Wednesday, August 29, 2007

*Isabella~Consecrated to God *Faith~Firm believer

Faith was dedicated Aug 26, 2007 at our church in Boise. Pastor Tri and Nancy, Jason, me and my parents were all there and were able to pray over our little blessing. Faith's first name is Isabella, which means "Consecrated to God". I pray all of the time, that I will to give her over to God and trust him with her life. God has given her to us to raise and I am so very thankful for that.

In a way, I feel like Hannah in the Bible (I Samuel 1--note: it is the 9th book of the Bible, 1st chapter). God gave her Samuel after she wanted a baby so badly. She made a promise to God that she would dedicate Samuel to Him. So once Samuel was weaned (probably around 3 years old), she went to the temple and gave Samuel to the priest, Eli, so that he could serve God. What gratefulness, what sacrifice and what love!!! I really feel like, as a mother, I need to follow in Hannah's footsteps. I don't mean that I need to give Faith away to a priest, but I do mean that I need to trust God in her life. I need to seek God as I raise her and pray for her daily. I need to cultivate my relationship with God, so that I can better understand his love and better model what I know of His love to my daughter. Trusting God with her life starts early on when she is a baby, but I am sure it gets more difficult as she enters adulthood. Right now, she needs me to survive. And I cherish every moment, because I know it won’t last—but that is ok. Later on, as she gains more independence, she will need me less. And I think this is a gradual process. As she needs me less and less, I pray that she will rely upon God more and more. I know that it is very difficult letting go, but I want to be able to do this freely and without worry, because I am leaving her in the best hands possible—Jesus’. When Faith becomes an adult, I want her to have the ability to make healthy decisions, seeking only God’s approval and not my or anyone else’s approval. This is my prayer for my daughter’s life. It is a simple prayer but needs the power of Jesus to execute. Again, I Samuel is the 9th book of the Bible and the 1st chapter of it tells of Hannah’s story. And I think it is pretty neat that Faith was born on 9/1/2006.

The Idaho Western State Fair

So, my parents came and surprised us with a visit for Faith's dedication and for her birthday celebration. We also went to the state fair and here is a little video of our time there!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Soccer in Boise

This weekend was jam packed with excitement, beginning with Janel's parents' surprise visit to Boise--well, it was a surprise to her since I was in on the little secret from the get-go. You must go to great lengths to surprise Janel; however, I believe her little investigative personality (one which is already emerging in little Faith) likes to solve the mystery of surprise. But this one left her baffled and dumbfounded.

I'll let Janel have the honors of sharing about our adventure to the Western Idaho State Fair (yee haw!) and Faith's dedication at church, but I couldn't resist from posting this little family portrait first. Now, never mind that the horse looks like someone just dumped a gallon of Texas Pete hot sauce into his bucket of oats and that I retook this photo from one that we were snookered into buying at the fair--it's just plum cute. I was almost waiting for Faith to toss her hat and give us a big whoop!

Now, I know nobody cares about my soccer league I'm playing in here in Boise, but I feel compelled to write about it, much like I journaled about my sandlot exploits in first grade while living in jolly old England. They usually consist of a sentence about how many goals I scored and that we won, which happened to be the most important thing to me as a child and has followed me into my adult life. At the ripe old age of 32, I'm beginning to realize that winning isn't that important--that's what all the losers say, right? But the real reason I'm writing about it is because Janel's dad, Ed, took some of the best action shots of a recreational soccer game I've seen in a long time. And since they happen to be of me, I thought I'd post them here.

Don't get too excited just yet. There's no happy ending to this picture because pulling my leg back like that took about as long as it did for communism to fall in Russia. So, by the time I made my perfect strike, aiming to curl the ball around the ranging keeper and into the left corner of the net, he was in position to make a diving save. Oh, well. I probably should've passed the ball to my open teammate seen in the far right corner.

This other great action-stopping photo by Ed captured a guy fouling me from behind. You get yellow cards in most leagues for such a challenge, but in the three-inch, jungle-thick grass we play on in Boise, chances are that you just tripped on the grass long before another player slid in and challenged you from behind. However, I am an actor and managed to roll around and grabbed my knee to earn the foul. It made me happy to know that good gamesmanship lives here, too.

And, oh, yeah ... I didn't score a goal and we lost 3-1.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Faith's Saturday

Here is a video of what we did on Saturday. We are enjoying living here in Boise so much. There are so many outdoor type things to do and it is such a family friendly city. This was Faith's first dog show (and mine too). Half of the excitement was getting there. I definitely got a workout pushing her in the stroller while rollerblading. Faith had fun wizzing by in her stroller. And it was so cute that she clapped after every dog came down the runway...but she clapped about 5 seconds AFTER everyone else was done clapping:) Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Flat Out of Luck

Today was another rough day on the Green Belt, as in flat tire No. 2. And in the immortal words of one Thomas Magnum, I know what you're thinking. Jason, stop driving over nails! ... Well, it's not nails--it's Idaho brambles the size of tennis balls. Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but apparently, I haven't learned that those are common in these parts.

Last night when I was in Fred Meyers searching for a replacement tube, we'll call him Joe from sporting goods tried to give me some helpful hints about the best way to fix flat tire No. 1. He said, "I would use the goop [aka "Slime"] unless you went offroading and picked up a bunch of those huge briars." He added that last part like there was no way I would be stupid enough to do that on a road bike. Just as he was launching into something else, I mustered up enough humility and said, "Actually, that's what I did." He paused and said, "Oh ... well, good luck!"

In Georgia, briars don't stick to your tires. In fact, you hardly notice them. Here, they're like small satellites orbiting the weeds. So, today my front tire went flat after I got to work for flat No. 2. I'm looking into some steel-belted radials for my road bike.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Idaho Crawler

I know many of you want to know how Faith is doing. OK, I know she's never spoken two consecutive cognitive words to you, but she really does care how you're doing. Anyway, here is the latest video I made of her documenting her next exploits in Idaho.

Our New Life

When I was growing up, it was my dream to live in Atlanta. After eight years of living there--three of which were spent sitting in traffic instead of actually living my life--we began looking for green pastures. Honestly, pale green would do in order to trump the concrete jungle.

So, we settled on Boise, Idaho. It really wasn't that hard since to decide since it had everything we were looking for--a slower pace of life, a smaller community, a great church (the Boise Vineyard), and activities outdoor galore. After some prayerful consideration, Janel and I felt like this community is what the Lord had for us next.

Instead of fighting traffic in the ATL, these days I ride my bike 5.5 miles along the Boise River on the city's Green Belt. Here are a few pictures from our apartment in the morning as Janel and I sometimes get out the door early enough to watch the sun rise.

Janel took these shots. I especially like the first one of the sun cresting over the mountains of the Boise foothills with the biker speeding away.

So, check back in from time to time for updates on the Chatraw family in Idaho.