Mass Shootings

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As a mother of two children, my heart has been heavy with the news of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. My thoughts and prayers are with all involved: the victims, their families, the lost shooter/his family and first responders. It is a lose-lose situation for everyone and I can’t even imagine the multiplied sorrow caused by this horrific crime.

Just last week, I received notification from my children’s Principals that our tri-campus had a lock down due to one of the students placed a picture of a gun in a car trunk on social media. When the Sherriff questioned the student, he said it was a joke. That’s not funny! I thank the Lord that my son and daughter returned home safely that day.

As a result of this latest incident, I’ve seen a lot of media surrounding gun control. In fact, there is talk of a march to Washington DC on March 24, 2018. I’ve been listening to both sides and it is a much debated topic. On the one hand, folks would like to see tougher gun control to keep guns out of people’s hands. On the other hand, citizens are fighting for our constitutional right to bear arms. One remark I saw on Facebook I pondered is “Guns have been in American homes for 200+ years and mass shooting have only been the past 30 years.” My fear is if there are strict gun control laws in the US, only criminals who don’t follow the rules will get illegal guns and law-abiding citizens will not be able to fight back on equal ground.

All this to say, I believe we need to find better ways to protect our precious children and other innocent bystanders. When it’s difficult for me to comprehend such evil, I lean on Jesus’ word in John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble. But, take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What are your thoughts on this topic? I’d love to hear your perspective.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

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Moms & Daughters

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Have you ever taken your daughter(s) to a Moms & Daughters retreat? It is a lovely time of refreshing. This weekend, my daughter Alicia and I attended Mission Springs Moms & Daughters Conference. We had a fun time playing, fellowshipping and eating.

This was our third year attending. Usually we hang out in arts and crafts, go zip lining, etc. However, we decided to try some non-traditional activities such as:

20180210_140858_resizedKnives and axe throwing.

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Archery.

20180210_151733_resizedShooting rifles.

Of course, we did some traditional activities as well such as:

20180210_161136_resizedGo on a hike where we saw a flock of wild turkeys.20180210_135456_resized.jpgVisted the petting zoo.

20180209_192430_resizedPlayed some games which she in won spending $ and purchasedg some treats from their gift shop.

20180211_102154_resized.jpgWorshipped together in the chapel.

20180209_175652_resizedAnd the bonus… We ate delicious food, and didn’t have to cook or clean. Yeah!

We spent quality time together and with some great friends that joined us. There were some bumps in the road along the way, but, all in all, we had a fabulous time.

Have you taken your child(ren) on a special weekend outing? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Please share with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

One Step Forward Two Steps Back

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Ever felt like you take one step forward and two steps back? That’s how I feel as I write this blog. As you may know, our family has been on an amazing journey learning to trust God day by day, hour by hour and sometime minute by minute since my job loss in the Semiconductor industry a few years ago.

It appeared we were on the road to recovery as I landed an awesome job, Randy was working full-time, and we were offered an affordable cabin near the kids’ school. We were catching up on much-needed items and bills. Then, a few days ago, my husband was notified, due to budget cuts, his hours were being reduced from full-time 40 hours per week to 29 hours.

Had it been a couple of years ago, I would have exploded. However, I’ve learned to lift everything up to God. So, as a family, we prayed that He would take care of us with this impact and guide our steps going forward.

If I feel a tinge of worry or anxiety pop up, I am quick to cast it on to the Lord. I frequently lean on Matthew 6:28-33.

And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’  For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But strive first for the kingdom of God[a] and his[b] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

With that said, I have experienced a deeper sense of peace resting in Him trusting that the Lord will provide for our family’s needs. I am not sure what the duture holds will, but I know God is good and He cares for us.

Have you ever felt like you have taken one step forward and two steps back? I’d love to hear about it and what you learned from it.

Blessings, Rebecca

Guest Blog by Hellen McAdams

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Source: https://pixabay.com/en/aircraft-approach-landing-flight-3075056/

This week my guest blogger is Hellen McAdams, and she will share with us her ideas for planning a family vacation. I hope you enjoy her blog. Please welcome Hellen!

Hellen McAdams

Plan A Holiday For The Whole Family

Being a housewife comes with lots of pros and cons. One of the main misconceptions are the ones regarding the belief that housewives don’t get to provide for the family in a material way. There are so many ways that mothers can provide for their families from the warmth of their homes.

Planning a dream holiday for an entire family is just one of them.

Even if you are working mom and you are finding it hard to balance between your job and the family, there is still a way to organize yourself so you can plan everything up ahead.

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Source: https://pixabay.com/en/family-sunset-beach-happiness-2611748/

Make the Most Out of Your Money

It’s time for us to delve into a budget side of traveling. Planning for a holiday with plenty of cash on hand shouldn’t be much of a trouble. However, planning for a holiday when you’re tight on a budget may require from you to work wonders sometimes.

Jokes aside, desirable way of doing things here is to plan your trip ahead and to book appropriate accommodation in advance. Same goes for airplane tickets.

If you act proactively, there is a great chance for you to settle a good deal by browsing through holiday family offers up ahead.

Since you’ll be probably browsing through online listings of hotel and holiday deals, don’t forget to try to actually get in touch with the hotel. Try searching for their contact number on their site and book your stay directly with their reception desk. There is a great chance that you’ll save a dollar or two by doing this as you’ll workaround on standard fees and provisions of online listing agencies.

Pack Accordingly

Last but not the least, packing your family accordingly is a final, yet very tricky part of holiday preparation.

Since you already know where you’ll go and where you’ll stay at this point, it’s time for you to put your Googling skills on the test by searching for interesting things to do and see in the vicinity. Also, if your family is big enough, you might succeed to land a bulk price for a visit of localities that are of interest to you.

Once again, if you book online and ahead, you might pay a lower entrance fee.

Bringing some canned food, snacks and sweets on you might save you from reaching out to your wallet every time your children want to have a snack.

Know What Others Want

Knowing what a dream holiday truly means for members of your family is a good starting point here. If your kids are already teenagers, there is a big chance that they just won’t settle for a peaceful holiday on the beach away from all the fuss.

On the other hand, if you are feeling overwhelmed by all the buzz at your work, it just might be what you need at the moment.

Gathering family for a nice dinner and trying to find common ground is crucial in these situations and may give you a clear insight on what is that the others want to do and where they want to go.

After you have all the info necessary, it’s time for you to start planning.

The Flu

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Have you or your family members experienced flu symptoms of fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue?

Is it me or is the flu attacking people with a vengeance this season? I can’t remember a time when so many people I know who are under the weather. I’ve seen numerous reports on television of hospitals overcrowded with sickness. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve seen the Center for Disease Control restricted visitors under 16 from visiting patients at our local hospital or temporary tents set up outside emergency entrances to accommodate numerous visitors. Also, I am saddened by the various deaths caused by the flu. I have a coworker whose daughter-in-law’s friend in his 30’s passed away from flu complications. What!

I got the flu on a Wednesday and called in sick to work. I rested on the couch for the day and returned to work the next day. My son had the flu, missed one day of school and returned the next day. My daughter, thank God, has not got it. My husband got hit the hardest. He felt terrible for three days. Then, returned to work for two days feeling just fine and relapsed another 4 days.

The question each family must answer for themselves is do I or don’t I get a flu shot. As for me and my family, we have chosen to not get the flu shot. Yet, my parents who are in their 70’s swear by it. I have included the link to the CDC’s information on flu vaccinations for you to read for yourself.

How about you? Did you/your family experience the flu and did you get a flu shot this year?

Blessings, Rebecca

Family Time

Does your family unplug? Recently, we’ve noticed an increased demand in screen time in our family whether it’s homework, emails or social media. So, to combat the gravitational pull, we’ve decided to simplify our family time. Here are some basics we are returning to:

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Board Games

I visited our local mall to purchase a board game we played several times at our friend’s house called Aggravation. To my surprise, the stores didn’t carry it. So, I went on line and ordered it. It just arrived and we can’t wait to play it. It’s a simple marble game of chance using dice to get your pods home first. We also like timeless games of cards, Monopoly, Life, etc.

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Walking/Hiking

We enjoy hiking in our majestic Santa Cruz mountains. We are blessed to work on two beautiful campuses surrounded by a variety of trees, paths and water features. Above is a picture of Randy, Austin, Alicia and my brother Greg (back left) and sister-in-law Connie (front left). On Christmas Eve we hiked around Mount Hermon Conference Center. We showed them the zip line canopy tours, the lodges/cabins, and Ferndale Falls. They are pictured above at Redwood Camp’s suspension bridge. Good times!

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Exploring

We love to explore our surroundings. During Thanksgiving weekend, we took the long coastal route of Highway 1 north to visit family versus taking a straight shot of Highway 101. We saw the sun reflecting off the Pacific Ocean, a large variety of wildlife on the ground and in the air, and gorgeous rolling hills/farmland. Sometimes, we stop at a vista point and sometimes we just marvel from our car.

It is easy to get caught up in life’s busyness. We’ve decided to be intentional about slowing down, resting and playing together as a family to maintain a balanced life.

What do you do as a family that’s special?

Blessings, Rebecca

Driver’s Education

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Austin at 2 years old

I can remember holding my then six-week-old son, Austin, in my arms and watching him smile and coo for the first time.

Man, how time flies! For the past few months, he has been preparing to get his DMV permit. He just completed his on-line driver’s education class which is required by law.

This weekend, I took him out to practice behind the wheel driving in private parking lots to get him familiar with the workings of a car. It is fun to share your experience with your child and watch them grow/learn.

20180107_162720Austin at 15 1/2 years

The law has changed a bit since I tested for my permit. I simply took a free driver’s education class during my sophomore year of high school. Then, took the DMV written test, drove for six months and took the behind the DMV behind the wheel test for my California driver’s license.

Nowadays, teenagers with a driver’s permit are restricted to driving with your parent, guardian, spouse or an adult over 25 years of age or older who has a valid California driver’s license. Also, during the first 12 months after you are licensed, you cannot drive between 11:00pm and 5:00am, nor can you transport passengers under 20 years of age, unless you are accompanied by a California licensed driver 25 years old or older, or a licensed certified instructor.

Do you have a child entering the driving arena? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Feel free to share with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

Happy New Year 2018

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What did your family do for New Year’s Eve 2017? We attended a festive party consisting of three home churches in the area who gathered together.

There was a DJ playing music, Just Dance video game for folks to play and a cameraman to taking pictures of guests with silly hats as shown above with my daughter Alicia (13) and son Austin (15).

The pastors purchased pizza and everyone brought delicious side dishes. I love potlucks, because you get to sample a variety of recipes.

After eating and talking,  we moved to the sanctuary for worship and then prayed for one another. It was night of good food, fun and fellowship.

When we returned home, we watched the ball drop in New York Times Square. It is always a surreal moment to me to say good-bye to one year and usher in another.

My prayer for my family and yours is that in 2018 we would witness God’s goodness in a new and fresh way just like Isaiah prophesied over Israel in 43:19.

See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up;

do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the

wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

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Blessings, Rebecca

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2018? If so, I’d love to hear about them. Please share with us.

Merry Christmas

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and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him

in a manger, because there was no guest

room available for them. – Luke 2:7

Then, an angel of the Lord said, “Today, in

the town of David a Savior has been born to

you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. ” – Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas!

As my gift to you, I’d like to offer my ebook easy readers for free. You will find them on Amazon.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Jesus Loves You Book Review

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When Kelsey of Book Publicity Services contacted me to review Jesus Loves You, I jumped at the chance. After all, it is the Christmas season which celebrates the birth of our Savior Jesus. It’s the perfect time to share His good news with your children.

ABOUT THE BOOK

God’s only son, Jesus, wants you to know that He loves you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He watches over you to make sure you are okay and knew you even before He created you. That’s how special you are to Him. Won’t you spend some time with Jesus today? Jesus Loves You is the 2017 winner of the CSPA Book of the Year for Children’s Gift Book.

REVIEW

Jesus Loves You is a delightful children’s book that explains how He walks with you through every stage of life from birth to taking care of aging parents. I recommend this book for you to read to your elementary school age children. Here is what others are saying about it:

“Jesus Loves You is a wonderful little book aimed at primary school age children… the message that Jesus loves you comes across clearly. This is an important message for every child. A lovely picture book that should be in every Sunday school class.” — ChristianBookaholic.com

“Heartwarming Christian storybook for children… this book is a perfect selection for story time… highly recommended.” —  Readers’ Favorite

“God’s only son is watching, and his message is one of love. That’s the foundation of Christian picture book Jesus Loves You… a simple message with large-size, colorful drawings… Kids receive confirmation that there is no step in life where Jesus is not ‘there’ beside them, bestowing love and support… Jesus Loves You is highly recommended as a ‘first primer’ introduction to Jesus for the very young.” — Midwest Book Review

GIVEAWAY!

Now it’s your turn to read Jesus Loves You as I am giving away my copy for FREE. I’d love to hear from other parents who are teaching their children that Jesus loves them. Simply comment below on how do you teach them. by 5:00pm PST on December 25, 2017. Your name will then be placed in a drawing. We will randomly select a winner.

The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than January 1, 2018. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address (in the continental US only) provided.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Blessings, Rebecca