Monday, June 30, 2008

Families Possible Foreclosure (Part 2)

I woke up this morning really early, I was going to take Jullien to football practice and then head into work extra early. Today was pay day, thought I could put in a couple of extra hours to boost the $$$ amount. Of course I couldn't get out of bed when the alarm went off so I told Anthony he had to take him on his way to work.

I layed there starting to feel anxious and out of I grabbed my daily devotionals off the, it's not a typo...devotional(s) as in plural, I have four separate books that I read, Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers...EVERYONE should get this book and read a chapter daily this is MY FAVORITE! Next is One Year Devotions for Mom's by Ellen Banks Elwell, then I move onto one chapter of More Joy for the Journey, written by several contributing author's, finally reaching for The Power of Praying, Help for a Woman's Journey Through Life, by Stormie Omartian...then the grand finale is of course THE BIBLE. I need lots of encouragement right now! It's funny how everyone always talks about having faith and trusting, but when your back is against the wall and you see no escape...even having faith is SCARY!

Today is D day, (D=Dread, Doom, Dagger, Depression, Dally, Damage, Disconnect), okay, I think you get the picture...can we make the payment or not?!? That is a question that doesn't really have one distinct answer. When looking at the situation, we can scrimp, squeeze, scrounge and scrape together every last cent we have and make the payment. The other side of the question is, "How will we eat, buy gas and pay all of our other bills?" So I guess my answer would have to be YES AND NO.

I wont drag this out husband went and took a payment into the bank at about 3:30. We are still scraping the last bit of money together today. So, now the faith part has to come into play and work overtime!! We need to have money to live on for the next couple of is the positive, I will get to see miracles in action, because that is what it will take for us to survive right now. I guess it will be a good thing because all of my family and friends will be able to see their prayers on our behalf getting PLEASE remember us!!

I will keep you all posted on the situation...thanks for everyone's love and support.

Here's my daily scripture:

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5: 14-16

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Family Side of Foreclosure (Part 1)

So many times we hear about all off the amazing Foreclosure deals...which I remember thinking, "Wow, if only I had a little extra money stashed away, I could become a Real Estate mogul and when the economy turns around I'll be rich!" I often wonder how many people think the same way?

Now my family is at the other end of the Foreclosure deal. We are struggling to come up with enough money to save our home. Our mortgage, property taxes, credit card bills, food and gas is putting us deeper and deeper in debt. I thought I would share our story...a perspective from a family on the brink of losing their dream.

Here's a little background info:

We are currently almost three months behind on our mortgage, property taxes are due, three months behind on our HOA (homeowners association dues), credit cards are maxed out (supplementing our incoming by using them), the boys are eating twice as much, (they're all growing right now), sports for football season alone is costing us $3,300.00 (3 boys play), and GAS (about $200.00 a week). Our home value has dropped considerably, was worth about $650,000.00, now worth less than we owe. Now that you understand the situation, I'll fast forward to our first attempt to make arrangements with the bank.

My husband called the bank today and told them we would make a payment on the 30th (don't know where the full amount is coming from...but I'm working on the faith thing!) Then they asked, "When can you make your next payment?" He said, "I don't know?" They snapped, "You have to give us another date!" "Okay...I guess the 15th". He called me at work and I asked, "How are we going to come up with it at the end of the month and the 15th and still buy food and gas?" He got ticked off, "I DON'T KNOW, I'm trying to by us time." Hmm, that was a great start!

Usually when finances are tight we are arguing all the time, the stress just gets to be too much, especially when we are working more hours, barely see each other, and still not able to pay our bills. Since becoming Christian (we both always believed but had been doing our own thing), we have really been trying to not rely on ourselves to get us through, hope and trusting that God has a plan for our lives. But of course we are only the stress of our situation takes over and we have really been going at it lately. I try to lose myself in the computer and writing, while he asks every night, "Do you think maybe we can spend a little time together?" I don't know what my problem is, I just don't want to talk, or be around him right now. I know it's not his fault, and he is working his butt off, but I just want to be left alone! This is how I deal with stressful situations...I push all my emotions deep inside, run around like crazy, don't sleep, become emotionally unavailable for my family and stay on the computer writing for HOURS on end. I try to find a place to hide and escape from my reality.

Then off to work I go a luxury Newport Beach, CA office where my bosses are Millionaires and don't have a care in the world about finances, while I try to put on my happy face, and act like my life is perfect too, (I'm really good at fooling everyone.) I try very hard not to feel sorry for myself, I pray, do a Bible study and watch Joyce Meyers every morning before I really does help! But my human side comes back, and I start to struggle again.

Stay tuned for Part 2....

My Journey
By: Lisa Petrarca

Darkness crowds around me
Squeezing out my air
Take in a deep, cold breath
A few more steps, just walk
Look at the light ahead
Faint but steadily shining
Calling out my name
My feet are slowly moving
It seems far away
My strength is disappearing
The light's calling me to come
The darkness is thick and stifling
It never seems to end
The light is getting closer
My feet begin to run
It overtakes the shadows
The light now surrounds me
I've made it through the dark
The light is so amazing my journey has just begun

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. (Psalm 107: 13-14)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I can't take it anymore...I have had SEVERE insomnia for about 4 weeks now. I always have bouts of it here and there, but this is getting ridiculous. I am running on about 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night, yes, it's definitely stress related, but I can't shut my brain off, I just lay there and think, think, think. I tried melatonin, two different natural sleep aids, and Tylenol P.M. (can't function the next day.) I feel like a sloppy, drunk person trying to focus, drive and function during the day. I have to spend extra time checking and re-checking myself at work to make sure I'm not making any stupid mistakes.

We are in a scary situation right now and I've been trying to have faith, hope, trust and praying that the Lord will see us through this tough here it is, I'm hoping that if I let it out, maybe I will be able to sleep and completely release it and put it in God's hands. We are very close to a foreclosure. If we can't come up with a house payment by the 30th, we will be 3 months behind...and they will start the foreclosure process. I've been keeping it all in and trying to not think about it, but obviously my subconscious is working overtime. My poor husband has been working 7 days a week, overtime and side jobs...but it is just never enough. I've been doing my side job and trying to put in extra hours at work too. I try and put it all in perspective, other people have it so much worse, but I am just sooo scared.

I have waited my whole life to own a home (I was a broke single mom for years), when my dream finally came true at the age of 36...I was an ecstatic and grateful homeowner! A fantasy wish that finally came true!! Now here I sit waiting and wondering about my families future. Never imagining that we would be in this situation, I thought my many years of struggling were over. Now, inching ever closer to the 30th, praying, waiting, hoping and trusting for a miracle.

I hope that this will relieve some of this bottled up stress, it's so embarrassing, but this is my dream may be coming to an end. Four days till my families fate...will we be able to come up with a payment, I don't know, please remember us in your prayers.

I've been reading this scripture A LOT!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, June 23, 2008


I live at the beach...which usually never gets above 80 in the summertime and when it does...OH MY GOSH!! This past weekend was miserably hot. We couldn't even stand to be in the house...I think it was in the high 70's inside and we were all sweating, groaning, and arguing (beach communities rarely have air conditioning...the ocean breeze usually works great).

I'm sure all of you having to deal with heat over the 100 degree mark are rolling your eyes right about now...but the way I see it, you guys are used to it. We are actually suffering the most since our bodies have acclimated to the 70 degree mark. You should all feel very sorry for me, LOL!

I came up with one of my famous "spur of the moment plans" we walked out the door I sprung it on them. My plan came on Saturday at about 7:00 p.m. We were getting ready to drop my step son, Adam off at an 8th grade graduation party. I told my husband and 16 year old son , Jullien that they should grab their boards and wet suits, after we drop Adam off they can surf and I'll take pictures and walk Allie with my son's girlfriend, Chelsea.

The usual comments, "We can't do that, it's too late. Why didn't you tell us sooner so we could get stuff ready? I'm really tired and it's been a long day! It will be dark before we get there." My reply (which always works), "Stop being so negative, why don't you guys stop griping and try to be a little're both like little, grouchy old men!" Off they scurried to grab their stuff...I love being a woman, we're soooo good, LOL!

We got to the beach after sitting in tons of traffic along PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy)...more grumbling, "Look at all this traffic, it's gonna be too dark, you and your ideas"...blah blah blah, I swear they are both the biggest complainers! We picked up my sons girlfriend and took the back route to the beach (all the inlander's flock here to get out of the 100 degree temperature that they should be used to)...finally we got there and they paddled out. The wind picked up, the current pulled them so far down the beach that I couldn't even see them...they paddled, paddled and paddled, only catching one wave each. Chelsea and I grabbed our stuff every few minutes, trying to walk as fast as the current pulled them, actually quite a work out in the sand. We tried to get close enough to watch them and take pictures.

My husband was the first one out of the water..."This sucks, I remember why I never surf this spot! My arms are dead, I only caught one wave, I had to hike a mile up the beach to get back to you guys...GREAT idea Lis! Did you even get pictures of the one wave I caught?" I said, "Uh, no but I got a picture of you paddling!LOL!" He didn't find the humor in my comment, I don't get it??? Jullien came in next, he had the exact same comments...hmmm...did they rehearse it in the water?" I told him that I got some awesome paddling shots, to his scrunchy faced comment, "VERY funny mom!"

My husband's paddling perfection!

Jullien's paddle before the pull out (mushy, slow wave )...Look at the form "Paddle Boy"!LOL!

Okay so everyone didn't like this spur of the moment trip, but the water was 70, the beach was 84, I had a good laugh, took some amazing sunset pictures...and got out of my HOT HOT HOT house...hmmm, GREAT DAY FOR ME...YAY for me!!

Jullien and Chelsea

Is This What Heaven Is Like?

God's Beauty

Jullien's Favorite Scripture:

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)


Saturday, June 21, 2008


I was scrambling around when I got home from work, packing, checking my list, looking for the passport, finding the suitcases, packing the snacks, you know...all of the crazy excitement that comes with going on vacation. Ohhhh...the Bahamas, vacation in paradise...snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and going down the super slide at the Atlantis Hotel. Relaxing under the palm trees, tropical breeze, hammock swaying as you drink your ice cold fruity beverage and read your favorite novel...without a care in the world.

Oops sorry, I was getting a little carried away for a minute...but this is my 13 YEAR OLD SONS VACATION!! Yes, you can tell that I am sooooo jealous! My son just left last night for my dream vacation. I know what your thinking and yes, I am excited for him, BUT....I want to go!

Elijah (my son) has a friend whose dad is pretty wealthy and every year they take him on an all expense paid vacation wherever they happen to be going. Why didn't I ever have friends like that growing up!?! I come from a family of 7 kids, so we never really went anywhere for vacation. Now, here I am with a family of six kids in the same boat. I have become very creative's how it works for all of you STUCK at home.


1. Make yourself a big, tall, slushy, ice cold, tropical drink...slice the pineapple and stick it on the rim of your cup. You will need this first to sip on as you complete the rest of the recipe (refill often as needed)

2. Take out some bread, turkey, ham, roast beef, salami, cheese, tomato's, lettuce, pickles and your favorite sandwich spread. Put it all together and set it next to your drink.

3. Go to the fridge, pull out strawberries, grapes, apples, oranges, mango's, papaya's, pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Cut and slice as needed, put into one bowl.

4. This is the most important part of the recipe...cut a HUGE piece of chocolate cake (if you don't have cake then grab your box of Bon Bon's, Godiva chocolate bar, or brownies) JUST MAKE SURE IT'S REALLY SWEET and CHOCOLATEY ! For those of you allergic to chocolate (poor things) substitute with whatever your weakness is...remember, this is YOUR vacation, you can work it off when you get back.

5. This part of the recipe can be a little tricky...put all of your items on a tray and head over to your computer. CAREFULLY place all of the items around your desk...a spill or mishap can ruin your whole vacation so BE CAREFUL.

6. Go IMMEDIATELY to your room throw on your most comfortable lounging around shorts, tank top, loose fitting dress...whatever you wear to relax in. Grab the fan in your room and quickly return to your desk.

7. Turn on your fan, sit down, grab your drink, take a big sip (remember, no's your vacation), turn on your computer, go to your Blog page. Once you've arrived, click Next Blog at the top of your screen.

8. While your computer is thinking, take a bite of your sandwich, and grab a piece of fruit. The fan should now be supplying a perfect, light, relaxing breeze.

9. When the first picture appears, scroll down, there will be more. If you happen to arrive at an undesirable vacation spot, or heaven forbid a work site...simple jump to another destination by hitting "Next Blog" at the top of the screen. Often times you will not be able to read about the spot you have arrived at due to a language barrier...DO NOT get're on vacation for the scenery, relaxation and beauty. Be sure to continually enjoy the feast before you (no worrying about calories remember...V A C A T I O N).

10. You have now arrived at your DREAM VACATION...the Bahamas, Tahiti, Costa Rica, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Paris, Switzerland...remember your trip will not be complete until you bite into your sweet, smooth, rich, heavenly CHOCOLATE!! you've arrived...and what an amazing place to be. RELAX, EAT and ENJOY!!

Awwwwe VACATION!?!?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: I Went To The Police

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: I Went To The Police
I went to the police to report the scary, possible kidnap attempt from my previous Blog...I was a little leery due to the fact that I didn't have a license plate number…I started to tell my story when all of a sudden...

I Went To The Police

I went to the police to report the incident from my previous Blog...I was a little leery due to the fact that I didn't have a license plate number. My son and I went in and I started to tell one officer...but he looked disinterested and kept looking at the clock over my head. I was halfway through my story (which I don't think he even heard)...when all of a sudden he said, "My shifts over, please have a seat and someone will be down in a minute to hear your story." At this point I'm feeling a little stupid, but I'm determined to have someone listen...hoping to save a child from a possible kidnap attempt.

The next guy starts listening to my story and then proceeds to start looking directly behind me...I turned around to see if the clock was mesmerizing him too. A guy with long, bushy black hair, was walking toward the bathroom. Knowing that he wasn't listening, I just stopped and said, "Do you need to go check out the situation or something?" He goes, "Uh no, go ahead." As I tried to get the point across that the men were targeting my son...he kept trying to make it about me. He said,"You need to make sure you carry your cell phone, don't jog alone, be aware of your surroundings, and get a license plate number." I said, "I know all of that, but they weren't after me, they were after my son and I'm worried that they might try to take other children."

He said, "Give me a description of the cars and when I'm out on the streets tonight I will be on the lookout." I told him, "It was two Hispanic men, one in his late 40's to early 50's the other was younger in his 20's or 30's. The older man was driving a light metallic gold Honda accord, a late 90's model. The younger guy was in a white old Chevy van with different color stripes on it." He said, "Okay, thanks, and what's your name?" I told him and left...he never wrote anything down or took a report.

I felt pretty frustrated as I left, he just didn't seem to get the fact that they were targeting my son and not me. On a positive note...I've eased my conscious and at least tried to get a warning out to the community.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sad and Scary Day (Part 2 of 2)

I started trying to exercise, alternating between going to the gym and running with my dog, while my son skateboarded with us. We arrived home still sad from the days events, changed and decided to run/skateboard with Allie (our dog). I took off first while Elijah looked for his Ipod and would catch up with me.

I was halfway down the block, running, Ipod blaring...when I noticed an older man, in a silver Honda, stepping on his brakes, leaning his head completely out of the car looking at something behind me. My heart started racing, I quickly looked behind me, wondering what had caught his attention. To my horror, it was my son on his skateboard. The man was unaware that he was with me, Elijah was trying to catch up to me. My son also noticed the man and the weird look on his face. The man turned the corner a few minutes before we rounded it. He was still looking at us and pulled into a driveway that we would be running directly past. The driveway was blocked by thick green bushes, hiding him from our view as we approached it. I looked behind me to talk to Elijah and noticed another man in an old beat up, white, tan, burgundy and rusty Chevy van, parked across the street, also looking at us, he started his van as we approached the driveway. I tried to remain calm, hoping that it was just my imagination, but wanting to be cautious. I stopped and told Elijah, "When we're almost there I'll sprint and you ride your skateboard really fast past the driveway." We went quickly past and did not see the man. Relief came over me, feeling a little stupid for being so paranoid.

All of a sudden the silver Honda pulled out of the driveway...slowing down, looking again...he swerved as if trying to make an illegal u-turn, (we were running on the sidewalk, against traffic) and if he was successful, he would be directly facing us, we would be trapped. Traffic suddenly picked up blocking his attempt, he almost hit a pole in the middle of the street and had to jerk his steering wheel, driving past us.

We were at a spot where there were no houses or people. I told Elijah, "We need to get to the top of the hill before he can turn around again." My son was scared, I was exhausted from running so fast, but I had been attacked when I was younger and was now feeling very vulnerable and scared for our safety. We crossed the street and were close to the park that we run through...the man came from nowhere, made a u-turn and was now directly facing us waiting for us to reach him. I started pointing at him to let him know that I see him and know what he is doing. I told my son to get on his cell phone (we were never able to get his license number because the sun was directly in our eyes.) I started sprinting again and tried to look tough and confrontational, my heart pounding so hard and quick, I felt sure my son could hear it, as we approached his waiting car. We looked directly at him...he quickly put dark glasses on and tried to hide his face leaning down lower in his car. We made it to the park (now also deserted for some reason, very unusual for that time of day). We both were so scared and just kept running, looking behind us, sprinting, and looking, until we headed out of the park. We were approaching a light (where the park exited)...the Chevy van that had been parked, slowly passed (he had circled the block), looking around as he drove. We were hidden from his view, but could see him. Once he passed...I ran, and ran, and ran...we finally made it home safely. Both of us scared to death, realizing that it wasn't our imagination and we could have been in real danger, the men appeared to be working as a team.

When I got home, my husband was there, we got in the car and drove around...wanting to get a license plate or something to report to the police . Unfortunately, there was no sign of the men. I have not been that scared in son said he was afraid that he would have nightmares about it.

I received a little taste of how an attack/kidnap could easily happen. The scary thing is, my son (13 years old) had been going to play basketball alone in the park for the past week and a half. You never know how long they could have been watching him and luckily, I just happened to be with him on the day that they might have decided to make their move.

We live in a nice neighborhood, the homes and park we run through is in a million dollar neighborhood. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at anytime. Please be aware of your never know who is watching!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sad and Scary Day Yesterday (Part 1 of 2)

I left work yesterday...late again to pick up the kids, but not driving fast like I usually do. Those of you who know me would be amazed how often I drive the speed limit, gas prices and my big gas guzzler has slowed me down. A lady in a blue Expedition was driving next to me, I noticed because every time we pulled up to a red light, she would gun it the second it turned green...I kept looking over because she was acting like she wanted to race...and she was about the same age as me! I guess I probably would have tried to beat her back in the old days when gas was $2.50 (always a little immature I guess.) Oops...I got's hard to write about yesterdays events!

The lady beat me again, speeding past the kids school, I turned into the parking lot, spotting my two kids standing beside a group of about 20 other kids. All of a sudden I heard a loud chirping noise behind me as I stopped the car. The kids started screaming, "What the HECK!?!" My boys were running inside the crowd towards the street, into the middle of the road...I looked out my rear view window to see them standing in a circle surrounding something, on the ground. I jumped out of my car...worried they would be hit by oncoming traffic. Lying on the ground was a small white dog..the speeding lady had hit him, slowed down, looked in her mirror and sped away...with her child witnessing everything.

The owner of the dog was holding its little head as it laid there breathing hard and looking straight ahead, blinking and silent. It's right hind legs had missing fur and indented where the tire had ran over him. He had a little blood coming out of it's forehead. A neighbor came out with a flat cardboard box and a towel to keep him warm. We slowly scooted him onto the box and carried him onto the sidewalk while the owner ran to get their truck. I was holding the part of the box closest to his head...petting him, trying not to cry, he just kept looking, pleading with his eyes for help. We carefully put him in the back of the truck, they opened the back window to hold him in place as they slowly drove to the vet.

I don't know if he survived...but all night I just kept picturing his eyes and I felt so SAD! How could someone hit a dog and just take off!! What's wrong with people...and in front children!

After I got home the scary part of my day started...(part 2 tomorrow)...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: An Attempt Is Everything

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: An Attempt Is Everything
I look back and realize how many things I avoided ATTEMPTING, due to fear of failure. Dreams, hopes, goals...all pushed aside because of that small but powerful four letter word...FEAR. You can still achieve your dreams....

Monday, June 9, 2008

An Attempt Is Everything

The title of this Blog really grabbed my attention when I read it in a book. Think about it...AN ATTEMPT IS EVERYTHING! How many times do we sit and ponder the things we would like to accomplish...writing a book, taking a computer class, photography course, starting a non-profit organization, volunteering at a womens shelter or group home, going back to school to earn a degree.

I look back and realize how many things I avoided ATTEMPTING, due to fear of failure. Dreams, hopes, goals...all pushed aside because of that small but powerful four letter word...FEAR. I find myself now, dreaming again, trying to find ways to fulfill my deepest inner passions that have been safely tucked away...sleeping...hiding...running, the desire I felt at 21, still cries out at 41! It will not die...screaming, crying, whispering, prodding, future is waiting for me.

Don't waste years of your life gripped by fear, it will be with you forever...but eventually your undeveloped gifts and talents will become so overpowering, ripping through the dark protective barrier...years of hiding will no longer satisfy you...your entire being will constantly shout from deep within, "Go and become what you were meant to be...AN ATTEMPT IS EVERYTHING!"









Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: Do You See It?

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: Do You See It?

Do You See It?

The white capped waves crashed, splashing up over the rocks, spraying the boy. The stick, which served as a spear, was dropped into the crevice of the rocks. The sand was white, scrunching between my toes with each step. It was the setting I had hoped for when I left my house to unwind and relieve the tension of the day. Allie rushed with sudden force trying to free herself. The royal blue leash stretched to its capacity, holding her captive from the freedom of day. A few steps more...I reached to unhook her...FREE, she bolted across the sand, as though she were gliding over it. Chasing, jumping, pouncing and was a perfect day, even for a dog.

I reached inside my black bag, to try and capture a day that was like no other. The lens, somehow able to see the exact picture that mesmerized me...freezing the moment, making it possible to share. This was what I needed, a day to stop, look, and appreciate God's gift to each one of us. The day may seem, dull, sad, or overwhelming...stop and look around at God's beauty. It's there, slow down, stop running, take a deep breath, and look around you. Do you see it? Can you feel the peace overtaking you? Breathe's real, it's amazing, just STOP and LOOK!



Lisa Petrarca's Blog: The Invisible Man

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: The Invisible Man

Monday, June 2, 2008

Southern California Track Championships

I wanted to share our exciting day with everyone...

Yesterday (6/1/08) Elijah competed in the Southern California Championship Track meet. The top four qualifiers in each county in Southern California competed. Previously, Elijah placed 1st in the 400 meters and 200 meters at the Orange County Championship meet.

His race consisted of two separate heats, with a total of 18 of the top athletes in So. Cal. Elijah's first event was the 400 Meter race. Three boys pulled out in front, Elijah used his strategy and speed to place 1st in the event by saving his energy for the last part of the race. In the 200 meter race, he placed third to take home 2 medals.

We are so proud of him!

Elijah (in the white cut off sleeves) 400 meter race

400m Finish Line

Receiving Medal

Going to receive medal for the 200 Meter (lined up in order of their final finish)

Receiving 200 meter medal

Proud Mommy

Proud Dad

Proud Papa