Thursday, June 30, 2016

Six Flags Part Deux

Little heartbreakers...
Little Amelia ain't so little anymore (sniff, sniff)
On top of the world...or is it on top of the tree?
Excited to ride the Ark again
Finally convinced Lucas to ride and he loved it!
Man, stop growing dudes!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Finding Dory on a Chilly Night

No summer is complete without a movie at the drive-in theater. But man, was it cold! I was expecting a warm night under the stars watching Finding Dory. Instead, I was freezing under layers of clothing and a heavy blanket. My hood was pulled tight over my head and my feet tucked under the blanket and still no relief! Honestly, I tried my best to follow the movie and from what I could gather it was pretty good, but all I wanted to do was run into the truck cab and hide for the rest of the night. And really, if your own gal pal has left you out in the cold by yourself while she is tucked away in her minivan, well, I'm out too!

The kids comfortable and snacking
Jackie waiting for the movie to start - got her Pixar pillow ready
Before the wind chill got really bad
We're smiling but it's hard when you can't feel your feet.
The chill in the air got us loopy
Lily and Ronin always camera-ready
When you love them no matter what

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Nascar Race

Ronin has been begging me to take him back to Driven so he could race go-karts again. Since his cousins were staying with us, I thought they would all enjoy a go around the tracks. Even Lucas, my hesitant child, joined the fun. They completed 13 laps in about 15 minutes, but they talked and talked about the race all day after that. They were given print-outs after the race showing the breakdown of their stats relative to one another. They laughed about the near-miss crashes and the fact that Lucas drives like an old lady cutting people off. 

Getting ready to start the race
RoninTakeda
LittleBoyNamedMikey
KitKat
Lucas Puke-iss
Navigating the sharp turns
Lucas making his way around slowly

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pool Day

It finally feels like summer when it's a pool day. I took my boys and my niece to the local city pool where we enjoyed the warm weather and cool waters. My young niece was so funny. She wanted to sunbathe with me because she wanted to get rid of her pale feet. After 10 minutes, she was like, "Are they darker yet?" Haha. Girl, it's gonna take a lot more than 10 minutes to darken those pale feet. 

Desires her feet to match the rest of her skin tone. 
Lucas and Lily loving the sun and fun.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Titus 2 Woman

Elaine, Angeli, Jean and I

I was a young teenager when I met Angeli. I knew her husband Jay before her, because he was my summer volleyball coach. She was so sweet and kind to me and took me under her wing as I was a young believer at the time. I remember doing simple but fun things like baking cookies at her house, outings with her and other young gals, and just spending time learning from her about what it meant to be a woman of Christ. I even served as her summer T.A. when she was prepping her classrooms for the next school year. 

Outside of being one of my summer volleyball coaches, we never had a formal relationship like discipleship. Nonetheless, she was always the first one I went to when I needed counsel or encouragement during a difficult situation. She always made me feel welcomed and gave me sound biblical advice. She had a big part in shaping and shepherding me as a believer. 

But a few years back she and her family moved to Hawaii where she continued to build amazing relationships with other young women and passing along her knowledge. She was back in California recently visiting family and she was able to make time to see me and other women she had helped to shepherd as well. We had a wonderful lunch talking about all the new things going on in each of our lives and what God has been doing to challenge and mold us. 

I'm so glad to have Angeli as a dear friend and mentor. She was never my former discipiler, but I will always see her as my personal Titus 2 woman. Thank you Ang for being you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Napa Valley Birthday Celebration

Wine Tasting: Castello di Amorosa
Occasion: Celebrating Jenilee, Cynthia and Bernard's birthdays
Dinner: R+D Kitchen

Jenilee, the birthday gal right before we start our castle tour
In the Main Hall
We are sitting on an outdoor bathtub. Really. A stone one.
 Brother Junior is not happy with the birthday gal's confessional
Tasting the delicious wine at Castello's
Breathtaking views all around the castle
Still have to follow (or is it break) the rules
The birthday gal and her pals
Made it to the restaurant - now for a selfie
Finally! The reason for the evening: Cynthia, Bernard and Jenilee

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Fun: Mini-Golf

It was a nice summer evening, so we decided to take the kids miniature golfing at Scandia. We were impressed with these kids' skills! A few got hole-in-ones and Ronin's putting game was on point. I wasn't too shabby myself, but nothing spectacular for me that night.  Junior joined the elite group of hole-in-ones, too. The kids had a blast and can't wait to go back when they can use their remaining credits on some indoor fun at Scandia. 


Ronin showing us how it's done
Mikey trying to get just the right angle
Winnie finishing it up - look at all those faces behind her!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Moving That Weight Up

First, let's acknowledge how psycho I look in this picture. Hahaha. I have no idea what was going on in my head, but it probably had to do with the fact that I just moved 295 pounds 3x's and I was dead after that! 

It's been a while, maybe more than a month, since I've tried to move anything past my last PR of 285 pounds. I've been focusing on moving 255-275 pounds 5-7xs more consistently. But today I felt strong and really wanted to test the waters and see what I could move. We moved quickly to the heavier weights by doing less reps at each increase. Then 295 pounds happened. It was heavy and I'm not going to lie, that 3rd rep almost didn't happen, but I pushed through with the help of my trusty spotter. 

I'm particularly happy about this PR because I have been able to find a set-up and positioning that has improved my mobility and form and helped me to have better control during heavy squats. I'm hoping by the end of summer to be able to squat 300 pounds. 

Sadly though, I did tweak my right shoulder a bit from unracking the weight and have been rehabbing it all week. It feels more sore and tight than tweaked, so I'm hoping it won't be a game-changing injury. Another squat day is coming up, so I'll see how it feels then. 

Old School Friends

My dear friend Genevieve and I have known each other since elementary school, but really became friends because of a shared love of volleyball and badminton. We have remained friends over the years even when she went overseas right after high school. While she traveled all over the world experiencing many things and I stayed close to home, she always made an effort to reach out and stay in touch. So here we are, 24 years later, still laughing and enjoying the sweetness of our steadfast friendship. We were joined by another great friend from our high school days, Lara, who came down from Winters to also spend time with Gen and her family. It was so neat to see our kids connecting and hopefully starting their own budding friendships. 

Having lunch al fresco at Pieology
Our kids (and my niece) having fun and getting to know each other
Distance and time hasn't dampened our friendship

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Daddy's Love

Today we celebrate fathers. Those men who spend their lives leading, raising and providing for their families. Men who impart their knowledge to a younger generation and try their best to save their own children from mistakes they made when they were young and naive. Men who aim to give their best and support their children in whatever their endeavors might be. 

My husband has been all of this and much more. In the beginning, I don't think we always saw eye to eye on how to raise our boys. Given that I didn't have brothers, this was an unknown area for me. I had to trust my husband when many times I wanted to question him. But I will admit that over the years I have learned to trust what my husband is doing with our boys. While he imparts a tough love philosophy, there is also a deep love and tenderness there, too. He will discipline our boys, but afterwards will always follow it up with quiet words of "I forgive you. I love you". He may chew them out and there may be some crying involved, but there will always be laughter afterwards. 

Even as our boys get older and threaten to out size my husband in the next few years, there are still moments when all they want to do is cuddle and share a quiet moment with their dad. There is an affection there that I will always appreciate, but truthfully will probably never understand. Because I'm not a dad. The relationship between a father and son is special and I'm just glad I get to witness it everyday. 

Happy Father's Day