Monday, November 28, 2011


Last night, David and I were reading Galatians, and I was particularly struck by several verses.

23They were only hearing it said, He who used to persecute us is now proclaiming the very faith he once reviled and which he set out to ruin and tried with all his might to destroy.
    24And they glorified God [as the Author and Source of what had taken place] in me.

I thought it was interesting that Paul thought it important to point out his glee that onlookers were giving God the full credit for what had taken place in his life on Earth, and his point of final destination.

CH. 2
 6Moreover, [no new requirements were made] by those who were reputed to be something--though what was their individual position and whether they really were of importance or not makes no difference to me; God is not impressed with the positions that men hold and He is not partial and recognizes no external distinctions--those [I say] who were of repute imposed no new requirements upon me [had nothing to add to my Gospel, and from them I received no new suggestions].

Paul is referring to the controversy over whether Christians ought to submit to the laws of strict Judaism, and specifically whether they ought to be circumcised. His point is that God is not impressed by all the bells and whistles that people try to add to their Christian walk, seeking brownie points and superiority; the only one doing any work or action that amounts to anything is God Himself. Even our best effort and good deed is as dung compared to the awesome, perfect, purity of God.

16Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Law, but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law [for we cannot be justified by any observance of the ritual of the Law given by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous and put in right standing with God).

 To me, the fact that God's love for me and my place in heaven is unconnected to my attempts and failures here on Earth gives such a sense of freedom.  Since coming to this knowledge, the yoke has been much easier and the burden much lighter. My relationship with Christ has now become based on an overwhelming sense of gratitude- that He can be what I cannot, and that He has given me the perfect record, the only way I can stand before and in the holiness of God and not be consumed by fire and regret. Praise Jesus!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Step

Last Friday we went and got fingerprinted. This whole process seems to get a little longer and more complicated every time I talk to our caseworker, but at least it shouldn't be too much longer now. They said that it usually takes about a week for the background check to come back, so hopefully next Friday we will finally be able to make the appointment for the homestudy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Honoring the Honorable

Sometimes I need to take a break from complaining and dry humor, and just put some good vibes out there. Last night, we were getting ready our house ready for the fire inspection this morning, and doing a bare-minimums sweep on safety projects. We had most everything done, and were wandering around putting errant cleaners, chemicals, matches, fire-starters, etc. away. After a little while, I was in the kitchen, and David came in and said, "I fixed the laundry hamper.  You should see it." And then walked out with no further ceremony. My curiosity was piqued, so I went to go and look at what he was talking about. Things having to do with laundry hampers were not on any list that I was aware of.

I got back into our bathroom, and was surprised and delighted to see that my wonderful hubs had put a magnetic latch on the inside of the cabinet door to the laundry hamper! Before, whenever it started to get full, the door would have to be wedged shut with another cabinet door to keep it from spilling open. I didn't even know he had the supplies to fix something like that! He is so wonderful to me, and I pray that God will never let me become numb to or take for granted his caring, considerate spirit.

Also, in other news, the fire inspection went wonderfully this morning! God blessed us with a very quick, easy, laid-back inspection first thing this morning.  The fire marshall said after he was almost done that it wasn't surprising that David is an engineer, because our house was perfect (and usually homes with an engineer living in them are like that.... lol.... love my engineer! :) )  All we have left standing between us and our baby is the homestudy, and however long it takes to locate our child. Hooray! :)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Things to Say When Your Friend Says They are Adopting:

1) Congratulations!
2) Oh WOW! How exciting!
3) You'll be wonderful parents- what a lucky child!
4) Tell me more about it!
5) That's great- I can't wait to meet them!

Things NOT to say to your friend when they say they are adopting (not that you aren't well-meaning...):
1) I'll still be praying for you to have your own.
2) Maybe this will take the pressure off and then you can finally get pregnant!
3) WHY?!?
4) Oh, well... at least you can still have a family this way...
5) Have you talked to _(insert name of family with horrific adoption experience here)_ ? You might want to before you make up your mind.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Wisdom Nugget- Forgiveness

This is a pretty good one from a couple days ago:

Psalm 30:8  Remove from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me.

When we forgive, we acknowledge the truth of the offense, then choose to wipe the slate clean and move on.  We seek neither poverty nor riches in the continuing relationship-- we don't look for the person to victimize us again, or expect them to be a perfect friend from then on.  As God gives to us each day the things that are needful and most appropriate for us, the goal in our friendships is to be what is needful for the other person in kindness and love, maintaining a selfless bond.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Adoption Update

I finally got a date set for the fire inspection. Let the celebration commence! Just hold the

And, today is pay-day. Now we can afford to buy/replace the rest of what is needed to pass the inspection, and tie up all the loose ends before inspection day. Inspection day is Nov. 8th.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wisdom Nugget - Determination

From 9/19/11:

Proverbs 19:21  "Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand."

Being determined to do and be anything other than what God wants is futile, and will only bring about anger and frustration.

New Update on Adoption

We turned in our paperwork last Thursday.  In a way, I am excited. I'm also back into the waiting mode which tends to foster anxiety and impatience and peevishness in my heart. I so just want this to all be over already so I can bring home a child of my own.  All we have left to do is get our house inspected by the fire department, and then get the homestudy done.

Friday, October 28, 2011

After a brief hiatus..

I'm back to the journey of losing weight.  I made a pledge with my mentor Bernie yesterday to lose 25 pounds. She is going to help me keep track, and she has been teaching me how to cook simple things that don't need a recipe.  Like, chicken. And vegetables. And none of it with pre-packaged sauce or a creamy soupy surrounding. I am loving it. And I actually finally fit in smaller jeans today.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Last night David and I went to BuyBuy Baby and looked at their gigantic warehouse of stuff.  Thankfully the have not followed the trend of excluding all things Duck from their selections.  I found a crib that I really like there- it has a changing table built into it, and eventually can convert into a toddler bed and then a double bed.  And I got to squeal over lots of stuff! :)  David is so good to me.

Today, the bookshelf that I ordered for the nursery came in.  I haven't opened the box yet.  I'm waiting for David to get home so he can help open it, and share the joy.

Excerpts from my Adoption Profile

Not all questions on the profile are worthy or good for sharing, but I wanted to give you all a little taste of the better questions and answers from all the paperwork.

How do you think becoming a foster/adopt parent will affect your employment/work?
I am a stay-at-home-wife currently, so it will change everything. It will also give me a lot of joy and fulfillment. Throughout my life, whenever I pondered what I wanted to do with myself as an adult, the only consistent answers were to be a wife and mother.

How important do you feel extra-curricular (school and personal) activities are for children?
They are very important. Children need a large network of friends, interests, and mentors in their life. The more people that are involved and invested in a child's life, helping them work toward a bright future, the better.

How important will your foster/adopt child's grades and school performance be to you?
It is very important to me that my children do their best in all they do, as for God and not men.  However, the grade letter isn't as important as it is for them to develop character, wisdom, and their individual God-given talents and potential. I will do whatever it takes to see my children succeed in school and in life overall.

What do you see as your greatest strength as a parental role model?
I am very willing to admit when I am wrong or have made a mistake, and ask for forgiveness and prayers. I want my kids to learn through my behavior and teaching that there is no mistake that is too big to be forgiven, and that God's grace covers over all our imperfections. One of my dreams for my relationship with my children is to build a team-effort attitude with them in their raising, and for them to pray for me every day in my job as their mommy. I don't want to have an arrogant attitude with them, and act like I never make mistakes, misunderstand, or sin.

What is your greatest fear about fostering/adopting children?
That I will get attached to a child, and they will attach to me, and then not be able to keep them. Also, I am afraid that they will never come to a place where they are glad to have me as their mom.

What would you like to tell a perspective foster/adopt child about your home and family?
I am so, so looking forward to meeting them! I will love them forever, and once they are in my family they will have a home with me forever-- or as long as they want one.  I will never give up on them.

Please compose a brief statement of your religious faith.
I believe in a sovereign God, and in salvation through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ Jesus alone. Everything that happens in this world is for the purpose of revealing the glory of God in some way. We are saved by the mercy of God, and not by works. Jesus was the son of God, and was both fully God and fully human. Our life on Earth was foreordained through God's wisdom and love, and we have a responsibility to be servants, encouragers, and messengers of the gospel.  There are no coincidences, and while God grieves at the evil in this world, we are guaranteed that He will make everything work out for our good, those of us who love Him.
Christ (God) is my first love in this world and the next. He is my ultimate joy, and whenever I think on him my soul brims with sweetness.  Nothing is as important to me as knowing Christ more and more, and knowing that those around me know Him also.
I love to study the Word, meditate on its wisdom, and look for signs in my daily life of the Spirit at work. There's no way to ever completely understand God with our human minds; I just do my best to be open and accepting of everything I learn through the Word, and read it without bias or notions of what it "should" say or mean. The best excitement to me is contemplating being with God in heaven someday, and learning at the feet of Jesus.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Dump Cake

I'm getting ready to go out of town with hubs for visit to the in-laws.  I decided to make a cherry-pineapple dump cake to take with us! Mmmmmm.  It's in the oven now; I don't know if it will make it there unmolested.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wisdom Searches

I've been meaning to post about this for awhile now.  Every morning for the last 2.5 months, David and I have been waking up a little earlier and doing a Bible study together based on character qualities and Proverbs.  We start by reading the character quality for that day (we move on to the next quality every three days), then the chapter of Proverbs for that day. It's easy because there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, and 30-31 days each month.  Last month only had 30 days, but the evening of the 30th David decided to read me the 31st Proverb and talk about how he saw the attributes of the excellent woman in me. Because he's amazing like that.

After we read our chapter, then we each spend as long as we need to perusing back over the chapter and making notes about where we see the character quality of the day either referenced, applied, or otherwise related to.  Then, when we both are done, we share our insights with each other.  It has been a blessed activity, and has increased the voice of the Lord in my heart and mind tenfold.  I have decided to start sharing some of my nuggets of insight on my blog, with the reference label "Wisdom Nuggets".

It's kind of interesting the way character qualities and the words of admonition that go along with them match up to what we are experiencing at the moment.  Sometimes I feel loathe to participate, and tune in and invest myself in the search because the application is so deeply-rooted. And sometimes I just don't wanna hear what God is saying.  Because I want. MY. way.

And other times I avoid the conviction because I feel lazy, and my heart says, "Really, God, today is just not a good time for me.  Raincheck?" But that's usually not a good answer to Him, and there's usually a consequence for my attitude- somehow things still turn out good for me, but I usually come to a bittersweet realization of missed blessing. If it wasn't for that darned sin nature getting in the way of us acting and receiving all the blessings God would like to give us, I think the verse would read "All things work for the utmost excellence and felicity of those who love God...etc." But that's not what it says.

Right now the study is focused on the character quality Endurance.  We get our character qualities and their meanings from the book "Achieving True Success: How to build character as a family" by "Character First!" It is such a wonderful book, and we have so enjoyed using it. It has a antonym quality for each positive character quality, and then a very concrete definition of the quality along with examples of what that quality looks like in the home. It has been a great study aid.

So, just as an example, I will give one of my wisdom nuggets for today.  Today is October 6, so the chapter for today is Proverbs 6.

Quality: Endurance vs. Discouragement
Vs.6-8   Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!-- Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.  
        ~ It is important for me to have the same kind of endurance as an ant, and continue doing what I know is right, even when no one is watching.  The sluggard is the one who gets discouraged, gives up, and gives in to his fleshly desires of rest and pleasure.  There is a time for sleeping-- don't use sleep as an excuse to not be effective in accomplishing worthy goals. 

New Mentor

My church has a yearly mentoring program as part of the women's ministry.  Last year, my mentor was Anne, and I still love her dearly.  She was a huge help and encouragement to me over the year.  This year, my mentor's name is Bernie. We are getting along splendidly, and I enjoy her so, so much.  We got together last weekend and cooked a meal together- meatloaf, stuffed peppers, sauteed veggies, and "pumpkin crunch", which is like a variation of pumpkin pie and dump cake.  It was DE-licious.


the little apple tree is dead.  On to another adventure in trying to grow something.


I took Mackenzie for a walk today.  Most mornings I wake up thinking, "Wow, what a beautiful day! I should go for a walk!" Then I don't.  Then later I moan to David about how "we need to make time to go for a walk together each day", when what I really mean is "I need to make myself take a walk every day." LOL.

So, today when my lovely hub woke me up for prayer and Bible reading, he read 2 Peter and then prayed for God to give us energy to do what we needed to do today.  Guess what that meant? God woke me up. Then He reminded me to go for my walk. And take Mackenzie. Because she is a wiggles and she would like it. So I did.

I have gotten out of the habit of exercising the last couple of months.  For the first 5 months of this year, I did really well at keeping in the habit of exercising at the gym almost every day. Then, we started the adoption process, and it got reeeeeeeaaaallly hot outside.  And I stopped caring about losing weight and getting pregnant because it was HOT. So I stopped working out.  Hopefully my walk today was not just a one-time unusual occurrence, and I will actually get back in the habit of being more active. I think I might even take Zenzi for a walk in a little while.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Letting Go

I've been thinking a lot today about all the blessings in my life.  I had a good hour of such sweet fellowship with my David this morning during/after our morning Bible study time.  I have such an immense amount of adoration and respect for him- I feel overwhelmed when I think about just how big of a blessing he is to me.  In a way, he is the proof to my heart that God loves me.

I've been thinking a lot about how the blessing of having a good husband is not something that I feel I gave myself.  I truly feel like God brought us to each other, and then worked a miracle. Then I think about all my desire and aspiration toward parenthood, and it's like starting back at square one of my trust in God.  This is one thing that is impossible for me to control- we are open to accepting whatever God brings us (under the age of three), with no preference set even on the gender. I can't do anything to make it happen faster or slower.  I have to just keep working through the system and the training, and then it comes to a point where it's all on God.

I find myself getting anxious, and worrying that the blessing God is bringing won't be good. Or even worse, that He isn't bringing one at all.  And then I think about how much He has been faithful to me thus far, and the thought comes: the question isn't "How can I trust Him?", but "How could I not?"

Monday, September 19, 2011


We have had a lot going on lately! For whatever reason, we've been working like crazy around here on projects- I've been working on painting the metalwork inside my house- handrails and such- and David re-wired the garage this past weekend.  Also, I planted an apple seed a few days ago, and have been enjoying watching it start to grow.  I gave up on growing my avocado tree- the heat wave this summer dried it out to the point that it finally gave up the ghost.  I was very sad about it, and despaired of ever growing anything again. Then, a week ago, I was slicing an apple and found one of the seeds had sprouted a root! I was delighted and folded it up inside a wet paper towel to see if it would continue growing.  It did, so a couple days later I put it in a pot with some soil, and now it has two leaves!

Another project I've been working on is getting the carpets in my house washed.  I've been doing it a bit at a time.  Last Friday afternoon I did a big chunk in the middle of the living room floor where there were several spots in preparation for a prayer meeting that night.  It was our first ever prayer meeting, and it was wonderful.  One of our friends had one about a month ago, and we couldn't make it.  I was so sad that I didn't get to go that I decided to just have one myself!

I have also been enjoying figuring out how to beautify my home without spending a fortune.  I went to Dollar Tree the other day, and found little miniature pots with fall-colored fake flowers in them, and bought a couple for my dining table.  Then I selected some yellow flowers from their other floral decorations, and picked out a small vase to put them in, and made a decoration for my breakfast table.  I also got some of their small river rocks, and a couple of larger glass vases, and made a little seashell, button, and rock display on my living room mantle.  The result has been wonderful, I think, and not too expensive!  I just love the dollar tree!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Adding to the Family

We're Adopting!

David and I have been in talks for awhile now about the idea of allowing God to grow our family through adoption as well as through natural means. I've always kind of liked the idea, but David wasn't too sure about it until a few months ago.  He said he had an experience that felt like God-guided "coincidences" calling out to him from the heavens about it. (Or something like that- this is my blog, so I get to poeticize reality as I see fit.... lol)

So, in May we went to an informational meeting, and got info on a dozen adoption agencies in the area.  We spent June looking through the list of agencies and descriptions, looking up their websites, and discussing which one matched our values and needs. Then, in July we began attending the certification classes at our chosen agency.  August we took a break from all of it, and now this Friday we will be going to our next class.  We have three classes left, plus CPR certification, and then we have to go through the fire and safety inspections and the home study.  Once all of that is done, then we just have to wait for a child become available, and we have no idea how long that will take.  In a way, I feel all the excitement of pregnancy, but I don't have a due date. 

There is so much else I would love to share and write about.  So much has been going on lately! It's kind of overwhelming thinking about trying to do it justice through the sometimes-inadequate written word. Suffice to say that things have been going really well for us, and we have been enjoying life quite a bit as of late.  David and I have been learning a lot from both God and each other, and fall more in love every day.  God has given us wonderful friends and family, who fill our lives with so much joy, and we feel soundly blessed.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


There have been so many blessings in my life as of late!  Almost a week ago, we got a "new" car.  It's a gently used Nissan Murano, gold on the outside and tan on the inside.  Our lovely Camry had been increasing its quirks the last couple of months, and we had been told by a couple of different mechanics that we would need to replace the power steering soon, so we decided that it would probably be a good time to trade it in. It took us about 3 weeks of talking, looking, researching, and test-driving before we found just the right deal.  David was meticulous about his deal-making, and also incredibly prayerful- I felt such a sense of peace throughout this process in leaving the final decision- though I still struggled with the temptation of all the shininess.  Sometimes peace is something that doesn't just naturally flow into us effortlessly.  Sometimes we have to choose peace.  We felt especially comfortable with the guy we actually bought a car from, just because he was brusk and awkward- he kind of reminded me of Rainman. He was very no-nonsense, but still gave us a very reasonable trade-in offer for our old car, and a decent price on the new car.  And, I looooooove driving my Murano.

Another HUGE blessing is that we have finally sold our old house! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! It's been on the market for exactly a year, and we are doing a short sale on it, and it's closing today!!!!  I kind of wish we could have gotten a little more for it, but there was no way  we were going to be able to get what we still owe on it.  We bought it at the peak of the housing boom, and now it's appraising at about 2/3 of what we paid for it.  So, short-sale it is! We sign the sale papers this afternoon, and are rejoicing over the end of making payments on it!

Also, another recent blessing financially is that David and I are both now graduated from marital and personal counseling.  We didn't go all that often for personal counseling, maybe 3 or 4 times a year, but we were each going to counseling in a group setting, and to a group marriage counseling.  We have been doing these since just before we got married 6 years ago, and have come to a place now where we feel confident about being able to manage our lives well and happily without it. So this is a huge personal blessing, as it's a mark of completion and achievement, but it's also a financial blessing as well.  With the lack of payments on the old house and the counseling it will be almost like we doubled our income.  Now, the next goal is to start saving up for a baby!

Which leads me to our next blessing.  Things have been going great with the diet.  I am now down 31 pounds since December 3, 2010.  The treatment that I've been on for my PCOD  is Metformin, vitamins, diet & exercise, and most recently The Pill.  I thought at the time that the Pill was being prescribed to me for the benefits of the hormones in it, but I was talking with my doctor's office the other day and they said that it was really just to keep me from getting pregnant until they felt I was ready to get pregnant.  So, I did some of my own research and talked to my other doctor, who is helping me manage medications, and talked with David about all of it.  We have both been feeling really convicted about using the Pill since the beginning of March when we went to the Above Rubies family camp.  David has been feeling even more convicted than I have, and has expressed to me many times his displeasure over us using it for any reason.  Which is why I began asking questions and researching and investigating. We have also spent a lot of time in prayer over it, asking God to direct us in His path for us.  I am quitting the pill.  David felt very strongly that this is what God is directing us to do, and there's no reason for me not to medically.  So, nothing has really changed (as in I'm not pregnant or anything yet), but I feel that it is a huge blessing nonetheless to be off the pill and delivered from the unpleasant side-effects.  Also, our relationship has been very blessed through this process of deliberation.  I have been greatly blessed and encouraged by hearing David's testimonies about what he's been thinking, reading, studying, and about how he feels he's being led by God.

Another good thing we've been doing lately is altering our diet.  We watched an incredible documentary called "Food Matters" last Sunday, and were both inspired greatly to re-think our diet.  We hadn't been eating too healthy the last couple of weeks, and had been slacking off on our vitamins.  After watching the movie, I was struck by the impact of vitamin therapy.  We talked about it all after the movie was over, and the next I went grocery shopping and bought a lot of raw fruits and veggies.  We have altered our diet to where it is 65% raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and have switched our bread to all-natural whole-grain bread.  We have also greatly upped our intake of vitamins (mostly by adding vitamin powder to shakes and smoothies). Also, we have started drinking distilled water.  The difference is amazing.  I lost 3 pounds in 2 days (I had gained a little so in the long run it only registered as being down one more pound...), and David has lost 4 pounds.

I don't know that things in my life could be going any better lately.  I went on the Women's Retreat with the women from my church last weekend, and I had a great time hanging out, studying, singing, and playing games.  The weekend before that I got to go camping for the first time with some friends from church, and that was also a lot of fun!  In a week and a half I will get to go to another Above Rubies retreat.  I have gotten to have some wonderful times with friends at Bible studies, great conversations with family, and have been cherishing and adoring the alone time I have with my excellent husband.  He has been so good, kind, and strong, and such a wonderful leader and inspiration! He's been going to the gym with me and working out, and his arms are getting huge. I have really been enjoying my work-outs because I have been listening to my podcasts of Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and I feel so convicted and motivated after hearing her messages!

That's about all I can think of right now.  One last thing- Trinket says Hi.

This is a picture of her in her grass pot, licking the yumminess off her lips.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Progress and Happiness

This week I have been doing a lot of listening to a teaching series by Nancy Campbell called Lovely Homes. You can find it in the online store at In it she talks about the importance of the atmosphere of our homes, because not only do we and our loved ones live in them, but God takes delight in letting his presence rest in beautiful, fruitful, welcoming homes.  So, I have been doing some work on my home ambience.  I would love for my home to be a place of rest, warmth and welcome.  I have also taken notice of a great example of this kind of atmosphere in the homes of one of my family members-- we dropped by my brother's house to visit him and my sister-in-law.  They have two small children, and yet when you walk in their front door it is a beautiful, orderly, fragrant, and welcoming home. The lighting is warm, there's a rich smell of cinnamon (or one of those sweet/spicy fragrances), and there is plenty of space for sitting and visiting.  I don't think that a delightful home must necessarily be completely spotless at all times.  I think it's actually more comfortable to visit a home that feels lived-in.  And anyone who gets the treat of enjoying my dear Rita's hospitality will be blessed by the atmosphere of her lovely home.

I have been inspired by my brother's home and have been making more of an effort in presentation.  The fragrance part is hard when you have indoor cats, but I can look at it as boosting the economy through purchase of candles.

Another point of progress lately is that this morning my weigh-in heralded the loss of 30 pounds (according to the Wii) !  I have my next doctor appointment in about a month so hopefully I can lose a few more by then.  I attribute my success to brownies.  I have had them in the house for the last several days off and on, and their cooking makes the whole house sweeter.  Also, I have switched to eating more fruit and wnole foods and less packaged snacks.  I was proud of myself because the bread I bought and used for my sandwich yesterday was whole-grain, preservative-free bread.  This is big for me because I am a white bread addict.  I have also switched my go-to snack from chips and chocolatey granola bars to all-natural mozzarella cheese sticks. They have half the calories and 100% less preservatives and sugars.

David and I are still going to the gym at least 4 times a week.  I have been working on building up my tolerance for the elliptical machines.  They always looked like such fun, but just seemed too hard for me.  I started with one minute at a time.  I have slowly increased it by 10-second increments until now and last night I did 2 minutes and 10 seconds.  Woo! And then I came home and had a brownie.  (I also did an hour and a half of weight-lifting, walking, and stationary bike-reading, so please don't infer that weight loss will happen if you balance a pan of brownies with 2 minutes on an elliptical machine...)

This weekend David and I are going to go camping with some friends from church.  This will be the first time ever for us to go camping together, so I am pretty stoked!  We went and bought a tent for it and everything!  We had to test the tent out, of course, so while my 3-year-old neice Kylie was over here we set it up in the backyard and had a little picnic in it.  She thought it was great fun!  Here are some pictures of our day with her:

David putting up the tent

Kylie being cute

Kylie was enjoying watering the plants.

David and Kylie working on the tent together! He was so patient and sweet with her.

Kylie "helping"

Tent is up!

The bush baby was tickling and kissing her!

Kylie really enjoyed playing with the stuffed bush baby.

Talking to the bush baby.  She called it the "bushy".

Bush baby has been forgotten. Wooden dolls are star of the moment.

Her Uncle David was her favorite playmate!

Kylie being cute- time to pretend to take a nap!

That'll stop the tickle monster!  I laugh when I see the expression on David's face here!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Blessed Weekend

On Friday, my wonderful David and I went out of town for a Family Camp.  It was one of those things where they have classes for the men, women, men and women together, and classes for the children so they can have fun and learn some things too while the parents are being taught and edified.  I believe I commented about it in my last post.  We were a little fearful on the way down there- as in, "What if we are the only people there with no kids?" "What if everyone else already knows each other, and we are just the weird newcomers, and we just feel awkward and don't make any friends?"  "What if we stick out like a sore thumb and no one talks to us?"

It turns out that for the most part our fears were unfounded.  We did end up being the only childless couple there, but we didn't end up feeling all that weird about it.  It's not for lack of desire that we have no children.  We ended up feeling so embraced, encouraged, and inspired while we were down there.  I was inspired by the women there, and David was discipled, bolstered, and encouraged by the men there.  I'm not sure yet where we are as far as fully embracing everything they teach there, but we fully agree with 95% of it.  And it was so wonderful to be surrounded with like-minded families.  Nancy Campbell is swiftly becoming my favorite author and teacher- while we were down there I bought her manual "The Family Meal Table and Hospitality", and I have started reading it, and it is absolutely wonderful!

Also, while we were there, David felt very convicted that we needed to discontinue our excessive use of TV and make our home into a place of peace.  I will have to say that I had some moments where I doubted his seriousness about actually following through on this idea, but once we got home I got much more of an idea just how serious he was.  As soon as we got home, he erased the queue of recorded TV shows and disconnected the DVR.  Then he said he was going to call the company the next day and pare the service down to just internet and telephone.  I am so inspired by his diligent seeking of obedience in our family and home.  It has continued to be incredibly peaceful around here, despite my occasional jonesing for some Dr. Phil or Toddlers 'n Tiaras.

Also, I have had more time to concentrate on other things around the house, and as a result, today I made some brownies from scratch, homemade bread, worked out at the gym, and cleaned my house up a bit.  I also took a few minutes and chatted with my mom on the phone, and this morning I was out of the house for a few hours for my BSF Bible study.  So my time at home has gotten leaps and bounds more productive.

Another good result of the retreat that I have greatly enjoyed is that David has stepped up even more as the spiritual leader of our home.  He had already been reading the Bible and other books at night before we go to sleep, but now he has just gotten so much more passionate and fervent in doing devotionals in the morning and evening, praying whenever the need arises, and encouraging me with words of love and appreciation.  I feel like such a lucky woman, and I know that God has just been sending a flood of blessings down upon us lately.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

An Exciting Week!

This week has just been full of things to be excited about!  I have lost about 2 pounds in the last week, and got my glasses prescription updated (with a snazzy new pair of specs...).  I have been to work out almost every day in the last two weeks, and I am almost down into my smaller jeans! Yay!

The most exciting thing, though, is that I am preparing to go out of town with the hubs to marriage/ family retreat.  It's an Above Rubies retreat, which might just be my favorite magazine that I get. I am so so so so so excited to go! Last night we got a doo-hickey that will let me play my ipod through the tape player in the car, so I have been working on compiling my trip playlist.  The trip to the campground will take about 3 hours, so I think that my three days worth of listening material should suffice... Can you tell that I am just a little bit excited?!?  Lol.

Also, I woke up so happy and refreshed this morning.  Last night David finally gave me the go-ahead to get no-bark collars for our little bark-happy furries, and last night was the first full night of peace and quiet that we've had in a long, long time. They had gotten into the habit of barking like little maniacs constantly starting at around 12:30pm.  Every night we would eventually end up kenneling them, but it was just perpetuating the cycle because that little bit of attention was rewarding their bad behavior. And, I didn't want to just leave them out there to bark out of pity for my neighbors, and because I kept getting these visions of an angry neighbor slipping some rat poison in under the fence....  So, now the problem is solved, and I feel extremely delighted.  We took the collars off of them first thing this morning (the directions say not to leave it on them more than 12 hours straight) and yet the environment of my house is blissfully quiet.  *sigh of satisfaction*

I'm about to head out to the gym, now. And enjoy the quiet!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Joy in the Home

Today I have felt joyful! There is a peace in my soul, and I know that it is because God is working.  His plan for us is rocking along, and I pray every day for my will to be more in line with His will for me. 

Also, my wonderful husband is working.  Not working, as in he hasn't had a job in a while and now he has one, but working as in doing spiritual and emotional work, transforming daily more and more into a Warrior of God and king of my castle.  He went on a retreat this past weekend, and he came back a different man.  He came into our home loaded with conviction and motivation, and lots of good ideas for making our home and family better.  I have been supporting his decisions and following his lead, and man, do I wish I had given him the reins sooner.  He is such a passionate, wonderful man, and has just been full of wisdom.  I know that the Spirit is leading him, and he is doing such a good job of listening, obeying, and then sharing the results with me.

I am joyful because I know God is with us.  I am happy because I feel I am living for a great purpose.  I am joyful because I know I am so loved by God, and He is showing me this more and more through the love and effort of my husband.

Also, I am happy because David shaved his goatee off this morning and looks soooo handsome! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Handsome Man

I just found this picture on my phone of my wonderful husband.  I took this pic in March of 2007 when we were helping my brother-in-law move just before he and my sister were married.  I thought my David just looked so young and handsome, so I decided to share it with everyone! 

Today I was down another half a pound.  I attribute my recent dietary success to soup- it's filling and very low in points!  I am now down 26 pounds since December.  I had to go buy new workout pants last week because my old ones were falling off of me (even after taking 6 inches of tucks in the waist....).  Now they are just about the only pants I wear, since I hate tight jeans and my original jeans won't stay on. After I lose another five pounds or so I can start comfortably wearing my jeans in the next size down (and I'll be frolicking down memory lane to 2007).

Tonight I am having my family over to celebrate my sister's birthday.  Her actual birthday was back in January, but at the time half of my family was sick with this year's version of the plague.  So, we are celebrating it now.  I think that I might make some chili and homemade bread and cupcakes.  She requested an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, so that will be the center-piece of the evening.  But you can never have too much cake, can you?  I was thinking some confetti cupcakes with buttercream icing would go along with the ice cream cake quite well!  I think I will also serve some fruit with a mascarpone cheese/ honey mixture for topping.  And I am very sure that other people will be bringing all kinds of things to eat as well, so I'm sure there will be enough.

Last night David was out of town for a church men's retreat.  I am so happy that he has made so many friends, and has the opportunity to be mentored by so many wonderful men.  He and I have both been blessed so richly!  I went to a get-together at my friend Barbie's house last night, and there were lots of neat ladies/friends from church there too.  Lots of talk about cooking, babies, and pregnancy. Something must be in the water at my church because it seems like all of my friends eith have a young baby or are about to have one.  It gives me plenty of inspiration to lose the weight so I can join the club.

That's all I have time for now.  I have to head to the store and pick up some last-minute ingredients for this afternoon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today is one of those days where you know you should eat something, but nothing sounds good except something from McDonald's.  So, you fix one of your normal favorites and just hope it seems more appetizing once it's served.

According to the Wii, I am now down 25 pounds since the beginning of December, and about 35 pounds since my heaviest weight in the last 3 years.  I have been on a plateau for the last week or so (a little birdie might try to tell on me about some Valentine's chocolates and an ill-fated batch of Dunkin Donuts, but don't listen. Silly little bird...). But, this morning, I finally broke through!! I have been swimming the last two days at the gym, and I've progressed to 120 laps in just under 90 minutes.  I am proud of my progress!

Aside from the weight loss journey, things are really looking up around here.  My husband is still wonderful.  We are still enjoying one another greatly, and spending our at-home hours in companionable peace (for the most part).  In the evenings we have been watching a couple tv shows together, then reading together.  He reads aloud, and I cross-stitch.  I am working on a picture of a little girl angel in a flower garden right now.  He has been reading me "The Gospel According to Jesus" by John MacArthur.  It is truly a classic.  I'll have to write more later, I'm out of time for now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Big 3-0

Guess who just had a birthday?  I probably mentioned it before, but my wonderful David had a birthday recently.  I was just reflecting on what an event it is to turn thirty, but mainly what a special, amazing man I have for a husband.

My Wonderful Husband

I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to get to go through this life with such an awesome man.  David is one of the most thoughtful, considerate, and kind people I know.  He is intelligent, creative, loving, and warm.  He is kind, funny, caring, and lovable.  I respect his thoughts and opinions about things so much- it's always a treat when he shares little nuggets of what he's been thinking.  I love how he is a man of concrete virtue- he sticks to his values even when no one is watching.  He is absolutely generous, and has such a heart of gold.  He is a true follower of Christ, and has a faithful heart for God.  He has matured so much in the time I've known him, and has really come into his own as far as being a spiritual leader and an inspiration.  I love him so, so much!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sunday School

I think that my church might have dibs on the award for "Church with the Cutest Kids".  I teach the Pre-k/ Kindergarten Sunday school, and I have the most adorable little kids in my class.  This morning was a particularly good morning- the kids were all really into the lesson, and it seemed like they absorbed a lot of the content. There was a little girl there for the first time this morning, and had come to church with her next-door neighbors, who are members at our church.  She was an incredibly good listener- I don't think she had ever heard the full acount of King David before.  By the end of class she took delight in repeating back to me all the major points of the lesson (and some not-so-major ones, like a story I told as an example of disobedience about when I was five, and tried to trick my mom into thinking I had taken a bath when I hadn't... Let's all hope she doesn't choose that as the tidbit she shares with her mom when she gets home).

Also, before class started the kids were gathered into a big room to sing a few songs with one of our acoustic guitar-playing deacons, and one of the songs they sang was a more contemporary song.  One of my little bundles of sugar was rockin' it out in the front row.  It was like she was having a personal little concert experience- bouncing around, waving her arms, singing, and using her charm bracelet as an instrument, shaking it to the beat of the music.  She was too cute! I had a hard time not laughing...  I'm so glad that these kids have such a fun and positive experience worshipping and learning about God!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

It Is Time...

for another post!

Wow, I can't believe I have left it so long in between posts.  This doesn't mean that nothing has been happening.  So much has been happening!  We've had lots of family visits, birthdays, holidays, time with friends, and fun!  A lot of days, though, I put off posting because I wanted to be able to be at least a little humorous, and I didn't have the energy to do so.  Then it became an avoidance of posting out of guilt.  Now I have decided to just bite the bullet and go for it, funny or not.

I have spent every day of the last month crocheting stuff.  I crocheted gifts for almost everyone for Christmas, and I was surprised at how well-recieved they were.  I think I probably don't give myself enough credit for the things I make.

Also, Wonderful David is now 30.  It's such a big milestone, but I'm not sure that the importance of it has sunk in yet.  His birthday was yesterday, and we spent lots of time together and went out to eat at Freebird's- his favoritest restaurant.  I also gave him several things.  He got a few books, a couple of board games, and a couple of extension packs for Settlers of Catan- a game I gave him for Christmas.  I absolutely adore Amazon wishlists.  I have about 10 pages of things I want on there.

December was also a good month because we got to see our excellent brother and sister, Aaron and Amie. Twice. The first time this past month was when we visited them at their place down in the Beaumont area of Texas, and that was super fun.  Amie and I did some mall-cruising and lots of shopping.  We also made lotion to give as Christmas gifts and stayed up until midnight to go to Walmart and get the latest release in the Twilight saga.  I think it was Eclipse.  We watched it together when we got home, and I have to say- it was enjoyable.  I might read the books eventually.  It was definitely interesting getting to hear the little details about Stephanie Meyer's version of vampires.  I think, though, that Edward's self-deprecation, moodiness, and sulkiness were a little extreme.  I did enjoy the lack of sexuality in the movie, and the special effects.  The best part was listening to Amie explain the intricacies of the storyline that I needed to be caught-up on.

David went hunting with his brother Aaron while we were there, too.  This gave Amie and I the time we needed to discuss Twilight in detail, shop, and make lotion.  Plus, he was so manly all dressed in hunter garb! :)

On Christmas Eve we saw my family for a little while and opened presents.  Shayce and Kylie were both incredibly adorable about opening their gifts.  We didn't go as overboard getting them stuff this year, and they were still just as cute!  I made them each their tradtitional Christmas hats from Aunt C (me), and this year I made their Mommy one, too.  They all matched, and were the ultimate in cuteness.

Christmas Day David and I slept in and opened our gifts for each other.  He got me lots of books from my wishlist, and a clock (as pictured above) and a few other things.  I got him several books and a Dilbert calendar, and a couple of other things I can't quite remember.  We actually put a tree up this year, and that was present enough for the cats.  And then we sprayed it with bitter spray and spoiled their fun.

For the Br-- family Christmas (David's family) we drove down to his parents' on the 29th and stayed through the 1st of January.  We drove back home in time for a New Year's party at our friends' house- Brian and Brandy. That was a lot of fun, and their sweet little daughter sent me home with a picture she drew for me.  She was very excited to see us, and Brandy told me that her daughter feels I'm her special friend since I teach her in her Sunday School and Children's church.

It has been quite an adventure teaching the Children's church and Sunday school.  For Sunday school I teach the Pre-K and Kindergarteners.  The curriculum is very different from anything that I have ever seen before.  I grew up going to a church that had some major theological differences from the church I go to now, and that is a long story in and of itself, but the biggest difference curriculum-wise is the emphasis on SIN and our utter helplessness to save ourselves.  The last 12 weeks of lessons have been a skimming through of the major points in the Old Testament, with great focus on our fallen nature and the consequence of our sinfulness.  It's a little odd to sit in front of a small sea of chubby cheeks, bright eyes, and button noses and deliver a message of hellfire and death.  There's a huge part of me that wants to just be like, "but not really... we just make mistakes, it's not that bad. Jesus still loves you!" because that's what I was raised with.  I know, though, that it will do them no favors in the long run to allow them to believe that sin "isn't that bad".  Plus, these hard weeks will make the story of Jesus and salvation all that much better.  It's pretty heart-rending to think of the generations of Israelite children before the time of Christ who grew up with only the hard part, and the knowledge that they couldn't measure up to the standard set before them.

Another big change that's happened in the last month is that I've been back to my OB/GYN a couple of times, and he put me on a medication to help me lose weight! I am so excited about it! I've lost about 15 pounds in the last month already.  At the beginning of this week David and I joined a nearby gym, and we've gone twice together and I've gone once by myself.  I have really enjoyed swimming laps in the pool, and it has helped me to refocus after the holiday celebrations.  We'll see how it goes from here.

That's about all I can think of right now, but hopefully I will get into the habit of updating more frequently.