Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Go Bo Sox

Being that I am living in a household that lives for baseball, I would be remiss to not at least mention that the Garvers were THRILLED to watch Boston win the a sweep. Tho the negative consequence of such a stunning victory is that the baseball season is now over. For the next 4months we will have to be content with other...lesser...inferior sports (sorry Sam-there are 100 reasons baseball is better than football...not the least of which is no cheerleaders!)

Brad Mills came to visit the Exeter HS FCA (fellowship of Christian Atheletes) after the first Boston World Series win. Here he is with Morgan and our Brad, and below with Steve. Brad and Steve played baseball together at EUHS and COS.

My youngest son would be mortified to see this old he is with his best buddy Daniel as they root for the Sox in the series win in 2004 - no dressing up this year (he's 16....nuf said).
I emailed this to Brad after the win...can't buy that kind of loyalty!

Our Brad wanted to compare his Conference title ring (COS swimming) to Mr. Mills...slight difference in size, but hey.... Brad (Garver) gets to wear his :)

Brad is extremely generous with his time towards his Alma Mater...was instrumental in helping Steve raise money for the baseball program at a local golf tournament.

We take our devotion to the team very seriously...these are styrofoam pumpkins...that means permanent.

Also, wanted to mention that God (as well as Brad:) got a nice write-up in Curt Shillings blog ...38 pitches(see sidebar). Quite a few wonderful Christian men on this team...makes the win that much more special.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Proving my point

I happen to run across this ad in National geographic yesterday...OK, I was watching TV and my DH found it, I was gonna read the magazine...eventually. The point is, see that little camera around the neck of most of these guys (notice the arrow)...the extra camera they carry around, that's similar to what I am using to shoot sports right telephoto lens. It's a 70-200mm 2.8 lens and I love it!... great lens... expensive lens...only lens I'm gonna be using for sports for a LONG time (not withstanding the whole winning the lottery issue). Kind of intimidating to say the least. I guess I will just stick to High School sports and be happy with the equipment I've got.

Contentment has been easier to find in certain areas of my life than in others. Photography is one of the others...I'm always wanting more and better stuff, thinking that it will make me a better photographer. Fact is, just like in life, contentment is not a product of our surroundings, it has to come from within or it's pretty useless. If I can learn to 'be content in all things' and find peace in my situation happy with my house, my car, and even my family...then I can certainly find it in my photography.

Sometimes I just think that God will not want to be involved in the trivial, he's got a war to watch over, diseases to heal, prison inmates to know, important stuff. So I hold back, I don't give it to God because I don't think He'll want to be bothered. Or maybe I secretly think He'll take it away....I'm afraid of losing something that I am attached to. Wouldn't want to chance that!

Does anyone else ever wonder why it seems to be taking a lifetime to learn the simplist things? .....geeeez
Lord, teach me to trust you like I did when I was younger....teach me what I knew then.

Special thanks today to Ruth... who, in a comment on 365 blog, said she thought I should be selling my made my day Ruth!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sports Illustrated here I come...not!

I just opened a Professional account in Smugmug...alert the media!

As much as I want to someday start taking senior pics (for $$$) I seem to have fallen into sports photography...and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I honestly think I have a fairly good eye, but I'm just not sure I'm up to the task. One of my photog books makes the encouraging assessment that sports photography is the most expensive type of photography to get into...what were the odds?

Most sports guys carry around 2 with a shorter lens and one with my wish list 400mm lens (blue book value of around $6,500...yikes!) Not going to happen in the very near future...or as we say in the Garver house...not until we win the lottery. And frankly, if I win the lottery... the type of photography I'll be doing is travel photography.

Anywhoo...I just got finished pricing my pics and that was an experience in and of itself...who would pay to buy my photos...who am I kidding...what colossal ego...what a disaster this will be...what was I thinking... did read the part in my bio where I mentioned my pessimistic nature?

...more pessimism later...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

just wondering...

Been thinking about money and the nature of how we view the world thru our wallet.

Last night our son Sam complained, for the first time, about having to go to a local Jr. College instead of getting to go away to a four year University. He worked pretty hard in High School, ended up with a 4.0 avg. and passed 3 UP classes and tests to earn college credit. He wants to be an Engineer, breezes thru math and his goal had been to go to Stanford, the only college to deny his acceptance. USC, Fresno St., UOP, and Cal Poly all wanted him, with UOP actually offering him $32,000 in scholarships, grants and loans…and a promise to try to find more money for him if that wasn’t enuf (total of $40grand per year). When he turned that down, saying he never really wanted to go to that school (?), we cringed….how can ANYONE turn down $32,000 ?!?!?

I think Stanford was his dream and once that was gone, going to COS seemed acceptable…and he said he would regret not TRYING college football. Which may be the reason for the revisionist history he seems to be engaging in now. I think if the team were doing better or if he were playing more, the whole Jr. College experience would be more palatable. I do feel bad tho, we just don’t have the kind of money it would take to send our kids to college right out of high school…and I’m not sure it’s the best thing for most kids anyway. Our kids are all, in varying degrees, homebodies. Being raised in a small town (pop. 10,000) has that kind of effect and I like it. They may all whine and complain about how boring it is and make elaborate plans for gettin’ out of Dodge, but in the end, LOTS of them return. Half of Brads friends who went away to school didn’t make it thru the first year….homesick?...they’d never admit it but I think it plays a big part in their decision to come home.

We really feel that 2 more years around the family can’t hurt and probably will make the college experience that much more special. I also asked him if he really wanted to be going to school with the spoiled rich kids he couldn’t stand in high school….he said he didn’t have anything against money…I asked him how he thought those kids got spoiled if it wasn’t the money?

Not that I wouldn’t love to get off the paycheck to paycheck merry-go-round, but having money makes it harder to teach your kids values…not impossible…just harder. I’ve had to sit and listen to friends discuss what kind of car to buy their soon-to-be 16yr. old because they didn’t want to spoil them….so instead of the brand new BMW the kid wanted he was going to have to settle for a Mustang (actual conversation, promise)…my boys each paid for their wreck of a first car with their own money…and Sam was 18 before he could afford even a wreck. He got rides with friends or (yikes) walked to where he needed to be. Brad still rides his bike around town…hey, gas is expensive...and I said it was a small town :)

And while we're on the subject, even as strapped as we are…I don’t consider us poor (my 13yr. old daughter does, but I don’t). My husband is a teacher and makes a good living. But from the day my kids were born I’ve been a SAHM and we’ve given up a lot so that I could be home with my kids. We have a wonderful (small) house, a great yard, food in our stomachs and clothes on our backs (note to daughter…poor kids don’t shop at Hollister).

Would our lives be easier with a bit more cash on hand?...heck Yes! Would we be better people?.....better dressed maybe, but not better people. Will our kids try to give their kids more stuff?…probably. Will they then be better people?….no, just better dressed.


The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

Here with a few confessions from my beating heart: I have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important? I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife. Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. If this is what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

Next confession:I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Just thought it was funny...

The questions below about Australia, are from potential visitors.They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humor.

Q. Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia?(USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south ofEurope. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not.. oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is everytuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y,which is..oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

Friday, October 19, 2007

More Calvin...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school. "Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then, he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved." "Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked. "Well, no, Mom. But, if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it!"

Monday, October 15, 2007

COS football

The last one is not the best photo, but it was the only one of these 2 guys actually blocking each other. That's Sam #83 and the Reedley player is Chris Parker #28. Sam and Chris are friends who played together at Exeter HS ... football and baseball...for the last 4 years. It was kinda weird having them on opposite sides of the ball.

Sam said they actually chatted after the hit... :)

ps. COS got beat....badly

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Just finished reading '90 minutes in Heaven' by Don Piper....good book. For those of us believers it's a wonderful affirmation of our faith. For those of you skeptics, it probably won't convince you of anything. But the guy is real and what happened to him is real and God is real and Heaven is real and if you choose to not believe that...well, can choose to go straight to Hell (that's real too)... :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Veggie Tales

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Going thru some old emails and I found this one that Pastor Jim had sent us last year (yes I have emails that old:) it seemed a perfect compliment to the last post....

"I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Is the Son of God praying in me, or am I dictating to Him?....Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray". --Oswald Chambers

"Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer. Little acquaintance with God, and strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing". --E. M. Bounds

"When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy". --Corrie Ten Boom

"Those who do not believe do not pray. This is a good functional definition of faith. Faith prays, unbelief does not." --John A. Hardon

"Pray, and let God worry". -- Martin Luther

"God's answers are wiser than our prayers". –Unknown

"We lean to our own understanding, or we bank on service and do away with prayer, and consequently by succeeding in the external we fail in the eternal, because in the eternal we succeed only by prevailing prayer." --Oswald Chambers

"The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men…Men of prayer." --E. M. Bounds

"Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons; but they are helpless against our prayers." --J. Sidlow Baxter

"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." - Tennyson

What a great and awesome God we have.
"He is able to do exceeding, abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Our Gift

When our son Brad (now 20) was 13 he was hit by a car while riding his bike to the baseball field here in town. Steve and I happened to be at the field watching our second son, Sam, play in a little league game. I actually saw Brad’s shoes fly up in the air from a distance but didn’t know what they were at the time.

Brad (and family) spent the next 6 weeks at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera…3 days in a coma and the rest re-learning everything from how to walk and talk to holding a spoon. We were surrounded by friends, family, and an entire town.

Jr. High kids were going to school every day wearing stickers that said, ‘Hi my name is _____and I am praying for Brad’. Our church lifted us up in prayer and we got emails from as far away as Japan telling us of churches praying for our little guy.

Our family was never closer to each other or to God, and the concept of a Peace that passes understanding became a tangible entity that we lived with every day. When people would marvel at 'how well we were doing’ we shook our heads and said it wasn’t us….how could it be? I’m a basket case when I’m late for an appt. or stuck in traffic….how could we, in our weakness, deal with the possibility of losing a child?
We couldn’t and we didn’t. Only thru God’s strength did we get up each day and refuse to crumble.

7 years later and our beautiful young man, tho deaf in one ear, lives a fairly normal life. There are scars, physical and physiological, brain injuries are rarely without residual effects. Brad struggles with his temper, although not nearly as much as he did 5 years ago. He tends to say whatever pops into his head, without first sifting it thru the ‘appropriateness’ filter. But he is a dedicated Christian, reads his Bible daily, helps with youth group at Church and has an ethical standard far above the norm. He is truly, ‘Black and White in a Gray World’…sometimes to a fault.

Do I credit his survival and recovery to prayer? Would it surprise you if I was to say No? I watched a young baby die in the room next to ours, the child of a wonderfully sweet Christian couple whose church and family were also praying for their lovely daughter. Did they not pray hard enough? Was there faith not as strong? Did God not care?

I’m not going to argue theology, and I’m not saying prayer isn’t effective….but maybe it’s less about results than it is about communication. When a teenager who has never so much as stepped foot in a church decides to talk to God about a friend of his, the miracle is in the conversation, not whether the prayer is answered or not. I felt surrounded by prayer, lifted up by prayer, and at peace because of prayer….but I never doubted that Brad could die, that God just might choose to take him Home. And HE would still be God…He would still love me…He would still expect me to love HIM.

Prayer brings us closer to God because we have a relationship with Him and need to talk to Him NOT because we are grateful for something He has done for us…. We are SO thankful that God chose to let us keep Brad here for awhile longer and I definitely think there was a reason for him being spared.
My prayer is that Brad’s life will ‘earn’ that honor.

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.

Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fact #5

...and this probably should be number 1. I am married to the most wonderful, patient, kind, hardworking, supportive man on the planet! No kidding, if he wasn't in my life I probably would've walked in front of a bus years ago. I am SO thankful that God blessed me with a man who is, quite literally, an example of Christ walking among us. Sometimes when my faith has been tested (and I fail) I see a glimmer of the God I serve in the man I live with...and my faith is restored.......till the next time :)

Steve is a father, baseball coach, English teacher, bike rider, environmentalist, handyman, eclectic music lover, and all 'round good guy. By the way, if any of you are thinking he sounds TOO perfect....I'll let you in on a couple of his flaws. He is ALWAYs late (his parents used to give us a different time for family gatherings to insure we would get there on time) and he does THE worst accents when trying to relay a story or read to his kids (everything comes out sounding Middle Eastern - just try keeping a straight face while listening to someone read Winnie-the-Pooh ...from Baghdad:)
Oh well, these are things I can live with (and make fun of).

I love you sweetie!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My hubby...

...finally started his own blog (been bugging him for a month-he's a good writer) and we are TRYING to put this pic on his profile but I can't remember how to do that. So interesting fact #4 would be...I am a moron.


When I was in college getting my degree in 'getting out of college before the money gets cut off ', I decided to join the Marines. My dad was a career Navy Pilot (Air craft carriers) and my brother was in the Marine Corps. So off I go to Parris Island in the Fall and Quantico Virginia (Officers candidate school) the following Spring. Absolutely the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever done. No matter what happened after that, I always felt I could get thru it. Kind of like how we all feel when we are REALLY depending on God and His just know it's gonna be alright in the end, if not here -where we are- then at least when we finally get to go Home. And believe me, nothing beats going home after 10 weeks of Boot Camp...nothing...I can actually say I wanted to kiss the ground when I stepped off the plane. Wonder if we'll do that in Heaven?
thanks for reminding me Nancy