Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Birthday Dinner photos


Hey, if there's music...........


My MOM will be dancing to it!!!!























I had a WONDERFUL birthday dinner and am grateful for all my wonderful friends!! Thank you, Jesus, for such a blessed life!

Joann~

Disneyland at Christmas!!


Our friend, Jack Skellington, in the Haunted Mansion!



Jack Sparrow relaxing with a drink!!



Sally, Jack, Chris, and Jennifer (a friend that went with us).


The Main Street Christmas Tree.


Sleeping Beauty's Castle really sparkles at night!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

God's Blessings!


These are my friends, Roseann & Kathy.



This is ME after a good SOAK!! LOL!!

We went to a friend's house for a Christmas party yesterday. Janie has a beautiful condo right on the beach.... outside her living room window all you see is ocean, it was beautiful!! She also has another home in the desert... that's the best of both world's!! She had several homes before she and her husband retired, but they've sold most of them now, and live very comfortably.

I talked a bit with Janie, and she gave me some very valuable advice. Advice that I'm totally taking to heart.

She said that there's NO WAY in the world that she and her husband should have such a great life except for the grace of GOD!! She said that during their entire married life (and they married young), they've ALWAYS, ALWAYS TITHED!!

That REALLY got me thinking, you know, I tithe, but I don't tithe my FULL 10%. I know that I'm supposed to, but 10% of my GROSS salary (which is what He requires) is ALOT of money, so I compromise... I'm sure GOD understands... running a household on one salary is hard enough without giving back 10%... I could USE that 10%... I have LOTS of bills to pay... I'm sure God will excuse me from paying my FULL tithe.... right!!???

WRONG!!! He GAVE me my job, and everything else I have, I know that... so why would I be exempt from His law, and essentially, His PLAN. This money is ALL HIS to begin with... it really is!! So why not give Him just the small part that He requires back!?

My New Year's Resolution is to give Him back His FULL 10% of the money He gives me.

I may never see the blessings that Janie has, but I'll be right with God, He'll know that my heart is where it belongs in HIM!!! And it will allow Him to do the things He is trying to do THROUGH ME!!

Thanks, Janie!!



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Roseann!!

OK, these pics were taken with my phone, so they aren't the best pics... but I thought I'd post them anyway!!


My friend, Donna, and I at one of many birthday dinners for Roseann!! LOL!!!



Denise & Roseann


Of course, we all had a great time!! Great food, and great company.... what more could you ask for, right?!?!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our Community Christmas Parade



I'm so proud of our little community. Tonight was our annual Christmas parade, and it rocked!!

We are a community that actually CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS!!!! There were THREE different nativity scenes in the parade from 3 different churches; there were several floats singing different Christmas songs celebrating the birth of Jesus... and there was one float from another church where my friend, Lilly (along with others from her worship team), sang "Mighty to Save".... (you guys were the best, Lilly)!! All the banners on the floats and cars said "Merry Christmas", not 'Happy Holidays'! PEOPLE shouted "Merry Christmas" to each other!!

It's just so wonderful to live in a place where people aren't afraid to stand up for what they believe!! I love my Lord, and I'm so blessed to live in a place where I'm free to share my passion.

Sometimes, I'm not sure how much longer I'll be FREE to do that, but I'll always feel the same about Him!! That will NEVER change!!

Joann~

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Christmas Time!!!



Well, I haven't posted an entry in a very long time... and now that I've changed my playlist, the only way to get anyone to listen is to post something, right?!? LOL!!

I just added a few of my very favorite Christmas songs... hope you enjoy them!! Can you tell which one is my absolute fave?? OK, so I have to make a choice... oh wait, no, I don't... It's MY playlist!!! LOL!!!

The last post I did was in early October, when my nephew was leaving to Australia. Well, an update is that he's made alot of new friends there, and is having a good time. He's DRIVING there now... which is a feat, because they drive on the WRONG side of the road, there... (OK, maybe it's US who drive on the wrong side of the road, but it's become the CORRECT side for us... LOL!!) He has a job, and seems to be doing ok. Just remember to keep him in your prayers, kind of sad to be away from family over the holidays.

I'm writing out my Christmas cards already.... so if anyone would like one, just e-mail me your address and I'll send you one.

Some pics of our Thanksgiving......





I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.... Mine was wonderful!! We went to my cousin's where there were about 18 people, so we potlucked it, and there was ALOT of delicious food!! My mom took a ham and I made an apple pie (my first ever), and two pumpkin pies with the little crust maple leaves and pumpkins on them!! I didn't get a pic of those!





Well, I hope you are all doing well, if I missed anything important in your life, please e-mail me... because I'm here now. Meanwhile, I'll try to get to all the blogs this week, because I've really missed you guys!!

Take Care,
Joann

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Land Down Under

What's Down Under got that we don't have here???

My nephew is MOVING to Australia this week. He's leaving Thursday to LIVE there. Said he'll check it out for a year, see how things go, then decide whether or not he'll stay there.

He is a real adventurer!!! When he was in the navy, he lived in a few different places, including Iraq and Hawaii, and he saw many different places. But he fell in love with Australia, and made some good friends there.... so they talked him into moving there and staying with them until he gets settled. I think he's going for the GIRLS, myself... but hey, wherever he'll find happiness, right!!?

He asked my advice, rather than his mom's or his grandmother's, because he knew they'd give him selfish advice to stay here.... LOL!!! I was proud to tell him that he should GO, he's not married, he has no kids, and he just got home from Iraq, so he doesn't have a job here yet to tie him down. He's young and should experience as much of the world as possible, in my opinion.

I did and I love the experiences I've had, I didn't LIVE in any other country, but hey, I tried another state for a summer... LOL!! I think that if I were as bold as my nephew, I'd be living in England right now, I LOVED England!! But I'm not bold that way, I was chicken to move away from home, away from mommy and daddy (at the time!).

I'm really glad that my nephew is taking chances to find his happiness, and of course, I'm VERY PROUD of him!!!

When I told him how much I'll miss him... he said "Hey, just think of it as another vacation destination!!" = )

Joann

Monday, October 5, 2009

2009 L.A. County Fair



Yesterday was the last day of the Los Angeles County Fair. We loved going when the weather was cool enough to actually enjoy it!!

I did not go crazy on the fair food.... instead I bought fun stuff. Got a couple of very pretty rings, some flavored dipping oil, and some Christmas gifts.

Chris saw the concert (Shinedown, Puddle of Mudd, and Saliva... crazy names, huh!?? LOL!!). He and his (girl)friend enjoyed the concert, and we closed down the park.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend, too!!

Joann

Thursday, September 17, 2009

California Central Coast!

I wanted to share some of the pics from our vacation, last week!! We had a great time, wish we were still there!! We shopped alot, tasted wine, ate alot, and RELAXED some, too!! LOL!!! The weather was PERFECT, we slept with our balcony door open every night to hear the ocean!!


Our Beach!! This was taken from our balcony.




Splashes!




Chris and a friend at the caves down the beach.




Beautiful sunsets.




My son and me.



Another Beautiful Sunset!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A better view of September 11

September 11 holds a bad memory for us all... a memory that will forever be with us. We will never forget the tragedy that affected so many lives.

However, as of Friday, September 11, 2009, New Yorkers have another view, a better memory.

It happened in the bottom of the third inning, NY Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles....




Derek Jeter singled to right off of Orioles's pitcher, Chris Tillman, for hit number 2,272 of his career, beating Lou Gehrig's (NY Yankee) record set 70 years ago!!

Derek Jeter, Captain of the NY Yankees, hit another single later that day, for a total of 2,273 career hits. Only 727 more hits to go to get to the elite 3,000 Hit Club!!

THAT'S MY MAN!!!!!!

(info. & photo courtesy of the Bleacher Report)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fun at an Angel's Game!!!

Angels vs. Detroit!!!








Angel's lost... DRATS!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thank you, Linda (My Thotful Spot)!!

My beautiful friend, Linda, sent me the most 'thotful' gift. She totally surprised me!! (Sorry about the reflection, I had some files on my desk! LOL!!)



I currently have it on my desk at work along with all my other pics of Derek!! LOL!! (Julie may recognize those pics!! = )



Thank you so very much, Linda, I LOVE IT and will treasure it, not just because it's 'DEREK', but because it's from YOU with Love!!

You're such a wonderful friend and I truly appreciate you!!!

Joann

Happy Birthday, Beth!!

I know I'm a day late.... and I DID send birthday wishes to Beth, yesterday!! HOWEVER, I have something for you, Beth!!!



A small portion of this side of Route 66 for your birthday!!

Hope you had a wonderful day!!!

Joann

Saturday, August 8, 2009

South Beach, again!

Before I start my blog.... the links that I am putting in here are bold and italized, the other links here are from some stupid advertising place that I won't name, because I hate that they are invading our blogs.... does ANYONE know how to get rid of them???

I'm on my third day of the South Beach eating plan, which worked really well for me last time I did it! The problem the was that I didn't continue with Phase II (which is the best part, really... that's when you get to add all the FRUIT....LOL!!) this time, I will do Phase II!!

I've made a couple of mistakes... the first day I ate some pinto beans before checking the Phase I food list (they aren't on there). Then yesterday, I went to dinner and ordered VERY well, but when they brought the bread, I instinctively grab a slice and took two bites before remembering, so I left the rest of it alone. Today so far, I'm on a roll!! LOL!! Of course, I've been home all day, haven't been out yet.... LOL!!

My main goal is to ween myself OFF of sugar... (which means that last night, WINE was OUT!!! OH, that hurt!!!) I know that sugar is my biggest obstical in my journey to lose weight. I really believe that if I could kick the sugar habit, I'd be well on my way.

Well, wish me luck... I know I'll need it!!

Joann

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Shutterfly

I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get photos from shutterfly to my blog... so I created a new shutterfly site instead!! LOL!! You can click on the word shutterfly or you can copy and paste this to your browser....

http://joannsfun.shutterfly.com/?role=-1

But please go and check out the pics... there's only a few, I promise!! I think you can leave a comment too if you want to!!

The pics are from my fun here with Lydia, my friend from Florida.... and so that Garnett can see what 'a Solvang' is?? = )

Joann

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thanks for the support

I just wanted to post a short note to tell you all Thank you for the encouragement and support after my last post.

My mom is doing MUCH better.... we threatened her with 'the HOME' if she falls again... LOL!!! JK!! But I do think that all the talk of the independent/assisted living facility made her bounce (pun intended) back to health real quick.

She's home, and a nurse comes to check on her a few times a week and leads her through some physical therapy. She's got a walker now, and a back brace which she's not happy about.... but she'll deal with it.

I go over to see her and bring her dinner 3 or 4 times a week, her neighbors also check on her and bring her food, and so does my sister. So she's pretty well set for now. In fact, she's doing well. She's off most of the strong pain meds, Vicadin, Demural (sp?), and whatever else she was taking... she's now down to a couple of extra strength Tylenols a day.... which is a LONG way from where she was a couple of weeks ago.

I'm glad, though, that I had the chance to go check out a facility close to me, and I told her that I'd like to take her on a tour so that she'll be a little more open minded about it, if and when that time ever DOES come. ME, as long as it's independent living, I can't WAIT to get there.... those residents are treated like royalty!! LOL!! Elegant dining at every meal, games, music, pleasure day trips, someone to do all your housework and laundry... Oh yeah, I can't WAIT 'til it's MY turn.

I've had a great couple of weeks with my friend from Florida here... she left on Wednesday morning, but we had so much fun while she was here. We went to Tea, we went to the local wine bar, we went to Solvang, we went to the gates of Neverland Ranch, we went wine tasting.... and she invited me to go back to Florida for Thanksgiving, again... I loved it so much last time I was there!!

OK, I said this would be short, sorry, I had more to say than I thought I did. = )

I've fallen WAY behind on blog reading, I plan to get somewhat caught up this weekend. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Joann

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't read this!

I knew you would!! I'm just going to complain a bit here, so you can stop here if you'd like... consider yourself warned!!

I usually like to keep this blog upbeat, and I really do have alot of fun things to write about right now.... my friend from Florida is here visiting, it's SO good to have her here!! I'm all done with year end closing of the books at work, and I feel the stress completely lifted... rejuvenated!!! I have some weekend getaways and a vacation planned for very soon!!!

However, I did receive a bit of news today that threw me for a loop... I didn't go to work today, because I was at the hospital for the most part of the night until 3:00 a.m. with my mother (AGAIN!).

They CT scanned her, and suggested that we think about alternative living arrangements for her.... she shouldn't be alone anymore.

She has osteoperosis and very bad degenerative disks in her lower back that are effecting the strength in her legs, that's the reason she keeps falling, her legs are just giving out from under her.... and the pain meds are causing other problems for her.

My mom is VERY petite.... she's only 4' 11" and weighs just over 100 pounds. (I hate to think about what I'm in for, in my later years).

So, I have some daunting tasks ahead, I'm sure. I think we'll first look into finding someone to stay with her at home whenever we can't. We'll see how that goes. It'll take someone with ALOT of patience, that's for sure!! I love her, but she DOES demand constant attention!!

HEY!! Maybe a little scooter, and just someone to check on her every morning... I could go at night!! Hmmmm!!

If you're still reading.... Wish me luck, will you?

Thanks,
Joann

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Evening Highlight!!

I got a call from my son today.... He said "Hi Mom, What are you doing?"

I said "I'm just about to leave work."

He said "Why don't you come over to La Tazza? They're having an open mike night, and this guy's pretty good."

So I went to sit with my son.... we had dinner and a good time listening to good music. He wants to go again next Friday!!

He's at his friend's house now, but he started the evening with his mom!! = )

And I was going to go out with the girls tonight, look what I would have missed!!

Joann

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Weekend!!!

This is my famous Aunt Sylvia & Cousin Xavier (the aunt that my sister and I fight over, all the time)!! We were having lunch at the Mustard Seed Restaurant in Solvang, CA. (She's much prettier when she smiles, but I took the pic before she knew it.... in fact, she'd probably kick me if she knew I was posting it... LOL!!)



This is a glimpse of the festivities we enjoy from my mom's front yard... this was the very end of a grand finale of just one of THREE shows of which we have a perfect view!!!

video

Hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend as much as we did!!

Joann

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Friend, Bob!



This is Bob. I've mentioned him before on my AOL journal (many moons ago).

Bob, and his wife Linda, are an elderly couple that I look after. I used to work with Bob before he had a stroke just over a year ago.

We all went to dinner tonight. They take me out once in awhile as a 'Thank You' for helping them and because, although it's really hard for him to get around, Bob needs to get out sometimes to keep his spirits up.

Today, after dinner, I took Bob outside for a cigar as Linda paid the bill and hit the restroom. Bob told me that he doesn't want to live anymore. He was crying when he told me that. He said that everything's just too hard, now.... he's on a wheelchair, always. He'll be 79 on July 5th.

I know things are hard for him, and I guess I'd feel the same, but selfishness made me encourage him to not give up. I told him that there are many people who care for him, and that he should try to find things of interest to keep him occupied. It was lame, I know, but I didn't know HOW to encourage him.

He opened up again, to me more when we stopped at the grocery store and Linda went in to get a case of water. We talked about Jesus, and his beliefs. We talked about where he'd be going after he died. I'm comfortable in his beliefs, that if he died tonight, I'd KNOW that he's going to Heaven, and so is he (comfortable in that faith).

That was the most important thing to me... I don't want to lose Bob, but I understand... there isn't much left for him, here, anymore.

At dinner, he ordered chopped steak, and as I cut his steak for him, he said "I can't even eat Prime Rib anymore." (which he used to LOVE). So for his birthday, I'll cook a roast for him, he loves my roast, and I make it tender enough that he can enjoy it. It's all I know to do for him, anymore.

I'll buy him some large print books of interest to him, and maybe some imported beer, but what else can I do to make him comfortable... there isn't much.

I want to give him back his youth, I want him to walk again, I want him comfortable. But this is where I trust God to give Bob what he needs, and to take Bob home when He feels Bob is ready.

Please don't wait too long, though, God. I'll miss him terribly, but he's so tired, now.

Thanks for listening.

Joann

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Story of Perfect Timing



My son is 19 years old, I don't normally tell him who to hang out with anymore. He usually picks good people for friends. But once in a while, a parent still have to set boundaries, when you see something that is NOT good for them.

Thank God for His blessings and guidance!!

About a month ago, I had to restrict my son from a friend he'd been hanging out with for a few months. This person was NOT good for my son to be around, this friend was leading my son away from the good, happy person he normally is.

I prayed on the whole situation, and waited for the right time. I wanted God to lead my actions, so that my son would not rebel. I mean, this person had turned into his best friend almost over night... how could he just STOP seeing this person!!

One Friday afternoon, after I found that Chris had lied to me a second time, (both times involving this same friend), I told him that was it!! This 'friend' was not allowed at our home, and Chris was NOT to see him again, at all. Chris didn't even argue, he just said 'OK'. (I was really prepared for a big arguement... LOL!!)

Now, I realize that I can't watch his every move, I can't be with him all the time, he's on his own most of the time, so I had to set some severe consequences for him.

Well, that Friday night, it happened that Chris was going out with another friend of his that he's known for quite awhile, to a party where all Chris's old friends were going to be. Those friends intervened (on my behalf, without even knowing it), they told Chris that this person (the one I'd restricted him from) was NOT COOL, that they did NOT like that person, and that they did not want that person around. They were just accepting him, because of Chris.

Talk about God's perfect timing.... WOW!!!! With his old friends confirming what I'd just told him that very same day.... he has NOT seen this friend again.

Chris, at first, was making up excuses not to see this person when he'd call, then just told him straight out he didn't want to go out whenever he'd call, and now won't even answer this other person's calls anymore... that person hardly ever calls anymore, really.

Thank you, Lord!! Thank you for taking care of YOUR SON!!! Thank you for always watching over him, when I can't!! Thank you for making him the wonderful person he is.

A few weeks ago, Chris started going back to church on his own. I never bug him about it, it has to be his decision. He doesn't go with me on Sundays, (well, I do ask that he go FOR ME on Mother's day and my birthday which he does.) but he goes to his age appropriate church groups on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

I'm just so grateful to have God's blessings in our lives. And I wanted to share with you what amazing things He can do, like handle situations for you that you might not be able to, otherwise.

Hope you all had a great weekend, and that you'll enjoy a great week ahead.

Joann

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!!



Thanks, Sugar for the beautiful graphic!!

I want to wish all the fathers (& stepfathers) out there a very Happy Father's Day!! I also would like to wish any mothers who are also fathers in the lives of their children, a Happy Father's Day, too!!! (I KNOW the struggles we face being BOTH parents to our kids!! And you all deserve this special day, too!!)

I hope you all spend the day doing whatever it is that makes you happy!! I pray that you have a blessed day full of joy!!

My son is spending the weekend with his dad, right where he should be. And I will go with my mom today and visit my dad and leave flowers!

If you don't have your dad with you anymore, visit with him if you can, even if it's just in your bedroom for a private moment.... tell him Happy Father's Day!! You'll feel good for having told him.

Enjoy your day,

Joann

Sunday, June 7, 2009




I have to let you know about a blog that I really love to go to.... the music this guy posts almost always takes me back. You may know Garnett from another journal, but I'm not sure how many people go to his Jumpin' Johnny G blog.

My son and I used the last day of our Disney passes yesterday, to go to California Adventure. So after this post, you won't have to hear anymore about Disneyland from me for awhile.... (at least until December!!).

They're building something here, in front of the Mickey wheel, so it looks kind of odd.... but whatever it is, I bet it'll be great when it's done!!



Record Catch!! (The weight listed for the record catch on the sign is 7 1/4 tons!! LOL!!)



My lunch was a chicken salad (with apples, walnuts & cranberries) YUMMY!!!!!



Laker Flowers....... = )



Have a great week, everyone!!

Joann

Monday, June 1, 2009

Goofy's Kitchen!!



Does it look like my son is kinda STRANGLING Pluto??? LOL!!!

We went to Downtown Disney for dinner, on Sunday, to celebrate the boy's birthday... (this is the LAST time this year, though!! I think!!)

We ate at Goofy's Kitchen!! They had a great menu and a FANTASTIC dessert bar!! LOL!! I had salad and bbq ribs and roasted chicken and mashed potatoes and steamed veggies and LOTS of dessert stuff... jell-o, fruit, strawberry cheesecake, brownie, lemon squares, apple crisp, some of just about everything!!! Oh, was I ever FULL!!!

Yes, I KNOW we're all grown ups, but sometimes you just gotta be a kid!!!











Hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Joann