Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shayla's First Birthday!

This past Wednesday my niece Shayla celebrated her first birthday! She is such a doll, and Christian and I can hardly believe that it has already been a whole year since she was born. I found myself reflecting on everything I was thinking, and feeling a year ago when we got the news that she was on her way. I completely relived the feeling of excitement and joy throughout the day, and thought it was so perfect that Krysty (Shayla's Mommy) invited us all over at exactly 7:25 p.m. for cake to be there for the exact moment that Shayla took her first peek at the world around her.
Grandma and the birthday girl sharing hugs. Shayla adores her Grandpa and lights up whenever he's in the room.

The Mommy-made birthday cake that was just for little Shayla. So cute!
Hooray! Happy Birthday Shayla!
"Yummy in my tummy!"
The super proud parents, John and Krysty and the birthday girl!
Uncle Keith sharing a messy kiss with the birthday girl.
Aunt Carol and Uncle Albey getting in their photo opp. with the celebrity for the day.
Shayla loves her cousins Jayson and Trent.
Mee-ma and Pee-pa loving on the birthday girl.
Happy Birthday Shayla! You've come so far, and we can't wait to watch you grow and learn, and witness the transformation of you turning into someone even more wonderful than you already are. We love you!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pow Wow

This past weekend Christian and I drove to the western part of New Jersey in Sussex County for a Native American Pow Wow. Growing up I have fond memories of having the local tribes of Southern Oregon, the Modoc, Klamath, and Yahooskin tribes, visiting my school and teaching us about their culture. This event brought back memories of dancing around my elementary school gymnasium in a friendship circle.At this Pow Wow there were tribes from all over. Navajo, Cherokee, Nanticoke, Shawnee, and Powhatan just to name a few. Each tribe has dances that are steeped in tradition , rich and colorful clothing that help tell a story, and strong voices that ring out the songs of their ancestors.

This was truly something to see, hear, and experience. I tried to capture the feeling with my little camera. (The quality of the video is not the greatest, but it gives you an idea) Standing next to the drum circle was truly amazing. You could feel the pounding of the drum in your chest, and the synchronized voices that sung as one was so amazing it made the hair on the back on my arms stand on end.

The honor and pride held by each dancer and drummer could be seen clear as day. I truly admire how various cultures stay strong within their history, holding on to the stories of their ancestors, and then pass that knowledge on to the next generation, to both the youth in their tribe and to us "outsiders" who have a willing to learn, and an open heart.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Christian's new baby!

No, it's not what you think. Sorry to burst your bubble. (hee hee) Christian does however have a new boy-toy to play with and my goodness does he love it. He recently picked up, it was a phenomenal deal I might add, a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT pickup truck. I've never fully understood why boys love their trucks so much, but to see the look in Christian's eyes when he's gazing on his new hauling-machine, brings a smile to my face. Just to help prove how much happiness this truck has brought him, the following two pictures he took. Like a proud papa he took a total of 19 photos of his new baby the day after he bought it.
On a fun little side note, this past Monday. Christian and I, with many thanks to one Mr. Alton Brown of the Food Network's "Good Eats," tried out a summer treat and grilled our very first pizza in our backyard. Fresh pizza dough basted with olive oil, cooked for two minutes per side, grilled tomatoes that we marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic, cut up fresh basil, and wet mozzarella and shredded mozzarella. Voila, one of the tastiest pizzas I've ever tasted. Try it out. Super fun, easy, and did I mention tasty?