Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

We are home safely from California and today I am cleaning and preparing for our party tonight. You are all invited if you didn't know before. We hope to see you here!

The fun starts at 6 pm or thereabouts...

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Eve Party

First of all, though I'm only supposed to talk about our party, Yosemite was AWESOME. It was so beautiful. There was snow in the valley and despite our woefully inadequate clothing it was still so great.

Also we are having a New Year's Eve Party on New Year's Eve. Everyone is invited. Please come. Kids are welcome.

6 pm on.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Napa Valley

We went to Napa Valley on Friday. It was pretty fun. I was the designated driver and we went to three wineries and had a yummy lunch at a cute little restaurant in Napa. According to those who were tasting, Alpha Omega winery seemed to have the best wines.

Yesterday we had extended family over for a late lunch. I got to see cousins all grown up and aunts and uncles who though they hadn't changed much still seemed to be somewhat different. Some of them stayed to play board games and that was fun.

Today Joel and the kids and I are going to Yosemite. It should be a good time. We are staying one night and then the California trip will be basically over. It's been too short.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Apron

I think my favourite present this year was a beautiful apron from my sister.
Thanks Grace!
I'm sitting here with all my family and that is really the best gift. I could have received nothing and still been happy.

Fajitas for lunch... Mmmm.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Legos and Games

The last couple of days we have been relaxing. Emlyn and Denali found my brother and sister's legos and have been playing with them almost non-stop (why don't they do that at my house?). We also played "Lego Creator" game which is a lot of fun although Denali's a little young for it.

I messed up when buying someone's present and what I thought was a good deal is turning out to be a good deal all right. Of trouble. I don't know whether it will end up working out or not.

EDIT: my VERY SMART sister figured it out and the present is now in working condition. She is so great.

Tonight we are staying at Grace's house and Joel will be arriving to spend the rest of the trip with us. I have really missed him.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caroling, Cleaning

Yesterday was lots of caroling. We sang at one nursing home, took a break at church, and then sang at a few more homes. At one point we were at the house of a 93 year old lady who had made cookies and cut up fruit for us. She had beautiful paintings all over her walls that she had painted. She gave all the little kids a toy from her living room. We were to arrive at 6:30, and when we drove up at 6:30 she was already standing on the porch in the cold waiting for us.

We ended the night at another home, this time of a 100 year old lady. She, too, had made lots of cookies and a batch of crockpot hot chocolate. She was very gracious and refused to let anyone clean up for her.

This morning we declared a "rest day," meaning we wouldn't do so much out of the house. I helped my mom tackle the dining room/office where there were some things to be given away and sold. Much of the day was spent craigslisting and cleaning.

Tonight my parents are caroling again and I am at Grace's house with my sisters and my kids. It was so sweet to hug my kids after being away from them all day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Basin

Yesterday even though we were pretty tired from flying till all hours of the night, we decided to go to Big Basin and see the redwoods. It's a smaller park for redwood trees but it was a shorter drive than Big Sur, which is THE PLACE to see giant coastal redwood trees.

I looked at Google Maps and got a general idea of where we were going and then we jumped in the car and started depending on the GPS. Bad idea. We made many wrong turns and got delayed. We finally arrived and it was well worth the bad traffic and wrong turns.

Coastal redwoods are enormous. The biggest ones at Big Basin were 66 feet in circumference and 16 feet in diameter. They are so tall (329 feet) and beautiful, and the whole forest smells heavenly. I could have stayed there for days (in fact it would be nice to live in Los Gatos which is right there) but we had to get back on the road after a short hike because one of our party had to be back in Concord for the evening. The kids enjoyed climbing into the trees where previous forest fires had burnt out the bottom of live trees, and I enjoyed the smell and beauty. It was a long day and the kids were tired but I wouldn't mind going back again today. :)

Then I left the kids with my parents and went to stay at Grace's house for the night. We rounded out the evening with a trip to Target.

Oh and Jet Blue wins the prize for great air travel. Yummy snacks, live TV, and so much legroom I didn't know what to do with myself.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Year's Eve Party

Every year we host a New Year's eve party at our house, and most people have a good time. Everyone is invited, climbingbuddies, work budies, church buddies, random guy you met on the street buddies.
Hot tub will be hot
Climbing wall will be climbed, BYOS (Bring Your Own Shoes)
Party games will be played
Table games will be on tables
Watch the ball drop in High-Def
Food will be delicious
Alcohol, including the famous Schopp Margaritas
Non-alcohol for the tea-totalers
Fire in the fireplace
Come as early as 6pm, stay as late as you like. Feel free to come and go for the party hoppers, early to bed, late to rise, or non-committal.
RSVP encouraged but not required.
Come empty handed, we'll have stuff, or if you feel like bringing something then food, drinks, and games are always welcome.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Today's (Second) Tip

When making chicken stock it is not a good idea to add habanero peppers unless you like really spicy chicken stock. And we don't.

Ack!

Someone forgot to tell me it would get down to 35 degrees today. It was 79 yesterday, and we had the air conditioning on. Then last night it got down to 58 degrees in our house because the a/c was still on.

At any rate we woke up to 35 degree temps. Brr!

Today I am packing and doing laundry and cleaning the office.

Today's Tip: Don't wash a pull-up in the washing machine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weird Dreams

Last night I was sleeping with one of my arms straight out from my body. I kept dreaming that I was loading or unloading the dishwasher. Eventually I had to move my arm so that I would dream something that wasn't dishwasher...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Beauty

I know I have been scarce; in addition to all the holiday craziness my computer broke and I am limited to time in the evenings on Joel's work laptop or checking my email at Emlyn's school. The school filters don't allow most networking websites like this one.

This evening we went to a holiday bazaar downtown. I was expecting to see something like a craft fair, with a lot of quilts, shabby-chic dolls, and Texas stars. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to see beautiful high-end artsy things that were right up my alley.

I think I could easily have spent $43000 if I had it. The art was so beautiful and colorful. I saw beauty in wood, ceramics, pottery, cloth, and the list goes on. I was inspired and awe-stricken. I wandered around just staring at the beauty and wishing that I were that good of an artist.

I kind of think of it as filling up my creativity gauge. After an hour there I felt like I could create anything with just a little training and time. I would go to a mosaics booth and imagine making a mosaics creation. I would go to a silk-cloth booth and imagine standing in my backyard, dying silk with a friend and then combing beautiful designs on it.

I did not buy anything. Overall things were out of our price range and we have already completed our Christmas shopping. But I got business cards from some artists, and now I can dream about mosaics classes or painting or weaving my own hammock. Or something simple, like sewing.

I've started sewing on commission. I think my only client so far has been satisfied with the turnout. I made her 5 stockings and a tree skirt, and then I made her two dresses for her little girls and an applique on a shirt for her little boy. After the holidays I will be taking more orders. I think for the beginning I will start with people's specific orders and then later I will branch out. Now that Joel's mom is in town we may start an Etsy store and sell both of our creations on there.

I'm tired but glad we went to the bazaar. Catch you later.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Peace

The sewing project is finished.

The house is (relatively) clean. Very few traces of our Mexico trip remain.

The garage sale went (fairly) well. Many people made a lot of money. We have a lot left over to give to those in need.

This next week promises to be more peaceful. I have a few small things, like Christmas cards, another sewing project, and crafts with the kids, but I think it will def. be more joyful.

Looking forward to a relaxing day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Good Morning!

We are back from Mexico. It was a lovely trip and I'm so thankful for the friends we saw there. I am also thankful for carpet, hot water, and central heating. And my lovely washer.

This week is continuing my regular schedule of hecticness. I am hosting a garage sale on Saturday (if you want to sell your stuff, let me know), sewing a project for a friend, and trying to clean my house from my trip. I might just be insane. Not really sure.

This is all leading up to our Christmas in California trip which will start on Dec. 17. So we have a lot to accomplish in a short time, without forgetting the true focus of this season, Jesus Christ.

I hope that your Thanksgiving was lovely and that your Christmas will be as well. I may be hard to find around here...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mexico One Day Away

Well I don't function well when I'm not under pressure, so I didn't get as much done at the beginning of the week as I'd hoped. Today I still have a lot of things to do, but if I just get in gear we'll be fine.

Some of the errands I'll be doing are library, Dollar store, and HEB. Still have to clean (don't like to come home to dirty clothes or house) and pack kind of a lot of stuff. But I have faith that it will all get done...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Countdown to Mexico

Today is the day to go to the Mexican Consulate downtown and get our official documents for our annual Thanksgiving trip to Mexico. It's easier to get them here than at the border.

Tomorrow is packing camping supplies and sewing.

Thursday is pie-making and packing clothes.

Friday is packing food and last-minute errands.

Saturday we leave for the week.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Apron Winner

We have a winner. Thanks everyone for playing- maybe sometime soon I will do another apron giveaway. It was fun!

I had 20 entries and used a random number generator to find the winner. That was number 9.

I went over to the comments and found that this entry was number 9:

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

LOL Can I first say I *LOVE* your blog title! LOL Too funny!

And, since your hubby works for "The Man", does that make him the yuppy and you the hippy? *wink*

Anyway, looking for a way to expand my apron collection and I would love to do it with yours! Count me in!

God's blessings!

So Beth/Mom2TwoVikings, you win! Which apron will you choose?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Climbing

Today I got to go climbing with Joel, without kids. It was lovely.

It's cold.

My apron giveaway ends tomorrow. Enter now if you haven't already.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apron Giveaway! Enter Now!



Everyone knows that my goal in life is to be like Amy, so I am hosting an apron giveaway just like her.

I took a skirt and made it into two aprons. The winner gets to pick one.

They are mostly the same except one has a pocket and the other has the lace coming up to the top.

The way to enter is to leave a comment. Contest open until Sunday, November 16.

EDIT: The winner will be chosen through a random number generator.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Apron Model

Here's pictures of my apron modeling.

I didn't win an apron but whatever.


And we are back from camping. It was dusty and fun and COLD at night. We are all tired and most of us are now clean and sunburned...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

CA Trip!

Just bought plane tickets for our trip to CA for Christmas. I'm pretty excited about this.

Also we are going to Mexico again for Thanksgiving.

Also we are going camping this weekend.

Also I would like to fit in a trip to Abilene to see Ruth, and a trip to Arkansas to meet Shannon's new baby. Can I do that before the New Year? I don't think so.

Also I am hosting a New Year's Party at my house again.

Ack!

Rock Climbing Party

Last week we hosted a rock climbing party at our house. About 20 people showed up to have a good time.

People climbed on our rock wall, washed their climbing ropes, went in the hot tub, ate pizza, and watched climbing movies. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad we got to host. Of course I was pretty tired by the end of the party, but it was fun anyway.


The ropes were washed with woolite, then placed on the tarp, then rinsed, then hung on the fence. We washed about 10 ropes.



Here they all are on the fence.


The hot tub was very popular. I think we got almost 8 people in there at one point.


The climbing videos were also very popular, although the most popular was the rock wall which I didn't get any pictures of. A couple people "topped out," which means they went to the very last hold on the ceiling before jumping off.

Emlyn as Heidi

Emlyn (Heidi) and Mrs. B, the librarian.
Emlyn's school had a contest today where kids were to dress as a storybook character. This morning we threw together a Heidi costume with a vintage dress that Grace and Ruth once wore, braids in her hair, and I made an apron from some scrap fabric.

And she won the first grade level! She and I were so excited. Maybe overly so, but she just looked so cute. And there was a bonus- she won three hardback picture books that are just so sweet. I think she makes an excellent Heidi.

The picture books she won are: "If Big Can, I Can," "Cuddle," and "That's When I'm Happy." They have very sweet pictures and stories.

Firefighters



Grandma Linda made firefighter costumes for the kids, so we went down to the firestation to show off their costumes. The kids got to go in the firetruck. They thought it was great.

Then we posed in front of it with a firefighter...


And Denali got to practice "driving."


Thanks for the costumes! They're great!

Halloween Pictures

Emlyn's friend Anaya wore this beautiful outfit for Halloween.


The ninja is Ian, the Spiderman is Denali, then there's Indiana Jones, Emlyn is "Monster My-me" (a box monster), and Mackenzie is a Fairy Princess


Amy and I are 1950s cheerleaders. I made the costumes myself.


Denali is Spiderman with a special spider candy box.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kids' Election Revisited

After all the votes have been tallied, the winner is...

Some of the issues the kids were concerned about were the park, the staying up late, and the candy. No one seemed to care much about color...

Mrs. Smith won 7 to 1. The major issue was candy.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Doing my Civic Duty

Today I had the honor of driving a very sweet lady to the polls. She's not someone who drives normally, and her polling location was just quite a ways away from her house. So I went to her home, picked up her and her children, and drove. It was such an honor. The children were angels, asking so many complicated and mature questions about elections and about our duties as citizens of these great United States. They eagerly waited in line with her and were so proud to get their "I Voted" sticker.

This woman's story is heartwarming. She only thinks of her family first, always making her home a better place to be, homeschooling her little angels, and wearing beautiful aprons that only reflect the beauty that is inside her.

I was a little concerned about her mental acuity when she mumbled something about choosing Gore, but maybe she was just a little confused about which year it is.

At any rate we journeyed over to Chick Fil A afterwards to get our free peppermint chocolate milkshakes and pay a lot of money for lunch. All of our little angel children went to play on the playscape strangely populated with very tall children while we discussed life, religion, and politics.

It was such a lovely day and so nice to know that I can go to sleep tonight knowing that I did my duty as an American citizen.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election for Kids

I was reading some stuff online the other day about schools having kids vote in the presidential election. The part that disturbed me the most about having young children vote is that they have no way of comprehending the issues because they're so young. So I thought of having a mock election with issues that the kids can relate to, and showing them that probably you won't agree with every issue and will have to make a hard choice and compromise sometimes. Here's what I came up with- maybe all our kids could vote tomorrow on this one and we can see how it all works. Whoever wants to participate is welcome. Here are the two candidates:

Mrs. Smith
Allows 2 pieces of candy after every meal
Makes children go to sleep at 7:30 pm every night
Favorite color is pink
Makes you clean your room every day
Takes children to the park every day


Mrs. Clark
Never allows candy in the house
Lets children stay up as late as they want to
Favorite color is blue
Lets children make messes and rarely clean up
Doesn't take children to the park very often at all


The way to participate is simple: have your kids each decide on a candidate and vote by Tuesday evening. We'll tally the votes. Hopefully this can help you explain to your children about elections and candidates without confusing them with grownup issues.

Win an Apron!

Amy over at ericswife.com is hosting an apron giveaway to celebrate the opening of her neighbor's etsy store. Go on over, leave a comment, and then on Saturday visit again to see who won and to see my modeling debut on the etsy site.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Thanks to Joel

I had a really hard, busy day yesterday culminating in a big mess in the kitchen. I asked Joel to clean up a little bit before bed, and he unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. It was so nice to have it more clean than I knew it had been. Thanks Joel!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just saw these song lyrics on my sister Ruth's Facebook "Notes". Never knew about "Notes" until yesterday, but whatever. They are strong words about the power of the Bible. The Bible has the answer to your problems. The Gospel is there.

"The Word" by Sara Groves

I've done every devotional
Been every place emotional
Trying to hear a new word from God
And I think it's very odd,
that while I attempt to help myself
My Bible sits upon my shelf
With every promise
I could ever need
Chorus:
And the Word was
And the Word is
And the Word will be
The old Word is the new Word is
The old Word is the new Word is...
People are getting fit for Truth
Like they're buying a new tailored suit
Does it fit across the shoulders
Does it fade when it gets older
We throw ideas that aren't in style
In the Salvation Army pile
And search for something more to meet our needs
Bridge:
I think it's time I rediscover
All the ground that I have covered, like
Seek Ye first what a verse
We are pressed but not crushed,
perplexed but don't despair.
We are persecuted but not abandoned
We are no longer slaves
we are daughters and sons,
and when we are weak
we are very strong
And neither death nor life
nor present nor future
nor depth nor height
can keep us from the love of Christ
And the Word I need
is the Word that was
who put on flesh to dwell with us.
In the beginning....



Right along with that I had a great conversation with Amy today and we came up with a new mission statement that accurately describes my ministry.


Having heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is my intent to reflect His glory and to honor His sacrifice of death on a cross. I do this by helping my brothers in need with great joy, in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Banana Peanut-butter Sandwiches

Denali bows, Emlyn curtsies

This whole week I've been out with a sinus infection. I finally had to go to the doctor and get drugs, which have really helped. I'm starting to feel normal again and even was able to go help someone else today. That made me feel good.

My house really needs a good scrubbing though. Maybe I will have energy during the weekend to work on it.

Tonight I got home at 6:30 and had to scramble for the kids' dinner. I had chicken noodle soup from Costco (SO GOOD) but they won't eat that, so I peered around and found that they had never had peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwiches. I made them on hamburger buns cause I was out of bread. They went over pretty well- the kids liked them but didn't seem hungry and wanted to fool around instead. Maybe they would be more enthusiastic about them if they were really hungry.

I'm NOT turning on the TV for the kids tonight. They are going to play for another half hour and then it's bed. Hooray!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hallway Closet Finally Organized

Last night Joel and I were discussing how frustrating some of our closets were. Joel's closet had photos in addition to all his clothes and he really wanted the photos out and the climbing gear in from the garage. I have always been frustrated with the hall closet because it is so big and yet was totally under-utilized.

So we set a budget and I bought some shelves from Target- all of those cubes you see cost $50 in all. I painted two walls with some leftover paint. Then we moved all the photos onto the high shelves that were original to the closet. They are at the top of this photo.

Below the photos are part of the new shelves. We've got kid and adult games, hats, bags, and boots, lock box and Easter storage.




This wall didn't change- still holds all our shoes and there are three hooks- one for mommy, one for Emmy (backpack and coat), and one for Denali.



The exciting thing in this picture is all of the clear floor space.



Here is an odd space that is under the stairs. It's quite a deep shelf and the roof is slanted so it's hard to use well. I've got 4 cubes here now holding sports equipment, umbrellas, swimming gear, and sewing stuff. In front of the cubes are my sewing box and my current sewing project.

Joel's closet is going to be more happy as well! We're excited with the change, and all it took was $50 and an evening.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Birds

We have a birds' nest in the roof of our screened porch. Most of the time the birds go outside when they leave the nest, but every once in a while they accidentally take the back exit from the nest, which leads into the porch. Then we have a real trial trying to get the bird out.

Me: Bird, it's time to go outside. Look at the door- it's open.
Bird: Ack! Ack! I'm frantically flying around!
Me: Bird, if you would just calm down I can show you the door.
Bird: I am compelled to fly back and forth and hit the screen with my beak!
Me: You are very silly. You are ruining my screen and you might hurt yourself.
Bird: Look! I'm all worn out! I'm here at the top of the screen, perched on the roof, and panting with my little bird beak!
Me: I guess I will try the feather duster trick to get you out. Stay still. Don't fly off.
Bird: Ack! Ack! Don't come near me! I'm frantically flying around!
(Repeat ad nauseum)


Note: The feather duster trick consists of gently covering the bird with a feather duster or towel. Then the bird can't see and calms down. You then pick it up, through the duster, and carry it outside. It only works if you can catch it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Relaxing Weekend

Just had to take this silhouette picture of Denali. So sweet.


A lego tower that almost reaches the kitchen ceiling, and a pirate pillow.


Amy and her family at the carnival.


Now that I have convinced Denali that he is very handsome in his suit coats, he really enjoys putting outfits together. I was amazed to see this old-school pilot look.


Who could resist this smile?


This morning I called in sick and skipped church. I was well enough to clean my house so that's good. I'm slowly getting better from these allergies and hope to be back in fine form soon. Right now the main thing is I sound really stupid when I talk and I get tired more easily (didn't know that was possible!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Final Scriptures on the Car

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11


Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12


Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10




After a couple of years I have finally filled all of the panels on the car with scripture.

They aren't perfect but then I'm not perfect either so that's okay.

Here are the other three entries with the other scriptures on them. I guess I should have taken some that gave you the full effect of the entire car, but I didn't. Sorry.

http://princessbride42.blogspot.com/2007/09/more-scriptures-on-car.html

http://princessbride42.blogspot.com/2006/12/art-car-revisited.html

http://princessbride42.blogspot.com/2006/10/finally-done.html

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More ehow articles

This afternoon I finished a few more articles over on ehow:

How to Make a Patchwork Skirt
and
How to Paint Words on Your Car
and
How to Take the Candy out of Halloween

Go on over and have a look!

Happy Birthday to Amy!

Amy's birthday is today. Go over to her blog and tell her happy birthday.




I'm calling in sick today. My throat feels horrible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No New York After All

Well it turns out there's some sort of economic crisis going on right now... ?

So the business trip that I was tagging along with has been canceled.

So we canceled my ticket too (no free hotel, no free rental car) and put the money towards a future ticket to the Bay Area.

But my house got cleaned and now I get to relax here this week!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who knew I was a model?





Today I got to be a model. Press release for when the advertisement will debut is forthcoming.

Hint: it involves aprons...

Friday, October 10, 2008

I am THE BOMB

No, that is not a KKK hat. It is a UNICORN hat. Duh.


All by myself, I got Joel's old cargo rack for his bike and installed it on my bike.

All by myself, I installed Joel's old bike panniers onto my bike.

All by myself, I installed my new headlight and brakelight.

I am ready for an excursion!

(Plus I saved us $30)

Errands!



REI- pick up shirt
InStep- drop off shoes
Sally Beauty- use coupon, buy hair product
Great Harvest- use coupon, buy bread
Costco- buy yams, liners, soymilk
Bank- deposit check
Library- return and borrow books
SuperTarget- use gift card on silly things

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Tale of Two Churches

This week I went to two outreach festivals put on by churches. I came away with two very different feelings and impressions.

The first one was full of entertainment. There was a teacups ride, inflatables, petting zoo, popcorn, cotton candy, and many other things for the kids. The only catch was that all of it cost money. You could pay a flat rate for a wristband or by the ticket. Attractions ranged in cost from $.50 to $3.00. And for the adults, if there wasn't enough to spend money on, there was a live auction, a silent auction, a bake sale, a food court, and a craft fair. I looked at the eyes of the women there, helping, and I saw tiredness. I knew these women had put many many hours into the function, and they were working very hard to make sure that this went off smoothly. They looked a little frantic to me.

The kids had fun. We came home hot, tired, and $60 poorer.

The second one was a small function. The church had made a recreation of a Jewish village from Bible times. There were plywood "buildings" and stalls. When you arrived your children could put on "authentic" costumes (pillowcases sewn into tunics). They got a bag of "coins" and could go around to the stalls and buy whatever they wanted to and keep it all. There was a tax collector, a potter, a carpenter, a candle maker, a baker who sold bread, a fruit stall, and various other small craft stands. There were two goats to pet. The main attractions were the two plays put on. The first was the story of how Samuel was called to be a prophet of God and the second was the story of Naaman's healing. The acting was first rate and though the main actors had wireless mikes, the props and costumes were very simple and handmade. Think old bedsheets and plywood. It was completely free. At no time was I asked to pay a dime. Everyone, even the people in charge, was very relaxed and friendly. They talked to us and kindly helped the children make their choices. They spoke of how they had used the talents God had given them to make the things they were offering.

The kids came away with very excited tales of how they had actually been able to buy their own things! Emlyn loved the tax collector.

The extreme juxtaposition made me think about what our goals as a church are. If a church is truly there to be a light in the dark, why are they trying to raise so much money and why are they trying to be so much like a regular secular carnival? I knew I was at a church for the first festival but because of so much cost I felt the same way I feel after a day at Six Flags. You know "I can't believe I just paid a dollar for a water." "Oh look. Another place to spend my money."

When I left the second church all I could think of was the simplicity. Yes. It was different from our culture. There were no bright colors and there were no loud music productions. But I felt more inclined to come back to that church than I have in a long time. It felt like home. It felt like a place that would welcome me and take whatever paltry talents I might have, and use them for God's glory. And my kids did not once ask for cotton candy, or why they couldn't have their face painted, or ask why they had to sit for twenty minutes and watch a play. They were so excited.

Do we really have to spend thousands of dollars and buy the latest technologies and play the latest songs in order to be a witness? Let me tell you, the one I will be visiting is not the fancy one. Even though it's only 10 minutes away and the second one is 40.

That's my food for thought today.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Did I Mention...

I'm going to NEW YORK!


Joel's got a business trip and for the first time I get to come along! While he works I will be wandering around New York all by myself.


Do you have any tips for me? Any places I should or should not go? Any subway tips?


I'm really looking forward to the trip, and the kids will be glad to see Grandma...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

RAIN!

Last night we finally got rain for the first time in a couple of months. It was so lovely to hear, even though it woke us up at 2 am and Emlyn had to come down to sleep with us.



Today she is still sick- I'm hoping one more day of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will cure her.



Yesterday I finished five projects that were little but taking up a lot of clutter.



This morning due to an early conference call for Joel I got to go to the grocery store ALL BY MYSELF. I wasn't able to linger but still. And I found four coupons that went with what I needed to buy.



Then I got to go outside and garden. For the first time in months I was motivated because of the temperature and the rain. Now I'm going to go buy supplies.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Morning Depression

This morning I have not much to look forward to.

I know I am supposed to be focused on God, but I find it hard to do that when my house is messy and I have some small minor emergencies to take care of.

I need a shot in the arm. Do they do God shots?

Maybe that's called the Bible. Maybe I could do that...

Blah

6:35 am

That is the time my children came downstairs this morning.


7:01 am:


The time my children came downstairs the second time.


7:16 am:


The time my son tried to carry two 5 pound weights in his basket. They are too heavy for him.



7:17 am:


They are now doing math.


Isn't it too early for math?


And weights?


And being up?


Do you think I can go back to sleep on the couch?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Emlyn

Today Emlyn woke up snuffly. She was a little snuffly yesterday too. I'm calling it allergies, but any time she's under the weather during the school year we take it really easy so she can be as calm as possible and get better.


Therefore I think she will be staying home from church and watching more Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She's wearing big girl pajamas- oversized shirt and flannel pants rather than a cute Dora nightgown. When did she get so big?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Very Sad Day

Today was the end of an era.


An age of innocence closed.



No longer will we be carefree.



Emlyn and Denali discovered the power windows in the car.



Yes,
for 6 years I have been the official controller of the windows. They would ask oh so sweetly if I would roll the windows up or down. I made them show me their hands (in the rearview mirror) so they wouldn't get smashed.


There were some people who rode in our car whose children would roll the windows down. I would furtively, grouchily, roll them back up and lock them. And hope that my kids hadn't noticed.


Today on their own they found out that they could control the windows. Now it will be up down up down up down. Things will blow away.



How can something be so bittersweet?

Friday, October 03, 2008

On the Last Day


"On the last last last day, I will be wearing my handsome suit," my son told me a couple weeks ago.

"What's the last last last day?" I asked.

"The day when Jesus comes," he replied.

Since then he's changed his "last last day" outfit to "fun clothes," but I still can't help but shiver a little when I see him wearing his suit. What if he knows something I don't?


Y'all better get right with God!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Menu Plan Tuesday

I don't usually post my menus but this week I decided to give it a go.

Please scroll down and read my Colossians entry if you haven't yet. It's what keeps me going today.

Here are the next seven meals we will be eating. None of them are assigned to a day except that on Thursday I'm cooking for growth group, and be making Golden Halibut Casserole. I've not tried it before and I'm excited.

We will also be eating:
BLTs
Cavatappi with Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Italian Chicken and Couscous
Frozen pizza
Eat out
Leftovers can be fun!

I will make Norwegian Rice Pudding for dessert one night.

On the nights that I make something outside of my lifestyle change, I will eat some leftovers or something from the freezer for myself.

I'm posting my menu and there's lots more at this site.

Colossians Encouragement

This morning I woke up not ready for the day. I didn't want to get dressed, I didn't want to get out of bed, and I really didn't want to sit down and read the Bible.

But I sat down to read and decided to read Colossians. What I found there was so encouraging, so refreshing, and so close to what I needed to hear that I decided to share it with you.

I thought I would be reading a sermon. Most of the epistles have ideas of what you need to be doing better. I usually skip over the salutations at the beginning but today I read them.

Here's what I found:

We have heard of your faith in Jesus Christ.
We have heard of your love for the saints.
We have heard of your hope for heaven stored up in you.
We have heard that the word of truth, the gospel, has come to you.

Can you hear the love surrounding those statements? Can you hear Him speaking to your heart?

We are praying for you.
We are asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Did you know that Jesus intercedes for us? He is praying for me!! I need to know His will for my life.

So you may live a life worthy of the Lord,
So that you may please Him in every way,
So that you will bear fruit in every good work,
Growing in the knowledge of God,
Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you might have great endurance and patience,

Did you hear that? Everyone knows I need more endurance and patience.

Joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light,
Rescued you from the dominion of darkness,
Brought you into His kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


Hallelujah!

...

Friday, September 26, 2008

How I Organized My Office

I've already posted all these pictures, but I wanted to explain a little more about the process and my reasoning for different choices.

This corner is full of projects, artwork, and documents to be archived. It was the most frustrating for me because there were a lot of things that couldn't really be thrown out or moved to another room. There was a huge pile in the corner that really bugged me.

This is the same corner organized. Many of the art supplies have been put into different bins than before. The family history documents were moved to the attic and the historical pictures were put in boxes and later I'll tell you where I hid them in the office. Eventually the plan is to scan all of those pictures and store them online.


Ever since I did this to the top of the file cabinet it's stayed uncluttered. I mostly kept the file cabinet the same but put it into the other corner.

This is the same corner- I moved the shelf from the entryway and the table and chairs from the kitchen. I basically pulled all the black furniture from around the house.


My desk is actually functioning pretty well right now despite the papers everywhere. That organizer is working nicely. It could use improvement though.

I've moved most of the things that used to be on the surface of the desk to the shelves behind the desk. It still gets cluttered here but not nearly as badly. I got the shelves from my sister for free because she was moving. I spent a little money on containers for the supplies. The wire organizer holds all the papers that I deal with often. The black organizer is for the papers Joel deals with. Ideally that's where all the papers go until they are filed or thrown away. The lower part of the shelves are hidden by the desk, and that's where all the pictures to be scanned are hidden. I hope to have a little more money soon so we can send the rest in to Fotobridge.

This corner holds magazines and office supplies. I was not fond of it.

This corner is the biggest change. I no longer store any boxes or piles of papers on the floor. Everything is up off the floor so that I can glance around and see carpet. It's very nice. My great-grandmother painted the painting of the baby.


When choosing the color of the walls I took into consideration the colors already in my house and the fact that it needed to bring in some warmth. I knew with all this black furniture that I needed a strong color to balance it. It looked very bright originally but with all the black it's toned down.

The red is reflected in the curtains, and the green is similar to the kitchen color...





I was so thankful to my mother-in-law and my friends from playgroup who came to help me on the day I did this. I could never have done it without them. I will always remember their help as I work in this room. I feel more productive and more calm every time I work in here compared to before.


Overall I paid about $375 for everything, including furniture, organizing boxes, and paint and painting supplies. The IKEA shelf was $85, and then I probably spent another $70 on nice boxes. I don't know why nice boxes are so expensive. The remainder was on painting and misc supplies, some of which will be usable for other projects.

Thank you Joel for your support in my endeavor. I couldn't have done it without his support.
I was also excited to see that Organizing Junkie's Monthly Round-Up was the office this month, so I was able to enter that contest as well.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some Pictures from the Retreat

Nicole painted my toenails. She did a fabulous job. She was also one of my roomies. BB101 forever!


Here's Amy looking on as Nicole does her work. BB101 yo!


Amber and Ruth Ann also either got their nails done or at least got daisies added to their toes.


7 friends, 7 feet with daisies. Sarah (bottom middle), then Amy, Chinell, Amber, Alyson, Ruth Ann, and Nicole. I think that's the order going clockwise.


Alyson doesn't like to get her picture taken. BB 101!