Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not Just a Pretty Voice, My Friends

Hey you know how John Mayer sometimes makes really funny faces when he sings? Then he goes and takes a picture like this ... and totally redeems himself!

photo from

Ok I'm done. Back to work.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Church of Atheism?

If you have a few moments today, read this article recently published in New York Magazine. It really got me thinking about the idea of church vs. Church. And I realized I really don't have a clear understanding of this whole concept. But I want to.

So what, exactly, is the Church? Or church? I'd love input from any of you more philosphically, theologically minded types because I'm a bit confused.

Here is a quote from the article ...

"The most successful movements in history, after all—Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.—all have creeds, cathedrals, schools, hierarchies, rituals, money, clerics, and some version of a heavenly afterlife. Churches fill needs, goes the argument—they inculcate ethics, give meaning, build communities."

and another ...
"They aim to remove God from the church, while leaving the church, at least large parts of it, standing."

What is your reaction?
What, as Christ-followers, should our response be?
Or should we respond at all?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Four Things

Skip and Carolyn both tagged me so I guess I should do this. Here ya go. Useless info about Becky.

Four jobs I've held:
Lifeguard/Swim Instructor
Spanish Tutor
Coffee Shop

Four movies I could watch over and over:
The Last of the Mohicans
The Sandlot
The Notebook

Places I've lived (in order):
Colorado Springs, CO
Grand Rapids, MI
Denia, Spain
Chicago, IL
Colorado Springs, CO (5 different places!)

Four TV shows I like:
The Office
Arrested Development
American Idol

Four favorite foods:
French Toast
my dad's Toffee Coffee ice cream
Mint Milano Minis

Where would I rather be?
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Riding my bike
At a John Mayer concert

Four people I'm tagging:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Dad

My dad turns 56 today.

Want to know a secret?
I have the world's best dad.
Some might think I'm exaggerating (especially if you read this post) but I'm not.

He's the best. I'll tell you why.

My dad made breakfast for our family every day. And this wasn't just a quick bowl of cereal ... it was a full on three course breakfast. Every single day. Wednesdays were egg days. Friday was coffee cake. And don't even get me started on Sunday Morning Breakfast. (WOO!)

When we were little, we used to get on his back and play with his hair. Then we'd say, "Do pushups, Dad!" and our dad - obviously the strongest man on the planet - would do pushups with us on his back.

At night when we were tired he would carry us, all four of us, up the stairs at one time.

Every night he would sit on the landing between our bedrooms and read books to us. He'd read until he dozed off and we'd have to yell at him to wake him up.

He makes the best ice cream in the world. Seriously. My current favorite is Coffee Toffee. I'm a diehard fan of his Mint Chip and the Oreo is pretty amazing too.

When it would frost when I was in high school, I'd walk out the door for school and without fail, I'd find my windows scraped and the car toasty warm.

Speaking of snow, whenever some fell - even just a dusting - he was out shoveling the sidewalk. But he didn't stop at the edge of our yard. Often he'd shovel the whole block. Just because.

He loves my mom without condition ... the way I hope my husband loves me someday.

I could go on. But this is starting to sound like a eugugoly so I'll stop.

Happy birthday, Daddy.
I love you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Moo Dang, that was good!

A little over a year ago my friend Wendy and I started a monthly cooking night. The idea was that we would pick a type of ethnic food that neither of us had cooked before and learn how to cook it. We pick an appetizer, a few dishes, a typical drink and a dessert.

For the first 10 months or so it was just Wendy and me. Then our friend Jamie joined us. Each month we seem to have one or two new people. 16 months later it's turned into a full-fledged party! (Sadly, Wendy moved to Seattle a few months ago, but we've carried on the tradition.)

Last night was Thai night. Julisa and I hosted it at our house.

Here's Julisa making Tom Ka Gai.

Heidi works on her masterpiece, Pad Thai.

It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end. Ta da!

Bring on the grub!

Here is the yummy looking Thai salad, made by the lovely Suzanne.

Suzanne and I ready to eat!

Here is the finished product:
Tom Ka Gai, Mango Sticky Rice, Thai Iced Tea, Pad Thai, Thai Salad, Chicken Satay, and last but not least ... Moo Dang!

And for a close-up ...
Are you hungry yet?

In case you were wondering ... here's a list of what we've made so far. Any suggestions for next month?
Jan - New England
Feb - Greek
Mar - French
Apr - Hawaiian
May/June - Mexican
Jul - Japanese
Aug - Spanish
Sept - Italian
Oct - Caribbean
Nov - Indian
Dec - Moroccan
Jan - Argentinian
Feb - German
Mar - Irish
Apr - Thai

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

He Knows Your Name

Want to see what Compassion looks like lived out?

This is one of our artists from Compassion Netherlands meeting his sponsored boy.

Get your kleenex ready ...

Sponsor a child.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ummmm ... God?

I know the Bible is full of mysteries and things that we won't understand until later. But sometimes I wish he'd just given us a little more detail. (If it was a space issue, maybe he could have left out a few of the details in Deuteronomy and Numbers to address stuff like this.)

From Genesis 5 ...

5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.
8 Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.
11 Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.
14 Altogether, Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died.
17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died.
20 Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.
23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years.
27 Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.
31 Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.
32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

So here's what I want to know ... what did that really look like? I mean physically. What was their development process like?

When you live for 600 years, when do you reach adolesence? At 150 years old?

Are you in puberty for, like, 50 years? (ugh ... NO thank you.)

Did they reach adulthood in their 30's (like we do) and just spend the next few hundred years as an adult?

Or maybe each stage was proportional to today ... so childhood was about 10% of their total life, adolescence another 10%, young adulthood was 20% and then finally adulthood.

And what about the physical aging? Right now, at age 80-90, most people's bodies have pretty much been worn out. But if you still had to live for hundreds of years, it would be pretty miserable if you had to do it like most 85-year-olds. Obviously Noah still had it after 500 years (vs. 32) so he can't have been too decrepit.

Seriously, I want to know. Anyone have any insight? (Skip, I know you gotta have something on this.)

This is definitely going on the list of things to ask God when I see him.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mt. Herman, for reals this time.

Remember a while back when I wrote a post about hiking Mt. Herman?

Well I lied.

We actually didn't hike Mt. Herman, we hiked in Mt. Herman Open Space. (I should have known that seeing as the entire hike was flat.)

Yesterday my friend Jamie and I hiked the real Mt. Herman. It was definitely not flat. In fact, here is a picture of the mountain. The trail goes straight up the back of it.

I, being brilliant, figured that since it was supposed to be 75 degrees I could hike in sandals. I'm dumb.

Here's the view from the top. See the horizon line? That's Kansas.

And here is Pikes Peak, our Fourteener. Beautiful, as always.

Havana, looking regal.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Boy

I'd like to introduce you to my brother Chris.

You may have noticed the link to his blog over there on the right. [It's the link called "The Boy" which is how he is known in my family.]

You should read it. Seriously, he's funny. And I'm not just saying that cause he's my brother. He used to call me "Hecky Becky" and put Tabasco Sauce on my retainer. I owe him nothing.

But he will make you laugh. For instance his post from a couple days ago made me laugh out loud. More than once, actually. So stop reading mine immediately and hop over to his blog.

Oh and in addition to his ability to contort his face like Jim Carrey and astound you with his wit, he also happens to be an extremely talented graphic designer. You can check out his stuff on his web site, Tscha*ching Design.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Dellie and the Bellie

I promise to stop inundating you with pictures soon, but first ...

I'm gonna be an aunt and I can't wait!!!

Northwest Airlines is a joke.

Hey all. I'm back to beautiful, warm Colorado. My time in NY wasn't long enough, but I'm glad I got to go, nonetheless. (I love that word!) And I'm even more glad to be home and done dealing with the airline industry for a while.

If you thought my trip out was rough, wait until you hear what happened on the trip home. The whole experience was such a joke you'd almost think I was making it up.


I arrive at the airport 1 hour and 20 minutes before my flight. Albany Airport is small - it only has two concourses - so that was plenty early. I get in line to check in via the kiosks and while I'm waiting they make an announcement that everyone should stop checking in because our flight is an hour delayed so they need to rebook us so we wouldn't miss our connections.

Soon I get to the front of the line and step up to the counter. A couple of guys in orange vests are standing behind the computer. Quite obviously baggage handlers, not booking agents. They take my ID and start squinting at the computer, muttering back and forth to each other. One of them types something on the keyboard, then the other says something like, "No man, it's up arrow, up arrow, THEN enter. No! Go back to the other screen. Now L5 then tab. Dude, let me do it."

Not instilling me with a lot of confidence in their flight booking competencies.

Then they proceed to argue with each other, right in front of me mind you, about whether or not putting me on a certain plane will push it over it's weight limit. They tell me to put my bag on the scale. Then they look at the weight, size me up, shrug at each other and say, "Well hopefully we're okay." And one of them says, "Yeah we took 50 people with 2,500 pounds yesterday. The weather is decent so we should be okay." Then one of them says "A luggage tag should be printed out somewhere." Then they look around for it, grab one, and with barely a glance, stick it on my suitcase and toss it behind them.

Ummm ...

With no choice but to trust these two goons, I head up to my gate. After about 30 minutes of waiting, they make an announcement about a gate change - now my flight will be boarding out of Gate 1, which is down the escalators, basically in the airport basement. So I grab my stuff and head down there. Every few minutes I glance up at the screen to see if it is updated with our flight info, but it never is. As far as anyone can tell, they sent us down to the basement and forgot about us. There are no agents. No airport staff at all down there.

Eventually a plane arrives at the gate and passengers enter the airport. However, it's past boarding time and there is still no gate agent ... no Northwest people anywhere. Finally, a girl comes inside wearing an orange vest, knee pads and ear protection. She walks up to the counter, yells, "Everyone can board" and then proceeds to look at each ticket, write down the seat number on a piece of paper and then motion us to the plane.

As passengers board the plane, it's chaos, with people sitting in other people's seats, and total gridlock in the aisle. No one can move and more and more people are trying to board. By this time passengers have started to get a little agitated with all the disorganization and the lone flight attendant, an older lady who has been trying desperately to get help from the non-existent gate agents, has a nervous breakdown. Literally. She starts screaming at people. Passengers, crew, everyone.

It was unbelievable.

We eventually got off the ground, and our flight attendant pulled herself together and apologized via intercom for her "outburst" and said it usually takes a lot to get her riled up.

I can't blame her, though, for getting overwhelmed. I felt horrible for her. Northwest Airlines is a complete and utter mess.

(I hope their PR people read this post.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Schenectady, Schmenectady

I'm in upstate New York right now visiting my sister and her husband. My baby sister. Who's very preggers at the moment. I flew out here now because:

1. I wanted to see her with a big ol' baby belly and I'll be in Hawaii when she actually has the baby. So unless I see her now I wouldn't get to see her pregnant.

2. I wanted to give her a baby shower. I feel like it's one of the big sister "official" duties and even though I live thousands of miles away, I didn't want to miss out on it.

I had a hellish trip out here. American Airlines' problems are causing all sorts of chaos with the other airlines trying to cover for them, so even though I wasn't flying American, it didn't matter. Then there was a medical emergency on the incoming plane we were supposed to depart on so that made us leave 1.5 hours late which meant I missed not just my original connection, but also the connection they rebooked me on. Then I met Ms. Grouchy Pants, the Northwest Airlines ticketing agent who was unbelievably rude to me and told me she couldn't help me because she was supposed to go on break and how on earth could I have managed to miss both flights ... etc. I was so tired and frustrated by this time that I just started to cry. I couldn't help it. You would have thought that would soften Ms. GP a little, but nope. Not a smidge. I'm normally a very patient and understanding traveler, but this was a hard trip.

In the end I made it to Albany. I flew from Denver to Minneapolis to Atlanta to Albany. But I made it.

And even though the weather people predicted rain for the whole time, so far the sun's been shining.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dreams Really Do Come True

One of my all time favorite songs.
Done by Jason Castro.
This song makes me cry.

Also ... Idol Gives Back tonight. Will you be watching?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Party Like it's 1978

Many of my friends are turning 30 this year. So it ought to be a year full of celebrations. What better way to start things off than kickin' it 70's style with fashions from the year we were born?

My friend Suzanne, the birthday girl.

Jared, of the incredibly tight pants. (Be thankful they're out of view.)

And what good party is complete without disco tunes on the karaoke machine?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Suicide City

I was born and raised in Colorado Springs. When I'm flying somewhere and the person in the seat next to me asks where I'm from, I can usually anticipate the kind of response I'll get. I've lived here for most of my life and I know what kind of reputation this city has. There are over 90 Christian non-profits located here. Some of the biggest names in the religious right live in the area. This city has long been known for being a morally conservative, Republican city full of Christians.

There was a shocking story in our local newspaper recently. According to a 2007 report by the National Association of County & City Health Officials, Colorado Springs has the 2nd highest suicide rate in the country. We're second only after Las Vegas.

Does this bother anyone else like it does me?

We who claim to love Jesus Christ have obviously missed something. Something big. If we Christians are living the way Jesus intended for us to live, we are supposed to be known by our love. So somebody please expain to me why, in a city that is supposedly filled with people recognized by our "love," so many of us are struggling with such pain, despair, hopelessness, and loneliness that the only way to end it is death?

We've gotten it wrong ... this thing called life.

What if Colorado Springs was known for being a city where we love every person, regardless of their political affiliation, choice of occupation, race or sexual orientation? What if instead of making the news for our sickeningly high suicide rate, we made the news for our exceptional hospitality and warmth, environmental stewardship and charitable giving? Why can't this city become a place I can proudly claim as my hometown instead of feeling like I have to apologize for it?

Friday, April 4, 2008

More Mayer Love

I really like deep thinkers. I find myself drawn to introspective and self-reflective people.

John Mayer is a deep thinker. The lyrics on his past couple albums make that obvious. As does his latest blog post.

He is surprisingly grounded for someone so often in the spotlight. Read it. It's worth your time.

I just keep becoming a bigger and bigger fan. Love you, JM!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

At times like this I wish I were a man ...

One of the things I hate in life is car trouble. I know very little about cars. And to be honest, I don't really want to understand them. I just want to drive one. That works. I've been really diligent about regular maintenance on my Mazda because I paid it off a few years ago and am hoping it will last me a long time.

A couple weeks ago my car started stalling at stoplights. Then every time I stepped on the brake, even to turn a corner, my RPM's would go so low the car would be on the verge of dying. So I sucked it up at took it to the mechanic this morning as the problem was quite obviously getting worse.

I just got off the phone with the mechanic, and although I understood about 20% of what he said, here's what I got:

The main problem is the intake manifold ... something.
Then there is my axel leakage ... something.
And on top of that, some gasket cover ... something.

I tried to listen to details, but all I really heard was the total = $740.
I don't even know enough to know if I'm getting ripped off.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I have a new post on the Compassion Blog.
It's about me and the little guy I sponsor, Youvens.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The $5 Photo Fee

My family has always had this weird thing with pictures. We love them. We're all big fat camera hogs. At every family function, even to this day, count on my dad to have the camera ready to go at any given second.

When we were little, we used to take our annual family portraits up at my grandparents house during the Thanksgiving holiday. We'd all dress up and then one by one, we'd pose on the piano bench while my dad took the pictures. After the single photos were done, then it would have to be all the kids together. Then the whole family. It was always a big ordeal. And it inevitably took many shots to get just one decent one of all four of us kids. Every year my brother would pose like an angel until the very last second when, just as my dad's finger was pressing the button on the camera, he'd screw up his face in some horrific grimace.

My dad got frustrated with wasting so much film that he started charging us $5 per family photo we "ruined." That's right. We actually had to pay if we made a funny face in a picture.

Anyway, I was just looking through some of my family photos last night. Dad, I'm glad to see your punishment worked so well.