Sunday, March 30, 2008

More from Easter

"Grandma" (Shan's mom) and the kids.

One of their sweeter moments.

Aunt Vel

Aunt Vel was so sweet to Jordan (as always!). Since Jordan can't walk yet Vel carried her to the eggs then she'd set her down, let her put the egg in her own basket and Vel would carry her to the next one. I loved it - it was one of the sweetest memories from this Easter.

Here's Jayde - Noah and Jordan's cousin who also searched for eggs with the kids.
After dinner at Shan's parents we went down the hill to Vel and Dave's to hang out, and take the kids in the spa before heading home.
I do have to say that another of my favorite memories this year was riding down the hill on Shan's dad's Harley. It was AWESOME! The weather was perfect, we could see all the way to L.A. over the horizon and we were having so much fun. I asked Noah if he wanted to ride and our cautious son answered, "Um no Mama, I just ride in my carseat."
We love you Grays!!!!

Resurrection Sunday

Our church had a love Old Testament marketplace set up outside for Sunday School for the kids. During our Easter message they were able to experience first hand what it was like during OT days - a petting zoo, a giant bull wandering around, donkeys, dead fish, and the likes. It was really neat and Noah loved it! Jordan didn't love that it was 87 degrees out so we fed the animals, fed ourselves coffee and donuts and headed to Shan's parents' house.

Here are a few pictures from church and then Shan's parents house in La Verne where we spent the afternoon. We are SO thankful that they live close by (about an hour away) and that they are so involved in our lives. We love them tremendously and really appreciate their involvement and investment in our lives.

Celebrating Spring and Easter

Shannon's mom, Lana, came the week before to make butterflies with the kids so that I could get a few things done. She brought all the supplies (pretzels, caramels, black licorice and jelly beans) and had a great time with the kids. It was great to have her here and the kids love when she comes.

There's our butterfly - representing new life.

Eggstravaganza Report

Shan was such a trooper all week picking up the slack for me while I prepared for the Eggstravaganza. I had a great time doing it and loved having the kids with me while we shopped for the best deals on food (trying to be prudent with the church's money), loaded cart after cart and carload after carload with food and drinks all the while sharing with them the reason we were doing this entire serve others in our community, sharing the love of Christ with them and inviting them to our church to hear the true gospel of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ - the reason we celebrate Easter. I will admit that the "load" (no pun intended - ha ha) began to wear on them the night before the event when we were at Costco for one more load. The Costco employees helped load up 900 waters and enough oranges to feed a couple hundred while we were deciding on snacks for the kids coming. I was on the phone and heard the loudest screeching as I looked up to see Noah laying on Jordan in the shopping cart seat while her little hands were reaching grabbing at his face like she was trying to poke his eyes out! I couldn't believe it. :) We wrapped up our shopping and headed home to pack the car. Overall it was tons of fun and so great knowing we were serving others.

Here are a couple moms from my Navigating Motherhood group. I am so blessed to be able to spend Friday mornings with them! Melanie and Tiffany chatted for a while in the food area at Eggstravaganza. It seemed like they were having a great time enjoying the activities and the fellowship.

Our best guess is that between 1,800 and 2,000 people were there from beginning to end but beyond numbers were the converstations that took place. So many people had such a great time and are now planning on coming to church. I talked to at least five women specifically who said they were coming and since then I've seen three of them at church and one has had a sick child but wants to come soon. Our church is committed to speaking the truth according to God's word and therefore that's the best place for people to be spending their time. It is an amazing community of believers who care for others, who serve those around them and who are like good Bereans, studying God's word living their lives in light of the fact that they have a Holy and perfect God who has saved them only by His grace and mercy.

If you are interested in reading more about Compass Bible Church, their doctrinal statement, wht they believe and the current messages being taught go to
Our current series is on how to get eternal life ( and will continue for four more weeks before we begin our next line by line study through the book of Romans.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Delinquent Blogger

So sorry to all of you who faithfully check this blog - I've been pretty busy so I haven't updated the page lately. As a friend recently wrote on her blog, you would be amazed at how many blogs I "write" in my head as I go through my day. Insights, funny stories, great things I'm learning, updates on Jordan's progress, etc.

For sure I am planning on posting within the next day or so on:
- The Eggstravaganza
- Easter
- Jordan's AMAZING progress lately (praise the Lord!)
- Shannon's birthday blog post (yes he turned 35 this month)
- Death - In the past month two people I know have died, one has breast cancer and another is ready to give up. I can't help but post my thoughts on this topic.

Stay tuned and thank you for your patience. :) :)

Oh and how do you all like the new look??? I LOVE this background!!!!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I'm posting this Eggstravaganza flyer on my blog so that you can all pass it on! Please tell people about this fantastic event that is coming up on Good Friday, March 21st from 930-1130. We will be offering FREE lattes, bounce houses, face painting, balloons, goodie bags, Easter egg hunts for all ages and much, much more!


I hope to see you all there - you will find me in the food area (not eating the entire time but working - ha ha!)

For more information: 949-540-0699 or

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Compss Bible Church Marriage Retreat - Take One

Here's my sweet man! Doesn't he have a great smile? Normally Shannon has NO patience for pictures. If I don't get it right the first one or two tries he's over it and refuses to try anymore. The problem is that we have two kids under three and also have to take into account the fact that Shan likes to blink at every flash. We never get the shot right the first time. Last night, however, Shan was willing to pose all night long to get a good picture just to get out of dancing!

The decorations and set up were SO fun and so well done! the people in charge of throwing this retreat did a wonderful job and every detail was thought of. Great job!!!!! (I forgot to rotate the picture - sorry)

Alison and Cheyenne Kroeker are a couple we've known for a while now but have yet to really get to know until this weekend. We LOVED sitting with them finding out about their "unique" stories. Thanks to Cheyenne's colorful past we won the table contest the first day and were able to eat lunch before anyone else. Just a few details...he was born in Vietnam (or was it Guam?), he has been to nearly every country, he has been in a plane crash, has had a collapsed lung, eaten alligator and pirranha, and was adopted (the list really does go on and on but I can't remember all the crazy details). Alison is also interesting in her travels and as a surprise to me, was raised in China. We had so much fun with you guys and miss having meals with you already!

Another couple we love dearly are the Youngmans. Our bond with them started at Pacific Coast Church a few years ago and has grown since their triplets were born the day before Jordan at the same hospital. We were able to pray for each other through our individual trials one floor apart at the same hospital at the same time. Their challenges with their babies really put our struggles and anxiety for Jordan into perspective. I was in labor getting updates, knowing that their babies were fighting for their lives one floor away from me. It was a huge blessing to me because it really caused me to pray for and weep for them as they were praying and weeping for their children. As our babies have grown into toddlers we've also shared doctors, hospitals, therapy advice, and resources for our girls. I'm hoping that our friendship will grow even stronger through the years and that our kids will also grow a love for each other that sees beyond challenges and differences. Thanks Darren for being the volunteer photographer for our church and for giving your time and resources so generously! Thanks also to Lisa for volunteering her time with Navigating Motherhood! I am so excited to see lives changed through her and through her testimony!

Another (one of many) funny Cheyenne stories...we had an amazing steak dinner last night and afterward while we were sitting around waiting for the country music to start so Shan could work on his moves, Cheyenne at a pile of mint candies. Everyone thought he was just really enjoying them but as it turns out he thought they were the dessert! We laughed so hard! None of us missed the dessert table with hot coffee, tea, brownies, and warm bread pudding! Good one Cheyenne! :) :)

I plan to post more about the messages, the teachings and what I am taking from this weekend. It's just too late tonight so I'll write more tomorrow or Tuesday.

Thanks for being faithful bloggers!

Home Sweet Home!

Shannon and I were at our church's marriage retreat this weekend. I'm planning on posting about that soon but first I wanted to share some pictures and talk briefly about how blessed we are in our lives.

Shan's parents watched the kids while we were gone and Peter and Kristen Freska took care of them until Shan's mom could get here (our faithful, loving friends who ALWAYS come through in a pinch for us - Jordan's first birthday party was at their house due to rain...they called us to offer their home and wouldn't take no for an answer!). It's funny how getting away really makes you appreciate what you have at home. Although our hotel was amazing and the friendship, teaching, and great food was all wonderful there is truly nothing like home.

When we got home today Shan's parents took us to our usual spot in San Clemente - Fisherman's at the SC pier for wings and chowder. It was the most beautiful sunset, Noah was cracking us up singing Blessed Be Your Name (how right he was in choosing that song!), Jordan sat in Daddy's lap watching everyone go by and we played on the beach afterward before going home to roast marshmallows ("marshmans" as Noah calls them) in our fire place. We have been realizing lately how VERY blessed we are to live in beautiful San Clemente near Shan's parents, close to our church, surrounded by our friends.
We know that God is good regardless of our circumstances but coming home to our family and friends in San Clemente is such a blessing!!!
Stay tuned for my posting on the marriage retreat...

Home Sweet Home