type='text/javascript'/> A Latte Talk: February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Oh, the estrogen....

We have a DVD of "Frog and Toad", the musical. Remember those books about the two friends, Frog and Toad? Well, it's a broadway musical now. My girls are addicted to it, and I must admit... it's pretty cute. They usually play the part of the "birds", which in the musical are 20's flapper style girls. So today the girls donned their flower girl dresses, but... they were really too plain, so they augmented them with feather boas, and danced *exactly* as the birds in the show do. Think we let them watch it too much??!!

Destined for the stage? Certainly the drama stage at home,
at the dinner table, at bedtime.

"Whoa, Mom. Get me some TOOLS!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Estes Park, CO

See other Wordless Wednesdays here

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Straight to the heart

This morning, we had baby dedications in our church. In my opinion, there is NOTHING like seeing babies being dedicated to the Lord. It does for my motherhood what going to a wedding does for my marriage. Gives me new fresh sparks, reminds me what a joy and pleasure children are. Always brings tears to my eyes. Always.

He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14

It always causes me to picture these little sweet, fresh babes as the future leaders. Future lovers of Jesus. Open, teachable, ready to believe, love, and trust. Gives me goooosebumps! Why is it that I can't always see my own children in that light?

Ava is going through an illness. An illness that strikes all 3 year olds, I know Corene went through it, but I had blessed amnesia about it until a few weeks ago when I started seeing symptoms in Ava. It's called "little liar" syndrome. The symptoms sound something like this:

Ava: (calling me during quiet time when she's not supposed to be talking) Mommy? Mommy!

Me: (walking in the room) What is it, Ava?

Ava: I didn't call you. It was Corene.

Me: (speechless)
Corene: (silent)

Ava: I'm bored.

Me: Ava, you're not supposed to be talking.

Ava: I'm not talking! It's Corene!

Me: Who said "I'm bored"? (I watched her mouth move, mind you)

Ava: Corene. Corene did, Mommy.

Aye. de. mi. I will spare you the details of the events that followed.

So, at this point, I'm not visualizing my daughter as a future leader. I'm visualizing her as a future drug dealer.

One of our pastors gave an amazing "mini sermon" on this passage in Mark as part of the baby dedication. May I summarize and ponder a bit on it?

Read that verse again. Imagine in your mind what Jesus sounded like when he said it. Imagine his tone of voice and his countenance:

He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14

Warm? Fuzzy? Sweet? That's what I think of.

Now, let's look at it in the context of the verses around it:

13People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." 16And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Notice that little word indignant? Synonyms are angry, resentful, infuriated, mad. Not warm. Not fuzzy. Not sweet. Y'all, the Son of God was ticked off. He was indignant at the disciples for "putting off" the children. They were only trying to help. They were trying to make things go smoothly for Jesus.

In my human understanding, I can understand how Jesus would need to remind the disciples that the children are important, and encourage the disciples to let the children come to Him. But why was he angry? There must be something more to it than meets the human eye. Jesus isn't known for being angry often in his life, and the few times we read of him being angry, it's for very good reason. Merchants in the temple, defiling a Holy place. Pharisees that are trying to trick Him into saying something worthy of rebuke. Satan himself trying to tempt Him. Disciples trying to keep the peace in the crowds around Jesus?

Could it be that the way God sees children is completely and utterly different than the way we see them? God sees them as the model for how we must be as people in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven(vs15). They are the future leaders, but more importantly, also the present models of simple faith, open, teachable, ready to believe, love, and trust.

Ding ding ding. Light bulb moment. This morning in my service, the Lord lavished upon me but a glimpse, a glimmer, of how He sees His children. I WANT to understand this! I want to see it more. OK, truth be told, I really don't. It's foreign. It's mysterious. It's Divine. My glimpse has given me a hunger for knowing Him more. And, all the more, I want to train up my children in the way they should go, I want to utilize these times of softenss and teachability. I want to learn from them as I teach them and watch them grow. It's inspiring, and it's a wake-up call.

Let them come, do not hinder them! These are the children!

Friday, February 22, 2008



is what woke me up this morning, and I happen to be currenly enjoying. Can't beat that. It's a beauty, ain't it?

When I first married Matt, he "hated" coffee. He loved to tease me, "How can something that smells SOOOO good taste SOOOO bad?" He held to this delusion for a good 8 years of our marriage. Then came "the coffee shop craze" which lured me in a big way, and after one particular "conversation"... ahem... about how MUCH one coffee cost, and how often are you buying them?? There was one fat "GUILTY" stamp right on my forehead. So, I ever so gently, and sweetly, suggested that maybe he could get me an espresso machine for my.. ah.. birthday that's coming up! Well, after some pleading, batting of eyelashes, serious promises about how I WILL use it, I will use it, it WILL save us money, I will I will I will, Oh PLEASE? My darling husband bought me a beauty of an espresso machine on eBay.

If you know me, you know I can get a bit manic about things... I go through phases. MAJOR phases. There was the Stampin 'up phase ("Oh please oh please, I will save us money by buying these $100 of stamps because then I can make our own cards! Just think of how much money we'll save!" Problem: I am not so crafty, phase lasted a matter of months). Enter eBay selling phase (This lasted quite some time and was great fun, but was UNBELIEVABLY time consuming and a ton of work. On the upside, I did sell some of my Stampin' up collections for a pretty penny!!!!). And quite a number of "entrepreneurial" ideas I've come up with: A wedding music service, helping couples find musicians for both the ceremony and reception. A "Let's Dish" franchise I was going to purchase and move back to San Diego. A funky gift shop called "Dumpster Divas" I was going to open with Aunt Dawn. (OK, this was and IS a great idea, I'd still love to do this someday - maybe in the lobby of my B&B I'm going to own!)

But I digress... where were we... ah yes, a beautiful functional espresso machine was sitting on my counter and I was obsessed with learning all about how to make the perfect shot of beautiful espresso for my beautiful latte. It took a few months, but I did eventually learn to make a pretty mean latte.

So, said coffee-hating husband began a teaching job where he had to commute 1.5 hours out to a college in rural MN to begin teaching at 9:00 am. So he would leave around 7:00. Hello, we're musicians, people. We don't get up until 7 or 8:00. This was not an easy task for poor Matt.

I would make Matt a mean cup of hot cocoa. (That is an oxymoron if I've ever heard one - a mean cup of hot cocoa ). Wimpy, wimpy. So I'd say to my bleary-eyed man, "I'll make an extra shot of espresso, and just put a half-shot in your hot cocoa just to give you a little extra caffeine!" He'd taste it and grimace, and go out the door with espresso-spiked hot cocoa in hand. Well, lo and behold, one day, my coffee-hating hubby said, "Could you p-p-put a whole shot in today?" Mwuaahaha. Oh, yes, honey. I can.

And, this, my blogging friends, was the beginning of the end. It was only a matter of time before the man is THE obsessed coffee maker and drinker in this house, and I get a mean (however not so lean) latte handed to me almost every morning. And both of us, and my bud Jenna, I might add... agree that the coffee in our house is better than any of those foofy coffee joints. Coffee date? My house... come on over!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Starry Night... or one sleepy night

OK, for my 10th post (WOOHOO!), a silly laugh at Jenny post, originally posted in a MOPS newsletter:

I went to the grocery store one night a few summers ago after my kids went to bed. I had a newborn, so I was a bit... ummm... sleep deprived. It was one of those days where I really intended to go during the day, but I kept getting sidetracked, and never made it. I was, to say the least, very tired. I was in somewhat of a daze, but managed to get everything I needed, and headed home. Somewhere in the deepest part of my little head, I had a fleeting thought that the amount of groceries I had in my cart as I finished my shopping didn’t seem like as many as I had just unloaded into my car. I processed this all, subconsciously, as I drove the few miles back to my house. My thoughts went something like this:
I must have packed those groceries really well in the bags, I thought I had bought more….
How much did I spend on those groceries, anyway?
Hmmm…. I didn’t even look at the receipt when I signed it….
Actually, I don’t remember signing a receipt……
(long pause)
DID I sign a receipt?
(light bulb moment)
I didn’t pay for my groceries.
(sinking feeling)
I walked out of the grocery store without paying for my groceries.
(laughing now)

Well, as I was driving BACK to the grocery store, anxiously awaiting my surely eminent arrest, I was then processing “How did this happen?” I know you’re wondering. Let me explain. I started bagging my groceries right as the checker started scanning my order - just as I always do. Bagging, bagging…. I glanced up and noticed a break in the groceries (a significant one - like at least 2 feet), so I assumed that the break in the groceries was where my order stopped and the next person’s order began, when in reality, those were my groceries, there was just a break because the checker had paused for a little while and I had continued to bag… I did not at all consider that I had yet to pay, I just assumed I was done and I left. Nobody stopped me, nobody even came to look for me (I certainly didn’t hurry to the car.) I left half of my groceries on the belt.

When I returned to the store, there was no police car parked outside (I was seriously nervous about that). It all turned out OK, the manager got a good laugh out of me, saying “Yeah, we thought something was different… most people who steal their groceries steal ALL of their groceries!!!” Not such a clever thief, was I?

I need to be able to laugh at myself, I need to be able to hear that I am not the only one who does crazy goofy things. (Well, I may be the only one who’s ever walked out without paying for her groceries, but that’s OK!!!) I also need to be a real encouragement to other moms who need to hear my crazy goofy stories (I have plenty of them, I assure you!!!).

So... you got any?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lessons from Daniel

My girls' favorite Bible story is Daniel and the Lions' Den(Daniel 6). We've read it countless times. There's something about the heroic nature of the story, that draws them to it. When Darius runs to the den "in haste" the next morning to see if Daniel is still alive, it's so amazing and cute to see my daughters tense up, in anticipation, to "see" if Daniel is alive! The story is new to them each time we read it!

This morning, I discovered an old (OLD) story Bible from my husband's childhood (it was even old when he was young!), so we read, of course, Daniel and the Lions' Den. It had a little different wording than we were used to reading. One thing stood out more clearly the way this was written: Daniel usually prayed 3 times a day, in his upper chamber, with the windows open. That's what he did every day. Then, after the King issued the decree saying you could not pray to anyone except him, it's very clear that he continued to pray, 3 times a day, in his upper chamber, with the windows open. He didn't change a thing.

So, we're reading along, and Corene stops me and says, "Why did he do that? Why didn't he go pray someplace in secret instead, since it was the law?" Hmmm... good question. He could have kept his prayers a secret - if I was him I think I might have done just that. That would seem the logical thing to do. There are many Christians today that live in places where the Church is persecuted, and they must pray and meet in secret. And if you look throughout the Bible, there are many many instances where people ran and hid when the government or those in power were chasing them. Mary and Joseph were told by an angel in a dream to take Jesus in the night and flee to Egypt. God could have chosen to provided a miracle to protect them. But that wasn't His plan.

So, Why did he do that? Why didn't he close his windows? The king, Darius, and the people wouldn't have been able to see what a great God Daniel's god was. There would be no story for us to marvel at. God wanted himself to get the Glory. And it didn't stop there, each time we read the story in the Word, we marvel yet again (each and every time!) and glorify Him! "Woohoo!! Go GOD!" is usually what comes out of my mouth. :)

This made me start to think, how did Daniel know he was to keep praying as he had been? The text does not say, it just says he did it. So I whipped out my Bible and I read the whole story again, and something in the story popped out at me: verse 23 says "So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." Daniel was a steadfast servant of the King of Kings, and he had the Spirit of God on him throughout his life. God had been revealing dreams and other secrets to him, so the power of God was something he was familiar with. Daniel did not begin trusting God in the den of lions, he had been in communion with God for years, his whole life.
I need to be in communion with God now. For Daniel it had been 3 times a day, he got down on his knees and prayed and worshipped. For me, it's likely to look a little different! But it's going to be purposeful, not haphazard. It's going to be focused, not distracted. And it's going to be filled with faith and hope in the living God, not whiney or me-centered.

I struggle with this! My time with God occasionally looks that way, but it's more often haphazard, distracted, and me-centered. I desire to have the foundation of faith that would allow me to open my windows toward Jerusalem, kneel and pray to God, just as I had done before.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ode to a virus

The previously mentioned evil virus now has a name. Oh, virus, thy name is Influenza B. Oh, virus, you are immune to the flu shot, but you will not beat me. I WILL NOT go down without a fight. My hands I will wash, the doorknobs I will sanitize, the toilet handle I will scour, the sheets I will change, my hands I will wash. The water I will drink, the airborne I will take, my hands I will wash. Oh, virus, oh Influenza B, have you heard of Tamiflu? Run, fast. Tamiflu will get you.

Monday, February 18, 2008


How is it that I've made it over a week in the blogging world without talking about coffee? I love coffee. I love coffee. I need coffee. I REALLY need coffee today. I. Love. Coffee.

The virus from the pit of you-know-where has invaded my house, and I have escaped it thus far, thank you LORD! But my girls both have high fevers and were up last night at LEAST 18 times, and no I am not exaggerating.

I had a delicious latte this morning which woke me up just enough to not let me sleep right now, while everyone's napping. Never fear, I will get sleepy... right about the time that everyone wakes up :)

There were no viruses before the fall of man, right? So how did they come about? Adam and Eve certainly didn't get colds, since the world was perfect. So, did God create little bugs that invade our bodies as part of the curse? Or were they there and dormant, and the fall caused them to come alive? OR, are viruses really little tiny demons? No, that's not right.
Things that make you go hmmmmm..... or maybe things that make you go, "Go get another latte, Jenny!" Why am I thinking about things such as these?

I think today will be one of my 2-latte days. Better go make one before I crash.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A tale of 2 socks

I hate socks. That is, socks that are "supposed" to be matched and put into the right child's drawer. In our laundry, we have white socks that say "12-24 months", "2-3 years", and "3-4 years" on their soles. We have lots of patterned socks in 2 sizes, one size for each girl. And we have a whole host of random purple, pink, red, yellow, blue, green socks. All sizes. (You should all know, however, that I do have a good handle on what socks are Isaac's, so no worries that my girls are wearing his socks! At least I don't think so...) That adds up to at least 230 different socks in my home. You might think that at any given time, we could come up with 2 that are the same pattern and size. Umm... rarely.

Several months ago, there was a segment on our local news station with moms that talked about how far we are now from the 1950's and the "perfect homes" that women were expected to keep. The panel of moms were talking amongst themselves and were saying to each other, "We can't always find 2 matching socks for our kids. It's ok." One of the moms answered, "I'm lucky to find 2 socks. Forget if they match!" I was like, "AMEN, sister!"

What is it about socks? My girls are dressing themselves most days (except for Sunday- I must approve Sunday clothes). And I tell you, a serious party happens upstairs when the girls find 2 socks that match each other. They run downstairs yelling, "Mommy! Mommy, LOOK!!" WOOHOO! We celebrate.

Yep. Uh-huh. I did NOT dress her, I promise.

So, tell me - can YOU find 2 matching socks in your house? (No fair if you have all boys).

Blessings to you!


Thursday, February 14, 2008


'Tis the day of love. It's fun. We have hearts and roses and CANDY and pink and red in various places scattered about our house. It's a day where we're purposeful about telling each other "I love you". It's a day where we're inspired to cut out construction paper into cutsie little hearts and write "To Grambie Love Corene" on them. It's a day where we indulge in chocolate and candy to our heart's content. Dark chocolate Ghiradelli squares with raspberry filling, to be specific. Did I mention to my heart's content? Anyways, ummm, it's a delicious day.

But, c'mon! The day of LOVE? I have to get serious and really examine what in the world hearts, flowers, and chocolate have to do with love. OK, stop, I need to rephrase that. What in the world do hearts and flowers have to do with love? It is painfully obvious what CHOCOLATE has to do with love!!

It's so commercialized, isn't it? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Valentine's day. I love Valentine's day, with all of it's fluff and fun. But I had to start thinking when I saw the look on one of my flute student's faces today when I said, "Happy Valentine's day!" She looked up at me and said, "Yeah, whatever. Valentine's day is so depressing when I don't have a boyfriend." Or when my friend told me, "I wish my husband would think about Valentine's day before 9am ON Valentine's day". I resonated with both of those comments. Yeah, depressing when you don't have a Valentine. Yeah, disappointing when your hubby doesn't put the time/thought into Valentine's day. For a lot of people, Valentine's day breeds more feelings of longing or emptiness than it does warm-fuzzies and contentment.

There's human love and then there's Divine Love. Even the very best of all human love leaves something to be desired when you compare it to the Love of God:

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

As wonderful as marriage and children and dear friends and family and brothers and sisters in Christ are, it pales in comparison to Christ's love. It actually draws us to the Cross, or it should. It leaves us longing for more. For a more perfect love. The love of Jesus.

Could it be, that this is by design? We are left feeling just a bit empty on a day that is about love. On a day that the world says will fill you up.

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you." Psalm 63:3

May this be my prayer, and may I really believe it.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gotta Laugh

So today was one of those days... do you ever have those days? At 20 degrees, it's a "warm front" in MN standards, but I'm a Southern California girl and to me it's not warm until it's at least above freezing. So we stay inside. SO, the kids are climbing the WALLS. Jumping, running, giggling hysterically. Does the term "sensory-seeking" mean anything to y'all? We had a continuous flow of this: "Corene, go upstairs and jump on the trampoline for 5, no 10 minutes. Ava, it's your turn after her." "Mo-mmmm-my, ca-n I st-op jum-pi-ng n-ow? I'm t-ir-ed!" "No, keep jumping!!!" Even my 1 year old, Isaac, was throwing himself on the ground and laughing like a hyena.

But... the pendulum must swing in the other direction, no? So at one point in the afternoon, all 3 of my children were crying, more like screaming at the top of their lungs. I actually stopped mid-frustration and laughed. Out loud. It came from that feeling, "You've got to be kidding me! This can NOT be happening". I full-blown got the giggles. Both my girls stopped crying, kind of smiled and said, "Why are you laughing?" (this didn't last long, the crying resumed immediately). I don't even remember what they were crying about. My point is, I laughed. For but a moment. It made all the difference. It was my pressure release valve. Gotta laugh.

Tomorrow there will be no laughter. I'm wising up. There will be movies.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Become like little children

Funny how God uses our parenting to refine us. I've known for as long as I've been a mom that Motherhood ain't for wimps. How many times have I had to reach deep down into the carpet bag of my soul and pull out that patience that I didn't know existed so that I can answer the 43rd "Mommy" of the hour with love? The Holy Spirit put that patience there, I know it. And how many times has my selfishness been put to the test, when, for the 8th time in one sleep cycle did I have to drag myself out of bed and plod down the hall to comfort an uncomfortable baby. Or how about when I don't even look for patience or seflessness, and I snap irritably at my child? My humility is refined when I must look 2 big, brown, hurt eyes straight on and say "I'm sorry".

I'm adding another area of refinement to my understanding. My daughter Corene is a little bundle of 5 years old. She has been a lover of Jesus for just about 1 month, and she has spiritual sensitivity that brought me to my knees tonight. She has a spark about the things of God that is so refreshing!

Tonight we read in Revelation about Jesus coming back "soon". I knew we were probably opening up 20 questions of eschatology, but we had time so I dove in. After fielding the "What about Max (our cat)?" questions, we started talking about people who don't know Jesus, how they won't be able to come with us to heaven. The Holy Spirit obviously was working in BOTH of our hearts as we prayed, talked, and cried.

Here is what amazed me as I talked with her: This is the "main thing" of life. The main feelings we were wading through was a longing for the people we love to know Jesus. My heart aches as I write this, thinking of the names we prayed for. My heart truly aches for the first time in a long time. Sure, I've prayed for these people. Their names are written on my prayer list in my organizer. But when have I ached for them? When have I truly believed that God could save them?

It took a child, with simple faith, to remind me what the "main thing" is.

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

Refine me, Lord. I am your clay.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Preschool Theology

There's no point to this post except to hopefully make you laugh.

True overheard conversations:

(A few years ago)
Corene: Ava, I am 3. And God is 6.
Me: Corene, God is older than 6, he's very very old.
Corene: How old?
Me: He's older than the world, he's infinitely old.
Corene: (With true understanding in her eyes) Ohhhhhh. Kinda like Great-Grandpa.

Corene: Ava, you know what the Bible says?
Ava: What?
Corene: "Children, obey your sisters in the Lord, for this is right."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

He Laughs

For my very first posting, I am going to break the rules and talk about politics. The preliminary caucuses were last night in our state, so our family and friends have recently had many discussions about candidates, policies, etc... Right about this time of the year, I feel 2 things:
1) I hate politics. I get tired of it all.
2) I'm bringing children up in this world where God is being squeezed out of every arena. It's frustrating, maddening, at times depressing. Logic and common sense aren't popular anymore.

I was mulling this over last night when Matt (hubby) came home from the caucuses.

This morning, I read the following in Psalms:
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, "Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us"
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. (Psalm 2:1-4)

He who sits in the heavens LAUGHS!! I read that over and over again, and laughed myself! What an encouragement! Our amazing God can look at the most powerful men on earth plotting against Him, and shake his head and laugh.

I have to say that my grumbling from last night was turned into rejoicing this morning! Thank you, gracious Lord!!