Oh, Lord You’re Beautiful, and I am Really Bruised.

We were in a car accident Thursday. A young guy in a giant truck ran a red light and took out the engine of my husbands SUV. It was sudden, noisy, smelled horrible, but we were all safe. Colette and I sat on the grassy corner near the accident and watched… and waited. I’ve never been in an accident before, but everything seemed to go as smoothly as can be expected. As we sat I kept thinking of all the little things that were helpful. I had a tiny notebook to take down people’s names and numbers for witnesses. We had a bunch of Target bags in the back of the car that came in handy for clearing everything out before the car was towed. The fact that we all have cell phones and can call for help. It was still light out, everything would have been much harder in the dark. The more important things were that people stopped to help, the police and ambulance were fast, my parents could come and pick us up. We were safe, and together.

Later that night when it was quiet, we realized how sore we really were. Jeran couldn’t get the buzzing in his ear to stop and I couldn’t stop hearing “Oh, Lord You’re Beautiful” playing over and over in my head. I woke up singing it again, with it playing in my head we were off to the the ER to check us out. The ER staff were great, and going early in the morning was a good idea, they weren’t busy and I ended up staying there longer than expected. We all got x-rays that came back good, but soon I had a bunch of staff worried about my bruising, the seat belt had definitely left it’s mark. I needed a CT scan. This was a shock, I was fine, just some pain where the belt was. I wasn’t on the side that got hit, the rest of my family was. But it’s better safe than sorry and this was just another new experience for me. I waited a long time, they might have forgotten about me. But I sat and listened to life going on around me. I heard illness, pain, worry, but also the conversations of the staff talking about normal every day things and the lullaby that meant a baby was born. Through it all I couldn’t stop singing.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I see,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

My scan came back good and I learned a little more about myself. It’s nice to know everything’s working ok. I still have the song running through my head, who knows how long that will last. It’s just there, but sometimes when I stop and think on it, I’m amazed that God would look at me. Through the messy and amazing parts of my life God covers me in grace, and I don’t want to stop singing his praises.

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I’m OK, I’m Just Praying

I want to tell you about something I do every day after I drop my daughter off at school. I sit in my car and pray. I’ve done this everyday since she started preschool. The prayers were simpler then, mostly that I wouldn’t worry so much, that she’d be safe, not get other kids germs, make friends and love to learn. When she went to kindergarten my prayers change, Sandy Hook made me think outside my little world. I still prayed for friends and fun but now I was asking for her to stay safe and healthy, beyond germs, and that all the children, teachers and staff would be safe as well, not just at her school but all schools. Sometimes I would just sit and not know what to pray just asking that God knows what our children need at this time. For awhile I wanted to invite others to pray with me as well, anyone who wanted to uplift our kids and staff through prayer. I envisioned us all holding hands on the sidewalk in silent prayer, all faiths standing together to show we love and support our school, our community. But, I’m an introvert, and shy, so of course this never happened. I also worry a lot and thought it might draw attention if it actually caught on. Evil might see, and hurt what we’re trying to protect. So I keep to myself. I use to move my car because I worried some of the parents talking on the sidewalk might knock on my window and ask if I’m ok. I’m ok, I’m just praying. I don’t move anymore, I’d probably get really startled if someone came up to me, but I’d tell them what I’m up to, it’s too important not to. Our world is broken, history keeps repeating, and sometimes it feels like there’s no way we can fix it. The only way I personally know how to help right now, is through prayer. We may not be together in front of your students school asking for protection, but when classes starts tomorrow, will you pray with me? You can be in your car, at home, work or with a group of parents talking outside the school (maybe you’re even one of them wondering what I’m doing in my car). Even if you don’t have kids, you probably have a school nearby that needs your prayers. And I’ll be in my car, just praying with you.

What Happened to the Dresses? And the Sparkle?

Isn’t this a normal every day outfit for a 6 year old? It was for her.

Colette and I went shopping for her Christmas outfit last night. I asked her the other day what kind of outfit she would like. She told me nice pants and a pretty top or maybe a jumpsuit. Wait, what? Where has my little girl gone? There was no poof, no sparkle, no glitter to cover everything she touches. This has been happening for awhile now. She loves skinny black jeans with a fun top and a high pony. This would be her uniform everyday, if she had enough black pants. She still loves to dress up, she’s just changed her style. Colette knows what she likes and she’s more modern tween than Disney princess now. We oohed and ahhed over all the sparkly dresses and things covered in fur, she really likes fur, but it wasn’t what she wanted this time. Colette actually ended up picking something that will go great with what I plan to wear this holiday season. I’ll probably make her take a million pictures which she will love, and hate, because she’s ten and her emotions change constantly. She fell in love with a dark blue lace top, we had to leave it behind till we found some pants that would work, but ended up coming back for it with skinny white cords. The corduroy is so soft and velvety. She may have ditched the sparkles but made up for it in texture. We still need to get some flats and probably a sweater, I have a feeling a little sparkle may end up there yet. But, if not that’s ok, because my girl sparkles all on her own, and she’s always had great style.

Celebrations!

I love celebrations and vacations. I love the dreaming, planning, list making (and checking things off), packing and prepping. It’s wonderful to have something to look forward to. Recently we’ve had two celebrations, my nephews first trip to Disneyland and an Ordination Service at our church.

Headed off to find the littlest cousin and share Disneyland with him

Since my family is Disney crazy we all jumped at the chance to go on Nathaniel’s first trip. You never know how a 1 year old is going to react to the characters, noise and all the people, but he seemed to love every minute of it. The cousins loved showing him all their favorite rides and treats. Planning a first time trip is really exciting and planning a big family group can be a little much if you’ve never done it before. Here are just a few of my thoughts.

  1. Wear matching shirts or have a theme. For our first day we had a pirate theme. Themes are great for the big group picture and if you’ve lost track of your group you know what to look for in a crowd.
  2. Have a printed schedule so everyone knows what the important things are and when to show up, hand this out in advance so people aren’t surprised day of. Don’t schedule your whole day just the important parts that you want everyone to be a part of. This way everyone still has some freedom but knows what’s expected too.
  3. Make at least 1 restaurant reservation per day. It’s good to know you’ll all get to sit down at one point in the day and have a decent meal. The rest of the day can be churros and dole whips, or whatever your favorite Disney treat is. Arguing over what to eat is taken away too because you made the decision on where to eat before your trip. If you have any food allergies/sensitivities like our group does, the sit down restaurants are the best option and they make sure you can have a safe dining experience.
  4. Disneyland will be a crazy mess. Too many people go expecting it to be perfect and magical. I’ve found that when I go expecting it to be really busy and I don’t hope for any extra Disney magic, I find the magic anyway. You can’t make your kids have a magical time, even if the cast members constantly tell you “Have a magical day!” Enjoy the crazy and the magical, it’s all part of the experience.

After we got back from our last trip to Disneyland my dad and I had to start planning an Ordination Service for one of the women who grew up in the church. She completed her seminary training and Ordination Council. It takes a long time to become and American Baptist pastor and it seems even harder for women, even though our denomination welcomes women as pastors and leaders. It was time to celebrate the hard work and devotion it took to get to this place in her life, and the exciting new plans God has for her. Pastoral Relations got things rolling and I ended up figuring out decor. I couldn’t find much help online with ideas for a reception after the service so I wanted to make sure what we came up with was online for anyone trying to come up with ideas for a similar event. Since we are a Chinese Baptist Church and the new Reverend will be a missionary to Japan soon, we went with a modern Asian feel. It all came together beautifully and it was a wonderful day to celebrate all the hard work it took to get to this point and support her as she travels the path God has for her and her family.

 

Took a picture during set up to make sure the photo op looked good.

All set just ready for the food

I don’t have any big celebrations to start planning right now. But I should probably start making my lists for Christmas soon. Then my 40th won’t be far away. Time to start dreaming up some more ideas, I can’t wait to see what they will be.

Why Beautycounter

These are just a few ingredients you won’t find in our products

 

I’ve been signed up as a Beautycounter consultant for a couple months now and I’ve been a little hesitant, ok a lot, to tell you. Another person you know is selling something. But, I’ve decided I’m going to make myself do this. Why did I end up with Beautycounter? My husband is celiac and has hypothyroidism, he’s been gluten free since before it was cool. Because of that I’ve spent a lot of time researching his conditions and looking for recipes. The last few years I kept seeing Beautycounter at different blog sites, but since I was there for the recipes I ignored it. But recently I’ve gotten really fed up with my acne, seriously I’m almost 40. I’ve had it since I was my daughters age and I’ve tried everything from prescriptions to kitchen concoctions and I don’t want Colette to have to go through this too. I don’t want her covering herself in dangerous chemicals and wasting time on things that don’t work. I don’t mind a little experimenting on myself but I don’t want her exposed to anything that could be harmful. So in my never ending search for healthy recipes and clear skin I started paying attention to the Beautycounter stuff. I finally took the plunge and got the charcoal bar and mask. It seems like everyone is talking about charcoal and the Beautycounter products had great reviews so I went for it and was hooked. Now I’m slowly adding more products as I run out of things and switching to safer options.

Beautycounter wants to change the beauty industry and get safer products into the hands of everyone. Did you know the European Union has banned over 1,400 chemicals and the US only 30. Beautycounter has a Never List of more then 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that will never go into the products. If you’d like to learn a little more this short video is a great place to start.

I hope you’re interested and will take a look at what Beautycounter offers. We have products for everyone from kids to those looking for anti aging. You can visit my link here or ask me about it sometime. I also have a Facebook page where I’ll be posting about offers and other information, but of course you’ll hear about somethings here too.
So anyway, I’m trying this out, I hope you’ll try it too.
Liz

Summer’s Over

I’ve been away from my little blog for awhile, ok a long time, but I’m ready to start telling you what’s going on with my family again. We’ve been super busy and enjoying summer so I thought I’d recap what we did.

We’d been at the theater for awhile.

Colette finished 4th grade with great grades, lots of awards and a wonderful job at recital. She had a really good year.

Really good hamburgers in San Juan Bautista

The Monarch Cove Inn is really nice

We love Shadowbrook and even took their vintage taxi there

We went to Capitola for vacation and had a really nice relaxing trip. Usually our trips are pretty structured but we just relaxed and Colette slept a lot, we all did. Colette also found a love for Pizza My Heart and they have gluten free pizza now so we could all enjoy it. She would have eaten there every day.

Colette found filters on my Instagram

We found a great place that has gluten free cones

Colette loves seafood & Jeran loves the portrait option on his iphone

After a few days in Capitola we went over to Monterey and relaxed some more. We went to the aquarium and ate more ice cream, we ate way too much ice cream on this trip. But it was nice to take it slow and just spend time together.

Kool-Aid died hair

We’ve celebrate a bunch of family birthdays and did crazy things like dye my daughters hair red. She’s been wanting to do this for a couple years and I finally gave in since she really needed a hair cut anyway.

Rockets at VBS

Even on vacation Jeran worked on his dissertation

We had VBS and dance intensive the same week, and then more dance the next week too. But the week of VBS was crazy. Jeran was at Google for a mapping training and then he came home for a day and then headed to LA to defend his dissertation. We survived though and Jeran was almost done with his paper.

My crock pot died so I upgraded

One day my crock pot just decided to not turn on, it was dead. So, during Prime Day I got an Instant Pot. I’ve only made 1 thing so far but it was pretty good and I’m sure with this busy school year coming it’ll get a lot of use.

Waiting for Superior Dairy to open

We made a family trip to Hanford to eat ice cream. Last year when we tried to go it was so busy we gave up. This year we went super early and the kids played outside while we waited.

17th Anniversary

My little wizard at Universal

My parents wanted to take Colette to Universal since she likes the Harry Potter series now. They had a great time and spoiled her a lot. This girl is so lucky she got chose by the Dragon Heart and got to pick her wand out at Olivander’s. I think I’ll ask Colette if she’d write a post about the trip. While they were in LA we went up to Napa to celebrate our anniversary. We had a great time and really enjoyed our tour at Schramsberg winery.

1st day of 5th grade

School started today and I’m sad to get back to the schedule. I like the lazy summer days with nowhere to rush. But I know this will be an exciting year. Jeran’s almost done with his dissertation, it needs to get published, and then he’ll be Dr. Ott. Colette has a lot of dance and we’ll be off to celebrate my nephews first trip to Disneyland soon. We’re having some Disney withdrawls, last year we had a pass and went 22 days. It was a little crazy and we stayed away for the summer but I have a feeling it’ll be a Disney year again, we just can’t stay way too long. I don’t think we’ll go that many times again. So that’s what we did this summer. I hope you had a great one too.

What Have We Been Up To?

It seems we’ve had something going on every week since my daughter’s birthday. So, I thought I’d just recap what we’ve been up to.

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We went to Disneyland for Colette’s 9th. The whole family came, aunties, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, from both sides and of course the cousins. She loved having everyone at Disneyland with her. Colette loves Tsum Tsums so I decorated our room with a tsum banner and made he a little birthday surprise bag full of tsum tsum treats. We also made favor bags for everyone that came and delivered them the night we got into town, of course they had a tsum tsum theme too.

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Jeran and I tried out the Old Town Clovis Wine Walk. It was fun, a little warm though. If you every do a wine walk wear flats and bring a tote bag. I saw a lot of women with really sore feet at the end of the night. The bag would be nice to carry the papers around that get punched at each location, plus you might want to pick up some info on a winery and you need somewhere to put all that stuff.

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Colette gave her first presentation at school. They had to do a report on a family member, that as recent as possible, immigrated to America. They did Google slides about the country they are from (Colette did Portugal) and had a show and tell about their family. It was a lot of work for a 3rd grader but she loved setting up her slides and she presented so well, I was really proud of her.

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We threw my sister a baby shower. It was a Neverland theme. So we had Pirate, Indian and Mermaid tables. It came out really cute and I got to make the dream catcher for my centerpiece. We weren’t sure if she’d be able to attend since she’s on bed rest. So, we set up a hammock and Sarah got to recline through the event. It was a nice chance for her to get out of the house, besides doctors appointments.

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We took off to Morro Bay for a 1 day trip just to get out of town for a little while. We went to the aquarium, had lunch then ice cream and headed back home. We hit horrible traffic, because of that we actually stopped at Jack’s Cafe. We always talk about stopping there. It’s just an old roadside restaurant (the James Dean memorial is there too) but it was a perfect stop for us, we needed to get out, and the food wasn’t bad.

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Last weekend Colette auditioned for her studios mini competition team. She’s been part of the Jumpstart teams that stay local and anyone can join, but they’re starting some mini groups that travel and her teacher wanted her to try out. We’ll soon see if she made the team.

So we’ve been a little busy, but it’s been fun too.