Monday, November 29, 2010

Make Them Giggle

Last night at tubby time Mommy and Daddy’s fuses were getting short and after a long, yet wonderful, holiday week, we just needed some rest. Our patience was running low, the kids’ energy seemed to be growing and I felt that all too familiar scowl start to set in on my face. Frustrated, tired, grouchy, “just take a quick tub and get to bed”, was all I was thinking. I just finished bathing #2 when #1 & #3 decided to run into the bathroom. I couldn’t handle it. Then, coming out of the tub, dripping wet with a towel wrapped around her, she covered her face, then uncovered it quickly and made a silly noise. Baby boy started giggling so hard he seemed to stop breathing! With such a positive response, she continued her little flasher show and in no time we all were hysterically laughing. It was a magical moment in the midst of my bad attitude. I think normally I would have quickly ushered the other 2 out of the bathroom so I could finish up, but the giggles were so contagious, I couldn’t really talk. It felt so good to laugh. It felt even better to see the whole family’s mood change as smiles and laughter echoed in the bathroom. Isn’t it amazing how one little person can change the mood of a whole family? Isn’t that supposed to be my job? To take the tired, cranky, frustrated children and make them giggle? “The joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of a mother is a child’s strength.” Smile at them, make them giggle.
*Don't forget to tune in Wednesday for the first post of Holiday Traditions & Must Haves!

Friday, November 19, 2010

GHF

My Friend Hillary said it wasn't illegal. She said it would make me more cheerful. She said it would make me a better mom. So, I did it. Well, kind of! She took up drinking coffee. I've always hated coffee and many are amazed at how I survived twin newborns without it. Her new found love has enticed me and I gave it a try in a small, imitation, ghetto kinda way! And I must say, I'm not addicted, but I am enjoying it! So a little Swiss Mocha starts my Grateful Heart Friday today as I try to move past the 4:45am tantrum that woke up 4 of the 5 family members for the day! AWESOME!
Let's reflect on this past week and be grateful for all the blessings:
I'm grateful for Mr. Rick, the amazing man that lead my daughters' Sunday School class and went to meet Jesus face to face suddenly. He was hilarious and the kids loved him. He was a faithful servant of Jesus and shared His truth with 4 year olds weekly. I'm thankful for a visit from Granny Nanny and Popa Roger (and the delicious pies she brought!). I'm grateful for super fun birthday parties with little friends. I'm grateful for a surprise Tuesday off for my hubby and a stylist that took me in last minute to "brighten" me up for the holidays! I'm thankful for a super cute new puppy that my children adore - that isn't mine!!! I'm grateful for amazing women of wisdom that are doing their best to point their children towards Jesus and our fun evening together last night. I"m thankful for the promise of rain this weekend, a fun Thanksgiving with tons of family, and Christmas! I'm grateful for Grammie's arrival today just to turn around and drive back to her home with me and the children tomorrow!
I'm thankful that God never gives up on me.
I'm thankful that He has greater purpose for me than I sometimes see.
I'm thankful that He does not waste our gifts or talents and will use us again in season.
Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Embrace the Trunk


It's Thursday!!! I've been loving this challenge of getting in front of the camera. I've complained long enough that there are not photos of me with my children. Thanks Emily! Daddy Bear took this one! (which is very rare that Daddy uses the camera!!) Our new favorite thing is a pic nic in the back of the Expi! It was a beautiful day, but why eat outside when you can cram into the trunk? A great time was had by all and a few lollypops didn't hurt either!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Mess

I can’t believe I’m showing this picture! Will my house every be clean? Actually, it’s rather clean, but will it ever be picked up? It seems that some room is always a mess around here. Yes, we have 3 small children, but come on! I guess my home is like my life, there is always some mess in it! How can we eliminate the mess in our homes and in our lives? I remember when I was first engaged and I asked the discipleship pastor at the church where I was working if there were any good pre-marriage books I could be reading. His response, “no.”! He said that most books try to tell you how to get rid of the mess of marriage. But the reality is, marriage is messy! Life is messy! We don’t need to know how to remove the mess, we need to learn how to live in it. WOW. At first I was a little disappointed because I was looking for a cure all book to prevent any problems in my future marriage. But his words still ring true in my life. Life is messy, there is no way around it. But God has equipped us not only to live in the mess, but to thrive in it.
Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
So embrace the mess of your life and your home! Knowing that God is on your side and will bless you in the midst of it. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying settle, lay down and submit to the mess. Nor am I saying stop cleaning your home!!! I’m saying stop spinning your wheels, trying to have a perfect life and perfect home – you’ll never get it!) Gotta run, I am going to clean up one messy room today and not worry too much about all the others!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hang in There

Here are some verses of encouragement for today. No matter what you are going through, God is greater. Trust Him with all that you are facing and watch Him prove faithful.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Let the beloved of the Lord rest in him, for he shields him all day long and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12b
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
You will keep in peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:2-3

Friday, November 12, 2010

Time to stop. Reflect. Be grateful.
It’s Grateful Heart Friday and I’m doing my best to cultivate a heart of gratitude.
But if I’m being honest, after the night I had last night, it would be much easier to complain! Little Dude decided to have a play date from 12:25-2:30am. I can’t leave him in his crib to “cry it out” because he climbs right out, turns on the lights, and resumes the party! Then, after returning to “sleep,” he decided at 4:45am that he had enough and kicked up the party again. I finally went into his room at 6am to find him naked, pointing to the diaper on the floor saying, “poo poo.” And he was right, there was poo poo! Yea! Happy Friday!
OK, I’ll dig deep and try to pull up some gratitude!!
This past week flew by! I can’t believe we’re in the midst of the holidays already! I’m grateful for Miss Ana who takes such great care of Macky B. I’m grateful for Miss Thorson and her love and instruction of Emmie Girl. I’m thankful for Betsy and her loving visit filled with life and laughter. I’m thankful for a down day on Tuesday where we didn’t have to rush off to anything! I’m thankful for a fun husband that wanted to play with his family on his day off at the beautiful lake in the photos. I really am grateful that I live in Southern California – I love so many things about this area! I’m thankful for my Grandmother and the life she lived and the faith she instilled in my Mother who in turn instilled it in me. I’m thankful for forgiveness, second chances, and redemption. I’m grateful for an evening alone, Christmas shopping! (Don’t tell anyone I started before Thanksgiving – it goes against all that I believe in!!). I’m thankful for a God who meets me in my weakness and fatigue and becomes my strength. I’m grateful that I have 3 healthy little people who rob me of sleep because it means a few extra cuddles in the middle of the night (although I’d much rather have them in the daylight!).
Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Embrace Grandma

Today my Grandmother would have turned 90 years old.
I still can't believe that she is gone.
I'm so grateful for the many times I got to spend with her and
for the powerful ways she impacted my life.
Today my Embrace The Camera is some of my favorite pictures of my Grandma.

I've always been sad that this photo is blury. But I love it anyway because I can still remember just how soft her cheek was as I pressed up against it at my cousin's wedding!

This was my Grandma's 86th birthday that she spent at my house when she came out to meet her twin great grandaughters! She said her mother always made her a white cake with lemon filling and whipped cream frosting... so that's what I made her.

I love how hard she's laughing in this picture! My Grandma laughed a lot and I always loved to laugh with her.

And of course my favorite picture of me and my Grandma!!! Mother's Day, smoking some candy cigarettes in the back of the car in the pouring rain!!
Happy Birthday Grandma! I miss you like crazy.

The Moment Before

In my 24/7 Family class this week Chelsea said that” the moment before” can change your life. Take a moment before you react. She was talking about parenting, and the moment before we react to our children and discipline them, but this idea applies to many areas of life. I first thought of the moment before I walked down the aisle with my dad. So many people told me that your wedding flies by and it is like a blur – you won’t remember any of it! I was determined to not adopt this theory and made every effort to be present at my wedding and notice every detail and hear every word. The moment before I walked down the aisle, I stood in the 1912 Italian mansion alone, watching my wedding unfolding below, and I sang along with Koti Hu who was leading worship. Tears ran down my face as I sang, it was a powerful moment alone with God, preparing my heart for what was about to happen. That moment before changed my life, just as much as the moment itself. It was one of my favorite moments in my wedding. The moment before we accept a new job, the moment before he rings the doorbell to pick you up, the moment before we respond to a harsh word, the moment before we hear that baby’s first cry, the moment before we discipline our children… it’s what is done in the moment before that will determine what the actual moment looks like. I was reminded today that the best thing I can do in the moment before is to get my heart right with God and let what follows glorify Him.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Genuine Interest

Last night some of our favorite people came to visit! Friends from Seattle that I used to work with were down speaking at a college retreat and came to visit us after the retreat was over. I know they love children, they have 3 daughters!, but I was amazed at how much they loved my children! From the moment they arrived the feeling was mutual and my children were in love. “Mommy, are they going to watch us while you leave?” “No,” I said, “they’re here to visit with all of us!” “Well, can you leave sometime and they can stay with us?” I was shocked! Mind you, my children have had little to no interaction with these friends so their opinion was truly being formed that evening. My daughter climbed all over Mike, the girls begged Shari to show them pictures of her girls, Shari read them bed time stories, Mike tickled them, it really was an amazing evening and I just couldn’t believe how quickly my children, who often are timid with people they don’t really know, were attached. After the children went to sleep, we had an adult dinner and discussed how in love the children were. My husband made a keen observation – kids know if someone is genuinely interested in them or not. They pick up on our attitude, our mood, our polite questions, or our genuine interest in them. Mike and Shari came into our home genuinely interested in our children - wanting to play with them, tickle them, ask them questions, read them stories, and spend time with them. They kids picked up on that immediately and dove in (after about a 5 minute grace period!!). It’s not enough to just ask our children a few questions, kiss them on the head and walk by. We must take genuine interest so that they feel that what they have to offer is of great value to us. It’s not enough to just say “I love you” to our children. We must make sure they feel loved. When we take genuine interest in our children, or other people for that matter, they come to life. They light up and feel so important, special, and significant that the dynamic of the relationship changes greatly. There is trust, honesty and most importantly love. Take time to be genuinely interested – it will change their life, and yours too.

Friday, November 5, 2010

GHF

Is it already Friday? Where do the days go?
It's time to celebrate Grateful Heart Friday! I'm taking a moment to reflect back on this past week and recall all that I’m grateful for.
I’m grateful for an awesome mom who cannot miss a holiday without her grandchildren! I’m thankful for awesome friends that made Halloween a blast with crazy costumes, delicious food, and lots of laughter! Once again I’m thankful for Chelsea Cameron and her anointing to speak the truth in love. I’m thankful for my dear friend Gretchen and getting to celebrate her birthday on a double date with no littles! I’m grateful for 3 children that all took naps twice this week!! I’m grateful for a new babysitter and the opportunity to go out with my husband more often. I’m thankful for amazing neighbors that have wonderful children that we love to play with. I’m thankful for hilarious kids that provide tons of entertainment doing shows on the fireplace, night night yoga class, and creating “super hero babies”!
Most of all, I’m grateful for God’s patience with me, His faithfulness to forgive,
and His promise to never leave me nor forsake me. I am loved.
Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart!

video

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Embrace Halloween

It's Thursday and I'm sending out a flashback to embrace the camera!
I know Halloween is over, I know!
I took down the decorations last night, but one last little memory!!!Now I'm ready to move onto Thanksgiving - I promise!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last Impressions

Last night as I finished up some things before bed, I came across this little slumber party! For a moment I just stood there and looked at all the sleeping baby dolls, knowing that my baby dolls had gently laid them down, covered them up, and put them to bed. I remember as a child when my parents would put me to bed. My mom loved to tickle us and bed time was usually when we laughed the hardest. We’d say prayers and I remember demanding a kiss from both mom and dad. It’s the last moment we have with them in our day. It’s our face, our words, our touch – it’s the last thing they will remember before the next day starts. It’s our last impression. They say first impressions are the most important, but aren’t last impressions equally as important? What are we leaving them with at the end of the day? I have to admit, by the end of the day, I’m sometimes at the end of my rope! Sometimes I leave them with threats, “If you get out of your bed one more time…” But I love most to leave them with security, peace, and unconditional love. The last impression Jesus left with us before he ascended into heaven was ,”And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” –Matthew 28:20 Mark says His last impression was a blessing he gave his disciples. What is the last impression you leave on your children at the end of the day? Or your spouse? Or what is the last impression you leave on your friends as you part company? Words of comfort, encouragement, and blessing are wonderful last impressions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Fun

I didn't get a regular post in yesterday, but Grammie just left and the guest room which holds the computer is free, so I thought I'd post a little Halloween Fun from the weekend!
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! Maybe it's the candy, maybe it's the freedom to dress up silly and intrude on your neighbors that you've never met, I'm not really sure!
But each year I look forward to all the festivities.

The Little Ladies carving pumpkins with Daddy


Each year we have a family dinner party with friends before we head out to Trick-Or-Treat.
I love the totally themed out families!!

My girlfriend made all these costumes! Who has time for that with 2 little ones?
She does - Super Mom!!

My family was not so themed out!!! Daddy - Gum Stuck to the Bottom of a Shoe,
Grammie Pirate, Mommy the Black Widow (I have a box of my Grandmother's old hats and I just had to make one work! When else will I get to wear them??), Emma Sleeping Beauty, Macky Garden Gnome, Georgia Giraffe





Our Garden Gnome was thrilled to meet his little inspiration



I think the parents might have had the most fun!!


Sleeping Beauty and The Gum


Cutest Giraffe I've ever seen!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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