Thursday, December 11, 2008

So much has happened!

Gosh, life got away with me! Since Thanksgiving (which we hosted!), tons has happened!
After waiting 1-1/2 years since losing his first 2, Ben finally lost another tooth! YAY! Madeleine had her last weekend of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and we are CYT lifers from here on out. We can't say enough positive things about our experience. In fact, both her and Ben are signed up for classes next session! Can't wait! We've been super busy with preparations for some upcoming church activities; Christmas shopping; eating out way more than we can afford; piano recitals; and usual life. I haven't had a ton of time for schooling. Or cleaning.
We met a new friend through CYT--lots actually--but one in particular hit it off with the kids and I, and we had her babysit last weekend. The kids had a blast, our house was spotless when we came home, her and the kids were asleep, and everyone was safe and settled! It was awesome--thanks Kiana!
We also just got back from getting our family pictures done. First time in 2 years we've gotten formal ones. It took 4 hours! Aunt Heidi did them, but then the disc was corrupted and we had to wait for them to recover the pictures. Then it took forever to see them, then look at them. We'd not had dinner. Finally, $108 later and it's 9:30pm with no dinner yet, and Clackamas Town Center is closing down, we drive out looking for dinner. We end up at Applebees ($.99 kids meals on Wed nights) and now I'm up, unable to sleep because I'm sick to my stomach!
Today has been a hard day and December is flying by. I'm feeling a bit random in this post and it doesn't seem to be making sense. I'm very tired.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another milestone

Sophia has had a loose tooth since August, but just this past couple weeks it's gotten VERY loose! This week it's been hanging by a thread. Everytime Daddy tried to pull it out, it hurt too bad or just wouldn't let go! Today it's been bleeding a lot when she brushed and really hurting her. So Big Sis Madeleine decided to help things along. She got out tissue and ice, sat Sophia down to ice her gum, and went about collecting some other items. Teddy was in the middle of telling me a big story of the day when I hear "I pulled out my tooth!" Because I was so engrossed in what Teddy was saying, we didn't really hear her. She said it again and came running over with bloody tissue in her hand and a cute little 5 year old front tooth! Madeleine was disappointed because she really wanted to yank it and Ben wanted to call everyone and tell them Sophia's news! But we let her have her moment...she kept saying "I wasn't even paying attention!" because that's what I kept saying! I feel that we're hitting more and more milestones with her and each one slams the door on ever having little ones at our home again! Sigh!

But she sure does look adorable with that hole in her mouth!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy 10th Birthday Madeleine!

So it's 1:30am on November 14th. Ten years ago today, at this time, I was being prepped for a c-section. Twenty-four hours of labor had produced a dilation to 5cm and nothing else was happening. I was stalled. My fantastic, compassionate OB, Dr. Higgins, had gently informed me that she thinks we should throw in the towel. We gave it all we got and it wasn't getting! I even remember what she was wearing, which is an odd detail to remember. Anyway, Madeleine was born at 2:24am, healthy and happy. I didn't fare so well after surgery, which set us up for a rough beginning. But we made it through that first night...and our lives have never been the same again.
Madeleine seriously rocked our world...our expectations of birth and parenthood were so different that what the reality was...and as much as I sometimes feel like I've failed as a much as I messed hard as I tried...she's still the most awesome kid I know (her brother and sister included). From day one, she's always wanted more of me than I seem to be giving her...and lately, I've realized that instead of bemoaning her neediness, I need to relish it. Soon, she won't want to hold my hand all the time, or sleep with me, or hang out in my bathroom while I primp. She's already stopped asking me to take baths with her (besides, she only showers anymore); she no longer opens her covers and says, "There's plenty of room for you in here" (although she has a loft bed, with a cave to sleep in that I can't access); and she no longer needs my help doing her hair, picking out her clothes, or brushing her teeth. I think I'm going to try to give her as much of me as she wants, and remember to take, take, take from her, so when the day for good-bye comes, my cup will be fuller!

Madeleine is mature for her age; compassionate; sincere; honest; kind; giving; mostly self controlled; a bit bossy; and has a sense of humor that's hilarious. She is intelligent, talented, and passionate about God, piano, soccer and performing. How blessed are we to have such a great kid? So happy birthday, my sweet snuggle're 10 today and finally in the double digits!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ten years ago today... this same time, 1:24am on November 13th, 1998, I was laying in a hospital bed, trying to rest. I had the tv on low, watching news. I had a painful IV in; had eaten two turkey sandwiches; had flipped my husband off because he was snoring away on the couch and I was jealous (and I wanted him to stop snoring--and yes, I was a bit cranky and apologized later on for doing that); and had some weird gel on my cervix supposedly dilating me. In my mind, I would be pushing that baby out while listening to some fantastic mix tapes I made, with my family surrounding me. I'd have absolutely no drugs, being that I'm a strong Indian woman and can do this easily. Right? :) Uhh...things don't always happen like we want them to.
Today is the last day my oldest daughter will be a single digit age. November 14th, she turns 10. She'll be a decade old. I'm in shock and awe that it's gone so fast. We're half way done raising her, and if you consider 18 as adulthood, then we're more than halfway done. I contrast that with my friend Cindy, whose oldest son turns 18 on Monday. I met her when he was about 9 years old and Madeleine was 10 months old. So I've watched her experience the years I'm about to enter, and I see her now celebrating his "adulthood" and easing into letting go. Don't know my thoughts on that yet, I just know that life is so hard to wrap our heads around sometimes.
We have a big two weeks coming up...a surprise bd party for Madeleine on Saturday with girls sleeping over; dress rehearsal week and the run of the show she's in; Thanksgiving at our house this year; and lots of church, sports and family obligations. So if you think about me in the next few weeks, pray for us please!

No, I haven't moved to a different country since the election...

(I wrote most of this about 2 days after the election but just posted it tonight)

I'm really kidding about the title. I didn't consider moving. Well, okay, for two seconds I did. I'll be very honest...I'm a bit fearful of what's to come with the new President. I don't trust him. However, I do trust God and I'm not fearful of what's to come with Him. So, with that in mind, I'm committed to pray for Obama, respect his position, and see what happens. Here's a verse that comes to mind concerning this...

1Everyone who trusts the LORD
is like Mount Zion
that cannot be shaken
and will stand forever.
2Just as Jerusalem is protected
by mountains on every side,
the LORD protects his people
by holding them in his arms
now and forever.
3He won't let the wicked
rule his people
or lead them to do wrong.

Psalm 125:1-3

Now don't get me wrong...I'm not saying Obama is wicked. I'm just saying that Obama does not have more power over my life than the Lord and in that I find my comfort.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is written by an African-American Christian concert pianist. It sums up very well why I cannot vote for Obama and why I get so frustrated by Christians who put the economy and the war above moral issues.
Why I Can't Vote For Obama
By Huntley Brown
Dear Friends,
A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating...First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him. Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can't dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.I can't vote black because I am black; I have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter. We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007. NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008) To beat Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.
There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 % rating.
There is a reason the homosexual community supports him.
There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him.
There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court.
There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill.
There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion.
There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.
Let's take a look at the practice he wanted to continue--
The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedures:
A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps. (Remember this is a live baby)
B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed. God help him.
There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law. Think about this: You can't give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.
There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years. Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright's sermons. I wonder why now? Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 "Go and make disciples of all nations." This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him? Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a
1. Commitment to the White Community
2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community.
5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System
7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System. Would you support a President who went to a church like that? Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside.This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can't be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world. A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if it's a white church or a black church it's still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.Obama's former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote: "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?
So what does all this mean for the nation? In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing - judgment. Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king.
First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 "Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."Then God says1 Samuel 1:18 " When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day." 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."
Here is what we know for sure.
God is not schizophrenic.
He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God. Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it. For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.Since we know someone's value system has to be placed on the nation,
1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation.
2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?

Friday, October 24, 2008

So, I'm a bit older and blessed

My birthday was a few days ago, on the 18th. My awesome husband threw together a surprise birthday party for me, planning it only a week before the big day. The best part about it...I was really surprised! So that was a fun time.

The next day was our anniversary--12 years! But we've been a couple for 16 years, and really, we were together the year-and-a-half before that. So it's been about 17-18 years that we've been giving each other a hard time! Good times, indeed.

We're going to The Stephanie Inn again, like we have every year since our honeymoon. This time, we're taking Teddy's parents. This was initially because his mom was sick, but now it's also to celebrate a little and offer them some relaxation. Unfortunately, work has been slow for Teddy and we can't afford to pay for the second night like we had hoped. So, I wrote The Stephanie Inn a letter, being very truthful about our situation, as well as about our loyalty to them. I let them know that even if they can't help us by discounting or comping the room for our parents, we will still be loyal guests. I didn't think we'd get a response, or the one we hoped for, and we were fully expecting to cancel our room and let the parents stay both nights. Well, today I got a call from the inn and they are giving us the second night on their room free! They said they appreciate their past guests so much; they appreciate my willingness to share and to ask for help; and they feel for what our family has gone through this past year. What a fantastic blessing God! So, here's the strong recommendation for visiting The Stephanie's on the expensive side, but it is seriously worth the money...the breakfast is included and the best you'll ever have; the service is polite and excellent; and the location is peaceful and relaxing.

Here's some pictures to commemorate my bd, our anniversary and the inn!

Yes, that's a beer in my hand...I had an uncle with a warped sense of, the drinking starts early in my family! That's a joke, but unfortunately, it's not very funny because it's true!

Preschool...wasn't I darling?

My senior year Sweethearts Tolo Dance...our first as an official couple. February 1993.

Engagement picture, August 1996

Our wedding day, October 19th, 1996

Our 11th anniversary, in front of the hearth at The Stephanie Inn. After looking at those former pictures, I see the need for Weight Watchers again! Ugh!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Kids on the Block

My birthday is in a couple days, on the 18th. Over the summer, my husband allowed me to get two tickets to a concert and it would be my birthday present from him. Well, I got tickets to see the most awesome boy band in all the world...NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK! Back in my teen years, I was the Washington state president of their fan club. I loved Joey. I traveled to Seattle on the first day of high school to see them in concert and I fainted at the concert. I stayed up all night driving home only to go to my second day of high school exhausted. I proposed marriage to Joey at least 10 times over the course of two years. I loved NKOTB. But all good things come to an end. I grew up, moved on. Then this summer, they released a new song with the news that they were getting back together and touring! YES! So I got tickets, lined up a friend to go. Things were good. I was excited.
Two days ago, I opened an email from the venue hosting the concert. New Kids on the Block as cancelled their Portland, OR performance, due to scheduling conflicts. Turns out they got invited to perform on the American Music Awards that night. Happy Birthday to me. I was so disappointed...I even shed a tear. Or two. Or 30. Call me lame, but I was really looking forward to that concert and feel a bit betrayed by my boys...and my husband is a bit pissed that now he has to find me a different present! I tried to help him out last night. I figured I'd buy tickets to what's left of the Broadway season in Portland. I've been eyeballing season tickets for 6 months and I figured I'd take whatever they had left. Except they had nothing left. Sold Out. I cried. Now I have to buy tickets singly for each show, praying I'll get decent seats. I have to at least see Wicked again, as it is my most favorite musical.
So, thanks to NKOTB and Broadway, this birthday is shaping up to be a real winner! At least it hasn't come yet and still has time to redeem itself!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Once upon a time there was this little girl...

who wanted to get her ears pierced even though she was only five. Her mom took her to the mall, and even though the little girl was terrified, she didn't back out. When her first one was pierced, she screamed so loud the other end of the mall heard it. When they attempted the second one, she freaked out and had to be held still to get it done. Her ear lobes were a bit chubby and the earrings were tight, so over time, infection set it. One day, at a different mall, the little girl started crying that her ears were hot and hurt very badly. Her mom took her into the public bathroom, and as soon as she touched the swollen ear lobe, it burst forth onto the mirror--pus went everywhere and once again, the little girl's screams touched the ears of every employee in the mall! Well, that experience ruined earrings for this little girl, until she turned 12 and became much braver. She got her ears pierced twice in 3 months, and went on to get a cartilage piercing 5 years later, although that one eventually closed up.
So, I ask you, dear it always like mother, like daughter? Today, while I was at CYT rehearsal with Madeleine, Auntie Heidi calls and informs me that Sophia is missing an earring. After much cajoling (and a payoff of $5), we get her to let Auntie and Grandma to put one of Grandma's earrings in. It seems to be okay throughout the day, until a rough housing moment after dinner, when the replacement earring falls out. Sophia went ballistic and was crying...she really didn't want me to put another earring in, and quite frankly, I didn't think I should. I didn't have any that were good for newly pierced ears. Her ear was looking a little red and had some dried blood on it, which didn't even happen when they were pierced. So I gave her 3 choice, all which included some pain. She eventually chose to take the good earring out and re-pierce her ears when she's older. I think that was the best choice, although I wished it wasn't so. Just getting the good earring out produced quite a yelling and crying fest and I felt letdown that we not only wasted $25 but also that her ears were so cute with the earrings!
Later, she told me she only wanted her ears pierced because we promised her a puppy and she wanted to know if she still got the puppy! I'm so sick of really accomplishes nothing!
After thinking about my own ear piercing ordeal, I realized that she is so much like me in so many ways. I also realized that I never once was convinced that she was ready to have her ears pierced and I wish I just would have listened to my mother's intuition. Oh well...expensive lesson learned.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The fun times continue

Oh I didn't just torture Teddy...I made sure to extend the fun times to myself as well! It's good to see that I tried out different hairstyles! I had to use a picture from my wedding, so I'm over a decade younger and about 70 pounds lighter! I think it helped to make the pictures actually look real in some cases. At any rate...enjoy laughing at me!

Through the years

I was cleaning out my picture closet and found some old yearbook pictures of some of Teddy's relatives, and some of him! It's amazing how much he looks like some of his relatives! Really, take a look...the resemblance is uncanny. It's also funny to see how much Teddy has changed from some of his own yearbook pictures...time sure does fly!

Hah! Gotcha...but you didn't really believe me, did you? These are actually all Teddy. I found a site called and wasted way too much time tonight goofin' off! At least we know what Teddy would look like if he ever gained a ton of weight, and actually, my favorite one is the 10th one down, with the turtleneck and the bangs. These have made me laugh so many times tonight...I start to tear up it's so funny to me!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Rarely, very rarely, does a book change my life. Rarely do I read 2544 pages in a matter of 5 days (BTW, yes-my housework was neglected, as was schoolwork, my vanity and lots of sleep--all neglected). Rarely do I become consumed with the characters of a story. While I didn't completely agree or love everything that happened, I found that I learned something about family, loyalty, self sacrifice, and persisting in the pursuit honorable living despite your circumstances. So it was written for teenagers? I don't care--it was a great series and I can't wait to wait a few years and read it again. I also can't wait to see how badly my personal images of the characters and story are slaughtered in the upcoming movie!