22 December 2008

Christmas Cookies With My Nieces

Officially the Christmas season has begun for me...

Every year when my three nieces (Madi-7, Jada-11, & Raylean-12) arrive to spend Christmas with grammie, it's my duty as aunt (T.T.) to make and decorate Christmas cookies with them! This year was no exception.  We make the traditional round sugar cookies and of course cut-out sugar cookies in a not so traditional way (using ready made cookie dough--such a time saver).  The first tube of cookie dough was the easy batch - all round!  The next tube was a little more tricky... getting out the cookie cutters and making sure they were all floured up to keep the dough from sticking (it really does help).  Before they land on the baking sheet and end up in the oven they look like mini trees, bells, stars, angels, wreaths, and hearts!  Now after they've expanded and cooked they look nothing like what they are supposed to!  Why is that?  It's a little disappointing... but as they cool my nieces grow anxious wanting to decorate!

As the cookies cool and the children wait... next comes making the frosting for the cookies!  It's really simple!  All you need is powered sugar, food coloring, and some milk!  We had green, red, yellow, blue, and white frosting for the cookies this year.  Not to mention for the fingers, shirts, pants, and tablecloth!  They also have to pretty-up the cookies with: colorful sprinkles and balls, green crystalized sugar, and mini gingerbread men sprinkles.  We usually have red hots too... but we must have run out (I don't even think they noticed)!   I spent most of the time in the kitchen trying to get it back to a normal state of cleanliness (one of my biggest pet-peeves a messy kitchen)!

This is how they turned out this year:


What's next: a possible new tradition...?

We're going to make some chocolate covered pretzel rods!  You may have seen them on Timmery's blog not that long ago!  I'm all about making easy fun foods (if I have to make food that is)! Today will also be a real treat for them... Timmery is coming over to help make gingerbread houses!  I will have pictures as soon as they become available...

12 December 2008

Tsk Tsk Laura Bush...

Now just the other day I heard on tv Laura Bush (yes, our current president's wife), a professed Christian, wish the American public, "Happy Holidays"!  

When I heard those words my heart just sank...

This is our - the Christian populace's - time (when the phrase is readily accepted even by non-believers) to thank God for sending His Son, Jesus Christ, who saves us from our sin...

By simply wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays"!  

As I learned last night at The Gathering, when we say "Merry Christmas" we are actually saying "I'm glad that Christ came"!  I AM glad He came...to save us from certain death and to re-establish a relationship with our Heavenly Father that is ONLY available through the Son!  What Christian DOES NOT want to profess their hope that lies in their Savior, Jesus Christ?  

On a semi-tangent, yet relatable note: I've been thinking about what I might say to people who wish "Happy Holidays"...if it's not Merry Christmas, maybe it would be... 


Any thoughts? I'd appreciate it if you would drop me a comment.

30 November 2008

Is nature waiting for Jesus' return too?

While laying on a friend's bed, looking out the window in the master bedroom, I notice such beautiful trees full of color reaching out to the heavens and I wonder, "Are they, too, waiting for Jesus to return?"  The trees and animals, all that has life, must be waiting in anticipation for the return of our Jesus.  They, too, want to be disease-free and free from human destruction (or negligence), yet they stand tall; showing their brilliant colors - on display for the whole world to see!  

We, too, are called as created beings of God, to be part of His greatness and beauty-to stand tall and to shine His light on others.  He has given us wonderful colors of our own, like feathers on a peacock, to share with one another.  Imagine with me for minute that everything we do, every act we perform, has a unique color all it's own and God sees these colorful acts as adding to the beauty of a world He created.  Wouldn't that be amazing if we could see acts in the form of colors?  In thinking this, I do foresee a problem...as it is in our nature, humans are going to want to interpret these colors and brand them "good and bad"!  I think if we look hard enough at our own deeds, and the deeds of others, we are able to see God shining His light amongst us.  It was in science class (long, long ago), I learned light is made up of a spectrum of all the colors and darkness is the absence of these colors.  Spiritually this makes sense.  God is light and without God there is only darkness!  And what survives in total darkness??  Not much!   

I think we can learn from God's other creations (you know, the non-human ones) to share our colors and be beautiful by the glory given to us only by the wonderful Artist who has painted, sculpted, built, transformed, and breathed His life into each one of us.  I want the colors I emit to be vibrant and beautiful to my Master, regardless of my surroundings. I want to bring about the colors in those around me that are pleasing to Him, as I wait for Jesus to return.

24 November 2008

My first day...unemployed!

Today is the first day I am officially unemployed and I feel so free!  It was a little chilly here in Oceanside, but the day is looking beautiful. I got up this morning (not too terribly late, 8-ish) and grabbed my Bible where I sat down at the table and began to read Nehemiah.  I am impressed with Nehemiah's faith leading him into action, more specifically because he was deeply depressed (for four months) about Jerusalem being in ruins he prayed and fasted and still remained depressed.

I can tell you from personal experience, depression doesn't lead into action...at least it didn't lead me into action-but inaction!  I only wanted to sleep, be left alone, and I don't recall praying or fasting through my depression, like Nehemiah did.  I often wonder what my depression would have looked like if I was actively walking with my Lord and Savior at the time? Would my faith have been strong? Would I have been able to orchestrate the rebuilding of what lead me into despair?  I hope I never have to find out...I think I am more aware of my mental state now, ready to question myself when something just doesn't seem right and make changes.

Back to Nehemiah...he sought the help of God to fix Jerusalem's walls and God gave him clarity and wisdom to pursue his goal, as it wasn't for Nehemiah's welfare, but for the entire Jewish nation.  Of course there was opposition, but God gave him a strong mind to deal with the enemies' tactics.  One of the most incredible aspects to this story is it only took 52 days to complete fixing the gates and some areas of the wall (I doubt even with today's technology and heavy machinery that this would be a possible feat, unless God was there to oversee it's completion).   With God, the impossible IS possible!  

"...With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:26

I want to start my days off right...give God the first of each and every one of my days, like I give Him the first of my earnings.  I'm ashamed to admit this, but I use to give Him the last of my days and sometimes He didn't even get that.  My days are His to begin with! And I want to be more alert to purposefully make sure I am doing this in my life and ponder the possibilities of God's continual work in me!  

22 November 2008

I never thought...

...I would thoroughly enjoy karaoke!  It made it all the more enjoyable that I was surrounded by my closest girl friends and I felt far less self-conscious about my inability to sing...so to be around those that love me, flaws and all, I was able to drop my guard and just be me!  I guess I should back up and explain what I'm talking about...  Last night was a get-together with friends to play games (you know... have a little fellow-shipping fun...), relax, enjoy each other's company, wind down from a week of chaos for some and the schoolwork-load for others...
The night began as we played some sort of pig-dice game (a crazy game where you toss two pigs and you get points for the positions they land in.  1st one to 100 points wins--congratulations Sarah!).  Then came the 'let's sing" moment of my life!  I "happily" accepted to be the first one to sing (you know...set the stage for those next in line)!?!  We sang so many songs, I can barely recall them all.  I don't even remember the first song I sang but here's a list of what we sang both individually and in duets and as a group:

Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dotted Bikini
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Ebony and Ivory
I'm Too Sexy
Wind Beneath My Wings
We Are The World
Hey Jude
Brown Eyes Blue
Frosty The Snowman
Jingle Bell Rock
Sexual Healing
Vision Of Love
Money Money Money
Gimme Gimme Gimme
Dancing Queen
Dude Looks Like A Lady
Turn Back Time

By the end of the night my voice had lost any semblance of tone that it might have ever been in...also my vocal cords gradually became raspy and horse.  I was afraid I might not have a voice when I woke up this morning...but I was up and talkin' without fail!  I had a blast and I know the rest of us did too (it was a little tiring).                                      

Thanks Nadia for hosting!  Thanks for the duets Timmery, Maria, and Sarah!  Thanks for jumping right in Lissa (without skipping a beat)-you showed up and were handed the mic like it was your new best friend!  Crazy dance moves too...
I'll have pictures soon too (thanks Nadia)...just waiting for you Sarah!  

All you ladies are an awesome addition to my life and I wouldn't trade you for any other!  Thank you God for the women than you have hand-picked to be a part of who I am and have encouraged me to be. 

03 November 2008

A hectic October...

An era has passed...gone are the days of working for Office Depot as I know it! It's been almost 9 years that I have worked with the company, just over 6 years of them on Camp Pendleton alone. It's been a while since I've been able to post a blog and this is why...the month of October has been pretty hectic!

First, there was the move...I was given notice to vacate my premise by Oct. 29th. The landlords wanted to move in their mother-in-law (besides...I was looking to buy a home anyway). I had 60 days to get my belongings somewhere other than there. Little by little I grabbed empty boxes from Office Depot and began packing up my life. I found storage for my things and made numerous trips to & from storage with my things. I'm not one to procrastinate, which is why I couldn't leave everything until it was absolutely necessary to leave (which is what Rene Redifer wanted me to do). Rene offered up her family's time, energy, and resources to help me move! It was truly a blessing! Turns out they loaded up their truck in about 40 minutes and my home was empty...

Looking for a home to buy brings us to number two...I began spending any extra time I had physically looking at potential homes that I might want to buy while still working 40+ hours a week, attending Tuesdays women's small group, Thursdays PoCo at church, Saturdays second small group, and of course church on Sundays. Found an adorable home in great condition, put an offer on it and still waiting to hear more from the bank about it. Right now, I am the back-up offer! Someone else has put an offer on the table (higher than the comps in the area) but the bank hasn't accepted anything just yet (it's a "short-sale"). Not to mention, the owners are still living there - probably until the last possible moment they can?

And thirdly, but crazily and most importantly, my job will soon fade away...Office Depot will no longer be aboard Camp Pendleton. Halloween was the last day that we were able to sell our merchandise! We stayed until 10ish that night to begin the inventory process. [It's not like there were any parties going on that night!] *sarcasm* And returned at 7 the next morning for re-counts. That took approx. 3 hours. After re-counts it was time to clear the shelves - make way for the new vendor to bring in their product! After me and my crew busted our humps...no really I think mine's broken!...I took them out for lunch/dinner. We didn't even stop until the shelves were empty! I am very proud of the work we all did and how long it took us to do it! Now comes shipping the merchandise out...

Today was the first day of that process. Everyone but me was in the back getting merchandise together for transfers while I was in the office keying in all the adjustments from the inventory. It took me all day...not figuratively, literally - all 8 working hours to key them in! Now here comes some complaining (look out)...my back is sore, the muscles around my shoulders are extremely tight! I need a massage :-) Okay, I'm done (for now)...

In all this "madness" I am at peace! God has poured out His peace and comfort on me! AND I FEEL IT!!! Each day is new and an experience I probably won't ever have again. But, it didn't start off that way...I had 4 days of tears before I began to feel His presence. I didn't have any answers beyond my current state! Who needs answers??? God knows how He's going to provide for my needs. He knows what will happen next. All I can do is finish what I started. Go to work each day, do my job (try not to get irritated or frustrated...I am only human), give God the glory He's due. And do it all again the next day! That's how I am trying to live through this trial and will try to live out the rest of my days.

The verse Jeremiah 29:11 is particularly relevant to what I am going through and I will cling to it knowing what God is asking me to do.

Some of the more positive notes for October have been...I'm getting my full deposit back (for the apartment I was renting). I'll be getting a severance package from Office Depot when I leave. I've moved in with my mom (which will save me more money than having to rent an entire apartment by myself). She's got a of couple dogs ("my brothers" as she likes to refer to them as...) which are good for my mental state. I'm surrounded by friends who not only love me, but pray for me! I'm looking at buying an Apple laptop sometime this month (my PC is so ancient) and I'll be able to take (daily) photo's like Timmery *snicker-snicker*. Life's looking up! It's all about looking up isn't it? Looking to God in every circumstance. Whether you perceive it as good or bad!

07 October 2008


Yesterday was one of those days where life became overwhelming for me...my mind went into prep mode. The busyness and chaos that is imminent at work is weighing heavy on my mind. Just preparing for the store to close, thinking about my employees (their future, their concerns, the friendships I've made with them), and my future as well.

Not only is work crazy, but home life is too...I need to start packing up my earthly possessions...find a storage facility to house them all, and start turning off those things that are in my name (Internet and such). As the deadline approaches to move out, I realize I've done nothing to prepare for this day...I thought the transition would be easy. I was going to buy a home and all my stuff would move in there. Boy, God has other plans for me right now...

"...plans to prosper and not to harm..." Jeremiah 29:11

I need to rest and find comfort in this passage of Scripture...

God sent me His comfort by way of friends...Timmery was there and prayed for me as I let the uncertainty of my situation escape through my tears. Human touch is reassuring and helps alleviate the loneliness that accompanies me during times like this. I also received a "random" text from Lissa. God put it in her heart to reach out to me (when she didn't know how I was feeling) and offered words of encouragement. I'm thankful she was obedient to God's prompting--I felt His presence in all that was happening.

God does reach out when we're hurting! He cares about me and my problems. Even though it's not world hunger, it's not abuse, it's not war, it's not death...it's little 'ole me and my weaknesses, but God cares about every aspect of my life. I'm not alone, God is with me every step of the way. Which way? I don't know, but He will guide me if I'm obedient and let Him...even when I'm not obedient...He's stronger than my stubbornness!

My heart's prayer is that I am obedient and faithful to His ways and not fight for my own selfish ways...

27 September 2008

What's your Goliath?

I've just recently started reading (where I left off a couple years ago) Max Lucado's "Facing Your Giants". It's not the kind of book you read from front to cover in a long weekend...rather, it's the type of book you may read a chapter or two at a time and then give some personal reflection on it. Last night I read the chapter "Taking Goliath down!". And it challenged me to be like David. You see, David didn't focus on the giant that was before him, he focused on God! He instinctively knew to turn to God and saw this battle as a chance for God to show what He's capable of!

Are we willing to risk our own lives for God's reputation?

Do we stand for God when people around us are telling us to either run and hide from our Goliath? Or do we prayerfully consult God and walk sometimes blindly, but faithfully to what He calls us to do?

There are times in my life that both situations have occurred. It's the times that I walk blindly, yet faithfully to what God's prompting, that I felt the most satisfied in life. Don't get me wrong...these times have been scary, because I began to wonder,

"How I can do these things? I'm not talented enough. I don't even know how to do that. What if my efforts are rejected?",

but God has comforted me and reminded me that what I do is not based on my own aptitudes or skills, it's another opportunity (as Max Lucado says) "...for God to show off!"

So I a pose the questions...

What's your Goliath? How can God make your giant(s) fall?

Some of my past giants include: a struggling marriage, a miscarriage, and depression. I ran so far away from my marriage that it ended in divorce, but not before I tried to end my life. Never once did I consult God to heal me from my emotional scars, or depression, or to heal my marriage. God's grace and healing has been there even when I didn't ask Him for it. He has turned my selfish choices into something I have learned to value because I have been healed... for His use of me to help others is just beginning!

The Goliath in my life right now is determining where I will be living by the end of October. It may sound small, but I need to be out of my place by Oct. 29th. And I don't have anything lined up! I'm looking to buy a home/condo in Escondido. Most escrows last 30 days (that's what I hear). And I've got nothing! I saw a real charmer of a home yesterday, but it's a "short-sale"! Meaning: the bank doesn't have to accept my offer, they can hold out for what they consider the "best" offer. Short-sales can take months! I know God can open doors! He's fully capable of making the impossible a reality! I prayerfully consult Him to open up a door, even if it's not this one...and I walk in faith that He will provide something for me!

So what is your Goliath? How can God bring you victory if you just let Him?

18 September 2008


After reading fellow bloggers talk about their creative side and not creating the time to release/share part of who they are...I, too, began to think I might share some of the poetry that God has inspired me to write. So here it goes...

Disclosure: if you need to see poetry rhyme...sorry, not my style!


As though You are far from me You reach out...
picking me up like a child uneasy in her first steps.
You dust me off shiny and new.

Your gentle caress, wiping my tears away...
with Your every stroke, residue of comfort and peace enters my heart.

Your arms are soothing to a soul that lacks the ability to comprehend You...
Your greatness, love, faithfulness, and mercies.

Wrapped up in Your glory allows me to let go of
once substituted earthly pleasures.
There is none more great than Your outstretched arms.

You are not far from me...it is I, who am far from You...

Take me there O' God; take my foolish ways from me
and teach me to never stray.

11 September 2008

A plug for my best friend...Timmery's celebrating her birthday!

Timmery will be celebrating her 28th birthday on Saturday, September 13! All the details haven't been planned, but her "special lady friends" (you know who you are...) will get together and celebrate what a wonderful creation God has made in her. Place is yet to be determined, but she'll let us know (and soon)...she's even assigned homework for us (darn that school influence)!

It's crazy to think of the changes that she's gone through (or currently going through) all within the last year...
  • Quit her job (even the one where she worked for me)
  • Attends seminary (a ridiculous distance away)
  • Training to be a mentor (which just began)
  • Under a chiropractor's care - once again - for an old injury
  • Moved once and will soon move again (at the end of SEP)

Some accomplishments include:

  1. Has 1 completion of ministry at church
  2. Passed her first semester at school (with grades I'm envious about)
  3. Completed lay counselling at church
  4. Has her own blog (and now Facebook account)
  5. Has a texting plan for her cell phone (which I must say is AWESOME!)

I'm sure I'm missing some accomplishments...fill me in (anyone) and I can update!

God has given her another year of wisdom and life experience that will undoubtedly prepare her for her future! I can't wait to be a part of the next year to come...What will God reveal and/or teach her in this next year? What will He reveal or teach you? and me?

Have a GREAT birthday Timmery...maybe I'll be able to post some pictures of the fun we'll be having?

08 September 2008

This past week...

I've been a step-parent to two large dogs, whose mom & dad went back east to visit family and friends. I miss the positive qualities that pets brought into my life. My current home prohibits me from have any pets, but in all fairness, I was also not wanting the responsibility that they bring like: feeding, pottying, medical bills, & a big responsibility - time! Pets need your time, otherwise it's just cruel! Why have pets if you don't spend them with them?

I've really enjoyed the attention I received from Bettis and Cleo. Each day I returned from work, they greeted me at the door...excited to see me (but maybe they were just excited to get out of the house and go potty?)! They wanted to play before retiring back into the house, and if it wasn't for Bettis' bum Achilles tendon she would be right along Cleo giving her a run for her money....chasing that ball and bone!

If you've read my previous entry, you know I'm looking for a new place to live...maybe I'll get a pet too. Thinking cat though...they are more independent and self-sufficient. I wouldn't feel too bad leaving them for when I go to work and then again for either small group and POCO get-togethers during the week! Dogs just need more attention!

23 August 2008

For Sale???

Everywhere I go...I see signs just like this one...well at least various versions of bank owned properties, foreclosed homes, & for sale by owner signs. Some properties are well kept, some need some serious help! I guess I haven't really noticed them before...

"Before what?" you might ask...Well, before I gave any thought to buying my own home. It's been no surprise that I have been trying to move back to Escondido. I've been looking for a small home or maybe a townhome/duplex to rent with Timmery, but nothing's come of our search. We wanted to stay away from apartment life! It can be real noisy at times and busier than what we were looking for.

It's incredible how much the price of homes for sale have dropped, but don't get me wrong, buying is still expensive! I guess now is a GREAT time if you're a buyer, not so much if you're the seller! So today I drove around Escondido armed with many property listings my aunt sent me via email (she's a real estate agent if anyone is interested?). I was able to cross many off my list... some homes were in "sketchy" neighborhoods, some were just sketchy. I also found a few not on my list, just by driving around. Of course none of those have any $$$$ listed so I can even consider "Could this be the one?" I made a call on one. Left a voicemail with the promise of an agent returning my call quickly. That was 10AM, I still haven't received a call back (it's 7PM now).

Well, I'm more excited than ever before...that this could be a reality for me! Never in a million years did I think I would be considering buying a home. And all on my own! This IS a crazy notion that I am trying process. This is such a blessing, to even consider the reality of home buying! God is such a wonderful God! Hope is more present in my life now than ever before! Through and with God...ALL things are possible!

02 August 2008


After hearing Timmery talk about and reading her excerpts from "The Shack" (by William P. Young) on her own blog, I asked to borrow her copy so I could read it. I just finished it this morning and I must say, it definitely touched my heart and made me reflect on my own relationships...with the obvious: friends and family members, but also on my relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God.

"It's all about relationships and simply sharing life.

What we are doing now--just doing this--and being

open and available to others around us. My church is

all about people and life is all about relationships."


"Each relationship between two persons is absolutely unique.

That is why you cannot love two people the same. It simply is

not possible. You love each person differently because of who

they are and the uniqueness that they draw out of you. And

the more you know another, the richer the colors of that


Before I finished reading this book, I had tears slowly streaming down my cheeks...blurring my vision as I struggled to finish up the last few chapters. And, if you truly know me, you know that tears don't come easy for me....I've always fought them and counted them as a weakness for me. But I know that it is in these tears that my pain can begin to heal as I let God wipe them away. Why is it that society always wants you to stop crying by offering you a tissue? Whereas God welcomes your tears as a chance to draw you in and be your only source of comfort. Does crying make others/outsiders uncomfortable? In all honesty, when I see people that I don't really know crying, I am uneasy. But when someone whom I'm close to cries, that uneasy/uncomfortable feeling is replaced with care and concern, it touches my heart in a way that calls me into action. Although I have no clue what to do, the response instinctively turns to being available and there for them, whatever way they need it.

One theme in this book is forgiveness..

"Forgiveness is not about forgetting, Mack. It's about

letting go of another person's throat."


"Forgiveness is first for you, the forgiver, to release

you from something that will eat you alive; that will

destroy your joy and your ability to love fully and openly."


"...you may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times

the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less

and each day after, until one day you will realize that you

have forgiven completely."

Without forgiveness, you truly can't move toward God wholly and completely...whatever your situation. Forgivess is no easy task, but without it, you still grasp for control over your life versus giving back to God the control He rightfully desires as our Creator. One of my biggest obstacles was finding the ability to forgive my ex-husband for how our marriage ended (not to mention forgiving myself for my role as well). It wasn't of my own power that I was able to do so...I felt Him nudging me toward the need to forgive and during much prayer along with the help of email, I told him so. Such a burden was lifted from my shoulders and I didn't feel trapped and constricted anymore by that which held me down. My family didn't understand it when I told them what I did. Some didn't think it was wise to open up any form of communication with my ex...what they didn't fully understand was - the lines of communication weren't opened up with my ex, they were opened up with God.


23 July 2008



For the past two weeks or so, the downstairs women's bathroom at work (nearest the break room) has been inhabited by something I've named "Permetheus". He (or she) has been living in the big stall in the afore-mentioned bathroom, specifically - under a propped up 6 foot army green metal cabinet (which houses cleaning supplies). Early in the morning you can find Permetheus lounging on the wooden wedge that props up the cabinet (I think the floor is slanted, thus the wedge) or (s)he'll poke it's little head out from under the cabinet, taking in the "sights". Some folks have been "terrorized" by Permetheus' presence, but they are learning to co-habitate!
Permetheus has become pretty bold as of lately! Noise is no longer a disturbance to him/her and will only duck back under the cabinet if you stomp your feet nearby. To my surprise, Permetheus has made the trek from the bathroom to the break room (maybe looking for a snack?). Unfortunately the word around the break room is, "There is already another four-legged resident who has claimed the break room...a mouse!" I have yet to witness this mouse, but others are saying the mouse is bigger than Permetheus. Will there be confrontation between the two? Who's higher on the food chain? I know reptiles eat mice...but do mice eat reptiles? I left today not knowing the outcome between them. What adventures will tomorrow hold for Permetheus and the mouse?

Today's sighting of Permetheus led me outside the store...not where I would have thought I would find him/her! Permetheus made the long haul through the store, pass the registers, and just outside the exit doors! It amazes me how (s)he even got out of the bathroom and now to find his/her way through the maze that is Office Depot!! I've got customer's who get lost from one exit to the other...I'm sure it had to be an urgent decision to "Get out of Dodge"...just look at the photos below...


It's my belief that mice and lizards DO NOT MAKE GREAT friends! I don't know if I'll ever see Permetheus again...being tailless with a right shoulder wound and all! Maybe the food chain continues on with Permetheus as dinner for some little bird or bunny? There's plenty of wildlife on Base. -- Goodbye Permetheus :-(

14 July 2008

Sea World 2008

Last week while my sister and neices were in town, we went to Sea World! My...how things have changed??? They actually have a roller-coaster there: Journey To Atlantis! We took Madi on her first roller-coaster ride! Tamina (my sister) coaxed Madi through the ride...did I mention that Madi is only 7yrs. old? Her older sisters Jada (11) and Raylean (12) are already "old pros". They've been on the ride before - when their school came for a field trip! They enjoyed the adventure... Madi? Not so much! Tamina kept telling her she's "riding with the big dawgs" as a form of encouragement! It didn't help! She made it through, but didn't want to have any part of it...any more! We rode one more time, handing Madi off to our cousin who was working the ride at the time! It was FUN! I guess Madi's not ready for Six Flags just yet?

Somethings never change...Clyde and Seamore (the walrus and sea lion show) remained the same, only the outfits and performers have changed! New show - Pets Rule, was fun! They had pets (dogs, cats, pigs, birds, ducks...am I missing anything?) perform a variety of tricks. What was neat was that all the pets were "rescue" animals from animal shelters...see..."You can teach an old dog new tricks" - cats too! Dolphin show & Shamu...not much to change really! What I wish they would bring back is the Sparkletts Light & Water Show!!! Does anyone remember that? It was timed lighting, set to music, mixed with dancing streams of water! The 4-D show (Sesame Street) was okay, CA Adventure seemed to be better. We all got wet on the Roaring Rapids ride...sure wished it wasn't so cloudy or that the sun was beginning to set!

I tried to post a slideshow of my Sea World photos (all pictures were taken from my phone mind you)...but I can't seem to figure it out???
Needless to say, I had a great time...well spent with family...sure wish we got an earlier start though! There's always next year?

16 June 2008

An adventure with Herbert...

Timmery affectionately named this bug on her windshield (yesterday), "Herbert". I'm not sure why, but the name seemed to fit at the time? Herbert decided to take rest on an unsuspecting, newly cleaned windshield...the one attached to Timmery's car that is! We were getting ready to go home/duplex/apt. hunting and this little guy wanted to give his wings a rest and so......he landed. Little did he know, he was in for an adventure...one at times in excess of 70 mph!

We took off...leaving the gated community where his rest was supposed to begin. Little Herbert had his six feet (or so I think there were only six) firmly planted to the glass! We made our way into the fast moving street - it was hard for Timmery to stay focused on the road and not on Herbert. We slowed down to take a corner, all the while affixed is our attention on a bug not bigger than my fingernail, just below the area (approximately 3-5 inches) where those reminder oil change stickers go.

"Hang tight little buddy!" About a mile down the road and we've reached speeds of 50-55 mph just to stop and hit the breaks for a stoplight. Still there. We wait patiently, watching his every move. He begins to rub his back legs together then the middle set. He walks in circles for a bit. Is he dizzy, I wonder? "He's got great aerodynamics"...the wind hasn't phased him one bit! I think he's been lulled into a false sense of "this is finally over"...but off we go again...the light has turned green and the pedal is to the metal!

We approached the freeway at Center City Pkwy and the 78. It's going to be the freeway where he's a goner, or so I thought? We've gone at least 70 mph....probably more, Herbert even surfed through the hairpin loop, the one to hop on 15-S. This is one tough bug! We reach our off ramp and drive down the road a bit, getting stuck at another red light. Our outside passenger is still with us. Once we pulled into the apt. complex and parked...car completely off...Herbert flew away and didn't look back! We traveled with Herbert for 4 miles and it was sad to see him go....

11 June 2008

S.W.E.E.T.(ly) said...

Last night seemed to be a "hit"! It was the last night of our women's small group gathering (from church) before the summer session begins and goes co-ed at the beach in Oceanside. The last five weeks or so, each of the girls led an evening....it was leader's choice. One night we watched someone's favorite movie - About A Boy, another - we spent time "being still" before God by meditating and reflecting on our own hearts, then there was an episode of VeggieTales - what's not to love about Snoodles?, then there was game night - pictionnary & guess your famous identity! Last night Sarah and I shared the lead and mixed words with candy! You might ask how the two relate?

To begin: S.WE.E.T. stood for "Sincere Words Everbody Enjoys (to be) Told! It was an evening fillled with sweet words and sweet treats! All who attended brought their favorite candy to share(but didn't know why)! I could have opened a small candy store with all that we had on hand. Everyone drew a name, secretly, and had to write "Words of Affirmations" for that person. Fifteen minutes were given and this was done in two rounds. Since Sarah and I were leaders, we prepared our "SWEET words" in advance for everyone who attended (we didn't restrict ourselves to only two women). I think that made it more personal and allowed us to reflect on each special woman there that has touched our hearts in one way or another.

Everyone was given two sheets of paper with the title and explanation of S.W.E.E.T.(ly) said. They were to use these sheets for whoever's name they drew and begin telling that person kind words that they see in them...all this was done in secret. We didn't sign the sheets, we only collected them and divvied them to their correct owners... just in case, people were shy! I think we know each other well enough, that we were able to figure out who wrote what? :-)

After we all wrote, we took some moments to read what other's wrote to us/about us. I think this is something we could implement in future get-togethers? Who doesn't smile when they read something positive about themselves...that someone you know has written them...just for you? It was a special night. Did I mention that my love language is "Words of Affirmation"? It's ironic, because I am lousy with words...but I love being on the receiving end...when they are kind words!

26 May 2008

Spirit West Coast Del Mar '08

This weekend was incredible! I volunteered at SWC this year for the first time...helping out at the chiropractic and massage ministries. This ministry was a true blessing to be a part of...to be able to help others who are doing God's work either as performers or as behind the scene personnel. To see multiple ministry worship avenues not constrained to a church setting, permeating the entire grounds was an awesome experience to be involved in! I can't wait to do it again next year!!

Performers like Jars Of Clay, Toby Mac, and BarlowGirl were so uplifting and God-honoring, there were times my body shivered feeling God's presence consume me in the moment, blocking out any sort daily worries that typically consume my thoughts and I felt His light surround my body like a force of energy that was unstoppable! Oh...to be able to live like that 24/7...I know it will take actions on my part to do so. God is here with me and I must make choices to be there with Him at all times, giving all of myself...always!

This is my prayer: Lord allow me to never lose sight of who You are. Don't let me get caught up in my daily routines and exclude you from any aspect of my life! You are my hope! Your light shines bright on me erasing the darkness that is past. Forever do I put my hope and trust in You. You, alone, are God and I praise You...

18 May 2008

B-day Dinner (one week later...)

My birthday dinner finally came to fruition....I think I savored it all the more because I had to wait even longer for it? As you may or may not know...I have two favorite restaurants each with their own favorite meal: 1st - Ocean Thai (that pineapple curry I mentioned in "Favorite Foodstuffs") and 2nd - Outback Steakhouse (also mentioned...the Outback Special with cheesecake for dessert)! The food was awesome, it always is...but more importantly it was the company that I had dinner with! I don't spend the same quality time (or even quantity) with Sean & Courtney as I once did...but it was great to catch up, share, and reconnect. They've even secured a second meal with me as part of my birthday present (and this time at Ocean Thai)! I can't wait!

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17

17 May 2008

and work continues on....

Many of you know my work "situation"....extension and after extension with no true definitive answers about how long Office Depot will remain on Camp Pendleton. Well, we received another extension (30 days with 3 'option' months)....surprise, surprise! Don't get me wrong I feel and know that I am truly blessed. God's working this situation out, learning me during this time and hopefully I am growing in His presence. Something worth mentioning...back east Office Depot received the award from GSA (a government entity that will eventually be running all USMC supply stores) for both the Camp LeJeune and Albany stores. So....when GSA is ready to come into Camp Pendleton and take over, it is highly likely that Office Depot (me!) will still be working there...unless God has another direction for me? That is comforting news, not only for myself but my current staff as well (which is too small...so I humbly ask for prayers that God brings me more employees to run the store)! We are a tight-knit crew and I love them all!