Saturday, July 2, 2011

Off to Summerland...

well, while the boys headed to bakersfield to play ball in 108 degree weather, us girls thought it would be fun to head to somewhere cooler.
somewhere like summerland. 

so my daughter and i enjoyed a night away.
just the two of us.
for the first time.
what fun!

if you've never been to summerland, 
i bet i can entice you to head up there.
come see why...

we stayed at a darling b&b called
the inn on summer hill...

and tucked behind each and every corner 
was a sweet white birdhouse...

this one was right outside our room...

this was the view from our balcony...

after we settled in, we headed to montecito for dinner.
oprah has a second home there.  now i know why.

when is the last time you saw a full service gas station?
be still my heart!
i actually saw the attendant clean the windows and check the tires.
remember those days?

and have you ever seen a cuter library?

but the real fun began when we woke up.
right next door to our b&b sits this little store... 

i promise you, you won't want to leave.
rooms and rooms filled with french antiques...

have you ever seen anything more stunning?

no reproduction garden fences here!
they're all originals brought over from europe.

after buying nothing (though I loved every thing i saw),
 we headed over to the
santa barbara zoo
where we saw their newest addition, 
daniel the giraffe...

little six-month-old daniel stands seven feet tall!

then we spied a wedding across 
from the lettuce-eating giraffes.  
interesting, huh?

then spent the last hour of our trip 
looking for seashells and putting them into our
hotel showercap as we forgot to bring a pail!

in case you're wondering, my feet did touch the sand.
here's proof.

yeck with a capital Y!

well, that was our first mother-daughter trip.  
i absolutely 
look forward to many more. 

but this was the highlight of the trip:
before getting to our destination, we had to drop tucker
off in oxnard to be babysat.  i mean dogsat.
as we got off the freeway, a woman who was bald 
rolled down her window 
 and asked me where i got 
my license plate frame that reads 
can't do cancer without God.
i told her that i had it made, but that i 
make necklaces that say the same thing.  
before the light turned green,
i told her to go to my blog, email me her address 
and i'd mail her one for free.
she smiled, nodded and drove away.
rachel then said, "mom, you should have told her to pull over 
so you could give her one that you always keep in your purse."  
that girl is always thinking.

instead, i drove as close to her car as i could (not kidding), rolled my window down as she rolled her window down (with a bewildered look on her face),
and chucked threw a necklace into her window.  
i know i scared her as it hit her shoulder and fell onto her lap.  
rachel and i cracked up as we saw her look of joy!

now if that isn't reason for a mother-daughter trip, 
i don't know what is!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Grab a Stick of Chalk...

i admit i learned very little in school.
maybe at the time i did, but i sure don't remember any of it.
i know that because i can barely help my kids do third and fifth grade math.  
they don't cry when doing fractions.  
i do.

and history isn't my strong suit either.
as i was driving my kids to vbs this morning, i was listening to our local christian radio station.  they were talking about the recent removal by nbc of the words "one nation, under god..." from the telecast of the u.s. open golf tournament. 
they then started talking about what the 
fourth of july really stands for.

not backyard bbqs.
not hometown parades.
and not cute flags scattered throughout your front yard.
(though i am guilty of that!)

they reminded me that the fourth of july stands for 
religious freedom.
and if my memory serves, many left england to worship freely.
they left the comforts of home to pray publicly.
and they crossed the atlantic to put down roots with 
God as their foundation.

the other day, i was cleaning out my car.
more accurately, i was removing the zillions of yellow dog hairs from the charcoal interior of my car.  with a roll of masking tape.  
a very large roll of masking tape.

and as i turned around, rachel said to me,
 "mom, look what i drew."

and that's what the fourth of july is all about.
the freedom to write "the mareks love jesus" on a sidewalk
in front of your house.

happy 4th of july! 
what a very, very special holiday we are free to celebrate.

and to all of those who have left their families and the comforts of home
to serve and protect this precious country of ours, 

your service will never be forgotten.

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