Birthdays

20190113_182208

We celebrated my sister-in-law’s 50th birthday and my brother’s upcoming birthday this weekend.

20190113_160507

Her celebration comes shortly after the Christmas where we celebrated the birth of our savior.

20181225_135414

Last October, we celebrated my dad’s 80th birthday.  That’s a big one!

20180603_155458

Truth be told though, birthdays have always been a bit awkward for me.  Since they are a gift from God, I am learning to embrace them.

How do you and yours celebrate birthdays?

Blessings, Rebecca

Advertisements

New Year & New Findings

As we enter 2019, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.

Behold I will do something new. Now it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

-Isaiah 42:19

20190105_203204

Beach

On the first of January, we had the day off so our family took a drive up the coast to a new site.

20190101_112309

We grabbed a mocha at a new coffee shop for us: The Verve and headed to Shark Fin Cove.  It is a quaint cove with gorgeous coarse, cream colored sand with a rock formation shaped like a shark fin protruding from the sea.

20190101_115449Afterwards, we jumped in our car and drove two miles north and peaked over the bluffs at beautiful Davenport beach.

We bumped into our friends Bill and Linda who were also enjoying the warm Fall day and caught up on each other’s lives.

20190101_125110

Restaurants

The same two friends gave us a generous gift card for Christmas with one stipulation; we were invited to go on a triple date night at Crow’s Nest. It was a great night of food, fun and fellowship. It was a first in 20 years.

friendsRandy, Annette, Bob, Bill, Linda & Me

We received another Christmas gift card from other friends to a brand new restaurant in Capitola.

We headed over for an early dinner and then attended a Saturday night church service. We enjoyed the endless breadsticks, soup, salad and delicious pasta!

20190105_171057

Exercise

My daughter invited me to join her exercising via a YouTube video. I had never done pilates before and rather enjoyed building core strength.

What did you do for New Year’s?

Blessings, Rebecca

Good Gifts

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father above with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 

-James 1:17

During this Christmas season God has been blessing our family. We’ve been puposeful on keeping watch for His hand at work. It’s fun to be surprised and see Him work through His creation.

Cabin

As I mentioned last week, my coworkers blessed our family with a beautiful mountain cabin for Christmas.  Well, the Guest Services Manager surprised us with four additional days. So, we get to enjoy it for a full week. Awesome! 

20181221_180630

We have been blessed with our Facilities team making sure we are stocked with firewood. Also, we woke up to beautiful poinsettias placed on our porch. Wow!

20181223_112953

Tree

I also mentioned we were given a wonderful fresh cut tree by a coworker.  Another friend lent us some lights and a different frient lent us decorations for it and the cabin.

20181220_215046

Presents

Day after day, we have been given Christmas presents from gift cards, basketball trading cards, clothes, money, cocoa mugs, candy, flowers and even bookmarks for which we had none. We are humbled by our community’s generosity.

Jesus

All of these things are nice. However, the best gift God gave us is His son Jesus.

20181223_152548

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

-Luke 2:1-7

May you have a very Merry Christmas!

Blessings, Rebecca

Bonus

A friend invited us to see a train exhibit they were hosting at a their church. It was a colorful winter wonderland.

20181223_160307.jpg

 

Christmas Season (Part III)

20181210_143141

8 days before Christmas. Wow!

Concert

We attended our second Mount Hermon Christmas concert & buffet. We savoured another delicious prime rib, salmon and ham dinner before listening to these amazing musicians. The King’s Brass played a mixture of traditional and original arrangement Christmas songs.

20181214_213012

Brunch

For the past three years I cherish getting together with girlfriends for brunch. It’s a wonderful time of fun, food and fellowship.

20181215_103850

Christmas Party

Our family attended my husband’s company Christmas dinner party. Everyone brought an appetizer.  Then, the kitchen staff served us ham, turkey, green beans, garlic mash potatoes, salad, yams and rolls.

20181216_182357

 

20181216_180236

Santa came to Mission Springs and shared with us a sermonette about the birth of our savior and then we sang songs together.

All the while we remember Jesus is the reason for the season

20181202_205132

How are you spending your Christmas season?

Blessings,   Rebecca

Bonus

Our friend surprised us by taking up a collection at my work to rent a cabin in the mountains. He said the Lord placed it on his heart and he wanted to bless our family. Amazing!

Our extended family will be joining us for a special time. We cannot wait…

20181128_173613

Christmas Season (Part Deux)

20181208_085513

I can’t believe there is less than three weeks until Christmas.

For a change up, we’ve been trying some old and new things this year.

Concert

We attended our first Mount Hermon Christmas concert & buffet. We savoured a delicious prime rib, salmon and ham dinner before listening to these amazing musicians/singers. This Louisiana trio, The Foto Sisters,  sang/played a mixture of traditional and original Christmas songs. Wow!

20181207_212427

Boutique

My daughter and I enjoy attending the annual Mount Hermon boutique to purchase one of a kind gifts for loved ones. Here’s Alicia in 2013 and 2018

Tree

I have never wrapped ribbon around our tree before. I watched a tutorial from Laura at Garden Answers and thought we’d give it a try. I kinda like it…

20181208_075941

Again, all seasonal preparation is in anticipation of Christmas; the birth of our savior Jesus. My favorite Christmas song is Mary Did You Know written by Mark Lowry. I wonder if she pondered the magnitude of her call.

20181202_205132

How are you spending your Christmas season?

Blessings,   Rebecca

Bonus

A friend of ours gave us two tickets to see our local D League basketball team Santa Cruz Warriors.

We sat mid-court in the second row, and no one sat in from of us. Although they lost by one point to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, it was eletric. Below you will see their mascot Maverick. Also, Austin who is 6’2″ is pictured next to #55 Isaiah Hartenstein the Center for Vipers and Houston Rockets. He stand 7′.

 

Christmas Season

20181202_204456

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. – Meredith Wilson

I can’t believe it’s December already. This year seems to be flying by. Even my 14-yr-old daughter said insightfully that it seems as you get older, time goes by faster.

Here are three events that ushered in the season for us this weekend.

Church

I attended our annual church women’s tea.  It was a lovely time spent with friends fellowshipping, eating, watching a musical play and listening to Author Kathi Lipp talk about keeping our peace during the Christmas season.

imagejpeg_0x

Shop

My daughter helped me Christmas shop for family and friends. We picked up gifts, tree decorations and a wreath for our front door.

20181202_202811.jpg

Decorate

Alicia and I then decorated our cabin while the boys worked.

We put out various town pieces,  nutcrakers, advent calendar and ornaments; handmade, old and new.

20181202_203541

All this preparation in anticipation of Christmas; the birth of our savior Jesus. It is quite possibly The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. – Edward Pola and George Wyle

20181202_205132

How are you spending your Christmas season?

Blessings,   Rebecca

College Tour

IMG_5037

Have you ever toured a college? I graduated San Jose State University in 1992. However, I don’t recall touring any college campus as a high schooler.

We have two college bound students. As a part of their education experience,  their school helped them to tour local colleges by taking field trips to UCSC, SJSU and Cabrillo.

Our daughter expressed an interest during middle school in attending Stanford University.  I committed to taking her there to check it out one day.

This past Sunday, we met my brother and sistet-in-law in Redwood City for pasta at The Old Spaghetti Factory; one of my favorite restaurants.

20181125_132733

Afterwards,  we grabbed as mocha at Philz Coffee and drove south on the El Camino to Palo Alto and toured the Cardinal’s campus.

The chapel is breathtaking.  It is decorated with several beautiful stain glass windows and mosaic tile walls. We walked into a lovely choir singing hyms in preparation for the Roman Catholic service.

20181125_160015

We wondered along the paths that lead aound various historic buildings.

20181125_161316

The bookstore was an amazing four stories loaded with college fanfare.

At the end of of our journey, we explored the campus from our car and saw numerous dorm halls and sports complexes.

I am confident we will have many more college visits in the next couple of years until the kiddos determine what school is the best fit for each of them.

Blessings, Rebecca

Recreation

20181119_185522

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. – Anonymous 1659

It’s easy to tackle the todo list for me. I have to be purposeful about play. That’s how I am wired.

This past weekend, we were invited to attend a Christian camp in Scotts Valley at Redwood Glen.

We enjoyed fun, food and fellowship with three local churches: Pleasure Point, Hilltop and The Gathering.

Play is natural for children.  Here’s my daughter resting after skateboarding with her friend Heather.

20181119_190924

Here’s my son playing basketball with some friends.  His favorite pastime.

20181117_122809

We are blessed to work at Mount Hermon and Mission Springs where there are many activities to chose from. Here are some recent outings.

Also, I love the Santa Cruz mountains and ocean. There is so much natural beauty and fun things to do. Here are just a couple of things we enjoy.

There are so many fun things to do as a family, couple or individually.  Again, I need to be purposeful about play, because it’s easy for me to work at the office and then come home to chores, errands, homework help,  etc.

How about you? How do you enjoy recreation?

Blessings,  Rebecca

California Fires

20181110_194027

Photo by KRCR

Just a short three weeks ago, I wrote about our neighborhood fire.  There are three severe fires burning in both Northern and Southern California: Camp, Woosley and Hill.

In addition, we’ve had several local vegetation fires along with a few structural fires. I don’t remember a time when there has been so many fires in California.

The state has issued a Red Flag warning by agencies such as Cal Fire informs communities of critical fire weather conditions of the combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures.

Camp Fire – To date, 52,000 people evacuated, 105,000 acres burned, 6,500 homes/267 commercial buildings destroyed, and 23 casualties have happened in Butte County.

It’s difficult to fathom the town of Paradise has burned to the ground; homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, etc. – all gone.

We were supposed to send our son to winter camp up at Maryville; just 49 miles east of this raging fire. We decided to keep him home for safety concerns.

Woosley Fire – To date 250,000 people evacuated, 70,000 acres burned, 150 homes destroyed and 2 people have parished.

20181110_195734

Photo by CBS Los Angeles

Hill Fire – has consumed 6,100 acres.

I learned that that Santa Cruz County air quality should be right around 100 and we were notified that it is at 175. There are agencies such as Air Now that notify citizens of poor air quality that could impact folks at risk for respiratory duress.

We have been staying inside for the most part. My husband and I went to our local laundromat to clean our clothes and were stunned by the red sun surrounded by a thick cloud of smoke. All this from just 200 miles distance. My pictures don’t do it justice.

As I read through social media, I noticed several events were canceled such as local children’s sports, Monterey Bay Half Marathon, etc.

From these types of crises, I’ve have learned a few things.

1. Have an evacuation plan with a “To Go” box containing important items needed placed in a central location.

2. Have dry food, water, blanket and flashlight in your vehicle(s).

3. Debrief with family/friend(s) to work through any concerns/fears.

4. Sign up for Reverse 911 which notifies you of local emergencies.

This list is not inclusive. We welcome suggestions you have to help us prepare for emergency situations.

Below is a short list of agencies that have helped friends of mine through a crisis:

Red Cross

Salvation Army

●Churches and non-profit organizations such as VCUM.

Our prayers are with all who are involved in these fires.

Blessings. Rebecca