Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm no Super{mom}

If you've travelled with children, whether by boat, car, plane or train, you know how tough it can be. The Lord had mercy on us with this trip to Florida by way of an Angel.

I secretly watch people's expressions as we make our way down the isle, arms full of babies and bags, counting as we go by, hoping there are no seats open behind them. I make an effort to put a real smile on my face, to speak quietly and gently, to show kindness. I am proud of my little family!

I know there are Angels among us, but I was seated next to one on our first flight who was such an encouragement, her words will follow me for years, if not a lifetime.

"Oh you have your hands full!"

        | Yes with such good things.

We sat down and strapped in all the kids, tucked and stashed bags and were settling, when this kind lady leaned over and offered some of the kindest words given by a stranger. She marveled at how well behaved, and happy the kids were, how they obeyed and seemed content, and then reflected that on me. She showered me with encouraging words and observations about how I must really love my children, how they know they are loved and cared for.

She observed that I treated my role as a Mother as an important job, as my children gifts and not a burden, all of which I do, even when I do feel the burden. 

Somehow we got on education, I told her I homeschooled the kids, she told me I was a superwoman.

And though it's a wonderful compliment, it's totally untrue, I told her so. I don't have it all together, nor do I pretend. I fail all the time at those things I find the most important. I lose my temper and fail to show them Grace. Sometimes I want to escape it all and change my name.

But these kinds words were such an encouragement as well as a reminder, to keep striving for what really is important. And though I don't do any of it for what other see or think, it's nice to be encouraged by others at a time that is tough.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Links

I have to be honest, we are enjoying our selves and spending time with family way too much to have any motivation to blog, but I have been relaxing in blog land a little and found some fun links for you!

A fun little snack for cold wintery days, try this melting snowman

This fun craft uses things I guarantee you have around your house, for those kids on vacation with boredom creeping in!

Use this site for cute Christmas decorating if you have a party coming up, or just want to make your own Christmas dinner extra special.

A FREE Christmas Printable, if you've got an empty frame "hanging" around, decorate easily with this or, print out some wallet sized, hit up the $1 section for some little frames and make some ornaments as gifts or for yourself!

A cute, inexpensive gift idea for your kids to put together for their friends or family!

Food for thought, Christian parenting at Christmas.....Santa or no Santa?

Consider giving a gift that keeps giving.....request a catalog and let your kids pick out a gift from them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Leaving' on a Jet Plane {Part 1}

Traveling with young ones can be quite the task, keeping them clean and entertained can be tiring and taxing to say they least. But having done it numerous times, Dave and I have figured out some ways to keep each other sane and the kids happy, and even have a {little} fun along the way. I've done a post about it in the past and you can read it here but I thought I would expand a little on some more, and teach you how to make the tray table cover! It's pretty simple and it really does make a world of difference!

Some tips for what to DO on the plane! This may seem like a lot of prep and planning, but it's easier than trying to entertain a little one in a 12 by 12 inch space with no supplies!

1. Everyone loves a present! This started when we were traveling for Christmas and we thought it would be a fun treat for the kids to open presents. Well honestly any time of year you fly, you can do this. We buy small presents for the kids and wrap them up. This year the loot includes things like Polly Pockets for the girls, a small Lego set for Jonah, coloring pages, Velvet Art coloring pages, Bendaroos, play dough and some little art projects. The key is finding them things to keep their hands busy. If their hands are busy so will their minds be! And yes taking the time to wrap them makes it all the better. We've never had any problems with wrapped presents before!

2. Munchies to Munch! Just for good measure, assume your kids aren't going to like what the airline is either selling or passing out. And there are tons of great single packs of snacks from applesauce to m&m's. Seriously don't bother with what you aren't sure your kids will like, bring only what you know they will eat, and enjoy. If you don't normally buy processed snacks like Goldfish, this might be a good time for a treat! We always pack a few juice boxes per child (and yes this is allowed for your children) but this year we've also packed some small drinking containers for the on-flight drinks (which are free and they do offer healthy options). It's always nerve wracking to try and hold on to all their drinks, so invest in a few of these and sit in peace.

3. Storytime! If your kids love story time at home, extend it on the airplane! A good Chapter book will do the trick and usually induce sleep as well! If you can, read slowly and clearly, and extend the time you would normally take to read a chapter. If you have independent readers, some new books (really, it's worth it) that THEY can read to the younger ones will be priceless for a few minutes if rest yourself. Readers are light and thin and can double as a present!

4. Movie night! If you are taking a long flight like we do to get from Hawaii to Florida a movie is a must. Preferably a NEW movie none of the kids have scene before, or a favorite for younger kids. Either way, almost 2 hours of your little one sitting peacefully is very valuable. And you can charge the DVD player between flights in the airport.

5.Get in the Action. You can pack that magazine, book or knitting. But don't start huffing when things don't go your way. Just go along with what the kids are doing, if they want you to color, grab a crayon. Play with play dough, start molding. BE WITH your children instead of trying to entertain them. Trust me, keeping busy yourself actually makes the trip go by quicker. I almost feel sorry for people traveling without children, their flights are much longer than mine ;) Bring along some travel  games as well. They have magnetic checkers (so you don't lose all those little pieces. Go fish, old maid. And plan on playing along with them!

6.Act like a new Mom. Meaning, when the kids sleep, YOU sleep. Do what ever it takes or at least put your head back in some mostly uncomfortable position and close your eyes. You may not get a chance to do it again. Even in the middle of the day, you'll need as much rest as you can get traveling, don't waste this time!

7. Layover Madness Most people hate layovers, but if you have lots of little ones, you need to see them as a sanity break for both you and your children. Find a place (and some airports actually have play areas) where your kids can run, jump, roll around on the floor and get all that energy out. Seriously ignore the looks you get from the strangers and the "I don't have kids but if I did I would never....." people. Trust me, you won't see them again and if you do. Oh well.

Hopefully this was helpful, it's really not rocket science, but doing a little planning ahead of time can make for a more enjoyable trip! Stay tuned for my Tray table cover tutorial!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


First of all I cannot express my gratitude for those of you who prayed for us this week. It's been quite the roller coaster, but through it all we have clearly felt God's hand and peace on us.

There is really nothing like hearing there may be (or IS) something "wrong", "not normal", etc with your little babe. About 18 months ago we were in a similar situation with Jonah and his brain infection. At the feet and Mercy of God and he was gracious. He healed our Jonah faster than anyone expected. We believe those of you who prayed, who laid his name down at the throne of God had everything to do with that.

This week it was Liora there was concern about. I took her in to make sure the cold she had was not in her lungs, and for her 6 month check up. To my surprise the visit took a much more serious, drastic turn. All of a sudden I was in the parking lot, sobbing, trying to relay to Dave what the Doctor had said. I was in shock.

I came home and instantly plugged myself into google, which can be good and bad. Trying to find out about Hydrocephalus. Her Dr was pretty adamant something wasn't right.

When we had her Ultrasound and talked to the radiologist, our fears weren't completely dissipated. He said her ventricles were enlarged a little (more than average), she did have a little extra fluid, but not enough for a diagnosis or treatment. He also didn't see any reason for the enlargement from tumors or anything. He recommended we keep an eye on her head size and development. To me that was saying for us to wait until she was brain damaged and then come back in for more testing. NOT good enough for my fears to be relieved at all. But he said we didn't need the CT scan. I was not convinced.

I called our Pediatrician as soon as we left and many times this morning. We couldn't reach the Dr, we were given the run around and finally we left messages in 2 different places. Dave had stayed home from school thinking we might have to go in anyway. So we headed out to do a little shopping for some last minute things for the trip in 4 days. While Dave and the kids were eating lunch and I was shopping alone (Mommy needed a break!!!) I get a call from our Pediatrician. He basically said, "Her head shape is not normal, there IS something wrong and we need to find out what. How quickly can you get down to the hospital." This time the diagnosis being her scull was prematurely fusing. So we literally headed down there immediately, and you know. God worked it all out.

Had we done it earlier, she would have had to have been sedated. But she was exhausted and was wanting to be nursed when I left the store. She was SO mad and crying the whole way down there (which was heart wrenching) but, when we got to radiology, I checked in and nursed her right to sleep. Not only that, she was so out that I put her right on the table, they scanned her, I picked her back up and she was still asleep. Within minutes the radiologist and our DR. were looking at the scans, he called us and said she was fine! Hopefully her head just had a little growth spurt and the rest of her will catch up.

There is still concern with the extra fluid, but it could be very normal for her, and right now it poses no risk for her.

We praise GOD for her life and her health and for the blessing we have in everyone involoved in supporting us during this time.

You really find out who your prayer warriors are! And we are blessed to repay the favor any time any place.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pray for Us!

We are leaving in just a few minutes to make the drive to Kapiolani Women's and Children's Hospital.
During a Dr.'s appointment on Monday the measurements of Liora's head circumference were found to be almost 2 inches larger than the average baby of her age.

Though we are hopeful, there is a chance the large size is due to something called Hydrocephalus or extra fluid surrounding Liora's brain. If that is the case we'll have to discuss other options to relieve the pressure in her little head. 

Developmentally she is right on target, so we are praying her big Noggin is just some extra smarts God put in there for her. Of course if not, we'll coninue to lean on Him for Peace, Grace and guidance. 

We appreciate your prayers today and tomorrow for a possible CT scan!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Father's Eye

Funny how a Mother's eyes don't see the imperfections. Though everyday I saw, I question did I really look. I should have noticed, should have seen. Instead we ended an appointment making more appointments and asking more questions instead.

Of course it could be or maybe or what if is there lingering in the space between conscious and un. That same space filled with busy hands to keep my mind from wandering too deeply, into a place I cannot fathom. A place no parent, no spouse, no child wants to be. But it's in that space......

 "What you meant for evil, I mean for good." spoken from the One whose arms are filled with my tears and fears, my could be, would be, what ifs.

Funny how a Father's Eye doesn't see imperfections, but the plans He has for us. Plans we know will change, and teach, though we don't know how~ or even why.

Will she be the tool to teach me to walk closer? To find Grace? To live for Him? To kill my pride, reach out, reach within, lose control. What is it?  What is it that I must learn?

We know this life is but a vapor......what a precious little vapor she is. They all are. And yet the days slip through my fingers unnoticed, brushed aside as if there are no miracles. As if we are not miracles breathing and dancing through this gift of hours, minutes, seconds. How many times have I wasted this miraculous breath on the useless? How many days not spent as vapor but as labor?

I so easily forget they are on loan, they aren't even mine though I carried them and birthed them and nurture them still, for what and whom, from whom?

Once again brought to my knees out of desperation to reach into some kind of control over that which I have non of, the only thing I can hold on to is prayer. And that we will do......

Because He sees, and knows and Wills. And we will ask for normality and monotony, and boring. And if we get otherwise, we'll be down on our knees again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Multitude Mondays


17. the prayers of friends and family

18. little boys with army knives

19. making houses out of cardboard boxes

20. making new friends

21. Christmas music being played non stop

22. travel plans

23. news of a new addition to the family making his way closer to meeting us

24.Homemade cookies

24. and this:

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Weekend Finds

I love finding great ideas, even more than that I love sharing great ideas. So here a few finds I fell upon over the weekend worth sharing!

I'll be getting this Nativity pack ready for the plan ride in 9 days!
And probably this Christmas pack as well! 

Just Because
Recycled Kitchen There are some pretty fancy Mini kitchens out on the market these days, but this one was too cute not to share!
 Traveling this season? You want to read this Mom's idea for keeping eveyone in fun spirits when traveling gets tough!
These paint stick ornaments are adorable and practically FREE! If you must pay for the sticks, our were .32 at Walmart (that may be cheaper in the mainland) Each stick makes 4 ornaments. The printable is {FREE} follow the tutorial and make your self or others some ornaments for pennies, literally!

Fabulous Freebies
Free Digital Scrapbooking downloads! I have spent a lot of time over at Shabbyprincess this weekend!These are not only great for Scrapbooking, but why not create your very own Christmas or New Year's Photo Card this year! Get them printed up at your local Costco or Photo center, personalized them the way you want them!
 A little disclaimer, this isn't our Christmas Card. In fact the kids are STILL sick and we haven't even gotten to take family photos yet, so we are planning on sending new years cards!

A Challenge
Are you up for it? Head over to Courtney's Blog for a great challenge. Starting this week would be great since the challenge is to take a bubble bath!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking Addiction

Oh Wow.......I was up with a sick little girl last night and started clicking around the web reading up on Digital Scrapbooking. I love Scrapbooking, though I don't have the time for it anymore. 
The above layout was made all for free {FREE}with downloads from
 The coolest thing is, you can get FREE tutorials on this site that walk you step by step through the entire process AND you can get these pages printed at your local Costco!! (as well as a million other places!) Or on a photo printer (which I have, but I am wondering if ink costs are more than printing....)

I think I have found a new addiction brewing.

I want to be a good keeper of Memories for my children, I enjoy photographing them but have little time to create something! This way I can create and stop with no mess and no cleaning up! Oh wow. I know I'm coming a little late to the game here but....sigh.......I'm in digilove......

Handmade Christmas

Every year I come upon this way too late, the desire to make things handmade for Christmas. I love creating for other people, whether it's sewing or crafting or knitting. I really do enjoy choosing things I think each person will like, thinking about these items in their homes, or of them wearing them. (I do realize this is cheesy but I really am thoughtful about it) Ahem.

There are many reasons for making Christmas handmade, including the desire to do something extra special, keeping costs down (thought that isn't always the case with handmade!), the chance and excuse to be creative. I love it for all of those reasons. We have a BIG family so doing handmade is serious business, it can be time consuming and expensive, and so wonderful! As an Artist (did I say that outloud? I was an Art major but hardly consider myself an "artist") there are times in life I feel the overwhelming need to make something, anything! Christmas always brings that about in me. And even though I penciled "start Christmas gifts" somewhere in August or Septmeber, I missed it, next year I'll have to write in in every week......

So I thought I had missed my chance, almost did. It was so on my heart I actually took it to God in prayer, I did. He knows how crazy my life is and how I don't have time to sit and make aprons for every woman like I did 1 year and Table runners and matching towels like I did another year, He knows all that. But He also knows my desire to create. And maybe it's silly, but this is what I'm doing this year......oh and by the way, if you are on my list, here is how to make your refill.....

This year the kids and I are making Sugar and Salt Body Scrubs (not mixed together)! It was extremely easy and plenty of supplies to choose from, I'll show you what we did! I had a lot of ladies on my list this year, we'll get to see both families for the holidays and all my girls here in the islands as well, so this was a way to make something special that could stretch costs.

Your supplies are: 
Oil base ~You can use baby (mineral) oils, cococut, almond, grapeseed, macadamia (without the garlic unless you are married to an italian). You could even use Olive, vegetable, corn, but those have a more distinct smell so I stayed away from those.
Sugar or Salt~ No need to get fancy! Regular sugar and salt will give a softer scrub, raw sugar or rock salt will give a rougher scrub, both work great.
Scent~Pure Essential oils is a necessity. Some drug stores, health stores, GNC even carries them!
Jars~I used canning jars and made my own labels on Publisher and printed them on label paper.

Because I knew I was making about 6~ 8oz jars per scrub, I mixed my ingredients in a bigger bowl first and then scooped into the jars. You could do it per jar though if you are only making a little at a time! My ratios were: 4 cups of salt or sugar to about 1 cup of oil. This doesn't have to be exact!
 The sugar or salt should appear wet, but not necessarily dripping with oil. When that is well mixed, add in your essential oils, at least 15 drops, but go by scent!

Don't forget about letting the little people help, they love to mix! Just no tasting the contents!

I made round labels, tied a bow around each bottle and there you go!

There are so many mixes you can try out, scrubs are awesome on that dry skin for those cold winter months, or those hot sunny ones! 

Our combos this year were:
Lavendar Vanilla Sugar Scrub
Shea Cocoa Sugar Scrub
Tea Tree Salt Scrub
Bergamot Salt Scrub

I hope you give these a try, if not for family for Church friends, employees, peers, teachers or yourself! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Ministry of Motherhood

I'll admit, some days it doesn't feel like a ministry. Some days I feel dumped on and used, invisible and forgotten. I secretly harbor thoughts of why....why can't I be called to be a missionary to some far off place? why can't I write a book or adopt a child or change the world with an idea.

why am I just a mother waring paths in the house as I go from filling stomachs to laundry to diapers? It doesn't feel special or important. It feels hard, and exhausting, and endless.

This is your mission, this is your ministry.

 He whispers when times get really tough. When my arms are tired of holding a baby while juggling another task. When my back and head ache. When I lose the motivation to even look in the direction of laundry getting out of control. When I wipe the bottom of a child or a pan.

That's how I need to see it. To see it any other way would be a waste. To desire a life other than the one He called me to, wrote out eons before I was dust, would be wrong.

I need to see this life through the spirit, through His eyes, and these....

Romans 8:5
"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."

For every Mother it's a ministry. A ministry to love, train, teach.

"They need the authentic strength that comes from the true foundation of a biblical world view and a proper understanding of the real Christ who is worthy of their worship.They need an unwavering, internal moral and spiritual compass that will help them weather today's storms and tomorrow's and will guide them for the rest of their lives. They also need to see what real faith looks like when lived day in, day out, so they will have a pattern to follow. The process of providing such gifts to my children is what I've come to think of as the ministry of motherhood. I believe it's central to the calling of anyone God has privileged to bring children into this world." ~ Sally Clarkson, The Ministry of 

So when my tired feet are beating the same patterns and rhythms I do daily, sometime unnoticed. When I'm completing tasks that should be featured on "Dirtiest Jobs", when I just don't want to go anymore. It's then, I need to walk with the Spirit, listen the that still voice reminding me of my ministry, and carry on in His strength.

Mom on a Mission.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless {wet} Wednesday

You know I could do a whole blog post about what happens while I've excused myself to the restroom. But today I captured hard evidence.

I could hear the water running.....and running .....and running.

And found a little mermaid in the bath tub.

I'm glad I got there when I did......we were a few short inches from disaster.


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