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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Doesn't match up... (Emotions, part 2)

So this was my weekend:
No kids.  Awesome parents at home doing everything I usually do.  Me in San Diego. Perfect weather.  Beaches. Sun. Sea World.  5 Star hotel.  Kayaking canals lined with million dollar boats backed by million dollar houses.  Good food.  Restful nights.  Huge Bathtubs. And best of all 3 days with a awesome, thoughtful, loving, handsome, fun, adventurous, husband!

But Sunday morning I woke up in a funk. I was tired and cranky.  I told my husband, "I feel ugly. And sad.   And I sort of feel like you don't love me." He sat there quietly, patiently listening to me voice my emotions.  He told me he loved me.  He told me he thought I was beautiful.  And after a little while he said cautiously, "I want to point out how silly it is that you feel I don't love you considering where you are and what we have been doing for the last couple days." Yikes!

"SO TRUE!" How stupid I am.  The real truth? Our emotions very often lead us astray from what is real and what is true.  So I shut my mouth.  Stopped talking about how I felt and started thinking about what was true.  And at first nothing happened.  I still felt the same.  But then like ice- I slowly began to melt.  The emotions I felt subsided and we could get on with our day- or in that case with the drive to La Jolla Cove.

My husband cheered me on, "I can tell your fighting your emotions, thank you!"
Yes I am really that ridiculous.  Yes, my emotions are really that illogical.  And yes, I think our emotions mislead us women ALL the time!  Sometimes, I need to tell them "no."

Monday, August 29, 2011

The More... (Emotions; Part 1)

Chris lovin' on me by taking me to Sea World!

I've been learning a lot about emotions lately.  Mostly through my failure to recognize the wild beast that they are and go to battle. Rather I lay down and let them dominate me.

Offhandedly, Chris said, "The more you love, the more you love...ya know?"

When Chris mentioned this to me, I have to admit, I didn't know... at all.  So he explained:  "The more you love (verb), the more you love (adjective)."

Sort of profound.  What comes out of my husband's mouth astounds me lots of the time.  In a good way. We spend so much time expecting some sort of emotional feeling to drive our actions.  No wonder marriages fizzle.  But my husband just spent the last month and a half lovin' on me.  He has given me love notes and gifts. Taken me out for dinner.  Taken me to San Diego on a weekend getaway.  And he sums up his end of the experience like this.  "The more time I spend lovin' on you, and thinking about how to love on you, I fall more and more in love with you." I think God designed us this way.  We were never intended to be passive receivers but rather active participants.

I need to practice this more.  With my husband.  With my kids.  With my neighbors.  If I want to love (adjective) someone more, I need to love (verb) them more. And honestly... I need a whole bunch of help when it comes to loving people.

Scene of the week - Coronado

Monday, August 22, 2011

Should we name the frog?

Since Kai has arrived a plethora of wild life has emerged in our yard.  It seems slightly backward.  Shouldn't the dog scare it all away?  One such nightly friend is the frog living under the lid of the sprinkler box in the back yard.

I never knew he lived there.  Kai scratched at the box for a good week- all the time I was thinking, "silly teething puppy.  He'll chew on anything."  A few nights I saw him tossing something around in the grass but could never find it.  The third night he tossed it onto the pavement and in my "it is late and dark out" stupor, I stepped on the frog! Screamed.  And ran inside.  That was the first time I met the frog.  

Once Chris inspected and he was indeed still alive, I quickly captures and released him on the other side of our back fence.  But he came back.  Or we have two frogs.  But I think he just came back.  And now they co-exist every night.  Kai pooping on the lawn.  The frog eating the flies that collect because of it....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wisdom Pose

Yoga.  In christian circles this can be a hot debate.  Is it a religious or spiritual act?  Is it demonic?  Is it worship of something other than God?  I am not here to debate it.  Maybe another time.

But yoga in many ways has changed my life.  Not in a huge way, like say Jesus has.  In no way do I believe yoga can save me.  But physically I feel stronger than I ever have before.  It significantly improved my climbing- more so even then just climbing more.  I feel better about myself, my body, and for me it bridged that gap between secular and spiritual.  God can be part of my exercise and physicality?  He can be.  It just works for me.

All this aside - this is what I meant to comment on.  The other day my instructor let us sit back into wisdom pose for a little (much needed) break.  And I thought, "Why did they call this wisdom pose?"

This verse came to mind:

Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
Is there really any better physical representation for fearing God? To bow down before him?  And this is the beginning of wisdom.  Sometimes I fear in our division of all things spiritual- from all things physical- we miss a deeper understanding of our place before God.  We could all use a little more wisdom pose in our lives.
Try it now.  Or tomorrow morning.  Get down on the floor.  Bow down and be still.  It might just change your day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crossed lines

There are many things I expected about having a puppy.  I expected to loose precious items to his incessant need to chew.  I expected to pick up poop and clean up accidents.  I expected to take time and time again to train the kids on how to act and play with him.  What I didn't expect was to learn some very basic things about how I parent my kids based on how to train a dog.

For the 48 hours after Kai came into our home, we were googling nearly every article imaginable about training dogs. (I love that my spell check recognizes the word "googling".) And over and over they talking about positive reinforcement... excessively praising their successes.  Now I've heard this before- in line with both dogs and kids.   But as I've been working hard to praise the dog- it has crossed over to me naturally praising our kids more when I see something good.  And their response has told me two things: 1. Praise wins their hearts in a way discipline never can.  2. My kids don't get nearly enough of it.

Here is what I naturally do in my flesh.  Kid makes a mistake- one that usually makes some work for me- like spilling milk all over the floor.  I sigh, complain about having to clean it, try to make them clean it, get frustrated at how poorly they do it, then berate them for their clumsiness. I top it all off with stabbing verbal reminders all day for their one failure that morning in the kitchen.  Gross, eh? And not at all a living example of the gospel.

So I am learning somethings from owning a dog-  to praise my kids more. And when they make mistakes, to let them go in love.  After all- that is what Jesus does to us everyday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Erickson Offspring Stats

I find this amusing:

Anibel: 29 lbs, 5yrs
Abishai: 35 lbs, 3.25 yrs
Esme: 20 lbs 1.5 yrs
Kai: 12 lbs, 10 weeks

Of course Kai isn't really offspring.  Adopted offspring of the canine species.

Monday, August 8, 2011


1 Thessalonians 4 :11-12
"make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

What do I aspire to do?  How do I aspire to live?

I sat and thought through these questions and settled on one word- loudly.  I aspire to live loudly.  To make a statement with my life.  To do something different and something big.  To change things. To live wild and free.  But the verse I had read that morning said one thing very clearly:  Aspire to lead a quiet life.

Now I don't believe aspiring to change the world or do big things is wrong.  But what does it mean to aspire to lead a quiet life?  Or to actually lead a quiet life?  I don't really know.  But I do know one thing... when I focus on leading a quiet life my mental focus shifts toward being faithful with the work god has given me - namely training and loving my kids, serving my husband, loving God and people.  I become more focused on others- and less on "what I am doing", or my agenda.  I tend to be more peaceful in my spirit.

When I aspire to live loudly, no matter the goodness of my intentions, often I get wrapped in what I am doing, and forget why.  I forget about the people involved.  I forget about loving sacrificially and gently.  I want to make a statement with my words but the example of my life is less meaningful.

Not to say my life will never be loud.  I pray in the end it is!  But sometimes I think the road to a loud and clear message- is one of quiet persistence over time.

A Princess Football Helmet

Anibel:  Abishai when you are an adult, you are going to play football for work and I am going to sing on a stage.
Abishai: Yeah.
Anibel: You can play football and Mom will work for you to give you money.  And you'll have a boy football helmet.
Abishai: A-bell, you can play foot ball when you an adult.
Anibel: Yeah, girls can play football too.
Abishai: When I an adult, I buy you a girl helmet... a princess football helmet.

I love some of the conversations they have these days!

Scene of the week - "Dad, can I have one like this when I am 16?"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork - Part 2

You have made a whole crock pot of pulled pork or chicken.  Now what do we do with all of it?  Because this recipe isn't overly BBQ or seasoned strongly- it works in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas I have explored...and loved.

Simple Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Sandwich :
Pulled Pork/chicken
BBQ Sauce of choice
Coleslaw of choice

Layer on bun, add sauce, enjoy!

BBQ Pork Burritos :
Pulled Pork/chicken
BBQ sauce
Verde Salsa
Shredded Cheddar
Sour Cream
Black Beans (optional)

Mix 1 T. of BBQ sauce in with 1 cup pulled pork.  Layer in tortilla with salsa, cheese, sour cream and beans.  Pan sere for crispy outside.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (adapted from P.F. Chang recipe)
Pulled Pork/chicken
3 T olive oil
2/3 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup water chestnuts, chopped
3 T chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
Iceberg lettuce leaves

Stir fry sauce:
2 T soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

Mix sauce ingredients.  Heat oil in pan.  Saute mushrooms, onion and garlic.  Add pork and stir fry sauce.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Special Dipping Sauce 
Mix ingredients below:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
2 T ketchup
1 T lemon juice
1/8 tsp. sesame oil

Add up to 1 T. hot mustard and 1-2 tsp. garlic and red chili paste if you like.  Makes roughly 4 servings.

Roll the stir fry mixture in a lettuce leaf and dip in sauce.  Definitely my favorite!

Pulled Pork/chicken
Olive oil
Corn tortillas
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can red enchilada sauce
Cheddar cheese

Lightly brown tortillas in olive oil.  Roll small amount of pulled pork into tortillas.  Repeat until casserole dish is full.  Mix red and green sauces and pour over the top.  Top with cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork (or chicken) - One of my biggest mommy meal secrets...

So here is the deal:  I am about to share one of my favorite recipes and definitely my most used one.  It is primarily for pork but I used chicken this last week and it rocked.  The best thing about this recipe?  You can make it in mass quantity and freeze it for  later.  And the next best thing? I have at least 4 variations on how to serve this meat- from chicken lettuce wraps to burritos to your classic BBQ sandwich.  The root recipe comes today.  I'll share the variations tomorrow.

1 cup cider vinegar
3 T sugar
1 1/2 T hot red-pepper flakes
1 (3lb) boneless pork loin - I've used up to 7lb.
1 onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, halved
1/2 cup water
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T honey (I omit)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper

Mix cider vinegar, sugar and hot pepper flakes in small bowl, set aside.  Put in 2/3 onion and garlic halves in bottom of crock pot.  Place salted and peppered meat in crock pot.  Put rest of onion and garlic on top.  Pour vinegar mixture over meat.  Add water and cook for 5-8 hours.  Shred the meat with a fork, as mustard, honey and Worcestershire and mix.  Let cook for 5 more minutes and serve!