Wednesday, March 30, 2011

another round of 'good' books

So one of my goals for this year was to read more fiction/fun books. For some odd ball reason I like to keep track of books I've read and liked (which is helpful when someone asks for a recommendation). So here's what I've been reading the past few months:

  • Maggie's Story by Dandi Daley Mackall - this is a christian fiction book with a modern day version of when Jesus came to earth. This one just felt odd but really made me think about how I would feel if Jesus came today or how I would have responded to Jesus 2000 years ago.

  • If you remember I wrote a post awhile ago about books I read as a kid. In the mean time I've found a few and have been rereading; and enjoying them.. even if they are in the youth department. The Indian in the Cupboard, Return of the Indian, The Secret of the Indian, and I Houdini; all by Lynne Reid Banks - these are very imaginative books and fun/adventure. I'm not done with the last one yet but so far it's just as entertaining as the others. ** I hope to read these to Wendell some day (I tried but he's not quite ready yet).

  • Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer - this is considered a christian fiction, but I didn't see much christianity in it. It's about a man who looses his job and kind of gets forced to be a stay-at-home dad. It was pretty good so it made the cut.

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett - this is a fiction book about the african american women who where the housekeepers/nannies of caucasian women down in the south, I believe it was during the 60's. Very interesting stories that were good and bad; it's a bit of a heart breaker but it felt very "real". ** of the books listed, this one was my favorite (thanks to Sarah for the recommendation!)

What's next? I have a few more christian fiction book from the church library sitting on mys shelf, and then some more youth fiction - A Wrinkle in Time, maybe some Little House on the Prairie and Grapes of Wrath. Whatever comes my way... let me know if you have any recommendations. I'm always looking for some fun easy reads.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

love it!

I love this so much I've made a photo copy to use as a book mark (and I pulled a Heather by using clear mailing tape to "laminate" it). Wendell says the original copy is his since he requested we take our picture at the little photo booth in the mall. So thanks to all the grandparents who send $$ for the little things. His Valentines $$ paid for this and the carousel ride. I like it so much I'm tempted to take Phil along next time to make a Christmas "picture" for later this year. Please note baby Lexie is with us, our new usual. You can see her best in the last picture : )

Monday, March 21, 2011

eat like a hog, work like a hog

I'm learning with loosing weight (or trying to in my case) that because I like to eat then I need to work out a lot harder/longer to burn the extra calories; and if I work out a lot then I tend to get hungry and burn through food faster so I eat more. This morning was a perfect example, I swam 40 laps at the pool (which was about 10 more than normal) and when I was done I was REALLY hungry so when I got home, I ate like a hog. 2 yummy cheesy scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of buttered toast and a tall glass of o.j.

Ironic how it all works.

So eat like a hog, workout like a hog. Or workout like a hog, then eat like a hog. ???
Or grow long beards like the hogs pictured above.
Either way, I just started doing longer workouts the past few weeks. I'm hoping with that in place, getting out more with the nice weather and hopefully watching what I eat, then I could FINALLY loose some more weight. After this attempt, I give up. I guess at some point we just have to be satisfied with where we are at.. and I'm getting close to that. Hogs or no hogs.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

favorite pictures in the past month

Here are my favorite pictures in the past month or so...
Wendell lounging. Why do I love it? Because he LOVES making these piles and then doing various things with them. The delight on his face is so worth saying yes, when he asks to take the pillows off the couch.
Harlie in the bathtub. Why do I love it? Harlie loves baths. Whenever we say it's bathtime she makes a b-line for the stairs so she can go take her bath. Funny story with this one... after she was all done and dressed with her bath then Wendell took his. She was in the bathroom playing while he was taking his bath and she got the footstool near the bathtub. Phil and I had stepped into Wendell's room for a minute and the next thing we hear a splash and some crying. We went in to find Harlie soaked like a drenched rat (in her purple footed pajamas) as she had fallen in the bathtub. I'm sure she got a face full of water.. as she was crying, Phil consoling, and I was just laughing away. So funny.

Wendell and his box shoes. Why do I love it? Well, probably because the box shoes were my idea and I thought it was fun watching him slide around with them on. They didn't last long but they did provide some fun entertainment.

Self portrait - Wendell. Why do I love it? It just shows his sillyness. There was actually a whole collection of them like this and some had his face smashed more and some looked so dopey. He just gets silly when he gets the camera in his hands.

Harlie.. need I say more? I'm not sure if it's the look on Phil's face of no idea what is standing next to him?
Or the way Harlie's head is turned just slightly to indicate she was just curious as to what daddy is up to in the fridge (it just so happens she is naked)? Or the diaper just laying on the floor like it belongs there and not on her body..
kind of like used kleenexes around our house?

Anyways, I love random pictures of kids especially when they are "caught in the act" of just being precious little stinkers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

We usually don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day except to wear the token green so we don't get pinched. But this year thanks to Phil we had a little fun with our meal and made some traditional Irish food. The first picture is dessert and I made "shamrock shakes" (it doesn't look very green in the picture, probably because I didn't add a lot of food coloring). The main meal was more traditional. We had reuben's - rye bread, corn beef, swiss cheese, sour kraut and Russian dressing. I also made colcannon potatoes - basically mashed potatoes with cooked cabage and a leek. Then I made regular cole slaw with the left over cabbage. The reuben was very interesting and distinct tasting, the potatoes were okay but we probably won't make them again and the cole slaw was delicious. The shake was the best of all but I also love ice cream.

I should have taken a picture of us in our green. I squeezed Harlie in a tiny 12 month tshirt that was so tight but the ONLY green shirt I could find. Wendell looked normal in his and I had a green sweatshirt on. It got hot so I took it off and next think I know Phil and Wendell are pinching me.. and Wendell was loving it.

So Happy St. Pat's day! It's an interesting holiday when you look at the back ground. Hope you had some fun too... now we need to start thinking of April fools day : )'s_Day

Thursday, March 10, 2011

God's money?

Our money or God's?

A few weeks ago we made a quick stop at Wal-mart right before church. Unknowingly, our collection of tithe envelopes (5 as we forget them often) had fallen out somewhere. We did not realize it until we actually got to church and had sat down. I stayed at church while Phil went to Wal-mart to look for them.... while it took two trips and some phone calls they did find them and we got them back. (Last week I was able to actually turn them in safely.) But back to my story.. both Phil and I discussed our emotions of losing 5 checks made out to our church and both of us felt a peace knowing it was God's money, not ours. He (God) can do with it as he pleases but in the end we were very grateful to find them and get them to our church... on less thing to think about.

But my story doesn't end there. So a few days after the incident I kept thinking about how we both felt at peace about how that was "God's money" not ours so it didn't matter. But it made me think, what if it had been a check that was "our money"? And it made me ask. isn't all our money God's money? We are just stewards.

I think this was a planned "discussion" in my head because yesterday we received a blow in the mail. A $1000 (yep, one thousand dollar) bill in the mail for Phil's one x-ray and then 6 weeks worth of physical therapy. I will say we haven't called insurance yet but I'm pretty sure they'll say that money will be applied to our deductible and we will have to pay it.

So, with many emotions in my head I am trying to remind myself that it's God's money, not mine. I'm glad we have a savings account but I guess if this is what God wants to spend $$ on then so be it. I have handed the bill to the bill payer in the house and hope to never see it, smell it, or think about it again.

I guess just another reminder that we probably can't afford to move soon as I had planned last year... that will be another post.
One last note, I am very frustrated with our society's health insurance. Why do I have to call EVERY time I do something new to see what insurance covers before I actually make an appt., see a new doctor, get a test done or get a prescription? I had to pick up a prescription for Harlie today and was scared to death what the cost would be. I really had no idea how much iron drops cost, turns out it was $10 but do I have to call EVERY time before I do something to make sure I'm not going to get a giant bill? I did call my chiropractor to make sure I wasn't going to get a big bill and they assured me I wouldn't.. I should have gotten it in writing : ) Now I'm paranoid... and will be for about 2 years and once I start to relax it will happen again.

I just have to remind myself.. God's $, not mine. God's $, not mine. God's $, not mine. And my reward is in heaven, not here.

charts and stickers

For the past few weeks we've been trying some new incentives around the house to get Mr. Wendell motivated to get moving and to stay focused on the task at hand. Main issues being #1 being very pokey when eating and #2 not getting dressed (coats, shoes, clothes etc.) in a timely manner... and the all time #3 not listening (which he gets from his mom : )

99.9% of the time he happy to get out the door and wants to come along but that 4 year old mind is very distracted sometimes.

So we have been trying a few things that have been helpful and the ideas have come from various other moms.

  1. timer - we have a timer on our stove and he gets 3 minutes for shoes and coat and 5 minutes to eat (** please note, this is after a few minutes of trying without a timer; and he has proven this is a good amount of time for him - not too rushing but not too leisurely)
  2. stickers - our son loves stickers so we posted a piece of paper on the fridge and when he does a good job with listening (at our discretion) then he gets to stick a sticker on that paper

that brings us to what I've done today.

  1. sticker chart - I made a chart on the computer and it has 20 squares and then his name at the top. When he fills in all the squares with a sticker he gets a prize. When we go shopping this weekend he will get to pick out his prize and then we will put it on the fridge so he can see it, but he can not play with it until his chart if full.
  2. get ready chart - see below- for in the mornings he has school. I made a chart out of clip art that is numbered 1-4. 1. eat breakfast 2. get dressed 3. brush his teeth and 4. shoes and coat *** in the heart is love God and mom which means he needs to tell me good bye and say a short prayer
We'll see how it all goes but so far the timer is helping and I want to reward him for when he's a good boy. The next chart, which is also coming soon is going to be a chore chart. Wendell and Harlie both seem to enjoy "helping" around the house so while they enjoy it I plan to put them to work. Wendell especially can help take out garbage, recycling, with dishes, vacuuming and pick up toys. He also is learning to set the table and clear his plate and glass after he's done eating. So, I think the young lad deserves a sticker for helping out around the house but I also think we need some direction.

Coming soon will be a chore chart!

Friday, March 4, 2011

what I'm learning

I like taking notes on my walk with God (I have a little green notebook that I keep them in). I wouldn't call it journaling as it's not paragraphs/sentences but I do write down highlights from my Bible readings, other books I read, prayer lists, church/sermons, and pretty much anything else that comes up. So for today I am going to share what I've been learning this week.

I Remember
I have a daily devotion about motherhood that I read about twice a year and every time I read it I say to myself I should read it more since I really like it. Well last week when I read it, it said (in short) that I should keep track of when "I Remember" God. Helpful hints were: the day I gave my life to Christ, miracles I witness, times God has come through for me, and the small things. In doing this I would remember all the great gifts from God. Most of us (and I am one those people) tend to focus on the negative so this practice gets me thinking of the positive and the fact that God is active in my life through the small and big things. In the past week I've written down 5 things so I'm already amazed to see God's work in my life. Here are a few of mine...

  • I Remember - you allowing me to achieve the unachievable - weight loss, running, swimming, endurance, and a new life style.
  • I Remember - feeling my temper with Wendell rising so I took a break and read the devotion that day and it (you) reminded me to enjoy my time with the kids as it won't last long before they grow up. So it was meal time and at this point he was eating alone because he was eating so slow, I was reminded that I have limited lunches to sit with my little Wendell, so I went out to sit with him. Next thing I knew we were talking about school and enjoying ourselves AND he was eating (with a little help).
  • I've also "experienced" a couple of small miracles but they are kind of complicated/gross to explain.

So I would encourage all of you to take some time to think about what you Remember about God. He wants us to love him and it's much easier to do when we have some idea of what he's doing in our life.


One other thing I have been thinking about is from our church sermon last Sunday. The sermon was about idolatry... which quite honestly I picture the cow and gold horns or whatever it was they used to worship back in the Bible. But this past Sunday Tim (our teacher/minister of the week) said idolatry is when we take a good thing in our life that is NOT God and make it into the ultimate thing in our life before God or Love (I added Love since God is Love and that is good visual for me).

** if you are interested you can listen to the sermon on line - it's the third one down by Tim B.

So I translated it to be what do I put before God or why am I not loving sometimes? One thing that has really been sticking out to me is "being task oriented" or "in control". At work and at home I find myself getting frustrated when we are trying to accomplish something and it's not getting done. A big example is when we are trying to get out the door, usually we don't have to be somewhere at a certain time but once we decide to go I want the kids to get socks, shoes, coat, etc. on (and in a reasonable amount of time) so we can leave. Or at mealtime I want to eat and clean up so we can move onto the next thing (even if we don't have "the next thing" planned out yet). At work I've been kind of pushy so the ladies are ready to get out the door so they've completed all their daily hygiene and also so I can get off work/go home. But since I've decided to kind of relax at work and just say what happens happens (if they don't want to brush their teeth then that is their choice, if they miss the bus then we'll deal with it then) then my life has been better. At home, I'm still working on that. But I think those are two area's that I'm not being "loving" which means I'm putting something before God (God=love). It's just another way to look at life and it reminds me that if I want to obedient to God then I need to put him (love) first. Hope all that makes sense.

So after reading all this, I encourage you to...

1. Remember God's work in your life

2. think about what you idol (put before God/love)

***as I always, I'd like to hear your thoughtCheck Spellings