Friday, November 28, 2008

o christmas tree

Today is our traditional day (the day after Thanksgiving) to decorate our house for Christmas. This is my favorite holiday to decorate for, but since we have a baby that is due around the holidays I decided only to put a tree up this year. Not that I have tons of decorations but I know once I'm in the newborn, sleep-deprived state I am not going to want to take all the decorations down. So we're keeping it simple.

It was fun to see the boys so excited about decorating this year. They both loved putting ornaments on the tree.
Jude thought it looked best to hang all of the ornaments on one branch.
And our fun concluded with finding the elf hat that everyone had to try on and get their picture taken. As you can see Jason loved this part.

And then as the morning went on it just got a little crazier and crazier......Ethan decided to try on the stockings to see how well they fit...
...and Jude was practicing his smile for our Christmas picture taking we are going to do in the next few days.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

and the baking begins...

Fortunately we were invited over to a friends house for Thanksgiving tomorrow, so as far as baking goes...this is about all I'm going to do (I just have to make my families traditional sweet potato and cranberry dish...which I have been craving). Ethan helped me make these yummy sugar cookies that have become our holiday cookie now.

I found these cute (or should I say handsome) aprons at a local craft fair, so the boys can help me out in the kitchen now and be less messy than before. And Ethan's favorite part about making these cookies is the egg yolk "paint" that he gets to use to add the color.

For some reason sugary things still make me nauseous during this pregnancy but my sweet tooth hasn't disappeared, so sometimes I have to suck it up and make that sacrifice of feeling a little sick so that I can indulge in a sweet treat....or two...well usually three.

Monday, November 24, 2008

care-free and 2

**warning for my readers. This post contains the word fart. If that is not pleasant to read feel free to exchange the word with pass air, breaking wind, cut the cheese, stinker, gas or another phrase that is less offensive.**

People have told me before that your children will humble you, but I didn't really know what they meant...until now. As usual Jude and I were hanging out together while Ethan was at Awanas. And once again we made a stop at Agnes' Portuguese Bakery, not for Baklava this time, but for their potato rolls for dinner. As I was at the cash register paying for my rolls Jude let out a very loud, manly, rip of a fart...but yet his expression remained the same. I sheepishly looked down at him and thought to myself "maybe no one heard that" (yeah right). At the same time the man behind the counter was looking behind him thinking that noise could have only come from a big, burly, bread-making man/co-worker in the back. When he realized there was no one behind him he looked back at which I was nervously giggling and giving Jude the "I can't believe you just did that...that was so loud especially out in public" look. I'm sure he thought that that noise couldn't have come from such a small child but thankfully he turned to Jude (and not me) and said "was that you, bro?"

To which Jude replied, with only a blank stare, as if saying "I don't know what you're talking about". So I spoke for him, "yeah, it must be nice to be little and not care...he, he"

I can only imagine what conversations went on at Agnes' Bakery after we left. I hope we were able to brighten their day a little and bring some laughter. I must say though, I might have to stay away from Agnes' for a few weeks until the story of the pregnant lady with the manly farting 2 year old story is long forgotten.

Friday, November 21, 2008

art class

Ethan loves the times we have art. A friend recommended an art program called Atelier Art by Marcia Osterink which is specifically designed for homeschool families. It teaches from a video (and lesson plans) and the art itself uses different mediums (paint, chalk, pencil, etc.) The big perk for me was that it also incorporated great works of art to study along side the techniques of art that they are learning. Such works as "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh, "Mains Aux Fleurs" by Pablo Picasso, "Snap the Whip" by Winslow name a few.

So now I am going to showcase some of Ethan's creations:
"Turtle" (Line Lesson)
"Frogland" (Drawing Lesson)

"Tumble Clowns" (Color Lesson)

"Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater" (Composition Lesson)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

prego belly update picture

This is me at 34 weeks and 2 days...yes, I am counting down the days til the due date. The great thing about this time is that I get the serious nesting itch (not something I'm known for...major cleaning). Ethan now asks me every morning "Mommy what are the chores for this morning". Yes I have a list and I enjoy checking them off as I go...I guess Ethan thinks it's fun as well. So far the freezer has been cleaned out, the grout on the kitchen counter has been scrubbed and bleached, I've organized the toy bins, vacuumed behind the couch cushions, cleaned all of our ceiling and floor fans, Jason has helped me rearrange the furniture in the boys room & the baby's room (for some reason things feel clean and new when they get moved around) and much more that probably isn't very interesting.

Thankfully this little girl is healthy and very active and so far the pregnancy has been pretty normal. We are all looking forward to her arrival in a few weeks. Ethan likes to constantly feel her move and tell me how big I am getting....usually his comments go something like "wow mommy your belly is getting so big" and then he pokes my belly button because he is fascinated with the fact that it now sticks out. Jude will every once in a while say "kiss it mommy" and give me a big kiss on the belly. And Jason....well he's a man so he will be more interested when the baby is actually here. But he has been wonderful about helping me out in any way I need, do the nighttime routine with the boys so I can sit down and put my feet up, give me a back rub or run out to the store if I get a craving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

bear for a friend

I have a few sewing projects I wanted to get done before baby. One down, six more to go....we'll see if I get them all finished in the next 6 weeks or not.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

today's message

I was challenged today by the sermon I heard at our church. Our pastor's message was titled "how people change" and he used the text Jeremiah 17:5-10:

This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

"I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve."

It was a great encouragement in light of the recent election and the economic state of our country/world, etc. We seek comforts in this world (which can turn into idols if our heart isn't focused on Christ) and when those comforts are threatened we fear, are anxious, complain and worry. But as our pastor said today our "true comfort is that He (God) is shaping us into the image of Christ." No matter what the circumstances are, our comfort is found in the Holy Spirit's sanctifying work in us...even when everything else seems so unstable.

Our pastor went on to say that there will be heat (trials) which can reveal what our hearts truly believe...sometimes producing thorns when we are putting our hope in something else rather than God. But the cross (God's grace) brings about transformation of our hearts that will then produce fruit from a heart that is centered on Christ...and not on the the circumstances that aren't going as we had hoped or planned.

It's so easy to lose focus of the greater picture of life (being obedient to what God has called us to be, furthering His kingdom and bringing glory to Him) and forget that God's plan is greater and has more purpose than anything we could come up with. Thank goodness we don't have to fear this world. Thank goodness that God is always with us; growing and molding us; and that He "works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My friend, Anne, has had some good posts on her blog about adolescence lately. You can read those posts here and here and she has other links to other good articles/books as well. She says,

"As the mother of two teenagers and a teacher of middle-schoolers, this is a topic much on my mind. It seems to me that our culture is fixated on and worships youth, while at the same time neglecting certain truths about youth. Namely, that wisdom comes with age and experience and teachability, and it begins with the fear of the Lord. And those of us who are parents have a special responsibility to teach that fear of the Lord and to impart wisdom to our children. Teachers and pastors and others who work with young people have a big responsibility, too..."

This has been on my mind a lot lately as well, mainly because of hearing Jason's stories of the students at his school (pre-teen and teenagers), interacting with youth group kids at church (with their attitudes, constant texting and I-Pods plugged in their ears) and also hearing a lot of people referencing and recommending the new book Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris.

You're probably thinking that I have a ways to go before my boys will be teenagers. But I think it's important to see how culture labels certain behaviors and expectations as normal, so that I can then be aware of how different that is from how God has called us (in his Word) to raise our children. Jason and I realize we have to start thinking now about how we can be teaching our children to "not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of their minds" (Romans 12:2).

Monday, November 10, 2008

proof of fall

I found a tree here in Hawaii that actually has leaves that turn bright red and fall off the tree (not sure what kind of tree it is). It grows right outside the school where Jason works. So I grabbed my camera and told Ethan about it (because the whole seasons thing to him doesn't make any in a place where everything stays green and the weather never changes). Part of me wanted to scoop the leaves in a pile and jump in them with the kids...but you never know where the centipedes are here (do click on the link....they are c-r-e-e-p-y), and that looked like a nice hiding spot for them. We may not have snakes here in Hawaii but I fear these just as much. I have yet to come face to face with one and hope I never have to.

As I looked more closely at the tree I noticed that it actually had green buds all over it where new leaves were already growing. So I guess it was more like it was shedding it's old leaves so the new ones could grow, but to Ethan it was Fall.
And then on our way home the view of the sun setting on the mountains was just too beautiful to not pull out my camera and try to snap a few pictures. I must say though that the camera just didn't do it just to remind you, you really need to come visit so you can see it in person.

Friday, November 07, 2008

snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

...that's what little boys are made of...and lots of dirt. Somehow whenever my boys go outside, no matter how long (30 seconds, 5 minutes, 2 hours), they come back looking a lot like this. They are boys through and through and love to play in dirt...and this time a little water too because that makes MUD!

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Check out his uni-brow...yes, that is all dirt. Actually the camera didn't even capture how dirty he really was. And the reason why he looks like a deer caught in the headlights is because I told him to look natural...he was giving me that "say cheese" face that made him look like someone was pinching him. I'm not sure which face is better. The "natural" one or the "I'm being pinched" one.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

election talk

Jason took Ethan out on a walk last night for some daddy/son time. This is their conversation told to me by Jason:

Jason: Today is a big day Ethan.

Ethan: Yeah!...why is it a big day?

Jason: Well because we are going to get a new president today.

Ethan: Can we open it when we get home?

post election thoughts

"The government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Thank goodness that our politicians are not our saviors. And thank God that He is the one ultimately in control of our country.

Monday, November 03, 2008

the election

This is part of a letter that was written by a man named Huntley Brown (who is a Christian and an amazing pianist who has played with Billy Graham and who happens to be an African American). I hesitate to write anything about the election on my blog, not because of fear of what others believe but because I didn't create this blog to speak my views on such things as politics. But this election is crossing over into my views on religion (Christianity) which I do speak freely about on my blog. And if you don't want to read this excerpt, at least read the bottom part of what partial birth abortion is because Obama has no problems with this procedure and seeks to keep it legal. Some people see this as a minor issue in the election. I see it as what defines this mans character. And this kind of character will be reflected in all other decisions he will make. He will NOT have my vote tomorrow:

"First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer
Support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.

In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets
Abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.

We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, don't judge someone by the Color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in The US Senate in 2007.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007
To beat Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes Some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would Happen to America if he had four years to work with.

There is a reason planned parenthood gives him a 100 % rating.
There is a reason the homosexual community supports him.
There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. Love him.
There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court.
There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill.
There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion.
There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These Two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth Abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.

Lets take a look at the practice he wanted to continue.
The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedure
A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps. (Remember this is a live baby)
B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the Head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The Scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The
child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

God help him."

The whole letter is pretty powerful. If you want to read the rest let me know and I can e-mail it to you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

my least favorite holiday

I love dressing up in costumes, the carving of pumpkins and the trick-or-treating to get candy (especially the chocolate)...but to be honest I am so glad that Halloween is the title says it is becoming my least favorite holiday of the year. I'm sick of walking through stores and all I see is blood, fangs, witches, etc. and my little Jude telling me "scary mommy".

I love learning the history about where this holiday originated but I am really sick of the pagan influence of the holiday...and that's what sucks the fun out of Halloween for me. It's amazing to me the obsession of death and evil in our culture. I realize those two things are very real in life but as a Christian that is not what I celebrate in. I celebrate that Christ conquered death for those that believe in Him (John 3:16), so that we might have life in Him. I want this holiday to be a memory of fun times for my kids, not a night of evil and death and darkness. The whole point of the start of the holiday was to mock Satan and evil by dressing in what they thought Satan might look like. Well I'm sorry but I don't see any children running around mocking Satan and evil. I see children dressing up for shock value, gore and that they enjoy looking and being evil and dark.

So all that to say I love the fact that the local church here has a Halloween party that is what this holiday should be, games, candy, pumpkins and costume contests.

Why is it as soon as you say "smile" this is how they contort their face?

Carving faces into our pumpkins....I must say the smell of pumpkins made this pregnant mom gag just a bit.

Jude wiping the gooey insides of the pumpkin on his pants...and that is why I had them change into play clothes before we started the carving.

We have this book that my mother-in-law got the boys a couple of years ago called The Pumpkin Gospel which I have read at least 100 times (requested by my boys). The book compares the pumpkin to our hearts...God cleans out the insides (mush, gooey mess = sin in our heart) and makes us new, so his light can shine through us. Well in a 5 year olds mind they take things pretty literally. So when we finished carving, Ethan immediately told me we needed to find candles so that God's love can shine out of the pumpkin.