Tuesday, December 9

full of thankfulness!

A day of Thanksgiving - well can it be with so much preparation involved? Yes, it can, if you do everything with a spirit of thankfulness. With as many trips as we had made to the store over the last few days, I was thankful we had everything we needed for the meal. The turkey was thawed and I got up early to finish the stuffing, stuff the bird, and put him in the oven. Then I could rest for a couple of hours - the remainder wouldn't take long. It was nice to be surrounded by helping hands of loved ones just happy to be sharing space and time together. We even had a chance to talk to Troy, their cousin, our nephew, and few other loved ones.

The meal was completed with sweet potatoes (started the night before), green beans, greens, fried corn, macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, sparkling and mulled cider. We served our plates and sat down at the table blessing the food, each of us speaking to what we were thankful for. An dutch apple pie baked in the oven, which we ate as room became available in our tummys. We had such a lovely time this last full day of our time away. We were in the midst of the beauty of God's earth.

It seems when we take these trips we come across unusual programming. Here we saw several episodes of Dirty Jobs, another Discovery channel offering. We saw snake habitats and crocodile habitats cleaned; clams shucked or whatever you call it and more. The shows we get hooked in - oh my!

We began the packing process; who was it we were taking back as much as we brought? Check out was 10 a.m. but us Norman's had a long drive ahead; we were hoping to be home by midnight. The Rodriguezes had a bit of a drive themselves. The next day we packed up the cars and headed on out, leaving our not so Ruidoso Camelot with Crown drive above. We stopped for breakfast at the local Denny's and then went our separate ways. They would stop in the Roswell (their pics) area on their way back to Texas.

We pretty much drove straight home. Having parcelled off all of the leftovers including the carcass for soup, all of us had turkey sandwiches for the road and snacks handy. The hubbi started off the drive and took us all the way into Arizona once again. He likes to collect caps, so we stopped in two Love's to add to his collection. As we left we saw the hill with the cross on top of it commemorating the Battle of Round Mountain. We saw some of the places we missed on White Sands day, and stopped by Eagle Ranch and a local road stop for my souvenoirs.

The skies seemed emotionally clouded at our departure, even shedding a few tears of rain along our way; yet there was a rosy glow as the sun went down on our vacation. I covered the Arizona span from Tucson, and the hubbi drove the rest of the way. Hours and hours later we made it home, shortly before midnight. It would be Saturday and we had time to re-adjust to the real world. It has been a wonderful escapade.

Sunday, December 7

an awesomely austere new mexican adventure

Ps. 139:17-18 — "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee."

As the eldest identified in the sand, we "were here!" to be remembered as long as a grain of sand is stationary. This big adventure was the trip to White Sands. Again, there was an aspect of New Mexico here that had just previously eluded me. It was here that the atom bomb was built - Los Alamos. It is here the NRAO Very Large Array, Johnson Space Center, the infamous UFO sghting at Roswell. It is here White Sands - you often hear about missiles being tested. It is here where there is the Carlsbad Caverns, petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, a volcanic past, and the gypsum of White Sands. There was once more not nearly enough time to see all of this, but we did see the majesty of White Sands gypsum.

The plan was to go to Cloudcroft and see the Sunspot Scenic Byway and a view of the Tularosa basin at the National Solar and Apache Point observatories, Trestle vista overlooking the Mexican Canyon, and Tunnel Vista. On the way, you passed a very recent attraction - the Inn of the Mountain Gods casino.

As we proceeded, the GPS seemed to have a penchant for indian reservations and frequently took us upon dirt and little travelled byways through flashflood zones and the like. This was not the road test we had in mind for Rondo. So we didn't expect highway244 to come to end and have to back track, but we did find a lovely little church there.

As we stopped for food, we didn't expect to parallel the highway on another backroad, backtracking once again. While it frustrated me, the navigator, and expended much of our day, we finally made our way to our destination. We cast aside the Tularosa Winery and the Eagle Ranch, only to pass highway 82 which would have taken us directly to Cloudcroft. Those weren't to be part of our day.

But we arrived at White Sands National Monument about 4pm. We drove into a wonderland of whiteness, at first there was plant life, but the deeper we went in, the scarcer it was. We were told not to rely on our sense of the direction or the sun. Gratefully, the GPS was working with us here. There was a stark loveliness here, and austere beauty - a world within a world. They set up an educational area that highlighted the animal and plant life in the area. It demonstrated how they could maximize solar power. It identified the types of munitions from testing fallout that one should leave alone if encountered here. There was also a play area too. Sledding was ideal.

See the album to capture the frontal views!

It was indeed an unusual drive to arrive at this place; but well worth it. Handsdown, we were all in agreement. It did not detract that we sighted the destinations we had missed on the way back. As the skies darkened and we meandered our way back to our place on high, we knew we had had quite a wonderful day. The next day would be Thanksgiving and, well, we were quite thankful. What an awesome God we serve!

stepping back into old new mexico

Land of enchantment - I was definitely enchanted with this area called New Mexico; amazed at the history in this place, the geological and other aspects of this land. I grew up on the tale of Smokey Bear, learning that "only you can prevent forest fires", but I didn't know the tale of that little bear cub.

I had learned a lot of native and mexican american history - mostly from TV because it was inaccurately, or poorly, or not taught in school - but was unaware how much of what I knew had taken place in this area - geography not being a strongpoint. Here there were Pancho Villa, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid (William H. Bonney), Geronimo, Buffalo Soldiers, Navajo Code Talkers of WWII and so much more. Other historical figures listed on the http://newmexico.org/western site are Archbishop Lamy, Charles Bent, Kit Carson, Willa Cather, Flying Priest, Greer Garson, Conrad Hilton, Mable Dodge Lujan, Fred Lambert, John Gaw Meems, Robert Ollinger, Millicent Rogers, Will Schuster, Carrie Tingley.

We took a step into some of this history the day after the Rodriguezes arrived, allowing them to rest and acclimate. I had a number of resources to plan our day trips, particularly the AAA tourbook, the New Mexico Vacation Guide 2008, and the Ruidoso Visitor Guide. For this expedition, we took the Rondo on the road northwest through the Hondo Valley onto highway 380 to Capitan. It was here that a little black bear (the state animal) was rescued from a forest fire, subsequently becoming the symbol for educating the public to prevent such disasters.

A little further up the road we head steep into history of the old west. Up that road was the most serene scenery, where I could easily imagine the deer and the antelope play and nary was heard a discouraging word and the clouds ..., well they did get cloudly at times. It was on this road, we saw elk.

But if you follow the history nary would not be quite accurate. Lincoln County had a rather feisty and turbulent past - Main Street called 'the most dangerous street in the West,' I believe. They had what was called the Lincoln County War - full of factions fighting factions. We walked down this street, getting a slight glimpse of the times. We further drove over to Fort Stanton from which soldiers came to intervene in that war under a new Governor Lew Wallace (author of Ben Hur), another aspect of those very times. Other noteworthy names are Sheriff Pat Garrett, cattle baron John Chisum, General John J. 'Blackjack' Pershing.

Hunger overtook us, so we made our way back to Ruidoso, amidst the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation to get some chow.

rudimentary in ruidoso

We had a few days to ourselves before those Rodriguezes arrived ;-). They would be leaving for our parts Sunday around midnight and arriving near noon Monday. We just really enjoyed the time basking in our surroundings and each other's company. As I mentioned we had certain creature comforts of home - so the guys were playing their games y estudiƩ el espaƱol. We brought a lot as we are in the habit of doing. We found the local store nearby - a Walmart - with everything else we would need. Amusingly enough, we made at least one trip every day - guess we're not used to not being at home; there was always something we thought we could use.

Oddly enough, I became very domestic - I made breakfast nearly every morning - hashbrowns, eggs, bacon and sausage - and kept the kitchen cleaned up. I walked around the facilities. I went over to the clubhouse every now and then to make sure all was right with the world on facebook and mobwars and the hubbi did some banking. But we also had cellular wireless connection which could be used right there in our accommodations.

The first day I had a headache - symptomatic of high altitude as we were 7000 ft up; after 24 hours I adjusted. We watched movies - The Mist (the book by Stephen King) - without the youngest; he was playing his games. What an intense (and I mean that in the most intense way imaginable) movie! I was pacing the floor and wondered how anyone could have sat through the amped up atmosphere of a theatre with that movie. It still was a great look at the human psyche under extreme circumstances.

By the time the Rodriguezes joined us we had regrouped from our long drive, were relaxed and acclimated. It would take them about a day and half to achieve the same. We had lovely weather - nice and warm fresh air slightly thin on oxygen. In the evening it cooled quite a bit and we cuddled up in our quarters by the fireplace - every day closer to Thanksgiving was a little cooler.

When they arrived, we watched a few more movies - Traitor, Hulk, Taken and Wall-E (the hubbi and I still have yet to watch this one). We played a few games - Carcassonne, Mille Bornes, and Spouse-ology. We enjoyed all the movie selections as well as the games. The Rodriguezes and the Normans tied in Spouse-ology. It was a lot of fun testing the strength of our marriages in this competition. The youngest learned and quickly grasped Milles Bornes, a game our family has played 3 generations now. We introduced the Rodriguezes to the intracacies of Carcassone on the initial level while indicating how enhanced it can become. The winner was undetermined, as we moved pieces off the board before it could clearly be determined.

That's pretty much it for the day-to-day activities. We made a couple of extracurricular outings - and those are yet to come!

Wednesday, December 3

the road to Ruidoso

We took off Friday morning hoping to have a couple of hours to spare before the offices of our accommodations closed in New Mexico. It was a pleasant ride - the youngest is a very good road buddy. We had food, we had music, we made restroom and gas stops - and we made away into the southwest - Blythe, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Cruces. I actually did a lot of the Arizona drive.

The scenery was indicative of an imaginative God with lively skies and wonderful mountainscapes and desert vegetation. The youngest can identify cactus. There was a section of mountains that the rock reminded me of "The Never Ending Story" - remember the rock guy - Rock Biter "Where-where-where I come from in the North, we used to have exquisite gourmet rocks. Only now... now, they're all gone." The formations had the same rounded shape. My S-I-L's favorite quote "They look like big, good, strong hands, don't they? I always thought that's what they were". A delightful movie; but I digress.

By Las Cruces, our Garmin was indicating our timing was tight - would we make it before Crown Point Condominiums closed. Oh yeah, we lose an our traveling into Mountain time. The youngest has been very amusing describing my stress as to whether we'd make and his dad trying to reassure me. A half hour away, I called to let them know our predictament; they were willing to make it so we could get a key to our place, even if they closed. However, in fact, we made it with minutes to spare.

We were using a timeshare with a full kitchen - so along with clothes, I packed a lot of things I preferred not to buy like seasonings, condiments, etc. You buy those things and you come back with double your need. Also while those places provide things like dish soap and stuff - usually more is needed, so I brought that too. So the Rondo (our car), same name as the Celtics basketball player, was packed to the gills with all the creature comforts of home - I even had a candle. I like places to have a familiar pleasant smell, so I bring my own. Didn't use it this time though, the clean fresh, woodsy air seem to more than suffice. I keep a bag with such things as these for when ever the ocassion arises - its filled with samples of things, like ketchup packets, lotion, aspirin, antacid, tissue - you name it. We unloaded Rondo and settled in for a night's sleep at Crown Point, Ruidoso, NM - our home away from home for the week to come - leaving most of the unrefrigerated fully unpacking for the next day.

Monday, December 1

Plum Loco RoadTrip

As I was lovingly reminded, it's been awhile since I've posted. I've actually penned one, but haven't uploaded it yet. But just back from New Mexico it's time to cover that trip. This is the first installment.

Plum Loco is a wine made in Deming, New Mexico. I actually acquired it in Alamogordo where wine is fine as well, along with pistachios. Tularosa wines were recommended too. I debated between my selection and a peach wine variety; the clerk convinced me to go with the plum. It's a sweet wine I found plum delicious. I'm intrigued enough to find some of these varieties online.

That intro leads me into our NM adventure. What a week! We traipsed into Ruidoso, also visiting White Sands Dunes, Capitan (did you know that was the origin of Smokey the Bear?), Fort Stanton, and old Lincoln NM. It turns out that New Mexico is a bevy of history and events that our travels only touched upon. I was quite impressed with that as much as its beauty and diverse people and landscape.

It proved to be an excellent opportunity to get away and relax, see some sights, enjoy family, and, well, take the new car out onto the open highway. Some might have thought our choice for a Thanksgiving week celebration was just plum loco; I think it was, as my dear son-in-law would say, Sweet!

The slides cover the aforementioned locations as well as the going to and fro and, well, our cast of characters.

Sunday, November 9


been so, so busy - thinking straight is hardly possible. but I wanted to take pause to salute our veterans. My thanks to you for what you've done for our country! The Lord bless and keep you, meeting you in every need.

Hopefully, I'll get a minute to unload the posts inside me, but this is it for now ...

Saturday, September 27

Rest in Peace Paul Newman!

Newman - director and a classic, genuine, and classy actor! This was Newman, from the beginning and even into the older years such as in Road to Perdition and in the role of Dodge in Message in a Bottle. Favorites of mine: The Silver Chalice, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, Absence of Malice, The Verdict, The Color of Money. There are so many more. He had a charm! He is one of the very few in the business that had a lasting marriage with Joanne Woodward, another gem of Hollywood, in a place that tore at so many! Rest in Peace.

Sunday, September 21

"Never Leave Your Partner Behind"

Having celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary, I'm looking forward to the opening of the marriage movie to see as the pinnacle of our reflection.

Check it out!

Monday, September 1

'Somebody Told Me'

I forgot to mention the song featured with yesterday's sermon. It was Teddy Pendergrass' Somebody Told Me. If you recall the words to the song, and bear in mind that the sermon's corresponding text was the parable of the talents, you might glimpse the message for yourself. I hadn't heard the song since my teens. Hearing it took me back to a time, made me really listen to the words, and made me think about the man who sang it. God is delivering messages to all of us. But, can we hear Him, though? And if so, let us not be hearers only.

Pendergrass after his accident ...

Sunday, August 31

Meandering at the close of the month ...

Coming off of a nice time away at our church leadership retreat, I'm feeling peaceful, hopeful, blessed. This was our second retreat, the first occurring Spring of this year. We looked over the past 6 months and by the grace of God, it was good. It was a 2-nighter where we had a couple of brainstorming sessions and we also relaxed and broke bread together, and enjoyed the tropical air and environment of Palm Springs, returning for Sunday morning service.

Another answer to prayer has been God's response to my job situation. I actually have a hard two weeks to look forward to, but the prayers of the saints in my behalf have been answered and God has heard my cry. Those weeks won't be any different than I originally anticipated; but I will. I moved from the majority report of the weeks to come to the Caleb report. My Lord will sustain me. Not that I doubted it, but I had wearied and I so needed that sense of Him. It will be the cornerstone of my holiday thoughts tomorrow - the verse below.

I have been blessed in the surge to have lost about 6 pounds. The challenge will have been these last few days and of course tomorrow. But I've increased my walking steps and managed well my nutrition over the past several weeks. I am encouraged. I already survived the test of a birthday party for a dear friend's husband where there was so much delicious food. And today, which I'll touch upon further was our church's monthly fellowship. I'm keeping myself accountable. I will forge ahead!

The husband and I just celebrated 9 years of marriage. I was recalling today, one of our initial encounters where he had really blessed me, and in doing so touched my heart. He was the speaker today at church. We had just returned straight from the retreat. It was a good sermon. And it was fellowship sunday, so it was nice kickin' it with everyone over food and faith. Another one of his train gang visited the church today; the other came a few weeks back. I really enjoy seeing new faces coming to the church, especially those who make it home. It was especially nice today because our Japanese sojourner, the husband's namesake is back home - he had been many months in the country he had long dreamed of. He has plans for his future and is trying to set everything in place. He came with two sisters with him today to enjoy hearing their dad speak.

I've gotten caught up in mob wars on facebook. What an addiction. And just when I thought I had it all in hand, some criminal tries to wipe me out and I scramble for hours to maintain my existence. What have I gotten into. Thank goodness for loyal mob members - I nearly died! I play a bit of wordscraper too - trying to keep the brain sharp. The husband thinks I've fallen for my lab top.

We actually celebrate our anniversary for 3 weeks. We went to the county courthouse and followed the occasion with a subsequent wedding and reception.

Summer is falling into Autumn as the last holiday of its time takes place. We'll (he'll) barbeque of course and hopefully we'll be blessed by the presence of loved ones. I have some housecleaning that day and then its back to life as usual.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29

Have a Blessed Labor Day Holiday

Wednesday, August 13

Blogger types?

My facebook mentions an interest in the phenomenological and scientific study of mental processes and behavior; I like studying people - what makes them 'tick'. Temperaments and personalities intrigue me. As such, checking my reader, blogging temperament caught my eye.

"* NT Rationals -- tend to blog most about what they think
* NF Idealists -- tend to blog most about what they feel
* SP Artisans -- tend to blog most about what they experience
* SJ Guardians -- tend to blog most about they do"
Check it out; it's based on the Kiersey temperaments. Find out what type you are, if you haven't guessed. Find out how they figure it out.

Me, I'm a IDEALIST Healer (INFP)- welcome to my world, but don't get me started! And note, I can lean Rational when I wanna.

Sunday, August 10

soldiers of entertainment ... flowers gone

I remember my folks talking about noteable people who had passed that had brought them something the loss of which would be well remembered. Now, I seem to be living in those days myself. The folks would say death comes in threes and wonder who might be next. In mere days, we have lost suddenly Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes.

Mom would sorrow over Isaac Hayes, loving hearing him sing with Dionne Warwick, and the song 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix'. Can't remember when, but I was with her when she saw him and Dionne perform. He left his mark on several generations in music with his resounding voice and in movies.

Of Bernie, it was commented (and I pictured in my mind) he is making more laughter in heaven. Maybe he was levity in a world of leaven and now he has taken his humor to heaven. Steve Harvey brought out what a family man he was beyond the comedian/actor entertainer that he was. The mark of a man - coming from a tough town in a tough time, he has succeeded at what matters most in the love of those he leaves behind - a wife of many years, daughter, and grandchild. And he left us many a chuckle and smile. Rest in peace.

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one.

These stars, beyond us now, shined brightly on many a generation. The essence of the petals falling from their stem of life will be a long time fading.

Tuesday, August 5

Escalation of commitment

Mounting a surge calls for a dedication to fully resource an effort or goal. There are actualizations we all would like to accomplish; but are we committed. I want to acquire a healthier weight; but am I committed? I want to obtain a higher level of learning degree; but am I able to even to stretch to the extent called for? It was my own efforts that gave me pause for thought ...

Jesus said to Peter [John 21], 'do you love (agape - like I love you, unconditionally) me' to which the response was 'yes, you know my affection for you'. Again He asked getting the same response. A third time He questioned Peter - 'are you fond (have affection for - denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling [Strongs]) of me'? Was some increased level of uncertainty accompanying a saddened Peter's third reply?

I'm sorry Lord for the thing I made it [Heart of Worship]

Mine has been colored so; is your commitment sad?

What are you committed to? It's easier to say than to do. It's not the thought that counts at the end of the surge; it's the actualization.

Answer this, what are you willing, or not willing, to do?

If this is really your response to this desire of your heart or another, how are you really responding to Christ?

An escalation of commitment requires evidence of an all-out, unconditional, dedicated response. Lord stay me I pray!

Saturday, August 2

The Surge

Will it work?

I confess, the weightloss in-roads are only a past memory. The holidays mounted a subtle counterattack and my forces retreated. I have since re-engaged without substantial results. The troops are going to have to hold their own and through the coming holidays!

Sooooo.... I'm mounting a surge! Yes, a surge. Will we be able to call it a success? We shall see. But the only casualty I expect are the clothes that will become too small for me! The measure of success will be not having to gain control without expending troops for a lifetime - to be able to manage comfortably.

I didn't just re-commit. For about the past few months I've been trying to get back on track to little scaleable avail. This is the first month I've made my 5000 monthly step/day average; actually 2nd, this month's per day average was plus 800. I'm beginning to work the calories successfully. But when you look at the measurements, there's no evidence.

So what does the surge consist of? It started with a revelation. I was doing this on my own. Suddenly, I went to the Lord acknowledging I couldn't do this. I asked Him to help me. I've redone my measurements - my goodness, how disappointing. I've lightly restructured my program, adding some aerobic exercise in addition to walking - I had all but eliminated that. I've fortified my determination to depend on the Lord. There's a program that I will incorporate to some degree, and that's First Choice. I continue to use Sparkpeople; it's been the base of my first successful thrust. Some at the workplace had a contest last month just to weigh in each week and a prize goes to the one in loses the most after a period of time. Another contest starts this month which I will join.

Already this week I've lost 3 pounds. If I can carry that into the Monday, that'll be great. Monday is my high in the week and Friday morning usually the low. It is not important to weigh everyday, but for me it's helps me to know what page I am.

Pray for me to successfully engage, and to maintain, and to keep the Lord as the source of my strength. I will keep you advised on the effects of the surge.

Thursday, July 31

Time Continuum

With time being an intrigue of both the husband and mine, I am realizing just how our DVD collection with regard to time has continued to expand, not per se deliberately. What triggered this notion was the watching of the recent acquisition, Stargate Continuum. The closing words of a song, life is but a dream, comes to mind, but with merry-less intense rowing. Let me just say, even beyond the story, I found extremely enjoyable being re-acquainted with years of key characters and too what they chose to do with them.

The disc also has a piece 'layman's guide to time travel' with astrophysicist Jayme Matthew discussing aspects used in the movie such as the grandfather paradox and parallel universes. Very interesting and in the movie captivatingly employed!

I'm gathering a list of time travel movies we have not previously mentioned.

Saturday, July 26

common threads of the called ...

This Sunday, the husband is preaching, and I always look forward to his message. Our little church is doing rather well, as we try to seek where the Lord is taking us. The leadership is working its way through Break Out Churches, discerning the qualities of leadership that are key to not church growth, but to thriving ministry - "It is a sin to be good if God has called us to be great...". It is very enlightening.

Communion Sunday, we are looking forward to hearing from a former member. Both he and the husband and Louis Migneault (who has come on board to serve with us), not necessarily concurrently, have completed the ETP (Evangelism Training Program), our denomination local body’s way of developing and fostering ministers. The book above, was one of their reading assignments. We often have guest speakers who have evolved through this program including Benton Mulder and Rick Roeda. Keep the program and its teacher, the pastor of the Moreno Valley church in prayer – it is an invaluable program. I, myself, as a ministerial wife too gained much by mere association.

Andrew, since completing the program, is now in ministry at the CRC church in Riverside, Hope. He since also married (his wife also attended our church) and has a son. Andrew is fondly remembered by those who were members then for his good nature, humor, and penchant for gadgets. He is most remembered for his love of Christ and heart to reach the lost. His last name is Holybee (busy buzzing about Jesus) :-). See you next Sunday, Andrew.

Saturday, July 19

the firm fishbowl ...

There is a world that exists ... many places of employment have a world ... but specifically the husband's company has a world unique unto themselves despite the similarities with Ohio and San Francisco offices, other firms, other jobs. And like the world of Stargate, Atlantis has visitors from outside - every now and then family and spouses enter the firm's world, or should I say off-world - most regularly twice a year for the Christmas and Summer event. I look forward to them.

This year the summer event was at the Aquarium, which is experiencing its 10th anniversary. The husband and I observed the otters, the urchin-like creatures, puffins, and the little jellyfish parachutes (remember 'Sphere') and explosions (well actually that was what the last two things looked like - you'll see them in the pix of the remains of the day). We also observed the shark tank and the pool where you could touch fish, some who looked like extras from 'Finding Nemo'.

Then we had dinner upstairs with all the attendees. Again, I was able to see people I've met over the years - Jillian, Darryl, Ana, Maria, etc. This world they've created has been 5 years in the making. The food was good, the company great, the day a success! I look forward to the next company event.

My thanks to Roni (Bless You!) - our youngest was turned into a pool shark while we explored the Pacific (pardon the billiards pun).

Sunday, July 13

Being a Christian blogger

and also being on Facebook, I joined the Christian Bloggers Network. There are now approximately 500 blogs listed on the Christian Bloggers Network and I am now one. If you resemble this group, CBN is also available for you to join. I actually found it at Think Christian which link I posted on FB.

I was also pleased to join The Proverbs 31 Woman, Bible Gateway group, Christian Apologetics Research Ministry.

See you Facebookers on FB.

Saturday, July 12

As the vacation days ebb ...

some of the highlights were.
  • went out for breakfast
  • went bowling at the Brunswick Lanes and had a ball (pardon the pun). Bowled 2 games and then the husband and I did one more set while the kids checked out the arcade. I had a slow start and finally got on a roll the 3rd game with a spare, strike, and 2 more spares, but in the 10th frame 2nd roll I needed 1 pin to get 100 and threw a gutter ball. *sigh*
  • Disneyland/California Adventure.

FCS Premiere's Tomato Sawyer's & Huckberry Larry's Big River Rescue

Once again we visited the Family Christian Stores for one of their events. Today they premiered the latest VeggieTale DVD - Tomato Sawyer & Huckberry Larry's Big River Rescue. It delivers a very resonating message to the viewers. Our Senior won the store event's raffle prize - the DVD itself. All the children received coloring pages, each family a poster, and also a DVD of Veggietales' Penguins to the first 9 arrivals (we were running late, but still qualified). We're home now with additional purchases, going through our loot. I was able to add The Power of Praying to my Stormie Omartian collection for $5 as a FCS Member.

Don't forget to check out the Veggietales Review and the opportunity to win the Big River Rescue.

Friday, July 11

I'll be your Huckleberry!

Wonder of wonders! The youngest and I were going to the Family Christian Store tomorrow to see the new Veggietale. Lo and behold today I came across this free offer on the internet. If you have veggietale fans, you might want to check out VeggieTales Review. It's only for a limited time, if you are interested. Enjoy Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry!

Thursday, July 10

landed a disney hoppin' adventure

We received a Disney hopper blessing complete with fastpass via the mom of a friend of the husband and had a wonderful day. We got up early to meet the mom and stopped at Denny's to have breakfast. The strategy was not to pay exorbitant food prices in the amusement park. With a solid meal, we began our amusement in Disneyland and continued to traverse the two parks all day. We took a break for lunch at Popeye's where we met a christian father and son. It was clear the Lord had our day well in hand.

You are greeted by very informative motivated green toy soldiers. We Screamed, we went on Space Mountain and autotopia (the youngest was all over the road and stalling), we river rafted joined with another christian family, fought alongside Buzz Lightyear, and much much more. We were wet, rolled, spun, jerked, tossed to and fro. We rode the train around a lot because we knew we would be walking heavily all day. I actually got in 21,000 steps! I haven't been to Disneyland since long before California Adventure opened. So it was a day of the familiar and new. We tried to partake of the Indiana Jones attraction, but scheduled ourselves out of the ability to do so. We did however start and end our California Adventure with the new in June Toy Story (with a Potato Head prelude) attraction which is a LOT of fun!

The day closed with us thankful and grateful, and with ever so sore limbs and gaming fingers and, of course in July, with fireworks! Blessings to you, Roni and Minnie!

Sunday, July 6

You oughta Meet the Browns

First let me say happy birthday to my eldest! Love you, Princess! Make each moment a makeover! ;-)

Now Tyler Perry is at it once more, with Meet the Browns - you'll be with the likes of family. The cast is chock full of surprises - I particularly enjoyed discovering one of them was who played Suge Avery in the movie, The Color Purple - a Margaret Avery who has done a host of films herself. Check out what I said about her in my Diary Music post. You have basketball star and actor Rick Fox, the very talented Angela Bassett, Ms. Jenifer Lewis (remember her in The Preacher's Wife - well she has a lot of work under her belt), and David and Tamela J. Mann, spouses, who have a history of Tyler Films.

While being crazy along with Madea's cameo, this is a different Tyler, but the movie speaks of kinfolk and friends, strugglin', raising children in difficult environments and tough love, and much more. Some critics say its a step back, but I think its an expansion of Tyler. Angela took you right into her role. For me, she and the Browns touched the heart of home.

Look for more from Tyler according to imdb.com -
  1. A Jazz Man's Blues (2009) (pre-production)
  2. Madea Goes to Jail (2009) (filming)
  3. The Family That Preys (2008) (filming)

Friday, July 4

Summa Daze

It's been really really hot. The weather has been of note all around the world over the past months. We are in the midst of the 2nd summer holiday, Independence Day, watching the movie of the same title. Our home is especially low key this year. We have two of the four girls, one staying with us for a little vacation and the other bringing her friend Jake. The husband's namesake is in Japan right now; wonder how it feels to be away on July 4th. When I was an AFS summer exchange student, I spent a July 4th in Denmark. But, back to the subject on hand. Our dogs take fireworks as a personal attack, so I usually spend much of the evening soothing their sensitivities. It has overall become a pretty low-key holiday for me. The husband is cooking ribs that I of course marinated. They should be succulent soon.

For memorial day the cousins got together. My mom's sister's sons were here with 2nd cousins too. I believe on the east side (U.S.) my cousin's sister's crew was getting together with my sister's family along with more family. I needed the ability to cam in away that we could all see each other at the same time; but alas. Too, I very much regret I didn't get in contact with my brother's son. I understand he and his girlfriend spent the day at his mom's, and his girlfriend is very lovely. I hope to meet her soon. We watched the game between San Antonio and the Lakers - I'm not a fan of Duncan but, considering the alternative of Kobe, I was a Spurs fan that evening and routed for Tony Parker. It was nice to spend time with my one cousin's new wife and with my cousin's crews in general. There were crew in the age range of the youngest too, so they spent most of the time upstairs having fun.

The next holiday is Labor Day, and we'll be on a retreat. So we use holidays to enjoy family, relaxing, and getting away - but most importantly to remember the reason for the day and count our blessings.

The youngest is off-track before beginning the 4th grade - we are spending the next week on vacation for some family time. He has already enjoyed Wall-e. With the gas prices and all, we have some localized day trips planned; won't be too far away from home. I'll let you know how these things go. Have a blessed holiday and a blessed summer.

L.A. Urban Radio

I listened to KDAY, most particularly Steve Harvey’s show because it is on when I go to work and the music is more in line with my taste then than the station’s other times of day; V100; Hot 92.3 and the black-owned KJLH (which I can’t always get because the signal doesn’t come in as strong). I listened to them all because they have different things to offer. I’m not so much into hip hop or rap – more old school, R&B, gospel and jazz. In April, V100 was taken from us, one of the more outspoken – with the likes of Michael Baisden, a strong voice of Black America. What replaced V100 is not worth listening to and removed from my set stations.

KDAY reached out to the audience and changed some of their own programming.
” Through an unprecedented partnership with Radio One, 93.5 KDAY is going to be bringing you more personalities and features that you enjoy listening to such as T.D Jakes, Donnie McClurkin and Comedy Queen Monique.”
One of the changes I am enjoying is the Donnie McClurkin show. What a breath of fresh air. I get to hear some Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Winans, Kirk Franklin, Donnie, and others to start my day. The Los Angeles area is seriously parched of gospel music radio. For a minute there I thought the Steve Harvey Morning show was gone, but it just starts after Donnie. I hear Steve on my Friday off – and enjoy not only his show and ample dose of laughter, but his spiritual message as well.

These stations stay on pulse with an important aspect of the urban community need. Michael, Cliff, the entire V100 crew, still, you’re missed.

Tuesday, June 24

Civic Minded

Well no, the boy is not under arrest! LOL

He's on a field trip to the City's Lewis' library dedicated to King, the police department, and City Hall. The husband, Dad ,went too. Already a card carry member of the library and former attendee of City Planning Commission meetings, only the police department was new; praise God :-) Dad said it was quite a day, especially since the temperature was in the triple digits!
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Monday, June 23

youngest closes third grade on a high

With one more day of school, the third grade rolled into the auditorium for awards. Two of our neighbors were amongst them. It has been a busy year - field trips to Mary Vagle Nature Center, San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Lewis Library/police department/City Hall with his former planning commissioner dad; talent show; being qualified to test for GATE; and monthly assemblies. Today lunch is being provided by In N Out. Tomorrow they will be watching the Spiderwick Chronicles.

But his class all sat to collect their awards for the year from his teacher and the new vice-principal with other classes; and he had three - Exemplary School Year Performance in Social Studies, Proficiency Award for the third trimester, and Outstanding Achievement for Academic Proficiency all three trimesters. Mrs. Rangel was an excellent teacher. It's been a good year!

Friday, June 13

A Star is born?

a young boy made his singing debut last night in his elementary school auditorium. He chose to sing 'Apologize' by Timbaland. In the midst of other singing acts, young and cultural dances, pianists and more - he presented himself to the world. He said "I'm just enjoying singing". And sing he did. He tried out a week ago, and had been rehearsing from that point forward. Here is our youngest and a memorable night.

The third place performance was a friend of his who also sang a song. The performances tied for second place was choreagraphed karate and a group of four dancers, and first place was an adorable 2nd grader playing 'fur elise' on the keyboards.

Here he is (sorry its sideways; didn't know how to fix that) ...

Saturday, May 17

Empirious pearlz of honest to goodness service!

An Honest Mechanic - you can find one, very much so! We've been going to the same one for years! In all reality he resurrected both of our cars from the dead; one by one he returned them to us in working order. We have been with him ever since. If something mysterious is going on, he'll find. He doesn't nickel and dime us. He's up front and he does good work. Even our children will drop their cars by there for a look see. Joe's Stop Brake Shop has been the salvation of our transportation, and he's saved too, letting his walk be his talk.

I'm so comfortable going to Turn 'n Headz to get my hair done - its like a mental vacation and a pleasant walk into the warmth and comraderie of Barber Shop. In reality I'm usually there early in the morning with Lynn, and I've seen her do short hair, long hair, cuts, color and weaves. I relax with a cup of coffee while she restores me, whether its a casual look or to 'the nines', to my best lookin' me - outside and inside . Her hands are gifted and she has an eye for style and her company is a breath of fresh air. I look forward to going. She is not only my stylist, she's a blessing and my friend! My son even goes to the shop to have a barber cut. I like that the stylists have skillz, and especially take particular care about their work and don't just turn around customers. I've seen them give their customers the best hair care advice, whether or not it was to their own profit. More than likely, if there's something you want to achieve, the Shop does it and more! Now if you want to top off your day just right, go next door to Moe's Chicken and Waffles - its a warm and friendly family owned business with some good food!

Finally on the hundred degree day, I am really grateful we found our spa. Today, we needed a part, called them up, and were able to go right over to pick it up. Being me, I had a few what about if this happens questions, and they amiably gave us the answers we needed. In the state of the economy some spa retailers are folding, but the strength of their service and customer feedback keeps them open. And you can pretty much custom order the design of your spa. If you are looking for that massage from a hard day or just the quiet gentle motion of water on a starry night, they have the jacuzzi. We actually saw what we would like to step up to - the swim spa. It was nice and the price was nice. Even if you don't buy there, you'll have the standard from which you'll make your decision. If you buy somewhere else, you'll end up remembering you didn't buy there ;-). Where? Spas Plus in Colton! Go for the warm and informed customer service and the spa you always wanted!

I went to two of these treasures today and felt moved to share all these gems with you. If you're guessing what the second was, let me just say I am not looking my best today. At any rate, if you check any of these Inland Empire businesses out, let them know you heard about these pearlz from Shelz!

Monday, May 12

Groom's mom pix

Mother of the groom didn't take the highest quality of picture - but here's a look at the goings on.

Saturday, May 3

continuing in prayer for Barbara

I dedicate this to Barbara and to my two co-workers quietly fighting cancer as well, Joyce and Cindi, and to all who are called upon to bravely battle against this insidious disease. I am so glad my friends know our Christ Jesus. May the Lord give you strength and peace and above all victory!

Thanks for surrounding me with prayers yesterday as we went to see the surgeon. I truly felt the peace of God as I was there. I read the Psalms in my prayerbook while waiting and wading through the paperwork process and I felt calm when the surgeon came to talk to us. My oncologist had warned me that he did not think the surgeon would be able to help, hence he kept hesitating on the referral. However, the surgeon was straightforward and positive about what he COULD do to help me. He said I formerly had at least 20 sites of cancer in my liver and now there are 6 remaining. Those 6 are all on one side. He recommends cutting out that 1/2 of the liver. He says now is the time as my latest PET shows the cancerous activity beginning again. He feels the chemo. has gotten rid of the other 14 spots but these 6 are 'chemo. resistant' ie have mutated to avoid death by chemo. He said I need to be off the chemo. for one month to clear it out of my body so it will not interfere with the surgery. My last infusion was April 11 and I was suppose to have another infusion this Friday but now I may not. I see my oncologist tomorrow and Erik plans to go with me again so we can see what dr. thinks regarding the surgeon's recommendations. I could be headed for surgery mid-May or early June. YIKES and yet I have to say I am excited that there is something to be done vs. just being told to keep taking chemo. that obviously was beginning to loose its efficacy. The surgeon of course gave his grim statistics about people who have been through this before me. He said 85-90% will have return of cancer in the liver because although the 14 sites are gone, not visible to the scan, in reality they are still in there somewhere just microscopic so eventually they will revive and come back. Of course I am seeking your prayers that those spots will NEVER come back! I already believe that God has removed them! There remains one/two spots on my lung and the surgeon said we should plan on having the pulmonologist remove those surgically too. Soooo it looks like lots of cutting to be done on my body and I know I will go through fears but right now I can say that your prayers for guidance have been answered, your prayers for peace are working! I never would have been this brave w/out the angels God is sending to sustain me. Keep up the fight for us! I was actually smiling during the appointment, only to look at my sweet Erik and see tears brimming as he was once again faced with the fragility of my existence. That was actually the hardest part of my day. I hate this disease in that everyone suffers along with me. We all hurt together because we are one body in Christ. I will keep you updated as we know more. For sure we are going to need your continued support to get through this next surgery and beyond. Thank you all for your willingness to help us in this longterm battle! I love each of you dearly!! To God be ALL Glory. Barbara
FRIDAY, MAY 02, 2008
Here's the latest. Erik went with me to the oncologist on Wednesday afternoon and the dr. agreed with all that the liver surgeon had discussed with us. Sooo he cancelled my chemo. which I would have received today and he texted a message over to the surgeon that I am to be scheduled for surgery any day after May 11. We need specific prayer that the cancer will not grow during this one month break from chemo. , that we can get all the details of our life in order for this next surgery, and that the surgery will be successful and uncomplicated. It is all happening so fast but we know the presence of God in the midst of this journey. Thanks for standing with us as we claim my healing in Jesus' name!
If you in this struggle as well for yourself or someone else, Caringbridge looks to be an place of oasis to unload ones thoughts and gain the prayers of others.

Thursday, May 1

'Compacency Kills'

was the theme of Fontana's community prayer breakfast this morning.

People around the nation took and are taking time to pray. I found myself again at the Woman's Club, although this time I had a brief moment on stage lending my voice to the altos of the ecumenical choir; Ace was singing soprano, of course. The choir itself practiced only twice on two songs - 'Let there be Peace on Earth' and 'God Bless the USA'. Pastor Dan Burr of Crossroads Community Church, who I've always seen at these events over the past years, whipped us into shape in short order making us a meaningful and moving contribution to the program. The most moving offering for me was he, his son Aaron, and a Donald Hayes, 'the Crossroads Three', resonating the room with 'Shine on Us'. His wife Karen was also an alto in the choir; our two churches have been closely linked in years past.

This was the first prayer breakfast without Bea, and yet her presence was felt. I was saddened - she and I would always say we would get together for lunch, yet it never happened. Bea caused the cream in coffee to rise in people; she glowed with the sweetness of the Lord. It was a blessing to have her memory with us today. As a side note, it is my understanding that the local post office in South Fontana has been dedicated to Bea Watson's memory. Bea, let's have lunch! My thoughts and prayers are with you Larry.

To get back on point, the theme 'Complacency Kills' was based on Psalm 28:7. Scriptures were also shared from the Torah, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Morman, and the Holy Qur'aan (read in native tongue and english). Councilwoman Janice Rutherford Lim was MC. While Mayor Mark Nuaimi, although expected, was unable to be present, Councilman John Roberts was also present. Many people from Fontana and other local civic offices were also present. I recognized many and appreciated seeing many, like an representative from Amina Carter's office. The place was filled - it was truly the crux of our community in faith and culture.

Fire Department Division Chief Thom Wellman gave the keynote address on 'Complacency Kills'. I was convinced in his closing that complacency absolutely does kill, that it is an innocuous and pervasive parisite void of shape, smell, form and yet deadly. He compared it to nuclear fallout I believe. He spoke to time, distance, shielding; tactics used to survive nuclear exposure. Limit exposure, get as far away from it as possible, and shield from any exposure to it at all; especially when options one and two are diminished. He pointed out that due to the inconspicuous nature of complacency, we need our friends to identify we are tainted with it. It is difficult to identify for ourselves. He said complacency begins with a choice which in essence we commit to which leads to compromise. The point though is that in this day and age we must actively avoid the deadliness of complacency. Since, it cannot be laced with an identifiable odor like household gas, I agree. How horrible it would be to become complacent, to embrace lukewarm living, to invisibly expose others to deteriorated values and a diseased moral standard. That alone is enough to bring me to my knees.

Each table had a time to pray together about concerns we face in common. One specific of ours was to protect our children in the schools from violence and from inappropriate and harmful teaching, girding them up to identify and withstand such things and to be lights in darkened environments - that they would be protected from the fiery darts that surround them from day to day.

I was blessed for having been there and certainly glad to take the time with others to go before the Lord in this time of prayer.

Monday, April 28

an HP relay

Last night ended a series of Harry Potter viewings. We have a nice little clasped case that holds five years, an interactive game, HP bookmarks, bonus DVD and more. Prior to this I had only seen most of one. We still have to go through the 'extras' on the DVDs.

The husband came across "Harry Potter and the Way of Jesus" in the Banner, published for the CRC by Faith Alive Christian Resources, a member of the Associated Church Press and the Evangelical Press Association. I confess although I linked it here for reference, I haven't read the article yet. According to the husband however, as part of his sermon this past Sunday, the author J.K. Rowling is a christian. I wasn't aware of that. I recall all the hoopla about the books not to long back and the question of whether christians should even entertain this fantasy around sorcery. I leave that for a christian grounded in the Word, like myself and the husband, to decide for themselves. I know that some so grounded would conclude differently than I, some aligning it with the stuff one should flee. I constantly examine the issue, aware of how seductive things of darkness can be, especially for the children. If in fact you cannot prepare or arm, protect! FLEE!

While the husband and I participated in the relay, we waited until the youngest was indisposed to view it. Of the mind that we should not so much shield our children from this world, but arm them for it, we nevertheless feel that he'll need to reach a certain age of readiness to prepare him for all that the realm of sorcery entails and how its role in this 7-book series. Probably before the final two years become films, he will be ready.

So the two of us watched years one through five - The Sorcerer's Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, and The Order of the Phoenix. As the story follows Harry Potter in these years at academy, like his age they become increasingly sobering. They deal with loss of loved ones, of aloneness, of friendship - the bond and its strengths and its struggles, of abandonment, of responsibility, of the triumph and trump card of love, and the usual good and evil, and so many of the things a child may experience as prepares for an adult life. There were some intensely spiritual moments. For these reasons and because it was so very well done, I thoroughly enjoyed the DVDs. Each one always captures your attention in the opening segment of the story. The serial does an excellent job of maintaining characters and introducing new ones, developing a story that is consistent while intertwining into the lives of this array of people in Potter's world.

I hope that you have a chance to read the article, I know I'll get around to it, and to enjoy the the Harry Potter series in one form or another. For me, its similar to the likes of the Lord of the Rings lore, and Lewis' Narnia - I love good storytelling. For the sure-footed who enjoys fantasy genre, this is 'good stuff'. I look forward to sharing it when the young one develops feet of doe. Meanwhile, we'll settle for the Prince Caspian premiere in a few weeks.

Sunday, April 27

Let the games begin ...

Ever since the eldest and SIM introduced us to Settlers of Catan, the husband and I have been on a tangent. They having also given the youngest The Settlers of Canaan, we've acquired a taste and penchant for this type of game. Reading up on all of these games, we took a chance on Ark of the Covenant and were delighted. Ark does not have add-ons and, because of that, leaves you wanting still to play. It ends far too quickly.

We researched more and found ourselves wondering about the source game. These games were fashioned after Carcassonne, a game with many, many add-ons as is Catan. At boardgamerevolution, I found the bundle of a lifetime and the husband quickly maneuvered to get it as soon as possible - the basic game and river expansion as well as the four major expansions: Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders, Princess & Dragon, and The Tower - for nearly half of the going price, needless to say far less than buying each separately. If you like board games, check Carcassone out. If you like this type of strategy game, the add-ons expands the appeal to whet many gaming appetites. We are looking into getting even more expansions. You can't beat what Boardgamerevolution offers.

The husband and I played this weekend starting with the base game and the river. Wow! We added inns and cathedrals. Woah! Then we added the princess and the dragon, and played that one with the youngest. The only one we have left to play is the tower. The game is designed for 2-6 players age eight and older. Finally so far we added traders and builders. Each expansion adds new dimension and playing time to the game. It requires intensive concentration but not beyond the abilities of an eight-year old. It has the element of chance as well as mental challenge. It whiled away hours in which I was experiencing unrelated physical discomfort. It was a delightful if not sometimes exasperating diversion. It was great to be able to put my mind on something else.

We've become passionate Carcassone addicts! We'll be playing for years to come! If I'm not blogging, answering my emails or phone, I'm probably gone ... deep into the roman and medieval southern french city of Carcassonne!

For tonight though we'll be pottering away at our Harry dvd collection. Stay tuned for the update. Toodles.

Saturday, April 26

continuing in prayer ...

continue to keep our dear friend lifted up to our Holy Physician!

Blessed be the name of the Lord-when the sun is shining down on me and the world is all as it should be, Blessed be HIS name. Blessed be HIS name on a road marked with suffering and when the darkness closes in on me still I will say 'Blessed be HIS name'.
Have you all heard this song? I echo it and sing it often.
This week I have had to put it into practice as I received the results of my scan. It was not what I expected. Dr. called to say that this scan showed 'activity in the liver, not longer a negative scan rather a positive, must stay on this two types of chemo. that I currently have been on.' As you can imagine this was a blow to me, as since my battle began I have always received good news after every scan. My emotions were raw and I felt shock, denial, frustration, disappointment and great sadness. But only for a day! Then my dear patient husband, my best friend, my angel Lili, and my incredible parents picked my spirits up and allowed me to cry but get back on track with HOPE IN THE SAVIOR. I am now able to look at the positives again. The good news is that my CEA count is still in the normal range, the dr. said there are no new growths visible in the CT scan which correspond to the activity visible in the PET scan, and he did not suggest that I need to return to the heavy intense chemo I was on originally. So those are all things I can be happy about! I also have an appointment with a liver surgeon this Monday. Erik will go with me and we will see if I am a candidate for that or not. I see my chemo. dr. on Wed. and will have an infusion on Fri. Soooo lots of opportunity to ask questions and get opinions. I would sure appreciate prayer for guidance as it is hard to know how much confidence to place in drs. We know our LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST is truly our only hope and I know HIS healing is complete. I extend to all of you my eternal thanks for your continued support and prayers. I would have given up if it were not for the incredible love you have reached out with to me. I am actually feeling great and am blessed with energy to work, take care of my darling five, and spend time with family and friends. The kids are all well, playing baseball so we are busy with practice and games, schoolwork.... Life is happy here and we are keenly aware of how much grace God has given us in response to your steadfast prayers. God bless each of you!!

Friday, April 25

Take the Youngest to Work day

well child wise, there's only the youngest left - and he hadn't been to 'Take To Work Day' yet. He had severe stomach upset the day before, but he was feeling a little better that day. It was a good thing he did, because he had a wonderful day.

First we arrived about 6:15 a.m. We went to the cafeteria to have breakfast. He had ham and eggs and a donut, while I ordered a breakfast croissant. Guess he was feeling better. He made the first pot of coffee for the office, and threw out grains during the day. He met our section engineers. supervisors and managers, our support group for them, my supervisor, and manager.

There were things for the kids to do from 9:00 to 10:30. My secretary took him and four others around. I tried to catch up with them with yet another charge. The section was having a safety walkthrough which might not have been as stimulating to participate in. Instead a Mars rover rolled over him and he participated in a stage show about liquid and ice and how light bounces off of them, etc. to name a few.

He went to the employee store and saw all the things available there; my secretary came back with a bag of stuff for him. My secretary had him typing on a typewriter - he had never seen one - wow! He communicated with his B-I-M and dad on my computer. We picked up lunch at Panda Express and gased the commuter van returning to the office to share our meal. It was a busy day at the office for the youngest and his stomach was beginning to stir again. Home just in time!

Family tree branches

spring blooms...
  • The Giant is engaged - yes, its true! The young lady lives in our community and will become his wife May 10th. She's excited, to say the least. They'll have a celebration of the event in the area later. Meanwhile, it's Whidbey for Mother's Day weekend.
  • The oldest nephew has a new one to this world. My great nephew is quite a cutie.
Life finds a way

Vices = Virtues Corrupted

Went to a "The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian - A Ministry Tool" presentation for church leaders by FCS. The movie opens Friday May 16th and I'm very excited about seeing the movie now, and excited to extol the christian themes. There were trivia questions you probably know the answer to - what name did C.S. Lewis go by? What was the name of the group of writers he hung out with? I discovered the next movie will be "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader".

The most important point was that this second Narnia film will be another great opportunity for ministry. FCS had an excellent video presentation; I was particularly impressed with
  • gaining a more in-depth understanding of who the author was
  • A segment featuring Lewis' son, Douglas Gresham
  • the discussion of his late in life short-lived marriage due to her early demise and the resultant publishing of his "A Grief Observed" by his friend T.S. Eliot, an unadulterated insight into his process of loss.
  • A trailer of the movie - which looks very captivating and brings familiar and new characters and places.
On May 3, Family Christian Stores (FCS) will be featuring a sneak preview of the movie, which you should take you children to. There are always prizes at these events. As a matter of fact (winking at Nicole), I left with two very good prizes from this presentation; one called "Following Prince Caspian" and the other "Believing in Narnia"!

They will be featuring Narnia and many C.S. Lewis books and materials over the coming month. There are coupons and discounts at these events and throughout the months as well. If you sign up for their mailing list, you'll receive them regularly. With a 25% discount I purchased a wonderful "Chronology of Narnia" and the Lewis work on grief. I also purchased from a varied selction, a 2" thick handbook on "What the Bible is all About" for the member price of $5.00. Membership has its privileges :-)

I encourage you to take advantage of making the most of "Caspian" for yourself and those you encounter. Gresham describes vices as virtues corrupted reminding me that when Adam and Eve were in the garden; their lives were afterward spent outside of it due to corruption. See the story unfold the faith, hope, and love, and other virtues in its characters and how those virtues can become corrupted. Then take what you receive to another level and read the other classics of and deeper works of Lewis.

Happy Narnia travels!

Sunday, April 20

We ARE the Ones!

My friend and hairdresser sent me this, because we are the ones ...

She noted that Zoe Kravitz is daughter to Joe Kravitz and Lisa Bonet. There are a host of other 'well knowns'in the video too.

By the way, did you see Michelle Obama on the Colbert show - she IS a classy lady!

Thursday, April 10

Please keep our friend in prayer. Her husband and mine have been friends since childhood; they have 5 children. She is courageously walking in faith in a valiant battle with cancer.

Hi Dearest Ones,
How are you enjoying life in this gorgeous season of Spring?! I am drinking in the warmer weather and smiling at every flower and little hummingbird I see. God's creation is magnificent and it is all around us.
I am happy to report that our GREAT GOD is continuing to graciously heal me! I saw dr. today and my cea count registers at 1.4 which is normal for a healthy person. He calculated how long I have been 'in remission' and it is 9 months!! I asked him if he could start weaning me off of the chemo. and if that was a wise thing to do. He said at this point it is very hard to know what is wise because we are in 'uncharted waters'. He then said in light of the 9 months of negative PET scans he would like to give me a 'chemo. vacation'. WOW!!! He said the results of this next scan will be huge and will indicate what we should do next. This scan will be next Friday, April 18 soooo please pray, pray, pray for me. I am confident in God's mercy and firmly believe this scan will prove HIS healing power. I can't even imagine how it will feel to not be on chemo. drugs after 14 months of taking them. Needless to say I am very excited about that possibility :)
Though the dr. says we are in uncharted waters, I know my God is the captain and He is charting my course through these troubled waters. I am not afraid as I have learned to trust HIM in new and deeper ways. 'I will fear no evil for thou are with me...'Psalm 23
Thanks a million for your steadfast prayer support!!! The prayers of the righteous are very effective and I am blessed to have soooo many righteous people praying for me.
Praise God with me! Love always, Barbara
The war she wages is found at caringbridge.org

Fitness Footnote

'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey