Thursday, July 2, 2015

Interesting Beach Finds!

After having lived by the beach for so long...I have to say, I'm never too surprised by the interesting things I see here.
So here's a guy cruising around in his Star Wars getup.
 Then we have squirrels who think they're prairie dogs. 

A movie crew filming as they pull a parasailer behind a car along the ocean's edge.
To this kid who was running up and down the beach on this futuristic "blade runner" type contraption. 
Let's end this post with a very cautious Mod Vespa driver. Someone's obviously heard the famous motorcycle warning..."It's not *if* you go down it's *when* you go down. 
He's having none of it. LOL!

Oh beach life in the summer is always beautiful, fun and interesting.

My Handsome Lunch Dates

Such a gorgeous day out and so much to be thankful for. Elijah surprised me and joined me for yoga today, and then Josh met us downtown for lunch after he finished school. Unfortunately little Josh has summer school and wasn't able to join our lunch date. 
(This was the only look I could get from Elijah when I told him to smile for our lunch date pic!)

There's something special about mother/son time as they get older. They're usually *too busy* to make time for the "old people" as my boys so affectionately refer to us (Brats!) Lol!

But I truly cherish every minute together, knowing that as they one day have family's of their own our time will be less and less. 

Jump aboard today's "THANKFUL TRAIN"...what are you thankful for? 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Meet Joan and Lloyd...

I worked out and decided to drive down to Laguna for my lunch/writing/reading spot today. I'm glad I did. It was cloudy, windy and cold at first, but soon a bus load of elderly people showed up and brought the sunshine with them. The clouds cleared as they slowly emerged from the bus one by one. They made their way down to the beautiful view overlooking the ocean. I took some pictures and was walking back to my chair when I noticed a couple of late comers deciding to get out and see the view. An elderly man was trying to help a shaky, wobbly woman out. I ran over to help and "Lloyd" and I each grabbed "Joan's" arms as she slowly shuffled along to a cement seating area. 
She kept telling me I was going to earn my Girl Scout buttons today!�� After I sat her down she said, "You better tell your scout master that you helped a little old lady today." Lol! 

 I said, "Oh I think He already Scout Master is Jesus."

They smiled as I said, "Just give me a holler when you're ready to go back." I loved that even though Joan had trouble walking, she refused to just sit there in that bus.

Soon she was ready to head back. Lloyd and I were able to get her all the way to the steps when two young lifeguards came by and helped her the rest of the way in.

Im thankful for meeting wonderful people today who still know how to enjoy life in the midst of their trials!
Jump on today's "THANKFUL TRAIN"...what are you thankful for?

Saturday, May 30, 2015


I have a problem. I always know what time I have to be somewhere, but I lay around until about 15 minutes before I need to be there before I jump up and race around to get ready. It's been going on for years. I like to live on "Lisa" time. Yes I guess that makes me a little self-absorbed. This is definitely an area that needs more attention/work! 

While at the beach a couple of days ago I came across this sign. It's something I've NEVER seen here on the normally safe OC beaches. A warning. Not just any warning but a SHARK warning. It's been all over the news-13 juvenile Great White sharks hanging around our local waters. 
So what do these two things have to do with each other? 

REMINDERS. There are things that I may need to be made aware of. Whether it's slowing down to look at some areas in my life that I may need to work on/give more attention to...or something as blatant as a warning sign not to go near an area.

So today I'm thankful for reminders/warnings, mental and physical. For that is when I pause and take notice. 
Jump aboard today's "THANKFUL TRAIN"...what are you Thankful for?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


WOW...where to begin? I guess I'll start here:

First of all, we're on the tail end of ALL the paperwork to finalize the adoption of our foster son, Lil J. We thought we were done raising our "Brady Bunch" family when Elijah (our baby) graduated high school (WOOHOO...US time!) But Jesus had other plans for us. I received an email about a young boy that changed everything. It reached deep down into my core. I was unable to shake it. So, after praying with my hubby for several days, we began to move. We took steps of faith, walking it out and waiting on The Lord's will for our lives, our family's and lil J's. 

His mom was in hospice, dying of breast cancer. He hadn't been placed in a home yet and had been at the large local facility waiting for the right family for 3 months. As we visited with him (getting to know him and him us), I prayed that if The Lord wanted us to have him in our lives, to please let his mom hang on long enough to meet us and know her son would be well taken care of. 

After several visits with lil J, knowing/getting confirmation that he would become our foster son, I asked him if it would be okay to visit his mom so she would know that he would be well taken care of. I just couldn't imagine getting ready to leave this earth and not knowing where my child would end up/who would be taking care of him. He gave his approval (he was 13 at the time). I sat on it for a whole week. I was nervous and knew it would be awkward (Hi, you don't know us but we're going to be raising your son, as you prepare to go to Heaven). 

Finally, after work on a Friday, I KNEW it was the day we HAD to go visit. I bought flowers, took pics of our house, his room, our family, and our dog. The hubby and I headed over to the hospice facility. She looked better than I expected and was sitting up. She was very thin, pale, with long dark hair and big eyes. She was so young...too young to be going through this. We nervously introduced ourselves. She stared intently at us for a few minutes, looking, searching...then told us she was really hot (I'm sure she was just as nervous and uncomfortable as we were). My hubby went out to get her some ice for her ice pack. I stumbled over my words...wanting her to know how we came to this point, standing here in her room-preparing to care for her child. I showed her the pictures and explained each one. She took a long though committing each and every picture to memory. After about 30 minutes of visiting, her mom and aunt came into the room. We introduced ourselves to them and then said our goodbyes (it was about 8:30 p.m.) I mentally made plans to come and visit her in the coming weeks so she could really get to know me. 

The next day, (Saturday, at 12:00 p.m.), as we were driving to go visit lil' J, we received a call that his mom had passed away. I broke down sobbing. I thought we would have more time. She looked like she had more time, I mean, we had just been talking to her...

At her services, her family shared the fact that she had been praying for a good family to take her son. After meeting us, she felt she was finally able to let go of her pain and suffering and go home. I took special note of the date, it was December 7th...the day before my birthday. One mother, handing her heart over to another; her gift to me, her greatest treasure, her child...her son.

After 1 year of being in our family as our foster son...we are now making it permanent. Sometimes children are just meant to be a part of your family. God knows exactly what He's doing. It happened first years ago, when I received my three step-kids to help raise and guide. And now we've been given another son, who was meant to be a part of our lives. As we said, "Yes, LORD, YOUR WILL for our lives," He in turn answered a mother's prayer before she was called home. He is always working, as we learn to let go of our carefully planned lives and give HIM room to work, we find our true purpose and joy...HIS WILL. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

After Holiday Pictures/Post

My blessed to add our new son lil' J
Well we made it through Christmas and the New Year. It was actually pretty smooth. I had my shopping done before Christmas Eve (miracles can happen!) ALL my kids were with us this year along with their significant others. We went to an awesome Christmas Eve church service.

My boys gettin' down to the Christmas songs

Family + Beautiful Girlfriends

Next stop was my brother & sis-in-law's for dinner and a gift exchange.
The older kids exchanged gift cards (white elephant style where they picked numbers, then blindly picked cards and could steal from each other.) it's always so much fun.

This was a pic I took at my in-laws 50th Wedding Anniversary...we had it put on Canvas.

Then my competitive family headed outside for a basketball game. They peeled the layers of dressy clothes off as the sweat began to build. We take our sports seriously. I loved that the girlfriends joined right in. You better be ready for adventures in this family!
Elijah trying to dribble around his big (little) sister;)

We got home by 11:00 p.m. and all the kids stayed the night. We had hot chocolate, popcorn and watched Elf. Then it was present opening chaos first thing in the morning before every body headed off to make the rounds to other family members houses.
And this is my heart!

This was seriously one of the most special Christmas's we've had in a LONG time. ALL the kids together makes my mama heart soar. Yes...I'm SO BLESSED!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Vacation #1 Reno, NV-Tragedy in the Midst

I usually only get one vacation a year (if I'm lucky.) This year however we had 3. Two mini vacations and one big one. Our first vacation was a trip to Reno to see my dad and a family reunion/camping trip at their property up at Frenchman's Lake where I spent every summer growing up. Little did I know the tragedy that was about to unfold.

It's been a long time since my cousins and I have been together, so I was really looking forward to it. Also, I wanted our new foster son to get to meet the family and go camping for the first time.

I made my hubby stop several times at beautiful, picturesque spots. What's a trip if you're not looking for adventure along the way?
 We've never been able to spend time with my dad on Father's Day (we grew up in CA with my mom & he lived in Nevada) so we planned to bring him a homemade present from my sister and I. She read an amazing life memories story for him and then presented him with the was a hit!
My sister Stacy and my dad after she read her beautiful tribute letter.
The next day it was off to the property. Hiding in the thicket along the road was this mama and her baby. Bambi? I stopped and slowly crept up to get a good shot without scaring them away. It was short lived.

As we turned down the dusty road, all my childhood memories came flooding over me. What fun and adventure we had here.
We walked down to the creek (It's become very small from the more swimming holes.) We walked across logs, rode ATV's, sat around the campfire telling story's and reminiscing about "the good ol' days." We walked down to the lake, watched the kids swim, rowed in the raft, and then returned to camp.
Our new son got to drive all by himself on his 14th Birthday! He said it was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
Then tragedy struck.

My sister went into a full Grand Mal Seizure. I'd never seen one before. I jumped up and held her by her neck and head as her body went stiff as a board. She was now sideways in her folding chair. Panic set in as my sister-in-law ran all the kids into the trailor. I tried to talk calmly to her, but quickly noticed her lips turning black. I began to yell, "is she breathing?" No one responded. Everyone seemed frozen and unsure of what to do. My husband was standing above her and I yelled, "Pray for her!" My cousin had dropped to her knees and was praying. My sister was fading away. I literally watched the color drain from her face, starting from her neck and moving up until she was completely gray. As I held her head, I knew she was passing away. She had stopped breathing. Her now dead eyes were blankly staring at me. I knew that I needed to get air into her. I haven't had CPR training since 7th grade. But as clear as someone was talking out loud, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, "BREATHE FOR HER NOW!" I breathed three times. After the 3rd breathe, she gurgled, sucked in air and began seizing again. It finally stopped. SHE WAS ALIVE! Our prayers were answered. The Lord showed up mightily right there in the middle of our campsite.

After everything calmed down and my sister was doing okay. I ran into our tent, dropped to my knees and sobbed. I thanked the Lord for answered prayers; for saving my sister. I read some scriptures and let Him fill me up. My hubby took a walk with me down by the creek and prayed that the memory of my sister's dead eyes would be removed from my mind. I couldn't get the look out of my head.

It was a bitter sweet trip. The family time was incredible. The fact that we were able to leave the campsite with my sister, safely sitting in the backseat of our car, I can't put into word's what I was feeling.

When you get to carry a true life miracle with realize, there is nothing more precious in this world than family and life.