Wednesday, July 4, 2018

One Nation, Under God, Indivisible



It's Independence Day, July 4th 2018. 

I am happy today and grateful to be living in America, in Pleasanton, working in my garden and thinking of those who have come before me, worked before me, to help me enjoy this freedom. 



Dave and I went to a concert by John McCutcheon on Sunday. He is a folk singer and instrumentalist extraordinaire. His words and stories made me embarrassed that I even listen to the roiling that goes on in the media about discord when in fact we should all be "laser focused" on loving each other and valuing each other as gifts from above. We are. His gifts to each other. We can only love as much as we know we are loved. And thanks to Jesus...we are SO loved that he gave his life that we might live, abundantly. Sounds like our fighting men and women. Giving their lives so we can have life.

So I am going to try to see the world and people as God sees them through my eyes. And look forward to being a blessing and not a curse.

Happy 4th of July to every American, at home and away, devoted to the prospect of freedom and being united for one purpose...to live under the banner of love.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Valentine's Fundraising Fun!

Yeah! 
We raised $370 for Pleasanton Military Families' care package program last month...that's enough to fill and mail 8 boxes. The weather was pretty chilly but it still felt good to be out with my cards, flowers and jewelry as a way to let 
people know about PMF and raise some funds.





At one of the homecomings last year, PMF members asked me if I was interested in making jewelry. Yes, I was! Well they had a bunch of beads and supplies they weren't using anymore do they gave them to me to see what I could come up with. I'm hooked! I thought it would be fun to sell them to raise money for PMF. Dirk Christiansen from Studio Seven Arts let me set up shop outside his store.


I love this necklace...those are crepe paper flowers I made a while ago.

Every piece of jewelry had a heart in it. I got this idea from one of the ladies who stopped by our booth at First Wednesday last year. She said she wished she had a bracelet to remember a military member so she could pray for him/her and keep them in her heart all the time, not just once a year.



That's the "be mine" bracelet in the center.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Very Merry 2017!










I was asked to give the blessing before the meal at our Pleasanton Military Families Christmas party. Next to my prized presentation flag flown over the war zone, it was the biggest compliment and honor of my life. 

Dear Lord,

We are happy tonight and truly grateful for the opportunity to be together at Christmas time. It’s the time of year we celebrate the decision you made to leave your heavenly home and come to us, to make your home in our hearts. 

You have made us a family. The hands we hold are priceless to us. They are the evidence that you are mindful of our every need and that you have just the right person at just the right time to help meet those needs. These hands we hold remind us of the bond that ties us together: we love someone who chose service and honor as a way of life.

Even now, as we share this meal, we pray that those serving far away from us, our military sons and daughters, husbands and brothers are opening care packages that shower them with our gratitude, our pride in what they are doing, the warmth of home at Christmas and most of all with the certainty that they are SO loved by all of us, SO loved by God. 

Fill us with your peace tonight as we lay our heads down knowing that it is your good pleasure to protect and guide your children no matter where they are.

Lord Jesus, thank you for blessing our Christmas gathering and thank you for the lasting memories you are making for us tonight. 

They will remind us forever that we have indeed “all received one blessing after another” and that we have witnessed with our own eyes “the wonders of your love”. Amen.





Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Glad Tidings




The Pleasanton Military Families Christmas Pack Out was on November 18th, and we have already starting receiving thank you notes from our recipients.

This letter was beautifully written and I wanted to share. Home away from home is what he loves....

Hello,

I would just like to express my appreciation and thanks for the care packages your organization sent our unit. It's clear that a lot of effort was put into putting them together, and for this I'm truly grateful. Your gift has provided me with some comforts from home and has shown me that there are many at home who support us. It's gestures such as this that motivate me, and remind me why I serve. I put on the uniform to serve and protect the people. Without the support of the people, I wouldn't have any reason to serve. I also especially wanted to say thanks for the Christmas trees you included in your shipment. It's extremely difficult being away from home during the holidays, but having those Christmas trees helps us celebrate and gives us some sense of normalcy. Once again, thank you so much for everything from your organization. Take care, and God bless.


Thanks,
name withheld




Friday, October 20, 2017

US Marine Major John Kelly Stands Up For The Best 1%

Speaking about events surrounding President Trump's phone call to the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson killed in Niger (one of four killed in an ambush on October 4, 2017), Chief of Staff John Kelly gave this powerful statement to the press. I sat in my car, in the driveway, to listen as every word touched my heart. Every American should hear these words.

On October 4th America lost Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, highly decorated and deeply loved.


John Kelly EMOTIONAL White House Press Briefing 10/19/17




Retired United States Marine Corps general John F. Kelly, White House Chief of Staff and the former commander of United States Southern Command, the unified combatant command responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

HEROES 4 HEROES



Zack (left) from Alameda waited for his buddy at the rest stop...
he was slowed by a flat out on Mines Road.
They were among the 25 doing the 115 mile ride. 

Well over 200 incredible human beings showed up on the back roads of Livermore on October 7, 2017 to cycle their butts off for a good cause. Cycling 4 Vets (C4V) held its Annual Event to support the military yesterday in the Livermore Valley Hill country. Riders chose from 30, 55 and 115 miles to log with the goal to support military veterans and current in-service personnel. All fundraising benefits veteran and active military organizations including: the Las Positas College Veterans First Program, Sentinels of Freedom, Student Veterans Organization (SVO), Blue Star Moms – Danville Chapter, and Pleasanton Military Families (PMF).




This rider came in overheated, vowing to finish the 115 miles when his
longest ride to date had only been 60 miles. He said, anything less than the 115
didn't seem good enough for the military. He rode off with a buddy who would make sure he arrived home safely.
Sounds like the military.
Pleasanton Military Families hosted 2 rest stops for cyclists to refuel and get much needed water...It was hot out there with little shade and 5,000 foot elevation gains, making every ride much more challenging. But you know, every rider came in with a smile on their faces and a story to tell. Pumped and happy to support our military! Don't you love it?

Our Rest Stop by the side of the road







Many female cyclists sweated out the 115 miler!
Sorry I didn't get her face in, but
the jersey tells the story.

Silicon Valley Cyclist Club was awesome yesterday!

A Marine Mom 115 miler...on a mountain bike!!!
I don't know how much money was raised for vets and active military yesterday, but I'll post when I find out. What I do know, is that there are a pack of proud and grateful Americans who consider it a privilege to pound out hard, hot, uphill miles on a bike to say "Thank You!!" to every service man/woman out there who has considered America a country worth fighting for. 
Thank you and God bless you all!

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11/2017: Memorials and The Survivor Tree

It is 9/11/2017. Because it is so easy to forget, I wanted to revisit what happened on 9/11/2001 and what has happened since to memorialize the lives lost on that most horrible day. I learned a Memorial has been established in Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 was taken over by terrorist hijackers and crashed into a field where all passengers including 3 children under the age of 5 and all crew members died. This was the 4th plane to have crashed, but not without a fight from heroic passengers.

United Flight 93 Crash site near Shanksville PA on 9/11/2001 killing 40


As the site looks today
Gate leading to the crash site memorial


A Memorial Wall holds the names of the 40 victims who were killed on 9/11/2001

Locally, the Fire Departments in both Pleasanton and Livermore held a moment of silence and lowered the flag to honor those who died, so that we might never forget. A small group gathered at the flag pole of Station 1 in Pleasanton at 6:59 am. 





On the 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial website, there is a beautiful story of the Survivor Tree...a pear tree that was buried in the Trade Towers rubble, nursed back to health and survives today as a testament to life on the memorial grounds. Click the link and watch the wonderful video they have created to tell the story.


May God continue to be a source of strength and comfort to those who carry on, whose lives have been changed forever.