Sunday, February 25, 2007
grandpa's birthday bash
Grandpa turned ## this week. I am not allowed to say his real age, but I think I should be as he looks and acts decades younger than he is. OK, let's just say that Grandpa was between 35 and 40 when I was born and I am 42. I can't get in trouble because I only gave you a hint (right Dad?).

The whole family went over to grandma and grandpa's this past Wednesday night for dinner. Grandma made lasagna and everyone ate it and liked it. How come the kids don't eat it when I make lasagna? I guess I better get Grandma's recipe.

Our oldest daughter, Samantha, made grandpa a beautiful card from all of us. Our youngest son, Garrett, was appalled that we weren't actually going to give grandpa a gift we could wrap. Because, lets be honest, what's a party without gifts to unwrap (according to my children putting something in a gift bag does not count).

Garrett went up to his room and found an old World War 2 book. He really likes looking at the old pictures in this book, and since grandpa served in WW2, he thought he might like it for his birthday gift. Grandpa did indeed like it and Garrett and all of the kids enjoyed looking through the book and hearing stories about Grandpa's war days. When it was time to leave we decided that Garrett could keep the book but bring it back when we visited again so they could share some more stories. My little son is so sweet, and tender hearted. He gave his grandpa the best gift ever by offering to give something up that he cared about for someone he loved very much. I doubt their was anything in a store we could have bought Grandpa that would have meant as much to him.

Here are some pics of our fun evening together.

Grandpa and Garrett sharing a laugh

Our middle son Tyler, sitting in chair, really likes to talk "war stories" with Grandpa.

Grandma cooking dinner

Hubby and the kids playing "concentration". I think my parents have had this same game since I was a little girl. My kids love it.

Lighting the candles on the birthday brownies. Hubby stopped on his way home from work and got a cocunut cream pie for the birthday boy. The grown ups enjoyed that very much!

The new addition to their family. Our oldest had fun playing with her.

The entire family had a great time. Happy Birthday Grandpa! We love you very much!


  posted at 12:55 AM  

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
"Wordless Wednesday"


  posted at 7:11 AM  

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
"In Other Words"
"Those who read fast reap no more advantage than a bee would by only skimming over the surface of the flower, instead of waiting to penetrate into it, and extract its sweets."
~ Madame Jeanne Guyon ~

This quote was meant for me. I am an extremely impatient person. I want things done now, and I want instant gratification. I know this is a problem of mine, and I have been working on remedying it for a few years. I have made some progress and have been known to count to 10 (or 100) in my head, slowly, forcing myself to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Many times while reading my Bible I feel Gods hand on my shoulder urging me to slow down, take in his words like the sweet smell of wild flowers, patiently gleaning all of its truths and allowing myself that special time with God. I would like to say that I have perfected this (after all, I have been working on it for years) but alas I have not. Though I am getting better, I have a long way to go.

I was also thinking of how this verse could apply to other areas of our lives. Those of us who are mothers with young children could probably learn how to go slower, play with our children more, enjoy those quiet moments with our kids before they are adults. Do you think God ever feels this way about us? He wants to watch us grow up and mature in a relationship with him, but when we race through reading our Bibles he feels sad because he wants to share those moments with us.

The other day my 8 year old saw his three your old sister struggling to make a tower out of her lego's. He went over and sat with her, showing her how to do it, talking to her sweetly. He wasn't racing through the moment but enjoying his time with his little sister. Guiding her, listening to her, and enjoying being with her. I think I have much to learn from my little son.

If you would like to read about other people's feelings on this quote head on over to Laurel Wreath. I am sure you will not be disappointed.



  posted at 4:45 AM  

Thursday, February 15, 2007
love, sweet, love
Valentines dinner at our house consisted of Chinese Food hubby picked up on his way home from work (delicious). We ate on heart decorated plates, wiped fried rice off our faces with cute little napkins, and drank out of our "I love you" mugs mom found at Ross a few years ago in the clearance section.

Oldest son, of course, felt that Valentines Day would not be complete without doing his best to annoy younger sister.

Younger sister finally has enough and decides to "attack". Doesn't he look upset that he has annoyed his sister to the point of physical violence???

Don't worry, they made up when big brother realized little sister had something in her goody bag he wanted. Oh, if only the worlds problems could be solved so easily. For example:

I promise not to invade your country if you trade me that abba zabba for my three jolly ranchers.

OK, and I promise not to set off any more car bombs if you trade me those Sour Starbursts for my six mini snicker bars?

Hmm, what do you think? It may be worth a try....

  posted at 4:36 PM  

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Happy Valentine's Day to the One I Love....

Twenty Four years ago I met a boy named Dave who I thought was really nice. We were friends but I always felt bad because I didn't like him the way he "liked" me. I was young and stupid and yearned for one that was all wrong for me. One day when this other person hadn't been very nice to me I asked God why I couldn't fall in love with a nice guy, the kind like that guy who came over every weekend to watch football with my Dad, and ate my mom's summer squash even though I knew he didn't really like it? A guy like Dave. All my girlfriends thought he was great. One evening my friend, Lisa, asked me if I was ever going to give him a chance. I said "No", I just don't like him "that way". Well, she said, I think he's really cute so if you don't like him I'm going to ask him out. WHAT?

Why is it us girls never seem to want anything until we think we might not be able to have it? That weekend I agreed to go to an NFL football game with Dave. We had a really good time but I still wasn't sure if I could "like him, like him". The next day a beautiful gold box was delivered to my parents house. Inside were a dozen yellow roses. He had taken the time to find out what my favorite flower was. Yellow roses, not red. Cupid's arrow pierced my heart that day and within a few short weeks I couldn't understand how I could not have immediately "liked" this guy. He was great!

We were married about 18 months after that first date. I thank God for answering my prayers and allowing me to fall in love with the greatest guy around. Honey, thanks for a fantastic twenty two years! I love you more than you could ever imagine.


  posted at 7:58 AM  

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"We are urgent about the body; He is about the soul. We call for present comforts; He considers our everlasting rest. And therefore when He sends not the very things we ask, He hears us by sending greater than we can ask or think."~ Richard Cecil ~

Last night I watched an episode of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" on Bravo. My 15 year old thinks this show is a hoot so I decided I should check it out with him. Some of you may not be familiar with this show so here is the premise. Five women have been chosen from a very wealthy area of Southern California, I am not sure why they are called housewives because a couple had careers outside of the home. The camera's follow them around while they lunch, have plastic surgery, meet new men (some are not married any more, only benefiting from their large divorce settlements), and deal with the problems of their over indulged children.

I found myself transfixed by this show. The show was on three consecutive times and I watched each episode. The women in this show all seemed like nice people, but most of them looked liked wax figures who had way to much collagen injections. Careers were definitely at the forefront and children took a back seat. The lifestyle of these women was so different than mine, and by the worlds view so much better, but I found myself feeling sorry for them. Do they ever watch the show and see how shallow and self absorbed they seem? The children (mostly teens) seem to have one recurring theme coming out of their mouths, I wish my parents worked less and spent more time with me.
Half way through one of the shows I asked my son why he thought this was so great. He replied "The houses are really cool and I can get some good ideas". You see, my son wants to be an architect. He loves going and looking at houses and seeing the different designs people use. I was very much relieved. I asked what he thought of their lifestyle. " I would really like to live in one of the houses but other than that it doesn't really look so great. The mom's don't seem that happy, and the kids hardly see their parents". Now I know the show is edited for TV and I am sure edited for the most dramatic effect but his words got me thinking about the quote above.
The women as well as men were very urgent about their bodies as well as those of their children. Everything must be perfect. Teenagers were being given breast implants to "improve their self esteem". I did not see a lot of worrying about the soul. They definitely liked their comforts. On one of the segments a 20 year old daughter was talking to her Dad telling him she didn't have to be rich. She could be happy with much less. He basically told her she was full of crap, she was a princess, and could not survive any other way. The daughter then went on to tell the camera's how they used to be really super super rich but then her Dad lost it all. When they lost everything all of their friends went away acting like they no longer existed, and some of their family members too! You would think that an experience like that would have changed the Dad's opinion's on wealth. How sad that this was the best advise this Father could seem to provide his child.
Towards the end of one of the episodes my oldest daughter came in and started watching with us. She casually asked what was wrong with these people, why were they acting this way? I thought she was making a joke but it turned out she was serious. She thought they had some medical condition or something, because why else would they be acting so strangely, lol.
This led us to a discussion about our Heavenly Father and the advise and wisdom he gives us as a loving Father. We talked about not being so worried about what is on the outside for what is on the inside is so much more important. We talked about listening to God's leading in our lives which at times we might not understand but days, weeks, or even years later we can see his plan at work and how it fits together like a perfect puzzle in our lives.
I told my children about a time when I was pregnant with my first child. I had been layed off from work, and their Dad's job was ending at the end of the month. My husband worked in Aerospace and at that time their was a hiring freeze on at most of the big companies. He would apply for jobs and the people really wanted to hire him, but were unable to due to the freeze. We prayed, and prayed, and though we were both scared we talked about an inner peace we both felt that most definitely must be coming from God. You see, we had no money. We had put our small house on the market but nothing was selling. I was due to deliver our first child at any moment, and my husband only had a job for another 30 days. Sound a little stressful? However, miraculous things began to happen as we trusted God and held firmly to him. We knew he had a plan for us, however I must admit I wasn't so sure I was going to initially like his plan very much. Friends began to call offering us shelter for as long as we may need it and several times I went out to my mailbox to find an anonymous envelope with a little cash in it to help us through.
One beautiful October afternoon I gave birth to my first child. I was laying their that evening basking in the joy of new motherhood when the phone rang, our realtor was on the other end of the line. Our house had sold! Two days later while nursing my infant son the phone rang again. The caller told me that he had been talking with my husband about a job, and had just got the ok to hire him somehow getting around the freeze. This was my husband's dream job. The job would also allow us to move from Colorado back to California where most of our friends and family lived. Ten days after giving birth one of our best friends flew from California to Colorado, loaded a U-Haul truck with my hubby, and moved us back to the state I was born in. The baby and I (my Mom was also there) got to fly to our new home. When hubby arrived for his first day of work he was required to go see the plant nurse for a physical. She asked him how it was that he had managed to get hired? He told her the story and she acted very amazed. You see, she said, I do all of the physicals and I have not done one of these in three years. Three Years! The company that had hired him was very large with thousands of employees and yet my husband had been the only one hired in all that time. She kept going on about how amazing it was but my husband wasn't amazed. He knew that this was God's plan and God wasn't going to let something like a hiring freeze change his plans for us.
For nine long months I worried how we would survive and in a few days God took care of everything. We may not of had material wealth but I feel we are so much richer than those families we watched on TV last night. We are blessed with awesome friends and family who will do anything for us and a God we can lean on and trust to take care of our every need. God has blessed our family beyond what my husband and I could ever have imagined, and I must remind myself not to limit God, but to trust in him for his plans can be so much grander than mine.
There is an appointed time for everything. And their is a time for every event under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1


  posted at 7:13 AM  

Sunday, February 11, 2007
hot diggity dog

Here is the winner of the best Christmas gift for 2006. During little league season I work in the snack bar quite a bit. All of my boys love the way the hot dogs taste after being cooked in the snack shack hot dog maker. I would much rather throw a few dogs on the BBQ but they love the way the hot dogs taste after being steamed. I was so excited when I found this at Walmart while shopping online. I bought it for my middle son as a kind of joke, but the joke was on me, he loves it. The steamer holds eight regular sized dogs and the buns go in the compartment at the top to get warm and toasty. Several times recently when we have been pressed for time one or two of the kids have offered to make dinner. Out comes the hot dog machine, fries are put in the oven, and some fruit is cut up. Like magic dinner is made. OK, mom love love loves this. I may have to start looking now for my next big gift for 2007. Maybe a pasta maker???? Any ideas?


  posted at 9:33 PM  

Saturday, February 10, 2007
my sister the adventure girl
Around 16 years ago my sister met a man, fell in love, and got married. I lived in a different state than my sister, and as this was somewhat of a whirlwind relationship, hubby and I didn't meet our new bil, Barry, until the wedding day. We liked him very much and thought this would be a really good match for my sis.

Not long after meeting Barry he told us of his plans to take an early retirement, buy a boat, and go cruising to other countries. Well, I thought, I am sure this will change. After all, he hadn't known my sister for that long and he really must not understand what kind of a gal she is. Her? Living on a boat? Cruising around to who knows where, not seeing land for several days at a time? Hmm, I couldn't really picture it and was sure it would NOT happen.

Over the years I noticed his plans never changed and my sister started talking like she thought it might be fun. I think it was around three years ago I got word that they were selling their house and had purchased a big boat. Sis told me they would live on the boat in the Marina while getting training and preparing for their big adventure together. OK, at this point I was getting annoyed. I really did not think of my sister as the adventurous type. She enjoyed nice hotels and laying by the pool. How in the heck was she going to live on a boat, this was not a luxurious yacht, this was a nice sailboat but it was just a boat.

The two of them got to work. They had garage sales, gave things away, stored things at family members homes (my kitchen is full of some of her treasurers) and rented a storage place for those special items that had to be saved. At this point I started getting into the spirit of this whole thing. How cathartic to just get rid of all your worldly possessions and live with the bare minimum.

They moved onto their boat three years ago and have never looked back. I think my sister was a little unsure at first how she would like it but I give her so much praise for following her hubbies dream and making it a reality. They left this past November for their third tour on the boat. They have decided that they will leave in November each year and return in late May. They bought a home in the mountains that had belonged to bil's parents this last summer when they were home. They now have a home to return to each year.

We miss them while they are gone, and my kids ask frequently when they are coming back. However, I am so impressed with their fearless determination to make their dream a reality. I like the beach, but the ocean water scares me. One of my great fears in life is drowning in the ocean. I would never have enough courage to do what my sis and her hubby are doing. They are having a great time. They recently left Guatemala for Costa Rica. They should be there by now.

My sister shared with me that one of the few things she misses while gone is the fellowship with other Christians. She has a blog that she updates periodically and posts pictures of their adventures. If any of you have time will you please go over and tell her Hi? I know she would really appreciate it and so would I.

Here is the long walk to one of the bathroom accommodations they had to use. I told you, she is an adventure girl now!

Here's praying that God gives us all the courage to jump on a boat and live out our dream's, because if he didn't want us to live them, perhaps he wouldn't give them to us in the first place. Do you have a dream, and if so what is it?



  posted at 9:15 AM  

Thursday, February 08, 2007
such a good little girl
I seem to have a little problem. Camera's in my hand might just as well jump out a window as to be the poor recipients of an owner like me. Several years ago, when digital camera's were relatively new and expensive, I bought my hubby one for his birthday. We loved it, and I dropped it. It never seemed to work right again. Next, we bought a second digital camera. Prices had come down so we got a nicer one with a few more bells and whistles. I really liked this camera, it took good pictures, and was easy to use. I left it in the rain on top of our Barbecue...for several days....all the unsaved pictures were lost..waaaaa! Guilt and sadness overcame me and I decided to start using disposable camera's for a while. I did this for about a year and then hubby took pity on me and bought me a not to expensive digital camera that I have really liked. It fit in my purse and served the purpose I wanted it to. I was glad he hadn't spent a whole lot of money on it because, lets be honest, we both knew it may not last long.

Well, that was a little over a year ago and I was finding myself longing for a little better quality camera. However, since the one I was using wasn't really broken (yet) I didn't really think I should spend the money on a new upgraded version. I am going to need a new dishwasher soon, we started planning the family summer get away and decided we needed to be saving more to prepare for that. No, I didn't need a new camera.

Last Friday morning I logged on to the computer to pay some bills. My 3 year old daughter was sitting next to me playing. A few minutes into bill paying I heard her say....Ooh Noo, it broke. Hmm, not a good sentence to come out of a small child's innocent little mouth. I looked down to see the camera in her hands and the lens protruding at a funny angle. She had broken the lens. It would no longer retract. The camera kept saying error and would not take a picture. It was caput. Darn It. I guess I have to buy a new camera after all.

I am sooo excited. It is being delivered tomorrow. This is what I got. I thought, for a moment, about getting a SLR but I don't really need that. I would like to take a photography class this year and if I do maybe we can splurge at Christmas because, lets be realistic, by Christmas this one will have probably suffered a cruel death as well.


  posted at 12:00 AM  

Wednesday, February 07, 2007
"Wordless Wednesday"


  posted at 1:33 PM  

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Oh no! I've turned into Mrs. Olson...
The weather is warm, a beautiful 82 today, the skies clear, and no one is barfing at my house. Life is sooo good!

Recently I have found myself not as thankful as I should be for all of the wonderful blessings God has layed at my feet. My wonderful husband, healthy happy children, wonderful friends, a beautiful home, and the list goes on and on.

I love to watch Little House on the Prairie. I grew up watching it and the show has always been one of my favorites. My kids enjoy it now and I have so much fun watching it with them like it is the very first time. While the kids were home sick this past week their was a Little House on the Prairie Marathon on one day. I layed on the couch, comforting my child, and watching the familiar show. As I was watching I noticed something very disturbing. My behavior over the last few days was a lot more like Mrs. Olson's than the sweet, kind, God fearing Carolyn Ingalls. I had been grumpy and irritable, snipping at people and not being as loving as I should be. Now, I could argue that I had every right to be irritable. My five kids had been barfing on me for a total of 7 days at this point. I hadn't gotten a really good night sleep and I was tired. However, the loving Christian mother in me knew this was no excuse. My children only had the stomach flu, which would go away in a few days.

At that very moment I apologized to God for not being the person he wanted me to be, and also thanked him that all of my children would recover. We all know of people who are not as fortunate, who deal with terminally or chronically ill children. I had no excuse for my snippy unkind behavior. God's blessings overflow in my life and I am so thankful. I never want to watch an episode of Little House again and see similarities between myself and Mrs. Olson. Yuk!

Galations 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Have any of you ever had a Mrs. Olson moment?

  posted at 9:35 PM  

Sunday, February 04, 2007
the yuks, day 9, and the super bowl
Our three year old did come down with the stomach virus so it has gone through our entire family except me. I seem to have a very mild case (thank you Lord) and only feel a little under the weather. We have a beautiful day here in Southern California. The temperature is suppose to reach 80 today so I have all the windows open airing out the house hoping any lingering germs will just fly away. All the sheets have been changed, bathrooms sanitized (for the umpteenth time), and hand washing is at its maximum capacity. I am praying that all of this will have this fun little bugger hopping away and not ever ever returning (hey, a mom can hope.).

The older kids are excited for the Super Bowl this afternoon, and young ens are excited for the food that comes with the Super Bowl. We are having lil smokies wrapped in bacon, little pizza's, sushi (hubby's favorite, I think it's yukky), deviled eggs,veggie and fruit platters, and various chips with cheese and ranch dip. I am making a big pot of chili and some cornbread for after the game. Should be lots of family fun which will be a nice reprieve from everyone feeling so yukky the last week or so.

I am wishing you all a fun Super Bowl with your families also. What are you serving, are you making anything special? Please tell me, I am always looking for new recipes and ideas. Do any of you actually get out of watching the Super Bowl? Hope to hear from you.



  posted at 10:37 AM  

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About Me...


I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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Me and Samantha (13)

Tyler (16) with Grandpa and Grandma

Hubby and Zach (18) at a game

Garrett (11) and Paige (6)

Waiting for a court date!

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"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
~Psalm 127
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

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