Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Tradition

When my sister and I were mere pups, we lived in Louisville, KY. It is home to the Actors Theater of Louisville...a very prestigious theater company. My parents made a Christmas tradition of taking us to see "The Christmas Carol' several years in a row. I always looked forward to it.

My mom has reinstated that tradition this year and bought tickets for the family to see The Christmas Carol (sans kids) today at South Coast Rep. I am really looking forward to it.

I love the theater as much as I love Christmas. It's a brilliant combination.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Night to Worship...

Friday was our Night of Worship. I know - technically, we should be living lives of worship. But it is nice to come together as a church and corporately worship our God. And did we ever!

When I started working here two years ago, it was my dream to start developing nights of worship... It obviously took quite a while to make that happen. But it was worth the wait.

If you don't go to my church, let me give you some background info.

Our church is averaging 2600 people. We have three weekend service times. 3 services in the main room. 3 services that meet in our video cafe (ideal for families that have children and want to stay together in a casual environment) that run the exact service that we have upstairs...just on video. 1 Overdrive service (ROCK MUSIC) and 1 Classic Service (HYMN DRIVEN). We meet in different places all over the campus.

Throughout these venues, there are people who worship with abandon...freely interacting with God unaware of the people around them. But those people are spread out around the campus in 8 different services (or more when you start counting our youth programs). To have them all together in one place on Friday night, was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

To hear the organ play, and voices loudly singing Holy, Holy, Holy took my breath away. To see over 500 people raise their hands at the same time during "Awesome is the Lord" made the lump in my throat take away my ability to sing. To see my husband standing at the back of his church with his arms held high to God simply moved me to tears.

It was beyond what I could have imagined.

I had to deal with my own pride and frustration when a couple of things didn't go right...which oddly enough happened before we sang "I Surrender All." I love God in his divine timing. It was as if he was saying "Kristi...surrender it...give it to me...surrender..."

I danced. I spun. I was free. People laughed. I was embarrassed. Then I realized that I didn't care. I was free. And I was filled with incredible joy. I can't wait to see the whole church spinning around next time. :)

I saw people crying during times of prayer and Thanksgiving. I heard stories of people who didn't know each other before that night turn to their brother or sister in Christ and share their struggles...their hurts... and their joys.

I know people who have been frustrated with our church and the choices we've made regarding worship recently who couldn't stop talking about how moved they were that evening.

I was so proud of our team. So moved by our church. And I got just a tiny hint of what Christ must feel like when we worship him so intentionally...with so much passion...with so much love.

Then following that weekend, I had to take the kids to church with me for weekend rehearsal. Childcare wasn't available yet, so I had them sit side by side in the front row. Curtis and I were leading together. To watch my kids clap their hands and sing Forever once again moved me to tears. To see them stand up and sing was beautiful. They are little people learning to worship.

Watching Lexi watch Haley sing and clap and then follow her reminded me that people are watching us. If you are an extravagant worshiper...don't be ashamed. If you want to lift your hands, spin, dance, it. It may free somebody else up to worship too. There is no freer feeling than to give myself up completely to God in worship. I encourage you to do the same. Don't wait til' the next night of worship. Let's lead out now....

THIS JUST IN - after I finished writing this, I read a beautiful story on my friend's blog about her own night of worship and how it was connected to ours. Take a moment and read it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This just in.

We have a worship hangover from last night. It's the good kind of hangover! :o) The only problem is, we are super tired. I will write more about last night, but right now you should know that I am laying in bed watching my kids play tug of war (in a mean way) with Lexi's diaper bag and kicking each other and yelling....and we are just laughing. Are we bad parents?

I think we might be.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Momma needs a sick day.

Sometimes I wish I worked a real job where I could call in sick. There is nothing I need more than to lay in bed and sleep all day. That is not gonna happen. I have those two little darlings to care for.

Curtis is helping me as much as he can...but he has to go to work soon.

Looks like today will be another "hey everybody...let's take a nap day!" I might try that at 11. Is that too early?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Day with God and a Tuna Sandwich.

Yesterday I spent the day at a beautiful beach house alone with God. I never went down to the water. But it was nice to open the blinds and see the ocean in front of me.

I prayed.
Played piano.
Read my Bible.
Listened to God.

It was good.

Even though I packed up my computer charger, it didn't make it into my bag. Apparently, I didn't need any distractions.

At lunch, I went down to a little gourmet sandwich shop and over tuna, read a fabulous book by a man named Richard Rohr. I will comment more on that book when I finish it. But it is expanding my mind of who God is. And who I am. And what prayer is. It's insanely profound.

All of this was not only for my own spiritual health but in preparation for Friday night - our Church's Night of Worship.

If you pray, will you pray for us? Pray for the evening. Pray for our spiritual, mental, and physical health. As I write this, I barely have a voice, my sister might have mono, and Heidi has lost her voice. Not good. Not good. Pray that we get healthy and everyone else stays healthy. Pray for what is said...what is unsaid. Pray that God will move beyond what we can possibly imagine. Pray that people will come...the people that need to be there. PRay that Satan will stay away. I believe in the battle between light and darkness...good and evil...and I'm witnessing it firsthand. We will overcome my friends. We're on the winning side!

If you want to come, please join us. We'd love to have you there. It is Friday night at 7:30. We are recording a live CD...we'd love to have as many people there as possible.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I might be stressed...

I ate a LOT of potato chips tonight. I tried to convince myself it wasn't so bad because they were from Trader Jo's... But, I don't think that's the case.

I should mention...that was after I made homemade oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies.

I have issues.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good News.

I am alive. No one showed up to kill me last night. And a major shot out to everyone who did investigative homework on my behalf. I appreciate your concern AND your connections. :)

So today, I'm just exhausted. Curtis comes home in the afternoon...not a moment too soon.

Last night was quite an event. After the psycho call, the downstairs bathroom completely overflowed. That was exciting. Then, Haley had an accident involving a door and our dog. So that was something. A fight broke out in the bathtub involving fists and scratching. So I had to break that one up. Then I got the broccoli chopped up and everything ready on the stove for dinner only to find out we had no gas going to the burners. Awesome. So after making calls to the Gas. Co and my husband...the Father in Law came over to save the day. Which meant dinner at 7:30. Then I was up cleaning the house in case the crazy man came to kill me... I didn't want you to see my house dirty. And I had to put on clean underwear too.

So today I am tired. Very tired. I have to work tonight. I just put the kids in the car in their pj's and we drove to Starbux... I was bra-less (swing low sweet chariots), so I had to wear a big sweatshirt and sweats, and it is 90 degrees outside.

I am overwhelmed thinking about the week that lies ahead and all that has to be we are taking it easy today.

I have turned to popcorn/movie for the kids and sipping a starbux for me to give me a moment to breathe.

I struggle with guilt when I do that...but I think it's a better choic...OH WAIT...mid -sentence, Haley just kicked Lexi in the back for eating her popcorn. Oh mercy...when will it end?

Friday, November 14, 2008

If I end up dead in a ditch...

...Well, there may be more than one reason, but I would lean toward the fact that today at Henry's (a supermarket), a man was walking out and saw me checking my phone. He walked up to me and said, "Can I use your phone to call my wife?" I said, "Um, are you serious?" He said, "Yes." He was very breezy, like it wasn't weird at all that he was asking me to call his wife. And so out of the goodness of my heart, I replied, "uh...okay??" (With the inflection in my voice going up of course).

So I dial.

The I hand him the phone. And I said, "You aren't gonna run away with my phone are you?" And he said "And leave my Jumbo Shrimp? No."

So he leaves some random message to his so-called wife in Lake Forest, saying he would be home soon...oh, and that she had an appointment with one Dr. Tang at 1:45. Of course, while he is making this call, I noticed he had NO WEDDING RING ON!!! Which, in this day and age doesn't mean that you aren't married...but it is slightly alarming.

So he's done with the call. Says thanks. And then it hits me... THAT MAN NOW HAS MY PHONE NUMBER!!!! (Insert curse word of choice here).

So I watch him go to his car, all the while wondering if Serial Killers eat Jumbo Shrimp. He doesn't seem to be looking back and plotting any plans, but who knows?? He still has my phone number.

So guess who got a call tonight at 5:45?? Yep. Me.

He says, " this the girl who called my wife today?" And I said Yes. And he said, "Oh, don't worry, I'm not gonna keep calling you, but I saw this on my caller ID and wanted to see who it was." CLICK. I hung up. I was panicked. I was trying to remember from all those crime shows/movies I watch how many seconds it takes to track a call. I hope I cut it off in time.

If not, this could be my last post.

If you need money...

BACKSTORY: Curtis has been blessed with opportunities to freelance which gives us a little extra (and much needed) income occasionally. Most of his "gigs" have been in Houston, Texas. Which is in fact where he is right now. The girls wonder why he keeps going to Texas, and I explained that when Daddy goes to Texas he is working so we can have some extra money.

So last night I finished rehearsal at 8:40. I ran upstairs and grabbed my kids from our church nursery and said, "We have to go!!!" Haley said, "Mom, I have to pee." "Too have to hold it." I am Mother of the Year. I know.

Why do I force my kid to hold her pee? Cause the Library closed at 9. It was 10 minutes away. And my books would be overdue if I didn't turn them in that night. (And Gina, before you tell me I could extend them over the phone, I lost my library card and so it won't work...) Anyway, yes, I am that cheap. I didn't want to wait another day to turn them in.

So we made it a fun game....

Knowing we would make it in time, I said, "If we can get to the library before it closes, I will take us all out to get yogurt" (Sounds nice, but it's was also a guilty treat because of the amount of time they have spent in the church nursery this week.) Anyway... they wondered if we could get yogurt if the library closed. I said, "No, because then my money would have to go to the Library and I won't have enough money for yogurt."

To which Haley replied:

"Mom, if we need money, we just have to go to Texas."

Now you know...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Figured it Out Part 2.

Lexi has been crying about me leaving a light on for her at night. She doesn't like the dark so tonight I asked her why.

"Dare are Pirates in my room dat come out in da dark."

Poor Girl.

Figured it Out.

Haley just explained to me the reason she has been waking up crying in the middle of the night.

There are "commercials" in her eyes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Laughing out Loud.

Walking from our car to our house we have to walk on the sidewalk.

I was holding Lexi's hand and Lexi grabbed Haley's hand.

Haley wanted to walk along on the edge of the curb.

Here was the conversation:

H: Mom? Am I bigger than Lexi?

M: Yes Haley.

H: Am I big enough to walk on the curb?

And seriously, as soon as she got the word "curb" out, she fall off the curb onto the road face down. And without missing a beat, she said:

H: Well, I guess I'm not big enough.

And then we laughed for about 5 minutes. And of course, Haley and Lexi had to reenact the fall for the next 10 minutes.

I love my kids.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Haley Against the Dark Side.

Haley is a Star Wars Fanatic. She gets that from her dad (considering I called Darth Vader "Dark Vader" until about five years ago.) Her life is just consumed with all things Star Wars. I even bought her a Darth Vader costume (Helmet included) for Christmas WHICH SHE FOUND last week. Sidenote: We tried to throw her off track by telling her Mommy & Daddy would have to "discuss" the outcome of the aforementioned costume. So she will have to wait until Christmas morning to be reunited with Mr. Vader.

One more piece of evidence of her love for Star Wars: She exchanged all of her Halloween Candy for Light Sabers.

So imagine her glee when Disneyland started their Jedi in Training Show in Tomorrowland. Every time we go to Disney, she asks to go to the show so she can fight Darth Vadar. When the show begins, they pick about twenty kids to go through "training" and then they each get to fight Darth Vadar or Darth Maul. She REALLY wanted to be one of those kids.

Well yesterday, we went to Disneyland for my niece's 1st Birthday (Happy Bday Ems!) While My sister and her friends were waiting to ride Space Mountain, I took Haley over to the show. The show was packed, but I let Haley go and just said "scoot in there somewhere" and wouldn't you know - she found herself in the front row - and WAS CHOSEN!

The smile on her face melted my heart! She was thrilled. I called Jen and asked if she could run her camera over (of course, the one day I don't have my camera)....and I called Curtis (who was arriving with my parents) and said, "RUN!!!!!!" Everyone made it in time and we got to see our little Padawan (Jedi in Training). It was truly magical!

My favorite picture of the day - Everyone was listening to the Jedi Master EXCEPT Haley! She turned around to wave to her fans! And yes, that Lady is asking her to turn around. Okay, so maybe she gets that from me.

Our proud graduate...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The History of Tink

Since Lexi was Tinkerbell for Halloween, Grandma Connie bought her the new Tinkerbell movie. It was such a CUTE movie and so insightful. I now understand Tinkerbell's grumpiness in the Peter Pan movie. She had a rough beginning people. It explains a lot.

Maybe if we could all know a little more about people's beginnings, their life journey, and what they struggle/ed with...their personality and choices they make would make a lot more sense.

It reminded me to take the time to get to know someone and their may view them differently afterwards.

Which reminds me...stay tuned for the story of my Vietmenese Eye-Brow Waxer.

Mickey Mouse for President!

Apparently this redistribution of wealth thing has caught on...

Have you seen the commercials for Disneyland/Word that say you can get in FREE on your Birthday? How awesome is that??!! We are fortunate enough to have season passes, so I thought it didn't really affect me until I read an email from my friend Angie yesterday that talked about Passholders getting a Birthday Fun Card!

So check it out - even if you have a pass, you can get a Birthday Fun Card that is valued at the same price of admission which is currently : Child 3-9 = $59 Adult $69 (Unless they are given you the price of a park-hopper which would be EVEN MORE!!!)

The only catch is, all of it must be used on your Birthday.

How ridiculously awesome is that!!!

This is valid from Jan 1, 2009 to December 31,2009. So go online to and sign up for the Birthday club today!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Looking for my Lost Post?

I deleted it. I find I am lacking the right words to say. I keep searching, but they aren't there. My mind is all messy and tangled up right now with thoughts that are conflicting. Maybe I can figure it out later. If I do, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tired of Election Coverage? Check out our Halloween Pics!

So, last Halloween (as in 07', not last Friday), Haley wanted to be Peter Pan. I couldn't find a costume I liked except at Disneyland and it was $80. No thanks. But I still thought it would be adorable to have Haley as Peter Pan and Lexi as TinkerBell.

Well, a couple of months ago, my mom and I went yard-sale shopping and lo and behold, there sat a perfectly good Peter Pan Costume. I bought it for $5. Sword, hat, and boots included. Then I asked my friend Heidi if she still had her daughter's Tinkerbell costume from a few years back, and she did. So this was a very thrifty Halloween.

Once the girls got their costumes, Haley started assigning everyone else costumes. I was Wendy. Curtis was Jon (my brother). Granddad was Captain Hook and Grandma was Princess Tiger Lilly.

Here are the pictures...

At home in our costumes.

Wendy with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell licking her wand...

With my parents...Ma-Maw Lyn fixed Tinkerbell's hair since I am challenged in the area of hair-styling.

The girls fueling up for a big night. (Don't judge my food's HALLOWEEN!)

Lexi and Mallory (Mallory's mom Amanda took this pretty pic.)

Wendy & Jon.

The family...

This is Hope. She is the original owner of Tink's costume. Hard to believe she fit into that same outfit. She's such a little lady now.

Peter Pan fighting with Captain Hook

Pixie Dust anyone?

Just don't touch my loot....

Precious friends.

At the end of the night...

Dear Mr. President


When I first saw you speak at the DNC convention four years ago, I looked at my husband and said, "He will be President someday." Tonight you became our new President-Elect. I wish you my most sincere congratulations.

I love listening to you speak. You move me. And when you announced your candidacy 21 months ago, I became a follower. I was captured by your passion, your heart, and your words. I wanted change. I wanted to help those who need help. I wanted you to be my president.

I listened very carefully to as many of your speeches as I could. I read what you stood for. I researched how you were going to accomplish change. And unfortunately, over the course of the last several months, I found myself doubting you. Wondering how you were going to accomplish so much change. And disagreeing with many of your ways of going about change.

I understand that everyone votes for different reasons, and I don't want to say that one reason is better than the next. But I hope that people voted for you for more than your eloquent speeches and the fact that you are different than McCain. EVERYONE wants change but I am still uncertain about exactly what the changes are and how you are going to implement them.

Tonight you spoke to me. You said that if you didn't receive my vote today then you would earn it. Today, I did not give you my vote. I wish I could have given it to you. I sincerely like you. I just don't know if I believe in you. And I refused to get caught up in the excitement of you and give you my vote without thoroughly thinking it through. But if you want to earn my support, I hope that you will. I hope you will be the greatest President of my generation. I hope that you implement changes that will protect my family for years to come. I hope our country will flourish under your direction.

You made history tonight. I will never forget what I witnessed. Don't let our country down Mr. President. Be honest. Be real. Change us for the better. That's all I ask. Then in 4 or even 8 years, maybe I can look back and say, "Yes, He did."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Not much Difference.

I was looking through IPhoto today, and noticed a picture of Haley taken in January of 06'. She is wearing the same pajamas that Lexi is wearing today. The resemblance is striking.

Haley Beth - 2 years old.

Lexi Mae - 2 1/2 years old.

When I showed this picture to Lexi she would not believe that the picture of Haley was Haley. "That's not Sissy...Dat's Me." Sweet girl.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tonight she held on longer...

On nights that Curtis tucks Lexi in, she has started asking for "Mommy to come kiss her goodnight." So I go in, lower her crib and reach down to kiss her goodnight. She wraps her arms around my neck and gives me the tightest squeeze. Tonight, she didn't let go. I wanted to go because there was laundry on the floor that needed to be taken downstairs, Haley still had to be tucked in, and we hadn't had dinner yet. But I just stayed there. I let her hold on to me as long as she needed to knowing that one day I would long for those arms to hold me and for whatever reason, they wouldn't be there. There is something about the sweet little arms of your child, wrapped around your neck, to remind you of what is important in life.