Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thanks and Cute Kids (Mine)

Someone must have been praying for me yesterday because it went good with my little bro. Better than good! God totally helped me be bold, honest and loving.

I ended up sitting my brother down and, instead of coming down on him for making some bad decisions, I told him about his potential and how he needs to realize who he is in God's eyes, not who people expect him to be. We talked about a bunch of other stuff too and Bill was right there with me letting him know that we both support him making good choices for his life and his future. And yes, I cried!

After that Bill and I went for a drive and we had a really good talk. We have known that helping people with their stuff is right at the heart of what we're called to do, but honestly we've been forgetting that lately. We decided to go somewhere and really get on our knees and come together to ask God for "something big". And by something big I mean, we're ready to jump in together and cross this threshold of what God has lined up for us.

With no fear!

God has answered my prayers. The spoken and unspoken ones.

* * *

Also, I realized that I haven't shared any recent updates or sayings from my kids. Here you go...

Me: "Azzie, your pants are falling down..."
Azzie: "No, I like them like this...everyone wears boxers underneath and sweats halfway off like this" (By halfway off, I mean halfway off her bottom...yep, we're so there! And isn't it funny how in middle school, things are always done by "everyone" or "no one"??)

Shariah got a job! She's going to be taking care of the neighbor's two little dogs after school every day. This is great because it's gonna be a lo-o-ong time before I'll be ready for another dog, so my puppy-lovin' girl can get her daily fix while the neighbors can buy the food and worry about letting them out at night for potty breaks.

Emma had to go to the dentist and get a little cavity filled this morning, plus sealants on her baby teeth. When the nurse called her back, I got up too. She turned and said "Mo-om, you don't need to come with! I'll be alright." Oh, my baby girl is so grown up all of a sudden:*)

Ruby got up this morning, cleaned her room and came down completely dressed. She was wearing black leggings with ruffles at the bottom, a purple flowery layered skirt, a bright colored shirt (not matching the skirt) with butterflies and a sequined black sweater that I'm pretty sure has Hannah Montana on the label. She looked AWESOME! I looked closer to see she was wearing lip gloss and she'd brushed her hair. She's only four people!

Brayden is going through a jealous phase where he doesn't like me to hold anyone else, especially Emma for some reason. He screams "My mama, my mama, my mama" until she gets off my lap. Emma thinks this is funny and yesterday came and jumped on my lap, looked over at Brayden and said "My mama" in a perfectly snotty little voice. He ran over with his fist preceding him Pop-Eye style and punched her in the behind, with rage in his eyes and through gritted teeth threatened "MY MAMA!" Is it wrong that I think this is adorable???

Love and Laughter:)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Check This Out

I still haven't completely figured out Youtube.

But I like finding music and other performance art to watch and found this guy, John Mark McMillan. I like his Folksy, bluezy sound and the lyrics are pretty good too:)

The video for this song was driving me crazy because it wasn't buffering good (is that how I say that??) so after starting it, press pause for about 5 minutes and go get a cup of coffee/tea before playing. I think it's worth it:)

She's Done It Again

My friend Francine that is. She's gone and written another book that I've had so much trouble putting down to to do anything else including cleaning, taking care of my kids, sleeping, even eating. Yep, I'm still talking about "Her Mother's Hope".

This is the first day of Spring Break. Well, not the first day, but you know what I mean, right? I guess Saturday with the fundraiser and Sunday with church and another fundraiser didn't feel like the start of a break. Now I can breathe...and read:)

This morning I woke to the sounds of my children rising, the turning on of cartoons and the pouring of cereal and milk. It sounded like the bigger ones were taking care of the little ones so I decided to wait on my coffee and quickly read the end of the chapter that I hadn't finished last night because I had fallen asleep.

"Her Mother's Hope" is about mother-daughter relationships. Great, just what I needed. Well, seriously, couldn't all women use some healing when it comes to this area of our earthly lives???

The other thing that I love about all of her books are that they seem to come to me at the right time. The second part of the story (don't worry, no spoilers here) is about Hildemara who grows up to be a nurse around the time of the start of World War II. Her character is a compassionate person who empathizes with everyone. When she starts nursing she learns, at the advice of an older wiser nurse, to give her patients to Jesus in prayer as soon as she leaves their hospital room.

What a message for me! I find myself so easily burdened by other people's stuff, sometimes to the point of being kept up at night, losing my appetite and falling into depression.

Today I have had a few different urgent issues come to my attention and honestly they've already threatened to consume me with worry, fear and all sorts of internal dialog while I rehearse how I can "fix things".

So, today I'm asking for prayer. For me because in a little while I do have something to do. I've invited my younger brother over for a "chat" (confrontation). After feeling helpless this morning about a family situation that's growing in urgency (the details of that will have to wait) I prayed and without wording it asked God to show me what I could do. Right after I looked at my phone and realized my brother had texted me asking to come over. I replied that he could but he'd be having a talk with me, not coming over to play with his nieces and nephew. He agreed to come anyway.

Also pray for all these other prayer needs I've seen and heard. I don't want to give too many details to protect the privacy of family and friends, but if you could pray anyway I'd really appreciate it. These are people I love and lives that are desperately in need of God's loving grace.

So here I am, waiting for him. I know that I need to lay my own feelings aside, as well as my expectations of how this is going to go. I need to just let God show up here and do His thing. I know he's faithful and wants to rush in healing like a hurricane.

Lord help me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Shouldn't Be Taking the Time to Post This...

But procrastination is one of my skillz!

I'm still needing to put the finishing touches on the raffle baskets and painting for our fundraiser tonight.

I have been feeling stressed about it all week but I realized that the things that I was feeling stressed about were completely out of my hands. My pastor's lovely wife sent me an email yesterday about how people were inviting quite a few non-Christians to this event. People who wouldn't otherwise step foot into a church. What a much needed reminder that this isn't about us. This isn't even about raising money. This is about women's lives. And God's in it. I'm just his servant.

Here's the flyer for our Honky Tonkin' BBQ.. (you gotta read it with a Southern accent y'all;)

Yesterday after realizing all of what I just said above I was going for a drive and letting that realization sink in. If you read this regularly you might know that car drives (especially long ones through the country) make me cry. So I'm driving along, spending some time with God and listening for awhile and this song comes on the radio. I love this song and love Addison Road, but hadn't really listened to the lyrics. So enjoy watching the video (isn't she gorgeous??) and really listen to these lyrics.

Much love today:)

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Caught the Mail Man

I lost my set of keys which have the key to the mailbox, so I told my kids we had to wait outside so I could run and catch the mail man. Emma and Ruby immediately started giggling at the thought of me chasing the mail man and tackling him to the ground or something along those lines.

As soon as I saw him I made a run for it, with the still giggling girls following behind me ready to help. I got to him, a little short of breath, and explained that I lost my key (again) and asked for my mail. I grew anxious as he packaged what looked like bills into what looked like advertisements and it looked like that's all there was until....he reached back into the box for one more thing. A beautiful brown box from amazon.com!

I was so extemely excited to receive Francine Rivers newest book "Her Mother's Hope". I have literally been waiting for this book for years!

Let me tell you first of all one of the things that I'm pretty sure qualifies me as a nerd...if I like someone, an author, musician, speaker, ahemm...tv show (Lost) I stalk them! And by stalking them I mean more than becoming a fan on Facebook. I bookmark their website, read their fan mail, sometimes talk to other fans on their guestbook message board, read everything I can find about them and basically come to the point where I feel like they are really my friend.

So Francine Rivers is a friend of mine and she's been talking about her book for quite awhile now. The original release date was Fall of 2009 and I'm forgiving her for being a little behind because the first few chapters have been so good! Plus the reason the release date was pushed back was because her story, or saga, was too long so now I get to look forward to another book coming out soon that continues the legacy of young Marta from Switzerland.

I'm only a few chapters in so I'll have to give you more details later, but let me take this opportunity to tell you (probably again) about my Favorite. Book. Ever.

"Redeeming Love" also by Francine Rivers.

I was telling my neighbor about it recently and admitted that I allowed Redeeming Love to sit on my book shelf for quite awhile before someone encouraged me to read it. It looked like a Harloquen Romance novel (the only time I was into those was when I was probably 10 and my friend and I would sit in the back of the library skipping to the "good stuff"), and it was given to me by my mother in law, who read only what I thought were cheesy christian novels.

Redeeming Love is NOT a cheesy Christian novel! And it is NOT a explicit fluffy romance either, although Francine did write secular romance novels before she became a Christian. Redeeming Love, she has discribed as her statement of faith.

It's a story, similar to the book of Hosea in the bible, about a man who feels like God is calling him to marry a prostitute. He unconditionally loves her dispite the pain and rejection he faces because of her past.

I was in tears throughout the book, at first believing I wouldn't identify with Angel, the main female charactor, but in the end exclaiming that in so many ways I've been exactly the same as her.

Personally, the story brought healing that I was needing because of my past and I'm still thankful for how God used that book to bring positive changes in my mind and in my heart. The little book that looked like a romance novel and that was from my mother in law!

Have a lovely weekend:)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On the Coupon Bus and Other Stuff

Last night I went to a workshop put on by Amber at CouponConnectionsNW.com called "Couponing 101".


I've heard of people saving hundreds on their grocery bills. I've read a couple of books and gotten that the idea was to match coupons with store sales, but I couldn't see how it was that people were getting stuff for free or were actually ending up with a negative amount owing at the grocery store checkout.

Amber was talking about how much she loved Albertsons. She said during the workshop "They don't pay me to say this, they just pay me to take their groceries!"

The class was very helpful. I'm still processing a lot of the information and will be giving it a try, but starting slow (as she recommended). I like the idea of doing it as a game, but I don't know how I'll feel about going through the store line multiple times or to multiple stores in my gas guzzling vehicle.

We need to do something. Our budget has gone down repeatedly and honestly every month I usually exceed what we have set aside for groceries. The idea of actually being able to save for something is something I haven't even thought about for awhile and there are things I would like to save for. A trip to India for one! I'd also love to be able to give to the ministry that is helping my sister right now.

So, I'm going to try this out. If I post about it, you may not be too excited to read it because I doubt I'll be one of those people who walks out after the grocery clerk pays ME, but hopefully it will be somewhat encouraging nonetheless.

If you're interested in checking out a workshop click on the Coupon Connections NW link and subscribe. Or you can email me because I talked to Amber about possibly doing a class at my church as well.

* * *

On another note, I have so much on my to-do list today! I'm putting together some raffle prizes for a fundraiser we're doing for Women's Retreat scholarships. Today I'm basically running around picking stuff up.

I'm also needing to drop stuff off at the accountant, our attorney's office and my house is m-e-s-s-y!

This may sound strange but when I have so much to do I have to remind myself every hour that "first things first" so that I don't go up and crawl into bed or sit blankly in front of hulu shows...haha. I'm serious!

On top of that the kids have half days for the rest of the week. That could be good because I am also working on a painting as one of the raffle prizes. And did I mention the fundraiser is Saturday? Theoretically I can get this all done. I can't promise I won't go a little crazy in the process

And I have even more on my mind, which is my second reason for this post (and my excuse to be blogging when things need to be done). I was thinking maybe if I dump some of the stuff on my mind I might have an easier time with what I need to do.

I'm sorry, this post is getting really boring, huh?

Okay, quickly here we go in one big mind dumping paragraph - I'm planning on signing up for school. I keep seeing things about some bill of Obama's (when did our president's name become synonymous with giving away free money??? Just sayin' - and yes I'm looking for some of that free money) and how it supposedly expires in April. I'm guessing financial aid doesn't expire and it's just some advertisement for someone who wants business and internet clicks, but I don't have time to research it. Anyone reading know about this? I'm planning on applying for financial aid anyway but should I be doing something beyond that??? I heard this message at bible study yesterday and it kind of got me thinking about us renting out our house and going away for awhile. The speaker was talking about following where the Lord wants you and being in transition. But I feel like we are in transition even though we're staying in the same place. And if we left (my husband and I have talked about this) what about our kids and school and activities and everything. I'd love for us to be able to spend some real time together as a family, without the distractions of life, but in my mind that's impossible. I don't even think our two oldest girls would want to go with us. I don't know. Also I heard a good show on Focus on the Family about children and discipline. I'd love to be able to listen to it with Bill because being on the same page is something we've always struggled with and I'd love to be able to listen/watch/read something together because I think it would be really great for us. I know I should be praying about all of this and more. Some neighbors are losing their home and moving soon. I just met this neighbor after they'd lived here for a year and I'm sad that they're leaving now.

Well, I think that's all for now. If you've gotten this far thanks for listening:)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rainy Days Are For Staying In Bed

Seriously, I found myself accidentally making plans to do just that when I was awakened this morning at 3:30 am to the sound of my window dripping. The joys of living in an old house for sure...

I went to grab a towel and secured it on the windowsill, held on with the blinds, and crawled back under my warm covers. Thoughts of staying there as long as possible, curled up with a good book, dreams of hot coffee brought to me on a tray...okay I'm going too far there.

I'm obviously not there because schools don't close for rainy days around here. Little ones need their breakfasts, too many emails are calling for my attention, laundry needs to be done (with new motivation I'll add).

But I'm thinking nap time will be my opportunity and I'm kind of hoping it will still be raining.

I'm reading a book by one of my all time favorite authors, Madeleine L'Engle. "Two-Part Invention" is the true story of her marriage and she's writing while her husband is sick and slowly dying from cancer. It's a beautiful story of love and pain.

Let me just write a couple of these thoughtful quotes which directly answer questions that have been on my mind and in my heart:

"If we don't pray according to the needs of the heart, we repress our deepest longings. Our prayers may not be rational, and we may be quite aware of that, but if we repress our needs, then those unsaid prayers will fester." (page 94)

"I do not want ever to be indifferent to the joys and beauties of this life. For through these, as through pain, we are enabled to see purpose in randomness, pattern in chaos. We do not have to understand in order to believe that behind the mystery and the fascination there is love." (page 123)

In response to a card she received which read "He settesth in pain the jewels of his love" she writes "God can provide the setting in which the pearl of pain is places."

And bear with me...this ones kinda deep;)

"If we human beings were truly aware that all creation is a unity, as two lovers are aware of unity, wouldn't we treat each other better?...We are one planet, a single organism. What happens on this floor makes a difference everywhere. For the entire universe with its countless galaxies is the settling for this pearl of pain."

Just what I've needed. Thank you Lord for turning my focus away from myself this week and today.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Won't You Please, Please Help Me?

In the words of the Beattles "Help me if you can, I'm feeling down. And I do appreciate you being 'round. Help me get my feet back on the ground. Won't you please, please help me?"

Okay, so I'm not so sure about my timing for this post. If you are reading this today you are probably feeling like relaxing for the weekend. And I realize these pictures that I'm about to show you are not relaxing to look at!

But here we go into another weekend, a whole workweek has gone by, and I'd love to have everything done, the house clean, things organized, so that our family can go off and enjoy this beautiful Northwest weather and not have to worry about finding a clean matching outfit for church on Sunday morning!

I am having a laundry crisis! It was just a laundry problem, but my ideas for making this work, in a house with seven people, as an organizationally challenged individual, have turned into more of a path toward insanity!

Yes, I had to pry the door open, although I was tempted just to leave it shut and stay outside. Scary huh? And don't mind the gross old 70's flooring. Soon, that will change:)

I'm an oldest child and according to Kevin Leman, and my self-diagnosis, I am a "discouraged perfectionist" with emphasis on the discouraged part at the moment! I like to work with systems when it comes to house cleaning. My usual one is that I start at one end and work my way to the other. My husband thinks it's funny to watch as I move my piles from coffee table to dining table to kitchen counters before I eventually put things where they go. But it works.

My laundry system is NOT working! My plan was to wash my husbands, mine, Ruby's and Brayden's clothes on Monday. They'd be washed, folded and put away. Tuesday I am only home in the afternoon, so I'd wash Emma's clothes and any bedding that's needing it and after school Azzie and Shariah would each wash their own clothes. Again they'd all be folded and put away the same day. Wednesday was for getting caught up on anything I missed. The other days theoretically I would be only doing laundry on a need to wear basis and most likely washing a load each day. Sound a little crazy? Are you confused?

So, it's been about six weeks and that system has failed over and over. Now it's Friday and my laundry room looks like these pictures (they were taken last week so there is your proof that this cycle is repeating itself!)

Yeah, what is the definition of insanity? Trying the same thing and expecting different results right? Where did that definition of insanity come from anyway?? Just wondering...

This is my "folding table". I've since taken out the table, unloaded most of the stuff on it at the Goodwill, and my husband is going to be installing lower cabinets, so how can I make sure they don't ever look like this??

I would love my bedroom to be my place of rest and relaxation. But how, when there's always clothes to fold and socks to match...

This is a chair that would be so relaxing to sit in a curl up with a good book...if it wasn't piled with clean clothes...always...

So, I need help. Advice. Seriously I give up! Or I need cheap laundry service to come and do this for me.

I need encouragement too. I mentioned that I was discouraged and it's so true. I seriously want to close the door of the laundry room and announce that we're becoming nudists. I think Ruby and Brayden and maybe even Emma would absolutely love that idea, but no one else is going to go for that. They might ship me off somewhere...hmmm...sounds nice...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just Plain Cranky!

I was planning a rather humiliating post for today, but I think it's going to have to wait until tomorrow....

I'll give you a hint...

I include some very embarrassing pictures that might make anyone left reading my blog stop clicking on me...

Except for you Megan. I know you love me no matter what:)

I was planning on posting about my "home crisis" (there's another hint), but last night and this morning I was in such a horrible stinkin' mood that I chickened out...

I was seriously grumpy and you know how a little grumpiness quickly turns into a slippery steep slide downhill? That's where I was. Little things turned into more little things and then it all seemed pretty big and I ended up putting myself to bed after I got the kids all tucked in.

I opened my bible with the question "What is the point of any of this????" I felt like I should read Isaiah 55 (always good) so I turned there.

Here's what spoke to me:

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.

9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD's renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed."

I went to bed vowing to make changes that can start with myself. I'm working on that today so I'll let you know how I do tomorrow:)

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Nice Walk With A Handsome Little Man

On Saturday Brayden and I had some time to spend together, so we decided to go for a walk. I pushed him in the stroller and since we were having nice weather at the moment we decided to go further up the hill, where there are beautiful views of the water and the snow capped Olympic Mountains.

We were walking along and kind of singing together. Yep, my son sings with me:) I was asking him to point out things like grass, sky, trees, etc. and then started asking him about colors. I said "the grass is green" and he said "nu-uh, Mom, it's blue!"

I said "The sky is blue Brayden," to which he again said "Nu-uh, Mom, it's green." If my son decides not to be a singer, maybe he'll have a great career in law! Just kidding.

Then we were walking along looking at the water and a couple of birds flew high above us. I stopped and said "Look Brayden, birds," but he had already seen them. He had his two little fingers pointed (machine gun style) and said "Bogshhh" (the best way I can spell out his gunshot sound effect).

My son was shooting the birds! After he felt like he made the shot, he lowered his weapon and stuck one of his fingers back in his mouth like nothing!

Oh my, boys are so different!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just a Check-up

We had a traumatic morning in the doctor's office yesterday and I'm still recovering!

I know there's been so much out there about immunizations and my non-confrontive self is a little nervous about posting anything about any of it, but yesterday's experience is one I just have to talk about. I'll just say that what I'm discribing is what we do and if you do something different, good for you:)

Personally I think most of the vaccines are very important in keeping my children and others safe from dangerous diseases.

We decided to delay our vaccines. I've never allowed the Hep B shot in the hospital, but with Brayden, going a more natural route overall, we delayed his first vaccines until he was 9 months.

There's two popular ways you can delay vaccines. One route you can go is separating all the vaccines out so you're not putting so many different toxins in their bodies at once. But when you do this you end up going back practically every single month to get poked...not in my mind a good idea...

Note~There is a good resourse by Dr.Sears, from his website AskDrSears.com. Here is what he says about immunizations.

The other way is to start late and spread them out a little farther than what's on the regular schedule. The point is to help your baby build their immune system between shots. This is what we have done, but it means that when the kids get shots they each will get up to five (usually combined into 3 or 4 pokes).

So yesterday was the day. And to make things "easy" for me I made back to back appointments for Brayden, Ruby and Emma.

Everyone's doing well, growing fine, developing great.

In fact we can't call Ruby "little Ruby" anymore because she's in the 80% range for her weight! Wow, since for awhile there we had so much trouble keeping weight on her and getting her actually on the charts!

Then it came time for the shots...the nurse came in and said "So, how should we do this mom?" I told her Emma was going first (since she only had one little catch up shot) and she was going to show Ruby and Brayden how brave she'd be. Her voice started shaking a little when she hopped up on the seat. Then she saw the needle...

It was all down hill from there! Emma started crying, thrashing and kicking. I tried not to be embarrassed when the nurse called for back up...

After Emma was done I looked at Brayden and Ruby and Brayden said "Ruby go!" So it was Ruby's turn and Emma, who was supposed to be being helpful, was trying to fight her way across the small exam room to save Ruby from the mean needle people. She was crying hysterically at this point saying "Don't poke her with that thing! Don't hurt my sister!"

It went on like this and at one point every kid of mine was crying hysterically. It was traumatic for everyone including myself.

Maybe there is something to going every single month because they get used to needles. Or maybe it would just be everyone crying month after month.

I think that's why I spent pretty much all of yesterday being pretty lazy:)

Oh and after the kids picked out stickers and suckers we were leaving. Emma, who had had her shot on her arm, rolled up her sleeve so everyone in the room could see her tough snoopy band aid...LOL.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What I Learned At Bible Study

This is a sidenote from what I was planning on talking about but I just want to throw in that it's really nice that even though I live in a small town, there seems to be a women's event for wherever you are in life. There's MOPS, homeschool co-ops, reading groups, play groups, precepts bible studies, Beth Moore bible studies, basically anything you feel like.

I like that because I've been in places where it's difficult to start, let alone finish a book, and then again I've been in places where I just can't get enough of the bible and studying each and every word is important to me.

Right now I'm going to a weekly women's bible study at The City Church, which is a big church with several different campuses. They have different speakers every week and they definitely lean toward the more joyful, charasmatic side of things. Not what I'm used to or always comfortable with but they are amazing women, it's a good church and it's perfect for where I'm at right now.

But here's what I want to tell you about... This week they invited a speaker named Deborah Enos, who is a certified nutritionist. She gave a 90 minute presentation on good health and good eating. She's written a book called "Weight a Minute" which has chapters that you can literally read in one to two minutes! After a morning of her giving practical tips on healthy eating, I purchased her book and devoured its contents over a cup of afternoon coffee.

What she said resonnated so much with my own feelings about food and health, what I've learned from watching Food Inc. and other good information that I've picked up along the way.

Her book is NOT talking about a diet. It's a long term plan that supports simple principles that you can live by.

For instance she says to eat breakfast within 30 - 45 minutes of waking up. This jumpstarts your metabolism and can improve your whole day! She gives good examples of breakfasts filled with protein and fiber which will keep you full for three hours and curb sugar cravings that magically appear, at my house, around naptime;)

She also talked about being positive about ourselves and our bodies and instead of focusing on what we think needs to change, focusing on what's good. Being healthy starts in our minds.

You may be rolling your eyes at this point, sometimes I do when it comes to the whole "positive confessions". But Deborah Enos did have a lot of good things to say that I already agreed with so I guess I could give some of that positive thinking a chance;)

One more thing. After watching Food Inc. which I mentioned awhile back, I felt very overwhelmed on my next trip to the grocery store. I felt so convicted about the way big meat companies treated their animals and was sold on the health benefits of grass fed cows, free range eggs and organic fruits and veggies, but didn't know a simple way to go about changing our habits. I found myself vigorously scrutinizing every package and label and driving my kids crazy in the process.

Deborah's simple practical tips made my next grocery store visit much more exciting and reasonable. Instead of walking out with next to nothing I had a weeks worth of meals planned out...breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eleven Years Ago...

Eleven years ago today my daughter, Shariah Dawn, was born after a traumatic labor, to a naive young mother, who didn't know what she didn't know...

Thankfully, truly by God's grace and nothing else, we both survived. Shariah inherited my grandmother's beautiful strawberry blond locks along with my blue eyes and stubborn will. The nurse looked her over and pointed out how with her lovely long fingers she would be able to do anything in life. So true.

I've been reading this book called "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. In it, when he talks about living with people, he says that when he was alone he really believed his life was a movie and he was the star, after all, he was in every single scene. (I'll tell you more about the book later...)

But I think that's why I consider the experience of bringing my firstborn daughter into this world the beginning of my story. At least it's the part where my story gets good. (If you're wondering I had my daughter before meeting my husband).

Not to say anything about teenage girls in general, but me? I was pretty shallow and self-centered! I was all about living for the moment and the day, having fun, regardless of consequences. I knew barely anything of love, friendship, sacrifice, loyalty or self-control.

My story begins with my daughter because I realized very quickly that my life is about those around me. They are the characters of the deeper story.

* * *

Today for Shariah's birthday I decided to style her hair. I cut her bangs shorter and gave her the flower clip, which I won from Amber at Coupon Connections NW, put on some sheer lip gloss (cuz she's 11). Everyone at school loved the clip, but a couple of boys made fun of her bangs and told her she looked weird...

I'm sorry girl, welcome to full blown adolescence...I'd consider skipping those years personally!

The funny/not so funny thing is, when I turned 11 I wore my pink flowery pants, baby pink shirt, with a matching flowery collar. I swept my hair mostly over to one side and completed the look with a baby pink barrette and shimmery pink lip gloss.

And a girl told me I looked weird!

Now I feel bad. I should have remembered that experience, which I'm sure I carried on my sensitive shoulders throughout middle school.

Hopefully my daughter will surpass me greatly in strength, beauty, wisdom and grace. Happy Birthday Shariah!


Monday, March 1, 2010

My B-Day in Pictures

Yay! I finally found my USB cord so I can once again upload pictures. It might be a little late to show you Christmas pictures, but here's a bunch from yesterday...

(I'm pretty much the only picture taker around here and I was feeling like I'd been a little left out lately so bear with all of the self-taken arm in view shots...)

Appetizers inspired by Julia

New shoes

Flowers from my man!

Ruby (like her bangs?) and ME

I can only get my kids to take sweet pictures if I guarantee them a silly shot:)

My favorite dinner: Grilled salmon, baby red potatoes in butter and parsley and blanched asparagus...mmmm:)

My little angels


My other little angels

Emma Joy and ME

I bet you're thinking I'm the one who really enjoys the silly shots...okay, you're right;)

ME and my MAN

ME and my *little* man

Too bad there is still half of that cake sitting in my fridge calling my name....I....must....resist....the cheesecake....ugh
All in all fun birthday
Loved the family time
Doesn't feel like 30 years has gone by....
....okay it does


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