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!

Fitness Footnote

'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey