Saturday, December 31, 2011

WELCOME 2012!

Oh how I love thee 2012! I have no idea what you will bring but I am up for the challenge. I am certain there will be many changes this year. I am okay with that, even the not-so-good changes. Why? Because I know WHO holds my hand. There is not an inkling of a doubt in my mind that whatever happens this year, God doesn't already know and have completely planned out. And I trust Him! He knows what I need better than me. What a blessed assurance!

I have such a peace about this coming year. In fact, just today I was listening (well, my girls were listening and I heard it) to a Francesca Battistelli song, and the words hit me. These were the words I heard:
I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace

The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone


As I listened, my mind swirled. Wow! This is a key ingredient to life as a successful Christian. Letting go of what I planned to do with my life and fully embracing what God planned for me. So this year, I'm letting go...of fear of the unknown, my insecurities, feelings of inadequacy and the constant turmoil of trying to justify things I say or do. I have no need to carrying these feelings because I am a child of God and my life is securely in His hands. He is my fortress, my strength, AND my judge. In addition, I am letting go of judgmental thoughts towards others (sorry if you thought I was perfect, I try, but honestly, some people worry me). And while I am letting go of these negative thoughts that control me, I am going to embrace LOVE! God's love conquers all and that is what I want dwelling in me. His love will purge all the negative feelings.

This past year, I reached out to those that I felt had aught against me. I have asked for forgiveness. It's over. I'm moving on. I'm letting go...Welcome 2012, the year of moving up higher to an even greater victory!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day!

As excited I was for Christmas to be here, I am equally excited that it is over. Sounds strange, huh? Well, honestly, I love the New Year, every year! I love a fresh start, clean slate and schedules!!! I thrive on schedules! I am very ready for my kids to return to school and get back into routine. So this will be the last reflecting post of Christmas and all it's happenings for the year. It will mostly include pictures with a short summary describing the picture. Sorry, but I am ready to move on. Christmas was wonderful but it's done! The first few pictures are from Christmas morning: 
Myles reading the Christmas story...
Levi reading the Christmas story...

 Elle and Ashley and their American girl dolls they have wanted forever!

Christmas evening we spent with my parents' pastor and his family, the Goodwins. Also there were the Whitleys, Smiths and Bro. Scott. It was quite fun. We ate, talked, ate a little more, laughed, ate a little more, played a game and probably ate a bit more. Here are a few pics:
The first picture is the Goodwin family and the second picture is my parents and the Whitleys. Oh and Ron Jon trying to get in the picture!

Bro. Scott and um, Elle. 

Andrew with a couple monkeys!

And while the monkeys were off playing, the Goodwins babysat Molly and Emily. They did such a wonderful job! Thank you!

The day after Christmas, that evening rather, we went to see the lights at Shore Acres, which is located right on the ocean.The Smiths went with us and I finally got a picture of her looking at the camera. (Christmas was quite comical trying to take her picture).


For those of you wondering why we didn't send out Christmas pictures this year, well, take a good long look at this picture. Merry Christmas, this is your picture. Can you see what I went through trying to get a good pic of my kids this year? There's always one goofy kid in the crowd! 

Not exactly sure what is going on here. Myles and Ash look scared and Elle is probably the one scaring them! Ha! And Ashley's bow is sliding down her head...oh a picture truly paints a thousand words! 
 
Merry Christmas to all, and to all...Christmas is over! Yahoo! 

 





Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

Alright so I'm going back a few days, but I was not home and was unable to blog. Well, I could have blogged but 1. I wasn't feeling well 2. There was so much going on 3. I was lazy, bam! that's it in a nutshell. Oh, but we had a wonderful time at my parents house! Thursday and Friday, we spent most of the time either shopping for Christmas (dinner and a few gifts) or preparing for Christmas (food, wrapping presents,etc.). My awesome Aunt Paula sent us a gift card for pizza, so Christmas eve was a no brainer! Can we give a shout out to Aunt Paula?? Whoo Hoo!!! She totally knows what we (we?, my mom really) goes through each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So Christmas eve morning, my sweet boys and their papa took a trip out to the bay to go crabbing. Due to the generosity of the Whitleys, who are friends of ours (my parents), my boys and my dad had an awesome day on the boat! Levi and Myles came home so excited, not only did they catch 16 crabs, they had the opportunity to drive the boat! Oh my oh my, did that ever make their day! Bro. Whitley aka Captain Whitley and my dad gave these two boys a day to remember! Here are a couple pictures from their trip:


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reunited....well, almost.

These past few days, my beautiful children were absentee. Meaning, they were not with me. They have been down in Coos Bay, Oregon with my parents, and I will add, having the time of their life! Ronnie and I have had a wonderful time too! He took me for Thai food for the very first time and I am in love! Well, with him and the food :). It has been unusually quiet around here but I am ready for my rambunctious, energy-filled children to come home. And I am very ready to go to my parents!
In a few seconds here, I will post a few pictures from their beach escapade. I had to laugh when I saw the pictures because I can tell my girls dressed themselves. For that matter, so did my boys (but those of you with boys know that they can care-less what they wear!). They are still learning what goes together and what doesn't, and quite frankly I think it's great! There are far greater worries in my life than to fret over their clothing (or hairdos). I am not going to stop here and justify anything, you can think what you want (not that you think anything at all), but my kids are happy, well-taken care of, clean and enjoy life to the fullest. There are definitely times (i.e. church) for them to be perfectly dressed and have their hair in ship shape, but the beach is not one of those places. So please enjoy these crazy pictures!
 I must tell you about this pic. Ashley was chosen for star student the day before Christmas break. So she gets to have Ms. Pig the entire Christmas break. This is Ashley and Ms. Pig at the beach.

 It looks like there are trees etched into the sand


Beautiful!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mary's Mother


Year after year, I read the Christmas story. And every year I wonder the same thing, what was so unique and special about Mary, that she was chosen above every other girl? The bible tells us in Luke chapter 1 verse 28, “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”
Mary, was “highly favoured” and “blessed…among women.” Many scholars have concluded that Mary was also quite young, another astonishing thought considering what she was about to go through.

As a little girl, I would dream of what it would be like if an angel appeared in front of me with a message from God. My great-grandmother had several encounters with angels, so I grew up knowing that it was entirely possible. But alas, it never happened. As I became a young woman, and the whole Christmas story took on a new meaning when I realized what Mary actually went through, I had a new appreciation for her. Here she was, engaged to be married; young, innocent, na├»ve, and those are only a few of the words that come to mind. Imagine her surprise, when suddenly an angel appears and tells her she has been chosen to bring forth God’s son. Do you think this may have disrupted her plans a little? However, notice her response, and this is where I am going with this, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Wow! The bible does not say much about her upbringing, but I want to imagine a little, want to join me?

Mary’s response to the angel speaks volumes to me about her parents, in particular, her mother. I want to go back a few years, to when Mary was a little girl. What did her mother do to prepare her for such a moment? Did she arrive there on her own? I highly doubt it. Mary’s purpose in life was to be a servant, not just a servant to a random master, but to THE MASTER. Somewhere between the toddler years, the potty –training, schooling, emotional roller coaster of the pre-teen and teenage years, Mary’s mother groomed her, taught her and cultivated in her the art of being a servant to the Most High. She devoted time and energy to create in her little girl not only a love but also a respect for God and His kingdom. Their bedtime prayers probably did not stop at “Now I lay me down to sleep”, in fact, they likely prayed morning, noon and night. Did Mary’s mother somehow know her daughter would be chosen for the highest honor ever given to a woman? No, she probably did not. But yet, day after day, she trained and groomed, spent countless hours teaching, many sleepless nights in prayer and hours upon hours working side by side with Mary, raising her up to be God’s anointed. And when that moment came, Mary received her anointing with dignity and grace, giving ALL glory to God.


Now, I know this is all hypothetical, but it made me stop and think about my own children. What am I doing to prepare them for their anointing? Will they know? Will they be able to respond like Mary, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word?” Would they be able to accept God’s will for their life over their own plans? Not only accept His will, but also do it with dignity and grace, knowing beyond any doubt His way is the best way. I know there will never be another Mary, but I do know that my four children can be a conduit for the Holy Ghost to this generation. They may never have fame or fortune, to which I am not concerned, but Lord let me teach them to be servants ever ready to do Your will. 

**If you read this on another blog, it is because I posted it on both blogs**

Happy, 6 days before Christmas, Monday Morning!

Wow! this weekend has been busy! Really, that's an understatement! It's been crazy-busy! I could back up to Friday, which was the kids' last day of school, and give you a run down of that day but I'll just say it was one very fun yet a tad bit stressful day. However, we made it through. Saturday, we spent the majority of the day at the church preparing for the Children's Musical, "It All Happened in the Country". Between dialing in parts, tightening up songs and decorating the church, we finally got out of there around 6 pm. My sweet, sweet parents came up to be a support and of course, see their grandkids perform. So came Sunday! Now, I will pause here to admit that I was a bundle of nerves! I'm not sure if I actually slept the night before or not. You see, as I stated before, this was the very first time I ever directed a musical. I do not know why I was so worried, because the kids blew us away! Seriously, they were incredible! I would love to post pictures but I wasn't able to take any as I was busy directing. But as soon as I get some pictures from others, I will post them. We did record it, and Bro. Murphy is working on the DVD of it. It'll be out soon. I cannot say it enough, OUR KIDS (every child in the musical) MADE ME PROUD!!!! They were AWESOME!!! And they give ALL GLORY to GOD!!!

So now, as I type this, my babies are getting ready to leave to go home with Grammy and Papa (aka the Grinch) for a few days. I am so excited for them and know they are in the best hands. They will have a blast and probably not want to come home. I am going to miss them terribly but I will stay busy to keep myself from going looney!

I am still working on the post about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Should be available tomorrow. Oh by the way, I maintained a 4.0 last quarter, only two more quarters to go! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kicking into High Gear

School is done...for the quarter! Phew! Christmas is upon us, and we are in the last few days of practice for the Children's Christmas Musical. As much as I am excited, I will be thankful when all is said and done! This is the very first time I have EVER done a musical. Or rather, directed a musical. I've been the parent of a child/ren in the performance, a support, costume coordinator and whatever other job that needed done. Thankfully, I have a great group of parents and fellow church members that have stepped up to make this happen. Honestly, I wanted to quit a few times, but I know the kids are relying on me. In addition, the support I have had made ALL the difference. That being said, the next few days will be harry-scary, what that means for you is, #1. I may not have a chance to blog (I will try to sneak in a week wrap-up post), #2. Pray for us, and #3. Really, really pray for us! Thanks, much obliged!
Here are a couple pics from the weekend.
Levi and Devante

Bro. Matt, Bro. Mike and Ronnie singing "Jingle Bells" 

 Myles, Devante and Sis. Nikki (she's in front of Bro. Mallory)singing.


***p.s. I am working on a post regarding Mary, yes, the mother of Jesus. Something stirring in my mind and I am going to put it in writing. Look for it sometime early next week.***

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I blog, therefore I am...not!

My apologies. It has been a little quiet on the set. Not that I do not have a b-zillion (Ashley's word) things I can blog about since my life seems to live on the spin cycle, but unfortunately I haven't had time to think. When I blog or write a blog rather, it takes time. Not always but most of the time. I don't like to throw words on paper randomly. A long time ago, I learned, like the words we say, the words we write cannot be erased. Especially, once published. For today, I will just highlight a few things that are happening. Once Christmas break begins, I will have a bit more time to focus and hopefully give you a proper post.

On Saturday (10th), Elle will partake in her very first violin recital. This will be in the form of a holiday musical performance involving all string instrument players from Voices of Performing Arts. She is a little nervous as she has only been playing a short time. But her teacher wants her to challenge herself. Thankfully, Elle also played the piano for a time and is familiar with the whole recital/performance arena. I am confident she will do fine. Here is her practicing at home:

Coming up next week, all four of my children will be in our Christmas muscial "It All Happened in the Country". We are very excited yet very nervous. Levi, along with Ivy Mallory, play the main characters. Myles does what he does best and will be performing a rap solo. Elle is one of the readers and Ashley will join three other little girls in the song "Away in a Manger".

Levi is still playing the drums and in fact, he'll again be taking lessons. This time with an emphasis on Jazz. We are very excited about this. He has been playing in church and doing very well. Myles just recently began bass lessons and is, well, let's just say he is doing. Not sure what all he is doing but, he'll get there. ha! Anyone who has children in any type of lesson knows they don't always want to practice. This would be true of Myles. We think he would be happy being a professional kid the rest of his life. He and Ashley are in Tae Kwon Do, as well, and will be moving to yellow belt (I think) next week. Speaking of Ashley, she wants to play the piano so Ronnie has been working with her a little. She'll likely be in lessons soon :).


As for me, well I am almost done with school for the quarter! Yay! My math final is Monday, then I'm done until January. The next two quarters, I'll be full-time again, AND....drum roll please.....it looks like I will graduate in the spring!!! Okay, okay, it's only my associates but hey, I did it! I can move on to the bachelor's program and not have to worry about all the prerequisite classes. I am not sure at this point where I will go for my BS, but I am looking. I am really leaning towards George Fox University, if I am accepted. So folks, if you think of me, say a prayer for me :). Thanks!

And pray that I make it through this musical! First time I have ever been in charge of a musical, where is Tishauna, Dawn and Melissa when I need them???

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hodge Podge Sorta Day!

Right now I am supposed to be taking a quiz for my math class. Am I? Nope, I'm blogging! Reading, writing a little, navigating and pretty much, wasting time. I am almost done with school for the quarter. All I have left are my quiz and final for math. Everything for my speech class has been submitted. Really, I just need to focus. But I am so distracted by all the "fun" things. I want to go Christmas shopping, work on the children's musical (actually I need to), make fun little Christmas desserts, search Pinterest and take random pictures with my new camera. Wanna see a few?? Okay, here ya go...
Ashley Jean, playing the computer, she was so sweet to pause her game to take this picture :)

 RonJon at church yesterday, isn't this so like him?

 Mt. Hood captured on our way home from church yesterday. Not very clear, I know but I took it through the car window.
I was going through the kids' papers from school and came across Elle's acrostic poem for THANKSGIVING. Thought I'd share. 


~Hugs~ Kim


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friends + Christmas + Cookies = Great Times

Last night we went to Sis. Hads house to hang out and decorate cookies. Now, I need to back up a little to tell you about Sis. Hads. She is a wonderful lady with an enormous heart for people, especially little people. She runs a daycare/preschool business out of her home and it is not just a "job" but a passion. Not only does she run this business, she is extremely gifted in the interior decorating and event decorating department. AND...she's an incredible cook, baker and candle stick maker (well, not sure about the candles, but she probably could be). My kids ask BEG to go to her house, because it is ALWAYS fun! Last night was no exception! My kids play and I get to chat with a great friend, eat her yummy food and desserts, and search Pinterest. What more could a girl want? I just took a few pictures of the kids while they were decorating cookies and a couple of her adorable Christmas decor, just one of her several trees! Next year, I'm gonna have more trees, definitely!

Starting out, very excited!

Notice he's still working on the same cookie?
Detail-oriented! love it!

Twinkle Little Star and my little angel!

 Ashley Jean being so meticulous

 Um, the cookies Myles, work on the cookies, this isn't a photo session. 
lol, my crazy boy!

Sis. Hads, Elle, Ashley and I ended up finishing the rest of the cookies. The boys lost interest after they made two and ate one.

My little decorator


Each cookie took her about 10 minutes. Her inner artist came out.

One of the many trees, I love it! 

Oh yeah, candy store! My favorite!

A great, big THANK YOU to Sis. Hads for an awesome, memory-making, fun-filled night!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days until Christmas!!

I had to laugh at Ashley yesterday. She asks me everyday, "How many more days until Christmas?" (I am sure all you parents are getting the same question). Well, I told her since the day was almost over it was about 25 days until Christmas. She said, "Oh yay! 25 is my favorite number, I couldn't wait until there were 25 days left!" Huh? Lol! Okay, that was random. Then she said, "Now I can't wait until there are 3 days until Christmas, because 3 is my other favorite number!" Oh, if only life was so simple...my favorite number, if I had one, would be 8:30 pm (bedtime). lol.

Anyhow, I am so excited for Christmas this year. We will be spending Christmas with my parents, in their new home, making new memories, and that is super-de-duper exciting! My mom did not make Thanksgiving dinner this year, as she was in Arizona. So she said she was going to make a feast at Christmas AND she wanted to make it ALL! YES!!! That is so AWESOME! You know why? I'll let you in on a little secret, I do not enjoy cooking. Sorry if my perfect housewife image just went out the door, really hate to disappoint you all, but I don't. However, I love to bake, so I volunteered to make ALL the desserts. Now, wasn't that kind of me? I'll be posting the results, don't you worry!

Staying with my tradition, we decorated the day after Thanksgiving. Not a day before, not a day after. And I don't take it down until after New Years Day. So, last Friday, Ronnie and the boys went down to the garage and brought up my "Christmas" boxes. I got busy and the kids helped between playing the wii and the computer. As I was going through my decorations, I realized I did not like some of them. And I also realized, I did not have a tree. My mom has a tree, she offered it to me but she lives four hours away and I was not about to drive there to retrieve it. Off to Target I went, picked me up some new decorations and a tree. Now the tree is not very big (I'm holding out for after Christmas sales to get what I really want) but I like it.  Here is the top of the tree:

And here is Miss Ashley Jean, later that night, asleep :)
I have a really big window in my kitchen. I love this window, and now I love it even more with my peppermint lights: 
 And of course, Christmas is not Christmas without the manger. This is Elle and Ashley's favorite decoration, the little stable plays "Away in the Manger". That is the song Ashley will be singing in our upcoming Children's Musical (that will be another post). 
 So what are some of your decorations? What about traditions? Do you decorate before or after Thanksgiving? Here is who is currently under our tree, but I believe he will get the boot as presents are wrapped and placed under the tree. 
 Yep, Thomas the Train

Happy December 1st, to you all! Let the spirit of Christmas sweep into your home, and enjoy the season!




Sunday, November 27, 2011

A repost from a friend: What Will Matter...

While cruising through blogsphere, I stopped at my friend Tena's blog to do some perusing. I enjoy surfing through my blog list, reading the blogs and connecting to other people's worlds. Tena's latest post was incredible and I was very surprised to discover she did not write it. Not sure who the original author is but I asked her if I could repost it, and being the awesome person she is, she said yes :).


What Will Matter…

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when your gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We set aside a day each year to reflect on our blessings and be thankful to God for them. However, most of us are thankful year round. We take the time each day throughout the year to let those that are closest to us know that we care. Sometimes, life gets busy and we are not able to connect with one another but true friends and close family members know, without a doubt, they are loved. We show this not only by our words, but our actions. Words can often be empty and rehearsed. But if you truly love someone, they will know by the way you act.

Today, and everyday I am thankful for ALL who have played an important role in my life. There is not a need to make a list, you know who you are because I have showed you by my actions and you, by yours. I have no need to go about proving our friendship or relationship, I am confident in every relationship. I am truly blessed to have YOU ALL in my life. May God shine upon you this day and everyday!

Our family after girls' baptism. One moment I am very thankful for this year!

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank YOU!

Well, I believe I have given you a good summary of many things I am thankful for. I did not name everything, for that would take a lifetime. However, the one thing (person) I did not mention was YOU, my readers! I am so very thankful for my readers, otherwise I would not have a blog. Without you, I am nada, nothing, zilch, zip...you get the idea, right? But you know what would make me very happy? Is if you, my readers would leave me a comment. I LOVE COMMENTS! I love to know who is reading and where you are from. You know, it is kind of like pen pals! Anybody ever had a pen pal? Oh I loved having pen pals! I had a sweet friend named Hiroko from Japan (who actually stayed a weekend with me). We remained pen pals for a long time. Then I had another pen pal from Mexico and one from Spain when I was taking Spanish in high school. It was lovely! So if you could do me the highest honor, even if you do not know me personally, leave me a comment and tell me how you like my blog. I can take corrective criticism, if you think I need to improve something. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you! ~hugs! Kim

Thursday, November 17, 2011

God's Great Creation

Do you ever wonder how God created the world? Every tree, every flower, the oceans, the animals, not to mention the intricacies of the human body? The Bible gives us the details, but what I like to imagine is Him looking out over the complete and utter vastness of nothingness and speaking it all into existence. I find it difficult to wrap my mind around the endless creativity and imagination of God. When He placed the heavenly bodies into existence, when He told the waters to separate, when he breathed life into a human soul, it is all so amazing. We know life as it is because we feel it, see it, touch it, smell it and taste it all around. But what if, we were there with God, and saw the emptiness? Would we have the ability to imagine a bird or a fish? How would we respond to God if he said to us, "I am thinking of creating a creature that walks on four legs, has fur, barks when they want to communicate and will love a human being till the end?" Would we think, "Oh yes, a dog!" Not likely.

The world we live in operates for one purpose, to keep us alive. The earth is perfect in every way, the air we breath contains the perfect mix as to not kill us, the amount of water as to not drown us and the perfect amount of land that we may dwell on. There are so many other ways that the earth provides the perfect environment for human life to exist, it is astounding.  Louie Giglio creator of "How Great is Our God" and "Indescribable" projects, shows through creation the awesomeness of God and how perfectly He created our world. If you ever have the chance to see this documentary, it will open your eyes to God's amazing love for humankind.

Along with creating the perfect environment in which we can survive, God added remarkable beauty. Now, I have only been to a few places here in the United States, so many of you can describe the beauty seen around the world that I have only seen in pictures. However, I am going to post a few pictures of a few places I have been. Notice the differences in environments and terrains, God gave us variety knowing that we all would prefer unique settings. I am so thankful for God's wonderful creation, I marvel at the beauty and the perfectness of His work!


I believe this is Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta, again

The Grand Canyon

The view from my deck in the summer

 Amazing Oregon summer sunset

Beautiful Lake Chelan (don't know who the people are)

 Wenatchee Winter wonderland

 Oregon Coast in the summer

And I do!