Family Photo

Family Photo

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.

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