Monday, October 06, 2008


I apologize for my lack of posting. I just haven't felt like there was anything worthy of discussing here. John and I are just in our usually routine of going to work and coming home and John going to class. Nothing exciting in happening in our lives.

As far as the living situation is's great. I finally have someone to talk to and something to do while John is studying. I think is a good option for us right now. We really enjoy having a little free spirit running around screaming our names every minute of the day. Adelaide is so much fun and is giving John some practice before we have our own (which won't be for awhile).

Other than that, life is pretty simple.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Greetings to you all from the beautiful island of Oahu. John and I are finishing up our wonderful vacation. You can officially call us Island Hoppers. We have been to 3 different islands during our vacation and it has been amazing.

I am sorry that I cannot post any pictures this round. John's computer isn't working with the internet here at the hotel so I have to use one in the lobby (and pay for it too).

We first arrived on Tuesday (after being up for more than 36 hours with the plane ride and the time changes). We got here at about 9:30 in the morning and had the whole ahead of us. We picked up our beautiful car, Ford Mustang convertible, and headed to the hotel. We thought we were just going to leave our bags and go, but a room was open for us. We had planned on a standard hotel room with no real view or anything special, but upon arrival we were offered an oceanview room with a king bed. Needless to say, we took the upgrade and we are glad we did, minus the screaming child that cries most of the day. The room is great and the view is amazing. That day we decided to get settled and get some lunch, take a nap and then go out for dinner. We had lunch at the infamous, Cheeseburger in Paradise and dinner was at Duke's at the Outrigger Hotel. Good times.

Wednesday, yesterday, we headed out early in the morning for our day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is on the other side of the island so we left around 9:30 a.m. and took a nice leisurely drive around the island. It was great to have the top down and the wind blowing in my hair. We stopped along the way to take pictures at different view points and just took our time. The speed limits here are ridiculously slow. The fastest one I have seen is 50 mph. The center was great. You walk around through the different villages (Tonga, Tahiti, Aoteroa, Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa) and see the presentations about their culture. Most of the presenters are actually from the islands or their families are from them. We also got to see a canoe pageant where they dress up and get on canoes and go down the little river. It was pretty cool to see some of the more formal outfits of the different islands.

John has been looking for a ukeleile (I don't remember how to spell it) since we have arrived and yesterday we found a small shop inside the PCC. It was really cute. An old man, that works there, was trying to give John some information about them. He was so helpful, but there was a gentleman that knew more. His name was Uncle Benny. He has been at the PCC for over 30 years and the kids all call him Uncle Benny or "Ukeleile Man." He taught himself how to play and doesn't even read music. He is so amazing. He sat and talked with John and gave him a little lesson and of course then John had to buy one. Unlce Benny was the Master of Ceremonies at our Luau and told us to find him when we came to dinner, so we did, and thank God we did, it was amazing. Uncle Benny gave us front and center seats at the dinner. We got to see the show from up close and personal. They have dancers and singers and they even bring the pig out of the ground right in front of you. It was a great day made even better by Uncle Benny. He even bought us a picture that we took with him and signed it and gave us his email address so John can email him with questions on how to play this new instrument.

Today we went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. It was tons of fun but the company was a rip off. More to come on that later. My time and money are running out.

Just a few more days to our vacation. I might not post again until we get home, but keep checking back.

Aloha and mahalo!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Pictures from Japan

Angel fish at the aquarium.

Puffer fish (or a relative of it).

An ugly fish, but brilliant colors and awesome blue lips.

John standing under the big tank with manna rays.

Me and the sea turtles.

Pretending to lift the Niya-Thiya cave rock that causes pregnancy.

The YYY Resort on Ie Island provides pajamas and slippers for their guests. Of course I had to model them.

One of the cool plant sculptures at the Ocean Expo Park/Churaumi Aquarium.

John at the Ie YYY Resort.

Mt. Guzuko - we hiked to the top.

Self-portrait at the top of the mountain.

A traditional Japanese toilet. I only saw these by the mountain on Ie, but I know they have them other places. Usually there is a "western" toilet at the very end.

A view from the Wajee overlook. We first drove down that road you can see.

Torii Beach lifeguard tower.

John's nasty sunburn. He chose not to heed his wife's advise to use sunscreen.

A shot of the memorial walls at Peace Memorial Park.

John and I and the shishaa dog and a dog dressed as an isa drummer.

Puffy Snow is kind of like shaved ice/ice cream. I didn't have any but it looked good.

Itsuka-yooka (Days 5-8)

Ok, so I am just going to give you a run down of the past few days and then I will just post a bunch of pictures from our whole stay here. Sorry for the lack of posting since we have been here. The past few days we have been staying on another island (which you will read about in just a few minutes) and haven't had access to a computer or the internet.

Day 5 (Friday):
  • Snorkeling at Maeda Flats (very cool place with tons of bright colored fish)
  • Peace Memorial Park- this is a park to remember those fallen during WWII. There are many walls that have built with the names of all the people who died. We also went through the museum with an audio tour which was very interesting. It was great to get the Japanese perspective on the war. Very touching and moving, sad really.
  • We ate at a McDonald's on the way to Kokusai street. It all tastes the same, but they have cool little trays that hold your food and your drinks all in one, and they use plastic shopping bags instead of paper bags.
  • Kokusai Street (International Street) - a ton of shopping and food. This is the main place where we bought our souvenirs and knick knacks. They even have a couple of streets that are underground. It is very interesting to see the shop owners on theside of the street trying to get you to enter their shop and buy their products. Even the people from the restaurants are on the street passing out menus and coupons even I think.

Day 6 (Saturday): We left this island and took a ferry to Ie-jima (Ie Island). It is a very small island just North of Okinawa Island. We stayed in a very nice cottage at this little resort. I guess it was a Labor Day special package because our meals were included. Once we got to the island and got all checked in, we rented a car and went about touring the 7 mile wide island. Here is what we saw:

  • Mt. Guzuko - we drove as far as we could and then John and I walked up about a thousand stairs (I have no idea how many there were really, but it was a lot and my legs were killing me) to the top of the "Mountain." What a fabulous 360 degree view of the island as well as Okinawa.
  • Niya-Thiya Cave - This was a cave that 1000 people lived in during the war as a shelter from the soldiers and bombings. In this cave there is a stone that they say will cause a girl to get pregnant if she lifts it. John would hardly let me get near the thing and threatened my life if I actually picked it up. I don't know if it is true, but that is pretty interesting. The Japanese people are very superstitious and who knows if it could have or would have come true (I just pretended to pick it up).
  • Wajee (a spring) - we drove all over trying to find this thing. We even drove all along the old air strip that the US Military used during the war. I don't know if we were supposed to, but we wanted to get to the other side of it and the rode next to it didn't go far enough. It was definitely an adventure. We got to this really lookout and saw the beautiful waters and cliffs of Wajee. The rode was very windy and narrow (of course) but we made it down and back up without getting into an accident.
  • GI Beach - We have no idea why it is named that, but we assume that is where the soldiers used to go for relaxation during the war. This beach is beautiful and hardly touched it seems. There was a group of locals down on the beach on their hands and knees basically cleaning up the beach from debris and trash. So cool that they care so much for their island and for the waters.
  • Ernie Pyle Memorial - We didn't really stop at this place, but we did drive by it really slowly. Ernie Pyle was a great journalist during the war and was following around a unit that was fighting on Ie Island. During the war he was killed and in the same spot where he died, they erected a memorial.
  • Dinner at the resort - they have three options for dinner, BBQ, Japanese and Western. This night we all chose the BBQ. They have these patio tables outside that have small round BBQs right in the middle. The staff bring you your plate of food and you do the cooking. It is pretty cool. We had every kind of meat you could think of: beef, chicken, pork, white fish, and prawns. They also give you a bunch of veggies and mini baked potatoes. A great experience, but a lot of work.
  • Bar - after dinner and a little chill time, we headed to the bar at the resort to play pool and have a few drinks. While we were there playing, these young Japanese guys asked Liz and a couple other ladies (in their early 40s) to take a picture. At first the ladies thought the boys just wanted their picture taken, but then they soon found out they wanted the ladies to be in the picture with them. It was a hilarious sight. The ladies were flattered and the guys just thought they were the coolest. It was definitely interesting.

Day 7 (Sunday): We took the ferry back to Okinawa Island (Motobu Port) and drove our car to Nago to the Churaumi Aquarium. This aquarium is pretty cool. They have a few big tanks with some really neat looking fish. It was just an aquarium, but the fish were amazing, such bright colors and all shapes and sizes. The aquarium is part of Ocean Expo Park (which is gigantic) but we didn't have the time and didn't feel the need to see the whole thing. The grounds are amazing, beautiful structures and really cool plants that make up different sculptures (like crabs and birds). After this we drove to the Nago Pineapple Park (mom you would have been right at home and in heaven). They give you a little tour indoors of the different kinds of pineapple plants and palm trees and some other flowers like Hibiscus and Anthurium. For the tour you ride on these little automatic pineapple cart and they have a MP3 player that plays a recording telling you about the different plants you are seeing. Once you finish the tour, you go inside and you see the factory where they take a whole pineapple and can it. It is pretty cool to see how they get the outer skin off and get into the can and seal it all up. From the factory, you go down into the store part and you get to sample everything from wine to cake, pie to chocolate (everything in pineapple flavor). The wine is pretty good, sweet. My favorite was the pineapple pie. After we got back on the ferry and headed to the resort we attempted another snorkeling adventure, but were unlucky. It was too dark outside and there was no coral for the fish to hide in and around. We didn't really see anything special. Before dinner we took a walk on the beach and John started his seashell collection. Yes, I said John started HIS seashell collection. He is just like his mother in that regard. It was funny. He just handed them to me and said we could put them in a vase or something when we got home.

Day 8 (Monday, Today): We got up this morning and packed our bags to head back to Liz and Jeff's apartment. We couldn't leave the hotel until 12:30 but we had to check out by 11:00 a.m. so we went back down to the beach to continue or shell hunt. This time John and Liz were on a mission to find the big clam shells. Liz has only found them on this beach and boy did we find some. It was awesome, I even got into finally. We walked up and down the beach along the water's edge searching for clam shells, sea glass, and shells. It was very relaxing. It even started to rain and we just continued walking. Once we got back to our car in Okinawa we started the drive home and made a short stop at Manzamo Beach. It is supposedly a great lookout point over these large cliffs, but it was very overcast so it wasn't that great, but it was still amazing to see some of the rocks on the cliffs and this large hole in the middle of one cliff. While we were there taking pictures it started to rain and pretty heavy rain too, but we survived, it was very short lived. They have some really cute vendors there so bought a few last minute gifts for people and for ourselves.

All in all, this has been a great adventure. We have enjoyed our time here and really wish we could stay longer. Jeff and Liz are great tour guides and planners and are so generous. It is nice to have such great in-laws. I have to get going to start packing all of our clothes and souvenirs but I will post pictures as soon as I can.

We will be in Hawaii for the next 5 days and returning to California on Saturday, September 6th. I will try and post pictures on MySpace, Facebook and SnapFish when I get back.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Japan Days 2-4

Here are some quick updates.

Day 2:
We went to Zanpa beach and went snorkeling in the morning, followed by wonderful massages at this really cute little spa place. After that we went to this sushi restaurant where the food goes around on the conveyor belt and you pay by the color of the plates. We also went to the mall and to this little shopping area (it kind of reminded me of Oceanside).

Day 3:
We visited the Kadena Air Force base, where we went to the Commissary (it's like a department store). That is where most of the American soldiers and their families do their shopping because everything is from the states but the prices are a lot cheaper. After that we went to this really cute little cafe/shop for "Okinawa's best grilled cheeses." They were very good and the lady that owns the shop is very nice (I think she was Thai). We met Jeff at work for a few minutes to see his office and we even got a behind the scene's tour of where the soldiers get their gear and where the food is stored if they go to combat. If I am correct, Jeff is in charge of sending things out if the troops get send somewhere. After meeting Jeff when he got off work, we tried to go to Maeda to go snorkeling again, but the conditions were awful. The tide was way high and the wind was making the water dangerously choppy so we decided to go out to dinner. We wanted to go this really cute place called Jam's (sort of like Benihana's) but when we got there they were completely booked until 9:30 p.m. We asked the host for his recommendation of another restaurant and it was fabulous. We walked right across the street and down this alley and out popped this great restaurant with a live Okinawan band. The food was very cheap and gourmet and the atmosphere was priceless. It turned out to be a great night. For the past few nights we have been staying on the Army base (Torii) in these little cabins near the beach. I am not really sure of the reason, but we are having fun none the less.

Day 4:
BEACH!!! We spent the whole morning at Torii Beach (on the base) just laying out, reading, and relaxing. Now we are off to the cabins again and then we are going back to Jam's (this time with reservations) for dinner.

We are enjoying our time here and are looking forward to Hawaii. Love and miss you all lots!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day One in Okinawa

Konbawa from Okinawa (good evening from Okinawa). We started the day off by sleeping in a little (only till like 7:00 a.m.). John's mom, Liz, took us to the light house by their house at Cape Zanpa.

After taking a look at the light house we went over to the other side of the "park" and took some pictures with the shiishaa dogs.

On our way to Torii Beach we stopped at this little gift shop/bakery/cookie factory. The biscuit looking cookies were very tasty. They sort of tasted like peanut butter cookies. We met Jeff on the base where he works to pick up our snorkel equipment. If you rent on Monday, you pay for one day and you get to use the gear until Thursday. Pretty sweet deal. We also found out that the SCUBA locker is closed this Thursday so we get to keep it for an extra day. We are planning to go snorkeling quite a bit this week.
From there we split off, girls together, and guys on their own. Liz and I went to Starbucks and got a really cute little Okinawan coffee mug and drinks and then went shopping at this really cute little strip mall. She was so nice, she even bought me some new clothes. I think she has always wanted a daughter to spoil and I don't really mind being that. I have great in-laws! From their Liz and I headed to this great little spa place called Feliz Salon where we got the best pedicures EVER! These young girls were great and the massage lasted forever, no timers either. While the girls were getting pampered, the boys went snorkeling at Cape Maeda and saw some great fish. They were even able to go swimming into this sweet little cave.

We joined back up at Liz and Jeff's pad and headed right back out to this cute place called Ryuku Mura. It is like a traditional Okinawan village. They had all these really old Okinawans doing the work like their great ancestors once did. While we were walking through the park we stumbled on a cute little show. Here are some pictures of the dancers and drummers we saw.

We also got our picture taken dressed in traditional kimonos. John made a very good king. It was bloody hot with those kimonos on.

From the park we went to Okinawa Hollywood and Malibu Beach. It was nothing to write home about, but I thought it was pretty funny. At the top of this little hill they had the Hollywood sign with a small replica of the Statue of Liberty. I think they got their American states jumbled together.

We also went to this little market on the way home to just see the traditional foods and fish market. Now we are just hanging out at the house relaxing and drinking some beer. Oh, speaking of beer, I forgot to mention the Habu Sake that we saw. The Habu is one of the most poisonous snakes and they fight them against the mongoose. What is really odd, is when they make alcohol with the snake in the bottle, Habu Sake. It is disgusting, but I guess a lot of people think the Habu snake has a lot of health benefits (also similar to viagra). We didn't buy any, but I did take pictures of it.

Today was a great day, but I think tomorrow is going to be better. Liz, John and I are going to go back to Zanpa beach tomorrow morning and hang out and maybe snorkel a little bit and just relax on the beach while Jeff is at work. Liz has also scheduled a couple's massage for John and I tomorrow around noon time.
Sayonara and oyasuminasai (goodbye and good night). More to come later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


We are officially in Japan now! It was a long flight from LAX to Tokyo but we survived. We had a long wait at the Tom Bradley International Terminal where we actually saw some guy get arrested.

It is now 11:00 p.m. and I am ready to sleep. I will try to keep posting things as our adventures in Okinawa continue. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I am trying it again. Not drinking soda that is. On Monday night, after Bible study, Dustin Rhoads came downstairs and was chatting with the ladies and I about his diet and some other things. I don't know how soda came up, but we both mentioned that we needed to cut back on our caffeine intake because we are both addicted. Well cut back we did. Both Dustin and I decided then and there that we were going cold turkey. I have done this once before during Lent one year and it was pretty painful. This time I am not quitting for just a short period, but hopefully for good. Yesterday wasn't too bad. I did end up with a really bad headache, but I pushed through it. Here we are at day 2 and I am feeling confident in my ability to quit and help motivate Dustin in his quitting. I will keep you updated on my progress.

John and I are very excited for our upcoming trip to Japan and Hawaii. We talked to his mom, Liz, last night and got all the details that we needed for our travel. After talking to her we decided to go to and check out the "local" forecast for Okinawa. It said 90 degrees, but feel like 104 degrees. That sucks. I hate the humidity. Oh well, we are going anyways. Oh ya, I forgot to mention there was like a 60% chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms for everyday that we are there. YAY! Oh well, we are going to have to push through the rain because I want to see things. I am not going just to sit around their house and not see any of the country.

I am also very excited for the Hawaii portion of our trip. We are stopping there for 5 days on our way back to Los Angeles. I want to show John my family's old stomping grounds and a few of the main highlights (like Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center) but I also want to just relax on the beach and enjoy being alone with my husband.

I will try and post while we are in Japan, but don't get mad if I don't. See you in September!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New House

We made it! We are finally all moved in and pretty much unpacked. We are not online yet at "The Mouth" (our new name for our house). The Dish Network guy came out yesterday and was wonderful. Props to Dish for great customer service. He even gave John and Amy a tutorial on how to use the new remotes and a few main features of the network. Already so much better than Time Warner, sorry.

The move day was a huge success. Thank you so much to all those who helped us. I think we had somewhere between 16 and 20 people helping us at the 3 places. Our friends are great and we made the move in half the day. By 2:30ish all our furniture and boxes were at the new house and we were already beginning to unpack boxes. A special thanks to the ladies who put together our kitchen, that was fantastic (although I am still trying to find a few things).

Our first few nights in the house have been good. We haven't heard Adelaide screaming in the middle of the night or even in the morning. I think it is because we are running our fan in the bedroom and it is pretty loud, but whatever works. On Sunday, we had our first dinner as a family. Amy made baked potatoes and Justin made his family's green beans and linguica.

It has really been nice not having cable tv for the past few days. While I do miss having the down time, we have really been productive and have actually had some conversations. I am sad that I have missed some of the olympics, but I was able to watch some of the tandem diving last night with Amy.

Here are some pictures of the new place (before we moved everything in).
our bedroom
our living room
the front of the house from the sidewalk

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Happs

Here is what is happening in the life of John and Val:

1. Camping this weekend in Ojai with friends
2. Hollywood Bowl tickets on Sunday (reggae fest)
3. John begins another 2 week intensive at Fuller on Monday
4. Val will be packing away during the week
5. Dinner with the Youth Elder and other paid ministry staff
6. Move to our new home on Saturday the 9th (come help if you can)
7. Pack our suitcases again for Japan
8. Fly to Japan on the 23rd of August and return on the 6th of September

Somewhere in there we also have SURGE events and another night at the Hollywood Bowl. Our lives are crazy right now. I think John is getting a little stressed out with all the packing and moving and doing things and having to be in school and write papers.

It is very fun to be able to hang out with friends for once, but it is just a little bit too busy for our taste. Hopefully we don't lose sight of each other in the hustle and bustle.

Got to get on the road. See ya!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Brain Freeze

Don't forget to stop your local 7-11 for a free 7.11 oz slurpee tomorrow, 7/11. You gotta love free stuff.

I am excited for Rachelle and AJ's wedding on Saturday. We had so much fun at Karen and Dan's and are ready to party again.

Yay, I made it. John comes home tomorrow!! It reminds me of a song, "I'm a big girl now!" Haha.

That's all for today.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


My apartment is a disaster and I know I need to clean it, but it is so overwhelmingly dirty I don't know where to start. It has been bothering me for a few days now but I have just been too tired to do anything about it. Hopefully I will get the motivation to clean it and surprise John when he comes home Friday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The One

The search continues. The Souzas and the Bowlings are still looking for that perfect house to move into. We spent most of the morning on Friday driving around the valley with our realtor (who is great, and does all the work for us) looking at multiple properties. We have a few that we really liked and they have fallen through and we are still waiting to hear back on another one in Granada Hills that we like.

This process is really frustrating. I can only imagine the stress and energy house hunting takes. I just want to find a place that is going to work for the 5 of us and move in and start this new adventure. I am ready for some big changes in my life.

Please pray that we find something and find it quick (if it is God's will for us). :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Rest, Relax, Recuperate

I am sitting here in my office dazed. Do you ever have those times when you are driving from point A to point B and upon reaching point B, you really don't remember how you got there? That is my morning.

John and I were housesitting this past weekend (for people that don't like to share their house with others) and today was the final day. The family was coming home around 8 a.m. so I decided to be safe, so I left around 7ish. It was horrible. I couldn't sleep all night, I woke up every hour or when the dog would move and her collar would jingle. All I needed was some good solid sleep. Our lives have been so busy as of late, and I am feeling weary. I just need to slow down and relax and sleep well for a day or two.

When will it ever get easier? Here is what I mean, everytime John leaves for a trip with the middle schoolers, my fear and anxiety skyrocket. I don't know what my problem is. I can't sleep and I have to stay up forever so I that I fall asleep without thinking or trying. I don't know, I think I am afraid of someone breaking in and killing me in my sleep while John isn't there. Maybe I have watched too many crime scene shows or cop shows. It usually gets better as the week goes on, but man, last night was horrible, the worst night of sleep ever I think.

This past week was busy with housesitting, getting ready for Karen and Dan's wedding, the actual wedding, getting John ready for his houseboating trip, buying supplies for me for next week for my trip to Rock n Water. Hopefully this week will slow down and I will get some much needed and, I feel, much deserved rest.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Heal Me

Please pray for me. I have started a nasty cold and I feel like crap. My head feels like it is going to explode and my nose is raw from blowing it so much.

My mom flys in tomorrow evening! I am SO excited to see her for the weekend. We have a lot planned, so hopefully I will be feeling better.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Long Weekends

Back at it! I love having long weekends. It's too bad that this Memorial Day Weekend was jam packed. Here are just a few things that we did:
  • PAINT the Lofgren's rental house
  • Go out to dinner with John's dad
  • PAINT the Lofgren's rental house some more
  • Watch the UFC fight (it was alright, nothing special)
  • Church and then PAINT the Lofgren's house some more
  • BBQ at the McIntosh's ranch, so much fun driving the GATOR!!

It was a great weekend, just a long one and not that relaxing. Thank you to everyone who helped in celebrating John and his 28 years of life. We had a blast.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Taste

WE SURVIVED!!! John and I spent the weekend taking care of three youngsters (the Pennington clan). It was a lot of fun to play mom and dad for a couple of days but sobering at the same time. We are totally not ready to be parents. I know that parenting doesn't mean running into a house with three kids, but still it was difficult to say the least.

On Friday night as soon as we got to their house we got the kids ready to go to a birthday party at Skateland. It was a ton of fun and made me realize how you really can't think about yourself for more than a minute or two. As soon as we got there the young girl came out in me and I just wanted to skate, but instead I had to hold the hand of Tiffany (age 2) and slowly make our way around the edge of the skating rink. She had so much and so did I. I was able to see the excitement in her eyes and then so quickly the change to fear as she nearly fell on her bum.

Let's just say that John and I are pooped. We came home this afternoon and both fell asleep on the couch watching television for awhile and then discussed our feelings on parenting and parenthood and if we were ready or not. The consensus was NO, we are not ready right now.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Oh Really?!

Has anyone ever told you that they think you are depressed and going through a depression? How did you respond? What did you do about it?

I am not having a good morning so far and one of my co-workers thinks I am depressed. What a way to brighten my day, you might as well have kept your mouth shut and walked away. Maybe I am in a depression.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Please Pray

My friend Kelsie was in a very bad car accident yesterday on her way home to her dorm. The driver of the other car was going too fast and could not make the turn and slammed into Kelsie head on. She is pretty seriously injured and is in surgery right now. She many broken bones in her legs and bruises and pain all over. Please pray for her surgery, that the doctors can repair the broken bones. This is especially hard for the family as they have two sons in the military and one of them was recently injured and blinded in an accident in Iraq.

Also, another friend in that same neighbor is battling cancer at the young age of 25. Brittany had cancer in high school and beat it and now doctors have found a large tumor in her back. She is also in surgery right now and I would like your prayers for her as well.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


I HATE MACHINES!!! They make your life so easy when they work and they make your life hell when they don't work.

I want a new RISO for the church office. If I win the lottery, I am going to buy one.

Sorry for my rant, but I had to get that off my chest.

New Found Glory

Last night, I was "in charge" of SURGE and I admit, I was very nervous. I don't know why, it went fabulously! The kids had a great time celebrating their detachments and the other advisors were very helpful.

I was talking to John last night about how I have changed as an advisor because of last night's leadership. In the past I have been the mother at SURGE. I always try and get the kids to be quiet and sit still and keep their hands and feet to themselves. Last night was the complete opposite. I didn't really care if they were quietly talking (except for one part where their peers were sharing deep feelings and stuff) or not really playing the games. I think it is because I had the control and the power of the night. I knew things were going to happen, both good and bad, and I didn't really care. I just wanted to hang out with the kids and that is just what I did. I think it has been a power and control issue for me in the past and hopefully it will not happen again. I loved the way I felt last night after leaving SURGE. I was exhausted, but I had a blast.

I hope that makes sense to those of you who read this. It is kind of hard to explain and I don't know if I did a good job. You can ask me in person if it doesn't make sense.

Ahhh, so good.

P.S. Thank you to Krystal McIntosh for all of her hard work yesterday. I couldn't have done it without her.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Quirk

Recently I have been exposing a weird side of myself that I don't think a lot of people knew about.

That is right, I am into tracking earthquakes. Everyone keeps talking about "the big one" that is supposed to be coming in the near future.

Awhile back, there was an earthquake while I was working and Nita Standke and I got online to see some details about it. Well, I ended up adding the website to my favorites and now I go on a few times a week just to see the activity. It is pretty interesting. Go check it out for yourself. You'll see how amazing it is (ya right) and you'll also see the 5.2 earthquake that hit northern California yesterday at 8:06 p.m.

What can I say, I'm a nerd.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fun times

John and I had a great weekend, but a short one. Friday night we spent the night together and went out to dinner at a new restaurant (or at least new to us). We went to Marmalade Cafe in Sherman Oaks. It was so cute and quiet and the food was pretty good. I guess this is a pretty well known chain, but we had never eaten there before. I love going and doing new things.

Saturday John left with Carol and Bridget for a conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He is loving it, and I am hating him being gone.

I have some wonderful friends who have stayed with me and kept me busy and a special thanks to John's mom, aunt and grandmother for cooking me dinner and letting me crash with them last night.

John has left me in charge of SURGE tomorrow night and I have to admit, I am rather nervous. I don't really know what to expect. Hopefully it will go "well."

Well that is all for tonight. I should really try and get some sleep before tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

All In

I am so sleepy today. Last night I was awakened (and kept awake) by our neighbors having a poker party. There is a young guy that lives in the apartment behind us (I think he is the manager's son) and he loves to have people over. I don't mind that, but I do mind the parties that start after they get back from the bars on a MONDAY NIGHT. It is really annoying because his living room is right by our heads so we hear everything. There must have been 5-10 guys there last night playing poker from 2:45-4:00 a.m. I finally got smart and got ear plugs for both John and I.

I just want some peaceful sleep.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Marriage Retreat

This past weekend we went to Oxnard with about 10 other couples from the church for our Engaged and Young Marrieds Retreat. It was fabulous! The weather was amazing and the house was spectacular! We really enjoyed getting to know other couples and chatting about our relationship and getting thoughts, ideas and perspectives from other people that we love and that love us.

All in all we had a blast. A nice refresher.

Here is a picture of our group.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Yes it is true, I did end up in the emergency room last night. Remember that migraine I mentioned in my post, well it caused so much pain and discomfort all throughout my body that I had to got to the hospital last night at 11. I could hardly move and was having cold and hot flashes and was feeling nauseous. I did end up having a fever and was a little dehydrated so they gave me some morphine (which hurt like heck at first, but then made me feel goooood) and some IV fluids. We were in the ER for about 4.5 hours. I was feeling good after the second dose of the morphine and they let me go home.

So today I am just hanging out around the house, keeping a low profile and just resting. I need to get some laundry done before we go this weekend, but I don't know if that is going to happen. Alright, it is time for another nap. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Can't Work

I have a killer migraine right now and it is having a serious effect on my functionality at work. I wish I could just go lay down and sleep for a few hours. Gotta go to SURGE tonight. Yee haw!

Pain, pain, go away.
Come again another.....

Wait, don't ever come back!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Long Awaited

Here are some of the pictures we took in Vegas. Nothing special, but it is a start. I will post more when I get the pictures from my parents. Here are some pictures from Red Rock Canyon and my nephew finishing off a Corona.

I hope this satisfies you all for a little.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I forgot to mention that we stayed at John's grandfather's house. It is so nice and elegant inside. Papa Omar was a wonderful host. He cooked for us and served us and took great care of us. We couldn't do anything without him telling us that he would do it and for us to sit down. He even gave us his own bed and bedroom and he slept in the office.

Thanks Papa!!

What a Weekend

SHE DID IT! Nicole and Karanja got married this weekend (on Sunday). I had such a blast hanging out with Nicole and her family all weekend. I drove out to Corona on Thursday so we could get up early and head to Glen Ivy Hot Springs for a relaxing day at the spa. Friday was fabulous!! We had our own little cabana with our own cabana boy to serve us. Nicole and I got stress relieving massages were absolutely amazing. Too bad it was only 20 minutes long, just a tease of a massage, but still relaxing. After the spa day, the younger (but still old enough) girls went out bar hopping in downtown Fullerton. It was good times.

Saturday we drove to Riverside for the rehearsal in the morning and then back to her parent's house in Corona for the rehearsal lunch. It was nice and easy, the rehearsal was short so that was nice.

Then came Sunday! The BIG day. I was asked by Nicole to be her "coordinator/gopher." I didn't realize how big of a job that was. I was running around sweating before noon. Besides a few people being late, the wedding went off fabulously (a little chilly for my preference). Nicole made a beautiful bride and Karanja looked amazing in his purple tux (yes, it was lavendar). It was well put together and planned.

Congratulations Broomfields!! Enjoy your honeymoon in Jamaica! Karanja, thanks for the rum punch:)

Back to real life in the church office.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Here We Go Again

John starts school again tonight and I am really not looking forward to it. Sometimes I feel like I lose my husband for 10 weeks and then boom, he's back, and wait a second, gone again. There is just something about school (maybe the stress and pressure) that makes him seem different to me. Maybe it is just me, because he doesn't seem to see or think anything different. We have so much fun when we are together and have no cares and nothing to do, but even on weekends during school he is preoccupied and has to study and just doesn't have the time to spend with me (which I need). We'll see how this quarter goes. I have to admit that this school season of our lives is going pretty fast and will be over sooner than I think.

So this quarter John is going to be in school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays so I am trying to find something new and different to do. I am looking into starting school at Pierce to go back and get my nursing degree. I haven't met with counselors or anything, but it has been something I have been thinking about doing and talking about doing for a while now. Also, I have thought about joining a bowling league on Tuesday or Thursday nights.

Pray for me, pray for us. Nothing is really wrong, I am just struggling trying to find my role in the home and trying to find out how to meet John's needs and how my needs can be met also.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Check it!

I found this when I got on the internet to check my Google email account. Why can't we have an "Earth Hour" every day? It seems logical and plausible (at least to me). If you are around tonight, turn out your lights at 8:00 p.m.

I will be posting some pictures from our wonderful weekend in Vegas.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mysterious Ways

Sometimes it seems like we just get complacent. I know I have a lot recently. I have just been letting this apartment stuff work itself out and have learned to accept the place that we live in.

Until now. God sends mysterious messages and He has definitely given us one. Upon returning home from work yesterday we were greeted by our apartment manager. He plainly told us that there was a notice from the county saying that our unit did not have the proper permits or any permits for that matter. What this means is, we WAIT. We have to see if the landlord can get the proper permits. If he can, great, we can stay. If not, we get evicted and have to move.

Just when I thought our apartment problems were on the mend. God must have some better place for us to live. Thanks for the eviction God.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I've Found Something

In response to Amy Souza's blog on "things" I have found ONE of my many things. Last night John and I sat down to watch TV and eat dinner and upon finishing dinner I was inspired. Not by the TV or anything John said, but by my boredom and laziness.

Over 4 years ago, I started embroidering squares for a quilt I was going to my make for my newborn niece. Well let's just say I wasn't that motivated so I never finished it.

So last night, I brought out my box of patterns, thread, needles, etc. and sat down and started embroidering. It was so calming and so relaxing and I was still able to watch enough TV and enjoy John's company.

It really made me feel great to have something to do even in the quiet of my own home even if I do look like an old grandma doing it.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Enjoy the sun. Embrace the cool breeze. SMILE, LAUGH, LOVE.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So Close, Yet So Far

Lately I have been feeling like John and I are so distant and not as close as we used to be. I guess that is to be expected since he is in school and busy studying when he gets home. But even when we are together and we just sit and watch tv, I feel so far apart.

This weekend was a good reconnect. We spent Friday night together (when I finally escaped from work). We had a fabulous dinner at Roy's for my birthday and boy did we splurge....drinks, appetizer, dinner, dessert (we got two, one small one for my birthday and then another full dessert). It was fantastic. Saturday I had to work for the Presbytery event at our church and after I got back John and I went housesitting for the Dials and did TONS of laundry. We had three full baskets/suitcases full of dirty laundry. It was great, we laid around and watched the entire first season of Heroes while doing the laundry. It was fun and relaxing. On Sunday we spent the morning and afternoon with John's family and celebrated his grandmother's and my birthday. And yes, we did watch the Oscars. Thanks to the Lofgren's for having us over.

This weekend was fun but last night was the best. When John got home from school he was supposed to write a paper but instead we just hung out. It was so nice, I felt like I had my husband back even if it was just for a night. We laughed together and held each other.......and watched the Biggest Loser. It was so nice.

I know this whole school thing is only a couple more years, but it is a lot harder than I expected. I miss John and would like him to be "home" more. By home I mean, emotionally available and not so preoccupied. Oh well, I will have to survive for 2 and 1/4 years.

Monday, February 18, 2008

We're Going Away!

WE ARE GOING TO JAPAN!! We just bought our tickets online for our summer/fall trip to Japan. We are going to see John's mom and her husband who moved to Japan in October. We are so excited and I am just a little nervous. If Liz can move there.....I can definitely visit for a few weeks. WOOHOO!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Enjoy the day, enjoy your loved one (if you have one), enjoy LIFE!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Sometimes you just need a personal day and some good ol' rest. So that is what I did today. I took half the day off to just relax and try not to get the sickness that is going around the office. It was, I actually slept for a few hours.

If only I could do that everyday.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh ya, John and I saw this movie last week. You should check it out, it's awesome.

Get Out?!

I have been complaining about being cold all the time, and God must have listened. The weather has been beautiful the past few days. John and I took advantage of the sunshine on Saturday and went hiking at O'Melveny Park. We hiked to the top (or basically the top) and enjoyed the view of the east side of the San Fernando Valley. It was amazing. The hike was challenging but we survived and was well worth it.

Yesterday was a long day and so was today... I am exhausted. Nothing to do tonight, thank goodness.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Wood eye?

So not only do we have a mold issue or at least some sort of moisture issue, we now have TERMITES!!! John found worker termites in our bathroom eating away at the base molding. You gotta love our apartment. You get free utilities, but with it comes harmful bacteria and freaking bugs. Great!

I am not sure what we are going to do. First of all, we need to have a serious chat with our manager and then prepare for action in the future. As Karen Lofgren keeps telling me, "start building your case" and that is what we are doing. Not that I will have to do anything with it, but you never know.

Oh ya, did I mention I am exhausted from working so many hours this week? Gotta run, more work to do.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Today was a great day in the office! I don't say that very often so you know it must have been exceptional. It was a little bit stressful, but not the end of the world.

If only every day was a little bit like today.

Thank you God for the sunshine.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pile It On

I have been feeling very overwhelmed by things these days. I feel like everything is going wrong at once, or just not going the way I planned. Yesterday started off bad and only got worse and then spilled over to today.

I woke up late and was frustrated because John wasn't coming to get me and we were late to church (which annoys me) and when he did come and get me, we argued about whether or not he could buy cleats for playing frisbee and football. Then I was really pissed off about the way our lunch turned out. I thought it was going to be this nice lunch with the Aaron and everyone else that was there and instead it turned into work. I really annoyed by some people and the comments they were making. I guess I just had a different agenda for the lunch meeting than others.

When we got home after lunch, I went into the bedroom to open the windows and found a large layer of mold all around our bedroom window; less than 2 feet from my bed. I was livid, to the point of trying to find out how we could withhold our rent until they fixed the problem. It turns out, I think we are pretty much liable, which is retarded because our apartment is not ventilated well and it is almost impossible to keep it aired out enough to stop the mold. AARRGGGHHH! So John and I started thinking of our options and that just got me all worked up. I really don't want to move again, but I want to be healthy and in a home that is safe.

Then every little thing started to pile on and make me more frustrated. Our printer won't scan anymore, our dishwasher was leaking water (but it wasn't even on), I installed the printer wrong and now it is really messed up, John isn't motivated to do his homework and our apartment was in shambles with crap everywhere. I just wanted to scream.

What should we do? Do we move or stay where we are because it is cheap and we don't pay utilities? Isn't my health more important than money? If we move, should we upgrade to a 2 bedroom in case we ever decide to have a baby? Can we afford a different apartment?

These are my questions running through my brain and distracting me from work. Please pray for guidance and wisdom for John and I.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I am still feeling worn out and completely exhausted from last weekend. I don't know if it is because I don't go to bed that early or what, but I am so tired all day long. I have also been getting really bad headaches at night. I wonder if something like mold is in our apartment and that is what is causing this. I don't know, but I am flippin tired.

Going to another SURGE event this week. Can't I just rest?

Friday, January 18, 2008


Heading out this afternoon to the beautiful Forest Home. I have been super excited for Winter Camp '08 until now. I am freaking tired and my body just feels run down. I think the adrenaline rush of the week and trying to get things done is wearing off. Hopefully, as soon as the kids get here and the other advisors, I will get that second wind, because man do I need it.

Have a great weekend and Happy Martin Luther King Day! Yay for no work on Monday!

"Mom said I could go to FO HO!"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Night Out

Last night I went with Amy and Justin Souza to see Shane Claibourne speak at Bel Aire Pres. I thought he did a great job. It is amazing what this guy has done, from living in the inner city of Philadelphia to working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to visiting Iraq. His stories are amazing. If you haven't read his book, Irresistible Revolution, you should join me in reading it. I guess his talk was pretty much what his book was about, but it was very inspiring. His talk was entitled, "Have Less, Live More." The part that struck me the most was the video that he showed at the end of his talk. It was of his trip to Iraq. The video depicted a young boy laying on a hospital bed dying of malnutrition. The boy had survived a bombing and was also suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He lay in his bed quivering uncontrollably and a Sister of Mother Teresa stood stroking his belly. It was an amazing moment, but suddenly the boy became still and just stared into the eyes of the nun. I couldn't help but weap.

Still trying to process how I can have less and live more.

So long.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Taking Notes

I feel like I should be taking notes on how I want to raise my children and what I want to do and what I don't want to do.

Having children is still a ways away for John and I, but some of our friends are having kids and I am thinking alot about how I want to raise mine and things I want to do for them. If I don't write them down somewhere I will never remember when the times comes to have a child.

We just celebrated Kiley Lofgren's first birthday and they had a cute idea. Everyone had to write notes to Kiley and Karen and Jamie are going to save them and give them to her when she is old enough to understand and appreciate the things that were written.

John and I want to do something similar, but we want to write notes/letters to our own children every year on their birthday (from pregnancy on). We want to encourage them and let them know how much we love them.

Just some ideas going on in our heads, thought I would share.

The party is over.......time for laundry.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I have mixed feelings about the phrase "new year's resolutions." Sometimes I get excited to think about all the things I want to change about me and my lifestyle. Other times, just the thought of making changes scares and overwhelms me.

Last night something hit me. I don't know what came over me, but I have decided that I have a few "new year's resolutions" (or whatever you want to call them):

1. To eat healthier (this includes):
a. Eating in more often for dinner (using Dream Dinners)
b. Taking lunches rather than going out and buying fast food
c. Eating breakfast daily (at home before I leave for work or at work)

2. To exercise more
a. Use my gym membership (that I have had for a few years and used 3 times)
b. Start a walking club with the ladies at work

3. Read more (both the Bible and leisurely)

4. Save money and pay off loans (this is more of a life resolution than just one year)

5. Keep a cleaner house and do smaller chores more frequently rather than letting them all pile up and then doing them

If you are my friend, please help me to keep on track, keep me accountable by asking how I am doing.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2008! Cheers.