Tag Archives: Thousand Oaks

Eye Candy Friday: Conejo Creek Park

Today I headed to Conejo Creek Park (I think, correct me if I am wrong TO friends/fam) which is also where the library is. After walking around quite a bit we headed over to the baby swings so Bean could get some swing time in. That’s when I overheard one of the other moms talking very loudly on her cell phone about how there was going to be a storytime at the library in a few minutes. I headed back to the car to give Bean a quick diaper change and then we went to storytime.

The storytime was great. Very interactive and geared towards babies with lots of picking them up, bouncing on the knee, tickles, and singing. Then they had a play time with tons of great toys for all the kids to have fun with.

It was perfection. Several hours of keeping Bean occupied and not fussy!

The parks here are gorgeous. So green with lots and lots of big huge trees. My photography skills weren’t the greatest this morning, I seriously think my camera is frizzing out lately, but here are some pictures from the park.

These little guys are EVERYWHERE around here!

When I sat down by the pond to take their picture all these ducks started swimming towards me. There were at least 10 times as many as you see here. I think they thought I might feed them. I did not.

I love how creepy oak trees look.

Since I’d never been there before I just stopped at the first parking lot I saw and proceeded to head into the first sidewalk. Except this is just a stand alone area. There was a guy in there doing a Bible study and I think I disrupted him. He got up and left. Sorry sir if you are reading this. I didn’t know where I was going.

Anyway, I’m hoping that the change of scenery will make today go a little better and I can get the laundry that normally takes me a day to do finally done after three days.

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I’m back… sorta

So we still don’t have Internet access. I’m bumming off the free wi-fi at the Whole Foods across the street. I am currently sitting outside at their tables with a baby on my lap, typing away.

I just had to blog though because my brain is exploding with things to say.

Well, speaking of Whole Foods. Ummm it’s awesome. I may have spent over half the month’s grocery budget on a week’s worth of groceries though so I need to stay away and go to the Trader Joe’s up the street instead.

Remember the sandals from Target that I used in all my nursing fashion outfit things? Well, don’t buy them. Mine are already thrashed and I seriously JUST bought these things. Grrr.

The move went really, really smooth. Some of my furniture may disagree with that statement, but no major damage was done, just a few little bonks and scratches. Now it looks loved.

I had my first ever IKEA experience on Sunday. I bought some lamps. I was going to order some bookcases and a desk from there, but being as how they want to charge me $350 for shipping, I’m exploring some alternatives first.

I am so excited to be cooking again! Last night I made some really yummy Chinese food and tonight we are having these guys over for Italian because my recipe made an insane amount of food.

Have you missed my Gourmet Lisa posts? Well fear not, this is one. I decided to experiment a little with some of my leftover ingredients from dinner in order to make dessert tonight. Here goes…

Berry and Ricotta Filo Tart

-1 cup Ricotta cheese
-4-5 oz blueberries
-8 oz strawberries, topped and diced
-3 tbsp orange juice
-filo dough

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl combine all ingredients except filo dough.

Unroll filo sheets and cut 2-3” squares. Place squares in ramekins or in muffin/cupcake tin. Spoon berry and cheese mixture on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges of filo are golden brown and berries are tender.

Enjoy warm or cool.

And this is the result…

Oh and in case that wasn’t enough in the dessert department, Cara came over this afternoon and dropped these little lovelies by…

Ummm… delish.

While we’re at it, let’s add a little more eye candy to this post…

Yep, she’s a cutie. I seriously can’t go anywhere with her without being stopped by at least five people.

Oh and I’m actually loving apartment living. I promise to post pictures of our new diggs as soon as we’re unpacked. But this is why… Saturday when we got here we discovered that our washer was a bit loud. Like a plane taking off upstairs. So I reported it to maintenance yesterday and today they brought me a brand new one (I peeled the protective film off the knobs myself)! No more fixing stuff ourselves. That is the best.

Anyway, Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody.


Filed under Family, Gourmet Lisa, Ramblings


So I feel like there have been a couple blogs here that require some further clairification.

The first one is on the move. Because I think some people think we are a little crazy for leaving a beautiful house, family, friends and a secure job in Bakersfield. While we are leaving friends and family here, we are also going to some great friends and family in Thousand Oaks. We will be living about 10 minutes from Stephen’s sister, Ruth. Stephen will be working with Ruth’s husband. Our girls are going to have so much fun together. Through various events that Ruth has had over the years, we’ve also had the opportunity to already meet some great friends in the area. So I’m looking forward to getting to know some of them better and hanging out more often. We also just love the area. I’m also already signing up for some Mommy & Me classes through the parks district and hoping to meet some friends there. In a lot of ways, what we’ve seen of Thousand Oaks is like what we think our neighborhood was supposed to be before the building bubble burst, only on a much larger, city-wide scale. As much as we love our home we’ve discovered that the location within Bakersfield is less than ideal being on the opposite end of town of many friends and family, we are frustrated at the neighborhood’s unfinished look, and Bakersfield in general is not the place we would ideally like to end up. Thousand Oaks, on the other hand, definitely makes our list of top places we want to live and watch our kids grow up. The other thing is that Stephen grew up in Ventura County and so I think in a lot of ways he feels like he’s going back “home,” even if we aren’t going to be in the exact town he lived in. We also love the proximity to so many southern California attractions (beach, Camarillo outlets, baseball, concert venues, etc), but without the crazy rushed feel of LA or the hauty feel of OC. Thousand Oaks just seems really friendly and family oriented.

Next thing I wanted to address are my statements about adoption. I just don’t want anyone to think that the only reason I’m even considering adoption is because of the pregnancy I went through. This isn’t just some new idea or whim. I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time. I distinctly remember talking about it with friends as early as high school. Long before Brangelina made it cool, I wanted to have a beautiful little rainbow faced family. For some reason whenever I talk about this I always remember the song “Jesus loves the little children” that I used to sing in Sunday school as a Sparkie in Awanas. Over the past few days I’ve come to some more conclusions about pregnancy and adoption. I even think that the more I pray about it I’m becoming open to domestic adoption too. Here’s my theory so far… adding another person to your family takes sacrifice. When you get married you sacrifice time alone, being able to do whatever you want etc. That’s your first experience with sacrifice in growing a family. When/if you get pregnant you sacrifice your body. If you adopt internationally you sacrifice financially. If you adopt domestically you often sacrifice emotionally before things are finalized. And through all three you probably go through various levels of those sacrifices (physically, emotionally, financially). I think sacrifice is good. Sacrifice is the picture of grace that God gave us. It seems to me that in order to show love you have to sacrifice and take risks. I think sacrifice takes great trust in our Creator. I think that the sacrifice in adding to your family is there for a reason. I think God intended it to be there.

And then one last point. I sort of left you hanging with asking you to pray for my friend over a week ago. Her water broke in the early morning hours of Feb. 27. They of course went to the hospital where she was told there was no hope and they would begin an induction. She was told the baby boy would not survive much longer. Amazingly enough he continued to move (she could feel him kicking!) and have a heartbeat and survive day after day. He was finally born March 3. She was told by nurses that if he survived delivery she would maybe have a minute with him. Well, his heart continued to beat for over an hour and a half giving this precious family some beautiful moments with him. While my heart breaks for them, I am just amazed at everything… their faith in God, the love so many people have for them, the fighter that he was, the miracle of his hour long survival. There are even pictures and seeing all of his tiny features just really gives whole new meaning to Psalm 139:13-16,

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

I guess these next statements might get me in trouble with some readers, but here goes anyway. After seeing this little form of a boy, I just really can’t understand abortion. I can’t. Especially since like these friends, Stephen and I have struggled with fertility and pregnancy and all that. There are so many couples that desperately, desperately want children. I just can’t comprehend killing something that is so obviously a life. A few months ago when Kourtni shared her story about struggles with miscarriage, the part that really stuck out to me was this,

“Though relatively common, miscarriage is a topic whispered around obstetricians’ offices and rarely discussed in a society that regards the unborn—especially at the earliest stages of pregnancy—as disposable nonentities. Many people undermined my feelings with platitudes such as “You can always get pregnant again” or “These things just happen.” But I believe life begins at conception; my unborn children were people with a soul. The loss of that unique person left an enormous void in my life, leaving me physically and emotionally empty, lonelier than I’d ever been before. All I could do about it was cry.”

Today Stephen , Bean and I went to the funeral. While I do not at all like that my friends had to loose their baby, that they had to have a funeral, I absolutely loved that they did have one. Instead of this just being a “common” miscarriage, by having a funeral we all got to recognized that this little boy was a life. That he had a unique soul that was known by God.

Well anyway, this thing is starting to ramble. I’m sure I’ve trampled plenty of toes at this point and Bean just woke up so I’d better tend to her.


Filed under Faith, Family, Politics, Pregnancy and Birth, Ramblings

I almost forgot a few things.

I’ve made myself a little outline so I don’t forget again.

1) Apartment – Yesterday I went to Thousand Oaks for the day with Bean. Stephen forgot to pack our duffle bag when we were there this weekend so I had to go back and get it because it had two of the four pairs of jeans that fit me in it and Stephen’s thyroid medication. When we were there this weekend we toured the apartment we are going to get and yesterday I signed the lease document. This apartment is so incredibly perfect. It’s actually a 3 bedroom townhome. It is right next to the playground. It has a huge patio/backyard-ish thing where I’m sure I will be able to plant a veggie garden. Bean’s room has all this great built in storage including a bookshelf for her quickly growing library. The kitchen is a great size and the dining room will even accomodate our huge dining table. There is a Whole Foods right behind the apartment complex, several shopping centers are nearby, JoAnn’s is right up the street, Pete’s Coffee is right across the street. I mean it is seriously the best location and apartment ever. I am so happy that we got it and got such a great deal on it.

2) Doggies – Someone from the homeschool group managed to find both our doggies homes with her family members. I am so happy about this. Both dogs are going to great families that I know will love them to pieces. Baxter is staying with us a few more days until his new owners get back from a little vacation. Baxter is so good with Bean. She loves staring at him and grabbing on his ears or skin. He is so good and just lets her do it. He is so gentle too. Check out these somewhat crappy quality pictures I got last night of the cuteness:


3) Bean 22 weeks – Bean turned 22 weeks yesterday. Not much new to report, you already know about the solid foods thing. Here are a couple more pictures from last night:

4) Chinese New Year – OK, now this one is quite old, but I realized that I never blogged about my Chinese New Year experience! The morning of our big feast, Ruth and I went to the Chinese market together to get some Chinese treats and ingredients for dumplings. When we got there they were having this huge celebration. They had Chinese dragon dancers, drums and all kinds of stuff. We walked past it all into the store. I noticed in the doorway that there was a string of firecrackers hanging. I was unsure if it was real or all part of the decor. Well a few minutes later when we were perusing the decorations section they started up the drums and dancing again. And then they lit the firecrackers off! It was sooo loud and crazy. Then the dance/drum/Budda line came right through the isles of the Chinese grocery store. It was so much fun! Unfortunately I only had my nearly dead cell phone with me and got the crappiest pictures ever, but here they are anyway:

It was certainly my most eventful and choatic grocery shopping experience ever. 🙂


Filed under Family, Ramblings