Wednesday, March 30, 2011

new bags

A new season means it's time for some new bags.
Not the kind under my eyes.
The "over the shoulder" kind.

I was invited to a thirty-one party a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with their bags.
Very reasonably priced.  I got this purse for 1/2 price.  That makes me VERY happy!
Hannah and Abi each needed a new bag too.

Abi's may be my favorite.  I love the color combo and the print.
Hannah was too cool to model hers.  Gotta love a hormonal teenager :)
Got a new pool/beach bag for our trip to Florida this summer.

It's got lots of pockets and is nylon for easy clean up.  Don't you love the happy colors, print and grommets?!
I got my winter purse cleaned out and stocked my new spring bag. 
Time for the sun to shine on these big ol' polka dots!

No mistaking who this bag belongs to :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

marie osmond

I usually try to keep posts on my blog fairly light and fun.
But this post won't be one of those light and fun readings.  That's my disclaimer so you can leave now if you'd like.

I seldom watch Oprah simply because I'm not home and sitting down at that time of day (and I don't always agree with her).  However, today was the re-airing of Oprah's interview with Marie Osmond.  I missed it the first time around and really wanted to make time to watch it today.
Click here for clips from Oprah's interview with Marie.

I've been fascinated with Marie Osmond for many years.  I absolutely, positively loved her on Dancing with the Stars.  I love her smile, her positive outlook, her honesty, her genuine beauty, her talent, her transparency and her sense of humor.  I appreciate her honest and public battle with her weight.  Despite a very difficult life, she has remained joyful and optimistic.

My heart ached for her when her son, Michael, committed suicide in March, 2010.  That's a journey I can't begin to imagine enduring but doing it under the public spotlight would be absolutely unbearable.  Marie was incredibly open, honest, vulnerable and raw with Oprah in this first interview following her son's suicide.  I boo-hooed through the entire show.  In fact, dinner was late getting to the table because I just couldn't pull myself away from the tv.  uh oh.

Some of you may know my best friend of many years, Annie, has struggled her entire life with anxiety and depression.  She has gone public with her story so that others who have the same struggles will find help and support.  We have walked some very long and dark hours together.  I couldn't help but think of her and many others who also suffer from the painful grips of depression as I watched Marie today.  Chances are, you have friends and loved ones who also struggle with depression.  Maybe you fight this difficult fight yourself and have been afraid to ask for help.

Because we need to remove the stigma from depression and help our precious loved ones find reality, I wanted to share a couple of truths I've found over the years.  I am NOT an expert and haven't studied any research on depression.  I've just been on a journey that has been both heart-breaking and rewarding.  If any of this helps someone else, to God be the glory.

Always, always, always remember that the person you are talking to each day has her own issues with which she is dealing.  This goes for anyone and everyone.  She may be smiling or crying or anything in between.  Be kind.  You don't know what she's dealing with.  Extend grace and reserve judgment.  Love with no regrets.

It seems like a common "cover up" for depression is humor.  Please don't assume that someone who always seems to be happy and funny is truly joyful and content.  Dig a little deeper to see what's really going on in someone's life.  Listen with your ears, your eyes and your heart.  Listen more than you speak.  (God gave you two ears and only one mouth!)  Offer advice only if it's requested.  Sometimes we just need to talk about things to find the true reality.  Remember, just listening may save someone else's life.

Remember the wise words of Solomon from Proverbs 18:21, "The tongue has the power of life and death."  Choose your words carefully...especially if you have to reveal a truth that someone doesn't want to recognize.  Wouldn't you much rather deliver life than death to your loved ones?

I admit, I'm not perfect and I really don't know anything the next girl doesn't know.  I haven't perfected this "friend thang" but I have gained a lot of wisdom through experiences.  One thing I know for sure, investing in the life of another has huge payoffs.  You might even save a life.

(this pic was taken on Mother's Day, 2008 - our 2nd sermon we delivered together (ignore the speaker in the background:))

Monday, March 28, 2011


My tall, thin friend posted this on her blog last month.  I knew I had to borrow it.  Thank you, Amy, for reminding what is important and for making me smile :)

Recently, in a large city, a poster featuring a young, thin, tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins and with stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea, and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected, and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them. Not to mention, how could they have sex? Just look at them. Therefore, they don't have kids either. Not to also mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me: I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated, and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good grief, look how smart I am!¨
Killer Whale Photos
Mermaid shmermaid.
I want to be a whale.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

graham cracker cookies

It's no secret, I'm not the best cook. 
However, my kids think I've got a few secret recipes that are world famous.
I'm going to be sad when they realize the recipes aren't secret and they're certainly not famous.  It's really only Eli who has these beliefs.  He probably doesn't believe them but he flatters me anyway :)

Abi and I had a tea party today and we decided we needed some graham cracker cookies to go with our tea.  (The tea party will show up here another time.)

The graham cracker cookies have been passed down through at least 3 generations of my mom's side of the family.  I remember my grandma Ginny making them for us when we were little. 
And we made them with my mama.  Michelle and I have compared stories about the cookies.  We both love them more than grown women should love simple cookies.
Maybe you make them too but we like to think of them as OUR family's recipe.  It's really just chocolate frosting on graham crackers.  But Eli thinks it's our world famous secret recipe.  So it is.

All three generations of our family have used the red and white Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  You have one, don't you?  All three generations of our family have used the mocha butter frosting recipe sandwiched between graham crackers.  Yummy!!

Someday my kids are going to make these super easy and yummy cookies for their kiddos.  My kids will have these wonderful fond memories of making the cookies with me.  They will all call each other and compare stories.  They will each think they were the only ones who got to lick the beaters...and I'm not going to tell them any different.
Someday my kids will realize there's nothing special about chocolate frosting sandwiched between store brand graham crackers. 
except that mommy made them with lots and lots and lots of love.
that's my secret ingredient :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

my friend, my hero

God has blessed me with so many wonderful friends. I'm daily amazed at my friends and their big hearts.
Many of you may know sweet Lisa Valdez. 
Isn't she phenomenally drop-dead gorgeous?!  Here's what is amazing about her - she's as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  She inspires me to be a better person.

Lisa has embarked on an amazing adventure.  Her daddy was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer last fall.  Although the diagnosis was devestating to Lisa and her family, she has not let it slow her down.  Rather than allowing the diagnosis to cloud her sweet disposition, she has decided to do what she can to find a cure for this horrible disease.  She recently registered to run the upcoming Nike Women's Marathon in October (she happens to be running on her parent's 45th wedding anniversary - so cool!).  She is running to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's mission of blood cancer patient support and research, in honor of her daddy who is battling Stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

(this is Lisa with her dad at Lisa's oldest son's senior night football game just shortly before her dad's diagnosis)

I want to help Lisa spread the word and raise funds for her marathon.  Please check out her fundraising page by clicking here.  You can join us in helping her raise funds for this very worthy cause.  I know we are all bombarded with requests for fundraising and we can't give to every cause that comes along.  For those of you who know our family, you know that Mitch's mom, Marilyn (Boese) McCann has been battling Leukemia for 9 years.  Mitch's grandmother, Vera Mae Williams, lost her battle to Leukemia after fighting for 25 years.  Praise the Lord for the funds raised by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Their research has improved the treatments and quality of life for so many people, including our loved ones and probably some of yours.

If you can't give financially, please pray for Lisa as she embarks on this adventure.  She is being stretched WAY out of her comfort zone.  She is truly learning what Paul spoke of in Phillipians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Her own strength and endurance may not be enough for the training ahead of her.  BUT GOD can give her the strength and endurance she needs. 

I wish I could remember where I saw this quote and who said it but I'm at a loss.  "God doesn't call the equipped.  He equips the called."  I believe this is so true for Lisa.  God will give her the funds, strength, endurance and confidence she needs to run this race.  I also know this about Lisa.  She will run this race with grace and dignity, all the while giving glory to God.  She is learning the meaning of Acts 20:24, "my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."

Please visit her website, consider giving and pray for Lisa over the next 7 months. 
God bless!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

tickle me

These are the words I probably hear most from Abi, "tickle me, mommy!"  (the only thing I may hear more is "kiss me, mommy")
She wants me to wake her up with tickles.
She sits next to me at the computer everyday and begs me to tickle her while I'm waiting on the computer.
and then she laughs. and laughs. and laughs.
It's contagious.
She has a wide mouth, belly laugh that is just so happy.
She laughs so hard that she toots most every time.  Which makes us laugh even harder.
I love it that she's so entertained by the simple things.
I love it that she loves to be tickled. again. and again. and again.

Can you hear it?  It's very happy and full of life :)

Who needs Tickle Me Elmo?  I have a very pink Tickle Me Abi and she never needs her batteries replaced.

Friday, March 18, 2011

one of those days

Today was one of those days.
Have you ever had one of those days?

I felt like I was on the verge of tears most of the day.
It felt like my eyeballs were sweating all day.
You know that feeling of tears in the corners of your eyes?
The crusty outer corners when the tears leak out and dry?
Just plain old weepy.
I don't know why.  I think I'm tired from the time change.  How can 1 hour make that much difference?
Maybe it's hormones.  I don't know.

The day started out with my usual fun chat at school.  Today was exceptionally fun and relaxed.  So much so that I was almost late to work.
and then things went downhill.  fast.
I got to work and BOOM!
I'm thankful for my job and the provision God has made.  I'm thankful for the people with whom I work.
But today was just not a good day for me to go to work.
Details aren't important but it's a good thing it's Friday.
I dropped an open can of diet coke and spilled most of it as I walked in my front door this afternoon.
I replaced it with a large happy hour diet cherry coke.  The best.
and then I dropped it and spilled it.
It's a good thing we have hardwood floors.

But, God loves me.  I'm still His favorite :)
I had lunch with my sweet Annie.  It was just what I needed in the middle of the day.  We ate our lunch in the car in the Walmart parking lot.  We were hiding in plain sight.  I love it when I get her undivided attention!

I got an email this afternoon that I won another blog giveaway.

Isn't it a fun and happy green?  I'm pretty happy about that.  I have a friend who wears a lot more green than I do so we're going to share the ring.
This is the 2nd giveaway I've won this month.  Hannah says it's beginner's luck.

I went on a walk this afternoon and found these pretties on our corner.  It was like God was saying to me that He cares for me just like He cares for the flowers.  I needed this reminder that spring is right around the corner.  I needed this reminder from God that He knew today was going to be a bad day.  He showered me with His love this morning before work, at lunch and after work.  God is so clever and loving to give me all the highlights of my week on one of those days.
Thank you, Lord, for knowing my every need and for providing for my needs.  Thank you for loving me even when I'm tired and emotional.  and maybe a little hormonal.

Monday, March 14, 2011

pie day

Funny story from dinner tonight.
Eli announced that today is National Pie Day.  I looked at him astonished and replied, "Melissa Bartel posted on facebook today that it is National Pie Day.  How did you celebrate it at school?"
Eli looked at me a little funny and said "We measured circles and figured the area.  Mom, it's pie day as in pi.  You know, 3.14."
By then I'm baffled and said "Pi?"  "Yes, mom, the date is 3.14 so it's pi day.  Jeesh!"

Wow, I've been thinking all day that it's National Pie Day and we should enjoy apple pie and ice cream for dinner. 
Eli has been figuring the area of different circles and feeling very smart.
Two very different ways to enjoy 3.14, National Pi(e) Day.

(sidebar - Melissa Bartel is an incredibly generous and funny friend of mine who is in the catering business - Panhandle Catering.  She knows everything there is to know about food so it made sense to me that she would know about National Pie Day.  She's the friend I called when I needed 500 cinnamon rolls for the Warrior banquet.  She makes me smile almost every single day.  She is also a coastal girl misplaced in the Midwest.  We whine through winter together and then we both enjoy the sun from the pools and golf courses.  She has the joy of Jesus all over her beautiful face and I love her for being her.  I'm not going to post a pic of her because she would no longer call me "friend" if I did that :))

If I could choose my favorite way to celebrate National Pie Day, it would be a LARGE piece of strawberry rhubarb pie with some vanilla ice cream.
How would you celebrate?  Did you celebrate today?
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Introducing Miss Daisy

Isn't she adorable?! 
She's my newest baby.  I created her myself at Build A Bear this weekend.
She looks like a chubby Winnie the Pooh in a bikini.  A tummy like this is so much cuter on a bear than on a mommy.
I've never made a bear for myself until this weekend.  Grandma Susan (my mommy) took both her daughters and all 5 of her grandkids to Build A Bear to celebrate my niece's, Cassidy's, 7th birthday.  We had so much fun!
When asked if I wanted Daisy to be chunky and cuddly or soft and snuggly, it was an easy answer for me - chunky and cuddly!  I'm sure that's what God said when He created me.
I chose not to put a "voice" in my bear.  I'm tired of my kids talking back to me. 
I contemplated recording "You're so beautiful and skinny" to put in my bear and then I remembered how I hate it when my kids lie to me.
So, my bear is chunky and cuddly and doesn't talk back.  If she did talk, she would say "I don't skinny dip, I chunky dunk."

Cassidy and Pinky

Abi and Sophie

Ellie and Starr

Eli and Harry Pupper

The whole crew

Poor Eli is the only grandson on my side of the family. I don't have any brothers and my sister doesn't have any boys so Eli has had to teach us A LOT about boys. Sometimes we have to let him be a silly boy. This is sooooo Eli! 

(notice the haircut - I fought and won this battle Friday afternoon)

anchor inn

Two and a half years ago we met and fell in love with this adorable college student/basketball player from Bethel College.  Mindy volunteered to coach Hannah's 5th grade MAYB basketball team.

She was a totally sweet and playful 19-20 year old who loves Disney channel, High School Musical and will some day marry Zac Efron.  What's not to love about a girl like that?!  She gave up her summer to stay in Newton (she is from Effingham, KS - isn't that fun to say?  Effingham) to work and coach basketball.  She quickly became a part of our family and we've never looked back.

She has since then moved on to play basketball at St. Mary of the Plains so we don't get to see her as much.  But, any time she's close to Newton, she lets us know so we can catch up.
Funny thing, we met her parents a couple of years ago too and we're all just one big happy family now.  We absolutely LOVE these people!

The Eckerts were in Hutchinson this weekend to watch their newphews/cousins play in the state basketball tournament.  Of course, we made a trip to Hutch to catch up with some of our favorite people.  We ended up hanging out so long at Anchor Inn that we closed the place down.  The restaurant management told us we didn't have to go home but we did have to go :)

We learned a new piece of trivia about Mindy Friday night.  Her high school basketball team won state when she was a senior (we knew that part).  Mindy still holds the record for the most fouls in a state tournament.  She played in 3 games so there was the possibility of 15 total fouls for her.  She used 14 of them!  This is one of the things I love about this girl - she plays with all her heart and leaves everything she has on the floor. 

and she's proud of it!

One of my favorite pics of our kids:

Shirley and I think they get their good looks from us.  What do you think?  (the right answer is "why yes, they do!" or "they must get their good looks from their dads since you ladies still have your good looks" - either answer will do)

Well, we have talked for over a year about a family camping trip with the Eckerts.  The trip is officially on the calendar for this summer.  For those of you who know me well, you know how much I love (not really!) camping.  This tells you how much we love this family.  I'm genuinely looking forward to a weekend of camping with our extended family.

Thank you to the Eckerts for sharing Mindy with us.  If our kids end up anything like Mindy, we'll be so happy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today is my birthday (actually it was yesterday but I didn’t get this post finished then). I’m a whopping 42 years old. There! I said it.

I honestly contemplated faking 35 years old.
But then I decided I should be proud to be 42 years old. I’m not a beauty queen or the picture of perfect health but I don’t think I look too bad for being the busy mom of 3 kids.

This post is really more for me than for you. I decided I want a snapshot of what I’m like today. That way, when I look back, I’ll remember what my life was like at this point. I’m probably middle-aged right now. I would be pretty happy to live to be 84 years old.

So here goes. This is me at 42 (in no particular order)…

1. I'm a working mom.  I worked part time when my kids were younger but once little Abi started school, I had to grow up and work full time.  Truth is, I'm a better mommy if I work.

2. Hannah is my oldest child. She is 13 and a pretty normal teenage girl. She’s the average first-born over-achiever who does all her homework AND extra credit. She gets straight A’s and has known what she wants to be when she grows up since she was very small. She wants to be a neo-natal nurse. She’ll go a long way in life and I’m very proud of her.

3. Eli is my middle child. He is an evangelist, stand up comedian, athlete and inventor. He is the life of every party and the class clown. He can’t be embarrassed but he can get mad. He gets great grades but doesn’t do any more than is required of him. He thinks he has been dealt the worst lot in life – the middle child with an older sister and a younger sister. He makes me laugh every single day!

4. Abi is my baby. She is the perfect girly girl princess. She is so sweet and loving. I love how soft and cuddly she is. She has to work really hard at school and it doesn’t come easily for her. She wants to be a pre-K teacher because she can use her first name instead of her last name, i.e., she will be Miss Abi to her students. She makes me smile and fills my heart with so much joy everyday.

5. We have 2 dogs (shih tzus) – Bella and Bogey. We got them because my kids were getting too big to be rocked to sleep at night and I needed something to snuggle. They are perfect snugglers!

6. My life is so pinkalicious! I’m beginning to appreciate a happy green now and then.

7. If I’m not wearing pink, I’m wearing black. A lot of black. It’s slimming, you know. And it goes with everything.

8. I believe life is all about accessories. In fact, I’m probably an over-accessorizer. “If they can’t see you from the highway, you don’t have enough on.”

9. Shoes, shoes, shoes. Especially summer shoes. My favorite shoes are black patent leather strappy shoes with a 3 inch heel. They’re really 2 hour shoes but I can stretch them to 4 hours. 6 hours would probably be too much. I call them my killer shoes but they are so worth it.

10. Some may think I have way too many shoes, but they are wrong. A friend helped me clean out my closet about 2 years ago and I threw away 54 pairs of shoes. It really didn’t make a big dent in my closet. I probably need to do it again but I don’t like the thought of parting with any of my shoes. Remember, I’m an over-accessorizer.

11. I have a recently developed love for and addiction to golf. I just can’t get enough of it! You guessed it – my bag, clubs, tees and balls are all pink. I may not be a good golfer but I look pretty dog-gone good doing it.

12. I am really a coastal girl who has been mis-placed in the Midwest. I don’t think there’s much of a need for the high temperature of any given day to be below 70*.

13. My kids say I’m most funny when I’m not trying. That’s their nice way of saying I mess up most jokes and funny stories but I’m great at embarrassing myself.

14. Sunshine and Vitamin D are my friends. My greatest weakness is tanning. I know I shouldn’t do it and I promise myself I’m not going to do it again but I find myself a golden brown every spring and summer. I hope I don’t regret it someday.

15. My favorite time of day is happy hour. A large diet cherry coke is my drink of choice. I have spoiled my kids with this addiction to happy hour. I know diet coke is slowly killing me but it’s my only vice besides occasional tanning.

16. I am passionate about breast cancer research and prevention. God intervened in a breast cancer scare for me 7 years ago. I will forever be grateful and will always support this cause.

17. My favorite food is anything carb.

18. I love Disney. I’m especially fond of Mickey and Minnie. I know Disneyland and Disney World are overpriced and may be over-rated but I don’t care. I love all the characters and the escape from reality. It truly is the happiest place on earth.

19. I need to lose 20-30 pounds but I don’t want to work hard enough to do it. I love carbs way too much. I think my weight fluffs my wrinkles so it helps me to look a little younger. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

20. Walking is the perfect exercise. I try to get out and move every day I’m physically able to do it.

21. As I was jamming in the car one day last week, Abi told me I was made to dance. I’m glad someone finally recognized it! I think everyone should dance like no one is watching.

22. I’m a sinner redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I will forever be grateful for the price that was paid for my soul.

23. I have lots of favorite worship songs but my favorite today is “Better is One Day” by Chris Tomlin.

24. Psalm 51 is my daily prayer, most specifically verses 10-12 and 17 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

25. I’m a crafter wanna be.

26. I have the most fabulous friends in the whole wide world! If you’re still reading at this point, you must be one of my fabulous friends. I love doing life with each one of you :)

27. The scripture I always refer to when going through a difficult time is found in Isaiah 43:1-4 – “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 my name; you are mine. 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. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you.’”

28. My dream car is a convertible pink Beetle. I’d really love to have a restored Karmann Ghia but that would be a 2 seater. I can get all my kids in a Bug. My pink convertible will be decorated with lots of happy hippy flowers.

29. My favorite pop song is “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. It’s so sweet to have a song written just for me :)  It’s the ring tone on my phone so I can hear it regularly.

30. I was created to minister to women, both in the church and in the community. These scriptures were prophesied over me in 2004: “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” – Isaiah 50:4 and “I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand.” – Isaiah 51:16.

31. Bling!

32. I’m a type A organized personality trapped in a disorganized body.

33. My love language is quality time mixed with some physical touch. I had no idea physical touch was on my radar but it is becoming more prominent for me as I age. Weird.

34. My lifelong best friend is Annie. She is my accountability partner, confidant, reality check and escape from reality (isn’t it funny the same person can be a reality check one day and an escape from reality the next?), soft shoulder to cry on, compassionate ear and inspiration. I couldn’t do life without her.

35. I’m not a huge TV watcher but I do love American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. My only problem is I hate it when someone has to leave the shows. I cry almost every week. I wish everyone could be a winner. Sappy, I know.

36. The greatest influence in my life is my mommy. She doesn’t get enough credit. She is an amazing, patient, God-fearing, strong, Christ-following, smart, calm, thoughtful, kind, hard working woman. I want to be just like her when I grow up. She has aged incredibly well and looks like she should be my sister instead of my mom. I wish I had a good picture of the two of us to post. I must change that!

37. I don’t travel lightly and I don’t plan to change my style.

38. We bleed Shocker black and gold.

39. Mitch just told me yesterday (publicly) that he thinks my greatest weakness is that I’m non-confrontational. I think he’ll regret saying that by the end of the week.

40. My hero of the faith is Mary of Bethany. I love her story as recorded in Luke 10:38-42. “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ John adds a description of Mary’s extravagant worship in John 12:3 – “Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she proud it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of that perfume.” I want to always remember to sit at the feet of Jesus in extravagant worship. Help me, Lord, not to be distracted by all the work that needs to be done.

41. We live in an old 2-story house with lots of character (remember, that reads lots of imperfections and unfinished projects). We have a working elevator. It would come in handy but there is a rocket in the basement that stands up through the elevator shaft so the elevator is stuck on the 2nd floor until the rocket gets moved to the Cosmosphere. I’m amazed how many locals have stopped by the house and say they remember playing in the elevator as a kid. It’s our home’s claim to fame.
42. I’m not really much of a cook. I’m probably more like Debra Barone in this category. I have some friends who love to cook and who are very good at it. I’ll leave the cooking to them.

That's all!  42 totally random thoughts about who I am today, March 7 (or 8), 2011.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

if you take a little girl to Olive Garden

We love "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and the sequels.  In that spirit,

If you take a little girl to Olive Garden for her 8th birthday, she's going to want to go back.  She'll have so much fun with her friend, the girls will want to try it again with their mommies.  The girls will make plans for weeks so they can have the perfect mommy/daughter double date night.  The will plan every little detail down to their matching "8" birthday shirts and "Jesus Loves Me" necklaces Santa delivered from The Rusted Chain.

They will eat so many breadsticks and drink so much raspberry lemonade that their tummies will be bulging full.  They will make several trips to the fun bathrooms before deciding they should spend some time in retail therapy to allow time for their dinner to settle.

They start their retail therapy at Hobby Lobby.
Wandering through Hobby Lobby will remind the mommies that they need a fun new book bag.  The book bags are on sale 1/2 price so they will each get one.

If the bags are on sale for 1/2 price, Mommy Boese will decide she needs a pink flower to add to the purse to spice it up a little.

Since Hobby Lobby closes at 8:00 and the girls and their mommies aren't ready for the evening to end yet, they will head to Target for some more retail therapy.  The girls will have difficult decisions to make from the dollar bins. 

The shoe department will call their names and they will each choose a pair of rain boots since spring is on the way.

The mommies will run into some of their friends and need to spend time in the clothing department. Visiting in the clothing department will remind them of the last time they shopped at Target and found some great stuff.  Mommy Boese will realize how much she has enjoyed the 3/4 length blue shirt and pick up the matching green shirt.  Mommy Jones has been trying to get her to add some green to her wardrobe for a while.

On the way to the checkout, Mommy Boese will remember a bag she saw earlier and just can't leave at the store.  It's a great buy because it's reversible.

Once their tummies have settled a little, they realize they have plenty of room for frozen yogurt now.  They decide to venture into Orange Leaf on a Friday night.  It's such a happy place!

The girls will be so impressed by the tall stack of big orange bucket bowls.  They will each choose one and then wander around the shoppe trying to choose which kind of frozen yogurt to get.  Seeing all the choices will remind the girls that they don't have to choose just one flavor, they can mix and match all they want!  A little strawberry, a little bluberry and some chocolate raspberry sounds divine.  After dishing up their own yogurt, they will each choose some toppings to go with their new creations.

Once the girls create such incredible treats, the bowls will be weighed to determine the cost.  The basket full of fun shovels simply makes eating the treats delightful.

The girls will enjoy sharing their creations together.  Sharing frozen yogurt and laughing together will remind the girls how much they love each other and how thankful they are to have such wonderful friends.

And being thankful for such wonderful friends will remind Mommy Boese of the super, duper creative birthday gift from Mommy and Sophie Jones.
Isn't this just adorable?!  Mommy Jones made the magnets and Amy D. made the chalkboard.  Looking at this chalkboard everyday will remind Mommy Boese to pray for her friends and to be thankful for the many blessings in her life.  And being thankful for the many blessings in her life will cause Mommy Boese to remember this fun birthday mommy/daughter double date night.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

write it in stone

I started a new friendship devotional this week.  I have to say I love it.  The entries are short and inspirational.  This week's focus has been encouragement.
As I've pondered the readings this week, I was reminded of a quote I love, "Write your sister's weak points in the sand and her strong points in stone."  I'm not sure who authored this quote and I don't really care.  It's just good stuff.  and true.
This quote is a great reminder for me of the power of our words.

Think about the story of Creation found in Genesis 1.  God created the entire world simply by speaking it into being.  God's Word also tells us we are created in His image.
Obviously, we can't speak an entire world into being but our speech must have power if we're created in God's image.
Solomon tells us in Proverbs 18:21, "The tongue has the power of life and death."
There are many other scriptures referring to the power of the tongue and the need to control it but I'll save those for another time.

My family recently experienced the difference positive and encouraging words and attitudes can make in a situation.
As we were getting ready to go to dinner, there was much spatting among my precious angels.  It was bad enough I thought Eli might choose to stay in the van while the rest of us ate dinner.  Begrudgingly, he decided to join us.

While we were waiting for our dinner, we asked each of the kids to name their five best characteristics.  Frowns quickly turned upside down :)
The kids then decided to go around the table again and name what they thought were the best characteristics about each other.
It was absolutely amazing to witness what happened!
Everyone's attitude changed.
As each of the kids spoke and received kind words, their entire demeanors changed.
Funny thing happened.  They spent the rest of the evening playing together without any fighting.

This was a great reminder for me to stay focused on one another's strengths rather than weaknesses. 
Let the waters of life wash away the weaknesses "written in sand" but let the permanence of words written in stone be a constant reminder of one another's strengths.
May the power of my tongue and your tongue bring life to others and to each conversation.