Friday, September 13, 2013


On Monday my sister who does Cross Fit (an extreme workout from what I can tell, but you can take a look for yourself) started a new challenge with her class workout with a strict paleio (I have no idea how to spell this thing…they also call it a Hunter Gather diet) diet for thirty days.  So, I jumped on the bandwagon of diets (which I have NEVER done in my life) to see if what it would do.  So far…I hate it.  But, hey, you can do anything for thirty days, right? 

So why the diet?  I am not obese.  I am not even close to fat. And Robert thinks I’m hot, so why bother? For me, it has more to do with how I feel about myself.  I work out five to six days a week every week and have since January.  I have lost some weight, but plateaued out in about March.  Though I continually work out and have a physically demanding job lifting weights eight hour a day on the weekends, I would not say exercise is my problem.  So diet it must be.  After one week, I already hate it. 

On this diet you eat meat, fruits and vegetables.  If it has been processed at all you cannot eat it. I miss milk in my coffee and texture to my food.  I am so ready for the next three weeks to fly by (especially because Robert will be back then). 

In the process of all this, my body has taken a beating in my work outs, but also in the unusual way of insect intervention.  I went for a walk the other day with my sister and her two kids through their orchards.  I am in a green top and leggings, just strolling (not even a brisk walk).  All of a sudden out of nowhere my shoulder is on fire.  I think, perhaps I got caught on a branch or something and quickly go to unhook myself, but as I move my arm begins to radiate pain.  I quickly determine I have unknowingly walked into a hornet’s nest and that either they are threatened by me or I blended in with their home and they thought they landed at home base.  Either way, I am no in some of the worst pain I have been in in who knows how long.

The last time I was stung by anything was a bee and I was five.  I was playing dress up in my mom’s clothes, as most little girls are prone to do and took a seat on the window bench.  Just sitting, all of a sudden my left thigh is on fire and it is quickly determined I was stung by a bee.  Whoever said if you don’t bother them they will not bother you lied.  The only times I have been stung I have done nothing, and the first time that bee was in MY home. 

Anyway, so tears are literally streaming down my face at this point and two babies are trying to figure out what could have happened to cancel our walk so abruptly and why I am crying.  I read once that if you don’t usually curse and are in a lot of pain and your curse, it lessens the pain.  This is the first time I have wanted to try it out and of course there are babies around who can and do talk so I can’t. 

My sister was a medic with the Marines and does all the usual stuff.  I take my shirt off to get the stinger out (it must have fallen off in the fight to get home or never came off the buggar).  And because I have never been stung by a hornet (which we decided this must be because the pain is so intense and comes in waves) we call Urgent Care to make sure we are looking out for the right signs…mostly because my entire arm is going numb at this point.  She puts some lavender on it which immediately soothes the pain a little and I start icing it.  But, here is the tricky thing I learned: mud works wonders!  My brother-in-law put some mud on it and within thirty minutes the pain was significantly less (as long as I didn’t move the arm that much) and the waves it came in lasted only a brief moment.  So, next time your stung – mud is a miracle worker. 

Then last night I am coming home from rehearsal and I am so nauseous I want to pull over to the side of the road and vomit for no reason whatsoever.  I make it home.  Crawl into bed.  And call Robert.  You know you love someone when you feel like crap and only want to be with them, which is exactly how I felt when I was stung and again when I wanted to vomit.  He talked with me for a while.  He thinks he will head back to New Orleans this weekend, so we reminisced about our trip.  It was a great way to go to sleep, even if he did succeed in getting some of my most embarrassing stories out of me…only because he embarrassed me.  That’s love.   Let’s just say he had me on speaker without telling me and I said something for his ears only…that is roommate heard.  It wasn’t anything bad, it was just funny looking back, but in that moment I was mortified. 

Funny how life works, isn’t it?  Pain makes you want to be near someone and in the same instant you want to be in a dark cave hiding out from the embarrassment of a quick decision.  Ah, well, such is the life of this crazy girl.  You just never know what you’re going to get. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The first Skype date

I had the best and unexpected coffee date with V the other day.  I had worked till midnight the night before and had to be up for work at seven a.m.  I think in all, once everything was said and done, I slept maybe four hours.  So when I got the unexpected text from her with the invitation I was tempted to decline because I was pure exhaustion walking.  But, I said yes.  And thank God I did!!!

She and I talked about everything from being an introvert to relationships to God.  I was encouraged by her testimony, and did not even realize I needed the encouragement.  Although I had four cups of coffee that day to function, she made the rest of the night so much more pleasant.  I could not have asked for a better gift from God at that moment, and I didn’t know I needed it.  V-, I can’t wait to do it again!!!  And the pictures of the house look great! 

I then got to talk with Robert.  He certainly was a sight for sore eyes.  We have been talking via text and phone the pass week because our schedules are so crazy, so it was nice to see him.  Things get lost in communication via technology, but we you see them again you realize how much you needed to. We chatted about everything and nothing and he headed off to bed.  Two hours later, headed to bed myself, I had an epiphany! 

You see I am a quality time kind of girl.  I like going to festivals, and being outside, and trying new things.  I especially like to do them with people I love!  The Smoots can attest to this. Well, lately, I have been doing a lot of that with my sister and her family, which made me want to do them all the more with Robert.  But, being a country away makes that difficult.  So, you can imagine we are in need of a date.  But how do you have a date when you are so far apart?  Conundrum. 

Here’s when I was hit with an epiphany.  Why not play a card game over Skype?  He went out and bought a deck for the occasion and I borrowed one from my sister.  We played Go Fish.  Yes, I know it is a kid’s game, but it was perfect for us!  As each person got a pair we told the other so they could take it out of their own deck.  We played for two hours and talked about the stress in my life and he made me laugh…so hard!!!  It was just what I needed…and I will venture to say what he needed as well.  So, I am now open for ideas on how to have a date with someone over Skype.  Please let me know any that come to mind. 

One of the things we discussed was my frustration and fear that I will never get that coveted “Big Girl” job.  And Robert encouraged me that I would find it, that I would love it, and that there is already something new happening in my life.  He had hope for me last night, which I needed.  This morning, my verse of the day was, “For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?”  (Isaiah 43:19…from one of my favorite books!)  Ok God, I hear you.  Thank you for using V-, Robert and my verse of the day to remind me of this powerful truth. 

And now, with a new light of hope and determination, I am going to attempt to have a date playing the game of Life with him…we’ll see how that goes.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Divine Appointments

I am in the middle of working three weeks straight, with no weekends.  I am tired.  I have been tired all week, but God continues to call me to His divine appointments. 

Remember Nick?  Well, his situation has gotten worse and God keeps telling me to care.  So, this week I put my actions were my words are.  I had coffee with him.  Now before any of you jump to conclusions (because that is the kind of world we live in) Robert knows all about it and knew about it before it happened and is well aware of the conversations we had.  But, here is what happened. 

When you know someone for twenty years it give you some privileges to do and say certain things that in normal situations you wouldn’t.  It also gives you a boldness you might not otherwise have when calling someone out.  But, there is a fine line between holding someone accountable and helping someone who is hurting.  So, I started at the beginning…where he was.  What did he need from a friend that would help and not hurt him?  First, he needed an ear, which I was more than happy to give.  He was honest about his mistakes and how the mistakes of others have affected him and his family.  I let him vent, without putting in my two cents (which if you know me at all was REALLY difficult).

The second thing he needed was to be held accountable.  Lucky for me I have been his accountability partner for a couple of things, and believe that all our brothers and sisters in Christ should hold each other accountable.  So, I boldly went forward.  I told him he needed to be surrounded by Christian friends, and that meant, he had to go where he knew they and God were, i.e church.  Now, that doesn’t mean he has to come to my church, but he needs to be where God is.  But more importantly, he needs to be listening to God.  Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time and place to express your frustration at God (like you would with any a friend…he does call us friend you know) and to express your anger at life.  But, if all you do is talk, you are not growing in your relationship.  Just like any other relationship, there must be a dialogue with God.  That means sometimes we have to shut our mouths and listen.  He, at least in my experience, doesn’t usually speak audible, but God will use people, music, books, games, etc. to communicate with us.  We just have to close our mouths and open our ears.  Sometimes, it takes a friend of twenty years who has gone through the ringer with you to remind you of this. 

Now, he did not go to church today, but he at least  is open to the idea of looking beyond himself and moving forward to a brighter future.  But the conversation was good healing for me too.  We both came to a place of good friendship again, forgiving the other of wrongs done.  Forgiving is so big.  It is amazing what it covers and what healing it brings.  If you have never forgiven someone who has really hurt you, honest to goodness deeply, I cannot begin to express how powerful a thing it is in for you personally and for the relationship.  I highly recommend it. 

So, divinely placed coffee date…yep.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Strange things happen in these here woods

Busy as ever, I have had quite an extraordinarily good couple days.  I have seen old friends, visited new places and enjoyed some wonderful quality time with Robert (well as quality as you get over Skype and through mail).  But let’s start with Sunday.

I have come to the realization that I am so blessed by friends.  How God is able to restore relationships is beyond me, but I am glad He does.  My high school sweet heart married a wonderful woman almost a decade ago.  We all went through a really rough patch and did not speak for years.  About three years ago, God did something miraculous, He reconnected us.  I am now friends with both of them, but I am much more blessed by his beautiful, intelligent, and wonderful wife.  V- you are an inspiration and a blessing.  Nothing will ever change that. 

That is a long introduction to the following experience.  I texted V- the other night to see if she wanted to get together for coffee.  I miss her and now that she is in the same state and same general vicinity I would like to do this more.  She and I ended up talking about Robert (as girls do).  She asked how I felt about our relationship and where things were going and I expressed my trepidation of some of the things happening but that I was mostly overjoyed and excited to be with him.  That’s when she said, that is the best way to know if you can be serious with someone, along with some other really great advice.  And as wonderful as that conversation was (and it was really wonderful), what brought joy unspeakable to my heart was that she asked to host a Bon Voyage party for me (I am moving across country in November).  What a beautiful expression of love and friendship!!  How blessed I am by a God who saves me and reunites and rebuilds relationships!!!  I can’t wait to move, but I will miss having her close by (but the phone calls and texts will continue V-). 

Robert sent me this wonderful package in the mail.  Complete with an Air Force sweater I have been trying to hunt down, a couple really beautiful sun hats, and a beautiful box.  He is such a blessing to me.  I have never been this spoiled or happy with a guy, and I am so glad it is with a man of integrity, brains, and a sense of humor.  I have laughed more with him than anyone I know.  These are examples of his great taste.

That night, I finally fell asleep around midnight.  My phone is set to Do Not Disturb so that I am not kept awake or awoken by unnecessary calls.  If you call me twice in a row within 3 minutes, my phone will ring it through as an emergency…this did not happen.  At 12:30 a.m. I was awoken by a pounding on my door.  The only reason I answered it was because the person yelling new my name, and I assumed if you know my name, and where I am staying on this grand property it is probably because you know me. 

It being the middle of the night, I through on a covering to find my brother-in-law and a policeman at my door.  Apparently, the alarm of the house went off and no one new why.  If you don’t already know, I was embarrassed to be seen in my sleepwear – even with a covering – and so was my brother-in-law.  Sorry.  So, I spent the next hour having the cops comb through the property to make sure nothing was out of place and no one was there who should not have been.  You want to know what set the stupid alarm off?  A wasp!!!  A wasp set off the motion sensors.  Who knew?  But, all was set right and I finally fell asleep about 2:30 in the morning to be up in just a few hours.  Funny and embarrassing, but good to know my family was willing to risk life to make sure I was ok.  That is a blessing few can say they have, and I thank God for it daily. 

Monday, I took my sister and her kids to Tony’s fruit stand off of highway 70.  There, my good friend Y- runs the fruit stand and everything there is addicting.  Don’t believe me?  Ask anyone from the ONE Worship Team in LA at In His Presence Church, I am pretty sure they will testify to the goodness of what they ate at Easter.  Also, check out their music on itunes.  At this fruit stand there are some really neat signs, but the coolest part was the port-o-potty.  I kid you not, it was the nicest smelling and looking one I have EVER seen in my life!!!!  Check out the fruit, but don’t forget to check out this great place to relieve yourself. 


The lot of us then headed to Bidwell Park in Chico (I had never been!)  CSU, Chico is located on this park, so you can imagine the immensity of it.  But, the neat thing I saw that they took the river and, following its course, made it into a sort of pool for a little bit.  The kids played in it, discovered dragon files, and all in all had a great day.  We even made some friends to have a play date with later.  What a beautiful day.

Yesterday, we took the kids to Ellis Lake in Marysville.  Ellis Lake is a man-made lake that was built during the Great Depression in order to provide jobs. It has since become known for being filthy (they have pulled entire cars out of it) and for having quite a few ducks.  We thought it would be fun to take my niece and nephew to feed said ducks.  When we got there, the ducks were overrun with geese – honkers (my high school mascot).  I don’t know if you know this, but honkers are mean!!!  And they pack a pretty nasty bite!!!  

Well, we get the kids out to feed the ducks and it is not two minutes before a honker bites my niece because she can’t feed it fast enough.  The irony is that at that very moment a couple locals were coming by to warn us not to feed them because they are so mean.  We ended up putting the kids onto of the car to through the bread. In the process we discover a honker with a broken wing and a man asking for a cigarette from us (the people with two kids who in all likelihood don’t smoke, much less if we did let you near us to give you one because we had kids) who quite literally was wearing a snake…the head of which was free to roam!!!


In the paper we discovered a community leader found himself in a scandal and the next day a school teacher was arrested for meth.  Small towns apparently are the new places for drama…someone tell Warner Brothers or Fox…there is a reality TV show here waiting to happen.  Sad that small towns now have big town problems.  But it is also a reminder of where our morals as a community and country are and what it means to stand by them.  It is a slow fade to make decisions such as these.  A slow fade.  When we do not surround ourselves with good people and arm ourselves with the truth we are only opening ourselves up to the slow fade. 

But, small town problems aside, I would say this has been a very special and blessed week.  More to come.  


There is a story in the Bible of a young king who was called “one after God’s own heart” who fell hard.  One night, he was out on his balcony and looked over to see a young lady bathing.  He fell in such lust for her, he sent her beau out to the front lines of war to die so he could have her to himself.  But, the young knight lived and the act of adultery had already been done.  The king who had been known for his faith in God, his wise decisions and great military capability lost his reputation and the trust of his people over night.  The story of King David has been told multiple times throughout history in both story and song (ever hear the song Hallelujah?)

Normally, in my life this has always just been a story, but no longer. 

One of my mentors and friends has found himself in this very predicament and with his standing in the community could easily be equated to the King of the town.  The sad part is that after decades of service, his reputation has been tarnished because of one lustful act.  What is worse, is that his actions do not just affect his career and family, it affects the entire community.  He has served in places of leadership from church positions to community organizations to coaching.  All those lives he touched are affected by the decision.

As much as this is a tale of tragedy, and it is, it brings to question a very complicated faith point of view.  As a Believer, I am called to love the sinner – gay, prostitute, liar, murder, etc.  In this case, how do I put that into practice?  How do I help this man and his family who has so often been a help and pinnacle of faith to the community?  The simple answer is prayer.  Although I believe that to be true, I do not think that is the only thing to do. 

When you live in a small town like this and the actions of one have such overreaching arms, it is hard not to think of his wife going grocery shopping and getting the sympathetic looks to her face but the snickers and whispers behind her back, or his daughters feeling like they no longer have a home of comfort and trust to come back to, or the man himself knowing he has to make some pretty tough decisions to potentially step down from programs he has dedicated his life to.  How do you help the family through such sad situations and not condone the sin?  How do you stand by the people and help while not casting the first stone?  After all, we all mess up.  We all sin.  Our sins by definition affect others too. 

The answer is I have no answer.  I am saddened by the choice that was made.  I am saddened by the community response to it.  I am saddened by the pain and hurt that was caused.  But, I am hopeful.  I am hopeful that like the crowd that wanted to stone a woman who was caught in adultery, we will all remember that “he who has not sinned should cast the first stone.”  I am hopeful that rebuilding and unity will be accomplished in His timing.  God is a healer of more than the body and mind. 

If you read this friend, (yes friend because that is what you and your family has always been and your one stupid action – because that is what it was – does not change that) I want you to know that God loves you.  We love you.  This is not the end of everything, though it may look like it.  This is only the beginning.  King David is remembered as a great king and is the king in which Jesus our Lord descends.  God uses all things for good for those who are in Christ Jesus, which I believe you are.  God still has a purpose for you and your family.  I don’t know how to be a support to you or your family, and I don’t condone what you did, but I am here if you can think of a way I can help.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Busy weeks with simple lessons

This past week I have been none stop busy.  I have spent some time with my niece and nephew who live out of town, went to the zoo, and experienced some good lesson learning. But, let’s get to the cute stuff. 

My nephew Collin is a little thing with some big attitude.  He is smart and witty.  And only three.  My sister and he nephew came to visit the other day and I went in to say “hello.”  As usual, Collin did not want to say hi, but his kid sister Kaylynn did.  So I give my smooches to her and then head over to Collin (the introvert I think).  He needs help seeing up, so I pick him up and start talking to him.  He sees what he wants and want down.  Our conversation goes something like this:

“I want down.”

“But, I would like a hug and a hello please.”


“Well, I think your cute, so maybe I will eat you breakfast.”


“Well, how about, I squish and love you?”


“Well, what can I do?”

“You could get me a treat.” He says with this mischievous smile.  Apparently, his parents are working with him on moderation.  Treat came from Grandpa so I did not have to worry about. Lesson 1: Kids are way smarter than you think.  

Grandpa had to help Collin figure out how to pick an orange for a was so funny.  

That afternoon, he comes in to watch Walle with me.  He crawls onto the couch, under the blanket I am using and we chit chat about the movie.  Then about half way through he looks at me all serious and says, “We have to watch movies in moderation.”  How do you not lightheartedly laugh at that cuteness?

I finally caved and got my hair cut.  I even got it layered, but we will get to that part in a second.  I go into this thinking all I am going to do is get a trim. I end up getting a deep conditioning and a cut (for only $16, not bad).  The girl who comes up to me has a VERY bad a-line cut (I find out latter one of the other stylists practiced on her).  I think to myself, anyone but her.  But, God heard me and laughed.  She did my deep conditioning and then asks if I want a magazine to read while I wait for the conditioner to do its magic.  Not being one who reads them, I said sure and surprise me with which one you pick.  She surprised me with this:

I laughed out loud and immediately texted Robert.  His response was, “Well, if you were looking for signs.”  Interesting choice…and I have now thought more about a wedding than I ever did with my previous fiancé.  The very next day Robert tells me his roommate called him out for telling one of his class buddies that he should not have gotten engaged…roommate’s word: “Please, you know that will be you in a few months.”  More signs…if you read them I guess.

Anyway, this girl turned out to be quite capable so when she asked if I wanted layers my usual knee-jerk reaction of “no” did not come out. Instead I said, “I really like my length and that I can do an up-do in less than seven minutes.  Please do layers so minuscule that I can still do that it looks good.”  Which, she did beautifully.  She was also really funny…but she was more interested in my not-happening wedding than I was (no, Robert has not proposed…sorry to all my readers who are eagerly awaiting such things). But, here is a bad picture of what it looks like:

Lesson 2: Don't judge a book by its cover.

We took my niece and nephew to the Sacramento Zoo (I have now been to all of California’s zoos in one year).  We got to pet some beautiful animals and almost fed time. 



My good friend Vivian came to visit.  I actually learned a lot about Yuba City high society – that would be anyone who shops on Plumas Street in Downtown.  We have a great winery, some beautiful décor shops, and a really great used book store (though that is more off a side street than on the main street in general).  She and I window shopped for nothing in particular and I learned I have a keen eye for décor.  At least according to Robert, so I will now be taking applications to design your home.  Some pieces I liked are:

The Winery in Yuba City...super stylish and GREAT wine.
Lesson 3: Small towns are bigger than they appear.
Lesson 4: We still discover skills later in life.  

Robert’s birthday was Sunday.  Everyone wish him a happy birthday.  I sent him a care package of some books, some chocolate covered pomegranates (yes they make that!), some energy drinks, some homemade peach jam, and the best ever Cookie Tree cookies!!!!  He thoroughly enjoyed them…can’t you tell?

All of this happened while juggling three jobs and trying to find a real one in Maryland.  Any ideas are welcome. 

What I want to be when I grown up...

Remember when you were a kid and you were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Some kids answered doctor, lawyer, rock star, police man.  I answered actor…until I was told I had ugly elbows (to this day I think they are the worst thing on my body).  Then I wanted to be a Navy Seal…until I was told I couldn't because I was girl.  I still think they have the coolest job ever.  Then I decide on President of the United States…until I discovered what that actually meant – stress, stress and more stress and looking like a haggard mess after just four years much less eight (I still want to be beautiful when I am old thank you very much…and domestic politics is not nearly as interesting as foreign). Last week my answer would be to be a diplomat, hopefully an ambassador, but my answer has changed.

I have three jobs now and by this Saturday will have worked fifteen days in a row.  Sunday after work I watched the movie Trainspotting (a recommendation from two of my brothers that I hated!!!)  So, to get my mind back I searched Netflix for something more cheerful and stumbled upon the movie This is Our Time.  It is a tale about five college graduates entering the real world.  Four of the five find themselves in the places they believe they should be in their careers right out of the gate while the fifth one (the one I relate to and will be referred to as Connector in this blog) has been denied graduate school and is stuck serving sandwiches at his dad’s shop. 

Naturally, Connector is frustrated feeling like he wasted his time and money on a degree that is useless to him.  He feels left behind as he watches his friends move forward in life and in love and he remains on the sidelines.  In his bearing of his heart to his mentor he discovers that perhaps, God places us on the sidelines for such a time as this.  What a way to hit home for me.  But my lessons in this movie did not end there.  Oh, no. 

Later, one of the characters dies and in the going through of remaining articles, the group discovers what she thought of them.  His description was connector.  He was the writer, the one who could see people for what they are, not what they present to the world.  He was the glue that held the group together and connected people to who they truly are.

Robert had just finished telling me that I do good in the lives of so many, even though I do not see it.  Hearing this, it was as if God was telling me that my unique skills and talents will accomplish tasks, but an occupation is not what He called me to.  You’ve hear that term before, “calling.” “God called me to Africa,” “God called me to be a singer.”  Well, my whole life I have been waiting for this calling.  I have watched as my siblings new from a young age their “calling” – lawyer, stay at home mom, singer.  I never had that feeling.  My feeling was to be a history maker…there is no college degree that can prepare you for that (Abraham Lincoln was self-educated…never got a formal education). But somehow, I missed this lesson.

What I learned was that my calling is not to an occupation.  That question: What do you want to be when you grow up? we interpret that wrong.  It is not about occupation and employment, it is about character.  I want to be good.  I want to be generous.  I want to be humble.  I want to kind.  I want to be compassionate.  If all of this is in place, God will use the unique skills, talents and abilities he has granted me in my employment whether that is as a banquet server, a nanny, or an ambassador or officer.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Simple blessings

“I am not skilled to understand what God has willed what God has planned.  I only know at His right hand stands one who is my Savior.” Aaron Shust

Blessings come in many sizes and packages.  This week I have been blessed abundantly.  No, I do not have my dream job, or even a job in the field…yet.  But I have found joy in the simple things.

Sunday I had such a good experience at church, I just had to share it with Robert.  We set up a much needed Skype session (thank God for the part of technology) and I explained how much I enjoy singing worship and hearing from God.  I got really excited when he said he would like to come to church with me. That kind of joy can’t be shared in its truest form by just discussing it, it has to be experienced.  I am so excited to share that part of my life with him.

I talked with Robert this week about a dream I have.  Some of you know I want to see the end of human trafficking in my life time (at least in the US).  But, I also have a passion to help where it is really bad – the Congo.  In the Congo 90% of girls are sexually mutilated (not just assaulted) by the time they are 3 years old!!  Evidence shows that one of the best ways to curb this is to educate.  I do not mean educate girls about how to protect themselves, but to educate period.  Math. Science.  English.  Reading.  Writing.  All of it. When this happens, the children of the abusers/traffickers go to school and become friends with those would-be victims.  This relationship makes it more difficult for the aggressors to kidnap, attack, etc.

So, I want to open a school in the Congo.  I want to also attach a clinic where students can be safe and get the help they need physically.  There are few doctors who can fix the kind of damage these girls receive when the have been mutilated with all sorts of tools and weapons.  Many die from lack of treatment.  It is a terrible place they are in and we can help.

As I was telling Robert this he surprised me.  Most men say, “Oh, that’s great but it is unrealistic.  You will never come close to that,” or, “Oh, how naïve you are!”  Robert’s response was, “I don’t know how to help you.  But, if all I can do is pass out clean water and send them to you for education and learning about God, then that’s what I’ll do.”  That is a sign of support from a good guy.  How blessed I am!  I cannot wait for this dream to become a reality, but knowing that I have his support, makes it all the more exciting.

Monday I was so blessed to not just talk to my nieces and nephews in Texas, but to Skype them.  Oh, how I miss them!  Keira showed me the new house and has grown into such a young lady in only a few months. She is beautiful and poise.  Gianna has gotten so big!  She bragged about sleeping on the top bunk, and she speech has just developed so well.  Khristian is so popular! He has already made friends with the entire neighborhood (and school hasn’t even started yet!) I can’t wait to see him play some b-ball…he has this incredible innate talent.  Kadin is walking!!!!!!  He is so big and cuddly.  I miss him.  Kole, my sweet little mischievous friend, took the phone and liked to play with me by walking into the dark closet and back out to save me from the darkness.  Then he monkeyed around and hung upside down with his curly-cue long hair and commented on his ability to change how it looked, and turned the phone upside down to show that I could be upside down too.  I miss dancing and singing with him.  He is getting so big.  Thank you for sharing them with me Tausha and Jason.

That morning I went to Roseville to play in this giant jungle gym called Wackey Tackey.  I have been to tons of these things with my nieces and nephews, but this is one of the best ones I have seen.  They had ball pits, jungle gyms, shooting balls, giant balls, and everything was tall enough for the adults to accompany the kids on.  The only down fall is there was poor security.  But if you are an active parent, this would be a great place to take the kids – especially in extreme heat and down pouring rain.



My kid sister’s baby girl surprises me every time I see her.  She is so cute and happy.  She had fun trying to keep up with her older cousins.  Collin was just so energetic!  I think he did the entire place in ten minutes and still had fun for another two hours replaying everything.  It was so fun to watch the eldest, Kolby, playing with the kids.  He did everything from throwing balls at the kids (when appropriate) to helping them climb, to chasing them around.  It was so fun to watch.

We then ate at this terrible hot dog place on the way home.  I would tell you the name but I can’t remember. In a tight pinch on time, it wasn’t bad.  The customer service was actually quite amazing!  But the hot dogs were less than appetizing.  Since nothing else was near, we settled there and had a good time of fellowship with the kids.

I spent the Tuesday morning at the park with my nieces and nephews – climbing up the jungle gym like a champ I might add! And then I was so blessed to see the movie Planes Tuesday.  We stopped by Jamba Juice because they are doing a promotion of Planes cups for kids smoothies and then took the kids.  This movie is significantly better than the Cars movie, in my opinion.  It teaches good lessons like lying catches up to you and hurts people, face your fears and always do good – even when life looks bad.  It was so fun to take the kids.  When I told Robert I saw Planes I also told him he would enjoy it.  His response, “Oh, I see them all the time.  Where did you go, on base or Sacramento?”  Oh what is lost in text!  I had to share that smile with the world.  Air Force on the brain, which is good, but I hope you get a chance to see it on your down time.  You will really like it, hon.

David, my kid brother, and I did a google hangout session yesterday – he is they only one I know who uses it.  For those of you who don’t know, it is a type of Skype.  We chatted about nothing and everything and enjoyed just joshing with each other.  I hope you are enjoying your day off today, though I still think you should come visit me.  Then I was blessed with my boss giving me today off.

Simple lesson: find joy in the small things and the big things seem less daunting.  I don’t have my dream job, but I am closer (pray this most recent application comes to something please).  I am heading in the right direction and know that God has a plan.  That’s all that matters.  Doing God’s will even when I don’t have the answers…which is usually. And still He provides and still He loves and still I am blessed.