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No Plan B – Carman Tour

Thursday, September 17th was an awesome day for me.  When I heard that Carman was coming to town, I was stoked!  I love Carman’s music and ministry and believe he has a gift for spreading the gospel message.  The one concern I had was, who would go with me?  When I first heard about the concert, I thought it would be a fun event to go to with Bobby; however, as the concert date approached, it was becoming more apparent that this wasn’t going to be the case.  Bobby’s second job (creating Kris’ Alice in Wonderland birthday bash) was in the final stages and in order to get the job done, he had to work.  I was so, so, so sad…but I knew it couldn’t be helped.

Then an idea struck me.  What if I took my nephews with me?  I wasn’t sure if they knew about Carman so I called their Mom to see if they ever heard Carman’s music at home (knowing Linda might have some of his CDs).  She said they didn’t really listen to him, but thought they would enjoy seeing him in concert.  The next step was to ask Josh and Brent if they wanted to go with me.

When I asked them, they confirmed what their mom told me.  They didn’t really know who he was…but they were willing to go with me to see him in concert.  The excitement hit me again!  I had someone to share this experience with.

So excited to find second row seats!!

So excited to find second row seats!!

The general admission price was $10 (kids 17 and under were free) which was a great deal.  I wanted to be close to the action though and decided to buy the $25 tickets which would allow us to sit in rows 4-7, the Gold Circle are…I would have really loved the VIP tickets where you not only got to sit in rows 1-3, but you also were able to attend the “meet and greet” with Carman himself.  The price for those was way too high for my budget at $100 a ticket.  The $25 tickets did not include the 17 and under free offer so I had to get two additional tickets for Brent and Josh.  And since Bobby wasn’t available to join us, I invited my friend Rosalind.

The day of the concert I left work early so I could pick up the Beltrans at 5:30pm.  After picking them up, we went back to my house to wait for Rosalind.  Once she arrived at 6pm, we were off to South Coast Fellowship in Ventura to see Carman!!!  We arrived around 6:20 and the concert was scheduled for 7pm.  We entered and were directed to the Gold Circle section and found seats in the SECOND row! Right smack dab in the middle.  The perfect seats to see all the action.

It was a great concert.  Carman, who had battled with cancer back in 2013/2014, still had the anointing.  He shared his chemo stories and how, although he wasn’t expected to survive, God had opened up the opportunity to record a new album from which this tour idea became a reality.  He shared how his fans came together and supported the idea through Kickstarter.  He’s now cancer free and sharing the gospel with a new vigor.  Such an uplifting message and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.

“Jesus is my A, and there’s no plan B”

After the concert we headed to the reception area to look at the products on display for purchase.  There were CDs, DVDs, and t-shirts.  I asked the boys if they wanted a souvenir and they both said no.  I continued to look around and found a DVD I thought I would enjoy (it had music videos and a movie on it).  “Are you sure you don’t want anything?  Not even a t-shirt?”, I asked again.  This time they said ok.  Both of them picked a blue “No Plan B” t-shirt.  The deal was buy 2 items get the 3rd free, so my DVD was free! Hee! hee!

Being a hot evening (have I mentioned the weather in Ventura has been very hot and humid lately), I told Josh and Brent we’d head over to Chick-fil-a for some shakes.  I really wanted the frosted lemonade – it is SO good and addicting!  Poor Rosalind was on a 21 day fast and couldn’t have a shake, but she was able to get a fruit cup and unsalted waffle fries.

I saw the sign and told the boys they had to take a picture next to it.  There was a sleeping baby on the table in front, but the mom was nice and said she was from Texas too (Austin).

I saw the sign and told the boys they had to take a picture next to it. There was a sleeping baby on the table in front, but the mom was nice and offered to move the baby.  I didn’t want to disturb the little guy/gal, so I said we were fine.  When I told her the boys were from Texas she said she was from Texas too (Austin).

It was a night to remember and I am thankful I was able to go to the Carman concert.  I am extra thankful I was able to go with my dear friend and my wonderful nephews.  Oh, and I found out from Josh that this was their first concert experience!  I’m glad they enjoyed it and that Carman interacted with the crowd so that their first concert experience was a positive one.  It was fun to see Josh and Brent yelling and clapping along.  Good times.

A Day with Brent

I had the pleasure of spending an entire day with Brent on Sunday, September 13th.  Josh couldn’t make it since he was spending the day with his Auntie Hannah.  It was actually a blessing to be able to spend time with Brent since he’s pretty quiet when Josh is around.  Having him by himself gave me the opportunity to talk with him and get to know him a little bit better.  I really enjoyed the time we spent together and recognizing the awesome personality of Brent.

I picked him up at his Grandparent’s church in Ventura – he had attended Sunday School there.  We headed to Bethany Chapel and arrived a little after service started.  We found our seats and enjoyed the songs/service.  After service we had lunch with Eric and Patti at Teppan Steak House in Oxnard.  I thought it would be an extra special treat to go to Teppan since they cook the food at your table.

After taking the picture I noticed the glare.  I asked him to move closer to Eric so I could take another picture.

After taking the picture I noticed the glare. I asked him to move closer to Eric so I could take another picture.

Eric and Brent at Teppan Steak House.  Brent and Josh had asked about Eric and wanted to see him, so we scheduled a visit on Sunday.

Eric and Brent at Teppan Steak House. Brent and Josh had asked about Eric and wanted to see him, so we scheduled a visit on Sunday.

Of course I had to get a picture with Brent too.  It's hard to remember to get one of me with them since I'm the one taking all the pictures.

Of course I had to get a picture with Brent too. It’s hard to remember to get one of me with them since I’m the one taking all the pictures.

Brent ordered swordfish and shrimp.  I was surprised that he ordered swordfish and when I asked him afterward what he liked better, he said he liked the shrimp best.  I’ve never had swordfish, but maybe I’ll try it next time.  Brent said it was good.  I ordered my usual steak and shrimp.

We had an entertaining chef!  He made us laugh when he pointed a sauce container at Patti and asked if she wanted some on her shrimp.  He proceeded to squeeze the container and the lid flew off.  It was attached to a string, so the lid just bounced back but it made us all giggle!

(I have to insert a video here, but will do that later…stay tuned.)

After lunch we went to Eric’s house to watch Independence Day.  I had shared a scene with the Beltrans during a previous outing and when I asked if they’d seen the movie they said no.  Shocker!!  Such a good movie.  I told them we would watch it since it was one of my favorites.  The only negative to this experience was that the upstairs residence was watching the football game (I believe it was San Diego vs Detroit) and every single time the Chargers made a touchdown the cheering became so loud it would drown out the movie!  A few times that distraction was during an emotional scene – boo! (Plus my heart was hurting knowing the Lions were getting beaten. :( )

Once the movie ended, Eric presented Brent with a gift – a Star Wars Lego figurine of Darth Vader! (Wish I had thought of clicking a picture of Brent with his Lego gift and Eric.)  He also got Josh one too, but his was of Luke Skywalker.  Then Eric took Brent on a tour of Minecraft.  In the game, Eric built a library for me that he showed to Brent.  He also showed him the kingdom he was building for himself and the tower of lava he had constructed for Bobby.  Brent said he never played Minecraft before because his Mom said it was too addicting.  It sure is an addicting game if you have the skill to build.  For me, I’d be too frustrated to play.  Watching Eric build, I can see how time consuming it is and how long it takes to create anything in there.  I just don’t have the patience. LOL!

During lunch Brent told me he wanted to go to the Ventura Harbor, so after seeing Independence Day we headed there.  It was around 6pm when we left Eric’s house.  I told Brent it was perfect timing because the weather was a bit cooler in the evenings.  Ventura has been experiencing hot humid weather.  Since we went later in the evening, there was parking right next to the arcade!

Brent-Vta Harbor-2015I asked Brent if he wanted to get ice cream first or play in the arcade…the arcade won out and we headed inside.  After collecting some tokens, we browsed around looking at the different games they had.  Finally Brent saw a game he ended up playing most of the time while there.  He only strayed twice from this game; once to play a racing game and another time to play a pinball game.

Tokens spent, we decided to go for ice cream and once we had that in hand we walked around the harbor.  We came across drawings on the sidewalk…today was chalk artist day at the harbor!  We missed the artist drawing the pictures, but we were able to walk along viewing them.  There were some really good ones too.  My favorite was the Charlotte Web drawing because it was from a book I knew and read.  Again, I should have taken a few pictures but I didn’t.  For one, I was caring an ice cream cone and for two, the ice cream was dripping down my hand and the breeze was getting all it over the place.  Very messy (and sticky)!

Dinner time came after dessert (shhh, don’t tell Mom).  I asked Brent if he wanted to go to Andria’s (fish n’ chips type of food) or if he had another suggestion.  He picked Wendy’s. :)

Dinner at Wendy's.  Brent had the spicy nuggets and an all natural lemonade.

Dinner at Wendy’s. Brent had the spicy nuggets and an all natural lemonade.

Tummies full we headed to Brent’s house.  By this time it was around 8:30pm, but when we got to the house it was dark…and there were no cars parked in the driveway.  Brent said he’d check the back.  No luck, the house was locked up!  No worries though because I remembered I had a Uno game in the car AND a chair cushion too!  Since his Grandmother left the front porch light on, we decided to play the game on the front porch steps.  I threw down the cushion and we were ready to go!  We were about 3 games in on Uno Flash when Brent’s Grandparents drove up.

Brent waiting for his Grandparents to get home.

Brent waiting for his Grandparents to get home. Notice his new red shoes! ;)

And that was our fun and eventful day!  I loved spending time with my nephew one on one and getting to know him better.  Thanks Brent for the fun day!

Touring Hueneme

I am very behind on sharing the fun I have been having with the Beltran Brothers (Josh and Brent).  A few weeks ago, we visited Port Hueneme and toured the ‘hood where their mom grew up.  Instead of writing a lengthy story about the tour (because I don’t know how to write a short description ;) )  I have decided to share our day by providing you with pictures!  Enjoy.

Sunday, September 6th – Our Day in Pictures

Our first stop on the tour was good old Willowbrook Drive - the street the Herrera family grew up on.

Our first stop on the tour was good old Willowbrook Drive – the street the Herrera family grew up on.

I shared with them the stories of dumpster diving!  I thought it would be fun to take a picture of them looking into the dumpster, LOL. :)

I shared with them the stories of dumpster diving! I thought it would be fun to take a picture of them looking into the dumpster, LOL. :)

After touring the three houses we lived in on Willowbrook, we walked to Hueneme Christian School.  This is where their Dad went to school during his elementary years.

After touring the three houses we lived in on Willowbrook, we walked to Hueneme Christian School. This is where their Dad went to school during his elementary years.

I didn't know much about their Dad's school, but I did share how sometimes we wished we could attend there.

I didn’t know much about their Dad’s school, but I did share how sometimes we wished we could attend there.

And right across the street from their Dad's school, was the school their Mom went to!  I showed them the entrance to the kindergarten area...unfortunately, the school now has a gated entry, so we were unable to go inside.

And right across the street from their Dad’s school, was the school their Mom went to! I showed them the entrance to the kindergarten area…unfortunately, the school now has a gated entry, so we were unable to go inside.

Here is a close up of the sign.  I showed them some of the classrooms (by pointing to the windows) of where my second and third grade classes were held.

Here is a close up of the sign. I showed them some of the classrooms (by pointing to the windows) of where my second and third grade classes were held.

We continued our walk down the bike path and ended up at First Assembly of God - the church we went to when we were little.

We continued our walk down the bike path and ended up at First Assembly of God – the church we went to when we were little.

Here's another view of them next to the sign.  I told them about our Missionette days.  Josh asked what Missonettes was...I let him know it was kind of like the AWANA classes they have, but boys are separate from the girls.

Here’s another view of them next to the sign. I told them about our Missionettes days. Josh asked what Missonettes was…I let him know it was kind of like the AWANA classes they have, but boys are separate from the girls.

Guess where this was taken?  I was very surprised to see how overgrown the Bubbling Creek was!   I had to snap a few pictures.

Guess where this was taken? I was very surprised to see how overgrown the Bubbling Creek was! I had to snap a few pictures.

After visiting the church, we headed back to the car (which was parked at Wendy's) and then we drove here.  This is the beginning of the bike path at Bubbling Springs.

After visiting the church, we headed back to the car (which was parked at Wendy’s) and then we drove here. This is the beginning of the bike path at Bubbling Springs.

Josh wanted a picture of him among the high growing willows.

Josh wanted a picture of him among the high growing willows.

We crossed the familiar Bubbling Brook bridge and walked down the bike path.  As we walked we talked about the days when his Mom walked this same path to school.

We crossed the familiar Bubbling Brook bridge and walked down the bike path. As we walked we talked about the days when his Mom walked this same path to school.

And that was our day!  We had a great time walking the city, although I was very hot and I am sure they were too…It’s been very hot and humid lately! Not the best weather to walk in, but it was worth it.

Other area we walked by (but didn’t take pictures): Wendy’s, Prueter Library, Grandma Tanny’s old house on Evergreen, Linda’s friends house with the bunnies and playhouse, Auntie Emily’s home when she lived in the apartments, the hospital (which is no longer there), the motel where mom worked and where Linda had her studio, and the Tradewinds shopping center.

Oh the memories!

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