Monday, October 29, 2007

Aah, the view from here

Those are my honkin' feet relaxing in my hammock, looking south toward the pier.

The skies are clearing, the clouds are here, cooling us off.

My folks are on their way to visit my aunt and uncle in Huntington Beach. We've been alone for a week, looking forward to a little visit.

We do miss everyone.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Anti-Narnia, beware

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes yet another blockbuster from our good friends on the West Coast. According to movie critic Ted Baehr, the new film, The Golden Compass, is actually An Atheist’s Narnia. Based on the first book in Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy entitled His Dark Materials, the big budget fantasy won’t be released to theaters until December 7, but it is already receiving a heady dose of Hollywood’s pre-holiday hype.
Another website which has scenes and quotes is Snopes.

According to Baehr, Pullman wrote the book “because he was so upset by the Christian evangelism of C.S. Lewis.” Thus, dedicated to undermining Christianity and the Church among young readers, he represents God as a decrepit and perverse angel “who captures the dead in a prison camp afterlife.” And things only get worse from there. Just what we all needed for Pearl Harbor Day--yet another insidious attack!

Our family was just enjoying Narnia last night and we love a good movie. And I used to like Nicole Kidman too! Guess that one won't be it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Family Routine Set to Canon in D

Thanks for this Michele. I just love the clever words this father sings to Canon in D.

I'm sure some of you can relate to it!!! Gotta run, floss Lizzy's teeth, read a story, smell Dexter's hair, you know, the list goes on.

Canon in D Dad

Close Surf!!

Compare this shot looking south to the one we took 2 days ago.

We awoke to voices talking outside our window this morning. It was surfers!!! The surf was so close, it was like they were sitting outside our window. They were riding waves all the way up to the rocks in front of our condo, then they'd jump off. We've never seen it this close. The Doans and Krells should appreciate this. We have NO beach this morning!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hearty Beef Stew

Derrick must have been pretty optimistic about the threat of evacuation. He started a crock pot cooking that morning. Well, that calmed my nerves!

Here is Derrick and Alexandra making Hearty Beef Stew Friday night when our friends were still here. Fun memories.

And here's the recipe, it was delicious.

Hearty Beef Stew

(If you’re going to be away from your crockpot for more than 10 hours, cut your vegetables into 1 ½ -2 inch pieces. This entire recipe requires a large slow cooker, Derrick cut it in half for the crockpot we had at the beach. He also used celery in place of parsnips because we couldn’t find any.)

5lbs. boneless beef chuck eye roast, cut and trimmed into 1 ½ in cubes

Salt and pepper

3 T Veg oil

4 med onions chopped fine

1- 6oz. tomato paste

2 C low sodium chicken or beef broth

3 T. soy sauce

1 lb. carrots cut into 1 in pieces

1 lb parsnips cut into 1 in pieces

1 lb. red potatoes cut into 1 in pieces

1 ½ tsp minced, fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

2 T. minute tapioca

2 C. frozen peas, thawed

  1. Dry beef with paper towels, season with salt and pepper. Heat one Tablespoon oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add ½ of beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker, repeat with remaining beef. You shouldn’t need to add more oil.
  2. Add 1T oil, onions, and ¼ tsp salt to empty skillet and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook stirring well for 2 minutes. Add broth and soy sauce, bring to simmer and transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Toss carrots, parsnips, potatoes and ½ tsp thyme and remaining 1T oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap vegetables in foil packet that will fit in slow-cooker. Stir bay leaves and tapioca into slow cooker, set veg packet on top of beef.
  4. Set slow cooker to high, cover and cook 6-7 hours or on low for 10-11 hours.
  5. Transfer vegetable packet to plate, carefully open, watching for steam, stir veggies and juice into stew. Add remaining tsp thyme and peas and let stand until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

He Hears Our Prayers

Looking toward the Oceanside Pier this morning

Right now we have options. But we're preparing to leave, after cartoons. Kids don't know much yet. But the Fallbrook fire started northeast of us last night, with winds blowing southwest toward us. Camp Pendleton is preparing to evacuate.

Do we drive home? Drive to our friend's? Drive to our relative's? I know we're here until November 15, but going back across the desert doesn't sound economical either.

O Lord, give us Your wisdom. "You are the everlasting God, you do not faint, You don't grow weary. You're the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need, You lift us up on wings like eagles." I will praise You in the storm Father!

Since writing the above, we prayed all together as a family. The kids prayed for the firefighters, the people losing their homes and pets. That we'd get a wind in from the ocean. Sure enough, God thought we should see His power right away! We looked at the TV and along the bottom, it said,
"Fires rage across San Diego county, sea breeze blows in to the north."

The kids' mouths fell open, as did mine.

So we're doing schoolwork today

Monday, October 22, 2007

Smoky Monday

We were so excited to have our home school entrance passes with discounts to Legoland. As we headed 5 minutes south to Carlsbad, the outlook was grim. We had been watching the news about the brush fires inland. It now totals 14 fires!!! Over 20,000 acres, many homes lost and people injured and relocated. Our hearts sank. Legoland was closed because of the poor air quality and employees and families effected by the fires. We weren't sad to miss out on Legoland, we started talking about being sick in a hospital and having to move somewhere else. We talked about losing a home to fire, or worse, a friend or family member. We are praying for God to intervene in a mighty way, bringing all to Him who are open to Him!

So up the coast we went, away from the smoke. It seemed to follow us.

Emma took this picture from the back seat of the car. That wire is a street light.

We had a wonderful tour of the Mission San Luis Rey.
Can't believe we'd never been there after all these years.
What a respite for so many and for hundreds of years.
The sacred garden had my favorite French Lavender and even a mandarin orange tree!

Lizzy and Lavender

I think Emma is missing her Gregg friends. Sorry, no disrespect intended.

Saint Francis of Assissi

Still heading north, leaving the smoke, but finding more in San Clemente.
Then up to Dana Pointe and the Ocean Institute.
I don't ever remember being at the beach when it is this warm! Usually a cool breeze takes over, but not here. We walked out to the jetty where tidepools have marine life in them. Two tall ships were there in the harbor and some kids were leaving on a tour. Wonderful. My kids were sad to learn our Catalina tall ship educational cruise was cancelled in May. Bummer! I had just found out on my email. Maybe next year, or we'll do our own! Always Hubby's dream.

How's that for a smoky shot, sailing off into the ....????

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fierce Castle Competition

The competition was fierce at the who-knows-how-many Annual Sandcastle Competition. The contestants were as follows:

Twin Sandwich Team were, Carris, Emma and Hannah.

Jefferson, Lizzy and the Future Youth Pastor Keegan
(he's so fun with kids) on one team.

Beautiful Teen Team, Kelsie and Alex.

Dexter was the judge, walking between teams with his expert advise, annoying everyone.

The winners were the Twin Sandwich Team. They were the most persuasive in Dexter's book!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Hear the Waves

I was pregnant with Jefferson in May of 2001 when we first went to this beach.
(Picture above in the title, from last year)
Sweet memories.

It's our annual Beach trip. After spending a week here and there at the beach, we decided it's too much work to get there and too much work after we get home, and there's so much we want to do there, that we'd stay longer! But I'll be online, maybe not quite as much as that lady in Chicago who gets 20-30,000 hits a day. She has 6 kids. Mommy blogging hit the national news last night. I couldn't believe it!! I do love keeping in touch and reading the wisdom of those in the trenches.

Oh, I'm babbling, back to the beach....

Rest, no stress, family and friend time, healthy food and finally rest. Did I say that twice? I'm ready for it.

The perfect combination.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sweet Baby Emma

Emma had her first birthday on October 12. We are so glad to be part of her life. She has been one precious baby held up in prayer through her short life so far. Check out her family's blog.

Lord, keep her in Your hand and guide her family as they do what is best for her.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I am So Loved

Lost Canyon Young Life camp, work weekend!

These are my sisters in Christ (and 6 are missing). We're journeying through life together. My heart aches that I can't see them tonight. We meet twice a month. I am completely overwhelmed today, but talked to 2 of my sisters and felt God's balm of love and peace flood over me.
I needed perspective.
I needed wisdom.
I needed a calm voice.
I needed unconditional love.
I got all that and a smile after hanging up the phone. Mmm.
Now I look at my kids and smile, hug them, read quietly to them, grateful to make dinner.
All that because my friends listened.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I had mixed feelings about joining a co-op this year. But you know what convinced me? The wonderful families that are in it. I don't home school to have 'control' over my kids. The better word would be 'influence'. They are mine and Derrick's responsibility. Their character training being first and foremost. Teaching them God's Word, modeling for them how to get along in a family, all day. I am so glad these women are also speaking into my children's lives this year.

Alex and Dex have Economics , Screen-writing, Worldview and Literature. Their teachers bring so much to the class by way of their love for the Lord, the kids and amazing preparation. Let alone, their wonderful abilities God has given them.

Emma has Astronomy, Literature, Writing and Spanish. She loves her classes so much, but she loves the kids even more. Her Tuten family gave her a camera for her birthday and she didn't waste time taking pictures of her friends today.McKenzie and Galilee

Lizzy and Jefferson are doing the Five in a Row curriculum which is so much fun. The moms are taking turns teaching. Every week is a different book and they are making lapbooks to go with it. Each book has been in a different country and the curriculum covers geography, math, science, reading, writing, history and art.
Jefferson and Zion

At home we are doing Math, phonics, music and homework from co-op. It certainly is a change this year for us but we are enjoying it.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Blond, blue eyed cousins

We are so used to having our boy cousins around, we forgot how fun it is to have a girl cousin. Emilie is almost 8 and lives in Oregon with my brother's family. She and Lizzy (also 7) immediately connect whenever we get together. Guess it's genes. Can't explain it otherwise. But it's so fun to see.Daddy Derrick wanting in on the photo action.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Detour, or is it Duh-tour?

I just giggled all the way to our Homemakers group this morning.

Heading southeast from where we live, there are only 2 road options.

At the first stoplight, it pointed east and said DETOUR because there was roadwork ahead.

So I took the Detour and headed south on my other road option, and when I came to the first stoplight, it said


Yeah, right!!! What alternate route???

I couldn't stop laughing at the amazing display of government efficiency!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Emma Beatrix Turns 10

Pregnant in the summer in Arizona is one thing, without a pool is another. Add to that, a 2 year old and a 4 year old and me at the age of 36. I'm sure I complained a lot, but I was also grateful as you know, to be having kids at all!

I did think I felt a little bigger then my 9 pound 12 oz boy from 2 summers past. In fact, I was measuring 2 weeks bigger. So my OB decided to induce on October 1.

I was SO nervous, this was a new experience. When sweet Emma came into the world, she was covered with God's perfect skin cream, and she was squeaking to breathe. But all of my Homemakers group had covered me in prayer and by the time they told me they had to take her to the Neonatal unit, I was at peace. It was amazing.

She was a bubble baby for 2 days, on oxygen, because of liquid in her lungs and her sugar was way too low. They didn't think she'd come home with me. But she rallied quickly, at 9 pounds 3 oz. (2 weeks early) she was quite a little porker in the neo unit.