Friday, March 28, 2008

professional mom


i was bothered when i first saw the ads for tlc's "secret life of a soccer mom". their slogan is "what if your life could suddenly take a new direction?" with a mom holding children with an arrow pointing to the same woman in a suit and with a briefcase. the show takes a woman who has dedicated her life to staying at home with her kids and gives her a week doing the career she wanted to do.

as i said, this premise was enough to disturb me, but then as i waited for another show to begin one night i caught the very last scene of one of the "soccer mom" episodes. what i saw made me mourn. after the mom has lived her "dream job" for a week, the place makes her a full-time offer. in front of her husband. and her kids. they make her choose right there on national tv. the episode i viewed the family was all happy and the mom said yes and she was whisked away to work as a fashion designer while her kids and husband stayed home.

all i could picture was those same joyful kids coming home to an empty house, seeing a frazzled mother, and fighting parents when they did see them and a lowering of them as priority in that house. i know there are strong opinions about working mothers and i don't pretend to know every situation or all the answers. all i know is kids need to be valued. they are the ones needed to be cared for. my needs, wants, and desires are put on hold (not shut off) for a time to serve those lives that are being shaped in such a lasting way.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the terrible twos

what is the most commonly used word among two-year-olds? well, i think two could be debated for the number one spot....either "no!" or "mine!"

i heard my two-year-old using both while i was brushing my teeth this morning. he was using his fiercest voice and obviously upset at whoever was taking one of his treasured possessions. i rinsed and prepared to referee yet another sibling scuffle, but as i turned the corner i found noah, alone, grasping his sippy cup with his life, and yelling at.....the mirror.

isn't this how we must look to God at times?

Monday, March 24, 2008

2 a.m. feedings AGAIN?!

sunday, ari received his long desired webkinz...the dalmation. originally he "had" to have one so that he could play on the webkinz website with the secret code that only comes with an animal. once he got that little ball of fur, though he turned more nurturing than i've ever seen him.

as precious as it was at first, by the fourth time my sleep was disturbed to meet one of "pup's" needs (he was thirsty, he needed a hug, he was lost, etc) the cute factor had worn off.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

another wonderful year with my “westley”


“ That day, Buttercup was amazed to discover that when Westley was saying "As you wish", what he meant was, "I love you." And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.”
-The Princess Bride

Thank you for loving me and serving me and our boys. We love you and celebrate who you are today. The best gift on your birthday is actually addressed to us.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

pooper scooper


potty training update: peeing in the potty has been a great success this week. handling the other business of toilet duty-not so much. our washing machine has been getting a work out.

this afternoon i heard some grunting from the bathroom and got really excited. sonny and i raced in to witness noah crouched on the floor with my eyelash curler scooping up what had been "deposited" on the floor into the toilet bowl.

we're getting closer!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

supersize my child


this blog is brought to you from another time, another place...

july 24th 2006
bakersfield, ca

so i took my two boys to the golden arches saturday night to get out of the house (sonny departed earlier that day for high school camp). i usually get ari some a la carte items, but i splurged and got a kids meal so he could share the fries with baby. i came to the table with our tray and as i set it down ari asked me "what's that mama?" i responded with "it's a happy meal" (o.k. that name is just wrong...but that's for another blog). he looked up at me and proceeded to sing "ba-da-da-du-dah...i'm wuvvin' it"

i'm such a terrible mother. television and fast food ruled that moment and i was the loser.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"my doption party!"


i offered a bit of mud pie at dessert time to Noah and he looked at it with disdain and said "sing happy doption day first!" after the proper celebratory tune, he was glad to partake in the muddy goodness. thanks to all of you who joined in our celebration of Noah's special day.

happy happy birthday!



the most common question I’m asked when people meet my mom is…
”is she always like that?"

the answer is….yes.

here’s to 51 years of enthusiastic living…happy birthday, mom!

Monday, March 17, 2008

you don't have to be irish...

...to celebrate st. patrick's day. we've decided to use this yearly reminder to honor and dialog about the great impact of missionaries past and present who bring the message of reconciliation to those who are far away from God and far away from their homeland.

there is much legend and little fact about the famed "patrick", but what is certain is that patrick was not from ireland, he was actually enslaved there for 6 years. he went back home, but wrote he had a vision of the people asking him to "walk among us." he became a deacon and then bishop and returned then to ireland to bring the truth to a country where there were many counterfeits.

do you have a favorite missionary...biography, friend, website? please share today in honor of their life of sacrifice.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

happy adoption day!

noah has officially been a varela for one year! he was ours long before that in the court of the heart, but this court of law put it onto paper for us one year ago TODAY!

would you like to hear our noah story? i need to write it so look for it in an upcoming post...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ari's concept of Jesus


this blog is brought to you from another time, another place...

june 19th 2006
bakersfield, ca

We were about to leave the house to go for dinner tonight and Ari (age age 3.5) spoke with a great amount of concern..."We have to wait for Jesus, Mom!" he said. I paused to reflect on what an amazingly spiritual boy I was raising and before I got even more proud of myself he added..."He has to get his purse."

I wonder what goes on in little minds especially as it relates to the supernatural. To Ari Jesus is fully a person. He knows He is God, but doesn't really grasp what that means. How do I explain the hypostatic union to my three-year-old? Even harder, how do I explain that Jesus probably doesn't carry a purse?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

potty-training

with the "mini-floods" around our house i guess it's our fault for naming him, "noah"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

don't ya hate wedgies?


this blog is brought to you from another time, another place...
july 12th 2006
bakersfield, ca

*Important information to this story: Underwear in our home are called "Chonies" (cho-nees)

One day Ari (3.5 years) came running into the room where i was obviously distressed and crying. i asked him what was wrong and with a big inhale he then exclaimed..."My chonies are biting my buns!!"

Of course being the good mother i am i helped him with his plight before laughing my head off:)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

fifteen points!



ari started a chart system a while back where he can earn points for positive behavior and trade them in for things desirable to a 5-year-old boy. the highest prize is valued at 15 points and is a trip to chuck e. cheese. to accumulate this number of points other prizes must be lived without (time on the computer or ps2) which is a great sacrifice. the "magic" number was achieved sunday and we piled in the corolla, drove the 25 minutes to the nearest chuck e. cheese to find the place surrounded with people just waiting to get INTO the building. being the great parents we are we waited and then waded through the masses so that ari could cash in his hard-earned points. a wonderful time was had by all. note-to-self: don't go to chuck e. cheese's on a sunday at 5 p.m. with a child who will dissolve into fits of tears if you can't stay.

Monday, March 10, 2008


so, noah, our very talkative 2-year-old was eating a pb and j on the way to preschool this morning (i know-i'm not supposed to be feeding breakfast to the kids while going 45 mph) and when we arrived (a half an hour later) it was still in his cheeks. i dropped the little chipmunk off, warning his teacher, and went on my way. THREE AND A HALF HOURS LATER i go in the classroom to find my son using hand signs to communicate and his lips sealed shut. he had NOT opened his mouth the ENTIRE time!

i guess that new organic peanut butter was extra sticky. next time i'll put milk in the sippy cup.

you came!


i cannot tell you how wonderful your responses have been to my beginning attempts at a blog. my youth pastor used to always say that when he planned an event he felt like someone planning a birthday party for themselves and then fearing no one would come:) he was always so excited when people attended and told us his feelings of anxiety leading up to the arrival.

thanks for not making me eat my birthday cake alone.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

hiking


i decided as i listened to the meteorologist forecast yet another lovely day that it was time for us to finally expose our sons to the beauty of this place we get to live in. i also wanted to introduce the term and concept of "hiking" so the plan to trek multnomah falls (just to the bridge) and some of latteral falls was born. it went smashingly well and the boys have been asking to do it again ever since we dragged them away. sonny and i were reminded of the beauty we've seen many times, but now get to see through the eyes of our children.

welcome!



i have decided to dive in to the world of blogging and try my hand at it! i love reading other people's blogs (i kind of stalk them actually) so i thought i'd return the favor and toss my hat into the ring.

i am calling this the "varela voyage" because i am no longer a singular unit. whatever happens to me or in my life is a "varela thing" not a "kristal thing"....so-welcome to our journey.