To Read on the Journey

Monday, July 28, 2008


i sat on the Amtrak bus headed to S.L.O., it was late and Josie was snuggling in close covered by her "dede"(blanket). i held her and listened to the conversations happening between passengers around me. i couldn't help myself, one 22 yr old girl struck up a conversation with the guy across from her. At first she asked the surface questions, but quickly she changed gears and asked what he thought about God. She was ready to evangelize. The guy responded that he had just become a Christian 6 months ago at a Taco Loco. They shared their testimonies- she was just returning from a Hillsong conference in Australia, and knew that God was calling her to work with children who are being prostituted in the states. He was in his early 20's, has a 3 yr old daughter, and was into drugs, when someone approached him at a Taco Loco and spoke right to his heart. Now he is a youth group leader at a church, getting involved in worship, and he is in love with Jesus.
They are both in love with Jesus. As they spoke i could hear the romance, wonder, hope, and knowing that comes from being in love with Jesus. And i missed a girl i used to know. A girl who would have boarded that bus knowing there was love to be spilled. And it spilled, because she was so full of that love it had to spill.

i missed a girl who use to pray and know it would be answered. i do not pray like that anymore.
A girl who use to fight for what she knew God was calling her to. i do not fight or listen to His calling like that anymore.
She use to spill with love for Jesus, couldn't help it. i don't spill like that anymore.

i know that i am 34, and a 20 yr old Christian. i know that what Jesus and i have now is lasting, faithful, sure, and like a marriage our relationship becomes more beautiful with time.

But i miss that girl.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

ABC's of Me

A. Attached or single? Happily attached
B. Best friend? Michael and a tribe of friends including- Kelli, Mama Holly, Sylvia, Julie, Barb, and Mary.
C. Cake or Pie? Cheesecake covered in strawberries
D. Day of choice? Sunday
E. Essential items? Lipstick, Burts Bee's eye serum, and my hair dryer
F. Favorite color(s)? Sage and brown
G. Gummy bears or worms? Worms
H. Hometown? Oakdale Ca. "Cowboy capital of the world"
I. Favorite indulgence? Cinnabon Ben & Jerry's ice cream
J. January or July? July, Emilie's birthday, swimming, and no home schooling!
K. Kids? 3 here, 1 home with Jesus.
L. Life isn't complete without? Jesus
M. Marriage date? September 21, 1996
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 1 sister, and 1 half brother- i'm the oldest
O. Oranges or apples? Oranges
P. Phobias? Snakes in the toilet when I am going, and water (sharks, alligators, mud)
Q. Quotes- Everybody has to change or they expire. Everybody has to leave, leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons. I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago. Only a good story has a character different at the end than it was in the beginning.
Donald Miller
R. Reasons to smile? My hubby loves me, little hands are playing the piano, happy kids are home from camp, and the refrigerator is full of food.
S. Season of choice? Autumn, love the colors, falling leaves, smell of rain, and scarfs.
T. Tag 5 people Julie, Cari, Kristen, Heather, and Linda Z
U. Unknown fact about me? I never leave the house unlocked, EVER!
V. Am I the only one that noticed the V question was missing? Do you have a V question for me?
W. Worst habit? Laziness
X. X-ray or ultrasound? X-ray (ultrasounds aren't fun when there are no baby's).
Y. Your favorite food? Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and fresh green beans (rarely eat it).
Z. Zodiac sign? Scorpio, but i don't care- hey is that one of the signs of being a scorpio?
Oh and in case your interested i was born in the Chinese year of the Ox. Apparently, I am
patient and speak little -HA!

Friday, July 25, 2008

too quiet

Josie and I took the Amtrak train/bus to S.L.O. for a few days to visit family.
Josie LOVED playing with her cousins. And I enjoyed weather in the mid 70's, relaxing, and Smores (thanks Lindsey).

Now we are home and it's quiet, too quiet.

Before they left for camp, the noise was making me, well, CRAZY!
To be honest, I didn't like myself all that much. Playing referee is exhausting.

They are kids. They make noise- silliness, laughter, arguing, asking, yelling, wanting, needing,
crying, playing, dreaming, exploring, creating, hoping, knowing, singing, dancing, jumping... NOISE!

Sometimes I want a bit of quiet, until it's too quiet, and then I want my noise back.

Friday, July 18, 2008


In just a few days Noah and Emilie will be off to camp for a week!

I know they will have a great time, make new friends, learn new songs, play wild games,
and that their hearts and minds will grab on even more firmly to Jesus. I am thrilled for them.

One thing they must do before going to camp is come up with camp names. These camp names must include their own names.
Emilie is thrilled with her camp name, "Emilieana Jones" (Indiana Jones).

We have a few ideas for Noah, "Noahffense" (No Offense), "For I Noah the plans I have for you," and "Jesus loves me this I Noah" (the last two are a little to sissy-ish for a 10 yr old boy, Mommy came up with them).

Noah has asked me to blog, he wants to see if any of my b.f's can come up with a name for him?

And while your at it, what would your name be?

It has taken me weeks to come up with my own, but I finally got one!!
"Head, shoulders, Denise, and toes"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Birthday FUN!

Emilie and her favorite friends- Hallie, Jasmine, Maddie, Samantha, Chloe (and Josie and Noah of course), enjoyed splishing and splashing in Mama Holly's pool!

We had a watermelon eating contest. Chloe (the tiniest of the bunch) was the winner!
The kids were in shock when they discovered the watermelon had seeds!

We decorated flip flops.

We played "Pin the Goggles on Emilie." Why buy a "Pin the Tale on the Donkey" game, when you can create your own game. In the past we have played "Pin the Crown on the Princess," and "Pin the Chef's Hat on the Cook." I think a "Pin the Patch on the Pirate" is in our future??

Emilie's desert choice "Ice Cream Wednesdays," since it is Wednesday and not Sunday, YUMMY!
I loved watching my girl enjoy her friends. They are each such beautiful, kind, sweet girls. Each one a blessing to Emilie.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

traditions and 9 year olds!

I have much to post on!

But first, yesterday was my Emilie's 9th birthday!
A few of our birthday traditions include a visit from the birthday fairies (a.k.a mommy & daddy) who decorate and prepare a birthday breakfast. In our house the celebrating begins the moment you wake up! The birthday breakfast is always served on your plate.
When each of the kiddos was born i went to Color Me Mine and painted them each their own plate. Noah's says "We Are Blessed, " Emilie's says, "We Are Too Blessed," and Josie's says, "We Are Sooo Blessed."

It is a rule in our home that you are not your new age until the moment of your birth (this is a rule because it helps this mommy to not become overly emotional, i feel that i get a few more hours of keeping them just as they are). Everything stops at that moment and everyone surprises you singing, "Happy Birthday" (thankfully all my kiddos were born in the afternoon).

You get to choose whatever you want for dinner (i recall making spaghetti and bbq'd hot dogs for a 3 yr old Noah).

And we ALWAYS give birthday blessings. We all share our favorite memories or qualities we see in the birthday person.

Blessings and favorite Emilie moments- her confidence and personality as she portrayed Harriet Tubman in a wax museum night at her school, seeing her grow and challenge herself on the piano, her kindness, helpfulness, and thoughtfulness, we love that she is a very good friend, we love how she plays with her siblings, her creativity, her art, skiing, her willingness to try new things, back packing, worshiping with her at church, her love of reading, her love of her family, her love of Jesus.

Tomorrow we are having a swim party to celebrate her birthday with a handful of friends. How do you like our invitations!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

remember me?
i left without telling you.
i am back now.
i am catching up with you!
i missed my b.f's! (blog friends).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Back Packing

Last weekend Michael took Noah and Emilie on their first back-packing trip.

Why didn't i go? Bears, sleeping on the ground, no smores, no shower, no hair dryer, mosquitos, and potty outside...not for me!

They hiked 4 miles to Spotted Lake, ate beef jerky and some other usually inedible items in our household, fished, skied on their hiking boots (yep, there is still snow), widdled wood, slept outside, and made WONDERFUL memories together.
Apparently, this is the latest in back-packing fashion- wool socks worn with Tevas, long johns, and shorts!

Friday, July 4, 2008

independence to dependence

i was a very independent 19 yr old. i had been out of the house for nearly 2 yrs, living on my own, taking care of myself. life had taught me to take care of myself, to guard myself, to not count on, rely on, depend on anyone.

but i was lonely. i recognized i needed to learn to trust, to depend, and the safest one to depend on is God. so, in the summer of 93, as i headed to the mountains of oakhurst, ca. to work at camp oakhurst, i asked God to help me to be dependent on him.

i believed that girls went to camp expecting to find their husbands, and i didn't want to meet that someone that summer. so, i cut my hair short. it is silly, but i thought that guys preferred girls with long hair (most girls were still wearing the bangless, long, amy grant look in 93).
meeting someone would have interfered with my plans of dependence.

michael liked short hair.

michael was handsome, considered others better than himself, hard-working, full of integrity, fun, easy going, trustworthy, faithful, and he liked me -just as i am.

by 4th of July of that summer we were inseparable. we have been together ever since!
15 yrs!
my independence turned into depending, as i gave up myself, and let someone else lead, care for, love, provide, and protect.