Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Building Up My Kids First

My SIL read some of this blog post out loud to us:
"...I’m often told that, even if the schools are now explicitly encouraging third graders to become cross dressing homosexuals, we should still send our children into such a hellish spiritual minefield so that they can be lights in the darkness. Jesus calls us to be missionaries, I’m reminded, and so it would be wrong to “withdrawal from the world.” We must minister to the lost, show them Christ, lead the way, etc. 
That is all true, of course. But there’s one problem: Jesus gave that commission to adults. My children, on the other hand, are not adults. They aren’t ready to be missionaries. By the time they’re 5 years old, they will not be equipped to charge headfirst into battle and fight the good fight, even as they’re attacked at every turn by the LGBT lobby and some of their teachers and many of their peers and the federal government. They will not be strong enough to withstand the constant, unrelenting stream of lies and falsehoods that will assault their innocent, unformed minds every second of the day. They must be molded and shaped and made strong in the truth first. That takes time. I can’t get it all done by the time they finish potty training, for God’s sake. And to send them into war before they’ve been sufficiently trained and armed is foolish. It’s a suicide mission..."
read more
~ "There’s No Way I’ll Send My Kids To Public School To Be Brainwashed By The LGBT Lobby", by Matt Walsh

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Shoot Off!

  • Big highlights from past two weeks -- The big event from Ricky's dad's and brother's short visit was swimming at Lake James beach area (while I stayed home to organize our file cabinet!) before relaxing for pizza/movie night. Ricky and I had a Jason Bourne movie date one night :) Last Saturday we got to visit my grandparents for the day, which was a joy for us and included a little dollar store shopping trip for the kids with GGma!
  • We started school the first of this month -- Pre-K and 1st grade. They are both doing wonderfully for their age! I offer a small treat/incentive for focusing and completing each subject ;) It takes Micaiah 45 minutes and Aolani 2 hours each day right now.
  • In response to something Micaiah tells us, Aolani will frequently look at me say, "That made no sense!"
  • "Micaiah do you listen the first time you are asked?" my Grandma questions him. He answers without hesitation, "No." At least he's honest!
Painting ice
Sleeping on the air mattress, waiting for Grandpa and Uncle Robby 
First day of school -- yay for the freedom to school at home!
Decorating her school binder covers
Icing the pineapple cake with GGma Oliver
  • Micaiah is now beginning to memorize verses, too (they are the same ones Aolani knows, so I will just reference hers): Proverbs 4:20, Hebrews 11:1. School verses for the next several weeks: Psalm 1
  • Verses to memorize lately: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Update

My hands are slowing down, Typing is harder and taking longer. I know there are ways around it, but I just don't have the resources (especially time) to pursue that right now.

Schooling has begun. I need more rest. We're going to bed earlier.

I know. A bunch of excuses. But something's gotta give.

I am by no means shutting down the blog, but the posts will be less frequent -- maybe a few a month? I don't know right now.

Thanks for reading and understanding!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Relishment

  • A lot has been happening... summer! Last week we finished swim lessons; the kids loved them! Besides our normal, Aolani had her first spiritual birthday (pizza/movie night, homemade ice-cream, gift bracelet to support the Yezidi women in northern Iraq); Ricky had job testing one day in SC; we had two friends over for dinner and games; Ricky had to do continuing education in SC on Saturday making for a long day (the kids had a pajama day, Micaiah napped all day on the couch from some feverish sickness that made him vomit once and not eat just this one day, and Aolani and I cleaned, cooked, played, did science, watched a movie...); we had some out-of-town friends briefly stop by Sunday morning before church, and then we crashed!
  • I'll begin schooling on Monday, August 1st. Our past three weeks of summer break have included: daily prayer and cleaning, art, baking, science experiments (they love them!), reading, games, gifts, puzzles, and lots of free play ;)
  • So far this week, we had Ricky's guys' night here, went to the free summer movie at the theater yesterday morning, had some friends and his Scottish in-laws come to stay the night for a short visit (yay for the air mattress which allows us to sleep 5 guests total ;), and are preparing for Ricky's dad and brother to arrive tomorrow for a weekend visit.
  • Micaiah's mishaps: revealed to us,  "I have fighting dreams because I like to fight. Boys do that"; commented, "That's difficultish..."; and told us, "I'm allergic to hot!"
  • Aolani's antics: says she can now doggie paddle, hold her breath underwater, and float on her back and tummy; and, can now tie a bow beautifully :)
 I took away mandatory nap time, and this is the frequent result ;)
 playing a board game with a neighbor
 The day he got sick -- asleep on the couch by 11am, hmmm...
taught her to play checkers, and she loves it!
showing off her bling
  • Summer verse for this week: Psalm 63:1 ~ O God, You are my God. Earnestly I seek You. My soul thirsts for You. My body longs for You. In this dry and weary land where there is no water.
  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Corinthians 4:15  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Carrying Death and Life

  
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  ~ 2 Corinthians 4:10

How do we carry around in our body the death of Jesus?


Getting older and physically degenerating certainly makes me feel like I am continually drawing closer to death and carrying around death in my body. But certainly Paul is referring to something else.

The death of Jesus... is self-sacrificing, an emptying of self, self-denial.

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."  ~ Luke 9:23

Taking up a cross can so be done the wrong way -- with gloom, sadness, bitterness, anger. (How many times I struggle here?!)

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
 ~ 2 Corinthians 12:10

The right way -- with joy, cheerfully, and open hands! And, a smile :)

How do we carry around in our body the death of Jesus?

By freely and happily saying 'No' to ourselves, so His life can be displayed in us.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Holy, Wild, and Free

  • Two weeks ago during no-kids week: We went on a date and stayed out late our first night soon after leaving the kids. We didn't leave the house on Independence Day but instead spent the evening cleaning and organizing Ricky's desk (he hadn't seen his desktop or the floor since we moved in five years ago)! The next day we went to a free morning movie at our theatre, Ricky had a deposition, and we took dinner and played games at friends' home (and stayed way too late!). Then, we headed out on a road trip to DC to attend The Bridge (International Christian Concern's First Annual Conference on the Persecuted Church) for several days. It was a great vacation for just us two! It was superb -- high-profile speakers, workshops, networking, live art by Lance Brown, worship and a concert by Jason Upton -- and it was all free! We stayed at a hotel one night and then with some friends from college the rest of the time (we cooked for them, played games, had good conversations, and got to go to their church). Then, we headed home to meet my mom and our kids :)
  • The kids had an awesome trip visiting my parents -- see slideshow below!
  • We listened to Lecrae's audiobook Unashamed in the car on the DC trip and so enjoyed it!
  • Google robbed us -- seriously! Via the iPhone maps app. They did not simply take us on an alternate route that happened to be a toll road, but right after we paid the toll, they had us do a U-turn so we had to pay it again and get back on the same road we were already on! And we didn't make a wrong turn but did what the app told us to do!
  • While we were in DC, Teresa found a place to live! She stayed with us a few days last week and moved out this past weekend.
  • Last week: My mom stayed a couple days to help us out, and the kids began swim lessons (which end tomorrow). They love them and their instructor! I have a friend that comes and takes them for me :) The weekend was packed. We went on our third prayer walk as a family, helped Teresa pack and load, and had pizza/movie night. Then, we wanted to send Teresa off with a celebratory day so we met her at her church, took her out to lunch and got to meet some of her friends, and visited her new place (it's beautiful and perfect for her) and prayed over it. Lastly, we took the kids to see The Secret Life of Pets in theatre, and they enjoyed that surprise ;) 
  • Aolani is so proud of all her swimming progress and continues to tell me of her new accomplishments :)
  • Micaiah will point to someone and exclaim, "Look! A human!"

Game night with friends; sans kids
meeting Eric Metaxas
outside the conference in Silver Spring, Maryland (DC suburb)
My favorite artwork (splash painting) performed by famous speed painter Lance Brown
College friend and his wife
Aolani gave me braided pigtails!
Swim lessons
took Teresa out for a send-off lunch (and got to meet some of her friends)
  • Summer verse for last week: Matthew 4:4  ~ "‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’"
  • Summer verse for this week: 1 Corinthians 2:9  ~ “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has imagined” — the things God has prepared for those who love him —
  • Verses (to) memorize(d) last and this week: 2 Corinthians 4:13-4  It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wet n' Wild

  • Out-of-town last weekend and this upcoming weekend, so no ponderings.
  • We spent a few days visiting my parents in Myrtle Beach (who are temporarily living there while they build a garage apartment on their farm nearby, called Dayspring) and then left the kids there for a week. We are now in the midst of no-kids/grandparents week. My brother and his family joined us for a day to celebrate our oldest niece's seventh birthday!
  • The cleaners finally returned to us all the boxes of kids' clothes, and we had the great joy of giving them all away to friends :)
  • Aolani's antics: While watching NASCAR race driving, "I love monster trucks!"
  • Micaiah's mishaps: Grandma told him that the garbage can was in the pantry. After searching for it, he declared with exasperation, "I can't find the palm tree!"



Cousins

Grandma with her grandkids -- Micaiah, Aolani, Isaac, Kylie, Caroline


My dad is showing us the progress so far!
  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Corinthians 4:12  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It's a Bird... It's an Airplane...

  • Last week -- Ricky had to go to a court reporting conference out of town which made for ten hours of driving for him and looong days for me. We got to take the kids to our movie theater to see a free movie one morning (a summer deal they do), We had to go to our storage unit to meet the cleaning company and bring back boxes of kids' clothes. We had some friends over for dinner one evening. And, it was our last week of school (Kindergarten and Preschool; yes, I cried reading my last preschool story)! The weekend included visiting some friends who had a baby 12 hours after our visit! We so enjoyed a summer party for our church -- water play, games, food, friends... And, we went to church, too ;)
  • This week so far -- summer break officially began and we reorganized, enjoyed art, finished a science experiment, created a box maze house, started a new puzzle, packed for vacation which begins today, and opened the box of next year's Sonlight curriculum books (which the kids loved and occupied them all week!) 

Their first tug-of-war (Aolani won several one-on-one competitions too!)

Sack races

Ricky's Father's Day card
Shaving cream fireworks
The new Sonlight first-grade curriculum box of books!
  • Summer verse for this week: 1 John 4:7  ~ Let us love one another, for love comes from God.
  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Corinthians 4:11  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Unconquering Joy

I've come to realize that my mood or attitude is greatly affected by my kids or my hubby. If they hurt me or frustrate me, there goes the joy.

Not good.

I have the joy of the LORD in my heart, so why am I responding to these minor exasperations with a frown and a groan (like someone without Hope)??

It upsets me. I'm just going to say no more! When I feel vexed, I want to:
Give thanks for the opportunity (to reflect Grace and grow)
Recall the Joy He has given me
Pray for His Spirit to carry that joy in my heart into my face 
Smile! :) 
 I so want to be like the early Macedonian Christ-followers --
In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  ~ 2 Corinthians 8:3

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reciting Love

  • Besides a normal week last week, I had the privilege of arranging a surprise outing for a neighbor girl. I asked two of my girlfriends to take her back-to-school shopping for clothes while I babysat. It went well ;) After pizza/movie night, we took the kids outside to do some star-gazing with the free, awesome Starview app -- a fun memory! On Father's Day, we went to church, made a pound cake, and enjoyed Aolani's kindergarten recital and reception (3 out of 5 girls invited came) -- more info and video below.
 Micaiah set-up his "recipe books" to look at while cooking ;)
Making invitations to her recital

Aolani officiates her first wedding (between Micaiah and their friend Ellie)
  • Aolani's Kindergarten Poetry and Scripture Recital -- I told Aolani beforehand that it is perfectly fine to make mistakes, just look at people in the eye, speak clearly and smile plenty! Those things will cover over and redeem any mistakes. And, she must have remembered that because her joy and enthusiasm are off the charts and so contagious! They definitely made it a sweet and beautiful memory :)
  • We are taking a break from memorizing a verse for Aolani this week but will do a few verses during summer break starting next week.
  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Corinthians 4:10  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.