Monday, July 26, 2010

Giveaway Winner

So my giveaway is up and we have a winner....

We chose the highly technical method of printing out the names, putting them in a basket and then having one of the munchkins draw a name.

I had 15 entries. All of you very sweet friends and family members whom I enjoyed hearing from. I also loved hearing what you all thought of my list and would love to see a 100 Things from each of you too. :-)

So, Mr. Lego, being the tallest, held the basket aloft; while Bookworm reached in for the winning name.

Drum roll...............





Lori Ann!!

I have your address, Lori Ann and will get the gift card into the mail to you tomorrow.

Thanks for participating, everyone!

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That mosquito bites are no fun. I got about 8 of them last night and they are a bit annoying today. From my time in Indonesia, I found that if I don't itch them AT ALL for the first day, they go away in about 36 hours.

What I'm reading:
I did get to sit down this last week and read a chunk of Pride and Prejudice. I am not sure if I will get much reading done this next week though.

What I'm listening to:
My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust on the Fish. It sounded so familiar to me and last week I realized why: It is the words from the hymn I Am Not Skilled to Understand which is such an encouraging hymn!

What we're learning:
Mr. Lego is working on his play lines....the play is next week! And the girls are brushing up on their poem from co-op; our church has a talent show in a couple weeks and they are reciting it with the others from our co-op.

What I'm watching: The rabbitry becoming less crowded. Right before State Fair I got a big hutch and cage for free from a generous lady whose rabbit died, so space for the maturing males has been less of an issue. Plus we have sold 11 rabbits so far! Only 4 left to sell....

What's cooking:
I am making a chicken and rice casserole tonight, and even though I enjoy making dinner every night, I'm looking forward to a little bit of a cooking break later this week.

What I'm buying:
Nutsy needs a new pair of flip flops, we ran out of sunblock and the water dispenser is almost empty, so off to the store this afternoon I go.

What I'm thankful for:
For the leadership of my husband. And I do use the S word (submit) and try to practice it, even though there are many times when my flesh is weak.

What I'm creating:
Pretty pictures. I am editing and planning a couple of posts on my other blog.

What I'm praying:
That the Lord would give me the boldness to share the gospel with others.

What I'm planning:
Fun car games, snacks and things to do while traveling to Oregon. We will spend 16+ hours in our van later this week...

What we did this last weekend: We spent Saturday morning doing some cleaning...the girls cleaned all the window blinds and the guys washed all windows, inside and out. We heard a good sermon on sharing the gospel; then after hearing from a missionary to Uruguay in Sunday school, we headed up to our friends house for good food, fellowship and volleyball.

What I'm looking forward to:
Our family reunion is this week and I am excited to see our extended family.

A picture to share:

~Just in case you had never seen one before; here is a deep fried Twinkie. I actually liked it much better than the normal ones; the creamy middle is gooey and soft and the outside crisp and hot. And we all split this one so maybe I ingested only 100 calories?? :-)

**Don't forget today is the last day to comment on my 100 Things to be entered in the giveaway!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

100 Things

In honor of my 100th blog post I am HAVING A GIVEAWAY!

I have never done this before so we will see how this works; I enjoy participating in other blog giveaways so it is only fair that I have one every now and then. I saw this idea on someone else's blog a couple years ago; that on her 100th blog post, she posted 100 things about herself. Just random, silly things that you might not have known. So this is the deal. Read through my list of 100 things and leave me a comment telling me something new you learned about me. If you are an email subscriber (and I know you people read but don't usually comment on my actual blog,) you can send me an email of your comment. On Monday the 26th of July at 6pm the comments will close, I will put everyone's name in a hat and pick a winner. The prize is a $10 Starbucks gift card for you and a friend to get a couple drinks and a sweet treat. Have fun reading and don't forget to comment!

1. My favorite area in my house to clean is the kitchen.

2. I only learned how to knit in 2003 and how to crochet in 2004.

3. I love tea, my favorite kind being one called Blue Lady.

4. All of my children were born prematurely and spent time in the NICU.

5. My smallest baby was Dasher, she was 2 pounds 12 ounces and spent 6 weeks in the hospital.

6. I have never taken a child home with me when I was discharged from the hospital after their births.

7. I had never moved until I got married.

8. I love listening to movie soundtracks.

9. One of my phobias is drinking tap water.

10. I am a sucker for lost cats.

11. My mom was blind and went blind before I was born. She passed away when I was 23.

12. I am reminded everyday of my sins and the need I have for my Savior.

13. One of my favorite things is a glass of Merlot with dark chocolate.

14. I very much dislike cleaning the bathrooms.

15. The only man I have ever kissed on the lips is my husband.

16. I have an obsession with buying used books.

17. I have been to 6 foreign countries.

18. My husband is half Japanese.

19. I was homeschooled from 5th grade through high school.

20. I plan to homeschool my own children until they need higher education.

21. My favorite subject to teach is history.

22. I love to read.

23. My favorite book at this time is Jane Eyre.

24. I played the cello in high school.

25. I crocheted one afghan a few years ago. That's the only one.

26. My favorite flowers are tulips.

27. I don't like wearing watches.

28. I have broken my left arm 5 times.

29. I have broken my right arm once.

30. I am left handed.

31. My favorite restaurant is PF Chang's.

32. My favorite dish at PF Chang's is Mongolian Beef.

33. My Sweetie and I honeymooned in Kauai and Bear Valley.

34. Our firstborn was born a year and a week after we were married.

35. I spent our first anniversary in the hospital with pre-term labor.

36. I can't stand listening to someone chew.

37. I also don't like being poked.

38. I have a fear of pocket knives. (And my son has 2 of them) I am just scared that they will magically spring closed while I am holding them.

39. I went to De Anza College and got my AA in Liberal Arts. Why? I'm not sure.

40. My favorite game to play is Speed Scrabble.

41. I lived in Papua, (Irian Jaya) Indonesia for 6 months after I graduated from high school.

42. While in Papua, I traveled 10 hours by dugout canoe to visit a tribe where white men had only come for the first time 10 years before.

43. I started this blog on July 14, 2009.

44. I have 2 precious babies in heaven that we lost by miscarriages.

45. I have played the piano since I was 6.

46. My favorite piece to play on the piano is Chopin's Nocturne in E flat.

47. We don't watch any normal television, but have all the Andy Griffith episodes.

48. My favorite music artist is Fernando Ortega.

49. The first person to ever comment on my blog was Leslie.

50. I have been rappelling in New Zealand.

51. I have walked on a glacier in Alaska.

52. I have been on the Bullet Train in Japan.

53. The reason we traveled so much when I was younger was because my dad works for United Airlines.

54. My favorite color is purple, any shade.

55. One of my struggles is being content with the number of children God has blessed me with. I would love more.

56. My favorite Bible passage is Psalm 121.

57. I love the smell of gardenias. They were my mom's favorite flower and remind me of her.

58. Growing up my family had birds, rabbits, dogs, cats, hamsters, rats, and fish. Now we have one bird and the rabbits outside.

59. I am a 'glass is half full' type of person.

60. I have one younger sister.

61. I have gone to church all my life.

62. I really don't like clothes shopping. At all. I would rather pay someone to do it for me.

63. Both my dad and my husbands dad were adopted.

64. I am a people pleaser and therefore have a hard time saying no to people.

65. I wore glasses until I was 16. Now I have contacts.

66. One place I want to visit is Africa. I really want to go on a safari.

67. I have never been in a car that has been pulled over by a cop.

68. I have been in 2 car accidents. No injuries though.

69. I struggle with pride.

70. I love thunder and lightening storms.

71. I lived through the '89 quake in the Bay Area.

72. I love taking pictures and love my camera, a Nikon D50.

73. The only time I have ever ridden in an ambulance was when I was 10 years old in Tokyo, Japan. I was choking on a chicken bone.

74. I am a member of an OPC church.

75. I don't like driving at night.

76. I love baskets and having them around the house to put things in.

77. My first job when I was 15 was a filer in a pediatricians office.

78. My favorite hymn is 'Be Thou My Vision'.

79. I played handbells for 8 years in my old church; the one I grew up in.

80. I have never smoked a cigarette. I have taken a puff of a cigar.

81. I enjoy skeet shooting.

82. I make dinner almost every night. We try to stay away from processed foods.

83. I do feel like I could use my time during the day more wisely. Definitely an area I need to work on.

84. I have blue eyes.

85. If I had not gotten married I would have become a nurse.

86. I don't like confrontations. I try very hard to avoid them.

87. My favorite drinks from Starbucks is a grande, 2 pump, non fat, extra hot, green tea latte in the winter, and a grande, 2 pump iced coffee with room for cream in the summer.

88. During one of my ultrasounds, the doctors found out that one of my kidneys is completely in the wrong place. It still works fine though.

89. This one is embarrassing....I have never read all the way through my Bible. I am changing that this year, though.

90. My favorite cuisine to eat is Japanese. My favorite dishes are Sukiyaki and Tempura.

91. I have a bad habit of picking at my cuticles.

92. I really, really try to find joy in all things.

93. Someday I would love to have chickens in my backyard.

94. I would love to take our family to the east coast someday and see all the historical sites and museums in Washington DC.

95. I can read a book on curvy roads and not get sick.

96. My favorite movie is Return of the King. I cry every time I see it.

97. I have kept a journal since my husband and I were engaged.

98. I used to teach beginning piano before I was married and the first couple of years after.

99. I actually started compiling this list in early June.

100. I am going to be an Aunt for the eleventh time this August.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about me and don't forget to comment!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Nutsy!

My baby turned 5 last Friday. It seems that when my kids turn 5, they loose all their 'babyness' and suddenly seem so grown up. Nutsy was no exception and even though I want her to stay 4 forever, Friday happened and my youngest is now a big 5 year old. I remember when she was in the hospital.....

She was our biggest baby at 4 pounds 8 ounces; I was so happy she was healthy and big (to me) and didn't have any preemie health issues.

And she has been such a joy to us ever since. Here she is at around 9 months old in her exersaucer...

Playing in the lake with Daddy in 2007 (2 years old)....

...and at the beach with her cool sunglasses on in 2008 (3 years old). She looks so little in this picture!

Thanksgiving 2009 (4 1/2 years old)....

and then at the State Fair last week, looking very grown up to me.

Time goes way too fast; I am always saying that I wish I could put my kids in the freezer so they wouldn't grow up, but growing is a part of life. I am so, so thankful for the 4 blessings God has given me!

For Nutsy's fun day we went to the fair (of course). Then that night we had steak, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and garlic bread. For dessert she picked lemon cake (courtesy of Duncan Hines) with vanilla frosting. We played a couple games and opened her gifts. I am so thankful for this sweet little girl; who always gives me hugs right when I need them, whose smile lights up her eyes and who I pray, will grow nearer and nearer to the Lord. Happy Birthday, my little one!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That I am behind on a blog post! Nutsy celebrated her 5th birthday on Friday; usually I do a blog post for each child on their birthday but missed it because we were at the State Fair. I am also approaching my 100th blog post and I have something fun planned...I think that post will make it into this week so watch for it. :-)

What I'm reading:
This last week I don't think I picked up a book, except once while in the bathroom. I am planning to change that this week.

What I'm listening to:
Bookworm humming, Nutsy and Dasher having a silly conversation and the microwave beeping.

What we're learning:
We learned so much about rabbits and State Fair last week. One day the two older kids got to participate in a rabbit demo in front of an audience. I am very happy with what they have learned all this last year in 4-H.

What I'm watching:
Over the weekend we watched one of my favorite war movies, The Guns of Navarone. I love the story line and we get a kick out of the models they use when they blow things up.

What's cooking:
This week I am going to try PW's Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas.

What I'm buying:
I finished my menu plan for the month and so I am out to get our shopping done the next two days. We are also doing a remodel of the rabbitry so I am pricing different things.

What I'm thankful for:
I am SO thankful that there are people out there that want to buy our rabbits! We were under a bit of pressure because as of last Friday, the 11 babies out there were old enough to mate. I don't have the space to separate all of them so I desperately needed buyers. And then Lord provided some very nice people who took 7 of them. We are still selling the rest though...

What I'm creating:
...since it looks like we can sell these rabbits, it looks like we will continue this project in 4-H so we need to upgrade the rabbitry. So I'm exploring plastic vs. metal pans, metal guards and fly spray options.

What I'm praying:
That I would not discipline from a merely moral perspective, but show my children the gospel, and how much their sin shows their need for the Savior.

What I'm planning:
We have a couple of trips coming up in the next month so I need to start thinking about those. One is a family reunion and the other is our church camping trip.

What we did this last weekend: Oh my word, we were at the State Fair every day last week except Monday and Thursday. State Fair is incredibly competitive and we were the little guys. But it was a great learning I'll make sure next time that their tattoos are readable, and make sure the kids really ARE registered for Showmanship. I had some panic moments but God is good and everything worked out fine.

What I'm looking forward to:
I am meeting a friend for lunch today, we have play practice on Wednesday and I am planning to do all the cleaning and laundry that got neglected last week.

A picture to share:

~It was 105 degrees this day at the fair; so we spent a fair amount of time in front of the mister fans.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pass It On

It's my first blog party! At least I think that is what this is. :-) My friend Erin had this great idea to host a blog party about honoring our Christian Heritage. So here goes.....

I grew up in a totally christian home. I never knew what it was like to sleep in on Sundays. Or to not be involved with my church. Or to start eating a meal before praying. My entire extended family on both my mother and father's side are Christian. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, even second Aunts and once-removed cousins (not even sure if that is what they are called!) are believers. And I really took this all for granted until I met and married my husband, who not raised in any church. And now as an adult I see what a blessing it is to grow up in that environment and I am so grateful that the Lord placed me exactly where I am. When I think about specific things of my heritage that influenced me, many things come to mind; so in this post I want to focus on only one or two of them.

One of my earliest memories is waking up in the mornings and hearing my mom singing in her room. My dad left for work at 5:15am weekday mornings and most every morning after he left my mom would have her daily devotional time then. She would spend an hour reading her braille Bible or listening to a sermon; singing praise songs and praying. Sometimes I would come and sit on her bed and listen to her sing or read her Bible. When I was old enough to read she began encouraging me to have a daily devotion time. She suggested reading a Proverb a day, and coinciding it with the calendar. On the 1st of the month read the first chapter of Proverbs, on the 2nd read the second one and so on. I still actually follow this system to this day. I remember in my early teens rebelling a little and 'forgetting' to have my Bible/prayer time, and she really came down on me. She truly impressed on me the importance of personal prayer and scripture reading which still stays with me today. But it is always a struggle for me! Even now, I miss days all the time and neglect that important time with God. But thanks to her good example and encouragement, I do see how much I need that time and try, by God's grace, to faithfully carve time out in the day for it.

Another thing that I am so thankful for is how my parents taught me how to find a mate. In my early teens my mom and had many, many conversations about my feelings, what kind of man I wanted to marry and the purpose of dating. The one thing that my parents impressed upon me was that dating was a prelude to marriage. I was not planning to get married when I was 14, so any close relationship with a guy was discouraged. My mom equated the cycle of dating someone, then breaking up, then dating someone else, then breaking up to marriage, divorce and remarriage. It really made sense to me even though it was very hard seeing kids my age go on dates and to proms while I stayed home. My parents also said that any guy I started dating had to have a relationship with them as well which I was very grateful for. I even used that as an excuse once when I was asked on a date....having to meet my dad and visit for a while was a bit intimidating. I did meet my future husband when I was 18, he came over for dinners and visited after church on Sundays for a few months and then asked my dad if we could date. My dad said yes, 3 1/2 years later he asked my dad for my hand in marriage and we became forever one 6 months later. I can gladly say that my husband is the only man I have ever kissed or touched physically. I know my weak heart when I was a teenager and I can now say that if I was left to my own advices I would have most likely given away kisses or maybe even more. I am so thankful for my parents who, when given the incredible responsibility of raising children, stepped up and stood firm in what they believed.

And this then is also what I want for my children; that they would have a personal bible time each day and see the relationship they would have with their future spouse as serious and life long. And this is where grace lies, because in teaching both of these things to my children, I fail. I have days where I forget my bible time, just like I am sure my mom did. And I miss opportunities for discussions with my children about their future, as I am sure my parents did too. Does this mean I give all my teaching up and just let God take care of them? Absolutely not! I am commanded in the bible to train them, discipline them and love them. And so I will do my best, as my parents did. I am so thankful that our God is a gracious God, and sees our imperfections as parents and draws our children to Him regardless. And I am so thankful for my parents; for the love, training and example of godliness they were to me.

~To see more posts about Christian Heritage, visit Erin's post and see who else is participating.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That we didn't do too badly at the State Fair yesterday; Dasher's one rabbit had something wrong with its teeth so her entire meat pen was disqualified, Bookworm's pen did not place, but Mr. Lego's pen did get awarded 12th place.

What I'm reading:
I am not reading much of anything right now; I am still finishing that book from last week, The Food of a Younger Land.

What I'm listening to: Blessed Assurance by Third Day, the washing machine going upstairs and the bird chirping.

What we're learning:
4-H at the fair is such a learning experience and we are getting a lot of that this week...

What I'm watching:
My Sweetie and I watched Fiddler on the Roof over the weekend; that movie means so much more to me now that I have 3 daughters that are growing up fast.

What's cooking:
Tonight I am making Oven Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, homemade coleslaw and biscuits. A KFC wannabe meal with a third of the fat. :-)

What I'm buying:
I am looking for something specific for Nutsy's birthday and I am thinking to head to Ikea tomorrow.

What I'm thankful for:
That we have access to a pool here in our neighborhood. It would be a really tough summer without it.

What I'm creating:
We harvested 3 tomatoes over the weekend and a few more will be ready to pick tomorrow. You cannot beat the taste of homegrown tomatoes....

What I'm praying:
Is it wrong to pray that life would be smooth? I grow so much when our family goes through trials, but they are not fun at all. So I will pray for strength, wisdom and God will in my life.

What I'm planning:
Nutsy's 5th birthday is this Friday and we are making fun plans for that day.

What we did this last weekend: Friday we went to Cow Appreciation day at a nearby Chick-fil-A. The kids really enjoyed dressing up like cows and getting their free meal. Saturday was quiet with a nice bike ride and swim, then yesterday was the market competition at the State Fair.

What I'm looking forward to: We are spending all day at the Fair with friends on Wednesday and I haven't visited our State Fair since I was 10 so it will be a fun day. Then birthday celebrations this weekend for Nutsy and me!

A picture to share:

~Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm Hot

This is a poem written last week by Bookworm. Appropriately on a hot day.

I'm Hot

I want to get into the freezer,
It would feel so, so good,
But you know what?
I don't think I should.

I wonder what I should do,
Maybe an ice cube will do,
But if I try, then it will melt on my clothes
And my Mother will cry, "Boo-hoo!"

Should I use some water?
To freshen up my head?
But when I will say goodnight and go to bed,
Water will drip onto my bed!

I know what!
I'll go to the river!
Then I'll walk in and out,
And shiver and shiver and shiver.

So now my friends,
I must say goodbye.
And wade into the river in sunny CA,
I will wade and say, "Hi!"


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July Weekend

We had a really fun 4th of July weekend. My Sweetie had Monday off so we had an extra day of fun. On Friday we went up to our friends house in the foothills where a few families from our church gathered for an overnight trip. There were 12 adults and 31 children!

Nutsy had a fun time on the swing courtesy of a friend....

and loved visiting the chickens in her favorite dress...

Bookworm and Dasher loved climbing the trees. This child (not one of mine) got a bit high.

There was a trampoline to jump on....

and ice cream and cookies at the end of the day.

We had a massive water balloon fight, and moved onto buckets pretty quickly. A friend and I ambushed our husbands and we got completely soaked. Alas, there is no picture.

But there were plenty of wet little people....

All the ladies.....
We went to church on Sunday and heard a convicting sermon on Brotherly Love from I Thessalonians 4. Then had a relaxing afternoon at home grilling hamburgers. At dusk we headed to our neighborhood block party for fireworks.

I had fun playing with my camera....

adjusting shutter speed.....

and getting some interesting shots. Next year I will remember my tripod.

Then it was time for sparklers.

Adjusting shutter speed and flash control can make for more interesting shots....

Monday was just our family. We had spent a lot of time with friends and so it was very good for our family to just be with us for a day. So in the morning we went for a 4 mile round trip bike ride to a nearby lake. This was the first time that Nutsy was riding her two wheeler and not riding in the bike trailer. My Sweetie still brought the trailer just in case but she didn't need it and went the whole way there and back by herself!

It was nice and toasty when we got back so we hopped over to the pool for a swim.

It was a very fun filled weekend; as we fellowshiped, worshiped, and remembered the privileges and freedoms we have here in America.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monday Musings (On Tuesday)

What I'm thinking: That every time I look at the calendar it looks busier the next two weeks.

What I'm reading:
I picked up a book at the library that I couldn't resist called The Food of a Younger Land. It is a portrait of regional American food before chain restaurants and frozen food. So far it is a great read.

What I'm listening to:
The kids having a Lego auction. They split up all the Legos, then auction them off to each other.

What we're learning:
We are really working with the rabbits this week and the kids are cramming down rabbit knowledge for the Showmanship at the State Fair next week.

What I'm watching:
Blue skies and bright sun. I love California summers.

What's cooking:
I'm making Chicken Tetrazzini casserole tonight for dinner; one of the kids favorites.

What I'm buying:
Lots of fruit every Friday at our farmers market here in town. I am thinking to blog about it in a couple weeks.

What I'm thankful for:
Our good health the last few weeks. I am very thankful that we haven't been sick at all.

What I'm creating:
A clean, remodeled rabbitry. I have big plans for a better system out there.

What I'm praying:
That God would draw my children's hearts to Him.

What I'm planning:
Our competitions at the State Fair begin this Sunday and goes all next week. So I am making sure that we have everything in order and know where we are going.

What we did this last weekend: We had a great party at our friends house on Friday and Saturday, then Sunday we had church and our fellowship meal. Sunday afternoon was nice and lazy with our neighborhood block party that night. Then yesterday my Sweetie was home so we all went on a long bike ride, swam in the afternoon and grilled burgers.

What I'm looking forward to:
Another play practice is this week then we are preparing for State Fair.

A picture to share:

~Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Growing Garden

It is definitely summer. And the garden is growing. Which is so lovely.

I see lots of these...

and some that are even getting red.

We have enjoyed a handful of the little ones, but my eyes are on the big boppers.

I planted a zucchini in a pot and now it is producing mini zucchinis for us. This one is only about 4 inches long.

My jalapeno, I mean Mr. Lego's jalapeno plant, is doing splendidly.

We are still getting strawberries now and then too.

The lavender is blooming,

and I have lots of blossoms on the cucumbers,

but my pride and joy is my Earth Box.

There are 4 melon plants in this amazing thing and they are taking over the deck.

And there are a few baby melons on them too. How is your garden growing?