Family Photo

Family Photo

Saturday, December 31, 2011


2011 was a good year. It was a year full of challenges and wonderful blessings all at the same time. It was also year of growth.

I continued with my Good Morning Girls email group which has kept me accountable to spending time daily with the Lord and has sharpened me continuously as iron sharpens iron.

Early in the year, my honey surprised me with the best birthday present ever: three of my dearest friends taking me out to dinner!

Then in April, our newest addition Malakai Kade made his entrance into the world.

This is where my first big challenge came in the form of intense post-partum depression. God was faithful as He always is and rescued me by way of 2 Samuel 22.

We've formed new friendships this year for which I am ever so grateful. One of the families were gracious enough to invite us with them on vacation this Summer!

Then, our close friends blessed us with a trip to Hawaii where Ricky and I got to spend some much needed quality time together.

God called us out to stop only serving ourselves and to be Kingdom-minded and start serving Him! We began to lead a table at our marriage ministry at church and have been beyond blessed by this opportunity to serve Jesus.

We have also been convicted in the area of serving "the least of these," which we had not been doing prior to this year. We were blessed to serve as a family in Adopt-a-Block and in our food pantry ministry and have committed to being more servant oriented in the new year.

We have had our share of challenges in the parenting department as you may have read about in my blogs. Navigating through those has been quite humbling and educational! I've had my share of ugly mommy moments where all I wanted to do was sell my children to the highest bidder, and eat a hot meal for once, and only worry about getting myself ready in the morning, and sleep in, and go the bathroom in peace! It amazes me how God loves me through those ugly moments.

This year has found me stepping out of my comfort zone in many ways in my job and in using my talents. I have learned that I am called to obedience and that I can do all things through Christ alone.

2012 is going to be exciting, I just know it! It holds some unknowns for my family as far as our living situation goes and I am having to just trust in the Lord. It's a year that also holds potential for big things!

I am making it my goal this year to love like Jesus and to just practice obedience and rid myself of selfishness. It sounds impossible,but it is worth striving for.

My verse for this year is Hebrews 10:24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

Happy New Year

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My High Horse has Gone Missing

Before I had kids, I knew that my kids would be little angels. I knew this because I knew exactly how I'd parent them. My children would never throw tantrums in public or disrespect me. They would always be polite, kind, and obedient because I would be the perfect mom.
Never in my worst of nightmares did I see myself being at a big church event with my daughter throwing an Exorcist-worthy-tantrum. Surely, I would die before I'd be THAT mom walking her child through the crowds of people while her child writhes and screams and attempts to bite her mother. I would NEVER allow my child to scream until she was blue in the face and nearly passes out in a public place. Not me! I would be the mom with the kids who walked in a cloud of light because they came straight from Heaven...HA HA HA!
I can't even write that while keeping a straight face. It's humorous now to think that I thought that way back then. To think that I supposed I could maintain any shred of dignity is laughable.
Why? Because when you're Maia Belle's mommy, humiliation is the name of the game. There is no room for pride when your child throws the king of all temper tantrums at a big church event (my place of employment). There is no place for dignity when you walk through crowds of people you know while your writhing screaming child is attempting to bite you only after your table of friends watched your daughter scream until she was blue in the face.
My lofty hopes of maintaining my pride and dignity while being a mom are long gone. They have been replaced with a heaping serving of humility by means of humiliation. It's obvious that I needed to come off my high horse, but little did I know that I also needed to be stomped six feet under ground as well. I would venture to say that I will never have a problem with pride or narcissism, my daughter will make sure of it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 21, 2011


Hi! I'm Malakai Kade Murray...why are you laughing? See, this is why I am writing this blog. I want everyone to know why being a third child is hazardous to your health.
Exhibit A. Every time I have this pacifier in my mouth, people laugh at me, and I just can't figure out why. I think my parents want me to have a complex.

Exhibit B. Instead of coming to rescue me from eating a leaf which could potentially give me a stomach ache or make me choke, my parents take a picture of me, eating said leaf.
Exhibit C. I've got some older siblings who are just slightly older than me and can't really handle my weight, but my crazy parents will do anything for a picture of them and I together so they ask my siblings to hold me which means my insides get smooshed, my shirt gets shoved up into my face, I can't see because the sun is in my eyes (my mom says that is the best lighting) and my belly is showing for everyone to see. Seriously, mom? So embarrassing.

(Mom finally comes to my rescue after I start crying and I nearly get dropped too early by my sister).
Exhibit D. These are the crazy people who raise me! Don't they just look like they could be hazardous to my health?! It's amazing that I am still alive to write this post after all the third-child-hazards I've survived!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Maia's Vocabulary

My precocious 3 year old has quite the vocabulary. She is so advanced, in fact that she teaches me new words on a regular basis. Here are some of the words she has added to my vocabulary...

"Chicketating"-" When you feed the chickens."

This came on the tails of a conversation explaining the differences between the words INTERESTING and IRRITATING. She had combined them into one word "interrating." After defining these two words for her, she matter-of-factly informed me that there was also the word "Chicketating."

Turnupenlater"- "The red and white things that close when a train comes and stay up when the train is gone."

Maia has since changed this to "Turnenlater." Apparently, she has the freedom to change the words as she sees fit. This is used on a regular basis as we drive over train tracks quite often.

"Fluffy"- "When someone is changing your diaper and you get all crazy and turn around and be naughty, that's called when you're being 'fluffy.'"

She was observing me struggling to change Malakai's diaper when she was inspired with this word.

"Crack-a-doo-dah"- as in "You're being a crazy crack-a-doo-dah"

There is no rhyme or reason for this one. It just is what it is because that is what Maia says!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Kid Table

This weekend is pure chaos. Ricky was in a wedding on Friday evening which means we attended the rehearsal and dinner on Thursday evening, then Sunday my brother is getting married, which means we attended the rehearsal and rehearsal lunch today. The kicker is that we've had all three kids with us at every single event and they are all sick...and so is Ricky. It's been quite adventurous, but the most humorous moment for me so far was Thursday night's rehearsal dinner...

My kids are all coughing violently throughout the rehearsal in spite of my attempts to drug them with cough syrup (which I am not supposed to administer to my young children...but I was desperate...don't judge me). I was getting interesting looks as people came to coo at Malakai and noticed his nose covered in snot. And, I was so overwhelmed in the process of getting everyone ready and out the door on time after a full day of work that I forgot to bring snacks and so my children were complaining about how hungry they were. I searched through my purse for some old piece of fruit that may have still been semi-fresh. Instead of finding food, I littered the floor of the church with grocery store receipts that some how never make it out of my purse. After, cleaning up that mess, we found a spot in the foyer with toys! Hallelujah!

We spent the entire ride to the rehearsal dinner location, listening to whining and trying to bribe our tired and sick children to not embarrass us at the dinner. At this point, you may be asking what would possess us to take our three children to this event. Well, you see, the bride and groom informed us that "everyone" would be bringing their kids and so we should bring ours. It turns out "everyone" was one other couple with a very quiet newborn. When we walked into the room, I prayed that they would have arranged it so that we could have our very own table, but to my horror, I realized we were placed with an unsuspecting, lovely, pre-children couple plus the "special" uncle. I apologized for them being placed at the kids table as soon as we bombarded the table with all of our children, and our luggage. Then, as if choreographed all three of my children begin to cough up their lungs simultaneously. I quickly covered their mouths with my hands and then without thinking introduced myself to the table guests offering my germy hand. Bad move.
Anyways the night continued to be comedic as the "special" uncle scared my kids, my kids insisted on using their sleeves as snot rags, and the coughing became background music...not to mention, I went up and gave a "speech" during the open mic session with a sleeping baby in my arms and my kids running wild in the adjacent conference room. I really did have meaningful things to say, but my speech sounded nothing like what it sounded like in my head. Maybe it was because I caught a glimpse of myself in the window as I was walking up and noticed that I had sweat glistening on my forehead, my hair was all messed up and hanging in my face, and I had a sleeping child in my arms who had drooled all over my shirt. This sorry reflection of myself must've thrown me off a bit!
All of this to say, that I felt terrible for those poor people who got stuck at our table and had to be coughed on all night by my children. I really hope that they have strong immune systems.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dinner Time

There's nothing like working all day, then coming home and slaving in the kitchen to make sure my family has a healthy home cooked meal only to sit down at the table to my son saying, "Awww man, I don't like _____(insert whatever I have cooked)!" It used to make my blood boil, but now my blood just simmers...I am making progress. The rule in our house is that it does not matter whether or not you like it, you must eat it...ALL of it. Although, I always win, my son puts up a good fight EVERY night. It's exhausting and to be honest it usually ends up with me at my wits end, frustrated, and threatening to throw toys away and never allow him to eat sugar ever again in his life, and telling him about the starving kids in Africa's ridiculous!
Tonight, I decided to try a new strategy. I asked him to eat a few times and let him know that he would not get up off the table until he finished. This time I added no additional threats and prayed through my frustration so that I would stay calm and not let him get to me. Of course by the time everyone else had finished, he had taken ONE bite and he was still chewing it...gross! We all got up and finished watching HIS new movie and ate dessert while he sat at the table and whined and threw a fit and told me how much he did not like what I had made and tried to negotiate the amount he needed to eat. I stood my ground and prayed a lot and just reiterated that it was his choice. Then, I cleaned the kitchen and gave the other two kids a bath. After sitting at the table for over an hour and a half, my stubborn son finally realized that his dinner was not poison and that his mommy was more stubborn than him! He ate all his food and my blood pressure was at a normal range! VICTORY is so sweet...especially because it's so rare when you have 3 kids ages 4 and under whose goal in life is to drive their mama crazy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tantrums Are Contagious

Did you know that tantrums are contagious? So, stay away from those tantrum throwing 2 and 3 year olds or you just might find yourself screaming at the top of your lungs, jumping up and down, and throwing yourself on the floor kicking and screaming. You may not believe me, but I'm telling you it's true. If you are around demon-possessed toddlers or pre-schoolers long enough, you will find yourself acting like them.
My three-year-old was having a marathon tantrum day and apparently I just could no longer be a parent. My calm yet firm facade was wearing thin, my blood was boiling, and I all of a sudden had no self-control left in my being. It was kind of like an out-of-body experience as I watched myself do exactly what my daughter was doing. Thank God no one was around to watch me scream and cry and throw myself on the floor. But, it really wasn't my fault. Those things are contagious...I swear. Apparently, my dramatics scared my daughter into obedience...but I am positive that Mrs. Duggar has some sort of antibiotic to keep these contagious tantrums at bay...I need to get me some of those...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have a second to is so fun and yet so crazy. My babies are growing so quickly and I am trying to soak in the present with them. In these past few weeks we've been to the beach for a quick vacation, to Oak Glen to pick berries and buy apples, and to Disneyland a couple of times.
Malakai is now eating baby food which I make. This has turned out to be quite the task which destroys my kitchen and takes hours but it saves me lots of money and so it is worth it. I think I was a little over-zealous in my first attempt. I tried to make enough food for 2 weeks and made about 8 different fruits and vegetables. I have many little cuts and burns on my fingers. I'm almost positive there is a little blood mixed in with the pureed veggies. Oh well.

Maia is finally in a big girl bed as of yesterday and no longer sleeps with Elmo. I actually did not force this on her. I wanted her to keep Elmo forever so that I could get sleep! But, she threw him out of her bed and then picked him up, placed him in a brown paper bag and informed us that she would throw him out tomorrow. Then, she fell asleep and slept through the whole night. I cried. But, I am glad to see that her strong will is good for something! Tonight she had a harder time going to sleep and she did ask for Elmo but I just laid down with her for a fe minutes and she fell right to sleep.

Noah has been dealing with separation anxiety since Malakai's arrival and it has been progressively getting worse. So, I am trying all kinds of reasoning strategies with him and nothing is working. Tomorrow I am going to try to put him with the non-napping kids at school and see if that helps with the dramatics at drop off time.

I have just finished co-writing a book proposal which I know will have a huge affect on the world if it gets picked up. I am praying that the publisher will get behind it.

With everything going on, blogging has not been a priority which I hate. This is like a journal for me and when I blog I remember the funny things my kids say and do and I feel like I missed a lot these past several weeks because I've been so busy. I do remember that Maia's version of the Joseph story in the Bible was hilarious though. She said that Joseph's brothers threw him in a hole and Jesus came and picked him up out of the hole. But, the brothers were not mean, they were nice. They threw him in the hole because they knew Jesus would come and get him. Nice!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Disaster That Is Working From Home

Today, I ended up having to work from home while having all 3 of my kids here with me. This is quite a feat. As I sat working diligently in the office and Malakai took his nap in my room, Noah and Maia took it upon themselves to completely destroy the house.

Noah asked if he could play with his army men in the "potato" (I made homemade play-dough the other day, I'm still patting myself on the back for that, because I do nothing crafty). I didn't see this being a problem so I said yes. Maia also said that she would be having a tea party and making cupcakes with the "potato." This is the end result of those two playing with the "potato."

This picture actually does not do the mess justice, because you can't see that half of the play-dough was on the floor in itty bitty annoying pieces and they had been stepped on and dragged all over the house.

Next my two munchkins came in to show me that they had played dress up...

In this picture we have Spider man and Mardi Gras Wolverina Tinker Bell

In this picture we have Spider man and The Ever Over Accessorized Baby Tinker Thor
After dress up, I was almost done with my work to do list and after lots of commotion with them running back and forth from their room to the living room and listening to them sing Happy Birthday to each other, they asked me to come out and see "my presents" that they got me for my birthday. This is what I came out to.

Each of those blankets had a pile of toys underneath them that had been taken out of the toy box. The blankets were wrapping paper. I did my best to not act shocked at the tornado that had gone through my living room and opened my presents and then kindly asked them to put all the presents back. Now, I have cleaned up all the messes, fed them lunch, changed and fed the baby and am more than ready for nap time.

Working from home is quite the adventure!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cartwheels Are a Bad Idea

"Mommy, I can do a somersault but there's a boy in my class who spreads his arms out and does one arm first and then the other arm and flips his legs over. But, I can't do that." Noah was trying to show me his gymnastics skills and was explaining to me that the little boy in his class could do a cartwheel. In that moment I completely forgot that I was...ahem...however old I am and decided that I would impress my 4 year old son by showing him that I could do a cartwheel. Why? Don't ask...I have no idea.
Ricky was witnessing this little demonstration. He laughed and had a few cautionary remarks which I completely blew off and instead became more determined to show off my cartwheel skills. Noah, looked at me wide-eyed as I wound up and ordered everyone to move out of the way. I dropped my hand down and thrust my legs over in a spin wheel motion and very ungracefully thumped my feet back onto the floor while simultaneously hearing a loud "POP!" "OUCH!" Noah was impressed and worried at the same time, Ricky was stifling his laughter and shaking his head in an I-told-you-so sort of way. I dropped to the floor in pain.
I've been dealing with a sharp pain in my leg ever since as well as trying to figure out why I thought I had to show my 4 year old that I could do a cartwheel. I have learned my lesson and will not be doing any more tumbling as I have come to grips with the fact that I am aging! But, I must say that it has come in handy as a good excuse not to have my daily meetings with Jillian Michaels!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Whining and Tantrums...From Mama

I always ask myself where my kids get their whiny and tantrum throwing natures from. Today, I was humbled because I realize that they get it from me.

It's been a long super busy week. One filled with amazing things as well as some really hard things. There have been some sleepless nights and some nights where I've gotten 7 hours of consecutive sleep. It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Fridays are my days with the kids by day "off." But, all you mommies know that there is no such thing as a "day off" when you are a mommy of little ones. Anyways, I was looking forward to nap time today when I would get a chance to catch up on my thoughts, to sit and breathe, to do my work out, to do my quiet time, and to just enjoy the silence. I will never look forward to or count on nap time that much ever again. It was disastrous. No one slept, instead, we had whining, yelling, fighting, peeing in the bed, crying, and spankings during what was supposed to be my 2 1/2 hours of "me time." The rest of my day was ruined and I found myself whining and throwing an adult sort of know saying things like, "Why can't everyone just cooperate so I can have some me time. I deserve it after the week I've had." There was a lot of eye rolling, heavy sighing, sarcastic remarks going on. I mean seriously, all I wanted to do was have one complete thought without being interrupted by fighting children...and to go to the bathroom in peace. I felt myself spiraling down down down and yet...I could feel my gracious loving Savior whispering Scripture into my ears, "Do everything without grumbling or complaining." Then came my response, "I knoooooow BUT, my daughter is out of control. Can you not hear that all she has done is whine and throw tantrums for an hour straight because she refused to take her nap? I can't control myself...she is making me crazy." His voice came again, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. I discipline my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I may not be disqualified." But, but, but...I came up with every excuse in the book, because I wanted to do it my way. I wanted to whine and complain instead of doing things His way.
I expect my kids to obey and do what I say without hesitating and without whining and yet when God asks the same of me, I fight Him on it. Yuck! I've been humbled today and encouraged at the same time. In my quiet time this afternoon (Ricky let me go to Starbucks so I could have my "me time") I read John 21 where Jesus reinstates Peter. He loves Peter so much. Even though Peter failed Him miserably. I was encouraged because I know that He loves me that much too. I had to ask for forgiveness. I know that He will give me an opportunity again to prove my love for Him and I pray that I will prove that I love Him so much and will obey even when it is not easy.
The other thing I learned is that it is very important for me to teach my kids to obey without hesitating, whining, or talking back because this will prepare them for their walk with Christ.
So, today was rough. But, because God works all things out for good for those who love Him, it was not a complete disaster...I had the contents of my heart revealed and I am confessing all my ugliness in hopes that it may serve as encouragement to at least one mommy out there.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Some Fun Pics

My crazy haired kids pushing each other on the swings. They really do love each other but sometimes (okay, A LOT of times), they push each other's buttons and I have to intervene so that everyone makes it out alive.
I decided to try Malakai in the swing too but I could not find his hat, so I had to use Maia's girl hat. He was not happy about this!

They do enjoy being silly and making each other and mommy and daddy laugh. Maia's favorite word is "crack -uh-doo-dah." She made it up and says it all the time and it never fails to make us laugh!

My baby boy is getting cuter by the second. He is finally starting to sleep through the night consistently and has been eating cereal too for about 2 weeks now. He loves his cereal. He has also stopped crying every time he gets into the car and is starting to fit the 3rd child stereotype of laid back, easy going, and happy. I love kissing him all over his face and neck and making him laugh every night at bed time. I just can't get enough of my little guy. He is growing too quickly.

I am lucky to get to spend time weekly with my good friend Kathy. Our kids get a long great and even say that they will marry each other and call out for each other in their sleep! I am blessed by her family. Little Miss Ava, LOVES Baby "Mou-Tai" and is in Heaven every time she gets to hold him.

Ricky and I have committed to changing our eating habits and have been sticking to the Sugar Busters way of eating for 4 months now. We love it and we feel great! But, we felt like after sticking to it for over 3 months, we deserved a serious cheat meal. So, we went to Bruxie in Orange and had waffle sandwiches and waffle desserts and milkshakes. We felt sick afterwards and I had to unbutton my jeans, but it was sooooo worth it!

So proud of my little guy for serving Jesus by picking up trash. I love this picture from our day at Adopt a Block.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Story Competition

I always look forward to talking with my kids after their Sunday School class. I try my best to reinforce the lessons they learned and I like to see how well they listened to the Bible lesson. Lately, however, Maia has felt as though this is a competition with Noah as to who has the best story. If Noah tells me about a kid in his class, Maia makes up a story about a kid in her class (usually the kid was naughty and pushed her or something of that nature). Yesterday, Noah told me that the story in his class was about Jonah. He repeated the whole story back to me without missing a beat. It was quite impressive and he understood that we are to obey God and always tell people of His love even if we don't like them.

...And then there was Maia...Oh Maia...crazy competitive Maia. Maia's story went on for about 15 minutes. She said that the story she learned in her class was about Jesus and a naughty elephant who was chasing him and then there was Joseph and Spider man who came to try to save Jesus from the naughty elephant and somehow there were princesses and Giraffes involved as well. I lost track of all the characters in the story. Poor Noah, sat there wide-eyed and feeling like he got gipped because Spider man was not mentioned in his Bible story.
I sat there trying to figure out if I should correct her for lying, caution her against blasphemy (as Jesus would never run away from an elephant or need spider man or Joseph's help for anything), or if I should encourage her imagination. I was at a loss.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Saw God Today

If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26

"Mommy, what does Jesus look like?" Another deep theological "stump mommy" question had come out of my 4 year old's mouth. Shoot! Uh...quick, think of something...why is my brain so it, "I think He has long hair like Noah!" Laughter came from the back seat and my little ones moved on to a new topic of conversation. Phew! Today, as I played a game of Duck Duck Goose, I recalled that particular conversation...

Ricky and I decided to spend the morning along with our kids serving at "Adopt-a- Block." This is a ministry of our church run by a young woman named Alix. She and others had a vision to show love in its purest form to those who need it most. They do this by "adopting" a neighborhood in the poorest parts of town, going there weekly, picking up trash, playing with the kids, and interacting with the families. This is not a "hand-out" ministry, but rather a ministry of love demonstrated through quality time, service, and relationship building. This week, however, was an exception to the rule. Alix realized that too many kids from the blocks were having to start school with no school supplies. She and her team organized a backpack drive and collected backpacks to take to the children. Ricky and I thought that this would be a good way to show our kids in a very tangible way what it means to serve Jesus, love others, and help those in need.

I must have been quite a sight as I herded my brood through the block with a trash bag in hand, wearing a 4 month old, and directing my 3 and 4 year olds to pick up trash with their over sized gloves. I kept trying to explain to them that we were serving Jesus by making the neighborhood clean for the people that lived there. Although, they looked at me like I was crazy, I kept right on encouraging them with this explanation! Once the door-to-door teams got all the kids to come out to the street, we sang songs with the kids and did a short devotion on prayer. As I was standing there sweating like a pig in the hot sun while doing my best to shade my 4 month old and trying to keep my hot 3 year old from throwing a tantrum, I kept feeling the presence of Jesus in that place. I felt like if Jesus was here on this earth, right now, He would be right there with all those kids, teaching them hand motions to a silly song, and praying over them. In that moment, the fact that I was drenched with sweat, that my 4 month old was getting sunburned, that my 3 year old had taken off her shoes with glass all around and was on the verge of a tantrum didn't matter. All that mattered was that Jesus was in that place and I was there too.
We split into groups after the song time and played Duck Duck Goose. My heart broke as I watched the boys gravitate toward Ricky. These kids have such a lack of male role models in their lives and I could see it in spending just a few moments with them. As soon as Ricky joined the game, all the boys wanted him to chase them, play with his hat, and get a ride on his shoulders.
At the end of our time with these precious ones, we stood in line with them to get backpacks and had the privilege of watching their eyes light up as they opened their new prized possession. I could not help but giggle, as I watched the boys walk around with their heads held high and their chests puffed out proudly showing off their new backpacks to each other. And my heart delighted in seeing the little girls' faces brighten with huge smiles when they discovered markers and glitter pens in their bags.

I saw God today. He was on a block in Corona with a bunch of poor kids and ordinary people who were picking up trash and giving out backpacks. And though I can't describe His physical features, I do know that He was beautiful.

Monday, August 8, 2011


But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

Being a mom is overwhelming: Changing diapers, fending off tantrums, teaching obedience, wiping butts, reminding to use manners, making lunches, keeping them entertained, showing them Jesus, brushing teeth, giving baths, telling them to "just go to sleep" a million times at bed time, waking up in the middle if the night to feed etc. I do what I can to survive most of the time. But, this verse in Luke always stays at the forefront of my kind in the midst of the chaos. I ask God to help me see the treasures daily in my kids and store them in my heart.

Lately, I've been getting a glimpse into Noah's heart. He is just so compassionate. He cries when he accidentally hurts someone, because it just hurts his soul to cause someone pain. He was telling me a super hero story the other day, and I leaned in too close as he demonstrated how the super hero punched the bad guy, he got me right in the eye! I winced in pain and the look on his face broke my heart. "Mommy, are you okay? I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. It was an accident." My eye started watering from being hit, his big brown eyes filled with tears as he intently studied my face. I could not hide the pain. He could not bear that he had caused me pain. I quickly picked him up and hugged him and assured him that I was okay. He let out a sob but quickly bit his lip and tried to remain strong. It was a battle. He just felt so terrible but wanted to be tough at the same time. I tried to change the subject and get his mind off of it, but his eyes always reverted back to my red watering eye, and the tears would start to well up again in his. I treasured this in my heart.

He had this same reaction two other times that I can remember since then: when he accidentally hit Maia's hand as they were playing, and when she said that she sat alone in her class at church. It broke Noah's heart to know that he had hurt his little sister and that she was lonely in her class. My 4 year old was born with a heart that mourns with those who mourn. I treasure these things in my heart.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Glimpse into My Life "In The Trenches"

My friend has described my life with 3 little ones as being "in the trenches." I could not think of a better description. Every day is a hard work: Having to do everything for everyone as they are too little to do anything for themselves is exhausting...not to mention waking up in the middle of the night every night to breastfeed. Every day is a battle: A battle with my 3 year old not to hit her brother out of anger; a battle with my 4 year-old not to whine and to obey the first time; and a battle with my baby to sleep through the night and stop screaming uncontrollably in the car. Every day is unpredictable: I never know who is going to have a meltdown at the wrong moment; who is going to decide to have a defiant day; or who is going to decide that they do not like the clothes I chose for them to wear.
Just so that you can get a better understanding of my life "in the trenches," I have posted this video of our average every day car ride.
Noah is fighting with Maia because Maia has said that there is NO traffic even though there clearly is traffic just to tick off her brother; Maia is making Noah even more upset because she is putting Malakai's pacifier in her mouth and then putting it in his mouth (she does this as well for the sole purpose of ticking off her brother); Noah is very upset about his sister being mean and about the traffic so he starts to pray; through the entire car ride, Malakai is screaming at the top of his lungs; and finally, Ricky is ready to exit the vehicle and run far far away!

Warning: You will probably make it through 10 seconds of this and not be able to watch anymore...but I figured I'd post it anyways!

Untitled from Taleah Murray on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

...But I'm Sure Paul Did NOT have 3 Little Kids

3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,[c] and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

So, the other morning, I woke up after having only 5 hours of interrupted sleep. I nearly threw my phone across the room when the alarm went off. I sleepily walked to the bathroom and squeezed some Visine into my tired bloodshot eyes and proceeded to get ready for work. I knew this was going to be a bad morning...
The baby woke up before I had a chance to finish getting ready, then Noah woke up and decided that it was going to a be a whining-for-everything type day, and Maia chose to have a throw-a-tantrum-because-I-can't-call-the-shots type day. Don't they know how tired I am? As the morning went on, I got more and more irritated and mean. I think I bit everyone's head off including Ricky's (I don't think he did anything but I was on a roll so I got mad at him for pouring the milk too slowly or something).

Then, as I drove to work with my screaming baby, my whiny preschooler, and my pouty toddler. This passage in 2 Corinthians came to mind. God was speaking to me. And, all I could do was argue..."But God, Paul did NOT have 3 little kids that drove him crazy after not getting any sleep! I know that he says that I am to be a minister of God and an example to everyone, but did he have to deal with a screaming baby and a preschooler who whines for EVERYTHING, and a tantrum throwing out-of-control toddler?...Yes, I understand that he was beaten and imprisoned and starving and sleepless, but...but...but...

Yup, there I was arguing with God about how I should be excused from my behavior because Paul didn't have 3 little kids to deal with after a sleepless night. He was only beaten, starved, and imprisoned.

Sometimes, I wonder how God puts up with me and my crazy rants! But, I am so thankful that He is patient with me and loves me anyways.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Maia's Version of The Story

Me: So, Maia, what did you learn in your church class today?
Maia: We learned about the snake.
Me: What about the snake?
Maia: The sneaky snake told Eve to eat the fruit, but God told Eve not to eat the fruit. But, Eve was naughty and ate the fruit. She didn't obey.
Me: And what happened to her because she didn't obey God?
Maia: She got a pretty dress.
Me: She got a pretty dress?
Maia: Yeah. At the beginning, she didn't have clothes, but after she ate the fruit she got a pretty dress. It didn't have sparkles though.

Later in the day, I asked Noah about the story. I hoped that he could help Maia understand it a little better...

Noah: Yeah Eve pointed at the sneaky snake and Adam pointed at Eve.
Me: Oh, so they were blaming others for their bad choices?
Noah: Uh huh. They were not supposed to eat the fruit from that one tree. There was lots of other trees and God said, "You can eat the fruit from all the other trees, but not that one." But, they didn't obey. The sneaky snake made Eve eat the fruit.
Me: They didn't obey God right? They ate the fruit from the tree that they were told not to eat from.
Maia: Yeah, they're not supposed to do that 'cuz it's dirty. They're supposed to wash the fruit first because it's dirty since it grows from the ground!

Good to know that my daughter is comprehending the profound truths found in Scripture...ay yaiy yaiy...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Parenting is Heavy

Intelligence, success, happiness, fame, talent, health. I am supposed to want these things for my children. I have heard many times, "I just want my kids to grow up to be successful, responsible, contributors to society." Or I've heard this one many times, "I just want my children to grow up to be happy." These sayings sound so wonderful and yet so hollow and empty at the same time.

As a parent, I was given these fragile, impressionable, priceless little lives to mold. What do I want for them? What is my ultimate goal in raising them? Do I want them to be healthy? Do I want them to be successful? Do I want them to be smart? Do I want them to "realize their full potential?" NO! My ultimate goal; the only thing that matters to me is that they know and love Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Without this nothing matters. The thought of them not choosing, not knowing Christ, makes me dizzy and sick to my stomach. However, if they know Christ and they get cancer (God forbid), I know that they will be comforted in Christ and that I will see them again in Heaven; If they are not the sharpest tool in the shed, they know that Christ's power is made perfect in their weakness; If they are not the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, they know that they can do whatever it is they choose to the glory of God.

Happiness, success, intelligence are all fleeting, empty, and hollow without Jesus. I feel as though Christian parents have lost sight of this in America today. We say that we want our kids to know Christ, but we are lazy and unintentional about it. Maybe we do not really believe that our kids will go to Hell, ETERNAL TORMENT, if they do not choose to follow Christ. It is not real to us so instead we spend all our time encouraging our kids to follow their dreams, to use their brain, and to behave, all for the sake of raising happy responsible contributors to society. We may even incorporate church on Sundays and prayer before meals because we want them to have God as a part of their lives. We forget that God does not allow us to have Him as a part of our lives. God requires the WHOLE of our lives.

I have had this burden on my heart as I watch well-intentioned Christian parents miss that the ultimate goal in our parenting should be to lead our children to the cross, to point them to Jesus, and to exemplify His love. I am in the process of discovering that this is a huge task, a high calling, and not for the faint of heart. It requires much patience, endurance, and most of all Christ's power. My daily meetings with Him are vital as I count on His strength and wisdom and power to constantly point my children to Christ as we go about our daily lives.

I take my calling as a parent very seriously and I have no desire to fail my children. I pray that one day, when my kids are grown and I am still on this earth serving Jesus, I will look to my right and my left and see my children serving alongside me taking down the gates of Hell and growing God's kingdom. Furthermore, I pray that when Ricky and I are in Heaven bowing before the King of Kings, Noah, Maia, and Malakai will be right there with us singing His praises at the top of their lungs.

In light of that picture, intelligence, health, and success seem pretty meaningless...

Monday, July 4, 2011


If only I was always this happy, calm, collected, and put together while multitasking....

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mom Jeans & Boring Basics

The big red signs with the big white words beckoned me. I could feel the magnetic force drawing me in. I entered. I expected all the joys of shopping to fill me like they always do when I enter one of my favorite clothing stores while a sale is taking place. Instead, this unfamiliar feeling of insecurity overwhelmed me. As I looked around, I was overwhelmed: Do I get the flowery prints? Can I pull off the mid waste belt look? Are those shorts too short? Should I stick with the solids? Am I supposed to layer that top? Am i too old for that dress? What size am I anyways? I realized then, that in the 9 months that I was pregnant, I had completely lost my sense of style.
Now, I've never been on the cutting edge of fashion, but I knew what looked good on me. However, after being in maternity clothes for much of the last year, and working with a bunch of young beautiful pre-baby fashionistas, I had no clue what to buy. I was so afraid that I'd end up with "mom jeans" and plain t-shirts in my bag by the time I walked out of the store. I almost just turned around and left but... I couldn't resist a sale! So, I made my rounds and purchased a few items including a skirt for $1.00 (only because I knew that if one of those fashionistas from work came across that skirt, she would find some way to make it cute, and I wanted to be like her).
I am now sitting here looking at my purchases and I'm a little disappointed. I played it safe for fear of ending up on that "What Not to Wear" show. I stuck with the boring solid colored basic items. And, while I am glad I avoided the "mom jeans," I'm disappointed with my boring sense of style.

The conclusion that I came to is: I NEED a personal stylist!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Update on My Life Through Mobile Pics

I've been spending time playing with my two wild haired children, and my one cutie pie little guy. Maia informed me the other day that she says naughty words in her head and that I can't hear her. Also, after a time-out incident she let me know that she would like to stay in time out for a little while longer. It is hard to keep a straight face with that one.
Noah has been going through a defiant stage which is proving quite challenging, but he is loving VBS. They were given clay to make a craft today and could make anything they wanted...he made a sword and his best friend Caleb made a gun...should I be worried?
Malakai is teasing me with on and off good nights of sleep. I've finally gotten used to his car crying.

I got to forget about being a mommy of three for a bit and get all dolled up for fun...yup I even took a picture of myself with my phone in my car...while driving...lame. But, I was just so happy to be all made up! Not all of these ones are mobile phone pics, but I had to include some of the other pics because I felt so cute!...Oh and I had a lovely girl day with Pam Booher where I got my toes done (I got a design for once...only because I didn't have to pay)!

Got to hang out with my friend Elina one evening and cook together. It was so fun. This is the dish she made. An authentic Italian eggplant dish straight from a kitchen in Italy. It was so fun to hang with her and the food was delicious!

And finally, back to mommyhood. This is me trying to figure out how to pee while wearing my child. I had to go so bad and will now have a bladder infection because I could not figure out this ultimate multitasking challenge...

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Random Confessions

My 3 year old has a heightened sense of smell and a tendency to be brutally honest. Recently, she let Ricky know that his breath was "poochie" and she informed me that I needed to take a shower because I was "kinda smelly."

I walked with my head held high today and had a little extra pep in my step. Why?...because I was prepared when Malakai pooped out of his diaper and up his back while we were at a restaurant eating lunch. I cleaned him and changed him, without getting poop on my hands or on anything else besides the diaper and the wipes. I also had a clean set of clothes in the diaper bag in case this happened. I am no longer a rookie mom.

Speaking of tooting my own horn...Ricky and I have been following the Sugar Busters diet for over a month now, and I go to bed feeling like a winner every night because I stuck to the plan. Self-control when it comes to food has never been my strong suit.

I loathe my "after pregnancy belly pooch" and dream about tummy tucking it away...(don't get all crazy people. This is just a confession. I am not seriously going to get a tummy tuck)

The other day, I tried to teach my 3 year how to change a diaper so that I could share diaper didn't go over so well. She got distracted within 3 seconds.

Malakai smells like mildew because the towel I used when I got him out of the bath tonight is apparently a part of the laundry load that I failed to put into the dryer in a timely manner. (I am sure Maia's super sensitive nose will catch this)

Noah has been referred to as a girl about 10 times this week. I feel so bad, but I can't bring myself to cut off his curls!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Constant Chaos

I'm about to go outside and beat up the trash man! Why must he always come right during nap time? Seriously?! Do you know how much I need this nap time?! This time of complete silence (well, besides the washing machine...and the dishwasher...and the dryer), is the key to my sanity. I get a break from the baby's screaming, and from the toddlers fighting, and from the constant requests, "Moooooom, I'm done going poop," "Moooooom, Maia's hitting me," "Moooom, can I have something to eat?" "Mooooom, what time is it?" "Moooom, can you get me water with ice in it?"

These three munchkins are quite demanding and today I decided that I wanted to torture myself by taking all three of them to Trader Joe's. I knew I should have turned around and gone home as soon as I tried to fit Malakai's big ol' car seat in their itty bitty shopping carts. Why do they have such tiny carts anyways? Do they want to discourage mom's from bringing their screaming infants into their store. A nice gentleman saw me struggling to try to fit this humongous car seat into the abnormally tiny cart and asked if I needed help. I wiped the sweat from my brow, barked at my other two kids to "come back here so you don't get smashed by a car" and sweetly said, "No thanks, I got it." He didn't look convinced, but decided he better leave before I barked at him too.
By the time we made it into the store, Malakai had woken up from the earthquake I had created trying to get the car seat situated. So there I was with a screaming baby, and two tornados who had run off to find the "stuffy cow" so they could get a treat. For a split second I considered abandoning the cart and my tornados and running out to my truck and going home...but only for a split second.
I got all my groceries and as I was checking out I realized that my voice was hoarse from yelling at the kids to stay where I could see them, my ears were ringing from the screaming baby, and all the people in the store were glaring at me wishing I'd just leave already....oh and did I mention that I had barely been spared a disastrous incident of a cart tipping over onto a toddler with the baby in the makes me want to throw up just thinking about what almost happened.
I thought I'd continue the torture by trying to "quickly" run into two other stores. I should know by now, that I need to erase the word "quick" from my vocabulary. Nothing is "quick" when it involves 3 kids ages 4 and under.
This hour and a half errand run felt like 6 hours and by the time I got home I was very much looking forward to nap time, but of course I had to make lunches, feed the baby, wipe butts (because everyone has to poop all at the same time), and beg the kids to eat a million times before that much coveted time could be realized.

So now that they are asleep, and I have my much coveted moments of silence, the trash man decides to rain on my silent parade with his loud beeping truck right under my kids' window. Please, God, please let them stay asleep...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sleep and Skinny Jeans

I am celebrating 2 victories today...

Number 1: I woke up to my alarm this morning at 5:00 a.m.! Do you know what that means???...No?...Okay I'll tell you. It means that I didn't wake up to a crying baby at 2:30a.m.! It means that I got 6 consecutive hours of sleep! That is the most consecutive hours of sleep that I've gotten in over 2 months! I just know that you are cheering loudly in front of your computer right now because you are so happy for me!
Now, I am not getting my hopes up and expecting this to happen ever again. I am just rejoicing in my one night of 6 hours of sleep...okay... I'm lying. I'm totally begging God to let Malakai sleep like that from now on.

Number 2: I've been eyeballing my super skinny jeans every day for 8 weeks. Every time I think I may want to try them on, I decide to spare myself the disappointment and I opt for other jeans that are sure to fit instead. But, I've been on a strict diet for the last three weeks and have been getting back into a regular exercise routine. This morning, I dared myself to try the impossible. I was ready to risk ruining my whole day. I pulled the super skinny jeans off the hanger and gave them the evil eye, you better fit! I slipped my right leg in and then the left. As I tried to pull them up I was met with some major resistance. But, I was not about to give up that easily. I stretched and pulled...and took a 5 minute break to catch my breath...and stretched and pulled some more and then I squatted and pulled and squatted and pulled and sucked in and....BUTTONED! WOO HOO! My super skinny jeans fit me once again! There is no need to mention that I did not use the restroom at all today for fear that I would not be able to get them back on or that I only took short small breaths all day...those are just minor details. All that matters is that they BUTTONED!

I am almost back to where I want to be! Now, I just need to kick this cold and get back to meeting with Jillian Michaels 5 days a week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Wild Child

Jumping on the bed = Pure Joy!

She cleans up nicely!