Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hiking and Rock Climbing

The kids and I joined some friends for a hike in Malibu Canyon.  The scenery was beautiful, and there were plenty of rocks to climb and adventures to be had.  A fun day for all!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Happenings

 Brooke got an early birthday present. In December, she will turn 9.  We could not wait to get her new bike to her, so that she could join the boys in daily bike rides.  She is ready to go!!!!

  Our neighborhood is very festive for Halloween.  It is quite busy in our streets, and we joined the fun by decorating up as mimes.  The kids enjoyed holding up their signs, rather than saying "Trick or treat."  To be polite, Gary told them to tip their hat as a thank you :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bring the rain....

I am so excited to be going to a MercyMe concert in one week.  A group of girl friends and I from my church are making an evening of it!  To prepare myself, I have been downloading and memorizing many new songs.  I do highly recommend this group.  Many of the songs are just so poignant and can state exactly what one may be facing in his or her Christian life.

 I have recently been struggling with some comments from people regarding the reason why I would choose to live so far from my family.  Granted, I do live in the most beautiful place in America, so the reasons may appear obvious, but for some reason, none of them have decided to join me in my personal paradise :)

However, I have always known that it is better to be far away from family than far away from a place that God can greatly use me.  Not that God could not use me in the  mid-west; He has just chosen to maximize His service in my life by placing me on the sunny coast of CA. He, not my personal desires, will be the only thing that ever moves me.

Anyway, all that being said, I have been singing this song today, and it somewhat characterizes this recent struggle.  I love the line that says: "And I know there will be days when this life brings me pain, but if that is what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain!"  So, in my own version, I say: "And I know there will be days when I wish I was close to family, but if distance is what it takes to praise you, then Jesus, keep me far!"

Enjoy.  It can apply to many situations in life.  I pray we all have the trust in Him to pray for the rain!

Time to update......

There are times when I think that the world of blogging is dying.  Why waste my time putting up a post if no one is going to read it?  But then again, I do live thousands of miles away from my family, and they seem to like these posts.  So, I post; not that often, but every once in awhile, like today, I decide to give a picture update.

We took a mini getaway last weekend to Pasadena.  Most of the time was spent eating and swimming, but we did stop at a couple of museums, and the kids really enjoyed the military museum.  Here are some of the pictures from that time.

Now, I must let you know that I plan to put up another post immediately following this one.  Wow....two posts in one day :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A trip to the desert

Our family took a short trip to the Palm Springs area as an end of the summer get-away. Living in year round 70 degree temperature, I am quick to forget what extreme cold and HOT feel like.  Well, we were reminded of hot temperatures.  It was up to 115 degrees in the day and down to 98 degrees at night.

 We took the boys to an exotic car museum.  Their interest and knowledge of cars has been greatly increasing this year.  They both picked out their favorite!

 In between swimming times, Brooke and I did a little shopping at the quaint shops at our resort---La Quinta.  Gary and I took an opportunity for an evening stroll.  It is beautiful (but still hot!).

                                      We stopped at the dinosaur exhibits on the way home.

 Everyone of the kids are becoming quite the fish.  Wesley is pictured below and has always been our best swimmer.  He was teaching me to swim the backstroke/freestyle, alternating between the two.  It was interesting. 

 I am thankful that we got a good family picture at the top of the post.  However, here was the first attempt.  Gary set his camera up, but he didn't quite make it in time :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A little surgery....a little history

I have been working with a dentist for the past couple of years on doing some grafting on my  gums.  He called me up last week and asked if I would be willing to drive to USC and be the patient that he would perform surgery on as a lab case to his dentist students.  Hey, a free surgery!!  I took him up on his offer.  Gary and the kids decided to drive me down to LA and we made a day of the whole ordeal.  We showed the kids some history of LA items.  In the morning, we went to Watts Towers and Wrigley field in LA (now just a little league field). 


  After my surgery, we went to Hollywood, Pinks Hot dogs, Angel Flight, and the Fashion District in LA.  Of course, after my surgery, I was unable to eat one of those delicious hot dogs, and I walked around with an ice pack on my face :)  Overall, a fun (though semi-painful) day!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

End of School Year

 This is the sight that I see every morning when I drop Brooke and Andrew off for school; after dropping them off, they run  down to the gate to see me drive by.  I love it!!! Wesley started this tradition on his first day of second grade, and it has not stopped.  Wesley gets dropped off at the middle school, so I don't see him, but I guess there is a time to outgrow waving bye to your mother each morning :)  This picture was the last day of school.

The Elementary school at VMS had a skate party to celebrate their year of school.  Brooke was more than happy to pose with many of her friends, but I could only catch Andrew while he stopped for a quick drink on one of his very short breaks.

Brooke completed third grade; Andrew is done with elementary school (completed 5th grade) and Wesley is finished with 7th grade and ready to enter his last year of middle school.  I am thankful for the good friends and godly teachers that they have had at Ventura Missionary.  But....we are ready for summer.  No more homework, book reports, and pack lunches (those are just my personal favorite things to be done with).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Little League Padres

Andrew is my athlete. He has always had a dream of being a professional athlete. The problem is that he has not yet decided what sport he wants to focus upon----the choices have always been football, basketball, or baseball. Well, we are currently in the beginning of his first season in Little League, and he loves it! I think he enjoys practices and games more this season than he ever has in any other sport.

We miss his grandparents being able to come to his games, so these pictures are especially posted for them to get a good look at their grandson. Andrew plays short stop or pitcher. The pictures below are from today's game against the Dodgers. Andrew's team won, and they are currently 5-0.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A blessing in disguise

As Christians, we think of blessings as things that God does for us that make our life better. We consider good health, a home, loving family, godly friends, and beautiful things in nature as blessings. I agree that these are blessings from God, and I pray I never forget the source of all that is good.

However, I think many of God's blessings don't always FEEL like blessings. I found out this past week that I have an autoimmune disease that may cause me some discomfort in my future. After confirmation of this disease, I had an unexplainable peace. Not just peace that God would be with me (for which I am thankful), but peace that this was a good thing. It will most likely not feel good, but it will be good for me.

The following song is one that captures this truth so beautifully. Not always are God's blessings enjoyable things to share with others. Sometimes His blessings cause us physical pain or emotional discomfort. Sometimes His blessings hurt!

I think a blessing is any act that God sends our way to make us more into the image of His son that we need to be. I realized that God needs to give me this disease to make me more like Himself. He will better use me because of my weakness. He will accomplish His way in me more if I am dealing with this discomfort.

I have many family members who are struggling with all different kinds of pain. Many of them are physical, some related to loss or pain, and others are uncertainties. But, in all of these things I encourage us to know that God is in control (which I think we all like to believe), but if we really believed it, then we would not worry about the future. He is shaping us today for what He has in store for us tomorrow.

Thank you God for my blessings......even those that I sometimes don't like to feel :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Golden Birthday...........

Andrew's golden birthday is tomorrow! He will be 11 on the 11th. First, I must say that I thank God every day for the gift of Andrew Beard in each one of our lives. He is an example to me of unselfishness and kindness.

His desire for a birthday party was to take some friends to Sky High, a jumping arena in our area, and then to have dinner at In 'n Out Burgers. On Wednesday, we took Andrew and 5 friends to both of these places, and they had a great time. It was nice to be able to take 8 kids out to a rather crazy location and yet not have any "episodes." They were great examples of what a group of Christian guys should be :)

Opening gifts after a burger and shake dinner.

Andrew exiting the foam pit.

Andrew entering the foam pit.

Wesley loved taking the lead on the dodgeball games.

Sadly, today, Andrew tried to do another front flip, but this time it was on a trampoline. He hit his head. I am thankful that there was no major damage. I do believe he will wake up on his birthday morning with quite a black and blue face :)