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Wyatt & Sophie
Since I posted about Sophie & Wyatt last year, Reece's Rainbow has received some updated photos of them. But they are *still* waiting!!! They are both still little, but as they approach 4 years old (and Wyatt will be 4 in February) the urgency to find them a forever family increases! Between 4-6 years old, most orphans in Eastern Europe are transfered out of their baby houses to older child institutions. For children with special needs, they are usually transferred to adult mental institutions. OH DEAR!! Many children don't survive long in these situations :(



Please continue to PRAY for Wyatt and Sophie! And consider donating to their adoption grants through Reece's Rainbow or sharing them on your blog or facebook. They need to be seen!!

(no subject)
I read this Psalm last night ... and I have to share it with you. As I read it yesterday, my heart was heavy for the oppressed, the hurting, the sick ... and especially for the orphans. My heart is breaking daily as I see pictures and read updates on the many special needs orphans waiting for their families in orphanages around the world. Please join with me in praying for them! Our God is their Redeemer and Healer!!

Psalm 35

A psalm of David.

O Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
    Fight those who fight against me.
Put on your armor, and take up your shield.
    Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.
Lift up your spear and javelin
    against those who pursue me.
Let me hear you say,
    “I will give you victory!”
Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me;
    turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me.
Blow them away like chaff in the wind—
    a wind sent by the angel of the Lord.
Make their path dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me.
    I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me.
So let sudden ruin come upon them!
    Let them be caught in the trap they set for me!
    Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me.

Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
    I will be glad because he rescues me.
10 With every bone in my body I will praise him:
    Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
    Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”

11 Malicious witnesses testify against me.
    They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good.
    I am sick with despair.
13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.
    I denied myself by fasting for them,
    but my prayers returned unanswered.
14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family,
    as if I were grieving for my own mother.
15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble;
    they gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don’t even know;
    they slander me constantly.
16 They mock me and call me names;
    they snarl at me.

17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
    Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
    Protect my life from these lions!
18 Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
    I will praise you before all the people.
19 Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat.
    Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
20 They don’t talk of peace;
    they plot against innocent people who mind their own business.
21 They shout, “Aha! Aha!
    With our own eyes we saw him do it!”

22 O Lord, you know all about this.
    Do not stay silent.
    Do not abandon me now, O Lord.
23 Wake up! Rise to my defense!
    Take up my case, my God and my Lord.
24 Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice.
    Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
25 Don’t let them say, “Look, we got what we wanted!
    Now we will eat him alive!”

26 May those who rejoice at my troubles
    be humiliated and disgraced.
May those who triumph over me
    be covered with shame and dishonor.
27 But give great joy to those who came to my defense.
    Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord,
    who delights in blessing his servant with peace!”
28 Then I will proclaim your justice,
    and I will praise you all day long.

And here is the face of just ONE child ... three year old "Mario" whom I have been praying for for over a year.

And who is he sitting with in that picture? His future Dad!! YES! His family is visiting him now, and they are on the journey to bring him home for good. The Lord is good and faithful!

(no subject)
I know I haven't posted in so very long, but I have something very important that I wanted to share with anyone who might still see this!!

I have been supporting Reece's Rainbow both prayerfully and financially for the last year or so. The mission of Reece's Rainbow is ... to rescue orphans with Down Syndrome through the gift of adoption, to raise awareness for all of the children waiting in 25 countries around the world and to raise funds as adoption grants that help adoptive families afford the high cost of adopting these beautiful children. I have watched, through the online community their website promotes, as dozens of children have been brought home from countries around the world - mostly children with down syndrome, but also those with other special needs. My eyes have been opened to the injustice happening in orphanages around the world as these children, deemed unacceptable or unfit for families, are left in orphanages with little medical intervention, attention, or opportunity for growth. Last spring I commited to praying for one particular child named "Mario," and several months ago a family came forward to adopt him and another sweet little girl! They are still in the waiting phase as all their multitudes of documents are sent to the children's country, and I still pray regularly for that rescue!

Right now - Christmas time - is Reece's Rainbow's annual Angel Tree fundraiser.  The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $1000 or more as an adoption grant for every child with down syndrome listed on their website.  This is their biggest and most important fundraiser of the year!!  In the last 5 years, more than 500 children have come home to forever families and the majority of the funding is raised through Angel Tree. 

Please, would you consider donating to the adoption fund for little Wyatt or Sophie? And please pray with me that their families will find them! And have the strength to stand up and come for them! It is not God's hope that any of his children be so lost, alone, and hurting ...

Update September 2011:Our little Wyatt is not doing well.   He is described as a recumbent patient.  He has hydrocephalus and can hardly move his hands. My heart breaks for Wyatt, he really needs to be with a loving family who willl help him find the medical interventions he needs! Please pray with me that his family will find him, and if you can please contribute to his adoption fund!

Little Sophie REALLY needs a family!!!  She is so young and will greatly benefit from adequate medical care, early intervention, and a family who loves her. Sophie has many medical needs, but she would thrive with the love of a family! Let's rally and help her find one!

Thanks friends!

october begins.
new sneaks and a shiny new car. it's been a whirlwind two weeks!

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two weeks all at once
only not really.

catchin' a break between work and an evening parent training thing-y. i work one mile from the beach. one.

paint. sand. bus stop. me.
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what i did THIS week.

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what i did this week

wait for the bus ... hollywood style.

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i'm doing way too many things at the same time right now!! WAHHHHHHH

pasta salad and pizza and laundry and dishes and packing and sleep and yoga and airport and OMG. can haz knitting plz?

the end.

summer fun in LA
lion, tea
There have been plenty of times I've complained about being here in California. Moving is hard - and moving across the country, away from friends and family is REALLY hard. But there is a lot to be said for hubby feeling better and being happy. Fewer allergens and the consistent weather is so good for him. And what's bad about a sunny day? I enjoy the sunshine and warm weather too :)

We've had fun together this summer, especially attending outdoor performances (and bonus - most of them free!!). I want to share some of the musical discoveries I've made this summer via these performances.

We've been to two Performances at Grand, an awesome little square surrounded by the skyscrapers of downtown LA -- 100 points to Hubby for discovering this! The first one was in July, right before I started teaching summer school, and we heard Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan. They played some fantastic music. And the square they play in has some yummy restaurants (yay Starry Kitchen <-- delicious food!) and a really cool fountian that they sometimes run even during the concerts!! I was at first interested in this particular concert because Kayhan Kalhor is a veteren of YoYo Ma's Silk Road Project and I always love the music they make together. That night they played traditional and improvisational music from Iran and Turkey on the kamancheh and baglama. So fascinating. The video below isn't from their performance that night, but it gives you an idea of the kind of music they played :D

Earlier this week we visited the Hollywood Bowl for the first time. This visit wasn't free like the Grand Performances, but the tickets were really reasonable. AND? We had the opportunity to see BB King - Hubby was thrilled! We loved the atmosphere - the whole walk up to the bowl, and even once in our seats there were people having picnic dinners and sharing bottles of wine. We're still getting used to this idea - places we can bring food into, and even alcohol! Next time we're definitely bringing a bottle of wine and some picnic-y things like cheese, rolls, or a pasta salad. We're also going to rent little cushions for our bums, or at least I hope we will. The couple sitting next to us explained that they can be rented for $0.75 at the bowl - if you get there early enough :) The music was great, especially BB King of course. It was great to see him enthusiastic and lively as ever. He told his stories, sang a lovely "You are my Sunshine" for the ladies, and in general was a lot of fun. Best part for me? The big grin on Hubby's face the entire time he was on stage :D Only sad thing was that BB King's time on stage was so short ... not sure if it was due to his age (he is 84 after all) or limitations set by the bowl. Either way it was a really enjoyable evening.

The second Grand Performance we attended was this weekend, Friday night - Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba and Dengue Fever. Again, lots of fun at a free concert with yummy Starry Kitchen! We had different seats this time as there's no assigned seating and we arrived much later this time. The atmosphere in this section was much more picnic-y, though now that I think about it I'm not sure if that was because of the different seats or the different style of music. Either way I was totally groovin' to the music, especially Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - a Malian band. They played the ngoni (along with the bass ngoni, callebasse, percussion, and of course, vocals), which is basically an African ancestor of the American banjo. I loved the sounds, the rhythms, and the bright colors. Dengue Fever was entertaining as well (major points to their sax/trumpet/flute player!), but Bassekou Kouyate was definitely the highlight. If you click through to the website I linked, be sure to listen to the audio segments they provide - so much fun!

The performance this weekend with the ngoni was particularly interesting to me because earlier this summer I watched a documentary called Throw Down Your Heart about Béla Fleck (an American banjo player) and his journey to explore the African roots of the banjo. It was so interesting to both see and hear the traditional African instruments and to watch the musicians of all walks of life jam together. Way fun. And then to see an African band bring the ngoni to perform here in LA was awesome. (you can see the trailer for the Béla Fleck documentary here)

I feel blessed to have experienced all that I did this summer. I love the sounds of music from all over the world and I'm finding all sorts of new things to listen to on last.fm! Maybe the next time I pick up my violin my playing will be influenced by what I've heard. Or maybe I'll simply be more likely to pick up my violin at all. Whatever shape the influence takes, my life is richer. <3

I just got an email that started off with this:

Congratulations, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing issued you the following document on  8/10/2010

Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

ETA: That would be my California certification, whoooo!