Wednesday, December 21, 2005

All Wrapped Up...or not

So I'm done. Christmas shopping is done. I've only 2 more stocking stuffers to wrap. Yeah!!! I think this may be a record. Of course the last few years we've drawn names with Kaisara's family so that has cut the shopping down dramatically. Uh-oh...while typing this I realized... though we buy savings bonds for our nieces & nephew we usually get them a tiny something too, candy or the like. We haven't got "candy or the like yet"!! CRAP!!!! Back out I go!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Family is for Fun

So Monday was spent at Disneyland & California Adventure with Kaisara, Mom, Dad, Jen, & Greg. We had such a great time! To start the day off right was all 6 of us getting in for free. I referred a coworker of mine to Kaisara's brother for a good deal on tires so as a "thank you", her hubby signed 3 of us in. My sister has a client that as a "thank you" had a friend of hers sign 3 of us in. There ya' go! Sweet!

None of us had been to California Adventure before. Kaisara, Dad & I got in before the rest (their contact was late) so dad & I forged ahead to do a little "product research". You know, for the common good of the people :-) We found California Screamin' to be a GREAT roller coaster & promptly went on it again with the rest of the group. So fast, so smooth, & very entertaining. We all also really enjoyed Soaring over California. What a neat thing! Poor Greg has no sense of smell so he couldn't enjoy the added feature of the smell-o-vision.

The Haunted Mansion, Nightmare Before Christmas style was the thing that got us there in the first place. Jen's been wanting to see it ever since they started doing it. It was great. I can't believe how much they change it. No wonder they close it & start setting it up in September.

We had such a great day. We ended it with candy, cookies, hot tea & coffee while watching the AWESOME fireworks show. Feel free to check out a few pictures from our day in my photo album.

The day was "practically perfect in everyway!"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My man, the husband of a costumer

So not unlike many other mornings, I didn't see Kaisara before he left for work in the morning. He gets home at about 6:30 last night & almost immediately I notice something about the t-shirt he was wearing. I ask him, "Kaisara, have you been wearing your shirt like that all day?" He says, "Yeah why?" & looks at it. I reply, "IT'S INSIDE-OUT!!" Wait, it gets better...So we leave for bible study & I'm telling my sister the story & look over at my man, the husband of a costumer, and notice it's still inside-out! He didn't even change it! We cracked up! So he SOOOO aloha sometimes! What a weirdo. I love him to pieces!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Just Life

So I'm off of work for a week and a half. I start back at SCR next Thursday. This is a horrid time of year to not be working due to the lack of paycheck but it's a great time of year to be off of work to take care of life.

Seen a few movies: "Just Friends" (liked it), "Star Wars Episode III" (liked it alot more than I thought I would. very exciting), "Swingers" (very slow), "War of the Worlds" (liked it better than I thought I would), "Be Cool" (didn't like it, again), "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" (liked it). Still gotta see "Batman Begins" (by the way Daryl, can I borrow yours?)

Finally got started on the Christmas shopping. Can't disclose anything here. It might ruin a suprise or two. I've still no idea what to get Kaisara. Feel free to check out my wish list.

I've gone to the gym twice. Can't even cough my abs are so sore. Gotta keep going though. I hate it there. Is there any physical activity that is interesting that doesn't make you hate yourself & want to leave crying?

Have to make some HUGE banners for church. I'm a little unmotivated on this though. They've changed things a bit & now they're not sure where they want them to hang but they know they want them. What if I spend all this time on them & they get scrapped. That'd suck.

Helping my mom with computer stuff for the things she's gotta do for her lawyer. I'm glad I can help but am terrified of making a mistake. We've got an appointment this afternoon.

Worked on my scrapbook twice in one week. Got up to this past summer. I'm not as far behind as I thought. Never mind the trillion NZ pictures that are daunting me.

So that's what's going on with me while not working. Tons to do.

In pure Melissa fashion I'll close with a quote from my favorite Christmas movie:

Clark: Oh, I was just smelling - smiling. I was just blouse - browsing. I, uh, heh heh. Well, I guess it just wouldn't... Oh hee hee, it wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn't it?
Mary: You have your coat on.
Clark: Yes, oh do I? Yeah, it is a bit nipply out. I mean nippy.
Chevy Chase in "Christmas Vacation"

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Up & Running

After much trial, I've finally got our pictures from New Zealand here for you to take a look if you'd like. On the side bar is a new section called "Take a Look". That's where they are & any other photos I feel like sharing will be. Feel free to check in & comment on those too!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Prepare yourself, it's a long post

Sorry it's been so long to post. You get off of a plane & hit the ground running don't you? As I said before (at least I think I did) Kaisara & I had a really neat time in New Zealand. As soon as my little computer Nazi helps me set up a photo album on line I'll post more pictures. Meanwhile, here's a breakdown of our week in NZ:

Monday: Arrived at Auckland airport at 8:00am their time. Auntie Vaisola picked us up & dropped us of at Auntie Siva's house. There we hung out most of the day seeing Grandma, meeting family never met before & basically just recouping from the 12 1/2 hour flight. (BTW: Air New Zealand is awesome! The people are super helpful, the food's great & their blanket & pillows are soft). After figuring out we all wouldn't be able to stay at Auntie's house we started hunting for a hotel. After calling around for prices, we decided on a place in the city for about $175 US. We pulled up & soon found out The Langham Hotel was ranked with 5 stars. SWEET!!!! They had the world's best shower head. Our doorman, Ross, was great. After settling in we headed back to Auntie's house for the evening Loku (short family worship service consisting of a hymn, a long prayer, another hymn). Even though it's all done in a language I can't understand, I love the Loku. Every time a sit through one, I tear up. Many of their hymns use the same tune as us so I just sing along in English.

Tuesday: Started the day with an AWESOME buffet at our hotel. Then walked down Queens Street (sort of like State St. in Santa Barbara. Shops, restaurants, repeat). Got a couple of neat things including a jade Maori hook for our awesome dog/house sitter Crista. We walked all the way to the water's edge & then back up (seriously steep hill) back to our hotel. We then headed back to Auntie's house for more family time & yes another Loku.

Wednesday: Kaisara's mom, sister & her 2 boys met us at the hotel for our second breakfast buffet. Kaisara & I tried Vegemite. NAAAAASTY! We've decided it tastes a lot like how we imagine used motor oil mixed with road tar would taste. His cousin told us this summer that it was "a beautiful flavor". Man, what would ugly taste like?! We then took our hotel's shuttle to the water front hopped onto a ferry for Devonport. We only walked up & down the main street as Kaisara's mom's back has been giving her trouble so she couldn't go far. I did buy some beautiful New Zealand wool yarn there though. As I'm just learning to knit I'm not sure what it'll become. After getting back to our hotel we had to check out. SIGH. It was just too far from the family. We had to get a place closer. Not that we planned this but, a little advice, never go from a 5 star hotel to a Best Western. It's just plain depressing. The Best Western was clean & quiet but come on, it's no 5 star joint. Auntie Vaisola picked us up from our new pad (SIGH) & took us to her house. Her ladies fellowship group from church was having a prayer meeting there for Grandma. About 15 ladies there signing hymns, the pastor giving a short message & lengthy prayer (these people mean business when they pray. None of our short & sweet stuff). Auntie Vaisola had me be a part of the Sua (kinda like a gift exchange ceremony). Everyone laughed at the quiet white girl not sure of what she was doing (yes, I'm known as quiet in some circles). I felt it an honor to be included in their cultural tradition & was quite overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Thursday: We reserved the whole day to be with the family. I taught Kaisara's mom to play solitaire, taught one of the Auntie's to knit. She was better at it than me. After declining a ride to the park, Kaisara's sister & her boys & I walked there. It was across the street & down a block. They were shocked we didn't want a lift there. Funny. They also offered to drive us to the corner market. I don't even think it was 100 yards. I thought we southern Californian's drove everywhere. Anyway, I had fun with Luanei & her boys playing on the monkey bars, slides & swings. Back to the house for dinner & Loku.

Friday: We took a tour to the Shire. We stopped at several places along the way bout our destination was definately the jewel. SO BEAUTIFUL. So green it hurts your eyes. 17 of the original 20 something Hobbit holes are left. The set is on a working sheep farm & as it was spring there were lots of lambs around. They are so cute. Sheep everywhere. The farm was 30,000 acres, an average size for a sheep farm & had about 12,000 sheep on it. Anyway, we saw the Hobbit holes, the party tree & lake, the tree where Gandolf sets off fire works from his cart for the kids, & the sites of several other moments of the movie that took place in or near the Shire. Back to Auntie's house for dinner & Loku.

Saturday: We went to the flea market. I got a purse (of course), a picture frame, a few necklaces, earrings for my sister, a sheep for my mom (she collects them), Kaisara got a t-shirt & the most bizarre looking corn dog you've ever seen. Uncle Fred then took us site seeing. He took us to their equivalent of Crystal Cove or Newport Coast. Tony, Kaisara's brother noticed there wasn't a Samoan anywhere. Which is odd because there are more Samoan's in New Zealand than there are in Samoa. We then went to an aquarium with an underwater tunnel to look at shark, stingray & fish up close. Super cool. He then took us to Sky Tower. It's sorta like The Stratosphere. A hotel with a big giant needle. The observation deck is 64 floors up & part of the floor is glass so you're standing on what seems nothing between you & the concrete, which is a long way down. We bought a couple souvenirs & then headed to the top of a dormant volcano which had cattle grazing in it. Then over to 1 tree hill, which as of 4 years ago doesn't have a tree. They had to cut it down for some reason. Gorgeous views though. Very cold & windy up there. Uncle Fred & Auntie Vaisola then took the entire family out to dinner. There were 24 of us. That had to be scary for the restaurant. A group of 24 Samoans at an all you can eat buffet. Wow!

Sunday: We went to church. A little of it was in English so that was a nice surprise. Kaisara's cousin & aunt are on the worship team & Uncle Fred gave the "notices". We then went to Auntie Vaisola & Uncle Fred's house to hang out & say goodbye. Grandma had to leave to go rest before it was time for us to head to the airport. She told me that she knew she'd see me again. I told her that I knew she would too. Just think, the next time Kaisara & I will see her will be in Glory. She'll have a brand new body & we'll be able to talk with her without any language barrier. That'll be cool.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Well we're back. Sorry for the lack of updates while we were gone. Access to the internet is not so easy in New Zealand. We are so glad we went, we are so glad to be home & we have so much laundry to do. More to follow soon. Thanks for all of your prayers.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Real Quick

Almost outta time for being online. we're here safe. grandma's good. here's a picture of us with her. we even got her to smile for a photo. almost unheard of. more to post later.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Hi, my name is Tootsie Lickinhump"

The following in excerpted from a children's book, "Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants" by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...

1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your new first name:

a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i =dorky
j = doofus
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloppy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = dorfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
v = sneezy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h =waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = potty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard
s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

a = butt
b = boob
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g =pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice

Thus, for example, Abraham Lincoln's new name would be Dorfus Lipsdunkin.

Comment & let me know what your new name is!

Monday, October 31, 2005

It's a go!

My passport arrived in the mail today! PRAISE JESUS! Now we can buy our plane tickets & get ready to go. Thanks for your prayers. I'll keep you updated with details as I get them. All I know now is that we're leaving on Saturday, Nov. 5th & returning Sunday, Nov. 13th.

We've no idea where we're staying & won't 'til we get there. All of the family is saying there's room to stay with them but Kaisara's dad is not so sure. We'll get there, have the family ceremony & then evaluate things regarding accommodations. They would love for us to stay with them, they want to be hospitable but they may be putting too much pressure on themselves because there's tons of other family there visiting & staying with them. We'll see. I'll look to this as an exercise for my task master/plan maker self to just relax. Here goes nothin'!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Request Denied

So here we are trying to plan a trip to New Zealand to see Grandma & say goodbye & I still don't have a passport. Before all of this was coming down I had applied for one knowing that this trip would be coming up sooner or later. I had no idea of how sooner it would be since they said I'd have my passport by the 3rd week in November, so I didn't put the $60 rush on it. Then when this Grandma stufff started happening, I put a rush on it & they said I'd have it by yesterday or today. Guess what? I don't. I called them & they said my request for the rush was denied. She said it looks like it's pretty much through processing but then it'd take 3-5 business days to receive it in the mail. WHAT!!!! I told you I gotta go on November 5th!!!! She put an URGENT message on it to mail it priority overnight but she said they might stick it in snail mail before they see the message & then there's nothing they can do?

Why in the world did I assume this whole process would go smoothly? I was being so proactive by applying for the stupid thiing before I even needed it! AAARRRGGGGH!

Please pray that my passport miraculously appears so that I can buy our tickets to go. But above all... the LORD's will be done.

Thanks guys!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

16 times 2

So I'm a bad wife. I'm totally late in posting this but..."Happy Birthday Kaisara!" Friday was his birthday & he's now 32. Last year he went all day thinking he was 32 'til I corrected him at dinner. He said that was his best present ever. He got a year younger in seconds. But this time it's for real. He's actually 32. Well this year I couldn't make him a year younger but upon his request, I ordered him personalized license plates for his newly painted firebird (look back soon for photos). He wanted "79FBIRD". Well, they were available & now they're not 'cause he's got 'em!

To prove he's the best husband ever I'll let you know that we agreed to going to my show's opening to see my red dress & vest that I totally freaked myself out over.

Happy Birthday Boy! Thanks for spending part of your day on me. I owe ya'!

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Whole Different Hemisphere

So I've never been outside of the good ol' U.S. of A. (other than 2 Mexico orphanage trips). Looks like my first time out will be to New Zealand.

Kaisara's grandma who lives in Western Samoa has really advanced breast cancer. The doctor's there are on strike & so she has no access to pain management. She's flying over to New Zealand where she's got another doctor (& kids to stay with) for what we hope are some major pain drugs. Anyway, we're going to fly out to see her for what looks like the last time. She was just here in June for Ursula's wedding but now we've got to say goodbye. Well, it's more like "See you later" as I know that she is a believer & is looking forward to seeing Jesus in Glory. How cool is that going to be for her. To go from endless, unrelenting pain to the open arms of her Savior. Super cool!

The rest of Kaisara's family is flying out November 1st. I can't leave until after work on the 4th. So we're not exactly sure what we're doing (other than charging it because it's going to be wicked expensive).

Kaisara & I were planning on seeing New Zealand next fall. Hoping to see lots of family, lots of sheep (that's inevitable there) & maybe even finding the Shire. Probably won't see much of anything this trip. That's fine though. I'd rather see Grandma.

Please pray for our safety, our finances, our health, & our ability to bring the comforting Spirit of the Lord to our family who are going to be hurting.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Big Sister's Big Day

Happy Birthday to the best sister ever! MINE! Jen's birthday is today but we're all going to lunch after church on Sunday to celebrate. It's pretty fitting that I started on her Christmas present the day before her birthday & I only got her birthday present the day before that. AHH planning!

I love you Mer! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nothing else to blog

"X" your confessions

[ ] I am bisexual
[ ] I am homosexual
[ ] I've run away from home
[ ] I listen to political talk radio
[ ] I collect comic books.
[ ] I shut others out when I'm sad
[ ] I open up to others easily
[ ] I am keeping a secret from the world
[ ] I watch the news
[ ] I own over 5 rap CDs
[ ] I own something from Hot Topic.
[ ] I love Disney movies.
[ ] I am a sucker for hair/eyes.
[X] I don't kill bugs. i feel guilty if i do
[ ] I curse regularly.
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name.
[ ] just to be funny I've slipped out a "lol" in a real conversation
[ ] I love Spam.
[X] I bake well cheesecake anyone?
[ ] I would wear pajamas to school
[X] I have a job LOVE it
[ ] I love Martha Stewart.
[x] I am in love/like with someone. For over 1/2 of my life now.
[x] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS i usually try to correct it though
[x] I am self conscious. if you're not, i find you amazing
[x] I like to laugh. 'til it hurts
[ ] I smoke.
[ ] I loved Go Ask Alice.
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[ ] I can't swallow pills.
[x] I have many scars. seems like i'm adding to my collection weekly
[x] I've been out of this country just tijuana & ensanada. hope to add to that list soon.
[X] I believe in ghosts never seen one though
[ ] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room
[X] I am really ticklish don't even try it!
[x] I love chocolate. if you don't. i find you crazy!
[ ] I bite my nails.
[ ] I am comfortable with being me.
[ ] I play computer games/video games when I'm bored
[ ] Gotten lost in the city.
[x] Saw a shooting star. few weeks ago actually
[X] I had a serious Surgery. does reattaching a tendon count?
[x] Gone out in public in your pajamas. senior year of hight school. what a dork!
[ ] I have kissed a stranger.
[x] Hugged a stranger. though i try to avoid "hugger man" at church
[ ] been in a fist fight with the same sex.
[ ] Been arrested.
[ ] Laughed and had milk/soda come out of your nose
[ ] Pushed all the buttons on an elevator
[ ] Made out in an elevator
[ ] Swore at your parents.
[ ] Kicked a guy where it hurts.
[ ] Been skydiving
[ ] Been bungee jumping.
[X] Broken a bone. 4 & dislocated 3 joints
[ ] Played spin the bottle.
[X] Gotten stitches there's that whole reattaching the tendon thing again
[ ] Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour
[x] Bitten someone that's how you fight with a sister right?
[ ] Been to Niagara Falls.
[x] Gotten the chicken pox. twice!
[ ] Crashed into a car.
[ ] Been to Japan
[ ] Ridden in a taxi.
[ ] Shoplifted.
[ ] Been fired.
[x] Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back if you haven't. i find you lucky.
[ ] Stole something from your job.
[ ] Gone on a blind date.
[ ] Had a crush on a teacher/coach.
[ ] Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[ ] Been to Europe.
[ ] Slept with a co-worker.
[x] Been married 8 years, & almost 3 months
[ ] Gotten divorced.
[x] Saw someone/something dying stepped on a baby chick once. it was horrible
[x] Driven over 400 miles in one day. 6 years in youth ministry. need i say more?
[ ] Been to Canada.
[x] Been on a plane. 5 times
[ ] Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
[ ] Thrown up in a bar.
[X] Eaten Sushi. salmon with soy paper, not seaweed.
[x] Been snowboarding. once at hume lake
[X] Been skiing. big bear, squaw valley & brian head
[x] Been ice skating. pretty bad at it too!
[ ] Met someone in person from the internet.
[x] Going to or have gone to college. best thing about college is that it's done!
[ ] Done drugs
[x] Taken painkillers post wisdom teeth extraction
[ ] Cheated on someone else
[ ] Had sex with more than one person.
[x] Thought about suicide would never do it. too hurtful to those left behind
[ ] Feared for your life because of another
[x] Been hurt so bad you'll never forget the pain hope i'm done with this one in life
[ ] Wished somebody would die
[x] Lied to your girlfriend/boyfriend can't remember an instance but in 8 years of dating i must have at some point.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Green Suede Boots With a Metal Bikini?

I really want to see the new costume exhibit at FIDM in down town L.A. Big deal you say? Of course Cate wants to see a costume exhibit. Hold it right there Tex! You probably do too but just don't know it yet. I've been informed that FIDM's current exhibit, Dressing A Galaxy, has costumes from ALL SIX Star Wars movies. That's so cool!

I've been to several of FIDM's Academy Awards Costume Exhibits & they are always very well done. You get to get right up there, inches away to each of the costumbes & REALLY take a good look. Nothing between you & the clothes. Their displays are laid out nicely. In fact some of the Lord of the Rings costumes were set up so well they kinda freaked me out. Like they were gonna jump out & get me.

Anyway, the exhibit runs through December 10th. You gotta reserve tickets but they're only $5 when you reserve them online. Anyone wanna go with me?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Where'd it go?

What happened? I've always thought myself to be a confident person. But lately I find myself not confidant in any area of my life. The more I look back, with what I think is honesty, I realize I don't think I've ever been confidant. I've realized that when people compliment or edify me I chalk it up to them being nice, making conversation, or they clearly don't know what they're talking about. I KNOW those things are not usually the case but I usually BELIEVE them anyway. I tell myself I don't...But I do. I tell myself they're being genuine & deep down believe the things they are saying to me but I don't think I REALLY believe them. Not a fault of theirs, but mine. What happened?! Where did this come from? Has it always been there & I wasn't being honest with myself in how I really think of myself & other's view of me?

I was recently told, with nothing but the most sincerest of love, that I've a fear of failure. Sure I do...No I don't. Yes I do, but I don't wanna! It was suggested that I've a fear of failure because I don't want to disappoint anyone. Yep. I don't want to disappoint anyone. Fact. But is it because I don't want to cause grief to anyone or is it because I think that if I disappoint them they'll think less of me, my skill, my faith, my confidence, my whatever? Have I been hauling around a confidence veil all this time that's now gotten too heavy? Not sure. I can't really think of I time when I wasn't thinking, "I hope they don't realize that I've no idea what I'm doing." That's so stupid. Of course I know what I'm doing. No I don't. How can I have 2 opposite thoughts going through my mind at once. It's so stupid. It makes no sense to do that. It's not logical. And yet I do.

Is this lack of confidence real or am I tripping myself out for no good reason? Is this something to work through & come out the other end all the better for it? Or do I just wish for the veil of confidence to come back & pray that it was genuine in the first place? If that's the answer, not sure where I'd find it anyway.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Prayers to Pave the Way

I am leaving for Ensenada on Friday, September 30th and will be returning on Sunday, October 2nd. A group of us from The River are going to hand out food to the community as well as do some work at Door of Faith Orphanage. Door of Faith sounds like an amazing place. I first heard of it at Lake Hills Community Church. Door of Faith sees to it that their kids graduate from High School, are fluent in the English language, have computer skills & if a child plans to go to college, they help the child to do so. SO COOL.

Our pastor at The River, Casey, wanted to provide a service opportunity for us & contacted Door of Faith. Praise Jesus, the orphanage said they've got a lot of help right now but the community around them could use us. How cool is that?! A ministry having ample help & turning extra help to those in need around them. I've never heard of such a thing. What a blessing.

If you think of us, please pray for us. Pray for our safety, our health, and above all our effectiveness for the Kingdom of the Almighty. How humbling it is to think that the Creator of the universe allows me to help reach others by handing out food.

Thanks Guys!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Great Show

Anyone who may be interested, the show I've been working on at SCR has opened & runs through October 9th. It's really good. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I've seen it twice now. It's got some very cool "theatre" moments in it. Things that movies or t.v. would never do because they're movies & t.v. That's probably the thing I love best about live theatre. Ticket prices aren't bad & there isn't a bad seat in the house.

Free Ride

Yesterday was the day my free tickets to Disneyland from work had to be used. Last year I took my niece Kayla with her sister's, understanding she'd go with me this year. Tiana was very patient & waited out the whole year with only asking me about it twice. We had a great time. She suprised me. She's almost eight & was willing to go on all the "grown up" rides. She conquered Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, The Materhorn, & even Space Mountain. Of course we rode, the little ones too. I was intrigued that the reason she wanted to go on Small World was because she liked all of the colors.

My first year of free Disney tickets from Pageant Kaisara & I went. We hadn't been in a really long time so sure...we'll go. We had a fun time but nothing too exciting. I mean, come on, it's only Disneyland. The next year, I didn't even use my free tix. The following year (last year) I had the idea of going with a kid. I learned that THAT'S how to enjoy Disneyland as an adult. Take a child. They are in wonder of it all. Yesterday Tiana had to stop & look at all of the really cool window displays down Main Street. "They're so cool Auntie Cate!! Look at this one!!! It's Princess Jasmine!!!" Seeing it all through their eyes is much more fullfilling than walking through it not appreciating it for what it is. Fake. I tended to look at Disneyland in a bad light because it's this whole fake world set up in the real one. Kayla & Tiana look at it in a light of wonder & awe because it's this whole fake world set up in the real one. It was nice to look at it all through those glasses yesterday.

When picking up Tiana yesterday, my nephew Iese told me that he's going with me next year. As he'll only be 5 1/2 by then, that'll be a whole differnt experience. Glad I was albe to go on Space Mountain this time around. I LOVE that ride!!

Friday, September 09, 2005

What Kissing Can Lead To

I just received another baby announcement in the mail. 2005 has been the year of the baby in my circle of family & friends. Here's a list of the ones I know about so far (sorry if I missed someone's bundle of joy):

Geoff & Meilissa Armstrong had Elijah in April (I think)
David & Spring Wilson had Noah in May.
Tony & Jennifer Esera had Iosua (yo-soo-a Somaon for Joshua) in July. That's his picture by the way.
Mark & Alissa Ford had Emma in July
Shane & Melissa Moss had Caedon in July.
Nick & Melissa had James this summer.
Randy & Cat Erickson just had Alexander on Tuesday.
Michael & Rosie Valencia last I heard were expecting.
Tim & Barbara Gage are expecting in October.
Eric & Debbi Dean are expecting in January (I think).

I'm sure I missed someone. Sorry 'bout that. I've one piece of advice to the happy parents...Be sure to keep kissing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bark Park in the Dark

So as our drunk neighbor is still complaining about Lucky & Zelda barking, we've been looking for ways to burn off some nervous energy (the dogs, not the neighbor). Tonight I took them for their maiden voyage to Central Bark in Irvine. They had a great time. Lucky was very much a typical boy dog & peed on anything vertical & Zelda trotted around with the biggest, nastiest, bubbly, drooly things hanging from her mouth because she was nervous &/or excited (not very lady-like at all). As they both were single dogs for a long time they don't really know how to play with others but I'm hoping that will change if we keep going. I've got to talk with Kaisara & my sister (their vet) regarding preventive wormie drugs & the like.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Only grown-ups buy refrigerators's official...Kaisara & I are grown ups. For some reason buying our own home didn't make me feel as grown up as buying a frig. But we did it. It had to be done. Our old frige that we got for free 8 years ago was someone else's garage frig then so you know it was ancient. The drawers were broken, & it ran. ALL the time. It was a nappy, old, beat-up bisque 19 sq. ft. dinosaur. We ended up with this bad boy in stainless steal & black. It matches the other appliances that came with our condo. It looks so much better & is the size of an apartment. This baby's HUGE. Even after we go grocery shopping it's spacious. I won't even have to hollar at Kaisara for leaving empty ice trays in the freezer anymore. It's happened...I'm grown up.

I Made It!

Well as of Thursday, September 1st, Pageant is over. I'm like a real person again. Able to do laundry, go grocery shopping, see my hubby for more than one hour at a time, have a bbq with family, brush my dogs. Wow! Pageant's great & all but I sure end up missing the everyday tasks & events of life. The two-month run was long but great. Here are a few highlights:

1. I cut & made a lot of the great looking costumes for this year's show.
2. Made several new friends in my crew of volunteers. Most of which are planning on returning next year.
3. One rude & grouchy cast member quit "because of the wardrobe department". Good riddance.
4. A cast member called me a Christian in a conversation & I don't remember ever telling her that I am, she just knew.
5. Discovered numerous other Christians (volunteers & staff) there. It's so much better when you know you're not out there on your own.
6. I realized Coby Bryant isn't as tall as I thought he was but his wife sure is tiny.
7. Met, dressed & chatted with a really nice Ms. Hatcher & her daughter.
8. My volunteers pitched in & gave me a gift certificate for a massage as a closing gift. Combining that with Kaisara's birthday gift I'm gonna be one relaxed girl!
9. Did about 6 loads of laundry a night that weren't my own. It's a glamorous job ain't it?
10. Realized I have got to do a better job next year at not totally disappearing from family & the rest of the world other than Pageant. Life's too short. I miss out on far too much.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Almost Famous

So this year's Mistress of Ceremonies for the gala at work is a certain Housewife on T.V. When she accepted the gig earlier in the year she asked if her & her daughter could be in the show one night. Last night was the night. Her & her daughter were there & in a piece & "Entertainment Tonight" was there to film it all. The piece on ET aired early this evening so I didn't see it as I was working (did anyone TIVO it by any chance?).

She had requested a separate dressing room (which was totally smart because my little pre-teens woulda' mobbed her) & I got to dress her. Not only did I get to chat with her, lace her up in a corset & dress her but she wore a dress I made! So I'm like almost famous now right?! MY DRESS WAS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION!!!!! She was SUPER nice, totally nervous & her daughter was very polite. What a neat experience to find out that a super star is a neat person &, like the rest of us, puts her tights on one leg at a time. I know, I was there!

31 & 2/365

Well Monday was my birthday so as of today I am 31 2/365 years old. Here's how my day went: I worked at SCR from 9-6 raced from there to Pageant & worked to 10:30. Was home at 11, detoxed on the couch 'til almost midnight. Kaisara was a great hubby & listened to his wife when he asked her what she wanted as a gift. Gift Certificate for a massage BABY!!! Come early September, consider that thing spent. My neck & shoulders are eagerly awaiting. Peg at SCR brought me a vase full of her own home grown yellow roses, I had lunch with Mom & at Pageant the stage crew had ice cream sunday fixins' for me. One of my volunteers gave me a nice bottle of champagne on Sunday & another brought birthday cake yesterday for me & another volunteer. I'm well loved. Not a bad birthday considering I was at work for 13 1/2 hours of it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Almost There

Though one of my pet peaves at work is people who seem to dred the whole thing before the summer even begins, I'm really looking forward to the end myself. I'm not sure if it's because of all of the really neat family stuff I had to miss before the show started or what, but I can't wait. It's starting to really wear on me that I've missed over 2 months of family & friends & haven't had more than 6 consecutive waking hours with my man. 15 more nights. I'm almost there.

It's been a great run though. I really feel that God is using me there if nothing else to smile & be friendly. I'm amazed how much just that can draw out of a person. I've heard people say that I'm always so happy or cheerful or great. Now, come on, we ALL know that's not true. But it could be that that's what they honestly see because of the Holy Spirit in me. I've even won over some pre-teen girls. Is there anything on earth more difficult? Pre-teen girls, come on, I was one, they're difficult. It's gotta be God. Isn't He good?

SCR has been going REALLY well. I've been able to do much more that just fitting & rigging costumes like I thought I'd be doing. I've had numerous tasks that are usually given to a cutter (the position I one day hope to have the skill to hold myself). So I'm not really a first hand but I'm not yet a cutter. It's been challenging but great. I've had to stretch my comfort zone & so far all of my stuff is going well. YEAH!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Should Look Back With Smiles

I've got a great 13 year old girl cast member at work who owns a horse. She & I talk about it quite a bit & she really wanted to see my horse show scrapbook so I took it to work tonight. Several people looked at it with all of the same comments: "What a great album." "You used to ride horses?" "You jumped!". All of those things are nice to hear & my 13 year old cast member loved the album (she even brought pictures of her horse for me to see). What I don't understand is why I can't look through the album & back on all of the great memories & things I learned at the stables without holding back tears? Why do I have to get "really busy" with work & hide behind a rack of costumes because I don't want to break infront of everyone (for goodness sakes my other cast just saw me cry last Saturday!)

I am so greatful for those experiences I had at Mr. Harris' stables. What a totally blessed Orange County kid I was to grow up there. I started riding there in 1981 & stopped around 1992. It was a HUGE part of my life. I learned so much. Loved so much. Grew so much. That's good right? Sure there are some bad memories there (huh Jen?) but that's o.k. those just make it real, a part of life. Why do the memories make me so sad that I want to hide my album & horse show ribbons away so I don't remember for a while (again). What I want is to react how a totally normal person would react: with a huge smile, some pride, lots of great stories to tell & even more memories to treasure in my heart.

Sometimes I just don't make sense to myself. What a dork!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Bad Day Made Better

Saturday night was a horrible night at work. I had a cast member go irrate on me & started cursing at me around my crew & other cast members (including children). He totally denied cursing & I found out later he was telling the powers that be that I was cursing him out. Needless to say, I was shocked. But yesterday a family of cast members (who are fellow believers) brought me a gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers because they knew I had a rough night the day before. It is always so encouraging to me that every time I have a horrible experience there, there is an awesome one to follow. Each year I find more believers & other really great people. This is why when I've having a hard time during the build (Jan.-Jun.) Kaisara reminds me that summer's coming & the great volunteers will be there making it all worth while. I LOVE my job!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Confused by the Chaos

I've recently been made aware of some of the horrible things happening in the country of Zimbabwe by my friend who was born & raised there. Below is her response when I asked her for more details & what Americans could do to help:

Mugs (the president) has been bad for a long time, and now some say he has syphilis and is literally crazy! It's SO sad as the white farmers (we have family who are some) have had this land for generations and it IS a science on how to farm. They know the soil, the weather, the crops, etc., better than anyone and know how and when to farm. The black people use "subsistence" farming which consists of a "slash & burn" principle, which is use the land you have, overwork it to get as much out of it, then move on to the next (instead of alternating and resting the soil). So, now that Mugs has done this (LOTS of farmers were killed during this take over) the country is in greater need of food than ever (although he tells the world they they don't need aid and are just fine. Over 1 million people have died of hunger and or AIDs and it's only getting worse.

There are 2 main tribes in Zim. (hundreds in Africa total) there are the Shona and the Ndebele. Mug is Shona and is the main tribe. Now, over 1.2 million are without homes. Most people believe that it's because these are the urban poor who support his biggest opposition because the last several elections have been rigged, he knows that he's hated and this is punishment to those who voted against him. Hundreds of thousands were turned away from the ballots because they didn't have the "right paperwork" but what you weren't told, is that it was taken away from them so they couldn't vote. PLUS, hundreds of thousands of votes were cast on Mugs side with names of deceased people. So again, it was unfair.

He's killing his own people by starvation and homelessness (it's winter there now and people are freezing to death with no cloths or shelter). Aid that is sent there NEVER arrives at the destination (that was going on when we lived there).

Honestly, I don't know what an American can do, except pray. August 8th is a day of pray and fasting for Zim.

Please join me in interceding to the LORD for Zimbabwe. For the people's protection, nourishment, & above all their souls.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

What happened to the Lazy River?

Well yesterday was my outing to Wild Rivers with my neices Kayla (10) & Tiana (8). Their favorite by far was the lazy river. Only when you're 10 & 8 the lazy river doesn't equal find a tube, lay on it & bob around the river all the while soaking up the sun & listening to the best sound known to man, kids giggling & laughing. No quite the opposite my friends. The lazy river equals jump, run, swim (over people & under them), climb all over Auntie...repeat. About a MILLION times. We had a great time & I am so glad we went. On the drive home Kayla was pleased to say that she had faced her fears :-) Her and Tiana went down 3 of the "grown up" slides. I was very proud of them.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Coming to an end

This is the first day of my last week having my days free. While there are those that believe my working 7 nights a week for over 60 nights is insane, there are a couple of perks. The best of which is having almost 4 weeks of not working during the day & only having to be a Pageant for about 4 hours each night. But that's about to end. Next Monday, 08/08, I'll be starting back at South Coast Repertory Theatre(SCR)& then racing from there to get to Pageant on time. As I've done this for the whole run of Pageant before, I think 4 weeks is definately doable. Not ideal, but doable.

I'm really excited about my upcoming stint at SCR. It's a HUGE show (Caucasian Chalk Circle) with 96 costumes. I'm gonna be the one to fit them all to the actors, take the notes on what needs to be done to each of them (alterations, repairs, quick rigging, underdressing, etc.) & then I'm sure actually do many of the notes. The pay increase pales in comparison to my excitement that the shop manager has given me this opportunity to have much more responsibility & believes in the skills I've gained in my last couple years there & at Pageant.

So, for my last week of daytime freedom, here's what I've planned: Begin & finish a wedding gown alteration job I gotta get done (shouldn't take long), take my nieces to Wild Rivers, go to the gym every day (since I won't be there at all for a month), work on my scrapbook, finish a secret sewing project (stay tuned for more info on that if you care), perhaps take my hubby to lunch. I've also been inspired by a friend to use up the last of my 5 pounds of butter by attempting to bake shortbread (all the while wearing protective oven mits for my fingers).

Friday, July 29, 2005

Hot Stuff

Well that didn't take long. I've my first thing to post about. I just really burnt my fingers. Stupid cupcakes!!! Here's the story: tonight is one of several potlucks at Pageant. Last week I bailed out 'cause I wanted to be home with Kaisara. For this week's potluck Kaisara's going to go to work with me (it's all about the food isn't it Kaisara?). Since I'm gonna be eating at the potluck, thought I should take something. What's a good use of 5 lbs. of butter we received as a gift from the inlaws visiting from New Zeland. Yes, 5 lbs. of butter as a gift. Let's not forget the package of sausages that came with it. (other cultures are so cool!). Anyway, looking for a use of 5 lbs. of butter I decided to attempt yellow cupcakes from scratch. As I was putting the second pan of cupcakes in the oven, "oh look, the 1st pan needs to be shifted. Let's grab it with our unprotected right thumb & index finger. yeah, that's a great idea!" HELLO! Have you any idea hot bad that hurts? I hate it when I do stupid things. Ever tried typing without using your index finger & thumb?

Here goies nothin'

So, after several people telling me to start a goes nothin'. I've no idea what I'll write or what I'm doing or if anyone will read but I'll give it a shot. I've been enjoying reading friends' blogs for months now so I thought I'd give a little somethin' back.