Monday, April 4, 2016

DIY: Tassle Socks

my constantly, crying, baby Reed gives me only a few minutes to do anything creative. when i get the craft bug i quickly have to create something before i easily become frustrated with an idea. since i can't sit in front of my sewing machine--which i desperately desire--i reach for simple diy projects that muster up creative juices and yet keeps me close to baby.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Smile

mindy's show is hilarious.

this show is pretty good.

i want lots of cool tools to make stuff.

the anniversary of roe vs. wade. I never knew this.

OMG serial. I'm hooked!!!

thinking of the warmer weather in Cali has me planning for backyard ideas!

this map lol!

what i've secretly been trying.

i tried this soup a few times and i loved it.

such a good letter to read and remind myself of my sin.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016


recent conversations and things ive read have me thinking more of death. obviously no one is truly foreign to it and others actually have seen the sting closer.

i've loosely followed this mans journey to death and it's had me praying for his family and just trying to be sensitive to the fact that we are not our own. his wife's words are so powerful. here's a review of his book.

i have no idea when my time or beloved family and friends have. i've tried visualizing all my family and friends with count down clocks above their heads and imagine being shocked at the differing times and "unexpected" deaths. our lovely niece is so near in my thoughts of death and life.

it's healthy to think about death in a way that sobers us from our individualism and brings us back to reality. it's not pretty but desperately needed.

Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
56 Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!
1 corinthians 15:55-57

Now I further saw that between them and the gate was a River, but there was no bridge so that pilgrims might cross over; moreover, the River was very deep. So Christian and Hopeful were shocked at such a sight; but the men escorting them declared, “You must pass through this River or else you cannot arrive at the gate of the City. Then the pilgrims asked if there was any other way to the gate.The  Shining Ones answered, “Yes, but no one else has been permitted to travel that way since the foundation of the world except Enoch and Elijah; and no others will be allowed until the sounding of the last trumpet.” Then the pilgrims began to despair in their minds, and especially Christian; they looked this way and that way, but no alternative route could be found by which they could avoid the River.Then they asked the men if the water was all of the same depth. They replied “No,” but could offer no further help other than the comment, “You shall find it deeper or shallower according to your trust in the King of the place.

-From Pilgrim's Progress
by John Bunyan

Monday, January 25, 2016

Around Here #7

it's been difficult lately. reed is precious and she's high maintenance! its true what they say-- every child is different. the other four, as babies, we're self soothing. this factor came in extremely handy as i home-schooled and needed some cushion room to teach and still care for a newborn. reed loves to be in the sling and only in the sling. if she's not in there her time alone is short-lived. some times i cry and feel so overwhelmed. then there's days that the circumstances have not changed but i feel God's grace calm my weary soul. don't get me wrong she's a huge blessing! we love her forever and cant imagine life without her but i'm human and i get overwhelmed too. even as i type this i'm struggling to keep her content as she's already well fed, changed and sleepy. but i lover her and she's worth the struggle:)

1. sometimes running a mile outside is our p.e.

 2. a new headband

3. our home in the process of becoming our home.

 4. fitting in science experiments with a new born can be a challenge.

5. school on my bed has been a frequent.

 6. oh city you're a ham.

 7. we are loving our church work days

 8. city's signature lip pose

 9. visiting the broad

10. the kids appreciating contemporary art

i celebrated my birthday with friends, music, and encouraging chatter. i was so blessed and refreshed. i love how God brings people into your life that are sources of fresh air. i love them all dearly.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

TOP 10

the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. by the way, i love this chilly time of year, maybe everybody does juxtaposed to southern california's past summer!

at the end of the year new toys come in from family and friends so we purge out the old, or highly unused, and make way for some new. the forgotten toys i pack up and store and in a few months i bring them out-- abandoned toys into new toys!

there's some toys that get used frequently, i mean the kids forget about them for a few days but then, there they are, pulling out those same ol' toys. many times things become toys : )

here's a few that have stuck with our family. but every family is different, so what are yours?

1. blocks
via diapers

2. legos
via wikihow

3. super hero costumes

4. small action figures
via amazon

5. hot wheels
via walmart

6. paper. yes paper

7. kitchen toys

8. string. yup.
image via wikipedia  

9. a bedtime soft toy
image via amazon


10. cloth!
via joann

something we've been doing lately--celebrating boredom. when the kids complain about being bored we celebrate. i tell them "thats awesome!" and

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reed's Birth Story

3am my contractions begin on november 18th. they're light but unquestionable. i begin timing them. 20 minutes apart. then 15 minutes apart. then back to 20. this goes on for 2 hours. then they get closer. i tell my Lovely husband that it might be time. i call the midwife and she tells me to call her when they're 5 minutes apart for an hour. PJ prepares his things and mine. he calls his brother and asks him if he can come pick up the kids. our brother picks up the kids so we're free to speed away to the birthing center at any moment. but my contractions subside to 30 minutes apart. hmmm. our midwife calls me at 9am. i tell her my predicament. this is very different from my four other births--once i begin contracting it quickly progresses. my midwife tells me to come in at 11am to see whats going on. my contractions get a little stronger but still erratic. we go in and she observes my lack of dilation and renders that i could have the baby tonight, tomorrow or in a week. my due date is november 30th, it's very possible this is false labor. we leave baffled.

we head over to my brothers to fetch our kids. on our way my Lovely picks up ramen noodles for me. as we head home we deliver the bad news to the kids that Reed hasn't decided what she wants to do. 

once we're home i'm tired and i want to rest. its 5pm and i'm getting inconsistent pains. by 7pm these pains become bothersome. at around 7:45pm the kids start their bedtime routine. still inconsistent but by 8:21pm i can't talk because the pain is becoming unbearable and they're 7 minutes apart. I'm contracting in our bedroom-- the birthing ball is at the edge our bed while i stand over it. other times PJ's pushing my hips inward to relieve some pressure.  PJ calls the kids to watch me while i contract, he uses it as a teaching moment. i wave them off because i'm trying to focus. the pain makes you do and say crazy things. pj calls our midwife and lets her know i'm having 7 minute apart contractions. she tells pj to monitor them and call her back in an hour. pj hangs up. he calls our couple friend, who will spend the night, to please come. 4 minutes later i begin to have them 4 minutes apart! the midwife calls back just as pj was about to call her. PJ tells her they are now 4 minutes apart. she was actually calling back to tell us to leave now. PJ calls our friend and lets them know to please come asap. As i contract i know we need to leave before our friends get here, if not PJ's delivering Reed in the car! which is what he has always dreamed of--delivering one of his children...noooooo!  i summon him to go get our neighbor friends. he frantically runs out to their home but they aren't there! he runs to our church building to see if they're there but instead finds their adult children who inform him they are out of town. PJ asks if they can come to our house and wait for our friends who are in transit. they happily oblige. as they walk back to our house our friends arrive. 

i walk down the stairs slowly. our kind friends try not to stare but are interested in the process. i try to muster up a smile and a short hand wave. they replicate the gesture. as we load our stuff in the car our friends are extremely helpful and make sure i'm as comfortable as i can be considering my uterus is opening up enough to shoot out a watermelon! i reluctantly get in the car because i'm getting close contractions. i'm trying so hard to remember the techniques i learned from the stupid hypnobirth lesson. but who's kidding, i did the fast track lesson and i'm not sure if anything will work at this point. relax frances. relax your face. relax your body. i can't! we drive off but as soon as we do i tell PJ to pull over while i bear another horrific contraction. it's done. we drive off towards the freeway. i'm anticipating this taking too long. the drive is a 15-20 min drive but at this rate maybe 45 minutes! PJ kindly informs me he can't keep pulling over because we won't get there in time. deep down i know he's right. dang it. ok lets do this. we drive. thankully i have a heat wrap on my back relieving some stress. by this time i think im humming. yes humming. we finally get to the birthing center and i get out quickly but walk extremely slow. mentally i wanna run but physically i just cant. we get into the vacant building, go into the elevator and enter the office as the staff worker welcomes me in and tells me to head to the exam room. our midwife informs me what to do. she lays me down, which is extremely uncomfortable and checks me. she immediately gets me down and says "your ready" and beckons the staff helper to prepare the hot tub with water. I waddle over to the birth room and just as we rehearsed they help me into the tub that has running hot water. i lean back and begin to hum again. i'm trying to recall what the australian hypnobirth lady repeated in my ears those countless nights over and over as I gently fell asleep to her voice. the humming relaxes me. in between contractions i'm falling asleep. the hot water feels good on my back since i'm getting what they call back labor. i had that with all kids. she tells me to push when i get contractions and to grab my thighs. PJ is outside the tub but right near me. he doesn't say much but watches intently. i get about 4 big contractions. she checks me and lets me know Reed is coming. in my head i'm skeptical. how can i be ready? i just got here. i push but i don't think Reed is coming down, at least not yet. i push 3 times. and when i mean push i mean grunting like a mad women ready for battle. it's my battle cry. i feel burning and stretching that i've never felt! to say it hurt is an understatement. in those 3 pushes i want to give up. but i can't she's almost out. the mid wife says "just one more push frances and she's out." really? i had to believe now. what else could i do. i muster up one final push as if my life depended on it. 


my midwife grabs Reed out of the water and places her on my chest. im exhausted. no words just whimpering. all im thinking is "holy cow! i did it. it's over. she's out. she's out." i hold Reed but have no words. i can't. 

the feeling of relief is indescribable. at 10:31pm our little Reed entered our world.

they take Reed and put her on her abba. PJ's sitting on a rocking chair having skin to skin with his newest treasure. they get me out of the tub and onto the exam table to deliver the placenta and to assess if i need stitches. she warns me everything is super sensitive. she's not lying, i squirm and fidget but allow her to finish. PJ's right above me with our new littlest. he places her on my chest. i'm taken back to the birthing room and changed. i get into bed and begin nursing Reed. the three of us lay there exhausted and excited. the helpers bring me food to replenish. we chat with the staff helper. we rest. it's soon time to gather our things and head home. wow. that was fast. they explain lots of paper work, i nod. PJ takes our belongings to the car. I hold my baby girl as i'm wheelchaired to our car. she's snug in her car seat. we did it Reed. we did it.

We head home in disbelief that we just had a baby and now on our way home. we drive up to our home. it's quiet. it's gonna be a nice treat to wake up to the kids peering over their newest sibling. our friend comes down to greet us and ask us if we got sent home. he's a bit confused. we tell him nope we just had a baby! he's in disbelief as much as we are. his wife joins us as we chat. i'm full of energy. it's 3am but we're excited to tell our story. we say good night and all head back to bed. 

the next morning the kids awake. they hear crying and are asking questions outside our door. they're so cute. PJ gets up and prepares them to meet our newest clique member. they are bursting with excitement. they see her, touch her, kiss her and talk about her. they instantly love her. till this day nothing has changed. 

our friends are amazing. our sister in christ stays the whole day and watches over the kids. she feeds them, plays with them and takes them to the park. i don't know what i would have done without her and her husband. they are a blessing to our church family.  how kind of God.

it took me a month to finally write our birth story. the memories had to simmer and i had to heal emotionally from all those fresh memories of labor. as i would tell people, it's too soon. now as i hold baby Reed in my arms those hard moments disappear in light of her face. she's precious. she's a gift from the Lord and to our family. 

Thank you Lord.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Baby Reveal

these kids are sweet. they all wanted a boy. actutally we all did. but God in his wisdom has formed in my womb a wonderful little girl. they are excited and want to meet her soon.

city- calls her tummy her baby, so if her tummy hurts she declares "my baby hurts!"

story- is learning so much this year. she's officially in kindergarten and she loves working besides her siblings.

key- loves singing and you'll often find her making up new songs. sometimes her brother will bbox for her.

rock- is my go to person. he is extremely helpful and takes it upon himself to watch after city and often the girls. he's a great big brother (a.k.a. kuya).

babyLove#5- has no name yet. we play with names we like but nothing official.

myself- I get tons of looks and comments about our large family. We often get to drop little ideas of what we believe and why we are so blessed.

PJ- lots on his shoulders but he does a great job loving us first. he fails. but so do i. it just reminds us we aren't each other's god.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Around Here #6

it's been a busy fun summer. i'm so sad the kids start school soon. God give me strength!

4th of july came and went.

 first try at making mediterranean chicken skewers.

 lots of fun at the beach.

 gender reveal party for my nephew's baby. speaking of gender, i have to share the pictures i took of the kids gender reveal surprise for them.

 these two, dear friends becoming one.

finally put up my map after years in storage.

relaxing in the hammock.

 key's jewelry shop established :)

summer nights with the kids riding their bikes around the block as city skates around with daddy.


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