Wednesday, April 29, 2009


do you know that moment, just before summer sets in, but springtime is coming to an end? it is the end of the beautiful blooms, but the looming of summertime bar-b-ques & fireworks. just before the warm of the summer sets in. just before the beaches are packed full of people. just before the everything starts getting fun and crazy. smiles on faces. school is almost out. summer is beginning to start. its coming, but not so far ahead that you cannot see the warmth of the summer sun. it is the beautiful moments of spring & summer all rolled into a moment that constantly takes your breath away because you can see and hear the creation of God. you can experience it first hand. the craftmanship of the Lord. it is beautiful. it is magnificent. it is breathtaking.

this is one of my favorite moments of the year. our summers are crazy fun. they are filled with tons of ministry (our home is always open to our students). they are filled with a lot of trips to the beach. bar-b-ques in the backyard. park days. bike rides. trips to hume lake. it brings a smile to my face. oh i am so excited. that upcoming happiness gets me all excited for the summer. last year i set out to make a quilt that captured the craziness of our summer. the delight of our springtime experience. something that was fun. that was bright. that was happy. and i finished it! i love it. it makes me smile. it reminds me of that moment at the end of the peaceful, beautiful, wonderful spring & the excitement of the crazy, fabulous, sunfilled summer months.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

i'm a dork.

so i just finished watching high school musical 3 for the umpteenth time! i love it. that is the dorky part! i know the songs. i can sing them for you. although you don't want me to. i can sing all the songs from all 3 high school musicals. i watch the outtakes on the end... and laugh hysterically! i think they are a little cheesy, but they are so light hearted. i remember watching grease when i was ashlynn's age. i thought it was so funny when my mom would watch it with me. i know ashlynn is going to think the same thing. but oh well. right now she wants me to watch it. we have our favorite songs that we will sing together. ooohhh... the bonding moments of mother and daughter over a movie with a bunch of singing high school students who are actually more college age. way fun for a wednesday night.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


so we live by the airport. we often watch the planes take off & touch down. the kids love seeing them come in from a distance while we are driving & want us to slow down our driving so we can watch them land. it really is so fun! i grew up with my dad being a pilot. not for work, but for pleasure. which meant we got to go a lot of fun places just for the day. during the winter months, we would fly up to mammoth almost every weekend (usually just me and my dad) for a little ski time. yesterday, while i was driving down tank farm, a smaller jet took off and crossed over the street. the plane looked a lot like one of my dad's. i started to cry & then without control started to smile. even now remembering that moment yesterday, i am smiling.

was i remembering those precious times? was i laughing at all the silly things we used to do together in the plane? or something else? i think it was a combination of everything. memories flooded back to me. i could hear the laughter of my siblings and i in the back of the plane as we played games & waited with anticipation to land. and the reality that almost 3 weeks ago, my dad flew away to JESUS.

it is nice to have these wonderfully precious memories come to me, instead of those last few memories of seeing my dad sick. it doesn't make my need for him any easier, but i have shared a lot of stories about growing up lately and that makes me smile!

Friday, April 10, 2009

nothing but love.

reality is hard, but laughter has covered a magnitude of grief. it is fantastic the way the LORD has allowed my kids to say and do the most silly things. today i am thankful for that in a way that i have never been able to understand before. plus... todd has been such a great help for me emotionally. he has allowed me to be really sad (and is sad a long side of me) & laughs with me when the silliness happens. i am very thankful for my little family. thank you all for your constant prayers & support. for all the cards & phone calls.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

today we ride. not to race. not to win. but to honor. from santa clarita park, the boys + 3 girls took off to pay tribute to my dad. it was a beautiful experience. these men who have riden with my dad over the years. tony made armbands with my dad's initials. everyone had their 'gary waterbottles'. they prayed at the park & took off up bouquet canyon. to the top. & back down. never leaving each other. of course todd & jeremy (a friend not my son) had to race to the top. old habits die hard. it was a way to honor him. a way to love him. a way to pay tribute to him. it was beautiful.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

a tribute.

this is going in the pamphlet for the memorial service for my dad... one of the hardest things to write...

Everyone has a story. Each story paints a picture of life. Some stories bring sorrow. Other stories share burdens. Gary’s story generates HOPE. Here is his story.

Celebrating the birth of our country took a different shape in the Catalde family on July 4, 1947. Gary was born to Charles & Joyce Catalde at the Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles, becoming their ‘Little Firecracker’. His nickname quickly became that of his personality, not simply holding the significance of his birth date. Gary was the middle child, placed strategically between two amazing brothers, Brian and Dale. The love and bond between the three of them has continually been evident as an example of how brothers should be knit together.

Following his marriage in 1976 to Caryl, Gary seemed to find a niche in life that suited him completely… fatherhood. Over the span of six years he became a father to three amazing kids; Summer, Tony and Breezi. Also, striking a unique love only to be found when he became Papa to his grandchildren, those whom he knows and those whom he was not able to hug, but loved nonetheless.

Gripping his heart, the Lord drastically changed his life. In 1984, in front of Tim Tom’s Burgers, Gary surrendered his life over to the Lord through prayer being led by Chuck Molton, a Los Angeles County Building Inspector. Immediately following that very precious moment, he fell in love with Scripture and its guidance for his life. Through it developing an understanding of God’s grace, mercy and love.

In December 2005, he wed Jan who walked gracefully alongside him through the last few years of his life.

Cancer seemed to enrich the faith that God had given to him. This triumph of faith manifested itself through the “assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” A hope that despite things such as cancer, there is a plan that only the Lord knows and that only the Lord can understand. The cancer that seemed to take his life far too early, actually took his life at the exact moment that God desired. Seeing fit, the Lord called one of his faithful servant home. His 15 year battle with cancer was won, with the Lord saying, ‘well done my good and faithful servant.’