Archive for August, 2010

My Review of Bugle Beaded Swimsuit w/Tummy Control

Originally submitted at

A spray of silver bugle beads makes a bold statement on this sleek and flattering one-piece swimsuit.

  • Sewn-in soft foam cups and elastic underbust band enhance and support. Power mesh panel for tummy control. Cotton comfort liner. Stretch. Imported.
  • Nylon…

Bugle Beaded Swimsuit w/Tummy Control


By Swimsuit-less in summer from Southern California on 8/25/2010


1out of 5

I ordered this product by expedited shipping; I was not given a tracking number and it showed up too late for the event for which I needed it. Customer service was not helpful. Now I don’t need it and am returning it, only to find out 1) I’ll be charged for sending it back and 2) it will take up to three weeks to process my refund. Won’t be shopping here any more.


Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Church Beach Trip 2010: Lessons, and a Girl Named Jelisa…

Hello all!

It’s been a while since the Neal’s have written an update, but yesterday was the annual North Hills Church beach trip. This was the 10th year of the trip and our first time going since joining NH in 2007.

Not only was it a great time with friends, but we got to ride the train. It’s so great to once again be in an area where we can see trains; Andree’ grew up near what was a well-used train track as a child so it has been great for her to see the freighters go by every day. She works in San Bernardino City and has the opportunity to see the MetroLink trains as she drives to work, but neither she nor Christopher or Khalil have ridden one before. It’s been forever ago since Christopher or Andree’ even rode a New Jersey Transit or SEPTA back east (and we saw some NJ Transit cars at the San Bernardino train yard yesterday–brought back memories…).

So the train traveled from San Bernardino station to Oceanside, which took a little over 2 hours. There were already quite a few folks out on the beach when we got there and the water was cold. However, that did not stop the family from getting out there. Khalil was not to keen about getting wet, but Christopher and Andree’ continued to drag him out into the water; he resisted and spent a good portion of the day way up on the sand. Andree’ spent pretty much the whole day in the water; she’s been missing the shore (it’s tough to leave the water when it’s in you from birth…even if it was experienced on the other side of the continent…).

In the course of her time in the water, Andree’ met a girl named Jelisa. She was out in the water, enjoying the sky, watching the surfers, and squinting at the sailboats out on the horizon when suddenly this girl came out and started talking. Jelisa stayed with Andree’ out in the water for most of the next two hours, which in and of itself is a wild thing since for the most part Andree’ doesn’t do well with the little people. But obviously God had a plan by bringing Jelisa out into that patch of water because there were lessons learned.

Jelisa was not your average pre-teen girl. Or maybe she was and because of our lack of true understanding about our world we didn’t get it.

Jelisa talked about economics: she said they were poor, to which Andree’ replied that we (meaning the people she knows) basically all fall into that category, to which Jelisa replied, “Except for the rich.” Everyone was in agreement that we didn’t know anybody who truly fit that category. Good insight.

She talked about culture and race.

She talked about body image and being female.

She asked Andree’ how old she was and was amazed at the answer.

She talked about hair.

She talked about family, distant and close by.

Interestingly, Jelisa, her sister, and the adult who’d brought them to Oceanside has scoped out a patch of sand pretty much right next to the Neal compound (which consisted of three golf chairs, a cooler, and some towels), but nobody knew that until everyone had come out of the water for a break. Introductions were done all around, and we pretty much parted ways until saying good-bye around 2pm.

There’s more to the story that won’t be written here, but is written on the heart. We are haunted by and cry for the Jelisas of the world, wanting nothing more but the attentions of a woman-stranger who just might listen to them. We want to take them home, feed and clothe them, make them feel safe and cared for.

When you pray, be sure to lift one up for Jelisa and the millions of other girls (and boys) like her. Whoever made that statement about the children being our future was spot on and we need to be sure they have a chance at a future so that there will be strong people to take over when we are old.

Wishes for peace, sunshine, and cool oceans to lift your spirits.

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 Miscellaneous Updates No Comments