Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why I Use the Names Yahweh and Yashua instead of God and Jesus

That's a long title!

It's been in my spirit lately to teach something that is very near and dear to my heart, and that is the true names of the Christian God Yahweh and His Holy Son Yahshua.

The more I've grown to know Him, the more and more real this has become to me and I sincerely want to share from my heart.

First- let's talk about the facts. God's NAME is "Yahweh". It's not God. God is a noun, not a name. Just as you could call me woman - and you'd be right, I am a woman, but that's
#1, not my name-
and #2, so generic - there are billions of women. Which woman would you mean when talking to me?  Would capitalizing the W in woman make it more specific that you're talking to or about me? Why?

In Exodus, Moses is met by a burning bush while attending his Father-in-law Jethro's sheep. I suppose I shouldn't call it a burning bush because that's the miracle - it was consumed by fire but not burnt up at all. (A perfect picture of what the Holy Spirit can do and will do to us as we allow Him. Burn off what is not of Him yet still leave you perfect in His sight and image.)
Anyway- you know the story. God said (paraphrasing) "I've heard My people's cries, they are enslaved to the Egyptians, and I'm sending you to deliver them from Pharaoh's evil hand..."
after Moses argues and says he's not worthy and not good with words, he finally says "ok, I'll go. Who should I say sent me?"
and the Lord responds "I AM THAT I AM"
Of course - Moses didn't speak English, He spoke Hebrew, so Yahweh spoke to him in Hebrew. And Yahweh is the God of the Hebrews. So "I AM THAT I AM" is the English translation of the name that is written for us in our Bibles. But in Hebrew He actually spoke "אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶהehyeh ašer ehyeh " The tetragrammaton for that name is YHWH. The english vowels "a" and "e" are put in there to make it into a name we can actually say (and use!)

Also, do you notice that in your Bible in that story of Moses in Exodus 3 where Yahweh tells Moses His name that "I AM THAT I AM" is in all caps?  Have you also noticed in your Bible that where it says LORD as it refers to Yahweh that it's always in all caps? This is because originally those weren't exact script. Originally Yahweh said His real name YAHWEH, in Hebrew, to Moses. But the translation is I AM THAT I AM in English. Every single time you see LORD in your Bible, it was originally written and said Yahweh. His awesome, mighty, original name. The name He gave Himself. Yahweh.

Ask your pastor, do some research yourself. There is no doubt it is His name. I don't have to argue that point because it's 100% proven and true. My question is - if this is known by everyone is the church/religious/spiritual ranks - WHY is everyone calling Him this generic, bland, noun "God"? Which god? What's his name?! Identify whom it is you're praising!

Secondly- Let's talk about the name Jesus. His name is Yeshua, or Yahshua (the second spelling has His Father's name YAHweh in it. YAHweh / YAHshua). Now this one for some reason really irks people. I think it's because Yahweh seems so Holy and almost afar off and "Jesus" feels so personal and close to us so to hear that's not really his name for some reason causes us to get defensive. 
But who doesn't want to know the TRUTH, considering it sets us free?
So - it boils down to this.
Again - Mary and Joseph. HEBREW people in a HEBREW culture. They spoke Hebrew. When the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her she would have a son and his name shall be __________ let me just clue you in on something - it's going to be a Hebrew name. (and there are no J's in Hebrew) 

Christianity.about.com describes it perfectly:

"...[your friend] is correct in saying Yeshua is the Hebrew name for the Lord. It means "Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation." The English spelling of Yeshua is “Joshua.” However, when translated from Hebrew into the Greek language, the name Yeshua becomes Iēsous. The English spelling for Iēsous is “Jesus.”

And this is how we've arrived to the name "Jesus". Translation from Hebrew (what the angel originally told Mary His name would be), to Greek, to English. I have NO IDEA why this passed in the first place because you don't translate NAMES! Names stay the same, in their own language and dialect. They are not translated! If you are listening to the news report in China and they mention President Obama, they speak Chinese the entire time until they say "Obama". They say "Obama" EXACTLY how it's pronounced originally. They don't say the Chinese word or translation of Obama. 

I don't really like going against the norm and always being different than everybody but this is a revelation to me that is very very deep and worth changing my mind for. It used to be that you were a flat out WEIRDO if you used the names Yahweh and Yahshua, (why are people so afraid of something out of the 'norm'? So often the 'norm' is completely wrong!) but fortunately more and more attention is being drawn to this truth and the names are being used much more often. 

Do I think you're wrong or bad if you use "God" and "Jesus"? Of course not! But I think, once you know the truth - you have the responsibility to make a choice. When I found this out I couldn't believe that all this time I had been led to believe by spiritual authorities my whole life that I was worshiping and praying to a Holy being whose name I didn't even know! I laugh to myself and think how patient and graceful Yahshua is and how He chooses to look past our confused, sheep-like selves as we sing out and worship His "Holy name" that we have no idea what it really is. 
I smile at what it must be like for Him. People singing their guts out to Him, but using the wrong name. Might as well just call him "Craig" 
"There is power in Your HOLY NAME CRAAAAAAAAIG!!!!" with their hands lifted high. 
And He's just seated on His holy throne like "um. It's Yahshua. My very name means Yahweh is Salvation. There's power in THAT name, but...I love ya anyway and I guess you can call me Jesus (or Craig)."

I actually have a lot more to say on this subject, like WHY names are so important and some other really cool facts of Hebrew names and meanings but I think I've exhausted you, the reader, today. Hopefully this gives you insight and gets you thinking. Ask Yahweh yourself, talk to Him - do not be afraid to open your mind and think differently than you always have. Grow! Move forward! Be willing to change - it's a beautiful journey. I pray that I never ever stop learning and digging deeper and knowing Him more and more intimately. 

May you be blessed on this Thursday afternoon!





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grape Festival 2014

 Last fall, we watched Charlotte's Web and Ruby fell in love with the fair scene. She has been asking to go for nine months, and we've kept saying "not yet!" but...

THEN IT WAS TIME.

She was squealing all day and couldn't wait to get there. She was SO PROUD of that armband that let her get into any ride. (A huge thank you to Apostle Todd who wanted to pay for all the children in the church to get an arm band - so amazing!!) Ruby wrote him a special thank you note:)

waiting in line, about to burst with joy



 The line to the Ferris Wheel was forever long, but some young teenagers at our church were next in line when they spotted us. They shouted "come on Ruby!!" and asked if it was okay with us. Ruby said please Mom! And Kev and I agreed and let her go. I thought she'd be nervous because she is very timid about trying risky things - NOT THIS! She'd been waiting so long for this moment and she LOVED it! She looked down from the ride and excitingly motioned our "I love you" signal to her daddy and me. It was wonderful:)
blurry but wonderful
 Nora loved the rides too! I thought some of them were a little intense for her, but she LOVED them. She's still talking about it, a week later. The "bees" that went "up up up up up!" is her recap of her favorite ride. Soooo adorable.







She was crying because it was over but gathered up a few last smiles for pictures with the Ferris Wheel. I love that girl and her attitude.


We had the best night. I'm so thankful we got to go and see Ruby shining in her happiness like that.
See you next year, Tontitown Grape Festival!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Nora Turns Two!


Our sweet, spunky Nora Truth turned two on July 31st, 2014.
I was ecstatic and elated for her - she had the BEST day!

breakfast


Ruby and I decorated for the family party and we had SO much fun. She just kept giggling and saying "this is so fun mom! I'm having so much fun!"

getting ready

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL! Cheesing for the camera. 

Cousins River and Nora

silly, kind, cute

newest cousin Margaret Quimby was a big hit, as suspected

Ruby, the professional big sister, has a deep love and gentleness for little ones. I love that about her.


3 months old - 2 years old


Nora ADORES babies and thinks it's just so amazing to get to hold them (I agree, Nor!)


It was the sweetest, best party. We were surrounded by our two big families that I never take for granted we live near.
We did desserts only, pot-luck style. It was yummy and so EASY so we could just play and be with our birthday girl.
I can't believe my little Nora puppy is 2 YEARS old.

We love you and are proud of you, mighty Nora! Yahweh has great things ahead for you and we declare you come into agreement with what He's already laid out for your future. You make our family LAUGH and swell up with happiness and joy. You're just downright amazing, sister sue.

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY NORA TRUTH!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Is there such a thing as balance?


I am either all or nothing. And I'm starting to not like that fact about me so much.
I often say that I need routine, I thrive on schedule and order. Until I feel trapped and then I'm screaming out for some freedom and go-with-the-flow-ness. And a couple days of that and I'm crying out "we need routine! We need order! Let's crack down."
Poor Kevin. I can't imagine being married to me.

I seriously don't know which one I want. Same bedtime every night, organized home, wake up early and refreshed and peaceful before the children wake up, laundry schedule, cleaning schedule, scheduled EVERYTHING. (This method also includes very little relationships built with people because of our precious bedtime we must leave. Or can't come to that, it's the kids' naps, and can't stay up just talking on the couch, we need to be up at 6 to workout so let's get in bed, etc)
   -or-
Wake up and let's see what the day brings us!
Going back and forth between the two seems just as difficult as choosing one solely because doing both is just plain confusion. The kids are like "we're going to bed at 8:00? It's still light out! You let us stay up till 11:00 for the last two nights because we had friends over!"
And I'm like "yeah, I'm just as confused as you are. I don't know what I'm doing. Sorry."

Some days I have every meal planned out, the kitchen is stocked with all the ingredients to make those 3 great meals and healthy snacks.
And some days we eat blue corn chips and salsa for lunch.

I understand that this is life, but I'm not digging it! I want an answer.
Tell me what to do and I'll obey kind of thing.

But the answer I got as I typed this is that there IS a balance and it's called peace and it only comes when I am operating by the Spirit and not my flesh. 
It comes when I give up control of everything (so hard to do) and allow the Holy Spirit to guide my days.
Some days He'll have it be smooth and very organized, and some days will be very flowy and unplanned.  But WONDERFUL because it's in His plan and His "schedule" for our family for that day.

I don't really know what all that looks like. And getting a super-natural system to work in our natural system always takes a great deal of faith and stepping even when we don't see ground beneath us.
But I know it's there, I know He does things better than I can.

I am thankful for God's reminders, like the human stress hormones, to give us a clue and help us realize *ding ding ding! NOT RELYING ON CHRIST. TOTALLY DOING IT BY YOURSELF. FAILING.*

So yeah...balance. A word that makes me roll my eyes and makes my heart race all at the same time. But it's really a call to go deeper in Him and let Him show me my sweet spot. My flow point. Where I operate the greatest and smoothest from.

Because obviously I haven't gotten there on my own yet:)

Monday, June 9, 2014

ruby and nora facts


Nora loves to eat all day, every day. She and I love to grab a few mint and basil leaves when we're outside and munch away.


She has a love/hate relationship with having her hair done. She wants a bow and wants it done when I'm doing Ruby's hair, but will get mad later on and rip it out of her hair.

Also love/hate relationship with brushing her teeth. Sometimes she stands there and lets you make 'em shine, sometimes you have to hold her down through tears to get her teeth brushed. Craziness!

dream legs

For most of her second year of life, she has battled what I can only pin-point as eczema. We're on probiotics to help heal her gut since I've read it's directly connected with that, as most issues people deal with usually are. It's all in the gut, baby! Anyways...I hate it for her. She itches a lot:( But she's a trooper. And I've heard that most little ones grow out of it.

Nora is a YELLER. Oh my word. She just yells.
"MOM! MOM! MOOOOOM! MOM! MOM! MOM!"
I look down. "What, Nora?"
"this" *huge smile*
and points to I don't know, maybe a book she got, or some socks she put on herself.
She YELLS to get down from a place, she YELLS when she wants the music turned off in the car, she YELLS when she's mad, glad, all of it. She's just a yeller.

This was an exact conversation between the girls that I overheard at breakfast the other day:
R- So, how was your day?
N- I nor-nor
R- No, how was your day?
N- (frustrated and annoyed) I nor-nor
R- Not what is your name, how was your daaaay?
N- IIIIII NOOOOR-NOOOOOR!!!!!!!!

She squeezed her fists and her cheeks were shaking as she yelled the last line. It was a favorite moment of my life thus far.




Ruby is stinkin' smart. She LOVES school and learning and I can tell she's going to be easy to homeschool. Lord, may all my children please be easy to homeschool!


We made this craft today and she was in her ZONE.
Her recent comments are
(while cleaning up her mess after playing, in a whiny voice) "Sometimes I just wish you could do all the work and I can just plaaaay". As if that's not already how it is!

"Dad, you have to read this book - it will melt your heart. Melt, melt, melt."

Frustrated something wasn't working, she quietly said to herself "what in the whole world?"


I introduced cursive to her today and this was her first shot at copying letters, one of her all-time favorite past times. She will fall asleep at night sometimes copying the letters out of books onto blank sheets of paper. The girl is a writer and a little artist.

cursive b, cursive ruby, and capitol letters at the bottom are me, the rest is all her

I am starting to be shocked at how fast the days and the weeks are flying by. We watched home videos of when Nora was a (gigantic!) baby and Ruby was soooo little! Her speech, her hair, her face, her everything has grown so much. A little bit sad but mostly so good.
We're so proud of who these little girls are and who they are becoming!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

a day in the life of

Well, I tried to document a whole day of our lives but things got too busy and I didn't take pictures past naptime. Woops!

7:15ISH wake up. Groggily put something together for breakfast for these sweet munchkins.Today it was almond waffles (Kevin's makes huge batches and freezes them for convenience. I love him.) and brown rice cake with almond butter and Ruby had "healthy" cheerios. (they basically just have real ingredients.)


I have a class at the gym Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri at 8:45am. I seem to be making about one of those a week here lately and just doing home workouts or nothing. I am always so torn about rallying the troops to get up and going and making it to a certain place at a certain time.  I would do HORRIBLE with public schooling. Praise the Lord for homeschool. They're tired! I feel so bad rushing them in the mornings. I want the mornings to be peaceful and slow-going for them. But I LOVE starting off the day with a workout, I have so much more energy and all those endorphins does a mama good.


8:20am Ruby's job is to empty the table after every meal. She is ALWAYS really good about her own dish, but she's still working on everyone else's.


Monday the kids won and we stayed home and had a slow going morning, but today (Tues) I was determined to get to class.

8:45am- class

I absolutely love these classes. They are different every time. Fun, challenging, and actually work. These ladies are like a little family and it's cool to get to be a part of. (My instructor is the one to the right of me, if you couldn't tell by her arms.)


Our gym has a childcare room and I feel bad dropping them off and when I pick them up every.single.time.
I obviously have some mommy guilt when it comes to working out at the gym! I'm sure I need to get over it. It just seems so trivial to be like "I'm gonna drop you off in this room that smells like pee and they're playing cartoons I don't allow you to watch and even though you're crying (nora), mommy wants a tight butt, so...goodbye! good luck!"


But then again, Ruby loves it (most days) and Nora has pretty much stopped crying all together. It must be because she's familiar with the whole routine now. And it's only one hour. And again, it's not like we go 4 times a week like I'd like to. But most importantly, Kevin said not to feel bad, and to do it and enjoy it and that's that. Sigh. He always makes me feel better. If he says so, I know so.


9:45am - We walked out of the gym, endorphins high and no plans and the day was beautiful. A girl from class mentioned the splash pad was open for the season! It was a no-brainer. Called my sister and said meet me there in about 30mins.

10:00am - run home to pack a lunch for the park. Today was brown rice crackers, tuna and avocado salad (made with grapeseed oil vegenaise), carrot sticks, and apple slices.


If you know my family at all you will just associate this raw mixed nuts snack with our faces. We ALWAYS have them with us. I panic if I'm out somewhere and get hungry. I hate being hungry!




 10:45am - splash park with cousins! Trying to tan our wintered skin...



12:00pm - come home from park. lunch has been eaten. we're sun-kissed and wiped out (yes!) and ready for naps.



from this point on I took no pictures...sorry!... (next time)

12:30pm - actually laid them down
12:30-1:30pm - I uploaded pictures, picked up a TINY bit, got on the Internet, etc. aka wasted time
1:30-2:30pm - I actually took a nap! I hardly ever do just because, actually, I don't know why. But today, I did. I completely skipped out on all my work and napped.

The rest of the afternoon was
girls woke up
got them snacks
I took a shower for the first time...
cleaned my salon
made second cup of coffee for the day
5:00pm Kevin gets home
5:15pm my first client shows up
then the next one
and I work them both (color and cut) at the same time.
at 8:15pm I'm done
come into the house and Ruby is running a high fever and the house is still a total pit (because remember, I did nothing house-work related this day:):) )
Kevin's made dinner. Grass-fed burgers and sweet potato fries.
I scarf it down and then go snuggle Ruby on the couch.
I read a few library books to the girls, who are way past their bed times, and Kevin cleans the kitchen.

9:30pm - Ruby asks if she can please sleep with us and if I could go and lay down in there with her and just talk for a little bit.
My heart melts and I say yes without a doubt.

Kevin stays up with a wide-awake ornery, HAPPY Nora and I'm shocked we've let her stay up so late.
10:00pm I hear them laughing so hard in the bathroom while he's brushing her teeth and then I hear him put her to bed.

11:00pm - I finally close my eyes and try to fall asleep, wired from a too-late cup of coffee and I always find it hard to sleep when my house is a mess. But I've done this thing long enough to know that there's always tomorrow. (and today is that "tomorrow" and I got the house clean so all is well:) )

*Ruby and I woke up several times throughout the night to help her potty/give her cool water.
She woke up this morning 100%! Her body did it's awesome thing with no medicine or interventions. Fevers are actually a good thing - let the body burn up the sickness! (obviously to a certain degree/length/etc.)

Today is a no-gym day so it works out well to play around the house and get housework done.
Church is tonight which is always a late night.
Then tomorrow morning, back at it, 8:45...we'll see if we can make it!!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

i need to learn more about photography

This post could also be titled "I'm too lazy to edit photos"
I see other blogs and the lighting is gorgeous and bright and the angles are spectacular and all mine look like we live in a dungeon. I'll work on that!

Here's some completely unrelated items from this spring I forgot to keepsake:


 Daddy turned 29. Holy moly. In my mind we are perpetually 24 and 25 but nope, we're actually getting older each year. Still so young though! Right?...



Our church's annual skate party was a hit with my 4 year old!



And afterwards our dear friends The Steigers had everyone over and Ruby got to love on their horses. The girls LOVE their horses!


Every single Saturday Kevin balances the checkbook, pays bills, etc. This particular week the girls played along and balanced their checkbooks.

It's been really good over here. I've, as usual, been learning a lot. Learning to shut my mind off and live and enjoy life! We've had lots of amazing weather lately that's included adventure after adventure. So thankful!

I wanted to write something funny Ruby said the other day.
I ran into a store to return something and Kevin stayed out in the car with the girls. They started playing "I spy".
Kevin- "I spy something yellow"
Ruby- "that sign?"
Kevin - "yep! good job. "
etc. etc. etc.
K- "I spy something brown"
...a few Hispanic people walk by...
R- "those brown people's faces?"

She also totally called out a woman the other day, after meeting her, a woman I knew that we ran into at the store, we walked down a different aisle and Ruby says "I want to see that chubby lady again. Like, the one with (and motions a big belly with her hands)."
It was interesting explaining to her how that's not nice to say. In kids' minds, everything is just so matter of fact. Calling someone chubby is the same as saying they're blonde. It's just factual, haha. *sigh* I love children.

What is something your little ones have blurted out that has totally embarrassed you??




Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why I Use the Names Yahweh and Yashua instead of God and Jesus

That's a long title!

It's been in my spirit lately to teach something that is very near and dear to my heart, and that is the true names of the Christian God Yahweh and His Holy Son Yahshua.

The more I've grown to know Him, the more and more real this has become to me and I sincerely want to share from my heart.

First- let's talk about the facts. God's NAME is "Yahweh". It's not God. God is a noun, not a name. Just as you could call me woman - and you'd be right, I am a woman, but that's
#1, not my name-
and #2, so generic - there are billions of women. Which woman would you mean when talking to me?  Would capitalizing the W in woman make it more specific that you're talking to or about me? Why?

In Exodus, Moses is met by a burning bush while attending his Father-in-law Jethro's sheep. I suppose I shouldn't call it a burning bush because that's the miracle - it was consumed by fire but not burnt up at all. (A perfect picture of what the Holy Spirit can do and will do to us as we allow Him. Burn off what is not of Him yet still leave you perfect in His sight and image.)
Anyway- you know the story. God said (paraphrasing) "I've heard My people's cries, they are enslaved to the Egyptians, and I'm sending you to deliver them from Pharaoh's evil hand..."
after Moses argues and says he's not worthy and not good with words, he finally says "ok, I'll go. Who should I say sent me?"
and the Lord responds "I AM THAT I AM"
Of course - Moses didn't speak English, He spoke Hebrew, so Yahweh spoke to him in Hebrew. And Yahweh is the God of the Hebrews. So "I AM THAT I AM" is the English translation of the name that is written for us in our Bibles. But in Hebrew He actually spoke "אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶהehyeh ašer ehyeh " The tetragrammaton for that name is YHWH. The english vowels "a" and "e" are put in there to make it into a name we can actually say (and use!)

Also, do you notice that in your Bible in that story of Moses in Exodus 3 where Yahweh tells Moses His name that "I AM THAT I AM" is in all caps?  Have you also noticed in your Bible that where it says LORD as it refers to Yahweh that it's always in all caps? This is because originally those weren't exact script. Originally Yahweh said His real name YAHWEH, in Hebrew, to Moses. But the translation is I AM THAT I AM in English. Every single time you see LORD in your Bible, it was originally written and said Yahweh. His awesome, mighty, original name. The name He gave Himself. Yahweh.

Ask your pastor, do some research yourself. There is no doubt it is His name. I don't have to argue that point because it's 100% proven and true. My question is - if this is known by everyone is the church/religious/spiritual ranks - WHY is everyone calling Him this generic, bland, noun "God"? Which god? What's his name?! Identify whom it is you're praising!

Secondly- Let's talk about the name Jesus. His name is Yeshua, or Yahshua (the second spelling has His Father's name YAHweh in it. YAHweh / YAHshua). Now this one for some reason really irks people. I think it's because Yahweh seems so Holy and almost afar off and "Jesus" feels so personal and close to us so to hear that's not really his name for some reason causes us to get defensive. 
But who doesn't want to know the TRUTH, considering it sets us free?
So - it boils down to this.
Again - Mary and Joseph. HEBREW people in a HEBREW culture. They spoke Hebrew. When the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her she would have a son and his name shall be __________ let me just clue you in on something - it's going to be a Hebrew name. (and there are no J's in Hebrew) 

Christianity.about.com describes it perfectly:

"...[your friend] is correct in saying Yeshua is the Hebrew name for the Lord. It means "Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation." The English spelling of Yeshua is “Joshua.” However, when translated from Hebrew into the Greek language, the name Yeshua becomes Iēsous. The English spelling for Iēsous is “Jesus.”

And this is how we've arrived to the name "Jesus". Translation from Hebrew (what the angel originally told Mary His name would be), to Greek, to English. I have NO IDEA why this passed in the first place because you don't translate NAMES! Names stay the same, in their own language and dialect. They are not translated! If you are listening to the news report in China and they mention President Obama, they speak Chinese the entire time until they say "Obama". They say "Obama" EXACTLY how it's pronounced originally. They don't say the Chinese word or translation of Obama. 

I don't really like going against the norm and always being different than everybody but this is a revelation to me that is very very deep and worth changing my mind for. It used to be that you were a flat out WEIRDO if you used the names Yahweh and Yahshua, (why are people so afraid of something out of the 'norm'? So often the 'norm' is completely wrong!) but fortunately more and more attention is being drawn to this truth and the names are being used much more often. 

Do I think you're wrong or bad if you use "God" and "Jesus"? Of course not! But I think, once you know the truth - you have the responsibility to make a choice. When I found this out I couldn't believe that all this time I had been led to believe by spiritual authorities my whole life that I was worshiping and praying to a Holy being whose name I didn't even know! I laugh to myself and think how patient and graceful Yahshua is and how He chooses to look past our confused, sheep-like selves as we sing out and worship His "Holy name" that we have no idea what it really is. 
I smile at what it must be like for Him. People singing their guts out to Him, but using the wrong name. Might as well just call him "Craig" 
"There is power in Your HOLY NAME CRAAAAAAAAIG!!!!" with their hands lifted high. 
And He's just seated on His holy throne like "um. It's Yahshua. My very name means Yahweh is Salvation. There's power in THAT name, but...I love ya anyway and I guess you can call me Jesus (or Craig)."

I actually have a lot more to say on this subject, like WHY names are so important and some other really cool facts of Hebrew names and meanings but I think I've exhausted you, the reader, today. Hopefully this gives you insight and gets you thinking. Ask Yahweh yourself, talk to Him - do not be afraid to open your mind and think differently than you always have. Grow! Move forward! Be willing to change - it's a beautiful journey. I pray that I never ever stop learning and digging deeper and knowing Him more and more intimately. 

May you be blessed on this Thursday afternoon!





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grape Festival 2014

 Last fall, we watched Charlotte's Web and Ruby fell in love with the fair scene. She has been asking to go for nine months, and we've kept saying "not yet!" but...

THEN IT WAS TIME.

She was squealing all day and couldn't wait to get there. She was SO PROUD of that armband that let her get into any ride. (A huge thank you to Apostle Todd who wanted to pay for all the children in the church to get an arm band - so amazing!!) Ruby wrote him a special thank you note:)

waiting in line, about to burst with joy



 The line to the Ferris Wheel was forever long, but some young teenagers at our church were next in line when they spotted us. They shouted "come on Ruby!!" and asked if it was okay with us. Ruby said please Mom! And Kev and I agreed and let her go. I thought she'd be nervous because she is very timid about trying risky things - NOT THIS! She'd been waiting so long for this moment and she LOVED it! She looked down from the ride and excitingly motioned our "I love you" signal to her daddy and me. It was wonderful:)
blurry but wonderful
 Nora loved the rides too! I thought some of them were a little intense for her, but she LOVED them. She's still talking about it, a week later. The "bees" that went "up up up up up!" is her recap of her favorite ride. Soooo adorable.







She was crying because it was over but gathered up a few last smiles for pictures with the Ferris Wheel. I love that girl and her attitude.


We had the best night. I'm so thankful we got to go and see Ruby shining in her happiness like that.
See you next year, Tontitown Grape Festival!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Nora Turns Two!


Our sweet, spunky Nora Truth turned two on July 31st, 2014.
I was ecstatic and elated for her - she had the BEST day!

breakfast


Ruby and I decorated for the family party and we had SO much fun. She just kept giggling and saying "this is so fun mom! I'm having so much fun!"

getting ready

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL! Cheesing for the camera. 

Cousins River and Nora

silly, kind, cute

newest cousin Margaret Quimby was a big hit, as suspected

Ruby, the professional big sister, has a deep love and gentleness for little ones. I love that about her.


3 months old - 2 years old


Nora ADORES babies and thinks it's just so amazing to get to hold them (I agree, Nor!)


It was the sweetest, best party. We were surrounded by our two big families that I never take for granted we live near.
We did desserts only, pot-luck style. It was yummy and so EASY so we could just play and be with our birthday girl.
I can't believe my little Nora puppy is 2 YEARS old.

We love you and are proud of you, mighty Nora! Yahweh has great things ahead for you and we declare you come into agreement with what He's already laid out for your future. You make our family LAUGH and swell up with happiness and joy. You're just downright amazing, sister sue.

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY NORA TRUTH!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Is there such a thing as balance?


I am either all or nothing. And I'm starting to not like that fact about me so much.
I often say that I need routine, I thrive on schedule and order. Until I feel trapped and then I'm screaming out for some freedom and go-with-the-flow-ness. And a couple days of that and I'm crying out "we need routine! We need order! Let's crack down."
Poor Kevin. I can't imagine being married to me.

I seriously don't know which one I want. Same bedtime every night, organized home, wake up early and refreshed and peaceful before the children wake up, laundry schedule, cleaning schedule, scheduled EVERYTHING. (This method also includes very little relationships built with people because of our precious bedtime we must leave. Or can't come to that, it's the kids' naps, and can't stay up just talking on the couch, we need to be up at 6 to workout so let's get in bed, etc)
   -or-
Wake up and let's see what the day brings us!
Going back and forth between the two seems just as difficult as choosing one solely because doing both is just plain confusion. The kids are like "we're going to bed at 8:00? It's still light out! You let us stay up till 11:00 for the last two nights because we had friends over!"
And I'm like "yeah, I'm just as confused as you are. I don't know what I'm doing. Sorry."

Some days I have every meal planned out, the kitchen is stocked with all the ingredients to make those 3 great meals and healthy snacks.
And some days we eat blue corn chips and salsa for lunch.

I understand that this is life, but I'm not digging it! I want an answer.
Tell me what to do and I'll obey kind of thing.

But the answer I got as I typed this is that there IS a balance and it's called peace and it only comes when I am operating by the Spirit and not my flesh. 
It comes when I give up control of everything (so hard to do) and allow the Holy Spirit to guide my days.
Some days He'll have it be smooth and very organized, and some days will be very flowy and unplanned.  But WONDERFUL because it's in His plan and His "schedule" for our family for that day.

I don't really know what all that looks like. And getting a super-natural system to work in our natural system always takes a great deal of faith and stepping even when we don't see ground beneath us.
But I know it's there, I know He does things better than I can.

I am thankful for God's reminders, like the human stress hormones, to give us a clue and help us realize *ding ding ding! NOT RELYING ON CHRIST. TOTALLY DOING IT BY YOURSELF. FAILING.*

So yeah...balance. A word that makes me roll my eyes and makes my heart race all at the same time. But it's really a call to go deeper in Him and let Him show me my sweet spot. My flow point. Where I operate the greatest and smoothest from.

Because obviously I haven't gotten there on my own yet:)

Monday, June 9, 2014

ruby and nora facts


Nora loves to eat all day, every day. She and I love to grab a few mint and basil leaves when we're outside and munch away.


She has a love/hate relationship with having her hair done. She wants a bow and wants it done when I'm doing Ruby's hair, but will get mad later on and rip it out of her hair.

Also love/hate relationship with brushing her teeth. Sometimes she stands there and lets you make 'em shine, sometimes you have to hold her down through tears to get her teeth brushed. Craziness!

dream legs

For most of her second year of life, she has battled what I can only pin-point as eczema. We're on probiotics to help heal her gut since I've read it's directly connected with that, as most issues people deal with usually are. It's all in the gut, baby! Anyways...I hate it for her. She itches a lot:( But she's a trooper. And I've heard that most little ones grow out of it.

Nora is a YELLER. Oh my word. She just yells.
"MOM! MOM! MOOOOOM! MOM! MOM! MOM!"
I look down. "What, Nora?"
"this" *huge smile*
and points to I don't know, maybe a book she got, or some socks she put on herself.
She YELLS to get down from a place, she YELLS when she wants the music turned off in the car, she YELLS when she's mad, glad, all of it. She's just a yeller.

This was an exact conversation between the girls that I overheard at breakfast the other day:
R- So, how was your day?
N- I nor-nor
R- No, how was your day?
N- (frustrated and annoyed) I nor-nor
R- Not what is your name, how was your daaaay?
N- IIIIII NOOOOR-NOOOOOR!!!!!!!!

She squeezed her fists and her cheeks were shaking as she yelled the last line. It was a favorite moment of my life thus far.




Ruby is stinkin' smart. She LOVES school and learning and I can tell she's going to be easy to homeschool. Lord, may all my children please be easy to homeschool!


We made this craft today and she was in her ZONE.
Her recent comments are
(while cleaning up her mess after playing, in a whiny voice) "Sometimes I just wish you could do all the work and I can just plaaaay". As if that's not already how it is!

"Dad, you have to read this book - it will melt your heart. Melt, melt, melt."

Frustrated something wasn't working, she quietly said to herself "what in the whole world?"


I introduced cursive to her today and this was her first shot at copying letters, one of her all-time favorite past times. She will fall asleep at night sometimes copying the letters out of books onto blank sheets of paper. The girl is a writer and a little artist.

cursive b, cursive ruby, and capitol letters at the bottom are me, the rest is all her

I am starting to be shocked at how fast the days and the weeks are flying by. We watched home videos of when Nora was a (gigantic!) baby and Ruby was soooo little! Her speech, her hair, her face, her everything has grown so much. A little bit sad but mostly so good.
We're so proud of who these little girls are and who they are becoming!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

a day in the life of

Well, I tried to document a whole day of our lives but things got too busy and I didn't take pictures past naptime. Woops!

7:15ISH wake up. Groggily put something together for breakfast for these sweet munchkins.Today it was almond waffles (Kevin's makes huge batches and freezes them for convenience. I love him.) and brown rice cake with almond butter and Ruby had "healthy" cheerios. (they basically just have real ingredients.)


I have a class at the gym Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri at 8:45am. I seem to be making about one of those a week here lately and just doing home workouts or nothing. I am always so torn about rallying the troops to get up and going and making it to a certain place at a certain time.  I would do HORRIBLE with public schooling. Praise the Lord for homeschool. They're tired! I feel so bad rushing them in the mornings. I want the mornings to be peaceful and slow-going for them. But I LOVE starting off the day with a workout, I have so much more energy and all those endorphins does a mama good.


8:20am Ruby's job is to empty the table after every meal. She is ALWAYS really good about her own dish, but she's still working on everyone else's.


Monday the kids won and we stayed home and had a slow going morning, but today (Tues) I was determined to get to class.

8:45am- class

I absolutely love these classes. They are different every time. Fun, challenging, and actually work. These ladies are like a little family and it's cool to get to be a part of. (My instructor is the one to the right of me, if you couldn't tell by her arms.)


Our gym has a childcare room and I feel bad dropping them off and when I pick them up every.single.time.
I obviously have some mommy guilt when it comes to working out at the gym! I'm sure I need to get over it. It just seems so trivial to be like "I'm gonna drop you off in this room that smells like pee and they're playing cartoons I don't allow you to watch and even though you're crying (nora), mommy wants a tight butt, so...goodbye! good luck!"


But then again, Ruby loves it (most days) and Nora has pretty much stopped crying all together. It must be because she's familiar with the whole routine now. And it's only one hour. And again, it's not like we go 4 times a week like I'd like to. But most importantly, Kevin said not to feel bad, and to do it and enjoy it and that's that. Sigh. He always makes me feel better. If he says so, I know so.


9:45am - We walked out of the gym, endorphins high and no plans and the day was beautiful. A girl from class mentioned the splash pad was open for the season! It was a no-brainer. Called my sister and said meet me there in about 30mins.

10:00am - run home to pack a lunch for the park. Today was brown rice crackers, tuna and avocado salad (made with grapeseed oil vegenaise), carrot sticks, and apple slices.


If you know my family at all you will just associate this raw mixed nuts snack with our faces. We ALWAYS have them with us. I panic if I'm out somewhere and get hungry. I hate being hungry!




 10:45am - splash park with cousins! Trying to tan our wintered skin...



12:00pm - come home from park. lunch has been eaten. we're sun-kissed and wiped out (yes!) and ready for naps.



from this point on I took no pictures...sorry!... (next time)

12:30pm - actually laid them down
12:30-1:30pm - I uploaded pictures, picked up a TINY bit, got on the Internet, etc. aka wasted time
1:30-2:30pm - I actually took a nap! I hardly ever do just because, actually, I don't know why. But today, I did. I completely skipped out on all my work and napped.

The rest of the afternoon was
girls woke up
got them snacks
I took a shower for the first time...
cleaned my salon
made second cup of coffee for the day
5:00pm Kevin gets home
5:15pm my first client shows up
then the next one
and I work them both (color and cut) at the same time.
at 8:15pm I'm done
come into the house and Ruby is running a high fever and the house is still a total pit (because remember, I did nothing house-work related this day:):) )
Kevin's made dinner. Grass-fed burgers and sweet potato fries.
I scarf it down and then go snuggle Ruby on the couch.
I read a few library books to the girls, who are way past their bed times, and Kevin cleans the kitchen.

9:30pm - Ruby asks if she can please sleep with us and if I could go and lay down in there with her and just talk for a little bit.
My heart melts and I say yes without a doubt.

Kevin stays up with a wide-awake ornery, HAPPY Nora and I'm shocked we've let her stay up so late.
10:00pm I hear them laughing so hard in the bathroom while he's brushing her teeth and then I hear him put her to bed.

11:00pm - I finally close my eyes and try to fall asleep, wired from a too-late cup of coffee and I always find it hard to sleep when my house is a mess. But I've done this thing long enough to know that there's always tomorrow. (and today is that "tomorrow" and I got the house clean so all is well:) )

*Ruby and I woke up several times throughout the night to help her potty/give her cool water.
She woke up this morning 100%! Her body did it's awesome thing with no medicine or interventions. Fevers are actually a good thing - let the body burn up the sickness! (obviously to a certain degree/length/etc.)

Today is a no-gym day so it works out well to play around the house and get housework done.
Church is tonight which is always a late night.
Then tomorrow morning, back at it, 8:45...we'll see if we can make it!!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

i need to learn more about photography

This post could also be titled "I'm too lazy to edit photos"
I see other blogs and the lighting is gorgeous and bright and the angles are spectacular and all mine look like we live in a dungeon. I'll work on that!

Here's some completely unrelated items from this spring I forgot to keepsake:


 Daddy turned 29. Holy moly. In my mind we are perpetually 24 and 25 but nope, we're actually getting older each year. Still so young though! Right?...



Our church's annual skate party was a hit with my 4 year old!



And afterwards our dear friends The Steigers had everyone over and Ruby got to love on their horses. The girls LOVE their horses!


Every single Saturday Kevin balances the checkbook, pays bills, etc. This particular week the girls played along and balanced their checkbooks.

It's been really good over here. I've, as usual, been learning a lot. Learning to shut my mind off and live and enjoy life! We've had lots of amazing weather lately that's included adventure after adventure. So thankful!

I wanted to write something funny Ruby said the other day.
I ran into a store to return something and Kevin stayed out in the car with the girls. They started playing "I spy".
Kevin- "I spy something yellow"
Ruby- "that sign?"
Kevin - "yep! good job. "
etc. etc. etc.
K- "I spy something brown"
...a few Hispanic people walk by...
R- "those brown people's faces?"

She also totally called out a woman the other day, after meeting her, a woman I knew that we ran into at the store, we walked down a different aisle and Ruby says "I want to see that chubby lady again. Like, the one with (and motions a big belly with her hands)."
It was interesting explaining to her how that's not nice to say. In kids' minds, everything is just so matter of fact. Calling someone chubby is the same as saying they're blonde. It's just factual, haha. *sigh* I love children.

What is something your little ones have blurted out that has totally embarrassed you??