Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hardworking Hubby

I thought I'd give a shout out to my hard-working hubby. He's been very diligent this week especially staying up late to do his work, minister to people in need, serve the local body, and do house fix-ups. He even let Chase use him as a jungle gym. I couldn't catch the photo in time, but I peeked into our den and Chase was crawling all over Brian's legs and back as if he was his own personal jungle gym. It was really cute.

Thanks Hub for how hard you work and how you provide for your family. We love you!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In honor of the King of Pop

I (Krisha) am a child of the era of the King of Pop. When MJ died, something inside of me felt like it died. It has always been a lifelong dream to see him perform live.

There is a trend throughout my life where I can point to an event, a friendship, a joke, a talent, a performance, a stroke of genius that is somehow connected to the work of Michael Jackson. I am a studier of the King of Pop. Not only in his musical ingenious, but his style, his dance choreography, his personal history, his struggle to be understood, his family life, his spirituality, the way he was always a step ahead of the rest of his musical colleagues.

The death of someone famous in no way justifies our human frailties, our misgivings, our lack of judgment, or even our sins against our Creator or His creation. As a believer, I believe famous or not, our life here and now reflects whether we will meet our Maker with relief of the fulfillment of our very existence, or whether we will be separated from our very purpose of existing for all eternity. I cannot imagine a more devastating, more saddening, more hopeless estate than to roam this earth searching, rejecting God, and then go for an eternity without any presence of the glory of our Creator- no light, no goodness, no forgiveness, no redemption.

Regardless, when someone dies (famous our not), I sincerely believe that God created each human soul in His image. And when that souls passes from this world into eternity, it is fitting to have a moment of silence, reflect on that person, and then look at how that soul (which God chose to bring into existence) impacted our life in an unchangeable way.

For me Michael Jackson was more than a popstar. He certainly wasn't my idol in the sense that I worshipped him. But as a kid from the 80's, a kid growing up in a bicultural home with a deep appreciation for dance, music, color, rhythm, individuality, boldness, PASSION, and bringing people together, there has always been something deep within me that resonates with him.

I can recount a memory or event from practically EVERY year of my life that has significance because of something related to MJ.

I was born in eary 80's. Thriller came out in 1982 and was off the charts as hottest album... ever! I recall watching the movie with my other half-Indian friends in the mid-late 80's as it was still on. MTV kept it on their countdown on into my teenage years.

I have a photo tucked somewhere of myself (prob age 4) with a MJ shirt on!! Yep it started early.

In second grade, I remember asking my older sister to show me some dance moves b/c I really wanted to win. And what do you know- they played an MJ song (I can't remember if it was "Billie Jean" or "Beat It") but I did my moves and my spins and won the Chocolate Easter bunny and book!! Why dance contest in a public school at age 7? Not sure, but MJ inspired me to be bold with my moves and bring home the chocolate!

Pix of an MJ jigsaw puzzle (which my husband recently found-- the same week MJ died)

In late middle or early high school, I was very into sketching. I did a sketch of the J5 group and actually framed it. Here is a picture of that which shows my obsession with J5. J5 introduced me to Motown and the real soul behind his early beginnings.
Michael is the shortest of the bunch.

In High school we had a talent show where we'd lipsink to our favorite songs. Of course, I did Billie Jean, Beat It, and even Jackson Five. I had the Hat, black pants that rose high enough to show my sock, black shoes, infamous glove, and white shirt.

Excerpts from my high school year book below:

Me with my plaid pants and homemade afro performing "ABC"

As a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to choreograph my own senior solo. We could choose the genre: jazz, lyrical, tap, ballet. But honestly after dancing since 1986, I had tried everything but clogging (no thanks!), and my heart really loved hip hop. No one in the little town of Vinton taught that. But who cares, I'd come up with my own rendition and I'd even have a professional mix different MJ songs. I had him mix the old and the new of MJ: "Scream" mixed with some of his classic songs. I wore gold spandex and kept the hat/glove from my school performance. And of course the moonwalk had to be part of my performance! I think I got a standing "o" even more so than my Valedictorian speech... so just goes to show my heart was behind my dancing, my crowd-pleasing; not necessarily my competitive intellect.

In college, as a freshman I went to parties and dancing was my drug. I didn't need alcohol or drugs to have fun. Seriously, dancing was my "high." So here comes this freshman who steps into the middle as MJ comes on and suddenly I have this crowd around me of all these older students wondering "who the heck is this little freshman? She's pretty good!"

As a sophomore in college, I went on my first missions trip to South America. Well of course, dancing is a part of the culture there in Venezuela (as was in my home growing up). Needless to say, I found an MJ fan as big as me and we (Egidio and I ) danced to "Beat It" back to back. We did the same choreography and the students loved it! See for yourself:

I've had countless friends give me MJ CD's like Cristen, who brought me back an MJ CD from her trip to East Asia, which I've added to my collection!

My buddy Disco-Dan had a shilacked wall-hanging of MJ in his jerry-curl stage and one of my college pranks was to break in steal it and then take photos with MJ. Photo below.

I remember my junior year feeling very down and depressed. My mom and dad would come to visit me and I've always had a very close relationship with my family. I have a memory of my mom buying me MJ's latest CD- Invincible and when I was really down, I'd go and blast it in my room, shut the door and get my energy out by dancing.

As a Psychology student, I was always interested in the inner workings of humans and of course MJ is an enigma to all, probably even his family. But we were able to select a subject to do a pyschoanalysis on and of course I convinced my colleagues that MJ was perfect. I mean weren't people curious of all those accusations? Of his childhood? Why the huge ranch and obsession with boys? My finding were quite interesting actually. I concluded that there wasn't much evidence for the first actual case (b/c it was actual a custody battle that the parents had put their child up to for the sake of $$ and both were going after MJ). However, I do not deny that MJ was not concerned about social standards. He had NO concept of inappropriateness and even danced that line purposely. In the world of dance, I respected him for that. In the world of relationships, I did not. But the more I researched, the more I sympathized for a kid forced to be an adult, a performer at such a young age.

My college friends always knew me as the MJ performer. So it didn't strike them as odd when we went to a halloween party and they all had cute costumes : ladybugs, bees, koala bears, and then there was me and MJ and my friend Jrob who is so comically random as Rat-tail-girl. :) You can see our costumes in the scrapbook page dedicated to MJ below:

Then the weddings began where each friend specifically put an MJ song on the playlist so that I would dance. My wedding included. Me doing the whiplash under my heavy dress. Didn't seem to stop me!

In fact here's a photo of the place Brian pushed me into the crowd to compete in and MJ dance-alike contest in the Dominican Republic. They weren't a huge fan of Americans but I did when the contest: a bottle of wine which hubby and I still laugh about today!)
Then upon my return from my honeymoon, I'm greeted by my boss who didn't realize that the pleasant secretary secretly has a crazy side. Ken says "Hey Billie Jean! Welcome back!" Haha. It made my day.

I still have a couple of friends who have demanded that I must do MJ at their weddings. I told myself that I had retired it at my wedding; but then the bottle of wine, then my sister's wedding...Here is me at Renu's wedding (I think I heard PYT which is one of MJ's best in my opinion)

My prized moment of God having a sense of humor is when I delivered my son Chase. It was April 1st of 08 (yep April Fool's) and as I'm in the delivery room (ended up emergency c-section) the first song I recall hearing as they were playing music was an MJ song. I was too loopy to remember if it was "Billie Jean" or "Beat It," but it was one of the two and Brian and I looked at each other and just laughed!!! How funny that Chase's welcome into this world was an MJ hit!

I have followed MJ throughout his life. But in some instances, he has followed me. Weddings, births, overseas travels, college parties, and even second grade school contests; I lived and breathed the music of MJ.

The day MJ died, I was moving boxes. Brian watched the news story. I just couldn't bare to watch. So later than evening, Brian had a softball game, I flipped on my MJ tracks on my Ipod and went for a "tribute run." I ran and ran until my knees felt like they'd collapse. I felt his energy that he put into his music pump through my blood. I felt his passion in his music. The irony is that it was from his CD Invincible. And now his body was in the grave. I cannot vouch for where his soul is. No man can escape that Judgement Day. But I am convinced that it was the Lord Himself who gave MJ his talent, breathed life into those feet that moonwalked, and used him to inspire others like myself ....who will remain changed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

morning babble

Did I mention that Chase is babbling up a storm. He has interesting conversations in the morning. His first official word (besides "mama" and "dada") is "car" which he always says in a high-pitched voice. His window looks out onto a street where cars zoom by so he's always hearing their motor and then shrieking with excitement: "CAR!"

This face reminds me of me when I was a kid!

Finding his inner thumb... i mean peace

Caught laughing

Looks like he's up to no good... or like he's peeing in a corner :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Visit with the Nolls

We took a road trip when we heard our dear friends Eric, Sara-Beth, Noa, & Martha were going to be nearby. Near is relative when you consider how far they were! They just returned from serving with MTW in Japan and the last time we saw them they had one (no two) less kids. Sara is expecting again so this will be number 3!! But I was just meeting #2 (Martha) who is Chase's age.

The kids enjoyed running around though Chase & Martha kept making a lunge for the steps. Needless to say, we all got our exercise.

We decided to take a group photo. But WAIT! WHOSE THAT GUY JUMPING IN OUR PHOTO?!! GET OUTTA THERE YOU PUNK! Don't you know it's INVITE ONLY???!

Oh wait.. it's Brian. :)hehe

We've got a walker!

Yep, Chase is officially a walker. And has been since the end of his 14th month. Not early by any means but actually just in due time. He started walking the week we began our move into our house (which is no longer one level).

One day while I was in the kitchen, my heart jumped because everything was silent and I did not see or hear Chase in the den. He wasn't in his toy corner, he wasn't in the bathroom (though he has figured out how to get in there) and I didn't see him anywhere in the floor. He had discovered a crevice that is just his size between the couch and the wall.

He makes it his regular path. Here are some photos:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Welcome to our home! Glory be to God!

So before you look at the photos, we must give honor where honor is due.

Remember how Brian and I moved to VA in faith after a period of joblessness, having our first child amidst moving twice (once from state to state), graduating seminary, not knowing where we'd be or how we'd survive? We uprooted ourselves from Orlando, from our church, from our close friends in FL, from my amazing job at Wycliffe (that included insurance and the best boss ever!), and from a community of ministry-bound seminarians. Even though we did not know how the Lord would provide or honestly even when He would provide a job, a stable place to live, insurance, a church, etc. etc, we were convinced that He had us move to be near family in VA.

Once we moved, we felt the immediate blessings of family and friends and even a church but the road still was hard and at times discouraging. Little by little, God began to open doors and help us make connections. God provided Brian with a great full-time job in ministry, me with the ability to stay home with Chase (after the tension of doing several part-time jobs while still nursing full-time!), our family with second car, and this very computer I'm typing on (per our generous family). We were slowly able to get on our feet. Our families helped us tremendously and as God provided more stability, we were able to take advantage of the real estate market.

There is NO WAY we could have predicted this and in fact if you had asked me a year ago about owning a home, I probably would have laughed and said "yeah, how about just a washer/dryer so I don't have to do laundry at my parent's house!"

And this is not all to say that blessing is physical or financial! By NO MEANS am I claiming that! In fact, I feel that Brian and I are in a different place in our walks with God, in our faith, in our ability to serve the church and take on leadership roles and even in our marriage than we could have ever imagined we would be a year ago!

The pictures below are a testimony to how incredible God's grace is. They are evidence of His mercy and how He's used our family and friends to support us. There are "physical reminders" in every room of how a different friend or family member has contributed and I love that our house as a whole is a great reminder of that. So... enjoy and Solo Deo Gloria!

Some highlights of my faves:

Street view of our cute home

grand entry room with fireplace/bookshelves and hardwood floors

Dining room!! yay! no more TV trays! Only now Chase has to learn some table manners....hmmm....


Family room/play room

Chase's room

Our spa-like bedroom.. all it needs is a massage therapist and some Enya

ooh-la-la upstairs bath

downstairs bath

Our wonderful Zoe-proofed backyard

Click here to see a full slideshow: