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Sixteen Days with Grands–Pre Day 1

Yes! Andrew asked Jerry and me if we would be able and willing to keep three of their children for 16 days while he, Shawnna, and their eldest son, Gentry, vacation in Hawaii. Gentry graduated from high school in the spring, and the trip is his graduation present. I was delighted to say yes!


On Saturday, we traveled down to San Diego to meet up with Andrew’s family and with our second son, Mike, and his wife, Melina, who were there to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary. Around 2:00 in the afternoon we all met near the jetty in Mission Beach. Relaxed in the afternoon, did “beachy” things, ate snacks, then just at dusk the men and boys built a great bonfire.


dsc_4369Ella and her mom on the sands of the great Pacific.

dsc_4401The descent. At the edge . . . then gone. How quickly so. And Brady . . . merely days before, a baby. Now a fledgling young man.

So ended Saturday. On Sunday morning Jerry and I were extremely blessed to be in church with our three sons and some of their families.


Great barbecue place after church. Loved being with my family. Loved seeing Jerry stand close to our wonderful boys, for through the years it has become almost impossible to get all our four children together at one time. I cherish such rare occasions and consider them precious. (Just sorry Rebecca didn’t make it down.)

At Andrew’s we loaded up Cole, Brady, and Ella, and by 2:30 were on our way to Crestline. We would see their parents in 16 days.

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Finale in San Diego (Day 13 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

I was awake quite a while before Jerry was this morning. I brewed coffee, poured myself a cup, opened the door quietly, then sat in a patio chair enjoying the cool air. It was just past dawn. A gentle breeze blew; birds chirped. I walked behind the motor home, camera in hand now and watched the play of sun on this budding day, invigorated by the scenes that moment by moment were developing.

San Diego was our designation. By noon we had driven there and had settled our motor home near the deck Jerry had built many years ago on our son Steve’s property.

Steve’s jacaranda tree is magnificent, in full flush bloom. But the best part of today’s trip is that five of my great-grandchildren just flew in from Carson City, Nevada to visit with their grandparents, Steve and Dearrah. They began the visit by jumping, leaping, running, laughing–all wearing cute tee shirts Steve and Dearrah had sent them.

When I tried to position the children for pictures, they leaped up on the wall, giggling so that for a backdrop I am able to present metal roof drains–but, hey, take a look at those gorgeous faces. Three of the boys belong to Joel; Sage and her brother belong to Chris.

Around 8:30 this evening as Steve was over here visiting in our motorhome, we heard rumblings at our door. Steve opened it, and in tumbled five little critters. Fresh from baths, they were ready to romp. They crowded around Pappy and I tried to get their heads arranged so Pappy’s would show for a picture, but I didn’t do too well. They are hilarious, and we ended the evening with all of them in the middle of the floor juking and jiving. I laughed until I could hardly catch my breath. The more we laughed, the faster and more ridiculously they danced.

In a few minutes, here came Dearrah. “Are the youngsters over here?” She had gone into the bathroom; when she came out all was quiet, for the little rascals had raced to the motor home.

Not much going on in our motor home now; just peace and quiet. Across the way? Can’t even imagine! A trip to the Children’s Museum is on the docket for tomorrow and we have been invited. . .but at this point we’re not sure! Let you know.


Birthday Doings Day Four

The subject of the sermon was a touchy one, but the pastor handled it in a most magnificent way, so that when I left the church Sunday morning, I easily said to my family, “That was the best sermon on giving I have ever heard.” Pastor Larson of The Anchor Church in San Diego was he who preached this stirring, moving, sermon. It was powerful!

We hurried home, changed our clothes and headed over to the J Street Marina, where nearby was the park in which Michael and Melina have their RV placed. There, in a grassy park adjacent to the Chula Vista Bay we ate our lunch. It was memorable and scrumptious. Andrew’s family had been the beneficiary of a friend’s successful fishing trip to Mexico, and we all shared in the bounty; thick tuna steaks. Fresh tuna is so different from that found in a can, it is hard to believe it is the same thing. Grilled quickly, 4 minutes on each side, slightly crusty on the outside, but still pink in the middle, the taste is more akin to steak than to fish. If you ever are asked to indulge in such a pleasure, don’t pass the chance. Absolutely outstanding; a rare treat.

Everyone had pitched in for the meal, so that together we had appetizers of smoked salmon, to be placed squarely on a thick potato chip, then dolloped  with sour cream and a smear of dill, grilled fresh asparagus, pasta salad, fresh pesto for the tuna, green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, cheesy potatoes, crunchy seedless grapes, cheese bread, french bread set beside a pot of whipped butter, and cold watermelon. Spectacular.

A walk on the pier was next, where we talked with would-be-fishermen, “would-be-fishermen” only, for it seemed few if any were catching fish. The marine layer was thick in places, and in the distance could be seen the city skyline and the splendid stretch of Coronado Bridge. It was cold and I had left my jacket in the car, so before we got too far, Andrew was sweet enough to wind up one of the skateboards and go get it for me. Cole hit a crack in the walkway with his skateboard, and for a few minutes lay moaning where he had landed, but Uncle Mike and Andrew tended him, and soon he was up skating away.

Shortly after we returned to our grassy picnic area, two rare football teams formed, consisting of five members–two men and three boys. Mike, Brady and Cole were stacked against Andrew and Gentry. We yelled and cheered, we spectators growing colder by the minute, but the football stars were sweating and peeling away clothes. “A tie!” Andrew judged at the closing quarter…and so the party was over. We gathered the grill, ice-chests, blankets, cameras, chairs, food, skateboards…and all the people, happily making our way to cars and motor home.

Little Ella had been sick through the night, and was not her exuberant self during the picnic day, but she was a good sport, never whining, but just sitting and looking about.

Tomorrow Mike and Melina would return to Lake Havasu and Jerry and I would make the trek up to Crestline. The birthday week was over.

My Family

Birthday Doings Day Three

It’s Sunday morning here in beautiful San Diego and I’m freezing. I have to sit outside to use the internet and it’s cold, so this will be short. In fact the post will consist of my favorite picture from yesterday and these few comments. We were all sitting at the outside area of downtown Anthony’s when I snapped the picture. Reflected in Shawnna’s glasses are Melina and two coke cups. I love it! We had a blast yesterday eating, visiting, laughing, and walking about Seaport Village.

Oh, I’ll add one more. It’s my beautiful granddaughter Chloe, telling me, (from across the table at Lido’s) how much she loves me! Well, I’m not sure she was saying that, but I can believe, can’t I. Love you too, my readers–family and friends! Have a blessed Sunday.

My Family

Birthday Doings

Michael’s birthday was on Thursday, the 4th, and we had made plans to meet him in San Diego for a few days, taking in the world-famous zoo, perhaps its sister facility, the Wild Animal Park, and in other ways enjoying the splendid world-class city. Remember Michael lives in Lake Havasu City, AZ, often the hottest place in the United States, and he and Melina were anticipating cool Pacific breezes, being totally eager for the nearly perfect Mediterranean climate of this magnificent southern California city. Guess what. On the day all of us drove into San Diego, we were met with record-breaking heat. National City, (a San Diego suburb) tied with Riverside as the hottest spot in the nation with a temperature of 101. Wild. Hotter here than in Lake Havasu!

But true to the area’s real nature, the temperature dropped nearly 15 degrees yesterday, affording us a pleasant day when we spent 5 hours at the zoo. If a gauge were concocted, that laid over our foreheads would measure the level of enjoyment, I wouldn’t be surprised if I turned out to be the winner. There was a nice group of us: Mike, the birthday boy and his wife, Melina, Andrew, Shawnna, four of their kidlets, and Jerry and I. We had a wonderful time. It was tiring, though, and by the time we left most of us were anticipating a couple of hours rest before we would meet for dinner.

I never before had been this close to a gorilla, and with only a glass between us, I stood four or five feet away. I loved staring at this napping animal.

Take a look at that foot/hand. Amazing.

Again, I was just feet away from this polar bear. Poor thing; it has been so hot, he’d snooze a bit, then get up and with his huge paws, throw out the warm sand, and dig a new cooler place for himself.

Andrew arranged dinner at Lido’s, a neighborhood Italian restaurant on Broadway in the Lemon Grove area.. “Of all the places I’ve tried in San Diego, this is my favorite,” Andrew told me as we were exclaiming over the delicious food. It was jammed, with lots of families, a birthday party, and noisy, happy exuberance. I’ve forgotten the name of the owner, to whom Andrew had introduced me as we entered, but she followed us outside when we left, a charming, charismatic lady.

Edit Sunday: Her name is Liz.

(more tomorrow)

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God’s Ordinary Extraordinary People

There are some wonderful people in this world. One of them is Lisa, who for several months now–at her own expense–has, almost every Sunday, flown from San Jose to San Diego to be in service with Andrew at his church, and to take care of all n1448440305_9123the music. I’m not exactly sure of everything she does, but I know she works with the praise singers, teaches new songs, gives piano lessons and plays the keyboard for the worship service. Flies down Sunday morning, and back home Sunday evening. Is that not the most unselfish, awesome thing.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had occasion to think of people who work so hard for God, and who often get little recognition. Now I understand that when we sincerely work for God it is not to gather the applause of men, nor to have our names blazed across newspapers or scribed on magazine covers or beamed over the internet. But I don’t think it hurts to consider those who on a consistent basis live sacrificial lives that serve to propagate the Gospel…and to benefit mankind in general.

I’ve learned of a little known preacher, who will probably never grace the platform of a general conference, nor is one who flies cross-country on a regular basis, nor one who is likely to preach at his district camp meeting, who in the past few days was directly led by God to minister to another pastor and to another church. As he prayed in his own church, God spoke to him: “Go to ___________.” The service was in progress at the church where the minister was directed to go, and that frustrated pastor strongly felt to wait–just wait. Do nothing. He waited in silence, the entire congregation merely sitting still. Then the auditorium door opened and the first minister walked in…and ministered to the pastor and to the entire congregation.

Their names may never be known, their deeds little published, but God has a mighty arsenal of ordinary, extraordinary people. Thank you.

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…and then they came for me

San Diego’s 10 News is reporting that a county employee has notified a local pastor and his wife that their small Bible study group, averaging 15 people, is in violation of county ordinances and that they must “stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit.”

Attorney Dean Broyles of The Western Center For Law & Policy was shocked with what happened to the pastor and his wife. Broyles said, “The county asked, ‘Do you have a regular meeting in your home?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say amen?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you pray?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say praise the Lord?’ ‘Yes.'”

I am stunned at this (as I am with many recent developments in our country) and believe this action by the county is unconstitutional and a clear violation of individual rights; of the right of assembly and of freedom of speech. It is beyond the realm of government to ask such questions, quite beyond their business to inquire of the words we speak in our homes.

We cannot stand silent as our country is ravaged; we must speak out.

Martin Niemöller’s poem inscribed on a stone in the New England Holocaust Memorial.

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To The Highest Bidder–Her Virginity

It’s an auction; an unbelievable auction; an auction for her virginity; an abysmal auction where the top bid now exceeds $3.7 million dollars. This disgusting business is going on down in San Diego where 22-year-old Natalie Dylan has notified the world that her virginity is for sale–up for the highest bidder. Why the sale? To fund her advanced degree in women’s studies.

Were Natalie looking toward a career in the basest of strip-joints, or lewd television production or in X-rated theatrical productions, it might be a touch easier to understand her actions, though even then, it would be most repulsive and shocking. But 22-year-old Natalie has much higher aspirations: She is going after a degree in family and marriage therapy. This story is so unbelievable as to sound fictional, but I assure you I am not making it up.

According to the London Telegraph, Natalie Dylan, a 22-year-old San Diego woman, said she got the idea for the auction after her sister was able to pay for her college education after prostituting herself for three weeks.

She told the Telegraph that she doesn’t think she’s the only one who will be benefit from the auction.

“I think me and the person I do it with will both profit greatly from the deal,” Dylan told the paper.

What a staggering, almost unthinkable, world we inhabit. A world whose morals and self-respect are handled with such casual regard and with little solicitude. A world dominated by money, greed, and self-gratification. A world raked with uneasiness and fear, for God created man to live on a finer plane. How quickly, and deeply, though, we have fallen.

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My 70th Birthday Party

Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the country, the home of 15 museums, several renown artistic venues, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo: altogether, the park covers 1400 acres. Pepper Grove is the section Rebecca had chosen, Jerry and I took written directions the hotel furnished, and we found the area with little delay. Others coming from different streets, despite the large BUXTON signs stuck around the park, had a tad bit of trouble finding the group. The park is set among rolling–sometimes steep–hills and finding a certain area can be a challenge given the very large area Balboa covers.

The setting was idyllic; the finely clipped lawn stretched wide, then plunged steeply into a narrow canyon, its far edge rising to other green hills where grew also ancient California Pepper trees akin to those whose gnarled trunks and low-hanging branches stood before me in stately form. I gazed as Jerry parked the car, taking in the white tent that had been erected and the red and white checkered cloths that covered the tables.

Grandchildren ran to us, and thus began the party.

If the party had not been perfect, I wouldn’t try to convince you of such a notion, but in all truth, I can affirm that it was. From setting, to food, to conversations, to treats, “entertainment,” and to guests it was a sterling, perfect party, and it is safely ensconced in my memory bank, filed as a very special time and event.

“I want this to be a simple affair, Rebecca,” I had told her in the early stages of planning the party that my children were pitching for my 70th birthday. “I want my family and a few close friends there, but I don’t want anything extravagant; I don’t want it to be a burden on anyone.

“”Okay, Mom.”

That was the genesis of the party style, and I left it that way. Somehow these four marvelous youngsters of mine executed exactly what I wanted, even though I didn’t precisely know myself just what I envisioned. It was a dream party.

I had wandered around, admiring and exclaiming over everything, including my baby and childhood pictures that were displayed, which Rebecca had pilfered from our “picture room” in Crestline. The decorations were adorable and included bouquets of sunflowers and white daisies, stuck into large Mason jars and tied around with raffia streamers. Such was the thoughtfulness of these children of mine, that on every table, as part of the centerpieces, were resin ants, high-legged ones. I suppose those bug-eyed and fetching critters were to insure a realistic picnic ambience, just in case the natural born insects failed to make an appearance.

I was so engrossed with these things, that they had completely set up and were playing music before I even saw them. Those responsible were watching my reaction and later told me it was as though I was oblivious to them as two young women moved across the lawn, set up their instruments and began playing. I turned and saw that a cellist and a violinst had been engaged to furnish music for my party. Beside the people, who of course, ranked first, this music was my favorite part of the whole deal. With only a couple of breaks they played for the better part of two hours. That the music was so hauntingly beautiful, and afforded such a splendid visual sight, and that my children had thought of such a treat, moved me so that I stood in tears as I took it all in.

Michael had bought prime rib roasts and hand cut them into steaks, which he grilled to order, along with chicken breasts, and hot dogs for the children. Corn boiled in a giant pot, gourmet cheese was passed and green salads and luscious bread and plain butter and herbed butter, and fiery red watermelon slices were handed around. Then was the cake, black and gooey, and there were huge cupcakes with sunflowers in their centers, and gifts, and Happy Birthday sung to the string accompaniment and then I said, “It’s Shawnna’s birthday,” so we sang again, and this time I joined in.

They thought of everything; had engaged people from Andrew’s church to help serve, brought bottles of bubbles for the children, and their paper plates of food were served atop a Frizbee, so that when they finished eating, a Frizbee game went on for hours.

We visited for a very long time, and then the light began to fade, and we gathered for group pictures.

My four marvelous kids and their daddy and their mama.

And after this picture was taken, I said, “Okay, all the adults be gone. I want a picture of my grandkids with their granny.”

In no way do I deserve the life I have lived; the marvelous husband I married, the astonishing children God gave us, our 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren and the large number of loyal and loving friends. I’m thankful for health and physical possessions and that I live in this wonderful country, the United States of America. I’m ecstatic that I’ve been blessed with 70 good years on this earth.

This morning, we had a two-hour breakfast with Steve, at 3:00 we’re meeting Rebecca and Andrew and their families at the beach in Imperial Beach and at 7:00 we’re having dinner with our dear friends, Nita and Johnny Hodges.

The birthday lives…:)

NOTE: Click on the pictures and they will enlarge.

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Ordination of Joel Buxton

By the Laying on of Hands, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.
Nothing in my life is so precious as the distinct realization of God’s having honored us to such degree that several of our family have been divinely called into the ministry. It is with profound humility that I even consider such reality, and it is with the absolute knowledge that none of us, in any way, deserves such holy honor and opportunity to be consecrated for such mission. I am awed by our extraordinary circumstances and hallowed benefits.
My grandson Joel is the latest to be so privileged, and on Sunday night at Hilltop Tabernacle, my eldest child, Steve, preached the ordination sermon to his son, Joel. He’s my son, and you know how mothers are, so take it with a grain of salt, but I doubt you will ever hear better preaching than that coming from my son, Steve. He is singularly gifted by God…and with all meekness do I say this, for such gift is only from God, and without Him, we are but stammering, vacuous beings.
Jerry had the rare and blessed opportunity to pray the ordination prayer. Such a moving moment this was, and I was especially touched, as Jerry laid his hand on Joel to pray a beautiful prayer, to see Joel reach out and grasp the arm of his beloved Pappy. Joel is a fourth generation preacher and he has been quick to seek counsel from his elders. God blessed Joel with the most beautiful, elegant, humble, talented, sweet wife. Aisha is her name.
Pictured here are my four favorite preachers: Andrew, my youngest who is planting a church in LaMesa, Ca., Joel, Jerry and Steve.
Joel has been elected pastor of a church in Carson City, Nevada. Today, from San Diego, with their three beautiful boys, they will drive to their place of ministry. Please pray for this couple–indeed for all God’s ministers around the world.
More comments and pictures of the ordination service are here.