A Day in LA

IMG_20160402_111504-2We love to take advantage of beautiful California days and hike whenever we get a chance.  Today we hiked from Ferndell up to the Griffith Observatory, a beautiful scenic hike in the middle of LA.  Last time we visited the Griffith Observatory was Valentine’s Day 2014, a week before we got married.  And this morning we got together to celebrate life milestones with Ryan’s friends from Pardeeville, Wisconsin who live in the LA area.  One couple is newly engaged, we got to meet the other couple’s 8 month old son and we shared more about our adventures getting to Australia.  It was a great LA day.IMG_20160402_114527

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He is Risen!

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Matthew 28:6aIMG_20160326_071058~2We have celebrated this special weekend by watching the sunrise twice.  Saturday from the top of Sandstone Peak which is the tallest mountain in the Santa Monica mountain range.  And then we worshipped this morning on the beach as we listened to the waves crash before us and waited for the sun to peak out over Mugu Rock.  What a way to remember and celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  He is risen indeed!IMG_20160327_070733~2

It is indeed, Good Friday

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.09.34 PM

And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”  Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says:

“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Therefore the soldiers did these things.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.  John 19:17-30

Celebrating Holy Week

Anticipation, understanding and hope!  One of the things I love most about the church calendar is learning about Christian history and applying it to my life today.  Just like the season of advent, the season of lent is also a time of anticipation.  This year, because we’ve been on the road, Ryan and I have done less to mark the passage of lent.  However, this week we are taking time to read a Holy Week devotional which focuses on the cross.  It’s a beautiful reminder and helps me to focus on what makes Easter and resurrection Sunday so amazingly special.Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.51.53 AMWe are also participating in two different Seder meals.  Tonight will be a Passover Seder at our Camarillo church.  It’s beautiful to hear the Hebrew prayers, learn about and remember the significance of this meal that has been celebrated for so many generations.  If you’re in the area, please join us at 7pm on Mobil Ave.  Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.48.14 AMAnd tomorrow we will celebrate Maundy Thursday with a meal at our church in Santa Barbara.  We love being able to celebrate and reflect during this week with our different church families.

These are just some of the ways we are anticipating this Sunday, learning to understand our Christian history and celebrating the hope that is represented with the cross.  The hope of the resurrection!

Anniversary in Astoria

Yesterday Ryan surprised me with more than just a trip to the Washington State Capitol.  You can see that picture if you follow me on Instagram (joycandee).  He warned me that it was a bit of a drive and I was slightly worried after we spent some time rambling around Aberdeen, driving by Kurt Cobain’s childhood home and the bridge where Kurt Cobain drew a lot of his musical inspiration from.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that but Aberdeen was definitely more of a treat for Ryan.IMG_20160223_073244~2However, once I figured out that he had booked a place in Astoria, I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful drive and even laughed as we got to sing along to a little Cindy Lauper that was serendipitously on the radio.IMG_20160223_084908For those of you not familiar, Astoria is a little town on the Oregon coasts where the Goonies was set and filmed.  It also boasts the location where Clark Gable began his acting career and also a few places where outdoor scenes from Kindergarten Cop were shot.  I’m sure there are a few other noteworthy things but since I really shamelessly love The Goonies, this was just a fun place to be if only for one night.IMG_20160222_170247We drove by some of the places you can see from the movie.  However, the Goonie house is privately owned and tucked away on a hillside that is currently closed to traffic.  But we still got to see the jail and walked by the intersection that is highlighted during the police chase in the opening credits of the film.  Recognize the car?  That’s the one (if not the actual car then the same style) the Fratelli brothers were driving.IMG_20160222_170915~2As much as I enjoy the Goonies, the highlight of the day was time with my husband in the beautiful, romantic hotel.  He chose very well.  We enjoyed the amazing views, the welcome complete with a wine and cheese bar, the relaxing sounds of the Columbia River, a bubble bath including complementary champagne, fluffy white bathrobes and a cozy fire.  We just stayed in, ordered pizza (after all it was Ryan’s anniversary too) and played games all evening.IMG_20160222_173442~2This beautiful view is what we woke up to.  I’m so blessed by my husband who took the time to plan something special even in our busy season of travel, moving towards Australia and support raising.  We’ve known each other 3 years, been married 2 years and I’m excited to see where the future takes us.

Australia Day

It’s Australia Day in Australia, tomorrow in the US (the 26th).  Australia day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson in New South Wales.  It also commemorates the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.  Evidently Australians celebrate by eating lamb and watching fireworks, so Ryan will be at a bbq today joining in the celebration, enjoying some delicious meat and beautiful fireworks.

Holiday Highlights Part 2

IMG_20151223_091221.jpgA long walk around the big lake in Pardeeville.  We saw lots of geese who haven’t felt the need to leave for the winter.IMG_20151223_124629Christmas cookie decorating with the family.  Many cookies were consumed during the process.  The wreaths were my favorite.IMG_20151224_174049Christmas Eve service in Rio.  It was a beautiful reminder of the reason we celebrate with carols, scripture and of course, candles.  Singing, “Silent night, Holy night, Son of God, loves pure light…”