Monday, July 30, 2007


We survived!!! Waiting to receive the official team photo, but in the meantime, here's a pic of our crew taken by Teen Daughter. There'd be more, but after the day of racing we zipped on up to the mountains to drop off Teen Daughter for another round of summer camp--only this time she's attending as a volunteer babysitter (for family campers). It appears that she took most of the pics with her camera, which is, of course, with her at camp.

Anyhoo, learned lots during our first ever outrigger event. Things like Hike! Hut! Ho! And huli (trust me, you don't want to do this). We raced twice, sat in the hot OC sun during breaks, and ate delicious Hawaiian-themed food: fish taco, teriyaki chicken and sticky rice. Very yum.

Missed a few spots with the sunscreen, so I'm looking kind of like lobster at the moment, but other than that, outrigger canoeing is a rush. May have found a new hobby, lol.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Calling all paddlers

So hub and I somehow got ourselves signed up for a charity outrigger race in Newport Beach this weekend--and haven't a clue how to paddle an outrigger. We meant to study up but with kids at home, work, brief vacation, and all these concerts, well?

Anybody have a clue? I'm all ears (and arms, lol)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

more on the concert

Amanda asked if they let Blake beatbox at the AI Tour. Yes! Of course! No kidding that he's not the best singer of the bunch, but he's got a gnarly stage presence and that, in my opinion, accounts for all those votes he received. Btw, right before the concert started, a strange man with moppish hair and a pillowy gut offered an older couple behind us FRONT ROW SEATS. The guy wore a shirt that said Event Staff, and I should have taken a clue from the black-outfitted bodyguard by his side. It was all very strange and surreal, but as he walked away, one of the gals near us said, "Hey, that guy has tats like Blake!" Yep, it was Blake, in disguise. Could've reached out and touched him, he was that close. Just wish he'd given us the tiks. Man. Guess he knew we didn't give him a single vote, lol. But I'd take it all back, if

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

American Idol, pros and cons

Attended the American Idol Tour on Sunday in Anaheim, and let me just say, this was the cleanest, tobacco free, gang free, drug free, tat free (except for Blake, that is) concert I think I've ever attended. People were nice. They were friendly. They couldn't dance.


We had tiks in the center, surrounded by people who clapped politely and stayed in their seats. What's up with that? Kind of wanted to snag them by the collars and shout, "It's a concert, people! Shake that boo-tay!"

Didn't have to, though, cuz our group of four girls took the lead on that anyway :) The guy in front of Elementary Girl had obviously been dragged there by his girlfriend. (He was the exception to the friendly concert goer comment.) Mr. Too Cool was snotty and disrespectful to the performers (not that they could see all the way back there). So I took a strange sort of delight every time Elem Girl screamed her signature high-high pitched squeal right above his ears. Mwahhhh...! She was there to see Chris R., and everyone around us knew it. Don't even get me started on Teen Girl and Friend. The squealing, the swooning, the incessant picture snapping, the "down in front" from the gal behind them. LOL--good times. At least by the four of us.

Okay, about the concert. It rocked. The Idols (that sounds so bad, doesn't it? I mean, we're not supposed to have those, but you know who I'm talking about, right?) Anyway, the singers gave us a great show, strutting and singing and some even playing instruments. And except for our rather quiet section, the rest of the stadium cheered and waved cell phones and even hollered for an encore. Ask the girls, and they'll of course tell you that Chris R. did the best. I'm not getting between them on that. Was also impressed with Hayley, LaKisha, Melinda!!! and of course, winner Jordin Sparks.

Fun show that I'd recommend to anyone--as long as ya don't just sit there.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cyber-beach hopping

Hi y'all. Lena Dooley just posted her interview of me over at her beach pad. Stop on by, and you might win a copy of Chocolate Beach...

weekend warriors

Up this weekend: 13 year olds take over the house, wedding of a friend, finish a 3-book series proposal, and a trip to see the American Idol Tour. Calgon, take me away...

Have a beachy weekend! Find some time to relax in my place :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

He who laughs last...

Updated, 9:30ish PM: My emoticon is still laughing. I think it's more from delirium.

From this morning: Trying a little experiment. Took this quiz in the morning, after saying a few prayers and having a latte, and I plan to take it again at the end of the day to see if I'm still laughing. Wanna join me?

Your Emoticon Is Laughing

You've got a wicked sense of humor. You're everyone's favorite IM buddy... at least today!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

last day to vote for ...

Food Network Star. Okay, so maybe you thought this post was book related. haha. I haven't mention this earlier, not sure why, but we've gotten fairly addicted to Food Network Star, a reality show that doesn't actually end when the camera goes off. It's kind of like American Idol in that the winner will receive their own Food Network Show (but they won't have to sing). Each week the contestants are put through excruciating culinary challenges, and then the judges send one (occasionally, two) home.

Last Sunday, the final three got five minutes each on the Racheal Ray show to demonstrate their sig. dish before a live audience. My palms were sweating just watching. In the end, the judges sent Amy packing. Rory and Jag would be the final two to sweat it out to see who would get their own show.

But not really.

Turns out Jag had "misrepresented" several facts about his culinary training and military service. Sigh. Say it ain't so.


Quick a way, I'm glad my kids can see the consequences of these things. Jag made it this close, but those lies took it all away.

Anyway, Amy was invited back, and now the public has through today to vote for the gal who'll be the next Food Network Star. (Ha--that sounded like one of the promos.)

We love 'em both, but we're rooting for Rory. We all have our own reasons, but mine is kinda personal. Rory puts her foot in her mouth on a regular basis, so I can relate to her the best. Oh, and her food looks good too.

Monday, July 16, 2007

?# Going on 30

Pre-Teen daughter's becoming Teen daughter tomorrow, so we've been on a chick flick kick (say that fast) all summer. So last night we caught one neither had ever seen, 13 Going on 30, and loved it!!! Jennifer Garner cracked us up, as did the fairly nauseating yet highly-accurate portrayals of the 80s MTV generation--not that I'd know anything about that. Ahem.

Anyway, I always did love Garner in Alias, and in this she's colorful and funny, and the story's pretty clean--uh, memo to Hollywood: we don't need (nor want) F bombs to be entertained! We watched one last week (except for the parts I muted and/or skipped through) that had the same rating as 13..., yet made me blush. Sheesh.

Anyway, we're on the hunt for more chicky films for our bonding experience. Old or new, let us know of your faves.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sibling Revelry

So Teen Son & Pre-teen Daughter (almost Teen!) got back from a week of camp late yesterday. Don't even get me started on just how great it is to have big bro watching out for lil sis all week (even tho' the thought positively steams her). They're siblings, but oh so different. Differences=Conflict. He's a little bit Country, and she's, well, you get the pic. Know what I'm saying?

But one common bond surfaced this week--and this just pumps a mama's heart--when Teen Son discovered a copy of Chocolate Beach in the camp bookstore up at Forest Home. (Hey, moms at Family Camp could use a good chick read :) Anyway, as they tell it--finishing each other's sentences and all--Pre-Teen (almost Teen!) daughter happened to be in the store at the same time (a miracle in itself), and the two threw up an insane amount of hoots and hollers together over the discovery of their mom's book in their favorite camp bookstore.

They say that families that camp together, stay together, and I'm thinking I'm seeing the evidence of that! :]]

Speaking of families sticking together, our friends, Kyle & Suzanne Duncan, will be flying to Kiev with their girls Sunday night to adopt a son. Please pray for smooth preparations and travel, with no illness or delays, and that the adoption search goes as God has planned. Appreciated!

Today's a carnival over at blogging chicks so be sure to stop on by and see what the other chickadees are up to, 'kay?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Going Coastal

Just popping in to say Hey. While the kids are at camp, hub and I took off for a few lazy days of lolling around the redwood-studded coast of CA. Limited wireless access around here, and that's a good thing :) The weather's been beyond beautiful. We've hiked all over the place, including our honeymoon spot in the hills of Big Sur. And a couple of days ago, we saw a BUNCH of sea otters playing just beyond the shore (and I'm not talking about an aquarium!) They are the CUTEST sea creatures with their puppy eyes and quirky seashell-cracking ways. Just love 'em!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For various reasons, couldn't make it out to the big ICRS convention in Atlanta this week. ICRS is the International Christian Retailers Show, and lots of my writing buddies attended. Bummed that I couldn't make it, but glad for this impromptu trip to some of my fave places. If you did make it to ICRS, let us know how it went for you!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Read in church...

So yesterday in church, I turn to shush my girls who are cracking up during the sermon when I notice hub joining in. Turns out Elementary Girl, age 8, had doodled "you've got male pattern baldness" on her bulletin and passed it to Teen Girl. ;0


And hm. I'm thinkin' I need to lighten up...

What Your Latte Says About You

You don't treat yourself very often. You find that indulging doesn't jibe with your very disciplined life.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.

Intense and energetic, you aren't completely happy unless you are bouncing off the walls.

You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are expressive and friendly, but you are never pushy.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

On Jesus and the enduring cross

Welcome Chicks!
Deena, also a chick, tagged me, so here we go:

FIVE Things I Dig About Jesus:

1. Jesus taught me to love stories (think: parables :)
2. Jesus died so I/we could live
3. Jesus showed us how to LIVE!
4. Jesus listened to his mother (think: wedding at Cana when he changed water to wine. He could have easily changed it to 7-Up, but no, he listened to his mother :)
5. Jesus is steadfast, devoted and infinitely patient (thankfully!)

Here are the rules:

1. those tagged will share 5 things they dig about Jesus…
2. those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers… I tag all BLOGGING CHICKS, if you're willing! See step #3 :)
3. those tagged will post a comment here with their name and a link to their “dig”


A Sunday shout out to all those who made it up to the Cross in the hills of Ventura last eve to worship God and light up the night with music and flashlights.

When that historic cross was threatened a few years ago by a couple of athiests, concerned citizens created a conservancy that eventually bought the property from the city. Today it's open to the public for events and visits--and the view is heavenly, I might add. By the way, Serra Cross Park makes an appearance in my next book, Truffles by the Sea.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Relax, it's Friday (Foto)

It hit me last night that I've lost the art of relaxing. I was snickering through an episode of The Office as it played through my DVR when I actually got annoyed , realizing I could zip through the commercials. See, if I do that, then I can't use the commercial time to: finish cleaning the kitchen, change to jammies, put the girls to bed, etc., etc., etc., yada, yada, yada.

Silly me.

It worked out, though, when I realized that without the commercials, 1/2 hour shows are something like 12.2 minutes long. LOL

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

On kayaks and blue jeans

Hope you all had a fab fourth! It's nearly the fifth, and the first chance I've had to pop in. We spent the day kayaking, then hanging with friends by their pool. I should be sleeping now. lol

Speaking of pools and oceans, did a little swimsuit shopping the other day. Brutal. Runs second only to the dreaded denim shopping. Am I right, girls? Anyhoo, I swiped this cool-io jeans finder from Holymama's site, and now I'm thinking of messing with its head, of putting in all kinds of weird answers to see what comes up. Too fun.

Okay, not really. I'm heading over now to tell it the truth so I can find out which jeans will fit this bod like a glove. Honest. If you give it whirl, let me know how it goes.

The chick in the photo is my friend Sue who recently roped, er, talked hub and me into doing an outrigger race for charity in late July. Had a chance to see an outrigger practice up close, and let me just say, IT. LOOKS. LIKE. WORK.

Pray for Team Chocolate Beach, will ya? (Our team name has quite the ring, don't you think? :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Rockin' Mama

Despite the horrendous traffic, and although we were bumped from our hotel and it took over an hour to find another decent one, the concert last Friday night in Chula Vista rocked! Teen Son and I went to see Brad Paisley (If you've read Chocolate Beach this'll probably not be much of a surprise.) Also there: Kellie Pickler (yes, the calamari "lover"), Jack Ingram, and Taylor Swift. Needless to say, I was thoroughly hoarse by the end of the 3 hour show.

Tidbits from the concert:

* Kellie Pickler abruptly ended her set in tears while singing I wonder a song she wrote about her tumultuous relationship with her mother. And yes, much to Teen Son's chagrin, tears sprung to my eyes too.

* Jack Ingram. Really didn't know who he was, but he sang an awesome song about his own relationship with his missing father called, Measure of a Man. Impressive.

* Taylor Swift. Seventeen year old spitfire leaps around on stage, guitar swinging around her neck, playing hit after hit, many written by her own hand. Her voice went flat at times, but who really cared? A born performer. (Teen Son takes issue with my assessment of her voice, but she's gorgeous and me thinks he's too ga-ga to notice how she sounded at times. All I'm sayin'.)

* At one point, Teen Son cracked up because when he looked to his left, he caught me rockin' out much like the woman to his right--who was also there with her son. Long live the 80s--LOL

updated: Btw, Brad. was. amazing. Didn't I mention that? Especially loved when he sang When I Get Where I'm Going, and showed pics of some of those who've recently gone on to heaven (like Johnny and June Cash).