Dec 30, 2009

Too good not to share

A friend on Facebook posted this and it was so random, I decided to do it. Oh my gosh it's the funniest thing ever!

So here's what, call the Nestle Crunch Hotline at 1-800-295-0051.

When you are asked if you want to continue in English or Spanish, just wait quietly for about 10 seconds.

Hang in there and select option 4.

Listen to the options... and enjoy! I'd recommend starting with 7 and then trying 8.

If, when you call, the line rings a few times and you have to hold, just hang up and try calling back in a few seconds.

Love is all you need

A friend at work sent this to me -- how cool?!

Dec 29, 2009

I asked God...

I asked God to make my loved ones whole.
God said, No. Their spirit is whole, their bodies are only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness...
God said, No. I give you blessings; happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me love others, as much as He loves me.
God said... Ahhhh, finally you have the idea. In the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world'

May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face shine upon you, and give you peace.

(As far as I know this is anonymous... if anyone knows the author, let me know! It's beautiful!)

Dec 28, 2009


I've been reading a lot lately.

Recently, a friend told me about this book:

It arrived on Christmas Eve so I've not opened it yet, but it's in the queue to be read.

While on a couple of weeks ago, I found this book:
The author, Kelly Minter, also wrote a Bible study that goes along with the book. I actually thought I was buying the Bible study, but realized I goofed when I opened the box. Oh well! I'd printed the first week of the Bible study from the website and wow - it's good! I love the format too, it makes me wish my Bible study girls were in my living room!
I don't remember who recommended this book, but it's become one of my favorites. I feel like I'm always falling asleep during my prayers or I forget to pray for things. Not only does this book talk about those things, it takes it a step further and has some great insight. I'm reading it slowly, chapter by chapter instead of all at once.
Chandler got this book for me for Christmas this year:

I told him I felt like I needed a little guidance in the cooking department and that every woman has this book. :) I hope he's not expecting much now.... I can bake but I'm no dinner chef!
When my sweet friend and her MIL surprised me with this book, all I wanted to do was read it! We don't use the Bible much in church, or at home really - so I was a little lost. It had a lot of great footnotes, but I still needed a little more help! I found this book:
So far, so good! I love the pages and the additional insight it offers with photographs. The more I read my Bible though, the more I realized that even the NIV was a little too much for me. I got a copy (tiny!) of The Message and started reading from the beginning. I paralleled with my NIV Bible and have really been enjoying the learning. I was hoping to finish by the end of the year, but I don't think that will happen. It will be close! I need to read Isaiah, Lamentations, and Ezekial - and all of the new testament. It's possible.... :)

Mom surprised me with this on Christmas Eve:
I'd mentioned that I was looking through it during one of our trips to the bookstore and she got it for me! Chandler thinks I'm crazy for the number of Bibles I now have... but I like that this one poses questions after some of the readings. It's challenging and I like that it makes me think. I don't always understand what I read and the questions often get my attention and I realize the deeper meaning of what I just read.

About that collection...
When I started reading the Bible through, confused is not even the word I'd go for... I had no idea how much was repeated. Someone suggested that I read a chronological version. What? They have that? Yep indeed. So, I found a cheap paperback copy and I'll start on Friday.
I'm really lucky that our insurance company has points we can earn by logging health and wellness activities. So far, I've used all of my points to order books from Amazon.
These are just a few of my current books. I have another stack that consists of some novels, other nonfiction, and then a stack of magazines that date back to August that I still haven't gotten around to reading. Can one be a stay at home reader? I could write some mad reviews!
What books are you reading?

Dec 22, 2009

One step forward, two steps back

Moving forward:

We have some house activity! I drove by last week and asked the guys if I could take their picture. They agreed, then asked if I would take another so they could pose, ha!
Across the street from us:
Houses behind us:
Set back: job market. To say it stinks is simply an understatement. I pray that the coming month will bring some new positions. We're super excited about the house, but we need ME to have a job so we can pay for it!

Dec 20, 2009

the Spirit surrounds us

...was going through my reader tonight and came across this post by Carlos. Amazing. Turn your volume up, you won't want to miss this. Be sure to read the post linked above. I love what Danny says to Carlos after the song.

Feel the Spirit.

Dec 15, 2009

Mini Jason Mraz

...otherwise known as "Ukulele Boy" on YouTube - adorable! "I'm Yours" is a somewhat recent song and one of my favorites. Young Ukulele has quite the rendition!

Dec 14, 2009

'O Christmas Tree

Last year, I participated in a linky tour of homes for Christmas decorations and had a great time looking at everyone's trees and decor, so this year - I'm doing it again!

(Yes, my zebra is totally propped up on the snowflake, he hangs lopsided so he needed a little help.)
One of my favorite angels from mom and some funky purple splash balls I bought 90% off (!!) at Pier 1 a few years ago.

I just realized, while looking at last year's post, that I haven't even hung the stockings yet! They're the same as last year though so if you'd like to see them, click here. I also haven't put the tree skirt around the tree... and might not. I don't have a tree outside, my nativity is packed up, and I've only bought one gift so far. I am picking up one of my favorite childhood nativities from mom and I'll add that photo to this post once I have it.
Next year's tour from our new house will be LOTS of fun, but this year, we're keeping the decorations low key. Off to see some more trees and decorations!

Here with us

Joy Williams is quickly becoming one of my favorites. A few months ago, I downloaded her song, Here with us and put it on a CD in the car. I didn't pay too much attention to the lyrics because the "hallelujahs" she sang were so different that it's all I focused on... when I finally stopped obsessing about the hallelujahs, I couldn't decide if I was overwhelmed in thought or speechless. I don't think I've ever taken the time to even imagine the things Joy sings about. Listen to the song.

Did it give you chills? I've been wanting to post this for a few weeks now but wanted to wait until a little closer to Christmas.

Here are the lyrics for anyone unable to see the video.

It's still a mystery to me
That the hands of God could be so small,
How tiny fingers reaching in the night
Were the very hands that measured the sky

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Son of God, Servant King,
You're here with us
You're here with us

It's still a mystery to me, oh,
How His infant eyes have seen the dawn of time
How His ears have heard an angel's symphony,
But still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Son of God, Servant King
Here with us
You're here with us
(Ohh, mmm, here with us)

Jesus the Christ, born in Bethlehem
A baby born to save, to save the souls of man

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Son of God, Servant King
You're here with us
You're here with us

Dec 11, 2009

Blessing Bank, take 2

This post has been a work in progress for at least a month! Back in September, I wrote about how I'd found the neatest thing ever, Blessing Banks. Long story short, M's mother in law saw my blog post and called to tell M about it. M owns the company (Blessing Banks) and well, you can read more about it here. She was so kind and sent me a bank, and et me just say, it is beautiful. I absolutely love it! It is so simple yet really stunning.

The pictures were taken in a weird setting but definitely visit the website for pictures too. The bank I have is the "girl" bank, but there is also a "boy" bank that has different wood pieces on the sides.
A Blessing Bank would be a great gift idea for anyone - children or adults alike.
"Based on Jesus' words in Acts 20:35, Blessing Banks are more than a gift; they are a lifelong lesson in the blessing of giving. They are available in handcrafted hardwoods for boys and girls, hand-painted ceramic and also in a hammered, silver-plated option. And Little Blessing Bags are a convenient way for collected change to bless someone with an immediate need.
From our beginning, Blessing Bank® has had one mission:We want to provide a meaningful gift that will give children an opportunity to learn about generosity and the Christian principle of tithing.

Our banks reflect our desire to blend form and function into a sturdy, yet beautiful handmade piece that will last for generations. Whether used as a tithing or savings bank for helping those in need, we believe the Blessing Bank will help nurture a giving spirit that will grow with the individual for a lifetime."
If you happen to order, let M know that you read about it on my blog! I don't get anything or benefit from it, but I think she'll appreciate how neat the "blog world" spreads word around. I had the opportunity to have some email exchange with her and she's an amazing woman, very kind and genuine.

Dec 3, 2009

Cries of the Poor

It's been a while since I lasted posted some good Straub... I love this one!
The Cries of the Poor

We need more than an emotional response
to the plight of the poor,
we need more than feelings of
sorrow and regret.
We need to be moved
by grace
to action.

When we hear the cries
of the oppressed,
the cries of the poor,
we hear the voice of God.

Where there is weakness,
there is God.

We need to ask God
to shatter our complacency,
to strip us of our need
for comfort.

Life lesson...

When you really want to help someone, do it - completely.

I learned this yesterday.

It was pouring rain and I was on my way back to work when I saw a man walking along the highway, soaking wet with a backpack on his back and only a light vest. I've often seen the same scene and thought about how I should pull over and offer that person an umbrella (I keep several in my car, don't ask), but I've never done it... it's always just been a thought. I don't know what came over me yesterday, but I had the thought and kept driving. About three miles later, I pulled into a cul-de-sac, got the umbrella from the back, and turned around. It wasn't until this point that I considered he may pull a gun on me, but I decided that was not going to stop me from doing what I'd always thought about doing and was finally about to do... I rolled the window down, holding the umbrella out, and told him I had an extra and would he like it. He declined saying he was almost home and he was "fine." I had a fury of emotion going on for many reasons, 1) I was finally stopping after thinking about it hundreds of times, 2) It was pouring rain and the inside of my car was absolutely soaked by this point, 3) He really could have pulled a gun or knife out...

I was so distracted with emotion, I simply said, "Ok" and turned back around to go to work.

Not even 20 feet down the road, watching him continue to walk in the rain, I couldn't help but think about how I'd totally screwed up helping this person. WHY in the heck did I even ask if he wanted an umbrella, it was POURING rain. Who doesn't want an umbrella? I admit, I was tempted to turn around again and make him take the umbrella, but for sanity's sake, I decided against it.

I'm posting this story because it was a lesson for me. A lesson in learning how to help. I had good intentions, sure - but had I been a little more confident in my wanting him to really HAVE this umbrella, he might would have taken it. I messed up. I did. I did a good thing by asking, but I could have actually DONE something.

Next time...

(Future umbrella ministry??) :)

Dec 1, 2009

Happily Ever Faster

I suppose there's no sense in waiting to let the cat out of the bag...

Last week, the future H family (yep, that'd be us) went to VA for a few days to scope out some real estate. Accompanied by a tranquilized puppy, Chandler and I met with our realtor and the hunt began!

Because it's 2009 and people can pretty much walk the streets of distant lands from the comfort of jammies and a kitchen counter (thank you Google), we'd seen a lot of the area we were interested in and just needed confirmation. We toured a few home sites in the neighborhood and long story short, made an offer. It was perfect. The homes were well built, the neighbors seemed nice, there is a park beside the 'hood, a new library, a new elementary school.... and a dog park! It's right outside of the city and only a few miles from Chan's office. We honestly couldn't think of a reason not to move forward. Wait, did I mention that this was the first place we looked at in the flesh? Well, that's not too important (please, don't remind me of this if in a few years I regret our decision!).

We talked. We called the fam. We called the CPA. We talked some more... and we decided to make an offer. It was just too good not to do so. There were a few reasons we needed to move quickly so the following day, I spent the afternoon with the builder and started the unexpected, grueling process of choosing colors. After work, Chan met me there and we completed the paperwork. The site manager, Melannie (who is as completely awesome as Leah), let us know that we were asking for a lot and to be ready for a counter offer.

Chan and I discussed at length what we'd do if that happened but I told him not to get too upset because I had a good feeling. That feeling, however, was certainly not without a LOT of prayer and a lot of "God, if this is your will..." I truly felt good about it all.

I left VA the following morning and we understood that Melannie would call us that day sometime in the early afternoon. The call came in early. Two hours plus early. I couldn't believe it. Melannie said, "Happy Thanksgiving!" "What?!" I was utterly confused... "We got the house?" "YES! You got the house!" So, we got the house! She said that the builder went back and forth about a counter offer, but because our realtor had referred two others to the neighborhood, he accepted! Chan was at work and I didn't have his number - he didn't have his number! - so it was another whole hour before I was able to tell him. I spent that time half wanting to cry and half wanting to throw up! This is it. We're moving. For real. Time to put on my big girl panties and get with it!

There is still a lot to be done but we are very happy and truly thankful to have this checked off our list of things that needed to be done.
"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub