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!