Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Monday, February 25, 2013

Secrets Out....

Anyone who knows me knows I am terrible with surprises. I have the hardest time not spilling the beans. Mostly if I am told to keep a secret I just don't talk to the person it involves which usually leads to them thinking I am mad at them which starts a whole other problem. Ha! Ha! So my brother told me he was gonna pop the question to his girlfriend Sarah and let's just say he knew to have her avoid me like the plague. ;) Buuuuuuttttt....secrets out and she said YES!

It's a good thing too other wise the surprise engagement party would have been just awkward. He went to lots of trouble to get all their friends and family there and I'm pretty sure she felt pretty loved.

Of course Ryanne made them a special picture.

If you didn't already know this, both our girls are adopted at birth. Having a woman hand you her baby and trust you with that life creates this bond only the two of you can understand. In that moment you want nothing more than to give her the world for giving you the world in the form of a little bundle of pink. Did I fail to mention that our girls were tiny, beautiful, perfect and did I say beautiful? Morgan's birth mom is a gem. Seriously, she has this love for our family that is unreal. The sweetest spirit too. In the last 12 years since Morgan was born she has since finished college, found her soul mate and had a little baby named Dylan.

We had the privilege of spending the day with them a couple of weeks ago. We have not spent time together since Morgan was 5 and Ryanne was 2. We keep in touch through email, phone calls and photos. I have to admit; when Kari sent me the birth announcement with Dylan's picture I crumbled into a ball of mess. Tears and sobbing and all. It wasn't that I was sad really.....I was happy for her. It just never occurred to me that I would see another baby picture that literally could have been our sweet Morgan. Even looking at the picture above gets me choked up because its all in the eyes and cheeks. It's those darn beautiful Japanese genes I tell ya'. Anyways, the girls fell in love as did Dylan. Morgan said he was a little monster at times and I just laughed. She was a little monster at that age too. It only seems fair. ;) Kari bought all us girls charm bracelets so we can build on them together. Thank you for spending the day with us Kari and Dylan, it is a day that is near and dear to my heart. I love you!

I got up the other morning to this note from Ryanne. I did what any mother who feels like she is less than an inspiration most days would do. I framed it and stuck it on my counter. Today as Ryanne was rolling around on the floor throwing a royal fit for over an hour this note saved her life. If you can't read it, it says;"You inspire me to do stuff mommy. You are great. You inspire me in school and circus and in every way in my life. God blesses you in all ways. I love you mommy. You have love in you mom." I'm pretty sure this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. *Sniff*

Second snow storm in 2 weeks in CA? Yup' oh joy more snow. Ha! I'm not a cold weather lover lets just say. My little one and my dog on the other hand ran out as the sun was coming up to play and run. You will be proud of me, I got dressed and still drove to ZUMBA in the snow. Ugh! It was angry ZUMBA. Oh and while I am whining let me just say February is a rough month for us every single year as far as everyone being sick. Yuck! But don't worry we share, spread it out through the entire family over the entire month. I was the last one who got it this past weekend and it was the first time in a year that something knocked me flat on my back in bed for the ENTIRE weekend. blahhh!!! Also, raise your hand if your a teacher and you have Spring fever!! I'm dying here. I just want to be done with school. I can see the end, I can taste summer, our cruise coming up, warm air, children outside running free. Sighhhh........3 more months. I can do this right?

This fella has been getting brave around our house. He has been hanging out in the tree by my bedroom and on our patio. Isn't he beautiful!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

If for no other reason; you have to have children for moments like these.....Ryanne made this vase for me.........

I woke up to this sweet card from Morgan......I heart my kids! I took them to have their nails painted earlier which was fun. And I am making their requested dinner; enchiladas and brownies! Works for me! ;) Even though we are all celebrating the "day of love" I wanted to make sure and point out that our hearts are genuinely heavy and hurting for the families who lost police officers in this past 8 days. One of the deputy's was from our small town. We are praying and lifting you all up as you go through this very difficult time. In the midst of the chaos and darkness know that God does have a plan and lots of people are lifting you up as you lay your husbands to rest. None of us know the number of days and though it may not feel like it today or even tomorrow; God IS in control and he DOES love you. Blessings

Monday, February 11, 2013


Well it happened yesterday.Our oldest turned 12. sigh..........She had a few friends sleep over the night before and then we all managed to get to church at 8am the next morning.

Poor baby had been sick off and on all week so she was not quite herself.....but she had fun none the less on Sunday when her friends and a few family came over.

Shes at a really fun age to sit back and observe. She is stuck somewhere between being a child and growing into a sweet teenager. She wanted Legos and dresses. She also got her first little pair of black low pumps to wear to a formal dinner we will be going to soon. Legos and pumps. My kind of girl.

It was a fun afternoon filled with cake, pizza, hugs and singing of course.

Happy Birthday To You!!!!

Happy Birthday Too You!!

Make a wish Morgan.....

I guess nobody got the "One, two, three funny face!" Memo. Heeelllooo!

I heart Morgan!

I think I am shrinking....... :(

12 year old people only want their picture taken if it is their idea....

She hearts her daddy though.....

See, her idea. Ha! Morgan, you are the best kid. So funny and animated. Sweet and smart. You have more talent in your little finger than most have in their entire body. God is just waiting for you to discover and open up all those gifts he has given you so you can use them for his glory. We loved you before we even met you. You love life and your family and friends. You have questions about God and bible that are to big for me. You desire obedience and yet you have just enough spunk in you to think for yourself and be your own girl. I pray for your heart, your health, your ministry and your future spouse daily in my quiet time. Be blessed my big kid. Happy Birthday!

Friday, February 8, 2013

16 Years and Counting......

In honor of our day. (Yes 16 years that man has survived being married to me. Ha!) I have compiled a list of 16 things I have learned about marriage. Happy anniversary honey!!!!! I know being married to me has been an adventure, thank you for your commitment!

1. Never go to bed angry. Ok the bible says dont let the sun set on your anger. Quick fix? Keep your spouse up all night talking about your feelings, they love that. Ha!

2. God IS GOOD ALL OF THE TIME! Us? Not so much.

3. Touch often. Like often, often. It drives Dan nuts that I sit right on top of him when he's watching TV or reading. But secretly I think he likes it. Wink. Wink.

4. Let the little stuff go. And I mean go. Don't say you let it go when in reality you are seething under your breath. LET IT GO.  In the big picture it's ridiculous.

5. DO NOT think your spouse can be your everything. No Jerry McGuire she doesn't complete you. Allow God to do that. Your spouse is flawed and WILL let you down. It's OK cause God is the one we should look too. I made Dans life miserable the first few years of our marriage by putting the expectation on him that he couldn't fail. Not a good idea.

6. Laugh. Laugh at everything. This might sound sick to you but we have even found a way to make fun of my RA. It's made me take it less to heart like a life sentence and it keeps it all in perspective.

7. Sex gets better the longer you are married. It's a fact. It's because as we get older we are less self conscious. Lets be real, by this point in our lives we all have a wrinkle or two, a few gray hairs, a love handle somewhere and dimples on our butts.....just sayin'.

8. Let peace reign in your home.

9. When you get married your spouse is part of your ministry. If you neglect it, it will fail just like any ministry.

10. Time away is essential to your sanity. Date nights are good but over nighters are important too. No kids, no distractions. Just investing in your spouse.

11. Build your husband up. They might act big and strong but they will crumble like nothing else if they don't feel valued, important. They need to know we need them and want them.

12. Be joyful in all things. The first 2 years of our marriage, I lost a dear girlfriend suddenly. We lost twins through adoption, handed back a daughter to her birth parents after they changed their minds and miscarried twice. Sometimes you have to dig really deep to find joy in a marriage, especially if your spouse has hurt you. But dig till you find it.

13. Be rebellious. That's right be rebellious against the world and have an on fire marriage. Most marriages are Luke warm at best. Be a warrior who fights to have an intact family. Go against the flow and STAY married. If you don't fight for your marriage nobody else will.

14. Be in the word daily and be prepared to be a help mate when your spouse struggles. Being able to say,"Oh, I have been praying about that for you!" Is priceless.

15. Kiss in front of your Kids. Dance in front of your kids. Cuddle on the couch watching football in front of your kids. Then when they grow up they will seek that kind of affectionate spouse.

16. Believe that God put the verse in 1Corinthians about not depriving your spouse for long because he knew and understood how important intimacy was for a marriage. Don't let time go by where you are not being intimate because of the ruts of life. It becomes a habit and then people hurt. Sex is important to marriage. It's a binding factor. If you are apart for great lengths "just because" then other sin will creep in.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Forest Through The Trees........

You know that saying,"You can't see the forest through the trees?" I always struggled with that, I mean what? But this past week I think God cleared it all up for me. For the past couple of months Dan and I have been really struggling with where he would have us. We were wondering if we were anxiety filled, restless or if God was tugging our hearts in preparation for something else. I have had a heart for missions since I was 14. I married a man who always said there was NO WAY he could ever see himself on the mission field. Then more recently Dan said maybe someday he could see God relocating us and using us in that regard. Let me stop and emphasize how much I believe with all my heart that my home and kids are the mission field. They are our ministry before anything else. That's why after much prayer and guidance from the Lord we decided to live on one income when our girls were born. But lately we have been asking God why? Why do you have Dan helping lead a fire department that is in a city that by all accounts is failing. Corrupt would be sugar coating it really. The stress. The tension. The feeling of defeat among the guys is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Is this really where you want my husband God? I shared that we were able to go up to San Francisco this past weekend and at first I told Dan,"I could see us up here." I can see our family anywhere God wants us really. "God could you just physically write it on the wall? Make it clear where you would have us?" Then we got home. Home to our house set apart from the chaos. Set apart from the rows of street lights and constant noise. And then I heard it. The frogs. Not one frog but an entire chorus of frogs. Singing and making as much ruckus as they could. I stepped out on the back patio and just stood there. Stood there listening to the beauty that you can't hear when you live in the city. Stood there being grateful for what we have right here in the now. Thankful that in the chaos and stress of what we call Dan's career God reminded me to stop and hear the frogs through the city. That's my new saying; Stop and hear the frogs through the city. Catchy right? Ha!                               

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy February!

Happy February! It seriously crept up on me. I keep looking over my shoulder for January but alas it is over and so we press on into a VERY busy month. Birthdays run rapid in our families in February. On top of our normal busy schedules we have a couple quick day trips along with a party for an announcement I can't tell you about yet because it's for someone who swore me to secrecy. Ha! I love being mysterious. ;) On to the less absent minded ramble.......Dan snapped this fella hanging out at the bottom of the hill in the rain. Isn't he beautiful!!

The girls and their friends are hard at work clearing the area for their club house and making plans for the building project this Spring. I made these cookies and cupcakes for them and they walked around to all of our neighbors selling them. They made $20. I mean how could you tell those sweet kids no? Especially for money for a club house. ;)
This has got to be the most pitiful face ever..........

Thanks to my mom watching the girls and the horse dog, Dan and I were able to sneak up to the bay area for a few days.

This coming week Dan and I will celebrate our 16 year wedding anniversary. Yay for us! :) The San Benito House is a little bed and breakfast above a saloon in Half Moon Bay where Dan and I spent our first wedding anniversary. It's a historical building with claw foot tubs, four poster beds and no T.V.'s etc. in the rooms. We drove over to take pictures and walk around the town. Just remembering how young and naive we were 16 years ago was funny.

This is the original jail in half moon bay......

This is the house I told Dan he could buy me.....$2 million....pocket change really. ;)

We stumbled into a used book store and then over to a coffee house to warm up....

Beautiful old church.......

Before heading home we hiked around the hills near the Golden Gate Bridge....It was a bit hazy that day buy seriously is there ever a bad day to photograph the bridge? Nope!

It was cold and windy but the sun was out so these guys took full advantage of catching some rays....

I could have sat here all day watching people sail the bay.....

It's fun to see how the coast changes when you go farther up north....
We hiked up to the top of these old military bunkers to get a view of the other side of the bay. Stunning really.

And of course I had to snap a picture of the ballet for Morgan. :)