Thursday, January 29, 2015

Creative Expressions

  • It was a pretty normal week besides spending time with my dad visiting over the weekend, taking dinner to some friends for our kids to play and eat together (and meet her new baby boy), and my brother getting in a horrible car wreck yesterday that demolished his work van but left him with just soreness (praise God and thank you airbag workers!)
  • My mom just left earlier today to go to her home for a while, and my friend, Teresa, will return for a few months to help us.
  • Kid measurements: Aolani -- 37.8 lbs and 42" tall; Micaiah -- 30.4 lbs and 37" tall :)
  • We took the door off of Micaiah's bed to leave it open for him, and he loves his "new bed"! We are about to potty-train him at night this month, so this is step one.
  • I wanted to have more consistent consequences for bad behavior, so my friend told me about this If-Then chart. We got it and wrote in our own consequences; so far, so good :) [We also got the Brother-Offended chart and am trying to teach and practice the biblical model for forgiveness.]
  • Micaiah: "Micaiah, do you want to go eat pizza?" "Oh yes!"; whether it's after nap  or in the morning, he wakes up and runs to tell us, "I had happy dreams, I did!'"; when Ricky helped Micaiah do the pull-up bar and commented on Micaiah's strong muscles, Micaiah said, "I am big now, I have hair on my face and my body!" ;) ; when asked if he had any coughs or sneezing at church, replied, "I had.. what's this called," and then he makes a sniffing sound :) ; and, calls snot, "snat."
  • Here's Aolani's fashion designs this week --

  • School verse: Proverbs 3:12 ~ A father disciplines a son he delights in, to make him better.
  • Verses to memorize this week: Psalm 16:5-6 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I just can't write right now. I feel like an emotional wreck and can't think straight. And then, Ricky takes me to watch American Sniper yesterday and now I can hardly even talk without crying. Ugh.

Praying James 1:5 right now:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beards and Bread

  • We had a mostly normal week and weekend, including a library visit, park visits, church, small group, family movie night, and a trip to a great children's museum called Discovery Place (which the kids love; slideshow below).
  • Aolani''s antics: really gets a kick out of knock-knock jokes; loves to dress-up and design outfits; answered the what do you want to do when you grow up? with "I want to have babies... 10 babies!"; and asked Ricky, "Daddy, what's that beard over your eyes?" (eyebrows) ;)
  • Micaiah's mishaps: enjoys all things food-related -- buying, preparing, eating -- and enjoys art, creativity (sounds like a chef ;) ); said he wanted  to be a Navy Seal :); "Micaiah, don't put such big bites in your mouth; take small bites." Micaiah looks at his plate and then Grandma and says, "Big bites fit." Then, he proceeds to show us just how much he can stuff in his mouth!; "My teddy bear is potty trained. Yes, no more diapers."; Aolani said, "I had scary dreams." Micaiah chimed in, "I had happy dreams. About cheese and bread." :) 

  • School verse: Proverbs 15:8 ~ The LORD... delights in the prayers of His people.
  • Verses to memorize this week: Psalm 16:4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

How Did Jesus Save Us? {a video}

A simple, short, accurate sharing of the Gospel -- the Good News that changed my life!

Perfect for sharing!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Healthy Home

  • I'm finally feeling about caught up from vacation and ready to tackle all my new to-do things and new projects :)
  • We started school back last week and are doing a bunch of extra activities everyday from Slow and Steady (we are months behind!)
  • Micaiah's mishaps: 1 -- We were talking about his solar system puzzle, and I told him that we live on planet Earth. He nodded, pointed around our house and said, "Yes, our home is called Earth!" 2 -- After dinner and games the other night, he said, "I'm tired. I can push this chair into the bedroom and turn the light off." He was going to put himself to bed! :) 
  • Aolani's antics: We were talking about four food groups (grain, dairy, meat, fruit/vegetable) and how we eat from these everyday to stay healthy and not get sick. At lunch I told her to tell Ricky about eating healthy, and she said, "Daddy, people eat healthy and still get sick." ;)

One of Micaiah's birthday presents
  • School verse: Proverbs 26:23 ~ Pretty words may cover up a wicked heart.
  • Verses to memorize this week: Psalm 16:2-3 ~ I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Let Peace Rule

Before we went on vacation, we were asked by our pastor to light the Advent candle one Sunday and share about peace. Ricky and I both said a piece. Since the LORD gave me this bit of understanding about peace just that morning before we shared, I wanted to write it down in my "journal" before it was gone ;)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 
Colossians 3:15-6

As believers in Christ, we have great peace naturally because Christ is our peace and He gives to us abundant peace.

However, there are times when I am not letting that abundant peace that I have rule in my heart. Christ already gave it, but now it's up to me to let it rule. So, the question becomes how? How do I unwrap this gift of abundant peace so that it can rule all the time?

In Colossians 3 Paul tells us to let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, and then he proceeds to tell us two ways to do this!
  1. And be thankful. The best way to stay on top of this and be proactive about keeping an attitude of gratitude is, as Ann Voskamp advocates, to keep a list. Write down your gifts, what you are thankful for. Everyday.
  2. Let the word of Christ dwell among you richly. Whether reading or quoting Scripture, let it be in your head and on your tongue constantly. Let the Word consume you and get into your heart! When I first started memorizing some Bible verses and then something would happen, I could go into my memory bank and recall an applicable verse. Yet the more I am in the Word and the more Scripture I know (well), the less I have to recall it because it is consuming. Now frequently when something happens, an appropriate passage will naturally pop up and come to mind without any effort or even having to think of one! Word in, Word out.
Both of these are actions I must take, showing that I am the one responsible for letting the peace of Christ rule in my heart.

Be thankful + Let the word of Christ dwell among you richly = Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts

The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. 
Romans 8:6

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Winding Down, Gearing Up

  • First, I'll share some funny things the kids said and show pictures from the week before we left on vacation to my parent's house for two weeks. 
  • Aolani: "You want Mommy to walk, Daddy? Then, you have to take Mommy potty."
  • We were going to give money to the Salvation Army bell ringers on the way out of town, and Aolani asked, "Daddy, are you going to pay the Romans?"
  • Micaiah: When asking him an Is it question and he wants to answer negatively, he'll say Not is instead of Is not... Not is raining, Not is blue, Not is wet, Not is closed...
  • Aolani touched Ricky's head one night and said, "Daddy, my bed is broken." Then, she took his hand and put the iPhone in it so he could use it to see :)
  • Micaiah: "Him singing it, not you." <telling Daddy when Daddy sings along with the radio in the car> 
They so enjoyed their candlelight bath ;)
all the animals have come to worship Him
with their friend, Ellie Jo
with our Romanian friends
Our friends took an old dryer drum, painted it, and put it in their front yard (with drumsticks) for anyone passing by to play -- "community drum!" Brilliant idea :)
  • It was nice to get away for two whole weeks, and the kids loved it! I slept in some, two birthday parties (Micaiah and Jesus), tons of cousin play, finished up our Advent activities, gift-giving, game nights, visited with friends, went to Myrtle Beach, saw a Christmas light/music show, church, movies, chiropractor, Children's Museum, and...
  • We started a new tradition for New Year's Eve for our family where we watched all of our family videos (the ones I post here and on YouTube) from the past year (2014). And then, we prayed over 2014 and 2015 :) We just loved this and are looking forward to it again already!
  • Aolani told Daddy, "Grandma eats while she cooks, like this..." :)
  • We don't do Santa and often tell our kids that Santa is not real. So, there was a digital moving picture of Santa in this shed at the light show, and Micaiah belts out, "Santa IS real. I saw him!" And then, Aolani said, "Someone needs to let him out; he's stuck in there." It was hilarious!
  • My parents got Ricky some new slacks for work that are actually his size (woohoo!), and Aolani excitedly tells Daddy, "You can wear those to court and the judge will be happy that you got new pants and they'll say how did you get those and you could say I got them for Christmas."

"Look, Mommy! Sarah's swinging!"
  • School verse: Exodus 20:15 You must not steal.
  • I am going to begin the year by memorizing Psalm 16. I'll start with just one verse this weekend: Psalm 16:1 ~ Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Resolutions for 2015

I know this is a bit late, but blogging while away from home just doesn't happen.

New Year's Resolutions. That just sounds intimidating. At least I have thought about it :) {I just read my resolutions for last year and enjoyed it. I worded my feelings very well and am glad to say that I kept 2.5 out of 4 of last year's resolutions!}

Anyway, I think I'm going to make this year quite simple -- a year of prayer and psalms.

Prayer -- not the traditional 'pray more', but focus on two specifics:

  1. I want to say a prayer over every single human being that comes to our door before they leave (with their agreement of course), whether it's the FedEx man, a friend, a neighbor, a stranger... I want to pause, possibly ask them about their day or specific requests (depending on the situation), and pray for them (even if it's just a one-line parting blessing). I just don't want anyone to come to my house without receiving a blessing. I don't want to keep the Spirit's peace, presence, and fullness within our walls, but I want it to flow out the doors. Like Abraham, not just to be blessed but to bless. [I've wanted to do this since we got married but was always waiting for my ducks to be in a row -- waiting for my own house and then for my voice to get better. But, I am tired of waiting on that. That shouldn't hold me back anymore.]
  2. Whenever I see something or hear something I don't like, I want to automatically lift up that person or situation in prayer. I tend to get internally upset, begin to start lecturing in my head, generate an entire sermon on the issue, silently preach, and grow quite sullen. And nothing ever changes. So! I hope to put it in God's hands (and out of my mind) :)
Psalms -- I have six entire psalms I want to memorize. So, I'll focus on those for my Scripture memory this year.

*I memorized one final Scripture bit while on vacation to finish off the year: John 15:13-4 ~ Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.”