Monday, December 19, 2011


Last week, I got to take pictures of my friend's newborn, 6 day old Zoe Michelle!
Here are a few of the pictures:

Santa Baby

I got to take pictures of my friend's 5 month old baby, Nolan. He's so cute and it was so much fun taking these pictures!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Amber and Matt

I got to take pictures of my friend's wedding on Saturday.I was blessed to have an assistant (and aspiring photographer) this time and she did a great job. The wedding was beautiful and Amber looked stunning!! Here are a few previews:

Monday, June 6, 2011

What to do... what to do...

I feel like I'm back to the question of " What do I do with my life?"
I spent way too much money trying to get my credential, and now I don't even know if I can finish due to that stupid CSET....if only I had a time machine.... but alas, I don't.
I'm sitting here thinking, I know I want to be a mom someday, but I'm not ready for that right now. So until then, I could be a receptionist (but unless it's somewhere with a lot of nice people, I will get bored; been there, done that); I can continue to sub (but we need money to live); I could be a teacher (I've been trying for 3 1/2 years!!); I could be an interpreter (sounds awesome! more school? Yes, but maybe it'll be different. But what if I suck at it? Then I'm right back where I'm at now); I could do photography (sadly, I don't have enough confidence in myself)....

When asked : What makes you passionate in life? My answer : God, students, and science. What else can I do with that combination of passion?

I like this quote that my pastor put on his facebook status today. It really meant a lot to me when I read it:

"All holy desires grow by delay; and if they diminish by the delay, then they were never holy desires." -St. Gregory

So over the last 3-4 years, my main desires have not diminished... hmm....

Abba, guide me. Please? Amen.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Maybe once a week??

Well, obviously the writing once a day didn't really work out so well. I'm thinking I'll shoot for once a week.... but even that might be a stretch for me. We'll see. We've been busy with Mika, work, and problems with our apartment complex.
Mika got fixed on Monday and has been a pain (not IN pain, but A pain) since. Poor thing is supposed to be isolated and lay low for two weeks. Not going to happen.
Work has been good. It's down to less than a week left of the school year! My kids have a written final on Monday, we're going to watch a movie on Tuesday, and then Wednesday/Thursday we will be going to a restaurant and the kids have to sign the whole time. It's fun and a good experience for them.
The drama with our apartment complex.... it's a long story and I don't want to post much about it until it's over. But we could use your prayers with all of that; prayers for peace, patience, and favor.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 17

How many years have we been drinking cough syrups, and they still haven't found a way to make them taste better?? Come on! I'll admit it's not AS bad as it used to be, but maybe that's just because I've grown up a bit. As a kid, this would still be dreadful. But at least I'm not coughing!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 16

I can't believe it's only been a little over 2 weeks that I've been doing this photo journal blog; it feels like it's been 2 months!

Today's blog was just going to be about my day, but I wanted to add in some crazy things that have been happening in the world: The volcano in Iceland blew again, and this time it was worst than last year's blow. My sister is in Poland for work right now and I'm praying that she will be able to come back home safely and on time. Joplin, Missouri got hit by a terrible tornado. Now storms are sweeping through Oklahoma and Alabama. It's sad and I pray for those lost and those who survived.

My day :
I got about an hour of sleep last night due to my neck/shoulder/upper back. It is a horrible pain and I could not find any position to sleep last night that didn't hurt. When I woke up this morning, it was just a bad. I was wondering how I would get through the school day but was prepared to figure it out. When I got to school there was an email from the Principle's Secretary, Chandra, saying that there was a roving sub on campus today if anyone needed her. I felt bad asking but figured it wouldn't hurt to try. I walked as quickly as I could to her desk and asked if it would be ok that I have the sub? Chandra had no problem with it and when she asked if I was ok, I started crying. I told her about the pain and my night. She sent me home with orders to rest and get better.
My friend, Joy, is a massage therapist. She came over today to work on me. It felt great! I'm still in pain now, but it'll most likely be a pretty slow process getting myself back to normal. She said that my shoulders are stronger than my pecs and upper back, so they took on all the stress of whatever I was doing; basically I need to get stronger so that my body doesn't have to overcompensate. Makes sense.
After the massage Joy, her husband, Aaron, and me went to Dickey's BBQ for lunch. They had never had it and loved it!! We had their soft serve ice cream for lunch. Yum!! Joy took pride in dishing up a large soft serve cone for me to take a picture, but when she tried to give it to me to eat, I told her she could have it :) The picture below is her masterpiece, upside down, in a cup. Still delicious.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 15

I've had a nasty cough the last several days, so I finally decided to go to the doctor. They got me an appointment very quickly. The doctor said my sinus congestion turned into a small bronchial infection which then caused my lungs/chest to tighten resulting in minor asthma. Thankfully neither are bad enough to need antibiotics or an inhaler. I was prescribed some cough syrup and some steroid drug to take for the next 5 days. Looking forward to not coughing anymore and being able to sleep at night.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 14

Yesterday was yet another predicted day for when the world was supposed to end. My cousin likes when people predict the end of the world, because it means it's not going to happen on that day. Good point.
I laughed out loud in church today when Pastor Todd got up front, said good morning, and then told everyone to high-five their neighbor and say, "I'm still here!" hahaha too funny.

Matthew 24:36

A guy started a post-rapture "I'll take care of your pet once you're gone" website. He made $35,000 and since no one got raptured, he doesn't have to do anything. Genius... totally messed up... but genius.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 13

Today I got to help my mom with her first big "Occasions Unlimited" wedding. She started her business a couple years ago and has done showers, weddings, and parties for friends, but this one was her first one that wasn't for a friend. She did an incredible job and I am so proud of her!! She was so calm and collected and she has such a talent when it comes to design and decorating. I got to help her and Jaklyn. They're both incredible with the designing... something I did not inherit from my mom haha. I took a few pictures on my new phone and am excited to get them posted!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 12

Thursday was the season finale of my favorite show, The Office. I laughed aloud a few times, but overall I think I expected more. Steve Carrell is not on the show anymore and that might have something to do with it, but I do think that all of the characters are hilarious with or without him (except for Gabe... eww). Anyway, I love the show so much that after we got our new phones, I tested out one of the camera apps on the episode as I was watching it. Such a great show!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 11

I took another class to CSDF (California School for the Deaf in Fremont). It was a good tour, better than last week, and I enjoyed signing with one of my student's mom again, Lorraine. After the tour we went to lunch at 5 Guys. It was delicious!! We have one last tour next week, so I will be sure to take some pictures and post those for next Thursday. When I was talking with Lorraine she mentioned that the middle school no longer has a volleyball team. I had played them when I was in middle school (and I played them in softball when I was in high school). She said that if she heard that they wanted to start a team up again for that age, she would give my information where it should go to be able to do that. I have no idea if that would ever work out or not, but I think it would be a great experience and I would do my best!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 10

Today we took the dogs to the vet so that Mika could get her next set of shots. I really like where we take them, but there is one lady who works there that instantly sets me off. Vince said that she is my "challenge" and he's right. I really have to pray about when I see or talk to her. She makes me so angry for so many reasons, but I need to learn to let that go. When I saw Lauren this weekend, her and I spoke about how to let things go. This is one lady that I can work on that with.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 9

I said that I would be taking pictures for each entry, but I'm finding that until I have my new phone, that probably won't happen since I am not able to take my camera with me everywhere. So, for the sake of catching up, I am going to post some entries with photos that are not my own. We're supposed to get new phones today that will be able to take pictures and we are changing to a data plan so that we can use the internet. Starting tomorrow I should be back on track.

Vince had to work the evening shift. I met him for "lunch" at 7:30. After some delicious tacos, I went home and my amazing cousin, Melissa came over to have some homemade ice cream while watched Outsourced. I love when we hang out because we tend to laugh a lot.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Picture Journal : Day 8

Now when Mika is hungry she lays by her food bowl where we feed her.... if she thinks we haven't picked up on her hint, she carries her bowl across the room into her bed. She's somethin' else.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Picture Journal : Day 7

Marv Dunphy. Amazing.
Here's some info on him courtesy of :

Marv Dunphy is an American former volleyball player and is currently the Head Men’s Volleyball Coach at Pepperdine University.[1] During his tenure, Pepperdine has won five NCAA Division I Championships. Dunphy holds a career record of 507-199 (.708).

Dunphy began his career at Pepperdine as an Assistant Coach in 1975, and assumed the head coaching role in 1977. Under his tutelage, 19 Pepperdine Waves have earned 34 All-American Awards, and nine of his players have earned National Player of the Year honors: Bob Ctvrtlik (1985), George Roumain (1998, 1999), Brad Keenan (2002, 2003), Sean Rooney (2005), Jonathan Winder (2007) and Paul Carroll (2009)… more than any other program in the United States. Ten of Dunphy’s players have gone on to compete in the Olympics.

In 1985, Dunphy became the Head Coach of the USA Men’s National Team. His team experienced unprecedented success as the Americans maintained a number one ranking and compiled an impressive overall record of 197-31. Dunphy’s squad won every major international event, including the 1985 World Cup, the 1986 World Championships, the 1987 Pan American Games, and the 1988 Olympics inSeoul, Korea. In 1988, Dunphy was the recipient of the Coach of the Year Award from the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). He served as the technical advisor for the 1996 and 2004 Olympic teams, was as Assistant Coach for the 2000 Olympic team, and most recently was a Consultant Coach at the 2008 Olympics.

Dunphy is currently a member of the Volleyball Hall of Fame[2] and the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. His 1988 Olympic Team was also inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame.

Dunphy earned an Undergraduate Degree from Pepperdine University, and completed his Doctorate at Brigham Young University. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Dunphy also teaches in the Natural Science Division at Pepperdine University.

Marv was one of the coaches that taught us this weekend. Other coaches that coached us were Carl McGown (BYU coach), his son Chris McGown, Rob Downing (Saint Mary's coach), and other great All American volleyball players!!

We were in the presence of so much greatness!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Picture Journal : Day 6

My cousins' baby, Judah William Bowen was born last week!!
I got to meet him yesterday and he is adorable!
He has such proud, happy parents :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 5

I got to go to a Gold Medal Squared coaches clinic in Malibu this weekend; it was incredible!! I feel like my brain is going to explode with all the information that I learned.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 4

I'm a day behind, but I'll get caught up soon. Here is what happened yesterday.

Yesterday ( May 12th) I rode down to Southern California with my sister-in-law, Jeanette. Although it took us a solid 5 hours to get to Northridge, to me, it felt like the fastest trip down that I have ever taken. Jeanette and I talked the entire drive down and it was really nice. I got a picture and some video of Noah sitting in the back with his ball cap on, enjoying some cheetos while reading a Star Wars book. Too cute!
I came down south for a Gold Medal Squared coach's clinic at Pepperdine in Malibu. It's Amazing!! But that's another blog post....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 3

I decided that I want my blogs to be real and honest. Not every day is perfect... today could have been worse.... I just want to write about my life and what really goes on.
Today I took another one of my ASL classes to the California School for the Deaf (CSD) in Fremont. It was fun, but last week was better. I signed more last week and had more confidence afterwards. Today I have been feeling unmotivated and weak. As I type this, I feel selfish and lame; I'm not sure what's going on. I started school 3 years ago to become a teacher. The program was supposed to be a year and a half long, but due to the CSET, it's taking me at least twice that amount of time to finish what I started. Talk about frustrating! I feel dumb and have thoughts such as, "What made you think you could ever become a teacher?" I was never wonderful with school; I have a hard time remembering things and passing tests. The only classes I excelled in were Bible and Sign Language, but both have been sitting on my mental "shelf" for so long that thoughts, ideas, and signs have changed or are no longer used. Basically, I feel useless when it comes to "doing something with my life." Don't get my wrong, I have a lot of joy in my home, I just don't feel a specific purpose outside of here. I want to be used by the Lord and do things for Him. If this is all a training for something greater in the future, I feel I'm bound to fail.
As I am fasting, I've decided to pray for purpose, as well as a few other things. I'm confident that the Lord will show me someday what He wants me to do. I just hope and pray that I will hear Him and be ready to go.
Sorry for the "Debbie Downer" entry today. This too shall pass...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Photo Journal : Day 2

The highlight of my day : After school today I went to Brentwood for Chase Helming's last volleyball of this season. He's a Freshman at Heritage High School and this is his first year playing volleyball. He's on JV and was a stud!! He has a great serve and got about 3-4 aces! He hits well and he has a great overhand pass. He'll be on Varsity next year for sure. He played in a Varsity tournament last weekend and did well with them.

While I was there my best friend, Kimmie, came to watch the game and hang out too. I love her. We got dinner, went to Target, went to her house to say hi to her family, and then I went back to the Helmings to say goodbye before heading back to Livermore.
Kimmie is such an amazing person and I wish we lived closer together so we could hang out more often.
Overall it was a good day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Picture Journal : Day 1


I read in a book I have about doing a photo journal on my blog. It says to take a picture each day and write a little something about it. Then, I can go to and order my blog into a book. I thought it sounded like a great idea! I tend to have issues with doing something like that everyday, but I want to try it and promise to do my best.

So for day 1, I took a picture of our puppy Mika (mee-ka). In Russian it means God's Child and in Native American it means Wise Raccoon. Once we read the definitions, we knew it was the perfect name for her. She was born January 30, 2011 making her about 14 weeks old now.

She has been a joy (and at times a pain) to have in our little blue-eyed family. Overall, we are extremely happy that we got her. She is Koda's actual sister, just 2 litters later. She looks and acts so much like Koda when he was her age! They both drink the same way (very messy), they both talk, and they are both total lovers. She seems to jump and bite a bit more than he did, but I think she'll learn soon enough that that's not ok. She caught on very quickly how to sit and wait for her food. I just added "lay down" into that mix and she does great at it!

Koda loves having her around! At first he was hesitant, but after a few days they were sharing the dog bed and playing non stop. Koda has been a wonderful big brother. They wrestle together and run around the backyard. She mostly tucks and rolls when Koda comes flying by her, but as she grows she'll be able to stand her ground. We love watching them interact. Though Koda could probably break her with one snap of his jaw, he gets down to her level and plays just gentle enough that he doesn't hurt her. We've even seen times where he literally tries to tell her what's not ok to do. For example, she started to get into some tissue paper yesterday. Koda did his low rumble "talking" and seemed to be telling her, "That's a bad idea."
We also noticed that sometimes Koda needs his "me" time. He gladly goes and lies down in his crate for a while until he is ready to be around her again. Even though Mika can get on all of our nerves sometimes, Koda has been much more happy and less stressed since we got her. And we've enjoyed having a soft puppy around again. They both bring us joy and we love them very much. They are our "children" and we are grateful to have them.

Our "wise raccoon"

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Daniel Fast

As I said yesterday, I started doing a Daniel Fast. I'm on day 8 of 21. Last Sunday I stocked the house with healthy foods for the fast. If you've never heard of a Daniel Fast before, it's a partial fast in which some foods are restricted. In a nutshell, it's a Vegan diet on crack. No animal by-product, No sweeteners/sugar, No refined or processed food products, No deep-fried foods, No solid fats, Only water to drink. Needless to say, after the first day I knew it was going to be a rough three weeks. I am a snacker. I love sugar. I love meat. I love milk and cheese.

I went to the store and bought The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory. I found out about her by stumbling upon her blog: I highly recommend this book! It has information about what the Daniel Fast is, how to make the most of it spiritually, it has lots of delicious recipes (and I'm pretty picky sometimes), and it comes with a devotion for a 21 day fast.

Tonight I made one of her recipes: Black Bean, Corn, and Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers; doesn't it look lovely? :) I also bought some Matzos crackers to eat with it (those are my new favorite snack food, and I will continue to buy them even after the fast is over). The meal was DELICIOUS!!!

- 2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained (I only used one can and it was more than enough)
- 3 cups brown rice, divided
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels (I used canned; just be sure there's no sugar added to it)
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I didn't have any and it was still yummy!)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (just "eyeball" it)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I didn't have any limes, so I used 1/2 a lemon and it was great)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (I only had garlic powder; still great)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2-3 large bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and cored
- 2 cups 100% vegetable or tomato juice

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using a large bowl, gently combine the beans, 1 cup of brown rice, corn, scallions, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place the pepper halves in a large glass baking dish and stuff them with the bean and rice mixture.
4. Carefully spoon some of the juice over each stuffed pepper, trying not to disrupt the filling. Pour the remainder of the juice into the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes.
5. To serve, place about 1/2 cup of brown rice on each plate, spoon some of the juice from the baking dish on the rice, and then place a stuffed pepper on top of the rice.
6. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

For now, I am going to keep my reasons for fasting to myself. But as I learn and grow, I will share with you what God does. After the fast, I will talk about everything, including what I am fasting for. If you think about it, please pray for me the next two weeks. Thanks! More to come on the Daniel Fast tomorrow.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I remembered!!

I almost forgot to write about something that I have been wanting to post:
I started a Daniel Fast last week. It has been hard and amazing at the same time. I've been wanting to post what I learn and experience. I'll try to compose my thoughts tomorrow and put a lengthier post about it. In fact, I will put a reminder in my phone right now to post more tomorrow.
The other thing that I have been interested in doing, is a post and a picture a day... we'll see how that goes. For now, stayed tuned...

Commitment Issues???

When we moved into the apartment, I thought that I hadn't put very much on the walls because we knew we wouldn't be living there for very long. But now that we're in a house, and we plan to be here for quite some time, I'm starting to think it's more than the short-term living situation that's preventing me from hanging things.
I realized today that I have a hard time fully committing where to put something. Sounds like a stupid problem... and it is... but our house just won't be complete until I buck up and get these walls decorated.
I've found pieces of art that I like, but Vince really wants all the pictures in the house to be made by ME (aaahhh!!!) So not only is there pressure for where to hang pictures, but alsowhatto hang. What have I done that's worthy of hanging on a wall??? I do plan on hanging some of our wedding photos which were taken by Euan Rannachan ( because those are AMAZING!!! But where to hang them??? and which ones to print on canvas???

I have issues.

Vince tells me, "They're just walls." My response, "Walls in our home." This is probably the lamest post on my blog yet, but that's what's on my mind, so that's what is being posted.

The other thing on my mind: The Royal Wedding. It was so beautiful! It makes me want to marry Vince all over again, and again!! Plus Prince William looks like Vince (not the other way around, since Vince is older than the Prince), so I think that makes me dream about it even more.

Thanks for reading my random thoughts. If you have any advice on how to overcome my fear of decorating our blank walls, please let me know.
I took the following pictures and messed with them today to possibly hang above our bed. Any thoughts? be honest; I can take it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Great Books!!!

I just finished reading Francine River's "A Lineage of Grace." She had written these books a while ago and sold them as separate hardbacks, but has just put them out in a paperback and it has all of the books in one! It was amazing!!! "We meet the 5 women whom God chose-- Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary--even scandalous--challanges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World."

I love Christian Historical Fiction, so this book was right up my alley! I felt like I was friends with the characters. I felt their joy and their pain. I learned more about the Bible and it helped me to dig into Scripture I had not read in a long time. I highly recommend these!!

Next, I will be reading "Sons of Encouragement."

"Francine Rivers illuminates the lives of five Biblical men who stood behind the heroes of faith and quietly changed eternity. Aaron, Caleb, Jonathan, Amos, and Silas each faithfully sought after God in the shadows of His chosen leaders. They answered God's call to serve without recognition of fame. And they gave everything, knowing their reward might not come until the next life."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


God is so AMAZING!!!!

That's all.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Raw "Cooking"

Well, I'm in Oklahoma learning how to "cook" raw foods.
I thought it was going to be either really hard or really gross, but I was wrong on both accounts. It's super easy and so far it has been Delicious!! I've never wanted an iPhone, but it would have been nice to have one this week so I could take pictures of what we're making and post them on here. Oh well.

The website of the Chef/teacher is
Here's an excerpt from her website on what raw food is:

What are Living and Raw Foods?

Living and Raw foods are uncooked vegetables, fruits, soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains that contain powerful enzymes. At Pure we combine these vibrant ingredients to make incredible tasting cuisine. International cuisine from Italian, Asian, Mexican, and American dishes that taste unbelievable. Living raw foods have a much higher nutritional value than 'cooked' foods. When you heat foods to a temperature above 105 degrees you destroy the vital nutrients and enzymes while creating toxins. Heat changes the chemical make up of the food which creates substances that the body can no longer recognize. This causes unwanted damage within our bodies. Without the vital nutrients and enzymes we loose the 'life force' of the food and we get sick with illness & disease.

Day 1 consisted of learning different Mexican meals. We learned how to make:
Corn and Veggie Tortillas
(which were Awesome!!)
Chile Spiced Beans
(although there were no beans, it tasted just like beans)
Queso Cheese (no diary and delicious)
Awesome Guacamole
Fresh Tomato Lime Salsa
Baja Burritos (AMAZING!!)
Spicy Green Avocado Soup (I'd make it without the spicy-ness)
Chocolate Brownie with Frosting (to die for!!!)

Day 2 was all Italian cooking. We learned how to make:
Herb Pizza Crust (we get to eat it tomorrow... stay tuned on how it tastes...)
Scallion Basil Cheese (soooo good!!!)
Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
Lasagna (same note as the pizza crust...)
Rawmesian (homemade Parmesan cheese, minus the cheese part... DELICIOUS!!!)
Strawberry Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting (tasted the batter and it was like ice cream! Can hardly wait to eat the cake tomorrow!! and we were out of honey, so it's just cream cheese frosting and it's still amazing!)

Tomorrow we're learning how to make Asian/Thai food!! Mmm!!!
Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


For my birthday this year we went to Disneyland!! My best friend and her husband came with us, as well as half of Vince's family!! We had a ton of fun and got some good pictures. The weather was an amazing 80* and the wait for most of the lines was about 5-10 minutes. Couldn't have asked for a better day!! (you can click a picture to make it larger if it's hard to see on here)