Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Christmas

Apparantly to say "happy" is British or something. I didn't know, I just like to say happy instead of merry. I sure hope yours was full of happy and a lot of merry. Here's what we did...
Group shot after gifts

Me and my loot from Mikey. A friend gave me the GREATEST idea ever. She goes to her favorite shop and puts a cart of goods on hold for her husband to come and pick out of. BRILLIANT I tell ya. I pick out what I want, including stuff I wouldn't get for myself and take the guess work out of shopping for him. Worked like a charm. You should try it. It was great.

We spent our day lounging by the pool. And you?

Monday, December 15, 2008

rain, rain are you here to stay?

It rained so much today. It was amazing really. All I wanted to do was lie in bed with a warm drink and watch sappy movies on Lifetime. In my old life I would have gladly called in sick and enjoyed a quiet, cozy day in my pj's. I don't have that liberty anymore. Instead of "calling in", I'm "in my calling". That puts a damper on my damp day plans. Today I traded in my cozy bed and recorded t.v. for 10 hours of ministry. Some of which was ministering to people Ive never met and may never meet. So now here I sit, on my couch, glasses on, heat on, laziness....on. TV on, blog stalking on, Brain...OFF. Won't you join me? He did....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Family Fun

My oldest brother and his wife were visiting for Thanksgiving. Since our family has grown A LOT in the past few years we thought it would be a "great" idea to take family pictures. Have you ever tried to take pictures with 1-3yr old, 2-2yr olds, 1-almost 1yr old and a newborn??? Our great idea turned into a "quick they are almost all in one place snap it" night. Here are some from that day. Mind you, mike and I had just flown in from Georgia that afternoon. Oh well, we'll try again next year!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coffee...good for the soul

I'm a coffee lover through and through. When God chooses to bless us with pregnancy, I really don't know what I will do. I've tried to cut out the coffee before and my friends it isn't pretty. I don't mind decaf but really, what's the point. A very good friend of ours loves to roast his own coffee beans, let me tell you this stuff will put hair on your chest, but it certainly is delicious. He opened my eyes to "green beans". No, not the string vegetable kind but raw coffee beans. I didn't even know you could buy those. I'm a fan of organic and fair trade. Fair trade means the companies pay the workers fair wages, not slave labor. A company I've grown to love is Pura Vida.
Ive ordered green beans from them and we use them commercially at our coffee cart at church. It's very yummy and they support other great companies like Sojourners. So, if your in the mood for coffee and want to make sure your supporting good causes check em out. They deliver straight to your door in less than a week!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My buddy and me

My buddy Evan came to visit me today. His mommy had a meeting so he came over to play at my house. Having no children of my own gives me freedom to give moms a break, which I just love. There have been SO many babies this year. It's so much fun. Evan is a little extra special. I found out he was going to be born when he was just 5 weeks alive inside his mom's tummy. Since we work together I got to watch them both grow throughout pregnancy and experience almost everyday changes. He was such a good baby even then. Didn't make his mommy sick or anything.
He was a little fussy so I pulled him out of his chair and fell right asleep in my lap. He's so yummy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Top 5 Things I've failed at.....

How terrible of me to have blogged last over A MONTH ago. So much has happened and yet I haven't posted a thing.

Seeing clearly
took 29 years for my eyes to start failing. They sure did a good job on it. They are supposed to only be for reading but I can see so much better all the time with them on. I'm used to squinting to see not so much used to wearing glasses so I forget them often.

3. Running.
I have expensive, really good running shoes and haven't actually gone for a run in them once. I've walked a lot and thought about running but have yet to do it.

4. Waking up early
I end each day with prayer begging God to help me rise early to spend time with him and get a walk or jog in. Its not working. I'm actually more tired than when I went to bed.

Calling my phone company to figure out why I can't send picture messages.
it's been over a year and I've switched service companies and still nothing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Micah James Daniel

My precious nephew Micah was born last night at 9:30pm. He weighed in at 8lbs 6 oz and 20in long. He is cute and loving and a miracle.

I was honored to be a part of the "care team" for my sister Bethany during birth. She knows how obsessed I am with pregnancy and the birth process and asked if I would be there with her during his birth. It was awesome. Awkward at times to see her laid out like a garage sale and enduring pain only a mother could know. She was trooper and pushed through with only minimal pain meds. (She opted for a low dose of pain killer instead of an epidural).
It was all wonderful, but the funniest part(s) were hearing her tell us "you.just.don't.understand." and just after birth in a clearly lucid moment "i want pickles, bad". Watching the nurses scurry when she said "I can't hold it anymore, I'm pushing" was truly humorous, especially since there was no Doctor in sight. His head popped out just in time for the Dr. to catch him. literally catch him. And then the sweet cries from this new life. An overwhelmingly amazing moment that words cannot do justice.
We have generational birth defects and God spared this little boy from all of them. Then came our cries of relief and joy.

My sweet little brother, an amazing father and doting husband. If you know him you know he doesnt say much but the care he gave his wife was beautiful. He knew exactly what was happening at each moment and was right there for her every need. (even when she yelled at him!). His face of joy and excitement when Micah was born are precious memories. Watching and taking pictures of him cutting his sons cord to give him independance and to bond with him as his father are amongst my favorites.
Congrats Daniel and Bethany!

God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper
~Num 6:24-26

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Hey baby, I found a drawer"

When you buy a house sometimes you find things you missed in the walkthru's. Wierd things.

1972 bundt cake pan-still in box...check
old doors and standing fan in garage attic...check

but this one takes the cake. My hubby came home last night and these are the words I hear from the bathroom..."hey baby, I found a drawer". Thinking to myself, what? I unpacked and put away everything in that bathroom, what is he talking about.
I walk in to find this...

My response? "wow, you sure did find a drawer".
Who knew? There it was a very large drawer underneath the sink. I have no idea what what we will put in it but I'm sure we'll find something.
random I know.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We are so lucky...

This is Eddie. He comes to Sandals. He approached me at a Sandals Night Out last year asking if he could help out in the office. He comes consistently 3-4 days a weeks to do data entry or make phone calls or study for school. He is talking to his professor in this picture. At Sandals Eddie is what we call a "full time volunteer". Eddie is so thoughtful. He always brings us treats and little notes telling us we are doing a good job. Today he brought us ice cream cake from Cold Stone. yum. Some of the staff have milk allergies and he even thought enough to bring us dark chocolate so everyone could eat it. So, if you see Eddie, tell him thanks. He is making Riverside and Sandals church an awesome place.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The wonders of this world

There are a lot of things I don't totally understand in life but accept them and move on. Most things are explainable but pregnancy and babies are a mystery to me. The whole concept of getting pregnant and staying pregnant and giving birth is just a crazy miracle. The miraculousness of it (is that a word?) is what gets me everytime. Which is also what makes me sad and angry all at the same time. I think that women/girls dont really understand what it takes to just get pregnant, let alone stay pregnant and give birth to a healthy, functioning human being. With the abortion rates and teen pregnancies and abuse cases its enough to depress anyone who reads up on it. Thats what gets me. I know God allows us to make choices but why does He allow pregnancy? Why does a 14 year old get blessed with pregnancy the first time she has sex and aborts the baby, but a 30 year old who desperately wants to have a child can't get pregnant? It makes me teary just thinking of it. I keep trying to understand why some people get it and others dont and the only thing that makes sense to me is that we get a choice. But that doesn't even make sense. Its the 1 thing that perplexes me the most about God. You'd think it was philosophy or the trinity or is heaven and hell real but I get all that. That all makes perfect sense to me and I don't question it. There are some things a person just knows. I just know it and believe it and thats that. But the pregnancy thing leaves me bewilderd. How? Why? Why not? When? How??? uggh. I'm frustrated just thinking about it. Read a book on pregnancy and tell me if you get it. I don't.
The pictures are of my nephew Micah, coming soon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Extreme Makeover...

Scraped ceilings, 12 gallons of paint, refinished hardwood, new window shades, rugs and outdoor furniture and here we are 3 weeks later. We still have a long way to go but it is much more live-able now. You can see our friend Chris laying tile at the bottom. Also in the picture is the freshly painted wainscoting and walls. SOOOO much better!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Whats happened Since July 25

Sorry for the lack of posts. I hate posting with no pictures and my husband has all the pictures.
Here's our life since the last one...

August 1& 2-coordinated a wedding in Newport
August 4-9-Youth Camp @ jeness park
August 15th-Beach baptism @ Corona Del Mar
August 16th-family dinner with all the out of towners for Aunt Sally's b-day
August 18th- CLOSED escrow! :)
August 19-now-working on house

The house looks unbelievably awesome. It is amazing what paint and carpet can do. We've scraped the ceilings and painted them and today the rest of the house is being painted. Tomorrow we are laying tile and moving partially.

If you are available, have a truck or just wanna come take a peak, we are moving next weekend the 29&30th and would love to have your help!

Friday, July 25, 2008

We're in escrow!!!

Yes my friends its true. An offer, a counter offer, 3 weeks of waiting, over 100 pages of documents to be signed, an inspection and few faxes and we are in escrow. Officially today.
Mike and I are so excited but it truely feels too good to be true. This is such a wierd market and we have definitely hit some bumps but we are on our way to being homeowners.
We'll see how the next few weeks playout. I'll keep ya posted. These pics will also serve as our "befores". lots of paint and some ripping out of carpet and it will be a whole new place. Looks like we will have a room for you after all Alyssa! :)

The living/dining room.

the kitchen (laundry and bathroom too!)

perhaps our favorite, the enclosed patio

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Ties

Parts of my family are out of state right now including my Mom who is in Michigan. My bro and SIL had a birthing class so Dad and I took Trinity to a movie. We ate tacos at Chipotle
and headed to Journey to the Center of the Earth. It was great. I got suckered into a $6 bucket of popcorn that all 3 of us split and we settled into our seats. Trinity was great. I was ansy but she did fabulous. Sat eating popcorn and drinking her sippy cup on Grandpa's lap the whole movie. She was so cute, when she was done with the popcorn she laid back with her hands behind her head and watched the rest of the movie. What 1.5 year old does that! I hope my kids are that great. I'll admit I was nervous taking her but she did great, not even a peep until the end when she pointed and said "wow". Wish I had a pic, but I don't know how to get them off my phone.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Paradigm Shift

A few years ago I studied the "5 love languages" which opened my eyes to a whole new side of myself. One thing I discovered is that I hate being told I've done something wrong or that I should change. Not because I dont want to change but because chances are I already know and have been working on it. So, to be told I need some work hurts. The flip side is that I'm always aware of what I say and do. I was recently pondering why I comment negatively on a subject and wondered if God was trying to change my heart or if the circumstance regarding the negativity needed to change. Still wondering but I find it interesting. I know its vague but I'm a privacy person so I'll never divulge too much info about me. I do find life interesting when I have something to pray about beyond the normal "thanks, praise, please help and keep safe" prayers. Is God changing you? Are you experiencing a paradigm shift? Its wierd but awkwardly interesting, at least I think so.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday=Fun Day

I got spoiled today, not everyone can say that about their job but I GET to! Every year the Powers that Be (PTB) take us on "refuel" days and this year our theme is "roadtrip". Today was super fun, we went to the El Capitan and saw the fabulous "narnia:Prince Caspian". It truly was great. Then headed to Universal City Walk and had yummy dinner at Bucca di Beppo. I am so blessed to get to work with such an amazing crew of not only co-workers but dear friends and family. The PTB are so loving and generous when it comes to the staff. They know how hard we all work at making the world (or at least a small part of SoCal) better and shower us with love. I was really re-evaluating where God wanted me and everyday I am reassured He wants me here. My life would have been so drastically different had I taken the path I thought I should be on instead of where God wanted me. The power of community is so much stronger than I knew, but I'm grateful to know it now. don't get me wrong, they exhaust my little introvert heart but I love em' all dearly. Love, love, love to all my peeps! :)

Having some fun on City Walk

In front of Mann's Chinese theater with Shirley Temples' hands and feet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For all my sista's

Best Website I've run across today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

**NIB** New in Box

I got a new phone. I have no idea how to use it. I couldn't even figure out how to change the ring tone and its stuck on vibrate. Sad.
After 4 blessed years with TMobile I had to say goodbye and hello to Sprint. Not my choice the hubby said I had too. One more thing of my past gone. But for good not bad. He at least got me the plan so I can access my calendar and send emails from it. Now, if I could only figure out how.......

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Makes me cry everytime. Could be the weather

We were blessed to have Becca sing this at our wedding.

Can anyone tell me how to upload a youtube video?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm home

Shakes from "SteakNshake" at 11:30pm. We got into more trouble later but I don't have the pics yet. Stay tuned

Oh yeah. What would traveling be with out the Waffle House. I had indegestion for days after, but it was fun. We also ate at Cracker barrel later that day. Oh and we went to a conference to learn how to use a database.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Deep in the heart of Texas

I will be in Texas for a few days. Its not the first time nor will it be the last I'm sure. This time it is for a database conference for my church. Can I get more nerdy please. In fact, thats what I said to the very nice lady from the baseball park who gave us GREAT seats when I explained to here why I would be coming. Sadly I really am excited to go. Sad to leave my hubby for the 1st time but I love traveling. I used to do it so much more in my past job and I have missed it. Send good thoughts my hubby's way as he (the extrovert) will be lonely without me. :) I'm sure he'll find a way to fill up his time. I even had to remind him that he couldn't bring anyone with him to pick us up from the airport as the minivan only holds 7. He was devastated thinking that he would be alone for a whole 30 minutes on the drive. I wish I had his energy. If only it could be bottled and sold, I'd be rich and could nap cuz I wouldn't have a job! Well, hopefully there won't be a cricket infestation in Texas this time. Let me tell you it wasn't pretty. See you soon, all ready to enter junk in a database! :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

We got into our room and there was splooge on the window. My hubby has "woo" and got her to give us VIP tickets and a new room, or as the case may be.....a PENTHOUSE! Complete with a jacuzzi tub.

This is Becca at the buffet. the bread pudding was really good.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I have a set of dishes that I just cant bare to throw away or give to goodwill. We got a whole new set for our wedding and I dont have a use for these any more. The set serves 4 and I bought a set of glasses that mostly matches it from Southern Living. The dishes are from Ballard Designs.
Let me know if you want em.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

mi esposo...

At least thats how I think you spell it.
My Husband.I know I talk about him often, but he's the best. Well, this week is really about him. He is graduating on Friday as a "Master of Science in Kinesiology". I'm so proud. My hero. This is definitely an accomplishment for him he has been working on it for quite some time. He has been a busy studying bee since last year and all his hard work has finally paid off. His mom is flying in to see him walk which we are so excited for. Joni Erickson-Tada is speaking at the commencement. She is quite the speaker and person. I'm so happy for my hubby. If you see him tell him congrats, he's earned it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We're old (part2)

Tonight was "date night". We both had pretty exhausting days so we wanted a "slow down and chill out but still go" out kind of night. So, we drove through Wendy's (smuggled in my purse) and we went to the movies. Hooray for gift cards. It was actually a pretty good flick, "Smart People". the humor was dry, just our type. If you know anything about my husband you know he enjoys discount cards and free stuff. So he signed up for the "AMC watchers card" and we got a whooping .50 cents off our TEN DOLLAR coke and popcorn (again, hooray for gift cards). Best kept secret at the movies is that if you buy a large they give you free refills. We won a box of gummi bears off the coke cup and while redeeming it got our popcorn refill and gave it to the couple behind us in line. We had already seen our movie and were headed home. they were greatful. Then, because of the aforementioned Wendy's, there was a slight "gas leak" if you get my drift, and very childish giggling the entire drive home. To which we both held hands and said, "we're old".
I'll take old and in love anyday.

Thanks Eddie

for putting a cool picture and music on my site. Now if I could only get a cool layout.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This story has been told to many people over the last few days but here it is, modified, for you in the internet world. I had one of the best experiences of my life and the single best spiritual experience ever. Over the last few years a million things have changed for me but the one constant has always been God. I work for Him, serve Him, worship Him, pray to Him and seek Him but never have I connected with Him in such a dynamic way before. I had the most amazing chance to "go back" over my life and remind myself how much God has been there for me and loving me always. Never again will I let the enemy lie to me about God's power & authority or that I am worthless. There were so many lies I believed for so long and I am finally free from them. I really don't know how to put into words the way I feel everyday. The only word is free. My prayer for you is that you experience God in a dynamic way every day for all of your life. I hope He is your constant too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm old

Old enough. 
I am married to an extreme extrovert. Don't get me wrong most of the time its fun living with him. We do lots of fun things and hang out with some pretty fun people. Being an introvert it gets hard on me to be going, going, going all the time. He has been pretty loving and allowed me to say when its too much and we have developed an amazing core group of friends. Tonight we had dinner with another couple in our apartment complex and a good friend who's wife was busy with church stuff. We made yummy burritos/tacos and this is what happened after dinner...
 My hubby on the phone with a telemarketer, he thinks its funny to leave them on hold for like 45 minutes. I don't get it but it makes him happy.

The rest of us. Right to left,  Andrew is watching LOST with headphones because he didn't want to spoil it for the others, kim is eating cake, Derek is doing something on the computer and grading papers all while some soothing jazz is playing in the background. And yes, we all own MAC's.
It is Friday for us b/c we work Sunday through Thursday. What a lively Friday it is. I giggled a little taking these pictures. What do you do for fun?

WARNING! This is controversial

So, my good friend told me she was reading in a magazine about a man who is pregnant. Yes you read that right. Apparently he is a transgender, takes hormones to help the physical appearance and had his natural breasts surgically removed but never got rid of the inside girly parts. Highly confusing yet quite interesting. He is married, to a woman, and legally recognized as a man. The couple was on Oprah this week, and even aired an ultrasound. The article is so interesting to me mainly because I have several pregnant friends. He says that he has always felt more masculine and it was just more natural for him to dress and live like a man. Yet, he wanted the experience of having a child. He has a valid point saying "It's not a male or female desire to want to have a child…it's a human desire." I guess I just wonder how you feel more like a man and still have a monthly friend and all the hormones of being pregnant. Even my most tomboy friend that is preggo is a sap these days. Very strange. I also am so sad that he never loved himself as the person God made him, a woman. Thats the controversy. But that's what I believe. Even with all my issues of self image and esteem I never once was not happy with the gender I was born. I never questioned it. BUT.....I did not live his life growing up and could not know the experiences he had, nor he mine. I'm sure it's not the 1st, just the 1st publicly announced and it surely won't be the last. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

leaving on a jet plane

Our dearest friends departed early this morning for Atlanta, indefinitely. We've know it was coming for a while but I guess we were in denial that this day would really come. James and Mike have been best friends for almost 12 years now and it was heartbreaking to watch my beloved hug his friend turned brother goodbye last night. They have been a support to us and our "Mordecai" friends. They are never slow to speak truth and always willing to love. They opened their home to us and welcomed us anytime. Generously shared food, clothes, tools , cars, games and faith. Words cannot describe our sadness today. The bright side is that we love the south and can't wait to visit. The boys were so funny to watch as the nerds in them came out during their "very last game ever" of Settlers of Catan. We are our own version of Friends, which we used to watch religiously with them. I was searching and couldn't find a picture of all 6 but here is one from our wedding. I prayed for true friends for years. Friends that were more than friends. Friends to walk through life together with. I truely hope you find the friends you have prayed for.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The moment you've all been waiting for

I have been working on this a while. It was supposed to have music to it but it disappeared in the loading process. Hope you enjoy.
The Tonggs

Saturday, March 15, 2008

my new favorite past time

Seriously you should try it. I think I'm getting carpal tunnel from the controller.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Petition for Patty

PattyB! is still technically a "temporary" employee. None of us know why exactly but we are glad she's here. She is a ray of sunshine, controls the gushers supply and has a steady BINGO group on Wednesday nights (she's 20 not 70). So wont you join me in the petition for Patty?
1. Amanda

My Crazy week...

I work Sunday through Thursday so that's where I'll begin. Alarm at 6am in the car by 6:55. 2200 people, 4 services, 5 teams and 1 training to lead then a blessed nap. That's my Sunday.
My brother and sister in law and niece are visiting from Hawaii so we spent Monday and Tuesday working our paid jobs then working at home to turn our dump into a blissful retreat (aka...finally unpacking ALL of our boxes 3 months after we moved in)
Wednesday is when the family arrived and I was too excited all day to truely focus on work, however I managed to get a lot of work done, thank God for laptops. We had dinner with our cousin who had a 2nd baby in January. I tried to capture some fun family moments but the babies are all getting so big this is all I could get of them. Abby is playing the piano and Caron is "sharing" with Trinity. Kids are funny, share really means "give it to me now". Today is Thursday, my Friday, I have to prep for Sunday, meet with some people and then of course LOST is tonight. We have a weekly dinner date and LOST watching party. Friday is girls day. We are taking the babies to Gymboree for a playdate while the boys wander in Best buy. Saturday we have a family lunch then wedding that night. The boys decided they wanted to go "shoot things" at Uncle Tom's ranch so they are heading up early Saturday morning while the women prepare lunch. You'd think we were living in the 1800's. Well that's about it. Just thought I'd get you up to speed. There's been lots of exciting things but I had a camera malfunction so this is all you get.