Thursday, July 30, 2009

What I Haven't Said...

Sometimes, after I take a look back through what I've written over a week or so time period I cringe. Not because of anything I've said (no matter how redundant:) but about what I haven't said.

And a lot of what I haven't said, is the stuff that is most important to me...and it has to deal with my relationship to Christ.

Words fail me often. And I find that if I can't come up with the right words to adequately explain it...I don't. And sometimes, what he's teaching me...well, it's tough. Sometimes I'm meant to just sit on it, by myself for awhile. And other times...it's meant to share.

I've mentioned before that (thanks to my friend Heth) I am hooked on podcasts by Matt Chandler at The Village Church. If you need any information about how to listen to podcasts (because you don't have to have an ipod to do this) then click on this handy dandy little linky that explains it all very clearly....did I mention THEY'RE FREE?!? Free is such a nice word...

There is one podcast in particular that I just can't seem to move on from. I have listened to it three times. I wish I could narrow down just why I can't seem to get enough of it...but there's several reasons probably. I'm not gonna try to sum it up, because it's impacted me so much that I don't want to butcher it. But, if you'd like to listen, it's the July 5th sermon called Good Servants, Wicked Servants, and the Enemies of God. Good stuff people, you won't regret the time spent...promise.

If you happen to listen, or have heard it, I'd love love love to discuss :)


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sneak Peek

I have three days left until our family goes from 5 to 6. I'm busy doing important stuff...like making room in the bathroom cabinets for her stuff...told you it was important.


I don't have much time, BUT I knew you'd need a sneak peek of her room all ready for her.



So it's probably not the most comfy desk chair...but it's so shabby chic and adorable I put it there. :) (Don't worry there's a ugly more comfy one she can replace it with ;)



The hangers are ready...

And so am I :)

Now let's just hope she doesn't hate it...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Truth With Dirt On His Face


I find myself wandering around this morning trying to figure out where to start on the "to-do" list that I seem to keep making longer rather than shorter.

What's up with that?

It seems that whenever I get started one of my boys needs something, broke something, needs something cleaned up, or put together...on and on and on. Many times, at the end of the day, I wonder what the heck I even accomplished. This is mostly because I really only accomplish 5 different things....but I did each of those 5 things FIVE ZILLION TIMES.

The refereeing alone...

Sometimes it feels like I'm treading water. Going nowhere, but at least keeping my head afloat. When I stop and really look at my boys, and how much they're growing...physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually I realize that life may often feel like I'm treading water, but I'm not. It's always moving forward. I can't slow it or stop it. But I can enjoy it.

This morning after my run (yay for Mondays I LOVE 2 mile short runs) I logged onto facebook and found a link from Michelle, a bloggy-turned-facebook-friend who happens to have the opposite of me. Three girls. I think we should consider arranged marriages. Go visit her and peek at my future daughters-in-law...she has the cutest girls ;)

Want to know what my life is like? Click here. It made me happy cry this morning...because this is my life...times three :)

It's a good (& messy) life!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Because I'm Rebelious...

First, before I forget, you guys totally pulled through for me yesterday on the egg issue! YAY! I knew you would.

Today I put on my painting clothes because then maybe I'll get around to painting...ya know, since I'm dressed for it and all.

It's the thought that counts.

I spent the morning registering my kids for school. 2nd grader, 1st grader, 2-day preschooler, and Julie who is technically a Senior. My August calendar is full of last minute physicals, eye doctor appointments and volleyball camp. If you need me, I'll be in my minivan. Good thing I love my minivan.

I'm also bucking the public school system for the first time (as a mom.) My first and second grader have a "milk snack" mid afternoon everyday. This is separate from the milk they drink at lunch. It will cost me $70 per kid for the year. I'm guessing, if the school could see the GALLONS AND GALLONS of milk we already go through in our home each week they would whole-heartedly agree with me that it's perfectly ok for me to waive paying the $140 for the mid afternoon milk snack and let my children drink water out of the cute water bottles I promised to buy them :)

I took that additional $140 and added it to their lunch account. I call that genius. Seriously though...why not just water in the afternoon? I think it makes more sense. I'm just saying...

How about you? Anybody else bucking the system on anything? (I'm obviously needing some validation here ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Need Your Help...


Here's the deal. Julie is allergic to egg whites. I'm wondering if there's anybody else out there who is also allergic and has some tips for me.

Like...
  • Is there a brand of egg-less ice cream that you can buy?
  • Or any other egg-less stuff that you use instead of eggs?
  • Can I buy "fake" eggs? Are egg beaters fake eggs?
See, I've just proved to you I have no clue. Good thing I'm a citizen of blogland where nice people help me out with my deep, thought provoking questions.

Let's have it, I need your input. If you have no input, how 'bout sharing with me stuff your allergic too...because that seems like good times, no?


*image courtesy of www.southernliving.com*

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Like 90 Years Old...

My Life:
  • Yesterday I had 3 additional boys in my home for 9 hours. That's SIX boys. I just heard you all gasp. The best was when I had to load them all into my little mini van to make a 40 minute round trip to take Odie to the vet and myself to the Chiropractor. Good times. All was going well until we stopped back into the vet to pick up Odie (from a routine procedure that I'll spare you the details of.) Turns out they needed to keep Odie for a little longer.
  • In the afternoon, after the vet had looked at Odie and figured out a course of action for his little "problem" we headed back to the mini van and the 40 minute round trip to pick up our beloved wiener dog. The bill ended up being $28.00, which made me love the vet and Odie even more!
  • The benefit to yesterday is that today my perspective is readjusted. Three boys?!? Easy peasy.
  • Chiropractor: I generally reserve my visits to the Chiro for the special occasions when I find myself unable to move. My Chiro tells me this is how most people are. I wonder if most people also find the word Chiropractor too long? Just thinking out loud...anyways I do have a point...and it has to do with running. For the past month or so I've been having some groin pain on my left side after I hit about mile 5. I've been stretching, and icing, and heating, and drugging myself up with Advil. Last week I decided to head to the Chiro to see if they could magically fix me...like she did when I attempted this brilliant stunt. It turns out that my left hip was well above the right and thus causing me to run funny and put more strain on the left side. After the adjustment I ran 7 miles on Saturday with no pain. Yay! Yesterday's check up was just to make sure the adjustment stuck...and it did. I may even go back and visit the Chiro without consistent pain first, because she gave me some good information that I will spare from sharing with you because I would totally butcher it. Another post I guess.
  • Wow...I'm now like a 90 year old woman who only talks about herself and her dogs old bodies falling apart. Glad you stopped by aren't you.
  • TEN DAYS. 10 days till Julie is at our home. She actually flew into America last Sunday and is spending 2 weeks in Boston at a camp for exchange students, where I'm assuming they teach her all kinds of stuff about how wonderful we Americans are .
  • My calendar for August is already full. Having a teenager in the home is totally gonna rock our little world with activity. The rest of July is sort of the calm before the storm...in a good way. I feel like I did when I was pregnant with my first baby. I planned and prepared, read everything I could get my hands on, talked to countless moms...but nothing, nothing could prepare me for what was in store once that baby arrived. We're excited, and even a little nervous...in a good way.
  • I'm off to go mow the lawn. I think it will make up for the fact that we were supposed to run 6 miles this morning and decided we were just too tired (lazy) and ran about 2 and then walked so we could just chat...because obviously mowing is the equivalent of running 4 miles...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where I Talk About Myself in 3rd Person...

Funny little story: Ben and Sarah meet and date in high school. Ben is a Junior, Sarah is a Freshman. Two years go by, Ben graduates and goes four hours away to college. Bethel College (now University) in Minnesota. The cities. He plays football. He gets injured during a game. On the way to the hospital they pass a small church, he decides to check out that church the next Sunday.

Ben ends up loving this church. This church loves Ben. The pastor of little church graduated from Central Seminary, Plymouth MN.

Two more years go by, and although Ben loves Bethel...it is pricey and Sarah is graduating high school...here comes Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!)

Fast forward two more years. Ben graduates Iowa State, Ben and Sarah get married, move to MN and Ben starts seminary...Central Seminary.

Guess where we go to church? Yep. Same place. Sarah wasn't so sure she'd love it like Ben did...she wasn't so sure they'd ever find a church that fit them both. Sarah was wrong.

The End...sort of.

God used that church, the people and the youth to change us, mold us, and prepare us for the ministry here in tiny town. Going back to visit this past weekend was so sweet...I have no words for it.

Because I knew we'd only be in MN while Ben was in seminary, I did a really great job of not making many close friends (outside of our youth ministry.) I would not recommend this, by the way. Until one Sunday morning...Noah was about 6 months old and I had to take him out to the foyer because he was crabby. Standing out there was a visitor with a little boy just a few months older than Noah. They were sporting the same diaper bag as us. And if you're me, you take that
as a sign from God that you are to be friends with these people...because they have excellent taste, of course ;)

And we were, indeed, meant to be friends. Noah was almost 2 years old when we left MN. Eli was just 7 months...they only remember our life there from pictures and stories we tell them.
Here is a picture of the boys together about five years ago:

And Sunday, when we saw them again for the first time, it was as if no time had passed for those boys. They knew they had been friends when they were little. They knew they didn't really remember it...but it didn't matter to them. Once friends, always friends for these guys. It was absolutely precious.

We feel the same way. Jeff and Sarah are the kind of friends you can go years without seeing, and then pick right back up as if no time has passed. It is a priceless gift, and we are so thankful for friends like that!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Let's Take it in Small Bites...

The Parsonage family took a little vacation. Finally. We headed North to Minnesota...the cities...as we like to call it. We called the cities home for the first 5 years of our marriage/seminary experience. They were some good times.

There are a few reasons why we don't "holiday" often. (That's what the Europeans call it instead of vacation and I am stealing it because it just sounds classy;)

1 - It costs a lot of $.
2 - I hate packing
3- We're traveling with this:

video

Well, minus the dog barking, we left the dog
with my parents...thank you parents ;)

We were able to stay with my aunt and her family. She is the best hostess ever. She even biked alongside me on my 7 mile run Saturday morning...you can't get that kind of dedication at any hotel...especially for free ;)

Our first stop was the reason for our trip...the wedding of one of the girls that was in our youth group. I once did a Bible Study with just the youth girls, called When God Writes Your Love Story. We spent much time discussing what made a good husband, and what it meant to let God write your love story. I remember threatening mentioning that each one had better invite me to their wedding someday so I could see the man that I had been praying for, for them. As we sat in the third row Saturday, and listened to the young man read his vows he'd written to her I couldn't help but cry. He is exactly the kind of man we'd prayed for for Nikole. Nikole took God's Word seriously, even when obeying it seemed painful...and God was faithful.


(he's washing her feet...I've never seen that at a wedding, but the picture of servant hood was perfect)

And our boys at the reception...wishing they were anywhere else *smile*


I think that might be all the vacation you can handle for one day... at least it is for me. I'm off to pick up Odie.

Happy Monday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Be Yourself...

Sometimes, it's easy for me to forget who I am supposed to be. Sometimes, I come up with my own version of me. Sometimes, I allow myself to perceive what others think I should be. Sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it...until the feeling of inadequacy is so strong I find myself looking in the mirror wondering where the heck I went?!?

This usually leads me to start praying for specific situations (people) in my life that I feel are causing me this trouble. Because surely my awesome God can change it.

It doesn't work like that.

My awesome God...He seeks to change me. And often times, He uses the most unconventional methods to get my attention.

This past Sunday my hubby had a sermon that God struck my heart with. Hard. Later that day I said to Ben, "I liked your dumb sermon." A huge smile spread across his face, because he knows me...he knew the dumb thrown in there meant I knew God was working on my heart and it was likely going to require change...those Pastors...they get a kick out of God changing people ;)

There's a song called The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World that I recently added to my iPod because it's a peppy little thing. God has hit my heart with the words this week.

Reminding me that I have forgotten who I am supposed to be. I forgot that all I need to be is who He wants, He makes it clear...and His expectations never change. If what He wants from me ends up not being enough for anyone else...that's OK, because it's enough for Him.

Just be yourself, it doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else... If it's good enough for Him, then that's it. Period.

I want His voice to rise so strongly above the rest of the noise in my life.





Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's Pretend I Know What I'm Talking About...



I've received several emails lately from other bloggers who have either taken the plunge to start running regularly or signed themselves up for some r
aces that are longer than they've ever ran.

I'm pretty giddy when anyone asks for advice because it means that they are not yet aware of how completely clueless I am. It usually only takes me hitting "reply" to clear up that confusion. That being said, I do know what I like/don't like when it comes to running "stuff." I only know what works for me...what ends up working for you might be totally different.

That being said, here is my totally random and con
fusing list of hodge-podge running tips.

  • If you're just starting to run...go SLOW. Chances are, you think you're going slow, but you're not going slow enough. Also, ease into it. Walk/run and work your way up otherwise you'll end up with injuries that will make you quit.
  • Runners World is an amazing resource on just about everything you'd ever want to know about running...from actual experts. I really like their Smart Coach feature which lets you put in information specific to your running abilities and they come up with a plan. We are using one of the Smart Coach plans for our 1/2 marathon training.
  • For me, running is social, so a running partner is a must. It's someone to go through the process with. Here is Billie and I this winter...good thing she never reads my blog because she would kill me ;)
  • Signing up for the 1/2 mary or any race is really important. That goal looming out there makes me get my butt in gear...otherwise I tend to say...maybe tomorrow...
  • Find someone else who loves to talk running...it's fun and motivating.
  • There's lots of stuff I'm still struggling with...what to eat and when before long runs, what to eat period, a nagging groin pain on my left side that seems to come and go, the feeling that I just can't do it or just don't want to do it, enjoying the process...stuff like that.
  • There are several running blogs I lurk on. My two favorites are Run Well and Corre, Corre...they inspire me and have other great ideas and information.
  • Blogger has tested my patience today with formatting issues...I give up. The pictures insist on standing on end...
  • We have a running store nearby that puts you in different shoes and then records you on the treadmill to see if they fit right. If you have one in your area I highly recommend this. Before I tried it I had shoes that I loved, but after being fitted for these Sauconys I realized how much better it made my stride.

    The Adidas sweat band makes me look like a total idiot but it is excellent for catching the salty sweat that kept getting into my eyes and burning like none other. I keep telling Billie I'm gonna get some striped tube socks to complete the sweat band look.
  • We bought a fuel belt and we share it. We only use it for runs over 7 miles, and we take turns wearing it because it is a little annoying to run with.
  • The ipod and Garmin I've mentioned before. Cannot live without them. Can't remember life without them. I lovey lovey lovey them. (to read more running posts you can click on "running" under the header Stuff I Blog About along the left side)
  • SPF 70 sunscreen for face. Trying to avoid the face wrinkles. What more can I say.
  • The little red packs are Jelly Belly Sport Beans. They replenish stuff you need. GU packs are another option, but I just can't stomach them. We use them for long runs. I usually eat just a few before the run (otherwise they make me feel sick) but by about mile 4 I can shove down the rest of the pack. They really do make a difference.
  • I love my Runner's World subscription. It has tons of useful information and lots of inspirational stories. If a 70+ year old man can run marathons then I can certainly run 13.1 miles...stuff like that.
  • Above is my favorite running gear for warm weather. The Nike shirt and tank are the dry fit and I love them.
  • The Mazuno running skirt is fantastic because it has several zippered pockets to carry stuff and compression shorts underneath the skirt.
  • Champion sports bra that I love because it is TIGHT.
  • FoxRiver socks are my favorite. They're thin and just perfect.
  • I also love my Nike dryfit pants. They moisture wicking and breathe well.
  • Something not pictured is Glide. It looks like deodorant but actually stops chafing. Don't get me started on chafing...

  • Well, I think that's pretty much it. I'm sure I forgot something. All you runners out there, feel free to drop in your 2 cents worth! And if anyone else has any other questions, leave a comment and either myself or someone else that actually has running knowledge can hopefully answer it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Must See...


I feel the need to share with you my two favorite things for the week...wait make that three.

3) We have the best neighbors. Not only did Mechanic Steve fix our van for a mere $30 (and told me that the other noise it makes doesn't need to be fixed and isn't harming anything...which is my favorite answer ever,) his lovely wife Marlas had a spare package of pepperoni to loan me...it's a long story, let's just say I really needed the pepperoni. (side note to Marlas: I bought a new pkg of pepperoni yesterday, I'll have Noah run it over if it ever stops raining ;)

2) This week I purchased MY MOST FAVORITE BRACELET for a mere $4.50... ready to see it?
I've worn it everyday...who knew a plastic Peacock feather bracelet could go with EVERYTHING. Remember the Little Bit Ugly rule? That totally applies here.

1) Julie...ya'll know who she is. Julie has a super good friend named Audhild. Audhild is adorable. She has a cute blog that I love (even if it's written in Norwegian and I can't understand it.) Back to my point: Audhild posted a video on her blog yesterday that I have probably watched 75 times...it should be on YouTube.

GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!!! For real, it'll make your day. (Audhild is in the middle, and Julie is on the right) And while you're there, if you would be so kind as to thank Audhild for that piece of entertainment, I'd be ever so grateful.

The whole parsonage family is on a mission to learn the Beaver Song...because HELLO tiny town has a unique relationship to Beaver's (I'm not gonna get into it.) I'm just saying...I think that song is gonna spread through tiny town after a certain Norwegian girl arrives...Tiny Town now has a new theme song.

I love love love that God picked a quirky teenager in Norway to live with a quirkier family in tiny town USA. Oh the videos that will be made in this parsonage... ;)

Happy Friday Friends!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Entertain Myself...





Pregnancy Tickers


*Smile*

My ability to find a ticker thingy to show the countdown till Julie arrives is obviously sub-par.

But pretty darn funny though ;)


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ordinary = Good

Here's some random information to bring you up to date on my oh-so-ordinary life.

Ordinary = Good.

No worries, I'll narrow it down to the topics I bore talk about the most.


My family: Ben and I have been doing Jillians 30 Day shred together...we're on day 6 or 7. We've committed to do it everyday (except Sunday because good grief we need some rest) till Julie comes...25 more days. I'd like to say, for the record, that I'd gladly run 8 miles over TWO MINUTES OF JUMPING JACKS!

The Boys: It goes a little something like this...make a mess, leave that mess to start another mess...eat, eat, eat...fight like crazy...play like crazy...pool...eat, eat, eat...mom has a melt down that goes something like this: pick up your mess, get out of the food you JUST ATE, stop tattling, stop saying that, *watch in amazement as they play good together for a few hours*, remind them again to get out of the pantry, tell them it's time to practice reading...at which point they all suddenly quietly disappear...Summer is fun.

Running: Going good. 1/2 Mary is September 12th. We'll be ready. We won't be fast, but we'll be ready. Goal: Finish. I know, my standards are so high.

Julie: 25 days and she'll be here. Go here to see her and here to listen to her :)

The biggest most important thing: I'm struggling this Summer with giving God the rightful place He deserves...First...top priority. I'm used to structure and routine...both in my daily schedule and with our Ladies Bible study...but this Summer has put those both on hiatus and I find myself getting to the end of the day and realizing I never really took time with just Him. I hate that I so easily allow Him to get squeezed out by unimportant things...

Cute Clothes: I had said in my last post that I was going to share some of my favorite stuff from this Summer...and I'm still going to, sometime this week!

Well, I think that's pretty much all of it!

Your turn...fill me in ;)



Friday, July 3, 2009

Because I Like Cute Stuff...

I have a dream.

It goes a little something like this: Someone with some skill at putting adorable quirky outfits together comes to my home, takes the clothes I already have and puts outfits together for me. Ya know, cute outfits that I never would have thought of.

That way, I wouldn't just stand at my closet everyday, staring at it while my eyes glaze over...until I give up and put on a boring t-shirt and shorts.

A few weeks ago I found a neat new sight called ModCloth. A-dore-a-ble. I can't get enough of their cute stuff...especially the outerwear. And by "get" I mean "look at on my computer screen without actually purchasing" Exciting, huh ;)

From ModCloth I found the ModCloth blog...which is kinda fun...funky little fashion people sharing their style.

From ModCloth blog I found WishWishWish. I am not even kidding that I spent a couple hours one day/evening reading back through all she's written. Her style is very retro, and she just might have convinced me to go vintage this coming fall and winter...thrift stores here I come. I also love that she takes pictures of herself in outfits she's put together, which I happen to think is genius...because I need to see how things work together so I can copy. Plus, it's loaded with clever ideas like this one...which I've already bought ribbon for! She also introduced me to TopShop which is apparently a big deal...but I live in Iowa, so I had no idea ;)

A couple others that I've also fallen for are Go Jane (cheap shoes and stuff) These boots are calling my name for fall, and the price can't be beat...even if they are "man made materials."

Tulle in another cutie. Some of the stuff from the Tulle sight I've seen in a local store...the prices were much more expensive in the store. This coat just makes me happy...just looking at it.

I'm no fashionista. I don't even know what a fashionista is, except that I've seen the term a lot since reading some new blogs. But I do love seeing how people put stuff together to express their personality. I love getting cute, cost friendly ideas to make old stuff seem new and fresh and fun again.

I'm working on a post that includes some of my own personal favorite stuff I'm wearing this summer...coming some time next week :)

Happy 4th of July weekend! God bless this country and God bless these. YAY!



Thursday, July 2, 2009

Because I'm Weird...

I happened to take a good look at my Google reader the other day discovered I have some blogging stereotypes and bias.

One can learn a lot about themselves by the blogs they read.

Generally speaking, I'm a mom-blog kinda reader....ladies that are in the trenches of motherhood with me . I'm also easily sucked in by several Christian women who are sharing their journey and keepin' it real in the process. They make me laugh, relate, and many times cry...there's comfort in knowing others out there are like me...going through the same stuff of life.

Because it's no secret I'm a tad quirky there's also some un-written made-up rules I seem to follow regarding what blogs I read. Here's what I found from my reader:
  • I've stopped subscribing to any of the huge blogs. Weird, huh. I've visited before, and they're pretty great (obviously, or they wouldn't be so huge) but I always end up leaving and feeling like the odd kid who's standing outside the group of the popular kids...like I need to go find another kid who actually needs a friend...
  • I don't read cooking blogs...it's just not my thing. It would be like me trying to read blogs about golf or fishing...although both are fine activities I don't particularly enjoy them.
  • I like smaller blogs because then I get to interact with the writer.
  • If the blog posts are loooong with long paragraphs I stop reading, no matter how great it is...it must have something to do with my self-diagnosed ADD.
  • If the blog background is really dark and I can't see the letters well I stop reading...it hurts my eyes...for real.
  • I love blogs that look at life through a unique perspective.
  • But I tend to shy away from ones that seem too sad, or too negative.
  • I get on tangents of certain topics. For awhile I read a bunch of running blogs...eventually I narrowed it down to the ones who are not over-achiever runners, but more like myself...only better.
  • Lately I'm hooked on some fashion blogs that are utterly adorable. I'm gonna share those links with you tomorrow...because I'm just too lazy to do it today.
It's odd, but my blog reading tendencies are very similar to my real life. Much of what draws my attention or repels it are the same.

Some of it needs to be tweaked.

Some of it, I'm just gonna leave alone...because golfing and fishing are boring, I don't care what you say *wink wink*