Friday, July 31, 2009

Another Inverview

Well, this afternoon, I had another interview... And they offered me the job. It isn't a very good job, but I've been praying about it. And I've decided that my job is to do the very best of my ability on any job that I'm given. I told the manager that I would let him know by tomorrow afternoon because I'm still really praying for the other job at the domestic violence shelter. That is where my heart is. Of course, in my anxiety, I keep re-playing the interview in my head and thinking of answers that would've been better than the ones I gave... I wish I had been more serious on one question - about my abilities and familiarities with the computer - and I wish I had been more coherent on a couple of other questions... I should've taken my time and thought my answer through before I answered... Well, I guess if they don't give me the job, I'll use this as a learning experience. Anyway, I've been praying about it and I'm going to be thankful to have a job and I'm going to give it my all - whether its my ideal job, or fast food - do all work as if unto the Lord. So, Lord, when do I start?!? :)

The Job Hunt

Well... I'm looking. And I'm trying not to get discouraged. Although I must say that yesterday was hard. I had one interview Wednesday and two Thursday along with class Thursday night. And one of the interviews yesterday was for the job that I really want. Its being a family advocate at a local DV shelter. So, I'm really praying that I get this job... And I'm feeling the pressure of needing to get a job soon... It is weird having this pressure but its giving me a good understanding of a little of what Lowell experiences because he's in charge of providing for the family. I know that I'll be good at this family advocate job. I'm built for exactly this kind of position - I just hope that I portrayed that in my interview... We shall see... They said that I'll know Monday at the latest so I'll let you know. Until then, if you could be praying for me, I'd really appreciate it!! :) Thanks for the support!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Borrowed Energy

If you are a mother, you most likely use the shower like I do - as a chance to escape. No energy, I've learned, is ever created however, it can only be borrowed... So, when you get ready to unlock and open that bathroom door, if your house is anything like mine, you better be prepared to quickly make up for the break you just had!
Today, for example, as the steam cleared, I saw that a line had formed in front of the door. First, Jillie wanted to tell me that she loves me and that she's hungry. She was very concerned that I may have forgotten these important facts during the 15 minutes spent in my watery haven. It is quite common to have this conversation with Jillie:
"Yes Dear?"
"Um....... I love you."
"I love you too, Honey"
"Yeah Babe?"
"Um... I'm hungry."
"I know, Honey. You're always hungry."
"Hee hee... I know. (she smiles)"
Next, Nathan wanted to know if he could use green puff paint to turn his face into a camoflague mask. One stern look later, he retreated to his room. The Jillie jumped in again to inform me that she was 'soaking hot'. She didn't have any request, she just wanted me to know. As I tried to enter my closet and get into something other than a towel, Chloe shared with me that she was getting married. She put on a special dress and even a necklace that the prince gave her because when he sees her wearing it, he'll know that she loves him. She wanted my fake flowers to use walking down the aisle. Sure Dear, just don't use the vase. At this point, Nathan yells and Jillie comes running back in to tell me that she's getting married too but apparently her groom doesn't like to be kissed. Nathan swiftly follows complaining that "Jillie tried to kiss me! And I'm not big enough to kiss girls!" Now that I finally have underwear on, I come out of my closet and try to explain to Nathan that kissing your sisters doesn't fall into the normal girl kissing rules and that he should be glad that his sister loves him. Yeah, that goes over like a lead balloon. Finally all the children leave and I try to remember whether or not I put deodorant on yet... In steps my husband. Finally someone who won't want something from me... Then I notice that he doesn't look happy... It seems, that after living on the lam for 3 weeks, our cat has become very adept at catching lizards... And he wanted to share his new talent with us. Lowell is not amused and informs me that it is my job to retrieve said lizard that is now running around our kitchen.
Fully dressed, I'm off to catch a lizard, attend a wedding and get food for my ever-starving preschooler...
The 15 minutes of peace and quiet spent in the shower was worth it, though, right?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Answered Prayer

Very funny, Lord. :) We have been struggling all along to get our unemployment checks. Sometimes they come three weeks apart, sometimes 2.. And sometimes not at all. The last one we received was 8 days ago. Last night, we got another one. Right around the time I was trying to get creative on what I could make for dinner out of mustard, pinto beans and jello. And immediately I heard the voice.. "See. Just trust Me." I laughed. And I smiled. And I praised our Father who knows what tomorrow holds and holds each of us in His precious hands... So, my doubt and worry were quelched and I'm praying that next time I begin to stress, I'll remember today and remember that my God is big enough to move mountains and close enough to hear my prayers. And praise Him for it instead of worrying. :) I hope He has been just as evident in your life and that, whether this is a mountaintop time or a desert time, you remember that He is always faithful and able to all things... and He has quite a sense of humor. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yes, Lord

I went on a bike ride tonight to release some stress and to have some time to worship and to come before the Lord... It wasn't very long until He answered me. "How is it that you can be praising Me and how evident I've been in your life, meeting your needs and blessing you one minute, and then immediately turn around at the first mention of trouble and doubt that I can meet one of your basic needs?" Yes, Lord. I understand. So, I will stand on your promise that whatever I ask in Your name, You will do. You will meet our needs; I have faith and I have no reason to worry. Yes, Lord.

Playing with Daddy

Most mornings Lowell and Nathan go for a bike ride. They have been gradually increasing the distance they travel and are now going between 6 and 7 miles a day. Nathan got a new bike from Susanna, the lady I worked for, and is now much better at keeping up. This new bike is much lighter and has hand brakes instead of pedal brakes.
Today they were on their way home from old town Buckeye when they came to the railroad tracks and noticed that there was a train waiting. Nathan was really excited and so they detoured to follow the tracks. After a few hundred yards, the train still hadn't moved. They decided to give it just a few more minutes and just then, the engine fired up. The train took off and so they turned around and followed it. The engineer blew the whistle for them and Nathan loved it!! Following the train led them to a place where the tracks cross the road and there are a couple of small hills. (Lowell calls them whoop-de-doos.) Last night we had a monsoon, and so there were puddles everywhere. Nathan, in the lead, decided that he wanted to ride through a puddle that had formed in one of these dips in the road. What he didn't realize was that the standing water was about 2 feet deep and his little legs weren't strong enough to power his bike completely across it. So after teetering in the middle of the puddle, he lost his balance and fell. Completely covered in mud he stood up and ran out of the water. Lowell, struggling to keep his own balance between fits of laughter, said "You better go get your bike - I'm not going in there!" :)
This story also contains a "My Husband Rocks" moment... About 45 minutes after they left, I got a call from my wonderful husband. He said that they had heard a bunch of sirens and he wanted to call and let me know that they weren't involved. He didn't want me to worry. Isn't that just the sweetest thing!??!?! He also always calls when they reach the halfway point and start home so that I know when to expect them and don't get worried. I love that he is home and getting to spend so much time with the kids! I don't know a lot of people who would consider unemployment a blessing, but at least in this respect, I certainly do.
One thing that Daddy has spent quite a bit of time doing lately is teaching the kids how to use the computer. They have been mainly playing free trial games that Lowell finds but they have also been doing a little letter writing and learning where the keys are. It amazes me that my 4 year old is using my computer sucessfully and actually winning some of these games! She was thrilled too as you can see! :) Lowell is very patient with them and it is great that he can share something that he enjoys with his kids. He's such a good daddy. I feel blessed everyday! When I struggle with feeling like a 'bad mom' it is almost always because I'm too serious. I don't take the play opportunities that I should. I don't like to play Barbie and I don't like to sit and build train sets... I'll do puzzles, coloring and reading... But the actual imaginative play thing... I just don't do it. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea that its a good way to spend my time. In these moments, in steps Lowell. I am soooo grateful that God gave me a husband who plays! He will play Dora, he'll build airplanes and fly them all over the house, he'll build forts and then tear them to pieces, he's paints fingernails and yes, he even, occasionally, plays Barbie. I remind myself, in the moments that I am feeling discouraged about my play-ability, that God made us a team. Lowell and I are the parents of these children. I'm not in this alone and because we work together, the kids get exactly what they need - serious sometimes and playful others. It seems silly and obvious but don't things work out so much better when we do them the way God intended?!!? :)
There are some new leads with the job market... I think we've decided for sure that the best option right now is for me to work and for Lowell to stay home with the kids. That would mean that I will "work and do school" and he'll do "everything else". I use quotes here because those are his exact words. We'll see how that works. :) The major pitfall I see in his thinking is that I may be judgemental about the job that he's doing and might be too critical of him. I hope this is not the case, and I've forewarned him. More importantly however, I've begun praying that my heart will be soft and sensitive to our new circumstances and will find joy in it instead of fault. Besides, it'll be nice to not have to do the dishes for awhile! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009


There are days where my emotional stamina is very low. I just don't seem to have the where-with-all to keep going. I was walking down the aisles in Walmart tonight trying not to cry. Lowell was playing with me and I was ready to either start punching him - really punching, with the intent to hurt - or burst into tears. Why do certain days end like today? I'm not sure... There wasn't anything that went really wrong today. I got a couple more "thanks but no thanks" emails from prospective jobs... But it wasn't anything that I can't handle. Nevertheless, I feel sad. I feel... like quicksand. Sinking. Slowly but surely sinking... I'm just discouraged and losing sight of the fact that God is in control.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Raining Blessings

I'm sure you've all heard the suggestion that people should take 10000 steps a day. I got a pedometer awhile ago, before we moved and I've started using it lately to see just how much exercise I'm not getting. I know that, with it being so hot, we've been indoors a lot and that means that I don't get a lot of walking... So, research has shown that I've been getting around 1/3 of the daily recommended steps. No wonder I haven't been losing weight. So today I took a bike ride with Nathan and I have 3000 steps already. It's only 11:30. :) I'm getting better! :) This week we went to the library. Nathan got some more Magic Treehouse books including one on the Civil War. He's been asking a lot of questions about the formation of our country so we've been looking for books that cover early America. Chloe picked books on dogs and Jillie just likes to play with the toys they have in the children's section. She likes to be read to, it doesn't matter what its about.
I have to share a blessing... Most of you know that before we moved, I worked with a lady who was post-polio. I took care of her house, took her on errands, helped with caring for her pets and basically did whatever she needed to be done... Most of my job, however, was to be emotional support. It wasn't always an easy job.. She was suffering from depression and was using a lot of alcohol. She was very lonely and isolated... But we worked together. And by the time I left, she was doing pretty well. After I left however, things started piling up and she got discouraged. And so she started letting things slide and ended up severely depressed... Then Lowell made his trip to Cali and stopped by. He took care of some minor problems she was having in the house and just visited a little. And I kept calling her. Waking her up and encouraging her long distance. And God worked on her...This past Sunday, she went to church. Got out of the house and got to church, by herself! She's been taking care of her house, cleaning up and getting things back together. She's been doing errands and taking her gradson to doctor's appointments. She gotten involved with a new senior center that is opening up where she lives... I could go on and on but I'm just so proud of her! And so thankful!!!! God is soooo good! And I'm so humbled and blessed that He used me to help bless her!!! :) :) :) Yeah!
Today we took the kids to Walmart. This summer they've been earning chore money and they've accumulated quite a sum. They've been great for the past couple of days and so we told them that they could use their money to get whatever they wanted. Chloe and Jillian got summer dresses and new flip-flops. Nathan got a new Spiderman web shooter, a truck and a car that drives. He was excited and the girls put on a fashion show... Such wonderful kids... Oh! Another blessing really fast - I got an email from a job to see if I wanted to schedule an interview... So... We'll see... :) So many blessings.... Let if rain, Lord!!!

Little Pictures of Life

I'm sure you've all heard the suggestion that people should take 10000 steps a day. I got a pedometer awhile ago, before we moved and I've started using it lately to see just how much exercise I'm not getting. I know that, with it being so hot, we've been indoors a lot and that means that I don't get a lot of walking... So, research has shown that I've been getting around 1/3 of the daily recommended steps. No wonder I haven't been losing weight. So today I took a bike ride with Nathan and I have 3000 steps already. It's only 11:30. :) I'm getting better! :) This week we went to the library. Nathan got some more Magic Treehouse books including one on the Civil War. He's been asking a lot of questions about the formation of our country so we've been looking for books that cover early America. Chloe picked books on dogs and Jillie just likes to play with the toys they have in the children's section. She likes to be read to, it doesn't matter what its about. Unfortunately, I still have homework for today so I've got to get busy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lessons and Meditations

I'd like to put a bubble around my boy. I think he is so precious... And so vulnerable. Up to this point in his life, he's grown up in a very sheltered environment. Now, living here, his potential for being corupted has skyrocketed. Already he has learned some new words. First came 'crap', which, admittedly, he may have gotten from me. Then came the day I heard "friggin'". Trouble sat on him hard that day. Some lessons have been difficult. For example, he's been learning to take responsibility for his choices. For example, when Jillian continuously begs him to give her a turn with whatever he is playing with, and he finally gets so frustrated that he just gives it to her. And then he whines and cries. I've been working to teach him that giving it to her was his choice. Even though she was driving him nuts, it was ultimately his choice. We've been working hard on personal boundaries all around. Nathan and I have also been working together at leaving responsibility where it belongs. We've been talking about how it is our job to do the right thing and to be sure to apoligize when we've made a mistake but then to let go of it, not accept guilt or blame that isn't ours. Its a tough job. And it extends to Jillian too. She's working on learning respect. She needs to understand that when her brother and sister say no, or when they ask her to stop, she needs to respect their wishes. These are the teaching lessons occuring here in our house. In addition to the regular, don't put the ferret in the toilet, no twirling on the kitchen table, and please, PLEASE clean up your room!!!
Personally, I'm working on being better connected in my relationship with Christ. I'm working on a lot of things. There are always at least 5 or 10 things that I want to fix about myself. Because my frustrations with myself never seem to end, and whatever progress I make toward improvement never seems to be enough, I've been trying to find a new way. I think my new plan is going to be this: Just stop trying. I'm going to stop trying to fix myself and stop focusing on myself entirely. I'm going to work to get my focus on the perfection of Him and off of myself. If I can see how wonderful He is and can understand better how He acutally dwells in me.. How could I see myself in such a negative light knowing that God is within me?? Even an ugly church is beautiful when the presence of God is there! I figure the same applies to me! The new plan is to focus on the new creation: "The old life is gone; a new life has begun" (2 Cor. 5:17) So, I'm working to get the focus off of me and onto the One who is changing me. And I'm hoping, along the way, to teach my children to put their focus on Him too.
I've also taken a recent interest in meditation. I've had a bias against the idea of meditation because whenever I think of it, I picture Buddhist monks and Eastern alternative healing. Then I was reminded that God commands us to meditate on His word. What does that look like exactly? I'm working on that one. Does anyone have any suggestions? I think the hardest part will be learning to quiet my mind. If you know me, you know that I'm not usually quiet. And if I'm not talking, it will be even harder to not think!! So, suggestions are very welcome!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Notes For Parents Going Back to School

How to know that you've been paying too much attention to homework and not enough to your children:
1. The kitchen floor and table are covered with Apple flavored cereal.
2. There is a rather large stuffed moose hanging from the doorknob wearing a crown, feather boa and carrying a gun.
3. Every now and then a little whiskered nose protrudes from beneath the couch to retrieve said cereal.
4. The house smells strangely of soap and toothpaste; the result of a toothpaste explosion and the subsequent attempt to clean up the mess.
5. My bathtub is full of Legos.
6. There is a construction paper trail of irregular black shapes leading to Nathan's bedroom.
7. The a/c is set to frigid while at least 2 windows are open to let in the beautiful 108 degree Arizona day.
8. There is a strange green striped alien on tv is singing an obnoxiously addictive song about a party in his tummy. Yummy.
9. All toy boxes are empty.
10. The laundry hamper has been turned into a fortress to be defended by the hurling of little plastic army men that now litter the hallway.
11. A corral for numerous Littlest Pet Shop animals has been made out of Jenga blocks in the cereal littered kitchen floor.
12. A Taylor Swift song is on repeat in the girl's room at a volume roughly equal that of a sonic boom.
13. Displayed on the foot of my bed is a large saucepan filled with a rabbit. The sign explains: Rabbit Stew.
14. There is much laughter, squealing and even more omnious, strange extended periods of silence...
These interesting episodes each greeted me today as I left my computer and went to put the kids to bed. Oh, and, my favorite, a plush snake suspended over the toilet seat in an attempt to scare Daddy. I must quit pushing my homework to the last minute!! :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Two Independence Days

The Fourth of July was a wonderful day! :) I love celebrating our freedom and I love being patriotic but there were extra fun elements to our day. We decided to go to the party in Tonopah because we figured it wouldn't be as crowded as those in Glendale or Tolleson. Come to find out, it was perfect! It was very small town-ish and yet the fireworks display was fantastic!! I was really impressd!! They had bounce houses and water slides for the kids along with bingo and music for the adults. Admission was free and the rides were $5 for unlimited! It was great! It seemed like a down-home 4th of July! :) And we met another family that has a boy Nathan's age who live close by and we traded numbers. I hope we can get together soon.
Today Nathan and Chloe took their placement tests for their school. Nathan did well because he can read above grade level. Chloe hasn't learned to read yet, and, at Michelson, was doing fabulously! This test however, asked Chloe to read and spell words will playing, house and learn!!!! I was shocked! The ladies proctoring the test mentioned that most of the other kids taking the test for first grade were overwhelmed and couldn't finish the test. They said that if she wanted to stop at any time, it was perfectly okay. I was so proud of Chloe. At one point, she broke into tears but she kept going. I asked her if she wanted to quit, and with tears rolling down her face she shook her head no and skipped on to the next question. She did so well. At the end, when she was finally completely overwhelmed (at this point, they were asking her to read complete paragraphs and answer questions about them) when she finally said she'd had enough, the ladies told her that she had done better than any other first grader and that they were really proud of her. I was proud too. Very proud. :)
Along that line, we had a very important event here yesterday. We finally went to a church. It is called The Rock and it isn't in a church building, its in the community center of a subdivision. The worship was crazy good! We heard an associate pastor speak because the real pastor was out of town. The kids program was good too from what I heard from the kids. They watched a new Veggie Tales movie, did worship, and played a game. When I went to pick them up, Chloe told me that she had to go talk to 'the girl' because this was her first time. I figured that they wanted to talk to the newcommers. Apparently, that wasn't the case. Later I learned that during the singing, the worship leader said a couple words and gave the kids the opportunity to accept Christ. Chloe raised her hand and prayed the prayer to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The worship leader asked that if anyone had prayed that prayer to come talk to her after service. So, Chloe, always the one to follow directions, went to talk to her. Chloe was given a little book that answers some questions and then the lady came out and introduced herself to me and told me that Chloe had accepted Christ. I was floored. I don't think I really said anything and I didn't say anything to Chloe about it for the rest of the day. I was processing. And dealing with my feelings... She's not my first baby to accept Christ. Nathan did it at Vacation bible school last summer. But this one was different for some reason. I think it is because Nathan is very verbal about his belief. Chloe is quieter and more thoughtful. I know that she was really touched and took her decision very seriously. So, this was a celebration weekend - not only of our nation's freedom, but also of Chloe's! :)
I can't even begin explain how my heart rejoices at knowing that my children love God. I pray for their little hearts daily that they will be protected from all the influences and dangers around them. I am so thankful that they are starting their lives knowing that God loves them and that their parents love them. I do love them... My little babies. Especially my little Chloe.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Why am I always tired? I'm exhausted from the time I wake up in the morning until bedtime again. Oprah had a mom's confession show on Friday... If I had been on there, this would have been my confession. I take naps. I let my kids play and get themselves something to eat, I let them make messes... All while I sleep. I am just so tired. And when I'm up, when I'm doing things, I don't really feel tired but the instant that I sit.. If I sit for just a couple of minutes, my eyes get heavy and my shoulders droop. If I lay down, I go to sleep.

I've tried going to the doctors. She did a full battery of tests and found that everything was perfectly normal. Then she asked the obvious question - am I depressed. The answer is no. But I have been questionning if this problem is psychological. My doctor also wanted to do a sleep study, where I go and sleep under supervision to see if I have sleep apnea or some other disorder. I don't think I suffer from sleep apnea. I know there is something wrong though for sure. I have nightmares frequently and I wonder if they play a role in my not feeling rested. I wonder sometimes if I'm just plain lazy, but I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that I'm lazy enough to sleep. And sleep. And sleep. Even when I sleep 7 or 8 hours a night, I could go right back to sleep. I could sleep 24 hours and then sleep 20 more. There are some days that I feel good; I'm able to get things done and even sit without falling asleep instantly... But those days are not very frequent. Certainly not as frequent as I'd like them to be. Needless to say, I need to get this issue fixed. I need to find some way to feel better. Its my prayer that I can figure this out. And soon. Until then, I have been trying to get on board with the idea of giving up sugar completely because I think this might help... If it doesn't, at least it will help with losing weight. For now, I'm just thankful for the ways I've learned to deal with it.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Today was a fun day - we went to a nearby water park. Technically this park is for the residents of another housing tract but we visited it nontheless. The kids had great fun even though we weren't able to stay very long because they had a 4th of July barbque planned. We will definitely visit it again soon. The weather has been very water park friendly; its been around 105 each day. The overnight low is only around 82 or 83. There really isn't any reprieve from the heat. We are just beginning to enter the monsoon season. We have yet to have any rain here, but we're looking forward to it!! We watched a great lightning show last night on the way home from my first pharmacology class. It was off to the north, quite a ways away, but still beautiful! There was another lightning show tonight that we could see from our front yard. Lowell and I sat out in the back of his truck and watched the clouds light up from the inside out. Our next chance for rain is next weekend.

My first class was great. It is going to cover a ton of material, but I'm excited that I'll know so much when the class is done! This will be my first experience with this new professor; our first class was taught by Ellen, the professor that I had for my last class because our new prof is on vacation.
Speaking of vacation... I have to say that Lowell and I have been on sort of a three month vacay... Neither of us are working and while we certainly don't have a whole lot of money, we've been blessed with being able to spend a ton of time together! :) It was so wonderful to have him to help me set up our house; moving furniture is much easier with a man to help! :) In addition to the practical things, we've also been spending time together as a family. We even went to the zoo on Tuesday. The kids loved it. It was very warm indeed but the Phoenix zoo has added a couple of water parks. We didn't know about these new additions and therefore didn't have on appropriate clothes but this didn't stop my babies from getting soaking wet! :) I even got a little damp. I was the only parent playing in the spouts but I tried not to let that stop me from having fun. I did refrain from going down the water slide in order to keep some of my dignity. :)

It was a great day and I really hope to take advantage of more of these moments because they are fleeing fast. The time I have with my children while they're young is so limited... And yet I don't take advantage of them nearly as often as I should... So frequently I let cleaning or tv or other things get in the way. So often I get aggravated instead of seeing teachable moments or even finding joy in mistakes and silliness. When I'm laying in bed later, I feel so guilty about it- that I've lost these opportunities... I can only pray that my kids see how much I love them and that I learn, day by day, to see more joy in the messes and to let myself be in these precious moments with my beautiful angels instead of getting caught up in the unimportant.

For today, at least, at the waterpark, I was successful. We had a great time! Here's to the little successes! And to the little moments of joy.