Category Archives: Weekly News Columns

The Name of a Road

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

By Pastor Mark Hopper

I love history and biographies. I enjoy learning about the lives of people and their journeys through life. It is fascinating to learn how a road or a street got its name. Recently I was driving down a major road in Scottsdale, Arizona and the saw a sign on a side street named “Joe Foss Way”.  I suspect that very few drivers even notice the street and even fewer know who Joe Foss was.  But I actually saw Joe Foss at Scottsdale Bible Church when I was a teenager.

Joe Foss was the first American Ace in the Pacific in World War Two. He was a cigar smoking, hard drinking fighter pilot who was the first American to shot down five Japanese planes in the war.  After the war his life changed dramatically when he became a Christian.  He was elected Governor of South Dakota and was one of the people featured in Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation.

There is another road that you will see along Interstate Five between Los Angeles and San Diego. If you watch carefully you will see a sign that reads, John Basilone Memorial Highway.  This sign is near the Marine Base at Camp Pendleton.

I did not know anything about John Basilone until I watched the HBO series about World War Two in the Pacific. I learned that John Basilone fought in the bloody battles on Guadalcanal in the south Pacific in 1942. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his courage and bravery in the brutal combat against the Japanese.

He came home to a hero’s welcome but decided to dedicate himself to training other Marines for future combat.  Instead of just training them he decided lead his fellow Marines in the landings on Iwo Jima in 1945.  In the midst of this terrible combat, John Basilone was killed. The nation was stunned that a Medal of Honor recipient would go back into battle with his fellow Marines and give his life to help win the war.

These are just two examples. There are countless streets and highways that bear the names of men and women who have been recognized for their service and sacrifice in the military and in public safety. Let me encourage you to research some of the names that you see along the streets and highways in your community. You will be glad you did!  

This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper of Efree Church of Diamond Bar. Sunday Services are held at 9:00 am & 10:45 am at 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd. You can contact the church at 909.594.7604 or visit them online at Efreedb.org

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Attitude is Everything

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

Do you see a half filled glass as half empty or as half full?  Do you tend to see what’s wrong with your life or do you focus on what is right with your life?  Would you consider yourself a negative person or a positive person?  Do you wake up everyday being happy do be alive and hopeful about a new day or do you dread getting up?

            The way that you have answered the above questions is probably also the way that you live your life and the way you view your life. I believe having a positive attitude is foundational in being a successful human being.  Being positive,is essential to everything good that comes with this life.  I think it all starts by being positive about who you are and about behaving in a manner that makes you proud of whom you are.  Generally, if you like who you areand are a good person, people will like you as well.  Also, if you like who you are, you will wantonly the best for yourself.  This will cause you to go to college; get a good job, find a good mate and believe that you can make your dreams comes true.

            On the other hand, being negative only prevents you from following your dreams.  Being negative also causes a lot of self doubt and really gets in the way of accomplishments.  Learn to look at the good in your life and at what you have done right so far.  Learn from your mistakes but don’t focus on them, otherwise your life will feel like one big mistake.  Look at all that you already have going right for you and learn to build on the positive and if you do, more positive will come to you!!!!!

 This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A.,M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909)2290727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net. You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.com.

Lost in New York City

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. Sunday Services are 9 am and 10:45 am. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.

By Mark Hopper

     Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to New York City.  I had been there 30 years ago on a trip with my father and my wife had been there about 20 years ago with two girl friends. But, we had never been in New York City together.

     We had a great time seeing the sights and enjoying things together.  We stayed at a small hotel near Times Square.  It was fun to see the huge billboards illuminated at night and amazing to see the large crowds of people filling the area.

     We went to see two Broadway shows while wewere in New York. We were able to walk from our hotel to the theaters.  We saw the Carol King musical “Beautiful” and the Disney musical “Aladdin”. We really enjoyed both of them.

     We rode the “Hop on – Hop off” bus tour around the city.  This enabled us to get off at some specific locations we wanted to see.  The tour also allowed us to hear a lot about the history and highlights of Manhattan.  We went to the top of the Empire State Building and we also visited the “9-11 Memorial”.  We actually saw the name of James Hopper listed as one of those who died when the Twin Towers collapsed.  We don’t know who this was but the name caught our attention.

     There is so much more we could have done and seen, but we really enjoyed our short visit to New York City.  However, we did get lost a few times as we walked through different parts of town.  We had to stop and ask for help several times trying to navigate our way around the city.  People were very helpful.

     One night before we went to a Broadway show,we went to a nice restaurant near the theater.  My wife’s cousin lives in Long Island and she was able to drive into the city and join us for dinner and the show.  The restaurant was packed.  Thankfully, we had reservations and were seated right away.  The food was great and we were glad to spend time with her cousin.  After dinner, we walked right across the street to the theater.  

     After the show, we went back to the restaurant to pick up our “left overs” that they kept in their frig for us.  We walked her cousin back to her car and then walked through Times Square back to our hotel.

     The next day after our the tour of Manhattan and decided to try to get last minute tickets to another Broadway show.  We stood in line at the box office and were glad that there were tickets for a show that night.  However, when I went to pay for our purchase, I discovered that my Visa credit card was missing!  Where was my credit card?  It was lost in New York!

 I shared in my last article that my wife and I enjoyed a memorable trip to New York City.  We went to the top of the Empire State Building and visited the 9-11 Memorial.  We also enjoyed two Broadway shows.  But, my credit card got lost!  I had all my other cards, but the Visa card was gone.

     We were able to purchase the theater tickets with another credit card, but now the search began.  Where was my credit card?  We had made several purchases during the day but most of those were with cash.  We tried to think back to where we had been during the past 24 hours.  Should we call the credit card company and report the lost card?  What should we do?  Where could it be? It was lost in New York!

     I knew that one place I had used the credit card was at dinner last night before the show.  I called the restaurant to see if I had left it there.  They took my name and information and said they would call back if they found anything.  It was clear that they were very busy.  I decided to walk from our hotel to the restaurant to talk with someone personally.  One of the employees said this happens a lot and she went to check in the office to see if my card was there.

     I held my breath and said a short prayer hoping that had my credit card. After several minutes, the employee came back with my credit card in hand!  She asked for my ID to make sure I really was the owner and then gave the card back to me.  I must have left the card on our table when I was signing for the check and packing up our left over food as we were leaving for the show.

     We were scheduled to leave New York the next morning.  We might have never recovered the card if I had not walked back to the restaurant that night.  What a relief!  I was so thankful to find my lost card.  My wife said that she was thankful that I was the one who lost it and not her!  We celebrated by sharing a slice of New York Cheese Cake!

     There is a parable in the Bible that talks about a woman who lost a valuable coin in Luke chapter 15.  She had nine other coins, but searched her house for the one that was missing.  When she finally found it, she  invited her friends and neighbors to celebrate with her.  She rejoiced when she found it.  The point of this parable is that there is rejoicing in heaven when one “lost” person is “found” and comes to faith in Jesus.  

     I know that all of us have lost something -the car keys, a wallet, a  purse or even a credit card.  It sure feels good when you finally find it, especially in New York City! 


Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. Sunday Services are 9 am and 10:45 am. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.

Diamond Bar Housing Market Falters Too!

Nef Cortez

By Nef Cortez

I wrote last week on the California housing market as reported by the California Association of Realtors’ (C.A.R.) on the subject of the statewide faltering housing market in California.  The data showed that for first time in nearly two years, the rate of home sales in California fell below the 400,000 level for the fourth straight month to 399,600.  The sales rate declined 1.8 % from July, and down 6.6% from August 2017.

The Diamond Bar housing market reflected similarities to that of the State, with the sales number falling in the 2nd quarter by 24 units, going down to 101 units sold from 125 for the same period in 2017. (This number only includes the Single Family Detached homes transferred in the City of Diamond Bar within this period of time.) This drop represents a decline of 19.2%, a substantial number for Diamond Bar sales.

According to data extracted from the California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS), the housing market in Diamond Bar also reflected an increase in the Median Sales Price (MSP) of $30,000, going up from $720,000 in the 2nd Quarter 2017 to $750,000 for the same period in 2018.  This mirrored the State’s rate of price appreciation, and in Diamond Bar it represents an increase in the MSP of 4.2%. For comparison’s sake, the previous period reflected an increase in the MSP of $50,000, an annual appreciation of 7.4%.

The Diamond Bar housing market has seen a greater deceleration of price appreciation than the statewide level.  Diamond Bar’s numbers reflected a deceleration rate of nearly 44%, quite a bit more than the 24% number reflected statewide, which dropped from an annual increase of 7.2% down to the 5.5 % rate reported this last month.

The key to these numbers is that the affordability of homes is reaching a point where less than 1/3 of the households can afford to purchase the median sale priced home in California. What percent of current homeowners do you think would be able to qualify for the Median Sales Priced home in Diamond Bar, which now stands at $750,000.  (Write to me and give me your opinion or give me your estimate at my e-mail address below)

This article was written by Nef Cortez who is a licensed Real Estate Broker, Ca BRE # 00560181, licensed since 1976. He can be reached for more information via e-mail at nefcortez@gmail.com, or website http://www.nefcortez.com. Please feel free to email any questions regarding real estate.

 

 

 

Breaking Ground

By Mark Hopper

 

Recently, my wife and I were able to attend the Ground Breaking service for Vantage Point Church in Eastvale, California.  Our effort to launch a new church in this new community actually started 15 years ago in January, 2003.

 

Several families from our church had moved to this new community in 2000-2002.  It was called Corona Valley at that time.  Developers were buying up the Dairy Farms in area from Archibald to the 15 Freeway along Lymonite Road. Hundreds of homes were being built at attractive prices.  I often said that you could buy twice the house for half the price in Eastvale.

 

In early 2003, a family from our church asked me if I would help them start a Bible study in their new neighborhood.  Their names were Greg and Carol Crawford.  They invited neighbors and we launched a Bible study in Eastvale in their new home.

 

However, we quickly sensed that we should do more than have a Bible study – we should start a new church in this rapidly growing community.  There were three things we began to pray for – a leader, a location to meet and land for a future church site.

In 2007, God provided two leaders – Mark Lee and Tom Lanning from our church staff in Diamond Bar.  They offered to enlist the people from the Bible study and recruit people from Diamond Bar to launch a new church in Eastvale.   About 40 people banded together to launch this new church.

 

Throughout the summer of 2007, these people worked hard to promote the new church.  They handed out free bottles of cold water to people driving their cars near Hamner and Lymonite.  They gave away free gas and did free car washes to meet people in the community.  In September, they launched preview services once-a-month in a local Middle School.  And, in February 2008, they launched weekly church services with 200 people coming the first Sunday.  As the church grew, they were able to move to the auditorium at Roosevelt High School.  They now have four church services at the high school with about 2,000 people attending each week.

 

The church was able to purchase ten acres of land on Archibald Road just north of the Santa Ana River in Eastvale.  Our church in Diamond Bar gave a generous gift to help with the down payment.  The land had been a dairy farm.  On Sunday, September 29, 2018, church leaders broke ground to begin construction on their new facility.  It was a historic moment with about 1500 people on the property to celebrate and dedicate this land for the future site of Vantage Point Church.

 

It will take time to construct and complete this new facility.  I am sure their will be roadblocks and unforeseen challenges ahead.  This has been a remarkable journey.  We prayed for a leader and God provided two.  We prayed for a location for them to meet in and God provided a Middle School and eventually a High School.  We prayed for land and God provided 10 acres in the middle of this beautiful new community.  We are very thankful.

 

If live near Eastvale and don’t have a church home, I hope you will visit Vantage Point.  You can find information on their services and ministries on their website.  If you live near Diamond Bar, I hope you will visit our church on a Sunday morning.  I think you will be glad you did and we will too!

 

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd

Efreedb.org

 

As Good As It Gets

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

 

Have you ever had a moment that just feels totally perfect?  Do you ever go through chunks of time feeling so in sink with the world?  Isn’t it just wonderful when you feel that blissful momentum just carrying though.  These are the times I believe that things feel as good as they can possible get.  This is the mode I strive to live my life in.  To me there is nothing quit as wonderful as feeling that just for a moment or a day that life is a good as it could possibly be? I think these are the times that we truly are so blessed to feel a little bit of heaven on earth.

It seems to me the more I live my life the way I’m intended to I’m honored with more and more of these as good as it gets moments.  For me they come at different times and during various activities.  I can be with a client in session and they finally see what they have been needing to see to heal and that is as good as it gets.  Just recently I took my ten year old grandson and my son to Knott’s Berry Farm and I watched my grandson light up as he experienced all the rides and our time together there.  To me, that’s as good as it gets.  My mother is still alive at ninety-two and hanging out with her, well that’s as good as it gets.  Every morning my dog Midnight and I go walking for miles and we start our day together out in nature and that is as good as it gets.  Every time I hear music or see something that ignites my spirit, I just know instinctually it’s a good as it gets.

I hope all of you get to experience this wonderful feeling.  It’s about striving to live the best life that seems to bring these perfect moments or chunks of time to us!!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Nancy is now accepting new clients.  She also works as a motivational speaker.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups for teens and can handle many court mandated needs.  For more information about any of these services contact Nancy at (909) 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net. You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.com.

 

 

Housing Market Falters

Nef Cortez

By Nef Cortez

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) reported that for the first time in nearly two years, the rate of home sales in California fell below the 400,000 level, with the annualized number of sales falling for the fourth straight month to 399,600.  The sales rate declined 1.8 % from July, and down 6.6% from August 2017.

C.A.R. reported also that the statewide median home price was $596,410, up 0.8% from July, and up 5.5% from August 2017. This reflected a drop of nearly 24% from the previous year’s increase, dropping from 7.2% down to the 5.5% rate. In addition to that, the association reported that the statewide active listings rose for the fifth straight month, increasing by 17.2% over the previous year.

The key to these numbers is that the affordability of homes is reaching a point where less than 1/3 of the households can afford to purchase the median sale priced home in California.

“While home prices continued to rise modestly in August, the deceleration in price growth and the surge in housing supply suggest that a market shift is underway,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “We are seeing active listings increasing and more price reductions in the market, and as such, the question remains, ‘How long will it take for the market to close the price expectation gap between buyers and sellers?’”

C.A.R.’s August 2018 resale housing report also concluded that the Southern California region led the state’s sales decline, falling 8% from a year ago, with Orange and Los Angeles counties posting declines of 9.7percent and 8.9 percent, respectively. With more homes to select from, represented by the 17.2 percent increase in active listings on the market in August as compared to the previous year, buyers are taking longer to make a decision on which one to purchase. The number of days a listing is on the market also increased.

“Homes sales activity remained on a downward trend for the fourth straight month as uncertainty about the housing market continues to mount,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “Buyers are being cautious and reluctant to make a commitment as they are concerned that home prices may have peaked and instead are waiting until there’s more clarity in the market”

This article was written by Nef Cortez who is a licensed Real Estate Broker, Ca BRE # 00560181, licensed since 1976. He can be reached for more information via e-mail at nefcortez@gmail.com, or website http://www.nefcortez.com. Please feel free to email any questions regarding real estate.

 

 

 

See the Miracles

By Melody Kraemer

Do you ever wish for a miracle? Do you ever hope things would change? Do you dream about how things could be better? I use to. Every day I would pray for a miracle that my child with autism would understand and have a full conversation with me. When I asked about his day he just repeats my words back. I have an idea how his days go at school yet I have no clue if he was happy, sad or even cried during the day.

Some days I wish, with every ounce of my being, he would express something to me. I have hoped for a miracle on many occasions for him to please share with me and talk to me. When he cries, I hurt because I know he can’t express himself fully and tell me why. I kept thinking one day a miracle will happen and he will walk up to me and say, hey mommy, guess what we did at school today or mommy I made a friend today.

Sometimes it makes me cry to think about him locked in his world. I hold onto that miracle that one day he will converse with me. The only conversation we do have is, first that then this. “Yes honey, I find myself saying every morning as he repeats himself, first school then home.”

Every day I search for that miracle and hold onto that glimmer of hope. Then one day as I was looking into his little face, seeing those beautiful little eyes it dawned on me. I shouldn’t be looking for a miracle when one was standing right in front of me. I have my miracle, in fact, I have four miracles.

Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of Macaroni Kid- Jurupa Valley- Eastvale as well as Macaroni Kid- Riverside. Visit her on the web at https://jurupavalley.macaronikid.com/ or https://riversideca.macaronikid.com/. For information or general encouragement feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

Entertainment

By Mark Hopper

 

My wife and I have eight grandchildren.  The oldest is ten and the youngest will be two in November.  It has been a wonderful experience watching them grow up.  There have been a number of milestones like taking their first steps and saying their first words.  I actually got my name from our first granddaughter.  She couldn’t quite figure out how to say grandpa so she started saying “Pop Pop”.  That has been my name ever since!

Some of our grandchildren live out of the area, so we did not get to experience some of these milestones firsthand.  However, the youngest of the eight lives nearby and we actually babysit her and her older sister once a week.  So we have been able to see some of her first steps and hear some of her first words. In the past few weeks, this little one has started saying a lot of new words and putting some of them into sentences!  She repeats words that she hears from us and her parents and from her olde sister.  We are continually amazed at the words and phrases that she comes up with.

One day we were startled to hear her count from one to ten.  One, two three….and on she went!  I don’t think she actually understands the counting part of what she was saying, but there were the words in the correct order – one to ten!

Another time I asked her to say the word “entertainment”.  I don’t remember where we were, but I just said, “Janie, can you say the word entertainment”?  She did not hesitate.  She repeated the word exactly as I said it!  I think there are three or four syllables in that big word and she got every one of them right.  I should also add that she has leaned some other words quite early – words like “no” and “mine”.  I suspect that your kids and grandkids learned these words too. It is amazing to hear the words that come out of the mouths of young children.  But, I wonder what kind of words do they hear from your mouth?  Do they hear harsh words of criticism and anger?  Or, do they hear kind words and compliments?  Do your words strengthen their confidence or do they sow seeds of insecurity?

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Do not let any unwholesome words come out of your mouths, but only words that are helpful for encouragaging others” Ephesians 4:29).   I hope your vocabulary is filled with words of affirmation, appreciation and encouragement.   I hope that the words you say to others are not selfish and critical, but kind and thoughtful.  Let me encourage you to watch your words this week.  I hope you will add some new uplifting words of praise and thanks to your vocabulary.  You will be glad you did and others will too!

This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper, Efree Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd, 909-594-7604, Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM, Efreedb.org

 

 

 

Stuck in Your Home?

BW.Nef

Nef Cortez

By Nef Cortez

One of the factors driving California housing prices higher is that there are many people stuck in their homes because they cannot afford to sell the home where they live and move to another comparable one, or even one of lesser value. A large number of Californians purchased their homes more than 3o years ago, and their homes have appreciated in value substantially since then.

Many of these homeowners (and Diamond Bar has its’ share) have been able to stay in their homes because of Prop 13.  Since California voters approved passage of Prop 13 on June 6, 1978, a homeowner in the state is able to have their real estate property taxes on their home capped where the tax rate cannot increase more than 2 percent annually. (The effective tax rate cap is a result of the property re-assessment being capped at 2 % annually).

Without Prop 13, many “longtime” homeowners would not be able to stay in their homes because of annual property value re-assessments, and therefore, increases in their property taxes.  A homeowner who purchased their home for $100,000 in 1980, for example, would have had property taxes (based on Prop 13) of $1,000 annually, or about $83 per month, with a maximum increase of about $1.70 per month annually. Without the benefit of Prop 13 limits, that homeowner would have a home now worth approximately $750,000, and consequently, much higher property taxes.  Assuming the 1% cap (without the annual 2% cap on property re-assessment), this homeowner would be paying at least $7,500 in taxes annually, or approximately $625 per month.

The obvious benefit of lower property taxes and maintenance of affordable payments for homeowners who purchase many years ago is now constricting or inhibiting their ability to move to more appropriate housing.  The restriction is the cost of increased property taxes based on the sale of one’s residence, and the purchase of another.  There are a few counties in the state of California that allow for the transfer of the lower tax base for a homeowner 55 years or older, under Proposition 90, from one county in the state to another.  Out of 58 counties in the State of California, only 8? Have approved it for their counties.

Proposition 5 in this years November election proposes to equalize Prop 90 across the entire state. A homeowner otherwise qualified for Prop 90 benefits would not be limited to only one of the 8 counties that have approved it, but be free to move to any of the 58 counties in the State of California and be able to receive the benefits of Proper 90.

 

This article was written by Nef Cortez who is a licensed Real Estate Broker, Ca BRE # 00560181, licensed since 1976. He can be reached for more information via e-mail at nefcortez@gmail.com, or website www.nefcortez.com. Please feel free to email any questions regarding real estate.

 

 

Be Who You Want to Become

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

Change is something that doesn’t happen overnight.  Just for a moment I want you to think about who you long to be.  For me I always want to be happy and peaceful.  The way that I work on this is by trying to smile, laugh and appreciate every day and then I am happy.  I also try to do the things that I enjoy and always have some type of adventure planned.  This is a good recipe for happiness for me.  As far as being peaceful, I meditate daily and try not to let things irritate me too badly.  I also must always remind myself that I am only in control of myself and of my responses.  I don’t have the power to control others.  This seems to be an equally good recipe for inner peace.  Now I must keep in mind I am human and that there will be very difficult days that maybe my recipes struggle but must pat myself on my back for tying my best.

Now it’s your turn to think about who you want to be.  Get out a piece of paper and write down one characteristic that you would like to obtain.  My example to help you will be living a healthy life style.  This doesn’t mean a crash diet and working out so hard for a couple of days that you can’t move.  It means that you will eat a well- balanced meal, exercise consistently, drink lots of water, get plenty of rest, quit smoking, learn to drink alcohol in moderation, and manage your stress daily.  This plan may differ for each individual because it will need to be balanced around the demands of each individual’s lives.  My point is we eventually become what we do and how we behave!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909)229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net.  You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.com.

 

Three Generatons

By Mark Hopper

My wife and I grew up in the Phoenix area. When we were young, our parents took us to Southern California for summer vacation. We didn’t know each other at the time, but our families went to a lot of the same places like San Diego, Mission Beach, Sea World and Disneyland.

After we got married and settled in Tucson, Arizona, we brought our own children to Southern California, too. It was a big deal for us to take our four kids to San Diego, Mission Bay and the San Diego Zoo. On a few special occasions, we brought them to Disneyland. One of our favorite family memories was packing their suit cases while our kids slept and then picking them up at school and driving out of town as they tried to guess where we were going. We will never forget their shouts of excitement when they discovered we were going to Disneyland.

Now, there is a third generation of Hopper kids and grandkids that have enjoyed going to Disneyland together. Recently we went with six of our grandchildren and their parents to the Magic Kingdom.  It is fun to see the excitement and wonder in their eyes and in their voices. There is no place like Disneyland!

The younger members of our family prefer rides like Dumbo, Peter Pan and the Tea Cups. Their parents like to try more adventurous rides like Indians Jones, Runaway Mine Train and Star Tours. The grandparents enjoy more mellow rides like the Monorail, Mark Twain steam boat; it’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Everyone enjoyed the Pixar Parade and the Fireworks display. My wife and our daughters managed to do a little shopping and we found time for some good food and snacks, too. It was a memorable day for our family.

Our budget doesn’t allow us to go to Disneyland very often and your budget may not either. But, I do think it is priceless to make some memories with our family from time to time. They were glad we did and we were too!

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd

909-594-7604

Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM

Efreedb.org

 

Be Grateful if You Know How to Love Well

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

Believe it or not, not everybody is raised with knowing how to love well.  My patients sometimes wish they had a different kind of heart that wouldn’t cause them so much pain.  I always tell them how lucky they are to have the capacity to love with such depth and compassion.  They tell me that their hearts can cause them so much pain.  I tell them how lucky they are to have loved so fully and yes that such deep loving can cause us pain.  Pain can be caused when we love that fully and we lose people to death, divorce or anything that causes that person to leave us.  I always remind them how lucky they were to have experienced that kind of love even for one second.  I remind them not everybody gets that.

The trick is to be grateful for every second you have with the people you love and create lots of memories.  Those wonderful memories will be with you even when the person or people are no longer here with you.  Please don’t close your heart off because you have been hurt because you have experienced some type of loss.  Keep your heart opened because you never know what you might find.  Don’t put up barriers and become cold and distant instead smile and feel the warmth of those memories.  Also be grateful for all that you have left.  This idea is also very important in successful grieving.

Now close your eyes and find the best memory of a loved one that is gone.  Don’t you find it impossible not to smile and maybe even cry some happy tears?  In order to keep experiencing this keep you heart opened to love and to all that is wonderful about this amazing thing we call life!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at 909 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net  You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.com.

 

Proposition 5 and Taxes Affect Me How?

Nef Cortez

By Nef Cortez

Whether or not you are a homeowner, get familiarized with California’s Proposition 5 regarding property taxes.  In one form or another, this measure will affect you or your family members.  As usual, during the elections, you will be hearing about the pros and cons from interested parties as to how they recommend you place your ballot vote.

In a nutshell, as per California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.): A YES vote on Proposition 5 “will allow seniors (55+), the disabled, and victims of natural disasters to move to a home suited to their needs without facing drastically higher property taxes”.

In more detail, this proposed Proposition 5 has to do with the transfer of taxes when seniors have to downsize, move, and sell their property.  When seniors face these life situations, they do not want to be penalized as a result of having to make such moves. Due to health needs or personal desires, seniors are having to move closer to their children who may reside in other counties within the state. Currently, if the senior wants to or has to move to another county, there is difficulty finding another county that does accept the transfer tax base rate. It is therefore difficult to make moves because of the high cost of the new tax rate that exists because only about 8 out of the 58 counties in the state accept a transfer of the tax base of the seller’s previous home.  The ability of a homeowner needing to make this kind of move is restricted, and the move is financially “penalized”.

Proposition 5 expands the benefits of transferring tax base within the State of California.  According to C.A.R., this would provide appropriate relief by allowing those eligible the ability to transfer their current property tax base to the purchase of another home in any of California’s 58 counties.  C.A.R.  believes that this would help boost the housing inventory, facilitating more transactions throughout all counties in the State of California.

As always, before you make your next move, should you sell your home, consult with your tax/certified public accountant as to how current legislation would affect you and your property taxes.  Also, you may find more detailed information from legislative analytical agencies on the internet on the topic of Proposition 5.

This article was written by Nef Cortez who is a licensed Real Estate Broker, Ca BRE # 00560181, licensed since 1976. He can be reached for more information via e-mail at nefcortez@gmail.com, or website www.nefcortez.com. Please feel free to email any questions regarding real estate.

 

Love And Work

By Mark Hopper

One of our daughters and her husband bought a house in Orange County about a year ago. They were thankful to be able to purchase a house to raise their two young daughters.

Our son-in-law and daughter worked hard to get settled and make their house into their home.  They purchased new furniture, new curtains and attractive decorations to hang to the walls.  Their house looks very nice.

However, the garage was cluttered with a variety of things that needed to find a place in their new house. I helped them hook up their clothes dryer in the garage and worked with my son-in-law to hang drywall in unfinished areas of the garage.

One thing that my daughter wanted was a shelf over the washer and dryer to hold laundry soap and other things. It seemed simple enough. I actually had some left over shelving material in my garage and some sturdy metal brackets to hold it up.

As I was gathering tools and materials to work on their project, I realized that my wife might want a shelf over our washer and dryer in our garage too. When I asked her about it, she was thrilled with the idea. I’m sure she wondered why it took so long to suggest this. We’ve only lived in our house for 30 years. That is a long time to wait for a small shelf in the garage.

I already had the material. It didn’t take very long to cut the wood and attach the brackets to the wall. It took less than an hour to measure, cut, drill and mount the shelf. It looked pretty nice. I was impressed with my work. My wife was too.

She was really excited to have a new shelf.

A friend used to say, “To a wife…a house means love. To a husband…a house means work”! The longer I have been married the more I agree with that statement. Women love it when their husband works on the house. Wives always have a wish list with more projects in mind. Men often avoid working on the house because they know that after one project is completed there are ten more waiting to be done.

There is a passage in the Bible that says, “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loves His church” (Ephesians 5:25).  Jesus modeled love by serving and helping others and laying down His life for us. You can read more about this in New Testament books like Mark, John and Romans.

The Apostle Paul instructed husbands to love their wife. You can express your love with your words and by your works.  You can purchase expensive gifts and give her thoughtful cards. But, when you work on projects around your house, you send a clear message that you love your wife.  Even the simple act of putting up a small shelf is a reminder that you love her.

Let me encourage you to send a message to your wife this week. Fix something around your house. She will get the message! She will be glad you did and you will too!

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd

909-594-7604

Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM

Efreedb.org

 

A Bad Day Doesn’t Make You a Bad Mother

By Melody Kraemer

Have you ever had one of those days where you couldn’t wait for bedtime? How about one of those days where nothing seems to go right? Maybe today was one of those days where you think you had the entire day planned out perfectly and not one thing you planned happened?

Or It could be one of those days where you lose your cool, and now you feel guilty for feeling the way you do? How about one of those days where your patience is so thin, even though you try with every ounce of your being to have patience, it’s just not coming easily? What about a day where you just plain feel agitated?  I am feeling each and every one of these things today.

The more the day goes on, the more I wish it was bedtime.

Everything has seemed to go wrong, even though I am trying hard to stay positive. Of course I believe my children sense when I am feeling this and view this as a challenge to see how far they can push me.

It is now late in the afternoon, and I’m rushing out the door to get my autistic children to their speech and OT classes. I see the clock, and it’s on the hour we are to be there.

Great, just another late arrival, I open the front door and my youngest bolts out and down the street while the other one is chasing him.  I raise my voice, sure that the next neighborhood over could hear me saying, “Get in the car!”

Feeling horrible inside and feeling like the worst mother ever I drive them to their classes. As they walk inside, I take this moment to feel relief and take a deep breath, I can’t help this overwhelming feeling of mommy guilt. I have raised my voice and have had no patience with my boys. I sit down in the waiting room and take out my computer to catch up on work since I now have to sit here for 2 hours.

I open up my laptop, and the first thing  I see is a post on Facebook, “Just because you are having a bad day, doesn’t make you a bad mom.”  Wow, I needed to hear that. That’s so right, we as moms are allowed bad days just as kids are allowed bad days, but it doesn’t make us a bad person. What it does do is remind us that we are only human. Next time I’m having a bad day I must remind myself, it’s a bad day and this bad day does not make me a bad mom. My children love me unconditionally even through my bad days just as I love them through theirs.

Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher Macaroni Kid Jurupa Valley- Eastvale

and Macaroni Kid Riverside. For any information or general encouragement feel free to email me at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com

 

 

Saying Goodbye

Pastor Mark Hopper

By Mark Hopper

My family and I are very sad to say “Goodbye” to an old friend.  Actually the friend is not a person but a restaurant in Diamond Bar.  The word began to circulate this week that the Whole Enchilada restaurant is closing. It has been a part of our family for 30 years.

 

On one of our first visits to Diamond Bar in1988, we were taken out to lunch by some church families to the Whole Enchilada.  We enjoyed the food and the warm atmosphere.  Little did we know then that we would become frequent guests over the next three decades.

 

As our children grew up, we would often celebrate their birthdays at the Whole Enchilada.  For many years, they offered a free meal and dessert to guests on their birthday. They would let the birthday guest wear a large Sombrero and the waiters would sing “Happy Birthday” (“It’s the Whole Enchilada and we are here to say…”). They would take a Polaroid photo, too. We could probably fill a whole wall in our house with those birthday photos from the Whole Enchilada.

 

I still remember the day when we were at the Whole Enchilada and learned that one of our daughters was pregnant.  She lived out of the area but she asked one of her sisters to take us to “the Whole” and present us with a small gift – a pair of baby shoes. Then she called to tell us that she was pregnant with our first grandchild!

 

We have enjoyed many meals with friends, neighbors, church members and out of town guests.  Whenever we asked ourselves, “Where should we eat dinner”, the answer was always the same – the Whole Enchilada!  We live so close we could actually walk there. It has been part of our family for many years.

 

We were able to go to the Whole Enchilada one last time before they closed.  It was packed!  People were standing outside waiting for an empty table.  We saw a number of old friends and neighbors.  It was like a reunion with current and former residents gathered one last time to enjoy the food and fellowship at Diamond Bar’s most famous restaurant.

 

Managers and waiters were personally expressing their thanks to loyal customers and customers were expressing their thanks to the staff, too.  At the end of our meal, several of us stood up and invited fellow guests to join in singing the famous Whole Enchilada Birthday song one more time.  It seemed like a fitting way to honor and express our thanks to our old friend.

 

 

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd

909-594-7604

Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM

Efreedb.org

 

When Life Gives You Lemons

By Melody Kraemer – Autism Mom

Have you heard that saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” Don’t you think that’s just way too easy? When life gives me lemons, I make a cake or cupcakes. I may even make a drink with alcohol, but I never settle on lemonade.

What does it really mean when someone says; If life gives you lemons make lemonade?  Are lemons that bad, or is it because they are just sour? Isn’t lemonade just as sour as lemons? So why just make lemonade? Sometimes when you buy a car, and it’s not the best of shape, people will say, you bought a lemon!  Basically, they are saying you purchased a sour car.

When life hands me lemons or even throws them at me I don’t just make lemonade I make the best of it, whatever that may be.

My daily life consists of life giving me lemons. I don’t dwell on that sourness, I embrace it.

Life with two autism boys can get pretty sour, but that’s the autism. My boys are the sweetest, kindest, loving, little guys. I love and enjoy them. My boys are silly, caring, and full of life.

So, the next time someone says make lemonade out of those lemons that life is giving you, tell them no thank you, I think I am going to make the best darn lemon cake or whatever my heart desires.

Making lemonade out of lemons is just too easy and still sour. Embrace the sourness life offers and turn it around into something sweet. There’s no time in life to be sour no matter how many lemons life gives you. Stay sweet

 

Rents Still Skyrocketing?

Nef Cortez

By Nef Cortez

I have reported on home values rising fast in Diamond Bar. Today, we take a look at how fast rents are increasing as well.

Home values typically follow the pattern of economic recessions, with prices increasing as the economy improves, and peaking at about the same time or slightly after the economy has reached its zenith.  Rents, however, appear to be immune to the rise and fall or cyclical nature of home prices or home values.  The predictable thing about home rental values is that over the years, they have consistently trended upward.

As an example, where home values took a dive of almost 30-40% during the Great Recession, rents maintained a level or flat trendline.  Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, property values across the United States have come roaring back to their current heights.  The median sales price of a Diamond Bar single family residence (SFR) in the First quarter of 2018 reached a level of $735,000.  That represented an increase of 56% from the median sales price of $470,000.00 in the first quarter of 2010.

The Diamond Bar median rental rate for a Single Family Residence (detached) in the first quarter of 2018 stood at $2,860.00. This represented an increase of 30% from the median rental rate of $2,200.00   where it was in the middle of the aftermath of the Great Recession.  This represents an increase of $660.00 per month, which is not an insignificant number, but it is not the “stratospheric” increase seen in the  single family resale market values.  The rate of increase of rentals (30%) in the same period has been almost half of what the rate of the median price increase of homes values (56%) from 2010 to 2018.

This article was written by Nef Cortez who is a licensed Real Estate Broker, Ca BRE # 00560181, licensed since 1976. He can be reached for more information via e-mail at nefcortez@gmail.com, or website www.nefcortez.com. Please feel free to email any questions regarding real estate.

 

Being Okay With Letting Go

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

We hang on to our stuff so very tightly.  It seems as if our stuff actually becomes part of who we are.  I think it becomes the part of us that we don’t like very much, yet we have such a deep rooted sense of fear about letting go of all of it.  It’s almost as if we fear getting healthy, because our disfuction has truly ruled our lives for so very many years.  I think we actually fear living without all of it.

I understand what you are feeling and are so very afraid of, but I also know it’s what is getting in your way everyday of your life.  It gets in the way of what can turn an unhealthy relationship, into a healthy one.  It gets in the way of getting what you want for yourself from this dream, we call life.  It gets in the way of everything we seem to come in contact with.  It’s as if we are going though our lives numb, with a dark cloud hanging over our heads, always threatening to rain on us once more, for what seems like the thousandth time.  It feels like we’re in this never ending battle and there is no such thing as winning in sight.

I think as we get healthier, the people we are closest to, want to get healthier as well.  I hope you see that learning to let go of your stuff, as scary as it may be, is a win win situation for everybody in your life, as well as for yourself.  Decide, this will be the year you finally let go and stop living in the past, so you can enjoy today and all the days to come!!!!!!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to page her at (626) 9353818.  You may e-mail Nancy at stoopsshecter@earthlink.net.  You may purchase Nancy’s latest book Live, Heal and Grow at Amazon.com.