"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exltation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...this is to have succeeded." _Ralph Waldo Emerson_

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yosemite and Hard Lessons

This past week Rob and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary. For this we traveled together to Yosemite and climbed Half Dome, the place of our engagement 5 years ago. This place, this tabernacle of Gods creation hold such a strong place in our hearts. Today our pastor asked us if we simply pass by the extraordinary in life without stopping to be AMAZED at our creator. Well, it sure is hard to go to Yosemite and not feel as though you are walking along inside God's fingerprint, to feel so overwhelmed with beauty that you can't speak, and then to be hit square in the forehead with the thought...if this is what it looks like on earth, what must God's dwelling look like?

So the hike to the top is ten hours round trip...yes it was a very strenuous, but an amazing ten hours. On our way back we vowed not to speak of our aches and pains until we got to the car. If you can believe this, the way down is the most painful part. Under the canopy of neon green leaves, and above the roar of a powerful waterfall, I made the analogy that life is like this hike. We can choose to grumble about our pain as we walk along, focusing on each step, each painful step and wondering when it will be over. Or we can choose to look up, in the middle of the pain and enjoy the beauty of Gods love that surrounds us if we would only look up. It doesn't mean that the pain is gone, oh no. It does mean that inspite of the pain, or in midst of the pain, he gives our eyes a place to focus that's beautiful beyond description. He's there, God is all around us, waiting for his children to see him, to seek him, to hike after him...but sometimes we get so focused on the pain that we don't see the beauty....and thank him.

Little did I know this seemingly meaningless analogy that I had blurted out to Rob would be so needed by me.

From the book "For those who hurt" by Chuck Swindoll
When words fail, tears flow.

Tears have a language all their own, a tongue that needs no
interpreter. In some mysterious way, our complex inner-communication system
knows when to admit its verbal limitations... and the tears come.

Eyes that flashed and sparkled only moments before are flooded from a
secret reservoir. We try in vain to restrain the flow, but even strong men

Tears are not self-conscious. They can spring upon us when we are
speaking in public, or standing beside others who look to us for strength. Most
often they appear when our soul is overwhelmed with feelings that words cannot

Our tears may flow during the singing of a great, majestic hymn, or when we
are alone, lost in some vivid memory or wrestling in prayer.

Did you know that God takes special notice of those tears of

Psalm 56:8 tells us that He puts them in His bottle and enters them into
the record He keeps on our lives.

David said, "The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping."

A teardrop on earth summons the King of Heaven. Rather
than being ashamed or disappointed, the Lord takes note of our inner friction
when hard times are oiled by tears. He turns these situations into moments of
tenderness. He never forgets those crises in our lives where tears are

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A moment with an MD

When a child is in a traumatic accident, many times we are able to keep their hearts pumping with drugs, but they have already gone to be with the Lord. These sweet children then become candidates for organ donation. The machines and drugs keep them alive long enough to go to the OR for harvesting the organs to save other lives. As I was helping with one such child last night, I was assisting the MD with a procedure before sending her to the OR, and I asked him if there was anything else he needed. To this he replied, "a harder heart." I was still in a very focused state of mind and was confused by this reply as I knew that her heart was in a un-donatable state, and I just could not figure what he was asking me for. "Refering to....?" I asked, and he said, "Me, the girl looks just like my daughter. I'm just not cut out for this."

Life is hard. Make some things easy. Please talk with your loved ones about organ donation and make your requests known to them so that if that time comes, the decision will be easy.

Visist: or www. art? according to Florence Nightingale.

This is dedicated to my nursing friends and family. It was given to me by a nursing student that I recently precepted at work. Thank you Jen for it, I'd never read it before and yet I admire Florence Nightingale so much.

"Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Arts." -Florence Nightingale-

then i found this also from Florence Nightingale:
"Every woman or at least almost every woman in England, has at one tine or another of her life charge of the personal health of somebody whether child or invalid. In other words every woman is a nurse."

Hurray for you moms who are nurses at home to your families!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's a nail biter!!!!

So in the shower this morning I was thinking, (I seem to do some of my best thinking there must be cause it's quiet), and I had to write this down before I went to bed. But before I get to it, have I mentioned how grateful I am for this group of people that we call our bible study? We call it 'bible study,' but they all have come to mean so much to me. We have been meeting for almost 4 years now? I think it is. (the picture above is from this past winter retreat, sorry Micah I think you were in the car) They are certainly more to me than a group of people I just see once a week for a study, in fact we usually see each other more than once a week in some capacity or another. We are truly blessed by all of their friendships, they are encouragers of the faith, and stength for one another in weaknesses, sharing burdens no matter how small or large. Believe it or not there are ten children in all that belong to the above picture, and we love every one of them.

Anyway this past Thursday, as it is summer, each couple is doing individual devotional studies, and Brad and Megan did one on worry and fear. It must have been a topic that God wanted me to hear because I then heard it and the same verses again on Sunday from our pastor, and then again this morning on the way home from work on the radio by Chuck Swindol. It must be worth sharing cause I've heard it now 3 times this week.

Seriously, no seriously, read it,

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (here's the best part) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And so the above is my life verse. And the word of God has amazing power. It reminds me to turn my worry and stress over to him, and He gives me peace in doing so. I have to claim those words over and over again, and then again, and probably for the rest of my life.

So if i appear calm and collected at any given moment it is only a result of one of 2 things. I am either way overcompensating/covering up for how i feel inside, or it is God's grace that has given me peace in the moment.

Monday, June 16, 2008


YEAH JEANETTE! I am so happy for you and Mike. My sister got engaged this weekend, on the beach in Hawaii. They actually both live there and seem to be enjoying themselves. Mike is a great guy, and the whole family is so thrilled for her. Mike we're excited about getting to know you better and couldn't be more happy for you both.
(This is from Easter 07 and is the most recent I have of the 2 of them together)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Remember deep thought by Jack Handy? Well these aren't deep and I'm not Jack

Any political/world relations junkies out there. (I know I just wrote about a student of motherhood too, but like i said, i can't just read one.) I started a book on my IPOD that is quite eye-opening. Check out 'America Alone,' I love the part that says,

"All dominate powers are hated- Britain was, Rome was,..America is hated for every reason. The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lap-dancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians..; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too godless, America is George Orwell's, Room 101..."

I thought that was a pretty interesting thought, very true to form (and true to it's title). Ever heard those different view points on the news? Well, hope that gets you interested, I have been so far.

Actually what I want to say is that the patient I've had for the last 2+ weeks and last night, died today. Thank you Jesus for taking him home while in the arms of him mommy, and not while still connected to everything. Have you ever wondered what it's like to hold a grieving mom, or bathe a dying baby, to make keepsake footprints with a crying daddy, to re-assure a mom that it's a courageous thing to let her baby go, to know with certainty that it will be the last time you see a child, to want with every fiber of your being to see a miracle happen and at the same crushing moment to want them to return home to heaven, have you ever wondered?
Every morning when I come home to the cheerful exuberant shout of my baby, I am besides myself with awe and love and a word that doesn't exist. It's a funny thing to come from a night of the former description and dive right into giggles and play, sleep for 4 hours and then go to baseball game as if nothing happened. Sometimes I wish that people who asked me about work were really ready to listen and hear the hard stuff, sometimes I need to share the hard stuff. I wouldn't trade my job for anything, I love what I do, but who else would do it...any takers ready to help a child heaven-bound? Wow, life is soooo precious. SLOW DOWN PLEASE....just don't rush so fast from thing to thing without taking the time to think.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Student of Motherhood

Of coarse I'd like to be the ideal mother.
But I'm too busy raising children.
-from the comic strip "The Family Circus" by Bil Keane

I got to thinking recently....which is always dangerous, as Rob says. I was challenged by a thought, from which i derived the title. The question that sprung to my mind was, 'are you being a student of motherhood?' Now I really don't know how i came to think about it in those terms, but what follows is a bit of my thought process.

As children we spend an enormous amount of time in school. Our parents spend an equally amount of time and energy 'teaching' and 'preparing' us for life. Once we've completed what the country has deemed acceptable for an education to prepare us for life (h.s.), many of us realize that it probably is going to take a lot more school to satisfy that. And so on to college we go. While there we choose a profession/career to study and we continue to be students, following on with internships, externships, discipleships, apprenticeships, ecetera-ships. Most of us really try to get and glean everything we can from these opportunities in the hopes that we will be good at our jobs (or in my case...with the hopes that i won't kill anyone...). Then somewhere along the lines marriage happens, and with any luck (well, i don't really believe in luck, but you get the drift) (or unluck) children can happen. And just before you are forced to spread your legs to give birth, and all the modesty you have tried to preserve all these years is thrown right out the suddenly realize that life will never be the same. And then what? And there's my question?

I've embarked on THE most important job of my life, and what I'm wondering is, am I being a good student? We tend to forget that this isn't just a come as you will by day and night sort of job. It's a job where your actions leave life-time consequences for better or worse. No matter who you are or how old you are you will forever look back to your childhood as a molding of the person you are today. So many factors play into your character, I do realize.

Here lets put it this way. When I wanted to grow a garden I went out and bought all the 'stuff' I needed. At the time I was living in an apartment, so it was a container garden. Although my dad had grown gardens when i was a child, I never did one myself. And so my plants grew and grew, but to my dismay, as large and bushy as they were, I still had no tomatoes. So I paid a little closer attention. I had yellow flowers, moist soil, green leaves. But no tomatoes, then I realized that the flowers were simply falling off the plant before the tomato bud had time to start. I tried every remedy I could to keep those flowers from falling off. But in the end I had large bushy green plants that looked beautiful, with no fruit to show for it. (I seriously didn't even know how perfect this analogy was until I started typing). You may get a child that looks good on the outside, but has no fruit or substance of character, and by the time you try and remedy the problem, it might be too late.

2 summers later, in Chico, I decided to scratch out an area of our backyard and try again. This time, I felt that I had what I needed to remedy the above problem. Again I bought the 'stuff,' with a few extras, and I was ready to go. I was so proud of what I had really looked beautiful. Well, as things go...I got engaged that summer and really wasn't around Chico all that much. The drip system I set up worked beautifully, however, and in my absence did it's job like clock work, keeping my plants alive. In the end, I did have fruit, not very good looking fruit, on overgrown, un-manageable plants, with tomato slugs and all. Children need time spent with them to produce good fruit, and just having the right 'stuff' won't always make good looking fruit.

Well, I hope the analogy isn't getting lost in the details, it is actually precisely in the details. 2 summers later, married and in a house on fertile soil, I was bound and determined to be patient and do this right. So instead of equipment and plants and 'stuff,' I bought books and seeds. I needed to start right, I needed to study it and learn what I was doing to have the best outcome. What an incredible time in the garden I had that year and the harvest was so magnificent and abundant. If I am going to dive into anything now, I try and read and study as much as possible about it before hand...for the best outcome. Can you see the children in the above analogies?

For the most important job I will ever have, however, I don't think that I am investing all that I can into 'learning' to be the best mom possible. This doesn't come easy. We are not all equipped with the right tools for the job (I certainly am not), or with the right attitude or goals. These are things that we have to learn. And while I will admit that a lot of this is on the job training, there is so much out there to study in order to make us the best mom possible.

** I just feel guilty that in all the things I have studied over the years, and the time I poured over them, none were half as important as my current task. And for that I don't feel that I am allowing myself the same amount of study. **

Colossians 3: 23 - "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."


This is a poem from a book that I'm going to start again (I never finished it) called "The Power of a Positive MOM" (thanks sandy).

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.

I came again when days were past,
The form I gave it still did last
And as my fingers pressed it still,
I could change that form no more at will.

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art,
A young child's soft and yielding heart.

I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon,
He still that early impress bore,
And I could change it never more.
-Author Unknown-

Monday, June 9, 2008

Captiol "T"

On our way to the Phantom of the Opera.....never had the city take a picture of me before. I look so short next to think there's any way to contest that it wasn't really us driving? We were practically blinded after the photo-shoot. We knew this was coming. What a frustrating event though. It went a little like this: we're coming down off the freeway, and the light is shoot it's yellow, and uhhhh, well I better just go, it's a right hand turn,....did that thing just flash, hey I know it was still yellow when I entered the inter-section, better smile (but we must have missed our cue).

Traffic school and a big fat bail comin' my way.

Rob and I have a way of getting into unintentional trouble together (see above), or stumbling into things. This past week we went to see a Casting Crowns concert (which was fabulous, by the way). On our way out afterwards we exited a back door and spent a second discussing (arguing) which way would be best back to the car. I won this one, so we went my way, which entailed going through/in-between equipment sound boxes out back past their truck etc, and around the building. As we were doing so, out one of the back doors comes one of the singers, and then Mark the lead singer...we thought that was pretty cool, but we passed by...then decided to turn around and thank him for the night, and also to tell him that we had one of his songs sung at our wedding. So we did, we shook his hand, had a small conversation, and he asked our names. It was really nice, as we turned to walk away, his body-guard guy was on the radio, "hey there are people back here, how are people getting back here." Ooops. Well, it was fun and worth it. So thanks Mark, it was nice meeting you, we had a great time that night!

P.S. (Where are all you commenters?)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Isaiah Turned ONE!

Saturday May 31st - Isaiah's First Birthday
What an incredible time we had on Saturday. Rob and I went into Isaiah's room singing happy birthday when he woke up. He loved it! We just had so much fun that day. We were blessed with so many friends and family that came over to help us celebrate Isaiah's life. It lasted much longer than I had anticipated, which was a blast. Isaiah, as always, loves to have lots of people and kids around, so he was in heaven. He never did take an afternoon nap...but you never would have known it. Thank you to everyone for your love and support. We felt so blessed on Saturday. So the best are the pics.

(Isaiah is helping daddy put together his birthday present, getting it ready for the party)

(All finished, a table just his size!)(Isaiah's ready for the party in his jungle clothes, checking out his present from Grandma and Papa)
(Some of Isaiah's friends, it was truely a jungle (missing from the pic, Caevin, Drew, Bryson, Gavin, Cole, James, Madilyn, Cammy, Brenden, Mitchell))

(I wish that I hadn't helped him blow it out, cause he was trying and I really think he could have done it himself.)

(Needless to say, HE LOVED IT! I think he ended up eating almost the whole thing. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. When I was frosting it in the morning, I gave him a few tastes of what was to come. His first real 'sweet.'...right grandma?

(This is the cake that we shared with everyone, it was so much fun to make!)(Bye everyone, thanks for coming. Come on over to our jungle anytime.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Isaiah's First Inoculation with Toilet Water!!!

Isaiah's was being particularly clingy yesterday, but mostly he was wanting to be held. I was brushing my teeth, and I couldn't accomidate him at the moment, so I decided to give him daddy's toothbrush to see if maybe he just wanted to do what I was doing. Sure enough, he put that brush right in his mouth and repeated everything that I was doing, even the sounds. It was great! With him happy and content, I returned to the sink and finished up what I was doing. Then the's alwasy ominous. I walked into the water closet to find Isaiah with a wet shirt and daddy's toothbrush in the toilet.

Let the Ecoli party begin.

Daddy got a new toothbrush.

Isaiah got a mouth full of bacteria.

He is fine today....I think we worry too much. HAHAHAHA