January 29, 2009

Why Rub Sticks Together When You Can Use A Remote?

Last year we splurged and bought gas logs.......they make me very, very happy.  I am an ambiance girl which means I have all my lamps on timers and rarely use overhead lights at night.  I love lit candles, good music, and fires in the fireplace.  

It makes me happy that we have had no shortage of chilly days and nights in Houston this winter.  Not ice storm, lose electricity kind of cold, but cold enough that with one click of a button, I have a roaring fire.

The downside??  My 90 pound dog goes absolutely ballistic when he hears the fireplace clicking on........I'm surprised Barnes has survived all of his attempts at eating the fire that so rudely invades his home and threatens his territory.

Tonight I'm couching it with a Skinny Cow Fudge Bar, ER (yes, I still watch.....I feel like I owe it to the show to stick with it to the end),  and my beloved fireplace.

January 27, 2009

Up, Up, and Away

This past weekend I fulfilled a birthday promise to Scot.  Now, I'm not a big fan of the "I promise" gift because it is often left unfulfilled.  As it stands, it was a year late, but at least it happened!!

Scot got to take a helicopter flying lesson.  And by lesson I mean he sat around a conference table with an instructor for, oh, about 15 minutes, then hopped into the helicopter and proceeded to be fully in charge of flying it, by himself, while the instructor was sightseeing.  I think it freaked out my husband a little bit, even though he loves a good adventure and is no stranger to air travel.

The best part is that the instructor finished with Scot (translation: Mr. White Knuckle needed to get on solid ground) and still had about 12 min. left in the session.  The instructor offered to take me up, but being the self-sacrificing mother that I am, I graciously handed off the privilege to the boys.  They LOVED getting to "peer" into people's backyards and confirmed what we already know, we are the ONLY family in our area without a pool.....THE ONLY ONES. Hmmmmm.........just like G is the ONLY 4th grader without a cell phone, but that's for another post on another day.

January 23, 2009


It is 1:40 a.m. on January 23 and that means I am officially 38 years old.  Well, not exactly since I was born sometime later in the day, but close enough.  

For those of you who read regularly, you know that I love to write letters to my boys on their birthdays.  No, I am not going to go all narcissistic on you and write a letter to myself complete with bullet points on what I love the most........because that would be weird.  I will say that I unashamedly love my birthday.  I love getting cards, emails, and phone calls from friends and family.......I love getting to pick what I want for dinner.  I love how excited my children are to celebrate with me.  I love cake!!  I love that my very business minded husband never fails to get me a card with a very sentimental message inside.  I love that I can laugh in the face of the laundry goblin and walk away to do something fun with no sense of guilt.  I love that calories and fat grams don't count on your birthday and the only form of excercise I have to do is blowing out my candles......which burns more calories every year.  

It is way past my bedtime which means I am tired, which means I am overly reflective about this last year.   It was a good year with some very tough situations sprinkled through it to remind me who God is and who I am not.

I took Beth Moore's Bible study, "Breaking Free", and it was hard, painful, challenging, and incredibly rewarding.  Through it I gained a new friend, Joy, who has taken on a mentoring role in my life.  

I got to be with all of my siblings for a brief time in March while in San Diego.  That is a very rare treat.  

I got to go back to Camp Cho Yeh to work in the infirmary with my friend.......a very hard job, but it sure is fun to be back at camp again!  We had so much fun that we might not be invited back again this summer....heehee.

My family joined 2 other families for an incredible week in Destin, FL this past summer.  We proved that you can travel with other families, stay in the same house, and still be friends when it's all over.  

I got to spend some precious moments with my Grandfather before he passed away in September.  

I once again managed to overcommit myself resulting in some crazy, insane weeks. 

I experienced firsthand, the heartache of watching a child suffer in school....both socially and academically.  

I got to cheer on both boy's football teams, even though I can't watch when it gets too intense.  I watch my football friend, Sarah, and judge how things are going by her reaction.  She is wonderful and knows how quirky I am so she easily slips into the role of commentator while I hide my eyes.  

I got to speak, for some crazy reason, at a women's event and it was an unforgettable experience for me.  

I played paintball for the first time and almost died.

I got to move my 85 year old Grandmother to Houston from Michigan and have loved reconnecting with her.  

I got to celebrate 13 years of marriage with my man.  

I watched my friends come together to bless some very deserving women with new pajamas.

I experienced the painful separation from a dear friend to then experience the joy of reconciliation.  

I had my first mammogram........along with an "area of concern" scare to make it more interesting.......and thus my second mammogram all within a week.  

I have learned more about what it means to be a woman of God, a loving wife, a patient mother, and an understanding friend.

Do I like that I'm on the downhill slide to 40?  NO.............but it sure beats the alternative!

January 20, 2009


I just got home from putting my sister on a plane back to Jerusalem.  We made complete fools of ourselves in the parking lot, crying and clinging to each other for what seemed like an eternity.  There was me not wanting to go back to my everyday life without her in it, and there was her, not wanting to go back to a foreign land leaving sisters who love and support her behind.

Cyndi works for Jerusalem University College and she teaches short-term groups that go study the geographical areas that resonate all throughout the Bible.  She is an amazing teacher and was here because one of the short term groups she taught this last Spring, invited her to Houston to teach a seminar at their church.  She was incredible and I was alternating between being part of her personal fan club and being her personal bouncer (the people went crazy over her!).  

She has the ability to intertwine the Old Testament and New to give you an entirely different perspective on stories you've heard and read about.  She is crazy smart, complicated, interesting, and inspiring.  I want to be more like her in so many ways that I often have to remind myself that I am actually older than she is.  

The wonderful part of having her visit, is that we have seen lots of family these last 2 weeks.  My parents have been in town and one of our brothers flew in for an overnighter from California to see her.  I LOVE being with Dave........he is 6'8" and being with him actually makes me feel small.  All 3 of us girls walk taller and proud when we are with him.  We call him our Gentle Giant because he has a heart of gold.  

Dave and Lisa

Dave, Cyndi, and me

I will miss you, Cyndi!  I promise to eat lots of tofu and gain some kind of an appreciation for red wine in the interim before I see you again.  I am grateful that you were given to me as a sister.  You make me want to be a better person.  I have been an emotional mess since you left because I just want you back here with me instead being off in the Holy Land changing lives........even though that's a super cool thing to be doing!

January 05, 2009


If you have any preconceived ideas that I make all the right decisions, think through everything before I act or speak, and am just an all around perfect woman, please don't read any further because you will be sorely disappointed.

I was having a conversation last week with one of my favorite people in the whole entire world, Lisa.  She lives in Florida and is married to a pastor and she is real.......transparent, authentic, and refreshingly real.  I miss her in a way that just hurts my heart.  

We were talking about the things in our lives that we just can't stand about ourselves.  You know what I'm talking about, the stuff that we try really hard to pretend doesn't exist so our appearance says something different from our reality.  

Like working really hard on a comment to post on a very popular blog trying to get a shout out from the blog author.  

Like checking an Evite invitation  45 times a day to see who is or is not coming to your party and why.

Like keeping the tags on a new shirt, wearing it to church for all your friends to see, and returning it to the store if no one complimented you on the cuteness factor of the shirt.

Like allowing yourself to be tortured over a broken relationship until you can think of nothing else but the pieces scattered all around you.

Like hearing other women talk about their weaknesses and having a moment of intense pride when your struggles are not the same.  

We laughingly agreed that being open with each other about our yuck made us feel a little less bad about ourselves and wondering how many women have these same feelings, but never admit it to anyone.

I have never been a big New Years resolution kind of girl because I have horrible discipline (notice all my transparency??) and by the 1st week of January I will have broken every resolution.  Why set myself up for failure?

I did enter this new year thinking about what I wanted out of 2009.  The truth is, I want to be pure.  

I want my intentions to be pure.

I want my pursuit of God to be pure.

I want my motivations in life to be pure.

I want my thoughts to be pure.

I want my ongoing, desperate need for approval to be met purely through my Savior.

Now, I  know very well that I am riddled with fault and will have days where I fail miserably.  I also know that God's promises and love for us are "new every morning" and I don't have to wait until 2010 to start over.   Thank you God for that promise!

I hope your 2009 has gotten off to a great start.  I pray that each of you finds a renewed sense of purpose in your walk with Christ.  I pray you will have pure joy.


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