Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Exodus 14:14

14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Still. This is the word that came to me as I was eating my breakfast this morning.

Still. Whispered in my ear just that quick.

Still. As in be still...wait...slow Me...just be still, girl...I'm right here.

Then I thought of still as something along the lines of "are you still here?" Or "are you still worrying about that?!" Or a "I'm still waiting..." said in my most impatient tone kind of still.

But it wasn't that at all. It wasn't a still as I would think of it. It was more of a...I hear you...still. I am watching you...still. I am caring for you...still. I am working on your behalf...still. I am protecting you...still. I am guiding you...still. I love you...still.

And I can't help but think on Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." Such a simple phrase. A few short words with such a huge impact. I love that about God. What it takes me a thousand words to say and I still haven't gotten my point across, God whispers in a few little words and His message is complete. I guess now the question I willing to listen?

Monday, June 28, 2010


I can't believe that next week at this time my boys will be gone...for a week! I am already missing them. We have much to do in getting them ready...laundry, packing. I pray that God really gets a hold of them while they're there. Will you join me in prayer? For my boys and for the rest of the youth they are going with...9 total, I believe, including the counselors. Thank you...

Back to the grind today...I have to leave for work in an hour or so and what am I doing? Blogging. And searching worship music. I guess it could be worse! (Although...hello?! Homework anyone?! Actually...remember the assignments I forgot about and then turned in late? FULL CREDIT Baby!! Woohoo!!)

It's HOT here...already. Ick. Luckily it's only for a few should be cooling down later in the week. So I can endure the heat for a time...thank goodness for a/c.'s over. Time to get ready for work. I pray you all have a blessed and productive day today. xo

Saturday, June 26, 2010

As Mary Engelbreit would say...

...Life is Just So Daily! We have been BU-SY.

Church car washes, church bake sales, church yard sales...all to earn money for our youth to go to camp! They're leaving July 4th and coming home on the 10th. I am going to have a whole week without either one of my babies! What am I going to DO?! Um...probably the same things I always do...minus cooking a lot, cleaning a lot and washing a lot of clothes!

I have also taken a road trip to a potential campground for this year's women's retreat at my new church, worked my hours at the bookstore and attended a Belgium meeting...and I must say, plans are coming along nicely. Toss in there school work, laundry, garden (we've been getting lots of grape tomatoes, a few early girls and a handful of sweet 100's! Tasty!), chickens, baseball practice and a little sleep here and there and you've got my week in a nutshell.

Then yesterday, to top it all off, Chris brought home a new kitten. We had talked about it...but hadn't really come to a concrete decision...or so I thought...and I get home yesterday to find an adorable little gray and white kitten named Pablo in my house. Yes. I said Pablo. Don't ask. Amazingly enough, the name suits him.

We spent the day at the yard sale...which was a HUGE success by the way. It went so well. We were really blessed...and it didn't start getting really hot until we were about ready to pack it all up! That was nice. I think it must be around 100 degrees outside, so now we're inside enjoying the a/c.

I'm finally taking a few minutes to catch up on email and blogs, sipping some sun tea with Pablo sleeping on my lap. My nephew is here spending the night...he and Ian are 4 months apart and get along great. So they'll play with Pablo all night, I'm sure, in between making homemade pizzas and eating ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert. Sounds like a nice Saturday to me.

If you're wondering why I haven't been posting pictures here it's because I haven't taken many. And it's because Chris won't allow me to put a bunch of pictures on this new computer. "That's what your external hard-drive is for." Yeah. And had I listened to that reasoning I would have all of my OLD pictures safe and sound and not have to pay a hundred dollars for someone to retrieve them for me. Ahem.

Anyway...I'll get back to getting pictures up. I just have to get into a new routine...and I just haven't felt like it lately!

So that's what's going on around these parts. How about you? How's your Saturday going?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Isaiah 40:31

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Still a bit faint. I need my strength to be renewed. Still waiting patiently on the Lord...and continuing to move forward, in the meantime.

I don't write my thoughts so you worry. I write them to be open and say that life is hard sometimes...and walking the walk isn't always easy. I share my thoughts as a prayer request...and to let others know they're not alone in case they're feeling the same way. I am a pretty open person. And if things aren't rosy...I don't pretend they are. Some may say pessimistic. I say realistic. Because if things are good...I'll say that, too.

Even hope is in the Lord. And I know that He WILL renew my His time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sought After...

Isaiah 62:11-12

11 The LORD has made proclamation
to the ends of the earth:
"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.' "

12 They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the LORD;
and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted.

I got up in the quiet this morning. I opened the doors to the cool air and poured myself a cup of coffee. I sat down in my comfortable chair and opened up my bible. My sweet friend, Tina, reminded me yesterday of Isaiah 61...a verse that is dated and highlighted and dated again over the course of several years. Obviously God wants me to know it...and to believe it. And I do. But I think I needed a reminder.

After I read Isaiah 61 for the umpteenth time I moved on to Isaiah 62. And I read it once over. Then I read it again, more carefully. I got to the end for the second time these words really spoke to me. " will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted."

To me, on this day, in this season, during this time of distance and loneliness, the words "Sought After" and "No Longer Deserted" whispered such hope to my soul. These are the words of the Lord...and they are telling me that He loves me, and wants me, and is WITH me...always. No matter how I may feel the TRUTH of the matter is that God is always with me. He never leaves me. He never forgets about me. Ever.

Trust Him in the quiet...have faith in Him even when it is dark...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

answerred prayer.

God is so good...and His timing is so perfect. I have to be honest...I've been feeling distant lately. Far away from God...from life...from myself. It's not depression...or's more of a numbness. I'm kind of just not feeling at all. I mean, I am feeling. A lot. But I'm not expressing it very well. Stuffing it, maybe. I don't's hard to explain. I'm going through the motions...trying to be obedient in all that I do...trying to follow God's plan for me, and for my life...and some days, I'll admit, it's just really hard.

I got up earlier this morning than I have been lately. It was quiet...and a cool breeze was coming in the back door as I brewed some coffee. I heard God whisper, "Come and talk to me." So I did. It had been a while. Two weeks, as a matter of fact, since my last prayer journal entry. I basically just whined and cried and got it all out. I talked about being unsure about Belgium...and was He sure I was the one that was supposed to go? I talked about anxiety and stress. I talked about fear and being so tired of certain things. I talked about just not having it in me to fight for certain things anymore. I told Him I just can't do some of this anymore. I'm tired, God. I'm done.

Thankfully, God is a really good listener. :) He just let me go on and on...and I did.

When I was done I decided to check my email. And right there, in the very first email, was a note from Paypal saying that someone had donated to the Belgium Fund. I got tears in my eyes. I knew that God had just used a generous friend to answer my prayer. (In less than 10 minutes, no less!) And to let me know that, yes, He IS sure that I am the one to go and that I just need to trust Him. I was beginning to worry about finances...and again He let me know that He will provide. amazing.

Please include me in your prayers...for peace, for inspiration, for clarity, for finances, for grace...thank you.

How can I pray for you? Let me know in the comments section...the power of prayer is indescribable. Let's hold each other up...xox

Saturday, June 12, 2010


...I didn't get any of that stuff done today. Oh wait...I did tidy up the laundry area. And a bit of laundry done. But as I warned, the Adult ADD kicked in and instead I got some stuff ready for a garage sale, ran to the grocery store, took some pictures for Chris so he can sell some stuff on Craig's List...oh, I did take care of one of the 5 piles...and then I made a terribly unhealthy dinner of Pigs in a Blanket.

I just thought you should know.

There's still time...I could squeeze in a bathroom tidy a la FlyLady's 15 minute technique. Maybe some Oreo's will motivate me.

mark this day on your calendar...

...because...I have NO-THING-TO-DO-TODAY. Can you believe it!? NOTHING! Not one single thing. We were supposed to be at a baseball game but it was postponed. Which is OK because we sat through a double-header last night. And it was fun...and the weather was perfect for some baseball. Definitely a nice way to spend a Friday night. But today? Nothing.

With that being said...let me tell you what I'm going to DO today! Everything I haven't had time to do in the past however many weeks!
  • Tidy up laundry's embarrassingly gross.
  • Wash bedding
  • Clean out car and vacuum...possibly pay a kid to do the vacuum part.
  • Scrub bathroom
  • Dust...including blinds and fan blades.
  • Vacuum
  • Tidy my out of control.
  • Clean Rosie's "dining room"...she's a messy old kitty.
  • Harvest strawberries...on Farmville...yes, I fell into the trap.
  • Deal with the piles in the dining area...I just can't seem to stop piling...may as well accept it.
  • Figure out something healthy and good for dinner...we've been eating poorly for too long.
**edit...I have a lot yet to do tomorrow!**

I think that's it. It's a start anyway. I'm sure my Adult ADD will lead me into several other distracting projects along the way. But for the most part, that's the "plan"'s ambitious...but it can be done.

What really needs to be done, but will have to happen over the course of summer, is the boys' rooms. Seth's room is a hideous yellow that I picked out when I was pregnant with Ian and haven't liked from the start. He's got a huge shelf with stuffed animals, baby books, and tons of junk I"m sure he no longer needs. He's a teen for crying out loud! So we need to deal with that this summer...especially because as we speak he and Chris are at a yard sale buying him a weight bench as a reward for pulling straight A's this year. STRAIGHT A's. I'm so proud of him!!

Speaking of straight A's...Ian got STRAIGHT A's TOO!! Man...these boys are on a ROLL!! He's getting a reward, too...not sure what yet. We'll let him choose between a few things he's been wanting. We've never rewarded our boys monetarily for their grades...we've always patted them on the back, told them "good job" and maybe took them out to a nice dinner to celebrate their successes. But they're getting is getting harder...and we feel it's time to reward their efforts a little more in hopes of encouraging them to continue with the hard work.

And speaking of Ian (well, we were a minute ago)...we need to work on his room this summer, too. It's small. And cluttered. It doesn't help that he's a pack-rat to the nth degree. He and I just had a conversation about his Lego's. He's decided that he's too old for Lego's...and Bionicles. (Here comes the crying jag again...) So over the summer we'll have to pack them all up and clear them out of his room to make room for more mature items. Not sure what will take the place of his beloved Lego's. Seriously. He's played with Lego's for eight years straight. He LOVES Legos. We have a small fortune in Lego pieces...not counting the ones that got eaten by the vacuum. Ian not playing with Lego's is the end of an era. But you know me...I'm saving them. Forever. For my grandkids. And just in case Ian decides he wants to bust them out sometime down the road and create something amazing. It could happen...

Well, it's already 10am and I've done nothing on my list. I have big plans for this unplanned day so I better get a move on! Have a beautiful Saturday...xo

Friday, June 11, 2010


 I like to think that I'm so adventurous...and free-spirited...and carefree. But the truth is...I get rather nervous when too much is going on. I get a bit anxious when I don't know what to expect and how things are going to go. The reality is I'm not good about change.

Take yesterday, for instance. Yesterday was the last day of school. Seth, my oldest, is now officially a sophomore in high school. Um...excuse me? When did THAT happen? Wasn't I just asking the night nurse for permission to unswaddle him when he was merely 3 hours old? Wasn't I just bringing him home and placing him in the middle of the living room floor in his car seat and wondering, "OK. Now what?" It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I love the process of him growing up...and maturing...and doing what he's supposed to do. But it is also so sad to know that it's just going so fast. People say it. And you know it. But until it's actually have no idea.

But I have to admit...Seth becoming a sophomore isn't what pushed me over the edge. He made the transition to high school last year...and now he's still there's not a lot of change going on there. I'll tell you what floored me...Ian's graduation from the 6th grade. Oh my...I took it a lot harder than I thought I would. I wasn't expecting to cry as I spoke to his teacher...or as we left his classroom for the last time...or as we walked across the playground for the last time...or as we exited the back gate for the last time. I'm crying now!! Oh my goodness...I so wasn't ready to be done with elementary school. I'm sure he was. But wait a minute...what about me?!

The reality that my kids are only going to be with me for a short amount of time really hit me yesterday...and not just a little smack on the arm. More like a blow to the stomach that knocks the wind right outta ya. Like the time Jeff Weber punched me in the stomach when I was 8 and I couldn't breathe. His step dad saw him do it through the kitchen window and tore outta that house and down that driveway so fast. He snatched Jeff up by the scruff of his neck and beat his butt all the way back into the house. After making sure I could breathe, that is.

Life is so crazy. And so fast. And I can't stop crying! Come on, girl...get a grip. And I will get a grip...I just need some time for this all to sink in. I think I just have a lot on my plate and didn't really prepare for this. I mean, I knew it was coming. And I knew I'd be sad. But I didn't know I'd be...this sad. I'm usually so happy for my kids' milestones. And don't get me wrong...I am so happy for them. They're doing what they're supposed to be doing...growing and learning and advancing. It's wonderful. But I guess we can't help but grieve our own losses as mothers as our children gather up their accomplishments. It's life. And it's good.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

garden update.

Well, I think we're officially done with rain for the season. It's been good and hot for the past week or so...into the 90's...but thankfully, cooling down at night. Thank goodness. As I've mentioned a time or seventeen, I am NOT a hot weather person. At all. Not even a little bit. 76 degrees is pushing it in my book. But somehow I've manged to stay in the city I grew up in all these years where it is H.O.T. I think it was 116 degrees during last summer's All-Star games. 116!! That's insane. anyway...before I get upset...I'm going to move on to the one positive thing about hot weather: the garden. It's the one thing that makes me somewhat OK with hot weather. Sort of. At least there's a payoff for suffering through the heat...fresh, organic, vegetables that I grew myself.

This year, however, has been kind of crazy and unpredictable on the weather front. Rain. And lots of it. So here it is June 8 and I feel like I'm running a little behind in the garden department. Luckily for me, California has a long growing season. (Another perk to the hot weather, I suppose.)

Tomatoes: Luckily I planted tomatoes in April. And they're doing well. I bought another Mr. Stripey...and he failed me, yet again. He's the one heirloom that our local big store sells so I thought I'd give him another chance. (He failed me last year, too.) Never again. Mr. Stripey is an unreliable wimp in my book. Early Girl, however, is growing wonderfully and producing beautiful, plentiful tomatoes. Can't wait for some of them to ripen up! I also have a Grape tomato that is HUGE and taking over the tomato area. Tons of foliage...tons of blossoms...tons of tomatoes. So far I'm liking it...even though it's not heirloom. Then the non-heirloom Sweet 100. Last year's grew like crazy and produced tiny little candy-like tomatoes that were SO GOOD. So I thought I'd grow one again. It's being shaded by the Grape tomato a bit...but is holding it's own. I've eaten one delicious cherry tomato so far...and it was good.

Peppers: Oh the peppers. Poor, poor little peppers. We bought five, lovely, healthy pepper plants back in April when we bought the tomatoes. (I think? Or was it March? I can't remember....) I planted them at the same time...with Ian's help. We planted them...caged them...watered them...and they were happy. Then one day The Girls managed to bat their lashes at my husband who decided that the poor little things needed some time out of lock-down...and yes, he let them out of the coop. And he watched them for a while, as per our agreement. Then, he came in the house "real quick", caught sight of a game or something on TV, and promptly forgot that he'd let them out. People say that chickens are dumb. I beg to differ. They knew exactly what they were doing. And my pepper plants are PROOF. For whatever reason, I went out on the deck, just in time to see ALL FOUR CHICKENS eating the HECK out of my pepper plants!! Oh my was awful. Sharp beaks flying...crazed look in their eyes...innocent little plants being yanked and torn and ripped to shreds. Carnage. Horror. I'll never forget it... (And neither will the chickens...I won't tell you what I did to them. Think Foghorn Leghorn and feathers flying.) So we planted five peppers...and only three made it. The shock of the attack was just too much for the poor little things to bear. Would you believe that they are just now making a comeback? I'm still upset over it...can you tell?

Squash: Just planted three starts yesterday. Yellow crookneck, and two zucchini, the typical dark green Ambassador and Lolita, a lighter, variegated green. And they are hap-py. But not heirloom. Are you noticing a trend here?

Cucumbers: I planted them last Armenian, a pickling cucumber that I bought on accident, a regular ol' cucumber and a lemon cucumber that my neighbor gave to me. Apparently our local hardware store gave it to her because it was about to croak. And she only plants tomatoes. So she gave it to me, I stuck it in the ground...and so far, so good. I planted them in light we'll see how they do.

Herbs in pots: I've got Sage and Rosemary from last year's planting. The Rosemary just lives all the time and the Sage, while it died back last season, came back nice and strong in Spring. I just planted Lemon Balm, Chives, Lemon Thyme and English Thyme. All the herbs are in pots except for the flat leaf parsley I planted directly in the ground in April. It's doing great, too. In the past I've kept the herbs on the deck lining the steps. I think it looks nice. do the chickens...nice and tasty, that is! So I put all the herbs in the garden area this year...just in case.

Flowers: I've got Nasturtiums coming up and growing nice and strong and some marigolds in the plastic containers that I still have to plant.

Yet to do: Plant beans and sunflowers from seed. And maybe some lettuce in the shade. I do love fresh lettuce.

So...the heirloom issue. I have big ideas as far as heirloom seeds...seed saving...surviving off the land and whatever we can grow...preserving for the year...yada yada. But I have to's easier said than done. If one wants to plant only heirloom then one has to start seeds on their own. And to start seeds on one's own, one needs someplace to start said seeds. of right now...I don't have that place. And I haven't made that place. So, I buy plants already started from big box stores and they're almost all hybrid. So be it. Growing your own food from seed....and saving seeds and preserving food and living off the land is a full-time job I'm realizing. And I already have about 17 part-time jobs I have to do. Realistically, living off the land isn't going to happen any time soon. For now I am gardening to learn more about grow a bit of food in my own backyard...and to practice simple living principles as they fit into my crazy life. Baby steps. Right? I figure some gardening is better than no I take what I can get at this point.

On that note...time to water and then get ready for one of those part-time gigs!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

are you willing?

"It's not what you are. It's what you are willing to become."

What are you willing to become? The possibilities are endless. Remember, God has a plan for your life. He has a plan for my life. He has a plan for every life. The question is...are we willing to follow His plan?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sunny Saturday

Just popping in real quick to say hi. Seth has a Double Header today so that's where we'll be all afternoon. Ian had Closing Ceremonies last that's where we were last night!

In between all the baseball hullabaloo I haven't been here because I've been too busy stalking my my online college course to find out my final grade. I've been stalking my class for about three days! And she finally graded my paper yesterday...I got an A on my final and an A in the class!! That made my day. Two classes down, and two A's on the GPA. Yes!! (I need track record is not as impressive...ahem. This is definitely one of the perks amid the many downfalls to returning to college as an adult.)

School is out this next Thursday...I'm not ready. I never am. And now that I'm working part-time I'm even a little more anxious about it since I'll have to leave them every day. I realize they're old enough to stay home on their own...and I do leave them home on occasion. But every day? I don't know...I just don't like it. I like to be the home base, you know? I always have. Working and leaving them with sitters has never been comfortable for me...ever. And I had really great care for my kids during the times I worked. Really great. But it still wasn't me. And that was tough.

Regardless...I have to work. And the kids are getting out of school. And life is what it is. And we'll all be just fine. Although I can't believe my BABY will be going into junior high next fall...what?! When did that happen? Wasn't he just in first grade with a cute little boy haircut? You know the one, combed to the cute. Now he's a long hair and going into junior high with an

I suppose I better get going...I have to dry my hair, put on some mascara (about the extent of my beauty routing), eat a little something and head out the door. It's hot the 90's I think. I'm not ready for that either! I've been spoiled by this cool and rainy spring weather.

So what are you doing today? Whatever it is...enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Isaiah 43:1-2

 1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
when you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

My most favorite scripture ever. I found this scripture about...oh, I don't know...maybe 7 years ago or so...and I've clung to it ever since. It gives me hope...and it helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It lets me know that I am never alone...I will never endure more than I can bear...and even if it seems like it, I know that isn't true because God's word tells me that He will be with me, He will protect me, and that He has it all under control.