Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

Even though we were half dead this weekend.....I see that I have quite a bit to be thankful for :D

So I thought I'd take part in Denise's Thankful Tuesday.....it's such a great weekly exercise......and actually something my kids are used to asking us each night before we sing and pray....."What are YOU thankful for mommy?"

So reflecting on January 23rd-25th.....I am thankful:

1. For my husband who put up with my sick, bent over self for almost a week. Actually, he more than 'put up' with me....he made/served dinners, bought me flowers, and otherwise went above and beyond the call of duty when I was doubly slammed with muscle spasms in my back (random!) AND some monster cold/fever thing. He's my Hero........don't worry, I make sure he knows it too!

2. That as pitiful as it was to watch each of the kids get sick one-by-one, our fevers did not escalate...and no Dr. was needed for four of us to get through this!

3. That neither my husband or the young man he collided with were injured in their fender bender Sunday night.

4. We still have two working vehicles and that we have resources to repair my hubby's truck.

5. All my ribbing about his accident actually caused him to call me the next day so we could laugh together....God, may we always be able to handle trials with "a peace that passes all understanding."

6. My mom celebrated another year on this earth......and that our proximity to her allows us to make memories with her on a daily basis!

7. In the midst of being sick we were able to capture a beautiful image of the kids, frame it and present it to my mom for her birthday on Friday.

8. For friends (and my mom :) who offered or delivered soup/meals when I could barely walk. (I didn't have to grocery shop ALL last week-how amazing is that!)

9. For three healthy kids, a warm home to snuggle in and cards, books and movies to keep us busy!

10. That I was able to return some Christmas gifts at Macy's and get a new purse + 3 tops which I will TRY to not wear for 6 more weeks, until our trip for Maui ........I'm not sure if I needed the shirts more or the mommy break on Sunday....for ALL of it, I'm SO grateful!

***contented sigh****

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Proverb a Day.....

Might keep my foot out of my mouth.....well I can hope right?

I've been listening to Jon Courson...my online pastor from Applegate Christian Fellowship in Oregon....and I'm loving his clarity! He reintroduced me to my new favorite Proverb #15....I love it so much I'm going to dedicate two days to this Proverb this week.......so for now check out the first 17 verses down at the bottom of this post and you can tell me which is YOUR favorite verse for today!

There are some doozies as far as convicting me of how I SHOULD react to things....but also some rays of sunshine.....reminders of God's mercy to me just where I'm at.

I just love how God wove so many of my hats into these 33 verses....my mom hat, my teacher hat, my nurse hat, dang I think v. 1 works for my wifey hat too!....

v. 13, 14 & 17 Hollered at me

13A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.
Application for me as a mom/wife/friend: Smile more.....and FEEL that smile from way down deep in my toes.....if I'm not smiling then WHY not? I have SO much to be GLAD for.....it should show on my face.... I am no longer lost without hope and mindlessly wandering this earth....there is SO much purpose in life, I can't let myself get bogged down with worries, or frustrations......

14A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash.
Application for me as a person: Um, what am I eating? I read this note in a friend's Bible: "What we hungry for ....that is what we worship"..... is it that show, that snack, that hobby, what is my distraction.....where is all my time/energy going? Am I feeding on trash- the things that are NOT beneficial to growth in my life, be it spiritual, physical, or mental?

17 A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
Application for me as a mom: I can treasure even these sickie days....because a cold WILL pass (praise God!)....I can't even list all the things that are worse than this fleeting nurse duty time......but getting to snuggle my feverish little ones for a few days....having the opportunity to serve them at their humblest......that's actually a gift. And yes, I can say that I'm grateful for days like this! I was created to love and be loved and right now that love is being tested by oodles of soiled laundry, batches of soup, cold compresses and tepid baths, medicine and countless games of cards.

So that's just the tip of the iceberg for me.....feel free to comment on which verse in Proverbs 15 talks Right OUT LOUD to you!

Pro 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.

Pro 15:2
The wise person makes learning a joy; fools spout only foolishness.

Pro 15:3
The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.

Pro 15:4
Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Pro 15:5
Only a fool despises a parent's discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.

Pro 15:6
There is treasure in the house of the godly, but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.

Pro 15:7
Only the wise can give good advice; fools cannot do so.

Pro 15:8
The LORD hates the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.

Pro 15:9
The LORD despises the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness.

Pro 15:10
Whoever abandons the right path will be severely punished; whoever hates correction will die.

Pro 15:11
Even the depths of Death and Destruction [fn] are known by the LORD. How much more does he know the human heart!

Pro 15:12
Mockers don't love those who rebuke them, so they stay away from the wise.

Pro 15:13
A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.

Pro 15:14
A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash.

Pro 15:15
For the poor, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

Pro 15:16
It is better to have little with fear for the LORD than to have great treasure with turmoil.

Pro 15:17
A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.

Comment away and we'll Bible study together........fun, huh, it could be dinner time, midnight or some other random time.....and the Word promises to deliver something to each of us! Cool :D

Friday, January 23, 2009

A slice of life.......

A simple purchase for Foxy....though my hubby seemed to be having THE hardest time taking off the tags....

"Do you need scissors?" I offered.

He stared intently at this one particular tag. Atleast 5 minutes went by...
A dyslexic's nightmare.
Sweet man....he really wasn't sure why he should "STOP" before tearing off this tag :D
** Disclaimers:
Sorry for the picture quality....I got a laptop....not a camera for Christmas remember;)
All details of this account were published with his permission ...and with apologies to anyone else who suffers from dyslexia....it's GOT to be the most Frustrating thing to deal with!!! But around here we're just keeping it real!**

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our quest to walk....

My kids have fallen in LOVE with walking our dog......the arches in my feet...not so much!

I shouldn't complain, .........though my thighs are, (Ba dump, bump).....it IS wonderful to have this daily motivation to get out there and explore our trails. (Not to mention the fact that we're headed to Maui in 6 weeks...and I only found out last Friday...but that's another post...)
"Mom, when are we going to take Foxy for a walk?" is the phrase of the season!
Where to walk, where to walk.....well from our house you can set off in over 6 directions and hit various parks or trails.....nothing glamorous, but safe and accessible......and SO worthy of PE credits ;)
So off we go.........with 8 wheels, one harness and three kids!
Look at those helmets....what good boys....I've only recently made them wear these....I had been a bit oblivious to the law....oops! But after watching them become more and more daring on the hills I became The Enforcer (though I doubt I'll have them wear them on the ice rink.....I'm not quite THERE yet Alicia ;)....and they've been good sports, whew!
As far as our girl....well technically she is big enough to walk.......... but I only let her out of the stroller for short spurts....otherwise there would be no hope for me to break a sweat!
I like to think of the stroller as her dog-powered chariot...I'm there to steer and make sure she doesn't fall over...but that Foxy pulls us like a horse! She keeps a steady clip which pulls me along and I barely have to push on the stroller...
Although sometimes she's our biggest speed bump!......when she crosses in front of the stroller, or changes sides of the sidewalk......Floop, Floomp, there is Foxy with the leash all wrapped around a leg or something. So we stop and adjust.....I'm hoping it's all part of the learning curve......but it's a little maddening at times!
And that's when the boys can get a bit ahead of us......but Oooo, I have to tell you about our new secret weapon. My mom and I conspired and she bought our boys these awesome walkie talkies that work for miles! So I can let the boys go down that hill in front of me and all I have to do is radio them directions to stop, wait, etc! Sometimes a curve in the road is inevitable and I want to be in contact with them whethter they are two house or 1/2 a block away!
So far they feel like secret agents and I don't have to YELL orders to the entire neighborhood! Before I felt like I was advertising always SO Loud....I mean *Gasp* who wants to be scolded in public to 'Stay with YOUR BROTHER!" Now I am the mom who 'would NEVER do that!' :D I just reach down press a button and quietly say, "I saw you punch him, now knock it off. Just stay there.... I'm right behind you!"
The trail parallels this canal....so we inevitably stop for the boys to toss rocks in.....and contemplate death. Ah yes, that oh so light topic of children everywhere......That canal is a conversation starter. Since it's extemely gated in they always ask about swimming/fishing etc in the water....which takes me back to my Enforcer role. In a serious but matter of fact voice, I say, "If you fell in there you would die. That water will suck you down and we won't see you again."
Nothing like scarring, I mean scaring them to death! So they are very solemn when they look at this water.......whew...after typing that I'm gonna have to start praying that their memories of our walks include the happy thoughts too!

Mental note: look for more bugs, play chase and tell more stories while we walk by the canal....ah, The Enforcer will work on her diversionary tactics tonight....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hook Birthday Battle

Come take a trip with us…second star to the right and straight on til morning….
The details will be covered from food to lodging. Just come as you are…..be ye pirate, lost boy or fairy (ah, costumes ARE required)
There are places to hide from attacking seafarers....(kids could venture out from the PVC fort through a blanket covered tunnel.....all the way down the hall to the Pirate Room- this picture really doesn't do it justice...the thing was as big as our front room!)In the doorway hung a Pirate's flag.....a sign indicated just which pirate may be lurking inside:
Soft, black weed-blocking material was used to drape around the room like the sails on a ship. We'll use this material in the garden in the spring.....talk about more bang for our buck! Don't look now but I think we've spotted the birthday boy's dad....Captain James T. Hook! (Wow does he look grouchy, but he was a REALLY good sport about his mascot duties!)He may be on his way to torment Tink....let's go check out the girlier fort.....This Christmas gift was a perfect fit for today's festivities (with no Tinkerbell in sight we should hurry....)
But wait! (If you've seen the movie....you'll know that the imaginary banquet is a highlight of the show.)
Let's go check out the spread......
We imagined edible crayons but (pretzel rods whose ends have been dipped in candy, with homemade wrappers around their middles) without mommies....who will tell the Lost Boys that's it's ok to eat em?
I forgot to take a picture of the main food (chicken wings, hotdogs, nachos....) But here is the other table with close-ups of the colorful spread:
Isn't booty just THE funniest word?? Ah, and one of THE best snacks thanks to Trader Joe's!THIS beauty was made by a dear friend who is honing her cake making skills. This, from-SCRATCH, chocolately creation was TO DIE FOR! I am no fan of cake in general, but her cakes are moist and dense and wonderful! Oh, my! Beyond good food, there were activities galore and small prizes to be won. The standard ring toss was actually an inflated pirate ship:
The blindfold game was Stick the Treasure on the Map (all were eager to play with or without the reward of small trinkets):Speaking of....these friendly fellows guarded the prizes for the games...oversized rings and chocolate coins.
Even the pinata had a Neverland flare:
My favorite highlight to the day was our treasure hunt. Only in California can I get 16 kids running around OUTSIDE in January. The beautiful weather made it easy for the crowd to find their goody bags in here:
but not before they walked the plank:
Such an adventurous day deserved a happy ending.....so yes, in the end.....our Birthday Boy pirate-turned-good guy defeated Captain Hook! Until next year... May you believe in fairies, find a plank to walk (aka, 'balance' your life with fun AND adventure) and list all your Happy thoughts.

My Happy thoughts are:

1)Smiling kids....snuggled in their pjs after a long and amazing day!

2) Homemade goodies like cakes and food labels.

3) Parties, parties, parties!!

I just need a little fairy dust and I'd be able to FLY to my room!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Foxy Loxy needs your help....

I'm feeling like a Bloggy Dropout posting only once this week!
The truth is I have been HARD at WORK! (Yes, there really IS overtime for at-home mommas!)
But all that aside, I have a question for my doggie-loving friends.....
What do I do if my girl seems sad??
Foxy Loxy is friendly, she's wonderful, and VERY even tempered, but the look in her eyes is pitiful!
A friend of mine pointed out that she never has that "crazy-eyed happy face," where the dog's whole body is wagging, tongue hanging ready to lick your face off!
Don't get me wrong....Foxy DOES get excited to see us, and her tail wags often, but her licks are gentle, not out of control, (which I am grateful for....and I realize that this probably sounds silly!!) She's just very subdued. She'll romp around outside, play with her toys, tug-o-war with us, take vigorous walks, and she is completely gentle with the fam.......I really shouldn't have a complaint.
I just, (gasp*, can it be?) CARE about how she's feeling! I say that because I have been accused of NOT being a dog lover!
I'm hoping this is still part of our adjustment period....., it's only been a month, right? And before she came home with us, her 'parents' divorced, she lost her home, then spent 4 weeks with a foster mom (who loved her SO much that she cried when we came to pick her up!)
I could write a sad country song about all that!
She seems to have transitioned to our home So well! She is totally patient with the kids, sleeps on Merrick's bed, and has never had an accident in the house. She isn't skittish, nor does she bark at people, just the chihuaua next door (which, I think I'd bark at if I knew how!)
I guess I'm just so pleased with her addition to our home,
that I want to make sure she's happy too.
Dang, do you think we need family counseling?!?!?
I'm just saying....this is the first dog I've ever been responsible for...my childhood dogs were cared for by my dad....So any ideas you have would be graciously accepted :D
Really, at this point, all I can offer her are belly rubs (that girl is on her back constantly!!) and treats throughout the day. Check out her eyes in the pic below...AND that's in the midst of a total rub down from Jarrod..........ugh Foxy, why are you so sad?!?!
Alright, I'll let you talk now, Blessings and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


If a word could define me, would it be this one?
I found this quiz on Denise's site (who, by the way, is mom to the world's CUTEST little girl)

.....and the magic Quizmaster said: Your Word is "Hope"

You see life as an opportunity for learning, growth, and bringing out the best in others. No matter how bad things get, you always have at least a glimmer of optimism.

You are accepting and forgiving. You encourage those who have wronged you to turn over a new leaf. And while there is a lot of ugliness in the world, you believe that almost no one is beyond redemption.

Wow I HOPE to live that one out - - - after last year..... I see a lot of relationships that need some of THAT! But it's not worth it unless you know WHO your hope is in:

"We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:10)

"Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it." (Romans 8:24)

"So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Did you get all that? Yeah, it's all in there.....that beautiful B-I-B-L-E.

What's your word?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Techno Fashion Show

I really haven't had a chance to play with my new laptop......seeing as I'm still shopping for a great wireless bundle......so until this baby is hooked up I've been here in my 'comfort zone'--the messy, messy, office.

But I do have visions of grandeur...where I am waltzing with my laptop on the beach, or blogging away on BART while we're on a field trip....and when that happens I wanted this girl dressed up! So my gracious hubby ordered this prettiness to spruce up the whole commuter black thing I had going on.....

....it reminds me of an old compact mirror, Jarrod thinks it has Far East written all over it.....either way it's cheery....though I must admit that I'm a bit disappointed at the way it clashes with the black....(I thought my laptop was silver when I placed the order)....but I'm sure it'll grow on me.....the pattern itself has me transfixed!

What is it you ask? Oh, well let me step aside and introduce you to Gelaskins!

I first found this company last year when I was looking for something creative to protect my Nano. This is one of the skins I ordered....Tea Party- isn't she quaint?

Gelaskins take artist's creations and beautifully mount them on thick, sticky-backed plastic. It easily applies and reapplies to your appliances whenever you need a change. And the best part is that you don't look like that average teenager with hot pink tiger stripes on your ipod!
If you do decide to check out the site, remember, this is ART.....fully open to partial nudity and interpretation...the graphics are often melancholy .......This one is called the Soundtrack of My Life...how sad, huh? I want to hug this teddy and tell him that Jesus can mend his brokeness:and then there is: When Fear turned to Frolic...which I liked but I thought might scare my daughter....I really liked the next one. And I'm noticing a theme here...I prefer mellow yellows......at first I loved the design - an organic touch with a cartoon feel.....it was cute.......but the title threw me; it is called Jealousy.....it's just TOO sad after you know the title, right?And then you run into the irreverent. This one is called the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

They also reproduce a print or two from artists like Monet, van Gogh and even Klimt. So there really is something for everyone. Jarrod and I definitely feel like our ipods are protected from scratches...but this isn't a thick, bouncy rubber coating...so it's not going to keep it from a good thud on the ground!

Without sounding further like a Gelaskins commercial......I MUST comment on their fantastic Customer Service. When I received one of the skins for my ipod I discovered it had been cut crooked. I figured I would have to take a picture of it, package it back up, send it to them and then wait for a new one. But this is a very small company, so the guy I talked to was one of the designers and he took my word for it that it was bad and sent me a new one in the mail That Very DAY! No hassle, no fuss...and SO trustworthy! I was wowed...you just don't find that much anymore!

So needless to say I was thrilled to give them business again when I was ordering for my laptop. It's a luxury item...but such a happy thought for me....doesn't she just make you smile??? (Yes, I've decided it's a girl)

Do YOU have anything that needs sprucing??

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Writer's Workshop....6 words from a 'loved' one

***Updated....go to the end....
I've always wanted to do one of these workshops...and maybe I did it wrong, but I answered:
2.) Ask a loved one to use 6 descriptive words to describe you and report your findings. How well do they know you?
Since my hubby is working long hours, I asked a friend....we share a love thing too right? So here from my dear bloggy/real life friend is her list....unedited and with her definitions....I swear I didn't bribe her either....though one bottle of Diet Pomegranate 7up could go a long way...on her own she wrote that I am:

Amusing: evoking laughter…great company; can find the funny in every situation

Reflective: meditative…constantly thinking about how she can improve as a person…mom, wife, friend; not willing to settle for comfortable

Goodhearted: friendly, warm-hearted, caring, considerate…genuinely cares about those important to her; wants everyone to feel welcome and included

Supportive: carries the weight of others…the friend who is there the moment you need her, puts herself aside to support you when you are in need and does so without judgment

Warrior: one who is in battle…goes to battle for those she cares about, covering them in prayer and lifting them up; spiritual encourager

Genuine: free from dishonesty, true…sincere with who she is, open and upfront about her strengths and weaknesses; honest and truthful; a loyal friend
How's that for a late-night infomercial. I'm not sure who she had in mind when she was writing this....but I'll claim it for now....until the identity police come to take me away........She makes me sound lovely. I want to be my friend. Now if only everyone perceived me through such rose-colored glasses.....well atleast her and I can mutually admire each other :D See my list for her here.....we didn't peek BEFORE we posted either!
That's what friends are for right?
And for my UPDATE:
So after so many giggles about husbands giving stinkery responses to this list I just HAD to ask my lovie for his list....
So last night, while he was half asleep, I was shaking the bed....... he said all dreamily... "Sparkly"
.....cute.....undefined....does he mean my eyes, or my teeth?? ;)
So I left him to sleep.....man, some people acting all sleepy since they need to get up at 4pm...the NERVE!
This morning I found this list....no explanations.....just scratched out on a notecard...seven words....but two linked together. I'm guessing this is his list:
I must have made him some GOOD coffee this morning....or maybe he saw the new chocolate covered macaroons I bought for his lunch....
Either way, I felt all giddy. Really, I felt .....like a rare gem he had found.....(still can't get past the first two words ;)
And I was BAFFLED by the lack of negative words......though last night when I suggested he use "Impatient" as I was trying to press him before he nodded off....He DID say I could use "Aggressive".....so there you have it....I'm aggressive. Poor guy.
I think I owe him his own personal word lovefeast....stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Great Joy

Worship was finishing up at CBS....we're singing the last song. This is the time when the teachers line up our kids along the walls of the auditorium. One particular teacher caught my eye today. I think she teaches her son's class. He is usually confined to a wheelchair. I'm not sure of his condition but his arms are pulled crooked, tight to his chest-his legs are thin and shriveled, his head tends to flop or move sporadically. I've thought of her before....amazed that she obviously has a full plate but she still chooses to share God's word with a classroom full of 7 & 8 year olds.

She and her brood are not hard to miss because they stand against the stage. They are the only class who wait in front of us, just off to the side of where we follow the song lyrics on the screen.

But today I noticed her for another reason. She was gathering her students, making sure they stood in front of the stage not sitting on the stage. But my heart raced because today she wasn't pushing along her son. She was carrying him. A child almost three-quarters her size, and flailing about. She would set him on the stage to repostition him, but then he was back in her arms, cradled really. And as we sang, she rocked him. I tried to concentrate on the words, but my heart kept going back to her......now she was flying him like an airplane....gently and not to attract attention, but dancing with him to the music. And I couldn't stop the tears falling down my cheeks.

I'm not that strong Lord, you know how my arms tired quickly when I had 10 pound newborns- I could hardly wait for their legs to become independent. Now I cradle them for hugs and songs and laughs, but I would never think of carrying them for more than a few minutes. And today Lord you sent this momma into my field of vision. She melted my soul with her pure devotion....her joy in holding that child. Lord, do you brace her arms? When she is tired, do you double her strength?

I revel in her joy. I always learned that Joy is not an emotion....it's not a feeling. There was no obvious smile on this momma's face......but there was sincerity. This was normal, this was life....she was living.....JOY. I truly believe that Joy comes from a deeper assurance. This momma knew, that her burden was great, but she wasn't wallowing. She was dancing........and her baby looked light in her arms. This child will always need her. I doubt that he will ever have the ability to care for himself. But God knew that......He knew that when He formed that momma, and He knew that when He created her child. This was no accident, God knew what would bring her to her spiritual knees, and take her to Him on a daily basis.

He knows the same for me. My trials may seem small on the scale of trials in this world. But they make me tired....and I need someone to lift up my arms. Today my heart found strength in that momma's love. I didn't just see her dancing there.....I saw Jesus.

God cradle that family, wherever they rest tonight. You used them mightily today......may their loads feel feather-light tomorrow. For in them my heart found Great Joy.