Sunday, August 30, 2009

Working Out is Hard Work


"For physical training is of some value, but godliness
has value for all things, holding promise for both the
present life and the life to come." 1Tim 4:8

Our pastor mentioned this verse today and it stood
out to me because I have been committed to working
out for 2 1/2 months now. My friend, Kristi, and I
started out jogging and walking around a track and
doing some ab exercises, along with some leg and
arm exercises. You could say that first month was
our warm up. Because now we are doing intense workouts
5 days a week. We are going to a gym twice a week
and doing P90X (an awesome DVD workout) at
my house 3-4 times a week. We meet every morning
between 6:20am-6:45am. It's amazing that by 7:30am
I've already done a hard workout and normally I'd be
barely out of bed at that time. We're on week 8 and we
are definitely into a routine. As an Olympic athlete, it was
pretty much my "job" to work out and be in shape, but
it's a lot harder when you're a mom of 3 kids and
homeschooling. I am reminded what a "team player"
I am because as long as I have somebody working
next to me, I will push myself to the limit. I'm also
reminded that it's a lot easier to get "out of shape"
than it is to get in shape! I keep saying "No pain,
No gain" but I want to see the gain soon! I know
there is a benefit, even if I don't see all of it yet.

Back to the verse at the top. Working out (physical
training) is good, but in God's perspective, it's only of
"some" value. But godliness has eternal value- and is
of utmost importance in our lives! The physical
is temporary, but knowing God is eternal. We are
reminded to make sure that we are spending time
in prayer, our Bibles, studying and living it out.
I will make sure to make that a priority, but it can
easily start to lose it's place in my priorities if I
don't make it happen. I can get "out of shape" and
it will happen in subtle ways if I don't spend time
with God. I will notice how "in shape" I'm in once
I'm tested by how I respond. I care more about my
"eternal shape" than I do my "physical shape"! How about

Kristi and me (last October)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jr. High Girls Overnight Retreat!

Yesterday I went with the Jr. High Girls Group
from Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and stayed with
them for their overnight retreat. There were
25 7th and 8th grade girls and 6 leaders (including
me). We went to Corona Del Mar State Beach
during the day for a few hours and then
headed to our destination: Newport Beach
Marriott Hotel and Spa. When we got there,
we got settled into our rooms and then headed
to the pool. Can you imagine- 25 Jr. High girls
taking over the entire pool!! It was crazy!
After swimming we showered and then had pizza
for dinner.

Each of the leaders spoke at different times
during the day and the next morning and I spoke
after dinner. The title of the Retreat was
"Being God's Princess while Staying Pure."
All the leaders did a great job in their talks.
It was so neat to see God's hand and timing
because I was able to use a bunch of the same
points and spoke again on Daniel 1:8 and being
set apart. My friend, Tanya, who came to watch
me speak on Tuesday at Calvary Chapel of Upland
was a leader and told me that the topic would
fit perfect for the retreat. If these young girls
can understand the importance of being set apart
at their age and live for God, they will make a
huge impact wherever they go. It's so exciting
to see.

I had a room with 3 girls and we had some fun
discussions about God and living for His glory.
I was one of the lucky ones because our group went to
bed at midnight! It was another great opportunity
to share God's Word with others!

Arriving at the hotel

We're so excited

Getting instructions

Starbucks- A group favorite!!

My roomies: Allie, Katherine and Ariel

Tanya and Me

Homeschooling and Notebooking

We started school this past week for homeschooling.
The first day was great and Jake was really excited
to do his work. He said, "Mom, I'm really excited
for school." By the third morning, he was complaining
and whining that he didn't want to do his work.
I'll run with the days when he is excited for
schoolwork and persevere through the hard ones.
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?!

One part of homeschooling I'm excited about is
notebooking. I went to Notebooking Pages
and printed out FREE (gotta love it!) pages
for Bible. Jake doesn't like to write a lot
but I'm hoping to ease him into more writing
by notebooking this year. He enjoyed drawing
a picture about the Bible story we read. He
knows a lot of Bible stories, so I'm hoping
this will help him to enjoy putting it down
on paper. I got the idea of notebooking from
my friend, Heather, so I have to give her the
credit. It's nice to know a lot of people who
homeschool because we all share what different
curriculum we are doing and then we decide what
fits our own kids best. I'll be doing a co-op
this year with friends for science, geography,
Bible and PE, so I'm excited for that to start!
And the fun begins. . .

Day 5 of God's Creation

Adam and Eve in the Garden

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fishing anyone?

There is a story in the Bible about fishermen
and fishing:

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee,
he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his
brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the
lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me,"
Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him."
Matthew 4:18-20

My boys have never been fishing, but that doesn't
mean they don't have any experience with "fish".

Luke found the bag of goldfish. . .

and the rest is history!

Going fishing. . .

A fisherman is allowed to eat his catch, right?!

Teaching a 2-yr-old responsibility!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calvary Chapel Upland

My friends who came to support me:
Janie, Tanya, Kristi and Kim

Speaking on Dan 1:8

Last night I spoke at Calvary Chapel of Upland.
I spoke at their Women's Heart to Heart Study
on Daniel 1:8 : "But Daniel purposed (resolved)
in his heart that he would not defile himself."

The theme was about being set apart. The Bible
tells us in Psalm 4:3 to "know that the Lord has
set apart the godly for Himself." So those who
are godly are already set apart, but then we have
a choice to stay set apart. The key to living
a life for God and not defiling ourselves is in
1 Pet 3:15: "But in your hearts, set apart Christ
as Lord." That is what Daniel did- he made the
choice to honor God even when it was hard and went
against the king's ways. We learn about Daniel's
heart in his prayer in Daniel 2. Daniel praised
and worshipped God and he also came before God with
requests believing that God was going to answer
and come through. That is the God I know! The God
who listens and will answer and take care of our
needs. Instead of looking at what we shouldn't
do, we should desire to be close to God. The closer
to God we become, we will have the resolve that it
takes to not defile ourselves in any way (speech,
the way we dress, gossip, anger, impurity in
relationships, etc.).

Put your name in this verse (Dan 1:8) and make that
your goal: But ____________ purposed/resolved/was
determined in her/his heart NOT to defile herself/himself.
Remember, you "can do ALL things through Christ Jesus who
strengthens you." Phil 4:13

Jaime Grasmick is Pastor Randy Walls' daughter
and is pregnant with her 3rd boy! We will have
a lot to talk about!

Jeannette Walls is such a blessing!

Monday, August 24, 2009

JCTV Show "Top 3" Airing this week

The show I was interviewd on (Top 3) is airing this week.

The days and times (pst) are:
Monday: 1:00am, 3:30 pm, 7:00pm Wednesday: 7:00pm
Friday: 12:00am, 7:00pm Saturday: 9:00pm
Sunday: 12:00am

If you do not have JCTV on your TV, remember you
can always watch JCTV 24/7 at But
you must watch it on the day and time the
program is scheduled to air.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And let us not grow weary. . .

I'm tired- physically and mentally and emotionally. Do you ever
feel just tired, like you need a break from everything! I feel like
God has put the desire in my heart to be an encourager. It's
one thing to encourage my teammates to be their best or to
encourage my friends who are going through a tough time or
even to encourage others to fight the good fight of faith
and finish this race strong. But I am a little tired in this race
right now. I feel like I'm winded and I just need a little rest.
I have found that I can be an encouragement to others who
have kids, but not for the reasons you might think. I'm not
the one who will tell you how to get all your kids to act perfect
in public and to get them to never ask for a toy when you go
to the store. I'm an encourager in a different kind of way.
My kids don't follow the books- they challenge me at every
turn and I'm getting tired. When you are around me and
my kids, you will either be encouraged because 1. you will
think, "wow, I really don't have it THAT bad" or "maybe
I am a good mom after all" or 2. you will think, "OK, I'm
not alone! There is somebody else who has kids just as
crazy as mine"! Either way, you'll be encouraged.

A little story about my day today. I took my sons, Jake (8)
and Drew (3), to church today and when I went to drop
Drew off at his class, he started crying saying he didn't
want to go. Now, he went through a year of this, kicking
and screaming and 5 min. after we leave him in the class,
he has a great time. We FINALLY had some breakthrough
a couple months ago and he was doing really well when
we dropped him off. Well, today, was not a good day.

He ran out the door and when I went to get him, he started
running even faster. So I'm walking after him and he keeps
running further away. Pretty soon he's out of sight. So
now I have to start running because he's getting closer
to the parking lot. I do not like to be late, but today I was
and I'm glad I was because only a handful of people saw
a lady in a sun dress running after a little kid. I yelled
to a lady- "can you grab him?" but my athletic kid pulled
a football move and ran right around her. At this point
I wanted to pull my own football move and tackle this kid-

When I finally caught up to him, he had run probably
200 yards! The one positive of all of this is that Drew
is really fast! I pulled him kicking and screaming to
his room again and when he ran out the door again, I
wanted to lose it. But I didn't, thank goodness. So, he
ended up in the service with me and didn't say a word.
I think he knew how much trouble he was in when we
got home!

This is the verse I will cling to today:

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in
due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

**I do think it's interesting that I'm speaking on
Tuesday night at a Woman's Bible study on Daniel 1:8
and having "resolve".

This is the dress I was wearing: can't you
just picture me running in that??!!

Food, Fellowship and Fun. . .at the Beach

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit
of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more
as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

We went to Hungtington Beach this weekend with friends
from church, Bible study and homeschooling. We had some
good family time with kids running around and playing with
lots of friends. We grilled hot dogs and had a makeshift
pit where we roasted marshmallows and had smores. Lots
of yummy food and fun time fellowshipping with friends!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Got Milk? or Got Food?

"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain
because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this
time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach
you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.
You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk,
being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching
about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who
by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good
from evil." Hebrews 5:11-14

The writer of Hebrews was telling the Christians about
Jesus and how He cried out to God and his prayers
were heard. He talks about how Jesus is God's son
and that through his suffering, He learned obedience.
Through being perfected He became the author of eternal
salvation to all who obey Him. Then they went on to
say to the Christians, that this is hard to explain
because you are slow to learn. Although by now,
they should have learned a lot, they still needed
to be taught on the basics. The Bible tells us to
"grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ." We need to learn for many
different reasons. One reason is so our foundation
is solid and we can build our knowledge of who God
really is. We also don't want to be deceived by
people who could lead us astray. Third, all the
answers to life are in the Bible. We want to live
a victorious life and that can only be found by
learning God's Word and allowing God to do the
work in our lives.

Just like for a newborn baby, milk is very important
to us. We start out slow, but we all should have the
desire to grow and become mature. It's exciting when
our little ones start to eat "real" food, but it takes
some time learning to chew and swallow the food. It
helps them to grow stronger and that is what learning
God's Word is all about. It teaches us, speaks to
us and shows us how to become mature in our lives
for God. We become stronger in our faith and begin
to understand God's truth in new and exciting ways.

How do we do this? By opening our Bibles and reading
God's Word. Also, you can ask those around us who know
their Bibles and live it out any questions you might have.
Another way is by going to a Bible teaching church. I promise
you, if you feel like you are still on milk, but desire "solid
food", God will reveal His truth to you. Be obedient
by opening your Bible and pray for God to show you
something new. God will show up- He always does for
those who desire Him. If you don't have a Bible, go
to Blue Letter Bible and you can find
out anything you want to know about the Bible.

Feast on God's Word and you will be filled more than you
thought possible!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Terrible Twooooth(s)!

I just got back from taking Luke to the dentist
to check out his two front teeth and somehow I'm
still smiling. Maybe it's because I can't believe
it or maybe it's because I'm just going to trust
the Lord to work everything out. Luke's tooth
turned brown as I mentioned two posts ago, a couple
weeks after falling and hitting his mouth on the
edge of a trampoline. Well, now I found out, he
actually hit both teeth and they are cracked all
over. They took x-rays and showed me that there
has been trauma to his teeth underneath his gums,
and if I don't get them fixed, it can cause problems
to his adult teeth.

So, the solution is pulling out his two front teeth
and putting in fake teeth. It's crazy- he's 2 yrs.
old, not 82 yrs. old! So in two weeks, I have to take
him back and they have to pull his two front teeth.
Then they will make a mold and will put in two fake
teeth a couple weeks later by putting a band on his back
teeth to hold them into place. For two weeks, my baby
boy will be missing his two front teeth!

Now, all three of my boys officially have
metal in their mouths! Drew has a tooth in front of his
molar that never came down, so they put a spacer in so
the molar won't move forward. Jake has had retainers
for two years to widen his palate and also has spacers.
I may end up poor, but my kids will have great teeth!!!

Normally I would have been upset, but am just taking
it all day by day. I am thankful we have a good dentist
and believe God will provide for these extra expenses.
I'm glad it's not worse than it is. I'm thankful it's
just his teeth and not something life threatening.
I will choose to laugh instead of cry!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lessons from watching 2-yr-olds

I had to share my experiences from tonight.
Every other Wednesday night I serve in the
nursery at our church with kids ranging in
ages from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 yrs old. Sounds
like lots of fun right! Well, usually we have
anywhere from 8-17 kids. Tonight we had 15
kids and 3 helpers. It was a little hectic,
but I just had to laugh by the end of the night.

Here's what we had:
1. There was a little boy who was potty
training so we took him to the bathroom but he
didn't go, then we took him again and he went
but it got a little messy so we had to change him.
Next thing we know, 10 minutes later, we
see the ground around him all wet and sure
enough, his pants were soaked, so we changed
his outfit for the 2nd time.
2. We had to put some kind of cleaner that looks
like sawdust on the wet floor to soak it up.
Another little guy wanted to get into the stuff
so bad, but we finally pulled him away and put
a table over the spot. Right before we could
vacuum up the cleaner, the little guy crawls
under the table and takes a fist full of it
and puts it in his mouth! I make him spit it
out and wash off his hands.
3. Another little boy has wet pants but we realized
that it wasn't potty, it was #2. So I changed
him and it ended up on his shirt and our changing
pad too. What a mess- I got him cleaned up and
changed about 50 wipes later.
4. Another little boy was potty training and squirted
on his pants, but luckily it wasn't too bad.
5. Two little ones got scratched in the face, but
luckily only one left a mark!

Now, it's normally not like this. We rarely have
anything fun to talk about, but what makes me laugh
is the post that I did for today and the verses
about not being anxious! Don't you notice that as
God puts something on your heart, you find yourself
in a situation that tests you to see if you can
live out what He was showing you. I can say that
I kept my patience tonight, and that verse was true
for me! All thanks goes to God!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do Not Be Anxious!

It's raining Cheerios!!!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends
all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
Philippians 4:6-8

These are much needed verses in the Amico household.
We have lots of accidents and mishaps and whatever
else you want to call them. Some of them are
because these things just happen with little kids,
and other times, they just happen because I have boys!
But all in all, this verse is what I need to
meditate on.
Let me just give a couple examples of why I would
need to have the peace of God and think about
whatever is right and pure.
1. Within the first two weeks of getting
my long awaited new couch (because the couch
we had for 9 years showed everything and I was
constantly cleaning up every spot), and spending
a good amount of money on my nice, new couch,
my 3-yr-old fell asleep and was so tired he
couldn't wake up to go to the toilet and a
puddle was underneath him on my wonderful,
new couch.
2. A week later, my 8-yr-old didn't feel
well and after telling him over and over,
"if you feel like you're going to be sick,
you need to run to the bathroom" and "get
off the couch if you feel that sick" and after
he reassures me that it's not that bad. . .
he gets sick on the couch, and that's not
the worst part- he just had red gatorade
before this happened!
3. Right in the middle of 100 degree heat,
my car's air conditioner went out and I had
to drive for an hour with 100 degree wind
on my face as I was dripping with sweat!
We got that taken care of a couple thousand
of dollars later.
4. Anyone who has seen the videos on my
blog from our car rides can understand
why I would need God's help to "not be
5. My 2-yr-old loves to pull apart
anything and everything and leave a
trail like a tornado has hit every
room in this house.
6. My 2-yr-old was jumping on a trampoline
and fell and hit the metal rim and two weeks
later his front tooth turned brown and is dead!
Thank goodness for adult teeth!
7. The list could go on and on!

Some pictures to show some of our fun. . .

Uh-oh: "My oatmeal dropped!"

"All of it!"

The "5 second rule" turned into 500 seconds. . .
besides, he's a boy, right!

Frosted Mini Wheats anyone?

While I painted Luke's room, he decided to
raid the pantry!

The verses I put above are so good because not only do
they tell us "not to be anxious" but they show us that
through prayer and thanksgiving, we can "change our
minds" and start to think about what matters most.
It's so true- when I step back and take myself out
of the situation, it's just a couch, it's just a
problem with the car, it's just a chair with oatmeal
on it. What I am thankful for is beautiful, healthy
children who made the mess, and money to buy a couch
and that I can pay for air conditioning, and the fact
that my sons have toys to play with. I am blessed
beyond measure. So when I get irritated or annoyed
or frustrated, I will think to these verses!
Instead of being anxious, I will ask God to help
me to be thankful and to think of all that is praiseworthy!

This tastes sooo good! I'm saving some for later!

I'm making something sweet for mommy and daddy. All
it takes is some powdered sugar.

They caught me before I could finish!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Softball and More

I love the sport of softball! I was given a talent to
play the game from God, but really believe it was the passion
inside to be my very best and my love for the game that made
the difference in getting me to the top level in my sport.
That and of course the fact that it was all part of God's
plan for my life!!
Softball was so much more than a game to me- it was a
place where lifelong friendships were made! Although
I no longer play softball, the sport continues to give
back to me! I want to highlight two young softball players
who I am so impressed with. It's one thing to have talent,
and it's another to be a positive influence to those around
you. It's something special to stand for what is right
and be respected by so many. These two young ladies are
making a difference and are living lives full of purpose.

The first one is Chloe Contreras:

I met Chloe when she was 9-years-old and I gave her hitting lessons.
After getting to know the family, I became Chloe's godmother.
As I have watched Chloe over the years, I have been most
impressed by her conviction to stand up for what she
believes in. She refuses to be a follower and yet loves
those who are all around her. She has made the right
choices, even when it's been hard! She is choosing to
honor God and I am so proud of her. She even has this
verse on the back of her letterman's jacket: "I Love
You, O Lord, My Strength. . Psalm 18:1". I know God is going
to do big things through Chloe! He already has. Chloe
was given a 3% chance to live when she was born and her
mother was told to say goodbye to her. God had different
plans and Chloe's life is a miracle. This is what she has
written on her facebook page:
"Hey I am the girl that hates to cry, but loves to laugh.
I am a Christian. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I
play softball and I have been to Italy and Australia with
my International Team. I am very blessed and grateful for
these opportunities." Chloe Contreras

Chloe- I am so proud of you!!!

The other girl I want to talk about is Kassy Shiotani.

I just met Kassy today. I was asked to be on a board to
vote for scholarship winners for So. Cal ASA. I reviewed
about 40 applicants and was asked to pick my top 5. The
scholarship money is given to athletes who excel on the
field and also in the classroom and who give back to their
communities. Many of these young ladies were so impressive
and are making a difference. But Kassy really stood out to
me as I read Letters of Recommendation on her behalf that
were sent in. Kassy will be attending Harvard this year
and competing on the softball team. Kassy had a GPA of 4.36
and was ranked #2 in her class out of 668 students. Pretty
impressive! But more impressive is a story that her HS
counselor shared. Here's what was shared:

"Kassy was nominated for Homecoming Queen. As part of this
honor, Kassy was asked to select a member of the faculty to
escort her during the introduction portion of the ceremony.
Most students chose their favorite, or the most popular
teachers, administrators or coaches. I was deeply touched
when I learned that Kassy asked our lead custodian to escort
her. They are great friends because she has taken the time
to get to know Darrel. From Kassy, you can expect the
unexpected as she stays true to her convictions and is not
afraid to take the road less traveled."

Even Kassy's travel ball coach wrote that "whether she (Kassy)
knew it or not at the time, she was able to help guide me in
a positive direction when I was searching for some answers
in my life. Kassy became more than a player and became a
mentor as she welcomed me into her spiritual family and
brought me closer to God. . .a gift that I can never repay."

Kassy herself wrote, "I am so thankful for the opportunities
that God has blessed me with and the doors he has opened for
me". This is a young lady who is confident in her faith
in God. She is a positive influence to all those around
her. I am so excited for what God has for her!

We will ALL make a difference if we choose to live a
life that honors God.

A Week and a Half in Review!

Time flies when you're having fun! And time has been
flying!!! We have been busy enjoying our summer and
here are a few pictures of the past week and a half;
which included 2 beach days, 4 days at the pool,
2 Birthday parties, a girls night out and sleepover,
a dentist appt., guitar lessons, Bible study, a
homeschool conference, 6:45am workouts each morning,
a soccer game, lunch with my goddaughter, church,
a Softball Awards Banquet and a trip to Harvest
Crusade at Anaheim Stadium!!! Wow!!!

Me, my sister, Amy, at Harvest Crusade

People going forward to give their lives to Christ

Softball Scholarship Winners (ASA Luncheon)

Girls from Bible study (dinner and a night with the girls)

Luke buried in sand at the beach


Hanging out with friends

Lunch with Chloe (my goddaughter)- she's heading to college at
Canisius to play softball!

Beach with cousins

Celebrating my nephew's 14th B-day at the beach
Happy Birthday Justin!!!

The water park in Ladera Ranch- the boys LOVED it!
Jake with his big cousin, Justin
Cousins: Tristan (1) and Luke (2)