Monday, September 28, 2009


My Blogosphere (and Facebook) friend who I met through our Blogs, and have come to love, lives in the Philippines. She writes Beautiful poetry. And I love hearing about her life there.

I'm sure you all know about the Typhoon, and flooding that is devastating that area right now. I heard on the Today show this morning that 140 people there are dead already. Their Flood gates are broken and another typhoon is on it's way.

Please join me in praying for her, her family and the country. Thank you all so much.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autum

Last night John and I went to a Hawaiian Wedding. A Friend I knew from taking Hula classes together got married. It was fun to see all my Hula sisters again. Some of them performed at the reception. I love all things Hawaiian and Hula! (I think I was born in the wrong state! The stork must have been too tired to fly all the way to Hawaii, so stopped in Arizona. :) I should be near the beach not in the dessert!) Anyway, it made me miss doing Hula. It's just so beautiful and fun.

Some of the Hula Dancers

I told John, dressing Hawaiian, and seeing Hula again, that this is our Aloha to Summer! It was an outdoor wedding and 107 degrees, in late September! But, that is Arizona.

We lived in Michigan for over 8 years. And came to love the Fall, we had never experienced before in Arizona. The Beautiful color the leaves turn, the cooler weather, the smell in the air of leaves burning. It was such a fun time of year. Visiting the Pumpkin Patch, and picking our own pumpkins to carve and bake the seeds. Eating warm cinnamon doughnuts with hot apple cider! And most of all, fall is the anticipation of Christmas! (The one thing I love even more than the Hawaiian culture)

I know this one is a little blurry, but I wanted you to see my dress!

This got me thinking about seasons. We always want to be in a season we're not yet in. In the middle of winter, we can't wait till Spring and summer, when the sun will shine again! In the heat of the summer, we long for the cooler day's of Autumn when we can get out our sweaters and boots, etc.

The Hula Dancers performing for the Bride and Groom

It's the same with Parenting. When our baby is born, we can't wait till they say their first word, or start walking. We think how much fun it would be to watch our kids play sports, if they were just a little older. Then once they start school, we wish they were younger again. And long for the days we could hold our babies once again. We're never satisfied with the season we are in. Weather it's in life, or a phase our kids are going through. We're always looking forward to the future, or back to the past.

Sometimes we just need a reminder, to slow down and enjoy the season we are in. Enjoy our kids at the age they are now, instead of always anticipating the next stage, or wishing for the past one.
There is Fun and Joy (and yes, challenges) in every season of the year, and in every stage of life our kids go through, enjoy each one, before it's gone, and we're on to the next season.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Gift To You

The company of the store I manage, Shade Clothing,
is having a Friends and Family event this weekend.
And I'm so excited that they let me include you, my readers.
After all I view you as my Friends and Family!

If you are not near my store in Arizona (or one in Utah)
you can use this discount on line as well
at: It gives you 30% off your entire purchase.
Including sale items! That is a great deal!

I would love it if someone came into my store and told me:
"I got this coupon from your Blog!"
We have a lot of new Fall Line out, and tons of great sale prices too.

If your in the Phoenix area, my store is in the San Tan Village Mall in Gilbert.
Off of the 202 and Williams Field Rd.
(or Williams Field and Greenfield Rd.,
which is now called San Tan Village Parkway)

Print out the coupon, and come and see me this weekend.
(Thursday through Saturday)

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thyroid Disease

A lot of people don't know this about me but for about 15 years now I've been taking Thyroid medication, and I will continue to do so everyday for the rest of my life. It all started when some friends of mine and I decided to start working out. I had given birth to my second child, and was ready to loose that baby weight. But, for the first time I couldn't loose the weight. Even with dieting and exercise.

Then I started to notice my heart wasn't beating in it's regular pattern. At night I would tell John, I feel like my hearts not beating right and he would put his hand on my pulse and he could feel it skipping beats, and then pounding really hard. (and I was lying still) And having heart disease in my family, we made a Doctor's appointment.

They ran tests, and I wore a heart monitor for a while, but my heart muscle was fine. (Thankfully) So, they wanted to check out my Thyroid. The Thyroid is a small gland in the front of the throat, that looks like a bow tie!

The test showed slightly elevated numbers, and what looked like a growth. I had an Ultra sound on my throat and then a biopsy with them sticking 6 needles into my neck. With the conclusion that I had Thyroid Cancer. This was a very scary time for us with two small children to raise.

I went to the University of Michigan to have my Thyroid removed, because a doctor there specialized in removing the entire gland. Usually they leave the part that is attached to the vocal cords because that is hard to take out without complications, like loosing your voice permanently. But, because mine was cancerous, they wanted the entire thing removed. And anyone who knows me, knows I talk a lot! Thankfully my vocal cords were not damaged!

Now, for being such a small gland, the Thyroid does a lot! It regulates your heart beat, produces energy for your body, regulates your metabolism. Without it, among other things, your hair falls out, (it's a good thing I have so much hair, because I've lost more than most people have!) it effects milk production (which I found out a couple of years latter when I was trying to nurse newborn twins to no avail!) It basically keeps your body running. With out a Thyroid my body has no physical way of creating energy. So, my little pill I take everyday for life just gives me what my Thyroid should. I have to have a chemical way of producing energy, or I would literally be a blob.

I had surgery, leaving me with a cool scar in the front of my neck. I used to love to tell people who asked about it that I had had my throat slit in a gang fight, or something exciting like that! (And that they should have seen the other person! haha) But, for some reason no one believed me. But, now I have to point out the scar when telling someone about it, and they still can't even really see it anymore. I also had to have a treatment of radiation after the surgery, to ensure all the cancer was gone.

During this time I found out that three of my Aunts (my dad's sisters) had had Thyroid disease. One of them was cancer as well. It is very hereditary. And this is the whole point of my post today. You see, tomorrow, Monday Sept. 21st my Mom is having surgery to have her Thyroid removed. They have been watching it for years on her, and finally have decided to remove it. So, I'd like to ask you to pray for her. She has had a lot of health problems this year, this is just one of them. But I'm living proof you can live a productive life with Thyroid Disease. Thank you so much for the prayers.

(Mom, with my Dad a few years ago)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Boys To Men

This is our young family, back when we thought we were done having kids with 2. (The twin girls came a few years latter and were quite the surprise!) Back then I lived in a boy's world: I prided myself in the fact that I knew all the names of all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Power Rangers, and which colors went with who. We went through a professional wrestling stage, and I had to learn who they were. Professional Sports teams and players, then Nascar Drivers. (I was so excited when I found out I was having girls, and thought to myself "I finally get to shop in the Barbie isle!")

There's just something about little boys and their mothers. (I guess it's the same for little girls and their daddy's.) But, this week I learned something, that little Boys grow up to be men. It's a sad fact of life. And it became all too clear to me one day this week . . . My oldest son started college. College! I can not be old enough to have a child in college! Kyle is going to Western Bible College. It is a local Assemblies of God college right here in Phoenix. He wants to be a Youth Pastor.

Kyle's first day of Preschool, and first day of College.

And on the very same day Kyle started college, Zach made an appointment to meet with a Marine recruiter. AHHHH! Zach is a senior in high school this year, so he is now looking into what he wants to do for college. He wants to be a Music Pastor. But, Zach loves school and loves to learn and wants to also study things like History, and get a degree he can use if he's ever not employed at a Church. And he wants someone else to pay for it! (or at least help pay for his education)

Well, the Marines have a program called the Musician Enlistment Option Program. Zach would have to audition on Guitar to be in the Marine Corp Jazz Band. He would still be a Marine, and go through boot camp, etc., then they would send him to the Armed Forces School of Music. And after that he would be stationed at one of 12 bases that have bands. These bands play for all the ceremony's, inaugurations, etc. And during his active duty and after, the Marine Corp would help pay for his college. The recruiter told me that the bands never get called up to the front lines, but this is still very scary for a mom to think of her little boy joining the Marines. Especially during times of war.

Zach will be looking into other options for college as well. I just wish we could go back in time. This is one of my favorite pictures of me and Zach. At Sea World, learning about Starfish. To think of him out there in the "real world" is just a little too scary! Maybe I could somehow sabotage his homework, so he would fail his Senior year, and not go anywhere!

Me and my Men!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Over The River And Through The Woods . . .

My "City Girls" heading out to the Country!
(Lexi's watching Twilight on her Ipod, and Erica is engrossed in a book)

But look at what we found when we got there!

Yes, I survived another weekend out doors!
Camping twice in one year, can you believe it?!

Love birds on a Bridge!

And look what we found:
those children's books I used to read my kids were true.
There are Trolls under the bridge!

We had a down pour and a flash flood that same day,
that is the bridge Kyle and Zach were standing under earlier that day,
it now has water up to the bridge!

This time Camping was different.
It was a family reunion with my husbands family.

John with some of the fam. playing "Farkle!"

We got an impromptu song and dance number! :)
(Heather, Jamie, and John's sister Marti)

We went to a state park. Dead Horse Ranch. In Cottonwood, Arizona.

The Boys showing off what they've learned from 'Man-vs-Wild'

We stayed in Cabins. It was actually pretty nice.
Those of us who live in the desert, get excited when we get storms!
And boy, did we get a storm.

Trying to cook in the down pour!

Hail in Arizona!

The Fire pit was surrounded by ankle deep water after the rain.
Everyone told Kyle there's no way he could start a fire in that.

He did!
Remember, his Mother never taught him he shouldn't play with fire!

John's Parents, two of his sisters,
many Nieces, Nephews and their families came.
From four different states.

Me, John's Sister Pat, and his nieces Heather and Jamie!

John, his nephew Brian, Zach and Kyle.

We had a total of 36 people there. (And 4 Dogs!)

Father and sons!

Me with Lyssa, shes married to John's nieces stepson.
We met for the first time on Thanksgiving.
We discovered we're both Bloggers, and struck up a friendship.
I'm glad she's part of the family.
(Though we did discover that I'm older than her Mother. Ouch!)

It was a nice get away, and fun to be all together.

Dad and Mom!

The Gang!
(This was after 8 people had already left though!)

Good Times, Great Memories!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Next, Next Generation Of Worship Leaders

You remember I did a post of how the boys (and the youth band) helped lead Worship in Church. Well, not to be outdone by their brothers, now it's the girls turn! Erica and Lexi have been on the Praise Dance team in Kids Church where they dance and do the motions to the songs up on stage. And they recently decided to have kids do the singing as well, so they held auditions. Erica wanted to audition, she loves to sing, and she made it, and Lexi chose to stay on the dance team.

This past Sunday was Erica's first time to sing in front of all the kids. So, she asked if I would come in to kids church and see her. So I did. And when John was done with Worship in the other building (Big Church) he came over too and was able to see the girls following in his footsteps and helping to lead others in Worship. It was so much fun to see them in a place of leadership among their peers. Oh, to have that much energy again.
Great job Erica and Lexi! I'm so proud of you both.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Raising P.K.'s

This weekend my boys are gone, they are at P.K. Retreat. They look forward to it every year. If you are wondering what a P.K. is, allow me to let you into our world; P.K. stands for Pastor's Kid. The Assemblies of God here in Arizona, take all the Pastor's Kids, and Missionary Kids in Jr. High and High School on a retreat over Labor Day Weekend. (The girls can't wait till next year when they get to start going.) They Love on these kids, and spoil them, they talk about issues that are unique to their situation. You see, P.K.'s can have a bad reputation in the Church world. They are thought to be the bad kids, the rebellious kids, the trouble makers.

One of the Blogs I follow is Clutch, a Blog for Pastor's Wives. And they recently did a post about a study of why so many P.K.'s end up not going to Church as adults, and turning away from their Faith. I think it is one of the best posts they have done. I mean after all we are raising 4 P.K.'s, I'm very interested in this. And I must say, I was relieved as I read it, that at least we are doing some things right! Isn't that what we all as parents worry about? I think all Christian parents can benefit from this study.

Some of the things this study pointed out as being the major causes of attrition for these kids is Legalism, a lack of relationality in the family, and for the clergy parents to hold their own children to a higher behavioral standard. I think I am in no way legalistic, and try to be very relational. As far as the behavioral thing goes, I remember when Kyle was little, and a particular Sunday School teacher he had. (Side note here: if there is ever an issue with one of my kids and a teacher, it is always Kyle! He has that kind of personality that a teacher either loves or can't stand, there is no in between. I learned this at a very early age with him. Thankfully most of his teachers would tell me things like "I just love Kyle, he adds so much to classroom discussion, he's such a fun child to have around," etc. or on the other hand, if there was a personality conflict with the teacher, I would get "Kyle talks too much, and out of turn, draws too much attention to himself," etc., there was never an in between for Kyle with teachers)

Sorry, now back to my story; there was a teacher Kyle had at Church when he was little, (who also had a son the same age and in the same class as well, I think there was a little competition thing going on too.) But I knew that without a doubt, every single Sunday when I went to pick Kyle up from his class that this teacher would tell me something wrong he had done in class, or how badly he had behaved. Every single week! It could be everything from he talked too much, or didn't share something, or didn't give the other kids a chance to answer a question, It was always something. Until one time, as she was telling me whatever it was that my son had done wrong in class that day, she made the mistake of saying "And he should know better, being a Pastor's kid!"

Now, if you know me at all, you would know that I am not a confrontational person at all. I am an easy going, happy go lucky person that let's most things roll right off my back. But, when she said to me that my little boy should know better, and behave differently, because he is a Pastor's kid, I (still very gently and politely, yet firmly) let her know that, yes his father is a Pastor, but, Kyle isn't. He is just a little boy, like every other boy that age in that class. And it isn't fair to treat him any differently, or hold him to a different standard simply because of what line of work his father is in. And you know what? After that, I never again had to worry about her telling me all the things Kyle had done wrong in class. I think she realized that she was treating him unfairly. We've also had to remind other, teachers and those in leadership positions in some of the Churches we've been in at times, that Pastor's kids are still just kids! Let them be kids.

This study also pointed out that Pastor's with the highest retention rate of adult children provided positive and fun family experiences, and were close enough to talk about anything, and allowed children and teens the freedom to develop their own faith experience. In our family, we have always talked about things openly and honestly with our kids. The good, the bad, and the ugly of Church life. Now, we don't tell them every little detail of everything that happens in the Church, for instance, every person that complains that daddy's music is too loud, etc. ;) But, kids know a lot more than we give them credit for, and they know when something isn't right, or when their parents are upset. And though we tell them what's going on, we make it a point never to badmouth anyone, no matter how badly they have hurt us, or how angry we might be at them. And we all know that people can be very hurtful.

And we have instilled in our Children, I think since infancy, that even though we can talk freely in our home about everything, what they hear in regards to the Church, is not to be talked about outside of our home. And we have never had an issue. There have even been times when maybe a staff person was resigning, or something big was being announced in Church and afterwords, friends of my boys would come up to them and ask them, "why didn't you tell me that was happening?" And they would just say "I wasn't allowed to." No questions.

I think it's the parents that try to hide everything from their kids that have problems. Like I said, kids know when something is going on. And though they do not need to know all the details, and it does need to be age appropriate, I always feel, it's better to be honest with them. Families are there for each other, in the good times and in the difficult times. And there are difficult times as Pastors, but there are really great times too. And we wouldn't trade our life for anything, but, at the same time we wouldn't ever want our vocation to be detrimental to our children. They are our first priority.

For the most part, our kids love being Pastor's kids. Especially when they get to go on a retreat with other Pastor's kids, and get special treatment, instead of being the ones who are always doing for everyone else, you know, always at Church early and staying late, setting up, tearing down, planning, operating, doing, working, helping, the list could go on and on. Or when they have to share their parents with everyone one else in the Church. We try to always make sure we have family time, and do things together. We also try to appreciate our kids, and even reward them when they do things at the Church, not just expect them to do it because of who their dad is. And hopefully we are not turning them off to the Church and to the things of God, but instilling in them the deep love we have for God and for all people. I guess only time will tell. If you are still reading this when my kids are adults, I'll let you know how it turned out. :)

(When we moved into this house about 7 years ago,
the kids climbed into our built in wall unit)
My P.K.'s from top left, clockwise: Erica, Lexi, Kyle and Zach

In the mean time I would love to hear your input on any of these issues. And If you are a P.K. I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say. And thank you to Clutch, for letting me share this information with my readers.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hey, I Want Off This Ride!

At times, being the parent of Pre-Teens can feel like a Roller Coaster Ride! It's a lot of fun! There are highs and lows involved, twists and turns. You never know what's coming around the next corner. It might just throw you for a loop! It's just as exciting for me watching my little girls coming into their own, and growing into the women they will become. But, in order to get there, first they will have to become teenagers! ACHHH!

It is so much fun for me watching them relate to their friends. And seeing things like friends and fashion becoming more important in their world! And remembering how me and my friends were at that age. (Yikes!) Well, this past week my girls had another "first", it started when some of the girls received gift cards to a frozen yogurt place for helping on a special night in the girls club at Church. So, they all got together and talked one of the mom's into taking them out for yogurt right then. I didn't know if I should thank that mom, or yell "sucker!" as she drove out of the Church parking lot with 5 girls ages 11-13 in tow! (I think I did both!) :) (But seriously, I really do appreciate you Michele, for what you mean in my girls' lives, and in mine) And being the Mommy Blogger that I am, I had to capture the moment of the first time my little girls were going out with their friends alone. But, to my dismay realized I didn't have my camera with me as I usually do. So, I made John take a picture on his iPhone to commemorate the moment.

The Gang: L to R: Linzey, Erica, Isabeau, Lexi, and Cailin

Oh, but did I mention that I HATE ROLLER COASTERS?! And that I GET MOTION SICKNESS just driving in a car or riding on a plane?! John and my kids all love Roller Coasters, and for a long time I would tell people, the true reason I kept having kids was so that I could stay on the kiddy rides longer! When we lived in Michigan, every summer we would go to Cedar Point in Ohio, the greatest theme park in the world. It has tons of huge Roller Coasters and a lot of smaller rides for the younger set, or faint of heart, like me. And to give you more insight into myself, my all time favorite ride anywhere is It's A Small World in the Disney parks.

So, even though I really am LOVING this new stage my girls are in. And they really are at a fun age right now, but, I honestly think EVERY stage is so much fun. I'm enjoying seeing them grow up, and develop their groups of friends, and figure out what their tastes are. There is a small part of me that wants to go back in time, get back on those kiddy rides, and just keep going around and around, and stay there. But, I can't, I've got to be a big girl! I have to be brave and look up at that ominous Roller Coaster, and say "I can do this, it's gonna be fun!" Then climb on board and hang on tight for the ride of my life!

Lexi and Erica, long before getting on this ride!