Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Star is Born

The recital went very well. NyCee did a great job! She smiled while dancing and sang really loud. Quite the proud mother I am.

Of course there was that screaming incident in the van on the way to pick up Bubba involving a cricket on her dress. But while at the theater she was great!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day Before The Recital

NyCee had rehersal for her dance recital tomorrow. She looked so adorable in her costume.

When I got ready to take her picture, she immediately got into different dance poses.

Of course, there had to be a picture of NyCee and her BFF Olivia.

The girls' presentation is titled, "A Present for Mommy." She looked so adorable on stage dancing. Of course, I almost cried.

The picture on stage is not really visible. (I forgot the camera at home after reminding myself 7,409 times to put the camera in my purse last night.) NyCee has her arms spread and is standing to the left of the girl in the black tee shirt.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Night Time Talk

"Mommy" calls my sleepy-eyed little girl and I hear the shuffle of her feet towards me.

"Yes, punkin cake."

"I sweating" she exclaims as I notice beads of sweat on her nose. "May you turn on that please?" She points to the a/c unit on the wall.

"Yes, dear."

"Thank you mommy."

And she returned to bed and to a sound sleep. (The a/c is on but the temp needed to be adjusted to cool off the apartment a little more.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Time Together

Initially, I requested a few days off of work to travel back east to spend time with my dad for Father's Day. It was going to be a surprise as I had been working with my sister Tarisa to pull it off. Well, I wasn't able to go to Michigan but I decided to still take the days to spend with the kids.

Usually, it's rush to pick them up, rush to get them home, rush to eat dinner, rush to read a bedtime story, and rush them to bed so that I can rush to cook dinner, wash a load of clothes, etc.

We just took it easy over the past few days. Yesterday morning, we visited one of the parks by our apartment. I took these pictures just to give a different view of the Phoenix area. Most people think its just cactus and red rock. But there are beautifully landscaped areas and man made lake beds.

This is Freestone Park. I generally take the kids there to let them run around and burn off some energy. After the park, my intent was to take them to the Children's Museum. That didn't happen as mommy grew lazy after lunch and nap time. Instead, I watched several hours of America's Next Top Model Obsessed. (I generally do not watch television and yesterday I probably watched enough for a month.)

Today we went to the zoo. The kids loved the zoo. NyCee has been so much with Lorie and her kids that she started telling me where the animals were located. Before we left, we stopped at the splash play area.

Bubba was soaked as he constantly walked through the sprinklers. He had so much fun.

Of course, I was hoping they would have stayed awake until we made it home....

but that didn't happen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Continue to Pray

Please continue to pray for my cousin Cari's full healing. When you pray, speak the word of God. Below are a few scriptures you can refer to:

Exodus 15:26b
Exodus 23:25
Psalm 103: 2-3
Psalm 107: 20
Isaiah 53:5
1 Peter 2:24

Also, please pray not only for our nation but all nations of the world. We are in a time when God's intervention is needed to ensure our protection and safety. Scripture references:
Proverbs 21:1
Psalm 33:12
1 Timothy 2: 1-7

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Last night at church, we were blessed with by the music of Bob Carlisle who sung his famous song, "Butterfly Kisses". The song was released in 1997 and until last night the words never really had an impact on me. There was not a dry eye in the place.

Last night brought me face to face with the consequence of my choices and how those consequences extend far beyond just me. Because I chose to move head of God, I married quickly, later divorced, and am now raising two children alone. But the consequence is because my children may never have the opportunity to know what it's like to have a father in the home who loves them. A man who is a true worshipper of God and loves God with his entire being. A man who would take my daughter to a father daughter dance. A man who will teach my son how to mow the lawn or play baseball. Consequences extend so far beyond just ourselves.

I am committed to never dwell in the land of regret as it applies to marrying Lewis. That union of nearly five (5) years brought forth NyCee and Tyler. They are on this earth because they each have a destiny and a purpose from God. I am honored that God gave me the privilege of being their mom. Today, NyCee said, "Mom, I am glad your my mom. I love you." I nearly broke into tears.

Many people sent me text messages which read, "Happy Father's Day because you do it all for your kids." While I know that should be a compliment, my heart truly aches for my children. I now understand why women stay in loveless marriages and jump into new relationships. It's hard being the sole care giver, financial supporter, nurturer, disciplinarian, etc. But it's even harder because I will not jump into another relationship for the sake of having someone in my bed. That's just stupid.

Any man who does not love God with his entire being and has fruit of that lifestyle, has no place in my world. Time out for compromise. God so loved the world that He gave His Son. Jesus so love that He laid down His life. Those are the two standards that any man who dare approach me must meet. He must be willing to lay down his own dreams and desires for the sake of the family. If I learned nothing else during my marriage, selfishness has no place (on the part of either party) in the relationship.

I salute every strong man, regardless of race, creed or color, who does whatever it takes to support his family and children. I salute every father who tirelessly speaks words of affirmation into the life of his wife and children. I salute every man who actively practices the words of the Apostle Paul:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her..."
Ephesians 5:25

Love is not love until it is put into operation - it's an action. Jesus showed us His love by giving up His life that we may live. Men, show your wives you love them. Dads, show your children you love them. Love should not be a secret. Jesus was hung openly on a cross for all humanity to witness.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ghetto Rigged

Before my son gained his upward mobility skills (walking), I kept saying I needed to get a gate for the kitchen area. He likes to play in the cabinets. Although, I have stopped him from doing that, he often times walks in there while I am cooking. Today, he almost touched the oven door to brace himself but started whinning because he felt the heat.

So I had to come up with a creative way to keep him out of the kitchen. When you have to pinch every penny, the creative juices start flowing. Isn't there a saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention?"

Tyler grew a little frustrated when he couldn't move the chairs out of his way.

NyCee then came and asked, "Mom, whatcha doing? I can't get pass." I explained to her the purpose of the chairs. She then sat on the legs of the chair to prevent Bubba from coming into the kitchen. As you can see, he didn't take to kindly to her sitting in his way. He grabbed her shirt to try and pull her out of the way.

All that rough-housing must have tired out both of them.

Psalm 23 (Contemporary English Version)

(A psalm by David.)
The Good Shepherd
1You, LORD, are my shepherd.
I will never be in need.

2You let me rest in fields

of green grass.

You lead me to streams

of peaceful water,

3and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,

and you lead me

along the right paths.

4I may walk through valleys

as dark as death,

but I won't be afraid.

You are with me,

and your shepherd's rod makes me feel safe.

5You treat me to a feast,

while my enemies watch.

You honor me as your guest,

and you fill my cup

until it overflows.

6Your kindness and love

will always be with me

each day of my life,

and I will live forever

in your house, LORD.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Evening Stroll

Psalm 37:19 (New Living Translation)

"They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough."

The kids and I went for a walk this evening. The temperature was about 86 degrees with a light warm breeze. We walked to the Blockbuster to rent a video for movie night.

Lately, I have grown fond of watching the sky. I believe it to be one of God's most beautiful masterpieces. Have you ever stopped to really look at the sky? It is a grand phenomenon that is ever changing. It reminds me of my life. Two years ago, my world crashed down around me. I didn't know which way was up. But the most valuable thing that I have learned is to praise God in all situations and ask Him to show me the purpose of the situation.

Although things are much better for me than they were last year this time, there are times when it is challenging. Often times, I do not have enough money to make it between pay checks - yet, God always provides. There are times when I do not know how a need will be met - God ensures there is no lack in my house.

I have learned not to spend frivolously. I have learned to tell my money where to go rather than asking "where did it go?" I have learned to get back to basics. And I believe that to be a very positive thing. I do not have any credit cards. I have to rely solely on God. In that, I have learned to be thankful for everything. Being thankful for everything helps me not to complain about anything. I have also learned that someone is worse off than me. So I have learned the importance of giving because I am more blessed than I think I am.

Tonight, I was able to rent a movie because of a gift card I received. NyCee wanted to watch Madagascar - it was only 99 cents to rent. The gift card was valued at $5 so I rented two movies tonight and we can watch another one tomorrow evening. It's a simple thing but I am grateful for the simple things.

I know that tomorrow will better than today and this situation is temporary. Just the like ever changing sky, my circumstances are ever changing for the better. Remember the words of David:

Psalm 103 (New Living Translation)

A psalm of David.
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!

19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.

20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strut He Does

Tyler has decided to join the land of the walking toddlers. I figured he would because he was kicked out of the infant room. Now, he is busier than ever. But he has learned to play by himself. I caught him doing a slam dunk with his basketball set. That's pretty cool.

Then later, I went into their room and found him throwing all the books onto the floor.

He did attempt to clean them up. Well, he started throwing the books into the toy box. At least he didn't knock all the books off the shelf and then walk/crawl away.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dresses on Parade

NyCee has received very cute dresses from her Nana Ida. Whenever a dress arrives in the mail, she opens the package and exclaims, "I'm going to be a princess." She loves wearing the dresses. She twirls and and turns saying, "Looking Mom. I'm pretty."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Catching Up

Last week, my Internet service was inoperable. It was just restored this morning. This post is to catch everyone up on our lives out here in the Valley of the Sun.

The weather as been really beautiful. Nice cool mornings and evening. The temps have been in the low 90s. For this time of year in AZ, that is great weather.

Tyler has started taking a few more steps. He walked from the kitchen to the dining room table the other day. He walks when the mood hits. Also, he is on table food now. This age is so hard because one day he eats table food the next he doesn't. I decided I have had enough spending $30 on baby food that he only eats half the time. So, I cut up his dinner in little bite sized pieces, put it on the table and walked away. Viola! He ate all the food - along with his foot.

NyCee takes dance class once a week. Last week, she won the blue ribbon for knowing all the dance steps to the routine for the upcoming recital in two weeks. (Her face is painted because Cinderella was at the dance studio that day to celebrate Olivia's birthday.)NyCee really enjoys dance class and has become quite the little twinkle toes.

As for me, I am working and praying daily to maintain my sanity. I stopped the program for the second Master degree. The school work was not the problem. I did not like the structure of facilitation at the university. Therefore, I am working on a few projects before I start school in September.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Already this morning....

Generally, on Friday nights I comb NyCee's hair for the week. That didn't happen yesterday as I was exhausted. Bright and early this morning, NyCee walked into my room exclaiming, "Mommy, I'm hungry." Bright and early in Arizona is approximately 530a. I sent her back to bed.

Then around 600a when it was really bright outside, she called my name saying, "Mommy, the sun is out." So I pulled myself out of the bed and the day began. Breakfast for NyCee, a kitchen to clean, clothes to wash, floors to vacuum, bathrooms to clean, etc, etc, etc. It is 1000a and I am exhausted.

I still have clothes to iron for the week, dinner to cook for Sunday, in theory, NyCee's hair needs to be combed but that won't happen today, and I have to work in the nursery tonight at church. Not to mention, I have not been grocery shopping yet.

Now imagine, this is a Saturday day morning. Monday - Friday starts for me around 445a or 500a. Kids to dress, off to the sitter, drive to work. Work for 9 hours, pick up the kids, get home to give them dinner, baths and bedtime stories. Then I have approximately two (2) hours to cook dinner for the following evening and work on any personal projects.

Some days I just want to curl up and cry I am so exhausted. And some days I do cry. But I cry out to God in faith knowing He carries me through every situation.

"Christ gives me the strength to face anything."
Philippians 4:13 (Contemporary English Version)