basis training...

Have often wondered if I would be suited to military life. Never had any experience but imagine that since my anal nature bends that way, it might have been a good fit.

The one overriding factor has always been my fear of not making it through the 12 or so weeks of basic training. You watch enough TV, and you will get the impression that only a few live through that particular nightmarish time. It would seem that you have to be super physically fit to run and jump through all those many army hoops. If you have met me, it becomes immediately apparent that physical fitness and I are not on the best of terms. I am proud to say that in high school, I totally cheated my way through the President's Physical Fitness tests so you can see why anything to do with physical activity makes me shudder.

But, there are other basis trainings that we all go through. One of them is parenthood. I survived having a child and my child survived me. Oh, there are tons of horror Stories but our lists don't quite match. What I thought would require years of therapy where things that never touched her radar and what she thought was life-altering, never crossed my mind. We made it and now it is her turn, as she pushes her way through this basic training exercise with her three kids.

With my parenting days behind me, I am totally into this grandnparenting thing. While I am taking my turn trying to coerce my grandchildren into becoming productive citizens, there is also a license to do things a bit different. Keaton is really in to this grand parenting thing with me. He asked me the other day while we were out shopping, Where do you stand with allowance? What he was asking was if I would loan him upfront money and when he got his allowance, he would pay me back. I told him my stance was I would upfront a loan for money in hand, not expected funds. With that cleared up, he got a $6 loan.

The only other thing he has wanted this summer was bragging rights to Sonic after 10pm which we did at our sleepover, Over mozzerella sticks and limeade, we dicussed him going into junior high, Weird Al and the general life of an 11 year old boy.

This is where my earlier basic training will come in handy. I know both sides of this parenting thing and I know, there is no secret recipe. I will continue to do my best, do what I think is right, knowing I will screw up. All one can do is one's best. He and his brother and sister know, that I will always, always have their backs. Not sure one needs more than that...and a 10pm Sonic run every once in a while.


It is not often that any of us are completely giddy. Giddy is just not a emotion that think about but when it happens, it is one we don't forget.

The kids and I were on our own today and 2 of us were in the market for some more trading cards. There was much discussion on the viability of scoring at the Goodwill as they had earlier. Miss M's store of choice after we hit the comic book store was Target. Morgan and Keaton thought it would be fun, Gage - not so much. He had his heart set on baseball trading cards at Goodwill and just couldn't move very far away from that thought.

After checking out all the girlie stuff and with eyes starting to roll back in boy's heads, we headed for the little trading card display in the front of the store. Keaton found what he was looking for but Gage, well - we have learned that with Gage, there is a Long Haul. Always. Not one to make up his mind quickly, you usually have to put a time limit and encourage him to PICK SOMETHING or else. After much deliberation and under his threat that we were going to be there a long time...he found it. 36 cards for $4.99. With his mind made up and his assurance that a trip to Goodwill was no longer necessary, we headed for the check stand.

What happened next can only be described as mind boggling. As he flipped pretty quickly thru the pack of cards, there it was. He found the Babe Ruth one, more highly coveted than the Holy Grail. Giddy doesn't begin to explain his sudden change in behavior. Not only was I the only one who could accompany him to buy trading cards anymore, but I was the best nana ever and he gushed his undying love for me. It was pure joy to witness. Of course he thought that the card was worth at least a million dollars and perhaps his dad could retire early. Even as Keaton got on the Internet and relayed that the card was probably worth nothing, that didn't damper his jubilant attitude, one bit. When I left for home, he was still flying high.

Giddy comes in all sizes and shapes. colors and shapes but the feeling is always the same. Almost as good as a belly laugh, it does us all good to experience it everyonce in a while. Next time you do, don't hold back and go for it!


Had just spent some time talking about how often we forget how big
God is and how our lives sometime, don't reflect that. Specifically to what lengths we go to protect kids from most everything, that is not our own particular religion.

I did feel that way when my girl was growing up. I felt like any ideas that our church didn't agree with, it was curtains for her. We warned her against boys of different religions and how they would try to pull them in. I was a basket case but mainly, my God was too small.

When your God is too small, you hold on tighter.
When your God is too small, there is no balance.
When your God is too small, so is your world.

A bit later, I got home and was chilling out when I heard a Big Bang! It sounded like someone had busted the front door open with a bat. Looked in the kitchen and the back slider had started cracking. I watched as one crack lead to another and some 15 minutes later, you could still hear the audible sound of more and more and more cracks. With the bathroom fix, this was certainly another blow to us financially.

Called DH and we lamented our recent run of bad luck but as I watched that glass shatter, it reminded me of that God conversation. Sometimes, we have to shatter what we have and start new. Start by letting your God be as big as He wants in your life. You may have to shatter some ideas that you have lived your life by. May be some new journeys coming your way, new views/new do's and most of all, as you get smaller and He gets bigger, life will never be the same...and in the best ways possible.


Let me win
but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt
...Special Olympics oath

We don't talk much about being brave anymore. Once in a while, we hear sound bites about our service men and woman being brave but not sure it rings true for the rest of us.

I have been deathly afraid of needles for as long as I can remember. Why I was taken to the doctor to have my ears pierces, I will never know. Why I bit him is pretty self explanatory. Not much better at medical procedures and a surgery will bring out my most ugly side. I never found it particularly helpful to tell someone to be brave. You either are or not. The decision is entirely up to you. It has to come from within and the decision made in the brain has to make it the 18 inches ( thank you PJ) to the heart. Or maybe it is the other way around.

Different Seasons of life bring different reasons to be brave.The basic premise stays the same, only the fears change.

Brave, Strong in the face of fear




What I hear is there is a constant and the constant is, always. To be strong, you can't just wake up one morning and decide, This is the Day I am going to be strong. You have to prepare, train and progress toward. The decision to be strong comes long before the strength is needed. Resilence doesn't come when called. Courage doesn't magically appear. You can't run to the store and stock up on bravery the moment you need it. Just like Jello, you have to think ahead and be gracious while you are waiting...

making sense of faith...

The idea is that faith makes sense in the context of some other pursuit...If we think we are going to grow in faith by sitting around at a Bible study, we are wrong. That stuff is fine, but without a story, without diving into something really difficult, something that requires us to look to God for support and wisdom and comfort, it will be more difficult to become a person of great faithDonald Miller

My faith came to me in a instant. From zero to a gazallion, just like that. Don't remember asking for more faith because I was too busy asking questions but I must have. Never received any worthy answers sitting around at a bible study. If anything, that probably hurt my faith way more than it ever helped. All my doubts, all my questions - in a instant were gone. These days, I'm not much of a questioner of God. I was taught that God has a perfect plan for your life, if you choose it. If you don't, there is a second one but it is not as good - had you only picked better! That ship sailed in the Garden and this world we live in has some of the more horrible Stories, we each know our share of them. I have read that if you don't scream and yell at God, every once in a while, you are not a Real believer, and in my opinion, that is horsecrap. Every experience is different, every journey has its own trail. The worse stuff that has every happened to me, happened long before I had any kind of faith and I didn't question or beg God then. We always have the choice to walk away, no questions asked.

Need faith? Be ready to have it come at you from the most unlikely of places and until is does, relax - He knows. Just like love, don't go looking for it in all the wrong places...

demise ...

Is there not enough paper in your life? Why are we wringing our hands about the demise of paper as the economic gating factor for ideas? In fact, some of the trees I know are delighted that we've found a better, faster, cheaper way to spread ideas.

If the demise of paper means that good people doing good work in important industries will have to find faster and better ways to do their jobs, I don't think that's a bad thing
. Seth Godin

Everyday I am reminded that we live is a world that at its core, is a dicotomy by nature, What is coming out of our mouths is the exact opposite of what we want. We can't help ourselves, whether politics, church or family...we will do anything to perserve our ideal, no matter what. Change or demise are usually persieved as fighting words.

MSNBC reported this week that since Amazon reduced the price of their Kindle, ebooks sales have surpassed paper sales. Less than 2 weeks. With the speed of change in our world, history is being rewritten every day. What was not only viable but seemingly bulletproof is a instant. I admit since I got the iPad, the thoughts of a laptop has left my brain. I am no longer compelled and drawn to the computer section at Best Buy, the Pad has fulfilled my every need. My new mantra is, there must be an app for thatbut as in every genre of life, there will always be some, who for many different reasons will fight and try to keep the status quo. God love em, they can't help themselves anymore than I can keep myself from diving in head first.

We made the switch from a paper newspaper to a digital world. There were a few bumps and bruises for DH but he has a Favorites folder filled with more comics than he could ever read so all is well. I am no tree hugger but how many trees does it take to keep us supplied with paper when we could do most of it without as much as one tree. I like a bookcase full of books as well as the next guy but really, isn't it time to let our intense need go and give the paper back to the trees?

What else will we have to give up or will die a quick death in the future? The future seems to come quicker and quicker. Read last week than in less than 5 years, you will no longer feel a needle going into your arm, the micro needle is on its way. We have and will continue to see the demise of many more things at a much more rapid pace. What are you holding today that may be gone tomorrow or that you will be using in a completely different way? Not sure but imagine that it will be more and faster than what we expect and I don't want to miss a thing...

live a better Story...

Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.

I have Story written all over me. The ones I have shared and the ones, I haven't
(lucky you!). My Story is filled with crazy people and unbelievable tales that you couldn't imagine to be true, if you hadn't lived them first hand. My friend, on the other hand, doesn't think her Story is worth telling. Normal parents and a pretty good childhood, she hasn't discovered that developing her Story would be good for her and those around her.

So, how do we both learn to develop our Stories and share with the world? I am thinking that ying and yang could benefit from a bit of help and that help could come in the form of Portland's Donald Miller. Could we learn it Somewhere else? Of course we could .... but just maybe, together - we can come back and by telling a better Story, we could change our worlds.

That is all we really have to offer each other, the truth that we are all in the same boat in the same ocean. Some Stories may seem more exciting or scary, but the truth is - our journey's are more alike than they are different.

Will I promise to come home and start booking seminars on, How I Went To See Donald Miller And I Will Never Be The Same? No, but I do promise to come back and live a better My Story and I imagine that Mrs Dean will do the same.

PS. A few years back, Mrs Dean handed me a book and said, You will either hate it or love it - but this is you. The book was Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Enlightment came in an instant and that is what I want for her. Thanks for the opportunity!

PS2. Mrs D, pack a bag just in case. If we can't get to Oklahoma and Pioneer Woman - maybe we will have a chance with Portland and the BLZ guy!

the Twins...

It is not often that one has someone who will not only dance with them at Walmart but will dip them as often as they ask...

The twins, that is what they call themselves. Not only do they look and act alike, they are pretty much in sync with each other. He still tries to take her down but she is so good holding her own. He loves her so and when it is going is a beautiful thing.

My sister and I could not be more different on the inside but if you saw her, you would think we were twins. 18 months and a whole different world between us. People use to ask our parents if we were twins when we were little, if you were in a room with both of us for 2 minutes, you would see how untwin we really are.

My dad use to say there are 9 people in the world who look so much like you that parents would not be able to tell the 9 of us apart. Before my sister moved back here, I had been asked more than once if I was related to So and So, always the same women. Hope to run into her one day and see for myself what they are all seeing.

For now, I will live the twin life vicariusly thru Keaton and if I could just find someone to dip me at Walmart, my life would be complete...

burn out...

Consider myself burnt. Crispy.

You see, the church is comprised of several groups of people. Some are in search of God. Some are in search of community. Some are in search of healing. Some would appear to be there to tell you all the things you’re doing wrong. It’s comprised of broken people who need care. Not everyone of course. Many have turned in their bibs long ago and have totted aprons ever since, but some will need, need, need. As hard as I try, I cannot separate the empathy gifting/cursing I’ve been given from my own attitude. I wear the weight of other people on my shoulders and sometimes it just gets too heavy.

If these words ring a bit true in your ears, you know where he is coming from. He will tell you that he knew all about being burnt out and fell in the trap anyway.

Who hasn't been there is some way or some Season of their lives? Burnt to a crisp - most certainly have been there. It is also called at the end of your rope. Nowhere else to run or hide. Like a dead-end street. Time to face the music and admit, you need a map.

Can't get that quote of my head..or the theory. All we do, think, are is wrapped up in trying to be a good person, as best we can without too much inconvenience. If in convenience is not a problem, then we are getting some pretty good jollys from all the doing, thinking and being and, that is a whole other problem.

If you have been in this guy's shoes, would you say a pray for him? If you have ever experienced the wrath of burn out, say a prayer for yourself. You see, when we are down is when we have the opportunity to learn the most. I want him to get that burnt smell out of his head and begin to be able to smell the roses again. I want the same thing for you and me too...

missed it by this much...

I love crop dusters and will follow them anywhere. As of last night, I have proved that I will follow them in 90 degree heat, with eggs and yogurt in the car.

Dh saw him first. He is frantically pointing and I am not seeing anything, Then, from behind the trees, here he comes. I jumped out of the car with my camera, thinking he was headed back my way. He wasn't.

DH drove and I was running down this unfamiliar country road, trying to figure out where he was going next. This is as close as I could get. He must have been at the end of his run. He slipped behind a cloud and never reappeared.

We did get to see him make some fantastic passes, low to the ground and as smooth as silk. This time would not be a picture perfect Moment. Wendy Aarons is so right - they are not all gems. Life is about, you get what you get and don't throw a fit. You don't always get to grab the golden ring, the sack isn't always filled with money. Sometimes, you miss the mark. One should always aim high but expect to miss the target, every once in a while.

The silver lining, the beauty of that plane. What a sight! Don't throw the baby out with the dumb would that be?

the mystery of a man...

and there are several, or many. We women can make a mountain of any, and I mean any, molehills. We smell fire long before there is any evidence of a potential burn. Life and things roll off their backs like water on a duck. Their relationships are way less complicated than us and while I don't like to admit it, some of their ways are better than ours.

Who but someone of the male species would think that while having a yard sale with gobs of strangers in your yard, this would be a good time to play a game? I must admit if yard sales were up to most men, there would be very few. We did see on on Friday, a lone man with man stuff out in his garage. Gage wanted to stop SO Badly but because it was men stuff, mommy - not so much. I do notice though, if it is a good sale and you are selling lots of stuff - they will go grab things off the walls to make this thing even more of a success but mainly, they are just passing time the best way they know how.

Sometimes, I think I have the ways of a man all figured out and then, mine goes and does something I never could have imagined like offering to trade his motorcycle for a 66 VW bug. Shocked me. You never know what they are thinking and it is that mystery that keeps us women intrigued. Lucky for them...


“The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give’ … are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell.

We talk about it, worry about it and hope it is never happens to us. In five days, Miss Preslee went from being a vibrant little girl, doing her thing on earth to being in heaven with Jesus, She fought bravely but in the end, could not overcome a canal accident.

As I heard the news Friday night that she was gone, it gave me a reason to pause. Little did I know that less than 12 hours later, we would experience our own little piece of terror.

Yard Sale on Saturday and it was going nicely. I turned and asked where Morgan was and we all jumped up expecting to find her, right there. she was not. Mommy, daddy and the boys jumped to their feet and started calling her name. There was a boat load of people there at the time and all I could do i stand there. I yelled at Poppa, who was in another part of the yard to go check her bed. The day before she thought she was in trouble and I had to look for her. Found her under the covers in her bed. Had I not had that memory, I would have been long past scared and pretty much moved on to crazy.

Minutes went by and no one could find her.

When do I call 911?
Which one of these strangers took her and how did we miss it?

All these things go through your head.

Why did we have to have a yard sale and let anyone into our yard?

They could not find her. I started to panic. Too much time had gone by. This is the day our lives would change forever. I continue to hear her name being called, over and over and over. A involuntary chill, runs through me. Morgan, Morgan, Morgan is all I hear...

Finally, We found her!!!She was hiding in her bed, She had accidentally broke a vase as a customer was making the purchase and she thought she was in trouble.

I can't remember being this scared for a long time. I thought about Preslee's parents and how they hoped they would get their girl back all safe and sound but it was not to be. I understand how they feel. While I can not grasp their pain, this quote is where they are standing and I must admit, nothing could be more true. Gone in an instant...Could be any of us, at any Moment. Where your heart is, that is where your treasure is...

fancy nancy...

Have felt my creativity ebb and flow this week so when I went to see my babies yesterday and Miss M was dressed to the nines, I had to know why and it was all about Fancy Nancy.

She ran and got her FN book and started my introduction. The thing about this Fancy Nancy character is that with a little bit of accessories, we girls are good to go. She realized her family was not like her, yet she spent some time getting them on her page.

I have learned during these dull and listless times, you just have to keep going. I no longer search for my mojo, rather I wait patiently, for it;s return. So far, it always comes back. When I realized the the true fear was that it would never return and that that fear was incorrect, there was a bit of breathing room. As fast as it disappeared, it reappeared on its own. Fancy Nancy helped me realize that true creativity is right around the corner and if I wear a sparkly scarf, beads and over sized shoes, the wait can be oh so delish...

claim to fame...

The 74-year-old woman who is suspected of dumping condiments in a library book return bin on multiple occasions was rearrested Monday Idaho Statesman.

We are talking putting mayonnaise on top of returned books in the big bin. She had been doing it for months. Mustard, ketchup - no condiment was immune from her wrath. Betting mental evaluation will not be much of a surprise.

Our claim to fames have been pretty subtle. Mostly potatoes until all the movie starts found skiing in Sun Valley to be fun. A recent Newsweek survey put a neighboring town Meridian, at 60 out of 600 and Idaho Falls at 90. The state capital and my city were nowhere to be found.

Closer to home, any claim to fame I might personally have, involved family and police so the tendency would be to downplay those events. Ths thing about these CTF is that our self esteem either invisibly inflates or deflates when they come along. That is a big wave to try to sail. The truth is you are your own person and while those close to you may influence that truth, it doesn't change it.

I imagine if this woman was my mother, grandmother, sister, or neighbor. Would I be singing the same tune? I hope so. I have been in family situations like this and worse but I was younger and completely overwhelmed. I hope I would be smarter now and make better choices which would include, just say no.

I wouldn't trade my life with anyone. I wouldn't have missed this ride, bumps and all for anything. You can't make this stuff up. It is the Real Deal and that is claim to fame enough for me.

summer, what up?

The 4th of July is over and so are four of our five summer birthdays. It was the same temperature when I got up as it will be when I go to bed. It is now the time for a long stretch of hot, followed by a unknown arrival of fall. If life was fair, we would have a long, long fall to make up for the poor excuse of summer that June was. Will have to wait and see.

My daughter informed me yesterday, we are moving to Naples, Florida. I understand her reasoning and am ready to go. Never having got use to winter, I am up for moving anywhere the snow don't blow. She has also told me it is very expensive and has been rather vague on our departure day. I am with her but I do need a bit of a heads up for planning and hammering out all the little details. That is just the way I roll...

In the event that a move is not imminent, must make contingency plans for staying. It is nice to dream, summer is the perfect time for it. Without all that other stuff in our heads, summer allows us to contemplate the what ifs of life at a greater depth than fall, winter or spring. Still on the Abraham thing, not all of it fabulous. It is difficult to accept your own flaws, Lord knows - I have had enought practice and should be excellent at it by now.

In the meantime, I will ready myself for the Naples experience...just in case and lap up all the sun I can. Summer, I love you so....


In less than 12 hours, the Story or Abraham, has crossed my path twice. In Bill Maher's movie, Religuloushe asked how anyone of sound mind could believe that ever really happened. This morning, Pastor Doug asked the questions, was Jesus or Abraham being tested?

Abraham, God said.
Yes, answered Abraham, I'm listening.

Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I'll point out to you.
Genesis 22

I don't know about you but pretty sure, I am not that committed. From a purely sexist point of view, was there a reason that God tested a man instead of a woman...I digress. I have always said, I never would have been like Eve...I would have stayed away from THAT apple. Giving up my child as a sacrifice is something completely different.

I think we sugar coat God more than we would like to admit. We talk about God and Love but we are also told to fear Him. I have always thought of that kind of fear as respect not a cowering down. He says When, not If. Bad stuff is going to happen. You and me, we are going to be tested. Look around your life, I imagine you see it most every day. This is not the God we like to tell people about until they are rooted in their faith and sometimes, we don't want to talk about this side of God, at all.

Look Him straight in the face. He can take anything you can throw at Him. You do not have to defent Him to others. Simply pray, that God do to them, what He did for you. That is my prayer. For Bill Maher and a few others. It is powerful and I have no doubt will be answered. Tested doesn't feel so good but it is part of the package. Prepare to be included...

partied out!

We have been celebrating Keaton's 11th birthday for the last 2 days.Donuts, movie, Red Robin, water, kids, 2 cakes, family and friends. In between all that, we managed to pick up an electric guitar. When we left the party today, the therometer said 98 degrees. No wonder everyone seemed a little out of it.

The boy is growing up and the reality is, we have to grow up too. We have to grow with our kids. If we don't, it can be lethal. Tough words but if you have even seen what happens when a parent refuses to grow up, it is not a pretty sight.

Pretty sure I didn't learn it very well with my girl. By the time she got married, I had learned that while she will always be my daughter, she was now Chad's wife and if a marriage is going to work, it is about two people. Of course they bring their families with them but nobody understands what that means...for a while.

It is hard to watch your kids grow up but it is harder to grow up yourself. Want healthy kids? Learn it and learn it fast...

11 years ago today...

I became a nana for the first time. To be able to experience it 2 more times is still, incredible to me.

This little man took my heart captive and I have never been the same. I get that he is growing up and am trying not to embarrass him with my picture-taking. If anyone is around, I ask first. It is a good working relationship. He know that sometimes, he has to participate whether he wants to or not... like family pictures last weekend but he is still the wonderfully, happy boy he has always been.

Happy Birthday Keaton! I love you to infinity and beyond, love nana.

homeless in July...

It has been almost 8 months since I have seen a Salvation Army kettle yet the need never stops. A neighboring town is serving almost 40,000 lunches a day in numerous parks to anyone. We had them last year when they were right next to where we had swim lessons. A nice little meal, sometimes they even had a craft. I don't know where the funding comes from but I really don't care. It is the right thing to do.

Picking up a card for Keaton's birthday, a older woman had her cart blocking the isle and I said, Excuse me.She apologized and hurriedly tried to get her cart out of the way. No hurry, I said.

A few moments later, it was my turn to be in the way, As I apologized to her, without looking my way, she said, I am always in your way. As I watched the back of her head as she walked away, I knew this was a message and it wasn't from this little old lady.

While I haven't been ignoring the Big Man, his message was not lost on me. I am a planner and a realist. I know what can happen and how fast it can happen, be it good or not so good. I think I also can/do live in the Moment. This little message was just a little reminder to take my energy and focus it elsewhere. To get myself out of His Way and let him do His thing. He doesn't need me but He does allow me to take part in watching him work.

What a great God I have! Note to Him who has given me everything, You are never in my way. Thanks for the Love and bless the little messenger, Love zalaine.


Talked a bit about Gigi yesterday but as I was going through the family shoot from the 4th, I remember what it is about her that we all love.

She is my SIL's grandma, the kids's great-grandma and even though there is no blood between us, I love her so. She loves Cherry Coke and had to limit her intake because it was causing her health issues. The last 8 years have been tough on her. Her heart stopped at church and she was down for almost a 1/2 hour so when the paramedics brought her back, there was brain damage. She is mostly her sweet self with a few new quirks and she is always happy to see us, even though you are never sure if she knows who you are. There are times she is complete lucid and other times, when confusion is her constant companion. When her daughter asked if I would take some family photos on the 4th, it was an automatic, yes. You see, one thing Gigi does not like and usually will not cooperate, is when it comes to having her picture taken. I always try to sneak in a picture or tow at family functions and she is almost as good at dodging me as Gage is. This day, she was as cooperative as she could be. Family and combination of families, picture after picture, she stayed right with us. Her health is failing and I am so glad we got some memories for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren...and me. I kept a picture for myself.


Kids imitate everything. Everything that comes across their paths. Last week I shared my Old Spice video with the gk and Keaton has already memorized some of it. Not only do they imitate but they use the same dialect, or dress up to play the part.

I know we all now this. We watch our language, tell Stories that need to stay in the family, quiet but there is a whole lot that gets pass that gate. It is virtually impossible to live one kind of life on the outside and another on the inside and even more impossible to do it thru an entire child's childhood. Live the life you want your kids to see and the rest will take care of itself. You can't protect them from the world but you can give them the tools to take with them when the leave thru the front door.

Don't be upset when they do imitate you. I knew someone who would be highly offended if imitated. Seems like a very selfish thing to do. Never having anyone in my life that I want to imitate, seems like it might have been nice... to have someone, something to strive for.

Kids are going to imitate, no matter what. The only thing you get to choose is what you put out there...

Fourth of July...

The 4th of July is a mixture of the present and the past. It is a day that you could never fully explain to a person of another country. They would get the love of one's country but the 4th is so much more, the way we celebrate it.

We had a fabulous weekend. The parade on Saturday, then full board on Sunday. Family, fireworks and much fun. As I saw and watched the Big People filling water balloons, I took some family shots for the extended family. It was the right time, some of the families are in transition and for the our family matriarch, Gigi,the family matriarch she has cheated death more than once and we are just happy to have her here with us now.

The day ended as most 4th's do, with fireworks. I tried some new recipes for getting the shots I wanted (thank you Miss Katrina!) and was so kindly rewarded with a palm tree to soothe the California Girl in me. What a day!

Happy Birthday America!

Happy 4th of July to all of you. May you make great memories and love being together. Love you all! zalaine