Saturday, October 25, 2014

What's the point?

What defines a person? A life? Is it the money you make? The car you drive? How involved you are in your community? How well behaved your children are? Your ability to adapt to the current trends and styles? The list goes on and on.

Life is interesting. We live in a time of instant gratification. I can find out breaking news, what is trending on twitter, and that famous grandma's secret recipe with push of a few buttons. If I want to know something, I can search google and get all my answers. Or can I? What is the meaning of life? When I searched that in google, there were over 388,000,000 responses. Hundreds of millions, claiming to have the answer to that question that has haunted human minds back to the beginning of our existence. 

Sometimes I wonder, "what is the point?" I struggle at times with worrying about what others think of me. Is my house clean enough? {it's for sure NOT} Are my kids viewed as well-behaved? {sometimes: yes, sometimes: no} How do I get to where I want to be? It seems that life is constantly throwing new curve balls, and unexpected things my way. Not all necessarily bad things; life is just not what I expected.

We moved a year and a half ago. Away from everything familiar. Away from my childhood stomping grounds. Away from places that held memories of when my husband and I dated. Away from huge historical landmarks of the first years of our children's lives...and for what? For the first couple of years we threw the idea around of moving, I didn't like it one bit. Why did we have to leave such a wonderful place?

I love where we lived before. It is known for being one of the best places to raise kids in California, and even in the nation. I had lived there since I was less than 2 years old. But as I am now away from it all, I realize what a chaotic lifestyle we had there. It seems that many people have that type of lifestyle there, and everywhere else in society nowadays. Many other mom's take their kids to school, go to work, go back and pick their kids up from child care, drive through Mac Donald's for dinner, rush them to his/her ballet or football practice, help with his/her homework, and get him/her in bed. Then, you wake up, repeat...except Wednesday nights are AWANA or gymnastics...or you may actually have a night or two per week to eat at home as a family. Except daddy. He's still at work. He usually gets home around 7 or 7:30, just in time to say his good nights to his little loves. Lord bless them for working so hard so we can have such a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, and not deprive our kids of the awesome things like sports and fancy vacations. We're living the American Dream at it's finest. 

Moving "away from it all" has caused some changes for us. We're homeschooling. If you would have told me that a year ago, I would have laughed. Literally. It was totally off my radar. My husband's desire for it threw me for a loop. Are we going to be one of those families? I was counting on JJ going to school and having him "out of my hair". Then I could volunteer in my daughter's class as often as I wanted, and be the room mom. And I was going to actually have a clean house. And maybe work out. Yes. Definitely need to do that. There was so much I had planned for this "down time". The Lord quickly changed my heart. When the time came for JJ to start school, I couldn't imagine it any other way. To be honest, I didn't like the idea of only having him from 3ish to 7:30 {bedtime}. I had mixed reviews from family and friends about the possibility of us homeschooling. People would say, "Have your really thought it through? Are you sure you really want to do that?" Or flat out, "I don't think that is a good idea." I had to develop a bit of a thicker skin.

I'm finally the primary care giver of my kids and, I frankly didn't want to give it up so easily. Don't get me wrong...there are definitely moments I wish I could have some down time without the kids, but they are usually for totally selfish motives. So I could have a break. So I could treat myself to coffee. So I could get my body back in shape. Imagine all the things I can do, once the kids are both in school! It would feel like Christmas everyday!

This idea of homeschooling that was laid on my husband heart so abruptly...I didn't like it. It would ruin all my plans. And I'm so glad it did! I am so blessed to have a husband that isn't afraid to make the hard decisions that I may not like at first. I am blessed to have a husband that doesn't care what family or friends think. I'm blessed to have a husband that will gently help me see that it was our Great Creator that laid this on his heart. For me to teach our kids. Yes, I have a lot of experience and education in the field of Early Childhood Education, but does he know who I am? I'm not a qualified teacher. Nope. I'm not. I'm a mom devoted to teaching our kids about life: math, science, language arts, history, phonics, music, gardening, housekeeping, cooking, baking, how to take care of our pets, and what do to when the toilet overflows. I want to teach them well, and teach them more than they would learn in traditional school.

Let me interject here, and say that I am totally okay with public schooling. I worked in a wonderful school district for nearly 13 years. There are so many great teachers and programs out there! For us, it wasn't about the school district not meeting our standards. We actually have a wonderful school district that we're been so happy with, as our kids have attended the state preschool program. Home schooling is not for everyone. For us, it was about them being with me everyday.

One of the ways I really want to enrich them is spiritually. It has been really heavy on my heart. Taking them to AWANA once a week and church on Sundays are all good places to start. But, frankly, it isn't the church's responsibility to grow our kids spiritually. If we as parents aren't helping them grow spiritually, who will? We are blessed.  Both of our kids professed to be sinners, and asked Jesus to wash their sins away by the power of the blood he shed on the cross for them. Now, it's my job to help them learn about the Bible. It's pretty much what it's all about. When we have a discipline issue, we ask questions like, "What does the Bible say about this?" or "How does God say we should act in this situation?" I feel blessed that they both profess the Lord, because parenting totally comes back to building them spiritually. 

Any of you that know us well know that our kids are about as energetic as they come. And they're like that pretty much all day long. I have recently been so worried and consumed with what others think about our kids. There have been comments made, or just weird looks. It's been a bit hard for me to have a thick skin when it comes to my kids. I realized something recently. I worked with kids for over 13 years. Everyday. Preschool through sixth grade. And also served on Jr. High and High School staff. I've seen a lot. I realize that I have the ability to look at any child and see some good in them. I had some pretty interesting kids with different needs and abilities, but I have an ability to see more than what meets the eye in them. This may not be the norm.

I realized in my own heart, that I was afraid that people would look at our kids and  only see our kids as really energetic...That's a nice way of saying hyper, crazy, wild, or misbehaved. I was afraid that they would miss all of the absolutely amazing things about them. Like how my daughter is so comforting to people hurting or in need. She also has a love for people and animals; such gentleness about her. Like how my son is always thinking of others-especially his sister.  He is a very thoughtful boy. They are both really smart, and love to create. I have made it a goal to help bring out the best in them, and help them learn to correct and adapt the parts of them that need to be changed, as they grow and mature.

With my background, I have the curse {or blessing} of thinking about what is developmentally appropriate for kids. Many times, we adults think kids should be able to do certain things when frankly it is totally developmentally inappropriate for them. A good rule of thumb is one minute per year. If a child is 4, he/she shouldn't be expected to sit still and quiet for more than 4 minutes. For a 5 year old, five minutes. Some kids can sit for 45 minutes quietly...I see kids at our church do it every week. Not my kids. Not yet at least. Does that mean they're bad kids? Or misbehaved? Nope. It means they're 4 and 5 years old. I am always trying to think about activities I can do to help my kids grow and mature in their self-control. I just want people to stop and think...If you were asked to stand in a line quietly {with all your friends} and not talk or move, could you do it? I could. For about a minute...but then I'd be talking to people behind or in front of me. So why are we expecting kids to be able to do it?

Please make sure you don't misread my heart or thoughts. Kids need to be disciplined, and need to learn self control. I am just saying that there is a lot to be said about actually taking the time to learn about kids...before you jump to judging others ability to parent. I am no expert. I am just someone who understands that every child is different and develops at his own rate. We should be showing grace to one another; not judging one another. We should all be in this together, helping and encouraging one another. If you see a mom struggling, tell her she's doing a good job. Tell her you see her efforts. These things take time.

My kids' energy is a challenge. Mainly, because I rarely have energy of my own. Oh, how I wish I could bottle up some of theirs and take a shot each morning! One of the things I am so thankful for is the fact that I will be with them during the day. If anyone is going to get annoyed or frustrated with their crazy amount of energy, I am so glad it's me...because I love them! And, I can give them extra breaks, or extra P.E. time. I can learn how they learn the best. After doing this for only a couple of months, I can very confidently say it is probably the hardest job I've ever had. Being a home school mom. It's tough. There are no breaks. It would be so much easier to just drop them off to school and be done with it. But, I feel honored to have this opportunity. This is my job now. It is "the point" of life for me at the moment. Raising them to the best of my ability; helping them learn about what life is truly all about.

 I am so richly blessed that my kids are my daily work.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Unfamiliar Waters


Life as we know it is changing. I am currently surrounded with boxes as I sit in a dimmly lit living room. We just took the plunge and relocated...moved nearly two hours away from most things familiar. "Why?" you may be asking yourself...simple. Because I am a WIFE first and a MOM second. Since I have been in love, I have wanted to get married. We knew we wanted kids pretty quickly...and my dream was to be a mommy. God kept us trusting Him as we lost our first baby. But, Jackson came quickly thereafter. And, I went back to work full time when Jackson was only 10 weeks old. It was absolutely horrible, to put it simply.

Through prayer and Brice working his hinny off, I was able to step down and work part time when we had Jaelyn. I was so grateful for amazing people God happened to drop into my life. A God-send named Laura and my Mom helped care for my babies while I worked every afternoon. They would nap in the afternoon, so I didn't feel like I was missing very much of their lives...I was thankful.

But, I had a position and schedule change which reqired me to be at work at 6:45, rush to pick up Jackson from school, rush to pick up Jaelyn from the various person she was with that day, and get home to get Jaelyn down for a nap. Most days the kids napped, I did too. By the time we woke up, it was time to make dinner, get baths, and get the kids in bed. So, I only had a couple of hours with them. Although my family is my number one priority, they were coming last in my daily schedule. This was not cool. How could this be honoring to the Lord? I tried to leave it to the Lord, but I was really struggling; feeling like a failure at everything. Being a good, loving, exciting wife. Being a fun-loving, solid, consistent caregiver for my kids. Fail. I would cry out to the Lord, and put it all in his hands again.

After a while, we heard from a friend who was looking to hire someone at Select Staffing. Brice worked so many different jobs; 2-3 at once...should he even apply? He was happy where he was and really enjoyed his job. Well, we figured it doesn't hurt to get more information.

I helped be Brice's "secretary" as we filled out the online application...we entered the work history, resume, blah, blah, blah. It wanted us to select the branch location...scroll down...V...Valencia...Victorville....oh, Valencia, *click. Right then and there I thought, "hmmmmmmmmmmm. I wonder what God may have in store here?" We have previously considered relocating to Victorville, but always ended up against the idea. Well...I was against the idea. First, it's the desert. No beach. No paseos. Not even sidewalks.'s far away from the town I grew up in, and it's a hop, skip, and leap away from the church I call home...filled with people that love better than any other group of people I've ever been a part of.  AND, my family. I canNOT leave them. So, no...this isn't going to happen.

Or so I thought. I came to the realization over time that us trying to stay in Santa Clarita and me staying home with the kids was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It was never going to fit. TRY I did to make it. It just won't ever least not in the near future. So, now what?!? Well, what comes first? My family? My church? A "wonderful place to raise kids"? My comfort? Paseos? Being like everyone else? NOPE. Me being able to focus on God's role for me as a wife and mother must come first...even before myself.

So, after months of searching, God was really working on my heart. Brice already knew this was the best decision if God opened the door...So, he asked his current boss about the idea of relocating to the Victorville office. Through months of training, and him knowing our ultimate dream for me to stay home, he allowed the transfer. We are SOOOOO grateful for Brice's opportunity to work for a great company, and a very supportive Christ following supervisor! we are!
Here is a picture of my babies the first time they saw our house. I think their faces say it all! This is going to be a huge transition, but BRING IT ON! I am so excited to see what God has in store. I will not be a great stay at home mom at first...It's going to take time for me to learn and master routines, schedules, and all that comes with raising children. It is going to be WORK. The hardest work ever, and SOOOO worth it. It won't be all butterflies and roses...I know there will even be some thorns along the way, but all in all, I am beyond ecstatic to be the primary caregiver for my children. They are both such gifts from God, and have their own personalities, interests, and loves. More than anything, I want to be a consistent reflection of Christ's love. I want to be patient. I want to be SiLlY. I want to be what they need. Lord, supply me to pour into their lives. Give me what I need in the moment: strength, patience, a laugh. Make me the best MOM and WIFE I can be to honor YOU. Amen!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blog Resurrection

Hello Friends!

I am attempting to blog again. One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is to journal. I have a "marriage journal" that started when Brice and I got engaged, and a "baby journal" that started shortly after I had Jackson.

I figured a good resurrection would be to add some recent journal entries. Beware: If you choose to read my blog, you will really be inside my head. When I journal, I just let the words's going to get personal...


Dear Babies,

You two are sleeping so soundly in your beds...Dada is at work, and I wanted to take some time to "be still," which is sometimes hard to do; especially at this time of the year!

Jackson, this year--I see that you are starting to get interested in CHRISTMAS. You have been excited to hear Jingle Bells and Christmas songs. I think you're more into presents too. You haven't gone overboard...yet. I hope that Dada and I teach you to be excited about giving gifts...more so than receiving gifts.

Jaelyn--you don't really have a clue about gifts...I think you will be more excited to rip the paper and bows than to actually open gifts and realize you are going to keep it!

It has honestly been pretty easy this year. We haven't bought a lot since we are low on $...which has made it a whole less busy. Luckily, you are young, so you probably won't really notice. I am excited to be able to enjoy what it is really about. I hope we can talk about Jesus' gift to us; coming to earth to be our Savior. And of course, I want us to enjoy each other.

Tomorrow, we are going to be with Auntie, Coley, G-Pop, and Nana Chris! I hope Dada can get some/all of work off.

Love you, Mama


Merry CHRISTmas! Today, we were at G-Pop and Nana Chris' house. We opened presents and had lots of fun. My favorite part was taking a nap all together in Nan's room. Jackson-you are so matter how BIG the bed is, you always squeeze in right next to me. I love it!

I enjoyed watching you open presents. Jackson-you enjoyed opening gifts. Jaelyn-you liked playing with the bows. You had a "Mackeen" car you were playing with--you were content the whole time we opened gifts with that.

My other favorite part was going to church as a family. Poor Dada had to work all day today. :( I hope he doesn't work in retail next year...we will see about that!

My other-other favorite thing was getting to just be a family. We were invited to a friend's house for a nice dinner, and I am actually glad we didn't go. I know we would have enjoyed if we did, but, to just be was perfect. We just picked up a pizza on the way home from church, and sat around the table.

I prayed over dinner, because Dada was changing his clothes...I said a pretty quick one, since it was late for you guys to be eating. We started digging into our pizza, and were suddenly interrupted. "WAIT, WAIT!" you said (Jackson). You put down your pizza, folded your hands and said, "And thank you also for the cross, and please help Nana Barbie feel better. Amen." It was so thoughtful for you to pray that way. I usually say, "And thank you for dying on the cross to save us," at the end of each prayer, and I didn't this time. It was so thoughtful, I was almost in tears.

Then after dinner we showed Dada all our presents, and all 4 of us played on the floor. We were all laughing and being silly. OH MY...I LOVE you guys SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much. Jackson, you have been initiating hugging and kissing more, and Jaelyn, you have just started kissing. You two make me melt!

Merry Christmas, Babies!

Love, Mama

P.S. I can't wait to open stockings and presents as a family tomorrow.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

JJ's 1st Birthday

It has been many moons since I have written...and time has flown by oh so quickly! Jackson's first birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and it was so much fun...Here's a couple of recent pictures: One of him in the bath, one playing on a car at church, and the rest are from JJ's real Bday. Brice, JJ, Grandma, and I went to Longhorn's BBQ in Castaic, and it was yummy!

It is so hard to believe that he's already a year old. It really goes by so fast! We are so blessed to have such an amazing son. Brice and I keep talking about how he seems to be getting more and more fun! He is growing such a good sense of humor. He thinks everything is so funny. I just love the sound of his voice! He is so precious. And now, thinking of him being a big brother. He is going to be such a good one for his little sister! We are enjoying him so much, and want to soak him all up. Blessings until next time...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Here are some pre-Halloween pictures. We took JJ's first trip to Lombardi's Ranch. He had lots of fun. As we sat him by the pumpkins, he loved to touch them, and also he loved playing with the hay. He even went on the very top of the huge stack of hay (with Da-da's help, of course). For those of you that don't live out here, they have a little train, petting zoo, animals, and even a "scarecrow alley".

I love this picture of JJ with mama, and JJ and daddy. Unfortunately, we weren't able to take a family picture all together. Next year we will for sure. I can't believe we are starting to celebrate the holidays for the first time as a family. It is so cool to be a mama! I can't wait until my favorite holidays: Christmas and Thanksgiving. We had lots of fun on his first trip to a pumpkin patch!

Here are some pictures taken on Halloween. He started the day in his "I love my Mummy" shirt. He's was so cute in the shirt. Then, it was off to church for the "Harvest Hang Time."

We only stayed for a little while to make an appearance and take some family pictures. When JJ gets older, he will enjoy the Harvest Hangtime more, when he can play in the bounce houses, play the games, and get candy. :)

Our cute little dinosaur was quite the hit! He's about the cutest thing Brice and I have ever seen. I can't imagine having another baby...I'll be too worried that he/she will never match up to how amazing JJ is. He is such a good baby, and starting to be even more fun as the days go on. He now interacts so much, and brings so much joy to our hearts.
Thank you Lord for such a huge blessing. Just last night, Brice went into kiss JJ after he was asleep. He took a while, so I went in his room to discover Brice crying tears of joy. He and I both are so overwhelmed sometimes by the joys of parenthood. We couldn't ask for more.
I will write more soon to give some more updates of events that passed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Pray, pray, pray!

Brice takes the written test for the LA County Fire Department next Wednesday...Pray that God will help him think clearly, and do his best, and of course, pass!

I'm praying, and believing God has great things in mind for us.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Our Sweet Chickadee

~Our little chickadee is so precious! Here are a couple of adorable pics of JJ right after bath time. He loves baths, and that happens to also be one of mama's favorite part of playing with little Jackson.
~It has been quite a while since I've posted...our sweet boy is already over 4 months old!

How time flies! Right now, we are hopeful that I may be able to stay home in the future and not have to work full time anymore. Brice got a letter from Los Angeles County Fire Department last week, inviting him to take the written test on September 30th.

We have been praying for about a year that God would direct Brice to the career path he should be on, and the Lord has seemed to be quiet for a while. We know He is still there, but we (especially me) have been really struggling with me having to work full time. I have really been about at my whit's end and really trying to lean on faith that God knows my heart and my strong desire to be at home with this amazing, sweet blessing from above.

Then, out of the blue, God opened this door. From what we here from other firefighters, getting a letter from LAFD is almost the same as winning the lottery. It doesn't seem to matter what background you have, what education you have, or who you know; it's really luck. We know luck had nothing to do with it. Grace has everything to do with it. So, we now have a glimpse of hope as this could be in our grasp. We are moving forward, believing God will work it out. Brice also takes the CPAT test next week, which he's already passed once. Brice feels very confident that he'll pass with no problems.

So, I will try to post more often, especially adding more pictures of our sweet boy. Jackson is just amazing. He ate a full serving of rice cereal for the first time tonight. He didn't really love the idea of eating slowly from a spoon; he'd rather just drink out of the bottle. But, he did really well! He is rolling over both ways now, and still learning to laugh. He doesn't really belly laugh yet but I can tell that he wants to laugh. I love to tickle him and kiss him!

Until I write again...

Our Hope and Peace...

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. " Philippians 1:6