Sunday, December 21, 2008


Well, it's been well over a week since I last posted. This for a number of different reasons, but I realized how bad it was when my sister asked what was wrong with me...not blogging in over a week!!! Oh my. So I decided to get on here and tell you what's up.

first of all, no caps in this post. sorry if that bugs anyone. (yeah leilani!)

now, this last week has not been the best. it has consisted of crying in front of my principal and other staff members, 2 flat tires, grandma in the hospital and bad days at school. not my favorite. good things that happened...and things for which i am joyful. grace came home, we had an adorable christmas play at school, and we got out for 2 whole weeks. i can't tell you how happy i am about those things.

so instead of going on and on about things, i am going to ask you to pray.

1) grandma m. (crazy grandma to some of you) is going in for open heart surgery tomorrow morning. pray that all goes well and she is able to recover well...she's in her 80s, so this should be interesting.
2) grace's friend from school is staying with us over christmas. we are so excited to have him. but he is arriving tomorrow, the same day grandma is in surgery, and we don't want him to feel uncomfortable about anything and we really want him to have a good time.
3) becky is coming home on tuesday. yeah! pray she is safe.
4) i need to buy 2 new tires. the tires on this fabulous new car of mine are about $200 each. that means i need $400 for 2 tires. wow! pray that i have enough money for them.
5) i'm really struggling at work. i had an extremely hard week, but i know God has put me there for a reason. there is only one way this year is going to turn around and that is if God does it. either He intervenes or i have 6 months of trials ahead of me. pray that the Lord works a miracle in the hearts of my students and brings harmony and peace to my classroom. i am disheartened and dis-everythingelse. i feel like crying just writing this. i do covet your prayers here.
6) pray that we are all able to focus on the Christ-child during this time. He came with hope, with a future, not just for jews but for gentiles (me) also. i don't know why. He didn't have to. but He chose to. may we remember that and focus on Him.

needless to say, i'm out of the midnite scrapper's challenge. sad! i'm working on getting a camera (thanks to those who gave me $$$ for my b-day!!!!). i have enough saved up so maybe in the next few weeks i'll get it...and i'll be ready for the next challenge. --sidenote--you know the last camera i had was stolen out of my baggage in Brazil in april 2000. amazing!

thanks for your prayers. how can i pray for you?

Friday, December 12, 2008

My dad printed up this picture for me after my horrible day last week. He didn't have time to go buy some, so he found me some other ones. Isn't he sweet. I LOVE red tulips!!!

Choosing Joy Dec 12

Tonight Peter and I sang at a banquet. Love the people there. We did a retreat for them this summer. Fun times. And then I went to go leave, got in the car, started backing up and hmmm....something just wasn't right. Yep...I had a flat tire. Where do you find the joy in that? It comes when a brother in Christ that I don't even know says not to call AAA cuz it would just be easier and probably faster if he did it. So he got down on his hands and knees, in his dress clothes, to change my tire. While his wife waited inside talking to my pastor's wife. I was blessed. It brought me joy.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 11

Today is my birthday. And in usual circumstances you can usually find joy on that one day of the year. Some are "sticks in the mud" and refuse to enjoy it. I on the other hand don the tiara and sash and parade around all day (literally and during a parent conference even...haha). It was a great day and I send out a huge thank you to all who wished me a happy day.

The best part however were the special gifts from my little Bargas friends. Man, I'm tearing up all ready. Here is joy. Opening up a gift from a 4 year old friend and pulling out a play camera that is the favorite toy of the household. Or getting a Cinderella figure and a bouncy-ball from another friend. Or a special piece of paper that says I love you in red marker. Or a special card with a hand-drawn Cinderella on it. These are so sweet and so precious. Whenever they ask for the best gift ever received on those survey things, I'll always have an answer. It was the little things that look like nothing to the untrained eye, but are everything to the one to whom they were given. Those little girls filled my heart with pure joy with gifts given from the heart. I am so blessed to call them my friends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 10

There is this lovely thing in life called coffee. Not only does it wake me up in the morning, but it also wakes me up in the morning. Oh yeah, and it tastes and smells soooo good! That is one thing that definitely brings me much joy in my day. Every once in a while, I forget my coffee cup at school and so the next day I have to get out the spare and use that one. That happened last night, so this morning I had 2 coffee mugs on my desk. And you'll never guess what.....yep, I grabbed the old cup that still had yesterday's coffee in it and took a nice long disgusting swig. EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! It made me so sad! But then I grabbed the right cup and....oh the joy of nice, fresh and very warm coffee. I was happy again... :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 9

I try to refrain from posting on this subject because a lot of times it's down right annoying to hear about this. But I figured if I am posting on choosing joy in every day, then there's no way to get around it because it's a choice I have to make multiple times a week. Well actually, pretty much every day. And that is choosing joy in singleness.

We all know the bitter old maids who are mad at the world because they didn't get what they wanted. You know, I understand where they are coming from. It's hard to go through life alone in that way. Especially when all you ever really wanted was to get married, stay home and take care of your babies (and that is what all of your friends are doing). God created women with the desire to nest, to make their home, to be a help-meet to their husbands. It's inside of us! And when it doesn't happen by the time we were planning for it to happen (because we do plan these things, you see), then it can be very discouraging and depressing. And that is where the choice comes in. Am I going to succumb to the sin of self-pity because I didn't get what I wanted, or am I going to choose joy because I am a daughter of the King of kings?

You know, I'm turning 27 this week. So the question of "So why are YOU still single???" comes up more and more. How do you answer that??? Without the bitter and cynical (and sinful) comments Well, in her book on singleness, Carolyn McCulley suggested you answer, "So I can bless you." Wow!! Here in this time of singleness, there are joys in serving and blessing others (I love babysitting my pastor's girls!), joys in helping, joys in special relationships that would be impossible if one was married, joys in seeing others who have also been faithful in their singleness get married. There are joys all around and I'm so thankful for them.

I was telling a friend about a wedding I'm going to be in in January. He asked how I new the bride and groom. Upon finding out that I was good friends with the groom first, then met the bride, he asked if I was ok with it all. "Well of course I am!!!!," was the routine response that fell from my lips. He looked at me for a while and said, "Really??" I was happy to say that yes, really. But it made me think. He kind of expected me to be bitter because I don't have THAT yet. How sad! Yes, joy may be hard to find in those lonely times when you can't seem to stop the tears from falling. And those times can come often and hit hard. But joy is always there for the choosing...because I am His Forever.

***P.S. Carolyn McCulley's book Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye: Trusting God With a Hope Deferred is an excellent book and was a huge encouragement to me. I usually hate those "Single Woman" kind of books because they are more depressing than helpful. This was just the opposite. I highly recommend it!


I'm so glad to post pictures of red this week because I LOVE the color red!!! Absolutely love it. Half of my clothes are red. My purse is red (thanks leilani). My wallet is red (thanks joni). I love red!!! And this is what popped in my head immediately when I knew I was posting on red today.
And they are such fun pics I couldn't choose one. So....
And how about me in a red shirt (ignore the sweat in the armpits. hahahaha it was hard work!) picking red cherries...
Just reminds me of Christmas in the summertime. The red and green together.....
Happy red to you!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 8


This has to be quick as my computer is running out of battery quickly and I also have to wake up in like 5 hours...haha! So...

Today was a blessing. I fought for joy today and the Lord blessed me. As usual :) The kids were better. Some trouble here and there, but better. And my brother was able to hang out with me today too. He works with me now and after work I had to take the hour-long trip to the chiropractor (yeehaw!!!). He went with me and then we went shopping for a Christmas tree for my classroom and decorations. And it was so fun! For a few years, he has been working weird hours and hanging with some weird people. But he's hanging around here again, and spending tonight with him brought me such joy! God is good to answer prayers. Thanks to those who lifted me up today! You win a star in your crown :D


I woke up today with the very clear realization that choosing joy today is going to be not of myself, but of the Lord. As it is right now, choosing joy seems as hard as moving the mountains I see from my classroom window. But I know that with faith we CAN move mountains. So I am coming here to ask you all to pray for me today. Pray that I choose joy. Pray that the Spirit impresses joy upon my heart. Those who were with me yesterday and last night can tell you that I seriously have no desire to be here today. But I am. For a reason.

I'll update you later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sister love

Choosing Joy Dec 6

I babysat my pastor's kiddos again. We went down to the Lane Victory in San Pedro. It was free to get on the ship and look around. It's an old WWII ship with guns and everything. Just walking around there with my brother and the girls was so much fun. Those girlies are such a joy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

God's Love

I actually saw this in the sky earlier this week and thought, "Wow! God loves us so much He put a smile in the sky to remind us." I thought it was so cool! And then I found a picture of it!!!
See a bigger, clearer version here.

Choosing Joy Dec 5

It was a long, hard day at work today. And some things went on that left me more discouraged than encouraged. But then on the LONG drive home....

I saw a Christmas tree tied to the top of someone's car for the first time this year... And that brought me a smile. Joy!

And then on the way home I listened to this song about 4 times. Just the title brings me such joy!


Jesus, friend of sinners
Loved me ere I knew him
Drew me with his cords of love
Tightly bound me to him
Round my heart still closely twined
The ties that none can sever
For I am his and he is mine
Forever and forever

Jesus, friend of sinners
A crown of thorns you wore for me
Bruised for my transgressions
Pierced for my iniquities
The wrath of God that I deserved
Was poured out on the innocent
He took my place, my soul to save
Now I am his forever

Jesus, friend of sinners
I love to tell the story
Redeeming love has been my theme
And will be when in glory
Not death nor life nor anything
Can ever separate me
O love that will not let me go
Yes I am his forever

*** Sovereign Grace Music

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 4

I have a funny feeling that choosing joy for the next 2 weeks is going to come straight from school. Because that's what I have to do each day. Choose to be overwhelmed and frustrated and angry and.....yeah, you get it. Or choose to find joy in the little things I see each day. For example, I just came out of one of the most frustrating math classes of the century. Disrespectful sixth grade girls yelling that THEY DONT UNDERSTAND IT!!!! YOU ARE SO UNFAIR!!!!!! And it all stems from the fact that they discovered that the 5th grade knows something they don't know yet. Oh the shock and hurt to the pride!!! But instead of clenching my teeth and roaring back at them in Because haha, my 5th graders actually remember this said information from yesterday! SCORE!!!!! I love it when they get it!

Part 2
The challenge for this month from my Midnite Scrapping friend is to Choose Joy...which is what the above piece was about. So you will be reading about joy here at Brand New Teacher...and there's more! She also challenged us to post pictures a few times a week according to themes she has given us. Therefore, I'm really hoping for the money for that camera for my birthday next week...haha This week's theme is love. So here is what I came up with...

I love all the people in this picture. This group of people is bound by love for each other and for the Lord. We support and uphold each other through thick and thin. These people represent love to me. (This was my b-day dinner 2 years ago. They all came out in the middle of Christmas shopping season to a shopping center in the middle of a downpour. So sweet!! Gotta love 'em!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 3

Yesterday my class was awful. Disrespectful, rude, mean...just awful! I came home brooding about it, dreading going in today. Wondering what would happen today...if I could get through the day. My mom informed me that liking them and being liked was not an option this year. That put me into further despair and disappointment....NO JOY Friends. (Though my mom is totally correct!)

So I went in today asking the Lord for a good day. Please something nice happen. They were pretty good in the morning. A few blow-ups, but relatively quiet. Just one person in major defiance of rules. And it is that time of year--you know the time of year when there is a Christmas program to practice for every other day. Oh wow! But my class is singing Mary Did You Know...a very difficult song to sing, I must say. We went across to the church to practice with the piano.

I had them gather around the piano. I started playing the song. They started singing.....

and there was the joy... The joy of hearing children's voices singing this wonderful song about the sweet baby Jesus. I got goose-bumps.

The rest of the day went pretty well. I chose to see the joy in teaching. Because it is all to serve the Lord. These kids may be mean and spiteful and disrespectful. But I'm putting seeds for Jesus in their hearts and minds every day, all day. That is joy right there.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankful on Nov 30

Today I am thankful for this challenge that was given to me. To actually write down what I am thankful for for a whole month. It has been good to look at my life and show how much I have and how much God has blessed me. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget what life is really all about. I am thankful to be challenged to stop and put these things down so I can see them. Yesterday, I read through all of my November posts and was happy to see what God has given me. He is so good. And I don't deserve it! That's the amazing part!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thankful on Nov 29

Today I am thankful that my family can just hang out with each other and be cool with it. We had a great family day together today. Such fun! Good memories. I'm glad we don't hate each other or fight all the live long day. We can have harmony and fellowship with each other and be perfectly content with our little group. I am so thankful for that!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thankful on Nov 28

Today I am thankful for the written Word of God. How many people are in the world today that do not have a Bible that they can hold. They do not have a Bible that they can read for themselves either because they are too poor to buy one or because there is no Bible in their language. And here I am in the US with 4 ESVs (the little one, the bigger one, the journal one and the study one), at least 4 KJVs if not more (my little one, my bigger one, my one from Peter and my one from Mike and Amy), and 1 NIV (from the Clarks). Wow!! About 9 Bibles. But do I take the time to dig deep each day? Do I spend time tucking it away in my memory? Do I treasure and revere it? Not as much as I wish I could say I do. There are many days when I don't even pick it up. Or if I do, I just read quickly to get it over with. Praise God that I have it. May I use it to the best of my ability. I know I must learn it and study it more. What about you?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful on Nov 27

Today I am thankful for my family and friends. We had a greeat day at my Grandma's house with our friends the Callenders. So thankful for them...and the good food too :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful on Nov 26

Today I am thankful that our CDs are finally in and that whole process is over. It has been long and drawn out and very difficult. If it were not for my pastor, we would still be stuck fighting with the graphic design for the cover. Oh my!!! But it is in.....and if you want one, they are $10 +shipping and handling. Yeah!!!!!

Christmas time!!!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping paper (the mess is so much fun!)

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real, real, real!!!

3. When do you put up the tree? Growing up it always magically appeared on my birthday, but now we do it sometime around my birthday. this year it is Dec 15 cuz grace will be home.

4. When do you take the tree down? sometime after Becky's birthday but before the city comes and picks the trees up for free

5. Do you like eggnog? yes

6. Favorite gift received as a child? umm....can't remember. sad huh?

7. Hardest person to buy for? lots of people--i'm not a good gift buyer

8. Easiest person to buy for? grace

9. Do you have a nativity scene? yes

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? um...i could say it, but it might hurt someone's feelings... :)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas...hahahaha

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? when i find a gift that works for someone

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? probably

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Grandma's 7-Layer Salad yummmmmm!!!

16. Lights on the tree? well, yeah...duh!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? either home or Grandmas. this year home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? no I was deprived of that education as a child

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? haha....a new angel with the old angel somewhere in the room glaring at the new angel. it's a long story.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? For a long time it was Christmas afternoon and it was torture! But now that Grandma M. lives here, Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? umm...i like it all

23. What theme or color are you using? red and green

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? the salads!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? a camera

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful on Nov 25

Today I am thankful for my mom. Hmmm.... The reason I left this post until the end of the month is that I have a hard time expressing all that my mom is to me. Let's see....

She grew me in her tummy. She cared for me after I was born. She fed me, bathed me, clothed me. She taught me to talk. She taught me to walk. She taught me to say "Please" and "Thank you." She protected me. She trained me. She spanked me when I needed it. She kissed my boo-boos (and there were a rediculus amount of them haha). She taught me to write my name. She helped me understand subtraction. She helped me memorize the Bible. She helped me with my spelling words. She came in the rain to help in my classroom in kindergarten. She taught me that the girls at school who say they aren't my friend anymore were never my friend in the first place. She taught me never to walk away from her while she is talking to me. She taught me not to do a half-way job...ever!! She taught me to be responsible. She taught me to serve others. She drove me to school. She drove me to work. She forced me to drive. She forced me into junior college. She waits for my stories of school every day. She gives me advice on my class and what I should do when they are...well, yeah, she gives me advice. :) She teaches me every day about being a good wife who loves and serves her husband. She teaches me how to be a good mommy so that someday, if the Lord gives me the chance, I can follow in her footsteps.

But most importantly, she prays for me. She prayed that I would grow up to love the Lord. She prayed that I would grow up to serve Him. She prayed for me when the drama of high school happened. She prayed for me as I went out into the big unknown world of Cerritos College. She prayed as I stood up to my professors at CSULB. She prayed that I would get a job. She prayed as I struggled through my first year teaching. She prays as I struggle through my second year teaching. She prays when awkward guy situations are going on. She prays when weird friend things are going on. She is my prayer warrior. And I am thankful for that.

She is also one of my bestest friends in the whole world. She has no problem showing me where I am wrong. I usually don't want to hear about it, but then I realize she is right. We love to go to the bookstore together, get coffee and then browse the books....we don't buy anything really, but browse. We shop together. We see movies together. We hang out together. She is a really fun mom! My friends all love her. She is their mom too.

She takes karate and can kick your butt. She sings weird songs and calls different appliances by the wrong name. She laughs. And then we laugh. Our house is goofy and silly and fun becuase of my mommy. It is all because of her and her love for us and her love for our Lord. And I am so thankful for her.

PS Grace wrote another good post about my mom here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful on Nov 24

Today I am thankful for my friends. I'm thankful that God has put so many wonderful people in my life to keep me real. For example.....

My 3 homies--Amy, Astrid and Leilani. These girls watch my back. They are there for me in anything and everything. We have cried together, we have laughed more than enough together. For a while, Amy would call me at 5:15am to make sure I was up for my Bible time and then I would call Leilani at 6:30 to make sure she was up. Leilani and I always had to watch it because we'd start chatting and then be late for work. haha fun times!!! For probably over a year, I would call Astrid every morning on the way to work and pray for her. Amy has been an excellent example to me of true godly faithfulness in the face of adversity. I love these girls like they are my sisters. We have sleep overs....that is sooooo much fun! We sit up late and watch Enchanted or they sign me up on wacky sites like eHarmony. haha That's another story though.....
My dearest Astrid
Chillin on a Mexican beach with Amy
At Joel and Ashley's wedding. Hey, I get to be in Leilani's wedding in January!!! Yeah!

Kerrie--Kerrie and I met in college. I remember sitting next to the tall blonde thinking how much like me she was. Before long, you couldn't separate us. If we were not together, people in our classes wondered what was wrong. :) We did tons of group projects together. Once we stayed up all night to get a project done in time and were on the phone with each other most of the time. I sang at her wedding. We graduated together. And now we work together and are with each other all day long :) again.... I am thankful for her!It was twin day at we look related???

Wendy--Wendy is my pastor's wife, and I'm glad to say that I count her as one of my very close friends. She is not afraid to tell me like it is...and I am so thankful for that. She has pointed out so many different areas in my life that I need to surrender to the Lord and just plainly work on. She has challenged me to be happy in any state that I am in...i.e. singleness. haha She is a wonderful example of a godly wife and a wonderful caring mother. I am blessed to have her as a friend and a mentor.
Me, Mama and Miss Wendy

My sisters--I already posted on them too, but they are most definitely my friends...and some of my closest friends at that. I love them tons!Becky made that cake!!! From scratch!!!!!!! The things you learn in college

Joni--I have already posted about Joni, but I'll say once more that she is my true kindred spirit. I love her to death and then some more.I really need to get another pic of me and Joni on my computer to put on this here blog!

And now I have new friends that I am making like Laura at church....she's my tiara twin. :) And Nancy from FFBC...we still need to get together. God has truly blessed me with godly friends that stick with me even when I go a little (or a lot) crazy. I am thankful for you alllll!!!!!

PS I have one other really good friend, but I will post about that tomorrow...... Come back and see who it is :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thankful on Nov 23

Today I am thankful that the Lord protected my sister Grace. She and some friends were in a car accident today and got pretty banged up. But praise the Lord, they are all still alive and not seriously injured. Car accidents are pretty touchy for Grace and I since we lost our friend Mike in one last year. I think that fact shook her up more than anything else. But God is always good, and in His goodness this time, He protected the girls. Grace's knee is pretty bruised, her friend broke some ribs and another girl probably has a concussion. The drivers in both cars are fine. Pray for them. They are all scared. You know...I knew something was wrong when all Baldwin phones rang in church one after another. It was interesting :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thankful on Nov 22

Today I am thankful for indoor plumbing. I can't imagine how people did it in the olden days. I probably would have been able to deal with it since there wouldn't have been any other choice, but as of right now, I know it would be a huge stretch for me. Hauling water, freezing in the outhouse. Not my idea of a good time. So I'm thankful for my bathroom, for my kitchen, for my washing machine too. God is good to have allowed the minds of those who invented these instruments of easy to be so creative and to allow their success. Today I have not been feeling very well, so I've really been thankful :) haha!!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thankful on Nov 21

Today I am thankful for......
school getting out for a whole week!!!! I have to go to conferences next week on Monday and Tuesday, but no kiddos for a while! Yeehaw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful on Nov 20

Today I am thankful for my super goofy, crazy, zany, gullible, exciting, fun-loving, fuzzy-headed, sunburned but loving, caring, considerate, compassionate, God-loving, sweet, friendly, funny, huggable, unbelieveably great brother. He's my favorite brother in the whole wide world. He has mastered the art of living in a house of girls. He loves people like no one else I know. He treats kids in a way like no one else I know. :) He's a great teacher. He's a great worker. He is honest. He is trust-worthy. He has a great sense of humor. He laughs with me. He cries with me. He protects me fiercely. He teases me. He tickles me. He makes my day. He annoys me too. I don't know what I'd do without my little brother, Peter.

Love ya man! I'm thankful for you!!! And I'm so proud of you. Keep up the good work!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thankful on Nov 19

Today I am thankful for chocolate. Dark chocolate. That is what got me through my day today. I love Dove dark chocolate. So creamy and yummy. I'm so glad God created the wonderful stuff. And they all say dark chocolate is healthy too. Can't go wrong!!!


"If you are single or if your son has ADD or you just wanna go for a cruise. Then come to Kansas"
--a quote by my student in his report on Kansas

Sounds like a great invite to me!

The Renewed Life is the Key to the Christ in Me

Yeah!!! I thought this was gone forever from YouTube. But it's back. This is my ultimate goal in Christian music ministry. If only I could uniformly walk around the stage with the rest of the band like these guys do. haha!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thankful on Nov 18

Today I am thankful for my Daddy. My dad is the hardest working person I know. For as long as I can remember, he has gotten up at around 4:00 am, gotten dressed and headed off to work for the day. He works extremely hard all day long, dealing with lots of stress and other nonsense, to provide for us. Then he comes home and spends time with us, talking and enjoying our company. He has sacrificed so much for his family. He has given so much of himself to us. And I am thankful.

My dad has always made me feel like a lady. From the time I was a little girl to now as an adult, he has made sure that I know that I am special (and he is always telling me I'm beautiful--isn't that nice of him?) He has always taken me on dates and treated me so well. He does that with all of my sisters. He brings us flowers on different occasions. He is constantly thinking about us, praying for us, coming up with advice for us.

He treats my mom like a queen. Well, she is a queen. He brings her flowers just cuz he loves her. When we go to the store, we always buy her some kind of chocolate. We were never allowed to speak badly of my mom. He wouldn't stand for it.

To him, we are his world. He has spent most of his life pouring himself and God and Scripture into us. He has disciplined us with love. He has taught us to work hard. To live lives that please God.

Daddy, I am so thankful for you. And I love you!

Thankful on Nov 17 but posted on the 18th

I didn't get around to this yesterday...I was really tired. But this is what I was thankful for yesterday.

Today I'm thankful for Gethsemane Baptist Church. I never actually attended that church as a member, but I attended the school there from K-12 grade. My kindergarten graduation to my high school graduation. The people at that church poured their lives and time into me. And I am so thankful for it.

Yesterday I went to Mrs. Ramirez' funeral. It was at a different church, but half of the people there were from Gethsemane at one point or another. It was so good to see those people again. I only got to actually talk to two. But I got to see everyone else and that was good enough for me. By the time I left, I was thankful for Mrs. Ramirez who got me that job at GBCS after I graduated and then trained me to work in an office efficiently. I was thankful for Mrs. Weldon who taught me Algebra in a way I could understand it. I was thankful for Mrs. Morales who taught me in 8th grade and has been continuing to teach me as an adult through her blog to be a woman who serves God. I was thankful for Mrs. Alba, who took me under her wing and taught me what a good teacher was and what a godly woman looked like. I was thankful for Mrs. Davidson who still remembered that I wanted to be a teacher. I was thankful for Pastor Smith who lead our school and that church in such a God-centered manner. I was thankful for Mrs. McMahon who taught me to play the piano. I was thankful for Mrs. Eskelsen, who gave advice and a hug whenever needed.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many many more people from that church that touched my life. I am sooo thankful for them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thankful on Nov 16

Today I am thankful that we didn't buy that house in Corona a few years ago. It would be a very bad situation right now if we did. But God in His mercy (at the time we couldn't figure it out) closed that door. So we are still here in the ghetto of North Long Beach where the only thing that will burn our house down is the next riot or my bad cooking. :)

And I'm thankful that my dad's friend Dave's house didn't burn down last night. His neighbor's house did, as well as several other houses in his neighborhood. But God spared Dave's house.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thankful on Nov 15

Today I'm thankful for my church family. We had Mona's memorial service today, and a whole bunch of families from church that didn't necessarily know Mona showed up to be a loving support and witness to Mona's family. I'm so thankful for church family that is willing to give up their Saturday evening to be a blessing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thankful on Nov 14

Wow! I am just barely making it in time here. I almost forgot about it! :/

Today I am thankful for my sisters. In some families, the siblings fight and fight and fight. We fight but most of it is TOTALLY fake. haha We've freaked some people out before cuz they thought we were really fighting. So fun! Actually we had our share of fighting, considering that all of us were crammed in one room growing up. And yes, crammed is the right word. But if we were not crammed, we would not have the special bond that we have today. I'm so grateful for that.

I am so thankful that I am so close to all of my sisters. It is such a blessing to be able to call Becky and ask her to pray for a struggle I am having. Or to send a mass text cuz my students just made me cry and have Grace call me right away, asking what was wrong and offer to pray for me right there. Or to jam with Julie at random times.

About 5 years ago, you never saw one of us without another one right least one other girl if not more. You know that blue car I posted about yesterday? It took us on some mighty fun sisterly adventures. When people heard that Becky was moving away to college, they were shocked. How were we going to handle not all being together? It was unheard of.

Well she moved and we handled it. Then this last year, Grace moved. And we handled it yet again. But I can't tell you how much Julie and I miss them. Or how much we are looking forward to all being together again this Christmas. I mean, our room is so lop-sided now...people only sleep in 1/2 of the room! Crazy!

So Becky, I'm thankful for you. I'm thankful for your faithfulness to God, and for your love and care for our family even though you're far away. I'm proud of you for graduating from PCC and for getting demerits. :) I'm thankful you got a good job at a good school. I'm thankful we are both teachers....that's so much fun!

Grace, I'm thankful for you. For being able to make music with you. For being able to cry in front of you with no shame. For being able to be your sister. I'm proud of you for going out into the world and showing us all that yes you could do it. I'm proud of you for doing what is right.

Julie, I'm thankful for you. I'm so happy you are my baby sister. You are such a sweet and godly young lady and you take some bomb pictures! I pray that God teaches you great things and uses you to change the world. I'm thankful that you stand up for what you believe in no matter what the cost. I'm proud of you too!

Here's an old picture of us...but it is the essence of what our relationship has been. Crammed into one small place...laying all over eachother...with big grins on our faces. Why? Cuz we love each other! Praise God for that! I love you girls...and I'm so thankful for you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful on Nov 13

Today I'm thankful for my car. As some of you know, I prayed for a very long time for a new car. I had a 1994 Ford Tempo that was an outlandish color of blue. I was in an accident in it a long time ago, and it never got fixed, so my bumper was bolted onto the frame and cracked and very unsightly. It had a hula-man on the dashboard--Prince Liho-liho--my hero and guardian. He shed his green skirt all over the place. He was kinda a mess. I had a Phi Theta Kappa window cling that had been melted and scorched into the back window by the defroster. I actually saw it burning one morning. Ah!

That car took me everywhere. It hung on as I drove to teach piano lessons to my 21 students all over SoCal. I drove my bro and sisters all over the place in it. We were way excited when I got it cuz all 5 of us could fit in it. I drove all over the coast in it. One day, Julie and I got on PCH and drove and drove and drove south. We ended up in Dana Point. It was sooo much fun. We still laugh over things we did.

But alas, it would not last forever. Things were getting old. It still ran, but it was older and I just didn't have a good feeling about it. My dad didn't either. So I started praying for a new car. I really wanted either a Chevy Malibu or a Dodge Dakota. Either would be fine. But I had to have a sun-roof. No questions asked.

So I prayed and prayed. My friends prayed. We all prayed that I would get a new car. I couldn't really see how on earth God could do it, but He isn't the God of just the earth but of the heavens too and any thing is possible for Him. So one day, my dad called me and told me that the guy he buys trucks from for work had a Malibu. I could go look at it if I wanted to. I did. So that night, off we went. And it was exactly what I was looking for. And then some.

This was a Chevy Malibu. It had a sun-roof. It had a CD player. It had OnStar. It had really nice rims and a spoiler. It had a sun-roof. It had SEAT WARMERS of all things!! It had a pretty interior. Did I mention there was a sun-roof?? It was in my budget. It was absolutely perfect. It was all I had been praying for--and way more too.

Now I've had it for almost a whole year. And I'm still shocked that it's mine. And I'm sooo thankful for it! My pastor's wife doesn't have to wait around to make sure my car starts anymore! I can start it from her living room, cuz, well, I have remote start.........

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thankful on Nov 12

Today I'm thankful for my best friend Joni. Joni and I have been friends since I was in the 6th grade and she was in the 5th grade at GBCS. The next year I went on to 7th and she skipped up to 7th, so we were together and the rest is....well, history! All through junior high and high school, we wrote letters. I wrote her a 10 pg letter was an extremely lame letter, but I held on to that distinction for a long time. :) There was a rule I think in both of our houses (mine for sure) that we could only be on the phone for 10 min. So the phone wasn't really an option to get some real communication opportunities. Hence, letter writing. She was much better and more consistant at it than I was (or am even now). I still have most of the letters she wrote to me :)

Then we ended up at the same college. Cal State University, Long Beach. It was wonderful to be able to see my bestest friend at school all the time. We took a line dancing class together. It was crazy fun. We would study together in the library. We would hang out together all over the place. I was so happy to be able to see her so often. Then she graduated and I hung in there for a little while longer and I graduated.

Then she moved to Irvine and I stayed here in Long Beach. But I really enjoy going out and spending time with her there. And now instead of letter writing, we Facebook each other (except she still writes me letters..haha).

Times have changed, our homes have changed, our lives have changed. But there is always one friend I know I can go to at any time and pour my heart out to. She is single like me and hoping for a godly husband like I am. I'm so glad we share this. She understands in a way no one else does, and encourages me to stand firm and do what God has called me to do in this time of life. She loves Anne of Green Gables just like I do. She loves tea parties too. She has an amazing passion for sharing Christ with the lost. She has a huge heart and is willing at any time to reach out and help someone in need. If I need prayer, she's the one I call. If I need advice, she's the one I talk too. She sat with me while I cried when Mike died, when Mona died, when other things have happened. She has rejoiced with me when good things happen. I love my best friend to pieces and I thank God for her and our special friendship.

Love ya Joni!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thankful on Nov 11

Today I'm thankful for two things. The first one is a cousin Sophia. She was born into our family 12 years ago. She is now a lovely young lady with a very sweet heart...and a great love for country music (right on, girlie!!). I got to spend a lot of time with her at the wedding last month and it was wonderful to get to know her again. So a very happy birthday to her.

And I'm so grateful to those veterans who have sacrificed so much for me and my country. You are a true blessing and I am so thankful that you were willing to give up time and so much, much more for us. Uncle Mikey, John Halcrow, my grandpa Bob Baldwin, and my dad Bob Baldwin, Darren DiGiacinto, Jim Porter, Tim Clark, my other grandpa Wayne Moles, Eddie Valles--these are just a few of the men that I know who have served our country and I thank them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thankful on Nov 10

Today I'm thankful for life. What a wonderful gift from God. But it is not ours. It is Christ's. My life is His. And it is a vapor. It's here now, but it may disappear at any time. An old friend of mine passed away in her sleep last night. She was in her 40s with kids and everything. She was such a sweet friend to me when I worked at GBCS after I graduated. I worked for her and she was a wonderful boss. Such a blessing. But her life was a vapor. My life is a vapor. Your life is a vapor. What are you doing with it? Are you thankful for it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thankful on Nov 9

Today I'm thankful for California weather. In the Caribbean there is a hurricane right now. In Michigan where Grace is, it's snowing. In Pennsylvania where Becky is, it's in the 40s during the day!! Here, yes it was very windy, but it was in the 70s all day long. That is what I can handle. I'm not so sure about freezing to death every winter. Or having massive storms move through every summer/fall or as in tornado country, every spring. I'm happy here, where there are earthquakes every blue moon and nice weather pretty much all the time. Then there's the beach, but that will come later........

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thankful on Nov 8

Today I'm thankful for my Grandma. I posted about her on Mother's day, but I'm going to do it again. My Gram has taught me so much and given so much and loved so much. She is a wonderful example of a godly woman and I'm thankful that she is part of my heritage. I'm thankful that I can follow in her footsteps. She prays for us grandkids all the time...she prays for her kids all the time. She is a servant. If you need anything at all, she'll drop what she is doing and come help. If I need an article of clothing fixed, she does it. If I need help quilting, she's there. A few years ago my sisters and I made this for my parents and then it wasn't quite right, so Grandma helped pull it apart and put it back together right for us...whew!!

When I needed refreshments at the piano recital for my students, she came out to church and helped. When I want to do a tea party, she helps cook (hey Grandma, if you're reading this I'm gonna have one in Dec. so get ready for the cooking frenzy!!) The last major tea party I hosted looked something like this, thanks to Gram. And it was gooooood!

She is there for me when life gets too dramatic. She listens and gives advice. My favorite times with her have been Saturday mornings a few years ago. My brother would have Kung Fu lessons at a house in Grandma's neighborhood at about 7:30 am on Saturdays. So I would drop him off for lessons and scoot on over to Grandma's for an hour. She'd make something yummy for breakfast and some tea and we would sit and chat. Sometimes my brother would be left for a long time at the guys house cuz we'd be talking up a storm and forget about him. haha!!

My grandma is one of my best friends. We laugh together, we cry together, we make memories together. I love her tons! And I'm so thankful for her.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Why didn't they let Helen Keller drive?

She was a woman. haha!!

We have a seriously sad obsession with Helen Keller jokes at our house. She was such a nice Christian lady. But they are sooo stinkin funny!!!

Or how about.....
What is Helen Keller's favorite color?



Tomorrow Julie and I are going to be performing at a music festival-thingy at our recording studio in Moreno Valley. They are pretty unsaved as far as we can tell, so we're going to be singing the gospel to them for 30 min. Please pray for us 2:30 pm. We'll be singing for His glory!!
Oh and we are hoping to get our CDs out soon. Our pastor--yeah, the guy from the last post :)--is working on the cover for the CD. Hopefully we'll have it available soon. :)

Thankful on Nov 7

I tried to make this post all wordy and beautifully verbose, but I just need to tell it plain and true. Today I'm thankful for music. I'm thankful I can make music. It makes me happy. I'm thankful I can listen to music. It blesses my heart. I am truly thankful for music.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful on Nov 6

Today I am thankful for my pastor. Pastor Rich is an amazing shepherd. He has been there through a lot of the hard times in my life. When Mike was in the hospital, I called my pastor and asked him if he would go be with Joel and Amy. He went without hesitation. When I went to go see Amy the day Mike died, he was already there. He has been there to pray for me when things at school are awful. He's been there in the good times too. He has been to all of my college graduations and celebrations. He came to visit my student Dela after she accepted Christ last year. I can ask him a question and he brings me copies from like 4 books with info to answer my question. He and his wife even had me over on their anniversary because I was going to be home alone. Another extremely important thing that he is there for is my Mac. haha!! He's the one that got us started on the Mac wagon...and he's there to help us stay in it when things go a little wacky in our cyberspace. Once, he recovered all of Grace's pictures that she thought she lost. And he doesn't even know how he did it! Now that's talent!!!

But most importantly, he studies tirelessly week after week to bring God's word to our church in meaningful, helpful, encouraging and often convicting sermons. He has a truly extensive knowledge of God's word and explains it well. He digs down deep in the word and serves it up for us in a way we can understand and apply. Many people in the world today do not have a pastor, or their pastor does not love the Lord the way he should. My church family and I are so blessed!

I truly am thankful for my pastor......and it's his birthday today. So Happy Birthday Pastor Rich!! And thanks for all you do for us!
PS And he and Wendy totally trust me with all four of their girls for a whole weekend!! I had so much fun with them last weekend. So thanks for that too!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thankful on Nov 5

Today I am thankful for corrective lenses. Without them, I could do nothing. Without them, I'd surely have ended up in the hospital many many times. Without them, I would not be able to see sunsets or blooms up in trees. I would not be able to drive. I would not be able to roller skate (not that I ever do that). I would not be able to read music. I would not be able to watch movies. I would be severely handicapped. Cuz I'm really blind people...haha So I really, truly am thankful for the men and women who have devoted themselves to making corrective eye-wear--both in the eye and on the face (i.e. contacts and glasses :P)--for those of us who would be lost without them....

PS... For those of you who are wondering at my sudden burst of thankfulness, there is a reason for it. No I haven't lost my mind. :) My Midnite Scrapping friend challenged those who read her blog to post something they are thankful for on each day this month. I thought I was up for the challenge, so I joined in. You should too!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm thankful on Nov 4

for the right to vote. We are truly blessed in this nation to be able to have our voice be heard. Today, I was able to take my class across the street to the church which is a polling place. They allowed us to use the "practice" ballots and machine to learn how to vote. The lady kept telling people that she was training future voters. How great is that! These kids will have a voice in their future. I have a voice too...and as soon as my meeting is done, I'm out of here to go let it be heard!!! Go vote!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thankful on Nov 3

Today I'm thankful that God chose me before the foundation of the earth. Today at work in morning circle with all the students, the 1st grade teacher read us Eph. 1. That is one of my favorite passages. According to that scripture, He chose me because He wanted to before the foundation of the world. I did nothing to deserve being chosen. I did nothing to earn the choosing. It is His grace and mercy.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Today my friend died. Wow...that's huge. She's gone. My ice-skating buddy. My other grandma. My motivator to cleanliness. My friend. My Mona.

She predicted Julie's birth when my mom swore that she'd never have another kid. She threw the baby shower when my mom got pregnant.

She has been a great neighbor. She always let us come down to "borrow" her TV when there was something we wanted to see. She loved ice-skating like we did. She loved Andre Rieu like we did. She made the best cookies. She made the best juice stuff when we came over to "borrow" that TV. She always had her opinions about the skaters that were so funny. She mispronounced so many of the names. She was great!

She always gave us socks. For Christmas...for our birthday...when we graduated from some level of school. Socks and some kind of candy. I have all different types of socks from her.

When I found out that I didn't graduate from CSULB after all, like I thought I had, I ended up at her house. She was so compassionate. She felt my pain.

She loved my friends. She loved my family. She loved me. The last time she talked she was asking about us...about me and my crazy class.

And I love her too. I'll miss my friend. I'll miss my Mona.....

Mona and her granddaughter Jessica (my other sister)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Romans 8 is good!!

It starts out like this...
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (vs 1)

Then it continues like this...
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (vs 26)
**That's my Amy verse.

Then it finishes like this...
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (vs 34-39)
Praise our sweet Jesus for loving us so much that nothing can separate us from Him. We don't deserve it, but there is no condemnation for us because we are in Jesus. Yeah!! I had a friend who was always harping on how good this chapter was and I always wondered why. He was always quoting from it. He was so right........

***PS Pray for Amy and her dog. It hurts my heart that her doggy is so very sick. It sounds crazy to say, "Hey pray for my friends dog." But I'm saying it now with all my heart. My students are convinced that God will do miracles. He does. We'll see what kind He does here. In the mean time, pray please.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mac Vs PC (Restarting)

Or this one is good too... Exactly what happened yesterday while I was lesson planning... Stink!

South Park Mac vs. PC

I in no way, shape or form approve of South Park, but this video goes along with my last post. haha!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why I don't like PCs

(sung to the Brady bunch song)

Here's a story about Miss Baldwin
Who was lesson planning for her 5th grade class
On her school PC not her Mac
What a big mistake was that!!

All of a sudden without warning
Her PC was turning it's self off
Evidently there were some updates
So it decided to continue without permission

(ok so I'll work on the last part...but Grace and Astrid should still be proud of me)

At least my Mac is polite and asks if I want the updates without just randomly turning ITSELF off!!! AHHHHH!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Wedding pics

All right. Here they are................

Katherine and I--normal version
Katherine and I crazy version

My beautiful Grandmother

My lovely cousin Sophia and me with random bridesmaids in the background

I always love the candid pics of everyone. Who knows what we're doing!

My lovely mother and I--she didn't recognize me when she first saw me...hahaha Isn't she the prettiest mommy in the world???
Peter-o and his mohawk that gave my aunt a heart attack...HA

We couldn't find Grace so Sophie stood in for her. PS Isn't Julie gorgeous????

Me and the strange man...Morgan. He didn't talk really until he got drunk.

Aww aren't they sweet???

Two pics of my hair. I loved it!!! So pretty. The lady did such a good job! And then I slept on it that night and it didn't budge! haha

By now he was pretty plastered so he had no problem talking.

Awkward!!! You all know how I can't dance. And here I am on camera. Sad times! Nice tan line though. ha

The flower girl and ring bearer were adorable. They were brother and sister. During the dancing, the flower girl left the poor guy standing all alone. Sooooo to put an end to this awkwardness, I grabbed him. He was quite the dancer!
Wow! Grams can shake it! She is so cute!

The tan line once more...haha And my handsome bro Pete.

Now it's all over. On to Leilani and Chris!!!! Can't wait you two!