Sunday, October 22, 2006


Grom has taken to calling me by my first name. It's hard not to giggle and smile. "Waaabin, cme ere". "Waaabin, milk pwease". It's so dern cute.

I cried night after night because I wasn't pregnant. I rejoiced when the Lord granted the desire of my heart. I resigned my natural birth for a very unnatural c-section. BUT, not to have a 2 year old calling me my first name... I REFUSE!

I've earned the title Mommy. I want the title Mommy.

I will not respond to Waaabin. I will not respond to Waaabin. I will not respond to Waaabin.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Think I've Poisoned My Family

What's for dinner?
Gado-gado salad topped with bbq'd albacore.

Now 4 of 6 of us are running to the bathroom. No pain or discomfort thankfully.

Some of the albacore was a bit rare. Surferman said it was fine - we eat sushi (raw) all the time. So far Grom(2) and Grandma(89) are ok. We made sure they ate the well cooked pieces. Please pray they stay ok.

It was delicious, but that's not really any consolation.

I won't live this down for a while I'm sure.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage on Maui (A List of 10 Great Things to Do, See or Eat)

Surferman and I had an amazing time celebrating our 10th anniversary on Maui. We've compiled our list of the 10 best things about our trip. If you have a chance to get away with your sweetie, I highly recommend it. If you have a chance to get away with your sweetie and go to Maui, we recommend (in no particular order):

Aloha Mixed Plate - Go at sunset to enjoy the beautiful view and sunset. Great food with casual seating outside. The food is a deal with large portions served. Surferman had the Alii plate which had a variety of Hawaiian dishes and I had the Aloha Mixed Plate which gave us even more variety.

Maui Brewing Company - Ask for Ed. He was the best waiter we had this trip. He really knew his menu, his beers and was happy and fun. Surferman had Ahi 3 Ways, I had a special that was so special words fail me. I felt like an Iron Chef judge tasting the offering of a competitor. Desserts were fantastic too.

Maui Guest House - Our trip wasn't all about eating. We stayed at a fantastic Bed and Breakfast in Lahaina. It had everything that we needed and even a few things that we didn't. It was very clean. The staff was attentive, friendly and helpful. The kitchen is well equipped. We made picnic lunches most days and cooked our dinners in a few of the nights we were there.

Calvary Chapel Westside - We were blessed to be able to worship at both a Sunday and a midweek service with our CCWestside brothers and sisters. Pastor Steve is a great teacher and you can't bet their sanctuary - they meet in a park right on the water.

The Gazebo Restaurant - Ever have a Banana Pancake with Coconut Syrup? This is the place to go for breakfast on Maui as far as we're concerned.

Black Rock and Snorkeling - Park at the Sheraton Maui Resort in Kaanapali. Use their valet service; it's worth every penny. The beach is beautiful and sandy, but a bit crowded and without shade. Don't forget the SPF. We both burned a bit. Next time, I'll be looking for some SPF rash guards to wear. We saw tons of fish, beautiful sea creatures and coral. Surferman even saw a sting ray. We walked down to Whaler's Village for lunch. A great day.

Honolua Bay and Snorkeling - Not as great as Black Rock, but a heck of a lot less crowded at the same time. Easy hike from the car to shore. Clean portapotty.

Starbucks - OK... Venti Iced Cup, filled with ice, 3 shots of decaf espresso, fill to 3/4 of an inch with water - add some half and half and a bit of liquid sugar (Why can't we get liquid sugar at Starbucks in California? It's wonderful.) and you have the perfect refreshing drink. Now officially named a MauiMomma. I think I found every Starbucks on the island.

Queen Ka'ahumanu Center - Frugality gets in the way of shopping. Surferman and I did a lot of looking but not much buying. Queen Ka'ahumanu was our favorite shopping destination. Of course it has a Starbucks.

Hanakao'o / Canoe Beach - Great beach for sleeping, relaxing, and doing a bit of body surfing. You can watch the jet skiiers, check out the Hawaiian canoes, take a walk. I liked it because there was grass and shade. The walk from the car to the beach is very short.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'd really like a redesign - maybe you'll be the other winner.

I just read a drawing for a free blog design. I'm stuck with a blogger template because I haven't found the time to figure out how to do anything else. It's on my list - #133 I think.

Here's the skinny from Bluebird Blogs.

Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and it's just right around the corner. To celebrate the beginning of the season, I'm having a contest for 2 lucky people to win a totally free, completely customized blog design from Bluebird Blogs.

Information on how to enter:
- Send an email with your name and blog address to
- Entries will be accepted from 7:00pm EST on Thursday 9/14/06 until 11:59pm EST on Friday 9/22/06.

The winner will be announced here on Saturday, September 23rd, 2006. Good luck to everyone!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Baoon, baoon

Ever since Grom was big enough to sit upright in a grocery cart, he's been getting a balloon whenever we shop at Trader Joe's. He used to torture me the entire drive home by rubbing his hands (and teeth) over the tight inflated surface to make noises reminiscent of fingernails on a chalk board. How many kids know that sound now a days in the time of white boards? I used to try to be prepared for him to pop one while I was driving - scaring both of us. When we would get home, I'd make a big deal of letting it go. We'd watch it get smaller and smaller.

Now he's big enough to ask for himself. We get to the checker and he looks up at the balloons and then at his hero and says, "ello baoon peas" or "geen peas" while he points. It gets tied to his wrist and he has great fun with it while I finish my business.

As I push our way to the car, I hear a giggle, a "bye-bye baoon", and then look to see that he has released his treasure.

It reminds me of my treasures; the things I hold so tight. I need to release them, like Grom's balloon, to God. Release my cares as prayers. Release the people I love knowing that God loves them more. Release my stuff as useless in the sight of eternity.

I love how my Father uses my son to teach me about Him.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

10 years ago today...

I married Surferman.

It was a beautiful day.

As you can imagine, Surferman was not your typical tuxedoed groom. I wasn't the typical bride in white. We wanted something that suited us. There was a feeling of aloha in the air. The guests were encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts and dresses. We gave each guest a lei at the door. The sanctuary was filled with green foliage. The bridesmaids and groomsmen wore dresses and shirts of the same batik Hawaiian print. Surferman's shirt was a different color of the same print. I wore a short lace and gauze dress, tuberrose in my hair and Birkenstocks with blue socks.

Family inflated balloons by the millions for the reception hall. We danced to tacky songs like the Macarena. No wedding cake - hot fudge sundaes with homemade ice cream instead.

It was a beautiful day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Because of Jesus

I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a Pastor/Leadership Conference these past few days. I had the opportunity to worship, pray, fellowship and sit under some wonderful teaching. It was wonderful to reconnect with friends that I haven't had time to hang with and also to get to know people in the leadership of my church that I don't know very well yet. The location was beautiful and it was encouraging to meet people from all over California that are co-laboring in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Here are some nuggets -

You can't out give God.

The ends never justify the means.

The difference between what you believe and how you live should be continually narrowing.

A farmer can teach us a lot about ministry.

It was a good time and a good rest. But... I'm glad to be home with my guys.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I can't believe it's August.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I was going to update my blog. I have great intentions, but less time.

I want to post some pictures of Grom's 2nd birthday cake. It was quite clever if I say so myself.

I want to post about my diet adventures and misadventures. Maybe that would give me the motivation to get back on track.

I want to post about our Vacation Bible School and the things God taught me through it.

There are also stories from the Family Reunion, Camping Trips, Beach Trips and more.

I want to change the look of my blog. Anyone know of someone who can help me with that?

Watch for new stuff soon!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fat Flush Update Week #1

11 - yes ELEVEN pounds gone!

My food cravings are decreasing and I feel like I basically know what I can eat.

I made a great dinner tonight. Napa Cabbage with Shrimp. I sauteed some onions, garlic and ginger - through in a couple of carrots, then some mushrooms. Finally a shredded head of napa cabbage and then some shrimp. Served with a tablespoon of flax seed oil drizzled on top. DELICIOUS!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I'm losin' it.

I probably lost my mind the day I met and fell madly and deeply in love with Surferman. So that isn't what I'm losing.

I lose my keys (and find them) daily. So that's not it either.

I'm losing weight. I need to shed the excess pounds that I have been carrying around for far too long. I have made excuses, half-hearted attempts, complained, blamed, whined, prayed and I'm still fat.

I guess it's time for me to do something.

Barbara at Mommylife wrote about the Fat Flush Plan a while back. She has been having great success following it. I bought the books and thought I'd give it a try. I know it's not frugal to buy books, but I couldn't wait to get them from the library- I needed to do something NOW.

I've been Fat Flushing since Thursday. I made it through a bridal shower today and will make it through a baby shower tomorrow.

I can do this. I will do this. I have to do this.

I don't want Grom to be embarrassed by his fat mom. I want to be able to keep up with and play with Grom. I'm an old mom. I have to get fit and healthy if I want to see my boy grow up.

Please pray for me to be strong and to do what I need to do instead of what I want to do.

I weigh every Tuesday so I'll provide an update then. Until then... Please pass the cranwater.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Scripture Circle Journal

I've been working on a scripture circle journal project. Other scrappers are working on their own layouts and when we're all done, I'll get a copy of everyones layouts. They are 4" by 6". Printing won't be too expensive and it'll make a frugal gift or two.

Psalm 139:17-18a (The Message)

Your thoughts--how rare, how beautiful!
God, I'll never comprehend them!
I couldn't even begin to count them--
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Psalm 139:17-18 (Message)

Font: Cool Dots
Stock photo from - mrinkk
Credits: Bubble Kit by HuniBuni's Creations

This one is Philippians 4:8. The basic text is from The Message although I tweaked it a bit.

Journalling: you'll do best by filling your mind and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best; the beautiful; things to praise Philippians 4:8 (The Message)

Fonts: Jenkins v2.0, Courier, BernhardFashionBT
Papers/ribbon: SWEET SPRINKLES created by ShabbyPrincess of
Stock Photo from stock.xchng - romychamo

Mommy is well trained.

Grom's house arrest has ended. We have ventured out of the house without an accident. WOO HOO!

He doesn't tell us if he needs to go, but does know if he needs to when asked. He's getting the whole concept more and more each day. Still no #2 in the potty, but that'll come.

We went to RiteAid this evening and got ice cream cones. It was Grom's first cone - a treat for our big boy. We're holding the next ice cream cone over his head as a reward for poop in the potty.

I'll resort to anything.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Grom 72 - Mommy 3

The first couple of days of potty training were VERY challenging. Who knew that a little guy could pee so much and so often?

It's getting better and he seems to have the peeing in the toilet part down. I should say that I'm well trained - I put him on the pot and he goes. He hasn't told me that he has to go yet. I know it will come with time.

An interesting part of the experience has been the reactions of others. Some can't believe were pt'ing so young. Some think I'm being too rigid and should let him pee outside. Some admire my persistance. Some thinking I'm pushing.

I guess it's another one of those parenting choices.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

House Breaking a 21 Month Old.

Started potty training with Grom. He seems ready and we're going for it. Cold turkey - no more diapers. M 'n M's and trying to contain all our play to the lineoleumed floor.

Nothing cuter than "tighty whiteys".

He tinkled in his potty after his shower and couldn't have been prouder of himself.

Pray for us.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My (almost) First Digiscrapping Project!

I recently found out about digital scrapbooking. I'm giving it a try. I bought Photoshop Elements at Costco and now I'm trying to learn it.

I found a couple of great websites, The Digichick and that both have great instruction and inspiration.

The picture above isn't my "first" attempt. I have a few pages I played with that are going to be a part of a surprise for someone who could happen upon my blog. This is the cover of the "Life is Better Shared" workshop that I'm trying at The Digichick. I figured I'd get my feet wet and have an interesting project too. The elements are part of a free kit from Debbie Fisher called Soovees New Black.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wow! I haven't blogged in over a month.

I knew that it had been a little while since I had posted to my blog, but I had no idea that it had been over a month.

Guess I haven't had anything blog worthy to write about.

I was away from home this week. I went to a Children's Ministry Conference. I learned things to pass on to "my kids" and was fed myself. It was a refreshing and empowering time.

I missed Grom. Grom has treated me indifferently since I've returned. Good thing I know he loves me.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Quiet Time - Mark 10

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Mark 10:17-22 NKJV
A couple of things jumped out at me when I read this section of text.

Jesus reviews the commandments with the young man. The young man believes he has kept these commands his entire life. Our flesh can be so deceiving; our pride so strong. I know I can be as arrogant and deluded as he.

Stuff. I know my (our) stuff gets in the way. There is too much laundry, too many toys, too many things to do. It can all get in the way of my relationship with Jesus. I get overwhelmed by my stuff and the things that I have to do. I can't imagine that I have time to spend in the Word, yet I spend my time doing unprofitable things.

It's time to declutter - physically and emotionally.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27 NIV
I have tasted the bread of idleness. It tastes a lot like Oreo cookies.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Quiet Time - Mark 9 - "If you can believe...."

Mark 9:14-29 (New King James Version)

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
How often do I feel like this man. I believe. My trust and faith is firmly in and on the One who created me. My God is an awesome God. I believe all things are possible to him who believes. I believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Yet in my small brain, somethings seem too big for God. Help my unbelief!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

No matter what... I'm a winner!

Blest has posted a contest/challenge to memorize scripture.

I'm always up for winning a prize so I've committed to memorizing Psalm 8. Whether I win the book or not, I know I'm a winner for hiding God's Word in my heart and brain.

Psalm 8 NIV

For the director of music. According to gittith.
A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:

7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

This Psalm has sweet memories attached to it for me.

For a while I was learning Inductive Bible Study Techniques from a very smart young wife. She was teaching me how to study the Word and I was teaching her homekeeping things. I think she got the shorter end of the stick. For one of our meetings I was supposed to teach her about Psalm 8. I didn't make time for my assignment. I listened to Psalm 8, over and over, all the way to her house. It was the Max McLean version which is quite dramatic. I started reciting with Max in the same dramatic matter. I was cracking myself up. I didn't use any of the things I had learned, but I fessed up and she still enjoyed hearing what God had spoken to me.

Another memory comes from a recording session at church. My Pastor was recording a song and wanted people reading verse 1 over and over. There were 3 of us speaking the verse in a round. We were supposed to stress a different word in the verse each time we said it. So one time it would be "OH Lord, Our Lord" and the next time it would be "Oh LORD, Our Lord". It was hard not to crack up, great fun and a wonderful memory. The song is available on the web, but if I posted a link, I'd be giving away some of the privacy that I desire.

Surferman the Dad

I thought I had Grom's heart, but this week I realized that "Mama" means "give me ..." or "I need ..." or "I can't reach..." Bummer.

Thank God for Dads.

My husband is a wonderful Dad. Surferman loves his son so much and it shows. Grom loves Da like no other. He lights up when Surferman finally gets home from work. They laugh and wrestle and carry on.

Surferman and Grom have games I can't play and will never understand. They "dirt surf" together - Grom balances on an old bodyboard while Daddy pulls him over the dirt burm at the back of our house. Neighbors stop and watch as a toe headed boy giggles his way over dirt waves.

Surferman is far from the perfect father. We (I) have rules that I need to constantly remind him of. An example of one of the rules is... "Don't do anything with Grom that makes people gasp". He has to be reminded of this rule often - he loves to get reactions out of folks- like when he throws Grom towards the moon, does a 360 and then catches him - all while eating an ice cream cone that he then shares with "the baby".

I found this article, A Mom's Guide to Letting Dad be Dad, at America's Family Coaches.

Here's the high points and some of the things I need to work on.

Relational Fathering. Moms long for their husbands to snuggle, hug, kiss, or verbally express how much they care for their children. To some men, relational fathering can be the most threatening aspect of fathering. Here’s how to boost his confidence:

1. Leave Him Alone with the Kids.

2. Establish Special Traditions.

Surferman has this part of fathering down. He is affectionate and attentive. He craves time with Grom and often sends me off so that I can have some time to myself.

Personal Fathering. Each father will do fathering his own way. Mom’s job? Step back and let him! He might dry his son’s hiney off with a bib because it’s the closest object. He might take his kids fishing or teach them to use the computer at age three because those are “his things.” The point is, your husband will father in a way that is unique to his personality. Our job as moms is to let dads discover their own style and then get out of their way while they practice it.

1. Free Him!

2. Honor Him!

3. Appreciate Him!

Here is where I need some help and prayers. I can be controlling. My way is the right way. I can be critical and he hears all about it. I can be ungrateful. I don't know how good I have it.

Spiritual Fathering. Fathers influence the faith of their children. Sigmund Freud claimed that a child’s psychological representation of his father is intimately connected to his understanding of God. Moms want dads to take a spiritual role in the family, but most men find themselves held back by feelings of inadequacy. Try these 2 tactics to encourage him to be intentional:

1. Pray for Him.

2. Show Him Jesus.

I can't pray enough for my husband. He deserves more than my last fleeting prayers thrown out to God as I drift off to sleep.

Source: (Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall, Make Room for Daddy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 133-146)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Quiet Time - Mark 8 - "You are the Christ"

In this chapter of Jesus' ministry, He was surrounded by people - his disciples, the multitudes and those pesky Pharisees. I see myself in each of these groups.

I am like the disciples. I want to follow Jesus wherever He goes. I love the sweet times alone with my Savior. I love to be privy to the miracles He works. I want to listen to what He has to say but sometimes I just don't get it.

I am like the multitude. I come and go. I want to be with the crowd. I love fellowship. I enjoy the blessings He pours out on me when I don't deserve them.

I am like a Pharisee. I want to challenge God and see Him prove Himself faithful. I want a loud and bright sign.

And then...
I get to the end of Chapter 8. My Bible has the subtitle "Cost of Discipleship"

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Matthew 8:34-38
Here are His instructions:
Deny myself
Take up my cross - I'm thinking about this one and might be back with more.
Follow Him (Jesus
Don't be ashamed

Monday, January 02, 2006

From empathy to sympathy

I had the smallest taste of what the people who endured Katrina are going through today. Our weather in California has been stormy. We've had drenching rain for the past few days. We hunkered down and mostly stayed indoors - not a big deal.

Today though, a crate of stored memories was found in our rickety, leaky utility room (functions as a laundry room/ shed) was found full of water. I was frustrated because I hadn't wanted to store the box out there to begin with. But it was and I had to deal with the aftermath.

It was all stuff from my schooling - Jr. High, High School and College. Random weird stuff that was supposed to be fun to go through sometime with my kids. Now it was a chore. My yearbooks were waterlogged; the autographs and sentiments running all over. I couldn't imagine that they could ever be as good as new - into the trash they all went. My scrapbook full of past accomplishments was soaked. I was sad but brave. They were stuff of a girl who is long gone.

Surferman was wonderful. As I sulked, he hauled out the blow dryer and peeled apart all the photos, and scraps of paper from the memory boxes and methodically started drying them. I tried to tell him that he didn't have to do it. I felt like it should all be trashed. That my memories would have to be enough.

Tonight he brought me a stack of photos - old friends, old boyfriends, old Robin. It was great to be reminded of college friends I had forgotten about. I was stoked to have any of it.

My crate is down to a box. I had to think about all the people who weathered Katrina. All the people who didn't have a chance to save anything from a box of memories. I couldn't fathom their loss before. I still really can't, but I got a glimpse.