Monday, August 31, 2009

Hot and Cold

It's hot. Really. Really. Hot. My temperature gauge outside my kitchen window says 112 right now. It literally feels like opening the oven when I open the back door to let the dogs out. It's the kind of hot where you don't want to go outside. You shouldn't be outside. Canyons catch on fire simply because it's hot. You can see the heat escaping from an idle vehicle's engine. It hurts your skin to be in it for more than five seconds. It's. Hot.

So, to remind us of cooler days, I was flipping through my old photos from Virginia. Now, granted, it doesn't snow here in socal, but it's fun to think of snow on days like this. Here is one of my favorites.

Sophie hated the snow. We used to have to carry her outside, plunk her into the snow for her to potty and then carry her back inside. Such a princess. Reagan on the other hand, loved it.

Ok, maybe not so much. But I liked it. I miss it. Especially on days like today.

Come on Fall! Get here soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Here's our summer in photos of course:

Reagan with her kindergarten teacher on the last day of school

At Seaport Village in San Diego

Making adobe bricks at the Cowboy Jubilee

My birthday garden party (thrown by some wonderful friends)

Hanging out in the pack n play

Feeding the ducks (and being a ham for the camera)

At Disneyland!

Eating cotton candy for the first time (and LOVING it!)

At Mt. Soledad

Reagan on the first day of first grade

It seems like it takes forever to organize photos on blogger, so I've posted a link to my photos on facebook as well. There are a lot more on there. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Love the one you're with

At a church we used to attend, I remember one message that resonated with me. I couldn't tell you his five points or anything like that, but he was talking about how overwhelming it can be as Christians to be good people. We're supposed to be great parents, great kids, great friends, give to the needy, read your Bible, pray, work to be more like Christ, etc. etc. etc. How overwhelming! So his advice was this: Focus on ONE thing until it becomes habit then move on to something else. His struggle was his patience. So, he said that his "goal" was to focus on changing his tone when he spoke to his wife and children. There's even a verse about it. "A gentle tone turns away wrath" Proverbs 15:1

That was about 3 years ago. I actually tried it with a difficult person in my life at the time. And worked! I used a gentle tone and it totally disarmed the other person! Lately, it has resurfaced as a theme in my life and wanted to share.

(pardon me while I slip into Communication professor mode here)
Did you know that we are communicating 24/7? There's not ONE second of a day that we aren't communicating. Even when you're sleeping? Yes, you're communicating, "I'm sleeping. Please don't wake me." What's even more amazing is that 95% of our communication is NON-VERBAL. That's right...95%! Imagine a teenage girl with arms crossed, lips pursed, looking down to the ground and saying, "No, I'm fine!" Her non-verbal would say otherwise. Non-verbal is not just body language though. (aha!) It's also "tone." Most sarcasm occurs in just tone alone. I've reminded my children (and husband) numerous times, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it."

Last weekend our pastor said that most people complain that it's hardest to be a Christian at work. But he disagreed. He said the hardest place to be a Christian is in our own homes with our families. Why is that? My theory goes back to the old cliche of "you always hurt the ones you love the most." I guess we all feel like our families will love us unconditionally no matter what, so we can let our guards down, vent, be impatient, lose our tempers, yell, etc.

I've even noticed it in public a lot lately. The other day at Chick-fila, I was in line to get a refill on my sweet tea and a lady behind me was berating her son. Then, just as quick as a whip, she flipped into "sweet lady" mode and changed her tone for the cashier when it was her time to order. It broke my heart. Here she was belittling the most precious person in her life, but felt like she had to be nice to a total stranger. I'm not saying we have to be syrup-y sweet all the time. That's next to impossible and doesn't do anyone any favors. You can still correct your children in a kind but firm manner. It's all about choices. When your significant other says "Honey, can you come here for a second?" We can choose to say "NOT NOW! WHAT DO YOU NEED?!" or we can say, "I can't right now. Can it wait a minute please?"

My friend Anna just wrote a post about finding what's right in front of you. Hopefully today you take time to realize that the people in your life are a gift. Use a gentle tone. And they will do the same back to you. Don't worry, I'm not perfect (that's a whole post in and of itself), so I am on this journey too. I don't know that I will ever perfect that gentle tone; but I'd rather die trying than live with regret.

I'll leave you with a picture of the girls taken with my phone. Just so you don't forget what they look like :D

My three blessings eating ice cream after Reagan's first day of first grade.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Up to speed

I's been a while.
I still haven't found my cable for my camera. I know it's in the garage somewhere, but I'm a scaredy-cat and don't like to be in there when I KNOW that there are mice in there. ICK! I will find it soon. And when I prepared for a photo post dating back to June :D

I wanted to wait until I could post some photos to write a post, but I just couldn't stay away!

We were VERY SUCCESSFUL in having fun while our cousins were in town three weeks ago. We went to the zoo, seaworld, disney, outlet mall, mt. soledad, seaport village, and needed a few days to recover from the "fun."

Reagan started back to school last week. Part of me is mourning our summer because it feels like it just went way too fast. I loved having her home. In our pj's. Just hanging out. As the oldest, she and I don't get as much "one on one" time as I would like. So, I was trying to make an effort to get the two little ones down for naps at the same time so she and I could do "big girl" stuff. I miss that time now.

She seems to like first grade so far. I'm holding my opinion until the year gets going more. So far, I've been unimpressed with the homework. It seems like busy work to me. For example, Reagan is reading at nearly a second grade level. Her homework sheet this week has "sight words" on it that I'm PRAYING are just review. And the sentence she needs to "master" without help was "The cat sat." Seriously? Again, just praying it's review. If it continues to be too easy, we may have to ask for additional work for her that is actually a challenge. *sigh*

The saga as of lately has been our mice issue. I had one dart out from behind the trash cans about a month ago. I figured he was gone until I saw him (or another one) again later in the garage. We set some traps in the garage and caught two. Then I started seeing bits of drywall and wood shavings coming out from under our cabinets. Nesting in the cabinets. Fantastic. A few mornings I could even hear them "gnawing" on something next to the dishwasher. So we set traps under the sink. It took a few days but finally caught one there. Then, there was one dropping in the laundry room. Set a trap there and caught another one. Well, B set the traps. Not me. I really should stop reading all the stories online about people dealing with mice because it freaks me out. But I want to know where they are coming in so I can "plug" it up! Especially before Fall sets in and they REALLY try to find some warmth! I've read stories about people living with mice for years and years on end. I don't think my psyche can handle that! I don't want to be near the kitchen....or the laundry room...or the garage. Which tends to put a damper on cooking, cleaning, laundry, and unpacking :) I wonder when I will feel comfortable again. I wish I wasn't so allergic to cats :D

On to something more joyous! The baby has started talking a bunch! And cutting teeth. I prefer the talking. She got four molars in two weeks and now is working on those eye teeth. She says "mommy" and "daddy" clear as can be, as well as "more", "yaya", "uh-oh", "ball", "baby" and "bye bye". But last week she started saying "two three" and then jumping off of anything she can climb (ottoman, couch, chair, kitchen table)! Now, whenever I am doing anything, if I hear "two three" i have to stop and go running to catch her. It's a fun game. really. :) At least she gives fair warning. But I do love her unconditional trust that I am going to catch her. She just leaps. Puts her arms in the air and jumps. I wish I had that same unconditional trust in Christ. But I am guilty of questioning sometimes. I know it's a journey to becoming the person that God wants me to be. And I appreciate you all coming along with me!

I promise to post more frequently now that you all are up to speed. Really. I do. :)


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