Free to be Me Hodgepodge

1. When and where were the best fireworks you’ve ever seen? Speaking of fireworks…do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?

The collage above is taken at Disneyland with Josh and Dan in the early 80’s before Katie was born.

Disneyland puts on a great fireworks show every night.

My hot buttons are pushed when someone who is outspoken speaks out including me in their opinion and then because it’s so against my principles I have to speak out. Those kinds of scenarios make me sweat uncomfortably. I could keep quiet generally and not make a scene but I can’t stay silent when someone includes me in their convictions that are totally against my own.

2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?

Just hosted our first summer party on the 4th of July with 14 people we love. Some family and some dear friends. The weather was right and the food was satisfying. For me an outdoor party is perfect when the weather, food and people align well. I like an outdoor party with a close home base where the food can be set out inside and people can gather outside with access to the food and facilities close by. Another key to a great party is when everyone who comes contributes to the food table.

3. What does freedom mean to you?

I am so grateful to have been raised in the Home of the brave and land of the free. I love the U.S.A. I am even more grateful for the freedom that I have in Christ.

Galatians 5:1  “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Galatians 2:4 “…our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus…”

John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month…what annoys you most about people’s cell phone habits?

I don’t appreciate how loud people are when talking on the phone in public places. The worst thing is looking in your rear view mirror riding down the freeway at very high speeds and realizing the person behind you is texting! Yikes, if the traffic stops will they notice in time before crashing into me? I have changed lanes to get away from these scenarios.

5. What’s your current summer anthem?

God Bless America

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Can’t get enough of this little smiley face! She has rolled over from her tummy to her back and now she just rolled over from her back to her tummy! She will be 4 months on July 20th!

Thank you Jo From This Side of the Pond for coming up with the questions and prompts for us to react to on Hodgepodge Wednesday. Click over to read more responses.

A Thankful Rebel

It’s been ages since I joined in with Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five but this morning I’m going to post some favorites from my time with family last Thursday thru Saturday in Southern California. And because I’m overwhelmingly blessed with a wonderful family there will be more than Five photos! I’m a rebel that way…

The reason for my trip down was to meet my new little nephew Andrew (he’s 5). My brother’s family lives in Texas and they were flying to California for Miss Hope’s 7th birthday and a trip to Disneyland and my extended family filled in all the edges of their trip with parties and fun. Andrew became a part of their forever family last August and is already a U.S. Citizen. He was adopted from the Ukraine. He now sings God bless America! So cute. I’ll share more photos from Miss Hope’s birthday party later.

Fresh off the plane last week I met up with Dear’s SIL, Christina, and my best friend from college days Heidi. Heidi, Christina, Dear, Dear’s brother and I were all in a Christian Rock Band in the seventies. Heidi and I attended the same Russian Baptist Church in Los Angeles and had lots of adventures together! We caught up as much as we could in our couple hours together.

What a blessing to spend some time with my soon to be 92 year old pop. He’s a sad guy without my mom by his side.

He was surrounded by some of his grandchildren at Hope’s birthday party.

Josh and Laura took the long way home to Seattle from their trip to Kaui through Southern California so they could meet Andrew, too, and visit with my pop and their cousins.

All my pop’s kids except for one were together in one spot so we took some photos.

Our youngest siblings, the twins, are flanking my father on the couch.

I love this photo of my older sisters and I love them, too.

Andrew is fitting right in and it’s so much fun to listen to his half Ukrainian and half English sentences!

When we all got together this time my Father prayed a blessing over his new grandson Andrew and over his great grandson Thomas. My brother thanked all his friends and family for praying them through the adoption process and helping financially to bring Andrew to the U.S.A. We all sang Great is Thy Faithfulness and another of our Russian favorites together acknowledging the fact that God is the faithful one in our lives. Of course we had lots of good food and good conversation and laughter.

DSC_0967So I’m thankful for my Faithful God, my faithful pop, my family, my friends, and all our fun times together! We’re not perfect, mind you, but we have practiced forgiving each other and keeping our relationships going. We try not to neglect each other. What are you thankful for?

Happy Fourth of July!

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My decorations are going up today and the smoker is already cooking away.

If you head over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook you will see a recipe for easy delicious Pork Loin Ribs slow roasted in the oven.

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God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

Let us swear allegiance to the land that’s free,

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Through the night with the light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies

To the oceans, white with foam.

God bless America, My own sweet home

God bless America, My own sweet home.

God bless America and God bless all who visit here!

National Day of Prayer ~ 2009

 

From 12:00 to 1:00 today several churches in the Conejo Valley got together to pray with one another on this National Day of Prayer. Our gathering was at the Thousand Oaks Civic Center Lawn. It was great to pray with people from other churches in the valley that I had never met before but who were united in one purpose. After a time of singing the crowd broke off into small groups around the grounds with an area pastor to pray for our nation, leaders, community, churches and families. I broke off with the group that met in a shady spot! Praise God He encourages us to pray and listens to the prayers of His people! We ended our time together singing God Bless America!