Sunday, December 9, 2012

Not the Norm

Around here, we are know for being against the flow, not the norm. So naturally  our 15 year anniversary celebration was spent a tad differently.   I would not have had it any other way. Hang on, I just had a vision of being on the streets of Venice ordering a macchiato. However, I didn't have $6987659 at the moment and so we had to go with plan B. Take two nights in Seattle, go Christmas shopping, attend the company's Christmas Party and just have some time together. Sound's good.  Then we went to church one Sunday and after hearing the message about finances,goals, and preparation,  we both looked at each other and realized we needed some shift change in our lives.   That's when we created plan  C.   Scratch the hotel, scratch the shopping. Have a mini stay-cation at home and we went a little further and decided to make it a missional weekend. 
     On Friday afternoon the kids bags were packed and neighbors/friends/family took on the kids for the weekend. We went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant. La Tarasca.
      Took a stop at Chiefs cousins tattoo shop. (He will give you a deal if you mention on) He is truly gifted. Tell Josh we sent ya. 
This is where the "missional" part comes in. We turned in early at our home. Poured wine, got our bibles out, put some praise on and began to pray. Bible and wine does mix mkay...mkay. 
We prayed about a Mission statement for the coming year. Don't be impressed at all. We usually do our yearly resolutions  and do great till about February 8th or something like that. We have written goals down before. Last year we prayed for a word for this year.  This time we wanted to feel more specific, more purposeful.

     We prayed about goals we wanted to meet this coming year for our family, for our marriage,in our relationships, in our finances, in our community.  
    We came up with our verse of the year. My very favorite moment, okay... first do you know how much I love this man?  I do. 
 I digress. So favorite moment.  We prayed over each one of our kids, we prayed over the next year. That the Lord would allow us to see them as He does. That there would be an abundance of Grace and specially we prayed that we would get a word for each child. We listened and got some sweet scripture for them.  Thinking of printing these out and framing them and setting a time where we call them into a room one by one pray over them and give them there verse. Not sure. Truly this is the first time we are doing this. 

    Did some sight seeing in Tacoma, (had free passes to the glass museum.) Walked holding my husbands hands without the 1,2,3 wee swinging that the little's loved to do.  Laughed a ton. 

What does a mom of 5 do in the middle of the day with no kids. You better believe it sister, I slept a bit too.

                Went to company dinner party at EMP in Seattle. It was fancy fancy. 

  Meet Chiefs work wife (its a dude, but they are always on the phone or texting!) and his real in life wife. We both meet our spouses in YWAM,  both Love the Lord, had so much in common and could not stop stop talking. Followed them home where they feed us nachos and entertained us with more laughs. Naturally they are our new Best friends. 

                There you have it Folks, a very frugal (we didn't spend more than  $70) very missional and very refreshing weekend...oh and we found best friends. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

To my 18 year old self on the morning of your 1st day married.

I married my YWAM (youth with a Mission) sweetheart at 18.   People, that's 8 years after my tenth birthday! He was 21. Good Lord.
        On the 29th of November we celebrated 15 years.  15!
Its been a crazy, rough, lovely, beautiful, sorrowful, and  blessed 15.
 If I could go back, I would write a letter that I would read to myself the morning after I took the vows. 15 very important things. If I know Nat, I know she would roll her eyes at me. She was  is a feisty one.
  If I could have told you last week, to wait a bit longer and I knew you would listen I would tell you wait. You know how people were calling you two "babies" you are!  Its a done deal now kitten so listen up. 
    1. You brought a ton of crap with you. At 18 you had a past of hurt, and brokenness. Things happened to you that you had no control over. You are not over it. It has deeply pained you. It will be the root of many of your issues that arise in the next 15 years of your marriage.  Seek counseling right away do not wait for the issues to arise. 

2.  The man you married can not fill your hurt and holes. You will expect him to, he will let you down every single time and its not even his job to do.  One person can fill that need one person can heal and you know its not the one sleeping next you. Its the power of a cross and a redeemer. Do not confuse these two.

3. Do not try to be someone else. Find your own person and wife to be.  Oh and the Proverbs 31 woman does not exist  You are going to struggle to be her. You will feel like a failure because you are seeing it as a to do list. Look at that scripture as a blessing over you. Not as a litmus test. 

4.  Take this time to go to school. Really you can do it. You are smarter that you think you are. 

5. Wait on babies, they are super hard work and change your body and your brain. Wait. 

6. That boy next to you needs your help to become a man. Let him make mistakes with our your voice to correct him. Love him by keeping the critical mouth shut.

7. Money: Save it. Spend less than you not buy house's you can not afford. Never ever take  dept on a card ..EVER.

8. Laugh more. Its the medicine that will help you through many of life pains and sorrows. 
9. Those love letters get less and less that does not mean the love gets less and less.  So maybe you exchange letters a few times a year...and maybe those notes come via text. BUT...the love is still vast and beautiful. Also he sees love through clean dishes not through the poem you wrote. I know... your totally the opposite. Love languages a good read.

10. You will suffer some losses. It will hit you harder than your knees will be able to handle. You will buckle. You will ache with a sadness you will want to sleep and not wake.  You will be tested through them. You will feel like you failed that test. You will walk out of it a different person. You will find gratitude for the pain.  You will.

11. YOU are a basket case and you are jacked up. Be honest about that. If people can not handle this about you, do not be friends. Easy and simple. Some may have a hard time with your personality.  Sometimes its not about you to begin with. Do not engage in the whys.  Forgive seek forgiveness move on.

12. One day you will wake the boy next to you will be a man. He will hold things on his shoulder that will stress him out more than you . You can not understand the way he he feels.  Pray for him here.

13. Ease his heart, His maker and creator and Father loves him to no end. There is no condition on that love and you never place that on him. Love him, sacrificially, love him selflessly. Cover him every single day in prayer. Armor him with Grace. Secure his heart always. He is loyal and loving and safe.

13. You will fall in love with him over and over BUT Sometimes he will make you so mad you want to punch him. Most times you will make him mad and he will want to punch you.   Sometimes your so busy you will feel like roommates. Distance will settle and it will get uncomfortable,  work hard at creating romance, and a sense of priority in him. Even when you are tired.

14.     Your going to suck. Your going to fail. Its inevitable. Learn from it, Move on.


15.     Most importantly. Most important thing ever ever ever. .....
    You were entrusted with him. He is not yours completely he was bought with a price of the redeemer.   Your job in to be faithful with what has been entrusted to you. This beautiful man. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


J-man, my sweet boy. This past weekend your dad took you on a weekend on a "manly" weekend. I packed you full of junk, and you know this was hard for me to put these items in my cart. 

Your dad took you to your favorite spot Ocean Shores. You two bunked it in grandmas condo.  

Your dad taught you how to play Rumi, and while playing this game he shared some stories with you. Stories of his life, the hard, the ugly the good. 

  He shared with you about big boys things. Things you knew about, things you heard about and things that made your face blush. He shared with you a desire your creator placed in you. He shared with you how to treat a lady. He taught you the mystery's of  relationships even when he is still learning himself :).  He taught you how to check the oil to a car,  how to do an engine check. I am in love with him.
    I shared with you some "ladies" things but son this is to be continued for all your life.
  I gave you this purity ring as a reminder of the weekend chats you had with dad.  
  I am so proud of you. Your a such an inspirational person. I like spending time with you.   We are always here for you, even when you when you share things with us and we give you the "when we were your age" bit. You roll your eyes and tell us we have no idea how things are now. You know what bud, we told our parents that one too.    I love you big, real big.
 Your mama

Hey..been a while

Let me catch you up. Here is a huge prayer report. My sisters cancer is gone. That's right, test came back an we are super excited and so blessed praise report right there ladies and gents! Hallelujer! I love her. Thank you for praying!

We have had the sniffles, strep throats and gunky noses around here. With 7 people it will just bound to be someone will not be feeling well. However Our two Ghana kids are strong and NEVER get sick. In fact G has never been down. E our boy got sick this time. He started being very whinny and distant everything made him cry, we didn't know why he was acting up. Then one afternoon after school, he had tears rolling down his face and said "mom, I keep swallowing my spit and it feels like I have something in the back of my throat." I seriously think its the first time he had a sour throat.  He also had a hard time letting go and letting me take care of him.   It broke my heart, kids with trauma have such a hard time trusting someone will care for them. I often wonder if his body did not ever allow him to get sick so he would not be rejected.  I had to literally lay him on my lap and tell him its okay to not get up and do chores.  my heart.

Then we lived through the election. Took the opportunity to teach our little's about voting and voting rights and all the interesting tidbits that go along with it. 


Found an amazing similarity between my mother and I. My sister took this photo of her, and I instantly knew I had the same face. Here you go. I am my mom.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I am so embarrassed to say that my oldest son went to a Halloween party and I did not snap a photo of him before he left. Big bummer!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Busy week and a few genius ideas

Its been a busy week.   Here is what we have been up to lately. 
 Last weekend we did this. Cheer competition. It was quit the ordeal.  Lasted all day. Our girls did not place in the finals. Bummed, but we did have a blast. One more game and cheer is over for the season. 

Voted...wish this was more exciting that it looks. Truth is, I want this to be over like yesterday.

This household does a load 2 loads a day...or more. Its overwhelming and always feels our of control. New idea that has come to me...everyone does there own. What..what! Each child has a day assigned from them. They have their own basket, they bring it to the laundry room, fill the washer add the soap and press start. I put it in the dryer fold and then when they come home from school they get to take it back up. I know completely and utter genius.

         I pin,I don't always get to work on the ideas I pin, but sometimes I do. Somedays I make recipes and sometimes I even get to do a few practical and savvy kitchen ideas. Here is one...Stuffed Peppers 

                     Delish and A family favorite
    And this one this idea was quit brilliant. Homemade instant oatmeal packets.
This one saves me money. The instant boxes can up $2.50 a box and my large appetite children will eat  two packets at a time. They come with about 10 packets a box. So for $2.50 they can have oatmeal. Or at .55cents a lb for quick oats I can make 15 packets. 
 Its very genius and nutritious, (I add Chai and flax seed)

My friend Jody  over here has been blogging about some wonderful brilliant ideas she has pinned. I love the ideas...  Go Jody! I will join her...except mine may be a pin a week :) 
 Off to a Dr. Who episode. My favorite series. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The worst word in the English Dictionary.....

This past week we found out some bad news about someone EXTREMELY near and dear to me. Every time I feel my lips about to form this word my stomach turns and my heart pants faster. Cancer. Started Chemo, will have an operation. Will fight this.

 I bawled like a baby on Friday when I was conference called by my dear one and my mother.  I held it together as I heard her speak. Cancer ..she maintained composure and she began to share the details of the diagnosis of the prognosis of the treatment to come. 
   Hot tears rolling down my face, a pit to my stomach. I wanted to throw up.  She was finishing up the details and finished with "don't worry" "I will be okay" as if talking herself into it. I repeated it like a mantra over and over in my head. She finished up, we all hung up. Hardly speaking a word besides "I will call you later, k." 

  I threw my phone, I cupped my hands over my mouth as if trying to shush my own voice. No use, I let it out.   "No...why...why her....Why not me instead?"  Stupid things like "can I take her place. She has babies!"  Realizing I do too, but when you love someone this vast this deep, rational says protect. This is my job for this person anyways, I am her older sister.  My little 31 year old sweet sister has the C word ....Cancer

                                   her sweet little family
   Worst word in the English vocabulary. Cancer there is no warmth to it.   No matter what kind these are fighting words. Fight for health, fight for life.     
                           Her babies need her....we need her.
I want to say it will be okay. I want to say after this operation it will take every cell away. I want it to go away, I want it to never have existed in her body to begin with.  I want to be strength for her.  Even when I am afraid.   
  It will not be an easy road. She has a mess in front of her. She will need support and prayer in every way. 
    Many many survivors, many happy ever afters. She will be one. 
        We will have more times like this when she is well. 

                                        (don't ask! ha!)
 some more times like this...... 

 and these moments

   and in the meantime....Be praying for her. For Strength for wisdom of doctors, for support. For Community of care at her feet since we do not live close.     
   One day soon...we will hear that word.. (the C word) and it will just be another part of life. 
         We are going to get kick this shit!   (excuse the french!)  oh yeah and comment to let her know you are on board with praying!! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My first friend. My sister

         This girl has my entire heart.  this one is my sister. My first friend. 

Scary ''Episode"

Little interesting week. So for the last week I have had some pretty strange happenings. Well its actually been happening off and on but for a week solidly I have been feeling this. Dizzy spells, nausea, shortness of breath, sudden confusion, killer headache. I would sit on the couch pull a blanket over my head and shush everyone till it was gone. Easy, lasted about an hour and then done. I felt awesome again. 
Come Monday.
It was the evening. I was getting dinner prepped  I was super busy this day and disappointed that my laundry was behind. Big deal, I know but in a huge family one day behind in a week..feels like at least. So, cooking dinner, I got very lighted headed. I layed down. My neighbor came to ask if I can watch her son for a few problem.  I sat down on the couch. Called my sister we were in deep conversation and I began to drift. She said I was mumbling  I felt like throwing up.  The room got very bright, It hurt to keep my eyes open so I shut my eyes. My body felt hot, but I was freezing, tears ran down my face. My kids ask if I was okay, I could not answer. In two minutes chief came in and saw me. I was apparently cold and clammy and pale and shaking and unable to converse. I don't remember the details  just that my kids were tying my shoes a couple of them crying. Chief making calls, and I saying nothing in particular.  Fast forward to the ER. 
 I get back to the room. Where what happens...I come to, I feel great no problem, I feel fine and wonderful. I could actually run a couple of miles. Feel that good. Heart monitored, EKG, brain scans, urine test, and blood show ..nothing

  Nurses perplexed, Doctors Perplexed. I think they even thought I was making it up. They asked chief if he had seen my ''episode''. Yes, I totally faked it for a night away being poked and having to wait and wait...that's so me. 
      So...all that to say I go in on Monday and I am praying for an answer. I am imagining what they will say " Your probably stressed.'' They are probably right.
 Only scary part. My dad has a triple bypass, my uncle (his brother) a quad bypass, an uncle (dads brother)  that died after his, two aunts (his sisters)with heart issues a  grand father (his dad) that died on the Brooklyn subway from a heart attack.    Heart diseases have taken my family even ones in my own broad.    I will be fine. I will be fine, I will be fine.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To Frank on his 36th Birthday

This will get gushy. This will, so look away. I am crazy about this guy. When I say crazy I mean I still get giddy and butterflies when I know he is coming through the door. I know, have you looked away yet are you dry heaving. No?
   I realized something today. I meet this man ....well he was a boy at the time. When I was 17. Yes sir that be 17 years young. Our fist encounter went like this.
   Me walking with my best friend  at DTS *Discipleship Training School* Youth with a Mission in Colorado 1996.  Seeing a tall boy who had a brown  striped sweater, green cords slacks, a hacky sack and a black back pack with a plush Winnie the Pooh tied to his pack with a cross necklace hanging from Poohs neck. Um, yes, I probably remember what you wore when I first meet you too, Its a gift.
     Boy: "Hey do you want to hear something awesome!"
  Me: "Always, but what's your name?"
 Boy: "you can call me Teabo."
  Me: "What......  Teabo, what kinda name is that...sounds like a rappers name. Your one of those white boys that want to be a rapper huh!"
  Boy" thats my last name, and this Pooh  Bear just got saved!'
 Me: :"Wow, does this line work for you!"
 Boy: "Um...."
 I walk away knowing he was watching me walk away. Kinda thought I was something sassy back then I suppose!
  I walked into the Lodge of that Colorado Lodge and looked at Lynda and said " I like that one, we are  going to be good friends!"
               I am going to have to finish this story another day.

 But 17 years later on this  birthday. I am still giddy for him. I have known this man for half my life. I love him. I treasure him...and that last name of his. And I believe the line did work! 
                             Happy Birthday Best friend!
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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!