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:
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.



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!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


And suffering from friend deprivation. I know they're all busy getting back into gear with their families, but I'm already tired of housework. It's just not my happiest thing to do.

Lessons from the Retreat

The most important lesson I learned at this retreat was that you can never read your Bible too much. Consider taking some time that you are spending on reading other books, watching TV, or cleaning house, and read your Bible more. The Psalms are a good place to start; they're full of praise for God. Ecclesiastes is my favorite when I'm depressed. Or some of the prophets.

If I'm in the mood for a great story, I love to read the gospels or some of Genesis or Kings. There are excellent narratives to be found.

I am trying to put these things in my head because if I am not well-grounded in the Word, I will be less able to tell what's right and wrong.

I also learned some things from my roommates that were just fun. For instance, even I can wear pink nail polish.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Home Again!

I am home, the house is a mess, and the kids are great.

Emlyn notified me last night that her cavities (which we already knew about) are hurting and so we're making a trip to the dentist in a little while. I know that kids get cavities but I can't help but feel a little guilt for not being a perfect parent.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I'm leaving for the women's retreat in a little bit.

I really need this and I hope it is spiritually renewing and refreshing.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why is Denali Wearing a Suit?

Because that's what he wanted to wear today. He had never tried it on before.

After trying it on he decided suits were not for him. I don't blame him.

Denali Wearing a Suit

He thinks he looks stupid and kids will make fun of him. I think he's adorable...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Donate Food Today

If you live in Central Texas you might be interested to know that the Capitol Area Food Bank is completely empty as a result of Hurricane Ike and its refugees. Please consider donating food or money.

The link is here; I think anyone can donate, even if you don't live around here. There's a secure link to donate money here. Each dollar you donate magically turns into $4 worth of food. Not really sure how that works, but whatever.

Today Denali and I were able to go donate some food and diapers at our local HEB. It was nice to know that our money was being used for a good cause.

Thanks to Bethany for reminding me about these pictures. The one that was most sobering to me was a perfectly normal looking car right underneath a boat.

My Funk, Explained

I think I've figured out why I'm in a funk. Cat helped me realize today that it's not just that my sister moved. I love my sister, but I am also mourning the fact that I would also like to be near my mom and my family.

There are a lot of reasons why Austin is good for us.

But the fact of the matter is my family isn't here, I don't like the weather, and now my sister has moved back to very near my parents.

I am sad. I would like to be near them as well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm Nice People

Our neighbors' kids are over today and I just rescued a bear from a tree. Upon getting down I was informed by the 7 year old that I'm nice people.

Good to know I'm appreciated.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I am now a Twit

Under high levels of duress from Amy and my sweet husband I now twit via Twitter. Whateverdude.

Last night I found out that the food I thought was Canadian Bacon was actually death poison. Spent two hours in the bathroom.

My house is quiet. All of the relatives have left :(
Except I hear "Bedbugs", a Christian TV show that emulates Teletubbies. Have I mentioned I hate Teletubbies? Why have I set the DVR to record this annoying show?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lessons Learned from Moms

I've been tagged by BP but I don't usually do these memes, but this one is about moms. Since my mom is here I figured I'd do this one.

What to do: share with us and your readers a lesson that you learned from your own mom, a special mom in your life, or while raising your own children. There’s no right or wrong answers…just lessons that each of us can learn and implement with our own children. Link your post back to this one, leave a comment below so we can visit and learn from you, and then tag 2-3 other moms to participate.

1. Always be honest. Back when I was really small my mom made a deal with me: she would always believe me if I always told the truth. Somehow she ingrained it into me that the truth is very important. If we do wrong things, we need to confess. I've written about that before. I have tried to help my children learn the same lesson.

2. Along with honesty comes commitment. If I say I'm going to do something, I do it. This was also from my parents. I hate to miss an appointment and I hate to cancel on someone. This can be a problem when I don't say no enough and I have too much to do. My problem here becomes that I need to say "yes" less often.

3. My mom also taught me that relationships with people are more important than cleaning and chores. You will often see me at someone's house, visiting, or hanging out with my kids instead of cleaning.

4. Something I learned from another great mom in my life, my friend Heather, was to hug the kids more. When Emlyn was going through a difficult stage when she was 3, I asked Heather what she would have done differently with her daughter (2 years older than Em). She told me that instead of engaging her daughter in arguments, she wished she had held her daughter more and just loved on her. I took this to heart and learned that I don't always have to react emotionally when Emlyn is overly emotional.

Thanks Mom for your wisdom!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Grace and Zebra are Moving

Grace, my sister, and her fiancé Zebra (real name Greg) will be moving away from our town this weekend. I cannot tell you how much I will miss them. Suffice it to say that I have enjoyed every moment of the four years she's been here. They love our children as their own. They hang out with us even though we're boring. We go to movies and talk and shop and love.

They will be going back to California, closer to my parents and his family.

Hopefully this will work:
Click here to see a slideshow of Zebra and Grace.

A Good Day

Today has been good so far- lots of hanging out with my parents and getting good things accomplished. I went to the dentist for myself, turned in passport apps for the kids, and got their dental records from our former kid dentist. I found that it is true- you get more respect if you go to an office in person, wearing professional clothes, and without children in tow. Even if it's a business that serves children.

Tonight is a PTO meeting, tomorrow we skip school for fun with Grace and Zebra, and then Friday is birthday and moving party.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Office Shelves, Now with Pretty Bins!

Of course I had to put a pic of Denali in here too!

This is up and left from my computer.

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

Some of these will be replaced with drawers that exactly fit the shelves.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Daniel's Graduation

P1040369.JPG, originally uploaded by spiffy_guy.

I don't think I've blogged this picture yet. This from my trip in April when Daniel graduated. I love this picture of my whole family.

From left to right: Grace, Ruth, mom Mary, Daniel, dad Ken, and me.

Office Continued

Today I have lots of great friends coming to help with my office. We are also painting the stairwell wall that used to be covered in wallpaper. I've got all that stripped and primed. The office is completely empty. I felt like I was on Clean Sweep because of how much stuff I pulled out of there and put in the dining room. I'm hoping we can find some more stuff to give away.

The kids will play upstairs with one mom while the rest of us work downstairs. We'll also be painting the desk top and stair railing on the back porch.

I think I'll go pick up some kolaches to feed my work force. Hope they like them!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Office Pictures: Before

These are some pics I took in the office this morning. It is a fairly accurate representation; usually there are calendars and artwork on the walls.

This corner is full of projects, artwork, and documents to be archived.

Ever since I did this to the top of the file cabinet it's stayed uncluttered.

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

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

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Wallpaper Stripping; Half Price Books

Most of my afternoon was concerned with stripping wallpaper. Let me just say that though it went relatively well, I am so glad that there is only one wall in my house that had wallpaper. I never want to do it again.

Thankfully it only took one afternoon, so I am still on track for the project. Tomorrow I will prime that wall and clean out the office in anticipation of the work to be done in here.

I went to Half Price Books tonight and scored big!!!

I didn't get what I was supposedly looking for (sorry Alyson) but I was able to find 6 crisp Chronicles of Narnia, which leave me with only two to buy. I am outfitting each of my kids with older editions of them because for the last twenty years or so the publishers have numbered them "chronologically" according to the timeline of Narnia, instead of the order in which they were published. So I was super excited to find those. They were in excellent condition too. Joel says our kids won't even read books; just the computer, but I refuse to believe that.

I also found some books for my church's children's library.

All in all it was a very productive day. Too bad I had to have caffeinated tea to make it through. I will most likely be up till 3 now.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Some Projects in the Mix

I'm working on redecorating my office and stairwell. The stairwell used to have wallpaper and now it has wallpaper scraps on the wall. Eventually it will have paint. The office is going to be painted and hopefully organized with a system that works. We'll see about that one.

Next Thursday a bunch of my friends will be over to help me with all of this. I'm super excited about that.

My birthday is coming up. During that week my parents will be here and since it is my sister's birthday too we will be having a grand celebration. At the end of that week my sister is moving back to California. This makes me very sad but I know that she and her fiancé have not been happy here even in spite of how wonderful I am. I'm really going to miss her and her betrothed.

So the next couple of weeks are going to be very full of family and projects. I'll tune in as I can. Sometime I may even post pictures, including the day when Amy and I dressed up as soda fountain girls.