Thursday, March 13, 2014

It weren't no thang

I meant to post last Friday, but for reasons unbeknownst to you, I didn't. With a smidge of updating, it'll work perfectly for today.  Happy, happy Thursday-slash-Friday friends!  Is it sun-shiny and beautiful in your neck of the woods?  It sure is here & I love it!!

Fashion

Did you know it’s nearly Spring?  We’re just a week away from blue skies & sunshine…  Unless you live in a place that has wet spring weather.
Even though we have sunnier, warmer weather here than the mainland, Spring is Spring & there’s usually mud around someplace.
Did you forget that my feet are bigger since having kids?
It’s been a year since Baby Bear was born and I’ve lost all hope of my feet shrinking back to normal.  I had to get rid of all the shoes that I once loved. 
Here's what I'm getting at: I need rain boots that fit!
{ps. this is how I always talk.  It may seem very round-a-bout, but I don't want to leave out any pertinent information.  Re-read that paragraph, only pretend I'm explaining it to Handsome.  Don't forget I'm going to find a really good deal!}

There are so many options out there.  Here’s a pair that caught my eye.  They do have fun colors, too, but I'm partial to black.  It goes well with my pupils.
Women's Premier Tall Rain Boots
$30 Target.com

Women's Hooded Jersey-Lined Raincoats
$45 Oldnavy.com
Actually, black goes well with this here rain jacket.  I always like the look of a trench, but I never like it on.  I think it’s because I’m too short.  Also, I have always had a hard time getting coats to fit my shoulders.  They’re quite broad.  I always joke with Handsome that if Tim Tebow had my shoulders, he’d have a contract.

Fun

We’re going to take the kiddos to the Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, WA this year.  
Photo taken by Anand Kannan
My family lived in Mount Vernon while I was in high school.  Every year the town would explode with tourists who came all the way from TIMBUKTU just to see the tulips.  And that’s kind of a big deal, if you really think about it… 
Anyway, everyone who lives in Mount Vernon hates the tulip traffic, the fact that there’s nowhere to park and that CanAsians [Canadian Asians] are driving on the roundabout’s SIDEWALK backwards… actually they don’t hate that part; that is the saving grace for all the foolishness.  They should start selling popcorn next to the roundabouts and we can all sit and laugh... at the people who are baffled by this futuristic device... and at the people who are honking and pulling their hair out about the non-mergers.  How's that for helping the local economy?  
You're welcome.

Directions for enjoying the Mount Vernon Tulip Festival
1. Pack children &  their cutest rain coat and adorablest rain boots
2. Pack an inadequate stroller or the best, all terrain, wallet-emptying type.  It is bound to be lost forever in a mud rut or be drug along for no good reason.  The munchkins will kick, flail and scream to stomp through the mud with their own two feet.
3. Bring your camera and ask a complete stranger to take a family photo. Pray that it is good enough, because it’s all you have.
4. Prepare your mind for the mud that will now inhabit your family vehicle.  You’ll probably have it all cleaned out by next year’s festival.
5. Drag the kiddos downtown to the street fair.  Even though it’s their naptime, they probably won’t make you regret the whole endeavor
[but if they do, try again next year]
6. Feed your family random street food that costs an arm & a leg (but hopefully does not contain either limbs of humans)
7. Buy something frivolous, like a windsock or an overpriced kite shaped like a space shuttle.
8. Drag the muddy munchkins back to the car.  Even though they were crying to leave 5 minutes ago, now they’ll be crying to stay.  Turn on Baby Einstein and wait 5.8 seconds till they zonk out.
8b. Praise God!!!
9. Drive through a yummy coffee stand (Big Foot Java or Jitterbugs will do nicely)
10. Enjoy a very relaxing drive in the country with your sweetie. Hold hands & chat about how much you love those snoring terrorists in the backseat.
Sarah Arquitt
It's not always sunny in April!
Frivolity
My friend Rebecca from high maintenance aspirations is visiting! 
ME! 
Here!
 On Sunny Island!!!  All the way from MAINE!
Which, is like, on the other side of the world… I mean country.  
I am SO so so excited!  VISITORS!!! Yay!  Another friend is visiting us next week.  Things are looking pretty social on this here deserted island, I tell ya.

Another tidbit for ya... we’re going to see BRIAN REGAN on Sunday!!!!  Handsome and I are so excited!!  We quote him on a daily basis.  Usually, Handsome or I will say something like, “Don’t hit your brother with a duck or squirt him in the face with a walrus.”  Then, we’ll look at each other and say, “That was an actual sentence I had to aim at another human being.”

Fact
Walkers can work on grass & gravel driveways.
Last week I let Little Guy & Baby Bear race their respective vehicles up and down our driveway.  They were SO cute.






Check out Little Guy’s hat.

See, we have a “hat drawer” and he can pick out his own stuff.  It has stripes, so I guess it matches, right?

Just a few days after these photos, Baby Bear made a big decision.
He decided….
To….
WALK!!!
It was all very cute.  
See, he was having a tantrum
because he wanted me to pick him up, so he put one chubby foot in front of the other… 3 or so times and viola!  I picked him up and completely forgot about the tantrum or the would-be discipline.
Little Guy is very entertained by Baby Bear’s walking practice.  He cheers for Baby Bear and yells, “Again!”
On a side note, He’s also entertained by Baby Bear’s dance moves.  He often tells him to “Dance!” in the car.  They’re very cute.
But you already knew that.

The night before Baby Bear's first steps, Handsome & I were sitting on the couch.  Little Guy was begging, as usual, to vacuum.  Then, he proceeded to point to the word "powerforce" on our dear old vacuum and tell us each of the letters!!!  Like it weren't no thang.

Our kids are obviously geniuses.  
We're throwing a party.
You're invited.  

Have a fantastic & blessed weekend!

love. love. love
         Nina  the  mom


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I see a theme here

As I timidly glance back over 2013, I can’t help but cringe as I remember fragments of hardships.
But
By God, we were blessed.

We were blessed when Baby Bear came home early… even with his issues.  Some babes his age were hospitalized MUCH longer and had issues so much worse than his in every way.  
So, when I say I cringe thinking about junk… it’s also with a humbled, thankful heart that I wipe the tears from my eyes and praise God we’re still here, we’re still His.
No, it wasn’t just Baby Bear and his health.
It was Handsome’s,
Mine,
& Little Guy’s development.

Handsome has reminded me over and over to remain hopeful.  And let me assure you, I needed his reminders.

It was waiting with baited breath for so long, my face turned blue…
But
Out of the blue, Little Guy said, “Please.”
Now he talks all day long, says some big words and understands them, too.  We have no reason to believe he has any residual effects from his stroke!

It was try after try of every kind of food for Baby Bear.
He would have none of it! {So, breast feeding continued and continued}
But
When he was 8 months old, he would have a teeeeeniney bit of it.
Now he eats all of it.... and is nearly ready to stop breast feeding.

It was night after night after sleepless night, feeling like a zombie, feeding a baby that was crying and sad.  And when he spit up bucket-loads of breast milk, I felt the last wisps of hope depart from me.
But
One night he slept. All night long. 
That first morning when he was nearly 11 months old, I rushed to his crib, frantic, chills & horror running through my body wondering why he hadn’t been up hours ago. 
But
There he was, sleeping peacefully, like a Baby Bear only could. 
Now he sleeps through most nights.

It was hearing the news that Handsome had lupus.  That it wasn’t a spider bite, a rash or allergy.  It was that spirit-crushing wake-up call saying his days are numbered (just like everyone else’s) and there’s not a thing you can do to alter God’s will.
But
It was that peace.
Peace knowing there’s not a thing anyone can do to alter God’s will. 
Not the kind of peace you feel on a happy weekend morning as the sun rises and paints a pink shimmer sky. 
It was peace like a thunder storm, lightening crashing all around, God’s power and might on display. 
The peace that doesn’t make sense and instead of resting on your shoulders, wrestles you to the ground.

It was day after aching day with sciatic nerve problems, hip, pelvis & neck pain…. Accompanied by tendinitis in both arms, headaches and SO ON.  It was “how can I deal with this?  How can I be a mom and do everything, no- anything with this kind of pain?”
But
God sent angels, disguised as friends, who helped, mostly by praying.  After a couple months of chiropractic care, I’m on the road to recovery!

It was night after night after night of waking up trembling, unable to breathe normally, unable to sleep the few hours I had for sleeping!  It was being stricken with fear in a very physical way.  It was thinking I can’t drive, I can’t go to the grocery store, I can’t even walk across the street to the beach.  
It was the agony of going weeks without anxiety, believing I was cured, only to have it rear its ugly head again, worse than ever.
But
I’m understanding more and more about what’s going on with me & my body and leaning on God for strength and trusting His goodness.

It was feeling isolated, lonely, without another human who knew what I was going through, what I was feeling.
But
God knew.
This past weekend we made a seemingly random trip to see old friends.  There was never a more obvious God-ordained moment in my life.  
There I was talking to two sisters in Christ.  They both had boys 15 months apart and knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.  There was so much encouragement in our conversation, I wasn’t sure I was still on earth. 
What is it about knowing there’s another human who’s been in your shoes?
What is it about someone nodding their head and finishing your sentences, because they know exactly how you feel?
What is it about someone saying that they’ve been there and they tell you to hold on for dear life and give you a list of helpful things to try?
God knew exactly how I felt; he’s known all along.
However, it never was more obvious that He cares.
He displayed his love & concern for me when he sent these angels to encourage me.  I’ve never felt so hopeful about all of this before.

We’ve faced lots of other challenges and in many ways we’re not out of the woods, yet.  However, there is a strong theme of remaining hopeful in my life right now.  It is with great anticipation that I look forward to God’s work in me and through me.
{As always, I appreciate your prayers!}

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may about in hope.
Romans 15:13

love. love. love
         Nina  the  mom


ps. here's one of the big-in-every-way blessings I get to squeeze and smooch a million times a day.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

a smattering of details

Valentine’s Day
Are you excited for Valentine’s Day? 
I sure am!  I like making little treats and cards for loved ones.
{A holiday where my love language is in the spotlight!}
Our family has lots of fun plans and we’ve been busy getting ready.
I am slightly bummed that there was some kind of shipping snafu and the valentines I ordered have yet to arrive.
There's apparently some "adverse weather in IL" that's to blame for this. :(

Handsome & I haven’t been on a valentine’s date in a couple years, because that's how life goes sometimes.  I'm excited for our weekend plans!!

 
Here's our first Valentine's day.  
{I was pregnant with Little Guy.}

Cold weather
It sure has been chilly, but we’ve had some intermittent sunshine.  So, we’ve been stuffing Baby Bear & Little Guy in lots of layers and taking them to the frozen park.  They’ve really been enjoying it. 
{Those little cuties}
ps.  Just for your peace of mind...
Baby Bear is wearing warm socks under his fleece footie pajamas UNDER the batman socks you see here. With all of those layers, it's impossible to stuff those feetsies in shoes. ;)

Little Guy
is talking more and more all the time.  It’s so cute.  I love his little sentences and how clearly he communicates with words, big expressions & plenty of hand gestures.  {I have no idea where he gets that from}  He loves to call people on the phone {and receive phone calls}! 
I love when he says “Night-night, Mommy. I wuv you.”
If he only knew how close I am to cancelling bedtime over nighttime affection, we’d be in big trouble!
 Here's Little Guy's first time exploring a fire truck (during our East Coast Christmas Vacation).  He was so excited!!


Baby Bear
is still undecided if he will ever learn to walk.  We love him just the way he is and we respect his decision whether he chooses to walk or be creative in his modes of transportation.  He may not walk, but he manages to RUN while pushing our largest Tonka truck around the house.  {it scares me}
Senor Bear, as he is sometimes called is enjoying food, as usual.  
His latest love is sweet potatoes.  
I’m not entirely sure what happened while I stepped out of the room for a minute, but when I came back, I found this. 

Side note: The weird thing is we were just watching a makeup tutorial on filling in your eyebrows! {NO! I’m not even kidding!}  My bloggy big sister has this beautiful daughter who just started a youtube channel to help me figure out my makeup.  He must’ve been paying attention! 

Handsome
has been showering me with all kinds of affection.
He brought me cheerful pink carnations {which look adorable in my mason jars},
Reece’s hearts,
and he even offered to grate the soap for our homemade laundry detergent
{I just swoon over grated soap}
I think he’s pretty excited about only working one day this week… and can I blame him?  I’m pretty excited about him only working one day this week!
He is also busy planning a romantic black bear hunt with Yours Truly.  Well, maybe romantic isn’t quite the right word, but we’re both really looking forward to it.  {My very first black bear! eek!}

Me
I have been reading too much about special food diets that Handsome & I are going to try.  We are seeing an allergist on Tuesday and I’m looking forward to their insight.  I’m not looking forward to giving up eggs for the rest of my life.  
The good news: I made banana muffins with a flax egg substitute and they were DELISH.  Even Handsome loved them. 
The bad news: no more eggs over easy. 
The best news: I’ve been egg-free for a month and my eczema is completely gone.

I’m off to wash lots of laundry with my freshly made, HAND-GRATED, hand-stirred laundry soap.  Our entire house smells like “English Lavender.”


love. love. love
         Nina  the  mom



Friday, February 7, 2014

Happy Friday, Y'all

Happy Friday friends!  I’m delighted to share another F-5 post with you… 

Fashion
Last year about this time, I was smitten with lots of dresses & skirts.  
I don’t know what it is for-sure, but I am craving another maxi skirt. 
It might have something to do with the shrinkage that a million washes will do to the length… 
or it might have something to do with the fuzz balls caused by a million washes.  
Either way, I want a nice, flowy maxi skirt.  In black.  Pretty please.

Here is a little Polyvore fun I put together... just for you… and also me.
It's something pretty & comfy that I wouldn't mind wearing for a Valentine's date with my sweetie.
ps. I never wear lipstick, but when I grow up, I might give it a try.


be my valentine

fun
It has been freezing here!  Sunny, but chilly! Like high 20's/low 30’s during the day. Handsome even saw snow on his way to work this morning.  Not here on the water, but elsewhere on this quirky little island there is a white-ish winter glossing the green grass.  I look forward to taking our boys to The Mountain for sledding.  I know they will really love it.  In the meantime, they especially enjoy sliding down frozen slides at the park… and swinging on frozen swings.  
Fun fact: Baby Bears just get cuter, the more layers you stuff them in!  
Here are some ideas to keep you entertained during these cold days, with limited outside playtime:
Play playdough... while having a laughing contest with your little brother

Be as messy as you can while eating... make silly faces... make your big brother laugh & laugh & laugh & laugh
Fact
Bill Nye (the science guy) recently had a debate with Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis).  
The debate topic: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”
{You can preorder the debate here.}


I have not watched or listened to the debate, but I heard snip-its and it sounds like it was a good one.  I was not homeschooled, so I grew up watching lots of Bill Nye in school and hearing lots of "Millions & millions & millions of years ago" prefacing just about everything he said.  Which didn't make me flinch at all, since all of my teachers said the same.  I thought he was interesting and I liked his experiments.  

I am so glad for Ken Ham and other creationists who’ve written great books- for kids & grown-ups.  There are also TONS of movies & all kinds of educational stuff, including homeschool curricula.  {Handsome has this DVD collection.} We’d look forward to taking the kids on a road trip to the Creation Museum, which looks fascinating!!  Look at all the exhibits they have!

The Ark may be done as soon as 2016. {You can donate toward this awesome project.}  They offer lifetime family pass for $140/month (for 24 months or $3,000 up front).  These passes will be lifetime passes for the kids, too!
here's a favorite Little Guy received for his 1st birthday from the H family.  It is WELL-LOVED.  Absolutely adorable and it's all about God's plan to redeem mankind.  You can buy it for $11 on Amazon!
We sure are blessed to live where we do and have access to all the resources we have.  I hope we always have this access, as unlikely as it seems.  In the midst of a society that hates, loathes, despises & abominates Jesus & His followers, we have eternal security- knowing that God is greater than our circumstances and fully capable of intervening.  Perhaps our country is reaping a painful harvest of complacent seeds, but let us not lose hope!  It reminds me of Philippians 3 and pressing on!

 Frivolity
If you're unaware about The New Perspective on Paul, brace yourself and read this.  Or if you've just eaten lunch, you might want to wait a bit, because it's rather nauseating.  
The New Perspective boils down to believing that we must earn our salvation (ie: works righteousness).  Just like most cults and false religions- it's all about what I can do (which is nothing).  It takes the emphasis away from The Gift and The Giver... which should break the hearts of all believers.  My LDS background has taught me a lot about the hopelessness of works righteousness.  It's a tragedy to see so many following after it.  


So awesome.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19

Blessin's Y'all,

love. love. love
         Nina  the  mom

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Adventures in Sleep

First, I must confess that I never cared enough about sleep!  For 22 years, I had every opportunity to sleep my heart out and I didn't take full advantage of this.  I also beg forgiveness for the egregious sin!

When Little Guy was born, the feller was a tangle of cords and monitors for months, and I think I slept about 30 seconds each night.  I would leap out of bed to make sure his nasal cannula (for oxygen) wasn’t strangling him.  I would constantly hear “phantom” alarms that I became so accustomed to in the NICU.  And occasionally, there were real alarms.  When a heart monitor lead would come loose, the thing sounded like a fire alarm right next to your ear... no inside your ear!  I’m not sure if it was to be helpful for people hard of hearing or if it was to help people become hard of hearing. 

For the first 4 months Little Guy was a sleeping champ, he’d sleep anywhere whenever he was tired.  Usually on the living room floor during the day.  I’d just nestle him in a little pallet made of a boppy pillow and blankets and he’d sleep soundly for hours.  He eventually overcame the need for a heart monitor and oxygen, caffeine and anti-seizure meds.  (praise the Lord!!!!) And he became more and more active and less and less interested in sleeping in the midst of everything and everyone.  During his 5th month of life, also known as The Month of Trials or Tears (whichever), we began to sleep train the little feller.  He eventually slept through the night and we high-fived each other every evening and him every morning.  Naptimes were sometimes difficult, but we eventually got him on a schedule of three naps and 12 hours through the night.  {For the record, I am not saying the kid never cried for 45 minutes straight!}

Life was pure bliss… until he was 7 months old and I got pregnant.  Then life was hard for me.  I don’t think I really need to explain how it was hard being pregnant and taking care of a busy, mobile baby.  Some people don’t understand that and all the explaining in the world could not help them comprehend.  But for the rest of us humans, we can understand that barfing all day long and taking care of a little one is hard work.  Never mind midnight trips to the bathroom to barf and/or pee.  So let’s put sleep deprivation on the top of the list of Things that Lead to the Insanity & Exhaustion of Mothers.  (at least human mothers)

Eventually, somewhere around the date of January 4th, 2013, I became un-pregnant.  Baby Bear made his debut early, but we were able to bring him home within a couple weeks. (praise the Lord!!!!)  Being born early isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  And this little feller had some real issues with reflux.  It was heartbreaking and discouraging.  We hoped that by his actual due date, he’d be all grown up and mature and reflux would be far behind us.  But that was not to be.  By the time he was two months old, there was more reflux ahead of us than behind us, but each day I hoped & prayed that he’d be better the next.  We tried everything we could do (natural remedies, medicines, everything), but the little feller was born with a few immaturities that kept us in the newborn stage for everrrr a while longer than usual.  He had reflux the worst at night and he had to be propped up to eat and sat up for half an hour after eating, otherwise… he’d barf up everything.  He had to be held just so, NEVER shaken or bounced- which is the natural inclination of every human everywhere; they just want to bounce babies.  Our baby could not be bounced.  If you spent every morsel of energy trying to keep food where it ought to be in a baby, you’d be a little standoff-ish of passing him around.  Wouldn’t you?  Maybe not, but I sure was!  I cringed every time someone picked him up and leaned his tummy over their arm, every time someone threw him up in the air.  I cringed, then I grabbed a spit-up towel and was ready to take my crying, barfing baby back.  I felt terrible for him.  Needless to say, he did not sleep through the night.  Not for a verryyy long time.  And that’s ok.  Really it is, but it is not what I was expecting in any way, shape or form.

When he was 10 months old, he slept through the night for the first time.  Hallelujah choruses rang out the following morning.  We celebrated and celebrated!  Although his sleeping through the night was not completely consistent, we rejoiced!  Currently, he sleeps through almost every night and we praise God!  I see us leaving the Valley of the Shadow of Babies That Wake Up and we are headed toward The Greener Pastures of Toddlers that Sleep! 

Our house, as lovely as it is, is not very sound-proof.  The boys’ rooms are right across the hall from one another and they can hear each other perfectly… even through the army of fans we’ve strategically placed all around.  This week bedtime has been a battle.  A battle that caught me off guard, because thing's have been better!  Even Little Guy has been fighting bedtime and gotten up on several occasions.  UNHEARD OF!  So, last night Handsome and I did something very brave.

We put them together in the same room!!  First, there was much delight and giddyness at the thought of sleeping together.  Little Guy kept repeateing, "I yike it, Mommy!" (the y's are a little evasive for him at times) Then we put the happy campers to bed, which was followed by much wailing and gnashing of teeth as there has been this week, but it lasted half as long as usual!  I admit that I was not very brave and I wanted to ditch the whole plan after 30 seconds of hysterics, but Handsome held my hand and helped me wait.  
I was terrified that Baby Bear would get up in the middle of the night 
and then he’d wake up Little Guy 
and then I’d lose my mind.  
You see, I am not one for dealing with the kiddos all night, especially not both of them.  I’ve had to do it, but I admit I prefer sleep!  About two hours after bedtime, we heard a very cranky Baby Bear.  We gave him a minute, but I was sure they were both up and ready to give us lots of grief.  Somehow, Handsome went in and got Baby Bear WITHOUT Little Guy even waking up!  It was nothing short of a miracle!!  Baby Bear ate and went peacefully back to sleep.  Another miracle!!

Last night, after the little ones were fast asleep, I got to see a glimpse of a different stage of life.  It ignited all kinds of hope and joy in me.  It may seem silly, but to us in the trenches, it’s the light at the end of a very long tunnel!  (And I thought I’d be lost in the tunnel forever.)  If you're in the trenches, be encouraged, because it won't last forever... even if it feels that way.  And if you're not in the trenches, pray for those of us who are.

I saw this, cracked up & immediately messaged it to Handsome.
How I feel after putting the kids to bed.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may about in hope. Romans 15:13

love. love. love
         Nina  the  mom


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just a bit of Hodgepodge

This week I decided to join Joyce's Hodgepodge.  {check it out!}

1. It was decided on Sunday the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in this year's  Superbowl. So when was the last time you bowled?  Not where you thouht this question was going is it?  Do you like to bowl? Are you good? 

First of all, I think a semi-enthusiastic “Go Seahawks” is in order.  Not that I’m their biggest fan… I’m not even sure I am a fan.  Since I live in Washington and those guys made it happen this year, I think they deserve a hi-five.  {Also, Handsome hates the Broncos, so he’s even rooting for the “home” team.}

Second of all, I can’t completely remember, but I think I’m semi-good at The Wii bowling.  In real life, it’s hit & mostly miss.  My best friend, Mrs. H & I used to play a real fun game when we went bowling.  We’d close one eye, spin around a few times, stand on one leg, and see what happened.  It made for a much more interesting game.  Also, when we looked ridiculous, it was completely on purpose- certainly not because we took our bowling skills too seriously. {Hehe}  I can’t remember if our younger siblings appreciated us being so silly or not… now that I think about it, I don’t think they thought we were the coolest. 
{They’ve probably since changed their minds about us.}

2.   Should sports stars be role models? 

Everyone should be a role model.  Sports stars are admired by young and old alike.  Sadly, I think it’s a big charade that they “care” about the kids that look up to them.  It kind of feels like a big show when they talk about staying away from drugs, etc… ESPECIALLY when their lives of promiscuity, greed and selfishness are on display for any and all who’ll give them a second glance.  I’d prefer their personal lives to be exactly that, PERSONAL.  Keep it to yourselves.  There are movie stars and singers that I won’t watch or listen to, because they wish to impose their opinions on everyone, boast about their trips to Europe spent bashing our country, etc…  If you can play football, do that.  If you can sing, act or otherwise entertain crowds of people, work on that- why don’t you?  If you wish to broadcast your private life, political views or personal hatred for our country, don’t be shocked when those who disagree don’t root for you anymore.
Ps. I think it’s a pity to raise children to idolize humans, especially those who could not care less about pleasing the Lord. 

3. January is National Oatmeal month...are you a fan? How do you like your oats?
I’m for it.  The boys eat it every day with coconut oil, flax seed, & applesauce… sometimes with Maple Syrup. Yum!

4. What is one book on your reading list for 2014?
Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
{“OR HOW TO MAKE A DECISION WITHOUT DREAMS, VISIONS, FLEECES, IMPRESSIONS, OPEN DOORS, RANDOM BIBLE VERSES, CASTING LOTS, LIVER SHIVERS, WRITING IN THE SKY, ETC.}

Sure there are many reputable books out there on the subject.
True, Handsome and I don’t “struggle” much with “finding God’s will.”
But, it looked interesting, and perhaps it’ll be a book we can recommend to others.  We’ll have to wait and see.
Handsome and I bought it last year, and we have yet to read it.  Check back later for a review.

5. What would you like your future self to say to your present self?
Keep going, God is your strength & your salvation.

6. When scrolling through the TV guide, what is one movie title that makes you want to stop, grab the popcorn, and watch for a while?
Cutthroat Kitchen or Duck Dynasty
{Handsome & I love both.  Cooking shows are so much fun, especially when they’re competitive!}

7. What are two style trends you hope never come back into fashion?
It’s too late!  Acid wash jeans and geometric print sweaters.  I was walking through Target a few months ago and I couldn’t help but say, “The Cosby show called, they want their clothes back.”  It’s….
not for me. 
Oh and the sheath dresses with ruffles on the love handles.  Oh no, please… my eyes!
I actually saw a sweater with a kitten and a basket of yarn in the JUNIOR’S department.  I’m not talking infant, I’m talking teenagers.  I’m hoping that and the dress covered with wiener dogs was a joke. Leftover Halloween costumes, or something.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Our island is near that of a Navy base and we hear all sorts of aircraft thundering over our home on a daily basis.  Whenever we’re outside Little Guy looks up and yells, “Plane” or “hekikopter.”  Sometimes we can see the men practicing search & rescue missions in the ocean (at night!).  It’s interesting to watch, but it makes me thankful for the diversity of human interest, since climbing up and down a rope hanging from a Hekikopter is one thing I hope I never have to do!

And, here are the cuties from this week.   
 Little Guy teaching Baby Bear all about rubber ducks.
 Baby Bear just woke up.  
Awesome hair? Check.
Shirt that states the obvious? Check.
{"World's Cutest Little Brother"}

love. love. love

         Nina  the  mom