Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Unbirthday!

Today is my 6-month unbirthday and I was able to spend it with my babies. Such a pleasant way to celebrate. Baby girl's unbirthday is close to mine so I had her blow out a candle and we each took a small bite of ice cream...very small, Megan, I promise! MJ was my birthday present last year so it was extra fun to share today with her. I can't believe she's old enough to blow out a candle and beg for sweets! 

This afternoon while my girl was eating and I was feeding Theo, I kept quizzing her about where her Auntie was. At first she'd point to brother, then to herself, but eventually she got it figured out. For the rest of the day she'd point to Auntie when asked. We played, "Where's Bubba's nose? Where's MJ's hair? Where's Auntie's mouth?" She got it right everytime. Baby Girl is growing up.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Glimpse of Camping Trip 2012

MomMA and I had lots of fun at Grayland Beach State Park. We were just a short walk down a beach trail from the ocean -- it was the kind you could drive on, too. Our yurt was great, as usual. We had electricity and heat. The black picture? Our campfire the first night. It was drizzly and wet so we had a hard time keeping anything going in the firepit other than smoke! Cooking was a challenge but the remainder of the weekend was dry and beautiful so we had no problem building roaring fires. We explored the town of Westport and enjoyed seeing all the fishing boats. We also discovered Grayland is a cranberry bog capital and sells most of its supply to Ocean Spray. We had an interesting time driving around looking at all the "farms," even stopping at a roadside shop to buy 2 lbs. of cranberries. I'll have a video together soon with a few more pictures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Frustration and Fury...Multumesc

Last night I had a meltdown. The kind that occurs when you've been holding so much in and trying to stay calm and trying to hold it together and trying to act like you are serene and content. The kind that, once it erupts, can't be stemmed - it just flows and flows and flows until only sputtering gasps remain. It is frustration and fury and helplessness and desperation coiled tight and hot inside. It is wanting to scream but knowing if you open your mouth the sound might never stop. 

Parts were told over the phone to a listener hearing with love. Parts were kept inside - afraid to be exposed to light. Much was laid bare during the course of a long night to a Father who was waiting to hold. When it feels like life is moving past and everyone knows where they are going and the trip consists of rides in shiny cars on fresh-paved roads into glistening cities, it is hard to remember that I am not forgotten as I ride my bicycle with the flat tire over gravel roads rutted from heavy rains down a two-track into ever-thickening brambles.

Some of what I was reminded of during my chat with God in the dark hours is the fact that all things come from His hand. Do I trust Him only when things go the way I think they should? Do I think of myself as more knowledgeable and capable than He is? The very things my students do or my girls at home or my brother that make me feel unappreciated or misunderstood or taken advantage of are behaviors I find myself displaying toward the Lord. When will I be grown and mature enough to look at Him and what comes from His hands and say, "Thank you?" The Romanian way of saying thanks is "multumesc." It means, "It is much." Not only is it enough, does it cover the is exceeding, it is more. IT. IS. MUCH.
The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue,
     Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
     The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
    to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
    quietly hope for help from God.
~Lamentations 3:22 - 26
(Good News Translation and The Message)

Ann Voskamp puts this verse in beautiful perspective:
God’s mercies are new every morning — not as an obligation to you, but as an affirmation of you. It right there in there in the sky every morning: Every sunrise proves the burn of His passionate heart.

Where do I begin with this? His mercies are an affirmation of me. He does it out of love not obligation. Every sunrise proves the burn of His passionate heart. Every gorgeous, breath-taking pink and purple sky, every bright orange sun I see in my rearview mirror each morning as I drive to work is a reminder of His heart toward me. And what about The Message's version of verse 25? What does it mean to passionately wait? I could spend weeks on just that thought...passionately waiting. I feel a study coming on J

God uses literature, movies, music, art, His word -- all of this speaks to me and reaches me at a place where my logical brain refuses to accept what doesn't make sense. Last night and this morning He used messages from Martin Luther, from the Old Testament, and from Ann Voskamp. He used a beautifully unique hand-splashed sunrise, He used a song by Laura Story. He read my heart and spoke to me in a language He knows I understand fluently.

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe
©Laura Story - Blessings

This morning as I reflect on what God has been speaking into my life, I think about the bicycle with the flat tire I feel like I've been riding. I think about the unfulfilled dreams and the unanswered questions. I think about walking with a loved one through unknown territory. I think about waiting and seeking and hoping...passionately. I am challenged to say thank you. To trust.

All the while You hear each spoken need
You love us way too much to give us lesser things

Multumesc for this life. It is much. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Movie Night With The Fam!

Tonight, all four of us were home. Aika was cooking her food for lunch tomorrow, Miho was sitting on the couch keeping us company, JP was sleeping and I was making dinner. We had hamburgers, corn on the cob, potato salad, watermelon and two different kinds of Asian dessert. A couple months ago, I tried a hamburger with peanut butter at California Burger. It was delicious. Tonight, I set the PB on the table, took a Benadryl and we all spread it on the onion buns. The unanimous consensus was, "Perfection!" We all loved it and a new family tradition was born. You know how I love tradition. Of course, I'm half unconscious now from the Benadryl but I was able to eat PB without getting hives. Now, ALL 4 of us are seated around the fireplace watching Indiana Jones by candlelight. Aika is asleep, Miho is on her phone, I'm on the computer, JP is texting...but we're all here together so that's what counts, right? It's a good night!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I made a new dish for the girls tonight. They loved it and Miho asked me to teach her how to make it. That is a true measurement of how well she liked it! Here's the recipe (click on recipe card for better view):

After dinner Miho, brother and I played Threes. I, of course, won. Here's the proof!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Get Well Essentials

I've been battling strep throat and ear infections for a little while now and have compiled quite a basket of goodies to help me overcome this nasty sore throat that won't leave.

 Necessary items:
A good book
Chicken noodle soup
Cough drops
Prescription throat gargle
Hot broth-y soup

 Yes, I did say tea, and for those who know me you will know how unlikely it is for me to admit to this. I hate tea. I don't like how it looks and I detest how it smells. However, after days of throat spray and gargle having no effect and almost instant soothing after drinking the above-pictured variety, I am a new convert.  Well, at least when I have strep throat. I'm not making any promises after I'm well.

Also on the list of necessary items:
Calls from loved ones

 Not necessary but pure delight:
Flowers from Daughter #2

A clean kitchen and sweet goodies from Daughter #1.

I am blessed beyond measure...exceeding abundant.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Autobiographical Video

I assigned this project to my students so had to make a video myself for them to follow. They are supposed to make a 5 - 10 minute video, starting at their birth, which includes details of their childhood, home life, hobbies, family, goals, etc. It is due tomorrow. I am excited to see what they come up with. Mine was thrown together in a hurry so the pictures aren't cropped and I didn't get to add live video but I think the kids got the basic idea when I showed it to them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Before and After

I finished Aika's desk and dresser. I like how they both turned out. The only thing that remains is her chair. I primed it tonight. Tomorrow I'll paint it and Friday I'll recover the seat with fabric that matches her room. It's going to be so pretty!