Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shopping Tips

Warning: This post does not offer philosophical ponderings like normal -- merely practical observations from my recent experiences!

Helpful hints

If purchasing on Craigslist:

  • if an item continues to be reposted, it is probably not the steal you are hoping to find
  • if it looks like a good deal and more than a day has elapsed, it's a goner
  • always check the price of the item in new condition on Google to determine if it is really worth the asking price
  • beware of listings with several misspellings
  • if this matters to you, ask if it is smoke-free before going to take a look
  • if the item looks great but is too pricey, chances are others will think so too; give it a week and look for a reposting with a mark down
  • the words nice and good are purely subjective -- be wary

If visiting an IKEA:

  • wear tennis shoes
  • bring your own water bottle
  • do not wear yellow (especially in combination with navy)
  • go with a set budget
  • allot ample time
  • try to get a store layout beforehand, so as to arrange your shopping list accordingly (this place is HUGE and backtracking is such a time-waster)
I hope the tips help you when the need arises!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shop 'til You Plop

  • We put Aolani on the grass for the first time last week, and she was scared of it. She would not move or crawl on it for days, but she would pluck and eat it!
  • When cousin Kylie stopped by last week, she would run up the ramp waving and repeating, "Hey, Lani!" So adorable! They hugged and squeezed each other for the first time, too!

  • Aolani's favorite food = prunes ;) She loved strawberries until this weekend; she has boycotted them.

  • We signed a one-year lease for a 2-bed/2-bath condo last week. We move in this weekend and have way too much to do. We drove to an IKEA in Charlotte over the weekend to get our list of home furnishings still needed. We had never been to one before, and it took hours just for the shock to wear off ;) IKEA is my new favorite store, and Ricky even enjoyed it a lot. He said it felt like an amusement park. We thought we could complete our shopping in one day, but it took two! Our van is packed to the hilt from floor to ceiling. Aolani was so adaptable and good-natured despite missing so much sleep. Here is the trooper in a baby-restraint in the baby-care restroom.
  • Although Aolani can walk holding a hand for help, she still walks around one her knees!
  • I did not get last week's verse down pat, so here it is again: Luke 12:4-5 ~ “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Good to Be Disappointed

Don't you ever just get so fed up with yourself? I sure do. I feel like I always say the wrong thing or do what I set myself against doing or don't do what I promised I would start doing. Arrrgh! I frustrate myself to no end.

I was commenting to Ricky about my intense frustration, depressing disappointment, with myself. How I cannot do what I want to do. I have all these lofty goals and even plans to carry them out. Yet, I fall and fail until I just weep tears of angst and frustration. And it hit me. Once again. But, I'm dense.

"Maybe it's good to be disappointed with myself." It just shows my humanity -- my extreme weakness. I cannot do this. I cannot do any good thing on my own. I am needy and have all the more reason to cling to Jesus. I am a woman of death in need of Him who lifts me up out of the pit and walks with me and helps me and breathes life and purpose into me. He can do this.

For that reason, I am glad to be disappointed with myself.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! ~ Romans 7:24-5

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Vibrations

  • The big news is that we are moving (physically)! We are not changing cities, just moving into a condo. Hopefully, this will happen in the next couple weeks. It is keeping us (mainly me) really busy and sleep-deprived ;) Since we currently do not live on our own, we have very little "stuff." So, in a way, we are starting from scratch.
  • Aolani was sick, for the first time (at 13 months!), over the weekend. She had a little fever, runny nose, sneezing, and weepiness :(
  • Galloping along:

  • We read the real story of St. Patrick as a family on March 17. Highly recommended.
  • Ricky recently begun vibrating Aolani, and she likes it a lot :) Turn your volume up...

  • Verse to memorize this week: Luke 12:4-5 ~ “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who Pays the Hitman

I thought I would just copy parts of an email we received this week regarding taxpayers funding Planned Parenthood, along with a short video link:

"Two weeks ago we sent our media team into the middle of a rally organized to defend taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. We wanted to expose what the defenders of Planned Parenthood really believe.

What we witnessed left us speechless.

Click here to watch our new video.

The abortion industry is often portrayed as a big-hearted caring industry that simply wants to serve low-income women. Their supporters claim that stripping Planned Parenthood and abortion providers of taxpayer funds will hurt everyone.

Of course this is a lie. Planned Parenthood is billion-dollar organization that is chiefly concerned with one thing -- the destruction of innocent human life.

Some of the footage we captured will shock you. Some of it will make you sad. But I hope it will encourage you to take action.

The fight over taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood is about much more than budgets and deficits. The fight is ultimately about our vision for America -- a vision that cherishes mothers, families and the gift of human life.

Our vision is one of hope. Theirs is filled with anger and hopelessness."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where's My Lasso?

  • I really am digging this new time change because it means that Aolani wakes us up at 7am instead of 6am! Woohoo! I slept nine hours uninterrupted last night; I cannot even remember what that felt like.

  • Aolani's newest feats: roars like a lion, hugs me tightly and affectionately (ah, the joy!), practices walking with help, hates baby food, has more teeth (a molar maybe) to chew more, and says whoa! She got to play with older (8,10,12) boys over the weekend and had a blast with dinosaurs and balls, especially riding on the 10-years old's back like a cowgirl :)

  • Her first overalls:

  • This week, I am going to change my Scripture memory up. I am going to learn the references to five verses I already know. So, one verse each day this week:
  1. 1 Peter 5:7 ~ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

  2. Hebrews 10:31 ~ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  3. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

  4. Nehemiah 8:10 ~ Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

  5. Hebrews 13:8 ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Giving and Taking This Lent

"A day late..." as yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of the Lenten season. [Read more about Lent here.]

For the next 40 days leading up to the Easter celebration, believers in Jesus are honored to give something up to unite ourselves with Him in His sacrifice. While it is more common to give something up, I have also heard and often practiced taking something up. Every year I either give or take; it just depends.

For Lent this year, I have decided to do a little bit of both.

Give up: accusatory statements, such as "You did not..."

- replace with -

Take up: humble questions, such as "Will you...?" (a key addition for me is to ask in tone that is free of exasperation and assumption, no matter if it is routine or how many times I have already humbly asked!)

For example: "You didn't open the shades" will change to "Will you open the shades?" Simple, right?!

The giving is akin to His death, as I die to self. The taking reflects His life in me, as I try to offer life to others with my words and attitude. May this 40-day challenge truly prepare my heart for the coming remembrance of Jesus' death and resurrection life!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Burn, Baby, Burn

  • Aolani still woofs at any thing or noise that is not a person talking. For example, she goes up to the dishwasher when it is running, bangs on the door and woofs.
  • Her newest "feats" include growling (a lot), dancing to Lecrae (Christian rap music), pointing at and identifying us when asked, "Where's Mama? Where's Dada?", and copying me after I finish lifting free weights when I give them to her:

  • If you have ever cared about what you are supporting with where you spend your money, check this site out -- Better World Shopper. I am reading this little book and am so thankful! Also, there is an iphone app you can see here!
  • I recently read the Saddest Letter I've Ever Read, written by a college student about the common mistakes made by Christian parents. It is short, accurate, and so good!
  • We light a candle every night for family devotions and extinguish it before we go to bed. Well, this is what we found one night last week:


  • Verse to memorize this week: 1 John 2:17 ~ The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pretty Portraits

Here are the 10 pictures that were selected for print from Aolani's portrait session honoring one year...

Note: I zoomed and cropped these (not a professional) specifically for this post, and I have posted these in the order in which they were taken.

#2 (my second favorite)
#8 (my favorite)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Rights I Demand

I just finished reading Job in the Amplified Bible, and this version adds a little summary to the last verse of the next-to-last chapter in this book:

[And now, Job, who are you who dares not arouse the unmastered crocodile, yet who dares resist Me, the beast's Creator, to My face? Everything under the heavens is Mine; therefore, who can have a claim against God?] ~ Job 41:34 endnote, emphasis mine
This stopped me in my tracks. How often do I live, maybe not with words but in actions, as if I have rights? As an indoctrinated American (I am not bashing this great land that I love), I have been raised thinking that I have three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. But before God, the Creator of all, I must learn that I have no rights. If I do not get my way, I cannot go before God and whine and demand my (American) rights. How dare I say anything to Him about what I deserve? How often do I think that I do not deserve this or that I deserve better?! I deserve nothing. I deserve hell. Period. He may grant me rights, but I cannot demand anything of Him.

Who am I?

Everything, every day, every breath is purely a gift. Knowing this, how could I not give thanks in all things?
“Tomorrow's never promised, but it is we swear.
Think we holding our own, just a fist full of air.
God has never been obligated to give us life.
If we fought for our rights, we'd be in hell tonight.” ~ Lecrae

Thank You, Jesus, for Your saving grace for this undeserving mess called self!