Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

On the drive to our big feast on Thanksgiving day we decided to take a moment to write down what we're thankful for.  I had my list, Phil had his (he was also driving at the same time so maybe a little distracted) and we attempted one with the kids. 

Wendell's answer was "hugs".  Aww.. how sweet. 

Some of my answers kind of surprised me:
1. having a good mother-in-law
4. my home
5. MMO/my church

When you really sit down and think about what you're truly thankful for, it's hard to really pick which one is your #1 pick.  A lot of it also depends on the day, the moment, or the past year.

Since the kids couldn't really answer an open question then we played a little game called... would you rather A or B.  We took their favorites and made them choose. 

So Wendell, would you rather watch tv or play computer games
.... eat cottage cheese or mac-n-cheese?
..... wear flip flops or boots?  

How about Harlie, would you rather see an airplane or bird (looking out the window)?
... eat or watch tv?
drink juice or chocolate milk?
read mommy's book or Harlie's book (she loves to pretend she's reading my books)?

It turned out to be a very fun game and it helped with the long car ride.  It also felt good in the soul to know that we know our kids.   We know what makes them happy and usually work to make that happen, within reason. 

So I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and were able to take a moment to reflect on your blessings!

Monday, November 28, 2011

nature hike

Every year, I put on our summer bucket list to go on a nature walk.  I love going out in the woods but sometimes it makes me nervous if I go alone.   But this past Saturday we loaded up Phil's bike and took off to check out a new park in Cedar Falls.  We'd never heard of it but it's called Ulrich and is located on the Northwest side of town.  So we took off and discovered a fun little park that is nothing but woods and some rail road tracks.

We even packed a picnic and ate in the 48 degree weather, outside on a blanket.  And as you can see I took my camera but it quit working towards the end... it's getting old. 

This gets us excited for next summer (or maybe the next one) as Phil and I are thinking about doing an Xterra race which is a triathlon - but the bike and run is on dirt trails instead of paved.  Before kids, Phil and I used to ride dirt paths at George Wyth and loved it but for some reason we quit.  Now the flame has been ignited to do a different kind of crazy race.  There is only one race in Iowa a year and that is at Sugar Bottom near North Liberty.  I'm not sure what this next summer will bring but it's something to think about... if not this summer (due to adding baby #3), then next summer. 

Jesus CEO day 3

The chapter again was simply put... we all answer to someone whether you are 2, 4 or 33.  Jesus, being our perfect leader, also answered to someone - that is God.

Q #1. Do you know who your boss is?

They also talk about a food chain and ask Q #2. what is your food chain? 


Some thoughts on that question are:
  • it's very hard for me to submit to anyone, sometimes God included.  The other day I asked Phil if he thinks I submit to him and he said something like.."when you want to". And he is correct.. and that also goes for God.  When I want to it's easy.. when I don't want to, it's hard, very hard. 
  • It also makes me think of certain family members who think I should submit to them but now that I'm adult, I don't have to.  I should respect all people but that does not mean I have to do what they say/suggest (and they should respect that in return). 
  • I recently had a meeting with my boss.. the big boss above my boss.  And we talked about somethings that happened this past summer at work.  Right now I am processing this submission as well.  I don't want to go into detail but I have to remember that it's always a learning process.
  • Submission reminds me of a teenager.  "I don't want to!" "Why?!"   "Whatever.."  Sometimes I have that attitude...  so when I think like that I need to stop and think about the food chain.  There's a little saying out there that says "God has a plan, and it's better than mine".  I need to remind myself of that even when I don't feel it's true. 
I think there are some deeper issues when it comes to submission, but I haven't figured it out.  Any ideas?

Q #3 - how regularly do you communicate with your boss?  Well when it comes to God, I try to have some 1:1 time daily.  Sometimes it's nice and friendly, sometimes I'm a teenager, sometimes I am so full of joy and peace that I get a glimpse of heaven.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jesus CEO

The topic I read about the other day was about how we think about ourselves.  The author says that Jesus always said positive thing about himself, as do other successful people.  So the question is what do you say about yourself (self talk)?  So it had me pondering... and two thoughts came to mind. 

1. About 6 months ago we had a training at work, the speaker said that most women wear make up (his point was that women with disabilities should be the same or at least given the opportunity) and that women who don't, either think they look fine without it or just don't care/aren't motivated.  So as one of the few women who rarely wears make up I have wondered why that is?? I still haven't figured it out.   This thought brings me to...

2. When I think about my thoughts about myself, or how I look (above) I really don't think I have thoughts unless something major is going on.  Ex.  I wear make up when I get pictures taken, go to a wedding, or a big family get together.  But I also don't do "self talk" unless something major is going on - really bad day with the kids, something happens at work, I run a good race/bad race.

So in general, I don't have much self talk. 

As I write this it reminds me of a friend that commented once in college about my  high self esteem. I laughed at the time but I think my indifference gave her the opinion that I had high self esteem.

I'm not sure.. if I don't have low self esteem, then is it high?  I think I'm just neutral. 

Which brings me to another question they ask.. who do you say you are on a daily basis?  And out of frustration of getting this question a lot in life.  My answer was Heather Rene` (McCulley) Hunt.  Can't I just be me?  Do I have to say I'm a mom? a wife? a daughter? a co-worker? etc.  When I list of those things I feel the pressure to be someone.. but I just want to be me.

So the last question is.. what good, pure, true, beautiful words do you feed yourself everyday?  My answer.. I have none, so sad.  And that probably needs to change.  We often hear about mission statements but maybe I need to have a positive statement or letter that I write to myself.  And it could have specific examples of how I do each thing.  So that will be my homework.. and if I feel comfortable I'll share it. 

One last thought.  I have a very hard time when I am wrong or if I do something wrong.  I feel like I am often right.. and I have a very hard time seeing someone elses point of view.  I'm terrible at sympathy for anyone other than my children.  I don't like work evaluation because they ALWAYS have ways to improve and I hate being told I'm wrong.  Which is why I hate confession time when I pray, which is why I don't do it often.  I think I don't like to look within because I focus on the negative and I'm hate feeling incomplete/inadequate.  So I simply don't do it.  So in turn, I live life in a world of Heather Rene` (McCulley) Hunt.. and I don't see others world from their perspective.  Maybe if I had some good talk.. I could listen more to the bad talk. 

(Man, chapter 2 and I'm already in some really deep thoughts, this might be an occasional read.. I'm exhausted just thinking about it all.  I might have to find someone to process this with, and I might have to buy the book instead of borrowing it.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

more books, more reading

The latest reads.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender - interesting book about a young girl who starts to notice she can taste the emotions of whoever makes the food.  So her moms makes her a cake and she can taste the sadness and loneliness of her mom.  It's kind of an odd story line but also creative.  In the end I would say it was an odd book and okay.. not a great read.

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow - a book about a girl who is bi-racial.  She was raised to be "white" until she is forced to move in with her "black" grandma.  It's a very sad book as it goes into how people treat her, what they expect of her and also her sad story about why she is forced to live with her grandma.  It was good and educational but sad.  For some reason I have a particular interest in reading about African American people so this book was right up my alley.

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman - a mystery!  I don't remember ever reading a mystery.  This was about a pregnant woman who is stuck on bed rest or as the author puts it "being held hostage by a terrorist.. the agenda is unclear, the demands vague, to be held for at least 2 months [on bed rest], then 12 weeks to 18 years, depending on how you look at it".  This book definitely had a sense of humor.  But like this statement, I had to read some parts about three times to understand what she was saying.  An okay book.. fun to read something different.

The rest of my books are due back today so who knows what's next.  I have two that I didn't get too so I might try and renew them.   We'll see.. off to the library I need to go, very soon!

Let me know if you have any good recommendations!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jesus CEO - 1 gifts

This chapter talked about Jesus being tested in the wilderness and when he came out he knew more about his gifts and about what he was suppose to do.  One question they have is: what wilderness experience has helped you see your gifts more clearly?

I will admit I don't see any clear answers for myself. 

In fact the chapter made me think more about what are my gifts? am I using them?  Well, I know my gifts and I've taken a lot of those tests to show that I'm task oriented, relational (on a deeper level), and a deep thinker/analytical.  I know my target person to help is the needy/under resourced/ down on their luck kind of person.  But sadly, I am not using any of my gifts (unless you consider my work).  I have tried many different volunteer opportunities and none have lasted long term as they have never seemed a good fit.  I think part of it is that I like helping people but I've found most people want to do it their own way.. and don't want my advice.  I am a problem solver and like finding solutions.. and again, most people don't like to hear my rants.

On another note, now that I am a mom of young kids I feel like my gifts are (my life is) on hold or much more limited as I don't get to use them or do what I've always thought was my "mission".  Some people seem to just know their gifts and how to use them, and they seem so happy... I feel like I am not that person (when it comes to using my gifts).  

One way I've tried is that the kids and I have been visiting an older lady in the nursing home for about 9 months now.  And although it's okay.. it's not great.  I don't think the lady really cares to see us, she's friendly enough just not real excited or thankful when she sees us.  I do think others there enjoy our visits but I personally, don't get much out of it, other than knowing I'm a little light in their day.  But I can already feel the itch to quit and try something else.

I was at church today and saw a paper posted to adopt a college student.  Maybe I should try that?

Maybe being a mom of young kids or simly not finding a good match is my wilderness.. and I need to think about that more.. and maybe I need to think about how maybe my mission field has changed in the past 5 years since I have changed.   I feel like since I have the kids that I don't really have time or engry to use my gifts or to think about a mission... unless you count the kids themselves.  So if my kids are my mission field then that's a whole other string of thoughts.

I think I'm getting lost.   What was the question? 

Jesus CEO - intro

Hey everyone, I just snagged a book from the church library that I really don't know much about but when I thumbed through it, it looked really interesting.  It's called Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership by Laurie Beth Jones.  I will admit the title didn't really catch my eye but the short chapters with questions at the end did.   I don't know if this book will be a long journey or a short one but I thought I'd bring you along with me.  Most of my followers are christian moms like myself so hopefully we can share some thoughts together.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

clothing designer?

Ever had a problem that wasn't going away.. so you think of creative ways to solve that problem.  Then you realize (as I often do) they don't make what you want.  Ergg...

Problem: my legs get cold when I go to work at night time
while the rest of me is bundled up nice and warm 

(And I'm not a big fan of those really, really long coats)

(and I wanted something really easy to get on and off, especially over boots)

Solution: sweat/blanket skirt 

Am I crazy? yep
Do I like it? yep
Is it warm? yep (double layer of fabric : )
Do I really care what kind of fashion statement I make at 10pm when I drive to work? not really
Do I like being warm and toasty? yep

I think I have missed my calling as a fashion designer.  : )

Kind of wished it matched my coat (but it was out of my tub of extra fabric down in the basement = free).  If I decide I really like and will use it, maybe I'll go buy some material to match my coat and actually sew the edges together so it looks a little nicer.

Can't wait to try it out when I work tonight! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

big news!

Oh, did I forget to tell you our big news? 

Well in case you haven't heard... I'm pregnant!  15weeks

Officially due April 25th (expecting 2 weeks after that : )
this is the current size of the baby

We are not going to find out what we are having.. so we'll have a surprise!

Wendell and Harlie both know and seem pretty excited. 

Wendell asks me about once a week "is the baby still in there?".

Harlie loves to pet and kiss my tummy.

We are not planning to move anytime soon, and will squeeze our family into this lovely cottage that we call home.

We are excited to feel like our family is complete..
and in a few years will move into the next stage of life!
just for fun, any idea why i love this picture?