Monday, April 21, 2008

Do Not Provoke Your Children

As a mom I struggle constantly with trying to be a good mom. Many times I carry "Mommy Guilt" around. Guilt that I am somehow going to wreck my children for life. I am always happy to come across godly counsel, even if it cuts me deep.
Last night as I was reading blogs, I came across a great article by John MacArthur based on his commentary on Ephesians. The whole article can be found at Pulpit Magazine. It is an article worth reading. Though I will be honest it is not a feel good article to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Hopefully, the result will be more beneficial. Here is one of the ways I do provoke my children:

Well–meaning overprotection is a common cause of resentment in children. Parents who smother their children, overly restrict where they can go and what they can do, never trust them to do things on their own, and continually question their judgment build a barrier between themselves and their children—usually under the delusion that they are building a closer relationship. Children need careful guidance and certain restrictions, but they are individual human beings in their own right and must learn to make decisions on their own, commensurate with their age and maturity. Their wills can be guided but they cannot be controlled.

This morning I asked my husband to read the article too. I asked him if he would keep me accountable in these areas. With God's help I will use this information to grow into a better mom.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Cooking Class and Birthday Party

Yesterday was a busy day. I started out at the house of an older member of our church. She is a Korean woman who cooks good food. I asked her several months ago if she would teach me how to make her wontons. She asked me to come over her house yesterday so she could show me how. So I took good notes and took pictures. Here was our process:

This is a half of pound of spinach that was blanched and then squeezed till all of the water was gone.

This is Toni trimming and cutting up three pounds of pork roast.

This is the spinach, 2 bunches of green onions and part of the pork.

These were cool! These noodles are made from potatoes. We put them in boiling water and then let them sit for a long time. After they were done, Toni cut those up.

This is the completed mix. Toni added 3 pounds of hamburger, then mixed it very well.

Here is the mix stuffed in wonton wrappers and sealed with egg. This part was sort of difficult, because Toni wanted a lot of meat in each one. Every
time I tried to put in a lot of meat, I tore the wonton wrappers. It was fun though.

Toni fried the wontons until they were brown and floated to the top of the oil.

Don't they look good. After we were done with the wontons, my family came over and we enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

Later in the afternoon we were invited to a birthday party. Here is Abby and Rebekah enjoying the jumper.

This is Luna and her Daddy with her cupcake tower.

We were very busy yesterday, but very blessed by the families in our church!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Field Trip

Yesterday, we took our girls on a field trip to Pt. Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro. We had a wonderful time, we had a picnic at the tables in the park and then we walked around the edges of the park looking down along the coast.

We were able to see seven sea lions on a rock below.

While we waited for the next tour of the lighthouse, a volunteer in the gift shop offered to take us over to the little gardens on the property. He had planted most of the plants himself. He took us through every bed. He even pulled off leaves and let us try several of the edible plants.

This is the kitchen in the lighthouse. There is a wooden high chair in the background.

On the other side of the kitchen was this washing machine. The tour guide explained to our girls how clothes were washed during that period.

The sewing machine was in the master bedroom along with this rocking chair.

The girls were able to dress up in keeper clothes.

We were able to go up to the tower of the lighthouse. This is the view looking up the coast to Palos Verdes.

Rachel feeding the very friendly squirrel, he ran up to us as we left the lighthouse.

A very enjoyable day in Southern California!

Tax Day Baby

Well, my beautiful nephew has arrived. He was born Tuesday (4/15/08) at 4:10pm.
He weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and is 20 1/2 long. I really can't tell who he looks like.

Auntie Wendy looking at his head.

The happy, but very tired Mommy and Daddy.

Benjamin Asher Smith

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Adventures in Odyssey

A couple of years ago we were blessed to receive a CD of Adventures in Odyssey. We have really enjoyed listening to them with our girls. Yesterday as the girls and I headed up to my parents for a visit we listened to an episode we have listened to three times this week. Something struck me just yesterday as we listened to it. Yes, I am a little slow. Here is a summary from Focus on the Family of the episode we listened to:

The Ill-Gotten Deed

Calvin is mad at his brother, Ronny. So mad, in fact, he is searching the library at Whit's End for a book of mean tricks to play on his sibling. Calvin tells Whit that Ronny is always double-crossing him. Whit hears Calvin out, then Whit says he does have a book for Calvin after all.

The book is called The Ill-Gotten Deed, by John Avery Whittaker. It's all about two identical twin brothers named Horace and Grover who live in Virginia with their wives. Their father dies, leaving behind his land out west. But instead of dividing it up, the father's will states that the first of the brothers to reach the land gets it all! It's supposed to be a fair contest, but unfortunately Grover ends up double-crossing his brother. Grover wins the contest and cheats Horace out of the land.

Grover and his wife, Rachael, arrive first and the deed is signed over to them. But as soon as the deed is signed, they learn that the land is actually a swamp for most of the year. It's overrun by range cattle and, worst of all, surrounded by hostile Indians-who decide at that very moment to go on the warpath! Grover and Rachael fight the Indians off as best they can, but it looks hopeless. Suddenly, the Indians ride off, chased away by a huge herd of range cattle. And behind the cattle is Horace! He's saved Grover and Rachael, despite what Grover did to him.

Grover still has one more swindle up his sleeve, though. He insists that Horace take their father's land! Horace, not knowing all the land's drawbacks, agrees. He turns over his small farm in Virginia to Grover.

Calvin can't believe it until Whit reads the rest of the story to him: The swamp land turned out to be fine when a few strategic drainage ditches were dug. Horace built himself a lovely little town on the property, a town he ended up calling "Odyssey." Everything turned out all right for Horace in the end-and Calvin discovers why it's best not to overcome evil by evil, but to overcome evil with good.

At the end of the episode, Mr. Whittaker is talking to Calvin and he explains that Horace didn't believe that he should judge anybody--that was God's job. Mr. Whittaker went on to tell Calvin that Horace wasn't harboring bad feelings toward his brother, just thankfulness for what God had done in his own life.

Many times I am blinded by my hurt and anger because I have put my eyes on those things that hurt me and not on what God has done for me. It is actually my pride, saying I didn't deserve it.
I somehow feel if I carry around the pain, I am justified. If I was honest, I would say that I lose too much sleep (that is when I keep going over and over things that are bugging me) dwelling on past hurts. But yesterday I was reminded by a fictional character that I need to let God take care of it. I also need to thank God that I don't get what I truly deserve, which is eternity in hell.

I need to focus on God and His continual grace in my life.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Learning Through Moving

I am learning through this move that I have way too much stuff and not enough room for all of it. I want all my toys (fabric, patterns, pictures, kitchen stuff and books) around me, but there is so much stuff I can't find a place for it. I find it so easy right now to just give things to Goodwill. I am thankful that God has given me the ability to just let go of things right now. I just wish I would have been able to do this before we moved all these boxes here.
I have had the deep desire to live a simpler life. Now is a time for action!

I want to live a simpler life because:

• It takes a lot less time to clean up.

• You can find things easier.

• I will have more time with my family.

• I love to relax in a clean uncluttered room.

Somebody might ask why I don't sell the things we are getting rid of to help our family. My simple answer is I don't want to have things sitting around waiting to be sold. Plus, there is always a temptation to just keep things. We have been living with boxes for over a month now. It is time.
My mantra for this week is, "Simpler is better".

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I am alive

Hello world. I am back. I just wanted to let you know what has been happening in our life for the last few weeks. We are officially moved now. We love our new place. We still have unpacking to do, but we are getting there.

Abby enjoys singing songs in Awana. Her little friend Luna was tired.

Some of our Family Life kids at the park.

My three girls actually getting along in a hammock.

Abby with her birthday cake.

My little girl on her birthday. Her outfit was put together by her six year old sister. All fun!

My girls on Easter Sunday. Bekah turned 12 on Easter.

Bekah and her Nana share their birthday cake. Bekah loves that she was born on her Nana's birthday.