Saturday, November 5, 2011


The last couple days have been worrisome for me.  David actually couldn't go to work on Thursday because he was too tired.  He slept pretty much the whole day except for lunchtime and dinnertime.  Then on Friday he went to work but was so tired and didn't feel like he could do his job because he was too sleepy.  David has always worked sick unless he was absolutely, head-in-the-toilet kind of sick.  So for him to stay home two days in a row was a big deal.  I was home with him Thursday.  Friday I went home early from work because I was was so worried about him. 

He decided after coming home Friday to go back on his previous medication regimen that gave him some side effects but that did help with his alertness some.  And for the first time in weeks I saw a little bit of light in his face!  It was so encouraging and refreshing.  It may only be a temporary fix because of the side effects but still I'm thanking God for a little bit of hope.  I'd been getting more and more worried each day, wondering how he was possibly going to enjoy life.  At the same time, being worried gave me the opportunity to trust in God, something I can easily ignore when I have little to worry about.  So while I'm praising God for the little bit of hope, I'm also thankful for the opportunity to accept God's sovereignty in my life in the midst of uncertainty.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rearranging Life

My three readers out there probably know about David's somewhat recent narcolepsy diagnosis.  In a nutshell, it's difficult for him to function during the day and in the evening.  He can manage through a workday, and if absolutely necessary he can push out a little schoolwork at night.  That's about it.

Before we knew that he even had something seriously going on, we just kept trying to pursue managing depression, because that's all we could assume it was.  Five years later, we've finally figured out that it's not depression, it's narcolepsy.

When I was in nursing school I thought narcolepsy was an interesting idea; the idea of suddenly falling asleep anywhere intrigued me. 

In real life (we all know that nursing school is NOT real life ;) narcolepsy is debilitating.  I'm watching it happen before my eyes.  It's difficult to watch.  I can't empathize with him, only sympathize.  My latest role is learning how to best support him with this disability.  It's also going to take some serious trust in God for how we will proceed financially if what is best for David is to cut back on work, or have alternative arragements made at work for him.  I'm looking at how we will potentially revamp finances, living arragements, etc., if necessary.  The one thing I have SURELY understood is that Jesus and family come first, and anything after that is an extra blessing.  Working a job will be an extra blessing.  I've lived my whole life with the priority of life being working to make money to provide for myself and family, then being free to do whatever God is calling me to after that.  ALL BACKWARDS!  We should arrange our lives so that Jesus and family come first, then get a job that can accommodate the first two priorites (sometimes the job is part of the first two priorities, but sometimes not). 

I need to pray faithfully for healing, trusting, and patience.  Will you please pray along with me?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Neighbors

David and I decided to have a block party for our neighborhood.  I'm really looking forward to getting to know our neighbors and being able to build relationships.  When I was growing up and my parents moved us to a different town, my Mom decided to have an open house to meet all the neighbors.  It's a pretty rare thing nowadays, but what a great way to get to know the people that live around us.  I'm sure there are plenty of theories about why as a society we are so closed off.  Really, I don't care why, I'm just going to try to turn it around.

God is still knocking my socks off through the sermons at church.  I wish I could go every day and listen and be inspired...but that would defeat the whole purpose.  I'm inspired to build better relationships and fulfill the command Jesus gave us to go into all nations to spread the hope that He gave us.  David and I are praying about changes we need to make.  I'm overwhelmed, but in a good way.

I told David tonight that ever since he made serious efforts to become the husband God calls him to be (leading, loving, and serving), my relationship with God has changed.  I desire to know God better and obey his commands more fully.  I know it's not coincidence.  My desire to seek God's direction is a direct result of David's strengthening in areas of his own life. 

I feel I'm falling short in my relationships with my co-workers.  I get cranky because perhaps I'd rather be at home with my daughter.  Or perhaps because I'm frustrated with the procedures at work that don't make sense.  Or because I get discouraged from hearing complaining and gossiping, which is just as much coming from me as anyone else.  All this crankiness totally blocks my ability to encourage and share my love and care for them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mind Dump

I stole this title from our pastor, who writes a weekly mind dump entry in his blog.  Seems like it will be much easier than trying to write coherent paragraphs!

-I'm beginning to be unsettled about how much excess I have in my home, when there are so many starving and poor people around the world.

-This is partly because of some recent sermons at church and partly because I've been reading the book, Radical by David Platt.

-Also I've been really thinking about how my life is so little like what Jesus actually calls us to. 

-Kinsey has been saying new words constantly.  I used to be so amazed that she was saying one new word almost every day, and now it's more like 2 or 3 every day.

-She pooped in the potty once.  We are not potty training, but she told me "poop" when she was in the bathtub the other night so I took her out and set her on the toilet.  I was about to take her off because nothing happened for a little while when all of a sudden I heard a plop.  Now, if I ask her if she wants to get on the potty she shakes her head no really fast.

-We went to a gymnastics place this morning that has an hour of open playtime and Kinsey loved it.  She ran around like crazy.  Her favorite part was the trampolines that were built into the floor.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to Blogging

I was going to stop blogging about everything except Kinsey's milestones.  I changed my mind.  Sometimes there is nothing more encouraging to read older blogs.  I could just write my own journal but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be nearly as consistent because I would get lazy, since I'd know I'd only be disappointing myself.  If I make it more public people might expect posts every now and then.  And it's easier to let myself down than to let others down!

I think I've mentioned before about a different church we started attending last November, Revolution.  I can tell my life has been gradually changing the longer we attend.  Currently we are doing a 4 week marriage study and it has knocked my socks off.  Our marriage is CHANGED!  It is fantastic.  We really had to be truthful about what our priorities had become.  We had to be reminded that becoming Christlike is the aim in marriage.  And as spouses we need to do whatever it takes to encourage our spouse to seek Christ and his likeness.

More when it's not so late.  I'm trying to decide if I have enough energy to make it to the bedroom or if I should just crash on the couch!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


At the beginning of the month David and I went to Scottsdale for two nights, and Kinsey stayed with Chris.  It was so relaxing.  We met my cousin for dinner on Saturday night.  On Sunday we went to the Arizona Mills Mall and David couldn't stop buying stuff for Kinsey.  We also went swimming and went to dinner at Four Peaks Pub.  On Monday we stopped at IKEA on the way home because David had never been.  Oh, and lots of naps were involved, of course!  We can't wait for our next getaway!

We held a going away party at our house for some dear friends who are off to spend a year in Phoenix for an internship before heading to India as missionaries.

I went with a couple friends to spend the night on Mt. Lemmon in a cabin.  It was very nice, I'm getting very spoiled with getaways!  I'm ready to go back!

Kinsey had her 15 month check up and is doing great.  She does get a rash around her mouth with acidic foods but it doesn't bother her, so the pediatrician said to just keep giving her those foods, no worries.  There was this really long questionnaire I had to fill out about her development and there was one area where she didn't quite meet up to norms, but I don't remember what it was.  Some of the stuff on the questionnaire I couldn't answer because I just had never seen her do what they asked...for example putting something small like a cheerio into something like a water bottle.  Huh?  So I'm not at all concerned about her supposedly being behind in some area.  She seems perfectly normal to me! 

The only other thing we really talked about was her weight because she is very "healthy" in that area.  I had been giving her 2 percent milk because I figured based on her appearance she was getting plenty of fat in her diet so I thought I'd trim in that area.  Pediatrician said not to do that, she needs the fat for brain development.  I'm not convinced she actually needs it because like I said she looks like she's holding on to plenty of it.  But, I switched her back to whole milk anyways because that's what I'm supposed to do.  I was worrying a lot about whether I was feeding Kinsey properly and how her mealtimes were going.  But I talked with one of my friends and she said basically as long as I'm feeding her good foods, to stop worrying.  She doesn't eat junk food at home except on rare occasions, otherwise I do fruits, veggies, dairy, bread, eggs, and some meats.  She doesn't seem to be a big meat eater but since she eats eggs I let it go.  She used to love lunch meat but now she won't eat more than one or two bites.

Her favorite word is puppy.  She wakes up saying this word, says it all day long, and sometimes it's the last word she says before she goes into her crib.  I have a bunch of stuffed animals from when I was younger and one of them is a Pound Puppy.  It is her absolute favorite.  She also has a knit blanket made by my grandmother that was mine when I was a baby.  She will laugh or shriek when she sees either one of them if they haven't been in sight in a while.

She also is big into testing limits now.  Standing up on the couch, hitting, kicking when we change her diaper, and on and on.  She gets a nice healthy amount of pack n play time each day when she's doing these things!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

June in Review

I'm not sure how much more I'll be blogging, but I realized I would like to keep writing about Kinsey and what we're doing because I will want to look back and read about it in the years ahead.

Things seemed like they were a little more steady for me at work this month, so I felt like I got into somewhat of a pattern which feels good.  I'm still a little torn on how much God wants me to be working.  I don't feel very in tune with what He wants probably because I'm spending very little time with Him.  I need some radical changes in my attitudes, decisions, and desires.

We went to Chris' house for a Memorial Day picnic.  It's always a good time going over there and feels like family.  Without them we would feel a lot more lonely on the holidays! 

Kinsey's child dedication was the first weekend in June.  I blogged about it in a previous post.

All three of us caught a cold toward the end of June and I ended up taking almost a whole week off work.  It was not a fun time.  Kinsey was a trooper though and it didn't really even seem to bring her down.

We finally got our pool up and running so we were able to go swimming a few days.  I think we fixed it around the middle of the month so every day I'm off I've been swimming with her since then.  She loves to swim and when we get her suit on and go outside she says, "Yaaa!"  She still says that to a lot of things though, it's very cute. 

She also started feeding herself with a spoon.  She doesn't get much on the spoon and half of what she does get ends up on her bib, but she totally gets how it's done. 

She still cannot get enough of books.  She will bring you one, turn around, back up to you, and sit down in your lap. 

Her latest obsession is the vacuum, which she calls "up".  Our floors stay well vacuumed because of this!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Status Update

I was about to post this status on Facebook:
"I'm thinking the two huge bumps in Kinsey's gums would explain her fussing and me getting called from the nursery early to come get her tonight."

So many times I write a status like this and then think, "Who really cares?" and erase it, like I did tonight.  Status updates seem like a way for us to be known by others.  It feels so vain.  I don't mind reading status updates of friends I am very close to.  I also like reading updates from people who have a sense of humor.  But mostly, it's just about details in life that we all experience.   Does everyone really need to know when Kinsey is teething or when she started eating with a spoon?  All my Facebook parent friends experience these times so it's nothing new to them.  The friends I am close to know what's going on without my status update because I already talk to them almost daily.  So what's the point?

It's just a weird phenomenon to me, and for some reason I still do it.  Not much different than blogging, but I'm still doing that too.  For all 2 of my readers...haha.  I really don't know my purpose in all this social media.  Is it actually some sort of addiction? 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Look Who's Talking!

I thought I should document the words Kinsey is saying lately because I think it will be cute to look back on one day and remember.

Full words she can say and knows the meaning:

Abby (from Sesame Street)
Uh oh

Partial words she can say and knows the meaning:



Ahh-hot (I think)

Sss-Aunt Chris

(Slurpy noise)--kitty

She can also bark and make a monkey sound.

Signs she can do:

Thank you (although she only does this on command and I don't expect her to know what it means yet)
All done

The list of things she can't say but can identify when I ask too many to count.  But one of my favorites right now is when you ask, "Where's Kinsey?" she will point to herself.  The other thing I think is adorable is when I ask her questions she will very often reply "yeah" and it's so cute because it's as if she knows what I'm talking about and is answering me.  Which I'm sure sometimes she does know and is in fact answering me, but I can ask her a totally off the wall question and she will still answer "yeah".

That's all that comes to mind right now...I could be missing some.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Is It Really Summer?

Except for the 100+ degree weather and the Arizona fires, I wouldn't guess it to be summer.  First of all, I've only been swimming a couple times because I'm having a hard time getting the pool chemicals under control.  Looks like I'm actually going to have to drain the pool and start fresh because of too much calcium.  Bummer.

Secondly, I seem to have caught a cold.  I thought I had enough sickness this winter to last me all year.  Apparently not.  Already had to call in sick twice this week and went home early one day.  Kinsey has a runny nose, but she is also cutting a tooth.  I'm really hoping that's all she'll get but chances are she'll probably get sick too.

I am soooo looking forward to monsoon season.  It's my absolute favorite time of year here.  I'm looking forward to taking Kinsey out in the rain to splash in the puddles!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Zucchini Coming Out of My Ears!

Note to self...you do not need to plant 3 zucchini plants next year!

Over the last 3 days I have picked 5 zucchini.  Yesterday I tried to make a pizza/quiche type recipe that had zucchini in the crust.  It was kind of gross.  Today I made a zucchini chowder so we will see how this turns out.  I could actually be a good cook if I wanted to because I know how to.  It just is a lot of effort for a couple of people who aren't into eating big or extravagant meals.  We're pretty content with Hamburger Helper.  BUT I planted my vegetables this year to try to get into cooking a little bit more with fresh ingredients, so I am trying.  If nothing else at least I feel like I am putting a little more effort into the health of my family, even if sometimes it turns out to be a flop.

Cucumbers are getting close to being harvested too...now what to do with those besides put them in salad (which I don't care much for)????

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Can I Get a Mulligan?

Today was one of those days I just wanted to redo.  Specifically, Kinsey's dedication at church.  There were quite a few people that came and when I first let people know, I didn't expect very many people to come, so I didn't even tell too many people other than family and our life group.  We actually filled two full rows up.  Kinsey was a peach all day, and I expected her just to hang out in my arms on stage till the dedication was over.  She had other plans.  She wanted to grab the baby (2 months old) next to her's flower in her hair, then when I let her down she wanted to go go go.  Well that would have been fine except for the two foot drop off the stage, which wouldn't have been a pretty sight.  So David and I tried to keep her contained and there was a LOT of protesting.  I have no idea what the pastor was saying really so it's a good thing they give us a list of what we committed to doing as parents afterwards!  Really, it was fine.  It's not like the actual event of the dedication is what makes us commit to raising Kinsey in a Godly manner, it's more just a public proclamation of what we have already decided to do. 

Then, what probably is bothering me more has to do with the fact the service went about 20 minutes over what it normally runs because the sermon was extra long, and some of our guests had a party to go to afterward.  So I feel bad about that.  I've told everyone how much I love this church and of course tonight was not a night I loved, so naturally I'm feeling like a big fat liar.  I really expected and hoped people would be as blown away as I have been since I have been going.  I KNOW that God means for things to happen in ways that bring Him glory (even things that are evil! Genesis 50:20, but sometimes it hard to TRUST, because I don't always UNDERSTAND.  I should be saying that even though I may not have been impacted nor even my friends, certainly God had people who needed to hear what was being said and probably even needed the sermon to be long so they would get what God wanted to say to them.  Or not!  He could have plans totally not even in my realm of thinking!

I like the song "My Own Little World" by Matthew West, here are some of the parts of the song I really like and that I need to let sink in right now:

In my own little world it hardly ever rains

I've never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world, population: me

I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate but I never give 'til it hurts
And I turn off the news when I don't like what I see
Yeah, it's easy to do when it's population: me

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose?
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world

And this especially:

Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours

Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me

So I really don't need a mulligan.  Kinsey's behavior didn't bother me at all.  It actually makes me laugh (and finally show people that she's not always an angel!).  As for the service, I need to let it go and realize it's not about population me-and-my-friends or me-and-my-pride.  I think I'm getting some therapy from writing this blog too. 

I will post some pictures of a not-so-happy Kinsey on this "special" day soon :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I planted zucchini and cucumbers the first week in April.  I heard they were pretty easy to grow and I wanted to try growing my own vegetables so I'd (hopefully) be more inclined to cook with them.  The plants are doing pretty well although I did have to spray them with a bug spray a couple weeks ago because some leaves were showing a little bit of damage.  I have had a few zucchini on each of my three plants, but so far only one has grown to full size.  The others have turned yellow and look like they're not going to make it.  I'm hoping I will get more as the summer goes on.  So far no cucumbers yet but I'm thinking it's just a little early for them.

Friday, May 27, 2011

May in Review

This past month we ended up focusing a bunch on Kinsey's poop.  Yep, poop.  And LOTS of it.  We kept adjusting her diet and oddly enough it seemed like it would get better on days she was home with us and then act up a little when she went to the sitter's house.  Turned out that was all just coincidence, because the pediatrician ordered some stool samples and blood tests that came back showing she had an intestinal infection.  She was given a 5 day run of antibiotics and her poop is back to the lovely solid texture and smell we know it to be ;)  I was relieved that it was an infection, actually, because the next thing the doctor was suspecting was celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and I wasn't looking forward to having to modify her diet for the rest of her life.  It would have been doable but since I am a very poor meal planner as it is, it certainly would have been a big challenge for me. 

With the infection I went through a few days of feeling like a neglectful Mom for not keeping her from putting her hands all over everything or crawling on the floor when we're out in public places, or for not preventing her from putting rocks in her mouth, or for not worrying when the dog was drinking out of the water toy she plays with outside.  I got over it when the pediatrician said to go ahead and have the dogs tested for the same thing, and if it comes back positive then we can treat the dogs and I'll know the source.  If the dogs are negative, then she said just let her be a kid and if it happens again, we'll start looking at ways to keep her from getting less germy.  I REALLY like this pediatrician.  She's not the one we've been seeing because she was the only one available when I needed to take her in.  I may try to switch to her if possible.

My Mom came to visit for an extended weekend.  We had a little barbecue with family which was nice.  We invited Kinsey's birth mother but she didn't come, and we were sad but we hope to connect with her again soon.  We were able to see her and her family on the week prior on Mother's Day which was nice.  Unfortunately Kinsey was a little cranky that day for some reason so we didn't stay as long as we would have liked.

Other than that we had our first swim of the season.  Kinsey and I went three times so far.  The pool is a tad cold but so worth it once you get used to the water. 

Chris (I don't want to keep referring to her as "the sitter" because she's not just our sitter, she's become a dear friend) took her to the zoo again this month. 

We almost took her to the botanical gardens until we realized the butterfly exhibit is closed until October.

Finally on Wednesday Kinsey and I went with another Mom and daughter to the Children's Museum.  It's a very cool place and appropriate for Kinsey's age, but I think it will be even more fun to take her when she's older and she can understand some of the exhibits instead of just seeing everything as a climbing obstacle ;)

This weekend we have a picnic to go to and are planning to chill out otherwise...probably some swimming involved too if I can get our pool cleared up.

At the end of this month my cousin will be having a kidney transplant...would appreciate prayer for her and her family.

Next month will be Kinsey's child dedication at church!  I'm looking forward to it simply because it is a very important event in her childhood.  We have several friends who are planning to come to the service so it will be great to share going to church with them.

We have been talking a little more about whether we want to pursue another adoption.  I think we're reasonably certain we are going to be called by God to do so but not certain about timing, age, agency, foster-adopt vs straight adoption, etc.  We're not there yet, but it's at least on our minds occasionally.

Here are the pictures from May.  I will probably add a few more over the next few days too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What I Got For Free

I promise I'm not going to turn this blog into a coupon match-up site...haha.  I just thought this might help some of you interested in couponing get an idea of how much you can get for free.  This was all purchased from Fry's this week!  I'll be donating the toothpaste and toothbrushes because I get those for free all the time, and I already have enough on hand to last several months.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Feeling Thrifty

I decided to try hanging my laundry outside to dry instead of drying it in the dryer today.  It was painless, although a little more time consuming.  It would be easier if I had an actual clothesline instead of this drying rack, but it served it's purpose. 

This got me thinking about other ways I am thrifty, and curious about how other people are thrifty.  Of course, there is couponing:

We also use CFL bulbs, even though they aren't as attractive and don't work too well in our dimmer lights.

What ways are you thrifty?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'll Take a 12 Month Old, Please!

Since Kinsey turned one last month, it's as if she suddenly became a real, live toddler.  She is all over the map as usual, but now she can entertain herself...it is AMAZING!  It started one Thursday this past month when I was off work.  It was like she woke up that day and could suddenly play and be content all day.  I couldn't believe how much more time I had to get things accomplished around the house, and I could also just chill out while she played.  I am LOVING this age.When I don't work, we spend a large part of our time outside.  I usually take her to the park in the morning and get a good walk in before we head to the swings.  Then I take her to the grassy area and let her explore or chase the ball.  She'll slide down the slide a few times too at the playground.  Then we walk home and hang out in the backyard for a while longer until she needs a snack.  I get my watering and rose trimming done, and also attend to the pool if needed.  We just bought a new solar cover for the pool so hopefully in a week the water will be warm enough for a swim!

She's about outgrown her 2 naps and is down to one.  Right now it starts at about 11:30 but I'm hoping to push that a little later so she won't have quite as long to go between waking up from her nap and bedtime, because it's a long time for her to go without sleep.

David and I had a double date last night after church so Leatrice watched Kinsey.  I really enjoyed getting out to socialize with another couple.  We went to Zona78.  I thought the food was just average but the company and the relaxation of the night more than made up for it.  Afterwards we went to Frost for gelato.  I had blackberry--YUM!

Today we went to Pam's house for Easter dinner and an egg hunt.  With all the stuff Kinsey got from Pam's family, you really would have thought it was Christmas!  Kinsey picked up one egg during the hunt.  She also thoroughly enjoyed drinking the water from their koi pond!

Here are the pictures from the past month.
Here are the pictures from Easter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Six months ago, I didn't know that the term "couponing" existed.

Leatrice started me on couponing through CouponSense.com.  It's a website that lists all the sales at the grocery and drugstores, and lists coupons that match the sales items.  The idea is you buy items on sale WITH a coupon, so the items are deeply discounted or even free!  Couponsense costs $15 a month, plus the cost of a newspaper subscription. 

Then a few months ago I came across some websites that do the same thing as CouponSense, but for free!  I wish I had known there were all these free websites out there, because I never would have paid for CouponSense.  So now I use http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/ but there are lots of good sites out there.  I like this one because it allows you to populate your own grocery list to print.  It also has all my local stores.  I "liked" them on Facebook so I stay updated on all the deals it posts and free sample offers.  You can google your state or city and the phrase "coupon matchups" and hopefully you will find a good blog in your area. 

It is easy to get obsessed with it, but if you follow these tips hopefully you will be able to do it sensibly and save yourself money! 

Some tips for those of you interested in trying this out:

1.  Get more than one Sunday newspaper delivered.  I get 2, and I use the Arizona Republic because the Arizona Daily Star doesn't send out as many coupons.  It costs me about $15 bucks a month but I make that back in one week easily.  Or, find someone you know that doesn't use their coupons, and ask them to save them for you...even better!

2.  Start by filing your coupon inserts from the newspaper by date.  I have an accordian file.  The websites tell you which coupon insert you need for a particular item, so you can go to your file and pull out the insert, then find the appropriate coupon.  If you get more serious, you can get a coupon organizer and clip coupons and organize by category or by alphabet.

3.  Don't buy an item that is deeply discounted if you're not going to use it or don't need it.  It's tempting to buy extra stuff when it's super cheap, but you'll end up spending money you don't need to spend.  However, if an item you don't normally buy is cheaper than an item you would normally buy, go ahead and buy the sale item if you can substitute the cheap item for what you would otherwise pay full price for.  For example, if you normally buy Hunt's spaghetti sauce for $1, but the Prego is on sale and you have a coupon, go ahead and buy it if the final price is less than a dollar, if you're okay using Prego!

4.  DO buy whatever is FREE, because if you don't use it, you can find someone who does or you can donate it!

5.  Don't drive out of your way to go to stores just for deals, especially with gas prices as high as they are.  Just pick one grocery store you normally go to, look up the deals, gather your coupons, and go once a week.  I also usually take one trip to a drugstore each week, but I try to go when I'm nearby rather than make a special trip just to get free stuff.  It's also best to go to the drugstores early in the week (Sunday or Monday) because they sell out of free and cheap items often.  You can get rainchecks, but I find that to be a pain.

6.  Read through each store's coupon policy before you start couponing, so you can be educated when you go to the stores.  Sometimes clerks will tell you the wrong thing, so if you know the policy (or print it out and carry it with you!) then you'll avoid spending extra or not getting items you were hoping to get.

7.  I also recommend reading a "how to" on one of the websites before you start couponing.  I like this one by TheKrazyCouponLady.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11

I was just reading through some blog posts from a few years ago (have I been blogging that long??).  I miss the way I used to write before we started trying to have a baby.  I'm going to make more of an effort to write about my thoughts and any "aha" moments I have. 

David made a very wise statement the other day.  I was telling him how my life is not how I picured it would be.  He said maybe not, but this is the life God pictured for me.  Simple but profound.  I think of this multiple times a day sometimes when I find myself discontented.

Our pastor was talking on Saturday in church about how we always picture life to be easy.  We read Jeremiah 29:11 and imagine our future through rose colored glasses.  The reality?--No one in history...the Bible or anywhere else, went through life without enduring suffering in order to live a life worthy of their calling.  I don't know that I've heard anyone take that verse and say, God's plans for me are probably going to be HARD...awesome!!! 

He also said only one of the disciples is said to have died of old age...we all think that is going to be our life...coasting through until we're old.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


David and I went to the VA today in Phoenix for some routine appointments.  Going to the VA is not like going to any other hospital.  At almost every turn there is someone with a missing limb, in a wheelchair, or limping.  It's incredibly humbling.  I turned to David while we were waiting to be called for an appointment and I said, "We're really blessed."  He agreed with me. 

But then the song "Blessings" by Laura Story came to mind.  I was humbled this time but in a different way.  I am completely misled if I believe that I am more blessed compared to anyone else for any reason, including my health, wealth, status, etc.  God's blessings are not defined by my human standards.

We pray for blessings

We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things


'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe


When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home


What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

-Lyrics from "Blessings" by Laura Story

Sunday, March 27, 2011

She's 1!

Woo hoo!  Today is actually the anniversary of the day we brought her home from the hospital (her birthday was on Thursday).  I remember it so clearly. 

I was excited that we were able to have her party today on this anniversary.  The party was great; lots of people.  Also lots of people are in trouble for bringing gifts when they weren't supposed to!  But we nonetheless grateful.  And for every item given we will donate an item of ours.  We were so happy to be able to celebrate her birthday with the people who have supported us throughout the entire last year, and even before she came to us.  I was joking that the party today was to celebrate me having made it as a Mom one entire year...but it's really about being with the people we love and remembering how thankful we are for friendships that keep us going in the good times and the hard times!

This past month I finally decided to stop working my second job and just stay on with my regular job.  More hours opened up so I'd rather devote myself to just one place rather than two.  I have really come to enjoy working with the people I do, and I have finally been able to see myself staying long-term.  What I think this will also do is allow me to have a little bit more of a regular schedule, 3 days a week.  That makes me feel like I will have more consistency with Kinsey, because I know which days I'll be working and can start having a better routine.  For example, we started going to a library play group on Tuesday mornings, so I'm looking forward to regularly being off on Tuesdays so we can make it a habit of going.  I was originally going to MOPS on Tuesdays.  It was really an encouraging place to be but I'd like to get out and meet people in more of a community setting.

Have I told you my babysitter is fantastic?  I love her.  And her entire family, they are exactly what I hope one day for my own family to be like.  Close, supportive, loving, and generous.  She made the cake for the party today, and it was the most gorgeous cake I could have ever dreamed of for her party.  She also made cookies for everyone.

I also had a revelation the past few days about my attitude toward Kinsey.  I am constantly worried about her fussing.  She seems to be much more frustrated than other kids I know, so I'm always wondering why and what to do about it.  When I wake up in the morning I start worrying about what kind of day she's going to have.  If I've been away from her for any reason I start worrying before I see her about how she was while I was gone and how she's going to be when I see her.  I'm pretty sure the reason I worry is because I feel her fussing is a reflection of me as a parent.  I honestly have no idea if that is the case.  I'm sure some of it comes from my parenting, but I don't know how much.  Anyways, it doesn't really matter, because I'm parenting her the way I feel is best for her.  And when I don't think I know what's best, I ask for advice.  So I decided I need to stop worrying in advance and just let her be who she is.  If she's fussy, I can deal with it then.  If she's not, then I'll enjoy the moment rather than be waiting for things to go south.  It's not going to be easy to just suddenly stop worrying, but I know I will enjoy motherhood much more.  Eventually, Kinsey will be able to communicate better, and things will eventually settle down in this area.  Sure, it'll be a few years, but it will come.  In the meantime, I am called to be content and thankful!

Kinsey's Development:

Still walking, but not much change in word usage.  Whatever words she has are still a little iffy.  I think she is pretty clear on "Da da", although she also says that at many other things and people.  She does say "ba ba" when she sees her bottle, although that is again something she will say for other things.  For her books and for birds, she tries to make a "b" sound.  She also makes a sound with inflection that we think might be her saying, "What's that?"  It sort of sounds like "uh sa".

She gained weight back she had lost from last month when she was sick.  Not sure how much, but her belly filled back out again.  Her 12 month appointment is actually this week.  I also need to ask about switching to whole milk.  We tried a couple times over the past two weeks but I'm not quite sure she is ready to digest it well because it caused some almost diarrhea like stools until we stopped giving it to her.  For now I have switched to toddler formula which she has no problem with. 

I have started weaning the bottle, much to my chagrin.  I find it much easier to give her a bottle for a snack rather than food because it is so much easier.  But she doesn't need the bottle anymore and I don't want to risk causing harm to her teeth.  She does well enough with the sippy cup, and I'm sure once she gets used to not having a bottle she will start using the sippy more and more.

Finally, we started taking the Love and Logic parenting class at church.  Kinsey is a little young to implement anything yet.  I still enjoyed our first class last week and think it is going to give us some great tips and examples of how to handle discipline.  The idea is for her to grow up in an environment where she learns by consequences in the small things when she is young, so she can apply what she learned as she gets older in the bigger things.

The length of this post is making me realize I should blog more often!
Here are the pictures of the last month.

Here are the pictures from her party.

Friday, February 25, 2011

11 Months

Kinsey turned 11 months old yesterday!  WOW!

This ENTIRE last month was all about being sick.  I have very little to report on fun things we did because we were all too sick to do much of anything but stay home and try to keep our germs to ourselves.  Today is actually the 4 week mark since the sickness arrived at our house.  Kinsey started with a clear runny nose that later turned green for a day, then yellow, then clear, then yellow--well, you get the picture.  The worst of it was her cough that was causing her to vomit about 3 times a day. 

Taking care of her really wasn't all that difficult; she wasn't overly fussy and still could play for at least some of the day.  The hardest part was not being able to go anywhere so we could stay home and rest and also try to prevent anyone else from getting sick.  We didn't go to church or small group for the entire month, and the only outing we did was go to a couple superbowl parties.  At that point Kinsey seemed to be doing better so I just kept her away from other kids at the parties as best I could.  However, she took another turn for the worse after that.  I ended up taking her to the doctor three times.  The first week we both had pink eye with our colds, so we had to go to urgent care to get antibiotic drops.  Then the third week I took her to the pediatrician who said her ears and lungs were clear, and to wait it out a little longer.  By the end of the third week she (and I) were not getting any better so we went back to the doctor to get antibiotics.  She is still on them now.  She has a bit of a runny nose but hardly anything to speak of, and not coughing anymore.  Whew!

She is now walking about 75% of the time.  It's awesome!  People said to watch out once she starts walking because she can get into everything, but it isn't any different than when she was crawling.  The bonus is that she gets less dirty!  Only the bottoms of her feet get very dirty from walking on the tile instead of her knees and the tops of her feet.  We've been walking her down to the mailbox in the evening which is neat.

She is also making new sounds so I keep wondering when a word is going to pop out of her mouth and surprise us!  When we ask her to, she can still clap, splash in the tub, and wave.  She can also flap her arms to "fly", point out Elmo in her book, raise her arms for "all done!" when she's finished eating, lay down and lay her head on the floor when we say "night night!", lean in for a kiss when we ask, and bounce when we say "jump".  I just started teaching her to touch her ear when I ask, and she picked up on it pretty quickly.  The other day she could also go to David when we said "Where's Dada?" and go to me for "Mama".  Along with identifying her bear and the kitty, she can also get her doll when asked, and I pretty sure she knows "doggie" and "book".

Valentine's Day was special because she spent the day at Chris' (babysitter) since I was working.  Chris and Pam (her sister/my co-worker) of course spoiled her with gifts.  Then David had a rose for her and a rose for me when we got home.

I'm getting plans together for her birthday party...and you're invited!  And all we want you to bring is yourself, because the day is not about presents, it's about celebrating having had her in our lives for the last year!  (Oh, and it's about eating cake, too, hehe)  Email or message me for info if you want details!  I'm still getting some invitations together for people who don't have access to Facebook, so I can send you one or give you the link to the event on Facebook.

Here are the pictures from the last month!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

10 Months!

 10 Months!

 Kinsey turned 10 months old last Monday.  The month overall was pretty good.  Mostly, we've just been focused on David finding a job, so I've been working a lot again.  David had Kinsey at home some while I worked but we still sent her to the babysitter a lot so David could get stuff done like resumes, interviews, etc.  The great news is he had two job offers last week!  One at Target that was going to be overnight, and the second at the VA.  He is going to take the job at the VA.  So we are breathing a little easier now.  The biggest plus is going to be David getting to go to work every day and feeling productive.  Obviously, we need him to have a job financially, but I think the greater benefit is him being able to go somewhere and contribute every day.  We are thanking God for this opportunity having come so fast in such a tough economy.  He's been looking for a job since October but was technically only unemployed for about a month before getting an offer. 

Kinsey can now start to distinguish words when we say them to her.  For example, if her stuffed bear and the kitty are both in the same room, and we ask her where one of them is, she will go to it.  Right now, that's all that I'm sure of her being able to know what the words are, but there are probably others.  Of course as I mentioned before if we ask her to clap she will usually do it on command.  She is also starting to splash in the tub when we say splash.  Common words I think she would start to pick up on soon would be doggie, bath, book, and bottle.  Our babysitter swears she can say "Oscar", which is their dog's name, but I have yet to hear it!  She commonly says "aah-ti" at various things.  At first I thought it was "kitty", but then she says it lots of times at other things too.

She is now able to stand without leaning or holding on to anything.  She can even take a few steps on her own with lots of prompting from us.  I think she'll be fully walking by the next blog post.

At her last checkup, she came in at 89th percentile in both weight and height.  She dropped off a little on the growth curve but not enough to be concerned about.  I think the drop is a combination of her being able to tell us when she's finished eating very clearly and being active ALL the time.  When she's eating finger foods, once she starts playing with them instead of eating them, I take them away.  She is also very clear about pushing the bottle away when she is finished.

Last week her top front left tooth came in!  Her top front right tooth is pretty close to breaking through too.  She started getting a runny nose on Friday and I was assuming it was just from teething, but last night we figured out she was actually getting a cold.  Green snot started coming out, so that was a pretty clear indication.  She's been pretty whiny, poor thing, I'm sure she's not feeling great.  Her nose is all crusty and runny, and her cheeks are chapped.  I've been giving ibuprofen to help with aches and any teething pain, and it helps some.  She's eating fine so far.  Waking up a lot during the night but I've left a sippy cup in her room, turned on the humidifier and space heater, and am praying she won't be too uncomfortable.  Not really any coughing yet, which I'm thankful for.  Before bed I put some vicks vapor rub under her nose and on her cheeks and she seemed to really like it.  Seemed like it made her eyes run a little though but also seemed to make her very calm and sleepy.  David and I are both a little sick too.  Hopefully we will all be back to normal in a few days.
Here are the pictures from the last month.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Crazy!

I've always had a heart to adopt an older child.  I used to dream about it when I was a little girl when I heard about children who live in orphanages.  My reason is because there are multitudes of families waiting to adopt babies.  People don't line up to adopt older kids, though, partly because people want the experience of raising a child from birth and partly because there can be very difficult times of readjusting and attachment.  Not to mention a whole other slew of obstacles that can happen.  As kids get older, I can't imagine how they feel knowing they don't have a forever family.  It breaks my heart.

Around the time when we got Kinsey and shortly thereafter, people started asking (and still ask) if we want more kids.  We have gone back and forth, but I often say that I'd like to adopt an older child once Kinsey is older.  I actually had someone today basically tell me this idea was crazy (although he didn't use the word crazy, but it was definitely along those lines).  What I heard in church last night (see previous post) hit me like a ton of bricks right then.  This could be my version of "crazy" the pastor was talking about.   Wow.  The problem is, David is not convinced this is OUR calling.  So then I have to wonder if it is something I am really going to be called to do.  God will have to change one of our minds, or one of us will have to change our minds to God.  I'm excited though that I have something so big that it would even be considered crazy by some!  I want to keep dreaming big, even if big means difficult and scary.

Comfort and Crazy

Yesterday David had class from 9-3, so I was hanging out with Kinsey.  She took a shorter-than-usual nap in the morning, so my nap was also cut short.  When she woke up I couldn't believe how tired I was.  I worked a full 5 day week this past week--something I hadn't done in a very long time.  Needless to say, I was really looking forward to her afternoon nap.  Unfortunately, she wasn't having it and was crying in her crib for a good half hour.  David was home by then and gave her more formula which seemed to do the trick.  We had been planning to go to church at 5, but when he came in to wake me up at 4:20 I just didn't think I'd be awake enough to pay attention.  He bribed me out of bed with Wendy's and with guilting me because he didn't want to go by himself! 

I'm SO glad I went.  I was blown away by the sermon.  It's not posted yet, but if you have thirty minutes I would highly recommend listening to it once they get it on the website at http://www.tucsonrevolution.com/sermons/.

We're studying James.  One thing I like so much about Revolution is that they go line by line through books of the Bible.  Their small groups all discuss the same things during the week too, which I think is fantastic.  Sometimes I find myself trying to focus on too many things in my life, so nothing ever changes because I'm on overload.  Our small group studies one thing, we hear about another topic in MOPS, something new in a sermon each week, etc.  Too much for me.  I like the idea of focusing on one thing at a time.

Back to the sermon.  Josh Reich (the pastor) talked about idols.  Namely comfort, approval, control, and power.  Mine is comfort.  ALL of my decisions are based on comfort.  Everything I buy, my career, how I control the finances, etc.  Comfort is no doubt my idol.  You know what comfort brings me??  Stress.  And lots of it.  Josh has said a few times how studies show that we are the most miserable society in the world.  I believe it.  All this stuff that I buy and work for--it all just brings more stress, and more wants. 

One other thing he hit on that struck me was that if our plans aren't "crazy", God might not be in them.  I wasn't totally on board with this thought because I think God can call us to things that seem very ordinary but yet God can have big plans in the seemingly ordinary.  However, it made me look at how much I limit my desires based on what I think I can manage.  I surely could dream a lot bigger, and if I do I bet I'll start to see a whole lot more of what God desires.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thoughts on Our Season of Life

By "Our Season of Life", I mean David retiring, searching for (and not yet finding) a job, and me going back to work more.

I'm kind of surprising myself through this time.  If you had asked me a year ago how I'd act in this situation, I would have told you that I'd be a basket case if this ever happened.  The good news is, I'm not!  I'm quite calm about it, which I attribute a great deal to having watched other friends recently walk through very similar circumstances.  I also think I may have grown up a bit, and am learning how to deal with life's twists and turns better. 

On one hand, I am quite confident in God's provision.  On another hand, I can also calculate just how long we can reasonably live in this situation, so I'm mentally giving myself a certain amount of time before I can start worrying.  Those two are quite opposing and show how easy it is for me to want to trust God but then also keep things in my own control.

"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?"
-Matthew 6:24-26 (New Living Translation)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Some Favorites Right Now

1. Revolution Church--The sermons are soooo good.  I also  like the music, and the nursery workers are awesome.

2.  Baby pajamas that zip, not snap.

3.  Smoothies--yum.

4.  Honest talk with friends.

5.  CouponSense--I get lots of free stuff and am getting more food for the same amount of money I used to spend.

6.  And family, of course!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two Favorite Things

1.  My first favorite thing is when I'm wrong about something or when I've hurt someone's feelings, and that person immediately lets me know I've crossed the line.  This is just such a much better way of dealing with hurt and anger than letting it build up inside.  I can realize (hopefully) and apologize for my mistake right then and there and not have had the person walking around for days angry with me before talking to me about it.

2.  Watching movies in bed at night after Kinsey goes to bed.