Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day #2 - 'Thinking of You'

I'm on an email list for inspirational messages from Bob Perks.  I'm not sure how or when I signed up for his emails, but I truly enjoy them and they always leave me feeling inspired.

Here is a link to today's message ...

Bob Perks Message for Today

I pass on this message via my blog because I'm 'thinking of you'.  Have a wonderful day ♥

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Day Challenge ...

So, I first ask myself, am I up for the challenge?  I haven't been a particularly faithful blogger, but I'm an dedicated scrapbooker/family historian.  First, as is normal for me, I'm bending the rules to suit me.   Yes, I understand it's supposed to be for the month of November, but because it's already the 7th I figure I'll dare to be different, so for me it's 30 days from the time I begin - 30 consecutive days is what I'm looking to do, but it may be 30 days by the end of 2010, we'll just see ...

In order to make this work for me I've decided to do my 30 days of blogging a little differently.  It would be fun to dig into a variety of questions on different topics, but I need something to hold my 30 days together, and something that will be a way of digging a little further into something I'm already doing.  What is it that I'll be blogging about?  Well, it's going to be an extension of my prayer time, a way of working through whatever my reading from The Bible and my Daily Devotional is for the day.  I have to admit that today I didn't do my normal routine which includes exercise (and watching mindless TV after I wander through emails on my Droid while on my exercise bike or stairclimber) and prayer.  So, I figured I'd do just a quickie introductory blog about my 'plans' for this next 30 days (or so).  Sort of commit myself to the idea by writing it down.  So, that is exactly what I'm doing here, making a commitment to myself, and anyone out there reading my blog, to write 30 blog posts in (hopefully) 30 days.  

Here's a bit of what I'm reading as I write this post ... the title of yesterday's Upper Room Devotional is 'Open Doors'  As I read through it I realized it was quite appropriate for this first post, so here I go ...

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
-1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
     ONE day I came to the checkout counter humming a gospel tune. The clerk said, "You certainly seem happy today." Bingo! A door opened. I replied, "Every day is a great day when you have Jesus in your heart." This opened the door for me to speak another word about my faith the next time I saw her.
     God is always working, and every day offers opportunities to proclaim the Good News. Whether we are at the supermarket, the gas station, the mall, or on the street, opportunities arise. Paul says in Colossians 4:3, "Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ." Every day before leaving the house, I pray, "Lord, help me to see the open doors today, and give me the courage to tell someone the good news of Jesus Christ."
     Doors of opportunity open for every believer, and many people need to hear of God's grace. Who is willing to talk about the wonderful grace of Jesus Christ? If you and I don't tell them, who will?
Today's Prayer ... Dear God, help us respond to the open doors of opportunity you put before us so that we may tell the good news of Christ each day.  Amen.
And, the Thought for the Day ... Look for ways to speak of your faith to those around you.

And, lastly, Prayer Focus ... For courage to speak about my faith.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Matthew, the High School Marching Band Boy :-)

Just a few 'Proud Parents' pictures of our boy doing what he loves, playing the trumpet in the High School Band!  We're very blessed to have a great Band Instructor at our Middle School, who happens to also teach Band at the High School.  He gave the kids who want to do it the option of being a part of both Bands :-)

Matthew is an extremely dedicated trumpet player, and boy does he continue to just get better and better! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Bah Humbug! for me this year, especially because ...

... I'm hoping to help with the Christmas 2010 Budget just a bit by getting some Shutterfly Christmas cards for free :-)  We send out about 150 cards each year, and so this year when I noticed I could possibly get 50 for free I was feeling pretty good.  The design I've pinpointed (I think) for this year's card is the "Family Memories Christmas Card".  Why, you ask?  Well, because I love to include as many photos as I can on our cards, and this one allows me to include 12 photos!   In the past I've done newsletter style cards with pictures, but I'm not always satisfied with how it comes out - I'm kind of picky that way.  And, I also started noticing which cards I'm more likely to keep, and truthfully, I like the cards with pictures that come with a nice informative 'what's been going on in our family' type of letter.  Since quite a few of the people we exchange Christmas cards with are not ones we keep in touch with, it's great to hear all the things their families have been doing during the year.  And, I've also discovered when I write my annual Christmas letter it gives me a chance to focus on the positives of our family member's lives during the past year, which I feel is a great way to end the year and start the new one!

To check out all that Shutterfly has to offer for your Christmas cards, just check out ...
or to check out stationery and Christmas cards go to ...

And, check it out ... “Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards”

Wow, am I really going to get going on my Christmas cards before Halloween?!  Hmmm, we shall see :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yup, time to blog again ...

Yup - it's been months, but what they hey, it's time to get back on the bandwagon again.  Here's a few pictures from our recent trip to DC ... it was a pretty awesome trip, and one of the highlights was getting me on the airplane!  Nope, don't love to fly, but I did okay, which kind of opens up a whole world of traveling for me to do :-)

 So nice to have a TV to watch while we fly :-)
 Layover time in New York - never been there before, and I guess I still really haven't!

 A great picture of Bob at Shaun's football game!
 Drinking wine and watching football with the lovely Annie in his lap.
 Arlington Cemetery.
 One of several morning lattes made by our gracious hostess Pam :-)
 A little morning porch sitting time for me and Annie.
 Matthew being a silly kid in one of the many museums we visited!
 Yup, I really was there!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Taste of the Hammond Family Reunion ...

The Reg Hammond Clan

Pictures of the other clans and more to come ...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day! ♥

Happy Father's Day, Bobby and Richie!  

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer 2010 ...

Summer 2010 ... we've been looking forward to it for a while, and now it's here.  Now, realize that our life is not what I'd call, well, exciting.  We like to hang out at home, although we do love a trip to a bookstore (even if it is 30 minutes away).  We like to get out and skate or bowl or miniature golf, too.    But, we also have responsibilities at home in the form of chores that need to be taken care of.  We try not to let that get in the way of our fun, but these things do need to be done.   That all being said, I decided to make a list this summer of things to do - for those days when we know we'd like to do something, we just don't know what.  I modeled mine after this one one from http://asoftplace.net/2010/06/hello-summer/  

Here's our version ...

And, here's a few things we have done from the list ...
And, a couple of things not on the list ...

While the summer got off to a bit of a rocky start, I think we're starting to settle into a routine that includes the normal day to day routine stuff as well as some pretty cool fun stuff!  I even bought myself some skates yesterday so the boy and I can go hurt ourselves together!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Award Winning Poet!

Matthew entered the Ventura County Writers Club 2010 Poetry Contest.  Here he is with one of his certificates.  He submitted 6 poems and won a 1st place, 3rd place and an Honorable Mention!  Pretty exciting stuff!

He read 2 of the 3 poems that won ...

 ... to quite a large audience!

There were 228 entries total for the entire contest - adults, young adults, and children.  So awesome that 3 of his poems were chosen!  Congratulations, Matthew! ♥

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

 We went for a walk on the Ventura Pier this evening, the evening before Memorial Day.  Flags were placed all up and down the pier - it really was quite a beautiful sight.

Now for a story to help us remember this very important day ...

It was raining “cats and dogs” and I was late for physical training.  Traffic was backed up at Fort Campbell, KY and was moving way too slowly.  I was probably going to be late and I was growing more and more impatient.

The pace slowed almost to a standstill as I passed Memorial Grove, the site built to honor the soldiers who died in the Gander airplane crash, the worst redeployment accident in the history of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Because it was close to Memorial Day, a small American flag had been placed in the ground next to each soldier’s memorial plaque.

My concern at the time, however, was getting past the bottleneck. Getting out of the rain and getting to PT on time.

All of a sudden, infuriatingly, just as the traffic was getting started again, the car in front of me stopped.  A soldier, a private of course, jumped out of the pouring rain and ran over toward the grove.

I couldn’t believe it!  This knucklehead was holding up everyone for who knows what kind of prank.  Horns were honking.  I couldn’t wait to see the butt-chewing that he was going to get for making me late.

He was getting soaked to the skin.  His BDU’s were plastered to his frame.   I watched as he ran up to one of the memorial plaques, picked up the small American flag that had fallen to the ground in the wind and the rain, and set it upright again.

Then, slowly, he  came to attention, saluted, ran back to his car, and drove off.  I’ll never forget that incident.  That soldier, whose name I will never know, taught me more about duty, honor, and respect than a hundred books or a thousand lectures.

That simple salute --- that single act of honoring his fallen brother and his flag --- encapsulated all the Army values in one gesture for me.  It said, “I will never forget.  I will keep the faith.  I will finish the mission.  I am an American soldier.” 

I thank God for examples like that.

And on this Memorial Day, I will remember all those who paid the ultimate price for my freedom, and one private, soaked to the skin, who honored them.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A windy Santa Barbara beach walk with Nana (and Emily)

We decided to visit Nana one Saturday and went on what turned out to be a very windy beachwalk.  Nonetheless it was a beautiful walk.

Another one bites the dust ...

One of our baby avocado trees has gone to Avocado Tree Heaven ... someone sadly decided to run the stop sign across the street from our house today and ended up taking out one of our baby avocado trees (just a little over a year old).  I came to find out this afternoon that the person ended up being arrested for DUI as well as child endangerment.   And, all around 10 or 10:30am!  Now, I'd say that's not the way to start a 3 day weekend.

That sad little stick sticking out of the round used to be our avocado tree filled with leaves ...
but alas no more :-(