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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Provoking the Kids

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  ~ Ephesians 6:4
This verse has not been very comforting to me but more frustrating and perplexing. I mean I try to bring my kids up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, but I seem to upset them and cause them to get angry frequently. I don't want to provoke them, but the latter exasperates them.


But, the other day it hit me. Maybe Paul wasn't talking about immediate cause and effect but over time, decades even.

I've seen this to be true.

Instead of feeding their sense of entitlement and selfishness which will likely lead to anger and bitterness later on in their lives, what if I consistently disciplined and taught the ways of the Lord? What if I gave them quality time versus giving in to their constant demands for stuff?

God-willing, the fruit will come eventually just not right away.

A-Round We Go

  • I'm going to just share about the two weeks in mid-August (not last week) now.
  • My brother and his family came to visit for a couple days, and all the kids had a blast (we did too)! Our nephew, Isaac, just started walking :) We mostly hung out and eat here, but we did go to a restaurant once, splash pad, park, and nature walk.
  • We went to a neighbor's birthday party at a skating rink which was the kids first time skating (we all got to go on it -- wheelchair allowed!) Then, we went to the neighbors' house for dinner the next weekend, and they made a delicious Symptometry dinner for us!
  • Ricky had the Olympics on every moment he was home the whole time :)
  • We went on our monthly prayer walk and had another missions committee meeting. Our small group started back meeting from summer break; however, I stayed home in need of Mommy-alone time ;)
  • Micaiah's mishaps: has begun the new (annoying) bad habit of shirt-biting and even biting holes in the top neck part; and, told us one day that the neighbor "is sweeping... that's when you go to bed" ;) 
with SIL Lindsay and  nephew Isaac
Aced her first math test 
 at a neighbor/friend's birthday party (her first time skating)
 Science experiment -- steering boats with a magnet
  • School verses: Micaiah -- 2 Corinthians 9:7, ; Aolani -- Psalm 1
  • Verses to memorize lately: 2 Corinthians 5:1-2

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


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.