Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gearing Up....Ready to Go!

We leave this week for Washington! We plan to get in the car in the wee hours of the morning and "set sail". I started to have some panic attacks a few days ago about the trip. Mostly just because of the dependability of the car and the drive of 16 hours with three kids in the back seat of a Jetta. It will be good for them, but can we survive? I certainly hope so. We are taking snacks and movies mostly. We girls all get too car sick for much more. I started to feel better when I just put my adventure hat on so to speak and realized something that I've been telling myself ever since having kids started to fee heavy... there is no mess too big it cannot be cleaned up. What ever happens, we will work through it and we will come out the other side of it. All the good planning can flip on you at any moment anyway, so why try to plan it all perfect.
I'm not good at the planning thing. I'm not the mom who stays up late thinking of the creative things my kids can do or take or play on an outing. If it hits me, I do it, take it, prepare it. If not, the chips will fall where they may. I just get too overwhelmed planning it all out (that random brain thing) and too cranky if what I've planned out does not happen. See why I need that adventure hat on!?
I'm letting my house get real dirty on purpose (ever do that, it's kinda fun). This helped ease my stress too. Instead of cleaning it a week before and fussing for every little thing that messed it up again, I wait and clean it the day before we leave. Then leave, quick! There is no sense in doing it thoroughly twice. You should see my kitchen floor!!! Eeeeek!
I am however a little picky about coming home to a clean house and clean bedding. There is no greater feeling than a clean home and fresh sheets welcoming you back.
We took Ebony over to Tricia's to meet their dog Lucy yesterday. It went really well. I was impressed. They seem to like each other. I'm actually looking forward to a break from the pets for a few weeks. The kittens will be looked in on by our neighbor but cats are so much easier! I'm glad they have each other to romp around with and keep entertained.
I'm delving into the whole mystery of "Lost" while on vacation. I'm starting some of the books from the "Lost" book club. These are books that are mentioned in the show somewhere. The producers say that reading some of these may help you develop more of the mystery of the story, and I thought what they hey? I'll have some down time which does not happen around here, so I've sent off for them through the library. The five I chose are:

"Island" by Aldous Huxley (this should be interesting after having had to read "Brave New World" in a world view class in college)
"Bad Twin" by Gary Troup (no idea what I'm getting into on this one, but Sawyer was reading it as a script which intrigued me, why not a book? Is that a clue that it had a lot to do with the writing of the script of the show? hmmmmm)
"Turn of the Screw" by Henry James (use to have it in my literary days, always wanted to read it anyway, but this one must be significant to the whole "Lost" mystery because it is said many times to be where the Dharma orientation video is kept behind on the book shelf...interesting)
"Watership Down" by Richard Adams (always wanted to read this one too)
"Evil Under the Sun" by Agatha Christy (on the list, and hey, who can go wrong with an Agatha Christy novel?)

So, though highly nonspiritual, there is my reading list for the next few weeks. This whole rewatching of Lost has been intriguing to me. I've noticed things I've never seen before....those numbers are everywhere! We were watching an episode where Anna Lucia pulls her cop car into the police department and low and behold, the aerial shot showed all the cars around her had the numbers 04, 08, 15, 16, 23, 42.....I never saw that before. Thought I was real clever for noticing it and then plugged it into the search bar of this lost theories site and found it was old news. If you are a big fan of the show, the site has some fun theories!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pictures of the Kitten Adventure

Pictures of the Kitten Adventure

I told you a while back about the kittens we took on. They were a mess the day we brought them home. I was pretty stressed out the first few weeks but they are doing great now, healthy and cute. Rick was cracking up behind the camera taking pics while we washed them. Now, I can see why and you can too. Princess has a dream of being a vet, so I get sucked into a lot of animal rescue scenarios!:)

Slide show above, I could not get them to work with this text.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Okay, I Really Feel Like An Idoit

I thought about naming this "me and tahini; how we found each other" but it did not hit on the stupidity I feel.

Ladies, my brain does this and I wish someone would tell it to stop. For some VERY ODD reason, I have been reading "sesame seed paste" as "sunflower seed paste" for a very long time now. Tahini is made from SESAME SEED PASTE. I was wondering why when I got the sunflower butter from TJ's, it did not look white like the tahini the TJ worker handed me. Then, on the last post Judy asked me about using peanut butter and sesame oil. I read that too as "sunflower oil". What is up with me?! When I finally realized that she wrote "sesame oil" I thought, "oh, no, wait a minute, she has got the wrong seed." Then the second guessing began. I was in town doing errands, driving my kids around to the grocery and walmart and little did all of humanity know that in the silent caverns of my brain I was trying to think if it was sunflower or sesame. "That would make sense," I told myself, "because it's more of a white seed". Oh, dear.

I came home and googled the same wikipedia definition I had read before, only this time I slowed down and saw guess which word? Sesame.

So, if anyone was humoring me, please forgive me and just let me know how stupid I am next time!:)

For the record: tahini is a sesame paste

Tricia you asked if I've tried dried garbanzos yet. No, I'm looking for them and may order them in co-op since we are loving this stuff. My grain mill also mills beans so I'm going to start searching for how I can make a dry all ready seasoned and ready to go mix recipe. I'll get back to you.

In the mean time, I think I'm getting old. Help.

Be A Fly On My Wall

I have so not felt like blogging lately. I have had a lot going on the past month but some of it is unbloggable for different reasons. I also just have not had the energy to catch up on much of it. Besides this, we really have just been doing a lot of hiding from the heat and smoke. It is much better today and a joy to be able to keep the windows open for a while.

So, stop by and be a fly on my wall for a min so we can catch up.

Humus Love

I just finished a bowl of cucumber and tomatoes covered with some yummy scoops of home made humus. We are loving this recipe:

1 can drained garbanzo beans

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp cumin

2 med cloves garlic

3 Tbs. Tahinni (TJ's)

EVOO to liking (about 1/4 cup)

Throw in food processor and push button!

I made a commitment to myself to do my Arbonne shake or fruits and veggies (including legumes) for the next two weeks so I can feel better on our trip once many of my bad food choice toxins are eliminated. I walked an hour this morning and although part of me screamed "NO!" through most of it, I was so happy to have done it in the end.

Planet Earth

We have been loving those so far! Wow! I watched the one on caves while walking this morning and the kids are watching it now while I chill for a few minutes. The video footage is dumbfounding. I think I was most impressed with the thought that man has just recently been able to burrow down into these caves and how amazed he has been at what he has found. Yet, the mind of God has not only known about their every corner and crook, he knows every little bizarre creature living there in the dark, taking care of it's need. The beauty of the deepest parts of the earth or sea are no mystery to him! Yet, he also knows the hairs on my head in their number. Wow.

Rent it, netflix it, library it.....what ever you do.. watch it.


I've finally got my hands on chronological bible in a year book. I've always wanted to do this, read chronologically that is. I have a neighbor who just came back to the Lord (praise him for that and the amazing answer to prayer it has been) and I was overcome with her excitement to learn the scripture. We have been reading together since she has the same bible. Lately I got her distracted with something though.....


I've been trying to spread mine and Rick's craziness about Lost with some of my friends. I got my neighbor friend to watch the pilot with me on a day last week when it was 115* outside. She got VERY, VERY, VERY hooked. All episodes from all four seasons are on abc.com so she has been hibernating to catch up. Actaully, it was good timing since her hubby is gone for over a week and it's been so very hot. Still, I feel a little bad.....but not really:). It is the best show I think I've ever seen really because of it's unpredictability. I seem to always be able to tell who done it, what's going to happen etc.... but not with Lost. I'm Lost. :*


Getting bigger and very cute to watch. We will be needing a climber something or other soon as my arm chairs are becoming a constant attraction. I still don't have batteries for my camera to share pics....ah! We have had "bad luck" with cats in the past. We always get ones that are spooked and/or unfriendly. Sterling and Shasta are cuddlers and that is so fun! They let the kids love on them, cuddle them and even carry them around too long for the liking (especially Superkid).

Washington Here We Come!

I'm nervous but excited. We are going to be cramming the five of us in the Jetta! Gas prices do that to you. We are also going to attempt the 16 hour stretch as long as we can make it. If the moral of all goes down hill, we will stop for a hotel. We are just beginning to beef up on Washington state info and the kids are very excited to get to wear their Washington t-shirts from the Cowans (thanks again Lisa:). Pretty soon I'll be starting a checklist. Any suggestions? Oh, and my kids all get car sick so we can't do reading or games.

Back to Genesis

Thoughts that have been intriguing to me:

Adam and Eve hid when they had sinned and heard the sound of the Lord taking his walk in the garden in the cool of the evening. Wow. That thought blew me away. Can you imagine hearing God walking by and being able to have the freedom to join him and walk and talk with him!? That is what is ahead! You would think that if we had that, we would not trade it for fruit.

Totally caught up with the table of nations. How we all came from Ham, Shem, and Japeth and how they started the races of today. Amazing.

Also, the fact occurred to me that there are no guarantees with our kids. Noah was a man of God and you would think that this would have been a new start for the world to all come from a man who feared God. Yet, it is obvious that is not what happened. How faithfully I need to pray for them but how much more I have to trust God for his perfect will.

Sarah is always revered in christian women circles as being such a great image of submission without fear. When she went along with some of Abraham's antics and lies about being his sister (which is half true really since she was his half sister) she is pointed out later in scripture as being Godly for that. Yet, I was frustrated with how she talked Abraham into having children with her servant, and then blamed him for what a bad idea that was when it went wrong. Genesis should give us hope, it's so full of people with family issues and personality faults.

Gunna get to soon....

Lynn asked about a good bread machine recipe for sandwich bread. My friend Charlotte gave me one that works real good. I'll come back to share it soon. I also will be putting those summer suggestions up in the cupboard soon. Thanks to those of you who shared.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"A Year Of Crockpotting" Lady on Rachel Ray!

Okay, so I called my neighbor/friend to beg help so I can see this. The lady who does "A Year Of Crockpotting" blog is going to be on Rachel Ray's show!
So, if you have cable watch! If you're like me and don't.....beg someone who puts up with you. :)

Hangin With My Crew

First of all I want to say.... I need to get batteries for my camera so I can upload some pictures! I am sorry there have been no personal pics for a while. If it stays as hot as they say it will today.... I may be back for those later!
We had a great day hangin as a family yesterday. There are some days I just love the crew that we are. We were pretty much locked in till seven because of the heat. We slept in very late, cleaned the house a little, watched the kittens romp and play, made fajitas from scratch, attempted to make tortilla's homemade (one of the biggest culinary frustrations of my life but my neighbor has a press for me so I'm hoping that will work better), Princess made some pudding cups to put in the fridge for dessert, watched a library DVD on Washington State, Fell asleep (girls went in their room with the kitties while Superkid fell asleep on top of daddy on the couch), finally went outside at almost seven. From there, the kids played, Lilo strung bead bracelets and necklaces while I sanded their loft bed and daddy mowed the lawn. We were out as long as we could see. The smoke was heavy again yesterday. Do you know there are now a total of 1800 fires in ca? Some are contained but that is the total. It is the summer of the smoke!
Also in there I finally cranked back up my bread making in the machine. The first loaf was absorbing the attitude of the tortillas and refused to come out for me. It came out, it just had a bubble that rendered half of the loaf hallow. I was able to cut enough for Rick's sandwich for work today and that was it. So, I started up another in the evening and this morning it is lovely. I have not cut into it but it feels right. I finally am noticing the bread at the store is going up in price as the wheat costs have finally trickled down to what's on the shelf. So, I'm trying to crank back into homemade.
Rick and I are noticing on that note, our budget tighten all of a sudden. They hired a help at the Post Office so he is not getting as much overtime. Plus, all groceries have gone up. I think I will do a big garden next spring. It won't really be preference but necessity. Gas is just killing us since we live 10 min from town and 30 min from our church famiy. I also need to beef up on my coupons after the summer. Right now I don't want to stock up since we will be away so much and then the girls both have camp for a week. So, yesterday I made up menus to use up what we have instead of going out and getting more.
Today we will once again, be in. It's to be 105 and that means another wait for 6 or 7 to go outside unless the wind comes and brings us relief from the ocean air.
Pray for Rick if you think of it. He walks more than any other mailman in his city and the heat is not as bad as all the smoke.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Wonderful Movie Experience

Princess and I went to see the American Girls new instalment about Kit Kittredge. It was such a great movie! I was impressed by all elements: story line, acting, costume, ...etc. The message in the movie was refreshing as well. It was definitely a tear jerker too. Made you laugh, made you cry, made you anxious and made you reflect. Good stuff.

My favorite element I have to say though was the vintage 40's dresses and aprons..... I may have been caught drooling if it had not been so dark. :)
Go to the link for a trailer of the movie and more vintage drooling!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm Playing Pee Sample Mommy!

My just turned five year old son seems to be enamored with the new thing he had to do at his kindergarten check up. I just went in the bathroom to help him with something and he held up one of our dip cups (for ketchup, ranch etc) which he had taken the liberty of collecting a pee sample in! Heavens. Just when you think they've done it all.

The Snare of Compare

We mom's can really be queens of the comparison game. I've been there and done that, and when I'm not careful I can slip back into that trap quite effortlessly. I can honestly say that as I grow as a mom and just a daughter of the King, I find I am slowly easing out of this more and more. I'm sure there will be elements of it throughout my whole life but praise God that He gently works on me.

I think I've said before that I've had times in my life when I've fallen into a thinking that everyone had to be like me, or more strongly, that I had to be like them or there was no satisfaction to be found in what we did as a family.

Do you ever notice it? You can be talking about just about anything and the conversation will turn to what they do, what you do, how they do it different, therefore who does it better...etc. Now, mind you, sometimes passing on suggestions and helpful hints is great but when we become competitive and walk away wishing they would just be like us, or that we could just be like them we are not living in freedom.

I've been pondering lately the verse in Thessalonians that states that we should mind our own business.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,..

I've always found this verse to be one of the most blunt admonishments in scripture. It's blunt to me especially because I gravitate to sharing and enjoy when others share. Yet, how quickly share becomes compare! In this world of technology we don't really know what it means anymore to mind our own business. Everyone's business is plastered all over the place in most regards. It's a comparison minefield.

What God continually works to show me is that comparisons are all about self. Self wants to be flattered by imitation. If that does not fulfill self wants to redefine itself by what it deems as better. Both of these are distractions from Christ. I've pondered this a great deal lately since the conviction I found in May not to look like another "body part" in the body of Christ but to look like what God created me to be in his body. If the hand compares itself to the eye, it will indeed find drastic differences. Those are as they aught to be! Christ, the creator of the body and the ordainer of the character there of is the only one the eye or hand should look to for definition.

So if we know this, why do we compare? I ask myself.

I think I compare out of a motivation of discontent at times with who and what God made me. I wish I was more like another mom who can do this, that, and endlessly more. Fact is ladies, I don't know her weakness.. God does and he also knows how she is discontented. So, instead I need to focus on how, and ask God how, He wants to put who He created me to be for the use and sake of his awesome plan. For indeed, he has said that I am me, and no other. My discontent with myself beyond my sin which needs to be dealt with and I should be thankful I am uncomfortable with, is in essence an argument with God. A disputation with His sovereignty. In reality, how would I ever dare to argue? I wouldn't and yet I do.

The other major motivation can be my desire for admiration and affirmation. A sense of glory....ooooh... did I just say glory!? What glory is there that I possibly deserve? Think-think, think-think, think-think....um... NONE. So why would I waste my time seeking what is not mine? Because it is a pleasant distraction from the enemy and a well that does not meet my thirst but deceives. I long for that which I should only turn to Christ for, and he is full and plenty in this regard! Endless love flows from Him for me and it is a pure love that allows the bonds of self to be broken, which is what I really need and long for.

In the book "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper, I love when Piper asks me this:

"Would you feel more loved by God if he made much of you, or if he liberated you from the bondage of self-regard, at great cost to himself, so that you enjoy making much of him forever?"

Wow! Yes! I raise my hand heartily! Please do that to me God!

Is that not so true?! What I really long for is not the fulfillment of self, but the freedom from it!

Comparisons are a journey down self lane. They are a rabbit trail off the straight and narrow. Sooner or later God will have to wake us up in His love and get our eyes back on Him and our feet back on the path He has for us. Yet, don't forget that they are therefore one major thing.. a waste of time. Time is a precious gift to be used as a resource for God's glory. Not to be wasted.

When the hand wastes it's time wanting to be the eye, or it wastes it's time working to convince the eye it would rather be a hand, it is wasting it's time. Further more, it is being distracted from living the freedom and joy of being the hand God intended it to be. It will shine with glory, the pure glory of the father as it fulfills what it was meant to do.

So, as you make your many visits along blogville today, or you talk with a great friend/ sister in the Lord, keep your eyes on Christ. I pray to do the same. To continually come to Him for definition and affirmation. Be the part of His body he wants YOU to be! Find your joy and encourage your sisters as they find theirs. Encourage one another in the Lord, spur one another on in loving truth that desires for each of you a better fulfillment of your specific callings.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goings On

I just can't believe July is here. There always seems to be an endless summer till you start to see the end in sight. For us July means the end since we will be gone most of August, then the girls have summer camp, and the very next week school starts. So, I'm trying to stay focused on what those summer goals were.
One distraction has been the two six week old kittens we have taken on in a lapsing moment of sanity and a promise from Princess to not only take care of them, but to earn the money for their shots and fixing. They were starving to death when we took them. The lady was feeding them dog food. They still needed milk since their mom had abandoned them. So, we feed them formula and kitty food now. They have taken up residence in our garden tub since it's needing to be fixed anyway. It makes the perfect play pen for them. Pretty soon they will be able to jump out. Now we have to monitor the coming and going of the dog too as they don't get along yet and I think she could kill them without meaning too. They are the size of a fluffy rat, but of course much more adorable. I hope to have pictures soon. They are both grey tabbies and named Sterling and Shasta (brother and sister).
Rick and I are sanding and painting a loft bed for the girls room right now too. That was a big summer project besides finishing painting the house. Tricia had a hand me down wood bunk and we are changing it to an antique white to match their old furniture.
The kids started swim lessons last week. A first for all three of them. They did real well. That will be keeping us busy till our trip too since there are many more sessions ahead.
My mom took a bad fall a week and a half ago. Please pray for healing for her. She nearly broke a rib and her back. As it is, she tore cartilage from her rib and damaged her back pretty bad. The doctor says it will take three months for the injuries to heal. She is still working since her job is a sit down one. Sometimes I wish she could just have a break from tough stuff for a good long while. The night after she went to the doctor for xrays she had to drive all the way down to "over that grade" (for you locals) to check on my grandpa who had fallen at the Alzheimer's unit.
Lilo woke up crying this morning cause she had a dream about Papa. That hasn't happened for a long time for any of us. I use to have a lot of dreams. Some were nightmares, now they are usually pleasant but overwhelming when they come. It's been a while. July 12 would have been his birthday, he would have been 56.
The kids had their wellness checks last week. Princess came in 34% on weight and 50% on height. Dr. says we will have a lovely trim teen soon. It was scary for him to confirm signs of change coming. We are looking at about a year or year and a half. I told my mom I felt like asking if we could just opt out of that whole thing. I feel with the distraction of the other two being in toddler years up till about a year ago, that I jumped from tiny ones to a developing tween overnight. How did this happen so fast? I don't wanna!!! :)
Lilo is 75% height, 75% weight and as the Dr. stated a perfect even proportion. She will be taller and fuller like her daddy's gene pool would determine.
Then he got to Superkid. "Now", he says, "We have one off the charts." Well over 97% on height and 97% on weight. As he lay him out and checked his little self he was commenting on how we have an athlete here or a man who should be harnessed to a plow and let go in a field. I thought that was funny.