Monday, September 28, 2009

I've been absent, on purpose (old post)

This post is from a long time ago, over a year ago. I just went to delete it, but then realized it was actually very good and just needed some discerned tweaking. It totally is an explanation of why I abandoned my blog for so long. Doesn't explain why I've come back, maybe my next post will. :)


So, I've been missing from the blog world, by my choice this time. At first, I don't think I realized I was doing it on purpose, but looking back, I now see that I was. I'll explain why in a minute, but before I do that, I need to explain that I will actually be missing for awhile. But for different reasons than what I'm going to explain soon. You following me?

I am enrolled in Anatomy & Physiology, as well as an online Nutrition course. Both classes need to recieve A grades. I am also still homeschooling the kids. I still TA at CYT. I'm also still a soccer mom to two kids; dance mom to two kids; and piano mom to three kids. Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be a wife at times too. So, I'm taking the pressure off myself to do a blog entry, and then I won't feel guilty when I don't.

However, I've realized that there's another reason I'm taking a break. Please understand I'm not trying to have a poor me moment, because I have a friend who has lots of poor me moments on her blog...lots of "no one reads me so I'm just going to quit" moments, but then she keeps going. Nope, that's not what I'm doing. Here's the story. I've been writing a blog for about 4 years now, and doing this particular one for about half that time. I don't necessarily share that I write husband and mom don't even read it. But, this year, a few more of my friends have started their own blogs and I got so excited to read them, only to realize they never read mine. Within weeks of their blogs starting, they were linking to each others blogs and all that fun stuff. But not to mine. I even went so far as to ask one friend if I could link to her blog on mine, partly in hopes that she would do the same. She said yes, but hasn't linked back. Silly, I know, to be upset. It's not a big deal, really. But to me, it just reminds me of another situation that, try as I might, I can never shake.

Quite a few years ago, some people that I thought were my very good friends, whom I shared life with and thought was on the path to bonding...these people started a club. Everyone who knows me well, knows that I love certain types of activities and this club revolved around a favorite activity of mine. So I got excited that my friends were doing this. But then, I didn't get invited. For a couple years, I watched them pass out certain materials for this club in front of me at church, or discuss the club plans in front of me, but never invited me in. I got asked about the club a lot by other outsiders, because it was assumed I was in it, right? I was friends with all the participants. But I was never, ever included. Even when newcomers were invited in.

I'm not sure whatever happened in that situation, I just know that it has colored my friendships since. I don't trust as easily, or share as honestly or as much. It's made me think differently about the actions of Christians and the church, and eventually wasn't the main reason we left our old church, but definitely played into that decision. I know...maybe they didn't really like me. Could be. Not everyone does. Shocker, right? :) I'm okay with it now, but it's a cross I wish I didn't bear and struggle with how to let it go.

Anyway, this blog thing reminds me of that. I know in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal. All I'll say is that it hurts a little. Gives the little quickening feeling in the chest, where you can't breath as well as you wish could. Maybe I'll come back to writing this blog again, and maybe people will read it and even link to it. I don't know and try not to care, too much.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This song speaks to me right now

The Motions
by Matthew West

This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

'Cause I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way ('cause I don't wanna go through the motions)
take me all the way (I know I'm finally feeling something real)
take me all the way

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more daywithout
Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a fun weekend!!!

So we had a fantastically fun time this weekend, trying out letterboxing. We only found 1 of the 5 we tried for, but we sure did have a grand time and definitely plan to make this a regular activity!
Lately, we've been having some stirrings deep inside on church matters, so we've been taking our attendance a little lightly! So today, we decided to go to the zoo instead (yes, we brought along our saw to cut off our arm and leg!) We ended up joining again since it was cheaper in the long run. We had a great time, especially watching Sophia freak out because she loves animals so much. But I was shocked at how much prices have raised! I knew the admission cost had gone up, but even the train has skyrocketed! Last time we rode it, about 3 years ago, it was $2.25 for members to ride. Check out what we spent today...
This is per multiply this by 5!

These are the same receipt, I just zoomed in for your viewing pleasure!

This was for 2 adult meals which we shared with the kids. We also bought them two elephant ears at the price of $4 each!
So, while we are glad that we bought the membership, we won't ever be riding that train again unless we ride MAX since you get a free train ride then! And we will ALWAYS bring our own food (which normally we do) and we will totally go back to the zoo just to see Sophia flipping out over all the animals!
But a message to the Oregon Zoo....I know times are tough, but please don't make the zoo accessible only to the upper class! We spent money there today that we should have spent in more responsible ways, but lots of people can't afford your prices to even get in, let alone ride the train. And eating there is just a big anyway, that's my soap box!
But we sure did have a fantastic weekend!!! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Trying something new

So today, we are going to try something new to our family....letterboxing! From what I can understand, it's a lot like treasure hunting. If you go to, there's a whole bunch of information on how to do it and why and where and all that! We're super excited and hope that we don't get lost and that we find the treasure!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A little bit of piss and vinegar to top off this week...

In honor of Ben and Madeleine's fantastic piano recital today, I thought it might be beneficial to post some etiquette rules. Not that any of the people who need to know these would be reading my blog, but just in they are. And since you'll most likely wonder....yes, I'm a bit frustrated. Enough so that I think next year, we might just host our own recital for our kids in lieu of the school recital.

1. A music recital is a time for if you are performing, don't wear jeans, a tank top and tennis shoes. It just looks cavalier and is so disprespectful to yourself and your audience, as well as your teacher. Of 12 kids performing, 4 dressed nice. Two of them were mine.

2. When you introduce yourself and your music, please say your first and LAST name. Also, please look at the audience and not at the ceiling, floor or turn sideways to introduce yourself. Oh, and speak up and don't slouch. The youngest kid performing was a victim of the broken microphone and he just spoke louder and made eye contact, with his sister following and doing the same. Oh yeah, they were CYT kids and happened to be MINE!!!

3. When you are not performing, don't whisper during other's performances. Especially don't continue to do it when the mother of the performing child gives you the evil eye. And don't expect respect and attention when it's your turn to play, because that mother may just be at the end of her polite rope and decide to crinkle her program a whole bunch and smack her gum loudly while you're playing. Just sayin'.

4. If you have a camera, please refrain from dropping it. It makes a loud noise and startles the pianists. If you're not using it, you could use the bag it came in; a purse; set it on the floor or even the chair next to you. And don't stuff it and the music your kid is done with into a plastic bag, especially while other kids are playing. And then please don't let your sniffling 4 year old play with that crinkly, loud, plastic bag. Thanks.

5. If you are a pianist, and you must tape or staple your music together to lay across the piano...please don't staple them together face to face like a book and still expect them to lay flat on the piano. Also, don't fold them in half or vertically and still expect them to lay flat on the piano. Oh, and please, when finished with said music, please don't throw it on the floor under your just looks sloppy.

6. We know that recitals can be boring...but really, is 45 minutes too long to sit quietly without playing a video game that makes noise?

7. If you are the lone guitar player in a group of piano players, please have your electric guitar unzipped and plugged into your amp when you come up. Ten minutes is too long for the audience to watch you set up and tune up and amp up, only to have you play 3 chords and a few notes that sound like something akin to a dying cat and a Motley Crue CD combined, and then stop and say you don't know your piece and you really wish you brought your music. Oh, and you're not a rock star yet, so don't dress like one!

8. If you say you're going to be there and you're in the program, perhaps you should show up. Or at least call your teacher.

9. If you are a parent and you want to video tape or take pictures, please do so from the side or back of the room, or from your seat. Please don't grapple with the battery and argue with your wife from the FRONT of the room next to your child while that child is playing. If you need a closer view, that is what ZOOM is for on the camera!

10. Lastly, maybe your child should actually practice prior to a recital. Because when your kid gets up there and doesn't do so well, but my kid gets up there and does fantastic....and when you come up to me and say she must be gifted to be able to play like that so young...I'm going to tell you the truth. I'm going to say yes she's been blessed with a gift, but please don't discount the 30-60 minutes a day she practices and the HOURS she put into her recital pieces. I'm going to say that maybe we should all work hard for something we love and not expect things to be handed to us. I'm going to point out my other child who, while not as advanced and gifted in the same way as his sister, still did great because he PRACTICED!!!

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So I've been thinking a lot lately about our house situation. I've had a perspective change a little and the past week I had a lot of time to wallow and think. This is because I've had a sinus infection since Friday night and was in bed most of the day Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The only thing that got me out of bed Monday was a phone call from my mom-in-law, telling me that my 3 week post-partum sis-in-law was on her way to the hospital. That began a 3 day journey for me, including 2 nights at the hospital playing baby nanny while my sis-in-law had her gallbladder taken out! So, I've had lots of time to think on life and death (since I was feeling like death!); to laugh and worry; and to see a lot of other hurting people.

So here's my thoughts from a new perspective. Please share with me if you think I'm crazy or if you have better suggestions or if you like Cookie Crisp, because lately I'm addicted.

Lots of prayer has revealed to me some things. First of all, our first home was quit deeded to us and then we refinanced. We purchased it for a sinfully low price and it was all guided along for us with lots of help and not a lot of knowledge on our part. Prior to that, we'd rented the house from my parents. When things went wrong in that house, we called my parents (even when we owned it). Changing and selling that house, and then moving across town from where I'd lived almost my entire life, was an act of cutting the apron strings for me. In a lot of ways, the past year living in this house we have now has felt like my college years, when I stretch my wings and learn how to fly on my own (at the young age of 34)!
So here we sit in this house, losing it; losing the sacrifice my mom made for us; losing the 401k money we put into it; losing the tax breaks...and I am okay. When we look at our house now, we still see it as something done for us by another person. If we get another house again, it'll be something done for us by God. So as I've looked at this journey we've been on, I see good coming out of it.
Our current plan is to continue trying for the modification and looking into refinancing, but we also are going to put it on the market and try for a short sale. I have nothing to hide here...we bought the home for $242k (and it was supposedly worth $248k). We owe $230k and one estimate we've gotten on it's current value is $214k! So we're upside down....and that took us by surprise.
Anyway, all this is to say that while I am immensely stressed by the ins and outs of the situation, I am even more at peace with the possibility of losing our home because I see some purpose in the whole situation.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Okay, so when I started this blog, my plan was to write on a regular basis and have a fancy background and become like a favorite blogger of mine, Pioneer Woman. Maybe not as famous as her, but along the same lines as her! However, it has become evident to me that I do not have the ability to do everything that I already need to do, let alone keep up a blog of that magnitude. I also didn't intend on only writing when life is bad. So I failed on both points. But, I will continue to press on in hopes that I can someday make this more of what I'd like it to be!
So, a quick update and prayer request. I'll be brutally honest. We are losing our home and are 4 months behind on payments. We are working with a HUD counselor, and while I have hope that he knows what he's doing, I am losing hope that he will actually help us. Everytime I call him, it's like starting over--this is who I am, this is why I'm calling, this is what you told me to do and why didn't you call us back--that sort of thing. We're hoping that he will help a loan modification go through with our mortgage company, although we've been preliminarily denied for now. We're also trying to see if we qualify through Obama's plan, but we've not got a lot of hope there. Today, I contacted our realtors to see what the likelihood of a short sale or even regular sale would be, and I'm planning on contacting a mortgage person tomorrow about refinancing. I also began looking at apartments online today, and pondering what the good would be in the situation if we do lose our home.
All this, and our cars are about to die.
But really, we're not sick. Our marriage isn't falling to pieces, although it could be better..but still, we're good. Our other bills seem to be manageable, for now. I'm still in school and we're still homeschooling and the kids are still able to do CYT, take piano and play some sports (all courtesy of Grandma Faye). We still have an adorable new nephew/cousin and family that loves us. And honestly, we've seen a lot of postives in not having this particular home anymore. We also figured out that we would be in this situation even if we were still in our other home that we sold last year. So the only main regret we have is that we used $10000 of Teddy's 401k to get this home and we would basically be losing it if we lose the home.
So, that is what has been going on. You may be wondering why we're in this situation. Did Teddy lose his job? No. But back in November his work slowed down for 3-4 months and we were already living paycheck to paycheck. So, really, that situation combined with poor money management skills and debt have finally come to a head. And, finally, our house payment was 52% of our monthly income at the time of purchase one year ago...when work slowed down, it became like 65%. So--in our desperation of our previous house situation--we did bite off more than we can chew. There's some more to that situation and not all of the blame is ours, but we are taking responsibility for it overall. Which stinks to learn a lesson this hard.
Hopefully, whatever happens, we will grow up from this and won't make the same mistakes again. In light of what hurts other people are facing today, I am grateful for our situation. And what could be a bigger adventure than apartment living, right? :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

A wonderful Mother's Day...

I do not typically look forward to Mother's Day. Too many high expectations of what I should want in a collision of what I really want. So I woke up grumpy. God was faithful, however, to restore my blackened heart and remind me of why joy is so important. So the day turned out wonderful and average, just the way I like it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

So, when I was a middle schooler, I had a severely low self-esteem. I was negative, critical, and thought very poorly of myself. I think I was also a pretty clingy friend; a kind of suffocating, energy zapping, joy sucking friend. I've worked hard since I was 14 to change all that, and for the most part, have found a healthy middle ground in the self-esteem and negativity department.

So, as I've shared openly before, the last 2 years have been rough. Really, really rough. As life has been changing around us, I have let myself go. REALLY let myself go. Not just my attitude, but my looks and health. I have started to fall back into that negative, critical thought process. Started to feel hopeless to change anything. Started to hate myself. Especially my body and looks. I've caught myself constantly talking about how fat I've become, how ugly my skin is, how gross my hair has gotten....all in front of my kids. Yes, I'm bigger than I've ever been. Yes, I'm trying to figure out which approach to take to permanently remedy that. Yes, I am embarrassed to go out into public lately because of my size. No, it is not a good idea to share that so openly with my kids.

So, I put on my shorts today and couldn't even get them over my bottom...the same shorts I bought last April to go to Disneyland (and they were loose) ever loving and ever encouraging daughter, Madeleine, saw my struggle and gave me a hug. Then she left me alone to wallow in my self pity, so I thought.

Ten minutes later, as we were heading out the door for soccer practice, she hands me a folded note. Not unusual, considering that I get about 4 notes a week from her, normally at bedtime and found on my pillow. Anyway, I open the note and this is what I read:

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

I realize that this verse may be out of context, but it turns out my 10-year-old daughter has been studying her bible at night and writing in a journal. This journal is a compilation of verses that she thinks may come in handy during certain situations. Like when your mom totally hates her body and is passing down an unhealthy body image to her kids....that might be a certain situation this would help. She knows how to better use scripture to encourage and exhort than I do, at least lately.

I wanna be her when I grow up.

I've been gone a long time

I didn't realize that it's been so long since I last posted! I've posted a few notes on my facebook page, but not here. I'll try and catch up some!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hesitation and worries

So I'm laying this out here right now, as it's a worry we've had for awhile and I could use some prayer. Please only comment if you really have some encouraging words or good advice to give, as I cannot take much more hurt right now.

We have a domino effect of problems happening in our lives right now, all starting back at the point that we bought this house in May. Although we're settled (as in, our home is messy and lived in), it still doesn't feel like home. There's a few reasons why, but for tonight's purpose, I'll leave it at that. So, we don't ever feel at home. Layer that with some severe financial stress we're facing. We're always facing money troubles, as I am terrible with finances and Teddy won't touch them. It's all my responsibility, and I suck at it. Just when we get a plan and get a fresh start, we mess it up again. This time, it's so messed up, we're looking at desperate measures. So, at this point, past doubts and struggles with homeschooling enter in. While school's been going better and we've been a bit more consistent, I am deluged daily with the knowledge that my children are behind where they could be (not should be, but could be according to their skill and potential and where I want them); that the character building and closeness to God is not happening; that I am possibly doing more damage than good in keeping them home, as my present mood has not been nurturing or patient. Yes, I know these could be lies, but I've really examined myself and I don't think they are. My oldest wants to try a school so bad, but won't say that too loudly in order not too hurt my feelings, and my two youngest don't ever want to try a school. At this point, our money problems enter in again. I am possibly needing to go back to work in order to help dig us out of trouble. Most jobs that I am qualified for (basically none since I haven't truly worked in 11 years) are during the day, or at least need you to say you're available during the day. We've been talking with a private Christian school about financial aid and registration. I've been looking at public school, and if I put them in, where would it be and would I want to do a boundary exception. Enter in the final straw...our marriage is facing some difficulties. I will not give details, and implore those of you who are close to us to please not panic and think the end is near for us. That is not the case. But, our marriage is straining under these present difficulties, and I can no longer handle the silence or the harsh words between us. I thus far have not proven to be the kind of homeschooling mom that can school the kids, clean the house, make dinner, handle the money, do taxi and volunteer service, and be a wife and maybe find time for my interests once in a while. The fact that I cannot do all these things is creating a domino effect around here. I am failing at life and something has to go. My husband has made the comment that if the kids were in school, I might find more time to actually take care of him and the house, as well as maybe work part time. And I'm still dealing with small bouts of depression, which affect my motivation, and we all know the first thing to go when we lose motivation is our housework and meals! So, if any of my homeschooling momma friends are out there, you got any suggestions? What do you do when you feel like homeschooling is ruining your marriage, if you've ever felt that way? Is it ever a good time or okay reason to throw in the towel, even though you know homeschooling is the better choice for your kids? And I'm talking about next school year, not immediately. And I know all of my non-homeschooling friends are probably laughing at me lamenting over this, but for us right now, it's a very serious problem. These problems we've been facing have overshadowed our entire lives lately, and I'm finding myself being negative about everything and not feeling like myself. I know a lot of this cannot be placed on homeschooling, rather, it's a spiritual problem at the root. But when at your wit's end and feeling all alone, what is there to be done? If anything, please pray, as we are in dire straits in many different ways around here and this is not something I would normally just come out and share with people when asked, "How are you?"

This historical day in history

So we swore in our first Black president today. The historical value of that is amazing. But other than that, there's not a whole bunch I like about the situation. I am not an Obama supporter, and as the Obama worship grows, I get more leery rather than hopeful. With that, nothing I say about today, no matter how intelligent or witty, will change the mind of any supporters and will only further discord amongst us. So, I leave it at that. But I am committed to pray for him and his administration, and I have hope that God still accomplish His work regardless of who is in office. I don't doubt God's plan...which means that for whatever reason, Obama is meant to be there. So I will pray.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What if every encounter another person had with me caused them to walk away feeling as if they were enveloped in a hug? What if my prescense warmed them to the point of feeling like they were utterly loved, enjoyed and cherished?
I've realized over the last year that what I really, truly desire in life is to be included, to not be forgotten. I want to be loved and cherished; protected and thought of. I want to be remembered and known.
Somewhere, somehow, I'm not getting this and my challenge is to be okay with the idea that the only place I may ever get it is from God. I need to be satisfied with that and I need more of Him and less of me in order to attain that satisfaction.
What if my goal in life was to make sure that every person I interacted with, starting with my immediate family, left my prescense with a feeling that they were loved, remembered, wanted, included, protected and thought of. Maybe if I gave that first, I would start to have friendships that were deeper and met these needs. Maybe my marriage would survive the valleys. Maybe people would start to include me more and think of me more. Most of all, maybe I would start to be more Christ like.