Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Amazing Journey

OK, I have been so busy and in such a rut that I have not any extra time to blog. But...today, something came across my email that just brought me to tears. I am attaching a link to a blog of some friends of John and I - Jack and Jodie Groppel


They are an amazing christian couple that we have shared some wonderful years with while we lived in Chicago (many bottles of wine and nights on our deck, we were in small group together and they even helped us pack our house when we moved here to Indy. Jack is a bit of a celeb. If you Google Jack Groppel, you will see lots about him - he has authored many books and is well known in the US Tennis World. You can read all about that online. Also, he has traveled with Bill Hybels of Willow Creek doing some speaking - Jack is an incredible motivational speaker. Not too long ago, Steve Poe even referenced Jack and some of his materials in a sermon. Anyway, Jack and Jodie are adopting a son from China (this has been in the works for a long time!) They decided to Blog the events of the adoption. Jack is in China now getting their son - Shen. He should be returning to the states next week if all goes well. We know quite a few people who have adopted from a foreign country, but I have never quite experienced the emotion that I did as I read Jack's blog. Maybe because we have a personal attachment, but it's just been an incredible journey for them - all God led. Anyway, if you want to read a wonderful blog - set aside a few minutes and read this story - my tears are happy ones - no one deserves this more than Jack and Jodie and little Shen is a very lucky little boy - he may not know it yet - but in time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Which way to the beach???

There's nothing more relaxing to me than sitting in the pool lounger, staring out at the ocean. We have just returned from 10 wonderful days @ New Smyrna Beach, Florida. While I am sad it is already over, the memories are great. Now we are not the touristy type - we are way past Disney Theme Park, Universal, etc and the long, hot lines that go along with them. We are the vacationers that sit out in the sun from 8:30 til 4:00 each day, working on our tans, reading the latest People and Us magazines, sipping cool drinks, napping - you know - all those totally mindless things you can do.

See what I mean!!!!! This is hard work!

I had been saving the book The Shack to read @ the beach, but never even got motivated to start it!! I was more interested in the story that Bradgelina's twins were invitro, and the latest on Paris and Brittany!!

Anyway...we had an amazing time. We did do a sunset dolphin/manatee cruise - saw dolphins, but no manatees! I wasn't quick enough to snap the dolphin pictures - but this is what they would have looked like!!!!

We had some great scenery on the cruise and a spectacular sunset.

Some of the scenery was truly breathtaking - was a reminder of how beautiful God made the earth!

We did manage to avoid the sharks (New Smyrna Beach is the shark bite capital of the world!), although there were two men bitten while surfing on the Wed and Friday of our trip. (nothing too serious - bites to the feet and legs).

OK- this was the view from my lounge chair looking out at the beach (the bird was a little extra in this shot!)

And, this was the view from my lounge chair looking away from the beach!

And this was the view straight up most of the time!

Kind of hard to take - huh!
The sea turtles are nesting this time of year - so they are onshore. We ran into this one while taking some pictures @ the jetty - he was harmless!

Lauren won the "Tan" of the trip contest - she was so cute with the blonde hair and toasty brown skin!

John came in a close second!

My family is so precious - for two years now they have agreed to dress alike and take pictures on the beach.

Well, I am already thinking about next year and our family trip to the beach!!!! Can't wait!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It Take A Thief!!!

I was reading a friends blog about her "Tragic Tuesday" and decided to share my own version of a Manic Monday. This one centers around the unfortunate dishonesty of some people in the world. Yesterday, our daughter Lauren went to the gym to workout around 9:30 in the morning. She belongs to Lifestyle Family Gym and was at the Keystone facility on 82ND street. I had just talked to her right before the class started. At approx 9:40, the phone rang and it was her bank, trying to reach her - someone was trying to cash a $400+ check and the teller thought it looked a bit strange - signature didn't really match Lauren's signature cards on file, and the id of the person @ the window didn't really look like her. I called the gym, had Lauren pulled from the class for "an emergency" (I am sure her heart was in her throat as she ran to the phone). When I ask Lauren about the check and person - she confirmed she had NOT written this check and furthermore did not know this person. I told her to grab her cell, call me back and we would 3-way call the bank to see what she needed to do. She went to her car to get her cell and guess what - her car had been broken into @ the gym - they had stolen a bag that had her digital camera and a book of blank check as well as her softball bag (glove, cleats, hat, etc.) Now the thief was not so smart - cause there was a new $400 cell phone laying in the cup holder and a $500 GPS system in the console - but they were (thankfully) untouched! Sooo - we call the bank to let them know that there had been checks stolen, and the bank tells us that they did not cash the check, but they gave the check back to the lady and sent her on her way - which I guess it not what they are suppose to do (at least according to the police - The police wanted the check for fingerprints.)

The police show up and really were great - filed a report and immediately went to the bank - who has since called ME back to tell me that they have this gal trying to cash the check on surveillance cameras AND they have a make and model on the car she was driving. So, who knows if this lady will be caught, but I hope someday she realizes what she really took from Lauren.

First - there's a overall sense of violation - that someone has gone through and taken your personal belongings - although it will be costly to replace the camera and softball equipment, it's the pictures that were on the disk of her very first classroom of students as a teacher, or pictures of her and Great Grandma Jennie, who has since passed, or she and her Dad @ the Red's opening day, or Niece Cori's first trip to Kings Island or her college graduation; events that won't happen again and the pictures cannot be replaced.

Then, there's the HOURS that we spent yesterday at the bank, closing accounts, opening new accounts, unlinking ATM cards, etc - as the day went on, I could see the hurt in Lauren's face that someone could do such a despicable thing!

And then, as I mentioned before - the actual cost to replace items - in addition to the $100 deductible that she had to pay to get the window on her car fixed, and the bill to have the glass cleaned out of the car (sooo many pieces of glass,); the cost of replacing all her softball gear - $150 glove, $75 cleats, $25 batting gloves; the cost of a new camera - $300; the cost of replacing all the makeup and little items that were in her purse, plus the purse itself - $100 or more - Someones rude and selfish act has now cost her upwards of $800!!! This just ticked her off and made her mad.

But I think the thing it cost her the most was a lack of trust for mankind. She is a loving and trusting person and this has made her question her trust for people. This is probably a good thing in someways - because, unfortunately, you just can't trust everyone these days and I think she will now develop a caution that has escaped her in the past. I have always worried about her because she does love and trust people - this event may have changed that forever.

So - to the lady who broke into our daughter's car, stole her personal belongings, and used the fake id yesterday @ the 82ND street Fifth Third @ 9:40 AM in an attempt to take money from her accounts - I hope you really needed the items you took - they came with a very high price tag for my daughter. May God bless you and give you peace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's a Dog's Life!!!

Last March, I broke down and bought a new chihuahua puppy. (I had lost my baby, Ally, a 65 lb standard poodle last July and had finally realized I really miss having a dog around.) So, "Boomer" came to be. He weighed all of 3 lbs when I got him - he is now @ 6lbs - which is probably close to grown weight. He is adorable and mischievous!!! He looks like a big brown rat, but nonetheless, he is cute; he has a face that just melts you at times - he seems to look at you and since Chihuahua's actually have tears - well, it's like a little kid wanting a cookie - you just can't say no or get mad. He can be so loving and sweet - he is a kisser and has the art of drilling his little tiny tongue right between your lips - nasty!!! (especially after he's been sniffing poop on his walks!!! YUK!!!) So, I am trying to figure out how to brush his teeth and still have fingers left when I'm finished! (cause there's no way he's going to gargle mouthwash willingly!)

Today, he was so cute - the sun was shining through and chi's love to lay in the sun - so I snapped a couple of cute pics of him - as you can see - he loves to lay around and be lazy.

He especially loves the screened porch - it keeps him in the outdoors which he seems to love, but keeps him safe from Mr. Hawk!

I later found him on my front room couch, which is a no-no, but I think because it's black, it's warm - he loves it

so I scolded him and.....

He retreated to the floor and cried - look under his eyes and you can see the fur is a bit darker - yep, it's wet cause he cried like a baby!

So I felt sorry for him, gave him a treat, rubbed his belly and let him kiss me (yuk again!) and he went off on his way........ to chew my shoe!!!!

Now granted, it's only a $2 pair of flip flops from Old Navy...but they were broken in and perfect - so my sweet little guy ended the day in the "dog house"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Never too old to blog???

OK - so everyone I know is blogging these days - so I thought - what the heck - I can do this - right? What is an HTML anyway??? I hope the most difficult task is setting up the page! So that tells you right off the bat that I am NOT the techie in the family!!!

Have you ever had one of those days, or one of those weeks that you just shake your head and say - only in the movies??? Well, it's been one of those months here for us at the Sebastian house. Just one thing after another - to the point of comical and don't even try to explain it to anyone - cause they are just going to think it's a load of bull. I mean, you can't make this kind of stuff up - right!!!! Thank goodness for great friends T and H who like dinner, talking and wine!!! But, it's the start of a new week and strangely enough, it's been a fairly normal day today. (as if ANYTHING is normal around here)
We are getting ready for a much needed vacation on the beach and I am going to turn off the cell phone and forget to pass along any contact information - 10 days of relaxation - baking in the sun to a nice brown crisp! I guess I had better make the dermatologist appointment now huh! I am a bit nervous though - we are vacationing on the same beach, in the same condos as we did 14 years ago when I got caught up in a rip tide, tore out my knee and nearly drowned (God Bless that little 98 lb lifeguard that finally pulled me out of the water!) I am certainly not looking for a repeat performance of that week. Lauren is getting her little bikinis ready, and I am trying to find one of those swimsuits from the roaring 20's.

I think this is a good look!!

I mean come on - have you seen some of those skimpy suits - I think a postage stamp would cover more


YEP - the stamp definitely covers more!!!

Oh well, on to a much less depressing subject.

Yesterday was my Dad's 77th Birthday - he came up from Cincinnati to celebrate with us. (I look for reasons to go to Taylor's Bakery - seldom do I get the chance to do it legitimately!!!) He's a great guy and I think he really enjoyed himself. He's definitely having some health issues, but he is still a funny guy! Happy Birthday Dad - I love you!!

OK - those of you who know me, know how much I love my baby girl, Lauren- even though she is 23! Well behind her is my sweet little 2 year old niece, Cori. I talked to her on the telephone today - she is a stitch!!! She talks to me like she's my best girlfriend - she tells me what she ate, what she's watching (Disney of course), what she's wearing, and tells me she loves me. She is also VERY fond of Lauren (that is an understatement - she loves her to pieces) - Here are the two gals a few weeks ago - are they not "Tina Fabulous!!" She is learning style very early from her Lauren.

Well, all in all, not to bad for a first attempt at blogging! Until next time....