Showing posts from 2013

Running Barefoot in the Snow

I bit the bullet and got a hot tub as a Christmas present for myself and my girls.

Totally uncharacteristic of my frugal self, but worth every penny.  I am a Florida girl and living in the midwest.  I have circulation issues now where half of my fingers remain white for a while when it's cold out.  I'm always wearing hats and coats - even in the house.  And I've taken a liking to hot tea, simply because of what it does for my inside.

Another reason is that my oldest daughter seems to dislike anything younger than her living in our home at the time (related or non), so she often plans her social get-togethers away from home.  Wii is no longer a draw when you're a teenager (for girls), the trampoline is filled with snow, and we do not have a sixty inch flatscreen in the basement, so I had no other choice but to get what none of her friends have and lure them over to our warm, quiet, outside!

When my middle daughter had a friend over the other day to take a plunge, she …

How Do You Give Them Back??

For the past three and a half weeks, we have had a thirteen month old boy in our home through Safe Families for Children.  He left yesterday.  I picked him up at 10:30pm in the parking lot of a Greek Restaurant after answering an after-hours emergency text, and brought him into our home.  Honestly, it felt a little sketchy, but it made it more adventurous.  Often times, big things come with risks and sacrifices, and this was one of those big things.

I will not miss

the Raffi, Justin Roberts, and Cedarmount Kids CDs we had to listen to in the car in order to get a little peace and quietthe balls thrown all over the house or legos all over my bedroom floor all of the extra yogurts, cheeses, grapes, bananas, watermelon and juice we had to buy for this very hungry and growing little boyall of the diapers we had to change when we realized whole milk and soy milk did not agree with his systemholding with one, and cooking with one hand while hurdling plastic bowls (and large dog) dispersed al…

Our Great Adventure!

My very good friend asked me to partner with her and take part in CityChase Chicago yesterday.  It's kind of like Amazing Race with Fear Factor for one day in the city.  I was all over it!

As soon as it started, we had to get six out of eight scavenger hunt items in order to even get our list of challenges for the day.  As they read the list to us, one of them was grass stain, so I immediately hit the ground and rubbed my shirt in it.  The remaining five we had within ten minutes and we were off...

Letting my wise partner use her brain and smartphone, I just followed her lead and made sure no one was mugging her or she wasn't running into traffic while she told me where to go.  After two buses, we got to our first challenge which ended up being wheelchair softball.  After being nailed in the gut twice by my partner's rocket swing (who I could not be mad at since she got us there in the first place), we had to sit in an ice bath for one second per number of balls our partn…

Walking A Big Dog

One of my favorite things to see while walking my dog, who is now bigger than I am, is some big, beefy guy walking a poodle-type of 'dog' (I guess technically they are called that).  It is usually on the other side of the street because they think my dog will eat their dog.  When, in actuality, my dog is just scared of theirs because he knows they are about to bark - and it just might hurt his precious ears!  As we walk by, a grin appears in my heart because I can feel the insecurity increasing all the way across the pavement.  (Yes, I realize guys who walk little dogs are probably like guys who wear pink - very secure in their masculinity.  But go with me here - those guys don't count for this analogy).  I guess it just gives me peace to know that even though I am small, my dog is way cool and massive - so that makes me way cool and massive, too! And, if you think you are a big stud, but walk a puny dog, it kinda knocks you down a notch.

Remember the first time you spoke…

Today I Drank From a Public Pool

And, the kiddie one, at that!

Reminded me of the time when I was a freshman in college and I was the caboose in the skit where everyone goes in to the bathroom individually, brushing their teeth and rinsing in the same cup, then I get to come running in completely dehydrated and drink it all down.  Did wonders for my reputation - I didn't care, I was a freshman.  And, neither did I care when I was reprimanded by my seven-year-old for drinking the pool water.
I bet you would have done it, too.
We took our latest little toddler, who had never seen a pool (per her hysteric response), to go have some good, clean, summer fun.  She was scared to death - clinging to me - didn't even want to put a toe in the stuff for over an hour.  Until she saw a ball.  It took her about ten minutes, but she got into an inch deep of the pool!  She touched it. She put it in her mouth.  Her eyes smiled (she would deny it, but it was there).  Then, for the next thirty minutes, she continued to put he…

Might As Well Face It, You're Addicted...

Go ahead, sing along.  I'm finding this our mantra and I like it!

When we dropped off our last placement at Lydia Home a week and a half ago, they were ready to pop another one in my car for the ride home like a swinging door.  I told them no - It was recharge time for me and my family - had to get Dr.'s appointments done, go on some bike rides, etc...  Well, that lasted about two days and we were done.  Grouchiness started to surface.  Bickering.  Indulgence.
Got me into a book by Gerald May called Addiction and Grace.  WOW.  I was reading it partly for my own issues and partly for educating myself for the sake of others.  After becoming involved with all these moms who lose their kids from addiction issues, the fire inside me was being stoked, and I figured out where I wanted to focus my upcoming degree.  But, of course, I learned more about myself and what is at the root of my own issues.

Here are some cool things I learned about addiction from this amazing book:

It seems t…

When My Kids Are in School All Day...

I remember when I used this saying to precede something I was dreaming about doing when the days belonged completely to me.  Did you?

When my girls were young and home all day, I used to day dream about training for an ironman when the youngest got into first grade (since Kindergarten is even shorter than pre-school).  I dreamed about dropping them off at school on a 70 degree day very much like today, and getting on my bike all day to ride.  I would be bringing lots of gels and bars and special drinks that cost a lot so I would have enough energy to then get home and put on my running shoes and go run for an hour or so, then I would shower or sit in an ice bath until they came home...  ahhh, the life!

What was I thinking?

I have zero interest in that now that my youngest is actually in first grade. (Don't mind the torn ligaments, inflamed fascia, herniated discs... I guess that helped)
Yes, my life circumstances have changed. But, so have I, thankfully.

Lesson #1 - "A lost …

"The Bomb"

Shhh - don't tell anyone, it'll jinx it, but we are officially having fun with this! 

Our new little twenty month old African American girl is "the bomb" - even the dog thinks so (high-chair hovering...).  While I am able to credit my "circumcised heart" a bit (see last post), I prayed that God would place the perfect fit for us and He really answered (yes - I will do this EVERY time now, and I know He will answer, whether it seems like He forgot or not):

Sleeps 12-13 hrs/night - uninterruptedNaps 2.5 hrs/day - even in the laundry room - while doing laundryEats anything but bread and strawberriesWalks sturdily, even into walls, and doesn't careCopies words (this is usually good)Not afraid of the 115 lb dog (this is massively cool)Her hair dries in a minute (this was very educational for us)Lies/sits down nicely for diaper changes and shoe placementSays "please" and "thank you" when remindedMakes us laughEntertains herself with bubbles …


I am not married and I have no sons, so this is not a visual for me, and I'm sorry if you are distracted by that in your own head.  Go ahead and get it out because I'm talking about circumcision of the heart.

As I dropped my girls off at school the other day, one of the teachers looked in the car and said:  "No baby today?"  I told her that the previous ones were back with mom and there would probably be another one soon.  To which she replied "you must really like doing that".
That struck me.  Notsomuch.

Anyone who knows me would tell you that I'm not a baby person.
When people come over with their babies, or we bring a meal to someone or visit someone who had a baby, I am not the type to ask to hold it.  I'm really just glad it's not mine and I get to leave soon.
I don't volunteer too much in the kids ministry at church because that's really not one of my favorite things to do.  I figure I've got enough time with kids in my own h…

The Power of a Hug

We currently have two new little bodies in our home to love on, and I am quickly learning, or should I say, re-learning, the power of a hug.  One of the girls is five.  She misses her mom.  When I told her that I should probably be hugging her more and invited her into my arms, she grasped me with all her might, we stayed close, and everything shifted.  For both of us.  Her spirit was re-juvinated, and a greater sense of love for her entered into my heart.  I was able to get past anything that had been bothering me from her and just love her.  Now,  we promised to start  and end every day with a hug - not to mention whenever needed in-between.

When my middle daughter came downstairs all bummed out about something a month or so ago, I asked her if I could have a hug.  I ended up being transformed as much as she did.  We sunk into each other as my chin rested on top of her head I told her that she was the best one to hug right now because I could stay in that position forever.  We need…

How To Morph

I didn't learn at all what I thought I would on our missions trip to Costa Rica over Spring Break.

What I did learn happened to be right in line with what God had been teaching me before I even went.  Weird how He always does that.

When asked why his church hadn't grown in leaps and bounds since it'd been around so long, one of the local pastors said something along the lines of - people don't want it bad enough.  His church demands a lot.  They want to make disciples.  They will love and take in whoever comes, but unless you really want to be a disciple, and want to do what it takes to become one, you probably won't want to stick around very long.

Here's why:  "You will never experience holy transformation until you are involved in regular, loving accountability relationships centered on God's Word."  - Chip Ingram

"Butterflies change in a cocoon.  Christians change in a community.  Both experience shelter.  Both experience struggle.  This …

The End/The Beginning

If I drank, I'd be downing a Pale Ale right now.  Since I don't, I am just telling God how incredibly cool He is!  I think my writing will make a little more sense with this choice, too.

When Jesus was in the boat with His disciples, the water wasn't calm, quiet and peaceful.  When you decide to welcome a little child into your home in Jesus' name, the home is not calm, quiet and peaceful.  BUT - it is filled with His presence, and that is very, very good.

For the past three and a half weeks, our family decided to care for a two and a half week old baby.  I'm not looking for glory - more like "crazy",  I know.  We did this to give her mom a chance to "come to",  to get her priorities straight.  To think of someone else before herself.

She was a great baby.  (God knew this would be necessary).  She taught my youngest how to love the neglected.  Now, she wants to be the teacher at school who helps the kids who "don't really understand al…