Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Wish You Could See My Life

Sometimes I wish that I could take all of you into my home for awhile and let you see how my life goes...not just for an hour or two or a day or a week but a month straight. And then maybe I could come live in your home and then see how your life goes. I've been looking at my life lately. I have a good life. In fact from the outside looking in it looks pretty much wonderful...and it is! But there are still days and weeks that are very hard...this last week, for example, was hard. The girls had the flu and were throwing up from Saturday until Thursday. They kind of tag teamed it. I didn't sleep for 5 nights...that's 40 hours of sleep I missed, and as you moms know, you don't get that back. By the end of that I was exhausted...and therefore HATING life. Well more like I felt life and everyone in it hated me. I got really dark and sad and depressed and mad. That is not a fun place to be.
My mom arrived on Wednesday and on Thursday she gave me an afternoon off and you know what I did? I didn't go anywhere. I closed the door in my room and just relished the fact that I didn't have to do anything nor did anyone need me right the girls came in about every 20 minutes and wanted something but I didn't have to figure it out. I just sent them back to Grandma.
So while I was locked in my room I first of all slept, mostly uninterrupted, for 2 hours. Then I journaled. I have this journal that says "No one read don't want to know". It's all the jumble in my head...the stuff that clouds up my brain and makes me think that life sucks. Well this time instead of writing I took some time to read through that journal that I've written in for 3 years when things get way beyond me. And you know what I discovered? I write pretty much the same exact thing EVERY TIME. EVERY TIME!!! I was perturbed. How is it in 3 years I have the same exact things that rock my world...and not in a good way? ...when, once I get out of my funk I realize that these pesky little lies, that I allow myself to believe, are simply not true. But I let them wreck my day or my week or my time with my husband and my kids. That is the saddest part. I can't get that time back. Time is so fleeting. It can all be gone in a blink...we are not guaranteed tomorrow. It would appear, at this point in my life, I choose to hold on to those silly things and allow them to ruin my day. But we (God and I) are working on that.
I wish you could see my life...and see just how beautiful it is and what a blessed woman I am...not because it's perfect...but because it's life.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update Oct. 2010's been awhile hey!
This summer was hard. This summer was fun. This summer was BUSY. Let's see we were given several gifts of travel! It all started with my cousin Ricci being in the Paralympics here in Vancouver and Whistler. She gave us both opening and closing ceremony tickets. It was spectacular and wonderful but most of all it was amazing to see my baby cousin reach that triumph after so much. Then beginning in April my family (on both sides) brought us too them :). April was Reno for my Grandma's 80th birthday, July was Redondo Beach and Disneyland for my Dad's wedding, and September was Palm Springs for my Grandpa's 80th. Shaun's family also blessed us with gifts of a few trips June was Victoria with Glen and Christine and the beginning of Sept. was Galiano with Dad, Nan, Charlie (the girl formerly known as Sam), and Jack. Then the first weekend of Oct. Our dear friends took us with them to Tofino! That equaled 28 days of amazing fun, connecting, travel, adventure, refreshment! Things our souls have been longing for. On top of that my mom took the girls for 11 days at the beginning of Aug while Shaun and I worked like crazy people on the house doing 16 hour days. And my sister-in-law Ange came and watched the girls for a couple of days while I cared for my mom post surgery in July. Can you believe how blessed we are by family and friends?
On July 8th our house had a teeny tiny flood and that turned into a MASSIVE renovation. Shaun's parents were kind enough to take up in for weeks on end (literally) as we couldn't live in the house during most of the renovation. We are finally pretty much done as of today. It's just the little niggly things that are left. Shaun did all of the work and has done a BEAUTIFUL job as always. If you ever wonder if you should hire him come look at our house then decide.
We have also merged our business with Shaun's brother's business as of this month. VERY happy about this. I think I say about once a day (AT LEAST) "I love Jim" because he is amazing at what he does and it means I don't have to do the bookkeeping, keep track of what Shaun is supposed to be doing, and thinking about new and creative ways to run a business...I still do think about the latter part and can throw my ideas out there but the point is I don't have too! :) And that takes a massive load off of my back.
We have started our second year of homeschooling. M is in Gr. 2 and Portia started Kindergarten. I was apprehensive about adding another child to teach but I am happy to report that things are going wonderfully! We are having so much fun. Both girls have completely different ways of learning but in May I was able to get all new curriculum that suites Mercedes learning style as she is a completely visual learner. Portia is an auditory learner so she pretty much could do anything and learn. Mercedes is doing so well. I am so pleased with this new curriculum. It's not a fight this year as it was last year. Sooooooo thankful.
In other news M grew an inch and a half in 6 months. I cannot keep that girl in shoes or clothes. She has gone from a little girl to a girl. From a size 12 shoe to a size 2 shoe, and up 2 clothing sizes. She is a thoughtful, sweet, and loving girl. She is peaceful and calm. She loves going out on long walks (something she does with Papa and Grandma). She still loves being outdoors the best. Portia keeps us in stitches. Last night Shaun asked the girls, as he was putting them to bed, "what do I need to do to be a good Daddy to you?" She said, "Love the Pooch" (meaning Keiko). Not "love the puppy"...the things she says...She come up to me and says stuff like "You're the most beautiful mommy in the world and I'm glad you're my mommy. I love you so." and then proceeds to give me big hugs and kisses. She is one affectionate and loving child.
I think we are finally settling into our home after living here for 3 years now. It's takes time to orient oneself to a place and find friends, business contacts, your rhythm . We are still at our church. We couldn't give up that church :). So we drive. It's a bit of a nuisance not being close to our friends but we drive or they graciously drive to us. God has blessed us with an amazing core group of friends who are in the same stage of life and who have lovely children our girls' age.
I feel like I missed Spring, Summer, and Fall this year...although we did plant a garden for the first time. So I intend to take in Winter. I want to cozy up to crackling fires and just be cozy with my family and friends. That is what I am looking forward too the most this winter....speaking of seems to be here! It's not even Nov. yet and it's cold and rainy. La Nina Winter is the rumor. Ironic considering we needed snow this last Winter for the Olympics :D and both Winters on either side of the Olympics will have amazing snow. There is already fresh snow on the North Shore mountains. Yesterday was the most beautiful Fall day... crystal blue sky with a full panoramic of all the mountains with fresh snow on them! Takes ones breath away.
Anyway, I've blathered enough. :) Have a great day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Portia and her phobia moments

Lately Portia has been driving us somewhat insane. I mean she's still adorable funny, smart as a whip, etc. But she has taken up being concerned about things killing her. Here's what I mean and it's been happening about 5,000 times a day:
"Mommy, Keiko breathed some of her germs on me. Am I ok?"
"Yes, Portia you're ok."
"Mommy" Mercedes' sleeve touched my arm. Am I going to catch on fire?"
"No Portia you're not going to catch on fire. You're ok. Stop worrying" I then explain what it takes to start a fire.
"Mommy, I breathed in a smoker (translation: someone was smoking and she breathed in the second-hand smoke out on a walk or something). Am I going to be ok?"
Yes Portia you will be fine Sweetie. Why are you so worried?"
"Well I just want to know if I will be ok."
"Yes Portia you will be fine"
"But Mommy is my nose going to catch on fire because I breathed in a smoker?"
"Portia is your nose on fire now?"
"No Mommy"
"You will be fine Portia. Your nose can't catch on fire from breathing that in."
"Mommy I looked at the sun. Am I going to be ok."
"Yes Portia you're going to be fine. But try not to do it on purpose"
Ohhhhhh Mommy I looked at the sun again on accident. Am I going to be ok?"
*sigh* "Yes Portia you will be fine".
~It's non-stop~
And then there is the night time when her imagination comes alive.
"Mommy" (in a little whisper right next to my ear at 3 am) I dreamed a lion was getting me. Can lions get me Mommy? Can they smell me?"
"No Portia. Lions live in Africa. That is very far away. They cannot get you and it's too far to smell you. You're ok. You are safe."
She climbs into our bed for a few hours until I am awake enough from her moving to take her back to bed.
~next night~
"Mommy!" (an urgent whisper into my ear and dreams again in the middle of the night) can my dreams become real?" I know where this one is coming from...a movie she saw.
"No Portia your dreams won't become real. You're ok. You are safe. I love you."
"Are you sure Mommy?"
"Yes darling I'm sure now go to sleep" Again she crawls into our bed until Shaun or I are awake enough to take her to her bed.
~3 months of this so far~ day and night.
But they are legitimate fears in her world. We have been trying to trace it back to where it started. And we were teaching the girls about the symbols on containers (like a bleach container). Some have a corrosive symbol, others have explosive symbols etc. And we think that's where it started. But we didn't teach it too them in a way to make them freak out. It's interesting how she reacted though. I have caught myself, lately, watching my warnings to her about things though. And I nearly lose it when other people warn her (even teasing) Like the other day she was playing a game on my i-phone and someone said "That's going to wrought you're brain". They were teasing but she took it very literally and almost lost it over that comment. It's just interesting what she takes literally and really worries herself over.
She was in Shaun's truck a few weeks back and her had brushed a windshield wiper fluid container and she FREAKED! "Am I going to be ok Daddy?" She was wailing...and really terrified because she saw a symbol on the container.
We try not to get impatient and brush her off. But some days it's very frustrating. Sometimes my answers have been through clenched teeth. I do have to say in the last week it's started to lessen. And that is a relief. We have also injected humor lately and that seems to work well sometimes.

A little flood and some perspective

This summer has had it's high points and it's low point. I often have things to say but it would not have any value. I often look forward to summer for it's lazy days in the sun. I love these days they are my most favourite. I look forward to them all year. I used to think I liked Spring the best and I really like Spring because it's so beautiful, so fresh, so new, so vivid. But I love Summer for it's warmth and sunshine. I love Summer because usually I can take the time to enjoy the moments.
Not so much this summer. Our house had a little flood...and I do indeed mean little. Want proof? Well here's a picture:
Doesn't look too threatening right? Wrong. The other side of the wall was way worse and then the insurance company found asbestos in the flooring that was under the flooring you can see in this picture. So now my kitchen looks like this:
which really doesn't look like much other than that you have to take a few things into account. The first thing is that all the stuff (cupboards and all that was in them) are in the classroom...which was ready for school starting soon. The appliances are in the TV room and all the flooring is also out of this room...the TV room couches, toys, TV, etc. are in the living room and the guest's really a gong show. We finally got approval for our renovation company to start the renos...but in the mean time not only is our house a gong show we have no kitchen. We lost our tenant because no one could live here for's all really been...the best word is overwhelming.
Anyway, it's been rather unsettling in all and rather costly for us on several fronts, my in-laws have graciously allowed us to come and go from their house as we please and friends have been fabulous...but we really are home bodies when it comes to sleeping in our own bed and we've been trying to make due. But in all we've really overwhelmed and a bit miserable going through this hasn't just been this...some other things I won't bore you with.
And yet...I was looking at a blog tonight and it really set me straight yet again on something that I have been thinking about through all of this...this is an inconvenience and not a problem. We still have all the necessities and in the end we will end up with a updated home. The blog I was looking at is The Big Picture. He always has current event posts up and it's all pictures. This one is about a flood ( a real flood as opposed to my "flood") that is happening right now in Pakistan. 1600 people have dies so far and it's only the beginning of the monsoon season. Now that is a problem. Makes my little inconvenience very minor. I imagine there are millions of people who would love to be "overwhelmed" in my situation instead of the one they find themselves facing.
Now there's some perspective. It's always good to have a dose of that every now and then don't ya think?!

A little trip

For 14 years I have been trying to explain three things to my wonderful husband: The warmth of the water in the ocean I grew up on, the sand on the beaches, and Disneyland. None of which he could quite grasp because he had never experienced them. You see I have mainly been in his world these last 14 years. He had had little glimpses of my "pre-Canada" life but really very little. This summer changed all that!
Over the last 3 years my dad and I have been able to start developing a relationship for the first time. I didn't grow up with him. But three years ago that started to change. I have had the privilege of starting to get to know him. Anyway, in the middle of July he got married to a wonderful woman and therefore we got to go down to Redondo Beach for his wedding. I got to also spend time with my little brother (who is 9 years younger than me)and little sister (who is 15 years younger than me) who I also did not grow up with and I guess technically they are my 1/2 brother and sister as we have different mothers but I find that technicality boring and I choose to ignore it because, well, I have come to just adore them. Anyway, now that I have aired a few of the family skeletons I shall move on... .
So in addition to getting to be apart of the wedding and getting to spend more time with my family, and getting to meet more family as Rosie's family is now family as well (I know confusing but you get what I'm saying) husband now understands about the warm ocean water (a completely foreign concept here in Canada may I just add) and the sand. He gets it. I mean he really really gets it. And that makes me so happy. I loved the look on his face the first time his feet touched the water.
And then my Grandpa sent us to Disneyland! And now Shaun totally gets that too. I have to say I was a little concerned about the whole Disneyland thing because Shaun hates crowds. BUT he LOVED Disneyland. And now he understand why I am mostly underwhelmed by many things in Canada along these lines because now he's been to a real theme park, seen amazing fireworks, and seen a real parade, and been on the rides. Nothing is like Disneyland...the original Disneyland (yes I have been to's very nice but not the same to me). I was also a little concerned because I haven't been there since I was 18 (15 years ago) and well you know how things can change...not my Disneyland. It was everything and more that I had remembered it to be. And I loved every single solitary second. And it was made amazingly more meaningful because now Shaun and the girls got to go. Am I gushing :)? I can't tell you what that meant to me. But not only did we get to go but we got to go with my brother, his girlfriend, my sister and her boyfriend. And that made it even more meaningful to me getting to spend some time with them. :)
So in all this little trip was a pretty big deal in my world.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Man's Reputation

I was reading the Proverb for the day and as it's the 31st that means I read Proverbs 31! The infamous Proverb about a wife of noble character:). But today I saw it with different eyes and it set me to reflecting on something.
Verse 12 says "She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. " and verse 23 says, "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."
I was thinking back over all the women I have been friends with over the years and their husbands and their husband's reputations. You see it really doesn't matter how successful a man is in business or sports or whatever else he sets his hands too if his wife doesn't have a good word to say about him. The truth is people sum up what they know about a person based on a few things 1) their experience with a person and 2) that person's family's experience with that person...the latter carrying the most weight. And you know who carries the MOST weight in their summation of a person's character? That person's spouse.
You know how that man got respected at the city gates in Proverbs 31? His wife's words and actions towards him because even if she was a catty and difficult woman it still reflects on him. It still makes people pause and think because she is the one who lives with him day in and day out. She is still able to plant that seed of doubt be it absolutely true or completely false.
Think about it!
So men watch well who you marry but mostly how you treat your wife and children. Put more effort into that than your business. Be present. That respect you crave is easily won but not in the way our culture tells you it is.
And women watch well your words about your spouse...even in jest.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I am going through Beth Moore's study on Daniel for my morning devotions. Today I completed the first week of 12. This last one hit the nail on the head so to speak. As you know I am in the process of losing weight one teeny tiny itsy bitsy baby step at a time. Well today's study was on "resolve". Daniel 1:8 starts with these 2 words "Daniel resolved...". Do you think Daniel would of had to "resolve" if it was easy enough to accomplish what he was setting out to do(which, by the way, was live a Godly life in the midst of a world that had no concept of that)?No he had to resolve because it was not just gonna happen and it was not easy...he had to be intentional about every moment of every day.
Now Beth was talking about Godliness and I figure I can use this concept in the area of physical fitness because the rule applies. She said "...never accidental. Neither is victory coincidental. Both stem from up-front, daily resolve. C-O-N-S-I-S-T-A-N-C-Y." Then she started talking about integrity. "The Latin word for 'integrity' means 'entire'. The essence of the term is wholeness and completeness. Integrity is 'the quality or state of being complete or undivided.' you can see, therefore, how much integrity depends on consistency." Then she contrasted perfection and the kind of consistency that breeds integrity. "...we will never reach perfection in this lifetime on planet Earth, but we can certainly reach consistency."
So I resolve.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My birthday loves

My Portia is 5!!!!!

My baby girl is 5! The last five I will experience as a mama. And what a five it is! She is a character to the hilt. There is not a boring bone in her body. She is downright hilarious, creative, my little joy bubble, stubborn and strong-willed but so very sweet, loud and yet quiet, particular and a complete mess all at the same time, a whirl-wind of motion, outside the box at pretty much all times, a complete cuddle-bug, emotion runs deep and long, one tough cookie physically. And yet she is private with her emotions. She gets embarrassed easily and is relatively shy when it comes to attention given by others. She is slow to give her affection to you but once she does you are lavished with such deep love. She LOVES giving cards and gifts to others. She spends a lot of time writing cards and making gifts for those she loves. She is lavish in her giving and she is not one to just randomly give gifts she thinks you should like...she observes what you like and then tries to find a way to get it for you. She has already memorize one chapter of the Bible and now she is well on her way to her second. It comes easily to her. You don't even think she is paying attention and then she out of the blue spouts the whole thing off to you. She loves animals. She loves flowers. She will stop where ever she is and crouch down and look intently at a flower and just soak in it's beauty. She notices the details. She is always making up songs that actually make sense and rhyme. Hers is a world FULL to the brim of colour, life, creativity, and adventure. It's all out. And then there is her other side...she is quiet and needs down time. She can putter for two hours entertaining herself and playing quietly. She is a loving, sharing, and fun sister...she has started to teach herself to write and read.
I love watching her and teaching her about God. The concepts she grasps are incredible. She thinks through these deep things and then comes back and asks profound questions and then goes away and thinks some more. She's a wonder that one.
She's only 5! I can't wait for the rest of her life. It's going to be FUN!
Our prayer for her: Lord give Portia wisdom and understanding. Do not let her forget Your words or swerve from them. Cause her to love wisdom and to value it above all other desires and accomplishments.

Stylin' Girl

I thought I would put up pictures of a sampling of Portia's creativity in dress. I don't dress the girls except for Christmas and Easter. Other than that they are free to choose their clothing in whatever order they would like to wear them.

I don't wanna vs. I didn't

The pain of staying the same vs. the pain of moving on. I have been experiencing that since January in regard to my personal fitness in particular. As I look back over my life there are windows of opportunity that I can think of that have never come again...things that I didn't grab the opportunity and run with and it has affected my life to this day. I love my life...but there things that I wish I had grabbed onto. And now I believe the time is now for my personal fitness. A person only has so many opportunities...even in the land of opportunity.
I have found such relief in doing something, even though it's not major, in the the area of exercise. It's like when I put off housework and then I finally just start puttering away at things...there is relief and I enjoy it and I wonder what took me so long...the mountain wasn't really a mountain.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So Portia said to me one Monday, "Mommy I would like some girled chicken."
To which I responded, "GIRLed?"
"Yes Mommy GIRLed...grilled is wrong. It's girled chicken."
Mercedes and I had a good did Shaun when I told him.
Oh the joy that little sweet beauty brings.

Whipping cream is "whooping cream"
Calamari is "calamardi"
Croutons are "Coupons"

There is no swaying her on these things. She is not a follower that is for sure! I love it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Run In...

Last week I had a run in with a person that was difficult. It cut deeply. It was uncalled for and mean and thankfully that person has since apologized. But it stirred up a whole batch of worms regarding other someones that I truly did not know what to do with and although that person apologized...well they will need to earn back trust. I will not be flinging my arms or my heart wide open to them anytime soon...not out of spite but out of...maybe wisdom. It's not safe. And I would be foolish to do it. And I don't like being foolish.
But it made me think again about conflict and conflict resolution and about life. I used to be one who always liked to hit a conflict dead on right away because I hate conflict so much I just wanted it over with. Then I went through just avoiding conflict and not addressing it at all thinking it would go away. And it did until that pile of dirt that had been swept under the carpet came to light again...and again...and again... Then I went back to shoving myself and everyone else through to a resolution whether they wanted too or not. Then I stopped talking about anything controversial because let's face it in a family of strong willed people, myself completely included, controversial just reads conflict. I would alter between letting people walk all over me to if you lifted a little toe in my direction you had better watch yourself. None of this was healthy behaviour and none of the self help books where actually helping me. And I was getting more and more angry. Then I "stumbled" upon a brilliant thing...I read my Bible. And I really studied it. And I am working on implementing what God has to say b/c really it does work...funny that.
So it all goes back to the armor of God in Eph. 6:10-18.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints."
This is taken from a series of sermons from Pastor John Fichtner from Liberty Church.
There is a key element in there for conflict resolution...the belt of truth. It's the very FIRST thing put on (vs. 14). OK so what it truth? In our world "truth" gets a little foggy! But really it's pretty simple. Truth is understanding every perspective on a situation. Seeing every belt loop. I like that imagery. It really helped me to make sense of it...because it you think about it as my perspective is one belt loop but seeing as the belt goes through ALL the belt loops even the ones on the other side of the waist...I need to take a look at all of them. If I only stick to my belt loop then I am stuck to my perspective. And my desire is not truth but to be right! So I have to choose between being a belt loop or will I have the belt of truth? On a side note...this has nothing to do with agreeing with other perspectives. I am simply learning what's important to that person, what they are feeling, and what they would like from me.
Secondly, Eph. 6:14 says, "Stand firm then, having girded your loins with truth". "Gird your loins" was a colloquialism that meant "be blunt". Just giving in or being a "nice person" is not a Godly trait. One cannot do that and have truth. Passive compliant people can be the most "controlling dominant: people, because they were never honest and thought it was a good thing. And since "truth us understanding everyone's perspective on an issue" it includes them understanding your perspective.
Provers 4:1,7; 2:11, 18:2, 20:5, Ps. 32:9, 49:20, Matthew 13:23.
In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus talked about getting the log out of your eye before you get the speck out of someone else's eye. It goes in reverse too.
How blunt do you get? Proverbs 17 says " He who covers over an offense promotes love, whoever repeats the matter separates friends". Matthew 7:1 "By your standard of measurement , it will be measured back to you." Respond in blunt does not equal abrasive or mean.
Eph. 4:12-15 How does Paul define and infant? 1 Cor. 3 "Aren't you still infants? For since there is quarreling and strife among you, doesn't that prove you are infants? Instead speak the truth in love, we will in all things grow up."
Eph. 4:25-27, 31 watch the context- "in your anger do not sin", etc. The context is disagreements, and the solution is to speak the truth to your neighbor.
In Matthew 30 times Jesus said "I tell you the truth..." not "I understand or think about or imagine or impart" I tell you the TRUTH! Truth is not proven to be truth until you speak it outloud.
Speak truthfully:
Psalm 15; Proverbs 15:13; Lev. 19:17; Isaiah 45:19; Jeremiah 7:28;9:5; Zechariah 8:3, 16; Romans 9:1; Galatians 4:16.
Humility + Honesty = Truth
Psalm 51:6
Once you have argued their side you ask them to hear your side and get it. Most of the time people will. They may get feisty because they won't like the switch from you hearing them and understanding to "their turn". It's generally not a problem. Sometimes they simply won't do it. But if they won't you cannot really walk in relationship with them.
Mainly though there is one thing to remember...our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God...
or..."this is not an afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-and-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet.
**When you put on the armor of God you become indestructible because you have no enemy. You merely have a lot of teachers who will teach you truth.**

There is obviously more in depth to be had and if you would like that go to and click on "conflicts". There are several GREAT sermons here that I have gleaned from and much much more to gain.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A big trip to....Reno

In the middle of April we got the privilege of going to see my family in Reno. Everyone looks at me really strangely when I say we went to Reno for a week. I guess people don't find it much of a destination. I was actually born there and lived there for a bit of my early childhood. And my mom's family lives well as my dad and little sister. I haven't been around since then except for one spring break when I was 16 my mom and I went down for a visit. Shaun and the girls has never met most of my family and so this was a first for them as well.
I can't explain to you all that went on for me in this trip because there is just too much internally. It was good though.
There is nothing quite like your family of origin. Just being around them is nice. I've missed it. I just soaked in all the people all week. I don't regret not being around because I can't go back and change it but there is something about knowing where you come from, who your people are, knowing that they love you and being there for the hugs that is so important. There is a comfort there that can be found nowhere else on earth. I think it helped Shaun to understand me a bit more too.
I am so thankful that we got to go. I will mull over that visit for awhile. I am hopeful it will be a more frequent event.
And in July we get to go down to Rodondo Beach and visit with my dad's's a big year. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mama

You're amazing! I don't know where you find the intestinal fortitude to do all you have done and all you do. You are such a sweet sweet giving woman. Over the years that I have had the privilege to be your daughter the example you have set before me and now the next generation of girls in this family is beautiful. As a mother you are selfless, generous, young at heart but wise in your way, brilliant, a God-chaser, forgiving, loving, a free spirit, hilarious, courageous, undaunted, creative, resourceful, determined, optimistic...the list could go on and on. But in all a mighty woman of God who loves without reserve and a smile that still reaches to your eyes.
I am blessed to be your daughter. My daughters are blessed to be your granddaughters. Shaun is blessed to be your son. You have set forth a legacy that is a treasure and that will not end. Life has not always been kind but you have traversed it with a grace and a beauty that is rare to behold.
Mark this woman for she is a woman of worth...a beautiful woman of worth. I know...I'm her daughter.

Mercedes turns 7

My precious Mercedes-girl! You have grown so. You are so beautiful and baby no longer. You are so wonderful. So caring and sharing and thoughtful. So sweet and generous. Justice is important to you. You love to run and play and ride your bike. You love doing that! You are still my outdoor girl. You love to cook and learn new things. You are so meticulous and careful. So trustworth and capable already! You are already a leader...a good one. My little eagle eyes. There is not much that escapes your notice.
Thank you God for entrusting her daddy and I with this treasure. The years are flying by... already at 7. Wow!
I will ALWAYS love you my girl. No matter what you may do...or don't do. It's a given! You are loved...and even more than I am capable of loving you...God loves you. Walk confidently beautiful girl. You are loved. Walk securely my beauty...YOU ARE LOVED by so so many but most importantly by your Creator. You are the apple of His eye. May you always feel His loving gaze and may you grow up to be His mighty warrior princess.
Happy 7th Birthday My beautiful Miss M.

Portia isms

So Portia is funny, surprising, and sweet! I mean we all know that b/c...well...I've told you!
-We were driving and she is like a dog on a bone when she gets something into her mind. No matter how much you answer her she won't let it go until she gets the answer she wants. This particular day I was very tired and I had answered her several times (my bad...generally I keep it to 1 time answer rule) so finally I said, "Portia ask Daddy when we get home." Which was really not fair to Shaun but I was desperate by this point. She, with much sympathy and speed responds in her sweet sweet little Portia-girl voice, "Why Mommy? B/c you just can't handle it today?". I must say that a lot!
- As I mentioned Shaun has been teaching the girls Psalm 24 before bed and Mercedes has it down pat. Portia has never seemed to be listening, nor has she said it at any point in the memorization period out loud AT ALL. She just putters while Shaun and Mercedes work. So, for once, Portia was done brushing her teeth before her sister. So Shaun asked her if she wanted to go over Psalm 24 before they started memorizing their next chapter. She looked at him and then just said the WHOLE 4 year old knows a WHOLE chapter of the BIBLE! Pretty cool! And what a smarty pants!
-Yesterday Portia was asking me some questions about Jesus and then she turned to me and said, "Mommy do you think "so and so" knows Jesus?" I said I didn't know if she did to which Portia responded ,"Well next time I see her I'm going to ask her...I've never asked her that before Mommy". She said it like she had just come upon a thought and then determined it was REALLY important to do. So Precious!
She thinks deeply but you don't realize it because she is usually laughing and making others laugh. Then she comes out and says the most profound things. Just like her Daddy that one.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The first chapter...

From the time the girls could sing with me I have put scripture to little songs and taught them Bible verse that way. They have several under their belt now and it's fun to hear them puttering around the house singing God's word. For a few months now right before Shaun puts the girls to bed every night they have been working on memorizing Psalm 24...all 10 verses. Shaun carefully taught them what each word meant so that they would not only recite it but also know what they were saying...words like "vindication". This was the first time they had set out to learn a chapter of the Bible.
2 days ago Mercedes came up to me and said the it in it's entirety with not one single bit of help all from memory. I started to cry. I don't know if you have ever heard a child speak something so precious to you. It was a sweet sweet moment that I will never forget. What a precious gift she gave me in that minute. I was also quite astounded and amazed! Portia can also say most of it but M has it down pat. I am so proud of her, so proud of Shaun for teaching them and so proud of Portia for listening and learning as well. After she said it the verses to me I told her that now she had that WHOLE chapter of the Bible memorized and hidden in her heart and I explained to her how important that was...she would have that treasure for the rest of her life. She thought about that for a minute and then just smiled in a thoughtful and sweet way. I could tell she was thinking intently about that and liking it.
Here is what she memorized:
The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Selah (means pause and reflect)
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty—he is the King of glory.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And then she...

Portia appeared downstairs waaaaay after bedtime a few nights ago. She said "Daddy!" in a breathy excited voice with a little bit of a giggle and a little bit of awe thrown in. "Daddy, Mercedes and I were playing that I was the mommy and she was the baby and that I was singing her to sleep and she was pretending to fall asleep...and then you know what Daddy? She actually fell right asleep!" I asked her if she covered her with a blanket and she said, "yes I did. She's all cozy Mommy."
Mercedes had fallen fast asleep under Portia's bed. I just had to sneak up and take a picture :)
My Portia...what a sweet sweet girl you are. How I love you and your sister. :)

Goodbye 32 and Hello 33!

Last week was my birthday! We had the privilege of going up to Whistler during the Paralympics and hanging out a bit with my cousin Ricci and finally meet her husband Danny...we even got to meet Danny's parents briefly. My mom came up. It was so nice to see her and just hang out a bit. We got to stay at the Westin in Whistler for 3 sleeps! It was SO refreshing and relaxing. We swam every day in the hotel pool. It was lovely.
About the 2ND day in I started to get all creative and energized and that's when I realized just how draining, exhausting, etc. the last little while had stressful that I stopped the workout program that I had started earlier. The stress paralyzed me in a sense. It was interesting. I am not sure why I freeze when high stress occures...but it is something that I do every time and have just realized that I do it.
Anyway, in my renewed creativity and re-energization (is that a word?) I realized just how disappointed in myself...and really upset with myself I was. I had stopped moving towards a goal that was really important to me and the fall-out was astounding in my personal life. I wasn't as good of a mother, wife, friend...really person. That too was interesting to realize.
So for this year for my birthday I gave myself a live this next year moving towards the goal of getting healthy, fit, and more active.
I really don't like talking about this. It's embarrassing to me how far my weight has gone. I have withdrawn inside a bit and am not the person I was because I am not comfortable with my outward appearance. It's a struggle that has been going on for about 10 years now. It seems to take me that long to some to resolutions...10 years! I may be slow but once I reach that point...and you all know that point...I don't normally look back. I can't think of one time in my life that I have yet anyway. Why does it take me 10 ? Seriously! I can think of several really important things that have taken me 10 years of processing and learning and thinking to finally move on! Baffling.
Another 10 year epiphany I have come to has to do with relationships. Not gonna go into detail b/c the struggles I have been having with some people do not need to be flouted across the internet...but I have come to realize that I try to hard. That may sound like a complement to myself but it's NOT! It's not a desirable character trait in a person I have come to realize. Not everyone needs to be my best friend. We don't need to work EVERYTHING out with EVERY person. And my husband is right...letting a person not be a close friend or even a friend is OK! You know how it is, some people you just click with and it was meant to be. Some people you try for 10 years to make a friendship and it's like running on coals or having the flu or bursting an just doesn't work and it hurts. So I'm not doing that anymore. :) I know...I'm slow. But hey! Eventually I learn. I am learning to guard my heart. Not getting cynical or anything...and still able to interact in a civilized manner with them...
I also see myself not draining all my energy on those not-to-be relationships and having more time for the healthy meant -to-be relationships. :) More room for the good things God has laid out before me. Since I have let those other relationships go God has brought about 30 PHENOMENAL people into my life and I actually have the energy for them :).
So...that is where I am at right now. I love getting older! I love learning and living and being. I am learning to be in the moment more and more instead of an observer of the moment. :) I'm lovin' it...even without big mac, fries, and a coke. ;-P
And by the way I have again started to work out and work towards the goals I have..for about a week now. Yay!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

and then...the storm broke.

Since posting my last post on "rest" it has been anything but restful. In fact I would dare say we are in a bit of a crisis mode. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say...if you think of it pray for us and for wisdom. It's nothing between Shaun and I or anything like don't worry. It's just life.
I have been finding much comfort in the Bible. I was at my whit's end the other day and my Bible fell open to Psalm 37. What an amazing chapter! It just soothed my soul. A few lines stood out...
vs. 3 "Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper."
vs. 5 "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you."
vs. 7 "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act."
vs. 8 "Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm."
vs. 16 "It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich."
vs. 23-26 "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing."
vs. 39, 40 "The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him."

There are a lot of little jewels in that one chapter. I have been mulling over them still. The word of God cleanses my soul. It strains out the gunk (that is the professional term).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Unforced Rhyths of Grace

Lately, it seems, that God has given our family a season of rest. It's been scratch's been LOVELY! Last year was a very taxing year for us. No time to stop and think. There was a lot of adjusting going on and sickness. This I am extremely thankful. We all needed it. Our souls and body were weary.
It's been interesting because the rest hasn't come in forms that I would have chosen but I think they have been more effective than my chosen route. For example, Shaun lost his job in July and really didn't have work until November. That allowed more family time and a forced slow-down. We had less money so we got creative and in the end spent more time with each other instead of just doing things. When you don't have money it takes out the "stuff" element and forces a personal and creative element. We have gotten to go away a few times on different little trips...not my version of a holiday but they both ended up being much more restful. And another thing I have noticed...when we have relaxed and let God lead we have gotten our prayer of "use me" answered in the rest times as well. I love it.
Ps. 23:1-3 says this, "God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction."
Matthew 11:28-30, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haitian Earthquake...a first-hand account.

I went to school with a girl in college who now lives in Haiti. Her husband was right in the middle of the earthquake and tried to rescue several people ending up only being able to rescue one. They are the full-time in-country directory of Clean Water for Haiti. The first entry is about donating for this disaster and the second one is his first-hand account.
Here is his first-hand account:
Here is a photo journalist's blog of pictures. Let them break your heart:
and here is his second entry titles "Haiti 48 hours later":
Pray, Send Money to a credible relief effort...DO SOMETHING. Many lives depend on it. And if it was you...or your children...wouldn't you want someone to help. Haiti is a VERY poor country that has been hammered over and over again by natural disaster as well as not so natural disaster of cruel people.
Here are some credible relief efforts who will not pocket your money:
Clean Water for Haiti:
World Vision Canada:
World Vision USA:
etc. There are many credible relief efforts under way.

Friday, January 8, 2010


January always seems to be synonymous with renewing. Starting over. Trying again. We have built it into our culture it seems with New Years Resolutions. Spring is natures time for renewing but us humans like the turn of the new year...maybe we're bored or finally have enough time to pause and think about what's important to us in the dead of Winter.
For many years I have not done resolutions because, well maybe a few reasons. I don't know. Maybe I was afraid. Afraid to put whatever it was, that I wanted to start over with, out there for people to see and thus give myself the opportunity to fail. Maybe I figured that if it was really something I was going to do I would have resolved to do long before New Years and thus it was not necessary.
For me resolutions are something that has been a long time coming. Something that has been planted by a gentle nudge from my Saviour many times. He allows things to brewing in my soul for a LONG LONG time. He helps me process and thinking and wrestle. He brings Godly counsel into my life just at the right time...His perfect time. God has walked patiently and gently beside me. HE is my sustainer. He is my strength. He is my wisdom. He is my joy. Without Him nothing would have been thought through, struggled with, or refined and worked towards resolution.
The resolution is just the tip of the iceberg...a verbalization of huge things that have been being dealt with inside. They are never a completely new thought...for me. I can't be resolute on new thoughts or something that is still being worked out in my inner woman. That's just me.
This year, though, these resolutions and New Years were in the same timing. So I made some "New Years Resolutions" of sorts. I haven't given myself a time limit to complete them in. I have started to take baby steps to get me there. I am thankful for that.
Most of my resolutions are very typical to other people's. Nothing earth shattering. But for me they have been 10 year processes that are finally coming to fruition.
Philippians 3:13 says, "I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead..."
Revelation 21:5 (Amplified Bible) And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine)."
I am excited to see what the future holds in these areas that have been very painful and many years in the making. And no I am not going to tell you exactly what they are. I'm sure you'll get the gist over time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Knitting and Thinking

Today during quiet time I decided to knit (I can't decide if that makes me sound old or crafty). This was the first time I have knit without watching a movie while I did it. I just sat there and worked. As I worked I started the think and pray. I don't think knitting via circle loom is the fastest way to get the job done but that's OK with me. I don't mind. I can see progress being made and at this point in my life I need to see some tangible progress in something I am doing because as all us parents know it sure it's readily seen in parenting.
So I was looking at each loop made over each peg and I was trying to figure out how to go faster and I realized I would likely get careless if I went faster. For a second I thought I might not care but that second passed...well, in a second, and I realized I would care if the afghan was not done to the best of my ability. As it is there are some flaws but that was not due to carelessness. I simply messed up. There is a difference. Which brought be to my second train of thought...this is kind of like parenting. It's the day in and day out little things that, in the end, make up a whole childhood, a character developed, a direction for a life or at least a framework to work with. It was a little reminder that I need to not get careless in my parenting. If I mess up that is one thing...if I get careless, just like in my afghan, that is a completely different ball of it where.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Changes and insomnia

Well this morning I slept late and it started last night when I couldn't go to sleep. I have trouble getting to sleep often. It's a frusterating cycle. So now I am finally done my morning (workout and proper eating and all...yeah for that part) at almost 1 o'clock! double decker big *sigh*! Now it's time to do school. I will have to fill you in on life in 6 months. But for now I am working on reworking life as I know it in a BIG way. And needless to say that although I slept in when I did wake up I honestly didn't want to get out of bed and face the day b/c it completely overwhelmed me. But after 30 minutes of talking myself into in...I got up and am going full tilt. It's nice to workout again and it feels good. I just wished I had started earlier.
I have to say God has really been speaking to me about disciplining certain areas of my life. I am a bit of a dichotomy. I am extremely disciplined in most areas of my rigidity. Then there are 2 or 3 areas that I just have NO discipline. I was thinking about this over the holidays and realized I, in fact, like it that way. But it's not good enough. So some major reforms are in the works. Will keep you posted. :) Should be an interesting journey.
Ciao for now faithful reader.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

WOW! I can't believe it's 2010! A whole new decade in this relatively new millennium. We spent New Year's Eve over at Dad and Nan's house with my mom, the girls, and Shaun's grandparents on his dad's side. We had a yummy supper and relaxed. It was very nice. On that night I felt a little overwhelmed with how blessed I am.
As I looked at each face in with me that night I contemplated the relationship they and I have.
My mom was there laughing and taking pictures and being her usual joyful self. Words are not sufficient to describe our relationship nor it's depth. Sometimes it's complex and mother/daughter-ish and other times it's an easy friendship and through it all is woven a deep love, bond, and strength. We have weathered A LOT together. My mom has stood by me and loved me and lavished her affection on me through thick and thin. And now she does the same to my husband and my children. I draw from her wisdom and grace often and I am thankful to be able to do that. I am blessed to have her as my mom and my friend. best friend, my love, my joy. We have now been married 11 + years. There is a strength and a depth in our marriage that is pure joy and delight to me. Shaun is the one that I can't wait to share any little thing and every big thing that comes my way. I love how he loves our girls. He is the best daddy a mama could ever pray to have for her children. I look forward to the journey by his side. I am blessed to have him as my husband, my soul mate, and to parent our girls with him.

My beautiful angel-girl Mercedes...what can I say? She's one of the two most delightful children I have ever had the privilege to meet. She has a beautiful voice. She is so very sweet. She is so sensitive and loving. She sees people...I mean really sees them and she loves them. She has a compassionate heart. She sees the many layers of a person even the undertones. She is a good listener. She adds such a richness and joy to my life. I look forward to getting to know her and watch her become the mighty warrior princess I know she will be for her King.

My beautiful princess other delight who fills our days with laughter and song. What an intuitive bright light. And what a tough cookie! She's my little pixie who sparkles. A little cuddle-bug. She too brings me so much joy. What a gift she is! What a treasure. I love watching her becoming...well her! Every day is an adventure. Every day offers a whole day full of things to find joy in and laugh the best belly laugh a mama's ears could ever hear. She's my little joy bubble. She lets me in and embraces me fully. I look forward to getting to know her better and better and watching her, too, become the mighty warrior princess she will be for her King.

Our girls are so very different from each other that they complement each other and add a richness to our family. They are rare and precious jewels. I am blessed beyond expression to be their mama.
My father-in-law Cam...We have now had 12 years to form a relationship and I have to say that, by God's grace, it's lovely. He has been very patient and gracious with me and let me draw near to him as I felt comfortable never pushing. The difficult patches have made the place where we have come too all the sweeter. I love how he loves Mercedes and Portia. I love how his eyes light up with such joy when he sees them. I am blessed to have the privilege to call him Dad and to be his daughter...our children are blessed to call him Papa.

My mother-in-law Nan...we came into the Huth clan together. It's been an interesting and never boring adventure and I am thankful that I have had her graceful strength and tenderness on the journey. I am thankful that while my children are not her "blood"...they might as well be. She has taken on this family with all her strength and immense love, as we are, and I love her for it and am better because of it. I am blessed to be her daughter-in-law.
Grandma Huth...I have watched her over the years love her family fiercely and with joy. She always has smile and a hug to offer. These last few years have been difficult and yet she faces them with joy and grace. She has learned the art of resilience. It is good to have 4 generations in one room. There is so much wealth of experience there. I am blessed to be her granddaughter.
Grandad Huth...I have always had a soft spot for him. He always is happy to see me and gives me big hugs and the usual banter. We bonded many years ago in Salmon Arm and that bond has stuck. His ever present good humour, jokes, and sharp mind are wonderful to behold. I am blessed to be his granddaughter.

And the One who is not seem but ever life, my source, my strength, my Saviour. Without you none of this would be. I am blessed to know you as my Creator as my sustainer. Thank you for blessing me with such vast wealth in relationships.
Those are the faces that I had the privilege to see when I looked around the room on this New Year's Eve. And there are many more who were not present that night who have blessed me by pouring their love into my life. So thank you for loving me!
Happy 2010!

My Portia got her ears pierced today!

Portia decided a bit ago that she was ready to get her ears pierced. I told her that for Christmas she could get it done. So today was the day. I didn't realize how nervouse I was about it until after it was over. Mercedes had cried quite heartily for about an hour after she got her ears pierced so I was not looking forward to going through this again. However, Miss Portia didn't even flinch! She is one tough cookie! We remembered to give her Tylenol beforehand (something we didn't even think about with M :(...poor girly!). I wanted to do it when my mom was here so that I wasn't the only adult present as Shaun does not like needles of any kind even the ones in guns for ear piercing.
Mercedes helped Portia pick out her earings. They chose the same ones that M had gotten.
Here are some pictures of my brave girl and her ear-piercing adventure.
After getting her ears pierced we sauntered over to Orange Julius for a drink. We all tried each other's drinks and even tried 2 drinks at a time (M's idea). Us girls had fun, after all, and accomplished our mission.