Thursday, March 29, 2012

He's Back!

Who is back?  My husband!!!  I didn't mention it on here before, even though it's been at the front of my mind. But my husband just got back from a 9 day trip to Jamaica.  He went with a missions/work team from our church.  (Not the kind of stuff I wanted to announce on the world wide web while we were home alone...know what I'm sayin'?)

This trip was especially nostalgic for him because they went to the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) base in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  It's the same YWAM base John went to with his high school senior class 20 years earlier.  (John went to a small Christian school).

Also, one of his younger cousins is currently there as a staff member.  So, John was also excited to get to see him.

We definitely missed him while he was gone.  Nine days without my husband is the longest we've ever been apart since we've been married.  And, our boys definitely missed their daddy too!  There is great rejoicing in the land now that he is home.

He came back with some great stories & pictures and I'd like to share some of them here.  But, he took the camera with him to work, so I can't download the pics right now anyway.  It will have to wait for a future post.

In the meantime, we are so relieved to be back to 'normal' life!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back on Track

A confession...I've gained back 5 of the pounds I worked so very hard to lose.

My weight loss has been stalled since around Christmastime.  I gave myself leeway over the holiday season intending to get back on track.  But, at my best I was just maintaining.  And, at my worst?  Well, I gained.

And, I MISS the way healthier food makes me feel.  I miss the light yet satisfied feeling after eating (instead of heaviness).  I miss the energy.  I miss the confidence in myself and my ability to treat my body kindly.

So, hold me accountable please blogging friends, because I need to get back on track.  

And, please forgive the cheesy 80's video...but this is the song that's been on repeat in my head. :)  (I gotta get up and back...right on track. )

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today's Facebook Posts

I feel  like I've been neglecting my blog of late.  It seems like such a huge task sometimes to sit down and write a well thought out piece.  And, I often experience writer's block.  What topic would really work well as a blog post?

Yet I'm constantly posting things on Facebook.  It's easy there.  Quick little blurbs that are at the front of my mind.  And, I'm embarrassed to admit that I post there multiple times a day.  

So today I thought I'd give you a sampling of what a typical day on Facebook looks like for me.  Here are my Facebook posts (thus far) from today....

Woke up late & wasn't really awake as the boys got ready for school this morning. It wasn't until we were standing outside waiting for the bus that Wyatt pointed out that Edison was wearing the same dirt & ketchup covered pants he had on yesterday. If it had just been a mark or 2 I would've let it go, but they were filthy! We ran inside quickly to change his pants, with a minute to spare before the bus came. My question of the day: Why do boys seem to have an aversion to wearing clean clothes??

I know the Hunger Games series & the movie are all the rage right now. And, I'm probably the only person who hasn't read the books or seen the movie. But, something about the whole storyline & concept really disturbed me anyway. I was pretty sure it wasn't something I could watch and not come away from upset. One of the bloggers I read (who did let her children read the series & took two of her older children to see it) wrote a post today about her true feelings on this movie after seeing it & why she decided to break her promise to her 11 year old daughter to take her to see it. A must read for any parent who's considering taking their kids....

Ok - I give in. I'm gonna go start a fire. It's so chilly! And, it looks like the temps are about as warm as they're getting today & tonight will be below freezing.

I'm so perplexed by craigslist postings where people say something is new (purchased less than a year ago, sometimes only a couple months ago) or never used, but they are selling because they changed their minds, are changing their decor, etc. Do people really have money to throw around like that?

So there  you have it.  A sampling of what you are missing if you don't see my Facebook page.  And, a sampling of what's on my mind today.

Have a great Monday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What I'm Reading

I got this book from the library about a week ago & just started reading it today.  So far it's quite interesting!

Have any of you read it yet?  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Be Careful When You Purge

So, apparently in one of my purging fits of  "I'm going to get rid of anything I haven't used in a long time", I must have gotten rid of my mini-muffin tins.  Why I thought this was a good idea, I don't know.

It must have been the same purging fit when I got rid of my bundt pan.  Another item I regret not having & have since needed.

Note to self:  Be careful when you purge.  And, be especially careful about purging baking related items.  

Lesson learned and taken to heart.  I shall now go bake regular sized muffins instead of the adorable little mini muffins I wanted to make.

Are You Missing Out on the Feast?

Earlier this week I tried out a new chicken enchiladas recipe.  While I was assembling the enchiladas, my boys were there watching & snatching pieces of the cooked chicken that were going in to them.

My son, Wyatt, was eyeing the process warily.  He is my picky eater.  And, he especially dislikes when things are mixed together & he's definitely not one to try new things.  (He's my son who dreams of being old enough to buy his own pickles & sit & eat them out of the jar in front of the tv.)

"What all are you putting in there?"  He asked.  I already knew before-hand this wasn't going to fly with him, but as I told him a bit of the recipe, his face confirmed it.

"Ew.  Can you just save me some chicken?"

Now normally I don't make special exceptions with our meals.  But, I knew he would not eat the enchiladas.  And, I already had the cooked chicken set aside.  It was easy enough to save some.  But, I thought maybe I'd even offer to make some special enchiladas just for him (again, not a normal occurrence).

"What if I made a couple with just chicken & cheese wrapped in the tortilla?"  

"Nah.  Just chicken."  

So I set aside some plain old chicken for him.  And, when our family sat down to eat, there was Wyatt eating plain cooked chicken - slightly dried out, with not a whole lot of flavor - while the rest of us feasted on what turned out to be a really delicious meal of chicken enchiladas.  
image found here
We experienced a range of flavors & textures as we added sour cream, cilantro, & lettuce to our meal.  And, there sat Wyatt, not knowing what he was missing.

image found here

As sometimes happens, God spoke to me through this interaction with my son.  How often has God prepared this amazing feast for me, but I am too scared or unwilling to try something new?  I tell Him, "I'll just stick with the plain chicken.  I'll stick with what I know." And, what I don't realize is I'm missing out on all the flavors, textures, & nuances of what God had actually had waiting.

Will the plain chicken still nourish me?  Sure.  Have I experienced the fullness of God?  Probably not.

Maybe this applies to you, maybe not.  I know I tend to be someone who struggles with change, someone who is often fearful of new or different situations.  This missing of the feast could happen in so many ways....
 - in worship
 - in exploring spiritual gifts
 - in opening our lives to places God wants to take us or people he wants us to interact with
 - fill in your own example here________________________

Are you missing out on the feast?

"Taste and see that the Lord is good..."  Psalm 34:8

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I'm Working On Today

It's been too beautiful a day today to do only indoor chores.  So, while the boys played outside, I decided to tackle my little semi-circle rock-framed garden I've neglected the last couple years.

These pictures are from after I've pulled & dug & yanked weeds, debris, grass, & ivy vines that had overtaken my little flower garden area.  I've been moving the rocks to clear the stuff growing up in between.   I don't have a before picture to show you.  But, trust me, even though I'm not finished yet this is 90% better than it was.

I used to have sage & columbine planted here.  I'm not sure if I dug them out along with the grass & weeds.  I guess we shall see soon.

What's a good way to keep ivy under control?  It's planted in a section of the yard above, but it always creeps down.  You can't see behind the vines, but there is actually a rock wall there that is about to crumble down because of the vines growing in the cracks and crevices.

I'll be sure to show an after once I get the rest of this jungle under control.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Son Has a Dream

Wyatt, my 8 year old, said to me this evening, "Mom.  You know what I'm gonna do when I'm old enough to buy my own food & live in my own house?"

"What are you going to do?"  I asked.

"I'm gonna buy pickles in pickle jars & I'm gonna sit in front of the tv & watch it while eating pickles out of the jar.   That's what I'm gonna do."

My son has a dream.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

To Continue to Have the "Followers" Gadget Or To Let It Go

Most of us bloggers have it....the 'Followers' gadget on the side of our blog where people can click the 'Follow' button & then easily access our blog again.  Or is that why?  

I will admit that I love affirmation.  Don't we all?  But, some of us seem to need it more than others.  I guess I fall into the 'need it more' category.  And, that 'Followers' feature definitely feeds into that need for affirmation.

I have watched my 'Followers' slowly grow over the two years I've been blogging.  I can still remember the surprise and elation I had the first time I saw I had a follower that I didn't know personally.  How did a stranger find me?  How exciting!  And, they like me.  They really like me.

My heart has jumped with joy each time I've seen a new follower has 'joined' my little corner of the blogging world.  Eagerly I'd go to their site (if they had one) and usually I'd follow back (if you're reading this, and somehow I missed doing that for you, I'm sorry.)

And, every time I saw that I lost a follower...and oh I noticed! heart sank.  What did I do wrong?  Why don't they like my blog anymore?  Am I boring?  Too serious?  Too fluffy?  Not an appealing enough blog design?  Not enough pictures?  Too many pictures?  Too much personal stuff?  What?  

To make matters worse for this affirmation-junkie I noticed other blogs, that I knew had started around the same time as mine, just explode in the area of followers and commenters.  I tried not to let that bother me.  I cherished each and every follower and commenter on my blog.  AND, I feel like I've formed relationships with some of you.  Like I KNOW I'd like you in person as much as I like you in blogland.

Here's the thing.  Just last week I had a new follower join who brought my numbers up to 60.   She was actually one of 3 who had just recently joined in the last couple months.  Before that there had been no activity in that way for a very, very long time.  I was so thrilled!

Then early this week, I noticed I was back down to 59.  Somebody left?  Oh no!  Why?  It brought me down, but I tried to remember that it really isn't personal.  Probably they were just 'cleaning house' of blogs they don't really frequent.  

Then today, I noticed the number had dropped, again, to 58.  And, I kid you not when I tell you that my heart plummeted.  I literally felt a physical pain & as though I was going to cry.  I walked away from the computer depressed & unable to focus on what I needed to do in my house.

Writing all this down makes me feel like I'm being quite melodramatic here.  But, I guess that's the point of this post.  If it bothers me this much then perhaps I should do away with that feature.  On the one hand, I enjoy discovering new blogs when I discover new followers. And, it lets me know there are people 'out there' reading what I have to say.  But, on the other hand, if envy (of other blogs) & an unhealthy attachment to 'numbers' is going to effect me, then perhaps I should let that feature go.

I enjoy writing.  I enjoy blogging.  It's been a wonderful outlet for me.   And, I enjoy forming friendships with other women who otherwise I'd never meet.  And THAT is more important to me than numbers.

So, I leave it in your hands dear readers...what are your thoughts on 'Followers'?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

"...When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad."

I had so much fun working on this post....AND it put me in such a good mood, I may need to make this a weekly feature.

Here we go with this week's edition.  Some of my favorite things.....

My first cup of coffee in the morning

Morning sun coming in the windows...

Making school lunches....with help

 An inspired breakfast (thanks Pinterest)

Bagel w/ onion/chive cream cheese spread & topped with avocado bruschetta

A made bed.  Even if the rest of the house is trashed (it was) I can find some peace in this.

Offerings of love left on my dresser by my precious four year old.

A bag of socks waiting to be paired up with its 'matcher'. While matching socks isn't necessarily my favorite chore, this overstuffed bag just says 'family' to me.

NOT a favorite thing....finding surprise messes

DEFINITELY a favorite thing....the Mess Makers

Signs of spring

Would anyone like to join me in listing some favorite things?  If you do, leave me a comment so I can come check out yours!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Slightly Random

So tonight I finally sat down and took an honest to goodness look at my Pinterest account.  I signed up several weeks ago, but hadn't really taken the time to explore the site or figure out how it worked.

And, after spending some time on there tonight, I now understand why everyone else has been talking about how addictive it can be.  I'm hooked.

I found out that one of my friends reposted my recipe for Baked Oatmeal that I included in an old blog post on one of her pin boards.  I feel honored!  

Now here's the thing.  When I went back to look at that old blog post titled "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things" it really made me smile.  I had included pictures of 5 or 6 things that bring joy to my life.  They were simple (like fresh herbs & my baked oatmeal recipe) &, of course, I included pics of my family.

I've been feeling grumpy dumpy lately & after seeing that old post the thought occurred to me that I need to make that type of post a more regular thing.....These Are My Favorite Things Days.  

Stay tuned.  I may even start tomorrow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

True Love

I read a letter in the 'Dear Amy' column of the newspaper 

today that was really neat. A reader talked about what a 

successful marriage really is. His wife of 42 years (a Japanese

woman) said that Americans equate love with a burning fire.

But fire burns out & becomes cold ashes.

Instead this is how she described love: 

"True love is like flowing water. It runs in rivulets down

hillsides and joins creeks that become rivers. It gains in 

strength & intensity through these travels until it flows into 

the sea." 

I thought that was beautiful!
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