Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gana's Big Day!

So, last Tuesday evening Sarah-Kate, Jael, and I made the trek down to Pasadena for a momentous occasion that was happening early Wednesday morning. What was this momentous occasion?

My son-in-law, Gana, was becoming an American citizen!

Gana taking his seat with the other 1,955 soon-to-be new citizens.

Waiting and waiting for the ceremony to begin.

The judge.

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity
to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty
of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws
of the United States of America
against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States
when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
and that I take this obligation freely without
any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;
so help me God."

I was quite impressed that there were several new citizens
who were already a part of the Armed Forces.
They were introduced individually.

It was a very memorable and significant morning. We were all so proud of Gana. I think he was feeling the same.

I know Daja was!


After the ceremony, Sarah-Kate and Jael had to leave for home. But, they passed Gabe coming down. He had just flown in from meetings in Indiana, but was trying his best to make it down for the celebration party that evening!

I forgot and left my camera in the sleeping baby's room, so I didn't take any pictures until after we had dinner.

Dinner was delicious and beautifully presented. Daja did a wonderful job! (Of course!) Here you can see some of what it looked like after we had attacked it!

Gorgeous Russian desserts.

One of Papa's funny "jokes":
How much do you love Papa?How much do you love Nana?

Lots of guests brought gifts, which embarrassed Gana a bit, but none of us seemed to care!

Sarah-Kate's red, white, and blue gift basket.

Gabe and I figured since Gana was now an American citizen, it was a good time to also be a property owner. So, we bought him one of these:

In his name, of course! He now has bragging rights that he owns property in every one of the 50 states!

Well, it's only one square inch in each of the fifty states, but he does own it, and he can pass it down to his children!

Congratulations, Gana! We love you!

(Daja also blogged about this here.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cookies and Cobbler

I made these Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies today from the Reluctant Entertainer. The recipe called for dried cranberries, which I didn't have because I used all that I had in the grandchildren's oatmeal earlier this week. So, I upped the amount of white chocolate chips. Sounded like a good trade to me!

I think the kids thought it was, too!

And then, this evening Jael made peach cobbler in honor of studying Georgia, the fourth State to join the Union.

She did a fantastic job. As she was cooking, she said, "I know I don't know how to cook good yet, but I just feel like I was born to cook." I think she's right!

We ate her delicious cobbler hot with vanilla ice cream. I wonder what State is next? I hope it inspires something yummy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Covenant Eyes

Responsible: able to make moral or rational decisions on one's own and therefore answerable for one's behavior.

Accountable: liable to being called to account; answerable.

As a synonym, "accountable" emphasizes giving an account of one's discharge of a responsibility.

Surveys show at least 70% of men and 21% of women struggle with online pornography. In this post, I won't go into all the unhappiness, pain, and destruction that pornography brings. But, I will compel you to protect your family and guard your marriage by fighting its tempation.

Mark Hall, the lead singer for Casting Crowns says, "Covenant Eyes is the first wave of defense in a person's struggle for a pure thought life."

Covenant Eyes is software that can be installed on a Windows computer, Mac computer, or a Windows Mobile 6 Phone/PDA. It monitors and records all web activity and scores sites according to maturity of content. This information is then presented in a customizable accountability report that is emailed to your accountability partner -- someone YOU choose. You also choose how often your partner receives the report. Often other accountability programs are circumvented. Covenant Eyes is not. Covenant Eyes allows you to escape the temptations by removing the secrecy of the Internet. (Covenant Eyes also has a great filtering system available.)

Gabe and I have become affiliates with Covenant Eyes in order to:

  • expand the awareness of pornography's addictive and harmful effect on individuals, families, and communities.

  • give hope and encouragement to those who are struggling and addicted.

  • prevent pornography struggles and addiction from ever occuring by equipping people with information and strategies they can implement.

  • to set people free from the guilt, shame, and oppression they are under from struggling with this temptation.

We are also offering you a free 30-day trial if you use our special promo code "ABM" when you visit or when you call 877-479-1119.

I will be sharing more information and resources in the future. But, for right now, go use that link and our code (ABM) for your free trial!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

For the Love of Speed!

This was my wristband today. At the Buttonwillow Raceway Park. And it wasn't my entrance pass.....

We went to the Raceway as a gift to Diego for his 4th birthday. The kids had a fun time, but I think the adults had a better time......

Diego loves the movie, "Cars". He just recently found out that races were for real! He happened to see NASCAR on television and almost went in shock! He's thrilled that people do this for real!

Look real close and you can see Diego (and Sarah-Kate).

We were walking around, saw this car, and met its driver. He's the chaplain of the raceway. Says he has the fastest pulpit in the west!

He let Diego sit in his car. Fun!

Aaron Schwartzbart, the chaplain, and Gabe.

Sarah made us a wonderful picnic!

Then the real fun began! The wonderful chaplain offered us the opportunity to ride as passengers in a real race! Which is why I needed a wristband!

Gabe in a BMW.

Me in a beautiful black Corvette -- one of the fastest cars out there!

I told my driver, Joe, that I had wanted to be a race car driver when I was about 16. I said but then I became sane. He laughed and said that he now has his insanity back and that is why he was out there!

The race lasted about 25 minutes and the track had lots of curves and hills. We got up to about 130 mph! Which seemed really fast on that type of track! And with cars all around you!

He said I was a great passenger and that I could ride with him anytime! He, of course, doesn't know that I felt naseous for the next several hours! LOL

A spontaneous adventure that actually would have made a great "bucket list" item! If I had one of those.

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