"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exltation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...this is to have succeeded." _Ralph Waldo Emerson_

Monday, March 30, 2009

Birthday's, Soccer Games, and Memorable Moments

Another busy weekend! And no camera...:( ....I can't believe all weekend I kept forgetting my camera.

Happy Birthday Rachel!...another big 30th birthday party on Friday night was a blast. Greg surprised her with friends and family, and we had a really nice time, of coarse Isaiah was the life of the party with all those big people.

On Saturday we got to celebrate Isaiah's good friend Eli's birthday. Happy Birthday Eli! This was Isaiah's first time at Chucky Cheese, and I dare say he was having a blast. The stimulation was a bit much for mom, but dad was enjoying showing Isaiah all the games. The kids have so much fun there it's crazy.

Then after a short nap in the car after the birthday we went out onto the field to cheer on daddy, who was playing in an alumni soccer game at the University. Isaiah always has a blast cheering on daddy, but the biggest hit was all the little hot wheels that mom packed in her purse. You should see the crowd of little boys I always get when I pull those things out. I never go without at least 6-8 of those things. It gives Isaiah a chance to share and make friends, and you should have heard the beautiful sound those things made whizzing down the metal bleachers....yikes! After a while, I made the cars take a little nap in my purse without too much protest. Anyway, the funny thing about the alumni game is that when Rob was playing, I, as the affectionately attentive girlfriend would come to ever game, even the alumni game when he would play against the alumni. I used to think that the alumni looked old! Ha Ha! Can you believe that. Now, Rob's probably the average age of the guys that show up, and the college guys look young!?! How did that happen so fast? Well, the old guys didn't do so bad, they lost 2-1 at the end.
The other fun memory for me coming to the alumni game, is that four years ago, at the annual alumni game Rob introduced me to his coaches wife who worked as a pediatric ICU nurse. It was that small introduction that I believe set the coarse for me in my career. It's funny how you go back over the years and can pick small almost meaningless moments and see how they changed you or set a coarse for your life. That was such a huge, yet small moment.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun times to share

A couple weeks ago when the weather was just starting to look fabulous, my friend invited us up to her place in Coloma. It's an amazingly gorgeous house that is soo french, it gave me the travel bug in a bad way (well that, and just hanging out with Marianka who is from the Netherlands, and does all these Operation Smile trips all over the of these days). You can't really tell from this pic, but there are rows and rows of olive trees and I think she said, like 500 lavender bushes. I can't wait to see them all in bloom! WOW! Isaiah was in heaven on this journey cause right across the street, the state parks crew was out doing a large burning, so he got to see many fire-fighters (AKA - inmates getting to do public service, which is why we couldn't get any pics, but the ranger let Isaiah climb on the tractor and check out the fire truck none the less), a fire truck, then we took a small hike down to the American River where we had lunch and saw tons of animals. Just like his daddy, Isaiah could throw rocks all day long, and the 'beach' had enough for a 100 years of throwing. It was such a beautiful day, thanks Marianka for the wonderful time (and the fabulous tea!).

Everyone seems to be turning 30 lately; Happy Birthday Eunice.

A Saki bomb??? Doesn't Saki taste bad enough without putting it in beer? UGG.
Rob didn't wear his dancing shoes, so we didn't join everyone at the club after dinner....and it was literally 10:45 before we were done eating. Yikes! And I do mean, dancing shoes....apparently dress code for men is shoes that are polishable. I didn't think Rob's personal
dress code of flip-flops was going to fly at the door....although I suppose you could argue that his feet could be polished.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So, I wanted to post this Friday night, on the official first day of spring, however, my dear husband suggested a date night....ahhhh, that took precedence. But I had been preparing pics in excited anticipation of this day. This includes a small documentary about the amazingly different species in our yard. I just love to study the different plants and buds and the way they all have their own special way of saying a bright and cheery hello in the spring.

The first day of spring was BEAUTIFUL. It doesn't get much better for me than this....and the post will follow. Those that know me, know that I am in my element when I'm in the garden, outside, just soaking in all those amazing things that grow and change out in nature. We have a few spring/summer traditions. Thursday (a day early), we busted out the grill for the first time this season and made burgers with Greek salad, oh it just makes my mouth water thinking about it even at ten in the mornings. Pasta and potatoes salads will soon follow. I also got out my Toddy carafe. It is a cold water coffee brewer. It makes about 9 cups of concentrated coffee that I use to make iced coffee drinks for about a week, then I brew up another batch. They are soooooooo good. It takes a lot of the acidity out of the coffee, so it's very smooth.

Well, the first day of spring was calling for a Toddy! & my Sanuk's (my favorite brand flip-flops....shout out Emily!).

Skaggs Trees
Liquid Maple - a bit slower than the's still to this day taking it's time, while all the other trees already have their leaves. SO COOL.

Japanese Maple - This variety has a green branch, I just love how lovely it is in the winter
Our New variety Japanese Maple - Has green/Brown branches but gets lovely green leaves bursting out of an almost red berry looking thing...but they aren't berries...hmmm
Lemon tree blossom- I wasn't so kind to the lemon tree last year, but it's a fighter, and is growing back all it's leaves. YEAH!

Flowering Pear - despite the rancid smell that most trees apparently get, I have yet to turn up my nose to these (these are the trees that got cut, that Isaiah still so vividly remembers). Aren't those flowers just so cool, they look like miniature fireworks!Don't be fooled - I am keenly aware of all our Poison Oak patches (I wish the dog took as much caution as us), sure looks beautiful though....I just love the analogies that I'll get to use with this one to teach the kids about good/evil. And of coarse, the Oak tress, but they aren't blooming yet, so I got a lovely shot of the pesky blackberry using our Oak as a climbing trellis. The fabulously green path around to the back of the house, I just love the wild grass of spring. Just a quick shot of the wild side of the yard. The creek is to the needs a good slash and burn, but I think that would make the neighbors nervous...brainstorming other ways to remove yards and yards of blackberries and poison oak and scrub brush...A GOAT! Still working on it. AHHHHHHH My Favorite Part! The Skaggs Flowers!
Our Vinca Grove. Couldn't pass up this shot with mannerly little lady bug showing me her rear end.
My Rose transplants took great, they are coming along, and God has answered my prayers and lead our deer to other feeding ground besides the roses! YEAH!
Valley Lily??? This is the only one that stumps me. I just planted these bulbs all along the south side of our lawn, and I can't remember what they're called. If anyone knows, will you let me know?
My Tulips last week, just poking their precious little heads up. They took a year off, and I almost forgot that I had them.
And then!!! They bloomed, aren't they lovely. They're like an old friend coming back for a visit, they are so cheery and bubbly they way they bob their oversized heads around in the wind. AHHHH, this might not look like much yet, but I've been working on these for a couple years. These are lilacs, and I think that I have found a good home for them , so I have high hopes for them to bloom maybe this year, but most definitely next. They take some time. I bought them at Costco, like 4 years ago. But I am certain that they are finally happy!
Having too much fun with my camera. I'm no professional by an stretch, but I was having fun this day. Wish I could have gotten the glare out, I think that' s what I was trying to do with my hand shade.
A Camellia Bud - We inherited this plant. I just love these! So hardy, and they are just beautiful all year with bright green leaves and long lasting late winter to summer blooms. They were a popular plant back in the forties. Isn't the design in that bud just magnificent! The pattern just looks so cool, and then check it out below, after it blooms!
A Camellia flower full bloomed! I love to cut these and float them in a bowel on the table, they last forever that way. It's so perfect, it looks like it came out of a kaleidoscope.
Don't overlook the pansy. Not only are they just beautiful, they do really well with some water and not too much sun. AND THEY'RE EDIBLE....although I'm holding off telling Isaiah cause I'm afraid I wouldn't have any left. I have them on the bridge that leads up to the front door and they are just so cute they way the bounce around when you walk past them. I think they look like they're giggling. Trusty Hydrangea. I have been working to keep the soil acidic in these pots to get me some really blue flowers this year. I can't wait to see if it pays off.
Okay, this is just silly fun, and if you are still reading this right now, I am shocked, but anyway. The following pic is of the bushes that divide our house with the neighbors. I just hate them cause they have thorns and they get these ugly red berries around Christmas time. They just clash something terrible with my vinca grove. I have been trying to connive all kinds of ways of getting rid of these berries....but God did it for me. I think sometimes he has a sense of humor with me. This one day, I noticed a few new birds in the yard, particularly on this bush. The following day, the entire oak tree over the bush was filled with birds of the same type. They were coming down out of the tree by the dozens and eating the red berries. This first picture is what the bush looked like after a day. The next pic is after only 3 days. Berries GONE!!!
And the culprits. I'm telling you, it was really amazing. In 3 days, those birds had the bushes stripped clean of berries, and now they're just green thorny bushes left. SO FUNNY.
And finally what day out in the yard would be complete without a little irrigation tubing fun! Isaiah has found all kinds of new FUN WITH TUBING ideas! The best part for me now, is taking Isaiah outside and taking our time as we go around to all the plants, "caring" for them, learning about them and just enjoying how beautiful and different each one is (the life lesson analogies are endless, I'd like to start keeping a journal of them. Spring inspired my quote at the top right of the page, but obviously it pertains to soooo much more). We have started taking walks around the neighborhood together, on foot just holding hands, and we spot all the daffodils and say hi to them. Isaiah usually initiates the walks. He goes to the end of the driveway while we are outside, and sticks his hand out, and calls, "Mommy! Hand!" then, "Walk, mommy." I just LOVE IT! We'll take 30-45 minute walks easily. Learning about all kinds of things along the way. Man, I just love being a mommy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

All my best thinkin' happens in the shower.

Before I had kids, I never new how much I would appreciate a day like in which I could shave, pluck and trim all in the same day! WOOOHOO! Instead of Wordless wednesdays we should have Hairless Thursdays, just kidding. I may even attempt to paint my toes in celebration of spring.

Also, I was singing in the shower (you know, while I was actually shaving), this old song called, "and they'll know we are Christians by our love." I got to thinking about all the people who complain and moan about what state our country is in with reguards to our morality. Yes, I do recognize that there are some things that have gone the way side, but maybe the problem isn't as my dad sees it, that we aren't speaking out enough and fighting for what's right. Maybe the problem is that we aren't loving enough, we can hardly keep our marriages together and love the people in our own homes let alone go out and love those outside the four walls of our house. The problem isn't about our moral decline, it's about our lack of love for our fellow man. When are we going to stop making Christianity equate to morality. Haven't we learned yet, man can never make the mark on his own, we can never be "moral enough." Jesus himself told us this over and over, that we will never be able to be perfect moral people, then Paul reiterated it later in his letters. God doesn't expect us to be moral people, people expect people to be perfectly moral. That's why God sent Jesus to cover for our misfailings. How will people know about God's love for them unless we are LOVING them. You are not going to convince anyone of how amazing God is by living some perfect little moral life, cause let me tell you, the more moral you think you are the more prideful you become...that's not a road you want to travel down either.
If I could spread a new message about Christianity it would be this: God is not interested in your morality and your proper rules, He is interested in your love.

Rom 4:15 "But the fact of the matter is this: when we try to gain God's blessing and salvation by keeping his laws we always end up under his anger, for we always fail to keep them."
But this is the exciting part:
Rom 3:21 "Now God has shown us a different way to heaven (meaning, after Jesus came), not by 'being good enough' and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way. Now God says He will accept and acquit us - declare us 'not guilty' - if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we can all be saved in this way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like."

I love that last part, 'no matter who we are or what we have been like.'

Okay, nap time is almost over I better get painting. Then I'm going to try and do some lovin'.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Midnight Posts

More Housekeeping and Updates:

* Rebekah had her baby! Last week....sorry bekah for being a bit behind! Congrats! Addison is adorable and we are so excited to watch her grow. It was such a kick for me, cause she had Addison just a few floors down from my unit in the hospital. She went into labor while i was on shift, so i snuck a few trips downstairs to check in and see how she was progressing. I finally went home about mid-night and she had her a few hours later. I am so thrilled for her and Matt and pray blessings on that precious baby girl.

*Thank you Grant (aka. 'great-brit'), for being our memory...what are friends for when we get old and senile? Even though Grant and Jamie are hopefully enjoying themselves in Japan, He was kind enough to leave me a comment, while still on vacation, reminding me that Rob and I had indeed been bowling together. Once he wrote it, Rob and I had a big ah-ha moment. Very funny, (see previous blog). Well, anyway.....

*Who thinks it's a good idea to use our food supply for fuel? Seriously people what a STUPID, and i can't yell STUPID loud enough, idea. Sorry, let me explain. There is much talk in congress and the house right now about making ethanol mandatory in percentage amounts as part of our fuel source. Ethanol is made from corn,....corn is one of our major food groups. Farm land is already going the way of the dinosaur FAST, so are the farmers, and so are the actual nutrients in the ground. Corn is one the most demanding things to grow in terms of nutrients, in other words it renders the soil nutrient barren quickly....soooooo you need LOTS of fertilizers.....CHEMICALS such as nitrogen etc. to replace all the lost nutrients that the corn steals. With population growth, urban sprawl and many other concepts that i haven't even begun to touch...just take a minute to look into whether or not you think using food for fuel sounds like even a remotely good idea. OH....and don't get me started on whether or not 'global warming' is the biggest sheeps wool being pulled over our eyes right now...I'll leave that for another blog.

* Started 2 new books! Yeah! Okay, I'm leaving Francine Rivers for a bit...sorry Francine, I'm going to start seeing other people. "Tears of the Giraffe" by Alexander McCall Smith is the second in "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series. It's about a women in Zimbabwe that opens up a detective agency, and all the interesting tales that it brings her way. It's really quite a fun/light read. The second book was given to me today called "Power and Praise" by Merlin R. Carothers. It's an older Christian living classic, and I dove right in. I love to read what the writers of older generations had to say about what it really means to be real with our God and it seems that the older writers had some deeper thoughts on faith than you find in many contemporary books. By example, C.S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, Miles Stanford. I'm tired of fluff faith, I started reading a commentary along with my study in the book of Isaiah, written by J. Vernon McGee, and I'm blown away with what God is showing me about myself, my faith, and about HIM. HE IS AMAZING....I JUST LOVE OUR GOD. Please ask me more, I'm just so excited about the things I'm learning right now.

*We have a new pet! Add him to our farm list....Marlin is our new beta fish, compliments of my dad who just had to bless Isaiah with a fish all of his own (There are now more pets than kids in the kids room....i hope this doesn't become a continuing trend). 6 PETS? Call me crazy, but you know how I am....I just love all of God's creation...the more the merrier. Still working on my argument for a goat.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bowling and Good Friends

I still can't believe it's true, but Rob says we've never been bowling together. In 9 years? Is that possible..?.? I don't believe him, but I don't exactly have a case or pics to prove it. So this time I do. These girls are amazing, they are my old co-workers from the med-center, and I am indebted to them all. You know how they say that when you go through something traumatic with someone it creates a particular sort of bond with that person. That's true of nurses to some degree because they experience the craziest things and really can only joke about it in it's rawest form with one another. Four of these girls and I all started out of nursing school together in the PICU and they are some pretty smart cookies....don't' let the beer buzz faces fool you. Every now and again Amy is real good about planning events, and sometimes we invite the gentleman along too. So bowling it weekend I get to see them all again for a birthday bash downtown!!! LOVE IT!
Oh, and by the way, Rob KICKED everyone's butt at bowling. What is it with that guy and sports anyway? Hummm I guess he picked an appropriate career.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

House Keeping...Fluff pillow?

Blame it on the rain...ya ya.

Is it stuck in your head now too? Rain rain and more rain, only to be followed by the most beautiful sunshine and blue skies....I am taking full advantage of it. So that along with getting into the rythym of my new job has left me bloggingly unavailable temporarily. But I'm comin' back...That girl, that girl is poisen! Why do I have all these old songs in my head tonight. I'm weird that why.

House Keeping

*Still waiting to hear about our baby. Baby boy Joshua is being prayed for everynight, along with his birth mommy and her family and for her decisions. My biggest prayer right now isn't "God please hurry up," it's, "God please provide all of baby Joshua's needs, even when those around him are not or are not able to." I am completely trusting in God for this need, and would love to have anyone reading this join me in that prayer. I am expecting MIRACLES people, and God is getting all the "What WHAT!"

*Finished another book by Francine Rivers,.....LOVED IT, although it took just a little bit to get into. "The Scarlet Thread." Highly recommend it for all you married folks that have ever gone through a life change with a spouse, and you didn't agree with the decision they made. Nuff said.

* PLEASE please throw away your TV's and computer/video games before your children start to become obese. New research is linking more than 2 hours a day of electronic stuff to inc. risk of asthma (and obesity of coarse). AND LET ME TELL YOU....ASTHMA DOES KILL CHILDREN....AND IT IS UGLY. Please the t.v. is not worth the health risks, throw it out. There is way to much imagination to be had by our precious little minds to let someone else do all the imagination for us. Anyway, it's 1 in the morning and I better quite, I can feel my soap box growing under my feet as I speak, and those 2 thoughts about asthma and imagination probably don't sound like they go together, but trust me they do.