Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Smile


this week has been a little crazy with Key being sick and vomiting all over the place :( thankfully she's been a trooper and taking her little bucket with her wherever she is.

praise God i just got the itch to cook again! i have been cooking but with no real pleasure in it. i really think its the weather change--fall and winter are my favorite! now it's time to fatten up and hibernate:) our place lacks central air (i know, what a baby i am) so cooking is a hassle when its hot. made this simple cake and topped it with a brown sugar crumble = coffee cake. tonight i'll be making chicken pot pie.

we bought this book last month and hopefully we'll read it soon. their promo video is too cute. i love their cause in making this book.

this looks amazing. a cook book....i love cheese!

it looks like a bunch of the newbies at FSBC will be in a musical! me too!

our cousin just got engaged and we're ecstatic! she's all grown up :(

i've been looking for a sofa high and low. for years it seems. looking for these things and a budget friendly price tag. 

i tried making these earlier this year but i'll need to make another using her technique.

danika's death memorial is coming up soon and it just brings up so many emotions and memories. we all miss her so much.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A forgotten birthday celebration

Key's birthday celebration was back in may and I never updated her surprise balloon party. we try to make it a family tradition for the kids. they love waking up to a living room full of balloons!

lots of new changes in our family. well, it's really just one but it sure makes everything else feel different! PJ is the new pastor of first southern baptist church of bellflower. that means we'll be moving to bellflower soon. i'm still getting use to the new routine especially on sunday. i know for sure i need tons of grace and that's what i have been praying for our family and the church.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Good bye.... for now

CrossView is gone. God's not gone. CrossView will no longer meet together. God and his people will meet in the New Heavens and New Earth. CrossView won't continue the work of the ministry in Los Angeles. God will continue the work in Los Angeles and all over the world.

I'll miss you CrossView. I'll miss the strong fellowship. I'll miss us guarding the communion table. I'll miss the hard conversations that are uncomfortable but so freeing. I'll miss serving in the city with you. I'll miss the hard laughs on Friday nights. I'll miss my home being a mess and y'all gladly cleaning up. I'll miss the fun interactions and the moments you understand that PJ and I are dorks who LOVE to laugh. I'll miss the cries and tears. I'll miss the sleep overs. I'll miss the premarital couseling. I'll miss the I'm not- ashamed- to- talk- about- real- marriage- with- you. I'll miss the biblical counseling. I'll miss singing "Oh, praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead." I'll miss the CrossView weddings. I'll miss your interactions with our kids. I'll miss the singles bringing around "prospective courtships." I'll miss disagreeing with you. I'll miss our member meetings. I'll miss when some of you ask visitors if they're "members of another church?" I'll miss the men meeting at our place. I'll miss riding my bike to Shatto. I'll miss the 5 minute sharing after the sermon. I'll miss having communion together every week. I'll miss potluck. I'll miss teaching the kids class. Ill miss each of your faces at Shatto.

Thank you.

Thank you for growing me. My marriage. My family. And most importantly my walk with The Lord.

It's funny how some of our friends whom we haven't updated are contacting us concerned with what happened to CrossView. We are assuring them that we did not disband because of any sinful reason--there was no church split. In a nut shell, PJ thought it be best if he found a place where we can be provided for and have more partnership-- whether in LA preferably, or outside of the city.To be quiet frank, I was feeling discouraged because of the lack of members coming to live in LA despite the constant encouragements to come and live here (our original vision). Even the members that did live here, at one point, moved out of the city. We weren't forceful in trying to argue our case of why members should come and live here--we wanted them to move here because of conviction not be we coerced them. God ultimately said no. So we decided God is closing this door and opening another. There's a few details I'm missing but that could be talked about in person and made clear. But in a nutshell, this is what got the conversations off it's feet.

I wanted to be clear to PJ and CrossView-- I would happily stay here in LA if PJ perceived God was giving him a deep conviction to stay here, then I'd follow and understand God's call on him. I wanted to be careful with my words.

God really just set things up for us. I don't know why. Was it our time to leave? Was it time to dust our feet off here? I don't know. But as far as God allowed PJ and I to examine our hearts to see if there was any sinful reason of why we were open to leaving....we could not find any. we wanted to be very careful with our hearts.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Around Here #4

the kids making us breakfast.
playing outside with each other.
Rock made his own loom!
family game night on our bed.
throwing tantrums on the always.
City's basket of shoes.
the kids enjoying one of our all-time favorite movies.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Getting Ready for Porn

porn has really been on my mind. not in a perverted way, but because we're preparing. there's a battle for our children's minds and souls. our kids are getting older and are being exposed to a whole lot of images, verbiage, and ideas that are contrary to what we are trying to teach them. the question is no longer--- will Rock, Key, Story and City see porn? in reality, it's when will they see porn? and it's our job to help them prepare for it.

since it's been on our radar, it's been a blessing to come across great articles, blog posts, books and videos. these have been helpful in preparing us and our kids. porn is a serious problem. it can destroy marriages and families. don't let the culture fool as they try to normalize it.

there's things we've implemented in our home culture in preparation for future conversations about sex. we have not discussed "sex" yet, but we are trying to set things in place so when we get there, there won't be a huge chasm of information. we've included things that have helped PJ and I fight sin and good habits we've tried to set in our home.

here are a few (links provided)....

we've taught our kids about immodesty and modesty. our kids are now sensitive to immodesty. they turn away from inappropriate billboards, entertainment, and even people we come across. they try to politely ask us if what they were wearing was "modest." they'll even correct me at home or when we're out!

an audio interview mentioned teaching children that "naked is private." we really like this concept. since we have one 1 boy and 3 girls, it's obvious that we need to set boundaries, especially when they start feeling uncomfortable around each other. we're still on a learning curve since they're still small and don't see anything wrong or inappropriate yet. the concept is helpful with respecting nakedness. clothing nakedness should be done in private. sexual images like what is seen in movies and especially porn, should make us feel uncomfortable for them and us. drawing lines early is important (with modesty) so when a naked woman is seen, it's clear they need to look away. we've taught them to not look at people naked, and if they come across it, they are to close the laptop or whatever device (or say "no thanks" to the friend who is showing them an image) and tell us immediately! this also helps in teaching them about molestation and that no family or friend should ask to see them naked or show them anything improper.

i came across this article/video and it was helpful to hear a mother address nakedness. we have introduced "naked is private" but i'm also a breast-feeding mom that doesn't cover up when my kids are around. i've concluded that i want them to understand that breast are not to inappropriately flaunt but to nourish children with. as they grow older we'll have to have appropriate conversations about the God-given anatomy of humans and the beauty of sex, but for now, breasts are not to be flaunted. at the same time i don't mind my son or daughters seeing me change and ask about my mommy anatomy. they're kids and have questions and it gives me an opportunity to tell them about the beauty of motherhood and what a real life body looks like. i want them to understand reality and the lies that the media portrays. thighs can be flabby, butts jiggle, tummies do have scars on them! so we will teach both.... "naked is private but if you have questions please come here to us and ask ALL the questions you want, even if it makes mommy and daddy uncomfortable" :)

with our son, i feel different then i do with our girls, maybe it's because of their obvious gender difference or maybe because i know the battle for his mind is fierce. it worries me at times. with Rock, i know he'll come across something sexually that is really enticing. the question is when. it breaks my heart to think of these things but i can't ignore it! praise God PJ is honest about what a man struggles with. PJ and Rock will have plenty of hard, honest, gracious conversations about what guys struggle with. this dad and son openness will be vital in helping Rock fight the temptation to lust. us girls will have similar hard conversations but honest. this accountability will be extremely helpful in preparing our kids and growing them when they fall.

knowing the culture of your home is vital. in other words, what could be lust triggers for someone in your household? internet, movies, music videos, instagram, blogs? we've never allowed barbies in our home because of their fully exposed bodies but a family member gave our girls princess barbies that were a little more modest, but this week Rock asked if his sister's barbies could be banned from our home. he said they were distracting. we agreed. it reminded me that our family fighting lust needs to be exactly that--we need to help each other fight sin and in this case, lust.

confession is so freeing. our church has been a blessing in having a community of grace and not performance. that must be the same in our homes. that means when we sin, we can't hide it because in order to be truly free from sin we need to run from it and ask others to help and keep us accountable. when this healthy habit is implemented, we can feel free to confess our sins, no matter how ugly, because we'll be accepted no matter what and forgiveness is open and free. another important aspect to confession-- for those listening to confession-- you shouldn't be shocked as if you or they didn't know what we are capable of. being in the ministry with pj, going on 10 years, we've seen it all. our hearts are burdened by the sin we and others commit, but it's so refreshing to let whomever we are counseling know there is hope in Christ Jesus! we must give that same hope to our children. they aren't perfect, they'll commit "shocking" sins but we must be ready to point them to the ONE that covers ALL our sins.

tied with confession is being keenly aware that hiding sin is detrimental in anyones life. lying is always a lose-lose situation. God kindly cautions us by saying, "be sure your sin will catch up with you."
we've made sure our kids understand that lying is a HUGE deal. when they've lied in the past they get double the discipline. why? we've wanted to teach them that lying or hiding sin leads to a more hurt and pain. i'm constantly reminding our kids to be a person of integrity, sometimes being that person is hard but far more rewarding in the eyes of the Lord. this teaching goes against the grain in our souls but God is patient with us and teaches us....the same has to be done with our children.

Also helpful,
porn proofing your home.
Getting ready to talk about sex, early.
this book for daughters has been helpful.
this book for sons...PJ is currently reading it.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Smile

my grandma passed away two weeks hurts. the family is doing ok. my mom is well, just sad from time to time. it's interesting how death can really make you think. some choose to ignore it...but you can't. death is certain and what you do with your life gives it purpose. it reminds me of this poem by C.T Studd

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

this young woman's story is heartbreaking. i know many are applauding her but my heart aches for the reality that our culture is about death in an unhealthy way. this is not only about a woman dying, but about millions of babies that have died and will die. "we certainly come to understand is that when the sanctity of human life is compromised at one end-of-life spectrum in particular prenatal life, the unborn life, it inevitably becomes discounted at the other end as well." well put Albert Mohler (full article here)... if death becomes a thing you choose, who's to say it's wrong or right when someone wants to take a pill to end their life because they're depressed over a relationship ending? a bankruptcy? a job loss? things can begin to look messy here...

this amazing woman has wise words to depart to Brittany Maynard. she prays our prayer for Brittany too.

our friend wrote a sweet song called "last days," that deals with death. we can't wait till we can buy it on itunes! we're excited for their upcoming performance!

so happy for this guys success and how he's shinning for Jesus Christ! can't forget about our other guy who is a blessing to us! get his album! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

fun DIY jersey dresses & a prayer request

i've finally come around to making these cute, simple jersey dresses for the girls. they're so easy to make! i love that the edges can be left raw, so much more easier for me. when time permits, i'd love to make tons more for the girls.

tomorrow we have a family meeting with my grandma's doctor. we're all so anxious and relieved that we get to have more answers to our heart ache. i pray God is glorified and seen in tomorrow's outcome.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Smile Moment

Have a great weekend!

this has been a joy to listen to and so engaging. everyone should listen to it!

my grandma isn't doing well. our hearts are aching. mine aches for her salvation.

finished this book with pj; we found it helpful and insightful.

i've wanted to share our homeschool method (classical education) and the curriculum we use.

these are so comfortable! debating whether i should save up for some. i have cheap-o ones for house slippers (since I need arch support and have foot problems now--i'm getting old!) i bought some real ones at a thrift store when I was pregnant with City, thinking my fat foot would didn't. I sadly, but happily, gave them to my friend, who has cute small feet :)

lots of great homeschooling ideas and printable here!

i have a job! i'm tutoring Key's class every Monday. i'm exhausted after, but it's super fun!

pj and i had one of the worst date nights hahaha!

this movie looks good and funny. I love kristen wiig. this one looks sad and interesting! i think i like ben affleck in these types of movies.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bitter Sweet

(family photos from 2011 by CakeFlix)

lots of changes going on in our circle of friends, family and in our home. some sweet, others bitter, and a few, bitter-sweet. i can't help but thank God for the things that are being revealed. if i weren't a believer i know things would look grim but since i know "all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose"--things look hopeful.

one of the sweetest encouragements has been a dear sister returning to the Lord. she was sought after by our church members with love and truth. after the Lord tugged on her heart, she returned! a real life prodigal son/daughter. her story is so beautiful and inspiring. it was beautiful the way our church loved her but with true biblical love. it wasn't what people stereotype a church excommunication to be; we didn't "kick" her out because of sin, we loved her and persuaded her to come back to the Lord and forsake her sin. we told her the truth-- of what they are choosing and the lie they are believing. it was done biblically, all done in love. it might not seem loving by some people's standards but we obeyed God's standards. we were honest about what scripture said but we still spoke with the love of Jesus. we prayed and tried (by God's grace) to mimic our Lord.

other big changes are coming that we are really excited about but sad at the same time. i'll try to be more specific in the coming weeks.

Off topic...we need to take family photos soon! City wasn't born in these yet.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Smile

recently pj and i have been really thinking of this. i'd like to do a blog post on ways we are preparing, not just for our boy, but our girls too. this article has been helpful too. "immodesty" is a word we taught our kids, and they use it often to describe improper attire. the kids constantly use it.

recent tragedies have to make us rethink things. i think suspending judgement until all the evidence is out, is most helpful, and wise. rethink with humility, truth and justice. this is an article to help digest one of the underlying issue.

i recently just got a runner's injury! I'm so sad. but i'm on the hunt for a new pair of rocking, running shoes! never even heard of these.

i had no idea there was an als ice bucket challenge! what a great way to raise awareness and funds. rock, my son, was challenged by his cousin, he took it on like a trooper. this one is a fail though.

beacause of our biblical convictions on stem cell research, an alternate way to donate to als, here, here and here.

i'm dying to try this place! my friend did their logo and other paper goods. i heart the letter "c" tier, so creative.

our blender broke last month and i was on the hunt for a new one. the vitamix crossed my mind several times but couldn't get over the price tag! i know, 7 year warranty. research brought me to this one and we purchased it! with a 4 year extended warranty. it works like a charm. pj calls it my new car ;)

why didn't i ever think of this. a friend posted this link on her fb, thankfully i saw it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Anniversary

june 25th marked our 9 year anniversary! crazy to think next year we'll be married a decade! it doesn't feel like it...after 9 years of marriage, 4 kids, 6 moves, planting a church and so many other adventures, there's never a dull moment being married to this incredible man. i love him with all my heart and i'm so grateful to the Lord for making us one.

i heard ace hotel opened up in downtown la and I was interested in visiting. i read reviews and was intrigued. i yelped our experience. fun for a first time, nothing more. the brass knobs were my fav! all the people partying near the pool was not cool though.

thankful we got to spend time together... cherished times with my love.


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