Monday, March 31, 2008

Cuteness

I thought I would just finish off the month of March with a few cute pictures.

Donovan with his bunny booties.


Displaying their loot.


The best find of the day.


Daddy's boy...........

Easter was also Ihbeleg's first birthday. First birthdays are a big deal around here, so we will do the big celebration this coming Sunday. But, a little strawberry shortcake was in order for today.

His laugh just cracks me up! And he'll laugh (there's a smile in that face he's making it somewhere!) on cue for the camera!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Principle of Chaos


"The principle of chaos is common to many stories of creation. Chaos is often the starting point and apparently a good beginning for an act of creation. It's a state of freedom and the possibilities are limitless. You can channel your longings and ideas in rearranging and recreating. In essence, you can make something from chaos, which reflects what is genuinely you, for now or the future." Chapter 8, page 122

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baby Shower!



Last Monday night, hosted by Daja and me, friends and family of Sarah-Kate's met together to celebrate the birth of Donovan Raul! Sadly, I don't have a picture of the very cute invitation -- Donovan peeking out of a cupcake. Inside it said, "Cute as a Cupcake!"

So, of course we had cupcakes -- white cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. All were filled with a chocolate pastry filling. Delicious and very pretty. We also added a cupcake charm to one special cupcake. Who ever picked that cupcake was to be the winner of the doorprize. (That was a interesting part of the evening. I think I'll blog about that separately! Stay tuned.)

Tea lights abounded everywhere -- placed in blue and green silicone cupcake forms.

The blue and green color decor was carried though to our activity and favors. Instead of the usual shower games, we decorated tote bags for Sarah. Sarah is very "green" in her use of reusable tote bags instead of plastic bags, so it seemed appropriate. Fabric pens, green and blue buttons, and cupcake iron-on's were provided. I tell you, those ladies (and girls!) came up with some beautiful artwork!


A slide show of Donovan's 10-day-old portraits was shown up on the wall throughout the party. Soft jazz was playing in the background. And what better way to finish off the evening than with white chocolate candies!

Of course, I HAVE to give credit where credit is due! Daja, not me, was the creative genius behind most of the great ideas that made up this party!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wife Dressing


"A chronic blight on the American home scene is sleepwear in the kitchen! Negligees, bathrobes and terry towels do NOT belong with food, pots and pans. The kitchen is your natural setting as a woman and you should look beautiful, not bedraggled, in it."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

"For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."
Romans 14:9

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do You Have This Much Fun at Wal-Mart?

While the rest of us were doing what people usually do at Wal-Mart, Papa and Diego were doing the necessary things.




Monday, March 17, 2008

Irish Soda Bread

This is my absolutely favorite recipe for Irish Soda Bread. It is very light and moist. Very cake-like. I got it originally from About.com. As you can see, I leave the raisins and the caraway seeds out because I don't like raisins, and my husband doesn't like raisins nor caraway seeds. It may not be "authentic", but it is delicious!

1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cups raisins
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup sour cream

1 Tbsp. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" round pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins, and caraway seeds.

In a small bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream. Beat until smooth.

Stir the liquid mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Knead dough in bowl about 10-12 times. This may seem almost impossible, as the dough will be very sticky.

Place the dough in the prepared pan and pat down. Cut a 4" x 3/4" deep slash in the top of the bread and dust with the 1 Tbsp. flour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 75 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Day at the Aquarium



The Correa family and Gabe and I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium today. (Joel won tickets on the radio!) It is two hours away, so we got an early start. We left home at about 6:40 a.m. To be ready for the day that early is a feat for me. Leaves me tired all day! :-)


Having fun with Papa at breakfast along the way.



We had a great time. The aquarium is so grand and interesting, in and of itself, but looking at everything through a two year old's eyes is just plain fun! The highlights of Diego's day were the jellyfish, the otters, the sharks, and the rushing water.


I was also carrying Donovan in the sling!






The last time we were there was when we took Meg, Jael, and Izzy when they were a little younger than Diego is now. We thought they were SO big! How adorable were they? Tio and TiTi were there that day, too.


Look at that face!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Heartfelt Thank You

I took my father to the Veterans' Hospital a couple of hours away today for a routine check-up. This sign always leaves me with a grateful heart.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Version of St. Patrick's Day

video


Edited:

Since two of my girls had no idea where the above was taken, here is a picture for them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Getting the House Ready

This year, Palm Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, First Day of Spring, Good Friday, and Easter -- all days we like to celebrate in some form or fashion around here -- are all within eight days. Hmmmm.......... maybe just the house will celebrate a few of those this year!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Help Support Homeschool Freedom

"Banning Home Education is Unconstitutional, Contrary to Statute, and a Violation of the Moral Law of God Which May Not Be Amended by Courts or Acts of Congress."

This is part of what Doug Phillips of Vision Forum had to say on Doug's Blog about the recent ruling in California regarding the right to homeschool. If you haven't yet heard of this, he gives a good synopsis that will let you know what the buzz is all about.

Chuck Norris also enters his opinion at Townhall.com. He's ready to fight if they try this in Texas!

Governor’s office press release Friday, March 7, 2008
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement Regarding Court of Appeals Home
Schooling Ruling

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following
statement regarding the recent Second District Court of Appeals ruling on
home schooling:"Every California child deserves a quality education and
parents should have the right to decide what’s best for their children.
Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their
children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the
courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected
officials, we will.”

Governor Schwarzenegger is also quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle last Saturday -- front page news. Last Friday, the Chronicle published Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state, in which they stated that "State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell issued a statement saying he supports 'parental choice when it comes to homeschooling'."

If the courts persist in this type of things, they will definitely have a fight on their hands!

If you are reading this and think it isn't something you need to be concerned about, remember, this isn't just about California. And it isn't just about homeschooling. This is about fundamental rights of parents!

This is important! We must respond. Please join me in signing a petition to depublish this court case. You can read about this option of the court and sign the petition here.



Monday, March 10, 2008

Ladies Conference, Day 2

This was my 12th year attending this conference. I missed my mother being there -- she can't leave my father for that long anymore. And I very much missed Serena being there. We've been going together for most of those years. (Yes, I missed you, too, Daja!)




Our table as we arrived.


Here we all are!


The conference is held at the Lake Pavilion. A beautiful setting. You can see the lake from anywhere you sit in the conference room during the speaking sessions.

As it is all ladies in attendance -- and about 300 in number -- we take over the men's restroom. The lines are long at both! But, seeing as we don't need these, they decorate them!



No words needed.


I promised Daja a picture of the dessert. Chocolate and coconut base with cheesecake on top.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bob

Yesterday morning I was driving down the freeway listening to the local talk radio station. I am not in the habit of being on the road at seven in the morning on a Saturday, but I was on the way to the second day of the Ladies Conference and looking forward to a wonderful day spent with friends. I was listening to “The Country Store with Trader Rick”, basically a call-in program to sell your yard sale-type items. “I’ve got a refrigerator I want to sell for $35 and my telephone number is 555-5555.” I had listened to about five minutes of this. I don’t know why. Not my normal listening fare. Then, something different happened.

“Hi, my name is Bob W_____.” Trader Rick greeted him. A slight bit of silence.

“Something terrible happened this week.” Long pause.

Then, Bob started crying. “My wife died this week in my arms. I’m in hospice.” He went on to state that he and his wife had fifty-four years of stuff that he wanted to sell.

My mind, my heart, and my spirit all felt like something had reached out and grabbed them. I couldn’t think of much else. What did this man mean? His wife had died, he was dying, and he wanted to get rid of a houseful of stuff? How sad was that? Did he not have anyone who wanted his stuff? Where was family? Why wasn’t someone else helping him do this stuff? Why wasn’t someone with this grieving and dying man?

I got to the conference site and immediately told my daughter and a couple other ladies sitting at my table. There reaction was the same. It was heart-wrenching incomprehension. I wanted to call my husband, but he was out of town and on his motorcycle so he wouldn’t be able to answer the phone anyway.

On my way home that afternoon, he called to let me know that he was home. One of the first things out of my mouth was, “I’ve got a project for you.”

I told him the story. He called Bob immediately. He told him that he wasn’t calling about his stuff; he just wanted to know if he was alright.

I got a call right back from my husband. “So, we’re taking Bob out to dinner tonight!”

Wow! Really?

We picked him up early evening. As he was walking to the door to let us in, my husband could see in the house. I asked my husband what he looked like. “A little old man.”

He asked us to have a seat and we had a small chat introducing ourselves to each other. He gave us a little rundown on his past week. He was the one who was supposed to be dying. He wife was not. While coming down the stairs last Sunday, she suffered a massive stroke and died. The funeral was the day before. He is completely and truly devastated. He mentioned again that he was in hospice and then motioned behind us and said, “I’m building my coffin right there.”

Yes, his coffin is sitting in his dining room. The box and lid are built. He is currently working on lining it. Yes, he is constructing his own coffin.

We asked where he would like to go to eat. He mentioned that he and his wife had always wanted to try out the new Marriott in town and had not had the chance. (When traveling, they always stayed at Marriott Hotels.) He asked if we could go there. Well, of course. (We didn’t even know they HAD a restaurant there!)

We had a very interesting conversation over dinner. He really isn’t that old. He’s 79, but very ill. He hasn’t been out to dinner in a very long time; nor been out at night. He has two sons. One lives locally……………. Yes, that’s what we thought, too………………. Bob talks very highly of his son. He is very proud of him. He is a school teacher and building his house. He’s very busy. Can’t come around too much……………… Yes, that’s what we thought, too…………. My goodness! His mother’s funeral was just the day before. Didn’t he think his dad might be lonely?

After dinner, we took him by our church and showed him around. My husband asked him if he would like us to pick him up for church in the morning. He said he would love to come.

As we took him home, he kept telling us how grateful he was that we “stamped out” a very lonely evening for him. He said, “I’m alright unless I start crying. Then I can’t seem to stop for forty minutes to an hour.”

He came to church. My ladies loved on him. My friends gravitated to him. Prayed for him. Talked to him. Made him feel welcome. (Thank you!)

I don’t know where this friendship will be going. I don’t know all the details of this dear man’s life. I know I don’t know the people in his life or the whys of their relationships. I am still reeling with the amazement that God allowed us to be a part of this weekend’s orchestration. I feel honored that we helped alleviate a few hours of pain for a very lonely man. God promised to direct our steps. We will follow Him.

I know this is a very sad story. It is also the very best thing that happened to me this weekend.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Touch of Spring

It's late and it will be even later when I set my clocks ahead an hour. I've had a very long day. Very good day. But long.

I have several things I want to blog about tonight. I want to tell you all about the Ladies Conference, Day 2. I want to tell you about an absolutely wonderful thing that God orchestrated today. And, yet, it is late. And it will be even later when I set my clocks ahead an hour. Which I need to go do and get to bed.



So, I will just leave you with this bit of Spring that I brought indoors today. I apologize for the poor lighting. As you can tell, it is dark outside and the flash is making the bright white tile of my bathroom look pinkish. But Spring is happening all around. I can't wait to wake up all bleary-eyed, walk into the bathroom, and see Spring telling me to have a cheerful Sunday morning! I hope you all do, too! Oh, and I will tell you all about the wonderful thing that God did tomorrow.



Friday, March 7, 2008

Ladies Conference, Day 1

Some of the ladies from our church went to the 26th Annual (local) Ladies Conference tonight. The theme this year is "The Crown Jewels of God" with speaker, Bonnie Thomas. At least a couple of hundred ladies were in attendance. As always, the tables are set so pretty. Here was dessert. Something like a glorified moonpie. It was chocolate, so what's not to like?

The jewel hanging on a ribbon with Psalms 45:13 written on it
was our take-home favor tonight.


13-day old Donovan was our special guest.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Silly Faces

We were at a little burrito restaurant the other day. I was sitting with the boys while their mother was up ordering. Diego and I were playing with my camera. Digital cameras are great entertainment.

I have never liked when a picture is being taken and at the last moment, the one being photographed makes a silly or ugly face. It is just immature and, in the olden days, a waste of film.

So, I'm taking a picture of the two of us with my left hand and I tell Diego to smile. This is what I get:


So, I look at it. He looks at it. We both laugh and I say, "Okay, let's do it right this time. Smile."

Honestly, where did he get this from?

He asks to see the picture. His comment? "Oh, goodness."

I wonder where he got that from?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pretty as Punch

We went to a outdoor wedding last Saturday. Sarah-Kate laughed as I went to take a picture of the punch table, but I just couldn't help but share this lovely presentation. Simple and beautiful.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Donovan's First Day at Church

Being presented and introduced to the church by Papa, Bishop Gabe.


Adorable, isn't he?


Diego's turn to show off his brother.
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