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Archive for Diving


Just a little reminder, that my best friend Jennene will be taking her first hit of chemo on Monday at 9am.  CLICK HERE to read Sunday’s recap and Monday’s chemo schedule.  🙂

sj-anointed-time Sam & Jennene at the Taj Mahal in India March 2006





ok, sooo, the last couple of weeks have been pretty non-stop.  If you read this blog then you know that 2 weeks ago (the week before Christmas) was a week of extreme highs and lows.  This last week was filled other kinds of highs and lows and next week is sure to be filled with more highs and lows…we’re humans…thus highs and lows.


-was still sick enough all weekend.
-Had lunch w/Ona on Saturday 🙂
-Sunday, went to church for the ‘Candle Light Service’
-helped Adam Powell move all of his belongings to his new place where he & his new bride will reside upon their return from Thailand 🙂
-went with J&E and Gail down to Glendale for a family night at Steve & Debra’s…though the flat tire on the way down made for more adventure than expected.  Driving 50mph on LA freeways is AWESOME!
-On Monday, drove up to Hanford for some sweet love at the Harveys; filled with uniform, food, laughing, conversation, sickness, lively rounds of nerDs, hilarious Zach moments, Jennene’s blog updates, cool Christmas Eve Eve service :), food, laughing, tech issues, conversation, uniform…
-Drove home early on Christmas morn, showered, made my over to the Brocks for Christmas brunch, which was FANTASTIC!  Great company too…J&E, Jason & Steph, Mike, Gail (Js mom), Luke, Brad, Nadine.  Hilarious range of conversation topics too.  And, really great to get more than 2 minutes on Sunday am with the Beals!  🙂
-Spent the rest of the day in uniform at the Brocks with Mike (the Brocks went on to another family party); watching movies, reading dive magazines, planning dive destination trips and eating leftovers.  Honestly, does it get any better?
-Friday worked in the morning and then ran down to Huntington Beach on an errand and in the process met the nicest people in the world (aunt/uncle of one David Wolter), then dinner near LAX, then dropped Mike off for his trip to Thailand (for AP’s wedding and sweet sweet diving).
-Today…working, planning, communicating….booked flights to/from Denver for a funeral next Friday…I leave on Wednesday New Years Eve…Jennene starts chemo on Monday…life just keeps on rolling…


Soooooo, when you’re in college you think, “When I’m done with college (or  my college culture job) I’ll do so much ‘free reading’ ”.

Well, I am here to say that I’ve been out of that environment for 4 years now and have done very little of that ‘extra curricular’ reading I’d always longed for.  🙂

So, in an effort to be slightly less-lame, though not having a TON of time, I have tried harder in 2008 to do some reading.

I am only posting this as a form of accountability and iron on iron.  I am in NO way saying that I am proud of the number of books that I’ve read (or rather, not read).

I’ll break it down by categories:  books I finished, books I’m currently reading, books that are on the ‘to read’ list and your welcomed recommendations.  This list assumes the Bible.  🙂

1.  Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
2.  Mistaken Identity by Van Ryn, Cerak, Tabb
3.  Beyond the Band of Brothers by Major Dick Winters
4.  Stories In His Own Hand by Ronald Reagan
5.  The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam
6.  Open Water Diving Manual by PADI
7.  Girl Soldier by Faith J.H. McDonnell & Grace Akallo

1.  Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris
2.  The Last of the Just by Andre Schwarz-Bart
3.  The Cross Centered Life by CJ Mahaney
4.  The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller
5.  Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Braun
6.  A Faith Worth Sharing by C. John Miller (aka ‘Jack’)

BOOKS ON THE ‘TO READ’ LIST 🙂 (in no particular order)
1.  Why We’re Not Emergent By Two Guys Who Should Be by DeYoung & Kluck
2.  Relationships-A Mess Worth Making by Paul Tripp
3.  Into Thin Air by John Krakuer
4.  Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges
5.  When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey
6.  PeaceMaker by Ken Sande (this would be a re-read)
7.  Chinatown’s Angry Angel: The Story of Donaldina Cameron
8.  The Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen
9.  The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
10. The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
11. Escape by Carolyn Jessup
12. Awearness by Kenneth Cole


So, here’s to looking back on 2008 and looking forward to 2009, from a literary perspective, of course.


Sooo, yesterday I posted this pic

of what I thought was my grandmother AND my grandfather… I did some research and now have the full story… (thanx Colleen) 🙂

The woman is, in fact, my grandmother, Pattycake. 
The man is her dive instructor…who is NOT my grandfather (though incredibly similiar looking to Frank). 

Per my aunt’s recall, Pattycake actually did not care much to be in the water.  However, she was a prolific write and illustrator and at the time of the picture she was writing/illustrating a children’s story about an octopus (called ‘Octavius the Octopus’).  She concluded that ‘it required having some experience with the flora and fauna in the water and it required that she knew that the water was like way down (deep).  She did this with courage, bravery and yes, her usual enthusiasm even though she thought water was best enjoyed in a bath or on the rocks!  I remember her telling me that she had to walk backwards into the water because of
the fins she wore. ‘ 
So turns out that, regardless of her fears, Pattycake was doing underwater research for the children’s book that she was writing.  Seriously?  Seriously.  Pattycake was such a stud.


So, what I’ve learned from this photo
1.  My grandmother…she was always so willing… 11 kids, writing, speaking, non-profits, stand up comedy, managing, teaching, supporting, broadcasting, photography, creating, etc.  She continues to inspire, even after being gone for 11+ years now!

2.  In general, I want the full story (as much as is possible)

3.  You might want to think about asking YOUR family members for the stories behind some of YOUR family pics… it’s a very intriguing journey..hearing about who/what you come from.


So, I am working on a project that requires going through old photos…of my grandparents.

I have a new favorite photo….my grandparents as SCUBA DIVERS?!?!?!?!?!?! 
in the 50’s?!?!?!
look at how cute they are!

See? it’s in the blood!

And, my how times and equipment have changed…


Welp, since I last wrote…
-I haven’t slept much
-I taught 2 days of 7th/8th grade ELD I, II, III classes…which are students who don’t speak English (on 3 levels)…DEFINITELY some hidden camera show moments…as you know, I am not bi-lingual
-Went diving on Catalina: it was more of a ‘trial & error’ trip, as it was the 1st completely ‘independent of all supervision’ dive trip for both Mike & I.  We didn’t die, so that’s good.
-Worked for a week as an office manager at a manufacturing plant…they make jet parts (might have mentioned that earlier)
-Showed houses and wrote 2 offers for 2 different clients
-Tried to connect over the phone with a SD friend …dueling schedules making it prohibitive
-Have spent lots and lots of time doing worship team stuff
-Went out on a limb and tried a new set of toppings at Subway: spinach, feta cheese and Greek sauce…yes, please.
-Had meetings with ICU president, Amelia, regarding the Man Pageant ’08 (which is in 2 days: THursday!) and had meetings at VHS with other students
-Spent time with Valeria and Lindsay (my eyebrows and hair are so thankful); was also a witness to radically beneficial changes for Mike B.
-Visited Curt’s renowned grounds in Box Canyon
-Hung out with the Brocks: special time, field trips, meetings, weddings….
-Lured friends into ‘ .99 Taco Mondays’ at La Rumba …I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a staple event!
-Had my 1st ‘House Meeting’ with my new roommates…went great…haven’t seen them since (it was 2 weeks ago)
-Started a new book during my lunch break for ELD subbing…pretty good…once again, I love the WWII era
-Called the sherrif 2x due to unruly neighbors who loudly rev up around 11:45pm…on Saturday

I wish I could give more highlights, but gotta run…


I am a card carrying  ‘PADI CERTIFIED OPEN WATER DIVER’!!!!
Check out the chart below (can you find my classification?)….there are many more levels I can pursue…maybe Cavern Diver will be next?  Or mostly NOT.  While I love diving, I do not love being in enclosed spaces, underwater, with my main lifeline in a tank on my back.  I’m pretty sure guys like Reuben should be Cavern Diving (our instructor…his name is on my card if you want to get certified). 
As for me, I’m stickin with Open Water at this point!!! 🙂  Yay!  I have my cert card!!!  I’m totally gonna start flashing it, like a CSI badge.