August 27, 2012

road trips and more....

As much as I love traveling, it's good to be home! This week my family and I flew the coop and headed out to the Fabulous Las Vegas, Zion National Park and Hoover Dam. We crossed four states, survived a desert thunder storm and walked the Vegas Strip - all with Lucas (and Dada) in tow. Believe me. The idea of taking a road trip and flying back with a 4 month old worried me a bit, however in the end, the trip was 100% worth it. Lucas did very well.

We crossed the Nevada boarder just after the sun went down. From miles away, I could see the glow of the Vegas Strip lighting up the night sky. The tip of the Luxor hotel stood out among the lights with its fixed position spotlight pointing directly towards the heavens. Apparently, the spotlight can be seen from outer space. At night, Las Vegas is impressive. The hotels and casinos are beautiful to look at. However, during the's a whole other story. Vegas looses its glamour. The surrounding geography, desert hills and overall cleanliness reminds me of Hemet (on a bad day) or banning.


I snapped a quick shot of my husband and Lucas just as they got out of the car. Lucas did very well until the last hour or was a long drive from Riverside to Las Vegas. He was tired of being in the car seat, and was ready for his bath and bed. When I got up to our room, I opened the window expecting to see a view of the strip...but no...instead I saw a herd of cattle. The cows were for the South Point NCHA Futurity Show. The next morning my husband and I walked over and watch the riders warm up for the preliminary qualification rounds.
I could get use to this arena. Indoors, without the sun, heat, wind, and or dust. With air conditioning..These horses and riders have it good!

One of the many highlights from the trip was staying at Zion National Park. Unfortunately, words can not express the natural wild beauty of the park. My neck was aching from looking up at the towering canyon walls, high mountain peaks and crisp water dripping down the rocks. The hikers on top of the canyon looked like miniature birds clinging to the ropes and chains that kept them safe from falling. We stayed at the Zion Lodge, which had a quaint rustic feel. I took the opportunity to go horseback riding. My horse's name was Chester. He was a good horse. On horseback, our guide took me and the other riders out into the national forest. The views were breath taking! Later, the whole family gathered at the Cafe, boarded the Zion Tram and headed to the Riverside Trail at the top of the Canyon.

Back in Vegas, we walked through the casinos. I was impressed with the shops in The Venetian. For serious shoppers, the sales associates provide cake and Champagne. Not that I'd be able to afford anything to be a serious shopper, but it was fun to look through the windows. After walking around, we headed back and Lucas stayed with Dada and Dadi, which allowed my husband and I to go back out and enjoy the night life in Vegas.

Hoover Dam was amazing! A monument to pure American ingenuity. My husband and I took the power plant tower while Lucas waited with Dada and Dadi in the visitor's center. The rumble of the vibrations from the water flowing through the pipes could be felt deep in my chest. 

The trip was amazing...and I am glad to be home. I am thankful for the opportunity to travel. Now its time to get back to everyday life. :) 

August 24, 2012


As an amateur photographer, I enjoy capturing my family, friends, pets and the world around me. My interest in photography started around ten years old. I would borrow my Mom's point-and-shoot film camera and go outside with my sisters to conduct silly photo shoots. In high school, my parents bought me a cannon rebel (film) camera. I still have the camera and will use it periodically. Some of the pictures I shot with that camera I ended up exhibiting in a local art show. Last year, my husband and I treated ourselves and bought the cannon eos rebel t2i camera. It was a wedding present to ourselves. :) I am very happy with this camera and am looking forward to using it for the years to come.

Summer Snapshots: 
PSR - Friday Nights 

Zion National Park - Utah 

August 13, 2012

Adventures @ PSR pt. 2

As promised, here are more pictures from my adventures at PSR camp. Lucas got to spend time with his Aunties and Grandma at McCall's Park in Mountain Center.  Every summer, during Tween Camp and Teen Camp my mom takes a group of ten to sixteen people on the horseback trip. McCall's Park is "a park committed to equestrian camping and is one of the few parks that center its attention on trails and open spaces for equestrians and their horses."  (Quoted directly from McCall's Web Site.) The camp ground has small individual corrals for the horses, as well as hitching rails and water troughs. In addition, for human campers the park offers showers and a covered canopy for shelter. It's overall a nice park for horse camping. 


 My husband enjoys leading out in worship on Friday nights. The Friday night Pageant is one of PSR's most special programs. The Pageant play is set to music as the cast act out the scenes (pantomime). The program is designed to share Christ's love with the audience. At the end of the play the camp pastor will come forward and give a short homily and alter call. Camp is where many young people give or rededicate their lives for Christ for the first time.
Campers and Staff alike participating in worship.  

I shot this from across the camp pond. 

 Lucas has discovered this thumbs. He is becoming quite the thumb sucker. Here he is posing during tummy time Sabbath morning.

For the last Saturday Night @ the Ranch we had a special guest come and perform a concert. Charmaine Carrasco is an upcoming Christian artist. Using up-beat tunes, catchy lyrics; Charmaine is able to minister to young people and share Christ's love through her music.  

The Harrison Family came to visit us and see Charmaine sing. 

On the final day of camp, it rained. 


August 3, 2012

Adventures @ PSR

This summer has been quite an adventure. While my husband works, Lucas and I entertain ourselves by participating in the different camp activities, meeting new friends and exploring the world around us.

On July 24th, Lucas turned three months old. We celebrated by taking pictures out on the camp field. He wore his baseball onesie and shorts. While we were taking pictures, one of the girls' cabins joined us. Their counselor took this picture for me.

Lucas is growing so fast! He is becoming more animated and engaging with people - flashing smiles, oohing and cooing. In addition, he is beginning to laugh!

The days of wearing my hair down and long necklaces are over! Lucas is working on mastering his grabbing skills. He loves grabbing onto hair and clothing. I've lost count of how many times I've pulled hair out of his tightly clinched fists.

I taught gymnastic's camp for two weeks. Below are the group shots of Jr. Week #1 and Jr. Week #2. For Jr. Week #1 I was the head coach. The girls worked really hard and made great progress on their tumbling and acro skills. For Jr. Week #2, I assisted Coach McFarland. Coach McFarland was my coach at La Sierra University. With his help the class was able to learn harder and more challenging tumbling skills.

Gymnastics Camp Jr. Week #1 
Gymnastics Camp Jr. Week #2 

My husband's goal was to build the tallest rock tower. This particular tower was sixteen stories. Apparently, there is an on-going competition between the camp staff assigned to Sabbath gate duty to build the tallest rock tower. I'm not sure if my husband broke the record, but Lucas and I enjoyed watching him work hard on this rock monument. The tower lasted just long enough for me to snap this picture.

Lucas and his father bond over gate duty. 

I took Lucas to visit his Grandma and Aunties at the horsemanship department. Here we are posing next to Kipper. Kipper has been at PSR for many years. She is a sweet and gentle horse. At first, Lucas was more interested in talking with the horse staff than actually meeting the horses.  

The outpost play is a big part of the weekly camp programing. At the beginning of the summer, my husband understudied for the male lead. He played the character of Grover McAllister - the conniving, sly, cheating brother of Horace McAllister. In the play, Grover and Horace are twins. Their father has recently passed away and has left the brothers with a large amount of land out in California. Instead to dividing up the land, the Father told the brothers that whoever reaches California first gets the land. In the play, Grover cheats and wins the race to California only to find that the land is worthless. He decides to forfeit his win and gives the land to his brother (who dose not know that the land is worthless). Grover and his wife Leah go back home leaving Horace and his wife Eliza with the worthless land. However, it turns out that with a effort and work Horace is able to clear out the old mine to discover that its full of gold. Horace and Eliza are able to live out their lives together on the land and become one of the wealthiest family in California. 

Pictured below is my husband rehearsing for the play, Miss Holm and Lucas being silly and myself with Lucas. Miss Holm plays the character of Leah McAllister - Grover's wife. Miss Holm and Lucas were sharing giggles during rehearsal. I was asked by the programing coordinator to fill in for a minor character. My character is a townswomen at the recently deceased Mr. McAllister funeral. I had a couple lines...gossiping about Mr. McAllister and his sons. During the play, I carried Lucas with me. I could hear the campers whispering to each other asking if the baby in the play was real or fake. lol. 

That's all for now. I'll post more pictures and stories from our adventures @ PSR at a later time.