Friday, December 28, 2007


I knew this was going to happen....the sickness after the adrenaline rush. Leading up to Christmas, John and I were very busy with work, finishing school, and parties. Now that we have taken the time to rest and just relax for awhile, the sickness has caught up with us. John wasn't feeling "great" before we left, but we thought rest and relaxation would help.....well, it didn't.

Now we are both sick again and none of the family wants to hang out with us because they don't want it. Woohoo. Just kidding. My family is cool, most of them are sick too.

I hate the feeling of having to sneeze with nothing happening. It makes my head hurt more and my eyes water like crazy. This sucks!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fear....Straight Up

Last night the whole family went to Bellevue Square for dinner and to watch the Snowflake Lane production. It is always fun to see the high school drummers dressed up like little drummer boys and to see the "snow" falling from the sky. We tried to go to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, but it was almost a two hour wait, so we decided to go next door to Red Robin. I didn't mind so much, but some of the family weren't so happy. After dinner we rushed outside to get a spot right up near the street so Erika and Mitchell (my niece and nephew) could see everything that was happening. My sister and her husband and the kids went in one direction to reserve our spot and the rest of the family was going to the restrooms and what not.

As we walked out of Red Robin we ran into Donnie who screamed at us "WE LOST ERIKA!!" We all started to freak out. I had Trevor (my other nephew) in a Baby Bjorn and John and I took off running in one direction while my mom and dad went running in another and Donnie in a third. It was absolutely the worst feeling in my life. We started shoving people out of the way and screaming her name and asking people if they had seen a little blond girl walking around with a purple jacket on. John and I saw so many girls her size wearing purple jackets. It was horrible to say the least. We ran up and down the one side of the street screaming frantically. John found a cop and told him we lost Erika and they said join the club. There were also two other children that had gone missing that night.

All of this to say, that Erika is one smart girl. She went right back to where she knew we all were last...right out in front of Red Robin and Cheesecake Factory. She had been yelling for Mom and Dad and some couple realized she was lost and wouldn't let her leave where she was until her parents had gotten there. Erika told them the names of her parents and they were not going to go anywhere until Kim and Don were found. Donnie ran back that way and found her and wouldn't let her go the rest of the night.

We were all freaked out and panicking. It was very traumatic for Erika as well as Kim and Donnie and the rest of the family. needless to say, we got to enjoy the show! I couldn't imagine the feeling if that was my own child lost in a crowd of hundreds or thousands of people right along a busy street. Thank God for that couple.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Today John and I left for our trip to Washington for the Christmas holiday. I never expected to wait for so many hours in so many airports. We left the church office around 11:50 a.m. to get to the Burbank airport around 12:15 p.m. for our flight at 2:30. When we got there, our flight was delayed over an hour and a half. This wouldn't have been that bad, but we were flying into Portland and connecting to Seattle and we were going to miss our connecting flight in Portland. so we had to go standby on a direct flight from Burbank to Seattle. We didn't get it so we were back to square one just with a later connecting flight in Portland.

John and I are still sitting here in the Portland airport at the moment. It has been a long day spent people watching and waiting, lots of waiting.

We are on the last leg of the trip for now and then will probably be up late visiting with the fam. What a great start to our vacation.

My BFF 4eva

It was a sad day yesterday as we all said goodbye to Dustin Rhoads. Dustin is now moving on to bigger and better things in Arizona and then in Vegas.

I have had so much fun getting to know my "son" and my fellow advisor. I will never know another person to make me laugh so hard and so much. Dustin liked to run his jokes past me and if I didn't laugh, he knew it was a good one.

Not only am I going to miss Dustin, but the kids are SURGE are really going to miss the man in the viking hat.

We love you Dustin!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Time Is Near

The parties have finally ceased and the work load has increased tremendously. I have been so busy here in the office and stressed beyond belief. It always seems that way right before a vacation, but right before a vacation before a holiday is insane. I feel so far behind and that is overwhelming to me. Today is better than yesterday, but still, there is a lot to be done before John and I get on that plane tomorrow afternoon.

I am so excited to be going home for Christmas, but this year is going to be different and I don't really know how I feel about it. My sister has her own family and has to work on the 26th so they aren't going to be around on Christmas day. My brother has a new baby and so they are doing Christmas day (in the morning) at their house and then coming over to my parent's house. I am not used to the fact that we are doing our gift exchanging and opening 2 days before the actual day and then nothing will happen on Christmas Day. I am kind of sad, but I am sure it will all work out. It is just different and I don't like change for the holidays.

I am so thankful for a loving and caring family that actually enjoys being together and gets along well. It will be nice to spend time with my niece and nephew and my 92 year old grandmother. I am especially looking forward to not setting my alarm and really getting to hang out with my parents after the holiday rush dies down.

I pray for safe travels for John and I and for all of our friends and family who are traveling for the holidays. I also pray for a wonderful time with family.

See you Californians for New Year's Eve. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Please check this out. It is hilarious and will probably make your day!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I love the Christmas season. It seems like most people like to have parties during the wintertime. We have been partying with our small group, with friends in general and this week is no exception.

Today started with the Weekday School Commission breakfast, which is always fantastic. Tomorrow is our office volunteer luncheon that the staff hosts for all of our hardworking volunteers and Friday is the church office staff Christmas party at the Sillerud's. Ahhh.

This weekend I am going to be hosting at Norm and Posey McCracken's Christmas Open House. If you are in the area and what to stop by and see all the wonderful toys, decorations, ornaments, etc. come on by. I will be bored just standing around so come keep me company. It starts on Saturday night and runs for three consecutive nights. If you want details call me.

I am so full, so I am gonna take a short nap!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Bliss

This weekend was amazing. Although it was busy, John and I really enjoyed the time we spent with friends.

Friday night, after my haircut, we went to Santa Monica to our friend Lori's dad's house for a small group get together. It was a blast. We all sat around the fire and the living room (with NO TV) and just talked and reminisced. After eating some wonderful food from Kay and Dave's restaurant, we had an awesome Christmas jam session. John, Andrew, Justin and a few others played guitar while Nayla and Matt played piano and the rest of us used shakers or other noise makers. We had such a good time just messing around and singing like crazy people and enjoying the true meaning of the Christmas season....spending QUALITY time with friends and family.

The weekend continued with partying on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we were invited to AJ and Rachelle's engagement party where ate some great Trader Joes food and played some exciting Wii video games.

Sunday was chaotic but hilarious. After church was the usual hang out at lunch and then we all had the great idea of going to get a group picture taken with Santa. Whose idea was that? The mall was insane and we almost got hit numerous times just trying to park the dang car. Once we safely reached the inside of the mall, we found that Santa was on a break. Who does he think he is taking breaks during his busiest time of the year? So we went window shopping with the Souzas and the Lofgrens and then headed back for the Christmas Concert at church. The concert was good, definitely aimed toward the older generations of the church, but fun hanging out in the choir loft with two sleep deprived girls. Congrats to Justin and Amy for the debut in the drama. I am sure it was great (I didn't see it cause I was watching Adelaide in the choir room) but I heard lots of laughter.

A great weekend was had by the Bowlings!! We love our friends!!

Friday, December 07, 2007


John is a free man (free from school that is) for the winter. WOOHOO!! I finally get my husband back and now we can hang out together and do stuff on the weekends.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Did I mention that I am thankful for those negative emails? This email in particular helped me to laugh about my pain and tight shoulders. Now I can look at that email and have a positive outlook about myself.


All of my tension and pain in my back, neck and head is caused from stress (according to my doc). So I guess I have to have a new outlook on life and work.

It was hilarious that after I returned to work from the doctor's office, I had a very unpleasant email waiting for me. No wonder my shoulders and back are so tight, my job is a major stressor in my life.

It is not only my job that causes me stress. There are many things going on that are both good and bad that cause stress. It the change that causes the stress not just something bad happening. John and I have a lot going on in our lives and that is something that I need to reflect on and watch how I react to certain things.

Hopefully the blood tests and x-rays will come back as good news. We'll see.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Simple gifts

I am so thankful that I have the benefit of using a washer and dryer to do my clothes even though I have to pay $2.25 per load.

Yesterday I had to wash some clothes by hand because I haven't done laundry in forever and it wasn't dry this morning. Oh well, that is what happens when life gets busy and you get lazy. Maybe I should be doing my laundry instead of just talking about it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


It has been a long couple of days and I am very tired. I am sick of working and I just want to sleep well for a few hours at night. I have no desire nor the energy to work today.

Here's an update on my second job search. I applied for a position at Banana Republic and I have not heard back from them. I figure this is God telling me that I just need to take some time for myself and enjoy the holidays and not to worry about the finances. So, that is what I am doing. And according to my tiredness, I don't think I could handle working two jobs three days a week.

I need some energy to keep up with the season of Advent and all the church activities.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What is it about?

I know the holidays are fast approaching and everyone is talking about what the holidays really mean. I am looking forward to being with my family again and having some time with them, but I haven't bought our plane tickets yet. Airline prices are through the roof and John and I really don't have the money. I do get one ticket for $50 because of my Alaska membership, but one ticket is over $400. Yikes!! Not only do we have to fly, but we also have to buy gifts and such for people. We are not planning to spend a lot on gifts, but that is still some kind of funds that have to come out of our account. I just don't want to be broke after the holidays.

So John and I have been thinking. This past weekend we spent a few hours at the Northridge Mall and I noticed that most stores are hiring just for the holidays. I jokingly commented that I should get a second job for the season so we could have some extra cash. Now, I am starting to really consider it. The mall is going to be open later and I get off work at the church at 5....I could work from 5:30-10 a few days a week while John is at class. It's not a ton of hours and I am never in bed before then anyways, so why not?

I really don't know if I should do it or not. I don't want to be doing it just for the money, but I do have to live and I do have to buy groceries. Hmmmm.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Say Goodbye

Our TV has died. I was watching it while I ate lunch and all of a sudden it just turned off. I haven't been able to turn it on since.

Looks like John is going to get his LCD or Plasma he's wanted and we are going to spend MORE money.


Thank you to everyone for the warm anniversary wishes. John and I had a great time this weekend.

As most of you know, we were originally supposed to take John's brother Evan and Andrew Seely to Vegas for the weekend. Evan turned 21 on Saturday and Andrew has never been to Vegas. We had it all planned and the room situation fell through. Not a big deal, but I really wanted to go, so I was bummed. And I think Andrew was too. John and Evan didn't want to spend the money in the first place, so they were ok with it. Then I had the grand idea of going to Napa Valley for the weekend. I started researching some B&Bs and found that that was almost more expensive than going to Vegas for the same amount of time. Man oh man. I was pretty pissed. I really wanted to get away for the weekend and John was absolutely no help in the planning. So I was pretty bummed when we decided to stay here, but I figured it would be alright and we could save all that money.

Our weekend turned out to be fun. Friday night consisted of going to Barney's Beanery in Pasadena for John's aunt, Stephanie's birthday. That place was cool. Then Saturday night we went out to Fatty's in Eagle Rock (a great vegetarian/vegan restaurant) for Evan's 21st. And then for our actual anniversary on Sunday, John made me a wonderful candle lit breakfast of waffles and bacon and then we went shopping at the mall to use up our Macy's gift cards from the wedding ($200). I bought a dress and John bought shoes. In my card John gave me tickets to Wicked for the night, so we headed off to the Pantages.

This deserves a side note! As we were walking in to the theater, John hits my arm and says "LOOK!" I had no idea what was going on and there were so many people that I was confused and just turned in a circle. John then informed me that Barry Bonds was there. OOOOHHH, who cares about Bonds. Anyhow, it's always exciting to see a "celebrity." Then as we were walking toward the door to go to our seats, we ran into Bob Koster. He and Sheila were there for her birthday. "It's a Small World" comes to mind. Wicked is a freaking awesome play. If you haven't seen it, you better. Very good songs and acting.

So after dinner, John and I headed to a really cool restaurant called The Stinking Rose. This place is probably the cutest restaurant I have seen in my life. It is sorta like Buca but better decorations. So that was our anniversary. It was nice to just be together for the entire day and do whatever.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I feel like crap today. I have been so healthy, but I always seem to catch something during the fall/winter. You know I am really not feeling well when I go home early from work. Well here I am, sitting at the Dial's house doing absolutely nothing except lying around. This sucks!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Have a safe and happy Halloween. John and I will be at SURGE tonight. Yippee!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


These are the two things that irritate me the most and cause me to be in the mood I am right now:

1. Migraines - I have this one for 3 days now and can't shake it. I have taken all kinds of medications and am not eating anything differently but it is affecting my whole life and especially work.

2. People - not just people in general, but people that just give up and don't ask questions. I am struggling to get some people to understand that it is ok to ask questions and that I am not really a scary person. I have a lot of general information that I am willing to share to make other's lives a little easier, if only they would ask.

These things that are irritating me are not just permeating my personal life, but also my work environment. I am in such a horrible mood right now, that I just want to go home and cry myself to sleep.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I have really been struggling with my role in youth ministry. I know that I cannot be the ONE THING that "saves" kids, but I don't like to see them hurting either. I just don't know what to do or say to the people that I know are hurting. It is horrible what these kids are going through these days. More and more awful things are happening to our youth, things that I would never wish on anybody, ever. It is a sad reality, but I want to be able to do SOMETHING and I don't know what.

It is depressing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back in Issy

I will always miss being in Issaquah. I love it here, this is home to me no matter how far away I am. I am back for "my best friend's wedding." I am so excited to be sharing in Lauren and Tim's big day. It is going to be a blast. Well, I better go get ready for the festivities to begin.

Today: dentist appointment, lunch with grandma then the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

P.S. The cool weather is a nice relief, but dang is it cold compared to California.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Labor Day in Vista

Here are some pictures from our trip to Vista last weekend for Labor Day. We spent a lot of time relaxing in and around the pool at John's mom's house. Some activities included visiting the Scripp's Aquarium, La Jolla Cove and the Dodger's vs. Padres game at Petco Park. All in weekend we've had in a long time. Enjoy!!


The time has finally come for John and I to take some sort of "vacation." We are heading to Oceanside for a short (but free) stay thanks to Mark Wilson. It has been a long, short week at work if you know what I mean and I am ready to be out of Northridge again.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Heat Wave

I can't handle this hot California weather any more! I am moving back to Washington where it is cooler and sunny. I am tired of the triple digit temperatures of Southern Cal.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Going home for the weekend. Celebrating the soon to be Mrs. Castro and seeing my new nephew for the first time (in person)!! Gotta go, my plane is a leavin'.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Happy birthday Gma Rhoda. Hope today is as good as the past 33580 days. See you soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Shake, Shake, Shake

second earthquake this month....gearing up for a BIG ONE!!

First: Aug. 9th magnitude 4.2
Today: Aug. 16th magnitude 3.5
Both earthquakes were just north of Chatsworth, CA (4 miles)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Spent the morning at the Children's Hunger Fund. This is an annual service project for the junior high kids at our church. Today we packaged school supplies for children that don't have paper, pens, folders, etc. The kids seem to really enjoy helping at the Hunger Fund even though it was HOT!! Now they are busy working on cleaning the Youth Closet in Fellowship Hall, while I sit in my air conditioned office typing this post (oh, I mean while I am working hard)! Ahhh, the joys of being an advisor.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Do I have to?

Finally going to get some use out of my gym membership that I have had for nearly 2 years. I think I have only gone to the gym twice. Once to sign up for the membership and then once to use the free personal training session I got when I signed up.

After going to Chatsworth Karate on Saturday night, I realized how out of shape I really am. All I did was punch and kick a bag for a few times, but man am I sore. I could barely hold a pen my arms hurt so bad. Oh well, I am done complaining (I think) and now I am going to do something about it.

John and I are doing a kickboxing class at Bodies in Motion if anyone cares to join us. We are going today at 5:30 or you can call us and we'll go with you another time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Helping Hands

This month at church the pastors are focusing on "social justice" and how we can make a difference. This reminds me of a few things.

Have you heard of Zach Hunter's "Loose Change to Loosen Chains?" Zach is a young kid who started collecting loose change from everywhere to help free slaves. He has raised a ton of money and freed many slaves, all because he cares.

What about World Vision or Compassion? These are great organizations too that help people in third world countries. How about sponsoring a child? It is only $30 a month and you give them clean water, health care, education and a spiritual partner. A small amount of money each month can save a child's life. I have been sponsoring a child through Compassion for 2 years now and it is such a joy to receive letters from Telvin telling me about his schooling, his family and above all how much he loves Jesus.

Change does not happen over night, we all know that. Change just takes action, saying yes. It doesn't even have to be a big action. I challenge you to look inside and to pray about what you can do to make a global impact.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Baby Nephew

This is my brother and sister in law's first baby. His name is Trevor Aaron Garrott Snow. He was born yesterday, August 4, 2007. He is a tank. He weighs 11 lbs. 2 oz. and is 21 inches long. HUGE!! No wonder he wouldn't come out. Welcome to this crazy world TAGS!! Congrats Ted and Ann. I love you guys.


It was a long trek across the country of Honduras but we made it back to California relatively unscathed. Just a FEW bug bites (26 to be exact)!! We had an amazing time hanging out with children and church members in Choluteca, Honduras. We helped the local contractor build a front porch area to the church equipped with steps and a ramp. It was lots of shoveling dirt and mixing cement on the ground, but we survived. Don't discount the heat too. It was in the high 90s and probably over 100 degrees with more than 90% humidity all week. YUCK!! After a week in Choluteca, we headed North for our short stay in the city of Copan. While we were here we got to see the Mayan ruins at Copan, the bird sanctuary, a coffee plantation and went horseback riding to a hacienda. It was a great trip. A good mix of work, play and sightseeing. If you want more stories you have to ask. Here are a few pics from our travels.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Glorious Homecoming

After several weeks away, John is finally on his way home. We both thoroughly enjoy youth ministry, but it doesn't help the marital relationship when he HAS to go to camp. Oh well, thank God for the telephone. It is not all fun and games though now that he will be home. We have another mission trip to plan in only one week.

Some of you may have gotten a letter from us asking for donations for our trip to Brazil. Thank you for your help and prayers, but our trip has been......"redirected." It was not in God's plans for us to travel to Brazil. We had numerous problems with our airline (COPA). I think they must be going out of business or something because one by one our flights were cancelled. They are no longer flying to Brazil. We tried desperately to find another airline that would give us a good deal but to no avail. We were forced to cancel the long expected trip. Fortunately, we were able to get another mission to Honduras. We were going to travel to Honduras and still meet up with ROW (Rivers of the World). There was some bad luck there too, because they originally said "sure, no problem" but found out they were overbooked.

So now we are going to be visiting a church that our church helped build two years ago in Choluteca, Honduras. We will be doing some manual labor on the church, potentially dedicating it and serving the first communion. Some other plans include: Vacation Bible School, touring a coffee plantation, attending school with some children, going to see some ruins from the Mayans and checking out the beautiful waterfalls and thermal waters.

I think this trip is going to be fascinating and a great experience for the youth in our high school group. Please continue to pray for safety, health and rest for this group of kids and especially John as he keeps going like the Energizer bunny.

Love you all!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Well since John totaled my car a few weeks ago, we spent the entire day Saturday out shopping (and buying) for a car. It was 105 degrees in Valencia where we were and we couldn't do anything but sweat. Every time you opened a car door to look inside, it felt like your eyes were being burned and your eyebrows singed. It was a scorcher. At the end of the day (after 6:30 p.m.) we drove off the Honda lot with a brand new 2007 CR-V. It is so cute. I don't have my digital camera so I downloaded some pics for you from the Honda website. The interior of our car is gray cloth, not tan interior. But you get the idea. Our's also does not come with the navigation system. This is obviously the upgraded, more expensive model. Although our's does have the sun roof and 6 disc changer. Ooh la la.
It's fun and we enjoy it and it gets us around. Or at least me while John is out of town.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My mom's family's first home in Oregon. I think there were only like 2 or 3 bedrooms for all 6 of them (4 kids and 2 parents).
My aunt and uncle and cousins with the Princess (me) and my mom.

Jenny prancing or leaping, not really sure what the heck is going on.

My mom and her sister taking a stroll along the beach and "having a moment."

Life's Challenges

Alright, here it is cuz.....the PRINCESS is back in action on her blogging. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't blogged in FOREVER. So here I am. I got a raft of crap from my cousins while I was visiting them in Portland a few weeks ago. Both of them are out of the area and don't get to see me often, so they have been checking my blog, or lack there of. I promised them I would get back on and keep everyone posted on my life.

Everone always says your marriage will be tested once you experience a lot of stress or traumatic occurences. John and I must have a pretty strong marriage then. My grandfather passed away a few weeks ago after suffering a heart attack. It was so hard on me seeing that I am all the way in California away from ALL my family and especially Gpa. I couldn't decide if I should fly up right away or wait a few days to see how the surgery went. In the end, I waited and now I regret it. I didn't get to tell my grandfather how much he meant to me. It was so hard, but John was right there by my side the entire way. He made every effort to travel with me to Portland for the funeral and services and to comfort me in my time of grief and extreme emotional meltdowns.

My grandfather was such a fun guy. Whenever I was sick or just didn't have anything to do, I would go to their apartment and would instantly be "all better." Grandpa always took me to the driving range or miniature golfing (he was an avid golfer). Grandma and Grandpa always gave me what I wanted: good food, ice cream, candy, a dog (since I never had a pet) and love. I will never forget spending the night and walking into their bedroom and seeing Grandpa's eyes wide open. I used to get so freaked out, I never knew if he was spying on me, or just sleeping with his eyes open. Oh and Grandpa always made the best food and after dinner we ALWAYS played a few games of Yahtzee. My grandfather was a game player and it never failed that he always won, why, because he was a cheater! He would steal my points in Cribbage, change the dice during Yahtzee if I wasn't looking, or counted the points in his hand faster than I could add in my head. But nevertheless, I loved playing with him. Even though I didn't get to say goodbye and tell him that I love him, I have many great memories. The last memory and time I spent with Grandpa was during my wedding when I did a tribute Hula for my grandmother and John. I know that his last memory of me was a happy and special one.

I LOVE YOU GRANDPA! Tell Grandma I love her too.