Jul 31, 2008

It's the end of July and Little Miss Cutie Pie just finished her text book. Moving on to SAXON 65. She'll hit the major concepts over the next weeks before co-op starts and then.....ready or not....we're throwing her into Saxon 76!!!!!!!!!!!! It'll be a sink or swim moment.

Knowing her....she'll be doing the back stroke....while squirting water from her mouth.

Jul 30, 2008

Cream Cheese and Jelly Waffle Sandwiches

Frozen waffles...easy breezy.

Jul 29, 2008

I usually prepare PB&J when I am craving it....or when I am simply plum out of meal ideas...which was the case today.

It's not easy doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday.

Is that the most spoiled, complainey, whiney thing you have ever heard in your entire life? I am a brat.

Oh, Lord....thank You for my fridge, for a stocked pantry, for my oven and stove..and for clean water.


Fantastic film. Flawless.

Jul 28, 2008

It's hot and I'm having a hard time cooking hot things.

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad w/ Parmasean & Garlic drenched Lima Beans and Asparagus
Caprese Salad
Veggies w/ Dip...I blend together store bought dip...some cream cheese...a splash of olive oil and fresh rosemary

Are we nuts over here or does anyone else eat radishes by the bunch?

Zion really blossomed last year in co-op. She went from being a "shy Mama's girl"...to being an "outgoing social butterfly."
This morning I caught her playing "co-op." She was the teacher. The books were her students.

One of our jobs as parents is to be on the lookout for...notice....catch....observe all the things our kids love doing. The things that are not initiated by an outside force (other than exposure)...the things that come naturally to them or the things they work really hard at without being prompted.

Over here...it looks like things might be headed in the following directions.....

Bria: filmmaker
Mcabe: photographer
Galilee: massage therapist
Jemima: fashion designer
Zion: all around princess

Last night while watching the season finale of The Next Food Network Star with the family....Jemima was having her own little Project Runway inspired moment over at her kitchen table/workspace. It was midnight before she put her design away for the evening and bright and early this morning...guess what she's working on? Patchwork jeans...all hand stitched with yo-yo accents.

Which one of Mcabe's shots do you like better? I'm leaning towards #1....even though it's a bit out of focus. I like the composition better and the lighting too. I love photos. I do not think I would've caught the details in the rabbit's ear if I had simply seen him hop by.

Jul 27, 2008

We had a.... few year long...rough patch as far as consistent church attendance was concerned. I don't necessarily mean....consistent "week in" and "week out" (although that was sometimes the case) ....more like "the same building from one season to another" consistent. We did attend 2-3 fellowships over this time of desert wandering....but none stuck. "Our" place of worship was a place we could not be....for a season. Now we are back.

Our kids wandered with us. Here....there....but not quite everywhere. It was not an easy time. Frustrating for everyone.

Bria's got two summer jobs and he's been missing Sunday services more times than not lately due to his work schedule. He attends a mid-week service at a local youth group but we have not been attending services together. We're not thrilled about this and we've gently mentioned... a few times.... that it's not the "best" scenario for him or for our family.

Given our "bedouin" history....it's hard to say, "You must be in church every single week because we say so."....especially when we went through a drought of our own and didn't say so.

If you know us at all, you know that we are not heavy handed w/our kids...especially the ones empowered by the Holy Spirit. We gently prod (sometimes repeatedly) and then rest in the fact that the Lord will work on hearts as He sees fit.

Well, He must be doing His convicting work because our boy traded shifts with a co-worker so that we can be together today.

Jul 25, 2008

Zion turned five all the way back on June 9th...but didn't want a party until Nica was home from Haiti. Yesterday...we got to celebrate!

And for one very, very special reason.....(thank you, LORD)......... that photo of Zion and Grace blowing out the candles on the cupcake together....makes my heart sing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jul 23, 2008

Kimberly Haugen is without doubt the BEST masseuse in the ENTIRE universe! Upon learning of my excruciating pain on DAY EIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, she offered to come to my home and work on my obnoxious knots with her magic hands. Seriously, she has a gift. My headache is gone and I am no longer sitting on the couch moaning with a puke bucket nearby. She is a miracle worker...I tell ya! A gift from the Lord.

Jul 21, 2008

I know how to drive my man WILD!!!!!!! It's called guacamole. He keeps coming back for more :)

Momma got some surprise lovin' yesterday afternoon at the end of her asian salad.

Jul 18, 2008

Out of town family friends ....whom we haven't seen a a few years....stopped by for a long overdue visit a few weeks ago. We had fun....chatting, laughing, all around enjoying each other etc.

We parted ways....knowing that time and distance are non-issues.

Afterwards....with much trepidation..... Mcabe offered up a thought. Maybe....possibly....one of the boys in the family might be.....maybe.....dabbling in something he shouldn't be....like pills. Something vague..... to do with pills and XBOX. I was NOT to make a big deal about it....get the boy in trouble....yadda yadda yadda. I had to PROMISE (which I never did) not to tell. Mcabe went away unburdened....greatly relieved to have this monkey off his back.

So, being who I am.....(and who I expect my friends to be) I brought it up to my grateful girlfriend who of course said she would keep an eye out for signs/symptoms...and we would pray for the Lord to reveal darkness if there were any.

She calls me yesterday w/ a funny twist in the story.

In the days since our "Pill/XBOX" conversation...her concerned kids had approached her with questions about our family. "Mom, is it possible that.... maybe....possibly..... the Gregg's ......might possibly ......think it's okay to smoke pot? The whole family...even the kids?"

My girlfriend reassured them that it was not possible that we were all smoking pot together....and it didn't matter that a few years had gone between meetings....she was absolutely sure that they were off base. She wanted to know why they thought such a thing. "Well they are so happy," came the reply....and then, "there was that big bag of weed LAYING FOR ALL TO SEE out in the open in the boy's room." No way!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Greggs might be a bit hippieish but not that hippieish!.... was the gist of what she told them.

Then, because the Lord had opened the door to a discussion regarding such matters....she proceeded to ask why the Gregg boys would have the impression that pills and XBOX might be a problem??????

So here's the wrap up. Her boy had made a comment about his friends w/ADD who take their meds prior to playing XBOX....as this seems to be all the rage. It had nothing to do w/him because he is not on meds.

Bria and Mcabe had a bag of green tea (bought by Bradley and I @ Hadley's in Palm Springs last week) sitting out on their bed.


What I looooooove most about this story is the fact that none of the kids wanted to be considered "snitches" but that ultimately, they cared enough about eachother to tell the "snitches."

Jul 17, 2008

Guess who watched the season premier of Project Runway?

Papa is recovering from his knee surgery.

Summer vacation doesn't really have to end.... does it?

We joined the gym in an effort to help my neck...get Brad and I in shape and have a spot for relaxation and P.E. Wise choice for our family. Nana and Papa graciously took care of the sign up costs...a gift for our anniversary.... and we sacrafice in other areas so we can have this place of health benefits and family time.

Jul 16, 2008

A Caution to CHRISTians

"What a journey. I love that the Lord doesn't reveal everything at once. I think if He did we would all just fall down and die. He is so good to us in that He gives us blinders when we need it and removes them when we are ready. What would we hesitate to do...or even fail to do if we knew it all up front?"

This was my comment tafter reading a post on a sweet blog (www.welcometomybrain.net) titled "Adoption is Trauma." The quote comes from Heather T. Forbes (www.beyondconsequences.com) and refers to the fact that all adoptions are infused with some level of trauma.

If you are looking for info....read...Toddler Adoption, The Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best.....Attaching in Adoption by Deborah D. Gray....and Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. Visit (www.attachment.org) / Nancy Thomas Parenting. I think they are good starting points.

Listen. Listen. Listen. The Lord has given us our particular children intentionally....for very specific...and particular reasons. If we are Spirit led...and seek His wisdom...He will reveal to us what is best for our families. Not all advice/information/techniques to assist in our parenting or offered to foster healing will feel right. Use what does. Do what works. We rocked in a rocking chair...went back to bottle feeding...went back to diapers....etc....before we even knew what RAD was. Had never read a word.....but knew deep down what was needed. He will whisper to your heart...what must be done.

There is so much info on RAD out there. A caution to Christians...we want to make sure we are building our homes on strong foundations while not tearing them down at the same time with worldly methods. Seek Him first....and red flags will begin to pop up. He will show us what is not lasting and what is. And if you get off track for a season....repent....turn and get on track again. Don't cry over the bunny trails.

I'm off to the pool w/the kiddos...but I have one lingering thought...What might the Lord who loves us be trying to teach us through RAD trials? Could we possibly be unattached/struggling to attach children ourselves?

Our Father wants desperately for us to look full in His wonderful face.

Jul 15, 2008

Naughty Girl

Mcabe has entered another film festival. He came up with the concept and operated the camera. If you are so led....please vote.
FIRST turn off the music player on your right...and COPY AND PASTE the entire link below after viewing so you can vote. Pass it on!!!!



Okay....we've made a switch over here. It's minor in the large scheme of things ...you know like life and death issues....tsunamis....Aids.....world hunger.....poverty......etc. but major in my/ our? spiritual lives. At least....that's how it feels. There's been another turning point. Mom has had an epiphany.

I used to prance around in bikinis thinking I was all that. You know....I enjoyed....maybe even took glory in the fact that I was somewhat adorable.

When I was a young mom the Lord saved me from myself.

Within the first few months of life w/Jesus at the wheel....my newly saved husband, parents and I took the boys... along with a 13 year old cousin of ours to a Christian summer camp for a week. We sang along with... and mourned the loss of..... Rich Mullins....a brother we had never met....the entire drive up through the majestic redwoods....praising the King of Kings for his creation.

I'll never, ever forget the moment a group of teen aged counselors approached our lounge chairs the next day...politely telling us in so many words that my cousin's tankini and that my low cut one piece were inappropriate and that we were not allowed at the pool again in such a state. We were mortified. Oh my GOSH!!!!!! Stuff like this was all new to us. It never occured to us that we might be stumbling blocks to young men!!!!!!! Horrified to say the least. We covered up as best we could with our limited supplies and probably never made eye contact with the counselors again.

Since that day 11 years ago....I have worn one pieces. Cute yeah.....but always in the back of my head when choosing a style were these teens who had put this mama in her place.

I told this story to a two of my son's stunningly beautiful "girl" friends last year. These girls are adorable...more adorable than I ever was....and especially cute in "itsy bitsy" bikinis. A couple of us moms were "concerned" that our now hormone ridden sons might not be needing the extra help as far as the "teeny weenies" were concerned. Truely, I love these two and I did not want my son and his guy pals doing any more ogling than they were already doing. I was passing down wisdom....lessons learned first hand.

Over the last year....we joined a heath club where there are swimming pools. We're in 115 degree desert heat and many, many cute ladies sit by the pools watching their children splash around. Many of them in bikinis. I began to notice that I had developed a less than stellar opinion of such gals. I had sat back in my cute one pieces more times than once passing judgement on the two piecers. Pride had slowly seaped in....but was exposed to my heart in a flash. As far as bikinis went....I was a finger pointer. And lo and behold......so were my girls. They had begun to make little "private" comments about other children who's families obviously didn't live by our bathing suit standards.

Believe me....I know what it is like to have fingers pointed. There were the counselors.....and then.....the one "well intentioned" lady in Oklahoma who was very upset with me because I had the nerve to show up to Sunday services in a sleeveless shirt...which in her eyes was very "unholy" and cause for great concern. There are all the others who I'm pretty sure haven't really taken much of a liking to my style....the chunky heels....low rise jeans....and let's say largish hoop earrings I wear on occasion. At least in private...they haven't. They are the ones who nod knowingly when us girls get together and discuss whether or not we are "thong" moms. There are some who gawfaaw and turn beet red because they are more old fashioned/conservative than that....but they hand out high fives and "you go girls!" freely and sincerely. And then there are the ones who don't say anything but just smile. Yep, it's easy to spot a finger pointer. It takes one to know one.

So to cut this long story short....I decided to confront my pride head on and went out and stocked up on bikinis this summer. Each girl in the household got some and if I do say so myself...we are pretty darn cute in them. I reckon we think we're as cute as the girls covered in cloth from neck to ankle think they are.

And guess what? That creepy perv, Warren Steed Jeffs is one of the biggest oglers of them all and those poor young objects of his lust have never seen a bikini in their lives.

As with anything....it's a heart issue. Where do you find your glory?

Jul 14, 2008

Major Praise Over Here

Major praise over here! We went away for 8 days and had maaaaaybe
3-4?????? very minor incidents. Very, very minor....predictable things like brief lapses in eye contact etc.

This time.....no dramatic hissy fits over seemingly ridiculous things..... no center of attention stuff...no dining room timeouts in front of hundreds of strangers...no Mexican ambulance rides to take care of centipede-like creature of mysterious origin stings (she was told not to touch and of course...ignored the warning.)

Hopefully...it's more evidence of healing.

While we were away....when she chose sassiness.....it was no more sassy than the others.

We currently have a lovely, age-appropriately obedient, submissive more times than not, somewhat self-controlled, teachable, responsive, pre-teen daughter..... who seems to have decided for some unknown reason that she likes the looks of us and desires to keep us around. Could this change within the next hour? Sure. My head is not in the clouds. Even so.........

Maybe it's the prayers....
Maybe it's the consistency and hard work....
Maybe it's the timing......
Maybe it's everything working together for the good......

All I know is that with each of my children.....without submission to the Lord there will be no forever fruit. Please pray that He will reveal himself...that His love would be recognized...that there would be a turning from self reliance...an acceptance of His provision...and growth in knowledge and grace.

We need prayer for the healing of all the hearts in the home wounded by RAD.

City of Angels

If you know me at all you know that I do not like to pay full price for ANYTHING. Especially clothing. I LOOOOVE resale shopping almost as much as I LOOOOVE a stop at L.A.'s garment district....or "shmata alley" as we say in yiddish. Now you get to go look up the definition of shmata if you're curious :)

My ever patient man drove around waiting for me while I dashed in and out of a few of my all time favorite shops. Lickety split...quick as lightening.....I gathered a cute new dress for myself ...some funky leggins and Ed Hardy "t"'s for the girls...3 tank tops/$10 and some shoes for the Johnson sisters. Sometimes I amaze myself. Lesser women would buckle under the sweltering humidity, hot dog cart odors and pressure :) Maybe it has something to do with the "Big Apple" in me.

We're back at home...unpacking....laundry etc.....

...I walk into the den to find Zion all dressed up with no place to go. Poor thing....she's going through withdrawls.

Brad killed it in the karaoke bar!

The best part of the whole thing was the fact that Brad was a complete basketcase for hours beforehand. A total nervous wreck. You see.....his performance was the result of a dare presented by Mcabe. I love that Brad put his fears aside and connected w/his son in such a funny and memorable way.

And I have to give props where props are due...my hubby is a really talented actor. He never let the audience see him sweat.

Jul 13, 2008

Cabo. Can I just say....this spot on earth is quite spectacular. It's very, very pretty to look at.

The girls found a puffer fish on the sand.