Friday, November 5, 2010


Well, today, I want to write about miracles. Yesterday my daughters asked if miracles only happen in Bible times. I answered, "NO. Here's a real life story of a miracle."

Many years ago, when I was little girl, my parents didn't have enough money for groceries. My mother prayed and we went to the store anyway. Days in Barrow, Alaska are always cold and windy in Winter. This was no exception. As we walked to the store, the wind blew a hundred dollar bill in front of us. The bill landed in the snow and didn't continue flying in the wind. We picked it up and wondered how that happened. As good Christians, we reported it to the police, but they said, to keep it. They didn't have a way to find the owner, and we could definitely use it for necessities like food.

There were many ways that God has blessed me over the years. I may not have been rich in money, but when I needed help, there was always help to be found.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Marriage Monday

September 29 was our eight year anniversary, so I have been thinking about Chris and marriage recently. Here's a meme I found about a husband.

1. What is his name?

2. How long have you been married?
Eight years.

3. How long did you date?
Hmmm... my mom says too long. But I wanted to finish college first.
Just under seven years. So, that means we have been together for almost 15 years.

4. How old his he?
thirty something

5. Who eats more?
Easy- he does.

6. Who said I love you first?
I did.

7. Who is smarter?
We both have our strong points.

8. Who does the laundry?
He does his, I do mine, whoever gets to it, does the children's.

9. Who does the dishes?
I do, or oversee the girls doing them.

10. Who sleeps on the right side of bed?
He does.

11. Who pays the bills?
Chris does the daily, but I do the long term.

12. Who cooks dinner?
Usually me unless I’m feeling lazy or not so good.

13. Who is more stubborn?
Me? Stubborn, naw.

14. Who proposed?

16. Who has more siblings?
I have two sisters, he has one sister.

17. Who drives when you are together?
Typically Chris. Although I'll do it if he's too tired or if I know the way and feel like it. But I prefer to navigate.

18. Who has more friends?
I would say he does.

19. Who wears the pants?
Most days, we both wear pants. We are a team.

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Monday, June 1, 2009


* What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
“The eyes are the window to the soul.” - Proverb

* What excites you about the opposite sex?
Chivalry. A dying art, but one my husband still has.

* What turns you off?
Crudeness. You know, when you get three or more men in a room and it suddenly switches from polite talk to locker room talk.

* Who sleep next to you at night?
My husband.

* Have you ever had a long distance relationship?

* Did it work? Why or why not?
Yes. Love conquers all. One weekend, I was visiting my boyfriend (who became my husband). As I used the restroom on the girls floor of the dorm, I heard two girls talking. One of them said "Chris has a girl visiting him. Do you think it's serious?" The other responded "These long distance relationships never last." One girl left the room by the time I came out of the stall. I then told the girl left that, "Just so you know, I'm the girl visiting Chris, and I'm in it for the long haul." Now, Chris tells me he always wondered why things got cold between her and him. I was not going to let this catch slip, and years later, I'm still glad I married him.

* Have you broken someone's heart?

* Has your heart been broken?
Hurt, yes.

* Have you ever been given an engagement ring?

* Have you ever broken an engagement?

* What is your longest relationship?
Including dating plus marriage, fifteen years. Married eight years.
No wonder my mother was nagging us to get married sooner.

* Have you ever been married?

* When was your last kiss?
Fifteen minutes ago.

Idea for this blog came from by BigBlueGirl.
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Friday, May 22, 2009

What We Learned in Kindergarten

As May comes to a close, so does the end of the school year. Emily had her last day of First Year Preschool yesterday. Allie had one more week of kindergarten, and then she is out for summer. This got me thinking of that poem by Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten.

Chris and I have tried our best, and hopefully she has learned what she needs. Last week we made Nestle Tollhouse cookies, and Allie learned "Have warm cookies? Need cold milk." She knows everything except germs are for sharing. Then, of course there is the basic academic stuff of reading and math. We have tried to instill respect, such as explaining that different houses may have different rules. These are just some of the basics we expected her to learn this year.

In addition, we signed Allie up for Connections Academy. CA is a virtual classroom where I'm the learning coach, and a certified teacher oversees the assignments. This was a wonderful program. Besides academics, Allie also learned how to use the computer. Some may think five is a little young to use the computer, but they are growing up in a digital age. I think she needs to realize the internet is just another "community" which also has its rules. Some places are fun, and some places are for learning, and some places are scary. That's the way the world works.

A recent study by University of California shows that internet surfing can be healthy.
“It might surprise parents to learn that it is not a waste of time for their teens to hang out online,” said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher and the report’s lead author. “There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy. But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.”

That being said, we as parents have also learned a few things. (Chris actually got involved on this one so blame him for the wording.)

1. Don't threaten any punishment you don't really mean to do. Its no accident we listed this as rule #1.
2. Be consistent, routines are rocking! Age appropriate chores teach responsibility.
3. Children respond better to calm commands, requests, and reminders than they do those said while yelling. We've found yelling actually increases the chance they will disobey you. Say basically the same thing, just calmly.
4. One of the first things they begin to understand is simple cause & effect relationships. "If you do X (or don't do X), Y will happen." Be fully prepared to make Y happen every time or don't even utter the words. We've found Y needs to happen less often after a while.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Review: The Penny

With Mother's Day just behind us, I was reflecting about some of the things my mother taught me. Since I'm grown, I don't often think about what she has taught me, and I sometimes I think I don't need to learn anymore since I'm a grown up. At least not from my mother. But once a mother, always a mother. Last year, my mother came to visit and she suggested I read "The Penny" by Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford. This book grabbed me within the first few pages, and I was impressed by the lessons one can learn from this book. The story takes place in St. Louis, which is near where I live now and headquarters of Joyce Meyer ministries. I quickly identified with the setting and the places mention in the book. I felt as if I was along side Jenny throughout her story.

Cover of Cover of The Penny: A Novel

"The Penny" is a novel about how the main character Jenny learns to overcome brokenness and her friend Miss Shaw overcomes grief. When she is not enduring an abusive father or being ignored by her older sister, Jenny pushes friends away because she is afraid she won't be able to protect them from her father. Miss Shaw shares the grace of Jesus with Jenny, while suffering from unspoken pain and grief.

This all changes, when she goes back to pick up a small penny.

The penny changes the direction of Jenny's life and leads her to a freedom and peace one can only find in Jesus. The story line keeps the reader turning the pages to find out what the next step on Jenny's journey will be. I was compelled to keep reading to find out what Miss Shaw's unspoken secret was. I'm sure you will not regret picking up this book and finding out for yourself how Miss Shaw and Jenny find freedom from their pain all because of a penny.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fw: Wedding Poem/Blessing

In line with our PW Wedding Traditions
event coming up, I though I would pass this on.

A wonderful family friend of mine gave me this poem for a wedding gift. In our culture, our marriage should be blessed by an elder
of my family. My "uncle" Joe Upicksoun gave this to us as a blessing. Mr. Upicksoun has passed on to the next life. He is a relative, but "great uncle" made him feel old, so he was always just Uncle Joe.

In honor of Joe, here is a link to an interview with

this wonderful man.

History and Culture Interview with Joseph Upicksoun

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Invisible Mother

This is from an email a friend sent me. I do not know who the original author was, but as a mother, sometimes we have the power of invisibility.

The Invisible Mother

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask me a question. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
friend from England ..

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I bought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

The Wells Cathedral in South EnglandImage via Wikipedia

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything...

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are
building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder.. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.

And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

- author unknown