Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Today the world takes on a new light. I can clearly see the bright horizons ahead of me. Everything is different. New. Exciting. I have a new outlook on life.

"Why?" you may ask. Because today I used Fresh Citrus Breeze toothpaste by Crest.

Actually, it reminds me of when I was a kid and mom would buy all the fun flavors to get me to brush my teeth. Kevin was slightly surprised to see an orange blob on his toothbrush last night. But he said it "wasn’t bad" when he tried it. Personally, I think it tastes a lot like orange flavored tea.

Next time I think I’ll try the new cinnamon flavor. Brushing my teeth will never again be a humdrum routine . . . ever again.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Hopin’ for a little Love

The sun was searing hot today as I walked ten blocks to the post office so I could mail my dad a birthday present. As I passed by the convention center, I experienced a bit of deja vu. There were hoards of obvious ATI families eating packed lunches and strolling the streets. I had forgotten: the West Coast ATI conference is taking place this week - and it’s all happening next door to my office building. I thought it would be nice to pop my head in to see if I knew anyone. As I entered, my attire drew many glares. I was wearing, God forbid, PANTS. It’s not as if I planned on walking in. Rather, it was a very spur-of-the-moment sort of thing. Honestly, I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. (That would have been the immature, spiteful Amy of approximately seven years ago. Now, I’m completely confident in my status as a child of God and my ability to wear what I think is pleasing to Him - not what other people think is required.)

All around me, the disdain and holier-than-thou judgmentalism hung thickly in the air. It felt like I could reach out and grab it. I walked up to one of the tables, with two young ladies seated, and watched their eyes widen and their smiles turn into plastic on their faces. I was going to make small talk with them but felt distinctly unwelcomed. Just then, I noticed Elsbeth Rox (name changed to protect her reputation) at the far end of the table. I have many good memories with Elsbeth. She and I both grew up in Southern California and we worked side by side at more than a few Children’s Institutes. I smiled brightly at Elsbeth. She froze, as if she didn’t want to be identified with me. It was awful. I’ve never felt such coldness in all my life. (Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.) Here’s my question: What has happened to ATI? It’s even worse than when I left it six years ago. The Seeds of Disintegration, as they say, have already turned the institution into a cold, callous shell without a soul. The overarching principle of every Christian’s life should be love. Love for God and love toward others. When that’s missing, all you have left is a bunch of rules.

On my way back from the post office, I was thinking about walking into the convention center a second time and talking to Elsbeth about my perspective of what had transpired. After all, if my ATI training serves me well, don’t they encourage people to communicate to eliminate any possible roots of bitterness? ;) That’s when I happened upon Mr. & Mrs. S. Mr. & Mrs. S greeted me warmly and, actually, invited Kev and me for dinner. I was very encouraged to meet up with an ATI family who showed love and friendliness without regard of outward appearances. This, by itself, was enough to carry me back to the office without any more thoughts of Elsbeth Rox.

La Diva

Last night Kevin said I looked like a Mexican Diva (the whitest Mexican you’ll ever see) because I had my hair pulled back with large hoop earrings.

K: Did I ever tell you my first crush was a Hispanic girl?
A: Oh yeah, that girl in first grade, when you lived in San Antonio?
K: Kindergarten. Her name was Alyssa Tamez.
A: Did she wear pigtails and braids?
K: I think she wore a pony tail. I never went for girls in pigtails.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Kick up your heels . . .

Here I am! I’m sitting at home recovering from a week at camp. This morning as I unpacked my suitcase I found a cookie I’d saved from this past week. For the first time in the history of the City on the Hill Youth Leadership camp, an alumni student actually brought campaign materials with him!! In addition to posters and lapel pins, he handed out cookies with his face on them that said: “Things are always sweeter when you vote for ‘Bob’.” It was a very creative gesture but, in reality, it worked against him because the new students, who were quite overwhelmed at first, felt he had come on too strongly. He ended up only getting a handful of votes, poor guy. I suppose he’ll have to chalk it up as a hard-earned lesson.

The cookie was a bit stale, being a week old, but I ate it anyway.

My favorite part of the week was small group time. I led devotions and other various discussions with six girls. They were all sixteen except for one fifteen year old. I was a bit apprehensive going into it because I was afraid that, at the ripened age of twenty-five, the girls would think me very un-cool. (It was a very sobering thought when I realized they were just beginning to lose their front teeth at approximately the same time I got my driver’s license.) In the end, however, it all turned out pretty well. We had some great discussions and I was really able to bond with these young ladies. I only had one incidence where a young gal burst into tears on me. I hate it when that happens because I’m not that emotional of a person. It’s not that I don’t care – it’s just hard to relate sometimes. But I think I was able to comfort her anyway. God is good. Hallelujah.

The cafeteria food got old VERY quickly. I had a conversation with one young man during dinner where he emphatically expressed that he will always and forevermore, from that date forward, appreciate his mom making good meals for him every night. The food was very greasy and everything tasted the same. One evening I was overjoyed to find out that they were going to serve fettucine alfredo. Well, the dish ended up being as tasteless as everything else. How can anyone mess up alfredo? I just don’t get it.

The talent show on Friday was absolutely hilarious. There were some people who were very talented. Others, let’s just say, weren’t. But those who weren’t talented were the BEST because they didn’t realize it but performed anyway – without any inhibition. (Like that William Hung dude.) Oh yeah, I shan’t forget to mention that I was slightly embarrassed during one of the performances. I had approved several girls to do a hula dance. Well, when I saw them practice it was all good and fine. But the night of the talent show they were slightly more “into it.” Let’s just say they had added a lot more hip-action to the dance. Karen couldn’t believe that someone so pure and sweet as AMY KOONS had approved the dance. I felt badly but what could I do? Yikes.

Although the ice breaker games on the lawn, the basketball, etc., etc. were all very fun . . . one of the MOST exciting moments was Saturday, on the floor of the Assembly and Senate. It was fun to hear the arguments on the bills and see the kids try to whip up the necessary votes. Halfway through the session, as I sat back in my chair, I decided that I wasn’t being entertained enough. So . . . I went to one of the kids and suggested that they try to vacate the speaker’s chair. “But she’s doing such a good job,” was the reply. “Well,” I said, “Even if she’s doing a good job, wouldn’t it be fun to have a new face up there?” Ideas have consequences, as we all know. And before long there was a motion to vacate the chair. It took several motions but, eventually, the chair lost her job and a new chair was appointed. It’s such fun to be a mover-and-shaker. (Honestly, I didn’t think anything would become of my “idea” and was shocked, simply shocked, to find out that my opinion carried weight after all.) ;)

The week concluded with a candle-lighting ceremony and a banquet. (Where it never fails that half the girls wear poofy prom-like dresses. Very cute.) Many girls were crying to have to leave their friends. The estrogen was flowing freely. For sure.

I remember what it was like being sixteen and thinking that “nothing this fun will ever happen to me again.” Honestly, it’s tough being young with so much in your life being “unknown.” I tried to console one student by telling her, “You have NO IDEA what good times lie just around the corner. The best years are yet to come.”

Friday, June 18, 2004

Upcoming Episode

Yours truly will work as a camp counselor next week at a political camp for high schoolers. She has drug her unsuspecting husband into working at this camp, in the evenings, after he is done slaying the dragons of injustice at his office each day.

The kids at this camp will be "mock legislators" for the week. Even now I can anticipate all of the politicking that will ensue. It should be very fun but very exhausting too. I will definitely take advantage of the comp-time afterwards!

The other day Kevin participated in an online discussion on the authority of scripture. I thought his comments were pretty insightful. Basically, someone asserted that the gospels/N.T. take preeminence over the O.T.

"If you elevate some Scriptures over others, you have a serious dilemma. Aside from the problem of implying that God is less truthful with us in some areas of His Word than in others, how does one determine which Scriptures should be elevated? Can we just pick and choose?

Scripture has many balancing truths which deepen our knowledge and understanding of who God is and who Christ is. Just as one example, the Bible teaches that God is just and punishes the wicked. But it also teaches that God is merciful. If we were to focus on only one of these two attributes of God without reconciling the other, we would not see the true God for who He really is, and our understanding of God is skewed. And if we willfully fail to see the true God as He really is, we are looking to and worshiping a false god.

Thus, there is danger in elevating some Scriptures over others; the danger of idolatry, false worship, and blasphemy. Rather, we should seek to understand the whole of Scripture."

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Dixie Hospitality

A new young couple attending our church, Ed and Mandy, have recently moved here from Mississippi. Both of them, but especially Mandy, have thick, genteel southern accents. And both of them are the sweetest people I think I’ve ever met. Last night we went to their house for dinner. I called Mandy first, to get directions. I always smile when I talk to Mandy because she is always so delightful. She told me that Ed was going to cook for us that evening. They had mutually decided that we should be served a Proper Southern Meal. It was great. It came with the appropriate Louisiana hot sauce, and everything. Ed told us that, typically, he makes it with crawdads and shellfish but, for us, he decided to make it with chicken instead. (To which Amy says: "Praise the Lord!") Mandy just finished medical school and is starting her residency in pediatrics. She will make the perfect children's doctor. Ed works for Ducks Unlimited and is a shootin’, huntin’ kind of a guy. We immensely enjoyed our time with them. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Woes & Miseries

Okay. My patience is wearing very thin. Last week we made another offer on a house. This is the third offer we’ve made so far. It was a very clean offer - we didn’t ask for anything from the seller. Oh yeah, and we also offered $10,000 above the asking price! (Let me not forget to mention that little fact.) Well . . . Yesterday we found out that our offer was rejected. (There were eleven offers submitted!) I wonder what the accepted offer had in it that ours didn’t. Maybe they offered their first born child as a bonded-slave. Probably!

After a trying day at work and the aforementioned distressing news, Angela and I decided that we definitely deserved Starbucks. And so we stopped and bought ten bucks worth of coffee on the way to pick up Kevin from his office. Ya know, a sugary-chocolatey-coffee-something always has the ability to comfort me after a bad day.

Later on that evening, after Kevin’s softball game (the final one of the season, in which they never won a single game!!), some friends invited us to ColdStone. As we stood in line, I told Kevin: "This is great - Starbucks and ColdStone all in one day!" Kevin reacted strongly, thinking about the impact to his pocketbook: "I forgot about that! Wow." Amy then reminded him that it was a great way to make up for their rotten, bad day. "Our day wasn’t that bad," Kevin replied.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Another Kind of Fear

It’s funny because two days ago my biggest fear was jumping off the roof of a houseboat into chilly water. Today I experienced a different kind of fear. Today, as I sat in a committee room ready to testify against an expansion of "hate crimes" legislation, I was afraid because I felt completely alone. I scanned the crowd hoping to find friendly faces. The only faces I saw were those diametrically opposed to everything I stand for. Suddenly I spotted another pro-family lobbyist. "Yes, I won’t have to go up alone!" When the opposition was called up, I started walking forward. Then I realized that the other lobbyist was staying behind. It was terrible. I stood up in the front all by myself while the unfriendly faces stared at me. Although they smiled and were polite, I sensed hostility. (These are people who hope to someday silence my message because they consider it "hateful." Honestly, I don’t hate anyone. I simply do not agree with their message. That’s all, really. And pretty soon, if things keep moving in their current direction, none of us will have the freedom to disagree on this topic anymore.) A dozen people had testified in favor of this bill and I was the only one against it. There’s nothing like knowing that you are going to lose and you are entirely alone. It’s much better to lose when you have other people supporting you. Honestly!

Yes, today I was certainly terrified. My stomach was in knots when I testified. But I did it anyway because I knew I had to do it. If I could change things so that this issue is not "the" issue of my generation, I surely would. I hate being forced to speak about it. Especially when I’m alone.

On a much, much lighter topic . . . have any of you seen Johnny English? Hysterical. We laughed ourselves sick last night.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Various Aquatic Adventures

This past weekend our young married’s Bible study went on a houseboat adventure to Lake Don Pedro (California’s sixth largest body of water, with over 160 miles of shoreline). We arrived at the lake around dusk on Friday night. Emily’s dad met us at the marina in the speed boat. We taxied for about twenty minutes until we arrived at the houseboat, anchored in a small, private cove surrounded by rocky cliffs and trees. That night we made our beds on the roof of the boat. Far away from civilization, the stars were incredible! Each night I would lie in my sleeping bag and fight against the drowsiness because I didn’t want to stop gazing at the beautiful sky. (On Saturday night, the highlight was seeing a shooting star!) It was very peaceful to lie under the starry canopy with the sound of crickets, bullfrogs, and gentle waves lulling me to sleep.

After breakfast on Saturday, we tried wake-boarding for the first time. Let’s just say that, um, Amy really stinks at wake boarding. Kevin, on the other hand, did wonderfully. He was able to get up, and stay up, on his second try! It’s amazing. It’s like he figures out the science of it, combines that with his natural athleticism, and succeeds every single blasted time.

Amy’s favorite "water toy" is the ski-bob. Kevin and I took a wild ride, with Emily as our driver. She zig-zagged all across the lake to try and knock us off. We endured the bumpy ride over the wake and back again on numerous occasions and only fell off once or twice. The real challenge was getting back on the Bob after falling off. It was highly entertaining to sit in the speed boat and watch couples try to climb on top of Bob and fall back into the water. The water was a beautiful, clear-emerald color. We enjoyed taking a spontaneous swim whenever the boat was at a standstill. Another fun time was when Kevin and I got on the row-boat and explored a little finger of the lake that twisted down a canyon. We got to a point where the water was really calm and clear. The surrounding trees were dark and gnarled and a fog started to settle in over the water. Very romantic.

It was marvelous to just RELAX for the weekend. There were several hammocks on top of the boat. We enjoyed taking an afternoon nap on Saturday with the dry, gentle breezes caressing our souls. It was a much needed vacation. A slice of heaven.

It was great to be surrounded by nature - yet have the convenience of a toilet at the same time! I’ve decided that I can totally get used to this houseboat business. ;)

On Sunday, as the houseboat headed back to the marina, we stopped at a bridge (a landmark for the deepest part of the lake) and took turns jumping off the roof of the houseboat into the water. The plunge was horrifying, to some, because of the anticipated free-fall. It was funny to watch people cringe, pinch their nose, close their eyes, and then leap off the roof. To make matters worse, the water was freezing cold in this part of the lake! But it was worth it. What madness. What fun.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Hope, Death, and Oneness

What did you think of the Reagan funeral? Did you watch it? I thought Prez. Bush did an amazing job with his eulogy. My favorite quote: "He [Reagan] believed that America is not just a place in the world but the hope of the world." He believed American is a shinning city on a hill.

If anything, I think Reagan’s funeral is a reminder for Americans to think about their own mortality. I was comforted today thinking about how death, for those who trust in Jesus Christ, is simply a "passing" on to the next life. We were made to live for eternity. (That’s why man constantly seeks immortality and the "fountain of youth" - we have an inborn desire to live forever.) Death doesn’t signify the end of us. It merely signifies the beginning of the next chapter - the brightest chapter for those who are in Christ. Thanks to the cross, death has lost its sting.

Another thing GWB said today made me nearly cry. When he spoke of Ronald and Nancy’s relationship, he mentioned how Reagan, as a politician, was constantly among crowds of people. Yet, he said, "Nancy was the only person who would make him lonely when she left the room." Isn’t that the sweetest thing? Present during this eulogy were Bill and Hillary Clinton and Prince Charles, among other VIPs. I wondered if they were envious of the Reagan’s marriage success - since theirs have been disasters. A good marriage takes a lot of work in order to be successful. And a good marriage, where there is true oneness, is the greatest gift of all. It’s priceless. I think Ronald and Nancy Reagan are an excellent example to the world of a great marriage.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

" . . . and there you were"

Here is Kevin's account:

"I wondered what happened to you. From my window, I just saw Angela's lips say, 'Are you OK?' Matt said that he heard the bushes rustle and then turned around and there you were, laying on the sidewalk."

Of Pride and Falls

This morning, Amy went into Kevin’s office to sign some papers. Angela waited in the car while Amy signed the papers. On her way out of the office, Amy said "hi" to Kevin’s co-worker, Matt, and Kevin’s boss, Ron.

Amy, it just so happens, was wearing inordinately slippery shoes this morning. After closing the glass side door behind her, she took a precarious step toward her automobile. Suddenly, without an ounce of warning, Amy’s feet flew out from underneath her. To Amy, everything happened in excruciatingly slow motion. (i.e., It took years for her to finally hit the pavement.) As her feet flew out from beneath her, she felt herself twisting in mid air, arms flailing about her wildly. During mid-fall, as the world continued to spin about her, all Amy was thinking was, "Gee, this was the certainly the wrong day to wear a skirt." She also violently cursed at her wretched shoes.

As she lay on the pavement, her hair a catastrophic mess all around her, she looked up to see horror and fright written on Angela’s face. Angela had witnessed the whole thing. Amy quickly stood up, ignoring the blood oozing out of certain strategic areas of the left side of her body, especially her left palm and her left knee cap. As she started hobbling toward Angela, Matt walked out to see if Amy was okay. (Great. They saw the whole blasted thing.) Amy waved her hand telling him she was just fine. Amy then got inside her car. When Amy realized that her clothes were okay (after all, that is the most important thing), she started laughing. Angela also started laughing. In fact, Angela laughed uncontrollably for the next ten minutes, only taking a momentary breath to tell Amy what exactly she had seen. Apparently it had been quite a sight. Angela described how Amy was there one second and gone the next. When she looked for Amy, all she could see was Amy’s body spinning horizontally in the air. Amy asked Angela, "Was it at least a graceful fall? Please tell me that it was." Angela replied: "Well, um, let me just say that it was a complicated fall."

Looking back, the only thing I really damaged this morning was my pride. As of this point in time, my sides ache more from laughing than anything else.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

A Man for All Ages

Reagan, though he has now departed this earth, is timeless. He will always be remembered fondly. Of course, there are those who will disparage his name, in whatever way they can, simply because he is wonderful. They cringe at his integrity. They hate him for his valor because they can never be like him. They will never earn the love and respect of the People like he did. And, of course, he was a pro-life, pro-family kind of man. And that’s reason enough to hate anybody nowadays. Or so it seems.

I have two distinct memories concerning our 40th President, Ronald Reagan. My first memory was in 1988. I was nine. Reagan was ending his second term and helping George H.W. Bush campaign for the White House. My mom drug my sisters and I out to the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, to hear him speak. There were thousands in the crowd but, lucky for us, we ended up standing near the front, just behind the boundary rope. A man in a uniform handed my sisters and I little American flags to wave when the President walked up on stage. At the time, I was more interested in the flag than the President. But, nonetheless, I distinctly remember thinking how likable he was. And I remember thinking that, for an old man, he was pretty handsome, too. My second memory of Reagan is when my good friend Meredith called me up one day, probably four or five years ago, and invited me to go to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley on Reagan’s birthday. She was excited, being a committed Reagan fan, to attend a ceremony commemorating the Gipper’s birthday. We stood in a long line to eat cake and got free admission to the museum. Reagan’s library is a fascinating place. If you’ve never been, you should try to go sometime. After completing the tour, I had a much more profound appreciation for his struggles and victories. Although he had his flaws, his good times and bad times, Ronald Reagan was a great man.

And I’m not the only one who shares this sentiment. I work with a guy who used to be a speech writer for Ed Meese. My co-worker, Lance, is not normally emotional but today he burst into tears at seeing the flag-draped coffin on television. I’m envious of Lance. He actually had the chance to meet Reagan on several occasions. And he’s old enough to have been politically cognizant in the 80s, during the prime of Reagan’s era. All I have are memories of his library and waving a flag! Yet . . . those are enough. From what I have heard and seen . . . it is enough. It’s enough for me to know that Ronald Reagan was a modern-day hero. People like him are a rare commodity.

Reagan is a legend. His legacy will never be forgotten.

Thank you, Mr. Reagan, for the life you lived. Thank you for your love for America. Thank you for your service and leadership. You will always live in our hearts and in our memories.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Travels to the Green Land

I had almost forgotten that there are parts of this world that are a lush sort of green during summertime vs. a golden color with a few green trees scattered here and there. It’s amazing what a little water will do! This past weekend we traveled to Indiana to see Kevin’s family. We got our tickets only a week ago - so it was a very spontaneous sort of visit. On Friday night, we attended a surprise 75th birthday party for Kevin’s grandpa. At the party, Megan and I lit floating candles and placed them in the pool, just as the sun was setting. After doing this, I looked up to see a firefly light the horizon. And then another one . . . and another one! That’s also something I’d forgotten about - the beauty of fireflies sporadically illuminating in the twilight. They definitely add a lot of personality to the landscape.

Other highlights include spending the night with Kevin’s grandparents, talking till late in the evening, visiting a beautiful and peaceful place called Avon Perennial Gardens, touring large and exquisite model homes (it was remarkable how seemingly "inexpensive" they are compared to Sac, but it’s all relative, I suppose), visiting with grandma Cazzell (who broke her leg very badly and is in a nursing care home temporarily, poor thing!), conversations and laughter at family meals, eating Cajun food in Broad Ripple (I have to throw food in there somewhere!), etc., etc. We had a great time. The whole visit to Indy was wonderful. We just wish, as always, that there had been more time. It was good to see Kevin’s half of our family again. We miss ‘em lots. In the perfect world, all the people you love would live within walking distance. That’s what I think, anyway.

Our flight back home was scheduled to arrive in Sac last night at 11:00 PM but was almost an hour late. And then our baggage took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to arrive. Today I’ve tried my best not to be a total zombie. Tonight I think I shall go home and crash into the comfort of my big, warm, snuggly bed. [Big yawn.] And then I’m sure I’ll wake up and continue living life on the edge.

Friday, June 04, 2004

It is good that we are afflicted . . .

I think I’ve had insomnia only probably three or four times in my entire life. And tonight would be the night. Of course. My law school friend, Dr. Doug (M.D.) told me that a person wakes up more restful if they sleep in 90 minute intervals because that’s the natural human sleep cycle. Since he went to med school I figure he knows what he’s talking about. So, that means, if I have to get up at 4:30 AM, that I need to go to bed at either midnight or 1:30. Heck - maybe I’ll make it until 3:00.

While I’m awake, I thought I’d share with you an experience I had tonight. It was incredible. I’m typically not a weepy charismatic type of Christian (not that there’s anything wrong with that – we’re supposed to love God with our heart, soul, and mind) but tonight I had a gripping experience. Kevin took me to Old Navy to buy a few items. After gathering the items I needed, we headed to check out and I noticed that my purse was missing. I think the last time I misplaced my purse was ten years ago!! (Insomnia and losing my purse – all in one night! Wow.) I checked the fitting room. I retraced every step I’d taken in the entire store. A lot of the merchandise was in disarray because of the Memorial Day weekend sales. The store was also very busy. I was distressed after searching long and hard to have no successful results. I remembered making a purchase earlier that evening at another store. That was the last time I remembered having my purse with me. We called that store and they didn’t have it. The plot thickens . . . normally I don’t carry much cash on me. I’ve found that, when I carry cash, I’m more likely to spend it! So, one day, I got smart and stopped carrying it altogether. Well, I just happened to have a bunch of cash with me tonight because I had our grocery money for the next several weeks in my wallet, along with other personal spending cash. When we still couldn’t find my purse, Kevin went to check the car one more time (we had already checked it two other times). It was almost that, if by checking all the old places again and again, we could WILL my purse to magically appear. I felt sick to my stomach at losing all that cash. You know the feeling of having misplaced something and feeling unsettled? I stood in the middle of that Old Navy store and cried out to God – almost audibly. I felt that God was asking me if I had enough faith (even the amount of a mustard seed). I felt myself instinctively become doubtful. I prayed that God would give me the faith that I didn’t have. Suddenly I felt a strong force pushing me to walk down an aisle that both Kevin and I had already searched several times. I walked straight toward the aisle and . . . low and behold . . . my purse was sitting there in plain view. I felt so strongly that God Himself was testing my faith tonight and that he CLEARLY answered my prayer immediately after I cried out to Him. I grabbed my purse and ran back to a clerk whom I had spoken with moments earlier about my loss. Before I knew what I was saying, I said: “I just want to let you know something. I am a Christian. I prayed that God would show me where this purse was. And He DID.” The lady looked at me like I was a nutcase. But, you know what? I didn’t care. I think that was the first time I’ve ever walked up to someone and, without planning on it, blurted out: I AM A CHRISTIAN. Honestly, though, I wanted God to get all the glory for the rescue of that stupid little purse. It may seem like a small thing. But the God we serve is someone who cares about all of the details of our lives. Tonight was a great reminder of that.

And now, I think I will try to go back to bed. Kevin came in the room and said he couldn’t sleep since I left. He’s sitting on the floor doing crossword puzzles as I type. I need to go now so I can put my baby to bed. ;)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

No Turning Back

For all of you who appreciate stability and sameness in life, I sincerely do apologize. The only thing I don’t like about this new blog format is the fact that I practically have to squint to see the font. I have already e-mailed the tech guy for information on how to remedy that. The readability of a blog is essential to its success, I would presume?

Today I received a phone call from Kevin: "What are you doing? The blog format has changed several times in the last few minutes!" First of all, I couldn’t have imagined that he’d be checking it that frequently. (But he did tell me once that he has to "check the blog to keep up with what’s happening" in his life. So, I should have been put on notice.) Secondly, I simply couldn’t make up my mind about what exactly I wanted. But I’m female, you see, and that’s my prerogative. What do you expect?

Well, tomorrow I will be away from the computer world. I will be forced out of my warm, comfortable bed before the rooster would even dare to think about crowing. And I'm definitely not the early-riser type. But it will be worth it. And, sometime soon, I will return to the land of computers and will be able to tell you about all the adventures. Until then.

Believe in the Impossible

"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it half an hour a day. Why, sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'" - Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Just another three day weekend?

I must confess. Last Friday I rushed out the door of my office thinking "Yay, a three day weekend!" I did not stop to realize the reason I got Monday off. In fact, until Monday itself, I didn’t once stop to think about it. And I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it even then except for the fact that my mom, in her typical fashion, reminded us.

It was a warm and balmy day in Long Beach on Monday. Dad had fired up the grill and the whole family sat around waiting for the meat to be done. Our bags were already packed. After lunch we would head back up I-5 to our home in Sacramento. My sister Melissa, age 7, was dressed in a bright red t-shirt with a huge American flag scarf draped around her neck and pinned together at the front with a flag lapel pin. Her hair was in pigtails with navy and red bows. She looked the picture of the all-American girl. Uncle Sam would’ve been proud.

As we waited, my mom started passing around literature to the guys, asking them to read various portions when prompted. (My mom likes to do these little "ceremonies" at holidays. I think it’s really cute.) :) Kevin read a long portion written by Colin Powell. Then she asked my grandpa to share about his World War II experiences. I presumed he would talk about his specific experiences and about other soldiers he knew and how we should remember those who have sacrificed for our country, yada, yada, yada. The same old stuff. But I was surprised. Instead, he talked about patriotism. He spoke about America then . . . and America now. He grew up in a vastly different world than I have ever seen. It was a world where people respected their country and what it stands for. And, even if they disagreed with their leaders, they still stood tall and unified in their love for America and their desire to see her grow and prosper. In grandpa’s world, journalists were fired if they ever displayed a lack of patriotism in their reporting. In grandpa’s world, school children were taught by the public schools to take pride in their country, the greatest on earth, and the freedoms and liberties they are afforded. In my world, I see patriotic exercises challenged in the courts and stripped from the classrooms. In my world, I constantly hear about things like globalism, world unification, condemnation of the President for not seeking U.N. approval, etc., etc. As my grandpa ended his little speech, I felt my eyes growing moist. The last thing he said was, "I love America."

[Note: In his sermonette, my grandpa also talked about how his grandfather fought in the Civil War, which I thought was very cool. Except he was with the Union. I think it would have been so much cooler if he’d been a Rebel. Whenever my sisters and I used to play "Civil War" in the backyard (heck with dolls!), I was always a confederate. But, oh well.]

One of the highlights of the past weekend was going to the beach with my family. Kevin actually went twice! I enjoyed laying in the warm sunshine with my sisters and burying the kids up to their necks in sand. We also worked on a very *extravagant* sandcastle with all kinds of moats and towers. Kevin enjoyed going boogey-boarding with David. It was great to watch them. The waves were HUGE. Kevin would take David way out into the deep waters and then, when a wave would start to form, he’d push him so he could catch it and ride it all the way in. It was a perfect day.

We also enjoyed a puppet show, put on by the kids. They ad-libbed everything. We thought it would be the most retarded thing ever but, actually, it ended up being pretty funny.

Also - my sister Betsy has just completed her B.S. degree in Applied Sciences, with an emphasis in Aviation. She had to take a lot of tough science and math classes and did very well. Congratulations Betsy! We are very proud of you.