Monday, December 31, 2007

A Cali Christmas

This is how we roll in Cali...a boat parade at Christmas! Our night started at the Michell's Christmas Party where Santa paid a visit. Haley loved him, but Lexi was not such a fan.

We bundled up and along with several friends went to the Newport Beach Boat Parade. We had a lot of fun!

A glimmer of hope...

Haley is 3...she'll be 4 in January. "Janwary twenty-furd" she'll proudly say (as she has been saying since January 24th of 2007... always looking ahead that one! :o) If you know Haley at all, you know we were blessed with the most stubborn, strong-willed child on the face of this earth. It's okay though...her parents are the same way, so we rightfully acknowledge that this is the beauty of inheritance. Regardless, not a day goes by without some sort of battle. But since Christmas, it has been taken to a different level. Largely in part by her schedule being totally jacked by two parents who had to be at church for so many hours in the course of a week, and dragging them along with us half the time. Naps were lost and so was sanity. In keeping with that theme, Haley decided not to nap since Christmas, leading to a stubborn, strong-willed, TIRED & GRUMPY child...ready to break down if the wind blows to hard. So where is the glimmer of hope as the title suggested you ask? Well, she napped yesterday for 2 1/2 hours, and not to jinx anything, but she seems to be napping right now as well. Life is so much better with naps!!!!!!

But here is another glimmer of hope, and much more meaningful one. As strong-willed as my daughter is, she is a beautiful, caring, generous soul. I pray over her, with her, and for her so that her strong will might prove itself a tremendous asset as she grows older. I pray that she will stand up for herself, injustice, for her beliefs, and for others. I know that she will do amazing things with her life...although I'm sure every parent thinks the same. Before I end this blog, I just wanted to share with you an example of her caring heart....

Setting: Breakfast table, Haley & Myself (Lexi, our snoozer still sleeping.)
Food: Oatmeal
Scenario as follows:

Haley - I don't want anymore of this oatmeal...I don't like it.
Mom - Haley, we need to be grateful for the food that we have....insert explanation of the millions of children who don't have food.
Haley - Why don't they have food Mommy?
Mom - Because they don't have enough money or they live in a place that doesn't have enough food for them to eat. Insert explanation of sometimes Mommys & Daddys don't have jobs/money to buy food for kids.
Haley - hmmm...well, that's okay. If they don't have food they can come to our house and eat.
Mom- Oh Haley, that would be nice. I love that you think of other people and that you want to take care of them.
Haley - and if they don't have a house, they can stay in ours and sleep here.
Mom- That would be so nice Haley....insert more happy and encouraging thoughts to build up my daughter.
Haley - grabbing my hand says " Mommy, God's son will help us."
Mom - tear drop streaming down my cheek...speechless.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Our Visit With Santa.

Last week we took a morning to go visit with Santa. I knew that Lexi wouldn't be too excited about it since we had a brief experience at a Christmas party the week before when Santa dropped in and Lexi wanted NOTHING to do with him. But alas, I wanted to get some good pictures, so I decided to torture my child again. So we hopped in the car and headed to (as I described to Haley), one of Santa's "vacation homes" which happened to be at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. What better place to have a vacation home?

We arrived around 10:30am so it wasn't crowded at all. In fact, there was only one family in front of us. When the family ahead of us went in, we heard the rumor that the camera wasn't working. GREAT! I thought to myself...I have my own camera and won't have to buy any of the packages that cost approximately $50 for 1 5x7. This is perfect! And since the camera was broken, they gave us coupons to ride the carousel as well! Man, this is definitely going our way. Then, the door to Santa's house closed. Hmm... What is happening? Out comes a beautiful woman who began to explain that she was going to have to shut down Santa's house to try to fix the camera and it would take 15-20 minutes. Bummer.. (On a side note, the "beautiful woman" talking was a long lost friend from high school who now runs special events at Fashion it was nice to catch up.) But I digress. They told us we would have to wait to have our pictures taken...and we did. Of course, I am also a little bummed because now I WILL have to buy one of those fancy picture packages. We waited and waited...and eventually Santa himself came out to us. He didn't think we should have to wait any longer. So we took our pictures with Santa (Lexi was very reluctant but finally came around as long as I went with her.) He gave us coloring books and then we rode the carousel and went home. It was a perfect morning....

Haley peeking in Santa's house while we were waiting.

Haley - "I would like a bike for Christmas."
Santa - "Do you have a helmet Haley?"
Haley - "Yes"
Santa - "Cause I can only bring you a bike if you promise to wear a helmet."
Mom - I love a Santa who believes in safety first!!!!

Haley could not be happier! And please take a close look at this Santa...I think he is the real deal.

Mom - "Lexi, it's your turn."

Lexi staging a sit-in. "PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME SEE THAT BIG RED MAN!!!!"

We did end up getting a group shot...although Lexi still refused to look at him!

Grandparents & The Girls

MaMaw Lyn with Lexi and Papa Don holding Cousin Emily

Grandma & Grandad with the Girls...

More Christmas Eve Pictures to Share...

Bruce (Curtis' dad) telling the Christmas story

Mom & her girls

Daddy & Lex

My Sweet Hubby and I

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Services...

I have been taking SO MANY pictures of the girls that I would love to share with you, but I seem to have misplaced the cord for my I have uploaded some pictures that my friend and Co-Worker Billy just sent me of our Christmas Services... Thought you might enjoy seeing what we were up to. It was a beautiful service that I was humbled to be a part of. Take a look at some of our efforts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

UPDATE on Patti Page...

Who KNEW that people read my blog? I thought it was just my parents and some of my girlfriends, turns out I was wrong. I received an interesting email today about my post on Patti Page. Here is what it said:

noticed your posting mentioning Patti Page. Just to give you some information, she is still very active performing, recording and in the process of writing her memoirs. If you get a chance to read them (sometime early next year) you will get to know more about an American icon. In the meantime you can check out her web site at

This email was sent by her manager. WOW! So now that we know she is alive and still an active performer, I hope she wasn't offended by my blog.

This is an updated picture of Patti Page. Isn't she beautiful? Imagine the stories she has to tell....(If you haven't read the previous blog, please do.) Looking forward to reading her book....

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I went to the Lakers game tonight with my friend Christie Walker. We had an amazing time and thanks to Curtis' friend, Michael Raher at MissionPrint, we had INCREDIBLE seats. Every Laker game I've been to, I have sat in the nose bleeds, and my dream was to just get down to the 2nd section. Tonight, we were in Section 207 - right behind the hoop baby! It was AWESOME!!!!!!! The game was pretty uneventful as the Lakers smoked the Clippers - 113--92. My only regret of the evening was what I ate - A Turkey Dog, Nachos, Caramel Corn, and 2 Diet Cokes.... SICKENING but FUN!!!!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Haley and I were playing Hi-Ho Cherrio Tonight while listening to "Sounds of the Season" on the tv. If you don't have that, it is just Christmas music that plays and it shows pictures of the artist that is singing. A picture of Patti Page came on the screen and the song was from 1955. She was so young and beautiful. If she was around 30 then, she would be 85 now (assuming she is still alive.) I know nothing about Patti Page, but I spent some time wondering about her...who her friends were, her lovers, what she was like as a person, what made her want to sing, etc...and then I thought of her now and what her life is like as an elderly person. I wonder if anyone looks at her and thinks "wow, she is pretty...I wonder what her life is like." I'm guessing probably not. We don't tend to do that with older people do we?

Time goes so fast doesn't it? Curtis and I were just talking about that today. We were in a mall that we used to go to when we were kids, and now we were walking through it with our SECOND child. Hair is thinning, waistlines are widening...but we're still the same on the inside. We have stories to tell, and we'll have even more when we are in our 80's. But will anyone ask about them? Will anyone want to know who we are?

If you see an older person, or a person that seems to go unnoticed...Notice Them...Ask questions...Make them feel loved. That's what we all want right? It may make a difference in someone's life, especially during this Christmas season.....

Monday, December 10, 2007

I am here...

I am a simple person. I don't have a lot, but I have more than I need. I know that. And yet, my thoughts start to wander and I sometimes long for what the rest of the world has. Tonight those thoughts started to creep back into my heart as I was driving around. And in the midst of my thoughts, I felt God quiet my heart and told me to be still and to wait. For what, I don't know...but I did get quiet. And in the "quiet" I noticed my radio playing a song I had never heard before. These were the words:

Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
-One Republic

Man, that line about wondering why I am here and not "there" really got to me....What exactly is "there"? I'm sure that the people that are "there" wish they were somewhere else too. I need to learn to be happy in the "here", because when you break it down, "here" is wonderful, and it is more than I deserve.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Talking Cereal

I am in the other room listening to Curtis prepare breakfast for the kiddos. Haley just asked him for the "Talking Cereal." "Huh?" says Curtis....( He was out of town when I introduced Rice Krispies as a cereal) So I yell "Rice Krispies" from the our room and as he pulled the box down, Haley got so excited while explaining to Curtis how the cereal talks to you once you put milk in the bowl. I wonder what it is the cereal says.....


There is nothing sweeter than watching your kids love each other. Haley calls Lexi her "best friend", and Lexi calls Haley "sissy".

Friday, December 7, 2007

White Christmas...a Teary Rendition.

When Curtis and I lived in Las Vegas, we tried to come back every year for Christmas and go to Disneyland. I remember one year very clearly. We were standing by 'It's a Small World' to watch the fireworks. This was the first year of the now infamous snow at Disneyland. Up until that point, I had been unsure about having kids. Not so much about having them in general, but rather when I was ready. That night (5 years ago) as we watched the snow begin to fall, I watched a Dad put his little girl on his shoulders and reach out to play in the snow. The joy on their faces melted my heart, and it was at that very moment that I knew I wanted a child. Funny thing is, I never shared this story with Curtis. It was just a personal moment for me. Imagine the feeling I had the other night when Curtis was leading our crowd of friends over to watch the fireworks and the snow. I wanted to go to Main Street, but Curtis thought it would be too crowded, so we went to stand in front of 'It's a Small World.' It was the very same spot that we stood in five years ago. Can you imagine what it did to my soul when I watched Curtis put Haley on his shoulders to play in the snow? Not to mention that the most beautiful, tender arrangement of 'White Christmas' was playing in the background while the snow was falling. Tears were falling and my heart has never felt more completely full and content.

Lexi in her OCD fashion was more concerned about cleaning the "snow" off of Mommy than the actual enjoyment of the snow.

Haley , Luke, & Lexi enjoying the fireworks....

Thursday, December 6, 2007

On a different note....

As my kids and I are cleaning up from a day of playing, I put in a cd called 'The Kin' is a must have. It makes you wanna jump in the car and hit the open road....great traveling music. We saw them in concert a couple months ago so granted there is some sentimental attachment for me, but I can assure you that you will not be dissapointed...check them out on Itunes. I'm not paid to endorse them, I just want someone to enjoy their music with me. Now...back to picking up blocks.

OLE! Bday dinner for Ct....

After a long day at Disneyland, we decided to eat dinner at Downtown Disney at Tortilla Jo's...our new fave. We waited over an can see that Haley got a little sleepy...

But the wait was worth was had by all. Especially the mariache band singing Happy Birthday to Curtis in Spanish!

And who could resist buying balloons for the kids??????

The Tradition Lives On...

Last year, was Curtis' 30th Birthday, and we had a big party with his closest friends. Bart & Catherine Rendel were in that crowd along with their lil' ones, Luke & Lila. They had never been to Disneyland before, so they made that part of their trip as well. We had so much fun that we decided to make it an annual tradition. And this year, JD & Celeste joined us as well. I love having friends where you can pick up right where you left off, as if no time had elapsed... Enjoy some of the pics of our Disney fun.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Cutest Niece Ever!

This is my niece, Emily. How adorable is she?

I'm a little freaked out....

Several months ago, in the middle of the day, Haley put her raincoat on. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, but she would NOT under any circumstance take it off because she said it was going to rain. So all day long, she walked around in her raincoat (and was summer) getting strange looks from everyone. To me, it wasn't a battle worth fighting, so I let her imagination roam...or so I thought. It wasn't her imagination, because that night there was a huge thunderstorm. That kinda freaked us out...

Since then, that has happened twice.

Last night, as we were cleaning up dishes from dinner, and Haley and Lexi were playing a game, Haley looked up at me and said, "Mom, it is going to rain tonight." So, I looked at Curtis and said "Have you heard the forecast? Because they said it was going to rain tomorrow...not tonight." But Haley said, "No mom, it is going to rain tonight." Then she hopped up, put her raincoat on and got out her umbrella, ready for the rain.

Side story...we have a slight problem with our garage in that when it rains, it leaks and somewhat floods the garage. Not good...especially when you still have boxes that haven't been unpacked from the move. So, since Haley has been 3 for 3 on this one, we cleaned out the WHOLE garage last night...nothing on the floor.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up at 3am to a huge rain shower?????? I was SO glad we cleaned out the garage!! But now there is officially something a bit freakish about my daughter. Seriously, how can this be?????

When Haley woke up this morning, I said, "Haley, did you know it rained?" and she said, "Yes, and there was lightning too...did you see that?" "No, I didn't..." (but I don't doubt her) "Haley" I ask, "How did you know it would rain? " She replied, "God told me it was going to rain mom."

Enough said.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What I do..

I have friends who don't quite understand what it is Curtis and I do, so here are some pics from a couple months ago during rehearsal for our weekend service. These are pics of Curtis and I singing together. We don't get to sing together every weekend, but it's nice when we do...although, in this picture he is making fun of me for the little dance I was doing...ah yes, the perks of working with your spouse.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rice Christmas Treats

So Haley decided today that we needed to set up the Christmas Tree because it is almost Christmas. So we started the process tonight. Curtis has the tradition of turning on a Christmas Movie while we are setting up the tree, so we watched my fave - Miracle on 34th Street. The girls were so cute...they snuggled together on the bean bag and started watching it, so I had to grab a picture of it.

After we set the tree up, we made Rice Crispy Treats (my new tradition), and Haley kept calling them 'Rice Christmas Treats.' We were going to take some to Grandma's house tomorrow, but someone whose name rhymes with shmurtis shempleton ate half the tray already...but I can't blame him, they were pretty tasty!

Feeling Loved

I am new to writing stuff...but I wrote a song that we did in church this past weekend, and a girl from our vocal team sent me flowers today to thank me for writing it and allowing her to sing it. I had no idea something I wrote would ever mean something to anyone...I was honored.

Date Night Fun

My Aunt Judi is in town and volunteered to watch the kids for me. AFter having Curtis out of town for a week, this was AMAZING I took her up on it without a second thought. I booked a hotel on priceline and we escaped in the early afternoon to go up to the Disney Resort Area. We checked into the hotel, and into our killer room for $45. It was amazing...then we took the shuttle over to Disney and pretended to be tourists. It was all well and good until we noticed there were "pageant girls" on our bus. So of course, we had to start listening to their conversations. You must understand, beauty pageants for young girls (Not Jon-Benet young - that is even more weird) freak me out...that's so not me, but I'm about as un-girly as they come. I just don't understand this culture. And so we listened...and still walked away confused. Did I mention the reason we could tell they were pageant girls is that they were wearing tieras and had sashes on? at DISNEYLAND????!!!!????

I digress...we got off the bus, and went to the AMC theaters to catch 'Fred Clause'...which was hilarious. Vince Vaughn to me is the most hilarious guy in the world and he did not disappoint. The cast was also stellar - Paul Giamatti, Kathy Bates, and my fave - Kevin Spacey. I will say, that I shed a few tears...but I am very sentimental with anything Christmas and anything with it did pull on the heartstrings. Who new a Vince V. film could do that? Overall, it was a fun Christmas film that I wouldn't mind owning and watching again next Christmas. AFter the movie we ate dinner at Tortilla Jos and then headed over to the parks. It really wasn't crowded for a holiday week, and we rode everything we wanted to ride - even the new NEMO ride which I give 2 thumbs fun. We headed back to the hotel and I will leave the rest of those details out. But get this - with the shades down, and no kids to tap us on the shoulder and say "Good Morning" we didn't wake up until 9:30. That was AMAZING! When we checked out we decided to get some breakfast, so we pretended like we were elderly, and headed over to COCO's. Only to discover MORE PAGEANT's like they were cloning themselves...girls with painted faces and tieras everywhere. AAGH!!!!!

With date night/day coming to an end, I had to go pick up Haley at her swim class only to discover her on the floor screaming with 5 adults around her and blood everywhere...poor thing had hit her mouth on the side of the pool and busted her lip open... she was okay, but it was a sudden jolt back to reality....

Sunday, November 18, 2007


One of the awesome things about my job is all the cool musicians i get to work of my faves is Dave Yaden. He's been on tour for 3 months with Josh Kelly...and I've missed him so much!!!! He was back at church with us this weekend killin' it on the keys as usual. He's leaving again for another world tour, but at least I got a little Yaden fix & a fun pic. Check out his music at You won't be dissapointed.

The other pic is of Chris Cox and a couple of guys in his band....I can't explain what is going on with Chris. He confuses us all.

Haley & Megan

We have such good friends, Jon & Gina Michell. We met them a little over a year ago, and our friendship has really grown since we moved to HB. They have two adorable kids, Megan & Dylan. Megan & Haley are such good friends and they have so much fun is a picture of them together on a recent outing to Chuck E Cheese. Can you imagine what they are going to look like in 10 years!!!! YIKES!

This is CHAZ

This is friend who does my hair...don't be frightened by his appearance...he's actually a nice guy.

ZOO Fun!

Curtis has been in Orlando all week at a Lighting Design I kept busy all week with the girls, which made time go by so quickly! On Tuesday, we met my friend Kathy (from San Clemente) and her three kids, Gwyn, Jill, and Troy at the Ghetto Zoo...aka Santa Ana Zoo. We actually ended up really enjoying ourselves, and bought a season pass so we can go once a month. The girls had a great time. There are not a whole lot of animals to look at, but there is a petting zoo that I had to drag Lexi away from and a train that we all enjoyed! Of course, you can't go to the zoo without having ice cream, so that was our treat before we went home. Looking forward to next month Kathy! :o)