Easter Pictures?

Pop Quiz: Can you tell if the following #TBT pictures are from Easter?

Tricky, but judging from the white gloves I'm wearing, I'd say yes.

Tricky, but judging from the white gloves I’m wearing, I’d say yes.

All cousins have gathered together, so it's a holiday of some kind. But the red dresses and long sleeves makes me think it's Christmas.

All cousins have gathered together, so it’s a holiday of some kind. But the red dresses and long sleeves makes me think it’s Christmas.

I have no idea. It looks like my brother is looking for Easter eggs, but he doesn't have a basket. So maybe not.

I have no idea. It looks like my brother is looking for Easter eggs, but he doesn’t have a basket. So maybe not.

Yes it's Easter. And don't ask how old I was in that frilly dress. It's embarrassing.

Yes it’s Easter. And don’t ask how old I was in that frilly dress. It’s embarrassing.

Easter baskets! We have evidence! And in most of my childhood memories, my dad is wearing that shirt.

Easter baskets! We have evidence! And in most of my childhood memories, my dad is wearing that shirt.

Cousins and baskets! Double evidence!

Cousins and baskets! Double evidence!

Just threw that in there to see if you were paying attention.

Just threw that in there to see if you were paying attention. I’m the cute little toddler on the right.

Not sure, but I don't remember my mother ever wearing a bonnet. Makes me think it's Easter.

Not sure, but I don’t remember my mother ever wearing a bonnet. Makes me think it’s Easter.

Happy Easter! Enjoy hunting for eggs and dressing in your Easter best!

The Rest of The Jonah Story

We are probably all familiar with the story of Jonah. You know, the guy who was swallowed by a whale (or big fish, depending on the version of your Bible). But until a few days ago, I never knew the rest of Jonah’s story.

Jonah running away from God’s calling to go to Nineveh. Out of the frying pan, into the belly of the whale.

After reading with my son in his Bible the familiar story from my childhood, I decided to read the book of Jonah myself. I have to admit, it was the first time I’ve ever read it, but with only four chapters it was a pretty easy read. I don’t know why most people focus so much on the first three chapters and decide to leave out the fourth, since that is where the real lesson lies.

When Jonah was out of the whale’s belly and back on dry land, he immediately went to do what God called him to do. He began spreading God’s Word and His love with the people of Nineveh, but it was done grudgingly. Not joyfully, like this picture depicts:

“Hey everybody, have I got a tale for you!”

Instead, he became angry. Really, really angry. So angry that he prayed to God and actually told Him, “I told you so”:

“Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” – Jonah 4:2-3

Some nerve Jonah had. So when God answers, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (instead of just smiting him right away, which is what I’d be tempted to do if I were God…which I’m not, thank Him) Jonah does what most of us would do. He pouts up on a hill where he has a good view of the city. From there, he can watch the people he has grown to hate from a safe distance.

And how does God respond? He gives Jonah a nice leafy tree (or plant, depending on your version) to provide Jonah with shade so he can rest his weary head. How about that? He doesn’t smite him; He comforts him. Well, until the next day, when he brings a worm to eat the plant and a scorching wind to blaze Jonah’s head. Almost a smite.

Jonah again becomes angry with God for killing the plant and wants to die himself. God replies:

“You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” – Jonah 4:10-11

Jonah’s story ends there, but his lesson is one that still applies today. We don’t get to pick and choose who to love or have compassion to, or which living things are more precious. God calls us to love everyone, even when we think they don’t deserve it. Because we’re all sinners, after all.

It’s All Morning’s Fault

I’d like to start things off with an old joke that my dad likes to tell in regards to being a know-it-all: “There was that one time I thought I wrong, but I was mistaken.” That’s usually my approach when facing an apology. I may have been in the wrong, but it was the other person’s fault just as much as mine because they led me to my mistake. Or something. It’s flawed logic, but it helps me get by.

Today’s post is inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt 1.) The last time you apologized to someone was for…not being a morning person.

Or people in the mornings…or mornings when people are around…

You see, I can barely bring myself to get up at my leisure when I don’t have a job to get ready for or anything pressing to do. I’m a night owl. Morning’s just aren’t my thing. So is it my fault that while I was in the middle of making breakfast yesterday my husband tried to interrupt me to show me this funny video?

)

Granted, it is a funny video. I was just in the middle of trying to chop and couldn’t watch the sharp knife in my hand and the video at the same time. Sure I could have taken a minute break to watch, but I was already feeling grumpy because, you know, mornings. So I may have snapped at him. And it may have hurt his feelings. And I maybe had to apologize later when I realized that I was not being a loving and kind wife.

It’s not my fault, really. It’s mornings.

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Save The Children

I don’t usually post about social causes because I feel like we hear about them all the time, and it’s hard to walk the line between sincerity and preachiness. Or between promoting a cause that tugs at your heart and just jumping on the bandwagon. Or something. But I couldn’t not share this video from Save The Children:

The purpose of the video is to raise $50,000 to help children who are refugees from the Syrian civil war, which has been going on for three years now. More than 2.5 million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes in that time, according to the United Nations. Nearly all of them are being housed in refugee camps in surrounding countries. Some 10,000 children have died in the conflict. Save the Children estimates that a total of 5 million Syrian kids have been displaced or otherwise affected by the war, inside and outside the country.

If you want to know more about this cause, visit savethechildren.org. It takes a village to raise a child, and the whole world to save them.

This little boy, Atlaf, is one of millions of Syrian children affected by the conflict.

Scary Mommy

Before my son could even talk my husband began indoctrinating him into the cult of Star Wars. Well, it’s not really a cult. As my husband says, “Fans of Star Trek are called Trekkies. What do you call fans of Star Wars? People.”

Unless you’re J.J. Abrams. Then you can do whatever you want in my opinion.

During this time, he started a running joke with my son. Any time we were watching Star Wars, my husband would say to Arty, “Sweet, sweet Darth Vader.” To which my son would reply, “No, not sweet sweet Darth Vader. Scary Darth Vader!”

The game has now evolved into one where we use each other’s names. Like, “Scary Daddy!” To which my son will reply, “No! Not scary Daddy! Sweet sweet Daddy!”

You can probably see where this is going. No correction was made when my husband said to my son, “Scary Mommy!”

Granted I was only 2 sips into my coffee. I was pretty scary.

That’s fine, kid. I don’t mind being scary. You just watch yourself. I have the death sentence on twelve systems.

On a related note, I did buy my son the book, How to Speak Wookiee recently. It’s never too early to start teaching him new languages. He’ll be bilingual before we know it.

It’s really a fun book. Well worth the sale price at Target.

Quiet and Rigid

That’s what the doc said. And for a minute I thought he was talking about me.

My son had his four-year check-up this morning and my husband and I had some insight into why our son is the way he is…and then some. It’s funny that you can raise a child and know that he is a certain way–not exactly like all the other precious snowflakes out there but couldn’t really explain how or why.

As my son made eye contact with the doctor in the reflection of the mirror, the doctor remarked that Arty was being very clever to engage him this way. Then the doc remarked that while our son does engage with others it had to be on his own terms. Boy, did I know that feeling. Just this morning I took a quiz on how emotionally unavailable I am, and the results were “FROZEN.”

So I understand my son, because we’re two of the same. But what I didn’t know is that the doc would go on to give some insight into our marriage. I may be rigid and (almost painfully…at least to others) introverted, but my husband is exactly the opposite. Even our speech patterns give it away. I talk like a machine gun (this just in) while his language rolls out easily, like the dude. So that’s what you call him.

So we compliment each other very well. Guess our marriage isn’t a scam after all. And it’s a good thing, too, because now the dudeness of my husband can even out my rigidness and turn our precious snowflake into a well-rounded person.

How My Son Stole Valentine’s Day

Four years ago today I was due with my first and only child so far. This boy right here:

Every time someone asked what my due date was and I’d tell them it was Valentine’s Day, they’d usually say, “How sweet!” or “How precious!” or “Oh, too bad you aren’t having a girl. She’d love the pink and red!”

And I would nod politely, but deep down I’d cringe.

Because I secretly hate Valentine’s Day.

I hated it when I was single and felt that it was a reminder of my singleness, and I still don’t care for it now that I’m married and can share it with my husband. Because who are you, St. Valentine, to tell me when and how to celebrate my love? Cheesy gifts? No thank you. Cheesy V-day cards? Uh, no. Cheesy crappy candy all covered in red and pink? Am I the only one who thinks these two colors do not go together? Isn’t it greedy of red to want to star in yet another holiday? Isn’t Christmas and the 4th of July enough?

Anyways, thanks to my stubborn son, he did NOT make his appearance on this day but waited 3 days later instead. I was relieved, for more reasons than one.

So Happy Valentine’s Day. Or whatever.

This post is inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt 1.) A memorable Valentine’s Day.

Sunday Soul Search

I was going to post a response to an angry feminist’s opinion of stay-at-home moms, but as I opened WordPress to vent I was sidetracked by this much more meaningful post on How To Free A Sex Slave from thisblogisepic. It’s one of my favorite blogs. Because it truly is epic.

After being moved to tears by this post, I found myself on the site for Relevant Magazine who published this article on The Exodus Road and their cause to stop human trafficking. I don’t know how I haven’t come across this publication before, but I was immediately drawn to its mission of connecting what is going on in our world and making it relevant to our faith. How do we live out our faith in a world where children and women are sold as slaves by their own mothers?

While looking over the site, I checked out their submission guidelines and remembered how a younger, more foolish me had submitted an article to Rolling Stones years ago for my magazine writing course in college. We were required to submit an article to a magazine, although I’m sure I was the only one who actually did it. As expected, I never heard back. Probably because my topic was Rock the Desert, a music festival in my hometown that features Christian bands and the occasional celebrity (Stephen Baldwin). Or maybe it was rejected because it didn’t contain obscenities and a Russian bomber. But more likely it was the Christian music.

Rock the Desert crowd for Lecrae, August 2013.

Remembering this failed attempt to publish an article gave me an idea to submit an article to Relevant for this year’s Rock The Desert. And while checking out Facebook for more info on the festival, I came across a hard rock Christian band (didn’t know there was such a thing, did ya?) called The Whosoevers. On their page they had posted a clip of Marlena Shaw’s California Soul.

I dig the funk. It’s a great song to end this Sunday soul search. And that hour spent soul searching was way better than venting about angry feminists.

 

Manning’s Not Such A Bad Guy Maybe

For some reason I can’t explain, I’ve never been a fan of Manning. Either of them. Maybe they’re just too good and I like to root for the underdogs. But after hearing how Manning’s calls for “Omaha” added up to over $24,000 for his charity, I’m thinking he’s not such a bad guy maybe.

Peyback Foundation – Manning’s charity

I was on the fence before about who to root for in the upcoming Superbowl. But I think Manning’s classiness along with his teammate and my fellow alumni, Wes Welker–not to mention the un-classiness of Sherman against another alumni, Crabtree, makes it a no-brainer. Go Broncos!

Now I wonder how if my favorite band is also benefitting from the publicity.

Toys Back In My Day

Almost every toy made today features some kind of technology. Stuffed animals, books, cars…you name it, they’ve added sound and a screen to it. And although one of my favorite toys from back in the day had a screen, many of my favorites were simple. They required your own imagination to make the toys come to life.

Like this Fisher Price garage.

I love those retro colors.

Popples.

I had the cute white one on the left.

Or who could forget Rainbow Brite?

Yep, That's me with my Rainbow Brite passed out on my dad's lap.

Yep, That’s me with my Rainbow Brite passed out on my dad’s lap. Check out the homemade Care Bear on the couch by my mom.

Or there were toys that forced you to get outside and play. Like the Big Wheel.

This is the closest I could find to the one I had, but my wheel wa bigger. At least in my memory.

Or these roller skates.

I had this exact pair and wore them out properly.

Or climbing trees.

This tree wasn't in our back yard, but I wish it was. That's me in all my awkward pre-teen glory on the far right. Check out my brother's awesome hammer pants on the far left.

This tree wasn’t in our back yard, but I wish it was. That’s me in all my awkward pre-teen glory on the far right. Check out my brother’s awesome MC Hammer pants on the far left. Our younger sister is in the middle of us all, flanked on each side by our cousins.

But my favorite toy of them all is one I still have today. If you have coulrophobia–that is, the fear of clowns–you may want to stop scrolling now. In fact, I totally understand. People dressed as clowns freak me out, but not my Clownie.

See? He’s sweet. Harmless.

What were your favorite childhood toys?

This post was inspired by Mama Kat‘s Writing Prompt 4.) A childhood toy you once loved.

 

Mama’s Losin’ It