Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I cannot believe I actually just made my own header!!!  Thanks to the ladies over at, they taught me step-by-step how to do it.  Thanks also to Amy for posting about this great site!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Shaky Day!

This morning we felt the earthquake - I actually heard it before I felt it.  It was so strange; I was standing at the window fixing our blinds, when I heard a "rumbling" really loudly.  I looked out the window and was wondering "what IS that?!" then I felt the ground rolling.  It took me a few seconds to figure out what was going on, and then I grabbed the boys and stood in our hallway.  I thought it might be safer than the doorways since debris could fly our direction from inside the rooms (I'll have to check this theory out later).  Jaden got a little freaked out and cried, which was strange since I thought I seemed totally calm, but he was okay.  It was Micah's first earthquake but I don't even think he noticed it.

Later on in the day Micah was being a little too rough and pushed Jaden down in the kitchen. Well, Jaden was holding a toy and it cut his upper lip open.  This is the THIRD time this has happened in the past 2 or 3 months!  My poor baby was just screaming and blood was everywhere.  Martin and I really didn't know what to do about it except hold him and wait for the blood to stop, which it did.  I still am not sure how to help his lip heal, other than to wait a few days... I don't know what to do about Micah being so rough with his little brother.  Half the time he is just playing but doesn't realize his own strength.  He also loves to "chase" Jaden around the house and push him down (his way of winning, maybe?) which we are really trying to curb, for obvious reasons.

On another note, a few days ago I left Micah alone for literally like 2 minutes so I could splash some makeup on my face.  When I walked out, this is what I found - he found the sprinkles in the kitchen cupboard (for my cookies) and went to town.   Little rascal! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I have found that it really stresses me out to have to choose a video for my kids to watch (okay, mainly Micah - Jaden's not too interested, thankfully).  I carefully examine each cartoon or movie, looking at the reason it's rated PG, wondering if there's any hint of language, violence or scary themes.  I have really noticed how sensitive my boy is to movies.  He had never talked about being scared before, or being afraid of the dark - until he watched a VeggieTales cartoon where they sang the song "God is Bigger than the Boogey-man".  I thought "how cute!" until a few nights later when Micah started saying "Mommy, there's monsters! Leave the light on!"  I couldn't believe it.  I was so brokenhearted that my boy was experiencing fear for the first time (that I knew of, at least).  I could only tie it to that movie.  

I've also seen him jump and his eyes widen when he has watched certain scenes in "Finding Nemo" and other supposedly "safe" movies that have scary parts in them.  When I re-watch these cartoons through the innocent eyes of a 3 year old, I realize how scary things can be.   Tonight "Peter Pan" was on, and I watched him soak in the scenes of Captain Hook smoking 2 cigars at once, shooting (and killing) a pirate, and saying "you idiot!"   Earlier today he saw a scene from "Ice Age 2" where there is a gay animal couple (I didn't even see it coming).  I know I can't protect him forever, but for heaven's sake, he's only 3!  So, when is the right time to expose him to things like this?   You would think a cartoon would be safe!  

I do know that I definitely see in other kids (also) the effects of cartoons and movies.  I have seen young girls (3-5 years old) cop attitudes and look at themselves more in the mirror after watching The Disney Channel (usually teen shows).   I've seen young boys act just a little more violently after watching certain cartoons.  It is scary.  We have a big responsibility as parents to protect our children from growing up too fast.  So for now, we'll continue to skip getting cable, and limit the boy's viewing to things we've already seen (targeted for their ages).    I guess I just want to cherish the purity of the boy's minds, at least while I can.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This Broken World

Today my heart is breaking for the family of Greg & Cathe Laurie, who lost their son Christopher in a car accident earlier today. Topher was my first crush, as my dad was on staff at Harvest when I was younger. He was definitely my most serious crush, as I practically "stalked" him with letters and tried to physically get close to him every time I went to the Harvest Crusades :) We were childhood friends around age 6 and I kept a close eye on him until I was in early high school. He never really knew I existed, other than I was "Randy's daughter" who was shy and probably gave him the creeps. (You can see Harvest's statement about his death here). I know they are a great family and you always wonder why God allows things like this to happen to people who are serving God so faithfully.

My heart also breaks for the family of Denise Lee, the daughter of a detective, who was kidnapped and murdered. A 911 caller saw her screaming for help in a car, but the police car was never dispatched to help her. She had two toddler boys at home, and when her husband arrived home and didn't see his wife, he noticed his older toddler boy had climbed into the crib of the younger baby to comfort him. This story was on NBC and I have seen it twice, but it always hits me for some reason. This was a 21 year old young mother who was so innocent, who had 2 young boys and a loving husband, and was killed by a stranger for no reason.

My heart also broke today for the mother of a developmentally disabled boy. I saw her in the mall, lovingly and patiently feeding him lunch. He must have been about 9or 10 years old. You could just see the love in her eyes for him.

When I hear and see these things, I ask "Why?" "Why, God?" I have been a Christian for over 25 years now and consider myself strong in my faith. Yet I still long for answers to these questions. I'm glad that God is okay with my questions.

These things remind me of the Rita Springer song called "Worth it All":

I don't understand Your ways
Oh but I will give You my song
Give You all of my praise
You hold on to all my pain
With it You are pulling me closer
And pulling me into Your ways

Now around every corner
And up every mountain
I'm not looking for crowns
Or the water from fountains
I'm desperate in seeking, frantic believing
That the sight of Your face
Is all that I need
I will say to You

It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it all
I believe this
It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it all
I believe this

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Little Evangelist

Lately we have been so busy! Sometimes there are really slow and boring weeks, and then there are weeks like this! We've had 3 families over for dinner in the last 5 days, a garage sale, visited my uncle, I went to the Curtain Call Dinner Theater with my mom & sister to see "The Sound of Music", went to church, went to a family birthday party, and yesterday had doctors appointments for both boys. Whew!

So yesterday at the boys 1 and 3 year check-ups, they both got their shots. You may remember my previous post a few months ago where I was debating whether or not to get Jaden vaccinated. Well, after MUCH prayer and research, we decided to go ahead and do it. After reading some thoughts by Dr. Sears (The Vaccine Book), I realized that maybe I could just not do all the shots at once, so we settled for 2 at this visit, 2 in a month, and 2 in two more months. (He's a little behind now). Well, Micah also needed 2 shots, and he had no idea what was coming. We didn't warn him as we thought that might make it worse, so it came as quite a surprise when he got them. As tears were streaming down his face when we got back in the car, his little body heaving sobs, he cried out "Jesus help us!" It was so sad I wanted to cry for him!

Later on he seemed especially sensitive throughout the day. He cried again later and as I held him he said "Mommy, Jesus helps us." It was so sweet.

My sister Lauren was here last week and said "Micah keeps telling me that Jesus died on the cross, but he's in heaven now!" Then on Sunday when I picked him up from Sunday School, his teacher said, "Wow! Micah told me the whole story of David & Goliath right when he got in here and he knows a lot about it!" :) That seems to be his favorite story. Then today, he busted out singing at the table "Jesus Loves Me" which I didn't even know he KNEW the whole song! It is so cute to me. I am just amazed at how much he's picking up on, and I am so thankful for all the Sunday School teachers out there who don't know the impact they're having! We continue to pray that these little seeds will grow. Maybe Micah will become a prophet just like Micah in the Bible. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Change of Plans

Sometimes my introverted nature gets the best of me. I have been known to see people in a store and duck through the aisles so they won't see me. Don't worry - I didn't do this to YOU - it's usually people I haven't seen in awhile, that I am not close with, who I don't want to have one of those superficial conversations with. Maybe part of it is from being a pastor's wife; I am used to having to interact with over 50 people on a personal basis on Sundays, and while I do enjoy it, I am pretty drained at the end of the day and need a big nap. I hope I don't sound snobby; I just sometimes know that I'm not "at my best" and just want to go through a store without a conversation.

My best friend Heather, on the other hand, is the total opposite. She can befriend any store clerk, waiter, mailman, or woman in line within one minute. She's funny, interacts with them easily, and always uses their name once she finds it out. People LOVE her! After I'm with her I always think "I wish I was more like that!" People genuinely feel she cares for them and they feel impacted after meeting her. When I'm with her I enjoy it because she is the outgoing one, so I can just observe and smile and not feel any pressure :)

Heather & I

But today I was supposed to go to my first play date for MOPS, which I recently joined. It doesn't start until September, but I've been getting these emails about play dates at local parks. All week I've been planning on going, I woke up and got dressed to go, and started getting the boys ready, but slowly started losing steam. I started thinking about having to walk up to women I don't know (most of whom know each other already), and introduce myself. For some reason, this makes me really nervous!! What will I say? What will they think of me? How will my kids behave? What will we talk about? Oh, there were other reasons too, like the fact we only have 1 car right now and M needs to get to work, and the park is really far from my house, but I'm a little embarrassed to admit that these first thoughts went through my head.

I know it sounds sad, or silly, or ridiculous. But tonight I'm having someone over for dinner while M is at church, so I need to "save up" all my energy for her, you know?! :) Just kidding. So, change of plans. But maybe I'll go next week.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Help Me!! I Just Can't Stop Blogging!!!!

For the 3rd time today, here I sit. Thoughts running through my head that need to get out! Here goes...

Today I was talking with two friends, both of whom are also mothers, and I thought, "You know, every mother needs 3 things". So, here is what I think every mother needs. Without even one of them, we could go crazy at any moment.

1) An outlet. If you are a mom, what is your outlet? Is it a hobby, like scrapbooking, or quilting, or reading when you get a chance? For me, it is blogging. Writing. Either thoughts or songs. I love to write and it is my outlet. I think it is important to get to have your "outlet" at least a few times a week.

2) A good friend who has been where you are. Or is presently where you are at. A fellow mom who has cleaned up poop, been thrown up on, felt the joy of seeing the first smile or the first step, and just "gets it."

3) Some "time off" every day. Be it 10 minutes, or an hour. In our house, it happens usually after the kids go to bed. That's why routine is so important to us - both boys are IN bed, going to sleep, by 8pm. Yes, they have their late nights where they can't seem to fall asleep, but for the most part it works, and this time is M and I's time together. We talk, we play games sometimes, we watch TV, or we work, but at least it is all time together, and we try to make it quality. There are also many times that he gets home from work and plays with the kids so that I can have a little break. I may just cook dinner alone, or go to the bathroom with the door closed, or have a quick phone conversation, but those moments are my little "moments of grace" (see my previous post about those) :) So, we each need our "moments of grace" every day. Even if it's not for an hour, but 10 minutes. SO important.

I know there are more things that every mother needs, like daily time with God, or a hot (or cold) shower every day, or an amazing husband to help around the house. So, I guess even if we just get ONE of these (six) things, we should be thankful, right? :)

Taking a Break

Today, Day 4 of Potty Training Boot Camp, we've decided to take a break. After Micah unleashed 17 hours of pee into his pull-up today (which I finally gave it and put on him because I felt so sorry for him), he proceeded to "hold it" for another 7 1/2 hours. Sooooo, we realize that maybe he's just not ready. Physically, yes. Mentally, no. I confess that I have been anxious to get him potty trained, although I have tried SO hard not to convey that to him, and tried to seem as relaxed as possible. But when I hear about friend's kids being potty trained right at 2, or shortly thereafter, I feel like I am the only mother in the world with a 3 year old still in diapers, and it does get discouraging. We've always known that M likes to do things on his own time-table, is a little perfectionistic, and wants to be in control. It's his personality, and we're trying to help him grow, not stifle him. So, we're still learning. I am a bit discouraged about it but know that it will happen eventually. I guess it would help me immensely to just get out of the comparison trap.

Today was also my birthday, and it was a wonderful day. Martin told me he wanted me to "take the day off", which I will forever believe is the BEST gift any wife or mother could ask for! I slept in until 9am, lounged around the house (in between potty training episodes), then left at 11:30am for a fantastic lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory with two close friends. We talked for over 2 hours, just catching up, laughing, and having a good time. Then the three of us went thrift store shopping for about an hour, where I found a great leather desk chair (which we've needed) for only $10! After I got home, I took a leisurely (but HOT) nap, and then Martin made us all dinner. My BF Heather had gotten me Sprinkles cupcakes (my FAV), and Martin had also surprised me by baking me cupcakes! So, lots of sugar today. Hey, I didn't want to disappoint anyone! We all took a walk after dinner, and then later tonight M and I are going to watch a movie and relax. The perfect day.

One last funny story - yesterday Micah saw me getting dressed and he ran up to me, grabbed my legs and said "Chunky Thighs!!!" Martin and I busted up laughing - this is what we often (lovingly) say to Jaden. Oh well - I'm a 32 year old mom with chunky thighs. At least I have 2 adorable boys to show for it :)

Our Little Trooper

This is Day 4 of Potty Training Boot Camp, which was supposed to be only 3 days. However, our little trooper is having some difficulties. On Wednesday we threw away all of his Pull-Ups in the trash, which he was very excited to do, and we put on his "Big Boy" underwear. (Keep in mind that we have been potty training off and on for the last 6 months, rather sporadically, but we've been going between underwear and Pull-Ups. He's had many successful "moments" on the potty).

Well, for some reason when we threw away his Pull Ups, M began to have "Performance Anxiety" and has been holding his "business" for anywhere between 10-17 hours now. He has gone on the potty one time in the last 4 days, had a few accidents, but mostly has been holding it. My poor baby!!! Yesterday he had an accident at 4pm, then we sat him on the potty before bed. He kept saying he had to go, but nothing happened. At 3am, he woke up saying he had to go, so I brought him in the bathroom and he sat there until after 4am on the potty reading books, but nothing happened. It took him awhile to go back to sleep, all while quietly saying "Have to go pee-pee mommy"... It was just breaking my heart!

At 8am we woke up and still nothing. It is now 9:40am and he is back on the potty, saying he has to go, but nothing's happening. We have even turned on water to get him to go (the sound of the trickling, etc.), but to no avail. So, it has now been almost 17 hours. We have been feeding him liquids ALL day the last 4 days, so I know he has to go. I know it doesn't hurt him to go because he doesn't complain at all when he has his accidents. But I know this isn't good for him.

I really don't know what to do. We have prayed for him so many times now, he is probably going to associate prayer with the bathroom for the rest of his life! :)

ANY advice would be helpful. We really do feel he's ready, as it's all been leading up to this, and he is very excited to use the potty and does not want to go back to pull-ups now. But I'm truly at a loss here.... Please pray for us!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In a Funk

So, here are my random thoughts that have gone through my head the past two days. This is so great that I can actually post the thoughts in my head and someone actually reads them. Ha! Love it.

1) I was talking to Anna about how important I have found it is to blog. This is my "outlet", my hobby now. It is my way of "connecting" to the outside world. No, it is not REAL connection, face-to-face, but I am a mother of 2 toddlers, so I'll take what I can get. Just knowing that I can blog about how good or bad my day was, and other friends and moms can relate, lifts my spirits and brings me happiness! So, thank you to my faithful friends who actually take time out of your busy day to read my blog. It truly means more to me than you know.

2) Yesterday I got into a deep "funk" about our student loan debt. I hadn't looked at it for awhile, and thought we had, oh, maybe 4 or 5 years left of payments. Well, I forgot we had reconsolidated awhile back, and it extended our payments another 15 years. Oops. I thought it had only extended them 10 years. So, the payoff date for mine is 2018 and M's is 2016. Talk about depressing. I feel like it is a cloud hanging over our heads. It is our only debt, but it is substantial, and we don't want it there. That brings me to thought #3.

3) I need to find a way to bring in $500 extra a month to solely put towards our loan debt. If we do this for 18 months, my loan will be totally paid off by January 2010. While I have really enjoyed being lazy with my photo business, it looks like I need to seriously take it up a notch, start advertising, and figure out a way to bring in more money. Not really what I want to be focusing on right now with 2 boys that need to be taken care of, but we really need to work this out somehow. We are both tired of this debt.

4) Today I wrote 4 songs within 30 minutes. Not typical, but I guess sometimes when you're in a "funk" it turns out to be the best time to write from your soul. M is getting to record one of his songs at a real studio, and then have it "critiqued" by some major Christian artists at an upcoming conference he's going to. I am so happy for him, that he is getting to work towards his dream. Someday maybe I'll be able to focus more on writing and record some of mine, too.

Well, that's it for now. I am now going to edit the largest wedding I've ever edited and hope I can watch TV at the same time and feel like I'm relaxing somewhat :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Week in Review

So, we made it through 7 days without daddy - I can't believe it! :) God was so good to us during that time. Yes, the boys both had the stomach flu the morning Martin left, but literally stopped throwing up right when he left at 3:15am. On Saturday and Sunday we laid low at home, still recovering, and I tried to find activities for the boys to do inside the house for 2 days (NOT easy, I might add!) I let Micah play with shaving cream and he had a blast. He made pies and "painted" with it for a long time. 

On Sunday night, my sister came over to spend the night, and on Monday we all took long naps and then went to Hermosa Beach for "Hope at the Beach" (with our church) on Monday night. On Tuesday morning around 5am, she got out of bed and proceeded to throw up - she, too, caught the flu bug that was apparently still present in our house, and I felt SO bad for her. At 10am I took the boys to the Farmer's Market to give her some peace and quiet, and when I got home around 1pm, she had thrown up something like 15 times since she had woken up. She was just miserable. I tried to take care of her and keep the boys out of her way, and thankfully she felt well enough on Tuesday night to drive herself back to my parents house. Poor girl. I really did sanitize everything!!! But no matter how well you sanitize I guess some germs still linger!

On Wednesday we drove out to my parents house and stayed there until Friday (4th of July). The boys had a blast. They loved being at Mimi and Papa's house, despite the fact that it was 95-100 degrees the whole time we were there! On Friday morning, my dad and sister and I took Micah to the Temecula 4th of July parade. It had such a small-town feel and it was so nice to be there. We went in a few antique shops, visited a candy shop, got a drink, and I got stung by a biting fly. It made me want to live there (not the biting fly part) because it was so "quaint" and beautiful.

The boys both slept fabulously thanks to my sister who made over my brother's old bedroom into a bed-and-breakfast type room for the 3 of us. Micah, however, got scared of the dark (for the first time) and wanted to sleep in her room with the lights on. Lately he's been talking about monsters, which is strange, since we are so careful about what he watches, but Lauren and I tried to convince him that there were no monsters, and even if there were, they are our friends :)

Friday night we drove home around 9pm and got home only 10 minutes before Martin did. Perfect timing! It is good to be together again. I'm so thankful that the week went smoothly (other than the flu bug), I did not get sick, and I just felt blessed and had strength the whole week long. Thank you, Lord!!!

Here are some pictures we took of the boys on the 4th at my parents house: