Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year . . . again


I know I should put my siggy tag at the end of my entry, but I like this one so much and appreciate so much the giver that I want it here, right on top.

We have under 6 hours to midnight here on the west coast.  I am sure that I won't make it to midnight.  My eyes are already drooping.  The girls have asked to stay up.  We said yes.  We said go outside and bang on pots & pans, ask Hank for his foghorn, enjoy ringing in 2007.  Last time I stayed up till midnight was to bring in the new century.  We banged on pots and pans, let the kids do it too.  All 18 of them.  Mexico was very noisy then.  Lots of guns in town.  We lived on the beach then. 

It's been a stressful day for me.  I had a couple of conversations I was concerned about having.  I can't talk about it just yet, but will when the time is right.  I feel good about it now that it's done. 

Rob is sick.  I think he's got the flu.  He didn't get the shot.  I am truly grateful that I did.  I can tend to him without worrying about getting as sick as he has.  I feel bad for him . . . he's freezing . . . he's roasting.  It was a beautiful sunny day here, yet he froze most of the day.  Best I can do is hang in there with him until its over.

I've thought about so many of you today as I visited your journals, prayed for you while stopping there.  I am sorry for not commenting today or for some time.  I try, resolve not to lurk but that's just what I do.  I'm here, guys.  Really I am.  I love you all so much.  You have been a rock for me over this past year.  It's been a tough one, though filled with much love and joy as well.  I won't resolve to do better.  I'll make it a goal.  If I fail then I will start over until I succeed.

As always, you are in my prayers and thoughts and may you: 


Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm taggin' it!

<FONT face="Comic Sans MS Got this at <A href=" ? BlueSkiesandGentleBreezes delela1 http:>Dona's journal.  She's playing tag, so I guess I am too.  Play along if you like.  Snag here or over at Blue Skies, Gentle Breezes

So I'll bet you thought that was all I was going to write.  Not so!  We'rehere preparing for the New Year.  We don't go out or have a party.  In fact, we're pretty boring.  Back when I drank more than my share . . . in another lifetime . . . I didn't go out either. Always called New Year's Eve "amateur night". 

Rob worked very hard (I helped a bit) to give our laundry room a complete revamp.  New old shelves are up and filled with Christmas decorations, and many other things that had had been relegated to the floor under the clothes rack.  A new closet rod has replaced the bulky clothes rack. The room looks wonderful and gives us storage we desperately needed.

We've set some goals for the new year.  We don't make resolutions because we hate failure.  So we're making a list of the things we would like to accomplish this year if possible.  It will be written down so we can see our progress.  Any changes that need to happen to us will be in God's hands.

I have just one Christmas picture to share.  It was thrilling to see how our Christmas evolved.  We are grateful to God for all the angels in our life.

I tried and tried to put the picture here - to no avail.

We look forward to making the most of each month of the new year, well actually . . . each moment the the Lord gives us live.  I personally am grateful to J-Land for giving me a placeto vent, to share and pray.  You guys are the best. 

Sunday, December 24, 2006


It's almost here!!!  Christmas carols abound throughout our home.  I'm singing along with my whole heart.  What a beautiful day this has been. 

Kayla and Lupe spent last night with their uncle, so it was just Rob, Andrea and me as the day started off.  I got dressed in a garnet-red outfit, skirt to the floor, garnets in my ears and at my neck and black open-toed shoes.  Peeking out from the shoes were toes painted to match with a silver snowflake on each big toe.  I felt beautiful.  Andrea was wearing a deep red satin skirt, red top to match and black open-toed shoes.  She looked just awesome!

We went on to church where we sang carols one after the other as if we could fill the world with Christmas melody.  As I was singing, somebody tapped me softly.  Lupe stood grinning up to me . . .her red blouse, black skirt and brand-new pink tennis shoes!  She couldn't have been more proud.  She went from person to person giving great hugs, showing off her new shoes.

Kayla was in back with her friends trying to hide her blue satin skirt and white top.  I knew the black open-toed shoes graced her feet because she wanted to look grown-up and dressed down.

The pastor gave the word - ahh - it was like a breath of fresh air!  Not a once-a-year, tried and true Luke preaching for him.  No . . . he taught from scripture about who this Jesus is - the one we celebrate today and tomorrow.  Nothing new, really but new in its presentation. 


After church I was told not to leave right away . . . there were a a couple of things for the girls.  I was surprised to see a smoked turkey, a full turkey dinner and two presents each girl being placed in my car.  I told the gal that placed them all in the back . . . "please tell whoever it was 'Thank-you' " .  She leaned to me and said . . . "it was the local police department."   


Placed under our tree and in stockings this year are gifts from what seems everywhere.  Small things from us, small things from others . . . big things from others.  What joy I have to know that Rob, myself and the girls are so loved that others thought to share with us.  As long as I live I will never forget.


In a few hours, we will all awaken to Christmas Day.  WE know what we celebrate, who and why.  Tomorrow however, we will all just be kids for a whole day.  The Lord will see us and know that we know and He will be glad.



                Rob, Penny, Andrea, Kayla and Lupe

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas



<TABLE class='MsoNormalTablestyle="BACKGROUND:' cellPadding=0 width="100%" bgColor=#33ff00 border=0 100%? WIDTH: #33ff00;>

I don't know who they are
Saying I can't greet the crowd
The way that I want to
Can't say CHRISTMAS out loud.

I walk into a business place
See things that I rather not see
But dare I not say CHRISTMAS
And ask for a "holiday" tree.

What happened to freedom of speech
And living in the land of the free
How can they take my CHRISTMAS money
to me.

Men and women have given their lives
So we could still go free
I wonder how they would feel
At saying " <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />HOLIDAY " TREE.

Come on AMERICA let's wake up
Don't let our freedom escape
If they get by with doing this
What else will they take.

This is starting to get out of hand,
And I've begun to keep track
Well I've just about had enough

I hope this gets all over the net
If we all stand united and take freedom back
'Twill be our best CHRISTMAS YET!




I got this in an e-mail from my sister who got it from a dear friend. 
The truth is that it does kind of bother me that the stores will put
up "Happy Holidays"  "Happy Kwanza"  "Happy Hanukkah"  but not
"Merry Christmas"   I am not offended by the celebrations of other
faiths, but what about mine?  I believe in Jesus Christ,  I also
believe in the God of Hanukkah.  I honestly don't know much about
the celebration of Kwanza, but I'm willing to look it up and fine out.
The founding fathers of our country left England to escape religious
persecution.  The Constitution of the United States was quickly
amended to provide for certain rights, the first one being the right
to speech, religion, assembly, press, etc.   I know I don't have it
exactly word perfect, but there you are.
Now the ACLU, with government help is working to take away my right
to practice Christianity. Hindu, Buddhist and Islam have more rights
than Jews and Christians.  Where is the freedom in that?  What's
happening in our country that those inalienable rights are no longer
true for the vast majority?
I am proud to be a Christian.  That's whatmy mother taught me and
I believe.  If you believe differently, I bet your mom or dad taught
you as well.  We are blessed to have parents who love us enough to
teach us our faith.
Blessing to you all,  





Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm Okay - Really


I've got two angels on my shoulder

Thank God for the life of our family!    I'm sorry I waited so late to make an entry.  I truly want to thank you for your concern for us.  Here's what happened and the updates.

Rob was up early.  He was concerned for us because the house was very, very cold.  He turned up the heat and lit a burner in the kitchen.  We had left the heat on low during the night and had asked them to leave their door open so the room would not be so cold.  The girls also got up early to get ready for church.  I slept in.

I heard Rob and the girls trying to wake me.  I just couldn't wake up.  My head was pounding so I just snuggled back into the blankets.  When I finally did rouse, I was disoriented and could not wake up fully.  Even coffee didn't help.  1 bird was dead and 3 were dying.  A nurse friend told me to go outside because Rob had said it was carbon monoxide that killed the birds.  I stayed outside until Rascal died in my hands, about 45 mins to an hour.

Then I came back inside, sat in my chair in the living room.  It was nice and warm.  In a little while I began to feel worse and asked Rob to turn the heater off.  I went to the bedroom.  I didn't get better.

We went first to urgent care then to ER.  They took me right in.  I was treated so nicely even though I was really out of it.  After tests determined I had carbon monoxide poisoning, they put me on 100% oxygen.  They also did a CT scan on my head (apparently I still have at least some of my brain in there).

I stayed some hours before being released to come home.  I went straight to my room and to bed.  Iwas still way too sick.  I was going to make an entry, but could only type just a few words.  That's what you got.

Our landlord bought carbon monoxide detectors and new smoke detectors last night.  After a look at the insides of the heater, he also bought us a new heater.  The range is basically new, so we are all right now. 

I still have a blinding headache.  I'm a tad afraid of the heater.  I know it's safe - we have the detector and the light is green - I can see it from my chair - still, I am a little freaked.  We could have died!  For the cost of a CO2 detector, this never would have happened. 

Please,  IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR . . . GET ONE!  Our landlord bought ours, but it's not worth putting it off.  Please don't let cost make you wait. That thing was up before I went to bed last night.  Well, I was already in bed . . . but before I went to sleep.  My sister, her husband and grandson were poisoned several years ago.  She was in the hospital several days.  Their grandson survived only because he screamed all the way in the ambulance. 

Again, thank you so much for your concern for us. 


                   Rob, Penny, Andrea, Lupe and Kayla

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quite a Day


Short and not so sweet or not so sweet . . .    Had hard time waking up this morning - Sunday.  Bad headache.  Turms out it is carbon monoxide poisoning.  Spent several hours in ER and have come home.  I'm freaked out.  Afraid to sleep/  Very sick.  Every one else is fine.  Lost 4 birds.  I can't stay awake now.

God bless you all, Penny

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Morning Question

Krissy asked us if we liked to ride around looking at Christmas lights when we were kids and if we still liked to do it today.  Well, I could have just written yes and yes in her comments and be done with it.

But not Penny!  Nope!   Gotta tell a story.

I grew up in and around the city of Pasadena, California.  As I have told you before, my mom loved to get "lost".  I call it a serendipity now.  When I was very small, mom would take us up the hill to a place called Chaney Flats or the hills above Altadena.  She would tell us we were lost, but she always managed to park high enough up those hill to be able to see the lights of the whole Los Angeles basin.  There was no smog yet, no smog alerts, just twinkling lights before us.

In Altadena, there is a street they call Christmas Tree Lane.  There are conifers that line both sides of the street and reach way up to the sky.  It's an amazing two blocks of trees.  At Christmastime, the city and private parties would work to cover the trees completely with lights.  Ahh, I loved that!  It was like being in a wonderland where stars had many colors.  Before I became a teen, the town decided to just cover the front of the trees.  There really is a difference.

There was a housing development in Pasadena called Hastings Ranch, where my mom and I would go every year to see the homes.  One curving block had little stars in all the parkways.  They decorated not only their homes, but the parkways as well.  You do know parkways don't you?  Well, anyway the stars would light up as you drove by.  This was a special tradition in that development that one of the conditions of sale of a home there was that the new owner continue with the tradition.  They had Candy Cane lane which went several blocks.  The homes were decorated so beautifully!  Seeing the lights was always a Christmas favorite for me.  I wonder if the tradition is history now?

As I have gotten older, my love for decorated homeshas not waned.  I can go alone or with others and "ooh" and "ahh" still escape my mouth as I see the lights adorning each home. 

I love the celebration of Christmas.  It has always meant the celebration of the birth of Christ to me.  A long time ago when I was a kid, there wasn't any controversy and often Jews and Christians alike would come together to celebrate.  I did this with my friend Mady whose home was decorated with lights and a Menorah.  I listened to her parents tell the story of the Miracle of Lights. We sang songs that sounded foreign to me, but I gladly sang along to learn how they celebrated. 

Then Mady would come to my house to share Christmas with me.  She would listen as my mom read the Christmas story and sing our carols with us.  Mady and I would exchange small gifts at each celebration.

I still have wonder at Christmastime.  I never want to forget Who I am celebrating whether this is the actual time of His birth or not.  I like the lights, films and stories about Jesus and films and stories about Santa Claus and the other characters we associate with Christmas.  I love to see a Menorah shining in a window.  I love to hear the story again. 

Enjoy the lights.  Relish in their glow.  I will relish as well the glow of the Eternal Light.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Pearl Harbor


Is your flag outside today?  Today is the day that will stand forever as our entrance into the second world war.  65 years ago, at Pearl Harbor a surprise attack by the Japanese changed the U.S.A.  forever.  Entombed in Pearl Harbor to this day is the U.S.S. Arizona with her men.  There is still oil slowly bubbling up from below.

Flying our flags today shows that we remember now and will continue to remember the men and women who lost their lives that day.

To learn more about Pearl Harbor Day go to Pearl Harbor Day Remembered or use you own search engine to look it up.

As we remember this day, let us pray for the men and women of the armed forces of the U.S.A. serving around the world.



Wednesday, December 6, 2006

fun & Games

 I got this from Val at There Is a Season.  Thought I'd play along.  Have you tried it yet?  Just write out your own answers, post and leave your link with Val. 



1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?  Paper

2. Real tree or artificial?   Ours is a pre-lit artificial.  It's very pretty, but I'm going to hang evergreen garlands around for the delicious aroma.

3. When do you put up the tree?  Ours is up - we start decorating the week after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?  Rob wants to take it down almost the day after Christmas.  I prefer to leave it until January 6.

5. Do you like eggnog?  Mmmmmmmmmmmm... YES!  Mine has to be soy, however..
6. Favorite gift received as a child?  More likely than not it was a Ginny doll or a Mme. Alexander doll.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?  Yes!  More than one!

8. Hardest person to buy for?  My husband, Rob.  If we have the $$ he pretty much buys it when he wants it.

9. Easiest person to buy for?  Our friend Hank - he's going nautical this year.

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?  I have a few people we will send cards snail mail to - maybe 20 or so.  Some others I will send e-mail because I don't have an address for them.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  My Auntie Merrie cameto our house to bring gifts. My older sisters got really cool stuff - then Auntie Merrie handed me a small but beautifully wrapped gift.  I couldn't have been more than 6 or 7 years old.  I ripped the paper off and opened the box to reveal a bow-tie!!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?  Mine is "A Christmas Carol"  new or old. color or black and white, it doesn't matter.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?  I start thinking about it in October, buy some in November and buy the rest right up until Christmas Eve.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?  No I haven't

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  Turkey or Roast beef, mince pie with hard sauce, pumpkin roll, veggies with onion sauce, rolls with real butter, eggnog, I could go on forever . . .

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? The more colors, the better

17. Favorite Christmas song(s)?  "The Carol of the Bells"  "O Holy Night"   "Angels We Have Heard on High"

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?  Definitely stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?  "On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, on Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen!"... and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (copied from Val.  I could only remember three + Rudolph.)

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?  We have a star on our tree, but I prefer an angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?  Christmas Day.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?  Lack of courtesy.  It seems like everyone is focused on themselves and will walk over you to get what they want.  I have to use an electric cart and people just don't see me.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?  I like the ornaments to reflect who we are.  Rob collects nutcrackers - we have a ton of them.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?  Food, glorious food, hot sausage and mustard.

25. Do you have Jesus in your heart this Christmas? Absolutely positively!

Thanks, Val.  This was fun to do.  Blessings in Christ,  Penny 


Sunday, December 3, 2006

Angels Among Us




Psalm 55:22 --- you really need to read this. "Friends are God's way of taking care of us."

Just a note:  I'm so glad you all think so highly of me,but this is not my good deed, but the one of the Denver Hospice Physician - I just passed it on.  Blessings, Penny

Written by a Metro Denver hospice physician.


I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and wanted to share it with my family and dearest friends:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the "quickie mart" building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a Gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.

When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It wasa nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying "I don't want my kids to see me crying," so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, "And you were praying?" That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, "He heard you, and He sent me."

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, "So, are you like an angel or something?"

This definitely made me cry. I said, "Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people."

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hearthe flutter of their wings...

Psalms 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

Please think now of family, friends, Internet friends and those you have seen or heard of that need a touch from the Lord.  Say a prayer for them now.  They need you most just now as they struggle through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's with their griefs and fears.  As we lift up one another, the song of Angels will surely pierce the heavens and call the Lord's attention to our petitions.

        Be blessed as you prepare for Christmas,


received in a forward with minor changes - Pen

Saturday, December 2, 2006

My Sister Char Sent This . . .

Isn’t it amazing that these things actually appear on packaging. I n Honor of Stupid People . . . In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions o n consumer goods.

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) -- "Do not turn upside down." (well...duh, a bit late, huh!)


On Sainsbury's peanuts -- "Warning: contains nuts." (talk about a news flash)



On Boot's Children Cough Medicine -- "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication." (We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5 year-olds with head-colds off those bulldozers.



 On Marks &Spencer Bread Pudding -- "Product will be hot after heating." (...and you thought????...)



On a Sears hairdryer -- Do not use while sleeping. (That's the only time I have to work on my hair.) 


 On a bag of Fritos -- You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. (the shoplifter special?)


 On a bar of Dial soap -- "Directions: Use like regular soap." (and that would be???....)


 On some Swanson frozen dinners -- "Serving suggestion: Defrost." (but, it's just a suggestion.)


 On packaging for a Rowenta iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body." (but wouldn't this save me time?)



 On Nytol Sleep Aid -- "Warning: May cause drowsiness." (..I'm taking this because???....)



 On most brands of Christmas lights -- "For indoor or outdoor use only." (as opposed to what?)


 On a Japanese food processor -- "Not to be used for the other use." (now, somebody out there, help me on this. I'm a bit curious.) ??????


 On an American Airlines packet of nuts -- "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts." (Step 3: say what?)



 On a child's Superman costume -- "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." (I don't blame the company. I blame the parents for this one.)


On a Swedish chainsaw -- "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals." (Oh my gosh..was there a lot of this happening somewhere?)


and  . . .


Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to spread the stupidity to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even chuckle)...

I chuckled a lot!