Tuesday, September 26, 2006


                   Today is a Red-Letter Day - It's our  Anniversary -   5 wonderful years!    


This is a passion flower.  They grow in our front yard.  I show it here to remind us of the passion the Lord has for us . . . even to the desires of our hearts.  Even though His passion for us is greater, the passion for our marriage is great.  We love each other passionately and with that same passion we protect our marriage and family.


Rob told his pastor the first time he saw me: "Ooh, Pastor!  Look at her. I like her!"  To which his pastor replied, "Forget it Robert, she's way out of your league!"  I saw him and read the incredible story of his accident and survival (I will be happy to send anyone who wants it a copy).  Rob had been single a long time and wanted to settle down.  He talked to me and I talked back, but I just thought of him as a nice man.  I was widowed a year or two then and didn't want another man in my life.

The next year at campmeeting Rob and I talked a lot, but his interest in me went right over my head.  I could only think of serving the Lord in ministry.  My friend Arlene told me, "Penny, he likes you!"  I told her she was crazy.  How could a man like that even look a woman like me.  I acknowledged that he was good looking, but beyond that I couldn't see it.

I will try not to make this a book, I promise, but it IS my anniversary, so be patient.  In winter, I was scheduled to attend a servant's retreat. I spent all the money I had to repair my ministry helper's van.  I called the pastor and told him I wouldn't be there because of money problems.  I was sorely disappointed, because it had been a particularly rough 5 months - that's another story.  A couple of days later, I was having a meeting with leaders from YWAM and the phone rang. "Penny, can you make it to Ventura? We will cover the cost of the retreat"  I said yes, I could.  I hung up and began to cry right in from of my guests.  While I was getting the good news, Rob's pastor was convincing him to come to the retreat.  I still believe their wives put them up to it.  The rest is history.  God     changed my heart.  Look who He gave to me.  We were brought together by the Lord's own leading.  We have been knit together by His love for us.  Rob wanted a woman with a family.  He surely got one!  There were just 13 kids in the ministry when we married.  He had a quick lesson in parenting.  He is my best friend.

                He has had to learn about and put up with my chronic illness.  He hardly complains as he comes to my side to serve and support me.  How I love him!  If the tables were turned, I wonder if I could match is willingness?

This anniversary is a milestone for us.  There were many who believed we wouldn't make it through the first year.  Well, the first year was pretty stressful as we mixed Wasp with Chicano and also with Mexican culture.  Just about our first anniversary, the Lord changed our hearts again and from the ashes of our past, a firestorm if you will, came a wonderful marriage.

               I Love You, Rob!!!




Sunday, September 24, 2006



I sent out some e-mails this morning to people I care about.  One I sent to my step-grandchildren's mom.  I love her as if she were truly my daughter-in-law.  When I returned from church, there was a note from her in my mailbox.  I'll share it here:

Hi Penny,

I was just thinking about you.  I needed  to tell you that yesterday morning D was driving home and had a head on collision.  He is ok, and only by the grace of God.  His truck is totaled. It happened because K and D went to Magic Mountain Friday night with their church, they got back to the church at 3:00am, but they have an option to be locked in until 7:00am and just play games. He went to breakfast with K and some friends and then headed home to go to sleep.  He fell a sleep at the wheel just before turning onto Grand Ave. the busy street which frightens me.  He hit a Ford Explorer head on.  The Lord spared 6 lives yesterday.  There was 2 adults, a teen girl, a 6 yr old and a baby in that car, all walked away.

Well, tomorrow we leave for a 4 night cruise which is for K and D's graduation.  It was almost spoiled yesterday.

We have a lot to thank the Lord for. 

Talk to you soon,


These young people have grown up before my eyes.  When I first met the family, my late husband and I were not married too long and K was a baby - she had the most beautiful eyes and smile.  Then D was born.  He was so cute!  Big brown eyes and a hint of a smile at all times.  It seems yesterday that they were babes.  This year they are both graduating from High School. K is 18 and D is about 1 1/2 years younger.  They are clean, responsible young people living a life for Christ.  I give the Lord thanks that our grandson is alive and well.  Yes, I did say our grandson.  These tall blondish kids love me as their true grandma and when I chose to remarry, they accepted Rob as part of the family and call him Grandpa.  We look a little wierd when we are all out together, They and their mom are quite tall - their step-dad (long story) is short, I am round, Rob is brown as are our girls.  Yet we feel the fellowship of family.  Praise God for his mighty riches!    

             and he carried my grandson and 6 others to safety yesterday.  I hope the rest of your Sunday is as blessed as mine has been.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Just how evil am I?

I went over to Pam's (lanurseprn) journal to read the latest and I noticed she had this little quiz there. I was a little bit leery, but in the end, I decided to try. What the heck, if it was ugly, I'd never post it anyway . . .


How evil are you?   So . . . do you think I should dust off my halo now or wait until my head shrinks back down?  I honestly don't want to be an angel anythime too soon anyway.

Home is where the heart is


I'd like to paint a picture of where we live.  Our street is called "The Avenue".  Of course it has a formal name, but nobody ever calls it that. The street intersects about 3 miles down with Main Street.  Does every city and town have a Main St?  Well, the Avenue has a reputation of its own.  Once the center of a bustling new city, it is now relegated to "the other side of the tracks".  Where all the buildings were (and are) period pieces and beautifully made, they are now old and tired looking.

The most important people in the city no longer walk the avenue and frequent the shops.  In fact, a single look would suggest that these are the least desireable in the city.  We have a lot of homeless people walking around because the river community where they sleep is close by.  Some of the homeless are those who are apparently not sick enough, emotionally or physically, for the state or government.  There are some VietNam vets as well.  We help a guy named 3 Dog whenever we can, and a deaf redhead we have always called Big Red. 

The area has also been quickly taken over by hispanics looking for cheaper housing.  Most of the houses are very small, 1 or 2 bedrooms.  Some of these people don't speak English and are not here legally.  As I have seen in Mexico, most of them walk to get where they are going.  Unfortunately they are also exposed to the seedier side of society just by living near the avenue.

Our church is called Avenue Community.  I translate for Spanish speakers there.  The church regularly has outreaches to reach the people of our community.  There is a bus to bring any child that wants to the church on Sunday and for activities.  It's a wonderful church with members from all walks of life.  A couple of weeks ago, we had a woman come in wearing a pair of blue flannel pajamas and carrying a Crown Royal bag for a purse.  She had the shakes.  Several people came up to welcome her. When she got too shaky and went out to the patio, A member went to see to her needs; got her some coffee and something to eat. 

There appears to be a lot of drinking and drug activity on the avenue.  The people involved always seem to be on a mission to either get drugs or sell them.  They cross in the middle of the street.  Many are dressed in clothes that would make myself or my hubby self-conscious. 

Farther up the avenue, a newer yuppie-type settlement has begun - beautiful condo's , a gated community of single family homes.  Some are on the avenue, some are just to the east or west of the avenue.  It is those up-and-coming young people who want to put a new face on the avenue.  They want to move any industrial or warehouse type businesses father up the avenue and the want to restore the former glory of the avenue.

My family and I live farther up the avenue in the warehouse and industrial district.  We live near the oil fields.  We actually live above a body shop.  The industrial area is all around us.  Our landlord has lived here for many years.  He often tells us stories of how the avenue used to be when he came and the changes.  He loves this part of town.  So do we.  In Mexico, we were on a ranch in the middle of nothingness.  Nothing but agriculture.  We loved it there.  Our neighbors to the right are businesses, surrounding us for the most part is the body shop, and the equivalent of 2 doors away a home, then our landlord's home.  One home is across the street.  That's it folks.  Our little bit of nothingness at the end of a fairly large city.

We love where and in what city we live.  Just 3 1/4 miles down is the ocean.  And not just a peek at it, but ocean, fairgrounds, fireworks on the 4th of July, a large mall and wonderful old downtown shops are close enough to walk to (if we were walkers).  Well, the mall is a stretch, but old downtown has the flavor of a small town.  The shops are wonderful and disparate.  There is a tiny knife shop, a small red and white 50's looking cafe, a thrift shop or two, specialty clothing, a rare book store and some antique stores. 

I won't diminish the avenue by saying that's all there is.. There is a family feel to the avenue.  Hispanic families walk hand in hand, the homeless get to know our faces and the workers in the shops have begun to call us by name.  After so many years in Mexico, we came back to a place neither of us have lived and found "home" here.  That's saying a lot for our little piece of the world.  This city is one of the jewels of our state, bordered by hills and mountains on one side and the awesome Pacific Ocean on the other.  Welcome to my world.

May you all be richly blessed by the Lord today,


Friday, September 22, 2006


My precious daughter . . . little did I know when you were born how our lives would be.  We loved each other, you loved/hated me and I gave up on you.  All that has come full circle in the past 15 years or so.  We love each other so much.  I would give my life for you. 

As you celebrate the 10th anniversary of your 29th birthday, I want to tell you publicly some things I have already said to you;

I am so proud of you - you have pushed on when others would quit.

You are a good mom and have not given up on your children even though you may have wanted to.

I am so happy you are attending school again - I did it late, as you remember and graduated from a two-year college with my tearful mom looking on.  I'm coming to your graduation . . .I hope I don't cry too much.

I'm going to see you on February 14, 2007- whatever it takes to get there.  I miss you so very much.

Although we've not always agreed, I am so very, very proud to be called your mom. 

                        I pray that your day is as fun-filled as it is for these guys:


I Love You, my daughter/friend


Thursday, September 21, 2006

I did it! I copied my blogthing quiz

You Are From Neptune
You are dreamy and mystical, with a natural psychic ability.
You love music, poetry, dance, and (most of all) the open sea.
Your soul is filled with possibilities, and your heart overflows with compassion.
You can be in a room full of friendly people and feel all alone.
If you don't get carried away with one idea, your spiritual nature will see you through anything.
What Planet Are You From? 

I don't know about being from Neptune, however. I'm certainly not psychic. But sometimes I can be "out there" - you know what I mean? I got this from my friend Kathy over at One Summer's Day  drop by to see her - she always has cool stuff in her journal.  Blessings, all - and don't forget the Vivi's.




I love J-Land.  I feel at home here.  I've been a member for just over 2 years.  I wanted a blog and my son John helped me get started, even gave me a plug in his journal.  I honestly thought that people commented because they cared for John.  That was the farthest thing from the truth.  J-Landers really care.  I met a few people that I am proud to call friends.

Last year, I got into the spirit and participated in joined in to the 2nd Anniversary.  It was really fun.  I couldn't figure out how to get into the chat room, but got reports from my friend that it was  enjoyable.

Then the Vivi's began to be talked about.  I figured that I didn't stand a chance, but wanted to participate.  My friend nominated me for something and I nominated her for something. We laughed at our silliness, but had fun doing that.

When the actual nominations came out -the one after the voting nominations, I was on the list!  And my friend was on the list.  What fun we had!  I'm not into tooting my own horn, but I proudly put the Nominee Graphic on my sidebar.


I believe this was the most exciting thing for me.  I had heard comments about cliques, but I didn't know who was in the "J-Land Clique".  I figured I would be ousted in the voting, but had a great time.  I got a lot of encouraging comments and new people came to check out my journal.

I understand that this year there are some very bitter people making comments about the Vivi's,  that part of the people came back in time to grab the glory.  It's true that we lost many of our J-Land friends to the ad situation.  I was sad to see them goand I prayed that they would come "home" again.  The most recent "returnee" wrote some very apologetic stuff in her journal.  She's not interested in glory or pats on the back.   I believe she missed the community.

The night of the Vivi Awards Ball, there were so many people present in the chat room that they had to make a secondroom.  It was a blast! I met people I never knew existed.  There were way more than the nominees there.  Supporters and cheerleaders were there as well.  Our host used symbols to pour imaginary drinks and we all asked for more. The chat was lively and fun. We waited to hear the winners in each category.  It was more fun than I've ever had on my computer.  I truly felt part of the community.  I didn't think I had a chance to win, but . . .

                      I won!  Little me, who had been journaling for just about a year!  I just was totally amazed.  I wasn't part of what other people called :"the group" and I still won an award.  Other journalers voted for me.

And that's what will happen this year if people will just stop berating peer recognition. awards.  Come on, friends.  Participate in any way you can.  Vote so you can be sure that a journaler's peers are truly recognizing them Attend the ball - find a picture of you favorite gown and show it in your journal.  Have fun and meet more people in the chat room.  Don't let your grudges stop you from having fun.  Just do it and enjoy.

One more thing:on November 18th last year, I woke up at3 in the morning to the sounds of helicopters.  There was a huge fire on the hill by our house.  Eventually I turned my puter on and started to read journals.  Everyone was so angry!  I didn't even notice the ads. WhileI wasn't too happy about them, it wasn't worth the trouble to leave.  A bunch of people bailed to make a statement.  Nothing changed.  I missed those guys..  But you know what haooened?  Our community got closer.  we became a tapestry woven together by our experiences and our love to write. Slowly, afew journalers came back.  I'm sure they came back because they missed the community we have here in J-Land.  Our job now is to welcome them back in the fold.

So here's my suggestion:  forget the big bail-out; forget the cliques (if there be any); have fun here!  Vote for the Vivis and go to the journals chat room for a good time on the announcements.  Help your community shine.


By the way, I'm wearing a red dress to the ball.



Wednesday, September 20, 2006



The first thing I did wrong was to type an entire entry without saving it to the clipboard. The second thing I did wrong was to go to Photobucket for my graphic without minimizing my journal first.  UGH!  You would think after 2 years of journaling, I would know better. 

So here's the gist of what I wrote (I'm saving it this time): 

Andrea came home from school in tears - again! - her science teacher failed her on her first project and first test.  I was told that all special-ed kids would be taking science.  She worked so hard on that folder project!  I knew some of it wasn't quite right, but had been told that she would be graded on a different scale than the regular kids.  She wasn't.  So mama-bear here is going back to the school again tomorrow.  I wonder if they hate me yet?  I just finished talking to the school psychologist and he's going to introduce me to the new principal.  I'm ready!  I'll fight to the death for my kids.  Please pray for changes to come about.

I've been dealing with some strange emotions lately.  I don't sleep much, do too much or nothing and I just want to hide out.  Now I know that I can't hide from God and He already understands what's going on with me.  I just don't totally understand.  I pray and give my thoughts to Him and in a few minutes I take them back to play with.  I also know that all the strength I'll ever need is right there in His outstretched hands waiting for me to reach out and take as my own.  So why don't I give it all up?  Am I without faith?  I guess I'm just too human to let go.  I've always been so independent and now I look to God and others (ROB) for my help.  I have faith.  I know I'm not now nor ever will be alone.  The Lord will always have me close to Him.  There is true comfort in that. 

One last thing:  My friend Krissy and her husband John are the picture of courage to me. The haven't given up once!  He's been so sick.  It's been more than hard for them.  Yet they are home again from Hershey.  I love them so much.  Go check her journal to see what their lives are like . . .it will put into perspective what true faith can do.

That's all for now.  I'm going to fix supper and rest some more.

Be blessed today,


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Havin' Some Fun

I got this from Treesrgreen78 who got it from someone else.  Please enjoy:
Type the first 2 words that come into your mind...you can only type 2 words....no more....no less.

1. yourself:  Forever mom

2. your husband: True love

3. your hair:  it's growing

4. your mother: with Jesus

5. your father:  gone away

6. your favorite items: computer, dolls 

7. your dream last night: didn't dream

8. your favorite drink:  diet coke

9. your car:  red explorer

10. the room you are in: my bedroom

11. your ex boyfriend/girlfriend:  got married

12. your fear:  spiders scorpion

13. where you want to be in 10 years:  painless, retired

14. what you're not:  thin, alone

15. your best friends: Rob, Krissy

16. one of your wish list items: finish book

17. the last thing you did: clean cages

18. what are you wearing:  shirt, pants

19. your favorite weather:  spring, summer

20. your favorite zoo animals? tigers, birds

21. your thought for the day?  have fun

22. your favorite book:  Bible, classics

23. last thing you ate: rice cakes

24. your life: full, happy

26. your body: chunky, ample

27. what are you thinking about right now:  my hubby

28. your crush:  have none

29. what are you doing at the moment: watching movie

30. your fall schedule:  stay home

Friday, September 15, 2006

Just Thoughts


It's afternoon here in my town - slightly warm, but not too bad.  The girls are home from school . . .Lupe glued to the TV.  Andrea and Kayla listening to music.  I've felt lousy all day -clogged up, eye goop in my eyes, etc.  Tonight is going to be our girls night . . . no matter what.  A few days ago, I bought the video The Wild (Disney DVD) and hid it for our special time together.  They don't know what our special thing is, but seemed to fear that since I didn't feel well, girls night was off. 

It's the perfect time to do it.  Rob is out of town and will not be looking in to see if we have finished our activity.  Kayla wants to stay up all night.  I tried to tell her it's not all that glamorous.  I didn't sleep Wed night and didn't get to sleep until after midnight last night, probably why I feel so lousy today.  Of course Kayla won't be daunted, she wants to set a personal record.  If she doesn't wake me, I don't care - no school tomorrow.

I really love my J-Land friends.  If I am awake very late, it may be early morning for one of them and they've already written in their journals or are on IM and we can chat.  It's nice to know that those I have come to love like family are willing to put up with my stuff.  I never figured on community when I started blogging here.  I actually started for myself, just to keep my thoughts, etc.

I have also read such amazing and wonderful journals.  You guys ROCK!!  Through you journals and comments, I have learned that I am not alone in my disabilities and I don't have to be ashamed of them.  I have found many Christians here as well.  I didn't know I would get that joy as well. 

Anyway, enough praise for the AOL-J community.  You guys know how much I love you.  I'd like to ask you to pray for John & Krissy as they return to their home this weekend.  It's been a trying several weeks for them up at Hershey Medical Center (did you know the whole town smells like chocolate?  The streetlights are shaped like Hershey's Kisses!) and getting adjusted at home will take its toll as well.  They will need our support more than ever now.   For specifics, check Krissy's journal,  Sometimes I Think  or The John & Krissy Gazette - a member-written journal. 

I'd also like prayer for myself.  I've had a couple of very rough days this week. 

Love, prayers and blessings to all of you,


Monday, September 11, 2006

Now the Day is over . . .

"Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh . . .Shadows of the evening . . . steal across the sky . . . Dear Lord give your children, calm and sweet repose . . .With thy tend'rest blessing, may my eyelids close . . . "  (from a favorite childhood hymn - can't find author's name to give credit)


My friends, it's been an amazing day.  The truth is,I couldn't bear to watch the planes hit the towers again today.  I got a quick glimpse of the news before I went to the doctor and that was enough.  I spent most of the day reading your journals.  If I didn't comment, please forgive me.  Your memories, tributes and opinions meant so much to me.  We have all had such different experiences with a common thread running through them.  We are truly brothers and sisters in the most wonderful nation on earth. 

My friend Kathy (onestrangecat) sent me the tag you see in my side bar.  I just love tags with my name on them. Two years ago I didn't even know what a tag was . . .

I'm thinkin' about thinkin' about going to sleep pretty soon.  I pray that angels will guard your sleep as well.  Blessings and prayers, Penny

Friday, September 8, 2006

Weekend Assignment #128 - Remembering 9/11

My mood: Reflective

                        My son John asked us this week to post our memories of 9/11/01 and/or how we feel about it 5 years later.

We were in Mexico. Rob was living with a friend of mine because we weren't yet married. I was taking the Jr High kids to school and listening to news radio when I heard about the first plane hitting the towers. Kids were talking over each other and I turned up the radio and told them to be quiet. The hush in the car was palpable. "To repeat, an airliner has just hit one of the World Trade Center Towers . . . we'll have more on that as we recieve it . . . "

I dropped the kids as quickly as I could and got home to the television. As I watched, I called Rob. He got up to watch and I went back to my tv. We had only 3 channels in our small town so I go my news all the way from Mexico City. I saw the second plane hit and began to cry. It was nealy too much for me. I sat riveted to the news. The Pentagon! Dear Lord! Then Flight 93. It was almost too much to bear. We were so far from home. We were afraid the borders would be sealed.

I listened to the radio and watched tv for the next few days, afraid another plane might fly into someplace else. The Mexicans didn't understand why were so upset . . . well, I don't even want to go into that.

This morning, in front of the shoe store, we were interviewed by a local radio station to get our opinions 5 years later. It kind of helped me encapsulate what I'm going to say here.

I think we have become careless over the last years. Our support of the troops fighting for freedom and against terrorism has waned. We're again taking our country for granted. Well, I'm not, but a lot of people are. I don't mind if they throw everything out of my luggage if it will help us be more secure. Long line? So what? It might be a pain, but it's better than having ourselves hijacked.

I don't know what I would do differently, but I know we should never stop being vigiliant. My hubby  says it's not if we'll be hit again, but when and I agreeI'm ready to back up our government and our president no matter what.  I'm going to shy away from people who don't want our soldiers to fight the war on terrorism.  Why do they think we are free to express our opinions?  I don't  want the many lives lost on 9/11/01 treated shabbily.  They were our own countrymen for the most part.  Their families still grieve.  Let's support them in their loss.

There are members of our J-Land community also posting this weekend assignment.  As well, many have chosen to take one of the 2996 men and women lost in the tower attack, learn about them, and post a tribute.  Please see Andi's Journal to learn more and see links posted there.

God Bless them all.  We will never forget.