Us

Us
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Things I’m loving right now...


Yes I’m that person, the one who counts down the days to Fall and cooler days where I can throw open all my windows and fall in love with cooking/baking again. And I love all things pumpkin so let the new recipes begin!

I was really craving warm fresh doughnuts and so I made these gluten free pumpkin with cream cheese frosting and I might have eaten two or three! Noting like making yourself sick to kill a craving ha!

Bath & Body candles have the best throw for our large great room. So I get excited when all the cool weather smells start hitting the shelves. I almost hugged the UPS guy when he brought my order but he might not have understood. I had fun explaining what a candles “throw” meant to my husband. 

I usually buy dye free candy corn from a natural candy store so our younger daughter doesn’t feel left out during Halloween. But it’s $5.00 for a small bag so it gets really expensive. I literally was almost in tears when I was at Target and saw that for $2.99 Brach’s got it right with dye free and gluten free candy corn. Now I would seriously hug whoever decided to push that product onto the shelf.


So I don’t love waiting up for our oldest to get home at night when she’s babysitting or out to eat with friends etc. But cuddling with her puppy makes up for some of it. 🙃

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hands of Mercy

I was so fortunate to get to travel with a team from Trinity down to Mexico a couple of weeks ago. We partnered with Hands of Mercy to build a home for a family. 


This is my second trip with Trinity and this time the pastor really wanted us to spend one night with a local family to have more culture awareness. Me and Lisa were placed with a single mother of three. Even though I have been traveling to Mexico for mission trips since I was 14, this was by far the poorest most run down area I have ever been. I am used to no running water and out-house bathrooms on these trips but this was a whole new level of poverty. The area was also very unsafe and I think that unsettled me the most. 
I'm not sure why but even as I write this post I am getting emotional.  I love the people down in Mexico and have a heart for their country. It was hard being without my family and trying not to let fear take up space in my heart. The whole time before we got there I was praying that God would help me to see past my own self and love on whoever was hosting me that night. To have eyes for them that God has and not worry about the small details that God already had figured out. 
I love kids and they are such a good reminder of how very little it takes to be joyful and content. I spent some time coloring and just taking it all in that first night. I won't lie, when the sun came up the next morning and we were going to be reunited with our team, I was relieved. Safer in numbers and all that. :) 
This is my second house to build and every time the guys are great about teaching me new skills. I love to learn and the only thing I have said I won't do is get on the roof ha! I am way to accident prone and the hospital is way to far!!!
This was where the family was living before we built the loft house for them. Remember, no running water, no electricity, no plumbing, no roads, no protection from the outside world.
I have mastered the art of painting the house and all the neighborhood kids come out of the woodwork to help which is always an adventure ha! Kids + paint + zero control=fun!!!
We build the loft house in one day...the guys are crazy good at this and this time they taught me to install windows and also how to seal them. New thing I can help with. :) 
This little girl took to me and followed me everywhere.  

These are small little loft houses that I think are like 12 X 12 and they are just a room with a ladder to a loft. No kitchen or furniture but they get them out of the elements and off the ground. The door locks and we have our sewing ministry make curtains for the windows so it feels like a home. 
Lots of people ask me why I go down to Mexico when we have so many needs here in our own country or why I go when it's so unsafe and so unstable. I understand the fear but something I really desire in my own life is to not allow fear to take up residency in my heart and life. To go if God says go and to be where God tells me to be regardless of what the world tells me. I know that poverty exists here as well but the poorest person here in the US is still richer than the people I have met living on the hillsides of Mexico. And besides that, God does not see boundaries. I truly believe He gives us all a heart for different people and different places that maybe others can't understand or relate to and that's what makes serving the Lord so great. We don't chose where we are born and I don't care what color or religion you are; you matter to Christ so I want people to matter to me as well.
Handing the keys over to the family gets me overtime. The second night we were there I was asked to get up and share with the people at the missionary camp where we were staying; I shared how the first night there I looked around the area I was staying and felt discouraged like what does one loft house matter in all this? I was looking at all the trash and kids with no shoes thinking we were already defeated. But then as we were sitting outside the lady hosting us turned on worship music and we sat there looking at the bon fire, watching the kids play and laugh and run around and God gripped my heart. One house does matter because one life matters. I got really choked up thinking that even with the language barrier us sitting there with worship music closed the gap and we were sisters in Christ regardless of where we live.
Lisa was a great partner to have because she is as crazy as I am.  We laughed when we wanted to cry and cried when we were completely freaked out by the hole in the ground called a toilet that almost caved in on us by the way. We ate stuff we didn't want to eat and tried not to freak out when the critters as big as our hand crawled under our beds ha! I am looking forward to going back for another build in December and to see what God has for us on that trip. Please be praying for our safety, for God to move the hearts of people we minister too and for health as I picked up an intestinal parasite this last trip which has been awful and slow to recover from.  Be blessed friends!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Date Night....

We went on a really fun date night this week with some friends. First stop,  Trejo's Cantina in Hollywood. Seriously the best guacamole I have ever had...it had chopped up pistachios in it. Who knew! We also tried their cauliflower street tacos and their pork street tacos were to die for.


Next stop; we walked a couple of blocks over to  The Montalban for roof top  movie night. All summer long through September they show all kinds of movies on the roof top which is so fun. The weather was amazing and the venue really cool. We saw Grease. When you check in they hand you a head set and a blanket and then you pick your seat. There are food and drink venues on the roof as well with little tables to sit at while you wait for the movie to start. The headsets were great but with everyone singing out loud to the Grease sound track (I mean how could you help yourself right? I mean come on it's the hand jive ha!) you didn't really need the headsets ha! 
Just hanging out before the movie....
Great roof top views and everyone was super laid back and nice. We definitely plan to go back next summer for another movie as this really was a great date night. If you're interested they are showing  some great flicks until the end of summer. It's 18 and over only and the web site is www.rooftopcinemaclub.com 
Enjoy! Blessings friends!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Wrapping up Summer....

We have had an amazing summer! Even though we took our family vacation back in June, we still got to do a lot of fun things together and share some down time. For Dan's birthday we went with friends to Glen Ivy and had a total relaxation day.

The girls were less than thrilled when they spotted me purchasing back to school supplies ha!
Some things I have been up to: I bought this used filing cabinet at a local thrift shop and gave it a face lift to use in our guest room to store school supplies.
Primed it....
Gave it some color and so on....
My husband gotta love him for putting up with my "projects" but we drove by a house in our neighborhood and this had a "free" sign on it and so I brought it home, cleaned it up and primed it and now I'm working on giving it a new coat of paint. The next day I was wandering through an antique store in town and found one in way worse condition for almost $400! Score!
This summer we discovered resortpass.com and enjoyed heading to Palm Springs a few times to enjoy the pools and just unplug and relax.



We are loving that Necter is serving dairy free ice cream and have visited many many times for date day or to treat the girls.

What's summer at our house without an urgent care visit? No worries, not broken and no stitches...just badly sprained.

It's also not summer in CA unless we see this from our property at least once or twice...

You may remember that back in December our septic tank needed to be dug up and replaced and along with it went our yard and walkway. We took some time, thought it through and decided to just go ahead with some major home improvements while everything was torn up. So out with the old dated door....



Thanks to Dan and our friend John, our new red doors!

This was our yard in April...old brick on the house and paint peeling. No yard or walkway..





New walkway, paint on the house and out with all the brick siding and new brick on the garage. We also got the front yard all landscaped...

Old falling apart brick and walkway

New concrete and paint. We are finishing the planters and also have the front porch closed in this week. More pictures to follow. It's been exciting seeing it all come together. We've lived here 13 years and have never really done anything to the house so it's been fun. Blessings friends!


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Many Faces of Ellie...

Morgans little pup is now 10 months old and so hilarious! We LOVE this dog....here are just a few of her many expressions that have us cracking up daily.

"What's you's eatin' there mama?"

"Yes I am the baby but make no mistake, I am in charge here."

"Do not! I repeat do NOT look at that chewed up shoe ...look at my cute face."

"That was not me! Don't even try and blame it on me."

"Wait! Did you hear that noise mama? Shhhh..be very, very quiet."

"What it's Monday again?"
"The cat did it."