Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Honda US Open in Huntington Beach

WOW, talk about crowded...we went down to the Honda US Open (Top Surfer's, Skateboarder's, BMX, and Motocross) all compete for big $$$$$$$. They had live bands, booths, giveaways, it was PACKED! I decided to take some pictures for those of you who live too far away, hope you enjoy the beach party! Make sure you double click each picture to get an up close view (puts you right in the action!LOL!)

Rescue in Progress (Strong Riptides)



Friday, July 25, 2008

Life Baggage...Clean Your Closet!

I have been planning to go through my closet and get rid of ALL the clothes I never wear. This can be a problem because I always think, "No not this, I might wear it again." Time after time and my bag ends up with just a few things in it, my closet is still a mess.

I also have a couple drawers next to my nightstand, they are overflowing with JUNK! Don't think this is a recent thing, when we moved 5 years ago, I was going to clean it out, shred the papers, get rid of old prescriptions...but I continue to just shove it closed, no one can see the stuff inside anyways, I'll get to it later.

This got me thinking, how many of us go through life carrying years of inner baggage...hurt, anger, insecurity, pride, jealousy...from place to place? We think that moving, hiding, cleaning the outside, pretending, will make everything okay. We wonder, "Why do I not feel better inside? It's been so many years since THAT happened! Whatever your THAT is, you still carry it around inside. Just like my closet and drawers, I can hide things by closing the door, but deep down I know it's there and it weighs me down.

I have some areas that need cleaning, people I need to forgive, insecurities, self doubt, anger and many other things to overcome. I have slowly been going through my inner "CLOSET" and "DRAWERS." We often find ourselves in the same problems and situations, over and over again, because we never get to the CLEANING process...running, hiding, and denying is much easier. We will never truly be free until we take a look at what we have been hiding behind our closed doors.

Start with something small, (hold your tongue when you want to let someone have it, smile when your feeling sad, don't gossip about others for a whole day, walk for 30 minutes today.) Changing the little bad habits, one day at a time, will help you to slowly get to the bigger things (forgive someone who doesn't deserve your forgiveness, forgive yourself, apologize to someone you owe an apology to, trust others, overcome self doubt, fear and anger) one drawer at a time. It isn't an easy task, obviously...you've been carrying it around for years. Yes, I know it can be VERY painful! Why not find a way to get rid of the trash buildup, it gets harder and harder to stuff your drawers closed. Things start to stick out of the sides, top and bottom. Stop blaming others and get to YOUR cleaning! YOU deserve the best...you can start fresh, one small drawer at a time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Bloggerception is real and you probably have it too! I used to go through my day on auto pilot. Wake up, shower, throw my makeup on, pull my hair back (if I'm feeling extra spunky, curl it). Grab a quick bowl of oatmeal, eat standing at the sink, toss the bowl in the sink and run out the door. Drive to work, making a mental checklist of all the things that I needed to do. Halfway to work wondering how I got to the freeway, I don't even remember the drive there. Hope I didn't run any red lights...DEFINITE auto pilot! Work, go home, run the kids around, make dinner, sleep and start all over again. That was BEFORE I entered the Blogosphere.

My days are completely different now! I wake up and immediately start to think, "Hmm, what can I Blog about today. I get in the shower, making a mental note of any mishaps, slipping, tripping, no soap, shampoo etc. Everything is a potential story. Putting on my makeup can also be interesting, depending on what happens. Eating and running out the door can be a whole adventure that might be funny. Yes my BLOGGERCEPTION is on HIGH ALERT. Driving to work is no longer, "Who am I and how did I get here?" It's all about stalking, staring and watching everyone and everything...you never want to miss that perfect story (i.e. the guy with the parrots on his fingers as he drove to work).

Yes, before Bloggerception I would have missed this! My perception has increased, making me feel ALIVE, I am no longer, robot lady. Work also is a great adventure, never missing a single thing (and I am not a detail orientated person). Kids, hubby, friends, sisters, parents...no one is off limits to my Bloggerception.

WARNING: You do it, I'll notice, be very careful or you WILL end up a VERY INTERESTING, AMUSING, JUICY little story in my Blogosphere world!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Senior Pictures...WHAT?

Where have the years gone? I can't believe I had to take Jullien for his Senior pictures today!! It was just yesterday when he was crawling after me, screaming outside the bathroom door because I was out of his sight. My sister would say, "How can you stand it?" He wont let you even go to the bathroom!" But...I loved the feeling of being loved so completely and unconditionally. He was always a clinger and even now that he is older, I love the fact that he likes to hang out here with his girlfriend. Never having girls made me wonder if someday I would be all alone in my old age. Well...having a clinger as a son gives me hope!! He talks to me about his relationship, listens to my advice (doesn't always take it) and is always affectionate, giving me a hug goodbye, even if his friends are around.

Today he was all dressed up after his pictures, so I told him I want to take a few of my own, (that way I can send out invitations with some of mine and hopefully save on the portrait package, which costs a FORTUNE!!!) He wasn't too happy about it, complained and said how much I embarrass him, because I always want to take pictures. I just ignored him and made him pose. Okay, I had to bribe him with some ice cream, still works at 16 years old! LOL! I got some pretty good shots, just wish I could afford Photoshop to touch up a bit. I still think they came out okay though...what do you think? Don't worry, give me your honest opinion, you wont hurt my feelings, I take tons of pics so I can get better, any tips would be great.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Don't Cry At Work!

I had a pretty tough weekend, very emotional. It started on Friday at work, I have been struggling with the finance thing again (getting close to the end of the month, no money for groceries or gas right now and another payment is due.) I've been really trying to have faith and know that it'll all work out, but sometimes I just reach my breaking point.

On Friday I was already pretty down but trying to put on my fake happy face. One of my bosses was being kind of snippy all morning. I went in to tell him something and I guess I had a little bit of an attitude, he looked up at me and said, "What's wrong, are you okay?" "Yeah, I'm fine," I replied rather quickly. "No, somethings wrong, I can tell. Do you want to talk about anything? I'm a really good listener. Is something going on at home with your kids, or husband?" He asked with honest concern. "No, I'm fine, really," as the tears started to well up. Now, I NEVER cry in front of anyone, ESPECIALLY AT WORK!! Since my stupid emotions gave me away, I blurted out, "Just having some financial struggles, but we'll be fine." "I'm really good with money, I can help," he said, "Thanks, but we'll be fine." I rushed out and went straight into the bathroom, wiped my face off, regrouped, and went back to my desk.

I went home and cried to my husband, I was soooo embarrassed! I can't believe I broke down. I spent the rest of the evening laying around, took a nap, woke up, watched t.v. and went back to sleep again. Sleep sure does make things seem better, you actually stop thinking of your problems.

The next morning I got up, my son had left to go surfing and grabbed the wrong wetsuit, he needed us to take it to him. This forced me to get up and out of the house. I took my camera and drove to give Jullien the wetsuit. While my husband, Anthony, Jullien and his friend surfed, I tried to capture the moment with some pictures. I walked out onto the jetty's to get a closer shot. I had to be careful because some of the waves were big and I was afraid my camera was going to get wet. This is exactly what I needed to snap me out of my depression. My morning helped me get my mind off of myself...hope you enjoy visiting Newport Beach, CA on a Saturday morning (Double Click Pics For Close Up View).

Anthony (my hubby)

Jullien (Off The Lip)

Wave By the Jetty

Waves Crashing in Front of Me

Feeding Bird

Houses Along Newport Beach Boardwalk

Lifeguards on Duty

The Morning Line Up on the Weekend (it's a battle)

Surfing Has Rules...Must Know This Before You Enter the Line Up...

Jullien and his friend Josh...Good Waves=HAPPY BOYS!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The "BIG KITTY" Video

I just got this e-mail and LOVED it...so I'm going to share it with all of you animal lovers. Even if you don't like animals, you'll gain a new appreciation for the bond that they share with humans.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I woke up late AGAIN...which means the usual mad morning rush, trying to get my bible study in (definitely helps me get through the day). A few little floor mat exercises, leg lifts, sit ups, more leg and butt stuff, finished by a few stretches for my CONSTANT neck pain. This is how I justify not going to the gym. Then I wonder why I'm getting so jiggly...but do I ever make time for the gym...nooooo, I'd rather complain and keep doing what I'm doing.

Slap on some make-up, throw my hair in a pony, put on an outfit...nope, I look fat, toss it on the chair piled with the mound of outfits that have also been discarded this week. Grab the famous stand by outfit (hmmm, did I wear this already this week, I don't think so, it'll have to do.) I grab a quick bowl of instant oatmeal, scarf it down, start to run out the door with the bowl, oops back upstairs, throw it in the sink. Whew...finally out the door, (bare with me I WILL get to the main point of the story).

I attach the phone ear piece, did I mention I HATE THIS THING! We couldn't afford the fancy wireless ones, so my husband got the kind with the cord that you clip to your collar and NO ONE can hear me so I drive holding the mouth piece close to my mouth, yelling (wait, I could be holding my phone instead...I hate this new Hands Free Law). Driving along in silence, dodeedodeedo, I wish I was home, I need a vacation, I'm driving too fast...remember DRIVE SLOW save gas, what do I need to do today after work, cancel Josh's gym membership, pay credit card...yay, no games, I'm going to take a nap (my radio broke, thus the silence, but my head keeps going nonstop).

I pull up to a light a couple of blocks from work and something catches my eye. I look over into the black, shiny, freshly waxed, brand new black Lexus...WHAT THE ????

There they were, glowing in the darkened window of the car, red, green, and yellow, two of them perfectly perched on each finger of the driver. Two LARGE parrots, sitting happily on the guys two first fingers. He was talking away, don't know if it was to the birds or if he had a wireless earpiece in his ear, but he was blabbing away, very animated. I just kept staring, is this for real or has my insomnia finally pushed me over the deep end? I felt like I should rub my eyes, wipe my glasses and look again. He looked over, feeling my stare, gave a look like, "What are you staring at?" The light changed, he put both hands on the steering wheel with his first two fingers pointed straight out like guns, the birds happily looking out the window, off he drove in his business shirt and tie and his two companions...just another day at the office in Newport Beach, CA. Can you say E C C E N T R I C?

Message to self: MUST GET MORE SLEEP!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Today my friend Warren Boyd appeared on the "Good Morning America Show" to talk about his new show, "The Cleaner" starring Benjamin Bratt, tonight on A&E at 10:00p.m. (check your local listing for your area). The show is about his life...he helps celebrities who are recovering from addiction. He has helped VERY FAMOUS CELEBRITIES...can't really spill the names (we worked with him for a while last summer).

When he first started filming, he wanted all of the boys from the football team to be on the show, (since it's true life and my boys play with his son). He had us come down to hang out and watch the mock football game (you can't tell who my kids are because of their helmets). They ended up using the parents as extra's...now you need to make sure that you don't blink. I will be standing behind the mom and daughter during the football game cheering when the extra point is attempted. I have the platinum blonde hair, standing next to the girl in the hat....PLEASE DON'T BLINK or you will ruin my debut!!LOL!! For those of you with tivo, you don't have to worry, just rewind and freeze the moment...I'm trying to not let all of this go to my head!

All kidding aside, it's an AWESOME show! We were able to see the first episode about three months ago, I can't wait to see more. It is full of action, sadness, joy, love and HOPE...DEFINITELY A MUST SEE SHOW!

Here is the link to "The Cleaner"

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Edison Bum

How do normal people end up homeless? I ask this because of an incident on Saturday. My son had a HUGE football passing tournament...all the top schools in the state come and compete. I woke up early to take him (very hard..been fighting the stomach flu), dropped him off and had an hour to kill. So I went to the store to get something to settle my stomach. As I was leaving I saw "The Edison Bum" sitting to the side of the store up in the bushes. He received his name because he went to Edison High School. He is always hanging around the field, digging through trash cans and talking to the players.

The story that was relayed to me went something like this, "That guy used to go here, he was a star football player, all-conference...could've played in college." I asked, "What happened to him?" With a bewildered look he said, "I don't know!"

Fast forward...I'm pulling out of the driveway and think, I should give him some money for breakfast. I drove past him, there it was again...I should give him money. I made a quick u-turn, and pulled up alongside the curb, rolled down my window, shouted, "Hi, here's some money for breakfast!" "Oh, thank you so much!" He walked slowly over, grinning...I handed him the money. I said, "You know, Edison is having their big passing tournament today, you should head over." "Oh, really! What time does it start?" "At 9:00 a.m. so there's plenty of time," I replied. Excitement brightened his dirt stained face, "My name is Craig, I used to play football too. I grew up here and went to Eader (elementary school), Dwyer (middle school) and then Edison. I was a pretty good football player!" His smile was contagious. My grin now mimicked his as I quickly blurted out, "Nice to meet you Craig, my name is Lisa...I heard that you were a REALLY good player!" Surprised he said, "You did!" I said "Yep, well, I have to get to the field, I will probably see you over there?" "Okay!" he shouted.

Wow, I thought, what happened to bring him to this point? He went to the same school's my kids go to, was raised in a nice neighborhood, played for a power house football school and probably had hopes and dreams just like everyone else. How did a life go so terribly wrong? What had his parents hoped he would become? He was someone's, son, brother, uncle, and friend, and he was a BUM.

About an hour into the game I got up to get something to eat and there sat Craig (The Edison Bum) sitting under the easy up. Someone had given him their chair and a bottle of water. I stopped to watch, he was talking with a dad...football talk. Pointing, laughing, cheering and booing, there he sat...a "normal" guy watching a football game. The glow on his face covering the dirt stains, brightly shining with excitement...acceptance was what he had found on this particular Saturday. The parents welcomed him in with open arms. He was treated with respect, kindness and love. Not much effort on their part...but it obviously meant the world to Craig.

What does it take to change the world? One small act of love and compassion at a time.



Friday, July 11, 2008

Inspirational Story From A Dr. In South Africa

I received this story yesterday...thought about not opening it because it came with a bunch of other e-mails. I passed it up as I erased a group of them. Closed my e-mail, signed back in a half hour later, read other stuff...for some reason it kept grabbing my attention, the heading read- (Prayers4You) Re: Isaiah 65:24

I finally listened to the inner prompting...it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I cried, went home and read it to my husband and cried again. Grab your Kleenex and enjoy this amazing story that YOU WERE MEANT TO READ TODAY.

This beautiful story was written by a doctor who worked in South Africa ..

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive, as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator)

We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates)

"And it is our last hot water bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

"All right," I said, "put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm."

The following noon , as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. "Please, God" she prayed, "Send us a hot water bottle today. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon."

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, "And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?"

As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say "Amen"? I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the veranda was a large22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.

From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend. Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried.

I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!"

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked: "Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?" Of course, I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "that afternoon."

"Before they call, I will answer." (Isaiah 65:24)

When you receive this, say the prayer. That's all you have to do. No strings attached. Just send it on to whomever you want - but do send it on.

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let's continue praying for one another.

This awesome prayer takes less than a minute.
Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubting, release a renewed confidence to work through them. Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and strength. Where there is fear, reveal Your love and release to them Your courage. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. Give each of them discernment to recognize the evil forces around them and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it. I ask You to do these things in Jesus' name. Amen

P.S. Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both.
Passing this on to one not considered a friend is something Christ would do!

"It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

Thursday, July 10, 2008

$100 Target Gift Card Giveaway

So here it is...a FREE $100.00 gift card to TARGET contest! Go visit the Saucy ladies of "The Secret is In The Sauce", read, laugh, enter the contest, laugh, oh yeah did I mention that you might laugh a lot...the Blogs and comments are hilarious? Have fun and GOOD LUCK! HURRY ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Mommy Clicks"

What is up with the "mommy clicks" at sports...are we still in high school? Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about. You arrive at your soccer, baseball, football and/or basketball games, scanning the field or court for your girls. You immediately rush over, big hugs...it's been a WHOLE two days since you've seen them! You find the perfect spot making sure to keep a safe distance from any eavesdroppers. Now the fun begins..."WHAT is she wearing? Can you believe she actually said that to me? Who does she think she is...shhh shhh...here she comes. "Oh, hi Mary...what a cute outfit!" Quick sarcastic smirk, glancing at your friends.

Then the conversation moves on to the therapy sessions. "I only wanted to go shopping and Bill told me I spend too much money. We got into a HUGE argument...I told him to sleep on the couch...NICE CATCH JIMMY! What was I saying? Oh yeah, do you think he was being unreasonable? I mean, he knows when I was growing up I never got anything from my parents, so every once in a while I should be allowed to go on a shopping spree." Followed by everyone's input telling you how ridiculous your husband is being.

I think you get the picture...and I am not excluding myself from the "mommy clicks," I have done my share. Now that I'm getting older I guess it gets a little tiring. Which leads me to today's events.

My "clicks" children have all quit football. This season I find myself searching for new friends. I make friends pretty easy, but I very rarely let anyone get past the surface friendship (been burned in the past.) I know most of the moms but not much past, Hi, how are you, stage.

I have to say that today I was happily surprised. My son, had a football passing league today...I got there early and was sitting at the top of the stadium...the younger players mom's came into the stadium and headed right up to where I was sitting. We all sat and talked together, a couple of mom's opened up about some difficult things they have going on in their lives. It's funny...one of the ladies who I thought was a little snobby throughout the years was actually VERY sweet and funny. How often do we judge others by how they look without actually knowing them? I guess it's human nature, but I'm glad that I have been put in this situation...once again forcing me out of my comfort zone!

No more "mommy clicks" for me.....



Sunday, July 6, 2008

BUTTS and Fireworks

I know, very strange title butt (oops I mean but), that pretty much sums up my Fourth of July. Don't get me wrong we had a fun day...BUTT...here's how it went:

We woke up pretty early, laid around on our butt's all morning, while Anthony tried to piece together all of the bikes in the garage. The kids just thrash them...every time they go to pull a bike out, if it's stuck (like ALWAYS) they just yank, pull, and shake until it gets unhooked from the other bikes. Our garage pretty much looks like a bike store (all of us have our own 8+ a few extra). In the process they have broken most of the spokes, chains, etc.

Next it was off down Main Street, wobbly wheels, squeaking and grinding...as my husband says, "To see our peeps" (friends). We were quite the crew...everyone we passed had their shiny, bright, "Float" like bikes, polished, blinding chrome, colorful decorations...very patriotic. Hmm, the looks we received, as we drove past HUNDREDS of people..."My bike's better than yours!" Yes, we were the Beverly Hillbilly's. Dodging, weaving and inching through the beautiful bikes...no need for a horn when you're with our crew, the squeaking in unison created quite the distraction, parting the sea of laughing onlookers. We only saw a few of our peeps this year...the usual local die hards...they only gave a quick wave as we past, that was strange...why didn't they stop to visit!

Halfway down to the beach and the Beverly Hillbilly crew started chanting, quite loudley, "My Butt Hurts!" Jed (a.k.a. Anthony) led the Butt crew, the more we road, the louder they complained. I came up with another brilliant idea to ride from Huntington down to Newport Beach..."MY BUTT, How far are we going? MY BUTT, Why do we have to ride all the way to Newport? MY BUTT HURTS!" Before you think that I was putting them through some tortuous 30 mile bike ride...it was 2 miles! My fun, adventurous little Hillbilly BUTTheads weren't enjoying our day. We didn't reach my final destination, the BUTTS won!

Almost home...with the beautiful BUTT song ringing in my ears the WHOLE way. I snapped, One more word about the BUTT I'm going to knock somebody off of their bike and fix the problem for you! (Don't report me for abuse....I was kidding with a serious undertone), finally peace...aawww!

Back home the older kids came over for a barbeque...then a quick nap before we headed back on the BUTT bikes for the fireworks show. We took our basket of fruit, blankets and drinks and climbed back on. The BUTTheads were a little better on the way to the show...only a few "Ouches", followed by, "Oops, sorry!" Squeak, Squeak, Scrape, Grind, weaving in an out of the long line of cars, on Main street. The crowds of people lined the beach, waiting for the Firework display over the water. We pushed and shoved our way to a perfect spot right at the edge of the water. Yes, my idea...Jed was worried that the tide was going to rise and get us soaked, he wanted a spot closer to the boardwalk...but I got my way.

The display was amazing! The bright colors glimmering over the water, nothing could spoil the night. Wait, what is that? "Owwww, something just hit my eye." "Ouch, what the heck?" "What is going on?" Everyone along the edge of the water started putting on their hoods, covering with blankets, putting on sunglasses and rubbing their eyes. The wind was blowing, causing chunks of Firework ashes to rain down on top of everyone sitting at the edge of the water. You guessed it, my Hillbilly BUTTheads started chanting, "Way to pick the BEST spot! Whose idea was it to get right up front?" Jed yells out, "Oh yeah, I wanted to sit by the boardwalk....BUTT you had to have a perfect view!"

The grand finale...a bike chain breaking halfway home, removing Jed and a little BUTThead from their agony...a 10 minute walk now eased their swollen BUTTS, while I pedaled happily home enjoying the peace and quiet...perfect end to a PERFECT day!LOL!

JED (a.k.a Anthony) BUTT face



ME and my little BUTTheads!LOL!

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLY's (Pretending To Be Happy)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July-In Memory of John

The 4th of July had always been a huge family reunion of sorts. All of us kids would take our vacation at the same time, my family and my sister Stacy's family, would go to Utah to be with our parents, brother's and sisters. We would have so much fun, going to the park for all the festivities (Utah is known for their HUGE celebration), then at night we would all go to The Stadium of Fire (BYU Stadium, Miley Cyrus is performing this year...BIG event). That all changed 16 years ago.

I had just flown in with my son Josh who was 3 years old at the time and I was 6 months pregnant with Jullien. My mom picked us up at the airport. We were laughing and talking about all the plans, and festivities we were going to attend. The airport was about an hour away from my parents house in Provo. Mom told me that my brother John had decided to leave the night before to go visit my dad who was camping in Wyoming (my parents are divorced and both remarried, my dad lives in Reno, NV. and we don't get to see him much).

My mom tried to talk my brother out of going because it was late and she wanted to make sure he was there when we got in. John was a very crazy, full of life, live on the edge kind of kid. He was 21 and loved to go dancing. He planned on going to the club and then continue on from there to camp with my dad. He took one of his friends with him too. Well before he left he came up and hugged my mom and said something really out of character, "Mom, if anything happens, I want you to know that I love you." John never talked like this! He never worried about tomorrow.

John and his friend went dancing, and then headed out for the drive to Wyoming. Somehow, they missed the turn and kept traveling down a long, dark, stretch of highway. John fell asleep at the wheel, headed off the side of the road, woke up and over corrected the truck. Both boys were thrown from the car. His friend died at the scene. My brother was air lifted to the University of Utah Hospital. Had my brother not made the wrong turn, he would have been at my dad's campsite hours before the accident.

As me and my mom pulled into the driveway, laughing and joking, enjoying our time together, my step dad immediately opened the door that led into the garage. I remember he had a very strange look on his face. He told her to come into the house...she knew something was terribly wrong too. I will never forget, as long as I live, my mothers heart wrenching, agonizing scream, and running in to see my mother curled up on the floor in a fetal position crying.

We had only been told that he was in a serious accident and we needed to get to the hospital that was an hour away. My brother was in a coma for a week, it was strange because he looked perfect, even the scratches on his face were healing...but his brain was swelling. We had spent every second at the hospital, my mom wanted us to take a break and go to The Stadium of Fire show that we all had tickets for. None of us wanted to leave, but my mom said, "You know John would want you all to go." So we all sat there unable to enjoy the normal, excitement, thinking, praying and hoping for a miracle.

As the grand finale was lighting up the sky with amazing red, white, blue, gold and silver colors, I felt a heaviness and somehow knew that my brother was gone. We returned to the hospital, it was confirmed, my brother no longer had brain waves.

It was so like my brother...to leave this world with a huge celebration. He was so loud, fun, crazy, caring and loving...he was larger than life, cramming a full life into 21 short years. On July 5th my family made the decision to pull the plug. We donated his corneas, heart and kidneys to other people who needed his life saving gift...John would have wanted that.

Happy 4th of July! We continue to celebrate this holiday in your honor. We love and miss you Johnny and can't wait to see you again!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How To Have The Best Summer Vacation!

I recently wrote about summer vacation on a budget...it was a joke, so I thought I should post a REAL article...for those of you who get stressed out trying to plan a perfect trip....

Summertime, signals a sense of freedom, a time to get outdoors, and away from the stress of work and household responsibilities. The problem then becomes, so much to do, so little time, pool parties, barbecues, camping, beach trips...oh how we all look forward to summer.

I used to think that planning a summer vacation was the way to make sure we had the most exciting summer. However, after a few stressful summers of making all the arrangements, only to have it not turn out the way I planned. I learned that we always had the best summer memories when we did spur of the moment trips. There were never any pre-conceived expectations.

I stopped trying to plan the fun we would have and I just let it happen. We would go on last minute camping trips to Mexico (I don't mean RV camping, I mean tent camping!) We would spend quality family time, visiting, playing sports together, card games, roasting marshmallows and lighting fireworks off of the cliffs over the ocean at night. This was a great experience, how often do you get to spend time just visiting with your kids, especially teenagers?

We would take bike rides and stop and have a picnic. When we got home we would invite our friends over and have a barbecue and pool party. We took drives down the coast and would find cozy little restaurants to eat at. The less we planned the more we seemed to do. Planning seemed to put time restrictions on our summer, which defeats the whole carefree, have fun, play and let go of your worries, feeling that summertime invokes.

This year try something new, just pick up and go. Leave the organizing behind and embrace the spontaneity of the warm, sunny days of summer. You will have more than just a summer vacation, you will have the vacation of your dreams!









I sent my 13 year old son on an all expense paid trip to the BAHAMA'S (His friends dad is rich and paid for EVERYTHING, flight too). Well here is how I sent him off.............

and this is how he came home to me 10 days later............


This is a warning to all you parents out there, the BAHAMA's can change your child, you might not be able to recognize them anymore?!?

He had an AWESOME time, stayed at the Atlantis Hotel, went down a water slide tube that went through the middle of a shark tank, but he said they were going about 20 miles an hour and couldn't even see the sharks. He got to do a deep water dolphin swim, they swim alongside them, come up and kiss them and then two dolphins get under each foot and push them around. They went to the 12-17 dance club...haven't been able to get much info out of him yet about the girl situation, but I know his friend Trenton can't keep a secret, so I will pry the info out of him next time I see him. I need to stay on top of all of this stuff...there's a lot of little hussy's out there and I need to protect my baby!LOL! Then he said they hung out at the beach, pool and water slides the rest of the time.

Well I'm definitely happy to have my baby back....I've been converted, now I just have to find a rich friend cuz I'm ready.......