Mini Horse Camp




Let me be clear, not mini horse’s but a mini version of a horse camp. My Brownies voted on using a portion of the money earned through cookie sales  they earned to ride horses. With that in mind, safety first. So I found the Carol Fallon Riding Center (part of Sycamore Trails Stables) located in San Juan Capistrano.

I found a council’s own try-it so they could earn a badge during this experience. Carol worked with me to provide my Brownie’s with a Mini Horse Camp that fulfilled all but one step of the badge.  They learned about safety (safety first),  how to care for the horse’s, how to groom them, equipment needed and tacking up.

For the Grand finale, they learned how to get on a horse and went for a short ride. This was a great introduction to horses. This is just one more example of the wonderful opportunities they get through Girl Scouts. All of my Brownies , except one, groomed and rode the horses. Their faces were gleaming with pride. Hopefully, this a memory they will never forget.




Take Action Project and the Ronald McDonald House




My troop is finishing up their Brownie Quest Journey. They decided to make their community aware of the on going needs of the Ronald McDonald House as in for their Take Action Project.

Our Brownie’s reached out to the their family, friends and community to collect items for the Ronald McDonald House while raising awareness at the same time.

I wasn’t able to get a picture of all the donations but they did fantastic! We delivered our items and took a tour of the house. The house is walking distance to CHOC hospital in Orange, CA. It provides a warm and comfortable place to stay while their children are receiving care at the hospital.

Through donations, the house provides everything from food and lodging to clothing and toiletries. It has a total of twenty rooms and serves up to eighty people. It has a large living area, dinning area, office complete with computers and printers, toy/play room, a relaxation room and beautiful indoor and outdoor sitting areas.

The kitchen has everything you need to prepare a meal but volunteers provide and cook meals in the beautifully equipped kitchen at dinner time and breakfast on the weekends.

After our tour, our lovely little Brownie’s helped out yet again by cleaning up all of the dinning tables, chairs and high chairs in the dinning room.

I’m very proud of my Brownies and all their efforts for bringing awareness to such a worthy cause.


“Your never persuasive when your abrasive” Rick Warren


It’s amazing how whatever stays on your mind throughout the week is addressed at church. God’s funny that way.

This past week my mind keeps a going back to several moments when people around me have been less then kind. Actually, down right abrasive with no good reason.

Their behavior leaves me feeling baffled. You see it’s not just one person this week its a few. I can’t help but think that it must be so hard to carry the burden of being mean on purpose. To be unhappy on purpose requires so more much energy then just smiling.

When faced with these moments I need to remind myself not to let their actions ruffle my feathers. As always, God reminds me I need to extend grace to these people and be a better person.

So if for some reason you suddenly see me stand back, you just may be the person who’s being abrasive. Don’t worry, I’ll be praying for you.


Does Girl Scouts enrich your daughter’s life?

Yes! I can not say enough to describe the value of girls scouts. Above and beyond the leadership program it teaches girls to care for others, to be respectful and mindful of their actions. Girl Scouting teaches basic human values.
Sometimes I look around and am saddened by the lack of basic human values and priorities that some of our young people have. Then I step back into my Girl Scout world and am comforted by all the young ladies I seeing living the Girl Scout law. I see how these young girls are going to make a big difference one day and how girl scouting took a major part in that role.
I found this article today on Disney about the benefits of girl scouting. I can only hope that my daughter continues to realize the value of Girl Scouting to achieve her Gold Award.

The Benefits of Being a Girl Scout

How Your Daughter Can Make a Difference By Being a Girl Scout
Not all teenagers are content to rest on their laurels. In fact, there are 13 who haven’t. Out of a pool of 250 applicants – who already won a Girl Scout Gold Award, no less – they earned the honor of being one of the National Young Women of Distinction, a recognition offered each year to Gold Award winners who show extraordinary leadership.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is presented each year to the top 5 or 6 percent of Girl Scouts ages 14 to 18, so to be in an even more elite category is clearly impressive. “Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and an external committee comprised of high-profile professional women selected [the honorees],” says Kathy Cloninger, CEO of GSUSA. “Each honoree has spent one to two years on a community service project that has far-reaching effects in her community and beyond.”

The 2007 National Young Women of Distinction were honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 12 during a celebration of the 95th anniversary year of Girl Scouting.

Two Shining Examples

Rebecca Schultz, 17, of Sunrise, Fla., is one of the Young Women of Distinction who will be at that ceremony. This high school student is seriously concerned with the deterioration of natural reefs along the coastal waterways. Under the direction of the Department of Environmental Resource Management, Schultz took action by constructing and deploying artificial reefs along the coast of Florida. Her awareness campaign includes an educational program for middle school and high school students.

Schultz says she had a lot of inspiration for her project, which started when she got her scuba certification and began going on many dives in the South Florida area. “It was then I noticed that many of the coral reefs were deteriorating,” she says. “I really wanted to do something about it.”

Schultz’s project has actually been taken up by the Marine Biology class at South Plantation High School. The middle schools will continue with the educational program as well as maintain the monitoring at the reef sites. This summer, Schultz will work with the teacher to help incorporate the project in her course. This fall, despite being at college, Schultz will be close enough to help with several of the outreach events.

When asked what she learned from her experience, Schultz says, “I have learned many skills. Time management, money management, people skills, an ability to give proper directions for things that need to be done and the strength and motivation to get a project up and moving are a few of them. They’re all a part of leadership.”

Schultz hopes that other teens will learn about the importance of their waterway environments and how we affect them without really thinking about it. “As we become more aware of our environment, hopefully we will work to preserve it,” she says. “It is important for everyone to know that even as one person, we can make a difference.”

The project began as a relatively small idea, to help provide for a stable environment for corals and other marine life, to clean up and maybe establish a small artificial reef. As time went on, Schultz says it was clear that community awareness was even more important. The project grew as more people and organizations became aware. “My one small voice has become many – one reef ball has become several dozen,” she says. “I hope that by seeing what I have been able to accomplish, the project will also give teens a little encouragement to come up with their own ideas to help the environment. Be creative, be flexible, it can be done!”

Another of the 13 honorees is Elizabeth Okrutny, 18, of Tipp City, Ohio. Knowing that the hometown police department was too small to employ a sketch artist, Okrutny saw a need to produce composite computerized drawings with minimum effort. After presenting her initial findings to the chief of police, Okrutny implemented a software solution, along with a training and reference guide. The Tipp City Police Department was able to put her tools to work in order to apprehend criminals.

Okrutny’s choice of a career in forensics and facial reconstruction led her to contact the police department to learn about needs they had that could be served by a Gold Award project. “Upon learning about the value of composite sketches to investigators and the time and cost obstacles that keep this tool beyond the reach of many police departments, I knew I could apply my art and computer skills to develop a means to make the ability to produce composite drawings possible for any law enforcement agency,” she says.

A Girl Scout Gold Award project is required to include a plan for its continuation or maintenance after the project is completed. An animated self-study class, quick reference document and training instructions document that Oktrutny developed will allow training to continue. Electronic versions are also available for other agencies. The teaching elements have been made available to Okrutny’s university, and she’ll be using resources to teach facial compositing to gifted high school students this summer.

“From doing my project, I know that I can do the career I’ve chosen and that it’s the right choice for me,” Okrutny says. “By pursuing something you’re interested in, you can have an impact on those around you that you might not have thought about. Work on things that interest you, but look around every once in a while to see what it does to everybody else.”

“The 2007 National Young Women of Distinction epitomize Girl Scouting as the world’s best leadership experience for girls,” Cloninger says. “By discovering, connecting and taking action, these inspiring teenagers are defining what it means to be a female leader in today’s global society.”




Quinoa Chili


I haven’t made Quinoa Chile in a few months now but  seeing this recipe today reminded me of how well this went over in my house.

This recipe from sounds delicious. One of the many ways of working on refining my life is by eating foods that have value. I believe that God gave us everything we need to heal ourselves. It’s our job to put all these wonderful ingredients he gave us together to create something yummy. This recipe meets the mark all the way around.

Quinoa Chili


Nature in the Middle of the City.


 I have to tell everyone about a great spot here in Orange County, the Environmental Nature Center. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of a residential neighborhood. This place is absolutely free (great for freegan’s like me). From the outside you would not think it’s as big as it is. They have an outstanding Butterfly house that is open between May 4 and September 26 2014.


 This place is one of a our favorites. Inside their state of the art green building, they a have a nice little reading corner, an educational area, and a gift shop. Step outside and within a few steps your taking a stream side hike (that our 3 year can lead). Be sure to bring your lunch and something to drink. You can enjoy your lunch at one of the tables set up through the hiking trails.

They have Girl Scout and Boy Scout Badge programs available and they are very reasonable. There is such much learning to be done here. It’s big enough to give the kids a outdoor experience and small enough that they can enjoy themselves without getting tired and grumpy.  This is definitely one of my peaceful places and the girls love it.

1601 E.16th St. Newport Beach, CA 92663








Sharing my life message from my deepest hurts.

“Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts” – Rick Warren

This mornings message from our Pastor confirmed what I already knew. I wrote this post but had been holding back on releasing it because it’s painful. I know that my pain will help someone, someway, somehow. I am looking for ways to channel this hurt and to get my message across. I NEED everyone to understand that your actions can deeply affect other peoples lives. My topic: DRINKING AND DRIVING. I know some people will read it and think, this does not apply to me but it does.

We either have done it or know someone who has. Just because you’ve done something in the past doesn’t mean you can’t change it. You Can! You can help stop it. You can be the designated driver, you take away the keys. You can call 911 if you see someone driving erratically. Some people just keep doing it because they haven’t caught or the they think their past experience drinking and driving is funny.

Recently Jason Priestly was on the Chelsea Handler show and they gave each other a high-five while talking about their past drunk driving experiences. This is NOT funny! It’s not a laughing matter. This is nothing to be proud of. I will take my pastor’s message and run with it.

Here’s the post I’ve been holding back on:

Just about everyone knows my story. I lost my son because some man didn’t  have enough sense to know not to drink and drive. Furthermore, this man didn’t have fear of what would happen if he was caught drinking and driving. The main reason he didn’t fear: there were no repercussions for him.

This man had been “allegedly” caught drinking and driving more then twenty times – that’s right, that’s not a mistype – more then 20 times! He had the system figured out.  He gave different names, changed his name around ( first name as middle name and middle name  as first, etc, etc.)  He didn’t show up for court dates. They can’t convict you if you don’t show up to court.  Bench warrants didn’t scare him either. He had handfuls of warrants. He’s girlfriend wasn’t scared. She let him borrow her uninsured car on the night of the crash. The entire 6 years of the trial, I didn’t see any scared look or reaction from him at all. I never saw any compassion or regretful looks from this man. Believe me, I looked. As much as I hated looking at him, I looked for something that would indicate to me that he was sorry or regretful.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against someone having a drink but don’t drink and drive. I get so upset every time I see people on Facebook giving their friends the “heads up” of a DUI checkpoint. I immediately think “UNFRIEND” but than I get a hold of myself, I know I can’t reach people with my message if I “UNFRIEND” them. So please, If you think your friends are drinking and driving, let them get caught. Let them become afraid of the consequences prior to hurting or killing someone. You could save someone’s life.

This post and picture are from Tustin Police Department’s Facebook page


On May 9, 2014, the Tustin Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Irvine Blvd. west of Jamboree Rd. As a result, 923 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, 322 drivers were contacted and no DUI arrests was made. Officers issued eight citations for unlicensed drivers and various other California Vehicle Code violations.

The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.In California, this deadly crime led to 774 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 people are killed each year were killed from impaired driving. “Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 3 lives and resulted in 51 injury crashes impacting members of our Tustin community,” said Sgt. Brian Greene.Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints.

DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to Tustin Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.


It’s FPIES awareness week! What’s FPIES????

That is same exact question I asked my daughter-in-law. Our Grandson was finally diagnosed with FPIES – Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome when he was almost a year old. Before that it he was always sick, he couldn’t keep his food down, they had endless trips to the doctor and the hospital. Thank goodness they found a doctor who diagnosed him. With a very strict diet. They now have his condition under control.


Here’s a description of FPIES from the FPIES Foundation

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) is a type of food allergy affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  Classic symptoms of FPIES include profound vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. These symptoms can lead to severe lethargy, change in body temperature and blood pressure. Unlike typical food allergies, symptoms may not be immediate and do not show up on standard allergy tests.  Furthermore, the negative allergy evaluation may delay the diagnosis and take the focus off the causative food.  Nonetheless, FPIES can present with severe symptoms following ingestion of a food trigger.

to learn more visit their website:

Here’s my daughter-in-laws story:





Nature as the Teacher


I volunteer at our school garden and today was our scheduled garden day. Due to the extreme heat we are experiencing I had to cancel it. Even though I’ll put it back on the calender next week, I did this with a bit of regret. I know how much the children love it. It is the most gorgeous garden. For me, this is another way of reaching out and helping,  but also a way to get to know other parents. Another way of refining myself.

The entire school, class by class spends time in the garden each month. Each class has a team of parents that help the children who learn by planting, maintaining the garden and composting (they love composting). One of the most interesting things to me is that even the children who do not like to eat fruits or vegetables love going to the garden.  They love harvesting time and celebrate by having salad. Each Tuesday, we can buy some of the harvested fruits and vegetables along with baked goods, lemon pops and green juice, all made with things grown in the garden.

I’m kind of bragging about our school garden because it is truly a labor of love and definitely something to brag about.  This is a description of the garden in the Orange County Register “150 parents involved in the TMA organic Garden and Nature Center, which broke ground in 2008 and is the most extensive school garden in Orange County”.  I think it’s a great place for the children to learn. Next week I’ll write about our time in the garden. Until then, here’s the article that appeared in the Orange County Register.

 Nature as Teacher.