Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lie #3

I write these deceptions so that I may know the truth.  I write so that my boys, as men, may understand.  I write so that the world may know Freedom.

I would thrive without a family.

Now it is true that being a stay at home mother of two very active, very needy little men is a difficult task.  It is true that I didn't realize there was anything wrong with my mind before my family.  It is true that I was quite successful in my profession before becoming a wife and mother.  It is true now that I understand my sickness I can see all the ways my mind and body instinctively knew how to cure or balance out emotions.

However now more then ever I need my family, all THREE of them.  As research has proved eventually I would have been over taken by this sickness, Bi-polar, with or without my family.  It could have happened by a simple antibiotic or any random menstrual cycle.  Just because it happened while I was pregnant with Laughter (which is why he's named that) doesn't mean anything. 

In fact what it does mean is that I have a reason and a cause to get out of bed everyday.  Each day I see that I have a purpose, two actually.  I have never hit the point of suicidal thoughts, and in big part that's because I have the task of mothering two boys that bring me joy.  They were hand picked by the Maker Himself just for me and Strong man.

Strong man.  His name fits him well.  He's my hero.  Not only does he rescue me on my bad days, I have a best friend who knows me better then I know myself often times.  If it wasn't for his nudging and perspective I may have never gone to the doctor in the first place.  As I'm not sure the medication is really helping we're at least able to study this sickness and plan our strategy to fight it.

The bottom line is that I need this family of mine and they need me.  The lie is just that a lie.

What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.
~ Matthew 10:9

1802.  Hard conversations with Strong man.
1803.  Tears of love.
1804.  Children to teach me.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It's a treat to have fresh cantaloupe in our house.  Only Laughter and I enjoy it, so we usually pass it by in the store.  This past week I couldn't resists the overwhelming joy he has about it, I gave in and we brought it home with us.  It's juicy and soft, perfect for eating. 

As I was savoring the taste my mind went back to the many, many weekends I would spend at my grandparents.  If there was snow on the ground as a child then I was at Grammy and Grandpa's house.  Usually skiing.  (My grandfather close to 80 now is still a ski instructor).  With every bite of the fruit I was reminded of the growing up I did under there care.

Grammy taught me how to tell time and how to not only eat whatever was offered to me, but also to enjoy it.  She's still the best cook I know.  There are days I long for her cooking wishing I could stop by for diner.  Gram an army Sargent (for real, I'm not just saying that to make a point) had very clear rules and never gave in. I hope to be like her when I'm a grandmother. I want a deep lasting relationship with my grand kids.  I want them to have respect for me as she demanded at first but then freely had from me.

Grandpa taught me the art of skiing, good work ethics, and how to laugh my way through life; always laughing.  From him I saw how to get up when I was down and how to persevere when I thought I couldn't go on.  That the family is a unit that must be valued and must worked as a team. Most importantly how to laugh at myself and be adventurous.  Life was always good in at there house.  It was my safe place. 

Memory lane is long: I first sledded on a cardboard box on the hill behind the farm house.  I learned how to climb the hallway walls leading to the bathroom to sit in wait for somebody to pass by so I could drop in front of them to scare them silly.  The many ski trips.  One time I lost my glove on the chair lift in the middle of the woods and grandpa in his ski boots trekked through the forest looking for my glove.  I learned to love square pizza, tofu, and the courage to eat new foods.  In the summer before bed Gram would tell us stories of the monster that climbed through open windows to eat little girl's toes.  I'd put on my strong face as I went to bed (and sometimes I didn't) even though I was terrified, but I knew Grandpa would come in a few minutes later to give me a flash light even though gram told him not too.  Gram's living life teaching moments, she was always trying to teach me something new and still is.  Grandpas news that he always snored through.  Grandpa bouncing and singing my babies to sleep so I could sit and relax in the evenings.  Gram's lessons that she's still teaching. 

Cantaloupe, good stuff.

1770.  Gram & Grandpa Shim.
1771.  The old farm house.
1772.  Skiing.
1773.  Gram's cooking.
1774.  New foods.
1775.  Flying across to the other side of the world with Grandpa so I could know his family and his growing up world.

1776.  Road trips.
1777.  Seaweed and rice.
1778.  Stories and flashlights.
1779.  Green tea.
1780.  The news turned up way to loud.

1781.  A big brother to ski with.
1782.  A cousin, always falling.  Once even walked down the mountain.
1783.  Strawberries.
1784.  Learning to make jam from Grammy.
1785.  A family unit.

1786.  The value of family.
1787.  Walls to climb.
1788.  Grams white and grey speckled kitchen table.
1789.  Unconditional love.
1790.  Boundaries.

1791.  Many adventures.
1792.  Many lessons learned.
1793.  Sneaking in a visit as an adult just for comfort to know all is well in the world.
1794.  Stories of the old days.
1795.  Grandpa singing and bouncing my babies to sleep.

1796.  Daily life seemingly easy no matter comes up because of the togetherness.
1797.  Gram giving letting my one year old, Man of the woods, help her was 4 dozen eggs.
1798.  Gram giving my two year old, Man of the woods, a dozen eggs while she made breakfast using the broken ones for the scrambled eggs.
1799.  Scolding my grandmother for allowing my two year old to make hamburger patties.

1800.  Walking with grandpa with my babies in the stroller.
1801.  Laughter, Grandpa's younger version.

Monday, February 27, 2012


My brother called today, I call him Pickle.  When I was a child after my sister died I wanted a baby brother in the worst way and I loved dill pickles, you put the two together and I thought my world would be pperfect.  I knew Dill-pickle was the name for him.  Unfortunately my parents did not agree so they found a name I'm sure he appreciates more, but for me, my kid brother, has always been Pickle. 

Today he called.  My table was messy, there were dishes in the sink, toys on the floor.  It was the first quietness I had had in two days.  I stopped everything so I could talk.  He's worth it.  I needed it.  It was good, oh so good.

I have another brother who also called this week.  I call him Eph.  His story isn't nearly as interesting as Pickle's is, really, I'm lazy and shortened his name.  He's loved just the same though.  Him and I we kind of have a secret language going and we have always been the closest by far.  When he called I forgot that life sometimes needs to be put on hold so I can chat of nothings with him.  I was busy; I missed his call.  A call I should have answered.  On that day he had fought to save a man's life and failed.  Eph did everything he could but the man had a blood clot that went to the heart.  It was his time.  This is not the first person my brother has held as they've breathed that last breath.  It's hard to have that much responsibility.  I was too busy with life to stop and listen, to bear it with him.

A lesson I have learned many times and seem all too quickly to forget:  Life is never too busy to take time for people because without people life doesn't really exists.

The second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
~ Matthew 22:39

1765.  Brothers
1766.  Phones to stay in touch with.
1767.  Relationships that pick up where they've left off.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Family laundry days, EFA 2.6

It's always good in the heavy thought provoking seasons to remember to stop and enjoy the small things.  I love family laundry days.  These days are worth remembering.  So I will pause to enjoy the simple.

Even though we have on site laundry we have found it cheaper to go to the laundry mat.

Instead of doing laundry a little each day we go once a week and still only spend about two hours from start to finish.  We're finding the boys are able to help us too.

Man of the woods instinctively knows that we should separate the clothes.  It just makes sense to do it that way.  This brings a smile to my face, "That's my son."  There is a process to everything.

And if you want to save some money, I've got a super easy laundry detergent recipe for you:
~1 cup Borax
~1 cup baking soda
~2 cups grated bar soap (any of your choice.  I use an oatmeal based one.  Honestly it was the cheapest I could find)
~add essential lavender oil to your noses desire.
~Mix together and there you have it laundry detergent.
In the words of my Strong man "It's easy peasy" (He's going to love me for sharing that one!)

I've been using it for about a month now and love it.  I'll be honest I doubted it would work well, but I love it.  Really the cost is about three dollars for every batch made.  So far a month into it I haven't even hit the half way mark.  It's also an easy activity for the kidlets to help with.

Moreover, that every man eats and drinks and sees good in his labor--it is the gift of God.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:13

1750.  Family laundry days.
1751.  The peace working together brings.
1752.  Small hands learning the joy of work.
1753.  Story time.
1754.  25 cent machines.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lie #2

Since I fail to live up to my expectations of motherhood I am a terrible mother.  Even more so when I fail to meet others expectations of me as far as motherhood goes I am a terrible mother.

I know the bottom line is that my life as a Mommy is between my husband, God and I.  It's still there this competition to be the worlds best mother.  It's almost pushed on me by some and it's hard to fight.

In any other aspect of life it is easy for me to only focus on what I have been asked to do.  It's easy to live life the way God has called me.  If I can do this in every other part of my life then why do day and night fight this battle?

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

~ Hebrews 12:1-2

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Darkness & Grace

This morning I learned that while my three men and I slept snug in our beds dreaming dreams, a murder took place.  On my street.  Three houses down.  After being raped she fought back killing her attacker...Memories came flooding back to a warm summer night three years ago.  I was in the living room giving baby Man of the woods a bottle, Strong man was in the kitchen when we both heard it.  Three gunshots.  Strong man sent me and the baby upstairs while he called 911 and went into protection mode...Dark times.

Life is short.  Life is hard.  God is always good.  The two don't seem to match up.  Why would a good God allow such things to happen?  In my life alone, I've watched a sister die, a youth pastor take advantage of me, families split, churches split, drugs take over,  and attempted suicides.  I've watched many "Christians" walk away from "the faith" and from each other when hard times come around.  And yet God is good.  God is always good.  How can this be?

Could it be that without deep heart wrenching pain we are unable to begin to grasp grace.  Without grace, is relationship even possible?  I mean in my friendships if they don't show me grace then our friendship quickly fails.
Can I also ask why it is that Paul, a murder, was chosen BEFORE time by the Almighty?  He was also the writer of most of the New Testament, the part of the Bible that is read far more among believers then any other part.  Was he not the apostle to the gentiles the dirtiest of all people.  Didn't he talk of himself as the chief of all sinners?  Yet he knew grace more then any other author through out the generations before him.  He found a way to bring grace into all of life; to make it tangable.

How about Jeremiah the prophet?  All he knew was destruction, and yet God used those dark times to send a promise of grace.  The new covenant is first mentioned in his writings.  Not the first mention of the coming Messiah that goes all the way back to the fall.  I'm talking about the part where God says there will be no need for the law for it will be on the hearts of those who love Him.  Without Jesus we would still live in the times of the law.  It's grace that's written on believers hearts.
I'm asking myself these questions as much as I am you.  I prayed for this apartment.  I asked God for everything in it.  I never asked for a good neighborhood.  Between this street and the next there are over a dozen pedophiles.  A murder last year and one again.  What was God thinking bringing my family here?  What was I thinking praying for the looks of the new place and not the safety of my children?  What am I to do now that the problems of the neighborhood aren't just on a computer screen, but I've seen with my eyes and heard with my ears the troubles that surround me?  What am I to do?  How does grace fit into this street of mine.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Daddy done it...EFA 2.5

We've gave into the idea of cutting our hair at home.  To buy the clippers and only use them once would save us over 50% of what we would normally pay for a haircut.

 Laughter loved it.

Laughed the entire time.

Had fun playing peek-a-boo with the camera.

Big brother hates the clippers.

He has requested that next time we go see Miss Kimi.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lie #1

It was suggested to me a while back that I record the lies, that I put them out in the open so it isn't just my mind that's fighting them so my eyes can see the foolishness of these lies as they sit on paper next to sacred truths.

It's there in my head day and night I fight the war with this sickness.  It's not just my Joy it's trying to steel from me it's my entire life. 

#1. Since I'm an emotional basket case my family is better off without me.

I know some agree that actually this lie is the honest truth, that somebody who can't control there emotions shouldn't be a mother and certainly isn't a very "supportive" wife.  Daily I'm reminded of my MANY failurers.  Each day I am unable to live up to my own expectations let alone somebody else's.  Some days I hardly have it in me to hold out and not give into this lie that I hear all around.  This is the MOST difficult to fight of all the lies thus far.

Here are some honest truths:

1.  Marriage is scared.  In Genesis I am told that the two people become on flesh.  In my own words,  "There is no way to separate a marriage; we will forever belong to each other."

2.  God created the family unit, even if the family is as big as an entire nation as Israel is.  They live life together.  They live it through the good and the bad.  The suffer with each other and the sing songs of joy together.  Over and over we see this in the Old Testament. 

3.  The Bible says that children are a gift.  Over and over we're see children as blessings.  Each child hand picked by the all knowing God who can't be limited by time.  Do you hear what I'm saying?  God knew I would be a mess two years after the birth of my first child.  God knew I'd be the messy person I am today.  He chose my hoolies just for me.  You know what else?  I am no messier now then I was then.  I'm just at a point in life that I can see my the vastness of my dirt.

God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you."
~ Exodus 3:14

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Recently I experienced my first "manic episode".  Thankfully it was medically induced, one more medication that I strongly reacted to.  This "high" was not enjoyable.  In fact I would chose a depression over the manic state.  In list form here's how it felt:

~  Couldn't focus long enough to read two or more sentences.
~  Couldn't sleep more then five hours a night.
~  I had terrible judgement.
~  I was constantly frustrated because I couldn't move fast enough and neither could anybody around me.
~  I couldn't sit still.  I had to constantly be moving.
~  I agreed to things I wouldn't normally agree to.
~  I wasn't able to complete any one task.
~  The word agitated is an understatement.
~  I had an overwhelming urge to spend to the point of wanting a new car.

Here are some of the actions I took during that time:
~  I entered a photo contest having never done so before.  This contest is being judged by a world renowned photographer.  Now I'm thinking I'm way out of my league.
~  I changed my blog face to something that isn't that's full of details and stuff.  I tend to be simple from my wedding day to my house decorations to my blog.  The simple look will be coming back soon.
~  I refused to drive out of fear I would put my family and others in a dangerous situation.
~  After three years of keeping our family budget I gave it back to my husband because I realized I was willing to buy anything that look appealing.
~  I agreed to co-host a small conference coming up.  I don't regret my choice and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a behind the scenes kind of gal.  In fact I've helped put on many conferences much bigger then this one will be but I've never stepped foot on stage before now.  I'm looking forward to it, but the confidence that was there when I first agreed is gone.

I've been in hypo manic episodes before.  In fact they are quite addicting and I wish all of my life could be lived in the vivid color these episodes bring.  Where all who meet me love me (or at least I think they do), and I am able to be super women (even if that means working on a project into the wee hours of the morning), Leaving behind a work ethic that isn't forgotten by my coworkers and employers.  I'm not being arrogant it's just what happens and not just to me but to most who suffer from this sickness.  The only reason we soar the way we do in this state is because we need hardly any sleep and all of our senses are on ultrahigh.  Many people who have done great things and have there names remembered though out the generations have had this sickness.

Here's a link that explains the sickness with simplicity:

Friday, February 17, 2012


I have never dieted or even paid any attention to my weight.  Now I'm taking a medication that doesn't allow my brain to know that I'm full, therefore I'm perpetually hungry.  In just 9 short weeks I have gained 19 lbs.  I have gone from a size 4 to a size 10. 

It is really bothering me. 

True, I never paid much attention to how small I was, but there was always a small part of me that would pat myself on the back when people commented on my size.  I was always the smallest.  I humbly pointed out it was the Japenese in me.  Really could I help if I was created to be small?

Pride ALWAYS comes before a fall.  I'm learning that every bit of my life has some kind of pride in it.

I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good besides You."
~ Psalm 16:2

1745.  The sanding off of old parts.
1746.  A new understanding of so many others.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

First day at the park in 2012

Who would have thought it would be February 16 here in Maine.  I've already begun planning out my little garden too! 

Here's to Spring!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


This year we're going big with Valentines day.  First we started with those spiral sugar cookies I talked about here.

Next came the Red velvet cupcakes, with a special treat for me as an added bonus.  Who would have thought Duncan Hines has a milk free red velvet cake mix? 

Although I did have to ban the rubber band guns from the table as while I was getting the cupcake pans out the boys emerged a rubber band and then loaded the gun...

Having this quick cake mix I was able to give most of my attention to the Italian cheese bread sticks I was making in bulk for a fundraiser the teens were putting on at church.

Speaking of sauce to continue on our Red day we make pepperoni pizza with red crust for dinner...Scratch half way through dinner we realized we forgot the food coloring. It was still a great finish to our day.

1727.  A cold day full of baking.
1728.  Making the normal new simply by adding red.
1729.  Milk free cake mix.
1730.  Rubber band guns.
1731.  Little boy mischief.
1732.  Smell of fresh breads.
1733.  Waking the littles up with the excitement of a cupcake.
1734.  Pizza night.

Our first Valentine

Just two months after we were married came our first Valentines day together.  He worked at a law office and I worked as the housekeeping manager at a local hotel.  It was a normal Maine winter day; lots of snow.  Two of my coworkers came into work annoyed because the windshield wipers had given out.  As my shift came to a close I did the best I could to look presentable and waited for Strong man to pick me up.  Seconds after he arrived our windshield wipers gave out.  He still wanted to take me out to dinner so we stopped quick to at his parents house to see if we could borrow a car.  Turns out his Dad's car also had malfunctioning wipers so Strong man grabbed a shovel and off we went (At the time Strong man used his bank card to scrape this windshield so the shovel was a step up for us).  The snow coming down hard demanded us to shovel off the windshield every at every stop light.  Good memories!

That was fun, next.

Monday, February 13, 2012

...And it's back

That's the nature of this sickness.  One day all I see is blackness and the next life is normal.  The more I learn of it the better perspective I have of it.  This sickness with take a few years to learn it, and the rest of my life to fight it.  As time goes on the battle becomes easier.  This sickness is like my boys milk allergies.  The first 6 months Man of the woods screamed, never sleeping for more then an hour at a time.  Once the sickness was diagnosed a time of healing began.  Along with the healing came times of severe pain as we learned how to deal with the sickness.  Now it's everyday stuff with hardly any thought to the allergy.  In the near future this darkness will be the same for me too.

"A Stinking Awesome day", EFA 2.4

On many family adventures we get more then we planned for.  Here are a few examples.

On our third anniversary we left Man of the woods with Nana to take our missionary sister her new car out to her in New York and then went on for a world famous Renaissance fair.  We each had walkie talkies.  At a very plain point on I95 the conversation went like this:
Me: Hey Big Red, did you see that moose back there?
Strong man: No I didn't.
Me:  Me either, just checking though.

Just after after laughter was born while it was still below freezing we headed off to Cabelas for a fun family day.  It was a blast.  Just as we were leaving I decided to change little Laughter's diaper.  Having spent the entire afternoon in the snugly I had no idea what I was getting into.  So after I got him all cleaned up I realized there was no way I could put those filthy clothes back on him.  So I wrapped his naked little body up in my winter coat and brought him out to the car where I could find a clean outfit.  As usual Laughter was all smiles.

The coming summer we decided a trip to LL Beans was in order.  Man of the woods had been potty trained long enough that we stopped bring a change of clothes for him.  As he was trying to pee on the potty and somehow he peed all over his pants.  Him mortified and his pants soaked we ended up spending over $25 on new pair of little boy paints.

Another time Man of the woods had to use the potty so we pulled off the interstate only to find our car wouldn't start up again. 

It's always an adventure.

This weeks adventure involved a flat tire just as we started down 295.  We ended up in a podunk town having lunch at a tiny convenient store and playing connect four until the tire was patched up. 

It's true that full spare that hangs on the back of our car was well, more for looks then anything else.  A while back we ran over a nail.  Forgetting to have it patched it just hung there.  All in all our breakdown only cost 20 bucks with an unexpected lunch.

As promised we headed off to Cabela's for a "stinking awesome" afternoon in the words of Man of the woods.

Who could turn down the request of a Beans stop too?

1717.  Flat tires.
1718.  Little boys making sure that small shadows follow along.
1719.  Podunk town.

1719.  Buky's Auto.
1720.  Small convinient store to have lunch in.
1721.  Youngest man's laughter.
1722.  Laughter's hiccups from all the laughing.

1723.  Excitement over Cabela's.
1724.  Little boys and cupcakes.
1725.  Conversation with Strong man as small men sleep on long car rides.