Monday, February 28, 2011

I Know I'm Home.

See these wonderful children?

They make me feel like the greatest celebrity since Amy Adams after I've been gone. The first sighting induces a cheer that would put crazed sports fans to shame. "Mom! Maahh-uuuum! You're finally baaaack!"

See this strapping specimen?

I know my feelings for this man have been made quite clear, but I wanted to clarify so there'd be no confusion. I love him. He loves me. Of this I have no doubt. When I was too tired to move today (from my weekend of shuffling around airports and no sleep -- not from worship, which I thrive on), he made dinner, did some laundry, and didn't judge me when I homeschooled the kiddos from bed. What a guy.

That's it for today. It's good to be home. No matter where that may be, I'll know I'm home when I see their faces and feel their arms around me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

God Wanted Today To Happen

I never tour with my Master's Commission students. I get them ready, practice, rehearse and prepare them to worship on the road.

Yesterday, I got to meet them in Denver, Colorado. They had an extended worship service at Dakota Ridge Assembly this morning.

Once I knew I was going, the Lord started preparing my heart for the time of worship I would be leading. He spoke to me about His love over them.

"Rise up, My love, and come away."

These were the words ringing over and over in my spirit as I prepared and prayed over this time of worship.

And God brought it. He took over. This morning was so amazing, not just in what Jesus spoke over His church, but in the freedom and heartfelt unity that was present from the moment I walked in. Our XMC students were prayed up and ready to lead worship. They were excellent, and some of the tour team performed "Pop Culture", a human video that targets the take over of our young people from godliness to self gratification.

I enjoyed meeting Pastor Martin and Pastor Paul. Pastor Shawn Reine I already knew, but it was so good to connect with him and his wife Amy.

I look forward to returning one day to Littleton, Colorado to worship with them again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The White Stone

My mom recently sent a letter to my children. She encouraged them to run The Race to win. To not turn away, or give up, but to keep running even when it's difficult.
Then she talked about the special stone given to the winner at the end of the race in the early Greek Olympics. Wherever that man went, if he showed that special stone, he was given special treatment.

The letter continued:
"...we're running a spiritual race and everyone that wins gets a crown and a white stone with their name on it. You have been chosen to run in this race. When you accepted Jesus, you began running. 'Those that overcome (win) will receive a crown,' --yours is already waiting for you in Heaven. And in Revelation, Jesus Himself says He will give you a white stone, 'and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.' Is that exciting or what? It's more important than any prize you could win in this world."

At this point in the letter, Ellie interrupted excitedly, "Mom? Do you know what's on the stone? It's our heavenly name. Because we'll have a new name in Heaven."

I looked at her, amazed. I have never seen that before. And she's right.

Ellie continued, "And when we get to Heaven, we all get crowns. And they will all be different."

"Yes, we will," I agreed. "But, you know, the Bible says we won't wear them, because we'll lay them down at Jesus' feet."

"Well, I won't," she said cheerfully.

I paused, wondering if we were going to have a discussion on the erroneous theology she seemed to be leaning towards.

But I breathed a huge sigh of relief a second later as she continued, "I won't lay my crown at Jesus' feet, because I'm going to put mine on His head."

We can leave it at that. But Little Drummer Boy quickly jumped in, "I'm going to get mine on Jesus' head first."

Thus began a loud and lengthy dissertation, and I, somewhat successfully, explained why these kinds of competitions won't matter in Heaven.

I wish they didn't matter to my children now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Hair Is Gone, Baby.

Little Drummer Boy wanted a hair cut.

So we got him a trim. You know, still long-ish, but the hair wasn't in his eyes anymore. And no, it didn't look a thing like Willy Wonka, circa Johnny Depp, which was Biker Man's main concern. (Mainly because the last time I tried to give Drummer Boy a haircut, that's kind of how it came out.)

willy wonkaphoto © 2009 Wanessa Miguel | more info (via: Wylio)

But this time, I paid a professional. (You should try her! Angela Daigle, Blessings Head to Toe Salon.)

See? There's still time to save some length. "You really want it all chopped off?"
"Yes, Mom! I want it like JoJo's," he explained for the fiftieth time. JoJo is one of Drummer Boy's heroes. Seriously.
So we kept going.

With so much extra hair going to waste, and no prospects of facial hair anytime soon, he took matters into his own hands.

Ellie sat in the beauty shop massage chair, doing Grammar...and her nails. What a life.

Needless to say, he is excited about his new do.
I like it, it's just that he looks so grown up now. (sniff)
(Side note: Drummer Boy has lost no time in putting his new haircut to good use. He informed me this morning that having a mohawk makes it hard for him to think. I told him he still had to do his schoolwork.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yeah, We're That Different.

Someone sent this to Biker Man awhile ago.

It's supposed to show the difference between men and women.

It works on so many levels.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New Addition/Replacement

Charlotte has gone missing. Many theories abound in our house as to her whereabouts.

Biker Man thinks because she was so sweet and friendly, she wandered into another family's life, and they took her in and made her an inside cat.

Lydia thinks Charlotte went on an extended hunting trip.

I think those are both plausible theories, but it took our very practical Drummer Boy to voice my concern.

"She's probably in Kitty Heaven," he said matter-of-factly to his sister's disbelief.

Now, I agree that we don't have the best luck with pets around here. We have an entire history of pet loss, and for the strangest reasons.

But I wasn't going to agree with Little Drummer Boy out loud. No way.

Then, a couple days ago, Ellie came from the horse pasture next door with a full-grown cat.

Day 9 - Fat Cat

"I found Charlotte!" She announced triumphantly.

"Uh, Ellie, that's not Charlotte," I began.

"She came back!" Countered my daughter, breathless from holding onto a cat three times the size of our beloved kitten, said cat struggling to free itself from my daughter's clutches.

The very skittish cat does have a striking resemblance to Charlotte, at least in its markings.
But a mammoth version. A Chernobyl Charlotte, if you will.

And since Ellie brought Sophie (that's its name now) home, it loves her. It purrs and rolls on its back to be stroked and loved. It meows (a much deeper meow than we were used to hearing), and adores the attention.

Ellie and Little Drummer Boy are blissfully happy with this new arrangement.

I'm happy they're happy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Afternoon.

It's Friday.

I woke up, got dressed, got the kids dressed, fed them breakfast, and got to the church.

Master's Commission chapel.


I led worship, assisted by Michelle on vocals, Chaz on guitar.

The teaching was amazing, I may post another blog on it.

I could go on, but the point is, we felt the Presence of the Almighty. I didn't want to leave. As I continued worshiping at the closing, I looked around and could see that no one else was wanting to walk out of chapel, either.

I love mornings like that.

Then I loaded Ellie and Little Drummer Boy into the car, went home and fed them again, and they got to play outside.

And then we loaded up to go to Toys R Us to buy something (Ellie was just dying to spend her birthday money). Once we arrived at the toy store conglomerate, they each picked out something in their price range.

Except Ellie didn't figure in tax.
"I wish there was no such thing as tax!" She exclaimed dramatically in front of two sales associates.
I agreed, quietly nudging her to the register where, just maybe, one of her precious Webkinz might be on sale.

It wasn't. She looked up at me hopefully.
I shook my head. "Sorry, sweetie. You have three Webkinz there. Put one of them back," I said to her distraught why can't you do something this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in all my nine years face.

I took a deep breath, certain that I was about to have to do some heavy duty explaining and reasoning with my daughter, when my son spoke up.

"Ellie can have the rest of my money," he announced to my complete and utter shock.

Ellie beamed. Ear to ear.

Litle Drummer Boy also grinned, tickled pink he had made his sister so very happy.

She is very blessed to have a brother like this, and I told her so right then and there.

I hope she remembers this on a day when she feels like throttling him.

Here is what we did after the toy store.

The Pet Store!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Really, Really Hard.

"This doesn't make any sense," I thought, as I wearily climbed into bed after a night of not one, but two (count them, TWO) rounds of crime and punishment.

For the SAME thing.

She was being sneaky. I caught her. I told her sneaking behind my back to do something she knew she was not allowed to do was the same thing as lying.
LYING. Something God cannot abide. And neither can I.

After the consequences of her sin, and praying, she told me (with tears) that she didn't want to be sneaky. She was sorry. I forgave her.

Not an hour later, I caught her trying to sneak something else.

(Deeeep breath.)

"Ellie, you just told me you were sorry, and you didn't want to lie to me anymore, didn't you?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"And you told me that you think I'm the best mom in the whole world, and that you love me forever?"
"Yes, I do, Mom!"
"Well, how can I believe that you love me, if you continue to disobey me? For the same thing, even?"
She dropped her head.
"I don't know." She whispered.

So now, much later, I pondered this evening's events and came to this conclusion as I looked at one of Ellie's journal entries from this year.

I do the same thing with God.

"God, You are great, awesome, and powerful! You can do anything, and I love You!"
"Did you do what I asked you to do?"
"Well, I'm praying about it, and making sure it will fit in with the agenda I've already got."
"So you're still doing what you want to do."
"Uh, well, God, I want to, and I really feel led to, it's just that I'm so busy doing all this other stuff for You."
"'re NOT going to do what I asked you to."
"No, Lord! I am, just after I get all this other stuff done!"
"Kari, how can you tell Me how much you love Me, and sing praises to Me, when you can't obey Me?"

I bow my head.

"I'm sorry, Lord. I'll stop sneaking around with my list of things to do for You, and get busy doing what You already asked me to do."
"That's all I'm asking for, your heart of obedience."
"Okay. It's all Yours. I won't hold anything back."
"Yes, Lord?"
"My grace is sufficient for you."
"Thanks, Father."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Her Hero

Found this a couple days ago. It was in Ellie's third grade journal. (Started earlier this school year, before we began homeschooling.)
She had to choose a hero. Apparently, she wanted to choose her entire family (noted at the top of the page), but opted for the most obvious choice, her dad.
I love the descriptions listed around him.

Loves God. (Check.)
Is awsome (awesome), is wonderful, cool. (Check, check, check.)
Makes cool stuff! (This is the only one with an exclamation point. Biker Man has made our children the coolest swing set/fort/rock wall ever)
Funny. (They have so many inside jokes, and he continues to make them laugh--much to my dismay--about bodily functions.)
Strong. (He can still lift them over his head, and give them airplane rides, bucking bronco rides, and throw them across the room onto the bed. Don't worry, he is fully licensed to throw children.)
Fun. (Obviously.)
Has a motorcycle. (And it's not JUST a motorcycle, as Biker Man pointed out to me. It's a HARLEY. He rides nearly everyday, but I love that Ellie didn't say, LOVES his motorcycle. It doesn't define him. It's simply a tool.)
Loves my family. (No argument here. He proves this to us on a daily basis. Making dinner, helping with laundry, cleaning, hugging, kissing, picking on us, and telling us everyday how much he loves us.)

My girl hit the nail on the head. Biker Man is my valentine. (awww...) As Ellie used to say when she was younger (after watching Bambi), "You and Daddy are twitterpated."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Big Day

Today, Ellie girl is nine. Wow. The party is over, the guests have gone, and I am sitting on the couch listening to music with Little Drummer Boy next to me. He, of course is playing a game while giving me a play by play of each level he beats.

Ellie's friends began arriving on time, with the exception of Ana and Alisha. They came early (thank the Lord) to help me finish setting up. The Around the World Party was a success.

Yesterday, I realized that I didn't have a cake. Oh no.
I led worship for Master's Commission chapel (and oh my goodness it was so so wonderful), finished by lunchtime and called Biker Man to check in on preparations.

He informed me that someone had just given us three cakes. Three. And a variety of cupcakes.

Now, isn't our God great?

So here are some photos of our Ellie's party.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still Prepping

We spent yesterday afternoon painting for Ellie's upcoming birthday party.
A lot of painting.
Ellie painted a globe with all nationalities holding hands.

Little Drummer Boy painted an enormous welcome sign.

We put on Pomplamoose and Brooke Fraser and it was the ideal afternoon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting Ready Is Half The Insanity

Ellie's birthday is Saturday. In preparation, we were trying to decide what kind of party it would be. Ellie has been studying some world history, which includes ancient Greek mythology. She is fascinated by the Greek culture, not to mention the amazing food. So when she came to us with the idea of a Greek party, we weren't surprised.

"...and everyone can come dressed as a different Greek god or goddess!" She announced in excitement, as we sat on the couch.

Biker Man and I exchanged glances, his being, "Wow, she is so imaginative, but it can't happen," mine was, "Go on, honey, you now have the floor."

After explaining why Christians don't endorse false gods at parties they host, and the long history of the persecution of the Christian church, she was satisfied.

"Well, then can I have an around the world party? Everyone can come dressed from a different country, and we can have food from around the world!"

Well, I cannot tell you how excited we are to host this party. We have invited our Master's Commission students as well as her playmates. Ellie really has a heart for missions, so planning her party has been helpful for homeschooling too. She has decided to be from China, Little Drummer Boy opted to be from Texas. "But that's not a country!" Ellie protested to him, his response was, "Well, I just want to be an American." So there you go.

So this week we are trying to get this house in order, decorate, and find something to put her nine candles in. Ellie doesn't like cake. Whaaaaaat? I know. But I'm sure we can figure something out. We're having hummus as our nod to Greece.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

He's just not that impressed

A couple posts ago, I blogged about Wonder Woman. I was perusing my blog page tonight, and Little Drummer Boy caught a glimpse of the picture.
"Is that Wonder Woman?"
"Yes, it is."
"Why does she have stuff coming off her bracelets?"
"That's the bullets she's hitting away."
"Can we look at her doing that stuff? Like a video?" He looked up at me, and my mind went immediately to Lynda Carter and my childhood dreams of beating up bad guys and looking as cool as Diana.
"Sure," I said, going straight to youtube.

We looked through a couple boring tributes, and then hit gold.

I was reliving the thrill of the Lasso of Truth and the spinning, spinning, spinning that made her change complete (but somehow not dizzy).
I was sure Little Drummer Boy was going to say what I was already thinking, how cool is this?

He just had one question.
"Does she just always change into her bathing suit?"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Carrying Myself

We have had a bout of sickness in our house this week.
All week.
Fevers, coughing...and much much more I will spare you the details of.
As a result, both children are tired and sore, just from the overuse of certain muscles it takes to cough and...other things.
(See? I'm really trying to be socially polite. Aren't you impressed?)

Ellie was lying in bed about to go to sleep last night, when I came into her room.
"Mom, my legs hurt from carrying myself."
I really did try to suppress a smile, but was unsuccessful.
"Why are you smiling?"
"Because I love you so much. I'm sorry your legs hurt."
"It's okay, Mom. Love you, night," she replied, rolling over and closing her eyes.
"I love you too, baby," I said, kissing her.

I was still smiling as I walked into the living room, thinking about Ellie's comment.
Then it hit me.
How many times do I wear myself out from all the effort of trying to do everything I want to do for my family, ministry, and friends? It's pretty common, I think, with us girls.
And my legs have hurt from carrying myself.
Jesus was waiting all along to carry me when I was overwhelmed.
But sometimes, I just pick up rocks too heavy for me. (I don't have a link to the exact post, but Mama Belle wrote a post awhile back about laying down what Jesus hasn't asked you to carry. It's really good.)
Didn't our Father say, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wonder Women Worship


One of the weapons Wonder Woman had was a pair of bullet-proof bracelets. These bracelets were formed from a legendary shield belonging to a goddess. (It made me think of the shield of faith we have in our armor.)

With these indestructible bracelets, she could deflect any enemy fire, including automatic bullets and energy blasts. When slammed together, the bracelets were able create a violent force of energy that could make Superman’s ears bleed!

As women called and created to worship the Almighty God, we are armed with a similar weapon...the weapon of worship. When we worship, we are lifting up the name of Jesus, we are raising Him above anything else in our lives. In the Bible, there are many examples of worship to God bringing about victory. In Psalms, David said the God lives inside the praises of His people, and when He is praised, our enemies must run! In Acts, Paul and Silas began to praise the Lord, and an earthquake shook the prison where they were, setting them free. In the same way, today, when we worship God with hearts full of faith, there is nothing that can stand in our way!

Wonder Woman’s bracelets could also channel lighting. Just like her, when we worship the King of kings, Almighty God, we are tapping into a power greater than our own. The Creator of the universe is moving on our behalf!! Unlike the unseen forces at work in Wonder Woman’s weapons, God knows us, loves us, and is planning a future full of hope for us!