Freaky Friday

Sometimes the s0247entence “If I were you…” strikes me as rather funny. One night I was in bed trying to sleep, at the wee hours of the morning, when I started pondering this. What if I was…

If I were my hubby.

  • I’d see what it’s like to actually know how to work on a car
  • I’d use power tools without fear
  • I’d kick my kids’ butts at video games, well maybe not the younger one, he’s too good
  • I’d eat all the shellfish I could get my hands on (I’m allergic)
  • I’d sing the song Boris The Spider by The Who (if you look it up, wait for the chorus…you’ll see)
  • And. of course, I’d pee in the woods all the time

Then I started wondering what I would want him to try if he were me.

  • I’d want him to go for a pedicure, because you know guys want to, but my hubby says he’d lose his “man card”.
  • I’d want him to watch a marathon of cry movies so he could just let it all out.
  • I’d want him to take a nap every afternoon for a week.
  • I’d want him to ask someone else to kill the spider or bug that’s over the bed.
  • I’d want him to have the dog follow him EVERYWHERE in the house and feel loved
  • And I’d want him to try and pee in the woods wearing long PJs and not get any spray on the hems.

Brilliant Ideas by Me

My hubby and I sometimes like to come up with crazy ideas and imagine actually following through on them. I want to share a few examples today of some golden ideas I have had recently.

  • A restaurant named 360.  The idea is that every meal is around 360 calories.  The title of the restaurant would not just be about calorie intake (although that is a main part of it) it would describe our attitude about food.  It would be about turning how we eat on its head.  The food would be from all over the world and even some fusion ideas.  There would be suggestions for the Gluten Free diets, sugar free diets, Vegan diets, Paleo diets, etc in the menu.  Ideally the room would be round and have round tables.
  • A school called Unbroken : The Med Free ADHD School For Boys.  The school would be designed entirely around the idea of fostering an attitude change about ADHD.  Besides teachers we would also have a nutritionist and a therapist on staff.  No kids would be allowed to be medicated.  There would be mandatory parent classes once a month where they would learn skills on how to guide their “energetic” son.  There would never be detention (at least we wouldn’t call it that); instead they would have work classes and therapy for kids who have trouble controlling their behavior.  Ideally it would be set on a ranch, but I think as long as you have trampolines around, you might have a perfect setting.   I insist on it being for boys, because 10% are medicated in this country.  You could open a separate girl one, but I would not allow a co-ed version.

Feel free to steal any of these ideas.  You’re welcome.

P.S. Do you have any wild ideas that you came up with?


Talk to Your Kids!

I need to rant.  My hubby and I recently went out to a lovely Thai place for dinner.  As we were enjoying our conversation we hear “beep, beeeeep, beep” and we look to see the kid next to us playing video games on a tablet.  My hubby leaned over and asked him kindly to turn it down a bit.  We then got to suffer the death glare of his mother for the rest of the meal.  I really think if you are going to let your kids play video games in public places you really should get them headphones for the sound or turn it way down.  Apparently this mom didn’t agree.

Then I looked around and saw 3 other kids in the restaurant at 3 separate tables playing on some kind of electronics.  I was baffled.  Why take your kid out if you aren’t going to talk?

My teen boys still only have flip phones that they can text and call on…that’s it.  No one is allowed to bring a phone to the dinner table even at home.  We believe in the art of conversation.  I say art, because I believe it’s something that is taught and practiced.  Most people who meet my boys are usually surprised at how nicely they speak to people of all ages.  They stand confidently and can carry on a conversation with adults.

When they were young and we were stuck in line at Costco, or waiting for our order at a restaurant, or even sitting in the doctor’s waiting room (you get the idea), we played a game called 3 Words.  The boys would give me 3 words and I had to tell them a story and incorporate those 3 words.  I would tell crazy stories that involved aliens, bears and corn or spaceships, dragons and bacon. One time at Costco the surrounding people started listening to my crazy tale and everyone laughed when I finished.

At some point the boys started asking for words so they could tell a tale of their own.  I remember my youngest’s first try went something like this, “Your 3 words are pig, tornado, and pool”.  My son said, “There was a pig in a pool who died from being sucked up by a tornado.”  For months he couldn’t make it past one sentence, but we loved it and always encouraged him.  A lot was happening in these moments.  We were developing their composition skills, practicing listening, learning to speak to each other, spending quality time with the kids, encouraging creativity, teaching them that stories have a climax and an end (not all kids know about the climax and end thing.  They will sometimes just talk without purpose)…I feel sad for these kids that are most often just shut down by being given a computer game.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand, at the end of a long day, when you’re trying to cook dinner, to put a movie on.  I get using a game once in a while, especially at the doctor’s office.  Try not to over use this though (and turn down that volume in public).  Don’t miss out on opportunities to spend time with your kids.


Resolution Check In ~ July 2014

I believe in following through with my resolutions if I’m going to take the time to make them.  I made some this year, so this is my mid-year check-in.  I’m not doing too badly.

  • I will complete 2 quilts

I have not done any more since my last update, so I still have only 60% of the 1st one done.  It’s hard to quilt in the heat.  I still have half a year.

  • I will finish my read through the Bible that I started in 2013

I finished this read through the Bible at the end of May.  I’m currently doing an in depth study of Revelation and plan on starting the New Testament in French in the Fall.

  • I will exercise at least 5 days a week (unless I’m sick)

I was getting really good at this one, but then I got really sick in early June (sinus issues).  I have not gotten back on track with the workouts…I’m still planning on doing this.

  • I will lose 50 lbs.

I have lost 45lbs.  I want to lose 25 more, but as for my goal, I’m close.  Here are some pictures…


Washington DC 307





  • I will post a non “picture blog” at least once a week.

I have posted every week, but one, and that was the week I was having the sinus headaches and I just wasn’t functioning well that week.  (This post is post 710.)

  • If I reach 100 followers, I’ll try to figure out some kind of giveaway.

I am at 87 followers.  I better start taking this resolution seriously.

Happy July!  Have you kept any resolutions?

Pismo Beach Adventure

I have never camped on the beach before this past weekend. This was also the hubby’s first time to Pismo Beach. We have two amazing friends that took on the two of us noobs and shared all their lovely dune toys. This is our campsite. (We had to use 2 foot pegs to secure our tent in the sand ~ it was very windy at times)

I didn’t even know what a sand rail was. In case you don’t, here I am with my friend Jen, getting ready to go for a ride.

This was the view from the back of our campsite. That little house was the bathroom.

And this was the view facing the ocean at sunset (a few obstruction of a perfect view, but really I can’t complain.) It was awesome.

Here are the hubs and I all bundled up from the lovely cold (it was in the 90s inland, but chilly where we were).


If I didn’t throw in a picture of the hubby’s Jeep for its first trip to the beach, I think he’d be disappointed. He was able to save a few people this past weekend by offering a tow. I love his willingness to help others.

P.S. This is how you do being an empty nester. The oldest boy returns in a week and the other in a month.

You’re 18. Grow Up!!

I am starting my 12th year of youth ministry. I will be working with high school students again. This is one of my favorite groups. I like their energy, the chaos (from hormones and such), and most of all their passion.

When I have a student turn 18 I sometimes go on a bit of a rant when they don’t take turning 18 seriously. Why is this such a pet peeve? I think I’m tired of meeting people in their 20s who are behaving like they are 15.

Here are some of the key points to my rant:

1. You are 18. You are an adult.  Behave like one.

2. You are responsible for all your choices now. If life isn’t going well, then start making choices towards changing things. If you are succeeding, then you get to celebrate. It’s all you.

3. If you CHOOSE to live at home (and from here on out it is a choice) then you can’t whine about it. You have to be thankful to your parents for letting you stay, and you need to accept their house rules. It’s their house.

4. Being uncomfortable isn’t the end of the world. If the cost of living (I live in California) is too much for you to live the way you want, consider another state (yes, with different weather). You don’t have to have the nicest car, or maybe you could use public transportation. You can share an apartment with others.  Shop for clothes at a 2nd hand store.

5. There are no jobs that are beneath you.  You are starting out and should be willing to start at the bottom.  But be creative with your search.  Don’t just go to the mall and apply to all the Starbucks (I once worked as a receptionist at an acupuncturist ~ that was unique).

OK, so those are the top 5 of my rant.  I sometimes keep going and get rather heated in my need for the students to understand they need to grow up.  It really makes me cringe when I meet a 23 year old and they are uncomfortable with the title of “adult”.  My reaction is always, “Yeah, you’ve been an adult for 5 years.  What are you waiting for?”

I could also go into how parents enable their kids to behave as juveniles, but the truth is, as an adult we need to stop pointing the finger at our parents.  The onus is now on us, the adults, to take ownership of our own lives.  So go out there and GROW UP!



Being a Mom is NOT the Hardest Job

I’m sure I’m going to get in trouble for this…maybe. I recently saw a video of a shift change at a lighthouse that gave me the willies (Click HERE to see the video).  All I could think of is that statement people always make that “Being a mom is the hardest job”.  All I could think, is that I’d rather be a mom than suspended over a ferocious ocean being transferred to a monolith building in the middle of behemoth waves that only a couple of people hang out at for months at a time.

I studied economics in college and I have found myself using the cost-benefit model a bit in my life lately.  I wanted to go to a concert.  It was $100/person.  I would pay that if the concert was at my favorite venue (The Mountain Winery), but the one I was looking at was at least a 45 minute drive to San Francisco (a city I hate to drive in and park in) and it would be late on a Sunday night…the cost was too much.  I would have considered it for $50 tickets, but not $100.

Applying that same logic I think being a mom is one of the greatest jobs ever with the best benefits.  Sure there are times of stress, lack of sleep, and an overwhelming amount of multiple tasks that need to be done NOW.  But really, a lot of jobs have that.  Some of those jobs get paid minimum wage and yet people still go.  You can say that being a mom you don’t earn a cent…but wait!

What do we get from being a mom?  Now that my boys are older and soon off to college, I can look back and smile.  I got to spend afternoons creating with Lego, running through sprinklers on hot afternoons, making paintings with our fingers and toes, seeing them perform for the first time after watching them practice for hours, spending the occasional school day ditching and going to the beach instead, laughing hysterically at some of the mistakes we made, watching them have their first crush, teaching them to drive, reading to them for 17 years from books like Goodnight Moon and Robinson Crusoe…I could write for pages of all the amazing things I got to experience.  The benefit of being a mom is…ginormous!

So you can say it’s a tough job, you might even say you don’t get paid enough for all we do for our families, but really, the benefits outweigh any job I can think of.  I wouldn’t trade these last 17 years for anything.  Being a mom is the most rewarding  job ever.  Why do we always dilute it with our complaints of it being so “hard”?

Portraits 1999 (2)



Thanks boys for the best career I could have had…I love you and am so stinking proud of all you have accomplished already.