Because I Don't Want to Forget...

...her little lisp

....and cute grin

....and how nurturing (and very bossy she is).

...his obsession with light sabers and dancing he says he's going to be a prophet for God

....and how he's simultaneously driving me mad and more in love with him every day. he's slipping further away from boyhood and into the teenage years. responsible and self-driven he is

...and how he can talk a  mile a minute.

Tis' true: In parenting, the days are long but the years are short.




Crazy how before this little girl came on the scene, I thought our family was complete. Now that she's here, I wonder how we lived life without her. She's such a strong-willed and nurturing little soul that has brought such light and love with her.

She loves helping me out with household tasks like sweeping and dishes and is a pro at bossing her brothers around. But she's also very nurturing, often wandering into the boys' room to ask "you okay?" She adores fingernail polish and lip gloss, but is equally enamored of the boys' toys.

There's so much I love about this little girl. One thing I love is what she has brought out of me. With her, I realized just how capable I am of trusting my gut. When I was in labor with her, the nurse kept telling me I had a while to go because I wasn't dilated enough, but I knew she was closer than they thought. I even asked my husband to go get a nurse because it was time to push. They all took their time, so I trusted what I knew and started pushing. Sure enough, when they came in and saw her head, they started scurrying around. Giving birth to her let me know that I don't have to second guess my self ever.

As with all my kids, I'm so looking forward to what life has in store for this little girl. I pray blessings over her life and trust God to work out His good will for her.

Here's a video I made for her first birthday. Guess I'll be needing to update this one soon.

The Holy Ground of Housework (and other Mundane Work)

the holy ground of housework

It's been a string on extraordinarily ordinary days lately.

Laundry. Homework. School drop offs. Packing lunches. Work. Making dinner.


It's easy to get exasperated and overwhelmed with the daily routines. Mounds of laundry. The piles of dirty dishes. The discipline that has to be doled out daily. 

But God never designed it to be this way. 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭23-24‬ ESV)  

We are given grace to do the hard things. And grace to do the mundane things that can wear us out. Every toilet cleaned, every dinner cooked and every correction made is an act or service in God's eye and one that doesn't go unnoticed. So I'm not working for my family, I'm serving the Lord.

When I view mundane acts in this light, the kitchen become holy ground, as does the laundry room and every other area where I'm tempted to think it simply drudge work.  

When offered up to God, even the every day tasks can be holy.

Mopping the floors is ministry? Sounds ludicrous. And it felt especially ludicrous to me as I mopped floors this weekend only to find them dirtied by three sets of little feet this week. But bless God those little feet who can dirty and who are still here alive and breathing. That I get to provide a clean, stable and loving home for them is an honor. An honor that many women want, but can't have. 

Every act of service is counted worthy in God's eye. This small shift in perspective has changed my grumbling into holy wonder. God sees every little act I do and He honors it.

“This job [of motherhood] has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” 
― Elisabeth Elliot



How a Little Loss Taught Us a Big Lesson


Our family suffered a loss this weekend.

Gubbles the family fish passed away. 

Things started going downhill when he was sent to my mother-in-law's house for a week while we went to the Bay Area for a family visit during the Christmas break. He wasn't his normal self when he returned. And weeks later, he got worse.  This weekend, the downhill trend continued with erratic behavior: him diving to the bottom of the fish bowl and then swimming furiously to the top until he finally just stopped swimming. 

My oldest son won him as a prize at summer camp almost two years ago. I was so against the idea of a fish. But he stepped up and took great care of him. He fed him on schedule and cleaned his bowl regularly. I was impressed.

My son had grown attached to the fish, almost like he was the family puppy. So when he started declining he took it hard.....even broke down at church two weekends ago while requesting prayer for the fish. Sounds crazy, I know, but that's how attached he was. Even family members urged me to buy a new fish to swap out for Gubbles. But there was no way I was going to do that. And if I did, how many times would I have to do it so he would't have to face loss?

My son is 11 and that's old enough to know that loss happens. It's a part of the cycle of life. 

Sure, I wanted to protect him from the pain, but it is inevitable. And protecting him from the pain of life is not my job as a parent--preparing him for it is.

So we talked about the average life span of a fish, which is two years maximum. We discussed how he'd taken great care of the fish and grew into a responsible pet owner. We talked about losing something (or someone) we have become attached to while holding on to the memories. We talked about what it would look like when the fish did eventually die.

When it happened, he was prepared. Heartbroken, but prepared. As a parent, I want to protect my kids from so many things: the mean kid who speaks the truth with harsh words, being chosen last for a game or broken hearts from love that isn't returned. But I know doing that will only handicap them. Of course, there are things I absolutely want to protect them from: pornography, child predators, drug use. The key is knowing where to draw the line.

The older they get, the more of life my little ones are exposed to and it's downright scary as a parent. But what would be even scarier is sending them out into the world without being equipped to handle the hard edges that are part of living in this world.

My prayer lately has been for wisdom to guide them and equip them with knowledge and the sense enough to back up when I need to. This parenting gig is a constant balance of holding close when necessary and letting go when it's time.

Waiting Sucks


Waiting sucks. Waiting rooms sucks. 

It's especially sucky for a highly impatient person like myself.  

So I sit here with my husband and hurry up and wait.  

And it's the not knowing that makes me anxious. Is my child okay? Are there complications? 

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

We sit and eat.  

We sit and chat.  

We sit and laugh.  

We sit and scroll through our cell phones.  

And just below the surface, we both are concerned about our baby boy.  

Then when we aren't even looking, we hear the news that all is well. Our baby is in recovery. The procedure done and behind us.  

Concern and worry give way to sighs of relief and smiles.  

We never knew that parenting would bring us such angst over a common outpatient procedure.  

But when your baby is whisked away to an operating room for what is common and routine, it suddenly seems much bigger than that and makes you appreciate little things like health and insurance and life. 

Thanking God for being on the other side of waiting and for desires fulfilled.  

Eleven Years Ago Today....

I gave birth to this guy.


I remember the fear. And the pain. And the overwhelming love.

So many emotions all rolled into one.

This one here is a reader, strong-willed, tender-hearted, driven and very funny. He's challenged me and grown me up in ways I never imagined. 

Happy 11th birthday Rhy!


He's been urging me to update, his birthday video, but until then....

Click here if video doesn't load.

Kids Make Halloween Fun

Kids are fun.

Dressing up kids is fun.

Halloween with kids is fun.


We've only gone trick or treating maybe 3 times in their whole lives, but tonight we ventured out. We live in a pretty family friendly neighborhood with lots of older neighbors. We hit about 3 blocks and had more than enough candy between all kids. The last house, we hit, across the street from us gave us most of their candy since they said we were only the third set of trick or treaters they'd seen all night.


My oldest was Ash Ketchum from Pokemon.

The six year old was a ninja and baby girl was Doc McStuffins. (And I couldn't get her costume on fast enough for her.) After about a block, she finally got into the swing of things and was saying "Trick or treat" and "thank you" by night's end.

We went through the candy, rationed it out and then set aside what we don't like. We were hoping to give the "dislike" candy to trick or treaters, but the doorbell didn't even ring one time. Looks like the threat of rain put a damper on things here in Southern California. 

So anyone want some Baby Ruth or Butterfingers? We've got plenty!

How Discovering My Kids' Learning Style Stopped the Homework Battle


This kid here is a mover and a shaker. If you were to meet him in person, he'd most likely give you a hand shake and a hug. He's a touchy feely kind of guy, much like his dad. I thought it was just an inherited trait that meant he was affectionate, but I've recently discovered it goes beyond that.

Helping him with first grade homework has been frustrating for us both lately. I couldn't understand why at first. I'd always had great success helping my oldest son. He's much like me--a visual learner. That's when I realized that my first grader is very much unlike me. His learning style is altogether different. So I did some research to see what his learning style is and how best to approach him. 


The three basic learning styles are:

Visual learners: They learn by watching. They use images to remember, creating a picture in their heads. To learn spelling, for example, they may picture the way a word looks.

Visual learners may also: Enjoy art and drawing, read maps, charts and diagrams well, like mazes and puzzles

Auditory learners:  Auditory learners benefit from traditional teaching techniques. They learn well when directions are read aloud or information is presented and requested verbally. They remember facts when presented in a poem, song or melody. 

Auditory learners also like: To tell stories and jokes, To play word games, To use tape recorders

Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement and physical manipulation. They like to find out how things work and want to touch, feel and experience what they are being asked to learn. Most kindergartners are physical learners, but by second or third grade their learning styles may change to visual or auditory. However, half of all students in high school and beyond remain kinesthetic learners.

Physical learners may also: Need to manipulate, handle and try things out, Have a short attention span, Show you things rather than telling you about them.

I've discovered that my middle child is a kinesthetic learner. And I realize I've been sabotaging his learning because he wants to just do it and get his hands on it, but I want to show him first and do it for him. No wonder we were both frustrated.

Armed with this information, here's how I'll be helping my little tactile learner better. I'll let him:

  • Read aloud and track words on a page with a finger

  • Write things down multiple times to commit them to memory

  • Highlight and underline information

  • Play with a stress ball or toy while studying

  • Move around or take frequent breaks

  • Do hands-on activities, such as building models or playing games

If you have a visual learner, they learn best from seeing information on a chalkboard or in an illustration and may grow impatient listening for long periods of time. Strategies for visual learners include:

  • Using flash cards

  • Studying charts, tables, and maps

  • Drawing illustrations

  • Writing things down and reviewing notes

  • Highlighting and underlining

  • Color-coding information

    Auditory learners are typically good at absorbing information from spoken words. Strategies that work well for auditory learners include:

  • Talking to themselves or with others about what they’re learning

  • Reciting important information aloud, perhaps recording it and playing it back

  • Reading a book and listening to the audio book at the same time

  • Using word associations

  • Setting information to a tune and singing it to help remember it

  • Limiting distracting noises

I'm so glad the light bulb went off early in the school year. And I'm already watching my two-year-old to see where she stands when it comes to her learning style.

Parenting is more than just raising kids, it's understanding how they are wired so we can lead them wisely. Here's to happy parenting!