Saturday, December 13, 2008

baby jeesia photo

just had to show a photo about my last post.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

say what?!

There are some things you just never think you'll hear yourself say.
Once they come out of your mouth, you're shocked, just like everyone else.
Well, I've got a good one for you.
We have a little magnetic nativity on our fridge.
It has small-ish pieces, but no choking hazards for our 1 year old.
She loves playing with it, especially with baby Jesus
(whom she calls "Baby Jeesia" for some reason.)
Yesterday, she was full of sass!
She was caught doing all sorts of semi-naughty things all day.
Well, in the evening, she and I were in the kitchen.
She was playing with the nativity magnets and I was doing dishes.
Suddenly, she got the idea to throw the magnets all around the kitchen...
especially baby Jesus.
One got stuck under the fridge and was hard to get out.
I laid down the law and told her she could play with them, but not to throw them.
She looked right at me and threw baby Jesus.
"Oh no you didn't!" was my response.
I gave her another chance.
And probably a few more....too many.
Finally, she sat in time out for being disobedient.
When we came back into the kitchen, after time out,
I said, "Okay, you can play but NO MORE THROWING BABY JESUS!"
That just makes me laugh to hear it out loud.
priceless parenting moment.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


This was a wonderful writing prompt that my 4th grade teacher husband had for his class. I can't tell you how hilarious some of the questions were! We had a good laugh at some of them (like Mary, did you have hair extensions? and Wise Men, were you really wise? How much were your gifts worth? oh, and...Mary, did you have a little lamb?)but, also enjoyed some of the thought-provoking questions as well. I did this with my girls, too. If you decide to do this little writing...let me know. It's fun to see what questions there are. Here's the assignment:

*Imagine that you have been given the chance to interview one or more of the major characters of the Christmas Story. What sort of things might you ask? Write your interview questions with Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, the Inn Keeper, the Angel and/or others.*

This could very well be a new tradition we start in our home. Dating and saving these for years to come will be a fun memory!

If I could ask Mary any question I'd want to know if she was nervous about mothering the Son of God? I think there is so much pressure in this day and age to raise godly children. Can you even think of how Mary must've felt? Maybe I'm projecting too much here. Surely, she knew that the Holy Spirit started this thing...maybe she had the faith to believe that God would see her through all the parenting years as well.

Enjoy this writing prompt....either yourself or with your kids!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

my extra cash

I am so excited to share with you how I made a little extra cash today!! I have tons of books at home. I'm sure most people have books on hand that they really don't read or need. (Especially homeschool moms!!) I went to Amazon and posted a few books for sale. I did this about 2 weeks ago.
Today, in my inbox, there was an email from Amazon telling me that I can expect a $15deposit into my bank account within 3-5 business days. Yay! That's awesome....especially during these hard economic times...and during the holidays! I was thrilled.
So, go clean out your bookshelves. See if you have something that you're willing to sell and get on Amazon! What a fun way to make a little extra cash!!

Need some step by step help?
Go to and type the name of your book in the search. When your book comes up, you'll notice on the right hand side of the screen it says, "More Buying Choices...have one to sell? Sell yours here." Click on that little button and they just walk you right on through it. Happy Selling!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


what a great day!
dog walk
movie (journey to the center of the earth)
baked potatoes
another dog walk
play at the park
chicken & rice
yummy homemade pie

Saturday, November 22, 2008


How fun! Tonight my big girls are over at some friends' house having a super fun playdate. They had a pizza party and then I'm pretty sure that "Homeschool Musical", their little band, was going to have a big practice. Later, they were going to bake cookies. I think the evening was going to end with watching High School Musical. What fun.
Well, here on the home front, little Miss 16-month-old is also having a playdate. Her little 2 year old friend is over for a few hours. We're having great big fun of our own. They've played with just about every toy we have and watched a video....among all kinds of other fun. What a fun night!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Remember my "appalling" post? Well, good news!! The Nebraska governor signed the safe-haven age limit bill today!!

Just had to post an update. Sheesh! What a nightmare that whole thing was. I am still so sad for the 35 kids who were abandoned. What must they be going through. Makes a little sleep deprivation pale in comparison. I can change the focus of my prayers to them.

sleep status update

Hmm...well, maybe a little too good to be true with my last post. She woke up again an hour after I put her down. She cried out for me in her room, but I sent in Daddy! Jeff was in and out of there a couple times and she would cry and stop crying. It took about a half hour. She was out by 10:00pm. She didn't sleep through the night but she did only wake up once. She was up from 2:15 to 2:45. Not too bad for this girl. I know I'm giving way more details than anyone needs...but, that's kinda how I roll. :) Keep up the prayers, please. Tonight could be harder. That's how I seem to remember the nap time thing going. Day 2 was the worst.

I'll keep you posted.
You know I will.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

woo hoo!!!

Okay, this is amazing!!

I worried for nothing! Remember when I had struggles getting Jacklyn to put herself to sleep at nap time? Well, tonight we tackled bed time. I was mentally prepared for it to take an hour or more. Guess how long it took? ONLY about 10 minutes! Isn't that wonderful? Now, my hope is that she'll start learning that she can easily put herself to sleep, even at night, and that she will no longer wake up in the middle of the night. It's been every single hour some nights lately. That is just not okay. I'm in desperate need of sleep. Maybe I should go get some now. I think I have to settle down a bit first. I'm SOOO excited that she's out and that it was easier than I ever imagined!!!

over and out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

toto joy

My little girl is a supermodel!! A good friend of mine is starting a baby leg warmer business. She is already wildly successful with her baby carrier company and this is a new adventure for her. Guess who she chose as her cover model? Yep. That's right. My little Jacklyn is a supermodel extraordinaire!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I'm really missing my Grandma today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh the Lord's Been Good to Me!

I've got the Johnny Appleseed song stuck in my head right at this moment!!
Oh, the Lord's been good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need,
The sun, the rain
and the apple seed.
Oh, the Lord's been good to me.

I was in a funk this weekend. It was such a bummer. I started worrying about things that I should've been praying about. I'm sure someone can relate with that.
The weather was (as you may have read in my previous post) amazingly beautiful. Some people argue that at this time of year (about 2 weeks 'til Thanksgiving) we should be enjoying some crisp, cool autumn weather. However, God saw fit to give us warmer-than-summer temps this November and I'm certainly not going to complain about that! I must say, though, that even with my long walks in the sunshine with Gracie dog, I allowed a shadow of fear, anxiety and doubt to crowd out my joy. It wasn't pretty.
This morning--oh, aren't we so glad that His mercies are new every.single.morning?!--God reminded me of a wonderful truth that I learned in a Beth Moore Bible study. We act on that which we believe. I was kicked in the pants by that reminder today and embraced this new day with a fresh attitude. I moved forward, believing that my God will supply all of our needs according to HIS riches and glory.
I shared this with my daughters...even apologized for my grumpy attitude over the weekend.
To make a long story short, we received a generous gift today. It brought me to tears. Not ONLY because God showed up and provided for us in yet another miraculous way, but because it was AFTER I decided to actively believe Him and shared it with my girls. Their faith is growing right along with mine and I am so grateful!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

is this November?!

Today was 75 degrees here on the Monterey Peninsula!! It was beautiful and lovely and I wouldn't trade it for anything. The big girls had swim team practice this morning, Jacklyn and I walked Gracie (our doggie) and then Gracie got a bath with the hose out front. The hose was just too all 3 girls spent a little time playing in the water.

Is this really November? Crazy.

I love it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I'm not normally one to post any news stories, but this one's got me so upset I just can't remain silent! Have you read about Nebraska's Safe Haven Law? This is absolutely horrible! Think of the teenagers, the 10, 11, 12 year olds here who!!! It is deplorable that any mother would abandon a baby in a dumpster and I understand the law was originally passed to offer a safe place for mothers who could not take care of their newborns....but children of all ages being dropped of by parents who are simply "done"?! Oh, I just can't believe it! What a wacked out society we live in! I understand that parents may be frustrated or dealing with very real and serious issues with their children. I just would so much rather see them get help through social workers, counselors, pastors...anyone....rather than blatantly reject their kids in this way. I hope the law changes soon. Like, tomorrow! People are rushing to drop off their kids like it's a going out of business sale at Mervyns since they've heard that the law will soon be changing. Oh, Lord help them! This is sad and infuriates me like you wouldn't believe!!

sick day

Well, my sweet little Jacklyn has a bit of a fever today. She's had a runny nose this week, but was in a great mood and actually doing a LITTLE better with the sleeping at night. This morning, however, she was feeling crummy. She wanted to sit on the couch to watch her movie (Cedarmont Kids) and when I went to check on her just 5 minutes later, this is what I found.

Poor little punkin! I ended up scooping her up, wearing her in a front pack and going with Kourtney and Maggie to walk their little doggie friend. Oh, responsibilities! Such good girls they are, though. I'm glad they didn't shirk just because Mommy wanted to stay home with little sweetie pie. She actually stayed asleep in the front pack for about 35 minutes! We came home, ate lunch and played a bit and then she went down for her normal nap. She needs the extra rest and I'm sure she'll feel better soon. Funny, though. Even though this is kid #3 for me, I wondered if I should take her in to the doctor or not. Could it be an ear infection? Perhaps it's just a cold....with a fever. There's always teething. Ug! ALWAYS teething!! She's getting a couple new ones, I believe. Anyway, for today, we didn't go to the doctor. I'm trusting that she'll just be fine in a couple days.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

when mother reads aloud

One of my favorite practices in homeschooling is reading aloud to my girls. I don't think they (or I) will ever outgrow it. It is such a tender and bonding time. Some days I scrap it for our busy schedule. The days I don't, however, are always just a little bit sweeter. We love the time spent together, escaping into a book. It's even better than reading alone....we get to go on the adventures together. Well, today, Kourtney was reading to me out of a book of poetry. (Gosh, I love poetry! I'm trying to get my girls to like it, too.) Here's a fantastic poem she read. I had to share it here!

When Mother Reads Aloud

When Mother reads aloud, the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud.
When Mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the deserts’ gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle’s prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, I long
For noble deeds to do...
To help the right, redress the wrong;
It seems so easy to be strong,
So simple to be true.
Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd
My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.

- Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

silly mags

I'm pretty tired tonight. I have a baby literally climbing me as I attempt to post a quick blog. I just want to do one a day for the month (I didn't start on the first) and have already, inadvertently, missed a day.

So...for the quick blog. We had beans and corn bread for dinner last night. Today, we ate leftovers for lunch. As we were eating, Maggie gets this excited look on her face and says, "Do you know what this reminds me of?!"
Curious, I asked her, "What?"
I was expecting some great memory or something profound.
"Last night!" was her answer.

Silly girl. I love her.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Who's Your Daddy?

Who’s Your Daddy?
Isaiah 51:11-16
11 The ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
12 "I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mortal men,
the sons of men, who are but grass,
13 that you forget the LORD your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror every day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14 The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;
they will not die in their dungeon,
nor will they lack bread.
15 For I am the LORD your God,
who churns up the sea so that its waves roar—
the LORD Almighty is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you with the shadow of my hand—
I who set the heavens in place,
who laid the foundations of the earth,
and who say to Zion, 'You are my people.' "

When have you gone through a hard time or had a problem and you called on Jesus to help you? What happened? We need to remember the times that He has helped us so that our faith grows. Without those reminders, the devil likes to try to come in and make us think God never answers prayer and that we are alone. It says in verse 13 that they lived in constant terror every day. We want to live in constant victory every day! The devil would love for us to forget how great our God is. He’d like us to think that we have to do this all on our own.
*Write down a time (one or more) that you can remember God helping you with a problem. Hold onto that, stick it in your Bible or put it somewhere in your room where you can see it often. Remember who it is you are praying to!! Who’s your Daddy?
See the verse at the bottom of the card? I Peter 5:6-7. 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Humble yourselves…remember that you aren’t God, but that you need God. And, that you belong to God! Also, to cast means to fling or to pitch/throw. When Kourtney and Maggie were little I showed them what this meant with laundry. I was putting away clean socks and had a bunch of them. We tossed them into the room and shut the door. The socks represented our problems, the room represented God and then we shut the door….not looking at our problems again, not taking them back.
So, remember who your Daddy is. He is able to give you peace, to fix your problems and to help you in ways even better than you can ever imagine!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

a few of my favorite things

I just wanted to take a minute to list some things I'm grateful for. These won't be in any certain order and I'm sure I'll forget to name some really important ones....but...I just wanted to make a list of things to be thankful for as Thanksgiving nears and I'm feeling sad (and not thankful at all) that my sister Jenny and her family won't be joining my sister Michelle, her family and my family at the table this year. :( So, here goes...I'm thankful:

for a Heavenly Father who is so real and takes me as I am...always.
for warm autumn days that begin so chilly in the morning.
for yummy coffee and a great Bible study to start off my day.
for baby Jacklyn kisses....anywhere, anytime.
for good communication with my husband.
for great talks with my daughters.
for laughter.
for comfy slippers.
for days when I don't HAVE to be anywhere.
for good friends.
for chips and salsa (anytime, anywhere.)
for chocolate mint desserts.
for those who have gone before me and help me in my quest to be a good mommy.
for a husband who still likes me after all these years.
for a husband I really like after all these years. :)
for great literature.
for silly picture books.
for home education.
for baby toys all over the floor.
for hsm3 in the theatre with my girls.
for itunes and facebook and skype and email and cell phones and home phones.
for a warm bed and a semi-fluffy pillow that I will be going to soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

pigtails and rooney

This week has been a fun one! The big girls have a new little job. They have to walk this cute puppy named Rooney. We went every day this week and our dog, Gracie enjoyed going for the walks, too. In other news, Jacklyn wore pigtails for the first time. Adorable!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sometimes I am just utterly blown away by God's goodness! He is always's just that I'm not always paying attention to the details as much as I should. This week, I'm looking out and looking up and I can't get over how good He is!!
The weather has been lovely,
the birds have been singing (we watched a huge hawk fly down and land on a branch near us on our walk today),
we are loved by an amazing family,
we have incredible friends,
we have a safe, secure roof over our heads...and the price is right,
we live close to the beach and not far from the mountains,
my husband is employed and actually loves his job,
I get to spend all day, every day with my 3 lovely daughters,
I love my dog.
Like I said, some days I'm just blown away by His goodness in it all....THEN...He goes and one-ups Himself!
Like the old check-in-the-mail surprise trick,
His limitless provision for us....His children,
Miraculous peace in trying times,
the amazing connection/bonding conversations of such tenderness with my girls,
maturity, kindness and joy in the attitudes of those girls,
smart little baby girl....adding new words and phrases to her vocabulary daily,
phone calls at just the right moments,
and let's not overlook the timely Word He's provided from the Good Book!!
I don't know how I'd live this life without my Loving Heavenly Father...I need Him constantly and I'm so in awe of Him!
I'll say it again and again...
What a mighty God we serve!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Rules

God sets up kings and deposes them and gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:21

How incredible to be able to see history unfold right before my very eyes. The girls, Jeff and I all watched the speeches last night and came to the unanimous decision that we are thankful for God's hand in our country. I know many people were thrilled with the 2008 election and many were very disappointed. I can't say that I felt either. I was anxious to see the results. I did vote, but I was fine with the outcome...either way. It will be a tough job to lead this country, especially in our trying economic times. I am filled with peace as I remember that God is still sovereignly ruling on the throne and that in HIM is our trust!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

election day

Well, Maggie said the cutest thing yesterday.
We were talking about the election and she asked me, "Do you think McCain and Obama are both all packed....just in case they win the election and have to move into the White House?"
I loved it. Good thinking. I love the planning mentality. It IS November, that only gives them 2 months to get moved in and settled!

Oh, I can't wait to see who wins. The suspense is driving me nuts! I refuse to even check the news....we'll be given updates all day, no doubt, but won't know anything for sure until all is said and done. Who will win? What propositions will pass? Which ones will not? Arg! A lesson in patience, I suppose!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


We had a very fun Halloween night! Michelle and Josh (the Cereal Killer) came down and trick or treated with us! As you can see, Maggie was Pippi Longstocking and Jacklyn was a "Jack" Rabbit. :) Kourtney was Martha Washington and she trick or treated with her friend, who was Mary Lincoln. FUN TIMES!! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

the helper

Okay, so, I took it again a completely different mood than last time. Here's what I got today. How funny! I guess it really matters what kind of mood you're in when you take these things. The Skeptic hardly had any points this time. Fun Stuff. I love these things!! Truly, I can see myself (the good and the bad) in both!!

The Helper (the Two)
Helpers are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me

Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
Share fun times with me.
Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
Let me know that I am important and special to you.
Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships

Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
Reassure me often that you love me.
Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Two

being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
being generous, caring, and warm
being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Two

not being able to say no
having low self-esteem
feeling drained from overdoing for others
not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tune in to them
working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Twos as Children Often

are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
are outwardly compliant
are popular or try to be popular with other children
act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Twos), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Twos)

Twos as Parents

are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
are often playful with their children
wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
can become fiercely protective

the skeptic...

My friend sent me a link to a site where you can take a personality test. Ever since my preteen years of magazine quiz taking, I've loved these things! It said to answer honestly from who you really are now and not who you'd like to ideally be. So, that's just what I did...and, guess what my personality "title" was? The Skeptic. Doesn't that just sound awful? I think it does. I clicked on the link to read the description and there, it nicely called me The Questioner. Still...I think that calling people names isn't very nice! :) Here's what it said, and some of it is pretty right on. I'm not a skeptic, though!

The Questioner (the Six)

Questioners are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

* Be direct and clear.
* Listen to me carefully.
* Don't judge me for my anxiety.
* Work things through with me.
* Reassure me that everything is OK between us.
* Laugh and make jokes with me.
* Gently push me toward new experiences.
* Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Six

* being committed and faithful to family and friends
* being responsible and hardworking
* being compassionate toward others
* having intellect and wit
* being a nonconformist
* confronting danger bravely
* being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Six

* the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
* procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
* fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
* exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
* wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
* being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Sixes as Children Often

* are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
* are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
* form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
* look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
* are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Sixes as Parents

* are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
* are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
* worry more than most that their children will get hurt
* sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Sunday, October 19, 2008

it was good.

This weekend was fun.
The girls had a sleepover at church.
They went to bed at 1:30 am.
I knew they'd be tired, so we were mellow.
I set up the scrapbooking stuff and let
Them have at it.
They loved it.
I scrapped a page or two myself.
We took a long walk to the
tire swing park. Just the girls,
Gracie Dog and me.
I made little biscuit pizzas,
tortilla soup and lots of messes.
I did a 10-second-tidy here and there,
but no real house cleaning this weekend.
We enjoyed church and home group today.
Jeff worked hard on homework all weekend
and got lots done.
Jacklyn came through with a few new words.
"Moose" when she wanted me to move.
She told Maggie to stop and there were
a few new nice words mixed in there, too.
I'm tired and need to be ready for a
new week of school and activities.
I just had to blog because it was such a
great weekend. I wasn't a perfectionist,
and it really felt good!
I've got a long way to go, but this
was a great start!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

i'm weak

Do you ever wake up just glad that the previous day is behind you, for crying out loud? Sheesh, I sure do! Although I woke up several times today, (thank you, teething baby) this morning was wrought with promise. Promise of a brand new, shiny morning where I can relax, get in the Word and exhale some of my stress from yesterday.
What was I thinking, scheduling a hair appointment right exactly at Jacklyn's nap time? Oh, not just any old day...but on a Wednesday. Wednesdays are crazy enough for me. We drive into Watsonville for Enrichment Day and then stick around until after church at night....around 9:00 p.m. We arrived at the hair appointment EARLY by the way. As I was sitting, getting gorgeous (is that a stretch?)I could hear my wonderful big girls playing nicely with Jacklyn AND getting school work done. It was perfect. Well, perfect with one bump....right on Jacklyn's cheek. She recovered quickly from a little spill and didn't even need Mommy kisses.
Next, we were off to drive around, eat our lunch (that I packed) and listen to a book on CD while Jacklyn sweetly drifted off to dreamland. Hmm....that one didn't work. She was awake and didn't show any signs of falling asleep. That's when my internal stress began.
Why oh why can't I just relax?? I was thinking, "Oh my! She needs to sleep. She has to sleep! We'll be in Watsonville all day and if she doesn't sleep, she'll be miserable. She'll be up all night because she'll be over tired. I'm such a bad Mommy. What was I doing, putting my hair needs above her sleeping needs?" You know what I'm sayin'....I was stressing myself out AND being mean to myself all at the same time.
The day was so beautiful and sunny. Really a perfect weather day. Why didn't I just take a nice deep breath and enjoy the sunshine? Instead, I continued on a very icky downward spiral in my head. I have a new little "job" to do at Enrichment Day and I allowed that to stress me out. Jacklyn was a cutie pie and not grumpy at all....but I allowed that to stress me out. Jeff was needing our help after school...add to the stress. I continued to self-evaluate and kept thinking, "No one else would make such a big deal about all of this. You're a light-weight. Why can't you handle this? No one else would get so stressed. Some people have real problems of their own to deal with, so don't even think about complaining!" Blah, blah, blah.
The bottom line is that I had a whole bunch (at least for me) going on yesterday and I got stressed out. Adding insult to injury....I was talking awfully mean to myself and at the end of the day had a horrible headache and had picked at my fingers until they were bleeding.
This morning I started Week 3 homework in Beth Moore's Daniel study and she talks about image-building. My goodness was I convicted! I have come to the realization that I want to be seen as much stronger than I really am. I constantly compare myself with others and, in my eyes, come up short. (I'm not just talking about my 5'2" frame.) I want to be strong. I really do. I remember telling someone recently that of all the things I've been called, I don't think "strong" has ever been one of them.
I should rejoice in that though, right? I believe I've read somewhere before that in my weakness HE is made strong. I could use a good strong dose of HIS strength today!! I also need to realize that I have a very real enemy who wants to thwart any and all plans that my Loving and Strong Father has for me. When I say that I was talking mean to myself....I have a hunch I didn't just come up with those thoughts on my own. Boy, if you could've heard was really pathetic. I was a walking defeated woman and wouldn't take even a second to grab someone and ask for prayer. (I want to *look* strong, remember?)
I am so blessed, though. I found out later that my sweet friends who were in Bible study, even prayed for me. Praise God for that. I certainly needed it. And I still do. So, if you took the time to read this....pray for me, please. I'm weak and I admit it. In fact, I'm glad to say it....because I am in great need of HIM and His strength!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


It really is interesting to talk with a variety of moms.
I had a discussion the other day with several ladies who were in different seasons of their motherhood. We're talking kids of varying ages, interests and abilities. Yet, each mom had one thing in common: the hope that they were doing it right.
Questions that are common with us moms are, "Am I doing the right thing for their education?" "Is it too much?" "Is it too little?" "What about recreational activities?" "Is this my child's natural gift?" "Should I foster this more?" "Are we too busy?" "How can I ensure that I'm nurturing my child enough to become the person they are intended to be?" "Am I too hands on?" "Am I too hands off?" "What will they be like when they grow up?" "Should they really be exposed to ALL of my in and day out?" ...I'm sure you get the gist. I could go on and on. You probably could, too.
Some of those questions are a direct result of us comparing ourselves to others. That is a very dangerous thing to do. How hard to avoid that, though, in such a competitive culture!
As women, we need to support each other, encourage each other and inspire one another to great things. I like to check out other people's blogs. I can get off the computer feeling like a real loser because I'm not as crafty or as patient or as amazing as these people appear....but I needn't do that to myself. The same fears, worries and insecurities I face are most likely the same that every mom faces.
We all want to be the best we can women, as wives and as mothers. We are not perfect and will have times when we come up short. At least short of our own expectations or desires.
A little song made famous by the one and only High School Musical is going through my head right now. "We're all in this together." It's true. I love the support network among moms that is available. I enjoy the knowing smile I get from another Mom when my 1 year old is running amuck at the local book store. It does help to know that we have each other. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and stop worrying if we'll do it perfect or not. We won't. But....the end result will be some incredible children that know how loved and valued they are. I guess that really is the goal after all, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

choosing joy

Some days are just hard. I think the more I try to control and the less I bow my knee the harder the day!! Makes sense, doesn't it? So today, I choose joy. I'm surrendering every part of who I am and certainly every second of my future into my Loving Father's hands. He is aware of when, what, how and why.....He doesn't need my help in figuring anything out. I just get all worked up and it doesn't do anybody any good....especially my poor kids who are stuck with me all day.

I'm so grateful that His mercies are new every morning!! I'm also thankful I woke up before anyone else today and can leave this at His feet and move forward. What a mighty God we serve!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

we did it!

NO MORE TEARS at naptime today!!!
not a single one.

Now, to try it for bedtime.

Not quite ready to tackle that one yet.
I'm so happy!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


My sister Michelle inspired me the other day. She pulled out her old Beth Moore Bible Study, Living Beyond Yourself. It was a study she hadn't finished a while ago and she decided to pick up where she left off. Well, wouldn't you know it? It was EXACTLY, I mean really....exactly....what she needed for the moment.

I, too, have done that study. I, too, left some gaps in the book, where I never completed my homework. So, I picked it up the other day and....I bet you can finish my sentence! It was exactly what I needed...and currently need! I was in the love chapter. I had done everything except for day 5. Beth talks about our old friend agape. **Remember my post a while ago on love?....if not, you can find it. I don't remember how to link an old post at the moment....I'll have to figure that out later. (sorry!)** Anyway, she tells us that agape is demonstrative. More than simply saying "I love you." More than mere is in, "And God demonstrated His own love for sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins" (okay, loosely translated, but you get the jist.)

WORDS tend to be a pretty big deal to me. In The Five Love Languages speak, I'm totally a "words of affirmation" girl! Beth's words reminded me, however, that "words" aren't everyone's thing. My husband is totally "acts of service." (Even though he hates to be labeled!) I need to remember that. Maybe I want to write him a note to tell him that I love him. He'd like it, but perhaps making him a lunch for work (and then putting said note in there) would demonstrate my love more clearly to him.

How do you demonstrate love to those around you? I'm sure there are some great ideas out there....from all 3 of you who read this :), please feel free to share. I'm working on being more demonstrative with my love and I need help!

8 seconds

sounds like rodeo, doesn't it?
you know...the cowboys have to
stay on the bucking bronco
for 8 seconds.
Guess what?
My girlie fussed, not even really
a full blown cry,
for a mere 8 seconds today.
what a miracle!
i am thrilled.
had to share it with you!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

could it be??

WOW!! My light at the end of the tunnel wasn't as far away as it had seemed!!
Little Jacklyn has been up so much at night lately, that this sleep-deprived Mama got desperate! I decided that she needed to learn the skill of falling asleep on her own so that perhaps it will aid her with nighttime sleeping. Or waking. You know what I mean. I just want her to stop keeping me up all much as I do love that little punkin.
Last Friday, I started. I put her down for her nap and walked out of the room. 65 minutes, lots of tears (by both of us) and a bunch of feeling awful about it later....she fell asleep. She slept for about 45 minutes, then she was up. She nursed and slept another hour and 15 minutes on the couch. She was tired! It killed me and I didn't try again until this week.
I did it again on Friday. What is it about that day of the week? Perhaps I'm just worn out by then after doing school and our busy schedule that I'm desperate for her to nap well and hopefully sleep well at night. (The night time has been MUCH better, by the way!)Anyway, this Friday, she screamed for about 55 minutes, I kept going in to check on her and reassure her....and she finally fell asleep....standing up! It was sooo pathetic and sad. She had been crying, looking at the bedroom door for me to come in. I was able to lay her down and she only rolled over and went back to sleep. This nap was a whopping 40 minute one!! I got her up and went about with our afternoon as usual. Pretty nuts.
Yesterday, (Saturday) she did the scream/cry/fall asleep standing up thing for a solid hour. I wanted to take a picture of her standing up but was just so afraid she'd wake up that I didn't try it. Bummer, because she woke up each time I went to lay her down anyway.
Well, today Jeff put her down for her nap. She did stand up. She did scream, cry and fall asleep standing up. Or so I thought. This time I decided that I'd click the picture anyway, since she'd wake up when I went to lay her down anyway. Well, I went in when she got quiet, but her eyes were open. I snapped this picture anyway, just to give you the idea....just picture eyes closed instead of the sad, pleading, crying look you see here. Maybe tomorrow I'll get THE shot I was hoping for...but, maybe not.

Why, you ask? Well, because today she fell asleep in only 8 minutes!!!! Praise the Living God!! I couldn't rejoice more that it didn't take as long!!! She napped for a good hour and 15 minutes, too. There truly is a light at the end of this dark, sad tunnel. I'm thrilled and just had to share every detail of it here!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

we know drama

Jeff was watching TV yesterday.
Some movie was on the TNT channel.
I noticed at the bottom of the screen,
there was a logo.
It said TNT we know drama.
Boy, I could adopt that around here.
There has been so much going on this week.
Little girl drama,
Big girl drama,
Sports drama,
I could go on.
I could be specific.
Don't worry, I'll spare you.
The point is.....
Herrings, WE know drama!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Okay, so I've decided to force myself to sit down and blog.
I've set the timer for 10 minutes and we'll see what I come up with.
Jacklyn is awfully cute these days!
She walks like a little drunken sailor and tries to carry things that are far too big for her.
She talks all the time.
Today she wanted to wear a little silver ID bracelet that has her name on it. (Gerry bought it for her at the fair and we planned to save it for when she gets older.) She carried it to me and said, "Don. Wah, bee." Which, of course, translates to, "Down,(meaning, 'down','up' or 'put it on' depending on the moment.) watch, please." So....clearly, she wanted me to put her watch on her please. She's so funny and communicates like crazy.

Kourtney and Maggie started school yesterday. We just did some Missionettes (Stars) work for Bible.....they made sock puppets, wrote a script, including "Kid Talk" song from Bullfrogs and Butterflies, made a stage and performed the puppet show for Jacklyn and I today. We video taped it, so maybe it'll appear on our YouTube account later. I'll let you know. We enjoyed our summer so much. I thought starting school easy would be a great idea. Yesterday took longer than expected, but everyone had a good time in the know, after the tears, headaches and frustrations of just trying to get back in the swing of things.

Jeff is at school today. He's continuing to set up his classroom and do some lesson planning with the other 4th grade teacher. Man, those kids are so lucky to get him as their teacher. He will be so fun and they're bound to learn a ton. Too bad Kourtney and Maggie can't be in his class. I'm not willing to give them up, don't get me wrong, but what a neat opportunity it would be for them!! I'm so proud of Jeff and am happy that he is getting to do what he's been training for over the last 7 years. As far as college goes, we've had one frustration after another. CSUMB is pretty lame in the credentialing department....but, alas, we are in it for the long haul. And I do mean long. Good thing we love it here so much because it could be a while before he is finished. Then....he'll work on getting his Masters. Wow. Can't even think about that one at this point.

I am happy to have some structure to our days....yet have the sad realization that the fun, lazy days of summer are behind us. Living on the Central Coast requires that I have some flexibility, though. If the sun is shining....we've gotta jump on it. Lots of 50-something degree temps this summer. So, if it's 68 or above...we're taking our books (or not) to the beach!!

Wow....the timer beeped and that was easier than I thought. Guess I'll have to do that more often. My goal is to blog at least once a week. Gotta love how I make rules/goals for myself all the time.

Over and out.

Monday, August 18, 2008


We have had lots of company this summer.
It has been SO good!
We spent lots of time with my sister Jenny and her
family before they moved away to MN. (SO SAD!!)
We had a neighbor or two over for dinner and play dates.
We had a few of the girls' other friends come sleep over.
We most recently entertained Jeff's sister, Jodee, and
her two amazing kids for about 10 days.
What a joy that time with them was!
After that, we had a blast with my sister Michelle,
her husband, Mark, and their 3 kids.
They didn't stay here, but we had fun with them
in Carmel, hanging out at our house and then at the fair.
Gerry came down and went to the fair with us, too.
She stayed the night and we had lots of fun catching up.
Then, Esther stopped by for a little while.
I've gotta house is feeling sort of empty now.
We have loved the company so much.
Whenever Jacklyn wakes up now, she says, "Emy?"
I think she's looking for Emilee McDonald
(though she calls her Emy-Na)
or Emily Colombini.
Reality is now hitting me in the face.
Jenny and her family really did MOVE to Minnesota.
I don't like it. Not one little bit!
I think a full house helped keep my mind from
getting too terribly sad about it.
Thank the Lord for email, for Facebook, for Flickr,
for blogs and definitely for Skype!!
It brings us closer and makes this somewhat bearable.
We love you, Swansons and miss you terribly!
Anyone wanna come crash at the Herrings House?
You are more than welcome.
What a good summer it has been.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


wow! can anyone tell me what it is like to sleep through the night? honestly, i don't think i can remember. 2 nights ago, the little darlin of mine was up 'til 10:30 pm, then woke from 1:00 am til 3:00 am. last night was muuuuch better. she only woke up a few times and went right back to sleep. i am surviving, but...yikes! i think i need to take some sort of extreme measure (like buying ear plugs) just to make it! thank the lord for caffeine!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

we did it!

So, after years of accumulating junk (which, of course, never seems like junk when you're accumulating it!) WE CLEANED OUT OUR DREADED GARAGE!! What an all-day task it was.
Jeff and Maggie were buddies all day. He mentioned something to her about this colossal task being a memory that they'd look back on one day. Man, did she run with that! She was his little sidekick all day. We looked through boxes, sorted through piles and threw away a ton of stuff. Maggie loved hearing Daddy's stories of when he was younger and she was on top of the world all day long.
Kourtney took on the role of babysitter and did such a fantastic job!She is so very nurturing and Jacklyn just loves her to pieces! They built a fort in the house, they played with toys and Kourtney even had Jacklyn almost asleep! While Jacklyn did sleep, Kourtney worked hard at organizing (her specialty) and enjoyed old photos with Mags.
We have fantastic girls and we not only got a huge project checked of the "To Do" list....we had fun doing it! Yippee!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Love….the Risky Business

• Read 1 Corinthians 13
Wow, so love is not rude, not easily angered, not self-seeking, keeps no record of wrongs, etc. Yikes. I can be rude, self-seeking and sometimes way too easily angered. How can I learn to love like the love described here? Obviously, the answer is with God, but I want to dig a little deeper.

• The 4 types of love
In English we have one word for it, “love.” In the Greek, there are 4 different words that describe love and each has a different meaning or characteristic. Let’s touch on these.

1. Storge or affection. This one is also known as SECURITY LOVE:
This love is the love that everybody needs to survive. It is that feeling of being cared for and nurtured. Some people would describe this as the type of love parents have for their children. It can be very self-sacrificing, however it isn’t perfect love. Without Christ, it can be a very selfish love. This love is a familiar love. Sometimes we forget to use good manners with those we love and live with. It’s the old idea of “Familiarity breeds contempt”. That is a weakness that will come out unless guarded against. ALSO, we see with storge that caring for a helpless child is delightful, but once we are no longer needed or necessary, it becomes a hardship or a place where bitterness can creep in. Ultimately, this is not a kind of love that seeks the good of others, but our own good.

2. Phileo or friendship. This one is also known as BROTHERLY LOVE: For many of us, this is the easiest of the loves. We enjoy our time with friends. This is a very broad term. You can have storge love as well as phileo love for family members. For example, when your child grows up, the storge love remains but phileo love also develops. You share common interests and your child becomes your friend. We see that in John 15:13, where it says, “Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friend.” Phileo love is a wonderful love, but still is not a perfect love. Sometimes we have friends who fill a void in our life: cause us to feel useful, loved, or brings companionship so that we aren’t lonely. Often we seek friends to meet a need. That is not bad, in and of itself, but it isn’t the perfect, selfless love of agape (which we’ll get to in a minute.)

3. Eros or passionate love. This one is also known as PHYSICAL LOVE: This is the love most of us dream of when we’re growing up. The Fairy Tale, gushy feelings that end with “Happily Ever After” and usually involve a great dress! :) Or at least that is how I view it. Eros seems to be a very self-sacrificing love. What prince in a love story wouldn’t risk his life or slay even slay a dragon for his fair maiden? This love is beautiful and magical and amazing. At first. It is, as C.S. Lewis describes it, in his book The Four Loves, the DIVE that gets us into the water. It is not, however, the water itself.

*I went to a beautiful wedding last weekend. It was up in the trinity mountains near Mt. Shasta. The bride was stunning and her groom, completely goo-goo over her. Someone commented that she better enjoy being a bride today, because tomorrow she’ll wake up and just be a wife.* We laughed at this, but, it really is the nature of eros.

With eros, there is a risk of idolatry. However, it is very feelings-based. We learn over time that falling in love is something that happens to us, but being in love is something we do. We need God to make love last.

SO…how are we to love perfectly, living as imperfect humans?

We are self-protective by nature. “Self” protection is actually an oxy-moron. Only God can protect us and only God’s love is perfect. That brings me to the 4th kind of love.

4. Agape or perfect love. The agape love of God is the love that reaches for the highest good. When you look at a person, no matter what their weaknesses are, no matter what their bad points are, or their good points or their strong points, you always say, “What is the best good I can do for this person?” And God does that. This is the love we’re striving for and this is the love that we are free to receive from the Holy Spirit. It perfects all the other loves.

It is perfectly NATURAL for us to say, “But love is too risky. I must be careful, this may mean suffering.” In the Bible, however, God says nothing about protecting ourselves from earthly loves for fear they should bring us suffering. Again, I’ll quote C.S. Lewis. He says that, “To love anything is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to keep it in tact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. You must carefully wrap it round hobbies and little luxuries and then lock it up in the casket or coffin of your own selfishness.”

We have to believe that God loves us with agape. Once we experience the agape of God, it truly transforms us. It is then that we can obey what God tells us in Matthew 22:36-38. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Agape is the love that enables us to love like Jesus loves. He loves us into the capability to both receive love (from Him and from others) and then to give love (to Him and to others.) To me, that is the goal. If He tells us that the most important thing, the Greatest Commandment, is to love (Him and then others), I want to learn to do it right.

Recently, I came across a scripture that just jumped off the page. You know the kind. You're just casually reading and then, BAM! It just got to me! The verse was 1 Peter 1:22. It tells us to, “Love one another deeply and from the heart.” I don't know about you, but I tend to think that the deeper I love, the deeper I can hurt. In today's world, we tend to want to love one another shallowly…or at least in a way that will cause us the least pain.

My dear sister Jenny is moving to Minnesota very soon. I love Jenny deeply. This move is a really hard thing for me to have to deal with. Part of me wishes that I could just say, "Who cares? No big deal." and watch her leave. However, I've taken the risk, so to speak, to open my heart up here. I love her so deeply. I feel that way about her whole family. What really kills me is that my kids love her kids so much. There's nothing like that cousin love. It would be so much easier if none of us were close. Maybe it'd be smart to keep our distance over the last few days of their stay here in California. But "easy" isn't the goal. Loving deeply is. I don't want any regrets when they're gone. I want to know that we formed as many great memories as possible. Even though that does make the pain of their leaving even more intense!

What we can learn from agape will teach us to love the way God asks us to; to love perfectly. Not with our heart hidden away in the “coffin” of selfishness (or what we may want to call self-protection).

Agape is completely self-less in nature. It loves everyone, it loves endlessly and it even loves undeservingly. Agape is utterly disassociated from NEED. God created the world out of agape, not out of need. We can be filled to overflowing with agape, and then it will pour from us. We will love others more and need others less. We can take the risk, because we realize there is no risk in loving God. Getting filled up from Him first will cause us to love more freely and recklessly than ever before.

So, the question then becomes “how”? How do I become a person who loves in the idea of Agape?

• We must believe that He loves us 100% (not because of who we are or what we do but because of who HE is!) We’ve got to really let that one sink in….and like I said, once we experience that love, it will truly transform us!
• We need to take the time daily to get filled up with that love. Once we are filled up, we are free to pour out.
• Then, we will love everyone, we will love endlessly and we will love even the undeserving or even harder, those who are different than we are.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

fun tradition

What a blessing it is to have great friends!! This year we resumed our anual tradition of celebrating the 4th of July with our dear friends the Swedbergs. Last year, Jacklyn had just come home from the hospital, so we didn't get to go over to their house. It was so much fun yesterday! Great food, great friends and tons of fun!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

perfume palace

I think an addition to the previous blog is in order here!

Look what my girls have been up to the past 3 days. They have been making perfume like crazy. They gather flowers, mash them up in bowls with water in the back yard and kick it up a notch, I've allowed them to bring the concoction inside, boil it on the stove and really bring out the fragrance. They, along with some friends, have decided to start a perfume business....Perfume Palace. The scents in my home have been unbelievable. The fun they have had is fantastic! You should hear some of the names of their perfumes and colognes! We have Purple Garden (a lovely mixture of lilacs and lavender), Poconut (a hearty blend of pine needles, pine cones mashed up, and coconut), and today...this just in, is Cinnanut (you guessed it....basically Poconut with a hint of lemon pepper (?) and cinnamon.)

Oh the stinks they can stink! :) I mean the great things they can come up with. I love it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

who I used to be

I was thinking today about who I am.
I also thought about who I used to be.
I always had things in order.
I stressed to make sure all of my relationships with everyone
were okay. Didn't want anyone mad at me.
I had my house as clean as possible at all times.
Sickly, sadly, I took great pride in that.
I loved brand name clothes, shoes, bags, etc.
I didn't always have them, but I loved them.
I knew what was going on in the lives of celebrities.
I was up on the latest TV shows and movies.
I had uninterrupted sleep at night.
I could go on and on.

Now, however, it's an entirely different story.
We could start with the uninterrupted night of sleep.
That would be better than winning the lottery at this point.
I think.
Well, okay, maybe not. I do love seeing cute little Jacklyn
even in the wee hours of the morning.
But just one time a night would be nice.
These days, I rarely have things in order.
Namely my thoughts.
My house is FAR from being always clean.
It isn't quite to the "call the health department" status,
but....some days I don't think I'm that far off.
Trust me. You just haven't been over on those days.
I still don't want folks mad at me, but I can't even
return phone calls or emails. Where does the time go?
I have great intentions!
I could care less about brand names and movie stars.
I can tell you that Camp Rock was just on the Disney Channel.
I do love Jon & Kate plus 8.
Other than that, I'm somewhat out of touch.
Today my dad called to see if we were evacuated because of the fires.
Why should my dad, who lives in Florida, have to call to tell me
late-breaking news in my area? Sheesh!
(We have not been evacuated, btw)

What I see is that I have changed quite a great deal.
Not so sure that's a bad thing.
My priorities have shifted.
I remember starting this school year with the girls,
knowing it would be hard with a new baby,
and I just changed my focus.
My goal each day was to tend to my baby and
have a good day of home school.
We did it!
Okay, not every day was good, but it was number one
on the priority list.
It trumped dishes, laundry, and sometimes even my shower.
Who would've ever guessed that I'd be this person?
Aspects of me drive me crazy. It's hard to live with me.
However, sometimes, like today, when I realize that I'm kinda nice...
I really do love my family more than anything on the planet,
I really do find great contentment in God's will,
helps me to like who I am.
Trust me....I could list for days the things I don't like about me.
But, this was sort of cool. I like that God and my family
are my number one priority.
I like loving them.
When it's all said and done, that's what is going to matter.
Just that.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

blogger's block? maybe not.

Well, I'm here. I have so very much on my mind, yet can't seem to find the exact words to articulate them. I think I'm suffering from blogger's block. I feel things so deeply that sometimes I am overcome with emotion.
Jenny moving to Minnesota is one of those times for me. My schedule has been super busy (just like yours, I'm sure!) and I've been running here and there, trying not to think much about the reality of her moving.
Michelle just created the greatest sister/cousin time ever for all of us! We had cousin camp at her house a week ago and that's where I'm allowing my thoughts to dwell.
It was awesome. We spent a lot of very meaningful time together. Fun is inevitable when we're all together, but cousin camp was even more deliberate than usual. We had a schedule, a menu, and we all knew that this was the last time we'd get to do something like that while the Swansons are still living in California. (uh oh, the tears have started.) Our only regret (and I think Michelle and Jenny would say this, too) is that we haven't done things like that more often.
Sunday, we all celebrated little Jacklyn's first birthday together. It meant so much to me that they drove all the way down to my house so soon after we were all just together. Gas prices are ridiculous, but family time is priceless and worth it all. It was a blast! Man, I love my sisters and their families!
In addition to this, Jeff has been hired to teach next year in Watsonville as a 4th grade teacher. I am so very proud of him and excited for him. At long last, a dream realized! He will get to sleep like a normal human being, and not have the early morning hours of a bread man. Along with this job, however, comes a brand new budget. I haven't even sat down with him to discuss this fully, but I know there is some underlying stress there for us both. Life is good. We are sooo blessed to be able to homeschool the girls, to have them in piano and in swimming. We eat out when we want, we buy brand name foods at the grocery store (like Lucky Charms rather than Marshmallow Mateys), and we drive all over the place (again with the gas prices!) God has been so good to us and I think I've become a little too comfortable with all the little extras. Change is definitely coming to our pocketbook and I feel a bit nervous. Will I still get to stay home and homeschool? What about piano and swimming? God knows how every detail will work out....but, I'm just is causing me some stress.
Another item of note on my list is how fast my little girls are growing!! Kourtney is 10, Maggie is 8 and Jacklyn will be ONE this week!! Enough to make this little Mommy get emotional over here!
Kourtney is such a lovely young lady. What an old fashioned description, but....she is! I love the way she cares for others, the amazing way her mind works and how much fun it is to have conversations with her!
Maggie is the one I am most seeing change in. My little Mags isn't so little any more. She is really getting to be an older girl, yet, in my mind, she is still that spunky little thing that would both shock and embarrass me with every other comment! She has developed such a sweetness about her. She really is a nurturer and loves to help take care of Jacklyn. She thrives on one-on-one time with Mommy or Daddy and still makes us laugh.
And then there is little Cha Cha. My funny baby is such a blessing! I think of the years I longed for her. I think about the scary pregnancy. I think of those first days in the NICU and the first months I lived in such anxiety. She has become such a natural part of our lives now, that it's hard to remember what it was like without her. I love her little voice, her cheery, "HI!" and her cute little fat feet!
Truly, I am blessed in my life. Michelle and Jenny are fantastic sisters. Their families enrich my life in so many ways. Jeff is an incredible husband and Daddy and I thank the Lord for his provision and blessings....and my girls...ah, my girls! God outdid himself there. I don't deserve the joy that they bring me and I am so very grateful.
I guess writing this has helped me think things through a bit. I am still emotional over here, but I am, above all, grateful. I'm thankful that I can bring each of my concerns and emotions before the throne of grace and lay it at His feet. He is so good.....all the time!
Guess I don't have blogger's block after all. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

deep breath

Wow, who knew that creating 2 California missions would be so stressful for little ole me? I guess I see all my imperfections coming to the surface. See, the girls are learning a little about California history and decided to, along with some friends, create CA mission models. They will display these at a little end of the year ceremony with our local homeschool group.
All I can say is that I'm so thankful that my friend, who is the other mom involved, has such incredible vision and crafty skills! I seem a bit tapped out these days. Jacklyn hasn't been sleeping as well as she normally does....which, by the way isn't terrific, but do-able for me. She's teething and has been up an awful lot the past few nights. I am suffering major sleep-deprivation and just sort of stare at these mission projects with a glazed-over look on my face.
Tonight, I've been working, though. Okay, I have to be honest. My amazing husband was on the job. We bought lasagna noodles for the roof of one mission. Jeff pain-stakingly scored each and every noodle, with an x-acto knife, and then broke them in half, long-ways. (They are uncooked, mind you, and break very easily.) I will dye the noodles red tomorrow morning, with the help of my 4th grader, whose mission this actually is.
Tonight I did cut a few things out for her, but sheesh! Can I just say....this project has taken on a life of its own! I hope the girls are actually enjoying it because it is causing me great stress to think of getting them done by the end of the week. And....I'm not even the one doing anything! Remember my previous blog about not being able to keep up with the pace of what other moms can do? Yeah, here's some proof. Maybe I'm just too easily overwhelmed. I'm not sure. Truly, this is fun....just stressful.
Pictures of the completed missions will be posted soon. I'm sure you (my audience of 2 or 3) are aching to see them!

Friday, May 30, 2008

2 more months

Today is May 30. I realized when I woke up today that that means only 2 months left until Jenny and family move to Minnesota. Wow. That makes me so sad. When she first told me the news, I was quite devestated! They were 95% sure it was going to happen, and I absolutely lost it! I had been in Vallejo for a bridal shower and remember just sobbing my whole drive home. I kept thinking about what a loss it will be and how sad it will be for all the cousins, too.

Having both of my sisters just 2 hours away is an awesome blessing. I love that all 10 of those kids can get together and have the best time of their lives. They don't need any special activity planned, they just enjoy being all together. I love having both of my very best friends live so nearby. We don't get together as often as I'd like, but knowing that we can makes things so great.

I guess that's what makes this move so hard for me. I will miss drinking coffee with Jenny at her house when we come up for the night. I'll miss calling Zeke, Maggie and Josh "the boys". I will miss hearing Kourtney and Brooklyn come up with some silly play in a moment's notice (and of course ordering us, their audience, to sit and watch them perform.) There are so many things that make this so very hard, and I was beginning to wonder how I would get through this.

Thankfully, I was reminded of God's peace. I can stay in the place of despair and focus on all of the lonely, sad feelings about their move, or I can trust God. I guess that is the bottom line for me. God was so in this descision making process. I know Jenny and Joe prayed their hearts out before making this final. I was even informed of the possibility of the move and asked to pray. Granted, my prayers went a little something like this, "God, you CAN'T let them move!!" But, none the less, I know that God was in this!

So now, the peace of God can rule my heart and mind and keep me in Christ Jesus. I needed to be reminded of that. I can have peace in good times as well as in bad. I can be filled with sadness and still possess a wonderful sense of God's peace. That's when the peace of God transcends all understanding. Having peace isn't the same thing as being happy they are moving. Not by any means! But, I do have to accept that God is still good and that He is able to work ALL things together for good....even in Minnesota!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


What a fun girl this Maggie is! She has always made me laugh. I just love the way her little mind works. My oldest sister often says that she wishes she could be a bit more like Maggie. This girl just tells it as it is and doesn't think twice about it.
I remember when she was about 2, I was snuggling her in the early morning out on the couch. She looked up at me with her beautiful green eyes and in her gravely voice said, "Mama, did you just drink coffee?"
I responded with, "Yes, why do you ask?"
She said simply, "Because I can smell it. I don't like the way your voice smells in the morning when you have coffee."
I never thought of my *voice* the same after that. And, I was careful not to breathe in her direction until after I brushed my teeth. :)
My friend Joanne used to tell me that I could start my own Family Circle-type comic strip just by documenting all the funny things Maggie said. Maybe from time to time I'll jot them down here. I've got at least 10 going through my mind even as I type this.
For now, I'll just share a recent one.
This week Maggie made me chuckle again. We were exactly right on time for the girls' piano lesson. I don't tend to be early any more to anything, so getting to their piano teacher's house exactly on time was pretty impressive.
As soon as we pulled up, Kourtney asked where their piano bag was. It was at home, on the table. Maggie forgot to grab it.
Normally, I would get pretty upset by this. However, I had risen early that morning, spent time in the Word, and was determined to live a Spirit filled life (or day anyway!) It took everything in me to just calmly drive home and let Maggie go get the piano bag. I think Kourtney and Maggie could sense that I was calmer than usual, so Maggie just started laughing, joking and chatting all the way back to their teacher's house.
Somehow that bothered me. I'm not sure if I wanted her to be miserable or what, but I said to her, "You know, Maggie, you're going to have to be the one to apologize and explain to Mandy what happened and why we were late. You'll be missing 15 minutes of your lesson time today, too."
Maggie just said, "Okay." and continued chatting as if nothing had happened.
I know it wasn't a huge deal or anything, but I wanted her to at least show a little remorse for forgetting the bag and making me have to drive all the way back home and then back to piano....I also was feeling bad, myself, for the girls being late and cutting into Mandy's time.
I said to Maggie, "Hey, Mags, I don't want you to feel bad or anything, but aren't you at least kind of sorry about this?"
She shrugged her shoulders and said plainly, "Well, yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to let it ruin my day or anything."
Spoken like my Maggie....(and just like her Daddy.) Oh, I love that girl. Of course it wasn't going to ruin her day...and I'm glad.
Guess I've got some learning to do from her, too.

Monday, May 19, 2008

why ben & jerry, why?

In my freezer, at this very moment, is my new arch enemy. It is the deliciousness known as Ben & Jerry's Creme Brulee ice cream This stuff is so good! Normally, I'm a mint and chip lover pretty exclusively. Thanks to my darling husband, I tasted the goodness that comes in this little pint and now find myself craving it way more often than I should. What kind of guy introduces his wife to something like this?
Half jokingly, I suggested to Jeff that perhaps they lace the stuff with crack cocaine. I can't get enough. Remember the old Lays potato chip slogan about not being able to just eat one? Yeah, try eating just ONE bite of this heavenly concoction. No way. No how.
So I am off to bed now. I will NOT open that freezer door. I will not peel the plastic seal off of the pint (this would be the 3rd this week) and will NOT attempt to just take one bite.
Please, somebody stop me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


What a whirlwind this life can be! I want to sit and drink in each moment with my little girls. I want to spend more time with my sisters and all their kids before Jenny moves to Minnesota in just a few short months. I want to be a better wife....the kind that at least cooks dinner more than once a week. I want so badly to do things better but feel like I just don't have time.

The girls (meaning the older 2, not the baby) have been swimming on a mini swim team for the past month. It is great exercise, they have a blast, but it takes time! It started out as just two days per week, for 30 minutes. Now Kourtney is supposed to be there a minimun of 3 days a week, for an hour each time. She got promoted to a more advanced group and is so thrilled with herself for meeting a personal goal. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great. I just feel a bit overwhelmed today.

Some moms I know can really do it all. I can't. I am telling myself not to compare...don't dare compare. Yet, I feel a little wimpy. Here's an example. We did a great morning of school yesterday, then went to the Carmel mission on a field trip with another homeschool family, then to the library and then to swimming. By the time I got home, I just wanted to go to bed. However, I had to make dinner, switch over some laundry and do other household chores. Poor baby Jacklyn didn't get a decent afternoon nap and I just had to wonder if it really is worth it all?! I see such value in the things we did, but.....isn't a baby's nap more important? :) Ug! Maybe I just need to be more flexible.

I really can't even get started on the whole Jenny moving thing....that one will make me cry. I also can't write about how much I want to soak up every second with my girls and how fast they are growing up. I'd love to....but I don't have time! :)

Seriously, I will blog more about these things soon. They are so on my mind. I really must sleep for now. It is nearing midnight for goodness sake and Jacklyn will be up soon.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Oh Gracie!

My doggie, my love....she was very naughty last night. Jeff had to stuff 60+ bags with miniature chocolate candy bars to pass out to neighbors this weekend as one of his CA duties. He left the stuffed bags on the table and I didn't like the way they looked there. We were leaving to go to the mall for a few hours, so I stuck the bags out in the garage. Oops. When we got home and let Gracie in from the garage, she had a very "I've been a bad dog" look on her face. When I went into the garage, I saw that she had eaten the contents, WRAPPERS AND ALL, of about 3-4 bags. Chocolate can kill dogs, that I know. I love my pooch so very much. I was a little mad at her but more mad at me. I couldn't fall asleep last night until after midnight, watching Gracie and making sure she was okay. Maggie, who wants to be a vet (or a fashion designer) when she grows up, decided to give Gracie a check up. From what Maggie and I can both observe, the pooch is in good shape. Oh, and the chocolates are put up high and in the house. Whew!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Kourtney and Maggie wanted to set up the air mattress in the living room for a movie night and sleepover the other night. They had the best time giggling, eating popcorn and hanging out with me, their Mommy. I'm so glad I was invited to join in the fun and that they actually really want me to be a part of it all. Those days may not last forever, but for now I'm super grateful.
Jacklyn was determined to be a part of the excitement, herself! She wriggled into the covers, she climbed on their faces and even tried to snuggle with Maggie's stuffed doggie, "Jeff". (Yes, named after her Daddy.) Having 3 little girls is the greatest joy in my life and I treasure these moments!