Tuesday, September 30, 2008
1. I read somewhere a long time ago that the first stall in public bathrooms is the least popular, and thus the least germy (or at least that's how I took it). So I usually head for that one--isn't that useful information?!
2. I have always had an outie belly button. I strongly dislike it, especially since pregnancy makes it even more of an outie!
3. I have mixed feelings about Facebook. I don't spend much time on there, but it has been fun to re-connect with people from different times in my life. It's just weird to me that it's all so "public"--that tons of people can read your messages to your friends. And I don't add all the games and applications--simple is just fine for me. So if you send me a request to adopt a virtual Chia pet or to take you on in the world's biggest Scrabble tournment, I will probably reject your invitation. (Just so you know in advance!)
4. I really dislike painting my nails--I'm terribly clumsy with it. I don't like how painted fingernails look on myself, but I do keep my toes painted during the summer.
5. With a new month beginning tomorrow, I look forward to flipping to the next page of our kitchen calendar. (Mer, did you say this sometime? It really is a fun monthly ritual!)
6. My favorite pen is the Uniball vision fine-tip in black. They're kind of expensive, so I put them on my Christmas list, and am truly excited if I receive some. (Yes, I am both thrifty and practical!)
7. I just finished the final book in the Mitford series and will be posting about that later this week.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Here are the paragraphs that made me nod my head vigorously in agreement:
"It's not that I'm not convinced that there is a better option. I know there are better options. It's that I'm overwhelmed with information. What's worse, I'm often paralyzed. And perhaps a little rebellious. I have limited time and resources. I'm sure you can relate. I'd be hard pressed to find one person out there who can't think of one thing they could be doing to be a better steward of their time, their finances or their home. I can personally think of a plethora of things I wish I were doing to be a better steward.
However, I've also recently discovered that the first step is so important. I can choose to be immobilized, or I can make small changes now. I probably won't ever be an entirely natural person. I am overwhelmed when I think of how enormously I would have to change in order to address every component of natural living. However, there are several steps my husband and I have implemented in the past few years that have really added up."
Katie then shares a list of things she and her husband are doing to make small steps towards more natural living. I appreciate hearing from a perspective like this--someone who's kind of in the same "place" as me. To be honest, I am easily intimidated by people who are *really* into natural living (soaking grains is one example that comes to mind) and I can be too easily critical of those who don't seem to care a hoot about these issues. So that's me. (Maybe I should start a natural living babystepper's club--to help keep me motivated without the guilt or "paralysis" Katie referred to in her post.)
If you're someone who does give a hoot about natural living, I hope you'll click over to read the post. And by the way, let me know if you want to be in the NLB club! =)
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Here is my list for September 22-December 20 (which happens to be Nathan's 2nd birthday!), keeping it real like I did last year by starting with 6 books so I can add more if appropriate and feel even better about my reading accomplishments!
- Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon (I don't want this series to end!)
- Cleaning Up the Clutter by Emilie Barnes
- The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers by Vicki Iovine (and I'll probably re-read at least some of the pregnancy guide, too)
- Cheaper and Better by Nancy Birnes
- What is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer
- The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs
So there you have it--my fall reading titles. I'm sure I'll review most of these as I go along, which adds to the motivation and the fun of learning since I seem to gravititate towards non-fiction these days. To make my list more well-rounded, I think I need to add another fiction book, and probably something by a male author to be a little more balanced in that aspect--any suggestions?Happy reading, everyone! (You can read tons of other fall book lists here.)
Monday, September 22, 2008
I alluded to that tension in a recent post, as I really desire to use my time wisely. I've struggled more than usual with this these past several weeks after adding a part-time (temporary) job to my "stack of plates."
To help us make our time with God a priority, Twigg encourages us to commit to change, find the time that works best for you, be inventive and set yourself up for success. I think that last one is especially important, because I too often set big goals for myself that aren't easily attainable, and I need to remember that small steps are usually easier to adjust to. "The problem," Twigg says, "is not that we don't see the need for God's presence in our lives; we simply aren't disciplined enough to make it happen on a regular basis." Until summer, I'd been very faithful in my monthly retreats, and I have yet to get back in the swing of things. I did, however, take some retreat time over the weekend, which was very refreshing.
If you're reading this post, especially if you have your own blog, the chapter on technology is certainly relevant and challenging. Twigg gives a three-part test to help us determine how much technology is too much in our lives: 1) Does the technology I use draw me closer to or pull me further away from God and my loved ones? 2) Does the technology I use truly enrich my life or only add to clutter? 3) Does using this technology give me more or less time for what is most important in my life? Those questions give us much to ponder, don't they?
I of course appreciated the chapters on financial stewardship, and particularly liked this statement: "Stewardship is just as much about living as it is about giving. Good stewardship is about being faithful in using all your resources--not only your money and possessions but your time and talent as well."
This book is written in an easy to read format. There are questions to challenge you on each topic, and I also enjoyed the personal testimonies at the end of each chapter, including one by my blogging friend Anne Marie!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Since reading my friend Amanda's post on Tuesday, I've been reflecting on these words she shared after hearing a woman speak at her church: "She talked about the order of priority that needs to be established in our lives. Her order was, Jesus, Husband, Children, Job, and then ministry."
I've been thinking about what I am doing (and in some cases not doing) to intentionally nurture these relationships and fulfill my responsibilities.
my walk with God: morning and evening quiet times--brief but pretty consistent. In the mornings, I've been reading My Utmost for His Highest, but think I will switch to something else soon. At night I journal, pray for loved ones and read the Bible. My retreats were kind of haphazard over the summer, and I'm hoping to do an extended one sometime soon.
Eric--weekly date nights on Wednesday. We started that back when we were dating, and have done pretty well at keeping it a priority. Summers are usually "off" due to travel and our babysitters being gone, and we've just resumed these on a regular basis. We also pray together every Sunday night.
Nathan--This looks different right now during this season of part-time work and a new pace. We spend a lot of time together, but I'm definitely still working on the balance of quality and quantity! One thing Nathan really enjoys right now is reading, so it's fun to join him in an activity where he actual sits still (and on my lap!) for a few minutes.
job--Primarily, I am a homemaker. There is so much I want to be doing at home to make our household run smoothly. I feel kind of scattered with these details right now, and don't feel I've found a groove with getting things done around the house since starting my job, which is secondary to my job at home. I am helping out at the college for a few more weeks. Our event date is quickly approaching, and the details are numerous. It's reminding me in some ways of planning a wedding! It's fun, but there are many things to keep track of and people to coordinate.
ministry--This part of my life is expanding this year. I will continue to lead the middle school girls small group, and to serve in the nursery at church. Eric and I have already lined up some ways to be host others on a regular basis. In addition, I am going to be a MOPS group leader this year. I'm nervous and excited for that role, as we start in just a couple weeks, but I think it's a great way to support moms! (Anyone else out there in MOPS?!)
I recently made a list of all the things I'm involved in, which includes a couple things not written here. It was clear to me that I have a pretty full plate right now, and I asked the Lord to help me to not add any more commitments. Well, wouldn't you know it? This past week, two other possibilities have come up, and I agonized over each decision. And though I wanted to say yes to each of them, I felt the Lord telling me that there are many good things, but they are not always the *right* things, or perhaps not the right timing. Sometimes saying no allows us to better serve where we've already said "yes." So I need to trust in that, and to be faithful in these other things He's called me to.
My mom's arriving later today, and she and I will be heading off for a weekend getaway! I'll be back on Tuesday to share details of our adventures. I hope each of you has a wonderful weekend. (By the way, my comments have been and will be a little sparse this next week. I look forward to catching up soon.)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I was using a day-by-day guide in praying for my son (and now two children!) This has really helped me to be more focused, and because the guide uses Scripture, it's even better!
Over the weekend, one of the requests was praying for your child(ren) to have a love for God's Word. Eric and I are wanting to be more intentional in talking about and reading the Bible with Nathan, and I could use some inspiration as to what has worked in your family. We have quite a few Bible storybooks, and we read a couple of them regularly, but I don't feel like we've been as purposeful as we could be. (Or maybe I'm making it harder than it needs to be, which is very like me. Ha!)
So, how do you encourage your kids to love God's Word? I'd be grateful for your responses, and would venture that one response could and should be that we love His Word ourselves!
I personally am not a fan of cream cheese, but I needed some of the plain low-fat stuff for a fruit salad I was making. I wasn't sure what to do with the rest, and it occurred to me that I could probably mix my own flavored cream cheese for my husband to enjoy on bagels. A quick Internet search (what a handy tool!) revealed this; I just substituted jam for actual berries. My husband really liked it, so it was a successful experiment.
My friend Jody has been bestowing us with a fair amount of zucchini. I made a couple loaves of bread, but wasn't sure how to use more until she gave me this fabulous cake recipe. I have to say that I am not usually a chocolate cake person, but this was yummy, especially a la mode. (My alterations: I omitted the orange peel and nuts, and did not make the glaze, though I'm sure it's delicious.)
It's also the time of year to enjoy one of my favorite pairs: Roma tomatoes and red onion. Click here and here for my favorite dishes with this combination.
Last winter, I asked for suggestions on what to do with dried lentils. I finally tried a dish based on Tracy's recipe for mazidra, and scooped it into a tortilla like a taco. Delicious, and so good for you!
Now I need to ask for some more suggestions. I confess that when a recipe calls for crushed garlic, I use the kind from a JAR! I know you purists are shuddering right now, but I had to be truthful. A friend just gave me a clove of garlic from her garden, and I really want to maximize this "opportunity." I don't know if I'll convert, I just want to make the most of what I've been given. =) So, what are your best recipes that call for garlic? I'm eager to hear. (Reminder: I don't eat red meat. Ever. That I will not be converted on!)
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The first award is the Blog Friends Forever award, given to me by Angela. Thank you so much, Angela, for this fun honor--I can't wait to hear the news of your second "busy boy!"
1. Only five people allowed.
2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.
3. One has to be someone new, or recently new to your blog, or live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the 'Blogging Friends Forever' award.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
1. Last year in Target's back-to-school department, I found a planner (calendar) I really liked. Though it was geared for students, it didn't have a lot of the "filler" many student planners do, and the design was clean and easy to use. During our trip to Kansas City, I thought I'd be able to walk into Target and pick up the same planner. Alas, they had none and neither did W-mart. Since I live quite a distance from each of these stores, and wouldn't be able to check again for awhile, I decided to look up the company who made the planner I'd used last year. I explained my situation and asked if I could order a planner on-line. Within a few days, I heard back from a friendly representative who said they wanted to send me a sample. Wahoo--less than a week later, a planner from this cute collection arrived at my doorstep. It's been fun filling in my appointments, and I'm so appreciative to the company for responding quickly and generously. Sometimes it pays to write!
2. I rarely enter contests of the sweepstakes variety. (Blog giveaways, of course, are a different story!) But when I saw this contest in a magazine, I liked the prize and I thought my chances were pretty good--5000 winners would be selected to win one of these. Entries were due by the end of June, and you could enter once a day. I probably entered a couple dozen times, because it really didn't take long (just filling in contact info) and then I forgot all about it. However, I recently received an e-mail that I was a winner. What a great prize--the hardest part was deciding how to use it! I'd never made one of these books before (Have you?) It was time-consuming, but I can't wait to see the finished product, which I will share with you soon.
Your turn: When has it "paid off" for you to share feedback with a company? Have you ever won a great prize from a contest? I'd love to hear your stories!
And speaking of prizes, I won a book last year that I just cannot seem to bring to the top of my pile. If you're interested in a copy of Memoirs of a Geisha, just leave a comment on this post for your chance to win. I'll pick a winner sometime tomorrow.
Monday, September 1, 2008
What a great day we had. What about you--did you do anything special over the weekend?