Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lindsey’s Birthday at Ajax Café

Our niece Lindsey Narva just had her 25th birthday, and her mom and dad, Sandra and Joel, invited us to join them last Thursday to celebrate at the Ajax Café (left) in Port Hadlock. If you live on the west side of the water (and even if you don’t) you’ve likely heard of this great eatery.

At right Linz is blowing out her candle on the special dessert (how does she get off so easy?). Her mom brought a (literal) shopping bag full of gifts; took Linz an hour to get them all opened. We all enjoyed the dinner and party immensely. Pic below is of the bunch of us, Linzz, Sandra, moi, Kay Lynne and Joel.

As an interesting sidelight, we learned that the building shown above, which houses the Ajax Café, is a true historical landmark in Port Hadlock. When it was built just before the turn of the 20th century, it served as the residence for the town’s namesake, Samuel Hadlock. Amazing what you can learn on this blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Sustaining Elements of Authentic Worship

Our church service this morning put spiritual “gas” in the tank, so to speak, for the upcoming week.

What do I mean?

In a previous life I used to think that one went to church “to try and get something out of it.” Was the music good? Did I “enjoy” it? Was the sermon timely? Did it meet “my” needs?

All the wrong questions to ask, of course, as authentic worship focuses on God, not on “me.”

In our Lutheran venue, worship consists of many liturgical elements that can be grouped in a number of ways. I’ve put them in four sets here: 1) Confession and forgiveness, 2) Listening to God through the Scriptures (Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Gospels) and through the sermon, 3) Giving thanks to God with our offerings and with the reciting of the the foundational creeds of our faith, and 4) Partaking in Holy Communion for spiritual strength and sustenance and then, with the benediction, being sent out to serve. Click here for a previous post which amplifies this a bit.

When our worship experience focuses on God, rather than on what we might think we need, the wonderful thing that happens is that our needs are met in ways we could not have anticipated. If you look at the elements of worship mentioned, you’ll see that authentic worship is a kind of “dialog with God” in which we confess our inadequateness to Him and He in turn fills us with what we are lacking.

It just could help explain why the Sunday “pit stop” can make the Monday through Saturday raceway that much more effectual in living out God’s grace through our vocation. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mom Would Have Been 102 Today

If she had lived, my mom, Helen, would have been 102 years old today. Of course that’s only a fanciful wish, as she died an early death from a stroke at age 51.

The photo above, taken in 1934, the year she and my dad, Hugh, were married, shows the two of them in Chicago sitting on the running board of my dad’s relatively new Dodge coupe.

As an interesting sidebar, in this car while they were courting, they were robbed in downtown Chicago by none other than the notorious John Dillinger gang. With a gun pointing through the driver’s window, my dad was forced to turn over his gold watch, and my mom was stripped of her engagement ring during the heist.

Not a great way to get to know someone famous -- er, infamous.

Mom was born in Finland and immigrated to the U.S. through Canada and into Minnesota before she and her sister, Lina, moved to Chicago. There, both sisters met their husbands.

Happy Birthday, mom!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Aubrey Visits Her Cousin "NJ"

Today Kay Lynne and I took our granddaughter Aubrey (7) to Seattle to visit her cousin "NJ". They had a blast. I caught the two of them (above) having fun with Grandma who was standing behind me.

"NJ" loved Aubrey’s longer hair and wanted very much to get a hold of it.
In the afternoon Aubrey entertained her cousin by creating some bubbles for "NJ" to watch.

Grandma and grandpa sure enjoyed the day, and the kids seemed to have a lot of fun as well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Fun With Aubrey

Today Grandma and I had fun at a local park with our granddaughter Aubrey who is visiting us for a few days. Aubrey is pictured above getting the swing going pretty good. Click on the photo to see her smile.

Grandma and Aubrey stopped for a photo at the base of the enclosed tube slide. We were careful to see that no one was coming down before we shot.

Following the park stop, we headed down to the marina and walked around the boardwalk. There were lots of boats in their slips and exposed seaweed on the beach, as it was low tide, just like yesterday. Not a whole lot of days left before we’ll have to take Aubrey home. Buddy is going to be sad, as she has been his special pal while here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fun With Grandkids

Our seven-year-old granddaughter Aubrey is visiting us for a few days, and today we went to Illahee State Park just north of Bremerton. I think her dad had told her we were not allowed to have any fun, but we did so anyway. :-)

Aubrey is pictured above holding an interesting shell she discovered on the beach at a low, but starting-to-rise tide. That’s Bainbridge Island in the distance behind her. Below I caught another phone pic of her after she had scribed her name in the sandy beach. Of course, it’ll only last until the tide fully comes in later this evening. Tomorrow we may visit yet another of the numerous Washington recreational parks that are nearby and on the water.

And on Wednesday Aubrey gets to go with us to Seattle to spend most of the day with her cousin "NJ" (pictured below with his bib on at dinnertime earlier tonight and after his first haircut yesterday). Nothin’ but fun!

Plus, last Friday we were in Oregon and we got to watch Hayley work on some increasingly difficult ice skating moves at a rink in an adjacent town. I forgot my new camera, but at least I was able to snap her lacing up her skates (below) on my phone cam. Hayley loves to ice skate and seems to be a natural on figure skates. We shall see….

If you can tell me what's more fun than grandkids, I probably would not believe you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sharing and Celebrating Birthdays

My granddaughter Aubrey and I share a birthday, and yesterday it was time to party. Above Aubrey is contemplating the delicious, home-made birthday cake.

For our annual party, Aubrey always gets to pick the décor and type of cake. Grandpa is just happy to be there. Both of our birthdays this year contain a 7, and I’m a hair more than ten times older.

That’s the riddle for the day (shoulda made it harder).

Pic above shows Aubs and me blowing out our birthday cake candles. A fun day!