Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So, I'll wait till kingdom come...

Ok, so I will admit it, I occasionally listen to the Jonas Brothers, I have them on my iPod due to the fact that I have children in my car occasionally.

Anyway, they have a song that I relate too.  It was written by Nick Jonas who was diagnosed with diabetes in his early teens.  It is the story of his wait to be fine.  Throughout the song, he talks about how he is waiting for things to be better, to be released from the hospital, for a cure.  This is the final refrain:
"So I'll wait till kingdom come
All the highs and lows are gone
A little bit longer
And I'll be fine"

I love that this song acknowledges that life is hard.  You don't have to have diabetes to be able to relate to the fact that all of us have good seasons and hard seasons in our lives.  Although this song acknowledges treatment, and a search for a cure, I think it is profound that the true answer at the end is to wait for our Lord to come back, to make all things right.  I think that I often find myself looking for a cure, for a treatment for this sinful world we live in.  I do believe that God wants to give us his peace, comfort and joy, but I also don't want to ignore the fact that this world is broken and fallen.  I want to continue to wait for kingdom come and not take my eyes of eternity and all that it means.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


We went camping!

Here are the pictures....

Camp is set-up!  Notice the view, right over the ocean!

Here is the fountain we (my mom and I) sat at while we waited for AAA to come retrieve the keys I locked in the car.

Kenny Skateboarding

View from Swami's at sunset...

My dad took the dog for a bike ride, she seemed to like it.

Me at the surf museum in Oceanside.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Donut Man


So, one of my friends loves listening to Adventures in Odyssey.  As a kid, we listened to Odyssey every once in a while, but what we listened to over and over again, was the donut man.  The donut man sang fun songs, crazy songs, and quiet, worshipful songs.  He taught us Bible stories in new ways.  He taught us Bible stories that are more obscure.  Basically he made the Bible really interesting. 

Anyway, I have been on the hunt for his old albums.  Of course we had them on cassete tape, and all I have been able to find on his website in the last few years (when I check every year or so) was new CD's, some of which had the more "kosher" songs from the good old days on them.  But the songs, like the one about worms nibbling on someone's toes b/c he would not worship God, were not accessable.  I just looked tonight b/c I was talking about him and I saw it!  He has released all the original albums on CD.  I am now vowing to buy one a month and collect all of them again. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some things I don't like...

1. People who feel like they are too good to wait in line.
2. Hot dogs
3. Mustard
4. Mayonaise
5. Being hungry

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Things I love

1) Going on walks at sundown
2) Sunsets at the beach
3) Beach Camping
4) Surfing
5) Swimming
6) Downtown LA (Philippe's, China town, Alvera Street, Union Station, Little Tokyo)
7) Pumpkin Pie
8) Hamburgers
9) Hanging out with kids
10) Sleeping in

Friday, July 24, 2009

How do you measure a year???

Yesturday someone reminded me that we had known each other for one year today. This got me to thinking how I have grown in this year.

It has been an interesting year, one full of many blessings. It has also been a year of struggle and growth. I think that what I set out to do at this time last year has not been accomplished. I am trying to decide whether or not I have failed (what my mind jumps to immediately) or if the process is just much more in-depth and longer by nature than what I could have immagined. Of course, there are areas where I see progress, healthier relationships, better life style, etc. Either way, today I am feeling more discouraged than encouraged. Or rather a feeling of purposecd accaptance, that the plan and schedule God has me on is His, not mine, it is under His control, not mine, and in the meantime, I am pushing myself to do the things that aren't natural for me where I am, in order to try to pursue Him more. I think that I am trying to make the shift from, "I'll do this so that I will be able to have or be this" into "I WILL do this because it is right, it is what God asks of me, and it is an act of obedience no matter what the outcome." However, tha latter is scarrier and takes a lot more faith in the goodness of God.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life is just not fare...

Do you ever wonder why not me? A little over two years ago, God moved me to the desert. Since being in the desert, God has been growing me, healing me, and challenging me in many ways. I love my job, my current living situation and my church. Yet sometimes I see how NOT FARE it is! Not really so much that I am living in the desert, that makes sense to me. Just other people's abilities to do things the way I wanted to do them but was never allowed too. Just needed to vent a bit...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


There is something about hamsters that I love. I don't know why.

So, about a month ago my last hamster died. His name, for those of you who don't remember, was Cody Maverick. After the penguin in "Surf's Up".

I tried to live for a while without a hamster, even added a hamster gadget to my home page through google. Yet, I still wanted another hamster. So I bought a cage on-line (much better selection) Then I had to wait about a week for the cage to come. Stupid on-line pet store, don't they know that there are hamster wana-be hamster owners out there that are waiting to adopt their pets.

FINALLY the cage came, yet I was on my way to stay with my parents, so no hamster for a few more days.

Sunday was the big day, somehow I talked my mom, dad, and brother to go hamster shopping with me... We checked out petco, saw some we liked, but there were no helpful people, rather there was a very grumpy employee cleaning the rat cage, which I guess if I had to pull those ugly creatures up out of their cages by their tales, I would be grumpy too! Then while I was trying to decide whether or not to brave talking to grumpy girl, a man came to buy a feeder mouse, that was it, it was time to check the other pet shop.

We all piled back in the car and headed across the street to Pets Smart. There they had NO teddy-bear hamsters, so I decided that was a no go.

After looking at all the birds and waiting for my brother to run across to walmart (under the guis of going to the bathroom) to buy water balloons, we piled back in the car to go back across the street.

Then with trepidation I walked up to the grumpy girl (with my father by my side because I was scared and asked to see the hamsters (grumpy girl was conveniently cleaning out their cage at the moment so they were already in their temporary holding place.

There were three female teddy bear hamsters (if you don't know much about hamsters, let me just tell you that there are reasons, to buy a female - just look up the difference if you want to know more)

There was one solid brown one, she was very cute, but I had already decided on a name for my hamster - Bumble Bee from Transformers. So, although the solid one was cute I decided to let her go back to her house. Then it was between the two tan and white hamsters. There was one who seemed to snap at people and one that didn't. I went with the one that didn't. As my father was holding her, she peed on his shirt. That however didn't deter us (or him) and we bought bumble bee, along with a little house to hide in and a hamster ball (I had one from cody maverick, but Cody was a dwarf hamster, or to be politically correct a little person hamster) Anyway his wheel was about four inches in diametor and Bumble bee is already nearly six inches long, so you do the math.

Finally, we all went home to my parents. I gathered my stuff or what I thought was all of my stuff since I realized once I was back in Temecula did not include the following items: my pillow, my computer, my phone charger and my toothbrush (my kind roomate had a new one from the dentist and let me have it). While I was gathering my dad found a bucket, cleaned it out a bit, put some paper towels in the bottom, and transfered Bumble bee to her temporary transport container.

Then we drove the near hour home to Winchester. I got Bumble Bee's cage all ready and then let her sleep off the trip.

Since then (that was Sunday) she has spent a couple of hours in a smaller container on a stool next to my bed in the later evenings. This is fun for both of us as she gets treats and fun toys and I have a great source of entertainment. (Her cage can't be in my room b/c she wakes me up in the middle of the night with all her nibbling, scratching and playing).

Here are some pics!

A great b-day party

This last Saturday my brother and I attended a cool birthday party for our friend Malachi (he just turned three.

It was a BLAST. There was a petting farm, great games and crafts, a place for the kids to mine for gold, and homemade cookies and cream ice-cream. Enjoy the pics

Kenny Hanging out with a VERY fluffy bunny!

Kenny's wrist, which got stuck in some kiddy handcufs, had to have lots of help to get it off...


Kenny holding a really fluffy chicken, if you look closely you can see the beak, but you can't find their eyes.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July

I love the fourth of July. I always have. I am not really sure why, my family doesn't even have a real tradition on the fourth. Growing up we always did different things. In the last few years, we have however always gone down to the park with the rest of Yorba Linda, for the fireworks show. After a day of swimming, bar-b-que and hanging out with old friends, I always love being at the park. It is always fun to see people you know and for the last couple of years, we sit with our friends and their kids. This year my sis and I picked up the kids and saved an area of grass and hung out for a while with them, before it started. I love hanging out with kids, throwing a football (my arm is going to be sore tomorrow), carrying a little girl on my back as we went back to the food booths to get something, and talking to them about life. I miss having kids in my everyday life. I miss the kids who I have watched grow up. I miss knowing the kids and being involved in their daily life. Tonight though, I had a blast, I felt myself soaking in the time with these kids. Just having fun with them. So, hurray for the fourth of July, I can't wait till next year!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hurting People

The church is Christ's bride.  The church is supposed to be the manifestation of the grace of God in this life.  I love the church, although flawed and often extremely messy, I love it.  Today was a hard day.  I was once again reminded of all the hurt in the world.  I was reminded that hurting children grow to become hurting teens who grow to become hurting adults.  I once again began thinking about the importance of loving those inside and outside of the church.  I was glad for the time that I did take for real conversations in the life of a child.  I was saddened that sometimes pain is so deep and so overwhelming that I feel as though we can not overcome it.  I longed for God to come back, as His glorious, warrior/kingly self and destroy the evil in the world.  For this is the only answer to some people's pain - the return of Christ and His amazing power in their lives.  In some ways that is the only answer to all of our pain.  The next life, for we were not created to live in this fallen world.  Until then, my prayer tonight is that God's Church, the manifestation of His grace would be just that tonight and continue to point people towards God's amazing power for life-transformation.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A busy weekend...

This was a buy weekend.  I spent the weekend in YL with the fam.  Friday night and Saturday noonish, I had work engagements (thus the reason for staying out in the OC).  Both went well and we had fun.  

Then, on Sunday, Kenny and I went to the preschool "new reveal" volunteer training at YLFC.  It was so awesome.  This is something that I remember talking about wanting to do in 2004.  It took us (or rather them, since I am not really there anymore) four years to make it a reality, but it was well worth it.  They had thought through the "what ifs" and "what do we do whens."  It was really exciting to see and to get to be a part in some small way.  It was also great to be with the EC team there and help them out and throw a great training.  Table decor, the new large group stage decor, and great food made the atmosphere great.  Gwin rocked as the preschool leader and I don't think I have anything I could critique (and that's saying a lot since I am a pretty much critical person (although I like to consider it being a realist and just always wanting to improve).  

So, that was my weekend, now on to a quieter next few days at home...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's been a while...

Sorry all!  It's been a while, life has been a bit overwhelming.  Nothing major, just the regular busyness.  And I haven't really had anything to say.  Well, I guess I could write about church this sunday - I didn't like it.  I normally really like it, but this weekend our pastor was gone, so we had another pastor speak.  I know that it probably wasn't his intention - but what came across is "if you feel bad, or rather not positive, you are in sin b/c you are not worshipping God."  On one hand and to some extent I agree with him.  It is hard to worship God when you are having a bad attitude, but I also don't think that worshipping God is the end of all of our problems.  I think that God is more ok with our messiness than we give Him credit for.  I personally think that people who never had bad days (or weeks) are slightly insane - or incredibly out of touch with their emotions.  Maybe God blesses some people with "happier" spirits than others, I don't know.  What do you think?  

Friday, April 10, 2009

A great day

Today was a busy day - but it was a lot of fun.  

Here is the run down with some pictures and captions interjected.  

To start off, I slept in!  Then had a breakfast of strawberry shortcake.  Next it was off with Meri for a day of adventure.  

First we headed out to Diamand Valley Lake.  It was awesome.  We scouted out the wildflower trail, which we did not take since it was overcast and most of the wild flowers were asleep.  

View from the trail - amazing.

Then we headed back to the car to go check out the rest of the facilities at Diamond Valley Lake.  
Here is an ugly beetle we saw on the way to the car.

We checked out the Aquatic center - a pool, water slide and water play area.
We also checked out the visitor center and got some info on the museum out there - which I must go visit soon....

After that, we went to lunch, Homegoods, and Walmart.  After that it was time to go home!  We were tired...  We put together some cookie dough and took naps....

Annabelle, pretending like she was being a good puppy - b/c in reality she was quite the pest most of the day.  But that is mainly b/c the two other puppies have invaded her space and she isn't a good sharer.  

The result of the cookie dough - we will decorate tomorrow.  

The most exciting part of the day was our attempt to make peeps!  Yes, we got a recipe on-line (gelatin, water and sugar) and created some fun.  They turned out quite a bit smaller than the real things and somewhat deformed, but we got a few cute ones.  AND it was a lot of fun!  

The peeps

Some of our favorites.  
Three peeps running away from the mutant peep!  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A fun weekend

This has been a bit of a busy weekend.  Friday night we celebrated my mom's b-day.  We went to the Spaghetti factory in Fullerton.  Fun area and a great time.  The birthday was a bit belated since my sis was in the hospital on mom's actual day.

Friday night I spent the night in the OC and then got up and went to Avalon bagels with my sis on our way to a tball game.  While there, we ran into an old friend, which was really fun.

Then the t-ball game.  Always a fun thing.  This was Rebecca's game, Rebecca is a six year old who we have known since before birth.  My sis used to nanny for her and I used to work for her mom. 

After t-ball bre and I decided to head down to Costa Mesa to hunt for a Hurley sale.  We found it thanks to her eagle eyes and found some great deals.  I got a pair of nice pants, a shirt and a sweatshirt for 60 bucks.  

After that we raced back home grabbed some lunch and I went to go babysit two of my favorite kids.  After some Wii and backyard play we loaded up and drove the block or so to my parents.  I told Levi that we were picking "something up"  He didn't know who or what, but he was definitely curious.  I told him to keep watching the door.  Finally my bro came out.  Kenny is one of Levi's favorite teachers (probably second only to yours truly).  So, both boys were pretty excited (as was I since it meant another set of hands while at McD's.)  We had a great time at McD's - it was a lot of fun to be together with three of the greatest boys in the world.  After they played on the playground we got some ice cream - it is a great tool to get them out of the play-place.  
After that we dropped the biggest boy off and went back to the house for some mellow cartoons and snuggling time.  
Then I drove back home.  Today was church and then hanging out with the newest roomates - the two puppies we are watching.  Annabelle belongs to my roomates and Darci and Pasita belong to their parents.  

Darci - but she is so darn black that it is hard to make her out...
Annabelle and Pasita 

My good friend... 

Enjoying Ice Cream

Trying to get the icecream off his face - didn't work so well :)

My buddy again, he is an amazing kid and I love watching him grow up!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Today was church - I love being at my new church.  It has a great feeling about it.  I love that our pastors are around and always hanging out with people.  I love that there are some amazing parents who really love their kids.  I do get sad/frustrated/worn-out at times.  You see, our children's department is experiencing some growth - at least growth in the amount of children they have - not so much growth in the amount of helpers they have.  I have a model of ministry I believe in - it is some sort of a compilation between the values that were instilled in me at friends and the model children's worker of EGM.  All I know though is that the majority of those values are violated in so many ways during one of the Sunday Mornings that I have at my new church - it kills me!  I want to be able to lead experiential activities, I want the children to go home knowing the main idea of the lesson, not just the story.  (Although I am not even sure that was accomplished today)  I want the children to go home having responded to that real life truth, after a great real life discussion.  None of which were accomplished today.  I want to be safety conscious - to always have two adults in the room and not send children to the bathroom with just one other teacher.  I want to be relational and have the ability to be with the children rather than put out fires.   I want to have fun with the kids and really connect with the parents.  All of these things I want to be able to do.  Yet, with only one of me and 16 kids, those things just can't happen.  In the meant time I will continue to pray that more people will step up to fulfill these important roles in the lives of these amazing kids!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why am I here?

Have you ever had one of those brief moments that jolts you out of your normally accepted life and puts you immediately into questioning what you are doing and why you are doing it?  I had prayed earlier this week because there is a huge part of me that misses living in Orange county, being with my family, being with my friends, etc.  so I had prayed that God would continue to move in me, showing me what I am doing and why I am here.  
Then tonight, I got a call...  The call made me really question why I am where I am.  I definitely feel as though God has called me to the place I am at.  That somehow this is for His glory and for my healing and sanctification.  He has given me many things out here that I had been longing for, for years.  So, as much as I want to disappear back out to the OC - I know that God is not done with me in this desert.  
I decided I would write out some of the things that I know God has called me to here.  
1.  I love the mission/vision/values of EGM.  I am not sure that I could be more aligned if I had written them myself.
2.  I love what I am doing.  There are many times when it is hard (just like every job) but God has called me to the world, not locally, and I can't deny that.
3.  I love the people I work with.  They have become family.  
4.  I love my church.  I really want to get involved and even more plugged in there.
5.  I know that God isn't calling me out yet.  He has a plan for my life out here that is clearly evident and I know that it is not time to turn-tail and run.  (As much as I would love to do that)

So, I don't know what is in store in a year and a half, for that will be when I am done with the big project I am working on.  There is a part of me I think that will always look for a way back to Orange County-to hope that around that time I get a similar phone call, but for now I am here.  Even then, I pray that God will direct me to be where he wants me to be and that He will grant me the grace to accept whatever place that is.  


So, Sabrina is finally home.  Which is a great thing, but the bad thing is that they still don't know what is going on.  So, we are just hoping that whatever it was doesn't come back.

On the other side of life, the past few weeks have completely worn out myself and my family.  We (especially my mom, dad, and I) are pretty wiped out.  I can't remember when it was when I felt so exhausted last time.  So, pray that we will all get some rest and recover.  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day Four part 2

Just talked to my mom, (I left around noon today).  She says that Sabrina is eating well and is doing a lot better, her pain is down.  The dr. came by and said that they are going to observe her overnight and wait to see what to do next.  

I am hoping that she will be fine, but I am also worried that they have not figured out what caused all of this in the first place.  Pray for wisdom for the Dr's and healing for Sabrina - I will update tomorrow once I get word.

Day four

This morning Sabrina had her colonoscopy. The doctor looked hard and took a couple samples just to be sure, but he said everything looked fine. According to the doctors yesterday, the next step is to do exploratory laprascopy. So far we haven't talked to her specialist today to figure out if that is still the case and if yes, when the surgery will be.

Right now she is in pain and sleeping, they had to use a lot of drugs to sedate her, apparently she has a high tolerance to the meds.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sister Update

For any of you following along who would like a more detailed accounting, here it is.

I came to the hospital this afternoon (after a 24 hour hiatus) and relieved my mom. Since I have been here the GI doctor came asked a bunch of questions and ordered a colonoscopy tomorrow morning (pray for the prep for that as my sis is not looking forward to that!) Ruling out the colon as the problem. As they are worried about the endometriosis having spread to the colon or a possibility of crohn's disease.

Then we saw her endometriosis specialist. He went in search of her ultrasound results from this morning and then disappeared, so still no word from him. If the colon comes back clean, then it will be up to this guy to figure out what to do next.

Pray for peace for my family as we try to discover what the problem is. Pray for God's intervention in the mean time. Pray that the pain will subside and that she will be able to keep food down.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pray for my sis

So, last week, my grandma was admitted to the hospital. After a few days of antibiotics and a couple of blood transfusions, she was released wednesday. She has been to a couple of follow up Dr's appointments and they think she may have a bleeding ulcer. Anyway, that is what transpired last week.
Last night my mom found my sister passed out in the hallway - she did not wake up right away, my mom had to shake her and yell her name to get her to wake up. Then she took her to the ER and while they were waiting she passed out again. They took her straight back and after they gave her a pain shot she "woke up" this time she panicked b/c she did not remember going to the ER room - she did not know how she got there, even though she was technically "awake" while my mom drove her and had even talked to the Docs while she was there. Anyway, they gave her the pain meds and released her. (Dumb doctors)
Today, she tried to get into her specialist, but couldn't so she went into see our general doc in the late afternoon. He checked her out and decided to admit her to the hospital, I think to control the pain tonight, moniter her, and most importantly run a whole gamment of tests tomorrow. Pray for her, pray for our family as my mom is still worn out from the grandma thing (her mom) and now my sis is in the hospital. Pray that they will soon figure out what is wrong.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Revelation

Today I was driving home from the OC.  I got to thinking about all of the pain and sorrow in our world.  I was listening to my music and being amazed at the great hills covered in wild mustard, which make them look neon yellow.  I was just thinking for some reason about how great it would be for Christ to come at that moment.  I began longing for the Revelation Christ.  The tattooed, sword yielding, horse riding Christ who would come and rid the world of this darkness called sin.  The darkness of death, the darkness of pain and sorrow.  I longed for the Christ to come.  For God to be with us yet again, but not as a donkey riding humble servant, but as the ruler of the world.  The conquerer of this darkness.  The verse came to mind, "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."  I fear that Christ.  I am in awe of him, with the trumpets and the bowls and the scrolls.  I want to be ready for that Jesus.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Anger Management

I watched "Anger Management" today.  I had never seen it before.  I enjoyed it.  The whole chaos of it was hilarious and then the ending was great.  However, if someone ever did that to me, I think that I would not propose to them, I would not talk to them anymore.  Just so you all know!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A very loud Hamster!

I have a hamster.  I love him very much.  He hangs out in his cage and is always very busy.  We had many hamsters as children and I have never known one as busy as Cody.  Right now, he is playing with his food.  He is crunching and moving it around and it seriously sounds like someone is walking through crunchy leaves.  He is also a very loud drinker.  In general Cody terrorizes poor annabelle - the pomeranian that lives here.  Annabelle is a scaredy cat and any unknown sounds freak her out.  She also hates balls in general (unless they are very small) and when Cody is in his hamster ball, poor Annabelle runs for cover.   

Critical Observation

Today was a long day - I met part of the children's team from Life Church at 7:00am.  Then went to an all day conference.  It was great.  Really it was, I was able to reconnect with some great people.  I was encouraged to be a better minister to kids.  I also realized that I am getting near the saturation rate of topics covered at these kinds of seminars.  YES!  It is always good to be reminded to remind parents that they are the primary spiritual influencers in their child's life.  That we need to be really connecting with kids, that preschoolers are great people and need a special kind of connection.  Yet, I am much too aware of presentation styles, teaching styles, the way people learn, to stop evaluating the entire time I am sitting through a session.  Usually there is only a few things that I can say "I learned".  Part of that is that I love to learn, so I have learned a lot about my field.  Definitely not everything, but this was a conference directed mainly towards Sunday School pastors so it was at more of a basic level.  I did hear some great presenters/teachers today and was encouraged to grow in that area of my life.  Anyway, now I am home after church.  Was gone a total of 13 hours and since I am still fighting a cold I am done now. On top of all of that during the sermon tonight the pastor mentioned that Nathan who confronted David about his sin, had anointed him as a young boy.  Wait what?  Did Nathan and Samuel somehow merge into the same person?  So, I did mention that to him at the end of service, he seemed appreciative, but really, why must I be so aware of these things?  

Friday, March 13, 2009

First Wives Club

Tonight I watched First Wives Club for the first time.  I know.  I have issues with movies in that I don't watch many.  My friends Joe and Julie are working on remedying this problem.  I really enjoyed first wives club.  It was probably one of the better ones I have sat through in the last few months.  I have trouble with movies.  I love TV and books, movies though, I really have trouble loving.  I am working on this...

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Tonight I hung out with some great friends and worked on brainstorming for the next quarter of lessons that we are writing.  Tonight we hit the 4-6 year old lessons and among a few great ideas, we had a few crazy ones (don't worry none of these made the mark, but caused some laughter).  
My top four favorites 
 - Lock all the children in chains 
 - Draw a picture of the guard with his sword at his throat 
 - Take all the children up to the top of the building and throw them over and see who lives (See Acts 20.)
 - Have a child grab a red cloth and play bull fighting with all of the other children.  This, by the way had absolutely nothing to do with the lesson, but was probably the most random idea that any of us ever had. 

Now - don't you want us hanging out with your kids???

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A busy Day

Today was a great Saturday, slept in, hung out for a while, did some errands and then worked on a decorating project.  I had some left over Ikea frames and a large wall that needed some extra love.  So, I bought some scrap booking paper and went to work.  I created five similar scenes, beach, palm tree and surfboards.  Then painted the frames and hung them on the wall...

Frame 1
Frame 2 - that is really a dark blue behind the palm tree not black...
The wall as it turned out.  
This is Annabelle, eating a giant plastic chewtoy fish that we bought her today.  It is kind of funny b/c it is way too big for her but they didn't have the smaller size.  So she has to move it with her paws by pushing it across the floor.  
She loves it though - it keeps her entertained for quite a while!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The normalcy of addiction

We work (my colleagues and I) at a small little office in a strip with a few other offices.  One of those places is a recovery center for alcohol addiction.  It seemed when I first began that the people I most noticed were the more eccentric people that came through.  I mean, when you hear the various, yelling, screaming, laughing, and crying in the bathroom on the other side of your office wall, you end up noticing the more interesting and outlandish...  Lately however either the demographic has changed, or God is opening my eyes.  The "normal" people at the center have seemed to increase.  These are the forty-fifty year old moms, the younger career type men,  the young guy who seems quite athletic.  There is the business woman, the older man, and everyone in between.  Lately if I didn't know better I would just think that some of these people are outside on their smoking breaks rather than trying to figure out how to overcome their addictions.  These people, including those who seem a bit more eccentric, have become more real to me over the last few weeks.  The idea that everyone has their struggles, that so many of us are good at hiding things.  This idea has begun to permeate who I am and how I look at the world.  Yes, they may not be quite as addictive or as "big" as drinking, but they are real in any case.  However, it demonstrates the importance of doing real life with others in the family of God.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New House Pics

So those of you who asked (1) here are some pics of my new house!  

The kitchen - the best part???   There is a sink in it - oh the things we take for granted - after a year of washing my dishes in the bathroom it is great to have a kitchen with an oven, a real stove and a sink!

Here is the living room.  The front door is just off to the right and the couch is facing a wall with a HUGE TV and a fireplace.

My room pic 1 - I made the quilt on my bed, it is not very wide (not much wider than you see) but it matches my surfer theme (I also made the throw pillow you see there)

Curtains and TV

The other side of my room.  My favorite part - my books!  There is a closet to the right along that wall and then the door is on the wall opposite the TV.  I love my new room!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A busy weekend

This has been a pretty crazy weekend.  Yesterday I moved - just across town, so it wasn't a big deal, but still took time.  My brother came down to help and my friends Meri and Matt helped as well, as of yesterday evening I was settled in.  I am probably more settled into my room than they are into theirs.  Then today kenny and I had a great day together.  We went to church but then realized that the sermon was on marriage.   Normally I would be ok with that, resigning myself to learning something from such sermons a long time ago - but we had not had breakfast and I was hungry, so we ditched.  We got up and went to breakfast and then came back to teach.  Once again we had lots of little ones - 20 to be exact.  Yet with him it did not seem so bad.  We were even able to break the kids into two groups to do Bible verse and some discussion time.  Then after church we headed to lunch and then to a couple stores for some quick shopping.  Once back to my new home we decided to go out skateboarding.  He has wanted to teach me how to ride his long board for quite some time and I wanted to learn, so we found a slight hill and tried it.  I didn't do bad according to him.  Ask my foot, hip and wrist and you might get a different story.  Then we came back to the house and played some Wii.  Rabbid TV is a pretty amazing game.  Now tomorrow is Monday and I can't believe the weekend is over.  

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Walking in Stephen's shoes

Stephen is 13 years old.  He lives in Northern Uganda.  He has a mother, a father, a younger sister, and younger brother.  One August night, he was in bed with his younger brother.  That is when the rebel soldiers kidnapped him.  His parents were no match against the men with weapons.  After weeks and months of threats and atrocities he had no longer had hope of rescue.  He had been broken, he had given up hope.  He was terrified of his captors, yet he was even more terrified of the enemy.  One day, he was sent on a mission to attack a small tribe.  The government's army captured him.  He was really scared now - what was going to happen?  He had heard that those who were captured would be tortured and poisoned.  He was loaded onto a truck, he was taken to a complex.  When they arrived, he heard singing!  He was amazed, other children who he had been a rebel soldier were there.  He knew these children, he thought they had been killed by the enemy.  Yet, here they were - they were welcoming him.  They were singing about joy, about how they were happy.  He was being welcomed to a place of joy!  This was a World Vision rehabilitation center for child soldier victims.  After a few weeks, Stephen left this place after beginning to recover from the atrocities he had seen and been forced to commit.  He went home.  His family celebrated.  He was also one of the few lucky ones who had not contracted AIDS while a child soldier.  Yet, there were many who were not so lucky.  
World Vision hosted an amazing AIDS experience walk through.  It was a large tent, with three paths.  Each path led you through the life of a different young person/child.  The stories caused one to desire to do something with the information, pray, support, tell others.  The visual, tactile, and auditory senses worked together to draw you into the story.  I became Stephen.  I will never forget his story.  

Internet again!

It has been just over a week since I have had an internet connection at home - see technically I was borrowing internet from the guy who lived in the apartment above me (with his knowledge and consent).  However, he moved out a week ago and I didn't move out until today.  So now I am in my new house (with my great friends Meri and Matt - there married).  I am all moved in and plugged in once again to the internet...  So hopefully over the next couple of days I will catch up on the blogging.  

Friday, February 6, 2009


Children's Pastor's Conference.  CPC is an annual event, held in two locations each year.  I was blessed to be able to go there today, someone had an extra pass and so I ended up spending the day in San Diego.  I greatly enjoyed it.  I love to learn, so I love conferences.  I went to three great breakouts and two great general sessions.  At some point through the day I realized that although this was the first CPC I have actually attended, it is not the first CPC that I have been at...  I also realized that my journeys through various CPC's struck me as type of milestones in my life.  
My first CPC experience was my Sophmore year of college.  The children's team was attending.  I don't think that I really got out of the car, but I did pick up some of the staff and we hung out in old town for a while.  It was a great time.  That was the year after I had decided to go into children's ministry.  It was an important year for me in a lot of ways.
My next experience at CPC was not really at CPC - it was at the Willow Creek children's conference.  I am including this one because it was the spring of 2004.  Our church had just been through chaos.  Our staff went to willow and it was an amazing time of encouragement and being together.  A feeling of "we can move forward" was the result.  
My next experience was in 2006.  I went with my boss at the time to post a job opening.  All we did was walk into the exhibition hall and post the job opening.  It was at a time when I was beginning to question a lot of things.  Like, what am I doing?  Why am I not doing something else?  Am I supposed to be doing this?  It was the beginning of over a year long process of God moving me.
Spring of 2008.  This year, I went to CPC with my boss and his wife (Joe and Julie) we had a booth for the ministry and I heard Joe over and over again give his spiel about what we do.  I remember thinking "What we do is really cool."  Once again, I did not leave the exhibition hall (this time I didn't even walk through it) but I did have a great time handing out scary looking David and Goliaths to hundreds of children's workers.  Around that time the idea of being at this new job was becoming permanent.  I was beginning to be ok with that and living in the Temecula valley.  That was a great time of God beginning to really work in my life in an amazing way.
That brings us to today's visit.  This past year has been one of the best and hardest of my life.  Today I thoroughly enjoyed being at CPC and remembering all that God has done to get me to this place in my life.  Right now there is hope, excitement for the future, and a great expectancy to see what God is going to do in my life and through the ministry.   As I spent the day as a real attender of CPC I was overwhelmed by what God has taught me this last year as He has shown me over and over again that He has a plan for my life.  
That is my journey over the years at CPC...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Random Update

So, lately I have been working on taking more pictures of the everyday randomness of my life. It should not be so difficult with an iPhone and all, but it is. So here are a few from the last week or so...

This is my new room. I will be moving in with two great friends (they are renting a house). I am pretty excited about it, but not so excited about the greyish blue hue of the room. So I am in the midst of repainting. I will move in on the 28th.

Last week I went home to spend the evening with the fam. While there we decided to have strawberry shortcake. This strawberry looked an awful lot like a chicken, so we had to take its picture before we ate it...

A couple Sunday's ago, my friend Meri and I took a rag quilt class together. This is the picture I took of my layout to help me remember where all the pieces went (once we quilted them) The colors are actually a bit more muted then they look in this picture.

Ok, so that is all for now. More later...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

21 years ago...

Today was the big day, my little brother turned 21.  21 years ago my family was going through chaos.  My brother was born with a life threatening condition and was immediately transfered to another hospital.  My grandfather was in another hospital living his final days.  (He died the next day) I remember that time vividly, I think I was way more aware of all that was happening than anyone expected a six year old too.  More on that some other time...

I also remember sitting around the dining room table one evening.  Kenny was a toddler and we were dreaming about how old we would all be when we we reached different ages.  We figured out how old Sabrina and Kenny would be when I was 18, when she was 18, etc.  I remember we thought about how old we would be when Kenny turned 21.  It seemed so far away, so hard to imagine.  (I would be and am 27 by the way)  These years have been amazing and I am so proud of the man my little brother has become.  

Here are some pics of the evening (I forgot until the last minute and Kenny and his best friend had already left for Matt's hockey game - Matt and Kenny have been best friends since they were two)  

The Counter in Irvine - The best burgers on earth!  (Great people too)

The first beer.  It wasn't too bad. 
(It was also my, my father's and my sister's first taste of beer - something I had avoided until now, but apparently it was quality beer, so I decided to give it a try.)

Kenny also got a big lego set (he isn't all grown up yet) he is collecting the town collection, it is pretty cool actually.

My mom - complaining that I am taking her picture...

My grandma.  You can't tell but her lips are slightly blue from the cake frosting - a fact that greatly disturbed her.  

The cake that my mom smuggled into the place on her lunch break and the restaurant kept in their refrigerator until the appropriate time (they also applied and lit the candles that we had brought.  They did a great job.  
(and I have no idea why this is underlined - I am having all sorts of formatting issues tonight)

All in all it was a great night.  Now, it is late and I need to go to bed!  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The team

When I worked at my church, my team was defined in a number of ways.  They were all, however pretty obvious.  There was the children's ministry team.  A great group of people who I loved doing life and ministry with.  Then there was the two teams that I led.  The Kids Club team and the BLAST team.  The great thing about these teams was that they were obvious.  We did tangible things together (wrangle a group of preschoolers, put on a VBS, take 120 children to Disneyland).  These things brought us together.  We had things to bond over (taking "bets" on which kid is going to spill his juice at snack time, children spitting pickles at D-land - yes that happened and it was nasty, and how can we find room for all these kids at VBS).  This is one of the things I have missed in my new job.  I do have a great team and I love each of them.  Yet, it is harder for me to feel a part of this team because we have our own tasks and what we do is for the most part hard to see how it is effecting people's lives b/c those people are usually far, far away.  I have just realized that I need a new concept of team and so I am trying to be more aware of when I do feel a part of a team in my role at EGM.  So, I am writing about it, in order to help make it more tangible.  So here they are...  Today I spent a while chatting with one of our staff members who lives in Romania, but was currently in Hungary.  We talked about ministry, our struggles, differences and similarities.  We found out more about each other and encouraged one another.  It was a great moment of Team.  It was a simple chat online, but it was great.  The second moment of team I had today, was this evening.  I spent about an hour or so with three great friends.  We went through nine lessons and brainstormed them.  This is such a blessing to me as it means that I don't have to sit at my desk and start from scratch.  It is also fun to be together.  That is all for today and maybe for a while. 

The Wonders of In-N-Out

Tonight I came home around 4:30, then around 5 I realized that I needed to eat dinner.  (Although seemingly obvious, today has been somewhat of a rough day, so it wasn't obvious right away)   I opened the cabinet and freezer and realized that I did not want to eat the TV dinner I had and I didn't have much more than that.  It is towards the end of the week... So I decided to go drive through In-N-Out.  There of course was a long line, it went all of the way out of the drive through area.  No worries I thought, I don't have anything else to do.  So, I waited, the guy took my order, he was quite cheerful.  Then as I crept closer to the payment window I was noticing the amazing purpose with which the employees were moving about with.  The guy taking money seemed to be seldom at the window, yet everytime a new car pulled up, he was magically there.  He greeted me nicely and took my money and gave me my receipt.  Here is when it became amazing.  I watched through the window as the workers went to and fro, moving french fries, flipping burgers, assembling them.  It was a work of art.  It was actually making me happier, just sitting there watching them.  The best part?  They seemed happy, they were joking with each other and laughing.  They were working hard and having a good time doing it.  I eventually made it up to the window.  The guy confirmed my order and handed me my drink.  Then he realized he was still waiting for my fries.  He communicated the need to the french fry guy, who was working on it.  Then while I was waiting, another guy came up to check again if I had everything I needed (catchup, etc) so that once the fries were ready I would be able to leave.  It was amazing.  I wondered as I left why I did not feel frustrated having waited nearly 15 minutes for my food, when I wait a sometimes a whole lot less than that at other fast food places.  I realized that the quality of service as well as the high level of energy that the people were putting into making my dinner made me respect and value them so much more than those many employees at other places who seem to work in begrudgingly.  I was grateful for my dinner.  They had served me well.  They were still technically working at a burger joint, but they were awesome and have continued to set themselves apart from those other establishments.  
How do we in our lives set ourselves apart?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wii Rabbids

I love my Wii.  It makes me happy.  I miss having roomates to play with me (we used to waste quite a bit of time bonding with the Wii), but recently I made a new purchase.  I don't buy a lot of games, so when I do it is quite momentous.  I bought the third installment of the Raymon's Rabbids line of games.  I now own all three.  The first had an actual story line (somewhat) but the menus were a bit confusing.  The second was great.  One of the best party games ever.  I do believe however that the third is the best yet.  Rabbids TV is a television world that involves a variety of crazy games.  This game involves the Wii fit board, which adds a whole new dimension to controls.  So far I have sledded down a hill and driven a car using the fit pad as the petals in a car.  Awesome.  The new dancing game also makes one look a bit ridiculous but is quite entertaining.  Anyway, I am enjoying my new purchase!  Now, I just need a few friends to come play with me.  

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The first week back...

So, after two great weeks in OC, coming back to the Temecula Valley was a bit rougher than expected.  However there have been some great things that have happened...
Sunday I had 20 kids in my Sunday School class, which was awesome.  I somewhat miss all chaos that used to be my everyday life.  That is a great group of kids as well.
Monday night I got to hang out with an amazing friend and watch some good TV (although the friend was better)
Tuesday I spent the evening at home enjoying some quiet.  
Wednesday I hung out some more, had a great dinner that I helped make.
Today has been quite the day, the highlight was definitely the two scenes I saw on my way to a meeting today.  On one street corner, there looked to be an older possibly homeless guy he seemed to be having some sort of a conversation with a sign twirler.  Yet, I could not tell if one was harassing the other (although it didn't seem confrontational) and they seemed to be talking and walking around in circles around each other.  Very intriguing.  What were they talking about I wondered.  I was still contemplating them when I saw the second bit of intrigue on my ride.    
This was a group of ladies on bicycles (not motorcycles, just to clarify) they all seemed to be wearing animal prints.  (Although they did pass quickly so I didn't get a good look).  In my minds eye, they seemed almost cave women like.  I was quite confused.  I tried to get another look, but it was a busy road and I had to not crash.  All of that in a matter of a couple of minutes.  Why am I telling you about these two things???  I don't know.  Maybe b/c I just need to write something tonight.  
Anyway, all in all, this has been a good week and I am glad to be living in the Temecula Valley.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The tradition lives on...

For New Years day, my family always goes into downtown LA and eats!  We enjoy food from China town, Philippe's, and Olvera Street.  We had a great time.  The tradition started when we were kids.   My parents wanted to give us the opportunity to ride a train, so we rode the train to Union Station, got off and walked around.   We now usually drive, but we do park and then walk around (we don't move our car).  It was a great day, I think everyone is now in a food coma, although we didn't eat as much as we normally do.  Now, on to game night!