Saturday, September 29, 2007

famous amos

Jason's parents are visiting us for the next week and a half. They came in yesterday afternoon so we wanted to do something low key today....while they're still adjusting to the 5 hour time difference. I've been wanting to check out the Chip & Cookie store here (the owner is Wally Amos...former owner of Famous Amos cookies) and on Saturdays he makes appearances to read to the kids that are there (his mission is to stress the importance of adults reading aloud to children). Of course the Saturday we finally decide to check out the Chip & Cookie store, Mr. Amos wasn't going to be we had to take our pictures next to the poster of his face instead. But the cookies were oh so yummy...a little over-priced but a nice treat.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

all things bright and beautiful

Yesterday was a cloudy day...which was a great break from some of this heat we've had here. Another great thing it brought was this amazing sunset last night. Sunsets are rare on our side of the island because of the mountains. So we usually just experience a quick twilight and then night time. Last night Jason took the boys for a walk and I stayed back to clean up a bit. I noticed that there seemed to be a pinkish tint to the outside (kind of like those weird storms on the mainland that produce tornados) and went out to see why. It's times like this I just stand in awe of God's beautiful design and want to soak it in. When the boys got back from their walk Ethan ran up to me and said "mommy there was pink and yellow in the sky. God made the sun." (he is learning the creation story in Sunday School)
It reminded me of the song which we will be singing in the 3-5 year old Sunday School class this next Sunday.

All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

floating wrestler man and his side-kick belly-drum boy

We were cleaning out our closets recently and came across some safety swimwear that someone gave us a while ago. I thought Ethan would be too big for them now but might be a good thing for Jude while we're at the beach (since he doesn't seem to have any fear of water). So Ethan right away wanted to wear the bright neon green suit with built in floaties along the torso and insisted that Jude put on the other yellow floatie suit. They both thought it was the greatest thing...Ethan could run into anything or fall on the floor and it didn't even hurt, and Jude thought it was great that he had a built in drum on his stomach. So although these two suits were made for safety in the water, they created a lot of entertainment around our house while we watched both of them run around...Jude beating himself on his stomach and Ethan jumping/running/falling around in a little too snug neon green suit.

Yes this will be good material when the boys bring their dates home to meet the family.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

happy birthday to me

Ethan and I deep in thought....
Today I turned 31. For some reason that seems so much older than 30. I always thought I would feel older once I got into my 30's...but I still feel like I just graduated from college.

Anyway, it was a great day even though it happened to fall on our busiest day of the week...Sunday.

Jason still made it special, amidst the busyness, by making me lunch and getting a very yummy Boston cream cake (my request) for dessert before he had to rush back to church to lead youth group. Ethan was very excited for me to open the present he picked out for me...wooden spoons. I love that he gets so excited for birthdays. And poor Jude missed the festivities because it ran into nap time...and he definitely needed a nap today.

Well my birthday wasn't as big of an ordeal this year as last year (I miss having my birthday buddy, Malia) but it was still a great day with my hubby and kiddo's. So the day isn't over yet...I think I will go and have another piece of cake...

Friday, September 21, 2007

boys and their trains

Playing with trains is so mesmerizing for my boys. By their expressions you would never guess how much they love it. From back when Jude was a baby til now...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

some nuggets

Just to set this up, I am not in any way condoning procrastination or selfishness (although those words do reflect my heart), because this is what this next story is about. I have been reading the Bible in a year....since 2003 (and I'm only half way there). I am determined to finish but as you can see I have not been very disciplined about it. At the same time when I do pick up my "reading the Bible in a year" schedule and open God's Word, I often find scripture that has specifically addressed, confirmed, answered things that are going on in my life at the time.

1st Instance:

My friend Melissa and I were just talking the other day about not knowing where things are in scripture to explain the Truth to others that ask why we believe what we believe. I had asked Jason where I could find a particular Truth in Scripture and he gave me Romans 9 (I love having a seminary student for a husband...he is a great concordance). So once again I didn't get around to reading it, yet, but I did pick up my "Bible in a year" schedule and it happened to be that particular chapter in the reading for today. I'm sure I've read it before and parts sounded familiar but because I was specifically looking for this, it resonated with me so deeply...maybe more so than if I had just breezed through it to check it off on my "Bible in a year" schedule.

2nd Instance:

The women's Bible study in my church has been going through the teaching of John Piper in his book "Battling Unbelief". John Piper is always a lot for me to digest but I enjoy the challenge because it gives me a better understanding of the amazing depth of who God is and how it is not about me...but what Christ did. As my friend Anne, who is leading our study, says we are not going to grasp everything John Piper is teaching the first time we read it, but we can take away nuggets at a time and each time we come back to it we can grasp a little more. So the lesson we studied this week was on faith alone and through faith produces good works. When I read Romans 10 today it reinforced that Truth and added another nugget.

3rd Instance:

I have also been attending another study with a friend of mine about parenting. We just did a personality study (I know many of you have taken this one or at least heard of it...golden retriever, otter, lion or beaver). I was excited to do this, not because I can justify my sin by saying "well that's just my personality" (although that is so tempting), but so I could see the sin in my heart and pray that the Holy Spirit would help me to change. Once I took the test and found out I was part Beaver and part Golden, I wanted Jason to take the test and fill it out the way he saw me...I knew it would probably be a more accurate picture since I am blind to a lot of my sin. I told him to be completely honest and not to worry about hurting my feelings because I wanted him to be truthful. I began to see a pattern in the weaknesses section that was very ugly and of course characteristics I didn't mark when I filled out the profile...resentful, impatient, negative attitude, withdrawn, moody, critical, short-tempered. Ouch! That is the ugliness of my heart...and by God's amazing grace and justification allows me to be his spite of. That kind of love is so much more powerful when I realize how wretched of a sinner I am. So the other reading I did today was Psalm 66...which once again resonated with me so part because it points me to Christ, (who pours on us an amazing joy and contentedness...which we can rest easy in) who is worthy of praise...and away from myself (relying on my own "power" which brings the above yuckiness of my heart).

"Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!
Say to God, 'How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.
Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!
'" (v. 1-5)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

beach cruiser

This is my early birthday present...a beach cruiser bicycle. I have been wanting one for a few reasons:

1- I'm over mountain biking but still love to ride my bicycle
2- The large comfy seat (I was tired of SBS after riding my mountain bike...Sore Bum Syndrome)
3- The tall handlebars, so that I don't have to bend over while I'm riding my bike (bad for my posture)

...I'm all about the comfort of cruising.

I've been looking for a used one and my only criteria was that it wasn't hot pink (which seems to be the popular thing here). So Jason happened to find one at the local thrift store and told me to go check it out to see if that was what I was looking for...the price was right. The salesman got the bike down for me to "try it out"...probably assuming I had some knowledge on what a good bike is, besides the comfort thing, and before I could say I'll take it, he informed me that he would take 25% off the price. So without any hesitation, I said I would take it...I couldn't wait to tell Jason that I got it less than what we thought was a good deal to begin with. As I strolled up to the front to check out, glowing over a good bargain and ready to hand over the money, he then told me "you know what, I'll go ahead and take 50% off". I didn't know what to say except that he already had me at 25%.

Needless to say I was very excited and decided once I got home to take it for a test drive. I went across the street from our house to the neighborhood with the nice flat sidewalks and pretty houses, and guess who I saw? For those of you who are LOST fans this is exciting...the rest of you will have no idea who I'm talking about...running on the other side of the street was Matthew Fox (a.k.a. Jack Shepherd). As I was trying to speed up so he didn't think I was trying to follow him, his wife pulled up in her car and he stopped to talk while I sped by. I'm not sure why movie stars seem so different and interesting...they are regular people like everyone else.
But anyway, I like my new cruiser and I am looking forward to cruising around town more often.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

morning routine

Every morning we have a routine for getting ready for the day. It's always get up, eat breakfast, get the boys dressed and put a video in for Ethan to watch and give Jude raisins to I can get my shower. Both are a great distraction for each of my boys. It keeps them occupied...and Ethan apparently looks forward to it because he asks me every morning "mommy can you go take your shower so I can watch a video?" For some reason raisins, for Jude, solve every problem he has...if he's sad that I'm leaving, we distract him with raisins...if we have a longer car ride home before naps, we give him raisins...if I need about 15 minutes to get my shower and get ready, we give him raisins. It is like candy to him. Maybe we can use it later for a reward for potty training...we'll see.

Anyway, I came out one morning, after getting ready for the day, to find Ethan and Jude snuggled up enjoying the video together...with Jude's raisins in hand. I thought it was pretty cute that I had to grab the camera to capture the cuteness.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

very observant

I just peeked in Ethan's room while he was taking his "nap" (more like rest time), and he asked when he could get up. I told him in about 15 which he replied "we don't have a 15 on our clock mommy."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

almost homemade

Today we made doughnuts. It was actually our math lesson (making circles) that I was going to skip because it sounded like too much work and Ethan already knows his circles. But I decided to try it anyway. Here is the recipe:

1 can of refrigerated biscuits
vegetable oil

I'm not a fan of refrigerated biscuits because of the taste but this was surprisingly really good. So if you ever want to impress someone and make "homemade" doughnuts, this is the recipe to try. They kind of resemble a malasada here in Hawaii (Portuguese doughnut). They are definitely best warm...they melt in your mouth. So yummy!

First you take the biscuits out of the can and take a 2 liter soda bottle lid to cut the hole out of the middle.
Heat oil (about 1/2 inch) in frying pan and drop the dough in. Once the oil is really hot they brown pretty quickly. Flip the doughnut over once one side is brown.
When golden brown all over take out and put on a paper towel to soak up a little of the grease. Put about 1/2 cup sugar in zip-lock bag, place cooked doughnuts inside and shake.
So if you are overwhelmed by making real homemade doughnuts like I am, then these are definitely an easy way to make them without all the hassle.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This past weekend I had a WIC Council retreat with our new ladies on the council. We rented a cabin on the Marine Base for Friday night and had fun talking and getting to know one another. Then Saturday morning we did a bunch of brainstorming and planning for this next year. I am excited and overwhelmed all at the same time. I think this year will really challenge me...I don't think in easy ways but in good ways.

We had to rent the cabin for the weekend, so I thought it might be nice to use the last night there to have a mini-vacation with Jason and the kiddo's. Well it didn't really end up being a vacation but we did manage to take Saturday afternoon and evening to swim and play at the beach (which was right out the back door), have dinner together as a family and then head home to go to bed (thankfully it was only about a 5 minute drive).

The water was perfect here because we were in a little cove. So the water was almost as still as a lake...yet the water was clear, so I could see where I was stepping and what other creatures were in the there with me. Jude loved that he could walk around in the water and not get knocked over by waves. Ethan paddled around in his inter-tube and Jason and I just sat in the shallow water and talked...which is the closest thing we've had to a vacation in a while.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

photography 101

I let Ethan use the camera yesterday to see what a 4 year olds perspective was. I've seen other blogs where children take some pretty artsy pictures so I was curious to see what Ethan would take pictures of. He was very careful to set his toys up and take pictures...nothing was a random or thoughtless picture. It made me laugh to think of how this really described his personality. He is a very literal kid. Most of the time he likes to be told the answer rather than coming up with his own ideas...but he absorbs, repeats and retains information really well. He's not a high-maintenance kid but is really easy going. He finds joy in the simple things of life and doesn't need a lot to be entertained. I bet you could learn a lot from the pictures people take...that would be an interesting personality test.

These are a couple of portraits he took.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

today was butterflies

To finish up our study on egg to butterfly we had a fun 'mirror pictures' art project from a book my mom got Ethan a couple of years ago called Rainy Day Activity Book.

I first drew half of the butterfly...

And then had Ethan glob on the paint so that when we folded it over, there would be enough paint to make a mirror image of the side he painted.

Wah-lah! A butterfly.

And don't worry, this is not going to turn into 'what we did today for our preschool at home' blog. But we were being creative and I think I wore myself out over this one. So I thought I would post while the creative juices were flowing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I love the age Ethan is at because he has such an excitement for learning things...especially when it comes to nature. So this week I decided to teach Ethan about caterpillars...from egg to butterfly. I wanted to send away for a live caterpillar so we could see the whole process live but of course we are the state that no one ships to. It usually goes something like "ships to the continuous 48 states only" or "ships within the United States except Hawaii and Alaska". So we will just have to experience caterpillars through books.

I found a great book called From Egg to Butterfly by Shannon Zemlicka, that puts the caterpillar transformation into a simplistic form for Ethan's age. So he learned about the molting, pupa, cocoon making and then the butterfly hatching from the cocoon all with beautiful photos rather than drawings.

The other book we used was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I love reading his books because they have a little bit of science, math and other things like days of the week. So it's kind of a 3-in-1 type book. Plus Ethan loves the illustrations.

And to top it off we did a little bit of art (picture at top) and made a caterpillar out of an egg carton. Anything that has to do with painting is a big hit with Ethan.

Monday, September 03, 2007

happy labor day

My neighbor Lee (if you have visited our house you would know this to be the elderly lady that doesn't know personal space and can say some pretty crazy things due to her schizophrenia) asked me today if I knew when Labor Day started. Due to her illness I thought she didn't know what she was talking about so I said "actually it's today Lee" to which she replied "no I mean when was the first Labor Day." This peaked my curiosity because I had no idea. So I did a little bit of research and this is what I found.

"The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories."

So now I know. Happy Labor Day!