InstaFriday

This was my poor husband taking a conference call. The only quiet place in the house was out in the messy garage!

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On Saturday, the kids and I were hanging out in my son’s room and I asked about this little cardboard box. My son confessed to not knowing why he had it and said, “I’m a hoarder.” We all laughed really hard and decided it would be fun to make some more!

20131122-152209.jpgTwo of our friends got married. I was freezing because I’m a wimp, but it was a really sweet night. We are so happy for them.

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A bunch of the youth helped with the catering. They were guarding the dessert table, but a couple of guests got through, so they took this approach.

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Somebody kept distracting the servers with his ESPN app.

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On Sunday, we had a memorial for our grandmother/great grandmother. My son, who does not like being in front of a group of people, agreed to do one of the Bible readings. When my husband asked him, he just said yes, like it was no big deal. Then right before the service, I asked him if he was nervous. He said, “It’s just six verses, Mom. I think I can do it.”

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So, I opened an Etsy store. I wanted to find a way to raise money for all the mission organizations and world changers that I know. I made these cute headbands. After wearing them this week, I’ve learned that they need some tweaking. They hurt like heck! We’re still in product development. :) I’ll keep you posted.

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I’m linking up here:

life rearranged


Hand Me Down Buttons and Love

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Over the past few years, my grandma-in-law has been passing her craft supplies down to me. She has been filling my craft closet with vintage treasures of lace, fabric, and lots of amazing buttons. She didn’t just buy buttons, she would painstakingly cut them off clothes that were no longer wearable. So the different collections passed down to me, were grown over decades of deciding what was valuable enough to buy, and then what was valuable enough to keep.

Two weeks ago, this sweet woman passed away and we’re are all saying goodbye in our different ways. Today, I’m sorting through sewing notions and thread– my last gift of hand me downs from Grandma. She would always tell me, “You’re the only one that does this stuff anymore. You will actually use it.”

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So now I’m making the hard decisions. What can I make for the little girls, her great-grandkids, so that they will remember her? How do I use these vintage tools that I’ve never seen on Pinterest? How do I continue what she started long ago?

Because she loved so well with her sewing and crafts. Not just the family, but strangers too! She would buy teddy bears and stuffed animals at garage sales and thrift stores. Then take them home and clean them up. Give them a new smile or eyes. And tie a bow on them. Around Christmas time, Grandma and Grandpa would drive around to the roughest parts of town, passing the them out to whatever kids they could find.

I’ve learned so much from her over the last 14 yrs of having her as my grandma. I want to honor her with the tools and supplies she’s left behind. And I want to continue to pass down the lessons she taught with her life.

Instafriday

Here’s a recap of our week in fuzzy phone pics.

If you get up to go to the bathroom, these guys will steal your spot. You’ve been warned.20131115-081005.jpg

I spent Sunday morning trying to teach the kids how to crochet. Turns out, left handed crocheting is TOTALLY different than right handed. My poor little chica! I did not know how to teach her. We will be learning from Youtube together, later. This guy rocked it, however.20131115-081042.jpg

Finished product!20131115-081104.jpg

I made some too.20131115-081136.jpg

Then there was an epic battle.20131115-081207.jpg

I got to go a fun concert with some of my favorite twins!20131115-081230.jpg

Crowder was my favorite part! He had a full on bluegrass band and they were incredible.20131115-081338.jpg

This kid has a really hard life.20131115-081424.jpg

I’ve been working on a ton of projects that I’m hoping to share soon. This is our kitchen table getting a little white-wash action.

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I’m linking up here:

life rearranged


InstaFriday

Here’s a re-cap of our week in fuzzy phone pics.

This is what I found when I walked out to the backyard. How he got in there is a mystery, but I would put money on his siblings being involved.

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I forget that this big kid was my original wild child. He’s so responsible now, but there was a time when climbing the furniture and pulling all the books off the shelf was his full time job. What is he doing here, you ask? He’s being a sloth for an animal game with his little brother. Obviously.20131108-075851.jpg

See what I mean? So responsible. The transition from homeschool to regular school was rough at first, but he’s really hit his stride.20131108-080029.jpg

I saw this writing on the wall while I was running yesterday. Isn’t that what everyone wants? I started praying that I would be a better listener and really hear others’ stories.20131108-080058.jpg

This kid has learned how to say the word, “Run.” It’s turned him into quite the trainer. One day, he pointed straight at me and told me to run and then climbed into his jog stroller. The next day, I wasn’t running fast enough for him because we lost sight of his daddy. So, he yelled, “Run! Run! Daddy!” As if keeping up with him wasn’t hard enough already.20131108-080127.jpg

That Time We Overdid Halloween

Our Halloween started in the beginning of the month at Disneyland. The kids were on fall break, so we took our family vacation. I told them I wanted one good picture with the castle and their costumes. Easier said than done. I got about 20 shots like this one.

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This was the best we could do. Mickey’s Halloween Party! We highly recommend it. The kids had tons of fun!

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Jon and I had a little grown up Halloween fun at a murder mystery party with our friends. It was set in the 1920′s in Chicago. Jon was a gangster and I was a lounge singer.

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The kids also wore their costumes to hospice to cheer up their great grandma.

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Then we had our annual carving party with our family. Of course, I only have this blurry camera pic to show you.

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Then after a month of wearing our costumes out, we made it to Halloween and trick-or-treating! Our nephew has had his birthday party on Halloween night for the past couple of years. We all go over to their house and all of the aunts and uncles follow the littles around the neighborhood, while all of the Jr high kids go trick-or-treating on their own.

IMG_5671My sweet girl helped one of her little cousins through most of the night.

IMG_5666They were the cutest!

IMG_5679My little football did pretty well too. He loved this house.

IMG_5676They were showing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in the driveway, and they had puppies to pet! He did not want to leave. We caught a few glimpses of our big kid too.

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I don’t know when Halloween became such a big holiday for us, but we celebrated it all month long. Hope you had some good family fun too!

Day Thirty-One: When Trusting Brings Hope

31 Days Relishing Hope Button

Today is a new month, so 31 Days is technically over, but I’m going to add this one last post because it happened yesterday and speaks to hope.

This summer, my doctors found some nodules in my thyroid which were causing me some issues. They’ve been testing things and medicating me and then taking me off of medication. It’s been a really fun time. Well, yesterday was the big appointment we were waiting for. I was scheduled to have an ultrasound and biopsy.

They prepped me for biopsy and started using the ultrasound to find the largest nodule. They looked and looked and there were no nodules to be found! The doctor said,  “We’re not doing a biopsy today. There’s nothing to biopsy!”

She checked and re-checked. She had the medical assistant read the findings from my June ultrasound. It said that I had so many nodules, they were “too numerous to count.”

So, just to be sure, my husband asked the doctor, “Does this happen? Do they just go away?” The doctor, who was already pretty flabbergasted at this point,  was not quite sure what to say. She said that it is not normal for them to disappear like this.

While the medical staff was regrouping and shuffling papers, my husband and I just quietly looked over at each other and smiled. This was the gift we had been asking for. Friends and family had prayed for this exact thing and here it was! A gift straight from His hands.

Dear Friends, I know that life is hard. There are so many different kinds of hardships. There are very real reasons to hurt and feel hopeless.  But I echo Paul’s words in Romans 15,  “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Day Twenty-Seven: How Did You Get That?

One of the difficult things for me, about exploring hope this month is that I know it is a gift. It isn’t a result of some formulaic process. Through this month of reading, researching, and passing on what I have found. I have not yet found the miracle way to create and grow hope in any circumstance.

31 Days of Relishing Hope

I’ve felt a little like the kid at school, the first day back from Christmas break. Remember? Everyone would talk about what they did and what they got. Inevitably, there was the kid who would say, “Lucky! How did you get that?” How do you answer that confusing question?

It’s confusing, because getting that special gift has less to do with “how” than it has to do with “who.” Who gave it to you? Do you think they would give me one too?

I would love to tell you who gives me hope. He has endless supplies of it and would love to give you some too. His name is Jesus. Maybe you already know him, but find yourself needing a little hope-pick-me-up. Tell him about it. Take a little time out of your day to pour out your hopes and fears to him. Like any good relationship, you’ll need to be as honest and real as you can be. He can take it. If you’re angry, let him know that. If you’re hurting, tell him. If you find yourself doing something you know is wrong and will ultimately hurt you, tell him about that too.

The real truth about lasting hope is that it comes out of intimacy with Jesus. I can share the ways that he has helped me foster hope in my life, or you could get started figuring out your own ways with him today. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Most of the times that I go running to Jesus asking for hope, He gently points out how I’ve got the wrong focus. He shows me how the thing I’ve put my hope in is not him, and will ultimately let me down. He usually reminds me that he can give me that thing, but it will probably disappoint me. Yet, there is this thing in the intimate walk with Jesus that is so inspiring and full of hope!

31 Days of Relishing Hope

When we have cleared out all the stuff that wants to come between us. When I have listened and accepted his gentle correction. We are in that sweet communion. And he says, “Hey, do you want to come and do this thing with me today? Come with me.” I want to tell you that I then find myself doing things I never thought I could, and going to places I never would have imagined, and that is true. But the hope doesn’t come out of successes, or adventures, or even fun surprises. The hope comes out of the closeness to Jesus. And that, you can enjoy today!

31 Days of Relishing Hope

This is day twenty-seven of a thirty-one day series on Relishing Hope. You can find all the other posts here.

31 Days Relishing Hope Button

Day Twenty-Four: We’re Squinting in a Fog

One of my favorite parts of the story, The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis, is when Shasta, one of the main characters, gets lost. He unknowingly chooses a dangerous road that winds its way up a mountain. The trees become more and more dense. The air gets chillier. The mist around him gets heavier and he is barely able to see. Then he has a very human reaction. He says, “I do think that I must be the most unfortunate boy in the whole world.” He starts into a list of all the bad things that have happened to him.  “And being very tired and having nothing inside him, he felt so sorry for himself that the tears rolled down his cheeks.”

Then Shasta feels the presence of a “Thing,” a somebody, or a something, that is walking beside him so softly he can barely hear it. He hears soft breaths coming from the same side. And, Shasta realizes that he’s not quite sure when this “Thing” joined him because the breathing and the soft foot sounds started so gradually. He starts to freak out. He remembers stories of giants and starts imagining that one of these giants is with him. Then he almost convinces himself that he imagined all the noises. And, he hears a loud sigh and there is a warm breath on his hand.

When he can stand it anymore he says, “Who are you?”

“One who has waited long for you to speak,” it said.

At first, Shasta starts shooting questions at the “Thing.” He wants to know what it is and if he should be afraid of it. He starts begging it to go and says, “Oh, I am the unluckiest boy in the whole world!” The “Thing” asks him to share his sorrows. Shasta lists all of the awful things that have happened to him, like being chased by lions–multiple times and never knowing his mother and father because he was found as a baby by a fisherman.

“‘I do not call you unfortunate.’said the Large Voice.”

The Large Voice goes from life event to life event explaining the provision and protection that He brought. He explains that he was the lion that chased him all those different times, so that Shasta would be able to escape danger. He was the one that nudged the boat to the shore so that the fisherman was able to find him. Shasta has this incredible moment of clarity that ends in the worship of this great lion that had always been there for him.

I can’t help feeling like Shasta at times. It isn’t easy to walk blindly through an icy mist, or be chased by lions. It seems perfectly natural to lose all hope in those kind of moments. But like Shasta, we don’t have all the information. In 1 Corinthians it says, “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”

This is day twenty-four of a thirty-one day series. You’ll find the other posts here.

 

 

 

 

31 Days Relishing Hope Button

Day Twenty-One: In case you find yourself looking for hope today

There’s this lovely part in the movie, Hope Floats where Bernice, the daughter of Sandra Bullock’s character says, “My dad says that childhood is the happiest time of my life. But, I think he’s wrong. I think my mom’s right. She says that…

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too…”

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