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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Advent Conspiracy




This really makes you think!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's that time of year again!

What time of year exactly? It's the Holiday season. But what Holiday exactly? If you're anything like me than to you it's CHRISTMAS season! If you are interested Focus on the Family put out a Christmas friendly shopping guide for some of the big names and their stance on Christmas. Check it out. Sign the petition. Shop at the Christmas friendly vendors. Watch the Merry Tossmas video. Get informed.

http://www.citizenlink.org/content/A000008670.cfm

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bugaloo Giveaway!

Okay everyone! My favorite blogger just posted a giveaway on her website. Go check it out! The giveaway is for a pair of baby Bugaloo shoes. Think Robeez but better! Robeez are very expensive, which there is nothing wrong with, but when you are a stay at home mom like me with four kids, homeschooling two, well, expensive is an issue! So copy and paste the link to be taken to the Passionate Homekeeping blog and check out the details!

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2008/11/bugaloo-kids-giveaway.html#comment-5029

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Marriage-Just a piece of paper?

In case the vehement battle opposing Prop 8 has left you weary, tired, or confused.
In case you are faced with mounting dissension from family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances, and you are starting to wonder yourself if you're wrong, and they are right, as I'm sure you're incessantly being told is the case!
James McBride writes a powerfully worded, impactual piece on the defense of traditional marriage.

(click on title to read the piece)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pastor Dave's Iraq Trip

Words cannot describe how humbled I am at this moment. I choked up several times watching this slide show. Here I am a Christian in America, in a particularly funky mood today, worried, and anxious. Worried about how we are going to make ends meet, about what I'm going to do when Richard is gone for 7 months and where the kids and I are going to live. Feeling anxious that we will never get out of this 900 sq. ft two bedroom apartment, where 4 kids occupy the two bedrooms, and Richard and I sleep on the living room floor, either on a blow up mattress, or a 6" piece of foam, neither of which are comfortable in the least!

Then I watched this video slide show of my Pastor's recent mission trip to Iraq, Iran, and Egypt, where every day people are giving their lives to Jesus Christ, and becoming my brother's and sister's in Christ. Where people are hurting, and struggling, beyond anything I am capable of imagining, and whereby their circumstance I lead a life of comfort and luxury! People who are risking their lives EVERY DAY just because they turned from their former oppressive religion, to embrace the Living, and ONE TRUE GOD!! People who have lived their whole lives in war-torn, oppressed, countries ruled by evil, who now, at this very moment are at peace, and able to experience true joy, and true salvation! People who are so oppressed even in their own churches, that are unable to express, and share their joy or risk losing their lives, can now dance, jump, shout, and sing unto their God like little children! Theirs is a faith, a movement, I've never experienced... I sing, dance, jump, and at times have even cried and shouted unto the Lord, but I've never done so while risking my life, knowing that at any moment myself or my family my die, because I love Jesus Christ!! I've had many trials, but nothing compares to theirs!

Watch this video, thanks to Neal and Mercedez, of my Pastor's trip, and see for yourself what I'm talking about! (He's the "big, fat, Mexican" one.... LOL a quote from my Pastor this very day while talking about the trip before church....) He's awesome!




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKMW4CNFp6E






I'm honored to be a part of this historical movement going on in Iraq today! A war torn country, oppressed by evil, where people are coming to Jesus Christ, many who are and will losing there lives for that choice, paying the ultimate price!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Contest

Anyone that has children, or anyone that is a sibling themselves, knows all about sibling rivalry. There is no denying its existence. I for one, was exceptionally competitive, and it seems that both Cassidy and Corinne are steadfast in walking in my footprints. They are nineteen months apart to the day, and their sibling rivalry is very real. I don't remember when it started between them. However, I'm starting to notice a trend with the boys. I wouldn't call it rivalry, rather more of an unspoken contest between the two. Who initiated it? My assumption would be Kai. What might the contest be you ask? Mainly, diaper counts. If one has several wet diapers on any given day the other ends it with more. The more [stinky] trend Richard and I have noticed is the dirty diapers! It would seem that through out the day Kai and Kaleb are continuously trying to one up the other in the poopy diaper department! One day each boy ended with FOUR in less than a 12 hour period! No sooner would I change one, than the other would need changed. Ay yi yi!! With Richard still recovering from his surgery, he is very limited in what and how much he can do around the house, and with the kids. ANY lifting has been strictly forbidden, and I think he's enjoying every minute of it! Well, at least the diaper contest parts!! My goodness! My hope is that the boys won't try to outdo the other in the dirty diaper "painting" contest! Kai is up to two "masterpieces" now. I pray there is no more....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh My The Messes You Make!!

This morning while everyone was busy rushing about getting dressed, Kai was quietly feeding himself his oatmeal, with his trusted spoon, rather content with himself. It wasn't until Richard went to clean Kai up and take him out of the highchair that we realized why he was so content with himself! All I heard from the other room was, "Kai James Wilson! Oh my!" I come into to find the most horrendous mess! I'm not sure how much of the oatmeal Kai was even ate! There was oatmeal everywhere! All over the wall behind him, the wall next to him, the high chair, the curtain, the table, the floor. EVERYWHERE!! It looked like he took the spoon, and flung oatmeal, food fight style! Of course this realization comes at the point where we are almost ready to walk out the door. Of course, right? Isn't that how it always is with kids? You're ready to walk out the door when you realize that someone's poopy, again. Or someone's missing a shoe, or the ever important snuggli! Grrr! So the next half hour was spent with Richard trying to get oatmeal boy cleaned up and dressed, while I was busy with my sponge and bucket of water cleaning practically every surface of our dining room! And for those of you who have kids, you understand the plight of trying to "wipe" up any cooked cereal! It just smears. For those of you who don't have kids yet, ha, just you wait! =o)

I'm starting to think I have a "boy wonder" on my hands, because Boy! Do I wonder sometimes!

(At least this wasn't as bad as the "poop" incident, as we busy trying to get ready and leave for Colorado!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What did YOUR kids do in school today?

Today was one of those days that I just praised God for being able to homeschool my kids! Homeschooling has been and continues to be such a huge blessing to our family! We recently started learning about Ancient Egypt, and Cassidy is fascinated! We've been reading Exodus alongside our Egypt studies, since Moses lived in Egypt, and returned to lead Israel out of Egypt. Right now she's enthralled with mummies! She gets a bit grossed out learning about how the Ancient Egyptians performed their mummification process, especially the parts about pulling the brain out through the nose with a metal hook, or removing all of the internal organs, and filling the body with natron. Even though she gets grossed out looking at pictures of the process (none which are graphic) she chose to start a mummy project of her own. So today we went outside (where the temperature was like that of Egypt!) and started our mummies. We tore up newspaper into strips, shaped modeling clay into mummy forms, and with watered down glue and a paintbrush started covering the mummies with layers of newspaper. About 20 minutes into the project, the girls decided that with the heat it would be more fun to play in the water with Kai, and get soaking wet. Why not? Water play can be incorporated into school can't it? Well Cassidy found a way on her own. She got into the dirt, made her own Nile River, and then decided it would be more fun to orchestrate one of the annual Nile Floods we just read about, complete with fire truck "crocodiles", and a "baby Moses" (aka Kai). All three kids played in the water and mud for at least an hour, and Cassidy moved from her Egypt theme, to an ocean theme, where she flung water everywhere creating gyres. (Ocean surface currents, or "Jares" as she calls them) Corinne was left to run screaming from every Nile Crocodile, or Jellyfish, or Shark that Cassidy convinced her were chasing her. Kai was just content to be playing in the mud, getting wet, running after sister's, and climbing stairs. All in all, this was a pretty good school day I'd say. I was left wondering as I finished the clean up what the other kids did in school today, sitting at their desks in a hot, crowded room. It made me smile, and praise God for the freedom that my kids have!!



Our inspiration and supplies to make
our mummies.





Newspaper+glue+modeling clay=mummies!






The kids had a blast!!







Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our 3 Year Wedding Anniversary! <3 (Sept 13, 2008)

09/13/08 5:27PM
Our 3 Year Wedding Anniversary <3
Today is our 3 year anniversary! I am thankful for so many things!
I am thankful for:

A husband who loves Jesus!
A husband who puts Christ first, and strives to serve him better!
A husband who loves me unconditionally!
A husband who loves his children, and is raising them to love the Lord!
A husband who is; full of Integrity, Honest, Loving, Gentle, Safe, Giving of himself, a Provider, a lover of all that is Holy, Just, and Righteous, Funny, Smart, Loyal, Hard-Working, Protective, Open to God's Counsel, Wise, a Seeker, Good Looking :D, Passionate, Talented, Driven, my Best Friend, Earnest, Concerned for the well being of others, Playful, Fun, Witty, Firm, Unwavering , [and will soon be a Man in uniform, guns, cuffs, and all!! =o) ]

I am madly in love with my husband, and though it seems impossible, I am more passionately in love with him today than I was the day that we married 3 years ago! I thank the Lord my God everyday that he provided for me such an amazing husband, and am thankful that God would ever consider me worthy of such a blessing!! Richard and I have had nothing but trials, and obstacles since the day we married, and they have yet to cease, however through each trial we have faced, we've grown stronger, and closer to each other, and together have grown stronger in the Lord!

I am the luckiest woman on earth to be able to say that I am Mrs. Richard J. Wilson, and even better than that I wake up every day in the arms of the man I am proud to call Husband!

I love you Richard!!

A Little Thing Called Warfare... (August 25, 2008)

...spiritual warfare that is. I know, I know, some of you reading this are rolling your eyes right now, thinking to yourself, 'Here she goes again, talking about Jesus, and "christian" stuff'. Well guess what, you're right! If you're not saved, (meaning you've accepted the one and only Jesus Christ as your personal savior, and have asked him to come in to your life, and forgive you of your sins, and believe with all of your heart that he is the One and True God, who became flesh, died on the cross for all of man's sins, and rose on the third day.) then you probably don't really understand what I'm talking about, and possibly don't even believe that there is such a thing as spiritual warfare complete with Satan and demons. But, for those of you who are my Brother's and Sister's in Christ than you very well know what I'm talking about, and this blog is written to you, to share God's working in my life, so that all glory be to God!

I'll start from the beginning.

About a month ago my Pastor approached me after service and told me that he'd been praying about something involving me. He felt God's leading in asking me to pray over the possibility of leading a small class of our 6-12th grade girls in a small study. So I did. I started praying over the idea, with a bit of trepidation to be honest. (I've had a desire for a long time now to reach out to teenage girls both Christian and not, and try to help lead them the right way so that none would make the bad choices I did as a teenager, and as a result go through the heartache and misery that I did.) My Pastor set a date, August 24th, and told me that the study would be focused on the topic, "Choices", and he also wanted me to prepare a testimony for them. [GULP] So for over a month, through prayer, reading the word, and trusting that God would unfold his message to me, I was able to put together both my testimony, and a short study. [Praise God... because if I'd had to do it on my own, it would have been horrible! I don't know how Pastor's do it!!]

So that was the beginning. It all started with God's leading, and a lot of prayer! Once I accepted the challenge, and dove heart first into preparing, things started to happen, seemingly without end!!

-Not even a week after I started praying and preparing, divisions started to happen, (again) within our extended family.
-Finances got turned up-side down and our budget went out the window this month! Unexpected expenses popped up at every turn, "unexplicibly" of course.
-One of Richard's paychecks was shorted almost $300.00.
-My hours were cut dramatically, a computer error? Ha!
-My ex, being his usual self, issuing threats of court, and "suing" us.
-Medical bills increased from weekly, to almost daily, each ranging from a hundred to a thousand!!
-We were told we were being sent an application for a 3bdrm house renting for an affordable price, and even spoke to the owner, and it all sounded very promising, only to end in dead silence! No application, no phone call, nothing! Which left us very discouraged.
-Richard and I seemed to be stuck in a state of perpetual confusion, and a thick cloud of chaos seemed to enshroud us. To the point where we couldn't see clearly, and called upon our Pastor several times for clarity in situations we would normally be able to discern the truth right away.
-I got really sick for about 10 days, with stomach pains, and digestive issues, which pretty much wiped me out.

I know it all sounds pretty mundane, but only because I'm not going into great detail. All of the above happened, one right after another, at avalanche speeds, only adding to the stress level of two already, exhausted, parents of four struggling to make ends meet. All in all we had some pretty hairy, discouraging moments of shaken faith. BUT! Through it all, we relied on the LORD! In times of doubt or confusion we'd turn to prayer, and the word for clarity, and if we were still doubting or needed clarification, we turned to our Pastor. We never lost faith, even if it were shaky at times! We clung to Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" and even had to remind each other at times, but we came out victorious for Christ! Glory be to GOD!! <3

Then two very peculiar things happened in a 24 hour time span, two days before I was to give my testimony, and teach the girls.

Friday August 22nd I woke up with a pretty gnarly toothache! I've needed dental work for a while, but nothing immediately, until Friday morning! The pain was so bad that anytime I ate, drank, brushed, flossed, or rinsed sharp pain would shoot up through the tooth, through my jaw clear into the top of my skull! [Yikes!] I got an emergency dentist appointment Saturday morning at 10am. The appointment was to take X-rays, and check my teeth to see what was going on, and see whether it was a tooth problem or a gum problem. (A lovely side effect of 4 pregnancies in under 6 years.) So at my appointment the dentist came in, looked at the x-ray's, checked my teeth, (which nearly sent me through the roof!), and he told me we had to do a root canal right then and there! Every other time before when I've needed cavities filled, or a root canal, I've always had to come back another day to start any procedures. And I'm VERY familiar with dentists people... Nope, not today. It had to be, "right now"! A "major" root canal the DAY BEFORE I'M SUPPOSED TO TEACH AT CHURCH! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry in the dentist's chair, so instead I texted my Pastor and told him what was going on, and said that I would be at church to teach the girls even if that meant having to drool and mumble my way through the class! HA! The dentist kept saying something to the effect, 'I've never seen anything like this...' First of all I was way to happy for someone about to get an emergency root canal. I told him what I was doing at church the next morning, and it turns out he was a fellow Brother in Christ! [PRAISE GOD!] Half way through the root canal he had to stop because the pain was so severe, and the FIVE shots of novacaine were ineffective! (Another, 'I've never seen anything like this' moment for him.) Turns out the tooth was severely infected, which had to do with the ineffectiveness of the novacaine. (The dentist said, that when the infection is that bad, the pain is too severe to do even start the work. He's never started and then had to stop half way through the procedure like he did mine.)

Hmmm? I wonder who's handy work that all was? Satan perhaps? Absolutely! I've never experienced tooth pain that severe, and I've had a root canal before. The dentist had never seen a case like mine before, and he does it everyday! Definitely a spiritual attack by Satan and his demons! But once again, from the very beginning, I relied on God to lead me through, and turned to prayer for my strength! (Trust me if I'd gone it solo, I'd be a big whiny, blubbering mess!)

Another spiritual attack thwarted, and Glory given to God. I bet that angered Satan something awful! So far an entire month's worth of a $h*t-snowball didn't make me change my mind about doing the study. On the contrary it all only strengthened my resolve.

Saturday night I went to bed, root canal partially finished, and only feeling a little pain thanks to my good friend Vicodine, aka Hydrocodone. Then early Sunday morning, at 4:00 am to be exact I woke up crying, moaning, and writhing in agony! The pain came on suddenly and severely unlike ANYTHING I've EVER experienced in my life! Not even childbirth could compare to the pain I was experiencing! I've had many painful experiences all across the spectrum, and on a pain scale of 1-10, this was easily a 90! The best way I can describe it is this: It felt like I had the wind knocked out of me; someone was continuously punching me in the back while stabbing me in the stomach with a butcher knife from the inside out; a sever case of indigestion; and bleeding ulcers all at the same time! How's that for some serious pain? Having had stomach ulcer's, and pretty bad bouts of indigestion, Richard quickly brought me a large glass of milk, tums, and a banana, all of which would normally ease my indigestion right away. All three were rather useless! The pain continued to get stronger, and I was started thrashing more violently, grunted more loudly, (as it was getting harder and harder to breathe), and I'm pretty sure Richard was starting to get a bit freaked out, having never seen me in that state. I didn't know what to do, and he felt even more helpless, so I asked him to put his hands on me and start praying over me. Which being the amazing husband he is, he did. I continued to feel worse, so out of sheer desperation I started chanting: "I REBUKE YOU SATAN IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST! I REBUKE YOU DEMONS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST! I REBUKE YOU SATAN IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST!" Almost instantly the pain started to ease up, and within a couple of minutes my breathing was back to normal, and the pain was 100% gone!! I've never experienced anything quite like that, and only one other time before have I spoken those words, but never in the midst of such severe pain, and panic!

Once again GLORY BE TO GOD!! I've heard stories of people waking up in the middle of the night with pressure on their chest as if some unseen monstrosity was sitting upon their chest, only to have it vanish after saying, "I rebuke you Satan/demons in the name of Jesus Christ". But never before have I experienced it myself.

A few hours later before church started, I told my Pastor about the incident, and his response was similar to mine. 'Really? Why such a strong attack for such a small church and a small group of girls? God definitely is at work here, if Satan is going to such great lengths to stop and discourage!'

The study went well, even though I was emotional through my testimony, and nervous for the rest of it, God poured down his blessings on all of us! Only time will tell what comes to fruition from the study itself, but the girls responded very well, so much so in fact that afterwards they were stumbling over themselves to find out from Pastor if and when I'd teach again, as well as sharing with their parents what we talked about. One of the girls even pulled me aside afterward to speak in private, which was one of my Pastor's hopeful prayers. Pastor spoke to me afterwards and asked me to be in prayer about another study, to follow God's leading and direction and put together another study, so that he can plug me in with the girls again. I spoke with my Pastor this afternoon, and he said both the girls' and their parents' were greatly blessed by yesterday, and he's excited to see God working in such miraculous ways! Honestly, I am too! God is so good, and I think I was more blessed by yesterday, and everything I've experienced over this past month, because I've been even more anchored in my faith, and my walk with Jesus Christ!

He is the Only and True Living God! There is NO GOD outside of Him, and knowing that he loves me is simply overwhelming!!

Now that I've written a mini novella, I'll leave you with this verse:
"A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:10-12

Forever Bound (August 22, 2008)

FOREVER BOUND

Friends foreplay,
Lovers betrayal,
Anger,
Hurt,
Longing,
both running away,
avoiding words,
neither will say.
Broken hearts reveal,
only time will tell,
Love,
Hate,
Forever Bound.



-Rachael Burbridge
(copyright 2001)


I wrote this poem in 2000 at the age of 16, and it was published in 2001 when I was 17. Little did I know it was prophetic of the relationship I was in.

The Blog I Promised... (August 13, 2008)

As I mentioned before, we are quickly approaching our second year of home schooling, and we are so excited!! With the ruling in early August, by the State Supreme Court supporting home schooling, and reversing the earlier ruling outlawing all forms of home schooling unless by a "credentialed" teacher/parent, has brought our family a great peace! Now we con continue home schooling without an overriding fear of CPS knocking on our door!

PRAISE GOD!!


Cassidy will be in second grade this year, and Corinne will be doing Kindergarten work. Since I do not have to officially enroll Corinne with the state of California until she is 6, we will be going at her pace again this year, with no set curriculum. Next summer Corinne will take a first grade placement test, and if she is ready for first grade, first grade she will start. If she isn't quite ready, she'll be "officially" enrolled in Kindergarten, and will be using a much more structured curriculum. However, I highly doubt that will be the case! Cassidy however will be going from a very bone dry curriculum with a "modernistic" approach to teaching, to a pretty intensive, "classical" approach to teaching. It's going to be a big change for the both of us, but one in the long run will put her FAR ahead of her peers! (God willing of course!)

For any who are unsure of what a "classical" approach is, here's one of the best descriptions I can find.
"The core of Classical Education is the trivium, which simply put is a teaching model that seeks to tailor the curriculum subject matter to a child's cognitive development. The trivium emphasizes concrete thinking and memorization of the facts of the subjects in grade school; analytical thinking and understanding of the subjects in middle school; and abstract thinking and articulation of the subjects in high school. Subjects unique to Classical Education which help accomplish the goals of the trivium are Grammar, the science of language usage; Logic, the science of right thinking; and Rhetoric, the science of verbal and written expression. Classical Christian Education is further characterized by a rich exposure to the history, art, and culture of Western Civilization, including its languages (Latin and Greek), its philosophy and literature (the Great Books of Western Civilization and the Christian tradition), and the development of a Biblical world view with Theology in its proper place as the Queen of the Sciences." -(an excerpt from this great Classical Curriculum website :http://www.classical-homeschooling.org/introduction.html)

Going to a classical approach is only the first of many changes this year. The second big change for us, is that this year we won't be going it solo anymore. We have applied for and are going to be joining Hope Christian Academy. (http://www.hopeca.com/) They are an ISP operating as a "private school". As a member, I become a "faculty" member of their "school". They take care of all of the filing with the state for us, as well as keep all of the official records and transcripts for us. They have 5 annual "faculty" meetings that I must attend, as well as workshops that I can attend. So not only will I have the security of an ISP, and a higher level of accountability, but I will also be "learning" how to be a better teacher. It's a win win for all! An added bonus for us is the fact that we will do all standardized testing through Hope Christian Academy, but they also several field trip, and gathering opportunities!

So, as you can see this year will be MUCH different from last year, and we haven't even delved into the curriculum yet! We are looking at a pretty intensive, yet exciting curriculum this year! Here is our complete curriculum this year:

Core Curriculum- Tapestry of Grace (a Christian world-view history based humanities curriculum)
http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/index.php

Math- Saxon Math
http://saxonhomeschool.harcourtachieve.com

Science- Apologia (a Christian science curriculum)
https://apologia.securesites.net/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1
*We'll be doing the Sea Creatures book first, since Cassidy is fascinated by all things ocean!*

Latin-Prima Latina
http://memoriapress.com/descriptions/prima.htm

Grammar-Easy Grammar
http://www.easygrammar.com/eg2.html

Handwriting/Copy Book Work (that also coincide with our Latin curriculum)
http://memoriapress.com/descriptions/Copy-Books.html

Along with the curriculum above, we will be reading a lot of literature through our Tapestry of Grace curriculum. =o) (Literature=Lovely!)

Can you tell I'm excited? There is also going to be a change as far as routines go. We will be working on this whole next year getting into a more fluid, organized, structured routine, for everyone! So our whole day will be planned out, from breakfast to bed. School will be scheduled into our days in 20 minute increments. Chores, errands, baking, cleaning, laundry, naps, meals, etc. will ALL be planned! I personally am looking forward to this, and am praying that things will become much less hectic and stressful around here! Another thing I'm REALLY looking forward to? Scheduling "House-care" into our school days! An hour of our school days will be spent 'learning' to manage a household, from housework, to cooking, to grocery shopping!!

So there you have it folks! A glimpse into our crazy Wilson household! It may be a tall order to fill, especially now that I am working part time, but;
'I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me' (Phil 4:13)

Maybe? Possibly? (August 13, 2008)

So, just recently I got reacquainted with an old friend from high school. She's awesome, and in just the few short weeks that we've reacquainted ourselves, she has taught me a lot of things I've never known, as well as inspired me in my walk with Christ. I'm so grateful to have gotten back in touch with her! The best part? She's a stay at home, soon to be home schooling, Christian, mommy of 4! (4 in December) It's like we've been leading somewhat parallel lives without ever knowing it!

Anywhoo, I just had to share one major blessing from Ashley.

RAW MILK!!

I know most of you are thinking to yourselves right now, 'Raw what!? Rachael's definitely gone off her rocker!'

But seriously, this is the most amazing thing! (I still have not acquired a taste for it yet, but I'm working on it!) Ashley introduced me to this miracle product when I mentioned that Kai had MSPI. (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance) Her little Zara had a very similar reaction to milk and soy that Kai has, so when she recommended me try it, I immediately researched it, than went out the next day and bought it. (Wild Oats sells two different brands of Raw Milk and offer non-fat, percent, and whole, in case any are curious enough to research it and try it.)

I was praying that Kai would tolerate this stuff, and guess what!? So far he has! We are still in the testing phase with him, and have another week to go before we know for sure, but so far, so good! I found out a lot about the benefits of Raw Milk, which FAR out weigh the drawbacks! I also learned a lot about the pasteurization and homogenization processes, and am looking towards switching our family over completely from the pasteurized, homogenized 1% we drink now, to either 2% or whole Raw Milk!!

I'm not going buck wild at the moment and switching everyone over immediately, mainly because of costs. Since this is a much superior product it does come with a heftier price tag. (Well worth the cost though!) So with us living on a $300.00 a month food budget, I can't make the switch yet. (Also because I don't even budget dairy products IN to our $300/month food budget because WIC provides it all for us!! In surplus!)

Anyway, I just had to share this amazing product with you all! There are so many good websites out there, but here's a couple to start you on your way if you're interested.

http://www.realmilk.com/what.html

http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/

---Note---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are many websites both for and against Raw Milk. I informed myself on both sides of the Raw Milk debate, and then I made a decision that I felt best for my family. I highly recommend you make an informed decision on what's best for you and yours. I am not a doctor, nor an expert on this subject, I only share my personal opinion, and experience!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Bit Discouraged (August 12, 2008)

That subject line pretty sums up the way things are going around here as of late! Not in every facet, just a few major ones!

Now that I can openly blog about it, Richard and I MIGHT be moving! Friends of ours (Mary and Jason Bouma) are currently renting a 3bdrm house in Long Beach, and are going to be moving to Selma, Ca. to buy a house. (Way to go guys!!) =o) It's kind of a funny story how it all came about, but Mary has passed our information to her landlord, who has indeed contacted us. (About a week and a half ago now...) She said that she would be mailing us an application to fill out and return to her, and that no decisions would be made until her husband was safely home from Africa. Which is totally understandable! However, this is where I'm struggling with discouragement. We still haven't received the application that was said to be coming last week. I understand why, thanks to a conversation with Mary, but waiting patiently is SO HARD to do sometimes! [I keep having dreams where instead of receiving an application in the mail we receive as apology letter that states, 'Sorry we cannot rent to you at this time. You have too many children, for us to be able to rent to you.'] HA! More of a bad dream I guess you could say!

I know God has a plan for us, and that the only thing we NEED to do is seek Him in ALL things. It's so much easier said than done! I also know that when there are areas in your life that need to be worked on, God will sometimes give you a trial to strengthen you in those areas. Patience has always been a virtue that I lack. And it's glaringly obvious that right now I must be patient, and seeking HIM while waiting to hear if we are in fact going to get this house or not. {Pray for me! =oP }

Another area where I am totally discouraged right now, is our finances, and our Total Money Makeover. When we started this we knew that if anything can go wrong it will, and more often than not it will all at one time! That seems to be the consistant place Richard and I have been in lately! If there is something that can work against us, it will!! Everytime! We were all set to pay off our second credit card this month, but unfortunately, that has been pushed back by about 3-4 months. =o( Two reasons mainly. The first being Homeschool. Chalk it up to still being new at this whole budgeting a month in advance, or just being irresponsible, but I COMPLETELY forgot about budgeting in for purchasing our 2nd grade curriculum. Woops. Thankfully we had the money, and did not have to put any on credit. We just won't be paying off that credit card this month. (On an upside though, I was able to purchase ALL of our curriculum for $425 vs. over $800!!)

The second reason we won't be paying off that credit card for another 3-4 months is hospital bils. BOO! (I HATE medical bills!) We thought we had finally paid off all of our medical bills the first month we started our Total Money Makeover, but alas, yesterday another showed up in the mail, and after calling our insurance to confirm the amount we are responsible, we now have another hospital bill to pay that is over a thousand dollars!! SUCKY! (Another flipside is that because of this Total Money Makeover we are able to pay this in full next month, and not have to put it on credit, and we don't have to freak about how we are going to pay it!)

(So as discouraged as I feel right now, I guess I'm not doing too bad!! =o) Just writing this I was able to find two silver linings in the stormy clouds!)

Om a more exciting note, we are excited to be starting second grade soon!! There are a loto f new things being implemented this year that I personally am very excited about! If you're curious I plan on posting another blog, but a private one! If you aren;t a preferred reader message or comment me and I will put you on the list!! If you aren't sure but would like to be also let me know and I will put you on the list!

Tata for now, the boys are up from their naps and it's lunchtime in the Wilson household.

Have a blessed day!!

Sianora Gymnastics (August 2, 2008)

Yup, it's sad but true. Richard and I have decided to pull Cassidy out of gymnastics after 3 years, countless hours, and a small fortune spent. It was fun, but we're all excited about what may lay ahead. There are many reasons why we are pulling her out. MONEY for one! For three years now we have been paying for Cassidy's gymnastics with VERY LITTLE to NO help from her donor dad. TIME is another big factor. 5 days a week are spent running at a frenzied pace to and from a gymnastics practice. Which with four children the youngest being 5 months old is just a little crazy to say the least. However the biggest and most important factor is our faith and convictions. Richard and I are trying to raise our children to love and obey Christ. We believe in storing up our treasures in heaven, not in the world. We believe that it is more important to invest our time, treasure, and talent for the good of the kingdom, not to invest it in the world and on worldy things that are just going to burn anyway. Yet here we are spending all of our time running to and from pracitices, and paying a fortune for her to stay with gymnastics. For what? We are not raising an olympic gymnast... We are telling her to love and obey the Lord, and to invest her time and talent into service FOR him, what we're having her invest it ALL in gymnastics, which is nothing more than the world....

We are all going to take a much needed break from hectic schedules! The girls' horse lessons will restart again every other week in September thanks to Grandpa Steve. Also in September we may look into the girls' starting piano lessons or maybe singing lessons. But we will see when the time comes. However, we will not let a sport, or activity become all consuming again.

So here's to big changes, and strengthening our walks in Christ!!

Miley Cyrus and the Disappearance of Childhood (July 29, 2008)

Miley Cyrus and the Disappearance of Childhood
Michael Milton

Sometimes I think the late Neil Postman is the prophet for out time. After reading about the Miley Cyrus photo fiasco, I am convinced of this.

If you have a pre-teen daughter, you know that Miley is the star of "Hannah Montana," the hugely popular Disney television series. This 15-year-old is the singing-acting-dancing daughter of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus. "Hannah Montana" and Disney have crafted the image of this young lady as a safe role model for little girls.

Even if you don't have a pre-teen daughter, by now, you know all about the Annie Leibovitz photographs in the May issue of Vanity Fair. The photographs depict this 15-year-old girl in semi-nude poses with clearly lewd overtones. Today's Wall Street Journal put it like this:

"The photo" showing Miley draped in a sheet, back bared, hair tousled, with a come-hither smile, upset countless parents who immediately grasped the photo's essential vulgarity."

Of course this doesn't shock us anymore. The reason? We have come to expect this. In fact, we have come to demand it. The April 30 edition of USA Today ran an article on the phases of Madonna's career showing her in various provocative outfits. Today's styles worn by young women have been influenced by her and others.

In other words, the Miley Cyrus photo fiasco is simply the symptom of a sick society. This sickness will lead to sadness, in Miley's life and in ours as a society. This is the heart-breaking part of it all: the alluring fashion styles, aimed at making young girls look like seductresses, is robbing these little girls of their innocent childhoods and promoting a culture of sensuality that will unleash further sexual perversion in our already sex-saturated society.

And here is where Neil Postman comes in. The late Professor of Communications at New York University wrote numerous books that are worthy of reading, but one in particular is important for this story. In The Disappearance of Childhood Postman saw the erosion of morals in the dress of little girls as an indication that our society as a whole is not taking care of our own children. He wrote that our image-based society is drunk on sensuality and the cameras have turned on our children robbing them of childhood.

What is ironic about his insights, given this Miley Cyrus story and her relationship to Disney, is that Postman reflected on how Walt Disney protected the innocent childhood that post-Reformation, Western Christianity produced. Martin Luther and the Guttenberg printing press brought a new emphasis on the Word. (Previously there existed a culture of illiteracy, where images were the popular means of communication.)

Postman posits that childhood, as we knew it under the old Disney model, was essentially a childhood of protected innocence that Jesus taught. In a day when children were thought of as insignificant, our Lord taught:

"Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:15-16, ESV).

And again Jesus said, "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:5-6).

Postman was right. Jesus invented "childhood" as a protected time of innocence in which little ones must be guarded, trained, and loved, not abused nor led to sin. According to Jesus, the kingdom of God itself is like unto children, therefore to remove childhood, as Jesus taught it, is to remove the motif of the presence of the kingdom of God in our midst. Postman's prophetic Disappearance of Childhood creates a culture where there is a simultaneous disappearance of the Kingdom of God.

So what is the role for Christians today?

Bring your children to Christ. Their hearts are open to Him. Pray for your children, and let them hear you speaking their names before the Lord. Lay your hands upon the heads of your little ones and speak the name of Jesus often.

Do your best to guard your little ones from the merchants of ungodliness. Jesus warned that if I don't take action, He will! Against me! Christ is the ultimate Defender of children! I would rather throw all of my computers and televisions out of the window and be called a "kook" than to let a little child see, hear, and be inculcated in a culture of decadence.

Don't worry about your children not getting exposed to the culture. They will hear more than you ever will want them to hear. They will see more than you ever want them to see. Give them the Christian gift of "childhood" before they are thrown out into the sensuality-driven society in which we now live.

I appreciate the innovations in technology we have at our disposal. They can be used for good, but images of human beings in provocative poses do not help any of us. They always hurt the weakest. Usually children, especially girls, are the ones to suffer. As the morals of women are undermined, then the soul of our nation becomes sick. Unless there is a realization that this is so, with repentance in our hearts, then eventually this sickness leads to death.

How I pray God will raise up a generation of preachers who will confront and expose the promoters of ungodly images and show the horrible consequences of this sort of sin. Vanity Fair ought to be ashamed. Disney ought to have seen it coming. Annie Liebovitz ought to denounce her own work, repent, and ask forgiveness. Miley's parents need to take her home, love their daughter, and give her the years the star-making machine is taking from her. Oh, how I pray for that family.

May God raise up men in our pulpits, and men and women in our homes, who will lead our little ones to the Lord, teach them His Word, and protect them. May the Lord Himself raise up gracious men, and especially women, who will step into the lives of our little girls, who are being exploited by the purveyors of iconoclastic filth, and lead them back to the shelter of a Christ-commanded childhood. There under the shade of God's plan for our lives the enchantment of childhood with a sweet purity that leads to happiness will be restored. This is what Christ offers. This is what our hearts long for.

The book referred to in this article is Neil Postman's Disappearance of Childhood (Random House, 1994).

The Dark Knight (July 29, 2008)

Richard and I went and saw "The Dark Knight" in imax last night with friends. IT WAS AMAZING!!! I have been impatiently awaiting this movies release, and then chomping at the bit because we couldn't see it on opening day. So we finally got to see it, and it is worth EVERY penny spent! This movie truly lived up to its hype. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Even knowing that this is in someways homage to Heath Ledger's final performance, his portrayal of the joker was so amazing and intense that you forgot entirely about Heath Ledger. So there was no pining for Heath Ledger, during the movie, no weird thoughts about this being the possible demise of Heath Ledger... there was no time. This was a long movie too. Our movie started at 10:30pm, and we didn't get out until 1:10am. Yet, it didn't feel like a long movie. I was a little sad when it ended, I wanted more! I wanted more of the Joker, even though he was the villain, and I was totally creeped out by him, I couldn't wait until he was back in frame. All in all folks this movie was AMAZING, and I recommend EVERYONE go see it!! (With the exception of ANY CHILD under the age of 13!!)

Here's a side note about the movie. All through out the movie there was this underlying thread of conservative values and morals that is unmistakable. Bits of dialogue would jump out and scream conservative values. I read one of last weeks transcript from Rush Limbaugh's radio show, regarding the movie, and there was a link to this opinion article in The Wall Street Journal. Andrew Klavan is better able to describe what I am talking about in this great op-ed piece. Read it for yourself.

WHAT BUSH AND BATMAN HAVE IN COMMON

By ANDREW KLAVAN
July 25, 2008; Page A15

A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . .

Oh, wait a minute. That's not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like . . . a "W."

There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror -- films like "In The Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Redacted" -- which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.

Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?

The moment filmmakers take on the problem of Islamic terrorism in realistic films, suddenly those values vanish. The good guys become indistinguishable from the bad guys, and we end up denigrating the very heroes who defend us. Why should this be?

The answers to these questions seem to me to be embedded in the story of "The Dark Knight" itself: Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.

Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.

Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless.

The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them -- when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.

When heroes arise who take those difficult duties on themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. As Gary Oldman's Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, "He has to run away -- because we have to chase him."

That's real moral complexity. And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised -- then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.

Perhaps that's when Hollywood conservatives will be able to take off their masks and speak plainly in the light of day.

These Babies Have Moves!! (July 27, 2008)

Kris, I can see Kayla doing this a year from now! Haha. Sweet Kayla!
This girl baby has more skills than most!







This kid is amazing!





The Evil Look (July 26, 2008)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93CPo0sBVZc






This is one of the cutest little kids! Kristin, this is the kind of comedy I think you'd enjoy! =o) I LOVE this kid!

One Minor Victory!! (July 25, 2008)

Hooray for minor victories!!

PRAISE BE TO GOD!!

A couple of months ago Richard and I read Dave Ramsey's book 'Total Money Makeover' and decided to take the challenge. It has been very hard creating a budget, and sticking by it, but for the last couple of months we've been really good. We planned ahead for our Colorado trip, and set aside budgeted money for it. The best part of our budgeting for Co was coming home $100 UNDER budget! WOOHOO!

However, that's not the minor victory that we're so excited about. Today Richard and I were able to pay off one of our credit cards, without even touching our checking account OR our savings account! In TWO MONTHS we were able to set aside enough money to pay off one of our cards IN FULL, and the amount was over $1000.00!! How awesome is that!? (That is even after receiving unexpected hospital and medical bills the first two months we started our Total Money Makeover that we paid off immediately totaling close to a thousand dollars! Which again were paid off without touching our checking account or our "emergency fund" savings account! (nor did we use credit.)) We now have only 2 cards left to pay off, and one substantial sized loan.

When we began to read through Dave Ramsey's book, we totaled all of our debt, credit, loans, medical, and anything else we were making monthly payments on, and we figured out that paying the way we were, a little here, a little there, it would take us between 9 and 10 years to pay off all of our debt, and we are only talking about debt that is LESS than $40k!! Not even mentioning that amount of money we would have paid in finance charges, and interest, and fees over that period of time. We were sick to our stomaches after doing the math. Debt is bondage no matter how you look at it. Even the bible mentions debt being bondage. We could literally feel the weight of the bondage we were in, and man was it heavy! Talk about a burden!

After we finished the book, put together our monthly budget, [which is revised every month] and put together our debt snowball list we found great peace and joy! By using Dave Ramsey's plan, we could be 100% DEBT FREE in 3-4 years! We are talking about ZERO DEBT! Not ONE single credit card balance, or car payments, or loan payments! How amazing is that!? What's even better is that at that point we will own ZERO credit cards, so we will never again get into the debt that we were in. Nor will we take out loans, except possibly a mortgage. [but we are planning on saving up enough money, (and investing it wisely) so that we will be able to pay CASH for our house!] =o)

Another exciting thing is that once all of our debt is paid off, within 2-3 years we will have a fully funded emergency fund in liquid cash! For any who are confused as to what I am talking about let me briefly explain. A fully funded emergency fund is enough money in liquid cash to cover any and all living expenses for 6 months in the event of an emergency. And ONLY in the event of an emergency, which is death, illness, sudden unemployment, disability, natural disaster, or any other circumstances beyond ones control. (example: house fire) That means with a fully funded emergency fund aside, we will still be able to live plastic free using only cold hard cash to pay for things!

We're so excited we're giddy right now! Like a couple of little kids on Christmas Eve! Our future is unfolding quite nicely before us, and the sky is the limit! It's so hard to imagine life without debt, but thanks to Dave Ramsey we now can not only imagine, but attain it!

As soon as our debt is paid off, and our emergency fund complete there's a few things we're planning for.
-Being able to support our church and its missionaries better.
-Traveling to Europe, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Israel, Tahiti, Jamaica....
-Renting (or buying ;P) an RV and road tripping across the wonderful United States of America with our children.
-Buying a house. With CASH. =o)
-Getting our tattoos by the guy who did the Picasso tattoo on the GooGoo Dolls frontman.
-Repaying some of the massive legal debt I acquired, which my parents helped me with.
this list could seriously go on for miles upon miles!

So HURRAY FOR SMALL VICTORIES!

PRAISE BE TO GOD!

POOP!!!!!!!!! (July 17, 2008)

I have a POOP HEAD for a son! LITERALLY! We are leaving for Colorado today, so last night was a late night spent getting everything ready and in the truck. Richard had to work this morning so he got up, got ready, and I got up to get the boys. I could've cried the minute I set foot in the boys room! Kai was laying in his crib kicking at the wall, and the stench is overwhelming!! I greeted Kaleb, who now always greets with a smile, and then went to change Kai's normal first thing in the morning poopy diaper. Easy beans right? NOPE!! He slept with a shirt and shorts on, and they were still on, but there was poop EVERYWHERE! All over Kai from head to toe, all over his clothes, all over the sheet, all over the bumper, all over the crib, all over the toys in the crib, ALL OVER! He was so proud of himself too! He kept giving me his knowing little cheezy smile. ARRGH!! Richard helped me get him into the shower so I could undress him, and then I bathed him. Then a now late for work Richard took all of the bedding off and into trash bags so I can figure out a way to clean them, and now I have to go clean the crib, the toys, the wall (I'm sure), and tub, AND the shower!!

This SUCKS!!

It's not as if I didn't have ANYTHING to do this morning other than clean POOP!

Grrr..... (July 14, 2008)

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

I must be absolutely, and totally insane! There is a situation in my life that I approach over and over each time expecting something to be different. Expecting change. Each and every time I'm surprised, angered, and frustrated that nothing has actually changed. Why then do I continue this cycle? Why is it so hard to understand, that this is just the way things are, and nothing short of a miracle, from God above is going to change this situation?

It's a weird cycle too. Things are good, then almost immediately things go sour. It's very draining, tiring, frustrating.... There is rarely anything good that comes out of this situation, but often there is anger and pain. This isn't something just recently either. This situation has been present for as long as I can remember!

I can't even count how many different times I've tried to break from the situation, only to find myself right back in the midst.... What I need is a clean break, but is there really such a thing?

All I know is I need Jesus in the middle of this situation, as he as been for several years now, but something about this situation refuses to relinquish. Is it me? Is it the other? I've mulled, and pondered, and questioned, and prayed... I'm just kind of at a loss right now.

The "No, Not Right Nows..." (July 14, 2008)

I along with just about everyone I know HATE the 'No, not right nows' that God gives in response to prayers. I just received one right now, and I freely admit that I'm extremely disappointed. I thought for sure everything was in line, and that there was a really good chance things might work out in our favor this time. Not to be. I know that all things work together for good, and that God's plans for me are far better than anything I could ever come up with on my own, but I did want it to happen. I would LOVE to be out of this tiny 2 bdrm apt and in a 3 bdrm house. We're just a little pressed for space here, but maybe that's the lesson I need to learn. To be joyful in my circumstances, and to be happy in the space I do have. Not that I'm not happy here, but I do seem to always consider the grass greener on the other side. So my heart is obviously not fully content, as it ought to be. Lord please give me the strength and resolve to be content and joyful in ALL of my circumstances. I know that things can always be worse... I'm thankful that they aren't.

God's timing is perfect... God has a plan... God is faithful to finish the work he has started in me...
I just pray that my faith stays strong, and stops quivering under every trial....

Hilarious! (July 13, 2008)

Thanks to an old friend of Richards, we were introduced (reintroduced?) to these guys. They are hysterical! Not to mention talented! It's gotta take mad skills to throw down lyrics like these guys, and make it look so easy! Here's both of our favorite!






I can be neurotic, here's the proof. (July 9, 2008)

I'm being bad right now. It's 8pm and I should be in bed, going to sleep, but I'm not. Instead I'm perusing friends myspace photos, listening to their song choices, reading their blogs, listening to one of my all time favorite artists, and just thinking about a big task that has been put before me. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love tobyMac? I honestly can't think of a song that I don't like of his, and the best thing is we share the same passion for Christ!) ~Like I said, I'm thinking randomly...~

I really should be getting to bed, I'll be dragging myself out of it at 3:40 in the morning to show up at Starbucks, expected to be awake, energized, and peppy. Is that even possible at that unsavory hour? I think not, but I do try hard. It's only by the grace of God, that I get up! Well, by the grace of God, and my amazing hubby who sets the alarm on HIS phone then wakes me up when it goes off, since he knows that I will sleep through it if left on my own. (When did I become such a heavy sleeper? I used to be such a light sleeper. A mommy sleeper. The kind of sleeper that would wake up when the babies moved in their cribs in the other room! Perhaps it was when Richard started getting up with the babies in the middle of the night and early morning. Like I said. He's AMAZING!)

On another note... Have you ever desired to do something so strongly, that when it comes to fruition you freeze? I'm sure there's someone out there who knows what I'm talking about. Well that's happened to me. I've wanted to be able to do something for so long now, and it's finally coming to fruition. Now that it's coming I don't know how to even START going about doing it! I know God will guide me... thankfully! If left to my own devices I'd screw it up for sure!

~Sorry, jumping ship again~

I just wanted to say that Richard is amazing. Poor guy. He has to be to put up with me!! Yesterday I decided that I wanted to rearrange (for the gazillionth time) the kids' rooms. He was a good sport about it. He did all the heavy moving, and I did all the organizing. I guess I'm pretty neurotic, though you'd never be able to tell walking into this place! We completely rearranged the kids' rooms in like 5 hours yesterday. Possibly a world record! (For us anyway.)

Also, Megan YOU ARE AMAZING! I don't know why it took us so long to come to the place we are at now, but I thank God everyday that he brought us this close! God's timing is remarkable, and I would seriously be lost without a friend like you! You are a constant source of encouragement, accountability, strength, inspiration, and relief! If there ever was a female version of David and Jonathon's friendship I think we'd be it! You're my kindred spirit for sure! Richard's my soul mate, you're my kindred spirit! And to think, we get to spend eternity together in heaven!

Last musing... promise!

I went out to dinner tonight just me and the boys. Normally I wouldn't, especially with being on a tight budget, but I was just too exhausted to cook, or to try and cook for Kai (with all his allergies-poor baby) So we went to my favorite mexican place. (Baja Sonora yummm) It must be quite a sight to see me walking into a restaurant with Kaleb in the sleepy wrap, a diaper bag over one shoulder, and Kai dangling from my other arm. Dangling, because he refuses to cooperate ever! We're already in the midst of the terrible two's with this child! I get so many different looks from people... and tonight was no exception. People always smile and are for the most part polite. Almost always people make the comment, "Wow! You've got your hands full!" I love to shock them with, "Oh this is nothing, you should see it when I have all FOUR of the kids!" Almost always their jaws drop, FOUR KIDS!? YUP! =o) I love to see people's reactions! It's a mini thrill. Anyway, back to my little musing. When I'm in a restaurant people are polite, but you can almost see them cringing and looking for another table when I sit next to them with the kids. Especially the two boys. So tonight was no different. (Admittedly at times, I cringe when I think about eating out with the kids. I personally HATE IT when parents refuse to discipline their children, and then take the little undisciplined heathens out in public, for the rest of us to suffer along!) But I'm proud to say that Kai and Kaleb were both fantastic! (And almost always are when out in public. Home's another story though.......) Kai sat through the entire dinner without whining, screaming, crying, or a tantrum. People took notice of us. Not only because of the sleepy wrap that in itself get a lot of attention, but because I assume they were expecting a little brat to be sitting next to them. He was his happy little content self eating carnitas, black beans, and green rice, and drinking ALL of my ice tea. I got several comments tonight, and I left feeling pretty confident as a mommy. You see, spanking is the best form of discipline, until their at such an age to be able to discuss and teach them (usually around 11 or 12 years old...) If you don't believe me, I now have three living proofs (eventually 4). (And in case you think the spanking has nothing to do with it, you should see my girls in the presence of their dad Vince, and their stepmom. They are not the children I know! They are those little undisciplined heathens afore mentioned!!!)

Good night y'all.
Love y'all!!

Are YOU Ready? (July 7, 2008)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmLhyPjHVes





11 Years Ago Today... (June 28, 2008)

Besides today being my little brother's 24th birthday, this day is particularly special to Richard and I.

11 years ago today Richard and I met. I was 14, and he was 15. It was a hot summer day and we were both at 6 flags magic mtn. with our families. We first saw each other while waiting in line to go on the big foot rapids ride. He was a ways behind me, but that didn't stop us from flirting in line. And flirt we did! The entire time we were in line! Then I went on the ride, and when I got off he was getting ready to go on. I had enough nerve to say hi when I got off, so I did. With a goofy smile I'm sure..... The entire time he was on the ride he was kicking himself in the butt for not jumping out of line (since he was all by his lonesome) to 'meet' me. By the time he got off of the ride I was long gone, and he literally spent the rest of the afternoon searching all over six flags for me. To both of our amazement he did find me! (Actually I saw him walking by when I came out of a candy store, and I made it a point to walk directly INTO his path, and that's how he 'found' me.) We started talking, and all I remember was him being very tall, and cute. I was so nervous, as I'm sure he was too! He introduced himself to my parents, and ended up hanging out with me and my family the rest of the day. When it was time for Richard to leave he asked for my address instead of phone number and gave me his. Two days later I received my first letter from him, and we we exchanged letters for the next couple of years. It's funny. He must have had a premonition, because in the 2nd letter I received from Richard he asked if I would marry him...jokingly. It was phrased more like this, 'Will you marry me... j/k =oP' I was a little weirded out, but my mom then told me that I would probably end up marrying him one day. I laughed! Shortly after the day we met, we got together at Disneyland, and also had our 'first' date at Ports 'O' call in San Pedro. (accompanied by our parents of course...) Oh, and we also went to an Angels game. We were just friends most of the time, and maybe shared one kiss between us until we started dating in 2004. We would've dated while he was in college, but it was not meant to be. I got married shortly after he started college, and he started dating his college girlfriend. But fortunately for us neither one of our relationships worked out, and we finally started dating after 7 years of friendship. Now, 11 years later, we are incredibly happy, will soon celebrate our 3rd year of marriage, and have 4 wonderful and beautiful children!!

I was just sitting here smiling, reminiscing about the day we met. This same day 11 years ago. What a lifetime ago!! I think I'm going to go dig out all of those letters he wrote me back then...

Kaleb Is Back Home! (June 26, 2008)

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to thank you all for the thoughts and prayers for our little boy, Kaleb. Yesterday around 1pm or so, I (Richard) got to sign the release papers and drive home with my bouncing baby boy! The docs still do not have an exact diagnosis for him, but he is doing 100 times better now!

Kaleb was all smiles and flirty with the Memorial staff, and they are sad to see him go. He was so full of life: smiling, talking (well, cooing), and just all around happy the last two days. He seems like a different baby all together! Rachael and I are proud to say that he is home and well and we very much look forward to sleeping though the night away from the hospital.

Again, thank you all for your support and prayers.

-Richard

Kaleb Update (June 24, 2008)

Kaleb is still in the hospital. He is off of the oxygen which is a good thing, but his chest x-rays showed more gunk stuff in his lungs then they like to see. We are waiting to hear what the next step in his treatment is. The RN said that more Xrays will be taken in a couple of days but it remains to be seen if he will have to sta that long. It's basically just a wait and see game right now. Thanks for all of your support and encouragement, and of course prayers!
Rachael and Richard

Please Pray for Kaleb (June 23, 2008)

QUICK UPDATE AND PRAYER REQUEST!!

YESTERDAY EVENING AROUND 7PM I HAD TO TAKE KALEB TO THE ER. WITH SIGNS OF RESPIRATORY DISTRESS, SIMILAR TO WHAT HE HAD THROUGHOUT HIS NICU STAY. THE ER SENT US HOME AROUND 1AM THIS MORNING WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO SEE THE PEDIATRICIAN TODAY. SO THIS AFTERNOON I TOOK KALEB TO SEE HIS PEDIATRICIAN AND SHE TOOK ONE LOOK AT HIM AND SAID HE HAD TO GO STRAIGHT BACK TO THE HOSPITAL. SHE CALLED AND HAD HIM ADMITTED, SO AS OF RIGHT NOW KALEB IS AT LONG BEACH MILLER CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN ROOM 250A. HE WILL BE THERE AT LEAST THROUGH TOMORROW, BUT POSSIBLY LONGER DEPENDING ON HIS BREATHING STABILITY. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT, OR WHY YET.

PLEASE KEEP HIM, AND US IN PRAYER RIGHT NOW. GOD IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN, AND ALL THINGS COME TOGETHER FOR GOOD. THIS WE KNOW, BUT WE STILL BELIEVE PRAYER IS INCREDIBLY POWERFUL IN TIMES LIKE THESE!

ALL OF OUR THANKS, AND LOVE!
RACHAEL AND RICHARD

Anti-Spanking Bill a NO GO! (June 18, 2008)

Date:
From:
Subject:
5/27/2008 9:56:29 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California: Defeat of AB 2943--Prohibition of Spanking
======================================================================
From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
======================================================================


JOINT LEGISLATIVE NEWSFLASH UPDATE - May 27, 2008
From: Roy Hanson's Child and Family Protection Association and HSLDA

***** ***** ***** *****
Bill: AB 2943 - Prohibition of Spanking
Author: Assembly Member Sally Lieber

Position: Strongly Opposed

Status: Failed - A Great Victory!!

***** ***** ***** *****
We are very grateful to God to be able to report that AB 2943 failed
to be passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee by the May
23rd legislative deadline.

God has used your phone calls and letters to the Legislature to bring
this victory. As a result of our Action Alerts, many parents
repeatedly wrote and called their legislators, sending a strong
message encouraging them: 1) to let AB 2943 die in the Assembly
Appropriations Committee, and 2) to dissuade them from considering
writing any such "anti-spanking" bill in the future. Thank you for
all of your prayers, calls, and letters in response to our Alerts on
this bill!

This is a tremendous victory! Like its identical predecessor (AB 755)
by the same author, AB 2943 is now dead!

AB 2943 would have had the practical effect of making criminals out of
those who spank with an implement (i.e. inanimate object, such as a
small paddle or ruler) in California, which could have resulted in
prison or jail time and loss of children. We believe very strongly
that this bill was an extremely dangerous attack on the rights of all
parents in California to be able to determine for themselves what is
the best way to raise and discipline their children. If this bill had
become law, it could have ended up destroying thousands of families.

NO further action is needed on AB 2943.

If any similar bill should be brought up by the Legislature at any
time, we will issue an appropriate Action Alert. We continue to
monitor all legislation daily.

If you would like to read more details on AB 2943, read our Alerts and
background papers at www.childandfamilyprotection.org .

***** ***** ***** *****
Permission is given to reprint this document or distribute it by email
in its entirety without alteration. You are encouraged to link to
this article on our website www.childandfamilyprotection.org .

Words of J. Vernon McGee (June 15, 2008)

The Strange Work of God
Dr. J. Vernon McGee


If the structure of the Book of Revelation is followed, it will prevent you from going off into fanaticism and sensationalism. It ought not to terrify you. Actually, it ought to be a comfort to you. I thank God that He is going to judge this world that is running wild today. The way that mankind has blundered and gotten this world into a mess makes it look like it is filled with madmen. I thank God He is going to judge it, and He is going to judge it rightly.
People often urge me to speak out on my radio broadcast against certain things that are taking place. It is not my business to get on radio and denounce every wrong. My business is to give out just the Word of God, and that is what I am going to do. He is going to straighten this world out someday. I wouldn't have that job for anything in the world. I am glad it is His job.
Maybe you don't like the fact that the gentle Jesus is going to judge. The wrath of the Lamb will be terrifying to those on earth. My friend, when you talk about the gentle Jesus, you had better get acquainted with Him. He died for you, He loves you, and He wants to save you, but if you will not have Him, I tell you, there is waiting ahead of you a terrifying judgment. My beloved, judgment is coming on this earth. I say, "Hallelujah!" I am glad that it is coming and that God is not going to let the world go on like it is now. It has gone on long enough.
Do not lose sight of the fact that Revelation presents Him in His glory as the Judge of all the earth. We are also going to see the wrath of the Lamb some day. Men are not lost because they are sinners; they are lost because they have rejected Jesus who died for them. Even if you go into a lost eternity and have not accepted Christ, He died for you, and you simply made His sacrifice for you of no avail. You have trodden underfoot the blood of Christ when you take that kind of attitude and position toward Him.

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)
This is a very solemn scene. The Lord Jesus Christ orders a halt on all fronts: heaven, hell, and earth. Nothing can move without His permission. For a brief moment, there is a lull in judgment activity; there is a heavenly hush. It is the lull before the storm.
Why is there this strange silence? God's patience is not exhausted. When the sixth seal was opened and nature responded with a mighty convulsion, brave men weakened for a moment. Christ gave them opportunity to repent. But like the Pharaoh of old who, when the heat was taken off, let his willful heart return to its original intention, many men will go back to their blasphemous conduct when there is a calm. This, my friend, is the lull before the storm. As someone has said, "The steps of God from mercy to judgment are always slow, reluctant, and measured." God is reluctant to judge for He is slow to anger.
What is strange about God? That He judges - that He is a God of love, judging His creatures. "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD…" (Ezekiel 18:32). This silence marks the transition from grace to judgment. God is waiting; He is waiting for you today if you have not come to Him. You can come to Him, for He is a gracious Savior.

--From Edited Messages on Revelation by J. Vernon McGee

Words of J. Vernon Mcgee (June 15, 2008)

The Strange Work of God
Dr. J. Vernon McGee


If the structure of the Book of Revelation is followed, it will prevent you from going off into fanaticism and sensationalism. It ought not to terrify you. Actually, it ought to be a comfort to you. I thank God that He is going to judge this world that is running wild today. The way that mankind has blundered and gotten this world into a mess makes it look like it is filled with madmen. I thank God He is going to judge it, and He is going to judge it rightly.
People often urge me to speak out on my radio broadcast against certain things that are taking place. It is not my business to get on radio and denounce every wrong. My business is to give out just the Word of God, and that is what I am going to do. He is going to straighten this world out someday. I wouldn't have that job for anything in the world. I am glad it is His job.
Maybe you don't like the fact that the gentle Jesus is going to judge. The wrath of the Lamb will be terrifying to those on earth. My friend, when you talk about the gentle Jesus, you had better get acquainted with Him. He died for you, He loves you, and He wants to save you, but if you will not have Him, I tell you, there is waiting ahead of you a terrifying judgment. My beloved, judgment is coming on this earth. I say, "Hallelujah!" I am glad that it is coming and that God is not going to let the world go on like it is now. It has gone on long enough.
Do not lose sight of the fact that Revelation presents Him in His glory as the Judge of all the earth. We are also going to see the wrath of the Lamb some day. Men are not lost because they are sinners; they are lost because they have rejected Jesus who died for them. Even if you go into a lost eternity and have not accepted Christ, He died for you, and you simply made His sacrifice for you of no avail. You have trodden underfoot the blood of Christ when you take that kind of attitude and position toward Him.

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)
This is a very solemn scene. The Lord Jesus Christ orders a halt on all fronts: heaven, hell, and earth. Nothing can move without His permission. For a brief moment, there is a lull in judgment activity; there is a heavenly hush. It is the lull before the storm.
Why is there this strange silence? God's patience is not exhausted. When the sixth seal was opened and nature responded with a mighty convulsion, brave men weakened for a moment. Christ gave them opportunity to repent. But like the Pharaoh of old who, when the heat was taken off, let his willful heart return to its original intention, many men will go back to their blasphemous conduct when there is a calm. This, my friend, is the lull before the storm. As someone has said, "The steps of God from mercy to judgment are always slow, reluctant, and measured." God is reluctant to judge for He is slow to anger.
What is strange about God? That He judges - that He is a God of love, judging His creatures. "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD…" (Ezekiel 18:32). This silence marks the transition from grace to judgment. God is waiting; He is waiting for you today if you have not come to Him. You can come to Him, for He is a gracious Savior.

--From Edited Messages on Revelation by J. Vernon McGee

Get a Mac! (June 13, 2008)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h1VQBfLDLA






Yes I'm bored, and YES I'm enjoying these mindless time wasting blogs... you must be too if you're reading them. ;p

Barack Obama-Gaffe Mania- (June 13, 2008)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap2Cg_FDRy4






I mean no offense to any of Obama supporters reading this... I just found this really funny. Bush famous for his gaffes doesn't even compare...
teehee

More Gaffes... (June 13, 2008)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ro-El7WaYQ






hahaha one of my favorites.... [whispers] 'I see dead people' teehee

The Miracle of a Smile (May 29, 2008)

Okay, so I'm sure that most of you know by now that Kaleb is not an easy baby. Colic is putting it in layman's terms. But for as fussy, miserable, and difficult as he is on a nonstop basis, all it takes for my heart to melt is one little tiny smile. They are hard to come by at times, but man when he smiles, his whole face smiles, and I just get all sappy! It's amazing how one little smile can wipe away a weeks worth of frustration on my end! Here's some great smile pictures I got of the little guy today... which yes was one of "those" days.
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Beware the Towel Caper (May 29, 2008)

I had to take a couple pictures of Kai being his adorable, funny self after his bath tonight. Funny though, how I managed to bathe him and yet totally miss his face! I guess that's what happens when I have Kaleb screaming at me wanting to be held, and Kai screaming at me because he wants to stand and jump in the tub..... o'well, at least he's mostly bathed.
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Party Preparations (May 29, 2008)

NOTE:
MEGAN, KRISTIN, SONYA, MEAGAN DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER-(UNLESS YOU HAVE TO ;P)


This week has definitely been crazy busy. Not just because of the boys, but because I've been busy preparing for Corinne's FIRST birthday party! It worked out beautifully that the X took her for a week vacation. Here's just a couple of pics of the prep work so far... Actually I only have a couple of pics of the goody bags (cups) that I've made so far:























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Updates via myspace

Okay, so today I realized that I really need to update this neglected, lonely blog. So, while I don't have time right now to sit down and write out what's in my head, though there's plenty I plan on writing, I am instead going to go through my myspace blog and update that way. I've been better about my myspace blog as of late. So, at least you'll be able to see what's been going on since May....

Garage Sales!

May 29, 2008

Ok, I LOVE garage sales! I am my father's daughter, no denying that. I can smell a garage sale a mile away. So last weekend my dad and I enjoyed our favorite pass time together, and hit a few garage sales. I made out like a bandit! My goal was to find as much sewing materials, and supplies as I could, and I scored!! I found a singer sewing machine (in new condition) that hides in this table. (Yes I have a sewing machine, but this one can handle much more than mine, AND it does twice the amount of decorative stitches than mine.) I also found two kids sewing machines that really work, one for Cassidy, and one for Corinne. (Cassidy will be excited!) I also found a box of thread, (some even on wooden spools!) a box of ribbon, (mostly craft ribbon) and an overflowing box, and overstuffed bag of fabric and scraps. SCORE! I also found a ton of buttons! Some old and dirty, but alot of fun usable ones! All of the sewing material/machines cost around $65 (Thanks Dad!) I also found a great pair of cowboy boots for Kai, that surpisingly do fit him for a whopping 50 cents! And I got a fantastically gawdy robin's egg blue candle holder, three realy great necklaces, and another fantastically gawdy lip-stick holder that I wear as a ring. =) Yup, I'm hopeless! Here's the pics of my goodies, in case you actually were interested, if not, EXIT the vehicle now! Luv y'all.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Corinne!

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You are 5 years old today! Wow!! Where has the time gone? Mommy can't quite believe that you are already 5 years old! I woke up this morning thinking back to the day you were born. I drove myself to the doctors visit, found out I was in labor, and then I drove myself home to cook you dad some dinner. I finally went to the hospital at 8:30pm, and at 10:11pm you were put into my waiting arms... a little goopy bundle of joy!! You are such a joy too! You are the sweetest, most precious thing on this earth! You bring me such joy, truly. God has truly blessed you my sweet child, and I am honored to be your Mother. No one will ever break the bond that you and I share, and my dear child, I can't wait to see what this next year brings you!! I love you baby girl, and can't wait until you are back in my arms again!

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