Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Few Minutes to Share

It is 8:30 p.m. and I've just put my pajamas on and am sitting on the couch with my laptop. Something that hasn't happened in quite some time.

It has been a whirlwind of activity around here. December seemed to whiz by. I had thoughts that I would chronicle each day of the season, but with all the hustle and bustle, finding a quiet time was near impossible. And if there was a moment to be had, there was no energy found in my vicinity. So, I just might be posting a Christmas post here and there during January! Who knows?

We had our annual Christmas party with this year's theme being "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". I had fun decorating the house in white. It seemed a bit funny to not take down every single one of my Christmas boxes and explode them around the house. It was all serene and lovely. However, my husband said it didn't seem quite as festive. I don't think we had enough lights up for him! So, after the party, I did tweak it a bit and put out a few different things.

I've visited a few stores in the last few days when venturing out to do other errands and have come up with next year's theme. (I'm really enjoying having themed Christmases!) It was inspired by a little gift in my stocking. But, I can't tell you because it's a secret until the invitations come out next year!

On Sunday, December 21, the clan from Colorado arrived! On Tuesday, the Gombojavs arrived! For a week it seemed like chaos reigned around here. I don't have a tiny house, but sleeping 19 people still makes it a bit crowded! We ate and talked and ate and talked. We caravanned around to see the lights, went to eat at Abishai's favorite restaurant, went to see the elephant seals in Cambria at Jael's request, and went to church to worship one more time as a family. Josh preached this last Sunday. I cannot even describe to you the wonder of that.

On Christmas Eve, we opened our gift exchange. This year the theme was PAJAMAS! After opening all of our presents, we dispersed to various corners of the house to don our new Christmas pj's! We then came back and took pictures! It took awhile to take individual pictures of 25 people and then every group configuration we could think of! Fun and funny!

From the oldest...

...to the youngest.

As I said, if I would have had the time and energy, it would have been fun to journal at the end of each day last week. I'm so afraid I'm going to forget something wonderful or cute that happened. And I want to remember every detail of those blessed and glorious eight days!

It's quite quiet around here now. My family room does not have toys and sleeping bags covering it. But, it also isn't giving me hugs and love. Of course I cried when everyone left. Ezekiel (age 3) crawled into my lap before they left and said with a very sad face, "I don't want to leave."

Me: "You don't?"

ZQ: "No. But, my Daddy said he would bring me back again."

Me: "Oh, I'm so glad."

ZQ: "But, I don't want to sleep on the couch." (which had been his bed all week)

Me: "Why? Where did you want to sleep?" (thinking the couch was uncomfortable or the living room too noisy)

ZQ: "With you."

Nana-hood is the best. The very, very best.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Bathroom's Painted!

I am just terrible at remembering to take "Before" pictures. Soooo, you'll have to imagine all the walls in this hall bathroom a run-of-the-mill, boring, contractor white. And since it has been used A LOT, a bit of a chippy white.

All the decor is the same. All we did was paint. And by "we", I mean Paul, the king of painting, the friend who will come by on the spur-of-the-moment, and paint for you after work and late into the night. Wow, does it ever look different! It actually looks like we really intended it to look this way!

My little camera doesn't do justice to the color, but it is a pretty sage-type color. Sherwin-Williams "Softened Green" for the walls, and "Liveable Green" for the trim and ceiling. What kind of color name is "Liveable Green"? Anyway, I took a picture in the daylight and at night. So, maybe you can just imagine. Again. Goodness, why take pictures at all if I'm going to make you imagine everything?



The pictures you can see in the mirror.

Shower curtain hook.

What? What are those?

No island bathroom is complete without hanging bamboo sticks!

Above the toilet.

That's our family vision hanging next to the toilet! My husband's idea. What better place to hang it than where people might actually read it?

And the little purse? Just something my daughter hung there because "it matches". Since she was the designer and source of most of the decor, it stayed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grandchildren Joy

My grandchildren are such a joy! (I have eleven of them, so I have lots of joy!) Just being with them makes me happy. (Of course, being so far away from them also makes me sad.) They make me laugh. They cause me to see things that just wouldn't be seen if it weren't for their eyes discovering them. They make me think. They also cause me to be amazed. If you think I'm kidding, check out the latest wisdom of my oldest grandson by reading this.

And if you just want to see how fun and cute his closest cousin (in age) is, click here.

Congratulations, Trophy Winner!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Special Dinner

Back in September, I reviewed the movie, Fireproof for you. If you recall, in the movie, Caleb is given a book by his father -- The Love Dare. That book has now become a #1 New York Times Bestseller! You can learn more about it by clicking on the title.

Well, my husband and a friend have challenged the men that they know* to go on The Love Dare journey with them for 40 days. Each day they read that day's challenge and do it!

*(It is also very special to my husband because three of those men are his sons. Talk about the best father/son trip you can take together!)

The 40 days are almost up. And, yes, some days I can tell what the challenge was for the day. It still blesses me. But, some days are just between him and God -- and maybe his fellow travelers. But, those days bless me, too. Because I can see some big changes in our relating to one another. Oh, my marriage was wonderful before The Love Dare. But, it's amazing how much the little things can make your days just so much better.

A few weeks ago, the men made their wives dinner. I don't know why or what the "point" was. (I haven't read the book. On purpose. I didn't want to be "critiquing" him during his challenges. You know how we women can be.) But, the dinner he made was fantastic! He put so much thought into it, presented it so nicely, and took so much care with it. I was impressed. He served steak, baked potatoes, baked onions (fabulous recipe that he found himself!), marinated artichoke salad, and molten lava cakes for dessert!

I am so blessed to be married to this man! The whole Love Dare challenge was something he chose to do just because he loves me -- and because he's such a wonderful man! Thank you, Gabey!

Okay, just to be completely honest -- and to explain the spot on the tablecloth! -- we were done eating when we remembered that we should have taken a picture! So, he staged some "leftovers". Too cute!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Choose Not to Participate

Barbara Walters interviewed Rush Limbaugh on her prime time special last Thursday night, Barbara Walters Presents: The Ten Most Fascinating People of 2008.

It started like this:

BW: Rush, you recently re-signed your contract for something like $38,000,000 a year with a $100,000,000 bonus. Are you worth it?

RL: Of course.

BW: We're in an economic slowdown. And you're making more money. You're one of these people that, you know, that we talk about who gets richer and richer while everybody else gets poorer and poorer, right?

RL: Now, now, now. Don't lump this. My wealth, if you want to describe it that way, is a result of work, the audience is large, they're loyal. What recession?

BW: I say, for you, there's no recession.

RL: Well, I just choose not to participate.

That line is so good, my husband re-titled his sermon with it! It may be one of my new catch phrases. I mean, really, who says we have to participate in everything people throw at us?

A few weeks ago, in another sermon, my husband used the illustration that we are the paint, we are the painting, and we are the painter. The problem is that we keep letting other people paint on our canvas!

Oh, all the laws of our society's economics may be true and may be in play. And they will continue to be so. UNTIL a higher law comes into play. Well, I choose to participate in the HIGHER law -- the Biblical laws of financial stewardship. No matter what comes my way, I choose God's way.

Yes, there may be a recession. It may be coming. It may have been here for awhile. But...

I'm choosing not to participate.

And I'm choosing what goes on my canvas and by whom.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Elegant Evening

Around the middle of November, all the downtown merchants in our town host an open house called "Elegant Evening". Yes, the people dress up (Okay, some only as elegant as the Central Coast is known for -- in other words, beach casual) and go from store to store eyeing all the wares, enjoying yummy hors d'oeuvre's, sipping cider (and champagne), watching various entertainment, entering drawings, and just getting in the proper holiday spirit.

The window displays take on certain new dimensions.

We sit around on the merchandise chatting with friends.

(Papa in his yearly Elegant Evening wear.)

Everyone, young and old, enjoy the festivities!

Papa, Diego, and I go up to a roof-top art studio just to take in the view. One of my favorite sights of the night.

The night ends with the Correas hitching a ride home on one of the pedi-cabs.

How fun is all that? The merriment lasts for three hours -- if your feet can handle it! We all gave out about a half an hour early!

I was also delighted to find a couple of stores that intrigued me enough to go back to browse again. Which I assume was the objective in the first place! If they allow pictures, I'll be sure to share!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday, Diego!

Mr. Diego turned three last month! Isn't he debonair?

So, where does a three-year-old celebrate his third birthday?

Why at:

Where you can fly,

Laugh with friends,

Sometimes be a bit serious,

Play music with Mom,

Get above it all,

Blow out some candles (with Daddy's help),

Open presents,

And maybe even find a twin!

Happy Birthday, Diego!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I am an Ingrid!

My results for the "Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz." Which are amazingly accurate for a two-question quiz!

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

Friday, November 28, 2008

Yesterday's Table

Candleholders a la Martha

Spinach Bites and Pecan-stuffed Dates
I'm not crazy about pecans, dates, or bacon. But, when you combine them, fantastic!

I've had these China plates for about 25 years and have never used them! I only have six place settings and many pieces are missing. But, since this Thanksgiving there were only five of us, they were just right!

Impossible Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, Chocolate Gingerbread

Yes, we all went to bed blessedly full. Very.

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