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 ground....like always.
victory!
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 ago...it 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 shrink...it 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.

Friday, August 8, 2014

friday smile


last week was crazy! a full week of kid's VBS (vacation bible school) and my nieces sleeping over--it was a fun and tiring week but so worth it.

Can't wait for tomorrow's dinner date with our friends! They're always so refreshing!

i need to make these

we saw 12 years a slave this week. wow! i cried several times. what a dark time. it made me want to go back to the museum near usc.

i visited a good friend this week and entered her extremely clean home! she inspired me to be more clean than I already thought I was! She hasn't been blessed with kids yet which explains her home. being on this side of kids, having a clean home is great, but having kids is far greater :)

i finally found an aluminum free deodorant that works well with my body! i'm so excited and thankful. i found it here. she saved me tons of money! interested in trying this one too.

i moved my bedroom furniture around and it feels fresh. it's funny how that makes a difference.

why are alpha sprouts so good? i've been putting them in my veggie wraps and oh. my. goodness. 

recently a christian friend came to me asking for dating advice. i sent her this. a must read article for people who want to get married or are engaged! 

prayer for our brothers and sisters in persecuted countries is needed! this website is super helpful in being faithful in lifting up our brothers and sisters.

have a blessed week!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Food

1. tuna with peas, corn and cilantro on pita crackers

2. egg salad, spinach and quinoa on toast

lunch time is fun and interesting. dinner not so much. why? well, i prepare lunch for the kids and myself and i'm more free to eat anything. with dinner, i cook for the lovely hubby who's picky. i know i can venture out and try new stuff with the lovely but i get lazy. to his credit, he has been venturing out a little more :)

i love quinoa... they should make shirts with that slogan. the great thing about quinoa is the ability to put it in anything! it's good, healthy protein.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ahhhh....

















we recently had our much needed vacation (stay-cation) which was refreshing. i unintentionally took a social media vacation too. it felt good to disconnect and connect with people in real life. ahhhh! social media, i hate you but like you.

there's a lot of good reminders on the web that deal with social media issues. i'll have to do a round up of the good stuff i've come across.

i digress... these pictures were from the howard johnson's hotel in Anaheim. they have a water park, which was the draw for us, and because of that, we packed up and headed to nearby anaheim. we loved that we were able to relax and not be too afraid of the kids getting lost. It was small enough to just sit and relax, yet big enough for the kids not to get bored. they loved it! i'll have to give a yelp review about our stay.

a few things i learned (or re learned) during our vacation:

it's easy to take a vacation from God when on vacation.
visiting other churches made me miss our church.
vacations can be tiresome. Pace yourself.
delve into a good book.
if i'm home, i'm undoubtedly cleaning : \
i need to learn how to vacation.
i needed a vacation from social media.
jack bauer makes us happy.
having four kids is fun.
next year, Lord willing, our vacation can't land during our anniversary.




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