Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Fun Stuff

Jake has the flu.  As in the doctor swabbed his nose and it's officially influenza b.  Bleh.  My heart hurts just looking at him...and I can't help thinking about the parents who have to watch their children suffer for much longer than the life of a flu virus.  Perspective.

Lucy and I, because we spent the most time around him, are on tamiflu in hopes of avoiding it.  We'll see if that works...

I was supposed to get my hair cut this morning.  I had actual tears when I called the salon to try to reschedule.  That's the bad thing about having such a great stylist...I'm on the cancellation list, but the soonest I could schedule an actual appointment is March 29th.  

This is what my hair will look like by March 29th:

Thank you Google Images for this lovely photo.

I'm pretty sure I won't be wearing spandex pants by then though.

Pretty sure.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Keeping it Real

Let's be honest...

People are crazy.  All of us: Crazy.

There's this Pinterest quote I saw...


Love....or friendship, requires a mutual weirdness.  It's funny.  And true.  I'm pretty sure that I will spend my whole life still learning about people and relationships.  They're complicated, and wonderful and sometimes terribly frustrating.  

I'm convinced that God uses the frustrating relationships in my life to refine me, and change me.  I'm also convinced He uses them to help me value and appreciate those whose weirdness is compatible with mine.  

As I look at my inner-circle of people, I can't help but smile at their weirdness.  All unique.  All crazy.  And completely different.  

I read an article awhile back about relationships, and it said something to the affect that we become a lot like the combination of the five people we spend the most time with.  It went on to talk about Jesus, and His ministry to the masses as well as how he interacted with the few that were in His inner-circle.  And it got me thinking.  Who are my 5?  Who's 5 am I in?  And how are they affecting me and me affecting them?  

Do I leave those in the inner better than I found them?  Do I rub off on them positively or negatively?  How do my mannerisms, thoughts, words, beliefs, actions change them?  Are they better for having been in my presence?  

Or...

Do I leave them feeling discouraged?  Annoyed?  Frustrated?  Do I complain too much and listen too little?  Is our relationship about my agenda, my needs, my everything?  

Tough questions...but crucial.  Sometimes tough questions require tough answers, and tough answers mean even harder changes.  


Philippians 4:8

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I want my mouth and my life to match when it comes to this verse.  I want to think and speak on those things FAR more than I vent and complain about their opposites.  And that is hard.  

But I didn't make it up.  God did.  And it sounds lovely.












































Source: etsy.com via Olivia on Pinterest

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A "Present"

Yesterday Lucy was upstairs by herself (which is never a good idea) so I called up to see what she was doing.

She ran out of her brother's bedroom (again, never good) and proclaimed "I'm making you a present!"  

How sweet, I thought.  


"Lucy, can you come downstairs and make my present?" I asked, in a weak attempt to get her downstairs.

She smiled sweetly and exclaimed "Yes!"  

I was surprised at her eagerness because usually I have to go up and chase her down.  As she reached the bottom of the stairs, I could smell her stinky diaper.  I said, "Lucy you're stinky!" and she smiled...

and pointed to her bottom and said "A present for you!"  

Nice.

It's my own fault.  Every time Ben is home, and I smell a dirty diaper (because I always smell it first)  I say to him, "Lucy has a present for you!"  My snarky wit has caught up with me.

I probably deserved that present.

And I should probably make myself start potty training her.  Dude, I hate potty training.



Friday, January 11, 2013

Couple Things

Thanks to Jackie, who did my last blog layout, I now have a button.  My very own button...just like everyone else in blogland.  I'll never be cutting edge, but at least I'm sorta caught-up instead of left behind.


You can get the code on the right sidebar



So.  If you would like to post the cute little button on your blog, I'd more than love it.  And, if you are already cool and have a button, please let me know so I can post it on mine...because it's all the rage.  Or so I've heard.

She also tweaked my header for me, and it makes me happy.  Feel free to let it make you happy to.

One last thing.  The other day I tried to comment on my own blog and I realized HOW COMPLETELY ANNOYING those little pop-up boxes are that make you type in the squirrel-y letters.  I tried half a dozen times and still couldn't get it right...which then made me smash my computer (only in my head, of course.)

In an effort to reduce your stress, and mine, I deleted the need for that dumb box...only to find out it does serve a purpose in blocking spammy annoying comments.  Which finally leads me to my point:  I enabled comment moderation.  Which means none of the comments post until I allow them to.  I've never had that enabled on my blog before and I just wanted to give you a heads up so that you didn't try posting a comment only to find that it didn't appear, and so you post it again, and nothing, until you finally realized it was moderated.  

I *may* have learned that from experience.  

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Love

So far in 2013 we have two family members getting married...well one is in January 2014, but within the next year...that's how I do math.  A nephew and a first cousin (who is more like a niece because I'm that much older.)  I love weddings.  So fun.

And back in November we went to a lovely wedding that I mentioned here.  In that post I linked to one of the songs that I fell in love with.  Turns out, I'm also in love with the other song the bride had in her wedding.  

In love with love songs, that's me.

So, for your enjoyment, I give you Hundred More Years.  Makes me cry every.single.time I listen to it.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Currently

Currently...


Listening:  To Cinderella...Lucy's watching it in the other room.

Eating:  Nutella.  Lots and lots of Nutella.

Drinking:  Black Coffee.  

Wearing:  The shirt I wore yesterday, slept in, and still currently have on.  Someone needs to shower yet.  Someone also has to get out of the habit of sleeping in their clothes.  

Feeling:  Peaceful.  In the last several months, with some Holy Spirit nudging, I re-evaluated my things, relationships, habits, thoughts, emotions, and made some changes.  At the time,it was less than pleasant but I'm beginning to see why God caused the shake-up...things were out of whack and now it is much, much better.  Whoever said 'No Pain No Gain' was totally right.

Weather:  This week has been warm.  Because 35 in January in Iowa is warm.

Wanting:  Spring to come quickly.

Needing:  To keep my eyes on Jesus.

Thinking:  I should get in the shower...

Enjoying:  Hanging out everyday with my Lucy.  She's a hoot.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A True Story...

If you're not new to my blog/life you likely remember Julie.  I haven't updated on her for awhile and thanks to a sweet comment from Amy@ My 
Front Porch, I realized I should because frankly it's quite a good story.

If you need to get up to date, you can go to this post to get the back-story (for the record, I had to re-read to to figure out where I left off ;)

So.  In 2009-2010 Julie (from Norway) was our exchange student.  In May of 2010 she finished her year as an exchange student and went back to Norway to finish her last year of school there (they go 13 years.)

Through reasons that can only be explained by God, she decided to come back to Iowa to attend a University that is only about 15 minutes from our tiny town.  If you read that last post about Julie, you'll see that I was really looking forward to getting a do-over with her.  Our experience with her as an exchange student was wonderful.  And crazy all at the same time.

We learned so much about teenagers.  And parenting of teenagers.  Boyfriends and dating and curfews and saying no and setting restrictions and enforcing and protecting.  To Julie's credit, she was pretty easy-going as far as exchange students go.  She took it in stride, and respectfully submitted...even if there were some tears involved.  She never ran off and slammed her bedroom door.  I remember Ben and I looking at each other many times and saying, "Our own kids are not going to act so graciously about our rules."  

Her first year at college, I helped her move in and get settled.  We occasionally had coffee together or she'd stop by the house, but I remember telling Ben that it wasn't quite the do-over I expected.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it seemed like there was something that was causing a distance between us.  I became the "mom" who had to ask 20 questions in order to get any information.  

And then late in the winter or early spring she went on a retreat with a group of college kids from her church.  (Julie just shared her testimony about this retreat at her church's college group, and the Pastor sent me the CD so I could hear it, so it's how I know the inside-story :)  During the retreat they were encouraged to really sit quietly with God to see if there were areas in their life that they needed to ask forgiveness in order to move on...and other stuff.

Julie was reminded of something that had happened when she lived with us as an exchange student.  I do not know that details of the event (Thank you Jesus) but it involved her lying to Ben and I.  She felt convicted and knew God wanted her to call and apologize to us.  She shares in her testimony that she did NOT want to make that call.  She did her best to rationalize that it was in the past, and really wasn't necessary to bring it up again.  But the gut feeling wouldn't ease, and she made the call.

When she called, she was crying so hard I could barely understand what she was saying.  I knew she was apologizing for something that had happened when she lived here...and it didn't matter what it was or the details...but I knew without a doubt that she was sorry and that God was moving in her life. I reassured her that all was forgiven, and that we loved her, and that we were so proud of her for doing the hard thing and being obedient to God's nudging.

I hung up that phone so incredibly humbled for the opportunity to be a part of Julie's life.  Our greatest desire had always been to encourage her in her faith.   To witness her doing the hard things necessary to grow was beyond worth it!

And it opened the door for that do-over that I had so looked forward to. :)  The guilt that she had felt had hindered our relationship...without either of us really knowing it.  God taught both of us something really valuable...when he nudges us to do something, even if we think or want it to be invalid: It's not. He wants us to do the hard things because He knows it's what brings us freedom.  We have a closeness now that we didn't have before.  

This year, Julie is already a Junior in college and is working as a RA (Resident's Assistant) and she's interning at the (quite large) church she attends.  God is using her life, and her testimony and we are so very proud of the woman that she is allowing God to shape her into.  She stops in for visits, and every now and then stays for a couple days...and we feed her.  

Occasionally we reminisce about the events that lead her here to tiny town Iowa.  I'm still in awe that we even decided to have an exchange student in the first place!  It seemed like a crazy idea, but isn't that just like God?  He works in the crazy, unexpected ways.  

Julie is and will always be one of our family.  And I'm not gonna lie...I'm really hoping she falls in love with an American boy that loves Jesus as much as she does.  But I'll let God write that story...but I can still hope. ;)

Here's our Christmas card this year...and then I promise no more Christmas pictures till next year. 




Side Note:  I'm working on an "interview" for Julie so that she can answer some questions on the blog.  If you have any questions you might like to ask her (i.e. How annoying is the parsonage family?) go ahead and leave a comment for email me and I will add it to the list.  Fun, right!?!





Saturday, January 5, 2013

Better Late Than Never...

Here's some random pictures of our Christmas(s).

Just because.





This picture makes me laugh.  It's what happens when I hand the camera to Ben.  At least it proves I was there.















Friday, January 4, 2013

Better Than a Click

I came across some wisdom (via the internet) that has really sort of stuck in my brain the last few days. 
The first is via my internet friend, Lindsay.  I've read her blog since I started blogging...so we're talking years.  It's good stuff.  She posted on FB a little blip about blogging:
well, I'm finding that even if I'm the only one that reads my own... it's still worth something. It's more than clicking like ... and I know it's something my family will treasure for years to come ..."
That resonated with me, because I like to like stuff on Facebook because it's quick and easy...but it matters about as much as the effort it takes to do it.  But my blog, no matter how insignificant, is still worth something...to me and my family.

Lindsay is right.  No matter how lame it may get, a blog post is still worth more than a click.

Yesterday, I was reading Mindy's post on being intentional and it just resonated with me. 
Being intentional, and staying intentional are not my natural bent.  It's something that God definitely started a work in my heart this past year, and He's far from finished.  Being intentional while at the same time leaving some freedom for the Holy Spirit to intervene and move is a tricky dance sometimes.  So, I'm making a list of areas that need some work yet...and then praying God messes with the list as He sees fit.  

Hoping to share the list with you soon.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today

Because someday I might want to remember what I did today.  Or not.  Whatever, at least it's a post.


  • Woke up at 5:45 to run with Billlie.  Hadn't run since before Christmas and it was freeeezing out and we sorta slid all over but it's still better than the treadmill!  This months marks 6 years we've been running together.  That's just craziness.  I ordered new running shoes from Eastbay.  I've been having hip flexor issues so I stretched today.  Yay me.
  • In our house, we say "Yay!" and "Woo Hoo!" after stuff.  And by we, I mean me.  And now Lucy.  It cracks me up.
  • Boys had their first day back to school after Christmas break.  Everyone was rip-roaring ready to go, which surprised me.  Apparently we've had enough "together" time.
  • Spent time thinking about my friend Steph, and her son Tate.  Today marks two years in Heaven for Tate...and he's missed terribly.
  • Loaded up Lucy and her buddy Ryder and we headed to the town where our bank resides and then went to Wal-Mart (which I loathe but it was early and it was ok and there is no Target there.)  While there I decided we should probably get a new printer/scanner/copier because ours is eight years old now and super moody.  Plus it was reasonably priced and the ink was way cheaper than our current old model.  I went with an HP again because DUDE, the last one lasted EIGHT YEARS!  Plus, it said it was wireless and that just makes me happy.
  • Drove through McDonald's and got coffee and cookies. (3 cookies for $1 is amazing if you ask me.)  The kids didn't want the cookies.  Their loss, my gain.  Literally.
  • Came home and fixed computer all.by.myself.  Our laptop battery had died awhile ago so per my brothers instructions I ordered one from Amazon because they are dirt cheap.  Thank you China.  Anyways, the battery worked but would not charge.  So I Googled, and uploaded new BIOS (no idea what that is) and BAM problem fixed.  Yay!  Woo HOO!
  • Then I set up the new printer.  All. by. myself.  So what if it took all day... I was also caring for some preschoolers.  Multi-tasking at its finest.
  • Drank a Pepsi.
  • Combed Lucy's hair.
  • Meanwhile I kept calling Ben to inform him of my progress because I knew he'd be so super impressed with my skills.  
  • Took Nelson out in the frigid cold to pee approximately 8 times.  He hates the cold.
  • Did some laundry...it's still sitting in the baskets, but it's clean.
  • Pondered grief for a bit and realized that I have a lot to learn about life from my 11 year old.  He celebrates his friends life, and misses him, but he doesn't dwell on what could have been...because he accepts what is.  He reminds me where Tate is, and Heaven is perfection. And he smiles when he talks about him, because he's taking Tate with him until they meet again, where they'll play video games for eternity.  
  • Made supper.  Frozen, breaded parmesan chicken breast things that are basically glorified chicken nuggets.  But with some cheese and buffalo sauce they are gourmet.  Oh, we also had instant mashed potatoes because we are healthy like that.
  • Thought about how I need to start potty training Lucy.  And then decided to procrastinate.
  • Started cleaning off the desk, and then got distracted by blogging.
  • Blogged.
  • New book came in the mail from Amazon.  Now I have two I need to start. ASAP.
  • Just remembered that Eli has basketball practice in 45 minutes.  
  • Getting off the computer.




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Good Start


Thank you so much for your sweet, encouraging comments on my last post.  It was just what I needed, so thank you for taking the time to write.  


New Year's Day is one of my favorite days simply because we can lay around and do nothing and it ends up being lovely.  We spent a lot of the day watching my new favorite show via Netflix, Hart of Dixie.  Seriously, I adore it.  It's kinda quirky like my beloved Gilmore Girls.

I did end up having to make a Target-run to get one of the boys some more cough medicine.  I was amazed at all the stuff that was on clearance.  And by the stuff that was not on clearance.  Of course.

I picked up some new notebooks and a planner.  New Year = New Notebooks.



And shoes on clearance.  I also bought a shirt for $5 but the pic won't load.  I'll try again later...since it's so very important for you to see it.  *cough*




And since I'm stuck in the frozen tundra, a new candle to make it smell tropical.  It's like a $10 vacation.  



For supper we tried a new Pinterest recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It was super.  The kids didn't like it, but what do those Ramen-lovers know anyways?  And as I write this I can't remember how to get Pinterest recipes on here because it's been so long since I blogged regularly.  Add that to my to do list:  Figure stuff out.

Which reminds me...what the heck is Google+ and how/why do I want to use it?  I know I'm in it, I just don't have a clue.  I have lot's to figure out, but looking forward to getting back in the groove.

I'm hoping to join some blog link things in an effort to stay accountable to posting.  I generally hide from those sorts of things...but it you have one that you are a part of and love, then I'd be happy to copy you. ;)