Friday, October 20, 2006

'Q' has arrived!

No, you Star Trek Dork... not him....

The phone!

My lovely wife finally permitted me to purchase a new cell phone. I have been struggling between two phones for the longest time - until I saw them in action - then I knew I had to have something different.

I need a phone that will help me organize my time, now that I am finding it harder and harder to book things without having to call home and have the 'master calendar' checked... I also need a phone that I can recieve email with - I am constantly having email sent while at work and I can't read it due to 'filtering'.... arrrrgh! I also wanted to be able to type on the darn thing because trying to use that I-tap method for txt'ing is really difficult... I also need the ability to load MicroSoft based software on the phone to use for real estate appraising... so....

I have added the Motorola Q phone to my electronic arsenal - which is kinda funny - because, at lunch the other day a friend of mine was saying that he has the cheapest, old school, freebie phone he could get and was teasing about the people who have the fancy-shmanzy state of the art phones.... wait till he sees this one - he is going to want it BAD.

These are the phones I was considering....

But, I couldnt resist this offer....

So you will have to excuse me if you call and I struggle with taking the call... I am still trying to get a handle on all the new features.

This phone ROCKS!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Desmond goes to the groomer!

Ain't he lovely!
(note: the name on the tag "Lexington" has officially been changed to "Desmond" courtesy of "Lost"...)


My family (minus Garhett) joined up with the Street Team and some of the Bellflower Scouting Team to pass out water at the Bellflower Parade.

We had a fantastic time! We passed out all the water and stickers we could in less than an hour and a half!

It was great getting to meet alot of the people who live in Bellflower. Here are some of my favorite pictures of some Bellflower folks sporting the "I love Bellflower" stickers we handed out!

On a side note:
I really enjoyed the Palmdale High band playing the USC fight song!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mike "Sturdy" is in San Mateo

At 8:00PM this evening Mike arrived at the San Mateo Marriott. This will be Mike's home as he begins his new job with Plante's Hotel Renovations. Mike said to let everyone know he made it with no problems. He took the scenic trip up the 101 to San Mateo. This is the furthest Mike has ever been away from home. Keep praying for his success!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

To the Glory of Christ... The Marriage of John & Breanna

My family attended the wedding of John Joseph Bellino to Breanna Jean Fry. Breanna is Garhett's piano and bass guitar teacher. This was the most interesting wedding I have ever attended. The ceremony was a mixture of traditional Hebrew customs with traditional Christian ceremony. Both John and Breanna are long time Christians.

The ceremony took an hour and a half and here is how it went.

The bride and groom wore traditional symbolic clothing; he wore a "Kittle" the traditional Hebrew garment worn by every man attending a wedding. (It was white). She wore a traditional white wedding gown. The pastor wore a white robe with a stole.

In a traditional Hebrew wedding in preparation for the betrothal ceremony, both the groom and the bride were to separately take a ritual immersion in water as a symbol of spiritual cleansing.

The bridegroom's entrance was done by a groomsman sounding the 'shofar' (rams horn) and vocally announcing "Behold, the Bridegroom comes!". Then the processional began. The Pastor was first, followed by torch bearers, then flower girls, then the best men, then the maid's of honor (who were carrying oil lanterns according to Hebrew custom, that light the way for the groom) and finally the groom entered. A song of ascent was sung and then the Bride entered. She was beautiful! The procession was a feast of tradition and reverence!

The ceremony continued with another song, an invocation that involved a responsive reading for confession and absolution prayer then another song and two scripture readings; first the parable of the Ten Virgins, then the parable of the Wedding Banquet. At this point the sister of the bride read a passage from "Treaties on Christian Freedom" by Martin Luther (one of my favorites!). Another song, then the pastor lead a sermon on the parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matt. 22:1-24). I was very pleased to see that a bridal couple was focusing on our LORD and not on themselves!

Following the sermon and another song the congregation responsively read the Apostles' Creed. At this point the groom surprised the bride with a song he wrote for her as the wedding party signed the "Ketubah" (wedding contract), sealed the covenant with a communal cup of wine. At this point the pastor declared them husband and wife and the now married couple kissed for the first time! Yep, these two Christians, who have known each other for 8 years and were courting for the last 5 saved their first kiss for their wedding day. It was a joyous moment for the large gathering as everyone in attendance knew this! The couple then received an Aaronic Blessing (Num. 6:24-26) wrapped themselves in a Tallit which was imprinted with the symbols of the 12 tribes of Israel and the recessional began.

WOW, was this an event. Combining traditional Hebrew customs and Christian tradition was incredible, powerful and overwhelming - and that was just the ceremony. The reception afterwards was just as exciting. The most emotional part for me was when Mike (the father of the bride) and Breanna had their 'father / daughter' dance. I kept imagining how I will feel when Ashley and I have that dance - knowing her, and her love for dancing shows on TV, she is going to have us take dancing classes! The reception began at 3pm and by 7pm, when we had to leave, they hadn't even gotten to the cake! I have saved the wedding program to remind both of my children of this event when the glorious time comes for God to join them in matrimony.

I was very moved by this experience - especially the fact that these two role models saved themselves for their wedding day and shared their first kiss with over 200 people in front of God. What a fantastic gift to each other!

Way to go John and Breanna!!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Goodbye to Mike "Sturdy" Martinez

Last night we had an impromptu good bye party for Mike. We invited some of his friends to come by for a BBQ and boy was Mike happy.

When we moved into our home 15 years ago we met this kooky character who was living in a travel trailer in his parents driveway. Little did we know the wild ride his life would embark upon nor would we know the depth that God would use our family to walk with him to a life of sobriety and finally a life as a devoted Christ follower.

Mike has enjoyed becoming a part of the Revolution Church family and recently was working at Sturdy Furniture where he as had the opportunity to meet and greet and pray and love on many, many people. Some of whom were at our home last night - returning the favor.

We owe a great thanks to Mike for being a great neighbor, who used to lead the neighborhood watch from his car, while he slept in it every night... We owe Mike a great thanks for helping us when we first moved in to our home - he was the first person to welcome us to the neighborhood.

Mike has touched many people with his outward focused life, his love for Christ and his willingness to be there whenever a friend is needed.

Mike will be taking a new job working as the "FFE guy" for Plante's hotel renovations. He will be going to San Mateo on Tuesday morning where he will begin a new chapter in his life. We all wish him well.

God Bless you on your journey Mike. We can't wait for you to come back for two weeks during the Christmas/New Year holiday and tell us of all your experiences.
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More pictures from the BBQ

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More photos from the BBQ for Mike

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

LOST has returned!

Last night was the premiere of the 3rd season of Lost - the second best show on TV. Our home hosted a Lost dinner which featured:

  • Appetizers of Jun's fresh sushi
  • Sun's fresh tropical fruit, Island green beans and toss mixed greens
  • Charlie's Poppy seed rolls
  • Hurley's fried chicken
  • Claire's peanut butter cookies (made by Dawn)
I even had some gingerbread 'polar bear' cookies for the girls to make - but they were too busy playing - so we never got those made... bummer...

Our good friends Tim and Michelle Lasch joined us with their daughters - it was great fun. We previewed the hour long 'recap' first, to catch Dawn up to speed and then watched the premiere, "A Tale of Two cities".

If you missed the show you can catch highlights and maybe download the podcast online at

Well we did it!

Over the past few weeks I have been on a search to find a new pet for our household. Against all the advice to the contrary, not to mention my better judgement, I located a new puppy for my children.

Welcome 'no name' to our family. He is a 1 year old tri-colored cocker spaniel that we rescued from the Orange County Animal Care Center. We haven't fully settled on a name for him yet - although we do have a tag made with the name Lexington. Although, after watching Lost last night I am growing fond of calling him Desmond. Who knows maybe Lexmond... Desington...

Well, all that aside, he is quite active and loveable. Garhett and Ashley really love him and enjoy having a young guy to play with. The downside is he is not that trained yet - we were really spoiled with Buddy, and he really hates Ashley's bunnies.