Sunday, May 31, 2009

Is Drama Life or Life Drama?!?!?

Thinking out loud, "Where do I begin to tell this story?!?" Let me start with the good news. After more than two years of struggling with my potassium levels and having monthly blood tests, I have reached a normal level for the past two months. My doctor has decided I can now wait three months before another blood test. That sounds great to me!!

Now on to the next drama in my life. Before Christmas, Blake had put a bottle of water in the freezer and I unknowingly opened the fridge door and the frozen water fell from the top of the fridge onto my left foot. The foot swelled, bruised, and gave me misery. It seemed to never heal. While at ladies conference in March, I realized something was seriously wrong with my foot and determined to see my doctor as soon as I returned home. Apparently, the water falling on my foot was not the cause of the problem but brought enough aggravation to the foot for me to realize I needed help.

Since I have HMO insurance, it has taken until now to get to a specialist. He sent me for a nerve conduction test and spine X-Rays thinking my foot is falling off my ankle because my back has nerve issues causing weakness on my left side. What?!?!? Here's what I know - - - if a doctor ever recommends a nerve conduction test to you, run as fast as you can screaming, "HELP!" A friend of mine described the test as "Nazi." This test began with an assistant putting an electrical probe on my foot. The probe began to send electrical shocks to my foot. Then, she moved the probe to my ankle and repeated the steps. This procedure continued all the way up my leg with the electrical shocks becoming increasingly stronger to the point of feeling as if my leg was burned. It was uncomfortable, but I tolerated it knowing it would surely be over soon. The assistant then left the room saying, "The doctor will be with you shortly." I figured the doctor would come in, say a few words, and then it would be over but I was wrong. This doctor got a long plastic needle and said she was going to probe my leg and it would "poke a little." She then proceeded to "poke" me from my foot to my lower back. (Probably at least 20 pokes) When she inserted the needle, she would put pressure and ask me to resist it. The needle would then go through the muscle and hit a nerve. When the nerve was hit, she would listen to the "noise" the nerve created on a big machine and watch the zig-zag lines that resembled and EKG. Now THIS was NOT fun and the needle HURT! Even so, I gritted my teeth determined to endure to the end. Trying my best, I could not stop the tears when the needle was three inches into my back and the doctor was moving it to find "the nerve." Nope, never again! I will absolutely, positively refuse to ever go through another nerve conduction test. Three days later and I could barely get up and down from a chair. My back hurts and I look like a druggie with so many needle marks up my leg.

Bottom line - a new referral is in progress to send me to an orthopedic surgeon at UCLA who specializes in foot/ankle problems. I am beginning to believe the older I get the more drama I face. Heaven help!!! Is drama life or life drama?!?!?!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Paula!

Paula with her grandchildren, Brooklyn, Terri-Renee, & Clayton Paul
Celebrity going incognito
Playing with Bryn

My much older sister - - -I think she loves it when I say that. HA! Yeah, right! She will want to slap me when she reads this but, "I ain't skeered." She is seven years older than me, four inches taller, and people still think we look like twins. Are optometrist a thing of the past? My response to Paula is this - these people must think you look like me because there is no way I look as old as you!

Seriously now. My sister is my only sibling and I love her dearly. We have so many great memories that just the mention of "running from a golf course" or "asparagus" can send us into a fit of laughter. Or, I could say, "Roll back the curtain of memory now and then..." I am now laughing out loud as I type these words!!! I was about eight years old, Paula 15, and we were singing with our mother in church. Paula was playing a huge Wurlitzer organ that looked like it wrapped around the church, I was standing to her side, and mom was behind Paula trying to pull the one microphone closer. You know those microphones that are so big they look like an electric car or mailbox? When mom tried pulling it closer, the entire boom stand came apart and mom was trying to hold the whole piece connected to the mic. Oops!!! Paula and I started to giggle, and mom was poking us trying to make us sing. The more she poked, the more we laughed. I don't think we finished the song that night but what a memory!!! " me where You brought me from, and where I could have been, remember I'm human and humans forget, so remind me, remind me, dear Lord..."

Well, Paula, I am reminding you it is your birthday and you are older than the truck speed limit but you could pass for the speed limit of downtown traffic twin. Take your pick. LOL Happy Birthday Day and many more. I love you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blake's Band Concert

This evening, we went to the Annual La Vina Advanced Band and Choir Concert. Blake is one of 61 band members and he is the only one who plays tenor saxophone. He did a great job and even had a solo line. I thought that was an achievement considering he is only a 6th grader among a majority of 7th and 8th graders. Yes, I am a very proud mommy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's Grad Time

Graduation season is here! A few days ago, my husband and I followed Bryce around his school and snapped pictures. He will graduate June 13 from Cal State University Bakersfield with a Bachelor of Arts and Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Children's Literature. I am proud of his achievement. He hopes to complete his masters in Speech Pathology. We have received several announcements and I wish to congratulate these fine young people. (I'm sure there will be more but this is all the announcements we have received thus far.)

8th Grade Grads:
Elizabeth Garcia
Brittany Arevalo
High School Grads:
Anahy Reyes
Alysha Hodges
Boston Young
Landry Cantrell
Chloe Watts
Tyler Hodge

Jr. College:
Shanoa Lockett
Juanita Ortiz

University Grads:
Melissa Grateroles
Carissa Lopez
Bryce Allard

Friday, May 22, 2009

Update On Life In My World

It has been a long week and my poor blog seems to have been deserted. Wednesday night, I spoke to the Apostolic Tabernacle Choir of Merced, California. They are the "kickingest," "rockingest," choir I know. I felt humbled and honored to stand before them. We had a great evening and enjoyed being with music director Mark Yandris and Pastor and Sis. Emory.

As you know, our church was devastated with the news of little Angelo and then, on Tuesday evening, Corina Ortega, a 23 year old woman who has attended our church in the past and has family in our church, was killed in a hit and run accident. Family has said she was emotionally unstable and laid down in the road. A car swerved to miss her and a raised pick up with jumbo tires apparently didn't see or feel hitting her. It is another tragedy. Prayers are needed for the Ortega/Aaron/Mercado families. (For those of you who know Bro. Eduardo and Sis Naomi Mercado, missionaries to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and pastors in Laredo, Texas, Corina is Sis. Naomi's niece.)

In the midst of all this, I received a good report from my doctor today. My potassium levels, after a more than two year battle, are once again in normal range. Instead of monthly blood draws, I get to wait three months for the next blood draw. Thank you, Jesus!

I hope you have a blessed weekend. Enjoy your family, remember those who gave their lives for our freedom, and include God in all you do.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank You...

(Out-of-town relavtives of the foster grandmother visited church and posed with Angelo. You can obviously see Angelo was a sweet, cuddle bug. No one could resist those big, brown eyes and kissable lips!)

EDIT 5/19/09 @ 11:10 PM : Please see comments for Jolene's personal thanks.
To all my faithful friends and blog followers, I want to extend a heartfelt thanks for your prayers for Angelo, his foster mom, and our congregation. Our world was rocked hard and we are still reeling from the shock of such an atrocious crime. I firmly believe your prayers are the only thing that has kept us through the past few days. In all honesty, it is difficult to come to grips with this and to realize we are so helpless. We wish we could rush to Angelo and hold him, but we can't. Questions continue to bombard our minds and we must push them away because there are no reasonable answers. We must walk by faith and not by sight...not by our flesh.

Jesus, let the healing begin.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Helen first, then Shirley gave me this award and I appreciate their thoughtfulness. I am responding to their questions only because I can't tell them, "No."


1. God - with all my heart, mind, and soul

2. Brian Allard - I love him with every beat of my heart which is about 110,000 times per day

3. Bryce, Blake, Bryn-Anika - my beautiful children whom I love more than life itself

4. Feeling the presence of God touch me (it usually brings me to tears)

5. Music - I love to sing and hear great harmonies

6. Laughter - it really is medicine to me

7. Pink - it is a color of which I never tire viewing

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Snapshots of Angelo

Above are a few snapshots of Angelo while he was in the care of Kerrie. Our whole church fell in love with this darling boy. He was a cuddle bug.
Please give your opinion in the below post concerning the media.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How Far Should the News Go?

Angelo Mendoza, Jr.

EDIT 10:40 AM Sat.: I just realized this child was in the care of a foster parent (Kerrie, the daughter of fellow blogger Jolene, was the foster parent) in our church and the courts ruled the parent stable enough to return the child. This is so devastating to Jolene and her family. Please pray for all involved.

Today has been nauseating ever since I read the Bakersfield Californian report about a four year old boy whose father bit his eyes out. The child, 4-year-old Angelo Mendoza Jr., told police, "My daddy ate my eyes." If you wish to read the entire article, here is the link:
What is your opinion? Should the news report such heinous crimes? Does making such monstrous crimes public knowledge give other unstable people the courage to copycat or exceed the atrociousness of the beastly crime?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bryce

It was only 23 years ago today, that my first-born entered the world. In my mind's eyes, I can still see him swaddled in the hospital blanket with his tiny toes peeking out and his daddy holding him proudly. Where has the time gone? Is my baby really this handsome man? I certainly don't know why the time has flown by but I do realize this handsome man really is my baby. And, my baby he will always be! Just before he sang on Sunday morning, he was standing on the platform and I just couldn't resist - - - I slid off the organ bench, stepped over to him, and put my arms around him and held him tight. If only those moments could last forever. Just in case Bryce reads this post, I want him to know...
My heart swells with pride when I see him love his little sister, take time to teach his little brother new games, rushes to assist the elderly, and I hear him speak politely with manners. I am proud of his upcoming graduation from university in June and I am proud of his bridal show modeling. Even more, my heart is touched when he sings praises to God and when he allows God to use him through prophetic ministry. There have been many times I felt God speak to me through the ministry of Bryce. There is so much life ahead and I wish him the best of everything.
Happy Birthday, Bryce, with lots of love from Mommy.

What Do We Believe?

Recently, I added another blogger to my list and I want to introduce you to him. His name is Rodney Shaw and his most recent post is titled, "What Do We Believe?: The Priority of Theology." Although it seems to be directed to UPCI ministers, most of the article is quite thought provoking. I think you would enjoy the read. Here is the link.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mother's Day

They are growing up too fast.
Sometimes they are so silly.
My mom with four of her five grandkids.
(We were missing Amber, my sister's oldest daughter.)
Now you know where they learned to be silly!

Today was a beautiful, sun-shining, California day with temperatures reaching the mid 80's and it was also a day full of love and laughter. The morning began with my kids giving me cards. I even got a card from our doggy saying, "I ruv roo!" They were all funny. Let me share the laughs.
Bryn's card: (A picture of a cute, naked baby on the front) "We're all born into this world naked..........It's God's way of telling us to go shopping."
Blake's card: (A picture of a mom cooking and the mom emphatically talking) "Well, I don't care if you think peas are gross. You'll EAT them and you'll LIKE them..........Mom, thank you for your gentle encouragement through the years."
Bryce's card: (A picture of a toddler sitting on the potty) "Hey, Mom! Thanks for teaching me so many wonderful things over the years..........Especially that potty training thing. I can't tell you how many times that has come in handy."
Then, I was supposed to go to church and be serious. LOL The service was beautiful and all the mothers were honored. Following the service, my husband took me to my favorite Italian restaurant. We had a great lunch celebrating Mother's Day and also Bryce's birthday. Being a mommy is the best job God ever gave me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

May your day be full of love, honor, and happiness.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Eagle's Summit Re-visited

My niece Sara with the First Lady of Apostolic Tabernacle Shirley Emory. Sara has made it known to all, that should anything happen to her parents, she wants Sam and Shirley Emory to be her parents. Shirley has happily agreed.

Merced Apostolic Tabernacle Choir
Apostolic Tabernacle musicians
Blake and his friend Ariella Arcovio

Time is flying too fast for me! I am struggling to keep my blog updated. Last weekend (Thurs.-Sat), Bryce sang at Eagle's Summit in Merced. Blake, Bryn and I were able to attend the Friday evening service and the Saturday concert in the park. This conference is not for the faint hearted Christian. The ministry is deep and intense. Scripture tells us there are pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and, yet, many have a hard time accepting "prophets." I will admit, I have had times I was skeptical, but I am convinced God still has and uses prophets today. The speakers for this conference were Prophet John Arcovio, Pastor Nathan Hurst, Pastor Sam Emory, and Prophet Dr. Gerald Jeffers. During the Friday evening service, Dr. Jeffers spoke about "Friend or Foe." He took us to the scriptures where Jesus called Judas "friend." Then, he backed up to the scriptures where Jesus had told his disciples how he would taken away and Peter response was he would not allow anyone to hurt Jesus and Jesus said to Peter, "Get thee behind me Satan." His point was Judas was a friend because he helped fulfill the will of God. It was God's will for Jesus to go to the cross for our redemption. When Peter didn't want any harm to come to Jesus, he was being a loving and concerned friend but he was trying to circumvent the will of God. There is so much more to the message I would suggest you visit and find the message in their archived videos. Following the service, we were gathered in the reception hall and my husband wanted to introduce me to Dr. Jeffers. When the introduction was made, Dr. Jeffers asked if I would sit in the chair across from him. He began to speak prophetically to me and I couldn't stop the tears. He spoke about things he could never possibly know without hearing from God. I am convinced there are modern day prophets.

The finale was the concert in the park along with a barbecue. Merced choir was in fine style as always, Bryce made me proud, and a group from Santa Ana sang their hearts out. It was a great weekend and Eagle's Summit is a conference I would highly recommend to anyone who desires a deeper, closer, and very intimate relationship with God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Raise A Standard

...have the courage
and the wisdom
and the vision
to raise a definite standard
that will appeal
to the best that is in man,
and then strive mightily toward that goal.
- Harold E. Stassen

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Back Home

Just got in from Eagles Summit Conference. It was an incredible conference! Pictures, thoughts, and video links coming soon. There is one thing of which I am thoroughly convinced - Dr. Jeffers is a real prophet. No one can convince me otherwise.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brag Moment

Once again, I am bragging on my little princess Bryn. She is part of the UPCI Ladies Ministries national promotional video. Go to, scroll down the page and on the right it will have the link to view Mother's Memorial 2009 promotional video. "All This and More." Bryn represents foreign missionaries, "...and that's a really good thing."

EDIT: This promotional video was created by Anita Harding who is the promotional director for my district (Central and Northern California and Northern Nevada). Our national ladies president loved Anita's work and wanted to use her for the national promotions. I am very proud to work with Anita.