Monday, December 28, 2015

Food Forest

We love our home that God has so graciously provided us. But when we moved in, the backyard needed some work.
I saw it as a blank slate that over time, we could transform into something beautiful.
The summer drought killed our glass very quickly, and we took down some trees.
Things looked bad, but then Sandy decided it was time for an immediate change.
She applied for and won the opportunity to install a Food Forest in our backyard through Benicia Community Gardens.
One day a big pile of dirt showed up.
Then a whole mess of plants and trees came.
Then all of these people started digging and tearing out stuff.
Actually, we were all involved in the process. Sandy mostly, with the boys and girl working hard too. Andrew showed off his new manhood abilities. I was the least involved since I had to take care of other family matters that weekend. Really, I wasn't slacking off!
Slowly, the backyard started to transform.
Thanks to a ton of hard working folks and a big collaborative effort, our wasteland of a backyard startedto change into a permaculture, drought resistant, water conserving, forest of food.

Thanks to the rain, things are growing.
We put in a new fence which connects us visually to the open space out back.
Hopefully, in a year or two, we may have some blueberries, pears, peaches, grapes, raspberries, goji berries, lemons, pomegranates and tangerines just to name some!

Monday, December 21, 2015

26 and 1

Last Friday, I took Andrew out to his (and my) first Golden State Warrior's game to celebrate his making the BMS 8th grade boys basketball team!

I was quite impressed with the Oracle Arena crowd as they started chanting for D-fense! at the second defensive possession. Despite being down for 3 1/2 quarters and putting us on edge for most of the game, the Warriors came storming back to continue their NBA record setting start of the season. - 26 and 1.
Although we love our Lakers, I think the Warriors are winning us over. Go Warriors!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Thank God His grace is always sufficient for us.
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2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

God loves our cheerful giving!
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2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

Friday, December 11, 2015

James 1:12

Blessed indeed!
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James 1:12
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Psalm 20:6-8

Let our boast not be in anything we might do but in the cross of Christ and His great name.
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Psalm 20:6-8
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven, With the saving strength of His right hand. Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we [c]will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. They have bowed down and fallen, But we have risen and stood upright.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Soccer - Gold Rush

Matt played in his first competitive soccer league. It was technically a rec league, but there were a lot of talented players out there.
He did a great job and had a ton of fun.
He started out playing left and right midfielder.
But ended up playing some attack and even scored a goal.
I always thought he was pretty fast, but he ended up being one of the fastest boys on the team and in the league.
But where Matt really excelled was on the defensive side of the ball. Quietly, he became one of our best defenders.
Unfortunately, that led to long moments of waiting for something to happen as our offense was pretty good.
I was the assistant coach for the year. Having never played soccer and knowing virtually nothing about the sport, I learned a lot and had a lot of fun too.
Mom and big bro were proud of Matt.
Emz was proud too, but she didn't quite catch all the nuances of the sport.
I was very proud of Matt for his hard work ethic, his ability to listen to coaching, his team play, and his individual growth as a player. He started really developing some skills. Now he can't get enough soccer.
It doesn't hurt that he got a trophy and that the team finished 1st (6 wins, 1 loss and 2 ties).

Monday, December 7, 2015

Matthew 11:28-30

Such a comforting and encouraging promise of rest from our Lord.
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Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Friday, December 4, 2015

Romans 1:16-17

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Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Matthew 10:28

I pray and hope that the boys and girl truly fear our great and holy God so that they may experience the compassion and lovingkindness that God has for those who fear Him.
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Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Philippians 1:6

Thank God - HE will perfect us and it's not up to us.
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Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ephesians 6:10-18

Matt got the big one.
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Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

Saturday, November 28, 2015

1 Peter 1:3-5

Isn't it amazing that our imperishable inheritance is reserved in heaven for all who are born again? video

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

1 Timothy 2:5

Praise God for our mediator - Christ Jesus our Lord!

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1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Psalm 86:5-7

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Psalm 86:5-7 

For You Lord are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You,
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And give heed to the voice of my supplications!
In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Isaiah 40:28-31

Emery's turn.
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Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ephesians 4:26

Words to live by...
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26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Colossians 3:1-3

Even though I haven't been posting about it, the boys and girl have been faithfully memorizing verses. So I'm going to do my best to catch up on those posts. Here's the first:
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Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Gymnastics

Unfortunately, Emery's gymnastics career has hit a roadblock. She competed last year with Excel Silver and had gotten promoted to Excel Gold for this year. But due to some feet issues, she's got to take a break from competing for at least this year. She's pretty bummed about it, but I'm proud of her for trusting in God's sovereignty and goodness through it all.
However, last year, she received the award for Hardest Worker at her gym. I also very proud of that award! Great job Emery!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Trick or Treat

Matt and Emery still dress up for Halloween. Andrew still isn't interested in it though I suspect in a few years, he'll get into it again.
Matt was inspired by our good friend Mr. Bradley to be Clark Kent. Although he looks a tad like a crazy Clark.
Emery was inspired by our trip to Colonial Williamsburg to be a colonial young lady. She and Sandy made this outfit!
It's fun to dress up for these two! And it's fun to get candy...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

CA Capital Air Show

 

I took my resident, hopeful Air Force Academy cadet and airplane pilot Matt, to the CA Capital Air Show again in Sacramento.


We got to see the USAF Thunderbirds in action.
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They were very, very precise. It was amazing.

We also got to see the Royal Canadien Snowbirds.
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I was impressed by how many of them could fly in formation.

Lots of fire is also impressive.
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And the F/A-18 Superhornet was one fast plane. Apparently, it can go up to 1,190 MPH. It sure felt fast up close.
It was quite the inspiring and patriotic day. I truly respect and am inspired by the US military.
This clearly wasn't my best selfie, but Matt and I had a great time.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lee Family Retreat

After 3 years off, I finally managed to re-institute the Lee Family Retreat this past August. It was a time of much soul searching and some difficult self-evaluation of the past 3 years. But God showed Himself faithful as always to not only comfort and encourage but also to show Himself glorious and mighty. I was most struck by the immensity of God and how that puts all of my problems in proper perspective.
This retreat was somewhat of a milestone in that we took Andrew for the first time. He spent several hours in prayer, reading God's Word and self-evaluation too. I was very proud of the thoughtful answers he shared with us as we all reflected on who God is and what He has done for us in the past year especially.

We have been starting to solidify some Lee Family Core Values. It's been encouraging to keep repeating these themes over the years and to now sometimes hear them repeated back to me from the boys and girl. Hopefully, this will become part of the fabric of who they are as people.

Lee Family Core Values:
  1. Honor your mother
  2. Always tell the truth / no secrets
  3. Brothers and sister will be best friends
  4. Do your best
  5. Be a hard worker / work first then play
  6. Value others
  7. Love God’s Word
  8. Have a happy heart / Be joyful in God alone
  9. Be faithful / responsible
  10. Do things the right way
  11. Speak with kindness


We managed to memorize a lot of God's Word this year.
2015 Memory Verses:
  • 1 John 1:8-9
  • Psalm 141:3-4
  • John 14:2-3
  • John 15:5
  • Proverbs 19:11
  • Proverbs 3:5-7
  • Isaiah 46:9-11
  • Titus 3:4-6
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
  • James 1:12
  • Psalm 20:6-8
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Romans 1:16-17
  • Matthew 10:28
  • Philippians 1:6
  • Ephesians 6:10-18
  • 1 Peter 1:3-5
  • 1 Timothy 2:5
  • Psalm 86:5-7
  • Isaiah 40:28-31
  • Ephesians 4:26
  • Colossians 3:1-3
And we also spent time in God's Word as usual in our family Bible times. We didn't read as much together as I had hoped with the busyness of the schedule picking up with basketball, track, gymnastics, soccer and church events. But hopefully, I will do a better job of guarding this family time next year.
2015 Bible Books Read:
  • Luke
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 Samuel
Healing has been a slow process, but I am starting to look forward to the future with some hope for what God will do and for what God has been doing.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Passport 2 Purity - Matt Style

As I did with Andrew years ago, I took Matt on an overnight to have the "manhood talk."
It was a great time together, talking about God's good design for marriage, sex, and dating. It was a bit more than he wanted, but it was cool as a dad to share this with my son.

We had some fun and went overboard with some ice cream. Matt somehow managed to finish it.
I think the best thing was that this wasn't the last conversation we're going to have on these topics, but it's hopefully the beginning of many more good times and maybe a few awkward moments too in these conversations! I realized that I should take both of the boys out for an annual purity weekend to guard our hearts and to keep us all focused on Christ.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Country Living in the City

One of the biggest surprises to living here in the SF Bay area with all of the conveniences of a major city is that we live a sort of country life, sort of.
As we look over the fence of our backyard, what do we see in the (sometimes) green rolling hills? Goats!
Lots of lots of goats.
And deer. And coyotes too, but I haven't been able to get a picture of one of those yet. They move too fast!
Nearby, they're even chickens that cross the road...don't ask.
We've even seen and caught some lizards, some big ones.

Well, Andrew has. Not everyone is brave enough for that (or fast enough!).
Plus, we can even forage for wild blackberries. Who knew that Norcal was so pastoral?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Filoli

Last year, we got an annual membership at Filoli. Although it is a ways away, we still utilized it and got our money's worth.
Sandy took Matt and Emz for one last trip in the spring when the tulips were in full bloom. We love tulips!
Sandy turned it into a school field trip, and they loved the scavenger hunt.
Mom got some Matt love. He doesn't look TOO pained, does he? Teenager distance from mom has already begun...
Thankfully, Sandy always has Emz! Thank God for daughters!
Emery loves being surrounded by flowers.
 And I was able to make it back from work to get in a picture too!
We'll miss you Filoli!