Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Whale Watching

This past Saturday (Sept. 18th), Martin and I celebrated 11 years of marriage!!  We decided to go whale watching, something we've both always wanted to do, since right now there is a huge amount of blue whales that have been "living" in the waters near our house.  They are expected to be here another month or so, and we knew we needed to go while we had the chance.  It was incredible!   We went on a 3 hour tour that took off from the marina about 5 minutes away from our house.  There were about 150 people on the boat (even though it was a small boat), and WOW - did we see whales!    The captain said we spotted 21 blue whales and 1 humpback, although we counted over 30 since we could see spouts far away as well.

These were the first whales we saw - only a mile from shore, and all the paddle-boarders daily go out to visit them:

At one point, about 30 minutes into the trip, the captain announced that a woman had fallen overboard, and everyone freaked out.  We were all at the edges of the boat looking for her, and someone threw the life preserver in the water.  Turns out she was just downstairs.  Her husband panicked and couldn't find her, so thought she went overboard.  Seriously?!  

Our "sister boat" that went with us - this boat was a lot nicer than ours :)

Since there were so many people around the first group of whales, the captain wanted to "find our own whales," so he took us 5 miles out and parked in the midst of the rocky seas.  The downside was that I got extremely seasick, even after taking medication before we left and wearing Sea-Bands.  The last hour and a half was spent with me laying on Martin, telling him to "stop rocking" and not to move or I would throw up.  The captain told us NOT to throw up on the boat, but only do it overboard.  However, since I was on the top floor, my barf would have landed on people's heads below.  So, I had to lay down with my eyes closed and breathe very slowly the last half of the trip  :)

When someone would shout "Whale!" I would jump up, take a quick picture, and lay back down.  Probably the last whale watching trip I'll go on for awhile.  After we got off the boat, Martin told me that he was really sick too, but didn't tell me because he didn't want me to feel worse :)  My sweet husband.

I didn't get any stellar pictures because 1) We didn't see any whales jump and 2) My zoom lens is broken.  But trust me, it was still amazing!  I was fortunate that the first half of the trip I was feeling fine, and got the majority of the pictures.  The last half of the trip was when a humpback whale was spotted, but I was laying down at that time. Oh well....  It was definitely an anniversary to remember!  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Slow Down

A recurring theme in many of my conversations with friends lately is that God has been calling us to "slow down."  I've shared previously how doors have closed for me this Fall, as well as for many other close friends I have.

Tonight one of these friends elaborated on this topic and shared that this week, as she sat at a coffee shop with her baby (the first time in a LONG time), she felt like God said, "stop trying to be so busy.  Slow down so you have more time to respond to what I am doing around you."  One of the things that happened to her this week is that she was driving, and saw an older man fall down in the street face-down.  She was the only one around and stopped to help him.  As a crowd gathered and 911 was called, she began to pray for him out loud.  He was unconscious but came to and was taken to the hospital.  That was one moment in her day where she didn't have something planned - and she usually always has something planned.  She recognized that there are opportunities like that all around us, but many times we are too busy to notice or be able to do anything about them.

It reminded me of my experience a few weeks ago, when I was driving alone and witnessed a girl have a seizure.  She was in a parking lot that I was in, and during the seizure, fell backwards hard onto the pavement.  I stopped the car and ran over, to find that I was the first on the scene. After calling 911, I knelt by her side and started talking to her, and she said that she was a pastor's daughter.  I said, "how funny, I'm married to a pastor!"  I asked if I could pray for her and she said, "Yes, Please!"  As she was taken away in the ambulance, I thought, "was that just a coincidence?"  No, I don't think it was.  But it was a moment in time where I didn't have something else going on, and I had the time to respond.  Normally I would have been running late somewhere and unable to notice, let alone stop.

As my life is slowing down in this season, I am reminded that it is okay to not have to fill every moment.  You know why we fill every moment?  Because sitting is uncomfortable.  Being quiet is uncomfortable. Being still in uncomfortable.  And in those moments we often have to face things that are buried deep inside.  But the Fall season of waiting, of being still, of resting, is a healing season.  Instead of trying to escape this season, embrace it.  God wants to open your eyes to new things along the way.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A New Season

Today we entered a new season in life.  The babies have grown, and they are now off to school.  Micah had his first full day of Kindergarten yesterday, and Jaden started preschool (2x a week) today.  After we dropped Jaden off, Martin and I looked at each other and said, "Wow!"  It is the only word that came to our minds after the long season we were just in.  The season of having two babies under two years apart, with us almost every minute of every day.  Even when Micah went to preschool 3 days a week last year, Jaden was still only 2 years old and needed a lot from me.  But now, they are more independent, and a new chapter has begun.

(Don't be fooled - this is not a gesture of affection, but a rebellion against my picture taking).

Jaden did great on his first day of preschool.  Last week he was nervous to go and meet his teacher (who he already knew), but today he ran right in and barely looked back.  We could tell he was SO proud to be such a big boy and hang his backpack up.  


Martin took the morning off, and we had our first babysitter-free date.  We drove to the beach to look for dolphins (my favorite past time), and took our binoculars to look for whales too (there are tons of blue whales off the coast of Redondo right now).  We saw a huge pod of dolphins feeding right off of the shore (only about 20 feet in), and then as I looked through the binoculars, I saw spout after spout of whales shooting water into the air.  There were about 8 or 9 paddle boarders out there, as well as 3 boats, so we knew that was the place to look.  Sure enough, we saw 3 huge whale tails emerge out of the water, and I even saw a whale pass right under a sight-seeing boat and rock it from side to side.  It was SO exciting!!  We decided that for our 11 year anniversary this Saturday, we are going WHALE WATCHING on that exact same boat!! I can't wait!  

(I did not take this, but it is out of Redondo and is exactly what I saw today!!)

After whale watching, we drove to our favorite coffee place (that has an amazing fireplace, old couches and tons of books and chess games).  We ate breakfast and then drove to my other favorite place, Goodwill!  Did some shopping and then came home in time to pick Jaden up.  

(Love the look on his face here)

I had been lamenting this transition for so long, sad that my babies are growing up, and wondering what I would do with these days where Micah is in school.  Now that we have entered the first week of our new routine, I am loving it so far.  On Mondays Martin has the day off, so we will do family fun time with Jaden. Tuesdays I am hoping to volunteer in Micah's class when Jaden's in school.  Wednesdays Jaden and I will do playdates and errands, etc.. Thursdays I have MOPS every other week, and Fridays I get together with 3 other friends for a "mommy playdate" (including our kids) every week.   

Knowing that Micah loves kindergarten is making it easier for me, although I already miss him while he's gone.  However, it is making our times together even better and more enjoyable.  I pick him up at 1:50pm every day and we still have a lot of "day" left it seems.  I am hoping to be involved in his school so I can see him as often as possible.  

I am breathing a sigh of relief, as this season has brought with it newness and refreshment.  We often resist new seasons, but they can bring wonderful things along with them too.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Funnies

After my big fall on the back porch, while I was passing out in misery, I heard Micah say, "I have to go inside and get my doctor kit!"  Martin wouldn't let him by me, and Micah was very upset about it.  After it was all over, Micah said, "Oh no! I forgot to call 911!"

This was a fun conversation we overheard:
Micah said, "Jaden, let's pretend we love each other and then get married."  Followed by, "I'll be the girl."  :)

I have also heard some funny games the boys have been playing lately:
 Jaden:  "We're playing Vikings and Jesus, and I'm Jesus and I'm splatting him in the face!  Ha Ha!"

On another day, Micah said, "We're playing 'Jesus is more powerful than  you!'" and they were throwing clothes at each other.  Then I heard Jaden say, "I'll be Jesus, you be God!"  :)

This did not happen at my house, but I went to a friend's house and her 3 year old came up to me and said, "You have a BIG fat baby in your tummy!"  I wasn't sure whether to be mortified or laugh, so I laughed, and she explained that last night she (the mom) had told her son about how he used to be in her belly, and it's all he's been talking about ever since.  I'll take that ;)

Yesterday I was driving in a store parking lot when a big SUV passed me. On it were written the words (on the back window in large cursive text): "Miss Moody Girl."  I thought to myself, "Hmmm, last time I checked, that was not a compliment!"  I just had to laugh (and share it with you all here on Friday Funnies).

And saving the best for last, this morning I turned on the news, and it was a press conference with the President.  Jaden said, "Mommy, that's Jesus!"  Then he asked, "Is that heaven?"  I was laughing so hard, explaining to him that "NO, that's not Jesus, and that is the white house."  :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten (and other drama)

Before I get to today, let me back up to last night.

At approximately 4pm yesterday, I stepped out the back door to tell Martin some good news (which I can't remember now).  I stepped on a toy that had wheels, and the next thing I knew, I was falling in what seemed like slow motion.  My left ankle cracked loudly, I hit my opposite knee and fell on that ankle, both legs buckled underneath me and I fell backwards, hitting my head on the bottom of the screen door.  It was traumatic.  I cried a lot.  I almost threw up.  I thought I broke at least 3 bones, and asked Martin to call 911.

The scene of the accident - shoes still at the scene:
(Insert dramatic pause here)

Martin carried me inside the house and we decided not to call 911, but to attempt to drive to the hospital instead (something about a $500 co-pay scared me).  He put the boys in the car, Jaden screaming the whole way because his toy car fell out of his car seat, and we drove to the ER.  Martin said there were over 40 people in the waiting room, so we opted for Urgent Care instead.  He got me a wheelchair, and pushed me inside while holding Jaden, and Micah tagging alongside of us. We were quite the sight, me shivering and shaking (from shock or cold, I'm not sure), crying, and the boys in wonder of the whole event.  Thankfully the nurse, who told Martin it would be 2-3 hours, fit me in earlier and I was out of there within an hour and a half.

We had the weirdest doctor ever, who didn't say much after the x-rays except for, "Well, it's not broken".  I think I gave him more information about sprains than he gave me.  I ended up spraining my left ankle and right knee, and have a really sore right calf as well.  He recommended crutches and/or a wheelchair for 5-7 days, and recovery could take 6-12 weeks.

The ankle (not much to see here):

I'm so thankful for our good friend Joji, who lived around the corner and watched the boys for us during this time.  We had just run into her at McDonalds about 3 hours earlier, so she was quite surprised to get that phone call from us :)

Not exactly the way we intended Micah's "night before Kindergarten" to go, but we were home by 7pm and he was still in bed on time.

This morning went great.  Micah was SO excited, although he did NOT want his picture taken.  This is his exact same pose from last year's "first day of preschool" photos.

I'm very thankful that I was able to use a wheelchair (which we borrowed along with the crutches). We took him into the class, where he recognized 2 of his friends, and it helped that we had also taken him to meet the teacher yesterday.  We said our goodbyes and walked to the parent's assembly, and shed no tears!  I think the injury was a good diversion, actually; it was hard to focus on much else!  When we picked him up, he was all smiles and had such a good day.  He was so excited, telling us how he will get to pick a treasure from the treasure chest tomorrow if he brings back the parent folder.  All day long, he was bouncing around the house, just so happy.  It made our hearts feel good :)

As for me, I attempted to walk with crutches to pick him up (just from the car to the classroom), but since I can't use either leg, it made me exhausted.  Martin stayed home from work and I crashed for almost 3 hours. I'm so thankful for my husband who is taking care of all of us right now!

One milestone is down; next Tuesday Jaden starts preschool.  We are ready, though, because he has Micah's same preschool teacher, and Jaden has been asking for over a year to go.  It is an exciting week!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Funnies

I'm a little late in posting this, but have been keeping track of my kids funny/cute/interesting conversations this week :)  Here are today's Friday Funnies, hosted by Heather at Triple Blessing:

Jaden has never liked syrup on his pancakes before this week.  Micah said, "Jaden, did you know that syrup has sugar in it?  You should try some!"  Jaden then says, "Sugar?!  Daddy, I want syrup on my pancakes!"  Martin proceeded to put the syrup on his pancakes, and Jaden said, "YUMMY!! Daddy, did you know that syrup has sugar in it?!"

Micah is in a phase where he is asking a lot of questions about God, but isn't quite sure what to think yet.  We were babysitting two girls, ages 6 and 7, and the kids all started talking about church.  The 6 year old said, "I go to church too! I'm a Christian!" and Micah replied, "Oh, I'm not a Christian.  I just go to church."

Along those same lines, sometimes Micah says, "I don't like Jesus."  Rather than shame him for saying that, we talk to him about why he feels that way (we think it is because he doesn't understand yet but he has seen pictures of Jesus dying on the cross).  But yesterday he followed up that statement with, "Even if you're mean to Jesus, he still gives you stuff."  I said, "Oh yeah, like what?"  Micah replied, "Like toys and a new sister!"  I said, "Well, you better be nice to him just in case, because you're not getting a sister any other way!"

The boys have also been asking a lot of questions about God and Satan.  After describing who Satan is, Micah said, "I'm going to shoot him with my fighter jet.  And I could also fart on him."

Jaden loves playing "preschool" and filled up his little backpack with share toys.  He pulled out about 8 toys and told me about each one.  He got to a toy dinosaur and said, "Here is a dinosaur.  He's stinked."  I said, "Extinct?" and he said, "Yes, he stinked."  Then he pulled out a toy tiger and said, "Here is a tiger.  He's stinked too.  He eats people, right?"  I said, "No, honey, he doesn't eat people, and he's not extinct.  He's a nice tiger."  He pulled out a dragon's tail and said, "Here is the dragon's tail.  He's missing this."  Then he pulled out a plastic potato and said, "And here is a potato for dinner!"  I told him I had to go do something and to have "recess."  He said, "It's not recess, mommy! It's called play time!"  Well, then!

I was teaching the boys about dialing 9-1-1, and Micah asked, "What number do we dial to call the army?"  I told him I wasn't sure, and he said, "I think it's 9-3-0."

One day while driving, the boys were discussing where superheroes live.  Jaden asked if Ironman and Spiderman live in our city.  Micah replied, "No, Jaden, they don't live here.  They're just pretend.  The army lives where we live and THEY are our heroes."  :)

When we were at Chuck E Cheese this week, Micah asked me about this one game where a huge gorilla is holding metal bars, and you squeeze the bars to shock the gorilla.  After coming home, Micah said, "That's what we do to Satan!  We shock him when we do good stuff!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Do-It-Yourself Frame Earring Holder

My BFF Heather is an amazing decorator and always has cute ideas.  She does not have a blog, but gave me permission to post this craft idea she just completed.  This is an earring/jewelry holder that she made, and it will soon grace her bedroom wall with beauty:

Here is how you can make this yourself in 5 easy steps!! 

Step 1: Buy an old mirror or frame at a thrift shop or yard sale (OR just check your garage for old junk lying around). She got this one for $5 (scratch that - .50 CENTS!)

Step 2: Knock out the glass or mirror.

Step 3: Paint it a nice color that will complement the decor in your bathroom or bedroom (or hey, if you like earrings hanging in your kitchen, go for it!)

Step 4: Using a staple gun, staple a mesh screen to the back (you can find screen material at Home Depot, or just check your garage again).

Step 5: Hang it on the wall, and hang your earrings on it!

There you have it!! I am actually off to Goodwill today to find an old mirror for my own room; I  can't wait to try this myself!