Sunday, April 29, 2012

How Being Right Can Make You Wrong

I listened to parts one and two of this mini-seminar about marriage this past week by Andy Stanley, and he mentioned a story from which he got a good lesson that I want to put into a cute, succinct phrase of my own.

Being right does NOT authorize you to respond wrongly.

Your spouse may have forgotten something or done something annoying or flat-out not do something they had promised to do or not even care, but we are to:

show respect
be kind and gentle
build up
give grace

...with our words and actions (see Ephesisans 4:29). I may be right about a matter, but I automatically go into the red zone of being wrong the moment I start nagging or raising my voice or criticizing or complaining or using ultimatums or thinking up "punishments" or use an irritating tone of voice or just glaring... Okay, as you can see, I can be childish, petty, and (oh-so) despicable. Simply, I am the one in the wrong. The examples are endless, so I won't bother giving one ;)

Oh, and I think this concept is definitely not restricted to marriage (spouses and parents tend to bring out the worst in you!) but can apply to any relationship of any sort.

Be kind and affectionate towards one another,
forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you.

~ Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Up and Through

  • We now have a new game in our date night rotation, which we so enjoy: Upwords. Similar to Scrabble but more fun and challenging to us. If you like word games...
  • Measured the kiddos over the weekend: Aolani -- 29 lbs, 34.5" tall; Micaiah -- 13.5 lbs, 25" long.
  • One fun activity I did with Aolani was to put her on my lap and view baby pictures/short videos of her on my computer. She really liked it (didn't move a muscle, kept wanting more); although, I tried this before with her a few months ago, and she did not "get" it. I guess she is old enough now to understand.
  • We went to open new bank accounts last week. Micaiah came with us, and Aolani went to play with some friends. Anyway, typical baby days -- Micaiah exploded and needed an outfit change right as we are walking out the door, pooped again at the bank, and again upon arriving home! As of right now, he has not pooped in three days (I guess we need to go somewhere)!
  • Micaiah's mishaps: has suddenly become extremely noisy (vocal, babbling loudly and constantly), is now very distractable (we now have to nurse alone in the bedroom to get him to focus), loves to watch his sister and fusses when she leaves his field of vision, grabs his bibs and jerks them off the moment I turn my back, abhors being on his tummy (probably means he will not crawl -- early or for a long time before walking), slowly phasing in the use of the baby bands (and just using the sling for when he needs to nap on me), oscillates between three and four naps a day (a nap usually lasts a measly 45 minutes), and his favorite toys right now are: the foil protein bar wrapper, my water bottle, my hair, my watch, burp cloths, and a teething rattle that Aolani used.
  • Aolani's antics: favorite (and oft repeated) phrase "I do that", has mastered her fake laugh, says empty and reach and "Now, I get chocolate", and (a reluctant confession on my behalf) copied me yesterday saying "Now" and "Please honey" and "Stop it."
  • One morning we caught her gingerly holding two real eggs that she had gotten out of the unlocked refrigerator and feeding them to her donkey. [How did she carefully get them out of the egg carton without breaking them?]
  • We did two activities with her this past week: cleaning pennies (simple and frugal) and using a piece of fabric to create a hide-out (at first, I held it out to my side for her to walk through and then run through like a bull).
  • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 1:16-7 ~ For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes -- the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Make Your Prayers Global

This post might be a touch premature as we are in the process of trying to make our prayers more global, but oh well. In a desire to encourage others to evangelize through prayer (especially remembering to pray for the world), I want to share a couple ideas.
  1. Prayer Station: We have a map of the world hanging in our main room to remind ourselves to pray international prayers and remember just how itty-bitty we are (lest we start focusing on our personal 'world' and forget others). Also, we hope to get the kids familiar with the world at large, all the countries, our location, and overall geography. Under the world map, we have a few "prayer pillows" for anyone to rest on or kneel on while praying. The "prayer pillows" were made by the locals in other countries (got them here).
  2. Prayer Pail: I got this idea here. I just finished putting my pail together. Basically, you write different needs (family, neighbors, leaders, church, organizations, missionaries, countries, Persecuted Church...) on jumbo Popsicle sticks (I used markers). After dinner is over, every person grabs a stick a says a short, little prayer for that need. When Aolani gets more verbal, we will have her repeat our prayer for the need she drew until she can pray without our help.

Our Hawai'ian Princess

I could not pick which of the following pictures from this little photo session to post in last week's mosaic, so I made a little flash video and just included them all (way too many cute expressions)!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin', Keep Those Parents Goin'

  • Another crazy weekend. Ricky's parents came down to help us balance life ;) Ricky's dad rode with him down to Atlanta for more court reporter testing, while Ricky's mom stayed with me to help take care of me and the kiddos. Ricky feels unsure of the testing results. Micaiah chose to wake up three times that night to keep Ricky's mom on her toes. Aolani had an absolute blast with all the new clothes and play. And, I got to sleep in, twice. We are anticipating a weekend of no plans.
  • In case you didn't know, Ricky and I are opposites. Black and white. [At least personality-wise.] Ricky always says that I have converted him from his ways to my ways. And I laugh. Because it's not true. Anyway, we finished filing our taxes a few days before they were due this week. [So, we have been busy!] If it were done according to me, taxes would have been completed two months ago. Before we were married, Ricky turned his taxes in hours before the deadline. Yep. Now, who has converted to whom??
  • Since our dryer stopped working before Micaiah was born last December, I have been hanging our clothes to dry -- every day. {Secretly, I enjoy this, but with the many demands of my toddler and baby -- well, my time is limited.} Long story short, my mom hassled the company and got me a brand new dryer at no charge! It's still sitting in its box in our main room waiting to be installed, but wow :)
  • We went to the dentist last week, and we managed a job, wheelchair, nursing baby, and a toddler by: going late afternoon (after nap time), choosing a time when court was not in session, taking Aolani to a friend's house to play with other kids, nursing the baby in the car (parking lot) while Ricky got his teethed cleaned, and then Ricky wore Micaiah in the Ergocarrier while my teeth were cleaned. Success!
  • Micaiah has begun to wake up twice during the night. He started this practice the night of his four-month birthday. I chalk it up to a growth spurt and a little belly. I could not decide which of the following two pictures to post (I just love his birthmark and his illuminating smile!):
Micaiah is teething (drooling a ton, drenching every outfit in no time, and chewing his hands constantly)
  • Aolani's antics: loves to say pray, lives in her new rain boots because she can pull them on herself, and squints (closes her eyes really tight) every time you ask her to smile...
  • In the first picture of her reading to her best friend, teddy bear "Gunny", she is reading a Point-n-Play Interactive book series with Elmo (a gift from paternal great-grandparents). Aolani loves these books! In the picture below, she is listening to Ricky's family read the book to her via a recording. She loves Hallmark's recordable books, too!
  • Okay. Basically, I want only one thing for my children -- to love and know Jesus intimately and fully. However, there are two minor (comparatively) things that I wish to pass on to my kids: to drink water (and enjoy it) and desire to read (consume, devour) books. So far so good. Aolani craves water. She has never had juice or cow's milk (just Mama's milk still); I do not want to introduce the concept of sugar in a drink, yet. This helps a lot, I know. As for books -- not having a television helps, I'm sure -- we surround her with many different kinds of books and her own bookshelf. Yet, she still rips pages, but I don't want books to be forbidden to her in any way. Solution? Maybe. I ordered a lot of 60 thin, Scholastic books for $28 off of Ebay. I put a fourth of them in a basket at her disposal. This way, she gets a bunch of new books to "read" and if she tears a book up (like she did today), then it is okay by me. No worries and no tape! Just oh well by me and enjoyment by her ;)
  • Still need to work on last week's memory verse: Romans 15:5 ~ May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Recipe for Marriage Supreme

Always be humble and gentle.

Be patient with each other,

making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit,

binding yourselves together with peace.

~ Ephesians 4:2-3

Friday, April 13, 2012


  • I realize that this update is overdue, but I have a good reason. We traveled to my parents' home (a five hour drive that took us -- with two little ones -- eight hours, without stopping to eat!) for a five-day vacation (well, two days were driving, so more like three and some) to celebrate my birthday and Resurrection Day... I am so bummed that I did not post on Easter, as it is my favorite holy-day and the most important day EVER (Jesus conquering death so that I can live forever with Him)! But we were oh-so busy...
  • We spent almost every moment we could relaxing with family. My brother and sister-in-law have two girls about the same age as our kiddos -- yeah, toddler mania (but so much fun and so cute). Ring-around-the-rosies (which Aolani now plays with me or her teddy bear), egg hunts, food, sleeping late (woohoo for the grands), chess, movie, food, board games with friends, chase, swing sets, cookouts, thoughtful gifts, church, talking, listening, sunning, babies, naps, and food. My mom slaved in the kitchen to prepare my extensive menu requests (my favorite snacks, meals, and desserts that only she makes) -- what a woman!

  • Boy, Micaiah is growing! He will be four months old tomorrow. He is imitating sounds, drooling a ton (bibs!), spitting up much more than I like, reaching for a few things to grasp, keeps trying to sit up, and is way too happy :)
  • Big joy (and big day coming): Aolani is telling me every time she pees or poops after pretending to use the potty in the bathroom and then proceeds to climb up on the changing table herself wanting to be changed! It's shocking, I know. I think we are going to potty-train (take two) within a month.
  • Verse to memorize: Romans 15:5 ~ May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stretched? Keep Stretching.

"The problem is, I think, that, as human beings, we know our limitations. Or at least, we think we do. There are certain things we’ve never done before, and so we assume that such things, whatever they may be, are not part of what God expects for us. If you’ve never led a children’s Sunday school class or shared your faith in Christ with a neighbor or colleague at work, you might assume that these are not things you should endeavor. Someone else, better prepared and with more experience, will have to take up these callings.

But if the Spirit of God lives in us, and if He is, indeed, able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, should we not expect more of ourselves than merely what we’ve ever known or endeavored in the past? Shall we be limited by our experience when an exceeding abundant power is at work within us?

If you’re beginning to feel stretched to the limits of what you might be able to learn or do in advancing the divine economy, then there’s a simple solution: Stop relying only on your experience and present abilities, and begin stretching out into the vast resources of the Spirit of God!"

~ T.M. Moore, from article Stretch out in the Spirit

Monday, April 2, 2012


  • Over the weekend Ricky's parents (and dog, Tuesday) came for a visit and stayed with us in our little home for the first time -- yay! This allowed us to sleep in (while the grandparents entertained the kids after they woke and nursed) and go out on a date after putting the kids down to sleep for the night. We enjoyed milkshakes and going to the movie theater (we saw Act of Valor -- I think I cried too much). Aolani went on her first egg hunt in our backyard ;) I put dark chocolate-covered raisins in half of the eggs. She would find one, pick it up, shake it, and either open it or announce No!

Egg-shaped, pastel-colored, too-cute sidewalk chalk

  • I just adore this 3-4 month stage -- so content, interactive, alert, "talking", laughing, roly-poly squishy butterballness :)

  • While I nursed Aolani when she was a baby, I was able to devour books (like two a week)! As I nurse Micaiah, I still try to read some (I finish one book in 2-3 weeks), but most of my time is spent watching and talking with Aolani. I quote Bible verses during one feeding and try to sing during another session.
  • When I need to rock the baby, I either swivel the chair from left to right or glide the chair forward and backward, just like I am a swing :)
  • When Aolani needs a time-out, I tell her first. Then, I grasp her wrists and hold her still standing beside my chair for two minutes. Sometimes I have to: chase her down and trap her first and/or hold her arms far apart so that she does not bite my hands. No toys or talking. I always tell her what she did wrong, why it is bad behavior, give her time progress, and when it is over, I tell her again what the wrong was before kissing her and affirming her of my unconditional love. I probably need to start adding in here what I would rather her do or what good she should have done instead [like kissing versus biting or jumping when frustrated versus hitting].
  • Aolani and I read "special" books together during Micaiah's morning naps, and she is so eager for this time every day! By special, I mean books with thin, paper pages that she rips when unsupervised. This week alone, I have cried through two of them!
  • Aolani has begun to put words together trying to make sentences :) Also, she put her shoes on by herself for the first time yesterday!

  • Verse to memorize this week: Romans 14:8 ~ If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.