Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Closing out 2008 and Walking into 2009

Is it just me or is everyone breathing a sigh of relief that 2008 is about to be history? I thank God, you have no idea how much I thank Him, for 2008. I can honestly say that this year has been the toughest year of my life. I feel like I got hit on every side, everything seemed to fall apart. Loved ones passing away, sickness in the family, and dark days. BUT I've made it through alive!! Through it all, I learned that my God is faithful and He truly cares for me. He was and still is moving and taking things off so that I can be the person that He needs me to be in 2009.

If I didn't go through the things I went through I would never have known God like I do. Every day He's opened me up to a new part of Him. I feel so humbled that He loves me enough to work on me and make me a better person.

I have made resolutions for the coming year, I have my "lose weight" one of course, but these are my top three. I don't share my resolutions to just anyone, but for some reason I just want to here... seems right somehow.
First and foremost - I want to trust God like never before. I want to put my faith in Him and cast all my cares upon Him. Give up control... (Lord, help me with this one! haha)
Second - I want to be a witness of Him more than ever before. I want to be used by Him to show people that this world we live in isn't all there is. We don't have to worry about the economy or the crime and evilness of the world we live in. He's prepared a place for us, where there is no worry, no fear of tomorrow. He's prepared it for all, but only those that are filled with His spirit, baptized in His name and covered in His blood will see it and "live" there forever. I want to show people that they can make it! God's word says that He desires that ALL would be saved, but He's left the choice up to us. I pray that He shines through me in 2009.
Third - I want to be content in whatsoever state I am. I pray for the blessings of God, but He knows what's best for me. He blesses me in how He sees fit to. I want to be content and not wish or want for something better all the time. Content in the life He's given me and accept every blessing from Him along the way.

Those are my top three things that I want God to accomplish in me this year. This year holds so much for us, get ready to grasp the blessing of God and look forward to what He has in store for His own.

I wish you all a prosperous and blessed beyond belief New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Better than a Red Ryder

Christmas morning my siblings and parents gather in the family room around the tree and fire and open our gifts. Many, many gifts. I always feel the need to explain to people that come over why there are so many gifts under both trees and even in corners. Since we all, my siblings and I, started making our own incomes some as long as 18 years ago, we have always splurged a little on each other. A little sibling love to last throughout the next year and maybe even to make up for the hard times we put each other through as any good sister or brother would do.

My parents are no exception, we love to spoil them with all the things they wanted but didn't buy for themselves. They've always done the same to us.

This year, with the way the economy has been, everyone was pretty tight. We still tried to spend the same amount as we always do, but knew that we couldn't expect (for lack of a better word) too much. I expected to have a meaningful Christmas but nothing prepared me for the feeling we had this Christmas morning.

After all our gifts were opened from each other, my parents brought out a gift for each of us and multiple gifts for my SIL. (She had not put anything grand on her wish list)

I opened my gift and gasped. I had the feeling of when Ralphie opened his Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Words flew out of my head and I cried. Yep, cried. There it was in my lap. A Nikon. Not just any Nikon, my dad went to buy the Nikon D40 I wanted and came home with a Nikon D60. Beautiful and sleek and something that I'd given up on.

I looked up to see my siblings crying. Even the tough boys. It was wonder and disbelief, but not because of what it was, what it meant. I was overwhelmed that my mom and dad, in this desperately tight year of recession, would give me something that I've wanted for so long. I was so grateful yet felt so undeserving.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Matthew 7:9-11

Below are some pictures that I took while taking JW (new name for the camera) out on the town for the first time. Keep in mind, I am no professional photographer. =)
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh Baby!

Oh boy, oh boy! He's believed to be the biggest baby born in Orange County. The weight of a medium sized turkey. 14.2 pounds, 21" long.

Born by C-Section on December 23rd, two doctors had to pull him out.

How would you like to carry this big boy in your belly?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Greetings

I am stuffed with turkey and oh so content with life right now. God's given me another wonderful Christmas, what joy!

Merry Christmas to all my bloggy pals and those that sneak by... you know who you are! =)

I wish you many blessings on this day that we celebrate the most incredible birth of all.

JESUS - Who are we to deserve such love? I am so thankful!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Starbucks is the BOMB

There just something about a good, hot eggnog latte on a chilly morning.

My sweet sister surprised my SIL and I at work with Starbucks. Mm-Mm GOOOD.
It's about 55 degrees here and I am freezing. This girl is not cut out for cold weather!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Spirit of Christmas

Christmas. One of the most beautiful and stressful times of the year.

I used to favor Thanksgiving because, well, the food was good. Over the past few years the 4th of July has been near and dear to my heart. This year, I feel a closeness with the Christmas season this year. My eyes have seemed to open up past the merriment and stress. I look back at past Christmas' and feel so blessed. When I read about families that don't have anything-food, presents, warm homes, decorations, joy-I feel so blessed and a little guilty.

God's been good to me.

My parents taught us at a young age that it was always better to give than to receive. Give to the kingdom of God, give to those less fortunate, and give to each other. I cannot count how many times I've seen my mom and dad give to families in need; see the faces of children smile as we gave them Christmas presents that they wanted but didn't dare ask for. The times I've heard the story of my dad teaching the homeless man about Jesus as he bundled up in a cardboard box in our car port, or my parents helping a family with medical bills, or inviting families in our home to share our meal on Christmas Eve when they had no family in the area. This was and is the way of my life and I hope to carry that with me throughout the rest of my life. I want to give back because He's given me so much.

This is the spirit of the season.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Pictures - My Brothers and Sisters

My cousin took some group pictures of us to be blown up for the parents.

I took a few photos of my brother and sister in law... My brother Peter is a camera hog. He loves taking pictures, if he had his way I would be following him around with a camera.

We always take pictures with each other, each sister with a brother or sister and sister. I love this picture of Peter and Catherine.

That morning we weren't really looking forward to getting dressed and running around outside in the cold with mountain lions roaming the hills... okay the last one was an isolated fear of mine. What would you expect with big signs saying "At your own risk". We ended up having fun and enjoying the incredible location.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Pictures

I took some pictures of my cousin Eileen and her family this past weekend for Christmas. Cristian, her son, is the funniest kid to photograph. He has so much character and does exactly what you tell him. These were my favorite shots, I thought they came out pretty good...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Decorations - Part 1

I haven't blogged about much of anything in the past couple of weeks... so that explains the two post in one day!

We got our Christmas decorations up a couple of weeks back and I didn't have a chance to share. Since my family goes all out decorating our home for the season, this will Part 1 - The Family Room and Foyer.

Thomas Kinkade "Home for Christmas

Our stocking collection has grown over the past years, there used to be six. Six turned into seven when I was a little girl and we got our puppy Tiff. Seven turned into eight when my Sis n law came along and now eight is nine with my brother's girlfriend. We don't hang our stockings on the mantle but on the entry door... first thing you see when you walk in.

We've had this gingerbread family since I was very young. We were never allowed to play with them. They had to sit nicely in there spots, just to be looked at. Dad and Mom and four kids - that's us!

Family room tree that's done in rustic ornaments and all the ornaments that we've collected over the years.

I love the house when it's decorated for Christmas. This room is my favorite to sit in with the fire and lights glistening.

Santa's Fat Suit

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rainy Morning

I took some pictures on the way to work this rainy morning. Clouds are so fascinating to me. They change shape right before your eyes and are never the same, day to day. A rainy morning brought such incredible beauty...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Shopping

I have been so behind in my shopping this year. As of today, I've purchased one gift... Uno.一個.один.một. ONE GIFT.

Things just aren't going as planned. I know what I want to buy, It's just a matter of how to do it! I was telling someone last night that I will be doing most of my shopping the week of Christmas. Talk about a mad dash to the finish.

I've had my fair share of rushing to the stores and checking out the good sales, crowds, messes... BUT I have refrained from buying one single thing.

I was shopping at a local store and came across this.

An aisle full of pillows. Kids paradise. There was a Mom and her little girl on the other side and the mom was telling her daughter, "Go ahead". Tempting... When the mad rush of shopping gets too crazy, look for an aisle like this and jump!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Disco FEVER

Every Christmas I look forward to wasting time on Elf Yourself. I made one of my mom and her siblings, most of them, and now made one of me and my siblings! Check it out...
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 01, 2008

A quick post

This is going to be a quick one, but I feel like I'm neglecting my blog! I had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Good food, family time, and great church - Need I say more? It was wonderful. So unlike myself, I forgot my camera at my job! So no pictures from my end. I was so bummed and I didn't even think to use my phone. Oh well!

Now back to the normal things of life, work and obligations. I am getting into the Christmas spirit, we put up our family room tree on Friday night/Saturday morning. I'll post a picture here later on tonight or tomorrow.

We still have a ton of decorating to do in our home, but life is a little busy right now. We have bugs (sick bugs) going around our church and home. I am determined to stay as far away from all the sicky people and maybe, just maybe get by.

Hope you all ate tons of bird and had a great time with Family!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Sounds

Just a few hours until we dig into the turkey! Okay, maybe not a few hours, but we eat pretty early around here. Turkey goes in around 3Am and we start picking at it at 11AM. Pretty early considering most people aren't even ready to go by then.

As I type I am listening to my aunt sing Circle in the Sand. She's been dancing and singing all.night.long. My mom and sister came over to spend some time with my Gramms and to help her out with the food and putting the massive turkey in the oven at 3AM. We walked in the door, drenched from abnormal SoCal rain, and heard music blaring. My aunt has a professional like karaoke machine that she brings to family gatherings and lets all the "kids" belt out tunes in tune and some not so in tune. Whooweee!
Top on my list this year and every years to be Thankful for is one sure thing - God's been so faithful to me. Even when I get panicked and forget that He is, indeed, there, He still loves me once I come to my senses. *Sigh* He's incredibly awesome.

Be thankful in everything! Bad times, the best of times, when things are just right and life is smooth sailing, when everything crashes around you - Be Thankful!

Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. Eat lots of turkey, spend time with your family and enjoy this day.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Random Pictures and Strange Mail

I was going through my 2 story high pile of mail, really maybe 1 story, and found this piece of mail that could not possibly have been sent to me! I checked the back and I was wrong, It had my name on it... why would someone send this to me? Ha!

Maybe I'll call for a free gift...


A couple of weeks back my sister and I made dinner for everyone. I made my chicken pasta and she made a salad with her incredible homemade dressing. She treated us all to yummy tuxedo brownies with strawberries....

In case your mouth is watering... you can get the recipe here - Ghirardelli Brownie Recipe.


A couple of weeks back I went to the park with my nephew... He is so much fun and a happy distraction for me. I can watch him for hours and love to hear him try to form words. He is actually on his way over here to spend some time with his aunties!

Anyway, after he'd exhausted us on the swings, basketball court, slides, and everything else on the playground, he settled down with his water cup, a rare moment for this rambunctious boy.


This past week at our community group meeting we had the kids make thank you cards for God. This one girl, we'll call her Sally, always tugs at my heart. Her sister and brother have had it hard this year. They've been homeless and now live in a family members garage. Yet, through it all she smiles. She loves Jesus with all her heart and her favorite thing to do is to sing. A recent song that she picked up goes like this, "Faith, faith, faith just a little bit of faith. Faith, faith, faith, just a little bit of faith, you don't need a whole lot just use what you got..." What a testimony she is to me.

She made this incredible card and I just had to share it with you.

"Dear Jesus, I thank you so much for everything."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Are Not Alone

Searching and looking for answers, comfort and peace has been my main goal these past few days. God's peace will overflow on me at certain times throughout the day. He takes away all the fear and anxiety and helps me to remember that everything is okay.

Last night my dad taught about courage. Do you need courage? I sure do. The enemy of courage is fear. Did you know that we can suffer real and imagined fear? I think I have the biggest imagination on the face of this earth, you might be thinking the same thing about yourself. Fear torments and cripples you.

A lot of times we have fear of the unknown. I am fearful of the unknown. It's hard to remember that the unknown to us is not unknown to God. If you've placed your life in His hands it shouldn't matter.

At this time in this trial, I feel so alone at times. I want to lean on someone that I can see and feel, physically. I have to continually remind myself that I am not alone, God is there. When it comes down to it, in this life, it's really just me and Him. No one else can save me, He is the only one.

I am encouraged and get strength by those in my life, my Pastor's wife is a gem and she's helped me to make some sense of things. My sisters and mother have been those that I lean on when I can. Don't be afraid to let someone else help bear your burden! Talking about it will not make it worse, it will make it better! My Pastor's wife reminded me that there is strength in numbers!

My sister sent me this incredible passage that has now come to life to me. This incredible, loving, God I serve is so wonderful.

Psalm 103
He is kind
He forgives our sins
He heals us
He protects us
He provides for us strength for each day
He brings justice
He shows us how great He is
He is merciful
His love never fails
He is not always angry
He doesn't punish us as we deserve
His love is greater than the distance between heaven and earth
He removes our sins far from us, as far as the East to the West
He is kind as a parent
He knows how fragile we are
He keeps his promises
He rules over His creation

Be strong and of a good courage! Remember, you are not alone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

He's Given me a Sound Mind

I don't usually get too personal on here, feelings and such, but sometimes I need an outlet that doesn't communicate back to me. Understand?

Have you ever felt like there are a thousand fearful thoughts in your head asking for your attention at the same time. Seems at times that I am going crazy and I want to thrown in the towel, but I keep telling myself, God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind. His Word doesn't lie. It's all in how we choose to accept it.

Right now, my worlds rocking, but I am praying that He'll get me through this in one piece. After all, He shields me with His wings (Psalm 57:1) and He won't lead me astray.

In Psalm 55 David cries to God and wishes for wings like a dove so he can fly away and be at rest... Yet, he says that if he flew away he'd wander off and remain in the wilderness. This is marked with Selah, in other words, think about it. I want to be tucked safely under HIS wings and not wander off and remain in a wilderness!

As you can tell, I am in no mood to blog right now. I need to clear my mind and even if I wanted to, I am absorbed in this right now.

I will be back to share the good side if life soon. Everyone else, Keep the Faith! He's never failed anyone, EVER! (secretly talking to myself!) =)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still here and not burned!

I am here, but things are a little crazy in my world right now.

I will post some pictures pretty soon here... maybe today if I have a chance.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?? Time is flying by!

Smoke Pictures

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern California is Burning

I wanted to write a quick post for all my blog buddies. This fire is bad. Very, very bad. An hour after the Corona fire started, our skies turned brown and the smoke was overtaking our city on it's way to the ocean.

The winds have been blowing ash and smoke all over. Our home smells like fire and eyes are burning, heads are pounding. This fire has gone from bad to worse.

I am about 10 miles from the fire now and it's creeping closer. The sun is a burning orange color, I took some photos but don't have the connection to upload here.

Pray for the SoCal residents that are in the middle of these fires and those in Los Angeles and all the firefighters.

This brings to mind the scriptures in Acts 2 where we're warned about the coming of the Lord. The sun will be dark, the moon will turn to blood, and vapours of smoke on the earth. Whether or not this has anything to do with those days, He's coming soon!

We need these winds to stop!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back Breaking

As I said in a previous post, I messed up my back sometime in the last couple of weeks and it's gotten progressively worse.

Going to the Chiropractor is no fun. I don't like people massaging me. It hurts. A deep tissue massage KILLS.

I felt pretty good as I laid down on the board/bed... whatever it is, and relaxed my body while my skirt was yanked down, slightly, and the little vibrating "thing" was placed on my lower back. I'm left alone for a few minutes and use this time to plead and beg God to not let it hurt.

The Doctor comes back in and begins to massage and shoot the breeze, chatting about his techniques and how I ripped my muscles around my spine... everything is going good and I feel like God really is going to numb me from the pain. Before I know it he's massaging my bum/hip and talking about an increase in taxes for California. My thoughts are, Hey, you're too close to my bum to talk about paying taxes.

Everything feels good minus the couple of sore spots that he feels need extra attention. I am focused on his shoes as my face is scrunched in the head rest. He decides to crack my back and hits down so hard that the bottom of my spine feels like it came out of my skin. I wanted to stand up and smack him in the face, "Hello, I have an injury, Buster!"

"What happened?" He asked after I screamed. I managed to yelp, "It hurts here", as I pat my back. He then wiggles my back to find out where the pain came from, no pain. Then he wants to crack again. I was too chicken to tell him not to, so I just smacked him in my head. He cracks it and everything is fine.

After he massaged my back and legs with a massive massager that makes you jiggle all over, he left so that I could gather myself.

I scoot off the bed/board and yelp, again. It's bad. Very bad. I whimper my way over to my purse and bend a few inches... I'm stuck. Here I am standing with my arms hanging down and my butt in the air.

He comes in looking concerned while I think, You better look concerned buddy, you broke my back!, "What is hurting?" he ask.

After a few back exercises I limp out to the lobby and thank God that my sweet mom came with me.

I pay, and wobble out to the car. My mom ask, "How are you feeling?". I whimper in response, "Ooooowweeee".

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Weekend Rundown and Blog Headers

I've officially started my Christmas shopping! I went shopping on Friday night with my sisters and there was something for the Mom that I couldn't resist buying. I now have a plan to buy a couple of things each week prior to Christmas in order to afford the mass amount of gifts that will be purchased with my teeny tiny paycheck. Oh my.

I kinked my back a couple of weeks ago and things just got progressively worse from sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. I got into the chiropractor on Saturday and prayed and asked everyone else to pray, dramatic, that it wouldn't be too bad. I must say, I dislike the chiropractor more than the dentist! My body is so sensitive and bruises easily, so I am guaranteed to leave with finger and elbow bruises. Sure enough, my back and bum were bruised and hurt-ing. This called for 1/2 a painkiller that I do not like taking. I end up talking so fast about nothing and wear myself out. I was drained by the time Saturday night showed up.

Sunday morning I woke up and bundled myself in front of the TV only to be startled by huge military planes flying over, very low. That always makes me a little jumpy. I spent some time at the park with my nephew on a perfect Fall day and watched as more planes flew over. Interesting...

On Sunday night, we had an unbelievable, make you feel goooood, service. I love it when God speaks directly to your situation and provides answers! If I could put words to the feeling, I would love to share, but I can't. It's just something that everyone should feel in their lifetime.

I woke up this morning with sore stomach muscles from all those sit ups I did yesterday. Okay, who am I kidding, sit ups? Me? No. A Friend of my sister and I took us out to eat after church. We chatted and laughed so much that I must have sucked in too much air! Just like a baby. Ha ha. I had hiccups for a good 20-30 minutes. Who knew hiccups could be so painful! Hence the sore stomach muscles.

My cousin asked me to change up her blog layout and make it more her style. This is the outcome...
You can see the rest of her blog here - Say What?!
It's time for Christmas, according to me! I love changing my blog for the Christmas season. This year I wanted a classic, not cute, Christmas layout. Let me know what you think!

Book Giveaway.... not from me!

If you are a Siri Mitchell fan, read on!

Michelle at Edgy Inspirational Blog posted her review and is giving away a copy of Siri Mitchell's new historical, A Constant Heart. Leave a comment to win a free copy!

I am sure she will actually send out the book she's giving away... something that I still haven't done! *cringe*

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Two years of Blogging!

I cannot believe that it's been two years since I stumbled upon the blogging world! Blogging is one of my favorite things to do. I love reading everyone's blogs and sharing about things in my life.

Thank you to all my bloggy friends who come by and read my thoughts.

I've gathered my top 6 post over the past two years; I know 6 is an odd number but I couldn't narrow it down. Re-reading each post below made me laugh and cry all over again!

My Favorite Things (2007)

Where's the Casket?
The Robot Kid
Deb v The Mud

Who knows what the next year in blog world will hold! One thing for sure, there will be a lot of laughs if it has to do with me!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

American History

America is the greatest country! She's is strong, courageous, and full of faith!

Last night was a horrible loss for John McCain. A good man and American hero. I will be the first to say that I did not agree with everything he stood for but I did agree with him more than I did with Barrak Obama. It was a known fact, at least to me, that the man I was voting for was not going to become the President-Elect, but, I knew that I needed to stand for what I believed in.

Last night we saw History, some of the most unbelievable American history. Whoever says that the color of ones skin changes the way they vote or treat someone is NOT American. I love the fact that we have an African-American President-Elect! I just don't agree with his politics and I fear what the next four years hold for our families, our troops and the rest of the world.

As an American you can't help but feel the excitement of the moment... but it wasn't long lived. Above all, God is in control and ultimately His will is done. He has a purpose. As a Christian, we are to pray for the authority over us, this is pleasing to God.

I respect our new President and pray that he proves me wrong.

NOW can we (I mean I, since I seem to be the only one that talks about such in my world) move pass the political talk and start blogging about life? Personal life, not life as an American. I wonder how long this will last... Ha Ha.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Monday, November 03, 2008

FAMILY FIRST - McCain & Palin

I support John McCain!
If you want to see America fall apart, vote Obama. If you want to see a future for your family, vote McCain!