Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Little Peek

  • Micaiah can sit-up alone if I set him down, but he cannot get into that position on his own yet. He is so pleased with himself ;)
  • Aolani's antics: wants to go potty when we do, still swallows cherry pits, recently started obeying when I just threaten time-out, is now tall enough to flip on the light switches but cannot turn the lights off, clamors for Ricky's lap while he is eating, likes tortilla chips a lot, and will go to the end of the hallway to get a running start before diving on the couch every night.
  • Just this afternoon, Aolani entertained Micaiah by playing peek-a-boo for 15 minutes! Watching them cackle together... a great memory I want to recall.
 Look at that drool ring on his outfit?!
 Aolani will randomly fall on floor and start break dancing ;)

  • Verses to memorize this week: Luke 12:33-4 ~ Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's Your Credentials?

"When Paul lists his ministry credentials, they don't include what we would call his 'accomplishments.' No, instead he boasts about his weakness in such things as afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, and hunger (2 Cor. 6:4-5). Have you ever wondered if there was something lacking in Paul's interpersonal communication skills? Maybe he wasn't trying hard enough to get along with people; maybe he needed a book on how to have his best life now. Why would he have so much trouble if he was really serving the Lord?
Paul brags that he has the true marks of an apostle because he has had 'far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and [was] often near death' (2 Cor. 11:23). He was in constant 'danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of anxiety for all the churches' (2 Cor. 11:26-8)."
~ Elyse Fitzpatrick, taken from Give Them Grace
How many speakers have you ever heard introduced like this? For me, personally? Oh, I'd say... let me think... maybe, none. Yep, that's right. Zero.

Paul is saying that he is a credible follower of Christ because of these "credentials." Bam! Here is my list! Not where he studied or where he was from or who he learned from or what ministries he began or what books he authored or what articles he published or where he has spoken or what "gold medals" and other awards he has received from the world or where he has traveled or his desirability or how many people have accepted Christ because of his great witness... Instead, he flaunts his sufferings and trials and weaknesses.

Because if you can hold firm to faith in Jesus in the midst of such trouble as Paul endured, then that is the greatest accomplishment.

If I heard a speaker introduced in this way, then I don't think I'd miss a word.
"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." ~ Matt. 19:30 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who Are You Killing?

I had another thought regarding abortions the other day -- How could a doctor perform an abortion or a mother 'terminate her pregnancy' and not wonder,"What if this baby I'm killing was me?"

"God has a plan for every baby He has formed in the womb. Many have never seen the light of day, or gotten to become what He knew they could. I wonder if, through abortion, we have killed the person who was to have found the cure for cancer? Have we cut short the life that was supposed to become a righteous leader to end needless suffering in the world? Chances are, we have." ~ Ron DiCianni

Other questions I've had.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


  • Well, we have not let up on the hospitality but entertain guests every other night!
  • I don't want to write to much about this just yet, but we are doing freezer, crockpot meals for a month. One day of chopping = one month of dinners! I prepared all last week. An eager friend chopped Monday. Freezer is FULL. Dumped the first meal in the crockpot Tuesday morning. Once we work out the kinks, I'll share details :)
  • Measured kiddos -- Aolani is 35.5" tall and weighs 30.6 lbs. Micaiah is 27" long and weighs 17.2 lbs.
  • I meant to share this several months ago... If you are on the market for a diaper pail, then I have the Mack-daddy of them all! Seriously, it is super-duper fabulous -- no plastic but stainless steel (odor-free since plastic absorbs bad smells and eco-friendly), no special bags (just plain-Jane garbage bags, pays for itself after a few months), easy-to-open by sliding a tray on top (one-hand opening, no foot pedals), simple -- the Ubbi diaper pail. It trumps any I have ever used before.
  • Micaiah's mishaps: pulls the cord to play the wind-up, musical toy-owl hanging in his crib, has begun kicking the wall (by his crib -- thud!thud!), and enjoys wrestling with the Bobby hanging over his crib doors. I discovered a toe poking out of his sleeper the other day. Mr. Long Foot. So, I had to break out the nine-month ones. Sleep: We usually put Micaiah to bed by 7 p.m. (and then we eat dinner). At 6:30 p.m. he starts to make a ruckus and rub his eyes and shake his head because he wants to get his pajamas on and head that way to nurse :) He still doesn't have a wake routine at night (might wake once in the night or every three hours!). Everybody always said that he would sleep through the night once we fed him solids. He was sleeping 9-10 hours straight until we started feeding him, and now he wakes randomly to chug milk! Ha! Maybe, he just growing a lot or teething (I see his front teeth coming under his gums but haven't cut through yet). Food: Micaiah went six days without pooping last week -- poor fellow! Fed him prunes (hand mixer + prunes + water) for two days before he finally passed some hard, solid ones! I still feed him prunes every afternoon , and he has a bowel movement every day now :) I was not worried because I read that it was extremely common for babies to not go big potty for a week sometimes when starting solids because their systems are only used to digesting milk and not real food, so it may take some time for their bodies to "learn" how to digest food. He eats a fruit in the late-morning, prunes in the afternoon, and a veggie at night. We can add carrots, squash, and peas to his repertoire now ;)
  • Aolani's antics: loves to point out the semi-trucks we see while driving ("big ruckt" ;) ), her skin is already darker than mine, and... I guess I am a glutton for punishment, but we were having a 30-minute screaming, time-outs, spanking, biting, yada, yada, yada showdown the other day before nap time. I was trying to get her to go pee and put her pull-ups on for her nap. Somehow she got into her crib, crawled back to the corner so I could not reach her, and... peed (of course!). Instead of changing her sheets like we did the two times before she peed in her crib to retaliate, I shrugged my shoulders, took away her teddy bear for nap time, and made her nap in her crib with the wet sheets on. Let's just say, I don't think she will be doing that mess anymore! She's been much more obedient the rest of this week, albeit not perfect but better.
 Having a picnic and reading to her friends on our bed while I nurse the baby :)
  • Verse to memorize this week: Proverbs 16:32 ~ He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his own spirit than he who takes a city.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Giving, Thanking, Knowing, Biting

"How many times has my 'I can’t give' really mean, 'I can’t give without bearing a burden myself?'" ~ Ann Voskamp
"Discontentment is one of those daily grinds that forces others to listen to our list of woes. But they don't for long! Discontented souls soon become lonely souls." ~ Charles Swindoll

"I believe predestination is more about God's knowing than God's choosing." ~ me (I would be embarrassed quoting myself, especially on theology, but I sincerely believe that there is truth in this. Ricky and I have been discussing this issue, and when I was quoting Romans 8:29-30, the light went on!) 
"I try to emulate His walk, I ain't original. I strive to copy His style, I aspire to be a biter." ~ Trip Lee lyrics from Brag On My Lord *
*Note: Before I read the lyrics above, I thought he was saying, "I aspire to be an abider," which I like, too ;) Oh, and 'biter' is slang for someone who imitates.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Days of Heat

  • Our weekend consisted of a lot of "entertaining" (hospitality) -- lunch with friends at a restaurant, lunch (we packed and shared) with another friend, a friend from another town came to visit one afternoon and see the kiddos for the first time, dinner for friends at our home, and a friend joined us for church. Whew! And, a neighbor joined us for dinner last night :)
  • Upon arriving home after church on Sunday, Aolani ran to the bedroom, jumped into her crib, and demanded mee-mee wanting her nap one hour early! Something wore her out!
  • We just cannot believe that Micaiah turned seven months old over the weekend! Everyone who holds him comments on what a chunk of lead he is. He is all over the place rolling (every which way) and rotating; he can get to whatever he wants wherever it is. When I open the bedroom door, he pops his head up to see me and just laughs with excitement. When I open his crib door, he dangles his arms out and peeks his head over the edge just giggling ;)
  • Micaiah is not really liking the sweet potato anymore. So, I stirred in a little applesauce, and now, he devours it!
  • Sunday evening, we let Aolani ding some wine glasses that contained different levels of water (to make different pitches), and then we broke out the food coloring... Oh, and the other weekend, Ricky balanced coupons on top of the ceiling fan blades in the main room before wee -- easy and fun enough to do again.
  • Aolani refuses to let us dress her -- so, typically, her undies and clothes are inside out and backwards. She wants to wear sandals over her socks on the wrong feet. And, don't forget her sweater and raincoat and hat in the sweltering, summer heat!
  • We thought that we had been in the tough toddler years for the past 14 months (when Aolani started walking) because, well, she could be stubborn and independent and selfish and just plain tough. But, we decided that toddlerhood has officially begun just now. All that stuff up until now was just a precursor. The past week or so... All I can say is B-R-A-T! Yesterday, she screamed at the top of her lungs for 30 minutes :( Yikes! Mind you, she is not like that in front of others, just Mommy and Daddy (I get the worst of it, of course).
Aolani is reading her potty book out loud to Micaiah here :)
  • Verses to memorize this week: I am going to do it a little different this week. There are several verses I already know but do not know their references. So, I am going to add these to my quoting: James 1:19-20 ~ Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 4:8 ~ Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Hebrews 10:24 ~ And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, Proverbs 15:17 ~ Better a dinner of herbs with love than a fattened calf and hatred with it. Proverbs 16:18 ~ Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ministering with Kids

I had this tiny epiphany several months ago, but it resurfaced yesterday when we went to visit an 85-year old lady (a dear family friend of mine).

You see, she had not seen Micaiah yet. She got to squeeze Aolani some and just watch a busy toddler at work! But, she got to rock Micaiah to sleep and hold him in her arms for one of his naps. She loved every minute of it, I know. And, I realized just how much my kids blessed her, were a soothing balm on her wounds and a delight in the midst of sorrow and loneliness.

For a while, I was wanting a ministry -- some way to encourage and impact others for Jesus -- in addition to serving my family [or considering this blog]. Going out and volunteering is extremely difficult at this time in our lives (with wee ones, nursing, diapers/potty trips, naps, snacks/food, toys/dangers); I do not really do anything to participate in an activity when we go somewhere because I am busy attending to the needs of my kids (and trying to get Ricky to do for them what I cannot do when we are away from home). "Free time" at home is pretty much non-existent. My speech and dexterity are on the downward slope.

Anyway, all that to say that my ministry opportunities are limited. I was having a hard time trying to think of something I could tangibly do to minister to others (in addition to prayer -- by far the best ministry there is).

Then, one day, it hit me. People love to come over because of my kids. Just being around them elicits smiles, softens countenances, and warms hearts. My kids minister. All I need to do is open our door and welcome people into our home. My kids are my ministry.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Need a Boost?

Lately, I have come across some things I really want to share:
  • This video is powerful!
  • A free calendar to help you pray for Ramadan (July 20 - August 18)
  • A superb article, written by the author of The Jesus-Storybook Bible: Teach Children the Bible Is Not About Them -- Teaser: "When I go into churches and speak to children I ask them two questions: First, how many people here sometimes think you have to be good for God to love you? They tentatively raise their hands. I raise my hand along with them. And second..." 
  • A two-minute story of Jesus moving in an Iranian family, recently :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dedicating and Treasuring (or hanging on for dear life)

  • Ricky taught Aolani the following joke once, and she picked it up right away (of course): "Daddy gas. Aolani gas. Baby gas. Mommy rip." Ricky finds this hilarious.
  • Micaiah loves food. Since Aolani did not like food until she was one year old, this whole baby-feeding-eating thing is new to me. I mean, he dives for it. He grabs the spoon (or my finger) when it is even remotely close to his head to shove it in his mouth! I already feed him twice a day (small amounts though). Sweet potato, applesauce, pears, avocado, bananas... his favorite so far? The winner is avocado!
  • Potty-training update: We had to bust out the pull-ups again for car rides. Oh, she has the bladder control. However, Aolani peed twice in her carseat last week -- retaliating against us. She wants something, doesn't get her way, and... yeah. It's her weapon now. Cute story: While we were at our pastor's house one evening, Aolani suddenly ran into the bathroom to pee but didn't call for Ricky. So, I told him to quickly go in to help her onto the big toilet. Lo and behold, he got to the doorway and found her sitting on the big toilet and taking care of business. We still have no idea how she got up there by herself and didn't fall in!
  • Since Ricky got Independence Day off from work, we switched roles. I worked in the office all day, and he took care of the kids (bringing them to me to nurse) ;)
  • I, finally, got to partake of a hot-stone massage last week (relaxing)! For Mother's Day, I had received a gift certificate for a one-hour massage from an older gentleman at church. What a kind gesture! We took Aolani to play at a friend's house during the appointment.
  • Both of our parents (and Ricky's brother) were here this weekend for Micaiah's dedication at church. Pictures below show some of the activities --
Most of our evenings look like this -- I make sure Aolani doesn't kill Micaiah while Ricky prepares dinner
Happy Independence Day (I think Ricky was trying to get her to hold up four fingers for July 4th!)
We finally brought out the $3 sprinkler my mom splurged on -- naked + backyard splash pad = the life (for a toddler and for Ricky)
at a lake (while Aolani does tan very well thanks to her olive skin, she did get sun-poisoning around her neck)
Entertainment under the umbrella (I somehow managed to get sunburned and Micaiah did not)
The testosterone quartet

 Both of our families

Micaiah was able to wear the outfit my brother wore for his christening 30 years ago!

about to play Upwords with my mom
  •  The following pictures were taken over a month ago, but too good not to share :)
Our birthday dinner celebration
How we roll (Micaiah is in the sling on me)
Yep. We let our toddler ride next to bears in the car. She'll be fine (just ignore that worried look on her face). [Seriously, Ricky's family's dog looks a lot like the local black bears.]
on the Big Kids' swing
Aolani enjoys broccoli :)
  • Verses to memorize this week (still going; I think this will be the final week for this cluster): Revelation 19:11-6 ~ Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Drawing Near

All week. It's been this --

I roll into view, into the main room. "NO! Mommy," Aolani screams and points at me to go back where I came from. "Daddy."

Translation: "Mommy, don't come any closer! Get out and stay away! Daddy is here with me, and I want him."

It permeated everything. Pushing me away from the baby, the washer, the table... I can wipe you, get you water, put yours socks on... No, Daddy [do it].

The first few times this happened, I was shocked. Hurt? Yes. But mostly shocked. I'd try to just shrug it off.

But, by day two... I was crying in the bathroom. All I could hear ringing in my head was, "Don't get near me!"

And then, this still, small whisper. "Come near Me."

Breathe deep. Close my eyes. And there He is. With His arms open wide. Waiting, just waiting. For me to run headlong into His embrace and feel His welcoming warmth surround me as He holds me tight and draws me close.

My dirt, my sickness, my shame, my bad attitude, my self-pity doesn't thwart His unwavering gaze and beckoning call one bit.

My own flesh and blood may not want me to come near, but my Redeemer does.

And that is enough.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. ~ James 4:8
Let the one who is thirsty come. ~ Revelation 22:17 
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened. ~ Matthew 11:28.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Announcing a New Page {Scripture Memory}

I have added a new page to this blog called 'Scripture Memory'. Look up near the top of this blog, over towards the right. The following is my introduction to the page:

Here are all the Bible verses I have memorized since beginning this blog. They are written out (except for the whole chapters I quote) for my sake, if I need help jogging my memory. I will add a verse every week (or so) when I memorize a new passage.

Let me make this clear: this page has not been created to boast in the Scripture I know! I used to have this on my computer's desktop because I believed it was for my sake alone. However, I have decided to publicize this page in the hopes that it may spur on another to memorize Scripture and to encourage others to memorize whole chapters and books of the Bible because it is completely feasible (if I can do it, you can do it, too).

I do not have some unique mind that memorizes everything quickly or easily. I simply use one tool -- Repetition. I try to quote every verse I know out loud at least once a week (and, ideally, I repeat it to myself in my head another time that week). Also, I like to quickly skim this page to make sure that I did not skip any verses.

Why memorize Scripture?

Living off Real Food (dine with me, friends!),

Screaming of Sorts

  • See the post below about half the weekend.
  • Sunday evening we had a young family over for dinner; they are from the church that is joining with our church. We had a great time becoming fast friends. Get this -- they have two kids (a toddler and newborn), she majored in missions in college like I did, and they like natural health!
  • Aolani used the infamous toddler word "mine!" for the first time recently. That's all I heard today -- screaming at me of course.
  • I fed Micaiah some (mostly pureed, homemade) sweet potato today, using my finger. Aolani helped ;) And, he ate it (maybe even liked it); he didn't spit it out :)

  • Verses to memorize this week (still going!): Revelation 19:11-6 ~ Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.