Friday, December 31, 2010

The last post of 2010

All over the blogosphere, bloggers are recording their last thoughts of the year.  Resolutions…profound thoughts… things they regret…things they are proud of… things.

Me?  I sent one profound email out today and that was my quota for deep thoughts.  Personally, I’m ready for this year to be over with. Trust me…there were some amazing days, weeks in 2010.  My all time favorites:

1. Lindsey and Joe’s wedding.

2. Eily’s birth

3. Abbie’s graduation

4. being with my family

5. Milwaukee trip with my amazing man.

6. Two week visit from my mom.

7. My new car – It really needs a name.

And then there were these… ones that I would prefer didn’t happen:

1. Truck crash into garage

2. Christine’s motorcycle accident

3. Abbie moving to Trinidad – okay…so this one should make both the good and the bad lists.  Because it’s good and we know God is moving in her life in a lot of ways… we miss her and it’s a challenging call for her.

4. Shawn’s mother in hospital lots and now in nursing home.

5. Shawn’s dad’s Christmas Eve accident. (He fell off the roof and broke his foot and has been staying with us for a little bit here).

 

I almost didn’t even write these lists.  The joys are basically just celebrating life…and the sorrows… seem to pale in comparison to the struggles of other friends and family I know. 

But the one thing I know about 2010.  God uses it all.  Every moment.  The joys, the sorrows, the challenges….no matter how big or how small.  Our prayers do not go unheard…our hearts are not ignored.  He loves us. He knows us.  He uses all of this for His Glory.

Happy New Year friends!  May 2011 bring you once again, closer to the Creator of the Universe.

 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010 pictures

Okay family…don’t kill me.  Some of these are not the most flattering, I know.  But, just remember that not many people read this blog. Smile 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recitals

Emily sang with the college choir at a Christmas program this year.  It was intense practicing… but she had a great time.

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And some photos after her December dance recital. They don’t allow photos during the recital, so I snapped these afterwards.  She loves to pose.

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We baked

Well, I baked.

These little guys… I’ve made them twice now.  They are so addicting.

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And these… I will never bake again.  They look good, but they are a pain.  The recipe says I should have gotten 48.  I got 36.  I hope they taste good because I was so mad at them I refused to eat them.

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And then I did these. In my favorite raspberry.

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I went to the thrift shop and picked up a bunch of little dishes for a quarter and fifty cents.  And I had some bags left over from last year.  And we made these:

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And Emily and I are going to deliver them to some friends who are alone this holiday season.  And in between visits, we will pray for our friends who are alone.  Because Christmas isn’t joyful for some people.  Some people can’t wait for this season to be over.  And we hope to remind them… that Jesus loves them and cares about them.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

5 months old

Since I have a nice camera, I get to be the one who takes all the pictures of Eily.  So, that means I get to post them first. 

She’s five months old this week.  And she’s beautiful.

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That dimple on her right cheek is to die for.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Abbie

Got a message from Abbie today that she is going to the doc in Trinidad.  She’s been not feeling real well… and last week she cut her finger with a knife.  It should have had stitches when it happened but it has only gotten worse over the last few days, swollen and huge… and just not. good.  She made the mistake of taking a picture and sending it to me.

What can I say except that I’m a mom?  I am insane with worry when she is ill and needs medical attention.  It was all that I could do to keep myself from jumping on an airplane and rescuing her from her perils.

I called the doctors office here and made like it was a real emergency and demanded the date of her last tetanus shot.  It was the only thing I had the power to do.  I got real crabby.  Poor nurse.

Found out that her last tetanus was in 2008.  So, I texted her and told her that.  She said it was too late.  Her last tetanus was 12/14/10.

Trusting God is easy…in theory.  I’m just being real here for a moment, but it’s easier for me to trust anything but the Lord sometimes. I trust my own abilities, other people’s judgment of me, my money, my doctor, even an airline pilot.  But God? Yeah right.

It seems insane when you actually think about it.  But, it’s easier for me to trust what I can actually SEE.  Sure, I believe in God…. but trusting Him to run my life? 

I’ve had some opportunities the past few years to put my faith to the test. Sometimes I’ve failed miserably… and other times I’ve had lots of faith.  But, it’s never been an easy thing.  It’s been a lifelong challenge for me to trust Him completely.  Each new crisis requires a new commitment to trust Him.

When I think about it, really think about it…. I know.  And I remind myself.  He loves me. He loves my kids.  He didn’t take my daughter out to the ends of the world to abandon her.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 days later…

I posted 12 days ago.  It’s ironic.  Just last night I sat down to write my Christmas letter and I was trying to fashion our letter in the form of a song to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas.

Yeah, it wasn’t working for me either.

I have issues with Christmas letters.  I want to write them all the time.  I always want to. I do I do.  But, when it comes down to it, I bore my self with the letter.

I had high hopes this year.  We took family pictures in September and I was going to have them made into some beautiful Christmas cards and send them to all our loved ones… and then, I posted all the family pictures on facebook and my blog and now nobody will even think they are that great because they’ve seen them all.

So, I decided to buy cards and just send a meaningful card.  But, my husband needed some for his business, and I didn’t feel like going to the store to get more (you just don’t leave these things up to men to choose) so I gave him the ones I bought… and they are beautiful by the way.

Then, I decided to write a Christmas letter.  Since I already had the perfect picture and the perfect card.  How could I come up with the perfect letter?  I want my readers to laugh, and smile, and enjoy the letter…. and it wasn’t happening for me.  It was like a bad Donny and Marie episode.

So, now I’m stuck.  How oh how do I let all my friends and family know that I love them and that I wish them a Merry Christmas?

I’m thinking about just telling them.  Wouldn’t that just be something unique? A phone call or an email saying Merry Christmas I’m thinking of you. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Que Sera Sera

I haven’t blogged in well, forever.  I’ve pretty much decided that life is “whatever will be will be”. 

So, a real quick catch up post, in list form.

1. I could win an award for the ugliest Christmas tree.  We might have time to decorate this ugly tree after the holidays.

2. I made the mistake of buying not-Starbucks coffee from the grocery store last week. Millstone. I can hardly stand to drink it.  I even doubled the amount of coffee grounds and it still taste like tea.

3. My husband bought me an early Christmas present. Christmas blend coffee and my new favorite coffee cup to match.  Apparently all that complaining about the coffee in #2 gave him a great idea. Thank the Lord for Starbucks.

4. Emily is in a Children’s Choir with the local college group and they are doing a Christmas concert.  I volunteered to help.  That means 3 hour practices all week this week, and their first concert 2.5 hours away on Friday. me + 2.5 hour bus ride + 40 kids = Saturday off.

5. I dug up my copycat recipe for Starbucks cranberry bliss bars.  Lindsey made them. I love her.

6. I’ve been experimenting with jibjab.com videos of my family lately.  It’s doggone hilarious.

7. I shopped on black Friday.  I guess what they mean by “black” is that the stores are in the black.  Not my checkbook.

8. It snowed here yesterday.  But, it didn’t accumulate to anything.  I dread winter. I have to come up with some sort of incentive to leave my house in the next four months or I may never leave.

9. We have a new grocery store opening here on December 8th.  It’s a new version of my favorite store.  I am trying to not buy a full week of groceries until the new store is open.  So, I’m trying to get creative with suppers and use up all the things that never get used… we may have some strange combinations of suppers in the next week. What can you make with leftover ham, ranch dressing, and black beans?

10. In the next week, we have 4 choir concerts, 2 dance recitals, play auditions, and a musical practice.  That’s one child folks. One child.

Until next time, que sera sera.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Nate

Dear Nate,

First of all, you. crack. me. up. The nine voicemail messages you left me are beyond unbelievably hysterical.  If I weren’t such a hoarder of neatness I would have saved them all in my mailbox to share with other friends.  My favorite message of course was the one where you were begging me to forgive you.  I knew it was in the purest form of sincerity that you delivered your message. ;)  My second favorite message was the one that you said “New number. Same annoying Nate.”

Nate the Great, you are a classic one-of-a-kind friend. 

And just because I don’t want to give you a boring response.  Just because I know that for our friendship, it would be much more fulfilling to you if I do something different, something surprising and unexpected.  I am replying to your messages on my blog rather than calling you back.

And the rest of the people – few as they are – that are reading my blog…. well, they have to endure the fact that they have no idea what this is about.  An inside joke per se. They have no idea really….that it’s about….. well…. er…. nothing.

Monday, November 08, 2010

google addict

I am a junkie for google.  Wait.  Maybe I should rephrase that statement.

Hi. My name is Tina. I’m a google addict.

Want me to prove it?  I’ll try.

I couldn’t think of anything to write on my blog (because I’m boring lately).  So, I googled “something to blog about”.  The first hit was a book called…duh… “something to blog about”. It wasn’t what I was looking for so I googled “blog topic ideas”.  And then I told myself “uh…Tina…you just googled your thoughts… are you a google addict?” 

Then, I googled “google addict”.  Wait. Don’t stop reading. It’s worse than you think. 

The first hit to that is this link.  Yep. 63 signs you’re addicted to google.  To my relief, I only have 11 of those 63 signs.

The second hit was a quiz.  So, I took it.  It says "According to our experts, you are 75% addicted to google”.

After those hits, there were various sites I visited that were blogs about google addicts.  I found myself asking these questions:

1. What did I DO before google?

2. What WOULD I DO without google?

I wouldn’t know what holiday it is without the google holiday font.  I wouldn’t know how many people there are in my state with my name…or my husbands name…or my daughters name… or my sisters name… or my neighbors name…ahem!  Okay. I don’t do that very often. (don’t judge me like you haven’t ever done it!)

I wouldn’t know what a spelunker is.  I wouldn’t know that kieour is not a word (I only do this when I’m stressed out…. randomly throw letter on the keyboard at google).  I would actually have to memorize the Napoleon Dynamite and Dwight Schrute quotes.  I would have to use a (egads!) road map.  I wouldn’t know the answer to random questions like “why are my cats teeth falling out” (true story).

I am a child of the 80’s.  We didn’t have google back then.  We were addicted to things like records.  And MTV (when they actually had videos on MTV). 

We had to use dictionaries. I don’t think my kids even know what those are.  They are used to “did you mean …….?”.

Yes, folks, you heard it here.  My life as a google addict is dull as dishwater. It’s sad. But true. Fess up.  you know you’re one too.

Friday, November 05, 2010

I was going to but now I’m not.

I thought about proclaiming myself the worst blogger ever and making a trophy out of all the junk on my desk.  But, then, I read another blog today.  It was their only update since June.  So, I lost the contest (hey! it was a contest to me even if it was created in my mind).

Why haven’t I blogged lately? 

Duh.  I started my own business. Remember? 

I don’t know what I was thinking.  I thought that starting your own business and working from home would be super fun.  I didn’t realize I was going to have to actually WORK.  I thought people who did this sort of thing just got to sit on facebook and play fantasy football all day and get a cute home office and new computer…. and special order “inbox” and all the office supplies you could ever dream of. 

But reality is not that. Reality is slight disorganization (okay, gross exaggeration with the word slight there) partnered with no free time. at. all.

So, instead of crafting my worst blogger trophy this morning, I have a different list.  It’s a little more vague than the detailed lists I’ve made in the past.  It starts with 1)Get your stinkin work done.  and then 2)clean your disgusting house you lazy bum. and finally 3)would you for once cook supper for your family, I think they’re sick of frozen dinners!

If you are reading this, and you have time…. would you make me a trophy?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Things I’ve learned this week…

I’ve been experimenting some on twitter this week.  Months ago, I started like three different twitter accounts and couldn’t figure out how to do it.  The one that I named “Tortelitha”?  Yeah, can’t figure out the password anymore.

So, this past week, I’ve figured out a few things on Twitter.

1. To get followers you have to tweet.

2. To get followers you have to follow.

3. One message = a tweet, More than one message=tweets, and when you are posting these messages you are tweeting.  Simple to some, but not to me.

4. Peeps are everyone in the “Twitter Community” that you follow.  Yes, you are part of a community here.  And a “re-tweet” is like a Christmas gift… the best one you can give your fellow peeps.

5. It’s good to follow “master peeps”…whoever they are in your world.

6. tinyurl.com makes your superlongcrazyurlIcan’tbelieveitsthislongbutithinkyoushouldcheckitout.coms into a usable format.

7. Those things you never do in texting – Gr8 – w/ – 2- and so forth… are very usable for your limited tweet space.

8. Don’t tell your peeps every little thing you do. It gets annoying.  As does tweeting every 30 minutes. (I followed a local news channel and they tweet every hour on the hour…when you don’t follow THAT many people, it gets slightly annoying)

9. A “hashtag” is when you put a number sign # in front of a word and is a way to organize your tweets. For example if you are leading a discussion on your favorite thing to do on Fridays you might use the hashtag "#FridayFav  so you can see what others are tweeting regarding their #FridayFav also - my experience (as much as you can get in one week) is that most people don’t know what a hashtag is and they misuse the # sign to be about #anythingtheyaredoing.

10.  There is a dictionary for Twitter at www.twittonary.com – it will tell you all this and more… like if you are addicted to twitter, you are “Attwicted”, a person who talks a lot is referred to as “Chatter”, and “whoot” another word for “yeah”.

11. DM is a “direct message”.  DMs are directly to one person.  Using the @name format tags another person in your tweet, but it is still sent out to the entire twitter community.  Don’t mix those up…it could be damaging.  I’ve seen it. #trustmeonthisone.

Don’t think I’ll become attwicted any time soon.  I thought I was confused about technology before twitter…

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Things on my countertop

Right now, I’m supposed to be cleaning the kitchen.  But, the coffee isn’t ready yet.  So, I refuse to do it without at least two cups of coffee.  Yes, two. Come on, it’s Saturday!

So, I moved my laptop to the kitchen where I am sitting… working on my LIST.  You know… the list of things to clean in the house.  I can definitely tell what I have to clean by well… just opening my eyes.  But the list gives me a sense of accomplishment.  And it helps me to know how fast I need to move.  I mean, if at 2pm, only three things are crossed off the list, I know I better do as my mom used to say “get a move on”.

I was tempted to really get detailed on my list… like, instead of “dishes”.  I could say

1. wash dishes

2. dry dishes

3. put away dishes (which is an anomaly in this house)

But, I won’t.  

In honor of cleaning day, I leave you with this list. 

Things on my countertops

1. newspapers from last week

2. grocery list

3. pen

4. kleenex

5. empty milk container

6. 20 dirty dishes (I won’t list them separately for your sake)

7. empty plastic donut container

8. 10 clean dishes

9. Granddaughter’s bottle wash drying rack

10. Slumberriffic Book

11. Note from Emily asking if she can have a slumber party.

12. School lunch menu. Amazing that it’s here.  We searched high and low for it yesterday minutes before leaving to go to school.

13. tomatoes

14. empty bowl

15. tea kettle

16. plastic cup from restaurant

17. Popcorn popper

18. 12 apples (don’t get the idea that they are displayed all Martha Stewartish… they are still in the bag from the apple orchard…well…er…some of them.  The other part of them are all over the counter, spread out.

19. Bread machine

20. Inside pan from bread machine

21. Little teeny tiny plastic dough mixer thing from bread machine. Hey, i lost that once.  Better put it away before i lose it again.

22. Creamer – waiting patiently for it’s dumping.

23. 2 big popcorn bowls

24. various other dishes… clean… but not put away. Why are they over by the coffee pot?

25. empty pizza box (I wasn’t home last night so they ordered pizza.  Don’t worry. I put the leftovers in the refrigerator when I came home)

26. 3 napkins.

27. I paper plate.  used. ick.

28. Salt shaker and pepper grinder

29. half eaten caramel apple.  She HAD to have that thing at the apple orchard…would NOT share it with me… and now, there it is. Half eaten.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dawn

I went out this morning just as the sun was coming up and took a few photos around town.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

some things aren’t meant to be photographed

Lately,  I’ve been messing up a lot with my camera.  I have been absent-mindedly deleting pictures before I save them… or not taking them when I think I am … or other bizarre photography behavior!

This morning, I was holding my granddaughter and she gave me the biggest smile.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I could barely see the dimple on her cheek form and the sparkle in her eyes.  It was one of those moments that I couldn’t wait to get to know her and she what her personality will be.  Instantly, of course, my reaction is to want to grab my camera.  I resisted.

Yesterday, my mom called to tell me that someone I don’t know died.  As she described the event, my mind raced back to when Shawn’s grandmother passed away.

We had been called and told that she wasn’t doing very well.  We went to the nursing home she was living at the time.  We went to her bedside and kissed her frail cheeks and held her thin hands.  Her eyes were closed, but I knew that even if they were open, they would be glass-like. 

Not knowing what else to do, we gathered around her bed and took some deep breaths.  We began to pray.  We prayed for her comfort, thanked God for her long life and the lives she touched.  As we opened our eyes, and ended our prayer, it was only a few moments later and someone said “she’s gone”.  Passed from this life to eternity in a moment.  We don’t have any photos of Leola during this time in her life.

I don’t need photos for these memories.  They are deeply etched into my mind.  They are always there.  Smells I can smell just by closing my eyes.  Sounds I can hear in the distance in an instant.

There are many of them. My wedding day. The birth of my children. Riding bike with my friend Chris in high school. Kissing my husband.  Sitting under the deck in the rain storm. Talking with the girls late at night. Watching my daughters dance. … and many many more.

Yes, photos are important.  I take tons of them.  But, they are to share with others.  The things that God desires for me to experience, He etches in the camera of my mind, never to be edited or deleted.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dad’s Pimped out blue truck

My Dad’s birthday is in November.  He will be 70.  We all say he’s 70….going on 18. 

He’s funny.  In his retirement, we always joke around that he can’t do more than one thing a day. Like, on Monday, he’ll go to the bank.  Then, on Tuesday, he’ll head to the grocery store. Wednesday he might go to the post office to see what it costs to send something to Trinidad from here.  Then, on Thursday, he’ll go back and get the stamps. 

And yet… when he goes to California to visit family, he still likes to get out the boogie board and try his old tricks.

My brother Todd and I have been discussing what to get him for his birthday.  I usually rely on Todd for the gift ideas.  We decided to go in together and get him a new truck box for his truck.

For a girl, a truck box as a gift is really. really. dumb.  Dear husband, do not ever buy me one for my birthday.

But, for dad… it was good times.  Todd found the truck box on a swap sheet.  He bought it, sanded it, painted it, and then he and dad installed it.  (I just wrote a check and took the photos.)

We’ll officially celebrate his birthday in a month or so…and I will have lots of photos from the party.  But, before the snow flies in the midwest, we decided the truck box gift had better get installed.  I didn’t take “before” pictures.  Because they were too fast for that.  But, here you go… dad’s pimped out truck.

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 Dad's Pimped Out Truck (7)

Dad's Pimped Out Truck (8)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Road Nobody Knew Existed…

I have several people that I’ve been praying for lately.

Big stuff going on in their lives… huge things.  Not just your everyday little issues.  Life changing.

This morning, I read Psalm 77:1-20. 

The Psalmist cries out to God.  He is in deep deep trouble.  He prayed all night long.  He was not comforted.  He was overwhelmed with desire for God to rescue him.

He thought of the days gone by… when there was joy.  He questions “Has the Lord rejected me forever? Have His promises forever failed?  Has He forgotten?”

He decides this is his fate… God…forgetting him.

Then he remembers God’s deeds from long ago.  He can’t stop thinking about the things God DID do.  He redeemed His people, the Red Sea…he parted….the earth…it trembled and shook and He made a path through the treacherous waters.  He made a path through a way that nobody knew existed… and then, He led His people along that road… the road nobody knew existed before.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I’m mad at my car.

My husband says it’s an absurd thing to be mad at.  But, I have to blame someone(thing) and I don’t want the blame.

This week I went to my daughter’s home…two hours away.  It was blasted hot in the beginning of the week. And the AC in my car didn’t work.

I came home on Wednesday and drove the whole way… 70(ish) mph down the interstate with the windows down. (It was hot.)

That evening, I discovered that Kohl’s had sent me a 30% off coupon for the sale that started Wed.  I met Shawn at church… and told him I was going to go to Kohl’s…. instead of church.  AND… I was hot…so I was taking his truck instead of the car with no AC.

I found some great deals at Kohl’s…it was a lot of fun.  And, just in time to pick up Shawn and Em at church, I departed the store.

And I couldn’t find the keys.

At all.

I dumped my purse out. Twice.

I retraced my steps. Thrice.

I inquired at the service desk. Frice.

I searched the carts. Fiftice.

And I even looked to see if the ‘secret’ key was hidden.

nope.

I had to call Shawn…who had to get a ride to Kohl’s (from the pastor nonetheless who now knows I decided to go to Kohl’s instead of church).

We searched. Again.

Then, we had to call Joe…who had to go home (20 minutes away) and get the extra keys and bring them back.

And all this…. because my stupid AC doesn’t work.

So, I’m mad at my car.

Friday, October 01, 2010

where the coffee’s always hot….

A while ago, I mentioned that I was starting my own business.  I decided this morning that I should finally blog a little more about that.

Throughout the last 23 years, I’ve worked, stayed home, worked, stayed home, worked, stayed home…it’s been a fluctuation between working outside the home, and staying home with the kids. 

For the most part, I’ve been blessed to be a part of a family that has a home building business.  So, the majority of my work has been for the family business.  But, I’ve also worked… at an insurance agency,  McDonald’s, several nursing homes as a nurses aide, a hotel as a desk clerk and auditor, church, as an after school nature program coordinator,a rubber manufacturer’s plant, and a medical billing office.

All of these places have taught me things.  I could go on and on about the lessons I’ve learned in my employment.  Both good and bad, my bosses, coworkers, supervisors… have all played a part in who I have become.

Last year, we did a book club on the book 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller.  Dan challenges his readers to "LOVE MONDAYS”.  To not just “work” but to “live”….to not just go through the motions and be a part of a story…but to create your own story.  It was very challenging for me personally.  I knew that I was not living the way that I should be, could be, wanted to be….

For several years, I’ve wanted to start my own coffee shop.  But, there are lots of things that stopped me.  The biggest of these was that I didn’t want to be away from my family for the hours that I knew it would take to build a successful coffee shop.

But the things that I love… the things I enjoy… continued to beckon me to start my own business.

Strange as they may seem, these things I love: organization, structure, strategies, planning… these concepts define me in a lot of ways.  As I was driving home the other day with Emily, she said “Mom…. why do you just LOVE organization so much?”.   Even my family knows this.

My business is taking shape.  I spend a lot of time working on planning, details, structure, strategies…. and I have four clients.  Four. 

Speaking of four.

That’s what I do.  Four things. 

Small business bookkeeping, Marketing strategies for small businesses, Business structuring and procedures, and Event planning.

With the help of my great friend, I even came up with a name…. Fore Agency.

I’m not so sure about the “agency part”… because it sounds kind of like a detective or a government entity.  But, at the same time… it’s influential…right?

So, I have become a part of those known as the “Barefoot Executives'”… I roll out of bed in the morning…sometimes get dressed, sometimes not… I walk into the other room where my office is located… and I work. Right here. Right where I want to be.  Where the company is good… and the coffee is always hot.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Purple Ball Infatuation

Waaaaaay back at Abbie’s graduation, we decorated at her grad party with these purple topiaries…

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the purple topiaries were shoved in the basement…and then became decorations for the baby shower…

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And when the baby shower was over, they kind of just “hung” around for a while because we were too lazy to get the ladder out to take them down.  That’s when we realized it.

My granddaughter is infatuated with the purple balls.  Every time she sees them, she breaks into a huge grin.  She just LOVES them.

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It’s so sweet….

So, Haleigh and I decided to put them in her room.

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Bring on the constant joy of the purple balls!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Legend of the Guardians: my review

Friday night Shawn and I took Em and her friend Kelsey to the movie.

I remember when Emily was reading the book by Kathryn Lasky.  I asked her what it was about.  “Owls”.

I thought it sounded really dumb.  But, she promised it was SO NOT dumb. But, fantastic.

So, I was prepared for some pretty fantastic movie on Friday night.  Thanks to some spectacular animation by Warner Bros, I was not disappointed.

The Legend of the Guardians plot is something like this: Baby owls (I believe they are dubbed owlets) are stolen from their nest and taken captive by an evil owl and his followers…the Pure Ones. The plan of course is to corrupt the owlets and use them to exterminate the entire owl population so the Pure Ones can be in power. 

It’s your basic good vs. evil.

Soren and Kludd are owlet brothers.  Soren believes in the legends of old, as his father has told him the ancient stories…. and Kludd is a non-believer.

When they are kidnapped by the Pure Ones, we see the balance of good owls and bad owls…. who will win?

The animation was really awesome.  The color, the epic battle…. the weapons… the flights… they were superb.  My favorite part was when Soren found his way to REALLY fly… through the storm.  When he discovered what he was really made of.

If you get a chance to check it out, DO IT! You won’t be disappointed.

t0 change or not to change?

This is one of those times that I wish I had hundreds of readers on my blog. 

I want to switch my reader.

I used to use bloglines.  But, when I upgraded my computer to office 2007, I liked the ability to subscribe outlook to RSS feeds.  It was handy to have them all right there in my inbox each time I updated.

But recently, my RSS Feeds have been jacked up in outlook 2007.  Some of the sites I subscribe to end up sending me some of the same updates over and over and over again…. and I’m sure they aren’t repeating their posts. 

So, I’ve been considering whether I should change to a new source.  The ones I’m considering:

Squeet.

IntraVnews.

Awasu.

Sometimes I wonder where they get their names. ?

Anyway, this is why I wish I had a lot of followers.  I’d like your opinion.  So… if you EVER read my blog…even if you NEVER comment… I’m begging you… delurk and comment now. 

Answer these questions:

1. Do you use an RSS Feed reader?

2. Which one do you use?

3. Why do you use that one?

4. Are you satisfied with it?

5. What do you recommend?

Friday, September 24, 2010

random

 

 

… I will not let facebook and blogs get in the way of the work I have to get done today…. repeat this 100 times.

… my handle on my car door broke.  I can’t open it from the inside.  So in order to get out of the car, I have to roll down the window and reach out to the door handle.  Just in time for winter.  nice…..

… Lulu’s dedication this weekend means we have company coming from out of town.  Time to clean the house.  ick.

… I miss Abbie.

… working from home today. I did actually get dressed. Just decided not to do my hair or makeup. Hey… I’m allowed.

… I’m on my second cup of coffee. I’m going to need the whole pot today.

… We got our new garage door installed yesterday. Remember this?

… I think about and pray for Abbie and Josh and Mel and family all. the. time.  I’m like… stalking them on facebook and skype.

… tonight we’re going to see the “Legend of the Guardians” with Em and friend….after they work on their Canada project. 

… I still cry every day because I miss Abbie.  Don’t ask me about her. It sets me off and it’s not pretty.  Trust me on this one.

… woke up this morning. My air conditioning was still on from yesterday. But, it was cold out.  Didn’t see that coming.

… just a little reminder to pray for this girl…

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eily’s baby shower.

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the new “norm”

I remember when our kids were born.  Each time we would have a child, there was a big time of adjustment that came along with having a baby around again.  Sleeping habits, eating schedules, going out… it all changed.  Then, soon, the new changes became the norm. Until another change.  Then, that ushered in the new norm. Until another change…

That’s kind of how life evolves right? Norms change and become the new norms… until they’re not anymore.

2010 has been a year of constantly changing norms for us.  A wedding. A son in law. A granddaughter. A graduation. A job change. A new business. A missionary family living in our basement.

A daughter moving out of the country.

This week, we took our 18 year old to the airport and put her on a plane to Trinidad, where she will live for 10 months and learn what missionary life is like.

Which is a hard thing to do.

When other kids are heading to college, and meeting new roommates, and partying in dorms, and staying up late, and going out…. my daughter has chosen to move to a foreign land and live the life of a missionary.  It’s a bold move.

It’s a move that brings me to my knees daily.  Praying that God would give her strength, and health, and discernment, and safety. 

And now, it’s really really quiet around our house.  Right now, at this very moment, I’m home alone.  I can hear the fan on my computer.  I can hear the ice maker kick in.  I can hear the washing machine wash.  It’s quiet.

And this.  This is the new norm.  For now, I am called to pray for my kids… my daughter in another part of the state, my daughter and her husband that live in the basement here, my granddaughter, and my daughter in Trinidad, the missionary.  That God would do a work in all of their lives, and draw them closer to Him.

Some norms are easier than others.  This particular norm… this quiet one…. is going to take a little while to get used to.  This one… I will welcome the end and the transition to the next new norm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

encounter, community, and transformation

This morning we crossed another thing off our list.  Say goodbye to Abbie…the first time.

She left today for training for three days.  She’ll return on Saturday. On Sunday, we will leave for a service for her and then on Monday, put her on a plane.  So, I like to think today is a “practice goodbye”.

This morning, I started the new book that Ang and I are starting to read together.  It’s called “Shattered Dreams” by Larry Crabb.  I’ve read the introduction so far and I think I’m going to like this book.

One of the things Crabb talks about in the introduction is that God has instructed him to focus his life and ministry around three words: encounter, community, and transformation.

God wants him to encounter Him in a way that fills his soul with more joy than any other experience, and to lead others to experience a similar encounter.

God wants him to develop and participate in a community where no one remains unknown, unexplored, undiscovered, or untouched; where we discover our true selves; where we realize that we are really passionate followers of Jesus; where people become spiritual friends.

God wants him to better understand, practice, and teach the art of spiritual direction where deep transformation of the human personality occurs.

As I ponder these words, my heart turns toward Abbie.  Leaving for 10 months to missionary training school in another country.

As a mom, sometimes the words sting my heart.  I know what missionaries face. The heartbreak, the physical challenges, the persecution. Giving birth to her 18 years ago, I didn’t ask for this for her.

As a Christ-follower, the realization of who she is brings me great joy.  I know that girl. I know her. She is, always has been, a people lover.  And when people lover meets Christ follower, it equals a call on her life that she knows she cannot walk away from.

So, today, I’m praying for Abbie.  To encounter God in a way that fills her soul with more joy than any other experience, and to lead others to a similar encounter.  To participate in community where she does not remain unknown, unexplained, undiscovered, or untouched.  And to better understand, practice, and teach the art of spiritual direction where she will be forever transformed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

countdown

Abbie leaves home in 6 days…. and leaves the country in 10 days.

Earlier this week, we had a get together with some of her friends.  A great group of girls.  I love them all like they are my own daughters.

They’ve been friends for a long long time, growing up, sharing hopes, dreams. Sharing life.

For the past 18 years, we’ve done all we can to train and raise Abbie to be a God-fearing, people-loving follower of Christ. 

A baseball player isn’t really a baseball player, unless he plays baseball… a truck driver isn’t really a truck driver unless he drives truck.

And a Christian isn’t really a Christian unless he follows Christ.

It will be hard to see Abbie go a very long ways away this year.  But, she knows this is what she is called to do.  And, as scary as it is for a mom to see your daughter move across the world, I’d rather have her go to a foreign land and follow Christ, than stay in the comfort of her own home, and not.

 

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I heart post it notes

I have always loved post it notes.  Really just notes of all kinds.

Recently, I discovered post it notes for my laptop.

 

Love it.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Authenticity

It’s quiet around my house right now.  It 8:30am and everyone’s sleeping in on the holiday morning.

I woke up early and started laundry, started to clean the kitchen, started to organize the pantry… and then the coffee was done and was beckoning me to sit with it…

So, for the last few minutes, I’ve been reflecting on yesterday’s sermon.

For the past few weeks, Pastor John has been talking about the DNA of our church body.  The first week it was “invitational”.  The second week it was “Bibliocentric”….although, I’m pretty sure that’s not a real word….but it makes it’s point.   This week it was “consistently authentic”.

Pastor John did a fabulous job of unwrapping two things from the Word.  First, we have to be authentic in our relationship with God.  He used the verse from Malachi 1:6-8 where basically the people were cheating God.  They were saying one thing and doing another.  As if God wouldn’t notice.  God notices.  He knows.  So, in my mind, I thought really…. when you aren’t authentic with God, it’s really that you aren’t honest and authentic with yourself.  Be real. Be who you are. Take off your mask. 

And second, he said we have to be authentic in relationships with people.  Here he used the verse in Mark 14:32-41 and pointed out that even Jesus wanted his three friends to watch and pray.  Jesus had some pretty authentic relationships. 

This is the hard stuff.  I haven’t been super open on my blog for a couple of years.  Our family has been through a lot in the last two years.  And to be truthful, this sermon on authenticity was good for me.  It was a heart check.

I’ve been authentic with God…in my relationship with God.  I’ve questioned God and I’ve asked God why certain things have been allowed and I’ve told Him in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t sure He knew what He was doing.  Believe me…my relationship with God has been authentic.  And when the tears and the words, and the sorrow momentarily stop, I know that I can trust Him. That His word is true. That He loves me.  And that ultimately, the things He allows or chooses for me in my life are for my good, and His glory.

And for a long time, I felt like I hadn’t been authentic in my relationships with people.  But, this sermon has helped me with that.  Jesus didn’t invite all 12 of his disciples to watch and pray.  He went with three.

And yes, every single person I know doesn’t know me.  They don’t know my heart, my pain, my sorrow, my fears.  And for me, it’s difficult at times. Because I am a person who desires to be understood.  To be heard. To be validated. 

I find great comfort in the fact that the Lord knows.  He knows my heart.  He knows me.  I’ve not been fake with Him or myself or my close friends.  He knows. 

The last thing Pastor John talked about is that in order to be authentic, we have to sometimes agree with the devil. 

Yes, devil, you are right.  I don’t have what it takes to succeed in life.  You are right.  I am not smart enough, nice enough, good enough.

But Christ does.

You are right devil.  I can’t work hard enough to save myself or my family.  Jesus did it.

You’re right.  I can’t do it alone.  I can’t live my life to please God all the time.  And you know what else? I don’t have to. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret…a mystery.  Christ is in me.  He is my hope in glory.  (Col 1)