To Read on the Journey

Friday, April 29, 2011

where i've been, and what i'm up to...

for easter break i took the kids to visit my mother and her husband at their new home in the desert, then traveled solo to san diego to visit friends. 

my kids had never been to the desert before.  seeing salt plains, joshua trees, and red rock park for the first time had them in awe.

 (pictures from web)  

we discussed how diverse and beautiful california is (coastal and mountain ranges, agricultural valley, and desert land), and how fortunate we are to live in a state with such glorious creation. 

before i left my mothers to head to s.d we all spent a day together. we visited the trona pinnaclesthe trona pinnacles are prehistoric mineral columns rising up from an ancient lake bed (which noah thought was awesome once he discovered star wars had been filmed there).

the best thing about visiting my mom is that she makes my favorite foods!  however, biscuits & gravy for breakfast followed by fried chicken & mashed potatoes for dinner are the enemy of this 37 yr old digestive system (oh, to be 16 again and have the ability to inhale all the greasiness my pallet desires).

my kids were thrilled to stay at their grammie's house for a few days minus the "eat your fruits and vegetables police," so they could indulge in all the junk my mom "forced" them to eat.

in san diego i visited my favorite little family.  imogen and i had a lot of catching up to do.
her mommy and i played catch up too, but come on, we all knew i was really there to see this sweet girl.
(she is so yummy).

after traveling 931 miles the kids and i arrived home late thursday evening.

i was exhausted by all my travel, but had one more leg of fun left on my easter break adventure...
a date with this guy. 

seeing steven curtis chapman in  concert on good friday night was AWESOME!
it was everything i'd want from scc-all his oldies, acoustic, simple, stories, joined by his 2 sons, caleb and will franklin. walking down memory lane of my christian journey through scc's music on good friday was a blessing (thanks for my early mother's day gift michael).

so that's where i've been.

as for what i'm up to...
well, "back to life, back to reality."
taxi'n the girls everyday, 50 min. each way, to drama practice for a dinner theater they are part of this weekend, catching up on neglected work from my little part time job, dealing with a broken septic pump, and finally holding back the tears as i finalize details for many surprises for my boy whose turning 13 this coming monday.

Noah, practicing to be 13. 

what have you been up to?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIWW, one outfit edition

to regular visitors of victory rd., this blog station is still experiencing technical difficulties (that's code for i'm crazy busy this week). regular blogcasting will resume in the near future (i hope, because i miss you).

for now i leave you with this "what i wore wednesday" the one outfit edition.

it actually erks me when other w.i.w.w.'ers only share one outfit. your one outfit is seriously so cute, i want to see more! you leave me feeling jipped!

i'm sure this one outfit won't leave anyone feeling jipped...

while i was feeling totally awkward photographing, the tune "vogue" by madonna was dancing through my mind...

"come on, vogue,
let your body move to the music...
let your body go with the flow...
strike a pose..."

obviously i got a little carried away. 

clothes- kohls.
scarf- my mom (thanks mom!)
petal pusher- the pleated poppy.
shoes- payless.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The following is a test...

We interrupt this blog with a 
test of the Emergency "Blogcast" System
  For the next week
this station will conduct a test of the Emergency "Blogcast" system. 
This is only a test.

 Really, I'm  just gonna be gone enjoying 
Easter break!

Regular programing will resume Mon. April 25th.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

the happiest place on earth!

On our way to the "happiest place on earth" {according to me}, 
Oakdale, Ca. 
the "Cowboy Capitol of the World's"
Rodeo Parade! 


Parade Etiquette from an experienced parader :
{back in the day i sang in the Oakdale Rodeo parade 2x, danced once.
 Wilford Brimley and blond Chip guy were the grand marshals}.

Pointing is not rude at parades. 
Children must crawl out onto highway to see the action. 
Adults must act like children at a parade-
Wave at "floats."
Shout "hello!" 
Hoot and holler "yeehaw!"
Race for candy.

Do not be surprised by what you will see in a parade; 
men atop horses atop trailers is the norm in Oakdale. 
Apparently so are women riding mechanical headless bulls.
to reside in Oakdale you are required to have one of these.
Participate in the parade! 
Run out into the parade and ask to have your photo taken with the clowns!
invite a clown to have a photo taken with your "clowns."
{one crazy lady even chased after the girl scout float to buy cookies}.
Cheer loud for your high school alma mater, "OHS!"
Make sure you are dressed in proper parade attire. 
In Oakdale, Wrangler jeans, a fringed top, and boots from the local 
Feed & Seed is the fashion, 
but this will do too.

Don't forget cash so you can purchase over priced 
cotton candy and parade balloons.
Make some noise! 
You are after all in the "happiest place on earth" 
{according to you}.
There's really is "no place like home"
Where is your "happiest place on earth?"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


i sat on the couch beside michael and told him i was tired of being insignificant.

"i'm just a mom. i know what i do here at home will produce a bountiful harvest, some day,
but today, most days, i feel so insignificant.

i look at others, making a name for themselves...
she is gaining recognition for this. 
she has a reputation for that. 
they have favor for this.
but me,
i am nameless.  

i don't want to feel insignificant anymore"

and that is where the conversation ended.

******************** fast forward 3.5 hrs. **********************

to an hour with a group of women.
seeking God.
each of us with unique God stories surveying the Author's book to find Him.
sharing and receiving pieces of God alive; God moving 
in the past, in the present, in the now.

during the hour a question.
a question which prompted me to tell.
tell how God had been tangible God.

i tell.
tell about suffocating darkness.  about LORD God almighty (God of angel armies).
tell of tangible arms being wrapped around me.
tell about God alive, audible, telling the oppressor i am His, he can't have me.

as i tell the Spirit moves.
i do not know.
i tremble.

after our gathering i move on to another meeting place.
where i am taken aside.
my teacher thanks me for telling.
telling my stories. His stories.
she tells me of a classmate who has not given her life to Jesus... yet.
she tells me that this beautiful woman is stirred by my stories. 
God's glory.
she urges me to keep telling.

as she walks away i recall sitting on the couch hours earlier.
reminded of  insignificance
i hear the still small Voice,
"you, denise are significant in my kingdom.
you, are making a Name for me."

i am humbled.
humbled by my pride that wanted fame for self.

i am grateful.
grateful for the Father who lovingly leads me in path's of righteousness for His Name's sake.

and i am honored.
honored to be part of His kingdom come, and to make Him significant {made known}.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


i talk too much.

some stories can't be kept to self. 

His stories can't be kept to self.

i am afterall  His voice here.

to tell.

the Spirit within me pleading to be ablaze.   

the fuse is lit.
dynamite on my tongue.
a God explosion erupts!

 His stories can't be kept to self.  
i must glorify.

glory can't be contained. 

 too much...
 about Him. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life in the Full. Here. Now.

   This is the very day God acted—
      let's celebrate and be festive!
   Salvation now, God
Salvation now!
      Oh yes,  
God—a free and full life! 
From Psalm 118 The Message

Today I'm in awe of God Who is abundantly generous in His Salvation giving!
Yes, He gave His son so that we could have eternal life, 
He also brings Salvation into every part of our lives; 
past, present, future. 

"Jesus came that we would have life and have it in the FULL."
John 10:10b
Salvation HERE. 
Salvation NOW.

#130. for life that comes out of darkness. 

#132. 2hrs, 4 minutes, and 47 seconds of skyping with sara.

#133. sweet talk with emilie in the sunshine (she has begun writing her own 1000 gifts)

#136. a long, good, nestled into him, fatherly hug from my f.i.l. dennis.  feels like home. 
#138 tea & scone date with the girls and their dear little friend, chloe.  she is such a joy!

#142. a stranger seeing in me what i do not see in myself. 

#147 puffy white clouds, "i see a bunny with floppy ears!" (emilie) 

#149. grateful to take noah to the bus and discover school had been canceled (i love having my boy home)!  

#148 celebrating my nephew's 3rd birthday

#155. visiting the happiest place on earth, oakdale ca. for the rodeo parade!

#156. my sister and i taking the kids to meet step-dad #6, larry; his delight in them and us. 

#157. after leaving larry's, emilie asked, "who was your favorite step-dad?" my answer surprised even me, "they were all my favorite in different ways."  crazy. wonderful.

#174. Darkness transfigures into light, 
Bad transfigures into good, 
Grief transfigures into grace, 
empty transfigures into full. 
God wastes nothing-
"Makes everything work out according to His plan." 
Ann Voscamp

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"You've really got a hold on me"

my mom visited last weekend for 3 days. 

3 days!

and i could write a series of posts and tell you that this is the first time she has been at my house in almost 2 years.

i could tell you about recent hurt, anger, bitterness,
and about how i think i'm justified.
but i can't write that...
because of Grace.

leading me
{to give up. let go of. to put aside. surrender a right. to stop holding: release}

 leading me instead
let Grace 
have a hold 
on me.

 i was having a little fun at, can you tell?

What is Grace asking you to relinquish?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Winner Winner Nacho Dinner!

And the winner of 
Victory rd.'s  
4th Blogiversary giveaway is....



Number 56
{number selected at}

Congratulations to A Cuppa Kim!!
email me at to receive your prizes!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Your answers for why you enjoy blogging caused my heart to skip a beat! 

Janelle from "Snot & Kisses" 
"My best friends live in the computer."

blog friends becoming best friends has been a blogosphere surprise! 

And  favorite nacho topping comment came from our winner, A Cuppa Kim
"I would top my nachos with nachos."

I have to agree that that would be DeeeeeLish!
Happy Blogging!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


during my mom's visit this past weekend she took us to breakfast at 
the coolest new restaurant, 

take some time to drool over the menu below,
i'll wait....

you're fine, no hurry...

uh huh, the restaurant is  called "Batter Up" because of the 
delicious pancake batter. 
you're quick!

  still drooling?

okay now back to the post. 
come on, 
 come back...

here, let me help you wipe that drool from your chin. 

i know, i know, 
yes, i see they have ice cream sundae pancakes.

which specialty pancakes did i order?
the Apple Cinnamon Chip Crunch
{must share, the portions are ginormous}  
my mouth danced a jig as it savored every delicious bite! 

so did theirs {they're not going to be thrilled with me posting a pic of them with stuffed faces}.

what, you're worried your kids won't be able to wait for all that yummy goodness to be battered up? 
no worries...

 there's a kid's corner to entertain your munchkins while you wait!
{my kiddos are technically not munchkins, 
but they graciously tried it out for ya}. 

so when are you coming to visit? 

which specialty pancakes would you order? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy 4th Blogiversary & Give Away!!

today is my 4 year blogiversary!

4 years!!

1,460 days ago i stumbled into the blogosphere unaware that i would become a full-time resident of Blogville!

Blogging has provided for me a place to worship-
to "enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart,"
as i seek blog-worthy moments,
and discover and delight in the abundant life 
God has generously given me.   
Blogging has created a space for the Spirit to rewrite my story, 
bit by bit, 
and in Grace.

Blogging has blessed me with community;
as i read your stories, 
see glimpses of your lives, 
and am inspired by you
to know Him,
to share Him,
to live in Him,
to make my life daily an offering of worship to our good God.

As a thank you to you for being a part of this blogging journey
I'm giving away a copy of
by Ann Voscamp

because you will NEED something to write your own 1000 gifts in
i'm also giving away a
Covered Notebook
{made by my fabulous s.i.l., lindsey} 
from the pleated poppy!

 Up to 4 entries!

here's how: 

#1. leave me a comment telling me how you have been blessed through blogging.

#2.  follow me.  leave a comment telling me you did.
if you already follow me, thanks! and be sure to enter again. 

#3. tell me what your favorite nacho topping is {i ♥ nachos}!

#4. go all out and post on your blog or facebook about this giveaway!

winner will be announced 
friday, april 8th!  

Monday, April 4, 2011

to behold one more moment

"The listing of One Thousand Gifts 
has me always on the hunt for one more
and one more
-to behold one more moment 
pregnant with wonder."
Ann Voskamp

#54. lavender colored wild flowers framing the drive way.

#59.  josie crawls up on my lap at piano lessons- we rock together in the rocking chair as emilie and cathy (teacher) play.  josie whispers, "i need some love." (me too, josie).

#62. has God purposely slowed down my life so that my soul could realize it is full?  i would have been too busy had i been working/mothering/managing home/doing outside ministry- too full of busy, of needing to feel significant to give thanks for every little gift.  slowed down i have needed every. single. blessing. to satisfy.  and so i've looked.  looked and found.  "seek first" and found EVERYTHING that has been added to me-soul filling. Thank you God. 

#70. cyndi- beautiful. beaming. here. 

#73. emilie flying a kite. she looks like a little girl again running with the kite. 

#74. an "early day," before michael leaves for work- he places his hand on my sleeping head and prays over me silently. kisses me. walks out of the bedroom and we whisper "Jesus" to each other.  

#80. noah finds me, kisses me. "what's that for?" i ask.   "for your mouth," he replies.

#83. brushing josie's hair, then counting and matching our freckles which mirror each other. 
God's mystery.    

#117. relaxing on the back porch with my mom (who visited for 3 days); enjoying the cool spring air, green hills, and the children playing together. 

#125. For a nice 3 day visit with my mom: watching her delight in the kids, church followed by a fun breakfast outing, seeing her cuddle with and play "just dance" with josie.  my heart removing a few bricks from the wall i've built between us; allowing grace to fill the space between us bit by bit.

What are you thankful for today?