Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
{Lamentations 3.21-23}

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shirley & Marcy

I got this story as an email forward a while back and thought it was pretty cute. Enjoy ::

Shirley & Marcy

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn't want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn't notice her. She said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the two walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy's little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally she said to Timmy, "Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?"

Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yeah, I know who she is."

The little girl said, "Well, who is she?"

"That's just Shirley Goodnest," Timmy replied, "and her daughter Marcy."

"Shirley Goodnest? Who is she and why is she following us?"

"Well," Timmy explained, "every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so much, and in the Psalm, it says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life', so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!"

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you,and give you peace.

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today and always.


Since she could talk, if you asked my youngest what her name was she said, "Baby." If you said to her, "Say Anna." she would reply with "Baby." With other words she would try to copy what you asked her to say, but she was convinced her name was Baby and that A-N-N-A was also pronounced "Baby."

Today I asked her her name and she said, "Anna." I was sad and happy all at once. She is growing up so fast. I realized it all the more having been gone for a few days. My little girl is getting big! I will miss my "Baby" but keep lovin' my "Anna".
Credit for this picture must be give to my favorite 4-year-old and budding photographer, Joe. He loves to take pictures! {and I can't think of a cuter subject}

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Texas, Beth and Friends {old and new}

I'm already quite overwhelmed by the thought of re-capping my weekend in a length that anyone will actually read all the way through. But, since this blog is also for me -- like a journal -- I guess even if no one makes it to the end, that's ok! Right? Ok, here goes!

We had a wonderful, wonderful few days in Houston! Oh, where to start? As some of you know, I was part of a group of women that covenanted to memorize 2 Scriptures each month for all of 2009. It was a challenge from Beth Moore and I decided to take it. It was great! You can look back to the 1st and 15th of each month throughout all of 2009 and see which verses I chose, if you want to. Anyway, at some point in the year Beth announced {via her blog} that she was going to have a celebration event after 2009 was over to get together and honor all the women who had fulfilled the challenge. How cool is that idea? But since the celebration was in Texas {and I was in Minnesota} I didn't give it much more than a passing thought. And a little wish that we had enough extra money that I could some how afford a plane ticket for a quick trip to Houston. And then, that was that. As the time grew closer I kept on memorizing my verses and talked a little with Kirb about the celebration event and how fun it would be {not at all thinking that we would ever go, just -- honestly -- mentioning how cool I thought it was that they were putting it on}. In November we considered -- for just a day or two -- the possibility of me going. Or of us going together {and Kirb doing other things while I was "with Beth"}. But we decided it just wasn't feasible for a few reasons. Fast forward to Christmas and my "present" {we don't usually get presents for each other, so to speak} was the announcement from Kirb that we were going to Texas. Together. For a long weekend. I was so excited!

I also have to say that Beth Moore has been so important in my life. I had heard of her a little off and on for a couple years, and then in the fall of 2005 I did my first Beth Moore Bible Study {Believing God}, thanks in part to Jennifer and Siri -- a couple of my friends that were planning to go and invited me along. I was hooked. For the first time I really, really enjoyed studying the Bible. She is such a gifted writer and speaker and teacher and it opened up something in me that had never before held a passionate place in my life. I am so blessed and thankful and grateful for the opportunity to have learned from her for the past nearly 5 years. If I could pick anyone in the world that I would love to meet and be able to spend some time with Beth Moore would be right up there {along with Sara Groves. They both have ministered to me so much in my life!}. I had heard Beth live when she was in Minneapolis in 2008 {on my birthday, no less!} thanks to my friends Laura and Nicole who hooked me up with some extra tickets they knew of. On a side note, I'll always remember that Beth Moore event because it was probably my first time of lengthy separation from my sweet, new little Anna Grace {7ish until noonish on a Saturday is pretty long if you are without your not-quite-4-month-old, nurses-every-few-hours baby . . . and also without a breast pump!}. It was a great time though and I learned a lot and enjoyed seeing her in person, albeit from not-too-close in a stadium that seats thousands and thousands and was pretty full.

Ok, so we leave home early on Thursday morning and fly to Chicago and then on to Houston. We land, pick up our rental and drive to the home of some people that Kirby has a connection to through work, who have graciously allowed up so stay in their {very, very nice} home. We have an entire "wing" to ourselves. Crazy stuff! I could go on and on, but I'll try to be quick. We get introduced, visit a while, get the tour and, since they have evening plans that they had committed to before knowing we were coming, we go our separate ways. Them to their dinner and us to "The Galleria" a HUGE {more retail space then Then Mall of America, I'd say} local mall to eat and shop and people watch and just enjoy each other and our time together.

This is the home we stayed at in Houston {and our rental car!}

We drive "home" and are in the door about 27 seconds {literally!} and my cell phone rings. It's a 218 number. Which means Kirb's family. It's nearly 10. This is NOT a good sign. His mom, who just recently has had some heart trouble, is in an ambulance on her way to the ER {which is over 20 miles away from where she lives}. That's a story for another time, but did -- obviously -- profoundly affect our weekend and our mood and put a damper on our fun weekend away. Kirb "slept" with his cell phone next to the bed and got another call a little before midnight that she was settled at the hospital and would be staying for, at least, the night. {She is home now, and on some new medications that will hopefully take care of her until it can all be investigated further}

Friday morning our very gracious hosts feed us a great breakfast {lasting over an hour with devotions and prayer time} and give us the whirlwind, see-it-all driving tour of the Houston area. I don't think there's anything they left out. We also headed to Galveston to see the Gulf and, while there, toured the Bishop's Palace, a huge, Victorian mansion on the island.

Bishop's Palace :: Galveston, Texas:

When we got home we freshened up a little and got ready to head to Houston's First Baptist Church, and the reason we'd come in the first place . . . Beth and the celebration.

Beth {and daughter, Melissa} on Friday night:

We get there and I'm a little nervous {actually, kind of a lot nervous}. I can't remember ever going to something like this all alone. All by myself. I didn't know a single soul in the entire room {well, except Beth, you know!} and was nervous: Who would I sit by? Would they think I was a complete dork when I cried through all the praise and worship time? Would anyone talk to me? So many questions and uneasiness, but it was all worth it in the end! I got a name tag, found a seat {way in the back . . . people got their early!} and waited nervously. Studied my verses, did I mention that you had to bring your "spiral", {the thing you had written your verses in all year long. Beth -- and most of the rest of us -- had written them in spiral bound index cards, which came to be known as "spirals"}, and be able to say at least 10 of them to a partner . . . a partner I didn't even know! So I sit there, anxiously awaiting the start of the evening. There is lots of energy in the room and I know that it's getting close to time for things to start. At some point, I glance over my shoulder {I'm sitting in an aisle seat near the back} and who is standing probably 2 feet from me? Yup, Beth! She goes down my aisle and up to the front. {We were in a large Sunday School room, rather than the main sanctuary. There were about 500 of us there and that room was a better fit!}.

Beth and her spiral:

"Siesta" is what Beth calls her blog readers. The story goes that one day she typed "sistas" in reference to her readers and the spell check changed it to "siestas" and, I guess, the name stuck. SMT is Scripture Memory Team:

There is a welcome, some worship and the first session of teaching {wonderful teaching} from Psalm 119. We wrap up and it's time to go home. Beth heads back down "my" aisle as she leaves. We make eye contact. I smile. She pats me on the shoulder. I can hardly stand it! How cool is that? There was mention of some treats and "meet and greet" time following, but I hadn't paid much attention to that. I didn't know anyone, so I planned to call Kirb and have him pick me up to go back. I was tired and we had to be up early the next morning to get back to the church. Since I was in the back of the room, and didn't have anyone to chat with, I got out pretty quick after it was done. I get to the lobby and Beth is just standing there eating a piece of cake and waiting to "meet" and "greet" so, nervously, I walked toward her. About 4 or 5 ladies get there ahead of me. I wait my turn and then, there she is. I give her a hug and she mispronounces my name {I am wearing a name tag, remember} and asks if that's right. I tell her no, and pronounce it correctly. She says it's a beautiful name and I tell her it's Hebrew and actually means "beautiful". She asks where I'm from and I say Minnesota. I'm too nervous to ask for a picture or to have her sign my book or anything, so I let the next lady have her great, fun, anxiety-provoking, flying-high 30-second meeting. Then I kick myself about being dorky and not trying to get a picture {everyone else is for crying out loud, and I was holding my camera the whole time. Wouldn't someone notice my dorky-ness and my need and offer to take a picture for me? I guess not.} Anyway, it was wonderful and fun and exciting and a little overwhelming too. I buy a book, call Kirb and walk out of the church.

Beth, eating cake, right before I got to meet {and hug} her on Friday night:

Saturday morning we get up early, are treated to another great breakfast {a 6 am breakfast, no less!} and more devotions with Ed & Renee and a time of prayer {including prayer for Kirb's mom} and leave to head back to the church. The traffic is much, much lighter on Saturday morning at 7ish than it was Friday night {surprise, surprise!!!} and we get there in plenty of time. Kirb came in with me to see the church. I find a seat {right in the front} and park myself in it until we start at 9. We got to the church about 7:15. Breakfast snacks were available for purchase and the resource table opened at 8. I wanted to get a better seat, so I wanted to be early . . . I probably didn't need to be quite that early, but it was just fine. I plopped down in my seat and did my Esther homework for the Beth Moore study that I am in right now {and REALLY enjoying!}. Some ladies came to join me in our row and one of them says to the other, "Hey, she's from Minnesota too" We introduce ourselves and after a little chatting find out that I went to college with her sister and we have many, many mutual friends. Small world. She came alone too and the 2 women she was with she had met since arriving. So, now I have a couple "friends" at least. We chat a little more and wait for things to get started.

The time has come. The screens in the front count down from 5 minutes. Beth {and Amanda and Melissa, her daughters} come up and do a few door prizes {I didn't win any!} and introduce the morning.

Amanda, Melissa & Beth giving away some door prizes:
No zoom on this one, she was right there in front of me.
She's just as adorable as you might imagine too -- inside and out:

We have some more wonderful worship time {I cry through pretty much the whole thing} and then Beth comes up for our final session of teaching from Psalm 119.

Quick overview of our lessons from Psalm 119:

Then from 10:30 to 11 is the dreaded time that I am also so excited about . . . sharing your verses with a partner. I am sitting next to my new friend Amy from Georgia. She admits she is nervous and doesn't think she'll be able to say her verses from memory {we're supposed to say at least 10 of our 24 from memory to our partner}. I admit that while I know mine too, I lack confidence in my ability to "wield" them in this particular situation. We are glad to be on the same page and get started saying/reading our verses to each other. We have a few the same {each person chose their own verses. We didn't all memorize the same ones} and enjoy our time together.

"Siestas" in pairs saying their verses to one another out in the courtyard.
How wonderful is that? Praise the Lord:

After our time of sharing verses, Beth comes up to close the session and instructs us to, again, find a partner, look into her eyes and share a blessing with her -- which we repeat after Beth. Yikes! This part freaks me out. I'm going to be a crying mess. What will I do? Amy {my scripture partner} turns to me and says "I'm never going to be able to do this without crying." "That's great" I tell her, "neither will I. We can cry together." And cry we do as we bless each other with some inspired words from God -- through Beth. We exchange a long hug and email addresses and have quickly become fast friends. What a blessing all around. We end with a few more wonderful worship numbers and head out. It was a great time. One I will never forget!

Here is the recap of the weekend on Beth Moore's blog with links to other posts from ladies who were there. I noticed myself in a picture on this blog. Can you find me? So, that fact leads me to another quirky thing about me: I think it all started when there was this snapshot of Kirb and me in 1993 or so. Young and in love! It was my favorite picture of us for a long time {now, I find it to be ridiculous. That hair. That dress. Those "babies" in the picture}. Anyway, it was just the two of us in the picture . . . well, and this lady in the corner in the background. I don't know her. It always bugged me that she was in that picture. I just wanted it to be us, but there she is. Each time I look at it she's there. I wonder about her. Then I wonder: how many people look at me in their pictures and am bugged that I'm in there. Do they wonder about me? Do they wish that I hadn't walked by right then? Probably they don't give it much though, but it did lead me to think about how many pictures I have been in in my lifetime that I don't know about. How many pictures of me are floating around out there? Since I didn't know I was going to be in a picture, am I doing something embarrassing like scratching my butt? Do I look cute in them? . . . It's just a funny thing that I've thought about quite a few times over the years. And for the first time I saw ME in someone else's picture. The lady wouldn't have had any idea who I was. She was taking a picture with her friends. I just happened to be in the background. Anyway, I told her it was me now she knows. Funny thing! Have you ever thought about that, or is it truly just me? Just wonderin'.

After leaving the church on Saturday afternoon {just after 12}, we pick up a bite to eat and take a little walk at a park {you can't beat upper 60's in January if you're from Minnesota. Even if it is overcast and not too sunny!}. Then we head to Pearland {just outside of Houston} to spend the afternoon, evening and night with my dear friend Melissa.

Chad, Aubrey, Lauren, Melissa & Isaac:
"Old Friends":
Chad and Melissa's home
{one of the few houses in Texas flying a Vikings flag} ::

I was thinking hard about it and I think that Melissa is my oldest friend {correct me if I'm wrong, Mom!}. We first met when I was a toddler and she was fresh from her mommas womb. Our moms were friends. We have an audio recording of me when I was about two "showing off" all my words. I was listing the people in my life and included "Baby Minnie" in an adorable 2-year-old voice. Well, that, my friends, was in reference to Melissa.

We had a great time with her, her wonderful husband, Chad, and their 3 precious kiddos. {I was really missing my kids by this point -- we both were -- so it was fun to be with their kiddos on Saturday}. We had a great time -- and a great dinner! -- with them in their home and then turned in for the night. {We must be getting old, all 4 of us were pretty much done in before 10}. We spent some more time with them in the morning and then took off for the airport when they headed to church.

Our flights home {to St. Louis first and then on to MSP} were just dandy and we were happy to be home and reunited with our family! I am so grateful for this time away {Kirb and I hadn't been away together -- for more than a night and further than an hours drive from home -- since we went to the Philippines more than 6 years ago. And that, although wonderful, wasn't quite a romantic trip away. We worked hard! We had a fabulous time and did have one great, relaxing, "vacation" night while we were there, but it wasn't meant to be a couples get-away type trip. We hadn't really done one of those, to any extent, since our honeymoon more than 13 years ago. I think we were about due, don't you?} This wonderful weekend, which I will remember forever! wouldn't have been possible without my fabulous husband arranging it and taking the initiative to plan it all, and my amazing parents who took great care of our kiddos while we were gone {lice scare and all -- don't worry it was just a scare. We are still lice-free, at this point, even though the buggers are back in LJ's classroom again!} I am so thankful!

Monday, January 25, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday posting, which all started here. Here's the next installment of my "One Thousand Gifts":

154. peeking in at sleeping kiddos. so adorable and peaceful
155. frost covered trees . . . so beautiful
156 frost covered everything!
157. some unexpected one-on-one time with my sweet Anna in the middle of the night. She's had a bit of a cold and I guess she just wasn't sleepy. She wanted to read and play. Usually I wouldn't be too patient with that, but I actually enjoyed the time with her and then we both went back to bed!
158. antibiotics
159. laughter
160. being able to laugh at myself
161. prayer
162. shared commiseration
163. air travel {it amazes me}
164. safety
165. hospitality
166. taking a walk . . . outside . . . in January {and not being cold}
167. generous people
168. effortless conversation
169. excitement in studying the Word
170. donuts
171. hugs
172. people to share excitement with
173. brand new friends
174. tears
175. coming home!

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for installment #8 and feel free to join in if you'd like. {It's good therapy!}

holy experience

Friday, January 22, 2010

flashback friday

can you feel the love?
september 2006


I hope no one has been holding their breath waiting to know which kiddo last weeks mystery baby was. If you guessed the extra-cute Stoll baby from last weeks "Flashback Friday" was Jacob, congrats! Very impressive, indeed. It would seem his eyes are a giveaway. Most of you were right on with that one . . . maybe I'll bring you back some Texas beach sand from our trip. Or maybe I'll just think warm beach-y thoughts for you.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for today {everyday, really -- but today especially!}:
  • a get-away with my favorite person
  • my parents taking great care of my very special little people
  • warmer weather!
  • seeing Beth Moore live
  • air travel
  • new luggage
  • visiting friends
  • cell phones {the kiddos are just on the other end of the phone}
  • a good book for the plane ride
  • a get-away with my favorite person
  • warmer weather
  • Beth Moore live and in person
  • my parents and their willingness to stand in for us for a few days -- what saints!

Monday, January 18, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday posting, which all started here. Here's the next installment of my "One Thousand Gifts":

124. melting snow
125. sleepovers
126. commitment
127. 25 years of ministry for our amazing youth pastor
128. being able to use my skills where they are needed
129. laughter
130. my husband
131. plane tickets!
132. kind people who give us rides in our time of carlessness
133. music
134. friends: old and new
135. doctors, hospitals and medications
136. playing outside
137. memories
138. my mom
139. pictures
140. humidifiers
141. my vacuum
142. cooperative kiddos
143. willing helpers
144. creativity
145. board games
146. family time
147. a noisy house
148. when it quiets down
149. a good book
150. a little one-on-one time with my favorite 8-year-old this week
151. thoughts of the warmer weather that I am headed to in a few days
152. phones
153. surprise parties

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for installment #7 and feel free to join in if you'd like. {It's good therapy!}

holy experience

Friday, January 15, 2010

flashback friday

one of my all-time favorite baby pictures of this sweet little pumpkin of mine:
those sweet baby lips.
that whispy baby hair.
those velvety soft ears.
those big, bright eyes.
that wrinkly forehead.
ahhh, i love little babies!

do you know which sweet babe of mine this is?
c'mon, take a guess!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

"I lift my eyes up to the hills --
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip --
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you --
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."

{Psalm 121}

I am thankful today, too, for other blogs and the encouragement that I get from them. This one is one of my favorites and one that is an encouragement to me so often. My favorties from there that I've read lately are this one and this one. Check them out if you want, especially if you are a mom . . . they are pretty touching, and well written and encouraging!

Monday, January 11, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday posting, which all started here. So, without further introduction, the next installment of my "One Thousand Gifts":

88. our weather warm up {above zero!}
89. a wonderful visit from a friend who lives on the other side of the world
90. thoughtful people
91. my 4-year-old's voice
92. the sound of laughter from my children
93. pictures
94. external hard drives
95. hope
96. grace
97. my husband!
98. the freedom to worship
99. an afternoon at home
100. hugs
101. accountability
102. Beth Moore
103. kettle corn
104. Costco
105. playdates {although I've always been bugged by the word "playdate", I love the idea . . . and especially the resulting peaceful feel when one of the kiddos has gone elsewhere for the afternoon!}
106. my mom
107. swimming lessons in winter
108. my church
109. education
110. the sound of a working furnace on a cold night
111. my kiddos all sitting on the couch: one of the big ones reading to all the rest
112. folding clothes warm from the dryer
113. a yummy meal
114. safe travels on nasty roads
115. encouragement
116. sleepovers at Ama & Bop Bop's house
117. good friends
118. God's concern for the details of my life
119. sunshine
120. lice shampoo
121. this practice of intentionally remembering to be grateful
122. the thrift store
123. an upcoming get-away

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for installment #6 and feel free to join in if you'd like. {It's good therapy!}

holy experience

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Heard 'round these parts ::

Anna is talking SO MUCH lately. She is exploding with language and putting multiple words together every day. It's so fun to watch {and hear!} her grow in this way. Here are a few of our favorite funny things that she says lately ::
  • "wii game" {we think she wants to play, like all the big kids . . . plus we often see her with a calculator or some such smallish thing, swinging it around like crazy. I'm sure she'll be playing with the best of 'em soon enough!}
  • "brownie"
  • "cookie"
  • "Haddie" {what she calls her cousin, Haddon}
  • "Baby" {what she calls herself}
  • "No, no mamma!"
Joe has, as you know, been talking for quite some time, but in the past week he has developed some new phrases. We don't know where they came from and we're not overly thrilled about them . . . although we do find them quite funny {but we try not to let him know we find them funny}. He mostly uses them when he's playing the wii, which he is exceptionally gifted at I might add. Anyway, from the mouth of the Joe-ster ::
  • "What the dutts?"
  • "What in the hairs?"
We really don't ever use any phrases beginning "What the . . . " or "What in the . . . ", so I'm a little confused as to where he picked them up. But I do find his interpretation to be quite comical.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Things are looking up

Although it's been a rough start to the year I've had quite a few unexpected blessings this week that have my attitude brightening up :: now if only I could muster whatever it takes to brighten up the weather and the temperatures around here!

Here are my surprise blessings and day brighteners this week ::

We got a call on Monday night, shortly after finding out our computer was not repairable . . . and almost immediately following Kirb having prayed about our computer situation {financially -- how we would afford it, deciding what to buy and where and all those related, time-consuming decisions and just laying it all before the Lord}. The call was an offer for a long-term loan of a laptop that our blessing-giver was not currently using and was willing to loan us for a few months. I don't know that we've ever had that tangible and immediate answer to prayer before. That's so like God to remind us like that that He is in control and is concerned with the details of our lives . . . not that I expect, in any way, to get immediate, miraculous answers to all my prayers or expect God to just "hand me" everything I need, want or ask for, but this answer was such a affirmation for us during a time when we were feeling overwhelmed with one bad thing after another in our lives :: God is there and He cares about what concerns us. {Cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you. I Peter 5.7}

Jacob is working on the crew for the "morning news" at his school during January. The new airs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:35 in each classroom. They rotate jobs, but he'll get to be one of 2 anchors a couple of those days {his TV debut}. Anyhow, on news mornings Jacob has to be to school eary. On Tuesdays he carpools with a buddy, but that buddy has to be at school even earlier, for another group that he's part of on Thursdays, so it doesn't work for them to pick him up on Thursdays. I don't have to tell most {if any} of you that it's been chilly, really chilly, here this week. I was not excited about bundling up the whole sleepy crew and packing them in the van to buzz Jake to school, so I decided I'd just leave Rebekah in charge of the other 3 for the 6-minute round trip to school and save them from the freezing cold van . . . but that still meant that I would have to actually get dressed and bundle up myself. Plus, it snowed on Wednesday night, so I'd need to do a little shoveling too. About 2 minutes {literally} before I was going to leave to bring Jacob to school, the mom of Jacob's friend, who he rides with on Tuesdays, calls and says :: "Hey Shana, this is Leah. I had planned to go in earlier to work this morning but I'm just now putting on my shoes and I thought if you wanted me to I'd swing by and pick up Jacob and drive him to school on my way." What a saint! She wasn't even dropping off her little man that morning, but she thought of me. She could have just gone to work without the extra detour, but she didn't. I was blown away by her thoughtfulness and took her up on her offer with much gratitude. What a blessing!

We are very near to a decision about a "new" car for our family. When something's parked in the garage I'll let you know. We're not there yet, but we feel at peace and are confident that we will have a replacement car pretty soon. Praise God! And it is only in the works because of a few other people who are helping to bless, encourage and help us.

My doorbell rang this afternoon and I went to get it and it was another of my wonderful, blessing-giving friends. She clucked a little at me . . . which I had never before received in greeting . . . and handed me 2 family-sized packs of chicken and turned around and headed back to her vehicle parked in my driveway. So random. So typical of this extra-fun, off-the-wall friend! When I talked to her later she said that chicken was on sale when she was at the store. She knew we'd had a rough week and she thought she's bless us with a little chicken. She knew it didn't solve any of our problems, but she hoped it would make us a yummy meal. Isn't that so thoughtful?

Kirb and I went to Costco tonight {kidless, thanks to a blessing from my mom}. I was bummed because I really needed to go {we were nearly foodless in our house :: not a drop of milk to be had, no peanut butter, etc.} but I hadn't yet gotten my Costco coupons for January. It's always better to go with coupons! But I needed to go and there was an oopportunity to go as a "date" with Kirb which made it even better, so we went. Well, wouldn't you know it :: I grabbed the closest cart from the cart lineup and low and behold, there was someone else's coupon book for January sitting right there in the cart. What a blessing! There was only 1 coupon for something we were buying anyway, so it wasn't the best coupon month ever, but it did save us $2. I'll take that!

To be surrounded by such thoughtful, generous, Spirit-led people is a blessing in our lives! More than I can hope to say with words! I hope and pray that you have wonderful people in your lives too, who are a blessing to you. Why not try and be a blessing in someone's life today. You may never know the impact your actions may have in their life, but do it anyway. I hope and pray that I am a blessing to those peole that I intesect with in life . . . even the little things can matter in big ways! To borrow a well-known phrase from Nike :: Just do it.

Now I'd better get some sleep, 4 of our 5 kids have dental appointments tomorrow afternoon . . . that might not make my list of blessings for the week. I'm not looking forward to it! But after tomorrow it will be behind us for another 6 months {hopefully . . . unless there are cavities involved . . . which there often are, unfortunately!}

Flashback Friday

December 2004

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for perspective. We've had a rough start to 2010::
  • Lice came to our house for the first time in history {amazing since we have 5 kids and quite a few kids in LJ's class have had lice this year} -- don't worry, it all seems to be under control now. Gone actually, and, miraculously, was contained to only one non-curly haired head! {thank the Lord!}
  • Our 15-year old "saw-us-through-lots-of-major-life-events" beloved {paid for!} car was towed away never to return -- so we're a one-vehicle family for the time being.
  • Our computer died. Really, really dead. Also, never to return! {Thankfully we have external backup which, we trust, saved most of our "stuff".}
  • Our van needed a $300 fix. Not expected. Not welcome. Not happy!
Last night, Kirbs called one of his best friends to wish him a Happy 37th Birthday. He was on his way down to Mayo to have an MRI to check on the status of his brain cancer. He has a wife and 3 precious little boys. A friend of mine has a 2-year-old little guy with leukemia. We know a few people who've been laid off recently and have no job. We know a family whose house burned down the week before Christmas.

Our "stuff" isn't that bad. It is quite a bummer . . . each of them individually would be a bummer, but when they are all piled into a less-than-one-week time period it can get you down and seem like a pretty big bummer, but really, in the greater scheme of things, it's not a big deal. We'll be ok. We're not in any real danger. Even amidst trials, blessings still abound!

P.S. In case you are wondering how I am blogging without a computer. I have some limited computer time with Kirb's NWC laptop in the evenings . . . after the kids go to sleep and before I fall asleep exhausted. Which isn't too long, let me tell you!

Monday, January 4, 2010

multitude monday::

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday posting, which all started here. So, without further introduction, the next installment of my "One Thousand Gifts":

62. a warm house
63. warm socks
64. my coat {can you tell it's REALLY cold here?}
65. sewing lessons from my grandma
66. a successful first attempt at a project {involving sewing . . . I'm NOT a sewer! but I hope to be soon, after some practice}
67. game night with the girls!
68. laughter
69. getting to hold a sweet little baby at church
70. soup
71. all the jobs Kirb did around the house this weekend {fixing 2 toilets, putting away Christmas, scrubbing all the floors, closet organization, general cleaning, fixing the leaky sink and putting away the laundry}, he's my hero!
72. reminiscing about 2009 as a family and writing down our hopes for the coming year
73. my new boots
74. still getting a trickle of Christmas greetings in the mail most days
75. my orange blanket
76. advil
77. pictures
78. my 3 girls all in legwarmers
79. quiet
80. our new wii
81. naps
82. the library
83. getting back into the routine
84. a resolved health insurance issue
85. peace amidst the trials of having both a dead car {Kirbs'} that we won't be fixing this time {it's been a great 15 years that we've had that car . . . lots of memories and life events took place with it; driving off together as man and wife, pulling into our very own garage at our first home, bringing home our first baby from the hospital, and our second, and our third!}, and a dead computer {mine -- that hopefully is fixable!} in the same week
86. a vikings win that makes my boy happy
87. innumerable blessings from the Lord!

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for installment #5 and feel free to join in if you'd like. {It's good therapy!}

holy experience

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm quirky

I admit it :: I'm weird. A little {or maybe more} quirky. But, that's just me. Take it or leave it. Here are a few quirky things that I've noticed about myself lately . . . or known for quite a while, actually.

I love it when something is used up. Maybe it comes from having lots of people living here and lots of stuff and the fact that clutter drives me a little crazy. But the moment I squeeze that last little bit of shampoo out of the bottle and know that now I can take the empty bottle out to the recycling and put a fresh, new bottle in the shower, I feel a little giddy. A new box of cereal. A new package of diapers. A new bar of soap. A new bag of flour. A new box of Qtips. It makes me happy each time. Since we don't have unlimited finances {far from it!}, you would think I would be bummed when things were used up, since that would mean that more money needed to be spent to replace whatever we'd used. As it turns out, that's not at all the case. I wouldn't complain if the flour and oil {figuratively speaking} never ran out like in the story of the widow that shared her last little bit of food with Elijah in I Kings, chapter 17, and was then blessed with a miracle of her jars of flour and oil to never quite run out -- but since that hasn't happened for us lately {although the Lord has provided for us all that we need, just not in that way!} I'll continue to enjoy the happiness I get from using up and replenishing. It is the way of life, right?

Also, I can never keep "viral" and "bacterial" straight. Which one is it that you can do nothing about and which one will get you drugs? I can never keep them quite straight in my mind and have to think hard each and every time to remember which is which . . . and I feel like I should have it down pat by now with how many times I must have brought a kiddo {or myself} into the doctor and been told the news that it's just viral and will have to run it's course, there's nothing we can do for you . . . for her . . . for him! And yet I still have to strain my brain to remember which is which.

Which leads me to quirky thing #3: I can never remember the difference between course and coarse. Just another thing that, as many times as I use it, I can't keep it straight in my head. To write "will have to run it's course" in the above paragraph I need a little assistance from WikiAnswer to make sure I was using the correct word {or, should I say, the write word . . . just kidding! Right and write I have absolutely no trouble with. Nor do I get mixed up by too, to or two. You're or your. Our, hour or are. None of those give me even a seconds pause, but course and coarse I never am confident about.}

I also am never confident about people's names if I haven't seen them for a while . . . or sometimes even if I have. I really mean NEVER. Maybe it's just a poor self-esteem thing, who knows. It's especially bad if I bump into someone out of context or unexpectedly. I think to myself :: I am 99.9% sure that that is Jen. But maybe that's not right. Is it college I know her from or ECFE? Maybe high school? Shoot! Should I call her Jen or should I just wait and see if she says her name. Should I introduce myself? Maybe she doesn't remember my name for sure either. Maybe that would help if I just told her my name. Maybe then she would remind me of hers. :: My gut instinct is almost always right with the name {I can't remember actually having it ever be wrong. Don't misunderstand, sometimes I just don't remember a person's name at all, but when I think I do but lack confidence, I can't remember ever being wrong. But then again, I often can't remember -- or keep straight, at least -- the names of my own children. And I got to pick what they were called in the first place. So, maybe you shouldn't take much stock in my memory at all!} Anyhow, if I ever act awkward upon bumping into you, just give me a minute and maybe mention your name so I can fell better. Ok?

Also, I rub my eyes all the time. I don't know why. They don't itch. I just do it. I can't stop. This is part of the reason I don't wear eye makeup. I would just make a mess of it with that first rub. And also there's the fact that I don't have the first clue how to put it on so it looks good anyway. Nor do I have the first clue what colors to wear {the bright blue eyeshadow and electric blue mascara I dabbled with in junior high were unfortunate proofs of my inabilities and lack of discernment!}

I'll stop for now. But, never fear, I've got many more quirks. Maybe I'll make this a regular thing and part II will be forthcoming. We'll see.

This boy takes after his quirky momma with a quite a few quirks of his own. First off he always diverts his eyes away from the camera and has a goofy smile. What's with that? Also, there's that silly voice of his {which I love!}. I could go on, but this isn't really about Joe now, is it?

How about you? What trips you up on a regular basis? What are some of your quirks . . . I know you've got some, don't try to deny it. I might even be able to help give you a hint as to what they are if I know you well enough.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Flashback Friday

ringing in 2009 with great friends
one year ago today::