Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Her long awaited happy home

Many of you know this already, but our precious friend Linda got to meet Jesus tonight.

He took her home with Him at about 7:30 after a long, tiring and joyful journey of experiencing God through cancer. What a battle she fought and what great glory she brought to the Father because of her fight. God enabled her to do much for the kingdom before and while living with this disease.

I can't imagine the homecoming she received tonight.

Please pray for her sweet husband Court, sons Rick and Nathan and Nathan's future wife Heather.

That God would provide much grace...that they would believe that "to live is Christ and to die is gain" and be able to bless God in the midst of this incredible and painful trial.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

a little more paradise never hurt

Enjoy the pan of Trunk Bay but please ignore the giddy newly-wed.

Are you in the mood?

These temperatures outside are really playing with my emotions. I can't think of any previous year where I wanted spring to come so badly, but I will say that usually about this time of year I start sorting through my junk mail box for cruise deals. I stay hopeful every year that I'll find a deal that we can actually do.....still not the wisest decision.

Josh and I now have a joke that when we pay off our credit card debt we'll reward ourselves with a cruise, putting in on the credit card, of course. Then we'll go on another excursion when we get that paid off and just make a fun game of it. Good idea, right?

Well, since that's a way off I thought I would share with you with pictures from our honeymoon. We went on a Carnival cruise to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, St Thomas and St John.

When I look at these pictures it's hard to imagine that Heaven will be so much more beautiful. More of a paradise. But it will be.

Aaaaaaahhhh. I can still feel the warm sunshine and hear the crystal clear waves.....

***Pictures: 1 -- Paradise Island, Nassau
2 -3 -- Trunk Bay, St. John (rated in the top 10 most beautiful in the world)
4 -- Dominican Republic

Sunday, February 18, 2007

grace in liquid form

A sweet friend recently posted this announcement and I wanted to share my extreme joy with you.

Get free brewed coffee during "Starbucks Coffee Break" on March 15 from 10 a.m. to noon

A Starbucks press release says: "Starbucks will host its first-ever Starbucks Coffee Break, inviting customers across the country to enjoy a complimentary cup of freshly brewed coffee. In stores and on street corners, from insulated brewing equipment and giant coffee backpacks, partners (employees) will pour tall (12-ounce) cups of coffee to surprise customers and delight commuters.

Alright, now who's going to meet me???

Saturday, February 17, 2007

V day delayed

***Try to guess what this picture says before reading***

I guess since I posted on Valentine's day three times I should update on how it played out. After discussing what we wanted to do we realized that a week night just wasn't going to do, so we postponed it. Josh had an abnormally difficult week at work and with his stress levels it seemed like the best decision. But even though we said that, I still wanted to do a few little things to make his day special and a little easier.

My PLAN was to wake him up with cinnamon rolls and coffee. Then to show up at his school during his planning period with heart shaped chocolate chip cookies that I decorated and Isaiah was going to wear a shirt that I made that says, "my daddy rocks." I also planned to have a good dinner ready with a homemade card and a few other things (still secrets).

What HAPPENED was me waking up to a dressed up Josh kissing goodbye as he headed off to work and me yelling, "you were supposed to wake me up when you woke up!!! Why didn't you wake me up?!? Oh no!!! I was going to make you cinnamon rolls!!!" (I know it's a little dramatic but I was half asleep) He calmly replied that he had a staff meeting and had to be at work 1 hour early. Ugh.

So, no cinnamon rolls and coffee for Josh (I had coffee). I woke up, went to the bathroom and there greeting me on the mirror was a sweet little note from Josh telling me I'm beautiful and that he loved me. I looked in the full length mirror and there was another one. They were in cabinets, on doors and in the fridge....so sweet. Then I got dressed and put Isaiah in his onesie that I was so proud of. I had ironed on the words "my daddy" and under it a picture of a pile of stones. The idea was for it to be a cute and obvious "my daddy rocks."

Well.....I met a bunch of ladies from church at Chic-fi-la for their heart shaped chicken biscuits and debuted Isaiah's shirt for them. One of them understood it. Even Stacey stared at it for awhile so I knew Josh wouldn't get it (did anybody else guess it?). I was right. He stared and stared and I finally had to tell him. Oh well. The cookies came out ok.

Somehow the day got away from me and I don't even remember what we had for dinner (I think chicken) so it wasn't the extravagant dinner I planned or the card and little "extras" but I have to say, it was one of my most favorite evenings we've had in a long time. Just cuddling, talking, kissing, watching a favorite show and eating our favorite Norwegian chocolate with candles lit and the smell warm vanilla sugar seeping out of my oil burner. It was such a sweet time and I still have Valentine's day to look forward to!

Tiny joys in the dead of winter

I have wanted to be green thumby for the last several years and just couldn't take it any longer. I planted basil, thyme and mint seeds several weeks ago, and Dee said I could get a few little sprigs of his rosemary and oregano plants to start my own. I have hope for a future garden of tomatoes, cucumbers, etc when it gets warm (aren't you impressed?).

The basil and thyme came up pretty fast. No signs of life from the mint though. I keep thinking back to going over to Beth's house in the summer and having freshly squeezed lemonaid with sprigs of mint floating on top.....tasted like the picture in a Martha magazine looked. Perfect.

Josh said he heard that mint was really hard to grow. Know of any tips?

Summer lemonaid is calling my name.

A budding apologist

Our living room at 11:30am this morning. Josh and Isaiah reading "Apologetics to the Glory of God" by John Frame (thanks, Jason).

Isaiah is really into it here. Watch out, Ravi!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Follow up to valentine's ideas

Ok, here's some help (if you're like me and still racking your brain). Girltalk did a contest last year for the best Valentine's Day ideas from wives. They had some creative ideas and a link to several others.

Here's the winner: From Kathy....

As for Valentines Day itself, I do have some traditions that my husband and children USED to think were silly, but now look forward to. The day starts with heart shaped pancakes. My mom started the pancake tradition when I was a little girl, and STILL makes them for my dad...they just celebrated their 53rd anniversary!! Place settings for breakfast and dinner from dishes to glassware to table linens are combinations of pink and red. Each person in the family gets a some little gift from me at both breakfast and dinner: a card, a small nosegay of flowers, a tulle wrapped bundle of candy, homemade heart-shaped cookies, a stuffed animal with a Valentine theme, some type of "heart" jewelry for my daughter--you just never know what might appear on the table. Of course, there are surprises in everyone's lunch: notes from me telling them how much I love them, napkins in a heart theme, a heart-shaped muffin perhaps. I've even been known to cut sandwiches into heart shapes. I also try to do something special for each person. This year, I will surprise each family member by doing a chore that usually belongs to them. I'll try to pick the chore that each person MOST DISLIKES, and enjoy the looks on their faces when they go to do the chore and discover the chore is already done. Let's not forget ending the day by sneaking some red foil wrapped Hershey's Kisses onto each person's pillow.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Love day ideas

I posted this question earlier and just wanted to put it out there again.

What do you and your precious "other" do or plan to do for Valentine's Day???

What was your favorite memory of Valentine's Day (even if you're single)???

It's less than a week away and I'm in trouble. I hope Josh has a plan (he said he did) because I'm stumped. I'm usually big on sentiment, not expense but I also want it to feel special. And this year is a little extra special because it's the first year having to find a sitter so it feels even more like a retreat and a break. I want to just really celebrate our marriage and God's faithfulness to us, so whatever I give him I want to reflect that.....so, probably not Season 6 of Seinfeld.

Anyway, just wanted to hear your ideas, plans, recipes, favorites, etc....

Happy Love Day, Everyone!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Isaiah!!!

I still can't believe you've been here 6 months! It feels like you've always been a part of our family and yet it feels like yesterday that we found out we were pregnant with you. That was such a joy-filled day for me and Daddy. We couldn't wait to tell everybody that you were coming soon! We ran out and bought cute little clothes (I got you a onesie from Seattle with little whales on it that you can't fit into anymore), Daddy wore a t-shirt that said, "I'm going to be a Daddy!", I got bigger clothes, we moved all the furniture out of your room and cleaned out our closets to make room for you. We picked out furniture (that was so fun), we painted your room bright green because we didn't know at the time if you would be Isaiah or Ella. We stocked up on bottles and burp clothes and diapers. We had family and friends surround us and lovingly give us showers for you (where they give a lot of presents to the person having a baby so they'll have everything they need). Your grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins all oohed and ahhed over our very first pictures of you...and you only looked like a little peanut, so that's what we called you. You were also called "little bit." We prayed for you and many other people prayed for you. We talked to you, read to you and sang to you. We told Max all about you. We laughed when you kicked me...which was all the time! You were (and still are) a very energetic baby! Daddy loved to kiss my tummy and feel when you would move around, and our favorite doctor's visits were when we got actually see you! I remember talking about how big your feet were! You were wholely loved even before you were born.

I can't describe what a gift you are to us. You continue to amaze me and teach me new things about myself and God everyday. What a little mommy-sanctifying machine you are! (Mommy needs that) You are so filled with wonder at our "huge" house. You haven't even spent time outside yet! You love different textures and colors and you have to "feel" everything. You also put everything in your mouth. Maybe that's why eating is your favorite part of the day. You went through an entire box of rice cereal in just over two weeks when you first started eating.
You also have the sweetest, most precious smile I think I have ever seen. I cried the first time you looked in my eyes and smiled. I still choke up sometimes. You make me laugh hard every single day, and I could get lost looking into your huge light blue eyes (I prayed that you would have your Daddy's eyes and God agreed). They earned you the nickname "Big Iz" from the very beginning.

And, little boy, God has graced you quite a bubbly personality. I am listening to you talk to yourself in your crib right now (you should be sleeping). You love to talk and yell really loud. You don't like to be still at all unless you're eating. You would much rather practice standing and flip yourself over to reach what you want. Right now your favorite toys are your exersaucer and the crinkly star that you chew on. You don't like doing the same thing for very long and you really don't like to take naps (you're yelling about that right now). You love to see your Daddy walk through the door, but you don't like being taken away from me (we're working on that). You don't really like baths yet, but you're trying. Your newest trick is getting your knees under you and rocking back and forth as if you're threatening to crawl any minute now. The last few nights Daddy and I have turned on your video monitor and watched you work at this as you talk to yourself. No tv show can compete with that entertainment. You are so funny! You've been falling asleep with your little bottom up in the air lately and I'm always afraid I'm going to wake you up with my giggling. Sometimes you laugh when we tickle you, and Isaiah, that's better than the most beautiful music to me. It's a rarity that you let us hear it so we just sit on pins and needles waiting for our chance. We are your captive audience.

There is so much to say about you. I could go on and on. You have been a picture of the sweetness of God's heart to me. I see His kindness and precious favor in you. What a Father He is and what good gifts He gives us. Our prayer and desire above all is that you come to know Him as your Daddy and love Him above all else. We pray that your heart will be captivated by Him and who He is, and that He would continue to shape you and all the little things that make you who you are into a beautiful man that brings Him much glory.

I hope to continue these letters to you as you grow. I'm closing this one with a poem that I can't take credit for, but Daddy and I feel the same way the author does. I changed a couple of words to make it about you:

"How many times I've stood beside
Your bed when you're asleep, and tried
To find the words for my desire:
That you might be a living fire
For God. Sometimes I say, "O Lord,
Make [Isaiah] great! Open your Word
And let him see enough to break
His heart and then, for Jesus' sake,
To heal the remedies of grace;
And give him strength to run his race."

Sometimes when you're asleep, I touch
Your face. If you could know how much
The warmth of your life means to me!
For every freckle.....let me see.........
Perhaps a million dollars?.........No.
They're not for sale! And for the glow
In your calm face there is no price.
Which means I have a very nice
And costly treasure lying here.
It's what we mean when we say, "Dear."

Tonight I'll probably just stare
At you and marvel that you're there
Asleep, and that you've just turned eight [6 months],
And say, "O Lord, make [Isaiah] great!"

--by John Piper (for his son Abraham)

Monday, February 05, 2007

How would you respond to this statement?

"We should pursue our holiness, not happiness."

Now, I know my audience here and how you probably feel about that statement (at least most of you), but how would you respond to someone who says this, yet lives out a real delight in God in their life?

Josh and I have encountered this said several times over the last few weeks and are just praying for wisdom in how to humbly respond.

I would love to hear what you would say.

"All men seek happiness. This is without exception. This is the motive of every action of every man, even those who hang themselves." --Blaise Pascal