Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Free Chairs

I love my free chairs. I love that they were free - found in trash cans. I love that I can paint them black. I love that I did not have to find them, 'cause they found me.

Surprisingly Talkative

Constantly reading God's word and Praying. That is what I need to do. Every wacky emotion, every concern, every hope - I just need to talk to Him about it and in the organic God book, I reminded that God is surprisingly talkative.

" Every so often, I will find a sentence or phrase that reads as if it was written specifically for me that day. Mark 6:31 contains one of these gems. "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." Within the context of this chapter, Jesus is speaking to the disciples after they learned that their friend John the Baptist had been slaughtered, but within the context of my own life, its as if Jesus is issuing a personally engraved invitation to me."

"Come. Away. A Secluded Place. Rest. A While."

"A challenge to slow down and take some much needed alone time. A reminder to close my eyes to the immediate demands of life in order to get a better view of the eternal. Though the invitation doesn't say how long to stay, I know from experience that resting will be well worth my while. "

"The Scripture comes alive. God speaks."

This is what I have been missing - I have not done that enough this summer, or really enough - period. But I will.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yippee - Coffee is a Healthy Food!

It is official (again) ( at least for now)....the latest scientist say "that there is no need to feel guilty anymore about that double shot Americano that gets you going in the morning. In fact, coffee is looking more and more like a health drink. Among its remarkable benefits, new research shows, coffee may reduce the risk of diabetes, heart attack, gallstones, Parkinson's, kidney stones and cirrhosis."
My coffee drinking habits are at an all time high (low) right now. The other day I stopped to think that I had only been drinking coffee all day, with the exception of one diet coke at lunch. Usually in the summer, I cut back. But this summer, I became a little obsessed with creating the perfect cold coffee drink. I have had great success and now on top of the enjoyment of my coffee creations - I'm being healthy!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Camping Fun

We set out on an adventure with the Vega family - no camp site reservations, just left our home with our car packed and prepared for either the beach or a lake. We tried the beach first, but could not get a site, so we were off to an unknown campground. It was not all that we had hoped, so after getting the site up and then back down again - uggh - we ended up at Dixon Lake and loved it. We had a wonderful view and were still close enough to head out to the beach for the day. So, the kids had the best of both - beach and fishing at the lake. We always love hanging out with our good friends. The kids all get along great and enjoy playing games, making forts, hiking and fishing. The adults love to gather and talk theology, literature, kids, vacations and thanksgiving to God over all that He has blessed us with!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Miss Danielle's Baby Shower

We have a beautiful neighbor friend, Miss Danielle, who is expecting a baby girl this August. Bria just loves Miss Danielle and she really loves that she is having a girl! Bria tells Danielle how she is praying for the baby and Danielle told Bria she is so thankful for her prayers and really wanted her to come to the baby shower. It was just lovely and Bria had a great time acting like a lady. She even won one of the games and got two free movie tickets!

Great cake from Simply Layers bakery in French Valley area.

Cute baby shower decor!

Bria was looking to see if her diaper was the "dirty" one!

Monday, July 21, 2008

What they know about Jesus

Matt and Bria were able to enjoy two vacation bible school progams this summer. They looked forward to them each day. It is so sweet to see how much effort all of the leaders put into the kids.
Bria wanted to make a movie so she grabbed my camera and filmed this totally on her own. I love how her stuffed animals are sharing what they know about Jesus. Got to love VBS!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oh Happy Day, Bob's Big Boys Back!

How very happy was I when I opened the front page of our local paper this week! Bob's Big Boy is coming to our town. That means one thing for me (well more than that if I count calories) Hot Fudge Cake! I grew up with a Bob's Big Boy down the street from my high school. I think it was the first place I drove myself to after I got my drivers licence in 1985 (no, it was the second, first I went to get acrylic nails). My friends and I ate lots of hot fudge cake after away football games, basketball games and before history tests....One of my best friends that I shared hours at Bob's with is Loraine. She lives in New York and is about to be married. This is Loraine and I last summer at our 20 year high school reunion.

When browsing my high school year book before my reunion, there were several references to all the memories at Bob's Big Boy. There was a picture in the year book when the Bob's Big Boy statue ended up in the middle of the football field before a big game. Memories.
My MiMi lived down the street from a Bob's Big Boy during the 1960's. She was a very frugal shopper and yet she would drive to Bob's just buy a jar of his Roquefort salad dressing. So, that is all I can recommend to eat at Bob's is Hot Fudge Cake and Roquefort salad dressing! I am looking forward to both and just driving by and enjoying memories.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Movie Night - Part 2

Such wonderful music in this movie! We thought we would have to watch it over two nights, but the kids wanted to see the second part (after intermission and hot chocolate break) because they were enjoying it so much. Got to love the kids singing around the house the next day "matchmaker, matchmaker bring me a match...." and "if I were a rich man...yadda..." Really great time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Never Mistake Wit for Wisdom

"As I look for wisdom in my daily life, I find that it often displays itself in the simplest of answers and the most concise of responses. Yet all to often, I see wisdom mistaken for clever sayings and cute quotes. These one-liners make their way into eternally forwarded emails and are even quoted on church signs and in leadership circles. You probably recognize a few of them:
- Let go and let God
- God grades on the cross, not the curve
- God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called

While these contain some truth, never mistake wit for wisdom. "

"Phrases like these get under my skin because even if they are fun to read, they don't require reflection. They may contain a "ha-ha" moment but no real "aha"moment. "

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Meal Planning

As much as I consider making meal after meal and going shopping and then going shopping again such a chore and sometimes in the way of other things I want to do, there are seasons where this part of being mom is actually enjoyable. I love to read recipes in my books, my grandmas cookbooks and my mother-in-laws cookbooks.

This is my favorite cookbook right now - Six Ingredients or Less by Carlean Johnson. My Aunt Connie gave it to me last Thanksgiving and most everything I have made has been easy and yummy. Nate (14 year old) wanted to make dinner the other night and looked through this book. It only required going to the market to get two extra items and he was able to make Panko Chicken Dijon. He did a great job and it tasted awesome.

Over the years I have subscribed to Rachel Ray mag, Cooking Light and others. I usually pick 2 or 3 new recipes to try and then fill in the rest of the week with your standards, i.e. Thursday Spaghetti Night, tacos, BLT's, pizza (on our date nites), salad night (when I make a special dessert :) ) If I have not looked through recipes due to a crazy week - Trader Joe's never fails to inspire me. Just running through that store is fun and provides lots of quick meal ideas that really taste great.

This week I found Bria going through her kids cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book - for the Hostess of Tomorrow) and making trying to make her list.... aah the meal planner of tomorrow - what a sweetie :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Goodbye Tony Snow

From http://corner.nationalreview.com

"It's Great to Love People This Much." [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In that David Gregory interview, I think it's probably impossible not to cry while watching Snow talk about his family — about his love for his children and his wife. They have a lot of prayers being said in their names today.As for the rest of us, Tony Snow talks in that interview about "a depth of happiness" that cancer made possible in his life — he became closer to his wife, his family, being forced to think about the eternal things in a new way. The rest of us ought to sign off of our computers, turn the Blackberry off, and be with our loved ones — totally present — living this day as if it might be your last. "God put us on earth to help each other," Snow told Gregory. Consider these days of reflection on the example of Tony Snow as his help to all of us."When you die, you graduate," Snow told Gregory. Happy Graduation Day.

I Heart Saturday AND .......My Little Music People

Friday, July 11, 2008

American Girl Movie Date

Bria and I got together with good girlfriends and had a fun time watching the Amercian Girl movie featuring Kit Kittredge. After the movie we had lunch at The Counter, a new hamburger spot that is so creative and yummy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

what do you love about Jesus?

That is the question that Margaret gave me in chapter three. Her answer - His beauty.

That was not the first answer that came to my mind. Other qualities such as unconditional love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, patience, wisdom.....beauty - here are some of her thoughts about the beauty of Jesus.

"Jesus invites me to come to him, know him, and gaze at his beauty. When I fix my eyes on him, then I can look at things in this world and better recognize which ones bear the fingerprints of the Creator. And I find myself worshiping the Maker of beauty rather than that which has merely been marked by beauty. Maybe that is why the Psalmist cries out. "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek him in his temple."

Whatever you fix your eyes on will become your standard."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

the organic God

God is perfect in His timing (ALWAYS) The book the organic God, by Margaret Feinberg, came to me in an unusual way, my husband bought it for me. He has not bought me a book since we were dating (I was 21) and he gave me my first leather addition of "My Utmost for His Highest" which is very dear to me. He bought this book on a "whim", having heard of this lady only by a friend wanting him to look at her web site for a design idea. Well, he ordered the book after being on her site.
I like to be a discerning reader and always look at any recommended quotes on the back by any of my favorites (R.C. Sproul, Swindoll, Bridges, Piper, CJ Mahaney..to name a few) and look for quotes on the back from authors I'm not always in agreement with who I will not name. Anyway, this book had nothing. It was published by Zondervan which also makes it very generic.
The title - Organic - I'm not real fond of this new catch word as it is everywhere and I'm not sure what I can know is truly organic and if I want to pay more for it. Organic - relating to my God? Just because it is a catch phrase right now? That kinda bugged me.
As I finished the first few chapters and began to get to know the author through her "realness" I also found her reasoning behind the term Organic God and I knew it was what I needed.
"Why describe God as organic? More and more I realize that my own understanding of God is largely polluted. I have preconceived notions, thoughts, and biases when it comes to God. I have a tendency to favor certain portions of scripture over others. I have a bad habit of reading some stories with a been-there-done-that attitude, knowing the end of the story before it begins, and in the process of denying God's ability to speak to me through it once again. .... The result is that my understanding and perception of God is clouded, much like the dingy haze of pollution that hangs over most major cities."
Over the next few days I want to write quotes from this book that have touched me. The really cool thing about this book too, that I have never seen before - it has soundtrack recommendations in the back! The author suggests certain songs to listen to while reading that chapter as "music awakens the heart" I love it! And as an extra, extra bonus - the music is from artists that I already love and (I'm not kidding) 8 out of the 10 songs I already have on my i pod! See, God knows me and His timing is perfect.


Donkey Kong the Fish, a.k.a Tutenkamen, Swimmey
June 26, 2008-July 6, 2008
May he rest in peace

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Favorite Lady Friend

Marcella Flippin - is one special lady friend. She started out as my teacher (7th grade home room, Bible, Math and 8th Grade U.S. History) then she became my softball coach, basketball coach and volleyball coach. In Jr. High, to me, she was the coolest athlete I had ever known. She also loved Jesus a lot and had a wonderful sense of humor. She introduced me to Athletes in Action and took me to softball camps. She let me coach her Jr. High Volleyball team one year while I was in college. She is now the Academic Dean at Brethren High in Huntington Beach. I have to say she has been one of the most infulential women in my life and I am so thankful that God allowed me to be her student.

Marcella Ann was able to visit my home and spend the 4th of July with us. It was such a treat. I loved that my kids could get to know her. She sent us the following e-mail and wonderful recipe that I can't wait to try!

Hey Paula, 
It was really great to see you.
Thanks for letting me come to your home for July 4th dinner. It was great to see you and Brian and the kids. The kids are great. You and Brian have done well in raising them and training them to know God and making it possible for them to know him personally. Keep on hanging in there. I love you and am very proud of what you are doing. It makes me smile.
Also it was great to just hang out at Glen Ivy and just talk.

Love ya.
Marcella Ann

Here's the recipe:

Mama Flippin's recipe: Chicken and soy sauce/crock pot recipe
2-3 lbs of chicken thighs (skinned and boneless) or more, depending on what you need, but sauce is for about 2+ lbs
1/3 c sugar
2/3 c soy sauce (low-sodium)
1 T of grated fresh ginger (you can keep infresh ginger in freezer in saran wrap and baggie for extended time)
1 clove garlic
2 T sesame oil
2 T sesame seed (toasted)
2-3 chopped green onions
1/2 - 1 c water
juice from 1/2 - 1 lemon
dash of pepper

mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken thighs
marinate overnight
cook in crock pot med until done (about 3-4 hrs)
check for thighs to just fall apart

serve with rice and fresh sesame seeds and green onion as to taste - personal taste

we usually serve with a cabbage salad of some sort


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fabulous Flag-Flying Fourth

Two very artistic sisters (who love diet coke as much as me) at Ask Kari & Kijsa are having a gathering for favorite flag fotos in honor of America's Birthday. Bria and I went to our old town Temecula 4th of July Parade last year. We will be there again this year with are flags a fly'n.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Movie Night - Part 1

We love movies. We watch a lot of movies. We have made a list of movies we want to watch during our summer break. Most we have seen before, are classics and are very long. Tonight we watched the first on our list - King Kong.

We did not watch the classic, since we liked Mr. Jackson's recent one so much. Movie night dinner featured French Bread Pizza's. The kids put on their own toppings, i.e. pineapple, ham, cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, after I had put on the olive oil and garlic. They were yummy.