Friday, November 30, 2007's Friday.

I love Friday nights. In my book, they rank right up there with Sunday afternoons as one of my favorite times of the week.

Our Friday night tradition is pizza and a movie. Sometimes I make homemade pizza, but Papa Murphy's Take 'N Bake is our favorite! The kids went with me after school to pick out some movies and pick up our pizza. They haven't seen Ratatouille so I let them get it even though the thought of a mouse in the kitchen totally grosses me out!

It is freezing cold outside right now and I think we're all about to get our pjs on, eat some pizza, and spend some time together. It's my favorite way to start the weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh yes indeed, it happened AGAIN

I just got back from an emergency trip to the doctor's office. Joy.

Abbey had a little friend playing over this afternoon, and about an hour ago, Abbey came running into the kitchen crying. Crying because she had one of the beads they were playing with stuck in her nose. This from the girl who told me she was never ever ever gonna stick another bead in her nose again.

I looked and couldn't see it, then made her blow and blow and blow her nose. Still no sign of the bead. So she blew and blew and blew some more. And repeated it all over again. The bead was firmly stuck. I knew I couldn't get it out without hurting her, so I called the doctor and they told me to bring her in asap.

With her little friend in tow, we headed to the office. I was growing more and more frustrated in the waiting room. We had to repair our refrigerator earlier this week, and this appointment was going to cost me at least $100, and all of that was money we had planned to use for Christmas. I started praying (again). And Abbey started sneezing. She sneezed about 5-6 times, and I grabbed some tissue and made her blow and blow and blow some more. And guess what? The bead came O-U-T. I gathered up our stuff, told the receptionist that the bead was out, and we left and now the girls are home again playing happily with Jack and Polly Pocket.

And once again Abbey tells me that she's never ever ever gonna stick another bead in her nose. And I really, really want to believe her this time. I'm going to tape the bead from today next to the other one I have taped inside my kitchen cabinet. That's another story you can read here. The similarities are amazing.

My life is never boring. Ever.

PS--We both told God thank you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Meet Jack

So far, so good! We made it home with Jack about 6pm, and he was very curious about his new surroundings. He sniffed out every nook and cranny in our house and yard. I must admit that it is so nice not to have a puppy. No barking, no training, and no chewing.

The kids had a great time playing with him, and I heard much laughter and giggling. Music to this mama's ears!

I tried to get more photos, but Jack didn't really want to sit very still. He was much too busy checking us out.

Thanks for your prayers today...for us and for Abigail. She was such a sweet girl, and her family was sweet too. They even invited us to stay for dinner! We politely declined because Will, Sarah, and Abbey were so anxious to get home and play with Jack.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We have some BIG, BIG, BIG news

I made a trip to Wal*mart tonight to buy this

and a few other pet related things...because we're getting a DOG tomorrow.

And you have no idea how excited my children are. I got home from Wal*mart tonight and went to tuck the girls in, and Sarah said it was kinda like trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

So here's the scoop. I got home with the kids this afternoon and sat down to check my email. I recently discovered Freecycle. It's much like Craigslist, only better because everything is FREE! In my inbox was a Freecycle offer for a one-year-old Beagle. Purebred, house-trained, and great with kids. 100% free. John happened to call while I was online, and gave me the go-ahead to reply to the offer. Long story (very) short is that we're going to pick up Jack tomorrow after school.

Jack's owner is a 13-year-old girl named Abigail. Abigail is one of 10 children, and Jack is one of several dogs that lives on their family's farm. Abigail's father called me and asked me several questions that Abigail had written down for him. Do we have a yard? A fence? Would someone be at home with Jack during the day? etc. He told me they had a few more interested parties, but he'd talk to them, then talk it over with Abigail and let her decide. She called me back a little while later and told me she wanted us to have it.

We told the kids after we found out, and let me tell you there was much rejoicing. They had NO idea. I wish I had video-taped their reaction because there is no way to recreate the sheer joy on their faces. It was a gift to their parents' hearts.

John and I have been praying about a dog since August. Praying that we'd find the right dog for us, one that needed John, Meredith, Will, Sarah, and Abbey. I've gotta tell you that though this all happened very quickly, it feels so right. Abigail's dad emailed me directions to their farm, and at the bottom of his email he had all his contact info including their family website. I visited their site and wasn't one bit surprised to learn that they are a family that know and love Jesus. I'm certain that God's hand was in all of this today, and we can't wait to meet Jack and their family tomorrow afternoon.

If you think about it, would you pray for them tomorrow, especially Abigail? I can only imagine that saying good-bye to beloved pet isn't going to be easy. And pray for us, because it's been a long, long, long time since we've had a dog.

**Remember the dog list my kids made this summer? Check out choice #2!

Christmas Music Poll

As I've been cleaning (see post below) I've been listening to Christmas music, and I thought it would be fun for you guys to chime in with your Christmas favorites from each of these categories...

Here are my favorites:

Traditional Christmas carols--Hark the Herald Angels sing (the lyrics are SO rich!

Classics--It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Contemporary--Welcome to Our World by Chris Rice, although Mary, Did You Know by Mark Lowry is pretty incredible too!

Tell me which songs you love!
We're back from our trip to Arkansas, and we had a wonderful time with our families.

I haven't been in much of a bloggy mood since we got back though. Probably because we came home to a refrigerator full of lukewarm stuff, and getting that cleaned out and repaired consumed most of yesterday (not to mention most of my Christmas budget...ugh).

And for some strange reason I've been in major cleaning mode since Sunday. Cleaning closets, scrubbing floors, washing light fixtures, etc. It feels great to get things done, but it's at the expense of blogging.

Don't worry though...all this cleaning has given me time to compose numerous posts in my head which I will likely share with you soon!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Over the river and through the woods...

...we're leaving very early tomorrow morning for Arkansas. Our kids have the week off from school, so we're going to spend Thanksgiving with our families. So happy about that.

I hope your holiday is blessed!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

7 random things...

My friend Joanne tagged me for this meme. Seven random things about me. Here ya go...

1. I love sushi. A few years ago, we were going out to dinner with some friends and as we were driving to the mexican restaurant, our friend, Phil said, "I don't really feel like mexican tonight, how about japanese?" We were totally up for it and that was my introduction to sushi. LOVED it. I think it helped that we were with someone who knew what to order. So now Phil and Lisa are my sushi buddies. John doesn't really like it, but he endures it on my behalf. He even took me to eat sushi on my birthday two years ago. Of course Phil and Lisa came too.

2. I went to college with the girls in Point of Grace. I knew them all, but one of them was my friend, was in a lot of my classes and lived in my dorm. She wrote me the sweetest letter before our wedding telling me why she couldn't be there for our big day. I've searched high and low for that letter, and it makes me sad that it's gotten lost somewhere. Two of the other girls in the group had HUGE crushes on John, and even though we'd been dating for awhile, one of them would flirt with him like crazy. It's funny now, but I didn't find it one bit amusing at the time.

3. The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. I love it for so many reasons...because it's in the summer and summer is my favorite season, because you usually celebrate outside and I love being outside, and because you usually celebrate with friends, because it's low-key and there's none of the stress associated with some of the other upcoming holidays, and because the holiday meal is usually a simple one. I mean, how easy is it to throw something on the grill, open a bag of chips, and just be done with it? I love it.

4. I am seriously afraid of bridges. I don't like going over or under them. I especially hate going under a railroad bridge. It creeps me out. And I can't even talk about that recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis. That was my nightmare come true.

5. When I was in high school I had to watch a film on childbirth in a human growth and development class. And I fainted while watching it. It was so embarrassing!!! In my defense, it was very graphic and the camera was focused directly on the birth canal, and I'll just stop now because it would be crude to describe the rest. In fact, I think it's crazy we had to watch that film in the first place. After I regained consciousness, I had to call my mom to come get me and I swore that I was NEVER ever ever ever ever ever ever having children. I'm so glad I changed my mind.

6. I ran a marathon once. I ran the Little Rock Inaugural Marathon in 2003 as part of a 4-person relay team. I think my part was a little over 6 miles and that is the longest road race I've ever completed. And just so you know, the leg that I ran was the hilliest part of the entire course, thankyouverymuch. It was very cool though because my name was printed on my race bib, and the people (strangers) lining the streets through the Heights were calling my name and cheering me on. It's a day I'll never forget!

7. I quit drinking Diet Coke two years ago. I haven't had a drop of artificially sweetened anything since October 2005. You have no idea how huge that was/is for me.

I love this...

Many of you know that our family attends an Anglican church with ties to the country of Rwanda. A group from our church went to Rwanda this summer to befriend and minister to believers in our sister church over there. The stories they've shared since arriving home have been beautiful and touching and have spurred many of us on to do more for these dear people.

I loved the idea that one friend shared with some of us about a month or two ago. She was talking with a group of ladies from the church over there, asking for specific ways that we could bless and encourage them and one of them shared how wonderful it would be for the women to have a beautiful dress to wear during their marriage ceremonies. Most of the people there are so incredibly poor. The stories of their lack have been especially stirring to it any wonder they long for heaven in the way they do?

So, this friend came home with a mission to collect as many wedding gowns as she possibly could and ship them over to the Mother's Union (a group of Christian women in the church) for them to loan out to brides so that they can feel beautiful and special and experience a small taste of extravagance on their wedding day.

The response has been overwhelming. So many generous hearts have given their gowns, new and old, to this ministry. Last week, two friends from church packed 10 wedding gowns into space bags and filled a suitcase to be shipped to Rwanda. God came through in a big way and provided *free* shipping for them too. A group from Compassion was leaving for Rwanda this week, and a lady going on the trip agreed to personally deliver the gowns. Isn't that neat? Don't you love stories like this? I especially love the creativity of this ministry. I am praying for the women who will don those gowns, and anxiously look forward to hearing and hopefully seeing photos of how those women have been blessed. And I know the ones who selflessly gave their own gowns away will be blessed as well.

And you know what else? They already have another bunch of gowns ready to be shipped. Isn't that just a beautiful, beautiful offering? I LOVE this!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving Traditions

Our family has a couple of Thanksgiving traditions that we love. One of them includes making a thankful chain each November. I like to start on the first of November and each evening at dinner have everyone write one thing they're thankful for on a strip of paper. Some years it works that way, and other times we just set aside an evening or two to work on it. We started this year's chain tonight during our family devotions time. I love it! Some of the the things we're thankful for are: our church, each other, our family in Arkansas, the mountains, John's job (tomorrow is his one year anniversary there), seeing a bear in Estes Park, our health, video games, friends, food to eat, and our home. Quite a list isn't it? We usually hang our thankful chain up in our kitchen and I try to leave it up until the next Thanksgiving (or until it stretches and fades). It's a good way to stay mindful of our many blessings.

Another favorite Thanksgiving tradition at our house is going out for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning...wearing our pajamas. So fun! We started this the first year we moved here and weren't able to go home for Thanksgiving. We were all a little blue and John decided to take us to IHOP to cheer us up. We love to eat breakfast out, but it's something we rarely do. I don't know why we decided to go in our pajamas, but we've done it several times and it's a much anticipated tradition for our kids. Sure, we get strange looks but we don't care, it's just FUN! And having a big breakfast makes it a little easier to wait for that mid-afternoon meal of turkey and dressing.

What about you guys...any fun Thanksgiving traditions at your home?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It really doesn't feel like 20 years...

...since I graduated from high school. Technically, it's only been 19, but I had an email yesterday from one of my dearest high school friends, and in the email she asked if I was planning on attending our 20th reunion next fall. 20 years. Wow. I am feeling kinda old.

Monday, November 12, 2007

500 emails

I just deleted over 500 email messages from my inbox. I try to keep my inbox in order, but it's been out of control since May. May. That's when some of those emails I was holding onto were dated. It was a mess. I still have about 60 to sort through, but that is so much more manageable than, say, 569. I feel so much lighter now.

A perfect Monday morning

My girls are home this morning. They were both sick yesterday and while they're much better today, I wanted to keep them home to rest. They both need it...and so does their mother.

It's a gloomy day here. Very cold and overcast and looking like it could snow. It's the perfect day to spend at home. Right now the girls are in the den watching Anne of Green Gables. I'm about to make a cup of hot tea and join them. And oh yeah, we're all still in our pajamas. I cannot think of a better way to spend a gloomy Monday morning.

Friday, November 09, 2007

chill and relax

According to the weekly family schedule that Sarah made for us, we're going to chill and relax this weekend. I'm certainly up for that!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Yesterday was a rough day.

Wednesdays are one of my busiest days. I got up early yesterday, but for some reason I just couldn't get moving. I was late getting breakfast for the kids, which then put me behind in everything else, and all of the sudden it was time to leave for school and I still hadn't even had time to put on make-up. On Wednesdays, I go straight from dropping kids at school to Bible study. I decided that my Bible study friends love me with or without make-up and I showed up pale-faced. I guess it was providential because I spent most of the morning in tears...tears of conviction, tears of sorrow, and tears of repentance. It was all good, but I left feeling a little heavy of heart.

That heaviness of heart was relentless. In the span of my afternoon, I heard from two friends who both suffered a miscarriage this week, and from another friend who was recently diagnosed with a rapidly spreading cancer. More tears. Many more tears of sorrow for my friends.

By the time John came home I was spent. My eyes burned from crying and all I wanted to do was go to sleep! As we were getting our kids ready for bed, the phone rang and it was my neighbor. More tears, more loss, and more heaviness. At that point I threw my hands up in the air, and said, "Mercy...I give, Lord. Can this all just stop, please???"

Sometimes His ways don't make any sense. I can't see what He's doing. I want to believe and trust that He has it all under control, but some days that is so hard.

We spent some time last night with our kids looking at the Psalms. Explained to them that not all the Psalms are happy, joyful praises to our God. Some are full of sorrow and hurt and wondering where in the world God is. We shared some of the heaviness of the day, and then we prayed. I can't say all of the heaviness lifted, but some of it did. And I'm so thankful for today and for His mercies that are new.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Super cute idea...

My friend, Jennifer, made these super cute magnet/chalkboards for all the little girls in our Daisy troop. Aren't they adorable?? She painted them first with magnet paint, then added a coat of chalkboard paint on top. Yesterday at the Daisy meeting, the girls made their own magnets and Abbey has been playing with hers non-stop since she brought it home. My friend is seriously crafty! John hung Abbey's board up in her room last night, but he hung it low enough that she could take it down to write on. She's sitting in the floor doing "math" right now. So stinkin' cute!

I found directions last week for making homemade chalkboard paint. There are so many things you can do with it...I'm thinking of trying this soon because that board has me so inpsired. Click here for the paint directions.

*UPDATE*--The chalkboard paint directions are for a very small amount of paint, and therefore a very small project! Try this link for a larger project.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm Coming Clean

I have a serious addiction to gumballs. I know, it's weird. My friend, Kate, gave me this big jar of gumballs last Friday. Friday, as in 3 days ago. And as you can see we've eaten about 1/3 of the jar. I say "we" because it seems to spread the guilt around a little, but the truth is that I've eaten most of them. So pathetic.

I don't like to chew gum for hours on end. I just like to chew it until the sugary taste wears off, then spit it out and start all over again. That's how I've powered through 200 gumballs in 3 days. And you know what I have to show for it? Temples that throb whenever I chew my food, a monster headache, and a seriously compromised immune system. Is it any wonder I felt lousy all weekend?

So, I'm coming clean with you bloggy friends. And I'm considering quitting cold turkey...or at least until I can chew without pain again. Did you know that I don't like chocolate? I like to think of that being a merciful gift from God...because I know if I liked it, I'd probably never be able to stop eating it.

What about you? Any weird addictions?

Sunday Sermon

Three or four times a year, I get to hear my husband preach at our church. Yesterday was one of those days. And it was a gift to my heart. John always has been and always will be my favorite preacher, and I miss him being my pastor. I checked a little while ago and there wasn't a link to listen/download his sermon. However, if you're interested, you can read what he posted on his blog this's basically a recap of his sermon. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I keep thinking I'll work this into some kind of lovely post, but that's not going to happen. I haven't felt great all weekend, and that has sapped every bit my energy as well as any creative juices I have.


Here is the photo of the beautiful jewelry set I won last weekend during Boomama's giveaway. The necklace and earrings were created by Lisa, and she has many more beautiful creations on her blog. My set arrived on Thursday afternoon! Absolutely made my day!

I wore it on Friday, and again to church this morning and got so many compliments. I had Sarah take a picture of me this morning before we left...

Doesn't it look great with my green vest? It goes with so many other things I have too! I love it Lisa, and Boomama. Thank you both again.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I wish I had 211 CM albums to give away!

I used a random number generator this afternoon to select a winner for the album giveaway. The winner is...

Catherine at everyday life as lyric poetry. Congratulations, Catherine. I hope you'll enjoy your album!

This giveway was so much fun. I hope to do it again soon!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Paper Box Tutorial

Last week I posted a photo of the cute boxes that Sarah and I made.

Several of you asked me for the instructions, so here you go!

Here are the supplies you'll need:

12x12 sheet of paper or cardstock
6x6 sheet of paper or cardstock
adhesive of some kind
12 inch ruler
pen or pencil
12-inch trimmer (helpful but not necessary)

Choose two papers that coordinate--patterns, solids, whatever--it's your choice! The 12x12 sheet will make the box, the 6x6 sheet will be the lid.

Here are the templates for the box and lid.


I made my template by tracing my friend's box. I think the easiest way to make this would be to cut a 10.5 inch square, then measure in 2 inches from every corner, and trim at your markings.


Okay, now take your large sheet of paper. Trace, then cut out your box according to the template. Do the same with the box lid.

Now you're ready to fold. Here is the backside of my templates that show your fold lines.

Start folding.

If you're using cardstock or a thick paper, you might want to use something to score your paper first. The paper I used wasn't too thick and I was fine with a ruler, but thick cardstock can be hard to fold without wrinkling. If you're using reversible paper, make sure the pattern you want on the outside of your box is on the outside of your fold. Using a straight edge, fold your box and lid according to the fold lines on my templates above. For the box, complete the folds that form a cross first.

So far, your box and lid should look something like this:



Now, pull the sides of the box up, line the edges up, and crease down the middle of the inside (see below) and hopefully this will make sense as you're doing it!

Your box should look something like this:

Now for the lid...

One one side of your square, make two parallel cuts up to the fold. Make the same two cuts on the opposite side. See the photo below.

Bend the two square flaps inward, apply adhesive to the rectangular flap, and tuck the square flaps inside the rectangular flap. Repeat on the other end. Again, I hope the photos help because writing this is confusing for me!

Put the lid on your box and pat yourself on the back! You're finished!!! Wasn't that easy??

If you have questions, email me! I think this would make an adorable gift box for gift cards, candy, etc. I also think a thin ribbon tied around the top would be cute too. There are so many ways to embellish this, so be creative. And if you make one, I'd love to see a photo of your finished box.