Sunday, January 31, 2016

Aolani's Baptism {video}

Here is what we have collected from Aolani's baptism in August 2015. We got the intro and actual baptism part, but we unfortunately missed recording her salvation story which was shared in the middle!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Let It Snow!

  • Last week -- we babysat our neighbor kids one evening; Ricky worked out-of-county all week; Aolani did a lot of cooking (lunches, dinners, and her first pizza); and, we enjoyed two snow days, totaling 4-6" of snow :) We skipped schooling one day, and they went sledding (we got them two cheap, plastic sleds this year -- no more trash lid) and played outdoors both days. Aolani baked pumpkin muffins and made tea to celebrate the snow! [I didn't venture outdoors in it.] The kids love the snow and can't wait for more; it's sad to them to see it disappearing.
Spelling with papaya seeds
Reading a board book for the fam
Amidst all the toys, she is having lunch at a restaurant (complete with heart-shaped cardboard cookies and clear glue to drink)
Backyard snow angels
Pure bliss
with a neighbor kid

  • School verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Q -- Quench not the Spirit. 
  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Corinthians 3:4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

May I, May We, May All

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in You...  ~ Psalm 40:16a
I was quoting this the other day and had to pause right after the "But may all who seek You" due to some interruption. God-given interruption. [Aren't they all?] Anyway, when I got back to it and tried to remember where I had left off, I started the verse again "But may all who seek You"... Wait! That's me -- I seek You! And suddenly, I was like "But may Aidan..." what? What? Rejoice and be glad. Not may she take it easy or be comfortable or do this or that.

I am simply to rejoice and be glad in God. And that is totally outside the circumstantial realm. Rejoice and be glad in God no matter what what lies before me or I'm facing.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Growth Bringing Change

  • Two weeks ago my mom came to visit and help for the week the day after Ricky's mom flew home. I had several projects that I wanted to work on at the start of the year. So, we put off starting school back for another week (making it a seven-week break!). After finishing unpacking and undecorating and other odds and ends, we began the big projects -- rearranging the entire bedroom and moving Aolani to the top bunk of their bed :) It was a lot of work. There are still two more things to put up, so I will take a picture when that's done at the end of the month. Now, we have a kid side and our side of the room ;) The new bunk bed sleeping arrangement... Micaiah is a little lonely but still happy and Aolani just loves it! She feels so big with her own reading light and going up and down the steps; we practiced drills her getting down to go potty (she wakes once most every night and I needed to make sure she could do this safely while drowsy). Again, pictures to come. We did get to relax most nights. We had a friend over for dinner and a game one evening, and we got to teach my mom a new addictive game that Ricky's brother gifted to us -- Caverna. After my mom left, we had a normal weekend with pizza/movie night, church, and small group.
  • Last week -- We had all our normal activities and help. We had a new cleaning lady come and hope she will continue. Jumped back into schooling, and it took them the week to get back in the groove. Ricky had a test for higher certification regarding his job in another city on Saturday. One thing the kids and I did during that time was look at their baby pictures on the computer; they enjoyed this :)
  • During the month, I unveiled my first two gray hairs ;)
  • Micaiah's mishaps: calls anything he doesn't want 'horrible'; calls his private area 'privacy' and 'peeny'; told me that his friends need to "ask for permission" from him before playing with his toys; beginning to go over the alphabet with him; follows us girls around and loves to help us!
  • Aolani's antics: made dinner with me one night last week and did so well that we are now making most meals that don't require chopping and are relatively simple (she cracks and cooks our egg whites, uses the stove top below medium heat, measures, bakes... all with me and her chair in tow -- the fruit of obedience is evident here!); she loves helping me around the house and in the kitchen :) 
  • Both kids have begun to help me unload the dishwasher for Daddy just this week -- yay! They are getting older -- happy sad...

Aolani's very first haircut (her desire) 
So mature!
  • School verse: Ephesians 6:11 P -- Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Corinthians 3:3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Symptometry Update (after two years)

I've been meaning to write this for months now!

In a nutshell I experienced a lot of health improvements the first year on Symptometry. While it has been a very stagnant second year for me with no real improvement, I have retained the majority of the previous year's improvements (as long as I continue on particulates paired with the diet of course), which is noteworthy. I do not want those symptoms back! Twice I went without particulates for several weeks, and symptoms would return. Then, it would take several more weeks on particulates just to get those symptoms to disappear again. Clearly, my body likes particulates.

Further, we do not have any plans to give up the diet part, as we both have several reasons and benefits for continuing it.

Ricky had blood work a year and a half ago, and he had four red flags. He had a few outward symptoms that alerted him to possible underlying health problems. He took particulates for six months, then just maintained on the diet for nine months before getting his blood checked. When he did last autumn, all four symptoms had been completely resolved :)

Ricky had normal problems though. Genetics are another beast entirely because problems are on a chromosomal level, and I have had deadened nerves and cells for many years that have been deprived of vital necessities since birth. While Symptometry supplies my cells with all they need to revitalize, it is completely up to my cells to respond. We are praying for my cells to pick up again but we know that I am in God's Hands!

Anyway, we do not feel as if God has released us yet from Symptometry -- so we are not quitting. We are totally unsure of God's intentions or plans or will for calling us to this. We have many speculations as to the whys. But, they are just thoughts and guesses.

We like Symptometry, but our first and foremost (no comparison) desire is to follow God each day -- to love, seek, worship, glorify, focus on, and trust Him more.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Christmas and New Year Vacation

  • Our visit in Cincinnati went very well. Ricky's mom flew to us from WA, travelled with us north, stayed with us (we were there 10 days), and rode back with us before flying to her home. So, we were able to spend almost two weeks with her :) We also got to enjoy plenty of time Grandpa and Uncle Robby (who is much adored!). Ricky's dog Tuesday, almost 16, died soon after we got there, which was bittersweet because we all got to be there together. Other memories: game nights, Star Wars, a lot of reading (yay!), Lego art exhibit, IMAX Mars movie, aquarium (petting penguins), church, and...
  • So, if you didn't open presents on Christmas day, what did you do? We had a full, fun-filled day celebrating our LORD Jesus' birth! We started off by having a big, special breakfast. Then, we made a big pillow bed on the living room floor and watched several short Christmas movies while a fire roared in the fireplace (and started dinner in the crock pot). After singing several Christmas songs together, we threw a little party with decorations/cake/cheese/candles/gifts (for Jesus)/sharing. The kids got to skip nap time since we had a coffee cake with coffee in it. Then, we all participated and acted out the nativity story (see a clip below) before heading outdoors to enjoy God's creation and playing together (the kids just love the rope swing). We ate an earlier dinner, made warm, sweet drinks and took them with us while we went to drive through a light show that evening. We loved our new Christmas day traditions and can't wait to do them again next year!
  • On New Year's Eve we toasted with mango juice, shared, and watched all of our home videos from the previous year :) And to further celebrate the past year, we hold family interviews and record each one of us sharing some of our favorite memories from 2015. 
  • I'll catch up last week next week.
with the late, beloved Tuesday
making Jesus' birthday cake
Uncle Robby

DiMartino men

  • School verse: Psalm 89:8 O -- O LORD God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty, O LORD, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.
  • Verse to memorize this week: 2 Corinthians 3:1-2 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Wait Till It's Free

I've had a packed week and didn't even turn the computer on until now. So, I'll try to catch up next week ;)

There is a great documentary called Wait Till It's Free about the future of healthcare. It is very well done and is free to watch this month! Click here :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Resolutions for 2016

The intro is from my post two years ago on resolutions:

"Let me start by saying that just hearing the phrase New Year's resolutions rubs me wrong. I think that one reason is because weight loss is the first thing to come to mind because it is so common. Also, no one actually keeps them or remembers them after a few months. So they seem pointless and not very profitable.

But... it is hard for me to let such an opportunity to pass me by. I relish times of purpose to be still and reflect. [I sound like a Mary -- haha, but I really am a Martha-doer struggling to find (designate) time to be still and reflect.]

If God does not forbid it, and it strengthens your love-relationship with Christ, then I want to take advantage! Not that I cannot make "resolutions" other times of the year, but I have to be somewhat forced to sit back and reflect or it just does not happen because life is constantly demanding! Since this new year's time is already designated for making resolutions, then I'm going to let it "force" me :)

I find that I frequently need to evaluate my life in all areas to keep it going in the direction I want it to (towards glorifying God, of course). I hate regret and don't want to be on my death-bed, looking back on my life, and thinking, "If only I had done something with that part of my life back when I had the chance before it spiraled out of control."

The best way to change anything is to alter my spiritual life and let God have more access to my heart so He can bring true and lasting change to myself. Hopefully, these are somewhat feasible ways I can keep my spiritual life disciplined and on track this year:"
  1. Prayer life: I want to spend just one minute a day talking to God about each person in our family (four minutes total). I'm starting small because if I'm overly ambitious, it won't happen. I have a hard time focusing while praying, so I'm trying to counter that by making this time direct, pointed, and conversational (if possible, I will do this out loud).
  2. Devotional life: I plan on reading Jesus' words (the red words) and a commentary about them. Even if it's just one verse a day to ponder and digest. This is what I need most right now. For 15 ways to get into the Word, see these ideas! For many years now, I have read a page a day of certain books (or devotional) just to make it through more books in a year -- I have a huge list. Right now, I have three books I'm reading this way. It takes just about a minute a page, and every time I have a minute to spare or wait, I pick up one of these books :) [These are usually nonfiction as I read my fiction novel in the evenings while reclining ;)]
  3. Scripture memorization: Last year I ended up not only memorizing different psalms but reading one a day out loud, which was wonderful but now I have even more psalm verses I want to memorize! This year I am finally going to memorize my favorite chapter in the Bible -- 2 Corinthians 4. However, I am also going to memorize the chapter before and after it. So, 2 Corinthians 3-5 in all. As far as quoting the verses I already know, I do it daily but I just recite a bunch all at once. It's not my favorite way, so I'm trying to come up with a new plan. I'm thinking about pausing every hour to quote a verse or passage. I usually recite them in biblical order.
  4. Marital life: To increase my respect of Ricky, I am going to tag my lord on after his name whenever I am speaking to him. This will be a very apparent and vivid reminder to myself that I need to speak to Ricky as I speak to my LORD God. My respect for Ricky should not hinder on his behavior but on my submission and obedience to God. I.e. "Ricky, my lord, will you please take the trash out?"
  5. Personal life: I am really into the replacement principle. I want to use it in two areas of my life, but I'll only do one this year. Whenever I feel myself getting upset or frustrated or wanting to complain, I want to pause and give thanks for that moment or anything applicable.
  6. Social life: Last year I was praying for people that came to our house. It was great for six months and fizzled out over the summer for several reasons. One complication being that many people were in too much of a rush to leave. So, I want to modify last year's resolution to work better for this year. To pass on blessing to visitors, I'm going to do just that and leave them with a parting word, Scripture, or simple blessing.
Well. This is overwhelming to look at, but I think it's possible with a whole lot of grace and second chances. They are not dreams floating around in the sky. I have real and practical ways of implementing each one. ["Failing to plan is planning to fail."] I'm grabbing hold of each desire and figuring out how to incorporate it into my current, daily life. I've also decided that even if I constantly forget one or fail at another, I'm not going to be depressed over it and just give it up. Instead, I'm going to pick it right back up and keep going.

Happy New Year's resolving,