Tuesday, May 10, 2016

50 questions for fun



50 QUESTIONS  

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?  
Nope.  Interestingly, I also didn't name my children after anyone either.  

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?  
Last week...ugly cry.  A little bit hormones, a little bit needing to surrender to God's plans over mine.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?  
Yes.  I worked very hard to have classic teacher handwriting.  My cursive has become a bit lazy since I stopped teaching but I still like it.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?  
Chicken

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?  
Yes, one boy one girl  

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?  
Yes.  I'm very fun and I care a lot!!

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?  
Just one of the many services I provide.  Haha.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?  
Yes  

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?  
No, not ever!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?  
Vitality with Strawberries

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?  
Yes, every time.  It hurts my ankles otherwise.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?  
I think I am weak...but God is strong.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?  
Butter Pecan...my husband's least favorite.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?  
Their eyes and body language.

15. RED OR PINK?  
Red 

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?  
I'm pretty easy on everyone else...but VERY hard on myself.  Saw a saying the other day..."Be nice to yourself.  It's hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time."

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?  
My Grandpa Sharp...he passed away when I was 12...wish he could meet my husband and kids.

18. WHAT IS THE NUTRITION OR FITNESS STRATEGY THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?  
Exercising on the days when I don't meet my friends at the gym.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?  
Black flip-flops 

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?  
Protein Bar

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?  
The birds chirping in my backyard

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?  
Turquoise...my favorite color.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?  
coffee in the morning, peonies, fresh paint

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?  
My Mom...it's her birthday today.

25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?  
Beach house

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?  
Bowling...ha...we are NOT a sports watching household...but I saw bowling at a restaurant the other day and I'd totally watch that!  

27. HAIR COLOR?  
Dark Blond

28. EYE COLOR?  
Dark Blue

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?  
Yes...almost all the time 

30. FAVORITE FOOD?  
Curried Chicken with Snowpeas

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?  
Happy endings.  

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?  
The Jungle Book (the old animated one)

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?  
Blue paisley

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?  
Summer

35. HUGS OR KISSES?  
Hugs  

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?  
Rhubarb Crunch

37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?  
Strength Training  (incidentally I'm not altogether sure of the people who love cardio...ugh)

38. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?  
Computer  

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?  
The Heart of Anger by Priolo

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?  
MacBook...not mouse pad needed

42. FAVORITE SOUND?  
The voices of my children

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?  
Beatles! 

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?  
Europe

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?  
I sing pretty well.  I'm pretty crafty too.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?  
Racine, Wisconsin

47. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?  
Indiana

48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?  
Gray

49. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?  
Maroon

50. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS?  
Yes!!!! 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Walls of self effort...



Ever heard that saying, "God wouldn't have allowed it unless He had a purpose.  Don't just go through it--grow through it." ?  Well, I'm trying.  Maybe that's the trouble...too much striving.

I'm currently writing my counseling and theology exams for biblical counseling certification.  It has been a long and arduous process.  I think I was kind of delusional naive as I finished writing them last month and headed into the proofreading and editing phase.  

Yup, I hit another one of those walls of self effort.  I say God's timing is perfect...and it is...but I really wanted my timing.  I am constantly struck by the antagonism of the concept of trusting God and yet working out your salvation.  I want to obey Him and complete this training...I don't think I should just wait for lightning to strike or information to fall out of the sky...ya gotta have a plan, right?  True...but its got to submit to Him too.

So, when blessed with two mentoring editors...instead of being full of gratitude and encouragement...instead, I bawled at the first sight of the work still left ahead of me.  Several questions I can't answer until I study...more.  Not total re-writes...but ALOT more work still to go.  I know better than to ask why me.  I knew some of the questions needed work.  I want to grow through this time.  Sometimes I feel stretched and about to break.  I'm a full sponge unable to hold another drop.  I can't juggle it all.  And, that's kind of the point.

WHAM...wall of self effort.  It could be easier though.

You see, I'm all over Phil. 2:12, "Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear...but I forget about v. 13, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."  I need to work out with fear and trembling what God is working in me; the desire and power to do what pleases Him.  He needs to become greater, I need to become less.  When I pray for His Kingdom to come...that means NOT my kingdom.  That evidently means NOT sending in exams until Fall...that means pausing and refocusing to make sure wife and mommy are really on top where they should be before student.

The only place to bring my weariness and heavy burdens is Christ.  He is humble and gentle of heart and has redeeming power to give me true rest for my soul.  Jesus' yoke is demanding, but easy because of his heart toward me and the empowering Holy Spirit 

Steadfast was the word I chose as the focus for my 2016.  I knew I had a lot before me on this journey...I chose it wanting to be steadfast for God.  I have been learning that I can't be steadfast without trusting first in His steadfast love.  Each morning He faithfully reminds me, showing me the eternal perspective, lifting my eyes.

Oh Lord,
Fill my heart with gratitude for Your truly perfect timing.  You are good to those who hope in You and seek You.  It is good to wait quietly for the Lord of my Salvation.  Oh Lord God...you are a Mighty Savior.  You take delight in me.  You will quiet me with Your love and sing over me.  Please stop my sinful strivings and change my heart to have a posture of rest before You.  
Amen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Some PHoto PHun!

I have been busy (again...still?). But, I've taken some pretty pictures now that Spring has sprung in these parts...

I tried to get a good shot of the light shining in and through this tulip.  It was tricky.
I love this one of our shoes and our Scruffy!
I took this for my neighbor while she was on vacation.  We had a late frost and almost all of the tulip trees died...huge magnolias just brown...it was awful!
And today...I snapped this of the cherry tree by the bus stop while I waited for my kiddos!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hodgepodge with a CUTE birdie!



1. What does retirement mean to you? Are you planning for it, not thinking about it, looking forward to it, or dreading it?
My husband and I are a few decades away from it...but we are thinking about it.  We don't really believe in "retirement" per se...and since he loves his job and we'd like to travel together we've got a pretty good idea of what he needs to do and where he needs to be by that time.  I do know I want to downsize BIG TIME...and live in a place that one level, someone else does the lawn care, and there's room enough for my books and my kids to visit.
2. It's International Guitar Month...do you play? Does anyone in your family play? What's a song you especially like to hear played on the guitar or a favorite song featuring the guitar?
I can play the guitar and trumpet a little bit.  I play the piano quite a bit better than those.  Last year I got ukelele...and I am LOVING her portability and ease.  The Internet is full of great tutorials and music!  My favorite guitar memories are tied to my Grandpa Sharp who passed away many years ago.  We used to get together with friends and they'd play and we'd sing way into the night.  I think fondly of "you are my sunshine."
3. What's your comfort food?
Fall foods...pumpkin desserts, soups...
4. What's one activity or area of your life where you absolutely never procrastinate?
I tick through the morning routines pretty carefully.  My little has meds he needs to take and they need specific things ready for school.  I know the day changes ALOT if any of those things are forgotten so I don't put them off or try to go out of order.  But, seriously, I don't procrastinate about almost anything...I'm highly organized and get a little frazzled when things are "spontaneous"....I work on being more flexible.
5. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Does your local store bag the groceries for you or is it a do-it-yourself kind of place? Do you like someone packing your groceries?
I do the grocery shopping.  I shop at two places to save the most money.  I shop first at Aldi...and bag my own groceries and put away my own cart.  Then I go to Meijer and they do bag for me but generally not well and in thin flimsy bags.  But, I reuse those bags as small trash bags so it's ok.  I wish I had someone at home to help me unload...that's my least favorite part.  Ugh.
6. What's the coolest thing you've seen in nature?
Gee...I'm kind of stumped on this one.  I think all of Creation is pretty stinking amazing.  Little things amaze me...looking at butterfly wings or flowers.  I LOVE birds and they are all so very intricate and wonderful to study.
7. Share a favorite quote about home.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Jumping back into "real life" after a two week Spring Break and my head is a spinnin'. But I didn't want to miss Hodgepodging!!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sew Thursday!

Well, the foxy boy quilt is completely finished...and all tied up ready to be delivered!
I made Felix here as a bonus surprise.  He's made from parts of an old sweater...and I especially like his tail...an old tie!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hodgepodge No Foolin'




1. What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?
I try to hold myself to God's standards.  I want to please Him by meeting His expectations written in His Word and give Him glory in what I say and do.  1.  I am working on not complaining because that's basically telling God He messed up.  This applies to head colds, lateness, and the weather.  2.  I'm working on being a submissive wife and grace focused parent.  3.  I'm working on completing this course of study in biblical counseling so I can help my sisters in Christ at church.

2. In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?
We have plans to put new black shutters on our house.  We also plans to hang more outside lighting and paint the screen porch and fence.  I need to add and remove plants from my flower beds too.

3. According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are-Webster's Falls in OntarioUpper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand CanyonMultnomah Falls in OregonThe Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara.  Have you seen any on the list? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?
The only one of these I've seen is Niagara.  It was amazingly powerful!!! 

4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?
I wish I'd been braver about sharing my faith in Christ.  I'm not sure what bad thing I thought was going to happen but I never said much until my Junior year...then I moved and didn't really establish new friendships.

5. Ham...yes please or no thank you? If you said yes please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?
Yes please.  I love a good pea soup with ham!  Yum!!!

6. Are you typical of your generation? How so?
My husband and I are not typical of our generation.  Most are very sports focused and anti academic.  We are very settled...total nerds and bookworms.  We get along best with people at least a decade older than us... or more.

7. April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', 'nobody's fool' 'a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you?

I'm going with 'act a fool'....I'm slowly learning it's better to just keep your mouth shut and let people think whatever they want.  I'm not sure this is so much me acting the fool as it's just letting fools think what they want. Makes me think of "Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." Mark Twain


8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Due to a new perpetual school calendar our Spring break has gone from one to two weeks off.  It is long.  They are currently slap silly on the couch bugging and loving each other.  It's all good fun until somebody cries.  Sigh....I visited family and I have outings planned...but it's still long.  They miss their friends and teachers.  I'm glad they're good friends most of the time.



Monday, March 28, 2016

Reading Aloud...

I simply adore reading aloud!  I learned to love it as a child...and have fond memories of many road trips and quiet evenings spent reading as a family.  My parents modeled great reading and helped hone my read aloud skills as I learned about speed, inflection and volume.  Then, as a teacher, I learned to enjoy it even more!!!

My own two Sweet Boobahs are now both avid little readers and I'm trying to pick some great read alouds.  It is challenging, even for an adult reader, to animate books.  Much of comprehension is based on my reading as often the vocabulary is right on the edge of their current reading level.  I LOVE this challenge and the widening of vocabulary.  I comply with their gleeful pleas for 'just one more chapter' until I'm quite hoarse.

Per my Sweet Loverbrains request we are reading The Hobbit aloud.  Although, The Lord of the Rings movies were very enjoyable I could never get into Tolkien's books...but I am amazed at how very fun this read aloud has been so far.

We've enjoyed many Roald Dahl books and Richard Peck books...our favorite being George's Marvelous Medicine and A Long Way From Chicago.

On our current list are:
The Voyages of Dr Dolittle
Pippi Longstocking
The Borrowers
The Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles
Five Children and It
The Twenty One Balloons

Do you have any favorites you'd like to suggest!?