January 16, 2007

New Year's Resolution Complete!

Hi...I am very proud to say that I have just finished reading the Bible, from beginning to end, for the first time. My New Year's Resolution from 2006, my one and only, was to read the Bible from start to finish...and I did!! Yay for me and my walk with the Lord. I decided to read "The Daily Bible..In Chronological Order." I think it's a great way to get through the entire Bible and have everything make sense, historically. It was a challenge and several times through the year I got a week or two or three behind, but I would slowly catch myself up and this morning I finished out Revelations with a happy heart! Here's the cover of the Bible if anyone's interested in starting it up for 2007. It's not too late...I would encourage you to do so if you've never read the entire Bible. It only takes about 15-20 minutes a day. And I will need at least another 50 years of reading through it over and over to get even part of what the Lord wrote. :)

January 15, 2007

Carpinteria Birding at it's Best!

Hello...well after that crazy long blog, which TOTALLY didn't turn out like the preview...I had it all perfectly set up to go along with the pictures...I figured I'd better do a quick blog about the birding trip to Carpinteria. My mom, Judy, Mary and I were able to drive up to Carpinteria pretty early in the morning on Thursday, January 4th and stopped in Ventura along the way to check out the BIG waves that were crashing up onto the street. I figured I needed to get some pictures of this, so I proceeded to jump out of the car, and try and shoot a couple of pictures, finding a place along the road that wasn't wet at all...I'm sure you know where this is going. Well, about 10 minutes into me shooting pictures, a wave snuck up on me and as I was trying to run behind the car, it soaked me. My entire back and pants were dripping, so I took off the sweater and wrung it out, and Judy had a blanket in the back that I sat on for the rest of the trip. It was pretty funny!! :) I did however, get some great pictures looking up and down the coast...Anyway, we stopped off at the Carpinteria Bluffs and I was able to see a GORGEOUS white-tailed kite and a very cute white crowned sparrow which I got a good picture of...
We headed up to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh, where birding is always fun, and walked around for a couple of hours scoping out Great Egrets hunting for fish, Green Herons, Buffleheads, an incredible Cinnamon Teal which I have never seen before, a Great Blue Heron, Pied-billed Grebes, Eared Grebes, Turkey Vultures, Killdeer, Willets, and many more. It was a really fun day and I was able to mark off a ton of new birds in my birding book. :) We finished up the morning by grabbing a quick bite at the Cajun Kitchen Cafe in downtown Carp and then headed home. It was a wonderful way to start the new year off! :) Here is a picture of the "beaches" in Carpinteria...however, the tide was so high, there was no beach. I was shocked. Many times, I have walked to the edge of that jeti in the distance. The tide and the waves were pretty

January 10, 2007

A Desperately Late Blog Update! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Hello everyone! So sorry that I've been a little slow about updating the blog! It was a crazy busy holiday season this year and to top it all off, I've been sick with an upper respiratory infection since before Christmas. Where do I start...well, we started off the Christmas season with the Davis Clan down at my Uncle Roger & Aunt Diana's house in Laguna Beach on December 2nd. Their amazing house overlooks the Pacific with this incredible view! We had such a great time and had some awesome home cooked food! My dad and Steve were able to play guitar and entertain us for a while which was great to hear them play. :) And we were able to get all the cousin's kids in a picture for the first time. It didn't turn out perfect, but you get the idea, right? On the left, Cole, the middle is Savannah, daughter of my cousin Dusty and Suzanne, and on the right, Zachary, son of my cousin Steve & Morna. Pretty cute, huh?! And here's a picture of "the boys" enjoying a brewski.

The next
Christmas event was the 2nd annual Christmas Evening at Brian & Lindsay's house with the Koegle klan...here are a few pictures from the evening! We had a great lasgana dinner w/ salad and a fun chocolate fondue fountian for dessert!! Thanks guys for a great evening!!! :)

We were also able to attend the 1st ever Villaflor Christmas Dinner Party on December 22nd. :) Emilie and Brice had us, Laina & Josh (who were engaged on Dec. 23rd! Congrats guys), Katy & Beau, and Tammy & Ryan over for a tasty dinner of chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, and mexican ceasar salad with a chocolate fondue fountain for dessert too! We played Apples to Apples and had a great time discussing what our favorite feature about the Lord is and what we are thankful for from 2006. Thanks Em & Brice for a fanastic evening! Here are a couple of pics from that night...Brice wasn't drinking at all, too! :)

Next we spent Christmas Eve day with my family. My dad who had been in the hospital for about 5 days, was able to be home for Christmas...he had an severe reaction to using an antibiotic weeks before. It had actually been slowly poisoning his body without him knowing it until he started having issues with diarrhea and vomiting and just feeling "crappy." No pun intended! :) His body went into acute kidney failure and I'm so glad the doctors were able to reverse the effects without having to do anything drastic like dialysis or anything. He had a bit of a relapse last week, but is feeling better and hopefully on the mend. Anyway...Emilie and Brice, Mike, Cole, and I, and my parents celebrated at my mom & dad's house and we had breakfast and opened gifts and had a great time. Thanks Mom & Dad for hosting us and for all the wonderful gifts. I know Cole loves to ride his trike that you bought him. Yay!

Our little family was able to attend a beautiful Christmas Eve service at Grace and then headed down to the Koegle household in Camarillo for Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day! We got there and ate a quick dinner then were able to relax for a while. After the kids went to bed, we organized the TREMENDOUS amount of gifts under, well, in the same room as the Christmas tree. We went to bed at a decent time after playing some cards and them woke up, had a great Christmas morning and then crashed almost the whole afternoon. I was not feeling well, Michelle was sick too, Lindsay and Bev had a stomach thing, Bob had hurt his back a few days earlier and Brian was nursing a broken foot. So, needless to say, it was kind of a boring Christmas afternoon and evening comparitively to ones past. We normally play all kinds of games and have a huge feast, however, that did not happen this year. We still cooked a turkey, but we ended up having sandwiches. It was actually really good. We headed home fairly early and got some rest. I was sick pretty badly for the next 4 or 5 days. Thank goodness Mike was on his two week vacation from work so he could be there to help me with Cole all the time. There's nothing like trying to take care of a kid when you, as the parent, are sick. :( Two weeks into my cold, I figured I'd better see a doctor and finally figured out that I had an upper repiratory infection, was given antibiotics that I'm just now finishing and still feeling so so. Hopefully by the end of this week, I'll feel like a normal human being again. :) Thank you to PopPop and Grammy, Brian, Lindsay and Bev for all the wonderful gifts to our family. We are certainly blessed to have such a great family, Koegles and Davis' and Villaflors included! :) Here are some pictures from the Koegle Family Christmas...

And lastly, even though we all were not feeling great, Mike & I and Cole, Emilie & Brice, and Mom & Dad hung out for New Year's Eve at the Davis house. We had a great time playing cards, having dinner and just hanging out!! Here's to a great 2007, eh??

My goodness, this was a long blog...hope all who read this didn't get to sick of hearing what's going on! :) We were able to go up to Carpinteria a couple of times over the break and do some WICKED awesome birding. Thanks Judy and Mary for going with us. I'll post some pics of that trip next time. I think this blog is long enough as it is. :) I feel so thankful that the Lord has yet again given us another year to praise him and another year to come closer to Him. May 2007 be even better than the last. God bless you! :)