Monday, December 23, 2013

Maryann Bright

It's last years photo, I admit it.
I think that's okay.
I am not perfect.
Life goes on.

May your Christmas be merry and bright...
we don't need it white though, that's okay.

May your 2014 be filled with joy, peace and laughter, and good favor.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ten Percent

http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/12/18/politician-lets-treat-all-homeschool-parents-like-felony-child-abusers/

You should read this if you homeschool your kids.

And if you don't homeschool, you should still read this.



Our liberties as parents, the actualy rights on how to educate our children are being threatened.

Based on a parent that took their child out of public school to hide the abuse going on, and that child ended up dead. They weren't homeschooling the child, just hiding him.

And super shocking? At least 10% of school age children have been raped, sexually molested or harassed by TEACHERS...IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS...yet that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Please read this well written article.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Let It Snow, and then that's enough...

Weather stations reported it was coming. They kept changing when it would get here, and as they did the elevation for snow kept getting lower and lower.

And then, Friday evening, it started.


It was lovely.
Thankfully my husband made it home from a gig before the roads were too horrible, and by morning in our area the roads were clear.

Everything is completely icy now due to temperatures in the 20's, but that's okay. I am delighted, it is lovely. It was just enough to feel like Christmas is really nearly here, instead of the unusually warm weather we were having. Some might complain, but not me.


Of course, I don't live where you get trapped in your house and have several feet of snow for several months every year, that would be different.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Label It.

Here is more GMO labeling information for you.
Please consider this information when you select certain foods, and certainly when you vote.

http://www.upworthy.com/more-than-93-percent-of-americans-totally-want-this-to-be-legalized-and-its-not-weed-2?c=tkp1


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Allergic to ALL OF IT

When my extended family gets together it is fun, it can be loud, there is a lot of laughter, and really complicated food nowadays.
Between us there is at least one person, if not more, allergic to or strongly intolerant of:
Eggs, dairy, nuts, strawberries, mustard, soy, fish/shellfish. grapes and grape products: wine & basalmic vinegar, all citrus, bananas, avocado, kiwi, all peppers(except black peppercorn), this includes all bell peppers too, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, paprika, chili powder, huckleberries, goji berries, pimentos and a few stray items.

There is some dietary resrictions for non-allergic, but reactionary reasons, conditions, or to be kind to the heart : low saturated fats, little beef, low fats over all, lower sugar, fiber, not a lot of fiber and some need a higher balance and some a lower balance of protein to carbs.

Then there are a few items that some people simply do not like, like brussel sprouts, cucumber, coconut and walnuts. But they can pick around them.

And let me tell you, soy and surprisingly paprika show up everywhere. There is paprika in many Mayonnaise and mustard jars.

Do you face allergies too?

Here is a link for some yummy sounding gluten free and dairy free options from Jessica at Keeper Of The Home. She also gives hints for serving people with allergies in your home.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Light Sabers and Paper

Because my brother is so cool, he also sent me this link
STARWARS SNOWFLAKE TUTORIALS

Yeah, he's awesome like that.

You're welcome.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lightly Falling

My brother sent me a link to some absolutely amazing snowflakes.

PLEASE go check it out, and if you have kids, show them! 

SNOWFLAKES, UP CLOSE AND WONDERFUL

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Sad Day Indeed.

I can not finish NOBLOPOMO because we have run out of broadband for the month.

Living here sometimes is a pain.

That is all.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Extended Fun

After some debating and slight "pleeeeease"ing and frank discussions among the adults, our good friends have decided to stay longer.

We are beyond thrilled.

Such a treasured family.
We love our friends, we love when we get to see them, and one day simply wasn't enough.

We wish more friends would do the same.

We might not be ritzy, but we will make you feel as comfortable as possible.

They are off on a day trip to see San Fransisco and some friends that live there while I try and figure out what to feed them later. Maybe tacos, maybe a turkey. :)

Doesn't really matter. Just glad they are here.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Full House.




Too busy to write really.
Giant pot luck and testimonies at church, out of town guests filling our home with laughter and fun, food to make and eat, places to go and see. AAhhhhhhhh.
It's all good.

(In the basket ball shot that is a light colored belt...not a rear end.)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fastest Feet Around

Today we attended our first Irish Dance competition. It was regionals, called an Oireachtas.
We were bewildered and amazed.
Yes, we were in a room of spray tanned legs and giant curly wigs, but we were also in a room of wonderful dancers moving their feet with amazing speed and accuracy.

It was fun.

Two of the three teams that my friends children were in placed and received medals. We spent the down time wrangling little ones, eating at Texas Roadhouse, devouring their rolls, and just enjoying the company.

After I got home I saw a highschool classmate's picture on FaceBook, not only were they at the same event, I was standing next to his son's team right before the awards.
Crazy small world.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday....

Over $5,700 was raised to help a family in need.
It was a good night filled with amazing music and baked goods.

My husband has such a gentle spirit and a big heart and I love him for it.

See a need, fill a need.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Game Of Chance

Starting today I have 3 potluck events and one bake sale event in the next 4 days. This is in addition to extra long production rehearsal, a benefit concert, 6 lovely house guests plus 2 others in town, special dancing to go see, and clients to work on, and special church services etc.

Exhausted yet?

And all I can think to take is desserts, you know why? Because they are easy. I don't have to worry about keeping them hot or cold and that is an amazing thing. Also, I can eat them. Pot lucks are really taking a risk for me. Anyone with food allergies knows what I am writing about here. You can look at it, smell it, ask a few questions, but there are no guarantees. You are really just trying to protect yourself from harm, including for some...death, but really? You just look like a picky eater. It's lame. I always take something I can personally eat, that way I know at least one dish is safe. I have learned to avoid un-obvious offenders, like store bought fried chicken and oriental style salad. Bell pepper, and tomatoes dot most dishes, looking lovely and delicious and colorful, but also looking like sheer pain and suffering. One of the events is in the morning, so hopefully it will be safer. Breakfast food is much easier for me to eat.

 I am thankful for this.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Imaginary Check List

I have done many things today, unfortunately none of them, well almost none of them, are what I NEEDED to get done.
Why is that?
I have been busy since I got up, but nothing on my important "To-Do" list is done!

I have decided that I need to make up a list so that I feel like something went the right way today.
Something a little like this:

1. Wake up oddly late.  
2. Forget to drink morning tea until it is barely warm.
3. Think about starting laundry.
4. Quickly make big lunch when client wants to change appointment to earlier time slot.
5. Balance checkbook, cry slightly.
6. Have circular conversation with son.
7. Repeat number 6.
8. Go to library, don't find anything.
9. Look at "to-Do" list, cry slightly again.
 10. BLOG about it.


I feel so much better! I can check everything off my list!




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Delightful

Last night we had the honor of attending a graduate students senior recital, in jazz piano. She plays in Aaron's band, and she is a delightful person. The evening was amazing. Such talent, not only in her, but from those she chose to play with her. We even witnessed a duet with a vibraphone. Rich and mellow doing a phenomenal arrangement of Eleanor Rigby.

I had forgotten how nice it is to just sit and let music wash over you, pull you in. It was like reading a good book in fact. I saw imagery,  and felt emotions just based on the piece being played.

Like I said, delightful.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Re-Arranged

We have a lot of house guests coming this weekend, and then more family in December, and a daughter coming back and forth due to college. We had to re-arrange a bit of our houses, including the placement of the computer.
It's all better now, well almost, except for the paperwork trail around the house. I split up my desk into two areas, this may be a mistake, but it is too late now.

In other news the weather seems to be changing into a real Fall.
Which means it is getting colder, finally. It also means I am searching the house of all the blankets for our visitors.  I think we will be okay. 

I want them to remember coming over to my house, perhaps we will make sugar cookies on Sunday for them to take home and share.

I don't care what we do, I am just glad they are coming.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Killer Worship Team

After church we were invited to do something new with a few other families, go shooting. I grew up shooting bows, and BB guns, but never the real deal. We said yes.

We drove into remote private property, with permission and guidelines from the owner, who was there actually. It was a beautiful Fall day, the leaves making a carpet across the ground and poison oak. Targets and old pumpkins were placed strategically and a shooting line created.

While there we realized that we had two sound guys, our graphic designer for the church , and four members of the worship team, including two of the leaders.  This of course led to some seriously funny conversation of the Killer Worship Team. Not sure if it would be a drama or a comedy, but it made us laugh.

I shot a 9mm and an AK-15.
And it was great.

I was taught all the safety and loading and proper use. We were a very safe, albeit loud, group. Yes ear protection was worn. There may or may not have been some explosives involved in one of the pumpkins.
 It was a great day.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Community Matters

The same family that helped us with the glasses for Spencer lost a family member last week. Travel was necessary to take care of business and morn with others, it was the wife's mom. We were called to see if the oldest son, Spencer's friend could stay with us a few says.

Of course he can!

It didn't matter what we had planned, or what needed to be figured out, that is one of those moments that you say yes and leave the details to God to figure out. And in the end, that is exactly what happened.

Living in community is essential. Maybe you don't know your next door neighbor, maybe you know nobody on your street, but what happens when a tragedy strikes? Who can you turn too right there, with out traveling, without calling? I don't know how to meet them, I am also not a natural at such things. But I do know that the holidays ar here, and that seems like a good time to make some extra cookies and go say hello.


Friday, November 15, 2013

This is Friday's Post!

I ended a 40 day fast from sugar.
So I made caramel.

And it was good.

SO very good.



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life In These Hills...

A week from tomorrow some of my favorite people will be in town. I am very excited. Her two oldest will be dancing in a competition, actually, a Feis , for it is Irish dancing. The costumes and bouncing fake ponytails are amazing. These kids work hard too. Hopefully everything works out and I actually get to see them perform.

In other news my son FINALLY started filming his movie. We are very excited and proud of him. He has a lot to learn, and hopefully he doesn't get too frustrated. He has been writing the script and figuring out green screen work and locations.

Next week my husband is also giving a benefit concert for a dear, sweet friend, Carolina. Her son was paralyzed from the shoulders down this summer when he dove into a pool. She has moved to Texas to take care of him as he recovers and learns a new way of life. We are trying to not only help them have a better holiday, but also renovate the bathroom and maybe help with a vehicle.

Anyone can help, here is information and a link to give.
Inline image 1

http://pfoonline.org/ Here is the link to help them out.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nothing in Particular

This is a post about nothing in particular because I have been very busy today and I have an idea for a great post, but it will take too long to write tonight, and quite frankly I would rather go sit on my booty next to  my husband and watch Deadliest Catch.

Carry on with your Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thank God It's Tuesday!

Thank you Lord that it's Tuesday, because I can focus even more gratitude for my life!

Although I am not kidding about being thankful, I jest that i wait until Tuesday! Gratitude should always be a daily exercise.

Today, a list of things I am NOT allergic to! YEAH!

1. Garlic, oh the wonders of garlic.
2. Bread.
3. Peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots.
4. Sweet potatoes!  I am also thankful that they are trendy right now, since I can't eat any other kind of potato.
5. Wasabe, cumin, mustard seed, corriander, black pepper. Strong flavors to help make up for the absence of all other peppers....chili powder, paprika, etc...
6. Bacon. :)
7. The entire citrus family. (Sorry Dave, I know you miss them)
8. Nuts.
9. DAIRY. This should get it's own list. Butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt? YES PLEASE.
10. Marshmallows.


I had 2 allergic reactions this weekend. Both innocent mistakes. One was a cheese cracker, but what I didn't know was that it was a potato cheese cracker. I suddenly was losing my voice, I thought maybe I was getting sick. I didn't know what the issue was. The other was a peice of salami. It was in a variety pack, I tried the first two without any problems, thought nothing of it, and popped it into my mouth. My lips burned, my mouth felt weird, and my voice started getting hoarse. I knew immediatly that it must have some sort of chili pepper in it. I found the packaging and there it was. Weird thing, my stomach started to quiver, internally. It was a weird sensation. I drank a lot of water and was ready to take some benedryl but my throat stabalized and it started fading.

I am writing this post, because even though I have a long list of standard good for you foods I can not eat, I do still have good options.

I am thankful.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Garlic Flowing Like a River

Last week we had the honor of dinning with some newer friends. We have tried to get together for quite some time but our schedules never lined up, and then suddenly we all had an opening.

Let me just say that Portuguese and Italian is a beautiful mix.

Our chef for the evening searched her recipes for something I could actually eat. She went to the trouble of making a copy of my allergy list, and we talked about all the possibilities...or lack therein.

A menu was chosen.
Chicken Picata, a favorite, a spinach dish, polenta, and the most amazing garlic bread I have ever eaten. Seriously, the bread was so incredible.
Everything was incredible.

There were 3 full bulbs of garlic used in the dinner, not cloves, bulbs. Getting out of the car and walking towards the house an aroma of delightful and robust hit us in the face. As we entered their home, we salivated.

She allowed us to partake in the bread before dinner was done.

I won't lie, you should be a little jealous right now. 

I could have just eaten that bread, but then I would have missed out on everything else.

I mentioned that they should come over to our house for dinner. Then I panicked. What was I thinking? What in the world could I ever make that would top what she makes all the time. They eat amazing robust, good for you food, a lot. The garlic alone should keep their immune systems in perfect order. My recipe box and cookbooks are filled with forbidden ingredients now. Beautiful things like, tomatoes.Think for a moment of many of your families favorite dishes...now, find a few food items that those dishes have in common, then pretend like you are allergic to those items. What would you cook? If all the old standby's and staples were now out of the mix.

It's hard.

I know many people out there suddenly can't have gluten or wheat. That's a sad day, I feel your pain. I can still eat bread, but I am being careful about it, I don't want that on my can't eat it list.

I am seeking out new family stand by's. One's I can make that taste amazing, that are friends over for dinner worthy, and also a list of quick fix it meals. I have come up with a few lately. So it is getting better.

 I just hope I can find something really amazing before our schedules all match up again.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

YardSticks

Ann Voskamp has long been a favorite blogger of mine. She writes poetically, and of grace and gratitude.
I wanted to pass along this link to this post of hers on her Holy Experience.

It's regarding measuring up, measuring each other, and the damage it causes.

Please read it, and share it, and think about it when you look in a mirror or at someone else.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

If Only They Knew...

Be kind to yourself.
And others.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stolen, but so GOOD!

Don't know where this list originated from, seriously, someone out there originally made this list. My friend shared it on her blog this week, because someone shared it on her FaceBook...and here it is again...

My Child ~
You may not know me, but I know everything about you ~ Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up ~ Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways ~ Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered ~ Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image ~ Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being ~ Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring ~ Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived ~ Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation ~ Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book ~ Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live ~ Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made ~ Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb ~ Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born ~ Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me ~ John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love ~ 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you ~ 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your father ~ 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could ~ Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father ~ Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand ~ James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs ~ Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love ~ Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore ~ Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing ~ Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you ~ Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession ~ Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul ~ Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things ~ Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me ~ Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart ~ Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires ~ Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine ~ Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you ~ Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart ~ Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes ~ Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth ~ Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus ~ John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed ~ John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being ~ Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you ~ Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you ~ 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love ~ Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me ~ 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again ~ Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen ~ Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father ~ Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is ~ Will you be my child? ~ John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you ~ Luke 15:11-32



Love, Your Dad, Almighty God

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wasn't Kidding...

This NaBloPoMo is really self-imposed this time. I missed the official deadline for signing up. Even though I do it every year. Oh well.

This is for me, to get back into the routine of writing. I have struggled with what to write some days. It isn't for a lack of things to write about however. The problems are balance and time, and the big one, what is saying too much? What is too personal, and what is raw enough to help someone else out?

Sometimes I want to start a whole new blog, with an alias name, and not tell anyone I know in real life...okay, maybe not completely anonymous. But sometimes I have stories I want to share. Nothing gossipy, but I don't necessarily want other people to know what is going on.

We recently had issues with a client. This person, among pages and pages of other ridiculous accusations, claimed my husband put something on Facebook just so someone would give him a hand out. But the truth was we were making a declaration of faith, waiting for a miracle and expecting God to come through for us. He did come through, and not from anyone on Facebook!

I don't want my blog to look like a cry for help when things are tough. But sometimes, things are tough. Our life is not perfect! We struggle, and just keep going. We don't always respond to issues with the grace we should, thankfully God does. My house gets cluttered and messy, I get behind on laundry, I ignore my garden, and make bad food choices.

I feel better just letting you know that.

 SO what is the purpose of this blog?

Originally it was just a place to share what was up in our life with friends. But then I wanted to encourage others. I want you to know, you are not alone! Life isn't the pretty perfect picture many paint on their blogs. They don't talk about when they snapped at their kids, or yelled at a bad driver, or accidentally ran a red light...unless it is a funny story. We faulter we fail, we flail around in our messes, we seek help, we dust ourselves off, we accept a hand, and hopefully we keep moving forward! Sometimes it takes longer than it could have, but we all have a journey to make.

I would like you to know, you are not alone.
I want you to know how much God loves you, even when things seem bleak.
I want you to be encouraged, and remember to be thankful.
EVERY LITTLE THING MATTERS IN GRATITUDE.
I am thankful for my readers, I am thankful to have the ability to communicate, I am thankful for the chance to connect with someone, and maybe, even if it is in the tiniest way, make a difference for them. I am thankful to be breathing today, and able to hug someone that needs it.

What are you thankful for?




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oh Yeah, It's November

So, I am supposed to be writing every day. Not really sure why, it's a self-imposed kind of thing.
BUT I AM CHOOSING TO DO IT JUST THE SAME!

So here is DAY SIX!

Well....

The weather is a little colder now.
So, that's good.

That might be all I have to say today.
Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

GROWTH

This time it isn't about the spiritual kind of growing, but the actual kind.
When the 11.5 shoes are too small, and the inseam matches his father's...
when the marks on the wall keep moving up, and even through much denial there is a mustache and chin hairs....your heart aches just a little.

I am not an overly sentimental person by nature, but he is my youngest, and my only boy. I am thrilled to see him turn into a man, but also a little shocked. I turn around and he is thinner, and taller, just like that! We haven't had any giant spurts that people talk about. You know, the 4 inches in a month kind of thing. I do keep measuring him though, just in case...I want to catch it in action.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Coming Soon...

Not to theatres, but to our local area...
We have some big performances coming up. And we are busy getting ready.
First , my son's school is putting on an original musical called "Our Time". Utilizing songs from successful Broadway musicals we have compiled together with a story about an audition at a local community theatre.
Spencer is actually featured a bit in this one. Many of the strongest male vocalists all graduated last year, so Spencer is stepping up to the stage.

Also, our church is putting on it's annual Christmas Concert. This year we are raising funds for our local firemen to purchase a special wetsuit for rescues. A worthy cause for sure.

Both events are the same weekend.

And all three of us are extremely involved with both performances.

Ahem.

It's going to be very busy around here for awhile.
Aaron has taken a position as a voice teacher at Spencer's school, and I have volunteered my talents as well to help the already fabulous drama teacher. It is a big class, and a big undertaking, and we just wanted to help get it to the next level. The kids are working hard, but with extremely limited rehearsal time they will need to step it up.Aaron is also making music tracks for the show. We are unable to have live musicians, so we must sing to tracks, not all of which are readily available. SO he is creating several of them.

Aaron is also writing charts for extra horn parts and other such things for our Christmas concert. It is part of his job in general for our church. He is also teaching two choirs at two other neighborhood school that will participate in the concert as well.

Whew. I am tired just thinking about everything he is doing.

My parents are also coming in for that weekend. Not only to attend the performances, but because my dad will play trombone for the concert. This makes us very happy. It's been awhile since he was well enough to make that drive and take on such things.

Life is busy, but God is good, so life is good.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dead(liest)Head

Okay, I admit it. I have recently started watching DVD's of The Deadliest Catch.
And I love that show.
The Baring Sea amazes me...and those guys out on those boats? CRAZY!

Just finished the saddness of season 6.

Picked up my reserved copy of season 7 at the library today. I will try really hard to go to bed on time and not watch "just one more" episode...

but it's hard to stop...






Any shows you watch like this?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

This is Fall?

I know this is a lame subject...but what's up with the weather?  Maybe where you live everything is normal, but not here. We are having roller coaster weather. Odd 74 degrees or warmer and cold nights, instead of fall chill. We had enough cold to snap the trees into Fall color, but then enough heat to turn half of the trees brown instead. And I don't mean half of the all the trees, I mean half of each tree. It's really weird. SO then instead of a colorful show it kinda dies and just drops them all brown. Some trees haven't even started turning yet. It is certainly cooler, but not the normal. I am not actually complaining. Weather like this means we don't have to turn on the A/c or the heater. And that, for this frugal family, is a very good things indeed.

Also, there is no rain. Usually by now we stop watering our lawns and all that. Not so this year. No rain, and continued warmer weather. It's almost like living in southern California again. Almost. We do still have the spectacular tree show...

I just hope we get some rain soon. Last year was drought conditions, we need lots of rain and a really good snow pack up the hill a bit...

How is Fall where you are?

Friday, November 1, 2013

But I don't want to move...

So, it's been awhile since I have posted anything at all. Partially because my life got crazy, and also because we ran out of broadband last month. Yes, ran out.

It is possible.

We don't have the lovely option of unlimited. And we pay precious money for each increase in how much we can use, and well, we hit a spot that we just couldn't go any higher. It was painful really.

We have hit a weird spot, once again, in our quest for solutions...move? Make bundles of money? Move?
There doesn't seem to be any other company we can use. We have researched, we have tried, we have asked neighbors. In fact, our next door neighbor is able to use a company that we can't. The representative came out, used his equipment, walked all over the property, climbed a tree, got on the roof, and could not lock in a signal. We were heavily saddened that day.

Of course no one wants to move. It's ridiculous, and hard work, and expensive.
Of course we may have to move anyways...and I try to not get into politics here, but this "affordable" forced health care thing? Yeah, we can't afford it. We are being forced to buy something we can't afford, or penalized for not spending the money we don't have. SO we might have to move just to lower our overhead so we can afford what is supposed to be affordable.
Did you follow that?

Except, we also don't have money to move either.
And it opens a bunch of other issues as well, like room for my husbands office and whatnot.

So, that's what's up.
That and getting used to having a son in law, but that's good stuff.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

And Then There Was One More

I am studying a new modality in massage work.
It's called Bowen Therapy.
But more on that another day...
I had a client, on the table, ready to start when my cell phone rang. This in itself is amazing because it often chooses to not ring or signal me...randomly. I glanced at the screen, it was my daughter Alyssa, but it would be rude to answer with a person on the table. I let it go.

And then the house phone started ringing instead.
Our home line doesn't have an answering machine or voicemail...so I knew it would just keep ringing and ringing and ringing.
I apologized to my client, thankfully she is a dear friend and was okay with it.

I answered the phone and my daughter spoke these words, "Hello, this is Alyssa NEWLASTNAME speaking".

I verified to make sure was wasn't kidding around.

She wasn't.
My daughter got married.

While not everyone is happy with their choice to do it privately we are happy that they are wed, we are happy to call Dustin a son(in law) and well, it's just good. Hence the title of this post, I have one more "kid", a son, a brother for Spencer.


This wasn't a quick choice, they have been engaged for awhile now. The thought of planning a wedding while taking 18 units, or how ever many she is currently taking, just pushed her over the edge, and not a good edge. They will carry on with school and get their degrees as planned. :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Put Down The Chocolate...Somebody Already Got Hurt

Hate to be the bearer of bad news...
Do you know where your chocolate comes from?
Who harvested it?
How old are they, and are they working by choice or slavery?

Here's a good article about it, also linking to a documentary regarding the subject.

THERE IS GOOD NEWS TOO.
There is chocolate that is "FAIR TRADE"...Please, read, share, and encourage others.
Child labor and slavery is not worth that little piece of chocolate.

ALSO!!! Read the comments on the above article, many people wrote in more safe choices! Including, apparently, Costco chocolate chips!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Thankful Jury Duty Tuesday!

Woo! It's FALL. Not just by the calendar, but by the wonderful weather, and the leaves have started to turn and fall.

Love this season!

And why?
I am so thankful:
1. To wear boots!
2. Sweaters!
3. Cooler nights, better sleep!
4. Spectacular fall color explosion in my yard and community.
5. Burning extra calories raking said color explosion...
6. SO I can consume yummy pumpkin and apple spice flavored items.
7. Lower energy bills, before it gets cold.
8. Less yard work overall.
9. Soup.
10. Jury Duty

Okay, I am not necessarily thankful that I have Jury Duty this week, calling in everyday, not knowing what the next day holds is a little nerve racking. I have a life, and a busy one at that! But I am thankful to live in a country that still has a justice system, no matter how flawed or possibly broken, that at least tries. We could be thrown in jail for now reason, or without trial. We could be shot dead without trial. I am thankful.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Truly Amazing Make A Wish...

Long story short...I have a friend who is friends with this amazing family. One of their sons has terrible cancer, he has been fighting it for awhile now, and it seems to be winning.
But He will not go from this place before letting people know the truth...

Please, watch his make a wish video, and share it anyway you can.
 The password is : wish
Thank you

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eeeg Gads! Looky This!

First...a free Kindle book offer;
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F45N2RE/&tag=doopla-20

It's 101 Days of Christmas.

Next, check out the crazy face hairdo's of these national champions:
http://twistedsifter.com/2013/09/national-beard-and-mustache-championships-2013-highlights/

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's a Trap!

Across America people must get what's called a "Life Scan" to work with children.
I see nothing wrong with this.
The national company takes fingerprints, does a background check, and verifies who you are, making sure you are safe to work with kids.

Please understand, I THINK THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

However.
At least in California, there is a scam going on.
Our Government here, and perhaps in many other states as well, has made this scan a money maker.

My husband will be working at 3 different schools this year.
Two of which are about 3 blocks apart, the other being within 2 miles. All three inside the same school district.

Because of California laws we have to have the "Life Scan" done three separate times...at a cost to us each and everytime. A smaller fee goes to the company, depending on where you have it done there is a fee on top of that, and then there is the additional fee that the government charges. Oh yes, they get the biggest cut of the amount,  and they are the ones making it mandatory to have it done separately.
Seems a little fishy to me.

I would understand if it had been a few years, or a different county perhaps. This is on top of the TB testing you must get, again, to be done separately for each school. Makes no sense at all.

Greed is ugly.
And it is costing us all.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Glasses

My son's eyesight requires corrective lenses, strong ones.
He has worn them for some time, we have gone through a few prescription changes and snapped frames. He had his latest upgrade in April/May. So I was super surprised Saturday morning when I walked out into the kitchen and he said,"My glasses are broken".

I panicked.  And I lowered my head and grumbled something to God, it wasn't right....and then I repented and said I would try to stay positive, and trust everything would be okay.

This might not seem like much to some, but it was the straw that broke the camels back...This is a very lean month. And on top of it being lean we had to pay for 2 cars at the DMV and other unforeseen fees so my husband can work in the local schools...more on that tomorrow. It wasn't a single event, it has been a summer of events all piling up. I looked to my husband with a stupid "why?", and he answered, "Maybe we are being tested like Job". ACK! I thought about it a moment, "Job's wife didn't do to well during that". My husband pleaded at me with his eyes and answered me, "But you can".


The Wal Mart we go to for optical needs is "down the hill". It's at least 30 minutes away, so not local. My husband was leaving for the day in our only car, because he had gigs (YAY WORK!!)  Our other car is still being held captive by my daughter her totaled her own car....sigh. Pray she finds a new car soon. So I knew I couldn't get to the store, and I knew I didn't have THAT kind of money to replace the glasses...

First I text a friend to pray for us because the glasses were broken.
Then we text a friend who's dad makes eyeglasses. We just asked for him to look at the frames in case he could put the spring hinge post back in where it belonged. I knew it was a long shot, but it was so worth it. My kid really needs to see.

They happened to be out and about and asked us to meet them at his lab, mere minutes from the house, and in the meantime, my other friend called me back and said she was willing to drive us down the hill and pay whatever the charge was.

I nearly cried.

We arrived at the lab, he looked at the frames and announced them dead.
He started talking of a special bonding glue that he had in the lab and started moving around the lab, and called Spencer into another room, and we chatted with his wife...next thing I knew, he had made Spencer a new pair of glasses. No charge. One lens is slightly stronger than his regular prescription, but Spencer says it's amazing, like HD or something.

The kindness of friends, that know how precious eyesight is...

So now my kid could see, and I knew, that if the vision center had to send off for new glasses, at least he could see in the meantime.

Much later in the day we picked up my friend's son, Spencer's best friend, and headed down the hill, right through a huge storm. The sky darkened, the wind came on suddenly. My friend said in Texas this is when you start looking for funnels. We made it through and headed in the rain into the store.

The woman that always helps us was there, and I was thankful. We share the same name, she is older, and must have had a stroke or something at some point in her life. One hand is mostly clenched shut and there are slight other indicators. This has never stopped her or even slowed her down from helping us quickly and proficiently. I really like her. She took a look at the glasses and said "uh oh". She brought up our file, and found the frames on the wall...and then, 2nd miracle of the day, they fixed the glasses for us, right there on the premises for NO CHARGE.

My friend and I rejoiced, and gave glory to God.

Sometimes, when things seem ridiculously hard, or dark, the most amazing things can happen, even when things seemed to have gotten worse.

I struggled this week, bewildered by the onslaught of financial burdens, with out the funds. I vented to my husband of frustration, and how it seems so many things fall into place for OTHER people...
We had to come to grips that we were still striving to be self sufficient.
We all do it.
We want to make all the money we will ever need...
not have to seek money from others.
We want to take care of things, get them all done, on our own,
Not depend on a friend for a ride, or anything else.

We were designed to live in community, to rely on one another, not stand alone, like islands. Even islands have help, with tides, and birds and wind.

I thank God for His mercies.
I thank Him I did better through this trial than I thought I could.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Hobbity

We are knee deep in Hobbity things currently in our home. Someone is turning 13 soon, and we are having a party next week. I have plundered the boards of Pinterest, spoken to many experts, and made a general plan.


I did this to myself.
It was going to be pizza and a movie.
And then, I don't know what happened, I suggested we do a theme, something geeky and fun.


And here I am, planning spiderweb mazes and other unexpected journey type things.

And a table full of foods.

Yep.


I am going to be happy I did it in the long run, but I am still questioning my sanity in the meantime.

Did I mention the costumes?



yep.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What Day Is It?

Apparently it is September 17th.
(Happy bday LD and WD, no relation)

How did it get half past September? HOW!?

So many things have happened this year, small in scale, but large in impact on us. SO while I feel we sped through the eyar, a lot has already happened, and we aren't done yet.
My husband and I were commenting last night that it just seems never ending...ever. No breaks. Just when things seem to level out, or a small breather is about to happen, or perhaps it looks like a fanancial miracle is on the rise...BAM. Nope.

But you know what? We will praise anyway, oh yes, we will.

So very thankful:
A home to live in, even if we are paying someone elses mortgage and into their retirement and equity, We still have a roof to live under. I am happy about this.

Food. Can't always afford the best options, but we don't go hungry.

Friendships, some lasting DECADES and DECADES, and DECADES...etc. :)

Ability to learn, grow, stretch and MOVE ON.

Ability to trust.  So many people can't trust anything or anyone.

Ability to laugh, dream, and wonder.


I am also thankful that it is pumpkin season, oh yes, bring on the pumpkin baked goods.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Like that Bread??

Why 80% of People Worldwide Will Soon Stop Eating Wheat.

 

I have researched this information for awhile now, I didn't write this article, but thought maybe someone out there might need to know what's going on. How many people do you now know that can't have wheat or gluten? The numbers are growing.

At the bottom of the article are some of the resources, as well as another article regarding why wheat is now so different than what our ancestors ate. 



Monday, September 9, 2013

Hit Me With Some Sugar

I know it is small to see...originally I found this on FaceBook, I have it on my page if you happen to know me.Here is their own link, giving credit where credit is due. Let me sum up...we eat way too much sugar and brain scans suggest that the brain is as addicted to it as it would be cocaine. That's pretty scary.
Daily suggested amount of sugar: 9.5 teaspoons or less...what adults consume: 22 teaspoons a day...and children? 32!!!! 500 calories a day in sugar is average. That's an easy way to cut calories, except we are addicted to it like a drug.
All I can say is READ LABELS! Be aware!

Friday, September 6, 2013

World Events Link

I found this amazing Brief History of Syria over on Simple Mom. With in it is this link for what's going on today in Syria. Being educated about such things would be wise right about now.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More Real Life

Here is one more documentary I watched this week.
Amazing story of a man and his yard...all because he wasn't allowed to buy a house in a certain area because "his kind doesn't keep care of their yards".
Showed them.

A Man Named Pearl

He has a gentle spirit, is always looking to build up the good in others, and a true artist with a pair of clippers, just amazing.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Presenting....

Available for your gatherings, weddings, whatever...















From Sacramento to Reno, San Fransisco to San Diego...Has musicians, will travel...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

So Exciting...

My daughter started a web comic, Adis & Brunn. It's about a viking girl and her T-Rex. We are just 2 strips in, I hope you enjoy it.

Also, she was accepted as an intern for a local gaming company. This is really good for her resume. Sure , she is taking 19 units and is now an intern...whatever. (Pray for her)

I love seeing things unfold.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday, more or less

Sometimes you just need to sit on your deck and not think about stuff.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lunch

I made lunch yesterday, it is often our big meal.


Pork Loin, home made applesauce, sauteed sweet potato with coriander and mixed greens/spinach salad.

It was yummy. My husband said I need to post these types of meals on the Facebook of a one of his band members. She wants to learn to cook, but is intimidated by it.

SO EASY!
Seriously.
I offered to help her learn. I know she is busy in grad school but healthy real food doesn't have to be complicated or hard, or time consuming. I made this meal  in maybe 20-25 minutes. The apple sauce was made last fall and preserved, but even that isn't hard.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Real.

I have been watching documentaries this week.
It started with Food Inc. and Super Size Me for Spencer's health class. I had read one before and we watched the other years ago, but both are a good reminder about modern day food.

While at the library I chose a few others to  check out. I have watched them all this week, fascinating and information, and all well made.
Typhoid Mary. I had no idea of the details behind the title. A feisty Irish woman infecting others, even though she herself is not ill. A good historical look conditions and beliefs of the time.
A Walk To Beautiful, Ethiopian women cast out of their society because of injuries due to giving birth, (Fistulas) walk and travel far to get to a wonderful hospital that helps them get a real life back. Very moving, and eye opening. Partially subtitled
This Is Not  Film, a film director in the middle east is under investigation is banned from film making and faces  imprisonment. He catches a day in his life through a cell phone and a friend with a real camera. It was fascinating, it's like he couldn't help himself from telling life stories with film. Gives a good glimpse into how controlled their lives are in his country. Subtitles.
Under Our Skin. This is about Lyme disease and what is going on medically, scientifically, politically, and also personally through some people's stories. It is really eye opening. I strongly suggest it.

For something more light hearted we will watch about the puppeter : Being Elmo


I included links where I could find them so you could read more about them. I borrowed all of these titles from our public library system.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Don't Teach Me To Read

I was at a public library this week, browsing movies and picking up "Super Size Me" for my son's health class assignment. Nearby a librarian and a gentleman were having a conversation. He was asking if they had a form of some sort. Not sure for what, but apparently he was asking for help filling it out. It was clear he NEEDED help to fill it out, the librarian answered that they could answer questions and slightly assist but that they could not fill it out for him. They spoke some more of the subject. It seemed that the man may have had a slight mental disability, and then he fully admitted to literacy difficulties.

He spoke of how he had a job with a chain restaurant nearby where he worked in the kitchen, until such time that they tested him on a computer system and he  kept failing the tests. He knew the answers on how to wash dishes properly and handle chicken safely, but you have to be able to fully read, comprehend and work a comupter to do it, which he could not. Seems to me that since his job did not require him to use a computer, someone could have tested him verbally, but that didn't happen and after he failed again they fired him.

Here is where it gets interesting.
The librarian mentioned that this library offers adult literacy classes.
He was polite, but firmly refused. He gave excuse after excuse of why he didn't need it, or want it. he wasn't going to further his education with higher learning so why work on literacy. He wasn't going to go into work with computers so why improve literacy.

My heart broke a little for him. He can not see the value, or isn't willing to work for it.
I don't know his road, I don't know why he doesn't read well, perhaps it is a learning disability, perhaps a childhood trauma, perhaps he is just stubborn. I know not, and I will try to not stand in judgement, but it was hard to not shake my head a little walking away from the conversation.

Free help, free compassion and assistance to get past the issue, so you don't have to ask for help filling out basic forms....and a flat out no.

Okay, at least he knows it is available.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

This First Shall Be Last

He started ninth grade this year...High School.
He is my youngest, this first is a last for us.

But we are so proud of him.







This is first day of 8th grade for comparison....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Homeschool Demographics, WFMW

Homeschooling is not for everyone. Seriously. It's not.
I LOVE.LOVE.LOVE. this graphic demographics and test scores and all that. In this household we do a morphed version of homeschooling. Some classes at home, some in classrooms with certified teachers. It works well for us....

If you have ever considered it, even a little tiny bit, check this out
It not only works for us, it works for a lot of people...

 (Again, it isn't for everyone)


Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spider Bite?

On the very last day of being at the cabin we took a mini hike.
I had been bite free until that time.

Then I noticed a bite on my instep/upper foot.
It's weird, I don't like it, and I started researching things on the "interwebs".

I know, I know, probably a mistake.
But I would rather KNOW if it something scary like a brown recluse bite or something more benign.

Interestingly enough I found this description of a Camel Spider:
"Camel spiders are sometimes called wind scorpions or sun spiders, but in reality, they are neither scorpions nor spiders. They belong to a group of desert creatures called solpugids, and they have elongated bodies that make them look more like scorpions than spiders. The name, derived from Latin, means "escape from the sun." In the United States, camel spiders can be found in the deserts of the southwest. They are light brown in color, can be up to 5 inches long, and can run at about 10 miles per hour — often making a screaming sound while doing so."


So let me get this straight, 5 inches long,  runs towards you to get into the shade caused by your shadow, WHILE SCREAMING?

Um, no.
No thanks.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pirate Map

These 40 maps of the world are fascinating...

I was taken aback by number 35. The thought may have crossed my mind that pirates still exist...but here is a map showing where they are likely to strike...

Weird, right?

The rest of the maps could be interesting or helpful for school projects...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I'm Busy, Tomorrow....

Today is the last day to read novels by the stream, laugh with many of my family members and avoid "real life". We head home tonight. Tomorrow is packed with rehearsals, helping a friend with her daughter's wedding, and Aaron has a gig.These are all good things, and I should be relaxed and ready to go.

Yes we will have to unpack the car and laundry and all that, but it's all good.
Being replenished, being refreshed can help in the normal daily stuff.

Even a 30 minute break can do the trick.

Take a deep breath, let it back out (important to remember), and just say "Everything is going to be okay in the end, if it isn't okay yet, it isn't the end..."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Excuse Me?

I'd like to interrupt these lovely vacation thoughts with this...
Last week on my birthday I needed to step into a Dollar Tree for something...
and to my horror and dismay (budumbum) I was astounded to see HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS.
Barely the second week of August.
I will share my birthday with school supplies, especially since school, for some dumb reason, starts next week, but this is gross.

I don't think I have ever seen them this early.


Okay, back to peaceful thoughts of whispering pines and what-not.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thankful Ten Tuesday

Greetings from the pines of the Sierra Nevada.

I AM THANKFUL:

1.  Breezes whispering through the pines.
2.  Babbling brooks.
3.  Friends with boats.
4.  Ugg boots and down comforters.
5.  AN opportunity to use items in #4 during August.
6.  A family of foodies that know how to eat really well, even while camping.
7.  Game night, everynight.
8.  Hiking and being in the splendor of God's creation.
9.  Clean air.
10. My great nephew, adorable and delightful.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stop Insulting My Wife

When I get down on myself, when I am talking smack and picking on this lump or that wrinkle, or my utter failure at NOT eating something my husband looks at me with love in his eyes and speaks firmly, but softly, "Stop talking about my wife like that".

And he means it.

Have you seen "Mean Girls"? Have you watched when the clique of girls takes turns looking in the mirrror and tearing themselves down, and then they all turn to the new comer expecting her to do the same, and she is stunned and mutters something about morning breath.
It's a brilliant scene, kudos to Tina Fey.
What an amazingly terrible we live in, expecting perfection and training people to tear themselves apart if they don't live up to it.

We train our children to do the same, and unless we are filtering every bit of media, they will get the message elsewhere even if they miss it at home.

Another great moment in literature is in the book "The Help". Abeleine the maid is telling the little girl everyday that she is kind, and good. Something she was never hearing from her mother.

We all need to hear that. Everyday.

Speak life, to your kids, to your family, to your friends, and especially, to yourself.


I found this post on this blog to be interesting. She is a model saying that if you aren't perfect, don't worry...photoshop will take care of that. For me, this article is about people looking at images of other people, and never making the cut, never looking as good as, or good enough. So many look up to stars and models and yet, their own images have been "fixed".

Altered, trimmed, smoothed out, and frankly, cookie cutter stamped.

It takes out the unique features, removes the curves of motherhood, the smile lines of life, the sun kissed freckles, and truth of the real side of life.

It makes humans into illustrations.
Model is a good word for it.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Worth Repeating

I have said it before, and I will say it again...
The English language is a living thing, and it is always changing...

I love LOVE LOVE this article because it points out the true meanings of some words...

Check it out.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Forest Fire on a Cake

There may or may not be a birthday this week. It might be a slight milestone birthday, on the way to a BIG one in 5 years or so.

I usually don't care, I figure, "That's right, I am this old, but I feel the same as I did 20+ years ago".

However, my face seems to be revolting, it isn't fighting anymore, and I am losing the battle with gravity.
What's that about?

Maybe I need one of those things you hang on upside down in a doorway. 

Or perhaps to just embrace the changes and move on.
Wrinkled, saggy, whatever...shine from the inside, and you will always be beautiful.



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordlessish Wednesday

He starts High School Monday.




!!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

THANKFUL TEN TUESDAY!

It's time...
It's time to remember what you are grateful for!
There is much darkness and crap in life, but there is more good, and goodness, and things to be thankful for.

Whenever you feel down, or grumpy or upset, or anxious force yourself to think of something to be thankful for, just do it. Doesn't natter if you start with a sour attitude, it will get better and improve your mood.

I am thankful!
1.  Genuine friends for my son.
2.  Open conversations about real life, motives, and honest feelings.
3. Technology that helps smooth out stressful planning.
4. The ability to be active.
5.  Iced herbal tea.
6.  Fresh peaches, from the yard.
7.  Card games.
8.  New adventures.
9.  Art
10. Friendly parents.



What are you thankful for?

Monday, August 5, 2013

The End Is Near

Summer days are almost  over for us. School officially starts in a week.
We will elongate this fact by taking one more trip, a very important one, to "The Cabin" with many of our family members.

Spencer will need to do a little Spanish, Health and PE while we are there, but the rest of his classes thankfully don't start until the following week.
Glory Be To God.

I have asked my future nephew-in-law to be a guest teacher for Spanish, he is fluent, and it is his heritage. I figure it will be a great to start with authentic pronunciation.

PE will take care of itself up there, and perhaps we will research edible and beneficial plants of the area for health.
Done and done.


I think it will be a great way to start the school year.



Friday, July 26, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Gig.

I can't say where I was, I can't tell you why I was there. All I can say is I am home and it went well.

Oh, vague post writing, isn't it great?

I flew in last night on a very full flight. I was halfway back and waited as all the people ahead of me filed off the plane. Some woman behind my section started loudly complaining with full sailor vocabulary about how displeased she was at the lack of speed getting off the plane. It was surreal. My whole section turned around to look at the woman with the ugly mouth and attitude. It was going smoothly, and it was a large plane, and she sat 3/4 of the way back, most likely not by choice, but there is simply nothing to be done.

This month we took a hit financially as one of our regular "gigs" decided to go a different direction. Interesting thing was, they didn't give us any true warning.  We are simply out that amount this month. Thankfully Aaron picked up a gig for tomorrow at a family event, so we will all be together in a fun environment for the day and bring in some income. That's a nice way to come home.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

In The Sky Again...

And on the road again.
This months travels will now include a plane trip to San Diego and a car trip to Yuma, AZ.
To visit a sister, who has made it clear I can not blog about her.

So enjoy this lovely blank space for a moment.










Seriously, won't let me blog about our adventures? The laughter?
I will just have to find something else to write about.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

End of an Era

It's a sad day in my family.

We know not when it might sell, we know not when it will truly be gone, but we know it will happen.


For 22 years we have enjoyed this spot. A log cabin in the woods of the Sierra Nevada. Memory maker. We scrubbed it, fixed it, chased wild life out of it, watched bears from it's windows, fished out back in the stream, listened to rain on the tin roof and thunder rumble through the valley. Watched bats eat the mosquitoes that had tried to eat us, listened to the wind through the amazing pines, watched 18 month olds turn into 23 year olds, summer by summer. My dad engineered a more enjoyable outhouse when told we couldn't dig a septic. My dad is pretty amazing like that. Endless hours of the domino game of Train, plates of amazing food, and for me and my brother several birthdays were spent here as well. The laughter of a family enjoying it's time together can still be heard here. We filled the nooks and crannies of this cabin with it.


It might sell tomorrow, it might sell in 5 years, I am grateful for having been able to enjoy it.
And at least one more time, this summer, we will fill it up, run around it, swing from the giant tree, swim in the creak, read books for hours,  watch the clouds float by, and enjoy the splendor that is "The Cabin".

Saturday, July 6, 2013

One More...

I just found out there was another death this week. The mom of one of my friends. We shared the same birthday and we were put together as pray partners when I was in our church girls club.
She was a gentle woman of honor and she will be missed.




Circle of...

I am suddenly surrounded by death.
All of them at least one step away from me, in the sense that I know the people that lost someone, but not necessarily the one who passed. My friend's church lost their beloved "everyone's grandma" this week. And their pastor's son in law also is tragically dead. A friend lost one of her brothers. Blogging "friends" lost father in laws.  My friend's husband is suddenly gone, after just a few years of blissful, wonderful marriage. We are so heartbroken. It is just odd how full of death this week has been.
And it was wasn't just people. Three , or possibly four families I know lost their beloved dogs too.


For us our life just goes on. I mourn for my friend. It was a long and twisted road before she found this kind of love, and now he is gone.  Too young, too soon, and very suddenly. So much for her to suddenly think about and figure out. Thankfully she has a good support system right around her. Lifting her up, helping her, hugging her I am sure.  I am thankful for that network, as is she. No body should have to do this kind of life stuff alone.









Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heat

The heat is on.
Not just outside, because yes that is ridiculous.

I have had a wake up call, it's time to learn something new.

I am headed to special classes for a new massage technique as well as possibly classes at a local community college for multi media graphic design, or auto mechanics, haven't really decided yet.

Oh, and I am going to learn welding as well.


Yep.

Bring it on, I'm ready.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Re-Kindled Love

I received a package today.
In it was a loaner Kindle. A long term loaner, in case mine never ever shows back up again.

And if mine does show up there will be much rejoicing and I will pay forward this one, because that's how we roll...


The package itself was a delight.


The contents as well of course...

And even a red cover, like they knew it would someday be in my hands.



I wrote a Haiku in thanksgiving for it...

It arrived today
adorned in love and sunshine
my heart is so full


Small acts of kindness go a long long way.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

MISSING

My Kindle is missing.
I know it's just a thing, an electronic, a possession....
I know there are much more important things to life.
However,
it's like the entire library is missing when you really think about it.
MY LIBRARY IS MISSING!
It's like someone broke into my house and stole all my books!


I am trying to just be positive, like it still may show up, but deep inside I feel that it is truly gone.

Along with a graduation card, and check for Spencer that was tucked inside the cover...you know, to keep it safe on our trip.


Monday, June 17, 2013

I Asked Nicely, and They Still Tried To Kill Me.

We visited my daughter yesterday for Father's day. It was a special treat to see her.  We enjoyed a day of laughing and some good food and game playing.

At the restaurant in town the chef personally came out when he saw the list of allergies I have. They aren't standard, like nuts, dairy or eggs, so it is unusual. He was very nice about it and made some alterations to fish tacos for me. They were excellent. So good. I highly suggest visiting the Pour House in Chico, Ca. They did not sponsor this blog in any way.

Later that night when we pulled out to head home Spencer was hungry, go figure. So we pulled into a Taco Bell for a small bite for him. I asked very specific questions about a simple "Cheesy Roll up". I asked different ways, and it sounded like my question was understood. I was told it was safe to eat. Just tortilla and melted cheese.


After one bite I knew differently.

I took the item back into the establishment. I tried to remain calm as I felt the reaction flaring up in my throat. I apologized for seeming too upset. They argued with me that there was still no peppers involved. He used a fork and looked inside the roll up to prove it. "It's not a physical chunk, it's in the cheese. Are you sure one of the cheeses isn't a pepper jack? Or a nacho cheese?". They assured me again that no, it isn't.
I smelled it, and you could smell green chili's clearly.
"Would you like us to refund this item?"
"Yes please, and I am telling you, there are peppers of some sort involved with this menu item, whether you think there is or not".

I took my handful of change and left.
Curiosity got the best of me, I looked it up on my phone in the car. My first try I found the ingredients of the Cheesy Roll Up: A flour tortilla with a 3 cheese blend, including pepper jack.


Nothing I didn't already know.

Friday, May 31, 2013

What THESE is...

So in yesterday's post I mentioned I was looking into "these"...like that word magically linked to something on it's own. Oh brain, where art thou?

Here is what I was talking about.

I was reading a blog regarding moving a family into (by American standards) a tiny house. Like this one...


It's how we used to live, it's how billions of people live everyday of their lives...
And the idea of living mortgage free, or in our case rent free, is super appealing 



And while you are poking around the interwebs, check out this post about end of school year mom trauma. It's dead on and hilarious. Jen Hatmaker is a hoot.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This Post Has No Title

I have no title for this post.
I just read that there is rogue GMO wheat found in a farmer's field in Oregon.
Not happy about that.

Added up how much we have paid in rent just for the few years we have been in this house....wow, that was eye opening. We need a solution.

Been checking into these. I am fascinated, and in love with the romantic idea of them...but could we really do it. Millions of people around the world live with less space. We could do it, but Aaron would need space for his work, so maybe we would need a bigger one to live in and a smaller one for his work. Or a garage.
And land.
We don't have that either.

sigh.

There are changes in Spencer's school too. I will be teaching him more subjects next year. We had been considering me going back to work, but now it's all weird.

 All I can say is ,"LORD, you gave me dreams and ideas, and things it seems like you want me to do, so how will we get there?"

And then thank Him for:
 the glorious weather we have been having
My family, and our health
miracles in my friends lives
new friends
new adventures
a plan and a way to make things happen
financial answers
food to eat, water to drink, and the ability to share
solutions, I know they are coming.



Friday, May 24, 2013

No Pie For You

Or anyone, or jam, nothing.

The birds cleaned out my cherry trees.

I am beyond sad. HUNDREDS of cherries, gone.

And only cherry stained poop on my car as proof they were here in the first place.


Birds.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Radiator Springs (a leak)

For those that have known us at least a month it is pretty common knowledge that we have a "saga of cars".

I wish I was kidding.
Over all God has been gracious to us regarding transportation, and this post is in no way a negative or complaining post regarding our current situation.
It simply is what it is.
There are much bigger issues in the world.
We are thankful for the help we have received and look forward to what God is doing in our lives.


The saga continues...

The Volvo is officially gone.
Sold to a recycling yard.
I am both absolutely relieved and a little sad. It was our nicest car....as in, it had air conditioning, a sun roof, leather interior. Things like that. It also had an engine light that would not go out and wouldn't pass smog testing here in California, which made it illegal to drive, so we didn't. So it sat there, staring us in the face like the brazen deer that eats things in our yard. Only this deer eats gas and our paychecks, because boy howdy are Volvo parts expensive.

So we made some new friends with new people at church, who own and run a mechanic shop. They were going to help us figure out if the car was worth saving.
So very long story short, God stepped in and made it clear what we should do with the car through a weird set of circumstances. These circumstances led to us getting a credit at the shop, cash for the car (not much) and an opportunity to fix our other cars.
We did a long list of "needs" on my husband's car. Although the list isn't done, we stopped so we would have a bit of money to put into my car.
You know, my 1988 Toyota Corolla with 235,000+ miles on it.

Because it needed an oil change....

and a new radiator, and some belts, and apparently a something cap thing, because it is leaking oil all over the spark plugs, and new front tires and more.
The only thing getting done is the radiator for now. And that's going to cost us. Our credit at the shop is now used up, but our "to do" list on the cars is long.

I am so thankful for the help. I am thankful they were able to give us discounts and are generous with us.I am thankful the radiator didn't fully go and then ruin the engine. I am thankful for God's provision while we figure this all out. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shrinking Furniture

 After I posted the photo of Spencer from his 8th grade graduation day, I noticed something....

This is him on the first day of 8th grade.


And this is a few days ago...



The shelf behind him seems to be, well, shrinking. That's the only explanation. So I had him stand there today, and stand completely straight this time.
Yep, that shelf is shrinking for sure.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Someone...

Someone graduated from 8th grade.
Someone is now a high school student.


Someone also received a special achievement award in History, and will be on the honor roll as well.

Someone will also not take a nice photo for his mom.
The ham.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Backflips?

Yesterday we took this photo...


 Later in the day I added it to my Facebook account, in fact I used it as my profile photo, even though one daughter is missing because she is away at college.






Not too much later it showed up in my feed a little different...
Obviously her Applied Computer Graphics Technical degree program is paying off.

The conversation that occurred  after the photo was hilarious. Apparently she was with me all day, and the kids planned and performed a silly dance (a family tradition) complete with backflips.
Oh, and they were successful at making a souffle.

What an amazing day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What's in the Fridge?

In an effort to save money and really keep an eye on our food intake we have been eating at home a lot more than we used too. I usually make a plan in my head for the week and try to stick to it. However, sometimes plans fail, and we get busy and then it's 6:15 and we need to be somewhere by 7. oops.

Mother of necessity, I had some turkey meatballs and some wonton wrappers...

 So I wrapped the meatballs up.
 Sealed them up with an egg wash.
Brushed them with oil, which I used too sparingly.  I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 18 minutes.
Served with green beans and peas and a spinach, sugar snap pea, strawberry salad with basalmic dressing.

We also added homemade Asian Plum Sauce, not pictured. The sauce made all the difference in the world and it was so very tasty.
Quick, easy, different, yummy.

Friday, May 10, 2013

BIG DREAMS Meet Reality

Since lining up our marriage more correctly, since Aaron has stepped up his role, and I have done what I needed to do, God has been POURING big dreams into my vision.

I can not keep up with my pen and paper when they get downloaded, that's how much I am seeing.

I took my excited self to talk to the pastor regarding part of it, it involves our church. We sat and discussed the possibilities, and he encouraged me to hone in on one thing for now. Narrow it down, find a jumping off place.

And then suddenly I was starting a drama ministry ...


How did that happen?

WHAT?!
WAIT?!
ME?!
AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

 It wasn't even on my original list of amazing things.
I don't get it.


I feel like calling up the pastor and saying, "No thanks", but I am the one that brought it up. Phooey.


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.






 * I apologize for the over use of punctuation.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cleansing Stream

My husband and I participated in The Cleansing Stream recently along with several other leaders in our church.

It was amazing. I highly recommend it.

Have stuff from your past that keeps you repeating mistakes?
Have bitterness?
Do you continually feel like you aren't good enough, or good looking enough, or smart enough, or enough for God to use?

I STRONGLY suggest you look into this program.

It is a Bible study series, with a workbook and DVD lessons, followed by a regional one day retreat, where the miraculous happens. You get set free. It is in a safe place, it's easy, and it's life changing.

Since the retreat I have more joy in my life, even during tough stuff.
My husband and I are FINALLY fixing some things in our marriage.
That's right folks, our marriage wasn't perfect, and neither is yours.
I don't air durty laundry because I want to honor my husband, and I am embarrassed about my own stuff. But here I am, saying, we had things that needed fixing, and it wasn't pretty, and it wasn't the easiest conversation, but the results have been worth it.

Single, married, divorced, widowed, young , old or somewhere in the middle, doesn't matter, this is an amazing program and retreat.
I'm done dragging my past along for the ride into my future...how about you?

Check it out HERE

Friday, May 3, 2013

In the Moment

Yesterday was the Nation Day of Prayer. Good thing too.
 It was also a frustrating day for me.
I want to remind you of what I said a few days ago...you know, about failing, and passing the test?
Yep.
At one point in the middle of the afternoon I just stomped my foot and yelled ,"I just need something to work, I need it to go right".

And then I breathed a big breath and kept trying.

One thing after another plagued my day. From forgetting where I was supposed to be, to car trouble, to forgetting things I was supposed to be doing. I had a big project I was working on, royal icing sugar cookies that look  like Cinderella's pumpkin carriage. The cookies gave me trouble because the wheels kept falling off. The icing gave me trouble because the weather was so very dry, the color of the icing gave me trouble. First attempt looked like skin, it was gross. Then we had "Band aid" color...not appetizing.

Eventually they looked okay, not what I intended, but okay.


In the middle of the day the three of us went to church to join in prayer with whoever could make it and prayed for our country, for our leaders, for our community, for the world. It was a powerful moment.
We were slightly late due to car trouble and had to leave to get Spencer to rehearsal it was just the right thing for that day. Prayer is a powerful weapon.

Even though the rest of the day didn't go perfectly, I stepped into the grace given to me and just kept going...
and all the cookies I took to tonight's performance sold, even the one that was missing a wheel.


(Prototypes for the carriage cookies)