About Me

My photo
I am a Christian. I am a loving wife to my Army-National-Guard-Recruiter-Husband of 15 years. I am a stay-at-home-mother to our four handsome sons. I am a photographer. My blog is about as erratic, eclectic and random as I am, painted with rainbows of photos and words that are hills and valleys you travel; so lovely sometimes that they hurt you. These are the stories of how far we've come in the last 15 years as Christians, as a family and as individuals.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smoke and Fire

It's when the kids are quiet that one should worry, right? Well, yesterday I was enjoying a very quiet afternoon. This is what I found later:

Yes! I was so scared and worried but couldn't get too mad at Hayden, somehow, I'm made it three years without ever having to tell him not to play with the fire on burning candles! I went online and showed him pictures of the damage fire can cause and he was scared straight, I hope. Everything turned out ok, I threw the towel away and put a baking soda and water paste on his burned flesh (don't freak out, it was VERY small).

Don't take for granted that your child knows something, tell them! Tell them fire is bad, not to smoke or do drugs... don't leave these things left unsaid or for someone else to say; even worse, don't let them learn the hard way!

Humming Birds and Vultures

Humming birds fly around looking for bright, beautiful flowers from which to collect good, sweet nectar and spread wonderful pollen that aid the flowers. Very seldom do you see a humming bird on the groud, they stay airborne and busy doing good deeds.

Vultures can smell any dead, rotting things from far off then search for and circle around the carcas that they pick at and feed on. Vultures stay near to the ground while feeding and digesting their consumptions, ususally serving only themselves in the process.
Are you a Humming Bird or a Vulture?

Do you look for the good in others, spread encouraging words and use your abilities to uplift others or can you smell rumors and gossip from afar and dig up "dirt" on others, picking on them and killing them with your discouragement?

Proverbs 11:27 (NIV) He who seeks good finds goodwill,but evil comes to him who searches for it.

This wisdom came to me from a blogging buddy who's permission I have to copy it and post for my readers to be reminded in a kind and loving way to always stay airborne!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spaghetti Tacos Anyone?

Do you have kids? Have you heard of/seen iCarly?
Although the Nickelodeon sitcom is typically about a young girl who lives in the custody of her erratic older brother and has her own web show that she shares with her two best friends, my boys love it! I'll admit that I've been caught staring at the screen and laughing when the show is on too. Well, the brother I mentiond is "famous" for his Spaghetti Tacos. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like; spaghetti in a hard taco shell. Last night I made spaghetti and since the boys had helped me put groceries away, they knew we had taco shells and BEGGED if they could try Speghetti Tacos. I was curious to see if they'd like them myself so I agreed and to my surprise, they loved them! Hayden, in typical Seth fashion, wasn't eating speghetti with the rest of the family because he "don't rike it" so I put a sliced hot dog on his plate. Then, in typical Hayden (monkey see, monkey do) fashion, he shoved his pieces into a hard taco shell and had himself a Hot-Dog Taco! It was a memorable evening laughing and joking and being stunned that the guys were actually eating these creations while reciting their favorite episodes of iCarly.

The Time Traveler's Wife

You know those people who like to pick up a book, flip to the last chapter and read to see if they like the ending well enough to read the whole story? Well, I am NOT one of those people. That is why I was so deflated upon the completion of The Time Traveler's Wife. I was struggling to finish the book and couldn't quite put my finger on why until I turned the last page to perceive that the story was in fact over. I was really enjoying the ebb and flow of the way the story was written until they revealed the ending right smack dab in the middle of the book! The remaining pages were just a long, drawn out, detailed description of how the inevitable happens. If I wanted to know the ending and still waist my time reading the story I would've turned to the last chapter first. Maybe THIS would've been one to watch on the big screen first.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Productive Weekend

This past weekend was more productive than I could've imagined. On a whim I decided to clean out the garage since I had cleaned out the boys' closets and got everything worth handing down, handed down and put away everything that was worth keeping to hand down later. In the process, I found a TON of toys and clothes that were still in too good of condition to toss but we no longer need/use them. I called a local charity that we frequently donate to (mainly because they come pick the stuff up) and the next time they'd be in our area was Friday! I didn't have much time to organize the give aways but they were happy to take them off our hands nonetheless. After all of that stuff was gone, we realized that we may just have room in our garage to house two cars if we'd just CLEAN it. After my photoshoot on Saturday, Brad and I got busy in the garage and this was how it looked by Saturday morning!
Brad promised the boys that he'd (learn to) play Bakugan with them if they'd stay out of our way and watch after Hayden while we tackled the montrous garage and they went above and beyond to get their Dad to play one of their favorite games with them. As tired as we were after the garage was complete, Brad had no choice but to follow through with his promise since the boys acted accordingly. Seth was the big winner! While they played, I cooked dinner and we all sat down to delicious bacon-wrapped chicken, french onion mashed potatoes and green beans. The little ones didn't like the mashed potatoes so I had mac-n-cheese as a back-up! It was a wonderful day!

Sunday found the boys and me at church and while Brad went to the dump to fully rid our home of all the trash that we'd compiled from clearing out the garage. Afterwards we took in another family movie; Race to Witch Mountain. Brad was more into it than anyone but I at least made it to the end with him, the boys ducked out half-way through to play on the computer and their DSes. This was not a movie for ages ten and under, in my opinion.

Today is the beginning of a new week and I'm relishing evey moment of these last few weeks until school commences. Honestly, I'm shocked at myself; by this time last year I was pulling my hair out, screaming for help feeling as if I couldn't wait for school to get back in session! I give God the glory! Without the pull to do this Bible Study and the great people who've joined with me, I might be in the same boat I saw myself in last year. It's all about staying on the straight and narrow and having SOME SORT of structure to my days. I find I'm so much happier, therefore, more tollerable, when things are in order and I'm getting things accomplished for the good of myself as well as those around me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Need an Anchor?

This one is for my Mom: The Santa Annas are baa-aack!

Brad got home just in time to drag our new trampoline back to it's intended position in our barren back yard, bend the metals back into place and anchor it down before the next big rush! Thankfully there was no irreversible damage and the boys were back on it the next day!


I gathered a small group of willing participants together to join me this Summer in a Bible Study called Boundaries with Kids. We are four chapters into it and let me just say that I think I've overestimated myself! There is a book and study called Boundaries that coulda-shoulda-woulda been addressed first but I didn't see the need to create boundaries within myself, I just wanted to tackle boundaries with my children! What an eye opener this study has been so far!

I've learned that in order to teach boundaries to our kids we must be boundaries for our kids. This is very hard to do if we haven't been taught said boundaries ourselves. I'm having to learn while I teach. One of the biggest lessons I've learned so far is that boundaries are more often caught than taught. I heard it said so many times when I was young "do as I say, not as I do" and I followed that rule thinking that when I'm the adult I can do whatever I want and not worry about what my kids are catching from me because I can use the old saying myself. This was a mistake!

Do you ever look at your children and see them as a reflection of all the things you loathe about yourself? I do. I want my children to be amazing people who do amazing things. In setting boundaries for them as well as myself I will teach (rather model for) them character qualities that will enable them to be just that!

*Excerpts from the Boundaries with Kids Participant's Guide*

Week one we focused on being more loving: "loving people recognize that the world does not revolve around them. They are able to control their impulses, respect the boundaries of others and set boundaries for themselves so that they are responsible people whose actions are loving."

Week two we focused on being more responsible: "being responsible means taking ownership of your life. Ownership is to truly possess your life and to know that you are accountable for it - to God and others."

Week three we focused on being more free: "in sharp contrast to today's popular victim mentality, free people realize that they can act rather than remain passive in a situation, that they have choices and can take control of their life."

Week four we are focusing on initiating: "being created in the image of God is being created with the ability to begin something. Teaching a child to initiate is an important aspect of boundary training."

I've had some serious ups and downs in modeling these for my boys although I feel as if I'm becoming a better person as well as a better mother in the process of this study. Four weeks in and we have four weeks to go; to be honest I can't decide if I want to jump into Boundaries, repeat Boundaries with Kids or move on to Boundaries in Marriage. There are many Boundaries books out there, there just may be one specific for your current needs, check out Dr. Cloud & Dr. Townsend: The Boundaries Series and see for yourself if these could help you as much as they're helping me and my small group this Summer. God's blessings!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What a beautiful sight

I chastised myself for six weeks over not making the boys read, worried they'd regress over the Summer and suffer when school commences. August first I realized that the Summer break is nearly over for us and school is right around the corner! I told myself, "As hard as it might be to get them into a book now after neglecting to stress the importance of it all Summer, I know it will be even harder for them once back in school." So I tackled this head on! I was ready for the battle and determined to win!
Here's what I've found every day for the past 5 days:

See what I mean when I say "God is SO good"?

My Summer Reading List

Preview this book.
While flipping through late-night television I saw a portion of the review of the (at the time) upcoming release of the motion picture based off of this bestseller and learned that the ending of the movie was "completely different" from the book but muted the volume before I could hear any further. That's all it took for me to run out and pick up a copy of the book and vow to read it prior to seeing the movie. -The book was a compelling story that I thouroughly enjoyed, I have yet to see the film.

A couple of years ago (possibly last Summer; I'm not sure) I randomly chose Wicked Lovely from a bookstore rack and took it home to read. I enjoyed the fantasy of the story so when I saw the sequel to it on the shelf at Target while vacationing (since I was finished with the book I brought) I picked it up to complete the fable. Read the review.
Preview this book.
I am a pretty firm believer in the general rule that "the book is better than the movie" so after seeing the previews for the new flick I decided this would be my next read. I'm currently persuing it and delighting in the way that it was written.
If you know of a book you think I'd enjoy, please share... I just may read it!

Do you see what I see?

What a heavenly sunset God shared with me the other night. I enjoyed it all the way home but by the time I got there and was able to grab my camera most of the vibrant hues of deep plum, fuchsia and honey were gone but there was still this flaming copper burning behind the trees. I didn't notice (until I uploaded this photo) the glorious cross in the calming sky. Now THAT'S a message from my savior that there's always a righteous choice, a reminder to turn my head to the heavens, ask and it will be given to me, seek and I will find - God is SO good!