Monday, April 22, 2013

For Sale By Owner

Several Sunday nights ago, after we put the kids to bed, Shane and I sat down at the kitchen table.  He asked me what I thought about opening our home for college students to live with us for a year long discipleship program.  I loved the idea which is why we put this sign in our yard tonight.

We love our house and neighborhood.  As much as we love our house, we knew there was only one way to see if this was a path the Lord wanted us to walk down.

So we decided to see if our house would sell.  We don't have another house in mind yet.  It is exciting following God and seeing if and where this will lead.

So if you or anyone you know are looking for a 1940 square foot house in the center of town, call us.  Our house has new carpet, Pottery Barn paint colors, new 18x18 tile, and more.  I'm what you might call a bit of a neat freak, so the house is move in ready.

Please pray for us if we come to mind.  We are asking God to open the doors and keep them closed as He sees fit.  We want obedient feet of faith that follow Him.  We want to say yes and walk through every door He opens.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Patio

I love sitting on the patio in early evening. It is the most peaceful and relaxing place on earth.  Birds darting around, chirping and playing.

The last few rays of sun shining in patches.  Blooming trees snowing blossoms everywhere.

Friday after we sent dirty boys in for baths, I stayed to hose off the patio.  And when I was done I sat down and enjoyed the quiet yard.  I could hear loud boys bathing and laughing behind glass bricks.

(guess who opted out of swim attire?)

There was laundry to take out of the dryer and fold.  Dishes needing washed.  And dinner, something should be done about dinner.  But I just made myself sit and enjoy.  And it was so nice.

It was peaceful and relaxing.

Last weekend we ran and ran.  So busy.  Saturday we were cleaning out the garage.  Shane and the boys went to run an errand.  I finished packing up a bookshelf I was working on (packing?  what?).  And that is when it hit me.

I am in a house all by myself.  Working.  That is when I took my book and marched myself right out to the patio.  Sat myself down and read and prayed and rested.

Same thing two weekends ago.  There was so much to be done.  There is always so much needing to be done.  But Saturday was almost gone and we had spent no good time together in the hustle and bustle of the day.  So I made myself sit with the boys in the living room to watch March Madness together.  Made myself stop and play with jungle toys and little people on the floor.

Stopping and resting and entering in to what is going on takes a huge amount of effort for me.

Are you this way?

If anyone has tips on developing this discipline and habit I would love to hear your thoughts.

It feels like my days slip away from me.  Days slipping away turn into weeks, months, years.

Last night we stopped and synced up calendars.  Trying to live intentional will not happen by accident.  As diligent as we try to be about not joining the fast paced rat race of our culture, we still get sucked in.

Looking at all that is on our plate, it was sad.  Weekends spoken for.  Weeknights spoken for.  A life slipping away and we're letting it.

If you want to be intentional it may require doing the hard thing.  Saying no to some things so you can say yes to the best thing.  It may require less lessons and leagues.  Everything we choose to sow will reap a consequence.  Every single thing.

Sunday night I stood in a friend's driveway chatting under the streetlight.  You know, she said, we're going to have teenagers in five years.

And that is why we protect.  That is why we seek to live intentional.  Because we've only been handed a handful of years to invest in them.  Then our work is mostly done and a new season quietly ushers in.

Yesterday was a tear filled day for me.  Getting priorities right is not easy.  Giving up some things so you can have margin can be painful.  It requires sacrifice. 

One of my favorite all time quotes came across my radar a few years ago,

"We can have as much fruit as we are willing to sacrifice for"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Sanctuary Of Time

It is my favorite chapter in the entire book. The chapter on slowing time.

Just yesterday I was feeling so worn down from the pace we keep.  Even in our attempt to keep the schedule simple, it still stays busy.

There is never enough time to stop, sit, and enjoy.  Living unhurried does not come natural.  But these two, they are the two that live unhurried.  The oldest and the youngest.  Never in a rush and there is always enough time to sit and have a cup of orange juice together.

Last night I read how slowing weighs down the moment and causes time to multiply.  It causes you to be able to breathe and fully enter into the moment.  I know the Jim Elliot quote from my college days.  Wherever you are be all there.  The plaque hangs on my wall.  Enjoy this moment, for this moment is your life.

It was late last night when I read the truths.  I couldn't wait to wake up this morning and try it out.  Try out slowing down and not being a in a rush today.  So curious about if it really works or not because I have forgotten.

And it is true.  This morning has been a million times better than yesterday.  My insides haven't been wound up over the unimportant.  Things with littles move slower than I'd like and this morning it has been ok and we've all been happier.  I am excited to watch the wonder unfold today.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Everyday Happenings

This weekend I took a photography class.  One thing is certain.  I do not have a career in professional photography.  I am, however, forcing myself to shoot in manual mode to try to figure it out.  I apologize in advance that as I practice my pictures may be darker or brighter than they should.  It is surely fun practicing and learning though.

These pictures are of a morning captured on film.  Some days start groggy and slow.  Some start sunshiny and cheerful.  Our day started with the sunshiny variety.  I never can find any rhyme or reason to the puzzle, but am always thankful the sunshiny days.

Except for a brief swiping of the math paper so the littlest could practice his letters, and a game or two of bop-it, we managed to stay on track this morning.

I love this face.  This morning I just stopped and enjoyed watching him work.  Those long eyelashes and that face dotted with freckles are pure joy.

And this little guy.  Growing up so fast.  A year older now.  We are halfway done with raising him in our home.  The next half will fly and I am trying to slow to enjoy the next half as much as I enjoyed the first half.

Hold on one minute!  That is what I say about them growing so fast right before my eyes.

And now I hear yelling of the "That's not nice dummy head!" variety so I must go tend to the circus.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weigh In

This morning I had my first weigh in.

I wish you could come to my meetings with me.  It is so dang funny.  Ladies with water bottles.  Ziplocks filled with fresh fruit because heaven forbid we get caught hungry while we are out and about.

And gum.  Oh the gum.  Folks chewing gum like their lives depended on it. 

I was a little nervous about stepping on the scale. 

We ate good pizza this weekend.  Birthday cake and ice cream, twice.  I had pie.  Saturday morning I went to Panera with ladies from church and had a cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese and a mocha.  One night I made burgers and fries and another night we ate Pioneer Woman's beef and bean enchiladas.

All that to say, we ate really well this week and I enjoyed myself.

There was even a little impromptu surprise last night.  After church Shane surprised us all with a trip to Marble Slab for ice cream.  Uh-Oh I thought as I jumped for joy!  This might kill any chances of weight loss for me. 

So, are you curious?  Do you think I ate real food, enjoyed the celebrations, and gained weight or do you think I was able to loose?  Well, I'm not tellin.

Heh Heh Heh, I'm playing with you.  Mean old joker, geesh.

I am a looser.

2 pounds to be exact.

I can't even believe it.  I'm so stinking excited I was able to loose weight in the midst of real life.  For whatever reason, WW is the only thing I have found that works for me.  So, here are a handful of ways last week looked different than before I started WW.

  • Monday I planned my week on my tracker.  I looked ahead and thought about times I would be eating away from home/celebrations/etc.  This helped me mentally prepare for when to use my extra 49 points for the week.
  • Each night I planned what I wanted to eat for the next day.  This was AWESOME.  It was sort of like online shopping.  Sort of.  But come to think of it, not really.  It made me happy anyway, to know the next day I would be eating real food.
  • I view my 26 daily points like money.  You have to spend all 26 in order to loose.  You get to choose how you want to spend them.  It is like a game for me.  Fruits/veggies are free. 
  • My breakfast each morning was fruit.  First I enjoy my coffee and cream.  Then I ate an orange most mornings.  Later on I'd eat a banana.  Around 11 I'd toast some bread and make a great looking turkey sandwich with a pickle on the side.  Dinner each night was real food (as in things I normally make-spaghetti, burgers, etc...).
  • Normally I don't eat breakfast.  I know, I know...bad girl.  After I got going last Monday, I woke up every day hungry and ready to eat.
  • Since I don't know who reads this, I'm not going into detail about this next part, but let's just say fruit/veggies are very fiber filled.  Good material to talk with your Grandma about.
  • I have felt really good this week.  There is really no reason I should be grumpy over the fact that upping my salad, fresh fruit, fresh veggie intake gives me energy, but it sort of does irritate me.
  • It goes back to the chocolate covered potato chips labeled "crack" that I pinned before Christmas.  Why can't that be the life giving food?
  • Counting points makes me want to eat at home more.  Going out to eat can be stressful when you are trying to loose weight.  Here's a good example for you.  Taco Bueno.  Pretty much my home away from home.  My beloved nacho salad is 28 points.  2 crunchy tacos, 10 points.  You know how you hear folks who have lost weight talk about making different choices (and it makes you want to punch them in the face)?  This is a prime example.  I could have had the nacho salad today, so why did I choose the tacos?  I chose tacos today because we're going out to eat for dinner and it is only Monday.  Personally, I like to save my extra points for later in the week.
  • You should also know I didn't exercise.  Hallaluer!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Razzlebery Pie

This is my weekly tracker.  Once a week you jot down what you've got going on during the week.  This helps you plan when you might want to use your extra 49 points.  I'd like to direct your attention to Wednesday if I may.

Bible study night.  I had Razzleberry pie on the menu for dessert tonight.  I have been thinking about that piece of pie since Monday.  Razzleberry pie is a mix of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry and it is heaven in a pie pan.  That piece of pie was going to cost me 10 of my 26 points and I was going to make a way to enjoy my piece of pie.

This is my first day on the program.  I ate what I had at the house.  No pie?  No problem.  But Wednesday?  Wednesday we eat pie.

And this is a picture of my beloved pie that I burned about an hour ago.  I turned broil on for just a sec to brown the top a wee bit.  Then I got sidetracked working with one of the boys.  Then I started to smell something awful.

My pie was completely charred on top.

Words cannot convey the depth of my heartbreak over this tragedy.

After a bit of pie surgery, this was the best I could come up with.  No buttery and golden sugar cascaded top baked to perfection.  Only charred bits of dashed dreams remain.

When I say I have been excited about having a slice of this pie, I mean, I have been excited. 

What's that?  You just broke a window?  It's cool, I'm having pie Wednesday night.

Hmmm?  You just overflowed the toilet?  It's all good, pie is on the docket for this week.

You just colored a mural with permanent Sharpee on the wall in the hall?  No big whoop, let's eat pie.

Last night, after I got in my pj's, I got my tracker out to plan for today.  I started from the bottom up since I knew for sure I was getting pie tonight.  I knew I may have to eat lots of lettuce leaves, water and air but it was all going to be worth it.

And here I sit, jipped.  I ate the lettuce.  I ate the air.  I drank the water. And my dreams have been dashed.

As I sit here, it is as if the Pie Nazi has visited me.  No pie for you! Goodbye old friend.  I hardly knew ye.

Monday, April 1, 2013

This Fine April Fool's Day

I thought about telling you we were having a baby for a joke but then decided that'd just be too mean.

You should know I really love April Fool's Day.  In college, we had a really great choral director.  He ran a very strict program and we always did exactly what we were told.  This is strange, I am warning you, but I always thought it would be rip roaring hilarious if we all just sat down on the risers mid-rehearsal for a joke.

Do you want to know the reason I'm in a bad mood today?  Because when I click post I'm driving up to the Weight Watcher meeting.  You may remember I was supposed to go back in January but here we are on April Fool's and I've fooled around and not gone back.

There have just been too many good things to celebrate and I am the Queen of Excuses.  I'll find any doggone reason to celebrate, and usually it is with Mexican.  Hmmm.  It's Thursday!  Let's party!!!  I am not even lying.

Stinkin' old Weight Watchers really does work and I love it but I hate it.  I love that I can eat what I really want.  I love that I have control and say.  I hate that I have to make choices.

Here's what I mean by that.

Last year when I was on WW we'd go on dates.  I got 28 points a day and 49 extra points a week to spend when and where I wanted.  In my mind it was like cash...I got to budget where I wanted to spend and I had to spend them!

I loved saving my extra points for the weekend because weekends were made for good food and fun.  So I was a stickler with my extra points.  They were for weekend use only. 

One Tuesday we went on a date.  Since it was not the weekend, we went to Subway for subs and Baked Lays.  Movie with no popcorn and we had a great time.

Another  mid-week date was my favorite Mexican place, Cantina Laredo.  What I really love are the cheese/chicken enchiladas.  So that is what I got-2 a la carte enchiladas.  Chips/salsa and I was in heaven!

Skip forward to Valentine's day when I was not on WW.  We rolled up to the Mexican food joint and they were having a $20 special.  One appetizer, two entree's, one dessert for $20.  Cha. Ching.

After barrelling my way through a large cheese dip, 3 enchiladas and strawberry nachos I was happy happy happy.

But you can see the difference.  Cheese dip, one more enchilada than I really needed, I went ahead and ate the beans and rice even though they weren't my favorite, and you would have seriously been impressed at the speed in which we devoured the strawberry nachos.  Lord have mercy, it was impressive.

So I'm going back today to stand on the scale.  I'm kind of excited and kind of not.  I am signing up for 14 weeks, so if you want to join me come on.  Our vacation is going to fall in this time, but it is what it is.  This is the reason I haven't rejoined.  Because there is always something fun on the agenda that I don't want to miss out on.

Thank you and good-bye.

Hopefully this time next week there will be one pound less of me to love.  I'll let you know.