Tag Archive | son

A Gift

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

-James 1:5

Approximately two years ago, our son Austin got his first job working as gardener. His goal was to save up to buy a car.

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Fast forward to last Saturday my parents invite us over to have dinner at Olive Garden.  Mmmm….endless garlic sticks.

To his surprise, Grandpa and Grandma gave Austin their Chevy Cobalt. Wow! 

My stepmom decided to turn in her driver’s license at age 79 and wanted to bless her grandson with their second car.

It’s a perfect starter vehicle.  It’s compact and in excellent condition.

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Austin has been driving his sister and me to school and back every day since.

Not only is he learning  to drive, but how to maintain and insure it.

Thank you Lord for blessing our son with a precious gift! 

Have you ever received an extravagant gift? I’d love to hear about it. 

Blessings, Rebecca

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Spontaneous Shopping and Dining

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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.

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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

Creek Walk

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This weekend my son invited me to a creek walk at Mount Hermon. In all honesty, I’d never been on one before.

So, we strapped on our sandals, decended down the hill and walked 1/4 mile adventure.

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We plunged into cold refreshing water of Bean Creek and walked to where it meets the Zayanye Creek. While my body adjusted to the temperature,  I listened to our feet splash and different birds chirp along the way.

As we hiked, the ebb and flow reminded me of life. There were unexpected twists and turns. We had to dodge fallen trees, mossy rocks, poison oak and deep pools as a team. Yet, we were pleasantly surprised with peaceful waterfalls throughout our journey. Austin said, “Mom, I like the sound of running water.” I replied, “Me too and grandma Dinky loves the tranquility of water features.”

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Although it was a sunny afternoon,  we encountered shady canopies of redwood trees in various nooks and crannies of the forest. I ran my hands across the rugged bark and steadied myself as we passed the trunks. I watched dragon flies flutter by and water bugs skip along.

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As we rounded the final bend, I heard a distant whistle of a Roaring Camp locomotive. We happened upon Ferndell Falls. Magnificent! I took a deep breath of fresh mountain air and enjoyed its spray against my skin.

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We concluded our time together on rustic wood bridge. Although this was my first creek walk, I suspect it won’t be my last.

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Have you explored a stream? Please share with us.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Road Trip

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This past weekend, we took a road trip to drop off Austin and Alicia to summer camp in Santa Barbara. I had never been there so we made an adventure of it.

Our first stop was in San Luis Obispo to grab a coffee in town. We walked around a bit and my daughter really liked the “vibe.” I may have to bring her back down again some time soon to see if she would like to attend Cal Poly.

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Our next stop was at our camp site at Rancho Oso RV park. It was a blistering hot day and we reserved a special tent. {See below}

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We were eager to sight see. So, we headed downtown to the State St. There my daughter found a three story Forever 21 store. As you can imagine, she loved every inch of it. Also, we strolled along the Sterns Wharf.

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Another stop we made was in Solvang; a cute Dutch town for a delicious meal at the Viking Garden Restaurant and danish treat at Olsen’s bakery. Randy and I finally got to visit this adorable spot after many friends’ recommendations.

windmillWe then headed back to our campsite to take a dip in the pool and was pleasantly surprised they had a DJ playing music which made for a lively evening of entertainment.

The next day, after breakfast, we headed to the Santa Barbara Beach, played in the water and rested under a shady cypress tree. Afterwards, we went into town and ate at Mesa Pizza restaurant. From there we headed to Westmont College to drop the kids off at Frontier Ranch camp. The campus is quaint landscaped with beautiful trees and gardens.

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On our return flight,  I was merging from the fast lane on Highway 101 into the slow lane when my husband and I felt the car get sluggish. We pulled off the highway and noticed our front passenger tire had blown. We prayed for safety and quickly changed our tire. In a few short minutes, we were on our way again. While working on the tire, a car full of college students stopped to make sure we were okay. That was very kind of them. We noticed our spare tire only had 29psi and it calls for 42psi. So, we prayed again, drove gingerly to the neighboring town and put air in it. Thank the Lord we arrived safe and sound to both destinations.

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Have you taken an adventurous road trip? Please share with us…

Blessings, Rebecca

Youth Group

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Where do your kids go that is safe and positive?

One place our children go is youth group. On Sundays, our son enjoys hanging out with his friends at our home church Twin Lakes. Their high school program includes a positive message, worship and games such as dodge ball.

On Monday nights, Young Life offers teenagers a fun hang out complete with food, games and encouraging message.

On Wednesday evening,  Vintage Faith hosts a youth group where they hold small group discussions and play games.

This past February, Austin attended a winter getaway to Hume Lake where multiple youth group joined together for a weekend of camp. I am sure it is the first of many to come.

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I am grateful for our community leaders who dedicate their time and resources to mentor our kids. I appreciate them investing in our future.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Spring Break 2018

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“Where are we going for Spring Break Mom,” my daughter asked.

“Well, honey your dad and I have to work this week, but we can ask our bosses for a day off.” Thankfully, they granted our requests.

So, all four of us tossed around ideas for a day trip within 150 miles from where we live. In the end, we chose the Oakland Zoo.

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It was our first time. My husband packed a wheelchair in the trunk of our car, because our son is healing from a fractured foot and the east foothills would prove to be too much.

We had fun exploring all the animals and learning about their habitats.

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The zoo recently added a gondola that took us up to the new café and lookout. The view of the city was stunning. We could see the port of Oakland as well as the skyline of San Francisco.

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We were blessed with minimal traffic to and from, no lines at the park and perfect weather. The next day, we had a big spring storm dumping four inches of rain in Santa Cruz mountains.

My son asked me what my favorite animal was and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it as I enjoyed them all. I am amazed at the variety of species God has created for us to enjoy.

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Are you on Spring Break and, if so, what did you do?

Blessings, Rebecca

Benched

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Have you ever broken a bone? Well, my husband and I have not. Thank the Lord! Upon our son’s return from youth winter camp, he complained of a sore right foot. When I looked at it, it was red and swollen.

We took Austin to the doctor and the x-ray showed it is fractured. Ugh! This on the heal of making the high school JV volleyball team (shown above). The podiatrist issued him a boot and crutches (see below) to be worn for 4-6 weeks. All this happened on the first game of the season. I am proud of him that he chose to still support his teammates by watching on the sideline.

20180303_194127.jpgAs a mom, it is extremely difficult to watch your child be “benched” for a period of time. The comfort I have is knowing Austin is in God’s hands and our family/friends are praying for him. Also, I lean on God’s word such as Isaiah 53:5.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,

and by His wounds we are healed.

Have you had to watch your child(ren) suffer and/or go through a healing process? Feel free to share with us.

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.

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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

Tis the Season

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As we wrap up Thanksgiving, our family took some time to rest and enjoy the season. We took a leisurely drive up the coast heading to our extended family’s new place in Foster City.

We marveled at the sunny 70F weather, sparkling pacific ocean, vast farmland and wildlife.

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After a scrumptious lunch at my favorite restaurant The Spaghetti Factory in Redwood City, we braved the Serramonte Mall in Daly City where my son purchased a pair of basketball shoes. It was a special moment witnessing him buy them with his first paycheck.

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Later, my brother suggested we take a walk along Christmas in the Park. So, we jumped in the car and drove south to San Jose. It was nostalgic returning several years later with Uncle Greg and Aunt Connie. The sidewalks were jammed packed, because it was opening weekend.

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We strolled along taking in all the sights and sounds. I even got some new ideidehow to decorate our tree.

After a couple of hours checking everything out, we parted ways.

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The next day we attended church and were reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season. It easy to get distracted during the busyness.  So, I hope to keep focused on Him through it all.

How about you? What do you enjoy doing during the Christmas season?

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Work Force

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This week, our son joined the work force. Austin is now landscaping for Mount Herman in the Santa Cruz mountains.

I am a proud Mama as he is following in his father’s footsteps gardening.  What a great skill set to have.

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It is a new season in his life. I believe once he receives his first paycheck, he will be proud of his accomplishments and appreciate the hard work that goes into buying items you need or want; an invaluable life lesson.

Do you have children who entered the work force? I’d love to hear their successes and challenges.

Blessings, Rebecca