Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pregnancy Complaint

Ok, that is it! I went out and bought some preg pants, cool looking jeans. Well this stretchy fabric is something, I think I need suspenders, with silky unders the jeans just keep slipping lower and lower. Good thing the shirts are so long, or I could be accused of a new profession. --Plumbing.

Speaking of plumbing, after returning last night around mid-night from our holiday trip to Sacramento, I noticed my bathtub was full of disgusting looking water. The plumber came today and snaked out the blockage and us four neighbors sharing a water pipe are relieved to take showers again. But snaking is really gross, everywhere I looked in my bathroom mysterious splatter appear on the floor, mirror, ceiling, sink, shower... trust me, I now have the cleanest bathroom in the complex. Nothing like a little motivation.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Avacado with Toenails

BT is now at 16 weeks. That means he is the size of an avacado. If you can believe this little avacodo is growing toenails. I think that is too cool, if this is a girl, think avacado with a pedicure. Isn't this fun? BT just for fun, pumps 25 quarts of blood each day.

BTM is doing great and BTF is laughing at BTM groaning at clothes that will not button.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Today I was excited to begin packing up some books. Early this morning Steve had brought me a large stack of boxes from the car that we had collected last night from church. Ok, I packed 5 boxes, but I am so discouraged. It doesn't look like I packed anything. This is going to take so many more boxes than I thought.

Friday, December 5, 2008

How a husband can earn big points...

Yesterday I was shopping at one of my least favorite stores. Yep, costco. Why do I dislike it? Too many people, too big of carts, to big of sizes, too large prices, too few parking spots...need I go on?

Yesterday I was pushing my mongo cart and was trying to get in a place out of the way of the hurrying masses. Well as I was trapped in a corner I just stopped to watch and listen to the passing people. One older lady, with hubby in tow, stopped to admire a reduced, 5 teacup set of Royal Alberts. Each delicate cup and saucer were a different pattern, gold rimmed and flowers. They were packaged in a lovely satin lined round box. It resembled a shallow hat box.

The woman commented about how lovely each pattern was, she ended her monologue with, "but what would I do with them?"

Super husband replied without missing a beat, "You could put them in your china hutch, and use them when you had ladies over for tea. They would look beautiful." They continued walking with their huge empty card.

Wow, that is some amazing training. I had to teach my man that when I comment on lovely things that I am just admiring them, I am not begging to bring them home. But this man knew enough that he could envision them at home, in the china hutch, and even how they could be used, and even that was not a threat. Not a threat to his manliness, his wallet, or his wife. Wow, what a great shopping companion.

How do you train for that?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home Alone

Today is Steve's first day back to work. So I am home alone. I am starting all those things that are best done alone, like emptying a closet, and sorting socks, and throwing away junk mail that accumulates in strange places. I am also packing for a move, so keep an eye out for boxes for me.

Yesterday, Steve and I got to watch Sosi. We had so much fun. She is super charming with her little smile and watchful eyes. We laughed when she let us know in no uncertain terms that something was not how mom and dad did things. Like playing with her toys...she did not want to be on her tummy (that was loudly expressed) and she really seemed to prefer to be sitting up. She loves her music toy and books get lots of frantic expression and hand slapping.

Steve walked her outside to get her to fall asleep. He was so mad when a loud truck headed his way concerned sleepy Sosi would wake up. I mean how dare a truck be on the road. He is going to be such a good dad. He is so patient and calm and loving. Thanks Sosi's parents for the fun time.

Monday, December 1, 2008


"And Lord help the mister, who comes between me and my sister..."

Over the week spent in Phoenix with my sisters Keni and Cathy we had such fun times. I laughed so hard I was sobbing.

We played games, like Phase 10, Pit, and Fart. We played by Grandma's rules which means you can change them, or add them as you go. We told stories, like Cathy's old boyfriends and Keni falling down the chimney. We cooked traditional recipes and new, Keni did most of the work. I made Gwen's sweet potato recipe and applesauce. I tried Grandma Wanda's Chocolate pie, but dad would have called it spoon fudge. Sorry Grandma, you always make it look so easy. I also made cinnamon rolls for the morning of Thanksgiving, but I did not use mom's recipe. Hers is too hard. I used the bread machine. I think they were pretty good.

Kendra invited Bill, a fellow nursing student, over for Thanksgiving dinner. He brought pictures and a projector to show fellow nursing students. Usually Keni was sleeping =0) or not looking too good.

Everyone except me and BT got up at 3 am on Black Friday to go shopping at Fry's electrical store. No luck getting the things they really wanted. The successful people had been there by 10pm the previous night. But my nephew Cameron made $20 on helping a lady purchase her things. Steve said he just loved watching all the people scurry around buying, buying, buying.
He didn't get anything.

Cameron came from El Centro and brounght a fellow navy guy, Cody. We had fun teasing them. He finally loosed up to tease us back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Dancing Walnut

Yesterday Steve and I went to the doctor to have a four week checkup for BT. He is 11 weeks. The midwife was ready to perform the ultrasound and BT was hiding way in the back of my womb. She grabbed my belly and gave it a good shake and what do you know. Our BT blob started dancing. Expectantly, the midwife, her name is LaTonya, looked at us as she explained the head and torso. I am looking hard but I can't see anything that resembles a head or torso. But Steve decides to play the game.
"So that is the head?" he says doubtfully pointing to the screen.
"No, that is the butt and torso." LaTonya patiently replies.
"And that is his leg?"
"No, that is his arm. See it tucked in the back there?"
I am still in the dark that it is even a person. I can see his little heart beating and we did get to listen to the heart beat 150 times a minute. I could obviously see him jumping around as he kicked and waved his tiny arms but which was which, I can't say.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today Steve and I went to vote at the middle school. We had to wait 50 minutes to vote due to the great number of people. I was laughing at how proud people look to get that little sticker..."I voted".

In front of us, two people quietly discussed their postions. The older gentleman did not want to pay the promised taxes of Obama. The lady argued McCain would also raise taxes. Proposition 8 also came up. This is Yes, to say no to gay marriage. The lady argued that all people have rights. The man did not agree to the term marriage. If they called it something else he might not have had a such difficulty with it. To Steve and I it was interesting to hear such thoughts flying freely.

People of every color and stripe were there, and that made us feel happy to see America at its best. And older lady, immigrant of European descent, was so happy to be voting for the first time. The African American poll worker shouted out, "Well, we are so happy to have you here." An Asian woman shyly passed out voting chads, and a white woman looked up your name in the big book requiring your signature. Don't you just love America?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rain, we got rain!

If you don't live on the West Coast, except Seattle, this will not make sense to you. But this afternoon when we heard the unfamiliar sound of rain, we ran outside. Guess what? All my neighbor were outside too, laughing and making comments about how long it had been. One neighbor said, it sure is great all the neighbors can be outside for something besides a murder.

For a belated anniversary present Steve bought me this cool flower.

I am also including a lovely shot of my oregano plant.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Harvest Treats

Betsy, Gabby, and I worked for several hours along with our friend Martha Stewart to create some fun harvest celebration treats. This is our 2nd annual making treats for the holidays event.

We had pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, coleslaw and homemade applesauce. Thank you for the great recipe for applesauce, Devanee. They really liked it. Tiny Gabby even had two sandwiches.

Gabby made Savory Pumpkin Puffs Bit All-purpose flour, for parchment
1 Standard package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 1/2 Teaspoons paprika
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Cups finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 Cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Dash Freshly ground pepper

Betsy and I made Midnight Moon Cookies

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 pound confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup boiling water, plus more as needed
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

Betsy tried making Marshmallow Bones, but they were a tough recipe and didn't work too well for us.

Also I made John's Sugar Cookies pumkins. Betsy made the green stems and Gabby added chocolate decorations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Week Nine and BT

BT has begun dancing lessons, (nope, i can't feel them yet) Most joints are formed now, BT will curve his fingers around an object placed in the palm of his hand, and if you can believe this BT already has tiny little fingerprints. Average size this week -- length 0.9 inch (2.3cm), weight 0.07 ounce (2gm). Isn't this fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Faith Builders Advance

Faith Builders, my church fellowship group, almost annually goes to Ventura for the weekend to spend time together and grow in the Lord together. We play games, enjoy the beach, talk, laugh, listen to preaching, sing, and eat plenty. We also had a just for fun softball game.

We shared a room with Monique and Fernando at the Hilton. Thanks, Steve, for using some of your points for letting us stay there. Plus they throw a great breakfast.

I thought it was great that so many of the people from our Bible Study were there. What a blessing! I greatly enjoyed getting to get to know Desiree better.

Onions and Orchids

Anna graciously hosted about 15 lovely young women to learn about home making skills and specifically meal planning and preparation. She provided skads of recipes and then she made lots of recipes with us so we could watch and learn and taste what the end result should be.

I can only say wow to the potatoes and gravy. Last night I whipped up her garlic mashed potatoes and might I just encourage everyone to give these a try. This was my own adaptation since I used what I had on hand.

For every potato add one garlic clove to the salted water to bowl, add a touch of sugar.
I did not peel my red potatoes as I want the fiber in the skins
Your one inch cubes are done when a fork can easily tear them apart.
Leave the potatoes, drain on low heat to allow evaporation of moisture so that the potatoes are fluffy rather than gummy.
Melt butter, 1 Tablespoon per potatoe and milk in a sause pan. Add seasoning like chives or season salt and pepper...
When no steam rises from the potatoes mush with potatoe musher, then add the milk/butter mixture and whip until the desired consistency.

Ok, for gravy I used a "just add water" mix, but it was so tasty!

Anna also encouraged us to try fish. Fish, especially salmon, have never been my friend. She made Salmon that literally melted in your mouth. This is the first time that I have understood why people rave about Salmon. Everytime I have tried it, it has been dry or too strong, or just plain yucky. I am going to give this recipe a try.

Anna used a tad of sugar in her veges to ramp up the flavor. She also made chicken, and pork chops in a crock pot. She made other things and it was amazing to watch. How fun to see this process in action.

One of the principles she uses in her style of cooking is to have about 30 tried and true recipes that her family loves. And primarily that is what she uses to cook. She will once in a while try something new, but she cooks what they love and everyone is happy. Secondly, some of the recipes are more suited to company. These she has worked on for presentation and more fancy flavors. A third principle she has incorporated is Make your good, better, then your better your best and then be content.

I further appreciated her reminder to start dinner early so when the king walks in the door, you are not frantically running around trying to get things done.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Friend

This is my gorgeous friend, Brenda Lynn and her handsome hubby Dan. I can scarcely believe that they are celebrating three years of marriage so quickly. Doesn't it just zip by? How much God has blessed them. I miss you greatly, sister! But I am so happy for you where God has planted you, cause, girl, you are blooming. Her church had a renewing of the vows Sunday to honor marriage between one man and one woman.

Proud parent of a kidney bean

Proud parent of a kidney bean? That is the size of BT this week. He has translucent eyelids that almost cover his eyes, and his still slightly webbed hands almost can meet in the middle.

Steve had a job interview today, so we wait to see. He also has another on Thursday.

Faith Builders is having the Annual Advance this weekend, where our fellowship group gathers at a hotel for the weekend and we get to know each other on a deeper level. Steve and I are bunking with the Rios family. They promised they don't snore much, but offer no guarantees on other noice problems. We are looking forward to the neat, neat fun, and opportunities to say "Queso!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BT --baby tao

So we are 8 wks pregnant on Wednesday. We are calling the little alien BT-for Baby Tao. We had our first doctor visit last week. Saw his/her little heart beat, and I really think he/she looks like Steve. --just kidding. I am feeling super well, depending on what time you ask me, as long as I don't get too hungry. I guess the theory is if you empty your stomach you start to feel sick, and that has been the case. Though I did find out that morning sickness usually starts around week 8.

Anyway, Mr. Tao has a job interview tomorrow, and he is taking a tax exam today. He loves that Hi stress living!

El Centro

Cameron, my nephew is established in El Centro, CA. We dropped him off for a two year visit in the middle of the dessert. I know, you are wondering what is a navy base doing in the middle of the dessert. If I told you I would have to kill you, so I can neither confirm nor deny anything. However, I did see that this is the winter training ground of the Blue Angels. Isn't that too cool. My nephew is a MP, that is military police. We are proud of him, good work, nephew. He is almost all grown up. He would also like a if anyone is interested, he is 25, 5'9 blue eyes, light brown hair, a super interesting flying eagle tatoo on his chest, and the boy can cook and do laundry and iron. Not a bad deal! Oh, and he likes children.

We took him for Chinese food. He really wanted Chinese buffet, but we couldn't think of where there might be one in our neck of the woods.

The Kiss

Ok, today I learned that the passionate kiss in the movie "Fireproof", and it is a doosey, was Kurt Cameron and his wife. That makes me feel better. She stepped in for that scene. Please go see the movie. You will really enjoy it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Phoenix, AZ

Steve and I zipped over to see my sisters and dad in Phoenix. What fun we had. Cathy was painting my toesnails on the front steps when dad ran out and said "photo moment." Dad pretended to paint my toes for the photo op, too. Thus we all arranged ourselves and of course, laughed and giggled in our typical fashion.This is Cathy, my #3 sister. I call her my bling, bling sister. She is our family glamour girl, and social hub. She calls everyone I think every week, and passes on pertinent information to the rest of the family so all stay in the loop.This is Keni, #5, in her kitchen. She is in nursing school and will graduate in May. Horray for Keni! Go sister. In case you didn't notice, we identify ourselves by our chronilogical order number ( I am #4), except for Cindy. Once you meet her, you just know she is the eldest.
Here is some of Cathy's stuff. She packed her things in Vacuum bags and now that she is opening them and trying to find a place for them, they are everywhere. She called to tell us about the shelves and closet spaces they are designing. Poor dad, he has done that for everyone of his daughters. In my case, he once had to drive to MA, and another time he had to go to Guam. When we were growing up, dad almost always made breakfast on Saturday mornings unless it was hunting season. Here he is in keeping with tradition. No one makes a better breakfast than dad.

International Potluck

This year Steve and I helped supervise the food line of the IP. We had a great group of people to assist. Lots of interesting dishes from many place came in. Debera and Neil helped cut the food and prepare it for the buffet tables. Steve and I honored the place we met, Guam, with our tropical wear.
Avo and Ani are friends we met at the Pastor's annual BBQ.
John and Sandra are friends who introduced us to the nursery supervisor job on Sunday mornings that we love.

Neil was great for recruiting lots of kids for washing dishes. In this case he is carefully monitoring the taste of the frosting quality. Paul and Nora also helped to label the food and make sure it had it had serving utensils.
One service we offered free of charge was scoring people's presentation of their plate. We also monitored people to make sure they got their vegetables. One job we had that was not fun was fighting people off the desserts until the appropriate time. Though really it was all fun!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Women Walking Wisely

Wow, what an evening. I am rejoicing today and last evening for the wonderful initial meeting we had with the new year of studying Respectable Sins. We had a great table of women willing to share and learn from each other. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for ways God blessed us. Terry and I were able to work in tennis fashion to keep the conversation moving and hopefully avail all the ladies to be able to share and grow and learn. We provided notebook for the ladies to work with with colorful dividers and a journaling page. This was great. We were able to write out our plan and almost get through all of it.

One of my favorite moments goes back to my teacher days. We call it the "Ah-ha" moment. It is when one of your student "gets it". He/she understands something, in fact, if it is a really good one, they will say "Ah!" or "Oh!"in a breathy wondering way that indicates his/her delight in learning. This is why teachers teach. It is worth all the difficulty teachers endure in a job for this moment. It affirms why we work so hard to convey truth in many ways, to many types of learners and if all the eyes stay dull, we rethink what we have tried to teach until we get some person to indicate some level of understanding. "If a students hasn't learned, a teachers hasn't taught." Last night, I got an "Ah!". I was so happy because I was actually sharing my own tidbit that God had reminded me of that I had forgotten. I was affirmed that it was valuable when it clicked in anothers mind and had the same impact. YES! See, once a teacher, you die a teacher.

Terry has asked those able to meet at 5:30 next month to come to decorate our notebooks and get to know each other. I feel so honored to be a part of this study and growth opportunity. Terry is a great lady for me to get to know and grow from.

Fireproof, the movie

Today Devanee and I went to see the movie, Fireproof. May I admit to being a bit sceptical? I thought it might be hokie and have a lot of those "akward" movie moments. That is not to say they do not exist, but the flow of the movie is smooth, the special effects are believeable,
the love is believeable(except for the-one-step-at-a-time moment). I had the sensation of watching a testimony. Ever go the movies and you cringe at a couple of parts, wonder if I should have left for that part, or just feel unsettled at the outcome? I had none of those here. I left feeling completely edified. There is even some comic relief, in case you feel it might be too intense. I don't want to ruin it for you, but I think that you may be interested enough to make this part of your at-home collection.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Matthew Henry on Jesus Satisfies

Nothing will supply the needs, and satisfy the desires of a soul, but water out of this rock Jesus Christ, this fountain opened.
The pleasures of sense are puddle-water;
spiritual delights are rock water,
so pure,
so clear,
and so refreshing
-- rivers of pleasure.

- Matthew Henry

Ernie, what a blessing

Ernie, prepped for surgery at 6:30 am.

Today Steve and I went to wait at the hospital with Fernando's family for Ernie to come out of surgery. I have to say that the peace and calmness of Ernie was a great testimony to his brother and cousin. Shorty, Ernie's cousin, commented that it was good that Ernie was a Christian because of that peace in facing death. He was ready to go either way. Shorty is not a believer himself. But he could see God working in his life.

I have to say, that as always I greatly enjoyed the fellowship with Monique and Fernando. It was a blessing to spend so much time with them, they were confidently trusting God to work His Sovereign plan.

Around 3:30 we were finally able to hear from the doctor and recovery nurse. Ernie did well. We got to see him. He was unconscious with tubes and machines everywhere. In a way, it was like seeing a dead man. Except a machine was making his chest rise and fall and a monitor was telling us his heart rate was 89. At that moment I recognized God's Grace. Except for this being God's plan Ernie could so easily be with our Holy God right now. Thank you, God that you have kept Ernie here for us and Your glory for a while longer.

I am thankful I could be there for a while with the family.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cheffing it up

I have been in that nesting mode with cooking.

Yesterday I made wheat rolls called "Grandma's refridgerator rolls", thanks Pam and pulled pork, thanks mom. The pork was super delish. I cooked it 9 hours overnight and then again 5 hours with the BBQ sause.

I even made my own slaw to top with the pork. My neighbor Cynthia came over and helped me make a salsa with fresh everything. I really liked it. It had Kosher Black beans, corn, cilantro, red onion, red, orange, green, and yellow sweet peppers, salt and pepper, and balsalmic. It was really lovely to look at with all the fun colors.

Today I attempted Lion's Head meatballs. It was a little Thai in flavor with coconut and curry sauce. I was ok with the flavor, my preference being for the beef, Steve really liked the pork ones. I think I can stand some improvement. The recipe came from "Eating Well".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Making Cards on a Ring

I volunteered to help make reminder cards summarizing Respectable Sins with the monthly memory verse. I had to help Spencer run them thru the laminator. Well you certainly get what you pay for in my case. Lots of my cards will need to run thru again.

Next we begin the painful process of cutting them all out. You cannot cut too close lest the lamination peel. Also it must be a very straight edge so holes can be drilled into the cards. After that the 600 cards must be collated and then a ring installed. What a huge job. I only hope we women from WWW use them well.

Donna has invited anyone over who has free time Thursday, Friday, and next Wednesday to participate in the cutting process. What a fun time to talk and learn from each other.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I've been working on some projects lately. I am not professional but these have been fun and nice. I love power tools.

First, Steve found a glider on the side of road. So I re-did the stool and I am still pondering the chair cushions. He was so funny when he came home one night from parking his car with an excited gleem in his eye. "Come here, I want to show you something." He took me to inspect the roadside find. The white glider has no cushions but works well. I have jimmy-rigged some cushions until my sisters come and give me their brilliant ideas. Steve says he feels like he is laying on a counseling couch when he sits in it.

I also put together two new shelves for books. I really like them. We moved our tiny place around and have just about finished our 6 month dutch cleaning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chinese food lesson

At Ronnie's house we learned a new cold noodle dish and we were inspired to give it a try. Scrambled eggs, tomatoes and our secret sauce simmer while the noodles cook then are cooled in running water.

Top the dish with green onions, cucumbers, and whatever else you wish to garnish the dish.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tchaikovsky and the Hollywood Bowl

Mary gave us two tickets to the Hollywood Bowl to see Tchaikovsky and the firework display, along with the USC marching band, for the Grand Finale, The 1812 Overture.

Ok, this kid, EUGENE UGORSKI, played two unfamiliar pieces, but it was very impressive. He is all of 19 years of age, but get this: He made his orchestral debut with the San Diego Symphony at the age of eight . Yep, that is no typo, 8 years old. He started studying violin at 6. --fast learner.

The firework show was pretty cool. Wine was flowing around us very freely, and we had the peanut gallery commentators behind us, but otherwise it was a good experience. Steve expected people to be more dressed up and formal, but afterall this is SoCal.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ladies Tea and Devonshire Cream

Saturday, September 6 was the kickoff annual ladies tea for Women Walking Wisely. Jenny was my co-host. She has a knack for creatively making things pretty. I was so thankful for her help as that gene seems to have escaped me. She is a great hostess.

Laura Brown, Head of Women's ministry spoke to us about the importance of Worship and the comforts we have from knowing some of God's attributes. We can trust God's wisdom to guide us thru his Word. His Sovereignty rules the universe. He has us in his hands, and no man can pluck us out.

Sue made the mediterrain themed food. Steve and Karine spent a lot of time helping. They did a great job. I was given the job of making the devonshire cream. My first time to attempt this was for 150 ladies. The recipe is simple. Whip up the heavy cream then add cream cheese, vanilla and pd. sugar. Any dummy can do that, right. My fist problem was trying to mix it all up at one time. When I turned on the gigantic mixer it protested by spewing a large glob of cream at me and the floor. After cleaning up that mess, I then proceeded to make butter or cottage cheese. So this year the devonshire cream was definitely not fluffy like whipcream, but more like snotty cheese. I will do better next year, I promise. Sue might not let me have that job. Bev and I really laughed cause Sue tried to get her to whip it more to add fluff, but it just got more cottage cheese like. Good try Bev. Sue told me to add more sugar if we could not get the texture correct. So people still liked it...Sugar makes everything better. And that is something I have believed for a long time. =0)

Pauline decorated with a lovely collection of fruits and vegetables. She has a lovely assortment of dishes. She said she stores them in clear tubs with lists of what is inside lined up in the garage.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We saw a BEAR!

Yes, it is true. Raffi was in the lead, we were hiking on an easy trail may 50 yards from our cars. Raffi said, "There is a bear." He said it in his usual quite, serious way. Of course we thought pretty much he was joking. After struggling to see it, or some part of it, we finally all agreed that it truely was a bear. Unfortuneately one of did not see it, as his flight adreniline juice kicked in. I got some pictures but pretty much all you can see is the black blur. Trust me, that really is a bear. It stared directly at us with disinterest. Monique wanted to see it closer to the concern of her hubby. She said she loves to be scared. Needless to say, that was the end of our hike.

This weekend we had such a fun time "camping" on Pine Mountain Resort in a large house. We were really roughing it with two bedrooms and three bathrooms. We played Wii tennis, bowling, and Super Mario. The best part was really just talking, laughing, and eating. What a blessing to talk about Jesus and to learn from each other, from applying the Word about how we can be more holy. We even discussed the merits of "Christian Rap" or the non-merits.

Happy Birthday, Steve and Raffi. Both turned 34. Steve is two days older than Raffi.

Jenny did such a great job organizing and cooking. It was super fun and relaxing. We are already talking about next year. We just have to convince Fernando to want to try real camping.

Friday, August 29, 2008


John Bradford said that when he was in prayer, he never liked to rise from his knees till he began to feel something of brokenness of heart.

Get up to your chamber, then, poor sinner, if you would have a broken and contrite spirit, and come not out until you have it. Remember, you will never feel so broken in heart as when you can see Jesus bearing all your sins; faith and repentance are born together, and aid the health of each other.

Law and terrors do but harden,

All the while they work alone;

But a sense of blood bought pardon,

Will dissolve a heart of stone.

Home again, home again

How blessed we are to get to help Patricia arrange and clean her classroom for the start of school. We are excited to think about the 22 little souls in her watch care for the year. We will pray for her strength and recovery. She has to be the most clutter free class room I have ever seen. Teachers are reknown for being packrats. She has escaped that teacher malady! I was burdened to learn that the classroom library inspectors will remove Jesus books and replace them with junk like "Arthur and His Underwear." A double slap for sure.

We are working hard to declutter our house. This is a teribble hang over from my teacher years. I actually still have some teaching items from my teaching days going on 6 years ago. "Never know when you will need some of them."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Special Friends

Our dear friends from Poland, Alla and Ellie visited the Getty Center with us . We wish we had more time with them. They are dear fellow believers that we met last year on our STM trip.
Here is a "Walking Flower".
We also must thank the Levis Family for the roof over our head as we traveled. Great tent and sleeping mats. And the latern was a life saver at night. Steve is great at planning our way. He picks the trail and then I navigate or I might suggest miss-navigate. And that is with our nice GPS. Sometimes, when she tells you where to go, I think she just doesn't mean me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scanning Sacramento

We made it to Sacramento. Ronnie and Steve are sitting in a murel area with a young girl pondering life in the basement under the capital dome.

I am doing laundry like no tomorrow. Almost done. This is a huge blessing so I do not have to do it when I get back to LA.

Today we visited old Sacramento.

Saw an old steam boat, The Queen.Ever wonder what the American River looks like? This bridge rises to allow large boats to clear under it.Here is an old train model, We saw some old remodeled storefront type streets and our capital building,Here is a fancy stair case in the capital building. Ronnie is modeling how an important assemblyman might look descending.
No Gov Arnold was not in the capital building. We did enjoy strolling the halls and seeing the sites.
This is the historical site of the beginning of the Pacific Railroad.

Trip back to California, Crater Lake

Crater Lake is surreal. I mean it looks so perfect that it must be a painted backdrop. According to the Park brochure, the lake is so pure that fish cannot survive in the lake. "At its deepest, the lake's floor plunges 1,932 feet below the surface, making it the deepest lake in the US. Because no water flows through the lake, the lake remains pure and tranquil."
Trip back was gorgeous. We stopped to see a lovely falls in a National Forrest I can't spell or pronounce but I did get some pretty cool river rocks and pics. I collect river rocks, and I collected some nifty pumice, basalt, and scoria. Also saw Mt. Shasta from a distance - the highest point in the state of California. By the way, northern (I mean real north) California is beautiful.