Tuesday, May 31, 2011

busy

If you're ever wondering what I'm doing that keeps me so busy from updating my blog, the answer is simple: BABY JONAH. He fills our lives...completely! Love this boy, and all his busy-baby-ness!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The lately's and other happenings

Well, our entire apartment is in boxes. Sometimes this project of moving 3000 miles away overseas, feels like something I am not equipped to do! There's days I feel like I really lack the patience and skills to manage my own home, amidst the chaos of packing and keeping kids happy!! It's been tough for me to organize and prioritize my belongings, stay patient with my children, and then on top of that, take care of my needs. Moving to Hawaii is not an easy task, and sometimes I find myself asking, "Am I sure I am grown up enough for this job? This seems like something that someone else should be doing; someone more mature, more capable, and more organized." But alas, it is me. And Micah, of course. He's been taking care of so many little details, too!
I will be so relieved when we get off that airplane onto Hawaiian soil!

And my needs do get taken care of, in so many little ways. I've been having intense headaches and back pain every evening, on and off for several weeks, and had to stop jogging because my left hip was out of place. When I took baby Jonah into the chiropractor about his ears, the thought occurred to me, as we were leaving, that I should have an adjustment. It was the last thing on my busy mind, but the thought prevailed. I quickly asked the chiropractor if he wouldn't mind adjusting me while my kids wreaked havoc on his office. He obliged and cracked me and put my bones back together, in places I didn't know possible. I left his office walking on clouds, and have been feeling amazing ever since. No more headaches, and I can run again. Thank you, skeleton doctor. Why is it that we Moms, sometimes take care of ourselves, last?
And I can wear my baby comfortably again, too.

I organized a reunion with some great friends from the Anasazi Foundation days. These are some of my favorite people on earth. I could've sat there all day laughing about all our old trail stories. Working at Anasazi was one of the greatest experiences of my whole life.
Trailwalkers unite:




Zadok and Odin are still so excited all the time to learn about animals. We go to the library and check out books every week about their favorites. One day a few weeks ago Zadok got really excited about bats, and wanted to BE one. He begged me to make him bat wings, so this is what I came up with: a tarp, with elastic sewn onto it.
They were the two, cutest bats I've ever seen!



We said goodbye to Pinky the bus. I was very reluctant to sell it, as we've had some fun family memories driving it around the past 5 years. But, once it was sold, I was totally fine. Moving on from material things is part of the moving process, I think.


Lastly (for now), I love this man with all my heart. He does amazing things, as a father, husband, and provider for this family. He has many doubts about his abilities, as well, but somehow is able to provide strength to all of us because of who he is. As I was reading the "Family, a Proclamation to the World," again, I realized how really, really grateful I am for a man that lives his life to serve his family.

"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

morning routine

We needed some structure to our morning really badly, so I've come up with a plan that seems to be working!

You think kids have short attention spans? I used to be the worst one! I have huge tendencies to wake up in the morning and try to do fifty different things at once! Then I get distracted, go back, get distracted again, lose something, start a new project, walk back and forth, find what I was looking for, answer 100 questions from the kids, start breakfast, get distracted, start a cartoon,look for something else, go back, burn the pancakes, start a new project....get the idea? It can be so EXASPERATING to be me.
But, I am so, so much better than I ever was, and I attribute my organizational skills to having 3 children and a husband who demand and need structure from me. When we feel better organized, we all feel happier.

So, look at me now:

I have a special place to keep my cell phone at all times.
I don't start any new projects if I can't foresee them getting finished.
I force myself to follow a morning routine of order, before I allow any other distractions in my life like the Internet, or making phone calls, or new projects.
I don't answer the phone unless I know who's calling and why.
I force myself to let go of things I just can't do or get done.
I force myself to stay focused on the moment instead of getting carried away.
I carefully lead my children through a morning routine, that helps us all stay focused, stay organized, and start the day feeling awesome!

Sometimes it is REALLY hard to stay focused. Structure and organization doesn't come naturally to me. It is one of those skills that I've had to develop out of pure necessity. Everyday is not perfect, but I've seen the wonderful difference it makes in my family when I do.

So, we start by getting all our "important things" done first!

First we eat breakfast. I love sitting at the table with the kids in the morning. I leave the computer and TV off. I focus on them. We pray together. They ask me questions. We talk about our dreams from last night. They tell me jokes that don't make any sense. It's awesome.

Then we do the following things, in whatever order we choose:
brush teeth
brush hair
do our chores
get dressed for the day
Morning hugs and kisses for Mama (that's me!)
morning prayers

After we finish everything we meet on the living room rug to review. I get out my playful, authoritative Mama voice and shout out, "Raise your hand if you brushed your teeth!"
The boys giggle and fall to the floor, hands raised high in the air.
Then,"Raise your hand if you said your morning prayers!"
And again, they giggle and roll all over, hands raised high.
I do this for all of our important things, until all hands are raised. If a hand isn't raised, the boys hurry and go get it done. It is a fun game for them, I think.

I debated for a long time on how to approach chores in our home. I think it is important for children to learn how to do work around the family house and take personal responsibility for themselves, but I didn't want it to be something they resented or hated.
So, I made these simple, nothing-fancy-charts, that I nonchalantly hung on the wall for them.
Micah and I chose 6 things that they could do easily around the house, like spray the windows, fold laundry, vacuum with the hose, wipe a dirty wall, pick up toys, and take out trash. I drew some little pictures on construction paper, and I give them a sticker when they complete it, just to mark it off.
There is no offer of rewards, and no punishment for not doing it. It has just become part of our morning routine. They are both really proud of their chore charts and look at them often!
So this has been our morning routine, for the past while.
It works for us and we are happy this way! Most importnatly for me, I start my day off feeling like we already accomplished something good, and it's only 8 o'clock.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Snowflakes, back to Seashells

We were sitting on the couch together when we finally clicked the "buy tickets" button on Micah's laptop. We said one more prayer together, one last time, to make sure that if either of us had any last doubts, they would surface at that time. But neither of us felt any last-minute doubts, instead we both felt absolutely certain that this was the right move;the right thing to do.
It's been one week since we purchased our families one-way to tickets to Hawaii, and I have to admit, I am beyond happy!

Yes, we are moving to the lovely Polynesian islands!
It's so surreal to me still.
I am elated, and nervous, and excited, and overwhelmed, all at once!

I am selling things, getting rid of things, packing things, and all the while, mentally preparing myself for our whole world to change.

One night this week I had a dream that I was walking down the beach with the kids, catching sand crabs and collecting sea-shells. Then we all jumped into the warm, clear-blue ocean together. Micah was in the water doing back flips, and the baby was in my arms smiling happily. It was the most joyous dream, the kind that really feels real.

Then I woke up. It took me a moment to readjust my brain and realize where I was.
I quickly looked around to see I was still in our small city apartment, surrounded by traffic, and sidewalks, and neighbors that complain about our noise.

As my dream came back into focus, I got so unbelievably happy knowing that this dream would be our new reality.

Someone said the other day,"Aww, you're so lucky! I wish we knew what the heck we were doing! Maybe if we could figure things out, we could move where we want to, too."

My response,"Well, this decision didn't happen overnight! This is the result of us moving 4 times, working 5 different jobs, 6 years of college, 3 kids being born, 5 apartment rentals, 1 house foreclosure, 7 years of marriage, countless tax returns, 1 building of 1 savings account, and one big move to the big city, which forced us to do something different!"

Looking back on it all, if we had done what we wanted to do all the time, we wouldn't of gotten anything done that we had to do, and therefore we wouldn't have been able to build our family, and build our lives. You have to do the hard stuff first before you can do what you want. And oftentimes you may never live where you think you want, but will be happy where you are anyways. (God has a way of making that work out, too.)
This is a hard reality for a lot of people. Heck, it is hard for me! But, we're finally at a place where we can do some things that we want to do. And not only that, it's what we feel is the best choice.

Thanks to Micah for making my dreams come true.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage, then comes moving back to Hawaii.

Jonah, getting ready to walk on sand:

Friday, May 6, 2011

First REAL animal rescue


Our five year old has become a very compassionate lover of all things animal.
He's the kid that gets concerned at the playground when other kids are smashing ants, he's the kid that picks up litter at the park so animals won't mistake it for food, he's the kid that wants to limit his meat intake, and now he's the kid that saw 2 sick pigeons at our apartments and was determined to rescue them.

Apparently, every Spring the apartment management here hires a pest control company to take out all the pesky pigeons. As we've been walking around our apartments lately, we've noticed lots of dead pigeons. Some of them were even suffering, taking days to die. It made us feel sad, and angry.
"They are vermin, pests, and a health violation to those that live here!," said the manager, when I called to complain. However, what our son saw were little, helpless creatures that deserved a chance.
Micah and Zadok went and got the two sick pigeons and and put in our laundry room. They were barely moving, looking almost dead. Zadok gave them water, food, and a warm box to live in.He checked on them all day, every day. We changed the newspapers when they got too poopy. We put them out on the balcony for fresh air.

Then suddenly, after several days, we looked into the laundry room to see a flying pigeon! We quickly opened the door and let him fly free. Zadok had the biggest smile on his face to see his animal rescue mission a success!

And then, about a week later, we released the other pigeon at the farm nearby. Although he couldn't fly, his overall health seemed back to normal. We watched him waddle into the bushes, and peck around for food. Zadok sat and watched him for quite some time. He didn't want to leave unless he knew "Pidgy" would be safe.


This past month at our apartments we have witnessed the emergence of baby ducklings, baby goslings, and then the sick and dead pigeons. Everyone here loves the babies because they are so cute, but everyone hates the pigeons.
Zadok sees them all equally, as creatures that God made.
I am so proud of our boy. He has become such a wonderful, loving, and nurturing person.