Birthday

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I had a super fun birthday! We headed to downtown Disney for dinner at one of my favorite places: Goofy’s Kitchen. I absolutely loved going with my daughter, but it was the first time with my son. It’s a great family place – buffet food (and lots of it kid friendly) and a few characters come around to your table to take pictures and sign autographs. I am incredibly impressed with their cafe for food allergies; a chef walked me around and pointed out all the different food I could eat, and despite it being a bit, I didn’t have any reactions!

The one thing I really wanted to do was take the kids to Build-a-Bear. It’s am expensive stop, so we’d never been. Our daughter was super excited -huge huge eyes. They had a deal on the My Little Ponies – 1 for $28 or 2 for $35. So, unfortunately, I just *had* to get one for myself since it was such a deal. So, one Luna, one Twilight Sparkle and one Pikachu later, we headed to the stuffing station, then went looking for outfits. Our daughter picked the matching Luna cape and crown, and we found a Batman outfit for Pikachu. (Oh it is so cute!) After naming them and paying, we headed home. It was a wonderful day.

 

Dietbet

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I’m embarrassed to say that because of the stress of the past year, I’d gained approximately 20 pounds (and I wasn’t light to begin with!). So I challenged myself to another round of diet bets, which is a great motivator for me. I don’t need to win money, but I certainly can’t lose it! So after one month, I’m down 8 pounds and richer by $32. Yay me. Now on to another one for next month!

Ten year anniversary

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We celebrated ten years of marriage with a short trip up to San Luis Obispo. Despite the recent pain, it was nice to get away for a bit and just rest. We didn’t have any specific plans, which was nice after the recent stress.

We actually started a day early for our daughter’s birthday – we took the kids to a nearby hotel with a great pill (and slide!) And spent the night before dropping them off with my parents in the morning. The hotel was a ton of fun and a great deal since it got us into a fun pool too!

After we dropped off the kids, we took the couple hour drive to SLO. We found a great stop along the way for lunch – a bakery called “our daily bread” with yummy sandwiches (and they even had GF bread for me!).

Once we arrived in SLO, we checked into our hotel. We stayed
at the famous Madonna Inn – known for its random, bizarre decor. Each of the 200+ rooms are decorated in a different theme – and all are gaudy. Is a silly place. We took a dip in the pool, then got ready for a fancy anniversary dinner overlooking Morro Bay.

Bed of flowers (get it?) at Apple Inn

The next day we visited Moonstone Beach – after lunch we searched for moonstones (found a few) and looked on tide pools. Once got back, we switched hotels (only one night was open at the Madonna), so we moved over to Apple Farm, which was amazing: our room had a personal hot tub out the back door!

Bubble Gum alley

After a dip in the hot tub, we headed to a drive in movie theater. We had trickle getting the sound to work, and it was freezing, but it was fun.

The next day we went to downtown SLO, where we checked out the mission, visited bubble gum alley (ewewew) and found a store that sold all kinds of soda (cactus fruit, bubble gum, chocolate, etc). Then we packed it up and headed home. It was a wonderful trip!

Ice blocks

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About the time summer starts, I get a toy ice block ready and just keep refilling the water in it throughout the summer. I put about a centimeter of water in the bottom of a Tupperware container and add a few tiny toys – beads, Legos, small figures, fake flowers, coins, etc. I let that layer freeze then do another layer. Once the whole block is frozen, I pull it out and put it in a big container then let my daughter use a squirt bottle to try and extract the treasures inside. Hours (no seriously, hours) of fun all summer long.

   

A Disappointing Church Visit

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Interestingly, after visiting this church, which I had checked out on Yelp, I was so upset I wrote a Yelp review. I then realized I had not written a review of our own church! Our church, with around 300 folks, had two reviews – one 5 years old, and one 2 years old, both only about 4 sentences. There were also two reviews that were not recommended. I then found out that unless you have several reviews, your Yelp review means nothing. That said, if you haven’t get on Yelp, write a review of your church (as well as a couple other reviews of restaurants or something) and let people know your place of worship exists and what it is like! Anyway, to make my life a bit easier, here’s my review of the church we visited, with a couple changes. I wanted to love this church. I really did. My husband and I visited Vegas for the weekend, and we enjoy visiting different churches when we’re out of town so we can experience other worship. I am sad to say that while the music was engaging, the gospel, scripture, and message were sorely lacking. First impressions: the people were friendly, there was parking for guests in the front, there were a lot of programs/events for the entire family, and a great recovery program for teenagers as well as adults. (This and the engaging music is what earned the church 2 stars instead of 1, which I am inclined to give.) Regarding the band: yes, they were great. I saw other reviews comparing church to a concert, and it really was. The lights went down, and it was hard to find a seat. The music lasted about 30 minutes (which was great – except that left a minuscule amount of time for the message after the other announcements). People connected with the music and hands were in the air worshiping. Awesome. However, the sermon: Granted, we attended on a day when Senior Pastor Judd was gone, so maybe this was an off week. However, that’s no excuse for spending a total of less than 5 minutes in the actual Bible – especially when the verses referenced had little to nothing to do with the message. They were more like a jumping point for a story or a “yeah, it’s kinda like this verse where…” but the connection was never explained. At one point, the translation on the screen wasn’t given (a translation I’ve never heard) – I  looked it up later to find the pastor had used the NLT just to make a point about men and women (without referencing that it was the NLT). The next translations were NIV – no consistency in Bible translations, which makes it difficult for a congregation to follow. However, that didn’t seem to be much of an issue with this congregation, as I saw fewer than 10 people actually bringing their Bible to church. It was like Where’s Waldo, but with a Bible – in a church – and that’s not a good sign. I was sorely disappointed that the message was interesting, clever, and completely lacking the true word of God. Showmanship, colorful lights and staging have won out over the simple message of God’s grace and redemption, and that’s an absolute shame.

Exciting things have been happening…

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Okay, well, mostly one.

I had a baby. I’ve been exhausted and recovering. But baby is now nearly 3 months old and I’m hoping to get back on track (and fill in some gaps here and there). Hey, no one is perfect. I’m human, flawed and my real life is WAY more important to me than my blog. But I will backdate a few things to clear up some of the where I was when I was stuff. But for now I’m back. (And my shop should be up and running in the next day or so.)

Back (with a really good excuse for my absence)

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Well, I’ve been away from my blog for a while. Unfortunately, when a million other things are going on, my blog falls to the bottom of the to-do list. Fortunately, it’s for a very good reason! If you don’t know me personally, the reason I’ve been MIA is because I’m pregnant! Yay! Many backdated posts being composed in the next few days to make up some of the missing time. But I’m back … for now.

Back (again)

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Hello. Again. It seems that my little site is the perfect target for spammers. I wasn’t even listed on google forgoodnesssake. So anyway, I miraculously (*cough*with help*cough*) cleared the 15k+ spam emails sent from my site, the 60k+ spam comments in my blog, and the 3 pages on my site which – instead of linking to info about how I stamp or who I am – linked to a viagra sales site. The wonderful hackers even got into my cpannel and wordpress dashboard so that I couldn’t fix anything myself. With the help of two different web monitoring sites, I was able to get everything cleaned up, and now I can write again. Whoo! I’ve spent a bit of time backdating a few entries to cover the gaps, but I should be back to posting when my queue is down to a reasonable length (it’s at around 80 right now). Blessings as you read!

Back!

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The last time I posted on here, I was sick. I’ve gotten better, but in the meantime, my website got shutdown for a bit because some wonderful person got in and sent a ton of spam (to the tune of 30k emails) from my account. I didn’t have time to get in and clean everything up until this weekend. Now we’re all clean and the website is back up and running! YAY! So, I will be spending a bit of time backdating a few entries. In the meantime, here’s a photo of my kitty cats. Look, they love each other now.

my cats are awesome

Still Alive

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Just a brief post to say I’m still here…

100 orders in my Christmas queue (after I just sent 80)

Got the new cat, then my daughter broke her tooth and it needed to be pulled. Then a family medical emergency (still dealing with that one). Will be back to continue posts once my orders are out (likely after Christmas). But wanted to let you know I am still here! 🙂