Month: June 2013

How’s the adjustment going?

Recently, we have been asked several times how we are doing with the adjustment to California and our new home.  You know, “How are you doing, REALLY?!”

It’s a good question.  I mean, we left everything we loved and moved 1/2 way across the country!  We live at the top of a mountain, at least 45 minutes from the grocery store.  Asking about how we are doing is a good question!  Funny thing though, our answer has been the same since the first day we arrived…we are doing REALLY WELL!  I tell people that this is a really BIG DEAL, seeing that I am a really emotional (cry a lot) kind of person.  (Just ask my family!)

All I can say is:

I have a peace that passes understanding, down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart

I have a peace that passes understanding, down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay!!!!!

(Sorry, sometimes I like to think of my life as a musical so I just bust into song every once in a while!  Don’t you?!)

Really, though, all joking aside, we are doing really well!  We still absolutely love Palomar Christian Conference Center and our family here.  We love our mountain (and the weather).  We love that everything imaginable is available only 1 hour away in lovely SoCal.  We are beginning to feel a part of a church family, and that is super exciting!

All of this is only possible because God gives us a peace that DOES surpass all understanding when we follow him.  I can tell you that making the decision to leave our families and friends in Texas was REALLY hard for me, yet when Micah and I prayed in the hotel room in San Diego after his interview, we both felt an overwhelming peace!  I am so thankful for that!

So, our adjustment continues to be good.  I am not saying that everything has been absolutely perfect friends, but the adjustment has been just fine.

I am heading back to Texas with the kids next week, and I can’t wait to see our families!  I know we will see some friends, and I know that I will miss lots of friends too.  (Not seeing people makes me really sad, but it is reality when you move.)  As excited as I am to come back to Texas for a few weeks, I know that I will be just as excited to get home, which is a testament that our adjustment is going well!

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ESPN Sports Nation and Time With My Man!

Micah and I decided many years ago, that he would plan all odd year anniversaries and I would plan all even year anniversaries.  Works out great for us!  So this was my year for planning.  Seeing as how we are in full time camp ministry, our anniversary is not really at the most convenient time.  So, I decided that we should attempt to do something fun before summer officially begin around here.

I have learned how to get free tickets to tapings of many shows, and when I found out that ESPN had begun taping in LA instead of only Connecticut, I was super excited!  I knew Micah would be so excited to go to anything at ESPN, so I got tickets to ESPN’s newest show “Nation at Night.”

We were able to head out early on Wednesday, which made our date even more fun!  We decided to go on a Hollywood/Beverly Hills adventure before the show.  I really LOVE getting to experience new things with Micah!  I mean, I guess that IS one of the reasons I married him and chose to spend the rest of my life with him.  Anyway, we attempted to see the Hollywood sign first.  Well, I had heard that it wasn’t that exciting, and whoever told me that was right.  You are so stinking far away from the sign that you can hardly even get a good picture of it  These are our wonderful pictures, ha, ha!

At least the flowers are pretty in this one.
After seeing the sign (from far, far away), we drove through Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  
Pretty Woman!
Someone’s FANCY car that was attracting LOTS of tourists.
Then it was off to ESPN!  
Aren’t we cute?!
The sign!
One of the stars of the show:  Brian Scalabrine!
Inside the studio.
Sound check.
Guest host:  Michael Rapaport (Good Will Hunting)
Gotta have another selfie inside the studio!
Keepin’ it classy!  (This cutout is literally right behind the studio as you walk in.  Hilarious!)
Then as we were headed to our car, we realized that Brian Scalabrine was walking right beside us so we took one more picture opportunity.

We had a really great time!  Going on new adventures with Micah is alway super fun!  However, I am pretty sure it would not have mattered what we were doing, just spending time with this guy is the best!

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Our 14th Anniversary!

Today is our 14th Wedding Anniversary!  Wow!  I really don’t feel old enough to have been married for that long, but since we have a 10 year old and an 8 year old, I guess it must be true!  I can remember our wedding day like it was yesterday.  I remember all of the amazing people that were there for the rehearsal, and my complete emotional breakdown that night.  I remember how extremely happy I was, and how “in love” with Micah I was.  I remember the beautiful flowers and all of the excitement getting ready that morning.  I remember seeing Micah as I held on to my Daddy’s arm, and thinking “this is for real!”

Then, as the actual service began, I remember feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit as we made our commitment to one another and to God in front of all of our many friends and family.  I can remember James and Mrs. Yerkes singing “I Stand in Awe” as the service was ending, and thinking how very blessed Micah and I were to be a part of such amazing families that raised us to know about commitment to Christ, first and foremost, which allowed us to know about commitment to one another. How blessed we were to have Christian friends who have been there from the beginning to support us along the way,  Thank you Lord, for such blessings!

I love Micah Beard more today, June 12, 2013, more than I could have ever imagined on June 12, 1999!  So thankful for our journey together, and the road ahead!  Micah Beard, you are my Superman, and I love you with all my heart!  Happy 14th Anniversary!

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“Sew” Blessed!

I have lived my life as a youth minister’s kid, a preacher’s kid, and a camp director’s wife.  So, I have pretty much been in full-time ministry my whole life.  I can look back and remember so many people that gave to my family.  Whether it was cooking us a meal, bringing us vegetables from their gardens, keeping my sister and I when my parents had to be away, sending cards with money that allowed us to by school shoes, or any other number of things that you could think of, we were always blessed!

Recently, Grace got to experience this same thing, when a retreat group chose to bless her sweet little soul in a very special way!  Here is the story:

Here at Palomar, we are so blessed to get to have volunteers come up to help out around the camp.  We have several groups that come throughout the year, park their RV’s, and spend a few days to a few weeks being a part of our staff and helping out wherever is needed.  One of the volunteer groups that comes is called S.O.W.E.R.S  We recently had an amazing couple come up to spend  a couple of weeks with us.  This couple was from Spring Valley, CA which is actually right outside of San Diego. (Pretty close to us.)  The wife of the couple, Sherry, is a master quilter and seamstress.  While she was here, she held her own quilting retreat one weekend.  She invited all of the female staff to join her retreat if we were interested, and she would teach us or we could just come to work on any projects we already had going.  Well, I am no seamstress, but Grace was really interested.  Grace has spent many hours with her Gran learning how to sew, and has made several things before, so she REALLY wanted to go to the retreat.  It ended up, that I had to be someplace on Saturday of the retreat, so we allowed Grace to go down to join the “Living Stitches” ladies.

Oh my goodness!!!!!  I cannot tell you how awesome it was when I went to find Grace on Saturday afternoon.  There were sewing machines, material, quilts, and ladies everywhere and Grace was going to town on her own little projects on Sherry’s 1956 Singer sewing machine.  She was the happiest I have seen her in a long time.  So proud to tell me all that she had done, and Sherry was amazing with her.  Teaching her things that I could never have done.  Oh, and the other ladies…LOVELY!!!!!  They were all just pouring into her the entire day.  Wow!  Well, as you can imagine, Grace was up and ready to head back down to the retreat on Sunday morning before my alarm went off at 7:00 am, and because Sherry was still going to be at Palomar for another week volunteering, she allowed Grace to spend every evening working on her very own little quilt.

Well, all of that is a super amazing story, but that is NOT where this ends.  Sherry and her husband had another volunteer engagement at a camp in Arizona, so they left their RV at Palomar and ran to their home in Spring Valley to get ready for their next trip.  Sherry told me they would come by on Tuesday evening before they headed out for Arizona (when they came to get their RV.)  Anyway, on Tuesday evening when the knock on the door came, there was Sherry and her husband with a gift bag and BRAND NEW SEWING MACHINE for Grace!  For real!  Grace’s face lit up, and she was so excited!  Sherry shared that the ladies of the”Living Stitches” retreat wanted to bless Grace after that weekend with her, so they passed a basket and took up money to buy her a sewing machine.  As if that wasn’t enough, many of them went out and bought her all of the other things she would need to go with that…thread, seam ripper, pins, pin cushion, bobbins, bobbin holder, and even a gift card to JoAnn’s!  As I write this, I just pray that those amazing, sweet ladies know how much this meant to Grace!  Really, so amazingly sweet!

I am so thankful to people like Sherry and her husband, John who give their time as retirees to bless  Palomar Christian Conference Center (and so many other camps across the nation) with their gifts.  I am so thankful that they were able to pour into Grace while they were here.  She will forever be changed by their graciousness!  I will forever be changed by their graciousness!  I am so thankful for the ladies (whom I did not even spend time with) that chose to show love to my daughter in a very special way.  I pray that I too, can pour out God’s love to others through the gifts he has given me!

Grace and her sweet new friends for life, Mrs. Sherry and Mr. John!
Her machine!  Wow!  I know!
It also had a case to go over it.
All of her other goodies!
Her first project.  Snap pouches.  (She made the flowered one, and the others were given to her.)
She made this pillowcase!
See the fancy stitching.  She was super excited about this and now her machine has lots of “fancy stitching” options.
Her quilt!

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The Ocean

Micah and I have always loved the water, and I am so fortunate that both of our kids love the water too!  When we lived in Texas, we spent lots of time at the pool, and always tried to visit the beach in Galveston as much as we could.  That was the only beach we knew, and the kids loved it!

Now, we get to continue to spend lots of time in the pool (that’s a benefit to camp living), but now our beaches are SO much different!  I mean, my kids are swimming in the Pacific Ocean for goodness sakes!  The water is not Caribbean blue, but it is blue and clean.  The sand is so much different, and there is not tons of seaweed everywhere.  I think my favorite thing about the beaches in California is…wait for it…NO HUMIDITY!  It’s crazy!  Normally, when I leave the beach, my hair looks like I have been through “who knows what,” due to the sand, salt water and humidity.  When we went to the beach recently, I got in the car and realized my hair actually looked presentable.  Love it!

So thankful that we get to enjoy sunny summertime in Southern California!

Our home away from home for the summer!  Camp pool.

My sweet beach beauty!

Sunset at Carlsbad State Beach

Another view from Carlsbad State Beach.  Can you see the coastline all the way down?  Gorgeous!

Headed down for some fun.

Oceanside Pier

Oceanside Beach

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THIS…is American Idol!

I know that most of you saw all of my posts on facebook about getting to attend a live taping of American Idol, but I wanted to share all of the details with you.

When we moved to California, I began researching everything that was available for us to experience that was close by.  Well, I got online to see how you could attend tapings of tv shows and ran across the site that gives out American Idol tickets.  I put my name on the waiting list, really just for fun.  I had no idea what it meant to get a ticket, or if this site was even legitimate.

So, you can imagine how excited I was when I got the email stating that I had gotten tickets to the Wednesday night taping during finale week.  I was ridiculously excited!  Then I had that wonderful feeling that this was probably not legit, and I would drive all the way to LA, to have people laugh at me that I actually believed I had a chance at getting a ticket.  I decided to go for it, even if it was a fraud!  (Now, I did call the company like 3 times to ask if this was legit!)

We (myself and a great friend from camp) left our house at 5:30 am because we knew that LA traffic would be bad.  We ended up hitting morning traffic right during rush hour.  NO BUENO!  I was super excited that I didn’t kill us or anyone else in LA traffic.  Anyway, we got to the LA Convention Center at 9:30 am and found our line.  The workers from On Camera Audiences was already there checking people in, so we got in the line of only about 40 people.  We waited in line for about 1 1/2 hours, and met some really great people.  NO ONE was crazy or rude.  Everyone was super kind and considerate, which was great!  At 11:00 am, the tickets arrived and they began handing them out.  Once we got our tickets, we had until 3:30 p.m. to just walk around LA Live (This is the area where the Staples Center and Nokia theater are located.  Lots of restaurants and a really cool courtyard to hang out in.)  We ate at ESPN restaurant, then hung out and “star gazed.”  This is where we got to see all of the top ten contestants and parents as they were heading to interviews or into the theater.  SO FUN!!!!!!

At 3:30 p.m., we got in line to enter the theater.  At 4:00 pm, the doors open and we headed inside!  Oh my, was it cool!  It looks exactly like what you see on tv, only brighter and louder!  We were 11 rows back on the left.  A “pretend Ryan Seacrest” came out to get the crowd excited and to tell us what was about to happen.  He was out only about 5 minutes then you heard a lady count down from 10, and the show began.  It was the fastest show ever, but so fun to be a part of!  At each commercial break, 4 people came out just to touch up Mariah Carey.  EVERYTIME!  It was ridiculous.  I was beginning to understand why Niki Minaj was so fed up with her.  Niki only had one gal, and she only came out a few times.

Anyway, it was a really fun experience, and yes I will be getting on the waiting list for next season!  And…Micah and I are headed back to LA this Wednesday to celebrate our 14th anniversary by going to a taping of Sports Nation at ESPN!  Yay!

 Here we go!
TICKETS!  So excited to have these in our hands!
Hailey Rinehart getting ready for an interview.
This is the courtyard area at LA Live.  See the Staples Center?!  So cool!  The real red carpet!
Jessica Sanchez…#2 from last season!  She is so tiny!
These cute girls had already put their phones away, so I took their picture and texted it to them!  They were so excited and cute!
Devin Velez
Colton Dixon doing an interview!
These are Angie Miller’s parents.  They were at the ticket booth signing in, and I stood there and waited for them to finish up.  Her dad was so nice and actually visited with us for a few minutes.  Her mom was still a bit upset that Angie was cut last week!
And the winner is…Candice Glover, and these are her parents!!!!!!!!  They were so nice!

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