Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Mary, Did You Know?"

Mary, Did You Know? danced on Christmas Eve.

What you don't see is me rolling my left ankle on (of all places) "The lame will leap" and the incredible pain I am in.  "In my weakness, He is strong."  I am healing well.  It was a little scary at first.  I couldn't even drive my car home after the service.  Yikes!  But I know prayers are going up and though I am a wee bit swollen still, I am functioning on it just fine.  Even did a day walking on it at the Wild Animal Park the other day, so it can't be that bad, right?  Enjoy.  And forgive the wobbles...

To God be the glory!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I am reading what I think is a revolutionary book about living the abundant life in Christ.  I love being a Christian and I love being serious about it.  I love challenging people to go deeper in their relationship and walk with the Lord.

Why should we be content with the status quo when Jesus Himself promised us life and that more abundantly?!!  Do we really believe He can give us the fullest and most satisfying life?  He can!  And He does!

Ann Voskamp is an out-of-the-box, independent thinking, committed to Christ, believer.  Her amazing blog is and her book is One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are.  Get it!

I am hoping to consistently post my list of 1000's of God's gifts to me on an ongoing basis.  I hope it will cause me to see His hand always around me and encourage you to do the same if you don't already.

Here goes!
Thank You, God, for...
1.  painful twisted ankles forgotten because Christmas excitement and Jesus' hope is overwhelming.
2.  steamy hot noisy running water baths that drown out the loud din of the world.
3.  suction cup balls stuck to the side of the shower reminding me that there is new and young enthusiastic life within these four walls.
4.  Bibles in prison cells that forever change lives without a preacher.
5.  hot cider vapors consuming my face in the cold early sunrise-y morning as I sit near the window with my Bible in my lap loving the cactus and mountain view.
6.  unopened Christmas packages promising that the receiver will soon occupy my home.
7.  skinny black cuddly doggies that snuggle close for warmth and companionship.

More to come!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Proverbs 17

"He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished." (v. 5b)
Calamity (def.) = a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss

On September 11, 2001, I turned on my t.v. and witnessed the most horrific attack on America in our history.  I also saw a gleeful woman in the middle east surrounded by equally wickedly gleeful people celebrating and dancing in the streets in celebration of the murder of 3000+ innocent Americans.
Romans says "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay,' says the Lord."  (Rom. 12:19)  I have know this verse since early in my conversion and wrong or right, it has always brought me comfort and taught me to not retaliate.

"...the glory of children is their father." (v. 6b)  

My Jamie is the glory, honor, hero to Brandon and Silas.  How true this is!  They utterly adore their daddy.

"He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord." (v. 15)

"[Abraham Lincoln] was... a man of integrity.  He never tried to win more for a client than he felt the client deserved.  And if someone wanted his services, he had to convince Lincoln that his cause was just.  Moreover, if it turned out that a client had deceived him, Abe would simply quit the case. --- On one occasion, Lincoln had present his client's side to the judge.  After he was through, the opposing counsel produced a receipt proving Lincoln's client had lied.  Before this attorney had finished talking, Lincoln had left the courtroom and returned to his hotel. --- 'Go get Mr. Lincoln,' the judge ordered. --- 'Tell the judge I can't come,' Lincoln replied to the clerk. 'My hands are dirty, and I came over to clean them.'" (Sounding Forth the Trumpet for Children. p.152)
I loved this story as I read it to my boys yesterday morning.  As I read this scripture this morning, I was reminded of it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nuggets from Francis Chan

"God is the only Being who is good, and the standards are set by Him."

"The point of your life is to point to Him."  
Will that be the theme of my life?  
When I look at my life now or the synopsis of my years on this earth, 
is it about 
"making much out of God"?

"Jesus began speaking in parables 'so that' those who weren't genuinely listening wouldn't get it. (Luke 8)  ...He just wasn't interested in those who fake it."

"Lukewarm people love others 
but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves.  
[They are] typically focused on those who love them in return...
[but not those with] whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable."  

"Lukewarm people are thankful 
for their luxuries and comforts, 
and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor."

"Lukewarm people ask, 
'How much time should I spend praying and reading my Bible?' 
instead of 
'I wish I didn't have to go to work so I could sit and read longer.'"

"If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream.  
When we stop swimming, or actively following Him,
we automatically begin to be swept downstream.
Or... we are on a never-ending downward escalator.
In order to grow, we have to turn around and sprint up the escalator,
putting up with perturbed looks
from everyone else who is gradually moving downward."

"We are consumed with safety.  Obsessed with it actually.  [W]e've made safety our highest priority.  We've elevated safety to the neglect of whatever God's best is, whatever would bring God the most glory, or whatever would accomplish His purposes in our lives and the world.  ---  Would you be willing to pray this prayer? God bring me closer to You during this trip whatever it takes..."
"People who are obsessed with Jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else.  Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain and distress."
"Joy is something we have to choose and then work for."

"Oswald Chambers said, 'Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.'  I would also add, 'Be careful not to turn others lives into the mold for your own.'  Allow God to be as creative with you as He is with each of us.  God is a Creator not a duplicator."

"[Y]ou must learn to listen to and obey God,
especially in a society where it's easy and expected
to do what is most comfortable."

"The world needs Christians who don't tolerate the complacency of their own lives."

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No gray areas, but grace areas.

"I know I chatter on far too much...
but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't.
Give me some credit."
~Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

So many things pass before my eyes and ears day to day and some create a burning in my soul.  I must not be silent!

Recent descriptions of me by others have often included the word "passion."  A relative (who will remain unnamed) recently accused stated that I was far too black and white.  Well, she didn't really say it like that, but she meant it that way.  And I can't say that I am really all that offended except for the fact that I obviously meet with this person's disapproval in this area (as well as several others, I am certain).  That as she has grown older, more "gray areas" have come to prominence in her life.  I know it is fully possible that I am immature, impulsive and too rigid in many areas.  But even Jesus said, "I wish that you were either hot or cold, but since you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:16)  This critic of my black-and-white-ness stated that Jesus was more of a gray-area guy and she proceeded to use the example of the woman accused of adultery (John 8) and how the law was clear but Jesus didn't condemn her.  My response (partly out of pride, self-righteousness and maybe truth) was , "That's not a 'gray' area, that's a 'grace' area.  Jesus doesn't have gray areas, He has grace areas."  I too want to be a woman of grace.  I try to exhibit that with my children.  I appreciate Sally Clarkson's position that we ought to be practicing grace-based parenting, and I really strive for that though my natural black-and-white inclination causes me much trouble in this area.

So, is life to be gray gracious and merciful, or black and white?

In some things, love and forgiveness must reign rather than the rule of law...for the sake of teaching and promoting the loving character of God.  But sometimes, we should never shrink, never compromise, never back down.  In ideals, standards, holiness, righteousness.  Now, I am in no way a master of which scenario is grace-based and which is uncompromising.  I tend to lean toward grace with my kids; with people who have sinned immensely and suffered grave consequences but God has given new life to --- after all if God gives second chances, I ought to as well.

Still I don't think the black and white lines ever blur to gray.  But I think grace supersedes law.  And we need to ask God for wisdom to know how to handle every circumstance and offense.

And we ought to stand firm on those things in which we ought not to waiver:
the one true God,
His institution of family,
loyalty to the country in which He has caused us to reside
(so long as the governing principles of that country are in line with His perfect word).

What do you think?
Are things black and white, and gray?
Or are there no gray areas but only "grace" areas?
My tunnel vision mind can only calculate black and white at the moment.
Enlighten me.  :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Goodbye, Vicente Ibarra.

Our sweet friend, Vicente, is gone.  What a fighter.  What a worker.  What a lovely and special person who was far more influential in my life than I ever let myself think...until today.

Vicente left this world last night.  Battling cancer for so many years and really giving it a run for its money.  He could cook like no one I know.  He landscaped our entire property.  I can't look anywhere outside my home and not see his handiwork.  He let my boys set their hand and foot prints in the concrete on the patio.  He called the patio "the freeway" since the boys would blast across it on tricycles and little play cars.  He built a little mound for our cactus and cemented rocks in the side of it in the shape of a "B" and an "S" to honor our two little sweeties.  And while he did this work, my little Silas would call out the window to him, "Hi Ma-sentay!"  And Vicente would call back "Hello little mijo!"

I honor my friend's life today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

childlike faith

Last Monday night, I received a mysterious text from my darling Aunt asking if we had time for a visitor the following day.  Umm, yeah!
She arrived by 9am on Tuesday morning.

In our preparation to welcome her, Brandon asked me, "Mommy, Great Aunt Toby doesn't know Jesus, does she?"
"No, she doesn't, sweetie," I said.
"Well then, we need to tell her."
"Yes, we do.  Knowing Jesus is the most important thing we do in our whole life."

I didn't know if Brandon really had anything planned and so we continued cleaning up the house (it had gotten neglected...nothing like a surprise visitor to whip us/it into shape in light speed!).

She arrived and the boys were so excited that I'm pretty sure they pulled every toy they own out of their room to show to her.  Silas dragged out this gun and that gun.  LOL.  Eventually we sat down at the table for some pancakes and pears.

Brandon: "Great Aunt Toby?  I want to read something to you."  He proceeded to pull out and read from his Bible various memory verses he had collected from church in recent weeks.  "I'll be right back, Great Aunt Toby, there's something I have to get from my room."  He returned a few seconds later with a neon green bracelet with the words "Jesus made me special" stitched onto it.  "Great Aunt Toby, do you know why I am wearing this bracelet?"

After breakfast, she and I collected the dishes, cleaned up, and chatted.  Brandon entered the kitchen and said, "Great Aunt Toby, I want to read my Bible to you."  Me: "Brandon, can you wait a minute until we finish talking?"  So, Brandon with his Bible sat on the bench in the dining room and patiently waited for us to finish.  Finally, I realized (yes, some of us are slower than others) his motive.  He wanted to share God's Word, God's love and Jesus with my Aunt whom we all love so dearly and pray for so often and desperately plea with the Lord for her salvation and that of her entire family.  I asked him to read to Aunt Toby in the living room while I finished cleaning up.  He read the most random passage from 1 Samuel....all I could hear was something about boiled meat. LOL.  And she helped him with all the hard words...and it blessed my heart.  (All the while, Silas was blasting into the living room with this weapon and that.  Bahahaha!)  It was certainly a sight!  So funny and sweet.  But later as I pondered the morning and really let Brandon's actions settle into my core, I realized that it wasn't just sweet or cute, it was all that I desire as a mother: to raise children who understand the most precious thing in life is Jesus and to introduce others to Him.  It is EVERYTHING.  My 7-year-old, more bold than I, did what I should have done many times over.  And he did it without considering rejection, ridicule, embarrassment.  What a sweet gift he desired to give to my Aunt.  And what a blessing he is to my own heart.

My Aunt is so beautiful and dear to me.  I love her life and her attitude about things.  I see in her so much of what I want to be.  Her first grandchild will arrive in another month...and I am a little jealous of this precious one soon to be born because I have coveted and loved her attention and affection imparted to my own boys.  Soon, she will have her own grandson to embrace, snuggle, chase and have fun with.  Really, I am glad.  Everyone should have a grandma like the one she is going to be.

Share Jesus with your children and with all --- in love, in word, in deed, and in truth.  Raise disciples of Him who gave everything for you and for me and do not hinder them to share.

Have childlike faith.

"Whoever receives one of these little children in My name, receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me." ~Mark 9:37

don't read this book.

Skip the book: Presidents Who Dared by Edmund Lindop.  

Stated on page 32 about Thomas Jefferson:
"His often-quoted demand for 'a wall of separation between Church and State' later found its way into the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights."

Which made me wonder: what else will the author and publisher lie about?

Yes, these are the types of books with  blatant lies  that your children will learn from.

Pay attention.

There is no "separation of church and state" found anywhere in The Constitution of the United States.  Nor is it found in nay other governing documents.

More on this subject:

Monday, October 31, 2011

a Fall morning.

This morning is so beautiful.  The weather has cooled...though it will still climb to 85 degrees today...but now it is about 60 and I bundled up in my robe and slippers (don't laugh!  To us desert dwellers, this is chilly.) and slipped out the back door to sink into my white adirondack chair and spend a little time reading my Father's Word.

The weeks have been so busy and I've been squeezing schoolwork into the cracks as we've been here and there.  But it's all good.  I do however miss the times to just read for fun and not have an agenda.  This is constantly out-of-blalance for me.  I am so driven to avoid "twaddle" that sometimes I think I am not letting my boys be children: enjoying fun and amusing and beautiful and cute children's stories.  I need to balance this and manage my time better.

Thankful for Fall and the feeling it brings.  The anticipation of the greatest of all American holidays: Thanksgiving, and the build up to Christmas.  Made my first Christmas purchases last night and am excited to see the radiant faces of their recipients when the time comes.

Bless you as you embrace this season in your own way.

Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

today God healed my dog

Today was Borrego Days and the first in 6 years that I wasn't organizing and staging the parade.  So, the boys and I readied our bikes for a ride to the parade route.  I asked them to go into the car and grab umbrellas to keep the sun off of them.  Lily (our dog) had been out with the boys and Jamie.  I was inside gathering things together for our day out in Borrego enjoying the Festival.
We loaded our bikes and were about to leave when Jamie said that the dog was missing.

We looked through the house and called for her but to no avail.

She likes to roam the neighborhood so we figured she was out and about and would make her way home soon.   So, the boys and I set off and were gone until about 4pm while Jamie periodically stopped by the house to check to see if Lily had returned.  She hadn't.  We were getting very concerned...especially as the day was nearing dusk.

We had planned a barbecue at our house tonight.  I decided to pull the bounce house out of the garage for my boys to play on.  I went back and forth between the front yard and the garage a few times and was on my way back for one final time to retrieve an extension cord when I heard a noise from inside of my car.  I ran to the back driver's side door and opened it, and there on the floor was Lily!  She had been in the car for 10 hours...and our high temp here in Borrego today was 98.  Needless to say she was incredibly disoriented and weak. I couldn't believe she was alive.

Apparently when the boys went to the car to get their umbrellas, Lily had jumped into the car so she wouldn't be left at home.  Jamie and I never knew she was in there and the boys...being children weren't paying much attention.  I had asked Jamie earlier in the day to check the cars in case we had opened any of them up to grab something and didn't realize she was in there.  He checked, but never saw her.  She is black and the interior of my car is black.

I ran to get her some water but she was too disoriented to drink so I carried her into the house and gave her water from my hand.  She slowly regained some of her strength but was incredibly wobbly and seemed confused.  We began to be concerned about neurological damage and severe dehydration, so we beat feet to an animal urgent care hospital in Escondido.
I was so upset and emotional and blamed myself over and over for not looking hard enough for her.  I sat in the backseat with her while Jamie drove.  I texted several friends and asked for prayer.  She was so unsettled and kept moving, adjusting, and being anxious.  I knew I should pray fervently for this dog.  I felt ridiculous doing it for a dog but I placed my hands on her little head and prayed that God would heal her brain wholly.  Soon, she settled into a comfortable position and rested until we arrived at the animal hospital.  Jamie was rushing to get to the hospital and he said, "Every time I think of passing another car, I hear, 'Oh you of little faith.'"  So, I prayed aloud and we calmly proceeded to our destination.

As soon as we got there, she was checked out and everything seemed completely normal.  They ran some blood tests and other than signs of dehydration (duh!) she was perfectly normal.  She even ran out to us and jumped on us and cried to leave and sniffed around the lobby, etc.

It is now 12:39 A.M. and Jamie and I just returned home from the vet (a 3-hour drive roundtrip).  Our Lily is back to normal.  I do not want to be ignorant of God's work here and so I want to record this here and now.  I can not believe the dog I pulled out of that baking hot car is home, eating, chasing a fly around the kitchen, and now sleeping in her bed beside me.  God, thank You so much that You care for our silly doggies.  Thank You.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Evil is good?

below is an article in a recent CWA newsletter.  Have fun!

Isaiah 5:20
by Mario Diaz, Esq., Legal Counsel

I suggest you brace yourself as we enter the theater of the absurd.

Dateline: McIntosh County, Georgia. A seven-year-old girl is causing quite a stir at her public school by demanding she be allowed to use the boys’ restroom.  Why, you ask? Well, according to her father Tommy Theollyn, the now-second grader told him when she was just 18 months old that she was in fact a boy.

So when school officials made his daughter use the girls’ restroom, Mr. Theollyn took her out of school. He wrote in a petition that "Forcing [his "transgender" daughter] to use a bathroom that does not match [her] presentation effectively discloses [her] status as a transgender child and thus endangers [her]."

One small detailed buried in the many reports of the story is that the "father" is, in fact, her mother!  She actually gave birth to this little one before she became transgender herself.

You cannot make this stuff up.  Enter ("stage right") the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia, of course, which is very concerned about this situation and has promptly sent a letter of intimidation to the county.  It reads:
[F]ederal law requires that every public school student have access to a free and appropriate public education.  The McIntosh County School System's recent decision regarding restroom access consistent with a student's gender identity appears to conflict with these expectations.
Unbelievable! There are, of course, no laws that would even hint at requiring a school to accommodate this child’s gender confusion. The ACLU is notorious for intimidating schools into doing what the law never requires when it comes to their leftist agenda. We have seen it for years, for example, with religious liberty.

In fact, there might be another part of the law that could apply here.  There was a time when what this mother has done to this innocent child would be called child abuse or neglect.  Her daughter told her she was transgender at 18 months?  Come on!  Have we lost all common sense!

When I ask my daughter how many apples are on the table and she counts, "one, two, five, ten," it is my duty as a father to correct her and show her how to count to four.  I would be in fact harming her if I let her think there are ten apples on the table.

But the amazing thing is that my daughter is three.  I also have an 18-month-old baby boy, and he can barely speak!  He can't even understand that he is not supposed to throw his food on the floor.  And this parent wants us to believe her daughter knew she was transgender at 18 months.  My son doesn't even know he's a human for crying out loud!

Is it not more probable that this mother, considering herself a transsexual, actually encouraged her daughter to identify herself this way?  Is that too hard to imagine?  My daughter wants to be like her mom.  She puts on her dresses and walks around in her shoes. She wants to be "just as pretty as mommy."

But they tell us there are no consequences to children with all this, remember?  All children need is love and it doesn't matter if they grow up with a mother and a father, or with two mommies, two daddies, or with a mommy that becomes a daddy, or anything else they can come up with.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil;
Who put darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
~Isaiah 5:20

We can not stand silent while this type of incident continues.  We must be that light that exposes the darkness.  And we must be willing to pay the price.

May we never lose the will to fight for God's truth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Oddly enough, presidents who are children of privilege sometimes feel an obligation to reform society in order to give children of poverty a better break.  And...presidents who are children of poverty sometimes feel that there is no need to reform a society that has enabled them to rise from privation to the summit."
~Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Childhood of the Presidents: Andrew Jackson 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I know I'm being somewhat repetitive (especially if you follow me on facebook), but when something is this important and this good, it bears repeating.  I hope you will schedule right now to go see this movie.  It is not to be missed.  It is the key to freedom, hope, and life for future generations...particularly the one living under your own roof.

Will you courageously influence your family for righteousness?

our D.C. excursion, part 7: the Grande Finale

(for the beginning of this series, click here.)

Tobi and Rich dropped us at our hotel in D.C.   After getting some laundry taken care of, we walked a mile or so to the most charming Irish Pub you ever saw...with real Irish people working there displaying their hospitality.

The next day, we headed over to the National Mall where we took in the Jefferson Memorial, had lunch with some of the CWA staff at their offices, visited the Star Spangled Banner at the American History Museum, pored over the greatest documents of freedom any nation has ever created at the National Archives (I tell ya, staring at George Washington's signature on the Constitution is something else), and eventually made our way toward Union Station to get some dinner and head back to the hotel.

This is, by far, the best exhibit in the Museum.
Take a minute to listen to this audio drama
(specifically the Star Spangled Banner episode)
before going to see this incredible work of history.
Thursday came and we set out for Mount Vernon.  We caught a bus from the Metro station and spent the majority of our day walking the grounds of the beautiful home of George Washington.

This is undoubtedly my very favorite place in America and perhaps the world.  Considering George Washington is indeed "First in war; First in peace; and First in the hearts of his countrymen," the opportunity to visit his home is a great privilege.  To walk through the rooms he resided and to stroll the land surrounding the mansion...well, it makes you realize why he loved it so very much; why he never wanted to leave his beloved Mount Vernon.

"I can truly say I had rather be at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the Seat of Government by the Officers of State and Representatives of every Power in Europe." ~G.W.

our D.C. excursion, part 6: Black Tom

(For the beginning of this series, click here.)

We left NYC and made a quick stop (in the rain) at the site of Black Tom.

What is Black Tom, you ask?
A little bit of history that Woodrow Wilson wanted you to forget about...or never even know about.  In the words of Glenn Beck, "I hate that guy!"  Ok, as my Grandma always said, "'Hate' is a very strong word."  And Jesus said to hate someone in your heart is the same as murder, sooooo....  I'll just say he's far from my favorite and I don't like him.
This is the only thing that marks such an unknown and  tragic event in our history.
Amongst dozens of picnic tables, this marker is barely noticeable and hard to seek out.

Jamie stumbled across this story a few days before leaving for our trip.
Click here for the story.  In a nutshell, Germans exploded a bunch of ammunition and artillery on this Island in the New York Harbor which blew out windows well into the city and registered a 5+ on the Richter scale, yet no one knew what it was. Because Wilson was seeking reelection and didn't want to rock his boat.  So shhhhh... there's nothing to see here.  This is the reason no one (except the National Park Service) is allowed to tour the arm of the Statue of Liberty: it was pierced by ammunition and has been closed since this explosion.

We headed back to DC via Philly for a cheesesteak.

(For the final part of our trip, click here.)

Friday, September 30, 2011

our D.C. excursion, part 5: 9/11 Memorial

(For the beginning of our trip, click here.)

The only thing I wanted to see in New York was the recently opened 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero.

It did not disappoint.

I reached my right hand forward over the black granite and swept my fingers over the name:

Renee A. May and her unborn child

Suddenly everything stopped.  I looked over toward the woman standing nearest me.  She had seen me reach my hand over the name.  Where before she was collectedly somber, her hands now covered her eyes as she convulsed with quiet sobs.

I saw at least 4 other such names.

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much you've done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.

~Matt Redman
"Never Once"

A work in progress - the Freedom Tower will rise to 1776 feet.

Survivor Tree.
This Callery Pear Tree was in the WTC Plaza,
was crushed and nursed back to health.
All the other trees at the Memorial
are swamp white oaks, so this one stands out it should.

WTC Tridents can be seen through the unfinished museum scheduled to open next year.

(click here for part 6)

our D.C. excursion, part 4: the Big Apple

(For the beginning of our trip, click here.)

Monday (Sept. 19th) we rose early and scooted up to New York City, hopped on the ferry to cross the Hudson (the same ferries that rescued Sully's passengers), and --like the tourists we are-- boarded the double-decker red sightseeing bus to tour the Big Apple.  What fun and fascinating information.
On our way across the Hudson

From the 2nd floor of the bus,
you get a good view of stuff like this.

That's gum with coins stuck to it on a lightpost.
Sorry, should've warned you to bring your barfbag.
Hey! Be thankful I didn't post the closeup.

Tobi and Rich

Flat iron building 

Nathan Hale.
"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

Mayor Bloomberg's welcome to all conservatives.
What?  Don't you think so, too?

Waiting for N.Y. pizza in Little Italy
May I back up a moment?
As I write, it seems that I allude that our trip was smooth sailing.  Though it was VERY fun, it was filled with bumps, wrong turns, and much laughter.  My sister was the navigator...   ummmmm.....let's just say that if anyone would like to pitch in to purchase a GPS for her, I'm taking donations.  For the sanity of her husband and anyone who travels with her, this is very necessary. :)  (Just playin' with ya, Tob...but not really.  ha!)  We all had SO much fun on the drive to, from, and through DC, New York, and Pennsylvania.  There was much laughter, conversation, and delight.

After we left the Memorial (will cover that in my next post), we attempted to make our way back to the tour bus for their nighttime tour but misunderstood the boarding location and ended up missing out on the excursion.  My sister -who had orchestrated the day- was heartbroken over disappointing us all.  Though we were a teeny bit bummed out, we also understand the absolute sovereignty of the God of the universe who cares even about fun trips to NYC, so we lifted her spirits, jumped on the subway and finished our evening in the bright lights and bustling busy-ness of Times Square.
Armed with my pumpkin spice latte and my sweet hubby, we were happy campers indeed.  One of Tob's fave restaurants, Junior's, was nearby, so we popped in there for a little (I mean HUGE) cheesecake dessert and then waddled rolled back to the ferry and our hotel.

It was c-c-c-c-c-c-oollld-d-d-d-d-d-d on the way back.
( you like my new NYC sweatshirt?)

I know these aren't your typical NY shots, 
Yoos got a problem with that?!
(Please say the above line with a New York accent.)

Our main destination:  THE 9/11 MEMORIAL at Ground Zero.  That's next.