Monday, January 23, 2012

I heart Korea

Things I love about Korea:

1- Bi Bim Bap - This is a YUMMY dish served in Korea, I have not been to Korea but I have had REAL Koreans cook this for me. It was delish and I crave it often.
2- Baby lotion - It just works better.
3- Cool toys - The boys asked for Angry Birds "stuff" at Christmas and the toys they received from Korea were WAY better than anything I could find in America.
4- Long Underwear - I know, it's kinda weird, but the ones I got from there are so warm AND pretty that I wear them almost everyday under my clothes. (Yep, that means they rarely get washed)

A fun list but the previous four things don't even touch the LOVE I have for the next three things:

MY BROTHER - He lives in Korea. He is amazing and funny. Growing up he was the "relaxed" to my "vivaciousness." He is handsome and adventurous. And now he's a husband and a daddy and I want to  watch him function in those roles. I miss him, Korea better take care of him.

MY SISTER - MiJin. She is kind and generous and she calls me sister too. (Why there's even "in-law" wording is so strange to me..) Anyway, she has a servant-heart and she's an amazing cook (lucky Marcus). She's a really fun mom and yet there's this protectiveness about her that is pure, because she's a first time mom. I enjoy her, Korea better not keep her forever.

MY SWEET, SWEET SUAH - I want to watch her grow. She just started walking and she's only ten months! And I've only seen a video. This pains me. She is a go-getter and she's smart. She's so, so sweet. I love her, Korea better cherish her.

I love Korea because it holds three pieces of my heart.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SNOW! Westside VS Eastside

Westside- 4+ inches of snow = SNOW DAY!
Eastside- 4+ inches of snow = Leave earlier to go anywhere and dress your kids in their snowpants to send them to school

Westside- people driving slow = being careful
Eastside- people driving slow = they didn’t invest in snow tires

Westside- snow on the driveway = “Hey hon, do we own a snow shovel??”
Eastside- snow on the driveway = “Hey hon, get me my Carhartts, I am going to go snow plow the driveway!”

Westside- Snow + wind = Stay inside
Eastside- Snow + wind = Bundle up and get out there

Westside- Where is that one scraper tool thing?
Eastside- Everyone who knows anything has the full length scraper with brush on the other end

Things I am learning living on the Eastside:
·      All kids wear snow pants to school
·      All kids wear snow boots to school (pack your tennis shoes)
·      Kids play outside at recess unless it’s below 20 degrees
·      Snow blowers have lights on them, so you can work all day and then go snowplow, because you have to go to work in the morning
·      No one cancels anything for a measly 10” of snow…
·      Snow plow truck drivers are efficient and they drive about 40mph as they do their job

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Pretty much, I simply HATE buying napkins. Yes, the little paper pieces that we all wipe our hands and faces on at dinner time. I hate buying them. We NEED them, we USE them, they are a huge part of our dinner times. Alena usually uses, at minimum, 3 per meal. She doesn’t like her hands to be dirty at meal time. But, I HATE buying them. Why not just take 500 pieces of paper or twenty $1bills for that matter and throw them in the’s not a “green” thing for me- I just don’t like wasting money…. on napkins.

So anyway, a few weeks back I saw a tutorial on…can you guess…think about it…you got it….Pinterest, it was all about a mom who makes napkins for her kids’ lunchboxes. She bought cute material and even embroidered their names and the days of the week on them. What a great idea! AND THEN… I found something more my style:

Find an old, flat sheet and cut it up and sew the edges and then VOILA, napkins. And we don’t have to pay for them or throw them away. And they work WAY better too. One sheet made like 28 napkins for us! And I love them, because I made them and they cost me nothing!!

So, I’m a penny-pincher, I’ll live with it… and my new green (that’s what color they are!!) napkins.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friendship just pulled into my driveway...

Is there anything as amazing as true friendship? It's like comfort food, or coffee in a favorite mug, or warm pajamas on a snowy night. It just feels right. I like friendship that lends to sitting on a couch for hours and talking without missing a beat. I enjoy friendship that can do simple things and make it fun. I LOVE friendship that warrants eating meaty-pizza, donuts and drinking loads of coffee, because "we're together and that's what we like." I get excited about friendship that spurs me to be better AND lets me be me. 
This past weekend friendship and comfort and ease and joy pulled into my driveway.
I forgot how good friendship feels -- like dieting and then eating dessert again.
Anyway, it was amazing. My friend came to visit me. Not just stopped by, but got in a car with two little kiddos and drove through snow, rain and sleet (ok maybe just packed snow on the roadway, traction tires advised kind of snow) and drove several hours to see ME! And my heart was warmed. And we talked late into the night and we did simple things and made them fun and it was good.
And now, she's gone....but I realized friendship didn't pull OUT of my driveway. I realized this weekend, it was here all along. I just have to keep it close to the surface of my heart and not forget. I MISS my friend, but friendship is still here. It remains between our hearts and it won't go away if we don't let it. Thank God for that, what a gift!
Jocelyn, thanks for being my friend and keeping my heart full of friendship (and my cup full of coffee). I miss you and I am beyond grateful for you coming to my home, but more importantly, staying in my heart, even when miles separate.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Today Titus has sprouted his FIRST TOOTH!!
(I get unusually excited about all things teeth, someday I will post the video of when Nathan lost his first tooth…it was exciting)

Let me take this opportunity to tell you about Mr. T, our little man:

Age: 7 months, 10 days (Birthdate 6/2/11)
Placement in the family: 4th and last child
Mr. T at 6 months
Birth weight: 9lbs 1 oz (Bragging rights for him – he weighed more than the older boys combined at birth)
Current Weight: Almost 20 lbs
Birth Story: No epidural and it was an amazing experience
Personality: T is really sweet, his disposition is just charming and delightful.
Sleep Status: Doesn’t sleep through the night yet…
Comfort Item: a caterpillar from China, I had to modify it significantly when we realized it was his favorite.
Binky or Thumb: Binky
Solid Foods: ANYTHING, he hasn’t turned his nose up to anything yet! He’s an eater!
Words: dadada  and mamamama and he likes to be loud
Favorite things: Seeing the big kids and kisses on his cheeks

We all love you Titus. You complete our family. You have brought joy and simplicity to our life again. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our Story

Well, part of our story at least. There are many, many happenings that led us to the beginning of THIS part of our story, but those will have to be for another time, another post. For now, I will start with “our story” since March 2011.

It was the beginning of March and we finally decided-- we were going to have to put our house on the market. This was not an easy decision in light of the real estate mess our country is in, but we knew that without stepping out in this kind of faith we were not going to be able to watch the Lord move. See, we had been hemming and hawing over this decision for almost a year when March 2011 finally rolled around. We decided the first week of April was the date and we called up our AMAZING real estate agent, we’ll call him Larry, and said we were ready.

Some of our friends thought we were crazy… and, really, we were a little crazy. It was a charming house that we had made a home. Our next-door neighbors were friends from college, Ben was 1-mile from work, the yard was big (even had space for a 10x20 garden plot!), not to mention, I was 7 months pregnant with our fourth child.  But when you know that you know, you just know and you do it.

It wasn’t going to bring in the big bucks that we hoped for when we bought it five years prior, it wasn’t going to help us pay off college loans or get us a down payment for our next house purchase, but it was going to be an act of simple faith. So we cleaned and we waited and people looked and we cleaned and cleaned some more and made beds and waited.

Then… we had a baby. June 2nd, we had little Titus (well not that little, 9lbs 1oz didn’t feel little at all), and he was a blessing indeed – more on him another time. So, we got a little less sleep but we cleaned, waited, made beds and stayed up in the wee hours of the morning with our newborn.

Then… someone came to look at our house and I forgot to put the dog away and Larry, the realtor, called to ask if the dog was nice and could he put him away…And I forgot (remember I have a newborn) to check Alena’s room… when I returned the dog was put away and I checked upstairs to find Alena’s bed was “made” by 4-year old hands and her room was “cleaned” with 4-year old perspective. Sigh. And… of course, because this is how our powerful God works through our simple life…we got a call! Yup! We had a potential buyer. They were serious too, ready to wait it out with us…so we waited, and called banks, and filled out paperwork and waited. And did more paperwork and waited.

Then…Ben found a job posting. And it was in Spokane… And it was exactly what he had been doing in Tacoma the last 4 years. So, it seemed maybe something was starting to line up. He applied and they said they wouldn’t interview for about a month. So we waited and now we didn’t have to clean, but we did have to do more paperwork and we waited…and we got approved to sell by Bank #2!!! So we waited to hear from Bank #1.

And then it was summer and we had no clue what the fall would hold. So, I went to Spokane to visit my brother and I stayed for 2 weeks (he was visiting from Korea so it made sense to stay around for awhile). And I started to worry… It was the beginning of AUGUST- Where were we going to live in one short month? Where were the kids going to go to school in one short month? What are we doing? Where will Ben work on the first day of school? I kept hearing “Patience.” PATIENCE? Really??!! Patience? We have ONE short month to figure this out…. My simple mind couldn’t fathom His powerful plan.

So we came back to Tacoma and then the school called… “Can you interview on August 23?” We had just been IN Spokane for two weeks, why couldn’t he have interviewed then? But of course, “Yes.” So Ben drove BACK to Spokane to interview and they said he’d hear back on Friday.

We decided at that point that we might as well have a yard sale. Either way, with the perspective looking good on the sale of the house, we would need to move SOMEWHERE. So August 26-28 we sold as much of our stuff as possible and tried to keep our thoughts OFF of the ever looming “call” from Bank #1 and tried to push away the stress of a call from the school which now would not be calling until Monday (29th).

We got really, really antsy. We had less stuff and the same questions threatened to push me over the edge… Where would the kids go to school? Where would we live? Should we look for an apartment? PLUS the thought that each time I saw a friend would be the last time, did push my emotions to the brink.

Monday came and went….slowly, but it went by and we didn’t hear from the school. Thankfully I had a former classmate that works at the HS Ben applied to and he HEARD through the grapevine that Ben was going to be offered the job. Now things started to ROLL….and fast. At this point is when I must say a huge SORRY to anyone who didn’t know what was going on in our lives. All my mind could focus on was minute by minute what needed to be done for the kids and us to transition, in one piece.

Tuesday I called my friend, let’s call her Holly, and started to utter the unfathomable, “Oh my goodness, this is going to happen, HOW are we going to say goodbye? And HOW will the kids do? And WHAT am I doing? And are we doing the right thing?” So we planned a good-bye party without even knowing if we had the job yet. And then on Wednesday I got in the car with my four children and I drove to Spokane…there were orientations for kids’ schools that I felt were necessary…and we still didn’t know if Ben got the job.  Then that night, we got the call. Ben was offered the job. We were moving to Spokane. 

Thursday Ben started teaching in Tacoma (he hadn’t officially quit his job, since we didn’t know if we got the Spokane one yet…we didn’t have THAT much faith :) ) and on Friday I drove back to Tacoma with Ben’s parents. We packed late into the night and all day on Saturday and on Sunday morning there was a U-Haul in front of my house. We packed our life into that big truck and Ben got in the drivers seat to chauffeur it all the way across the state, to Spokane, Washington. We unpacked the truck on Sunday night and thanked the Lord for Labor Day weekend. Ben and all three big kids started school on Tuesday!

So, we live here now and our life is settling in. There are many, many stories of confirmation along the way. One being that we did hear from Bank #1 eventually and the house sell went through at the end of September. I will share each story over time, but for now this blog entry is a novel. I will say in closing, thank you to all of the people who have supported us through this crazy time and glory to the One who has guided us and protected us and has a plan far better than our minds could have ever imagined.

Jeremiah 29:11 –

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.

Why Simplicity with Power?

Many years ago a wise man taught on the subject of Simplicity with Power. I don’t know why but his upfront message changed me.

When Jesus was here he did simple, every day acts, but the result of his life on earth was powerful and transforming. I mean, just look at one example…Jesus is walking along on a street, doing nothing extraordinary, just being with people. A sick lady thinks to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” So she touches Him and His power heals her and she is transformed in an instant. Like sick, then not. Imagine that, just walking then POW, you just healed someone. Or imagine head cold, stuffy nose, sore sinuses, yucky throat, then BOOM totally well. (Her disease wasn’t the common cold, but you get the point).

I am NOT trying to imply that anyone would be healed from touching my Columbia jacket; but I do hope and pray that as I am with people (my kids, friends, strangers) that Jesus will work through me. What I AM possibly implying is that I want to live, EVERY DAY, believing a simple reach to touch Jesus can do powerful things through me. Simple belief. Simple faith. Let Him do the big stuff. That sounds easy.  

Finally, I consider this today as I ponder why I chose the name of my blog…


Seriously, in my opinion, the simplest of concepts but so powerful when truly acted upon. I think it’s the perfect example of simplicity with power. If you get the chance, try looking up this YouTube video, it’s a great example of forgiveness and it’s powerful impact:


2010 ESPYS: Arthur Ashe Award - Ed Thomas

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why a Blog?

I’m starting a blog. There are many reasons why but some of them include…

  • people have told me to (specifically Ben, my hot hubby)
  • maybe someday I’ll be as popular as Pioneer Woman?
  • I am a little bit bored sometimes
  • Other than Parenthood and Chopped there’s nothing worth watching on TV
  • I’ve always wanted to record the cute things my kids do, I’ve just never really had time
  • My friends are doing it. And if Holly Bernard ( or Emily Grunenfelder ( jumped off a bridge, I would do it right after them

So January 2012 is a great time to start right? I know I’m not having any more kids, so my life might get easier and easier every day from here on out….

I want my blog to be simple, relevant and something we can look back on to remember things, if after one year we can’t do that, I’m quitting.

Here we go!