Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guess What We Are Thinking About Doing???

If you said buy a house you are right!!
Are you surprised? We are planning for our future. Mike will retire some day. We own our house mortgage free. But, do we want to stay here far away from any family?? With housing prices going down we could buy a house now, rent it out for a while and move when Mike is ready to retire in a couple of years. Fortunately, we have a little nest egg that would make a good down payment.

So, help us please. Where do you think a good place to retire would be? Tell me about your city. We want something that would be a very wheelchair friend community. Do you know of one??

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Have you ever been in an earthquake?? Yesterday Southern California had an earthquake. It was centered four hours from where I lived, yet, I still felt it. I was sitting at my computer when it started to shake just a little. My first thought was that I was moving and making things shake. So, I sat very still for a few seconds and could see the blinds shaking. "It's a earthquake, I silently said to myself." What I felt was very very mild, and I wondered if it was a bigger earthquake elsewhere or just a very mild temblor centered here. Since I was at the computer already I went to this great web page, The U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program, where you can actually see where earthquakes are happening on a map. And if you felt it you can make a report. How cool is that??

All my family is fine. My mother-in-law was a little shaken (ha ha, pun not intended). No one was hurt and nothing was broken. I think that if I had to choose I would rather live in earthquake country than tornado or hurricane country. Maybe that is just because I'm used to a few tremblers here and there. What about you??

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Birds

Have you ever seen Alfred Hitchcock's thriller,

"The Birds"

We seem to be having a problem with crows this summer. The morning and evening air is filled with their never ceasing and very irritating caw caw caw!!

This is my neighbors yard across the street from me. Notice all the crows hiding in the tree branches.

This year the crows seem to be a little bit out of control. Their numbers have increased dramatically.

This is my backyard tree, Ashley. (Andrew named my trees). These crows seem to be stalking me? Am I paranoid??

They seem to be reproducing at the rate of our furry rabbit friends. What do you think I should do?? It is starting to freak me out a little bit.

Don't get me wrong, I really do love birds. I love the little finches and hummers and doves and sparrows that visit my yard. The crows just look and sound menacing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

52 Blessing Project - Week Thirty


Look how young were all were in 1992

Mike and I have been blessed to raise a wonderful family. Strong family is a part of Heavenly Father's plan for his children. I love "The Family, A Proclamation to the World", which says in part

"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."

I feel like our family has lived these values and it has help to make us strong. In our society, especially in California, the traditional family is coming under attack. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is joining with other churches to pass Proposition 8. This proposition in its entirety says

"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California."

I truly hope this proposition passes. I wish for people to live in strong families, it is such an incredible blessing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can You Find the Bird?

Most of you know I enjoy birds. I had heard that there were great blue herons with babies in this tree by the golf course by the beach. So we went to investigate.

We found some of the biggest bird nests I have ever seen. There were at least ten this size that we could see from out view point.

Unfortunately we didn't see any baby birds. But I on closer observation I did spy some birds hiding in the branches. Can you spot the herons in the following pictures??

I think we will try to go again this weekend and see if we can spot those babies.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

52 BLESSING PROJECT - Week Twenty-Nine

For past two months I have been walking faithfully, a couple of miles, 5 to 7 times a week. I'm so grateful that I can


It is wonderful to see the numbers on the scale go down!! I feel so much better about myself. The other really remarkable thing is that my blood sugar is much improved. You see I have type 2 diabetes and things were getting a little out of control. My fasting blood sugar was in the high 140's. Now that I'm walking more my fasting blood sugar is in the 110's or lower. I like that number much better. The doctor had me start on medication to control the diabetes, but I didn't like that, it made my heart do funny things and I stopped taking it. So, I'm very happy to control it by just exercising! Of course I have to watch what I eat too!! It amazes me how wonderful are bodies are and when we do the right things for our bodies, our bodies take better care of us!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

52 BLESSING PROJECT Week Twenty-Eight

This week I'm grateful for

This was the camp that almost didn't happen. Last year Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp lost it's funding. I was personally told by one of the principle funders that camp would happen in 2008. The problem was that the major funders didn't like who the campus choose to run the adaptive recreation program that ran the wheelchair camp. So, they pulled the money and the whole adaptive rec program was shut down right after camp last year. The loss of camp was so sad to me. This camp has been running every summer since 1885, two years before Evan was even born! Several of the counselors were once campers themselves. Like I said in my post here, this is just a very special one of a kind camp.

As I started to make phone calls in the Spring to see what the status of camp was it was not good. The University was looking for a group to run the camp. At one point I was told from UCSB that camp would not be happening this year.
However some very special people from Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital didn't give up. Rene Van Hoorn had been very involved with camp the last several years helping in the pool and helping her husband who was the former director. Along with Libby Whaley they became Co-Directors. With funding from Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and UCSB Department of Recreation camp became a reality this year.

Every year the Saturday of camp is Family Day. Three years ago family day was renamed
The Charlotte Colton Family Day in honor of a special mom who donated time, talent and energy to camp who was tragically killed. It's a day for the kids to show off the skills they have learned, for families to feel camaraderie together, and for the children to receive awards. There are always smiles and cheers and tears as counselors tell of sportsmanship shown by the campers and as campers share what their counselors have meant to them. Yesterday was no exception. I had a great time cheering for all the kids I got to know during the week. I even shed a few tears. It's amazing to look out at all the families and know they all have a story and have had some difficult challenges to face. But, here we are just having fun together. It's just an amazing camp and I'm so grateful that Evan and our family have been able to be a small part of it.

I hope you got to see some of the pictures taken by a volunteer here.

Below are some of the pictures I took at camp.
"The group photo" taken the first day of camp. The campers are in the front with the colorful shirts (there are 35 of them), the volunteers are in the back with the light blue shirts and the counselors and staff have the grey shirts. Can you see Evan, Mike and I?? Mike and I are hiding.

These are just two of my favorite counselors Cynthia and Bill. They are both very remarkable people.

Evan's group "The Yellow Chargers"!!! Would you believe Evan was the oldest in his group???

Here is the Yellow Charger cheer!!
"We are the Yellow Chargers,
Watch your toes!!
We've got power,
Watch us roll!!

Go Charrrggeerrrs!!!

This year for the first time they had a group that had a counselor and all the kids who are power wheelchair users. I thought their cheer fit the group perfect!! Guess what sport they had the most fun playing?? If you guessed power wheelchair soccer, you were right!!

Evan getting his award from Bill!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

At Least We Waved

Katie and Rachel took the train to visit April, Matteo and their sweet little baby boy Thomas this past week. They were headed back to Katie's house today. They went through our town this evening just a couple hours after we got home from Santa Barbara. We wished the train would have stopped at the train station just for a few minutes, but it didn't. We went down to the station anyway, just to wave as it went by, The train went by so fast they didn't see us and we didn't see them. All I got was a face full of dust!! YUCK!! But at least we waved!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One Last Camp

This week is Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp. I love this day camp that Evan has been attending for the past 10 summers!! Each day this week we go to UCSB (University of California Santa Barbara). Evan attends as a camper and Mike and I volunteer(this is our third year as volunteers). The great thing about this camp is the counselors and sports instructors are all wheelchair athletes themselves. Some of the sports they participate in are tennis, basketball, rock wall climbing, quad rugby, power wheelchair soccer, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, racquetball and hip hop dancing (not really a sport, but it's fun)! Last year they even did fencing!! It is just great to see all the happy smiling faces of the kids as they have fun playing sports.

Click here for a link of some happy faces. Maybe you can spot Evan!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

God's Fireworks

On Sunday, after Church we went to the

These beautiful flowers caught my eye! They reminded me of fireworks, opening up with gorgeous colors. I hope you enjoy God's Fireworks!!

This plant didn't remind me of a firework, but it was fascinating to me. This native California carnivorous plant has the unusual but perfect name of "cobra plant" It truly looked like a striking cobra!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

What Is Wrong With Me??

Which would you choose??


or serenity??

Well, Mike and I spent our anniversary weekend in Santa Cruz. We decided to go down and check out the Boardwalk and the Wharf. The wharf is interesting, on one side is the Boardwalk with all the amusement rides and on the other there are nice calm ocean waves. The amusement side drove me crazy. It was loud and crowded, filled with barely clothed, tatooed, loud, beer drinking people some who were headed off to jail!! I didn't like the feeling there at all. Why is that?? Is something wrong with me??

Anyway, we found a nice restaurant and eat our lunch overlooking the beautiful Monterey Bay, the calm side of the wharf. Mike notice a sign offering harbor cruises, that sounded like fun. The cruise was very nice except for a few loud, obnoxious beer drinking men. We saw cute little sea otters and sea lions. We saw lots of sail boats and two light houses. It was very calming to be out on the ocean, that is as long as we stayed away from the loud
obnoxious beer drinking men.

We tried walking the Boardwalk but it was just too much so we headed to Henry Cowell Redwood State Park. I loved the peaceful, serene feeling there. It's hard to take a picture of a redwood tree and do it justice. Just trust me if you have never seen one, there are massive and very magnificent!! Maybe this video will help you get a little perspective.

I chose serenity!! And I'm glad I did!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

52 BLESSING PROJECT Week Twenty-Seven


Tomorrow marks our 35th wedding anniversary! Mike and I were married in Covina, California at "The Little Chapel of Flowers". We had only our immediate family in attendance and then it was off for a fun honeymoon. We spent our wedding night in Santa Barbara, then spent a few days camping in Yosemite and then drove up the west coast all the way to Seattle. Then we headed across Washington into Idaho and down to Yellowstone National Park, one of my favorite places in the world. We camped there until we ran out of money and then headed to our first home in Pocatello, Idaho. Our first year of marriage was a lot of fun!!

I'm so grateful to have a found such a wonderful husband. I know he loves me unconditionally. He has worked hard to provide for our family and has been a wonderful father for our children!! A good strong marriage is hard to come by now in this day and age. I often wonder how I have been so fortunate!! Mike, I love you very much!! I don't know what I would do without you!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Away Again

Evan is away at camp again. Can you believe that!! This time he is at Easter Seals Camp Harmon in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains!! Here is the camp blog. We can read about what they do everyday!! It's a very busy summer for our family!! The camp was set up so much better for wheelchairs than the last camp. The counselor came from all over the world, and it looked like a lot of fun!!
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