Sunday, May 31, 2009
As the school year is nearing a close, I'm sure we'll all be expressing our thanks for our teachers. Don't forget, Sunday School teachers deserve our thanks too! At our church, we plan to call forward our teachers to thank them for a job well done. As the teachers are coming to the front of the church, we will be running a little slide show. I had a great time visiting the classes and snapping photos for the show. (And let me tell you, I'll take happy little kids over camera shy, attitude-filled teenagers ANY DAY!) ;-) Here are my favorites: “Sunday after Sunday, our teachers share their gifts—loving hearts, listening ears, friendly faces and caring hands.” “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” “Be a person who makes a difference in a child.” “Teach a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” —Proverbs 22:6 “To be a child is to know the fun of living. To have a child is to know the beauty of life. To teach a child is to know the joy of giving.” “You teach a little by what you say. You teach the most by what you are.” “If you can find your way around in your Bible, thank a SundaySchool teacher!”
Saturday, May 30, 2009
The perfect evening? Listening to jazz under the stars! Matt's high school Jazz Band gave their final concert of the year last night and of course the music was FABULOUS! (and I'm not just saying that because my kid is in it-- seriously they were FABULOUS! I wouldn't lie to you...) But I have to tell you something unique about it... It was a tribute to Sammy Nestico. Who's he you ask? Well, I'd be happy to tell you! Sammy is an incredibly talented and famous composer and arranger. Sammy's credits include hundreds of songs for the Count Basie orchestra; also for Steve Allen, Johnny Mercer, all the major film studios, Phil Collins, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby (to name just a few!) He also has numerous television credits including the Tonight Show, M.A.S.H., Columbo, Charlies Angels, Mission Impossible, Gomer Pyle, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hawaii Five-O, and hundreds of others! (I think just about every tune you could hum along to, he wrote!) Well the unique thing I want to tell you about it is that he lives near San Diego and drove in to hear the concert! Here's a picture of him with Matt. He is the nicest man - he met with the kids, praised their playing, posed for photos and autographed programs for each student! As he thinks back to his incredible career, guess what he says he's most proud of....? "The 600 numbers I have had published in the education field that are being played in the schools of America." Wow- what a special man. He took a group picture with all our jazz players - what an incredible legacy he has given to musicians everywhere! (Click HERE if you want to learn more about him or order his music) "If there is anything I've learned over the past six decades, it is not to take myself too seriously. I've worked very hard, but must admit I have been blessed with solid faith in my art and a wonderful body of creative associates. Although my music starts out being notes on paper, it is the musicians who bring it to life and give it real meaning. That's where the magic is." Sammy Nestico
Friday, May 29, 2009
10 Health Habits that will help you live to be 100! Since I love all you guys so much, thought I would pass along these great tips to help you live long and prosper! 1. Don't retire. Keep on moving and challenging yourself. 2. Consume whole foods. Avoid nutrient-lacking white foods (breads, flour, sugar) and go for all those colorful fruits and vegetables and dark whole-grain breads and cereals. 5. Get at least six hours of sleep. 6. Floss every day. Daily flossing reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease. 7. Be less neurotic. Find good ways to manage your stress: Yoga, exercise, meditation, tai chi, or just deep breathing. 8. Cherish the body that's on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol abuse, or overindulging in sweets. 9. Stay connected. Having regular social contacts with friends and loved ones is key to avoiding depression, which can lead to premature death. 10. Be a creature of habit. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will keep your body in steady equilibrium . Want to read the whole article? Click here: U.S. News & World Report
Thursday, May 28, 2009
My latest photo challenge had the topic "Go Green." So I decided to try to take a photo that was ENTIRELY green. What do you think of this? After I got the green shot I was looking for, I thought I'd do a little tomato series for you....just to get you inspired to plant your own! If you aren't growing your own tomatoes, run out and get a plant! (You don't need much space - these are growing in a pot on my patio!) And what's our favorite way to eat these little tomatoes? With chopped basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a spritz of red wine vinegar. So simple, but so YUMMY! And check this out: You are not going to believe it but there's a song about Home Grown Tomatoes! (I'm not kidding you! Yes, sir! Sung by John Denver himself!) Who'dda thunk? “Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes Only two things that money can't buy That's true love and home grown tomatoes.” John Denver, 'Home Grown Tomatoes'
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
If you are serving a "Big Fat Greek Lunch" (see yesterday's blog) - you have to have Baklava for dessert! Don't you? Of course! So I set out on a quest for a baklava recipe. Turns out Uncle Google had several recipes just waitin for me to try. To be honest, I was nervous about attempting something so mysterious, but it's EASY....(time consuming....but EASY!) My RECIPE directs you to start out with a pound of finely chopped walnuts and some cinnamon. AND a package of phyllo dough. (Can you see how THIN these sheets of dough are? You can see through them!) Alright, here's a quick summary of the recipe. Brush some melted butter on the sheet of dough Sprinkle on some of the nuts and cinnamon mixture and repeat.... And repeat..... And repeat.... Seriously, you repeat for like 40 layers! Then you cut it into fancy little diamond shapes. THEN you bake it. (Funny, huh? Cut it before baking?) The minute it comes out of the oven you drizzle on a warm honey, sugar syrup.... ...as Emeril would say: "Oh YA, Babe!" Then you try really hard not to nibble as you let them cool.... But the minute they are cool, you can start to eat AND EAT, and EAT, and EAT! (Repeat THAT about 40 times....!) "At around 8th century B.C. the Assyrians put together a few layers of thin bread dough, with chopped nuts in between those layers, added some honey and baked it in their primitive wood burning ovens. This earliest known version of baklava was baked only on special occasions. In fact, historically baklava was considered a food for the rich until mid-19th century. The Greek seamen and merchants traveling east to Mesopotamia soon discovered the delights of Baklava. It mesmerized their taste buds and has been known as a Greek delicacy ever since."
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
1. Had a little family get together. 2. Wanted to serve something different, so we thought and thought 3. Decided to have a Greek theme 3. That made it fun to plan! The feast began with humus and pita chips. Then came grilled Greek steak and chicken kabobs with roasted vegies Added basmati rice and pita bread to that: Course a Greek salad was the perfect accompaniment to that.... And we finished with Baklava! Have you tasted Baklava? It is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with a honey syrup. It is TO DIE FOR! So good in fact, that I'm going to teach you how to make it tomorrow so you can taste some too-- I know, I know, you can thank me later... So who did we invite to our Big Fat Greek Lunch? Family! Is that the most handsome family you've ever seen? AND they are nice too! (WOW, huh?) "There is something about a shared meal--not some holiday blowout, not once in a while but regularly, reliably--that anchors a family." Nancy Gibbs
Monday, May 25, 2009
Bob Hope, the actor and comedian will always be remembered in the hearts of generations of U.S. servicemen. Thought it would be especially appropriate on Memorial Day to show you this memorial and amazing piece of art! For a span of over fifty years beginning in 1943, Bob Hope dedicated himself to entertaining soldiers, sailors and airmen of the armed forces in the many battle fronts and remote outposts where they've served throughout the world. The legacy of Bob Hope is commemorated with this sculpture sponsored by the city of San Diego. It's called the "National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military.” The sculpture is intended to be interactive and personal. Visitors are meant to be part of an intimate connection with Bob Hope and to experience some sense of the bonding that Hope had with the service people he entertained. The bronze figures are sculpted in military uniforms authentic to the various eras of Bob’s career from World War II through the Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, and the first Persian Gulf War. Isn't the detail amazing? (Can you see his purple heart?) It's so much fun to stroll around the figures and just soak it all in! Bob Hope's overseas USO tours, which often took place over Christmas, were deeply appreciated and fondly remembered by countless thousands of servicemen on protracted tours of duty, often under combat conditions, far from their homes and families. I found a little 1957 film on youtube narrated by Bob Hope about one of his USO Christmases: Hey- who's that? "Memorial Day: we come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. " ~Francis A. Walker