Monday, October 6, 2008

Appreication...

Did you know that October is Pastor appreciation month? Well guess what it surely is... most pastors know this fact, but most won't say anything to anyone and just wait patiently for the sheep they are charged with to know this and then act on this knowledge...

I wanted to take a moment to show appreciation for the most influential pastor I've ever known.. this man is a true man of character, following Christ and leading his "sheep" after the good shepherd. He loves his flock, teaches, admonishes when needed, encourages, loves graciously, gives to them sacrificially on a very regular basis. He points them to Christ by his actions, being quick to forgive and never hesitant to ask for forgiveness...this man teaches his flock through words and example daily.

He is ever on watch for wolves that would sneak in, he is quick to defend and protect his sheep. His love for and devotion to his flock is apparent to all who know him.

James you pastor our home and we are so grateful of your faithfulness. We love you and appreciate you, the pastor of our home! Thank you for following Christ and leading us.

Love you!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It all started...


The week after we found Jameson was a boy, James left for 2 weeks to Africa and Natalie and I laid in bed for nearly two weeks very sick with strep, and bronchitis. When we were finally better and James got home, I got a surge of energy and creativity. I stopped into the fabric store to find all the winter upholstery fabric on sale. I snagged several pieces I really liked in hopes of creating bedding for Jameson's baby room. That day I got some beautiful Sherpa fleece, in a brown tone that I just ADORED!

I used that color to paint two walls of his room in our old house, and then loved it so much that when I needed a color in my kitchen before it went on the market, I got the same color mixed at half the amount, to make it a little lighter. Oh and that kitchen project was a remodel job that I took on while James was out of town, he came home with all new kitchen walls (stripped wall paper, retextured entire kitchen, and painted)

Well, this past week James went to Washington DC and I went on a painting mission. We have a large dining area, and living room that are pretty connected... so I painted all of that area, what color, the same as that Sherpa fleece fabric in Jameson's baby bedding!

I had never really painted and did not know "how" until Jameson's room got painted. My dear friend came and did most of the painting while I sat and watched and while our children played...she taught me several tricks and so now I can paint a room, fairly well! I love being able to add color (the previous color was stark white, we have mostly white tile with brown grout, so it was very very stark in our house... it's so warm and cozy now!

Also while James was away our neighbor trimmed our palm tree for us...we've never had a palm tree in our yard and had no idea how to go about keeping it looking nice... so he did it for us... I made him some chocolate chip cookies tonight...the same friend that taught me to paint, gave me the best instructions on making cookies! they are truely yummy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Natalie...

I'm pretty sure I could devote an entire novel to the conversations I've been having with my daughter lately... her imagination is blooming... She is a little shy about it, but still it's coming along. I don't feel I have much of one, so I try to encourage her small one as much as possible.

Lately she's been talking about her sister, "Abbasheper" (pronouced Abba shep er). She is typically doing whatever Natalie is doing at the moment and if we go out, she stays home with Nana.

The other day she started talking about working... she said she was going to work and I would take care of her babies and that if I wanted to work Nana could stay with her.

Not only work talk but death. She asks me if things can die...like her dolls, her books, the dog, the trees...she is not at all sad when talking about these things, it sort of throws me off..I'm not really certian where it has come from or why. I try to answer as matter of factly and briefly as possible, then attempt to change the conversation, thankfully three year olds are easily side tracked, I just ask her about her sister!

James has been gone this week, so I took the kids to Rubios for dinner... Oh their tropical wrap salad is amazing...mango, cranberries, grilled chicken, cabbage, almonds, mexican spices... all wrapped up in a green tortilla! And the kids quesadilla, is really great too...shhhh the kids don't know it comes with a Churro...James and I take turns distracting the kids while we split it!! they are none the wiser! Okay so we just sat down to eat, and took a few bites when Natalie excitedly said "oh no, we forgot to pray mommy" then proceeded to bring her mommy to tears with her prayer!!

"dear jesus, thank you for this food, my sweet mommy, and my brother, help daddy get to the hotel, and bring him home safely too us, in jesus name, amen" You see James had not been gone a full day yet, I had not prayed with her, or prompted any of this! She choose those words all on her own..

She is also a bit silly...she has been finishing sentences of mine with the phrase "in Jesus name Amen" totally at random... Me: Natalie buckle your straps (on your carseat) Nat: "In Jesus name amen" it's pretty funny to hear!

I don't typically give my children much juice at all. They are big water drinkers, and fruit eaters, so that equals lots of juice in my mind! So really it's a special treat... well, Natalie spotted some in the fridge and said "mommy can we have a party?" And party we did... Natalie, Jameson, and I...right away on the patio... we celebrated a beautiful day, even put tiny straws in our cups to sip with!

I'm sure this is typical with most all 3 year olds, but we have the exact same conversations every day... "mommy, is that a school or a park?"
"it's a school"
"why is it not a park?"
"because, it's a school"
"is it open"
"yes it looks to be open"
or
(a target near us got torn down and is being rebuilt...it's only like 3 blocks from our house, so this conversation we have almost every time we leave the house)
"is that the new Target or the old Target?"
"that's the new Target, baby"
"is it open"
"not yet"
"why not"
"because they are not ready for us to shop yet"
"why"
"they have to get it all ready on the inside for us"
"but there are cars there"
"yes they are working on it for us"
"did we shop at that target?"
"no baby, we have not been to that Target"

(typically by this time we are out of sight of the target, thankfully)
sometimes I mix it up, give her wrong answers, she corrects me, and then asks me why I said the wrong thing!

Lastly, today we went to the Wild Animal Park... they had a cute little show on Africa... they had a man dressed as a very very large Gorilla... it made Jameson cry at first, then as the show ended Natalie was down shaking a rainmaker wtih the other kids and the Gorilla came back out...she ran away screaming for me...she was fine, but it really upset her... so tonight our conversation went like this as I put her to bed.
"mommy, I don't want that drilla to come here"
"no baby, it won't come here"
"oh, cuz it don't have a car"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ring Sling, Baby Wearing, and working from home!

Just wanted to give a little plug for my very dear friend... She is a stay home mom of 3 small boys. Her oldest was not even 3 when number 3 came along! Yeah she is a very busy woman! She has some great sewing skills and is putting them to work to help her family. She makes really beautiful ring slings and some really practical ones too!

As a gift to me she made me this beautiful silk sling. Silk slings are not cheap, as silk is NOT cheap! But when comparing prices her prices are by far more affordable than the others on the internet. Here is a picture of Jameson in my sling featuring the "hip carry" position.

She also has water friendly slings. So you can carry your baby on you while you go into the pool. As a mom of 3 small boys she is able to have two hands free while still tending to the littlest one! She makes the in two different materials. One is a mesh, sports like material. I have this one...it is a great sturdy fabric that does not hold water so by the time we are all dried off ready to go from a day at the beach, the sling is too! She also has a new water sling material... it's made of solarweave, that has a UV rating so your small baby won't get burned while they are still too small to use sun screen on! BRILLIANT!

When my silk sling arrived in the mail, Natalie was so intrigued by it, she absolutely loved it, I even got her to get in it (it holds up to 40lbs) obviously most people won't be carrying around a 3 year old that much, they get heavy quickly and can walk! But we played with her in it for a while...of course she loved it. Natalie said "mommy maybe Miss Nikki can make one for my babies" So what did miss Nikki do...she made one for Natalie's babies! (she spoils us!) So she now makes "doll slings" so your little one can wear their babies too! And Natalie does too! We went to the wild animal park a few weeks back and Natalie had her baby in the sling, and was bouncing and shushing it! Here is a picture of the day we got Natalie's sling!

When we go to the zoo, I take the stroller, but also throw in the sling... Jameson grows weary of riding in the stroller and I would quickly tire of carrying him or letting him walk... so I pull out the sling and pop him in it... he really loves being close!

So if you are interested in slings check out Wrapped in Love and see some of Nikki's awesome slings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We are not islands in this family!!!

This morning Natalie very graciously and sweetly declined the eggs I made for breakfast. She said she'd like to have them "later" I informed her that she is to eat when it is time and the rest of the family is eating and that "later" would be at lunch time, no snacks, no food and nothing until it was time for lunch. She again, graciously said "no thank you" to the eggs, even asked if she could get a baggy to put them in. One last time I offered her the eggs, telling her she would be hungry, and once again, she very sweetly declined my plea to get her to eat.

Well, we were in the grocery store at 930am and she was melting down for lack of food. (she did have a small glass of Kefir--her "coffee" she drinks every AM when she wakes up), We made it home and by this time she was really very hungry and begging to eat. I have to be a mommy of my word and she has to learn this life lesson the hard way...when it's time to eat, it's time to eat. I cannot and do not run an all day buffet.

So to my point... Jameson and I are enduring her horrible behavior, tantrums and general bad mood because she refused her breakfast. Thankfully, she has pulled herself together, I set a timer for lunch and we are waiting for it to go off, she has distracted herself with playing dress up.

It's amazing how God has woven us together as a "family unit" our decisions, good or bad have an effect on everyone else....it's so true and this little life lesson that Natalie is learning today is hard on all of us, but one she must learn. Too bad Jameson is still small and probably has no clue what is really going on to learn by watching his sister, that would be nice....but alas I'm sure we'll travel this same road with him soon enough!

Well, the timer is about to go off... I'm gonna make lunch and then make some chocolate chip cookies, we have dinner with friends planned for tonight, I've been looking for an excuse to make some!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Twitter...

If you look right you will see my "Twitter"... yeah, I know most of the readers of my blog might not know what it is... it's a way to send quick short messages that broadcast to anyone that really cares to follow you and what you might say randomly throughout the day... I started it sometime back, mostly because my husband does this and thought I would too... I got a new phone that makes it much easier to do from the phone so I linked mine up to this blog... so you don't have to sign up for a twitter account...

if you copy and paste the posts that have a web address that look like this one http://twitpic.com/bp9v into a browser then you will see a picture that I took of the kids and wanted to share immediately... usually of what we happen to be doing at the moment... If you sign up for a twitter account, you can follow me too...it's more like "watch me" or have a peak on my day...rather than follow me...cuz if you really were to follow me, you'd better watch out...I'm pretty sure you will get something icky on your shoe!

This is my effort to stay connected and share pictures more readily with everyone that wants to see them!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Several things...

Let's see...
Natalie has not ever been very creative when it comes to naming her babies... at first it was just "baby" then when we named Jameson, all of Natalie's babies became "Jameson" (even though they were all "girls")

So when we came back from Texas all of them were still Jameson accept one was now Ellie, the same name as her friends baby...

Well, the other day she was bringing some babies to us, and she said "that's Ellie's sister" James said "oh what is her name?" to which Natalie replied
"Futon Girl"

This is Futon and her mommy!

---
Jameson has had a cold, and is getting 2 more teeth...this boy is really pushing to get all of his teeth in before 18 months! He is currently working on his "eye" teeth, which I think are contributing to his runny nose! Today he was saying "mommy said no no" he's been talking up a storm saying lots of new words every day, and repeating almost everything he hears...

He's being selfish with the kisses...if you ask for one, he will say "NO" and shake his head while walking the other way... but today he started this frankenstein like walk with his arms out, shoulders shrugged coming at ya, wanting a hug... of course we ALWAYS oblige, and snag a kiss while were at it!

---

We have been exploring San Diego, yesterday James found out there is a "Scenic Route" here that is 59 miles long... we drove a section of it, and landed on the most Southwestern Point of the US... it's on Point Loma, which is an area of San Diego... A beautiful cliffside view of both the Pacific Ocean as well as the San Diego Bay, and Coronado Island... They say in the winter you can see whales migrating through the pacific waters from up there....we'll be headed back for some whale watching this winter!

here's some pics we snapped while up there!

---

I finished my book "Feminine Appeal" this is literally the first book I've read cover to cover in a very long time... I'm hoping to get more reading in...but we'll see!
Speaking of... I've been pondering quit a few things lately...really thinking about how quickly my small children have already grown... it often takes my breath away...

I got out for a little while today with out kids...so I listened to the radio really loud...and of course it was some Country Music... I landed on the song "Sud in the Bucket" by Sara Evans. While I really hope my daughter does not "up and run away" at 18 with some guy, leaving me wtih a note...some of the lines of the song really hammered home to me how quickly it will be and my girl will grown..

I am always looking to get past phases, stages... I really don't stop to listen and enjoy my kids near often enough... take time to just have some simple fun...nothing elaborate or exciting and most of all, putting aside all the "to do's" you know the things that occupy the mothers mind, dishes, dinner, lunch, laundry, diapers, baths...seems my brain is always occupied with something that needs to be done... not that I'm really all that on top of all of this, it's just cluttering up my brain interfering with me enjoying and treasuring these moments... I won't ever get them back... in a little while Natalie won't dance through the grocery store singing silly songs, Jameson won't always adore peek-a-boo with his mommy. My attitude and cheerfulness drive so much of our home... I really pray that my 'tude' is one of joy and excitement about the life God has blessed us with. I pray that we are able to make fun memories of simple every day life and that I can be in the moment fully with a cheeful heart and a mind that is present to enjoy the fun, not dazed with a list of to do's cuz you "CAN'T FENCE TIME" (words to the song "sud in the bucket" if you did not know)

"The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song. " Psalm 28:7

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Girl Talk and my new Manual!

I have always longed for mentors in my life... Godly women that have traveled this road before me. Women to look to for wisdom, straight talk, counsel and encouragement in being a Godly wife and mother.... I know most other Christian women seek the exact same thing. Many of us feel ill equipped and realize quickly after getting married and particularly after having children just how much we don't know.

Well, a friend of mine posted a blog reference to Girl Talk. It's a blog written by Carolyn Mahaney and her three Adult, Married Daughters. While browsing this amazing information I stumbled up on the book Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney and immediately ordered it. The first few days I read over half of it... now I really don't like to read books and quite honestly I am very slow at it as well...

I have since deemed this book, my Christian wife/mother's handbook... Carolyn outlines Titus 2:3-5, Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

She unpacks all that is in this, says it straight and even clarifies the kind of "love" this passage refers to.

So if you are like me, longing to have that female Godly counsel, get this book, read it...I guaranty you will be challanged, in need of serious repentance, instructed and encouraged!

Monday, September 1, 2008

This is not photo shopped!


Well, James got me a cool bike for my birthday...but having a bike for just me would be, well...not very fun if I had to bike all by myself all the time...

Some friends loaned us their "chariot" to tote the kids around in behind my bike and James got a cool bike too...

Last Saturday AM we loaded up the bikes, kids, snacks, blankets and went to Balboa Park (a really groovy place here that has a boat load of museums and neat buildings, huge park, much to Natalie's dismay did not have readily available slides/swings, the trappings of a normal kid park)...

We had so much fun that morning, we headed home for naps and my hair cut appointment, then after much needed rest and a hair cut for me we picked up some burritos and quesadillas and trecked back to Balboa for an afternoon of more biking fun.

We stumbled upon a great little grassy area...it was tucked behind one of the furthest buildings in the park. It overlooked downtown SD and all of the planes headed for a landing at San Diego airport flew right over our heads! We laid on the blanket and looked up at every airplane that went by as Jameson stood and pointed at...he was filled with glee as if each "eh-pee" came by for his personal enjoyment!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lessons from the swing!

Earlier this week I took the kids to a neighborhood park to play and have lunch. Both of them LOVE the swings...they have 2 regular swings and 2 baby swings... The park was not busy so we got lots of swinging time in. Natalie started out life HATING the swing...she would scream and shake with fear until she was 18 months old... now her dad has taught her to go really high and she digs it!

Well, being that it was just me with the two of them I had to go back and forth taking turns pushing them...

As soon as I'd give Natalie the first push she would insist rather abruptly that it was not high enough, almost throwing a fit for wanting to swing "higher and higher" She was extremely impatient and rude to me, requiring that I swing her high instantaneously. She did not realize that getting some serious height in a swing requires time... If I were to push such a small person really high she's probably be way off balance and fall out... so I had to build her up to it... But she wanted it instantly and not wait... yet I had to teach her that it would come... seemed like each time during our trip she got on the swing we would again have the same conversation...

Life is like that in so many areas, we want to be at the pinnacle of an experience, IMMEDIATELY, rather than take the time to get there properly.

Jameson on the other hand was content to bend over the baby swing and watch the ground go by no matter the speed or height of the swing...

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Watch your mouth young lady"

While in the car today I got into a turn lane and realized it was not where I needed to turn and was frustrated that I had to turn anyway due to traffic... When I realized this I said what Natalie thought was "oh crab" (only yes, I said the 'other' word!) So from the back seat lots of giddy laughter abounded as she repeated "oh crab, momma" in her serious fake voice. (she lowers her tone of voice and over acts the part of being upset just to pretend she is upset) Yes she was mocking me and thought she was really funny.

I gotta put an editor on my mouth, er my heart!

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Mathew12:34

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Southern Friends

I grew up in the "south" although I really did not realize it, as I thought that "The South" meant, Georgia or Mississippi or even Alabama. I have come to realize that Oklahoma and definitely Texas are also "The South" I am seeing it more now that I am out of it. I can see how people are really different here in California. It's good, just different....

A very southern friend of mine sent this to me. I am not one to typically even read "forwards" but I decided that one entitled "Southern Friends" might be worth my time. I really wanted to share it here because it summarizes many of my random thoughts on my transition in the friends I've made and the people I've met here.

For disclaimer purposes please note that I am so thankful for my new "West coast Friends" but my southern friends will always have a special place in my heart. Thankfully, I've run into a few transplants like myself and well, we are trying to bring the southern hospitality to the peeps here.

There are great differences in friends and Southern Friends ...

FRIENDS: Never ask for food.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Always bring the food. And lots of it.

FRIENDS: Will say 'hello'.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug and a kiss. More than one.

FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Call your parents Mom and Dad, and often.

FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Cry with you. And for you.

FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing, and just
being together. Then help do the dishes before leaving.

FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you. And
most of the time know you better than you do yourself.

FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' back-ends that left you.

Then walk beside you in the front of the crowd.

FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, 'Are you home?' If you are not
home they will wait.

FRIENDS: Are for a while.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Are for life. And then some.

FRIENDS: Might ignore this.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will forward this to all their Southern Friends
Without hesitation I have been Blessed with SOUTHERN FRIENDS

And an interesting note, I have vivid memories of arriving home with my grandparents and them having visitors waiting for them on the couch! Friends who had dropped by and let themselves in and waited for our return.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Texas, Wedding, Friends, Community

Well, July 25th the kids and I flew to Dallas. Natalie was asked to be a flower girl in our neighbors wedding. She was 14 when we moved into our house and now she is all grown up! James was also asked to officate the wedding, so a big ole family affair. I have been a bit homesick this summer and so I convinced my husband to allow the kids and I a week in Dallas ahead of the wedding festivities. I'm so grateful he allowed us to go. I really needed it.

We stayed with our dear friends. They have small children (the oldest is 6) add my 2 in there and it was a crazy household of fun. The kids played great all week, we swam, had a playdate with about 12 other moms and their kids(I'm pretty sure it was over 30 moms/kids under one roof). No one really went outside as it was horribly HOT. We also went to see a butterfly exhibit at a nature

At the wedding Natalie was just adorable and smiled so perfectly for the camera, I'm quite certian there were nearly as many pictures of her as the bride! James also did outstanding and I think made the wedding just beautiful with his "officiation".

The trip was really refreshing for me. I was able to spend excellent quality time with my mom, and dear friends. I've realized over the past 2 months how important being tightly knit to God's people through community really is. These friendships have changed my life and continue to do so. I have been reminded of how Paul the apostle longed to see the "saints" that he wrote to. It's all through out the letters. Never before did I quite understand how deep this longing could be. Not until now. It's amazing to me how life situations can put such an illumiation on scripture and make something written a very long time ago, relavant to us right now.

We are blessed with many new friendships in San Diego, and with time I'm certian they will be as deep, and meaningful as the ones we cherish in Dallas. I doubt seriously this will take away the longing in our hearts to be with our friends... (although we do not long for the Texas heat for one second!)


Jameson Sharing Daddy's flower with Nana! She kept him during the wedding.

Natalie went swimming after the rehearsal. Our neighbors allowed us to swim there all summer last summer! We sure miss them! (this is the Bridesmaid Natalie stood next too during the ceremony, she and Natalie became instant friends!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Silly Boys III

Third video in the series!

Silly Boys II

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Silly Boys Part I

I really don't feel the need to make any comments...their actions speak for themselves! 3 posts to get them all in!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I just never realized

How much "new moms" need encouragement!

When I was pregnant with Natalie and had so many questions and insecurities God gave me a wonderful friend, She had been down the same road twice just a few years earlier and was pregnant again at the very same time as me. Amy and I became such great friends during this transition time in my life. Here baby was born just a few weeks before Natalie and so every little thing that happened I'd comment or ask Amy about and she would give me great wisdom, understanding or just a listening sympathetic ear. She knew to check in on me and make sure I was doing okay... She seemed so confident in her mothering skills that I just assumed that she "had this baby thing down" and did not need all the reassurance that I seemed to need as a first timer.

I've come to learn that she was just a really good friend and went elsewhere with her need for reassurance! But as we became closer friends she shared her struggles with me, and it helped me see that I was not crazy but actually quite normal!

Another friend of mine just had her 4th. She structures her home much like I do, she has routines and so forth. Her oldest is just 6 and yet she came to ME, asking ME for help with getting her newborn through some sleep issues... I mean, for crying out loud she is the mom of 4...she has done this more than I have... how in the world could I possibly tell her something she does not know already...

Well come to find out, she knew exactly what to do... BUT, in the midst of sleep deprivation, juggling more than you've ever juggled in your life and adjusting to this new person in your home and family you NEED reassurance and a comforting listening ear. Someone to see things that has a perspective you don't. Every woman needs a good friend to come along beside them during this time of transition and encourage them, lift them up, hold the flash light that lights up the path.

Being a mom is amazingly wonderful and gloriously sanctifying at the same time....and God has not created us to be lone rangers, he made us to be in community with each other...

So whether a woman has just given birth to number 2 or number 8, I'm certain she needs friends to walk with her and encourage her....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We had some family come to visit last week. James' younger brother came with his beautiful family and his in-laws too. See we live just about an hour from Disney Land! (yes that's right, so plan your vacation to Southern California, stay wtih us a little while and visit the happiest place on earth!). So they did just that, went to Disney and stopped by here on their way home. They have 2 children, a girl and a boy. that are almost exactly the same age difference as Natalie and Jameson. Only they are 2 years older than our two. So Natalie LOVED playing with her cousin... They all visited the U.S.S. Midway that is permanantly docked in the San Diego Bay and open for tourists.. (doesn't it look like fun, to be on board an aircraft carrier? Makes you want to come visit? Right?)... Natalie is on the right and her almost identical cousin is on the left! Future Pilots?
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Big News


Yup he's walking! and those are shorts by the way...just a little droopy on him! This was taken last weekend, he is now walking everywhere almost all the time!


and this is our silly goofball!


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Monday, July 7, 2008

Welcome to Facebook

I feel SOOO behind! I'm just now getting on Facebook.com My sweet husband has been on for a while, and apparently MANY of my friends have been too...

James actually had to sit down and sign me up to get me going...I'm passing out flair like crazy today..so look out!

Well..come on over and check it out....if your not there already look me up...I'll be your friend!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Day at the Beach

This past Saturday we spent at Mission Beach. It is a 15 minute drive from our house! I still can't believe we live so close to the ocean. Actually we went back on Sunday and played at the park that is on the beach and did not swim. (it was late and sort of chilly). And yesterday the kids and I packed up and went on a play date wtih a couple of friends. I took the camera yesterday but totally forgot to take pictures.

When I go by myself we head over to the bay side, the water is calmer, but not as nice..more like Oklahoma lake water... but the kids mostly just play in the sand anyway.


These are some pics from Saturday.

Natalie cheesing it up!

Jameson was so mad I made him wear the hat. He cried the saddest cry and snuggled me, but left it on!
Daddy lost his beloved Oakely sunglasses. He's had them for over 5 years and has lost them in public places several times, always to recover them...but Saturday they were swept out to sea!. He and Jameson spent quite a bit of time combing the beach looking for them, we came home without them :(
Natalie, resting from lots of water play, you can see the water cup and snacks all around her!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

MMMMM....This is good!


Tri Tip Goodness!



I made this for dinner last night! I've never heard of "Tri Tip" apparantly it's a roast cut of beef. A few of our new friends we going on about how great it is, I saw some at Trader Joe's with a yummy looking marinade, so I figured I'd give it a whirl..

Probably the single best meal I have ever prepared myself.

MOST EXCELLENT!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Deb's Enchillada's!

I really can't believe I'm posting this, but alas, it's some deep random thoughts.

I've been looking for some nice reusable outdoor plates and cups for us to use. We eat about 95% of our meals outside! I found a cute set on walmart.com... I thought just maybe the store would have it in stock... turned out not to be the case...but something bigger happened as I entered the store...

Do you have a favorite food that you absolutely LOVE one specific recipe for, and nothing else will do...all others are just different, don't quite satisfy like this one recipe. For me it's Enchiladas. the first time I ever ate them was in junior high, my neighbor made them. I don't think they were very authentic "Mexican" enchiladas, as I recall she was using a recipe that called for lots of Campbell's soups so she could cut off the lables for her kids to take to school... Well, now I don't have that recipe (she made it uniquely hers anyway), but every other enchillada is okay...but just not the same...

So that's about how I've been feeling her in California... It is nice, the weather is beautiful, we live right by the beach (going tomorrow with friends), the best zoo, we will be getting Sea World passes. Disney land is an hour away... But everything about California is just a little different... parking spaces are lots smaller, grocery stores are layed out a bit different, every where I turn everything just seems a bit off to me... it's just not what is familar and every where I turn I'm reminded how much I really miss Texas, my friends and my family. Even shopping at Target is so different for me. The only Target I've ever really shopped at was a TEXAS sized SUPER Target... HUGE parking lot with wide spaces to pull my van into... wide isles to stroll my cart down, lots of food, and fun stuff to brouse... the Target here is tiny by comparison.

Now normally I don't like Wal-mart... I've had lots of bad experiences there and have made it known to most anyone who will listen how much I loathe having to go in there for something...

When I entered Wal-mart today I got this overwhelming sense of "home" I still don't like Wal-mart so much, but being there today was refreshing for me... The parking spaces were a little bigger than normal ones around here (or maybe I'm just getting used to them?) but the store looked just like all of the ones I'm used to... it's not a SUPER wal-mart, but I think that's what I dislike the most.. it just felt so nice and familar...

I still miss my friends, family and the familar something fierce... but today was nice to see something that was familar!


Monday, June 30, 2008

Jameson's 1st Birthday



Here are a few pictures from Jameson's First Birthday Bash! We had a few friends over for some burgers, dogs, cake and ice cream.

Birthday boy and his hot dog and pineapple

"GET THIS BIB OFF ME"
Friends and sister, Hailey, Roman, and Natalie


Chowing down, he picked up the WHOLE piece of cake and shoveled it in!
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Daddy's new wheels

Thought I'd share James' new wheels!


We go for a walk most evenings, and the kids love to climb in and around it... We are working on getting the carseats secured so we can take it to the beach!

James says he feels like he's on vacation all the time!
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nursing mommy!

Natalie has always been the nurturing type. She is very sweet and loving to her babies, I often find her taking care of them, rocking them putting them night night, covering them up...she has been doing this a lot more lately and added to that is a large amount of "nursing" and "nursing" talk.

She is just adorable when she does this too. She just does it as if it were completely natural, she's not embarrassed or shy but not flashy either. Just comfortable in her own skin about the whole thing. I love it!

So the other morning we were having some breakfast near James' work. We were the only ones in there that morning and Jameson and Natalie had already had breakfast at home, so they were nibbling on some fruit while we enjoyed breakfast burritos. I looked over at Natalie sitting in this huge arm chair and she was "nursing" her baby. She looked at me and said "my baby was fussy, she's hungry so I feed her" and sure enough...she had her shirt slightly lifted and her baby carefully placed in the crook of her arm. She chatted with us about what a good mommy she is to take care of her baby...when the baby was done, she sat her on the chair next to her...

This morning a conversation at the breakfast table went like this.

Natalie: "mommy, sometimes my baby is fussy at night and I have to feed her from my little boobies" (she calls hers little boobies and mine big boobies).

Me "was she fussy last night? Did you have to feed her?"

Natalie: "she was fussy but I could not feed her, I had my foot jammies on, I feed her if I wear my night gown though"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

I've been pondering father's day for several months. I watch my husband interact with our children as they are so young and in great need of their father's love, guidance, discipline, instruction, generosity, sacrifice, time, attention...this list is endless. In the most amazing way God reveals Himself through God honoring Fathers. This is unmistakably true of my husband and father of our children. I see James wake up when he despirately longs for another hour of sleep just to snuggle are children when they rise early and join us in our bed. I watch as he joyously gives them the last bite of dessert from his plate. When we pick him up from work, he gives me a loving kiss and opens the car doors so he can share his love with them as well. He works tirelessly day in and day out to provide for our needs and wants. He gives us wisdom and leads us during tough times. He brings us great joy with endless amounts of comic relief. He longs for us to be with him and is sad when we are apart. What a beautiful portrait he paints of God for our family. He discipline and correction are from a loving and kind heart.

I've heard it said that Dad's are the pastors of their homes. Another word for Pastor is Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and James models that beautifully each day as he leads our family. Additionally the bible makes it clear how Godly husbands are to love their wifes. Simply put, do it like Jesus loved the church....sacrifice everything and don't leave her like you found her.

James thank you for showing our our family what a wonderful heavenly Father we have and how much Christ loves us! We are daily changed by your love and sacrifice and obedience to your calling.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Video of Trip to California

Here is a compilation video of our trip!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Finally...

Alright...I've taken long enough to blog about our trip and new home and well give an update!

First our move went fairly well. We had some wonderful friends come and help us..boy were they a Godsend! My mom came moving day...having friends and family around made it easier, not just with the physical things that needed to be done, but the emotional drain of the day as well. As I did a final walk through of the house it hit me a lot harder than I was expecting...we shed a few tears as we looked at the kids rooms one last time. It's still hard to believe that we are not going back to that house. I think it will take time and slowly fade rather than a quick reality. In fact every few days it still hits me and I shed a few tears...um...like right now... It's not the house per say...but more the life...the house is just the place that our life happened. The every day stuff we did that was our life, getting our babies out of bed in the morning, brushing their teeth, having a big breakfast on Saturday, rushing around for church, and the big stuff. Laying them down for the very first time in their beds, watching Natalie take her first steps, hearing Jameson laugh for the first time. The big and the little, the mundane and the extraordinary that's life...and it happened every day for nearly 9 years in the same spot!

Okay enough of that...
We were going to spend the night in that house after the movers left...but we decided otherwise. We set out for Abilene. The car was loaded to the gills, the dog only had a tiny spot in the back of the van...and it was so packed between her and us that we could even hear her. But thankfully the vet gave us some "dreamy little pills" to help her rest along our journey. We did not get far before our first stop... Salt Grass for one last bite of Texas Steak and the best cocnut shrimp around... Everyone had a fully belly so we were off... The kids slept a little but they were wired from the day... We ordered a GPS before leaving town and used it to help us find our first hotel. Did not know it would be so hard to find a hotel that let us keep a dog there.

The second day we got up, had some hotel "continental breakfast" and headed Southwest towards El Paso. James had to take a few calls that day on the road, the kids slept and played with various toys. Natalie discovered the fun of personal music... we put a CD in her DVD player and she rocked out to kid tunes. Remarkably the whole trip I think she watched one movie. She really was not all that interested... but boy the Barbies and Barbie bag that Nana got her were just the ticket! She played for hours with those in the car! Jameson, well he played with his new cars, Natalie's babies, Barbies, and whatever else we handed him. He was great everyday unless we tried to drive past 8pm...then he was DONE and cried inconsolably. stopped in Deming, NM that night, we ate at Si Senior Mexican Restaurant. We sat close to the rest rooms... which was very interesting... The sink for the mens room was OUTSIDE the bathroom and visible from my chair. James had fun entertaining me while washing his hands... at least you could tell who washed and who did not!

That hotel had a great little indoor pool...so we decided to relax the next AM and spend some time by the pool. That was fun... after some Sonic lunch we headed west and stopped in Yuma, AZ. We thought about pushing through to San Diego that evening, BUT every hotel we called was either booked or outrageously priced. Yuma was nice, very nice little city in the middle of the dessert! We were not set to get the house until Monday, and so we spent the extra day in Yuma. We shopped for a new washer and dryer (oh that a whole other post...got an amazing set I LOVE). At some pizza by the pool and relaxed one last time before we headed out!

Monday we drove on into San Diego. We got to the house and unloaded the van...that thing just about filled the garage! Put the dog in a detox program from her downer addiction and blew up air mattresses as our "truck" was not set to arrive until Tuesday. Note to self. San Diego is still the dessert and it can get a bit nippy in May...we got chilly without any heat that night!

Bright and early the truck arrived and everything was there and intact! Perfect little move! On the load day they brought a handful of helpers to load it... on unloading day they only brought 2 and it went SUPER fast!

WE are finally settling into everything. I still need to decorate the kids rooms...maybe I'm subconsciously still missing their rooms in Dallas? And the garage is over loaded with stuff we don't want in the house... it's in need of some TLC.

I'll take some video tomorrow and give you a tour...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Birthday

A year ago right this moment, I was walking around Target in Allen, Texas with my husband. We'd walk a bit then stop and rest in the patio furniture. It was too hot to walk outside and I did not want to get too far from the birthing center to drive to a mall. So we walked around Target, paused for a contraction, then kept on walking. We bought some dog food that day too. Around noon we left and grabbed some lunch at Arby's. I got a market fresh Turkey sandwich. I ate that and some potato cakes on the way to the Allen Birthing Center. This was the real deal..finally after 9 months of waiting plus an extra 12 days for good measure our little man was making his grand debut!

Grand it was, he was born at 4:47 after just a few hours of labor and the most amazing birth... I really can't hardly believe I did it without an epidural, but that birthing tub and being in the water for the last 4 centimeters and through the delivery made it possible. He ate like a champ that day and has not slowed down one bit!

Today Jameson turns 1. He's now crawling at lightening speeds, laughs freely, smiles all the time, and loves being silly. He repeats lots of words like "duuuude" and "whoa" , and when his daddy passes gas Jameson thinks it hysterical to make the same noise with his mouth!


Here is a picture from a year ago today...

And here is a picture from this morning!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMESON!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm so puffy!

Well, last night we had our "Farewell Party" with very dear friends at Church... I woke up this morning and my eyes are all swollen and huge! Needless to say lots of tears were shed. I saw all these faces and could not help but to think of everything these people have meant to me over the past several years. We have lived life in close community with these people, developing deep friendships. We've shared all aspects of life... Babies have grown into amazing children, Teenagers into unbelievable young adults. Young adults have found love and gotten married. I can't even begin to count the number of pregnancies and babies we've joyously welcomed. We've seen families restored and lives completely changed. Not only have we celebrated, we've also grieved together. These losses many of us have experienced have proven to deepen our friendships. I had no idea that over 5 years ago when Providence started that the most meaningful relationships would emerge. One dear friend poetically called a particular period during the past 5 years as a "Golden Age" and well, in reflecting on my life as a whole, I can definitely say that the last 5.5 years is a "Golden Era" in my life. I will treasure all these memories in my heart. I will tell my children stories of these amazing friends God gave us.

Living life with the people of Providence changed my life.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

So much to do...so little time

Well, we have a house in California... well, we have a house picked up we are working to finalize the lease agreement now. It's great, 3 bedrooms, 2 living areas, 2 bathrooms, and an amazing deck out back with a built in fire place, built in grill, and a HOT TUB...yes a brand new Hot tub!

So now I have about 2 months worth of "to do's" before we leave in 9 days, but, I did take a couple of days to visit my family before moving so far away... I went with the kids by myself to western OK for a couple of days to see my Grandma. Then a stop by my sisters, my brother and mom stopped in while we were there. Over all the trip was very quick, but lots of fun!

Sunday James will preach one last time at Providence and then Sunday night the church is hosting a "Roast" in his honor. I am really looking forward to this as I think it will be right up James' alley!
Not sure who enjoyed whom more, Natalie or Grandma!




Jameson checking out the cousin's Bat....I think he needs one for his birthday.

Trying to catch a frog with the cousins, froggy got away.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mush brain mom? I think not!!!

My dear friend posted this to her blog... I feel honored by it because my brain sure feels like mush most days! Thanks K for posting this!

For the Moms out there.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More JUNK?? what?

So a couple months back I wrote about a junk sale... well we made nearly $400 from our own junk, and we hauled a pick up load PLUS the back of my friends SUV full of stuff off to donation. Well, we have cleared out more junk and are having yet another sale tomorrow. It will be smaller but still enough stuff worthy of a sale...

I'm praying the "scattered showers" are scattered away from my house!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One step closer


To California!

We received an offer for our house, sent a counter offer and they accepted it! We will be closing May 21st, we asked for a lease of the house for a couple of days (feels weird to "rent" our own house)...so in those extra days we "load up tha truck and move ta Beverly" Okay, not really Beverly Hills...a bit south...

I was on the phone with a Realtor in San Diego discussing housing options. We will be renting for a while while the market comes down a bit and we get a good idea of where we'd like to buy... So this very nice Realtor suggested Craigslist.com as a place to find rentals, then sweetly offered to take some photos and send them to me of any listings that don't have pictures...and give me a feel for the neighborhoods.

This triggered a very interesting thought... see a couple of weeks ago I got sort of freaked out, I was backing out of my driveway and a man was driving down the road, stuck his hand out of the open window and snapped a picture of my house.. This was really odd to me, I somehow felt violated...what could his motives be?

I thought nothing of having the Realtor in California take pictures of houses that really mean nothing to me... but was totally freaked out by some random schmo snapping a picture of MY house. Emphasis on MY! A house is a real home when you live in it, and make memories there, As a woman I think cleaning it somehow helps build this bond.. you have to care for a home...in Texas you even have to water it so it does not crack! After a while it just takes a place in your family! So I can see why some random house, that I don't even know the owners would not be any big deal for me to get pictures of it... but the thought of someone taking pictures of MY house.. I felt some sort of violation... almost like a stranger taking pictures of my children in public..


The Lord blessed us with this house for nearly 9 years, we've made scads of memories and it will be sad to leave. But we are uber excited for the next house and the memories it will hold!

Friday, April 25, 2008

3 years ago

Well it's 2:30am and I'm finishing up a little birthday project for my sweet Natalie. I am waiting for some things to wrap up and so I got to pondering... 3 years ago right now I had just woken James up and told him he needed to start timing my contractions for me... a few hours later we headed to the hospital... and she Arrived at 12:07pm on April 25th!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Whatever...It's Tax Day

What is the appropriate greeting for tax day? I don't think "Happy Tax Day" or "Merry Tax Day" sound very appropriate. or even "Have a great Tax day", "Felice Tax Day" Nope those just seem wrong... I think it should be "Whatever... it's tax day" Life never stops changing, and this "tax day" has proven this true once again.

Each year we've always gotten a check in the mail or better yet, deposited straight to our checking account. Not this year... we are getting a refund... BUT we reluctantly checked that box that says "apply to my 2008 taxes." I always saw that box and thought that it seemed silly to check it... I thought "oh heck no, I don't want the government keeping my money for a whole year extra" Well, see, there ya go, life changes. James is working mostly contract work and we either apply this refund to our next year's tax bill or face some penalties for not paying uncle Sam this year...no happy refund for us...

"whatever...it's tax day"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Retail is for suckers!

That's the new slogan/logo for Divine Consign and I love it and I think quite possibly my favorite new saying! DC is a twice yearly consignment sale that is everything baby/kid/maternity. Clothes, toys, baby gear, mommy gear, you name it they have it. I've been faithful volunteer/shopper that I am now staff. They don't pay staff with money, but rights to shop FIRST. We get the pick of the lot. A week ago I headed to Grapevine for that event. The spring sale is over, but make plans for the last of August because if you have small kids you won't want to miss it! The Plano sale has about 55,000 items, Yes Fifty Five THOUSAND things to choose from...

So on that note, I am in desperate need of some new to me threads too. DC does not sell clothes for non-pregnant mommies, so wanting to be thrifty and not pay retail I decided to check out a local thrift store. (Hey it's almost Earth Day, why not try some recycled clothes!)The last time I was in a thrift store I was looking for a costume for a play 14 years ago. Why did I not think of this sooner! Here I am with my new to me jeans... they were $1.99. They sell used on eBay for $15. Oh and the T-shirt I got for working Divine Consign it says "Retail is for suckers"
On my trip to the thrift store I picked up 2 pairs of jeans 4 pairs of shorts 2 capri's for me, 5 pairs of shorts for Natalie and 2 pairs of shorts for my husband. All in great shape, mostly name brands, for a total of $40! RETAIL IS FOR SUCKERS!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why I am a "Stay at home Mom" (2nd post for today)

While conversing with a friend tonight about many things including homeschooling I was reminded of why I stay home with my children. When I was 7 years old my mom, (technically my step-mom, but only by a small technicality), was home wtih us that year. She was a very hard worker and was very involved in our lives, but also work most of the time she was married to my father. But 2nd grade was different. We had just moved to a tiny little farm town in western Oklahoma and she did not get a job. I came home from school one day, the house was clean, and peaceful, she was cooking dinner and finishing putting some clothes away in our room. I remember it vividly. I went outside to play and paused at the top of the steps that lead down to our driveway. I thought about how great it felt to have her home and decided right then and there I would stay home and raise my children when I became a mom. My husband and I were married for nearly 9 years when Natalie came along. In that time I finished college, had a career as a social worker and got my masters degree. I really enjoyed working and the work that I did. I always knew when the day came for us to have children I would, without hesitation, stay home and raise our children.

I'm so grateful that my mom worked so hard, often this was our households only steady source of income. I'm equally grateful that she stayed home most of my 2nd grade year. So I could see so clearly my future role with my children.

More Green!

My random thoughts have really focused on being "green" lately... Maybe it's earth day coming up. My friend sent me the cloth diapers and they swallow my little man. I've not left them on him due to not wanting to clean pee or poo up off the floor! So they shall wait until he grows a bit. In the mean time I got some "green" diapers. Well they are actually brown in color. My husband thinks that I get them cheap because they are plain with no cute little characters and they look the color of a paper bag. He's always teasing me and my sweet baby about being so pitiful that we have to put a paper bag on our baby...and mommy won't buy him real diapers anymore. They are Seventh Generation diapers and they are not "bleached" white, so yes they are light brown in color. They work GREAT too. I'm still filling up landfills with my 100 years to decompose diapers...but at least they are not putting dioxin into the environment or on his sweet little boy parts!

Oh and if your interested, in honor of Earth Day, Amazon has a special right now on all their "Planet Friendly" products. spend $99 and get $20 off. using the code Earth408 at checkout. Amazon hardly puts out promo codes so this is a good thing.

I'm about to place my order for some wipes and more paper bag diapers. (nothing like diapers getting delivered to my door!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

God has you right where He wants you

Seems like a cliche to me and a rather trite saying to offer to someone going through some difficult time. But something I've been doing a lot of pondering about lately. Also other cliche's. "Everything happens for a reason" or "In God's timing it will happen" I mean, really where did such sayings come from. They seem so over used by so many do they genuinely mean anything any more. What if we really MEANT it when we said it... AND what if we mean it for ourselves too. It sure is easy to say to someone else but to actually hear it for ourselves... we don't often ponder it.

The other day, my mother in-law was sitting on my couch. She had foot surgery 5 months ago. She was told that the recovery would be 6 to 8 weeks. She is still in a great deal of pain and limping around. Natalie totally loved how they got to ride the cart that goes "beep beep beep" while at Wal-mart... but "Mom-eye" is not thinking it's so funny to still be having such a hard time. I asked her if God was sanctifying her through this time... she looked at me with a blank look and admitted that she had not really thought about it.

This conversation gave me pause to check out the giant timbers lodged in my own eyes. I am getting frustrated with having my house on the market, keeping it SO super clean all the time. I feel like I'm living in limbo land. I can't really start looking for a new place to live yet, I really hate having boxes around so I won't start packing until we get someone to lease or buy this place.

I don't know how long it will take for us to get moved, much less how long it will take to find someone who wants our house.. But God has us right here at this very time for a reason, although we don't see the whole picture I'm sure it's beautiful and I'll rest in the Grace given for today and not fret over whens and ifs. That's a tall order for a recovering control freak!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A little greener each day!

I've been thinking about using cloth diapers. For several reasons but to possibly save some money, and also to help save our planet from my ever growing pile of disposable diapers. I had not gotten past the "think that would be great" stage due to the laundry factor... it's a never ending battle in every household and well a result of Adam and Eve's fall! I mean really before they ate of the fruit, Eve NEVER had to do laundry! Now here we are, a whole industry profiting off of the fall of man!

Okay side tracked.... I called a good friend of mine that I knew has used cloth diapers and her boy is just over a year older than mine... she offered me his diapers... I know what you are thinking...used cloth diapers...well that's just what they are...I mean we scrub blow outs out of clothes sell them at consignment sales (www.divineconsign.net I'm going next week), consignment shops and garage sales...oh and better yet we pass them on to friends... so I'll give them a good washing and try them out on my sweet little boy.... I'll try to get some pics of our little bundle in the new diapers too!

Oh and for those wondering...I stumbled upon a whole subculture on the internet of cloth diaper parents... this particular video was well quite surprising...(I think this dad might be on something...but a great infomercial on cloth diapers) http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SpRy1aEV7Qs

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Life

Two years ago today Natalie was almost exactly 1 month from her first Birthday and I was 11 and half weeks pregnant. I woke up that morning and new something was amiss and called my midwife. She wanted to see me right away but first wanted a sonogram at her other office. So we loaded up and went in. I looked at the sonogram machine and knew instantly that the baby I was carrying was no moving and it was not good. The doctor that was at that office came in and confirmed what we already knew. The baby had stopped growing at about 9 weeks. This new life I had thought was inside me was gone. About 5 months later we found out that we were expecting again and last June we brought a healthy baby home!

As many women that have suffered a miscarriage will tell you, this is such a silent grief. No funeral, no public mourning your loss. How does one grief the loss of a child they never knew, never held, never touched their sweet face? Then, what do you do 2 years later? Virtually no one remembers the first anniversary much less the second one. But most moms do, but how are you supposed to respond to the second anniversary of such a loss? This is such a perplexing question. Sadly most women don't even really talk about it. I mean, most people really don't know what to say to a woman that has just suffered a miscarriage, if anything is said at all, often people retort a cliché that seems somehow to trivialize the situation..."this is for the best" or "what if something were wrong" or "you can have another"

Okay so onto my real point of this whole rambling thought... Here's what I like to do with my anniversary of this day. I like to take some time to ponder this child, remember how joyous I was when I saw those 2 pink lines, how creatively I painted a "I'm the big sister" shirt for Natalie and put it on her for her dad to find. Then I like to think about where God has brought me since, and what amazing things he has done. Today this anniversary fell on Easter. What a great day to have such an anniversary. I lost a child 2 years ago...but this is nothing compared to God sending His own son 2000 years ago. God send Jesus, to do the will of the Father...that we might have new life! I spent a few moments today reflecting on that pregnancy and then at our Easter gathering we celebrated new life. We had a baptism service. People declared they were dead to themselves and pledged their allegiance to Christ. "buried with Christ in his death, risen to walk in NEWNESS of LIFE"

To the child I lost 2 years ago today, that I never held, that I never felt your soft skin, that you never heard me sing sweet lullabys...I know you are beholding God's glory in heaven, and I will always love you and be your mommy. To my Savior who died 2000 years ago, I owe everything. For you lived the life I could not live and you died the death I could not die. Through your death and resurrection I have New Life!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Best parents are those without children!

Our first born arrived 1 month shy of our 9 year anniversary. During the previous 9 years we saw many friends and family become parents and well many of those kids got pretty old. We saw all the things that we would "never" do. And could tell you all the things we would do right that these people were obviously not doing so well. All those years my husband would say "you know, the best parents are those without any children" What a little idealistic world we lived in! Now sometimes our children are bribed to get them to eat, they watch too much television on occasion. The hair is not always combed when we leave the house, their faces are not always wiped down, they throw fits in public, they throw fits in private, they interrupt adult conversation... it's life, thankfully God is gracious!

Well, some friends of ours don't yet have children, but I just got one of the best parenting tips I've gotten in a long time from her.

Use 30second bursts of attention. Get down on their level, for 30 seconds when I am preoccupied with something such as cooking or cleaning. I often throughout the day, stop, squat down, and just chat with her about what she is doing or something we might do later, or make a plan of book reading when I finish the dishes.

I've noted lots less attention seeking behavior coming from my 2 year old. She is a lot less likely to act out just for my attention and is much more content to play happily while I'm busy. Granted I really try not to parent in such a way that simply changes her behavior. When we address behavior we also point out the root causes of it, and examine her heart in the matter. So it's not that we simply want her to "act" better.... but getting the attention she needs and thrives on makes her a much more pleasant 2 year old to be around...

Who knew how far 30 seconds would get me in accomplishing her unending need for mommy's attention and affirmation?

My poor dog!

Last week our Daphne was walking with a "hitch in her get along" The back end was just not looking right. James took her to the vet on Saturday AM. The vet thought she might have strained it, but was concerned about some weight gain. So he ran some blood work on her. They called today and said she has hypothyroidism. Low thyroid...the vet said that the "theory" is that it is an autoimmune disorder in that the dog's body basically attacks itself and destroys the thyroid. So now she has to take thyroid pills the rest of her life, and TWICE A DAY at that! I can barely remember to take my vitamins once a day or give the kids theirs...much less remember to give her a pill twice a day.

Seriously, my vitamins are a "whole food" supplement. If you know anything about this sort of vitamin it's to be taken throughout the day, just like food. We know it's not right to eat one huge meal a day and vitamins that are food based work the same way. But, I would never remember to take these vitamins more than once a day, so I just take them all at once.

How in the world am I ever going to remember to give the dog her pill twice a day? And why don't they have "controlled release" version of doggie thyroid anyway?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wow...

Just over 8 years ago we bought our first house. Well, actually our only house so far. We quickly met our neighbors, A couple a little more than 10 years older than us. Living with them was her 14 year old daughter. She loved to play basketball in her drive way and ride her roller skates around. Anytime we were out side she was sure to pop up and start chatting with us. We watched her finish junior high, go through high school, Attended her graduation pool party next door. She is now nearly 22 and is engaged to be married.

During those first several years here our marriage struggled greatly, almost ending at one point. But then Jesus... our lives have a new story now...as a result one of the many hats my husband wears is "Pastor James." Tonight we started that neighbor girl's pre-marriage counseling! I am in total awe of where God has brought us and how he has changed our lives...We now have the great honor doing their pre-marriage counseling and if we have not moved by then, James will be officiating their wedding.

We count it a high honor and privilege to be able to counsel young couples planning on getting married. We really love to share life with them and James and I always comment on how we always get so much out of it...and pray the couples get as much as we do.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I didn't think about it.

With having 2 small children, preparing our house to go on the market, and taking care of daily household things I have discovered something... I only have so many thoughts that my brain will think during a given day.. when I come to the end, that's it, I'm done thinking and anything left, well it does not get thought about. If it does not get thought about, then it certainly does not get done!

I keep hearing myself respond to my husband "honestly, I did not think about it" When he inquires about something that needs to be done.

This dawned on me yesterday as a friend of mine, who has 4 children 6 and under says the same thing to her husband "well, I just didn't think about it" I mean, it's not as if this woman did not think about anything during her day... she has 4 children for crying out loud, they were not withering away from lack of food, they were dressed, they did not appear filthy so obviously she thought about bathing them, feeding them and clothing them. And she was dressed, fed and clothed.

I could not possibly be as busy as she is and yet somehow she has figured out how to think a few more thoughts during the day because surely she gets more accomplished than I do... Maybe if I had fewer random thoughts, I could think about productive things and accomplish more? hmmm...then I would not have much to blog about now would I?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Amish house cleaning!!!

Wow, I'm exhausted and excited at the same time!

A few weeks back a gal in the missional community (small group) from church mentioned how the Amish women go to each others homes to do deep cleaning together. So a few of us decided we needed to do this as well.

It was very last minute and sick kids kept a few ladies away, but 2 showed up to clean my house tonight! We cleaned the living room, playroom, master bath, master bedroom and the entry way. Ceiling to floor! Well, not really the floors, because my vacuum pooped out on me tonight...*sing* Ya picked a fine time to leave me Lucille" But the windows got scrubbed, the blinds, the base boards, all the furniture got polished, the fans got dusted, the light switch covers got scrubbed..My house is sparkling!!!

Good times and great stories to tell...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Deal finders...

Well the Junk Sale is over... I had a lot of junk, and well someone thought it was worth something... I made $470.78. A few friends brought some junk to sell as well. All told we cleared over $600!

I love people watching and what a great time I had interacting with all the shoppers... I realized that differenent segments of the population shop so differently... Most men are shopping for something very specific. One man had his truck there bright and early and picked up a ton of our furniture, and he was a strong negotiator. We told him the price was $20 and he offered $5 type deal. He would quickly be able to tell you exactly what was wrong with what you were selling and why the value was to be so low. I would assume he was going to resell our junk and be able to quickly tell a potential buy all the good points! We had several other men stop buy and they were asking about very specific items, fishing items, old guns, old laptops, old pocket knives. None of which did we have, but they asked, sometimes spent a buck or two on something else and left quickly.

I started asking the men if they were looking for something in particular, One older gentleman said "yes, I need a drill bit" Turned out, he was working on a stove for his daughter, on a block over, left for Home Depot, and stopped by our sale to see what we had. I loaned him a drill bit from my husbands garage, he returned with his wife who spent $5, and the drill bits! He seemed stunned that I would just do that for a complete stranger...well it saved him a trip to home depot, so they spent their money at my sale instead of home depot! Win-Win is what I call that... of course that's not why I did it...

Then there are the ladies... the area has a very large Hispanic population. Many of which don't speak much English. But boy they know how to communicate when they think your prices are too high or they want to get them down! And negotiate they can! The women wanted the best price possible, much more than the men. The men did not hardly even negotiate on price, but the women...they seemed to thrive on it.

Thankfully, many saw the value of most of our junk and we got fair prices for our stuff.... oh 1 guy did make off with a pair of gently used, very expensive sneakers for 78cents...but his were in really bad shape, so I was glad he got them for cheap!

The end of the day my friend with boys, came and loaded all the left overs up and took it to a donation center! Her 2 older boys (the ones that can walk), were EXTRA helpful! Speaking of helpful.. my mom ROCKED...she came and worked, brought only a few items, spent more than she made and worked so hard both days... and froze right there with us! Thanks mom!

Feels great to have it all out of my hair, now for the chore of super cleaning... we list it next week!

Friday, February 22, 2008

From the Junk Sale...

Well, we got up at the crack of dawn, literally, it was 630 and the sun was just peaking out. It was stinking COLD out too... I mean, CCCCCCCCold! My faithful husband went right to work toting all of the junk out to the driveway. I had a few friends bring some things by as well. Our junk was reached our long driveway and into he garage.

Most of the furniture sold, but also tons of baby clothes too. I'm above $200 so far-WAHOO...what shall I spend it on? Oh yes, moving, right.

I got a neat treat, our neighbor across the street has a new baby that I had not gotten to meet yet..she stopped by, picked up a few clothes for her little girl... I told her about our playgroup (uh-oh we better get going girls!), and she was really interested.


Oh and none of the blankets sold, we were using them to wrap up with and stay warm, did I say it was cold?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good Bugs

WARNING: BRAINY TRACY AHEAD!

I read today on the Vaccine Awakening blog that Glaxo (a drug company), has just gotten their version of the rotovirus vaccine approved today by the FDA. Barbara Loe Fisher did an outstanding job of discussing this vaccine, I won't rehash what she had to say here..

BUT, it got my random thoughts spinning! Good bugs or friendly bacteria, or flora, that make up our digestive tract and how they have changed our home and I thought I'd give a little information that people ask me on a regular basis...now I can just point people to this post.

A little background info first... a few years ago I was having a recurring infection, I was chatting with my midwife about this and asked her how I could prevent it, not just treat it once it was here. She suggested I head to the health food store and get some probiotics. I had heard of these and knew the basic concept but really did not know much.

Once I got to the health food store, my head started spinning trying to sort through all the bottles of probiotics. I asked for help, the lady that helped me asked if I was having recurring sinus issues. I had been for years. I picked up a bottle that day and started on them immediately. The infection that I had been having has not returned, and my sinus issues have significantly subsided as well.

Now, when someone in our house feels a bit under the weather for any reason I up their dose of daily probiotics. If anyone has a stomach bug I really up their dose of it as well.

A basic primer, from me about probiotics... They are the friendly bacteria that populate our digestive system. They are responsible for helping digestion, which I've read holds a huge percentage of our immune functioning. Think of it, antibiotics kill off ALL bacteria, even the good stuff, leaving our immune system more vulnerable to a future more severe infection if it is not replaced quickly.

What I look for in a probiotic:
1. Lot of bugs (cell count in the billions)
2. Lots of Strains: We are said to have thousands of strains of good bacteria in our digestive tracts, they have isolated just a few of them to put in probiotics, so I try to capitalize on the number of strains we are getting. Bifidus or bifidum is said to be good for babies.

You don't have go buy the most expensive one. Something about the ones that say they don't have to be refrigerated, not sure how that all works... but I avoid those.

I also change it up from time to time buy a different brand every few bottles.

Yogurt and other "cultured" foods have the good bugs in them, most don't have near as much as you can get in a "probiotic" Kefir is the exception. It's a yogurt type food, found in the natural section of the grocery store, or at a health food store. It's often flavored, great to add it to a smoothie. You have to really watch the sugar content of these items as well... you can think that you are eating something healthy when it is loaded with sugar. Also, not all yogurt actually has live bacteria cultures in it. And personally I ponder if the weird colors they add to the "kiddie" yogurts don't do something to any remaining live cultures...

Most kids will eat and LOVE good quality yogurt, it does not have to be loaded with extra sugar, or wild colors, or cartoon characters. I mean, buy this stuff if you want, but don't be fooled on it being at all healthy for your child... (if your doing it just for the calcium and they won't eat yogurt any other way, offer them a Viactiv and they probably won't turn you down!)

So talk to your doctor, do some research on all the benefits of probiotics and see about getting yourself some good bugs.... I wonder if the drug companies that offer the vaccines for rotovirus ever tested probiotic usage in small children to prevent rotovirus?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Going Green-Save a Buck

I'm all about saving. Saving money, time, and the earth while I'm at it. I think we should be good stewards of all we are blessed with. It's a learning process for me. I do love being Thrifty though...so that inspires me to do so with saving time and the earth while I"m at it.

For instance, I've started refilling those foam pump things on my own. I love using Burts Bees soap for the kids, but at $9 a bottle, that's a bit steep for our budget. However, I've figured out a way to make it work. With a "free" coupon I got a foam pump soap. I used it up, as not to waste it, then filled a small amount of my Burt's Bees in the bottom and the rest with water. Works just like the other foam soap... I use about 1 bottle of the foam on the kids in a month... at this rate the full bottle of Burt's Bees should last over a year and half! So that particular endeavor worked well for me... Oh and I've also done the same thing with the kids hand soap, and my kitchen soap.
If you did not know those foam pump soaps are the biggest gag I've seen in a while. Meaning they are priced higher than regular soaps, AND they cost a fraction of the amount... Pretty much anyone can experiment a little and use regular soap and water (lots of water, little soap).

So I decided to figure out what other cleaning products I was spending lots on and how I could save...

I googled how to make my own dishwasher detergent... I read lots of articles and peoples comments... decided this would take some serious trial and error. My finicky dishwasher wants only the most expensive tabs out there! All others I've had serious issues with and end up with still dirty dishes... but alas I have to try to make my own... what could it hurt right?

Well, during one of my experiments, Natalie comes running to me... "mommy, mommy, there's bubbles EVERYWHERE" I had read that you could use a few drops of liquid dish soap with the mix of washing soda, and borax to help get everything nice and clean... well, I guess I used a few drops to many...

After several loads of dishes and them turning out like they have a film, I gave up.... (I even tried vinegar in my jet dry compartment, per several "green" website suggestions). It did not help. I'm not saying this does not work for some, because I"m sure it does. My washer is pretty finicky, so if you can use powder in yours, give it a try. 1part Super Washing Soda (arm and hammer makes it), and 1 part Borax, 1 tablespoon of this dry mix should be enough for the load. Both were available at my grocery store, in the laundry products aisle, and for cheap too!

Here's a cute pic I snagged of Natalie and the bubbles... (I just found out if you click on the picture it will increase the size)And a super cute pic of each of them!