Friday, February 26, 2010


Yep. I get it.

It's a problem for me. I was telling (or confessing) to Josh recently that I can go around my little internet circle for hours and hours. Facebook -- email -- blogs -- facebook -- email, etc.

Over and over and a hamster in a wheel. Nothing new and exciting really happening. Just clicking through the hours of my day. I think I feel bored and sometimes still a little unsure of how I'm supposed to be spending the minutes of my day. And sadly, this hamster wheel is my default.

I feel a little over-wired. Frazzled. Convicted.

There are two precious, little souls in my house right now. I can't stand before the Lord and honestly say that I've made the most of my time with them.

That, right there, is like a knife in my heart. I'm not saying blogging and facebook and email is bad. But I'm saying it can be. And I think it's gotten unhealthy for me.

So what to do? I'm not sure. I'm praying about it, but I know it means less time on here, for sure. I need boundaries.

Question for you guys: how do you handle this? What boundaries have you put up for yourself? Do you set a timer? Do you only get online when you're kids are at school or napping or room time?

I don't want to waste my life.

I want to look back on this short season with my little boys and know that I fought.... with all my might for what's truly most important. I want them so badly to watch what I do and know that Mommy loved Jesus more than anything else...because, to mommy, He's better than anything else.

I want them to love Him more than anything else too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Best pie EVER

I have been itching to show you guys this.....and before you even say anything let me just tell you....

You are so welcome.

I will give you all my address so you can send your gifts of thanks later. I like chocolate and lilies, but I won't turn down fine jewelry either.

Because I am about to introduce you to a culinary delight that exceeds all possible expectations you could possibly have. It turns rainy skies into rainbows, frowns into smiles, poop into brownies.

(If you have small kids, that last one was for you.)

This is another one of P-Dub's masterpieces....and after reading this recipe and tasting it's goodness, I can tell you that I have never been more convinced that she and I are soul-mates.

She doesn't know that yet, but all in good time. All in good time.

(a tad creepy?)

Read the recipe here. My commentary and pseudo-helpfulness follows.

(Because, if you've ever read her recipes, it's clear that she really needs my help and photog skills. She's clearly just not with the details. Uh huh.)

You start my making the glorious crust. The crust is normally my least favorite part of a pie, and I was painstakingly rolling every last morsel of filling around in it's heavenly crumbs because I was not willing to see one iota go to waste.

(I don't know what an "iota" is, but I know that when my momma used it in a sentence, she meant business)

The crust had 5 ingredients: pecans, chocolate, brown sugar, a dash of salt and Kahlua.

I don't need to tell you that the last one sealed the deal for me. Please don't judge. You know you're a tad interested now.

A note: P-Dub (though I love her) says that semi-sweet chocolate chips won't work here. But I'm rebellious. I threw those things around in a food processor for a few seconds and they did their job well.

So let's not set the chocolate chips up for failure and underachievement. They deserve a fightin' chance.

You take your chopped pecans, food processed choc-chips, brown sugar, salt and mix it all around.

You do the Hokey Pokey.... and turn yourself around.

Cause that's what it's all about.

(I am so sorry.)

Once you've recovered from all that, you.... and I can barely type it.... take your Kahlua (or Bailey's, in my case) and drizzle it on top.

I know. I'm speechless too.

Using your fingers, gently press it all into a pie plate and, with much discipline, put it in the fridge.

Now, P-Dub says your fingers should be clean. I don't think it matters. I mean, who cares?! Aren't we all making it so that our very own dirty fingers can dig in, piece after piece, while we sit on our beds watching re-runs of LOST before anyone else in our family knows that we even made a pie?


Speaking of being set up for failure, I apologize that this picture does not capture the crust's beauty, richness,'s essence. I'm pretty sure we can all relate just a little bit.

Just want to take a second and honor our MVP today.

And then tell you again that no, I am not a lush.

I just really, really love the Irish.

And I had a big birthday this year.

And now.... It's Time.

Gather your butter, sugar, instant coffee granules (if you use this every morning, please don't tell me...I don't want to pity you), some vanilla and the last few drops of your Bailey's or Kahlua....because, you're only 30 once.

Or 30 1/2. Or 44. Or 92.

Now get to whippin'.
Melt some unsweetened chocolate....or semi-sweet, depending on what you can handle, and pour every last drop into the mix. There comes a moment in every woman's life where you have to muster up your will and scrape absolutely everything out of a container.....and this, friends, is it.

Don't. Waste. Chocolate.

And while you're at it, throw in a little vanilla. You know...ebony and ivory.

This next part is very important. It requires some bravery on your part. Please don't wimp out.

(Also, be sure to read P-Dub's disclaimer about this's not for preggos)

You are going to begin adding 4 eggs in the mixer. You will add one about every 5 minutes, and keep the mixer going the whole time on a medium speed.

If you don't have a stand mixer, I applaud your commitment. You will be handsomely rewarded in the end. I do so solemnly promise.

This process, though it takes awhile, is incredibly satisfying to me. Watching those eggs transform into chocolatey-brown fluffiness is kinda like watching the end of a Biggest Loser season.

You know, where they start the new episode by clicking through all the pictures of a person's weigh-ins from the beginning at such a rapid speed, you can see the person just melting away.

Yep. Watching butter, chocolate, Irish cream and eggs coming together is just like that.

After the eternal 20 minutes are over, you pour it over that crust... and then wipe the drool away.

Nobody wants to see that.

Put it in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours, but don't dispair! I bring glad tidings!!!

Here is the best thing P-Dub has ever said in her entire life:

"You might have a little filling leftover. If you do, I’ll trust you to do the right thing."

Now don't you just want to hug your computer monitor?

Go ahead. It's ok....I won't tell.

Here ya go, sweetie.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our brothers and sisters...updated...again

I've edited this post over and over. I'm not sure how to prepare you or of even my own thoughts.

This is really hard, and I'm asking you to watch it anyway.

You probably won't want to....and I truly understand.

I struggle with that all the time. And, like most of you, the struggle is not because I don't care. I care very deeply...and I'm afraid that watching something like this will plummet me down into an emotional pit I don't know how to get out of, on top of the fact that I feel completely powerless to do anything to change it. And then I'm left stuck.

That's wrong thinking, friends. Despite my best intentions, it's selfish. It also reveals how limited my view is of who our God is and what He can and wants to do....regardless of whether I ever understand what that is or not. It's a big "No! It's too hard!" in the face of our call to bear one another burdens.

This needs to be seen by the Body of Christ. We (I) need to sacrifice our comfort, our hearts and our emotions...for the sake of the bigger picture. The bigger story.

His story. Because this, even this, is part of it.

I don't know how we should all respond, other than to throw ourselves before the Father on behalf of these precious people....and take some serious inventory of our own hearts.

But I DO know that it's so much worse for us to continue to play the part of the typical "American" church and turn our heads when things get bad and we don't know what to do.

And of that, I am so guilty.

Forgive us Lord, for turning our heads when You could have turned Yours. And didn't.

Persecution in India: Francis' Response from Cornerstone Church on Vimeo.

The unedited story is here.

***Update: it appears they've either taken the video down or greatly restricted viewers. The original website I saw it on and linked to has also taken it down. It was really raw footage of pastors and other Christians being beaten and persecuted in the point of death for some. Francis Chan shared some of his thoughts.

This is all happening while we're grocery shopping, working, sleeping, watching the Olympics. Our God is mighty to redeem. And we can know for sure that "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."

So, Believers, please don't forsake praying for these people. Our God hears.

***Second update: the reason for the videos being pulled is back on Justin Taylor's website.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Bedroom Makeover of 2010

I really haven't forgotten about this.

In fact, I see it everyday and, believe haunts me.

I can't stop thinking about it. Ugh.

So, it is with great excitement that I announce to you, dear readers, that today...

The Twentieth Day of the Second Month in the Year of Our Lord, Two-Thousand and Ten...

The Master Bedroom Makeover of Our House will begin!

I can hear the best section of the symphony...the brass....heralding now.

I got so many wonderful suggestions...many of them I plan to use. So, here's your last chance to chime in. If you didn't get a chance before, I would love it if you would feel sorry for me and leave me a suggestion for bringing the sexy back.

And, of course, I will keep you updated with all kinds of pictures of the process.

Thanks, ya'll. ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Isaiah learns an important lesson

Here's a peek into a very typical conversation between my little red-neck and me.

Please note:

1. I do not sound like that in real person. The camera has transformed my voice into a back woods she-man. I am elegant, refined and have a very dainty voice in real life.

2. Isaiah had just eaten black bean hummus. Hence, the black stuff around his mouth. Now, I don't know why somebody couldn't have taken 2 seconds to wipe his mouth off.....I think she was busy being elegant, refined and dainty.

3. Clearly, the makeover of our bedroom has not taken place yet.

4. I have no idea why all videos I take with that God-forsaken camera turn out to be extremely yellow. We are not yellow, nor are our surroundings. Maybe someone could shed some light on that for me.

And now you may proceed....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God, Can't I Just Stay Inside With My Brownies Forever?

I feel the need to share with you that almost every time I go to type "blogger" in my address bar, I type "blooger" instead.

What does that say about me?

Anyway, that has nothing to do with what I wanted to post about.

I don't actually know what I want to write. I was going to finally put up the pictures of Josh with a camera strapped to his head I had promised (I didn't forget, ya'll) and maybe some of an Oh-So-Fabulous-Pie I made, but my computer is acting funky and won't give me access to the pictures.

I will deal with Mr. Computer privately. I'll jerk a knot in his little cord, that's what I'll do. Oh yes, I will.

Instead, I think I'll just put something out there and see if any of you have thoughts on the matter.

I don't really know how to word it other than tell you that this all started with me feeling convicted over my discontentment with where I'm at right now. I just haven't felt very....purposeful (there is much, much more I could write about this alone, but will save it for another time). I want to do something "big" for the Lord, like adopt or take in foster kids or move to Siberia.

I have no idea why Siberia was the country that popped into my head. Just go with it.

Enter discouragement.

Despite all my pleading and crying to the Lord, none of those things seem to be what He's doing with us right now. In fact, the overwhelming sense I have is that He's simply calling us to be faithful right where we are.

(I know! Isn't that just absurd?!)

I don't know about you, but I almost NEVER want to hear that answer. Why is it that bringing more children into our family or packing up my whole life and heading for the hills seems easier to me?

But, as it turns out, He's God and I'm not. And He's actually very, very good at being God.

So, here I am. I'm looking around at where we are and there are TONS of ways I can be faithful and missional. There's the obvious calling to be a wife and a mom in a way that honors the Lord, but one that's been on my heart lately is being a light in my neighborhood.

Now, our neighborhood is a challenge for me. Mainly, because I like being inside. I don't want to go across the street and talk to anyone....especially in the dead of winter.

See how spiritual I am? Aren't you proud of me?

We've lived here for 6 1/2 years. We've seen neighbors come and go. We know most of the people on our street, but, with a few exceptions, have not really invested in anyone significantly.

Get out your kleenex because that, friends, is a crying shame.

We've had a few ugly interactions too. I'm not sure ugly is even the best word. It was bad. It wasn't really our fault, but it was bad. Maybe one day I'll tell you the story. It involved my 8 months pregnant self, our dog, a dead 13 yr old cat and a prying neighbor who went a little crazy on me and cussed me up and down...if that gives you any idea. Yep. Bad.

Two years ago, we tried to sell the house....just in time for the market to crash. So it feels very clear that God has us here on this street for a little while longer.

In an effort to reach out and connect with them in some way, I made little heart-shaped brownies for Valentine's day. I stacked them up, put little pieces of heart-shaped wax paper in between each one, stuck them in cute bags and attached notes saying they were from us.

On Valentine's day we went around and put them in all the mailboxes. I realize this is a tad illegal, but we were in a hurry and needed to drop them off quickly. Ideally, we would have gone door to door handing them out personally.

Then today, I go to our mailbox and found one of the bags crammed in there...unopened.

Enter discouragement.

(Oh wait. Weren't you already here? I'm sorry, did I tell you to invite more of your friends??? Please get out.)

I know it's not the end of the world. I will keep trying. (And it will be much easier in the spring when folks are out in their yards more). But yeah, it does kinda suck.

Why couldn't they have just thrown them away? Were they offended I put them in the mailbox? I'm tempted to read too far into makes me wonder all kinds of things about why someone would do that. We're not one of those neighborhoods where there's a monthly dinner at someone's house or block parties, if you can't tell. So, I feel hesitant to do this again.

(And I'm not saying brownies in a mailbox is the greatest way to build relationships in hopes of it leading to the gospel. I was more trying to break the ice.)

So here's my question for you: How do you reach out to your neighbors?

What has or hasn't worked?

If you haven't reached out to them, what holds you back?

I need some help here, guys.


The Girl With Extra Brownies Who Never Wants To Leave Her House Again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Post-It Note Promises

My friend Carrie over at Little Llamas had a great idea. She encouraged us to think about what promises we are holding fast to right now in our lives and share with other bloggy friends.

Love it. Love it.

I am always so stirred and encouraged when other women share with me what they're learning, struggling with, trusting for and clinging to. And honestly, I don't ask those questions often enough. I've gotten out of the habit, and I really, really miss having those conversations regularly.

So here's an opportunity. Go here and write your promise from the Lord on a cute, little sticky note. It's super-duper easy and darn cute.

Then, if you blog, link to it at Carrie's. She'd love it if you would share it with her.

And even if you don't want to blog it, please don't leave me out... share it with me in my comments and prepare to be encouraged, friends!

(Come out from hiding, lurkey-turkeys!!!)

Here's mine right now:

Friday, February 12, 2010

This had to be written down and saved for all eternity

I'm in our bedroom right now, and Isaiah is in the living room (right down the hall).

A few seconds ago I heard him announce to Manny that it's time to pray.

Here is what flowed forth out of our precious son's heart:

"Jesus, please take our family away....
and help our sin.
Take it away.
And please help my tractor and my fish to walk.
And please help us take all Your sin away.
Please, take all Your people away.
And take all Your sin away.
In Jesus' name.

I see we have just a weeee bit more work to do. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our Entire Reason for Ever Becoming Parents

We had a spontaneous jam session at our house last night.

This means that Josh got his sax out, both of the boys got their saxes out and they all made simultaneous "music" while I sat on the floor trying to make my little camera take big camera pictures.

Ah, the story of my whole blogging life.

It was a big moment (or half a moment), because it was the first time the boys seemed to partially fulfill the deep, eternal, fatherly longings Josh has carried around in his heart since the moment they were born.

The desire that his two boys, the offspring of his loins...

heirs to his name...

his begotten...

would one day carry his legacy and...

become wind players.

There may have been tears.

But before I put ya'll in the ugly cry, I need to interject an important truth here.

Our boys' calling has already been spoken into existence. Their lot in life has already been chosen.

Indeed, the lines have fallen for them in pleasant places.

And that pleasant, most glorious place is

the Brass Section.


And glory.

Because I got to him first, remember?

This one's still on the fence, but we still have time.

Oh yes. There's still time.

You see, no one chooses to become a brass player.

It chooses them.

And once it calls you, there's no turning back.

(even if one does decide 4 years into a music degree that they may, just kinda, almost want to switch to cello. No, ma'am. You are denied. You were called, dare I say, seduced.)

Besides. Really. Let's be honest. The only reason people choose to play the saxophone (at least initially) it because they were blown around and enticed by the illusion that they may one day possess the swagger and cool factor of someone like, say...

Kenny G.

And folks, I think he achieved it!

(Wherever my husband is right now, I assure you, he just threw up.)

He looks darn cute playing his heart out, and the sounds he gets to come out of that thing have worked on me like a charm.

So, congrats, Josh. But our boys? Well.

You just can't change destiny.

And now, sweetie, I think it's time to take your disappointment and ask for the serenity to accept the things you cannot change.

I love you.

(Woodwinds: 0 Brass: 1)

Monday, February 08, 2010


The Big Red Tractor from Jacob Lewis on Vimeo.

This causes all kinds of eruptions in my heart that I don't even know how to put in words.

I feel like God is doing SO much right now...both in my heart and in churches that truly want to be His church. Not an American church.

I hope this causes your heart to skip a beat too.

I hope I can put words to what's happening in me and what I see happening around us.

He's moving.

And I can honestly say, I haven't seen Him move like this before in my 30 years of life.

My heart starts beating really fast (even now) every time I think about it.

What does this do in your heart? How do we respond?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Dr. Seuss can bite me

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
We were cooped up in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.

I sat there with Isaiah.
Manny dug through the trash.
And I mumbled how'd I rather
eat soot and ash.

Too wet to go out.
And too cold to ride bikes.
So we sat in the house.
Just me and the tykes.

And they whined, "Mom! I'm still hungry!
Let's color!
Play ball!"
I couldn't hide from their demands.
Not a second, not at all.

The fun cat did not come
to our house on this day.
"And I'm not the cat!"
I emphatically say.

But that didn't change things.
Oh no, it did not.
I'm the cook, clown, ball-catcher
and wiper o' snot.

So we painted, played Mouse Trap
and ate peanut butter,
and found lots of lost toys.
My poor hair torn asunder.

But survive we did
(though the day is not through).
That cat sets a high standard.
Who could meet it? Tell me WHO?

Who, in their right mind,
Wants to stand on a ball,
While balancing crap that will
inevitably fall?!

And if ever I meet that dumb cat
This I'll do:
I will tell him where he can shove
His Thing One and Thing Two.

(Though, perhaps it'd be wise
to re-think my timing
until I find out
where he scored this sweet thing!)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Contents of My Brain

This is not in any particular order....because, well...

there's just not any order.

1. I don't want to cook dinner.

2. I don't want to go to work.

3. How can I get of cooking dinner?

4. How can I get out of going to work?

5. Is it completely wrong to just have my students color tomorrow?

6. Should we buy the minivan that is priced incredibly low with seemingly
nothing wrong with it?

7. I'm ready to paint my furniture.

8. Where the heck is Josh?

9. LOST was AMAZING last night.

10. I want to watch LOST again tonight
without the 20,000 commercials.

11. February meal plan. Ugh.

12. I can't believe I've let my legs resemble a
pubescent boy's.

13. I would really like the snow to go away now.

14. Screw the stupid groundhog.

15. Should I start an Amish Friendship Bread starter?

16. Starting it will inevitably means that I will eat 16 loaves
by myself.

17. It also means that everyone within spitting distance
of me will have a ziplock bag of fermenting substance forced on them.

18. If I had a DVR I wouldn't have to watch commercials anymore.

19. Now why can't Josh see the logic in that?

20. What am I supposed to be doing right now?

21. Can I talk Isaiah into going back for a second nap?

22. Waiting on God is really hard right now.

23. Glad to be studying Esther.

24. I'm tired of cancer.

25. God's still on the throne.

26. I'm feeling the need to get out of my
usual surroundings.

27. I think it's time for an adventure.

28. Should we start foster care training now or wait?

29. Should our next child be biological, foster or adopted?

30. Why does God give such huge desires that have to remain
unfulfilled for so long?

31. I shouldn't question Him.

32. Waiting is hard.

33. I love my boys.

34. I really love Josh.

35. Is it really going to snow again this weekend?!

36. How long will it take that chili to thaw?

37. How long does it take to go pick up a truck battery?!

Repeat this cycle about 942 times and there's my day.

Ah, the monotony of winter.

I am so done with winter.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Blog fail

I know, I know.

I've slacked quite a bit. But....

Well, it snowed here. And snow here means everything stops.

Time stands still as we sled and throw snowballs and buy the makings of a milk sandwich and gain 4 pounds (but not because of milk sandwiches) and eat snow cream and watch movies and play games....

and duct tape video cameras to our helmets so we will always and forever remember what it felt like to experience those things from 6 feet 3 1/2 inches.

Oh, now don't you worry your pretty heads.

The pictures and video to prove it will be up soon.