Tuesday, December 29, 2009

oh the drama....

Some days are better than others.
Yesterday was sunny and warm.
I went out with a friend for a belated birthday dinner.
We shopped, we ate Mexican food and chatted for hours.
Today was chilly and cloudy.
Little girl drama abounded.
And I got a speeding ticket.
Can't wait for another one of those better days to come again soon.
Hopefully real soon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

the eye of the beholder

Last Sunday evening, we decided to deck the halls here at our house.
Tree, lights, little Christmas decorations and of course, the ornaments.
All the trimmings.
A fun time was had by all.
We had Christmas music playing, thanks to pandora, we had hot chocolate and we had a blast!
Jacklyn especially loved it!
She was so proud of herself and her tree-decorating skills!
It really was precious.
We laughed to ourselves at how she picked ONE branch on the tree on which to hang every ornament she got her cute little hands on.
A very fun memory.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

in loving memory

Danny Carver
December 2, 1973 - August 8, 2007

"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one...It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things." ~Lemony Snicket
It has been over 2 years now since my dear old friend Danny Carver was tragically shot and killed in the streets of Vallejo, CA. Stupid, senseless tragedy. Danny was a major part of my life throughout my entire high school duration. He was like a member of our family....coming over for dinner, going on family trips with us and even taking out the trash. :) His family is still very special to me.
December 2 is his birthday. He would be turning 36. He left behind a family that loved him immensely, a girlfriend and 4 beautiful children. My mind still cannot fathom that he is really gone. My heart aches for his mother. Such pain and such a sad loss.
I am reminded that he is in heaven. He is in the presence of Jesus....what must that be like?! I was thinking to myself today that I would love to look into the eyes of Jesus....face to face. Maybe that's what Danny gets to experience now. I wonder.
I will be praying for his family and the loved ones he left behind today...more than I usually do. My heart just goes out to them. I hope that if you took the time to read this today that you, too will say a prayer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Well, I've been inspired to blog so often lately.
Unfortunately, I haven't taken the time to sit down at the computer and do it. Tonight, I decided I'd be like the old Nike slogan and JUST DO IT! I've had zillions of different topics floating around in my head to blog about and then I seem to lose them. I do my best thinking while vacuuming or blow drying my hair. Maybe there's something about the hum of the machine...shutting out other sounds so that I'm free to think. Or something.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will start with a post on what is causing my heart to feel like it could swell and burst right here and now.
My daughters.
They are such amazing little gifts to me!! I love the way they love Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. We sing along in the car to their CDs ALL the time! Well, whenever we're not watching a movie that Jacklyn has chosen, I suppose. We are goofy together, we are serious together, get teary together and are even grumpy together.
I love the way that Kourtney, who is only about 3 inches shorter than me, often wants to do my hair or just sit with me. We can have mature conversations, joke around or just spend time doing anything techy. She can figure out things that my cell phone is capable of way before I ever knew the feature existed. She's great on the computer and has a love of knowledge. She may not agree with that statement, but it's true. That girl loves to learn! She is growing up right before my very eyes and I have to say...I like what I see. Eleven and 3/4. Wow. How did that happen?
Then there is my Mags. She is still quite a kick in the pants. She has a quick wit and likes to make us laugh. She has always had a sensitive heart for animals and I'm happy to say, that's developing more and more for humans as well. She LOVES to lay on my bed with me at night and talk. She'll ask me what my favorite memory was from when I was her age, she'll enjoy reading books together or really, anything that is just one on one Maggie and Mommy time. I love that little blondie and I'm so grateful for her.
Oh and then there's little Jacklyn. Cute. Sweet. Silly personified and quite the little imagination!! Her latest has been stories about some mysterious "class" she goes to. Sometimes God is there and he is a really naughty boy. Or Santa. Santa Claus was in her class the other day (actually the word is "yesterday"...anything in the past...make believe or real....she refers to as "yesterday".) He apparently snatched a toy from her 2 times. That is, of course, after God kicked her in the stomach and Jesus stepped on her toe. Where does she get this from? I promise I'm teaching her that God is good. What's a mom to do? Jackie is a little love. She is sweet and snuggly and can't get enough lovin!!
My cup runneth over. I am so blessed and I can't imagine life without my 3 little shadows!!! They bring me such tremendous joy. I am thankful.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

it's the climb

The following is the latest little article I wrote for our homeschool group's newsletter. Just thought I'd share it here...even for those of you who don't homeschool. :)

Welcome to the start of another school year. For some, it’s your first year homeschooling. You may have some questions, some anxiety and probably a great deal of excitement! Others of you have been at this for years and years and have an idea of what to expect. Perhaps you are longing to get back into a routine. Or maybe the reality of summer coming to an end and the responsibilities that lie ahead seem daunting. Whatever the case, I am sure that we all have a few goals in mind for this upcoming year.

This summer, my family took a road trip. Our goal was to arrive in Portland, Oregon. The drive was long. One child was sick for part of the time, one was feeling uncomfortable and the third….well, she’s two. All I wanted to do was speed through it all and just get there already! Often, when things get tough for me, I hear myself saying, “I wish I could just fast forward through all of this. I know God has some good in store for me at the end. I just hate going through it.”

Recently, while “going through it”, I came across an amazing concept from Oswald Chambers, author of My Utmost for His Highest. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

Remember to savor the daily-ness of this school year. Of course we may have some necessary goals: teaching a child to read, mastering some important math concepts, graduating a child from high school. However, keep in mind that God is busy shaping our character, and that of our kids, each step along the way. Just as I had to purpose to enjoy the time (and I do mean TIME!) in the car with my family, we can savor the days, weeks and months of this year with our students. I learned things I never knew about my kids as we drove. We laughed hard. We sang songs. We also saw some of God’s beautiful creation as we observed what was out of our windows. Taking the time to live in the moment and seek God as we go will benefit us in ways we cannot fathom.

Fellow homeschool moms and teachers, I pray that you will enjoy this year like no other. I’ll leave you with another quote….don’t hate me for it….from the Hannah Montana Movie soundtrack: There’s always gonna be another mountain. I’m always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I’m gonna have to lose. Ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side….it’s the climb.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

fabric necklaces

We have been having so much fun today....whipping out some fantastic fabric necklaces that we copied from this great blog!!

and these....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

creative collaboration

What a great idea!! My sister and her family (husband and 4 children) relocated last year to Minnesota from California. Our hearts were ripped out as 3 sisters and 10 cousins had to say goodbye. After about 6 months in Minnesota, it was clear that things were not working out and they moved back to California. How exciting and how hard...all in the same breath!
They were able to pack up some essential belongings and head back to California in January. However, most of their things are still in storage in Minnesota. Jenny and Joe have come up with a very creative idea to get their stuff back to California. They both paint and will be selling their original art work here for only $40 each. Please take a minute to check out their blog (you can click on the button to the right) and order a painting. These items will be available starting August 1st.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

growing pains

Well, It seems as though God has some stretching and growing in mind for some of us. I'd love to convince Him that "I was fine the way I was." But, He doesn't seem to be buying that. I have spoken to many dear friends and loved ones lately...and even read some blogs that belong to folks I've never met and it seems like there's just a lot of harship going on right now.
I hate that. I want to fix it for everyone. If I could just win the lottery several times, I could save so many from financial trouble. If I could only heal, if I could only encourage, if I could only change things....ahhh! I certainly would if I could. Let me tell you, I'd change a few things in my own circumstances right now, too.
But, for whatever reason, God is allowing some heartache right now. The people I'm currently thinking of all love Him tremendously and persue him actively. I don't dare ask the question I'm thinking, "Why does He allow suffering?" I've read Oswald enough to know that one answer to that question would be, "God allowed His own son to endure suffering, why should He spare us?" Oh, I don't know. I just wish He would.
There's an incredible blog I'm following right now, Journey through fire. It is a sad story of a young man who was recently burned through electrocution. He is healing in a local hospital and I feel so connected to his family as they write. I have never met these people, but we serve the same loving, healing, promising God. (Please take a moment to click on the blog and pray for Jacob!) I wanted to share with you something that was written there because it really spoke to me today as I'm trying hard to live this life Spirit-led. I'll leave you with these thoughts:

None should diminish our own difficulties, challenges, pains. Cancer, financial, employment, relationships. It is not a matter of degree or comparison. It is more a matter of what we are becoming through the process. Through both the times of blessing and times of heartache are we increasing more in love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, love, etc or are we increasing in bitterness, anger, resentment, selfishness.

For those of us who claim we are Christians are we growing and taking on the character of Christ?

Monday, July 13, 2009

home again, home again....

wow! what an exhausting drive it is from portland to marina! we are one wiped out family. my girls went to camp the week before, then it was 4th of july, then...off to oregon. oops...forgot that the entire 5th of july, my maggie girl was sick on the couch with tummy issues. poor punkin! we enjoyed lots of fun with my husband's side of the family. i loved seeing the cousins all playing together. i am home now and have SO much to do! i want to escape again...but, reality calls.

just wanted to post a quick note about what we've been up to. i'm feeling a little pooped, though. maybe more writing and photos coming soon. that'll be my goal. among so many other things.

i will just say that i am extremely grateful for amazing kids and an incredible husband.

life is good.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

funk and gunk....my thoughts from a really hard season....

The following is something I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Thank the Lord, I've been doing much better since this. I decided to go ahead and post it (editing it just a smidge) because it will serve as a good reminder for me of many things. Number one, that sometimes life is just hard. Number two, that God is good and really does answer our cries for help. I was too weak to take any steps forward for a while. I just sat down, right where I was, and asked Him to get me out of my pit. He did just that. I don't deserve His goodness, but I am SO thankful!

So, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I haven’t known exactly how to get out of it. I’ve over analyzed my life and come up with some pretty good excuses or explanations, though. Here are a few of them: “This has been a hard year. This has been a hard 7+ years with Jeff in school. Homeschooling is exhausting. I never get a break. I have a toddler. She hardly ever, ever sleeps through the night. It’s foggy. I live far from my friends. I live farther from my family. I never get time alone. Money is tight. Life is hard”, etc. Oh, I could go on. I’ve got a million of ‘em!
Today I’m reminded that what we spend our time thinking about and reflecting on 100% shapes the way we view ~ and subsequently LIVE ~ our lives! I realize there are areas in my life that need some real attention. I’ve got areas of selfishness, icky competition, comparison and even some discontentment. These things have snuck up on me because I’ve been spending much of my days with my eyes on the wrong things. Thinking negative (and selfish) thoughts are killing me!
So, what’s a girl to do? The excuses I listed all have at least an element of truth to them. I can feel validated and justified to stay in my funk if I want. Or, I can see those as indicators. I was in my car the other day and the “Check Engine” light came on. It’s time for an oil change. That handy little light comes onto let us know that if things aren’t dealt with…..like changing the oil…..eventually, you will have disastrous results. Your car could blow up or something. (Okay, maybe not blow up….but, it will stop working.)
When I see these issues creeping up in my life, things like loneliness, isolation, competition or discontentment, I should treat them like a “Check Engine” light. I need to take care of them. However, what I’ve done is one of two things: either pretend I don’t see them or, most recently, beat myself up because they are there. Connection, attention, significance, etc. are all just needs…..just as a car needs oil. I’ve had a “Check Engine” light on for a while and it’s time to take care of it. What a handy tool it is.
I don’t like what I’ve been seeing in my life. Again, like a car, the longer you go without changing the oil, the more gunk builds up. I’ve been seeing some gunk. But, today I’m determined to get into the shop. I’m going to deal with the gunk before any disastrous results ensue. God is my mechanic and I trust Him completely to do the job and handle it all with great care.
I think realizing that I’ve got to take care of some needs is a good start. I will shift my focus, however. I can’t sit there and dwell on what I’m lacking. I also need to stop and pay attention to the countless blessings all around me. I’ve got an amazing “car” here!! The oil doesn’t make the car, if that analogy makes any sense. My life is fantastic! I have a husband who loves me and 3 of the most amazing girls ever to walk the planet. I have been entrusted to live this life abundantly with them and that is exactly what I intend to do!
Clearly, I can’t do it on my own. I get into funks. I’ve got some gunk. Funk and gunk. I’m human. I’m flawed. I’m weak. But, my God is bigger. I will continue pressing into Him. He will become my focus as I memorize scripture, get into His word and keep worship as the soundtrack of my life. I’m hopeful today that I am going to be okay. I will take one step at a time and allow God to meet my every need. He will do it. He promises us that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” 2 Peter 1:3

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pressing On....

How can it be that we are at the end of yet another school year? It feels like we just got started, and now it is time to wrap everything up. Many of you have probably already started planning ahead for next year, purchasing curriculum, figuring out your calendar and scheduling classes. As for me and my house, we are just trying to get the last few days of this school year completed well. I’ll think about next school year eventually, but for now, I just want to finish strong.
This has been a good school year for my family. We have enjoyed many of the new things that we have learned and powered through the things that were less enjoyable. We have struggled, grown, cried and laughed. We have survived days that I’d rather not relive and we have had several that I wish I could rewind and press “Pause.” Our kids grow so fast and I often wish I could just freeze time.
What an honor it is to homeschool! We all have challenges but we also all have so much to be thankful for! The other day, I was realizing how spoiled I am. I was listening to one child play piano in the background while my 9 year old read aloud to me. Seriously, what a life!
Usually, at this point in my school year, I’m ready to just be done already. This year, however, I plan to just savor these last few days. This school year will never be back. My girls will never be exactly this age again and I just want to relish these moments. I think that as we finish the year with that kind of perspective, it will be so meaningful. We will review some of the things we’ve learned and strain toward what is ahead. I want to appreciate all that we’ve experienced and obtained this school year and look forward to what He has in store for us in the future. He has been faithful, my friends, and I pray that you have and excellent ending to your school year.

Monday, May 25, 2009

quick update

It's been awhile, so I thought I'd just do a random update on here.

We had a swim meet this past weekend in Salinas, and BOY did we freeze! The girls did great. The weather was never above 60 degrees and we NEVER saw the sun. Just foggy, overcast skies. These are the kind of days that have been known to really get me down. I'm so grateful for fun friends and lots of activity because (tempting though it was) I never felt blue. I enjoyed watching my girls connect with their swim pals! They had so much fun, even though they were cold. They swam a long course, which is a 50 meter pool as opposed to the 25 yard pool they are accustomed to. It was a bit daunting to look down the lane and see how far they had to swim, but they both did fantastic. Both girls grew a bit in character as well as in experience this weekend and I just love who they are!

Jacklyn has been so busy lately. What almost-two-year-old isn't?! She has been in time outs more than I can count. She has been a monkey, climbing into her crib whenever she pleases (but can't get out, thank goodness!), she's been saying funny things (as usual) and just basically keeping us on our toes. Boy, life would be dull without her. She is such a little delight! Today she's been especially cute. I wonder if it is because she had so much Daddy-time this weekend? She really is a doll and I am so thankful for her!

Welp, I'm gearing up for a busy week....school, my husband and my 14 year anniversary on Wednesday, a trip to Vallejo Thursday for my nieces and nephew's play (Music Man) as well as a wedding to attend on Saturday. Our lives are rich and full and even though I can easily feel overwhelmed, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Measureless Love

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

One of the greatest mysteries of God is His measureless love for us. We just can’t wrap our human brains around it. He loved us even before we were born. He loved us when we were in our Terrible Twos. He loved us through the good, the bad and the ugly actions and attitudes of our teenage years and yes, He loves us still. He loves us when we’re grumpy before our morning coffee, He loves us when we’re doing everything right and, oddly enough, He loves us even when we’ve completely blown it. Oh, how I long to love the way my Heavenly Father does!
Human love is so imperfect. We try to love others, but we are hopeless without Him. We need His Holy Spirit to fill us up, and love through us. On our own, we size each other up. We look to see if we, like we learned in elementary math, fit into the “Greater than,” “Less than,” or “Equal to” category. It is in our human nature to compare ourselves with others. Whether it is in our human nature or not, it can be a very unhealthy habit to develop.
Comparison almost always leads to problems. Either we feel that we come up short or someone else does. Nothing in scripture suggests that God sees us through eyes like that, so we must be very deliberate not to fall into that trap ourselves. God just loves His kids. We may see our weaknesses, but God is looking at our strengths. We may criticize others, but God’s heart is tender and compassionate towards all of us. He doesn’t have a favorite child. He loves each of us so very much. And, even though His love is all-encompassing, He is also very personal.
The love of God is the love that reaches for the highest good. When we are filled up with Him, we are empowered to love the way He does. We’ll be able to look at a person, no matter what their weaknesses are, no matter what their strengths are and always ask, “What is the greatest good I can do for this person?” In turn, we will also learn to see ourselves through God’s loving eyes. Instead of being self-critical or self-loathing, we’ll actually be able to recognize God’s creativity and favor in our lives. The transforming love of God is such a remarkable thing. I pray each of us will continually experience it like never before.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

are you my father?

Are You My Father?

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
Psalm 90:14

The other day, I was reading book after book after book with my toddler. We came upon Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman (A Cat in the Hat Book). My daughter loved the book; the pictures, the repetition of the question, “Are you my mother?” as well as the 45 million times I was willing to read it to her. As I read through the book, something profound hit me! I tend to be very much like this little bird. In case you aren’t familiar with the story, I will give you a quick summary.
A little bird hatches from its egg and doesn’t see its mother anywhere in sight. (Mom has gone off to get food for the baby before it pops out of the egg.) While the mother is gone, the baby bird decides to go looking for its mother. It starts off by falling down, down, down and onto the hard ground. (Maybe that should’ve been the first clue not to take matters into its own hands. I’m just saying.) Nevertheless, off baby bird goes in search of his mother.
The baby comes across a kitten, a hen, a dog, a cow, a boat, a plane and a tractor (which he calls ‘a snort’) and asks them, “Are you my mother?” Each time, he leaves disappointed at not finding what he was looking for. In the end, the “Snort” lifts him up and places him back at home in his nest. His mother comes to him, feeds him, wraps her strong, feathered wing around him and she asks him, “Do you know who I am?”
To this, he replies, “Yes, I know who you are. You are not a kitten, a hen, a dog, a cow, a boat or a plane or a Snort. You are a bird and you are my mother.”
As I reflected on this, I was discouraged to see my own actions exposed. I have often been like that baby bird and tried to take matters into my own hands. Maybe I was waiting on God for something, or looking for him in my circumstances but not finding him; always longing for a deep satisfaction but feeling like it wasn’t there. Off I’d go, from one thing to the next, trying to fill that hole. I may come upon a relationship, a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Crème Brule ice cream, a great pair of shoes, a TV series or a new hobby. Each time asking, “Are you my satisfaction?” And, each time, going away disappointed.
So, when I’m finally at my wit’s end, God consistently puts a “snort” into my life to bring me back to the nest. He fills me up, wraps his arms around me, and asks me, “Do you know who I am?” To this, I bawl as I respond, “Yes, I know who you are. You are not my earthly relationship, you are not my bowl of ice cream, and you are not my great pair of shoes, TV series or new hobby. You are my God and YOU are my satisfaction.”

Friday, May 1, 2009

all these things

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33

God’s love is truly amazing! You know, He has thought of everything. Not one worry crosses our mind that He hasn’t already covered. He is so good to us, so faithful, and always available to answer our cries. We have direct access to the ear, heart, and resources of God! You would think, God being God and all, it would be wise for us to keep that as a constant, conscious reminder. Where does the disconnect come in, in our lives?
You see, I have a tendency to worry. I worry about big things, I worry about small things, and I even worry about other peoples’ things. When I was younger, about 20, I had a stomach ulcer. Imagine that! What could a 20 year old possibly have to worry about? ( Author with tongue in cheek.) Then, when I became a mom, I took worry to a brand new level. Will I do things right? Will I be able to care for this little person? What if my baby gets sick or hurt or doesn’t sleep well? You get the point. I had become a prime example of the “Worrier Extraordinaire”.
There have also been times in my life where I have walked in great faith. I faced challenges that I knew, without a doubt, were way too big for me to deal with. In those trying times, I was able to fully rest on God to work everything out. As strange as it may seem, the bigger the problem = the greater my faith. In all honesty, I guess that, throughout those dilemmas, I was fully aware of my own inability to do anything and God’s amazing ability to be and to do absolutely everything.
As we read Matthew 6:33, God offers us the best solution to our worries. He tells us to seek Him first and all the things that we worry about will be taken care of. It makes perfect sense, really. When I recall the times that I’ve experienced huge faith in the face of a crisis, my eyes were clearly on God, not on the crisis. When I’m facing my day-to-day life, and the problems that go along with that, I try to figure things out on my own. My eyes are completely on earthly things and how I can make them better. The result? Constant worry.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” My goal is to make God my focus. I want to seek Him first; first thing in the morning, first thing in my crises, and even first thing in my little worries. He tells us that if we do that, all these things will be given to us as well. “All these things” will become just that; all these things. How insignificant our worries will become, in light of who our amazing, loving God is!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

mathematical genius!

UJ (Uncle Joe) was here yesterday morning while my girls were starting math.
Kourtney is using a compass these days for drawing circles.
Jacklyn was holding the compass and Joe asked her some questions.

Joe: "Hey, Jacklyn, do you know what that thing you are holding is called?"

Jacklyn: "It's a pencil, Uncky Joe." (btw, she used to call him Auntie Joe.)

Joe: "I know that part is a pencil, but do you know what the thing holding the pencil is called?

Jacklyn: (smiling) "I'm Jacklyn!" (SO proud of herself.)

We were cracking up!! Funny little nut.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

product review

I recently purchased the Ped Egg at Target.
Great little $9.99 investment.
My poor feet were looking/feeling sad!
More like sandpaper than appendages.
I must say, that Ped Egg did the trick!
My feet are silky smooth and very happy.
However...just in case $9.99 isn't in your budget,
I'm thinking a fine cheese grater may very well
do the exact same job.
Gross, I know....but, seriously.
Upon close inspection,
that's really what the Ped Egg kind of is.
A little grater.
Hmmmm....I better not let Jeff know this.
He tends to swipe my tweezers out of my make up bag
and use them for all sorts of unsatisfactory purposes.
He is also handy in the kitchen.
And, loves hard cheeses.
So, ladies....buy the Ped Egg.
Or a fine cheese grater.
Sluff away on those heels,
but, for goodness sake,
Don't let it get into the wrong hands
or the kitchen!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

oh, cleaning!

Have you ever been so overwhelmed with housework that you just don't even know where to begin? That's where I am today. Laundry....one of the constants in my life....is at least somewhat under control. Thank God that my hubby will do a load here and there and lots more than that if I'm away from home. But, the rest is just making me want to run and scream right now.
Today, I had plans to get up, clean the house and enjoy the rest of the day doing whatever we wanted...because it's still Spring Break for us.
Well, I remembered the Hannah Montana movie was in theatres so...I did what any fun Mom would do. Scrapped the housework plans and headed for the flick with my 2 oldest girls.
When we came home, that was it. I was going to focus and get to cleaning. However, my phone rang. It was my darling friend inviting my family to join hers at the beach for some tide pooling fun and snacks. How could I pass that up? I didn't.
I just finished the dishes and remembered that I stripped Maggie's bed this morning. UGH!! I hate when I do that! I never like to change sheets, but I most dislike it at 8:00 at night! Solution? Sleepover in Kourtney's room!!
See, that's just the fun kind of Mom I am.
Cleaning and scrubbing will wait 'til tomorrow!
Or the next day.
You never know how fun I may have to be!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I see who I wanna be.....

Sometimes I just sit and look at these 3 beautiful girls of mine and shake my head. How on earth did I get so blessed? They really are amazing.
Beautiful. Funny. Smart. Compassionate. Generous. Forgiving. Teachable. Understanding. Wise. Cute. Friendly. Energetic. Silly. Creative. Responsible. Respectful. Kind. Patient. Diligent. Merciful. Lovable.
I never even begin to pretend that my kids are perfect. Sadly, I tend to err on the other side. I want for them to behave and I can be hard on them sometimes. However, as I think about the great people that they are and that they are becoming, I just sit back and smile. What a bunch of neat people God has blessed me with! They forgive my imperfections, (and trust me, as a home school family...they see them all!) they learn from their own mistakes, and really do just enjoy life. I have so much to learn from them and I'm SO GRATEFUL!!!
I'm sure you've heard this song a bunch of times...but, I can't help singing it today as I think about my blessings!
It's In My Daughter's Eyes by Martina McBride....I just love it!!
In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Okay, well, I'm realizing that I must seem like such an obnoxious mom...constantly talking about how cute my daughter is. Since the couple of readers I have on here actually know Jacklyn, I shouldn't feel the need to apologize. However, I am sorry. I don't want to be one of "those" kind of moms!!
I wanted to write that post I mentioned a while ago on rain. I heard something great that made so much sense to me that I wanted to share it on here. A friend of mine and I were talking about how so often circumstances can change our mood (or our week, day, etc.) It can be someone else's response to us, it can be our finances, our job, our weight, our appearance, etc. Outside things can affect us negatively.
We talked about rain and had 3 different scenarios:
If you were inside your house, safe and sound....snuggled up under a blanket, reading a good book and it started raining outside....how much would it affect you? For me, the answer was not much.
Now, imagine you are planning a beautiful, outdoor wedding. On the day of the event, huge rain clouds fill the sky and dump down on you just as you are getting ready to say your vows. I think it's safe to assume that in that instance, rain ruined your day and you wouldn't be able to quickly get over it.
Lastly, you are a farmer. Your sole source of income is from your crops and there has been a terrible drought for the past year. Finally, the rain begins to pour from the heavens and you are given a renewed sense of hope. Rain has saved your livelihood and there is no greater joy in all the world.
In each one of these instances, RAIN was the factor. Rain, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. It has everything to do with how we perceive it. Quite often our own outside circumstances are the same way. We can choose to either let them ruin our lives (or at least our day) OR we can find the good in them. At the very least, we can just watch the circumstances come and go and not get overly concerned about them.
Personally, I want to find joy in all things. I have a long, long, LONG way to go here...but, it is a goal of mine. I want to look for the blessing instead of constantly stressing out, worrying and being fearful when things don't turn out as I had planned.
This past weekend, I feel like I've learned some things about myself that are not the best. I want to be in control, I can be very competitive, very distrusting, insecure and self-protective. Bleck! I see it all and really want to change. I guess for me, the best thing I can do for now is continue practicing living in the moment. I want to stop fearing the future (which I can't control anyway) and just let that rain roll right off of me. For goodness sake, I may even start looking for rainbows! :)
I'm not sure you followed this or that I was able to put it into writing as I heard it...but, if so, I hope it's helpful.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I asked Jacklyn today, "Why are you so cute?!"

She answered with, "Why not?!"

Oh goodness!!! I really don't think she knows what "why not" means (did I mention that she's only 21 months?) but....MAN!! She cracks me up!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

got a million of 'em!

Little Jacklyn is so funny!! I really need to jot down all the stinkin' cute things she says. We think we'll always remember, but...really, when they're older and not saying the cutest things, we can't recall everything that melted us when they were tiny. So....here's a quick one for the day!

Jacklyn has a bad diaper rash. She needed diaper cream and as I was getting her ready for bed last night, I was talking about what I was doing.

She said, "Show me see, Mommy! Show me see ice cream for my bom bom."

Hilarious!! I have more....so, tune in. I may stink at blogging every day, but I do know that I can type a quick post with funny jacky-isms!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

time for some thoughts

I feel like I must write a few thoughts down before they get lost in the whirlwind of my mind. Seriously. Things come and go in there and by the end of the day, I forget. We are NOT in Kansas any more!! Deeply spiritual thoughts, silly, witty thoughts, new resolves and funny quotes from my kids. Doesn't matter what it is, when all is said and done, and it's about 6:00 pm, all I can think about is, "How soon 'til bedtime?!" Focusing on writing anything down is gone. I do my best thinking in the morning. However, when I only get up in time to swig some coffee, zip through a Bible study lesson (NOT how I want to do things!), and then shower and start school, I don't take the time to blog. For some unknown reason, I've got a little extra time today. Maybe it's because it's Saturday and my girls are actually sleeping in for once. Praise the Living God!! Okay....lots of random comma usage and run on sentences and incomplete sentences here...but, oh well. Back to my list of thoughts!

1.) I need to slow down. My life is so great. These kiddos of mine are fantastic. My husband is awesome. My Mom, my sisters and their families all live relatively nearby and I want more time with them all!! (Okay, I spend all my time with my kids.) Jeff's family is in Oregon....It's been forever since we've been up there. My dad and Diane are in Florida....we've never been! Jodee and Mike are in Hawaii...let's go!!! Plus, I also want to see old friends more and just HANG OUT!!!
Anyway, I've just read in the Beth Moore Patriarchs Bible study about how in this day and age so many of us are turning into minimalists. Not in a good way. We do several things...more than we can actually really handle...but we don't do them excellently. I want to slow down, savor the moment, and LIVE my life. If I could pick how to spend each day (which we all can, somewhat) I would laugh more with my girls, rather than rush them and act obviously stressed and annoyed. I would read with them more, snuggle them more and look into their eyes. I want to listen more and bark orders less. I would slow down and be more present when I'm with Jeff. I would cut things from our daily schedule and GO and see my mom and sisters more often. Events and schedules are just things...they are my loves and I really want to make time with them (and friends) more of a priority.
All of this sounds like a New Year's resolution or something. But, it's not. It is just my heart and what is on my mind right now. These are things I am purposing to change! Okay, so a resolution of sorts...A March 14th resolution. =)

2.) My very good friend and I just spoke about something super profound! We talked about rain and how rain, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. I want to remember to blog about this more. Doesn't make sense here, but I promise it will. I just had to write it so that I'd be more likely to come back to it.

3.) George Muller. Wow! I mentioned him in another post a while ago. SUCH an amazing man of faith! He believed that God heard his prayers and answered them. There are so many little stories all within the YWAM biography of this man's life. They are life-changing and I really think every Christian should read that book! As I read it, it totally resonated with me. Like, "Oh yeah! I used to have more faith than I do now!" I recognized MY God in that book and longed for more faith! I think that as a mom, I have tried to figure things out more and prayed less. I have worried and brainstormed when really, all I needed to do is give it to God! *Blessed are the poor in spirit.* I am blessed when I realize that I can't do this life on my own. I NEED God!!

4.) God's presence. You know....I keep being reminded of this. It all started a few months ago when I was being especially grumpy. Who me?! I know, that must be what you're thinking. But, alas, it's true. I had some pretty hateful thoughts going through my head and out of the blue (or maybe black in this case), I felt God gently remind me that...uh...He's very aware of my thoughts. GULP! So, time and time again...usually in a way that startles me back into shape, I am aware of His presence. I am glad, though. I mean, what a jerk I'd be if I was only outwardly being nice. God knows my thoughts, my attitudes and my motives. I LOVE that about Him. I can be super mean, selfish and ugly....but, I sure am glad I can't get away with it!! I want to be changed. I want to be refined. When that happens, the heat is turned up and all the worst in me is brought up. I think God brings it up in order to get it out.

Okay....well, that's the thoughts for now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

forget it!

Well, I've decided that I'll post as often as I can in March. The daily pressure to be inspired was getting to me. So, yes, I am writing to say that I may not be writing. I love the "give" theme and have a few thoughts a brewin'. However, I'm too tired to try to make sense out of those thoughts tonight. See you....um...soon.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a gift

Wow! Listening to Paul Young, author of The Shack was incredible!
ONE of the many nuggets of truth that I took home was about grace.
He talked about living in the grace for each day.
THAT is the grace God has given us.
So, again, I got the message.
Do not worry about tomorrow (or the next day or even the next hour.)
God has given us the grace to get through this moment.
That's all we've got.
This moment.
I can worry with the best of 'em.
However, it won't do me a drop of good.
God is so in control.
He's got each thing mapped out and
He doesn't need my help or my concern.
I take such comfort in that grace.
Grace = Rest

Friday, March 6, 2009

gimme some skin

So, yesterday, Maggie was putting her laundry away.
Not a task she ever enjoys.
She normally sighs, slumps her shoulders and tries not to complain too much.
(so that I won't lecture her, I'm sure.)
But, not yesterday.
She was cheerfully putting away her laundry.
I was in her room, putting away Jacklyn's.
Then, she stopped and said,
"Mommy, thank you for folding all of these."
I just about croaked!
I guess I looked just as surprised as I felt.
Really, have you ever known me NOT to be an open book with my emotions?
I said, "Wow, Mags, your welcome. Thanks for thanking me!"
Then, she said, "Well, you DO do pretty much all of the work around here."
To that, I just marched right up to her and said,
"Gimme some skin, girl!"
Gotta love that kid!!

*and you gotta love that "give" post for the March theme, eh?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

living in my now

Wow...I have to say that being off the computer for 24 hours wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be! I did catch myself ALMOST going to check my email, my facebook or some blogs several different times. They are my most constant form of communication. However, I didn't give in. In fact, I believe it was more like 25 hours. I'm pretty proud of myself!
Today, I gave up worrying. Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? Maybe this one will stick. I sure hope so. But, I won't worry about that. A friend of mine encouraged me to really live in my present moment. I can't tell you how helpful that is! I was worrying about a bunch of things. None of which I can control and most importantly, none of which are happening right now!
Living in the moment has caused the biggest sense of gratitude!! I start to worry or fret about some future event.....or just our future in general, and then force myself to stop. I look at my current situation, my 3 amazing girls who I am allowed to hang out with every day. For an amazing husband who loves me. For a home and for living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I can't help but feel thankful.
My heart is instantly transformed and I just thank God for all that He is and for all that He has done for me. What an incredible tool this is!
I have also been reading the YWAM biography book on George Muller. Life changing. I'm sure I'll write more on that soon, but the main thing I am being reminded of in his story is how God DOES answer prayer!!
So, I am working on living in the moment, but I am also remembering to quickly turn my worry into prayer....fully, completely believing that God answers my prayers and I can trust all of my concerns with Him. He wouldn't tell us to pray if He didn't want to hear and answer.
My heart is encouraged and I am looking forward to seeing what God does with it all!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

giving up

okay...so, for the next 24 hours I am giving up computer time.
this may very well do me in.
I just know that I spend waaaaay too much time on here.
I will focus my time on my girls.
See you in 24 hours!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

a break

Lookie here...March 3 and I skipped yesterday. :)
I guess I will GIVE myself a break!
Life is so full and, well, busy, with 3 little girls,
with homeschooling,
with chasing a 1 and a half year old,
with taking the 11 and 9 year olds to:
piano, swimming, babysitting a friend's kids,
and celebrating a dear 3 year old's birthday.
Oh...and don't forget the daily walking of our neighbor's dog,
laundry, meals, dishes, and just the general STUFF that
fills up a regular day.
Yesterday was quite full!
Today I really was thinking about what I would give myself.

Yesterday, I wanted to give myself a break. (not in the best sense of the word.)
I was ready to quit.
I wondered why I should subject these darling girls of mine
to the mood swings, hormonal shifts and general sense of being overwhelmed....of their Mommy. Seriously, can this really be good for any of us?
I thought that it would be in their best interest (and mine) to get a break from it all.
Then, reality set in.
My oldest will be in middle school next year. (I realized that as I drove by the local public school....sort of the shock that I needed to get me out of my daydream of said "break".)
I couldn't see myself sending my baby (I know...she's 11!) off to middle school. Sweet, tender, compassionate girl. What would become of her?!
The break I thought would be so great....for them and me....turned into a bit of a heartbreak when I thought about it.
I would feel horribly guilty, full of regret and sad.
I don't think I'd be getting much of a break at all.
I look at how we homeschool and how some days go and I get really down on myself.
These girls are soooo capable!
They are smart, intelligent and creative.
Some days we just get enough done to check off a box and call it school.
Those days are actually filled with learning of LOTS of other kinds...yet, I tend to be really hard on myself.
We spend so much time talking about character, about life lessons, about faith, about problem-solving, friends, family and God's will.
Those are not things that can be checked off of any "To-Do List" that I currently have.
Other days, like yesterday, we get every school subject done. I can be a bit of a task master. I can order these girls around with the best drill sargent imaginable. The subjects are covered, but what did I really teach them?
Uh oh....I feel the lump in my throat swelling.
I am afraid I taught them that emotions can be the boss of me.
That they sometimes have to walk on egg shells with their Mommy because you never know when she's going to blow.
I taught them that when they argue with me over which Math problems to complete, Mommy may very well turn that into a 10 minute lecture on respect (that probably was heard, "blah, blah, blah).
I, frankly, had a really hard morning yesterday.....and I want to berrate myself for it.
However....I must say that this story has a happy ending!
The single most important thing that I hope that I taught my girls yesterday is that God gives grace to the humble.
That we are never too old (or in too important of a position...ie...Mom, teacher)
to ask for forgiveness, to humble ourselves, and to change course mid-stream.
My day....and subsequently their day....started off pretty rough.
Through the power of God's Word (which I ran to), and through prayer, our day quickly did a 180!!!
We were able to enjoy each other's company.
We were able to laugh together, and we all had some wrongs to admit.
I know I'm sort of rambling on and on here...but I think you get the point.
Sometimes the break I need to give myself is just a break....I can not be perfect. I can not do everything....but, I also don't need to quit or give up when the going gets rough.
That is bound to happen again.....in fact, I guarantee it....I've been homeschooling for 6 years and it certainly has happened in the past. However, yesterday felt different. In a good way.
Today, I'm giving myself a break.
I will blow it, like yesterday.
I will want a break (from all humans on the planet.)
And I will pick myself back up and start again.
Thank the Lord for Lamentations 3:21-23...."Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!!"

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I am sitting here listening to my two youngest daughters play and giggle and sing in the tiny coat closet that they have turned into a FUN play room. (All 3 x 5 feet of it.) A flashlight has been hung from the top and they are having the time of their lives!

So...giving....the theme for March blogs that I'm trying to do....hmmmm....

What comes to mind is this: I want to give my children the gift of endless imagination, laughter, sillyness and fun. I want to give them security, love, safety and peace. (And so much more!)

The funny thing is, that as I sit and think of what I'd like to give to them, I realize the immeasurable gifts that they give to me! To name a few: joy, warmth, purpose, love (OH the love!), and child-like wonder. This list could go on all day.

I have been given so many blessings and today I'm focusing on my kids. I imagine lots of days that's what I'll talk about here. I am richly blessed and I am so grateful!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

more perfume making at our house

These girls of mine....oh, how I love them. Their favorite thing to do when a friend is over is to create new perfume scents. Today, they were at it again.
First, they collect their ingredients:

Next, a little mashing (and a little posing for the camera)

They let it sit for a few hours (or minutes...depending on their patience level)And....then we have the finished product! Perfume...super adorable in these vintage Strawberry Shortcake spice jars:

A GREAT time was had by all!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

March Blogging

I'm going to attempt to blog every day for the month of March.
We'll see.
I love NaBloPoMo....and here is their theme for March:

The theme for March blogging is GIVING (UP). If you choose to blog on the theme, you can write about what you give to your friends, your job, your world, or yourself every day. That "up" in parentheses gives you the option to also write about things you're throwing out, quitting, recycling, or eliminating from your life right now.

Sounded like an interesting topic and with 31 days....I bet I'll be able to come up with SOMETHING!

Tune in...today is only Feb. 27....so I have 2 days to get creative.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

splish splash

The other night, Jacklyn took care of business.
I started filling up the bathtub for her.
I ran out to the kitchen or laundry room for just a minute.
When I was walking back toward the bathroom,
I heard her call out,
"I got it! I got it!"
Hmm....what did she get??
I went into the bathroom to see her....
sitting in the tub, fully clothed.

She DID take her shoes and socks off, though.

What a little nut.
I love her so much.
But, I better not leave her alone for a second!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Etch A Sketch

This morning, I was consumed.
Not in a good way.
I was thinking about sin.
I was thinking about selfishness.
I was thinking about me.
I couldn't move on in my thoughts.
I prayed and told God how I wanted more.
I wanted to see more of Him in my life.
But...I was consumed with me.
Why did I make dumb choices in the past?
Why did I allow insecurity to be my guide?
How could I erase "history" and never look back?
I was sick of having my default always
go to self-centered crap.
Hey...God knows my thoughts anyway...
I guess it won't hurt to type it.
Anyway, suddenly I got a picture in my mind.
It was of an Etch A Sketch.
As if God was reminding me
of His love,
of His forgiveness
and His grace.
As far as the east is from the west...
My sins, my selfishness, my stupid self...
Without a trace.
Just like an Etch A Sketch.
You can't ever get the picture back.
He isn't hanging onto all the dumb things I've done.
He forgets.
I need to, too.
Then....as if that picture in my mind wasn't enough,
my pastor actually said the very same thing
this morning at church!!!
He read Col. 1:21-22 and then said,
"Your sins are erased...
Just like an Etch A Sketch."
I'm not kidding.
Isn't that so cool??

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Satisfy My Soul

A dear friend of mine always has a theme for each year.
For 2009, I decided that I'd like to come up with one of those myself.
I took a good look inside of me to see what I thought that should be.
My greatest need ~always~ is living loved.
I've got to just stop looking to any human to fill my cavernous love hole.
God is all that I need.
He is the real deal.
Any other type of filling will leave me wanting.
So, I came across the verse Psalm 90:14, "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."
That verse hit the nail on the head!
I need to be satisfied with Him alone....then I can sing for joy and be glad all my days.
Worry consumes me sometimes.
As does insecurity.
Boy, wouldn't I love this verse (along with the other 24 verses I'm memorizing this year) to just knock out the worry and insecurity that, up until this point, have been so much a part of who I am!!!
I'm looking forward to seeing God satisfy my soul with His love!
This song by Joann Rosario and Donnie McClurkin is my theme song!! Google it, download it.....sing (for joy) along with me!!

Satisfy My Soul
//Saciame senor con lo mejor del cielo
Saciame senor con la grosura de tu amor//

Mi alma desfallece por tu presencia
Mi alma desfallece por tu poder
Mi alma desfallece por tu gloria

///Saciame senor/// con tu amor

//Satisfy my soul with the best of heaven
Satisfy my soul with the Fullness of your love//

My soul faints after you, seeking your presence
My soul faints after you, seeking your power
My soul faints after you seeking your glory

///satisfy my soul/// with your love

Thursday, January 1, 2009

24 in 2009

Happy New Year!
I'm determined for this year to get off to a great start.
I'm going to do it the right way and get my head in the Word!
I was over at Beth Moore's LPM Blog and was so inspired to get some scripture committed to memory in 2009! She put out a challenge to all of her readers to memorize 2 scriptures a month in 2009. We'll post the scripture we feel led to memorize in a blog comment on the 1st and the 15th of each month.
I've decided that I'll also post them on here so that I can journal a little about why I am choosing that scripture. Beth reminded us that so many of our problems start...and CAN end....in the mind. If we have God's word in there, plastered over the walls of our mind, our own thoughts (that can be so destructive) won't prevail....the Word of God will!!
So, my first verse for 2009 is this:
Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know."
Oh how I long to hear His voice more!! I would love to have Him tell me some great and unsearchable things! I need to remember to call to Him and not rely on my own devices when I'm stressed, in trouble, sad, afraid, etc! A simple truth but one I need to be reminded of constantly! So, there it is. I'll memorize Jeremiah 33:3 first.
I am really looking forward to calling to Him and having Him speak to me...even having Him direct me to which verse to memorize next!! If you want to do this too, go check out Beth's blog...but also let me know! I'd love to know what verses you're memorizing, too. This will be such an awesome source of encouragement.