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Olive Crest: Unwanted to Treasured

by Olive Crest

Tommy started life disadvantaged. Prenatally exposed to methamphetamines, he weighed only 4 lbs, 3 oz. Things began looking up when he and a younger sister were adopted by someone not affiliated with Olive Crest. But after a stay in a residential treament program, Tommy was abandoned. His mother and sister were gone. Tommy needed a home, and Olive Crest was tasked with finding him one.

Tommy was placed with an Olive Crest family, and it was an immediate fit. Two older foster sisters took him "under their wings." His foster mother, who is a teacher, helped Tommy prepare for returning to school where he has made new friends. The family's love of sports was catching. Tommy has taken up running and is training for a half marathon. "It's like he's always been a part of our family," his foster parents say. Tommy, who calls his foster parents "Mom & Dad," says he "likes his family very much."

It's been 3 years since he joined his Olive Crest family, and finally, Tommy feels he is where he belongs.

Inspiration for Today - Improving the Daily Grind

by Rob Zwemmer

 

IMPROVING THE DAILY GRIND! 
 
Conventional Wisdom tells us that life’s most traumatic moments provide opportunity for personal growth and discovery. More often, however, it’s the mundane, everyday trials and tribulations that really push us to discover the scope of both our achievements and our patience. 
 
We undervalue our daily functions, simply because we do them on such a regular basis. But consistently performing those “menial” jobs, and consistently performing them well, is the real gauge of accomplishment. 
 
Just trying to prevent boredom is a real challenge. You have to be careful not to neglect the “small stuff” as you look ahead to bigger and more exciting things. You needn’t be in “crisis mode” all the time, but do be aware that even your most routine responsibilities are critically important. That’s why you have to do them so often! 
 
If you’re becoming bored by your “day to day living,” then you need to “change things up.” You insult yourself with boredom – you have it within you to educate and entertain yourself, to fill your time with activities that develop your mind or your body. 
 
This is why so many people actually fear retirement. They fear they’ll have nothing to do. They’ve spent so long on “autopilot” that they have trouble imagining new routines. But there’s always volunteerism, continuing education, recreational activities and hobbies, second careers, and more. 
 
If your autopilot has taken command, imagine what you would suddenly try to do if you discovered you had one year to live. "The amount of satisfaction you get from life depends largely on your own ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness. People who wait around for life to supply their satisfaction usually find boredom instead." Those words from Dr. William Menninger show it’s only you who is responsible for your satisfaction. What will you do today to improve tomorrow?

 

IMPROVING THE DAILY GRIND!  Conventional Wisdom tells us that life’s most traumatic moments provide opportunity for personal growth and discovery. More often, however, it’s the mundane, everyday trials and tribulations that really push us to discover the scope of both our achievements and our patience.  We undervalue our daily functions, simply because we do them on such a regular basis. But consistently performing those “menial” jobs, and consistently performing them well, is the real gauge of accomplishment.  Just trying to prevent boredom is a real challenge. You have to be careful not to neglect the “small stuff” as you look ahead to bigger and more exciting things. You needn’t be in “crisis mode” all the time, but do be aware that even your most routine responsibilities are critically important.

That’s why you have to do them so often!  If you’re becoming bored by your “day to day living,” then you need to “change things up.” You insult yourself with boredom – you have it within you to educate and entertain yourself, to fill your time with activities that develop your mind or your body.  This is why so many people actually fear retirement. They fear they’ll have nothing to do. They’ve spent so long on “autopilot” that they have trouble imagining new routines. But there’s always volunteerism, continuing education, recreational activities and hobbies, second careers, and more.  If your autopilot has taken command, imagine what you would suddenly try to do if you discovered you had one year to live. "The amount of satisfaction you get from life depends largely on your own ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness. People who wait around for life to supply their satisfaction usually find boredom instead." Those words from Dr. William Menninger show it’s only you who is responsible for your satisfaction.

What will you do today to improve tomorrow?

Median Home Prices Up in Coachella Valley

by Rob Zwemmer

 

New housing reports indicate that the median price of homes and condos throughout the Coachella Valley nudged up 2 percent month-over-month to $272,500 for the month of December.
Valleywide, the median price rose 19.8 percent from December 2012, according to DataQuick, a San Diego-based Real Estate information services firm that compiles monthly housing reports from public records.
In December, the median price of single-family homes was $295,000, up 20.4 percent from the year before, according to DataQuick. The highest price for a single-family home sold was $4 million in Indian Wells. A $2.7 million home was sold in Rancho Mirage, a $1.8 million home in La Quinta, and a $1.7 million home in north Palm Springs.
The California Desert Association of Realtors reported a slightly higher median price of $325,000 for single-family homes

 

New housing reports indicate that the median price of homes and condos throughout the Coachella Valley went up 2 percent month-over-month to $272,500 for the month of December.

Valleywide, the median price rose 19.8 percent from December 2012, according to DataQuick, the San Diego-based Real Estate information service that compiles monthly housing reports from public records.

In December, the median price of single-family homes was $295,000, up 20.4 percent from the year before, according to DataQuick. The highest price for a single-family home sold was $4 million in Indian Wells. A $2.7 million home was sold in Rancho Mirage, a $1.8 million home in La Quinta, and a $1.7 million home in Palm Springs.The California Desert Association of Realtors (CDAR) reported a slightly higher median price of $325,000 for single-family homes.

"Art Under the Umbrellas" at Old Town

by Rob Zwemmer

This Saturday on February 1st, Old Town La Quinta will once again be transformed into the venue for “Art under the Umbrellas”, the popular Saturday event that takes place on designated weekends throughout the desert season. February 1st and 15th will be “Art” dates, so you will want to be sure to head out for all of the fun.

It’s a great spot to meet friends and stroll along Main St., visiting with over 80 artists and perusing their creations. You'll find everything from jewelry to fine art paintings, plus cooking demos and culinary delights.

The admission and parking are free. Visit 10am-4pm.

Inspiration for Today - How Green is Your Grass?

by Rob Zwemmer

 

Have you been sowing the seeds of your success? Are you prepared for the harvest? Those who are jealous of other people's successes often have no idea of the consequences. Yes, that rose is sweet and fragrant, but watch out for the thorns! That which you would most value always comes at some cost. 
 
Picture the most successful person in your office. Now imagine the trappings of their accomplishments - more money means more worrying about money, achievement means maintaining and even increasing that level of achievement, working so hard means having less time for personal pursuits. All the while, the competition is always on their heels. 
 
You should respect the achievements of your colleagues, but never be jealous of them. Understand that problems conquered on the way to success are simply replaced by other problems. Max Beerbohm said, "I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him." Success is a gift, but we know that nothing in life is truly free. 
 
It's wrong to believe that "the grass is always greener" on the other side of the fence. Don't cheat yourself into accepting that "the best is yet to come." If that were really true, you would never reach that elusive day when everything is as you wish - it will always be "yet to come." If you just begin to make NOW the best time of your life, NOW will always be the best time of your life, because NOW is the only time in which you live! 
 
Sure, give yourself goals and pursue them with all your heart and soul, if that's what truly makes you happy. We all need direction - the desire to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. But don't do it in the hopes of BECOMING happy. Happiness comes from enjoying what you have already achieved and are achieving right now. 
 
Respect, don't envy, the accomplishments of your peers and your competitors, and understand that they too must find their own way to accept all the trappings of their success and find happiness. You too may soon learn their secret.

 

Have you been sowing the seeds of your success? Are you prepared for the harvest? Those who are jealous of other people's successes often have no idea of the consequences. Yes, that rose is sweet and fragrant, but watch out for the thorns! That which you would most value always comes at some cost.  

Picture the most successful person in your office. Now imagine the trappings of their accomplishments - more money means more worrying about money, achievement means maintaining and even increasing that level of achievement, working so hard means having less time for personal pursuits. All the while, the competition is always on their heels.  You should respect the achievements of your colleagues, but never be jealous of them. Understand that problems conquered on the way to success are simply replaced by other problems.

Max Beerbohm said, "I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him." Success is a gift, but we know that nothing in life is truly free.  It's wrong to believe that "the grass is always greener" on the other side of the fence. Don't cheat yourself into accepting that "the best is yet to come." If that were really true, you would never reach that elusive day when everything is as you wish - it will always be "yet to come." If you just begin to make NOW the best time of your life, NOW will always be the best time of your life, because NOW is the only time in which you live!  Sure, give yourself goals and pursue them with all your heart and soul, if that's what truly makes you happy. We all need direction - the desire to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. But don't do it in the hopes of BECOMING happy. Happiness comes from enjoying what you have already achieved and are achieving right now.  

Respect, don't envy, the accomplishments of your peers and your competitors, and understand that they too must find their own way to accept all the trappings of their success and find happiness. You too may soon learn their secret.

Olive Crest: Unwavering Devotion

by Olive Crest

Chris, Tommy & Sam: Lives Transformed

Chris and his older brother Tommy were placed with an Olive Crest foster family, while his younger brother Sam was placed with an aunt. It was a very difficult time in Chris' life, as an adoptive placement for three boys had fallen through. He missed his brother very much, and was struggling in school. In state testing, he barely achieved "basic" in all his subjects. With the loving support and encouragement of his foster parents, Chris has been able to trust and is beginning to thrive. At school, he was recognized for achieving the highest math score on the state test. Yet, that wasn't the best part of the year for Chris. When his aunt could no longer care for Sam, Chris' Olive Crest parents welcomed his sibling into the family, reuniting the three brothers once again. It was an emotional moment when the young boy walked into his new home and the arms of his brother, Chris, who cried with joy.


To find out more about Olive Crest, visit:  www.OliveCrest.org

Super Bowl Party? Try Out These Recipes...

by Rob Zwemmer

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Original recipe makes 8 Servings.

 1 onion, chopped

 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans

 1 (15 ounce) can black beans

 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning

 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

 shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

 sour cream (optional)

 crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

--------------------------

Stuffed Mushrooms

Original recipe makes 12 large mushrooms.

 12 whole fresh mushrooms

 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

 1 tablespoon minced garlic

 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

-----------------------------

Artichoke & Spinach Dip Restaurant Style

Original recipe makes 12 servings.

 4 cloves garlic

 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce

 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.

In an 8x8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and cream cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.


Go Teams!


Olive Crest: Carlo, A Life Transformed

by Olive Crest

Self-proclaimed failure becomes college bound...

Since the age of four, Carlo had lived in 19 different group homes, foster homes, and relative placements. He ran away time and again because he did not feel safe.

Like any teenager, Carlo tested the boundaries when he arrived at Olive Crest. He didn't like the rules of the house and challenged the authority of staff members. He was defensive and rebuffed attempts by staff to make a connection with him. The staff did all they could to make Carlo feel safe, loved, and worth all that he was - something he didn't believe. Most of his life he had been told he would not amount to anything. Olive Crest was just going to be another place where he failed.

The Olive Crest team noticed immediately how intelligent this young man was. Carlo even mentioned once that he wanted to be a lawyer. So, when Carlo began to argue, instead of shutting him down, the staff began encouraging healthy debates among Carlo and his peers. Eventually, Carlo realized Olive Crest was unwavering in its support, guidance, and belief in him, and he allowed the staff to help him.

At 18, Carlo has grown to be a fine young man. His daily behavior reflects how much he has learned and changed. Now he is a role model and the first to counsel his peers when they are being disrepectful and defiant toward staff. With help from Olive Crest donors and staff, Carlo enjoyed the full senior experience - prom, graduation ceremony and grad night. He is now enrolled in college.


To find out more about Olive Crest, log on to www.olivecrest.org

Inspiration for Today -- Success & Failure

by Rob Zwemmer

 

 
Success and failure - people love taking credit for their achievements, but often blame outside factors when they fail or fall short. We have the power to accomplish our objectives, but when we fail to use that power to our advantage, we tend to fall back on excuses. The trick is to stop making excuses and accept full responsibility for all of our actions and reactions. 
 
Instead of wondering why something happened to you, start wondering how you could have reacted differently. Your response to any given incident defines your power (or lack thereof) to produce the results you seek. Consider the following formula presented in Jack Canfield's book, "The Success Principles": 
 
E + R = O, where E is the Event, R is your Response to the Event, and O is the Outcome. 
 
Thus, every single Outcome you experience is the direct result of how you Respond to a given Event. The Event is an unchangeable constant, but your Response is the variable that changes the Outcome. 
 
Our choice of two options determines our level of happiness and success. Either A. Blame the Event for lack of the desired Outcome, or B. Change our Response until we achieve the desired Outcome. In today's inspiring quote, option A is for the "weak" and option B is for the "wise." 
 
An old Swedish proverb says, "The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm." Don't look to outside people or circumstances when planning to achieve your goals. When you realize - and start acting like - you are 100% responsible, it's amazing how much power you feel. Many of the greatest achievers in history faced seemingly insurmountable outside forces, but obviously it was not those forces that were the deciding factor - it was how they faced those challenges. You too can stop making excuses and take control of your reactions and results - and you can start right now. 

Success and failure - people love taking credit for their achievements, but often blame outside factors when they fail or fall short. We have the power to accomplish our objectives, but when we fail to use that power to our advantage, we tend to fall back on excuses. The trick is to stop making excuses and accept full responsibility for all of our actions and reactions.  Instead of wondering why something happened to you, start wondering how you could have reacted differently. Your response to any given incident defines your power (or lack thereof) to produce the results you seek. Consider the following formula presented in Jack Canfield's book, "The Success Principles":  E + R = O, where E is the Event, R is your Response to the Event, and O is the Outcome.  Thus, every single Outcome you experience is the direct result of how you Respond to a given Event. The Event is an unchangeable constant, but your Response is the variable that changes the Outcome.  Our choice of two options determines our level of happiness and success. Either A. Blame the Event for lack of the desired Outcome, or B. Change our Response until we achieve the desired Outcome. In today's inspiring quote, option A is for the "weak" and option B is for the "wise."  An old Swedish proverb says, "The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm." Don't look to outside people or circumstances when planning to achieve your goals. When you realize - and start acting like - you are 100% responsible, it's amazing how much power you feel. Many of the greatest achievers in history faced seemingly insurmountable outside forces, but obviously it was not those forces that were the deciding factor - it was how they faced those challenges. You too can stop making excuses and take control of your reactions and results - and you can start right now. 

Open Houses at Mtn View Country Club, Sat 1/11

by Rob Zwemmer

On Saturday, January 11, visit Mountain View Country Club in La Quinta to see our Open Homes from 1-4pm!

Click on the following links for property details:

 

 
 
 

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