About Me

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Santa Cruz, CA
living, and loving people. in the midst of my humanity.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve Eve...

For the Bernal and Solis Familia all we have known for Christmas Eve is that family's make Tamales. 

The process doesn't just start on Christmas Eve. The process really begins on Christmas Eve Eve. The meat is cooking, the dishwasher swishing, and my mom scurrying around setting up all the last minutes things, things that I am not even sure what they actually are. This dishes clang and the smells of chicken and beef fill the house.  I hear the purr of the blender, since the chillies have chilled...as the Tomatillo salsa is being made.

My Dad is fast asleep as early in the morning he will be off to pick up the masa and pan dulce at the Mexican Mercado, before any of us actually wake up. This year I may wake to join him...But no promises. 

Tomorrow will come early...and we will begin to spread the masa for the tamales. My brother and sister always seem to "have something to do" which seems more like a tradition every year that they don't help, but provide entertainment for us all. I suppose in a strange way makes me smile, cuz that's just what happens, and I love every minute of it. 

Every year it seems that we also have new people joining us...this year is no different, as Sara is in for a treat. laugh, and the hope to learn a new skill in the midst of our crazy familia. 

its Midnight here...so I will exclaim...as I drift off to sleep, wink

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Friends Missed

On Sunday Night a dear friend of mine took off for another Year Long Adventure to Egypt. He is doing wonderful things there, and always comes back with mountains of Stories. Alas we shall miss him. Lucky for us we have Skype. And that is lovely for chatting as if we where in the same room, for free! (Pictured: Me, Nessa, Barrett, and our lovely Chris in the Background!)

Not to mention that a few weeks ago, two other dear friends and there dog...moved to Indiana. Which, might as well be Egypt! ha ha! As I sat in there kitchen      and we wept, talking about life, and our hearts, I realised that I had not been the friend I wanted to be to them during there time in Cali. (Pictured: Trish, Nate & Lucy)

Not to mention the friends I have in different towns or that have already moved away. Its not easy ... ever.

My only regret is that we would have been able to hang out more while our friend was home! Funny how we miss friends so much when they are gone...but with life as "busy" as it is, we do not spend the time we need to spend with each other.

Which made me think. Sometimes I am indeed tired of fighting, some people you have to let go, others you must be satisfied that lives have changed, sometimes people move and you are closer when they are away because the times you get to talk with them there is depth, instantly because if you don't you will miss it. And so, we crave the deep, we crave the people that know us for who we are, and see what we are becoming. 

Do you dwell in ones lost or do we invest in those right in fount of us. We Speak our hearts, we are truthful, and we talk of the pain. Those friends stay...those friends fight for you. Those are the friends I crave. No matter if they live across the hall, or across the country.  

In the last 3 days I have heard this cry from many different people. It made my heart sad. It made me wonder am I adding to this problem. Are we all adding to this problem? Only time will tell. Only dropping ones pride can get you close. I'm talking to myself too.

We must hand out grace in our speech
We must be careful with the words we say to one another
We must hand out grace in the way we are treated.
We must lay down our pride and the sense of entitlement
We must cling to this love that only the Father can teach us.
We must Embrace the ways we where all created
We must love each other More.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I loath nights when:

I should be sleeping because I have to wake up at an hour nobody should see.

I should get sleep because the meeting is actually one that I would want to be awake for.

I should be tired...but I am not.

I should be dreaming of sugar plum fairies.

I should be able to win spider Solitaire...but I can't

these are the nights...sigh. 

I am off to attempt sleep.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Elf Yourself

I have to say this is a wonderful and cleaver marketing scheme of Office Max. The first time I saw it a week ago I was crying laughing. Exactly one week, being today I received a my space message from my cousin Angela with a link to "Elf Yourself" To my surprise...She had created 4 elves...Who may look familiar to you (I have to say My brothers face and hip movements are the best!). Just click this link below and enjoy! Then Elf Yourself!


On Sunday we tried to see Santa. To our dismay...our Santa friend was off duty. So what do people do when they are hyped to see Santa? They get crappy Santa hats and pose in front of the Christmas trees, doesn't everyone do that? I love my friends

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Just call me Buddy...

Finally our Christmas tree has arrived! 

Christmas Tree Stats:
Location: Living Room: on Top of our Bistro table (adds 2 more feet)

Height: 2 feet tall
Ornaments: Urban Outfitters: hip and random colors

Tree Star: Dollar Tree (yeah!! Venessa & I may LOVE IT)

Lights: One String 100 count (I told you its huge)

Sitting at Midnight 
enjoying the Christmas Spirit... AMAZING!

There is something that gets me every year and its sitting in the room, with the tree lights on, very few lights on, and everyone has gone to bed. There is this peace that I get just from sitting near it. Something, that I am just realising Its just not Christmas to me until I get to pause by my tree...as silly as that is. I can't lie I just love it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm no critic

This afternoon I spent a lovely Friday afternoon watching old shows online as I caught up to wherever prime time TV is these days. I took time to rest which is something I'm not sure I do enough...

On to the point of this entry...today with my two good friends I went to see finally, "Across the Universe" 

If you know me at all you would know that I have always loved the Beatles and in fact was a bit crazy during the time when the Anthologies came out. A spark usually come to my eye upon the first notes of a song. especially some of my favorites: hey Jude, all you need is love, black bird (to which I would like to take the time to
publicly apologize for playing the 1st 15 seconds over and over again while my sister 
and practically my sister sat annoyed...because Napster only played what it downloaded on second at a time), don't let me down...to name a few.  

I'm no critic but I absolutely loved this movie. A musical love story that tied in so many Beatles songs, character names, and lines from songs woven into the script. You can appreciate this movie with little knowledge of the songs...but you will smile more if you have just a bit. I was caught up in the love story, friendships, imagery, and musical score.

I do have to say that I recommend this like I recommend "love actually" & Moulin Rouge. This movie is wonderful but indeed has its moments where, well the artsy word of exposure come in. If I could edit those parts out I would recommend this to all crowds however since I cannot I suggest watching only if your ok with about 20 minutes of random inappropriateness in a artsy love kind of way. 
This was creative...and worth buying...not just the movie but the 

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Coffeecat Days

Its Wednesday at Coffeecat

I have been here a few hours working on my talk for Oasis High School Group tonight...

Struggling with pulling all these cool thoughts together...

it always comes. 

These are the times where I have to pause and say...Hey God...I need you to guide me to what you would want me to teach tonight. Lead me to the heart of what you want said to these students tonight. 

Family Traditions

What are yours around the holiday's?

Our Family's Top Three

  1. Tamales Christmas Eve
  2. Trivial Pursuit team competition
  3. Opening Presents Christmas Eve (wrapping most of the hours before that)
To name a few

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ginger Bread Houses

I suppose I have always been a sucker for traditions. I have always felt that a tradition, no matter how silly it seems is important to have and to continue.
Many Years ago a dear friend of mine and I started a tradition. A tradition to build ginger bread houses with friends. Some we know and some we don't, the point being able to be creative and well not so creative in some ways. wink. I love that we started that tradition even though we now live miles apart. I always think of Jana and I talking about it and everyone thinking we where crazy for coming up with the idea, and then really enjoying there time once creating.
Tonight I ended up serving frosting most of the night. Which made me have an interesting view of the night. Peoples Personalities really come out while being creative. There is the focused person, who sticks there tongue out while working, and can barely look up at those around them. The Carefree person who just is excited about all the colors. The Dreamer who can make any pile of candy look like something magical and believe that it is. The Precise person who's every candy piece is lined up and colors rotated perfectly. The People Person...who could care less about the actual house and often forgets to even decorate the house. The Observers who are content to just be in the midst of good friends, eating candy as we all chat. 

So I suppose my thoughts are as these. Make some traditions this year...or go back to the ones that you have done and look at them in a new light. Enjoy the uniqueness of all gathered and celebrate that. I am speaking to myself here too. Fun. 

Monday, December 3, 2007

A good day...

Do you ever have one of those days that is just good? Today was one of those days. 
Things that where fun, funny or made me smile today, and made me enjoy living in Santa Cruz.
  • a drive down 17 into town seeing the ocean in the back ground
  • a cup of coffee at one of many of my favorite coffee shops
  • a Breakfast Burrito at Lunch
  • Pausing to watch some surfers on West Cliff as I pondered my Talk for Oasis
  • Meeting with a volunteer, talking about her heart.
  • driving past a homeless man holding the "little Cesar's Pizza" Sign while the actual employee was standing by teaching him his advertisement moves
  • txt messages from friends that make me smile
  • txt Messages from my boss that their new baby boy was born
  • Seeing the newest addition to the Trowbridge family
  • Watching their kids so happy about there new baby brother
  • Laughing at a staff meeting of all things
  • Eating new leaf sandwiches for dinner
  • Watching Veronica Marz Episodes while eating a fun Christmas fetti cupcake.
All in a good day

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Zach's Prayer answered

He was found about 2 hours North East of us. How he got there, who was with him, and where he will go next. Is all unknown.

This I know...I can stop waking up having what I call nightmares...some might call them spiritual battles. Last night was my first night of sleep where I didn't wake up. terrified, and would have to pray deeply for him, and his mother.

Point is he is safe.
But not out of trouble. There is much more spiritual battles to be fought for his heart.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a blog from one of my seniors.

through pain and struggle...this blog is amazing. My favorate part is the last two paragraphs.
this student surpasses me in her ability to write, express life with words, and english in general.

I am Proud of her.

Picasso had nothing on God.

November 26, 2007, 10:26 pm Filed under: God

Nor did Shakespeare, Matisse, or Boyle, Einstein, or Mozart, Da Vinci, or Andy Warhol.
Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine have nothing on God.
Nor did Napoleon, Elizabeth the 1st, or Franklin D. Roosevelt.

What I’m trying to say is: God is bigger, greater, more important, more intelligent, & more capable than any of artist, musician, philosopher, ruler, scientist, or author known to man. God is stronger than any Iron Man, God is more majestic than any Taj Mahal or Crystal Palace, God is better, stronger, faster, harder than any Kanye West or Alicia Keys (and more in tune). God…. is…. God.

So why do we insist on God being Human.Can’t we see that we are broken, flawed, fragile, uncreative, distractive, ignorant, and inconsiderate people?
Why do we want a God who follows that?
Because we can tame that god.
Because we can define that god.
Because we can deal with that god.

Guess what…. that defined, tamed, dealt with god… isn’t our God.
Our God may have made us in his image, but I’m sure he didn’t give us his mind.
Our God doesn’t fit in some pretty packaged christmas box.
Our God doesn’t go along with our world, God IS our world.

Why do we presume we know what God wants?
We don’t even know what we want.

Why do we insist on forcing our God into a chinese takeout box, conveniently packed to cater to our politics, desires, wants, and prejudices.

My God is bigger than “THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT”
My God is stronger than any seven day theory. I call my God my Abba, my Father because he isn’t some pretty little idol with a bow on his head.


I believe:
I believe that the periodic table of elements is the single most convincing evidence for God’s presence.
I believe that gay, straight, bi, and just plain confused people… are people, all the same.
I believe we are all sinners, we are all broken, and we are all covered under His grace if we choose to accept it.
I believe that the Bible is full of amazing stories, full of moral teachings, actual happenings, and amazing tales.
I believe it is inspired by God.
I believe it was written to be a book upon how we base our lives.
I do not believe that it is infallible, that is it absolute truth.
I believe the word of God is absolute truth, I just don’t have faith in our human dictation of what He said.
I believe in intelligent design.
I believe in some form of evolution, as the creation of the world happened over thousands of millions of years.
I believe in childlike faith, and living with a reckless abandon for God.
I believe that life is hard, unfair, tough, and challenging.
I believe that God can deal with my life.
I believe that God cares more about the journey than the destination.
I believe that there aren’t some answers for some tough questions.
I believe that God is okay with that.

I believe that my God can’t fit in a box.
My God doesn’t go with accessories, or extras.
My God doesn’t need shiny paper to be beautiful.
My God is my God.

And if your God isn’t your God,
I don’t think we are worshipping the same God here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Prayer for Zach.

This is one of the students I work with. Zach has a deep place in my heart. I see potential in him. I see love in him. I see care for his friends in him. I see a confussed young boy....
Lord grant saftey, and meet Zach as you always have...right where he is. We are on our knees battling for his heart, may you cover him with grace, and grant him strength to overcome. Be with his family, especially his mom, as this time is unknown.
my heart is broken.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


You know when you feel like you have been waiting way too long for a haircut. Well the wait is over. I think I like it.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Its been a little crazy around here but the good kind of crazy where your family makes you smile, laugh and well be thankful. That sounds so lame and cheesy but really its true.
This Year thanksgiving was chill with only 12 of us here...yes that is small for us. My cousin brought his Wiii and well we all have got competitive to say the least. We still played Trivia pursuit which my team lost again...shoot...I need another Christmas miracle. Its true I have lost this years thanksgiving torrney but I'm going to win Christmas...I'm betting on a good team. Ohh yes it will happen
Enjoying my time...in fact its 2 am and everyone just went to sleep. We did the same the night before...Holidays are full day events around here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Prefer to be blind

You know how you wonder about some students but you never really have the proof. And for that matter when you find the proof…your not even sure that you want to believe it.

Sunday...was one of those nights. Its nothing that I have never seen before. Its not uncommon or hard to obtain unfortunately here in Santa Cruz. I suppose I just have preferred to be blind, hoping they would’t bring it to youth group. With a deep hope that my observations would be off.

The reality is that if I am Blind then I don't have to deal with it. We need to...now is just the battle of how. Since the hard evidence was just in front of us. sigh.

My heart aches for our students. Its another reality check, in regards what is really going on in our students lives. Jr high...it just seems too young to mess with anything. But times change, and I know that it indeed happens all the time.

I'm just glad they are still walking through our doors.

Lord, continue to grant us grace, love, and courage
as we work with all of our students in your ministry.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What does LOVE look like?
It has the HANDS to HELP others.
It has the FEET to HASTEN
to the poor and needy.
It has EYES to SEE misery and want
It has the EARS to HEAR the
sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what LOVE looks like.

A few weeks ago, My dear friends...made a choice to give up thier wedding gifts in lue of a Giving Fund. To start there marrage off by giving away. so Beautiful really. So amazed at thier hearts to give.
May we be moved to give and continue to give...because we have been blessed. myself included.

Pajamas on a Tuesday

Pajamas are a funny thing.
If you don’t have them you miss them.
If you don’t have money to buy them, you don’t have them.
Personally, I have many pajamas
Personally, Probably too many.

So my POINT:

Derek our College Pastor and the College group have been working with some families at the homeless shelter. Here is the deal there are families there that need baby clothes and other things.


This Tuesday, Todd, Me, and You…
(Well at least I hope. )

If You are an: Edge Student, Oasis Student, or an jr high or sr High leader you are welcome. (shoot if your in the area…You could come too)

Are leaving the Church at 3 pm this TUESDAY.
Packing up the Burb the White Van, and Leaders cars if we need.
We are driving to Target, and BUYING BABY CLOTHES.

Bring $10 to add to the fund (or as much or as little as your heart desires)
These Babies need Pajamas.


Personal note: I just think its not ok for people to go hungry or with out the basic needs like something as simple as Pajamas. Pajamas for Babies. My heart broke and is breaking just thinking about it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Too Tired to be up this late...

Tired of my brain still working instead of sleeping...


Need Sleep.

Need Rest.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Aaron Everett DeBondt

Aaron Everett DeBondt
1980 - 2007
Aaron Everett DeBondt, 27, born March 5, 1980, in Luverne, MN. He went home to be with the Lord on November 7, 2007. A Celebration of Life will be held at Laurelglen Bible Church, 2801 Ashe Road, Tuesday, November 13th, at 10:00 a.m. Aaron is survived by his mother, Judy of Bakersfield; his father, Randy of Rock Valley, IA; brothers, Travis, Nathan (Jackie) and Justin (Jen); grandparents, Everett and Catherine Fikse of Hills, MN. Aaron was very fond of his nephew and two nieces. He cherished his many friends and was well known by many for his compassionate heart. Aaron attended Sing Lum, Tevis, Stockdale High, BC, and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in business. He was currently working as a Pharmaceutical Rep. Sharing his faith, golfing, playing soccer, and watching his Raiders play were some of his passions. Aaron had strong faith in his Lord, and his favorite quote was, "God is hiding in the world. Our task is to let the divine emerge from our deeds." In lieu of flowers his family asks contributions be made to the Fresno Burn Center. Aaron Everett DeBondt Mar. 5, 1980 - Nov. 7, 2007 Published in the Bakersfield Californian on 11/11/2007.


Its just feels strange to get a phone call from a friend and hear that, an old friend of ours has passed away. Its more strange to read an old friends Obituary when you are only 28 years old. I went to High school with Aaron, and knew him best through the doors of Laurel Glen Bible Church. I was always fond of his goofy personality, sweet smile, and love for people.

Unfortunately life, and growing up has made me loose contact with many from the past. In the presence of that does not remove fond memories nor the realisation that life is indeed short.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Going to Mexico again.

So do to some unpredictable circumstances...

This Thursday Morning I will be on a plan down south, to which the next morning I will be driving into Mexico for the day, then I will fly back Saturday morning! WHooo HOoo!

Thus again delaying my passport. GRRRRrrrr...I hope they let me back in again.

Things we will do there:

  • meet with college students

  • Meet with APU guys for details and what knot's

  • sleep in a hotel

  • drive to Mexico

  • Meet with our pastor

  • Visit possible sights with our pastor for our Spring Break Mexico Missions Trip

  • Hoping to find a place to sleep, camp, a place that is safe, a place that is chill.

  • we are looking at the place where bay side stayed and a few the pastor had

  • Get a good night Sleep!! Hopefully 2!! Whoo Hooo!

a phone call goes both ways...

Friendship is never easy, especially ones that you have had for many years.

Somewhere along the line people fight, people make amends, and people live life as scheduled, friends grow together.

Now there are plenty of times where you can pick up where you left off, which is something I do often, however I am speaking of the other 2% of friendships.

But somewhere along the line there is a change. An element of giving up. As though both sides have surrendered. surrendered because of the work they see ahead, or because they just don't see the reason why. The battle seems harder than the prize.

This as a whole makes my heart hurt. I have watched it happen to many people including myself and its hard because when on tries to invest so much and receives nothing in return, you become weary. You become heartbroken and long for how life was.

David & Johnathan Fought for their friendship. My hearts cry is to always be that way, but sometimes it feels like I am Johnathan, and the David's in my life have not seen, or responded to the sign.

I want to be and for others to be a friend that still loves me when my heart hurts, and when I have no words. That's the friend I want to be.

NOTE: I love my friends...the ones that are close, even the distant ones I know I can call on in a moment and you will come through. this is a rant on how I am feeling currently

Monday, November 5, 2007

I realise that this is why I am single...

I never answer the chain letters, that in the old days where actually mailed. WOW!! I am old. But today they are simply a click away on my space. Everyday there are at least 20 + Bulletins that posted for all to see. If you open it then OOOOHhh ___________ bad thing will happen.

Here are some examples for fun:

EXAMPLE 1: This is cool but this is weird try it:

Say your crushes name seven times...Now close your eyes and make a wish about them...Decide what's more important, love, or 10 million dollars...Now make one last wish, the love, or the money...
Re post this in 70 seconds with the subject "MY CHILD'S NAME aww...this is
cool" and you'll get an unexpected talk from your lover...DON'T MESS this up or

my first kiss was with…

Because u opened this, u will get Kissed on Friday by the person u love [or like]& 2morrow will be the best day of ur life, so Don't break this chain cuz if u do you'll have problems with relationships for 10 years =[ Re post this as "my first kiss was with


I should have guess this is why, I am still single.

I am off to respond to a Chain letter. I only have 3 minutes left before my
future is DOOOMED!! I
must hurry.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

YS Youth Workers Convention in SD

Still unpacking it all but alas These are some of the people that I was with and was blessed by during the Youth Workers conference, in San Diego... It is what made the time well, it was just good for my soul.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

I just love this place...On Monday I had the opportunity to join a friend there and have a much needed day off. I had a wonderful time, something about the fishes that make me happy! They just bring peace to watch and explore.

On some levels I blame my parents for instilling, and cultivating our sense of discovery, adventure, and appreciation for such beauty as this. I gasped many times as I was in awe of things that I have seen before, but for some reason always make me say, "That is AMAZING!"
Our God also makes some pretty amazing stuff, even some ugly things...like the sun fish...what is that things anyway?
Things I loved there:

*Wild about otters (I might be)
*Otters Otters Otters

*Those fishes that hide in the sand

*The grace of the Jelly Fish
*The grace of sharks

*So many strange fish
*Being able to touch star fish and other things that I don't know what they are called

*The Dolphin Shark: so graceful

*That you can sit for an hour and not know that you have sat that long because its just THAT PEACEFUL!!
Some of my FAV things about the aquarium!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Earth Quake on a personal Level.

It was a powerful Quake that lasted 30 seconds...

People left reminded of the 89 Quake and its devastation

Even thought it was a 5.6 and to my knowledge no one was hurt, and no property was damaged, people still paused in fear.

I actually sat on my couch and heard a rumble, then I felt it. I held my breath and looked across the room to see our light over the kitchen table swaying. gulp. I closed my computer. and grabbed my phone...then, I sat frozen unable to move. that 30 seconds felt like a life time. I was waiting for it to get worse, I was waiting for something to fall off the wall...I was waiting for certain destruction.

I suppose such is life...in the midst of something that is so powerful in our life we tend to believe that it will soon end in massive and sudden destruction. Its in the midst of the tremor that our fear is at its highest. and only when we pause and think about the tremor can we move on and see that it doesn't always end in destruction. May we live and not be shaken...that is my heart in the last two days. My God will not be shaken, may I rejoice in the morning, may I sing your praises Lord!

Psalm 30:1-12
I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the
depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord my God, I called
to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the
grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the Lord, you
saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing
comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be
O Lord, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I called; to
the Lord I cried for mercy: "What gain is there in my destruction, in my
going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your
faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help."
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed
me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my
God, I will give you thanks forever.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Earth Quake Oct 30th 2007

BREAKING NEWS: 5.6 quake biggest since Loma Prieta
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ — A moderate earthquake rattled the region Tuesday night, startling county residents, sending moviegoers from theaters and drinkers from bars, but apparently doing little serious damage.
The 8:04 p.m. quake on the Calaveras Fault had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered in the foothills about nine miles east of San Jose City Hall, and originated 5.7 miles below ground.
There were no reports of damage or injuries in Santa Clara County. Acting Santa Cruz Fire Battalion Chief Rob Young said the county checked out clean as well, though cellular and landline phone service was temporarily disrupted.
The temblor, which shook for roughly 30 seconds, was the most powerful quake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area since Loma Prieta on Oct. 17, 1989, according to the USGS. In the 6.9-magnitude quake, six people were killed locally, more than 300 were injured and an estimated 3,000 were left homeless. Damage in Santa Cruz County was estimated at close to $1 billion. Throughout the region it killed 62 people and caused $6 billion in damage.
Tuesday night’s shaker brought the 18-year-old Santa Cruz Mountains earthquake back to life for many Santa Cruz residents.
“There’s something about the month of October,” said Jeff Pappas, a bartender who ran from behind his bar at Clouds Downtown just in case the glass behind him came tumbling down. “This is the biggest one I’ve felt since Loma Prieta.”
Recent Earthquakes in California and Nevada== PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE REPORT ==California Integrated Seismic NetUSGS/ Caltech/ CGS/ UCB/ UCSD/ UNR
Version #3: This report supersedes any earlier reports of this event.This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
A moderate earthquake occurred at 8:04:54 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, October 30, 2007.The magnitude 5.6 event occurred 8 km (5 miles) NNE of Alum Rock, CA.The hypocentral depth is 9 km ( 6 miles).
5.6 - regional moment magnitude (Mw)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 8:04:54 PM (PDT)Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 3:04:54 (UTC)
Distance from
Alum Rock, CA - 8 km (5 miles) NNE (31 degrees)Milpitas, CA - 11 km (7 miles) E (91 degrees)San Jose City Hall, CA - 15 km (9 miles) NE (45 degrees)Sunol-Midtown, CA - 17 km (10 miles) NE (45 degrees)
37 deg. 25.9 min. N (37.432N), 121 deg. 46.5 min. W (121.776W)
9.2 km (5.7 miles)
Location Quality
Location Quality Parameters
Nst=250, Nph=250, Dmin=3 km, Rmss=0.07 sec, Erho=0.1 km, Erzz=0.3 km, Gp=32.4 degrees
Event ID#
Additional Information
2-degree map Google Earth KML (Requires Google Earth.)Topo map centered at earthquake (This link takes you offsite.)ShakeMap shaking intensity maps Did you feel it? Aftershock Warning NCSN First Motion Mechanism 1 Waveforms Waveforms for ShakeMap Berkeley moment tensor solution Tsunami Information Statement from the WC/ATWC

Monday, October 29, 2007

a day of rest

Well sort of.

I have been running crazy and tomorrow: Monday I have asked for a day off.

What am I doing on my day off, going to do something I love. I love the Monterey bay aquarium. Why? There is something that just fascinates me about the ocean, awe overcomes me when I look at all the "creatures". It restores me, it makes me happy.

I am going with a friend and I just hope I don't get to excited and make a fool of myself. Wink.

Sigh well I know what I love...and experiencing life brings me joy. I can think of nothing better for a day off.

That's my Goal. I'll let you know.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Arms Wide Open

Today: Was a "Come Away" Day.

Come Aways are led by my pastor and his wife. They are spiritual retreats, once a month, from 9 am to 3 pm.

Today was the 1st of this Season...

God and I talked A LOT...& he brought me songs, thoughts, and Questions, more questions.

I am unpacking what it means to be honest about my Desires, and see where they line up with God's Dreams for my life. Can I be vulnerable enough to be open to what that may look like.

That's all I can say right now.

What Happened in 10 days Part 2

Day 2 to Day 4: We drove down the coast of Mexico toward Ensenada Mexico to stay at APU's El Rancho Refugio. This camp is open for a tent city, Easter 1 & 2, and Summer Kids Camp weeks.

Our camp was beautiful and on a normal day would be really peaceful. We began intensive studies on missions almost immediately. Thus it not so peaceful. We learned outside where I could gaze upon the Bougainvilleas when my undiagnosed ADD was out of control.

In fact I took notes better than I did in college. Note taking has always helped me concentrate so stayed focused on our professors. Who where truly wonderful, Brian (who's last name escapes me, and who is a missionary in Kenya), & Elaine Vaden (teaches at Fuller).

We talked much of missions and how the culture shift of North America fits into all of this. This is the time for change when it comes to missions as we know it. We have created a culture that worked for a time, like the YFC Youth rallies, even those had to reshape and reform into something else. Such is the same with Missions.

I would say that my heart was moved in many ways that I am not sure I have fully unpacked yet. Four days of rich detail, processing, and listening to the hearts of the Mexican People. We came with questions and left with more questions. The beauty is, we also left with hope, hope that we are in the midst of something Larger than we know how to tackle or comprehend. The Question is, Is the American Church as we know it ready to move?
As we speak there are more missionaries from, China, Mexico, and South America than that of the usa. People where motivated and shown how to be missionaries by many from the states, and canada. Now they are giving back, and truly following the Great Commission. Their culture and visas are granting them better access into areas Americans are not allowed.
So what now, we cannot stand back, we must answer this call, this cultural shift in Missions. How....We must pray, breath, and walk boldly forward. We must make teeth marks!
"TEETH MARKS: Biting down hard and leaving behind something uncomfortable. Something that causes a blemish and an audible ouch. Something that Awakens. Something aggressive that changes and lasts. Not a flash bang, but rather a crater of care." - Flash Bang - by Mark Steele

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a caterer or a florist

The last days have indeed been a whirl wind but what started that off with:
Friday the 12 th of October. In the midst of it all I was still being dedicated to doing something new on friday.
So this is what i did.

I met up with my friends mom who is a florist and I did something I had only wished I could do before. You see, I have always had a deep love for flowers.

  • buying them for myself

  • buying them for others

  • stopping to smell them

  • taking pictures of them

  • arranging sub par bouquets for my brother

Many year's ago my brother told me,

"Your either going to be a cater or a florist"

When he said that it really resonated with my creative spirit as well as a desire to create something a person wanted, in essence provide a service. Now we all know that I have not become either in a full time, but my heart still enjoys serving people with this heart.

You see Marcie runs her own flower shop, she fills orders for weddings and special occasions.

I was able to create for a day...and I loved every minute of it. these are some of the bouquets we created. They are what the bride wanted. I learned on that day with Marcie that she sees being a florist as serving the bride to help her picture become a reality.

I was nervous the entire time but was enjoying all that I had created. I will probably help out again...at least I hope! wink.

a caterer or a florist...maybe I'll get to be a caterer some day too. Whoo knows?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Life has been full of adventure!

10 days of madness ending in fires.

Right now I am sitting between Brian and Todd trying desperately to debrief all that has happened.

Sitting in the San Diego Airport with:
  • friends stuck in San Diego (all freeways closed exiting San Diego)
  • friends evacuated from their homes at 5:30 Am this morning (home in Poway)
  • friends taking pictures of us in the SD airport cuz they think we are cool
  • Friends sitting next to me

The Next few days I will begin to unravel what is going on in my head.

But first I'm going to try to fly home...And then I'm going to sleep!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Never take JR Highers Ice Blocking

So I found 2 days ago that my housing fell through for my two days in San Diego. I was only slightly worried. Luckily I called my mom and asked on a whim, "Do we know anyone that lives in SD?" To my surprise my mom said our old pastor, wife and son do.

Wheew what a relief. One strange thing, I haven't seen them in almost 12 years. What does one talk about when you haven't seen people in that long???!!!

I know one thing, it causes one to reminisce about the times you used to have. I am reminded almost instantly of this story:

Steve who is my age, has a younger sister who is the same age as my sister. In the small town of auburn there was never much to do. I however having an older brother learned the art of many things under his wing. One of my favorite things was ice blocking.

In LOP there is this GLORIOUS hill on the golf course that is so prime for ice blocking it makes you drool! Seriously I'm drooling now. There where some rules that you had to live by:

(LOP Guards: Men that thought they where cool but really they where glorified rent a cops, who had nothing better to do then stop our escapades, of ice blocks, TP, and taking golf flags. Clearly we where kids that where bored.)

Rules of Ice Blocking at LOP
  1. Buy Ice blocks one person at a time...& sometimes you have to drive into town as to not tip off the guards.
  2. Never let the guards see you
  3. Always wear ALL BLACK
  4. Park far away
  5. Leave keys under mat on front seat (so you will )
  6. Your towel must fit the block perfectly
  7. Watch for sprinklers
  8. Dirt makes you fly off your block
  9. NEVER MAKE ANY NOISE (Houses lined both sides of the course)
  10. When you see flash/spot lights SCATTER

after that night we had to add rule 11.


For the first time in my life Steve and a few others took our sisters ice blocking. With in minutes of hitting the hill, Shreeeks and Squeals came out of their mouths like something I had never heard before. Lights turned on in the houses...Dogs barked....and I heard the faint whistle of the guard car. NOOOOo I thought. With in seconds a large SPOT light was on the hill. Sigh! I looked at steve and we both knew this indeed was the biggest mistake of the century. We Yelled, "RUN!" we ran and hid under cover of trees and shrubbery. It took hours to dodge the spot light and brings all the frightened ninos to the cars. We took alternate routes to cars...as we maneuvered around the reach of the Whistling guard cars. The night was a disaster.

All this to say. I wonder if my Childhood accomplice remembers that night?

10 days.


its about outlook. Right now as its 2 am...
My Outlook: Bad, because I don't want to pack nor do I feel like being away for 10 days.

While on the plane:
My Outlook: Good, there is no turning back now. Sigh, I made it

Day three in Mexico
My Outlook: humph, i want to go home...but I appreciate what is happening.

Day Five in Mexico:
My Outlook: Wait we are leaving....NOooooo.

Day 7 back in San Diego:
My Outlook: Americans....we suck. Ooh cute Youth pastor, and no ring...
ha ha Just kidding.

Monday the 22nd!
My Outlook: Ahhh that was amazing! Sigh, praise Jesus I get to sleep in my own bed!
Sings song to herself,

"Thank you Lord

feels so gooood,

every single cell

in my body is well!"

**(Note: ways to procrastinate packing: mess with your blog)

Honestly I am looking forward to spending time with Azusa Pacific University Mexico Outreach, as they lead us (me and other youth pastors) in discussions about Mission. I am hopeful on what we will learn, what I can apply to our ministry in Santa Cruz. I am looking forward to meeting new people that we may network in the future. I am anticipating new views on missions.

I am excited about pausing and letting God speak into my life, while in Mexico and while in San Diego.

At the YS, Youth Workers Conference I'm longing to connect, be refreshed, and enjoy worship without having to feel like I am looking out for the needs of others.

I believe this time, is time I have needed for a while. So while I am apprehensive of what is to come, in the same breath I am excited to rest in Him. It truly seems that the last two months have been all too busy. True rest has not been in my vocabulary, even with being sick, having random back problems, and my boss being gone for two weeks. I feel like I need an oxygen tank to catch my breath.

Such is life. Praying for Renewal. Praying for Rest. Praying that I will enjoy my time.

I return on October 22nd, in the PM.

Old Memories...

This is what they used to do to us as kids. Line up and take a picture...although the cousins younger than us...didn't get as many pictures like these.

Roll call Left to Right Youngest to Oldest.

My sister Alisa (trying to sneak away)
Me...I look like white
Angela Looks so happy
Dave my brother...some things will never change.

the only cousin we are missing in this age line up is Frankie who should be in between Angela and Manuel.

Ahh so many memories of us all running around together, are rushing back to me. The fact that there are so many of us (not me) that have little ones right now that we have turned the tables on to take a picture exactly the same way now. It just makes me smile, laugh, and a little part of me wants to cry, in a good way.

Mi amor, mi familia.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rain Boots

I bought some today...
Mine are Blue with White.
Its Raining right now.
I left them in my car.
At the top of the hill.

i am sad.

But when I find them I will play in the rain because I can, and I will enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Old & Young together

She stood on the picnic table and led us in games. I was afraid to say no, only because She was a woman of character and wisdom.

To the sweetness of the girls that wanted their faces painted...I just couldn't say no...even though I needed to leave.

the church picnic was wonderful on Sunday.

I think the joy is clear on our faces.

Monday, October 8, 2007

today was good.

Today was youth Sunday.(well I'm writing on Monday)

Today was good

I cannot put words to it. other than "it was good" in fact I made that comment many times today since this morning.

Today was a combined service...College and the Youth Department put it on.
Jr highers
High school students
college students
young adults
relationships healed
True tears
true passion

today we where truly a family of friends coming together in worship as odd as this sign is...and non typical of something I would use. It in essence was what happened.

People called in the sermon to have a Christ like heart the classic plea
"To love the lord your God with all your Heart soul and Mind."

It seemed at though today Jesus meet us all where we where: At the foot of the cross. Where honestly, I believe that we all felt his presence.

Tears came to me many times as looked around and smiled. I can't believe where God has placed me to serve. Not all days do I feel this blessed, so when a day like this is that kind of day. I have to take note.

joyfully overwhelmed and not sure what to do with it.

ps did you know that the word Good is used 562 times in the NIV bible. huh?!?!? wow

"and God said that IT WAS GOOD" (5 times in Gen 1)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Personal space. Red Zone is BAD

Yes I struggle with this...Yet I love people?
I love my students...They (my students)have caught on.
It has become a game...
This Picture Proves it...and it makes me LAUGH!!!
Man I love them!

And Now a word, Taken from our friends At Wikipedia:

Personal space, an updated form of Edward T. Hall's 1966 proxemics, is the region surrounding each person, or that area which a person considers his domain or territory.[1] Often if entered by another being without this being desired, it makes them feel uncomfortable. The amount of space a being (person, plant, animal) needs falls into two categories, immediate individual physical space (determined by imagined boundaries), and the space an individual considers theirs to live in (often called habitat). These are dependent on many things, such as growth needs, habits, courtships, etc. Hall's spacing models, to note, were themselves based on Heini Hediger's 1955 psychological studies of zoo animals.[2]What distance is appropriate for a particular social situation depends on culture. It is also a matter of personal preference. People may feel uncomfortable if the distance is too large (cold) or too small (intrusive). It may be due to the limited available space, different cultural standards, physical intimacy, interpersonal relationships, or some form of rudeness. Permission is often expected if the intrusion is unexpected. Many customs are centered around just this particular issue.

Two people not affecting each other's personal space.
Reaction of two people whose personal space are in conflict.Personal space is highly variable. Those who live in a densely populated environment tend to have smaller personal space requirements. Thus a resident of India may have a smaller personal space than someone who is home on the Mongolian steppe, both in regard to home and individual.

It can be determined on a habitat level by profession, livelihood, and occupation. Personal space can also be heavily affected by a person's position in society, with the more affluent a person being the larger personal space they demand. See also ethnic stereotype. While it is highly variable and difficult to measure accurately the best estimates for personal physical space place it at about 24.5 inches (60 centimeters) on either side, 27.5 inches (70 centimeters) in front and 15.75 inches (40 centimeters) behind for an average westerner.

In certain circumstances people can accept having their personal space violated. For instance in romantic encounters the stress from allowing closer personal space distances can be reinterpreted into emotional fervour. Another method of dealing with violated personal space, according to psychologist Robert Sommer, is dehumanization. He argues that, for instance on the subway, crowded people imagine those infiltrating their personal space as inanimate.

Attitudes of people regarding someone else entering their personal space may depend on the sex of both people. Some train cars are women-only, to allow women to avoid men entering their personal space, providing privacy, and safety from the possibility of being groped. Changing perceptions about personal space and the fluctuating boundaries of public and private in European culture since the Roman Empire have been explored in A History of Private Life, under the general editorship of Philippe Ari├Ęs and Georges Duby, published in English by the Belknap Press.

Live Life

walking boldly as though nothing can
hold you