Monday, December 6, 2010

A New Lyon Cub!

We are so excited for a new Lyon cubbie to join our crazy crew. Justin and I had a sweet date at CPK where we found out together (I took a test but didn't look at it until our date!) The girls were very excited when we told them. There is no doubt that Kalena wants another sister (she informed us she wants 10 sisters, and that she prayed to Jesus to ask for twin baby sisters) but we are sure she will love a baby brother too, she just doesn't know it yet. We are so thankful to God for the gift of another child. We don't deserve His kindness and love.

Stroller Nap

Katelyn was playing next to me while I was cleaning the girls room. All of a sudden I realized she wasn't crawling around anymore. She had wedged herself into the doll's stroller. She tried a little to get out, but didn't seem to mind she was stuck. She gave up trying to get out, and in another couple minutes, she was fast asleep! It was so precious!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Bogstad's House

Sara was playing with her playhouse and people yesterday and I was in the kitchen making dinner. I thought I miss heard her so I poked my head around the corner to listen. Sure enough, she was saying "It's the Bogstad's house." Every person and animal she had was crammed into her play house.

The Bogstads are a very dear family to us. They have been at NorthCreek Church for a long time. I babysat their kids, Justin and Dave served on Jr. High staff together and Justin asked Dave advice on dating me (thanks for approving Dave!). Chris came to live with us in L.A., was very involved in our Epoch Bible Study and is now managing our house there. He is such a solid man of God, it is hard to imagine I ever babysat him! Alli is a huge encouragement to me, as she strived diligently to lead and disciple a huge group of female students at UC Davis, and is now very involved in Kaleo. She is always striving after the will of God and trying to live her life in a way that pleases Him. We are so privileged now to be back in ministry with Dave and Cindy in Kaleo. They have served the group so faithfully and it has been such a huge encouragement for us to watch and learn from them as a God fearing, God honoring couple. Dave's teaching in Kaleo has been encouraging and convicting!! They have been so generous opening their beautiful home to Kaleo events. What an example they are... even to my 2 year old!! Even little Sara recognizes the importance of the Bogstad's house :) We are so thankful to the Lord for allowing us this wonderful time, and relationship with the Bogstad family.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Katelyn is 1!!

Our sweet little Katelyn is 1 year old! We love our little Katie-bear so much!! It is hard to believe she is now one, because she still looks so much like a little baby (not much hair and only 2 teeth). We have nicknamed Katie our little "Monster" because she is very strong, and can plow right over Sara and over most toys and things that get in her way. When the girls are playing and Katelyn starts heading towards them, they yell "Here comes the monster!!"
Katelyn loves to read, to play with toys, and eat. Her favorite foods are cottage cheese, avocado, bananas, any kind of meat and bread. Katelyn has taken some steps on her own and can stand up on her own without help up, but she is not walking yet. She can, however climb up onto a two step stool in the kitchen and can almost climb right into the sink! She can also go from our wooden high-chair right onto the table if she is not strapped in.
She is a huge cuddler. Even right now as I write, she is standing next to me with her head in my lap. She is always putting her head on me to cuddle and I love it. Occasionally I see her cuddle one of her sisters and it is so sweet! I am so glad she is already finding comfort in them. Kalena loves to cuddle her, which includes grabbing her around her waist and rolling around the floor with her while their cheeks are pressed together. Katelyn loves it. A friend was babysitting recently and Katelyn was extremely upset after a nap, until Kalena came to comfort her. Immediately when Kalena comforted her she stopped crying and was ready to play.
The three girls have started to play together so well, often I hear them from another room and they are all three giggling uncontrollably. I love that they love each other so much!! I pray that their relationships between each of them continue to grow and would be strong, healthy and productive in their lives to encourage one another to be more like Christ! I am so excited to watch all three girls grow closer together!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Little Ponies and Total Depravity

Kalena and Sara play with My Little Ponies everyday now. They love them and play really well together. I ease dropped on them one day and heard this: "Sara, this is the God pony, this pony is going to be God." Somehow a My Little Pony being "God" immediately caused me to step in and re-direct Kalena, instructing her that God is not in the form of a pony. She then stated, "But mommy, the ponies need a God, they are all sinners!!!" I opened my mouth, thinking I was going to reply with something wise, but nothing came out. I shut my mouth. "You are right, sweetie, the ponies are sinners." I backed away and let them resume playing. She might not have a grasp on God as a Spirit being that we are not to make an image of, but it seems she is catching on to the doctrine of total depravity :) It excites me when I see that the hard work and words I poor into them each day didn't just go in one ear and out the other as so often it seems. Moments like these that catch me off guard and show me that they are learning about our Creator are so precious. I thank God that He is instructing their hearts, and I pray He continues to reveal Himself and His Truth to them more and more as they grow. I want them know Him personally, to trust Him, and to Love Him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My New Favorite Word

One of my favorite things to hear Sara say is "probably." Here is my best phonetic rendition: "Plobly"

Sara got very tired during trick or treating since during the day she was too excited to take her nap. I knew it was time for her to stop when at one house, the woman offered Sara candy and she replied "No, thank you," stuck her thumb in her mouth and turned around to walk back to me. The lady about died. Not quite what she was expecting from a trick or treater!

For several days now we have been having "Welcome home daddy surprise." When daddy gets home everyone gets a little candy treat. Recently while eating candy, Sara exclaimed "My mouth really likes candy!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sara Bear

Our sweet squishy smily Sara is now 2 1/2! This half a year has flown by! Sara still such a funny little girl, always trying to make us laugh. She wants to play games and be tickled all day long. Her new favorite word is "usually" and she uses it frequently. I was making asparagus and Sara came in the kitchen to see what I was doing. When she saw what I was making was green, she asked what it was. I said it was asparagus and she said "Mom, I don't like es scary gas." Then when Lisa (our neighbor and dear friend) was trying to get her to eat it she exclaimed "I usually don't like asparagus." She is just so funny because she is so talkative and has so much to say about everything! We are constantly amazed that she can articulate her thoughts so well. When she gets really excited about something, she gets so overwhelmed that she can't speak in coherent sentences and she raises her little hands up by her face and waves them around. It is so cute and funny and I just can not contain myself when she is in this state. It is simply hilarious.
Every time she goes down for a nap or bedtime, she wants me to cuddle her. She still sucks her thumb and plays with her belly button to sooth herself, but she has also added pressing her belly up against anything cold. This sounds weird... and it is :) When she gets tired and starts sucking her thumb and playing with her belly she will go up to the wall, lift up her shirt and press her belly against it. While lying in bed she will roll over to the wall and lie flat against it to feel it cool against her belly. I typically have cold hands and especially now as the weather is changing, my hands are always cold. So, it has become routine that when I cuddle her, I press a cold hand against her warm little belly. She smilies and puts her little hand on top of mine. She is so precious.
I pray for my sweet Sara Bear to be able to use her humor and spunky personality for the Lord. I pray she will become excited about worshiping our great God and that her energizer bunny demeanor will never go away but will be used mightily for the sake of God and the Gospel. I pray that Sara will have a love for Jesus Christ that is greater than mine. Thank you God for the gift of Sara Grace!!!

Our 4 Year Old!

Kalena turned four last month!! She has started some new activities this year like Awana at church, and "school" at home with me. We are having a blast with her and her maturing vocabulary and mental capacity. She has begun to ask more in depth questions about life, which is fun. Not too long ago we started a conversation about princesses. She asked me why some people are princesses, kings and queens. We got into an extensive conversation that even included taxes and what happens when we die.
Kalena is still a cuddler. I love to snuggle her. My favorite thing is when she hugs me and puts her head right next to mine and she says "I just want you mommy!" I want her too, all the time. I always want to be playing, talking, reading and doing art with her, it is so much fun. I am so blessed to be Kalena's mommy and I am not looking forward to her going to school next year. Maybe she won't. Maybe we will do home-school through college and she will just stay with me for the rest of her life. I would love it :)
Kalena loves her sisters so much. She plays with them, makes them laugh, and helps me take care of them. She tells me she wants more little sisters. Not boys, however, because she thinks that boys don't love Jesus. I tried to help her understand boys are just different and many of them do love Jesus :) (and she thinks the world of her daddy) but she still just wants more sisters.
I love Kalena more than I could ever write. I pray earnestly to the Lord to protect her and to save her at an early age. There is nothing I want more for her than to walk in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be all the glory for what a wonderful little person she is. I pray with my whole heart that she will come to know the full knowledge of the truth of the Gospel and character of our Great God! Thank you God for the wonderful gift of Kalena.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The girls love playing with their good friend Judah!


Sara got a pool for her second birthday back in May! They especially loved the waterfall I made from the kitchen sink.

Cracker Sandwich

Sara loves to make a cracker sandwich. She takes about four crackers and eats them like a sanwich, and has been doing this about since she had her first cracker.


Kalena decided she needed some chapstick on.

God Made Sara!

Smiley Faces!

About a month ago, it was so hot outside so I let the girls draw with chalk on the kitchen floor. Kalena made her first smiley faces!!

Worst Case of Bed Head!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010


We are considering moving in with some of our best friends, in order to save money, yet have a large space and lots of parking to be able to be more hospitable and increase our ministry in our home. While getting godly counsel on this matter, a funny connection was made that made the world a little smaller for me! :) This counsel came from my pastor's wife, who in turn asked her friend (who's husband is a pastor and they live with another family), who was the daughter of one of my wonderful table leaders in Seminary Wives Fellowship. What a fun connection, and really great way the Lord has once again used this family in our lives. Justin told me this professor has read through the entire Bible more than 45 times and was an amazing wealth of knowledge in his survey classes. Praise God for godly families like this one who have blessed and enriched our lives.
Here is what she wrote:
"Concerning our thoughts in terms of giving counsel to your friends who are seeking to maybe live under the same roof…

The principle Dan and I kept coming back to was the great necessity for both parties to have a commitment to the Word of God and specifically in how to biblically deal with communication and conflict resolution. Something that we have found to be a great resource is Stuart Scott’s booklet called “Communication and Conflict Resolution”. This could be a good resource for them to talk through that gets down to the practical daily living in terms of interpersonal relationships. Humility is so important in the life of a believer and we have learned when you live under the same roof you’re not just going to see sin in one another but a big question is how are you going to deal with preferences (ie things that are not inherently right or wrong).

So that is the first question: How are they planning on dealing with preferences, not just sin issues?

Other practical topics that could be helpful to think through and/or discuss:

· Regular communication: Is there a plan to meet regularly to give opportunity for both parties to discuss how things are going (ways to improve, ways to encourage, etc)? Or what will be a good manner in which to regularly give opportunity for each family to give feedback? In our situation it varied. At one point both couples met, and at other times just the husbands met. We also found it to be important for the husbands to shepherd their wife through certain issues. It wasn’t always easy.

· Are both families on the same page in terms of goals of discipline for their children? Are they open to the input of the other family in this regard? What are the expectations?

· Being above reproach (you mentioned this). We were careful to avoid situations where one spouse would be at home at the same time as the opposite gender spouse (even if kids were there). People in the church seemed to look favorably on our situation in general and I’m not aware of any concern or negativity in this way. Frankly, people had never seen it done and probably had never considered that someone would even willingly choose this situation.

· Habits of cleanliness

· Expectations/limitations in hosting people at the house or for out-of-town guests that would come visit. We could do a lot of hospitality together since we were in the same church.

· Meals/Shopping responsibilities: are you going to have meals together daily? If so, which ones, who will cook & shop, etc? Make sure to communicate if someone will not be at a planned meal. A weekly schedule in our situation was found to be helpful.

· Finances: I’m not sure if both families are planning to split housing costs up the middle. This is probably easiest for the husband of each family to discuss/decide together.

There are probably more things that could be mentioned. Again, humility, humility, humility is so huge. There will be sin to deal with at times. This takes humility to confront rightly and to receive rightly. And it is a guarantee that people will do things differently than you in matters of preference. (For example, this is minor but I learned that right now I don’t prefer that my boys play with toy guns.) How to deal with this stuff, even the “minor” preferences requires great humility because I can tend to view that my preferences are right & best J

Some of the PROS to living with another like-minded family is that it sanctifies, you learn to consider others better than self, and it can be a helpful testimony to others for the sake of the gospel.

The biggest CON that we came to was that if you don’t deal rightly with things it can lead to bitterness (which you can imagine can lead to many other negative things).

May your friends be a testimony of God’s truth and grace in whatever they decide,"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Baby Pictures!

All the girls are about 1/2 a year old in these pictures.

Name That Baby!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sprouting Scripture in the Hearts of our Children

This is my recent project I am working on; memory verse cards for my kids. This first set will be for 1-3 year olds. They are being illustrated by my good friend Sara and then we are going to send them off to a publisher!! I can't wait to have the final product to begin using them with my girls! I am using some memory cards right now but they are not good quality. I am so excited about this project! I hope others will be blessed and encouraged in their parenting as well.
Sprouting Scripture
...In the Hearts of Our Children

“I planted the seed... but God made it grow.” I Corinthians 3:6
One of the first things you can do to make a seed grow, is to sprout it. Wikipedia says “Sprouting is the process of soaking, draining, and rinsing seeds at regular intervals until they germinate, or sprout.” Seeds need to be rinsed a minimum of twice a day until they sprout, and different seeds take different amounts of time and rinsing before the sprouting process begins. How true this is with our little ones! Just as it takes months of hearing the word “Ma Ma” many times a day before they actually say it, so it is with hearing the Word of God before it becomes effective in their lives. It may take years of “rinsing” our children in Scripture before God causes these little seeds to begin sprouting. The next thing a seed needs in order to sprout is indirect sunlight. These little sprouts can be overwhelmed, wither and die with direct sunlight. Our Heavenly Father gives us light from above in the Scriptures, and He has appointed us to be the ones to take this light and give it to our Children in a way they can understand and use it. It would be too overwhelming for them if we just handed them a Bible or read them a Bible story once in a while. They need us to faithfully explain it to them and teach them how to apply God’s Word to everyday situations. Our children can be the most exciting eternal horticulture project in existence, if we diligently tend to them with the loving care of scripture. With God as the ultimate cause for their growth, we can be used as His tool if we faithfully rinse our little seeds daily with His Word!
Verse Card Instructions
These cards were created to be used as a tool to help your children hide God’s Word in their hearts. Read these cards to your children daily and when a situation arises where a verse can be applied. Explain the pictures to them and eventually your child will memorize the verse and be able to recite the verse from memory by just looking at the picture. The hearts of the children in the pictures are key to helping your child evaluate the state of their own heart. "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” Luke 6:45

Biblically Based Parenting
Since the Bible is God’s word written directly to us and for us, (All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17) and His Word should be our guide to our life (Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105), it seems only natural that our everyday parenting should be full of scripture. Our children are our greatest evangelistic project, as they are unrepentant captives, needing, willing and especially when young, wanting to hear everything we say. (Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6) It is of upmost importance that what we say to our children be “seasoned with salt”, or in other words, sprinkled with scripture, throughout the routines of each day. As parents we want to be sure that the Word of God is planted deep into the hearts of our children. (So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11, But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:2-3 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11)
2 Timothy 3:14-15
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

1 1/2 - 3 Years Old

Biblically Based Vocabulary!
Start using these words with your child before you think he is ready. You will be surprised how quickly he will start to learn them! God, Bible, Prayer, Obedience, Sin, Discipline, Forgiveness, Strength, Right Response, Wrong Response, Asking/Telling, Kindness, Love, Loving, Anger/Angry, Self Control, Gentleness, Gentle Tone, Angry Tone, Attitude, Peace, Peacemaker, Selfish, Selfless, Idol of the Heart GOD IS... (Introducing them to God) Loving, All Powerful, All Knowing, All Present, Forgiving, Perfect/Holy, Creator, In Control of Everything (Sovereign) Our Hearts are... Black, Sick, Dirty, Sinful and In Need of God to Make Them Clean. (Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm 51:10)

All throughout this age range you will be establishing to your child that God is our primary authority, and the next authority is his parent. Obedience Obedience is one of the primary focus for this age group. You want the child to tie the concept of obeying the parent, to obeying and pleasing God. It is essential that obedience happen (1) right away (2) all the way (3) with a happy heart. When a child fails in one or more of these areas, he has failed to obey and must be disciplined. Discipline When the child has disobeyed, remove the child to a private location within the home (avoid spanking outside the home). Ask the child if he obeyed or disobeyed, teaching the child the difference between these two words. (Ephesians 6:1) If the child is able to talk, have them tell you what they did wrong. If there is a specific verse dealing with the sin the child has done, read and explain that verse. Tell the child how many spankings he will receive. Spank the child. (A child distracted with apprehension about the spanking may need to be spanked first, and talked to after they are consoled) (Proverbs 13:24, 23:13) Comfort him until he is ready to talk. Explain Matthew 19:26, and pray with your child, and ask God to give him the strength to obey. (Isaiah 40:29) Start the habit of you, and or your child, praying and asking Jesus to help him change his attitude every time it is bad. Ensure your child that Jesus will give the strength we need for good attitudes if we ask him! (2 Peter 1:3) Asking Forgiveness When your child is old enough to talk, have him ask for forgiveness from God, and then you or whoever else (if anyone) the child has sinned against. (1 John 1:9, Colossians 3:13) Seeking forgiveness should always have two components. (1)Acknowledge the wrong doing. Anyone asking for forgivness should say the words “I was wrong, I sinned.” (2) Ask for forgiveness. It is easy to just let “I’m Sorry” suffice, but this is not the Biblical model of repentance that we want our children to become familiar with. The words “I was wrong, I sinned against God and You. Please forgive me.” should be used.
Helpful Hints
Asking or Telling? When your child is demanding something, ask him if he is asking or telling (ex: “Mommy, I want juice!” ask the child if he is asking or telling? He should realize he should be asking, “Mommy, may I have some juice please?”) When the child asks for something without manners, ask the child to “try again” until he is able to ask in the appropriate manner. “Yes Mommy” Have your child say “Yes Mommy” with a smile when you ask them to do something (they should be saying this many times a day!). When your child is speaking with another adult, you will want your child to use manners. Have your child occasionally practice saying “Yes Sir” and “Yes Mam” to you, so that it will come naturally to them with other adults such as teachers and friends. Having the “Right/Biblical Response” As children enter into the second year, they will start to respond more prominently to all the different circumstances throughout the day. The most common responses will be joy, sadness or anger. When your child gets sad or angry, he will begin to have “sinful responses.” It is helpful to teach the child the terms “right or biblical response” and “sinful response” and demonstrate what these mean. (ex: “When your sister takes your toy and you yell at her, that is a sinful response. What do you thing the right response is when your sister takes your toy?” A possible answer: “ask your sister kindly to please give the toy back,” or my favorite, “If your sister wants the toy, how can you be selfless and show love to your sister?”) Interrupting Often when you are talking, on the phone or in person with someone, your little one will want your attention. Begin to practice having them wait until you, and any other adult are done talking before they may say “excuse me.” Another good idea is to have them come up to you and place their hand on your arm or leg. This will signal to you that they want to tell you something. Then you can choose when to allow them to speak. Practice Time If your child has a particular thing they have constant disobedience with, have them practice. Some time, when they don’t really have to do the thing they don’t want to do, have them “pretend” their obedience. They will understand better what the right response is if they have practiced it. (ex: A child hates to brush her teeth and cries when it is time to brush teeth. Sometime during the day when it is not teeth brushing time, tell her that it is time to practice brushing. Assure her that she doesn’t really have to brush right now, it will just be pretend. Say “its time to brush your teeth” and ask her to give you the “right response” which is “Yes mommy” with a smile and happy heart. Get excited and joyful too while demonstrating the “right response” for your child. Make it fun, be silly, and try to get the child to laugh along with you!) Peacemaker When situations with siblings and friends escalate in anger, teach your children how to be a peacemaker. Using this term multiple times a day will also help them learn Matthew 5:9. Ask the child how he can “be a peacemaker” in each situation. Idol of the Heart We often think about the problem of having idols other than God in our hearts but fail to recognize it in our children. Anything that they want so bad that not getting it creates a sinful reaction is an idol of their heart. Even something seemingly innocent (like a sweet little girl who wants to wear the same pink dress every day) can be an idol. When this privilege is taken away, evaluate her response to know if this is, in fact, an idol. If you identify an idol in your child’s life, explain Psalm 24:3-4 to her and take away the privilege until you feel the child is ready to try again, placing God as more important than the privilege.
Ask For Forgiveness
Ask For Your Child’s Forgiveness! If you have a toddler, I would submit that if you are not asking forgiveness on a daily basis, you are sinning towards your child without reconciling every day. Some rare people were born with an abnormally loving, and extremely patient demeanor. Some godly parents have worked hard to attain this self-controlled gentle demeanor. If you weren't born with it and haven't attained it yet, you are going to get angry with your child on a regular, daily basis. Occasionally we will use code names for anger that don’t sound as bad so we can try to justify our anger or shift the blame for our anger to our child. Some code names for being angry are: annoyed, frustrated, fed up, aggravated, etc. Becoming angry in your tone of voice without repenting and seeking forgiveness from your child (even if it is just a raised tone of voice) is teaching the child that this sin of anger is ok. It already feels natural for them to become angry and have an angry tone because of our natural disposition to sin. You will be exacerbating what they are already prone to do, and diminishing their conscience towards anger, if you let your anger go without recognition and reconciliation. (Proverbs 15:1) Your children need to see you pray to ask Jesus to change your heart and attitude, just as they need to do.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

Justin is 34 today, and although that might sound old, I can truly say Justin is young at heart! He has such a youthful energy and glow about him everyday, I often forget he is not still in his mid twenties. It is hard to believe that I met him more than 10 years ago when he was just 23 and I was 20!! We were just kids! As years have been added to Justin, so has wisdom, discernment, grace, humility, and boldness for Christ. Justin has surpassed my wildest expectations of a godly husband and father. A God fearing husband is a precious gift from the Lord, and I am so thankful for mine. Every day Justin's example to me of hard work causes me to be a better, more effective person. I love you Jus and I love the marriage and precious girls God has given us! Praise to Jesus Christ and Him alone for all good in my life!

And a special shout out to Justin's beautiful mother on this wonderful day! She bore Justin and his twin brother Casey like a true maternal champion, holding their restless bodies inside of her for weeks of reverse lamaze and being carried to the toilet. We love Shari Lee and are always craving more time with her!!!

7 Months Old Today!!!

Our Sweet Katelyn is 7 months old! We can't believe our sweet little baby is getting so old. Katelyn is such a sweet, mild tempered baby. She can sit on her own now, quite well and she loves to sit and watch her big sisters play. Her smile is big and bright and gives me that overwhelming feeling of parental bliss and tremendous love for this little being God has entrusted me with! Kalena has taken to make it her mission several times a day to get Katelyn to laugh. This involves a series of loud obnoxious (a word i banned from the household for it's harsh undertones) noises that she repeats over and over again increasing in volume. While mommy can only take so much of it, Katelyn thinks it is really great and now laughs multiple times a day at Kalena. She has really figured out a lot of little special things to make Katelyn laugh and it is very precious. Sara loves her baby sister too and whenever Katlyn comes down from a nap, Sara yells "Katelyns awake" at the top of her lungs. She then runs to her and in a soft very high pitch squeaky voice talks baby talk to katelyn, saying, "Oh you are so cute and precious, I just can't stand it" or something of the sort. Neither of the girls really has a handle on being gentle with Katelyn yet so she gets roughed around quite a bit, but seems to enjoy her sisters regardless. In the past week she has gotten up on all fours (hands and knees) and I think is close to taking some first attempts at crawling! This is much sooner than her sisters, who both crawled about about 10 months! I love my little Katelyn so much!!! My favorite times with her each day are when she first wakes up and wants to be cuddled. We snuggle together and she just burries her face into my neck. It is the sweetest thing and something i look forward to everyday. She also loves to press her face against my cheek, which is just too sweet I simply can't stand it!!!

I am praying for my sweet little Katelyn to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Creator who created her so perfectly! I pray she will come to know Him at an early age, and be a woman who praises God and loves and serves him with all her heart, mind, soul and strength.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Q & A With John MacArthur

April 18th, 2010. Questions and Answers with John MacArthur at Grace Community Church

QUESTION: Hi, I’m a Catholic. I’ve been a Catholic all of my life, that’s 75 years. The question I’m going to ask is a very, very basic and has been bothering me for many, many years of my adult life. To the billions of non-Christian denominations, I’m talking about the Jewish, the Buddhists, the Profuciests, Mormons and so forth that truly believe in their faith, that lived a very good life according to their faith. My question is, is there salvation...a heaven for them? Or all they all condemned to hell?

JOHN: Yeah, that’s a very good question. What’s your name?

CHARLIE: Charlie...........Simmons

JOHN: Hi, Charlie. That’s a very good question, Charlie.
The answer to that from the Word of God is they will all perish in hell because there is only one way to go to heaven. There’s no salvation in any other name than the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus said “You will die in your sins,” to the Jewish leaders, “because you believe not on Me...because you believe not on Me.” “God, that familiar John 3:16, so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish.”

There’s only one heaven and there’s only one way into heaven and that is through faith in Christ. It is the only hope, that is why we are told to go to the ends of the earth, preach the gospel to every creature. So all who perish without the knowledge of Christ, die in their sins and go everlastingly to hell.

Now the degree of punishment in hell will vary. But what makes it vary is not the goodness of the person because no person is good before God, no person. Only God is good and Jesus said that. No person is good, no person is good enough to earn heaven. The only difference in hell will be that the people who heard about Jesus Christ and rejected Him will have a greater punishment than the people who didn’t hear about Him. They will all be punished, but those who knew about Christ and didn’t receive Christ will have the greater punishment. That’s Hebrews, “How much sorer, or greater will be the punishment of those who trampled underfoot the blood of the covenant and counted the work of Christ, as it were, an unholy thing, rejected Christ.”

Now the other thing to say is this, that even if you believe in Christ, even if you believe in Christ as God and Christ dying on the cross and Christ being raised from the dead and Christ being Lord, and all those things, that may not be enough to get you into heaven either because in Matthew 7 it says, “Many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we did this in Your name and that in Your name.’ And He’ll say, ‘Depart from Me, I never knew you.’” So you can know about Christ and you can know that He lived a holy life and was born of a virgin and that He died on the cross and He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and reigns and is returning and not go to heaven.

But here’s the key. You must trust Christ for your salvation alone and reject any works of your own as having any contribution to your salvation.

JOHN: It doesn’t matter how many times you went to church, it doesn’t matter how many humanly good deeds you did, it doesn’t matter how many times you took the Mass, for example, in a Catholic situation, it doesn’t matter how many times you went to Confession, it doesn’t matter how bad you felt about the sins that you did, it doesn’t matter how many rosaries you said, it doesn’t matter any of those things...none of those things individually and all of those things collectively cannot save a person. A person will be saved by faith in Christ alone, recognizing that in my flesh dwells no good thing, by the deeds of the Law will not flesh be justified. You can’t earn your way in by being good. You can only receive salvation when you know you’re not good enough and you cry out to be forgiven of your sin by the sheer grace of God based upon the death and provision of Christ on the cross. Okay?

CHARLIE: Oh one last thing, I meant to add this. I am leaving the Catholic Church and hope to join this church.

JOHN: We welcome you. (Applause) Now you folks over there, you folks over there need to open your arms to Charlie, right? Let him know we love having him here.

You understand the gospel, right? The way I explained it? All right, Charlie, never too late, right? You’re the youngest-looking 75. What happened to me? I don’t get it. Okay. Alright.

[This has been taken from the Grace To You website.]

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kalena's First Prayer

This was what I was so blessed to have witnessed:
Kalena and Sara were playing "school", and it was lunchtime at the school. They sat down at their little table, about 10 feet from me where I was working on the computer. Kalena said it was time to pray and asked Sara to hold her hands. Then they both bowed their heads and closed their eyes. Kalena began to pray. I scrambled to get something to write it down with. Here is what I caught of the last half of the prayer: "Thank you for our childs (she meant their baby dolls), thank you for the sky, (then she paused to think) thank you for all the things (lets go of Sara's hand to wave her hand around) that bless me. In your name, Amen." It was so sweet to hear Kalena pray. We have asked her numerous times before if she wanted to pray and she has always said "no", and that she doesn't know what to pray for. This was indeed music to my ears!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Amazing Banana Bread!

Banana Bread
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease and flour one 9-inch loaf pan or several smaller pans. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; combine with the butter mixture. Add the bananas, sour cream and vanilla; stir well. fold in the nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out into a rack. Makes 1 loaf.
*Works with whole wheat flour too!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sara is 2!!!

Last month our sweet Sara Bear Cakes turned two years old! Here are some of our thoughts about Sara. Sara is the funniest little girl. She is smiling and laughing all the time and constantly trying to make us do the same. She is usually successful. Sara is a bundle of fun wrapped up in a small yet still squishy body that just begs to be squeezed and cuddled. She usually wakes up with a smile and an enthusiastic "Hi Mommy, Im awake!" She doesn't say her S's or her R's yet so it is our favorite thing to ask her what her name is "Thawa Gwath" She has a favorite baby doll she has affectionately named "Baby Mosif" (can't say the s on the end of moses). Kalena has a baby doll who is "Baby Jesus". So when playing dolls, Sara is usually Joseph and Kalena is Mary and repeats often that Joseph is her husband and they are in love with each other. When not playing joseph, she is Moses's mother, Jachobed (hilarious to hear Sara try to say that one!) Sara loves Dora the Explora, Boots, Poo Bear, and her Sea Horse (a pink seahorse that's belly lights up and plays classical music). She loves to read also, and every time I finish a book she yells "Again!". Her speech has become so clear and her sentences are very verbose. She uses "really" a lot, *substitute the r for a w ("I welly want a cookie") and one of her favorite phrases is "I bumped myself!" She is bumping her self a lot because she never walks anywhere. If it is more than two steps, she is usually running. She also has learned how to decapitate her "My Little Pony" and recently decapitated an angel doll (grammy had to sew it back together). She has lost the privilege of using markers because aside from eating them, she can not sit contained with a marker, she must be running around the house marking on things. She got into my sharpies the other day and drew on the couch's arm chair, coffee table, another chair, and all over her baby doll's head. After many spankings, I have decided to wait on giving Sara markers. I give her white chalk only. So far she hasn't eaten any, and anything it gets on can be easily wiped off. I have been letting her draw on the kitchen floor with chalk. she loves it. She adores Kalena and follows her around the house. She also adores Katelyn and is constantly hugging, kissing, and playing with her. When Grammy gave her a special treat of a Jamba Juice today, she said "Thank you for my pajama juice!" Sara is a treasure that we are so blessed to have around us all day long. We just can't get enough of her. I get sad when it is time to say good night to Sara. She makes everyone in the house a happier person, her laughter and humor are so contagious. We adore Sara, and are praying that she will become a woman who fears and honors the Lord. Thank you God for giving us our Sara Bear!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Praying for my Girls

I read this on "Bring the Rain" blog, written by a woman who has three girls. I love these prayers and the scripture she uses. I have decided to pray these prayers for my girls as well.

1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (Kalena, Sara, Katelyn) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show her the way she should go, for to you she lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)

2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help her bear with others and forgive whatever grievances she has against others. Help her forgive as the Lord forgave her. And over all these virtues, help her put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While they are eating: "Teach (Kalena, Sara, Katelyn) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach her that she can do everything through him who gives her strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)

4. When they go out of the house: "(Kalena, Sara, Katelyn), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (Kalena, Sara, Katelyn) clean hands and a pure heart, and let her not lift her soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let her receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God her Savior. Let her be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (Kalena, Sara, Katelyn) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which she shines like a star in the universe as she holds out the word of life-in order that she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kalena's Procopation

While cleaning out the car, I left the girls unattended in the house (leaving the door open so I could hear their sweet voices as they played). Little did I know that Kalena was unraveling an entire roll of dental floss as she weaved it through various polls and handles throughout the house. Literally, in the time it took me to clean the car out, Kalena had T.P.ed our home with dental floss, with floss extending all the way up and down the stairs. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was making a "procopation." (?) She often makes up words. She made up the word "procoration" not too long ago and so I asked her if she meant a "procoration" and she said "no, a procoration is a necklace or a decoration." Then she assured me with a proud smile "this is a procopation!" I decided to allow her to continue (the dental floss was already completely disassembled, and daddy was on a trip so he wasn't going to come home to the chaos) but then later, to Kalena's disappointment, had to walk around the house and literally cut my way through the floss. This picture does not do justice to the masterpiece "procopation".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Babies Babies Babies!!!

Our Sunday School class is booming with babies! I love every minute I get to spend with these ladies and all the babies!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Psalms 121:4

As I battle through each day somewhat sleep deprived, I am reminded that my God supply's my strength, and not my hours of sleep. My God is never tired and He is always available to give me energy! This truth is so comforting! My friend Sara made this cute burp cloth at a baby shower recently. How appropriate is this verse for a nursing mother at 3am!

From the Farm

Michelle Gutie recomended "Farm Fresh to You"... so we tried it out. I love that all this fresh, in season produce just arrived on my doorstep!! I got this entire box for $31.50 (that is including the delivery). Everything so far has been really wonderful!! Thanks Michelle!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

K: Mommy, why do we have to wait for the icecream to soften, i really want to eat it now!
M: Sweetie, it is so hard that even mommy can't scoop it out!
K: Daddy, can you get it out?
D: No sweetie, we need to be patient and wait for it to get soft, even daddy can't get it out
K: Can we give it to God to get it out? Then he can give it back?

Shannon was over with her baby, Ryle, and he was really upset while she was changing his diaper. Kalena looked concerned and said to Shannon, "we need to call my daddy" Shannon replied, "Oh, why do we need to call your daddy?" Kalena said "Because he can make people feel better. He is really strong."

Kalena plays with KidPix, a fun drawing software for the Mac. Often times when she is done with a picture, she will want to print. We are re-arranging our computers and the printer is unhooked. Justin came home from work and Kalena stated... "Daddy, can you help me? The printer is having a bad attitude."

Every time I brush Kalena's hair, she gets upset because it hurts. Recently she has been telling me she wants to cut her hair off. I agreed to give her a haircut tonight and was asking her how short I should cut her hair. She replied "I want my hair like daddy's. I want you to cut it ALL off!" I tried to explain that we still needed to have a "girl" haircut, but for about 20 min or so she was persistently pointing to the very top of her head, pleading with me to "cut it all off!" I finally just had to say no, and we settled on right above her shoulders. It was sad for me to see beautiful big chunks of blond hair fall to the ground, but i can't argue that morning hair brushing will be a bit more pleasant from now on.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Converstations with Kalena at 3 1/2 years old

Kalena: Daddy, I made this picture for you!
Daddy: Oh thank you Kalena!! Can I keep it forever?
Kalena: Yes.
Daddy: Can I keep you forever?
Kalena: Yea, well, except for when you go to Bible Study.

Kalena: Mommy, Sara is messing up the toys! (repeatedly Kalena had been "telling" on Sara)
Mommy: Kalena, just worry about yourself and make sure you clean up your own toys you get out.
Kalena: But Mommy, wouldn't that be selfish?

Friday, March 19, 2010

L.A. Trip!

We had such an awesome time visiting friends down in L.A. for two days! We stayed at the smalls house with the Lins and got to visit with the Gebhards and a lot of the Foundry crew at a reception held for the Gebhards!! We are so blessed by our brothers and sisters in L.A. It was such a blast to see the Guties (Weston is getting so big!!), the Casalis and their new baby Everett (sooooo cute!!), the Becks, the Tolopiloes, Hohn, and so many others!!!

Our Visit with my Grandma and Cousins!!

Dulce and Galilea

One of my best new friends in the Bay Area, just had the most precious baby girl. She is also in my community group, and has recently been baptized. Her testimony of how Jesus Christ has worked in her life is amazing, and an encouragement to everyone around her. She is a solid woman of God and I am so excited to watch her new life in Christ. He has changed her life and what a blessing it is to watch!! I am so thankful the Lord brought us together!! Her new baby girl is so beautiful, just like her mommy!!