Tuesday, February 28, 2012

today

"Obey what I command you today."  Exodus 34:11

As I read this verse tonight, it hit home with me.  In context, it is what God told Moses as he was on Mount Sinai with the second set of stone tablets.  In this moment of my life, it is a reminder of how to live out my daily walk.
Thoughts of what's coming in the days ahead or events that have transpired in previous days often take over my time in the present.  Living in the moment is sometimes very difficult.  
Tomorrow looks more inviting.  
Yesterday was more memorable. 
Today is just the day before or the day after something "better".
Or is it?
Today is all I have.  Today is now.  Today is a new beginning to yesterday's failures.  Today must happen before tomorrow comes.  Today is the time to dwell in God's presence and hear from Him as Moses did on Mount Sinai. Today is the day to live...love...obey.
So much can happen today...
God, please help me live it out in obedience one minute at a time.   

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Pond


The nicest catch so far!  

My whole hand fit inside this bass' mouth...it was that big!
 
I took the boat out and ran into this guy along the way. 
 
Hanging out by the pond.

Sunny day awesomeness.

Tim's first catch from the pond!

Hiking through the woods.
Celebrating the closing on our property with the first catch!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sock Monkeys Rule!

The boys and I took a trip to Hobby Lobby the other evening in search of the perfect material to be the back of my Christmas quilt.  I had little hope of finding something fitting this many weeks after Christmas, but with coupon in hand, we went.
I love shopping with my boys.  I always have.  They see new things and we chat along the aisles about all sorts of stuff.  They get ideas for things they want to make themselves...and that they want me to make for them.  They have been by my side shopping since wee little and have learned how to behave in stores and I am proud of the little men they're becoming.
We made our way to the fabrics by way of the entire store.  Our store is set up exactly opposite of the last Hobby Lobby we were in, so we started out on the wrong foot from the get-go.  But, we didn't mind.  It was fun to see everything along the way.
We discussed the different types of fabric...flannel, tulle, satins, cottons, etc.  Tim suggested we put some Cars material on the back.  Alex went on a search for materials that he wants for his own quilt.  I headed to the wall of fabric arranged by colors.  Reds and greens were side by side.  Fancy that.  None worked for one reason or another.  After a few suggestions by the boys who soon caught back up with me, I suggested we look in the neutral section.  Not two seconds after shifting to the right, I saw it.  It was perfect.  Sock Monkeys!  Although not a Christmas material, the little red hat it wears gives the impression of a Santa hat and that's good enough for me.  With the boys' approval we move on to the check out.
With Valentine's money from Grandma in their pockets, the boys choose some candy for their ride home.  I love watching them process how much things are, trying to add in tax, and making sure they have enough money.  They're learning.
When we get home with our treasures, the boys begin Skype-ing with their cousins from Indiana.  My sister is there, too, so I show her my material choice.  Unfortunately, Sock Monkeys creep her out.  Sorry, I didn't know...maybe once it's done, this quilt will change her mind about the cute little things.
I was able to begin quilting this afternoon.  A cool, rainy day was a perfect excuse for staying inside and under the warmth of a blanket, even if it isn't finished yet.  I think I'm in trouble, though...my thumb hurts already and it's only day one of quilting.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

carrying on a tradition

Valentine's Day brought about a very special gift to me this year.  A little history behind the gift will help it make a little more sense, perhaps...
My best friend from college, Deb, and I have the same sense of humor.  It doesn't take much for either to appreciate the humor in almost anything; and if we are together, it becomes even funnier.  Deb was known as a pretty good practical joker in college.  My one attempt at a practical joke on her ended me up in the Dean's office and on the list of things not to do for Freshman orientation for years to follow.  (All because I took a screen out of a window...and threw a mattress out the window...almost on top of the security guard doing his rounds.  Of all the times for him to be doing his job well...) All ended well with me not being kicked out of college and I still remained an RA the following year.  Good thing I had a good reputation preceding my great intended joke at stealing Deb's mattress.  My residential director ended up helping me come up with a better plan and still pulled off my joke on Deb.  The long version of that story is better than the short version, though.  She got more of a laugh out of my failed attempt than the final results.  You're welcome, Deb...providing you a laugh is my pleasure. :)
That's not the tradition being carried on, so let me get to the rest of the story.
Sometime during college or the year after, when we had an apartment together, one of us (I don't remember who started it) began surprising the other with a cup of cold water over the shower curtain.  Even now, I remember times that she got me so unsuspectingly...and, I, her.  If the one in the shower was lucky, it would be an almost total miss.  Other times, not only would the water bomb hit the intended target, it would hit the ceiling of the shower first and then continually drip cold water down for what seemed forever while the victim was recovering under the hot water spray.  One drop of cold water is very noticeable, let me tell you.
It has been awhile, but we have carried this tradition on even this many years later.  And, talking about our prank on each other always makes us laugh still to this day.
A week ago, I was inspired to tell my boys about our little game of cold water over the shower curtain.  I was in tears from laughing while telling them some of the things that would happen and how we would get back at each other over the years.  Somewhere in the story, I used the term "ice cold" water.  This is relevant to my story...trust me.
The boys had lots of questions about why, how, when, etc.  I told them it was just something we came up with as best friends sometimes do.
Fast forward to Tuesday of this week, Valentine's Day.  Normal morning routine.  Feed the boys breakfast and then I go get my shower.  I did make special pink heart shaped pancakes for the boys' breakfast, though, which is not part of our normal breakfast menu.  There I am enjoying my hot water when I hear the bathroom door open.  It's a pocket door and it makes a lot of noise when you slide it open.  This doesn't surprise me for one of the boys is always opening the door and asking where something is or if they can do something.  There were no questions asked, so I asked if something was needed.  Tim answered while laughing, "No."  Then it hit me.  Ice cold water over the shower curtain...ice cubes along with it!  I screamed.  Then was hit with another blast of ice cubed water...this time from Alex.  I groaned as the cold water covered my head and ice cubes landed at my feet.  Direct hit again.
Then, I laughed.  Hard.  We all three were laughing so hard over their joke on Mama.
Alex declared on his way out the door, "Mom, it's Valentine's Day.  This was your Valentine's gift!"
I was so proud.  They remembered and executed the prank perfectly.   A tradition goes on.
When Alex and Tim told their account later, they gave me two thumbs up on being a good sport and handling it all really well.  Thanks, boys...thanks.
I have asked them to leave out the ice cubes next time, though. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meaningful...Real...Everyday

Thoughts that cross your mind.
Dreams for your future.
Memories forever cherished from your past.
Adventures in your mind's eye.
God's blessings on your life.
Extraordinary found in the ordinary of your days.
Words from your lips.
Places on your "Bucket List".
Being your friend.
Encouragement your spirit needs.
Ideas swirling around in your head.
Seeing the world through your eyes.
God's Word in your heart.
Inspiration that feeds your soul.
Joy shared through your smile.
People in your world.
Accomplishments of your own doing.
Love evident by your words.
These are what matter.

♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Monday, February 13, 2012

a heart to know Him

The LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs! The good figs are very good, but the bad figs are extremely bad, so bad they are inedible.”
The word of the LORD came to me: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Like these good figs, so I regard as good the exiles from Judah I sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. I will keep My eyes on them for their good and will return them to this land. I will build them up and not demolish them; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am Yahweh. They will be My people, and I will be their God because they will return to Me with all their heart.
Jeremiah 24:3-7

There's no one like my God.  When I couldn't come up with words to describe what I was feeling...couldn't explain it to know how to work my way through the brick wall I felt that was between God and myself, He came through for me.  He led me to read this passage in Jeremiah. It spoke volumes to my heart just when I needed it the most.  
Although effective and fervent was the farthest thing away from how I felt my prayers have been recently, God showed me through His Word that He's been keeping His eyes on me...for my good.  He has a plan for me where I am...He's going to build me up for His glory.  But, my favorite promise...He's going to give me a heart to know Him...and I daresay it will be better than it ever has been.

Friday, February 10, 2012

plethora of hearts

There's a whole world of all things pretty, cute, seasonal, beautiful, crazy, whimsical, and every other adjective one can imagine right at our fingertips...thanks to Pinterest.  I put up the final touches to our classroom's Valentine's Day decor this morning.  They were two projects I saw on Pinterest that I thought I had enough time to complete before the 14th arrived.
I'm no Martha Stewart, but I think the first one turned out really cute...

Who knew using an iron to melt down crayon shavings in-between wax paper sheets could make such cute "stained glass" hearts!  It took longer to hang them than it did to make them. :)
Our other classroom window now displays three yarn hearts...

Cute and very easy...and, in my case, free!  I used some wire I found in the garage and yarn I have in my knitting stash.  The pink ones are Tim's favorites.
So, if I never get around to any other project I see on Pinterest, I can at least say I have benefited from the two I did take on for a Happy Valentine's Day.     

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


"Once someone touches your heart, the fingerprints will last forever."  
~Anonymous

Monday, February 6, 2012

pleasantly surprised

The top is pieced together!  As I sewed the blocks together, I was pleasantly surprised that the corners matched up as well as they did.  I'm stopping while I am ahead, meaning that I am not adding the 3 layers of strips around the edges that the pattern calls for.  I am more than okay with my decision and so looking forward to the next steps of finding material for the back and beginning to quilt.
If winter decides to return, I'll be ready with my inside project to help pass the time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Psalm 24

Psalm 24
  The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
 for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.
  Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
  He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.
  He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior.
  Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Selah
  Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
  Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
  Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
  Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
Selah