Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Christmas was merry and Bright

The month of Christmas came and then it was over. The day seemed to go by so fast, though I think we had our fill of Christmas cheer for this year. I held off taking down my tree until today. I thought for sure I would enjoy it's beauty all the week through until New year's but after Friday found myself not even turning it on anymore. It feels good to have it all clean again.

But let's back up a beat.  Last week was the beginning of the winter break and we enjoyed no homework and sleeping in. Early in the week I decided to overhaul some closets and get rid of 11 bags of charitable donations plus other garbage and recycling. I also accidentally destroyed one bookshelf, but it ended up being a blessing as the space worked out great. The project resulted in a lot of open loving space and it's been awesome. this week will be my room.

Later in the week we got back to Christmas by baking cookies and sending out our cards.

Christmas Eve was the church candlelight service and our tradition of watching The Polar Express.

After the kids were snug in their beds Santa made his stop. The kids each got 3-4 gifts. Caylee s big item was her American Girl doll. Logan got a Star wars Lego set, Ian got a remote control car and the baby got lots of Little Time cars.

We had my sister and her son over for dinner as well as my husband's mom and step dad.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Yay for Christmas Break!

With a solid two weeks ahead of me I celebrated the first day of Christmas break with a bang...sitting on my couch until 12:30. Before that time I did squeeze in a shower and was multi tasking my tv watching with some late Christmas cards. I love beige busy and love their school, but with partially homeschooling them I am definitely excited for some down time.

Last night I was able to sneak away and get my hair cut and my nails manicured after about six months. Let's just say that both were overdo and I feel like a queen ready to take on the next six months. Lol.

My husband was working so the kids and I ventured out into the Christmas madness to Ikea where they played in the olayplacebwould while the baby and I perused. I made it out alive with all my kids, four 50% off stuffed animals and some cookie cutters for this week.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Love Letter

Life is a beautiful gift from our God above. Each day is a blessing, but is not guaranteed. I have so much in my life to be thankful for. I owe my life to God and my Savior for standing in the gap. Meeting me where I am wherever I am. My walk with God has changed my life dayby day. I love them and are forever at their mercy.

My husband is such a blessing to me. His unconditional love and constant  companionship through thick and thi. the father he is to our kids. I can say enough. I have definitely known true love.

My beautiful daughter. How sweet and kind. How full of love and grace. Full of love for her family and friends. I am so blessed.

My first son. He is so kind and handsome. always says it like it us and keeps it real. May that logicand love always be with him.

My second son. How big he is growing. also kind and handsome.  Full of determination and never saying no for an answer. May that steadfastness follow him always.

My youngest baby. So cute, so kind and so determined. A quiet soul who saves his opinions for the right moment. May be be a discerning spirit throughout his life.

My parents, siblings, family. They are my heart. I would do anything for my family

All those who have touched my life for good. some truly special souls. I am a very lucky lady.

Life is beautiful. Life is a beautiful walk with God.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Old Rugged Cross

The Old Rugged Cross
Alan Jackson
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
It's shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
Where his glory forever I'll share.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cows of Bashan

Happy Saturday!  Christmas is in full swing and so are the festivities. Last night the family and I got to go to a party with friends. It was about twelve kids running around and six parents eating and enjoying each other's company. we originally had grandiose ideas about craft tables for the kids filled with ornament making and gingerbread houses, but decided to let people be and divide up the project materials to take home for later.

Today while reading The Bible I came across the stern warnings God gave to his people in the book of Amos.  Right from the start he is talking to women and holy moly I would not want to be considered under that group.

It reads, "Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!"
The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness; "The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of
You with fishhooks. You will each go straightout through breaks in the wall, and you will be cast out toward Harmon," declares the Lord". Amos 4:1-4

How horrible an ending is that?  Not only pulled by fishhooks but through the cracks of walls!  God is not joking around here. The image if a woman leisurely laying around full of self righteous expectation ordering a refill with the wave of her wrist is comical. This scenario isn't just about being parched on the couch and asking your husband for a favor. It describes her as someone is at the top of their food chain. Who gets what they want and doesn't care who she steps on below to get it. This includes her own husband. "Bring me a drink now Larry!!".

As far fetching as this sounds I find it a wakeup  chec. I can get demanding with my husband in between fatigue and diaper changes. Times when I am filled with expectation and congratulatory back patting. How great that we have a God who can stop us in our tracks on a daily basis with warnings such as these.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Rain , Posters and God as our Pilot

The last couple if days we have had a ton more rain. Two days at close to five inches, which is our typical monthly total. Lots of flooding along roadways and people stranded not being able to get home. My weekly travel allowed me to miss a lot of it. Though there was one point yesterday where I almost hydroplaned off the road. Nothing like getting your adrenaline pumping.  When I got home yesterday after cleaning and carpooling I decided to make soup and veg out to some Duck Dynasty for a while.

Today I got my husband to pitch in and help our daughter with a science poster assignment. He is not much of a school guy as he is a self made learner, but was quickly busy painting the ring of fire.

This was after him and I watched the new San Andreas movie last night. talk about a stressful situation.  I learned that in order to help my entire family survivea major earthquake we will need our own helicopter, a helicopter phone, crazy adrenaline muscles and a lot of luck. Eeck!  if something like that were to happen here let alone with my little kids, I would literally be praying and hoping we were straight with God. When the movie was over I prayed for our safety and in a situation like that to have his eyes and brains.

The Bible says that we should trust God and lean not to our own dstanding. The stories of Noah and his family being the only eight people in the world saved as God took out the entire planet, or Lot being saved as his whole town was destroyed. These are testaments tome that though harm can come our way and overtake our physical bodies, God is always in ccontrol. He can save when it a meant to save and take out when its meant to be taken out.  Knowing that is amazing. Trusting that can be hard.

I ran across one of my favorite scriptures today. Psalm 127:1-2
"Unless the Lord builds the house, it's builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling forfood to eat--for he grants sleep to those he loves."

How amazing that we don't have to rely on our own helicopter when God is our pilot?!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Raining Buckets!

This is the NW where we shun umbrellas and troop it out in hoodies. Heck, I don't even own an umbrella. You know its bad when I say that today's rainfall has been one for the record books.  Streets were flooded and needed a boat to cross, buildings were becoming indoor swimming pools and sand bags were being handed like Halloween candy. Luckily our house faces no damage, but my son's preschool had water coming in through the Windows for the second time in two months.

I was able to have a rare quiet morning with the little guy while Vince took the older kids an hour away to a rock museum class trip. It took him two hours to navigate down there when it usually takes only one. Most of the kids turned back before even making it. As they were heading home there was a running river surrounding the building.

I was able to do some holiday and grocery shopping and get a few things around the house done before homework, dinner and cheer practice. Where did the day go?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Busy is Good

It is Saturday morning and over half of the house is sleeping. Yay for weekends of relax. It was a good and busy week for me, and for my husband it was a week of sickness relapse.

Tuesday I got to go on my Logan's field trip to an omnimax show and watch Flight of the Butterflys. It was in 3D and a special treat for me. Though once they announced that upon  exiting there would be no re entry I swore I was coming down with a cough condition.

I watched my nephew this week and hehis two years old self played cars and helped Logan with his science poster.

Friday was filled with school and teacher meetings, shopping at Costco for Christmas presents, and a booster club meeting.

Today started slow with my favorite Christmas move, Christmas with The kranks and then bazaar shopping and a Christmas tree.

It took us a while to find to right tree. Most were too short, too thin or too yellow. The boys ran around the tree farm getting out their winter wiggles.

With the help of my husband and all of the boys we were able to get our tree up and straightened in the stand with lights. It was exciting to see the kids putting up the decorations and dancing to the Christmas carols.

Thank you God and Christ for my life and for caring about my salvation!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thanksgiving and Disney

I am typing this before bed late in the evening because if I don't I never will. How did life get so busy?  Where did the year go?

Thanksgiving was spent on a road trip to southern California to hang out with my family. My memories of the last couple of weeks are going to be fragmented, but present.

-Driving late into the night with little Owen starting the case of a stomach flu and violently throwing up.  We had to pull over and clean him off on the side if an off ramp in the middle of nowhere. the following days it passing to Ian and then I Vince and then my brother. Fun times.

-Going to Disneyland for a day and navigating through the crazy busy crowds. Vince taking. My nephew in the dumbo ride.

-riding Splash Mountain for the first time in 22 years because I had no four year old was going on it. I hated it but had to shut my mouth as my four year old was having second thoughts. At the end slogan and Ian were crying. The pic was priceless.

-watching the fireworks and seeing my daughter's eyes light up. Seeing her completely calm and happy being my little girl while the snow fell to Frozen.

-getting to take my 22 yr old baby bro on Indiana Jones that he hadn't been on since 12

-how my husband almost knocked out two dudes for not letting me sit in a. empty seats during the fireworks while I was holding a baby and eating a turkey leg.

-balboa island frozen bananas and Ian asking if zombies wear underwear.

My siblings and I trying to get a pic on a really windy beach.

-downtown Disney and Knotts Berry farm. And the overwhelming sadness when we all had to say goodbye ye.

-traffic on the way home and deciding to drive the 18 hrs straight to home putting us at arrival at 5 am.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ready for Thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for. Family, friends, food, shelter and a faithful God.

We don't have a lot, but we don't have a little. The six of us right nowshare one tv and one bathroom. We buy all used clothes and handbags from the thrift shop. I buy our items with coupons and at the discount store. My van is 11 years old and is making weird noises. I am trying to figure out what four gifts or so I Will be able to afford for each kid for Christmas, which includes clothes.

On the flip side I have a loving husband. Four beautiful kids. Money to pay bills and go on family vacations, money to eat out once a week when I tire of cooking, the kids are involved in sports and we are able to donate frequently to charitable organizations.

Thank you God especially for sending your son to die in order to save me.

Memories of the week:
My daughter giving me a detailed account of what she wants for Christmas with columns in order of importance and store locations.

How her hair seems to have grown overnight finally!

How my oldest son spent 30 minutes straight talking to a me about his dinosaur show.

How he is trying so hard at reading and improving.

How though he loves football he also can't stop playing soccer.

My second son loving preschool with his teacher saying how she thinks he has a wild side ...which he does.

How after watching the original Star wars he called Darth Vader Dark Madera.

How I call him my mini Donald Trump.

How while driving the 30 minutes to school I had to coach him in the backseat how to blow a small toy out if his nose.

My youngest boy and how his crazy side and personality is out.

When he gets mad he throws what he has down and walks away and then comes slowly back into the room.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Daily Victories!

So much to be thankful for.  So many little memories to make note of.  For starters, the permit for the commercial marijuana plant was denied.  Hooray!  I am so thankful to God and to all of the neighbors who pulled together to make it happen.  There is a potential appeal process at the Supreme Court level, so we will see what happens if he progresses.

Halloween was a ton of fun.  I was able to meet up with my sister and her little boy to trick or treat at a retirement home.  Then the family spent the evening with friends and their kids eating and waiting for the rain to subside.  This particular day we had a mega storm that actually flooded my kid's gymnastics gym.  We were lucky enough to catch a break at the 7 o'clock hour and went trick or treating.

Sundays spent going to church and then asking my husband to steer the car towards Starbucks for an after church pumpkin latte.  I told him it was a tradition haha.  Then clipping and organizing coupons while the tv is turned to football.

Monday night going to my kid's school carnival, and running into an old friend that I hadn't seen in years.  Watching the kids play games with their dad, and Caylee getting her face painted.  Afterwards while trying to figure out dinner on empty and tired stomachs we drive all around town changing our minds until we end up at an expensive Asian buffet at 8 pm.  To which Logan spends half the time drinking water and then saying his stomach hurt and he needed air, so him and I ran to the van with a barf bag...should have gone to Wendy's.

How on the way home from school I realized that I had lost my special ring my husband made me a couple of years ago and after looking high and low I got home and was muttering while wandering the house.  Logan all of a sudden says mom I made you a new one with a rubber band kit he got.  His recent love of dinosaurs to the point of requesting to watch all of the realistic looking shows and then jumping up and down yelling at the cast while watching.  Him and Caylee being silly in the back seat.

Ian being absolutely adorable and completely stubborn all at the same time.  When he wants something he wants it right now his way, and then after a time out he apologizes.  Him loving preschool and being so calm when he leaves.

Owen being my calm casual child until something doesn't go his way...such as Vince telling me about how when he turned his back Ian took a tea jug he was playing with and he started running after him with arms flailing and running.  Him being my little cuddle guy and drinking lots of whole milk.  Him and Ian becoming buds more and more everyday.

Caylee being my big and little girl all at the same time.  At home she is my go to gal, and at school I realize how little she is.  Watching her at cheer practice being so proud of her.  Trying to take a late night bath in the dark and she kicks the boys out and brings a flashlight and says It's just you and me momma.

Me standing in the closed bathroom reading a post about the value of moms to have the door open and all four of my beautiful children come walking in with big eyes looking for their toothbrushes.

To be soaking in the bath as my husband puts the kids to bed and two kids and the dog have their noses in the shower curtain asking me questions.

Thank you God for all I have and all I don't have.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Busy Week -Battling a Marijuana Plant and Wenzel Farms

Phew this week was a whopper.  What is life if it isn't busy?  Besides the normal rigors of school and at home work life mixed with cleaning we had a few other curve balls thrown our way.  I attended a public hearing to stand up against a 3,200 square foot marijuana grow facility that is trying to be built in a residential subdivision.  I came prepared with my speech and was nervous as heck, and didn't know what to expect, so was pleasantly surprised to see the room full of neighbors we have yet to meet who were all against the project.  The meeting ended up going over three hours with multiple people raising valid arguments.

My husband and son's flag football team had their end of the season party this week at a mexican restaurant.  It marked the first season of his coaching career and he just loves it.  The parents got him a Starbucks gift card and note, which was very nice.  I made some good friends on the team and Logan just loved every minute of it.

Every year our family goes to a Halloween trail at Wenzel Farms.  They have a cute child spooky/fun walk through the woods with all sorts of decorations and lights.  We started going 5 years ago when our oldest was 3, and have been back every year even though it is an hour away.

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Need a Root Beer! Battling a Marijuana Growing Facility

Tonight is definitely one of those nights when I need a root beer.  I picked my daughter up from practice and drove straight to the store to buy one, and a Coke for my husband.  We don't drink.  We used to in a former life, but it quickly got us no where.  Both of us have a family history of bad drunken memories and after seeing it transpire in front of our kids we stopped over five years ago.  My vice is now root beer.

We have a lot going on like most people.  Bills, money, holiday plans, and not to mention that a 2 acre lot we bought this year in a new subdivision with intentions of building a little house on it to raise our kids has a proposed 3,200 square foot commercial marijuana growing facility trying to come in next door.  It was snuck under our eyes by the owners we are in contract with who are selling it to the marijuana dude.  They got us locked in and now we are having to deal with the mess.

The plans for the building are extension and lengthy.  Well thought out and detailed, to include multiple rooms, exteriors lights, employees, parking lots etc.  This is all right across the cul de sac street from our driveway.  Supposedly the fencing and hedges are going to protect us.  They are going to protect my kids as they ride their bikes in the circle right next to the building that is butted up against the bottom of the property line.  I am sure there will be no smell, no light pollution, no noise, no riff raff.  Of course this guy is a class act who almost lost his children in a custody case due to marijuana usage.  Who has been medically declared as 'Cannabis Dependent'.  Who has received large sums of money and living expenses for his crazy schemes from year to year from his grandma's trust fund as we hard working folk work for everything we have.  Nothing has been handed to us.  That is why this lot was such a nice dream.  It was affordable (I wonder why...smirk) the sellers were easy going (duh!)  Now we could be stuck back at square one.  Better yet, paying monthly for a piece of property I can never put a shovel into for the next 30 years as we go back to the drawing board.

To top it off I get to grace the presence of the county hearing tomorrow as it will be a last stand before final approval to get our opinions off our chest in hopes of swaying the opinions of Goliath.  I have my speech written.  The kids are prepared to come and be themselves, this is their future in all honesty.

But for now I sit here and and prepare to enjoy my root beer after a long hard day.  Veg out on some tv and start fresh in the morning.  Lots of prayers for whatever is meant to be.  Amen.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Love and Marriage - Finding a Balance

The last couple of weeks have been filled with cleaning, washing, homework, car pooling and finding dinner.  Logan has his last flag football game today.  This will free up a couple nights a week from practices, but I hear they are going to be replaced by wrestling.  Caylee is busy with cheer and Ian is loving his preschool time.  A couple of weeks ago Vince and I got to be adults for a night and be guests at an annual charity dinner for the local crisis pregnancy clinic.  It was nice to see such large community support as the banquet room was packed.  Some of the faces around the community were familiar, so it was nice to catch up with old contacts.

I went to the Oltmann Farms pumpkin patch with the kids for the second time this season to pick up jack o lantern and pumpin pie gourds.  We just love them, and the pie is one of my favorites to make.

I have been trying to read my scriptures and devotionals on a daily basis, because Lord knows I need them.  I am definitely a mere human navigating through these choppy life waters, while trying to come out with my family intact.  I thank God for my family and marriage everyday.  We are no where near perfect, and it is by his grace that he has changed us over the years to evolve and grow together.

One of the challenges my husband and I face is the fact that he is a pretty logical guy as where I pretty driven on feelings.  It has been a source of contention here and there to become an annoyance which leaves me saying to myself in the end, "What the heck!?"  It is usually started at the end of a long day for the both of us with him making a logical observation about dinner looking burnt or overdone, to which I take it personally after being excited to show him the meal in the first place.  I then get annoyed and try and explain how it hurt my feelings to which he says that it was simply a statement, and my over reaction makes no logical sense.  This perpetuates a cycle of nothing getting resolved and intensified feelings of logic and emotion to which I just give up and go to bed and then awake and move on in the morning as to resolve any awkward tension.

After a night of this followed by a lot of prayer I woke up to a sense of clarity in which I began researching and found the logic vs feeler marriage concept.  It made complete sense.  If the logic partner offends the feelings partner there is no real logical justification for the reaction.  This can lead to the logic partner invalidating the feelings as relevant and the feelings partner as feeling invalid.  Haha!  What a mess this can cause!  Two people created how they are created by God and brought together for his design, but without understanding and compassion on both ends this can lead to a real problem.  I think knowing how we are different or the same as our spouse can help give us the tools to work together or just leave things alone.

To top it off, after a lot of prayers and throwing it to God by myself in my prayer room...aka the bathroom...God came through for me hard in His word.

2 Timothy 2:22-3:5
"Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.  But mark this:  There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godlineness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them."

Have you ever felt like the scriptures were talking directly to you?  Literally like God is answering your prayers with the manifestation of physical words?  Ouch.  I think I failed in quite a few categories last night.  Oh to be human.  It is a glorious thing that God loves and accepts us imperfections and all.  That through Him all of us can find grace through the sacrifice of Christ!  Amen to that!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Back for Fall

Summer is gone and Fall is here.  I didn't hardly write the whole season, and feel amiss at the perspective and memories writing brings me.  Though I can't recall or record all of the summer's events I can capture  most of the photographs.  The collage is a mix of memories from May-mid October.  During that time my son turned 6 and had a Seahawks themed birthday and party at Chuckee Cheese, our daughter turned 8 and had a Hawaiin themed birthday party with her girlfriends and then a bbq and swimming at the lake, Ian  turned 4 go to ride go karts and go to Chuckee Cheese and my youngest celebrated his 1st birthday.  I also turned 34 and spent my birthday going to church, walking through a beautiful botanical garden and eating at Old Spagetti Factory, and Vince and I celebrated 10 years of marriage.  Glory to God!

We went on beach trips, spent most of our time with friends either swimming at a neighborhood pool, or at the park.  Spent Fourth of July with family for a parade and then watched fireworks from our property.  Our roofing company also had our first booth at the county fair.  It was a lot of fun, and my brother, Vince and I took turns working it from morning until night.  The kids had their last day of kindergarten and second grade and we had a preschooler, 1st grader and 3rd grader this year.   We had an end of summer trip to Seattle and stopped at the Lego and American Girl store.  We also made it to Oltmann Farms again for our pumpkins!