Sunday, December 30, 2007

What I Learned in 2007

Happy New Year everyone! Oh that we take what we've learned, remember it, and apply it to the new year. Pastor Mike preached this past weekend on how you can't move forward until you've taken time to look back. Reccommend listening to the sermon if you get a chance. It's free: So, using what I learned in the sermon, here's a little of what I've been thinking of.

First of all, I don't do New Year's resolutions. It's like knowing you have to do a term paper at the beginning of the semester but it isn't due until the end of the semester. It hangs over your head like a heavy rain cloud while the rest of the world is having a sunny day. Not gonna do it. Not gonna torture myself willingly. So, for those of you who are making resolutions....good luck and don't forget your umbrella.

Second, this year was a big one for us as we completely changed everything.
Let me recap:
I've moved from one state to another while downsizing my living space by 2000 sq ft.
My husband has changed jobs and consequently we changed churches.
I've left very dear friends and made new ones but kept the old (la la la).
I've watched my child change from a baby to a boy.
I still have girth on my hips that I wish was not there.
I wrote, acted and directed and it still brings me great joy.
I went on my first missions trip to Ensenada Mexico.
I've had sex with hopes of becoming pregnant and just for fun but to no avail...well we had fun.
I've rediscovered an urge to teach that wakes me at night.
I've learned to drive in LA traffic without fear.
I've become a kid again at Disneyland.
The beach has become a place of great fun and peace.

So, what has God taught me this year?
Smaller is better....louder but better. Also, moving requires purging. Purging is good.
Growth in a church is something we desire to be part of no matter the cost.
Friends are one's anchor. New friends build a fence around the hole in your heart left by leaving old friends. They can't fill the space but they keep you from falling in.
Childhood is fleeting and one must cherish it.
One's hips will not diminish without moving...significantly moving.
Joy comes from using your gifts.
Ensenada...that's the big one, I'll save it for last.
Perhaps we are not to "have" more children and sex is great. (I already knew that but just in case you were wondering.)
God's stirs you at night not to pee but to listen.
LA is just geography.
Dreams come true at Disneyland.
All God's children should have access to a beach.

Okay, here's the big lesson I learned this year. This was a HARD lesson by the way. This one didn't sit well with me for many many weeks. When I finally came to accept this lesson, I grew and learned something I didn't really get before. God broke my heart and began to mend it. Ensenada caused great fear in me. I did not want to go. Not under any circumstances did I want to go but God had it so I had no choice. I went. I went not kicking and screaming but more huddled in the corner in the fetal position sucking my thumb. I just wanted to get it done and come home and never think about it again. Oh, child of such limited thinking and ignorance to God's power and sovereignty and love. Poverty and dirt and illness do not cause God to tremble on his throne. My biggest hang up about the mission trip and what broke my heart was not getting an answer to WHY? I couldn't understand why just over an imaginary line there was such a colossal gap between have and have not. And honestly I still don't get it. I don't know if what we did helped for more than just a day, an hour, a all. I don't know. I may never know if painting pictures on the hands of little, dirty, kids will ever make any difference in their lives. I finally came to accept that it is not my place to know. My place was to be obedient. To take advantage of an opportunity to serve. To do it with a willing and glad heart. To walk away wishing to do more. To make a tiny stitch and help close the gap between the have and have nots. But that was not the lesson dear friends. That is not what I learned. That was what I was reminded of. I realized I already knew that.

Finally, here's the lesson. It is a lesson in altered thinking. It is a question of perspective and big picture. I came to realize by example, that my definintion was backwards. The definition of Have and Have-not is not quantified by measuring wealth, cleanliness, health or education. I know that sounds like it should be easy to grasp. I thought I knew that. Easy to say, however, most difficult to learn; espcially if you have much. The have and have-not is instead distinguished by a higher quotient of JOY. It is in Ensenada that I recognized and saw with my own eyes that joy comes in quantities. This is it...are you paying attention? "When you do unto the least of these you have done unto me." I, dear friends, went to Ensenada, crossed the great gap, ready to sevrve the "least of these" and discovered that it was I that was the least of these....I observed and watched these people who have nothing and yet have everything. A higher quotient of joy dwells within the lives of those who live on the side of the gap we consider the have nots. It is I, who walked away having been served. What broke my heart then was how unbelievably blessed I am and yet how small my joy was comparitively speaking. I'm still trying to wrap my heart and brain around how one goes about raising one's joy quotient. It is something I'm going to keep learning in the year 2008. I don't have it all figured out in my head yet. The lesson of learning that one can quantify joy surprised me. I always thought you either have joy or you don't. 'Tis not true! So I put it out to you. What is it that makes one's joy cup overflow? Must we suffer in order to experience a higher quotient of joy? Can we not learn and have this said joy without doing without? What is it that lets you rejoice in all circumstances? Friends...I have so much to learn. So very much to learn. It is here, I ponder and wonder and seek to understand so I can move forward. Move forward with greater joy.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Red Drums....

Wendel and Colin
Little Drummer Boy, age 2
New Drums, age 3
More Cymbals for Christmas

Most of you are familiar with how we aquired the first drum set. If not, here's a short version of the story: Colin had been playing on a set of bowls and pots and pans and a little thing I got at Target. He had dowel rods for sticks and was showing signs of obvious interest. He was not yet 2. Around 3 weeks before his 2nd birthday, we were at the church, Firewheel, for band rehearsal. Colin was on stage oooing and aweing over all the intruments but showed keen interest in the drums. Wendel, the bass player, told me after that he noticed how much Colin likes the drums. I agreed and confirmed his accuteness and said we would have to no doubt get him something for his birthday because the pots and pans weren't going to cut it anymore.

About a week went by. We got a call from Wendel. He left a message that said, "Hey guys, I've something to show you and it has to be in person and it has to be today!" I thought he either had a new girl friend or a new motorcycle. We said, "Come on over." He dropped in around 8:15pm, right before Colin's bed time. He knocked on the door. Colin went to the door, JD followed and as Wendel came in I heard Colin yell, "Dwums....Dwums!!!" I looked and there in Wendel's hands was a set of small drums. (see pic). I thought to myself, "Wendel, you shouldn't have." As Wendel was putting them together he told us, "They're a gift from God." What? Wendel explained. That afternoon as he was dropping off kids (he drives a school bus) there was a set of drums out on the street. He finished his route, then before going back to the bus barn he went back to the drums. He asked about them. This family, with 4 boys, was moving and they had all out grown the drums and were going to throw them out. Wendel asked if he could take them. They said sure. Wendel cleaned them up and brought them to our house. Colin has never benefited so much from such a gift. How wonderful that Wendel was aware enough of a little boy's dream to stop, to ask, to receive, to give. God has blessed that moment. Colin is a better drummer because of it.

As I mentioned in the Christmas letter, Colin received a new set of drums for his third birthday. We put the old ones in the garage, of course, until we could figure out what to do with them. They've been there for 4 months sitting....waiting.

Today, we began the task of cleaning out the garage. In the stuff, "not to throw out but not sure what to do with either" there sat the drums. As we continued to filter through the stuff, a man and his young son, on their way to work, stopped and asked if we were selling the drums. We, of course, said if they wanted them, they could have them. They were going to need new heads but otherwise could still be used again. The man asked if we would keep them until the end of the day when he could come back and pick them up. Absolutely. Then I asked if there were more children, little children. They had a baby and a toddler. Oh joy! We loaded them down with all kinds of things that Colin had out grown and there was no place to keep. They were so happy. We were so happy. It was a great day! Once again, the little set of drums was carried away by a boy full of great possibilities and potential.

The drums....the dream....the beat goes on and on.

Now Colin has a bucket of sticks, a new kit, and since Christmas, two more cymbals. Life is grand...Life is loud...Life is a one-man band!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas In California

Merry Christmas everyone. Most of you should've gotten our first Christmas letter but if you didn't, let me know and I'll send it. So as not to repeat myself, I thought I would add a few comments here for you regulars and any of you that might start dropping by as a result of the letter.

Another one of our new traditions will be visiting "Back to Bethlehem". Rocky Peak builds a small Bethlehem complete with actors, venders, the stable w/ Mary, Joseph and a baby Jesus, Roman soldiers, Angels, sheep, a donkey and camel. It is quite something. A beautiful contrast of how Jesus was born with Los Angeles in the background. We had such a great time. And the actor who played Joseph did so well, I left in tears.

The other obvious tradition will be going to Disneyland for their Christmas Display. See the picture? See the Santa in the background? We used this picture to remind Colin that "Santa is always watching." It worked. Disneyland is absolutely beautiful. Always such a good time!

Love to all of you.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Uncle Homa

We went to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving and stayed in a little cabin with Granny and Pop. Colin kept saying, "our cabin is in Uncle Homa." We had a great time. It got cold, we built fires, we soaked in a hot tub, we ate too much and just had a blast. Colin especially loved his trip. I think this is the first airplane ride he remembers details of. He pulled his own little suitcase through the airport. Too cute. Getting so big! We are so Thankful for our many blessings. We are in awe of God's creation all around to remind us how big he is and yet how small he can be when you consider the color of each leaf, the sound of water running down a stream, the breeze that makes you zip your coat and wish for gloves, the smell of rain, the taste of pumpkin. So good. He is so good to us. Hope your Thanksgiving was reflective of His goodness. Hope you can retain that as you dive into the Christmas season.

Raise Up Holy Hands

It's really great when your kid can say their abc's or count to 20 or even 100, or learn songs from the Veggie Tracks and Sesame Street, Little Einsteins, or Mickey Mouse Club House. You feel proud and you know they can learn and you think their cute when they repeat them on command for an audience of family and friends. But there is no pride in your child like that of when from the back seat he sings words to songs like Raise Up Holy Hands, At the Cross, Majesty, and others. Colin is a born Worshiper. He gets it. He gets it better than most adults. He is an example to the adults at Peak Praise as we learn to humbly approach the Throne of God and raise our hands. It could also be that he just loves to see his Daddy sing and play. And he doesn't always get the words exactly right. For example he thought a chorus went like this: at the cross you beckon me, draw me gently to my knees, and I am lost for words, so lost in love, my wrist is broken, I need some mustard. ...Yeah, definite born worship leader because now when I hear that worship song I sing about mustard on my broken wrist. Who knew?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Super Colin

Spiderman? Who's he? I guess my son is over his Spiderman craze. He had a perfectly good, new, Spiderman outfit for Halloween all ready to go. Even tried it on, and on Halloween wore his Spiderman gloves around town. However, when the rubber met the road my son acted like he had never heard of Spiderman, wanted nothing to do with the guy, wasn't about to pretend to be him but instead was and became "Super Colin"! Where he got the idea, I'm not sure but be it from me to talk him out of such a concept. Wish I'd thought of it. The problem was, I didn't have a Super Colin costume. At the last minute remembered some Superman PJs that were given to him by a friend complete with cape. I pulled those out of the drawer, made a comment of how cool this was going to be and dressed him in his Super Colin costume. Poor Spidey. Oh well. Super Colin reigns.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The winds, The Santa Ana Winds, blew four days straight. During that time the wind spread record fires in the Southern California areas. Thousands and thousands of acres burned. Over 1500 hundred houses gone. A few injuries. Not sure of any deaths. Ridiculous smoke in the air. Made an interesting effect and turned the sun red. The winds also broke trees and limbs of trees everywhere like toothpicks. Huge trees brought to the ground. God's way of letting the trees prune themselves and separating the weak from the strong.

On Saturday night I heard the winds howling outside the window and I heard the tree moaning from the strain against the relentless wind. I wondered at that moment, "If the tree breaks and lands on the car, does the car insurance pay for the damage or does the home owners insurance pay for the damage?" The thought passed and then I thought, "I guess we'll jump off that bridge if we come to it." and made a mental note that maybe we should park on the street but it wasn't a very serious mental note, more like a pencil doodle.

The next morning, Sunday, JD and I were singing a duet at church. The pastor is doing a marriage series, there was a song that was perfect for the message and it was going to require a husband and wife to sing it. As you know, JD is "Mr. Pull-it-out-of-his-butt." Therefore, we, JD and I, became the couple to sing the song. It was a nice song and fun to do. Anyway, on this rare Sunday morning the whole family and both cars were at the church all morning. When we left at 8:00 am, the tree was just fine.

When we came home at 1:00 pm, we found the tree in two. As I sat across the street and looked at what the wind had done, what God had done, I repeated the phrase, "Rarely conspicuous but always involved in the details of your life." Only God could've orchestrated such timing and perfection of a tree breaking in half. It broke on a Sunday morning that no one was home when normally we would've been. It broke when no cars were in the driveway, when normally one would've been. It broke when no person was standing in the way, when we very well could've been. It broke away from the house when it could've very well broke the other way and caused great damage. It broke away from the neighbor's cars when it could've landed on top of two cars always in the driveway next door on a Sunday morning. It landed perfectly in the driveway and not in the street. It couldn't have happened any better than if someone were to plan it's pruning. And because of the damage everywhere in the city, a tree surgeon was not available until Tuesay. Therefore, we were forced to park in the street. Not in the picture is the pruning that continued and another very large limb broke the next night. Our cars, of course, were parked across the street. Remarkable. Truly.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

This That and The Other

September has turned into a bit of a travel month for Cunninghams. Colin and I went to New Mexico for our annual salsa making trip. Mom's garden was extremely productive and she had tomatoes and chilis to give away. She had already made 22 cases (12 jars/case) before I got there. I made 6 more cases and also canned tomatoes, green chili, jalepinos, and peach butter. We had quite the pantry in the back of the car. I was a little worried going back across the border. The patrolman asked me if I had any fruit, plants w/ seeds or pets and I just smiled and lied through my teeth. I think he would've had to shoot me to get me to leave my goods there so I weighed the opions: die or lie....I lied. Colin reaccainted w/ my side of the family and had a good time. The weather was perfect. The trip to and from was long but uneventful. Colin was a real trooper and lasted as long as any normal 3 year old would trapped in a seat looking at not much pass by for 900 miles at a time. At either end we were glad to get there. Very glad to finally get home. We missed Daddy.

Then, a few days later I went to Chigago to meet up with some friends for a girl's weekend. That was a nice break from my reality and good to see friends from Dallas. Chigago also had perfect weather. See Jen Smith's blog for all the details.

This week JD's parents are in town and this weekend JD and I are going on a short missions trip to Ensenada, Mexico. I'll take pictures and write an entry for that when we get back.

This week also turned cool here. We've had the doors and windows open letting in the fresh air. It rained here for two days, gave everything a good drink and a good bath. It needed both desperately. It actually felt like fall in the air, which is good because fall is here, I know it is because football is playing on the TV again. I'll have to have any serious conversations with my husband in Feburary....just kidding. TiVo is a beautiful beautiful thing.

Things going well. The weather is perfect....come visit.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Spiderman 3

Colin has been telling me and anyone else who cared to or dared to ask, "My birthday is Spiderman". And before any of you question my ability to filter good from bad, my child has never even seen a Spiderman cartoon much less a movie. I don't know how he knows that Spiderman is cool, is a hero, or is something that you can plan a party around but he does. He's a boy. He knows. So, being a good mom I wasn't going to let down his expectation of a Spiderman birthday. However, you know that I'm also a closet "slacker mom" and I'm not going to rent a Spiderman actor for the party I don't care how close to Hollywood we are. What I did do was rent a Spiderman bounce house that included a slide. Needless to say, it took up the ENTIRE back yard. The cool thing about that was when it went away we said, "wow, look how big the yard is now." I digress. We bought the Spiderman plates, cups, napkins, etc. from Party City. Luckily, they were all 50% off. When I saw that, I thought my son was brilliant for wanting Spiderman. He did have a small moment of stupidity as he suddenly stopped when he saw Dora and said, "hey this is cool." I sternly said, "Keep moving buddy. Keep movin'." We also ordered the cake with the Spidy action figure and balloons to match the theme. I happend to also sneek a Spiderman action figure into the shopping basket at Target as a gift to top it all off. The action figure is still not wrapped and now, I don't think it's going to have the same "cool" factor it might've at the party. Oh well....slacker mom strikes again.

My son is three. Spiderman came to the party. All is well with the world.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Slip Sliddin'

We finally got grass covering the whole back yard and today JD and Colin took full advantage of the soft foundation to play in the sun. After reading the warnings, "not for children over 7" JD became a big kid and was a great teacher of the slip and slide methods and tricks. Colin slowly and cautiously tried more and more. In the end when the grass was extemely water logged Colin reluctantly agreed to turn it off until tomorrow. Lots of fun and entertainment.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

All Shook Up

So we've experienced our first earthquake in the middle of the night, around 12:58AM on Wednesday. JD and I were shook awake out of a dead sleep. It took only a moment to register that our bed wasn't shaking because we were having "sleepy sex" but instead our house was shaking due to a 4.5 earthquake. It didn't last very long but was rather exciting for us Southwesterners who only are familiar with tornados, hurricanes, flash floods, and twisters. Colin, by the way, slept through the whole thing. The next morning we noticed that the pictures over our bed were slightly crooked but other than that there wasn't any evidence or damage.

In his excitment from the event, JD went to work talking about our first earthquake, he was reminded that earthquakes are not cool and once you've lived through something like the quake in '94, you don't really talk so much about it, instead you are grateful everything is still standing and move along. Also, we were told to take the pictures over our bed off the wall before they fall off the wall and bust our heads open. Duely noted. right? I guess we are real Californians now...or will be as soon as we get our Driver's Licenses anyway.

Still loving Disneyland. Getting all we can out of our season passes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hey Mom, the salt is STINGING my owweee!!!

Little note to all you people planning to visit the beach this summer...don't let your kid take a face plant, skin their knee and expect the next day at the beach to be a picnic. Salt stings we've learned. But also, after the initial pain and screaming, it also heals. Colin is just letting me know, as he's trying to play with his friend Lizzie, that he's not liking the stinging part so much. But I just love that my kid spends at least one day a week at the beach every week regardless of whatever "owee" we might be suffering - that includes me too.

Flew The Coop

Remember in my first update how I mentioned we have wildlife in the backyard. Well, our little family of birds, layed, hatched and raised 4 chicks to flying freedom. The picture is of the morning when Mamma Bird (in the middle) is giving encouragement to her babies and letting them know it's time to leave. It was a great moment to watch and fun to be the guardian angel over their little nest while they were here. Farewell. We'll miss the song.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Colin and the Princess

When Andi was planning her recent trip, I suggested that she bring Calleigh so that Colin would have a playmate and we could visit better. My suggestion worked out great. What I didn’t calculate was the amount of estrogen Colin would be exposed to and how very girly everything would become. Let’s just say that Colin experienced Disneyland in a way he will probably never do again – through the eyes of a four-year-old princess, a very serious princess who loves pink and loves Aurora (Sleeping Beauty for those of you who don’t know). Colin saw parts of Disneyland that we didn’t even know existed: Princess Land. He waited patiently for about 30 minutes for what I'm sure he expected to be a ride of sorts. However, to his suprise he rounded the corner to personally meet Aurora, Snow White, and Pocahontas. Oh the delight from Calleigh was palatable. The confusion from Colin, just as palatable. However, he quickly got into the scene greeted each princess with caution, wonder and, in general, refused to get too close. He then proceeded to hear Cinderella’s story from Cinderella herself, and colored at the craft table while we waited for the big event. Soon it was time for the Coronation Ball. Oh the colors and music were fabulous and Colin, against his better judgement, learned to bow and curtsy and dance. Shortly after that we watched the Parade of Dreams where all the beautiful princesses waved and smiled at him. He did all of this with the lovely Calleigh Bell as his side, holding his hand, leading him along with the greatest enthusiasm you can imagine. For Calleigh, it was a dream come true. For Colin, I think it was just a dream – good or bad – who knows? Truly, it was an experience none of us are soon to forget.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Glorious Beautiful Poop!

I don't expect this to happen again for awhile BUT or BUTT....we had a perfect potty day yesterday. We did the doo and pooed in the potty for the first time. Some of you have learned what a big deal this is and some of you have yet to learn but trust me, the first time your kid poops in a toilet and it doesn't require you to "do something with the doo doo" you have great cause for rejoice and celebration. It was a beautiful moment and I now share it with you. Oh yeah, pooped in the potty...pooped in the potty... pooped in the potty. La-tee-frickin-da!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Update from Sunny CA

When moving more than 1000 miles and down sizing 2000 sq ft, I highly recommend that you sell everything you have and just start over. If the phrase "might need this" is in the decision to keep or purge - get rid of it because I promise you won't have room for it and a 2 door garage can only hold so much stuff labeled "might need this." Besides, the garage is supposed to house your car(s). At this point we can't even squeeze the bicycles in much less the Jeep or Pilot. We can't even squeeze ourselves in without passing around, over, and through all the wall to wall, floor to ceiling boxes of stuff we don't know what to do with, the area for the laundry (washer and dryer in the garage), the extra refrigerator, the furniture that has no place, the baby paraphernalia (because we can't decide if one child is enough -- you would think at 40, that would be an easy decision), the treadmill, the weight bench, the tools, the shelves, yeah...ya gettin' the picture? One word - ridiculous! Prayer request - we will get rid of the stuff we don't need, organize the stuff we do but can't fit, sell the stuff we don't use, and fit the bicycles and the Jeep in the garage sometime before Christmas.

The little house we found to rent is not little at all by CA standards and (by the way, God literally directed us to this house so we can't argue it's space) we have started to make home. We've had to rethink many things including what furniture works in a small house. Everything we had was too big, too much, too dark, too everything. We have sold much of what we brought with us (refer to paragraph one) and started over. We feel like it's home now and have begun to find a routine of sorts. We have managed to set up a guest room that also is the office. So there's a place for you if you want to visit. Turned the closet into an office. Took off the doors, painted, hung pictures, put in a small desk. Could've been something right off the home improvement channel. Very cute and efficient. JD had to give up his theater. This might as well been a death in the family. But we've since recovered and now watch a plasma. I must say, although significantly smaller than the 106" screen in TX, the picture on this thing is absolutely beautiful. We've been TiVoing Plant Earth and it is stunning. We have a great covered patio that has much potential. When we have patio furniture, it will be the place to have a meal and sit and visit while watching and smelling the roses bloom, listening to the birds sing, watching the humming birds eat and protecting the nest of eggs and pair of birds in the crook of the roof and beam. In the meantime, Colin loves to ride his toys back and forth and Tumbleweed (our cat) loves to sunbathe. Request: The we learn to live in our space with ease and gratitude.

Our bedroom has two big windows that when left open at night actually makes the room cold by morning. There's a huge tree in the font yard that makes good shade for the south side of the house (same side as the bedroom windows) It is such a great space. Huge for a master bedroom considering the state we live in and the age of the house (17 yrs). I loved it so much that I wanted to make the room feel like CA. Many of you know the linens we had in TX (dark, formal, heavy, big). I've since boxed it and put in the...YES you guessed it....the garage and replaced it with something light, airy, fun. So all was going well and JD and I were loving our room, sleeping with the windows open and then the new neighbor moved in. My guess is he was evicted from his previous residence because of all the noise he makes late at night. Although not a "night owl" he definitely prefers the night to do his work. I would say he's in the entertainment business, appropriate for LA. However, the quality of his work lacks something to be desired. Don't think he's gonna win a grammy any time soon. He is loud and obnoxious, relentless and consistent. His biggest performance is always around 3 am. I'm not sure who to call about this or I would have already made the call. Needless to say we have been sleeping with the windows shut for the last two or three weeks. He's ruining our CA vibe we had going. I would fight him if I thought I could win ..he's not very big. But he's faster and definitely younger, and he's got one huge advantage - he can fly. Request: that a timely death will come upon our mockingbird neighbor.

Speaking of having the windows closed. We now no longer hear the neighborhood noise at night (still can hear Mr. Mockingbird however). So, we missed the kid(s) who decided it would be fun to throw eggs at the Jeep while the doors and top were off. Senseless. I think we got it all cleaned out but what a pain. Seriously! Not the way you want your eggs in the morning. Request: that a timely death will come upon kid(s) who threw the eggs....kidding. Request: that whoever did it, doesn't feel the need to do it again.

JD is working hard and putting in many hours. It is to be expected with a new position. But because of the hours and the newness of everything and just trying to plug the holes that are sinking the ship he comes home exhausted. Yet he always finds time to play with Colin. He doesn't just tolerate Colin or absently try to pacify him but actually engages, teaches, listens, plays with him. I'm always very moved by his love for our son and relieved because by the time JD does get home, I'm in serious need of a break from the kid, I don't care how cute he is. Really, JD's work is hard right now. He works long hours and needs some time to reenergize. Request: That JD finds the necessary time to fill his emotional / spiritual / and physical tanks. All are running dangerously low.

Speaking of Colin and I, overall we're doing good, however, we get tired of just us. He and I are very similar in our strong-willedness and by the end of the day we battle. I'm still winning the war because I'm bigger but there are times that JD has to call time out...and we (Colin and I) get time out. JD said to me, "I'm not sure who to reprimand here." I try to tell him that it isn't like that all day, just usually at the end of the day because we're both tired and both tired of each other. Once Daddy gets home Colin tells me, "You go in the kitchen Mommy." Apparently, that's where mothers belong when not wanted by their children anymore. I find that funny because I can count the meals I've made at this house on one hand. Colin and I are still discovering things to do in Simi Valley. We try to leave the house everyday for something or other. Colin has a few favorites now that he requests. They usually involve water so instead of dressing him in shorts, I just dress him in swimsuits. He has 6 to choose from. He only has 4 pair of shorts. We miss our friends. We miss our play dates. This separation from his friends has forced Colin make friends with anyone that's his size. Yesterday, at a water spray park he latched onto a little girl that was really cute. He kept trying to engage her in play but her Grandfather, just an old crusty fart, wasn't going to have it. It made me sad, mad and homesick. There are moments of loneliness for both of us for different reasons. There are times of sincere grief. Request: that Colin and I have more patience with each other when it's just the two of us and we meet and engage with friends.

Colin has given up naps. Oh, how I miss his naps. Anyway, he has also decided that his crib is a "bus with lots of tunnels". I don't know what that means but I don't think it's good. I think it's "scary." He has a little love seat in his room. Currently, we (he won't go to bed by himself anymore since we moved) fall asleep on the love seat and then I move him to the crib. So to solve the problem, I've ordered him a "big boy bed". His crib converts to a toddler bed and then into a full bed. I'm going to skip to toddler part as it would still feel like a bus with lots of tunnels and just move him into a full bed. We keep talking about the big boy bed and what that means. I don't think it has registered to him that he will now be free to move about the cabin. But when he does....we will battle to say the least. The mattress set should arrive early next week. Oh, Lord help me. Request: Colin learns to sleep in his big boy bed, by himself, without fear and will stay in the bed.

Colin also is beginning to get the concept of potty training. I'm not forcing it but I gently prod him along. I swore that while in Costco recently that I had just bought my last box of diapers for the child. One should never swear about anything. Learning to potty in the potty is actually the least of my worries for him. Losing the "pi" is more fretful for me. Colin still has a pacifier. He refers to it as his "pi" (said like pie). The truth is, I'm more addicted to the thing than he is. I know that weaning him off is in my future. I've heard many creative ideas of how to break him of it. I know it's coming. Request: that I will have the wisdom, patience, and fortitude to let go of the pi when it's time.