Saturday, February 25, 2006

Weekend Assignment #100

Good Saturday morning!  I don't want to miss the 100th Weekend Assignment - after all, he's my son and I'm proud of him.

Weekend Assignment #100: Share 10 facts about yourself -- from the next five years. Imagine what you see happening over the next half decade and then tell us about it, in interesting fact form. You can be serious, or silly, or somewhere inbetween. But give it some real thought and then take a stab at your future facts. If you find 10 facts too much, just do five. Either way it'll be fun.

Here we go!

1.  In 2007, Rob actually started using the tools we have been buying.  He's made many improvements in our humble abode.

2.  In 2008, we have a windfall and find a nice big home for our 3 girls.  In California, yet!

3.  2008:  I get a screaming new laptop with more bells and whistles than I could ever imagine - it weighs just 5 lbs and has over 250 gb of storage space.

4.  In 2009:  I turn 60 years old and still look ravishingly lovely.  I've lost the added pounds, as has Rob and he's chasing me all over the place.  Thinner, I can run faster.  The girls are grossed out as usual.

5.  Back to 2007, all of our families come together for a huge reunion.  The personalities clash, but they like the party so much, they resolve to do it again in 5 years.

6.  2009:  We travel as a family to the Philippines to visit a ministry we've loved. 

7.  2010:  Rob has his 65th birthday.  We celebrate by giving him a trip on the space shuttle  . . . his biggest dream.

8.  Broke after paying for the space shuttle trip, I go back to work for a year.

9.  2011:  Our Lupe graduates from high school.  We are so proud.

10:  2011:  Rob and I both own shotguns - the girls are beautiful and we want to protect them as long as possible.

Extra Credit: So, who's president in 2011?

Condaleeza Rice!  First woman and first black to ascend to the oval office.

There you go, John.  Congratulations on your 100th Weekend Assignment . . . with many more to come.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Triple Princesses

I've been trying for 3 days to post this.  Everytime I get started, I get interrupted.  I was going to load the pictures through photobucket, but couldn't get them resized properly. 

We are slowly but surely getting the girls' room spruced up.  We painted the walls a very pale pink and will trim in a sky blue.  The combination sounds odd, but Kayla and Andrea each wanted their own color.  To tie the two colors together, I found really precious multi-colored striped shades that tie up from the bottom.  I'm going to order them next week.

Rob bought a power roller when we got the paint.  It took him a little while to get used to it, but now he is ready to finish painting the rest of the house.  YAY!  I can hardly wait to get "rolling" on it. 

It looks like we will be taking legal custody of the girls for at least 3 years.  The rest of the family is unprepared for the responsibility.  If we survive the adjustment period, it will be great.  Both Kayla and Andrea are testing us to see how far they can get.  Kayla has been the controller in her home for so long, its hard for her to give that up to us.  Though Andrea loves the companionship, she hates having to share us with Kayla and Lupe.  It's sort of a tug-of-war.  God must be giving me an extra dose of patience, because I don't know where its coming from.

Today Lupe had her first spelling test at school - 4 words.  The kids who got 100% were able to call home to share the good news.  I was so tickled to get that call!  The teacher dialed the number and put Lupe on the phone.  I guess she forgot why she was calling . . .I had to prompt her by asking if she got 100%.  She said "Yeah!!!"  She was really excited and told me she loved me before she hung up. 

I am happy to have these girls in our lives.  It's certainly a challenge, but it feels so right.  I'm going to cut back my hours at work so I can give Rob a little relief.  He's trying to handle it all while I work and it can be very frustrating to have 3 girls working on him.  The heat's on for him.  He's my best friend and I want to bethere for him.

More pictures tomorrow, I hope.  We celebrated Rob's birthday yesterday by taking him to Sizzler and eating great food and a cake we brought in ourselves.  It was really fun.

I'm exhausted.  I'm going to bed now.  Pray that I sleep through.  I really need it.

Be blessed tonight,


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Drum Roll, Please!

        GET READY!!






          SMILE :)


This is my new smile  .  .  .  one that I can be proud of.  I have waited a long time to have my smile returned to me.  Now I'm ready to share it with you.  I received my partial last week, but just didn't take time to have my picture taken.  I think I will put this one in my about me space as well and retire my "toothless" grin.

The work should all be finished soon.  I cried when I looked in the mirror, guys.  I feel more complete.  The lower molars will be ready as soon as I tell the dentist that the uppers are comfortable.  Then I can really chew like a normal person - although I am not totally sure how that is anymore.

It's almost the end of my workday here.  The kids are clamoring for me to come home.  I have laundry to do, homework to check and supper to eat.  I did take pictures of the 3 girls and the bunk beds, but today's my day for the smile.

My new smile continues to brighten my days.  I suppose soon I will take it for granted, but for now I can only see God's blessing and provision.

Be blessed,



Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Madhouse


Welcome to Sunday at our madhouse.  I started to write this before church, then got side-tracked.  The girls didn't want to get out of bed.  Then they had "nothing to we-ar" (insert whine here).  I told them I would take Lupe with me, so not to worry about her.

At last, about 3 minutes before Sunday school was to start, they were rushing papa to get out of here.  He told them they weren't in a hurry when he wanted them to get up, so he wasn't in a hurry now.  Pouting, they went out to the car to wait for him. 

While they were on their way, I took my shower, put on my great red terry cloth bathrobe and went in to help Lupe get dressed.  I just took them all shopping on Thursday afternoon and purchased quite a few new things for Lupe as well as the other girls.  I could not find Lupe's new things.  They weren't in the closet, her drawers, the armoir . . . no where.  Finally I found a blue shirt and blue pants.  Of course the pants were about a foot too long, so I had to cut them off and hem them.

After hemming, I told Lupe to dress and put on her shoes and socks while I got dressed.  She could only find one shoe.  That's when the fecal matter hit the oscillator.  I looked everywhere, finding clothes all balled up and stuffed in corners and nothing much on the hangers.  I found Lupe's new clothes, still in the bag, crammed way under the bottom bunk.  Of course there were a lot of other clothes under there as well.  And waaaay over by the wall was Lupe's other shoe.  We got the shoe and went to church.

The girls are now in their room picking up, hanging, folding and separating their clothes.  I put everything I found crammed in the wrong place on their beds. They are not happy about this turn of events.  They thought today would be a play day since there is no school tomorrow.  Think again, bright angels.

I hate being the one who makes them do things.  But it seems I am the only one they take seriously.  Do I look mean or something?  Rob has the deep voice and stern words, but they shine him on.  Then the wicked witch of Ventura has to step in and make them do what needs to be done.  You know, it doesn't sound like they are getting much work done in there.  Sounds more like playtime.  Should I break up the revelry?  Leave them alone?  Go play with them.  Nahhh - I don't feel like playing right now.  I'll figure it out.  I always do.

I'm not quite sure why the Lord picked us for this task.  I guess it would be best not to try to second guess His perfect will.  I do know that since they have arrived, His blessings have been poured out upon our home and our lives. 

Rob is going to take my picture for you so you can see my new smile.  I have front teeth for the first time in years and my smile is complete.  I am so happy.  Next we do the lowers which will be just molars, to match the molars they made for me on top and so I can finally chew without looking funny.  This is also God's blessing, because we never could have afforded to do this on our own.  He deserves all the honor and praise and glory.

Okay.  I've decided to get up and be the ogre.  Wish me luck or at least pray for my sanity.  I love and appreciate you all.



Friday, February 17, 2006

Thank You


First I want to thank you all for your comments and notes.  I was touched by the prayers and good wishes for the girls and their family.

Today was the service for Angie.  If my scanner hadn't broken, I would scan the picture of her so you could see how beautiful she was.  Kayla was pretty stoic until last night at bedtime.  She got into her pajamas, put on a sweatshirt and came in my room sobbing.  We knew she would break sooner or later.  I'm glad it was sooner, so I could comfort her.  She woke up about 2 hours later and wanted to talk.  The whole house was sleeping, so we went into the living room, turned on the heater and had a girl talk.  We talked about the anger someone feels when a loved one dies.  And about the guilt we feel about that anger.  She wondered if God would forgive her if she was just a little bit angry with Him for taking her mama so soon.  I told her God would forgive it all.  She accepted that, hugged me and thanked me for taking care of her. That made me cry.

God took special care of Angie and her daughter and sister and gave them grace while they struggled.  She is now free and we are left behind.  Lupe didn't really understand until this morning at the service.   She saw Angie's pictures up front and lots of cousins and other relatives with tears in their eyes and she leaned her head over on Andrea's shoulder and began to cry. It's hard to know how much she really understands.  As she moved from Andrea's shoulder to mine, she said, "Mama."  Angie was her sister, but had custody for so long that Angie was the only mama she knew. 

My heart breaks for these girls.  Angie was just 29 years old.  She was called home.  She's not in pain anymore.  Her family truly grieves her loss.  She and her brother Eddie have been their rock for  some time now.  Now the weight has shifted to Eddie. The girls are with us for as long as they need to be, but we don't want them to lose contact with their family.  That would be the greatest loss of all.  We're going to miss Angie, but we are going to do the best we can to take care of the children she entrusted to us.

As we get ready to end the day, I want to share our blessings with you.  We have what we need by God's grace.  There is food in the frig, a roof over our heads and some really cool stuff inside.  This tiny house is overflowing with love.  Thank you, Lord.

Be blessed tonite.  Penny

Wednesday, February 15, 2006



During the night, the Lord called Angie home.  By now, she is healed and in the loving arms of our Father in heaven.  She loved the Lord very much. 

Left behind, we will mourn her loss deeply and try to help heal the hearts of the daughter and sister who are living with us.  Angie's brother Eddie will be coming to talk with Kayla sometime this morning. 

I didn't sleep well.  Eddie called to tell us he was headed to the hospital.  He was brokenhearted.  Just after he called, Kayla came to our room saying she couldn't sleep, that she kept thinking about her mom.  We prayed together and I sent her back to bed.  She is asleep still as I write this and we don't want to wake her just yet. A moment of peace before the turmoil.

Please keep us all in your prayers today.  Angie's family needs strength to go through this. 

Blessings, Penny


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Woo Hoo!!!


This must be the best Valentine's Day I've had in a while.  Last year, I had my gall bladder out on the 14th.  This year, we have 3 little girls to share the day with and we are having a Valentine's Party just for us:  gifts, hot dogs and an ice cream cake.

The best gift has already come!  I am typing this on my NEW LAPTOP!!!  Yay, yay, yay!  I can spend more time keeping up with my journal and alerts and won't have to sit in that awful chair.

Last night, we told Kayla that her mom has been placed on the transplant list for a kidney and liver.  She was stoic as her uncle talked to her, but fell apart about 10 minutes later.  She threw herself on my bed and cuddled up with me..  She cried for quite a while, then asked if her mom should pass away would we take care of them?  It broke my heart to hear it, but I told her that as long as her family agreed we would certainly consider it. 

I haven't had a chance to take a picture of the bunk beds.  I have tomorrow and Thursday off and should be able to do that then.  The kids are so happy to each have their own bed and own sheets and own coverlets.  I couldn't be more pleased. 

Lupe was at my work for a while today when Rob went to the dentist.  She is such a delight!  She was copying letters and numbers (sometimes out of order) and asking me to spell words for her.  She was using a little sticky note pad that I got her for Valentine's.  At one point, she told me to close my eyes and not peek.  I obeyed and could feel small fingers tapping, climing on my back.  I said, "ooh, what is that??  It's not a spider, is it?" and she said "Yup" with that smug little smile she has.  I wandered to the files to put in files and heard her giggling behind me . . .she had drawn a spider on her sticky-note and stuck it to my shirt.  She and Elaine and I had a great laugh. 

I think it's laughter that makes my heart sing.  I hear the girls in their room playing and giggling and I feel joy in my heart.  Yes, they argue as well, but they have truly added a new song to my soul.  What ever happens with Lupe and Kayla, our hearts have been touched forever.

I pray that the rest of your Valentine's Day is as good as mine has already been.  Blessings, Penny


Sunday, February 12, 2006

End of a very long Sunday

I absolutely know that there are only 24 hours a day, but I feel like I've been on the go for 36 hours and it's only 9:15 pm.  Today we all got up early to take pictures to print for our pastor's memory book.  He will be transitioning down from senior pastor and be with us about 1/3 of the year.  One of our elders is stepping up as senior.  Anyway, I'm sharing some of the pictures we took with you.  I wish I had thought to take a full-length of Lupe.  She looked very cute in a skirt.

I also translated the service this morning for a man named Jose.  He's new to our church and has made the decision to be baptized with his wife and dedicate their children to the Lord.  As so many of us have, he has kind of a "past" and would like prayer for himself and his family as they build their lives again in Christ.

After church, we had a party/potluck to love on our pastors of 11 years (well, not our pastors, but theirs).  Rob, Andrea and I sang a song to them in Spanish.  It was quite an honor to share it with them.  We had good food, good fellowship and lots of love.

Then we brought Rob home and left him to his own devices while we went looking for a bunk bed.  I will post pictures of it tomorrow.  We got a beautiful, sturdy bed at a good price.  Hank helped us to bring it home and I took the girls on a promised shopping trip.  We bought rolling drawer carts for the girls, some new clothes, hangers, and new shoes for all. I got a new purse.  Praise God for His provision.

The girls and I got home a little after 7 pm.  Rob had been working very hard to get the bedroom ready for the bunks to go up.  We've just had prayer and the girls are in bed and I am headed there when I finish writing tonight.

I have some wonderful (for me) news!  My new laptop shipped yesterday.  It has all the bells and whistles I wanted.  I can hardly wait to have it in my hands.  Cool, huh?  (BIG GRIN goin' on here) 

Well, J-Landers, this is the end ofa very long day for me and for them.  My back, head, neck and legs are screaming for the mattress and I'm listening for once. 

Blessings to all of you,


Friday, February 10, 2006


I'm at work today and don't have access to pictures or tags, but I wanted to give you all an update on our lives.  We are still a housefull of 3 young girls.  Kayla and Andrea are both in school, but we have hit a snag with Lupe.  She may have to be re-evaluated before they will put her in school.  Ugh!  Poor Lupe - everyone else disappears and she is left to stay home with "papa" Rob.  They came to my work to pick up some bricks today and Lupe looks none the worse for the wear.  She is such a happy little girl all the time.

We have been praying for financial blessings for some time.  Rob was receiving partial benefits from the Veteran's Association and we asked for 100% benefits over a year ago.  We have not been complaining, there is always enough, but now that we have more kids in our house, finances have been stretched.  We always make sure to give our tithes and offerings before anything else.  It says in Malachi 3:10 that if you bring your best to the storehouse of the Lord, just wait and see if He won't open the windows of heaven and pour out the blessings . . .more than we could imagine.  Just that happened!  Yesterday Rob got word that yes, they would give him full benefits, that Andrea and I are entitled and she will get medical care.  Isn't that awesome?  We are overwhelmed at His faithfulness to us.  He met our needs and now some of our wants.  I can do fewer hours at work and have more time for Rob and the girls.

Angie is still in the hospital.  She needs lots of prayer.  She not only needs a new liver, but a kidney as well.  The doctors are meeting today to talk about her placement on the donor list.  Please pray that these little girls won't lose their mom.  I know we pray for God's will in everything, but I would surely like our will and His to match this time.

I pray the rest of your day will be filled with blessings. 



Monday, February 6, 2006

Morning Dance


Good Monday morning, everyone.  I am getting ready to go to the doctor and dentist and register Lupe in school here   The house is full of activity.  Andrea is getting ready for school, Lupe is coming with me and Kayla is complaining.  I took pictures of us to share with you today:


Lupe having Cheerios after she didn't like the oatmeal.


Andrea loves to mug for the camera!

  Kayla was having none of it.


Papa was getting a moment before I abandon him to the two girls.

  Really, this isn't what I am wearing to the dentist.

Good and bad news.  First, the bad . . . the price to fix my laptop was only for parts - double that for labor.  We decided not to do that.  Good . . . I ordered a new laptop that will be even better than before.  It might even arrive in time for Valentine's.  Cool, huh?

Have a blessed day!


Thursday, February 2, 2006

Tears of Joy

These pictures are of Lupe and Andrea.  Kayla is spending the night with a church member tonight.

 Andrea has been the best big sister ever to Lupe and Kayla.  She is patient and understanding with Lupe and seems to have taken her under her wing.  These pictures were taken after their bath.  Lupe needs special soap for her very dry skin and Andrea said, "Mom, I'm going to take Lupe a shower."  She's so wonderful.


After dinner tonight, we sat down to have prayer.  Usually, we sing a song or two (I wrote a new song yesterday!) and Rob starts prayer, I pray next and Andrea pipes in with a little prayer and leads us in the Lord's Prayer.  When Andrea was finished with her prayer, Lupe began to speak.  She's hard to understand, but we could hear and make out most of it.  She thanked the Lord for her new clothes, for her family and the food she ate.  She prayed on and on.  There was the most beautiful smile on her little face!  As suddenly as she began, she opened her eyes, smiled at each of us and said, "Amen."

It's hard not to cry tears of joy when you hear a child praising the Lord as she did.  In such a short time, we have grown to love her as if she had always been here.  We are truly blessed to have her and Kayla added to us for a season.  All I can do is thank the Lord for His provision.

I pray that all of you are blessed this evening and tomorrow.  Stay safe and remember - there is no power on earththat can separate you from the love of God in Jesus Christ (the actual quote is in Romans 8:39 and a few verses before that.)

Love to all,



Wednesday, February 1, 2006

First Day of School

      First Day of "Real" School in America       

                  January 30, 2006


This is a picture of Andrea after her first day of classes at the middle school.  She really liked the school and the teachers.  She says the boys are just "rude".  I guess at her age, boys are like that.  In a year or two, I'm sure she will think differently and I will panic.

This is her special week.  She has become a big sister and started special education classes.  She says that Kayla is a little bossy and I had to explain to her that Kayla has been not only helping to care for Lupe but she has had to take care of her mom as well.  That kind of makes a kid bossy.  I have some pictures I took of Andrea during Christmas time here in our sunny hometown of Ventura.  I had a hard time finding them once I saved them, so here they are, a little bit late.

    This is something we can do almost all year round here.  Sometimes the beach is windy and cold, but it is just beautiful to behold. 

California is one of the most expensive places to live, but look at the smile on my little girl's face.  Could you make her move someplace else?  I am so proud of her and the empathy she has for Kayla and Lupe.  She is a wonderful young lady and my very special miracle child.

We are slowly getting adjusted to having 3 girls here now.  It doesn't seem like there are enough hours in the day and Rob and I are both tired.  Saturday night, a lady from the church is taking all 3 girls so we can have a little "we" time.  There's not much of that around here lately.  I think we'll even lock Dufus in his cage! 

I thank those of you who have left such nice comments and mentioned us and Angie in your prayers.  Blessings, Penny