Sunday, March 19, 2017

Joni and Friends

Not too long ago we had the opportunity to visit the headquarters of Joni and Friends. Do you know who Joni is? This is from her bio on her website:

"Joni Eareckson Tada, the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quad­riplegic in a wheelchair, without the use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations."

It was really such an educational tour for us. Growing up at Grace Community Church, I've always known about Joni. She actually used to attend our church when I was younger so I would see her there a lot. I just didn't realize all that her ministry does for people with disabilities. It is exciting to see how the Lord has used her and her testimony to help so many people around the world.

 Before we went on the tour the kids explored an interactive center where they tried different activities but had a "disability". In this center Jojo was trying to read but the glasses made it real difficult for him to read simulating a person with a vision disability.

We then toured the facility. Here the kids are in a recording studio where Joni broadcasts her podcasts! She will record about 60 4 minute podcasts in one day...she's an extremely hard worker!

After her accident Joni learned how to hold a paintbrush in her mouth and paint. She painted the above picture!! Absolutely amazing! I can't even paint that well with my hands! What a gifted lady and she uses her gifts to glorify the Lord!


We were so blessed to have Joni come and visit us at the end of our tour. She encouraged all the kids and just shared her heart with us. She also shared the following: "God permits what He hates, to accomplish something that He loves!"

If you want to learn more about Joni and her amazing ministry you can visit her site at Joni and Friends


Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Endeavour at the California Science Center

I remember when we lived in Russia and the Endeavour was coming to it's final resting place at the California Science Center. There was a ton of footage of the special flyovers and I remember thinking how I wished I could be there to see the Endeavour fly over my head. Then there was the almost impossible task of getting the shuttle to the museum. It was so cool seeing the engineering that took place to get that huge shuttle to DTLA. I also remember wanting to be in that crowd as the Endeavour was painfully and slowly wheeled down the streets of Los Angeles.

I was super excited to see the Endeavour as were the boys. It was pretty breathtaking walking into that huge hall and seeing it for the first time.






Before you walk  into the hall where the Endeavour is there are smaller exhibits to look at! We especially liked the mission control. They also were showing video of the astronauts in the Endeavour while it was on a mission! They even had the toilet from the Endeavour...so funny!






I was a little surprised how "rough" looking the shuttle was but I suppose it's been up in space several times! I have to tell you though that the boys were not so impressed once we walked into the hall. They thought we'd be able to go inside the actual shuttle! Probably should have told them beforehand!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

California Science Center: Pixar Exhibit

I don't know if I've ever been to the Science Center in Downtown Los Angeles...maybe as a kid? Not sure. Either way, the kids have never been there and this week we got to go on a field trip there with our homeschool group.

The big highlight of course was the Pixar Exhibit and we spent quite a bit of time in there. It's really amazing all the details that go into putting an animated film together. I'll never look at a Pixar film again quite the same.

     For the boys of course field trips are a blast simply because they get to hang out with their friends!






The hall is loaded with so many hands on exhibits! It was so much fun for the boys to explore. They loved trying to figure things out and watching all the short videos on how certain parts of a film come
together.





We all felt like going home and watching Pixar movies!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Moorpark Zoo

In December we finally got to visit the Moorpark Zoo with our homeschool group. I've been meaning to get over there and check it out but have not had the opportunity to do so yet. Moorpark Junior College is one of two colleges/universities in the USA that has a teaching zoo on campus. It's actually quite difficult to get in to the program at Moorpark College. It's based off a lottery system and students wait years before getting in.




The day started off with a show of various animals from birds to reptiles. The students do a pretty good job but as I mentioned before it's a training zoo so they are learning as they go.




We then walked around the zoo and visited all the different exhibits. I am not a fan of animals to say the least but I often feel sorry to see these animals caged up. In this case though many of these creatures have been injured and are at the zoo because they wouldn't survive in the wild. They also have several animals which were confiscated from people who had them as pets. The zoo also gets transfers from other zoos. It was a fun little field trip and it was also nice to be on the campus of Moorpark College. It's a beautiful campus...who knows maybe one day I'll attend there and get my AA degree! I guarantee you though I will not be applying for the zoo program!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Family Pictures

As the boys are getting older they are getting less and less excited about having their pictures taken. Sadly for them they don't really have a choice! Jon and the boys get ample warning about when we'll take our pictures so I give them plenty of time to deal with it!

Picture day came and Jon was feeling super sick so our plan to travel over to the next town for that perfect site was out. Instead we drove less than a mile to a super small park.



Thankfully Jon had a great attitude even though he felt so awful. He sets the tone in our home when he's home, so the boys were also ok with our photo shoot.


I know one day in the future the boys will be so happy I took so many pictures. I love seeing how they change throughout the years.



Overall we got some pretty good shots and were in and out of the park in less than half an hour!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Relentless Love

All the way back in September our Sunday school women's group had their annual tea. It was a lovely day of course. Our theme for the tea was "Relentless Love" and our guest speaker was Zondra Scott wife of Stuart Scott. They both co-authored the book, Killing Sin Habits, that we went through on our Monday night study last year.

My friend Angela was the decorator for the event and she did a wonderful job. She is so talented and has a great eye for detail.





Donna is on the left- she's our Sunday school pastor's wife and she has a real love for women's ministries. Zondra is on the right. We were all so blessed by her lesson. They're answering questions here.

Sosi is my co-leader this year. She is a real sweet heart!

So happy that Heather(L) and her husband are in our Sunday school now. Erin(R) lives super close to us and I've really enjoyed getting to know her and her family!

Angela is on the right and I've been so blessed by her friendship.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pumpkin Patch

Today we took a little trip to the pumpkin patch simply to take some "fallish" pictures since it's fall but feels like summer! Seriously folks, today it was 90 in Moorpark. Thankfully with some coaxing everyone obliged and we spent about 10 minutes at the patch! That was enough to get a few pictures for me to scrapbook.



Jojo is getting so big! 


Nay nay is growing up too!