Loco LL

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday... Happy Motherhood

My good friend has said before that celebrating your child's birthday should also be a day to celebrate you mothering that child. This past week was a week of celebration for me. And it was a week to celebrate Moriah turning 6 and Alexa turning 9!!
I didn't have this blog when I had them. Were there such things as blogs then? I am so behind the times, I don't even know. But I have to post this blog to honor my girls and also to honor motherhood. We also planted India's placenta last week. Sorry if that grosses you out. But I find it incredibly symbolic and beautiful that what nourished life to my child will now nourish life in a fig tree at the river house that I grew up going to and India will grow up going to as well. It will always be a reminder of her life and so much more. I placed it in the hole with India standing at my side saying "blessed are you placenta who nourished my child within my womb, and may you now nourish this fig tree to produce fruit to nourish us all in years to come..."

Here are a few photos (i had to scan them from my scrapbooks) of the births of Alexa and Moriah who I am so thankful to be mothering.

Alexa Kathryn

Moriah Hope


Alexa's party was a Hannah Montana party. That is what she wanted. And that is her age. What can I say. I gave her what she wanted and they had a blast. I didn't get a picture of Alexa dressed as hannah montana. It was pretty funny. Maybe for Halloween we'll do it again. The best part of the party was the dance contest. WE pulled out the strobe light. Most of them hadn't heard of one before. One friend lost her tooth because she banged into someone else. Luckily it was already loose!
I even danced a little with them, and then I had to ice my foot. Oh, I hate getting old! One friend sang a song to Alexa for her present. I love that! She has a beautiful voice. Alexa is so blessed to have so many good friends.

Moriah's birthday was a Green Eggs and Ham party (her favorite book). She dressed as Sam and we had everything green. We played a Cat in the Hat game and they mostly just played. Alexa was the face painter. She did a pretty good job. They all liked the cake but only a few tried the green deviled eggs:)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Mountain Top Experience

I can remember the days when I was a teenager when I would go to young life camp every single summer. My dad was the camp doc, so we would go free from the time I was in 7th grade until I graduated. It was where I first heard about this loving Jesus, who I decided to begin this wild and crazy life with over 20 years ago!! I loved those camping experiences. It was like a renewal of faith every year, and yes I was one of those kids who made a re-commitment every year. But it was what I needed. I had no Christian friends in high school, and not even a youth group until my junior year. I lived in the valley during the year, looking forward to those mountain top experiences every summer. Literally, we would hike a mountain, and I would always sing that young life song, "It's amazing how you love me...I would climb the highest mountain and sail beyond the sea and it would always bring me back to you again...because it's amazing how you love me..." Come on now, I know I had to get a couple of ya'll singing that tune. It's a classic! Anyways, since graduating from college, I have had very few mountain top experiences. WE just don't go on these retreats where you pull in, fill up your tank, and go on about you business. In a sense, I think I have become kind of skeptical of all that and a bit judgemental even. I am not sure why, though if I really took the time to think about it, I am sure I could come up with many reasons. Anyhow, this past weekend really made me see past all of that and I was able to find spiritual renewal and clarity of mind in a way that I don't think I have ever experienced. My parents invited me to go to Orkney Springs with them. I am so glad I decided to do it. It is connected with the Episcopal church and started partly by a doctor many years ago who had a vision of healing being a mind, body and spirit thing. I mainly went because I wanted to get up in the mountains and hike and have alone time. I did do that. I took great hikes that were beautiful and challenging and all renewing to my soul. But even more was the intense worship and prayer and the challenging and convicting words spoken on compassion and dying to yourself.
I had never heard that compassion in greek means "the womb." I had already had this ongoing theme in my head about labor pains...feeling that something beautiful will be birthed out of this pain that I have been going through over the past several months. And this word about compassion came to the core of my being and changed me. There is so much more to process.

I also feel a renewed hope for the state of our world. The chinese character for crisis is danger and opportunity. We have a lot of dangerous stuff going on around us, but there is also great opportunity. It is in times like these that small things with great love make a difference...when we teach our children to love...when a folks can come together and practice sustainable gardening in the middle of the ghetto...when using your creativity to come up with alternative means of health care or kingdom economics or finding an end to this war in a way that humanizes rather than dehumanizes. It is times like these where we can hold on to hope because we know we are not alone in this journey.
Like I said...a lot to process. May we experience the Lord's Shalom on earth as it is in heaven.

(this is a picture of our prayers being burned at the end of our time there)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Raw, but not too raw, Birthday Celebration

Here are some pictures from when we celebrated Chris's turning 36 last friday. He is officially in the late 30's now!! Since we are a bit tight financially right now, I decided to make a nice meal at home. We normally would go eat at one of his many favorite ethnic hole in the wall places, but I had to incorporate our raw food and save some money at the same time.

Alexa decorated a little bit, and I made the meal. It was so good. Alexa even loved it and said she wants to eat raw. It was a curry cauliflower dish. Yummy.

I did make him some birthday cake, which he and the kids finished off in two days!!!! The only little candle I had was the 4 so we pretended it said 36:)

We had to go to target to pick up a present for a birthday party the girls were invited to. I asked Chris if he wanted me to get him something for his birthday. He said he wanted a potty for India. What a good and selfless dad! Well, until it came down to actually putting it to use. He, like me, lost interest in getting her potty trained after 2 days. We thought she was ready. We'll wait a little while and try again. She still tells us when she needs to go potty but she has only gone pee in the potty once and about 10 times on the floor!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What do you do when you want to have a family day and it is almost 100 degrees and you have no money...


Step one: Tell kids that we are having a family day.
Step two: Agree to a friend coming with us after church.

Step three: Go home, grab some free food and the dog and get back in the van.
Step four: Tell kids that we were just told that the end of the world was coming in 24 hours! Proceed to tell them that the only way to keep this from happening is if we can find a secret potion which is deep in the forest.
Step five: Arrive at the forest and begin the search.

Step six: Tell the kids what we need for the potion, making sure you only tell them things that you see first (you don't want to be searching for these items too long...it is still like 90 degrees in the forest!)
Step seven: Once you have all the ingredients, find a waterfall.

Step eight: Stir ingredients and say the magic words, "mecca lecca high mecca hiney ho..."

Step nine: Throw the ingredients over the waterfall and celebrate that you have just saved the world.

Step ten: Go home and turn the air conditioner on!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A good breakfast

I have learned to enjoy the simple things about food during these past 2 weeks. Every morning, I wake up at 6am and grab a few nuts to munch on while I am reading. Then I make my green smoothie around 9am and sip on it for the next hour. It satisfies me more than oatmeal and my stomach doesn't get all bloated. My body feels good. And I feel good mentally too. Tonight I am making a raw curry cauliflower dish to celebrate Chris' birthday. I was going to make a raw cake, but he isn't into this as much as me, and it is his birthday. So, he will have his cake and eat it too. But I will eat my dates and drink my lemon water happily.

Monday, September 08, 2008


For all you Elvis lovers out there, check out my dad.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My sweet children

Every time I hear India say "baby" in her cute little voice, it makes me smile. She has such a loving and nurturing personality. She reminds me a lot of Alexa at that age. It is weird that she will never know what it is like to have a baby sibling.

She likes to cook for her baby. And she gets really excited when she feeds her. She giggles in delight as if she is so proud of herself for being the big girl.

She also loves to see babies when we're out and about. She will try to hug them and kiss them, but in such a gentle way. So here is my little domestic chica who likes to cook and take care of babies. I am hoping to buy her a nice wooden play kitchen soon...well whenever I find one that doesn't cost so darn much.

Moriah made me happy today. I have felt like poop all day since it is my first day off caffeine totally. I also have something weird going on with my neck that I can't turn it all the way to the left. So that makes driving a challenge, especially since I have amblyopia in the left eye. But it just made me cranky too. Anyways, Moriah was in the bathroom this morning when I walked in just after getting dressed. She gasped in this dramatic way and exclaimed, "mom, you look soooooo pretty. Can I take your picture." Well, here is my pretty girl. I took a picture of her instead.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

bell's palsy, a crazy toddler, and raw food

I just thought I would blog about a collage of things happening in the lahrtribe this week. I had to get 2 fillings replaced. Those silver ones are getting old and falling apart from all my teeth grinding. Well, my dentist only uses the white fillings since the silver ones have shown to have adverse long-term health problems associated with them (they contain mercury!). But my insurance doesn't cover anything but silver fillings! Nice, huh? SO glad those wealthy insurance companies that take all our money are concerned about the mercury in our mouth. So I dished out $150 for the safe fillings. They look nicer too. Anyways, when I got the shot of novacaine, it must have hit the same nerve that causes bell's palsy. Here is the result. One of me smiling and one of me blowing a kiss. Thankfully it only lasted a few hours.

I had to go pick up the girls from their first day of school looking like I had a stroke. I just covered my mouth while I talked to the teachers. They probably thought I was a nut. So much for first impressions.

India, as I said, has been working on the somersaults. She has got it down good now.

Chris and I started a raw food cleanse/fast this week. We plan on going 3 weeks. It is the 6th day, and I feel a lot better. I am not drinking coffee anymore which is a huge deal for me. I do have a cup of yerba mate in the morning, which has helped with the headaches. But this week I am going to go off that. That is the hardest part. I also miss dairy. I never realized how hard it would be to give up dairy. Maybe it wouldn't be as hard if I could eat a nice plate of rice and beans, but I always throw some type of cheese on my salads, so it is taking some getting used to having all these veggies with no dip or dairy with it. But my stomach feels so good. I have always thought that I had a slight lactose intolerance. It is hard to know what is making my belly feel good..giving up lactose or gluten. I guess when I go off the fast, I will introduce things one at a time. We are doing the cleanse/fast for physical and spiritual reasons. I am not much of a faster, but I think this is more my kind of fast than just water. I gained some weight after losing my job. I was eating a lot of junk and feeling really sluggish. I have appreciated the aspect of thinking about everything that goes in my mouth. Not in the obsessive way, but in the way that I am gaining discipline and thinking about where things come from...how they got to my table (or blender). I couldn't be a raw foodist forever, but I can see myself doing this as a seasonal cleanse. I read a girls blog who is a raw foodist and she does four cleanses a year. I don't see how you need to cleanse when all you eat is raw and vegan food. She weighs 108 pounds! I don't want to be that obsessive. I like cooked veggies. I have been really craving cooked butternut squash with mixed eggplant, tomatoes, and basil. I make that a lot in the fall. It will be one of my first things to eat in a couple weeks:) Spiritually, I think this fast has been good because I have been meditating more and more on suffering...and how we are called to do it. I don't mean that I am suffering by eating this way..I am definitely not, but I just think it does me good to give up some pleasures from time to time. It keeps me from thinking that they are my right. And it helps me to have a bit more solidarity with others who have less. And it helps me to realize that this suffering servant that our lives are supposed to reflect, calls us much deeper into a life and love that unsettles me. It shakes my comfortable view of who I am as a Christian in this world of incredible suffering. I want to post more on some of my thoughts since Chris has returned from Rwanda and South Africa. I am still processing the whole thing. We have watched a couple good movies that I would recommend. Beyond the Gates and Cry for Freedom are hard to watch but very truthful. More later.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kindergarden and Third Grade

Wow! I can not believe that Alexa is a third grader. That officially seems old to me. She is a young woman in so many ways. But she is still my little girl in most ways and I am not ready to give that up. She is in class with three good friends. We haven't met the teacher yet, but she sounds nice.

Even more crazy is Moriah being a Kindergartner. She has been so excited for this day for so long. She was all smiles. Her teacher is great and her class seems great too. She has been reading all sorts of books about kindergarten. She told me yesterday, "mom, I read my last book about kindergarten today. It was a great book to end the summer with and start kindergarten with." She is so darn cute!

SO now we are back to having just India at home. It is bittersweet of coarse.
She is so much fun to be with and at this age where she is learning so much every day, I am thankful for this time I have with her. She is saying a lot of sentences now.
"where's mommy?"
"I want down."
"I want up."
"I have baby."-she says this when she poops!
"night-night baby."-when she is tucking in her dolls
"here ya go boy." - talking ot oskar
"I want more juice...peez"
She say a lot more, but you get the picture. She also likes to give you five or pound. She loves her sissies. She calls them titi because she can't make the sound too well. She is almost doing somersaults too. Maybe we should just start training her now for London 2012.

It was a good summer over all. Lots of memories for all of us (some sad or hard, but mostly happy): disney world, papa fest, the rivah, indiana, the beach, theater camp, Cornerstone festival, learning to ride bikes, Africa, Labor and Delivery, saying final good-byes to an uncle and a grandmother...Now on to making more memories.