Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ollie and Fifi

Ollie a.k.a. "goggie"
Fifi a.k.a. "Fif" or "The Fif"
just in case you were wondering. . . . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Weekend . . .

. . .we went to a wedding for Jason and Sabrina Stotler. Jason was one of the young people in the youth group when JW was a YP for the Hollister church, therefore he holds a very special place in our hearts.
For those of you that don't know, I suffer with a slight case of OCD (is that an oxymoron?). That being said, I tend to be over-prepared for things.
Unfortunately, that was not the case this weekend when I forgot the card to go with our wedding gift. Since we were already late to the wedding, the only place I was able to get one was when we stopped for gas.
Believe it or not....this was the best option.

I could not stop laughing while trying to somehow make "I'm so glad we share the same world!" tie into wedding wishes. I could not go without telling them that this was not the original one I had bought for them (God forbid they think that since the front of this card is one of the ugliest I have ever seen)

I hope to remember everything for the other wedding we are attending this coming weekend. . . we shall see.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Since You Asked.....

Ollie and Fifi are still far from being friends.

She loves him.

He tolerates her.

If she is not right next to him.....

...you can find her with her toys.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


::Dating years::

Yesterday we celebrated our 8 year anniversary.

I cannot believe that we have been married for 8 years. It seems like it has flown by so fast, yet it feels like we have been together forever (weird that it feels like both at the same time).

Looking back over the years we have been together, it is so clear to see God's hand in our relationship. When JW and I started dating, everything was so easy compared to past relationships I had been in. We just seemed to fit together.

Lately I have just been thinking of us. Thinking about how grateful I am that God gave me exactly what I needed.

"Happy Anniversary to the love of my Life. I cannot
imagine living one day without you. I love you with my whole heart."


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ollie & Fifi

I am just going to come out and say it..........logic and rationale have never been my strong traits (referring to this).

That being said - I want to introduce you to Fifi. The newest member of the West Family and Ollie's worst nightmare:
Fifi is an 8 week old Yorkie.....
...that goes completely crazy running around, getting into everything...and then is like this:
She terrorizes Ollie every moment she is awake (and that is not an exaggeration).
But we are thankful for small things....in that he has not bit her........yet.
P.S. stay tuned for more Ollie and Fifi stories
P.P.S. bet you can't wait for THIS years Christmas card!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Since Last Time. . . . .

. . . . we have been up to the following:

Revivalution Youth Beach Trip
Had some friends over for the 4th of July
JW spoke at So-Cal Youth Camp
Blue Bomber Car Wash
JW spoke at WD Junior Camp
National Night Out
Camp Meeting
Senior Youth Camp
. . . and in between all of that we have been enjoying the summer.
(with this post comes the promise of more frequent postings. . . for you Brandon. . . for you)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bus Ministry Launch...

This past weekend I was invited to speak at the Promise Center in Santa Rosa,CA. The Church is Pastored by Chad King. The purpose of the trip was to help launch their Bus Ministry. I was invited by the Legendary Street Soul Winner, Simeon Costa. I have always had great respect for Simeon, his boldness and tenacity in the area of Soul winning and Bible Study Teaching.
I realize that the success of the Blue Bomber Crew in San Jose rests not in me, but in the whole team. So, I extended the invitation to those on the BBC that wanted to be apart of the Bus Launch. There were a total of 21 of us that made our way to Santa Rosa this past weekend.
We were greeted by about 35 adults / teens that were so excited about what God is fixing to do in their city through Bus Ministry. You could feel the excitement and anticipation in the room as myself, Brandon Leonardo, Pritika Bhan, and Christian Johnson began to speak about Bus Ministry. At the conclusion of the mini seminar, Simeon led the group in prayer. The passion and intensity of the prayer was incredible. There was was an overwhelming cry to God to give them favor in their city. It was very powerful.

After prayer, we broke into 3 teams and begin to hit the local neighborhood. Due to the weather, there were not a lot of people out on the streets at first, but after driving for a while we were able to find some. At the end of the day there were 29 new contacts made on the streets of Santa Rosa.

What a fulfilling afternoon it was. Not only to help launch a ministry in a church that is hungry for souls, but also to see a church rally behind a cause. Thank you Promise Center for allowing myself along with the Blue Bomber Crew to be apart of what God is fixing to do in your city.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We have major pillow issues.

Not sure how it has happened. JW and I have discussed it, and neither one of us can recall one time (while growing up) that we had sleep issues due to an uncomfortable pillow. What has changed? Are we more picky now that we are "all grown up"?

Now it seems like every other night. . .our pillows are flat, we wake up with a headache or a sore neck, we toss and turn trying to get comfortable. . .etc. etc.

The way that JW sleeps with his head straight in a pillow and me with mine like a ball cannot be good! Look what we have become due to uncomfortable pillows?!?!
I have purchased so many pillows the past 8 years....you really would not believe it if I told you.
So, I said all that to say. . . we need help finding the perfect pillow.
Can you help?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oxnard Youth Retreat...

This past weekend I was blessed to be with a pretty awesome group of young people - The Rock Youth Group of Oxnard, CA. I spoke at their annual youth retreat. When I arrived I was greeted by some incredibly real and extremely genuine young people. There are some youth groups that are not the easiest to talk to or connect with, and this was not one of them!

The Youth Team of Oxnard is led by Bro Daniel McGovern and Sis Rosalyn. They are doing an incredible work - I love seeing passionate youth workers in the Kingdom of God.

Keep me in your prayers as I head to Spokane,WA on Thursday morning. I will be there for 2 days. Bro Rick Mayo is a complete Savage for the Kingdom. He has invited me to be a part of an evangelistic event, reaching unchurched youth. I am pretty stoked.

I will blog about it this weekend.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MM '09

Last Friday night was our annual Midnight Madness youth event.

We had over 500 young people in attendance.

JW was the bomb...

...and these people were transparent.

Because of both - we had 14 receive the HG...

... and 1 baptized.

A huge THANK YOU to:

Each and every person that volunteered in any way.

Without you it would have been impossible to do.

Also, to the Pastor's that came out to support our event...

...and our YP friends...

...and Tye Tribbett for his special guest appearance.

A special THANK YOU to those that hung in there with us to the very, very end: Kellee Hopper, Ben Bella, Tim & Allen Wiggins, Kris Seibold, Brandon Miraflor and Christian Johnson. Without you guys we would have had a TON to clean up.

Last but not least - I thank God for blessing us yet again. He never fails to blow our minds and exceed our expectations. I am so thankful that he allows us to play a small part in his big plan.

If you want to see more pics go here

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Hope to Never Forget.....

...a few memories from my recent trip to NYC:
  • Kellee getting off of the subway and the doors shutting before the rest of us could join her. Oh, the look on her face when she turned around and realized we were not behind her. Moni mouthed "K - e - l - l -e - e", seemingly in slow motion as she waved goodbye....I am actually laughing again as I relive the moment.
  • The lady in Harlem going to the bathroom on the street. {note: she was NOT homeless, and it was NOT #1}
  • The couple on the NYC water taxi: Him - wearing Calvin Klein boxers {we saw it for ourselves} , Her - with the entire back of her dress stuck in her behind {how could she not feel it?}.
  • Moni making friends with people on the subway....and then leaving the rest of us stuck talking with them about a Tennis tournament {???} in Australia {???} - did I even get her story right?
  • Kim & Kellee getting soaked by a van, that hit a puddle, while walking down the street {I am not exaggerating in any way when I say "soaked"}.
  • Moni getting called out of the crowd by a street performer....enough said.
  • Me putting one of my boots in our shopping cart while trying on shoes, Moni taking the shopping cart, then when I finally find her {after walking around the store with one boot} it's gone, then having to retrace her steps to find it {praying that someone did not pick it up}.
  • The "sweet" taxi cab driver who dropped Moni and I off a BLOCK from our hotel at 1 o'clock in the morning!!!
  • The lady at Cirque de Soleil that assumed that Moni spoke Spanish.
  • The Tour guide Nazi - "Arrive alive".
  • The lady that refused to take a picture of Moni and Malia during INTERMISSION at Mary Poppins.....because "photography was not allowed during the performance".
  • The Elderly couple "getting to know each other really well" in the subway {a.k.a. - making out}.

A special "THANK YOU" to my dear friend Kellee that (by turning 40) made it possible for all of us to go!!! {I think she may kill me for that sentence}....hahaha

Happy Birthday Kellee! I love you!!!


P.S. I missed JW so much, that when I came home I promised not to take another girls trip for a very long time.....oh, and I missed Ollie too ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Update on Sis Doria...

Check out who was on Outreach with the Blue Bomber this past Saturday.  In the Picture is Christian Johnson who is the Captain of Route 2, along with Sis Doria Cruz [ Espericueta ].  Not pictured is Sis Doria's Husband and kids.  They were there, but assisting with the Candy Rain.

Just Watch.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


So far this morning:
  1. I chose to hit snooze for another ten minutes, thus resulting in running late.
  2. I decided what to wear to work...a choice.
  3. I washed my face and brushed my teeth.....a choice.
  4. Took Ollie outside for his bathroom break.....a choice.
  5. I chose which route to take to work.
  6. Then I decided what to listen to as I drove.....a choice.
  7. I chose which space to park in when I arrived at work.
  8. I went to the cafeteria and chose what I would eat for breakfast.
  9. Then I chose to eat at my desk.
  10. And took the stairs instead of the elevator to get there.....a choice.
  11. I chose to check my email.
  12. Then chose not to go on facebook for another day.
  13. Sent out a few text messages.....a choice.
  14. I chose to respond to some emails.
  15. Decided to post on my blog... a choice.
  16. Chose to write about choices.
Every breathing moment of my day I am making choices. To sit, stand, walk, bend over, open, close, chew, call, pick up my phone, email, text, make a copy, run water, cook, clean, check my mail, feed Ollie, take out the garbage, lock my apartment, alarm my car, drive my car....etc.

Choices I made years ago, that I considered "little" or no big deal, still affect me to this day. They have shaped who I am, and will forever be a part of my life story.

If there is one thing that I hope to impart on the young ladies in my youth group, it would be:

The Power of Choice.

The choices you make everyday shape who you are, and will affect your life forever - good or bad. Always choose prayerfully & carefully, weighing out all of your options.

Every choice you make matters.

Even the little ones......especially the little ones.

"There is a choice you make in everything you do.
And you must always keep in mind, the choice you
make, makes you." ~ Unknown


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ollie's First Trip to the Dog Park

Check out this quick video of Ollie's first trip to the Dog Park.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"If friends were flowers, I'd pick you"

I first met Monica around February 1999. I was working at First Bank & Trust in downtown San Jose. While working there, daily, I would see this "pentecostal" looking girl coming and going as if on her lunch break. One day I ran out of the bank, stopped her and asked her if she went to church. At the time she was attending East Valley Pentecostal Church.

We agreed to go to lunch since we worked so close together. After a few lunch dates our friendship seemed to just "click". She had no idea that at the time I had a secret crush on JW (that is another story in itself), nor that we had gone out years prior. At lunch one day we were talking about my lack of a love life. I think the conversation went something like this:
  • Me- "I am so depressed, I know that I am going to wind up an old maid"
  • Moni-"Don't be ridiculous!"
  • Me- "There are No guys at all at my church!"
  • Moni- "I have the perfect guy for you"
  • Me- "Who?"
  • Moni- "JW"
  • Me- "You have got to be kidding me, I have had a crush on him for months and have not told a soul!"
.......and thus began our friendship and Moni being known as the "Prophetess". I must admit that I took this as a confirmation that JW and I were somehow meant to be...

Looking back over the last 10 years (I cannot believe it has been that long) I am so thankful for her friendship. Besides my husband, Moni knows me better than anyone else....so if you want the dirt on me, she is the one to go to....hahaha

She is someone that always tells me the truth about myself - even if it means I am wrong. She is the one I call when I am feeling like an emotional mess, and she always seems to say the right thing.

We have laughed together, cried together, shopped together (I had to throw that in), vacationed together.....and much, much more.

This month she is turning "21". In honor of her birthday I thought this tribute to her would be fitting.

I love you Moni.....here's to another 50 years of friendship!!!

"A friend is someone who knows
the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the
words." Unknown

Friday, April 3, 2009

A little about Jwest...

Alright, so The Westside Stories is not going to just be about Ministry involvement, but also to give you a little random insight into The West Family. Today's installment is my collection of ties. Not just any tie, but nice ties.
I have not bought many ties within the last 6 months. However, I have just started my bow tie collection. I am excited about the progress of this latest development.
In fact, it is my intention to spark the BOW TIE Revival in our Young Men's Tie Arsenal at the First Church. -JW

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blue Bomber Story...

I came across this awesome picture from our Vacation Bible School last summer. This was an incredible event due to that fact that our Music Is For Kids Summer Program had taken a 2 year break. We felt to bring it back last year. The timing was perfect because we had just launched the Blue Bomber Crew and many of them were a part of The POWERLAB. It was a great event that rallied all of our children, as well as our Bus/Children's Workers together. What I remember so vividly the day of the POWERLAB Performance was not just the excitement of all the wacky hairstyles and bright colors, it was what happened that day.

It was that Sunday morning, that Doria Cruz, a mother of children that had been riding the Blue Bomber (since the first day we started the Bus Ministry) decided to make some changes in her life. She came that day and sat on the front row of the First Church. With tears streaming down her face, she watched as her kids were having a blast worshipping and singing. She had come to church that day to be baptized. She told me that she had been watching her kids come to our church for a while, and there was something that was pulling her to give her life over to God.

Since then, Sis Doria and her husband Ishmael have become some of the most faithful people at the First Church. I will not lie and say that it was been problem free journey for them, there has been a few bumps in the road, families have been separated, Kids put in Foster Homes across the city - but as I looked out in the congregation last Sunday At First Church Connect - I saw their whole family back together again.

I sat on the platform while Pastor Shoemake preached, tears running down my face as I watched this family worship the Lord together. It is incredible to watch this transformation taking place. Sis Doria is one of the first ladies to approach neighborhood moms and dads and tells them about the Lord and everything God has done for her. She is so funny too. She will walk up to some of the "hardest" young people and just tell them how it is - and how they need to surrender their lives to God. I love it.
There are great things to come from Ishmael and Doria. One day Ishmael and Doria will be route captains on the Blue Bomber Crew... just watch.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Other Woman

Last night I struggled to drift off into dreamland. Peaceful happy thoughts were interrupted by gunshots, bombs going off, helicopters flying overhead, and trash talk.

And I realized…….every day I compete with ‘her’ for my husbands attention.

I am not sure if I am winning. –LW

Monday, March 2, 2009

I am convinced...

Last night in our Sunday Evening Service we had a Praise Concert with Bro Kevin Howard of The Pentecostals of Alexandria. He has spent the last 3 days working with our choir. The service was awesome. The Choir was rockin - they sounded great, cool new songs, and a true display of God's Anointing.

The thing that stood out to me the most was the alters filled with Blue Bomber Kids and their Families. Last night we saw approximately 130 - 150 Neighborhood kids and adults come to First Church. Our City Council member Pete Constant even stopped by prior to the service to connect to our Church.

The Choir concluded the concert with a song called "Free" (I think that was the name of it). It was a slower song, and as the song began the presence of God just ripped through the building. It was incredible. Brand new converts to First Church, within the past year, began to run the aisles. They were truly excited that they were "Free". My eyes welled up when I saw a young man by the name of Jeffrey, who was just baptized last Sunday Night - get out of his seat and begin to dance and run the aisles. You would have to know his story and what God has saved him from- Jeffrey has come a loonnnng way.

After the service we served a dinner in the Fellowship Hall for all of our Community Guests. We didn't anticipate so many people, but God provided, and we had just enough food for everyone. Leah mentioned that she didnt think we would have enough, but God always makes a way - and provides.

It was just incredible. God is doing it. I am just glad to be a part of it. Thank you God for trusting us with these new people. This is just the beginning.
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