Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Consumed With Serving?

Most of my real-life friends know that I’ve been blessed to become an independent consultant with Mary & Martha last month.  (check me out here & on fb here) Mary & Martha is a company (under DaySpring) that sells products to aid in hospitality… hence the name.

I like reading the story of Mary & Martha in the Bible.  It’s a short one, if it’s been a while you can check out Luke 10:38-42.  Martha invited Jesus into her home and when he came in, Mary sat at His feet and listened.  The Bible says, “But Martha was distracted with much serving…”  Let’s let those words sink into our mommy brains for just a sec.

On the surface, it doesn’t sound so bad.  After all, she was serving.  Better than being a lazy bum, right?  Later we read Jesus rebukes her saying the infamous, “Martha, Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.”

Are you anxious, troubled, consumed with serving?  I remember a season where I over-committed myself.  I wanted to help everyone so I said “yes” to everything.  In doing so, there were countless times when I was stressed about my lesson for Sunday school or my craft prep for kids’ Bible study, etc…  I loved serving in different ways, but I was so, so busy! Six nights/week I had something going on.  It’s no wonder that I slowly became bitter, noticing lots of people in the congregation were only the recipients of ministry and never the ones pouring out.  Honestly, I [wrongly] judged their lives and wondered why they were so uninterested in serving “the body.”

In that situation, I was very much Martha… tapping my foot, wondering when the week would roll around for me to have a break from leading Children’s Worship.  I found myself busy doing lots of meaningless tasks.  Some might think that Children’s Ministry is a far cry from meaningless, but let me share my perspective.  

I once felt the need to teach and disciple children, especially the ones who weren’t being discipled at home.  “If I don’t do it, no one will”, I thought.  So I burdened myself with responsibilities that weren’t mine to carry.  It is obvious looking back that I didn’t trust God’s Sovereignty.  I developed a wrong understanding of how important “ministries” were and didn’t even understand what qualified as a ministry.  I remember there were lots of ways to serve-
Bathroom Cleaning Ministry
Bulletin-Printing Ministry
Bulletin-Folding Ministry
Window Washing Ministry
Vacuuming Ministry
Kids’ Snack Ministry
Coffee Making Ministry
Bookshop Dusting Ministry

The list of menial tasks went on, and on, and on, as it does in most churches today!  “But these are very real, practical needs!” one might say in protest.  And I’ll agree to an extent.  If you worship in a public space, someone is definitely going to need to clean the restrooms and wash the jam-handed windows.  (Here’s my shout-out for home fellowship and the money that isn’t required to keep a building up.)  However, I’ve taken hours to clean one restroom- trying to make sure it was spotless and perfect!  In reality, a 10 minute wipe-down with disinfectant wipes and a once-over with a swiffer mop would’ve blessed the restroom-users just as much as my meticulous nut job.  I tended to find myself busied with things that really didn’t matter all that much.  It’s not that they don’t need to be done, it’s just that they really don’t matter.  I heard someone say “We need people cleaning bathrooms & we need people evangelizing.  We all have a job to do.”  Nowadays, you might find me in full disagreement with that.  While we all need to pitch in and help one another, it doesn’t overshadow the thing that Jesus was referring to.

If you find yourself running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I want to encourage you to ask yourself why. Why are you running around?
Are you so distracted with serving that you spend little time hearing from God through His Word?  
Are you so distracted with serving that you spend little or no time inviting the Saints into your home and blessing them- on purpose!  
Are you so distracted with serving that you find bitter thoughts creeping into your mind and irritated words falling out on to your brothers & sisters in Christ?  
Are you so distracted with serving that you’ve forgotten the one thing that Jesus said was necessary?  
Are you so distracted with serving you find yourself cut off from the Body?  Isolated? Alone?
Do you have so much to do in so little time, that you have to cut a friend short when they’re sharing their heart with you?  
Do you have so much to do in so little time, that you find yourself telling anyone & everyone, “I’m just so busy!”  
If so, dear sister, you need an intervention.  You need to sit down, take a deep breath and a long look at your busy days.  Yes, there are seasons in life, but is every season of yours bursting at the seams?  The truth is, we only have 24 hours in a day.  You may very well be stealing time from very important tasks to refill the stack of coffee filters.

You may have children at home, a husband, a neighbor, a far-away friend, a distant relative- someone that could use some service.  Your pastor might not pat you on the head for it, but that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t care about it.  We’ve become such people-pleasing train wrecks, us Christian mommas.  We want everyone to be happy-happy-happy! We want to be happy, and we want every situation in life to appear happy… but on the inside?
Absolute train wreck.
I’m talkin’ HOT MESS MOMMA.  
Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world.”  Let’s stop trying to Stepford-ize the Christian life, which Jesus says WILL HAVE TROUBLE! And, let's take a few minutes, or maybe even a few hours to really pour into our brothers & sisters… sometimes that means our kids, neighbors, friends, pastor’s wife, or a complete stranger.

I’m just wondering if we were a little less busy making sure everything appeared perfect, if we might have a little more time to sit at the feet of Jesus...  And if we spent a little more time at the feet of Jesus, if we we might be a little less worried about spending the time blessing others.

My sweet three-year-old got up to use the bathroom and was heading back to his nap when he asked me, “Mommy can you come sing to Jesus, please?”  A little puzzled, I got up and tucked him in his bed and realized he wanted me to sing “Sing to Jesus.”  This is where priorities really come into play.  I had a choice; I could’ve sternly sent him back to his bed and made a point of his need to be obedient.  That would’ve prioritized this post, blogging, working on "my stuff"… really just preferring myself. I’m being honest here.  It sounds easy, but it’s actually hard at times- to stop everything I’m working on and go sing a song.  Rinse the dough off of my hands and kiss an ouchie.  Sometimes it means wet clothes forgotten in the dryer, but a prayer was prayed, a feud was forgiven, a book was read.  Sometimes E comes up to me and says, “Mommy will you cudd-o me, pwease?” Shamefully, I’ve denied cuddles at times, in the midst of making dinner or worrying about picking up the house. I'm not craving to live in a house full of self-centered kiddos, but I want them to know that they do matter to Momma- very, very much! The dishwater might have to be luke-warm, dinner might occasionally be a smidge late, or something might plain get left for tomorrow. But, people matter most- ALWAYS! (Feel free to write that someplace you can see it. I need the reminder from time to time!!)

It’s about finding the balance, getting the priorities straight, having realistic expectations and sometimes letting go of a day’s schedule. Kissing a to-do list goodbye.  Sometimes it’s getting my bum in gear and pushing up my sleeves for a long day of hard work.  And that’s the difficulty of womanhood- discerning how best to utilize your time.

The Bible says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another in love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10: 24-25  Is there someone you can encourage in love & good works?  Is there a family you could invite for dinner?  We all need encouragement.  So here’s a challenge for you.  Did someone come to mind while reading this post?

Maybe you’re not the one that’s overly consumed with serving, but maybe you thought of a gal at your church who is!  Maybe you know of someone who is anxious or troubled about many things.  Think of something you can do to bless this sister.  If she’s stretched to the max making the church spic & span, maybe ask if you could join her on her work day and listen to her heart while you scrub the jam off those windows.  Maybe send a card of encouragement or a prayer to a friend who is troubled or grieving.  I see hospitality taking its last, dying breath in our society.  Our doors are not only closed, they’re locked!  We may excuse this behavior, describing ourselves as introverts, not liking to be around people, or most commonly “just too busy.”  EEK EEK EEK!!! Red Alert!!! Friend, don’t be overly consumed with serving. Don’t neglect to meet together.  All of this is an area I struggle with, alongside so many women.

I like this quote by Alexander Strauch. “Many people don’t practice hospitality because of the expense. You don’t, however, have to impress people with scrumptious meals or be the best entertainer in your church. Hospitality is to be a service to others, not an ego inflater.” (The Hospitality Commands)

Whether its a pride issue or a priority issue, let’s all try to put a little more effort into serving the Body of Christ… and I am talking about the literal Body of believers- not the disposable coffee cups. Sometimes more effort looks like less.  Share your thoughts & encouragement below.

love y’all

nina the mom

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Madness & BLOODY sausages

As a mommy, I continuously find myself saying the most bizare things.  Handsome and I daily quote Brian Regan, saying “That was an actual sentence I had to aim at another human being.

Last night, for example, I served the minions their dinner.  G had gone to the grocery store with Handsome and picked out some chicken breakfast sausages that he wanted to have.  I served them their sausages, etc… That’s when G, in a whiney/frightened-sounding voice said the following:

G: I want it... with blood.
Me: (Thinking I misheard him): You want blood or you don’t?  It doesn’t have blood on it.
G: No. I want it with BLOOD.
Handsome: Do you mean ketchup?
Me: Do you mean ketchup? The red stuff you can dip in?
G: Yah. Ketchup. That’s what I mean.

After tasting the ketchup, he informed us, “I don’t prefer ketchup. I prefer blood. Can I have some blood, please?”
I have no idea what he is talking about.  I certainly have never served him blood before.

The way kids perceive the world is so interesting.  I remember back around Christmas, G was gazing at our nativity and told us, “When I was baby Jesus I was living in a stable with the animals, too.”
Let’s start with you were never baby Jesus.  
Moving on to, you were never born in a stable.

The other night he told me, “I don’t want to grow big! I want to grow small!! Then I can fit in my little tiny pet house with my animals.”  (it’s hard being Kidzilla!)

Here’s the pet house he’s referring to.

Recently we were at the beach and Handsome pulled a giant clam out of the water, so the boys could look at it.
G: I like that clam!! Put it down so I can stomp it!!!”
Handsome: Why would you stomp it if you like it?
G: Well, the thing is, I don’t think I’m going to love it. I just like it, so that’s why I need to stomp it.

And that explains everything.
Perhaps most evidently why I feel a little like Alice, in a funny, mixed-up world- where everyone is apparently mad and incapable of sensible conversation. I have a feeling that I am not at all alone. {Please share the hilarious things your kids have said... I can't wait to hear!}

G: Can I watch Octonauts, mom? I promise it will not make my brain stupid. Love y'all nina the mom

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday is for Food Planning

This post is dedicated to my best momma friend.  She is the recent recipient of a sourdough starter and sprouted lentils. :)  Here are some tried & true recipes that abide by a traditional foods diet and won't keep you in the kitchen for the rest of your life.  The more you make this stuff, the quicker you get!

We've been eating a Traditional Foods diet since late October, incorporating more and more things along the way.  I spent five months finishing all of GNOWFGLINS' Traditional Cooking School courses and have been reading Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon.  What in tarnation is GNOWFGLINS?  It stands for God's Natural Organic Whole Foods Grown Locally In Season. If you're not too familiar with the idea of a traditional diet, I urge you to check it out.  We wanted to change our eating to promote health in our family so we did a lot of research and narrowed down our interests to Paleo and the Traditional Diet. Here's a great article to help clear up any remaining quandaries.

I am not an expert, but I have learned a ton and hope that I can bless those interested in trying this method of cooking.  It includes lots of soaking, sprouting, lacto-fermenting, & dehydrating.  The idea is to eat traditional food, prepared in a traditional way (as in hundreds or thousands of years) to improve digestion and absorption of vitamins & minerals.  With a little preparation, we can really benefit from our body being able to utilize the good stuff in our food.  There's so much information out there and I will point you to some good places if you're interested in learning about the science behind it.  It's super easy to neutralize that phytic acid in our grains and those pesky enzyme inhibitors in our nuts.  When you're ready, I recommend the GNOWFGLINS e-courses and/or E-books, but you don't have to shell out extra clams while you're just trying this diet on for size.  There are lots of free resources out there!

Whether you know your food science or not, you can check my blog out every Friday for a traditional food menu & prep plan.  Even if you're not on board, a few meal ideas never hurt anybody.  So here goes...
Traditional Meal Plan: Week 1.

This was made with lots of love & probably a few flaws.  Hope it inspires your healthy eating ambitions.

love y'all,
nina the mom

Recipes for meals:

Sourdough Pizza Dough    (Thin crust version)

Ginger Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry:  Brown ground beef with minced garlic & ginger, salt & pepper to taste, Add finely shredded cabbage & carrots.  Stir-fry.  Once cabbage has wilted, add any other quick-cooking veggies, coconut aminos & sriracha.  Taste and add more seasonings as needed.  Quick & delicious!


Crockpot Chickens

Chicken Chili: I modify with white beans and just before serving mix 1/4 cup masa harina in 1/2 cup water.  Add to chili, simmer 10 minutes. Viola!

Soaked Apple Muffins: I modify with coconut milk, coconut oil & honey. YUM!

Kefir Cheese

Sourdough English Muffins

Lacto-Femented Asparagus

Soaking whole grains chart: for Oats & Rice (remember! if you soak with Apple Cider Vinegar, rinse and replace liquid with fresh water.  ACV in oatmeal or rice can be a little unappealing, but edible if you forget. Ask me how I know.)

Fancy Oatmeal: if we don't have raw milk in our fridge, I use water or coconut milk.  Heavy on the cinnamon & coconut oil. mmmmm!

Sourdough Biscuits or Soaked biscuits

Thai Zucchini Meatballs: We eat these about once/week, y'all!  They're delish!  I chiffonade basil and stick that in the meatballs, too.  We've used ground venison and beef.  'sall good!

Sprouting Lentils

Sourdough Tortillas: 

Lacto-Fermented Mayo

Salmon Cakes: I mix mayo with sriracha for a yummy dipping sauce, alongside organic capers!

GF Brekky Muffins: Make with raw cheese

Lacto-Fermented Guacamole: Basically just add 2 TBS whey to your fave guac recipe and leave out (covered) at room temp for 7 hours. Refrigerate. ENJOY! (I use two avocados, lots of garlic (fresh or powdered), sea salt, a sprinkle of chili powder & cumin, a bit of sriracha if we want it spicy... but it won't be green if you add red. ;) #whocares?

Sourdough Pancakes : Honestly I don't fill a whole skillet with batter and cook.  I pour them out in small pancakes and flip like normal, because my kiddos prefer those. :) Super yummy, either way!

PBJ Crepes: Make crepes and fill however you like.  My kids like sugarless jam (easily made with Pimona's pectin)  Nut butters should be made with soaked, dehydrated nuts.  Tip: I keep my starter at the just the right thickness to accommodate these crepes, because my kids love them!  I keep it a little thin so I don't have to add any milk, since we don't have readily available raw milk.  Sometimes I do add kefir, coconut milk or water if it seems a little thick.  I like the crepes slightly on the thick side to accommodate the fillings.  If they have tiny holes, the jam & butter is going to ooze out. #jamlesshandsFTW

Impossibly Easy Breakfast Pie: Like the bisquick Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie.  But with sourdough! Quick, no prep required!  Cook bacon or sausage and crumble into an 8x8 baking dish.  Add any chopped veggies that will make your heart sing.  We love onions, mushrooms, broccoli & red bell peppers.  Mix 3TBS melted coconut oil, 1 cup sourdough starter, 1/4 milk (or coconut milk), 6 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup shredded (raw) cheese.  Once combined add 3/4 tsp b.soda.  Pour over meat. Sprinkle with cheese & green onions. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes. It's done when a toothpick comes out clean (even if it's a little cheesy).

Crepe Chips

Taco salad: use raw or steamed sprouted lentils, cooked ground beef (optional), leftover soaked/cooked rice, leftover soaked/cooked beans, fresh salad greens (not dark leafy greens!), whatever you like in your taco salad.  Top with crepe chips & lacto-fermented guacamole.

Butternut Squash Soup:  Peel & dice butternut squash, roughly chop 1 lg sweet onion & 1 apple (core removed).  Place in a deep baking dish, add garlic cloves.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Cover with foil & bake at 400* till everything is tender (about 40 minutes).  Puree and add coconut milk, yellow curry powder, powdered ginger, salt & pepper to taste. So yummy!! Trust me.
For eggrolls: saute diced onion, minced garlic and ground beef.  Add shredded cabbage and veggies, coconut aminos, and a dash of rice wine vinegar.  Eat on the side, on top of soup or stuffed inside eggroll wrappers (use a misto sprayer to spray with olive oil, bake at 425* for 10 minutes or until golden).  Eggroll wrappers are not part of a traditional diet, but every now and then a little treat is good. :)

Sourdough Bread

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..."

knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23)

I've been thinking of Easter & how it is nearly upon us. I'm grateful for a time of year that causes us to step back and contemplate the cross.  It is good that we think of it often and dwell on it daily, but Easter is a special time to remember the life, death & resurrection of Jesus... the Savior we are serving.

I’ve been listening to lots of sermons lately that have encouraged me to remember whom I am serving.  Have you heard of Jay E. Adams?  I stumbled across a fantastic sermon of his. Please listen to it; it’s less than an hour and no matter where you find yourself, I bet it will encourage you.  I’ve been listening to Todd Friel and also Joe Thorn.  (I recently received Todd Friel’s Anxiety: The Biblical Cure and it is just awesome!) So much of what I’ve listened to is an exhortation to preach to our own souls!  So important to remember that these “good Christian emotions” we might think are natural are mostly a choice, a battle, fought for, struggled over, not magically bestowed upon us because we are followers of Christ.  Instead, we are commanded to believe and to repent, to exhort ourselves, to take thoughts captive, to be strong, courageous & encouraged… these are all actions that we must take; they don’t just happen upon us.  If you grew up going to public school in the USA, you might’ve been indoctrinated with the idea that you either are or are not capable.  And this is simply a lie from the pit of Hell... in more ways than one.

In and of ourselves, we are capable of one thing only: sin.
If you think differently, search Scripture to see what God’s Word actually says of your capabilities, of your character before Salvation. Sometimes we start feeling good about ourselves, our accomplishments, our good hair days, our miraculously obedient children, our dinner that turned out yummy, our clean homes, the list goes on.   Then there are days filled to the brim with disobedience, a trashed house, weariness, physical pain, perhaps the disapproving glances of others.  These days seem to warrant throwing our hands in the air, despairing, leaving us to think ‘I can’t do this.’  I’m not here to tell you you’re wrong.  I’m not here to tell you I don’t have those same feelings.  I’m here to tell you we’re right!  Oh are we right!  We are hopeless, helpless wrecks who deceive ourselves if we think we ever accomplish a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g, without the grace of God.  The glorious truth is that God brings success and defeat, like the sunshine & rain.  In its due season. For our good & His glory.  You can trust that!

If we are counting on our efforts, our talents, our goodness we are in hot water!  
Be careful though, that you have the right perspective about your unworthiness, because a wrong understanding will debilitate you.  You may find yourself  doing little other than feeling sad, depressed, blue- whatever you are comfortable calling it.  The truth is we are feeble sinners who can do nothing for God apart from God.  But if we dwell in our weakness, obsessing about how hard our lives are, how bad we feel, how awful we are etc… we are neither glorifying God in our attitude or our work.  Yes, work!

Did you forget that part in the fall of creation?  The part where God cursed Adam and Eve to labor all of their days.  Even before that, we see God's plan included tending the garden. So, I think it's safe to say we were created for good work. Isn’t it true that when we do our work, we feel good?  Our countenance is lifted, we don’t feel guilty for our shortcomings.  We can praise God that He sustained us, giving the strength we need to finish our work well.  But when our chores pile up as we permit ourselves, especially as keepers of our homes, to be delinquent we get to feeling pretty stinkin’ awful.  When we aren’t self-disciplined, we can quickly fall behind and the more behind we fall, the less hope we have.  It's easy to remind ourselves of all the reasons why we can’t do our work, but instead of feeling relief for not working, we feel guilt- knowing tomorrow will be even harder than today, that we are failing in serving God by serving our families.

So, I urge you {& me}, to continue working, as for the Lord.  Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.  And if you find yourself having an especially hard day, don’t leave all of your work for tomorrow.  Do some, if you can’t do all.  You will feel better!  That’s just a side effect from doing what is right.  Do not forget that your Father in Heaven cares about you and is glorified in your efforts- even the mundane ones.  Press on dear sisters.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Real Life Valentine's Day

Our little family has been sick for about a week now.  Despite dragging my body around taking care of everyone, Valentine’s Day was pleasant.  I remember Handsome was home and that’s allllll I cared about.  We don't always exchange gifts, but this year we did.  Want to know what my sweetie gave me???  A FILOFAX!!  It’s like he knows me or something.  It’s no where near broken in, as I’ve had to put that off for now.  I was joking with my best momma friend that I would jump all over a Planning Retreat… you know like a scrapbook party, but for planning!  Obviously I think Handsome is the best ever and isn’t he the sweetest for buying me something so practical and thoughtful???  I bought him
The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making: How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game
He could really tell I love him a whole lot!  You’ve got to buy your sweetie this book!  The photos of wild animal carcasses being cut up are absolutely stupendous.  Big, glossy photos on every page! A favorite line of mine reads,
Place a tub beneath the carcass to catch the viscera after its cut loose and to collect any blood still draining from the carcass.
If the sky starts falling and you don’t know where to shoot a deer or how to catch its viscera, you’re going to be sorry dudes.  ;)
And I had a very hot and steamy Valentine’s night… That’s right, I broke out the steam cleaner and scrubbed you-don’t-want-to-know-what out of the carpet around 9pm. My best momma friend sent me this funny video:  

Thankfully we’re all on the mend now and we have been spoiled with endless sunshine for the past few days.  I hope your Valentine’s Day was spent loving the people God has put before you to love- graciously, sacrificially, unconditionally, as our Savior exemplified so perfectly.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:9-11

love y’all
nina the mom

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Abner I saw something strange!

Ohmygoodnessgracious y’all!!  I have exciting news to share!!
This morning I took my minions outside to run off energy… I mean… explore and play.  

We were walking toward the beach and E shouted, “LOOK MOMMY!!! IT’S A WHALE!!”  As I was explaining to him that whales don’t swim in our little bay, I looked up to see a WHATINTHEWORLD.

n. a thing, which is unspecifiable or unrelatable to anything known in the earth, together with all of its countries, peoples, and natural features.

There was a LARGE thing in the bay, just about 50 yards away from where we were standing.  I was trying to wrap my mind about what it could be.  It literally looked like the back of a stegosaurus poking out of the water.  It was arched with 5 blades of various sizes (overlapping) visible above water.  The only question I have is: How long can stegosauruses hold their breath?  Cause’ I ain’t never seen it surface to breathe.

I figured it was some sort of tree or something, but it looked especially like a dinosaur or sea monster.  So I took out my phone to catch a video of it and just then…


I grabbed the minions and ran for the house.  (what else could I have done, y’all??)  It sounded as if a sea lion or elephant seal was growling right by us, SUPER-LOUDLY but I couldn’t see any!! SO WEIRD, right???  So, I went inside knowing we’d be safe from any dinosaur or something like that.  In the safety of our living room, I peeked at it through the blinds and it had moved and was now only showing about ⅓ of its “back” that I had seen before.  I took a picture, which always stinks, because it doesn’t show the size or detail, but it was with my phone, through our salt-water glazed window.  Check it out…

A little while later I heard a helicopter over our house.  (We hear planes, jets and helicopters ALL day long, because we are in the flight path and we’re near a naval base, so we get to hear/see weird stuff daily.)  When I went to check out the window, the “creature” was gone.  I think the helicopter scared it!  (unless the military captured and/or killed the monster in record time)

It was all so weird!  And funny, because I doubt there was a sea monster in our tiny bay, but then again… you never know!  Strange that we were startled by a loud sea animal growl, but I didn’t see any such terrorist.  

This is all to tell you that I may or may not have witnessed a dinosaur in my backyard.  If a dinosaur-shaped tree washes up on the beach, I’ll photograph that and we can all laugh together!  I’m definitely accustomed to seeing things in the water and this was WAYYYYYYYY bigger than any sea lion I’ve ever seen.  The kids literally thought it was a whale….  Maybe there is some kind of mutated whale living in these waters.  I’ll keep you abreast of the situation.  In the meantime, I’ll keep peeking out the window like Mrs. Kravitz to see if “it” comes back.  
Oh the things that lurk in that big ol’ Pacific Ocean!  I’m so curious! Yet, at the same time, I’m slightly unqualified and under-equipped to deal with any potential sea creature encounters.  

Hope your day has been exciting.  Do tell, have you seen any dinosaurs lurking about?

love y’all
nina the mom