Sunday, February 28, 2010

Praying for Your Kids Monday
A Servant Heart

I love going to Hearts at Home on Thursdays and seeing moms serving other moms with their kids in tow. One mother, whom I admire deeply, is in charge of the childcare on Thursday mornings and so she has to be there early to line up rooms, teachers, subs, snacks etc. She is always there with a smile and her little 4 year old is right behind her learning a wonderful lesson--serving others is like serving Jesus Himself.

This particular mom could talk and talk and talk to her son about service and ministry and he may never understand but because he is watching her, week after week, and doing it along side her while she serves with a cheerful heart rather than grumbling, he is learning that service is what we do and "with a cheerful heart" is how we do it.

Ephesians 6:7 reminds us to "serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men". I know if I were to take meals, help a neighbor, volunteer in the nursery, babysit for a friend in need like I was doing these things for Jesus Himself I probably wouldn't have the audacity to feel put out. My small gesture would be a only a start to saying thank you for the sacrifice He made for me.

Dearest Father, I confess I don't always serve others with a cheerful heart. I pray You would mold me and make me to have a servant's heart so that I would be a good example for __________. I bless him with a servant's heart that desires to serve others not so that he may boast but so that he can be obedient to Your Word. Amen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tinker Bell Cake and Dead Sexy Straight Hair

I'm giving this post a "cakes" label but don't be fooled...its just a way for me to show off my dead sexy straight hair.

This picture is post straightening but pre Posh Spice cut and color, which I got today. And yes, if you're doing the math, it was my precious mother's last day here and I did leave for 3 hours to go get my hair done by Salon Sara. Don't judge me until you see it!

I would promise you a picture of my Posh Spice haircut for tomorrow's post but you actually hold me to it and I can't handle the disappointment in your comments (Jen Roth) when I don't actually get the pictures up so I'm just going to tell you I'll get it up soon.

Oh, and for the label's sake: this is Roo's 2nd birthday cake. Tinker Bell themed but pretty lame in my book. I used a Demarle flower mold, colored the frosting purple and topped it with some Tink figurines I found at Walmart for 6 bucks. I used colored sugar for the pixie dust only to have Hot Jeff remind me that pixie dust is yellow and not green. Dude, I am not lying.

Bug, my cake decorating sensei said she is not disappointed but I really can't believe her because how can she NOT be disappointed, the thing is LAME! Oh well, Roo loved it and hasn't stopped playing with the figurines (who unfortunately have frosting in places that no lady should have frosting).

Here's a little picture of Roo with her parents on her 2nd birthday. I think she looks so sad because she knows only disappointment lies ahead of her with her lame-o Tinker Bell cake. Poor baby. Just more photographic proof for her to someday use in her argument that we liked Samuel better than her.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Praying for Your Kids Monday
A Desire for Truth

Mama Della's last night is tonight so instead of putting a whole lot of effort into PYKM I am going to copy a prayer from a favorite book of mine and go play Pinochle! Suh-weet!

"If you love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him for He dwells with you and will be in you" (John 14: 15-17).

Lord, I pray that ________ will have a heart that loves Truth. May any lies in his heart come to light so they can be confessed to You as sin. I pray that he not be blinded or deceived, but always be able to clearly discern and follow Your Truth.

Help me to effectively discipline him when he tests that principle. Your Word says that "when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all Truth". Please guide __________ in the way of Truth always. Amen.

excerpt taken from "Prayers and Promises for My Little Girl" by Stormie Omartian

Friday, February 19, 2010

If It Sounds To Good To Be True...

It probably is. Ugh. I am so glad my husband doesn't read this blog very often because I'm about to tell a very embarrassing story about myself and if he knew I did this (which he never will because you will NOT tell him when you see him, right) he would just laugh and laugh and then make fun of me for a good week. And I probably would get a lecture out of it. Hot Jeff is a lecturer. Ask Samuel.

So Hot Jeff went to a basketball game tonight leaving me home alone with the kiddos during dinner and evening insanity. So to make it a little more fun (for myself) I made them baloney sandwiches and myself a rockin' chicken stir fry.

While I was fryin' up my stir fry I was listening to the radio. It was set to a Christian radio station so when I heard the following commercial I figured it had to be legit. Right?? Mmm, no.

The commercial said call this toll free number and get $1000 worth of grocery vouchers. You can spend it on any kind of food, any brand at any store. I know, right? You'd think I would know better. The commercial said they were doing "market research" and if you call and answer a couple of questions you then get your vouchers. Sweet.

I sprinted to the phone. No lie. Sprinted.

Because I was born yesterday.

The conversation starts out as expected. He asks my first name. Then asks how much I spend on groceries per week and where is my favorite grocery store to shop. Then he asked for my address so he could mail my $1000 worth of grocery vouchers out.

Before I gave him my address I asked sheepishly, "So I'm sure you get this a lot but what is the catch?" "No catch Ma'am". I push a little harder, "There has to be a catch. Why would you be giving out $1000 in grocery vouchers?"

At this point he got super testy with me! He says all snippy like, "As the ad said, its market research". Long pause... "Now, I'm going to need your credit card number to pay for the $4.95 shipping cost".

Yep. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.

I say in a totally sincere tone, "I am so sorry I have wasted you time; I'm not willing to give you my credit card number".

His tone goes from snippy to rude and he asks, "How did you expect to have the vouchers sent to you?" To which I tell him, "I don't know, I guess I didn't think about it".

I would like to tell you there was further conversation but all I heard on the other end was silence. He had hung up on me!! Can you believe that? Not only was he a scammer but he was a rude scammer!

Ok, its true. I have no proof this is a scam. I have no proof that guy is a lying sack of crap who beats his wife. I do however have really good instincts.

Sometimes they just take a few minutes and some stranger asking me for my credit card number to kick in.

Dang it. I hate it when that happens.

Don't tell Hot Jeff.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fatal Error

So it would seem I have made a terrible blogging mistake...I promised pictures of my straight hair and didn't put them up when I said I would. And guess what? I still don't have any pictures. Yesterday I spent the majority of the day doing some deep cleaning and today I've been gone all day. And while my hair looked way too sexy to be scrubbing toilets I scrubbed them anyway. Nothing says thanks for letting me go have a 5 hour hair appointment than scrubbing a man's shower.

Its Roo's birthday weekend this weekend so there will be plenty of picture taking and I'll get them up and you can all "fawn" (nice comment Roth) over my hair. It will be fun.

Until then, for those of you didn't see it at church this morning, I am going to paint a mental picture. My new straight hair is Kelly Ripa meets Katie Holmes meets Celebrity Fit Club. Translation: straight meets brown meets could stand to drop a few pounds. I think that will really help you get a good idea of what my hair looks like.

So what we've learned here is this: I won't make blogging promises I can't keep and you don't believe a thing I say about posting pictures. Deal?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Um, ladies you will ABSOLUTELY DIE WHEN YOU SEE MY NEW STRAIGHT HAIR. Seriously though, 4 hours turned in to 5 because my hair is that nappy and I didn't get home until after 9:00 so you're just gonna have to wait until Wednesday afternoon for pictures and the dish.

I will tell you this though, its dead sexy. And... it ain't nappy!

(that's for you Jessica!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gettin' My Straight On

I'm not gonna lie takes a lot of time and effort to get from this:

To this:

There is some serious polishing going on and I'm not talking about silver. My hair, as we've already established is nappy. You remember: Getting it all straight, smooth and sexy is an arduous process that entails creams, gels, sprays, spritzes, blow dryers, flat irons and smoothening conditioners. Not to mention ZERO humidity. The whole process leaves my husband saying the same thing every time I blow dry my hair straight, "Your hair is actually steaming. Smoke is coming off of your hair. Look at the house; it is filled with smoke. You are going to get lung cancer. Kids, hold your breath, Mom is straightening her hair again". And he always says it in this tone of voice like I have just driven 14 hours with them in a Ford Festiva with the windows up while I smoked 12 packs of camels. And he calls me high drama.

Well tomorrow that will all change because Salon Sara is putting some sort of permanent straightener in my hair. You know I'd trust Salon Sara with my life so my hair is no big deal. She's fabulous and always leaves my hair looking way more fabulous than when I got there so I don't ask a lot of questions.

"What happens when my hair starts to grow out?" Nope. Didn't ask. "Why does this process take 4 hours?" Never even crossed my mind. "Will I still have my trademark 'flip' after this process or will I have gone all Ashlee Simpson?" Should have asked but didn't. Trust. That is what a girl needs to have when working with the talents of Salon Sara. Trust and a little shot of tequila never hurts. But only when you're going in for a 4 hour straightening hair procedure.

I'll be honest, I'm not 100% certain I'm coming out of there with any pubic hair left.

And that's ok with me. Just as long as I don't come out looking like this:

Salon Sara, if you're reading this...please don't let me leave looking like Sharon Osbourne.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Praying for Your Kids Monday
The Ability to Forgive

I learned a very valuable lesson this week about forgiveness. I'll spare you all the details but in the end I was hurt, felt attacked and in turn went on the defensive making myself look as bad as the person who had hurt me. After speaking with my mentor she encouraged me to forgive. No "buts", no "I'm right, You're wrong"--just forgive. Its never easy to forgive, especially after we become indignant but here's what I learned this week and what I hope my children will learn long before they are 33: forgiveness doesn't make the other person right, but instead it makes me free.

One more time just in case you missed it. Forgiveness doesn't make the other person right, but instead it makes me free.

Sigh. That's good stuff right there. The pastor of the Baptist church I spent much of my youth in used to say, "Say Amen, that's good preachin'". Well say 'amen' friends because that's good preachin'.

Paul knew it was good preachin'. He told the church in Ephesus to "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" (Eph. 4:31-32).

Forgiveness isn't easy, no one is claiming it is, but I can tell you that the freedom I felt after forgiving will be something I remember the next time I'm holding on to bitterness, hurt and indignation.

Lord, I pray that You would teach ___________ how to forgive. I pray that she would understand the depth of Your forgiveness for her so that she can freely forgive others. Please pour Your Spirit out on __________ so that she may confess her sins and be forgiven from all unrighteousness. Amen.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Childlike Faith
Samuel's Salvation Story

Thank you for all of your sweet emails regarding Samuel's decision to invite Jesus in to his heart. I have saved them all and am going to put them in his journal where I have written about the event so that he can always remember it. I wanted to tell you about how it all "went down" as I think it was pretty remarkable.

In case you were wondering, Samuel is almost 4 (April). We had already put him to bed on Sunday night and he came downstairs about a half hour later crying softly. I asked him what was wrong and he said "Jesus doesn't live in my heart". I found this to be so amazing because we haven't even talked to him about this in several months.

I walked him back upstairs and asked if he wanted to talk more about it and he said yes. I told him how when he disobeys his parents, or hits his sister or won't share with a friend that is called sin. I went through the whole story with him and then read him a book I had purchased a few years back; a children's book called I Believe in Jesus that tells how to ask Jesus in your heart and have Him be your 'forever friend'. After the book he said, "I want Jesus to love me forever and I want Him to live in my heart" so we prayed together and Samuel asked Jesus to forgive his sins, thanked him for dying on the cross and asked him to live in his heart. It was pretty spectacular!

The next afternoon, still curious about what prompted him, I asked him, "Samuel, how did you know that Jesus didn't live in your heart"? He replied quickly, "Because God told me". Oh yeah, duh.

Jeff and I have been so blessed to have been witness to God, literally, calling our little boy. We have been praying for his salvation since we found out we were pregnant with him and are rejoicing with all of heaven that God has called our little Samuel, just like in the story in which he was named after.

My Sensei Jen Roth reminded me last year that our kids don't have a junior sized Holy Spirit, they have the real Biggie size, just like us; these past few days, watching Samuel with this decision and the astounding things he seems to comprehend, has really reminded me of that. Last night, Jeff and I were talking in bed about it and he wondered aloud how many times God speaks to us but we shrug it off because we think it is hooey, hooey or couldn't possibly be God. I've been reminded these past few days that Christ asks for a "childlike" faith...sometimes I make it way harder than it needs to be.

One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
1 Samuel 3: 2-10

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Praying for Your Kids Monday

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Jeff and I have been praying the same prayer for almost 4 years: that God would call Samuel to Him at an early age. Tonight, God answered our prayer and called Samuel to Him. Tonight, on February 7th, Samuel asked Jesus to be his Savior and to live in his heart!

For once, I'm speechless.

So we will continue to pray for Emily's salvation (and if you read Friday's post you know she needs it) and now we'll pray for Samuel to have a huge filling of the Holy Spirit and for him to have an early understanding and discernment of his spiritual gifts. (Tonight when I explained that the Holy Spirit now lived with him and would guide him he got the biggest smile on his face. I know he only understands a portion of what he did tonight but it is just amazing to think about the eternal consequences...).

So anyway...this week we are going to be praying for our kids' salvation. If your kids already know Jesus then pray this prayer for a neighbor or relative or maybe turn it in to a prayer of thanksgiving.

Lord, I am amazed that You gave Your only Son for ____________. I pray that she will come to know You at an early age. I pray You will draw her to You and that she will have a longing to follow You. Thank You for calling us, for loving us, for dying for us. You are a relentless Redeemer and I praise You. Amen.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Working Title: Floors Being the Common Theme Here
Because "A Series of Unfortunate Events" Was Already Taken

I had given a clear warning of what was going to happen on Friday morning last night. And yet my children still decided to act like 2 and 4 year olds and ruin all the fun.

It started by them letting me sleep in. Yes, you heard that right. They let me sleep in. Jeff snuck off to work (lucky dog) sometime around 7ish. Samuel was up so Jeff put a video on and gave him a cereal bar. I was unaware of all of this, (because I was in the middle of a weird dream about losing my chap stick in a hospital cafeteria) as Jeff left for work, Samuel got bored and decided to let Mama sleep in. Now I know that sounds sweet but almost-4 year olds aren't sweet. They don't know how to put another person's needs first. They are sneaky and clever and coupled with a mother who can sleep through Disney World that is a dangerous, dangerous combination.

So Samuel got bored, came upstairs, shut my bedroom door, went and woke his sister up and down the stairs they went. For the record, I am just putting this all together from clues left for me because I was STILL SLEEPING and don't know any of it for a fact.

Some time around 8:15 I woke up with the refreshed feeling of I-can't-believe-the-kids-slept-so-late. I rolled over to see my door was shut and immediately panic rose in my chest. I crept down the stairs, frightened of what I would see. I rounded the corner in to the family room to see my kids happily eating cereal bars and watching Tinker Bell. Awwwww.

I got them some fruit, yogurt and water. I turned the video off and told them I was going to watch a "Mama show" with ear buds in and that they could play with the couch cushions. Its a small price to pay for an uninterrupted 47 minutes with Chief Shepherd and I was willing to pay it.

I snuggled down in my favorite chair with the kids in eye shot and got lost in my favorite hospital drama. With only a few minutes remaining Emily ran by and instantly a rank odor pierced my senses. It went up through my nose and penetrated my core. I recoiled and like any good mother said, "Roo, as soon as this is over I will change that wretched diaper".

Only seconds later Samuel tattled from the bathroom around the corner, "Mama, Emily took her diaper off". I paused Derek's meaningful speech to his staff and put Ruby down on the chair. I walked in to the bathroom; the air had turned a putrid green from the stench and fumes were wafting out. Emily was standing there with her pajamas around her ankles, her holocausted diaper lying in a child-thrown heap next to her with an enormous smile on her face. "Hallelujah" I said under my breath, thankful that she had done it in the bathroom and not on the carpeted floor. I turned my back to grab the wipes when she slithered past me like a stealth bomb; she traveled like an invisible dark angel the 3 feet to the carpet where she laid herself down and spread her legs awaiting a wipe all while spreading poop on my light beige carpet with her crap-covered hiney.

Sighing, I cleaned her up and sent her on her way. As I walked in to the kitchen to get the spot cleaner I saw what they had been up to while I watched Grey's in my McDreamy induced coma...they had spread animal crackers all over the kitchen floor. I vaguely remembered Samuel asking me if they could get some and me grunting "yes, just a few". Surprisingly, I wasn't angered as I knew I couldn't expect too much from them as I had just been ignoring them for the last 45 minutes and that it was somewhat my fault. I began putting my full attention and elbow grease in to the butt shaped poop stain before me. I was just starting to see an improvement when I heard Samuel say, "Mama, Emily just pee'd on the floor".


I had left her diaper off of her thinking that as soon as I got this stain up I would just go give them a bubble bath. They didn't have one last night and its a great time killer on a Friday when there isn't anything to do but wait for Daddy to get home so the weekend can start.

I got up from the stain and walked in to the kitchen. Urine soaked animal crackers danced around Emily's wet feet. She stood, smiling, with a remnant of pee trickling down her calf, onto her ankle and ultimately to the pool below her.

Sighing, I tip toed through the urine, crackers, and urine crackers and grabbed the naked toddler before me. Somehow I had the wherewith all to grab the dishtowel hanging over the sink and put it down on the carpet as a sort of arbitrary protector from Emily's sodden feet.

I formulated a plan, I would clean up the crackers and pee with paper towels, then mop, then sweep and then mop again. Samuel asked if he could get naked too so that he and Emily could do the "naked dance", a ritualistic, tribal bedtime routine our kids perform every night. I said yes, basically to get them out of my hair so I could go to task on the floors before me.

I started getting my mop water ready, the mix of Pine-sol and urine began to gag me so I opened the family room window for fresh air. The ground was soggy from the Oregon rain but the sun was shining and the temperature was climbing despite that it wasn't even 10 o'clock yet. Samuel and Emily were happily doing the naked dance, oblivious to the fire storm of annoyance brewing in my heart threatening to bubble over on to them.

As I finished the floor I realized I had done it backwards and now was on the other side of the floor from them. They were dancing in the family room and I was on the side of the dining room. The damp kitchen floor separated us and I exhorted, "Stay in that room. The floor is wet and I don't want you to slip".

The freshly mopped floor separating us felt like a beautiful mataphoric chasm. I took a deep breath and wished for an escape. Just for today. Just for today, I thought, I don't want to be a Mommy. I just want to go away and be Jeff's lover. I want to listen to music while we drive to the beach. I want to eat at Mo's and then walk on the beach. I don't want to just "get away"... I literally don't want Samuel and Emily to exist today. Just for today.

I love being a Mommy. I adore my kids. BUT, just for today if I could totally escape, I would. I began to formulate a blog post all about my day dream and thought about how you would all comment on how you have those days too and how you just loved the post and... a symphony of screams broke my reverie.

The shrieking was coming from outside. My mind raced and questions rose as I ran from the living room, over the still-wet floor to the family room. As quickly as it registered in my brain what had happened I saw the screen from the window I had opened earlier hanging by a bent frame, the bottom pushed out. I leapt up on to the couch and peered down out the bare window (about a 4 foot fall) to see my naked children lying in a tangled heap, bruised, covered in bark dust and howling like they had been drug behind a speeding '87 Chevy.

Pausing for a split second to wonder if I should grab the camera, (relax, I didn't) I rushed out the sliding glass door to their sides. They were fine. Pissed but fine.

I ushered them inside the house trying not to notice the enormous trail of bark dust they were leaving on the carpet. I soothed them as I calmly and sympathetically said we were finally going to head upstairs to take the long awaited bath I had promised 23 years ago. The both were lurching from the fright, pain and shock when the totally unbelievable happened. Yes, they both simultaneously wiped out on the wet kitchen floor. Their screeching reached deafening levels and I wondered if everyone in our neighborhood couldn't hear the chorus of chaos chiming loudly from the open window they had just fallen from.

So there you have it. The most unbelievable but true story of how things went utterly wrong in my world this morning.

I have since given them a bath, given them tylenol, fed them, put them down for naps, cleaned the house, got them up from naps and am now feeding them again. They are having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

This is where our story ends because I AM NOT KIDDING YOU, Emily just got up from the little kid table in the kitchen, pulled her bread apart and stuck a piece to my kitchen floor. She is smiling. She is the source of all evil.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

How do bloggers write everyday? I am just amazed. Every now and then I will hit a streak and blog like wildfire but lately I just haven't been in the mood. I know, right? I like to read my own stuff more than anyone but here I am just...silent. I think it is because I've been journaling. But enough of that on to more frivolous things like, wahoo...there is a new Grey's Anatomy tonight! You know what that means: don't call me in the morning because I will not be taking your phone calls. I will be letting my children eat animal crackers for breakfast and jumping on couch cushions while I sit in the other room with ear buds in and watch Mer and Der on Ruby. Oh I do love me some Mer and Der on Ruby. I just watched the preview at and McDreamy looks soooo good in a tie under his white coat.

Emily's 2nd birthday is this month. What do you get a 2 year old who echoes and mimics everything her older brother does. I'm not sure what she is in to. Does that make me a bad mom? Samuel really like Mickey Mouse at 2; Emily seems to be in to Tinkerbell but its hard to tell. Any suggestions?