Friday, November 18, 2016

Still Learning

I learned morality from my parents
I learned immorality and wickedness from myself
I learned hopelessness and despair from my heart
I learned of hope from Church
I learned grace and truth from Jesus
I learned about Jesus, the Living Word, from the Bible, the Written Word
I am still learning

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Slinging Mud and Love

  • Four weeks ago: Our friend came to visit for the weekend as I threw my first jewelry party on behalf of Freedom Firm, with the proceeds going to the Indian girls who made the jewelry after being rescued from sex-trafficking. While that was going on, I planned a surprise for my friend and had a bunch of men show up at their house, rip up their carpet, and lay new flooring -- they were humbled, surprised, and grateful :)
  • Three weeks ago: We had friends over for dinner, went to some friends' home for dinner (and kept the kids up way too late), took me to a pregnancy care banquet, visited the chiropractor, attended a book signing at the library, entertained Ricky's dad and brother for a visit, took them to the Renaissance Festival (had a blast), and partied at our church's fall festival.
  • Two weeks ago: Friends came for dinner and games, we went on our monthly prayer walk, and we attended a Reformation Day party at a local church (complete with costumes, acts, trunk or treat, bonfire...)
  • Last week: We had friends over for All Saints' Day, Micaiah enjoyed mud-slingin' one morning by throwing mud all over the porch (floor, walls, ceiling, stuff) and putting mudpies on the door (yep), did early voting, got my new wheelchair tires put on (thanks Mom and Dad!), and our friend came to visit for the weekend as we threw a surprise bridal shower for our friend who's been married for 14 years (she didn't have a shower when she got married, and my friend and I really wanted to bless and encourage her as she continues on her journey) -- she was surprised, and it was lovely!
  • Also, we were blessed by our families who jointly purchased a new washing machine for us, and it is SO nice and fancy ;) 3x bigger than our old one!
 Jewelry party -- paper balls and food display
 All the earrings are on the right (not shown)
 I had an intro video playing on repeat and some cards with individual girls' stories showing
 Talking to Superwoman (and her surprise below)
 It looked beautiful!
Micaiah mimicking the chiropractor ;)
with Uncle Robby
 "shooting star"
 He wanted the sledgehammer!
 nailing Luther's 95 theses
Johann Tetzel, Queen Esther, and the Centurion who had faith
 Batman ;)
She is open for business; leave a tip and you get a serenade :)
Aolani's penmanship :)
The surprise bridal shower
  • Micaiah reading via his imagination, and Aolani reading the book she wrote for me.
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Psalm 105:1, Exodus 20:15-6 ; Aolani -- Deuteronomy 6:4-6, Isaiah 55:6
  • Verses to memorize lately: 2 Corinthians 5:10-11

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

May We Not Be Like Bedbugs

"Christians are like bedbugs. Don't trouble them. As you continue to crush them, they would increase in numbers as bugs. Instead give them all conveniences. In the comforts, they would flourish and start fighting among themselves, and be separated as sects, and in the end they will just disappear as insignificant insects."  ~ Rajagopalachariar (GG of India)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Best Ever

  • Three weeks ago: We got to have daily visits from local friends, attend friends' son birthday party at a park, swim at a friend's house, and go on our monthly prayer walk. Our prayer walks consist of just our family. We rotate turns of picking a street in our city (Micaiah picked this time), and then we just knock on doors, introduce ourselves, and pray for/with them. I usually last about an hour. Simple as that.
  • Two weeks ago: We had some friends over for dinner one night (and laughed out loud a lot) and our small group over for fellowship. Ricky also had to go to our storage unit and ,transfer our stuff to a smaller unit.
  • Last week: We got to meet a new couple and have them over for dinner (the lady is in a wheelchair too), and we had a dear friend come visit for a few days. We did art, played games, taught school, cooked, and went out to the Hot Springs :) Her trip happened to align with her escape from the hurricane! Also, some Marshall Islanders friends went with us to church : )
  • Micaiah's mishaps: is daily practicing letter recognition (I want perfection before I attempt teaching this boy to read!); the kids were helping me transfer one day and when I safely made it in my wheelchair, he excitedly shouted, "BEST DAY EVER!!" (it was too cute); his favorite snake is the vipon (viper+python); and, kept calling the hurricane a volcano ;)
  • Aolani's antics: is really good at math, enjoys handwriting, and Bible-reading is her favorite part of her school; and, thought that ibexes was the real name and ibex is just the nickname ;)
Seashell cupholders (they each made one)
When you walk in our front door, this is the new set-up you see

The kids went swimming in our friends' little pool, and Mommy forgot to pack dry clothes ;)
Star-gazing ;)
Afternoon routine
Aolani braided her own hair for the first time :)
  • School verses: Micaiah -- James 5:8, 1 Corinthians 14:40, Proverbs 10:4 ; Aolani -- Jeremiah 29:11, and 2 other verses she already knows
  • Verses to memorize lately: 2 Corinthians 5:6-9

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Do Not Lose Heart

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart... Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  ~ 2 Corinthians 4:1, 16
When I was memorizing the fourth chapter of second Corinthians, it's hard not to notice the same phrase repeated twice. Do not lose heart.

There are so many verses in the Bible from the Israelites going into battle to Paul commending us to persevere and not give up. God knows we are weak, finite beings and need much encouragement because life is hard for us.

I've been reminded several times lately about Derek Redmond's story in the '92 Olympics (video link) and how his dad pushed aside the guards to reach his son and help him finish the race. How our Father brushes aside the opposition to get to us and help us finish the race*. Together. We are not left alone, so

Do not lose heart.

*The race not being achieving salvation or getting to Heaven (that is solely a work of God alone); the race being reaching the end of your earthly days and still holding fast to the faith.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Building Life

  • Two weeks ago: On Labor Day we did just a little bit of school and got out our kiddie pool. A friend visited for a couple days, and we all went out-of-town for my annual bloodwork and doctor's appointment. Ricky worked in another county three days this week. We had another friend over for dinner and a game and stayed up way too late talking. Also, we had a great visit with my aunt and uncle -- swimming at their neighborhood pool and enjoying a cookout :)
  • Last week: The big happening was rearranging and organizing our main area living room. We were honored to give our large couch to a friend, and IKEA delivered some large items we had gotten. Ricky put together our new, smaller couch and bookshelves within a few days; they're filled up. I should take a picture of it. We, also, went to a free conference by Voice of the Martyrs with the kids, and we loved it! The kids did great. Then, we enjoyed small group (with Ricky as the only guy to show up!)
  • For those without Netflix (or with), check out VidAngel! It allows you to select filters (or not) for each movie you want to watch. And it's only $1/movie. Great selection -- better than Netflix or Redbox or any you can think of. We love it and highly recommend it!

visiting with my aunt and uncle

wearing both her babies
opening a new card game, Control, a friend of ours from college helped make (it's fun with a 5-15 minute game play!)

christening our new couch
and just today he made a duplo town :)
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Colossians 3:13, Hebrews 13:17 ; Aolani -- Psalm 1 is complete now, Genesis 1:1
  • Verses to memorize lately: 2 Corinthians 5:4-5

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kayla Mueller's Story

I have to share a must-read story and/or video about Kayla Mueller, an American Christian who was held hostage by ISIS in Syria: CLICK HERE.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Precious Moments and Memories

  • Three weeks ago Ricky's mom came for 10 days! :) We still did school, but the kids also got to go to parks, the library, the pool, and shopping. We also had our annual dentist appointments, went to the theater to see Pete's Dragon, and visited the Hot Springs!
  • Our church had their annual pool party. When we returned, Micaiah wanted to give his life to Jesus (outside, where God could hear him better ;) He sat on my lap in the dark while we talked (Aolani helped ;). We were glad that Nonna was visiting and could share this special moment!
  • Two weeks ago Nonna took the kids on a road trip for a few days. Meanwhile, I went to court with Ricky for half-a-day three days (I mostly read my kindle), we went on a date and saw Ben-Hur, and we had a little surprise party for a friend who turned 30. Nonna left the day after returning with the kids, and my mom came to visit for a few days that same day. We had a housework day and pizza/movie night, and we went out the other day to IKEA and visit an old family friend with dementia (kids first time in a nursing home). The next day we had small group at our house after going to church (Micaiah had his first communion) and my mom left.
  • Micaiah refused to go into the girls' bathroom with Aolani and Nonna because "then I'll be voting for Hillary Cwinton!!"
  • Aolani picked out a sweet black baby doll and excitedly told us, "Look! She has dark skin, dark eyes, and dark hair just like me!" ;)

Micaiah loves puzzles and completed this ages 8+ puzzle after a few days :)
They've both grown so much in their love of the water

with Nonna
showing us his first lego toy (Star Wars) that's not a duplo
Hibiscus tea party

dressing up after watching Princess and the Frog

with Grandma
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Colossians 3:15, Ephesians 4:25 ; Aolani -- Psalm 1
  • Verses to memorize lately: 2 Corinthians 5:3