hi this is emma,
i want to show you my new project, the other day i got some Play-Doh this is some of what i made so for:
thanks for reading this
p.s. this is the first blog i have ever written
hi this is emma,
i want to show you my new project, the other day i got some Play-Doh this is some of what i made so for:
thanks for reading this
p.s. this is the first blog i have ever written
We have heard some amazing stroke recovery stories during the past few months. One thing that many of them have in common is Eastern medicine and acupuncture. So on Tuesday morning I'm off to try it. I'm a little freaked out at the thought of it, but everyone assures me it will not hurt. So I'm just going to be brave. And who knows?maybe it will help me like it has helped others. Here's hoping and praying that it will!
The doctors are also talking therapy for my left ankle to lengthen my Achilles so I can get my left foot flat on the floor which is necessary for walking properly. I'm not super excited about the the thought of that either but if it gets me back in my shoes and heels and even running again well then bring it on! We are waiting to see the orthopedist to find out more.
Finally, thanks ya'll so much for all your kind comments on my post last week about how I am really feeling--you encourage my heart greatly. I love you all very much!
I'm sitting here at my cool roll top desk (Mom and Dad didn't have a spot for it, so it came to live at my house. It has little secret drawers and a zillion cubbies. I love it.), listening to the fire crackle and the girls getting bundled up to go out and play in the snow for a while before tackling their afternoon on their own assignments.
The house smells super wood-smoky, which is a nice smell. At least it is now. Earlier this morning? Not so much.
I had such a vision of school by the fireplace in the living room, the girls in the window seat, me in my comfy chair. (We usually do school at the kitchen table and in the family room that joins the breakfast nook.)
So I built a fire.
And the house filled with smoke.
And we opened ALL the doors and the windows.
(Did I mention it was 14 degrees?)
And then we could see our breath in the house.
Until the smoke alarm went off--REALLY REALLY LOUD!--and scared the breath clean out of us.
When the smoke cleared--and we stopped coughing and our eyes stopped burning and stinging and tearing like mad--we shut the house again and stood shivering by the roaring fire.
And then the house filled with smoke again.
And we opened ALL the doors and the windows.
Yep, still 14 degrees.
And we could see our breath in the house.
And then the smoke alarm went off AGAIN. Yep, REALLY REALLY LOUD.
And then I called Toben.
And he asked if I'd opened the flue.
"Of course I opened the flue!" I said. I'm not that dumb.
Except that I am.
Note to self: The flue is open when the little handle thing-y is pulled toward you. It's shut when pushed back.
Now I can search my blog for the keyword "flue" and not do this again. Because let me tell you, cleaning the stone around the fireplace is not going to be much fun.
And we did have a nice morning of school by the fireplace in the living room, girls in the window seat, me in my comfy chair. We just started an hour and a half later than usual.
Oh, and roasted marshmallow s'mores at 3 o'clock for anyone who wants to come over. I have a lovely fire going.
I started putting Christmas stuff away yesterday in the midst of house cleaning. Which means I gather it all together and pile it in a huge mess in the dining room, scattering glitter everywhere.
It takes a couple of days because as soon as I think I'm done and the last box is shut, there's a little Christmas something I forgot, sticking it's figurative tongue out at me, saying "Neener, neener, you forgot me!"
Do your Christmas decorations do that to you?
Anyway, I didn't make as much progress as I'd hoped. My back has been hurting (did I tell you that? Can't remember!) and while it's on the mend and was feeling lots better, it started aching again yesterday afternoon.
Part of me totally wanted to push through it.
Because there are THINGS TO BE DONE.
Amazingly and uncharacteristically, I grabbed a book, a mug of hot water, sat on the couch with my feet up, and read a book.
Because the truth is, I don't often know when to stop. I don't like leaving things undone and will keep going at the expense of, well, fill in the blank. I don't want to stop till it's done. When the truth is, IT is never done. There is always something else to do. (Sound familiar, self?)
And while I'd like to think that I can handle it, I can organize it, I can get it all done if I just set my mind to it, the truth is that I can't.
Sometimes, I need to stop. Even when it's not all done.
Here's hoping I learn the lesson in such a way that I'll stop before my back starts to hurt.
P.S. Oh, and the tree? That's staying up a while longer yet. Minus the glittery, sparkly stuff. Filled instead with wintery stuff. And soon to be filled with Valentine-y stuff. Who knows? It may stay up all the way till next Christmas. We'll see...
Not that I had any doubts, but Bible study last night confirmed the confirmation that love is the theme for this year.
We're doing Loving Well. Which sums it up right there. I want to learn to love well this year. I want to get to a year from now and look back on 2011 and say with honesty, "I loved well this year."
And the first session of Loving Well just confirmed that. Again. And gave me a clearer picture of what that looks like.
Here are a couple of things I jotted down (not enough room in the journal that goes with the study--need a separate place to take notes!) while watching session 1 last night:
Growing in Christ means growing in love.
Am I getting more loving?
Transformation should be seen most clearly in love.
God measures maturity by how we love.
Am I loving more than I can? Beyond my ability to do so?
And then there was this definition of self-love that cut deep because it's so accurate:
"the undue sparing of self with the primary concern that things be easy or pleasant for oneself"
The journal questions this morning just added to it:
Do I love others better than I did five years ago?
Am I growing in my ability to love others more openly, with more vulnerability?
What marked change or transformation has come about in the way I love?
I must say, it took me a while to answer those questions. I want to be brave enough to be honest, to have the courage to have God reveal to me the actual state of my heart.
Are you starting Bible study again after the Christmas break? What are you doing?
Ever wonder if you're on the right track with your thinking? With the direction you're headed? With the goals or plans you've made?
Me too. But not right now.
Because everything--and I mean EVERYTHING--I have heard and read and seen in the past couple of days has pointed to the fact that this year of love, this new beginning, this change of mind and of heart is underway and moving forward.
I'm a little (okay, a lot) nervous about it. Scared of failure. Excited at the possibility of change, of success. Thrilled that this may just be it.
But certain that this is right for this year. Because coincidence doesn't exist and too many things are pointing in this direction.
Yes, I mean YOU.
Because even though I may not know you face to face (though so many of you, I do and I'm so super thankful for that!) I consider you to be real friends. (Not imaginary ones, as Toben sometimes refers to friends I haven't actually met in real life and might walk past in the store.)
Isn't the internet amazing?
Thank you is much too small to say in response to your kind comments and prayers yesterday. Knowing I'm not the only one who struggles in motherhood--because you took the time to tell me so--helps me persevere. Thank you for your encouragement, your perspective, your me toos.
Yesterday was a much better day.
Looking back to the other day, there's wasn't one thing that stood out to set the whole thing off. It was just the accumulation of many days and many small things. The straw that broke the camel's back.
Let's keep short accounts as we move into the new year. Let's determine to deal with things while they're still small, before many such small things have time to accumulate and get overwhelming. Let's decide to begin 2011 with a clean slate, with a truly fresh start. Let's let God teach us and mold us and change us to be more like Jesus this next year so that when a year from today comes we can look back to today, rather than just looking around and thinking, Yep, I'm still stuck here.
Let's not wait until some perfect day in the future to live the lives we dream of having. Let's just do the thing.
You with me?
In the past, we have done resolutions for the new year as a family. Kept them in time capsules hidden away until next year, put them on a sheet of poster board to see all year long. Planned, dreamed, set goals.
New Year's is coming and I'm not sure what we're doing as a family to mark it. Yes, we'll be heading to Mom and Dad's for the Rose Parade and black-eyed peas and thank you note writing (except for Audrey, who already got hers done in record time!).
But we need some time to dream together, to talk together, to set some goals together about what we hope this next year will hold.
I'm thinking the poster may be in order once more. There's something about writing down our hopes and dreams and goals that makes them more real, more solid, more tangible than just talking about them. And hanging that poster on the basement door keeps it present, so that we remember what we've dreamed and hoped and do really want as the year progresses.
At the same time, a theme is emerging as I pray and journal and read. For me, 2011 is going to be marked by LOVE. I want to pay closer attention to how to love the people in my family--in ways they need and receive, rather than just how I prefer to love them, what's most convenient for me, or most comfortable.
Do you make resolutions? Pick a theme? How do you mark the beginning of a new year?
Seems so weird to me that it's Tuesday again, that my final was just a week ago. Somehow it feels much longer than that.
Toben said yesterday that he's ready for me to be feeling better. Me too. So today I am declaring myself well. :) (I tried on Sunday, but it didn't quite work out like I'd planned.)
When I'm out of it, the whole family is off kilter somehow. Which makes me feel good and awful at the same time. Good to know that I'm important to my family, that I have an impact, an effect on what happens in our home. That my influence matters. Awful that I don't just get to be sick all by myself without it throwing everyone else out of whack. Gone are the days of guilt-free sickness.
Not sure if that makes sense or not. Other mommies out there--do you get it?
Anyway, I'm going to bundle up and go for a walk here in a bit, stay on top of my cold meds today, head to the fabric store for a few supplies to finish up a couple of projects, babysit my niece and nephew so my mother can go get her hair cut (my sis and her husband and my baby nephew are all in NYC for a few days so Ava and Tyson are with my parents), then bake an apple pie to take to Mom and Dad's for dinner.
I invited us over for dinner tonight since they have a friend staying with them who has been working in Antarctica. And I have some questions. And want to learn about the work he does there. And the people he works with there. And ask all kinds of things that I'm sure will pop into my head.
We studied Antarctica earlier this year in school, and the girls have some questions to ask too. Mostly about penguins. And leopard seals. And the weather.
What are you up to today?
If you know me at all, you know how much I love a good list. Look at these pretty little list-y books!
Here's how you make them:
Fold your paper--any size, square or rectangular--along the black lines. Then cut along the dotted line. Fold the book up and in and there you have it! A fun list for groceries, Christmas ideas, errands, party planning, or anything else that needs a list.
You can also check out PocketMod for printable books like these. Add a calendar, a list with boxes to check, reference information, or even a dots game. Send it to your printer and you're good to go!
We headed down to Colorado Springs with Mom and Dad last night to attend MESSIAH at Village Seven Presbyterian Church. Wow. WOW! It was incredible.
The choir and orchestra performed the entire thing, and I loved following along in the program and seeing the scenes unfold as the story of our Messiah was told from beginning to end. I'm familiar with some of the music, but much of it was new to me. Amazing. I find myself sitting here, unable to convey just how wonderful it was.
Of course, Hallelujah! was beyond words, but I think that Worthy Is the Lamb deserves to have the audience stand as well. And the short chorus of The Lord Gave the Word just made my heart thrill when suddenly the choir belted out: "The Lord gave the word: great was the company of preachers."
The lyrics are all straight from Scripture. This was my favorite last night; the words that grabbed my heart:
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain;
O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength;
lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Have you seen a performance of the entire work? If you have the chance, go!
Village Seven is the church I grew up in for the most part, the church where Toben and I got married. So it was fun to see familiar faces everywhere I turned.
And I have to say I'm surprised that no one stopped me to say, "Aren't you one of the Friedenstein girls?" (That happens a lot when I'm down in the Springs--I look a lot like my mother and they seem to know everyone, so I always have to be on my best behavior when I head down I-25!) Maybe it's because I was with my mom and people just knew I was a Friedenstein girl. :)
Fun small world thing: After we found seats, my mom was talking to a woman sitting in front of us. She pulled me into the conversation and introduced me to my second-grade teacher! Once I put her name with her face, I recognized her and we had fun remembering second grade together. So much of that year is crystal clear in my memory, and it was fun to hear her side of those memories!
It took awhile to leave--so many people to say hello to--and we got home after 1o. Late for the Heim girls! So we're turning our day upside down today--time to work independently this morning, and school together this afternoon.
I'm off to the library to return some books--and one very overdue book (oops!) and get some more hairspray. (I'm out. And I love hairspray. Just ask the girls. I might just overdo it a bit.) I'll study some Greek this morning (test tomorrow and final next week) while they finish illustrating the story books they're writing for history.
And before I forget, Memory Monday for us is just reviewing Philippians 2:5-11 to make sure it's written in permanent marker on our hearts. As always, if you'd like to join in, we'd love to have you. Click on the button on the right for more information.
Hope you have a great Monday. We lit our second candle as part of our Advent wreath yesterday--the candle of preparation. Take some time to sit quietly by the light of your tree today. Sometimes I think the best thing we can do to prepare for Christmas is just to be still and savor the beauty that surrounds us. After all, you worked hard to make it pretty; take some time to enjoy it!
Audrey and I headed to Target yesterday afternoon (ended up going after all, Holly!) on a mission: To find a cute holiday outfit for her. One she loved, one I liked, one that would be appropriate for some holiday things.
Sounds impossible, right?
But we're going to hear The Messiah at Village Seven Presbyterian Church (the church I grew up in) in Colorado Springs on Sunday with my parents. And Mom is taking us all out for a girls' lunch at the Broadmoor the week after Christmas.
Holiday things for which jeans and a hoodie are most definitely not appropriate. So an outfit is a NECESSITY. (Things in capital letters automatically make it into the budget. Like GROCERIES. And HEAT. And a HOLIDAY OUTFIT FOR AUDREY.)
My sweet Audrey is a jeans and hoodie and Uggs girl at heart. Unless it's a sweats and hoodie and Uggs day. Which is usually fine. With school at home and attending a super casual church, she doesn't really need dressy clothes, and doesn't really have anywhere to wear them if she did have any.
Off to Target we went, praying all the way. Because--if you have an almost-teenage daughter yourself--you know that mother-daughter shopping has the potential to be either WONDERFUL or HORRIBLE. One or the other. There is no in between.
So we prayed. Earnestly. For a good outfit that she would feel great in, that would be her. (No Santa dresses for her.) For fun and laughter and joy in looking and trying on. For love to prevail.
We loaded up the cart with anything and everything that caught our eye--some things she liked that I didn't, some things I liked that she didn't, some things that we both agreed on. To try it all and see.
An hour and a half later, we found something we are both so excited about. Something that looks great on her. That she feels great in. That's versatile. And is just so darn cute. And warm. (Really, why so many sleeveless holiday clothes? Yes, they are cute, but winter is typically COLD!)
I'll post pictures when she debuts the whole thing.
(And while I'm asking questions, why the six item limit in the dressing room? To find a good outfit, you need to mix and match and put all kinds of things together. Shoes alone ended up being two of our items. In and out and back and forth to the cart, swapping out items for different ones is part of why it took so long to try everything on.)
We prayed after our trip to Target too. Because while the cute outfit is wonderful, the fact that we had a ball together feels pretty miraculous. THANK YOU, LORD!
(And for those of you following me on Twitter, I bought a slip. Which means that not only will my tights stop sticking to my skirt, I can wear a clingy dress that was already hanging in my closet on Sunday that just needed some, well, foundation underneath.)
Thought I'd pick up where I left off the other day...
91. Having my parents live so close (Did I already say that?)
92. Cookie baking with my mom and sister and all the cousins
93. Snow while we were baking cookies yesterday
94. Hershey kisses for Peanut Butter Blossoms
95. New recipes
96. My favorite favorite antique store--The Pink Attic Cat--and sweet Amy who owns it
97. My Thanksgiving Tree (you knew that was going on the list!)
98. My Bible study gals (Kathy, Yvette, and Kristin--I love you dearly)
99. Thursday get togethers with Shanna
100. Friday Skype-ing with Christy
101. That Audrey got to sleep over last night with Gran and Papa
102. That Emma's going over this morning to help Gran make dinner
104. Green bean casserole!
105. Pecan pie! (Going to get it in the oven in a minute)
106. Having a kind husband (I love you, Toben, and appreciate your thoughtfulness so much)
107. My iPod (Did I say that one already too?!)
108. Heat in my house that works (the low last night was THREE)
109. Toben's job--and that he absolutely loves it and gets to work with a great guy (Love you much, Ryan!)
111. Early mornings when no one else is awake (something makes me think that I said that one already too)
112. That I can repeat myself and be thankful for things more than once :)
113. The Glee Christmas album and that they put "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" on it--Comfort and joy are great tidings, indeed
117. My sewing machine
118. The library
120. My comfy bed and electric blanket
121. Choice--even though it's sometimes hard
122. The ability to learn and grow and change
123. The sound of Emma singing upstairs in her room
124. Encouraging comments and emails and notes
125. Emma's ruby red lips
126. More coffee in the pot
127. God's economy--that he doesn't waste anything we go through, but uses it all for our good and his glory
128. That we only have to drive five minutes to get to Thanksgiving dinner today and don't have to fly anywhere
131. Cornbread and milk
132. That the truest thing about me is that I am loved
133. Having enough
134. I'm thankful that thankfulness isn't limited to one day a year, that it's an attitude we can choose that God rewards with more and more thankfulness.
And that whether you made it through my list or not, that's okay. Because my list is really for me. You get to have your own list. And I pray that it's nice and long and never ends.
...to be continued
The calendar says Monday, but it feels like Saturday. Mondays that start of a week of vacation should get a name all their own, don't you think? Any ideas?
I went ahead and got up sorta early so I could enjoy my quiet time by the light of the Thanksgiving Tree and review the week's homework for Bible study. The gals are all coming over here tonight and I'm super excited.
Bible study! At my house! By the light of the Thanksgiving Tree!
(Can you tell I'm excited about the tree? I'll try to stop mentioning it for a while.)
I love having people over. I'm having lunch company today too, to talk homeschooling with a mom who has some questions. Instead of chatting over Facebook or email, it seemed like getting together in person would work better. And be lots more fun.
(Long pause for almost two hours to meet with Toben for our usual morning half-hour meeting, notice that half of one of my strands of lights is out ::grrrr!::, bundle up for my run, and run my four miles. And see that it was 24 degrees out when I left. ::brrrr!::)
Okay, I'm back.
I love having company scheduled and I also love it when friends just stop by. It's one of my favorite things. So if you know where I live, here's your invite to stop by any time.
What about you? Do you like having people drop in, or do you prefer to schedule it? Or would you rather go to someone else's house? Do tell--inquiring minds want to know!
So that's my Monday. We're taking a break from school this whole week, so we'll just be reviewing what we've learned so far in Philippians 2 for Memory Monday. Still come to an absolute standstill after "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus"--how I want that to be true of me!
If you're learning something this week, feel free to leave a link and a comment. And as always, if you don't have a blog, you can type out your verse directly in the comments. And then tell me how you feel about company.
Happy Happyday, Quietday, Lovelyday, Vacationday, Firstdayofvacationday!
I just glanced at my blog and saw that I hadn't blogged since Wednesday--despite having written a number of posts in my head and thinking that somehow magically translated to them actually showing up here.
I'm out the door for a run in a minute, so here's a quick rundown of what's been going on around here.
We finished school on Thursday for the week and are taking the whole of this coming week off. We haven't had a break since beginning school in September and we are all excited.
I don't have school this week either. But I need to spend some time with my Greek vocabulary flashcards. The stack is getting big and my final for this semester is in a couple of weeks.
Going to take the second semester of Greek in the spring for sure. So my Tuesday nights at school will continue.
Taught the girls to diagram sentences (after brushing up on it myself) on Thursday morning. We got out the giant wipe board and dry erase markers and went to town. They loved it. Thought it was so super fun. (Which it totally is.) It's true--seeing sentences in diagrams helped them identify parts of speech much more quickly and easily than they had been. Hunting for some workbooks.
My run on Thursday was ugly. Ugly, I tell ya. Couldn't maintain a pace, tried a new route that ended up being uphill in both directions and against the wind. Yuck. But came home to Toben's having bought me the Glee Christmas album, so I'm feeling more hopeful about today's run. Even though it's 32 degrees outside. Brr.
I'm loving the Ruth Bible study. Yesterday's homework on Ruth's work ethic struck a chord with me. That she worked steadily--not in fits and starts, but evenly and smoothly with time built in for rest. Lots of room for application there. Maybe I'll apply it to my run. A steady pace gets it done rather than sprints and stops.
Today I'm going to finish the laundry (and put it away--which I'll start by putting away last week's laundry--something that never quite got done last week), watch a movie and do the ironing, and knit. And maybe run to the store for some brown paper to wrap Christmas presents.
"Brown paper packages tied up with string." That's how I wrap gifts. Wisdom from The Sound of Music. Hmm...maybe that's the movie I'll watch today. Seems like it was always on television (since VCRs weren't invented yet!) at Thanksgiving when I was in elementary school. I thought the scene in the gazebo was the most romantic thing ever. And still do.
Okay, off to run. And doesn't pancakes and bacon sound yummy for breakfast?
52. Numbered lists :)
53. My ice cream maker (Found on clearance at Target for $3.24!)
54. Page protectors and dry erase markers for studying Greek
55. Sunday afternoons
56. Brownie Bus (what we call my Expedition)
57. My super marked up Bible with notes and underlines and dates
58. The fireplace in my bedroom
59. My electric blanket
61. The sound of cousins playing together
62. Pizza on the grill
64. Looking forward to Christmas
65. Pom pom fringe
66. Ric rac
68. Cable-knit sweaters
69. Family all around one table
72. Bible study homework
73. Free long-distance
76. Taking out my contacts at night
77. New suede boots
78. Thrift stores
80. Flushing toilets
81. Central heating
82. Rabbits under the deck
83. Trails in my neighborhood
84. Getting up to 5 miles on my daily run
85. Running water
86. My kids knowing their grandparents really, really well
89. My MacBook
90. The present moment
...to be continued.
Do you love the movie You've Got Mail? I do. And usually watch it every fall. To me, it's a fall movie--all because of the bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. Something I've actually received from a friend who loves the movie as much as I do. Or maybe more. (Hi, sweet Janna!)
(On my, I have just realized that I haven't watched it for the past two years. Hmm...think I may need to put it on today and spend some time in the basement being crafty. Hooray! A plan for this wide-open Saturday!)
We've just finished our first quarter of school, and the past 10 weeks have been really good. We've found a groove, hit our stride, established a routine that's working.
It's been a good season of life in general too. A season of nesting as we've settled back into our favorite-est little yellow house. Finding a church we love. Getting back in the comfort of having family nearby.
I've been reminded (and how could I not, for it's everywhere I turn, which is a whole other post) of Psalm 16:5-6:
You have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places...
Pleasant, and getting pleasant-er by the day, it seems.
Our focus has been on our little family of four as we have settled in with school, with Toben's working in Colorado Springs, with my being back in seminary.
Not big adjustments, but slight shifts in focus as I ponder those boundaries--especially as they relate to friendships.
Friendships within the geographic boundaries of Denver. Being intentional in those friendships. Starting Bible study (Kelly Minter's Ruth) on Monday with dear women whom I love. (And, yep, Psalm 16 showed up in the first week's homework!)
Considering what those boundaries mean for the girls, how we can be intentional with their friendships too.
Tweaking. Not the huge rearrangement of everything that sometimes happens in life, but the little fiddling here and there in which there is still joy and delight.
...to be continued.
What's on your thankful list?
Toben and I decided we need a term for the opposite of deja vu. For those times when (instead of feeling like something has happened before) there's a feeling of something that's supposed to be happening that isn't.
Pretty much the feeling we had all weekend around here. I felt like I was waiting for something, that there was something just out of reach that was supposed to be, a shadow of reality not quite materialized. Hmm...like a trip to Arizona, perhaps.
Anyway, we're back to real life around here, and it was good to wake up this morning at home as planned, right where we belong, looking ahead to a new week. I'm hoping Audrey feels the same way when she wakes up later. This weekend kicked her tail and left me feeling very much like this as a result:
If you're a mama, you get it. Do NOT mess with my girl.
And being faced with questions I can't answer, her feelings of disappointment and rejection turned inward so she thinks she did something wrong, holding her while she cries and her heart breaks with the exhaustion of plans being made and cancelled, made and cancelled...well, yep, that picture pretty much sums it up.
God did work a whole lot of good out of the circumstances of this weekend. How do I know? I made a list this morning. (Of course I did.)
And the thing is, the list doesn't erase the heartache, it just sits next to it. The good God works out is an AND, not an OR. So often, I think we feel like we have to deny the bad to find the good. And I just don't think that's right.
The cross of Christ was something God worked hugely for our good. But that good didn't erase the agony of it. The pain, the sorrow, the separation was real, and to deny it would somehow cheapen it.
We don't have to pretend like everything's alright when it's not. But we can say that in the midst of the not alright-ness, God is still faithful, still good, and actively working good.
In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah (who most believe to be the author of the book) remembers his sorrow, recalls bitterness, acknowledges affliction. We sometimes forget these verses:
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
And jump straight to these ones:
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Funny isn't it--that we know the end of this verse so well. But there's something to be learned from the beginning too, I think. Somehow God's compassions seem even greater when they follow on the heels of "well remembering" the things that have hurt.
Instead of heading to the airport to pick up Audrey's friend, we're going to head over to my parents' house in a bit to eat the dinner that Emma has prepared with her Gran. Steaks--her favorite--and some special dessert that's a secret.
(Emma, my sweet girl who cleaned the ENTIRE house this morning while I was on my Skype call with Christy. I tell you what, my girl loves to serve. What an example she is to me of serving with joy. How I see Christ being formed in her!)
Poor Audrey. Her friend isn't coming after all. Plans keep changing and she's had a hard time keeping up these past couple of days. It has been such a crazy roller coaster of emotions for her and she's exhausted. But she's expressing her feelings, asking questions (ones I'm having a hard time answering), and wrestling with it all. I'm so proud of her.
Isn't that the way some lessons are? Even though we think we've got it down, we get repeated opportunity to put them into practice. If repetition is one of the ways we learn, I suppose it makes sense.
I was chatting with a friend this afternoon and we were talking about actively looking for good in the midst of the hard things of life. Looking for good each and every day. God promises to work things for good for those who love him. Sometimes it's clearly obvious; other times we have to look for it.
Case in point: Audrey spent the afternoon with a friend (my friend's daughter) who was only available this afternoon because she got hurt on Halloween. Carving a pumpkin, she cut her hand badly (like hours in the ER and going to have surgery next week badly) and couldn't participate in the middle school service project today. So she came home early.
Did God allow her to get hurt just for Audrey? No, I don't think so. But somehow he knew that Audrey would need a friend this afternoon, knew that this friend would need a friend when all of her school friends were off doing a project together for school that she couldn't do, and matched the two of them together for each of their goods.
Throw in wandering the mall and getting a cute haircut and window shopping together for the afternoon and there you have it--good. Yes, heartache and disappointment and questions are still there. We don't have to deny them to see the good. But in the midst of feeling sad and blue and hurt, we also get to be grateful for the good God works out.
Yesterday did not go quite as planned. I started the laundry, but did not finish it. I did get my hair cut (the girl I've gone to the last two times is a really, really good hair washer--which is worth half the price right there in my book). We did get some school done.
But no packing.
Audrey and I were supposed to fly to Arizona tonight to spend a long weekend with her BFF's family. A family that happens to include some of my BFFs too. But this weekend isn't going to work for them after all and they called and asked us to postpone our trip.
And many tears from my girl who is lonely and desperate to see her BFF.
She scrambled around in her brain, trying to make sense of it, coming up with all kinds of ways to force it to happen, to make it fit anyway, struggling for a sense of control.
And I was reminded of myself--trying to force things to fit when the answer is no and seeing that to force it means compromising what you really want.
Because, yes, we could have gone and stayed with other friends. But that 24/7 non-stop time with her BFF? That wouldn't happen. And that's what she really wants.
So we will wait and go a different weekend so these two sweet girlies can have their uninterrupted time together. But waiting is hard.
In the midst of phone calls and undoing plans, I heard something God has impressed on my heart lately: Praise for everything. The bad as well as the good.
I may have mentioned a time or 712 that I've been loving all of Hannah Hurnard's books--not just Hinds' Feet on High Places. (Though it is my hands-down favorite!) Here are some quotes I jotted down from her book Winged Life:
1. The secret of victorious Christian living...is to go through each day praising for everything--the bad things as well as the good.
2. Don't try to hold onto anything in this life, but willingly let go, in order to be able to receive new enrichment from the Lord.
3. Everything that is willingly laid down into death will be raised to life again in some more glorious and perfect form.
Seems like yesterday was a chance to put it all into practice. It's certainly not easy--despite the 1, 2, 3 simplicity of it. Simple rarely means easy. But God knows best--and so the seemingly bad things are part of that best--his good, pleasing, and perfect will. We just don't see the whole picture.
But then there's this promise (from Hinds' Feet on High Places, naturally!):
accepted with PRAISE
always seem to turn into
Of course, we don't get to see how it will turn out until we do the accepting, do the obedient work of praising. And there's no amount of time mentioned here. Sometimes it happens quickly, other times we wait and wait and wait.
And then there's this from her book Kingdom of Love to answer the question of how we actually praise in the midst of disappointment. Because what about praising even when the disappointment feels very real? Does that mean we're faking it and fooling ourselves? No. It means we're being obedient.
It is never hypocrisy to act as we earnestly desire to feel, even though the feeling may be very contrary at the time.
Feelings follow action.
Just before bed last night, it worked out for Audrey's BFF to fly here for the weekend. Blessing for her, indeed.
Yes, I am still disappointed. I will miss being at MISSION this weekend, miss seeing my friends and time with them. But I have the choice to praise in the midst of it, trusting that God knows what is best.
I'm sitting at the kitchen counter, eating a piece of the apple pie that Emma made this afternoon. I know I talk/Tweet/Facebook about pie a lot. I just really, really love pie.
Anyway, wanted to say that Emma's pie rocks the casbah. Which is a song by The Clash, and if you spell it with a "k" it's an Arabic word for a fortress. Usually without windows. Fascinating. I love how readily available information is.
When I worked at the library in junior high school, I loved looking at encyclopedias (also love to spell it--geek, I know!). And the other day I watched an old movie called Ball of Fire with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck about a group of professors writing an encyclopedia who meet a night club singer who teaches them about slang. Fun and worth a watch.
Anyway, if actual encyclopedias were a 10, the internet is about a million zillion. There are just so many fascinating things to know.
I also learned today about emoji--Japanese emoticons that you can put on your phone to send picture texts. (I grabbed Awesome Emoji from the App store--free!)
So I sent Toben a text filled with little pictures of things like chickens and eggplants and bathtubs and French fries. All things I love. He didn't get it and told me to stop texting him. So I sent him some animal pictures and a kiss-y face. He told yelled at me to stop again. So I sent him an angry face.
He came downstairs to tell me to knock it off. Not sure if it was the emoji or the fact that I was texting him from the kitchen.
(Yes, that is a picture of our garage floor I sent to him. Pretty risque, huh?!)
I sat down to write something meaningful and profound. It's been a disappointing day--despite apple pie and little Japanese pictures for my text messages. Sometimes writing about it helps put it all in perspective.
But I don't think meaningful is going to happen tonight--not unless this gets really, really long. So instead I think I'll go turn on my electric blanket and grab a book. And maybe another piece of pie. Perhaps profundity (good word, huh?) will come in the morning.
So I've been knitting this lacy pattern and totally loving it. And had just sent this picture to a friend on Twitter to show her what I was working on:
I held it up to notice how nice and long it was getting--a good two or three feet or so--when SNAP! my knitting needle broke and the stitches started to come unravelled.
I could hardly believe it and sat on the couch, rocking back and forth, saying "oh no, oh no, oh no" over and over again under my breath, fearing the worst.
You see, this pattern is filled with all kinds of yarn overs and twists and it's not so easy to just pick up the stitches as if it were straight knitting. Some knitting stitches are easy to pick up and fix; others not so much.
I tried gluing the needle back together. I tried picking up as many stitches as I could. I tried closing my eyes and hoping that when I opened them again everything would be back the way it had been.
After a deep breath, all I could do was unravel the whole thing and start all over again.
Hours of work gone in an instant.
And it seems like there's a life lesson there.
Sometimes things happen to us, other times we make deliberate choices. But consequences are there and they matter. And it takes a ridiculously short amount of time to undo something we've worked hard and taken time to create, to build.
As I rewound the yarn back into a ball from what was becoming a beautiful scarf, I realized that I want to be very careful how I live. Not as unwise, but as wise. Because unraveling is no fun at all.
It's 4:25 and I think we've had enough school for the day. Today we...
...and I worked on my Greek homework and emptied the dishwasher and finally got warm. I think that's enough.
Tomorrow I'm headed down to the Springs to be on the radio with him and Ryan (that's some of what he does if you didn't know--Toben is the producer and cohost for Grounded Radio with Ryan Dobson).
They're going to re-air a broadcast Toben and I did with Dr. Dobson about 10 years ago for the first half of the show, and then we'll be on the second half live.
You can listen (and watch live video) tomorrow at 10 MST. Just click on the link above. If you sign in, you can even participate in the live chat and say hello. I'd love it if you would!
Hope you had a great Monday and are memorizing Scripture. I totally want to be one of those people who knows (and understands!) lots of Scripture by heart. I shouldn't really be amazed--though I often am--at the ways God uses what I've learned in the past to affect my present moment.
Much, much love to you!
Today's really our Monday despite being Wednesday. Toben and Emma were gone all weekend through late last night, so though the girls did some school stuff on their own, today's the first official day of school this week.
So we've been parked in front of the fire, reading, reading, and reading some more in preparation for all of the on their own stuff the girls will work on tomorrow morning while I go speak to the MOPS group at Cherry Hills Community Church.
My notes are highlighted and marked up just the way I like them, and I ::think:: I have an outfit all picked out.
Then I'm going to do my darndest to get Audrey to take a nap before she and Toben head to the TobyMac concert tomorrow night. Nope, I don't think it'll work either, but I'm going to give it a shot!
Emma does not love the late nights (which it will definitely be), so she and I had planned to stay home and have a night all to ourselves. Which is good, since she came home from San Diego with a horrible cold. I'm feeding her lots of Juice Plus and cold medicine, and wiping down every hard surface she touches with antibacterial wipes.
What else is happening around here?
Think that's about it. Hope your evening will involve your favorite pjs and an early bedtime!
Just a quick Saturday morning hello. Sitting in my big comfy chair in the living room, Joey cat purring on my lap, watching the sky turn from black to a bluish gray.
Toben and Emma left a bit ago for a long weekend in San Diego. He has some meetings in Pasadena on Monday and Tuesday, she had some airline miles about to expire, so they're off to spend the weekend at the beach (Beacon's, to be exact) in Leucadia with Uncle Jim and Aunt Susan.
Having Emma go too makes me feel a little bereft. Somehow I always think of her as my baby, though she's soon going to be ten. 10! In fact, I started feeling a little bit panicky about her being gone, but then she and I talked about the memory verse we've been learning as part of Psalm 91.
"For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."
So at some point in the past hours, God has commanded his angels to guard Emma on this trip--in the plane, in the car, while she's away. And so I can rest secure, knowing that she is well protected.
Audrey and I are excited to have the next four days together. We have yet to come up with any big plans beyond babysitting the cousins this morning while my sister does a photo shoot out in Parker. Then I think we'll hit the Walmarts for some groceries--including some special fun things to eat--and then, well, who knows?!
Audrey's still sound asleep, so I think I'll head down the basement to run on the treadmill before Ava, Tyson, and Levi arrive.
What are you up to this weekend?
I love taking family walks. Somehow it always makes me think of Sunday afternoons when we lived in England. Church clothes and heels? No worries. Walk anyway.
Emma and I took an autumn walk last weekend through our neighborhood and ended up discovering new trails and leaf canopies and all sorts of lovely autumn-ness.
(That's my new-to-me Betsy Johnson fur coat from the world's best thrift store.)
"Fall is my favorite of all the seasons," says Emma. Me too.
P.S. This is post number 1,500! Pretty cool.
Happy Monday bloggy peeps!
I can't tell you how much nicer Mondays are without laundry and housecleaning in them. I'm so loving coming into the weekend and Monday mornings with everything in order.
We had a great weekend around here--lots of resting, lots of documentaries on Netflix, lots of crocheting.
Not to mention a fabulous leaf-hunting walk with Emma on Saturday afternoon. We explored some new paths in the neighborhood and delighted in the season. "I love fall, Mom," she said. "It's my favorite." Me too.
(I do have some pictures, but they're on the camera in the other room and I'm happily ensconced in my chair by the fire.)
Oh! And it RAINED last night. Enough to hear it on the roof. Which I totally love a whole bunch.
1. We studied Antarctica in geography last week and watched this from Netlflix last night all snuggled in bed. Wow. WOW. It's only 40 minutes long, but it was amazing. Incredible.
I tell you what...that's perseverance. Endurance. Courage. Leadership.
2. Netflix also has a bunch of National Geographic stuff on instant watch these days. I highly recommend these:
I think I may have discovered a new favorite film genre.
3. While watching all these, I crocheted away. I'm making this out of some gray alpaca wool in my stash. I hope I have enough yarn--it's going to be close.
The free pattern is here, though you do have to start a free membership to access it.
4. We had friends for dinner on Saturday night--two couples and their two kids each. Twelve of us in all. Emma and I made an apple pie and a cherry pie for dessert. And while I am super loyal to apple pie, the cherry was so super yummy that I'll be making another. Soon. Really soon.
5. I caved and turned on the heat on Saturday morning. It hasn't run much, but it's on. I love the smell the first time you turn on the heat in the fall.
6. Greek midterm tomorrow night. Flashcards are my best friend.
So, what's up with you?
Oh, and we'll be adding verses 11 and 12 to Psalm 91 this week for Memory Monday.
Get ready for a little bit of random...
We went up to Estes Park for Elk Fest on Saturday, leaving the house by about 8 and getting home just as it was getting dark. Such a fun day! We went two years ago and stayed for the weekend with some friends--and went with the same friends this weekend.
Two years ago, we saw lots more elk and lots more rain and it was lots more cold.
I love looking back to see how much the girls have grown. Though it makes me miss my pigtails.
This year, it was sunny and beautiful and we had a picnic by the river, walked around Sprague Lake (well, Emma and Alec ran around the lake), and oohed and aahed at the leaves.
While we were in town this year, the nice gal at the great coffee shop told us about a glassblowers we had to go see. So we did. And we all agreed it was one of our favorite parts of the day. While we watched, she told us all about what she was doing. Fascinating! And HOT. Makes me think about Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednigo. (I think I totally spelled those names wrong.)
On the way up, I downloaded the Hipstamatic app for my phone and played with the different options all day. Kinda fun. The sky was not nearly this ominous in real life, but it sure looks neat.
This is an elk jam. When the traffic does this inside Rocky Mountain National Park, you know it's time to get out your camera.
As fun as the effects are, sometimes you just need a picture to show what fall in Colorado really looks like!
We'll be adding the next two verses to Psalm 91 for Memory Monday this week and practicing Psalm 91:1-10. And I need to change it on the sidebar before I forget!
And here's some random photos from my camera, just because...
Saw this out the window the other day and it just made me so happy!
And this helps me learn--putting blank charts and such inside sheet protectors so I can write on them with a dry erase marker. It works great for learning maps and multiplication tables too. Anything you need to test again and again without wasting tons of paper. Going to use this for the girls and grammar, I think.
Okay, think that's it for today. Toben's stirring and I'm off for another cup of coffee.
Hope you had a great weekend and happy Monday!
My friend Christy is visiting, thus the no blogging yesterday. We drove up to Vail for the day to see the leaves--gorgeous!--and to have lunch at Sweet Basil--delicious!
And I didn't take one single picture.
We were having too much fun. And talking nonstop. And I left my big camera on my desk. And I didn't look at my phone once.
The girls spent the day with their Gran and took some school along. One assignment being their new verse cards for Memory Monday. We're adding verses 7-8 to Psalm 91. Halfway there!
I hear Toben stirring upstairs, so I'm off. But I wanted to say good morning, to encourage you to take the time to tell a friend you love her today and that she's a gift, and to give you an opportunity to chime in on Memory Monday on Tuesday. :)
I must admit my first thoughts this morning were not very nice. How in the world did it get to be Monday again so quickly? Time flies, it's true, but does it have to go at the speed of light? Wouldn't a nice leisurely pace be nicer?
It makes me think that if time is going to continue at the zooming pace of the last couple of weeks that I'd better be doing everything I can to live in the moment and choose to enjoy it. Because in a blink it's past.
Am I living in the moment, or just biding time? Or worse, wasting time? Questions I need to ponder, I think. Because every time I turn around another week has gone by. And I don't want to look back on it with regret. "I wish I would have..." just isn't going to cut it.
That said, this morning I'm beginning again...again. I haven't been quite right lately. I've been surprised at some anger that has flared up unexpectedly, been feeling like my heart has been getting comfortable with being hard in places, been unresponsive to some promptings of the Spirit.
But as I was reminded yesterday when we visited a church with some friends and the pastor preached through all of Romans 8, "I am not controlled by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit" (Romans 8:9). And that happens as I choose to set my mind on things of the Spirit. If I'm going to be lazy about that, then no wonder things haven't been quite right.
So. Monday morning. Time for a fresh start.
***Pause to have a meeting with Toben. Cry some. Run four miles. Hear TobyMac's "Hold On" for the first time and feel like it was just for me. Eat a breakfast burrito. Start school with the girls. Break for lunch and quiet time.***
It's now hours later than when I began this post and I have to say I'm feeling worn out, tired, hopeful, anxious. A mishmash of feelings to go with the mishmash of everything else. Somehow a fresh start can feel intimidating as well as exciting.
The girls and I are going to head up the hill and pick some apples. One of the neighbors has an apple tree and a sign that says to help ourselves. So that's what we're going to do just as soon as my mom gets her groceries put away and comes over.
But before I forget, here's what we're learning this week for Memory Monday--adding verses 5 and 6 to what we've learned so far in Psalm 91.
Wake up to the morning light
wipe away the lonely nights
let a brand new day wash over you,
Wanna see you smile again
show some love to your crazy friends
wipe your tears away
those days are through
If you move just a little bit closer you can put your head on my shoulder
Chorus: So baby hold on
just another day or two
I can see the clouds are
moving faster now
and the sun is breaking through
If you can hold on, to the one that's holding you
there is nothing that can
stop this crazy love
from breaking through
We're breaking through
We're breaking through
Wake up to the morning sun
thank the Lord for the
things He's done
lift your eyes up to the
hope that's ever true
Wanna see you smiling girl
you're a light in this jaded world
wipe away those tears
this one's for you
Come on, move a little bit closer, you can put your head on my shoulder
And the stars are up there
shining for you
oh, the Father does adore you
His love will never change
And you and I
we were born to follow
the hope that will lead us to tomorrow
and no one can take it away
So baby hold on
just another day or two
I can see the clouds are
moving faster now
and the sun is breaking through
If you could hold on
to the one that's holding you
there is nothing that can stop this crazy, crazy love from breaking x2
You see the clouds are
moving faster now
the clouds are moving faster
You see the clouds are
moving faster now
And the sun is breaking through
We're breaking through
"Oh, the Father does adore you." Maybe you need to hear that today as much as I did.
I think I mentioned that we have a theme for our year of homeschooling this year. The school the girls used to attend always had a spiritual emphasis theme every year and it just seemed like a good idea for this one.
The funny thing is that the theme one year was "whatever"--but it was the whatever found in Philippians 4:8-9 that tells us to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
That was a thinking whatever. This year, our whatever is a doing whatever.
So on the first day of school, we talked about what these verses mean. What words are repeated? What words don't we understand and need to look up? Here's what Audrey and Emma came up with as the most important things to remember:
Do whatever with a thankful attitude.
Do whatever with all your heart--the best you can do.
Do whatever for Jesus.
What does that look like for us and for school? I asked.
Write neatly! Take my time. Pretend that Jesus is the teacher to whom I'm turning in my assignment.
Pay attention to what I'm doing. If I'm doing math, do math with all my heart. If I'm reading, pay attention to that and don't worry about whatever is coming next.
Even if I'm doing my least favorite subject, be thankful that I can learn.
There's lots more, of course. And it's something we talk about every day we do school. We start the school day with one of the girls reading these verses and then praying that God would help us do this. All of us. Me included. Because I need to remember to be thankful, to teach with all my heart, to do a job well rather than cutting corners because it's faster or easier.
The girls are getting it. And so am I. Whatever I do matters. Because whatever I do--teaching, running, laundry, cleaning house, talking with a friend, spending time with Toben, cooking dinner, studying Greek--can be something done for God.
And that pretty much changes everything.
Somehow homeschooling feels like a whole other kettle of fish so far this year than last. Of course, we're really only one week in and still settling into a rhythm, so that could be it. But somehow this year seems harder.
Not harder bad, necessarily. More challenging. More focused. More intentional. Like there's more on the line.
And our days just seem longer. Which could be doing a four-day curriculum instead of a five-day curriculum. (Though we did a five-day curriculum in four days last year.) But we're starting together at 9 and not ending together until 4. Of course, there's an hour for lunch in there. And an hour of quiet time. And an hour of time for each girl to work on her own while I do math with the other.
The good thing is that the days don't feel rushed. And I have to say I'd prefer longer and some open space and time, than shorter and rushed.
I don't like being rushed.
The girls don't like it either. It's a sure way to a bad attitude and whatever their current version of a meltdown happens to be at the moment. Mine too for that matter.
Anyway, this year feels different. And I think I'm okay with that. Choosing to watch and see how it shakes out, how it settles, how it pans out as we adjust to the rhythm and see things fall into texture of our family life.
I'm reminding myself that it takes time for things to settle.
Part of our Language Arts curriculum for this year includes keeping an artist's sketchbook--not for drawings, but for words. A place to record thoughts or ideas that grab our imaginations so we can have a place to go for inspiration when a writing assignment is given.
I naturally do this in my journal, jotting down words or phrases or ideas that tickle my fancy.
Things from books like Island of the Blue Dolphins. What would my secret name be? What would it be like to be all alone on an island? What would I do? How would I survive? How would I keep hope alive?
Things from places we've been, like Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons. What would it have been like to be one of the 50 carpenters who spent the winter at Yellowstone building the Old Faithful Inn? What would it have been like to live on Mormon Row in the Tetons, to have this barn be my barn? What would summers be like? Winters?
Or this barn?
Houses always inspire me. If this were my cabin, what would I want in it? How would I decorate it? Who would I invite for the weekend? Rag rugs and rocking chairs, for sure, not to mention lots and lots of puzzles!
Things from places we pass on the road. Who lives here in the middle of nowhere? What does she do all day? Is she lonely? What would my life be like if I lived here?
Treasures in antique stores--Whose was it? Who made it? What's the story behind it?
Old photographs--Who are they? What did they love? What did they fear? What were their dreams?
The bunnies in the yard--How would I write their stories? What are their adventures?
People from the stories of Scripture--What happened to the woman at the well five years later? What about the rest of Tamar's life?
What kinds of things spark your imagination?
*That's Anne (with an "e")--of Green Gables, of course. If you're not friends with her, you need to be. Talk about imagination!
I love the word "September"--makes me think of woodsmoke and leaves changing and freshly sharpened pencils. Not to mention reams of notebook paper and three-ring binders. Flashcards and book bags and highlighters, oh my!
I started seminary again last night. Which is good. Because for some reason I was so sure my class was on Monday. So sure that it's marked on all the calendars for Mondays, but when I got there on Monday night I couldn't find my classroom to save my life. That's because, um, well, my class is on TUESDAY. Needless to say, that didn't make me feel very smart.
But I went last night and found my classroom right away. And am so excited to begin Greek! I'll be packing my flashcards and workbook today.
Packing because we are headed to Wyoming tomorrow to meet Mom and Dad and the girls who have been camping in the Tetons since last weekend. Mom said to be sure to pack art supplies to try to capture some of the beautiful stunning-ness. So I'll be packing our art curriculum too and I think we'll have our first art lesson outdoors.
Here's where we're going in case you're a little rusty on your Wyoming geography:
We'll be heading into Yellowstone while we're there too (see how they touch?) and I'm so excited to see Old Faithful. I know I've been to Yellowstone and the Tetons before--but I don't remember it very well and cannot wait. I totally want to be a camping family who visits every single one of our national parks.
This--or something like it--is what's on our wish list these days:
So today I'll be packing my camping pants and hoodies and down vest and hiking backpack and some really warm jammies. It's been in the 30s at night up there--can't wait to sit around the campfire.
Found this photo of the Tetons--I AM SO EXCITED!
What are your plans for Labor Day weekend?
I never did get a Memory Monday post done this week. Wanna know why? I DON'T KNOW MY VERSE!
Phew. Feel better now that's out in the open. :)
Wanna know why I don't know it? Because I DIDN'T MAKE A VERSE CARD.
Seems pretty simple, but the truth is that if a verse is only on the page in my Bible it's not going to end up written on my heart. I need it where I can see it--day in, day out, throughout the day, smack dab in front of my face.
And leaving my Bible open doesn't cut it. The print is too small and there are too many other verses on the same page.
I've got an index card and a pen right here. I'm going to make a verse card as soon as I hit the "publish" button. And I WILL KNOW IT BY MONDAY.
And if I don't, you can come and give me what for.
***In other random news around here, I've been nesting a little and am excited to show you a peek at my dining room. And I made a window treatment for the guest room yesterday afternoon--an old shower curtain, three pony holders, and two nails. I'll be taking some pictures later.
And I want to finish the other set of curtains for Audrey's room, embellish the ones in the breakfast nook, and figure something out for Emma's room. We'll be starting school soon and I want to get some projects done first. Being back in our home makes me feel giddy--I'm sort of a stuck between wanting to just sit and stare at it all and a crafting frenzy.
The girls are going to be doing laundry and packing for a trip to the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone with Mom and Dad. They're all going camping for 10 days or so. Toben and I will join them next week since he's in LA on business and I start seminary on Monday. Alpha, beta, gamma, delta...
And I mapped a new running route yesterday and am up to four miles. I've been doing about 3.5 miles five days a week and the little extra feels good. Plus I found a new trail to add that lets me peek into all kinds of backyards.
I love peeking into backyards, not to mention windows. Please, if you have a cute house, leave your curtains open at night so others can enjoy it! Does that make me sound weird and creepy? Or do you secretly agree?!
Okay, I'm off to make my verse card. A very happy Thursday to you!
Though we do not have a television in our home, we do have an account at Netflix that gets used a lot. Like A LOT, a lot.
The last time I was at my favorite antique store (if you're ever in Denver, you want to stop by!), Amy and I got talking movies and old television shows. She said I had to get The House of Eliott as quickly as possible. So I went home and put it at the top of my queue.
Amy, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! The clothes, the hair, the hats, the coats, ! (Just as you said I would!)
Beatrice and Evangeline are two sisters in 1920s London left on their own and practically broke. They are fabulous seamstresses--and are just about to open their own dressmaking business (that's as far as I got on the first disc).
There's a dashing photographer, an overbearing cousin/guardian, a progressive friend, and so much more. It's witty and clever and just so lovely to watch.
I can't wait for the next disc to arrive.
What are you watching and loving these days?
So while I love to wander antique stores, I typically don't have much luck when it comes to finding bargains at thrift shops, used clothing stores, or places like Goodwill. But the tide may be turning...
Goodwill treasures! Look at these darling paintings I picked up for 99 cents each. I love them!
I used some of the 3M picture hanging velcro strip things (Have you seen these? They are amazing!) to hang them on the side of my kitchen hutch.
I also found a box of dominoes and a whole box of never-been-used vocabulary cards for 99 cents each.
I found a new rolling pin. It was a whopping $2.99. The red handles called my name!
It was a good Goodwill day!
Not to mention the new used clothing store near my neighborhood (Uptown Cheapskate on Quebec next to Hobby Lobby at County Line). Found Audrey a winter coat, a couple of dress shirts for Toben, and some camping pants for me. Not to mention...
Frye boots! My size, a little scuffed, but with like-new soles and polished by Toben and Emma to look like new. I LOVE THESE BOOTS! And I loved them even more when Toben saw them at Nordstrom--the same exact pair!--for $327.95. Especially since I only paid $32.99.
See? (I think it's blurry because he was so excited for me when he took the picture!)
So, you found any amazing and thrifty treasures lately? Do share...
(All my photos seem blurry. Think I need to stop relying on my phone so much and get out my camera!)
I have a few minutes before heading out the door for my run. I'm looking forward to it this morning--the air is cool and lovely and running through the green and treed trails in my neighborhood is a delight, even when I feel tired and get a stitch in my side (hate it when that happens!). I find that if I keep my mind occupied with what I'm seeing, or if I think about what God is teaching me or showed me in my quiet time, or if I pay close attention to whatever I'm listening to, I don't notice the tired so much.
Emma's already up this morning. She and Mom are having a date day--going to the museum together. She is so excited!
That means that Audrey and I get a day together too. We're going to do some necessary things--like mopping the floor and laundry, but also some fun things--like putting together an art kit for school, gathering things for her camping backpack (we are headed to the Tetons in a week or two with Mom and Dad for some more camping), and finishing up a needlework project she's been stitching away at.
Toben's off to Colorado Springs for the day. (Have I mentioned that before? I can't remember! He's --
**oops! had to stop and look out the window at the gorgeous coyote who just trotted down the sidewalk and around the corner**
-- consulting again and gathering contracts. His primary contract is with Family Talk, the new ministry that James and Ryan Dobson have begun. He's working mostly with Ryan, a longtime friend, doing marketing/branding and radio production. Toben's also pursuing some other contracts, so prayers for work are still much appreciated!)
Anyway, that's our day around here. What are you up to?
We've been back in Colorado for more than a month now and I just cannot seem to get into any sort of a routine. True, there's been unpacking, camping, and that sort of thing--all non-routine-y kinds of things. But I feel like I'm waiting for something, and I'm just not sure what.
We are talking about routine, schedules, the things to be done each day, what needs to be included in our homeschooling days. I love that Toben's a part of that. His perspective is different than mine, and because he's more outside the circle of our school day especially, he can see things more objectively.
As we try to balance schedule and flexibility, we keep coming back to the fact that our family works better when we have a schedule and know what to expect. There are always days where it flies out the window, but having a typical kind of structure works best most days. Especially for the girls.
So we're working it out in our heads, but it's not translated into action yet. Because it's just not quite time to start.
I feel like I wander in circles a lot. I think maybe I just need to sit down and knit. :)
I am reading lots (rereading all the Harry Potter books at the moment and have a HUGE stack of others waiting to be read by my bed), still dealing with the random stuff left in the basement to be dealt with, and am enjoying the freedom and flexibility of summer.
Maybe that's it. Maybe it's just summer and with this being a summer of transition, there's not really a groove to hit. And maybe that's okay. So maybe I'm waiting for fall.
Which is not a bad thing to wait for since I love fall. And having not experienced it in the desert last year, I'm extra excited for it. School, seminary, sweaters, pumpkins, soup, Bible study, Christy coming to visit.
(Groove is a funny word. One of those that when you stop to look at it and listen to it makes you wonder if it's right.)
Toben hung the swings the other day and it just makes the yard seem complete. The girls made these swings with their Papa a few years ago and still spend hours back and forth-ing and spinning in circles.
I love to swing just as much as they do. The branches these are hung on aren't quite strong enough for me to do much more than sit on them. But I run past the neighborhood school every morning and often stop to swing at the playground a while.
There's nothing quite like a perfect flying dismount to start your day. (The key is to bend your knees and really stick the landing. And, yes, you have to put your arms in the air like an Olympic gymnast if you want the highest score possible!)
Here's a peek at yesterday when my niece and nephews came to play...
We spread out the big blanket under a tree and hauled up the big box of Barbies.
Audrey and Levi looked at the light coming through the trees...
...and Ava dressed all of the Barbies for a fashion show.
Tyson was a good sport and played with Vet Barbie's dogs.
While I thought, This is some kind of wonderful.
We are back from camping (loved all your must-have camping item comments, by the way!) and Toben and Emma have washed the car inside and out, I'm on the second load of laundry, and I took a really, really, really long shower.
And suddenly I feel tired.
Think I'll lay down on the couch with some cookbooks and plan menus for next week and maybe rest my eyes for a minute or seven. (Toben is convinced I cannot "nap" for more than seven minutes, and he's pretty much right. Somehow I just don't have the napping gene. The falling asleep early gene? Got that one in spades.)
Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say hi and I missed you and am excited to get pictures transferred to my computer to show you. In the meantime, here's the view from my chair under the trees, just down the hill from our campsite where I had my quiet time.
As you can probably imagine, I did a lot of just being still and knowing he is God.
So, what have you been up to this past week?
Going to pack up this morning and head to Rocky Mountain National Park for a week of camping. In a tent, even. (Of course, we'll be right next door to my parents who have a fifth-wheel with every modern convenience--fireplace, fridge, shower, electricity!)
I am so excited.
I loved camping as a kid. Then hated it as a teen. And am now prepared to love it again. There's going to be a whole huge bunch of us over the weekend and into early next week, but then it'll just be our family and my parents until next weekend.
I am excited to hike. To sit by the campfire. To roast marshmallows. To paint. To read under the trees. To see elk. To help the girls complete their Junior Ranger books. To hear the wind in the pines. To snuggle in a sleeping bag. To eat Uncle Brett's breakfast burritos. To have my quiet time outside in the woods. To knit. To play cards. To read aloud. To be together. To drink mocha. To eat Gran cookies. To laugh.
There are a few camping trips that stand out in my memory, ones that are clearly focused in my mind. The sounds, smells, adventures. In fact, we watched slides of one of them the other night in Mom and Dad's basement while it rained outside, changing our Fourth of July at the park plans.
Remembering how cold the mountain stream was, how cool the raft that Dad roped together for us was, how much we felt like Tom and Huck as we poled around the lagoon that was huge in my memory, but surprisingly small on the projector screen.
Laughing at the pictures of my dad and the dog in the tub, covered in tomato juice. Somehow Obie got sprayed by a skunk more than once--and only ever right before a trip.
I'm hoping that this trip will be one of those trips for the girls. And for the rest of us too. But especially for them. The kind of memory that never fades, the trip that all others measure against in the future. The kind that begins with, "Do you remember that camping trip when..."
So now that I've made a bunch of headbands (short hair is NOT ideal for camping in my mind--missing my long pigtails), packed up the watercolors and pencils, yarn and books, I need to gather sleeping bags and pillows, pack my clothes and a few bandanas and a baseball hat for good measure, and get my day going.
Not to mention getting another cup of coffee. Happy weekend, everyone!
What's the one thing you never camp without?
This is me popping in to say a quick hello before our first overnight guests arrive. They're coming from Arizona where it's currently a bazillion degrees, which makes the mid-90s of Denver today seem downright balmy. Of course, we do not have AC here, but the sky has clouded over, it's cooling off nicely, and since we're grilling burgers, I think we'll eat outside and it'll be just about perfect.
I still haven't found the cord to connect my camera and computer. So I'm waiting for my sis to come take pictures. She promised, but it might be after our camping trip next week. We'll just have to wait and see.
So Audrey's making potato salad for the dinner tonight, and Emma and I have put Mr. Beebe's world-famous, best baked beans ever in the oven. Wanna know what makes them the best? BACON. A whole package criss-crossed over the top like a pie top. Oh, and lots of onion quartered and mixed in with the beans to get all soft and golden-y and buttery. YUM.
(I don't have a recipe, just going by what I remember him saying when I ate them and nearly fell on the floor at how good they were. Cook 'em long and slow is what he said, so I am. And then I'll turn up the heat if the bacon's not quite crispy cooked enough on top.)
I'm so excited to have a guest room. In fact, I even added a "company" category for the blog. We haven't had a guest room in ages. Since we lived in Monument, in fact. Which was like eight years ago.
So who else wants to come stay?
(Hmm...think I need a more vintage-y looking clock. Maybe the kind with bells on top...)
...and truth be told, it's not that exciting. In fact, my list is starting to sound like a broken record. Pack some boxes. Do some school. (Though that one's not really happening as much as it should. To the point where I think it may just need to come OFF the list for a while.)
So what's on your list for today? Anyone wanna trade?
I grew up camping in a green army tent. Campfires, sleeping bags, hearts, rummy, hot mocha, sing-alongs, Boggle, hot dog soup, swing in the tree, and a hammock for reading. I loved it.
In England, we had a little camper to travel through Europe. Still sleeping bags, hearts, rummy, hot mocha, pancakes. And a flush toilet. (Never underestimate it's importance.)
Then we came back to the States and back to the green army tent. Didn't like it so much as a teenager. I was more concerned with not having a blow dryer than having fun. Sorry for the bad attitudes you had to put up with, Mom and Dad.
We haven't camped much as a family, though we do own a tent and sleeping bags. But that's going to change. My parents camp a lot (if you can call their fifth-wheel with lazy boy recliners and a fireplace and granite countertops camping!) and we're going with. In July. To Rocky Mountain National Park. For a week.
I am so excited.
I want our girls to have camping memories. To love the smell of a pine forest in the early morning, sitting around a campfire at night, swinging in the hammock, and just being quiet to listen to the wind in the treetops.
And I love that we can go with my parents and have a comfy spot to get out of the rain and a flush toilet and hot water and a plug for the flat iron. (Because that's important too!)
I'll bring cards, Boggle, Farkle, and the mocha mix. And some watercolor pencils, sketch books, a knitting project, a book or ten, and some Girl Scout songs to sing.
Oh, I'm a happy little camper,
Happy camper's what I am.
Oh, I go hiking in the mud and rain,
Splashing in puddles all along the way!
And everyday is an adventure In how to live in the outdoors.
Oh, Mother Nature really rocks!
Little happy camper's what I am,
Little happy camper's what I am!
Tell us all a little more!
Camping's fun, camping's great!
Oh, I'm a happy little camper,
Happy camper's what I am!
My sleeping bag's become a home for squirrels,
Oh, how it tickles when the swish their bushy tails!
I love to sing around the campfire,
Making firends and eating s'mores.
Let's hear it for the great outdoors!
Little happy campers what I am,
Little happy camper's what I am!
Toben's Uncle Jim always says that there's a story behind every story. Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions, he'd tell Toben. There's a reason why that person dresses that way, looks that way, did that thing. There's a story behind every story.
But how often do we rush past, not taking the time to look beyond the cute haircut, the great (or not so great!) outfit, the cute shoes, the well-designed blog to see who is really there.
The truth is, many of us often look like we have it together on the outside. We present ourselves to the world around us as put together, made up, coordinated, and confident. And maybe that's true. Maybe there are people out there who are that together--both outside and inside. I've just not met any of them yet. But for most of us, I'm guessing that it's only partly true.
Maybe some of it is an effort to control the controllable when other things feel out of control. Maybe some of it is an effort to make ourselves feel better on those days when we don't feel okay, when the truth is simply that a cute outfit or a really good hair day or a new pair of jeans goes a long way to help us overcome sorrow or weariness or heartache or grief. (It may be shallow, but it's true.)
It's not like we want to wear masks. And I don't think that's what we're doing really. I think it's more a matter of learning who is safe, what is private, where the boundary line is drawn when it comes to revealing the nitty gritty of what's going on underneath the outward appearance of things.
That and the fact that there is always--always--more going on under the surface than people can see at first glance.
And ultimately, the details of my struggle--of yours--are on a need to know basis. It's enough to know that struggle is present and that God knows the details and we can pray and love and support without knowing them ourselves. All too often we get caught up in wanting to know the details and the ins and outs of who said what or did what to who rather than just accepting the fact that there's hurt or sorrow or conflict there.
I had coffee with a friend this morning and we talked through some of this. Of the careful process of learning how much to say and to whom. Of the huge importance of looking beyond the surface to really seeing others as more than just an outward package. Of the difficult place when you realize you've said too much and feel exposed and vulnerable and unsafe.
Of course, we need those friends who do know the ins and outs. All the details--the good, the bad, and the really, really ugly--and love us anyway. I guess I'm talking more about casual friends, acquaintances, the people you know, but not really. That's more where this gets worked out, I think. Those relationships based more on perception than actual knowledge.
I'm feeling melancholy today. It's just on my mind, what I'm thinking about today. A reminder to myself that things aren't always as they seem, that the same grace I want others to give me is the grace I need to extend.
Feeling like this is sort of random, not making much sense. But some of blogging is journaling and figuring stuff out as I type. So this is what I've got right now. Wondering how to be more careful about what I say, what I share, and still be real.
How do you navigate this? Where's the balance between being private and being stand-offish?How do you know what to share and what not to share? Thoughts?
WARNING: Long and random post that follows. I'm not even going to review it, even though I probably should. Feel free to skip to the end, leave a comment, and I'll never know you didn't read the whole thing. :)
(Yes, I do love the :) . Especially in text messages. That and the ;) . Because it never feels like a text conversation ends, so often it ends with a little happy or winky face. Sort of an "over and out" kind of a thing. Yes, it makes me feel like I'm 14, but somehow I can't stop. Don't want to stop. Was just telling--ahem, texting--a friend here the other day that it's a good thing I have unlimited text messaging on my phone. Because I love to text. And, yep, I bet I ended the comment with a happy face.)
I'm feeling like I need to review what I already know before moving on to new verses to memorize. Review what I've learned and let it sink in a little deeper. Review what I know and let it change my heart.
What the first one will be? Well, I have no idea. It's not quite six on a Monday morning and I'm already feeling a little scattered. Maybe I'll come back and leave a comment later.
(And you can leave a comment too. I'm sorry I left you hanging last week on a Memory Monday post.)
This need to review is from God, I think. Because now that my summer involves an unexpected (by me, not God) and unplanned (by me, not God) move, and because I'm feeling all topsy turvy upside down and inside out (though I had an awful, ugly, not at all pretty cry yesterday that ended up helpng me feel better and then looked at the calendar and thought, Well, no wonder, hello, PMS), I find that even simple truths I've known for years are suddenly feeling new and fresh. So I'm just going to go with it.
Not sure that made any sense whatsoever to anyone but me. Oh well.
And thank you for your comments on the moving post. And your prayers. I made Toben--well, I asked him to go read all of them yesterday. Because so many of your words were exactly what I needed to hear, echoed other things I've heard God say through all kinds of voices, and were clearly straight from him to me. So thank you. I'm working my way through responding.
In other news, we sold Toben's car! To a girl new to Phoenix who grew up in our neighborhood in Denver--right around the corner from our house, no less. Weird, huh?
We've talked (okay, to be honest, I've talked) about being a one-car family from time to time. It's never been something that's made it past a conversation until now. And it's definitely something we're doing out of necessity. But I'm kind of excited about it.
Yes, I suspect it may be inconvenient at times. But so is not having a television. And we've loved that. (Toben said the other day that he definitely wants to continue our tv-free life in Denver.) After all, who says you have to have a television (or five) and a car for every person in the house with a driver's license? Or a cell phone, for that matter.
I'm off for a run. I don't run on the weekends much. Though I slept hard last night and my hair is looking very strange. Have to do something about that before heading out. No, I won't plug in the flat iron and get out the hairspray, but I will grab a spray bottle and at least make it look like merely a bad case of bed head rather than like I stuck my finger in a socket.
The girls and I are going to jump back into school this morning. We have some things to wrap up and then all we'll have going is math and spelling. Trying to figure out how to motivate them to finish and finish strong.
Wow. Random and long. Thanks for sticking with me. So here's what I want to know--and you don't have to answer all three, just curious.
What's one thing you want to do this summer?
What's your favorite summer memory?
What's your best moving/packing/unpacking tip?
And if you're a one-car family, tell me about it.