Category Archives: Work

#22: 5 New Attractions – Skirball Cultural Center

I have to admit, it was bittersweet sorting and editing these photos because I don’t get to see these amazing women every day anymore and we had so many fun memories together!

This particular adventure was a trip to the Skirball Cultural Center (it’s just up the freeway a few miles from the Getty). I had driven past it many times but had never actually been there.  When Kristy told us all about this really neat, new, permanent exhibit featuring Noah’s Art, we decided to make a day trip of it to check it out.

Since admission is free on Thursdays (can’t beat that price!), we headed up in the early afternoon and walked through the rest of the Center, which features a museum about Jewish culture and traditions (very interesting, though probably not if you’re taking your little ones). When it was time for our journey to Noah’s Ark, we were seated in a room surrounded by all sorts of animals that were created completely out of household items, from keys to pasta to gloves to blinds to purses to mini disco balls…you name it! If nothing else, seeing these creations (which you’re encouraged to touch!) is worth the trip!

This particular image shows how the neck of one of the animals (I zebra, I think) was created with a whole lot of keys!

After entering the exhibit and seeing the animals, you walk down a ramp into a large room and this is the view that greets you.

The entire exhibit is interactive and each stage has something for the kids (or adults) to do! This area featured a crank conveyor belt that you could load the animals on to the Ark two-by-two and once they reached the top, they’d fall down a chute to be retrieved for the next person.

There’s also a large giraffe that you can control using the arm handles that Michelle is demonstrating so well in this photo. Sidenote: I love the expression on her face – it’s just like that of a child in total wonderment that they are actually moving the giraffe!

There are also several stations along the wall opposite the ark that are related to weather, including making rain, lightning and thunder.

Once you enter the Ark, there are two rooms. The first room we came to had a number of animal puppets, animal cages/crates that you can climb into (much better sized for people not taller than 5-feet!), and several other hands-on activities related to life on the Ark.


The second room of the Ark is where I would guess most of the kids spend their time. It’s two-stories, complete with fast-food playground-esque rope climbing areas and different ways of transporting items from the floor up to the second floor (bucket pulley system, chute, etc.).

There’s also several activities in this area on the ground level, including the dining room, complete with food and dishes, a place to “feed” the animals, and even brooms and other cleaning gear to clean up after the animals (seriously!).

The final room in the exhibit is the OTHER side of the Ark, where the story ends with the dove coming back with the olive branch and the flood waters receding. You can see the images below the dove’s wings and tail are made of white guitar picks!  I’m not sure of the original plan for the rest of this room, but when we were there, there were several activities for the kids to raise awareness for Habitat for Humanity (not sure if this part of the exhibit is permanent or not).So, if you’re in the Southern California area and are looking for a half day adventure, especially with your kids, head on up to the Skirball Cultural Center. Remember, if you go on Thursday, admission is free (and I believe parking is free every day). We went in the afternoon and there were only a handful of families there! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

New Beginnings

I know, I know, I’ve been MIA for almost a month now. Life’s been crazy (when isn’t it?) and blogging just wasn’t something that was a major priority for me in the midst of all that was happening.

But, I should be back for good now (at least once a week!), so for starters, I thought I’d let you all know what I’ve been up to!

Many of you know that my husband and I were house hunting most of February and early March. We had an offer accepted and opened escrow on the home on March 9. Just 21 days later, March 29, we became the owners of THIS home in Ontario (about 40 minutes from where we currently live) and I was able to check off #45 on my 101 in 1001 list!

I’m sure you’ll be reading more about all of our fun adventures of being homeowners, especially in the coming weeks as we do some work to the house (we’re currently in the process of removing the AWFUL popcorn “acoustic” ceilings throughout the ENTIRE house that I’m sure were a great selling point back when the house was built!).

Some rather shocking and sad new arrived just as we closed on the house – I was being laid off. I had a little bit of notice and began the job search right away, but still haven’t found what God has for me next. Prayers for guidance, trust and peace are much appreciated, if you’re a praying type of person.

The lay off has, however, given me some time to work on a project I’ve been wanting to launch for a few months now…my own photography business!

It’s been a lot of fun building a buzz around the new business and I actually have my very first shoot TOMORROW morning! I’ve always toyed with the idea of owning my own business, especially in photography, but felt like I just didn’t have the time or good enough equipment or enough talent to be successful. But, here I am! I know it will be a lot of work, especially the first couple years, but I know it’s something I will love doing and I AM good at! (If you want to check out the site and my work, just click on the logo above or find me on Facebook.)

So, that’s what’s kept me so busy the past few weeks – and all the new things that are ahead for me and my hubby (who has been super supportive, especially of the business endeavor – he’s sort of my advertising manager)! I’ve got lots more to catch you up on, so stay tuned! You’ll be seeing a lot more of me!

The Adventures of Milly and Tilly – Week 4

This is the final installment of “The Adventures of Milly and Tilly.” I know, I know…we’re all disappointed, but this final skit was a pretty awesome way to end it!

Based on the story of Job, Milly and Tilly went in search of a far away land called Zooopolis.  They encounter all kinds of obstacles, including a broken down cart, poison ivy, losing a backpack with all supplies in the Forest of Forgotten Ferns, and ending up in a pool of mud (that’s the giraffe pool you see in the photos below).

Enjoy – and savor these photos, since they’re all that’s left (though there are rumors that the skits will be available on the Crystal Cathedral website soon – I’ll be sure to post once they are)!

The Adventures of Milly and Tilly – Part 3

I know you’re not supposed to apologize for not blogging sooner, but I really am!  Three days is just way too much time to show you these great shots from this past Sunday’s “Adventure of Milly and Tilly.”

It’s become quite a hit and a lot of people are sad it’s coming to an end next Sunday (though they are making a special appearance on September 10 at Family Fun Night – if you’re an Orange County local, let me know if you’re interested in coming and I can get you the details).  You can also catch them in their final Sunday performance THIS Sunday, August 8 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.  Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one – it’s, by far (in my opinion), the best one and while I’m sure the pictures will be great, they just won’t do it justice.  So be there!

Okay, back to last week’s adventure, based on the story of Jonah, Milly and Tilly try to run away from their math test in Mrs. Chalky’s class only to get caught in a storm while kayaking in Long Beach.  After an encounter with some pretty awful smelling fish, they learn quickly they can’t run away from their problems, just as Jonah couldn’t run away from God. (On a side note, the first part of the skit was filmed before and presented on the big screen – they entered after being washed up on shore after the storm).

Enjoy – and check back next week for the final installment!

There’s a fish on your back!  There’s a fish on YOUR back!

The Adventures of Milly & Tilly – Part 2

Sunday brought about another “Adventure of Milly & Tilly” at the Crystal Cathedral.  This week, the girls were magicians (well, they TRIED to be magicians) as they taught the kids about the miracle Jesus performed when he fed 5,000 with just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.

This week’s skit included some of the best “special effects” – including a live “escaped” bunny rabbit (I was the bunny wrangler during the first service) and hundreds of gummy fish raining down 90-feet from the top of the Cathedral!

Enjoy these photos and look for the Adventures of Milly & Tilly next Sunday as the kids learn all about Jonah and following God’s direction for our lives.

“Poof!”

The bunny trying to escape…again

Sneak Peek: Milly & Tilly

I was helping out with making some of the props for this Sunday’s “Adventures of Milly and Tilly” at the Crystal Cathedral and thought I’d share a sneak peek with you!

So, what adventure do you think they’re going to have this week?  Which Bible story will the kids be learning about?

Stumped?  You’ll have to check back on Monday to find out (it’s a good one this week!).

The Adventures of Milly and Tilly

There really are no words to describe Milly and Tilly.

They are the brainchild of two of my amazing co-workers who fearlessly lead the Children’s Ministry at the Crystal Cathedral.  For four weeks this summer, they take on the role of two sisters who go on crazy adventures just to learn important lessons from key Bible characters, with a fun and modern twist.

They wrote the script themselves, created the props and costumes and then perform twice each Sunday for the special Children’s Messages.

Today was their first adventure, which included stealing money from their parents so they could attend a Jonas Brothers concert (but first stopping at Target to get matching outfits and inviting the Bros for ice cream).  In their search for the Brothers, they climbed high in a tree to see them through the crowd – similar to a “wee little man” who was trying to see Jesus, before realizing the mistake they had made.

I’ve included some of my favorite photos from their adventure today.  I know I’m looking forward to seeing more the next three weeks (I’ve read the scripts – they get better as the weeks go on!).  Be sure to check back here each Sunday for their newest adventure!

(Sorry Whit and Kre…some of these were just too good to pass up posting!)

(This one is slightly blurry, but I just love their facial expressions!)

RUBY: Realizing, Understanding, Becoming YOU

For those of you who don’t know, I have been working at the Crystal Cathedral as the Admin Assistant for Relational Ministries (which includes children, youth, men, women, weddings, care, new members & baptisms, and stewardship – yes, we keep busy here!) since mid-August.

First, I want to say that I absolutely LOVE my job, and it’s mostly because of the amazing team I work with! I could not have asked for more caring, understanding, and supportive co-workers! Oh, and we have a lot of fun, too!

Okay, now that I’ve said that, on to what I’m writing this post about…RUBY.

Let’s start with a little history. Four years ago, my predecessor, my boss and my boss’ daughter started a mentoring program for the middle school girls who attend the Crystal Cathedral Academy called GEL: Growing Exceptional Ladies. They meet twice a month during their lunch break with a high school girl and just talk about life through a series of guided questions created by the leadership. The girls fell in love with the program and they started asking for a high school version of GEL, but there wasn’t the “woman-power” to make it happen.

Fast forward to late September. We had a meeting with the high school leaders to discuss GEL for this school year and I listened carefully to what they were saying and while we were indeed discussing the middle school program, certain comments the girls made really tugged at my heart and lead me to talk to Michelle (my boss) about starting a high school program, fashioned after GEL.

With her exuberant blessing, I began researching to nail down out the purpose, goals, and curriculum for the program. I knew I wanted the program to be about the true worth and value of a woman because the world sends such strong messages to our young women about what that is and, unfortunately, causes low self-esteem, placing one’s value in what others think of them, and making poor decisions to go along with the crowd to feel like they belong.

I finally stumbled across Proverbs 31:10, “A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (NIV) Rubies…that really stuck with me, so I started learning more about rubies, especially in history and discovered that rubies are actually rarer than diamonds (naturally) and can be worth much more than diamonds. It’s also one of just four “precious” gemstones, the other three being diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. They’re in good company!

I began brainstorming ideas on how I could use this ruby symbolism to explain another component of the program, helping girls discover their gifts, talents and strengths and how they can use that in their future careers and ministry opportunities. I have had a passion for helping teenagers figure out what it is they want to do with their lives and even earned my M.A.Ed. in Educational Counseling as well as my California PPS credential to be a school counselor after spending 600 hours doing intern work. This identity search teenagers are on just had to be a part of this program.

On my way to work one day (I do some of my best thinking driving to and from work), I started thinking of words that I could use to create an acronym for RUBY that encompassed discovering and becoming the women God created them to be. The result, “Realizing, Understanding, Becoming YOU.” Not only is it about discovering who they are and who God created them to be, but it’s also about understanding how to use what God gave them, and then develop into that woman.

Much of the curriculum will come from the study of women in the Bible, both good and not-so-good and how we can learn from these women about what the characteristics that we should have as daughters of God. The girls will meet with women from the Relational Ministries team twice a month in small groups to discuss these women and characteristics, pray, develop relationships with those in their group, and of course, socialize and snack!

It’s still a work in progress since I’m developing everything from scratch and how to integrate the individual identity component into just 40 minutes each meeting is proving a bit of a challenge, but I believe that God will provide a way for this to happen and reveal it to me when the time is right.

I am so excited for this program to begin! We got the approval from the high school principal and will launch on November 18! Letters and permission slip forms will go out to parents with first quarter report cards this week and I’m working on designing the poster, hopefully to go up no later than Monday. Plus we’re making announcements in chapel on Monday to let the girls know what’s going on!

I would really appreciate your prayers as we begin this program and if you’re interested in financially supporting this ministry (for materials and snacks), please send your donation to Crystal Cathedral Women’s Ministry, 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove, CA, 92840 and be sure to designate it for RUBY.

Thank you for letting me share with you and for supporting me in this ministry! I’ll post updates as often as possible!