Monday, January 31, 2011

Up and Down, All-around

  • Ricky published another article on Cape Fear Dad: click here to read.
  • Aolani is now standing on her changing table (using the wall for balance), cruising (side-stepping) around her crib, and jumping on her mattress while holding onto the crib rails.
  • I wanted to say that she likes smoothies (she might just like the novelty of sucking through a straw!), yogurt, apples, and bananas. We tried [cooked] egg yolk yesterday, but I think more ended up smeared everywhere than in her belly.

  • Aolani wants to join her cousin up on Grandma's lap, too :)

  • Cousin Kylie came for a visit and taught Aolani to climb stairs and flip light switches :)
  • Joyous news: My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their second child! Cousin #2 for Aolani is on the way. We are thrilled!
  • Over the weekend, Aolani got her first busted lips :( Bleeding and swelling -- it was pitiful.

I got my eye on you!

  • Verse to memorize this week: Ephesians 6:4 ~ Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Apples and Bananas

Let's hope there was some fruit from my 10-day Sabbatical from computer use!

Well, I did make some decisions and goals. Things I want to change or do differently. While my aim is for more sanity and peace, that often comes about through order, structure, rhythm, and routine. Decluttering. Simplifying. Organizing. Slowing down.

I thought I would document some of my plans for the sake of accountability and to get my thoughts out of my head where they will be forgotten and not implemented and onto paper to make them a visible reality.

In case one of these inspires you to do some reevaluating of your own, here are some of my ambitions (skip this part if you want):
  • learn the verse references for the book of Philippians before other memorization endeavors
  • leave the computer off the last Friday of every month; I always leave it off on Sundays
  • have short family devotions every morning, in addition to the evenings
  • make a homemaking notebook online
  • only utilize the Internet for one hour a day (4, 15-minute intervals with explicit intention to avoid getting "sucked in"), during her first nap
  • must recline and read for 30 minutes - one hour a day, during her second nap
  • I am not allowed to get on the computer when Aolani is awake
  • drastically reduce the number of blogs that I read
  • set apart a brief time every week to read my mission statement, jot down plans for the upcoming week, and pray for our family's direction
  • going on weekly dates and starting a weekly devotional together
How will this blog be affected? Since I am drastically cutting down my computer time, there will be two scheduled posts a week (plus any random posts): Mural & Mosaic and Prayers & Ponderings. The content won't change.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Question We Should Ask

*Graphic images are included at the bottom of this post.

"If you cannot bear to look, ask yourself why. If this were only tissue, rather than a dismembered child, it wouldn’t be hard to look at, would it?

The question we should ask is not “Why are pro-life people showing these pictures?” but “Why would anyone defend what’s shown in these pictures?” The real concern about pictures of unborn babies isn’t that they’re gory, but that they prove the accuracy of the pro-life position.

And if abortion isn’t killing babies... then why are these pictures so disturbing?

Was the solution to the Holocaust to ban the disgusting pictures? Or was the solution to end the killing?

Is the solution to abortion getting rid of pictures of dead babies? Or is it getting rid of what’s making the babies dead?"

~ taken from Randy Alcorn's blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Garment I Want to Wear

"A habit is something you wear..." ~ Ann Voskamp

Like clothes, garments. God gives me garments.

A garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). Wear praise. Make it a habit for praise to bubble out of me.

A garment of salvation (Isaiah 61:10). Wear salvation. Two thoughts here. One: Jesus is salvation. So, wear Jesus. Christlikeness becomes a habit. Two: Living out my salvation becomes a habit. "...continue to work out your salvation..." (Philippians 2:12)

Jesus wore a seamless garment. And the sick woman touched the hem of His garment to find healing.

Do my habits bring wholeness? To me? To my family? To others?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


  • Sorry this is a day late in coming. My computer screen wouldn't work for me yesterday, so the Sabbatical lasted another day :)
  • We had two special days pass last week: Aolani turned 11 months, and I turned 11 yeas old (spiritually).
  • Aolani got her eighth tooth in a couple weeks ago, making four on the top and bottom.
  • Ricky styled her hair after her bath:
  • Ricky made up an original great joke -- click here to read it!
  • This video gives you a glimpse into her personality:

  • Some {BIG} news (well, big for us because it keeps us on our toes): Aolani is pulling herself up on everything. Here is a video of sorts, including her newest endeavor:

  • We had to attach a "crib tent" to make sure that she does not launch herself out of the crib onto the hardwood floor. [Most people lower their cribs, but I am unable to do that.] Here is what it looks like:

  • I will not be posting according to my normal routine this week, just spontaneously.
  • Aolani has a question:

Will you play with me?

  • Verse to memorize this week: John 3:17 ~ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breaking To Brake

We will reconvene on Monday, January 24, 2011 as I am going to take 10 days off from not only the Internet but the computer, too!

The five R's are beckoning: rest, relax, read, reflect, and reevaluate.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit (Philippians 4:23),

With Bells On

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feeling Bad About The Can'ts

I know I talk about putting on an Attitude of Gratitude almost every week, but seriously, it is a major coping mechanism for me.

Because there are days when I cannot help but feel bad about all the things that I cannot do being confined to my wheelchair. Despondency is grabbing at my heels.

I want to lift her out of the crib, hold her on my hip, lift her over my head, flip her upside down, bounce her, put her on my shoulders, let her crawl, chase her, play on the floor together, nap on the bed together, go to a park, go for a walk, go anywhere, swing her around, cook with her, rock her, wear her while I clean, give her a bath, trim her nails, get her dressed, okay so I need to stop now... Basically, I have never wanted to be able-bodied so much until my baby came along.

So, there is a lot that I cannot do. But...

What about the things I can do? That is the land where I want to dwell. Instead of looking at the can'ts, focusing on the cans. Let thanksgiving pour forth from my heart and my mouth. All day long. thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plans for Us, Plans for Him

“A goal without a plan is just a dream.” ~ Dave Ramsey

“God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity when we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.” ~ A.W. Tozer

"I'll fight when children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight. I'll fight when men go to prison, in and out, as they do now. I'll fight while there is a drunkard left. While there is a lost girl upon the streets. While there remains one dark soul without the love of God, I'll fight. I'll fight to the very end." ~ William Booth

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Health Care, Reformed

Starting this year, Ricky and I did something different. We opted out of health insurance.

Why? We learned that our monthly premiums could be funding someone else's poor choices that we do not want to support, including the morning-after pill and birth control. Also, we strongly believe that the Church (our brothers and sisters, not an organization) should be meeting one another's needs.

I had been praying about this for years. And, finally, I found what we were looking for in Samaritan Ministries, a Christian health care program. They are nonprofit and exist just to share needs and connect the Body. When I got their information packet in the mail and started reading through the materials, I cried the whole time! Galatians 6:2 in action!

Click here for their website, and go to "How It Works" for questions or more information.


Monday, January 10, 2011


  • Work was cancelled today because of the snowfall!
  • Ricky notified his current employer that his last day of work there will be January 28, 2011. He will be working full-time as a freelance court reporter and transcriptionist. We will keep you posted.
  • Aolani is now crawling faster than I can roll -- trouble.
  • While she loves to stand in her crib, she still cannot pull herself up into that position on her own.
  • We think that she might have curly hair. Here is her toothy grin:
  • During our family time every night when we cuddle and read on the bed, Aolani attacks me! Our almost 11-month old can be scary. She bites any skin showing, be it cheek, lips, arm, tummy... She rams her fingers up my nose and rips them down to cause nosebleeds. She pulls my hair out. She slaps, smacks, pounces, scratches :( Oh yeah, and then she laughs. [Sigh.]
  • I started giving her some of my organic plain yogurt last week, and she actually liked it! We would really like her to start eating some food by her first birthday, in addition to her nursing.
  • Aolani is learning when to say uh-oh -- when she accidentally drops something, when she intentionally throws something, and when she dangles something over an edge before she lets go. Obviously, she just uses the uh-oh to get attention.
  • Air-drying:

  • I plan on taking a sabbatical from the computer next week. No blog, no emails, no Internet -- I will not even be turning the computer on. I am going to focus this time to rest, read, pray, and reevaluate.
  • Verse to memorize this week: 1 Corinthians 2:9 ~ However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Aolani's First Christmas

Better late than never, but it's not too late since Epiphany was yesterday ;)

Last week, we finally celebrated the Holy Day with both families.

First, the Olivers --

Kylie, our niece, helped Grandma pass out the presents.

What could be better than books?!

Kylie assembling Aolani's new stacking rings.

The "push" toy

Kylie's new rocking ride

When Aolani goes missing, look in the trash...

Now, the DiMartinos --

Her first baby doll from her great grands

When she walks, she will pull this hen behind her, and it will leave eggs in its wake.

Wooden bead maze

We dubbed this bouncy, blow-up steed, Dominick (the Italian Christmas Donkey).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Right Order Is Important

While I recite my memorized verses to Aolani, I get caught on the very last one. Every time.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. ~ 1 Peter 5:10
I make either one of two mistakes. One, I forget and completely leave out the "after you have suffered a little while," so I quote, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." Or two, I misplace that same phrase and put it in the beginning, so I say, "After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." The second error just seems to flow naturally out of my mouth, and I always have to catch and correct myself.

So, I got to thinking. Since the wrong way seems more natural, Peter most likely had a definite reason for the order of the phrases in that verse. Surely he had a purpose if it requires more effort to say it like he wrote it.

Let me sum up the phrases, in my own layman terms, into three parts. First, God calls me. Second, I suffer [for a brief period of time comparative to eternity]. Third, He restores me.

The calling.

The suffering.

The restoring.

Okay, back to my two mistakes. I was either: A) skipping the suffering part. Yeah, wouldn't we all like to do that! Ha! B) suffer alone (playing the victim), then bring God in to call and restore me. But...

That is not how it works -- thank Jesus! We do not have to suffer alone. We do not have to suffer to somehow merit His calling.

This is what we get: God freely calls us and beckons our hearts to come unto Him. Then, He walks with us, holds our hands, and never leaves us for one second while we endure suffering on this present earth. Finally, He brings complete restoration to us, in all fullness and wholeness. {The restoration having both a present and future fulfillment.}

Intentional? It looks to me like Peter knew what he was doing. With the Spirit.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Being a Mother Without Expectations

"How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute." ~ G.K. Chesterton

“Gratitude is the key to happiness and anything that undermines gratitude must undermine happiness. And nothing undermines gratitude as much as expectations. The more expectations you have, the less gratitude you will have.” ~ Dennis Prager

*Sorry, I missed a few days as I was on vacation without access to my computer...