Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering Grandpa

This morning while still in bed after enjoying the bliss of sleeping in on a three day weekend, the first thing I did was check my email on my phone and found myself reading this beautiful email from my grandmother in honor of my grandfather...

"It occurs to me that today as we remember all those who died in service to this country, we should also take a moment to honor the service and sacrifice of your father and grandfather, Jack Shaffer, who served this country with honor and integrity for over twenty years.  Some of you knew him well, some who were very young when he died may only have shadows of memory of your Grandpa Jack.
What I hope you will know and remember about him was his strong sense of duty and his loyalty to this country and to those brave men he served with during the Viet Nam War.  He may not always have agreed with the decisions made by his government, but he never questioned his duty to follow his orders wherever they led him. 
And he was not the only one who made also made sacrifices as your father was away.  You missed his presence in your lives, and the ability to share your own moments of trial and triumph with him.  You were not able to see him on Skype, or to e-mail or phone him as military families can do these days.  Your only connection were his daily letters home and an occasional voice tape....and the memories that sustained you.  I know that there were many moments that you longed to talk to your dad, to have him here to enjoy his whimsical morning 'get up calls' and his sourdough pancakes.  I want you to know that I honor your sacrifice also.
What I also want you to know is that if he could be here at this moment, his heart would swell to bursting with pride at the responsible, loving and strong people that all of you have become.  He had strong values about stepping up to life's challenges without complaint, about taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, about respecting those in authority over you and meeting your obligations at work and at home.  His expectations of others were high, but none more so than what he expected of himself.  He wasn't perfect, but he always gave his best...and that was enough.
I know that the very best of your dad and granddad lives on in all of you, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Much love to each and every one of you.  You are so precious to me.

This email really touched me, and made me think about what this day really means. I can so quickly forget, and go about the day enjoying my "day off" when really we are supposed to remember. Thats what this day is about... remembering those who have fought for us, some even gave up their lives. What a wonderful thing it is that we have an entire day to commit to remembering them and celebrating all they have done for us. Here are some photos of my heroic grandfather.... Thank you grandpa Jack... and thank you grandma for reminding me what today is about.

grandpa, dad, uncle, grandma

grandpa and grandma, with my dad, uncle, and aunt.

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where, oh, where has my husband gone?

Where, oh, where can he be? Well, I will tell you. Since we have started going forward with this vision that Jake has had for bringing the aquaponics system into missions... my husband can be found in one of three places: At the pond that is being built at the church...

in the guest bedroom at home staring at, or feeding the fish that he is preparing for breeding....

or at Home Depot...

(yes, he really stood in the middle of the aisle proclaiming 
"I love this place!!" with his arms lifted in the air)

So if you ever need him, just try these places and you'll be sure to find him at one of them...
Ok so now that I have had my fun I will expound a bit for anyone who doesn't know what we're doing. Basically at the beginning of this year Jake discovered a system called Aquaponics which is a way to grow vegetables without soil, using pond water to fertilize the plants, and the plants clean the water and cycle it back into the fish water. This system is perfect for countries that lack food and water because the water recycles and doesn't go to waste while you are growing vegetables and fish for eating. So what Jake is doing is building the system at our church in Costa Mesa. He will spend about a year learning the system to the fullest extent, forming a teaching curriculum to teach at the Bible College in Murrieta for people who desire to be missionaries to third world countries. After teaching these missionaries, we will head out to various countries to build the system, and the missionary will stay there to maintain it. Pretty awesome isn't it? We would greatly appreciate your prayers if you think of us. More photos below!

These are Talapia... they breed like crazy and make very yummy food.

This flower will soon be a pepper...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cute Fat Babies

This past Sunday, me and Jake met up with Kenny and Amber Wood to take some photos of them and their adorable children. Since I don't have my own children to show off on here, I thought I might as well show off someone else's! Josiah is probably the fattest baby I have ever seen... he is so cute.

"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
Ephesians 5:1-2

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hello Blog World

My name is Tara, its so nice to meet you. I just decided to enter into this world of blogging, though my life is pretty simple and I probably won't have much to talk about most of the time... I thought I should force myself to get creative and get blogging. So here I am, writing my first blog. I suppose I should first explain the name I have chosen... tarantism. When trying to think of a name for my blog I thought I could look up my name and see what words might come up that I could use... I was expecting to find the usual "tarantula" but was unsure of what else I might find. When I found this word I will admit I laughed out loud because it just seemed too perfect.

Seriously... what is more funny than "a psychological illness characterized by an extreme impulse to dance"? After reading this I just pictured people who can't help but constantly dance... if I had to choose an illness to be plagued with for the rest of my life, that would definitely be it. I think I have it anyways... just ask my husband... I pretty much dance to whatever I hear, whether its the shifting beat of the washing machine, a beat that my husband is making with his mouth, or whatever song is currently playing in my head... I just find myself constantly shaking my hips. Sometimes I even find myself doing it in public places, like the grocery store. It doesn't matter what song is playing, whether its terrible or good... I will dance. So there you go, the perfect name for my blog. 

Thanks for having me! Hope to come again soon!