Saturday, July 26, 2008

I've been tagged...

The ABC's of Me

A. Attached or single? Very attached... Patrick is definitely my other half! It's hard to even remember being single!

B. Best friend? Patrick & Mom / Lots of other very special friends!! I was never good with the "best friend" moniker... don't like people feeling left out!

C. Cake or Pie? Chocolate chocolate cake from Costco or Mom's perfect apple pie with the flaky crust and the tart apples.

D. Day of choice? Thursday... my Bible study day, and I know the weekend's right around the corner.

E. Essential items? Bible, lipstick, hair dryer, watch, glasses (if I am not wearing these, be assured I will not know who you are until you're within a 5 foot range.)

F. Favorite color(s)? green & earth tones

G. Gummy bears or worms? I'd rather have Sour Patch Kids, but don't like the way any of them get stuck in my teeth.

H. Hometown? La Canada, CA, where people actually are rocket scientists, but I was on the border of La Crescenta and grew up with friends in that school system. Go CV Falcons!! See big hair senior photo here.

I. Favorite indulgence? Ben & Jerry's Phish Food or Ghirardelli brownies... man, why'd I have to go and bring those up!!

J. January or July? July... I'm usually healthy enough to enjoy it! And I like the 4th!

K. Kids? 2 cute boys

L. Life isn't complete without? Jesus... He makes life worth the living

M. Marriage date? January 8, 1994 (Elvis' B'day... uh huh huh)

N. Number of brothers and sisters? 1 older brother

O. Oranges or apples? Apples-Fuji, Pink Lady, or Gravenstein

P. Phobias? Snakes in the toilet when I am going (I have this one, too, Denise!! So weird!) Also, I'd rather not die by drowning.

Q. Quotes- "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold." S.E. Hinton (I know it's more of a line, but I've always liked it!); "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt; "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis

R. Reasons to smile? Today was a warm, sunny day and I got to spend it with my family!

S. Season of choice? I like the transition between summer and fall.

T. Tag 5 people: Anna, Courtney, Nicole, Drea, April

U. Unknown fact about me? I am a nerd, I have a sword hanging in my bedroom, I would like to sing with a jazz band someday, and I've never had alcohol (umm... it smells yucky!). You'll do best not to analyze any of this... I am very complex!

V. Vacation of choice? Hawaii or a summer camp (yes, I'm aware they are opposites!)

W. Worst habit? Procrastinating and not washing my face at night.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? Ultrasound... radiation isn't too appealing to me. I don't even like to x-ray my teeth.

Y. Your favorite food? Shredded chicken tostada, grilled chicken or fish with garlic mashed potatoes, strawberries... not all at the same time! My family said this is not true... they said my favorite food is chocolate! Who me??

Z. Zodiac sign? Scorpio and Year of the Pig. There was a girl in high school who followed me around trying to analyze me and figure out my sign. It was amusing... she never did get it right! I kept telling her that Jesus gives me all the direction I need... I'm still convinced.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It Starts...


I just had a conversation with my 8-year-old. It went something like this...

J: The problem with cool guys is that they're always looking for hot girls.

Me: Hmmm.... What is a cool guy?

J: I don't know... like a guy that probably hangs out in a bar all the time.

Me: Hmmm.... What's a hot girl?

J: Well, probably a girl that's really proud of herself and is always trying to look "saxy."

Me: What does "saxy" mean?

J: I don't really know.

Me: So how do you think a guy should act?

J: Well, he should be really responsible and he should want to protect a girl. I want to do what God says.... protect women and not hurt them.

Me: How did you come to these conclusions?

J: Don't know.

I'm really quite unsure what to make of all this. I'm not even entirely sure how this all became part of his thought processes. I do know one thing, and that is, I am so glad that he wants to respect women... maybe this came, in part, from the incidents we've had with our neighbor, or from cumulative conversations we have had in past years, or from watching his dad. It's amazing what children can process and formulate in their minds when we think they aren't paying attention. It's like we planted little seeds that God watered and caused to grow and they suddenly sprouted. At about 7pm they sprouted... while we were just sittin' on the sofa. I just wasn't expecting that particular sprout.


Although I didn't let on.... I was a bit bummed about the usage of words like "hot" and "saxy." Call me old-fashioned, but I'm going to boldly admit here and now that I have issues with these words. I'm not even sure where Josh picked them up... we don't even have cable for pity's sake!! I guess they've just become part of the lexicon. When I was growing up, the lexicon included words like pretty, gorgeous, cute, or babe. I like these words far better. They seem to have a great deal more respect behind them, not just a blatant reference to a woman's sexuality. I may be wrong, but I don't think hot and sexy grow with a woman very well, whereas a woman can be beautiful at any age, from the inside out. Maybe I'm a hopeless romantic, or too poetic for my own good, but I'll take lovely, pretty, beautiful, alluring, cute, breathtaking, captivating, ravishing or any combination of the aforementioned adjectives over "hot" and "sexy" any day of the week and twice on Sunday. What about you?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Love your neighbor as yourself...

I felt honest to goodness fear yesterday. I felt like I wasn't safe in my own home. Josh and I were in the back bedroom trying to get over a virus and apparently there was a knock that we didn't hear. Then there was repeated ringing of my doorbell alternated with someone banging their fist on the door. It didn't stop. Was someone hurt, playing a prank, trying to get into my house?? Was this a military invasion?? So many thoughts raced through my mind.

As I nervously peered around the hallway corner, I saw my neighbor looking into my home. I knew what I was in for. I had been warned by other neighbors, especially the one who finally decided to move because of the harrassment she'd endured. Cookies don't work, and neither do smiles or kind words I'd been told.

He told me to open my door. Well, no, I do not make a habit of opening my door up to people who look to be in a fit of rage. No, opening the door was not an option. So we had a short conversation through the window. Apparently, the dog had gotten to the side of the house and was barking at him, and he was infuriated and came to tell us. I apologized and he stormed away.

The situation ended badly, very badly.

When Patrick came home to see me crying and all shaken up, he marched over to my neighbor's house and told him in no uncertain terms that he was never to scare me or the kids again or to trespass on our property. "You've crossed the line, now," he told him. He made it clear that if he did it again, he was starting some trouble. His wife assured Patrick they'd be coming over every time she barked from now on.

Police were called. Result: neither of us can trespass on each other's property.

Now I feel deflated. For almost a year now, we have been trying to "love our neighbor" and resolve this situation. Our past peacemaking attempts have not worked. We have prayed. We have Sophie using a bark collar and bring her in whenever she starts barking. (Poor thing, though, there are at least 3 other dogs in the vicinity that have a similar bark. I think she's the scapegoat or scapedog in this case.) We have talked to 17 different neighbors to make sure she hasn't been bothering them at all.

Last night we prayed. We prayed that these neighbors would not just know about God, but would come to know Jesus himself. We prayed that He would break the chains of anger that hold them in a prison. We prayed that He would break down their tough bully facade and replace it with vulnerability and love. If we can't sew seeds of peace in the physical realm, we'll keep sewing them in a spiritual one. We will continue to try and love them, but sadly, it will have to be from a distance. At least for the time being.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Berry Delicious


The days are long, and the salty beach air beckons. I love this time of year! Each summer, I look forward to the rainbows of flavorful fruit that fill the grocery stores and roadside fruit stands. My favorite by a landslide are berries of all kinds, and they are certainly in good form these days.

Our family has a couple of very simple culinary traditions featuring our favorite local berries, so I thought I'd share them before the pickin's get too slim!

Strawberries with Marshmallow Dip




1 Neufchatel Cream Cheese, softened (make sure you take the time to leave this out to warm up and soften a bit... otherwise you'll have a very lumpy dip... you can also use regular cream cheese, but this kind has 1/3 less fat)

1 Jar Marshmallow Cream

Lemon Juice to Taste

Blend cream cheese and marshmallow cream in a large bowl until smooth. Add a few squeezes of lemon to taste.

Our favorite strawberry stand is Hayashi off Halcyon in Arroyo Grande. You'll be glad you stopped by... and they'll even let you haggle, especially when the stand is almost ready to close!

Best Ever Cobbler

3 Cups fresh Raspberries, Olallieberries, Blackberries, or Blueberries (choose a single berry, or a couple varieties to make a mixed berry cobbler)

3 T White Sugar, 1/3 Cup Orange Juice, 2/3 Cup All-purpose Flour, 1/4 tsp Baking Powder, 1 Pinch Salt, 1/2 Cup Butter softened, 1/2 Cup White Sugar, 1 Egg, and 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

In an 8 inch square baking dish, mix berries, 3 T sugar, and OJ. Set aside.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream butter & 1/2 sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until ingredients are combined. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons over berry mixture, covering the berries as much as possible.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Cobbler is so yummy warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

If you have the chance, stop by The Barn in Avila... the raspberries and ollalieberries are perfect for the pickin' right now. We picked a couple extra bastkets to freeze for smoothies!

Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Picture Post.... Proof I Need a Flickr Account!!

Summer's in full swing!! Josh got out of school on June 13th and it alread feels like we've had quite the full summer!! I don't even know where the last few weeks have disappeared!! Anyway, here's the recap!!

Jason's 3rd Birthday!!! Featuring the "Cars" Feasting on Asphalt Cake!!


Josh finished up 2nd Grade!!

Indio: We saw my bro/sis-in-law and had "cousin time" in the desert! 110+ degrees!! Phew!!







Huntington Beach & DT Disney: We "camped" out at my bro-in-law's & goofed around


A Day at Univeral Studios







Home Town L.A. to visit with my high school friend, Nancy, and her newly adopted son!!! Praise God!! What a gift he is!!


Homebuilders: My Bible Study started up after a 2 + month break!! I'm so excited!

Big Sur: Calvary SLO Father/Son Campout for Josh & Dad... hmmm no pics of my honey came back on this one, but he and Josh really were there together!! LOL

Music and Worship Camp:

Phew!! All really fun stuff!! The rest of the summer we'll be keeping it pretty simple in comparison! I think it'll be all about strawberries and watermelon and meandering nature walks with Sophie!! We'll listen for birds and look for bugs and read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!! Come join us if you'd like!!
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