Friday, March 28, 2008

For Granted

I have been thinking lately about all the simple things in life we American's take for granted. I guess this has been fresh on my mind since I am currently living without a few of those modern conveniences.
It has now been 9 months since I have had ....
*A dishwasher or a garbage disposal in my kitchen. I have had to wash dishes by hand at least once a day. Until you live without one you forget how inconvenient it is to have to wash and dry every single thing you use. Fortunately, since I am living in only 700 sq feet and I have a small kitchen, most of my things are in storage. I am sure that most of my friends are sick of hearing me say "Yes, I do have that, but it is in storage".
*An attached laundry room. You see, for most of my married life you could find me daily running to the laundry room in various stages of dressed-ness to get clothes. But now my laundry room is down a flight of outside stairs and in the garage. So now whenever I need to run to the laundry room I have to get dressed. Plus if it is raining - or snowing, like today - I get my clean laundry all wet. Someday I will be able to run to the laundry room in the buff again!
*A septic system that you can count on. For the last two months our septic system has been obsessed with backing up. It makes it pretty difficult to do laundry on a regular basis or count on a flushing toilet to not come back up. We have dumped many precious pennies into this system and now all we can do is laugh. It is something I will never take for granted again.
*More than one shower & bathroom for a family of 4. Trying to schedule the morning routines around one shower and toilet can be a bit of a challenge. However, we have gotten used to this and it goes pretty smooth now. Looking on the bright side, having the septic back up all the time, does limit down the shower and flushing allowed, so it is even easier on the schedule.

We have learned to appreciate some of the simple things in our American lives. I have to daily remind myself that it could be worse - especially when I am mopping up sewage! But God is good and we have so very much to be thankful for. As my son heads out on a inner-city mission trip tonight I hope we will appreciate even more simple things - like our beds, our ceiling, our heat and our family!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter & Birthday

Today is Easter - which is probably my favorite holiday. It is really the whole point of Christianity. If Jesus hadn't of risen from the dead - what would be the point of the whole thing? It proves that God has power over death and that He has the victory! Thank you God for the gift of Easter - of new life!
What a great day to have your Birthday! Today is my good friend Rosemary's Birthday.
She has been my friend for many years. Here is a picture of us at my wedding. She was my maid of honor. Rose and her hubby Dave have been good friends to Curtis and I since we were in high school. We love them very much. Rose has much to celebrate this year and we look forward to an amazing year for her family! Happy Birthday Rose!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Family Traditions

Last night at 9 pm we decided to color Easter Eggs - something my kids have always loved. Here are my daughter's creative designs - wouldn't Easter eggs be boring without color!

My Son's designs were a little different - I have never seen a skull and crossbones in an easter kit before but he loved it!

We always end the tradition with blending cool color combinations of the dye in the toilet. They love to see what the colors become before we flush them away - I know this is pretty weird, but we have been doing it for years!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Too Funny not to share!!!

My mom and I were going through old photos at her house last night and we came across some real treasures from the late 80's - early 90's. This photo is of two of our long time friends. We were serving in ministry together at a church here in town and were needing to raise big money for the youth group, so all the leaders had a huge weekend garage sale at my parents. Here the gentlemen models were sporting some of the amazing treasures up for sale!
Now this one is of one of those friends sporting a fabulous mullet - I feel quite certain it is safe to show this because he just admitted he had one last Sunday at church.
Unfortunately, even my boyfriend (now hubby) grew one for himself!! It was, not really!! Fortunately, for me he cut it for our wedding day in 1990. This beautiful dress I am wearing was given to me by this boyfriend as a gift during one of his messages to the students. I think he was just trying to make points! It must have worked.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Family Day

Napkins Anyone???? Okay, so we have this seventeen year old cat that is hating our new puppy and since we are in the apartment there is limited high ground. So...she has decided that the table is her new perch and the napkin holder is just her size. This is soooo gross! She is driving me nuts?!?

We took our kids and puppy out for some family time today. It has been awhile since they have been able to ride bikes so we went to a nearby campus and brought bikes along. They had a great time and were exhausted from all the hills.
The men spent a bunch of time throwing the ball for Tucker and playing frisbee. My daughter got an awesome shot of my son but he will post that on his blog.
We are working hard with Tucker to leash train him while he is still small enough. Man, this is a ton of work! My arm was ready to fall off by the time we finished. Curtis gave it a try for awhile - I think this may take some more time.
This particular picture cracks me up! My husband recently got a very expensive speeding ticket. He was only going 10 miles over the speed limit but it happened to be in a school zone and he didn't have his proof of insurance in the car that day - bummer! Isn't my hubby cute? Not bad for an almost forty year old man!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What a Funny Dog!

My hubby & I were downloading some pictures today and we came across this hilarious photo of our insane dog Tucker! We cracked up laughing! Even though having a puppy is a ton of work and requires a lot of patience in training, we really love this dog! I know he is supposed to be the kids dog, but he really is pretty much my dog. He is wonderful and I really like having him around!

Friday, March 14, 2008

For His Glory!

This devotional came to us today via email from Ransomed Heart Ministries (wild at heart). It is so relevant to where we are at. There are days we are so weary and we ask "how long Lord"? When life circumstances are difficult and the walls we face seem impossible to climb. When so many around us are sick and some even dying. When we feel like giving up!
“How Long, O Lord?” 03/14/2008
When God comes to call Jeremiah to be his prophet of hard sayings to Judah, Jeremiah protests, saying, “‘Ah, Sovereign LORD . . . I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.’ But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a child.” You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD” (Jer. 1:6–8).
God is saying that these things will be done through Jeremiah’s dependence on his strength and provision, and that he will rescue him. Yet there is something about God’s rescues that make them a little less timely than dialing 911. He leaves Abraham with his knife raised and ready to plunge into Isaac’s heart, and Isaac waiting for the knife to descend; he leaves Joseph languishing for years in an Egyptian prison; he allows the Israelites to suffer four hundred years of bondage under the Egyptians and leaves those same Israelites backed against the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s chariots thundering down on them. He abandons Jesus to the cross and does not rescue him at all.
And then there are those of us who, along with the saints under heaven’s very altar, are groaning under the weight of things gone wrong, waiting for that same Jesus to return and sweep us up with him in power and glory. “How long, O Lord?” we whisper in our weariness and pain. Indeed, God calls us to battles where the deck appears stacked in favor of those who are his enemies and ours, just to increase the drama of the play. And there is the clear picture, even from God himself, that he does so to enhance his own glory.
What a great reminder for our family!
We can see the glory of God in our pain - when we listen to the voice of truth and not the lies from the enemy the story is clear. We are able to lay down our own wants for rescue to take the invitiation God offers - to suffer earthly trials for his Glory! God is good and the trials help us let go of earth and cling to Him!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thank you friends & family!

My birthday was this last Monday - yes, I am now on the countdown to 40! My celebration started out fun on Saturday night when my parents took my family out to my favorite - PF Changs - it was fun and delicious!
Saturday I also got a package in the mail and I love to get mail! My brother mailed me a cozy Penn State sweatshirt that I was wanting, since he will be leaving Pennsylvania and heading off to Laos this summer. It was nice to get fun mail!
Sunday morning my family made me a wonderful breakfast in bed and the kids even did the dishes! My kids blessed me with great cards and gifts they purchased with their own money from Target - great job guys!
Sunday evening my wonderful homegroup women - Kim, Julie, Ashley & Annette did a fun celebration. Ashley made me a great chocolate & raspberry cake - Yum! They also gave me a gift certificate for my hair salon - thanks girls!
Monday My Mom took me shopping for clothes and then out to lunch - we had a lot of fun!
Monday night my two dear friends - Vicky & Dawn- took me out for a special date. We had a quiet intimate dinner at one of their houses with dinner from Olive Garden.
We snuggled up under blankets and sat on the couch talking until 11 pm - it was great for my heart!
My Hubby was home waiting with a card & creme brulee ice cream! Yum!!
Thank you friends and family for a wonderful celebration - you blessed me a ton!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mother!!!

I love my mom - Pat. She and my dad, Kent, raised me and my younger brother, Berkeley. My mom is a true servant - she volunteers with so many organizations, I lose count. From the time I can remember my parents were always having people staying with us and opening their home for ministry. We respect that she has a huge hunger for Jesus and is always learning and growing more like Him!

My mom is one of those women who never sits still when we are all together. She always is serving us - getting us a drink, or asking what she can do for us. It is such a blessing to us. My mom is also the biggest help to me - she loves on my kids, takes care of me when I am sick, fills in with my family when I need the help. I am so thankful for her support and hands-on help in our life.
My mom is also extremely fun! My kids probably laugh more with Nan than anyone else. She was always making things fun when we were kids. We were doing skits and acting out things all the time - a lot of them were her ideas and she would act with us here and there. She also loved to dance and would put on her "old" records and show us a bunch of dances from when she was a girl. She is young at heart and you can tell from looking at her. When she goes to grandparents day at the kids school, my daughter always says "Wow, Nan must be the youngest grandma ever!" She looks amazingly young for her age.
Happy Birthday Mom!!! We love you!!!!