Monday, November 24, 2008

Leaving...on a jet plane


Our bags are packed and we are just waiting for hubby to get home from his 24 hr. shift at the fire station.
Family recipes tucked safely inside my suitcase...along with my camera for recording special memories.
We're off to Alabama for the Thanksgiving holiday!
Happy Thanksgiving and sweet blessings to you all, my dear bloggy friends (and to my sweet Ashleigh and her little family--we'll miss you!! ::sniff::).



Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Zach!



It seems like just yesterday you were that shy little boy...



But you aren't that little boy anymore...


You are a young man and officially taller than Dad. (We all know how much you relish in this fact!)

And shy? That is not a word used to describe you now. Definitely not. : )


Your first best friend...Sis



Your "big" brother that you love and admire so much...




And the two little guys--Troy and Merritt--that make you smile and laugh and proud to be an uncle...

We all want to wish you a Happy Birthday...



And tell you how much we love you and thank the Lord for you...




What a joy and blessing you are to all of us...




And even though you are 18 today...

I'll love you forever,

I'll like you for always,

As long as I'm living,

My baby you'll be.




Happy 18th Birthday Zach!


**Quote taken from I'll Love You Forever Robert Munsch

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just wondering

Am I the only one who thinks of complete blog posts while taking a shower--only to forget it all when it comes time to actually write the post? All those thoughts--down the drain with the water...

Just wondering.



Hugs to you! : )

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thank you for your prayers regarding the fires here in southern California. It sounds like the situation is much better today and the firefighters have the upper hand.

It was such a strange weekend. There were the fires of course...and the sadness as so many people lost their homes. I cannot imagine the hardships these people will face as they try to rebuild their homes and their lives.

We also got news Saturday morning that Rande's grandma passed away. Grandma F. was 95 years old and a wonderful Christian woman. I didn't know her very well, but whenever we did see her, she always had a smile on her face. She lived a good, long life.

And now all of our grandparents are gone--as well as our parents, except my mom. So strange.

Grandma F.'s funeral is this Friday--which is also Zach's 18th birthday.

Then on Saturday evening my sister-in-law called again to tell us that Rande's dad's wife (Jeanie) had passed away too. Talk about strange! The sad thing is that after Rande's dad died in April 2007, Jeanie chose not to have contact with any of his family. The last time we saw her was at Richard's funeral.

I was so thankful Rande didn't get called back to the fire station on Saturday. He was able to catch up on his sleep and go to church on Sunday. But then...he got the call Sunday night during the deacons meeting that he needed to go. He came home, changed his clothes, grabbed his gear and off he went to the station. He was supposed to be off today, but he was asked to stay for another 24 hour shift. When they have a crew out fighting fires elsewhere, the whole department is affected and has to pick up the slack. It really is a team effort. So he'll be home tomorrow, Lord willing.
This is why we hold our plans loosely. : )

But God is good, isn't He? He is our comfort and sufficiency during the difficult times in this life, such as losing a loved one (or a home). He gives grace to handle a change of plans, such as a husband getting called into work when he was supposed to be home--or spending part of your 18th birthday attending a funeral. We don't always understand. But God is good. All the time.

Blessings to you...


**Photo: Red door adorned with the autumn wreath I found on our last trip to Alabama.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fires

Just want to update for those who are wondering...

We live 1-1/2 hrs. from the fires in Orange County (Corona, Brea, Yorba Linda, Anaheim Hills), so obviously we are not directly affected. However, we do have family and friends that live in these areas.

Rande's fire department sent out one crew, but so far he is still at home. He's catching up on his sleep right now (he just worked the past three days)--in case he gets called back into work.

I keep checking the news and it's so very sad to watch homes burning, people evacuating and freeways closing (I was actually just driving on these freeways last weekend). Please be praying for the safety of everyone involved--especially those who are evacuating and the firefighters.

Thank you...

Saturday morning

Quietness...

No rushing...

Hubby coming home after being at the fire station the past three days...

Roast cooking in the crockpot...

Thanking the Lord for answering a very specific prayer yesterday...


Have a wonderful weekend! : )

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Laundry tales

There is only three of us.

And the two dogs. Can't forget about them.

Anyway...between the three people and two furry family members in this household, we sure can create a lot of laundry. And because of that fact, I've been hanging out with my washer, dryer and Mrs. Meyers more than usual this week.

I've never been one to do laundry a few loads at a time throughout the week. I prefer to get it out of the way in one fell swoop. Of course sometimes life intervenes and it takes a few swoops to get it knocked out. That's the way it's been this week.

Perhaps it was the guys' stuff from their surfing/camping trip last weekend? Maybe it was the rugs that needed to be laundered? Or the extra towels used to wipe muddy paws caused from the rain over the weekend? Maybe it was the fact I wasn't caught up from the week before? (Hmm, I wonder?! ::smile::) Whatever the case, I've been doing laundry since Monday.

So I determined today would be the day I got it all finished and put away. All of it.

But first we had to go to chapel at our church's Christian school this morning. After chapel I took Zach home and I left again to pick up the dry cleaning. Oh, and I had to go to Walmart. And then, because I didn't do my menu planning this week (note to self: stop slacking off!) go to the grocery store and pick up tortilla chips for taco salad tonight (using the leftover taco filling from the other night) and tuna for sandwiches tomorrow when we are on the road for Zach's fiddle lesson.


As soon as I got home I put the next load of laundry in. And the washer and dryer have been going ever since.

Now let me add: both Rande and Zach are very good at doing laundry.

Well, except for the time a few months ago when Rande put a shirt of mine from Anthropolgie in the dryer and it shrunk so badly it would fit a 10 year old. But it's ok. I'm over it now. Love you, Honey! : )

Anyway, as I was saying...my guys can do laundry. And they would be more than willing to help, but both of them have other stuff to take care of. You know, stuff like work, school, yard work and other chores like picking up the dog mess (yuck!). So I'm really fine doing the laundry. Except when it takes me four days to do it.

But I'm happy to report that as of this writing, I only have one more load to wash and put away. One.

Oh, happy, happy day! : )

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The view as I see it

This is what greeted me this morning when I went walking with the dogs...
A beautiful fall morning in the desert...

With a teensie dusting of snow atop the mountains...leftover from the weekend storm.

It's times like this, despite the fact there is a lot of dirt, no sidewalks and it's really hot in the summer--I'm thankful to live in the desert.

Yesterday Rande was home and feeling quite celebratory being that it was Veterans Day and all. : ) As I was leaving to go to the store and pick up the fixins' for tacos (as requested by my guys), he asked if I'd get something for dessert too. Something like angel food cake and chocolate frosting.

Maybe it's just me, but when I think of angel food cake, I think of summertime and strawberries. Apparently, angel food cake covered in chocolate frosting is something my mother-in-love made quite often when Rande was growing up. And now he was having a hankering for it.

But there was slight problem. It was already 3 o'clock in the afternoon--Zach had violin students coming for the next 2-1/2 hours, which meant I needed to be as quiet as possible in the kitchen. Angel food cake is a little labor intensive (cracking a lot of eggs, mixing, ect...) and it was just not going to work for me to make one from scratch. And I was pretty sure finding a store bought cake would be challenging this time of year.

I was right. There were no angel food cakes to be found (at least at the two stores I checked). So he had to settle for this:
Chocolate cake from a box and chocolate chip frosting from a tub. Oh, and sprinkles leftover from cookie baking when Troy was here a few weeks ago.

He didn't complain. Not one bit. Especially with the vanilla ice cream and big glass of milk I served with his piece of cake. : )

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day


Veterans Day is a special day in our home. We have many dear family and friends that have served or are currently serving our country--including my husband, son-in-law and my dearest bosom friend, Beth.

Today we say THANK YOU to all who have served and we're grateful for your service and sacrifice.


This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

Monday, November 10, 2008

P.E.

Homeschool style...

Zach learning to surf


Heading out for a 7 mile mountain bike ride this morning.


Me? I'll stick to walking around the neighborhood with the dogs. : )

Happy Monday!

Our abiding refuge...

"The eternal God is thy refuge." {#De 33:27}

The word refuge may be translated "mansion", or "abiding place", which gives the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fulness and sweetness in the metaphor, for dear to our hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret; and dearer far is our blessed God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. It is at home that we feel safe: we shut the world out and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our God we "fear no evil." He is our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge. At home, we take our rest; it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in God, when, wearied with life’s conflict, we turn to him, and our soul dwells at ease. At home, also, we let our hearts loose; we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with him, laying open all our hidden desires; for if the "secret of the Lord is with them that fear him", the secrets of them that fear him ought to be, and must be, with their Lord. Home, too, is the place of our truest and purest happiness: and it is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in him which far surpasses all other joy. It is also for home that we work and labour. The thought of it gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the fingers to perform the task; and in this sense we may also say that God is our home. Love to him strengthens us. We think of him in the person of his dear Son; and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to labour in his cause. We feel that we must work, for we have brethren yet to be saved, and we have our Father’s heart to make glad by bringing home his wandering sons; we would fill with holy mirth the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy are those who have thus the God of Jacob for their refuge!



**Devotional from Morning and Evening by C.H. Spurgeon. To read more, go to AnswersinGenisis.org

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Life and such

I think I might be getting a cold. Or it may be allergies. I hope it's just allergies, because tomorrow after church I'm supposed to be meeting my nieces, my sister-in-law and Ashleigh for my niece Tiffany's 4-D ultrasound. Have you seen those ultrasounds? The pictures are amazing because of the detail they show. I'm so excited! I just hope I'm not getting sick. Not good.

My guys went on a little surfing trip yesterday and got home tonight. Just in time for dinner. : ) They are tired and a bit sore, but happy. This was Zach's first time and he had a blast! It was a special dad/son time as Rande was able to share something with Zach that was such a big part of his life at one time.

And this is where they were...San Onofre. Beautiful, isn't it?

I spent the time while they were away cleaning, ironing and unpacking our winter clothes. The weather has finally cooled down, which means time to put away the summer clothes and flip-flops and break out the long sleeve shirts, sweaters, heavy coats and winter shoes. Our closets are small, so we have to rotate the clothes. I don't mind though, as it's fun to pull out clothes I haven't seen for six months.

I also made a trip to the farmers market this morning. I loaded up on produce for this week's menu: romaine lettuce and spinach for salads, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and zucchini. The fresh cut flowers were beautiful (and cheap!), so I picked up a bunch of sunflowers to put in vase on Rande's bedside table. He loves fresh flowers. And candles. Isn't that funny?

So that's my weekend. I hope you are having a good one...

Blessings!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new day


This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him
. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.


Lamentations 3:21-26


**Mom's driveway--Athens, AL

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well...it's done


Now we pray and wait.

I'll be honest with you. I voted for the McCain/Palin ticket (no surprise, huh?). But for a split second, I thought about voting for Alan Keyes. So yeah.

Anyway...if you haven't voted yet, get out there and do it! : )

Monday, November 3, 2008

Birthday fun

I can hardly believe our little Merritt Will turned one year old on Saturday. It seems like just yesterday we were in the dressing room at the Gap store when Ashleigh's water broke and he was born just a few hours later. Fun times! : )

But Merritt is indeed one year old and what a sweet little boy he is! He has a precious smile that lights up when he sees his daddy. He loves to wrestle with his big brother and snuggle with his mama. And where Troy is an all or nothing kind of child--Merritt is more reserved and contemplative. Oh how we love our little MerBear and thank the Lord for him!

We had so much fun celebrating his birthday at Disneyland. The weather was perfect and it wasn't too crowded. I'm so happy that John's folks were able to be there too. It truly was All About Merritt Day! : )


Walking down Main Street with Grandpa B.




Are these not just the cutest pictures?! I love Merritt's smile! And Grandpa B was having just as much fun!



Grandma B and Troy having fun on the carousel too!


MerBear and his Grandpa Dule



Unfortunately we didn't see many Disney characters walking around...

But I did catch these characters hanging out in line for the space rockets. Too bad we have no idea who the lady in the blue shirt is. She looks like she wants to get in on all the fun, don't you think?

Oh! And we did see this couple and their children. They were right in front of us and I tried to take a picture, but I was trying to act all cool and unaffected by their celebrityish-ness and look like I wasn't taking a picture--so none of them turned out good.


Troy, Grandpa Dule and Grammie on the Buzz Lightyear ride.
Ok, so Troy and I didn't score too well, but hey! We had FUN!! : )


What a fun day it was! And this is how we all felt at the end of it.


Nighty-night MerBear! Happy First Birthday! We love you!