Nunez News

Monday, August 29, 2011

Check out this Creepy Little Guy

Oh... I mean, "this neat little guy!" I try REALLY hard not to get freaked out with bugs. Especially since we started our weekly group nature outings last fall. To tell you the truth, being around insects doesn't bother me nearly as much as it use to. We respect their home and just observe (sometimes touching is involved while mommy holds her breath, unnoticeable) but when they come into our home, they will get squashed. Sorry, no bugs allowed. And now that I'm around them more I feel more comfortable killing them. I use to have the hardest time killing spiders. Nope, I don't usually need to think twice about it now unless it's above my head. 

So the other morning I was picking some tomatoes off of our pear tomato vine and I almost hit my head on this little guy.

I was oh soooo glad we didn't do a head bump... no thanks!

But the kids were right outside with me and I called them over. 

And of course Nathan wanted to touch it. Me telling him to just be gentle.

We left it alone for a few minutes to look up what it was. I got out our field guide and found this little guy to be called the Tobacco Hornworm. Caterpillar large (to 4"), green with white diagonal stripes on sides, large orange horn at rear; common on tomato plants. Season: June-Sept. Range: Central Valley and south.

It had started eating again when we returned. Reminds me of the Predator a bit.

Kiera was a tad disappointed when I told her it was a moth. Her exact words when I showed her the picture of the Sphinx Moth were, "That's not very pretty". Here's what it will look like.

Even with her disappointment it was still neat to watch. 

Haven't seen the little guy the last two days. Not sure what happened to it. Maybe it's in it's cocoon, we'll have to look a little better tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Like My Kids

I like spending time with my kids. I like having them around. I get sad when I don't hear their voices. 
I think I just like my kids!

Why do people always want to watch my kids? I know it sounds funny to be complaining about something like this, especially as a stay at home mom who sometimes just needs a moment to go to the bathroom with the door closed or without a little person keeping me "company".

I love family time! I think our home is pretty welcoming, though not always the cleanest. 

Even with people who I totally trust my children to I would rather spend time "together" then send my kids off. My mom has offered to watch the kids for a bit at times because I'm feeling overwhelmed with house cleaning that needs to get done but doesn't seem to be anywhere close to getting done. "No, that's ok", I say, "but you can come over here if you like". Us mutually knowing that having extra arms to hold a needy baby or extra lap for the kids to sit on for some book reading are the kind of help I really need. Maybe it's just a little support, a willing hand to come along side. I can't call my husband up and say, "can you come home now... please!!!" Though I admit I have done that. But usually now I call him up and ask him where something is... "Do you know where Nathan's shoe's might be?" Yes, I have a hard time keeping track of things and I fear Nathan is the same as me in that aspect (I got it from my dad) so he truly doesn't remember where he put his shoes (water bottle, back pack, etc.) though he knows where they're suppose to go.

Back to what I was saying... Sometimes I just need that 15 minutes to do the dishes and I'll feel better about myself. I can feel at times like a failure trying to keep house. I don't want the mess to overwhelm my husband when he gets home from work. Too much going on visually. The kids are a little older now so it's not as hard but those whiny days creep in at times which adds a whole other element to the dirty house disaster.

It's so sad to me that everywhere you look people encourage family separation being totally normal. If the child has separation anxiety it's, "oh don't worry they'll eventually get use to it and it will get easier." Use to it? Easier? Why would I want them getting use to me always leaving them or always having other people take care of them. My oldest is very independent and all of my children are very opinionated and have no problem stating what their opinions are. They know how to run and play with other children. They know how to communicate with adults. D's vocabulary is a bit hard to understand at times but... he's not even 2 yet. :) Why at such a young age would I want them to get use to us being separated? It sounds rather contradictory to me. You have the baby in your body, you wear your baby for at least their first year (it encourages bonding and helps them feel secure) and then once they start walking it's "see ya later! Don't worry you'll get use to this!" hmmm

I know dates with your husband are essential but most of the time we are able to spend a good amount of time just the two of us after the kids go to bed. And yes it's great to have people who you can depend on to watch your kids when you need to attend functions (such as weddings) only for adults. Quality time isn't always alone time. 

This is what I think about at midnight. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Occupation, Character, Qualifications... part 2

Wow I can't believe it has already been a week since my last post. I guess sickness in the family tends to slow us down and make us change directions huh? I've been working on this post for a few days now, our littlest man gets up after he's gone to bed and needs to be cuddled still. :)

It helps me a lot of times in understanding the scriptures when I can talk about them or put them in context of my life. So instead of talking I'm typing since a good amount of people like to sleep at night. :)

Proverbs 31:18 says, "she senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night."
She works hard to make sure the fruits of her labor are good. NIV "She sees that her dealings are profitable..." Some checkbook balancing there. :)

Verse 19 says, "She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle." 
This verse I had to ponder. What is distaff? I know what a spindle is. So I looked it up in a different translation. The New Living Translation says, "Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Does that make more sense? To me it seemed to click. Her hands are not idle. What would be some idle time.... well for me looking at my phone when it's in my view and checking my emails or seeing what's happening on facebook. These do not seem to be important things. I see people close their facebook accounts because they KNOW it is taking way too much of their time. I just need to pray for some major self control because it has gotten to a point where I don't even think about it. My fingers should not be idle. I need to memorize this verse. I don't want my children to have memories of me ALWAYS with a phone in hand or computer on. How sad. My fingers should NOT be idle.

Verse 20 says, "She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy."
Help is what this is saying. If you see someone needing help don't wait for the next person to take care of it, do what you can. The poor. Those in need. Us showing love, Christ's love.

Verse 21 says, "She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet."
I think of this verse in two ways. The first being in the physical sense. This woman doesn't have to worry about bad/cold weather because she knows her children have warm clothes and will be fine. The other way I think about this verse is in the spiritual sense. She doesn't worry about bad weather (trials) because her household is covered by the blood of Jesus Christ and he will always take care of our needs.

Verse 22 says, "She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple."
She makes her own clothes. She's a crafter, sewer, DIYer. :) The clothing is not shabby or cheap looking. It's fine linen and purple. I remember learning that purple is for royalty. She doesn't have to go out and spend a ton to look nice, she spends what she needs and fits the pieces together.

Verse 23 says, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land."
Her husband is a wise man. I think elders are usually those with more knowledge and experience and wisdom. She does not have to, nor should take on the role as the head of the household, God has already placed her husband there.

Verse 24 says, "She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen."
She knows what sells and makes that. This might go back to being business minded and also not having idle hands. She sells what she makes TO sell.

Verse 25 says, "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future."

Strength - comes from God. "Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

Dignity - I looked up dignity and this is the first definition that I saw. "Bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation." Another word I saw was worthiness. In 1 Timothy 2:2 the dignity stated there is seriousness. "for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity."

I like the last part of the verse where it says she smiles at the future. There is no fear of "what if?" We are not guaranteed another breath but I'm still sitting here, breathing. It's quite amazing actually since there where many times where I couldn't breath. So breathing is something I am thankful for. I have a friend who has cystic fibrosis and she has to take a TON of pills every day and get her lungs "cleaned out" at least once a year. She smiles at the future even though the present might not be fun, we have a hope. Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" My friends name is Hope.

Verse 26 says, "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
Doesn't sound like backstabbing or gossiping is what a worthy woman should be doing. We need to be careful of hurtful remarks even. To our spouses, to our children to our friends and family. Think, then speak. It reminds me of coaching softball, we'd always say "ball first!" because you can't make a play unless you're holding the ball first. Right? Think first or else you have the potential of really hurting someone. Don't most of us remember either really kind words or really hurtful words? I want kindness to always be on my tongue.

Verse 27 says, "She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness."
So now it's not just my hands, but my whole body too. Whatever you eat affects your whole body. Sugar causes headaches, bread causes bloating, fruits quench your thirst and being dehydrated causes fatigue. She is thinking about how she would like to take care of her family, how to make things flow, what her goals are for her household (this is what I'm working on). Not dawdling or using up time with unimportant venues or with no eternal value (these will be different for everyone). 

Verses 28 & 29 says, " Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: "Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all."
Matthew 25:23 Jesus speaking, "'His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'" My mom is an awesome lady. I go to her for advice, affirmation, and fellowship. God has given her much wisdom and she is always very giving of herself. In turn because of the relationship her and I share I am able to bless her by sharing my blessings (my children/family) with her.

Verse 30 says, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."
Flattery is, well... annoying, to me. Being real, genuine, and not fake is something that is appreciated and valued.

Verse 31 says, "Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates."
Your heart will show others who you are, from the inside out. What fruit do you produce? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control? Do you see your downfalls or slip ups through your children? Oh man! That is so humbling when my child sounds like a mini me and I have to correct them because it's a negative aspect of my fruit. Lord help me because I want my works to sing praises to You!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Occupation, Character, Qualifications... part 1

Whenever I get together in a new group and need to introduce myself I always start out with my name, how many children I have and their ages, maybe how long I've been married. Of course if people don't know you they want to know where you work or "What do you do?" My response being, "I get to stay home with my kids". If I was filling out a form I would simply write "homemaker". Depending on the group the response is either a blank look, an "oh", "how neat!", "must be nice" (sarcastically or maybe more enviously...) and the lovely "me too!"
So why do some homemakers feel like they need to add extra so called important titles or qualifications to their occupation? I've heard, "I stay home... BUT I also have my degree in ______ " ( meaning, I am smart enough to have a career). Why do homemakers feel inferior at times to career women?
I think because there is such a push in our society to be someone, to get to the top, to have a name for yourself that it's in our sub-conscience that we just stay home so our "title" is not as big or important. 

When I was in college I had a really hard time deciding on my major. I knew that I could do anything, I had/have soooo many interests that I just took a class in everything. haha not really but kind of. I have my medical assisting certificate, a photography certificate, a piano teaching certificate, but I also have a ton of extra PE credits and an auto class, a journalism class and a bookkeeping class on my transcript. Random, yes. Me, yes. I wanted to be a photojournalist then I wanted to be a physical therapist and then a photographer and then a respiratory therapist (there were other career goals between). It came down to wanting a degree that I could use while being able to just stay home with my children. Maybe to earn an income but more to benefit the lives of my children. I finished up my college schooling with an AA in Liberal Arts and Music Education on top of the certificates. Yes, I admit, I love learning... and school. :) But those are just extras not requirements or qualifications as a homemaker. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"

At the beginning of this year, I started meeting with a group of moms and we discussed The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. If you haven't read this book you must! The introduction talked about Proverbs 31 and the worthy woman. I had read Proverbs 31 before but not in a long time and not since becoming a mom. It took on a whole new meaning and application to my life.

Let's look at our role not just as a mother but as a godly worthy woman from Proverbs 31. Maybe you can add some qualifications to your homemaker resume. :)

Verse 11 says that, "Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." 
Our husband's believe that we can take care of many, many things. They know we are perfectly qualified to take care of the bills, feed the children, keep the children from harm (to the best of our human ability) by being attentive, showing them love, teaching our children life skills, keeping the house at least straightened up, doing laundry, feeding animals, grocery shopping, watering the garden when it's hot so the fruit trees don't die and anything else you take care of on a day-to-day regular basis.

Verse 12, "She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." 
Every decision we make we think of how it would benefit our husbands and family. We help our husbands to see between lines when they might not see the full picture. We inform them of accomplishments or upsets that have happened while they were away at work so they can be connected to the family and children. We encourage daddy time to help nurture relationships (and we jump on the opportunity to take a long shower). Our husbands adore us (Refer to verse 10 about a wife of noble character being worth more than jewels). And if we have the wrong/selfish intentions or motives who is that benefiting? Who would that hurt most?

Verse 13, "She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands." We use the right tools for the job and we get the job done. Neosporine and band-aids are good for all cuts and scrapes and ice packs make everyone feel better. Right!? It would be a lot quicker to use a rake than a broom on the grass to rake the leaves... The right tools for the job.

Verse 14, "She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."
I tend to shop pretty locally but I don't think this is necessarily talking about the distance, I think it's talking about the quality of food and the importance of bringing good, nutritional food to our families because we care enough about them to do that.

Verse 15, "She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants."
If you've ever had a baby you understand getting up at various hours of the night. I know I don't need as much sleep as I use to. Though I'm not opposed to a full night of sleep... We take care of our families, our children, no matter what hour the clock says it is. If our kids are hungry we feed them, it could be a growth spurt. When we are beyond tired God provides the energy that we need to get up. Talking about being tired. I'll share something that happened to me. 
At the beginning of the year we all had the flu in our house. Not at the same time of course. One would get the chills and fever and then about a day or two later the next person and so on until we all had caught this nasty sickness. High fever for 3-4 days, not fun stuff. Mommy being way done, I asked God, "please Lord wake me up if my children need me." I fell asleep and while I was sleeping I saw a mouth (you know like in the movies) yelling at me "Get Up!" I woke up startled. We checked the kids. Kiera had a temp of 104.5. Yikes! Cool rag, cooler pillow, motrin, water and I stayed awake by her feet until her fever broke and was down to 100. God gives us the strength!

Verse 16, "She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard."
I like this one. This woman has a business mind. She can weigh the pros and cons, she can make an informed, thought out decision. She is wise. Most of us moms like to bargain shop right? We know when a good deal or a good product is presented to us. Though this woman is not into being just a consumer, she invests her time and money and uses her earnings to plant something beautiful, something that will grow and produce. Buying only if it's beneficial for the family is the key.

Verse 17, "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."
I like how we're suppose to have strong arms. Especially since our little Domenic was just about 30 pounds when he was 1 year old. It is not suppose to be "I am man, you are my little weak wife". No, we need to be strong (not talking body builder here) to keep up with the kids, move furniture, carry bags of soil...

I will stop here for now. Good night!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Joys of Fatherhood

December 25, 2004, that was the day I first found out I was going to be a father. I was excited, super happy, and a little scared all at once. I knew my life would change and I hoped I could handle it. It didn't quite sink in though until the first time I held little Kiera in my arms. It was then that I knew that I was responsible for raising a child in this world. I made a promise to little Kiera that I would love and protect her with all that I am. I have also made the same promise to my two sons when they were born. Everything I do I know affects them and the decisions I make are not only for me but for my family. I don't have the option of letting them down.
Now onto the joys. There are a lot of little things that they do that just make my day. Kiera loves to cuddle up to me whenever she gets a chance. Nathan will out of nowhere just say "I love you daddy". Domenic always wants to play and the second I get down on the ground, even if he's in another room, that's the cue for him to jump all over daddy.
I love seeing them play together and work together to build something. And they always want me to help them even when they really don't need my help. They always want to know what daddy's doing and want to help me, especially when I cook. They love my homemade waffles. Every morning off that I get is waffle morning and they never get tired of them.
The best part of my day is coming home from work and all three of them greet me at the door with hugs and kisses. I usually leave for work before they get up, but sometimes Nathan and/or Domenic will wake up before I leave, Kiera needs her beauty sleep, and they wave to me and blow kisses from the window as I drive away. That always melts me a little as I am leaving and I don't want to go to work.
Everyday one of them does or learns something new and they can't wait to show or tell me about it. I love seeing their eyes light up and the excitement in their voices and on their faces. Especially Domenic because he doesn't have a lot of words yet but he points and hops around making faces and noises.
I can't wait to see the people my children grow up to be. I know that it is up to me to shape them and teach them to be humble and respectful and God fearing. I know that they are sensitive and caring kids and I hope they stay that way as they grow and mature. But for right now I love spending time with them just as they are.