I was reading Parenting magazine today and realized, I no longer like to read it.

But what I noticed is that the whole magazine is geared towards mommies with babies, obviously, but the majority of what I read was fear based. It seems to target first time mommies who are paranoid about everything. In my opinion, it would make it worse than relieve worry. Yes it answers questions, but only after bringing up every what-if scenario, every possible diagnosis, along on how to buy super trendy & totally not needed baby items.

Here's one example for you -
a cardboard box selling for $50. check it out here. it is cute and I see where they're going with it, but really, it's a box. you can get a box anywhere. in fact here's a tip, go to your local appliance store and ask for a box. those boxes are huge! make your own.

a couple good things though ... if you shop these stores.
The Children's Place, 15% off, online code: PARENTINGA9
Gymboree, 20% off, online code: 1101TTKNBV82491
Diapers.com, $10 off, online code: PTGMAR2010

also, it was good to see an Avon fragrance featured as a new smell for mommy. They featured Ungaro Fever, check it out here. and I have to mention, a portion of any order from my online store will be donated to Avon's Walk for Breast Cancer. or if you'd like to donate directly, do so here.

where do you get your parenting advice?

the waiting room

what do you do when you're not called to go? and not called to stay?
you're suppose to wait on the Lord. ok, I agree with that.
but how long does one wait?

my simple answer would be "indefinitely." however long God wants you to wait. a season being a day, a week, a month, or years.
and of course when applying it to MY life, my answer changes a bit. you see, I have been asking & wondering & praying for years about who I am, what am I to do ... simply, my ultimate purpose for God.

I have come to terms with life I have now; it was somewhat of a struggle for a time. as in, the husband God made me for, the kids God blessed us with, certain relationships, and the rest of life is seemingly circumstantial. and we all know circumstances are always changing, usually out of our control, so my daily goal is not to worry about that stuff. let tomorrow worry about itself, Matthew chapter 6.

I have never been called to a specific church, to do mission work, to use my God-given talent ... because I don't believe I have one that is THAT apparent, and as much as I may have wanted, I've never been called to stay in one particular place. I guess that's why I married the guy I did, because he doesn't have that either.
the one thing he does have, is a gift that is obvious to everyone who meets him. he's a people person - sales, counseling/teaching, marketing, leadership. he's gifted without trying. and for the last few years, after finally acknowledging this, he's been focusing on how to use this to better himself and those around him for God. as a christian businessman, you start and finish with honesty.

I'm getting away from ... my point? no, my vent.

so anyway, with all that, it fits to into the perspective to do things while looking for God's red flag. doesn't it? now I not saying that because it's convenient and easy for latest decision on moving, but in consideration of our current circumstances (without worrying about them) we aren't/don't get the direct answers we're wanting ... or we're still doing something wrong.

yes, we're in the word.
yes, we listen to worship music.
yes, we pray.
we position ourselves the best way we know how to taste, hear, and see.

what's the verse that says -
when you get to heaven, you will see/know all things as He does
obviously not verbatim. I probably should know the verse, because I really do like this one. it's one I envision, and I like the image I get. standing with God, and Him explaining everything I don't understand, as we look down on the world together. just talking with His undivided attention. can't wait for that.


a few favorite pictures from our trip. I think most of my regular readers are also with me on facebook; that's where you'll see more. enjoy.
it was definitely fun, stress-free, and even with the yucky weather, it was beautiful!

to Laura & Steve, thanks for your comments. it is interesting, isn't it?

for me, I am waiting on some kind of confirmation. one of those things that you can never know how it will be delivered, but once it is, you know it. I've always been a "glass is 1/2 empty" type, so I'm much more pessimistic and honestly, kind of a downer sometimes. for Matthew, he waits for a red flag. a confirmation NOT to go.

I do admire the day-by-day mentality, because tomorrow is not promised.

I believe that when you can see a pattern in your life, it's God trying to get through to you. in our case the pattern is apparent, but we're still missing the point. God has our attention ... now what? wait.
believe me, this is our ongoing conversation to try and figure it out. daily. it's kind of annoying.

does a pattern always have to be negative? what if God is preparing us for something bigger? we're definitely not the same people we were in CA, and look at how much change has come from these new environments. there has been tons of change in us, and I can't say I would even want to be that same person I was back then. I know I can safely say Matthew feels the same on that.
now would change still come without all this commotion? yes, but not sure if it would happen to the same degree. God can obviously bring change to anyone, anytime, anywhere, but He chooses to bring it in different forms, no? in a way we can hear Him, see His kingdom, and see where we fit into it.

what is amazing to me is that with all this change, all this moving, God has always created a way. for example, a job for Matt. not just any job, a job that pays well enough for me to continue to stay home with the boys, allowing me to do homeschool with Sam, and to be with Elliott. food in the fridge. roof over our heads, again, not just any roof, a house in good neighborhoods. not some little apartment with smaller utility bills and in a sketchy area. also something to note, our kids sleep good at night. they don't appear to be stressed, they are not continually [physically] sick, not stressed out, or depressed at all. in fact, Sam is behind in age but excelling in kindergarten. there is no evidence of worry or burdens on them.

our goal is to be stable and prosper spiritually, nothing else. having this mentality while this business is downsizing and looking like it might be the end, is flat out frustrating. knowing you have the right heart, with the right intention, and it still fails, is very discouraging.

it's a good thing Matthew and I are opposites. we were totally brought together to bring balance to each other, because when we're together we become the perfect person. :) that's how I like to think of it anyway!
if I was just like him, God only knows what kind of trouble we'd be in.
if he was just like me, we would probably be so boring, never going anywhere or doing anything.

God has a plan, and thankfully, it's bigger than what we see. we'd just screw it up!

around the world

aloha! back from Hawaii ... and of course missing it. hubby and I had a fun trip; we opted to play the way we wanted, instead the way kids would want. we did mostly touristy stuff, but it was still fun. we are the type of people to visit somewhere and do what they do, more to learn the culture then to just do stuff we can do at home. we tried to not be the typical tourist anyway, but it's hard not to take lots of pictures when you've never been there before.
I highly recommend every couple take a trip without kids! it did feel like we were dating again, going to do whatever, whenever. it was great.
our youngest is close to 2 years, so he was good to hang with gramma for the week. actually they both did great; I don't think the boys missed us too much.

if you know my husband, you know he's always thinking. before we got on the plane to come home, he's thinking and researching the cost of living in Hawaii, what he would do for work, where we would live ... "hypothetically" of course. :)

but let me just say how funny life works out the way it does, or rather, how God sets you up. let me explain - as it is here in CO, this business is somewhat fizzling out. not a complete failure (as past endevors have been) there are still some options, but nothing concrete. of course we need money to live, so something has to work out, right? he's doing what he does because it's a job, not because he loves it and is making it his life. being the entrepenuer he is, he always has ideas and there is never one that stands out.
as it sits, we cannot stay where we are. it was a mistake. to me, a big mistake because I seriously hate to move. I don't take it lightly at all, and I lose sleep over it. you'd think the amount of times we've moved, that I would be used to it, or not mind it at all, but on the contrary. I hate it. I hate it more now that we have kids. I don't know what it's suppose to be like for them; I moved only once as a kid when I was 9. but on the other hand I know that as long as we're together, focused on what God has for us, then the rest doesn't matter.
Since we've been married -
we started out in Mission Viejo, CA where we met
moved to San Clemente, CA because it was cheaper
moved to Newport Beach, CA because it was closer to his work at the car dealership and closer to my school for interior design
moved to NorCal in Portola, CA for a ministry his parents were starting
ministry fell through and since we were attending college in Reno, NV, we moved there
being full time students, we moved again to be much closer to the university in Reno, NV
I became pregnant with Samuel and out of the blue, we were contacted from a long-lost family member on Matt's side. his mother was heir to a piece of property back in Oroville, CA. she has been dead for sometime, so Matt was the next heir to it. it was free, and with a new baby coming, we couldn't say no.
here is where we starting having major marital problems. he stayed in Oroville, CA and I moved to Chico, CA. then he moved to Chico and we got back together. didn't work, so I moved out again in Chico. then we got back together for good, and so I moved into his Chico place.
are you following me? I'm not done yet.
real estate market crashed, so no more work. an opportunity presented itself back in SoCal with a friend, so off we went to Corona, CA. by this time, I was pregnant with Elliott.
this opportunity also crashed and burned, so with no money we had to lean on his parents and that means off to Colorado Springs, CO. lived with them until we got set up, finally got our own place, work fell through again, so back to his parents basement. his parents moved back to NorCal themselves, so we had to find something. God made a way and we moved to this house in Divide, CO. and here we are now, having to do it again.

we have been talking and researching areas to go to be "off the grid." we (when I say we, I mean Matthew. me too, but it doesn't bother me near as much.) do not want to be governed as much as the world has to be today. so many rules & regulations. so many stupid covenants. everywhere you turn there is something, so we want out. ideally we'd like to be more self sustaining, which means living more off the land. living in a home we've built, possibly an earthship. not being dependent on the government for anything, using solar energy for our electricity, having a well for water, having animals & gardens for food. a modern farm, if you will.
we were originally thinking Montana or Wyoming, but after visiting Hawaii we realize how much easier it would be to do what we want there. going north will have harsh winters, which we're discovering we aren't in love with the cold, plus the growing season is SO much shorter. we are not skiers or snowboarders, so winter is a hibernation period for us. boredom hits quickly, not to mention, it's so easy to gain weight since we're not doing much.
Oahu is the #1 tourist spot, as well as, 80% of Hawaii's residents live there. so if just the remaining 20% is spread throughout the other islands, that is much more suitable for us. Oahu was just like SoCal, traffic and all. we have a friend living on Kauai; he tells us Kauai is more for farming, more isolated and rural. for us, the Big Island would probably be best. there are still plenty of jobs but also remote areas for farming. lots of research yet to do.

we are realizing that work is just work, it's a way to make money. we're still waiting on God to really show us what we are to do, not just with this move, but overall in this life. yes we are a walking ministry, but we both seem to know that a focus is yet to come, like help feed the homeless, get heavily involved with a church, or whatever. waiting on God, just waiting. :) easier said than done.

I'm convinced that we need some kind of confirmation before doing this. a word from God in some way, shape, or form. I don't to get stuck in "the grass is always greener" mentality. we have to have more of a reason to do this than just wanting to do this.
of course I love the idea living there. to go snorkeling everyday with the kids, swimming with the fish & sea turtles ... which by the way I saw one while we were there; sooooo cool! if I'm doing homeschooling, then who cares where we're at. what an experience for us all, right?!

long post, sorry, I had to get this off my chest. pics to come soon.
leave me a comment and tell me what you think.
what you REALLY think, because considering our track record, we appear a bit crazy. but I also know, that to the world believers are crazy, so I can't rely on that aspect so much.
I am a big believer that actions speak louder than words and for whatever reason, we are in a season of discovering where we want to be, but more importantly, trying to discover where God wants us. with all our moves, there was always a good reason. this time we need God's reason. please pray for us, we need some clarity on this one!!