it's always so simple

God works in mysterious ways ... yes.
I am to have faith in His plan for me, because there is a plan, a destiny, a purpose for ME.
much easier said than done.

as I listen to other people telling me their stories, their problems, or just about everyday life, I listen for patterns.  I strongly believe that any ongoing pattern is God trying to break into your life and teach you something, saved or not.  one cannot make the same mistakes while expecting different results, that just doesn't happen.

so I've noticed a pattern in myself.  I seem to get on an emotional roller coaster; it's not a fast one, but it's finally making me nauseous enough for me to say "I want to get off this thing!"

we've moved around so much since we've been married, that I can't seem to connect with other women & moms.  I'm not so much a people person, so for me to build a relationship takes a lot of time ... I don't necessarily think that's wrong or bad, it just is what it is.  why all this coming and going?  God what are you trying to uproot here?

since we've moved to where we're at now, I've tried to make connections, and it honestly seems like no one has the time, energy, or desire to have more friends than they already do.  understandably, moms with kids are busy.

I am constantly feeling like the new kid in class; it's uncomfortable, sometimes embarassing, and it's a lonely place.

most of the time I don't mind giving my time and energy to things, that is definitely in my nature.  I guess this would be the fun parts of my roller coaster.  but then there are times when I could use a friend and I just don't have one.  this would be the not-so-fun times.

is it my approach to people?  are my expectations too high?
I always think of what Jesus said "treat others as you want to be treated."  

it was almost a year ago that I moved and everything was new - new house, new surroundings, new moms club, new baby, new roommates, new everything ... it still feels that way and I hate it.

so now we're talking about moving again.  not because of what I'm venting about; for hubby's work and to get our finances finally in order.  this place is not our home; it doesn't feel like home, we're no longer called to be here, our purpose for living here has been filled (I believe anyway).  but just the thought of starting over makes me nauseous again.

this is just what has been on my heart these days.

I gave this little blog the title I did because that's another patten I see, the answer is always so simple.  God has a habit of doing that.  if you know what I'm talking about, you know it's frustrating, but in a good way.

if you have advice for me, I'll take it.

3,2,1, blast off

we made a rocket out of a paper towel roll.
I suppose you could use a toilet paper roll for a different size if you wanted.
here's where I got the directions:

it seems to be more for older kids; ones who can use scissors well.
but Sam was a big helper with the taping and the coloring parts.
my only suggestion if you try this at home, is to add the base last.  do all your decorating first, then add the triangles for the base.  otherwise, since it is just construction paper, it will bend easily when you turn it on it's side for coloring.
in this next picture, you can see Sam making rocket sound effects.
I love how boys do that!

in 2 days, 3 months!

look at this boy - gorgeous, right?!

I've forgotten how much I love babies.  

in 3 months he's smiling, cooing, trying to sit up (with help of course), and his neck is getting strong.

I absolutely LOVE talking with him.  it is priceless!

he's got those big blue eyes, like his brother and his mama.  I hope he keeps them.

spit up is subsiding a bit ... thank God!  I don't smell like sour milk 24/7 anymore ... that part I don't think I will miss at all.

you can see in the first picture, the creases in his thighs.  he's a super chunk; that crease is pretty deep. :)

we're finally getting a sleeping routine down.  last night I got a whole 6 hours in a row!!  that was just one night though, normally it's 4-5 hours.

I love that he'll know his brother his whole life.  he comes into this world with an instant companion; he knows no different.  I wonder if Sam will remember the days without Elliott ... probably not.

Elliott is healthy and happy, what else could I ask for?!

off with her head!

every morning before breakfast, Sam goes out in the backyard to make sure our tomato plant has no caterpillars on it.  it's his newest chore ... we had found 1 on grandma's last week, it was huge!  we had named him tomato jack, TJ for short.  the very next morning we found 4 of TJ's long lost relative on ours!  their called tomato hornworms; they're green with white stripes and a little horn for a "tail," and if you leave them alone, they WILL eat your whole tomato plant!

so anyway -
Sam says: "mama, there's a bird in our backyard"
me: "that's nice.  come eat your breakfast"
Sam: "he's laying on the ground"
me: "that's nice. come eat your breakfast"
Sam: "mama, you've got to see him"
we go back and forth for a bit.  you see, there are always birds in our backyard.  that's normal, right?  I try to tell him that, but he's insists I go.  so, I go ... and this is what I saw.
OMG!  where is his head?!  poof go the feathers ... but no head.

pigeons like to fly around on all the rooftops around here.  it's very annoying!  hubby gets upset and always says he's going to get out his pellet gun and snipe them all.  so I call him up, thinking he's guilty since he openly admits his willingness to murder them one day, I thought maybe today was the day.  he says "uh Katie, a pellet gun couldn't take it's head off!"  :)
I have no idea why only his head was missing.  the rest of it's body is in tact, no bloody mess or anything.  any theories?

don't know what you've got until it's gone

I've lost my wedding ring.  actually it's been gone for over a month.  it was strange not having it at first, then it was a daily reminder of my absent-mindedness, then I was just sad.  my wedding ring really means a lot to me.  it's nothing too extravagant, but I'm big on sentiment.  we've been married 8 years, and when we re-newed our vows last year, my ring means that much more now.  the ring "mark" was just beginning to go away, then out of no where, I found it.  I was moving stuff around in my closet and all of a sudden it was there on the floor.  it definitely wasn't there the whole time, it must've fallen out of somewhere.  who knows.  thank God I found it!!
have you ever lost your ring?  I'm proud to be married.  it's a symbol that I'm taken ... not that I have a line out the door or anything!  but also it's a symbol of our commitment and loyalty to each other, a symbol of our love and family, and it is a product of God's divine plan.  when the ring isn't there, of course I know I'm still married, but seeing it throughout the day makes me think of those things.  it's a reminder of how blessed I am.  amen!

something else I'm losing these days ... my hair!  Elliott is just about 3 months old already, so my body is coming back to normalcy.  it was so nice to keep all my hair while I was pregnant; thick, full, and soft.  now I'm finding hair everywhere - pretty much every room of my house to Elliott's diaper ... which reminds me of a nasty story I read in a parenting magazine.  apparently a hair went unnoticed in her son's diaper.  he was screaming in pain and when she went to investigate, she found a hair wrapped around "his goods" and it was cutting off his circulation.  like when you wrap a rubber band or string around your finger; his poor little pee-pee was purple.  she had to take him to the doctor, I think in the end all was well, but watch out for your hair shedding into your boys' diapers!

disneyland pictures

we haven't seen Mickey Mouse in awhile, we were due to go.
I LOVE that we have passes and can do just a 1/2 day.
when you pay $80 for a ticket, you feel obligated to be there from open till close!
can you believe it, $80?!  people pay it though; it could be $100+ and people would pay it!

we noticed that the Disney parks is a huge melting pot of people.
it is internationally famous, so it's a popular vacation spot.
I think there are just 5 Disney parks in the world - Anahiem, Florida, Paris, Toykyo, and Hong Kong.
I've been told they're thinking to put one in Australia next.
if you're into people watching, Disney is definitely an interesting place to go.

we went to CA Adventure this time, then off to Downtown Disney for dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe.
it was a great day together!
hot, but not too hot. and the lines weren't that bad, considering we went on a Saturday.

here are a few photos - enjoy!

here's my big boy Sam, all set to go with his ears on!

this was in line for the newest ride, Toy Story.
if you haven't been, and get he chance, this is a VERY  fun ride.
Mr. Potato Head was talking to Sam, he said "wanna trade ears?"

this is me and the boys.
Elliott does great in the frontpack all day.
he sleeps and sleeps, then eats a bit, then sleeps and sleeps some more.
he's such a great baby, very easy going.

and last but not least, here are Papa and Sam on the carousel.

be consistent

"Breaking the Good Mom Myth"
chapter 4 is all about the all-protecting and all-caring mothers, those of us that pamper our children so much that is it actually damaging to their development. there is a lot of good stuff in this book; I want to quote all if it to you ... just read it for yourself.

here are a few tips for discipline success:
1. be consistent - you must follow through! not just the first time but EVERY time. consistency is a key to learning.
2. children don't learn from the threat of a consequence, they learn from experiencing it.
3. watch the attitude - if you discipline with any kind of judgment, you won't be affective and you'll just invite a power struggle. you need to be un-interested in the choices your children make for themselves.

it's difficult to watch our kids struggle, even if it's without the tears and frustration. if they're trying to tie a shoe, or learning to use a fork, or getting dressed in the morning - let them struggle, let them make mistakes, this is how they learn!

we need to prep our kids for life. remember these our God's children, and not our property.

a tomato trick

I was making sloppy joe's for dinner last night and realized I had no tomato sauce, but what I did have was tomato paste.  so I googled it.
turns out you can mix equal parts paste + water = tomato sauce cool huh?  isn't google awesome?!

PS. I'm trying something new.  I've planted some tomato and pea plants in my backyard.  not sure if I really have a green thumb or not ... I'd like to though!  so far so good; I ought to take pictures.  they're still babies now, so nothing to eat just yet.  I'm already excited!  call me farmer Katie!

some parents just don't understand

tonight we all go to the park down the street.  it is a perfect summer night and the park was packed with kids of all ages.  Sam and Papa went out in the field to throw the football around, and Eli and I were hanging out on the grass.

if I'm in the right kind of place with nothing much to do, I'm very much a people watcher.  at the park, I watch the kids - who came with who, how they play together, how they play with my son, which parents are watching which kids - all that kind of stuff.

so I see an older girl, maybe 9 years old, with a friend and they're both watching her little brother, probably 5 years old.  I didn't really see them until I heard her yelling at her brother.  the poor boy was doing nothing wrong, but his sister and her friend seemed to enjoy screaming at him, telling him what to do.  well, his reaction was to yell back and then he began defending himself by hitting and kicking when they were pulling him off the playground.  it was obvious the parents weren't around, it was obvious (by what she was saying) that the girl was a total brat, and the situation was obviously out of control.

for those of you who know me, you know that I'm really not one to butt into other people's problems (unless asked of course) and I never make my opinion known loud enough for everyone to hear.  but when I saw her drag this boy off the playground and pull his arm so hard, it whipped him around and he fell hard on the ground, my instinct took over and I instantly stood up and ran over to them and said "you let go of him, I don't care if this is your brother or not, you do not treat people this way!  where is your mother?  go get her now!"  my heart was beating so fast, not out of nervousness, but I think it was just the shock of what I saw.  I knew someone had to do something, and no other parents near by seemed to want to get involved.  I wish I had the right words to really paint a clear picture for you, I guess just trust me on this one, it was out of hand.

what is wrong with some parents?!
having your 9 year old watch your 5 year old at the park is probably an ok thing to do.  it seems to me if you really know your kids - their temperament, their desire for control, how they treat others, etc - you would know if they are trustworthy to be left alone like that.

she came over, asked me what happened, and that was it.  no discipline for the kids, no thank you to me, no apology for what happened, nothing.  I know I'm not entitled to any of that, yet again, I'm just shocked.  she did carry the boy back to wherever she was sitting; he was holding his arm the rest of the night.  I hope he's ok, physically and emotionally.

why isn't common sense not so common these days?

now to compare to my mommy dearest post -
in a situation like this one, I do think a child's actions are a reflection of their parents.  where would she learn to scream like that to her brother?  why would it be ok for her to physically remove him the way she did?  I don't necessarily believe those are the same actions of her parents, but her parents must've have seen this (or something very similar) happen beforehand and just let it slide.

parents, you have to pick your battles.  in my opinion, this is a big one and it must be chosen.  now I know that kids at the playground will get into tiffs, or not like the way someone else plays, or steal their toys.  our kids need to be taught how to handle these situations.  if we don't teach them, little girls (and boys) like this one will be at the playground and will teach for you.

ok now that I've vented a bit, am I overboard on this one?

a new kind of celebration

I just went to a memorial over the weekend; hubby's grandmother died in her sleep a couple of weeks ago.
there was no wake, no funeral, no body, no depressing atmosphere of a mortuary few people wore all black; I had never been to an event like this. instead, this outdoor event was catered with live music, tons of people, smiling faces; it was a celebration of her life.
there were many blown up photos lining the perimeter of the patio in chronological order; this woman was smart, beautiful, and did so much with her life. she was incredibly blessed and she touched the lives of many.
in all honesty, in her later years she was not so pleasant. she somehow became an angry old woman and didn't have many nice things to say ... to anyone. I've only known her since I've been married (8 years) so this is the side of her I got to know. she was a feisty old bat, but we loved her anyway!

my experiences with death and funerals are of sad people with lots of tears and lots of kleenex. but this time, these people seem to have a real understanding of death and be ok with it; of course the majority of people attending were elderly as well.  once you get to a certain age, you're just ready when God is. 
I guess I was expecting a bunch of secular/worldly people; sad, confused, and hopeless. I was pleasantly surprised to be around people who seemed to know that God is in control and even though grandma wasn't a christian, God was still involved ... whether everyone liked her or not.

Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies -
so, as Mama Gump says "death is just a part of life, it's something we're all destined to do."

everyone raise your glasses ... cheers to you Grandma.