Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Day I've Been Waiting For

I'm featured on Hair Thursday.

Do you wonder what it is? I don't know how I found her, Whoorl, but I did. And she started Hair Thursday. I would check her site every week looking at what she suggested for other people and decided, she knew what she was talking about. So, I emailed and asked her to sign me up. That was September. She emailed back with Feb. 28, 2008. Um, that was forever away! But, I waited. In December, I did get it cut and low lighted, trying to get back to my root color. (I refuse to say "natural" because in my mind, I am still naturally light blonde.) I kept waiting for a style. A magically transformed style. But, I didn't know what to do. And I knew Whoorl would.

Go. Click on Hair Thursday. Vote! This might be the most important vote you will make in 2008.

Isn't there something else we have to vote for this year?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sage Funnies

Last night at dinner, we were talking about having a little brother or sister (no announcement) and Sage said he wants another brother and we should name him Toby. Then, I asked him how we would get a little brother. He told me that we will go to the hopitable and get one in Houston. I asked if the baby had to be in my tummy first and he said no, just go to the hopitable.

We won't be taking his advice.

Later, at bed time we were talking and asked him how we got him. I said we just went to the hospital and picked him up. He got really mad and said he was in my tummy. And Drew chimed in and said, no we just went to the hospital, you weren't in mommy's tummy. And Sage told him to stop lieing, that he was in mommy's tummy.

Oh, to be convicted by a 3 year old.

Today, his zipper was down and I told him. He looked up at me, smiled and said "I like it that way!"

He is really into knowing what letter words start with, making the *smooching noise*, he said what letter does that start with? I said Kiss? Kiss starts with kuh kuh kuh K. Then he sang Every letter makes a sound *smooching noise* says K!

I didn't correct him.

So, when Drew and I were at Iowa State, the football quarterback was named Sage Rosenfels. We didn't name our Sage after him, but that is where we heard the name. Guess who is the second or third string quarterback for the Houston Texans? Yep, Sage Rosenfels. We were looking at schools last night online and he was on the homepage meeting some kids. Have I told you how much Sage is into football? He loves the movie Facing the Giants. He quotes it. We watch it almost every Friday night, pizza night. And if Friday Night Lights is what Texas is really like, we are in for a world of trouble.

Sage will often pretend he is playing football and tell Kolby that he is the coach. Then he tells Kolby what to say. (Kolby still doesn't talk, I don't know why!) But, really he just quotes random lines from Facing the Giants. It is pretty funny.

Watch out Sage Rosenfels!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shaelynn

I just received the email with news of Shaelynn's passing. I have written about her family before. She was two years old and had a brain tumor. She died yesterday morning.

Again, I don't have the words. I just wrote about my shirts. And I don't know what to write in the message board to her parents. My words seem meaningless.

It is hard to live in a world where the joys and depths of sadness all come in the same wave for different people.

I don't want to be a person that stares at tragedy or looks away. I want to offer comfort. I want to offer hope. I want to have just the right words to say. I don't want to say something out of ignorance. I don't want to offend anyone. My response is silence.

It isn't the right response.

I wouldn't want to be met with silence.

I am silenced by fear. Fear of not saying the right thing, fear of saying something dumb.

Sometimes, I think my whole life can be surmised by fear. I don't like it. This fear that holds me back. Fear keeps me away from loving people.

I can't conclude these thoughts. They are ongoing. I pray I change. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.

It's February

February is the month that I get sick of my winter clothes. Specifically, my shirts. Maybe it is because I have about 5 that I wear. I own more than that, I just don't wear them all that often. They don't fit quite right or something. I open my shirt drawer every morning and reach for a black or gray shirt, usually a turtleneck, 3/4 sleeves. I only have two of those, so the other days, I kind of feel at a loss but manage to wear something.

I think ahead to March and all that will open up to me. Short sleeves. But in reality, short sleeves are more April or May. Because even if I venture into my short sleeve drawer, I always put somthing from the long sleeve drawer on top because I am cold.

And short sleeves? Really, they aren't my friend. They are more of an aquantance. I don't mind them, but I don't love them. They just are. They just open up different options. Short sleeve black and gray shirts.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Scattered Thoughts

So, we're moving. And with moving comes a job. And with a job comes a salary. And with a salary comes a house with a mortgage. And lots of responsibility.

I'm not talking about paying our bills on time kind of responsibility. I am talking about what we are going to do with our new found resources. Our money. It is going to be more than we have ever had before. Did you know this will be Drew's first full time, non-internship job? Except for that one in college, before we were married. So, our lives are going to change. And already, we feel the pressure of the Jones'. But, more I feel the pressure of Christ. I wonder and think how are we going to be faithful with much? I don't want to fail this test. I want to use our resources to give to the glory of God.

I don't know what it all looks like yet and obviously I am not the only one making decisions.

I see how easy, how tempting it will be to settle into a house and start accumulating things. Of course, I would like a new couch, king size bed, bigger table. And I am not saying that getting those things would be bad decisions. I want to know when is enough. I don't want to keep exchanging and upgrading. I want to be satisfied with what I have and where I am now.

I am making some changes in my life. I have decided to stop buying new clothes. Oooohhhh. Breathe in, breathe out. I don't really neeeeed neeeeed them. I know there are some things that I would like to have in my wardrobe. Cardigans, black, white, navy and gray. Denim pencil skit. Black pants that fit. I am going to stick with what I know that I want to add. No more aimlessly wandering the mall, looking for a good deal. I will be doing more shopping at Goodwill or other consignment stores, for myself and the boys. Now, I am not going to be hardcore about this, if I find said items in my size, for a great deal, I won't pass it up. And I will be purchasing all under clothes new, with tags. And shoes, for the boys will be new. I have feet fetish issues with my kids.

I am going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. I have done better about going to bed earlier but my mind and body do not like to get out of bed before 7 am. But when I do, I don't regret it. I get time to read and pray without answering questions in the middle of my prayers. Somedays, I might get to go running if Drew doesn't leave too early.

I am going to do a better job about sticking to our cash budget. Credit cards are very easy to use, especially when I have gone over budget and have to buy something like milk, then to add something else little in is so easy for me. I will not do that anymore.

I am excited to have a house and get new to us things for said house, slowly. I am excited to look around at consignment stores and find things that will work for us. I am excited about my new outlook on life.

And, today I went to Goodwill. No denim pencil skirt. No cardigans. No black pants. No jeans for Sage, size 5. But! I found 5 green cloth napkins for $1.99 and a book for Drew for $1.99. The boys were very good while I looked. Stroller + snack = browsing time for mom.

Know how much I wanted to hop online and order something when I got home? Black pants on sale?! Banana Republic! Still $60? Guess I'll keep looking.

I think I am becoming cheaper. Hmm.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Forgot to Mention...

We are back in the housing market. Drew has found 3 very happy lenders to lend us a large sum of money so that we can buy a house!

We are excited to not have to move twice and have been researching which areas to live. School districts and housing prices being are priorities. It has been a roller coaster of emotions getting to this point. And we haven't even actually looked at any houses yet!

I say roller coaster because, somedays, we feel on top of our game, we found the right area, schools are good, we can afford a house. And then the next day, the area isn't quite what we thought and the schools aren't either. It is hard to decide where and in what type of place you want to live. With lots of diversity? With little to no diversity? And some things end up looking better on paper than they do in real life.

So, our prayer is that God will find us the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood in the perfect school district for our family. We prayed that the job would be a no brainer for us to pick and it was, it basically boiled down to a no decision, decision. We were and still are thankful for that. We know that God will put us where he wants us.

But, man it is hard. Already, I have felt that need to keep up with the Joneses, and I don't even know the Joneses! From some articles that we have read, there is a preschool that is THE PRESCHOOL to attend, like if your kids don't go there, they won't get into the right magnet school and their life is OVER before it has begun in kindergarten, at the right school.

And, the houses in the wrong school district, totally affordable and look great. The houses in the wrong school district, totally not affordable and look exactly the same as the other houses. But, we were told just today about this perfect place where the houses are affordableand the school districts good. Please, Lord let us find a house there.

Wouldn't it be funny if I decided to homeschool?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Compassion and Kindness

I am not by nature a compassionate, kind, loving person. Drew and I used to kind of laugh about this because both of us have to work at these traits and neither of us are very good at working at them. We would both rather be snarky and sarcastic. But, God must be trying to get my attention. And, I am going to listen. In all honesty, I have been trying not to listen, and now he just keeps smacking me in the face with it, not in a mean way, in a humbling way.

Like this story. I was walking with my boys and my neighbor and her two girls, we were on our way to Blockbuster just leaving our houses, still on our street. There was a mamma outside with a baby in a bjorn, raking leaves. I push my stroller around said piles, smile and say hello and continue on my way. I thought I was being friendly because I smiled and said hello. My neighbor, stops, smiles, says hello, introduces herself and proceeds to invite them for dinner or just to get together sometime.

I am an ass. I have no excuse. I ask God for opportunities to show people his love and I smile and walk on by. I want to change that. I don't want to be an ass any longer.

My prayer for myself is to love my Lord more and for His love to come pouring through me.

Today, I was in a bit of a grumpy mood this morning. And of course, it could all be blamed on Drew. He told me I could do something myself, I could fold up that stupid Playhut tunnel (thanks, Mindy the kids love it!) and then he told me I could go to Sam's and get gas and milk and then go to Target to get overnight diapers for Kolby, and just check for a Wii (no Wii). He was not being mean to me, I just took it that way. I wanted to go to Super Wal-Mart and get everything in one stop and then still have time to take the kids to the library and let them play. He probably didn't really care where I went, he did think that it would maybe save us $5 to go to Sam's but maybe the time wouldn't be worth it. As we were leaving Target at 11:10 and arrived at the CLOSED library at 11:40, Sage had thrown a fit because I told him we didn't have time to go to the promised library, I was fuming at Drew for "making me go to Sam's and Target on the other stinkin side of town." Did you catch that the library was closed, for Lincolns birthday? Yeah, I was humbled. I tried to laugh about it with Sage. Silly mom and Sage, crying over it, getting mad about it.

And then I started thinking.

I am choosing to be grumpy. Is that what I want to do? No. I am choosing to make myself miserable. I want to choose joy. I prayed as I was driving home. Lord, help me to choose joy. Choose joy for me, because I can't do it for myself today. I am making my kids grumpy and showing them a horrible example. I decided to change my attitude. Just like I tell Sage to do.

As we got home, and Sage and Kolby started fighting over who knows what, I reminded myself that they hadn't chosen joy, so I needed to help them. I held Kolby for a while and got him interested in something then I went to talk to Sage about why he had hit Kolby and then dealt the appropriate discipline. Then, all three of us talked about how to choose joy. And then Sage put me in jail and we all felt better.

In our house, if you are grumpy, you go to jail! Watch out!

Back to Compassion. I have been reading Rocks in My Dryer for some time now. This week, she is blogging from Uganda. She is there with Compassion, an organization that helps kids in poverty. You or anyone can sponser a child, the money that you sponser them with each month is used for education, health and personal development. I seem to be fumbling with my words. Please read this. He says it far better than I ever could. I'll wait.





Kind of convicting, huh? Yeah, and we are in the midst of looking for a 4 bedroom house in a good school district. Maybe God is trying to change my heart. I think I need to listen.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Friday, February 08, 2008

And We're Moving to Texas:

Me: "Donkeys say heehaw."

Sage: "Just like cowboys! HeeHaw!"

Me (giggling): "Cowboys say Yeehaw!"

Sage: (starts lauging) "Yeehaw!"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Perspective Part Deux

I complain about things. But, my life is easy. Here is a list of my ridiculous complaints. My back hurts, Sage fights naps that he needs, I'm tired. Silly things, really.

I went to family camp at East Iowa Bible Camp with the Kelly's. Drew and his wife Sam, have two kids, Shaelynn and Killian. Shaelynn is two. Killian was born in January. Shaelynn has a brain tumor. The cancer is spreading and there is nothing more medically that can be done. They are praying for and believe a miracle can happen. Shaelynn has had a few seizures and the MRI showed more spreading of the cancer from 2 weeks ago.

I feel at a loss of what to say, write or feel. I don't know what message to write on their message board. I'm praying for you. It just doesn't seem to cut it. I am praying for them. I am praying for strength and comfort. What can I say? My words won't comfort them. My words won't do anything. What can I do for a family so far away from me, a family that I don't know all that well, a family who is going through an unimaginable circumstance. What would I want to hear from people? The only thing people could say to me. I'm praying for you. I'm praying for your strength, peace and comfort. I'm praying for a miracle with you.

Lord, I lift up the Kelly family to you. I thank you for their sweet little girl, Shaelynn. It sounds like she has brought such joy to so many people. Pray for comfort, for Shaelynn. I pray that she wouldn't have any more seizures. I pray that she would not be in pain. I pray for Drew and Sam. I pray for their strength. Give them an unmeasurable, umcomprehensible amount of energy. Energy to care for their two young kids, energy to enjoy each moment, energy to see what they need to see to help Shaelynn. Give them comfort and peace as they go about their days. Comfort their hearts as only you can Jesus. Give them a peace that passes understanding. Be with them. I pray that they would feel your arms around them. Thank you, Father for answering and hearing my prayers.



In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

-Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
Copyright 2002 Kingsway Thankyou Music

Monday, February 04, 2008

Perspective

Get some.

After writing my Wii post, I didn't feel better. I didn't feel different. Until I talked to Drew and he gave me his view on the Wii situation. He was feeling much the same way as I, wanting one, being driven to call Targets and ready to jump at the chance of getting one. He talked about how reading about what he was feeling made him feel disgusting. Like he was idolizing a Wii. I nodded like all good wives do and tried to go on my merry way of wanting a Wii.

I should add that this weaves into our church attendance, specifically where we go to church. I have talked before about how we don't really like our current church, but it is our second church in the almost three years that we have been here and we decided to try to stick it out. For the sake of the children. The nursery system is great. Check kids in. Get a tag. Use the tag to get the child back out of the system. Sage is actually learning about Jesus. There is a curriculum. And he enjoys it. The service is upbeat. Most of the time, the pastor makes it known how to receive Jesus as your personal Savior. But, we felt like something was off. We just couldn't put our finger on it. Our kids enjoyed going. We were hearing the gospel message. And then we realized. The messages always seem to be geared towards people who are down trodden, low on luck (not a good word here, just can't think of a better way to describe it), people who feel oppressed. And how Jesus will set you free. And bless you. And bless you. And bless you. And bless you. Life will be good. Money will be adundant. Disease will be cured.

And that's where we were sickened. Life with Jesus isn't guaranteed to be good. Life will be good, don't get me wrong. But not because Jesus will be blessing you left and right. Life will be good because we have something to live for, something eternal. Something that puts all our problems into light. Eternal life.

I strive for that kind of faith. For the kind of faith that is unwavering when tragedy strikes, the kind of faith that fixes my eyes on Jesus everyday, the kind of faith that doesn't care, that only wants Jesus.

Drew had listened to a message from Cornerstone Church, the church we attended when we lived in Iowa by Jeff Dodge. It is from 1 Corinthians 11:16-33. It is a great message. I encourage you to go and listen. You can get the messages from itunes, for free. No charge. Jeff talks about how Paul was writing against the health and wealth gospel message, to be careful, don't be lured into that. It is easy to be lured into. I did my devotions today, God, what are you going to do for me? I gave sacrificially, God, did you see that?

And that is the reason, we won't be going back to that church. We don't want the health and wealth gospel. We want to live our lives for Jesus. I want to love Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind. I want to love my neighbor as myself. (Matthew 22:37-39)

Do you want Jesus above all?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Look What Kolby Figured Out

video

He is walking with his Dennis Browne Bar on!

I want a Wii.


We were given money to buy a Wii for Christmas.

I want it.

Yesterday.

I had one. I bought one. I brought it home. It was before Christmas.

I was at Wal-Mart and they announced that they got in a shipment of 11 Wii's. I didn't think too much about it, finished picking out my yogurt and then wondered how much money I could sell a Wii online for. I decided to buy one.

I took it home.

I stared longingly. Sage asked to play.

It was too close to Christmas, there were too many online and we were leaving. I returned it.

I had one. In my possession. In my home.

And now, I call 3 Targets every morning looking for a Wii. Ready to throw the kids in the car in their pajamas and go to Target to buy one.

Every morning, after every phone call, Sage asks, "What did they say?, Do they have one?"

No.

When, Target? When will I get a Wii?

After Feb. 28, I will extend my phone calls to Wal-Marts. I have a 10% off coupon that expires.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Scratch That

Remember all the hoopla over the house? Yeah, we can't get a loan. We have to show proof of income and since our income won't be starting until after we move there... we'll be renting, again.

But, I have decided to take the optimistic approach. It will be really good for us to rent because we have never lived there before so while we rent, we can figure out where we want to live. We can drive around, go through open houses. We can figure out where we frequently go, stores, church, etc. And look around those areas. We can figure out what commutes would look like in different suburbs and such.

At least, today, I am taking the optimistic approach.

I am not going to let myself think about moving twice, packing up twice, the cost of the storage unit, the cost of moving twice or the fact that we don't know anyone in Houston and won't have help moving. I'm not going to think about that because that would be borrowing tomorrows troubles for today. God doesn't give me the grace to deal with those things before I need it. One day at a time. God knows. He knows best. He will take care of us. This will work out for the best. I know it.