So much fun to be had,

So little time!
I met Lisa near Santa Barbara today, and we had some quality sister time. Shopping, pedicures, Coffee Bean. Then dinner and swimming with Steve and the kids.
Sigh...it was so good to be together, but just too brief.

I love my sister!


I love lists.

But you already know that.
So here are two lists for a Saturday morning.

My favorite ways to spend my free time:
  • Watch HGTV. Favorite shows are Mission Organization, Designed to Sell, Design on a Dime, That's Clever
  • Browsing the aisles of TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall's, Tuesday Morning, Target. There are so many things out there I have no idea I need until I see them.
  • Reading.
  • Check blogs, leave comments, write a new post. Thank you to the inventor of blogging.
  • Taking a nap. I feel guilty about it, but I love it all the same.
  • Organizing. Lately it's been our files. Sorting, shredding, filing. There is so much unneeded paperwork in our house. And it's my job to get rid of it.
  • Spending time with Matt. Going out for lunch or dinner. Making pancakes for breakfast. Running errands. Sitting on the couch and talking.
  • Spending time with my family. I love you all. It's always crazy fun being together.

My least favorite ways to spend my free time:

  • talking on the phone. Unless it's just a quick call, I'd rather just meet you for coffee and have a face-to-face conversation.
  • Watching some super-silly or overly-violent movie. What is the point? Really?
  • Washing the dogs. I end up covered in water, dog hair and sweat. It isn't pretty. Cleaning anything really isn't my thing.
  • Sitting in traffic.
  • Being in a crowded place.
  • Worrying about the future. Which I do alot.


Everyone is so worried

about growing old. Growing old means less time to live. Wrinkles around my eyes, stiffer joints, backaches. All reminders of the fleeting quality of life.

So we war against aging. Night creams, hair dye, surgery. But there is no stopping the clock. It speeds forward, racing out of control.

What if gray hair and wrinkles signified the beginning of life, rather than the end? Maybe we'd all be dyeing our hair white and putting on wrinkle-deepening cream.

Actually, for the Christian, death is the beginning of life.

I'm beginning to understand this. I've caught a tiny glimpse. I want to believe this more.
Maybe I'll go dye my hair white.



I feel a little blue today. Just so stuck in this waiting time. I decided to try to push through anyway and be productive. So I hit the grocery store, did a bunch of laundry, and I've been filing our stacks and stacks of bills and paperwork. Went to Staples and bought three plastic file bins and two packs of file folders. It's already been probably 4 hours and I'm still not done. But I have made serious progress.

Now I'm organized and a little less blue. :)

The highlight was definitely dinner with Cathi and the family at King and I. Lots of laughs and good conversation. Love you guys so much!


A Hole in the Wall

Matt and I love to eat out, but we hate crowds and long waits. We have found some local restaurants that are delicious, affordable, and not big chains. And we can usually sit right down. If you live around here, check them out!
Mexican- Taco Mesa- Mission Viejo
Thai- King and I-Lake Forest
Peruvian- Inka Mama in Foothill Ranch
Mediteranean- Yas in Mission Viejo
Italian- Louie, Louie in RSM
Sandwiches- Boulevard Deli in RSM
Japanese- Niko, Niko in RSM
BBQ- Bad to the Bone in SJC

What are your favorites?

So fun

We babysat the girls again last night. So sweet.

They blew bubbles, rode tricycles, played basketball, ate pudding, took a bath, and watched Beauty and the Beast.
It was truly a blessing to be with them, and also very sobering and humbling. Please pray with us!


Is it possible

to have world peace?

Last night I discussed this question with a friend. It was fairly intense. We didn't really come to any sort of agreement. But I'm still thinking about it, so here are my thoughts:

This world is a fallen place. Each one of us is affected by disease, disaster, and disappointment. There is hunger, homelessness and war. But this darkness and brokenness is not just all around us, it is within our very souls.

So we war against it. We feed the hungry, house the homeless, educate, medicate, imprison, fund good causes, volunteer. And all of these things are good and necessary.

So are we making progress? Are things getting better?

The dead cannot save the dying. The fallible, feeble human efforts cannot begin to touch the despair in this world.

And this is the gospel. That while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He shed his own blood to pay for our sin. The darkness of this world demonstrates that this is not our home. We will not find peace in this world. But praise God, we can find peace with Him, and that is everlasting.


Create your own Picasso

If you've read Robin's blog, then you know we all need to "pause" once in a while. Here is the perfect opportunity. Explore your inner artist here. I made four different pieces. It's fascinating to look through the gallery and see how creative people can be.


Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

This little beast lives outside my home. Danielle was afraid to walk by it, so she came in the house and asked for my help. I grabbed my camera. I'm not sure if that's what she had in mind. What a web!
This cool tin ceiling is in Lucille's restaurant in Long Beach. I think it would be fun to take the flourescent lighting out of our kitchen and do something like this.
My mom, aunts, and grandma outside Lucille's. Four awesome women!
Matt and I went to the Spectrum last night with our BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD, Greg and Michele. (Inside joke!) We ate PF Changs, shopped at Anthropologie, rode the ferris wheel, and ate Golden Spoon. Very fun. Super fun. We love you, Stumps!


Happy Monday, Everyone

Matt and I spent the day with his sister, Patty, her husband, Terry, and their son, Taylor in Laguna Beach. We went to the Sawdust Festival then got ice cream sundaes and strolled by the Pacific. It was a beautiful day and not very crowded.

My favorite booth at the festival was Kathy Jones. This is one of her paintings. My sister bought a different one last year and I love it! Maybe someday...

What was your Monday like?

This kid

melts my heart.

I just can't get enough of him-his smiles, laughter, singing, talking, hugs, kisses.
Being Matty's Auntie is such a fun thing.

Here are some of my favorite things about my nephew.

  • The fact that he points out every tunnel, bridge, tractor, bus, motorhome, motorcycle, classic car, train, dump truck, police car, etc. on the road. Who knew driving to Rite Aid could be such an exciting experience?

  • How much Matty looooves his friend, Max. They are best buds. It is so fun to watch them stomp in puddles, run around holding hands, kiss each other's booboos..."

  • When we sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" together with the motions we made up. The song always ends with the spider crawling into his ear. And he laughs hysterically every time.

  • How cute he looks wrapped in a towel right after a bath with his hair sticking out everywhere and a huge smile on his face.

  • How much he loves to cuddle when he wakes up from a nap, and he holds my hand when we cross the street, and how he'll kiss me anytime I say, "Kiss?" Love the butterfly kisses, too.

  • When Lisa tells me he has been saying, "I want Auntie," all day. I want you too, Matty.

I love you and I miss you and I can't wait to see you SOON!


The Christian "Act"

I just read an article about Anne Lamott, a Christian author, who writes with unusually, often-offensive, raw honesty.

She says, "There's a lot of pressure within Christian churches to talk about stuff that fits within certain factions that people are part of...It just doesn't help me if people are focused on sounding really good, like they've got their Christian act together, because what they have is an act. I write books where people in them say, "I hate everyone, and I'm not a good forgiver, and I'm in an awful mood, and I'm just going to watch TV, and I don't feel like being friendly to you, and I'm sorry you're having a bad day, but go call someone else."

I tend to agree with Lamott on this. We are all broken and struggling in this dark world. I would love to see the body of believers be more vulnerable, less condemning, and more loving and forgiving, following the example of Jesus Christ.


The Spoon

Hung out with Sarah and the kids today. So fun!
Sarah is such a good Mommy, lots of energy and tons of patience. She took the kids to the Discovery Science Center today. She really lets them be kids. Makes me want to be a mommy too!

Sweet Naomi, happy, happy even though it's naptime.

Chrissie and Sarah- I love you, friend!

Yummmmm! Always the same- peanut butter cup with peanut butter cups

Such a girly girl, so smart and b-e-a-utiful!



It was a good day. One of those relaxing but productive days.

Here are some of the highlights:
  • Spent the morning and afternoon with my grandma. She is such a godly, loving, wonderful woman. I was blessed!

  • Got all the laundry done-cleaned, folded, and put away. That is a major feat!

  • Took a lazy nap on the couch. Gracie took a nap on the floor next to me.

  • Gave Gracie a bath. She hates it, but she smells sooo good afterward.

  • Went to the grocery store. We now have milk, bread, and fresh fruit. It was Old Mother Hubbard yesterday.

  • Made a yummy dinner-bbq chicken sandwiches, coleslaw, fresh cherries. Matt said it was a keeper.


I love my sisters

"We are the keepers of each other's secrets and protectors of each other's childhood memories. We are constantly learning from each other. We are each other's harshest critics and strongest supporters. As sisters, we mirror and define ourselves as women through each other's eyes."
-Debra Ginsberg

We are excited!

I mentioned before that Matt and I are in the process of becoming foster parents. God has laid this ministry so heavily on our hearts. And he has also given us an incomprehensible peace about not having our own kids yet.

Well, we recently met two beautiful, three-year-old twin girls. They live with their grandparents and may become available for foster care or adoption. At this point we are just praying and thinking and babysitting. We have TEN dates on the calendar to babysit them over the next three months. TEN!

Yesterday I went to Wal-mart and couldn't resist buying some bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a coloring book, and crayons for when we babysit. I want to do a little devotion with them before bed, too.

We are thrilled. I can't wait to continue developing a relationship with them. I wonder what God as in store!


My Happy Routines

I love to get in a rut. Whether it's a certain food, a song, a TV show, whatever, I will eat it or listen to it or watch it over and over and over again. Some find it annoying. I like to think of it as endearing.

Right now I have a few addictions I am enjoying:

1. Golden Spoon peanut butter cup frozen yogurt with peanut butter cups on top

2. Starbucks venti iced green tea unsweetened. I add my own sugar, real sugar, and lots of it. Matt watches and rolls his eyes. He does that a lot.
Funny side note: I always have an iced tea nearby when I am teaching. A while back, one of my students was playing school at home. She asked her mom if she could have a glass of apple juice while she was playing the teacher so she could look like me. How cute is that?

3. Mesa Burrito from Taco Mesa.

Here's a sample dialogue:
Matt: Where do you want to eat, honey?
Chrissie: How about Taco Mesa?
Matt: But we ate there yesterday. And didn't you eat there with Liz the day before that? How about sushi. Mmmmm, doesn't sushi sound good?
Chrissie: (silence)
Matt: Taco Mesa is kind of hot.
Chrissie: Hot like temperature or hot like spicy?
Matt: Both
Chrissie: (Turning a/c up in the car) The Mesa burrito isn't spicy.
Matt: Ok, whatever makes you happy, honey.

4. Blogging-reading blogs, commenting on blogs, writing my own blog...

5. Making lists-errands to run, people to call, household work to be done, grocery lists, lists of ideas, lists of lists I need to make...

6. Reading books about foster parenting, journaling about foster parenting, making flow charts, diagrams, and graphs about foster parenting



In church yesterday, Pastor Don talked about how important it is for parents to train their children in understanding God's Word. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of life - entertaining, pampering and educating our kids and neglect their spiritual training.

As Matt and I are applying to be foster parents, we are thinking about the best ways to communicate the Gospel to young hearts. I am researching good Bibles and devotionals for children and families. These are two we've found.

We'd love to know if your family has any good ideas or resources for devotional time.

We must be crazy because

we have three dogs. Normal people have zero or one dog. Dog-lovers have two dogs. People with any more than two dogs...well...why would you need so many dogs?

They are so much work, so expensive, and so hard to keep clean! Dog food, dog doo, vet visits, grooming, bathing, walking, training...

Gracie, pictured here with Auntie Danielle, has several health issues. Whenever she drinks water, she hacks and coughs and spits up. She has arthritis and her metabolism doesn't function properly. She is on diet dog food. She also has a chronic staph infection. (NOT contagious to people or other animals, thankfully.)

The white one, Lulu, growls and snaps at strangers. She also barks and howls. Our groomer wouldn't groom her because she was too aggressive!

Alfred, the one sleeping on his back, no he's not dead, loves to run out the gate, into the neighbor's houses, and upstairs. He thinks when we call his name and say, "Come," that we want him to run in the opposite direction so we can chase him.

Gracie doesn't get along with Lulu and Alfred. We thought the three of them could make it work. We gave them time to figure out the pecking order. We waited. After there was actual bloodshed, we decided to move Gracie into the house. Alfred and Lulu stay in the yard/garage.

So, why do we have three dogs? Because, in spite of their shortcomings, they are so sweet and loveable and dear to us. Like I said, we must be crazy.


Home Again

Matt and I had such a lazy, fun time in Cambria last week with my sister's family. Here's my top ten from the trip:

10. making milkshakes after dinner-mint chip for me, vanilla for him

9. watching tv and movies-HGTV if I have the remote, Mythbusters if he has it, Cars if Matthias is in charge.

8. reading-I stayed up all night reading A Thousand Splendid Suns. I couldn't put it down. It was fascinating, horrifying and touching.

7. walking on the beach-so many cool beach paths in Cambria and so many cute dogs

6. eating out at Moonstone Bar and Grill or Old Stone Station or Creekside de Noche

5. staying up late, sleeping in late, and napping

4. shopping-I bought I huge round mirror for our hallway

3. make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast

2. spending time with my Steve, Lisa, David, and Matthias

1. spending time with each other-watching fireworks from the balcony of our beach house while having good conversation

I'm back!

Here's me, nonchalantly walking back onto the blog scene. Because I have become such a blog addict, I figured I should start up my own {again.} So, to all you fellow bloggers, I hope you'll read my thoughts and leave yours.