Sunday, October 31, 2010

paradise in paradise valley

this friday the kids and i went to paradise valley to support my girlfriend with a fundraiser her students were putting on. my girlfriend, becky, is an awesome awesome woman. she's in my small group, and she just is a big ball of love. she loves her family, she loves her job, she loves Jesus, she just loves. she's all kinds of wonderful.
so, this year, she has had a huge task to raise tens of thousands of dollars so that she and two other teachers can take a hand full of students to hawaii next year, as they have been selected to represent Arizona for a Pearl Harbour ceremony. it's an honour and a burden. a very expensive burden. and it's made all the worse since becky's students are on the lower end of the socioeconomic line. but these kids are trying very hard to raise money and to have fun doing it.
they have already held a number of fundraisers, and this week they had a little fair at their school. so i decided to take the kids and go. i didn't really know where paradise valley was, but i heard it was near scottsdale, and i've been to scottsdale plenty of times, so i didn't think it could be too bad. until i started driving. and didn't stop for about 40 minutes. and it was amazing to think that my friend becky makes this drive twice a day five days a week. yowsers. that's true love for her job- she goes the distance. and i was driving opposite to where traffic was, so i can only imagine her drive is actually longer than mine was.
the fair was quaint and cute, and PERFECT for my kids. they thought they were in paradise. and i guess they kind of were. ah to be two and three! give these kids some face paint, cupcakes, and some bouncy houses, and the world is a darn good place to live.

Friday, October 29, 2010


sorry i've been a terrible blogger lately.
i usually don't have a great excuse (still playing too much bejeweled blast. and still not very good at it.) but this week i was sick. it started sunday morning with a giant migraine. which is fine. i've had my fair share since i was sixteen. so i thought little of it. then i went and hung out with the kids i get to serve on sundays. and i went to look at one of our students who was in the other room, and she was really not herself- quiet and able to sit still. she was clammy and pale and the other volunteers wanted to see if we should call her parents out of service to come and get her. since i figured they had already brought her to church, i thought if we just kept her segregated, than maybe we could just let her parents enjoy the message, and she could take a nap or something. i interacted with our sick student for 2 minutes.
then i went home (wes and kim's again!) and took a nap with the kids. glorious nap. i felt much better. no more migraine. but maybe i slept on my neck weird? i was starting to have some pains.
i went to the store for dinner foods. came home. started cooking. and started feeling worse. note- when you are starting to feel ill, eating curry is not a good move. burping and stuff in the middle of the night and being reminded of dinner is not good. not good at all. went to bed that night with the dreaded "i'm hot, no i'm so cold, no i'm actually hot, even though i am feeling oh so cold..."
anyway, long story short, i had body aches monday til wednesday, went to the doctor to make sure i wasn't contagious, and they said as long as you don't have a fever you aren't contagious. interesting. they gave me a prescription for antibiotics, which i filled the next day, and felt immediately better after that. they might have just been dark pink sugarless candy- but my body was convinced that it was medicine and i was healed.
i was very lucky that chris happened to have monday and tuesday off, and he was all over being super-dad, super-husband, he also led small group discussion for me, and still managed to do ihs school work. what a guy. my favorite though, was one of his days with the kids, he was not in the best mood. he said he had had a hard day with the kids and felt bad about how he executed certain things. it brought a smile to my face (internally!) cause i know those days make him a little more sympathetic when i'm in a crabby mood after i've a bad day with the kids.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

my buddy hobey

here's hobey again. i've mentioned before that i watch this seriously dense bundle of wonderment. but that was back in the day when i only watched him twice a week. we've now upped the ante to three times a week- and i am still loving it! or, i am still loving him i should say.

hobey just turned 1 on wednesday and we had the intense pleasure of getting to hang out with him on his very special day. which i love all the more because he had no idea it was his very special day. we went to mc donald's to hang out in the toddler zone, but we (i) quickly tired of it when hobey found out he loves to climb up the slide and faceplant on the steps. he is 32 lbs of love, which is wonderful to receive hugs from, but not so wonderful to have to lift over and over again for 10 minutes straight, in order to save his face/life. i was also reminded of how crazy it is to have a non-walking child with me when topher said he had to go potty. the toilet at mc donalds is pretty high so topher definitely needed me to lift him up to pee. but i was holding the tank child, and there was no where i could safely place him. so we left.

here's lily living it up in the short time we were at mc ds.

anyhoo, i love my hobey cause he is one happy boy. i feel like i am from the school of thought of 'children should be seen, not heard', but you know this isn't true when you meet my kids, who are not quiet beings at all. and so i thought about it, and i feel like i have a lower tolerance for noise BECAUSE my kids are kind of loud. the way kids just are. and that's fine. and that's also why the idea of watching other peoples' kids never appealed to me before. before i met hobey that is. i would say 90% of the noises he makes are happy noises. and those are definitely sounds i will never tire of hearing.

i thought and thought of the perfect gift to get my boy. a steak? a cake all for himself? and none of them seemed just right. so instead i introduced him to his future wife. my little friend colbie seems 'bigger', mostly beside her pint-sized cousin brielle. but next to hobey, she is a delicate and beautiful little flower.

i hope you enjoy your future husband colbie, i have already started to teach him that doing the dishes and laundry are manly chores. :) and happy birthday to my hobester. thanks for giving me a serious workout- physically and emotionally, three times a week :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

i can't see the keys

i am typing on a very well-loved/well-used keyboard at my father-in-laws house right now. it is so well-used that a lot of the letters have rubbed off of the keys and gone to the place where often-used letters go to rest... and all this is fine because i don't look at the keys on the keyboard while i type anymore anyway...

i think i had my first typing class in the 3rd grade. maybe even before then. that was over twenty years ago!!!! (depression at the thought.) i've been through high school and college, having been a serious computer-user. i know where the letters are on the keyboard. and even having been a bookkeeper for the last five years, i am pretty dang good at the ten-keys all the way to the right of the keyboard. so much so that it messes me up a bit when i am actually dialing a phone number in my phone (cause the numbers are in kind-of reverse order.)

anyway, i know keyboards. they are pretty much all the same. i am a big girl now, i don't need to look to see where the letters are. except when they're not there...

i actually have made more typos on this keyboard than any other keyboard i have used in a long long time. the 'c' and 'v' and 'n' and 'm' are not to be seen on this keyboard at all. and this has messed me up in a big way this week. i've written a lot of 'ecem thoughs' (even though...) and 'bevause i meed nore nilk.' (because i need more milk. ok. that's not a sentence i have ever tried to write before, but you get my point.)

anyhow, i think this is all so amusing in light of my new hobby of trying to find God in everything. and it's not hard once you start looking. you just have to make the effort to start.

my sudden inabililty to do something that i have been doing for a very long time, just because visibility is at an all time low, translates into my faith life. i am cruising along with Jesus when times are good, but when things get a little hazy over yonder and i'm not sure where God is taking me, i suddenly seem to think He has disappeared altogether. it's like when Peter was walking on the water, going to Jesus. but once he looked down at the water and lost sight of the Lord, he began to sink. and i don't know if you are a judgemental christian like i am, but everytime i read a story about Peter, i just shake my head and think 'oh Peter, you idiot. i NEVER would have done that, had i been walking and talking with Jesus in the flesh!' but what does that say about my relationship with Jesus now? that it's not as strong as it would be had i lived 2000+ years ago? just because i haven't seen Jesus in the flesh, does that make him less real? and just cause i can't see where he is taking me, does that mean he has left me? or you? surely not. why am i so reliant on being able to see things? even when i KNOW that they are there? cvnm... cvnm... cvnm...

"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

God is so good that he loves me desppite my weaknesses/lack of faith! he reveals himself to me when i am walking through the fog every time. he is so good. i am so weak.

"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20: 30-31

Saturday, October 16, 2010

kids' prayers answered

on tuesday chris and i were driving our truck over to chris' dad's house so that he could have it to use after work, so that he could go to his high school small group. which actually was cancelled. but he didn't know. and that's ok. but all was not lost in this truck-drop-off-mission, cause God is the master puppeteer, and sometimes we are good little marionettes that do His bidding. in a good way. of course.

so, chris was in the van with the kids, and i was in the truck. we were waiting to turn off of the highway at a red light. i noticed on the opposite side, a woman in a black civic, with a baby in a car seat in the back (i did not notice that there were actualy two babies in car seats though), and her car was stalled. she was not in the middle of traffic, but she was on the off-ramp. we live in arizona, land of idiot drivers, and i just did not feel great about seeing a poor lady stranded in her car with her baby. so i called chris on our way to his dad's house and saked if he had noticed the lady. no. that's ok. i asked him if he thought he could do something to help her. he said he would try, but was positive that someone would help her by the time we dropped off the car, about a mile away.

so, we dropped off the truck, and i drove the van, and we headed back up to the highway. we looked. lady still stranded. there was a big ol' SUV beside her. surely someone who was helping her. nope. when their light turned green, everyone drove away. except for the stranded lady. so chris jumped out and the kids and i proceeded to drive around and wait.

"where did daddy go?" the kids asked. i told them that there was a lady who was in her car, and her car was stuck, so daddy was going to go and help her. this thrilled them. "go dad!" lily screamed. "you can do it daddy!" topher chimed in. oh they are so sweet! and supportive. but to be truthful, they love their dad so much, they would have supported him even if i said he was going to go drop a log behind a tree.

anyway, so we drove back and forth to see how chris was progressing. he had just gotten over to her car and was talking to the lady. then all of a sudden topher said: "Jesus!" so i told him it was a great idea to pray and ask Jesus to help the lady out too. (i can only assume that's why he screamed out the Lord's name.) so we prayed. "dear Jesus, please help the lady to not be stuck anymore. amen."

so we drove around some more and waited for chris in a nearby parking lot. chris called and said he was walking over already. apparently he went over to the woman to see if she needed help. she said she was waiting for AAA. chris suggested that she maybe wait somewhere other than the off-ramp of the highway and that he would be willing to push her to safety. she was very thankful and said she was glad that there were still good people left in the world. chris asked what happened to her car and she said it just died and wouldn't start again. chris asked her to try to start it again. she did. and it started. PRAISE JESUS!!!!

so when chris came over to our van, he told us the story, and the kids were very excited to hear that Jesus helped the lady to not be stuck anymore. we have reminded the kids of this answered prayer a couple of times since tuesday. i want them to see and know that Jesus is real and He answers prayers and that He truly cares for all of us. and everytime i remind them of this story, it serves as a good reminder to myself that God knows exactly what He is doing, and that He is at work in lots of different ways for lots of different reasons, even though i think all i am doing is dropping off the truck.

Friday, October 8, 2010

there's an app for that...

last week i got a call from my mom asking me if i had called my dad that day. i said no, cause i hadn't, and i asked her why. she said it was my dad's birthday and that my sister was a terrible person for not telling me since she had already called that morning and Sungu had already sung happy birthday to his grandfather. advantage: Malloy. i was very surprised to hear all of this because my mom had told me a couple weeks earlier that my dad's birthday was in november this year. so i was very unprepared for the bomb she dropped on me.

now, i know what you are thinking- what kind of terrible daughter doesn't know it's her own father's birthday? and what kind of terrible sister doesn't call around to make sure all of her siblings who live in arizona know that it's their dad's birthday? i know. my excuse is that my parents celebrate their birthdays on the lunar calendar. i don't know what my sister's excuse is...

anyhoo, i never know when my parents' birthdays are. it is the responsibility of the spouse to inform the children a few weeks in advance that the other spouse's birthday is coming up. this is just how my family has been rolling since the beginning of time. and my excuse for not being responsible myself is that i do not understand what the heck the lunar calendar is all about.

so after 29+ years, i've decided to look it up. this is what i've found:

"Most lunar calendars are, in fact, lunisolar; such as the Chinese, Hebrew, and Hindu calendars, and most calendar systems used in antiquity.
All these calendars have a variable number of months in a year. The reason for this is that a year is not evenly divisible by an exact number of lunations, so without the addition of intercalary months the seasons would drift each year. This results in a thirteen-month year every two or three years.
Lunar calendars differ as to which day is the first day of the month. For some lunar calendars, such as the Chinese calendar, the first day of a month is the day when an astronomical new moon appears in a particular time zone. For others, such as some Hindu calendars, each month begins at full moon. Others were based in the past on the first sighting of a lunar crescent such as the Hebrew calendar.
The length of a month orbit/cycle is difficult to predict and varies from its average value. Because observations are subject to uncertainty and weather conditions, and astronomical methods are highly complex, there have been attempts to create fixed arithmetical rules.
The average length of the synodic month is 29.530589 days. This requires the length of a month to be alternately 29 and 30 days (termed respectively hollow and full)."


and more interesting facts:

"There are many different reasons to have a lunar calendar. There are many people who perform rituals that require the moon to be in certain stages to be effective if at all possible. Many women like to believe that their menstrual cycles have something to do with how the moon interacts with gravity and everything around them to rely on conceiving their children. Although these and many other moon specific events do occur and many people use lunar calendars for specific reasons such as these there are plenty of different advantages of having a lunar calendar."

also interesting...

but since my parents are non-ritualistic, and my mom has been menopausing for the last decade, the question that begs to be asked is- why bother with this lunar calendar business?!?!?

and the answer is- i don't know. and did i actually learn anything from the two articles i straight-up plagiarized from and didn't cite? no.

when i lived in korea, it was a bit easier keeping up with this lunar calendar lunacy because many calendars had the 'Solar/Gregorian/Christian/Western dates' on them, with the 'Lunar date' written on there as well, in smaller script.

so the best way i can explain birthday celebrating on the lunar calendar is that my mom was born in the third month on the 14th day on the lunar calendar. on the western calendar, that is March 14th, which i believe is what it says on her canadian drivers license. i don't know exactly what it says on her birth certificate, i don't know if paper was even invented that long ago... (haha. just joking. had to make a joke about my mom's age cause the opportunity presented itself, and cause my mom has been celebrating her '29th' birthday for the last 35 years...) anyhoo, so depending on when the beginning of the lunar new year is, will determine when the 14th day of the third month decides to appear in conjunction with the 'westernized' calendar.

this all sounds so complicated, which is why i don't keep up with the lunar calendar at all. i just thought about designing an 'app' for it, but wouldn't you know there already is one. (i just checked. i thought i was on the cusp of being a millionaire!!!) i actually have not spent a single cent on an 'app' yet, even though i've had my itouch for about a month now. i guess spending $1.99 is a small cost for actually being able to know when my parents' birthdays are. ah, if only the price to pay for being a good daughter was only $1.99...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

the world according to lily and topher

- topher says: "dolphins are girls. sharks are boys." i don't know if he means that dolphins are for girls and sharks are for boys, or that dolpins and sharks are the same but they just look a little different because of their gender.

- lily has one sweetheart in this world. his name is hobey. last week he had some serious diaper rash and she would come over while i was changing his diaper and slathering his bottom with desitin and bag balm and she would say: "oh sweetheart. your bum is so red."

- after watching UP for the millionth time, the kids have started to look up in the sky, when there are clouds, which doesn't happen everyday here in the desert, and have started to see shapes in the clouds. yesterday they saw a puppy and topher was saying that he wanted to go up and play with the puppy.

- two days ago, while the kids were supposed to be napping, they were playing a game in their room instead. topher would get hurt and call out for 'mama', which ended up being lily, not me. it was pretty hilarious. and then later that afternoon, they were still in 'playmode' and lily was calling me 'grandma'... not as cute, but definitely hilarious.

- topher loves peeing in cups in the car. as in disposable cups. and even if they weren't disposable, i would dispose of them after urine got into them. anyhoo, i usually have one cup floating around, and the other day we ran around a ton and i forgot to stop for a potty break. so we were in the van and topher needed to pee. yeah mc donalds cup under the seat. he peed, smiled at me, and said: "can i drink it?" boys are so adorable. and disgusting.

- lily can write her name all by herself!!!!!! the other day we were playing with sidewalk chalk and she said: "want me to write my name?" so she did it! AMAZING!!!! all the letters were perfect! down the explosion of chalk to dot the 'i'. the onyl thing is that there was a stray 'y' in the middle of her name, and i had to remind her there was a 'y' at the end of her name, so we ended up with 'Lyily'. but still! it was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo great! i didn't have to show her how to write any of the letters or anything. i love watching the thoughts in her brain materialize onto paper. before she would show me that she had drawn a heart, a star, and a homeless person, and all that was on the paper were three identical circles.

- topher can write his name with 'veggie straws' (chips that look like fries that come in spinach, sweet potato, and regular potato flavors.) i'm lying, he can write 'T'. which is still good. so lily decided to write topher's name. she doesn't know how to spell it yet, so it's different every time. one day it was 'oioi'. today it was "TITI" hahahahahhahahahahaha.......

Monday, October 4, 2010

cheerful? really?

chris is back. he had a wonderful mancation. did i tell you some of the details to his trip yet? chris' buddy jeff turned 40 last month, so his present to himself was a man-trip to yellowstone national park with his brother and two of his best friends. of which chris fit the bill. jeff's brother and other bff flew in from new jersey on saturday and the boys took off on sunday. they took off in a prius. cause jeff is the most frugal man alive. so these 4 burly men, each weighing over 180lbs, jammed into a prius, and managed to spend $140 in gas for a round trip to wyoming and back. that's pretty impressive. there was lots of inadvertent snuggling in the car, as well as in the double beds that were slept in. so special...

anyhoo, chris came back in one piece, and still attracted to women, and we were so very very happy to see him. then came the 'task' of getting back into our routine, which really means very little to the kids and i, cause we don't have much of a routine. but for chris there was basketball (for the league he's in and payed money for)to be played, and much homework to be done. being a master's student is no walk in the park people.

so, i have these battles in my brain about how i can and should support my husband. though i was missing my hubby for many reasons while he was gone, i was happy he was able to go away to a beautiful place like yellowstone, and hike every day, and even catch 3 fish, and just RELAX and enjoy the glory of God in nature. which is something chris actually appreciates very much. one year chris and his brother were out on christmas watching the sunset and the sky was a mutitude of incredible colors, and chris was recounting the scene to me on the phone and he said: "Jesus really showed up on his birthday today." i thought it was lovely.

but, as much as i knew chris needed this trip, and i was happy he was able to go away, for so long, and it costing us so little (thanks again cheap jefff), with really hilarious guys, i was a bit... bitter? resentful? i don't know.

and then he came back. and i was so glad he was back. but then he had readings, and assignments, etc. etc. and so i was so glad for him to be back, but i found myself once again feeling a bit... annoyed? vexed?

and i am trying to be a really good and supportive wife. especially when the things chris does is good for our family's future. like his schooling, and when he works overtime (another source of bittersweetness for me), or even just goes to work at all! i nmy unrealistic perfect world, we would all just sit around, every day, eating, making merry, visiting with friends and family, and money would fall from the sky and no one would ever have to go to work... lame. i know. so yeah, chris does a lot for our family. and i know that right now, he just needs support. so i give it to him by doing stuff with the kids, and telling him that i support him with words. but my attitude is not reflecctive of the words i speak. and it sucks. chris asked me about 3 times this weekend if i was mad at him. and of course i said no. cause i wasn't. or was i? i don't know...

so then i was reminded of a verse that i sent to a friend of mine who was visiting a very sick friend. the verse is in 2 corinthians 9:8 and it goes like this:

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

so i reread that verse, cause i felt like it was appplicable to me, in the midst of my trying to do the 'good work' of being a supportive wife. but then i read the verse before it: (verse 7)

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

eww. really? cheerful? i definitely displayed zero ounces of cheerfulness in my sad attempts to support my husband this week. or even the last couple of weeks. i've already apologized to him, and of course he tells me that he appreciates me so much and i know that's true, and i absolutely do feel appreciated by him. i told him in our wedding vows that i would always stand by him, i told him (and his bosses) that our family supports his job and his need to be 'on call at all times' kind of thing. it's easy to support him when things are easy and going 'my way'. but once he is actually busy doing a million things at once, or getting called out while I (yeah, i capitalized that one) am busy doing something, then that support gets harder to muster. and to add cheerfulness on top of that? near impossible.

so that's been my struggle of late. and i am trying to deal with it. with some cheerfulness. and what a difference that little ingredient makes!