To Read on the Journey

Saturday, February 28, 2009

i can be a little creative, just a little.

the blog world has upset my lazy tendencies.

instead of sitting around all day, doing nothing, watching soaps,
eating bon bons (because this is what the stereotypic sahm does).
or instead of cleaning (i love clean), i have been inspired by so many
blogs to either buy something creative or do something creative.
since buying something requires $, i've opted for the latter.
so here you go, are you happy you creative bloggers. you win!

i sewed (with help) these little smocked summer dresses for my girls.

i even used a surger!
this was an easy first sewing project. next the girls and
i are going to make little pencil skirts.

i got the girls started on a beginning needlepoint project.
we just took some muslin, needle and embroidery thread,
and drew our own design to follow. this is emilie's.
the girls enjoyed this little project, and it gave me sweet moments of quiet.

i have been dragging my kids to fabric stores and home stores looking
for a way to mistreat the windows in my home.
this is what kids look like when they are dragged from here to there.
aren't they cute.

ahhh, but my laziness isn't completely cured! this is the back of our front door.
uh huh, those are Christmas cards.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

punching bags

my mom got a punching bag for Christmas. it is hanging in her garage, where she does her punching thing. in my opinion it was an odd gift to request. i would never ask for a punching bag, i wouldn't want to waste my time beating and pounding at something.
or would i?

i have been a bit depressed lately. i thought it might be because it's winter; wet, cold, and gloomy outdoors, and so it has been gloomy in my heart and mind. but i don't think that is entirely why i have been down.

i have been on edge with my husband. i do not react well when i am on edge.

i have been over whelmed by motherhood, home schooling, kids 24/7, wanting to run off and disappear for just a little while.
but the truth is that it isn't life, husband, or kids that i need a break from.
i need a break from me, from the disappointment i feel that i am.

you see, i don't need a punching bag, i have

i am very good at beating and pounding at myself when i fail. being human, i fail a lot.

it is hard to stop doing something you are so well, good at. mike tyson, george foreman, and mohammad ali (sorry these are the only boxers i am familiar with), couldn't give me a better beating than i give myself.

i beat myself up with lies. lies that are so familiar, i have lived as if they are truth.

first, let me say that by God's grace and truth i have come along way in overcoming lies (that is a whole series of posts, someday). i no longer live in a tainted inner monologue world where i think everyone and everything is against me (yes, it was that ugly). i have come into a lot of freedom. however, it was brought to my attention recently that i haven't given up believing lies about myself.

i have learned how to extend grace, forgive, show mercy and love, show value to others, but i can't do this for myself. i can't embrace that i am worthy of grace, forgiveness, mercy, love, or value. i want to , but i can't.

God does tell me. He wraps His mighty arms around me, whispers in my ear, tells me who i really am. but i wiggle and squirm, fight to get away from His words, and tell Him no.

and i'm tired.

every night i pray over my children, and every night my prayers include these words, "Father tell them who they are in You, make them believe it, make them to live in your Truth, and in the fullness of Your love."

a friend asked me, "do you pray that for yourself?" my tear filled response was "no."

but i need to.

this same friend advised me to ask God to tell me who i am. she encouraged me to make a daily list. it has only been a few days, and i have felt some relief from the beatings-

Here is what God has said to me the past few days-
I am free
I am whole
I have a delightful inheritance
I am secure
I will not be shaken
I will not be abandoned (what i fear most)
I am filled with joy in God's presence
I am a beautiful bride
I am held
I am protected
I am supported
I am victorious
I am loved with unfailing love

and i'd like to stop there. tell you it is that easy, but for me it's not.
i have a difficult part with the "i am" part of each sentence. wrapping my mind around me being worthy of such things. i can't do it.

i tell God i can't do it.
He said, "I can. I can be the "I am" for you."

through tears, i smile, because i know He is the "I am" and of course He would step into my place for me, save me again.

today God said to me "I am blessed." i once heard someone say that "blessed" means "your on the right road."

so, i'm on the right road. good bye punching bag.

Monday, February 23, 2009

joy to everyone

so many blog posts swishing around here in my head, so it's gonna be another one of these.

as i mentioned in my previous post (last week) i was off to meet my new nephews, and let me say they are darling! with in moments of meeting them i wanted to scoop them up and bring them home with me. my sister is enjoying her job as mommy. i admire that she has a sense of humor, and doesn't sweat the small stuff. i admire how calm, cool, and collected she is in her new mommy role. i began to wonder why i wasn't this way when motherhood began, and then it occurred to me i was 23 when i began this journey, she is 33. her boys really enjoyed their new "tousins." We LOVED being with them, and hope to see them again soon.

while we were visiting family, we stayed with my mom. my mom's husband steve (a.k.a "papa steve") asked if noah could join him at work for a day. steve drives truck, delivering feed to dairies. noah's eyes lit up when he knew he would get to ride in the big diesel truck and have man time with papa steve.
i can tell you that for me the way to this mother's heart is through my children. steve wanting to spend time with noah was such a gift to me. while visiting family, i also went to a memorial service for a woman whose daughters i went to high school with. i didn't know pam johnson well, but God used her to change the whole course of my life. when i was 19, pam invited me to be a counselor for her 6th grade class at camp oakhurst. during that week i had the priveledge of leading one of those girls to Christ, by the end of the week i was offered a summer job at the camp. the rest is history! i met michael that summer, we married, have 3 terrific kids, and i have lived a life here in oakhurst for 15 years now that is better than my wildest dreams. at her memorial service, they sang "Thank you for giving to the Lord," and i am so thankful that pam gave to our God, because "i am a life that was changed."
at the end of that week pam discovered that i had never been to yosemite (i had lived 2 hours from yosemite my entire life and had never gone). she decided we would take the long way home, so that i could see yosemite. it makes me smile just thinking about it. if you haven't been to yosemite, you must go! coming through the tunnel and seeing half dome, el capitan, and the valley floor is breathtaking. it is majestic.

and now onto pants. when my sister was in jr. high and i was in high school we were sucked into the trend of puffy painting. looking back i think puffy paint was hideous (along with permanents, m.c. hammer pants, wet & wild lip stick, and big bangs)! my mom pulled out a pair of calvin kleins my sister and i had collaborated on and painted for her. of course i had to try them on. yikes! it all came rushing back, the tight, high wasted pants,how i would lay down on my bed to zip them up. squeezing my high school self into a pair of these cut off your circulation, who needs to breath calvin kleins. i will share with you the view from the front, but i will not even let you see what is going on on my backside...scary!! and finally onto chairs. my mother has had this chair with ottoman i have been asking her for since the day she bought it, 5 years ago, for $50 at a yard sale. once again, i asked for the chair, and this time she said yes (i am like the persistent widow ). she also said i better take it now before she changed her mind. my mom decided that a good time to move the chair from the house to my van was friday evening at 11:40 p.m. the chair was in the office, which sits at a caddy corner in her hallway . getting the chair out was going to be tricky... apparently getting it in was tricky, but she didn't tell me that till 12:20 a.m. when the chair was stuck between the doorway and the caddy corner portion of the hallway and wouldn't budge. at this point i found myself trapped in the bedroom. there was no way over, under, or around that chair. since desperate times call for desperate measures, i removed the screen from the window, found my way out of that room and back around and into the house. once in the house i contemplated what our next step would be to get the chair out of it's predicament. the next step was chocolate. look people, it was 12 something in the a.m., chair is stuck, and i needed some chocolate inspiration/motivation. as i munched on chocolate i found a screw driver, which i used to remove the door from the hinges (we should've done this in the first place. i honestly didn't think my mom had a screwdriver. growing up i only recall her using a butter knife when we needed a tool), and eventually after a bit more lifting, and maneuvering, and a little door frame dinging and wall scratching the chair was out! but then it wouldn't fit in my van. more chocolate, a lot of laughter, and a bit later the chair and ottoman were in the van. now it is home, in my room. i really wish i had a before and after picture. i have wanted a chair in my room for some time. i have selfishly desired a place just for me, to curl up with a blanket, read, drink a hot cup of tea, disappear from the house and it's demands, and find solitude. after shuffling the furniture around to make room for the chair i worked to get the room back together. knowing that when everything was in it's place i could find my way home to it's over- stuffed pillow back, wide arms, footstool, and warm throw blanket. but when i was done the chair was occupied! emilie was nestled in reading a book. here is the rearranged room. next i need some curtains (hmmm, wonder if my mom has curtains?).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

she shared her fries

for 11 years i have been the mommy and my sister toni has been the tia (aunt).

she has enjoyed her job as tia.

sensitive to my motherhood exhaustian- my sister has always had a creative activity planned to do with the kids. i recall toddlers noah and emilie stripped down to undies finger painting in her front yard, many cookie making experiences, and most recently sock puppet sewing.

sensitive to the financial crunch of raising a family- she has been very generous. once she and her husband asked to take the kids shopping for new shoes. when they returned, they had a pair of new shoes and a pair of new heelies (roller- shoes). she has used every holiday as an excuse to buy the kids clothing, and not just the kids but me too! 75% of my clothing has been gifted or a hand-me-down from my little sister.

sensitive to the kids sweet tooth- knowing that mommies have to create healthy eating habits, but aunties don't, she has always spoiled the kids with cookies, candy, and cakes!!

needless to say, she has been very generous as a tia and sister.

but this isn't unusual for my sister.

when we were young she would share her fries when her big sister (me) devoured hers too quickly. i never had to ask, she just couldn't stand to see me go without.

and now she is a mommy and i am a tia.

tomorrow the kids and i get to meet the newest members of our family. we are so EXCITED!

and i want to be sensitive to what it is my sister needs from me. i don't think at this time it is a creative activity, new shoes, or a cake. i think what she needs is a cheerleader and a mommy friend. someone to support and encourage her, to understand how exhilarating and exhausting being a mommy is.

the following pictures were taken by michael during christmas.
(top l-r; steve,toni, me, michael
bottom l-r; emilie, papa steve, josie, grammi, noah)
i look forward to our next family photo, made complete with the addition of two sweet little boys.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Good Infection

"This matters more than anything else in the world... The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made. Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?"

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity

I need to enter into the dance with my Father, Jesus, the Spirit. There are seasons where i can't keep from dancing. This isn't that season. Oh, but i NEED the joy, power, peace, eternal life i get from that Great Fountain. I can't hear the music, find the beat, move on my own. So, like a child, i ask my Father to lead. I place my feet on His feet, and He carries, moves me (us) across the floor... and we dance.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Here is an easy Valentine to make. Obviously this has been a favorite of mine for years!
Noah at 2 covered in chocolate. Emilie 9 months, in daddy's hat, puckering.

How to make it-

Get a box of Sweetheart's candy (empty the candies)
Insert your favorite picture
And add sticky magnet strips to the back

Voila! You have a great Valentine magnet for the fridge!
(this will be very popular with the grandparents)

We found this acrostic LOVE poem worksheet at Enchanted Learning.
Since i have old pix. of Noah and Emilie above, i have to get an adorable picture of Josie in too. Here she is age 3, with rice crispy treat Valentines.
What do you do for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Josie is 7
Josefine, you are our delight and sunshine.
You are laughter at the table, music down our halls, silly socks skipping by, "rememborizing," crazy pajamas, our tender heart, a kind friend, the entertainer, a joyful student, a playful sister, "cooker," game winner, chapter book reader, leg hugger, bike rider, tennis shoe tie'er, Bruin skiing,
mommy rehearsing, princess dreaming, question asking, God wondering, truth seeking, love spilling.



Monday, February 9, 2009


Come, come in
Invade all You see of us
Any man, who'd walk Your road is welcomed here
And You're the only one

Jesus, come and walk the halls of this house
Tread this place and turn it inside out
With Your mercy...
Jesus, teach us the prayers that open these doors
Until Your light floods in and illuminates these floors
And let Your truth be on our steps and in these rooms
Jesus invade...

Reach, reach in
With the hand that heals all our suffering
Conquer all that is not of You
Bring Your spirit through
As we fill these walls with Your praise

Jesus, come and walk the halls of this house
Tread this place and turn it inside out
With Your mercy...
Jesus, teach us the prayers that open these doors
Until Your light floods in and illuminates these floors
And let Your truth be on our steps and in these rooms
Jesus invade...

I call for angels
I call for mercy
I call for freedom
In the name of Jesus
In the name of Jesus

"Invade" by Watermark

Praying these words for a friend.
Praying these words for a mind.
Praying these words for a house.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

pizza plays

The kids had been playing quietly in the room for a while (now that they are bigger, when it is quiet i don't wonder what mischief they are getting into. Nope, i enjoy the peaceful play, and the quiet they don't realize they are giving me), when Noah came to fetch me, they had been working on a show, and were ready to present it to me. As i entered the room Noah greeted me at the door and said, "Welcome to the show and please take your seat here." My seat was on the bottom bunk bed. As i sat, the make shift theater curtains (blankets hanging from the top bunk) closed, the lights went out, and the stage was set.
I listened to the jingling and clashing as the stage crew attempted to quietly set up. Soon, the lights were on, and the curtains were drawn open as Emilie announced the show, "Presenting Josie's cooking show!" (it is important to know that Josie wants to be a "cooker," and have her own "ranstraunt" when she grows up. She has had these plans since she was 2).

Josie (who enjoys watching the Food Network more than most children) gave quiet a presentation. She made pizza; measuring all the ingredients for the dough, she threw pretend salt over her shoulder for luck (like Rachel Ray), mixed the ingredients together, assembled the pizza. At the end of the show i was presented with a delicious pepperoni, olive, mushroom pizza. aren't they the cutest kids ever!! what i loved best about their production was that Noah and Emilie worked behind the scenes. They let their little sister steal the whole show. In doing that they stole my heart.

Friday, February 6, 2009

my life will be complete once i have eaten this!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

new post

i am a few blog posts behind. i thought i'd nix them altogether, but i thought about it some more, and i don't want to. so your gonna get a compilation of the last few weeks of my goings on.

So, i want to learn how to sew. i blame my sister-in-law lindsey (check out her creativity at the pleated poppy). Lindsey has helped me sew a number of things. She makes it seem so effortless, and can whip up anything!
i do not feel confident to sew on my own. i need guidance.
My girls also want to learn to sew. i don't want to teach them. i want someone else to teach them (i teach them enough already with the home schooling and mommy gig).
Before beginning sewing lessons i asked the ladies who are going to teach us to sew, Joyce and Joanne, to travel with me to Joann's Fabric,and give me a Joann's Fabric 101 course.Being a non-sewer that store scares me. i walk in and have no idea where or what anything is. Once I purchased a spool of thread that cost $7.00 just to sew on a button. i was surprised that thread cost that much. i didn't know any better.
Joyce and Joann, were salivating when we walked into the store. They are master sewers, and feel at home surrounded by bobbins, bias, needles, a walking foot, a feed dog, and fabric (these are not made up words, but actual sewing terms we had a good laugh over). They really enjoyed being my teacher, and i enjoyed being their student.

We start lessons next week. Watch out Lindsey!

One thing i will never do is knit (well, maybe not never)! i can barely carry a conversaton with half of my friends because they are all so focused on their knitting! i have become a little jealous of yarn and needles.
Besides who needs to knit when they have a g-ma, who can whip up anything!Don't my girls look darling! (My g-ma made me a matcing set too).

Here is a picture of me holding the newest addition to my family, Ava Victoria Silva.
She is my cousin Sean's daughter. SHE IS BEAUTIFUL!
On Michael's side of the family there are 10 great grandchildren. But other than my children, Ava is the first baby born from my side of the family. She is a perfect portuguese baby.
It was such a blessing to get to see, and hold her. It was a great blessing to see my cousin Sean overwhelmed by God's goodness in His other Denise news, i am a tia (aunt). My sister and her husband are adopting two darling little boys through the foster care program. They have been waiting a long time to be parents. These boys seem to be written for them, and they seem to be written for the boys.
it is something to see God's hand at work! We can see how "God works all things together for good." He has taken the brokenness of their childhoods, drawn them close to Him, and shaped and molded them for these children. it is a beautiful thing to see.

They had a shower this last weekend. it was fun to celebrate my little sister becoming a mommy!
i will get to meet my new nephews in a couple weeks. For now they are babymooning (like honeymooning, we did this when each of our babies was born), soaking up the boys, and establishing their new family.

After the shower we had an evening out with two of my favorite people in the whole world, Jeff and Kelly Hayes. Jeff and I have been friends since jr.high!

We ALWAYS LOVE being with them.
We had originally hoped to go to dinner and to tango lessons, but one of us was getting over the flu (me) and didn't have the energy. We took a rain check on the tango lessons, and
went to dinner, and then ventured off to a dessert place to play the game Loaded Questions.
Here were some of our questions:
What food do you wish was healthy?
How many push-ups can you do?

What t.v. sit-com family would you like to be a part of?

If you could change one thing from today what would it be?

Name a vehicle that shouldn't be allowed on the road?

How would you dispose of a dead body?

As you know Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday. i usually refer to it as "Super Eating Sunday,"
because it is the one day a year you can consume all the junk food you want!
unfortunately, i was still filling icky (from the flu), and couldn't stuff my face to my hearts desire. Which is really upsetting because my husband borrowed his mother's deep fryer, and her delicious onion ring recipe, and made onion rings for all of us. I LOVE onion rings (I wish they were a healthy food).Our friends Sheffie and Julie Hilliard hosted the Super Bowl Party. And this year i came prepared! i sported some team spirit, wearing my high school powder puff jersey. Go MUSTANGS! (btw- i wasn't athletic in high school, or ever. i was just on the powder puff team because i wanted a cool jersey).
i know little about football. i knew nothing about who was playing, or anything about the teams. So the week before Super Bowl i asked Sheffie to email me some questions that would make me look football smart!
I know the other guests were surprised at my inquirings about Kurt Warner, Big Ben , Coach Whis, Larry Fitzgerald, and Heinz Ward. The other guests were very impressed with my questions, that is until they saw the cheat sheet i was carrying with me (thanks Sheffie!).

And finally in Denise news, i had my first ever massage this week. My "besty" Kelli is taking classes to be a masseuse. So in order to support her i reluctantly signed up for a 1 hr massage. i have had many massages gifted to me in the past, but have always traded them in for hair, manicures, or pedicures. The idea of literal nakedness, and massage was NOT for me. But now i am a BELIEVER!
So if you are in the area, support Kelli!
For the month of February you can get a 1 hr massage on Tues. for $25.00, and 1hr massage on Wed. for 15.00! it's massage robbery!

Ahhh, and now i feel better not carrying all those blog posts around in my head.

Now, go answer one (or all) of the questions (in brown) above!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Lack Nothing

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing make you afraid;
All things pass;
But God is unchanging
Patience is enough for everything.
You who have God lack nothing,
God alone is sufficient.

Teresa of Avilla