Thursday, May 29, 2008

Uncle Ned's Memorial Day Visit

This past Memorial Day weekend was a fun one for us -- Uncle Ned (Noel's uncle) came to visit! The following serves as a travelogue of the weekend (although we don't have a picture of the first and last stops of the trip, burgers at In 'N' Out).

We went to Marcia and Paul's Friday night and had a nice visit with them. Of course, Marcia went all out cooking great meals for us.
We had to stop by a couple of the Temecula wineries for tastings while we were down there.
Then we took a hike to the vernal pools near Temecula. The ranger at the park said people had been seeing coyotes, garter snakes, and tadpoles, but all we saw was a lot of coyote poop.
Sunday morning I preached at church. It went pretty well, and I was glad to have Uncle Ned there to hear it.
After church, we went up to Simi Valley to visit the Reagan Library. Walking through Air Force One and seeing a section of the Berlin Wall are highlights there. Malibu is directly south of Simi Valley, so we headed down to see the coast after that. We finished Sunday at a great Indian restaurant in Pasadena.We hiked the Mt. Hollywood trail Monday morning before Uncle Ned left (note the Hollywood sign in the background). While bragging about my superior sense of direction, I (Noel) got us lost on the way back down the mountain. But we figured it out soon enough.

Thanks for visiting us, Uncle Ned! Come back any time!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Weird weather

We have been having some crazy weather out here. Yesterday it was so windy that a huge tree on our street blew over. It landed on a minivan and uprooted the sidewalk. Luckily no one was injured! We were without power for about 7 hours while the tree was cut down and removed. Lucky for us, we had a great excuse to go to Panera Bread for dinner and utilize their free Wi-Fi. We were both able to enjoy a great dinner, get some much needed work done, and avoid sitting at home in the dark.

This doesn't quite capture how crazy it was around here, but you can see the sidewalk, fallen tree, and minivan.

Today started out as a beautiful day. About mid-afternoon a few clouds rolled in - nothing dramatic or anything. Then, out of nowhere, it started pouring rain and HAILING! It's is a VERY rare occasion to see hail in southern California. Within about 30 minutes, it was sunny again.

A few hours later, we had a thunderstorm! I think this is the second time we've heard thunder and seen lightning out here. It was accompanied with heavy rains and more hail. I miss thunderstorms so much and so it was VERY exciting to hear the thunder; it's so relaxing to me.

This might be the craziest 2 days of weather we've had since we moved here. Noel and I think the world must be coming to an end.

Five things...

Per Tara's request (some of these I had to just decide on the spot, since I don't really have 5 things for all of these).

FIVE things under $5 I could not live without:
1. Shampoo
2. Toothbrush/toothpaste
3. Bread
4. Peanut butter
5. Cereal with soymilk

FIVE favorite movies:
1. Legally Blonde
2. Shrek I
3. The Holiday
4. The Lion King
5. Shrek II

FIVE baby names I love:
1. Sage
2. Iris
3. Mary
4. Lily
5. Hayden

FIVE songs I could listen to over and over again:
1. Rachmaninoff's Vespers (okay, that's a collection, but I'm counting it as 1)
2. Mendelssohn's piano trios (any of them)
3. Power of Love - Celine Dion
4. Guilmant's Organ Concerto
5. Stay - Lisa Loeb

FIVE people who have influenced me in a positive way:
1. Jesus
2. Noel
3. Huw Lewis
4. Becky Loomis
5. Anna Ter Beek

FIVE things that are always in my purse:
1. Wallet
2. Cell Phone
3. Keys
4. Lotion
5. Lipgloss

FIVE moments that have changed my life forever:
1. Talking to a certain someone in an organ practice room at Hope
2. Getting married
3. Becoming a Christian
4. Moving to Pasadena
5. Transferring to Hope College

FIVE obsessions I have now:
1. Eating at 21 Choices (the BEST frozen yogurt in Pasadena...or the world for that matter)
2. Being more "green"
3. Eating Organic/local/nutrition/health
4. Eating peanut butter (especially on toast with honey and sliced bananas)
5. Cooking/reading cookbooks

FIVE places I would like to go:
1. London
2. Vancouver
3. Greece
4. Hawaii
5. San Francisco

FIVE appliances/kitchen tools I cannot live without:
1. Toaster oven (to make toast with peanut butter, honey,and bananas, and to minimize heating our entire apartment in the summer with the oven)
2. Microwave
3. Knife
4. Food processor (mainly to make hummus)
5. Coffee Maker

FIVE people whose FIVE THINGS I'd like to see:
1. Becky L.
2. Danielle B.
3. Colleen S.
4. Emily M.
5. Noel

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All Nations Banquet

One of the greatest things about Fuller is the diversity of the student body. This past Friday, we participated in an annual event to celebrate that diversity, the All-Nations Banquet (presumably a reference to Revelation). Representatives from close to 30 countries brought ethnic foods and decorated tables to represent their respective nations. Heidi and I were the proud representatives of the Netherlands (me being an honorary Dutchman by marriage and by college). Heidi spent literally the entire week baking banket (a Dutch pastry with almond filling). It was well worth it in my opinion! Heidi, however, does not want to see another stick of banket for a long time. She'll get over it soon enough. Anyways, here is a picture of our beautiful booth, complete with fresh tulips, wooden shoes and Delft ceramic trinkets (which we borrowed from friends). Go Dutchmen!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Emily's Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Emily! We're so glad we got a chance to celebrate the big 3-0 with you (even though it was a month early). Nothing beats good Mexican food and free flan! We hope that whoever sings to you today is a bit more enthusiastic than the servers at Margaritas. :) Have a spectacular day!

Monday, May 5, 2008


We have been blessed with many visitors this spring. It's so much fun to show people where/how we live. Most recently, Bryant and Becky Loomis visited. We had a fantastic time. Noel, Stephan, and Bryant relived the college days with a little gig at the Fuller coffee house. They played really well even though practice time was limited.

We had an unusually warm weekend with temps in the mid-90's. It made for a perfect beach day! We headed to Zuma Beach, which is just north of Malibu, and enjoyed lots of sun. Bryant and Noel braved the cold waters and dove in a couple of times. Becky and I found the water plenty refreshing on just our feet.

Following a warm afternoon at the beach, we headed to 21 Choices for the best frozen yogurt in the world. We love going there not only for the yogurt, but also for the fantastic customer service. Becky got her yogurt for free and we all left with a coupon for a free small due to a few minor problems with our orders. Noel and I can't wait to go back with our coupons!

After church on Sunday, we played a long game of Settlers of Catan. Noel won for the first time, which was pretty exciting.

We had SO much fun hosting Becky and Bryant and showing them a bit of Pasadena. We hope they had so much fun that they won't be able to think about moving anywhere else when Bryant graduates. :)