Archive for the ‘our life’ Category

Protecting my sanity

As you may know, I work.

  • 3 days of the week, I’m home by 12:30.
  • 1 day of the week, I work til 2:00, so that I can pick up my niece & nephew from school.
  • And the other day of the week, I work my “all day” day — but even that’s only until 3:30.

But not so much this week. This week, due to a couple of ill-timed events (mostly a training class), I have to work all day Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. And not to my definition of “all day”, but the traditional definition of “all day” aka: until 5:00 p.m.

As I plan out this week, how do people do this? Like on a normal basis? Sure, I have the added pressure of finding full-time daycare when I normally only need part-time daycare, but that’s easily handled in my situation.

The question: How do people do the “we’re both walking in the door at 5:30 and bedtime is in 90 minutes” evening rush? Even crockpot meals and heating up leftovers take time to put together. And who wants to be rushed all the time?

The answer: You just do it. Just like I adjusted to getting married and the changes that brought. Just like I adjusted to having a child and the changes that brought. Just like I adjusted to having a 2nd child and the changes that brought. Just like I adjusted to moving houses and the changes that brought.

When you know about it before hand and when something is temporary (like this week), you make small adjustments.

So, for us, it’s a take-and-bake pizza, a crockpot meal and leftovers. It might mean a slightly later bedtime for the boys. You just do what you gotta do. But it’s a nice reminder that I don’t want to live this way on a regular basis.

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A few months ago, I read a fictional story based upon the biblical story of Ruth.  It takes the facts that the Bible gives us and makes up what we don’t know — things that might have happened, but we have no way of knowing.  The book is “In the Field of Grace” by Tessa Afshar and it was very well done.

One of the quotes from the book that really, really, really stood out to be was said by Boaz to Ruth about one of the things that he noticed about her.

“You chose to be an outsider for the sake of a hurting widow. You accepted loneliness so that she could have companionship. You did all this because you refused to abandon Naomi.”

I loved that observation: she took on loneliness so that someone else could have companionship.  What a beautiful way to say that she was a servant to someone.  When put that way, she is Christ-like, who took on loneliness so that He could be with us.  He gave up His intimate, hard-to-fathom, unique fellowship that He had with the Father and the Holy Spirit to come to a strange-to-Him place in a strange-to-Him body so that we might have Him – for a little while, but also forever, in eternity.

Ruth refused to abandon Naomi.

Christ refused to abandon us.

Ruth accepted the loneliness of a new culture and people group.

Christ accepted the loneliness of being a man.

Thank God for the example of Ruth.  And for authors who help make things more real

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Grandma Ruth

My Grandma Ruth passed away yesterday, Sunday morning in her sleep.  She was 81 years old and had been married to my grandpa Delbert for 61 years (I believe).  She had 6 children, 15 grandchildren and at least 12 great-grandchildren (with more on the way!).  Her sisters had already passed away before her (all 3 of them were exactly 70 when they passed!) as well as my father, her oldest son.

She was a great grandmother to us.  Especially since my father passed away when I was just about 8.  My mom did a great job at keeping us involved with that side of the family – for holidays, random get togethers.  They were often at our Little League games growing up.  And they still came over for our birthday celebrations or “just because” Sunday afternoon dinners.  They were super supportive when my mom started dating again after my dad died — even encouraging her to remarry her long time boyfriend, Bill.  (My mom did – but 24 years after my father died after dating Bill for 23 years!)

She was great at cards, even though Alzheimers had set in the later years.  She knew how to play!  SkipBo and Phase 10 were favorites of our family.  And she was always up for holding babies – even when they become stronger and wiggly!

She was loved well by so many and we’ll miss her.



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Keeping Pinterest Practical

How do you use pinterest?

I’ve decided that, for me, I want pinterest to be a practical tool. I used to have lots of boards and 2500 pins on pinterest. Then I kind of realized that it was overwhelming me. Probably because of the way I use it. Pinterest, to me, is a storage of things that I like enough that I want to make/do/see some day. Not really a collection of things that I like. Because what I like doesn’t always equal what I’ll do.

I mean:

  • I like to use pinterest to look up that casserole recipe that I want to make for dinner. But I don’t like to see recipes (on my boards) of recipes that, while beautiful and tasty, aren’t ever going to have a chance of making it on to my menu plan.


  • I like to use pinterest to narrow down ideas for remodeling/decorating. Maybe it’s the room I’m doing now (the powder room). Or for the room I’m doing next (the entryway maybe). Or for the room I want to do someday (the living room). But it overwhelms me to see ideas that, while beautiful, are so costly that I wouldn’t ever do them. Or that would be perfect for a different style of house. I want ideas that work for the house I’m in, not for the house I might have in 20 years.


  • I’ve been streamlining. Sure, those 10 recipes for spaghetti look good and give me lots of choices, but there’s only 1-2 that I’d actually make. Or those 5 blueberry muffins recipes are inspiring, but they’re all pretty much the same, give or take a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

So I’ve been purging pins. I’m down to around 1700 now and it feels good! I still have lots of boards – I don’t like to see bathrooms next to casseroles next to gift ideas next to books I’ve read next to muffins. In fact, I’ve done so much purging that pinterest has “locked” my account a couple of times and forced me to change my password. I guess they suspect fraud — because who actually declutters pinterest!?  Besides me, that is.

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My husband are about 1/2 way through Dr. Dobson’s Bringing Up Boys DVD scenarios and he talks about how media always plays up men to be fools – especially in TV shows and commercials. And it’s true – men are very often portrayed as dumb, lazy or clueless. That’s sad — for men to be considered that way. But it’s also sad for boys who start to see the men in their lives that way. AND who learn to see themselves that way.

So it’s very nice to see an encouraging commercial about men. I’ll buy some Peanut Butter Cheerios just for that. And write them a letter to say “Great job!”

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Paralyzed by Choices

I shouldn’t worry about 20 years from now, right? I should do what I like now, right?

Seems like a bad plan if you’re talking about weight maintenance or budgeting. But that seems like the right approach for home decoration, right?

Here’s my dilemma:
I don’t like my house.

My new-to-me-just-last-year house.

My house that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the location of.

My house that my 2-year-old and I sit on the back deck most mornings and watch for runners and bikers on the trail behind us.

My house that’s just around the corner from my sister, which makes it incredibly easy to say “Sure, send the kids on over – we’re gonna run through the sprinklers!”.

My house that’s paid for (we’re debt free!). My house that’s in a circle, so it doesn’t get much traffic out front.

I have dreams of it burning down and then I get to re-build a ranch or a 2-story. Those should be bad dreams. I see them as a happy dream.

The problem?  My house is just so ‘brown’. Not on the outside, but the inside. I didn’t notice it until we moved in. Brown tile in the entryway, laundry room and powder room. Oak everywhere. Wood linelom floors in the kitchen. Tan carpets. Brown banisters on the staircases. Brown tile in the ‘main’ bathroom. Brown-toned floors in all bathrooms. It’s just brown. I don’t like all that brown.

Seems simple, right? Start getting rid of some of the brown! My husband is on board with me spending money – probably even lots of it by the time all is said and done. But I’m paralyzed.

I’ve had friends in the last few months – 3 or 4 of them – put their houses up for sale. Their houses are beautiful!!! They aren’t huge mansions – most have even been smaller than mine. But you know what I love about them? They aren’t brown!!! Specifically, they have white woodwork. I WANT WHITE WOODWORK!

What’s holding me back? It’s idea that in 20 years, I’m going to hate white woodwork and there’s just no going back. Once you paint it white and it want it to be true wood again, you have to either strip paint (not easy) or replace it all ($$$$).

But I shouldn’t worry about that, right? I should worry about what I love now, right? Cause I love white woodwork and have for a long time.

But I’m paralyzed.

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10 months old!

Stephen is 10 months old.

I think this is my favorite age. (Course, I’ve been saying that for a few months now.) He’s mobile. He sleeps through the night. All you have to do is look at him and he laughs. He can’t climb yet, but he knows how to safely go down steps. It’s just a lot of fun.

He’s on the verge of walking – in fact, he took a few steps last weekend, but it hasn’t progress passed that yet. Probably this month, I’m guessing!

He’s also changed up the way he crawls.  He used to crawl normally, but for the past few weeks, he won’t bend his knees.  Here’s a really fuzzy video:

His scrapbook page:


Here are some recent pictures:




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