Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Funnies: Uncut

Disclaimer: After posting this blog, I remembered that I have a few male readers, and I apologize in advance for this posting.  Turn back now; you don't want to move forward.  :)  Just warning you.

Today I am participating in Friday Funnies, started by my friend Heather over at Triple Blessing.

At dinner on Monday night, we were leisurely eating our dinner when Jaden blurted out, "You don't have a penis, right, mommy?"  and Micah followed by, "Why don't you have balls?"  Yes, just another normal dinner conversation at our home.  This conversation has continued all week, with Jaden continually asking me to "pull down your pants so I can see what's down there."  Don't worry; I haven't obliged.  When we were camping, Micah came and layed next to me early one morning, put his hands on both my boobs and said, "what are these, mommy?"  When I tried to explain to him, he started to shake them and jiggle them and laugh hysterically until I yanked his hands off of me.  Ah, life with 3 and 5 year old boys.

On another note, Martin walked in the door from conducting a funeral, and Jaden looked and him and said, "Why did you get buried?"

I gave Micah some Bare Fruit Apple Chips (here is their logo), and he looked at the bag and asked, "Are these made out of bears, mommy?"

This isn't something funny that anyone SAID, but I just had to include our cat in the Friday Funnies, because he has a sense of humor too.  The other night I went to get some silverware for dinner and had a hard time opening the drawer.  I peeked inside and saw this:

Then this:

We had a hard time getting him out and Micah said, "I think we need to call the fire department, mommy!"
But eventually, we got him out.

Silly kitty!  Can't wait to read your Friday Funnies!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our First Family Camping Trip

We are back!! Not only did we survive, but our trip was fun, memorable and successful.  I'm not sure I would call myself a "camping girl" now, but I do foresee a camper or RV in our future at some point.

(Jaden didn't look too happy, but none of us were overjoyed at our cramped car situation.  THAT was one thing I wish I could have changed).

Our trip got off to a rough start: we got out the door over two hours later than planned, got on the wrong freeway, had to head back home after we were on the freeway (we forgot our car registration back at home), then realized my car keys were missing, because we accidentally put them on the roof when we got gas, and then moved onward anyway!  (No names will be mentioned in the last sentence to protect the guilty).

Anywho, after we finally got on the freeway, it was smooth sailing from there.  Until we got to our friend's house and called Mobil Speedpass and found out someone had already used it from my lost keys.  Only for $6.45, but still!  Ugh!

The boys did amazing on the drive up to our friend's house (3 1/2 hours away), and we spent the night there the first night.  We take a trip with this family almost every year, and this was our 5th vacation together.  We started when I was 6 months pregnant with Micah, and now we have 4 kids between us.  Micah & Rachel are 6 months apart, and Jaden and Ruthie are 3 months apart.

The next day we headed to Yosemite from there (another 3 hours away) and found our campsite.  It was perfect.

Our view (if you look closely you can see the river in the middle of the two trees):

So, we were right by the river, had tons of shade, and connected directly to our friend's campsite.  My parents were right up the street and we could see their site too.  Everything was going great until we saw this:


Um, EXCUSE ME?!  The bathrooms were broken?!  Oh, and not just our bathroom (which I specifically chose our site to be near), but every bathroom in the entire campsite except for ONE which was over a MILE away.  Yes, my worst camping nightmare.  I tried.  I tried to be understanding.  I took Micah in that porta-potty when we arrived, tried to make the best of it, but when I was overtaken by the stench of 1000 people's poo, AND had to look down and see it as I stood behind my son, AND had to hold his arms like a straight-jacket so he wouldn't touch anything, I had a moment. In that moment I was angry, and I vowed to not use that porta-potty again, the entire 4 day stay.  And thanks to this:

The Porta-Potty 100 Series, I was successful.  Thank you, Dad!  (Do you see the glimmer?!) Sorry if I grossed you out with the above paragraph, but you have to understand my horror.  We took many trips down to the working bathroom, and in the middle of the night, this adult potty-seat did just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, now that I've wasted my whole blog entry on the bathroom situation, let me tell you about the rest of the trip.  Which was fabulous, by the way. The weather was beautiful, the kids had a BLAST, and our days were full of fun.  We played in the creek:

Visited the Wawona Hotel:

And the Pioneer Visitor's Center behind it:

 went to Yosemite Valley and did a small hike:

Visited the Indian Visitor's Center:

Had dinner with the family:

Gave the kids S'mores for the first time:

Laughed and hugged a LOT:

And some more:
And some more:

(I have about 10 pictures like this) :)

We had campfires, told funny stories, and had more S'mores:

I took over 300 pictures, and could not even pick some of the best ones yet to feature in this post, so maybe I'll write more again later about it.  But overall, a success.  It was a LOT of work though.  I did not read one sentence of the 3 books I brought, or journal one time, or crack open my Bible, or play a deck of cards.  We did play games by the lantern light until these gigantic beetles started hitting us in the forehead on their way towards the light.  That wasn't fun.  But other than that, we had no bears visit, no bees, and only a few mosquito bites.  The boys slept well, we were comfortable, and it went even better than I thought it would. But still, a camper or tent-trailer would have been much easier.  Oh well, maybe next year?  Nah.  Maybe in two years after I recover.

And when it was over, we were happy-sad.  Happy that we had so much fun together, and sad it was ending.
 Until next time.... :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Off We Go

On Monday we leave for our first family camping trip to Yosemite.  This week I have run more errands than I thought were possible and we still are short a few things.  Today I realized that I have only 1 pair of shorts, so I just had to go clothes shopping and pick up a few things.  I think my favorite part so far has been all the list-making.  No, seriously.  I know, I'm strange.  Something just really excites me about making tons of lists and crossing everything off of them. I have made food lists, meal lists, what-to-bring lists, what-to-do lists, errand lists, money name it.  I have been packing and LOVE it.  It feels like a big game of Tetris to me.  Let's hope I haven't forgotten anything!  We are excited, a little nervous about the long drive (our boys- and us- don't like long car rides), but we are really happy to reunite with good friends we haven't seen in awhile.  We are camping with their family (they have 2 little girls the same age as our boys), and my parents and sister will be camping a few sites away.  It will be one great adventure!

Remember my last post about Micah - The Strong Willed Child?  Well, we have GOOD news in that department.  Over the last month we have watched our boy blossom and grow, and he went through a major growth spurt in all areas.  He grew a whole clothing size, grew a shoe size, starting taking on his (old) fears with new confidence, started playing soccer on a team, and has had significantly less temper tantrums and meltdowns.  We had a rough 2 week period where we were implementing much of what we learned from the two books mentioned in that post, and it seems to have made a difference.  Honestly, though, I think more of it was him changing than us.  He just seems happier all of the sudden, and it was almost overnight after he turned 5 years old 3 weeks ago.  Yeah!!!  :)

You won't hear from me for the next week, so have a great week!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's All About Perspective

There are seasons in life where our circumstance needs to change.
There are seasons in life where our perspective needs to change.

Most of the time, I see life through the lens of my circumstance needing to change.  Almost daily the thought goes through my head, "If only [this situation] was different, I would be so much more [fill in the blank here]."  And most of the time, my circumstance does not change.  If it does, it happens a long time after I needed it to.  When we go through times like this, we often blame God.  We question our faith, we wonder if He has forgotten us, we feel abandoned.  We rarely think, "Ah, maybe I am the problem here!  Maybe my perspective is what actually needs to change!"  Then we start rationalizing how we feel - "God wants me to be happy, therefore He will cause my situation to change so that I can be happy!" - never thinking, "Maybe He wants me to be happy IN this situation I'm in."  We think, "God created me this way.  He made me want to [insert idea here]."  We never think, "Maybe God wants me to do something different with my life than what I thought I was going to do."  So, our frustration mounts against God and we draw a line in the sand - it's us against Him.  He must be doing something wrong, and that's why we are unhappy.

This scenario has repeated itself many times in my life.

When we haven't had money, I have often blamed God.  "You said you'd provide for us, huh?!"  "Well, why aren't You doing it now?"  Instead of changing my perspective: maybe I was not handling my money the way He wanted me to in the first place.  Maybe I wasn't wise with how I spent the money He gave me, and convinced myself I needed things I didn't really need.

When a relationship went sour, I have often prayed for the other person.  "God, please deal with that person's heart.  Convict them, Lord.  Please convict them."  Instead of praying for myself - "God, please show me if I did anything wrong in this relationship.  Help me to focus on myself and getting my heart right before you.  Change my heart."

When my husband was out of work, I have often held a grudge against God.  "How could you do this to us?   If you were faithful, we wouldn't be in this situation."  Instead of, "God, you seem to be leading us in a new direction. Teach us what we need to learn in this season.  Help us to be wise.  Provide for our needs. Help us to be patient until you open the right door."

As I look in the Bible, I read story after story about people whose circumstances rarely changed, yet who were challenged to change their perspective.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation..." (Philippians 4:12)

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  (I Thess. 5: 18)

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."  (I Timothy 6:6)

Then again, I believe there are times in life where our circumstances genuinely need to change.  The problem we are faced with is determining whether it is our circumstances or our perspective that needs to change.  Here are some thoughts I have about this:

-If your situation can be changed, then change your situation.
(We sometimes convince ourselves that our situation cannot be changed when it really can; it just takes some hard choices).  Are you complaining daily about your job, waiting for God to "rescue" you?  It may mean leaving it and working hard to find a new one.  If you choose to stay, change your perspective!

-If your situation cannot be changed, then change your perspective.
Maybe you are dealing with an illness, or have been affected by someone else's choices.  Those are things you cannot change, which means we have to choose to change our perspective.

-If you don't know if your situation will change, then change your perspective.  
Ask some Godly friends for guidance.  If you need to make a big decision, it is helpful to have other people praying with you.  Get some wise input on your situation, and then determine if it can be changed or not.  If you have to wait on God for an answer or for a door to open/close, then change your perspective.

Knowing we need to change our perspective is harder than actually doing it.  Here are some tips for that:

- Get in the Word. Daily.  It is really the only thing that will continually remind us to change our perspective and see things from God's point of view.

-Stop praying for God to change your circumstance, and instead ask him to change your perspective.  If He wants to change your circumstance, He will.

-Examine your life to see if you are making any bad choices.  Bad choices often lead to sin, which lead to unhappiness, which also lead to not being able to hear from God. This all affects our circumstances and our perspective.

-Surround yourself with Godly people. People who can encourage you and support you, and remind you of God's perspective.

Today I am challenging myself to change my thinking.  Instead of thinking about how I can change the situation I'm in, I am instead going to thank God for that area, and try to change my perspective about it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Looking Back

Today is my 34th birthday.  I thought it would be fun to look back at my baby book today and found a few fun "highlights" in there:

First, there were a bunch of doctor well-check visit notes from my pediatrician to my mom.  In it, I found recommendations that she start giving me rice cereal at 16 days old, and baby food starting at 11 weeks old (my, how things have changed!).  I was frequently at the doctor's office for ear infections and high fevers (103+ until I became an adult).  It was interesting seeing how many of my own health issues as a baby were also Micah's same health issues.

I found this letter in my baby book as well, which I probably wrote when I was around 11 or 12 years old:

I like guys who are really cute.
My favorite restaurant is Seasons and Dennys and all the great restaurants.
I hate seafood.
I like PopTarts for breakfast.
I want a dress that flows out really far.
I like beautiful dresses.
I want to work with animals when I grow up.
Sizes:  Large and medium, but not small
I like beautiful things.

P.S. And flowers.

I see not much has changed in the past 22 years or so! :)

My mom had me when she was only 21 years old.  She and my dad had been married 3 years already. When I think about how young she was when she had me, I am just amazed that she did such a great job!  She gave birth to me with NO epidural, either.  Go mom!  I was born with white blonde, very curly hair, and my personality was very much like Micah's (introverted, shy and cautious).

(Almost age 3)

(I seem to have come out of my shell around age 3 1/2 long enough to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  Just give me cake and I'm happy!)

Growing up, I sucked my thumb until I was almost ELEVEN years old (yes, you read that right) had a HUGE gap in my teeth.  When I was around 14, a friend of my moms told me she got rid of her gap in her teeth by putting a small rubber band around them every night before she went to bed.  I did that for over a year, and my gap disappeared.  Saved my parents a few thousand bucks and I never did have braces.

Now that I have found this treasury of photos and letters in my garage, I am enjoying looking through everything (and laughing a lot).  Don't be surprised if you find more pictures and momentos I find on my blog in the next few months :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago today we moved into our (current) house.  It was a glorious day - the day before my birthday, and an answer to prayers that had been prayed for over two years.  The house is really nothing special; we don't own it, it is only 1100 square feet, and it needs a lot of work.  But to us, the house represented God's faithfulness and Him opening new doors for us.  We wanted to be in the same neighborhood as our church, we wanted one extra room, we wanted a place where people could come and fellowship together.  In one year we have been able to adopt a kitty, take a homeless youth in for 5 weeks, have countless parties and get togethers, celebrate Christmas Eve by having dinner with our neighbors and friends, host small groups and Bible studies here, etc... God has truly done great things.

I say this to encourage you:
-That you never know what can happen in a year
-This may be a year that changes your life
-God does hear your prayers
-God will open the doors at the right time
-Keep praying

This day last year:


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Too Comfortable

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At one they left their nets and followed him.  Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John.  They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets.  Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him."  Matthew 4: 18-22 (NIV).

Last night my husband and I had a conversation.  We remembered how back in high school and college we said, "Lord, I'll do anything for you! Anything! Here am I, send ME!"  (We secretly hoped He wouldn't send us to Africa, but we were pretty willing to do anything else).  Well, He never did send us to Africa.  He sent us here, where we are today.

But somewhere along the journey, our prayers changed (well, at least mine did).  They became something like:

"God, I will do anything for you, IF...." (it doesn't mean moving somewhere uncomfortable, my children will be safe, it will be in a good neighborhood, we make enough money to have nice things, we are in a great church, etc...)

It is so interesting to me that when Jesus called the disciples to follow him, they didn't ask ANY questions. They didn't respond with, "Um, hey Jesus!  Where are we going?!"  or "But what about my job?" or "How are we going to have food and clothing?"  They just immediately trusted him and went.

Here's the thing.  Sometimes we become too comfortable.  We don't want to give up our life for certain things God might call us to do.

Here's the thing.  Sometimes we become too afraid.  We don't know if we can trust Him like we used to.  After all, we've been hurt.  Our dreams of what we thought He was going to do with our lives did not happen like they were supposed to.  And now we feel like we can't really trust him again.

I have realized in myself that my life, and my prayers, have become too comfortable.  I want that to change.  I want to be like the disciples - when they heard the call, they were ready to go.  God may call me to stay right where I am for years to come.  Am I okay with that?  God may call me to go somewhere uncomfortable.  Am I okay with that?

Let's get back to how things should be.  Let's pray some dangerous prayers this week.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Summer seems like a good time to simplify.  We can take a step back from the busyness of our schedules and reflect a bit.  Hopefully you will have an opportunity to take some kind of vacation this summer, whether it is near your home or far away.  We are currently preparing to go to Yosemite in two weeks for our first ever family camping trip.  I have been making lists and hitting yard sales hoping to find what we need.  Thankfully we have lots of friends and family members who camp and have offered to let us borrow what we need.  It sure is a lot of preparation, though!  I keep reminding myself: just keep it simple.  We don't need to take our whole house, even though I want to.

Part of my simplifying mindset right now involves getting rid of a few things I no longer have time or a passion to invest in.  A few months ago I stopped writing for my Pocketwise blog, and will no longer be updating it.  I will leave it online but just so it's not permanently deleted forever.  I've also stopped writing for my 40 Days to Freedom blog, as my sugar fast has been over for awhile now.  I go off and on with The Belly Fat Cure, and love it - but not enough to keep blogging about it regularly.  I've also decided to take "The Giving Project" off of my blogging-task-list, as I was getting behind with it and wasn't sure that it ever had a big response anyway.  I still make it a personal goal to try to be a giver, although blogging about it began to be a chore.

I also want to simplify my house - get rid of so much clutter.  I keep finding myself drawn to pictures like this: white and clean.  How I wish I could do my whole house like this!

How do you want to simplify this summer?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Week in Review

Tomorrow is an exciting day - we go to pick up daddy from the airport!! After 6 days of him being gone, we are all ready to have him home.  Micah has taken it particularly hard and has cried himself to sleep 3 nights now.  After my terrifying night on Monday, I was happy to head to my parent's house (about an hour and a half away), which is also Micah and Jaden's favorite vacation spot.  Here are some pictures from our fun week away there:

We had a lot of bike rides...

Bunnies...(If you look closely you can see 3 - but I counted over 30 on a walk by myself one night)...

Silliness (Jaden pretending to be my dad)...

Baseball Games (with my sister and her boyfriend):

Jaden the catcher:


A(nother) birthday celebration for Micah:

Games with the family...

And visits with friends....

(note to self: do something about fat arms)

It was a GREAT week but we are happy to be back home, in our own beds tonight, and excited about this fun 4th of July weekend!  Hope you all have a GREAT 4th of July!