Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Common Bark

  • We've had a mostly normal week, complete with having some friends over for dinner and games.
  • Micaiah and my friend staying with us (Teresa) are a bit sick this week with coughs and sinus things. A lot of sleep, and now they are on the mend :)
  • Aolani's antics: after telling her that she can't marry Daddy when she grows up because I am already married to him, she began to cry and needed comforting; is learning how to wipe herself after a bowel movement; told me that when she gets a littler bigger, she will reach the key to unlock the door to take the dog for a walk; and, declared that she no longer has to share because she's four!
  • Micaiah's mishaps: calls for "'Ani" to let him out of his crib when he wakes up (twice a day), and she always does (seriously, we rarely get him out); is so generous with Aolani by always giving her some of his food (even cookies and bananas!); lays on the floor for the dog to lick the crumbs off of him; is so much more cuddly when he's sick;); and, understands so much of what we say (very mentally quick).
Barking orders to Micaiah
Science Cup Explosions
[Aolani took this picture :)]
True imagination: Here is Rapunzel from Tangled (the jump rope is her hair and the ball is Pascal, her pet chameleon)
My friend's dog, Button, is staying here, too, and the kids adore him!
  • Verse to memorize this week: 1 Peter 2:9 ~ But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Okay. So, I have now seen the movie Tangled three times. In a week. While I personally consider it inferior to Frozen, I decided I just need to take a little pause to note the redeeming value in the movie so I could appreciate it more.
  1. Change -- Of course, who doesn't like it when the bad guy turns a new leaf and changes his ways? While it does seem somewhat unlikely that "falling in love" with someone else is enough motivation to bring about lasting change in a person, I think this aspect can point to a higher ideal. You see, change can be wrought out of Love. The movie focuses on human love but that's because that is the ultimate, pinnacle experience in regards to a "secular" or "atheistic" world. However, love between people is way trumped by love from and for God, Love Himself. The latter is what brings true and lasting change because it is not brought about by frail, human effort but is empowered by the Spirit. 
  2. Perseverance -- I saw this little theme show up twice. First, the king and queen continued lighting the lanterns every year in hopes of her return and not giving up when it would appear that hope should be long gone. Second, at the end of the movie Rapunzel is wrenching free from the witch mother and tells her that she will never stop struggling but fight against her every day for the rest of her life. (I always inwardly cheer here :) ) Because injustice and evil need to actively fought against every day. Never give in. Never give up. 
  3. Sacrifice -- Rapunzel and her beau each offer up their own lives for the life of the other at the end of the movie. I mean, it's a beautiful scene and an emotional moment -- such a perfect illustration of sacrificial love. They epitomize John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Princess Aolani

  • Aolani turned 4 yesterday! We had two birthday celebrations -- one with each set of grandparents.
  • Ricky's parents visited over the weekend and here is how we celebrated: party dress, balloons, Mexican macaroni dinner, homemade vanilla ice cream and cookies (per her request), presents, and... after we put Micaiah to bed, she got to stay up with us and watch Tangled (for the first time).
  • On her actual birthday, she got to wear a party dress, watch Tangled (again), enjoy "fresh" balloons (Micaiah likes to play beat-the-balloon-with-a-wooden-spoon now), Skype with my parents while opening more presents, and partake of homemade banana pudding.

  • Health update: my list :) And, I will say, while I am noticing many other slight improvements that I am waiting to note on the list, I am so glad that nothing is getting worse. It's only up for me from here ;)
  • Here are some other pictures:
"Crayon cakes"

  • Verse to memorize this week: Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Beautiful Woman {Video}

Not much time to write today, but I just have to share this video. [Ann Voskamp shared this, and, well, grab a box of tissues...]

Would I?

Would you?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day of Snow Play

Ricky doesn't have work because of the "snowstorm" that brought us a 4-5" blanket of white elegance, and the kids are loving it :) Snow angels, snowmen, snowballs, sledding, rolling...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


  • This past week has been pleasantly normal for the most part, complete with small group, a podiatrist appointment, and a game night with Ricky's friends.
  • The podiatrist made a temporary foot pad under the sole insert of my shoe to relieve the pressure on the pre-ulcers on the sole of my right foot, and it immensely helps!
  • We've been watching some Olympic events when we can, and Aolani is mesmerized, of course. Every figure-skating performance -- I want to do that!
  • Here are a few activities we've been enjoying:

Aolani's lion (following instructions from a How to Draw Animals book) and signature
Painting valentines (watercolor brushed over the white crayon message)

Teaching her friend how to count ;)
Olympic figure-skating...
...Jurassic Park style
  • Verse to memorize this week: Romans 12:18-9 ~ If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Needing Change

I went to an out-of-state college that was a good 12-hour drive from home.

While I can positively say beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt that God led me to this college for a myriad of reasons, I can also see how God used one of my wrong motivations for His purpose in this decision.

Looking back, it's crystal-clear, but hindsight is 20-20.

I think I was still living somewhat under the law of performance (checklist style -- do this, do that) because I was not deep-down content with anything in my life: 

Why do I always do that? This relationship needs work; that relationship needs help. Ahhh, why do I botch every relationship I have with everyone?!?!

Escape! Change! I need change!

Yes, but I had it all wrong. I thought I needed to get out, get away, and start over. A clean slate and a new location was the change I thought would be the answer. I was running from my old life, thinking that then I'd be free to have a fresh, new do-over, per se.

Boy, was I wrong.

Change was the answer -- but a new environment and new people were not what needed changing. It was me. Moving away just gave me more relationships to botch. I was the problem. I mess everything up no matter where I am or who I am with.

I realize this my final year of college, of course, when I found myself asking the exact same questions before I left home: Why do I always do that? This relationship needs work; that relationship needs help. Ahhh, why do I botch every relationship I have with everyone?!?!

I wanted to escape this constant, daily struggle I was having with my sin nature. I was tired of it and wanted to get rid of it! Over time, I came to realize several things:
  1. As long as I am living on this present earth, then this constant struggle is inevitable. 
  2. I now have even more reasons to long for Heaven and be free from this inner turmoil.
  3. I boldly and immensely thank the LORD Jesus for setting me free from the bondage to myself and always doing what my sin nature desires and cravings! 
  4. Because Jesus has set me free from this slavery to self, I now have a choice. Not just once, but every day -- the daily dying to self. [With every decision, I could feel this intense battle going on inside me. While my sin nature response use to be really loud, convincing, and, well, natural, the more I chose to follow the Spirit's leading, the more natural that response became. The Word quickly pops into my mind, and by His grace and empowered by the Spirit, my flesh response has lost a lot of its old appeal (that, and I know that the end result is never good and what I ultimately want). Not that I always choose rightly by any means, but the battle is less intense and less hard (usually) ;)]
Anyway, realizing all this, I see everything, everyone else is not the problem, I am the problem.
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! ~ Romans 7:25
I am changing! And that is changing everything else!
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cold, Warm, and Wrong

  • We had a low-key past week, including Superbowl. It was nice that the Seahawks got to celebrate their very first Superbowl win. Micaiah is all-better, and I am completely done bleeding.
  • Aolani and I had one of the worst days ever yesterday. It was a battle. I won't go into details, but during one of her "breaks" (time-outs), I asked her if she was ready to talk and tell me some of the things she had done wrong. She angrily responded, "You tell me what you did wrong!" Sigh. I am praying for her heart to desire obedience, her to be uncomfortable with sin, and her to see rebellion and selfishness in herself so that she can acknowledge and confess it.
First-time sledding in the snow (on the recycling can lid!)
Painting glue-n-salt pictures

An unexpectedly warm day :)
  • Verse to memorize this week:  Romans 6:14 ~ Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.