Moving Back to Blogger

Sorry to be so fickle, but I am moving back to Blogger.  One day, it miraculously worked again, after almost 8 months of not being able to post anything.  It must have been some update on my laptop, because I could post from the iPad.  Unfortunately, I can not type any decent post with the iPad.

Anyway, I’m back on Blogger and happy about it.

You can find me at

See you there.

Blessings to you,



Family Crisis

I have tons of stuff that I wanted to blog about, but it will have to wait.

My father-in-law, who is like a dad to me, had a brain hemorrhage (aneurysm) on Sunday night. He had 7 hours of brain surgery on Monday, and is now recovering in the ICU. I’m spending my days at the hospital while Cupcake is in school and my evenings taking care of the family while Steve hangs out with his parents.

We have a caringbridge site set up for him. If you would like the address, send me an email at mamitaj (at) gmail (dot) com.

Also, on Sunday night, Steve’s younger brother’s wife lost her father. Both grandpas on the same day…that’s tough.

We’d appreciate your prayers.


Blessings to you,


Mountains or Beach?

Note:  This post was written while we were on vacation and never posted, but I really needed to hear it again today.

(Caution…ramble ahead.)

Vacation…mountains or beach?

Well, since you asked…I prefer Hawaii, where the mountains and beaches are all right there.  🙂  But, if I had to choose, I think I would pick mountains.  I love relaxing beach days, but I’m a visual person and the created beauty and grandeur of the mountains are just so breathtaking. 

We’re taking a mixed variety vacation this year.  We drove through the mountains on our way to the beach.  Thursday and Friday, we drove through the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia and Maryland.  Can I just say, “Dang, that is some beautiful country!”   As we drove up and down through the scenic vistas, I couldn’t help but think about God, and creation, and life.

I was reminded of this verse in Job that we recently studied. 

The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.  Job 38:14

Those immense,  immovable mountains  were formed when God scrunched them up like fabric.  How hard is it to scrunch fabric?  How hard is it to scrunch rock?  That is the difference between us and God.  He is altogether different than us, powerful beyond measure .   And if we want mountains moved, it will not happen with all of our willpower and a little shovel.  It will only happen if we humbly ask the Creator of the Universe to straighten out the fabric.

Then, I started thinking about how some terrain is meant to be mountainous.  It’s for a reason. 

Our family life has been rocky terrain these last few years.   It required a long, difficult initial ascent – no gorgeous lookouts, just hard work and what seemed to be an endless battle.  Now and then, we would catch glimpses of how far we had come and the magic of what might be coming.  But mostly, it was work.

Then, one day, we looked up and the beauty of who Cupcake really was took our breath away.  I remember the first time I noticed that she was acting like a normal little girl, happily swinging her legs at Burger King – no fear, no survival skills, no anger, just content to be nestled in our family.  It was like a lookout over a quiet village in the mountains!  And I took a snapshot in my brain. 

Of course, after the scenic vista, we headed back down into another valley, life spiraling downward out of control, shadows obscuring the sun.  We felt we had stepped back to where we started, but in reality, we were still at a higher elevation and we were further than we had been before.  After that, more hard work climbing that next mountain, with the reward of another spectacular view in time. 

And so it goes.  This is what it means to adopt a child from hard places.  The energy you expend in the mountains is exponentially higher than on the flatlands, but WOW!  The views are stunning!  You get some fabulous moments.  It’s an adventure.  Adventures, by definition, are full of dangers and unknowns. In the midst of them, it can be downright scary and discouraging.  Sometimes, if feels like we’re never going to see the plains again, but you know what…I like the mountains.  The highs are higher, the lows are lower, but this is what it means to really be alive.   I don’t want to coast along and settle for long stretches of easy and content.  I want to live an adventure and catch a glimpse of how amazing God really is right here on earth.


How about you? 


Blessings to you,


Happy Ninth Birthday, Cupcake!



How can it be?  My baby is NINE!

Happy birthday to my beautiful, spunky, sweet, thoughtful, strong-willed, precious child!  You are loved more than you know.  God has big plans for your life!  Thank you for teaching me so much!  I am a better person for having the privilege of being your mom.  😀


Your smile shines like the sun!

Blessings to you,



You Will Never Believe…

Who lives in my backyard?

Well, these little dwellings started popping up at the beginning of summer…right after we checked out this book from the library:

Fairy Houses Everywhere by Barry and Tracy Kane

Suddenly, our boring old backyard with “nothing to do” became a magical land.

This was the first home that mysteriously appeared after my two daughters spent an afternoon together.  (I think the artistic talents of the fairies were really flowing that day.)

We have a broken down ditch fairy wonderland just behind our property.  One day, some fairy condos appeared.  

These condos even came with washed out concrete a personal freshwater spring for the fairies to splash and play in.

We have reason to believe that this may be the home of the tooth fairy.  Shortly after it appeared, a neighbor girl lost her tooth.

Coincidence?  I think not.  😉

Today, this lovely dwelling appeared after Cupcake and her Mamita spent some time in the blistering heat outside.

Seriously, this book has inspired such creativity from my girls!

It is  especially heart-warming to see my little one run off with friends  bubbling with excitement and brimming with ideas.  Always in my mind, I remember the  serious, frightened child who came to me with no imagination, no ability to pretend and no time for play.

What a transformation!

All the praise goes to God, who heals hearts and makes them sing!

Blessings to you,


An American Girl Date

My middle two have been at camp this week, so I had lots of free time with Cupcake.  On Wednesday, we had a date at the new American Girl Store at our local mall.  I had to go early to put our name in for the Bistro, since they do not take reservations, except for birthdays.  (It’s about a three hour wait.)   After school (she’s in summer school), we got dressed up and took her doll, Kanani, to the store.

She was very excited to get her doll’s ears pierced.

I had fixed Kanani’s hair to match Cupcake’s.  We had several compliments on the great styling!  HA!  That is a miracle, since I am “hair challenged”.  Until Cupcake came along, my hair skills consisted of “Up Ponytail” and “Down Ponytail”.

In the Bistro…

We had a lovely time and it was so enjoyable to spend some girly time with my little one.

Blessings to you,



Welcome to my new site!  

It’s going to be a while before I have things set up the way I like them, since I only get 5 minutes a day to fiddle with things….and then I’d like to write some posts also.  I moved because Blo&&er just up and stopped working for me a few weeks ago.  I couldn’t use my laptop to edit/create posts, using any browser.  

So here I am.

I’ve got lots of posts in my head and a few I’ll have to recreate from memory, since they never got published.  Sigh.  

Please bear with me during this construction phase.

Blessings to you,