Monday, December 31

put your eye on this kid!

kids have lotsa talents - but this one is one to see. Sharing this link the husband sent this link this morning.
Wondering what this child is going to be when he grows up ....

Sunday, December 30

Did You Miss it?

That was the title of the sermon today - there were some guys on the road who missed the essence of what had just taken place. Jesus comes up beside them and breaks it down - Moses to then present-day-prophets - the Bible as it were, then.

The point of the sermon was, being on the other side of the events, Christmas - did you miss it? There are those out there who completely missed it, wrapped up in the hoopla of the times. We can reveal to them the true essence of what it was about. Kewl, huh? The husband delivered a good word today. Help those out there to understand by the Christ in you. Blessings to you.

loins and elephants

Larger than life are times you can spend with your kids. The youngest has been awarded many certificates which I've collected, but some of them included certificates for things like free lunch. This week we used one for the Elephant Bar - to which neither of us had been before. Thus that trunked image in the background is none other than an elephant, not living of course. This picture was taken with my HTC mogul phone.

I enjoyed the restaurant's decor and ambiance. The youngest ordered a hamburger sans cheese, lettuce and tomato which came with ample fries with chocolate milk which he loves, (it also came with a chocolate sundae) and I had the chicken fingers. The service was friendly and responsive, and the manager came by to make sure all was well. And it was until the bill which had errors; but they were corrected, and we left unscathed and happy. We enjoyed our day out. The youngest had a haircut earlier, but here he has his head hooded. He was an attractive date underneath, and amusing; but not as engaging as the husband.

Speaking of whom gave me a gps device for my birthday - it sure comes in handy. (This could be marriage saving - can you imagine me not getting us lost any more? - He's really cute when he tries to suck in his frustration for the love of me.) Anyways, the youngest and I, we were able to figure how to leave the Montclair shopping center without getting confused amongst all the after-Christmas shoppers. We call it Garmi.

The Giant called. He's officially a navy seaman and soon will be off to master of arms A-school in Texas for a couple of months. He'll be spending a few more days in Chicago before he goes. It was the first time we've had to talk since he left for boot camp. It was good to hear his voice. His boot camp stores were original with dental nightmares and a temperature above 104. He's graduated. He sounds good. He'll be in the same hemisphere as the eldest - afterall TX is more than an state - it's huge!

I have eight kids, mutual or not, I love them all. They are varied in gifts and personality -- each a unique treasure. These 3 came from my loins.
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Monday, December 24

Hits of the Season ...

Christmas on Division Street was initial tissue fare - a good movie with Fred Savage looking at sides of life that matter; aired today

Today, saw the black and white of It's a Wonderful Life showing how a life matters, again. The wife, Donna Reed, in this version reminds me (look at their eyes) of Kirstin Davis who I just saw in the entertaining film, Deck the Halls about getting caught in sides of life that don't matter with Danny De Vito, Matthew Broderick, and the lady with a lovely voice - Kristen Chenoweth - she's filming a Christmas movie coming out next year called 'Four Christmases'

Jane Seymour, who I love most from Somewhere in Time did a review I enjoyed of Christmas films over the years - A Hollywood Christmas

The husband and youngest were at the keyboard singing christmas carols - priceless! We put our lights out today, a lovely nativity scene, and dressed our tree yesterday evening, the first time in my adult years not having natural tree. The youngest assisted the husband with the lights and me with the tree. He went to bed early in anticipation of tomorrow's events

The giant is a navy seaman. He graduates Friday in Chicago and on the same day is bound for San Antonio. Am hoping to see him there, the Lord willing. Two kids - eldest and giant - in Texas ...

Yesterday the children sang for christmas in our worship service, and the night before we gathered for a fellowship of caroling. The Ace sang a moving 'Mary Did You Know', and I was able to accompany her singing 'O Holy Night'. Worshiping the Lord in song in celebration of His birth - precious!

I was able to get the husband a gift he never suspected and would love! Time after time he has been there for me - lifted me up, been my strength, my safety blanket, my as it is described in one of Madea's movies representation of God's love. He loves the wind up clocks that chime the hour. Not long ago, his was over-wound. Come to find out they are expensive to fix or buy. But I found a deal. I hope chime after chime, it reminds him how much I love him.

Merry Christmas every one!

Praise the Lord! Jesus Christ was born! Go tell it!

Thursday, December 20

merry malaise molasses

my taste in Christmas music is indicative of my celebration. Along with the traditional carols which I really enjoy singing and playing (whether I'm really good at either ;-)), these are some songs I I truly love too:

nearly all of the selections from Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol including:
  • "The Lord's Bright Blessing"
but I especially love the one my sister (and later the eldest) and I used to sing all the time
  • "When You're Alone"
If you listen to most of them, you know the music is a tangent from the usual Christmas sounds. I know it doesn't make any sense but, along with the Reason, I love the bittersweet, happy endings, hope of the Season. Silly sappy me!

Tuesday, December 18

rainy days and decembers ...

It's my favorite time of year - celebrating the advent of Christ. I'm moved by movies, and sentiments, and watching people. And there are birthdays in this month - 2 daughters, 1 brother in law, 1 son in law, and many dear friends, and I became 50.

Two years ago my mom died - it was my birthday. I was going to wake her for church - the husband was giving the message. I found later, after the firemen came and the paramedics lined the front of the house and the stairway, after I encouraged my husband to do what he does so I would have the comfort of knowing all was well with that part of the world, after holding her and wondering what diabetic crisis I had caused in my ineptitude, talking her back to this world with no avail, after alerting the brother and sister we had a situation with mom, later after following over to the hospital - she was having cerebral hemorrhage. She left us two days later.

The season has been this way for me for some time though, before the husband who has done wonderful things to make this season for me, I used to spend the holidays with the sisters family and still struggled. She has her season of difficulty, but Christmas is mine. This year the job is ambivalent, the church has a interim pastor and its in its own state, all the college kids are gone and our house is having quieter days, the giant graduates from boot camp at the end of the month in Chicago and I can't get there between weather and fares. But, life is not just some piece of cake. It's not just going to go my way.

Regardless, I love the season. I love my family. I love my friends. I love this time of year. Christ came and He is coming again! I don't know about rainy days and decembers, but the reason for the season IS!

Monday, December 17

Friends and Birthdays

Good friends are like cake and ice cream - something you like to have on your birthday :-). Our December birthdays we've been sharing the past couple of years. Mine was Tuesday and we were at Red Robins. Remember those coupons I get. They do coupons too! Well at Red Robins I got a free hamburger. I was soooo stuffed. And last night was the ace's husband's day. We shared that one at Black Angus. The coupon for was for a free steak dinner up to $19.99. I had peppered steak with mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

It's nice hanging out with our friends. Ace was explaining the the youngest the other day why we are all family - because as children of God we are. It's like that - good friends are like close family. You can be yourself and you like who you are and who you are with. They are good people. They are good friends. They are good family.

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Monday, December 10

Berry Delightful Recipe

this dessert just in from Texas! Thanks to the Eldest!
it's easy to make, quick, and delicious. you can throw it in the oven when people come over and seem like martha stewart. if you keep berries in the freezer, you'll almost always have the ingredients for this yummy last minute dessert.

1-2 (16oz) bags of frozen mixed berries
pour them in a pie pan
pour approx. 1/3 cup of sugar over them
then sprinkle lightly w/ cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice
then in a separate bowl mix [1/2 stick of butter, 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar] until crumbly
pour crumbly mix in pan
bake at 350 until golden brown and somewhat crisp

goes well with vanilla ice cream
I just happen to have an assortment of berries in the freezer!

What a wonderful start to the weekend ...

the husband and I spent time together, both having Friday off. I left early in the morning to have my hair coiffed for Saturday's party. My hairdresser is a blessing and a gem. I don't trust just any ol' body with my hair and hate to get it cut. I actually asked her cut it to a style - shocked my own self! If you wanna feel that way about your hair, hit me up for Lynn. Plus some hairdressers stagger their clients making what the process twice as long - I don't have that kind of time. The person in Lynn's chair is her #1 customer! I feel at home in the shop itself; even take my son there for barbering. Riddled with curls, I called the husband so we could breakfast together. We dawdled over vittles and conversation at a favorite local restaurant. We did a little shopping together and then went to the show.

We were toying between the choices of This Christmas and The Golden Compass , and finally settled on Compass. We were fully aware of the controversy surrounding Compass - and opted to be informed and equipped to be a credible witness with regard to it. I must say we thoroughly enjoyed the movie. There is nothing in this film (I have no interest in the book) I wouldn't allow the youngest to see; not sure if there will be a sequel if their box office sales weren't sufficient - but it came in first place this weekend. It's been a long time since we went to the show; I remember why, when with no more than 20 people in the theater, those two guys had to sit right behind us with sporadic commentary. We do have great theater room at home. However, our date was a lovely cuddly day together.

Funny thing happened on the way to the petstore ...

"Of all the gin joints
in all the towns in all the world" ...

in search of a heater for Sqyrt (his water was getting a bit chilly), we discovered that Santa and his wife were there yesterday. Now that wasn't especially surprising, as many a pet lover indulges in paw prints (pictures) of precious pets with Saint Nicholas, some clad in festive attire. What was surprising is that we knew the red-clad couple (well actually only he had the suit) - it was friends we hadn't seen for quite some time - Lee and Cathy! That's Lee! Really!

I still remember when we first visited our church, they invited us join them for a delicious lunch at Burger Town USA; and the white refrigerator in our kitchen is a blessing from them. He'll be graduating from his ministerial studies this month and they'll be moving yet further away soon. Our prayers and blessings will be with them. It was great running into you. And
Happy Birthday Lee!

By the way, the heater works great; Sqyrt is most comfy now!

Sunday, December 9

e're we drove out of sight ...

Merry Christmas to all! To all, a Good Night!

The husband's company knows how to put on a party - this year, it was at Paramount Studios which was all dressed in holiday lights for the season. There was a casino theme with gift raffles, a delicious meal and truly decadent desert. I'm not much for bread pudding - but this chocolate sensation with was it wild turkey sauce was sumptuous. The dinner fare was tri-tip roast, turkey and salmon with an assortment of appropriate accompaniments, as the beverages flowed. Once again, the floral candlelight centerpieces were oh so utterly beautiful. The holiday music was irresistibly toe-tapping. My hats off to the planners. I had a lovely time.

I played blackjack and the husband, dashingly dapper and blithely debonair, mingled and photographed. It was great to see Anna again, Stella, and Susan, and very nice to see Jillian and Debra. I miss the Jarvis' this year; we had such a good time with them the last. All around, though, remembering the harbor cruise when we almost missed the boat (thank you for the lifesaver Susan), and the Dodger Clubhouse, I chalk it up to yet another wonderful holiday season celebration! Thank you!

Was that too fast for you - peruse the album. Looking ahead, my office will have the usual Christmas lunch next Friday. The memories of this night will linger on with the anticipation for the next event.

Oh and we were a raffle prize winner. WooHoo!

Friday, December 7

Something Small Any Now

I know I keep raving about Max - but the man knows how to put a word together. That's his gift. I'm not following the man, for surely it is God given. Tuesday we did chapter 13 - Trust Little Deeds of Cure. There is no common person. There is no common gift. After the chapter was read aloud around the room - what more needed to be said? Max had said more than a word.

Post this where you'll see it every day
"Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as ever you can"
and this
"Moses had a staff.
David had a sling
Samson had a jawbone
Rahab had a string.
Mary had some ointment
Aaron had a rod
Dorcas had a needle
All were used by God
What do you have?"
We answered questions like:
What towering giants are you facing today? What pebbles do you have at your disposal to attack this giant?

The Lord definitely has me facing my giants and the encouragement has been grand. I'm thankful for His constant presence, the study group, and the lessons being learned.

Big deeds are not an every day occurrence, but what keeps me from doing something small any now.


One of the gyrlz wondered why no one told them the giant was gone.
Asked her, weren't you the one that called a family meeting about the giant about a year ago.
She said, yeah...but he grows on you.

Family bonding.

He graduates the 28th!

a rainy december's day lilies wont to play

I planted these lilies after the service Resurrection Day. I was surprised to see them already in bloom; but come to find out - they're not early; they're a mite bit late! This was a favorite flower of my mom's.

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.Matt 6:28,29

Think it's time for me to sit down and watch that movie; mom loved Sidney Poitier too. She passed away not two years ago around this time; it's funny the things that come to mind. Interesting that they should bloom now and fade around her birthday after the reprisal of Spring.

Wednesday, November 28

Some Kind of Wonderful

is a movie I saw quite some time ago - its the first movie in which I saw Mary Stuart Masterson perform, a truly delightful experience. The movie is a little high school romance and I thought in and of itself some kind of wonderful. She truly proves how sensitively engaging her work is in Fried Green Tomatoes which is an overall Towanda! of an excellent movie with a cast (including always rare Kathy Bates, a precious Mary-Louise Parker, the lady Jessica Tandy, and the lady Cicely Tyson, and memorable Stan Shaw) equally par excellence. She also shines in Benny & Joon on par with one of her co-stars, Johnny Depp - who is off the charts as an actor himself. Like Depp, she's really adept at playing the unique, perhaps quirky, personality and helping you be comfortably right there in her shoes with her. If you have the opportunity, enjoy her work - she's a pearl of an actress. Put this treasure on the list too - Immediate Family!

Friday, November 23


this year for my relationship with the Lord - for knowing He walks with me, talks with me, and tells me I am His own ...; for His provision to me, over my husband, children, and home; for directing my path and gearing me up for the journey. It has been a good thanksgiving - probably the least stressful of many a year. We had good food on the table - I even excelled with the ham and the green beans. We had a peaceful day.

Usually there is a swarm of our children and their friends around coming an going as their schedules allow and, while not missing the hubbub, I missed them. To each of you my prayers are with you and I am thankful for each of you who you are, individually. I pray, God willing, you continue to find in Him what He has for you in life. We heard from the married living out of state - they had an accident on their way home. But thanks be to God they are unharmed. Lord I told them I would pray for a larger hedge ;-), please help them with the subsequent car issues.

Lord you are moving in my life and I am so thankful for your presence. I know you are taking me to new levels of understanding, service and trust. Help me to embrace your plan wholeheartedly, to exercise my faith, and be obedient. Thank you for loving me and your always having been there for me.

weighty words ...

Being a critic is by nature something we do with regard to things we are most familiar with and most appreciative of the best. In watching Ratatouille this month, I appreciated this quote about the work of criticism:
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize that only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."
Our words and opinions are often weighed toward things of little significance and not given to things of true measure. Anyone can tear down, but the skill to build is finer!

Wednesday, November 21

Giant Face Off

God is so so so amazing!

The ladies had an awesome evening at our study! We are still with Max and the 'Cure' - dealt with 'pausing on purpose'. I just love watching the holy spirit move through the room, on people's faces and body movements. It's wonderful to be part of such a thing. We could see our attitude about our giants - the very areas in us where God wants to do His thing. Oh my - not what it should have been.

facing the giants
the aroma of our attitudes ...
about a right spirit in not someone else, me
straight is the path ...
if God's Word say 'do not fear' 365 times, that is at least one for every day
need rain? prepare for rain!
give God your best; let God do the rest
chose not that same ol' tape we play, but to listen and believe the voice of truth

I haven't chosen a school yet, but I was led to have a meeting at Biola Monday. Elisabeth prayed and shared what Biola would be for me and what it would cost. Have to count the cost, don't we. I saw this big ol' giant begin to completely fill the room, but I could still see Elisabeth and hear her tell me about how nothing is bigger than God; that it is all possible. We prayed, and I departed not with hope; but the white towel was still in hand. I was reminded of that at our study.

I had been waiting for God to speak to me about my righteous indignation about a thing at work and how that very indignation smacks of simply feeling bad that I had been passed over. I heard myself saying, at the study when sharing it, that 'indignation that is righteous doesn't not yield in the face of appearances'. God answered me with my own mouth.

We answered these questions, which is where we spent the predominace of our night?
  • what is the reason for your existence in one sentence?
  • does your calender reflect it?
  • if not, how do you bring change to your calendar?
This question was a little too close; we didn't like it? Many of us balked at saying what God had told us as the answer. Surprised? How many of us say God made me talented/pretty/someone people need/a gifted _____ - whatever the answer is? And we dare to speak the answer - our life lies to our calendar!

One lady who had previously felt she had no vision, shared a dream she had long had - she had acted upon it this week. How many of us have these buried treasures.

At our study we were reminded to trust and obey - that God would make us 'Hinds Feet in High Places'. And that if we trust God, there is nothing He cannot do.

I had today off and 'Facing the Giants' was on - hmmm... another Lucado item. I was reduced to tears as God showed me how to face my giants. He is doing something wonderful in my life and the lives of these ladies. So wonderful, that for a moment I saw the one who dances putting on her ballet for which I wrote somethings, and the singer sang, and the artist created the scenery, and the one who speaks to people spoke. Can you see it? He is working in us all.

Some went out, in the O.T. under Joshua, and saw giants, two came back and saw an opportunity to see God's glory.

Because when you go forth with the attitude of however it goes, 'I will still love you Lord'; anything can happen. The circumstances may not change to the naked eye; but they change nonetheless. He meets us in our circumstances, like Daniel's 3 buddies in the fiery furnace. God is answering prayer, healing physical and emotional hurts. His way. In His time. And He's using us.

Let the people see the message He gave you? How's your calendar lookin?

The youngest who was watching the movie with me asked why the people were crying; I was unable to voice the answer. He looked at me and gave me a precious hug and I smiled at him. I was crying too. My rain is coming.

Lord, I'm preparing for rain; help me face my giants! With You, nothing is impossible.

Tuesday, November 20

Inside Kinkade's Christmas Cottage

The husband loves to collect churches and christmas cottages. We have a few around the house, especially during the holidays. Ever want to climb inside a Kinkade picture? Take a look!

Thomas Kinkade, the artist, is involved in a different holiday portrayal - the film variety: Home for Christmas starring Edward Asner, Peter O’Toole, Marcia Gay Harden and Jared Padalecki in a nostalgic, funny, and heartwarming story. It's releasing the 30th.

Sunday, November 18

How does my garden grow?

I don't know about silver bells, cockle shells, and pretty maids, but how about these specimens. I am certainly no green thumb, but over time I have a few plants I'm proud of.

The first is my newest addition this spring. Hanging my head, I have to admit that she replaces a beautiful yellow hibiscus my dear neighbor and friend (we yell across the street to each other 'hey baby'!) gave me and it died of thirst due to neglect in my care; I was so ashamed! I should have removed it from the container and planted it in the ground.

I also have a favored orange variety - I believe the 'desert wind' (now isn't that an awesome name) that is particularly lovely, however not in bloom at the time of taking these pictures. I picked up these specimens at Trader Joes - they have a wonderful assortment of flowers and they deliver too!

Then I have my roses. This velvety orange rose I found at a nursery not far from the house. My guess is it is like the bright fire rose - A modern climber ... blooms of orange vermillion ... foliage is tough and large ... a real powerhouse of a plant. Coral or orange roses denote enthusiasm and desire. Check the link for meanings designated to the color of other roses like the pink variety below.

One of the things I like to do when I have time is support the local nurseries. While I also look in Home Depot and Target and even the floral department of Stater Bros., my favorite places to wander are Trader Joes' during the week and these local nurseries who have a far more varied selection, better than comparable prices and guess what - no sales tax. There are several in the Riverside/San Bernardino areas. I've used one just up the street. There's one in Riverside where I acquired a nice white star jasmine plant, now located under my front window so its lovely scent can come wafting through on summer breezes.

This bud, which came from another nearby nursery, becomes this georgeous bloom. I believe it is the ‘Kordes Magenta’ - a moderately vigorous shrub bearing flowers of an unusual shade of lilac-pink to mauve with a good fragrance. I also have a regal violet variety I'll share next time, also acquired nearby.

I have a favorite quote from the movie made of Alice Walker's 'The Color Purple' -
Shug: I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it. More than anything God love admiration.
Celie: You saying God is vain?
Shug: No, not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don't notice it.
Celie: You saying it just wanna be loved like it say in the bible?
Shug: Yeah, Celie. Everything wanna be loved. Us sing and dance, and holla just wanting to be loved. Look at them trees. Notice how the trees do everything people do to get attention... except walk?
[they laugh]
Shug: Oh, yeah, this field feels like singing!
In fact, as I recollect, in Terry McMillan's novel 'Waiting to Exhale', Savannah reveals her favorite colors are red, orange, and magenta - I so agree! In the movie, you see the ladies walking out of church, each wearing one of these colors while the fourth wears white - which is an exquisite bloom, itself.

I would not be so bold to say I'm a gardener, and I hate (while at times oddly therapuetic) weeding - its existence and removal). Upon reflection, while it's to our own therapuetic value, weeding is probably not a favorite activity of God's either. I boldy do say God has allowed me a little beauty in the garden of my corner of the earth!
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Friday, November 16

Worthy update

I'm sharing from aunt and mom ...

Hi there - Forwarding the latest update from my sister, Mary. Thank you for your continued prayers that have not fallen on deaf ears!

Greetings & God's blessings to all,
My apologies for this delayed update. I didn't get around to sharing with everyone how last week by the grace of God Esteban opened his eyes, attempted to speak, and was responsive. It was magnificent while it lasted (a whole two days)! The doctor's were curious to see what would happen if they decreased his paralytic meds & they were surprised; he continues to amaze them with his strength and determination! The bad news is he was put back under because he began to resist his breathing tube which is very uncomfortable, but necessary for his lungs to heal. He has another surgery tomorrow, but because of God's tender mercies, surgeries aren't every other day as they used to be, so his body has a chance to rest in between. Please continue to pray, and honor the Lord for the mighty things He has done and continues to do for my son. I believe Esteban hears everything I tell him, and I let him know that because of him, God's name is being uttered from the mouths of many! How great it is to glorify our Lord Jesus! Blessing to you and yours,

Thursday, November 15

5 a.m. yesterday I was all prepared to leave for work, but the little one had been coughing the night before. Since he has asthma, I keep a close eye on such things. I took his temperature and it was only slightly above normal. Well he got up to go to the bathroom and while he was there he gave up his dinner from the night before as well. That was that; it was back to bed for both of us.

At Bible study last night, we took the DISC test which reveal your spiritual gifts and your personality. It was insightful and mostly reconfirming. My top gifts were encouraging and teaching. Get this though, I have the personality of a Golden Retriever! Hot Dog! LOL

Tuesday, November 13

Update on Worthy ...

Update on Esteban (Worthy) from his mom: after 31 days, my son Esteban opened his eyes last night! He wanted to speak, but isn't able to.

Our God is an awesome God. Thank you for all of your continued prayers! His family is so very appreciative of them.

Monday, November 12

Road not taken - there and back again


today I need to pick a school - yeah me. I decided to go back; complete a bachelors. Somewhere in this day, I need to get the plan on track. You know, step out on faith. Now here's the criteria, somehow with business as a basis, I would like
  • a christian-based institution,
  • a focus on either communication, psych, english or writing
  • a flexible program - distance/online, off-campus, combined
hey but the driving factor is cost, of course - even though tuition reimbursement is involved. So the realization is any or all of the three above may have to yield to the driver. However, we serve a God of Wonders.

Order my steps Lord; help me today.

Okay following this epiphany of going back to school to which the husband whole-heartedly supported me, my immediate supervisor announced retirement - a position I could go for, but generally covets a degree. What timing? That threw my mind into high gear - how to get this all together in an effective, efficient manner. I sought advice and the result is I enrolled in a mentoring program - and actually have the mentor of my dreams - someone I respect professionally and personally. I'm excited about that. I've gotten some college planning advice too.

Before I get my arms around this, I learn that my supervisor's replacement has been taken care through a musical chairs sort of internal action. Okay, some of the intel behind the decision hurt, but at the end of the day when I stopped spinning off of it all, it comes down to 'that wasn't meant to be'. In the long run, the chair that at this point becomes empty is available now. We'll see what God's will is for that. One thing is sure, if I can cement it in my head (but that would be me working, huh?); it's not by might, nor by power, but by Him.

Today, which school will it be? The Lord is my mentor; I shall not want...

Sunday, November 11


Hace you been captivated by lighthouses too? I have always been intrigued by them - they're sometimes shrouded, but ever gleeming, always safe; they're romantic, inviting, mystically whimsical, serene, and mysterious. Even on our last vacation, we were drawn to some.
It's no wonder I was captivated by these photos.

at the end of the day of one time continuum

slipping back into one of my favorite subjects of time and relationships, the closing episode of SG1 was phenomenal. I love the camera work, the interactions and relationships - I love the story - the non-comedic GroundHog Day feel. My favorite scene is one between the characters Daniel and Vala. Already I've watched this (the season's dvd set) over and over again enjoying the nuances of each scene. As far as SG1 goes in its entirety life is too short! Okay just give me a minute, I need some kleenex ...

You know at the end of the day, time should mean something even in nothingness, like watching a sunset - it should merit some worth tangible or intangible. The measure of faith as a verb will be reflected in the playback of one's sojourn - the Mary or Martha and many other facets of its time - of thou good and faithful servant.

And as with so many a flick, real life, and at the end of the day, the answer has been right in front all along. Their beam was, yours and mine is 'the Light of the World' - salvation.

Tuesday, November 6

Veterans Day movies

obtained this from - Bill Leonard - can't take the credit ...
***Veterans Day Movies***

Next week we will be celebrating Veterans Day to honor those men and women who have served in our armed forces. Sad to say, such honor is bestowed less and less these days because more and more people do not know the basics about when, where, why and how our armed forces have served. Recently, a high school teacher and war veteran emailed me saying that there is a vacuum of knowledge among our youth about our history and geography. When it came to WWII, he said that the average high school student may know that there was a great world war and that we were on the winning side, but they could not name who the Allies were, much less the Axis powers that we defeated. So, for this Veterans Day, I recommend that your family watch one of many excellent movies that depict “men at war” and why it is sometimes necessary to take up arms to defend our freedoms and our values. Follow the link below to a list of movies, including their ratings and brief descriptions courtesy of the Internet Movie Data Base website. The film recommendations stretch from the origin of our nation with “The Patriot” depicting the American Revolution to “Black Hawk Down” depicting the more recent battle in Somalia. This is not an exhaustive list of war movies, though it is long, and many of the movies on this list are not at all appropriate for young children. I urge parents to use common sense and caution when choosing a movie, but there are several on the list that are suitable for older children and can help teach them the values necessary to keep the meaning in Veterans Day. My list is available here.
Thanks, Bill. Here's War Movies and Veterans Day on Fox Movie Channel.

One takes these things more personally the more personally involved family members are, huh? Love you Giant; keep you in our prayers!

a peace of our hawaiian memories

they grow fainter, but not the value of the time shared. Checking calendar - gotta plan another vacation. We loved Hawaii!


Sunday, November 4


is the wife of the husband's life long friend Eric and she is a cancer-fighter, victorious in the Lord (see her site under the link). The one thing she truly understands is 'the battle is the Lord's'. She is an awesome woman, mother, wife, and child of the Lord; she is just plain good people. They became aware of this cancer about a year ago, after the birth of their 5th adorable child, and today they celebrated the baptism of precious little Viv.

We hadn't seen them since before the diagnosis and today we were blessed to enjoy their family, their company, and their home. As God wills we vowed to see each other more often. Good friends are a treasure and for life-long, a blessing. Thank you for Your hand in their lives and their presence in ours Lord.

Barbara - did you know that you were married to a celebrity? ;-)

Saturday, November 3

"I come to the garden alone ...

While the dew is still on the roses
and the voice so clear whispers in my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known."
I have to find the sheetmusic for that song - it was a favorite of my mom's; I was re-acquainted with it last week at our women's study. I had not previously read any Max Lucado, but I am certainly impressed with Cure for the Common Life. It was in the book's chapter 11 - Take This Job and Love It - that our study engaged in. Among other story points, it reflects on two workers (a successful crowd attention grabbing messenger and a no net worth frustrated fisherman), in the book of Luke, by the Sea of Galilee; and it brings about a forced interflection on one's own attitude. It is well worth the reading, regardless of one's calling or the source of one's paycheck in life. Lucado's words and especially their message and the precious words of that song, He Walks With Me (In the Garden), resonated with me. I was reminded that even knee deep in mire, I am in the garden of His love. Where are you right now? ... take time to smell the roses ... Come to the garden!
"He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing."

Wherever we are, work or whatever, the questions continually begs if His voice is calling, are we listening? is our response obedient? are we answering 'Yes, Lord"?
"I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling."


Friday, November 2

Update on Worthy ... with tears, God just plain IS!

update emailed to me:
Subject: update on Esteban

Greetings & God's blessings to all of you. God's people are so awesome...Amen!
It is with a heavy heart that I write this evening. Today my son had surgery because the time came (sooner than was expected), to amputate his right leg. Infection had set in. Esteban continues to be strong, yet I am reminded by the doctors that it is technology which has kept him alive thus far. And I say that reluctantly because science is science, but God's will is truth. He continues to breath with assistance, and some respiratory complications have surfaced. Dialysis is needed daily. Yesterday we were told by the doctors that they don't believe Esteban will be leaving the hospital. He will never walk again, but as his big brother Billy said, "Who needs legs when he'll have wings in heaven?" So my prayer tonight is for God's mercy. Since the accident on October 9Th, we have witnessed God's immense love, His undeniable grace, and now I ask that you pray for God's tender mercies on Esteban. I shared with my sisters this evening how at times it just seems as though there is no more strength remaining at the end of the day, then I get a call, or an e-mail, or am reminded of someones bible study group or church who has been diligent in prayer, and once again, I (we) are renewed for the next day. Your prayers are as fuel. They keep us going!
Please keep in mind I John 4:19 "We love because He first loved us"
In Jesus Name,

Thursday, November 1

the road not taken

I'm on a new path - I'm going back to school to complete an undergraduate degree. It's been on my mind over the years, but all of the sudden the time seems right. The husband had my back which was very encouraging and re-assuring; it means a lot to me. There's a big mountain ahead pulling this altogether - something more than clicking my heels; however I'm on the yellow brick road.

Having made this decision and beginning the discovery path of getting a game plan and putting it into play, something happened. My supervisor announced her retirement - I'm in direct line for her position; but a BA is a highly weighted criterion. Well the pre-season game plan was to test the waters and get comfortable with the temperature. Now it seems that a more accelerated approach is necessary if in the process I would like to acquire this position.

I contacted a career counselor at work and she has put me in a mentoring program and provided me with intel for getting the schooling into place. The mentor who accepted taking me on as a protege was and my first choice and someone I regard highly personally and professionally. Too, the counselor confirmed my game plan and re-affirmed my choice of academic focus. I feared that I should have a bent strictly toward what would benefit the position, but she encouraged that I pursue whatever my own passion was.

Whether I get this position or not, I am well on my way into something that has been a long time coming. I'm jazzed! Now I know the yellow brick road was laden with difficulties along the way. Still the knowledge that I am on my way is quite satisfying. I feel like I just was called 'off of the bench'. Shelz, go on, get out there! Whew, there's so much to do; gotta go!

Wednesday, October 31

Cast die; but dye not cast ...hmmm ... and more

Okay, to the side is a depiction of my fire roasted creation. I made it again - it is a hit in the household.

We are watching closing episodes of Stargate Atlantis. The other night we lost a beloved member of the Atlantis team. I was loathed that should happen while I was not quite yet dealing with real personal loss, but at least - my reality was not death. Yeah, I know, clear as mud and morbid. Okay, but the good news is that there has been a outcry from the fans, and they are going to bring the beloved team member back from what was beyond next to impossible odds. Remember the tune "I Write the Songs..." - well this is more "we write the words, that make the characters we love live" LOL.

I spoke to the Giant. He's fine. His room looks awfully empty.

Halloween is the worst traffic night of the year! Left work at 4:30 pm and got home near 7 pm. Set up to give candy out at the parsonage and Prayed Until Something Happened.

But the dish looks great doesn't it!

Okay so I rambled! I'll meander some more soon. Goodbye October. Night!

Sunday, October 28

ginormous Giant 'mom' ent

Continuing in one's life as a mother has exponentially to borrow a word from a precious friend, 'huge' or his equally special daughter-in-law's 'ginormous' 'mom'ents.

My first baby boy is off to the military. Tomorrow the Giant embarks upon his naval career, leaving for boot camp in Chicago. Two months into two years, he's leaving and I will miss him. He is special and a joy to my heart. I'm not keen on this war, but I'm keen on him and, as I hum "His Eye is on the Sparrow", I am trusting him to God. We prayed over him at church this morning and the pastor spoke about the 30 men of God that surrounded David, James 5, and the Lord's hedge. Of the Giant's 30 or so crew, Lord let me be first in line!

My love for you goes with you boy! Do; learn; be what you've gotta- God's will be done; the Lord be with you in it all! May He give you wisdom and discernment, peace, and return you home safe and whole. And when ever you don't have the answers I borrow upon a friend's favorite shirt - 'Ask the Chief!'
Whenever I am tempted,
whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.
Giant, I know He watches thee!

Friday, October 26

timeless love ...

thought of another really good one ... (besides my own ;-)) Timeline ! If you like history, if you like drama, if you like love - this is a definite one to check out! From the Michael Crichton novel it has Paul Walker from the Fast and Furious trilogy, and many others.

Wednesday, October 24

Movie Ministry on Why Married?

I was lookin' all over for this the other day and finally blogged without it - but here's what Movie Ministry says about Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?
...this year, on a trip to Colorado, one couple's marital problems explode, and everyone else becomes collateral damage. Director Tyler Perry explores betrayal, confession, repentance, and reconciliation within a circle of friends willing to go the distance for each other.
Big Ideas: Confession is the first step to forgiveness, healing, and restoration.
Topics: Confession Restoration Repentance Forgiveness
Scripture: 1 John 1:8-9 James 5:14-16.
It's a very good source for Christ-minded movie watching and related discussions; their theme is see the truth.

Monday, October 22

Fire Roasted Veggie Sausage & Meatball Yumm

Let me capture this while I can remember it. I made a dish tonight that was a grand success. I'm going to suggest it for an intimate dinner of 4; but use it as you like. I bought a little while back from Trader Joe's a 16 oz. frozen package of Fire Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Butter sauce - sounds good, huh? It consists of red and yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, haricots vert (green beans LOL), onions and whole mushrooms with a roasted garlic, peppercorn, spice infused balsamic butter sauce. I was moved by the description and so I bought them. Tonight it came to me - this is what you could do with them.... I actually made an intimate dinner for two, but I've adjusted this for four because it was too much food. Do the math if you just have two.

Okay, so what I did is I took four italian sausauge which we happen to keep around because we love it. But for this recipe here's the deal - use 1.5 to 2 sausage per person. What we had was frozen so I thawed it in the microwave. In a skillet I heated up some canola oil (use olive oil if you prefer) for stir frying. When it was hot I added the sausage. I seasoned the sausage shaking over the meat McCormick Grill Mates Garlic & Onion medley seasoning along with their Barbeque seasoning (we had picked these up in Hawaii), and a dash of powdered cayenne pepper. As the sausage begins to cook, I cut them in about 5 slices per link.

Then I added frozen meatballs (2-3 per person - I used the frozen italian-style heat & serve beef meatballs we get from Costco, continuing to stir fry. Near done, I add some chopped onion. With that I add 2 packages of the fire roasted vegetables. As it stir fries on high flame and nothing is no longer frozen, if you like add a tad of wine and, I sprinkled some white flour over the mixture and stirred. All the while, I'm covering with a lid in intervals to insure thorough though flash stir fry cooking. You should end up with a vegetable sausage and meatball masterpiece in a wonderfully tasty sauce.

Add to this some rice - I used left over chicken-flavored rice; you can use plain rice even; it should be fairly neutral as the dish is quite tasty, letting it simmer till warm. Serve in attractive bowls and you have a deliciously quick meal to delight the taste buds. The husband loved it and so did I! This was simply flavorably veggie yumm! The vegetables were equisitely delectable and the meat succulent. A Norman two thumbs up!

Canola or Olive oil for stir frying
1.5-2 Italian Sausage per person
2-3 italian-style heat & serve meatballs per person
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 16-oz packages fire roasted vegetables with Balsamic Butter sauce
optional wine
1/3 cup flour
optional rice (up to approx. 1 cooked cup per person) - can be mixed in or served on top of.

Oh my goodness, did I come up with a winning recipe? Awww! What was I thinking? If I were the dahli, I would of captured it on film; sorry! It was a lovely sight as well - worthy of a potluck or special events. Me, I'm thinking finger food mid-eastern style with the husband over candlelight - yeah! Fire-side fire-roasted frivolity!

a temperamental journey

I've always been fascinated with temperaments - I've looked at Kiersey, Meyers, Briggs; Colors; even the Wizard of Oz! I found a chart comparing all against each other - even astrology which for me just doesn't fit the same temperament mold. If I followed astrology I would be a 'fire' sign - however my temperament aligns with the two on the far right. If you've found yourself to be a fox or an dolphin, or blue, or courageous; you just might find out a little more about your self or about others. Then when someone says why do you have to be so ... you can say because it explains it right here...!

Our womens study of Max Lucado's Cure for the Common Life looked at how people like to receive appreciation - temperaments come into play once again. When you look at the 1 Corinthians 12 body - well they eye needs the ear which need the foot, etc. And God know all this before time began. Wow.

Now I've run across this article that questions validity of temperament studies, and points to their origins and religious standing - woah. It even refers to Tim LaHaye's Transformed Temperaments. Well, this is all food for thought.

But I like what Max tells us - that God has given us gifts, yearnings to serve Him. From 'Cure' quotes, God gave you uniqueness, a talent, a skill, one that is yours alone to use in honoring Him - Cure for the Common Life can help you find that uniqueness, the "sweet spot" that puts it all into perspective, and show you how to live it everyday so that you aren't just existing in God's creation but thriving in His plan. Max explains to us, that we need to value what others 'bring to the table' as well. So, onward with the study!

Sunday, October 21

So why haven't I talked about Why Did I Get Married?

Well as much as I've wanted to and am eager to support this, I haven't seen it yet. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, I fully expect to be as rewarding as all of Perry's work I've seen. If you check out his site, you'll see he has more work coming down the road - looks like next year Madea is going to jail!

The New York Times review says “Why Did I Get Married?” follows four couples who meet each year for a therapeutic vacation. Friends since college, they converge to discuss their relationships and address marital difficulties. This being a Tyler Perry film, there is much to discuss; we also know there will be secrets revealed, sermons delivered and forgiveness sought. Sounds like it would be a worthy couple's study's endeavor. I'll see it soon - and to be sure, you'll hear from me.

Meanwhile look what I came across - This Christmas! Moviefone says of the film, the Whitfied siblings have come home for the first time in years and they've brought plenty of baggage with them....secrets are revealed and family bonds are tested. As their lives converge, they join together and help each other discover the true meaning of family - in an all-star cast including some of my favorites -Loretta Devine, Idris Elba (remember him from Daddy's Little Girls), Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Mekhi Phifer.

Saturday, October 20

finding love in time

(time/romance movies)may require that you give love time!
And if that is so - does that mean that love is what you give to it - you get what you give?

"...Just give hope a chance to float up"

"That's what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too..." Hope Floats

Just to take a little more time with 'Hope', it's quite a story which I won't tell - but it deals with how we handle our failures, how we view relationships and how our view of ourselves can change. The whole concept of 'hope' itself spiritually just reminded me how we need God so and sometimes we don't understand what He is doing in our life and then sometimes we 'get it' like Sandra did with her mom played by the Gena Rowlands!

Gena is one classy 'Barbara Stanwyck' kinda lady. Her role in this movie reminded me of the one she had in Something to Talk About with Julia Roberts. The little girl in 'Hope" has done quite a body of work herself - Mae Whitman has been a daughter in
and as a young lady her work continues as the daughter roles fade. Did you know Forest Whitaker directed 'Hope' - he's a blog post in and of himself; winning an oscar this past year with quite a compelling speech
"Thank you. Thank you. Just a second, just a second. OK. Take it. OK. I wrote something down, because I thought if it would happen that I would be a little overwhelmed and I am. So, OK.

When I was a kid, the only way that I saw movies was from the backseat of my family's car. At the drive-in. And, it wasn't my reality to think I would be acting in movies, so receiving this honor tonight tells me that it's possible. It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in South Central L.A. in Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them, and to have them happen.

Because when I first started acting, it was because of my desire to connect to everyone. To that thing inside each of us. That light that I believe exists in all of us. Because acting for me is about believing in that connection and it's a connection so strong, it's a connection so deep, that we feel it. And through our combined belief, we can create a new reality.

So I want to thank my fellow believers in The Last King of Scotland. I want to thank Peter, Jeremy, Andrea, Lisa, Charles, Kevin, James McAvoy, Kerry, Stephen, Fox, DNA, Channel Four. I want to thank the people of Uganda, who helped this film have a spirit.
And here's my favorite part...
And finally, I want to thank my mom and my dad. I want to thank my wife Keisha, my children, my ancestors, who continue to guide my steps. And God, God who believes in us all. And who's given me this moment, in this lifetime, that I will hopefully carry to the end of my lifetime into the next lifetime. Thank you."
Okay I've rambled enough; until next time.

From Pastor's sermon last Sunday: And He said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried and our hope is lost; we are cut off by ourselves. Therefore prophesy and say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, and will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am Jehovah when I have opened your graves, O My people, and have brought you up out of your graves. And I shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. And you shall know that I Jehovah have spoken and have done it, says Jehovah. (Eze 37:11-14)

Friday, October 19


This is to my friend Nicole! Remember 'Somewhere in Time'. Well I don't know if you've seen the movie with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock (yeah I recall Micah doesn't like her! ;-) - its called 'The Lake House'. Gyrl you gotta see it. The book they shared. The waiting.

For the rest of you, there's some good oldies music - a nice soundtrack - songs like almost like falling in love, I wish you love. Anyways I just saw it - had a terrible day - but now I'm enchanted.

There is something about time and love that always gets me. I'm glad the each of us have a love for all time, Nicole - Sandra or no; Micah ;-)!

Guess what came on after that? Hope Floats LOL! Mommas are smart; aren't we? You know what her momma says ...she tells to her granddaughter -
about how when she was little her brother once kicked and stomped on an anthill, destroying the ants’ home. She yelled for her mother, who came right away and calmed her down. They watched as the ants scurried to rebuild their “home”. The grandmother relays that, as a little girl, that seemed hopeless in her mind; they were just little ants. But her mother had explained, “Yah, if it’s just one ant. But there’s lots of ants down there. And they’re all relatives. They’re family – just like we are. That’s what families are for. That’s why they invented families, so hopeless wouldn’t get the last word."
Whew, I really need a tissue now. Night, my friend!

Who's favor'n Who?

well thanks to Kendra and Nicole - I checked this out - kewl!

Eldest favors her dad by 6% and the giant looks 3% more like me!

Wednesday, October 17

You Are Worthy Doe

I'm often prompted to pray for the people in an accident when I hear of or pass one by - the people, their families and friends. That is not the case here, although I was driving home the day of this accident and heard about it on news-radio. It had happened earlier but traffic on the freeway in that area was still disrupted. But the fact that I received no prompting doesn't mean that God wasn't at work - He doesn't really need me anyway! This accident didn't effect me, bother my traffic conditions, nor require my prayers - or did it? What is surprising all the time is however remote to my own life something may seem to be, the fabric of it may be stitched more closely to me than I think. I take that wee bit of information and apply it to everything I observe.

Today my sister in the Lord, colleague, and fellow-commuter, shared with me about her nephew. Her sister had been called back from a cruise because her son had been in a serious accident and not likely to survive - the earthbound powers that be were going to try and keep him alive about 48 hours to give her time to get back.

He was at work driving what they call a light truck when the big rig jack-knifed in front of him and he was unable to avoid slamming into it. His vehicle became engulfed in flames and he was trapped inside for at least some 20 minutes. Although ladies, unable to themselves extricate him from the vehicle - the steering column had come forward and pinned him inside - screamed to nearby officers for help. A passerby who walks with the Lord heard the screams of the ladies and clearly the directive to circle back and assist the person he saw was trapped, and was able to remove him from the inferno. Immediately thereafter there was a final explosion - and if the picture is still with the story under the link, you can see how the vehicle faired. He, himself, had 3rd to 4th degree (to the muscle) burns and was rushed to UCI burn center where he is now under the care of the chief of staff.

He, himself, had a relationship with the Lord where he felt unworthy; after all, he had mis-spent times of his life. At UCI he was given his prognosis, and he gave a call to his brother and one more person - he was urged to have a good talk with his Maker. Now in the midst of organs shutting down, smoke burned lungs breathing being assisted, skin grafts healing, comatose, among a myriad of symptoms, he hangs on with a wing and a prayer of many. A police officer, maybe one of ones standing by possibly following procedure, came by to share with the mom don't think me a hero 'but I was able to pull your son to safety'. However, the ladies who screamed for the young man's life, the gentleman who obediently came back for him, and his mom constantly, are often there in support.

Who is to say that this young man in the prime of his life is in God's plan to go on with his life which will include months and months of healing or to go home to the Lord. Only God knows. But the Lord brought those ladies, and that man, and has miraculously sustained him to date.

Because of the HIPAA laws, the hospital listed him with a fictitious 'Doe' name to protect his privacy. Not ficticious to God, this man who felt unworthy of the Lord, by the grace of God was called 'Worthy Doe'.

My prayers are with you Worthy, and with your family! God bless the agape obedience of those who were there for what He considers of worth!

Sunday, October 14

a litany of love

We had a pastoral installation service this Sunday - there was an air of excitement all around. Along with the litany, the message - "Can These Bones Live?" Ezekiel 37, and the sacrament of communion, it was particularly special in light of it being pastor appreciation month; with cards, Pastor Dale received a special plaque and his wife Connie (she likes to help things grow) received a plant, I believe the Phalaenopsis - Moth Orchid.

We had cake after the service, and then some of us were able to continue the celebration at Red Robin's for lunch. The RR staff sang a 'happy birthday' song loudly in honor of Pastor's birthday next week!

Quickened with a sobering message, it was a delightful day in the Lord. We will look deeper into 'dem bones' from the pastor's message today at the morning bible study before service next Sunday - I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, October 13

field trip nature'ly

It only seemed natural since I was off to go on the young one's school third grade field trip. They walked to the nature center (great for my steps which have been lacking of late). We left the school for the Mary Vagle Museum & Nature Center about 8:30 a.m. and returned around 2p.m. in the afternoon - a five mile trip (12400 steps including all the activities. If you like getting goosed; snake'n through trails at a turtle's pace, you'll enjoy it.

Former ranger Rick very animatedly guided us through activities through out the day. Rick introduced is to a Rosy Boa and a California Kingsnake, and a box turtle. We learned about words like native, chaparral - did you know some seeds need to burned to live, and arachnid - you probably know spiders aren't insects, but did you know they are related to crabs?

What's really great - us parents who volunteered for this arduous ambulatory endeavor have first dibs on the next field trip, which I believe is the San Diego Animal Park ! Alright! It is truly a blessing when your child has a wonderful teacher. I want to thank her, Mrs. Rangel, and Mrs. Delgado too. It was a pleasure to spend the day with them, the other parents, and the children.

The Center has some upcoming events that might be of interest (see the link) - one in the near future particularly, a Halloween Haunted Hike, Friday, October 26th 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. It just happens to also be our voting location. How kewl!

Wednesday, October 3

husband's ETP progress

On another note - so proud of the husband; he's nearly completed the 3 year evangelism training program. About that long ago, not long after ordination and subsequent assistant pastorship in our former church, having come to our present denomination, he committed himself to completing this program. He has done well according to the 6-month review he had yesterday. The light is not only at the end of the tunnel but glowing inside. It was just about a year or so ago he got 2 inquiries (one out of state and one not far from us) about assistant pastorships within our denomination because he was in this program. Now he has almost completed it. There is a realm of possibilities out there, and we are seeking God's leading - so goes the adventure of ministry. His dedication has been admirable and I think the program has taught and confirmed much. Praising God for the blessing of it all.

touch and agree

while I wallow in a sea of inadequacy, please pray for the childcare situation which needs to be resolved in the next few weeks ... thanks.

Sunday, September 30

An Exciting Time

"I got to tell you, I'm fairly excited to see what you are capable of. I mean if Morpheus is right and all. We're not supposed to talk about any of that but if you are, well then this is an exciting time." The Matrix
As September reaches its autumn and October rolls in, we have a pastor at church and I had to send him my favorite congratulatory quote. Our church has in its origins been and has even now the potential to be such a light and he seems just the shepherd for the remnant of a 'rag-tag fugitive fleet'. Pastor Dale - alter ego Earnhardt, Jr. ;-) - comes cup overflowing with determination, and intuitivity that smacks of spiritual discernment, and people skills, among what appears to be an array of talents - doesn't seem he buries them in the ground either.

We've met with him a few times and the congregation embraced him along with, of his family, his wife Connie and daughter Grace today - it was a great time of fellowship after the service. I'm excited for our church about the Lord's leading. For me, I'm so glad to have taken the red pill.

This I recall to my mind,
therefore have I hope.
It is of the LORD's mercies
that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3

old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new

2 Corinthians 5

Saturday, September 29

Hawaii Two-OO7

The Norman's in paradise -- We had a wonderful anniversary vacation in Oahu. We saw a lot of the island, a lot of each other, and we also saw our friends the Hays. We left early Thursday and arrived in Hawaii around 11, being donned with the (thank you Annie!) Pleasant Holidays greeting of a lai. Dollar upgraded our vehicle, since they were out of compact cars, to a red ford mustang convertible and in it we were off to our week-long home.

We could have stayed in the Waikiki "spouting water" area in the hustle and bustle of tourism, but we were remote with a private beach residing in the western Waianae Valley with the locals in Makaha. We gained a greater appreciation of Hawaiian life there. Out of our front door lay lush green mountains and shores of Ocean and out our lanai was the private beach and a horizon of sunset waters and moonlight nights.

We spent one day traveling over to the east side to Kailua and Lanikai beaches. We went across the Pali Highway stopping at the Nu`uana lookout to see an expanse of Oahu's shores and the preceding valley. The view was breathtaking and the winds breezily restyling my hair. I caught a glimspe of the revered sea turtles. Kailua was so lovely and calm, we enjoyed the waters for much of the day.

We took a drive up Farrington Highway north to Kamehameha through the middle of the island to the North Shore over to beaches. We took time to look at the Dole Plantation which has an amazing maze, made a stop in Haie'iwa (Baywatch filming location), and spent a couple of hours to walk through the Audobon Center mauka to the Waimea Falls (a Jurassic filming location) and traversed all the way to James Campbell's National Wildlife Refuge which was closed due to the mating season. Some other films using Oahu locations are Lost, Hawaii 5-0, Jurassic Park, Fantasy Island, Wind Talkers, Baywatch, and Pearl Harbor.

We also went across Likelike Highway, parallel to the Pali, and went up the Kamehameha all the way past the Mormon area of Laie and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Likelike Highway had tunnels (Wilson) like the Pali (Nu`uanu Pali). We ventured south beyond Sandy Beach and the Maiona Blow Hole over to Hanauma Bay. Sandy Beach is sandy! In one breeze I was stung by the tiny pellets! The surf was rough too. Red flagged no swimming signs lined the shore where surfers took on the waves.

We then ventured north to see sights such as Kane'ohe Bay and the Chinaman's Hat, the Kualoa cattle ranch (Jurassic Park and Lost filming location), Sea Life Park; the beaches of Kahana, Punalu'u and Hau'ula, Sunset (filming of 50 1st Dates), Heeia State Park and the Crouching Lion town of Ka'a'awa. We reconnected with the 99 to Kunio to return to our place. We passed a lovely chapel where a couple was getting married. When we had left Waimae falls a wedding was beginning there, and when we returned to our place a wedding had just taken place on the beach.

We drove through Honolulu and Waikiki to take the challengingly arduous climb in the hot sun to Leahi (Diamond Head) Crater where again there was a great expanse of Hawaii's beauty before us. The husband remarked how it appeared that the texture of Oahu's mountains and hillsides were sculpted by mighty finger strokes. The handout explains our trail was a ".8 mile climb one way 560 feet from the crater floor". It involves uneven and steep dirt terrain of numerous switchbacks, sets of steep stairways, and a long grade of tunnel. Leahi, once used by the military, had lookouts built into it that we had to climb through to complete our trip to the top.

We took time to appreciate the Pearl Harbor area too - touring the somber USS Arizona, the 'Mighty Mo' and the Bowfin. The ship - the Nimitz - carrying the niece of our friends at home was docked there as well. They will be seeing her in San Diego this weekend. Our friend Darrick's ship - the Erie is currently in that area also. The Arizona tour gives you cards with the particulars on one who was lost on that infamous day. The husband had told me of an african-american cook that was quite the hero that infamous day. Oddly enough the lady sitting next to him on the boat that day had this seaman's card. She agreed to trade with me for Doris 'Dory' Miller. How kewl!

We caught up with Darrick and Jenn near the end of our trip. They just moved into their new home, in Ewa Bay. We walked from their house to the water's edge shop - the Barefoot Cafe - and spent the rest of the evening at their new place. They have a good life! It was great to be able to spend time with them.

When we weren't out and about on the road enjoying 99.5 'the jewel'. We were enjoying our own surroundings and made a few acquaintances of our own! It was not unusual to be flanked by sand crabs. Our beach was rough. Certainly not as tumultuous as Sandy Beach, the locals swam it in stride regardless. We, on the other hand, had to be more careful not to be swept away. We also shared the beach with the occasional fisherman, painter and walkers - even ball retrieving labradors.

Too soon we boarded another plane near noon Hawaii time and arrived home at midnight. It was a wonderful week; and while it is great to be home it was a precious blessing to have a time of peace and relaxation amidst the awesomely beautiful work of God's hands. It was a special anniversary celebration.

Fitness Footnote

'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey