"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Another Tasty Treat

By request....

Mediterranean Crescent Pinwheels

2 (8 oz.)  refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb. prosciutto or cooked ham, thinly sliced (imo, prosciutto is much better)
8 oz. (2 cups) crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp. pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped basil

Heat oven to 375. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. Separate dough into 8 rectangle; place on lightly floured surface.  Firmly press perforations to seal.  Press or roll each to form 8 x 5 - inch rectangle.

Arrange 1/8 of prosciutto slices evenly over each rectangle.  In small bowl, stir together cheese, pepper, and oil.  Sprinkle mixture evenly over prosciutto on each rectangle.  Sprinkle with basil.  Starting at short side of each rectangle, roll up; seal long edge.  With a serrated knife, cut each roll into 5 slices.  Place, cut side up, on cookie sheets.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets.  Serve warm.

You can make these ahead of time and refrigerate them after you cut them into pieces, then cook prior to serving. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm So Sorry!!

Yikes!  I am seriously neglecting the blog these days!  Truthfully, if you want to "visit" more often come over to Instagram where I am an annoying presence on a regular basis.  Basically, it allows me to post stuff in seconds, as opposed to the minutes it takes me to write a blog post.  Time is precious, folks! Anyway, my Instagram account is Barbiscrazy.  Apporpriate name, don't you think?

If you want to see some amazing pics from Scotland that my talented hubby took, you can go out to his Flickr account here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

So Much To Say!

Wow!  Um, sorry about the absence!  Life got away from me a bit, I guess!  You remember back several months ago, I told you I was going to Scotland. Well, I went...and I came back...and I have so many stories to tell!

We just got back last evening, so I am majorly suffering from jet-lag, so I will keep it short tonight. 

As you would expect, it was a wonderful trip. Scotland is so beautiful and full of history.  The people are extremely friendly, kind, and warm-hearted.  We met so many wonderful people on our trip, some we only spoke to for a few minutes and others we spent hours talking to.  People are fascinating!  I love meeting people and hearing what they have to say.  Ahhhh, it was grand!

Tonight, just a Cliff notes version of our trip...

Spent our first two nights in Edinburgh and explored that beautiful, interesting city!  So much to see and do there!  We got in a little trouble for breaking a law, but the guards were more amused at us than angry, so that was good.

Moved on to Glasgow and met up with some of my Mumford friends who flew there from Northern Ireland and England to be with us!  Wasn't that sweet!!!  It was the first time we had ever met in person, and yet it felt like I had known them forever.  Very, very sweet, fun, funny ladies! Explored Glasgow with them and met some of the locals.

Monday found us on a train to the Highlands, for the highlands and islands portion of our trip.  Spent two nights at a most amazing inn on Loch Ness.  If you're ever up in that area, I highly recommend Craigdarroch Inn!  Got a Goupon deal on it which made it affordable for us.  It was, by far, the nicest place we stayed!  The Highlands are gorgeous.  A little scary driving (oh, yeah, we picked up a car during this portion of the trip), as in winding, one-lane, two-way mountain roads.  Yes, I did say ONE lane, TWO way - thankfully, there are lots and lots of "passing places" so that you and the oncoming car don't crash head-on into each other.

The last two nights we spent in Fort William and explored that area.

Oh, I forgot to mention the four hour hospital visit on the Isle of Skye.  Well, yeah, that happened.  Lack of sleep, proper nutrition and hydration all combined and I came down with a kidney infection.  They pumped me full of really strong antibiotics and fluids, and then, against doctor's orders, I released myself from the hospital and we continued our journey.  Unfortunately, my illness prevented us from climbing Ben Nevis, which is the biggest disappointment of our whole trip.

Now for a few pictures that will swiftly convince you that you, too, really want to visit Scotland!

This was the view from the roof our hostel in Edinburgh.  Yes, we did climb on the roof (our room had a window out onto it), and no, that is not what got us in trouble with the guards.  That is a story for another time.
Edinburgh Castle

Elgin Cathedral
Something about walking through the ruins of a 13th century cathedral enthralls me!  The history that those walls have seen...I have no words!

Then there's Loch Ness.  We walked down to the Loch one morning and this...

This gem was just alongside the road while we were driving around the highlands.  We came around a corner and I saw it and said, "STOP the car!"  It was raining, and I got a really high fever right after this stop, but it was so very cool!!!!!
So, are you checking airline prices to Scotland yet?  I have 762 more pics to prove that it is amazing, in case you think these are an anomaly!

Anyway, my banana bread is out of the oven now, so I need to go to sleep!  More stories later.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

(Happy Birthday)²

Fifteen years ago today, we got a phone call telling us that these two were born - five weeks early.

We hopped in our van and drove through the night to Waco, TX, to meet our new children.  We didn't get to see them right away because they were in NICU, but we did get meet their wonderful mom for the first time.  When we did get the opportunity to see the twins, they were adorable, and they still are. 

Aidan & Emily, I love you both so much!  You add so much fun and excitement to our family.  It is a privilege to be your mom, and I am so proud of the wonderful young man and young lady you are becoming!

Happy 15th birthday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homemade Egg Noodles

I've had a few requests for my homemade noodles, so here is the recipe. I'm sure you could find the exact same recipe in almost any older recipe book, as it is the same recipe my grandma used (I think)

Homemade Noodles
1 beaten egg
2 Tbs. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour

In a mixing bowl, combine egg, milk, and salt.  Stir in enough of the flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

On a floured surface roll dough into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Let stand 20 minutes.  At this point I use a pizza cutter and cut it into noodles (the size is completely up to you)  Spread noodles out and let dry on a rack or waxed paper for about 2 hours. Drop noodles into a large amount of boiling water. Cook, uncovered 10 minutes or until done. Makes about three cups.

There you have it!  I usually triple or quadruple the recipe for our family and any guests that happen to be around

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Still Sweet Though

No longer 16, but still as sweet as ever!

My Molly Sunshine has turned 17.  How does this even happen?!?!?!

Molly, I am so thankful to have you as a daughter.  I love so many things about you: your love for the Lord, your forgiving heart, your loyalty, your seemingly endless musical talent, your writing, your drawing, your crazy willingness to accompany me on my many adventures....and the list goes on...

I hope this coming year brings many, many blessings your way!

Love you tons!

That Was Revealing

Yesterday was a very revealing day.  We've waited 20 long weeks to find out the gender of our grandbaby. At long last, the gender has been revealed....it's a....

Evan & Erin are having a GIRL!!!!!!  Sart buying the dresses and cute little girlie things now!  Nina, with help from many other people, threw a most wonderful reveal party.  Here's the proof....

There were lots of tasty pink and blue goodies...

There was helpful information for everyone to make their prediction..

Finally, people had to make their prediction.  A majority chose girl. (Nina & Molly both new the gender already, but they planned to take opposite sides)

And then...the moment of truth!

We would have been thrilled either way, but we are over-the-top excited for the sweet little girl's arrival in January!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Like A Machine Gun

September 2 marked the beginning of birthday season here at our house, and now the birthdays come rapid fire like a machine gun.  So, you will all forgive me for being a day late in wishing Zo-Bug a happy 8th birthday!

The little Zo-ster is EIGHT!  How did that happen?  Second grade?!

Zoe, you add so much laughter and life to our house!  I am so thankful to be your mama!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Now I Have Two!

I have two adult children!!!  I'm not quite sure how that happened, but it did!

Eighteen years ago today, a teeny, tiny baby was born prematurely.  It was Labor Day - how appropriate!  We wouldn't know about this baby, all hooked up to wires and tubes in the NICU, for another eleven days. On Sept. 13 I received a phone call from our social worker, "I know you are not done with your homestudy, but...there's been a baby girl born...."

Eighteen years later I can still remember that phone call! 

Ten days later, Nina was released from the hospital and came home to be our daughter.  From our first contact with the adoption agency until we brought Nina home was six months.  That was God!  Domestic adoptions rarely occur that quickly.

I can't really put into words how much I love this girl!  That's God, too, btw. Those of you that have known us for many years, know that Nina was not one of those "easy to raise" children.  I'm not being mean in saying that, just factual.  She will readily admit to this now.  When she was younger we used to be terrified of her teen years, fearing that she would be in utter rebellion by this time.  Truth.

But God - being rich in mercy to her and to us - kept her from making really bad choices, he kept our relationship with her intact through much conflict, and He eventually called her to himself, to become his daughter. 

So Nina, on your eighteenth birthday, I want you to know that I love you. I love you, not for what you do or don't do, but for WHO you are.  I so enjoy YOU!  It is a privilege to be your mom!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Big and Little Things

I woke up this morning with a thought; it was as though someone had spoken it in my ear.  Since Chris is out of town, I am quite certain that no one said it aloud, but it was there just the same.

God is the God of the universe.
He is the God of your home.

He is God of the infinite and unknowable.
He is God of the finite and familiar.

That's it.  That was the thought put in my head just before I awoke.

This set me on a path of thinking how sometimes I struggle to remember that God is in control of the big things in life: Will my children turn out okay? Who will they marry? What will I be doing in ten years?  Things like that.

But sometimes, and probably more often, I struggle with remembering God is in control of the little things in life: Why are we having so many car problems? Where is that library book? What should I do today?

Not sure why the thought came to me this morning. Maybe big, weighty events will occur today. Certainly little, seemingly insignificant things will occur. Either way, I think remembering that God is there and in control will be good for me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Not All Puppies, Rainbows and Unicorns

Some weeks are harder than others, for sure.  This past week has been such around here.

On Thursday, Molly's car pretty much self-destructed.  We ended up having to replace both front tie rods, the radiator, the fan and a ball joint thingy (I am so not a car expert, but it all sounded bad!)

On Saturday morning, Chris got a call that his older brother Shannon committed suicide after a lifelong struggle with alcoholism and depression.

On Sunday, our Ridgeline was in an accident.

It was just one thing after another all weekend :(

Yet, through it all, God has shown himself faithful and good!  The PT Cruiser imploded at the Mall of America and not on a freeway, so Molly and Nina were both safe and unharmed.  Likewise, no one was injured in the accident on Sunday.

Even in Shannon's death, God has shown himself as a comforter.  Truthfully, for many years we have been expecting to receive a call that Shannon had died.  As sad as it sounds to those outside the situation, we are thankful that he didn't die homeless on the streets, but was living with caring people at the time of his death.

As I read Psalm 94 this morning I was comforted by these words, "When I thought, 'My foot slips,' your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul."    -Psalm 94:18,19

So despite the difficulties in which we currently live, we are hopeful and full of peace because God is just as much God in affliction and difficulty as He is when everything is puppies and rainbows.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How Did I Survive?

I've been going through a lot of old pictures the past few weeks, getting ready to put together a slide show for Nina & Molly's graduation next summer.  I know it's still a ways off, but come January (when the grand baby is due), I will pretty much be useless for anything but holding the baby!

Since both girls pre-date digital photography, I have to scan in pictures of them prior to about 2004.  Looking at all these old pictures, I am really not quite sure how I survived all the cuteness that was going on around here.

I have proof....

Yes, it is no small miracle that my brain didn't just explode from cuteness overload!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We Thrived

Not only did we survive our little wilderness adventure, we thrived in the wild.  It was yet another amazing time paddling, portaging, swimming, singing, eating, relaxing, and rock jumping.

Never has the Quetico heard so many Disney tunes, sung with so many different lyrics, at so many hours of the day!  We woke up to very loud loons most mornings, and went to bed to somewhat quieter loons each night. We watched a pair of bald eagles whose nest was just across a little bay from us. We ate lots of very tasty wild blueberries.  We paddled through rivers of lily pads.

We got many scrapes, cuts and bruises. We drank a lot of lake water. We laughed.  We slept.  We thrived!

My sister Deb and I talked a lot about how thankful we were that our mom began this tradition of going to the Boundary Waters/Quetico.  She had to be almost 50 when she started going in, and she proceeded to make trips for 20+ years.  I believe she was 71 when she made her last trip in.  Molly, Nina and I were privileged to take two trips in with her.  She taught us so much about how to thrive in the wilderness - how to eat well and pack light.  Because of my mom's adventurous spirit, Molly has now been into the Boundary Waters/Quetico FIVE times.  She was only nine when she went for the first time, and even then she was portaging Duluth packs. Now she can portage a canoe like a pro.

I am hoping this is a tradition that will continue for many, many years!

Three tents, three hammocks
Lots of trees and rocks

And you should see their muscles now after the trip!

Free water massage

Looking down on our campsite - we're at the cleared spot across the bay

A little rock jumping after lunch

Our view every night

The happy campers waiting for our tow

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

And Away We Go

We head out early tomorrow morning for our little adventure in the Boundary Waters. 

Very much looking forward to getting away from the civilized world and resting my heart and mind.

We'll be out of touch until Monday evening.

So long.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bears, Backs, and Bad Weather

These are a few of my least favorite things...

Well, not always.

Just when I'm going into the Boundary Waters.

We leave for the Quetico a week from today.  I can't wait to get away from civilization and relax, but one of the problems with getting away from civilization is that you are away from civilization.

That brings us to the above list. 

Bears.  I am afraid of bears.  Not so afraid that I won't go camp in their habitat, but afraid enough that I will volunteer to sleep in the middle of the tent, as I'm sure the bears will go for my friends on the outside walls....sorry, ladies, self-preservation is a strong feeling in me!  And while Molly and my sister may be sleeping out in the hammocks at night, there is NO WAY you'd catch me out there!

Backs. I am actually in favor of backs.  They are very helpful when portaging packs and canoes....provided that they are working properly....which mine is not currently. I have seven days to get my back in a condition where it can support me and a 48 pound canoe...at the same time...in an upright position...over a rocky, hilly portage...Currently, I celebrated because I could hoist my left leg into the car without using my hands to lift it up when I went to the store this morning.  Yay for progress!  It's going to have to come in miracle proportions in the next seven days!  I don't think the six other people are going to want to portage me!

Last, but not least, bad weather.  I am a big fan of bad weather when I'm safely at home.  I love watching the trees bend, the lightning...I love it.  Not such a big fan of it when: a) you have no way to get advanced warning (i.e., no radio or sirens), b) you have no place to hide from it and c) you are surrounded by lots and lots of trees just waiting to topple onto your tent.  If you think I exaggerate, you can read about the Boundary Waters Blowdown that occurred in 1999.  While that happened 15 years ago, just last week a storm trapped several campers underneath trees, and they needed to be rescued...which up there is challenging, as you need to either be portaged out or get to a lake big enough to land a float plane on.  Let's just say, "help is on the way" means "help is paddling in to find you after you send someone out to let them know you are in trouble."

Like I said, I can't wait for our trip!!!!!  Really, I can't! But you can bet I'm praying that my back heals and that the weather is peaceful while we're there.  I don't pray about the bears....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What The.....?

We just got back from our most lovely vacation to Michigan.  The weather was great, and aside from the biting flies and one particularly mosquito infested hike, it was a grand experience.  We started out in the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula, and then trekked down to a state park near Mackinaw City.

The aforementioned state park, Wilderness by name, was a very unique experience.  First off, it is on the shore of Lake Michigan, which is very sandy and Caribbean-blue.  I actually named the area the Caribbean of the Midwest.

Now I've been camping for 46 of my 48 years of life.  I've been to many, many different types of campgrounds - state parks, national parks, private campgrounds, KOAs, Jellystone...you name it, I've camped in something like it.

The campsites on the lake-side of this park were very crowded which, in and of itself, is not that unusual.  The weirdness about this particular park was that almost everyone else seemed to know each other.  I felt like we were walking into some great big family reunion!  Literally, there were campsites with ten tables set up all together.  People would be walking down the street to a neighboring campsite with their beer in one hand and dinner in the other, and they would all hang out together.  It was a little bizarre.

That wasn't the weirdest part though.  Next on the weird list were the refrigerators!  Yes, refrigerators. Not like you have a fridge in your RV. NO!  As in you are camping in a tent and you bring along two large dorm-sized refrigerators. And it wasn't just one group that did that.  Probably half of the campsites had fridges!  "Okay honey, let's pack up the sleeping bags, tent and fridge!"  Who does that??

Anyway, that was weird, but the weirdest part, by far, were the large rugs people had outside their tents or campers.  We're talking 14' x 20' rugs...Persian rugs....living room sized rugs!  I have NEVER seen people have full sized 20' x 20' rugs in a campground.....until now!  Now, as I said, it was a sandy place, so I can certainly see a nice door mat outside your camper/tent to keep the sand out, but this....I just don't get it!?

Anyway, enough about weirdness.  Here are a few of the 300+ pictures from the week...

 We spent a lot of time doing this...

And looking at things like this...

Saw a few of these as well...

And a lot of these...

We did a little of this in Lake Superior, and a lot more of it in Lake Michigan...

We spent a few hours doing this around Mackinac Island....

 And then we saw lots of these...

We spent a lot of time doing this, which looks incredibly like hiking, but is really "Going exploring" (a much more palatable term to certain children)

 And we spent a LOT of time looking at this...

The only thing that could have made it better is if Evan, Erin, Nina & Molly were along with us. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

And Everyone's Off..

Said good-bye to these lovelies yesterday, and they have safely made it Northern Ireland (at least that's what flight tracker told me at 2:30 am).
Now, it's time for the rest of us to depart.  We're off to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a week of camping and fun!

I am sure I will have plenty of photos and stories to share once we arrive back home!  Have a great week, folks!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Quiet Over Here

As you may have noticed, the number of blog posts has greatly diminished as of late.  I'm sorry about that.  Time does not always allow for putting out a blog post.  For those of you that are Facebook friends, you know that I am frequently posting over there.  If we're not friends on Facebook, feel free to send me a friend request.  You can also keep up with me on Instagram (@barbiscrazy).

Don't worry, I will still be out here blogging as time and subject matter allows.  I love my blog buddies!!!!


So, yeah, this is my grand baby!  Isn't he/she adorable?

I can't believe I forgot to tell my blog buddies this big news...Evan & Erin are expecting their first child.  As you can see, baby is coming along just fine and will make his/her appearance sometime in later January.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Broken Hearts, Broken Chairs

If you've been to our house in the last six years and spent any time in our kitchen, you've seen the sad state of our kitchen chairs.  It is usually one of the first things that people notice when they walk in the kitchen.  Frequently, someone will ask, "What happened to the chairs?" A question that I have become quite skilled at NOT answering.  I'm quite good at pretending I didn't hear something, if I have to be!

Now that we are remodeling the kitchen, we will soon have new (unbroken chairs), and I have decided it is a good time to tell, "What happened to the chairs?"

In the adoption world, there is a fine line between sharing too much and not sharing enough.  Share too much, and you violate your child's privacy. Don't share enough and you leave others in the adoption community feeling like they are the only ones who are dealing with these things. It's a balancing act I try to perform to the best of my ability.  Those of you with children struggling with attachment are going to really understand this post. For those of you not exposed to attachment issues, I want to give you a small glimpse of what life is like for some of us.

Every one of those damaged chairs represents the results of the damage done to a child's heart.  My child's heart.  Some children who are adopted transition smoothly into their new life without a wrinkle, but MOST children struggle at some point, in some way.  The older a child was when he was adopted, the greater the struggle usually is.  Sadly, the default self-defense mechanism for some of these kids is violence.  The trigger that sets them off might be as minor as not liking what's for breakfast.  In our case, the violence frequently started with kitchen chairs hitting the floor.

So, "What happened to the chairs?" They were violently broken by and angry, hurt child.

Broken-hearted children break chairs....

BUT, there is hope and healing.  It has been at least six months since a chair has hit the floor.  It has been so long that we are going to get new chairs.  I had a long talk with my chair-breaking child.  I praised him for the incredible growth in self-control he has shown in not throwing chairs.  I told him that I am confident that that is all behind him now, so confident that I want him to pick out our new chairs.  He is VERY anxious to get those new chairs because they won't just be new chairs, they will be a new chapter in his life.

I'm Freaking Out


There. Now I feel better....kind of....

This coming week is going to be...intense.

Nina & Molly leave for Northern Ireland on Thursday...for two weeks.  It was hard enough last year when Molly left, and now I have to let go of two of my daughters.  I'm not sure I'm okay with this.  Actually, I AM okay with it, but it will be hard on my mama-heart.
Please pray for them (and me) while they're gone (July 17-31).  Btw, for local folks, the Northern Ireland team is being commissioned at the downtown campus tomorrow (7/13) at 9:00 and at the north campus at 11:00, stop by if you are able to.

Then on Friday, we leave for vacation.  We'll be camping in the Upper Peninsula.  It should be a blast (and it will help time to go by faster while I'm missing my girls), but camping trips require planning and preparation, some things that I am sorely neglecting right now! 

To top it off, our Quetico canoe trip will quickly follow the girls return from Ireland.  That requires even MORE planning and preparation....HEEEELLLLLPPPP.  I think I'm going to have a meltdown!

Monday, July 7, 2014

It's Our Turn

If you've been around this blog long enough, you know that every other year we take a girls-only canoe trip.  We didn't go last year, so that means this year is our turn.

Why a girls-only trip, you might ask?  Well, that's a tradition started by my mom many years ago. She began going on girls-only trips when she was about my age, and continued doing that for about 20 years (I think she was 72 years old the last time she went in...and truth be told, if her hips/knees were in better condition, she'd still be going in).  She brought me along a couple times, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Anyway, there are a few advantages to not having any guys with.

In answer to the question, first, lots of girl time!  Second, if we brought guys along they would do a lot of the hard work (think portaging canoes and the food pack). Now, I enjoy being pampered as well as the next girl, but sometimes you just want to prove to yourself that "you can do it."  On our trips, ain't nobody going to carry that canoe for you!  If the wind is blowing whitecaps on a lake, you're the only ones who are going to get the canoe across it and make camp. Oh, the aching muscles and that satisfied feeling of "I did that!"

The past two trips (2010 & 2012) we stayed on the Minnesota side of things, but this year we are going into the Quetico which is in Canada.

You might ask, what's the difference?  Well, there is really only one that matters - bathrooms.....there are none.  Not an outhouse, not a box in the woods, nada.  A small shovel is highly recommended for this trip!

Aside from the minor inconvenience of no biffy, the benefits of the Quetico are: 1) You can camp ANYWHERE. You don't need to stay at a campsite, unlike on the Minnesota side, provided you can find a flat area large enough to pitch a couple tents, 2) While the Boundary Waters is remote wilderness camping, the Quetico is even more remote and more wilderness, 3) Fewer people, as in you may go days without seeing another human being, aside from your camping group who may or may not resemble human beings by the end of the trip.

I am so excited to go!

Here's a taste of our past two trips, put to a most amazing song...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

They're Leaving Soon

Just a little over two weeks from now and Miss Molly and Miss Nina will depart from Minnesota, travel across the broad Atlantic and arrive in Northern Ireland.  To say they are excited is a bit of an understatement! 

While they are very much looking forward to their trip, they both have concerns and small anxieties over the trip as well.  I am sure they would covet your prayers as they make their final preparations for the trip.  You can pray for me as well, as I will miss my girls something terrible!

They are also still a little short on their fund-raising, so if you feel so led, you may help support their trip by going here, signing in and choosing mission trip giving.  You can then select "S/T No Ireland 7/14" from the drop-down menu and Nina & Molly's names from the "individual" menu.

Thanks so much for support them!  It means a lot to me and them!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Am Weak

I had one of my children tell me the other day, "You are a weak person, Mom," and she wasn't referring to my physical ability.  While her jab stung quite a bit, I could only respond, "Yes, I am."

I've been thinking a lot about her words since that day.  I am weak.  I feel weak much of the time.  When I was younger, I used to feel like I had everything under control.  I could handle anything that came my way.  I had it all together.  The older I've gotten, the more I see that I CAN'T handle everything that comes my way, I don't have nearly as much control as I had thought, and I certainly don't have it all together.

My prideful self doesn't like this feeling of weaknesses.  I want to be the one who does it all.  The one who doesn't let things bother her.  The one who jumps right back up after getting knocked down.  Truth be told,  I'm not any of those things.

As I grapple with my inabilities, my insecurities and my failures, I keep coming back to this truth though -

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient to you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.                - 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

HIS grace is sufficient, it's enough for me.  I don't need to be strong.

In my weakness, the power of Christ rests upon me!

For the sake of Christ, not for my own sake, I can be content with my weaknesses.

Yes, I am weak........and because of that, not in spite of that, I am strong!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!!!

I'm so thankful for the Dad God gave me!  I appreciate him every day, but I will be more specific and public in my appreciation today.

My dad has given me so much -
  1. Most importantly, unconditional love. He loves me even when he doesn't agree with me, which is most of the time if we're talking politics. He taught me that I can love people I don't agree with.
  2. An appreciation for a good conversation. I can always count on discussing thought-provoking topics when I'm around him.
  3. An incredible appreciation for history.  The man is like a walking history book.  If you have a history question, he's the guy to ask.
  4. A dry sense of humor - he is one of the funniest guys I know.
  5. An appreciation for a good debate - although we frequently take opposite sides in any debate, I appreciate his joy in a good verbal sparring.
  6. An appreciation for a job well done - if you're going to do the job, do it excellently - I honestly don't know of anyone who works so hard - (And, Dad, most 80 year olds do not get up on the roof to sweep the leaves off....just so you know that!  We really can do that for you, you know!)
  7. He is an endless servant.  Anytime we need help with any project, Dad's there...tool belt strapped on and ready for a day's work.  
  8. His persevering attitude.  I know very few people who could face a lung cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgeries with as much bravery and courage as he did. There was never any self-pity, just determination to beat that thing - and he did!
  9. An appreciation for a well-kept yard.  I can't keep up with you, Dad, in this area, but I do certainly admire a well-done yard!
  10. He also gave me a really high metabolism, which in the grand scheme of things is quite insignificant, but I really appreciate it, nonetheless!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Let There Be Light

Do you remember waaayyyyyy back in January when I did a post about remodeling the kitchen? Well, it's been a bit of a slow process, to say the least.  It's not that we haven't wanted to get it done, it's just that there was precious little time with work and school and such. 

Well, my dear, sweet, wonderful, and oh-so-talented hubby has now redone the lighting in my kitchen!  To really understand how very excited I am about this, you need to realize that my kitchen was little more than a dark cave.  Seriously!  It had two sets of track lighting, one of which only had two lights on it.  This for a room that is approximately 26' x 13'.  I could barely see what I was cutting on the counter-top (which wasn't always a bad thing). 

Anyway, now, I have a wonderfully lit kitchen space! Every little nook and cranny is bright!  I am beyond happy!!!

Next up, redoing the ceiling, counter-top, backsplash and walls.....