Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Furniture Story....

 I have to laugh. There are so many times when I see something I just "gotta wanna have to buy" but I don't have the funds for it. Then later I find that it isn't quite as nice as I first thought, or as in this case, I get it for less money than I would have paid in the first place.

Last month when I started caring for Angel-girl and collecting toys to have here at the house, I decided I wanted a certain piece of furniture from Ikea to place her toys in. It was my personal way of being efficiently organized with her belongings without making my house feel like a day care. Not that she will keep her things organized but it helps me mentally feel better for some silly reason.

The thing that I wanted was $70 brand new. I didn't have it. So I waited. I looked at Craig's List almost daily and occasionally found the model but not the oak color I wanted. Then a couple of weeks ago I took our oldest daughter shopping at Ikea while there were visiting from Spokane for the weekend. There was the unit and color I wanted in their scratch and dent section for $52. I was super excited and called Hubby. But he nixed the idea after all of our other January spendings.

I grumbled to myself as I wanted to not understand but relented to being a grown up.
This past Saturday I went to look around, with baby sitting money in my pocket, and found that the model and only the oak color I wanted was on discontinue clearance for $49. I blushed. I laughed. I thanked God for being so patient with me. I called my daughter to share my excitement (over silly furniture I know) and then I grabbed a cart to load up my prize.

Here it is all fixed up in my house. 
Puddin' and I had fun putting it together this morning.

 And I had to laugh when I opened the instruction manual.
It is all in pictures so that there is no language barrier. 
The before you get started page really got me.....

 I interpret it to say, 
"Don't try to assemble this by yourself. 
You will be sad and might not be able to figure it out.
Doing projects with a friend is always more fun. 
If neither one of you are smart enough to figure it out then you can call us for help."

I know, I am silly.

I still have other things I want to share. Hopefully I can do that this evening. But for now it is time for more girl errands. They seem to never end......but I love being with them.

Have a blessed and amazing day today!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stick Shift 101....

Today was so much fun! Puddin' had the day off of school so we did 'girl' stuff all afternoon.  Her biggest desire of the day was for me to give her a lesson in driving my new car. She has had her permit for a few months now but today was different. Today was focused on 'How To Drive a Stick Shift'.  It was fun. It was crazy. It was laughable. My neck is a little sore tonight from all of our jerky starts and stops as she learned to feel the see-saw balance between clutch and accelerator. But it was a good day and I am glad we did it.

For now, it is late and I must get to bed. I will share more later.
Have a blessed and wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Things....

It is so funny the many times I have sat down over the past few days to start typing this post and never gotten farther than 2 sentences because of other pressing matters needing my attention.

For example: this last week (and for a few more days) we are caring for a friend's 2 little girl dogs while they attend to a family emergency. They are sweet bundles of fuzziness to have around. But having all 4 dogs here volleying for my attention as they affirm to themselves they are indeed loved is tiring. I find myself appreciating all the more the strength and patience God gave me in taking care of Daddy and his 5 dogs for all those months.

Then having the 4 dogs volley for my attention while I care for little miss chatter-box-waddle-butt as she cruises all over the house in never ending energy....yes our home is never dull.  I have been teaching her to say, "nooooo bark nooooo bark" whenever the dogs get vocal. It gives her a way to channel her energy when their loud noises startle her. Then yesterday she walked up to Kekoa and said, "good girl sit pretty". She felt very proud of herself for that one as she teetered off and around the next corner of discovery.

A couple of days ago my sister-in-law's car broke down and needed to be towed for some serious transmission work. My brother and sister-in-law live about a half hour away from me and strategically tag team in bringing Angel-girl to and from my house for daycare. The thought of having to share a vehicle for that tag teaming sort of made everything a bit overwhelming for them and we decided to have the baby sleep at our house. 

Oh goodness that brought back such memories for me. I had forgotten what it was like to have a crib next to my bed with sleepy dreaming noises and needing assuring hugs in the middle of the night.  She was such a joy though and we had a blast playing and cruising and discovering and tackling just anything that a 16 month old can find amusing and get into. And I must say that I am so grateful that Pippin was not working that day for she became my faithful extra hands, eyes and energy until daycare was finished.

Here is Angel-girl after our first outing adventure since I have started caring for her.

With all of my attention being divided you may be wondering how my new eating adventure is going. I actually am doing really well and have been successful....for a whole 4 days now. While I laugh at the thought of it starting only 4 days ago I must remind myself that all adventures have a starting point.  But I have decided not to bore you with my food tales here and have opted to start a secondary blog. I have aptly named it My Incredible Journey of Healthy Eating. The name alone is a mouth full right?  For whatever reasons, I am feeling compelled to do thing food thing for now and document my progress every evening as the day comes to a close. Somehow blogging what I am doing and experiencing keeps me so much more accountable. You are welcome to stop by anytime you like.

For now, I pray that you are feeling blessed and cherished. It is true you know. This busy world wants to trick you into not believing it but it is true. You were made an original with a plan and purpose like no other.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Many Things...

I have been compiling a list of things that I wanted to write about in my daily life. They are thoughts or situations that have affected me this last week or so and are rattling around in my head. I have a feeling this may be a long post so bear with me please.

One of the things I have been thinking about is the constant random opportunities to bless people I come in contact with wherever I am at. A smile, a kind word, an opportunity to help; these are some of the many ways it is so easy to make a difference in some one's life. And rest assured that when you reach out to affect change in someone then you are sure to feel blessed as well.

Recently I was having a pretty intense day. I felt pretty frayed in attitude and tight on time. I was walking around one of our local everything type stores to check off a few needed items and ended up zoning out in an area where my shopping cart was blocking much of the isle. A woman gently asked if she could get by and I apologized for not paying attention. About a minute later we ran into one another on a different isle and my cart was once again blocking her passage. I smiled and apologized. Then, a third time we rounded corners and started laughing at blocking each other. I thanked her for being so gracious with me and told her to have a blessed day as I continued my shopping. She paused and left but then came back with urgency. She said, "No I thought YOU were the one being gracious. Thank YOU for not being frustrated with ME. YOU have grace that flows off of you and it changed my evening."  Then she simply smiled and left.

I believe it is so important to call people by name. No matter where I meet people, whether it be the gas station attendant, the waitress or the postal worker, I make it a point to read their name tag and let them know they matter.

I had forgotten that an action like that can affect more than just one person until my grand daughter made a statement to me a couple of weeks ago. We were treating all the kids and grand kids to breakfast at a little diner on our last trip through Spokane. 12 hungry people were at our table ordering food and with 3 kiddos under 5 years of age you can imagine the energy level surrounding us. After all of our orders were taken  I made it a point to look at the name tag of our waitress and say, "Sarah, thank you so much for your patience with us. You are amazing at what you do." She faltered, blushed and then smiled as she left to turn in our order.

My 5 year old grand daughter looked up at me with huge eyes and mouth gaping. Knowing I lived a 6 hour drive away from them made her quite shocked that I could be so personal with our waitress.  She tugged on my sleeve and whispered loudly into my ear, " KNOW her?" I laughed and embraced the opportunity to explain how easy it is to make people feel special. I said, "Doesn't it make you feel more special when I use your name and say 'Brynn, I sure do love you', instead of, 'Hey you, I love you'. Everyone deserves to feel that specialness and maybe our waitress hasn't felt that yet today."

I think I will stop here for now and share more this afternoon. My Angel-girl spent the night here last night and I hear her stirring.

Have an amazing destiny filled day and know you are loved.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 1.....

My dear friend at the beach is always such a blessing and source of encouragement for me. When we first met, we were home schooling our high school girls and we became fast friends as dispositions and personalities meshed together with ease. We shared events from marriage and parenting to God and blessings. She taught me to have a greater appreciation for timeless and passionate character cinema such as Inherit the Wind and Mr Smith Goes To Washington and even how to love the sweet innocence of Shall We Dance in Japanese and hold my sides in laughter at the perfection of The Reduced Shakespeare Company performing the Complete Works Of Shakespeare in under 2 hours.

Now she is once again influencing me. She just doesn't know it yet.
I have watched her over the last couple of years go through something of an amazing transformation. It began with her saying to herself, "I think I should eat a salad every day to help me be more healthy." After a bit of time it became 2 salads a day. Then other choices came along like using a juicer, growing sprouts and.........cutting back on coffee. (yikes!) None of these choices we made because of a diet or fad but simply a conviction to take better care of herself. The result has been amazing. She feels better and is in tune with how her body talks to her. Her blood pressure and cholesterol are down and she can now share clothes with her daughters now that she doesn't have starches storing up in her body.

I have always been intrigued. I have taken home the books she has offered and found them a good and inspiring read. But to walk out those changes has always seemed quite a daunting task. My excuse bag fills over flowing with lack of time to prepare, my family would never eat that way, the torture of preparing two meals (and theirs would be so tempting), what about nutritional deficiencies, the cost, time...time..........and more time.

I had something of a revelation yesterday and decided it doesn't have to be this daunting huge life time forever change that I embark on. I don't have to make it a here to eternity thing and wait for the first slip up to punish myself with scolding failure.
I chose to make things attainable for myself and try for one week to eat raw foods. I know I won't magically lose the 60 pounds that is following me around but I just might feel a bit different. Seven days should give me a taste for feeling a bit better and a little more detoxified.

Today is Day 1. My plan is simple with no complications and can be re-evaluated at any time in the future. For now, I can eat what I want, whenever I want and as much of it as I want as long as it is a raw food, dairy product or whole grain cereal. Actually the cereal and dairy I am sparing with but the raw foods ......well my refrigerator is full of every whim I can imagine. I have made it through 17 waking hours of making smart choices. I put a list in the kitchen of all my food choices so that in a flash of weakness I won't construe something like scalloped potatoes as a good food choice.

Oh and I have to confess just so it is all out here in the is not on my okay list but I don't plan to abstain from it at this point. I think if I drank it as my only form of liquid then it would have to go but one cup a day isn't horrible.

Seven down and six to go.
I can do this.

Let me leave you with a cute image of Angel-girl.
I found her a perfect 'just the right size' chair last weekend.

Blessings to you today.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Some of the Simple Joys......

Some of the simple joys in life...

Funny how I walked around the store to get toys
that I thought would be just right....

when the damp napkin left over from
cleaning up lunch residue.....

is a treasure to behold.

May you also find the simple joys in your day today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Week in Review...

Just before Christmas I began to care for our Angel-girl full time while my brother and sister-in-law are at work. I am having too much fun with her but also am acutely reminded that chasing a 16 month old around my house is not as easy as it used to be. I want to post an updated picture of her but she keeps me just busy enough that I don't think about snapping a picture until she is gone for the evening. Having a toddler around makes me laugh and I remember the joys in the simple things like.....taking a shower, nap time and praises go to the person who thought up the idea of a child play area corral. She is an adorable treasure.

My days are suddenly fast paced and it amazes me how I used to do this all the time and never thought a thing about it...because that is just what moms do.

5:30am My alarm is set for me to jump up each morning but in actuality I am awake at 4am when hubby has to roll out of bed to begin his day behind the wheel. I get up that early to get Puddin' set for school. I know at 17 years old she can technically get herself up and ready but I think it is so much more comforting to have a mom hug and warm breakfast waiting at the table while the world is still waking in the dark.

7:30am This is when I pull in the driveway from taking Puddin' to school and my brother is waiting in his truck for me to take Angel-girl.
The day is filled with play, breakfast, play, nap, lunch, play. Her little legs run her all over the house as she squeals in the delight of adventure until 2:30pm when her mom picks her up.

3pm till 4pm I rush around picking up things and throwing together dinner. Then grab Puddin' from school and start all of the evening things. With having young adult girls in the house that need to talk, download their days and get my opinion on things (which I am so grateful they all desire my input) it seems no matter how hard I try, I can't get into bed before midnight.
Then Hubby's alarm goes off at 4am......

I will adjust. I am a bit tired but I know things will balance out.


So how was the rest of my week beyond the basic schedule?
Here was a highlight...
Last Wednesday just before youth group I received a call from Icca-Chou. Her car was out of gas and she was stranded on the freeway. Poor thing. She tries so hard to keep gas in her tank but her gauge is broken and she doesn't always guess right. I picked her up and took her to youth so she could unwind and after the festivities we then borrowed a gas can and headed back.

There we were at 10pm at night on an unlit area of I-205 trying to stay far away from traffic while attempting to balance and pour a 5 gallon can of gas. A truck pulled up behind us and we all had a slight moment of panic. But the driver ended up being an angel for us. He was driving a tow truck and was on his way to cover his usual route when he saw us long the side of the road. He turned on his big lights and then took over pouring the gas can for us. He refused any compensation but a "God bless you" and a hand shake. Then he sat in his truck with lights shining and waited for both of us to safely pull back into traffic before heading on his way.
I have to say that even though I knew I could have been a big girl and take care of myself and the 5 girls with me.....I sure was grateful for 'entertaining angels'.

Here is a recent picture of Pippin, Puddin' and Icca-Chou. I love their joyful smiles here.

Friday morning the 3 girls set out for an adventure to a special youth conference 8 hours from here in Redding, California. That in itself was a stretch for me.....waving goodbye to two 19 year olds and a 17 year old as they set off on a road trip for 3 days in another state. They had an amazing time and are already anxious for more.
Pippin started her very own blog this last week so if you would like to visit her and hear about their trip please click here at Pippin's Mind.


I had a strange moment on Friday. I was walking through Walmart and checking off my list of needs and wants. Have you ever noticed that all Walmarts are set up basically the same? I learned that acutely that day. I was enjoying myself and browsing when I rounded a corner and all of a sudden I thought I was in Texas. (Walmart happened to be the place I did all my shopping while caring for Daddy because it was convenient in items and location.) There I was standing at the end of the soda isle holding my cart and I had this huge emotional wave of intense panic. My brain switched into "gotta hurry up and get back before Daddy wakes up and hurts himself. Think think think.....did I write down everything I need? Who cares. I have to get back."

It hit so strong. My heart rate and breathing picked up so fast that when I realized what I was doing, I really had to talk myself through staying calm and lot bolting out the door without my desired purchases.
It was all very strange. I have never lost track like that before.


Another interesting thing for the week was that Hubby and I decided to take a road trip at the last minute. It is easier to travel when it is just the two of us so we loaded up an overnight bag, packed up the pups and headed 6 hours away to Spokane to surprise all of the kids. They were definitely surprised.

Little Miss Abbigial has grown so much. She is now 14 months old.

I packed ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies so that the 3 oldest grand kids and I could have fun doing a kitchen project. Brynn stayed by my side the whole time proclaiming dramatically how making cookies was such hard work as she sighed and wiped her hair out of her 5 year old face. The boys tired quickly of baking but were in sheer torture as I made them wait for cookies to cool before they could sample the finished product.

Later I tousled on the couch with Renner and tickled him until he flopped in my arms and sighed contentedly. Folded up in my arms he leaned back with chubby cheeks and sparkled eyes to say, " sure do like kids don'tcha?"

Here is a shot of the whole family. Kobe is on the left. He is a sweet boy that loves to sit with me and build things with Lego's and train sets as we discuss whatever important matter that pops into his head. Then there is Renner sitting in our son's lap. Abbigail is in our daughter-in-law's lap and Brynn is all the way on the right. You can't tell in this photo but Baby Isabel is there as well. She just won't be officially born until February 22nd.

Here is our eldest daughter.
We surprised her by walking in on her 31st birthday party.

The dogs traveled and weathered the weekend well.
I am very pleased that Conguito is calming down and becoming
very emotionally stable in transition to being here.
He slept in the car instead of pacing and whining.
He played with the kids and never had any accidents
out of behavior or otherwise.
Here he is taking a well deserved snooze after playing with the kids.

Kekoa enjoyed the trip too and adapted well to a house full of energetic children.
He learned quick that if he followed Abbigail around she would gladly
share her bottle with him.
Here he is in his favorite spot in the lap.

Thank you for letting me ramble on.
Have a blessed and wonderful week!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Prayer.....

Father God, these failing emotions of mine are driving me crazy with inconsistency. How is it that once I was so stable and calm in any situation but now the slightest thing makes me feel like a fragile sapling in a torrential storm? I can be so steady for a handful of days and feel completely normal and then the smallest thing causes me to unleash with fiery anger or tears that make it hard to stand.

Yesterday started out so good. It was to compliment a whole string of good days that were in my pocket of memories. Then one person asked me how I was really doing and tears, fears, and doubts came out of nowhere like a starting gun had been shot at a horse race. Then again today was a good day with accomplishments and and joys. But a simple and logical disagreement with the corner "photos in an hour guy" brought out a nasty-ugly-sassy side of me that really needed a slap of consequence.

God I thank you that even now you love me. The song is constantly going through my mind in auto repeat.....

I knew what I was getting into when I called you.
I knew what I was getting into when I said your name and I said it just the same.
I knew what I was getting into and I still want you.
I am not shocked by your weakness.
I am not shocked by your brokenness.
For I knew what I was getting into and I still love you.

I thank You God that your promises are a strong anchor, that everything is a season, that this too will change, that I am not alone, that You carry me, and that each day is new.