Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Funny

I know they've redone this for Haiti, but you just can't beat the "original"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Opening My Eyes

My mind is all over the place right now, but I just wanted to get some of this out...

I’m still having a hard time down here. Our neighbor refers to this area as American-occupied Mexico, and frankly, it’s kind of hard to argue. The Mexican culture is definitely the dominant influence, with bits and pieces of Southern “well-bless-your-heart” throw in for good measure. The women are always dressed well, and 90% of the time that includes tight shirts and high heels. I’m still not used to hearing children referred to as “Mamma” or “Pappa.” The local news makes me giggle. I think it’s odd when I see beer being served with breakfast. We’re a good deal older than the majority of the parents at school. I often get a look of shock when I explain where we’re from – I’ve had a number of conversations with people who have never traveled more than a few hours from the Rio Grande Valley. It seems no one plans ahead for anything – aside from the school calendar, it’s hard to plan more than a week in advance.

At MOPS yesterday one of the leaders had her aunt come and speak. And, well, I have to admit that I nearly missed it. I’m still not feeling 100%, plus I had a lousy attitude and was basically thinking, “What on earth could I possibly learn from her?” It sounds so arrogant when I spell it out like that, but it’s the plain truth. And while I’ve enjoyed the meetings, I have been frustrated with the lack of organization and haven’t made “deep” connections. Anyway, she started speaking about the relationship with her daughter and then opened it up for questions/discussion. And I was served a heapin’ helpin’ of humble pie. I was whacked upside the head with a reminder that we ALL are humans in need of God’s grace and redeeming love. That no matter what the culture or age, that we as women carry pain. That we juggle expectations and crave approval.

Mothers. Daughters. Sisters. Friends. We all need Jesus.

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
~Brandon Heath ("Give Me Your Eyes" from the album What If We)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just another Sunday afternoon... February?!? Yes, the water is still cold, but the kids didn't seem to mind. Well, D didn't (A, you'll notice, is tentatively dipping her toes in ;)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Funny

I know I haven't been doing these much lately, but this was too good not to pass along!


Add some parachute material and a bit of chocolate pudding, and he could probably take out Al Qaeda single-handedly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Refine Me

As I've been working through this craft space, iTunes (cranked through the computer speakers, as I kept catching the wires from my iPod/headphones on stuff) has been keeping me company. I've had fun getting "reacquainted" with some of past favorites... I'd forgotten how much I like Jennifer Knapp's lyrics. I particularly like Refine Me from her Kansas album.

I come into this place
Burning to receive your peace
I come with my own chains
From wars I've fought for my own selfish gain
You're my God and my Father
I've accepted your Son
But my soul feels so empty now
What have I become?

Lord, come with your fire,
Burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Refine me

My heart can't see
When I only look at me
My soul can't hear
When I only think of my own fears
They are gone in a moment
You're forever the same
Why did I look away from You
How can I speak Your name?

Lord, come with Your fire,
burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Come rescue this child
For I long to be reconciled to You...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Go me!

Hubby and I really don't do "gifts" all that much - we generally just agree on a couple semi-splurge purchases throughout the year. He did surprise me on Saturday morning with a toothpaste heart (and frankly, I much preferred that to overpriced roses!!) Anyway, we were joking that my Valentine's gift was shelving for my craft space - and I'm putting it to good use :) And I guess that my gift for him is a functioning space... The pile would have been even higher if I were operating at 100%, but I'm fighting off some sort of bug. Still, I must say I'm thrilled with the progress.

I just noticed that this is 3 posts in a row involving cardboard - no, we don't have a box fetish! I promise at least 1 corrugated-free post later this week.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Box Fun

Totally forgot to post these little gems yesterday. As I had mentioned last week, we purchased an upright freezer (and yes, I'm still giddy over the acquisition)... well, the appliance company thoughtfully provided a ginormous box for the children's pleasure :) It was saved up for a "special project" this past weekend, and they got to make their own fort. They used pieces from other boxes to create a door and a chimney, and then they even customized their abode with crayons & markers. Finally, they have permission to color on the walls! I love the compass that they drew inside (which you can see in the first pic) - and yes, we need to work on east & west a bit more.

They actually camped out in here on Saturday night - kind of crazy that our children think that sleeeping in a cardboard box is a privilege to be earned...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Well, we AREN'T digging out from snowmageddon... and while I know that the kiddos would be having a ball playing in the snow right now, I'm not missing the reality of bundling up, shoveling, ice, and crazy Philly drivers.

I had a lovely time at the retreat this weekend and was able to get a lot of stamping done. Hubby thought I was a bit batty to go to a scrapbooking retreat and not make a single scrapbook page - but I'm happy to report that all of us papercrafters got along just fine. We did not, however, break into Kumbaya at any point :) There was a lengthy conversation about handguns and concealed weapons permits, though - yep, I'm in Texas now!! I am more motivated than ever to get my space fully operational and have some craft nights with friends... which actually leads me to this month's goal.

As I shared last month, I generally avoid resolutions, but I decided to set monthly goals. For January, it was to exercise for 20 minutes twice a week. And ---- er, um ----- honestly I didn't do all that well. But I'm going to choose to look at the positive side, and I am thrilled to report that small step *DID* result in me getting more exercise than I would have otherwise. For February, I'm going to continue the exercise plan (after all, the idea here is to steadily improve as opposed to doing really well for a few weeks and then reverting right back to old habits) AND get my craft space up & running. It's the one spot in the house that still has boxes stacked up, and it's definitely getting under my skin. The supplies will be unboxed and put away - items that I'm getting rid of will be stacked in the closet, with a sale planned for March. I can do finer sorting later. I really struggle with the idea that if I can't do it *just* the way I want, then I might as well just leave it heaped up - well, that obviously isn't working for me or my family, and I'm going for progress, not perfection.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wet Wednesday

I was planning to run some errands this morning, but it is currently pouring rain so I decided that staying home sounded like a better plan. Thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce the newest member of our family - isn't she lovely?!? We've been planning this purchase for several months now, and after much shopping around we finally settled on this beauty. I cannot even describe my excitement when she was placed in the laundry hallway. Finally, I can buy more than a week's worth of meat at a time. And last night I got a little crazy at Wally World and bought some *big* bags of frozen veggies. I even picked up a second loaf of bread to have on hand. Wahoo!!

In other happenings, we experienced the Great Lego Spill of '10 on Friday. Our son decided that he was going to lug the big bin (stored in his bedroom upstairs) down to the living room. Guess how that worked out? Honestly, it wasn't all that bad to clean up since it was confined to the stairwell - it would have been much worse if it had happened in the LR when they would have rolled under furniture, etc. And for any of you who happen to have bins like this - I highly recommend investing in some little dustpans from the dollar store. We have 2 "scoopers" that are stored right in with the Legos and greatly facilitate clean-up time. I was certainly thankful that we had them this time around!

Our daughter had her first ballet lesson yesterday afternoon, so she has taken to pirouetting about the house... which is pretty funny since she is just about as coordinated as her Mama (which isn't a good thing). In between managing the chaos and stocking the freezer, I have nearly finished packing for my paper bliss weekend.

Lastly, I wanted to share this link for some good, practical tips on involving our children in the simplification process (there's also some great stuff to be found with the "similar posts" link at the bottom). I think that term is suffering from overuse, but there is definitely something to be said for clearing the unnecessary from our lives... still very much a work in progress at the D home.

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Living With Less" contest

Here's a fun opportunity for you! To celebrate the release of Hearts at Home’s newest book: Living With Less So Your Family Has More, by Jill and Mark Savage, the Hearts at Home blog is launching the Living with Less Contest.

Email Hearts at Home a story or money-saving tip that gives a peek into your daily experiences representing the humor, richness, or spiritual aspects of what it’s like to live with less.

Better yet, blog readers will benefit as many of the money-saving entries will be posted on the Heart’s blog throughout the month of February. Get all the details here.