Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hello December

Yesterday we did the unthinkable: we got our family picture taken at a generic JC Penney studio! Yeah! All my photographer friends, please don't hate me. Hah. Hah. Hah. I can live with myself anyway. We got all 6 of us looking at the camera at the same time AND with good lighting on us, now that is something! And it was free. Yeah! Just say we did it for grandma. (But it was really for me.)

Today i took the children to a gingerbread house decorating event at the circuit. The gingerbread houses were gorgeously put together and we had been planning this for months. Then Sparrow met a girl named Wren who was her same age! Then we found out Wren didn't have her own gingerbread house and we gave her Silas's since that boy was only in it for the candy. Then Silas cried. Then I got him a baggie of leftover Halloween candy out of the car and then he sat there happily eating it for an hour. Until it made him not so happy anymore. Then he was grumpy and cried about everything. Well to tell the truth, Golden was kind of eating most of her candy as well and I was having a hard time trying to get her to put any on her house! LOL. Then we went home and Silas was a crying wreck and then I put him down for a nap without brushing his teeth. Eeek! Then I read to the girls outside while they ate all the candy off their gingerbread houses (yes, we did have lunch first. at least.) And then they took a bath while I took the other two children outside for a bit--since it was not at all rainy and maybe even a little warm in the sun. Then the big girls gave themselves a bath and even washed each other's hair! Yes, yes yes! My work here is done! I am now entering the easy (er) phase of motherhood! SO what that they washed it with bubble bath instead of shampoo! They dried themselves off, dressed themselves, and came outside again, only to start digging in the garden and pulling up any extra carrots that were still in the ground from the summer. There were a lot! And despite being tiny and not very orange, they were sweet, and really good!!! Then we ate a bunch of salad and soup and chips and corn and beans and then I took the children to church by myself. Cause I am supermom. I was calling very loudly to my son to come follow me when I opened the door to go in, and realized they were in the middle of praying! Ooooooooooops! *Sheepish look.* I much enjoyed worship despite taking people to the bathroom and kissing a bunch of booboos and making sure the children dancing with flags were not stabbing each other or scraping the mural off the wall the whole time. I even had to take one little one outside for a lecture after having to chase her down in the sanctuary because she was crying and screaming and running away! (She did not WANT her shoes on!) Aaaack! The sermon was a little more mellow, with only the baby nursing and bouncing on me and bumping her head several times over. I still took so many notes. Then I bought them generic Cheetos at the Family Dollar and gave them this terrible snack on the way home despite the girls not listening when it was time to leave! What have I become!?! And the craziness of bedtime ensued at home, and I STILL never brushed Silas' teeth! God love 'im. I am falling asleep now. Now. Now. That was my day. I should be so lucky. Good night.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Virginia in November...and Cookies

People said I would love Fall here, and they were right. Every time the children saw a leaf float down in October they would shout, "the leaves are falling, the leaves are falling! That means Christmas is coming! And snow!" Yet the leaves didn't really seem to be turning colors until after "Superstorm Sandy" (Which didn't affect us that much, by the way. Just a lot of rain). Then all of a sudden it was cold, and the trees got out their colorful coats!  We have been collecting and pressing the things like crazy. Sparrow got a leaf press from our friend Judy a few months back, and that is a COOL thing to have right now! The other day I found myself wildly shaking this poor little tree at the park, because seriously, it had the most vibrant, perfect leaves I've ever seen. It was just a spindly little thing with not very many leaves, but the leaves it did have, it did right! Afterward I felt a little bad because I stripped it of its glory. But we made a fine leaf garland and some Thanksgiving cards out of them, sooo.... it's ok, right? We went to the park again today and it took a lot of self-control for me not to shake that thing down again--it had MORE perfect leaves on it! But I swore I had done enough damage. I am learning to respect the environment and not be so greedy... sigh.

We spent the afternoon making fall and winter-themed ginger cookies--from a low sugar recipe I made up. Here it is, for all of you fans of baking. They were a big hit. Sparrow told me they are her favorite thing to eat ever--even better than chocolate chip cookies, and that's saying something!

Low-Sugar Ginger Cookies

Group 1:
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour (or use 2 c. whole wheat or whatever flour you want, really!)
1 1/2 c. oat flour (I made my own by griding oats in the blender)
1 teaspoon BS (guess that BS word!)*
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
Group 2:
1 cup butter, room temp
1/4 c. BS (guess that BS word!)**
1/4 c. (scant) stevia (use 2 Tablespoons if unsure)
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 large egg

Combine all ingredients in group 1.
Beat butter and BS together til light and fluffy. Add stevia. Beat. Add molasses. Beat. Add maple syrup. Beat. Add egg. Beat. Check flavor. =) Mix in group 1 to make a stiff dough. Refrigerate in plastic or an airtight container for 3 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out your dough, cut out shapes, and bake 12-14 minutes (or to the tune your oven demands).

You could ice this or drizzle melted chocolate on top. I am thinking maple icing with that fake maple extract in it (gasp!). But honestly, really really seriously, these cookies so delicious just plain. Thanks to all that butter. I didn't ice ours because the children are technically on a no-sugar fast right now. And no one who ate these at our house said they could tell there was stevia in them. I personally did notice the stevia aftertaste, but it doesn't really bother me. (I buy my stevia from Trader Joe's. Maybe there is a brand you know of that has no aftertaste. Use whatever floats your boat. I'd love to try these with xylitol next time.)

*Baking Soda
**Brown Sugar

=) Enjoy your guilt-free ginger cookies. And remember that butter is good for you. Yes it is.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

September and Octoberness

The Boy (age 2) got mac n cheese out of the fridge for his breakfast this morning, and started eating it cold. I guess my work here is done. (status update Sept. 6)

OMgoodness, came home from a long day in the 1600s to find that the children got their own room! The girls were SO excited, they were hanging up all their underwear in the closet. Sparrow says it's going to be the most organized room in the house. (status update Sept. 14) 

(playing a game where they were to shout out the opposite of what I shouted)

me: "Colorful!"
G: "Pink!"
me: "I guess you'd say 'bland' or 'plain,' or better yet, 'monotone.' mono means one, tone means color. Monotone."
G: "MOM! In Arizona, in the night, we saw ONE TOAD." (monotoad! LOL!) -Sept. 11, 2012

 G, singing a made up song: "You can go to the far-est mountain, I don't care. I can go to the far-est mountain, I don't care..." -Sept. 14
me, telling G about school:
"Then, if you want, you can go to college!"
G: I wanna go to college right now."
me: "Well, you have a lot to learn before you can go to college."
G: "I know a LOT of things--I know how to read the 'I howl, I growl' book and the Maisy book..." -Sept. 17

(Learning history):
Sp: "Yeah, and then the people in the brown outfits won against the redcoats, and they had a party and called it the Fourth of July... it's a really famous party." -Sept. 18

Me: "Do you wanna learn about numbers? Like how to write 2012?"
Sp: "It's prob'ly 2, 1, 1, 0."
Me: "That's Two thousand one hundred and ten."
Sp: "Whoa... that's a long time. From now...I might be a teenager then." -Sept. 28

Golden praying: "...and that we would rent the house. Of the Spirit. And that we would not go into trouble. And not go into the devil's heart. Amen." -Oct. 14

G: "The devil is ridiculous bad." -Oct. 14

G, singing: "I love God, and his Holy Spirit, and I love his heart. He's good to us, and he loves our spirits..." -Oct. 14
Sp: "If a unicorn had two horns they would be a biacorn. If they were high they would be called a high-a-corn, or bite you, a bite-a-corn." - Oct 23

G: "Mom, how does our heart beat for a long time? Does it do it til we go up to heaven, mom?" -Oct. 17

When the children were trying to guess what their surprise was this morning, one of their eager ideas was "A new baby!" I love that! It was not, however, a new baby. It was the next best thing: a bunk bed. -Oct. 17

Dad, kidding around: "Mommy chastened you with grasshoppers. I'll chasten you with scorpions and porcupines."
Sp: "Yeah, I'll chase you with unicorns and beautiful eagles."
Dad: "Well I'll take your unicorn horn and give it to a donkey to chew on."
Sp: "Well my eagles can poke your eyeballs out with their claws. And I'll get a million billion bees to sting you!" -Oct. 2012

This went on and on. When I tuned back in, Sp was saying,  "Well my hot sauce is waterproof! And even with all the living and unliving things in the world, you can never fight me, cause I'm bigger than space!" -Oct. 22

Sp: "If a unicorn had two horns they would be a biacorn. If they were high they would be called a high-a-corn, or bite you, a bite-a-corn." - Oct 23

Golden said she had a dream that we found a house a long time ago that was all red, with a fluffy carpet that's red, and a red wall and red beds. I think she likes red! -Oct. 22

Sp: "If a unicorn had two horns they would be a biacorn. If they were high they would be called a high-a-corn, or bite you, a bite-a-corn." - Oct 23

Thomas: "What's in her mouth?"
Me: "A felt circle. Blegh!" taking out felt circle, then "...Pippa, don't climb up the stairs! Noooo, don't do it!"
Thomas, chuckling: "Just like the Garden of Eden."
Me: "Yeah... Adam and Eve... eatin' felt circles and climbing stairs." -Oct. 31

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Today: I stayed up way too late again. (It is 12:45 am--yikes to tomorrow!)

Children and I went to two stores, which took four hours. I have to post for you what a lady said to me at Michaels... tomorrow.

Sparrow--made THIS. Just because. Just on a whim. She is so creative!

Golden--picked out aNOTHER pair of shoes at the used clothing store that she fell in LOVE with and promised they were not too small. An hour later, she was in pain and had to take them off. What is it that doesn't jive between my daughter Golden and the world of shoes? All shoes seem to bother her or hurt her!

Silas--is down to his last diaper and no, I did not go to that kind of store today. Oh and he got new (used) dress shoes, his 1st pair, and didn't want to take them off. He fell asleep with them on! Hah!

Pippa--a good baby. We called her "bunny-kitty" a lot today. Cause she's cute as a bunny kitten. Whatever that is.

Friday, September 28, 2012



The day started out rough, continued rough, I found myself lecturing a lot... man! How can I ever teach them a good attitude when mine is so rotten!?! Finally by the end, the children went to bed an hour late, but I had decided that I'd better be happy, even in a mess and in chaos. They are who they are and they are themselves NOW. I will never again have them like they were today.

Sparrow--prayed for us this morning that we'd have a good day and not be mad at each other. O.o.

Golden--spent all day telling me I had "forgotten" to repaint the nail polish she has already picked off her nails since getting them freshly done yesterday.

Silas--kept on stripping out his diaper, peed in underwear twice, then successfully peed in his potty (his own initiative, too) after dinner. Thomas and I did a happy dance thing that included us rapping about what good parents we are. However, when the neighbor boy came to get his fire engine back that Silas had borrowed yesterday, and Silas kept screaming and crying about not wanting to give it back, and the little boy let him have it for another day without any trouble at all... I was a bit ashamed about my parenting skills. =/

Pippa--did yoga all day. That is one strong baby.

Thursday, September 27, 2012



I woke up late, as I'd gone to bed after 3 am! It's funny now, but at the time... Oh, I don't know how I get such lapses in judgment--I spent ALL DAY yesterday on the photo site Shutterfly to try to get a baby book done for Silas--I was trying to beat the clock on a special promotion they were having where you could get a free photo book--and it was the last day! I worked and worked and worked til 3 am and then I was not even close to being done, but I tried to check out...and the promotion had expired. Of course.

So I was a little weary today. But no matter. Thomas watched the children for me while I went to run errands. I bought them their fancy holiday clothes (5 sets, incl. 2 whole outfits for Si), three pairs of snow boots, three pairs of shoes for Pippa, tennis shows for Golden, dress shoes for Silas, and three jackets, all for $100! (the used children's clothing store.)

Sparrow--drew her first cross section of a house. It is amazing and wonderful.

Golden--received her "big girl prize"--of a tiny pink poodle toy--for successfully stopping thumb sucking! Woohoo! (That bitter nail stuff helped greatly.) Then we did our nails in fancy new colors. She also received home made lemon cakes.

Silas--bonked his head on the corner of our new (used) glass table and is sporting a band-aid and his usual lovey attitude

Pippa--has a little bit of a cold and wakes often at night, but came with me on errands wearing a pink dress and is almost crawling! Almost, almost, almost! She does a LOT of push-ups. Right now she does an inchworm type of move to go forward.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just a Line

I'm going to try updating daily for a little while. Having the task of a long blog post ahead of me seems to be a deterrent to ever writing anything! So short and succinct it shall be! And here is today:

Sparrow: Couldn't get enough of me reading "Good Queen Bess" and an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" to her...loved it!

Golden: Thought that the soap in the plastic travel box was really special and wanted to keep it in her room.

Silas: INSISTED we take his baby laptop AND the large hardcover "Maisy" book out to the back yard with us.

Pippa: Grew, ate, and charmed us all in the way that she does. Chewy, chewy, but no teeth yet.

Signing off, in lovely memories... -the Flourishing Mother

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Silas and Golden's Birthdays

Silas is two. Golden is four. Their birthdays are two weeks apart. So... Instead of doing two events, I wanted to have a "simple" joint party. Simple. Hah. Hah. Hah. We don't have a kitchen. It is hecka hot outside. What was I thinking?!?! Turns out there was no good place to HAVE the party! But God provided something that worked out perfectly: a condo that is associated with the Eldercare business we work for was available and temporarily empty. I'll take it! SO the day before the party, we moved everything over there that was necessary for cake making and decorating, and baked cake. So far so good. And the day OF we did... everything else. It was *kind of* a MAD rush, and I was still unkempt and wrestling the fondant 45 mins before guests were to arrive...I don't recommend that..., but it ended up being really fun and good! When the guests arrived, the ladies all asked me if I'd like some help, and the women all chopped veggies and chatted in the kitchen while the men retreated to the living room and yard to set up the pinata, etc. (the pinata that had just been finished about an hour beforehand... LOL.)

I am so grateful that we already have so many people we can count as friends here. First of all, the people we work for are amazing. Mrs. S. is so wonderful, helpful, kind, and sweet, and always goes above and beyond to make sure we are doing well. This is not normal. This is Jesus. She came early to the party, even though she is a super busy lady, brought me stuff I had forgotten from home, watched the baby, blew up the balloons, did the girls' hair, etc. etc. I can't thank her enough. And our other friends? Well one of them is my childhood friend from Arizona!!! A couple of weeks ago, she had sent me an email just updating me on her life--it had probably been about a year and a half or so since we had heard from one another. At the end of the email, she mentioned where she was now living with her husband, and I literally yelled out loud to my computer screen in excitement! She lives about 10 minutes away from me!!!! I know God was just keeping that little secret up his sleeve, just laughing with delight to see our expressions when we found out about this. She has a little son now, about the same age as Pippa. So lovely. We have also been given wonderful neighbors! There is a great family that lives right next door to us, with a son the same age as Silas, and one the same age as Pippa. The mother is from Japan, and she is such a lovely person--always bringing over fresh veggies from her garden, reaching out to us, asking us if we need anything. I am just in such good hands. And as for our other friends--I just cannot  say enough good things about our church. We came upon this beautiful church called Dreamhouse, and haven't felt the need to look anywhere else! From the first time I walked in I just felt like--all my best friends live here! There are a good number of young families, the ladies are just so--kindred--our children love it, Thomas is getting to know people, etc. They invite the Holy Spirit, and seek God's presence for all that He is--I am so, so happy to know that there is Spirit-life out here! Every place carries its own spiritual atmosphere. Here, I can see the heavens are opening and God is calling a people to be fully after Him, to reveal His glory, to be radically obedient sons and daughters--warriors--ALL for the Kingdom! So thankful. Here are a few shots from the party!

Still dealing with fondant--party to start within the hour...

Let's just pretend that I *meant* to wink, ok? ...not overtired or stressed AT ALL!

Pinata time!

The boy didn't want to hit it. #enthralledwithcars

All done.

 Traditionally, I like to write letters to my children on their birthday. ...SO here are some little card-sized thoughts for them...


My dear son, my firstborn son, my only son. YOUR smile, YOUR eyes, YOUR two-year-old bare, dirty feet, the curve of your neck, the breath of your face, are the delight of a million moments--I see your heart. The way you come to me with such confidence, even after bedtime, your blanket trailing behind you, as you quietly scoot in next to me, sucking your thumb. That is the confidence you have before an eternal throne. One of comfort and full access and blessing. Your identity is love. You are a lover of the Word of God. You haven't yourself said three words together yet, but what you will become is what you already are, for God sees the seed the same as He sees the full-grown tree. So I say--you are. A lover of the Word of God. May God give you Logos for sustenance, and Rhema for power. Be gentle. Be strong. Be listening. Be pure.

Shiny, sparkly Golden girl. Here I have someone truly original. You don't even try. You make laughter and art and magic happen all around you. Four years is such a little time, and you still such a little thing, but I see you now, going out that door, changing the world, and it will still seem too small a time to be with you, soaking you in, laughing girl. You are aptly named, the name He intended. He longs to bestow treasure on you, He sings over you with shouts of joy. The treasures open, Golden one, in His presence. Laugh in His presence, sing in His presence, and be still in His presence. Listen. He waits to give you the real magic. You. Are. Growing. Into. Him. Like a wind He lifts you, He is all around you, and YOU have the ability to enjoy Him like very few... that delight will create safety for others. So you choose to delight in Him, and to stand in Him, little Pillar. Always choose it, and you will bloom. Shine brighter and brighter until the full day!

Friday, August 31, 2012

August in August

Sp: "Why are they crying if they're still gonna get silver? ...Because the silver's not real?" -Aug. 1

Sparrow, watching the women's gymnastics team win Gold, says, very concerned,
"Do they get to take the leotards home?" -Aug. 1

Me, leading devotions: "What can we see around us that tells us there is a God?"
G: "He made flowers and houses and books and farts..."
Sp: "No He didn't! ...Well He did, but He doesn't talk about them, I don't think." -Aug. 2

Profound questions I have to answer:
Sp: "How does the chicken have eggs without a husband?" -Aug. 1

G: "Actually, I don't want a cookie. I want some red things."
Me: "What red things?"
G: "It's red, and it's really yummy, and it comes from a pig."
Me: "BACON?!?!?"
G: "Yeah. Bacon." -Aug. 2

(Analyzing the classic tale of "The Lion and the Mouse")
Me: "So what's the moral of the story?"
Sp: "Little--like mouse or ant--can help Big--like hyena or lion." -Aug. 4

Golden, after all the birthday excitement of presents and sugar and McDonalds:
"Can I sleep standing up tomorrow?"
Sure you can, lovey. Sure you can. -Aug. 7

Sparrow's subjects in the notebook she wanted to make for school:
Fastness and Slowness
Birthday parties
-Aug. 8

Sp: "Mom! wouldn't it be cool if we could go to Chincoteague Island and find a huge X on it?" -Aug. 8

Sp: "Oh *I* get it! The water goes up into the air, and comes down again as rain! ...So if we put lemonade outside and it evaporates, will the rain taste like lemonade?" -Aug. 12

Me: "You do NOT play racing games with eating. That is a waste of dessert."
Sp: "...Then how will I become a world champion?" -Aug. 14

Sp: "I'm gonna be one of the most beautiful dancers in the world when I grow up." AND I'm gonna be a gymnastics girl. AND I'm gonna be a fire girl. AND I'm gonna be a zookeeper."
G: "I'm gonna be a unicorn." -Aug. 19

G: "Mom, babies have thinking problems cause they cry in their crib and they think sucking on their fingers will make them feel better. And then they do it." -Aug. 23

G: "Mom, I'm gonna look BEAUTIFUL and no one will believe me." -Aug. 25

Sp: "Mom, I do know this place is getting flooded. Mom, I think God wants us to build an ARK." -Aug. 25

Sp: "God, I pray that you would help the president to become more interested in you, and that he would have a vision about you, and that you would make him feel more humble." -Aug. 28

Sp: "Mom, guess how loose my tooth is."
Me: "How loose?"
Sp: "A googleplus loose." -Aug. 29

G: "Dad, at night I had a dream about a talking hat, and it was pretty. And I was scared of it. And it said, 'Are-you-a-hat?' And it was a spooky world!" -Aug. 31 (said "spooky world" with a smiley sparkle in her voice. Love it!)

Sp: "Dad! The trick to getting Pippa to stop crying is to:
-get on your side
-put a pillow over your ear
-and get under a blanket." -Aug. 31 (Haaaaaaah!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How We Came Here

This family is a sign and a wonder. It may seem a random surprise that we suddenly live in Virginia, after being jobless and "broke" for so long (though God always took care of us. Checks in the mail, etc. THANK you to those of you who let God use you to that end!) I can hardly believe it myself.  Coast to coast. I am happy to be near the ocean, even if I don't see it that often. My name, in Greek, means "the sea." So--crazy faith adventure--here we are, a dream fulfilled. I speak to this season, that it will be a tree of life for us, and all we come into contact with. A desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Fulfill that word, Lord!

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain" (Psalm 127:1). It seemed sometimes over the past year as if Thomas were basking in the Lord too much, spending too much time praying and reading the Bible... People were telling him to get out there more, do a better job of getting a job. To try harder. And to get on welfare. I myself was even getting on that boat most days, the negative thoughts and words. They were speaking negativity over him. Speculating, and forgetting the way the Father sings over us with shouts of joy, how He deals with us. Through encouragement. Love hopes and believes all things, does it not? I repeated this over and over to myself in those months in California. Love believes all things. The people of North Coast Calvary Chapel was a huge breeze of life to us in that season. They were not repelled by our lack of work, our *many* children, our living situation, our needs. They were happy that we were glad to be there. They actively looked for work and housing with us. We could have spent a lifetime there.

One day, a few weeks before the deadline to move out of the housing in San Diego, I was lying in bed trying to nap, sinking into depths of emotion over our situation. I thought, "HOW is this going to work, Lord? I KNOW you are good, but I feel like maybe we have been unfaithful with our resources, and not applied wisdom principles to our life and finances, and maybe that's why this is not working out! Even if Thomas got a job today, we would NOT have enough money to pay for deposit/ first month's rent on an apartment, and we're going to be homeless! WHAT IS GOING ON??!!??" Suddenly, in my mind's eye, God gave me a vision of a person running through a paper wall. I understood at once what He was trying to tell me. That this seemingly insurmountable wall did not NEED to be surmounted. That it was only an illusion, and that though this situation seemed impossible from a human standpoint, it was nothing to God. We were to just RUN through it in faith. That gave me so much renewed courage!!! About two weeks after that, we got an email from the mother of a good friend from Santa Barbara. She owns an elder care facility in Virginia and was losing a couple of employees in July. She prefers to hire men and simply offered for Thomas to take a job with her! We had no idea how in the world we would afford to get there, but we both felt a resounding "YES," toward this!

The day after we decided to just go for it, despite not having the funds, said friends in Santa Barbara gave us a huge chunk of money toward that end, which covered the moving van and then some. AND our church in San Diego (North Coast Calvary Chapel) gave us the money for the airfare! It was simply astounding how God provided. The people who employed us worked so hard to get us settled, welcome us, make us feel at home. They give, they give, they give. They arranged it so the job would include room and board. This is above and beyond. This is so. Not. Normal. So we currently live here in the top floor of the elder care house; the lower floor is used for residents. There are three bedrooms downstairs and three residents, and another house and two more residents next door. Thomas works in both houses, taking care of the elderly residents and doing any other odd jobs they need him for. We will be the night managers of this home. I get to help with cooking, which I love! And  our children get to see the other end of life and have older generations around them. I think it is wonderful. We stand truly amazed!

God doesn't say, "try harder. You're going downhill! Do a better job! I'm worried about you!" God says, "Trust me. I love you. I am able. I want to give you all good things." He provided this job with no resume sent, no application filled out, and we got a place to live with no deposit or first months rent. Income can go toward paying off debts! You can't imagine how many times I thought over the past year, "how cool would it be if someone we knew who owned a business simply hired us?" I should have known. I should have contended for that, I should have been speaking that out the whole time! Instead, I was known to frequently cynically say, "You have to be the manager's nephew to get a job at McDonald's." ...HE was listening. I still. STILL! Have not grasped the discipline of directing my words toward positive things. Speaking truths, not cynicisms. ETERNAL truths, God's truths, what He wants to see realized, are ALWAYS good; there is always good truth to speak. Hope does not disappoint. AH, LORD! Come get in my face! Be in my face. All. Day. And may I live out of the spirit man. Nothing can shake this spirit man.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Late Night Musings

Sitting here again at 6 minutes to midnight, with all my dreams and thoughts and projects while my husband and little ones have REAL dreams in the room next door. Oh WHY do I get such a burst of energy after everyone else has gone to bed? Sigh... it really is my downfall: energized at night, knackered all day. Had to make my favorite vegan chocolate mousse and finish up some housework and wrap some presents and make a pinata--a PINATA! Home made! What am I thinking?!?!! As simple as I present myself to be, I really am not simple. I am a girl who likes frills and buttons and going all out--especially on the food--who has by default turned into a bit of a crunchy, pared-down sort of character. Put me in the same room with a whole bunch of money and you will see my true nature again. Hint: it's not minimalist.

This weekend we are having a party. It was going to be a Golden/Silas combo birthday party, but then I realized--hey, mine is coming up too--and there are probably just as many adults coming as children, so why don't we throw my birthday in the mix there too, eh? After all, who wants to plan aNOTHER party, when it's already so difficult to throw one, I feel like we have to inconvenience people in order to have a party, so just one is good, thank you. What's on the menu: Chicken nuggets, chickenless nuggets, tater tots. Ketchup. Grapes, green and champagne. Raw veggies. Hummus. Big ol' salad. Home made bread. Store bought artisan bread. Crackers. Cheeses. Prosciutto. Almonds. Sweet potato chips and blue corn tortilla chips. Tomatillo salsa. Vanilla cake with some sort of strawberry embellishment and a crazy cake topper. Vegan sugar-free carrot cake with vegan sugar-free frosting and a crazy cake topper. (using toys as cake toppers is one of my fave. time saving tricks for home made cakes. I'm not gonna do the billions of details in fondant. Just not gonna happen. I like the other food too much.) What else... vanilla ice cream. Sparkling pink lemonade. Sugar free raspberry lemonade. Two reds and a white. Sparkling water. Coffee. I think that's it! If I feel like we are short, I will add animal crackers and popcorn to the mix. But chances are we'll have a bunch of leftovers. Like always. I love parties. Is God good to us or WHAT?!

The condo where we are holding this party is rather small. I hope the children don't kill each other or ruin anything. The only activity I have planned for them is pinata hitting. In the teeny tiny backyard. And eating. Can you tell I am grateful to have the use of a kitchen? I plan to bake all day Saturday, cause the party is on Sunday. We go to church on Saturday nights now, and if it weren't such an awesome church, that God pointed out to us right away, it would be a lot more intolerable getting used to that kind of schedule. Thomas' days off are so random nowadays that our "Sabbath" is just whatever day he has off. That was today. He got lots of rest and a walk with a friend and a motorcycle ride. I got a 5-plus hour shopping trip. (The good news is that the shopping is DONE. If I forgot something, don't tell me.) I need the help of a village if I want to get a true Sabbath. Ah well. This moment is a pretty good one right here.

So would someone tell me how to decorate a pinata. ? How do you get those fun little tissue paper fringes on to the mache form? Tape? I have never made a pinata by myself before. It's been a long time since I've had a pinata making experience. Like 2 decades or more. I made this one with Elmers instead of home made flour paste. Hope it holds up. But not too well. You know what I mean. I am FAAK. Falling asleep at keyboard. SO I guess these musings and those fun little fringes will have to wait another day.

Let me just share that I had two good interludes with ladies at Trader Joe's today. Older women love to talk to me. One was a full quiver grandma who loves the Lord, the other was a lady who had lived in Mexico for a long time. God gives me these encouraging little respites, see? But remind me never to take these wiggly little girls out again. God love 'em, and I know it's my fault, but... we have a long way to go. More later. FTK! (That's For the Kingdom!!!)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sayings of Summer

Alas! One of the traumatizing things that happened at the beginning of the month, was I LOST my little notebook on a shopping trip. The little notebook I call my "Second Brain." Because I write everything in it that I  want to remember! Information, directions, numbers, passwords, shopping lists, and children's quotes. Yes. So the month of June's precious thoughts are forever gone! I do remember one of them though:

Sp: "the last person to eat their egg, their egg will be rotten."  -June 20 (Hahahahaha! So glad I remembered that one!)

And on to July...

Dad: "Do you want milk?"
Golden nods her head. Dad pours milk into cereal.
G, reproachfully: "Hey! I was about to change my mind!" -July 2

Breakfast impromptu history lesson:
me: "So Washington had done such a good job leading the army that when it came time to choose a president, most people voted for Washington!"
Sp: "But one person voted for Obama." -July 2

Sp: "In a deep place of a mountain--there was a family of puppies--and some kitties. Then. They all got into a boat. To sail to Green Island..." -July 3

Sp: “Mom, I know!!! We should have Twenty-SIX kids! Cause then we could push through the crowd in our house!” -July 9

G: "Mom, pink is allergic to ants." -July 10

Sp: "Mom, I didn't sneeze, but that lady said 'Excuse you.'" O.o. -July 14

After hearing a shoe commercial on Pandora, Golden, almost 4, proves their effectiveness:
G: "She said, 'Hey girls! These are adorable shoes! You can have some too!'" -July 19
(She copied the perky voice and everything--anyone wonder WHY I despise commercials?)

G: "Hey! I don't have a spork or a foon!" -July 18

me: "Hey! You look like the Statue of Liberty!"
Sp: "Except I'm not holding an ice cream." -July 19

Sweet moment: Golden and Silas snuggling and sucking each other's thumbs! -July 19

Golden, crying because Sparrow and her friend are running faster: "They are the fastest runners in ALL the planet." -July 21

Sparrow, looking at three consecutive holes in her leggings: “Look at my leggings! It looks like a picture of someone thinking!” -July 21

Sp: "How long is a year?"
me: "It's 365 days--it's how long it takes the earth to go around the sun one time."
Sp: "But--I wonder why the years and days are so short--I mean--they're so close together!" -July 23

G: "Hankee Doodle was riding on a horse, into town, stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni!"  -July 27 (she's a concept person, LOL)

Golden, handing me the egg yolk: "I don't like the yoga." -July 30

Sp: "When the Israelites made a god on a little gold stool thingy, they didn't make it QUITE high enough. Our God--when you can see Him--is WAY higher than that." -July 31

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Pippa Story--II

After the Bright child was birthed, she was placed on my tummy and we examined her with glee and relief. Thomas cut the cord--they routinely wait until it has stopped pulsing--and she stayed with me for a long long time before they weighed her or anything! In fact, they never gave her a bath the whole time we were there! Amazing! Though they did wash her hair... It was thankfully an extremely clean birth. I didn't even have any water breaking. To this day, we still do not know what on earth happened to my bag of waters! Anyway, out came the placenta a few minutes later. And that is still in the freezer, thanks to our doula who ran out right away to get us an ice box from the store since we had forgotten one. I would love to encapsulate it again, but to dehydrate it I suppose I will have to wait til we move and I can get my toaster oven back.... Not to mention the roommate factor--nobody wants to deal with watching a placenta butchered in their kitchen.

So there she was! One minute in, next minute out. The miracle of birth is truly earth shattering. How anyone can chalk it up to evolution is beyond me. It all works so perfectly! And it always gives me such delight to see the baby we've been waiting for--who's been with us all these months, and yet we didn't know her. We'd felt her little heels, the roundness of her body, the hard head--through the rubber water balloon--but it was a mystery--what are you? Who are you? It was Pippa the whole time. Hah!

But rewind, because she wasn't yet named Pippa when she was born. We had spent so much time brainstorming a boy's name--because girl names are easy, right?--that we now found ourselves with a girl and--oops--not having settled on a girl name! My idea was to name her Olive if she came out with dark hair--I am asking you, what are the odds of having a black-haired husband and four blond-haired children? I love the Biblical symbolism for olives and olive trees. And yet, when she arrived, I was suddenly not so sure. Thomas seemed also not to have the strength of a resounding "YES" in his voice when I talked about that name, though he did say he liked it. Then I suggested Pippa. This name I had heard of long ago, and it recently came back to my attention and I just thought it was the cutest, happiest little name! At this idea Thomas brightened. And so did the postpartum nurse! She said, "Oh my goodness, seriously? When you started discussing what you should name her, I just had the thought, 'they should name her Pippa.'" I think that settled it for me right there; it was prophecy! But it would still take us until the next day to decide...

The nurse's name was Evangeline, too, (another one of my favorite names) and she was a Christian! She saw my Bible on the stand and then overheard something else we were saying, and she asked us finally if we were Christian, then confessed herself, "I love Jesus!" She was the dearest thing. She also was a Calvary Chapel girl, too, but she attended one closer to downtown. Thomas went off with Amanda to get me a Peets mocha =) This is becoming a post-birth tradition now. Sadly, I have perfected my coffee making at home to such a degree that I can hardly appreciate even a Peets mocha anymore! Dread. Thomas went home soon after this and I was eventually moved to a shared room with another postpartum mom, whom I hardly saw at all before curtains were drawn. I think she had had a C-section. I had been told I would eventually be moved up to the birth center-- but alas, it never did happen. So while I was a bit longing for the nice double beds up there, I had no reason to complain.

I nursed my baby, had my lunch, etc. and before I knew it, Thomas was arriving again for a visit with the children! They all busted in, disheveled, half in pajamas, hair unkempt, (OH the things that fathers may neglect to do! ...But the important things do get done: spending time with them, training them up, loving them, playing with them, and praying with them!) and fell upon their new little sister like a horde of hungry javelinas!  They were all instantly IN LOVE. Even Silas! Oh my--the way he kissed and licked her and cooed "Baba, ...baba" over and over again. My poor husband was tired and not feeling well, so I told him he could lie down in the bed and I would move to a chair. He was dozing within minutes. There I was with my delicate situation and three children bouncing around the (shared!) room and climbing on any available furniture... fortunately a nurse noticed my plight. Her name was Liberty. And she gave me some liberty, alright! She ever so delicately pointed out that my children were energetic and encouragingly said, "Let's move you to another room! One just opened up down the hall." She bustled us down there, had other nurses grab all our stuff, and settled us in. She was SO sweet about Thomas and said with a wink, "We'll just let him keep sleeping until we need the room, ok?" Then she turned on the tv for my children and went away, coming back with about 18 packets of graham crackers and mini cartons of milk, which my children fell upon ravenously. Dinner is served! What a nurse!

All the nurses were wonderful. There was one the following day whose name was Karen, who was the chattiest thing you ever met, but in a good way! She asked me a LOT of questions, about my life and mothering and Christianity, even, just because she cared to know. My friend Melody has that skill as well, (the questions/caring combo) and it is rare. Haha, when we still hadn't settled on a name, Karen heard the baby scream and said, "you should call her Piper! Hahaha!" Little did she know we were considering Pippa, which is practically the same! I had a lot of time to research the name while I was at the hospital, and loved what the Holy Spirit was showing me. He reminded me that Philip the evangelist had particularly been impressed upon my heart in my study of the book of Acts a few weeks prior, what with his table-serving skills, evangelism skills, and then being teleported on top of all that. =) (Pippa derives from Philippa, which comes, of course, from Philip.) And the book of Philippians is also special and dear to my heart for family. I'd memorized chapter 2 last year. This would be her book. Then there came the issue of the middle name, and God gave us "Bright" at the last minute, which we both liked. Thomas had been inspired by Foxes Book of Martyrs and had suggested all kinds of middle names from there, derived from Roman, Gaelic, etc. But we decided on a Roman one for her 2nd middle name, Octavia. Eight is Thomas' favorite number, not to mention the spiritual significances of the number 8. Fruitfulness and superabundance being two of them, but especially this--renewal. The season that was ushered in at her birth was promising renewal. We saw it with the eyes of faith. The world would say another child just adds to the downward spiral. God has a different vision and a different agenda. Will we accept what He says? Pippa Bright Octavia. A name for a little princess destined for big things.

Friday, June 8, 2012

May munchkin talk

G: “Mom, I missed my dream because it was fun and it was nice! It was about a nice cow and a nice moose and a nice lion and a nice sheep but they didn’t fight and the sheep was a princess in the castle.” –May 2

Sp: “Mom! As soon as you move, you just want to live in your old house again… I miss both houses I’ve lived in—and the womb.” –May 3

Sp: “I wanna get a limo, mama. Cause we’re gonna have 20 children—if they’re all good—and we can’t fit them all in this car.” –May 4

Golden, singing to Pippa:
“I will give you milk
And I will use your brain
And you are faith-doodle-bug
And you are called blubbery
You can lead the way…” –May 4

G: “Mommy, I can’t move my arms cause my armpits hurt.” –May 4

Sp: “Mommy, why is Daddy sleeping in the morning?”
Me: “Because he goes to bed late and gets up early. He takes naps cause he doesn’t sleep that much at night.”
Sp: “So…he’s like animals?” –May 8

Me: “These fleas are evil!”
G: “And you hate them.”
Sp: “Well, we don’t like the fleas, but they are God’s creation.”
Me: “Yes, they are. I don’t know why He made fleas though.”
Sp: “Because He’s God and sometimes He has secrets.” –May 8

G, waving a piece of paper: “I’ve got good news! It’s here in my hand!”
Me: “Oh good! What’s the good news?”
G: “Our house is on fire—and we have to run away to a castle.” –May 9

Golden, commenting on a nice playground: “No wild things here—no bobcats or robbers.” –May 12

G: “Mom, I wanna be big right now and go up to heaven and have fun. I can’t wait to see if it’s beautiful.” –May 12

 (Talking to my husband about onomatopoeia)
Me: “It’s a word that sounds like the sound it describes.”
T: “Like what?”
Me: “Tinkle. Or crackle.”
T: “What about pee?”
Me: “No… but poop is probably one.” (Thomas laughing at this point)
T: “What about butt?”
Me: “Butts don’t make sounds.”
(both laughing suuuuuuuuper hard)
T (crying-laughing): “Yes they doooooooo!” –May 18

G: “Mom, when you say ‘I doubt it,’ it means that I want to eat a cloud.” –May 12

(A  little confused from all our readalouds/ family devotion times)
Golden, giggling: “Daddy was reading the book of John, and he said ‘Mr. Thornbutt’ a lot of times!” –May 21

G: “Thank you Lord for this day, and that we would like for Daddy to get a job, and that we had a good day, and that we could rent this house and get a dog and a cat. Amen.”  -May 28

(playing with Golden, Sparrow makes up an imaginary address)
Sp: “Let’s go to Africania, Sixty-O house, and Hermie street.”  -May 20

(talking about fake online names)
Sp: “I’m Cherry, and Golden is Strawberry. Mom, you can be Coffee Girl.”
G: “And Daddy will be the guy who drinks the coffee and eats the strawberry and the cherry!” –May 20

Sp: “I’m gonna sit down and eat this big humiliated chicken.” –May 27

G: “My eye hurted in the night and Mama put Pippa’s nu-nu milk in it.”
Sp: “Did it hurt?”
G: “No.”
Sp: “What did it feel like?”
G: “It feeled like a cloud.” –May 27

Sparrow seriously and patiently explaining to Golden:
Sp: “A brain burn is when you eat hot food too fast.”
G:  “Yeah and it burned my tongue too.” –May 27

Sp: “Mama, I wanna play funly, and Golden isn’t making this game really all that fun.” –May 28

Me: “You put your pants on backwards.”
G: “Oh. Well can you help me not put them on backwards?” –May 28

Daddy was moving sleeping Golden, who had been very tired and crying minutes before, to the bedroom.
Daddy: “Heavy!”
Sparrow: “She’s lots heavy when she has a bunch of tears in her tummy.” –May 31

Daddy: “If we didn’t have Jesus, who would we go to? What would we move toward?”
Golden: “We would move to Temecula.” –May 31

Monday, May 14, 2012



This "want ad" appeared in the early part of [the 20th] century.
WANTED - A boy that stands straight, sits straight, acts straight, and talks straight;
A boy whose fingernails are not in mourning, whose ears are clean, whose shoes are polished, whose clothes are brushed, whose hair is combed, and whose teeth are well cared for;
A boy who listens carefully when he is spoken to, who asks questions when he does not understand, and does not ask questions about things that are none of his business;
A boy that moves quickly and makes as little noise about it as possible;
A boy who whistles in the street, but does not whistle where he ought keep still;
A boy who looks cheerful, has a ready smile for everybody, and never sulks;
A boy who is polite to every man and respectful to every woman and girl;
A boy who does not smoke cigarettes and has no desire to learn how;
A boy who is more eager to know how to speak good English than to talk slang;
A boy that never bullies other boys nor allows other boys to bully him;
A boy who, when he does not know a thing says, "I don’t know," and when has made a mistake says "I’m sorry," and when he is asked to do a thing says "I’ll try";
A boy who looks you right in the eye and tells the truth every time;
A boy who is eager to read good books;
A boy who would rather put in his spare time at the YMCA gymnasium than to gamble for pennies in a back room;
A boy who does not want to be "smart" nor in any wise attract attention;
A boy who would rather lose his job or be expelled from school than to tell a lie or be a cad;
A boy whom other boys like;
A boy who is at ease in the company of girls;
A boy who is not sorry for himself, and not forever thinking and talking about himself;
A boy who is friendly with his mother, and more intimate with her than anyone else;
A boy who makes you feel good when he is around;
A boy who is not a goody-goody, a prig, or a little pharisee, but just healthy, happy, and full of life;
This boy is wanted everywhere. The family wants him, the school wants him, the office wants him, the boys want him, the girls want him, all creation wants him.
Source unknown
Quoted in The Children's Book of Virtues
by William J. Bennet

Lord, give me wisdom to raise this son of mine, and to turn his heart toward You!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

April Quotes

Sparrow is six, Golden is three and two-thirds...

G, after a pee accident: "I really don't wanna get potty trained."
me: "What's potty trained?"
G: "Going potty."
me: "You never wanna go potty again?"
G: "Never pee and never poop."
me: "Well, in heaven we won't have to pee or poop."
G: "I really wanna go up." -April 9

Sp: "I wanna go to GOD-world!" -April 10 (after much thinking about Disneyland, Sea-world, etc.)

G: "I'm really serious. I'm really DUPER serious." -April 10

G: "Nonsense!"
me: "Do you know what that means, nonsense? It's from "non" which means no, and "sense." It makes no sense!"
G: "Well if somebody doesn't have a nose, then they can't smell. That's non-scents." -April 10

G: "Mommy, whenever you drink coffee, it makes me wanna go peepee." -Apr. 21

G: "I had a dream of a poky monster. And he did do bad things to me. And I usually wanted to go back out." ...then later..."Mom, the poky monster was scratching up my nose. And it really hurted. He had sharp claws." -April 21

G: "I had a dream about sparkle warkle unicorn city. And there was pink and rainbow-colored birds in the sky, and they were singing nice songs about unicorns. About not die. And they were singing and singing and their breath was getting tired." -April 23

me: "You can't attach the rope to the pulleys first. The pulleys need to wait, they are just an in-between place."
G: "The pulleys need to get in the patience of God." -Apr. 24

me: "When I was little, my friends and I made up a language. And we wrote a dictionary so we could say what each word meant."
Sp: "...And when you wanted to talk to each other in your language, you would just look in your dictionary!"
G: "Yeah--and if you put a dictionary on your chair, you will sit higher." -Apr. 25

G, praying: "...And that Daddy will get a job. Amen. I prayed for that twice. I mean TWO TIMES." -Apr. 25

G: "Mom, I'm a doula. You can be a doula too."
me: Oh yeah, what's a doula?"
G: "It makes a crazy sound and then it turns bad and then it grows up. It can eat you. And it's a monster. A doula is a javelina. It's a bad pig." -Apr. 27

Sp: "I went as DOWN as I could, cause I was a worm-dragon, and then I found the lava place." -Apr. 30

Near accident in the middle of the night, but Golden woke up and I helped her in the bathroom. I told her afterward, since her panties were a little wet, to put new ones on. She wasn't into that, and didn't skip a beat in informing me:
"I LOVE wet panties!" -Apr. 31

Thursday, April 26, 2012


My fourth child. I can't believe I have four children. I still feel like a shy little out-of-place girl in a foreign country sometimes, or rather--I remember that girl so well, that it seems hardly possible to be a mother of four of my own children. I now have more children than anyone in my family. More than my parents. More than my grandparents. More than my aunt and more than my uncle. More than my cousins. Wow. I am so blessed!

Pippa Bright Octavia McDonnell was born on April 3, 2012, at 6:29 am, weighing 7 lbs 11 oz. What a fabulous birth! I have always had quick labors, but this one set the record at 3 hours 15 minutes. And began at 3:15 am. Hah! I always know it is real labor when it wakes me up out of sleep. I had had one false alarm this time, on Saturday night/early Sunday morning (my due date), but it turned out to be just an April Fools' joke. ha. ha. Actually, I am kind of glad she was not really born on April Fools Day.

I decided that if the baby hadn't come by my due date, I would do all I could to get the labor going (there were some insurance issues that would be much less complicated if baby was born before April 5th). I was due on a Sunday. Monday evening I went over to the beach with the girls and we did the stairs three times in a row. One lady commented, "Is this your Stairmaster?" I said, "Yup! Trying to induce labor!" She looked alarmed and said "Oh no!" I think she thought I was kidding. I just panted, "due yesterday!" and kept on truckin'! Sure enough, that night around 3:15 I woke up with contractions about 5 minutes apart and stronger than the "false labor" two nights before. I lay there for awhile timing them and finally got up to get things ready. I packed the rest of my stuff, got online to send emails out to my family (and announce on facebook, of course!) and write a line in the family journal.

I prayed through each contraction. This time I wanted to fight that pain in the Spirit, not submit to it as before. I felt that God had given me permission to pray that pain away. Pain was not God's original intention for childbirth, and it may not even have been His secondary intention! The word given to Eve over childbirth was "sorrow," though many versions translate it "pain." It is the exact same word, in the original, that is given to Adam in how He will have to till the ground. In SORROW. (They never translate that one as "pain!") So yes, we do have to bear children into a sinful, sorrowful world. But do we have to bear children in pain?? I had come to believe that Satan has a powerful ministry of fear and pain over childbirth. It is he who makes this so miserable for us, sometimes from beginning to end, because he hates women, hates families, hates LIFE. And now, eons later, the word "pain" has been spoken over childbirth so many times, that we are programmed to expect it, believe it,  succumb to it. Words. Are. Powerful. So there I was, at 4 AM, standing and swaying in the living room, fighting words with words. I would pray that pain right down every five minutes, then five minutes later do it again.

Standing! I was standing in labor! I normally cannot stand in labor, I buckle with the pain, I have to lean on something or lie down, or kneel. I moan and groan and moo. I "work with" the labor, but in the past that has meant for me using natural pain-coping methods and accepting the pain as something that is moving my labor forward. This time, I was fighting the pain. I had come to believe in my right to fight the pain. I wasn't fighting my labor, but I was fighting in the spirit against something I have come to believe is spiritually induced; why should a muscle working hard cause automatic excruciating pain? I remembered the names of the women I had read about that had had pain-free childbirth and spoke them aloud to remind the Lord: you did it for her; would you do it for me too? Eventually I woke up Thomas to tell him it was time. We called the midwives to tell them we were coming but didn't get a hold of anyone; they were supposed to call back within 15 minutes. After 20 minutes, I called again. When I hung up, I had a voicemail. From the midwife. Telling me that they had a couple of births going on and to just call back if I really needed to come in. Well we were already on our way. It was cold outside and in the car. I had a blanket and we turned on the heater. I was shivering. We arrived at the hospital and I labored in the lobby while Thomas went and parked the car. Our doula (whom I had met a week beforehand through a Facebook group) met us there and started squeezing my hips, wonderful girl that she was. After about a hlaf hour in the lobby, they told me to go up to regular labor and delivery since there was no room in the inn--ahem--birthing center. I was quite disappointed not to get to be in the birth center after all! But happy to get into a room.

They asked me if I was feeling pushy, and no, I wasn't yet. The nurses were really nice and tried to remember I was supposed to have been a birth center patient. She monitored the baby with a doppler device instead of the dreaded belly band. Then I suddenly did feel pushy. Someone checked me and said I was complete, and the baby's head was "right there." (that was the first internal check I had gotten since moving to California!) I got into my preferred position: kneeling upright while hugging the back of the bed. Thomas came to the back of the bed so I could hold on to him. They kept assuring me the midwife was trying to make it down in time. But she didn't. Instead they sent in two OB's. One was blond and was wearing a face shield (presumably as a result of a bad experience with bodily liquids during birth--LOL); the other one I am not sure if I ever saw. Sure enough, she asked me to turn around and lie down. I said something like "do i have to?" and didn't move. I could feel that baby coming down the canal. The doctor asked again. I said something like "No, I'm good, the baby's coming right out, you know?" Then a contraction would come and I would stall, "Just wait wait wait a minute..." Then she pulled out the "for your baby's safety you really have to lie down now!" But what were they going to do--grab me and force me to turn over? I knew this would be over soon and the lying-on-the back was NOT what I had signed up for--so they could ask me to lie down all they wanted. I knew better. It was NOT for my baby's safety. It was for their own personal comfort. And then I began to roar. And really really push. The blond doctor was giving me counter pressure as requested, (I have a great respect for that one!) and out that baby came, in two pushes, perfectly and easily. Of course it felt intense. Somewhat like pooping a bowling ball. But it is an intensity equal to the absolute craziness of the situation: that your body has been growing a second human, complete and perfect, and is now expelling it to begin LIFE on its own! "It's a girl!" they told me. THEN I turned around and lay down--very compliant--and they put that wonderful baby in my arms, and the love story began.

To be continued...

Friday, March 30, 2012

March Madness!

G: "Mom, why do people get ready?"
me: "For what?"
G: "Why do people get dressed and have a party--EVERY DAY?!?!?" -march 1

(coming in crying)
G: "Mom! I didn't want her to put her feet on me!"
me: "Oh, I'm sorry. ...Do you want to eat a quesadilla with me?"
G, still tearfully: "I want a covered chocolate hot dog." -march 1

Sparrow's casual observation: "The devil is a hypocrite alien." -march 2

G: "Mom, I had a dream that I was seeing a bunch of guinea pigs on the mountain, and there was ocean and snow all around." -march 7

G: "Goliath lives in Hawaii."
Sp: "No, he doesn't."
G: "Yes, he does, he lives in Hawaii!"
Sp: "No, he doesn't Golden, cause he's DEAD!" -march 7

me playing with girls: "Apparently I'm British cause I have an English accent."
G: "You're lovelish." -march 10

talking about a Bible passage
me: "So Mary and Martha asked Jesus to come because Lazarus was sick. And what did Jesus do for sick people?"
G: "hmmmm....mmmmmm....get a barf bucket?" -march 10

me: well it's jeans and a t-shirt, or how about these shorts and this shirt?"
Sp: "yah, yah! shorts and this shirt--that looks really prosheffonal." -march 15

G: "In my dream, when we were going home, on a walk, a bee stung me. Right here. (points to foot.) Isn't that a sad, sad story?" -march 17, 4 AM

(eating Kix cereal for the 1st time)
G: "These are REAL chickpeas. I'm not kidding. And they're GOOD. And they're CRUNCHY." -march 18

Sp: "Who would ever wanna snuggle with a knight?" -march 28

G: "I used to throw straws out the window.  When I was a little girl. ...That's a sad, sad story." -march 29

Sp: "Someday I wanna go to Coco's Island."
me: "Are you going to be a marine biologist?"
Sp: "No."
me: "Are you going to be an explorer?"
Sp: "No. I'm going to be a ballerina. On Coco's Island."
G: "I'M going to be a BUTTERFLY!" -march 30

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

January and February Brilliance

me: "What does 'invisible' mean, Golden?"
G: "hmmmm.......mmm....(rolling her eyes about to think) .....whiny?" -Jan. 3

Sp: "We'll only die for a minute...I mean,--the shortest, shortest time you can imagine." -Jan. 3

G: "Mommy! My baby is coming soon!"
dad: "Oh yeah? What's it gonna be, a boy or a girl?"
G: "A girl with eyelashes and pink."
dad: "What's its name gonna be?"
G: "Toothless." -Jan. 28

(some argument about a bike going on)
me: "There's another bike outside."
G: "Nooooo! Skunks like me, and they spray stink out of their tails, and I don't wanna take a bath!" -Feb.  1 (lol--apparently she had heard that there was a skunk outside)

G (cupping the face of some Catholic saint statue) "Jesus, do you love me?" -Feb. 1

me: "I have to go to Medi-CAL again and get something done."
G: "But Medi-CAL isn't that good!"
me: "I noticed."
G: "But Medi-CAL doesn't get that much money. To pay ice cream on Saturday. I mean bubble gum."
-Feb. 15

(listening to a song "take my breath away" by tuck and patti)
Sp: "He is singing about God. Cause God can sometimes take our breath away." -Feb. 15

G: "Why can Jesus make even the biggest messes?"
me: "Well, Jesus can do whatever He wants, but He doesn't want to make messes. He wants to make order."
G: "But in His heart He wants to make a BIG mess." -Feb. 27

Sp: "The devil is a hypocrite alien."
me: "Sparrow, what's a hypocrite?" 
Sp: "It's like... a tax collector bad guy. With a crown. Girls can be hypocrites too sometimes." -Feb. 28

Sp: "Mom, is a parakeet dinosaur twice as big as Silas?" (she may have been thinking 'pterodactyl'?) -Feb. 28

Thursday, February 2, 2012

December and January Little Wisdom

The girls were listening to Amy Grant's "My Best Christmas" a lot. One day, Sp. asked me why she keeps saying "doo-wa, doo-wa, ooooooh" and my response was, "that's just a filler word. It doesn't mean anything but keeps the rhythm of the song." A few days later, she was listening to the "Tender Tennessee Christmas" song. Apparently, she doesn't know all her states, cause she came to me seriously and said,
"Mom. I know that 'Colorado' is just a filler word." LOL! -Dec. 5

Sp: (while playing bears or animals of some sort) "Bye bye! I'm harmonating!" -Dec. 18

G: (singing her made-up song):
"Trees come up to earth
Cars drive over them.
Jesus sleeps on the moon
He knows how to read." -Dec. 18

Sp: (trying to whistle)
"Mom, licking your lips is like putting ink in a pen." -Dec. 20

me: "What does 'invisible' mean, Golden?"
G: "mmmm...mmmmm....whiny?" -Jan. 3

Sp: "We'll only die for a minute... I mean--the shortest shortest time you can imagine." -Jan. 3

G: "Mommy! My baby is coming soon!"
Dad: "Oh yeah? What's it gonna be, a boy or a girl?"
G: "A girl with eyelashes and pink."
Dad: "What's its name gonna be?"
G: "Toothless." (lol--oddly appropriate!) -Jan. 28

G: "Mom, this sign says, 'thank you, butterfly, for giving us a cupcake, and an ice cream, and cake, and another cupcake, and a card..." (on and on she went, while i waited for her to finish reading the "don't drink the irrigation water" sign, with silas getting heavier and heavier in my arms! hah!) -Jan. 26

G: "I had a nice dream about a quail, and it got burned, and the bad-guy quails threw her off a cliff. And she got aten, and she became a baby." (the first utterances to come out of her mouth that morning! love age 3.5!) -Jan. 27

G: "Mom, I love you, but I might have a scary dream, so I need somebody to sleep with me."
me: "well, that's why you have Sparrow. You have each other."
G: "No, I need somebody tall... very tall." -Jan. 27


On the 20th of January, our family locked up the house in Arizona which had become our beloved home, the home we brought Silas into when he was born, and drove to San Diego to live with friends. After 7 months of unemployment, we finally "got" the fact that we were not supposed to stay in Tucson despite the cheap rent and the beautiful community of friends we had there. We had no funds on which to move, but figured that if God wanted us to move, He would make it happen, and--through friends--He did. So here we are in Encinitas, north of San Diego, hardly able to believe we are in California again. And living faith, hope and love daily as far as we are able, thanking God for every day, and praying for miracles. GOD is the strength of my life! Even Jesus sometimes relied upon others to house and feed him, and I am trying to remember that those who trust on the Lord need never be ashamed (Psalm 37:19, Psalm 119:6, and others...).

Life is good here; it is less challenging than i imagined to live with another family. Which is a great testimony to Sam and Judy's generosity and easy-going-ness! They are really super gracious and kind. they love to help people out sacrificially, especially helping people get on their feet from a hard situation; I am humbled by them. Would I just invite a family of 5/6 to come live with me and take over one whole room and live in my space, etc? No. This is a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom house. One family sleeps in one room, one in the other. It is quite cozy which I don't mind, but am hoping for a miracle to be able to get housing of our own by the time my new baby arrives in 2 months! It would be stepping it up to a whole new level of craziness to be nursing a newborn for so much of my days/nights and not be able to contribute much to the household. etc. Sam and Judy's little boy is 3; he shares the same birthday as Golden! Three times per week he goes to Montessori school from 8:30 to 2:30, but we get a lot of play time with him still! He is doing so well, considering he just had 3 other youngsters move into his space and suddenly start using all his stuff! The girls have really taken to him as their "brother." It has been a little challenging for me to keep my girls aware that they are still under my authority and can't just run off with him and watch a movie or whatever whenever they want. But I am grateful for the opportunity to train them more in the area of cheerful obedience.  Judy and I switch off making meals, and that is really nice too. She is extraordinarily kind and inviting--she is the kind of person that holds everything with an open hand, which is an enigma to me--i don't naturally do that. At. All. Like I said, I am being humbled. One thing i am super grateful for is that we are in a place where we TRULY have to pray for our daily bread. How many Americans can say that they pray that prayer and really really mean it, ya know? Though I never paid that much attention to it before, the Lord's prayer has suddenly become very relevant and dear to me.

Thomas is trying to schedule himself to be working on job stuff about 8 hours a day, so he is keeping busy. I try to take the children out to a park or beach in the morning (there are tons of parks close by and beach is like 3 blocks away) to stay out of his way so he can do that. Although he does often seek my advice and secretarial services, so how useful it really is for me to be gone, I don't know! In the afternoon I usually do homeschool with Sparrow while the younger ones sleep.

The really really nice thing about here is that everything is close by. The not nice thing is the cost of living! But I would rather be where God is leading me than somewhere that I myself find more comfy and logical, you know? I know I will treasure our time in AZ as one of the best seasons of my life. But it also feels right to be back in California! We are loving the ocean air, beaches, good outdoor smells, lush plants, really fun and abundant playgrounds, etc. etc. Sparrow's hair has already gotten blonder--she can play ont he beach by herself for hours! She is such a little beach runner. Golden is turning brown, although she doesn't like me saying so! Silas just likes being outdoors anytime. He is walking pretty well now and stalks around the playground in his turned-out position, climbing up structures that are way too high for him and saying "hi" to every child he meets.

The first church we tried was North Coast Calvary Chapel and Thomas and I both like it, so we might just stay there, at least while we are here in this neighborhood--it is very close by, and that is a plus, when every mile of gas is a concern! LOL. Of course i have my issues with it, but it's not heretical and there are a lot of things to like about it.  the facility is so nice that you would be tempted to go there just for that! yikes! I found out at newcomer's night (at which they served a bunch of beautifully arranged desserts--oh WHY had i already eaten!!??!?) that the pastor is the dad of two of the guys in 'Switchfoot,' a Christian band I have been listening to since high school--I had their 1st album--on TAPE!--and had it memorized, too... Anyway, being in the public eye and Christian arena, their sons are a great testimony to the pastor and his wife. I am always looking for parents who have grown children who are strong in the Lord and living His abundant life. Switchfoot has been around for a long time and they didn't make it into the mainstream for at least 10 years but they persevered; and now that they are in the mainstream, to my knowledge they haven't toned down their message. It has always been a thoughtful message with a Biblical worldview.

For homeschool we are doing 'Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons'--because Sparrow was ready for it--and the intro year of MEP math, (a freely available math curriculum online) and the rest is just made up. I am not sold on the reading curriculum yet; she seems to find it tedious--which is super sad, being as it is very effective-- and I want her to be excited about reading and find it interesting. I am super glad Sparrow is still in kindergarten. it would, in a way, be really nice to just do a "box" curriculum and have everything laid out for you every day. One cool thing that we are working on independently though, is learning how to tell TIME! that has been my favorite thing this week. She is getting really good at memorizing the "minute hand" numbers and was able to tell me the time on 4 clock problems today! She can even write them out 'digital' style when she gets the answers. And then there is the library. It is really close by and really big and nice. And of course, a great home school resource!  We found a wonderfully illustrated, longer/older version of "Cinderella"--I wish I could buy it! And we are also reading a poetry anthology. Sparrow is going to memorize a few poems from there. Then i try to go over catechism stuff with them during lunchtime, and we try to keep on top of continually memorizing verses too. Thomas is really good at gathering us all together to pray and read the Bible in the AM and PM.I am so thankful for a husband like that.

Speaking of homeschooling, I just discovered this little "Ryan Gosling on Homeschooling" poster which made me laugh so hard I cried. This is so my life some days! LOL!

This was created by homeschooling moms, they have a whole little website dedicated to these.

Here is some of what we've been up to lately, in picture format!