September 18, 2018

I’m sure most of the country is already starting to feel the change that fall brings. Leaves changing colors, crisp evening air, the need for sweaters, etc. All things that definitely haven’t happened yet for sunny Southern California. We are the land and people that vacillates between a perpetual summer and spring. We do get some sort of winter cold too. Well, cold to us (cue eye rolls from other parts of the country). Right now though, it’s still summer. The intense heat waves of the summer haven’t made a reappearance, but the days are certainly still warm. I’m not even sure when fall will make its grand entrance (though technically, it happens on September 22nd), but we wait in anticipation for that change of season.

I feel like this is our life right now too. We are on the cusp of the change. For my big girls, who are (slowly) inching towards womanhood, I can see the slow gradual changes in them. They are teetering between being little girls and teens. There are still remnants of the little girl in them, but at the same time, there is a bit more defiance in them too. Glow’s babyhood is on the brink as well. There’s so much baby there, but so much of her own little person coming out. Soul, she’s been my steady gal of late, but even she is blooming in her own way. Then, there’s Ben and me, God’s definitely been doing a whirlwind of things in our hearts. All good things for sure, but it doesn’t come without some growing pains. My heart is settled into the change that is to come, not quite sure when it will makes its arrival, but I know that God’s been prepping me for it. God’s been prepping all of us. And while I’m savoring this particular season for as much as I can, I will usher in the change with open arms because I know my God is the one upholding my arms to do so.

Until then, we will drink the last bits of summer…


September 10, 2018

Memories are a funny thing. Like I have all these memories of my girls being born, first bath, first feeding, and all the baby firsts, but they won’t remember much of that. In fact, they don’t remember much of those first couple years. We’ve been cleaning and purging and I came across this tiny shirt. It was a shirt my parents got me when I was a baby, and they clearly left me for Vegas. My mom must have given it to me a long time ago, and I kept it, which is definitely a surprise to my parents because I am the tosser of everything. Well, to them at least. But for the record, I do save certain things. Like this shirt. I’m even thinking about framing it and hanging it somewhere. Because I’m all about eclectic and this fits the bill.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot of the girls’ younger years and all the memories I have of that.  I had all of them so close in age, so while the older 2 do remember Glow being born, they’ve pretty much only known life all together. They travel in a pack. Parents have this big bottle of memories from their children’s  infant and toddler years, but kids don’t ever remember much of that.

When I think back to what I think is my first memory, I remember swimming in the pool of our apartment complex with my parents and their friends and almost drowning. I didn’t know how to swim and I think I let go of the edge for a quick second, and panicked. I have other vague memories of waving goodbye to my dad as he left for work while we were living at the same apartment complex, but I don’t know if it’s a real memory or because I’ve been told that story. Also, I remember going to this particular park with my dad and I loved when we would ride these really big, bumpy slides. That might have started my love for rollercoasters! In all these stories, I was about 3 or 4 years old.

I’m thinking I’m going to have the girls write down the farthest back they can remember now. I’m so curious what they will classify as their first memory. Been feeling really sentimental lately with all the changes going on as the girls grow. So much of this season of motherhood is hard, but it’s also the best. I want to soak in all I can because you blink, and then they’re all grown up.

I’m curious, what do you think your first memory is?


September 5, 2018

I’m challenging myself to read a book weekly (or a 2 week period depending on the length) that will aid in fueling and refocusing my soul to love Christ more. I have yet to share about my time in Minneapolis this past June, but one of the blessings was coming home with a stack of books from Desiring God. Ben had put this particular book on my list of books to bring home, and while I didn’t know much about it, God knew I needed it (and so did Ben).

The book is called Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope, and it’s such an easy and quick read, a compilation of many different writers. I actually read most of it on my plane ride to Texas in July. Now, I’m definitely not a fearless mother, and I lose heart and hope, and especially my cool often. Ruby pre-kids was always optimistic and bubbly, and you’d never imagine that that young girl would have such a hard time mothering. I was always good with kids, teaching a kids Sunday school class since I was in 7th grade, then going on to study child and adolescent development and get my multiple subject credential to be a teacher, which led to teaching my own classroom of 30 kids. And then I had kids, and that same girl who was a natural with kids, was not a natural with her own kids. LOL

In a sermon recently, our pastor said something along the lines of “If you want to be anxious, then try to control things.” I let out a big internal laugh because that’s so me. I love my kids, and I have fun with them, but motherhood is not for the faint of heart. And I’ve mentioned it before, if you’re a control freak like me, it’s especially hard. Mothering definitely refines my selfish heart; it’s a constant dying to self. It reveals all my weak spots and reminds me how much I need to cling to Christ. Reading this book reminded me why it is I do what I do. Why we have 4 kids and didn’t just stop at 1. Children are such blessings and treasures!

In the book, Christine Hoover writes, “Let us choose to joyfully give of ourselves for our children. Everyday.” In another chapter, she says, “The home exists for Christ.” So many yes and amens to this. May God keep giving me a heart to live that out every single day. I’m certainly not mom enough, but Christ is enough, and that is what shapes my parenting.

Next book that’s coming up will be The Scars That Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Risner.


September 4, 2018

These girls have such a fun imagination. On Monday morning, I came downstairs and they said, “We’re playing improv!” They put together costumes to match characters, and then they put on “improv” show when my parents came over. The next room was turned upside down as they filled it with props to use for their acts. Their show even had sound effects done through walkie talkies from another room, so it was their own version of surround sound. Their improv was a murder mystery, and I’m not sure where they got the idea, but it was very cute. Their sound effects were quite clever and the costumes imaginative. While my girls are all quite reserved,  they do have a love for performing, especially the older 3. If you saw them perform, you’d never guess they are extremely shy in real life. I can’t wait to see when they play “improv” again!


August 28, 2018

Well, we had an earthquake, which freaked the girls out. Usually, the ones I’ve felt have occurred in the middle of the night and it wakes me up. Then, I strain to hear to see if any of the girls wake up and cry, but no one does, so I go back to sleep. They definitely felt tonight’s and the two younger ones did not want to leave the doorway. It’s cute, so I took a picture.

In other news, school started yesterday. It’s my 8th year of homeschooling (8!!!) and I can’t believe we’re still going strong. There were so many times before that I wanted to throw in the towel, but last year was our best year ever. We did that math curriculum switch and it has done wonders for our relationships in this home. LOL

While Monday’s schooling went well, the afternoon… not so much. The girls were bickering about the stupidest things (and when I use the stupid word, they get all more up in arms) and it wouldn’t let up. We were on our way to do errands and they wouldn’t stop, so we turned around and went home. I went straight to my room, locked the door, came out to make dinner, but pretty much steered clear for the rest of the day. My heart was in a pretty rotten place and while I was trying to fight to remember Sunday’s sermon of “How to be Happy” based on Matthew 5:1-11 to be 1) poor in spirit, 2) mourn your sin regularly, 3) humble yourself, and 4) desire righteousness. Yeah, flesh won over spirit. Self over selflessness. I was pretty miserable, but content to be miserable, which is so dumb because I’m only hurting myself and preventing my joy in the Lord. That terrible attitude carried into Tuesday, but eventually God somehow softened my heart (cause I wasn’t about to do it) and I had the girls tell me how I was messing up. It’s not an easy thing to have your kids correct you, but necessary because I’ll need correcting forever, and I want my girls to feel comfortable enough to do it. Then, I asked for forgiveness for not having a happy heart and being generally angry all day. Forgiveness is extra sweet with kids because after it’s like nothing ever happened.

So to get back in the groove of writing here, this was our week so far… the start of a new school year. And hello to those still hanging in there after the radio silence this summer. There’s a reason for that and I will share soon enough! God throws curveballs sometimes and we’re rolling with it.


July 25, 2018

It’s our 12th trip to the OC Fair and we were only there for barely two hours because we go to use the photo booth, take advantage of the read and ride program (they do book reports for two book and get 3 rides for free, per kids), and then we take off. We aren’t into the fair food and didn’t stick around to watch any shows, but we made sure to say hi to our friend at the photo booth. Half the photo booths are now digital, and she told us there are only a couple years left on the film booths. WAHHHH! I’m not sure what we’re gonna do once the film dies out. Do we keep going to continue the tradition or does the tradition die when the photo booths do? What do you think?

Here are some things I noticed about this newest family photo versus the previous years…

Ben and I broke the denim streak. I wore overalls because admission is free if you wear overalls on Thursdays.

Ben’s shirt is similar to 2008. His style is consistent.

I’m wearing a hat again.

Soul’s wearing the same dress as last year.

The baby kid, Glow, is always standing next to me.

I’m still always standing to the left of Ben.

Ben’s hair is so long that he has to wear a man bun. I don’t think he’s had a haircut for over a year.

Basket in my left hand again.

Glow’s got the same cute little bob she always gets for summer.

Anything stand out to you regarding this year’s photo? Read last year’s comparison’s here. I wonder what next year’s will look like.

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