Thursday, February 26, 2009

any ideas?

We close on our home tomorrow and I have been thinking about window treatments. I am looking for ideas on a few rooms. This is new construction and we get to start at the beginning with window treatments. Here is the family room. (click on the picture to enlarge it)Notice the trim above the windows. It doesn't lend itself to a topper and I think most widow treatments would take away from that beautiful trim. I was thinking roman shades. Any other ideas?

The other room that has me stumped is Tally's bedroom. She has a little sitting room off to the side that has the arched window. I don't have a picture that shows the traditional window but that is to the left of the arched window. I can put blinds up but that little arch will not be covered (which isn't the end of the world). I don't like those arched looking blinds. Not quite my style. Thoughts on treatments for this room? The two windows need to coordinate but not sure if they can match because they are different shaped windows.

Just looking for input on these windows. Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

a Tissy funny

During our dinner tonight as we discussed the beginning of lent tomorrow.

Tissy: What came first, Lent or Adlent?

Mommy:(slightly confused) Adlent? Do you mean Advent? It's Advent, not Adlent.

It makes a little bit of sense though, Advent as we prepare for Christmas (HERE). And Lent as we prepare for Easter. At least she understands that they both are a season of preparing our hearts.

Notice the new ABC picture on the right has a link to the free homeschool FREEBIE of the Day. This being the first day of Lent, today's FREEBIE is book about Lent for kids. Click the picutre to take you to the site.

Monday, February 23, 2009

If the Lord wills...

...this will be our last week in this temporary home.

...we will close on our new place on Friday.

...we can start unpacking our things.

...we will go on a little get away as a family in just a few weeks.

...we will be able to finish school in June.

...we will forge ahead and start a homestudy.

...we are leaning toward a domestic adoption.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Will be spending the day with Daddy on Saturday while I go to an all day adoption conference.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The year of celebrations

After too many holidays and birthdays and celebrations getting the bare minimum (we have had a rough 2 years), we are dubbing this the YEAR OF CELEBRATIONS. I have vowed to celebrate each season with a party of some sort. This Valentine's party was our first one and it really was enjoyable for the girls.
Even though we are in a temporary home, we were determined to still have a party with the girls new friends (all these girls have a Daddy that work with Chuck).

We had lunch together and lots of crafts. The girls made Valentine's for their friends and families with the use of die cuts and lots of doilies. We also made lip gloss and I posted those pictures on another blog that I am part of. If you are interested in that post go HERE.

We also made heart shaped crayons (so easy and really cute). They almost look like tie die.
We have made these before but these turned out extra cute.

I am going to really make the effort to foster friendships with these kind of friends. I believe that it takes the time and effort for friendships to grow and I want to encourage the kids in good friendships. We may party the year away with these same 5 girls, since it is the YEAR OF CELEBRATIONS. =)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pivotal Circumstances - testimony part 5

Well...this is the last part of this 5 part testimony. And to be honest, I am so glad to end on this particular part. As I ponder all of these 5 points, this is one that God has used maybe the most for me. I would venture out to say that most of us can put our finger on at least one PIVOTAL CIRCUMSTANCE where we were forced to look in God's direction. May it be a job loss, the death of someone, a miscarriage, an illness or some other event that caused us to turn toward God and grow because of it. Often PIVOTAL CIRCUMSTANCES are negative events that bring us to our knees in obedience to our Maker.

Again, I have more than one event that comes to mind, but I will share about one. I have touched on this before but I have to mention it again in light of my testimony. I am one of the many women that has struggled with infertility. There was a time in my life that more than anything, I longed to become a mom. And even though that was the desire of my heart and a prayer of mine, it wasn't a quick and easy answer. It was a season of my life that was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Longing for something, feeling like this was a calling on your life, and yet not being blessed in the area of children. I mentioned my prayer journal before, and at this time, it was full of crying out to God, longing for a positive answer and having to accept God's answer of not now. During this season of my life, I was learning to want God's will more than mine. Learning to trust in His perfect timing. Learning to lean on His strength and not my own. Learning to truly accept it, if the answer was no.

I look back on it and to be honest, it is still painful to think about. I am so thankful that God did allow us the blessing of children. And a blessing they truly are. God grew my faith in leaps and bound in those years. Such hard growing times, but I am so thankful that God allowed me to go through those hard times. I am a different person because of it, and hopefully a better mom to my children. God knew the right time for me to enter motherhood, and we are still trusting Him if it is His will to grow our family. So far, our 2 girls are our current blessings, but if the Lord wills we are looking to Him to bless again. It may not be in our time, or with our ideas, but I know that God knows what is best for us. Again, learning to trust, learning to wait, learning to want God's will more than my own.

Still hoping that some of you out there will share at least one point of your testimony, an area that God used to grow your faith. May it be PRACTICAL TEACHING, PROVIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIPS, PRIVATE DISCIPLINES, PERSONAL MINISTRY OR PIVOTAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Personal Ministry - testimony part 4

My original idea was to share my testimony over a five day period but I got a little side tracked this weekend and didn't finish it up. Sorry about the delay and I hope to get these last points posted today and tomorrow.

As I listened to the series of different areas in our life that God uses to draw us closer to Him and grow our faith, it was so neat to take inventory and look back through the years. Again with the other areas, I could share a few on each of these and I am trying to narrow it down for each point. The fourth point is PERSONAL MINISTRY. This one could be any way that you got involved or served or was used by God in any way. Maybe a PERSONAL MINISTRY for you could be teaching a Sunday School class, or working at VBS, or leading a small group, or working on a team for worship. There are so many areas that God can use to allow us to experience God's power as we are used by Him.

I am really torn on this one. I want to share about a few times that I grew in my faith as I was used by God to serve Him and the body of Christ. So I will try and be short with the examples so I can do more than one. =)

First off, I was blessed and honored years ago to work side by side with Chuck as we worked with teenage youth groups. We have actually been involved in a few and each time it was so neat to see God use us (as ill equipped as we were) to invest in those kids lives. This was all pre baby years for us and we were able to give a lot of energy to that ministry. Oh how we loved those kids (in fact we still do). Those teen years are such pivotal years that can be so influential on a teen and I am so thankful that God allowed us to serve there.

Next, Chuck and I took several short missions trips to Central America and served on work teams. Although those trips were short, they were life changing. To experience how the rest of the world lives and to see the poorest of the poor...I will never forget. I believe that God can use a short term missions trip to widen your world view and I would encourage everyone to experience at least one in their life time.

Lastly, I served on a team of leaders in our local church in California for a adult education class (Sunday School). Again, this was with Chuck and that was one of the only times that I have been involved in a replenishing ministry. The kind of ministry that when you are serving, you are grouped with others that are using their gifts in such a way that the team works like the "body" is meant to work. Each using their God given spiritual gifts, each sharing part of the load. Each encouraging each other along the way.

Each of these ministries made me realise a few things. I am blessed to be able to serve side by side with Chuck. I love serving with him and I am so glad that God paired us up together. Also, when you are involved in ministry, it is all about letting God work through you. Not in my own strength, but the Spirit. It has been awhile since we have been able to serve in a local church (with all this moving). I know that God will lead us to the right place that He has for us to serve in what ever area He needs. Right now I just need to be willing to be used by Him. Getting me out of my comfort zone, molding me and using me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Private Disciplines - testimony part 3

OK friends, we are halfway there with the 5 points of my testimony. Hopefully you are staying with me and enjoying getting to know me in a new way. As I mentioned before, this sermon series that I recently heard mentioned 5 different areas that God tends to use to grow our faith. Most people can point to one or more of these in their own life that God has used to draw them closer to Him. As I heard this series I thought of different examples for each of these and I really liked thinking through my testimony in these categories.

This third area is PRIVATE DISCIPLINES. Some examples of these PRIVATE DISCIPLINES might be where your faith really grew after you were more consistent with alone time with God, or daily prayer time or maybe even fasting or tithing to God. Again, I can share about a few of these that have been significant areas of growth for me. Looking back over the years, a PRIVATE DISCIPLINE that God has used is prayer journaling. I have often kept a prayer journal where I write down my prayers to God, where I cry out to Him. Not just a list of requests, but actually writing out the prayer as I was praying it. As I read back through these prayer journals, I see such a variety of different highs and lows, trials and blessings and how through it all I was learning to communicate to my heavenly Father. I was learning to go to Him instead of going to a friend, or a family member. I was learning that God is faithful, that His Word is true. Learning to invest in the most important relationship. I have kept all those prayer journals and they are like precious love letters, like a window into my connections with God.

I have often desired to have a deeper prayer life. I have been challenged to take God's Word at face value and spend time in secret prayer with God each day. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. I still have a ways to go on this area. I know that God is still growing me here, and I have learned that growing pains hurt a bit.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Providential Relationships - testimony part 2

Thought I would add part 2 to my testimony here on the blog. As I share a little bit of each of these 5 areas that tend to be ways or tools that God uses to grow our faith, you might find yourself thinking about your own personal testimony. Let me challenge you to share your testimony on your blog (if you have one). I remember one day clicking from blog to blog and I found one that had a side button that basically said "Click HERE for my testimony". Of course I clicked and was immediately blessed to read about how God had worked in some one's life to draw them closer to Him. I still follow that blog to this day and it has been neat to see God continually work in that person's life.

As I think back through different relationships that I have had with people, there is one in particular that I think of as a PROVIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP. Now I am sure I could go on and on about different friends that have influenced me in positive ways, but I want to share about just one PROVIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP. This is a person that God put in my path, that forever changed my future. Kind of like a God ordained connection.

I already shared in part one of my testimony that I grew up in a positive Christian home and we were involved in different churches along the years. When I was in high school, we were attending a church with an active youth group and that youth group is where I found most of my close friends and connections. When I was a freshman, I approached a youth leader (not even the youth pastor, just a lay leader) to see if she would be interested in "mentoring" or disciplining me. She graciously said yes and that began a PROVIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP. We met almost every Saturday morning, often with another friend of mine, for breakfast. We went through different Bible study type books from time to time, in fact I don't really remember any one in particular. I just remember our times together. Where she encouraged me and spurred me on to a deeper relationship with Christ. God used that friendship in a significant way to give me a thirst for the Word and a hunger for that close relationship with Himself. I saw in her a woman who loved her Lord and lived for Him.

I am grateful for the time that my dear friend Lesli took to invest in me. I know it was a sacrifice on her part. Time away from her family and her life. Time to spend with an awkward teen age girl who was trying to find her way.

I love how God allows us to walk along the path with others in life and do life together. It makes me think of 2 things. One, I need to be willing to invest in others. To take them out, and treat them to a meal every now and then. To be interested in someone other than myself. To hopefully be that kind of an example to someone else. Two, I need to make sure I expose my kids to others that can be that kind of an influence on them. Not to feel threatened by the friendship, but grateful for the person who will invest in them and be their PROVIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Practical Teaching - testimony part 1

I have recently heard a sermon series on 5 points that grow our faith. It has been interesting to hear these 5 different things that God tends to use to increase our relationship with Him. After listening to this series, I thought it might be nice to share my testimony on my blog here. I always find it really interesting to hear about how someone has grown closer to God, it somehow opens a new door to their inner thoughts and situations. So I will share a little bit about these 5 things in my own life.

The first point I will share about is PRACTICAL TEACHING. I was actually born on the mission field (my parents were missionaries in another country) and I grew up as a pastors daughter (my dad had several churches when I was little). I have been surrounded by godly, christian influences and PRACTICAL TEACHING my whole life. And all of that definitely had an influence on me and my personal relationship with God.

I am a product of going to public school my whole life and when I graduated high school I wanted to attend a Bible college. I always wanted to go to a christian school and it never worked out for me for my younger years so I was grateful when God opened the door to attend a Bible college. I wanted a place where I would be surrounded by lots of biblical teaching. I chose a Bible college in the south where my sister was attending (loved it when I went to visit her). And it was in this college where I met Chuck.

All of these things were definitely influences in my life, but the biggest one was yet to come. I have shared before about how I have really enjoyed Precepts Bible studies (and even more recently the Precepts study online). About a year ago, I did my first Precepts Bible study in the book of Daniel and it was fantastic. I have really enjoyed the style of study with looking for key words and phrases and marking the text with colors. I have enjoyed listening to Kay Arthur daily on the computer or on the local TV station. It has been good for me to saturate myself in the truth of God's Word. It really has been a significant influence on my relationship with God, learning more about Him and responding in obedience to the truths.

I will be honest, it takes time and endurance. In the last year I have studied the book of Daniel (took about 5 months), did a study called "Life in the Spirit", book of Ephesians, America at the Crossroads, and now I am still studying Isaiah (since early fall). It takes discipline to get my studies out and carve out the time in my schedule to sit down and open my notebook and study the text, and then take the time to listen to Kay share on the text. There are times I don't want to do it, or times I get busy, but I am gently called back to the Word. And because of that, my life will forever be changed. For my life, God has used this tool as a way to draw me ever closer to Him. I don't think I could have endured last year (which was one of the hardest years of my life) without the depth of studying God's word.

So I do agree that PRACTICAL TEACHING has been a tool in my life that God has used to make me more of who He longs for me to be. Next, I plan on sharing about PROVIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIPS, people that God has used to mold me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Sunday was the perfect day for a scoot. We all took a turn on Chuck's scooter. I hadn't been on it in years and felt a bit rusty, but it was easy enough to remember how to do it (though I think I made Chuck a bit nervous).

We all felt a little restricted having to wear helmets. Our current state has a helmet law. I don't go much faster than 12 miles an hour, but you got to follow the rules. There is something super fun about riding around the neighborhood on a scooter. You feel a bit like a novelty. Everyone waves to you and smiles. As Chuck says..."everyone loves scooter guy."

Monday, February 9, 2009

When life gives you lemons...

...make lemonade. I recently got a blog award from 2 blogging friends Cindy and Annie. Both leaving me a little sweet note about how I try to make the best of difficult situations and have a positive blog. I have to say, Annie's words brought me to tears this morning. Knowing that I have been an bit of encouragement to her as she too is going through times without her spouse by her side. I was truly blessed by her post.

According to Annie's post, The Lemonade Award is for people who have positive attitudes, are upbeat, show gratitude and when life gives them lemons, make lemonade.The rules for this award are that you post the graphic, write about the giver and link back to her, and pass it on to up to 10 others. Leave a comment for the receiver(s) so that they know what's going on.

So I want to pass on this award to Susan (HERE), her blog about missionary life is an encouragement to see the world through someone else's point of view. She has graciously handled difficult circumstances living the life of a missionary giving up all familiar and comfortable life to further the gospel in an unreached area of our world. Not only is her blog a place for other missionaries to go and relate to her vulnerable feelings, it is also helpful to see life from a different perspective.

I also want to pass on the award to Karen (HERE). I follow her blog and find that she shares her life from a positive point of view. Her words are not full of complaining but enduring life as a Godly woman. I love how she is challenging others to hide God's word in our hearts.

So pass on the encouragement to keep your chin up and stay positive. This little award was just the encouragement I needed today. =)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I truly have NOTHING to write about

My life seems incredibly boring right now. I can't write about letterboxing (our bag is packed away and I have no idea what box it is in). I can't share a recipe (I am not cooking - unless you call heating up some frozen dish cooking). We are not enjoying the great outdoors (it is too cold to venture out there - I know...we are wimps). We aren't making any lapbooks (don't know where our supplies are). So what else is there to blog about?

I did finally get a calendar this week. Is that blog worthy? I realized I needed to put down a date to get my hair done (let's just say it is looking scary, but at least I didn't cut it myself ~~~click HERE for that story if you haven't read it yet~~~it's a hoot). So, as I was saying, I needed to put a few dates on the calendar and it dawned on me, I have no calendar for 2009. I mean, I could just jot them on post-its and stick them on the cupboard, but I felt as though I needed a calendar. I need some kind of a record of my life this year. Am I the only one who saves old calendars?

So, off I go to the local Target to get a calendar. And silly me...there are none. It is February already and the calendars are sold out. So, I find a weekly planner and decide that maybe that is better for this year. Rather than hanging the calendar on the wall, I will use a planner book. Long story short...I got one at Target for $18 and then I ran next door to the Book Store and found out they were clearancing theirs out for $3 each. I got a cute one and now I must take back the Target one.

All this to I twisted or what? I went back through January and jotted down the things that we did during that month. Just so I could see that we had some sort of activities going on. Not sure why I did it. But it did make me feel a bit better. Kind of like we have a life. =) And if you are wondering...I do add items to my "to do list" after the list is made of things I have already accomplished. So I can then go and cross them off. And I am sure I am NOT the only who does this.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Precepts for Kids

I was asked by a friend to share some information on the Precepts books that I use with our kids. So instead of just sharing with her...I thought I would post about it and let you all in on it.

Just a year ago, we (the girls and I) took our first Precepts class at a local church. I didn't know a soul there and I dove right in and took the plunge on that opportunity. It turned out to be a pivotal circumstance for me. It opened the door to the one of the best Bible study tools I have ever used. Although studying God's word wasn't new to me, using this method (of marking the text with key words) was new. I felt a little "green" as I started and I wasn't quite sure what I was to be marking, but after a little while, I quickly caught on (the lessons tell you which key words to mark and how to mark them).

This post is more specifically about the Precepts for Kids books. We have now completed 3 different ones. We are finishing up with Lord Teach Me to Pray (HERE). (HERE is the list of different book choices). This book uses the Lords Prayer as a model of how to pray. It takes the Lord's prayer and breaks it down to different categories : Worship, Allegiance, Submission, Petition and Intercession, Confession and Forgiveness, Deliverance and then Worship again.

In studying this we learned some names of God so when we worship we know who we are worshiping. This part was one of my favorites. It was such a blessing to call out to Jehovah Jireh (the Lord who provides) as we were trying to sell our house last year. Or to lean on Jehovah Rapha (the Lord who heals) as my dad was recovering from heart surgery. We made a booklet about His names and use it during our prayer time.

The Precepts for Kids books are geared toward mid grade school and up for ages. We use them together for school and I do most of the reading but the kids do the marking of the texts (observation worksheets). They have really gotten into this step. It can be a little slow and lengthy but they really enjoy it and I think for kids who are visual learners it helps to remember what you have read.
The books also include fun pages with games and puzzles on it that are fun too. Just different ways to learn what the lesson is teaching. The books re broken up into weeks (chapters) and then each week is broken up into days. Though we often take more than one "day" to finish a "day". The book we are on is 4 weeks with 7 days for each week. We have been working on it for a few months though (helps to stretch it out).
Another tool that is used in the books is to sketch or draw a picture that relates to a passage. Of course the kids really like this too.This passage was learning about the man who trusts in the Lord and how he is blessed. He is like a tree planted by the water.

Just a few notes on this particular kids (and myself) are praying in new ways. We spend more time praising God for who He is. Once Tally noted that she thought we would never pray the same after this study. We are more aware of praying according to God's will.

These books have been a blessing to us. The truth takes an effort to teach your kids the most important things. Yes, school is very important, but teaching my kids the Word of God is the most important investment I can make. And to teach at this young precious age is worth the time it takes. These books have been a consistent in training our character. The reading and writing and arithmetic will all come...but character is KEY.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our new home

After much searching and 2 contracts not working out on 2 other homes...we have come to terms on a house. The day was full of countering back and forth with the seller, but also full of peace. Just last week we had narrowed down our choices to 2 different houses and we had a few hesitations about each of them. This final house was a perfect blend of the 2 plus some other extras. Praising God for His mercies and provisions. So if it is God's will, this will be our new home.
It seems to be just the right place for our family as it is now and whatever God allows it to be. =)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Living in the land of skunks

I think our new state has a plethora of skunks. We keep finding them on the road after they have "met their Maker" when we are driving down the road. So far we haven't hit one and I am not looking forward to the day we do. Pee-U.