Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pound for Pound

  • Ricky's parents came for birthday bash #2 over the weekend. Aolani was adamant about wearing the red princess dress, which was actually a dress Ricky's mom's wore when she was a little girl! Anyway, we had a pizza and cupcake party. [Ricky's mom made the cupcakes from the moist and delicious Zucchini and Pumpkin cupcake recipe we had for Micaiah's birthday but with a healthyish cream cheese frosting.] The grandparents got Aolani more books on DVD to watch and a sticker book. Ricky and I gave her another gift, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (my favorite book as a young kid).
  • Ricky and I went over to our friends' house one night after kids are asleep to play games and eat snacks ;) We played Pandemic, which is a fun, cooperative game where you have to band up to try and eradicate the world of diseases. Also, we had a lovely, newlywed couple over last week for dinner and a game.
  • Believe it or not, I went to a bridal shower alone one afternoon. That's right NO KIDS and no men! I put the kids down for naps, Ricky dropped me off, and his parents napped here while the kids napped. Over two hours of not being on kid duty. They all picked me up later before going out for sushi.
  • We are entering into a really busy month of hosting and activity. I have had to use my Google Calendar for the first time just for sanity's sake. I am making my meal plans for the next month, and that really helps me to feel prepared (food-wise) and ready for company.
  • Our dryer broke last week. Since the dryer was free, there is no warranty :( Appliance guy came this morning. Parts are ordered.
  • Aolani received a tea set from a friend last week. She is constantly sitting at the table and pouring the water from her water bottle into the little plastic tea cups :)
  • Still half and half probably for staying dry versus peeing in her bed during nap time.
  • Micaiah has taken a few more steps, but it is occasional. He practices balancing and standing unassisted frequently though (shifting toys and snacking). He figured out how step and down off things like the kiddie step stool or my wheelchair footrest.
  • Random note: We started cleaning (wiping) Micaiah's teeth with a baby washcloth at night before bed since he was about a year old.

Micaiah playing with his hammer and ball toy (a gift from his great-grandparents [Knights])
  •  Verse to memorize this week: 1 John 1:9 ~ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Life Is Hard

A thought.

That helps me. [Quite a lot, surprisingly.]

When something frustratingly and annoyingly small happens. Like me dropping the pitcher of water or an open bag of rice or a pile of folded laundry or every single thing I touch.

Life is hard. If life is hard, then I should expect every thing to be hard, to not go my way or be easy. And, if something goes smoothly, well, then that is the fluke.

So now, every time I spill or drop something, I can shrug my shoulders and think Why, of course! Life is hard. This is expected. And, I just exhale and pick it up and keep going. Without getting all flabbergasted or huffy and puffy because I expect nothing to be easy.

Sorry, this is not a deep or spiritual thought, just a helpful pondering ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Birthday P-artsy!

  • While I have our usual pictures and videos from the past week, I am going to post them in a few weeks and just focus on Aolani's third birthday this and next week. {Yes, our princess turned three yesterday!}
  • We can honestly say that she is one vibrant, lively, and sweet child; she has brought us so much delight! We have enjoyed each age so far. [I never thought I'd say this, but...] We love kids!
  • Micaiah took his first three steps just this afternoon! He was sidestepping but not holding on to anything (he was gripping a toy). Watch out...
  • I started participating in a (small) Bible study last week on Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. Our pastor's wife brings it all here, so that I can join -- how wonderful is that?! And, we do it while the kids nap one afternoon a week. I haven't been in study like this with other women in over three years. [Julie, your kindness is overwhelming!]
  • A young girl from church knitted a Valentine's scarf for Aolani -- her first scarf, awww...
  • Ricky surprised me with gifts on Valentine's Day -- cupcakes, a love note in our love journal, and a gift certificate for a massage! I wasn't expecting a thing, just a low-key night with a movie and popcorn (which happened, too).
  • Starting last Monday, it was no more pull-ups during nap time. Eight naps later, and we are four dry for four wet. Also, we got her a booster seat to sit in at the table with us, and she has completely and adamantly rejected it. On her knees, is how she wants to sit in the chair.
  • Kid measurements: Micaiah -- 31" tall and 19.4 lbs; Aolani -- 36.5 " tall and 32 lbs.
  • Okay, on to the birthday weekend with my parents! They arrived with balloons, cupcakes, and a necklace and crown. She put on her princess dress. My mom graciously filled two bins with craft supplies for us (I had sent her a huge list of items I needed to make certain projects with Aolani, and my mom got it all!) Ricky and I gave her a Brain Quest for Toddlers. I had sent my mom a bunch of art activities to do with Aolani on Saturday, which she loved. And, it snowed on Saturday -- the kids loved it. Every time the cupcakes come out, Aolani asks us to light the candle and sing the birthday song ;) The cupcakes are gone now. [The video at the bottom is so good!]

Cutting snowflakes out of coffee filters
Cloud dough and drawing in shaving cream (we added food coloring and glitter for fun)

  • Verse to memorize this week: Hebrews 4:16 ~ Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Time to Ponder


Isn't whatever you are giving up for Lent something that you should have given up for Christ anyway when you chose to believe? Why celebrate Lent?

Well, that's loaded. Some short thoughts:

  1. It depends what you are forgoing or taking up. I knew a couple that would fast solid food all 40 days and nights of Lent. Instead, they chose to pray during mealtimes. There is a time for feasting and a time for fasting (meaning you do not need to fast every day of your life).
  2. Lent is a time to me that is set apart as holy (just like the Sabbath and other Jewish holydays). It is a time of remembrance, meditation, and identification. And, it is good to set apart time to think on Christ and His self-sacrifice and what it means to imitate Him. It is always good to ponder anew His work and leading in your life.
  3. I think following (not just believing on) Christ is a process. Sanctification. I know that there is so much in my person that dishonors Christ, but thank God that He is gentle. He usually tackles just one sin-self-issue at a time with me. Lent can help us weed out the things the Holy Spirit prods us about to help us take up our crosses, deny self, destroy strongholds, and show the prevailing power of Christ in us. [Yes, this is always true, but Lent usually generates more prayer, which gives the Spirit more time to share ;)] And, there are always starting points.
  4. Now, for many years, I have been taking things up (doing something more or different). These things may or may not be things you must do every day in order to be a disciple. It is just a short season. [Setting aside time to journal versus robbing banks.] So, for me, one of the most important lessons from Lent is failure. I am destined to fail the moment I try to do anything. But, He never fails. When I see my sin, failure, and imperfection, I am driven all the more to my Perfect Savior. So, Lent leads me to love, cling to, and seek Christ all the more. And, that is what Lent is all about.
What am I doing for Lent? Well, earlier this year, I practiced living eucharisteo for two whole days (not consecutive; yes, it was a big deal for me because I am that bad)! Anyway, Ricky definitely noticed (I think he secretly prays it will happen again). So, I am trying 40 consecutive days of giving thanks (in all things, for all things). I am taking up eucharisteo. You bet I have already failed miserably. You know how sometimes for some things you start of strong and then fizzle out? That's not me right now. I am envisioning a slow start but building up steam, so I can finish strong (and, by His grace alone, keep on going). {Secretly, I am looking for a breakthrough, and I think eucharisteo might be it.}

Thursday, February 14, 2013

3801 Lancaster

Pro-abortion and pro-life -- EVERYONE should watch this 20-minute documentary! [I would not let young children watch this.]

3801 Lancaster video

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Milk in the Batter, Stir It, Stir It

  • We had a nice, quiet weekend with no guests or activities -- what a rarity! We played, read, rested, and made homemade cookies (our special activity for the weekend) :)
  • Lent starts tomorrow... I think I'll write about it this weekend. Ann Voskamp always post this ever year about it (worthwhile and encouraging).
  • Happy (early) St. Valentine's Day! We will be eating beans and rice for dinner that night, but I guess we will read The Story of Saint Valentine and eat a little dark chocolate as well ;)
  • Aolani's antics: sings the abc's, caught her sleeping on the potty (the day she skipped her nap), uses the 'big potty' (our toilet) now via a step stool we keep in the bathroom for her (and, oh man, she is proud of herself now!)... 
What a boy -- busted head, busted lip
Stirring the batter for our chocolate chip - pecan cookies
  • One morning a week (if it works out), Aolani goes over to her friend Ezra's house to play. And she tells me all about it when she gets home ;)

  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Timothy 1:7 ~ For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Gifts, One Prerequisite

His divine power has granted to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,  ~ 2 Peter 1:3
As I read this verse last night while nursing, I realized that it just seems mystical, holding mystery. So, I prayed that the Spirit would please illuminate and help me to understand this verse. Here is my simple rewording from what I felt like He showed me:

His Holy Spirit has given us all we need to attain eternal life and live a godly lifestyle, which is through knowing Christ!

Want eternal life? KNOW CHRIST.

Want to live a godly life? KNOW CHRIST.

Know Christ? Receive eternal life.

Know Christ? Receive the ability to live a godly life.

I love how Peter refers to the conduit for this exchange (gift) as His Divine Power (which I think is just a name for the Holy Spirit) because it is so accurate! I know Christ, so I can receive these two gifts from God. {I imagine looking up, and these gifts are flowing down to me.} I mean, wow! Knowing Christ grants me eternal life and the impossible ability to live godly?! Those are some kind of big gifts that would take limitless power to bestow because fallible humans like myself certainly cannot do either. {Now I imagine that it is His Divine Power holding and guarding these gifts, as He carries them down to me.}

I also like how the emphasis is on knowing Christ, NOT knowing about Christ. It's not in the admiration or likeability of Him. Or trying to copy His behavior. Knowing what He liked, what He did, or what He taught. It is in the relationship. Like a husband knows his wife, intimately. Know Christ.

I think the whole last bit of the verse, called us to his own glory and excellence, is saying, "I have made you for eternity (Ecc. 3:11), and I am calling you up here!" [Although, I am sure there is a lot more being said here, too! Actually, this verse still has much more hidden meaning I have yet to grasp, I know ;)]

Known and knowing,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back in the Games

  • Our weekend was fun: a family came over to play games and eat dinner half of Saturday, our community group (from church) met for the first time (four of six families bring their young kids -- 9 so far!), and a small Superbowl party at our place! Throughout the activities, Micaiah would not be put down but sits on our laps the whole time and sucks his thumb -- peaceful, content, and cuddly.
  • Oh, and we are all pretty much over our sicknesses! Praise God!
  • Aolani's antics: eats the breakfast Ricky leaves out for me, yells "No, Baby. Stop crying! We're sleeping." in the mornings Micaiah wakes early, is constantly asking me for approval by questioning "Right here?" or "This way?"...
  • Micaiah's mishaps: walks and pushes Aolani on the tractor, is so happy and always smiling or laughing (around us at home -- he is shy otherwise), talks and makes noises nonstop now, has a ticklish neck, loves affection and attention, steps up onto my footstool (but can't get down yet), and loves to play with the phone and hold it up to his ear and pretend to talk :)

Pulls the water pitcher out of the fridge and fills her own water now!
  • Verse to memorize this week: Mark 9:35 ~ “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What to Seek and Find

Just thinking simple thoughts...

We have a friend who, lately, has been all into "finding self".

What a hopeless, depressing, stupid, miserable journey to be on! Like my shallow, finite, evil being has any good, any wisdom, any real answers to offer. No epiphanies or revelations can come from withIN, only from Him, the Creator, infinite God. If I look in, I see darkness. If I look up, I see light.

So, again, why ever would I want to find myself? I am called to die to self and find Christ, the hope and happiness and glory of all.