Fire

20181021_064143

4am Sunday I awoke to the sounds of crackling and popping.  I thought to myself, Is someone walking around outside our place? I looked out our side window and saw nothing. I pulled back our front door curtain and to my horror, I saw a fire raging.

I yelled, “Fire” to alert my husband two kids who were still in bed. We threw on our shoes, grabbed valuables and evacuated.

20181021_042949

As I was running out the door, I dialed 911. Within minutes five agencies responded to extinguish the flames.

The darkness of early morning accentuated the orange blaze.

Our community gathered watch as the  neighbor’s house was engulfed.

FB_IMG_1540146793158

Embers floated throughout the sky. Two more neighboring houses,  a tree and brush also caught fire.

The firefighters tackled it from all angles.  We so appreciate their bravery and skill protecting life and property.

I thank the Lord everyone safely evacuated their homes.

20181021_072413

Here is a couple of news briefs reporting it: Felton Fire BL Fire SC Sherriff  Patch

20181021_080729

I learned during this crises that life is delicate and to cherish family, community and  an emergency/evacuation plan.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Advertisements

Spontaneous Shopping and Dining

20181013_202440

My daughter asked me if we could go shopping over the hill, because she received gift cards for her birthday.

We went to Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose where she shopped at her favorite store Forever 21. She found a new shirt and sweatshirt.

Next, she checked out Hollister and bought a cute shirt.

We headed over to Old Navy where my son found an athlete shirt and used one of his gift cards.

Austin wanted to window shop downstairs where the high end stores are located. We saw Tiffany & Company, Cartier, Prada, Coach, Luis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and a couple of stores we had never heard of Balenciaga and Tadashi Shoji.

As we strolled along, the door guards and robotic security guard greeted us.

We crossed the street to shop at Santana Row so Alicia could use her H&M gift card. I chuckled to myself as we arrived in our 1999 Toyota Camry we lovingly named, “Betsy.” I parked near a Lamborghini,  McLaren and Audi R8 Etron.

She found an adorable purse and I found a comfy sweatshirt.

On our way out, the kids popped into Gucci. Some of their classmates wear sporty designer sneakers, and they wanted to check them out.

20181013_133136

Our stomachs started rumbling. So, we headed over to In and Out burgers. It’s a treat to eat there, because we don’t have them in Santa Cruz.

We hopped in Betsy and headed to DSW Shoes to find sneakers for Austin. We had never shopped there before. Alicia tried on high heels for the first time.

Austin asked if we could go to Dick’s Sporting Goods. We drove 5 miles to Sunnyvale.  He found a cool pair of Addidas shoes.

Exhausted,  I drove 60 miles back home and rested for the night.

Randy conducted an eulogy recently for a friend/fellow firefighter, and his widow blessed us with a gift card to the Chaminade Resort.

We enjoyed their Sunday brunch featuring omlet, waffle and prime rib stations. There were salads, fruit, stuffed chicken, stir fried vegetables, potatoes, bacon/sausage, homemade breads and crepes. Our delicious meal was topped off by decadent desserts such as dark forest cake, homemade brownies/cookies, cheesecake,  ice cream and chocolate fondue.

It was an unique weekend for sure. We thank the Lord for extravagant blessings.

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new? I’d love to hear about it?

Blessings, Rebecca

Dwell

20181005_185712

Annette. Sandi, Me and Pamela 

I attended the annual PSWC women’s conference for the third time. It is a funtastic weekend gathering together to worship, learn, eat, play and rest.

20181007_165451Much time was spent around this fire pit eating snacks and sharing stories with one another late into the night.

20181007_110008

Pastor Rici Skei

Our retreat speaker was an amazing teacher. She taught us the importance of dwelling with God; taking time to be still before the Lord regularly.  I’ll be honest it challenged me, because our busy schedules can keep us from just being still.

20181007_170417

AVA and New Day for Children

I also learned the PSWC Covenant Church members are compassionate about helping others. They had representatives there who shared about two organizations they support; one for battered women and the other for children rescued from human trafficking.

20181007_171113

In addition,  they brought their missionarie from Chile to share what’s happening in South America; especially with displaced citizens fleeing from dangerous towns gripped by drug cartel.

All in all, it was a nice time with girl friends relaxing. And, I didn’t have to cook or clean. Wink. Wink.

Have you attended a women’s conference? If so, please share with us. 

Blessings,  Rebecca

Reminiscing

20180831_183912

Have you ever listened to a song from the past or looked at an old photo album reminiscing about the good ol’ days? Well, this past weekend we dusted off some of our family DVDs of days gone by.

We watched Randy and I get married. It was fun to see how it all played out 17 years ago. Our teens understood the significance of our vows, asked a lot of questions and thought about some things they would like at their wedding.

Couple 19

We watched Alicia coo with her chubby cheeks and bright eyes as she played with her grab toys. As she grew, we saw her sing and dance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alicia with Nani

We watched Austin sing his ABCs, play the drums and play little league baseball.

We enjoyed the various special activities such as birthday parties, Easter egg hunts and opening Christmas presents.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We laughed and cried at our family memories and look forward to making many more.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Christmas tree hunt

Do you have a special memory you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear it.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Good Old Fashion Fun & Giveaway

20180922_123304

This weekend,  my brother Greg and my sister in law Connie joined us in Felton to celebrate my birthday by riding a steam train.

 

 

We rode 30 minutes up to Bear Mountain which we learned has the steepest grade in northern America.

The sun was shining through the majestic redwood forest.

20180922_132233

We heard bands playing in the background during the Sol Festival celebrating the first day of Fall.

Afterwards, we ate at a local bbq restaurant.  The flavors made our mouths water.

20180922_210556

Then, we returned to Mount Hermon to grab an expresso and ice cream. Simply delightful.

20180922_210342

Once Greg and Connie headed home to the north bay, we jumped in the car and attended the Saturday night service at Twin Lakes church. We studied Galatians 5:22 The Fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience,  kindness,  goodness,  faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. The one take away I learned is to avoid a killjoy of negative thoughts, because they affect your mood.

20180922_191956

As we rode through the redwoods, I thought to myself, This is good old fashion fun. Just hanging out with family on a beautiful day enjoying nature. I love it!

Blessings, Rebecca

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to win a free 8X12″ floral decopauge wood cross hancraftedread by my husband Randy. Simply comment telling us how you enjoy good old fashion fun. Your name will then be placed in our drawing.

20180826_201813

On September 27, 2018, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than September 30, 2018. One Free 8X12″ floral decopauge cross will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

 

Beach Blitz

20180915_081109

The kids asked me several times, “Mom, can we go to the Boardwalk Beach Blitz?” It is a fun youth ministry where kids can spend the night at the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk. The band The Afters and Kokua played a concert. Also, youth pastor, Jeremy Johnson, from LA spoke to the kids.

20180914_224332

Austin with The Afters

I mulled it over for weeks,  because it was an additional expense we didn’t have funds for. Then, one of my co-workers offered to ask his church for a scholarship. Thankfully,  it came through one of our local  community church Hilltop Ministries.

Next, I had to dig for our camping tent.  I spent several days hunting for it without success.  Fortunately,  that same coworker offered to lend us his tent.

20180914_193050

Friday night, we had a blast playing video games at the arcade and laser tag. We were served a yummy meal. We enjoyed the concert and sermon. At 11pm, it was lights out.

Saturday,  we broke down camp, ate breakfast, listened to another concert and sermon. Before the festivities, the kids and I took a walk along the beach. I thanked the Lord for the amazing weather we are experiencing in central California.

20180915_080433

After the Blitz finished, we helped our friend celebrate her 14th birthday by riding the rollercoasters.

All in all, we had a blast and I learned it is okay to ask for help from friends.

What did you do for the weekend?

Blessings,  Rebecca

 

Helicopter or Free Range Parenting?

20180908_180753

Courtesy of SHRM.org

Are you a helicopter parent, a free range parent or somewhere in between?

This week, our daughter  Alicia,  turned 14 and is now a Freshman in high school. The challenge for me is knowing how much to hold on and when to let go.

20180908_100713

What age can she wear make-up, date, attend sleepovers, etc.? We as parents have to make tough choices.

My experience has been to allow activities with clear boundaries and watch to see how your child handles the additional freedom. If they are acting responsibly,  then enjoy their growth. If they are not acting responsibly, then alter the activity to fit their maturity.

It’s bittersweet watching our kids grow.  I am so proud of their accomplishments.  However,  it reminds me they are one step closer to adulthood.

How about you? How do you handle parenting with the bigger issues in life? I’d love for our parenting community to share what worked and what didn’t work. 

Blessings  Rebecca

Ill Loved Ones

Courtesy of Mzayat.com

Have you ever had a sick loved one? This week a close family friend endured a heart valve transplant operation.  It has been a roller coaster ride and I’d like to share three ways we found to help.

1. Pray – We’ve been praying asking God to guide the physician’s hands and for a quick recovery.

They set up a group chat to keep us posted on progress. It’s a very helpful way to communicate.

2. Visit – If your loved one invites you for a visit to the hospital or their home, it is an encouraging way to help him/her.

I must reiterate being invited, because I learned as a teen that you never just show up. I thought I would stop by to see how my coworker was doing at the hospital and, to my surprise, she became agitated and told me to leave.

3. Serve – We ask folks how we can help; even if it is picking up some milk at the grocery store.  In this instance, our friend asked us to coordinate some meals so they don’t have to cook when they return home.

I set up a meal schedule using Meal Train that allows folks to pick a day and time to drop off a meal they prepared.

Another successful program we have used is Sonshine at church wherein volunteers make a meal and drop it off at the person’s home. We benefited from it when my second child was born. It was helpful feeding our family of mom, dad, toddler and newborn.

Another cool program my husband was a part of as a volunteer firefighter was the women’s auxiliary wherein wives cooked meals, stored them at the firehouse and after a fire call, the guys would chow down.

So, these are just some of the ways we help ill loved ones. Of course, there are little things we do to nurse minor sickness such as make them comfortable, serve soup, read to them, give a card or dispense meds to get them back on their feet.

What are some ways you help ill loved ones?

Hodgepodge

20180826_170637

Image from Apartmenttherepay.com

This weekend we enjoyed a mixture of activities. On Saturday, Alicia and I decided to mix up our grocery shopping routine and tried a different local grocer. We were introduced to some wonderful new foods.

Then, I dropped her off at her friend Heather’s house to go swimming. After Austin worked as a landscape assistant, he went for a mountain bike ride.

Randy and I spent a big chunk of the day organizing and cleaning. We came across some family photos on DVD and that night all four of us cherished some special memories.

On Sunday, we attended Church on the Beach which is hosted in August at Capitola Beach.

20180826_100011.jpg

It is very cool to attend church outdoors at the ocean with the sun shining, cool breeze blowing, seals swimming, birds flying and waves crashing.

20180826_163113.jpg

Afterwards, I grabbed two mochas at a Mr Toot’s coffee shop that I had never been to. Delish!

20180826_094925

We then grabbed lunch nearby and shopped at the mall for some school, work and home supplies.

20180826_152133.jpg

Austin purchased his first hammock,  climbed inside and completed his homework in the comfort of our front yard.

20180826_160455

We also planted a succulent pot for the first time after watching Garden Answers on YouTube.

All in all, we had a very nice weekend mixing it up…

Have ever had a hodgepodge time? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Family Fun

20180818_090237

My husband and I are blessed to work at two different Christian camps. Each year our family is allowed to attend Family Camp on both campuses.

In July,  we spent a week at Mission Springs in Scotts Valley. This past week,  we spent a week at Mount Hermon in Felton. Since it is a full two weeks of camp and we like to do other summer time activities,  we tell the kids mom and dad will work while they are in class.

20180815_092857(0)

We did take the day off to enjoy an unique experience of taking a diesel train from Felton to Santa Cruz.

20180815_094601

It was a gorgeous sunny day with a cool ocean breeze. The redwood trees are so majestic providing much needed shade.

20180815_145832

We had a blast riding the rollercoasters and grabbing a bite to eat. It is amazing to do all that and have the ocean as your backdrop. At the end of the day, we hopped back on the train and returned home.

20180815_141124

The week was jammed packed with fun activites such as BBQ, smores, Zumba, night swim, trivia night, slip n slide, crafts, jazz night, ropes course, archery, lawn games, hikes, bike tours, etc.

We completed our week at Victory Circle listening to folks share their highlights, having communion, and celebrating with a party at the common grounds. We snacked on popcorn,  snow cones, hot chocolate and frozen bananas.

We enjoyed our time together at camp as we wind down our summer. I can’t believe it’s time for the kids to return to school.  It went by so fast…

How are you winding down your summer?

Blessings,  Rebecca