another gratitude post

January 27, 2009

Monday and Tuesday this week I went to a hunger advocacy conference put on by one of our funders. Monday night they had a speaker –the director of the California Endowment — Robert somethingorother. His talk was great but one part at the beginning stood out to me: At the beginning of his talk he asked people to raise their hands if their parents had grown up in poverty, if their grandparents had, if their great grandparents had. i thought back to my dad working his full time job and coming home to work another parttime job or more; my mom going back to school when i was 11 or 12 and all the sacrifices it entailed; my mom’s stories about the parsonages they used to live in that were barely inhabitable and all that my grandmother had done to make them into a home; and my dad’s mom’s stories about about how when they were kids during the depression her dad would go hunting and they would eat whatever he could shoot (possum, squirrel, raccoon – which wasn’t her favorite); and my maternal great-grandmother who had to dig a path with her young sons through a blizzard to make room for the coal truck so they wouldn’t freeze to death in south (?) dakota…

I raised my hand every time… along with about 80% of the rest of the group.

the speaker talked about how our ancestors who had struggled through poverty had, at some point (at many points), made decisions to help our grandparents and our parents, and us to live a better life… and how all of that in so many direct and indirect ways had led us to our presence there that evening in a nice hotel with a delish free meal.
he talked about how making those changes was difficult — just like the issues that we are facing now — but because those choices were made, and that vital hard work was done, our lives were all the better for it.

i appreciated the way the speaker reminded us that our work, while difficult, is so important; whether we ever get to see the results or not, there will still be benefits beyond measure.

On a more personal level it also made me realize a little more fully that people I have never met have done more than i can imagine to ensure I could be where I am today — healthy, happy, smart, secure, etc. So much I will never be able to repay…

Except, I guess, I can pay it forward a little by doing what i can to live a life that honors all that hard work, all the difficult choices and all the doing without, without giving up hope…  I hope we can all live lives that show we don’t take any of that for granted…


christmas with my family!

January 4, 2009

Hi Everyone,

they are so cute! my little chefs!

Here is my first holiday post. I also had christmas with Scott’s family but haven’t gone through those photos yet

Check out the pics and my highlights below:


  • I made some amazing aprons and chef hats for my sister’s kids. They like to cook with her so I thought it would be fun. The younger boys got a play kitchen for christmas so it was perfect!
  • Hanging out with my mom and dad at the mall. Went to see Benjamin Button — pretty good movie
  • Visited my brother and his family. His kids are getting so big and cute! I need to get more pics of them!!
  • Took my niece out to lunch — she is growing into an amazing young lady. I am so proud of her!
  • Took two of my nephews to lunch at a chinese restaurant that we really like in Hermiston. Chase loved the sweet and sour chicken and carson refused to eat anything. ha!
  • Went out with my sister one night and had a nice time catching up with her. She is great!
  • Chase and Carons slept in our room with us one night. Carson passed out before he even got there, but Chase and I stayed up and talked. I love late night talks like that! 🙂
  • Making paper airplanes and this burning newspaper hindenburg thing with my nephews out of the “dangerous book for boys” that I got for Chase’s 7th birthday.
  • Snow ball fight and snow man building in the 12″+ of snow that my parents had! So fun!

Have fun viewing the pics! I’ll post more after I organize the Shigeno family pics!

we will crush you!

we will crush you!