Friday, November 30, 2007

And Furthermore!

It's too quiet today.

Myers--briggs test

I took two different tests for this today. Both seem pretty accurate in different settings. The only thing that occasionally keeps me from being these, is insecurity about being that way. Sometimes I get frustrated with my personality type, because it is so strong. I get afraid that I have a tendency to make certain people uncomfortable or offended. I have a hard time relaxing. I worry way too much. But, when I am in the right set of circumstances, I have a remarkable ability to bring order out of chaos. I find it fascinating to think about how each person's specific strengths fit into the world (or the church, or the family, or the marriage, or any number of other things) as a whole. How do you fit?

ENFJ - "Persuader". Outstanding leader of groups. Can be aggressive at helping others to be the best that they can be. 2.5% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

ESTJ - "Administrator". Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population.
Free Jung Word Test (similar to Myers-Briggs)
personality tests by

Just ask for help!

I make is a habit to skim every day. I like to know the major things going on. This is not a fun story to read, so don't read it unless you have the stomach for it today. Basically a mother killed her two toddlers in a store bathroom.

My thought was, why did she let it get to that point? I know that feeling, that one where if one more person makes one more noise, I may just go over the edge. This woman may very well have been a single mother. Her two children may have, in her mind, "ruined" every opportunity she might have otherwise had. I have no doubt that her life was incredibly hard.

What makes me sad though, is that nobody saw this coming and reached out to her. We moms gotta stick together. If we're having a day like that, we have to CALL somebody. If we see someone in that mode, we have to offer to take the kids, or just offer a cup of tea and some encouragement. We have to take breaks for ourselves, so that when we're done taking that break, we can be better mothers. I don't know what this looks like for you. Maybe it means re-prioritizing the family budget so you can have your house cleaned once a month (I did this once. I felt like a queen!). Maybe it means trading childcare with a friend so you can go sit at Starbucks and read for a couple of hours. Maybe it means explaining to your husband your intense need for a break so he can watch kids for a while while you Christmas shop. Maybe rather than doing anything else, you would rather sit in the bathtub and stare at the wall for an hour.

No matter what sounds fun to you, we have to make sure we do this! This is not selfish, this is our lives and the lives of our kids we're talking about, or at the very least our quality of life. If you don't have kids, offering to care for a friends' kids so they can take a break is HUGE. If I am finding myself snapping about every little thing, and I can't answer questions kindly, it usually means I am overdue for a break. For me, it also usually means I haven't read my Bible in a couple days. Watching TV, although enticing to me, doesn't fill me back up. So if I need a break and I choose to do that, I can count on not being much better off after that kind of a break. Spending some time talking to God makes a difference.

Our society is so isolated, but we (especially as Christians!) don't have to be. People have said for decades, "It takes a village to raise a child." Why would we ever think we could possibly do it alone?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Welcome to Maeve Designs

At least, I think that's what we're calling it.

I've been wanting to tell you all about our rather ambitious undertaking. My sister Holly and I are starting a business that will make custom wedding gowns.

First, some background. Holly took two years of fashion design classes. Then she decided to make her own wedding gown. Like, out of silk. This was a long process. Through trial and error and pure determination, she came up with something incredibly gorgeous.

Fast-forward almost three years. A friend of hers asked her to make her a gown. Thus, the picture in this post. The idea came from a Marilyn Monroe dress. Her bridesmaids wore black, and it was an elegant outdoor fall wedding. Beautiful, isn't it?

So, about this time, my entrepreneur antenna went up. I always love having a project, and making money. Why not help my sister get this business off the ground?

Here we go. Website, business cards, sales procedures, seamstresses, fabric suppliers, marketing plans, financial plans, are all in the works. I'm having a blast, getting paid nothing for now. My mind has been somewhat consumed by thinking about the business and reading the e-myth for the past week.

I really feel that we are going to be able to produce beautiful work. Holly's attention to detail is impeccable, and the two dresses she has made thus far are breathtaking and completely different in every way. With our combination of skills, I think we may be able to take this idea very far.

So, if you know anyone who is engaged, let them know about us. If they would be willing to take a little survey, we will offer them some nifty free gift that we're still dreaming up. And we can design them their dream dress.

Are we nuts? Well, it's possible.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Highlights

1. Nick had FOUR days off this weekend. Like, in a ROW. It was a beautiful thing.

2. I already talked about Thanksgiving dinner...but wow, was it yummy.

3. It is dreary and cold today. Can it be spring yet? I'm seriously ready already.

4. At the same time, um, it's December on Saturday. How did this happen?

I don't have much to say yet today. There's not much going on this week. Anybody else have any interesting highlights?

Good morning!

This post really spoke to me this morning, especially the end of it. (And by the way, the homeschooler in me LOVES this entire blog.) I do pursue excellence in my home, but I want it to give life to all who come in contact with me. My sincere hope is that my home can be a place of comfort, rest and encouragement to all who come here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The E-Myth

I'm reading a book called The E-myth Revisited. My dad, the entrepreneur, insisted that if Holly and I were going to make wedding dresses, we had to read this book. Honestly, I've always been rather bored with business concepts. This book fascinates me. Part of it is that I grew up watching my dad work on his business. Part of it is that I would love to find a way to make the money I need to live the life that I dream of. Part of it is it's a really fascinating book. :)

For example this:

Have a vision for your life, and work on making up the difference between the vision and reality.

What do I wish my life to look like?
How do I wish my life to be on a day-to-day basis?
What would I like to truly know by the end of my life?
How would I like to be with people - family, friends, business associates?
How would I like people to think about me?
Where do I want to be two years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? At the end of my life?
What do I want to learn during my lifetime - spiritually, physically, financially, technically, intellectually, in relationships?
How much money do I need in order to do these things? By when do I need it?

How many people think about these kinds of things? Maybe if we all did, we could find that ever-elusive sense of daily purpose. A reason to bounce out of bed in the morning. Every day is a step toward what we want our life to become. I would take that a step farther: what does God want my life to become?

Pastor Ross preached today. He spoke about how during the tough times in life, during the times when you feel God is absent, those are the times to put your faith in Who you know God is, and worship anyway. From 2 Chron. 20 - "We don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." From that place of worship and surrender to God's plan, comes the next step. Usually all God lets us know is the next step toward what He has asked us to do. He doesn't tell us the end result. He doesn't explain the answer to questions like, "God, why did I do all that training for worship ministry when you have called me to stay home with my kids and maybe also be a businesswoman?" All He gives is the next step. And, mixed with faith, that is enough to give immense peace to our lives.

I encourage you all to prayerfully consider that list of questions. Where is God leading your life? As we work out the answers to those questions, we can begin to really live. I feel that this is the key to thriving, rather than just surviving. A sense of direction and purpose can make all the difference - to a business, but more importantly to a life!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

Dinner was a smashing success, I must say. I should have followed my instinct and turned the heat up on the sweet potatoes so they were a little softer, and it was difficult to have everything more than just lukewarm by the time it was on the table, but it was....delicious. And completely gluten-free!

Turkey, gluten-free bread stuffing with dried cranberries and water chestnuts, fresh cranberry sauce, green beans with sauteed almonds, maple-orange mashed sweet potatoes, and gravy with thyme and thickened with rice flour. Not pictured here was another dish - maple thyme acorn squash.

The most amazing thing about all of this is, Nick and I keep saying how we can eat a ridiculously full plate and we don't feel sick! Thanksgiving is a day to be sick, right? I mean, what's Thanksgiving without feeling bloated and gross and almost achy afterward? You can make delicious food that is good for you!

Anyway, if there are certain recipes you're interested in, let me know. I almost always find things online and then adapt them.

Hope you all had a great dinner, and great time together as a family!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.

I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

Abraham Lincoln, 1863

Quiet day

I suppose it's the calm before the proverbial storm, but today is a quiet day. There are tiny snow crystals falling silently out my picture window. All my usual blogs to read are relatively quiet with holiday preparations. I need to do dishes, bake, clean my kitchen, and vacuum today. The three inches of snow and my Jetta's older tires will probably deter me from coming up with an excuse to leave the house. I'm beginning to really value this kind of peace. The girls thrive on it, when I keep my tone and attitude positive. They get nice, long naps and lots of personal attention on days like this.

Tomorrow we get to enjoy the bustle of my parents' house and cooking with my mom and sisters. The boys will either play guitar hero or go out to shoot air soft guns, or both (these are "brother activities" that Nick finally gets to participate in, since he doesn't have any brothers), the girls will run around eating, chasing dogs and cats, watching Pooh, and generally getting underfoot.

Friday I'm making dinner here, and it looks like Luis and Elya will be joining us. Luis was the best man in our wedding, and Luis and Elya are engaged to be married 08.08.08. :) Elya is early in the Dr P diet, and a diagnosed celiac, so I am happy to provide a place where she can safely eat Thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday and Sunday we get two more days to be together as a family! The girls are pretty much well, so church might actually happen this week.

Off to go start my day. Peace and thankfulness...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


A lot of people hate it. It's one of my favorites.

I think I like it so much because it's simple. Eat food, be together with people you love, be thankful. No presents, no deep spiritual meaning that you feel like you somehow miss in the trappings of the celebration, just be thankful.

I have much to be thankful this year, as always.
A husband who loves me and who I love
Two beautiful, healthy little girls
A cat named Moses
A house to live in
Two (at least somewhat) working cars
A church that has weathered the storm and come out worshiping God more than ever
Good relationships with extended family

Lately, I've even begun to appreciate getting older as a gift. I love that I'm learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I have spent much of my life apologizing for the person that I am, and just this year I am beginning to see the person God made me to be. Obviously, there are many more years for God to develop that, but I can see the beginnings, now that I'm 27 years old. I can finally actually call myself a grownup. This is okay with me.

Anyway, I plan to thoroughly enjoy cooking and baking the next few days. No stress, just enjoying making a fun, delicious, thankful experience for my family.


The Gluten-Free Girl has once again written a beautiful, helpful Thanksgiving blog. I love her attitude toward having to be gluten free. Rather than seeing it as deprivation, she is grateful to be well, and she does gluten free in such a delicious way that no one will miss the gluten.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Highlights

1. It's Thanksgiving week. Yay! I think Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.
2. Between students out of town, school of worship being done, and Nick getting two days off, this week feels very relaxing.
3. Noses have quit running around here. Now we're just working on those leftover coughs. I'm fairly sure we had the flu, so that's over. Nice.
4. I'm currently reading The Saving Life of Christ by Major Ian Thomas. For me, this book is life-changing. Expect posts on it someday. I have to digest it first and not preach about it yet. :)
5. The mannequin head across the street at the neighbor's house has been taken down. I know this is not that important, but it makes me happy anyway.
6. Nick and I stayed up late watching Shrek the Third last night. I don't know why. But it was fun to be together and do something mindless.
7. My sister Holly and I are working on our business. We're doing custom wedding dresses, if you know anyone who needs one. Holly is a fantastic designer, and I am handling the business aspects. I will probably post a full blog about this soon.
8. I get to make a full Thanksgiving dinner just for us. We're going to my parents' on Thursday, but I'm going to make dinner at our house on Friday. I'm really looking forward to it. Turkey, gluten-free stuffing (haven't decided if I will do brown and wild rice, or gluten free bread), mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, fresh cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie with pecan crust (I'm not doing it from scratch like this recipe. A can of pumpkin is good enough for me), rolls from Outside the Bread Box, and probably one or two other things I will get inspiration for this week. Cooking is a creative outlet for me - a much needed one!

OK, this is long enough. Lots of fun stuff going on! What are your highlights this week?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Chicken Soup

I thought of something constructive to say...

When I was probably...8? My mom got very sick for what seemed like weeks. I don't remember what was wrong with her, as childhood tends to keep you from understanding things like that. However, I do remember an older lady in the church bringing us a huge pot of this soup. Ever since then, it has been a staple food in our household. When I was in labor with Audrey, this was the only thing I wanted. I actually made several batches while I was waiting those last few weeks, because I wanted to make sure I had it on hand for blood sugar issues during labor.

Dr P tells us every time we are sick, to eat nothing but chicken soup. Although I'm not a very good patient as far as eating ONLY this, I do love to make a batch to help with colds, etc.
So, without further adieu...

Bonnie Leese's Chicken and Rice Soup

8c. water
1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

Cook chicken in water over medium low heat until done, 30-45 minutes. (The water should steam, but not boil here. Too much heat makes the chicken tough.)

Add to pot:
2-3 stalks celery
3-4 carrots
1/4 of a bell pepper
1/4 of an onion
pinch of garlic (I always use lots more. Fresh garlic would be good too.)

Boil until tender. (I always pull out the chicken and shred/cut it into chunks at this point. Or you can just leave it and it will fall apart somewhat on its own.)

Then add:
Salt and pepper to taste
One large can stewed tomatoes (juice and all)
1 cup ALREADY COOKED brown rice

Obviously, this is one of those recipes that she probably had to think about in order to write down. It is Extremely customizable. I have always wanted to try it in the crock pot, but haven't been brave enough. I'm not a huge fan of the stewed tomatoes, but without them the soup is a little boring. I have used diced tomatoes instead, and then the pieces of them are smaller...somewhat helpful. If you are a cheese person, top with shredded cheese, although that adds to mucus issues if you're eating this to get well. :)

Let me know if you try it - enjoy!

I'm back

You probably weren't aware that I was gone, but I've been wrestling all week with a computer that would not work right, in spite of my attempts at cleaning it up. Last night, Nick realized his desktop from college had a comparable amount of space, and all it needed was windows XP, which the broken laptop had. So, several hours of installation later, here I am, on a computer that actually works. Nifty. "New" computer. For free. Doesn't look quite as sophisticated, but if it's functional and free, we'll work with it.

Things have been kind of three steps forward, two steps back around here, so I haven't really had much to say anyway.

It reminds me a little of what I was talking about last week, actually. Sometimes you gotta throw your entire agenda out the window and sit and read books on the couch. Or watch kids' movies all day. Or get in the car and drive until everybody feels better...or at least falls asleep.

I think we tend to pity each other when life is like this, because we feel terribly guilty about it when our own lives look like this. In reality, sometimes life is survival. Sometimes it's hanging on to each other because you are committed to each other. Sometimes you take a step back and realize that some of the "stuff" that's been occupying your thoughts and energy isn't worth what you've put into it, and there is some course correction to be done.

I know I'm being somewhat cryptic. I don't expect you have any idea what I'm talking about. I guess the bottom line of what I'm trying to communicate is this: families are about sticking together - through good times, crisis times, and times when things are in-between (I think the in-between times are the hardest). So, we stick together, stay on the same team, go to bed early, and hope tomorrow will be more fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

At least I'm not over anybody's head...

cash advance

Oh joy, oh rapture!

Audrey's nose is not running today. I had just about given up hope that it would ever stop again.

We have been running the air purifier for two days now, and apparently it's working. I never would have guessed that this house would make my kids sick. Yuck.

I suppose maybe they haven't been contagious all this time, but for 2 1/2 months, I have felt guilty taking them anywhere. It feels like a weight has been taken off my shoulders, when I think about being able to take them to Sunday School at church again, and have people over again, and leave them with babysitters for date night again. Dr P saves the day one more time. I only wish somebody had thought of this sooner.

And according to Dr P (and Marianne!), we should not get sick if we're not eating sugar. He actually said even little kids should not get sick more than once a YEAR for 3-7 days. Think about that. That provides enough motivation for me to give up sugar. Nothing else ever has, even though I know exactly how bad it is.

OK, I'm done now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things have been a little intense around here.

It all started several weeks ago, when Nick hurt his back throwing a football. It hurt worse and worse until it was shooting pain down his legs and I talked him into going to the chiropractor. They, of course, said he had a herniated disc, and to come back three times a week for the rest of his life, pretty much. Well, we're talking about $500 there, so we called Dr P, the naturopath, who is also a chiropractor. He uses the best parts of nutrition, chiro, acupuncture, herbs, with a pretty great sermon occasionally thrown in. Plus, he's a Christian so I don't have to worry about him getting spiritually weird.

Anyway, he gave Nick an adjustment, said his back probably went out related to the stress involved with moving, and then did some electric stimulation of his back muscles to help relax them and "reprogram" them to do what they're supposed to. "Don't do much for the next three days, and don't pick up the girls." Those were the orders.

While we were there, Hannah coughed, and he said, "that doesn't sound very good." I proceeded to talk to him about how the girls have been sick for two months, and his assessment was there's something in the new house that's bothering them.

Get an air purifier.
Aren't those like $400?
For the whole house they are, get a little one, keep it in their room at night and move it out during the day. And quit eating sugar.


That was Thursday night. Friday I started feeling pretty bad. By Friday night I had a fever of 101, and a headache so bad I couldn't get up. I told this part of the story already, except that Nick re-injured his back because he had no choice but to pick up the girls all day when I couldn't get out of bed Saturday.

Sunday and Monday, I was better but still coughing a ton, and the girls were coughing and had runny noses. I called my mom during the day yesterday and told her what Dr P said about the purifier, and she said, "I thought of that in the middle of the night and forgot to tell you!" Last night we carved money out of the budget for a small air purifier. Then we got home and Nick had fever. That was about all I could take. To my credit, instead of having a complete breakdown, I went to bed.

Nick is at work today, and doesn't feel too bad. Still too early to tell if the purifier is helping, but I have hope that it will since Dr P has rarely steered us wrong. But the girls and I are still fairly miserable, and Audrey is constipated today on top of it, if you want to know the truth. I gotta say, I'm pretty tired.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Highlights

1. I spent the weekend being sick. Lame. Currently I feel okay, but my voice is lower than my husband's and I have an earth shattering cough. I had fever and an intense headache for about 24 hours so I was in bed literally all day Saturday.

2. My amazing husband took care of everything and everybody. The house stayed relatively clean, the girls were happy and busy, he cooked for all of us, and brought me everything I needed. It was amazing.

3. I suppose I'll get a sick day from teaching today, which is nice from a rest standpoint, but not so nice from a money standpoint.

4. We're supposed to get snow flurries today. I kinda hope we do. The weather has been beautiful - so beautiful that I can not believe it is almost Thanksgiving.

5. I got great deals on two new shirts and a pair of casual boots yesterday. So fun. I love new clothes.

6. In spite of being sick, we had a blast as a family this weekend. We laughed and smiled a lot. The credit goes largely to Nick, for working so hard and having such a great attitude. Thanks, honey.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Games for 2 year olds

I came across this link tonight, so we decided to try teaching Ring around the rosy to Hannah. It was hysterical! Thought I'd share a video. This is another link with fun things to do. We laughed and smiled together a whole lot tonight. :)

The first of many kitty posts

Moses the kitty discovered the laundry basket.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Learning to Rest

Today is a relatively uneventful day.

Kids woke up coughing so we canceled the small group for today.
Making chicken in the crockpot.
Have to grocery shop and take Holly's phone back to her, since she left it in my car when we went to the ranch yesterday. (The ranch was a great time, by the way. Fun was had by all. :)
Right now, Audrey is napping and Hannah is watching Tigger and Pooh on TV.

I used to be terrified of days like this. The quiet frightened me. I don't think I knew how to rest. Even now, as I enjoy the smell of chicken cooking, and the sound of quiet children, and seeing the kitty laying in the sunshine spilling in through our picture window, it's hard to keep my thoughts away from boredom or even a little sadness.

I could ruin a perfectly great day that way.

We've had a nonstop week - piano lessons and the ranch most of the day yesterday. We need a day to rest and regroup. Most of the time when I feel overwhelmed, I'm really just too tired - I'm pushing myself harder than I need to.

It is hard for a high achiever personality like mine to realize it's okay to sometimes just BE. But, I am learning that to keep my cup full - in order to have something to give to other people, that's exactly what I need to do.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


*This is a post I started a few weeks ago and just finished. :)

So, my grandparents came into town last night. Since my Grampa isn't one to sit around, he volunteered himself (and my brother Nathan) to come over and work on projects around here all afternoon. Oh, my goodness. I cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to get all these things done. In addition, (while he was replacing light bulbs in the Jetta) he noticed the oil was very low, almost empty. Who knows what sort of car catastrophe we just avoided?

I feel like a miracle just happened in our lives. God answered our prayers and kept us safe and cared for, in ways we didn't expect.

Maybe I see it this way because of something I read in my Bible time this week.
In Deuteronomy 29, Moses is talking to the Israelites about their journey to the promised land.

"Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharoah, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God."

They had just lived through some of the greatest miracles of all time, and they didn't even see them! You'd think at some point they would notice these things. But, how often do I go through life and not see the blessings all around me?

I have become convinced that the only way to survive good times in our lives is to be thankful people. By that I mean, when things are good, we tend to start to take the credit. I know I can get prideful and feel that I have had something to do with the good things in my life. It's easy to pull away from God until I "need" Him again. At that point, I crash and burn and start the process again. :) But, what if we could remain dependent on God, and thankful even through the good times? To surrender to God not only the things we can't control, but even the things we think we can! Talk about living God's will for our lives!

We've all heard the "attitude of gratitude" pithy sayings. I hate those. But, I'm talking about seeing everything in my life as a blessing. The turquoise Jeep with the cracked windshield we bought from my sister and her husband because we couldn't afford anything else? Well, it got us safely to church and back, down our little dirt road in 6 or 7 inches of snow today. This rather run-down house in the woods that we "happened across"? I feel like a queen in a castle with the snow outside, the candles burning, and a fresh carrot cake baking in the oven. My little girls are a ton of work, but today both of them said "I love you" to me, without being prompted, for the first time. Yes I know, Audrey is copying Hannah, but I don't care. Hannah saying that to me and then laying her head on my shoulder was the best gift I've had in years.

As easy as it is to be discontent (I know LOTS of discontent people, and struggle with it myself), we all need to be praying for "a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear" the miracles that God is working in our lives. God answers prayers like that. As I have begun to pray this, I feel more content than I have in years.

Maybe as recently as a few months ago, I always felt that God was out to get me somehow. Maybe He was waiting to make my life really hard because it was "good for me." I doubted His heart toward me - doubted that He really wanted the best for me. The thing is, He says He wants the best for me, that He has a hope and a future for me. If He says that, then I can take my wandering thoughts and emotions and set them on that truth, trusting the truth over feelings. That kind of trust allows me to be truly thankful and content, without fear of the future.

It's a process, but this is what I'm learning right now...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Christina's blog

I decided to embarrass Christina, and talk about her new blog.

She and I have been friends for almost 10 years now (can you believe that?)

We first met when she and I worked in our church office together. I was the secretary for the worship ministry and she was the secretary for the women's ministry. I remember doing WAY too much chatting in each other's offices, and sitting through incredibly boring weekly staff meetings. Then, we ended up in the same circle of friends (actually, they took me in - I was the baby of the group, by multiple years. Didn't I annoy you guys?) That's when she and her husband Chris met. Then, later on, we worked in another office together, a staffing agency. We would make trips to Chipotle for the entire office, and eat entire huge burritos just for the comfort of it (I was 20 pounds heavier that year than I am now, for a reason!). We had a habit of emailing each other back and forth (while we were both there in the office working), coming up with a "black" name to put in the subject line of each one (remember that, Shaniqua Latisha?) I don't know why we did this.

Anyway, she and Chris got married and moved to where his family business is, far away from here, and we continue to keep in touch, entirely through email. In fact, I don't think we've ever talked on the phone since they moved. Weird. Now they have two beautiful little boys who look exactly like she and Chris, and Christina has lots of hysterical stories about trying to keep up with them.

Christina and I have been through thick and thin together. Boys (men?), jobs, kids, work... We have played hard ball on occasion, but we're good at that. :) So, enjoy her new blog.

Monday Highlights

Let's see... What's going on this week?

1. I DRAGGED myself to a leadership meeting at church that I was supposed to go to yesterday. I did not want to go, at all. Nick and the girls went out to lunch with my family while I did it. But, I got some fantastic new ideas and inspiration about leading my small group. Yay for messages that are just what you need.

2. The kitty slept at the foot of our bed last night. I always had a kitty sleeping at the foot of my bed, growing up. It was fun.

3. If all goes well, we get to make a trip to Starry Sky Ranch on Wednesday. Can't wait!

4. Um, it's 3 1/2 weeks to Thanksgiving???!!!!???

5. Hannah had a gluten issue this weekend, after a helper in her childcare during choir rehearsal gave her 3 or 4 crackers. I don't think she's had that much gluten in more than a year. Wow, lots of temper tantrums and tears. I am forever grateful that we found out what the real problem was early on. I understand why parents would look for a behavioral diagnosis for kids that just really have a food allergy or something similar. For example, there seems to be some link between autism and gluten. "Autistic" kids put on a gluten free diet often improve by leaps and bounds. Makes me wonder if the gluten is the only real problem. As much as it affects Hannah, I can see how it would be very difficult for those kids to learn at the same rate as their peers. But, that was a tangent, not so much a highlight. Oh well.

What are your highlights for the week?

A year ago

One year ago, our pastor made national news when his darkest secrets were exposed to the world. We were all completely shocked, and the grief and hurt caused by his lies was intense. But that was a year ago.

Yesterday, the building was full of people worshiping and looking to God. Our new pastor, fittingly, spoke on "divorce proofing your marriage." Healing has already taken place that some churches in similar circumstances never see - even a decade later. I am so grateful for the faithfulness of the people at our church. I am so grateful for a man of God who is full of grace and love for people, to lead the church. Mostly, I am grateful for what God is doing there. There's no place I would rather be!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Pooh and Tigger

Here's the girls in their costumes.
I gave Audrey some whiskers, and Hannah insisted she needed some too. :) They had so much fun.

Meet the kitty

Here's our newest member of the family. We got him yesterday, and as yet have not decided on a name. Isn't he sweet? He's about 10 weeks.

He is very tame - he will lay on his back and let you rub his tummy. He purrs all the time. While Hannah was holding him this morning, she picked him up by his legs and he didn't even flinch. Ahem...we're working on kitty manners.

So, the girls love him and he seems to like them pretty well also. I wondered aloud if I was nuts for adding something else to take care of, and Nick said, "I'm surprised you've gone this long without a pet."

We're taking turns holding him and dangling a little fish toy. He races up and down the back of the couch to catch it.