Monday, December 22, 2008

The Little Drummer Boy

Preparing for the holiday season can be overwhelming. Please stop and take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of this amazing day.

Pondering the words of my favorite Christmas song, I realized how each one of us has a "drum" to play:

The Little Drummer
Composed by Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati & Harry Simeone in 1958.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

We often feel as though we haven't any gifts to give our Savior. Struggling through our everyday lives to live in a way that would honor him. We are often poor, broken, and hurting, without anything fit for our King. The Lord asks us to, come as we are.

He has bestowed upon us gifts and talents. He only asks us to use them to be a blessing to others. Prayer warrior, comforter, musician, motivator, encourager, writer, pastor...we each have a "drum."
Step forward and use it to honor him.

This Christmas and throughout the year, remember to play your "drum" for him. Play your best for him, as he smiles down upon us with unselfish love and forgiveness.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16

Watch part of The Little Drummer Video

Faith Hill's Version of Little Drummer Boy

David Bowie & Bing Crosby's Version of Little Drummer Boy

Which Version do you like?

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Elijah's Surgery...Oh Mickey You're So Fine!

It was dark out as the alarm buzzed in my ear, my first thought phone's buzzing I need to see where it is before it stops! Then I realized that Anthony had set his phone alarm for me since I lost my phone and ALL my numbers on Sunday. Who gets up at 5:00a.m.? I jumped out of bed, surgery day...I practically dragged Elijah off the bed by his arms, he is the worst kid to wake up! Ponytail, sweats, throw on a little makeup and then out the door.

What are all these people doing out and about at this time of the morning...traffic at 5:45am? Arriving at the surgery center, wow, only five minutes late...a new record for me! We get inside, of course we are the first one's there (1st surgery scheduled), she squeezed us in and I'm sure no one else would ever request a 7:30 surgery on purpose.

I look for the most comfortable fluffy couch and sit down preparing for a long wait. We get taken back rather quickly, I look over at Elijah, "Are you nervous?" "No, I've watched those surgery shows on t.v." The nurses are very nice and thorough. They go through everything in detail and even tell him that several people will be asking him the same questions over and over again to verify everything.

Dr. Bayati comes in to mark his foot. She looks more like a fashion model than a Dr. She is young, shoulder length brown hair, pulled back away from her face with a leopard print headband. She is wearing a stylish black button down cardigan, black top and super cute dark True Religion jeans with tall pointy boots. I had to take a second look because I swear she looked like she just stepped off of a Vogue magazine add. I think Elijah thought her name was Dr. Hottie! Don't worry, she did change into her scrubs and no they weren't designer (I checked...hahaha). The anesthesiologist came in and got him all hooked up, I requested an extra dose of anti-nausea medicine (don't want him losing it in my car...mama would be throwing up right along with him from the smell).

I headed back out front to wait...yay no one had taken my comfy couch! There were quite a few older ladies waiting and an older husband and wife. Just as I sit down, they call the husband back for his procedure, he jumps up and heads towards the open door. His wife yells out, "HEY, wait a minute, aren't you forgetting something?" We all turned to look and see what he had left. She sat upright at the edge of her seat, hands on her hips, staring at him. He quickly turned around and shuffled over to her, leaned down, smiled and gave her a big kiss, then heads back. We all start laughing, she grinned and with a New York accent said, "Oh that's nothin, he forgot to kiss me on our weddin day! He just started headin down the aisle to get congratulated for gettin married! I had to yell out, GET BACK HERE AND KISS ME!"

I don't know if you're supposed to be quiet, in a surgery center, but we all burst out in loud, boisterous laughter. We could just picture her yelling at her poor nervous new husband. I told her, "At least he's consistent!" The lady behind the glass looked sternly at us. I'm sure she thought, "What is the matter with this rowdy group?"

I was so entertained that I lost track of time and before I knew it, Dr. Hottie came out to tell me it went well and he should be ready shortly. I knew they would have trouble waking him was about another 45 minutes. They wheeled him out to the car, helped him inside and seat belted him in. He kept saying, "Hey, where are we...Hey, my foots numb...Hey those nurses were super nice...Hey I'm hungry. I stopped and got him some french toast sticks (thinking the bread would be okay on his stomach). We finally pull into the driveway, I quickly gather up all his things and my paperwork, get out of the car and rush around to help him out. As I open the door, he is loudly singing, "Hey Mickey you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind, HEY MICKEY...HEY MICKEY!" I was laughing so hard! How does he even know that old school song?

So the theme of today is...Hey Mickey by Toni sing the first verse and you'll have it stuck in your head all day!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Vacation and Basketball

Football is over and I was looking forward to basketball season for a little break in the rushing around. It isn't exactly happening the way I planned it. With Elijah playing on his Jr. High team and PC Hoops, Adam playing on the freshman team and Jullien and Dillon are playing PC Hoops schedule is still crazy! I've been getting home at 9 or 10 every night!

I'm starting to do a countdown for my vacation...I can't wait to get away, three years is just too long. In the meantime I'm trying to find some place for my dog to stay. I don't want to put her at one of those boarding places. They just keep them in cages and then take them out for walks. Allie (my husky) NEVER is put in a cage...she will lose her mind! So I've been racking my brain trying to think of someone who can keep her for us.

As with any trip there is so much planning and I'm a spur of the moment type of person, this organizing and scheduling stresses me out. On top of it all, Elijah goes in for foot surgery on Tuesday, then he has to stay off of school the rest of the week before vacation. I've been contacting his teachers to try and get all of his homework lined up so he isn't swamped with work when he gets back from vacation.

I still have done ZERO Christmas shopping. I have to get something for all of my family in Utah and my kids to take with us since we'll be arriving on Christmas Eve...which is usually the day I do ALL my shopping, (terrible procrastinator). I need to by for my step kids since they can't come with us and Anthony's family. I'm working everyday and we will be leaving on the 23rd right after I get off work...I'M RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!

This weekend we have both football banquets for Jullien and Elijah, 3 basketball games, and I get to go on my birthday photo this weekend is definitely out. Knowing me, I will wait till the 22nd to do anything and then yell at my poor husband because I need help. Uh oh, I'm getting stressed talking about all of this stuff...I'm going to bed so I don't have to think about it! HELP!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 8th Birthday-NEW ADDITION!!

(TGI Fridays)
Yesterday was my birthday, my mom's birthday and now we have a new little edition to celebrate our day. My sister April had a beautiful baby boy, Tyce, who weighed 8lbs, 20 inches. So now we will have a triple celebration every year. What a great birthday present!

I had a great day, my work took me out to a huge lunch. Then when it came time for my family to take me out to dinner, I wasn't even hungry. I pushed the dinner time all the way back to 7:00 p.m. hoping I would get my appetite back, but it didn't happen. Luckily I have tons of boys who are NEVER full, they cleaned their plates and then polished off the rest of my dinner.

Everyone showed up except for Natascha...she had a final at school. We took some pictures in this really cool courtyard, it had water streams running through, waterfalls, and abstract art. We all climbed up on this mini pyramid looking thing to take a picture, when the security guard came charging towards us (I don't think we were supposed to be standing on it). The kids took off running and the guard started to go after them, then he walked towards us and just looked at us...he wanted to say something, but I think he was shocked that we weren't kids. So we calmly kept walking and when we reached the kids we told them that the guy was chasing them down. They said, "REALLY" and all started laughing.

(Shadow Boxing)

(Adam aka Monkey Man)

(Busted~~~Climbing on the Pyramid)
We seem to cause trouble wherever we go...even when we're just trying to take pictures. What's up with that? All in all it was a really good day...besides the fact that I'm getting older (YUCK!!)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Cool Birthday Present

Yesterday at work my boss said she's been racking her brain on what to get me for my birthday (Monday, December 8th~not telling the year). She sent me this email:
I hope this message finds you well this holiday season. I would like to invite you to my upcoming Kirstography Photographic Excursions. I have 8 excursions planned throughout Los Angeles in December. Each excursion lasts 4 hours, providing plenty of hands-on instruction and time to practice. The cost is $65 per photographer & is limited to 5 people.For further information or to book your excursion, please call or email.
Kirsten L. Levisen
Sunday, Dec 7th - Holiday Lights @ Griffith Park
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles
An evening Kirstography Excursion dedicated to photographing holiday light displays after dark.
Bring your tripod & learn how to control your shutter speed to take long, low light exposures.
You'll receive hands-on training in the following Camera Operations to create better photos.
Control Shutter Speeds:*Fast Shutter Speed (stop-action)*Slow Shutter (blurred motion) Use Camera's "Night Scene" modes Use self timer or remote control Use flash with a slow shutter speed Use a tripod

Location Info:
Friday, Dec 12th - Santa Monica Pier-Night Lights
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Santa Monica
An evening Kirstography Excursion dedicated to photographing the lights on the Ferris Wheel & other rides on the Santa Monica Pier. Bring your tripod & learn how to control your shutter speed to take long, low light exposures. Twilight is a beautiful time of night to capture all the of the lights & action around the pier. You'll receive hands-on training in the following Camera Operations to create better photos. Control Shutter Speeds: *Fast Shutter Speed (stop-action) *Slow Shutter (blurred motion) Use Camera's "Night Scene" modes Use self timer or remote control
Use flash with a slow shutter speed Use a tripod
Location Info:
Saturday, Dec 13th - Getty Villa
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Malibu
A daytime Kirstography Excursion dedicated to photographing the Roman inspired architecture and gardens of the Getty Villa. You'll receive hands-on training in the following Camera Operations & Techniques to create better photos. Control Lens Aperture: *Long depth of field (architecture) *Shallow depth of field (close-ups) Control Shutter Speeds: *Fast Shutter Speed (stop-action) *Slow Shutter (blurred motion) Compositional Techniques: *Rule of Thirds *Leading Lines *Curves *Compression/Expansion *Low Angle/High Angle View Point *Orientation-Horizontal vs. Vertical
Location Info:
Thursday, Dec 18th - Griffith Observatory
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles
A twilight Kirstography Excursion dedicated to photographing the Art Deco architecture of The Griffith Observatory & the L.A. skyline. This excursion starts right before sunset & ends after dark. So, bring your tripod & learn how to control your shutter speed to take long, low light exposures. You'll receive hands-on training in the following Camera Operations & Techniques to create better photos. Control Lens Aperture: *Long depth of field (architecture) *Shallow depth of field (close-ups) Control Shutter Speeds: *Fast Shutter Speed (stop-action) *Slow Shutter (blurred motion) *Use Camera's "Night Scene" modes. Compositional Techniques: *Rule of Thirds *Leading Lines *Curves *Compression/Expansion *Low Angle/High Angle View Point *Orientation-Horizontal vs. Vertical
Location Info:
Saturday, Dec 20th - Union Station & Olvera Street
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
A daytime Kirstography Excursion dedicated to photographing the architecture & activities of Union Station & Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. You'll receive hands-on training in the following Camera Operations & Techniques to create better photos. Control Lens Aperture:
*Long depth of field (architecture) *Shallow depth of field (close-ups) Control Shutter Speeds:
*Fast Shutter Speed (stop-action) *Slow Shutter (blurred motion) Compositional Techniques: *Rule of Thirds*Leading Lines*Curves*Compression/Expansion*Low Angle/High Angle View Point
*Orientation-Horizontal vs. Vertical
Location Info:
Union Station
Olvera Street

Now all I have to do is pick a day. How awesome is that present?! When I take pictures...I just guess at the settings and hope it comes out okay. Now I'll be able to learn details and the reasons behind it.

It's like learning a whole new language! The best's HANDS ON, which I'm much better at than just reading from a book that doesn't make much sense to me. Now when I take my trip up to Utah on the 23rd, I can take AMAZING pictures and not doubt what I'm doing.

I've narrowed it down to two specific dates, one of the days teaches you the most, but I really need to learn about night shooting (I'm REALLY bad at it), so I'm kind of torn. I think I'll go with the day shoot and just pick her brain about night time settings...I'm kind of pushy that way.
I can't's the PERFECT gift!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm Naive

I had to take Elijah to the doctor's yesterday because an ugly mole on his foot came back pre-cancerous. The dermatologist wanted a plastic surgeon to cut out the area around the top of his foot where the mole was because it will leave less scarring.

We went in and I just assumed that she would take care of it right then and there. She took a look at it and asked, "What day would you like to have the surgery on? It will have to be early in the morning because he will be put to sleep." I just kind of sat there for a minute, feeling a little stupid for thinking that she was going to do it in her office and we'd be on our merry way. Then I got a little stressed, I hate when the kids have to be put under. You think, "Oh it's just a basic surgery, but what if something goes wrong." Then I stopped myself from going to that crazy place in my head.

He will have the surgery on December 16 at 7:00 am. Then the poor kid has to be completely off of his foot for 2 WEEKS! There goes his snowboarding on our Utah vacation. Poor kid will be sitting around the house with his foot elevated. He felt bad that he wont be able to beat up his little cousins...they are a rowdy little crew and love Elijah's rough housing. I guess everyone will have to least they will be together. I told him he should be happy he isn't going to be at home because all of his friends would be calling him to do stuff over the winter break and he wouldn't be able to (see, mom's always try to look at the bright side to keep our little monsters happy...LOL).

So my quick little office visit turned into a full pre-op visit...yep...I'm Naive!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Card Pictures

Sunday we scheduled a day with all of our kids to take our Christmas card pictures (they even brought their girlfriends and boyfriend for a couple of pictures).

The little guys making fun of the couples

This is quite a task, having teenagers means BUSY schedules. We had my two sister-in-laws and their kids meet us down at the beach and we took some pictures of their kids too. As you can see...LOTS of boys!

(The boys & the cousins)

It was very hectic, not to mention crowded with other people coming up with the same idea. This meant trying to find a spot that random people wouldn't be in the background, roaming around. Between finding the perfect area and avoiding the direct sunlight of the day (1:00 p.m.), there was a lot of shadows that I've been trying to correct with Photoshop. I don't know what I'm doing yet, so I'm trying to wing it! I hate reading directions, but I think I'm going to have to break down and do it.

Me & My Honey

My boys

My second group of amazing kids

We also decided to bring our husky, Allie. I left her treats in the car so of course she wouldn't listen. During the family picture we were all trying to hold her and make her look towards the camera, while we tried to pose and smile. We came up with only 1 picture that everyone looks somewhat normal, even though Elijah is choking the dog. Let's just say it was comedy...(picture the Brady Bunch vacation episode!) Never a dull moment in our family.

(Our family-Anthony punching, the boys struggling with Allie-Tasha was ready...LOL!)

After we finished, Allie decided to go chase after and stalk a little poodle. Dillon went to try to get her away, she slipped out of her collar, while my husband ran over to help. They were running around yelling at the dog and Allie took off straight towards a family and pooped right next to the mom's chair. Then I had to listen to everyone saying, "Why did we have to bring her!"

You would think since the kids are older it would be easier to get them to pose. they think they are so funny, making faces, wrestling, pushing and shoving. I would say, "1,2,3!" Right when I was ready to snap...I would get some crazy pose...I yigh yigh!!" I screamed, "KNOCK IT OFF! I have a lot of pictures to take and I don't want to be here all day!" They just laughed at me and wondered off to explore on the rocks...getting in the background as I was taking my sister-in-laws pictures. I think people just stood there staring at us thinking, "They're all crazy." It's like a three ring circus when we all get together!


1...2...3...tough guys

1...2...3...Real cute guys!

1...2...3...EWE STOP IT...not you too...LOL!

Finally...the one and only decent family shot...

I guess I would have to say...Christmas card pictures=lots of drama!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving

Have you ever thought about the meaning of Thanksgiving? We usually all have a Thanksgiving day routine, something that has turned into a tradition of sorts. Whether it is splitting up the day between two family households or gathering at your home with everyone sitting around the table sharing stories, eating and laughing.

This Thanksgiving I was reminded of the true meaning of this great American holiday. I placed my annual Happy Thanksgiving phone call to my mom and dad in Utah. I expected the usual chit chat about the great meal, family in attendance and how much they missed us, but instead I received a much needed reminder of what this holiday is all about.

My sister and her husband have a friend staying with them who has had a really hard life. He never had the joy of celebrating holidays with his family. His girlfriend and her two children have been staying in a homeless shelter after being abused by her father. My sister asked my mom if it would be okay for them to come to their house since they had no where else to go. My mom was a little stressed about the amount of food, but for some reason she had actually bought two turkey's this year, and said, "Of course!" With everything that has been going on with my dad's health and his recent return home, my family had thought that this was going to be a "normal" family only holiday. However, often times things do not go as planned...we get the opportunity to step outside the "normal" and be blessed by helping others.

My parents ended up with a packed house, my nephew Johnny and his mom, Tyler's mom, Debbie, Tyler's friend and his girlfriend and kids. There was plenty of food, love and sharing. The gift of thanks and giving was in full effect. My dad held and fed the girl from the shelter's baby while she ate. There was plenty of food and it was a TRUE day of Thanksgiving!

My dad shared a special story that really put everything into perspective:

Several years ago there was a micro burst of extreme winds that ripped through Utah, tearing off roof top shingles and knocking down trees throughout the city. As a policeman, my dad was assigned the task of going to the cemetery and surveying the damage. As he stood looking around the grounds, large old trees uprooted, strewn about the grounds. He noticed that all the trees that were torn from their deep rooted homes were the ones that stood alone. The trees grouped closely together, were still safely standing, branches swaying in the wind, shading the grounds with their majestic beauty, sheltering each other from danger. He quickly realized how much trees are like our family's. With every storm of life...struggles, hurt, heartache, and illness, if we stand alone we will fall. However, together with your family's love, support and comfort we can get through the hardest storms of life.

Sometimes others do not have family in which to turn to and have been standing alone for so long that they continue to fall. Those of us blessed with a strong family unit can band together around those less fortunate and provide love, strength and support...just like a group of strong majestic trees providing safety from a fast moving storm.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Family Day-San Diego Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts

My husband's favorite football team is the Indianapolis Colts, and one of our friends has season tickets for the San Diego Chargers...they gave us four tickets to the game last Sunday. We took the two little guys (I know, I know, they're not little anymore, but we still see them that way). We got there about an hour early, ate some lunch and hung out in the parking lot throwing the football around. It was pretty cold out for us, probably in the low 60''s rough weather for us So Cal people, hahahha. So we bundled up in our heavy winter coats and headed in.

Now, I like the Chargers, Green Bay is my FAV team, but now that Favre is with the Jets, I like them too. It doesn't matter though, any team my husband likes I automatically root against just to get him riled up. We sat in a pretty rowdy section...especially for those people dressed in Colts gear. Anthony doesn't have anything so we were pretty safe. But I did rat him out to the people sitting behind us. They said, "What's up with all these stupid Colts fans?" Then looked at us and said, "You're Charger fans right?" I shot back, "OH, I AM, but he is a BIG Colts fan!" Anthony looked at me and said, "Way to throw me under the bus honey!" Everyone just laughed and the game started. People were throwing things at the people down below in the Colts jerseys as they stood up and antagonize everyone. The beer was flowing, with every new cup the crowd grew angier, louder and meaner.

I have a confession to make, I have a pretty bad temper and smart mouth. I can be very confrontational if I'm pushed. Since becoming a Christian and really trying to be a better person, I've been able to keep it under control...until this short, little weasle decided to cause trouble. Here's how it went down: We were in line to get something to drink when this guy pushes his way right next to me. The line starts moving and I can tell he is trying to cut. So I make sure I stay right up on the guy in front of me and position myself to box him out. He shouts, "Hey, I was here first...the line's back there." I said, "No you weren't and yeah the line is back there so get back where you're supposed to be." "NO I was here you get behind me." "No you weren't freak" (yes my mouth tends to have a mind of it's own once I let it loose). He yells, "I'm not a freak, you need to get behind me." I said, "Okay you little weasle, what kind of a guy cuts in front of a girl and then tries to cause a scene? You're a freakin whack job!" "No I'm not...I was here!"

By this time Anthony came walking up and the guy looked at him. He has now stepped in front of me. I said, "Pretty sad when you cut in front of someone just to get a beer one person sooner, you're an idiot!" I guess you can say I was really ticked off because I usually never would have let him win. Anthony just looks at me and said, "Let it go, he's drunk and I am going to end up hitting him and get kicked out of here."

So I make a motion like I'm slapping the back of his head and then walk away to watch the monitor of the game while Anthony stays in line. I walk back over and now the idiot is complaining that the line is moving too slow. "How long does it take to get beer...I've been standing here for an hour!" The mouth suddenly shoots back, before I can stop it, "Yeah moron, maybe you should cut in front of those guys too so you can get to the front even sooner." He didn't say another word. Definitely not one of my finest moments, but I hate to let people get away with pushing other people around (I feel like if I confront them, maybe they'll think twice before they do it again).

Fast forward to the end of the game...the cops are arresting people left and right. One guy wearing a plastic hat shaped like the head of a colt had about three beers thrown at him all at the same time, drenching him...the cops came and took more people away. I look up to see who they are arresting now, only to see the little weasle getting yanked out of his seat by two cops, hands behind his back and handcuffed. As he walked down the stairs, head hung low, stumbling, I started clapping and screaming "Yeah...get the little weasle out of here!" I looked at Anthony and said, "See, it wasn't just me being crazy, that moron was bugging everyone!"

Oh the was exciting too, even though we lost in the last few seconds when Vinaterri (however you spell it) kicked a 52 yard field goal...WHAT A GAME!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas in Utah

I was informed that my work will be closing down for the holidays (Dec. 24th - Jan. 4th). I decided that we would all go up and spend Christmas in Utah. It's been 14 years since I've spent Christmas with my family. I told my mom and dad and they're both very excited. As my dad battles his illness, we will all be together for love, support and the joy of spending time together as a family.

This will be the best Christmas ever...I'm already starting the countdown, I haven't had a vacation in 3 years because as an independent contractor, I don't get paid when I'm off. We received a recent gift from an AMAZING family that will make this trip financially possible. I will tell you all about it in a future post. It brings me to tears every time I talk about the love and kindness that people have shown our family!

Please continue to pray for my dad, Dave, for a miracle healing. Thank you all so much for your care and concern.

"And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
Matthew 21:22

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our Family Needs Your Prayers

As our family struggles with recent news about our dad’s health, I received this e-mail and found it very inspirational as we strive to stay positive.

Q: What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?

A: Psalms 117

Q: What is the longest chapter in the Bible?

A: Psalms 119

Q: Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?

A: Psalms 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalms 118Add these numbers up and you get 1188.

Q: What is the center verse in the Bible?

A: Psalms 118:8

Q: Does this verse say something significant about God's perfect will for our lives?

The next time someone says they would like to find God's perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, just send them to the center of His Word!

Psalms 118:8“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man”

Now isn't that odd how this worked out (or was God in the center of it)?

I would like to ask all my friends to please pray for my dad, Dave Bolda who was diagnosed with Lung cancer. We are all having a very hard time but we will put our trust in the Lord.

Monday, November 17, 2008


As I left my step sons football banquet at about 6:30 p.m. (it was over earlier than usual), I started to go my usual route home but then the light turned green so I took a different way. It was already very dark outside...I hate the time change. I pulled up to a light and was waiting for it to change, when all of a sudden I see an elderly woman walking across the street. She had a walker that had a seat on it, which currently carried her purse and a bag of groceries. She was very hunched over and slowly making her way across the street. The light turned green but people had to wait for her to finish crossing. I looked around to see if anyone was with her and just lagging a little bit behind...nope, she was all alone. I consider my town pretty safe, however I don't even walk alone at night. I drove through the light and then decided to turn around and see if she needed a ride. I thought she would probably be a little scared and not accept...but I decided to stop and ask.

I pulled up along side of her, rolled down my window, "Do you need a ride somewhere?" She pushed her walker closer to the curb, leaned forward, trying to get a better look at who was offering and if she thought it would be safe. "Oh, God bless you, I had to walk all the way to Walmart and now I'm still only halfway home." I said, "Well, I'm more than happy to give you a ride." I got out and started to load her things into my car. She told me where she lived and I was shocked that she had walked that far (about 2 miles each way)!

Then she proceeded to tell me that she was 93 years old! My 13 and 14 year old kids wouldn't even walk that far! She said that her husband had died three years ago and he drove her everywhere. Now she rely's on her nephew who lives with her for free. He unfortunately had to go by some parts to spruce up his car and told her he couldn't take her (nice, huh).

She was so sweet and spry...she even knew how to get in the back way to her house when I missed the turn. We pulled up to her house and she said, "Oh look, he was nice enough to leave the porch light on for me." I wanted to get out of the car and go smack her nephew in the face! But since I've gotten so much better at holding my temper, I helped her out, set up her walker, put her things in, and gave her a hug. I also handed her my business card and told her what time I got off work and to please call me if she ever needed a ride because I'm always out and about running errands. She thanked me again and told me how much the Lord has blessed her. I told her, he definitely loves you! She smiled and said, "I know"! With that she slowly headed up the driveway.

I wanted to share this story with you, not to have you think..."Oh look how nice Lisa is!" I hope to try to inspire EVERYONE to NOTICE the needs of others around you and STOP AND ASK if you can help them. Let me know who you find to help today...I would love to hear other peoples inspiring stories, no matter how small or insignificant...PLEASE SHARE!!

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Matthew 22:39

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Done

Well our season is done, they chose Bishop Amat for the final spot. I'm pretty upset and can't believe that it's over just like that. Jullien isn't really talking about it too much right now. I'm hoping he will continue to play in Jr. College. The Santa Ana coach contacted him and really wants him to come play for his school next year. He went and met with the coach and received passes to go down on the sidelines to watch one of their games. He will be going to Santa Ana College to become a fireman. I told him that as long as he is there, he may as well play football too. We'll see what happens...I just don't want to stop watching him play. He is such a gifted and talented player.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Tonight's game was a DISASTER! If we beat Esperanza, we would be sole Sunset League Champions. If we would be a 5 way tie for first place and would come down to pulling out of a hat to see who goes to playoffs. WE LOST!!! We all hurried back to Edison, and waited, held our breathe and hoped for good luck. Only 3 teams would receive a playoff spot...two would be automatically out depending on what number they pulled out of the hat. Edison pulled spot #4...this leaves us with a slim chance that the CIF officials will pick our league to receive the "At Large Berth" tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.

It was terrible...Jullien and the seniors were DEVASTATED! He didn't get to play in his last high school game, on his birthday and this might be the end of his season. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that the CIF officials will choose our school to be the final playoff spot!! I haven't seen him this upset in years. He has worked so hard to earn a starting position and make it to the playoffs, to have it all come down to LUCK is hard to swallow.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Today my little Juju is 17 years old! The years have flown by and he is almost an adult. I took the day off of work and Jullien, me and Anthony all went downtown and ate at the Sugar Shack, took pictures and he got to open his BIG present so he can wear it down on the sidelines tonight as he sits out this final league game. Good news, his headaches have disappeared so he should be able to play in playoffs next week. I'm off to my stepsons football game and then the varsity game, so I will be back later to tell you about the rest of the day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Trip To the Dr.'s

Jullien's still getting headaches after his concussion. The CT scan came back clear that we had done at the emergency room, which is a good thing...but I was concerned that the headaches aren't going away at all. So, I decided to take him into the doctor's today for a re-check. She said it's normal and it'll just take time. However if the headaches don't go away by next Monday, she wants us back in again for more tests.

He has his final league game and 17th birthday on Friday...he wont be able to play obviously, and is pretty upset. The next game will be CIF, but the doctor said he can't play until 7 days following a complete PAIN FREE day. I think he's hoping that everything will clear up by Friday so he can at least play in next weeks game.

I feel so bad for him...this is his senior year and he has to miss the last league game, poor guy!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Edison vs. Fountain Valley-What a Game!

Edison had their big cross town rival, Bell Game last night. This is always a HUGE event...with this years game having a Sunset League Championship on the line. With a sold out crowd of 9,000 people, the boys stepped onto the field, into a college/pro game atmosphere. The noise was electrifying, the stands were filled, people shoulder to shoulder, kids sitting on each others laps trying to squeeze in. Edison started the game very flat, the defense spent the entire first half on the field. Fountain Valley's blitz was killing our quarterback (we're primarily a passing team). Sack after sack, we would hold our breathe, hoping Matt Viles would get back up. The defense, tired but determined to stop Fountain Valley's Kyle Middlebrooks (averages 8 yards a carry) played with all heart. Jullien came up with a big play...reading the hand off to Middlebrooks, he tackled him for a loss of 2 yrds (see 7:27 of Varsity Times Blog). It's 0-0 heading into the half, Fountain Valley held us to only 18 yards in the first half.

Our offense looked defeated...we waited through half-time hoping that our NORMAL Edison team would return to the field. Without an offense, our only hope was to hold them and score on defense. The defense stepped up continuously throughout the 3rd quarter and held them again.

In the fourth quarter, we fumbled and the crowd sat down, quietly awaiting the inevitable. Fountain Valley took this opportunity along with help from several Edison penalties to move the ball down the field and punch it into the end zone. The game had taken a turn for the we would see what this team was made of. With Luke Gane attending his first game since his bone marrow transplant, the team had a determination far and above the Bell and Sunset League Championship Title...they were playing for a fallen teammate. A brother who has been going through the battle of his life.

The FV touchdown seemed to breathe a new life into Edison's offense. Edison used a trick play, straight out of the Boise State play book. Viles pitched the ball to Davion Orphey who faked a sweep...Orphey then tossed it back to Viles, he threw it 38 yards to Will Andrew. The offense was finally ALIVE. With 5:38 left to play, we scored on a short pass to Jordan Zumwalt. The crowd went crazy, the noise was deafening, the team was fighting back. We had momentum and didn't waste it.

The defense stepped onto the field, flapping their arms, signaling the crowd to make more noise. This strategy would drown out the quarterbacks count and cause an offside penalty, it worked! Holding them once again, they proudly stepped off the field, now confident that they could rely on the offense. They were not let down...with 1:36 left in the game, Mikey Rivera caught a touchdown pass, 14-7 Edison.

The kickoff would then be returned 88 yards for a touchdown by Middlebrooks. A flag in the backfield signaled a Fountain Valley penalty, the touchdown would not count. The defense came out determined to finish the task. With seconds left, Jullien went helmet to helmet and stayed down hurt, he stumbled to get up, 2 seconds left and FV on our 20 yard line. As Jullien made it to the side lines, he passed out, as the trainer tried to carry my 6'4 son. Final play, a deep, desperate pass thrown into the end zone, sailed past the intended receiver, we won! The team grabbed the Bell and hoisted Luke onto their shoulders...carry both to the center of the field with pride.

Jullien was on the sidelines repeating himself, trying to stand up to return to the game, unaware that it was already over. He had received a concussion. He walked over to shake hands in a daze, went and took pictures with the Bell and Luke Gane. The trainer followed him around, foggy he asked over and over again, "Did I shake hands and take pictures with the Bell?"

Our night ended with an incredible high and a trip to the emergency room...WHAT A GAME!!

Check out the Varsity Blog Insider live report of the game. View game on (click on demand, then Edison HS @ Fountain Valley) (Edison is in white-Jullien's #9)...WHAT A GAME!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Baby's Done-Mixed Emotions

Last Saturday ended a family tradition...Elijah (my baby) had his very last Pop Warner Football game. We have been playing in the league for 15 years, my husband and I met and fell in love on that field, all of our kids played and my step-daughter was a cheerleader. We have been doing this for what seems like FOREVER.

Elijah's team made it to the playoffs, lost their first game and went into the loser's bracket. They played their final game at 8:00 p.m. last Saturday. I thought, "It's finally done, no more drama, politics and drama!!" You sports parents know what I'm talking about, half of the parents are living vicariously through their kids, one would think that these kids were in the NFL. I was ready to be done, or so I thought.

As the game was winding down, we were slaughtering the other team...I started to get a little emotional. This is the last time I'm going to watch my baby play youth football, how weird this is! The clock slowly ticked away, the buzzer sounded the final game of my son's Pop Warner career. As they were going to shake hands, I normally wouldn't even pay attention, but I found myself standing alone off to the side, watching and taking in the baby would now be playing in high school. The final end to a perfect game, the kids pouring the ice cold water in the cooler over the coaches head (who also finished coaching his very last game), laughing, cheering and hugging.

As we were walking away, very quiet, a cheer coach, Amy, came running up to us, hugged us and said, "I can't believe you guys are done! You have been here ever since I started coaching 15 years's going to be weird next year not having you guys around." That did it for me...I got a little teary eyed, I hid it from my son and husband. As we got into the car, I asked Elijah, "Are you sad that it's over?" He said, "Kind of but I'm ready to play high school." My husband was still quiet, we drove out of the parking lot...honking, waving and saying our final goodbye to our Pop Warner family. I'm shocked that 15 years has gone by SO FAST!

Elijah way back when running strong.

Elijah now...still out running the competition!

One of many touchdowns to come!

The final year...touchdown #???

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I just got home from voting a little while ago...with all the speculation and talk about long lines, I had my game face on ready to be patient. I lucked out, either I beat the crowds (I was there around 4:45pm) or everyone sent their ballot's in. I had only two people in front of me, one of them was a young kid, probably just turned 18. It was kind of cool to see someone so young taking an interest...I know I didn't at that age.

My sister's son registered (just turned 18 in October) because she is very involved (politically). She will have no part of a child in her house who is old enough to vote...stand by and let their vote be wasted!LOL! That's the one area that she definitely puts her foot down with her kids. I need to find out how that experience went for him. He didn't really want to, but I'm sure that she briefed him on everything since she reads and re-reads everything to make sure that no one is trying to trick her with the verbage! He will be one VERY informed 18 year old when he walks in to cast his vote, whether he likes it or not.

I hope everyone took advantage of their right and privilege to vote. We are so lucky to live in the USA, please be sure to take the time to do your part...our ancestors fought and died for this right. They gave us the gift of having the freedom to choose who will lead our country. Your vote counts!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pacific Coast Hoops Fundraiser/ Season Kick Off

I have been working on the fundraiser/kick off luncheon for PC Hoops and Mike Burk's family. I finished the article and submitted it to the newspaper, hopefully we'll get some donations mailed in. Here it is...if something is tugging at your heart to help this family, please feel free to mail in a donation of any amount to the address listed below~


Pacific Coast Hoops will be holding a Season Kick-Off Luncheon/Fundraiser for an active member of the Huntington Beach Community. Mike Burk spent several years coaching youth basketball, soccer and baseball. His love for his family and the children he coached was evident to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Mike passed away on September 2, 2008 and will be greatly missed. PCH would like to extend our sincerest support to Mike's family, wife Karen and their boys Richard, Michael and Matthew.

Please join us and help make a difference:
TIME: 1:00PM - 4:00PM.

We will also be having a sample sale: Fourstar, Altamont, Emerica, ES and Nixon, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the Burk family.

A Memorial Fund has been set up for the Burk Family; all contributions would be greatly appreciated. Please send your support to:
P.O. BOX 5811
H.B., CA 92615.

PC Hoops is currently accepting players for the 2008-2009 season. If you're interested in playing for a league that gives back to it's community, please visit our website at .

(Mike is wearing the red hat and his son, Michael is #24)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Weird Halloween

Last night, the kids got ready and had us drop them off with their friends. We received a phone call around 11:00 p.m. to pick them up...this is the first year that we didn't go out with them. My baby's are officially all grown up. I feel so old, this is the first year that we didn't go with the "little guys." That's what we still call them even though my little guy is taller than me and Adam is getting there.

Me and Anthony went and had some sushi, rented a movie (Leatherheads) got some ice cream and went home. So it was definitely a weird one. Makes me sad to think that my days of getting them ready, walking around from house to house and sneaking candy out of their bags when they weren't looking is over. Now I guess I'll have to resort to sneaking the candy out of their rooms.

Unfortunately they get a lot smarter when they're older and they hide the stash. My husband is actually worse than me when it comes to chocolate. He would leave the kids in tears when they would reach for the one BIG candy bar that they were lucky enough to get...only to find the empty wrapper in its place.

Now begins a new chapter...we are old!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stepping It Up...Can I Do It?

I came up with an idea to help raise some money for our friend who's husband passed away in his sleep. Basketball season is approaching and Mike Burk was a coach for Pacific Coast Hoops League. I thought maybe we could do a pot luck style luncheon/Opening Day. Everyone bring something and then charge $5.00 a plate, with all the proceeds benefitting the Burk family. I mentioned it to my husband and asked him to tell Kandie (the person in charge of the league) and see what she thought.

Well, I guess she liked the idea and wanted to have a meeting about it. When we showed up, she said, "Thank you so much...I don't know how you want to work it but I have the high school cafeteria available in two weeks." She handed me the list of the entire league and asked if I could let everyone know. So, I guess my idea was a hit!LOL!

I'm really trying to step it up and do things to help other people...but I'm used to being the idea girl/helper...not the person in charge. So here I go getting stretched again. It's funny how whenever you pray for God to use you...he REALLY answers your prayers! So I have a week and a half to make flyers, contact an entire league, interview Mike's wife Karen (get more specific info, stories and pictures of Mike) for the newspaper article I need to write and submit to be published in time to let the public know about the event.

I'm in charge....hahaha...this should be interesting!! Wish me luck!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Edison vs. Los Alamitos

Last night was Edison's BIG game...we were ranked #1 in the county, which isn't necessarily a good thing. All the previous #1 teams lost their games immediately after receiving the honor. This game was talked about A LOT...the winner will most likely be the Sunset League Champion. Granted there is still a lot of games left and anything can happen, but Los Alamitos was supposed to be our strongest competitor.

Jullien Herrera #9 (Edison-Green/Gold) has been moved from Safety to Linebacker...which he loves! He played an AMAZING game and had a sack and an interception
(SEE VIDEO HERE) make sure you continue to watch it past the interviews...they will show more highlights. Click Here to see the article in today's sports page of the Orange County Register newspaper.

Unfortunately we had too many turnovers and questionable penalties (you will see one of them in the video). Also our main receiver was out, which definitely hurt us. Our defense played great, but was on the field most of the night due to the constant turnovers and Los Alamitos was given good field position. All excuses aside, we didn't play a clean game and suffered the consequences. Clark Evans (Los Alamitos - Colorado bound quarterback) was a great player. The guy was HUGE and STRONG, he threw accurate and ran people over. He came up and complimented Jullien after the game and told him that he was an AWESOME player.

With that being said...the score was 23-19...imagine how bad we could've beat them if we played without all the turnovers and was an uncharacteristic game for us. Los Alamitos played a clean game and were victorious. The only thing we can hope for is that Fountain Valley, Newport Harbor or Esperanza can beat them and help us at least win Co-Champions of Sunset League...but this is football...ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Freshmen and The Seniors

I want you all to put yourself right back in high school as I share my funny story with you. Try to remember your very first Homecoming dance...the excitement of getting ready, finding the perfect outfit, first date, Limo ride...and the whole anticipation of the night ahead.

(Jullien & Chelsea)

(The Football Players- Preston won Homecoming King)

Saturday was the Homecoming dance and like I mentioned in my previous post my son, Jullien (a Senior) and my step-son, Adam (a Freshman) both went. Of course Jullien went with all the Seniors. They met at our friends house, ate, hung out, took pictures and waited for their luxury bus to arrive, yes I said bus...but it was supposed to be really cool. So we hung out and waited for it to arrive. As it pulled up, it was the most AMAZING BUS I had ever seen. All the kids had to line up and fill out an information sheet while some of us pushy parents jumped on to take pictures and check it out. What do ya think? I wasn't kidding!

(Senior's waiting to get on the Bus)

(Check out the little fireplace!)

(My Hubby and Erin-Checking Out the Bus)
After they all loaded on, we headed over to the Freshman house. As we pulled up a Hummer Limo was just pulling out, there were also a bunch of Sophmore kids at the house who were going with the older brother. All the little freshman were outside checking out the limo and got even more excited for their bus to arrive...they were going on a luxury bus. We all went inside, the bus was going to be 20 minutes late. While we were sitting there I had my camera and started telling them to come and check out the pictures of the senior's bus. They were freaking out..."WOW...that's cool!" Their eyes got huge, they started to jump around, the anticipation of all the fun they were going to have on their bus was getting the best of their mature fake exterior. Finally the call came, the bus driver was just coming into the gate (the family lives in an exclusive gated community). They all bolted out the door, it was pitch black outside and all they could see were the large headlights coming towards them. They started jumping, hugging, high fiving and yelling, "Yeah, Yeah, look at it, here it comes!"

(Adam Ready for Homecoming)
It slowly made a u turn and pulled up in front of the jumping, slapping, screaming, excited, freshmen. The lights inside the bus started flashing off and on. There was complete silence as they stared in awe at their amazing, luxury bus. There it finally was...the ride that would take them to their very first Homecoming dance, a ride that would make a statement..."Yes we are really movie stars here to crash your dance!" Oh this was a special day!

(Adam, Cade and Friends)

(The Freshmen)
There it was, the kids were frozen, unable to move towards the open door. This was the moment they had been waiting for. The Luxury bus was a small transit bus painted white that said "VIP TOURS" on the side! One of the boys looks at his mom and yells out, "WHAT IS THIS THING! We aren't going to the dance in THIS!" Everyone started to yell, "This is SOOOO LAME!" The boys mom said, "Oh, go ahead and get on, it'll be okay...this isn't what I thought I'd ordered but it'll be fine, hurry and get on you guys are already late." With heads hung low, shoulders slumped, muttering mean comments under their by one they piled into their double wide "luxury" seats. Adam taking a seat and slumping his head against the window. I jumped on to get a picture of the scene inside...which was very different than a few minutes prior. At least one girl forced a smile for the picture.

(Kids in Shock)

(A Girl Forcing a Smile...Notice the Boy in the Backs Face!LOL!)
As the freshman were all seat belted safely in their seats...a dad yells out, "This is what you get to ride in when your a freshman. Just wait till next year, it gets better!!" With that final parting comment the doors closed and the bus driver flashed the inside lights off and it quite the party bus effect!LOL! We were all laughing as they drove away.

Adam told me that at the end of the night, as everyone piled outside waiting for their Limo's and Luxury busses to pull up...his group hid towards the back of the crowd, praying that their's would be the last one to pull in front. But, when you're a freshman, things never go the way you pulled right up...flashing lights and all. They sprinted to get inside and hid under the seats, hoping to avoid being seen. Driving off into the moonlight, safely hidden in the darkness, they popped their heads up one by one, looked around, climbed into their seats and said, "Man, that was you think anybody saw us? I can't wait till we're Senior's, this bus stinks!!"