Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Birthday Girl

Saturday was Jewel's sixth birthday. I'm still not sure how she got to be six so quickly, but she did. She was so excited about having a party, which we kept denying. Finally, she told us she knew there was a party because "B" had told her she was invited. I told her that "B" might be invited to a party, but she didn't have an invitation so she couldn't come! But the day arrived.

First we started the day with pancakes, eggs and bacon. (sorry no pics)

Then, we sent the girls to the toy room to play as this was erected in the back garden.

It is a bouncy castle, obstacle course and slide. Jewel and Flower had a blast on it all morning.
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Then at 1:00 ten of her friends (plus 17 mommies, daddies and other adult friends) arrived for the party. They played and played on the bouncy unit. We ate pizza and other snacks. The theme was "Princess Jewel" and all the girls received tiaras (the lone boy received a pirate hat). Jewel's big present was a Disney Princess bike from Daddy and Mommy and a Princess bike helmet from Grandad and Dixie. (pictures to follow when they are downloaded)
This is this year's cakes:

The night before the party the weather predicted rain arriving at 1:00 and lasting all night. The morning of the party it said arriving at 4:30. The party was scheduled for 1-5! The rain started at five minutes before five and lasted all evening. But, everyone was wrapping up and heading home at that time. We were able to cover the unit with the tarp until the castle man arrived at 6 to retrieve it. Just as we loaded it into his van, the heavens opened. God was so good to give us a party window! A great time was had by all!

Ladybird, Ladybird

Last week was Holiday Bible Club at church (VBS for those in US). The theme was "Wastewatchers" and had recycling and transformation at its heart. One of the center pieces of action was a garden and a ladybird bin.

So, in honor of Jewel's birthday, I made 84 ladybird cupcakes for the kids and workers.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Other Words--Order My Steps...all the way to Romania


Order my steps, in Your word
Order my tongue, in Your word
Guide my feet, in Your word
Wash my heart, in Your word
Show me how to walk, in Your word
Show me how to talk, in Your word.

I want to walk worthy, my calling to fulfill
Please order my steps, Lord, and I’ll do Your blessed will
The world is ever changing, but You are still the same
If You order my steps, I’ll praise Your name.

~A hymn by Glen Burleigh~

Such an appropriate quote for me this week. On Friday, German, the girls and I will leave for a two week mission with a church and children's home in Romania. I cannot wait to go! We were there four years ago (just before Flower was born) and viewed the land the children's home is being built upon. We dreamed the dream with the pastor and charity founder. And now, we go back to see the building taking form!

But, in the preparation for the trip, I must stay focused on the purpose. I need not get stressed about getting the details right. I must let God order the details in His will.

And, when we get there, I must depend on Him to guide us. I am well and truly out of my element in a country where I know virtually none of the language, and where the task is "be with the people and encourage them." That is fairly vague to this type A introvert! Yet, I know from past experience, that He will order the steps of the trip. Before, I was able to let my two year old disappear with complete strangers, playing in the homes and blessing the people. I was able to sit at tables so lavishly laid out by those with so little, and in absolute humbleness marvel at their hospitality. I was able to make "conversation" with a few words and lots of hand gestures. I was able to hold back my tears in the gypsy camp until we left. I know that He had appointed those times four years ago. I know that He will appoint them over the next two weeks. I pray that I am able to hear the call and follow worthily.

A few images from our last trip!
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Give me understanding,
and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.

Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Psalm 119:34-36

Lord, Prepare the paths for us to walk. Prepare our hearts for what we will see. Order our steps as we seek to honor You by going. Amen.

Lori at All You Have to Give is the hostess for In Other Words this week. Come and be blessed!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In Other Words--Failure is an Individual Choice


“Problems can slow us down temporarily
but they don’t have the ability to stop us.
Only we have that power.”

~Wayne Cordeiro~

It was the most dreaded assignment I could receive in university---the group presentation worth the majority of the final grade. I hated them. Really, most everyone I knew hated them. Then one brave soul asked the question on everyone's mind, "Are we going to fail if someone in our group doesn't do their share of the work?" We all waited for the verdict. The professor answered, "Failure is an individual choice." He went on to explain that he, as a teacher, knew the ones who were hoping to ride on someone else's coattails, and would judge accordingly. He admitted that "a dead weight makes it more difficult" to succeed, but in that situation a student had to choices: either choose to fail due to the lack of cooperation or choose to work harder, do more and still succeed. Then he added the kicker, after again reminding us that he knew the ones most likely to not pull their weight, he said their co-presenters would be judged by whether or not they used that as "an excuse for mediocrity or an opportunity to show off."

I was blessed with a group that worked hard and worked well together. That much I remember. I don't remember the presentation at all. But I remember the real lesson, "failure is an individual choice." We all like excuses. We all would prefer to blame our mediocrity on circumstances. But when faced with the road blocks, the temptations or the troubles of pursuing a dream we choose whether to give up and use the excuse or we choose to persevere and gain success. I'd like to think I more often choose to continue to pursue the dream.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

Today's hostess is Karen at In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus. Come and be blessed.

Who Is Out There?

Several of my cross stitch buddies have this on their blogs, so I decided to play along!

So who reads my blog??

1. As a comment on this post, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you know me a little or a lot, anything you remember! And if we've never met in real life, leave me a comment of your favorite post I wrote and why it was your favorite.

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually really funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Menu Planning

Monday: Coca Cola chicken, green salads, carrots
Tuesday: Grilled cheeseburgers, green salad, vegetable tbd
Wednesday: Tuna Casserole and salads (left for family as I leave for a Pampered Chef party ;-))
Thursday: Pork in Marscapone Sauce, corn on the cob, green salads
Friday: Grilled Chicken with Tzaiziki, Greek Salads, Green Beans
Saturday: Pizza Party for Jewel's birthday
Sunday: tbd based on weather

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Quick Note

No time to post right now, but there is a long-winded update on our school year at

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(click on the picture to redirect)

Perhaps back later this weekend, definitely will be back by Monday.

Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

August Goals and July Review


August is already here?! Time to review goals.

Last month's goals:
*Complete year K education with Jewel We will finish on Thursday--took a couple extra days to go a business trips with German
*Order year 1 curriculum for Jewel and any add-ons to PreK I need for Flower--done, except for math
*Choose a math curriculum! --chosen (I think) but not ordered
*Clear out one closet and donate unused clothes to charity --no
*Strip paint off of old cabinet and prep to stain --75% of first 2 layers removed
*Complete one stripe (10 states) on my Flag Sampler--completed 6 1/2 states
*Complete one quilt currently in works and plan for one more quilt --yes, one finished (need to post pics), one cut out and 50% pieced, another planned but can't find the right fabric!
*Read Ministry of Motherhood --read? what's that?

August Goals:

*order math curriculum
* Clear out one closet and donate unused clothes to charity
* Finish stripping paint off of old cabinet
* Finish 3 1/2 states plus Liberty stripe on Flag Sampler
* Read Ministry of Motherhood--will be my travel book
* Prep for and then go to Romania for 2 weeks to help out in the churches and children's home

In Other Words---Waiting with Eyes of Mercy


"I do not know that the prodigal saw his father,
but his father saw him.
The eyes of mercy are quicker than the eyes of repentance.
Even the eyes of our faith is dim compared with the eye of God’s love. He sees a sinner long before a sinner sees Him.”

~C.H. Spurgeon~
(from sermon based upon the Prodigal Son)

Once upon a time she lived in a dynamic faith walk. She shared her faith. She prayed. She participated in deep conversations with other Christians and helped to sharpen them as iron sharpens iron.

But then something happened. She misstepped. Disappointment crowded in around her when the church did not take her side in an issue. Church attendance stopped. Time with Christian friends stopped. Anger and bitterness set in. She continued to claim that her private prayer life was rich. She stated that she was "closer to God" than ever. But the fruit was missing. The joy was gone. Fellowship all but ceased. Finally there was nothing.

Her friends waited and watched. They prayed. They watched some more. So eager for reconciliation. For years they watched. They could see her on the horizon a time or two. Running out to greet her, the wished to welcome back into fellowship. But the step of repentance had proven too difficult. She pushed them away, content to remain in the distant. Their hearts for mercy are real. They continue to wait. They continue to pray.

If the friends can wait with eyes of mercy, how much more mercy does the Father's eyes have? He watches and waits as well. Even as He can see into the hardened and frightened heart, He waits. He longs to redeem. But sometimes, repentance is long coming.

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
~Matthew 7:9-11~
(emphasis mine)

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
~Romans 5:15~
(emphasis mine)

Father help me to be the friend, waiting with eyes of mercy. And when I need to repent, draw me quickly to repentance. I don't want to dwell away from You. Because of your cleansing and saving blood....Amen.

In Other Words this week is hosted by Heather at Mumblings of a Mommy Monk. Please join us there. I know you will be blessed.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Marriage Monday---The Couple Who Plays Together

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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This month, the topic for Marriage Monday is Recreation.

The early days of our courtship and marriage would find one of asking one question each Saturday morning, "North, south, east or west?" The question was simply determining which direction were we going to go. Were we going north into Canada, south to the Palouse, East to Lake Coeur d'Alene, or West toward the Cascades. Those days of getting in the car, seeing what the road would reveal, getting out to hike or picnic or just sit and enjoy nature, were crucial in our development as a couple. We learned how the other saw the world. We took pictures of the same things that looked entirely different due to our perspective--something that still makes us laugh. Lots of time in the car meant lots of time to talk, and get to know each other even better. A drive was non-threatening and relaxing (well except for a fateful trip to Silver Mountain ID, but that is a story best left untold).

One thing I quickly learned about German as we became friends was that cars were important to him. He loves cars. Admiring them and driving them. So our early recreation revolved around cars. If we weren't on a drive somewhere, we were probably at a car show somewhere. Usually a car show meant showing our car--with all the loving care that goes into that--but sometimes it was just going to see other people's cars. Now here is a little secret, I really couldn't care less about what we drive or how it looks. If it gets me from point A to point B, I'm happy. Spending hours at a car show in and of itself would not be appealing. BUT, spending hours with German at a car show was always appealing. I love watching him enjoy himself. I love watching him beam when someone comments on his car. I love watching him deep in conversation with another car enthusiast about all the details of their respected "babies." For me, the joy of the weekend was that I got to see him in his element, totally relaxed from the pressures of work. And you want to know something really funny, now that we are in Europe and our show cars are in storage in the US, I actually miss car meetings, car rallies and car shows. I learned to love what he loved. (And he does occasionally take me to an antique show or quilt show and share my loves.)

In the early days as we were learning about each other and likes/dislikes we really did have divergent tastes. Compromise became a key thing. (Someday I'll share the symphony vs NASCAR story.) But driving and seeing the country was always a common ground. Travel still remains our favorite recreation as a family. Whether it is getting on an airplane to explore Europe or just driving up the road an hour to explore the Dales, we find ourselves the most relaxed and the most able to share our lives in that setting.

We have found that when we are most stressed, with work or as a family, it is a clear indicator that we are needing to have some fun together. That's when we schedule a day for a drive. Just finding time to unwind together leads to a more content marriage and family. And that is reward in and of itself.

Please join Chrysalis today as others share how recreation has made a difference in their marriage.