Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well we are off to Edmonton in the morning. I got my hair done yesterday and tried some funky new highlights. I've found myself too reserved and boring lately so I started with more vibrant colors and now my hair has the most unatural burgundy and blonde highlights...very European and Canadian looking...not at all American. Very fun!
I've been wandering around the house today uninspired to pack and yet getting more and more stressed due to my procrastination. I was going to go to bed early and then arise early but now I've gotten my second wind and am ready to tackle the rest of this project that I've been attempting all day. The girls were extra needy today...even the dog was needy...go figure. However, we did reach one milestone today. Portia went potty on the potty today for the first that is the beginning of the end of diapers for us...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Tomorrow Portia will have her first plane ride...Mercedes will have her 3rd. I just love this age. Both the girls are so animated and as they get older it just gets more fun. Christmastime is so much fun through the eyes of a child. As an adult I get too caught up in my to-do list...but when I stop and ponder life through the joyful and innocent eyes of my girls I see a very different world. I see a carefree and fun world. I see a world to explore. I see hope. I see SO MUCH more than my adult eyes take in. What a gift to catch glimpses of life as through the eyes of a child again. Jesus said something about that in Luke 18:15-17:
People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. "Let these children alone. Don't get between them and me. These children are the kingdom's pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in."
Have a very Merry Christmas! I hope you see this Christmas through your child eyes. I hope you see the whole reason for the season. JESUS!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some thoughts

The last little while I have been trying to do more "crafty" things. I hadn't done that in quite awhile as i hadn't had the time, inclination, or the energy. It's kind of nice. I took up knitting...not good yet so I am bored already with it...and I am making these no-sew fleece blankets for the girls and some other kids. The tracktor blanket in this picture is for one of my closest friends who just had her third son last week. The girly one is for one of my other closest friend who just adopted a baby girl.

I have also started to do more crafty things with the girls. They really enjoy it. I have some finger paintings to send to grandparents and great-grandparents for Christmas.

We have also been doing things like building forts in the living room. It was fun but Portia kept crawling on top of the fort and ruining it much to Shaun and Mercedes' frustration. The girls are very good...even on days when we can't get outside due to weather. Tomorrow we are going to a place that is a gymnastics centre that has a time for a couple of hours where it's a big indoor play gym. We've not been yet but it sounds like a good place for the girls to blow off some steam.

I read this this morning... Proverbs 14: 10 says "The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations." That really struck me. Especially at Christmas. It said to me that we choose to be a friend to someone and then we stick with them NO MATTER WHAT! Loyalty. Over the last 9 months Shaun and I have made new friends. They are wonderful people but it takes a long time to really be true friends. I cherish the friendships that I have. I am very thankful for the people that God has blessed my life with. This verse was an excellent reminder to me.
I got this in an e-mail and found it true:

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself (and doesn't feel even the least bit weird shutting your 'beer/Pepsi drawer' with her foot!)
A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.
A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.
A simple friend hates it when you call after they've gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A simple friend wonders about your romantic history. A real friend could blackmail you with it.
A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend calls you after you had a fight.
A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!

I am blessed with many real friends and many new friends. One needs both :). After all the new friends will become old friends in time if we stick to the friendship...Thank you my friends whatever catagory you may fall into :)

Love, Tama

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! wonderful husband has started this business. We have prayed that God would bring us the jobs that Shaun could do as he expands his skill level. That he would provide the money for the tools that he needs as he needs them and that we would have a shop that fits his needs as he needs it.
Shaun started making calls. Of the several people he called two Realtors that do high end condos in downtown Vancouver were on the list. Each one said "oh I have a million dollar condo I just sold. I will give the guy your name". (First of all this amazed us because you would think that they would say they would keep Shaun's name in mind...but no they had people to pass his name on that needed work now) And the day he called one of the clients was flying in the next day and the other realtor was making a list for his client right...he was literally typing. The next person Shaun called was the people that he had made the Murphy bed for to see if they were happy and if it was working well. They are happy and it is working well. Now Shaun had finished this job a month or longer ago. They just had their neighbor in the other day to look at it (not a month ago when it was finished) but right before Shaun called. And he wanted one too...did they think Shaun would build him one? So they are going to tell him Shaun would. They were also sure they knew someone else who needed something along the lines of what Shaun does...I have to say that really amazed me...because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had gone before us. Then yesterday Shaun did a quote on a $1.1 million condo on Coal Harbour for a 25 year old Chinese Canadian guy. The realtor (who coincidentally was the one selling this house...that's how we met him) said he thought he needed some shelves. so Shaun went down to do the quote...WELL there are a lot more than shelved needed. And Shaun is to do the bid but he has the job as they are not getting any other quotes. AND he is working with the interior designer/decorator. The last project she did was a 40,000 square foot house. The guy she usually uses is too busy to do this one. If she is happy with Shaun she will add pass work his way. YEAH GOD. About 2 weeks ago I had printed out all of the interior decorators in the Lower Mainland. And here God put one right in our lap. Shaun will deal only with nice is that!!!!
We have BATHED (and will continue to bathe) this business venture in prayer. God is faithful to us. He is going before us. I can literally see His hand at work. After all of the wandering around we have done and things we have tried to do (likely more in our own strength than not). There is a pleasure and an ease of doing it the God-way. You know we can't succeed at this without God. We have learned that lesson WELL. Please pray that we don't forget. :).
I just read in Psalm 34 this morning this is what is said:
I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. 2 I live and breathe God; if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy: 3 Join me in spreading the news; together let's get the word out. 4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. 5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. 6 When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. 7 God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. 8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. 9 Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness. 10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but God-seekers are full of God. 11 Come, children, listen closely; I'll give you a lesson in God worship. 12 Who out there has a lust for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty? 13 Guard your tongue from profanity, and no more lying through your teeth. 14 Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace—don't let it get away! 15 God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan. 16 God won't put up with rebels; he'll cull them from the pack. 17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. 18 If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. 19 Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time. 20 He's your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken. 21 The wicked commit slow suicide; they waste their lives hating the good. 22 God pays for each slave's freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.
That really encouraged me. How I thirst for the word of God. I love read it in the Message translation. It makes so much sense to me. I am just soaking it in these days. You know my favorite lines of that chapter...well there are a couple that stood out to me. In verse 7 it says "God's angel's set up a circle of protection around us while we pray". That brought to mind
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (but especially 17) Be cheerful no matter what;
pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. That made me think that if I pray all the time then angel's will always encircle me and Satan will not have a chance to throw his fiery darts at me...INTERESTING! The other line I loved was in verse 12. The whole verse says "who out there has a lust for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty? " I absolutely LOVED that last line "Can't wait each day to come upon beauty?" WOW I had never heard it put that way. We usually say something like we are looking forward to the next day or I can't wait to see what's around the corner...but Can't wait each day to come upon beauty....I LOVE coming upon beauty...and if I know there will be something Beautiful to come upon each day... WOW now that is something to look forward too. BEAUTY...especially the beauty of God. There is nothing that can compare...that goes back to these verses Ephesians 3: 20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.."
There is something beautiful...just like my husband's smile, my children's laughter...

One enamored Princess
p.s. the stuff on Portia's face and hands is frosting :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

American Thanksgiving/ Grandma Christmas

We went to visit my Mom for American Thanksgiving last Wednesday...we also celebrated Christmas as we will be in Edmonton on December 25th. My Mom had the house all decorated for Thanksgiving. It was very cozy, pretty, and welcoming :).
It really does take a village to raise a child. There is nothing quite like one's mother to help be a big part of that village. Mom had The Very Hungry Caterpillar sticker books (among many other things :)) for Miss M that she did with her (my mom is a teacher by profession and by heart). Mercedes loved it. My mom is just such an amazing Grandma. She is so creative and has so many methods and ideas that she has learned over the years of being a mother and a teacher. She just LOVES her granddaughters.
We had a lovely visit. It was so nice to see where my mom lives (as she just moved this fall). It was interesting as I was down there I realized two things that are on completely different waive is just how Canadian I am and the other is that Thanksgiving is untouched.
I definitely can tell that I became an adult in Canada. There are subtle differences and I really do feel at home here. There is a part of me that will always love my America. There is another part of me that is so happy to live and love in Canada. These two countries share my heart. Each in a very special way. I was a child in America. I became a wife and mother...I grew up... in Canada.
What I mean about Thanksgiving is that people still celebrate it with joy and family togetherness. There is no controversy over whether or not a manger scene can be on display or if you can say "Merry Christmas" as opposed to "Happy Holidays". There is not a check on political correctness as there is with Christmas and Easter. It was nice.
Anyway, while I enjoy Canada there is still nothing like an American holiday celebration and the last time I had an American Thanksgiving was (I think) in it was wonderful to be home :)

We decided to head back on we left my Mom's house at about noon. All was good (read: the girls were sleeping) until we hit the little pass before Bellingham heading North. It started to snow and the roads quickly turned to sheets of ice. It took us (and many others) 3 hours to cover 9 miles. Many people slid off the road...thankfully we were not one of them.
To entertain the girls for that time I did puppets shows (with the puppets that Grandma gave the girls for Christmas...thank you Grandma) , read them stories, and sung songs. They were VERY GOOD!

We arrived in Bellingham at around 4 and I called Olive Garden to see if they were open...they were and so we exited the freeway (a treacherous thing) and went to Olive Garden as we had only eaten breakfast and were starving. Plus we needed a break from the car. So we took a detour that usually takes 5 minutes. It took us 20 and, of all things, we got stuck going up the drive-way to the restaurant. Now we did not pack clothes for snow when we left home so we were not dressed for snow (we had chocolate, water, matches, and wool blankets...just in case). So Shaun got out in his track suite and started digging out the car with the cooler lid (talk about ill prepared). Anyway, about 10 minutes went by and some people came up the driveway behind us and got a little stuck themselves. They got out of their car and helped us out of our stuckness :) and then Shaun helped them. While we were getting unstuck Olive Garden CLOSED! Sooooo...
We had placed a call to Shaun's step-sister Becca to see if we could stay with them over night as we were not going to make it home. They got back to us at about this time and they graciously said we could come AND they would feed us we pressed on Blaine. It is only 18 miles from Bellingham but considering we had just gone 9 miles in 3 hours...18 miles seemed a bit daunting. Plus when we got on the freeway a semi was jack knifed across the freeway going the other way. All in all we probably passed about 30 cars in the ditch. After we got on our way another semi jack-knifed going the way we were going the whole freeway was closed for hours.
ANYWAY, all that to was a bit harrowing It took us 6 hours to cover what normally takes 2 hours...but we made it. When we got to Becca and William's they greeted us with "your dinner is ready". That was the best meal I think I've eaten in a LONG time :). We were so hungry!!!! Thank you Crossno family for taking us in and taking care of us :)
We left at noon the next day. the border was not busy and once we got into Canada the roads were clear. So we made it easily to Dad and Nan's house to pick up Keiko (She had had a few sleep overs at Papa and Nanny's house...thank you Papa and Nanny). And then we headed home. We got home at 3 o'clock, unpacked, and started cleaning as we had home group at 7. That was our not so much of a nutshell :).

So thanks for reading :)
One tired girl

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A God Thing is a God thing:
the house we are renting went on the market a bit ago. When it went on the market it totally threw Shaun and I into a spin. We love where we live. We love the area. It's close to our church and our community. The yard is perfect. We can walk to the store, video store, bank, STARBUCKS (not that we go...but you know), a farmer's market, a huge park, etc. It just suits us. Anyway, when the house was listed the market simply DIED. And this is amazing for Vancouver. Houses have been selling like there's no tomorrow. Shaun and I looked and looked for a house to rent. then we decided to just stay put until we got an eviction notice due to sale. then we decided to look again for a house when we started this business and needed shop space. In other words we have been going back and forth and it's been quite unsettling. Whenever we've looked for another place Shaun and I just didn't have any sort of peace to go ahead. So we didn't.
Well our landlord called last night and said he's taken the house off of the market. YEAH YEAH YEAH! I can't tell you how much of a burden just rolled off of my back at that news. And then it was like God just smiled at me and said "See I always take care of you. Stop trying to take care of you yourself. It only causes you stress and pain". That reminds me of some verses :)

Steep Yourself in God-Reality Luke 12:22-24 (The Message)

He continued this subject with his disciples. "Don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
25-28"Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can't even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don't fuss with their appearance but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
29-32"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
33-34"Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can't go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank robbers safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being
. counterculture. Ah well...let them think me crazy. I have all of eternity to be sane.

God's Princess and my husband's Queen

Friday, November 17, 2006

Update on Miss M


This morning at 8 o'clock Miss Mercedes and i went in for her dental surgery. They put an I.V. in her arm and in 5 seconds she was out. she didn't even have time to close her eyelids it was so fast.

At about 8:45 the dentist came in and told me that she would wake up in the next 15 minutes. They did a root canal on on of her top right molars and capped the whole thing with a silver crown. She also had five other small cavities. He also put a clear covering on her back molars. He said that the way her teeth are shaped that they collect food. He said he could tell that she was a snacker (which she is. she eats small portions all day long). It doesn't have to do with sugar intake but carbohydrate intake which we all eat...healthy or unhealthy. Anyway, it was an interesting lesson. :) I didn't feel like such a terrible parent after that.

When she woke up she whimpered and then cried for awhile...but she was good.

Mercedes threw up all the way home (20 minutes or so). When we got home she wanted to watch a show. So Shaun put on a show and i went to the store to buy some jello (which she didn't like), popsicles (which she loved) and some stuff for chicken soup (which she refused to even try).

She lay on the couch for awhile but then she started walking around and then she wanted Shaun to chase her around the circle (we have a circle in our know every house should have one...that goes through the kitchen, the hallway, the living room, and the playroom...Keiko and the girls have a blast running around it for quite awhile each day when it's raining). She never did take a nap today. She just lay on the couch watching movies. Then from 4 to 7 our best friends came over and the kids played. Since we put her to be we haven't heard a peep. She passed out right away. She ate really well today.

So in all I would say so far it was a success. She is pale and has dark circles under her eyes but she is happy and active. So thank you for all your prayers. They were answered. I am so thankful.

I definitely learned my lesson...I will take my kids to Pediatric dentists from now on. we could have avoided the whole root canal thing on a three year old if I had known about this in the first place.

Well my world is quiet and I need to sleep.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Disillusioned (not for the first or last time I imagine)

So maybe this has become my journal...I promise not to bore you EVERY day...or twice a day like this! BUT...
Shaun and I just watched a movie called "The Road to Guantanamo". It's about 3 British boys who were held in Guantanamo military prison for 3 years with no charges or trials. It is said that 750 prisoners have gone through this prison and only 10 have been charged...500 are still there (I believe I have the numbers correct but don't quote me on it).
ok tuck your toes in...because here comes a rant...
What is going on? That is not the America I grew up believing in!!!
You know the interesting thing about the poster for this movie that you are looking at is that the film board didn't approve it. They only allowed the manacled hands to be on the know why? Because it might disturb children... showing know what? I've seen some very demonic and scary film posters for scary movies...where were they then this film board who was so worried about scaring children?
I was so enraged by what I saw that I'm still awake! And that's saying something for a woman who has a daughter who was up A LOT last night I'm TIRED! And I cherish my sleep at this point in my life. But I'm so mad and the stupid thing is I feel impotent to do anything.
Now I went to the web page: and I was pleased to see that they have a page that is headed "get active" and it tells people how to help...that is what bothered me about the movie "Human Trafficking". It didn't tell you how to help. We in the West have the ability to make a difference in so many things. I've been asking myself...What am I passionate about? Shaun and I are determined to make a difference in that area! We will find a way. The beauty about people is that we are not all passionate about the same if we all look at ourselves and see what makes us tick then perhaps we could as a collective whole make a whole difference...pipe dream? Maybe! But I'm willing to try.
I know there will never be peace on Revelations! Never! Well until the Lord until then be a piece of hope to the hopeless. Without hope...what is there?
Ok I'm can untuck your toes :)
Oh...I suppose the the good news is that I know the end of the story...the good guy He MORE than wins!
the verse that keeps coming back into my head is is Psalm 82: 3,4 " Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. 4 Deliver them from the hand of the wicked" There are many more along that line...

Worried...not supposed to do that...but am!

Well...I got a call this afternoon from the Pediatric dental group that is going to do Mercedes' dental surgery this Friday (Nov. 17...consequently Auntie Ange's b-day...happy birthday to you). She has to be there at 7:30 and will be done by 10 a.m. She will be under general anathetic.
When I got off the phone I started shaking all over and had al little cry. It just hit me all at once while I was on the phone. Anyway, please pray for Miss Mercedes this Friday, the dental surgeons, and her parents!
Love, Tama

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Process

Well I started this web page awhile ago but have done nothing with it...I looked at a friend's blog today and got inspired It's been raining here for the past while and it's quite cozy...I think we are set to break some records set in 1983 this winter. I'm so glad that we live on a hill and in the upper part of a house thus no floods for us. YEAH!

There is so much going on with us these days.

Shaun is in the process of starting a woodworking business...something that he has wanted to do for an age. It has been awesome watching Shaun these last years grow and now he is blossoming and IT IS BEAUTIFUL! He is just so...well the most amazing man...and I would know .

The girls are growing Growing GROWING! I look at them when I go to do the final tuck in right before I go to bed and am amazed at their sweetness, beauty, how big they are, and all the potencial in those wee bodies (that are getting less "wee" every day). I sorted through every scrap of their clothing yesterday...even going to far as to empty out every drawer (yeah I know!). I came across the last remnants of tiny baby shoes and socks in Portia's top drawer. I took them out and set them on the bed waiting to see if I could find the mates. Soon I had a little pile of various sizes of socks. I sat down and just looked at them and went through pictures in my mind of when the girls had each worn these small socks and how little they were. I got really nastalgic and a little sad thinking that those precious baby times are over for us. And then I closed that chapter for good and moved on to the bigger socks. It was a small silly thing but somehow it was a process I needed to go through yesterday. I seem to grieve every chapter closing...and then I am able enjoy the new chapter .

We have started a home group (or a "Life Group" as we call it in our church) at our house. We have been amazed and awed by the goodness of our God. The people that have come in to form the home group are wonderful. They are now friends. We prayed for a long while before embarking on this particular journey. So far it has been an astounding blessing to us. We meet every Monday night. We are reading a book called "Blue Like Jazz" by a Christian Spirituality writter named Donald Miller. Shaun and I read this book this summer on the recommendation of a friend and got quite a bit out of it. But it's quite a different experience going through the book with a group and talking about it. I am getting completely different things from it this time around.

We have now been back in the lower mainland for 2 years and a bit. It's been so nice to put down roots. We have some lovely friends. We have great family here as well. We have all the grandparents pretty close by. That is just lovely! My mom just moved to the Seattle area a few months she is closer and that is WONDERFUL! The girls just adore Grandma (Portia calls her "Babuh"). They have so much fun together those 3. And then there is Shaun's parents...Papa and Nanny. I just have to say that between those three (Babuh, Papa, and Nanny) they have put so much into our 2 beauties. It really does take a village to raise a child. I have really come to appreciate and enjoy the process of watching the grandparents and grandchildren interact. There is nothing like it. Each have something uniquely wonderful to share. Then there are aunts, uncles, and cousins. Our children are RICH in the love poured into them.

We will be going down to my mom's house for American Thanksgiving. We are really anticipating that. It will be fun to see her new home and area. We are also so excited to be able to go to Edmonton for Christmas this year to share Christmas with Shaun's brother and fabulous family. We have 2 nephews and 1 niece there. We are looking forward to a boisterous Christmas.

Over the last few years of being first a new wife and then a new mother twice over I have focused intensely on those things and loved it. That is all I had time for. But now I have a little more time to think straight. Well let me start by saying when I was younger I would hear all of these songs in my head. I didn't know how to write them down because mostly they didn't have words to start with. Over time I pretty much ignored that and it went away. Over the last few months I have been praying that that gift would come back so that I could write them down this time. I have been wanting to compose some songs and then sing them with Shaun Maybe lay down a C.D. one of these days. That has been a dream on the back burner for awhile so perhaps in the next little while that will start to become a reality. We'll see.

Over these last 8 years I have grown up. So many lessons have been learned (not to say I'm done learning by a long shot)but perhaps now I have more to write about. Anyway, I am a work in process. I will not be complete until I reach heaven. May that process bring glory to God. Over the last little while I have been thinking about a few people in the Bible and the titles given to them...for example Abraham was God's friend...WOW!!! or King David was a man after God's own heart. and then I look at their lives as recorded in the Bible and it gives me much hope...I mean really LOOK at DAVID this "man after God's heart" he committed murder, adultry, I mean this guy messed up all the time but the thing about him...the whole Psalms are David saying sorry and making his heart right before his God. Or Abraham he lied A LOT! gives me hope that it's not perfection that God is looking for but rather the state of our heart...constantly seeking Him. What a wonder. I hope that God will call me His "friend". I think I would like that very much...well no come to think of it he calls me His child...His princess. I like that even better. I am the apple of His eye. hmmmmmmmmmmmm how rich is that .

Well while I have been waxing eloquent my daughters have been pouring sugar all over the kitchen floor and breaking pottery ....LOVELY! Maybe I don't have more time...must run.

A Princess