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waiting <3

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psalms 33:4-5,18,20-22
for the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. he loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. but the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. we put our hope in the Lord. he is our help and our shield. in him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.

psalms 34:2-9,15,17-20
i will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. i prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. he freed me from all my fears. those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. in my desperation i prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. for the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. taste and see that the Lord is good. oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. the eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. the Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. the righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. for the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!

the true goodbye ♥

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i know i have been a little quiet lately. i am working on a post that will include a photo tour of our new apartment and “neighborhood” but i haven’t quite finished taking the pictures. unpacking is coming along pretty nicely but SLOW mostly because getting the things i need is a bit of a chore. i can’t just run to target and pick up that helpful organization tub or set of shelves. i am trying to be creative with what i have and then as time and help permits we venture out to places like metro (a mini version of a walmart?) and the construction piața. we were giving a beautiful coffee table that originally came from ikea and right now it is also our kitchen table. i kind of like the asian flare of sitting on the ground while eating! we have an awesome mattress in our room and a pretty cool crib and bed with drawers in the girls’ room. sarah and i decorated the girls’ room and it makes me smile every time i walk in there. 🙂 it is definitely the little things that help.

the girls seem to be back on the correct sleeping schedule for the most part. the only problem is that mercy has gotten quite comfortable sleeping in bed with her mama and daddy. something tells me we might have a few sleep battles ahead of us, but in the long run it was worth the full nights of sleep and recovering from jet lag. i think sleep might be an adjustment once again because addy has gotten quite comfortable with getting in bed with her dohdoh around 5am and falling back asleep until 7:30 or 8am.

on that note, i was sleeping this morning…planning on getting up around 6 or 6:30a and i was getting into that light, dozing sleep around 4:45a. then as clear as daylight, the thought went through my head: my sister is leaving tomorrow. and suddenly i couldn’t sleep anymore. so i got up, found some slippers and a sweatshirt in the dark (although from the looks of things, i think i found my own slippers but this sweatshirt is most definitely not mine). i came out to the living room and made some coffee. may i just interject that we don’t control our own heat source (should we thank past communism? socialism?) and so far it has been pretty warm. but the last two mornings (when it’s oh just -9*F outside), it has been pretty chilly in here!

anyway, i am sitting here sipping on very hot coffee and trying to warm up a little. and i am thinking. i never expected to become close friends with my sister sarah when we were younger. i was an idiot. then she was an idiot. ♥ you can read about it here. but when she moved down three years ago (to southern california) i found myself really enjoying her. and when she moved in with us in august 2010, i found myself becoming really good friends with her. the kind that just enjoy hanging out. so when the Lord started laying it on our hearts to move to moldova and she prayed about the same thing, it seemed natural. we both have a heart for missions, language, culture…the list goes on. she wasn’t made for socal for the rest of her life. {i don’t mean that mean, socal. i actually miss you. but you are your own culture, okay?}

so when she finally came to this point of realizing that she was not suppose to go to moldova with us, i think both of us were a little surprised. maybe even shocked. because honestly, i don’t know why. there really isn’t anything wrong with her moving to moldova, right? i mean…it’s a good desire, to serve a church plant, want to be a missionary, the list goes on. and then we are in the middle of age old doctrinal debates about God’s permissive will and His perfect will and so forth. but i don’t want to get in a doctrinal debate or anything. the bottom line is that both sarah and i believe that the Lord has a perfect plan for both of us and for some reason that we don’t understand right now, the Lord has made it very clear to me that i am supposed to live in moldova and very clear to sarah that she is suppose to live in southern california.

so while i am still struggling with that concept, i have to trust the Lord. my mama sent me this verse:
Psalm 30
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!

i am sitting here and i am wondering, am i able to chose to give thanks in all things? i know i am commanded to in the bible. and i know the Lord wants to enable me to. i take that back…i know He already has enabled me. but deep down, am i going to do it? i look back at when i moved down south in 2005 and i was pretty much all alone and it was a good thing. i wonder if the Lord wants to get me out of the picture for a little while because face it, i am the older sister and stubborn because the older sibling always thinks their way is best. (for the record that isn’t always true!) maybe this is a time for sarah to be alone with her God and trust only in Him. or maybe i am the one that needs to be alone because it is good for me to rely on only my God during this transition of moving my family to another country. oh wait, maybe it’s all that and a little more thrown into the mix.

psalms 30 also says in verse 5, “…weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” or as my mom reminded me, spring comes after winter. something in me hopes that means sarah is moving to chisinau in spring. i will even wait until spring 2013 if necessary. ♥

we couldn’t have made this move without sarah. that is the honest truth. we couldn’t have flown san francisco to frankfurt to kiev and then driven to chisinau with nine checked bags, nine carry on bags, a car seat, a stroller and two kids. mercy would still be in frankfurt and addy would be in kiev. and who knows what important things would still be in san francisco?! we could not have made it through these past three weeks of extreme jet lag, unpacking, crazy cold temperatures and running places. have i mentioned that we have had to run a million errands in the past three weeks? we have been to the picture place, the lawyer’s, the hospital over and over (where we had to receive a stamp from twenty-five million types of doctors including the shrink when i answered one question only: have you been crazy before? don’t worry, i answered yes, i mean no!) but through that all, sarah has babysat and helped unpack and helped cook and helped clean…oh my, clean! i won’t gross you out with the details of cleaning our bathroom nor tell you of the treasures we found!

so while i am sure sarah has enjoyed parts of being here, i can’t imagine this has been quite a vacation even though she bought her own flight and used up all her vacation time at work for the entire year. and let me tell you, -9*F is no bahama vacation. yet i don’t know what it would have been like without her these last few weeks. and while i know i am supposed to give thanks in all things, i will confess i am still trying to figure out how to give thanks that i might not see my sister for a year. please keep us in your prayers today and tomorrow as we say goodbye. and please keep sarah in your prayers as she travels back to socal (odessa –> kiev –> new york –> los angeles) and then goes back to work on monday.

just a few of my favorite pictures these past three weeks:

muscles and more!

true jet lag

yeah addy is sound asleep in the middle of the day

we found an "american" coffee shop

sarah, i love you and i already miss you. please be smart and safe in thousand oaks without me. i can’t wait to see your daily pictures. please come visit me soon. ♥

we are here!

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soooooo this will be a quick post but i just wanted to “officially” say that we are here! it was a blur and it is still a blur but i am pretty sure we are alive. 🙂

the best part of the trip were the many answered prayers! the hardest part of the trip were the goodbyes and then the sleep deprivation.

sunday morning we got up and went to church, then said goodbye to uncle andrew and auntie casey, then went to lunch and yogurt, followed by goodbyes to uncle aaron, auntie cacey, spencer and emma. it was pretty rough. addy and spencer were trying to understand why everyone was crying.

sunday afternoon we drove to modesto with grammie, pops and auntie dora. we had dinner with grandma and grandpa ducky and spent the night at their house.

monday morning we got up and all drove to san francisco international airport. we found a nice porter that helped up load all of our blue bins and told us to just go ahead and zip tie them and there wouldn’t be any problems. i was a little nervous because they had been weighed using a scale at home and i was planning on taking a few items out of each one that was too heavy.

we got up to the ticket counter and the german lady that helped us was sweet and kind! the porter started sliding the bins across and she never once checked their weight! most said 22 kilos (the max) but a few said 23 and 24 kilos and one said 25 kilos! she changed our seats around and we were done in a few minutes.

while we were checking in, grammie and pops were bringing in our carry-on baggage. we were allowed a LOT of carry-ons but i do not think i will ever again bring the max. we were each allowed one 56 cm suitcase (four total) plus a personal item/backpack (four more), plus mercy got a diaper bag, stroller and carseat!

we went to the food court and tried eating some lunch. it’s funny how those last few minutes are kind of blurred together and i wish i could rewind them. ♥ it was time to go through security all too soon and we finally had to say our goodbyes to grammie, pops, auntie dora and grandma and grandpa ducky. christian made a joke that hopefully tsa didn’t suspect anything weird since we were all crying and puffy eyed as we went through.

security was intense the first time. we split it up and tried to have a method…including christian taking the three laptops through and i chose a “pat down” instead of taking mercy through the new machines and got all the baby food/meds/milk tested. i don’t think we could have done it without sarah…collapsing the stroller, grabbing jackets, passports, etc. it was pure crazy! by the time we got to our gate, we actually only had twenty minutes to boarding!

once at the gate, lufthansa offered to check any carry-ons that could be checked through to kiev so we sent two suitcases that didn’t have really valuable stuff with the flight attendant. we ended up using addy’s carseat in her seat which i think really helped her sleep through some of the flight.

the flight to frankfurt went really fast, surprisingly. traveling with kids makes those long flights quite a bit less fun but all things considered, it was good! the kids were pros and really didn’t melt down at all. the flight times weren’t the best (2:40pm to our body) because neither girl was sleepy until the last couple hours of the flight.

once we got to frankfurt (possibly the most confusing/weird layout/uninviting airport ever…except the people were really nice!) we checked all our carry-on bags for the day and took the train into the city. we didn’t do much but looked around. frankfurt is a really pricey city, it seemed!

the flight from frankfurt to kiev was quick and easy, although packed. we made friends with the nicest german (daddy of two young kids) flight attendant and he even spent some time holding mercy and chatting with addy! we landed around 1:30am local time in kiev and it was a breeze. i guess world cup 2012 is going to be in kiev so basically the days of interogation and drawn out customs and scary russian speaking men is over (at least for now). all of our luggage (8 tubs, 3 suitcases) came off comepletely untouched and we were outside in thirty minutes!

steven and cristi met us and loaded up our stuff. we drove straight through the night and got to chisinau around noon (i think!). the girls finished the trip off like champs. the only challenge has been their internal clocks. addy’s first two nights she fell asleep around 9pm and slept until midnight (11a-2p to her body, her typical nap) and then was awake from midnight until 5am until finally falling back asleep at 5 (7p to her body, her typical bedtime!). it was a little brutal. okay no, it was a lot brutal! mercy just wants to eat three times a night, typical “breakfast,” “lunch” and “dinner.” last night seemed to be the break through because although addy woke up at 2am to use the bathroom, she fell back asleep!

we have lots of praises. everything got her safely. even a sewing machine and a serger in two different carry-on bags. our bins were completely untouched! we didn’t have to pay a single “tax” getting into ukraine or crossing over into moldova.

we already have a two bedroom apartment and it takes about 3 or 4 minutes to walk to it from steven and teresa’s! we have been cleaning and hopefully will be sleeping there in a day or two. we were blessed with some FREE furniture, saving us lots of money!

we started our visa process and so far, so good. it looks like we will be getting FIVE year visas to begin with!

i am sure i am missing something but i am still a little sleep deprived. thank you for praying for us. continued prayer requests would be:
1. that the girls would continue to get back on sleeping schedule
2. that our apartment prep would go smoothly and quickly
3. that we wouldn’t be too homesick (i definitely am!)
4. that we would settle in easily…our apartment, language, etc.

love of lots from moldova!

we’re going on a trip in our favorite rocket ship…

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it really is happening. a lot of people have asked us about details and prayer requests. here is a breakdown of our travel times and a few prayer requests.

sunday, jan 15th: go to church, go out to eat with marie’s family, drive to modesto and have dinner with christian’s family

monday, jan 16th:
9:30am – leave for the airport
2:40pm – take off from san fransisco

tuesday, jan 17th:
1:30am – land in frankfurt, germany (10:30am local time)
12noon – take off from frankfurt (9:00pm local time)
2:00pm – land in kiev, ukraine (12midnight local time)

wednesday, jan 18th:
3:00pm – drive to chisinau, moldova (1:00am local time)
11:00pm – arrive in chisinau (9:00am local time)

prayer requests:
the goodbyes today and tomorrow ♥
safe travels and calm (sleepy?!) kids
favor with the airlines, tsa security, etc
that our tubs would travel safely and untouched (and weigh the right amount!)
finding an apartment as soon as possible (we will be staying with steven and teresa but
if possibly we would like to move into our apartment while sarah is there to help)
there is probably more that i can’t think of so just pray as the Spirit leads!

we may be quiet for a few days. no scratch that…we will be quiet for a few days. we will try and up date once we are there safely!

a little clip of the song we keep singing to addy:

the youngest ones ♥

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i have two more siblings that i still wanted to write a little something about. 🙂 i decided to write a post about these two together because they have a very special place in my heart. they are my younger siblings that i got to play “mom” to. 🙂 for those of you that were older when a sibling was born, you know what i mean! i wanted to share my favorite memory about each of them.

timothy was born when i was nine and i loved being older sister + mom to him. i carried him around, dressed him up and changed his diaper. and when he started talking, no one could understand him. except me. he would come into the room and say an entire long sentence and everyone in the room would turn and look at me and i would interpret. i guess i was actually bilingual back then, ha! i have always appreciated how loyal he is to us as a family and how protective he is. he is working in seattle right now and saying goodbye to him after christmas was pretty difficult. we love you, uncle t!

dora was six and a half when she joined our family. i was seventeen when i had the very special privilege of traveling to romania with dad to bring her home. i really believe traveling there when i was seventeen was one of the first seeds the Lord planted in my heart for eastern europe. while we were there in romania, i remember dad sleeping from jet lag and i was keeping an eye on dora (we were staying in a romanian hotel). i watched dora motion for me to be quiet as she tip toed over to dad and woke him up with tickles and giggles…proof that she would fit into the klein family and their sense of humor! thank you auntie dora for being such a great help these past few months. ♥

i could continue telling stories about these two. they taught me how to be a mama long before i actually became a mama. i am so thankful the Lord allowed them to be my younger siblings.

p.s. i didn’t forget to write about my sister sarah. you can find that blog here.

cacey nichole

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i have really enjoyed my brothers getting married but i will be honest, it hasn’t always been easy. it was actually somewhat difficult to watch my older brother aaron get married. you grow up with your siblings and when you are close in age, often you grow up as good friends. i would say aaron and i grew up as pretty good friends. then someone comes along and they fall head over heels for that person and you are standing there wondering where you fit in.

i was blessed to get cacey nichole as my very first sibling-in-law.

i never felt left out or excluded. i think she went out of her way to make me feel welcome and not awkward. she didn’t treat me any different now that she was married to my brother. she was willing to go from being my friend to my sister and friend.

i have always really appreciated that about her. ♥

i met cacey was i was 12. she became my sister when i was 19. but just this past year, the year i turned 30, i feel like we have become even closer than i ever imagined. we have not only been sisters and friends but we have been mothers together. i have appreciated her honestly, her transparency and her willingness to live sacrificially.

thanks cacey for being such an amazing friend and sister. i have loved spending these past few months seeing you almost daily! i am going to miss our afternoons chatting while the cousins play together.

p.s. please visit me in moldova!

sushi date ♥

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last night was a fun evening. my little younger brother andrew and his wife casey took us out to sushi for our christmas present. getting a food gift from my brother andrew is a lot like striking gold, because he goes all out with food. score. it was definitely delicious and for all i know, it might be the last time for a while we eat sushi. legit sushi, that is!

i have to say, ten years ago i would never have dreamed that i would be going out on a double date with my brother and his wife. i love all my siblings but andrew, well…he was big and hyper and obnoxious. truth be told, he is still big and hyper but somewhere along the way, the obnoxious-ness seems to have disappeared. mostly. 🙂

on a serious note, i am in awe at the Lord’s writing in his life. watching a younger sibling grow up is pretty cool because you watch them grow through all the stages of childhood and adolescence. it is pretty sweet to see my brother as an adult man, serving the Lord and happily married to the love of his life. it is also nice to really (really, really) like his wife. ♥

i am blessed to have them in my life. they are an amazing auntie and uncle to addy and mercy. they are fun and sweet. they are generous and kind. there were a few years way back when we were younger that i thought about disowning andrew. {interject marie’s arm broken by andrew here.} today i can’t imagine him not being my younger brother and casey not being my sister-in-law.

i am blessed to have them in my life!

best first dance ever!

seven days to moldova

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20120109-080634.jpg
wow.

on that note…i have a few fun stories i have always wanted to share. ♥

my brother aaron writes here, works here and he and his wife cacey started this organization and are working on this project. {take a few minutes to check out all those cool links.}

however my stories are from long ago. hah.

i was around five and he was eight. we each had a list of chores. he offered to do the coolest thing for me: drill a hole between my room and our parents’ room. i should mention that our only television was in their bedroom. that way, i could watch tv in the evenings when they did. the only catch? i just had to do all his chores for one month. i was up for the exchange but i think our mom noticed after a day or two and put a stop to it. 🙂

aaron’s room was on the “basement” floor so to keep me out of his bedroom, he told me that the staircase was the tunnel from babes in toyland when tom is kidnapped by evil barnaby. it worked because i refused to take a step downstairs, which included refusing to get the clean laundry from the laundry room. our mom was more than perplexed i would say.

aaron created a detective club that i was a part of. all was going well until he decided to make business cards at our dad’s desk and accidentally wrote “C I A Detectives” on an entire stack of invoices. you know, the pre-printer-carbon-paper kind. i don’t think our dad was very thrilled to be writing invoices with “C I A” inscribed on all of them.

aaron and i were actually really close growing up. we were very different kind of kids but i like to think that we complemented each other. one of my most favorite memories was the fall i turned ten and he turned thirteen. he came home from youth group and solemnly explained to me that he could no longer play with me, due to the fact that i was a child and he was now a teenager. i mourned for a full week until mom and dad explained to him that siblings could be friends no matter what age they were and then all was back to normal.

thanks bro, for being such a great older brother. thanks for coming first and making all the mistakes so that i could learn from you and be the perfect second born child. on a serious note, thanks for making a difference in this world and for supporting christian and i as we move to another country. oh and thanks for marrying one of my best friends and also for making me an auntie! ♥

aaron and my sister-in-law, cacey nichole

new year’s resolutions?

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i’ve seen it all…new year’s resolutions that are literally contracts between you and…um, new year’s? then the other side…a refusal to resolve to do anything. hmmmm.
i want to propose a middle. goals are good. they don’t define you but they give you somewhere to go. i don’t know about you but i need a challenge here and there.
don’t worry if a week into it, you forget something. but as the saying goes, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”
and no, it isn’t too late to resolve to do something. the eighth of january is a great day to write a few resolutions!

i wrote down a few things…spiritual, emotional and physical. my spiritual ones this year included reading the bible in a year, chronological style. i’d like to get a better understanding of the history and timeline of the bible. i used to have it down but this year marks over twelve years since i took my biblical backgrounds (bible history) class in college. yeesh.

so i started this plan on you version. now i am a big fan of blue letter bible for studying. but i am also a big fan of you version. if you set up an account (simple) you can also download the app on your smart phone. then you add your reading plans and you have the option to read them anywhere…your computer, your phone, etc. i need all the help i can get reading my bible! i also like that you version has audio with many of their versions. so while i still try and read my bible reading in the morning, i can also listen to it again while i am getting ready, using my phone. brilliant.

i’d really like to encourage you to check it out.

on a similar yet different note, i am in job right now because job is undated. job is a little gross to me (um, boils?) and reminds me of children bickering. yet when i read books of the bible that aren’t particularly my favorite, i’m always reminded that ALL scripture is “…given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 timothy 3:16).

on that note, this verse jumped out at me this morning…in job 19:25-27, “but as for me, i know that my redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. and after my body has decayed, yet in my body i will see God! i will see him for myself. yes, i will see him with my own eyes. i am overwhelmed at the thought!”

now that’s a crazy cool promise.

p.s. eight more days til moldova-bound. pray for me. my head is going crazy! ♥

my bff ♥

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This is a favorite movie of my mom and I. The whole clip is great but our favorite scene of the entire movie starts at 3 minutes into the clip.

I was born in November and the following February, my mom found out that her dad was dying of cancer. Just sixteen days after my first birthday, he passed away. My mom tells me that I was joy to have during that time of grief and sadness. I’m told I was an easy and happy baby and had many smiles to share when my mom needed them the most.

I have one random, early memory and it includes my mom. I was sitting in a chair and she said to me, “if you sit still and don’t cry, you get this candy.” Come to find out, I was getting my ears pierced and that candy was a tootsie roll. I believe I was 18 months or 2 years old. The story goes that my mom took me home and showed my grandma and my grandma cried that my ears were ruined. I remembered this story fondly both times I took my girls to get their ears ruined pierced when they were only 5 months old. ☺

Four years after my grandpa passed away, my mom led me to the Lord on Christmas day, 1986 while we were visiting his grave. I can remember her smiling and telling me I could ask Jesus into my heart anywhere if I was ready to. The cool part about it is that my mom never assumed her kids would just grow up “saved.” She pointed each of us towards Jesus and a personal relationship with Him and when we were ready, she and my dad led us to the Lord.

My mom home schooled us and I loved every minute of it. I know without a doubt that she is the one that instilled in me such a love of learning. She is the one that taught me that every moment is a teaching moment. I was an imaginative and creative kid that wanted to make a mess. She let me make messes. I always wanted to play outside in my own made up world. My mom allowed me to be a little girl for as long as I needed to. She gave me a passion for teaching which ended us being one of my careers.

She also let me work alongside her. I have since learned that children are more work than help and appreciate her efforts even more. We baked and cooked together. I remember mopping the floor and cleaning the bathrooms together. She taught us work ethics at a young age. We had regular chores and then we had extra “paid chores.” Paid chores, however, meant that we needed to tithe 10% and save 10%. I never realized how much my mom had taught me until I moved away to college and discovered how many young adults didn’t even know how to do their own laundry.

I think I was an easy kid, a decent teenager and a challenging young adult. As a young adult, I found myself wanting to distance myself from my parents like me peers. I found myself buying the lies of the world that I needed to “spread my wings and fly” and “find myself” outside of my own family. I enjoyed “being my own person.” I can only imagine that I caused some pain during those years as I attempted to push my family away yet my mom stayed in my life, praying for me and loving me. As an adult I finally can look back and realize that my mom was actually teaching me to be my own person within the love and security of a family.

I think since having children of my own, I have begun to understand my mom more. I find myself understanding why she did and said certain things. I find myself wishing I had understood these things fifteen years ago. My mom taught me to sew in high school, but I didn’t really try to learn. Now I find myself emailing her sewing questions. I find myself wishing I had appreciated the sacrifices she made for me.

Living here with my parents has been a lot of fun. It has also been an eye opener for me. I have a very special privilege that not many can claim to have. A few weeks ago, my mom and I was chatting and she said to me, “you know Marie, I really like you.” I think I may have answered, “I love you too” without giving it a lot of thought. I know my mom loves me fiercely and I love her. The next day however, during my shower (my place of great revelations) it hit me that parents love their kids no matter what…through every good and bad choice. But what my mom was expressing was that we had been able to go from a mother/daughter relationship to a friend relationship. I realized that I had come to a place of calling my own mom my close friend and confidant. I don’t think this is extremely common and I am realizing just how privileged I am that my mom would want to be my friend.

As I am getting ready to trek across the country to live in a different country, I find myself aware that soon I won’t be able to pick up the phone and call my mom any time I feel like. Yet I am also comforted knowing that our friendship has grown through some pretty big mountains and some pretty low valleys. I am confident that we will continue to grow in our friendship no matter where we live. My mom is already planning her visit in October and I find great comfort in that.

No matter where I live and no matter where you live, Mom…I just want to make sure you realize something. I love you of course. That one is a given. But you know what else? I really like you, Mom.

Thanks for being my bff. ♥

“my pops is really the tops!”

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I have a poem I wrote as a child called “My Pops is Really the Tops!” I need to find it and scan it. But until then, I wanted to write this special post about my dad. I have been working on it for a while, trying to perfect it…but it is never going to be just perfect. So here it is, Daddy. ♥

The top five things I learned from my Dad:

5. Don’t charge something unless you have the money in your bank account to pay for it.
I wish I had learned this lesson without experience but I might have a bit of a stubborn streak in me. ☺ Four years of debt pay back later, I have this one memorized.

4. Don’t travel without emergency cash.
This one saved my boo-tay. I moved down south on August 29th, 2005. I drove to Santa Cruz, spent the day with my brother Andrew and then the next day drove to Thousand Oaks. At a gas station off of Lavel Road exit (bottom of the grapevine), I discovered that I had less than a quarter tank of gas and my wallet was in Santa Cruz. Thanks Dad for teaching me to travel with cash locked in my glove compartment.

3. If you are going to take the time to do something, do it right.
My dad and I built a barn for my pony and my goats. It was “just” a barn yet my Dad taught me to use a level and a plumb line and we did the entire thing like it was a palace for a queen. And you know what? That barn is still standing strongly. ‘Cause you know, Dad, you and I were in fat city. ☺

2. Observe before you open your mouth and ask questions.
I think I was the “20 Questions” kid. I would walk into a room and fire off questions, “what are you doing?” “What’s that for?” “Where does that go?” My Dad would calmly reply, “wait and watch. And then if you are still confused, ask me a question.”

1. Spend time with God before you do anything else.
My Dad had a work schedule that started pretty early but he always got up earlier. Every morning, no matter how early I got up, I would come down and in the early morning light, my Dad would be in the living room, reading his bible and praying.


I could say a lot more about my Dad but this post is fitting just to him. He’s a man of few unnecessary words and that is a trait I need to emulate more. So instead of going on and on, I am just going to end this post by saying this – –
Thanks Dad for letting me be your little girl and for treating my like a princess. Thanks for helping equip me to be a confident woman that leans only on the Lord.
I love you lots. ♥

happy birthday, Jesus!

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i was going to post this on christmas day, but i didn’t get a chance to. christmas day is a birthday for me. it’s the day i celebrate the birth of my Savior, coming to earth in the lowly form of mankind. and it’s the day i celebrate my own spiritual birth. maybe that is why i love christmas so much.

christmas day, 1986
i was five years old and we had just moved to northern california. we were down south, celebrating christmas with my grandma bell. my grandpa bell had passed away in 1982 and was buried here, forest lawn:

sometime that afternoon, we decided to put flowers on his grave. i remember standing there, thinking, “wow i am standing on top of grandpa…gross!” i don’t remember every little detail (hey, i was five!) but here is the conversation i do remember:
me: am i standing on grandpa?
mom: you are standing on his body, but he is in his new body and in heaven with Jesus.
me: how come he is in heaven?
mom: because he asked Jesus into his heart.
me: what happens if you don’t ask Jesus into your heart?
mom: well…you go to hell. <-- yes, this makes my mom awesome
me: am i going to hell?!
mom: um yes…you are.
me: why didn’t you tell me?!
mom: we have been telling you and you are just starting to understand.
me: mom, i need to do something!
mom: you need to pray and tell Jesus that you have sinned and that you are sorry and then ask Jesus to forgive you and come and live in your heart.
me: okay let’s do it.

1986 was a pretty good christmas for me. not only do i celebrate the birth of my Savior but because of that christmas day, i also get to celebrate my own spiritual birthday.

oh and because i turned 3-0 this year, it’s also my quarter of a century spiritual birthday. thank you Lord, for saving me!

i hope you had an amazing christmas.
happy new year!