with Kezia again. I miss the Asian Sensation. We’ll post pictures soon.

You know I’ve got a list of things to do while Roger’s gone. I have a lot of reading to do. Surprise, surprise. And house work. I’d like to paint over some samples with primer now that I’ve changed my mind on paint color again. But if I don’t get to it, that can wait. And I have some extra exercise I’d like to do this week in preparation for the triathlon next weekend. I timed my 200m swim again today and I’ve gotten faster. My last time was 5:23 and today it was 4:41. I didn’t even swim fast just normal. I was stoked. I also swam a full mile today. I was tired and starving afterward. Actually I was hungry all day. Another surprise, surprise. I think I’ll turn in 5:00 even for the race so I don’t get in any fast swimmers way. This weekend I will be riding my bike to make sure it’s ready and doing a little race walking since I don’t run anymore. Got to take care of my old joints. I also plan to just chill out as much as I can. I need it. I'm so tired from this weekend.

Apr 9, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Well, another week has almost gone by. Time is flying by fast. I want it to slow down. Roger is going to L.A. next week to visit friends and I know that time is going to fly by fast and then we'll be at the end of April. That only leaves a month for us to hang out together until he has to go back to work full time at the end of May. Oh, if only we could keep living like this. Yeah, I'll stop dreaming now.

So we had a great anniversary weekend. Sorry, we forgot our camera Saturday night. So we don't have any pictures of us dancing the night away. But the benefit was great. We had a lot of fun dancing and socializing and the benefit raised a lot of money for Ty. He was there which was a real treat. He's so little because of his health. It's quite sad. He's almost seven and he's smaller than my nephew who is going to be five in May. Ty is going back to the Mayo Clinic for more testing and such. They still don't know what's causing all his health problems. He brought a tear to our eyes when he said in his tiny, whispery voice after the live auction and raffle, "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine." It's so sad that children that young and innocent have to deal with such things. It's just not fair.

On to the next topic, I had to give up my ring Monday. We went to see John so he could solder my rings together and do a new appraisal for our insurance. I know "giving it up" sounds so harsh, but I just got it. And I don't get it back until next Monday. We're going to College Station this Friday and Saturday for Parent's Weekend at A&M. Then Saturday evening we're going to Houston for an Astros game with Kezia's family and Sunday Kezia's sister's children are being dedicated at their church. It's been hard without my ring so far, so I'm sure this weekend will be tough. I keep checking my finger for it and feeling for it because I'm so used to it being there. I keep feeling like I've forgotten it or lost it. I can't wait to get it back on Monday. We'll take some pictures then.

Roger's spending this week working on electrical stuff on our back patio. He's adding a ceiling fan, track lighting for his grill, an outlet for the rotisserie motor on his grill, a motion sensor light for the yard, a new light fixture at the back door and installing GFCI outlets where they should be in the kitchen and bathrooms. We made a new friend at Home Depot on Monday in the electrical section who happens to be a retired electrician and volunteered to come over and help us. Talk about a blessing. I can't wait for them to be done so we can have them over for dinner and use the grill so they can see all their handy work. It's going to be so nice out there. We'll actually be able to use our entire backyard now. They bought all the materials today and will do the work tomorrow. So I won't be here to take any pictures since I'll be in class.

Speaking of class, I made an 80 (B) on my test last week! Yeah. Not great, but better than I thought I did. That gives me an 87 in the class so far. I am going to try hard to make a high A on the last exam to hopefully pull my grade up to an A for the class. In class we are entering the Iron Age which has even more references to the Bible than before. We ended our last section of material at the Late Bronze Age with a highly debated topic in the field of Biblical Archaeology as to the dates of the Genesis patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc). We read an article by Kenneth Kitchen in Biblical Archaeology Review (1995: 21/2) illustrating with archaeological, internal and external Biblical evidence why he believes the dates of the patriarchs to be the Middle Bronze Age. It was a really interesting article and I loved reading how he compared so many aspects of the Bible to external sources that establish reliability of the Biblical time periods. If anyone is interested in reading it, let me know and I'll email the article to you if you can't get access to it through their website. There are always interesting articles in this journal.

Lastly, I've entered a USAT sanctioned triathlon the last Sunday of April. It's called the Ranger Triathlon and it's being held at and benefits the Texas School for the Deaf and I'm really excited about it. I haven't done a triathlon in over five years. But I'm pretty sure I'm ready for it. It's basically a mini-triathlon with a 200m swim, 6 mile bike and 2 mile run. I had to time my 200m swim for lining up purposes of the triathlon. Since the swim portion will be in a pool and not open water, you're lined up by time so faster swimmers aren't swimming over slower swimmers. I was quite surprised by my time which was 5:23 and that was two weeks ago. I have lengthened by swims since so I'm pretty sure I'll be faster by the actual race day. Now I've got to start working on training for the bike portion and transitions. I have to be able to fix a flat or any other incident that might come up by myself with no help from anyone so I need Roger to show me how to do all that bike stuff again. Since it's a USAT sanctioned event, they are pretty strict with the rules. I had to become a member of USAT to be able to participate. Since I had to pay for a year membership, I'm going to try to do some other mini or half triathlons during the year. I'm not ready for a full triathlon and I don't know if I will ever be ready for that. But I am planning to add another day of swimming each week starting next week. We'll see how it goes.

Okay, that's it for now. This is too long as it is. Check out more pictures of Roger grilling and other house pictures on the right. Chao!

Apr 5, 2008

Real Love

I just have to tell you that I’m married to the most wonderful husband in the world. Roger & I had a wonderful time at dinner last night. It was just amazing. We strolled around the Warehouse District holding hands after dinner. During dinner he completely surprised me with a beautiful platinum and diamond anniversary band. I was so shocked by it I started to cry. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I had kind of forgotten about it with all that’s been going on lately. And since he didn’t mention anything to me since he’s been home about getting it I figured he hadn’t gotten a chance to think about trying to get it. But all this time he’s been secretly meeting with our friend John the gemologist. He’s so good. I really love being married and especially being married to Roger. Check out some pictures below.

Today is our fifth anniversary. So far this morning we’ve laid in bed holding each other and talking. It’s been a really special morning. Now we're off to have some breakfast. I can’t wait for the rest of the day. We’re going to dance the night away tonight at a benefit concert by my favorite local country musician Jason Allen.

I wrote the following in my electronic journal a while back, but thought today was a good day to share it, “I found real love at the same time I was starting to know God’s love. After many years of crazy relationships, I always knew they weren’t real love but didn’t really know what real love was. I knew what it wasn’t. You can’t have that many doubts about a person or your relationship with them, to not know what real love isn’t. But I think because I found real love as I was beginning to understand how God loved me, is how I knew it was real love. They were almost the same, sacrificial. God would do anything to show me and make me feel how much he loved me, as Roger and I would do for each other. And there were no doubts. It was like God put in my heart the knowledge and wisdom that it was the real thing. I can’t explain how I knew it, other than God told me Roger was the man he intended for me to marry.”

Our Fifth Anniversary Pics 023

Apr 4, 2008

Learning To Be Married Again

So why would we have to learn to be married again? Roger and I were separated for the last nine months. While we were separated we could be and were very selfish. In marriage you have to be selfless. We are relearning to put the other first. Not an easy thing to do when you are human! Only the Lord can help with that. The other skill we are relearning is how to communicate. I know some people will think, “Well, you talk to each other so you are communicating.” Wrong. Communicating is not talking at someone else. Communicating is being honest about how you feel and telling the other person in a respectful way. You have to share things you wouldn’t normally share outside of a relationship. You also have to listen. My biggest advice to newlyweds has been and will always be: You can’t read their mind, so don’t expect them to read yours. Tell them exactly what you want them to know. How do you expect a man to know you need him to help with the dishes or laundry if you don’t tell him? We keep forgetting to share all the details of our plans or expectations. And both of us need to know. Two have become one. You have to enlist patience for both of these, selflessness and communication. Another request only the Lord can help with.

It’s kind of funny that the topic of learning to be married again has come up so close to our five year anniversary tomorrow. (I finally get to wear my little black dress tonight.) We’d like to think we have it down by now, but marriage isn’t constant. Thank goodness. Nothing worse than a stale marriage. We haven’t had a chance to be stale in the past five years. I don’t think stale is in our vocabulary.

Apr 2, 2008

The Grill Is Officially Open

Roger’s latest baby is his new five burner gas grill. It was delivered to his truck on a fork lift in five boxes and he drove it home last Thursday. He’s had it less than a week and he’s already used it three times. Friday night he went easy and grilled feta cheese and spinach stuffed chicken sausage. I have simmered this on the stove before, but grilled it was like night and day. Saturday he grilled rib-eye steaks, yellow squash, zucchini and pineapple slices. All was delicious. And Monday night he rotisseried a whole chicken stuffed with garlic and butter. It was amazing. I’m going to like this new gas grill as much as Roger. We have a whole grilling cook-book to go through. I can’t wait to try skewered asparagus, whole grilled cabbage and a whole fish. Yummy.

Check out some pictures of his adventures here. Don't hesitate to invite yourself over for dinner. Roger will be happy to oblige with his grill skills.

Rotisserie Chicken 018

Apr 1, 2008

Two Weeks

It’s been two weeks since Roger returned home and we haven’t blogged because we have been so busy. (Sorry.) And so lazy at the same time. I don’t know what I’d do if I had a “real” job. It is truly a blessing that we get to spend so much time together right now. Although the majority of the time, it’s been a blessing, it has also been bad for my studying and homework habits. I lost my discipline, but I’m determined to get it back starting Thursday. I had a test today and was I not only behind on my reading, but started studying late. So I’m not sure how well I did on it. Thank goodness I know I got the bonus question right. With a 93 on the first exam and the plan to ace the last exam, it will help me make up for how bad I did on this exam. My only excuse, whether good or not, is that it’s been so hard to not hang out and sleep in late and stay up late and go do things with Roger. We have definitely been making up for lost time. I’d be in real trouble if I had a regular job. Thank you Lord I don’t. I’m sure my boss will not like reading this. But I am determined to get back to normal.

As for Roger being home, it’s been wonderful having a husband again. I had hoped he would blog before now, but he is, and will be for a while, in “vacation” mode. He’s so much in a vacation state of mind, he hasn’t shaved since his last day in uniform. He was trying to grow a Buddy beard, but there’s no way he can compete with Papa Bear. But now he’s ready to shave it. I’m going to take a picture of him before he shaves so you can all see what two and half weeks worth of no shaving looks like on Roger. Now back to us being together again, we are really enjoying it. After being away from home for four years, separated from your wife for two of those and living at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for almost a year of it, Roger loves being home. He loves it so much he almost never leaves, or gets out of bed. We do have a nice bed. And buying a new HDTV and gas grill has made it even harder for him to get away. But I don’t mind him being around. As you can tell from my studying predicament, I don’t mind one bit. We have been having fun and laughing lots again. Doing things together around our house is fun to us. We’re simple people. We have had a few “AHA!” moments. We are learning how to be married, communicate and be patient again. Those aren’t too fun, but very necessary. Make-up is always good. And prayer helps. :)