Monday, September 24, 2012

Lemony Chicken

Back to the memories.

So the first few months of marriage were rough, but we figured things out and got into a groove. Then the most wonderful thing happened.

Mike got health insurance.

I really saw this as a sign that we should immediately start our family. I mean, paying for the birth is the big expense to a baby, right?

Well, it didn't take too much convincing and before we knew it we were blissfully expecting our first child.

Things were really looking up! We were enjoying each other again, really trying to love each other well, and God had blessed us with a child, and only in 8 months!!

And of course since we were so excited we told EVERYONE as soon as we found out.

We were really praising God for all the blessings.

Then I lost the baby.

I remember mostly feeling like God was punishing me. I had made quite a few mistakes prior to accepting Christ and felt like this was what I deserved. I was pretty sure I did not deserve to be that happy. (it took quite a few years before I truly got the concept of Romans 8:1)

So, I was depressed.

One evening, I came home from work and I went in my room and laid down on the bed. And when Mike got home from work, he found me in the dark room, crying.

He decided that he was going to make dinner that night, kissed me and set off for the kitchen.

I laid there listening to the kitchen noises through our small house, and began to feel a bit better. What a great, loving husband I had!!

After about an hour and a half, my sweet man walked into my room with a tray of food.

It looked delicious!

I asked him what he had made and he told me it was lemon chicken.


So I carefully cut off a piece of chicken and lifted it to my mouth. As I put the chicken in my mouth my lips puckered and I almost had to spit it out. It tasted as if I had just put an entire lemon in my mouth!

Poor Mike! He had tried to do a kind thing for his sad wife and it turned out to be completely inedible!

We ended up laughing about the terrible chicken and I found out he had literally squeezed several lemons and cooked the chicken in the lemon juice.

Laughter is healing and this was the beginning of our recovery, so I often think about that lemon chicken and smile.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Two Floods in a Week

I'm enjoying this little walk down memory lane, but I must take a break and write about the water issues we've been having.

It all started last week when I was enjoying some evening time on the porch of peace.

Now one of the things I love most about SoCal is the lack of bugs. You can actually sit outside in the evening and come in bite free.

It's a beautiful thing.

Well, I was sitting there when I felt this terrible sensation, a bite.

I looked down at my arm, and sure enough, a mosquito!

I have not seen a single mosquito in two years. My mind began to reel. Where would this little pest have come from.

Then I remembered the pool pump.

We had some problems with it this summer, and since the pool guy fixed it there has been a little puddle out by it.

Now, if this were Il, I would have been on that puddle so fast heads would spin, but being in SoCal, I thought nothing of it.

The next day, I grabbed the pool guy and asked him what was creating the puddle.

He told me he didn't know, that I should check the drain underneath it.

Right, the drain.

So after he left the kids and I located the drain, and discovered that when they fixed the pump, some yuck from it got down in the drain and clogged it. The water was teeming with mosquito larva!


The kids and I proceeded to cleaning it out. There was a whole process which included the water backing up into another drain.

I was pretty proud of myself for discovering the problem and eradicating it.

Then today happened.

Josh and I spent a great morning together which included a walk to Starbucks and a swim.

Daddy and the other kids got home and we had some down time.

The we heard the yelp.

It was JuneBug and she was barking at the door.

We figured she needed to go out, but she doesn't generally bark to go out...

I looked out the back patio door and saw a shimmer.

Huh, that's weird. Looked kind of like a mirage on the patio.

I got up and realized it was no mirage, the patio was flooded.

As I ran outside, I realized the pool was flooded too!

See Joshi had turned the hose on to fill up his floaty piranha, and forgot to turn the water off.

It had been on all day!

The area I had spent drying out this week, a swamp!

The pool, even with the edge.

We all got to work distributing the water to plants, grass, anything that grows, and tried to get the pump area as dry as possible.

The plus was it was a great teaching moment. We got to work together as a family. And although Joshi felt terrible, we got to show him grace and love through his mistake. I love parenting moments like that.

Two floods in one week.

What's the lesson?


Friday, September 21, 2012

How it Began

So Mike and I went out on a couple of dates, but I was pretty resistant to jump right back into a serious relationship.

Then a funny thing happened.

I fell in love.

I didn't realize it until I went out with a different guy, and all I could think about was how I only really wanted to be with Mike.

So as of January 1, 1993 Mike was the only guy for me.

And two years later we would be celebrating our first day of marriage.

Ahhh, new marriage. The sweet time of love and romance.


Being newly married at 21, still in college and working full time, AND learning how to be a Christ follower, was not as easy as it sounds :)

Those first few months were no picnic. We had no counseling before we got married, no friends who had been married any significant amount of time, we literally had no idea of what we were doing!

So we struggled.

That's probably an understatement.

I don't remember how many screaming, slamming doors or tears there were, but I do remember the turning point.

We had just had another terrible argument and I was screaming at him. He was opening the door to leave again, and I saw that look in his eye.

It was the same look my dad would get when my mom lost her temper.

It cut me to the bone.

I made a decision, at that moment, that we were NOT going to repeat this cycle. We were going to break the curse and be different.

I was going to love my husband well. I wasn't going to always "win" the argument. I was going to chose to live in peace with this man I swore to love, honor and obey, even if it meant not always being right. I would make a change in my behavior and pray that God would bless it.

He did.


Thursday, September 20, 2012


This December will be Mike and my 18 year wedding anniversary. Last night I was thinking about our eighteen years together and decided I would write about some of our history together. I don't have a plan, I'm hoping that these entries will happen organically, one memory leading to another.

So, the first memory would have to be how we met.

We were both working at a place called Walker Datasource. We did telephone surveys, we didn't sell anything, honest!

We actually worked together for two years, but didn't often work on the same project, so we didn't really know each other.

Then one day I looked up from my desk and there was this gorgeous guy working in my area. I took one look at him, and realized he was WAY out of my league. And besides, I was dating someone else.

I had been dating this someone else for a year, and the relationship was in its death throws. I really wanted to be pampered, and I would often talk about it at work. It was at this point Mike and I began talking, and he was a BIG proponent of me ending this unhappy relationship.

I did.

Then I decided I was ready to date someone new, someone rich, I wanted my date to take me to a movie AND purchase the pop corn! Those were big expectations for a 19 year old!

Then one day Mike walked by my cubicle and threw a note down on my table. (Now, Mike and I disagree as to what the note said, but I remember it and am sure I'm right!)

It said, "Call me if you want to party"


He swears this didn't happen, but I promise you, it did.

Well, I did not call him, but I did give him my number and he used it at the most opportune time a few weeks later, right before my date with a new guy I had just met.

I was getting ready for this date when the phone rang. I answered it and it was Mike. I couldn't believe he had actually called me! I remember thinking it was strange that he would call me just an hour or so after we had gotten off work, and he knew I had a date and was trying to get ready to go out! I couldn't talk long, but, it did leave me thinking about him all through dinner with this other guy.

Needless to say that date ended early.

The next weekend my girl friend and I, who both thought Mike was pretty fantastic, went out all together. This is where Mike dropped the bombshell on me.

He told me he was a Christian.

I had never dated a Christian, and I was just about as far from God as you could get. As a matter of fact, I was pretty sure there was no such being.

My girl friend said I could have him when she found out this little tidbit.

I decided, I had dated guys who wore skirts, dyed everything black, wore make up, and rode motorcycles, maybe I'd try dating a Christian.

But I still wasn't sure he liked me in the same way.

It was around Christmas, and Mike was getting ready to go out of town. My friend and I had spent an evening with him and as we were driving home, he gave us both Christmas cards.

As soon as I got home I ripped mine open, and there was a novel written in this card! But nothing romantic, it just seemed friendly. So, I called Alicia and asked her what he had written in her card.

She said,"It says 'from Mike"'

That was when I knew he liked me.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Ragnar 2012

Another great thing Mike and I accomplished this last year was completing the Ragnar Relay.

The Ragnar is a 200 mile relay race, and here in SoCal, it starts at Huntington Beach and ends in San Diego, Coronado Island to be exact. You run it with 12 people so over the course of two days someone on your team is always running, while the rest of you are cheering them on.

It was a great experience.

I would not really consider myself a runner.

I run.

But I'm not a runner.

I don't think I'll ever be fast, but it is fun, and I do enjoy it. I love that it is mine.

So, Ragnar 2012 was quite the experience. Lots of silly costumes, lots of cheering, and lots of heat!!

I was ill prepared for the heat. The course could have taken a cooler route, but I guess that would be less of a challenge?

My first run was at roughly 10 o'clock in the morning, it was about 90 degrees with high humidity.

And it was mostly uphill.

I had not prepared for running in this kind of heat, and since about two weeks prior to the race I hurt my right leg, I hadn't been running the distance or hills.

It was brutal. And I made my good friend fall.

I was nearing the end, and my hubby and two good friends were cheering me on. Lynn ran down to encourage me up the hill, and because she was resting she had her crocs on, her foot caught on the sidewalk and down she went!! She smacked her chin and messed up her knee.

I felt terrible! I wanted to stop, but she told me to go on, so I did.

My next run was at night. It was after midnight, and we had rested briefly on the golf course of a swanky resort. I was gearing up to run my leg, when I realized, I really had to go to the bathroom.

I told Mike, who was waiting for me, that my bladder can't handle running unless it is completely empty before I start. He told me I didn't have time, but I insisted.

I ran into the porta potty, with all my gear, headlamp and all, but in my hurried state, I neglected to lock the the door...

Yeah, it happened.

As I was, um, using the facilities, all of a sudden the door came swinging open!

The lady screamed,"I'm so sorry!"
I screamed,"I'm so sorry!" and she slammed the door.

I arranged myself and walked out of the potty with a little less dignity then when I went in and ran my fastest run of the race.

Was it the night air? The rest we took in the field? Was it the beautiful downhill run? Or could it be I was running from humiliation?

We will never know.

The last run, was the hardest. It was over 7 miles and I was beat, but I did finish it, tears and all! I couldn't believe that I had actually completed something I could never envision myself doing!

And now I have just 7 months to prepare for the next. Mike and I are signed up and I'm just starting their training routine. I hope to be faster and stronger than last time!

And remember, always lock the door!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Catch Up

I can't possibly catch up on everything that has occurred in the last year, but here are some highlights.

We completed our first year at ROA and loved it! The teachers are so kind and I reaped the benefits of having other teachers speak into my kids lives, while I still got to be their main teacher.

Faith got her permit at 15 1/2 and then turned 16!! She now has her license and is cruising around town on her own. I about have a heart attack every time she leaves the house. Giving it back to God constantly :)

Faith is a junior this year! She is done with science, and has a packed year at school, but lots of great stuff, things that are preparing her for the directions she plans to take in her future.

She is taking fashion design illustration, and a 3 d design class as part of her fall schedule. The 3d design is a college class, so she spends from 9-4 on Fridays at the college. It will give her college credit, and until she is 18 all the classes at the community college are free!! Love this!!

Kylee is 14 and a freshman. Not the best year of high school, not as much freedom of choice, but she is doing Spanish and guitar which she loves. She is super gifted at both. She is also writing a children's book, which is fantastic. I mean really good. Good enough to be published...

Also, she is doing biology, and her special project this year is on apes, which if you know kylee you know she never went through the little-girl-love for horses, but did go through the less popular little-girl- love for monkeys. She is thinking she may like to work in a zoo someday. And we just happen to live near one of the nations top teaching zoos!! Praying about opportunities there.

Seth is almost 12 and is still the social butterfly of the group. Man, does this boy love to be around people. I mean he has a passion for people. He adores his life group leaders, and spends every moment he can with friends.

He is in 7 th grade and doing great. He reads like a maniac, and is also writing a book. He loves to surf.

Joshua is 10!!! Double digits. It's hard to believe the sweet little one, I used to hold in my arms, is 10 years old!!!

Josh is in fifth grade and has an amazing imagination. He is super sweet and is very passionate about everything he does. Which means he loves very passionately, and is also very passionate when he is angry. We are working on turning this into an amazing quality. Passionate people can be super powerful.  I know God is going to use this for His glory, and can't wait to see how He continues to shape him.

Mike has been the tech arts director here at the Church at Rocky Peak for two years now. We are currently leading a group of young marrieds in our life group, and love each of them! We love doing life with these people!

Mike is also starting school this week!! He is going to be studying to get his masters in theology. I'm so proud of him! I can't wait to see how this journey shapes him!

I'm just here trying to hold all these plates in the air!! I sometimes feel like everyone is spinning around me and I'm just trying to keep them all moving!

I would love to go back to get my masters in marriage and family therapy, but God told me "not right now", so I'm waiting. My girls being teenagers need me to be "here" more than ever, so that dream goes on the back burner until I get them more settled, then we shall see.

Okay, that's more than enough for now.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wish it felt like fall?


Abandoned Yet Not Forgotten


Have you ever had something you meant to pay attention to, or a person you meant to connect with, but it got to be so long since the last contact, that you just felt overwhelmed/embarrassed about trying to reconnect?

Well, that's like me and this blog.

I've thought several times over the last year, "I should blog about that", and then realized it had been so long since I had written anything, that it would just be weird to start up again.

So, I didn't.

This morning we were talking about how gray Jaz's face had gotten, and I went looking for a baby picture of her. I found it on this blog.

The kids and I started reading through the five years represented on this blog and I was so blessed to see pictures of my kids, stories, pictures of friends,  houses, and even pictures of snow that made me smile.

I'm so glad that I spent the time to do it. And I'm not making any promises, but I am going to try to post on here, so that we have a blog record of the next years of our lives.


Friday, September 2, 2011

All Things Beautiful

I learn something new from my kids everyday!

Each one of them is unique and just so amazingly wise!

Unfortunately, only one of them has a blog, but if you haven't read it, you are totally missing out!

She blows me away!

If you haven't taken time to read her blog, please do it. Every time I read an entry I am amazed at who she is becoming!

When I was her age I was dating guys who wore make up and listening to such bands as Nine Inch Nails and The Dead Milkmen! She is so far ahead of where I was at her age, and I am thankful!

You know people often try to say that our kids are the way they are because of our parenting, but I know for a fact that our parenting is only a small portion of who our kids are. Each one of my kids have invited God into their lives, and I know that He is the reason they are different. He is the one who gives them wisdom and discernment.

And once again, I'm thankful!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

We Can Totally Do That!!

Sooo, we are pretty settled into our new house. Boxes unpacked, pictures hung, rooms pretty well organized.

But getting to this point, was not easy!!

Our move in and move out was scheduled about a week apart. So I figured we could spend a few days moving boxes and little stuff with the van, and then by Friday beg a few strong men to help lift the heavy stuff on to a rental moving van.

The first day I woke up with a feeling of dread. I couldn't believe I had really thought the kids and I (because Mike was working Tuesday and Wednesday) were going to move most of the house before Friday!! What was I thinking!!

This is where I would like to add a side note. Mike and I both have this weird brain disease. I am not sure there is a name for it, but I call it wecantotallydothatitis. When faced with a near impossible task, i.e. Running in a 200 mile relay with little or no prior running experience or moving an entire house with just four kids and a mini van, something clicks in our brains and we think "Ha, no problem!!! We can totally do THAT!!" This is not such a bad trait when the odds are favorable, but unfortunately, that is not often the case.

So Monday morning we got up and since Mike and I had to finish our walk through, he was there to help for a few hours. We managed to move the entire garage over. This is a feat of extraordinary daring and courage.  Not only did we get it moved over BUT completely organized!! Not bad for our first day.

The second day, my dad was headed out with a bed he had promised to Kylee and a desk that was my grandmothers.  So, on top of Kylee getting her new bed, I was getting the use of his rented mini van for the whole week and the kids were getting a papa who loves to hang out with them!!  Two mini vans and an extra adult would make the move even easier!

So for Tuesday, my goal was for the kids and I to single-handedly move over all their bedrooms, set up beds, book cases etc. We did it!! And Mike and I were even able to move some stuff from other rooms in the evening.

Wednesday my dad and I moved living room furniture, electronics, and a good rest of the boxes!! By the time we got to Thursday, Mike was back home to help and we worked on our room and some of the heavier furniture.  It was Wednesday evening, and on the high of getting so much accomplished, Mike and I made the bold statement, "I bet we could move just about everything without a moving van!!" Thanks to the refrigerator, we didn't try it :)

The craziest story from the move would have to be how Mike and I moved our king sized mattress from one house to the other with just a rope, a blanket and our mini van!

We bought our mattress in January of this year, from Costco.  We went with a foam mattress, which was the BEST purchase we have ever made.  I LOVE our mattress.  It is super firm, doesn't sag, and is plenty big.  Its size put it on the things-that-must-be-moved-with-a-moving-van list.  But Thursday evening, the eve of the big stuff move, we got drunk on our achievements.  Mike and I looked around the mostly empty house, and the twelve items still left to go, and wondered if we could take that list down to eleven...

Mike rationalized that our mattress came in a small box to start.

That was true.

And the delivery guy delivered it.

Also true.

So, why couldn't we just roll it up and put it in the van????

Sounds reasonable!!!  We can totally do it!!!

We did manage to get it folded in half, and tied up.  Yes, this would definitely fit in the van!!

I went into the kitchen to grab something and that is when Mike decided he could get it down the stairs.  Which he did.  What we didn't bank on was, trying to lift it from the front door to the van, without the furniture dolly that we left at the other house.

I tried to lift my end, but the combination of it being awkward, huge, soft, and heavy and the fact that by Thursday evening my body had about given up on me, made it nearly impossible for me to move.

At this point we totally could have left it in the living room and shut the front door.  We totally could have waited for the next day for our friends to help us lift it onto the moving truck.

But we had gotten this far!!!  It was so close to being in the van!!  How could we just leave it?

That is when I got the brilliant idea that would save the evening.  What if we took one our old blankets and drug it to the van, then used the blanket to lift it onto the van?  Would it work?

YES!!  It totally worked!!  We got our mammoth mattress into our mini-van and then used our blanket method to heft it up the stairs in the next house.

And as we locked the door to the old house that evening, we only had 11 odd items left to be moved.  We had done it!  We had moved a huge part of a four bedroom house with just two mini-vans, two adults, four children, and one old man, which went a long way to worsening our already bad case of wecantotallydothatitis!