Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Vance the Conoisseur

The boys are here tonite so Suzanne can treat Dave to his much deserved steak dinner for finishing their wood floors. We were eating dinner, when Vance turned to me and asked what was in the rice pilaf. I answered, "rice, almonds, cranberries..." thinking that he would be satisfied knowing what the chunky stuff was. But he responded, "what else?" So, I went on, "chicken broth, salt, pepper, butter..." yet he still wasn't satisfied. "What's the lemon taste?" he asked. Indeed there was lemon rind in the rice, but it not something I thought a six-year-old would be interested in knowing, so I hadn't mentioned it. I asked him "How did you know there was lemon in there?" to which he replied, "I have a tongue!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whatever - Store Security

Welcome to my new, reoccuring series entitled "Whatever." Rich encouraged me to share some of my experiences out in the world and call them that. It seems whenever I tell him something dumb that happened, we both look at each other and say "Whatever!" So here is the first entry: Store Security.

You know those nifty theft detection devices they put in stores? You know, the kind that beep annoyingly when you leave the store with an item that is supposedly stolen? Well, it happens to me wherever I go. I've begun to wonder if it's my dental fillings because I never rip anything off. Yesterday, Rich and I went to Best Buy. As we were leaving with our purchase, the device went off - BEEP BEEP BEEP. Here's the routine: I stop in my tracks and look around. You would think some security person should materialize and check your bag. Nope. I stand there. No one comes. Not even one checker turns their head around to look at me. So I leave. Whatever.

During Christmas time, Emma and I went to the Burbank mall. Everytime I entered or exited a store with my purchases, you guessed it, BEEP BEEP BEEP. EVERY store. No one came. Once in awhile a salesperson from across the store would wave to me as to not worry about it. Whatever.

So, I ask, what are these devices for? If the salespeople don't pay any attention when they go off, what is the point in having them? My guess is that they are more annoying than effective and salespeople have just written them off.

Speaking of high security, what about Costco? You get stopped at the door with your cart where they are supposedly checking that nothing in your cart was stolen. You hand over the receipt to a bored looking attendant. I love the 2 second obligatory glance at the cart and then the highlighter streak on your receipt. Real thorough. Sometimes I play a little game with them. If I have two receipts (which I often do as I buy supplies for Childrens' ministry at church), I put one away. I see if they are able to detect that I have no receipt for selected items. Have they ever noticed? Of course not. I walk away, chuckling to myself about their high tech methods. I know, it doesn't take much to amuse me.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Normalcy and Blessing

Life shouldn't be too complicated. Just ask him.

Ahh, so nice to be back in a routine. The house is back in shape, and I got caught up on all the grading of schoolwork that piled up on my desk starting early December. I got an accumulating pile of "stuff" listed on eBay. I had time to take French class with Drew (DVD). I made chicken soup from scratch, and tried a new cookie recipe. Emma and I went to the gym 3 times and also resumed our weight room routine. The holiday pounds are now off- woo hoo! A sense of accomplishment is a good feeling indeed.

On Monday evening I had the privilege to go to dinner with Suzanne, Kelly, and Nancy Hoyer. We have had a prayer group for a few years, and we were blessed this week with the addition of Nancy. She is such a lovable gal and a diligent person. I know we will all enjoy having her in the group- she will add so much. It seems like one prayer request of all of us was to read more (to build that into our busy schedules). So, we decided to hold each other accountable to read 30 minutes a day. It doesn't sound like much, but for us moms it is a huge challenge. Since then, I got in 2 hours reading time! Thanks for the encouragement girls - I was blessed. I have been reading Romans, and also the book "How to Worship Jesus Christ." It's a gem of a little book that Logan Carr urged me to read. I highly recommend it - it's life changing.

I was also blessed to see my daughter have a servant's heart as she babysat quite a bit this week for Nancy. Emma loves the Hoyer kids and tries to do a really good job. She is still in process, but I truly appreciate her willingness to serve. It is a blessing for me to witness her sweet attitude and capability.

I was also blessed to see my son help my dad out. Dad bought a new speaker system for his TV, and Drew went over to install it for him. I watched in awe as Drew worked and wondered how in the world did he ever know how to do such a thing. He even recognized a cable that he needed was missing. Quite the young man indeed. My dad appreciated his assistance and took us all out for Chinese food - yum. Drew is patient and takes the time to do things right, and I appreciate that about him.

The normalcy of life reminds me what a wonderful life God has given me. It is utterly undeserved - all grace. The opportunity to be a stay at home wife and mother is a gift from God that I don't take for granted. Thank you Lord for blessing me so richly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Need a good laugh?

Tim Hawkins is really funny! Click here to view some of his hilarious videos. He really made me laugh!

Be sure not to miss A Homeschool Family !

You can also check out his website.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Rainy Weekend Away

Well, the kids had their high school winter camp this weekend, and good old mom and dad had some plans of their own. We found a cute place in Sunset magazine called Cambria Pines Lodge so we decided to give it a try. While the reviews were poor on the regular rooms, the newly built free standing cottages were supposed to be great. So, as Drew and Emma took themselves to church, we loaded up the Jeep and hit the rainy coast.
After a few stops for culinary treats (favorite cheese taquitos in Carpinteria; hot cocoa and chai latte at an eclectic coffee shop in San Luis Obispo), we arrived at our destination. As we checked in, we spied a sign that said all-you-can-eat soup and organic salad bar at the inn for only $10 a pop. We were all over that, and after downing some delicious cream of broccoli soup, salad and fresh bread, we were off to check out the room. To our delight, we found ourselves settling in to a brand new, charming country cottage with refined but eclectic furnishings. We had two fireplaces (one in living room and bedroom), a garden patio, and a comfortable furniture to relax on.

In the morning, after our complimentary hot breakfast at the lodge, we set out, camera in hand, to explore the manicured 26 acre facility. We found beautiful trees, flowers and shrubs, all artfully displayed in a rustic environment. After checking out the grounds, we went into the charming town of Cambria where we visited the cute shops and found a great little lunch of soup and homemade ollaieberry pie at Linn's.

Come Sunday, we meandered slowly down highway 1, stopping at Morro Bay and Pismo Beach to sightsee a bit. In Morro Bay, Rich found the shell shop he remembered as a child. We browsed this one-of-a-kind store, selecting a cool sand dollar Christmas ornament and a pretty shell night light as souvenirs. Lastly, we ended our vacation, as we do most vacations, with lunch at some dive. We were starving when we came into the town of Lompoc (note to self - don't be hungry in Lompoc) and popped into Loco Taco #2 (across the street from Loco Taco #3). We actually enjoyed some great chips and salsa, some carne asada and carnitas, and some more taquitos. I must say the atmosphere left something to desired, but the food rocked.
As we drove, Rich and I were reminded anew how beautiful California is, and what a wonderful Creator we have. The scenery along the coast is just breathtaking. There were a zillion Kodak moments. We really enjoyed taking in a big dose of God's creation, and were reminded of His great love for us through His beautiful creation.

It was great to get home and see the kids. While it is great to go on vacation without them once in a while, I am most content when we are all together as a family.

Me in front of our cottage

Cute bedroom shot of the fireplace and cool distressed armoire

Cushy bed with down comforter - perfect for napping and reading

The adorable living room - all my favorite colors

Hotel grounds...

Beautiful fall folliage still remains

A shot of my cute hubby when he finally let me have the camera!

Me not knowing I'm getting my picture taken!

More beautiful garden shots...

Beautiful color courtesy of God's genius
a rainbow near San Simeon

Happy to find this great little lunch spot in town

Great ollalieberry pie!

Stopping at Pismo Beach

The Jeep is in its element!

Morro Bay

Rich revisiting a childhood memory

Hard to believe such a place still exists! We had to buy something...

Our typical dive stop at the end of culinary bliss!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Four Years in Heaven

I just love this photo of my sweet boy.

January 5, 2004 was the day that our dear Brady left this earth, was freed of all his earthly sickness and sin, and entered into eternal life with His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is hard to believe it has been four years since then. It is only by God's grace that we have been able to live without one who was so precious to us. Oh, how we miss him. His smile. His courage. His tenderness. And, oh, how our hearts long for that blessed day when we shall be reunited!

"O Lord, haste the day, when our faith shall be sight...."
(from my favorite hymn It is well with my soul)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Blog to Visit

Oh Glinda, it's just so PICTUREFYING...Emma's new blog that is!