Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Still Waters Is 19!

My eyes water at the thought, my Baby Girl is 19! Time sure has flown by. Seems like just yesterday she was a wee one. I feel so blessed that I was able to stay home and enjoy spending 24/7 with her. She has grown to be an incredible godly young lady. She is such a blessing.

I left her a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" message on the dry eraser board. It greeted her as she went into the kitchen for breakfast. Today she had to spend the whole day at SU. Which was alright cause we don't usually do "presents" until after dinner.

It is a tradition that the "birthday" person, gets to choose what they want to eat. Not just for dinner, but for breakfast and lunch too. :o) BUT since our oldest started attending college, it's been harder to keep up with the breakfast and lunch tradition. No one wants a BIG breakfast at 6am. As for lunch, they are in school. :o( Soooo, the breakfast and lunch tradition have been moved from the "birthday" day to the weekend after the "birthday" day. Also, depending what the "birthday person" wants to eat, if it's near by, we eat it on that day. If not, it turns out to be a weekend dinner too. Which is what happened this time around. Still Waters was in the mood for authentic Cuban cuisine. YEAH!!! *Update on the dinner on Saturday.

My Knight was able to work out of our Castello today. YEAH!!! We love it when he's able to do that. We all decided to skip church tonight and just hang out together. The Seamstress (my mother in love) has been staying with us, so she hung out with us too. All of Still Waters' gift were wrapped and stacked on the counter with a card attached.

We ate dinner and then ate cake. For dinner we had Pan con Bistec. Doesn't that sound delish?! Well, that translates to steak sandwich. LOL! It's not your typical steak sandwich. The thin cut sirloin steak is marinated with garlic, Worcestershire sauce and vidalia onions. We cook it in an iron skillet with extra virgin olive oil. We use Cuban bread for the sandwich. Where we live they really don't have authentic Cuban bread so we make do with the "Cuban" bread that's available. In the sandwich we put the grilled onions, the steak and shoestring potato chips. My mouth waters at the thought. Still Waters is more of a "pie" lover vs. a cake lover. So we bought a French Silk Pie (her request) and a Key Lime Pie (which she also loves).

After singing Happy Birthday, we all sat around the couch to watch her open her presents. She first opened the card. In it was written that she could get a cd of her choice and the Kingdom Hearts Final Remix video game. (*more on this later) The she went on to the gifts. Well, there were three boxes about the same size. First box had a pair of pretty brown sandals. She wears a size 6 1/2 narrow. Which is not easy to find. I mean 6 1/2 is easy to find, but now narrow. Box number two had a pair of brown sneakers, slip on kind of shoes. She's been looking for a pair like that. Box number three... yep... a pair of sneakers. LOL! She politely told me, "Mom, you bought me this exact pair already for Christmas. Remember that I told you I couldn't wear them cause they hurt my heal?" I had forgotten! Well, to tell the truth, I seem to forget A LOT!!! You see I have bought some cd's not once, but twice! The same goes for nail colors and movies. At least I'm consistent in my taste. ;o) My poor Still Waters, I lead her to believe that those three shoes was all she was getting. I let her go up to her room while I ran to my room and got the BIG BOX. I then called her down and there it was waiting for her. She unwrapped it and found.... a laptop. Not just any laptop, but one that she'll be able to use for what she's studying, computer animation.

Later on I asked her if she was disappointed when she first thought that she only got the shoes, video game and a cd. She told me no. That she was thankful for what she had gotten. Be still my heart...

*UPDATE- Saturday, 9/1- we went to eat at the Cuban restaurant in a nearby town. The owners are Cubans so the food is authentic Cuban cuisine. The food was DELISH!!! Some had the grilled chicken, rice and black beans, all the rest had breaded steak, moro and fried plantains. Moro is white rice and black beans cooked together. It it seasoned a little different and it has a different texture and taste. It's my favorite type of rice. G.I. Joe and The Warrior had Fritas. Which is... hamburgers. LOL! They were were a little surprised to see it on Cuban sandwich bread instead of hamburger buns. But they liked it very much. The night was success.

* My Fair Maidens and Squires really got into the Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 video games. We kept hearing about Kingdom Hearts Final Remix video game. I knew that my Still Waters would love it. Which is why we told her we'd get it for her. Turns out that it's only available in Japan right now. It won't be available here until 2008. :o(

First thing she opened was her card. She's smiling at the thought that she gets to pick a cd. Like I mentioned before, I have bought two cd's at different times, twice! I don't know why, but I've only done that with her. I now keep a list of cd's and books she likes, but doesn't have. :o)

When I saw these shoes, I KNEW they were "her" style. She really liked them. Did I mention that Soaring Amongst The Clouds, Still Waters and I wear the same show size, 6 1/2? :o)

We got her a pair of sandals. She calls them "cloncker" sandals. They are sturdy, bulky sandals. Her old pair was wearing out. She's had them for over 4 years.

Ok, here she is laughing, cause I bought her the same pair of sneakers. The same pair she once told me that hurts her ankle. I can't believe I did it again! Well, I can believe it. I fell like I'm losing my mind.

She really likes her laptop. She wanted to get one, but wasn't expecting it. We are so blessed to have children that are really grateful. They are such a blessing.

Happy Birthday Baby girl. You brighten my world.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Watch Out "LS"!

Today was Soaring Amongst The Clouds' first day back at "LS". She is thrilled beyond words that she got the schedule she wanted. She's already pointed out that she only has 18 Tuesday's to go. LOL!

She managed to schedule all her classes for Tuesday and Thursday. She'll be able to continue playing on the co-ed softball team, since their games are on Tuesday nights. BUT, she's going to have to give up playing on the women's softball team this semester. Their games are on Thursday nights and she has a night class. All in all, she is very pleased that she only has two days of school. That will free her up to do some volunteer work she wanted to do and have those other three days to study and do homework.

This semester she is taking, Humanities, Intro to Life Science, Intro to Education, Liberal Arts Math II and Intro to Psychology. All these are required for what she plans on studying. She's focusing on being an Interpreter. She would like to master the Spanish (Spain) and Chinese languages. But she is also working on a teaching degree. I know she can do it. My Soaring Amongst The Clouds is a dreamer, but most important... she's also a doer. :o)

She plans on helping out Mrs. B with her 1st grade class. She did that while she homeschooled and really loved it. Mrs. B is really easy to work with. She loves the children and it shows. I know Soaring Amongst The Clouds is going to enjoy working with her again.

I tried to get a picture of her before she left for school. As soon as she saw me reach for the camera, she gave me "the look". So, I never even got to lay hands on my camera. Oh well, I'll have to get a candid shot sometime. Gone are the times when my children were wee ones and actually "posed" for the pictures.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Watch Out "SU"!

Today was a big day for Still Waters. It was her first day at "SU". She has classes every day. The great thing is that all her classes are in two buildings and the buildings are close to each other.

The campus is BEAUTIFUL! It has a quaint, small town atmosphere. She loved the library. She noticed that they have "old" classics. She's looking forward to checking some of the "oldies" out. She will be working in the media center. She's very excited about that.

Orientation was Friday-Tuesday. She was at school all those days. Got to meet some students that are transfer students just like her. I know that she is going to love attending "SU". It's perfect for her. Oh, she ate at the cafeteria today and said that lunch was great! She had a drink, a slice of pizza (just like Tony's) and a salad. All that for only $3! She told me the food was great!

This is going to be a great semester. She is taking Calculus I, Biblical Literature, Digital Arts and Computer Science. Her counselor tried to talk her out of taking Calculus this semester since she was also taking the Computer Science class. She felt that the work load might be too much. That she should take a "lighter" class. LOL! Well, she doesn't know my Still Waters! She can do anything she sets her mind to, not only that, but she knows that as long as she's following God's will for her life, things will always work out. Besides that, she's got the best tutor one could ever have... her Dad! He's a software engineer. Her classes for this semester are right up his alley. ;o)

I know this will be hard to believe, but I was up early this morning. It is well known, that I am not a morning person. I wanted to see her off and take a "first day at the U" picture. Needless to say, I didn't get a picture. Not because I didn't try, but because she wasn't co-operating. URGH!!! BUT, I didn't give her a hard time about it. I'm learning to "be quiet". Even if it means gritting my teeth, biting my tongue and smiling. I've got TMJ, bloody lip and a botox smile to prove it! :o)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Teachable Heart

I subscribe to receive daily devotions from Proverbs31. To be totally honest, I don't ALWAYS read them. Sometimes, I skim through them and think, "ah, this doesn't apply to me" and then I skip it. To be truthful, I'm not sure why I read the ones I do and why I skip some. I'm sure I'm missing some incredible wisdom nuggets. I really need to be more diligent about my devotions.

The devotion I'm sharing today cuts to the heart of the (my) matter. Then again when doesn't God's Word hit the nail on the head?!

A Teachable Heart

By Lysa TerKeurst

Isaiah 2:3, “He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.”(NIV)

As a mom, I often find myself in the role of teacher and instructor. Whether I am showing them how to tie their shoes, how to ride a bike, or how to finish their homework, I love teaching my kids how to do new things. I rejoice when they succeed and try my best to guide them in the way that is right and best for them. However, my teaching and instruction can only work if they are willing to listen and receive what I have to share.

Today’s key verse tells us that God teaches and instruct us, His children, how to do godly things so we may walk in the paths that are right according to His Word. Just as I want my children to follow my instruction so they are successful, our Heavenly Father also wants to see us succeed. But in order for that to happen, we must also be willing to receive and take in the things God has to share with us. Thankfully, He loves us enough to do whatever it takes to keep us on the right path—a path that leads to Him.

Isaiah 28:26 says, “His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.” Interestingly enough, the next two verses that follow describe the methods a farmer must use to harvests a crop in order to make it into something worth eating. Here are some of the ways different crops are brought into abundant fruition:

Caraway – beaten with a rod
Cumin – beaten with a stick
Grain – must be ground

Threshing is a process of beating or separating the straw from the seed or grain of the crop, so that the farmer is able to get rid of the parts of the plant that are not useful. Verse 28 sums up the process by telling us that once the separation is completed the farmer can stop beating his crop. Sometimes, in order for us to become people worth using to spread God’s fame, we must receive discipline from Him and that doesn’t feel good. As moms, we know that to bring up a well-behaved child, we must discipline them sometimes. It is not the best part of our job, but it is necessary. God feels the same way about you and me.

In Deuteronomy 8:3, Moses tells the Israelite people, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (NIV).

We can find God’s instruction throughout the Bible. If we want to know how to make our plans succeed, we can go to His Word for answers. He is there for us just as we are there for our kids. His character is woven into every story; His wisdom etched in every line of the text. All we have to do is look.

Unfortunately, when we ignore the instruction God maps out for us in His Word, we end up having to learn through a harder path that may be much more painful. That is why having a teachable heart is so important. As I long for my children to be continually open to my instruction for their benefit, God wants us to be open to His teaching for our benefit. The farmer who continually has to thresh his crop brings about no harvest. Don’t give God a reason to keep threshing you before you make an impact for Him. Will you be willing to humble yourself and submit to all the incredible things that He has to teach you today?

Dear Lord, search my heart today and show me where pride has kept me from learning the good things You want to teach me. My desire is to have a teachable heart, so I can succeed. I know that instruction and discipline doesn’t always feel good, but my greater desire is to know You and I’m willing to go to the threshing floor if that’s what it takes to bear fruit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Read Psalm 25:4-10 and Psalm 32:8. Write down your answers to the following questions:

When your plans fail, what does that mean to you? It should mean that I should have trust in God's plan for me. That He will open and close doors. His plans for me are far better than mine. My problem is that my sinful, black heart gets in the way. My flesh gets the best of me and I rebel.

Does it mean your plans were wrong? Yes and I pay the price for it. My wrong doings will cause me grief and heartaches.

Does it mean that God did not bless your plans? Yes, cause it was "my" plan and not His.


What is your definition of having a teachable heart? Having an open mind and spirit. Taking self "off" and "putting "on" God.

In what areas do you struggle with being teachable? In many areas. For right now, I'm struggling with submitting and obeying.

What steps do you need to take in order to be “taught”? I need to forget about my needs and wants. I have to take the focus off of me.
Power Verses:

Proverbs 15:5, “A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.” (NIV)

Isaiah 28:26, 27-28, "His God instructs him and teaches him the right way." "Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin; caraway is beaten out with a rod,
and cummin with a stick. Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever. Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, his horses do not grind it."

Lord, help me to die to self. To keep my eyes off of me and focus them on you. I want be the woman you want me to be, not the selfish one I am. Thank you Lord for all my sisters in the HAUS. They are AWESOME godly women who love you and are not ashamed to share what your Word says. They are wise beyond measure. Bless them tenfold.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Preparing Him For The Other Woman

Yesterday, I was patiently waiting in the deli for my number to be called. They "conveniently" had a revolving book rack under the number dispenser. The title of a book caught my eye. The book was called, Preparing Him For The Other Woman- A Mother's Guide to Raising Her Son to Love a Wife and Lead a Family. I thought, "Hmmmm, sounds interesting."

I flipped through it and I was hooked. Needles to say, I put in my cart and after I got my "deli" items, went straight to the check out. I couldn't wait to start reading this new little "gem" of mine. Why hadn't I seen this book before?

I'm only chapter 2, but boy is it hitting home. What I found very interesting is that she shared a realization that sounds very much like one I had many years ago. When my Warrior was younger he told me, that when he grew up, he wanted to marry me. I kissed him and told him that mommies can't marry their sons. I told him that God had created a very special girl just for him. But I realized, that I was the first woman in his life, to love him and show him how to love.

What an AWESOME responsibility we have been given. As a mom to two Squires, who better than me can teach them to appreciate a woman and how to express their love. Help them to see why it's important to honor and respect women, to teach him to wait for the one that God created for him.

I know it's not ALL up to me. My Knight ALSO has and AWESOME responsibilities. Who better than their dad can teach our Squires how to be the man God wants them to be, NOT the man mom and dad want them to be. Who better can teach them to be a godly man, leader, a hero, a man of his word?

It's not my Knight's and I doing's. It's all God's doings'. We are merely trying to do what He is leading us to do.

For moms that are expecting baby boys, I usually give them a couple of books, to start off their "library". The books are: Love You Forever, The Runaway Bunny ,Guess How Much I Love You and I Promise I'll Find You. Preparing Him For The Other Woman will be added to my future baby shower gifts.

I look forward to finishing this book. I plan on passing it along to my Fair Maidens... when the times comes. Maybe I should just get them each their own copy or would it mean more if it's the same copy "mom" read? Hmmm...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Raising A Modern Day Knight

I am ALWAYS on the look out for books, articles or tips on child rearing. Through the years I've come across some mighty fine words of wisdom. Not just for my Fair Maidens, but for my Squires too.

Years ago, while I was pregnant with my first little Squire, G.I.Joe, I came across a book called Raising a Modern Day Knight. Well, I liked it so much, I also got the cd, so my Knight could listen to it on his way to work. :o)

It's been a couple of years since I read it. I know it's kinda meant for dads to read, but hey, I'm the mom. I felt that I could learn from this book too. I have to say, that I really enjoyed ready this book back then. It really focuses on dad/son relationships. It talks about how a dad can help guide his son.

Now that my Squires are 13 and 10, I think it's time to pull this book off the shelf, dust it off and give it another read through. I'll also dust off the cd and put it in my Knight's car. Now, if I could only remember where I stored it. :o)