We 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.
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Matthew 28:6aWe 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!
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 1:18
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
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.We 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. And 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!
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.However, 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.For 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.We 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.As 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.This 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.
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.
A long walk around the big lake in Pardeeville. We saw lots of geese who haven’t felt the need to leave for the winter.Christmas cookie decorating with the family. Many cookies were consumed during the process. The wreaths were my favorite.Christmas 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…”
‘Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn’t a sound.
Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.
We’d left on the table some tucker and beer,
…Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;
We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,
While dreams of pavlova danced ’round in our heads;
And Mum in her nightie, and Dad in his shorts,
Had just settled down to watch TV sports.
When outside the house a mad ruckus arose;
Loud squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.
We ran to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,
Snuck onto the deck, then let out a shout.
Guess what had woken us up from our snooze?
But a rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty kangaroos.The cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,
And we both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.
Now, I’m telling the truth it’s all dinki-di,
Those eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.
Santa leaned out the window to pull at the reins,
And encouraged the ‘roos, by calling their names.
Now, Shazza and Shane!
On, Bazza and Wayne!
Park up on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,
I’ll scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!’
So up to the tank those eight kangaroos flew,
With the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.
He slid down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,
Then in through the window he sprang with a bound.
He had bright sunburned cheeks and a milky white beard.
A jolly old joker was how he appeared.
He wore red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,
And a hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.
His eyes – bright as opals – Oh! How they twinkled!
And, like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!
His shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly
Which shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.
A fat stack of prezzies he flung from his back,
And he looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,
To position our goodies beneath the pine tree.
Surfboard and footy for us two.
And for Dad, tongs to use on the new BBQ.
A mysterious package he left for our Mum,
Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;
He strolled out on deck and his ‘roos came on cue;
Flung his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.
He bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates –
“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, and GOOD ON ‘YA, MATES!”
Adapted by Yvonne Morrison
Christmas with my family. We had our family meal and exchanged gifts early. It was fun and cozy to be all together.Zapp family time and the obligatory cousin picture. These are our natural faces of course.An early morning walk with my husband through the Pardeeville cemetery.
Today we leave for Christmas. I’m closing the door on all our packing, sorting and planning. And I’m looking forward to the holidays with family and friends. First up, Sacramento in rainy and cool northern California. I don’t mind Christmas rain because we definitely need all the moisture we can get in California. And then we’re off to Wisconsin. Although it is cold in Wisconsin, it’s not cold enough. We might not have snow, there might not be sledding (picture from sledding in 2013 when we were engaged) but I’ll get to experience this Wisconsin brown that I’ve been hearing so much about. Christmas may not be white but it will still be wonderful.
I hope to be updating our adventures along the way but I’m usually better about using Instagram when we’re traveling so add me: joycandee and follow us through the season. See you all in the New Year!