Thursday, May 31, 2007

Secret Life

I am not so good at working behind the scenes. Oh, offer me the stage and the lights, and preferably a nice fog machine and I am all over it. I love to lead the leaders. I love to be in charge. I bet you can guess how much of that kind of recognition I'm getting these days.

As I did the breakfast dishes for the billionth time this morning, I was thinking about thankless jobs - you know, the ones that have to be done, but the only time anybody notices is when you DON'T do them? I have a wonderful husband who is great at noticing when I've worked hard. (Hi, Nick!) But, there are some jobs it would just be a little silly to need thanks for every day. At the same time - those jobs don't do themselves!

One of my professors at Bible School once told a story about a woman who lived with a very demanding husband. As I remember it, the husband had commanded her to bring him his coffee every morning for years. One day, she considered telling him where he could go take his coffee, and walking out the door. It was at that moment she heard God say to her,
"Would you bring Me a cup of coffee"?
"Well, of course, Lord," she said.
"OK. Please make me a cup of coffee and then take it to your husband."

That story, although maybe a little silly, really hit me even before I was married. It really makes sense now.

Note: Two identical, bald, very gay men walking three schnauzers just walked down the street outside my window. It was exceedingly odd.

OK, back to my spiritual thought. :) Really READ this - it's only 4 verses:

Matthew 6:1-4
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

I don't know anyone who is more needy than small children. They can't do anything for themselves. So, I'm willing to bet that this verse also applies to those thousands of little things we do for them every day.

And, you know that thing in you that would love to walk around saying, "Look! I'm picking up your cup and plate AGAIN. Here I am, putting away your toys. Alright, I'm making your lunch now..." ...and actually get some praise and thanks for that? Well, what's wrong with telling God that all day? Col. 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men," After all, those jobs are being done in secret, but God doesn't miss a thing. And our servant's hearts to take care of our families aren't something He misses either.

Lord, I'm doing the dishes now for You. I'm doing the laundry for You. I'm sitting up all night with a sick kid for You. Although this behind the scenes work isn't my favorite, I have to say the sense of God's presence that comes from a humble, happy heart in the midst of that kind of work is worth everything to me.


If you are one of the 5 million people I know who owns one of these, you might want to know that the soft blocks on them have been recalled in models made in 2005. They'll send you new ones for free.

Product recalls of this sort always kind of make me laugh, because who leaves their kid in one of these alone long enough for them to pull the plastic off the block and choke on it? But, better safe than sorry, I suppose.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I came across this list of suggestions for keeping your house organized today. Some of it is common sense, and some of it wouldn't work for us, but there are some interesting ideas. I found it rather funny that most of the suggestions were from parents of one or two kids. I have this mental image of these people who have spotless houses and "perfect" children giving the suggestions. That's probably not accurate...but it might be! :) I'd love to hear from parents of 4 or 5 kids or more. They're the ones who really know what they're talking about, and have probably tried more things than they can count! Anyway, take what's helpful and throw away the rest, right?

Another helpful site is This one helped me begin to understand how to keep a house straight. The danger with it for me is in going overboard. They say over and over not to be too hard on yourself. They are big on establishing routines to get your housework done. Routines go out the window fairly easily around here, but having one is definitely helpful.

Speaking of which, I think I'll go work on the garage. It's one of those rare days that the girls both went to sleep!

Update on Debbie

Got this from Elizabeth a few days ago. Sorry for the delay. It's that sick kid thing...


My mom is doing so much better today. She improved overnight quite a bit. She was having difficulty breathing last night amongst other issues, but that seems to be resolved today. I spent some time with her after work today and she was able to get out of her bed and sit in a chair with assistance. My mom is definitely a fighter (like she has always been). She will hopefully be out of ICU in a few more days and transferred to the main patient area. She couldn't really talk much today because of the pain, but her blood transfusions that she received last night seemed to have helped her. Thanks so much for your prayers and please continue them for us:) I will be doing updates in a few days.

Random Highlights

-Hannah got sick this week - pink eye AND a nasty cough with fever. Good times. And yes, I gave her all kinds of my special potions (Ha!) and no, they did not keep her from getting sick.

-We did have a ton of stuff scheduled this weekend, and we canceled all of it.

-This actually made our weekend a lot more fun and relaxing than it would have been otherwise.

-All except for Nick and I taking turns staying up through the night to watch Hannah to make sure she was okay. That was not so fun or relaxing. She was having a little more trouble breathing than I was comfortable with. She seems much better last night and today.

-Hannah is currently throwing a temper tantrum in her bed where I put her for a nap. She hasn't slept in her own bed for several days at this point. This makes her think she shouldn't have to sleep in her own bed ever again. It would be somewhat funny because her voice is too hoarse to really scream (I know! That's mean! You know you've thought it before too!), except that she woke up Audrey doing it.

-The guy that we were thinking about renting from and ultimately did not decide to rent from because he seemed very unreasonable, removed all doubt this weekend. I am SO very glad we have no ties to that man whatsoever, and particularly that we do not and will not ever live in a house he owns. I think God protected us there.

-We had people interested in looking at our car, but dragged our feet because we had a sick kid and now they're gone. Oh well. There will be more.

-My birthday is next Monday. I was thinking this morning about how I would literally write a count down and cross off the days until my birthday when I was a kid. I'm still not sure what we're going to do that day. Any fun suggestions? I was thinking about going here. That, along with breakfast in bed and lunch out sounds pretty fun to me. :)

-It is finally garden planting time here in the Rocky Mountains, and yet again, I do not have one to plant. Maybe next summer.

-I guess I'll quit thrilling you with my musings at this point. Hope you had a great holiday weekend.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


If you needed more reasons to lay off the sodas...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Personality types and housekeeping

Have you ever thought about the personalities of your kids? What character traits do they have? What are their strengths? What spiritual gifts might they have?

This struck me especially this week, because I was talking with my mom about Hannah. Hannah loves to organize things. When she plays, she usually spends most of her time placing toys in specific locations...and then moving them somewhere else...and then moving them somewhere else. They're not so much playthings as they are articles to be organized. It's funny to watch. When she's doing this and Audrey comes up and messes something up, Hannah is more than likely to scream, kick, hit, whatever, to discourage Audrey from continuing to mess it up.

My initial response is to tell Hannah to relax, that Audrey can play too, but the problem is, she can't play too. She messes up what Hannah's trying to do. Hannah's organizational skills may be the thing God gave her to contribute to the world. If I don't protect her and allow her to practice and enjoy it without getting discouraged, she may just give up.

Complicating this is my own struggle with my personality. I am also an organizer. When I was probably 8 years old, my parents began paying me to organize things for them. I'm very good at looking at a mess, looking at a space, and then envisioning exactly where everything needs to go in order to fit. I weed out unimportant things or things that do not belong there, and find a place for everything else. This is a skill I believe I was born with. The problem with it is that I'm also a musician. Most musicians I've been in contact with are the complete opposite of this personality type. As a teenager, I began to be embarrassed by showing up 5 minutes early to parties, or by carrying a daytimer, or by friends coming into my room and noticing the way my closet or dresser drawers were set up. During that time I all but killed off that aspect of myself. I purposefully showed up fashionably late, and allowed piles on my bedroom floor. But it never felt like me.

As an adult, I'm still trying to figure out how I want to run my household. At its worst, this personality is inflexible, fanatical about cleanliness, and threatening to people around you. At its best, it is lifegiving, helpful, and refreshing. I want to be the latter. I want Hannah to be the latter. But I also want my closets organized. And I don't want to keep junk in my garage. And I hate having toys all over the living room and bathroom gunk in the corners of the bathroom. It drives me nuts. As much as I've tried to not let it drive me nuts, it still does.

I have noticed lately that figuring out how to keep an organized household is a lifelong pursuit for moms. It's not just me. But, we all know people whose houses are always clean (I would ask - at what cost are they always clean?), and people who live in a dump (I would ask - do you want to teach your kids to live that way? Really?). The answer, like most things, lies somewhere in the balance between the two.

As my sister Holly likes to say...Your thoughts?

Please Pray...

My...second cousin once removed? I think that's what she is...her daughter is my third cousin. Anyway, Debbie went in to have a tumor removed from her pancreas. They thought it wasn't going to be a big deal, and it turns out that it was. They think it was cancer, but they won't know for sure until it comes back from the lab in 7-10 days. In the meantime, she's in ICU and is not stable enough to be transferred. She is on a feeding tube because she can't even do liquids orally for a few more days.

Debbie's daughter is Elizabeth, and she and I grew up together - we were the only two girls in our grade at our small church in Southern California. Debbie and her husband Dave have three grown children, one grandchild and a grandchild on the way. She needs to pull out of this and stick around for a while longer! God still does miracles...let's ask for one!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Do you have a mentor? Someone who has traveled with you throughout your life, and helps to train you in God's ways, and in how to run your household and how to navigate your relationships? I wrote about those verses in Titus the other day, and I was struck by something. I know very few women who I would be willing to go to and say, "I want you to teach me how you live." Do you know anyone like that? The ones I do know seem so busy because everybody wants that from them. My mom has fulfilled a lot of that role in my life, but there's an aspect to that relationship that is both irreplaceable and a hindrance to the kind of mentoring I'm talking about. I'm sure you understand as you think about your own mother.

I came across this site today. Although it's not quite the same as meeting face to face with an older, wiser woman every week, there are definitely things I can learn from Laine.

Titus 2:3-5:

"3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Flo did this on her blog the other day, and I thought it looked like fun. So, I requested that she send me some questions. Read to the end for the instructions if you'd like to join in. :) Thanks Flo!

1. What do you like the most about your home town?
Well, I suppose where I live now is my home town, since I've lived here longer (15 yrs) than I lived in the place I was born. What I like most is my church and my family are here. There have been many other places in the world that I've loved and thought I could live in, but my church and family were missing.

2. If you could go ANYWHERE on a second honeymoon, where would you go?
As unoriginal as it is, Europe. Nick and I both have been there and would love to go back. We'd probably have to find a beach while we're there, however. One without naked people, preferably. :)

3. What was the last thing that made you really laugh out loud?
Audrey has been doing this hysterical thing where she rubs her gums/teeth together from side to side and makes this really random noise like "blub blub blub blub." I think it feels good with her teeth coming in, but it looks and sounds really funny.

4. What characteristic of yourself do you hope to pass on to your children?
Ugh. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Obviously, my faith in God. Healthy eating and living. The ability to have healthy long term relationships. I can't choose one. I think this tends to be something that overwhelms me because there are so many things I want to pass on, and so many other things I do not want to pass on!

5. How have you changed the most since becoming a mama?
I don't think I realized how selfish I was until I couldn't do things my way anymore. Giving up my own will and timetable when it benefits the girls is probably the biggest thing. Because I have an aggressive personality and lots of skills and dreams, (bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...sorry! Hope you caught that reference. :) I used to do exactly as I pleased, without much thought about what other people's needs are. Having kids has helped me grow a lot in that area. The other related thing that comes to mind is I have one kid (you guess which one!) who is rather "high needs," and no matter how much love and attention she gets, she can always use more. I'm learning to continue to give, even when I think I can't anymore. There's a reason God gives us the kids He does, and gives our kids the parents He does. Something about that combination of personalities is a perfect design!

So! Here's the instructions if you want to play. :)

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." (If I don't have your email address already, either leave it in the comment or email me at
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I don't like to use my blog as a place to gripe, but in the interest of being honest, we're having another tough day around here.

The girls went to bed at 9 last night, and were up at...6:15. This is an ungodly hour for us. Thus, mommy is on 6 hours of sleep because I stayed up reading in an attempt to encourage myself. Audrey is almost 9 months old and as of yet still had no teeth. So, this weekend she decided to go ahead and get some. Try four at once. Three of the four are at least partially through today and the other will be any minute. Ouch.

Hannah is ready to potty train, but has yet to successfully use the toilet. She currently removes her diaper any time I'm not looking. That resulted in her bed last night. This has happened a couple times. It's very gross, and it seems to happen no matter how hard I try to watch her every second.

Well, take a nap, you say... If you have any ideas for getting a 2 year old and a cranky 9 month old to sleep at the same time, I'd love the input.

So now, I have to get ready to teach for two hours, which wears me out on a good day.

I love staying home with my kids. I love my kids. I just hate that there are days when it's all you can do to survive. What do you do on days like that?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Phoenix Pics

We got some cute ones:

I really don't have big muscles, it's just a flattering shadow. :)

Daddy and Hannah look at the flamingos. They were stinky!

Audrey peeking out from behind the blankets covering the stroller.

My girls all dressed up for the graduation ceremony. Audrey will love this pic when she's 15. They were cracking each other up. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

This is my friend

Colloidal Silver, originally uploaded by sakalomi.

If you don't know about colloidal silver, you should. All week, I've been fighting a sore throat. It's probably that thing tons of people have right now - that hacking cough and sinus infection-y thing. But I'm not getting worse.

Silver has been used for thousands of years as an antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral. It's not marketed as such, because it doesn't provide any source of major income for the distributors. But, this stuff seriously helps you fight off LOTS of different things.

We have used this for:
Yeast Infections
Certain kinds of rashes
Ear Infections
Pink Eye

It is awesome stuff. If you look it up online, you may find negative things about it. The main one is, if you use it improperly - meaning take tons of it for a long, long time, it can seriously permanently turn your skin gray. It's actually a little creepy. But, if you look at the stories of people this actually happened to, they usually made the stuff themselves and took it every day for years. Yeah. Don't do that. Buy good quality product and use it when you need it and then quit. If it wasn't powerful, it wouldn't work. But use it right. It's just like any drug.

Except that it's not. Things this stuff won't do:
Cause allergic reactions
Kill off all the "good" bacteria along with the bad
Give you stomach issues
Taste yucky

You know when you start to get that runny nose and tickle in your throat? That's the time for this stuff. A drop or two in each nostril so it drips down the back of your throat (not the most pleasant sensation, but that way it gets the back of your throat where germs like to multiply), and about a 1/2 teaspoon in your mouth every couple hours. Do 1 drop in each nostril and 1/4 for little babies, twice a day, and the same three to four times a day for bigger kids (you get the proportion - being approximate is okay with this). You also have to take it until whatever it is is completely gone or it'll come back. But, we have avoided more full-fledged nasty colds and flus with this stuff. It's pretty amazing.

You can also take it once you're sick and it will help you recover faster, but I find it more effective before sickness really sets in. Just don't quit taking it until you're well again for a day or two. Relapses happen every time for me if I quit early.

You can get this at most health food stores. It's $15-ish for a 2 oz. bottle. I just found an 8 oz. bottle at my local co-op for $18.

Try it, you'll like it!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A better day

OK, so life wasn't bad today. :) Thanks for the emails and comments. I'm doing much better.

Hannah is feeling better. I'm fighting a sore throat, but I seem to be winning so far.

My mom's group met today and we had fun. One of the girls was having some breastfeeding problems so we kind of pooled our advice and she tried some things and it's working! I was excited about that.

My kids were so funny today. They were both in good moods. Audrey keeps pulling up and then letting go of one hand...looking around smiling...then letting go of the other hand...and sitting down hard. She's going to start walking before I know it. She's not even 9 months yet! Kind of exciting and fun, although I'm not sure what I'm going to do if I have a 2 year old running one way and a 10 month old running the other. :) Hannah keeps picking up her dolls and holding them tight and saying, "I got 'chu"! We do this with her and she laughs hysterically, but it is SO funny to hear her doing this. She has also recently started trying to breastfeed her dolls. ("Nurse? Nurse?") Really funny...

I got to go to the chiropractor to get my neck/headache fixed. He kept saying, "Wow. You are really locked up"! No wonder I had a headache. It feels SO much better.

After the kids went to bed, I made a gluten-free carrot cake while Nick worked a couple extra hours. It is delicious. Carrot and apple and pecans and cinnamon. Yum.

Well, it's almost midnight. I suppose I should go to bed. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This is my mad face.

This is a hard day. Really, there's nothing new that's making it harder than yesterday or the day before, but it's the first day I've been home from vacation with nothing to do but think. Thinking can be dangerous.

The house we came across and thought might be the answer is not. Among other things, the landlord has a bad attitude, and there is dog pee in the carpet and black mold in the bathroom. Yucky.

It is increasingly looking like we need to sell our Jetta. It was my first baby. I got it before we were married, and felt like I was driving my dream car. We have thought about selling it more times that I can count, and the idea just won't go away. In addition, it's not the 2 year old car it was when I bought it. It runs great, but it needs servicing and has a couple of dents. It's worth about $7800. Any takers? It really is a great little car...

My grandparents were supposed to be coming to visit this weekend. Then my grandma landed in the hospital...again. Now they probably can't come and my grandma is probably too sad to call and tell us that. My brother Nathan graduates from high school on Tuesday. They will probably miss it. I think it will be the first grandchild's graduation they will have missed. They have 25 grandchildren total. In addition, neither of them is in terrific health, and my grandpa still hasn't met my kids. We would like to go to CA this summer to see them, but the above paragraphs communicate the current uncertainty of the financial situation around here. Maybe we can find $78 tickets again...

And it's cloudy again. What's up with that?

And I have a headache. What's up with that?

And Hannah's nose ran all day yesterday and now one of her eyes is swollen and she's cranky as anything. Arg.

Okay. I guess I'll try to quit griping now. Bye.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Home again

I did not want to leave. You know that feeling you get when you realize vacation is over and you have to actually go home and do regular stuff? Yeah. It's keeping me awake tonight.

We had a great time. The weather was hot, but it felt good to me. We hit the Phoenix zoo with the four of us, Steph, Staci and her kids. It was quite the party. There was large amounts of sweating and standing under the misters along the path, but we had a blast. I think it was 105 that day. And we wore sunblock. $14 sunblock with no gluten or soy or anything else that might cause somebody to itch. Audrey itched anyway, because her incessant drooling has a nice rash going on her chin and neck. Arg. But that's another story.

We also went to the mall. It was nice and cool there.

We also had In-N-Out more times than I care to admit. I've decided it is exempt from the whole fast food thing. They even have gluten free fries. A good time was had by all. Except that now I feel gross. Oh well.

Traveling with the girls was actually really easy. The hard part was the complete lack of schedule once we got there. We kept getting compliments on how well they did in the plane and stuff. We were prepared - snacks, new toys, etc. Both of them slept most of the way. There are a few tricks to doing airports with kids, especially now, but it really wasn't hard.

I had a fun mother's day. We went up to my parents' house and had lunch with the whole fam. Then we tried to go out to eat but the girls were so tired that it didn't exactly work as planned. We ended up taking it to go and eating at home, which ended up being more fun anyway. I got a new plant and a red rose and a Music and Lyrics DVD. These things make me smile. My husband is a sweetheart. My girls are too, but they didn't exactly pick out my mother's day presents yet. :)

So, I suppose I'll try to sleep now. Good night!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


So, first thing tomorrow we're off! It's supposed to be 95+ degrees the entire time we're there. Wow. We'll be drinking lots of water, I guess. :) I'll be out of town until Saturday, when I'm sure I'll have multiple stories to tell. Until then...

If you needed a reason to stay home with your kids...

If you need reassurance that what you do is valuable:

Survey: 10 jobs moms work would bring in $138,095 a year


Story Highlights• 40,000 mothers responded to survey at
• Mothers explained what their job entailed, how many hours they worked says mothers work at least 10 jobs, put in 92 hours per week
• Company used median salaries for jobs, calculated work hours for each

(Reuters) -- When Tricia Himawan was a financial analyst, she worked 50 hours a week and earned about $75,000 a year. Now, she works, by her estimation, about 119 hours a week doing 11 different jobs, and, for 10 of them, she makes ... nothing.

"I work nonstop as a mother," says Himawan, of West Orange, New Jersey, as she breast-feeds her nine-month-old son Jonas and watches over 4-year-old Juliana.

If she were paid for her work as a mother, she would be earning almost $140,000 a year.

That is the conclusion of research conducted by, a firm based in Waltham, Massachusetts, that specializes in determining compensation. Himawan was one of 40,000 mothers who responded online to explaining what their job entailed and how many hours they worked. (Book urges mothers to stay in work force)

The typical mother puts in a 92-hour work week, the company concluded, and works at least 10 jobs. In order of hours spent on them per week, these are: housekeeper, day-care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive officer and psychologist. By figuring out the median salaries for each position, and calculating the average number of hours worked at each, the firm came up with $138,095 -- three percent higher than last year's results. (Audio Slide Show: Evolution of motherhood)

Even mothers who work full-time jobs outside the home put in $85,939 worth of work as mothers, according to

"My work is my family right now, and my backbone is about to break," says Himawan, who now also works at home as a real-estate broker."My baby is on my hip 24 hours a day."

If you need convincing that it is wise financially:

This is an excerpt of an email Nick sent me while listening to Dave Ramsey's radio show:

He was talking to a lady who wanted to quit her job and stay-at-home with her kids. Of course, they were worried about how they would make it work financially. He did some math, subtracted the income they'll lose and added the daycare costs. Then he asked how many meals they actually cook at home. She said hardly any because they don't have enough time after they get home from work. He also asked how many of those meals were fast-food and she said the majority of them. He told her that if she would cook 75% of the time or more that they really wouldn't take a huge hit in their lifestyle. He said "it's a little cheaper to work full-time and eat junk but most people would prefer spending more time with their kids, eating healthy, and having a little less each month." He also said, "my wife stayed home when we got married and didn't have kids, stayed home when we first had kids, stayed home when we became rich, stayed home when we went through bankruptcy, stayed home when we both didn't have jobs, and has stayed home as we've built back our wealth.... I wouldn't change any of it. It's what she felt called to do and I wasn't going to let money change that."
I thought it was interesting that he said food is more expensive when both parents work. The other thing he said was more expensive is gas. Not many people think about those extra expenses but he said if they would a lot more people would stay home with their kids.


Yesterday Focus on the Family sent out a letter from Dr. Dobson in which he talked about having children and raising the next generation. In it, he talked about what a noble and even spiritual thing it is to have children and raise them well. Our society is heading more and more toward the feeling that children are too inconvenient. Children are expensive, time consuming, and require sacrifice, all things that our society would rather avoid.

Two examples at opposite extremes are: in Seattle, there are nearly 40% more dogs than children. In Salt Lake City, there are nearly 19% more kids than dogs. Now, I would expect those to be different, but not That different. To be blunt, liberals don't have as many kids. :)

If people decide to stop having kids, there is a distinct possibility that the population rate in the US will begin declining. This is happening in Europe. More people die every year than are born. Does this strike you as weird? That's one reason the economies in Europe are so bad - there aren't enough people to keep them growing.

I can email you the letter if you are interested, but the biggest thing I took away from it is simple and yet profound. It is God's will for married couples to have and raise children. It's not just some by-product of sex. It's not an accident. We are carrying out God's will in the earth just by raising Godly children. And hey, if the liberals quit having kids, maybe someday we'll outnumber 'em?

Dobson goes so far as to say: "At this point, it is critical that I make a few important distinctions. My intent here is not to heap undue guilt on married readers who, for any number of reasons, do not have children. I am fully aware, as well, that there are many couples out there who desperately desire to have kids but have not been able to do so as a result of infertility, miscarriage and other physical complications. Neither is it my goal to criticize those who have not yet found a spouse or those who, through the specific leading of the Lord, have chosen
to remain single.

My comments are directed primarily to married couples who view having children as
simply another “lifestyle choice”—and an undesirable one, at that. I believe that attitude
contradicts what we know from Scripture about the blessing of children and the high
calling of parenthood."

And then he quotes Alfred Mohler: “My concern is with those couples who, now freed by contraceptives from the ‘threat’ of children, have simply decided that they will choose to be married but will choose not to have children. The rise of ‘lifestyle’ childlessness is a new thing
among human beings—much less among Christians—and it is a willful rejection of
God’s procreative purpose for marriage.”

He continues: "In his blog at, Dr. Mohler sums up the argument this way:
Marriage, children and sex are part of one package. To deny any part of
this wholeness is to reject God’s intention in creation—and His mandate
revealed in the Bible . . . Those who reject children want to have the joys of
sex and marital companionship without the responsibilities of parenthood.
They rely on others to produce and sustain the generations to come . . . The
church must help this society regain its sanity on the gift of children. Willful
barrenness and chosen childlessness must be named as moral rebellion.

Dr. Mohler’s perspective might seem harsh, but it is difficult to take an honest reading
of Scripture and come to any other conclusion. Consider this familiar passage from the
book of Psalms: “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is
the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with
their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5, NIV). It is a serious error to intentionally
avoid or reject something that the Lord calls a “gift” and a “blessing,” especially in the
interest of pursuing selfish financial gain or fleeting pleasure."

Anyway, I found all of that riveting. As difficult as raising kids sometimes is, and Dobson is the first to say that, it is God's will. Pretty encouraging, I think...

Monday, May 7, 2007

Wisdom from a fortune cookie

No joke, this is what Nick's fortune cookie said last night:

"Beauty is in your heart. Let it out, let it beat, give yourself a treat."


Friday, May 4, 2007

That's my girl

When I fed Hannah lunch this afternoon, she got turkey lunch meat, sliced avocado, and rice chips. When I asked her if she would like avocado for lunch (knowing it's one of her favorites), she began to dance around the kitchen, singing, "cado...cado...cado...cado." Boy, someone has taught that girl well. :)

Submission...dun dun duhhh....

I read Titus this morning. Random. But in it I found an interesting list. According to Titus 2:4, 5, these are the things older women are supposed to teach younger women:

to love their husbands and children
to be self-controlled and pure
to be busy at home
to be kind
to be subject to their husbands

I could go a number of directions with this post, but I've been reading a lot of places lately where women get all up in arms over phrases in the Bible like "be subject to their husbands."

Any of you who knew me before I was married know that I was a very independent type. I think because I knew what I wanted out of life, I scared off most guys. :) Even guys who would spend tons of time with me, and there were many, could never quite make the leap to calling me their girlfriend. Well, there was one who would have liked to, but that's another story. When Nick first saw me their was never any question in his mind. We were meant to be. :) Anyway, I would, and still will, defend women's rights to do whatever they want to do. I would defend that into the ground. Women are Capable of doing whatever they want to do. My only question - is it best?

A healthy relationship consists of a man and a woman. The traditional man's job is to protect and provide for the woman. The traditional woman's job is to nurture, encourage, and submit to the man. I think the reason most women rebel against that role is because there are far too many men who do their job poorly, or even miserably! Think about it: women want to be protected. Our romance novels that so many women are addicted to because there is nothing like it in their own relationships, constantly portray the woman in a terrible circumstance where a kind, strong man comes to their rescue. That is one essence of romance.

I'm not talking about submitting to a man who will dominate me - control me, tell me every move to make, criticize me and make me feel worthless. I'm talking about a man who will lay down his life to make mine better - ask my opinions and consider them, rub my back when I'm tense, hold me when I cry, help out as much as he can, uncomplainingly get up for work every day and make sure I have clothes to wear and food to eat. This kind of a man is not frightening to submit to. He has my best interest at heart.

I think the essence of the argument for and against submission comes to whether I ultimately know what's best for me, or whether he ultimately knows what's best for me. The Bible talks about the husband being the head of the household. I don't believe this is an antiquated idea. Even in a business partnership, somebody has to have the power of 51%. In any relationship there are going to be disagreements. It is my job to communicate my needs to my husband because he's not a mind-reader. From there, with my needs in mind, it is his job to decide how those needs should be met.

The nicest thing about this arrangement? If he makes a bad decision, it was his to make, not mine. I don't bear the burden of having made it. I think that's too heavy a burden for a woman to carry. Men carry it with much more ease. At the point of having made a poor decision, it's my job to brush him off, encourage him, and allow him to make the next decision as a wiser man. Criticism is completely inappropriate.

I have a very strong personality. Nick's is more laid-back, thank goodness. If we were both strong we might just kill each other. It took a while of being in relationship with him for me to figure out how to submit to someone like him. His ideas come more slowly than mine in discussions. He misses nuances of conversation that I never miss. He doesn't care much about a mess in the house. However, I determined even before we were married, that I did not want to "wear the pants" in our house. I make it a point to wait for his opinion about things. I allow him the final say in major decisions. I try to encourage him and build him up with my words rather than tearing him down. I do not criticize him in front of other people. When I do call him on something I do it privately and lovingly. He, in turn, can't wait to come home. He calls our home his refuge. He figures out a way for me to buy clothes when I need them. He loves our children, but he loves me more. When we argue, and we do sometimes, we speak to each other in a tone and using words of respect.

So, all of this to say: I'm happy to submit to my husband. It is a relief to me. I feel sad for women who are unwilling to do it and therefore spend their whole lives with a sense of fighting a war. That's not how we as women should have to live.

Now, I realize that not all women have the blessing of being in relationship with a man who will lay down his life for them. I don't feel sorry for them. Here's why: as soon as you begin to feel like a victim of somebody else's attitude, you lose all control. You can't control them, but you can control what you contribute to the problem. The Bible says that even unbelieving spouses can be won over by their believing spouse if they will exercise submission and kindness. Women, don't stay with physically abusive men. But, if they are really good guys who have just forgotten who they really are, remind them. Don't remind them by criticism, remind them by finding any little thing you can to compliment. Make your home a place he'll want to come home to, if you want him home and happy. Allow him the final say in decisions when you would normally battle to be "right." As long as he's not being abusive, allow him to make decisions about your children's health and discipline when he feels strongly about it. This kind of thing just may soften even a hard heart and rekindle something you thought was lost. And it's not easy - but women can do anything, right?

And another thing - if you are not currently married, please, please find someone who will live in these roles with you before you commit to them. I promise you'll be happier. Life doesn't have to be a continual battle - even women get tired!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

It's SaraW's fault...

The Names
of Snow White's
Seven Dwarfs After
Being Prescribed
Paxil, Ritalin, Prozac,
Lithium, Provigil,
and Benadryl.

- - - -








Being Transformed

I read Sara's post Transforming in the past couple days. (It took that long to digest it. In fact, I think I'm still working on it!) There were many things that stood out to me, but one main thing said, in short, "God has a plan for my day. He wants to help me run my household. Pray that He will reveal that plan."

I've been discussing with my mom quite a bit lately about my feeling of being overwhelmed with the housework and other things that need to be done around our home. Even simple things like brushing Hannah's teeth before bed and getting the dishes done sometimes feel insurmountable, especially on days when the girls are unhappy or I have to be gone most of the day. Irene had some good advice the other day to focus on three things at a time, but that leaves so many other things undone that I can hardly live with myself some days. My mom's advice? "The dishes aren't done? Who cares"?! Well, I do! But, my memories as a child are happy ones. Our house was not always clean, but my mom was always available to me. I'd much rather be available to my children than to my children's messes!

The past couple of days I've been praying for God to wake me up when I need to get up in order to spend a little time reading my Bible and focusing before doing our morning routine. My girls get up anywhere from 7am to 10am depending on the night we've had, so it's hard for me to know when to set an alarm. I am most definitely a fan of sleeping in, but even five minutes makes such a difference in the perspective I start with. Rather than running to Hannah's room half-asleep and begging her to sleep some more, I've been centered, happy, and ready to see her and start our day.

Bear with me - those of you who have a regular morning quiet time. I've known for some time that this would help me, but it sure is hard to tell that voice to shut up when it says just 20 minutes more sleep will make all the difference!

I'm making other changes as well. Hannah is moving to a later nap time. This is cutting way down on fights over naps. The morning also no longer revolves around getting dishes done. They're still there at noon, and instead of fighting with Hannah over them, I sit down and have a nice interactive time with her at breakfast.

I also learned a new secret this week about God. I hesitate to share it here, because it's still a tiny seed in my heart. Somebody's negative opinion might kill it off. But it's working for me. And life is good. And God is good in every circumstance. And maybe down the road I'll share.

And, there's good news on the house situation, although there still is no renter for our town house. Keep praying! Nothing's definite yet. I'll wait to share.

And, we get to go on vacation in less than a week.

And...okay. I'm done.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


There are many things at which I am not very good. There are a few things at which I excel. One of those things I do very well is research. Spending 6 or 7 years as an administrative assistant coupled with the fact that I just have a natural knack for gadgets and computers in general, has made me quite adept at finding just about anything I want to find online. In addition, I really enjoy being the one in the group that "just read something the other day that said..." I suppose it makes me feel smart.

Anyway, I have realized recently that research is only good to a point. The weakness of this kind of a personality is that it becomes all too easy to trust in my own understanding. Oops. I'm not supposed to do that. For example, there are many things I can do in the natural world to maybe keep me from having seizures. My temptation is to spend hours on the internet, looking for anything that might offer me hope. I've done it. There isn't much. In fact, I found a couple weeks ago that a full 30% of people ON MEDICATION for seizures like I have, continue to have them anyway.

Sometimes I get so used to doing things the hard way, that I forget the simple answer. Maybe I should be talking to God about it. Huh...ya think?

On the other hand, "Thy that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint..." "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." "It's not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord."

I can quote these off the top of my head. Why do I forget to live by them? Laura told me the other day that she has a weekly meditation verse. I have a tendency to read my Bible, love the truth I find there, and then put it down and continue worrying. This is changing. It has to. It's time.

So, back to my original subject, I'm taking a break from research. I have emails that come to my inbox every day with new information, and part of me wants to read it. However, it's time for some balance - less fear and leaning on my own understanding, more grace and trust and hope in God.

My Girls

I have a couple cute pics I wanted to share.

Hannah Kay

Hannah's latest favorite things to say are "Hi there!" and "What are you doing now?" I probably answer that question at least 50 times a day. What a fun age...


Audrey says "Ba ba ba..." It means pretty much anything she would need to express. She is into everything - Hannah's toys, the VCR, the crumbs under the dining room table...

A new favorite

I added Walk Slowly, Live Wildly to my list of favorites today. A hippie girl with a baby who loves homebirth, organic food, AND God? Can we be friends?


Audrey Standing, originally uploaded by sakalomi.

When I walked in to get Audrey from her nap today, this is what I saw. She's really doing this all by herself. I might have an early walker on my hands. :) Doesn't she have an irresistible smile?