Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Funny

This is the new billboard they've put up about 1/2 mile from our house. Who wants a latte?!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Catch-Up Photos

We had our son's Star Wars themed birthday party:

Table Decor Party Beverage Party Game Cake Time
Annual Church Egg Drop (big community event - we had 40,000 eggs plus carnival rides, inflatables, food, face painting, etc.)
It's the Easter Beagle! Carnival Fun
Matching Easter dresses Keep on Truckin'
And then just normal day-to-day stuff:
Garage Repair Fancy Hair Daughter's school paper Neighbor's amaryllis
(There are descriptions on all the photos, so you can click over to Flickr for more info if you'd like)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hearts at Home Miraculous Blog Hop

Welcome to this month's Hearts at Home Blog Hop, with the theme of miracles. I've read about a lot of them, and even heard a few people share their amazing stories... but it surely would never happen to me, right?!

When my husband and I were giddy first-time homeowners, we began experiencing some issues with our roof. Turns out that we had layers upon layers of shingles, and whoever had put on the last round had even flashed all the edges so that it appeared that everything was just fine (and the home inspector had not discovered the problem). Anyway, we had taken a big financial leap of faith simply by purchasing the home and were not sure how we'd come up with the money needed for the repairs. It would be thousands of dollars to have it handled professionally; my husband had talked with his dad and several friends and figured that we could do it with their help plus about $1400 in supplies. Still a mighty big number!

We began praying. About a week later we got an unexpected letter in the mail; when I opened it, a $1500 check fell out. I can remember staring at it in amazement. God had provided in a very direct way (even providing an additional $100 for the building permit we hadn't known we needed!) and I still am so thankful and awestruck when I think back to that situation.

God continues to provide for us, although it may not be in such a blatantly "miraculous" fashion... When we had to move to our current location, we were able to sell that home (despite a tough market), and the buyer requested closing the exact date that we'd told hubby's company we'd hoped to head out. Our lives are filled with such stories, reminders that God is not limited by our bank balance, the economy, or anything else.

I'm going to finish with one last story, a reminder that he will not only supply our needs but sometimes even our wants. I have lost a fair amount of weight in the last several months, so my wardrobe is in a bit of a state of limbo. I had a skirt that I loved, an abstract floral with shades of green, blue, and yellow, but it was too large and I reluctantly passed it along. As I was getting ready for church a few weekends ago, I found myself thinking about that skirt and how nice it would have looked with the shirt I was wanting to wear that day. Oh, well! Two days later, I was at the thrift shop, hoping to find a few pairs of capris. As I was walking past the skirt rack, I caught a glimpse of green, blue, and yellow. What?!? I reached for the hanger, and started laughing when I saw that it was my current size. Yes, God had worked a small but very personal miracle just for me... and I'll be wearing that skirt Easter Sunday as we celebrate the much larger miracle that was performed for all of us!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Monthly Check-In Time


How on earth did that happen?!?!?

I am thrilled to report that our taxes are filed (whew! That was a huge relief to cross off the list) and our dumpster is at the curb, full of papers that I actually managed to sort through last night. I'm on a bit of a "got something done" high :)

Although life around our house is a bit less hectic, our days are still very full. We're all more involved in a variety of activities, and I don't like the rushed feelings that accompany the busyness. For instance, we are currently taking part in an 8 week long class at church that meets on Monday evening. We take the kids with us, and have yet to make it home by 9 PM. Our daughter's bedtime is 7:30 our son's is 8:00. This generally translates to a whiny, emotional Tuesday morning. Have toyed with the idea of getting a sitter for Monday evenings, but just can't bring myself to shell out the cash; the class is excellent and something that hubby & I have committed to, and I just try to remind myself that this is for a brief period. Still, it's a kink in our family's schedule. I am now volunteering at a small local museum, so there's one day a week that I'm gone. I am usually at school at least 2 days a week, even if only for an hour. Hubby has had more responsibility given to him at work, and while thankfully that hasn't meant longer days, it has meant that when he comes home he is just wiped out. Add in general church activities, reading, swimming, eating, etc. and there doesn't seem to be much down time... I am not complaining about this, but am guarding our schedule and trying not to add anything else.

Physical update: I haven't lost any weight since Christmas, and in fact have gained a total of six pounds. Not the direction I want to be heading. I haven't been eating complete garbage, but I also haven't been tracking like I should, and will be back on sparkpeople starting Monday. These past few months have just reinforced the idea that I have to stick with it, and continually be mindful. My weight has been a lifelong struggle, and just because the number on the scale is lower doesn't mean that my issues have disappeared. I need to stay in the Word, watch my attitude, and before popping anything into my mouth, ask myself, "Why am I eating this?!" The health-oriented Bible study I've been attending only has two weeks left, and they are not planning to have a Monday group in the fall, so I'll be losing that accountability. Still have no idea how that piece will come together... Our pool is now warm enough that we've been able to hop in, and I have done at least 20 minutes of solid swimming three days this week. I have to force myself to get moving, but it always feels so good when I do! On a related note, there's a great little devotional about our bodies being temples here.

General update: I feel like an messy, emotional blob. I still have so much work to do to get our home to a proper state. I've started a lot of projects that I haven't completed, and consequently things usually end up worse than when I started. I'm struggling with how to show Christ's love when I don't want to be around people - when they let their kids control their lives and then constantly complain about it, or when I see someone presenting themselves in a particular way, and I want to start yelling that they're a hypocrite. A lot of that is my human issues that need a serious dose of the Holy Spirit... but there are also those moments when I feel that prick, that God has presented me with an opportunity to step into someone's life for a moment, to help in a tiny way, and also speak a seed of truth that may or may not take root (and I'm referring to truth such as, "I know this is so tough, but God does have a plan," not "You might not want to give your kid that box of candy seeing as how they just threw a temper tantrum when you handed them apple slices.") I can be so judgmental, and it's not my place - that's for God alone. I'm certainly not without sin, so why am I eagerly standing on the sidelines with my arms full of stones?!

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Random Advice

Hypothetically speaking, if one were to wake up in the morning and think, "Ooh, today is free. I should really take advantage of my day home to wash all my delicates!" one should DOUBLE CHECK the calendar to make sure that nothing is scheduled. Like, say, the quarterly visit from the exterminator. You know, the guy that comes to the house. Because it might be hard to determine who is more embarassed: the much-appreciated-bug-killing man who is simply trying to do his job, or the woman who has her not-so-cute-and-dainty unmentionables hanging from every available surface in the home.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Funny

No, this isn't an April Fool's joke. Yes, it's bizarre, but I must admit that I kind of like it... it's way better than the standard safety presentation, which no one pays attention to anyway!