Tuesday, June 30

doing the mundane

At the beginning of the month, I cleaned out the refrigerator. Not a cursory cleaning, but the first good take-out-the-shelves-and-scrub-with-a-toothbrush cleaning that fridge has had since we got it - or maybe the second. The deep freezer was recently reorganized, too. I won't tell you what we found.

I clean the fridge out regularly, mostly on Tuesdays since trash day is Wednesday. I can be found too often taking the produce that was too ripe to begin with and rotted before we could use it all or the leftover gravy that somehow made it to the back of the fridge without our notice and now is unrecognizable as gravy.

I'm not the only one who does this, I know that for a fact. Food goes bad, if you're forgetful. And I am. I usually wipe down the shelves often enough, or when there is a spill, or both.

Today I found watermelon slices back in our fridge, soaking in their own rotten marinade. The watermelon wasn't that great to begin with, so I wasn't all that motivated to eat it, and then life happened, and the fridge started to stink. Way in the back by the cold packs, there it sat. And it went into a trash bag with a hole in it, so now I have a mess in my trash can. No, I haven't cleaned it up yet. My nose needed a break from the rotten watermelon juice, and so, I ask this of you, blog readers:

How often do you deep clean your fridge? How do you combat food waste?

Now off to the smelly task that awaits. Praise Jesus that it's nice and cool today - and that trash day is tomorrow!!

Monday, June 29

Works of God Monday

There have been so many blessings this week, and I'm feeling a bit more concise than usual. So I've decided that I'm going to make a list! (In no particular order)

1. I'm thankful that we are close to some of our family! We have had more opportunities to stop by mom & dad's house this summer and they've been over here and I am loving seeing them more often.

2. Mom & dad gave us a kiddie pool upgrade. We now have a 60" blue plastic pool with a sea-themed motif on the bottom. WOO HOO and Aaron is thrilled that the whole family (barely) fits. He asks us to get in and sit down with him (BRRR) And then he asks very sweetly for us to get out so that he can swim. Hilarious.

3. The teens made it safely back from camp at the Wilds, despite three bus breakdowns. They even had to take another bus to pick everybody up when the transmission died in Tennesee.

4. I'm thankful for more trim around doors in our house. Every little bit helps get our house closer to the finish line!

5. Garage sales. I found the 10 cent sales this weekend, folks. For some reason, this weekend's sales hosts were pricing everything super low! I found a handful of children's books, some flash cards (homeschooling here we come!) and a pair of jeans - yes they fit perfectly - for TEN CENTS. I don't think I need to tell you that this is a miracle. I can shop for 6 hours and not find a pair of jeans that fits right, and they are certainly not ten cents.

6. I think this was 2 weeks ago, but I completed a sewing project for a friend, and she paid me the exact same amount it cost for our computer to be unexpectedly fixed. June is always tight, so it was great that I was able to exchange services in this roundabout way.

7. Sunday night we had a special speaker, Kevin Bauder from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. He gave a great message from Psalm 2, which was basically this:

- People will rebel
- God is in charge
- He has a plan we can't begin to understand
- Trust Him, Serve Him.

So I've had a very encouraging week and weekend! I praise the Lord for His blessings! Care to praise Him with me?

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

Friday, June 26

funny how that happens

Friday comes every week without fail, but I never fail to be excited about it. FAMILY TIME is COMING! is the first thought in my mind (once I come out of the fog that is the first 20 minutes of my morning). I love hanging out with my husband, and therefore I love weekends.

It's been hot this week, hotter than usual and it is especially noticeable since late May and early June were so mild and gorgeous and, in my opinion, perfect. This morning it is already 68* with 78% humidity. So our kiddie pool is getting a regular workout.

We don't have any big plans this weekend, other than continuing with household projects. I think maybe some trim? Who knows. I've got a mountain of clean socks to sort and I need to round up some hangers for the hang up clothes. I am hoping to run some errands, but it's also day 2 of a nasty headache, and by the time Evan gets up it's going to be even hotter out there, and our van has no a/c anymore, so my errand running might not happen.

I've got a few baby green tomatoes, and I'm thrilled. The baby grape tomatoes are the cutest. How the garden loves the humidity. It almost makes it worth sitting through. Almost. *grins*

Anybody know of a place where it's green and mountainous, sunny and beachy, where gardens grow tons of produce and the summers peak at 85* with little or no humidity? That would be my perfect vacation spot.

Well this ended up being quite random. And here I am wondering...

1. how do YOU beat the heat?
2. which do you think is worse - high temps or high humidity?
3. where would you go on a weekend getaway vacation?
4. what are you really doing this weekend?

Ironically, after I posted, it turned out to be a gorgeous, almost perfect day! The humidity ended up lowering drastically and it's now 81*, sunny and breezy!

Thursday, June 25


That's me, biting my tongue.* Maybe I will be back later today, and maybe not.

and that is all.

Oh, wait. Here are some videos of my hilarious toddler in our "pool" which has a maximum capacity of 1. We exceed that all the time.

This is what happens when you try to actually record those moments and your child is in love with digital photography technology. You don't capture much. Excuse the pile of weeds.

This is what happens when your "great swimmer" is an active toddler.

*on many topics, this morning on the topic of *unnecessary* medical interventions in normal, uncomplicated, pregnancy

Wednesday, June 24

a new adventure

After several months of prayer, we've decided that I'm going to venture into the world of selling Pampered Chef products. I've always loved the products, but when this opportunity presented itself I didn't know what to think. On the one hand, I knew I'd enjoy it, but on the other hand, I didn't want to spend a bunch of evenings away from the family.

For several years, I was doing a calling job from home, but when Evan was born, my hours of free time seemed to greatly diminish. Actually, those free hours would have diminished with Aaron's getting older, too, so it's not entirely Evan's fault. Anyway, it was good timing - it seemed like the available calling hours were diminishing as well. So I haven't been working on a regular basis since last August. At least, not for money. I've definitely not been sitting around and staring blankly at the wall.

I started an Etsy shop, but I think volume sales with Etsy requires something that I must be missing. I have made some sales, and that is great, but most of them are to people I know. I lack the time to figure out what I'm not doing to increase sales, etc. And it's really just a hobby anyway. I don't want to spend entire days hunched over a sewing machine.

So I'm signing up to sell Pampered Chef, in five days. I'm excited and nervous and excited and nervous! In the next two weeks I will be setting up for my Grand Opening and then we'll be off and running. In the month of July, I need to have a minimum of four shows, so let me know if you want to host a catalogue show or a cooking show. July is actually a fantastic month to host a show - there are bunches of bonus hostess benefits and a gigantic discount on the Ultimate Mandoline.

Once I'm fully booked for July I will be cutting back on the cooking shows and focusing on catalogue and online sales for awhile to see how that works for our family. I'm thankful that I can make a more concerted effort to bring in some income. It will be nice to have a faster way to build up our savings. I'm really excited about that.

And I promise that this blog will NOT become a big ol' Pampered Chef advertisement. I might be able to do some better giveaways. HA! If you would like to get periodic updates, or information about specials, please let me know via email. I would love to add you to my mailing list!

And please pray for me and for the whole family as we start off on a new adventure!

Tuesday, June 23

"quality" workmanship

A few weeks ago, I was driving down one of the main roads in our town when I noticed something strange. The Toyota in front of me was missing a good portion of it's plastic looking bumper. Can you guess what was behind it? Between the metal frame and the plastic bumper was a molded piece of styrofoam.

Oh, right, that's what we pay over 10,000 to buy new. Plastic and styrofoam. I guess it might contribute to higher gas mileage due to a lighter vehicle?

Monday, June 22

Works of God Monday

Yikes, only one post since last Monday! GOD is at WORK and we've been busy watching Him! This past weekend we had a garage sale. I was praying that we'd clear $200 and sell some specific items, and we did! Praise the LORD for giving us great weather. Thursday, I'd checked the weather report and it predicted rain and thunderstorms, 100%. It was fun to watch the forecast change to cloudy-no rain until noon, and then until 2, and then until 6, etc. The same thing happened on Saturday. It rained until about 8, and then the weather cleared and was clear until 9pm! I know God's hand is over all the weather, and I am especially grateful for His working in the weather this weekend in a way that kept us guessing!

Saturday night, God provided a free pizza party for us via Dominos and this site. We had a delicious taste testing gathering, complete with 6 free pizzas. YUM!

I can't share many details, but we've been thrilled to watch God at work in hearts here at our church. One family in particular has been a real blessing to us as they continue to face trials and remain strong in their faith. We are so priviledged to watch and be a part of God's work.

I'm also thankful for God's Word! Michael has been going through basic Bible doctrines in Sunday School, and this week, taught the junior highers about the Atonement. Helping to type up his outline was a huge encouragement to me - Christ took the punishment for our sins, bore God the Father's full wrath in our place, and I am so grateful. Here is a portion of the book we're using that made me cry:

As Jesus bore the guilt of our sins, God unleashed all wrath and punishment for all sins upon his own Son. Jesus became the object of the intense hatred of sin and vengeance against sin that God had patiently stored up since the beginning of the world. Christ necessarily and willingly bore the full punishment for our sin on the cross. And so through his death, God's justice was met.

What a Savior! What a sacrifice! I am overwhelmed with His Love.

So, what has God been teaching you? How has He provided for you this week? How have you seen Him working in others? I'd love to hear, and so would the others who read!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

Thursday, June 18

yeah, it's Thursday

I've been busy, a little sick, and a little out of it. I've been playing laundry, errand, and housework catchup for the week, while trying to get ready for a garage sale. And now it looks like thunderstorms will thwart my plans. AHHHH, rats. We were hoping.

God is good, He knows what we need to do and when we need to do it. He guides, protects, provides.

If you then,who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matt 7:11)

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Monday, June 15

Works of God Monday

What a busy busy month this is turning out to be! We are having a great time, though, and are humbled that God continuously chooses to bless us.

We are blessed to have been visited by Malcham, Michael's brother. He and Michael worked really hard to accomplish a pretty big project in our backyard. The photos are here. Be forewarned, there are some adorable photos of my kiddos in that album too. *grin* A big thanks to Malcham - it would have been quite difficult for Michael to get that done on his own.

Our good friend Kris' visit was too short, but it was so great to see him again. We are renewed in our prayer effort for their ministry in California.

Then, part of the Janke family came for a visit and a Pampered Chef party. It was fantastic to see them again and catch up. God is so gracious to allow us to have friends that honor Him and to also let us watch His work in our friends lives!

God also provided a lawn mower for us, a brand new one. What a blessing! We are so grateful, and we'll be selling the old, in-need-of-a-carbureator mower at our garage sale, which we are hoping will be this coming weekend. It's high time to clean out the garage and make some extra cash with our junk!

This week is VBS at our church. I was hoping to help, but I've lost my voice. I will be praying from home and perhaps helping later in the week if my voice comes back.

I'm also thankful to God for His guidance in our lives. Michael and I are working toward some new goals together, and I'm grateful for a godly spouse who encourages me and wants us to grow. I'm praising the Lord for my fabulous husband!!

So, how has God been at work in your life? How has He reminded you of His character this week, or provided for your needs? Leave a comment or link your blog in the comment section so that I and others can rejoice with you!

Tuesday, June 9

my "blue ribbon" day

This morning I won the imaginary prize for horrid mom of the day. I locked the kids in the running minivan.

We were heading to the store. Actually, two stores. Which is a big deal for this mom of two busy boys. I had coupons and deal scenarios all written down and categorized and envelope-ized. Boy was I feeling organized.

Step 1 is always to get the kids in the van. I usually settle Aaron first, and let him help with the unlocking. So that's what we did, and he climbed up into his car seat and got all strapped in, then I went back for Evan, who was in his car seat and ready to go. Snapped him in just fine, then got in myself and turned on the van, preparing to back down the driveway and go on my merry way.

Then I thought, "I'd better check to make sure that I grabbed the reusable bags," and stepped out to check. The van door shut behind me and I heard the click of doom. The kids and my keys were locked in.

Our back hatch doesn't always latch completely, and you had better believe I was hoping today it would be loose. No soup. I called Michael, and he was working 1 1/2 hours away. So I asked him if he knew of any spare van keys. No soup. I jiggled the back hatch some more. Still no soup. I tried getting Aaron to wriggle out of his 5-point harness. Definitely no soup. Which is, honestly, fantastic.

So I did what my rising panic told me to do - called 911. Isn't that just how it is? I'm all in a tizzy and the kids are hanging out having a great time. Ha! A fire truck and a tow truck arrived, with 3 uniformed fireman and a cheerful tow truck dude. Humiliated and feeling very much like a neglectful mother, I listened to the firemen tell me how important it is to have house numbers in case of emergency, and that I should never leave my children in a running vehicle - especially an old model Dodge Grand Caravan - because the toddler could shift the car into gear easily and it could end in tragedy. (I wasn't particularly worried about this as my toddler couldn't get out of his car seat)

"Yes, sir," I said, nodding and vowing to get house numbers...just as soon as I find some that I like, that is. And I was thinking, wouldn't they be able to find my house if it was on fire? Would they really check for house numbers? I guess it would be good in a non-fire emergency to have a house number.

So while I'm still slightly embarrassed, I am thankful that I did not lock my cell phone in the van - our land line is not working yet - still! And going next door to use the phone and admit I'd locked my keys and kids in the van would have been even worse.

But I'm laughing now.

Monday, June 8

Works of God Monday

God is at work, He is leading and providing! This past week has been pretty exciting and encouraging. First, Michael's brother Malcham is here visiting and was able to be here for Michael's birthday! We have already been dragging him around with us and just generally having a great time. He's had us laughing like crazy on a pretty regular basis.

Saturday, one of our fellow youth staff members (and a friend of our family from birth) was ordained, and today he and his wife are moving to Tennessee to take a position as an assistant pastor in a church there. It is very exciting to see how God has been leading them and has shown them the place He has for them! Pastor Dan encouraged us all on Sunday night to pray for those who go out from our church to minister. It's very easy to forget them when we aren't seeing them each week. So I'm going to really begin making a list and sticking to it when it comes to my prayer time. That is something I've really gotten out of the habit of doing!

Sunday morning, our pastor preached from 2 Peter 3 about living with a sense of urgency. I was thankful to be prompted by the Holy Spirit to continue on in what God has called me to, and to pray about some future ideas for ministry. I am so thankful that God convicts and prompts.

Sunday afternoon, a friend of ours fixed the brakes on our van, at no charge. We bought the parts, he took the van home from church and brought it back with new back brake pads and new brake cylinders. What a blessing to be a part of the body of Christ, where we can exchange services in our areas of talent and abilities!!!

So, how has God been working, convicting, providing for you this week? Please leave a link to your post in the comment section below!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

Friday, June 5


Today, Aaron is VVVVVVVVVVERY excited. Uncle Malcham (Michael's brother) is coming from Colorado for a week. We are VERY excited, too. And it will be a very busy weekend - with open houses, a baby shower, ordination service, and more (yes, MORE!). Uncle Kris (our good friend) is coming from California just for the weekend.

It's going to be a fun weekend, and a great week! And you might not see much of me. I'll be here for Works of God Monday for sure!

Wednesday, June 3

new creations

Today I clinging to God's grace. It sure feels like a "bad mommy" day - at least where my toddler is concerned! God is helping me to pray for my children, that God will convict of sin, that He will make them new creations. There is nothing that I can do to change their hearts. I pray that I will explain God's word in a way that helps them to understand the greatness of God, His grace, His mercy.

And God is gracious to me, too. I have a smiley boy to counterbalance the grumpy one today.

I saw my children be born (well, one of them, anyway) and I want nothing more than to see them reborn. I'm feeling an urgency to share God's Word with them, which I praise God for.

In unrelated news - I've just listed a tote bag and a laundry sack in the shop!

Tuesday, June 2

grad gifts

So I made some giant sized laundry bags with some of the grads - mostly the ones I knew were leaving home for college - and some reusable shopping bags for some of the others. Everyone can use a shopping bag, right? The laundry bags went with a card came - Uno or Phase 10 - and the shopping bags went with a small gift card to WalMart.

UNfortunately I was in such a rush to finish the laundry bags that I didn't get any photos. Here are three of the shopping bags. I love how they turned out, and I think I'll be making more to sell in my etsy shop. The green fabric is some of my absolute favorite, and is lined with khaki. The brown circle print was lined in dark denim and the blue snowflake paisley is lined in a blue broadcloth. I liked the feel of the denim lined bag best - hopefully the students liked them and the bags will be nice and durable for years to come.

Both the laundry bags and the shopping bags were personalized with the name of the graduate inside.

Monday, June 1

Works of God Monday

Praise God for His faithfulness! We've had an interesting week - Michael was sick for a day, our weekend didn't seem all that profitable, I'm now feeling a tad under the weather, but I'm so blessed to be God's child and to watch Him at work.

We have watched one particular family at church take HUGE spiritual steps and it is truly awe-some to see God's work in their lives and to watch the Holy Spirit produce fruit in these young believers. It is incredible to watch them face adversity with grace. God is at WORK in them, and I love watching it. He is so good to us to allow us to be a part of His work.

We have been looking for a loveseat for awhile now but as you might imagine, our budget does not allow for any new furniture purchases, not that I think new is best, mind you. But this week we were able to find a little brown twin sleeper loveseat on Craigslist. It needs a good cleaning, because it smells a lot like musty basement. It is always nice to have extra seating.

And here is the biggest praise of all - Evan has reverted to his once per night waking schedule! At least, he has for now. I am SO thankful! I think I'm finally getting the restorative sleep I need.

This is going to be a busy week for us - and Michael's brother is coming in on Friday for a week long visit! It will be two years at Christmas since we've been to Colorado to see Michael's family, so we are excited to see Malcham, and are planning some fun activities and trying to finish our total home declutter project.

Our friend Kris will be here this weekend, too. He's coming in for an ordination. It's been nearly eleven months since he and his family moved to California, and it will be great to see him. Wish the family could come, but that is not possible this time!

Mister Linky still isn't working, but I'd love to hear how God is working in YOUR life! Please leave a comment, or link to your blog in the comment section!