Wednesday, June 27, 2012

*sigh*

Sorry for the lack of blogging activity...we have VBS each morning (8-12...cuz MomE is teaching the 2-3 graders so we get there EARLY)...and it's also the last week of swimming lessons each afternoon! Emma is swimming SOLO...and Lubby is SOOOO close!  I'm not supposed to take pictures for privacy reasons...sorry.  They look cute though...I can assure you of that!

This is how MomE feels at the end of each day!  I will be back next week...probably... 
Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be about 100 degrees F!  Maybe you should pray for me too!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Beautiful Bookshelves!

I love STAYcation...funtimes during the day...and a lot of wonderful things accomplished. Loverbrains installed my bookshelves! Yeah!!
They stop at this corner...we are still considering how to continue at this point.  We'd originally thought to wrap the shelves around and make a simple window seat.  (I've always wanted one!)  But, now that we realize that we are not in need of book shelving anytime soon...especially with Kindle book storage...we are thinking of a corner cupboard to store all of our board games.  AND...a window seat! 
We are all just loving them...it's so cozy and elegant...and organized!!  Loverbrains is pumped...hopefully that momentum keeps him moving forward.
Now the rooms go together!  MMMMMmmmmm...I love my home!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ZOO Hodgepodge


1. Summer officially rolls in with the Hodgepodge this week, for those of us in the Northern hemisphere anyway. What song says summer 2012 to you?
It's A Celebration!  I just danced to that song at my brother's wedding!!
2. What's your favorite quintessential summer food?
Fruit...fresh fruit...LOTS of it!  Peaches, apricots, cantaloupe, blueberries, mango, etc.  Ooooo...and swiss chard!!  I love swiss chard!!!
3. I've spent a lot of time traipsing up and down the NJ Turnpike in recent weeks. Did you know the rest areas on the turnpike are named after people who lived or worked in NJ? Clara Barton, Walt Whitman, James Fenimore Cooper, Molly Pitcher, Joyce Kilmer, Thomas Edison, and Gover Clevland just to name a few. Of those I listed, who would you most like to have known and why?
Clara Barton...I think I did a report on her in elementary school.  For the time era in particular...she was quite a woman!
4. At what age did you move out of your parent's house and what prompted the move?
When I was 18...I went to college.  I lived at home in the summers while I worked.  When I graduated (~21-22) I had my own little cottage for about year before I got married.  When I got married Mom made sure I took all my stuff out of her house!  HAHA! 
5. What's more satisfying to you-saving time or saving money?
Yes?  Gee...that's a hard one.  Sometimes saving time means spending money and that bothers me.  So, I guess I'll say saving money...since Loverbrains is so busy, I've actually become the frugal one.
6. Name something you think brings out the good in people.
Tragedy...when people are forced to come together...when they wouldn't otherwise.  Think about what you saw immediately following Katrina or 9/11...Not lasting, maybe...but especially in our very patriotic country it bubbles up.
7. This last question comes to you courtesy of Kathy over at Reflections...will you be taking a vacation or a staycation this summer? If so where will you go? If a staycation is on the calendar have you made any special plans to fill the time?
We are taking a Staycation right now...I'm very blessed to live in a large city...We went to the zoo yesterday...to the children's museum today.  We made kites and are going to a park to fly them.  We are going on a vacation later in the summer too...but there is no good fiscal choice for taking all the vacation that Loverbrains has at this point...and that the company will actually let him "go away" for too.  Job security?  They like to keep him close.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Thanks for all your suggestions from last week!  They were great!  I'm thinking that I'm going to make a HUGE list of vacation/staycation ideas for the years ahead!  I am enjoying sleeping in...and the best of both worlds.  We do vacationy things in the morning and then I take the kids to swimming lessons and Loverbrains works on my bookshelves!  He is going to install them Thursday!  I'm so excited!!!  He is putting built in bookshelves (aka floor to ceiling) in the dining room!  My books have been in sterelites awaiting the completion of this plan for MONTHS!  Today, he will take them to swim lessons and I will paint the wall.  We are repainting the whole downstairs...but need to do that wall minimum...cuz it'll show from behind the books.  I love this...funtimes...AND getting stuff done!!

Tube Tuesday: Trunk Exercises

video

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wedded Bliss

Well, as expected, it was a busy, crazy, wonderful weekend!  The in between times with family were SUPER special.  If you think about it, it's only at funerals and weddings that we get both sides (inlaws and outlaws) together at one time, in one place!  
Grandpa Denny getting special snuggles from his Sweet Grand Boobahs the morning of the wedding.
My camera did go on the trip...but it stayed in my bag.  I was too nervous and distracted to even contemplate taking pictures.  I was also kind of afraid I'd take a picture where I wasn't supposed to and get yelled at for too early reveals or something nutsy.  If it weren't for my fabulous cousin Paul's phone, you wouldn't even be enjoying these pictures now!  Thanks Paulie!
The second run through we realized that the VERY left-handed flower girl needed to switch hands with her basket.  I'm glad we realized this...because when the time came she was then able to throw flowers like a PRO...huge, fluttering hand-fulls!
The ring bearer, being a very practical, logical child, did not get the point of this whole ringbearer with fake rings business.  He questioned these points quite thoroughly with comments like, "If the rings aren't the real rings...then what am I doing this for?"...and "Well, I am the ringbearer, duh!"
He still did his nonsensical job...quite perfectly and VERY cutely!  I was so proud of them both...I got all choked up!  My sweet babies!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Swimmingly Good Hodgepodge

 

1. In what way are you your own worst enemy?
I'm a lot better at extending grace and love toward others...but not myself.  My expectations for myself are really HIGH...often, I come to realize that I'm my own worst enemy...no one else is expecting me to be perfect in mommy-hood, wife-dom, or anywhere else.  Almost everyone in my life thinks I'm doing okay and love me when I screw up...and well, God...He's not waiting to knock me down when I fail Him (phew)...In fact, He loves me so much He CHOSE me...before the foundations of the world.  Whenever I need wisdom, all I have to do is ASK and He'll give it to me without scolding me!  Pretty wonderful, huh!?


2. Jacques Cousteau's birthday was Monday, June 11th...ever been scuba diving? Is that something you'd like to try? What's your favorite 'under the sea' creature?
I'm not a very strong swimmer...but I'd love to try it.  It looks beautiful.  If I had time to be properly trained so I wouldn't drown...SURE...I'd try it.  My favorite underwater creature...er, coral?
3. On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you in and around the water? (1=not at all, 10=very) Do you know how to swim and if so how and when did you learn?
I'm about an 8-9 around swimming pools, lakes, ponds or streams.  The ocean makes me nervous...only because I don't have a lot of experience with it and it's salty and stings my eyes and nose.  I love watching waves but being petite have always felt like I'm being yanked out by them.  It's scary!  So, with salt water I'll say 2-3.  Sitting on the beach...definite 10!
4. What's something you do to motivate yourself to tick an item off your to-do list?
Well...I don't do this on purpose...but if I get really stressed out or ticked off...I clean like a mad woman.  If you come to visit and things are ridiculously clean and I look exhausted...there's a pretty good chance I'm dealing with the stress of up coming company or I'm made at Loverbrains!
5. What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor?
Mark 12 says, "Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’"  It's sort of has the same foundation as the golden rule:  Treat others as you would like to be treated.  I have developed a wonderful relationship with my neighbors...through simple things...putting kiddos on the bus in the morning, sharing tomatoes, listening, crying and praying with them when they lose loved ones, making surprises to share when they have new babies.  Simple things...based on my love for the Lord!

6. Who loads the dishwasher at your house? Is there a right way and a wrong way?
I like to the load the dishwasher...my way.  I usually "fix" it if he puts stuff in!  I HATE to empty the dishwasher...mostly because after I do, I end up filling it right back up again.  This depresses and frustrates me...so, he is in charge of emptying the dishwasher...and I load it.  Great division of labor...well, when it works out, of course.
7. You know it's summer when_________________________.
The kids get a million bug bites, you have to water the hanging plants EVERY day or they look wilty, and when the Indiana humidity arrives and it's like taking a bath when you go outside...in the morning.  Ugh!  Okay, those sounded negative...let me try again...When there are lots of weddings (yeah, weddings), when we get to go swimming and splashing, when my yard is full of lush green trees and leaves and flowers...and singing birdies.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Friday we are off to share in the joyous occasion of my brother David's marriage to sweet Jess.  Emma-bean is the flowergirl and Lubby is the ringbearer.  I am a bridesmaid...(better late than never)...and I get to sing during their unity candle ceremony!  Thankfully, Darren isn't in the wedding party and can help watch the kiddos and just be his generally supportive self!  

When we get back we will be having our very first Stay-ca-tion.  Any good ideas out there?  We were thinking we'd go to a park where there's an old cemetary and do grave rubbings one day...and then we'd go fly the kites we're making another day...and the zoo one day...Really...I need ideas!!  Please share!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tube Tuesday: For David & Jess!

My baby brother is getting married on Saturday.  When I saw this on youtube a few weeks back I just had to  post it for the week they get married.  It made me laugh and cry...and it is my prayer for them...  That they will learn to love and honor, cherish and respect each other as they each grow to be more like Christ!  Marriage isn't meant to make you happy...It's to make you holy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gossip Feathers...

My name is Gossip.
I have no respect for justice.
I maim without killing.
I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.

The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society.
My victims are helpless.
They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.

To track me down is impossible.
The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody's friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.
I topple governments and ruin marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses.

I AM CALLED GOSSIP.

Author Unknown from Virtual Christian Magazine
____
Lauren posted a great blog about gossip being like feathers...over where she's Walking By Faith. It made me think of this poem that I first posted April 4, '08. It doesn't hurt to be reminded. Please pray for me...Words are so powerful--negatively and positively. THINK before you speak.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Life is good...

My Mother's Day begonias...so very happy.  Never would have picked them myself...but I love them!

One happy, itching dog!

My rainbow and swiss chard...not so neat rows thanks to Nutsy the Squirrel.  You can even see a nut in this picture.  Argh!

Me thinks the tomatoes are too close together.  C'est la vie!

My happy herbs in their buckets!!  No parsley...but some sage...no rosemary or thyme...but I have dill and chives...oooo and cilantro!!!

Too happy spashin' sweet boobahs!

Again...happy flowers...I can see them from my kitchen window!  Added bonus!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WFW: Taste and See


Do I feel about God's Word like I feel about...chocolate? 

I mean, I always want chocolate.  In the daytime...sometimes in the night time.  I think about how it tastes and smells.  I savor it!!

Do I taste and see that the LORD is good Really good...all.the.time...even when God doesn't tell me everything I want to know about the painful events of life.  After all, He has already told me all I need to know.  It's in His Word.

Is He my refuge?  A refuge is a source of help, relief, or comfort in times of trouble.  Perhaps, I'd rather eat a bar of chocolate than go to Him for these things...Instead of dealing with the yuck!

Just like chocolate is hard to put away...or just eat a few blocks of the bar...so should be my feelings about reading my Bible each day.  Not just one verse, or one passage.  Not just checking it off a list or thinking that's good enough.  Desiring it...not being able to "forget it's on the cupboard."  I read how much non-consequential fiction during summer reading...and how many books (even short books) of the Bible do I read?  Er, ouch. 

Hope my pondering hit you in either a sweet, milk chocolaty reminder way or a bitter, dark convicting way!  I think for me...it's a bit of both.  I'm going to grab my Bible...and a square of chocolate!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: WHO is the Comforter?


Our Pastor is on vacation...and although I'd heard this particular special speaker before...He didn't do what I expected.  Generally, he has a very musical and intensely busy program planned.  But, yesterday...he simply shared from his own life experience...a part of his life and God's sanctifying work in it.  And it was powerful

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."    2 Cor. 1:3-4  

I am using my Kindle Fire in church all the time now...and when I highlighted the word WHO...my husband snickered.  I gave him a questioning look and he whispered that he thought I was looking for the definition of the word.  For those of you who don't know if you select a word the Kindle will give you the definition and the ability to highlight it. 

Funny thing is...in a way...he was right.  I've read this passage quite a few times in my life...and yet...I think I forget WHO my Comforter really is...

What was SO neat about this passage...that I'd never recognized before... is the presence of the entire Trinity.  Vs. 3...God our Father...of our Lord JESUS Christ (Son)...Wait you say, there's no Holy Spirit.  Well, our speaker pointed out that Comforter is the Holy Spirit's main role and title.  Remember John 14: 26, "But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."

Some of the hard questions he asked us to consider were...

How do you receive comfort?  Do you willingly receive it during times of tribulation and adversity?  He told us that a greater blessing cannot be appreciated until we go through certain things...things only the Perfect God has planned for us.  We can't say we want to grow spiritually and know Him more deeply and then buck and complain when adversity or trials come.

Our speaker shared many hymns and their history throughout his message.  I always find this fascinating.  He told of a young girl named Esther Kerr Rusthoi, who in 1941 was an invalid...and while bedridden had written a refrain in her prayers for the Comforter's comfort.  With the encouragement of her brother, Philip Kerr, a hymn writer she added some more verses and we now sing....
 
Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God’s eternal day.

Refrain:
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,
We’re tossed and driven on, no human help in sight;
But there is one in heav’n who knows our deepest care,
Let Jesus solve your problem – just go to Him in pray’r.

Life’s day will soon be o’er, all storms forever past,
We’ll cross the great divide, to glory, safe at last;
We’ll share the joys of heav’n – a harp, a home, a crown,
The tempter will be banished, we’ll lay our burden down.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hope in the Lord!

I wanted to take all sorts of pictures before, during and after the race. But, alas we parked WAY far away and if you don't want to carry it the whole way, you lock it in your car. That means the camera too! 

This race was for melanoma research...and there was a live Jazz band (Soul Street...awesome)...there were cute couples dancing.  My own dermatologist was there (shout out to Dr. Bohyer!)  During the race there was a Daddy and daughter running and he held her hand when it got tough.  It was all great!

On the way home we stopped for dinner...and some nice people outside the restaurant agreed to take our picture!  Gotta love the full body shot...with my huge 5k shirt sticking out like a skirt!  
It was a real thrill to do this...and we are already talking about the next one.  It was so fun to register and pin on my number and stand in the crowd waiting for the starting signal.  We also ran in a park...so, we went through the gorgeous woods and fields too.
Near the end, which was a grueling uphill slope...I kind of thought about gagging (ok, I did)...and I broke my stride briefly.  But Tina pushed me...and we made ourselves sprint to the finish line...37.53.  I think, that's pretty good time for a newbie! 

Next time...more training...much much more!

"Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary."  Isaiah 40:31

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I do run, run, run...I do run, run!

I'm running my very first 5K today...so...pray for me!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"  Hebrews 12:1
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."  1 Cor. 9:24-27

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday's Commercial


Yeah, communication is not the strong suit of our marriage.  In an effort to be strong and independent...I do not share what is bothering me.  I expect my husband to be a mind reader...which is so, so dumb. 

Then, when he does something very minorly annoying, I explode and very clearly communicate every.little.thing that has been bothering me for weeks.  I'd say months...but...that's just embarrassing.  I mean, really...how much reality blogging can you take?

So, after my rather painful epiphany on how stupid this is...may I just make this little commercial to say... MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER!!   Make a date.  You'll either spend money on dates now, or counseling later.  HA!

So, I'm going on a date tonight...Happy weekend ya'll!