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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

Stress Ball
Yesterday as I sat squeezing my stress ball to the death it occurred to me that when someone comes up with an idea for a product it has to be evaluated for its potential. Did they look for a trend in the market for health related products? Or was it simply a realization that it would be better for people to sit and squeeze a ball instead of going ballistic on whoever happened to walk in their path?

Reasons to run: 1) you are going to miss your bus 2) you are mistaken by the mob as a man needing concrete shoes 3) as you are walking across the street a car decides to run a red light 4) you have to get to the hospital 4) you forgot your wallet at the register 5) ninjas just jumped out of a tree and into your path 6) you are being chased by thugs, a pack of wolves, or your neighborhood dog 7) a swarm of bees, wasps, or locus are quickly coming toward you 8) your neighbor is coming over the fence at you while you are in the middle of toilet papering his yard 9) a detention school brought all their kids to the park for a fieldtrip 10) a skunk just lifted his tail and winked at you. These are acceptable reasons to run. Running for the fun of it, now that is just crazy!

More Graffiti Art

by unknown

by unknown

found on Flicker site

by unknown

by Banksy

by unknown

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Graffiti Art that I like

by Idiot the Wise

by Idiot the Wise

by Idiot the Wise

by Banksy



I found out last night that my soon-to-be brother-in-law just purchased a muscle car. I emailed him to see what it was and it is a ‘72 Chevelle, red with a 350 in it. I started asking questions about what his plans were for it. Right now its in good condition so he’ll add to it slowly. He mentioned that if he added racing stripes it would add 50 horsepower. In that case I offer some other horsepower boosting items such as:

Adhesive imitation hoodpins 10hp
Stickers (Hooker, Edelbrock, ect) 5hp
Colored hoses 8hp

He says that after a few years he’ll put a big block in it. It was the first thing his fiancé asked him when they were driving around, “Are you going to put a bigger engine in it?”

Monday, July 28, 2008

Things I love...

#37 I love chocolate milk! Having a bad day, need a little pick me up? Try chocolate milk. It works for me! It's that little bit of sweet chocolate that I need every once in a while. During stressful times I've been known to have it with dinner for nearly a whole week. Thankfully, I'm not stressed now (school hasn't started yet remember), so I just have it now and then as a delicious surprise.

#56 I love writing notes and decorating them with stickers. When I was little I would collect stickers and wait for something REALLY special to use them on. Well, I waited so long that I still have some of the ones from my childhood. Now thanks to Target's box of colorful note cards and envelopes, I go through seasons where I write a bunch of cards in a day with nifty stickers.

#72 I love when I'm running and a gentle breeze hits me in the face. It reminds me of story about Elijah when he went looking for God. He didn't see God in the rocks breaking due to the wind, or in the earthquake, or in the fire that followed. Elijiah heard God in a gentle whisper. I like running because it helps me clear my head, and it is a great time to pray for others. You can check out the story at http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20kings19:11-13;&version=31;.

#109 I love hearing little kids laugh. I got to see a bunch of kids yesterday, and two of them were just plain fun to watch. One would throw up his arms and yell, "Yea!" when you helped him do something. The other giggled and stomped his feet because he got to follow a dog outside.

#123 I love how blue the sky is in Wisconsin. I know I've said it before, but boy was it gorgeous in Wisconsin.

#145 I love that I've eaten pizza on china. I think that everyone should get out the china and eat pizza just for kicks.

#187 I love my husband, because he's great! I'd be in a huge heap of trouble if I'd married someone like me.

Okay already

Practically each day we were in Wisconsin Tasha would go for a run or walk or something. Kieran and Kari run quite a bit. Tasha really enjoyed all the exercise and would mention it periodically during our visit.

Although a good response to being told that I need to get into shape is “who says round isn’t a shape?”, I decided to get some new running shoes and stop the excuses. Tasha and I went for a jog Sunday morning.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

So, you've seen the flowers... Now check out the animals

I can't help but take pictures of flamingos seeing who my mother-in-law is and all... :)

Don't the two to the left look totally wiped out? The one in the middle looks like either he is stifling a good laugh, just sneezed, or is picking his nose. I'd never seen a real "dog pile" before.

Yeah, I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley.

The tiger was hilarious to watch. The glass in the room went around a corner. So I got to watch the tiger watching the small toddlers that were jumping up and down with excitement. It reminded me of the movie Happy Feet.

We got to hear an assortment of bugs including cicadas. Wow, they sure can be loud. We also got to see lightning bugs!!!!!!! This little fella looked like he'd been dipped in war paint and thus worthy of a spot on the blog.

If you double click on the grasshopper, you can see the "war paint" better.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A view of the Wisconsin prairie

What can I say, I was fascinated by the wild flowers in the prairies.

Doesn't it look like a snowflake?

The day I took these was a bit windy, as you can tell, so I wasn't sure how the photos would come out. They were far better than I could have hoped.

Does anyone know what this flower is?

Don't forget you can double click on the pictures and see them enlarged:)

Friday, July 25, 2008

I can't (well choose not to) help it

I was stunned by the beauty found in Wisconsin. I just HAD to show you what I found.
Lilies at the Baher's home.

Also from the Baher's home.

Bee balms at the Henry Vilas Zoo.

Another one in the Baher's garden.

A cone flower at the entrance to a park.

Hope Remains

Last Abortion Clinic in South Dakota Closes after Law Requires Patients be Informed of Possible Side Effects

SIOUX FALLS, SD, July 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Monday, July 21, eight women arrived at the Planned Parenthood office in Sioux Falls in South Dakota for abortions, but were instead met with locked doors and a hand-written note indicating the only abortion clinic in South Dakota was closed.

Planned Parenthood closed its doors after their abortionists, who are flown in from other states, refused to work under the new law that went into effect last Friday. The law orders abortionists to inform patients of the humanity of their babies and that the procedure could affect their mental health two hours before the abortion is set to be performed. The law also provides that abortionists can be sued if they do not comply.

This law was the brain-child of attorney Harold Cassidy and passed with the help of determined pro-life leaders Dr. Alan and Leslee Unruh, who pushed for the regulation in the face of opposition, even from some in the pro-life movement. The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the law's enactment last week.

It remains unclear if the Planned Parenthood office has permanently ceased the practice of abortion. However, several women who were scheduled for abortions this week went to a pro-life center instead, where some have reportedly changed their minds about having abortions.
"The closing of this clinic is historic in that South Dakota is, for the time being, the first abortion-free state," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "It didn't take the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and it didn't take a new President or a new Supreme Court. It took the courageous determination of pro-life heroes like Mr. Cassidy and the Unruhs who saw an opportunity to save lives and pressed on until their dream became victory."

"We applaud their efforts and encourage other states to emulate their campaign," said Newman.
The Unruhs are currently involved in the Vote Yes For Life Campaign, which would effectively ban abortions in South Dakota, putting the finishing nail in the coffin of the abortion industry there.

Text of the new law and links to the court decision can be found at http://www.voteyesforlife.com

Reasons to go to Wisconsin

Please understand that between Kyle and I, we took over 500 pictures. I went through and deleted some of the fuzzy ones, and we still have over 450. So, it was hard to chose some of the really good photos. I "kinda" went crazy with the floral shots, so notice that with great effort all of these photos are not pictures of flowers.

Reasons to go to Wisconsin:

Reason #1 To see the Bahers! They are simply fabulous and worth the flights with crying children (yes we did have a toddler on all three flights back that wasn't to keen on flying). They took us to an Epicnic that was wonderful with AMAZING food. Notice that the sky is blue all the way down to the horizon, unlike the sky in California with the fires and smog.

Reason #2: The Bahers spoiled us with mouth watering food. We had frozen custard at Michael's, lobster tail and cookies the size of dessert plates at the Epicnic, bratwurst from Bavaria, tea at an artistically interesting coffee shop called Indigo (which I HIGHLY recommend the peach tea to all in the Verona area), yummy scones at Gallup, along with all the great food the Bahers made for us like pancakes, burritos, strawberry short cake... oh the list could go on and on.

Reason #3: In Wisconsin someone got the great idea of making dog parks. They are gated areas where dogs and their families can go and the dogs don't have to be on a leash. The parks have beautiful prairie flowers and are great for a nice walk. It is so peaceful, and the people that bring their dogs are nice!

Reason #4: We got to see tons of stuff with the Bahers as tour guides including the FREE zoo in Madison, the Rogers at the zoo in Milwakee (they have cheetahs and a leopard there!!!), a Mallards game, the free botanical garden, the giant Farmers Market around the capital, a tour of Epic, and SOOOO much more.

Reason #5: It's simply gorgous there.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Being Real

I began to realize that one of my most annoying problems was me. That was painfully revealing. How could I be my own problem? Simple: I wanted control. Control of everything! I resented the fact that God wanted control too. My desire for control outweighed my desire for connectedness, even with Him. Luci Swindoll

It was this year that I realized, maybe for the first time clearly, that I had control issues. I wanted to control Kyle, I wanted to control myself, I wanted to control others. It may have started with a good intention like wanting to help someone or something. But when I began to try and "fix" things on my own without God's help, I was controlling and NOT helping anyone.

I recently heard an AMAZING sermon all about control. It was a rather swift kick I didn't appreciate at the time, but God has continued to use it for His glory in my life. It seems that there are many times daily that I have to fight the urge to control things around me that really and truly aren't mine to control. You can check out the sermon at lifechurch.tv. The link is on the side for the whole website, but you can also view just the sermon at http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/the-sickness-within/4 .

If you're looking, or maybe more or less needing some redirecting about pride, check out the third sermon in that series. Or you could try the first one and hear about anger. I did write a post about anger on July 11th. The second one is on envy, and the fifth is on bitterness. I haven't had a chance to check out the last one, but since the other four were pretty great, I think the last one would be good too.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Verbage Wisconsin Style

1. You betcha = yes, I agree with you; response to any statement

2. Have a good one = farewell, end to any conversation (however, those who use this never say what the one is)

3. Yah, hay dere = hi, hey look, general exclamation or surprise

4. Oh don't cha know = agreement or ending to a sentence (from Minnesota)

5. Holy smokes = general exclamation or surprise

6. A bubbler = drinking fountain

7. We, or Us = The Packers
"We aren't doing so well" doesn't mean marriage trouble but football season trouble

This list may be expanded, don't cha know...

Madison, day 4

Ethan took me to Firemen's Park/Goose Lake in wonderful Verona. We were there for over 4 hours and caught nothing for the first two. Then a man came out and started pulling bass out of the water left and right. He told us the vicinity of where to cast and even hooked (nice pun) Ethan up with a rubber worm. He was only there for maybe a little longer than a half hour. He said he had to go do laundry. It must be nice to need a break from chores, go to the lake, catch and release a few bass, and cruise home to finish up. Between Ethan and I we caught either 4 or 5 bass. Tasha had the camera though so there aren't any pictures. They were medium size and a few jumped out of the water while being reeled in. The bluegills tugged at our rubber worms but their mouths could not really take our hooks.

After fishing we raced home and showered the fishy lake smell off before heading to the Epic tour.
Judy Faulkne founded Epic Systems in 1979. They employee over 3,000 people which are mostly freshly graduated college students. Epic is like Disneyland meets The Office. It is such a unique place that it would always keep the creative juices flowing. She seems to really love art and has a very eclectic collection. All this art is placed all over the Epic campus and randomly moves or is traded out. This collection varies greatly from a deer made entirely out of brass instruments and sculpted wooden chairs, to a 6' diameter chunk of kryptonite and a life-size Spiderman crouched on a building's corner, to a life-size figurine of a butler holding a metal serving tray on which is placed all the possible weapons from the game Clue. Pictures of our Epic trip will follow!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Madison, day 2

Our first few days here, the Bahers and my wife very graciously let me sleep in until after 10. It has been great. I am sure that my dear friend Chris is having so much fun making deadlines on our current projects back at the office. I sort of left him stranded so I'll have to maybe bring him Starbucks or something.

All four of us squeezed into the Mustang and made our way to EPIC where Kieran works. The place is massive. They have maybe 3 huge red cranes moving materials all over the place to the north of their already existent campus. Kieran is in training sessions teaching fresh out of college new hires the software. It was humorous to see these "kids" in t-shits, shorts, sandals, and backpacks trekking across such an impressive campus. I am very excited that we get to go on an EPIC tour Friday after work hours.

Next we all went over to a cook out and enjoyed some bratwursts, chips, and sodas. In the 30's a German man came to Wisconsin and taught people how to make sausages. They've got a nice operation and ship all over. Beware their Cajun brawts! Very nice but pretty spicy.

Kari and Tasha picked up the Saturn and went to coffee and girl time. Ethan and I went cruising over to a gargantuan sporting goods store for some boy time. We browsed the whole store: bikes, football, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, shoes and cleats, kayaking, hunting, fishing, camping, and finishing up by testing $160 putters on their little green. Then we came back for some Wii time and played baseball, tennis, and boxing. I impressed Ethan with my mad boxing skills. He is a worthy opponent. We also do very well in tennis when playing doubles.

Good times!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


So, we get to the car rental counter once we get the bags off the baggage carousel. I give the man my name and he gets my paper work. Without looking up her says, "I've giving you a Mustang. Is that cool?" I am thinking that he is just messing with me wanting me to upgrade. I bent over the counter and looked at the paper work which read 2007/Red/Ford Mustang. Apparently there was a shortage of cars so we got their sports car for the same price as their economy car. I forgot our usb reader so I cannot upload actual pictures of it now. However, I will once we get home.

As I am driving us to the Baher's, Tasha is looking out the car window checking out the scenery. She comments, "It is so beautiful." My response, "It sure is and listen to her purr!" Then I got the look of "I was talking about the grasses and fields and trees and flowers. Not the car you silly boy."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Madison, day 1

Brad dropped us off at the grand Bakersfield Airport near 8am. We boarded little over an hour later. When we were getting seated a kid in front of me said, "Man, sick shirt." I was wearing a NOTW shirt from the Hudsons that read No Religion, just a relationship with Matthew 15:8-9.

Kieran got home from work and we stayed up watching the All-Star game. Everyone went to bed except for Ethan and I. However, we decided at midnight that since they were entering the 14 inning, it was a good time for us to go to bed too.

Monday, July 14, 2008

One word

Where is your cell phone? desk
Your spouse? bestfriend
Your hair? prickly
Your mother? moved
Your father? red
Your favorite thing? freebies
Your dream last night? fights
Your favorite drink? pepsi
Your dream/goal? heaven
The room you're in? office
Your hobby? life
Your fear? unknown
Where do you want to be in 6 years? overseas
Where were you last night? hayes’
What you're not? rested
Muffins? cosco
One of your wish list items? dunno
Where you grew up? margo
What are you wearing? ring
Your pets? newt
Your computer? on
Your life? mellow
Your mood? blah
Missing someone? yep
Your car? oven
Something you're not wearing? hat
Favorite store? target
Your summer? short
Your favorite color? blues
Last time you cried? fortnight
When is the last time you laughed? morning

Try to do this for yourself. Finding one word that works isn't as easy as it might seem.

to blog or not to blog

What is a blog?
Apparently it is slang for “web log”.

What goes into a blog?
Some people use them as diaries, ballistic targets for their drama, personal portfolios, ect.

Why do we have a blog?
When we moved up here to Clovis, we thought it would be a fun and easy way to stay connected with our friends and family. We post random fun things, little tidbits of what we’re up to, share our thoughts about whatever is on our hearts, post pictures, and share stories.

We’d love to know that you’ve visited the blog. If you’d like to leave a comment on any post then simply click on the “Comment” link below the post you’ve just read. Type up what you’d like to say. Then choose how you want to sign your comment: google/blogger id, other utility id, name, or anonymous. Lastly, click on the Publish Your Comment” link.

On the right hand side of our blog we've got some cool stuff. Check out the bubble wrap you can pop. When you've ran out of bubbles, hit "Fresh Sheet" and keep going. You can also play with our lilttle tree frog by moving your mouse pointer in his window. Please feed him too by clicking in his window.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Other photos from our last trip

my mom's front yard

Santa Cruz

the Mystery Spot

Friday, July 11, 2008


This morning I went for a short morning. It was the first day this week that the heat didn't overtake me while I ran. So I praised God that although I woke up a little late, the heat wasn't terrible.

I got to take to my Kari on the phone for about half an hour. Our conversation was filled with laughter and joy.

So far, so good.

My sister is getting married this summer. I began working on the invitations Kyle and I found yesterday for a super great price. I stamp the outside of the envelopes with hearts and then type up the invitation. I'm all excited because Kyle found confetti hearts that match the stamp, and the invitations are black and white. It is perfect to go with my sister's heart theme mixed with her colors black, white, and red. Then, the printer won't print. I mess with it for a while and I decided that the paper was too thick, or due to the bend of the card, the print is NOT going to print the PERFECT invitations. I email Kari and asked for prayer as I wasn't totally frustrated, but I really didn't want to get that way. She, thankfully, was willing. I am then distracted from my problem solving strategies by loud banding outside. I find out from my neighbors that we are having a patio cleaning agreement being reinforced by our apartment complex. It's not a big deal to me, I only have a few things out of place, but my neighbors weren't happy in the least about it.

So, what happened to me. I went from so far, so good to fussy. Poor Kyle came home for lunch and I was mad at the printer and complaining about the patio.

I got an idea of how to fix the invitations by printing the invite onto tracing paper and then cutting it and gluing it to the card. They look great, but it wasn't what I had planned on spending hours doing. While working on the invites I listened a few times to a new cd I got called corner cafe: relaxing jazz (which I recommend and it was only $9.99 at Target!). Then, I decided to check out lifechurch.tv. I looked through their archived message series and found one called The Sickness Within. It turns out that the first message is all about, you guessed it, anger.

Now that I've had a nice perspective check, seems I'm getting a lot of them lately, I highly recommend the message to you. I love how animated Craig, the pastor, gets while talking. He talked about spewers and stiflers. He didn't mind pointing out that holding onto unrighteous anger is opening the door wide open for the enemy to make a mess of your life. Craig also talked about righteous anger and gave examples of when Jesus had righteous anger. I love that Craig doesn't sugar coat what the Bible says. He pointed out the Proverbs 29:11 and explained that it is not okay to just explode on someone just because you are mad. Check out the message at http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/the-sickness-within/1.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Bubble wrap isn't just good for wrapping breakables in prior to shipping. It is cheaper and more effective than visiting your shrink! Just give it a try @ Bubble Wrap.


Do you ever have those moments when you are awed by God's power? Do you ever have those moments and it is in the form of a swift kick you've been needing for a while? A friend of mine has a friend named Donna who diagnosed with lung cancer last week. She has already had breast cancer. I was introduced to the family's blogs and was totally blown away (thus a perspective check and needed swift kick) at their willingness to be open. Check out Donna's post called Why Me, you can find it on the right side of the blog, at http://dblog.borntreger.com/. Then check out her daughter's blog which has a post called Cancer Sucks http://kblog.borntreger.com/. And then travel on over to Donna's husband's blog, which I found to be rather hylerious at http://lblog.borntreger.com/. I really enjoyed the post called I Don't Want to be a Good Example.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Last week in photos II

I have no idea what these flowers are, but boy are they stunning. They reminded me of China and Singapore. You can find them at the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. My family and I went through a mini (due to size of location) tour of the "mystery spot" which reminded me a whole lot of Knott's Berry Farm. There is, or at least used to be, a "tour" at Knott's where you would have optical allusions due to perspective and the tilting of land and what not. The Mystery Spot is the same type of thing. It only cost $5 to park and $5 a person, totally worth it. Plus, we went of a mini hike while waiting that was great. (It's at the back of the parking lot past the buildings. Just look for the yellow sign )

You can't tell well from this photo, but this white flower is the size of a dessert plate!!! This was at Monterey near a guy playing piano on a regular keyboard at times, and on an keyboard that is held like a guitar. He was rather amusing to watch as he passionately played while showing (or pretending to) love life.

July 4th Ocean View

There is just something about the ocean that soothes me. I love the sound of the waves crashing. The movement of the water can be so amazing that it causes me to just sit and stare. I feel like every couple of months I just need a few moments of quiet by the water, and then I can handle whatever is coming next. It's not that the water is magical, rather it is the majestic power of its Creator that stirs within me when I sit and reflect.

Last week in photos

Kevin and I hiked down this side of the mountain onto the beach. If you look carefully (click on the picture to see it bigger) you can see Tara and Donald sitting down.

A tiny, hidden neighborhood near the KOA

Santa Cruz KOA

My mom's garden