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Monday, January 26, 2009

Our Trip to Los Angeles

This is the first photo I took driving down a street near the airport. The palm trees are taller than in Florida and don't have as much shaggy dead limbs at the bottom. The entrance to the city of Redondo Beach.

Here is our hotel with a view of the ocean. I searched really hard for it and got a good price and it was really nice, but we didn't know about parking in Los Angeles. There is no such thing as free parking. Parking at this hotel is $18 a night in a parking garage with attendants. The first night we got valet parking (that is extra, of course) and a young man opened the door for us and helped us with our luggage and parked the car for us. The next morning, we called and they brought it to the front driveway and opened the doors for us again. I may have pretended I was rich and famous for a minute there.

The lobby of the hotel.
The aquarium in the lobby.Here, we are sitting in the lobby with the pastors of Vision International Minisries. They were very welcoming and friendly as were their church members. She is tall, beautiful, glamy and the proud mother of seven. He has a tremendous vocabulary and speaks very eloquently but he also has a very playful and fun side to his personality that is very engaging and refreshing. She is from Uganda. He is from Ghana and they met in London. They go on missions trips to Africa regularly. Here is their website where you can see more photos and hear some of their worship and praise time which was my favorite, ever:
I didn't listen very well in world history classes and was interested to learn from him that all of Africa was in European hands except Liberia and Ethiopia in 1914. Here's a little history break:
  • Europeans began to transport African slaves across the Atlantic in the 16th century. However slavery was nothing new in Africa. For centuries Africans had sold other Africans to the Arabs as slaves.
  • In the 18th century ships from Britain took manufactured goods to Africa, returned to the West Indies with slaves and took sugar back to Britain. This was called the Triangular Trade. (Many other European countries were involved in the slave trade).
  • Some Africans were sold into slavery because they had committed a crime. However many slaves were captured in raids by other Africans. Europeans were not allowed to travel inland to find slaves. Instead Africans brought slaves to the coast. The slave trade would have been impossible without the co-operation of Africans, many of whom grew rich on the slave trade.
  • In the early 20th century attitudes to imperialism began to change in Europe and as missionaries provided schools and increasing numbers of Africans became educated they became impatient for independence. The movement for African independence became unstoppable and in the late 1950s and 1960s most African countries became independent.
  • Yet the newly independent states were often failures. Many suffered civil wars and brutal dictators like Idi Amin.
  • Today most of Africa remains very poor. One reason is corruption on a massive scale. Many African rulers bled their countries dry and made themselves very rich. Another reason is gross economic mismanagement. In the 1970s Socialist policies proved disastrous in countries like Zambia and Tanzania while in the 2000s Robert Mugabe wrecked the Zimbabwean economy.
    Africa also is suffering severely from the AIDS pandemic.
  • Hey, do you think I would have made a good homeschooling mom?
We really enjoyed the balcony.

The view See that peninsula in the background? That is Palos Verde. I didn't know that when I took this photo, but we went over there another day and I will show you some of those photos later. It is a very nice community. It was sunset on our balcony when we arrived at the hotel. It was pink with the blue ocean below. I'm not sure I have seen a sunset so pink before.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


One of the happiest things that happened on our trip was seeing Savanah. She and her friend, Ryan, drove 2 hours to come and spend the afternoon with us at Redondo Beach. They bought us lunch at The Seafood Market and we walked on the beach. Here we are on the Boardwalk.She doesn't look a day older than the last time we saw her and she still has that beautiful smile and uses it often.
We love you, Savanah!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Channel Islands National Park

We are home from a week in Los Angeles and still have not unpacked or gone to the grocery store. We had a wonderful time and I will just post one quick photo of us on in the Channel Islands before I start my chores this morning.

Channel Islands National Park consists of five of the eight Channel Islands that span 160 miles off the coast of southern California. We discovered many people who live here have never heard of the Channel Islands even though one of them is Catalina Island.(Catalina is commercialized and not part of the national park) A one hour ocean trip is required to get there and it is one of the least visited of all of America’s national parks. Here is their website if you want to learn more. They have a web cam and you can watch the first baby bald eagle to be born there for many years.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I have words on the wall!

Courtney regifted me at Christmas with words for my wall. (A big thank you to Enid, who gave them to her first.) After she put them up, there was a big empty space above them, so I started searching the house for a picture. The next day, a Coleman family picture came in the mail, and Jenny was even wearing the right color! How's that for a happy Co Inky Dink?After I took my Christmas stuff down, I tried to do something different with my mantel. I need another something in the mail, as you can see. While I was taking photos of my words on the wall, I decided to reveal just how crazy and out of balance my life is. I am totally obsessed with scrapbooking. I really scrapbook every day. I may just walk by my desk and rearrange something or take a second look at what I did yesterday and that might take 30 seconds, but I do something. I recently gave two boxes of supplies to someone at work, including a lot of paper, so this is better than it has been.Here are a few of my scrapbooks. I have been doing this for ten years, but really, this is crazy. I haven't counted lately, but the last time I did count, it was over 50. I don't know what I would do without my 10 (almost 11) grandchildren. Some of them might not recognize me without a camera in front of my face. Most of these books are theirs. M is the winner for the most, he has seven. I don't know why.
There is my little boom box, where I listen to Enya, or Van (Cliburn) or books on tape while I scrapbook. I really don't like for my husband to come in a talk to me while I am listening to a book, but he does anyway. I like for him to go to work and take his lunch and come home at six. I will scrapbook a photo of him while he is gone.There are some more little ones in the den in baskets. C and Z and I looked at that blue one in the middle last night. They were almost as excited as me to see our family reunion photos again. My favorite grandchild is the one who will look a scrapbooks with me. Some of them don't think they are cool at this time in their life. Oh, and there is another basket of scrapbooks under the photo board.
I was tired of my dust catchers I had on this table, so I put some scrapbooking on it.
These are Christmas decorations. I'm not even going to show you the scrapbook pages hanging on the wall in the hall.
This is the latest one. I just finished it. I am almost out of photos again.