Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas! Jesus Lives!

(Kitty) Merry Christmas everyone! We're having a wonderful and relaxing day after a really lovely Christmas with our friend Doug and his family. I got the coolest gifts from John! One was somewhat expected - I'm going to the motorcycle safety class where they teach you to ride and you get your motorcycle license! Woo-hooo!! The other was completely out of the blue - two hours at a firing range! Woo-hooo!! We've talked about it occasionally over the years (because I was in the Marines just long enough to get an Expert badge on the range and loved it, and living in the country as a kid I did some target practice and loved that), but we've never gotten around to going to a firing range. I told John we definitely have to go do it together! I can't wait!!

Of course, we had plenty of fun opening gifts with Doug's 2-year-old nephew, and everyone gave all kinds of fun gifts to each other. But the best part was spending time with people we love who love us. We hope you had an equally blessed holiday. God did a wondrous thing when He came down here to fulfill the law that would've condemned us. The best present we could ever have - we have! Living forever with God who will love us forever! Yea!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Whimsy and Joy

(Kitty) According to the calendar, today is the first day of winter. Someone in the bank said, "They call this the first day of Wind-er." I laughed out loud, though I'd never heard that before. Last night, the wind started and I don't think it's quit yet. I woke up four or five times last night when the wind whistled so loudly under our door that it woke me up!

But on the way to the bank, I saw a sight that filled me with whimsy and joy. In the air a block ahead of me was a flock of a hundred or more birds. But they weren't going anywhere. They swooped together one way, then took a dive together and up in another direction, back and forth and swirling around. The more I tried to figure out what they were doing, the more a crazy fun joy welled up in my chest. And that's when I decided that's what they felt! I think they were all just playing together in the wind!

I was never so glad for a nice long stop light. For whatever reason, I felt more Christmas-y at that moment than I have all week! (Except when I delivered gifts from the church yesterday. That was awesome!) Those birds stopped looking for dinner long enough to participate together in the joy of the moment. It was beautiful watching them dance in the air like that.

I pray that for you in the next week - that you stop in your preparations occasionally to participate with your friends or family or the strangers around you in moments of whimsy and joy. God loved the world so much that He came down in the form of His Son - the JOY of the world! Like glitter that sticks to everything, bits of that joy can be experienced everywhere.

Enjoy! And Merry Christmas from John and me! We love you! :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Living a Fantasy Life

(Kitty) The other day I decided I was tired of being grumpy about the traffic in LA. I needed some way of not getting angry every 2.3 minutes. So I figured - I'm a writer, I'll just make up stories about these people. So when the black Mercedes to the left cut me off to change lanes, I decided he was a doctor on his way to deliver someone's first child. (It is Christmas, after all. A time we're remembering someone else's first child's birth.)

When the red Miata ran a red light in front of me, narrowly missing all the traffic - like me - accelerating through the green, John said he must be on the run from the mob, trying to get away to live another day.

And when the white pickup next to me kept swerving into my lane, oblivious to the fact I was taking up space there, I knew he must've recently been blessed with 20/20 vision via lasik surgery and was still trying to get used to being able to see everything.

You can call me looney tunes if you want. But my blood pressure is still resting at normal levels, even a mere ten days before Christmas. That's a fantasy I can live with.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ya Gotta Love This!

(Kitty) John sent this to me this morning. It's John as a character in The Simpsons! Isn't it funny? (And it looks like him, too!) If you want to try it, go to and upload a photo of yourself. I'll have to try it later. The site says it's too busy right now! :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Our First Christmas (Tree)!

(Kitty) - I know, I know, it's hard to believe. We started out sharing our Christmas holidays with family, then we were alone and broke, then we moved around a lot. Then this weekend John said, "I think we should get a Christmas tree." Just like that, out of the blue.

No, we haven't moved out of our 343 sq ft studio apartment. So I asked the obvious - "Where would we put it?" John suggested a tabletop tree to sit on the edge of our desks; the next day, there we were fighting the crowds at Target. Last night, we decorated our home with a Christmas tree complete with lights and bulbs (even 4 Happy Feet bulbs - thank you, Sean!) and a big red ribbon at the top. (Target didn't have any stars less than half the size of our entire tree!)

I love it! It's so festive! And we even have a small lighted nativity sitting next to the tree. I love it! Due to the joy of digital cameras - we took about 40 pictures of us until we got a good one for our Christmas photo stamps. Next weekend, we're taking pictures of ourselves with Santa hats sitting on John's motorcycle for our Christmas card photo! LOL! It'll be great!

Hope you're having a great week! Remember to thank God for the best Christmas gift ever! :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

(Kitty) - YESSS! I DID IT!! I wrote 52,415 words in 30 days! And because I was busy hanging out with my sister Bonnie, and then at our friend Doug's for Thanksgiving, I was seriously behind by last weekend. I wasn't sure I could make the final word count, but I decided not to give up. In the last 7 days, I wrote nearly 35,000 words!

Now, if you'll give me a few days to get caught up on bill-paying and other sundry details of life, I'll get some regular blogging in and let you know how our life is going out here.

We hope you're all well! God bless you!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

So Much to Tell You - But Not Now

(Kitty) By the time we get thoroughly caught up with tell you all the interesting stuff that's going on in our lives (like John's birthday party!), it'll be Christmas. But hey! At least that means we'll start the new year with a clean slate! LOL!

So...just to let you know, I won't be posting anything all next week. One of my sisters is coming to town! Bonnie will be here for the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association 2007 National Conference. So I'm being kidnapped (yea!) for the week. We're going to visit San Bernadino where she was born, and hopefully get in a trail ride, and who knows what? :)

Meanwhile, if you're interested, I've written 8263 words in the first 8 days of National Novel Writing Month! Now, we're supposed to be done writing 15,000 words by the end of today to reach our month-long goal of 50,000 words. Yeah, I don't think I'll be writing 7000 words today! LOL! But I'll get caught up. Maybe if I type instead of eat over Thanksgiving weekend I won't gain any extra weight AND I'll get caught up in my word count. :)

Talk to you later! And have a lovely week!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Found this picture online and thought it fit us perfectly. Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

A New Job!

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I have not written in a while. I just started a new job! About four weeks ago I gave my notice at my job. Kitty was getting worried about my mental and physical health working at Threshold Entertainment so we sat down and talked and prayed about it. We asked God to give me a solid sign on when to leave Threshold. Well, I got the definite sign four weeks ago today, so I gave my notice the next day.

I spent two weeks decompressing and getting my sanity back. Then about two weeks ago, on Tuesday, October 16th, I saw posting for Dreamworks looking for layout people. I thought I'd put a resume in there and check the web for other job postings. On another web site I found a posting for MotionBuilder people (that is a program I used at Threshold for manipulating motion capture information.) I saw that the company name was Lightstorm Entertainment, which is James Cameron's company (if you don't know who he is, do a web search for his name.) I sent my resume and a link to my on-line demo reel to the e-mail address listed. 10 MINUTES later I got a response asking if I could come in the next day for an interview. I said I'd be happy to come in! At the interview they told me that the project was AVATAR, which was the movie I was hoping to go to New Zealand to work on with Weta Digital (Peter Jackson's company.) The interview went so well they offered me the job at the end of the interview. A couple days of contract negotiations and I had a job by Friday, October 19th and started last Monday. Mr. Cameron will be in New Zealand until the end of the year filming a bunch of live action parts for the movie. He'll be back "in office" at the start of the year to do some work with the mocap.

We have discovered God works in wondrous and exciting ways when you have faith and trust your whole life to Him.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Writing!

(Kitty) For all you writers out there, here's something you want to know about - or you may already know about it. November is National Novel Writing Month. Somebody came up with the idea that we should all try writing 50,000 words in a month - and do it together. So they created a web site and now nearly 100,000 people around the world are writing together every November!

So, many of my writer friends and I are planning our stories, our word count, where we're going to write, where we can write together, and how we can write nearly an entire book without also eating an entire grocery store aisle's worth of food (or worse, an aisle worth of Halloween candy). :)

Let me know if you're participating, too! I'll see you there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We're Safe

(Kitty) Hi everyone! Sorry - I can't believe it's been three weeks since we posted!! So much is going on, and there's so much to tell you, but all that busyness is why we haven't posted!

Just wanted you all to know we're currently safe and well in regards to the fires. We found out in church Sunday morning, near the beginning of the disaster, that one of our sister churches, Malibu Presbyterian, had burned to the ground that morning. Very sad, but there is going to be such a swell of help and support that we'll see all kinds of blessings as people come together. As their pastor said, the Church is not a building.

Of course, I think it's far worse to lose your home, and so many people have. One of our friends is trying to keep us updated for prayer purposes - her home has not burned, but it's been in the line of fire for a couple days. Another friend sent out a prayer request for her family's house as they were being evacuated. Another friend is using their home as a "refugee camp for their family in San Diego."

I've been in Temecula, a part of Riverside county, this week, housesitting and writing. It's been disturbing to go out every day to the store or to get my friend's mail and see a new fire, more smoke, darker skies. Two fires popped up Tuesday about 30 miles away, and they've gotten worse, but truly aren't near me. Still, the situation is so sad for so many. I pray for safety for the firefighters and for those whose homes are near the fires, and I've also been praying that people's insurance is current! One friend said that her parents' house is uninsurable due to its proximity to the Northridge earthquake some years ago. Wow. Who knew you could own a home that couldn't be insured? (Not me.)

Anyway, John and I are safe and well. I'll be in touch as soon as I can to tell you all the interesting and wonderful things going on in our lives this past month. Sorry to keep you waiting so long. But know that we love you!! :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Better Safe Than Sorry?

(Kitty) Just a little LA ranting here...for the last 20 years I've been driving a car. In that time, I think I've gotten one parking ticket, two "fix-it" tickets, and that's all. Every now and again I think, "You really shouldn't be so over-careful. There's almost no chance that someone is going to run that red light. (But people do!) There's almost no chance someone's going to whip around that blind corner." (But people do!) Etc., etc.

In the last week, I've almost been hit about three or four times! Now that isn't different from any other week in LA, but this week it just pissed me off. How come I'm the one being careful and "everybody else" thinks they can just do what they want? Tonight in a parking garage I slowed way down at a place where I was the only lane that had the right of way - if I hadn't, I would've been rammed by a 30-something cute guy in a big expensive car. He was looking down at the seat when he almost hit me. Then he looked up, stopped fast, smiled, and motioned for me to continue. As if!!

Buddy, you really better watch it. Someday I might recreate that scene from Fried Green Tomatoes when Kathy Bates rams a sports car with rich, hot young people in it - they steal her parking space and call out, "We're younger and faster." She punches the accelerator and repeatedly rams their car, then calls out, "I'm older and have more insurance!"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Series Premiere

(Kitty) We had such a great time last Monday. We watched our friend's Internet series - like a TV series, but with short episodes - at a Premiere party! The series is called Dirty Bomb Diaries and it's a cool kind of "War of the Worlds" thing on a smaller scale. Click on the link and watch an episode! Or all of them! :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Change Is Comin'

(Kitty) Only God knows what's going to happen for sure, but changes are coming. John has an interview with a great company in the San Francisco area next week. Kitty is about to change positions with her local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter, and being in San Francisco could be good for her. More than anything, though, we want God to send us wherever He wants us to go. We'll let you know what happens!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


(Kitty) I've been meaning to post this for a month! But it's been a busy month! :) Turns out four sets of friends have "recently" found out they are pregnant - and one already has the new baby because it's taken me forever to get this up! LOL!

Mel & Andrew and Baby Turnham

Mel & Andrew are our great friends from Sydney, and we were thrilled to hear they became pregnant recently. Baby Turnham is due in February and plans on surprising his/her parents with his/her gender. Here is a picture of what he or she looked like last month. I plan to finish crocheting Baby T's baby blanket sometime in the next year or two.

Andrea & Brady and Baby Justin Nasfell

Andrea and Brady are long-time friends in the LA area. Justin was born on August 26 (my own mother's birthday!). We saw him at church this past Sunday and wow! I forget how tiny 3-week-old babies can be! His parents look tired, but happy. His big sister Emma was all smiles. Here he is right after he was born.

Dave & Ann Marie and Baby Barndt

Few babies have so many loving prayers lifted up to our Heavenly Father before their birth as little Baby Barndt. He or she is a little fighter, tenacious and determined. He/she already has two fantastic big brothers who are helping Mom and Dad out while Mom rests. Another ten weeks or so and Baby Barndt will be big enough to be born if he/she insists on it. Please pray mother and child continue strong and healthy, and that God's unsur
passing peace enfolds the whole family while they wait.

John & Karine and Baby Woldhuis

John and Karine are also wonderful friends from our church back in Sydney. They are currently missionaries in Loja, Ecuador along with their little angel girl, Evie. Karine is just a few months pregnant and is going to have their baby in Quito, Ecuador. The pictures of the country are beautiful, but I'm sure the pictures of the new baby will be even more beautiful.


I'm sorry, but I can't resist! You all know that I go mushy in the knees quicker over puppies than babies. :) My sister Bonnie's dog, Mooch, died a few months ago after 15 years of working with Bonnie and her therapeutic riding program (using horses to give physical therapy, see On her birthday, August 27, friends gave Bonnie a new puppy named Duke - because he was born on John Wayne's birthday. He's a 3-month-old black and white border collie. Bonnie says he's quiet, smart, loving and already attached to her side. I'm sure he and all the horses and kids are going to be very good friends.
Isn't he just precious?

Friday, September 14, 2007

John's Birthday Invitation!

(Kitty) Hi guys! Sorry it's been so long since we've posted. I was out of town for two weeks, then the last week has been crazy busy. But part of what's keeping us busy is planning John's 40th birthday party. Check out the invitation! (Ignore the fact that the picture color is off. It looks a lot better printed. :) )

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Amazing Biking Trip!

(Kitty) On Sunday, we were so tired of life and the day had dawned so beautifully that we made an instant decision - play hookey from church and go on a bike ride!

We'd never really been south much before, so we headed that direction. Since we weren't trying to get someplace, we kept veering west whenever we could so we could stay close to the ocean. Great decision! We saw so many cute little "downtowns" in a bunch of beach towns. We recognized some of the names - Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach. But many were cute names that I've never seen on a map.

Two things stuck in our minds - one, we drove past the Trump National Golf Course and both of us were thinking, "Hey, this is the place that was on 'The Apprentice' TV show!" And the second thing was a part of the road called Portuguese Bend. It's a curvy bit of road (and there's a subdivision there with, apparently, the same name) with warning signs to drive 10-15 miles per hour because the land for the next mile is constantly moving! Isn't that wild?! Explains the new blacktop - they probably have to repave it every time the road cracks away. The shape of the road is very weird - curves around back and forth, and also has a lot of deep dips, hence the slow speed limit. It was a strange mile to ride.

The whole trip was about 75 miles and took us about 3 hours including a 20-minute break for food and gas - and to let our behinds get the feeling back! By 10am, we were back home - and it was already 82 degrees! We stayed inside for the rest of the day with the A/C on! LOL!

Now we can't wait for the next opportunity to drive some more. We're thinking maybe we'll go farther south and spend the day at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Or not. Who knows? All I know for sure is that neither of us is keen to get on the freeway yet, so we're just going to enjoy driving slow for a while longer. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cute Picture of the Future

(Kitty) I finally pulled this off our camera today. Here is John with Spike, the mascot from Animation Mentor. We met Spike when we were at Siggraph two weeks ago, along with the very nice Admissions lady, Victoria. If John ends up enrolling in A.M. for the January term, you'll hear A LOT more about it, so I'll just stop typing now and leave you with the picture. I will say, they are all so nice!

Hope you're having a great day! :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Too Hot!!!

(Kitty) That's all I've got to say. It's just too freakin' hot! In May and June, I was so blissful with the Santa Monica weather - which made me suspicious. So I went to and looked at the monthly averages. Sure enough, August and September are supposed to be the hot months here.

Today, I can definitely feel it!!! Thank God for air conditioning!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Our First Bike Night!

(Kitty) John found out that there is a "Bike Night" every Tuesday up at Universal CityWalk. It's sponsored by the Saddleback Restaurant, which ropes off a huge area in front of the restaurant for the motorcycles to park (FREE parking, I might add, which is HUGE in LA) as well as a 20% discount off food and drinks for the bike riders.

We rode up there last night to check it out. Inexplicably, the traffic was awful. Yes, that is sarcasm. But it was still a nice ride. Took us over an hour to get up there, and about 50 minutes to get home. That's because we still don't ride on the freeways. Which is fine. We took some streets we normally don't drive, saw some things we normally don't see when we're driving a car, talked at the red lights. It was fun. :)

Anyway, so we got up there and we were in the 50% of bikes that were nice but not special. Then we walked around and looked at the other bikes (like everyone else at Universal CityWalk was doing). Some had interesting colored lighting, some had amazing paint jobs, some were part of a club or whatever with the club name painted on all the bikes. One was even some kind of 3-wheeler with 2 wheels in front and 1 wheel in the center in the back, and it had two bucket seats side-by-side. Sort of reminded me of a dune buggy, but I have no idea what it was. Had a great paint job, though!

So we parked, immediately took off our riding jackets because it's August and still hot after dark, and walked around the shops. Then we meandered back to the restaurant for a surprisingly pleasant dining experience. By some fluke, we were seated in a dark corner in front of two TVs - one playing baseball highlights and one playing music videos. Between the two TVs, the kissing, the two guitarists who came by and played "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" by The Eagles for us, the great waiter named Lake, and the FABULOUS breaded mushrooms - we had a great night! I think our biggest problem at this point might be finding the will power not to go up every Tuesday night and blow our "dining out" budget! LOL!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Plans

(Kitty) Hi everyone! If you're wondering why I'm posting all the time and not John, it's because he has to work 60 hours a week. Since he doesn't like the idea of working weekends, he tries to get all his hours in Monday through Friday. That means he's exhausted by Saturday and has no interest in typing. :) I am trying to update you. We went to Siggraph, the annual visual effects convention, on Tuesday of this week. Very cool! I've never been to it and I thought it was so interesting, especially the emerging technology! I wanted to drop everything and become a research assistant! LOL!

John talked to a lot of people and gave away more than a dozen resumes and demo reels. (We put together a very cool package to hand out.) A couple places seemed particularly interested in talking to John further, so on the way home we tried to come up with a plan. We came up with a kind of A, B or C plan.

Our apartment lease ends November 15. If we renew for another year, but John gets a job outside the area, we have to pay the balance of the lease until and unless they re-rent the unit. So we're building the plans partially around that. Plan A is - Weta calls between now and Christmas and offers John a job - we move to New Zealand. (Yea!) Plan B is - a good company in San Francisco, or perhaps one in another city, calls and offers John a job - we move to that city. (From what we can glean, there aren't many companies in our local area that are going to be doing what John does between now and the end of the year.) Plan C is - no one offers John any long-term work between now and Christmas - we move to our friend Doug's near Temecula, CA, and I get a job and John goes to animation school for 18 months. way or another, it looks like we're moving in November. We just don't know where. John is totally committed now to this school he's been researching; he met with the admissions director at Siggraph, and is ready to change from being in motion capture to being in animation itself. If he gets a good job by the end of the year, we'll just keep saving while he works that job, then he'll start school when that job ends and we won't have to borrow as much in student loans. If instead he starts school in January, he's that much closer to his dream job. Either way, it looks like a win-win situation.

Now we simply have to wait and see what happens. We'll keep you updated! God bless you!
Love, Kitty & John :)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Some Firsts

(Kitty) Couple interesting firsts lately, one for a friend of mine, one for us. :) My friend Janice just sold her first book! Hurray!! You can check it out at Capstone Fiction. Janice and I are in the same writing group, so this is very exciting for us and our friends! She used to be a police officer, and now she's a novelist - writing about a police officer and her K-9 partner. Very enjoyable book!

The other first is that John and I FINALLY got to see the Tigers play!! Hurray!! We asked a couple friends of ours, Ray and Jessica, if they wanted to go. (Our friend Doug originally told us about it because he was going to the Saturday game - to root for the Angels! Little devil! But there were no more tickets left, so we went to the Sunday game.) The good part is that we've now finally seen the Detroit Tigers in person. Yea! The bad news is that they LOST 4-14 in a nearly sold out game!! (Don't laugh, Doug, or we'll have to hurt you!) There were a lot of Tigers fans there, and we were all sorely disappointed.

So now we've seen the Tigers (baseball), the Red Wings (hockey) and the Lions (football). We just need to see the Pistons (basketball) sometime and we'll be all set! :) Below are some pictures of us with Ray and Jessica. (Ray's co-worker Kara who is also from Michigan came with us, but wasn't able to get seats with us.) John's wearing his Tigers cap that his mom mailed to Austraila last year. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Too Much Fun!

(Kitty) We already showed you how cool John looks on his new motorcycle. But we haven't told you what I think of the whole thing. Well, last month John decided he was comfortable enough to try having a passenger. We tooled up and down the alley the first time and I was pretty okay with it. That is, until one of our neighbors stopped to chat (motorcycle owners/lovers are very chatty with each other) and told me about the girl he'd seen the day before on the freeway. I won't go into details, but it certainly tamped down my enthusiasm for the day!

The next time we went out, we drove down residential streets for about 20-30 minutes. That was scarier, though I wasn't scared of riding - I was afraid of falling off! So we decided to buy a backrest (aka, sissy bar - but I hate that name! LOL!) for the rear seat so I could relax. (I'd been holding on so tight to John that both my legs and my arms/neck/shoulders were tense as could be!) The first time we drove with the backrest, we rode for about an hour and a half! (We saw a lot of Santa Monica that we'd never seen before, including a canal that's a nature preserve.) John kept asking me if I was okay, but I was having a great time. Later, he said he was a little worried because I no longer had a death grip on him. LOL! This past Saturday we even rode on the PCH - Pacific Coast Highway - for an hour. Riding 45-55 mph is a little scarier than the 35-45 on surface streets, but I was game for it. We finally turned around because I couldn't feel my bum anymore. LOL!

Now that we have the backrest, and I finally found some good boots that fit (Kevlar lined, can you believe it?), and yesterday I bought a great jacket that fits and looks good on me, we'll be riding a lot more. John found out about a restaurant that has "bike night" every Tuesday night - free parking for motorcycles and all you can eat ribs for $19.95. I can't wait to go! Plus, he's going to ride to church on his bike one Sunday coming up to make sure he's comfortable with the streets (we're not riding on the freeway yet), then we can ride it to church. They even have motorcycle parking there! We already ride it to the movie theatre, and for the first time, we don't have to circle for parking! It's awesome!

I'll post more pictures of me in my new jacket later, but here are some pics of us after brunch last Sunday. I was so happy, but you can't see my huge smile! It was too hot to ride in our black leather jackets, so we went home afterward. (We usually ride from 7-9am on Saturdays and Sundays.)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wake Up! We're Back!

(Kitty) Holy cow! Until my friend Teri pointed it out, I had no idea it'd been 2 1/2 months since we last posted! Yikes! Sorry about that. All I can say is that we find life back in the States a bit more boring than in Aussie Land. :) Or at least it seems more boring to us. For the most part, we see our life as day after day of waiting, waiting, waiting. Still no "real" word about when we'll know about John's next job, but it seems as if it will be the autumn. (Meanwhile, he carries on at his current job in Santa Monica.)

Of course, once I decided I needed to think of something interesting to post here, stuff seemed to start happening! So I'll try to post once or twice a week and let you know some of the interesting stuff and show you any pictures we can take. For today, we'll share some great news about one of our dear friends!

Our friend Don Coleman graduated from Princeton Seminary and was ordained at our church, Bel Air Presbyterian, last Sunday. That was a great day! We got to see him for an hour or so, and his wife Bridgette and son Brennan we'll be able to see tomorrow for several hours. (Don had to go back to work at the church they're at now in Ohio.) We're proud and happy for Don - seems the church they're at now is full of great people - but I'm particularly happy for Bridgette because now she can be a full-time writer! Well, as much as a full-time mom can be! LOL! So I've been spending a little time every day this week thinking of things she needs to know, books she needs to read, people she needs to meet! Hopefully, I won't overwhelm her!

Below are pictures of Don's ordination. More catch-up stories coming up!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Our Trip to Arizona

Hey everyone. I wanted to post some pictures of all of our friends that we visited in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago. It was WONDERFUL seeing everyone and we even enjoyed the Arizona weather a little bit too! We drove around and saw some sights and then spent hours catching up with our friends the Gregg's on Friday night. We spent all of Saturday with each of our collective friends - Kitty with her writing group Imaginary Friends (who she insists are real,) and me with a whole bunch of my gaming friends. And then went to church and spent the afternoon with the Bonnell's.

Thanks to everyone for making it a great time!

Kitty's friends Andrea and Shonna.

The Gregg Family.

More of Kitty's friends - Heather and Stephanie.

One of our Godchildren - Jessdyn.

Two handsome guys - Jessie and Me.

Kitty and Jamie.

My friends (from the left) Jason, Ivan, Jon and me.

The gang.

John and Jessie with food.

Kitty and I about to fly to AZ.

Us and the Foster's (Heather in front is our other Godchild.)

Brad and Dawn Gregg and Us.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Mountain Biking Men

Dwight has been trying to get me to ride with him for a couple of weeks. I finally had some time open and was able to go riding with him on some fire roads on a beautiful Saturday morning. Dwight found a fire road that ended at an old Cold War era radar station (a couple pictures of us are actually at the station). I'm glad the thing that some of the pictures don't show is how utterly tired and winded both of us were after the ride.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

An Easter Poem

Kitty: Happy Easter, everyone! I was shopping on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica last week and, among the "usual" street people there, I saw a man with a sign that said something like, "Will read poem for $1." I walked up to him smiling and said, "That's too unusual, I have to hear your poem."

After he read it to me, the man gave me a copy. He'd made copies to give to everyone who listened. I liked it so much, I asked him if I could share it with my friends and he agreed. So here is an Easter poem written by a very nice gentleman named Royce. God bless you, Royce!

I Know What I Think
by Royce Hummer

Easter time again
The candy companies love this time of year
Spring in the air
A new beginning
Summer around the bend
Don't forget to turn your clock ahead
And oh! How could we forget
That big pink bunnie
All the above are the things most people think about this time of year
Fine and dandy
Why is it we don't wanna think about the main event
I know some don't believe
But what if the story is true
Where will you be
Can't change in mid stream
I know what I think
A man named Jesus walked on this Earth
Song of God, who's to say
Is there a God at all
I know what I think
Was he raised from death
I have no problem with that
You think we came from nowhere
It all just happened
Thinking like that is like standing on a muddy slope
So go ahead and hug your make believe rabbit
I know what I think

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Happy Feet on DVD!

Kitty - Hi guys! If you have little kids, you probably already know this, but Happy Feet just came out on DVD on Tuesday. (It's on sale at a Target near you for $15.99 this week!) I don't know if John can stand the thought of seeing it again so soon, but I'm going to watch it again soon. I love that movie! I listen to the soundtrack (one of my Christmas presents) a lot, too. Great stuff.

I'm spending this week catching up on things I have been neglecting - taxes, household chores, etc. Then I'll start working on book two on Monday - probably at the beach! I have to say, I really can't complain about my life! LOL! Oh, and if you're one of the 243 people whose email is still sitting in my Inbox, or one of the dozen or more people I promised to call and chat with - please be patient and forgive me! I'm getting to it all! Honest! Just got to get those prickly taxes done first! (grin)

Hope you're all having a great day and week!
Love and Hugs!
Kitty :)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Kitty

March 24 was Kitty's Birthday! (Would have gotten this up sooner, but been a little busy.)
We went to our friend Doug's house where we kicked back, relaxed, and celebrated with a BBQ Kitty's and Doug's brother, David's, birthday.
Write Kitty and ask her how old she is if you want to know (I'm to scared of retribution to put it up on the blog.)


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


JOHN - Well, it's DONE!! Kitty finished and sent her book off to her agent Monday! She has been a little busy and hasn't had time to post, so I thought I would let everyone know! Her agent will read it in about two weeks due to all the other books that people submitted before Kitty. I asked her if she is going to take a break, and Kitty said that she would take a week or two off, but she would start outlining her second book soon.

Watch for her soon on the New York Best Sellers list!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dirty Bomb Diaries

JOHN - Our friend Eric Tozzi is directing a real riveting web series called The Dirty Bomb Diaries! It is the story of a lone woman who is in her apartment when a dirty bomb is detonated in the same city.
He has directed other things in the past, but this one has a lot of people hooked!

Check it out at:

Or the MySpace sight at:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cool Car

Here is another blast from the past thanks to my cousin Paul. This is of my dad and uncle (my Uncle Bob is on the left and my dad, Tom, on the right) standing in front of a 1955 or a 1956 Mercury Montclair. Not sure where the picture was taken, maybe Indiana, where they lived for a while.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Cool Crew

I have to thank my cousin Paul for these great pictures. He has recently set to scanning in a bunch of old photos of us and our dads. This one shows Paul, David and I outside Paul's house when we were little tykes. David is on the left, Paul in the middle, I'm on the right. (When I was a kid, my mom always dressed me in green's and brown's so she could tell us apart.)

More photos will be posted later.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Going Hog Wild?

O.K., it's not a hog, but I did just buy a friend's motorcycle. I was looking at a Harley Davidson 883 Sportster from a local dealer. My friend Myk heard this and called to tell me that they are considering moving back up to San Francisco and offered to sell me his bike to help fund a possible move, and give his garage a little more space for a newer car for his wife. So I bought his Yamaha 650 V-Star Classic. I have been riding mostly on neighborhood streets and on a couple major traffic roads. Kitty seems very happy with my bike and wants me to practice a lot so I can get her on the back of the bike soon.

I have all the stuff needed: leather jacket - check, full bike helmet with the Hot Wheels logo on the side - check, and a new pair of motorcycle boots - check! Myk even sold me his gloves, chaps, a pair of extra helmets, and a small leather jacket that fits Kitty to a T. Had thought about getting an tattoos or growing myself a handlebar mustache, but Kitty quickly shot both those ideas down.
Thought for the Week

Kitty here. Thinking about the intersection of a lot of ideas in my head this past week. I've been in a new writing class, and started going to a new Bible study, and our church is doing a sermon series called "Hope: Seeing Through Tears" during Lent. Two things have really stuck with me regarding being a better writer, and a better/happier person.

Be grateful.

Enjoy what you do.

They really kind of relate to each other. If I'm focusing on what I can thank God for in my life, I can keep my mind on the positive things - things that make me happy in one way or another. When I'm focused like that, particularly when I'm working, I can relax and enjoy my work more. As a writer, when I relax and enjoy my work, I do a better job, too!

The great part about this is that if you're looking for things to be grateful for, you'll find some. Then when you tell God thank you for this and that, you feel more grateful and remember more things to be grateful for. Then you tell God, "Hey, and thanks for this, too!" and then you're feeling more grateful, and finding more things to be grateful for, etc., etc.

I suspect John would call this my butterfly theory. Why? Because when we pray together and I'm in a grateful frame of mind, I thank God for everything - including butterflies, green grass, blue sky, the beach, etc., etc! It makes John a little crazy sometimes, but I think God likes it. :)

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hollywood Votes Happy Feet

HURRAY!! Happy Feet danced its way into Hollywood hearts and won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Our Inboxes were flooded with messages from co-workers and friends all wishing congratulations.

For me, it's still hard to believe that I spent a year in Sydney, Australia, working with a bunch of incredibly talented people. I look at some of my past work that I did on other projects and realize that it was truly GOD Almighty that got me that job. There is no way any sane person would have hired me to work on a major motion picture with my old resume. It is a real honor to list Happy Feet on my resume and to tell people proudly that I was one of the artists entrusted to help make Mumble dance.

Thanks to ALL of our friends who showed us support and offered their congratulations. We know without you guys, we wouldn't have made it as far as we did.

This is a picture from the Sydney Daily Telegraph showing Animal Logic employees celebrating after the Oscar win.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Crows and Cockatoos

Kitty - Yesterday I was sitting on my bed writing and my brain began to notice some loud noise outside. When I finally looked up and tried to place it, I laughed out loud! It was about 4:30 in the afternoon and some crows were making a really raucous racket! When we lived in Sydney, the same thing would happen about the same time. In the late afternoon, the cockatoos would fly past our apartment calling out in such a raucous tone that John dubbed them pterodactyls!

It kind of made me miss our old home there. Well, I miss everything except the cockroaches.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Strange Thoughts

I was listening to someone talk about the death of Anna Nicole Smith on the radio. The man prefaced his thought with, "I hate to speak ill of the dead, but..." And I wondered, why do people say that? What do they think that? It's okay to speak ill of the living apparently - people do it all the time. But someone dies and suddenly people get all pseudo-respectful.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we tried to be respectful to each other now?

Just my thoughts. What do you think?
Kitty :)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Yahoo Group

From Kitty - Hi everyone! We're trying to come up with great ways to stay in touch with all our friends and family without having our personal information on the Internet for all to see. So we created a Yahoo Group. If you join it, you'll get occasional emails from us with the latest news (not unlike what we post here), some pictures (again, not unlike here), our Christmas newsletter (which won't be posted here), and our updated contact information (which will never be posted here.) :)

Over the next week, we'll be sending invitations to all the email addresses we have for people we think might be interested. If you haven't gotten an invitation and want one, search the Yahoo Groups site for "johnandkittysfanclub" (John and Kitty's Fan Club) and click on the button that says, Join This Group. Be sure to put your full name in the comments section so we know who you are. And if you're a friend of old finding us on the web, be sure to remind us how we know you, especially if your name has changed. We won't want to add anyone we don't know, and we'll be on the lookout for spam. :)

If you're having problems figuring out how it works, just email us and we'll try to walk you through it. (I'll try to write up a how-to that I can send out to people.) Meanwhile, have a great weekend! We're off to see "Pan's Labyrinth" soon. Hope it's good.

Cheers! :)

P.S. Please forgive John for not posting much. He's working long hours again.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Spiritual Lessons From the Barenaked Ladies

From Kitty - Yeah, I know it's weird, but sometimes it's funny when you realize how many things remind you of God. So I was out walking this morning with my iPod going and "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies came on. I love that song - fast and quirky and makes me want to dance.

But as I was listening today, the song really reminded me of how amazing God's grace is! To paraphrase it, they sing:

It's been one week since you said, "I'm angry." Five days since you said, "Get it together, then come back and see me." Three days since I realized it's all my fault. Yesterday, you forgave me. But it'll still be two days till I say, "I'm sorry."

This is EXACTLY how God is with me! He lets me know through the Bible or a sermon or a friend or just in my heart that I've done something wrong. If I don't do anything about it, He moves me to feel like I should go think about it for a while, and He's always open for me to come back and talk to Him about it.

Then it usually takes even more time for me to realize He's right and I'm wrong. But - and this is the amazing grace part - He is ready to forgive me even before I'm ready to ask for forgiveness!! So when I do ask, He's ready to say, "Done! I forgive you." And then we can go back to being happy and close and together again.

It's funny how God really is in everything!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Most Wonderful Place in the World

From Kitty - No, not Disney World. The LIBRARY. I just love that word. It reminds me of every wonderful place I've ever been. The musty smell of my childhood library lent atmosphere to the world Anne of Green Gables lives in. The dark basement of an old library makes a thriller even scarier. The high-tech look of a new one makes you want to go shopping at Best Buy. And the joys of finding a big one...ahhhh...thank you, God!!

Where did this come from? I finally got my Santa Monica library card yesterday! Hurray!!!! The library is SOO big and has a HUGE fiction section and a HUMONGOUS "New Fiction" section, as well as tables with outlets to plug in your laptop. Plus there are FOUR branches in the 12 sq mile city, so I'm walking distance from TWO of them! Ohhh, I'm in love!

The best (worst? I don't have much time right now!) part was finding two books I've been wanting to read right in front of my face in the New Fiction area. I checked out Karen Marie Moning's DARKFEVER and Diana Peterfreund's SECRET SOCIETY GIRL. I was up till 3:20am putting all my data in Quicken as part of my goal to be more organized this year. But I couldn't help myself - I read Karen's book for another 20 minutes! (I'm going to wiped today!)

Monday looks to be a great day already - walking John to work and then walking to the library with my laptop to write until John gets out for lunch. Then we'll walk home together. Doesn't that sound almost blissful?! LOL!!!

Hope you're all having a great day, too! Oh, and forgive us for not writing recently. John is now working 9-7, and I've been crazy busy trying to get end-of-year-beginning-of-year "stuff" done. More posts - and pictures - soon!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Day 3 - The Next Step

From Kitty - I just read the dreams that two of our friends posted in the comments section. Wow! Big! HUGE! That is so great! I spoke to another friend on the phone today and we started brainstorming goals for our dreams, and steps to achieve the goals.

For one area, I have a 4-part to-do list. This is great because the to-do list for my life (which includes "fix the car door" and "mail package to Mom") is 50-60 items long. I can do 4 things. And I can do them before Stephanie and I talk again in two weeks. So I have a list, a timeline, and someone to hold me accountable. Excellent!

My goal of finishing my current novel by the end of February only has one item on the to-do list today. "Re-read the current draft." This is a little scary for me because I need to know what the second and third steps are as well. But as I said with a sigh to Stephanie today, "I guess I don't really need to know step 2 until I finish step 1 - so I better get to it!"

This reminded me of how our lives have been since God started us on our adventures. John and I joke to each other (though it's proving to be true!) that God must have the information on our future classified as "need to know" - and apparently we don't need to know! Often, particularly recently, we only know the next step when what we really want is to know the next ten steps! But if you don't do step 1, it doesn't matter.

Do you know what the next step is for you this year? Do it!

P.S. If you'd like to listen to the sermon on big dreams, click here or go to and click on recent sermons. It's the one from January 7, 2007.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Day 1 of the Rest of My Life

Thinking and planning about goals, resolutions and dreams takes up the brain-space of many a mortal this time of year. Not least of which is me, Kitty. Our pastor gave a brilliant sermon Sunday on dreams - big dreams! The kind that will never come to pass unless God is involved.

So I'm writing down goals and thinking about what kind of big dreams I have, the kind that are impossible without God's help. John already has his big dream figured out - he's sent out his updated demo reel to Weta Digital in New Zealand, and now only God can do any more to get John a job there next month.

I spent the day taking my current #1 goal - finishing this book and getting it to my agent - and breaking it down into pieces. As I read in one goal-planning article last week, the more pieces you can break your goal into, the more items get crossed off as completed, and the better you feel about yourself. This in turn lends additional motivation and courage to continuing on to the end. So...I'm off to cross another piece off my goal list.

Meanwhile, I'm still thinking about what my big dream is... Do you have one?

Friday, January 05, 2007

What's Your Goal for the New Year?

Hi friends! Kitty here with all kinds of smiles because she's met her goals for the day! I've spent a good part of the day reading articles on goal-setting. Mostly, it's because I've got to finish that book! But also, I need to get my life in order so that the important things get done and I can let the unimportant and un-done things slip away without guilt. Too much feeling guilty about unfinished to-do lists in years past!

Today my goal was to read over the goal-setting articles, begin setting some goals, and say hello to you here on our blog! Done, done and done! Hurray!

So tell us - what are some of your goals for 2007? Watch more James Bond movies? (Seems like a good year to do it.) Lose some weight and/or exercise more? (We're in that boat this year. The goodbye dinners in Sydney, the welcome home dinners in Los Angeles, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's put us up about 10 lbs (4 kg) each. Eeek!) Or maybe you want to stay in touch with your friends and family better. That's us, too - and the reason why we're going to try harder to write you here and say hi at least twice a week.

Comment here and let us know your goals this year. Writing it down adds power and conviction - at least more than not writing it down at all! Good luck and God bless you!!