Friday, February 29, 2008


Yesterday my son decided to treat me to a hula show

Travis ran to the back of the house and grabbed his hula skirt.

His skirt turned out to be a pair of my lace unmentionables.

Oh, what God hath wrought in the creation of that boy!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Guess Who?!

Anyone care to guess the identity of this wild haired child? Tee Hee!


Out of the Ashes...

I grew up in Oregon where people often protested logging and "prescribed burning" as a form of brutality towards nature. However, I've always viewed them as a way of renewing nature and keeping the cycle of life going. Without the firey demise of old overgrowth, new growth would never happen. All plant life would die from disease and age. In fact there are certain pine trees that will only release seeds when the tree has been burned.

I was reminded of this today when I was scanning the OC Register's website. They had an article about the big flower explosion going on in the canyons that were burnt just last fall. You gotta see the pictures...they're amazing. Just another reminder of how God can raise beautiful new life from ashes.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Aaron at the Beach

Aaron loves to go and run in the waves at the beach. He also loves to fly kites. We did both of those things yesterday. Not much to write about. Just some cool pictures and memories to remember for later.


Angry mom came out tonight. She was not happy.

She was a good Dutiful Mom until she lost her patience. Why, you ask?

Tamila missed two days of school last week and Dutiful Mom called the school absence line to notify them each day. Austin has missed two days of school this week and Dutiful Mom did the right thing once again. What does Dutiful Mom get? A recorded voice mail message tonight informing me that my son "William" missed school today and I needed to call the absence line.


Dutiful Mom turned quickly into Angry Mom.

Unwisely, Angry Mom immediately called back the absence line and left a not so nice voice mail for them to hear. She informed them that she had received their message and that she had called them earlier today. For "those who weren't listening the first time" she repeated the information she had given them this morning. Angry Mom did not use her nice voice. She used her Angry Mom voice.

Angry Mom's family thought it was hilarious when they heard her leaving the message. Now she feels really guilty. Her husband poked at her saying something about being a "good witness". Now Angry Mom has turned into Remorseful Mom. So, to the absence line people of Marine View Middle School I leave my apologies...but you really should've listened the first time.


Remorseful Mom

Monday, February 25, 2008

Zee Creeping Crud Part Deux

Well, apparently it's Austin's turn to battle the cold virus dujour. I know that Tamila had it last week and Travis was the one who gave it to her. This leaves poor Aaron...he's doomed! I keep reminding everyone...Purell, Purell, Purell!

I hope all of your families stay happy and healthy. Ours is just happy and sick. Here's to hoping this cold/flu season is over soon!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Robinwood Little League: Opening Day

Opening Day is the third most important holiday behind Christmas and Easter in our household. Where else can you listen to children saying the Pledge of Allegiance as well as the Little League Pledge on a February morning. My answer "No where but Southern California."

Aaron walked in the parade of athletes and then played his first game at the Minor C level. It was exciting. He had two RBI's. He was thrown out both times, but he helped his team score in the process. The boys are finally beginning to understand the game enough to know what to do. He is a Robinwood Little League Giant this year. This is probably the only time in my life that I will ever root for the Giants.

It is always a lot of fun to be playing the first game of the season. Today the game was played with a little rain in the air and snow on the mountains. I love Orange County. We are looking forward to a great season. Make sure to look at the slide show of pictures from today.

Notice that one of the pictures is of Austin. He is watching a varsity game on the high school field that was being played next to the little league field. While Aaron dreams of moving up the ranks of little league, I can only imagine that Austin was dreaming of playing on the varsity team in a couple of years.

Play Ball!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Drove Through the Gates at Paramount

Twice! I get to go there again tomorrow as well. I am operating a sound board in the Paramount Theater at Paramount Studios for the World Marketing Summit for upcoming Paramount movies. It sounds dramatic, but I literally have turned a podium mic on and off for 4 different speakers the last two days. All told about 35 minutes of talking.
I can't tell you that I saw the next, although at times roughly animated, movie from Marvel Comics. It is still in post production. Follow the link and you can see what it is. It was really good, in the vein of Transformers. The movie director and a couple of executives spoke for approximately 5 minutes and then we watched the movie. I arrived on scene at 7:30 am, powered up the system and then waited until 11:15 am to turn the mic on for the 5 minutes of introduction. I then turned the mic off and watched the movie for approximately two hours. Needless to say my morning was easy. All of the movie material is shown using the theater's sound system. So for two hours I am not responsible for what is being heard. That means I can enjoy the movie.

At 1:15pm I turned on three wireless handhelds placed them on directors chairs by the stage and waited for a rehearsal for tomorrow's presentation. I left at 4:45 after the podium mic was used for about 25 minutes. The wireless mics were never used. They will be used tomorrow. I even have a CD cue interspersed among the presentations. I can't wait. Are you picking up on the sarcasm? Again, I cannot reveal the movie, but it is a Lucas Film production. The link will take you there. The director and lead actor will both be present at tomorrow's event. That should be fun.


Zee Creeping Crud

My daughter was home today with a lovely sinus infection. Her nose was stuffy with her eyes a light shade of viral pink accompanied with a cough that made her sound like she'd been smoking for a few years. Fun. However, for the first time ever in her life she was mad at me for making her stay home from school. What? Seriously! My daughter has been known to do a great job of acting sick, getting to stay home and being miraculously cured within one hour of school starting. Not today...she wanted to go to school.


You never know what they're going to throw at you.

Lofthouse Score!

Lofthouse brand cookies are my most favorite store bought cookie hands down. Their sweet vanilla cakey goodness is smothered in butter cream frosting. They're like sugar cookies on steroids. can't beat 'em. But then again, they are pricey (I'm cheap!) and seriously heavy in the calorie and carb content. Therefore, my consumption of them is limited to an occasional weekend at church.

Not so today. My Ralph's grocery store had their Valentine's Lofthouse cookies on clearance for 25 cents a box! Yipes! What's a Lofthouse addicted soul to do? Buy 4 boxes of course! I didn't care that they were Valentine's themed. Judging from the crumbs left in the box the kids didn't either. And yes, Mom, I was good...we opened a box and placed the rest in the freezer. Geez. Who knows how long they'll last in there but at least our intentions were honorable.

So, I just had to share...25 cent Lofthouses are a rare deal to come by. Now if could only get a great deal on a personal chef, trainer and nutritionist to work off my cookie bargain. Know anyone who'll work for a quarter?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"The Class Clown"

For the record I am not a class clown. I am the guy that sits in the back of the room with things to say for my neighbors. Some would call them "smart aleck"comments.

Also for the record I did not volunteer for any of my "assignments". I was asked by the instructor to do everything that I did. He just figured I was willing and able.

I mean seriously, it was supposed to be "FUN CPR". What was I supposed to do, have a boring time? If you were there let me know your take on it.


Of Lunar Eclipses and primative minds...

Austin was excited to watch the lunar eclipse tonight.

Aaron was thrilled to see the skies in motion.

Tamila sniffed from her cold as she looked at it.

Billy was nonchalant.

I was enchanted by God's awesome creation.

And Travis?

Travis was terrified because his moon was disappearing. He ran and hid under a blanket.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And the Oscar goes to...

When I was younger I had this massive fear of getting called up front in school assemblies. Whenever they called for volunteers I would seriously crunch my body down as close to the bleacher seat possible and hold my breath. Every muscle would be frozen in place for fear that even a twitching eyelash it would be interpreted as volunteering. Personally, I never understood why my friends all jumped at the chance to go up in front of the whole school and learn how to not drive drunk, make balloon animals or have a chalk art picture drawn of them. This kind of foolishness was beyond my conception. My goal was to avoid humiliation as much as possible

Fast forward 25 years or so and I realize that I have been married one of those annoying "Me! Me! Me!" kids for the past 15 years. How this fact slipped my attention when he was a suitor...I'll never know. But apparently this obvious defect in character has eluded my observance for years. Perhaps it was love that made me blind, but after 15 years I can finally see: I married the class clown.

This revelation came to me during our "Fun" CPR/First Aid training class for the church staff today. From the get go Billy was joking with the instructor and making all sorts of funny jokes. I was enjoying myself, but whenever the instructor called for volunteers I would go into freeze mode. Billy, however, would be waving his hands and volunteer once again. At one point the instructor called out a few volunteers and gave them special instructions. (They were going to have impromptu heart attacks, seizures, etc...) and of course my beloved was one of them. As he sat next to me I felt like he was a ticking time bomb. I realized that when he went down with whatever ailment du jour I'd have to be the one to help him and didn't want to have that kind of pressure. real life I could deal with it (and I have with other emergencies) but in front of my friends/ co-workers I could only think of the embarrassment.

The big moment came when I saw the long look the instructor gave Billy. Billy took one last drink of soda, laid his glasses down of the table and proceeded to launch his body out of the chair. He landed on the floor with his arms and legs thrashing all about. Since I knew it was an act all I could do was laugh. I was suppposed to pretend that it was real and practice First Aid but I was doubled over with laughter. (At this point Billy was "convulsing" so hard that his shirt was practically up over his neck.) Kurt was the only one who did what he was supposed to...he cradled Billy's head to protect it from the ground, told someone to call 911 and asked for something to cushion his head. Bob dutifully moved chairs and aside. What was I still doing at this point? Laughing uncontrollably. Billy finished off with his faux seizure with a grand finale of flailling arms and legs and passing out. Very dramatic indeed.

So to the class clown that I deserve the Oscar. You not only saved us from a potentially mind numbing day but also made me realize the importance of the class clown--without them the world would be an incredibly boring filled with people clutching their bleachers praying not to be seen.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

*Attention Please: The following is being said from atop a soap box by Laurel. When she's through she will gracefully step down and let the world return to its normal routines. Also, please note: this blog is directed at society in general, not Laurel's marvelous friends! Thank you.*

Ahh...Valentine's Day. A day for romance and chocolates. Strike that....a day like any other. We don't really do Valentine's Day at our home. Once in a blue moon Billy and I will get something for eachother, but we've never felt the need to. (There are 364 other days of the year to celebrate life and love you know.) Valentine's is another over hyped holiday where the retailers start putting out the stock two months before hand. I lump it into the same group as anniversarys, birthdays or any other gift giving occasion. Too commonly Valentine's is a day where people fall way short of what other's have hoped for and a day where singles end up depressed picking at ice cream in front of the tv.

My advice? Let the kiddies celebrate with their candy and hearts. Sure you can enjoy your date or gift...but don't make it the end-all, be-all of a relationship. There are many women out there who judge how much their husbands and boyfriends love them by the amount of forced attention, money and chocolates are lavished upon them. They have huge unvoiced expectations of what they expect of their man and end up sulking or berating them because he can't read their minds. Ladies...what should you expect of your man? Truth, love, communication and respect...the same things he wants from you. These things will hold together a relationship stronger than any flimsy glue made out of chocolate and flowers.

As for the singles...stop sulking! Go volunteer somewhere...hang out with your friends. Go visit your sick grandma in the hospital. Don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself, that only secludes you from the rest of the world and definitely doesn't make it any easier to find someone to love.

*Laurel steps off her soap box...gracefully.*

That being said, I'm still a sucker for stuffed animals, chocolate and flowers...just not on Valentine's.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sigh...I'm Bored

The house is eerily quiet...the tv sits on a recorded show that I'm not watching and the fridge is humming. Aaron and Travis are down for the night. Austin and Billy are at church for the APA thing. Tamila is off at outdoor ed learning who knows what. That leaves me all by myself. I've cleaned as much as I want to. I've already played Wii tennis for 30 minutes. I've perused blogs for wayyy too much time this evening. YouTube has nothing going. I could read a book, but I'll probably fall asleep on the couch. Blah. I'm bored. I just thought I'd share that with you.

Adios for now. I'm off to forage for some chocolate...


Well...I finished my hair. It is a luxurious deep auburn brown. Let's just hope it stays that way.


It's Not Easy Being Green...

I'm a frugal person who likes to save money as much as I like to spend it. (Is that combination possible?) Maybe I'm just saying that I like to spend money, but not massive loads of it at a time! As a part of my "cheap" nature, I've always done my own hair coloring. The color always turned out okay, with a few mishaps here and there, but none ever like today.

Today, my hair turned green.

I dyed it a few days ago, trying to go back to my medium brown hair color...I was tired of my highlights and blah color. Never once did I guess that by doing so, all of my blonde highlights would pick up the "Ash" color of the Medium Brown Ash and turn a mossy shade of green after a few days. After dying it on Saturday, I felt good to be brown again. When I blew dry my hair this morning I didn't feel so good. As my hair blew around from the air of the hair dryer I noticed that it had a sick tint of green to it. Alerted I called Billy's attention to it: his observance? "There's nothing wrong with's just lighter." Knowing full well the abillities of the male species to not really notice the obvious, I believed him anyway.

We hopped in the car to go to work and I pulled down the visor. My hair was even greener in the natural light. I called Billy's attention to it again. "Look...It's green!"

His reply? "Well, it's not as green as it is gray."

Gray! My hair was gray? I stared at the mirror and sure enough the previously highlighted portions of hair were a a brownish, gray, green color. Ewwww....not very flattering. I sat there and mulled over my options. Shave it off? Nope. Go in and have some one fix it? Nope...too embarrassing! We arrived at work where I talked to my wise friend Jolene. Jolene brought up the obvious: call the Loreal hotline and ask what to do.

I called the hotline and gave the operator my story. Her response was a worried sounding, "Oh Dear..." Thankfully, they had a solution for me that involved two more hair colors (Medium brown and Light Auburn to balance out the green.) I rushed off to Wal Mart and bought my two boxes of color, scurried home prepared to do my hair. I opened the boxes, snapped on a pair of gloves and was ready to go when I realized that one box didn't have the hair color in it. Someone had decided to help themselves to free hair color at my expense. Snort! (I was ticked at this point.) Back to Walmart I went.

Now I'm here in the afternoon, waiting for my hair to finish. I have approximately one minute left of process.

Hopefully, it all works out. If it doesn't, I'll just have to throw a hat on my head or start wearing a pink bob wig like Britney. If you see me in such a state...laugh politely and save your comments for later when I'm 60!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Crazy Thought

The other day Billy and I realized that next fall we will have one child in highschool, one in Jr. High, one in elementary and one in preschool. Can you believe it? Time has totally flown by--it just seems like yesterday we were in college, newly married. Really, where did the four kids come from? (I obviously know....sheesh. Get your minds out of the gutter!)
What I mean is this: I would have never guessed I would have four children someday and how quickly they would grow up. Each one is so different, awesome, intelligent, beautiful and frustrating (in their own ways.) For the record, I wouldn't give one back-not for any price. But seriously...with the near future of having one in each level of traditional schooling: I'm feeling old and awed.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Child Labor

I have to admit I'm an informercial/ shopping channel junkie. Now, mind you, I don't watch to buy...I watch to laugh. (I have a strange sense of humor, I know.) Well, a few years ago I remember seeing an informercial on tv for a ridiculous device called the "Quick Fold". I scoffed as I watched the lady describe it as a "revolutionary" device that would fold your laundry in half the time perfectly. I was further entertained at the thoughts of trailer-maids with curlers in their hair digging through mountainous piles of laundry for the phone to place their order for an overpriced piece of plastic. Until this last week.

Let me introduce the newest member of our family:

The "Quick Fold".

Now I know I scoffed at the commercial and all, but when I saw it at the 99 Cents Only store last week I could help myself. My curiosity got the better of me so I purchased it. The kids pounced on it as soon as I walked in the house and get this....started...folding...laundry. Voluntarily. Who would'a thunk? Not me in a million years! Of course the device has lost it's luster with the older one's but Travis begs me to fold laundry. He seriously helped me zip through 3 loads of laundry the other day. I would slap the shirt on the plastic- he would snap the sides and middle piece...wella! Folded laundry!

So, I'm making a formal apology to the "Quick Fold" people. Your device was revolutionary, however I think you marketed it to the wrong audience. Apparently 3 year-olds should've been your target. The original pricepoint was a little high, but the 99 cent price is a steal not to be passed up!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's Not the Age, But the Miles

Some of you may be aware that my Dad was raising money to get his hips replaced. He has raised 80 percent of the money he needs not only for the surgery, but for the recovery time that will take place. Having said that, my dad is recovering from his first surgery that took place earlier today. (If you have about ten minutes I highly recommend clicking on the link above to better understand this surgery in an interactive format.) The surgery was a success. He did great and will be released on Monday to begin his rehab. They replaced his left hip first as that was the hip that was in danger of breaking. He will be able to return home around the fourth of March.

What you have read is the politically correct version of this story. Since there is a Baker involved, we all know that there is more to this story.

I will be as brief as possible in the next couple of paragraphs. My parents have been missionaries basically my entire life. Over the course of that time they have faithfully gone about their work trusting that God would provide for their needs, and he has. As missionaries they are without health insurance and for whatever reason my father did not qualify as "disabled" in the eyes of those who can clarify someone disabled. Over the past year it was discoverd that my dad's issues with his knees were actually a symptom of the real problem, his hips. They have been degenerating. To pay for the surgeries in America it would have cost around $100,000. That amount of money was out of the question, so my Dad starting looking at some other solutions. When I say "looking", I mean he was letting God work and set some solutions in motion.

There is a doctor in Monterey, Mexico who is a leader in a church that I visited with my father when I was about ten. When my dad first met him he was probably about 15. He is now an administrator in the Mexican health system for the city of Monterey. He was able to hand pick the surgeon and team that replaced my dad's hip today. He is also providing his home and the rehab necessary for the next three week's while my parents are in Mexico. It is nothing short of a miracle the way all of the parties involved came together. The surgeries and rehab expenses are less than a third of what they would have been in the States. Because of this my parents were able to raise the money needed in a fairly short amount of time from long time supporting churches and others involved in their ministry and life.

I was told he did great, there were no complications and he will be ready for the other hip reconstruction in about three months.

Here is the gory part of surgery in Mexico. My brother told me my dad was given a local anesthetic, that may mean an epidural, but I am not sure. He could hear the doctors talking, the saw, and the hammer and chisel they used during the operation. I don't know if that is standard operating procedure in the United States, but I don't think so. I know if that had been me I would have been freaking out the whole surgery. I always knew my Dad had "nerves of steel" and I think this episode in his life proves that. Apparently my Dad's hip is bigger than the average hip in Mexico. It took a while to get the "parts" that were big enough, but they found them eventually.

I could go on, but I will stop. Please remember him and my mom in your prayers as they start the rehab process shortly.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I'm currently reading a book on western history called Men to Match My Mountains by Irving Stone. The book gives colorful descriptions of all the characters who settled the American of whom Stone describes as "Probably the ugliest man to cross the plains." Wow! What a way to be remembered. Of course the author describes the good things
Elisha Stevens did as well, but to be called the "ugliest"? Hopefully, no one remembers me like that someday. If they do they'll probably remember me as that "Crazy woman with four kids...what was her name? Lauren? Laura? Didn't she end up in the mental hospital muttering things about books and ugly men?"

Only the future can tell.


(P.S...the cowboy in the picture is not Elisha Stevens. He's just some random guy I found on the internet. What a way to be remembered--"Random cowboy guy!")

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Reality of Travis

Hopefully, the writer's strike ends soon--our family is starting to lose it without anything "real" on tv. Seriously, you can only take so much of Hulk Hogan and his ilk before your mind starts to grow mold and rot from the inside out. In our attempt to prevent such terrible things this evening we started our nightly ritual of channel surfing in search of quality programming. As we perused Time Warner's offerings, we stumbled upon the American Life channel and found the pilot episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. Our hearts brimmed with joy as we watched an oldie but goodie...even the kids were laughing. It felt good to be entertained.

As we were taking in the forgotten treasure of old, Billy and I discovered something shocking: Apparently--unconsciously- we named our youngest child, Travis Andrew, after the character, Andy Travis, from WKRP. Now I know you probably think we're losing our grip on reality with all of reality of television we've been viewing. But on WKRP the characters were calling him "Andrew" at one point and interchanging it with "Andy" and "Travis". Considering the fact that this show was one of the few that both Billy and I were allowed to watch as kids it's totally possible that we always had that name in the back of our mind. We knew that we wanted to name our Travis after Blair, with Andrew, but we wanted a "T' name to match Tamila. "Travis" kinda popped when we heard it the first time in conjunction with "Andrew" and knew that was it.

Therefore, the current familial consensus is that our 4th child was named after a fictional radio station manager on WKRP. (As well as Andrew Blair Farley and Travis Hafner.)

Seriously...I need "real" programming to come back. You know your mind is fragile when it starts creating conspiracy theories about decades old television and your 3 year old son.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

We did it!

We finally saw the new Lost episode. Life is good once again. :)

Friday, February 1, 2008


If this doesn't say alot about McCain, I don't know what does. Apparently the thought of him running for President against Hillary has even the far right Anne Coulter switching this clip on Youtube. Aye, Aye, Aye! The saying about politics making strange bed fellows is true.

(By, the way, it does prove that Barak is more liberal than Clinton. I just knew it! :))