About Me

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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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Tough Being A Woman

It was awesome to be back after a week off from Bible Study! Beth Moore brought us back with a BANG!  Here are some things I took away from the video session this week.

It's tough being a woman in a mean world.
1.  Meanness has a history. 
No one is mean out of "nowhere."  It can be (and most often is) handed down through generations. 
2.  Meanness perceives a threat.
When this happens, ask yourself (1) who is my rival? (2) where is the threat? (3) who is the competition/ with whom am I being compared?  Then remind yourself that insecurity is at the heart of EVERY rivalry! 
3.  Meanness catches like a virus. 
We pass it down (generation to generation) and we pass it around (friend to friend)!  There is nothing meaner than a coward.  A coward perceives anger as power because they don't think they have any other source of power!  Have you ever noticed how coming into contact with a mean person raises up your own "mean girl"?  That could be precicely why God has allowed us to encounter such meanness.  When you feel meanness and anger rising up within you -STOP- and ask God to help you identify the threat!
4.  Meanness is curable.
Romans 12:17-21    
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written:  "It is mine to avenge; I will repay." says the Lord.  On the contrary:  "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 
If you want to drive a "mean girl" crazy, kill 'em with kindness!  Be nice to her; love her with the love of Christ!  If you are not in a covenant relationship with the "mean person" in your life, get out!  If you are, seek Godly councel.

I'm closing with this excerpt from the video session (paraphased to an extent) because it really spoke to me in light of the past week of my life:
The more you can get a human being, a person, to provide your emotional needs, that security you want, the more you will crave it from them.  Your need will continue to grow greater and greater until it overtakes and destroys that relationship!  This happens because no human being can keep up with that!  God is the only one who can deal with this in us!  We will never find "the perfect man" or "perfect best friend" or "perfect boss" or "perfect pastor" or "perfect bible study leader" who can provide for us what God alone is capable of.  They will buck the system, we will buck the system and we all should because it's never going to work!
Hebrews 13:5b
God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. 
Hebrews 13:6b
The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
Matthew 11:28
Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

MY rainy day weekend project (completion)

Laptop Case
 Power Cord Pouch
It all started with a drawing.  I wanted something that would show my personality and protect my laptop on a daily basis... oh, and something I could pick up and take with me on a whim without having to "pack."
This is how the laptop sits on the table when you're ready to use it.
(The power cord pouch has been removed, the strap can be as well)
The strap is NOT adjustable but is plenty long enough for a tall person or to use diagonally
Unbutton and fold out
Lift the screen
Unzip the sides to expose the keyboard
The power cord plugin is accessible even when the case is closed
The power cord pouch has room enough for a cordless mouse, keys or ID
This laptop case is lined with a plush cotton batting for support and protection.

Our rainy-day happenings

 Origami - the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes representing objects > this would be the boys' favorite new thing.  I was headed to the craft store for some items to keep us entertained while couped up over the long, rainy weekend without Brad and the boys asked for Origami Paper (I didn't realize there was special paper to fold but, I found it and when we got home they went to town!).
I'm so proud of Garrett, he's always been so hard on himself when he can't get something just perfect (I have no idea where he gets that ; )) but he was just having a good time instead of stressing.
(I don't know how but I failed to get a picture of his creation)
I think all of this Origami stuff was Seth's idea in the first place.  He's always been the most creative of the four boys, and LOVES to teach the others!
Seth's creation: (Garrett's was like this)
Tristen was at the computer getting step-by-step directions on how to make something special as a gift for Valentine's Day!
Tristen's creation:  LOL!  A secret!  He even put it in an Origami gift box!
 In the meantime:  Hayden danced around from brother to brother marveling over their projects.
Garrett goofing off with Hayden in between folds.
Hayden stood behind Seth with his arm around his neck while Seth folded his papers without stopping, I tried to get the candid shot off but they turned to see what I was doing before I could capture it, this turned out nice too though.
They went on like this all day!  The T.V. wasn't turned on, no X-Box, no DS, and best of all

I am one blessed Momma!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More storm coverage : )

Today's forecast:  SNOW! 
The boys weren't even home from school for 20 minutes before the rain turned to snow before our very eyes!  And it hasn't stopped!  I guess the boys will be home driving me nuts again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Storm

This is my back yard and front yard today due to the Winter Storm that has incapacitated many in (or from) their homes in Southern California.  The boys had play dates today, I dropped them off at 10:00 and they were scheduled to stay until 4:00 but when I saw the back and front yards (the swing tumpled over and puddled water on our front patio) I decided to turn on the news to see just how bad it really was.  When I heard words like "flash floods," "swift water rescues" and "tornado warning" (YES!  Tornado warning!!)  I decided to go get the boys early. 

This was the flooded intersection I had to brave through to get to their prospective friends' homes:

   Needless to say, I took an alternate route home! 
This photograph scares me, how quickly blue skies can turn to grey.

When I got home I had two very unhappy and disappointed little men!  One had to quit in the middle of a game and one missed out on fresh cinnamon rolls! So I promised we'd play a game together and look up a NEW recipe to make together online (as long as we had all the ingredients) because they LOVE using new recipes.  Seth and I found this cookie recipe, had all the ingredients, so we made them!  I'm not sure what game we're going to play, they got distracted by the news when it mentioned a swift water rescue in Pomona of a 12-year-old boy and his friend.  Seth recognized that his Daddy works in Pomona and got very worried.  After texting Brad to make sure he was ok, he called and spoke to the boys on speaker phone to reassure them that he's not in harm's way.  What a day it has been! 

Just before posting this blog, I looked outside and saw this:
The sign of God's covenant to us; it was very comforting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dinner with my men

Hayden is my pickiest eater yet and last night he made a request for cheesey bread sticks from Little Ceasar's Pizza, however, I had already told the other boys that they could make dinner since it's been a while since I've let them into the kitchen so...  I bought all the ingredients for under $10 (we've never attempted this before and I had no recipe, my favorite kind of meal : ))    Jiffy Pizza dough mix $0.68 x 4, 2 lbs shredded cheese (Pizza blend) $6.98, Parmesan cheese $0.98, 6 oz sliced pepperoni $2.00 and Italian Seasonings already on my spice rack such as oregano, rosemary, basil & garlic.

After everyone enjoyed this better-than-Little-Ceaser's-Pizza-&-Cheesey-bread (and it was less expensive!), the boys made these no-bake cookies from their new "Kids in the Kitchen" recipe book.
I love that I can teach my boys how to cook - and they LIKE it!  They are going to be very great assets to some very lucky ladies in the future!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The optomatrist called yesterday and Garrett's glasses were in and available for pick up!  Talk about customer service, right?  That was speedy-quick! I took Garrett immediately after school to get them... he was so excited!  The first thing he said when he put them on was, "Hey Mom!  I can read that green and white box over there!  It says 'Opti-Free!'  I thought it was just a green and white box!"  OH! MY! GOSH!  I was near crumbling inside!  I was so happy for him and yet devistated at the same time!  I had NO IDEA how much he struggled with his vision!  All the way home he made comments like that! 
When we got home, he went straight to work on his homework and said he could get used to this!  He actually read THREE chapters when his assignment only called for two!  He only complained once about them hurting his ears, but I told him it's something he'll have to get used to, gave him a half dose of tylenol and he went back to work without further complaint. 
Garrett said he thinks the glasses make him smarter.  I assured him that he's had the capability all along, the glasses just help him accomplish what he once could not due to his poor eyesight.  He smiled so BIG!  When he was putting his things away in his backpack he looked up at me (clear on the other side of the house down a darkened hallway) and said, "Hey Mom!  I can see you!  Thanks for getting me glasses."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's tough being a woman

My Bible study group is tackling the book of Esther right now and here are some things I took from today's video session, I pray this touches a place in your life as it has mine.

1.  Not only is it tough being a woman in another woman's shadow (gone into depth on last week), but it's tough being a woman in a world where beauty is a treatment.  Beauty encompasses our lives even today.  As it was back then, beauty is not only something you ARE, it's something you DO.  My prayer is that the beauty God fills me with on the inside not only be enhanced daily by my devotion to Him but that others see the beauty of Christ when they look at me.  I pray that I can learn to see myself through God's eyes and stop criticizing what God deems beautiful.  (Who's with me?!)

2.  One of my very favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord (I just LOVE how He doesn't just say it, he DECLARES it) "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  This translated word "future" in the Greek means after, later, behind & following.  What is behind & what is later have the SAME ROOT!  You cannot amputate your history from your destiny.  That's what redemption is!  Never forget what God dragged you away from; more often than not He uses you not in spite of your past but because of your past!  Praise God!

3.  Ephesians 5:22 says "Wives you are to submit to your husbands as to the Lord."  These days women who are submissive are veiwed as weak.  God is attracted to weakness, it leaves more room for Him to fill you with His strength! (see also, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Ok, enough "preaching" for now.  I shared this because it was strong on my heart to do so, I pray those of you who dared to read it were touched by one, if not all of the points mentioned.  These were the most powerful to me as I sat in class and took in all that was taught.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Complete Spectacle

A few years ago Garrett (our third-born) went to the optometrist and tested at 20/30 vision.  He was too young for glasses (according to the doctor; he was 4) and his sight would "most likely correct itself."  I was most worried about the "off-chance" that it would get worse since this was a critical time in his life having just started pre-school and would soon be learning to read.

Last week he went to his Primary Care Physician and during his physical the doctor noticed his vision was poor; about 20/50 in his opinion.  After receiving approval from our insurance company we scheduled an eye exam for this morning where we found out Garrett is near-sighted and needs glasses.  He tested 20/30 with astigmatism in his left eye and 20/40 in his right eye.  He will need to wear his glasses at all times (obviously not when he's sleeping). 

He was nervous during the exam and did NOT like having air puffed into his eyes!  But he was a trooper and after 3 tries, they got a good read.  I was on the verge of tears when he'd read "Z"s as "I"s and "K"s as "R"s but I know there's nothing I did wrong or could've done differently (except maybe take him in more frequently, however, he never complained about his sight).  I learned that he often times sees double and has watery eyes while in class at school.  I just praise God that we are in a financial position to get him glasses right now; vision is not a part of our insurance plan so we will be adding it soon!  His glasses cost us $230!  Who knew they'd be so expensive?  Well, hopefully they look worth it!  He's happy to "look smarter" and I'm happy to find out his academic level may be where it is due to his sight, not his ability (or my lack of something)!  These are the frames he picked, they will be available for pick-up within 10 days!

Friday, January 8, 2010