Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Am Not Kramer!!

Much to my surprise & a little bit of embarrassment many of you are either shocked, amused or downright puzzled about item #7 of my previous post where I listed 25 random things about myself. I had no idea my habit of drinking my first cup of coffee in the shower was so unusual!
You even compared me to Kramer on the Seinfeld show when he bragged about washing his salad in the shower while he washed himself! Yuck! :) Now you have me thinking this is a pretty weird thing to do. But honestly....I'm not gonna stop drinking my coffee in the shower! It's a lovely, warm & wonderful thing on a cold, cold morning!
For those who could not figure out "how" I do it, let me explain that I have a large bathtub sized shower with a little shelf for the shampoo & soap on the wall opposite the shower head, so that's where my cup sits. (My hubs just saw this & is now very worried about what "other personal " things I may be sharing with you all in cyberland!) Oy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Facts About Me........

Because you all are just clamoring to know, Ha!...........
1 - My big right toe curls up so much it puts holes in the TOPS of my shoes.
2 - I have a freckle on my toe that looks like dirt.
3 - I taught pre-school for 3 years.
4 - I was a "Sunday School Superintendant", bet you don't even know what that is!
5 - I've never had a pedicure & that's ok.
6 - Had a massage in the Philippines & it was wonderful!
7 - I drink coffee in the shower.
8 - I could live on veggies!
9 - I prefer silver jewlery over gold.
10 - I don't like talking on the phone.
11 - I love to blog!
12 - My living room is a soft butter yellow.
13 - I have no wall to wall carpeting in my home.
14 - I HATE to sweep. Not a good combo with above random thing.
15 - My favorite snack is crackers, cheese & fruit & a book to read.
16 - I cut my husbands' hair for him.
17 - I want a pool.
18 - I love yoga for exercise.
19 - I used to do a comic skit for the ladies of my church.
20 - I used to work in a warehouse.
21 - I find myself when I get lost in God!
22 - I prefer coke over pepsi.
23 - I have been engaged twice.
24 - I love electronic gadgets.
25 - I have never broken a bone.

Added later: Ha! I posted this before I knew that I was tagged to do it by Sheri! Got the idea from Facebook. So consider YOURSELF tagged if you want to do it too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Tiny Hitchhiker!

I'm going to warn you right now that this post is extremely photo heavy! I got a little carried away while on our drive to Oregon & Idaho this last weekend, so you may leave at any point in this long epistle. But I also will say that when I posted this same clever little collection on Facebook the night we got home, I recieved over 40 comments by the next morning! My student's reviews ranged from "that's adorable" to "that's horrible!". Ah, got you curious yet? :)

I did find a fun way to relieve the boredom of such a long drive though; just pick up a cute little Cinnamon Bear hitchhiker & it makes the time pass as you think up funny ways to document your trip together! So, here we go..........

Entering Oregon!

I love snow but only when there is glass between it & me!

After spending a day in Oregon with my sis we headed to Idaho for the wedding of 2 of our former students. By a fun coincidence, this bride you see here is the same cutie with me in the header pic of this blog!

She loves vintage & used vintage table cloths in the very casual & comfortable wedding reception!

Even cinnamon bears need a nap during a long drive!

Are we there yet?

I am a true California girl & the cold was astounding to me! That middle number on the dashboard says 17 degrees but it actually got as low as 12 degrees!!

He wanted to make a snow angel even though I warned him what would happen! Yep, he got all slimy! yuck!

Such a pillow hog!

This is one of my beautiful nieces. She is convinced she was meant to be Japanese!

These are all terribly out of order, I am giving up on trying to fix it at this point.

Needed to get through a car wash after all that slush & salt!

the end!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Happy to be home after our trip to OR & ID.
My sisters hub is a professional photographer
He took this great pic of my sis & me
& he is SO good that he got my camera shy hubby in the pic
without him even knowing it!! Ha! Such talent!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Short Road Trip!

My hubs & I just drove (well I just rode!) eight hours from our home to spend this evening & all day tomorrow with my sister & her family. We haven't seen them since Christmas 2007! I have been so excited & so has she, as evidenced on her Facebook status "Only 3 more days till my sis is here!" so it was a little disconcerting just now to call her from our nearby hotel & hear her say, "Oh wow, I haven't even started dinner! I was just on your Facebook to see what day you were arriving!"

Then we both cracked up! We will be having her yummy potato soup tonight & then have a great day of talk & laughter tomorrow. The following day we will do a 6 hour drive to a wedding of some former students of ours! Right now I am sitting in a beautiful & brand new hotel using their FREE Internet service. Had to practically stand on my head to get to the plug-in for my laptop, but here we are doing exactly what we do at home in our own living room. Hubs is watching TV, but a much, much better one, this being a lovely shiny flat screen version, & I'm tapping away on here.

My sis & I are totally thankful for the Internet!! We connect all the time & it has changed our relationship so much. Actually the whole reason I made my very first foray into the world of the web, was because I heard my nieces & nephews were on myspace & I connected with them & really got to know them in a way I never could have over holiday dinners every other year! Yay for the Internet!

Hopefully I will be able to post some pics in a day or so. It is snowy & beautiful here, which is great, but we sure don't want to drive in the snow much or get stuck. We are wussy Californians ya know.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


A few days ago I was curious about how long I've been doing this blog, so I looked up my first post and it was exactly one year ago, at the end of January!! It doesn't seem that long at all, I was really surprised!

I remember trying to get on the Blogher roll list & after applying I received a gentle note saying that I was not posting often enough to merit that honor. I felt pretty silly because I had been kind of proud of my once-a-month posting & thought I was being pretty industrious to do that much. I wondered how in the world anyone could sit down at their computer & write any more often than that!

Then came the November Nablopomo & I posted every single day for the month! I was hooked after that! Something changed in me & my writing by doing that challenge. It made me begin to look around every day for ideas & pictures & fun stories. (I think I may be using the "&" too much huh?) I loved it!

Something else changed as time went on. Just now, I went back to read my first 2 posts & they sound pretty different than I do now. I bet that would be true of most of us. I did not know how to "speak" to such a in http://www....audience/. (Ha!, using those 3 letters together automatically makes it an internet address! Yikes, wonder where it would send you!) Anyway, when I was picturing the entire world reading my blog, it was more than a bit daunting! So instead of writing something fresh, those first 2 posts are actually old articles I had written years earlier for our local small town paper on the church page. It may be my imagination, but they "sound" different than I am writing to you now.

So Happy 1 Year Birthday to me! I now have a bunch of new friends that I never would have known without the world of blogging. It really is a warm & encouraging place here with all of you. Recently I told my friends & students that I have another blogsite other than FaceBook, but I told them that the address will remain my secret for now. Hee hee! It's still fun to have a place of my own, ya know? So wonder where I can find some cake to celebrate myself?! :)

On another subject:
Yesterday our Leadership Team all went out to the school where my friend Joyce created that beautiful cross I told you about! We had not been out to see it in person as a group yet. So here is a pic of the backsides of our team since I have not asked permission to publicize them! Ha!

Added after published: I just noticed that this birthday post is my 100th post! Cool!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Silly Signs

My brother loves to take pictures of funny signs & I thought I'd share my favorites with you today.........

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I’m not putting up a title for this until I finish, because I know what I want to say, but I’m not real sure how it’s going to come out in the end. That, my friends is what I love about writing!

There is one area of blogging that has caused me some confusion lately. The whole idea of writing to a specific “audience” is a tricky deal for me. I know that some purists I have read are saying that they do not care even one little bit about who reads them or even if anyone reads them at all. They just write for the pleasure of writing. They have removed their “Followers” thingy to prove that they are not affected by anyone’s’ opinion of them at all. I am admitting here & now that I DO CARE! I love writing for writings’ sake but it holds little allure beyond filling up my journals if no one will read it.

That being said, I have struggled with the “Who” of who I am writing TO! As I have said in previous posts, I am eager to explore a much broader collection of people & personalities & beliefs through this webby world. I, myself am a strong believer in God & have been extremely intentional in trying to speak & write in a dialect other than Christianese. Having grown up in the church world, we find ourselves saying some pretty strange things to each other & totally understanding it! To get out of the habit of Christianese is not an easy one!

So, I could decide that my target audience is Christian, since I definitely have a heart to bring Christians back to Christ. Ha! …………… Oops! Christianese Alert!....”have a heart to…”? But if I did that, I would lose any readers who are sick of being preached at or who have other faith views. And that would just be sad to me.

On the other hand, if I delete every subject or event in my life that is connected to my faith, it leaves very little for me to talk or write about. At first I thought I could do it all. And, I think I have so far kept the churchy stuff out of my posts pretty well. Or at least I have interspersed the spiritual stuff with every day life kind of subjects. I really hate the idea of alienating any of you with language that sounds like I know it all or believe that I am superior just because of my faith in God. I do know Him well enough to know that He also would cringe at any allusion to that idea.

With all that blabbering in mind I have a wonderful discovery to share with you! (Great idea! I will change the font to this in the rest of this post to show you that I realize I may be using Christianese, OK?) Hope this doesn’t end up being too long, then I won’t even want to post it at all!

Anyway, I have been on a journey of realizing my true identity in a deep & profound way for the last few years. As I have said before, I grew up being a very fearful person, to an almost crippling degree. But the biggest fear has always been other people & what they may think about me. Another word for it would be intimidation. Oh, it is a horrible, horrible thing to live with! When you enter a room & are faced with a person or a situation that scares you to death & causes you to freeze up inside, it makes you feel like an idiot no matter how mature & wise you may be.

Recently I have been drawn to learning what God sees when He looks at me & I have found that His view is extremely different than mine! When I spend time alone with Him, actively listening to Him, I hear Him tell me what a strong, wise & courageous woman I am. (To hear Him is easier than you may think, He kinda sounds like your imagination.) Well, His description sounds like the opposite of how I often feel, so I must choose which to believe.

I have chosen to believe His view instead of mine. God has shown me my true IDENTITY & that comes in very handy when my old enemy of INTIMIDATION comes around to haunt me. Since the thoughts I have about myself when hit with intimidation are obviously the opposite of what God told me, they must be lies. I remind myself of who I really am when I hear those lies in my head. I am then able to shut them down & live my life with real freedom! It’s amazing!

Here is the fun part! My time with God is actually any time that I give Him my full attention. We talk all day off & on, but the moments when I really still my heart & have some alone prayer time with God are very intimate & important to me. It is during those INTIMATE times that He gives me my true identity…. Or my true ID. Look at this!...........



What is the difference between these 2 words? If you remove the letters ID from intimidate you are left with the word intimate! My intimate times with God show me my true ID & when I KNOW WHO I AM I cannot be intimidated! I love that! My love of words revealed this little insight to me. In fact….when I know who I am in God….I intimidate the Liar who loves to speak ugliness to us & cause us to hide from God. (Yes, I just mentioned the devil & yes, I do believe he is real & that he hates God so much he spends all his time trying to get us to hate God also.)

Ok, so I shared my true heart with you without reserve. Take me or leave me…, no, please don’t leave me! Remember I really, really care about my “following” numbers, & I care about you who are my new cyber-friends! So, I love God & hear voices in my head…..I have never seen or heard any of you in the flesh & I still believe in YOU!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Beautiful Mornings!

I know that the weather has been horribly intense & cold for many states these last few weeks & I am so sorry for your troubles & cabin-fever symptoms.
But around here it has been amazingly wonderful!
For some crazy reason the days have been softly warm & spring-like.
Even the trees are getting confused & I have seen buds at the same time as leaves are still falling!
Thought I'd share with you some pics from my drive to work yesterday morning.
Even though the days are sunny, the mornings have been
foggy & if you hit the fog while it is lifting off the ground, it is very mystical & beautiful. These pics do not do it justice, so go ahead & assume it's
much prettier, ok?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Get To Go Back to The Philippines Again!

I get to return to the Philippines in April with our students! I am so excited & ready to see those wonderful faces again.
We will be feeding the kids in the slums & providing new clothes hopefully.
Aren't those joyful faces amazing?
We also have meetings for the adults & pray for them as you can see in the next photo. If you've never seen one before, that 2nd pic is a prayer tunnel.(Enlarge it to see some REAL joy on faces!) They walk through the tunnel as we pray for them! So fun, so beautiful!
Woo=hoo, can't wait!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Book Review

Book Review for Think and Make It Happen, by Augusto Cury
The title of this book captured me at first and made me curious about the theories and ideas of this scientist. For the last few years I have been learning on my own about the power we have within ourselves to direct our thoughts instead of letting them lead us into worry, fear etc. and I wondered of this learned man would agree or disagree with what I had been realizing in my own experience.

Dr. Augusto Cury is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and scientist in Brazil, whose theory of Multi-Focal Intelligence is now being used by scientists all over the world. This book is his way to help others understand the power and beauty of the mind and learn how to Think Correctly (another name of his theory & teaching). The medical terms & acronyms were a bit daunting at times & made me want to stop reading a few times.

Cury was a serious skeptic of Christianity and Jesus Christ until he did a study of Moses, Buddah, Mohammed, Confucius, Plato, Socrates, Freud, Einstein and Jesus of Nazareth. In his words, “I was so taken by Jesus psychological health that it jarred me out of my skepticism about him. I was one of the best atheists on this earth, perhaps more firm in my belief in atheism than Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Diderot. But when I used Multi-Focal Psychology to examine Jesus personality detail by detail, I was surprised, perplexed and shocked by what I found.”

The book proposes 12 principles that he uses to help people become the “authors of their own lives, rather than the audience.” I won’t list the principles, but will say that they were all clearly explained along with scientific data & personal examples from the clients he has helped. He suggests using the book in one of 3 ways:
1 – “Read it as you would any other book, with a view to increasing your intelligence and wisdom.
2 – Read one chapter per week, with a view toward incorporating an living each principle.
3 – Work through the 12 principles (one per week) as part of a small group, benefiting from the experiences & interaction of others and the synergy those results. At the end of each chapter, I’ve included important thoughts to use to discuss in the group and to reflect on personally.”

Overall, I found the book uplifting, helpful & practical. His ideas affirmed my own discoveries about being the director of my thought life & seeing the positive way my belief about myself was lifted & confidence was gained in all areas of my life.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

When Coffee Doesn't Do It For You

AHA! I knew that the mere mention of COFFEE in the title would get YOU here! If you need something more to inspire you to get up & out today this video should do it. ENJOY & THEN GO OUT & CONQUER!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dinner With Friends

While looking at the post about our fun dinners with friends I realize I could have told you a few more interesting details about those great gatherings. But first I may need to clarify that the "every Sunday" meals that we love are not the gourmet delights. The Sunday meals are just getting together at whatever local restaurant we have chosen that day. Our town has some great Chinese, Italian, Indian & Mexican restaurants. Along with a few good old American ones too!

Anyway, back to the extra special evenings we do together. We have had 3 of them so far over the last few years. One of our group is a collector of fine (expensive) wines & he donated several selections & the chefs customized each course to fit with one of the wines. We had 6 or 7 courses that night! We began the meal at 7pm & ended it at around 1am!! As each offering was presented to us we all"Oh'd & Ah'd" as each fresh plate was set before us! So wonderful & yummy. On the spur of the moment someone suggested we all switch places after each course so we would all be facing a different person as the night went on. So we would pick up our utensils & move to the left or whatever. It was so fun!

For some of you who cannot recall what a dinner without kids is like, I apologize for showing you this glimpse of the beauties of "life after kids". But at least it gives you something wonderful to look forward to rather than dreading the false reports of "empty nest depression". :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Do Have Friends

Ok, I need a new blogging rule for myself. Do not read other blogs until posting on your own! I came home today, plopped myself down to write & here I am an hour later & I have written nothing!
With that said, I will now post a few pics of my gang of friends so you can see that I do have a life outside of blogging. Hubs & I go out to eat every single Sunday afternoon with this amazing group of people. We just kinda gravitated to each other over the years & now we call ourselves "The Tribe" & we are intentionally dedicated to helping one another have fun, be the best person we can & umm, have fun! We have spent many evenings sharing our life goals & decided to stir each other up to reach those goals. We have given each other permission to say, "I love you & you appear to be living below your goals & true desires, what can I do to help?"

Anyway, that all sounds kinda heavy & creepy but it's not at all, remember FUN is the main goal!

One of the couples dream of running a gourmet company that handles catered dinners in homes. When they asked if they could please experiment on us, we, being truly servant minded & ready to suffer for our dedication, offered our services to be experimented on. The pics below are a few of the dinners we have "suffered" through.
Barb hates getting her photo taken but at least I caught her cute hair! Ha! Don't tell her!