Jan 31, 2010

Awww...

Our house's first snow! We'll call the house Tulip. Tulip's first snow! Aww!!

Wednesday, Jan. 27th

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years...

Jan 30, 2010

Nola's 2010 Snow Day

We had our annual winter weather storm this weekend. It started last night and was beautiful! When I took Nola out one last time before bed the snow flakes were enormous - she was SO excited!!! By morning, the snow had turned to sleet and so the ground was frozen and it wasn't really the fun either of us was expecting. This is about how our morning went:

video

Thankfully, I'd picked up some Smartwool baselayers on Friday in anticipation of being outside in the ever freezing precipitation. I am SO glad I did that! I really love Smartwool. Do you have any? You should. I've gotten to the point that I almost always wear Smartwool socks. They're amazing... and they make my tootsies really happy.

Jan 28, 2010

Fiddler on the...

We have a roof! I've never actually seen that play, but we're pretty stoked about the roof!

Jan 26, 2010

Tuesday, two day (today)

There are really four days of the week (according to Joey) - Monday: one day; Tuesday: two day; Wednesday: when? what day?; Thursday: third day; Friday: fourth day - so technically, we're half way to Friday already - whoo hoo! In light of it being midweek here's a great chart that, I think you will find, replaces the five second rule - enjoy!

ht: Habesha Child

Jan 24, 2010

Granddaddy's Jahms

We all have something that we remember most about people we know, people we love. For Granddaddy, I remember that he was almost always, famously rockin' out some pajamas. From when I was a little girl visiting in VA all the way up until recently - I see Granddaddy in pajamas. Of course he did actually get dressed every day, but he wasted no time changing into PJs - "jahms." I can see him in the kitchen cooking breakfast from back when I was seven just as clearly as I can see him sitting in his chair in the late afternoon watching National Geographic - in pajamas. I'm very much like him in that way - I waste no time changing into sweats or PJs and I jump at the chance to score a new pair on sale. (Top and bottom combos are always the best.)

Tonight, I am sitting on my couch, wrapped in a pair of Granddaddy's blue, striped pajamas. They smell like him, fresh out of his drawer. I wish he was still here - in his pajamas. Did you know that if you are still, you can see the tears in your eyes slowly roll to the edge of your lids like a wave, before they gently fall on your face? You can. I can see them, but I can smile at the same time because I know that Granddaddy is with Jesus wearing the most comfortable pajamas he's ever had.

Jan 21, 2010

Bob the builder...





Ok, NOW it is starting to feel REAL! Bob has been hard at work this week - I cannot believe how fast the framing has gone up. Are they doing it right?! The trusses are laying on the ground across the street so I'd imagine that by next week, we'll have a roof in the works. AHH!

The job search continues and oh is it ever frustrating...trusting that the right thing will come along. I've seen more and more positions open up over the last week so that is encouraging.

La Casa


... we have some progress! Visible progress - finally!
Now to find a job.

Jan 20, 2010

It's a God thing...


Last week, I received an ecard from a sweet friend. At the end of the card, there was a verse.


Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies... "
John 11:25


I decided to send this verse to Marty (granddad's wife of 30+ years) as it was so touching and served as a reminder to us all. She didn't have a Bible with her at the time, so I read it aloud over the phone. We ended up reading the entire story in Chapter 11 to better understand why Jesus said that... it was the story of Lazarus, when Jesus came to visit Mary and Martha. We both loved it and she decided that since we were not able to find a poem we had been looking for, she asked what we thought about using this verse and the story at the funeral. Of course, we thought it was perfect.


I got a text not too long after our conversation; she had spoken with the priest. Apparently we could not substitute the scripture for the poem - because the gospel for the service was already John 11:20-27!

Gentle reminders of Who keeps watch over us are always coveted and we couldn't have felt His presence more in that moment.

Jan 12, 2010

There is a time

Today I saw a strong man; I watched him lie still and studied the movement in his chest from every breath he took. I told him, "I love you," and got to hear it back. I held his hand and felt his squeeze, knowing he was giving me priceless ounces of energy - energy he was losing and would not get back. He opened his eyes and allowed me to see him, in short moments of time.

He closed his eyes and focused on his breath. He reached out to hold a hand; a hand means he is not alone. No, he is not alone. We are with him. God is with him. Dr. Patton said, "you are going on a journey; a journey out of this life." He nodded that he understood. Dr. Patton said a prayer. The Holy Spirit filled the room.

Overwhelming peace.

As much as I don't want to see him leave this life, to know that he understands his journey brings me peace - brings us all peace. That we are able to spend special moments with him gives us immense joy. Our hearts are heavy, but they are full. God's grace has given us this precious time. Our Creator is preparing us for his departure - his entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Soon, we will hear Psalm 121 and we will sing a joyful song unto the Lord for the life we once knew. We will listen to the words of the Fisherman's Prayer and celebrate life.

There is a time for all things. Sometimes unexpected, sometimes ignored - but that time comes whether we are ready, or not.

Our lives on earth are merely a vapor in the time of the earth. We are here for yet moments... How is it that we can be living, but dying at the same time? To have part of us in one world and another somewhere else. To know that we are transitioning to another place... leaving the world as we know it and all that we know behind. Our physical being was not created to withstand years upon years, our shell wears out and we peel back the layer to reveal who we really are - spiritual beings in a physical world.

Someone who is alive, is living - but someone whose body is shutting down, is both living and dying. Death is inevitable, it's how the world has continued to flourish and grow, yet it doesn't get easier to do. It is painful. When the body is shutting down, it is not painfree. It is not simple. There is an order to which it will happen. We know what to expect. We understand. We wait.

We enjoy our time. It is a gift. The present, it's a gift.

My face is hot, my head throbs with swollen eyes, but I will not forget the gift we have been given.

My grandfather was a strong man. He was quick, firm, smart, and funny. He instilled in me, a love for Africa. His travels inspired me and thus have made me who I am.

I will miss his laugh, the way his shoulders gently roll as he smirks and squints his eyes. I will miss him simply being - but in the next few days, I will just enjoy him - watching him breathe, watching him live.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Jan 3, 2010

Notes from Romans

I finished reading Romans earlier in the weekend and realized I had a lot of notes.

A few:

-Take your normal everyday life and offer it to God.
-Embrace what God does for you.
-Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
-Fix your attention on God to be changed inside out.
-Recognize what He wants from you and respond to it.
-We don't find meaning from God, we find it in Him.
-Keep a smile on your face.
-Love from the center of who you are - don't fake it.
-Bless your enemies, no cursing under your breath.
-Get along well, laugh with happy friends - shed tears when they're down.
-Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
-Don't insist on getting even, God will be the judge.
-If you see your enemy hungry, go and buy them lunch.
-Love others. The sum of all things is love.

Romans has quickly become one of my favorite books. Paul wrote it in response to the Romans' lack of acknowledging what happened to Jesus - His life, death, and resurrection. It's written poetically and logically - and I love the words he chose to emphasize. This year, I'm reading the Bible again, chronologically. I had a lot of questions the first time around - I'm not completely done. I have a few books in the NT (Galatians-Rev) and then I need to go back and finish Isaiah and Ezekiel before I'm done. I stopped reading Isaiah around chapter 26 or so... it's a difficult book! I am learning that I really enjoy reading the Bible. There is a lot of history in it that I remember from school and it's been fun to challenge myself with that. Of course Jesus' teachings are also pretty important :) so that is enjoyable too!

Mmmm, my new obsession

Tonight, I made carrot soup. Oh so good!
I'd planned on making an alternate version, but I'm all about less is more so I opted for the short version - I did alter the recipe a little and added some salt/pepper/ginger to the other three ingredients - overall, it was delish!
Crackers didn't feel quite right so I heated up some not-so-homemade yeast rolls and slapped some honey butter on top. YUM.
I'm thinking of trying another version this weekend, and maybe a cauliflower soup too. I've been somewhat obsessed with allrecipes.com and myrecipes.com lately. Reading the comments is also helpful as people typically rate the recipe and offer their suggestions.
Anyone have good soup recipes?

Jan 2, 2010

Take Your Best Shot

I finally finished Take Your Best Shot - it was so sweet! It's about a young boy who learns about poverty through child sponsorship (via World Vision). After I got used to his reflections, "back when I was eight...," I was finally able to dive into the story - I will say, I was surprised at how well organized the book is considering the author is so young, but it was written much better than I'd imagined before I started it.

Basically, Austin (the author) watches a video about a little girl living in poverty and his family ends up sponsoring a little boy in Uganda. Austin visits and well, I won't tell you everything in case you want to read it - but he is able to make some amazing dreams happen for children in Africa.

If anyone has kids around middle-school aged, this would be a GREAT book for them to read. I could completely see this book being used for homeschoolers - there are literally dozens of projects that come to mind. Austin is 9-years old when he does a lot of the things in the book and I think it is totally inspiring for other children.

It took me a while to read this since there were other more "adult" type books that I'd been trying to get through, but I'm glad I read this as it was a pretty good book, and an easy read. I really loved that there were questions following the chapters and scripture that corresponded with some of the lessons Austin learned. It was nice and while the questions were simple, they were great because it did make me think more about the topics he presented.

Check it out! If you'd like my copy, let me know! :)

Jan 1, 2010

2009 Reflection

(from Christmas, 2009)

What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
-It's a tie between all things Bible study and getting engaged.
What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
-I decided that this was the year I would get serious about debt
What was an unexpected joy this past year?
-Meeting some of the most genuine and amazing friends
Pick three words that describe 2009.
-Growth, Nurture, Dedicate
What were the best books you read this year?
-I posted a few earlier this week, but didn't include them all; The Shack, Same Kind of Different As Me, Crazy Love (hands down a life changing book for me), The Heart of Christianity, Food Pets Die For. Each of these has truly helped shape who I am, from sorting out my faith to understanding food. I read another book about pet food but don't remember the name of it so it didn't make the list - after reading about what goes into pet foods, I changed Nola to Honest Kitchen, a raw, dehydrated, human grade food, and never looked back! (She still actually eats Wellness in the morning.).

With whom were your most valuable relationships?
In what ways did you grow emotionally?
-I came to grips with growing up and started a private blog to journal my feelings about moving to Boston... we now know, it will be Virginia - a much easier transition.

In what ways did you grow spiritually?
-I joined an online Bible Study that I found out about via Compassion's blog, met some amazing women, and found exactly what I was looking for and more than I ever imagined. I started reading The Heart of Christianity and learned about faith in general, and I am almost finished reading the Bible, cover to cover.

In what ways did you grow physically?
-In what ways didn't I grow physically? I became the most out of shape I've been in years. I didn't gain weight, but it's still not good!

What was your single biggest time waster in your life in the past year?
-Facebook; I enjoy reconnecting with friends, but probably spent too much time reading status updates, etc...

What was the biggest thing you learned this year?
-I realized that my life truly is not my own and defined ME

In 2009, my word was dedication. I think I did okay. As always, there are some things I would change if I could go back, but overall I believe I accomplished what I'd hoped. Moving into 2010, I've chosen simplicity and contentment. I'm excited about all the changes that will be happening, but I think these two words will keep me grounded. Chandler's word for 2010 is birth. I laughed at him so he changed it to creation. Umm...it should be an interesting year! ;)

What's YOUR word for 2010?
"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."
-Anonymous
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub