Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Hopeless Case

About 6 months ago Eric asked me to sew a button back on his pants. I've been putting this off because I literally can't sew a button back on anything.  I decided to finally do it today out of the kindness of my heart.

It's not too bad from the front...

But the back is a different story...

Maybe I should've seen my knitting fiasco coming...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Loving and Losing

Miscarriage. Whenever I hear that word certain faces come to mind. My Aunt Patty, my cousin Sara, my Aunt Linda, my cousin Keri, my friend Jenae, my friend Amy and I could go on and on. These women have all had a miscarriage and some of them multiple times. But the most recent person I know to suffer one is my sister Amber. 

As I prayed for her and thought about what she must be going through, it occurred to me that miscarriage is kind of a private pain. Emotionally painful mostly for the woman who suffers it.  I'm not saying it's not hard for the husband, but their thought process probably just goes to fixing it..."don't worry we'll try again."  But for a woman, it's the death of dreams for a boy or girl, the death of imagining what they will be like and how they will play with your other children, the death of the miracle growing inside of your body.

Their bodies spontaneously aborted the baby.  Unlike a normal abortion, it was taken against their will.  Many of us look at abortion and see how devastating the emotional effects can be later on.  But, what about those who didn't want to abort their babies and it happened anyway?

Nearly thirty years later, my Aunt Linda can still tell you her due date.  Sara can still tell you her pain and worry.  Amber is "numb".  Miscarriage is something that I feel often gets brushed under the rug...after all, you can always have another child.  But, these women will never have that child again. That child is also one God created. 

"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."
Revelation 4:11 

God created these little beings - they were no accident. They had "their being".  They had a purpose. Why were they taken so soon from their mothers?  I don't know...we may never know.  But I know someday I will be able to meet my niece or nephew, cousins, friends that I never got to know here on earth. The Lord knows them.  For those who have miscarried, I hope you can find some comfort in that.  You are loved.

For Amber

I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to download this song to play on my blog...but I'm giving here are the lyrics.  This is a beautiful song by Watermark about miscarriage:

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Monday, September 27, 2010

Knitting 101

I signed up for a knitting class a while back through Groupon. I've always wanted to learn how to knit or crochet but never really found the person to teach me or the time to do it. So when I got this coupon I heard opportunity knocking. I convinced my friend Natalie to sign up with me and we are both now proud graduates of knitting 101. I thought I would show you our first projects....

This was the project we worked on in class.  It was not supposed to be anything in particular but while I was working on it at home my husband asked me if I was knitting him a jock. Nat and I kept knitting tighter and tighter as we went on and our "projects" curled up in a tight roll and ended up looking ridiculous as you can see.

Here are a few uses Nat and I came up with for our first projects:

How about bringing back the sweatband?

Possible Bikini top...we actually saw a knitted bikini in the shop we took our class in. Not sure I would want to pop out of the water with that on after a dive.

A half neck scarf perhaps...

When we first got to class the instructor made us go around the table and tell her why we wanted to start knitting. I gave a wonderful answer "so I can knit and keep my husband company while he watches TV." I later found out that if Eric even tries to make conversation with me I mess up my stitches and forget where I'm at. I end up yelling "Don't talk to me! Just wait until I get to the end of my row!" So much for bonding.

My first mistake was a lesson for the whole class as the instructor revealed "the first lesson in knitting is DON'T PANIC!" I can't help but letting out a high pitched "craaaap!" everytime I screw up.

Here are our next couple projects:

not bad for our first washrag project on our own

But how can one get worse on the second project?  Nat's is the blue one by the way...I'm not claiming that.

We're both beginning to wonder if some things aren't meant to be done by certain people.

Nat came up with the name for our store when we perfect our talents  ~  Wound Tight  ~  the name totally encapsulates all that we are. Eat your hearts out Carisa and Ashley...we will be putting you out of business in no time!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

To Feel Loved

I was chatting with my neighbor yesterday and she was talking about making bierocks for her husband. For those of you who don't know what bierocks are - it's a german/mennonite thing. I don't understand the intense love for these hamburger and cabbage filled rolls around here, and she doesn't necessarily love them either, but her husband does. So she told me she makes them because "he feels loved" when she does. I've heard her say this several times before - "I do... fill in the blank...because my husband feels loved when I do" - and think it's so cool.

Something about her verbalizing it makes me think "what can I do today to make my husband feel loved?". Then it makes me think what a great way to tell your kids why you're doing things..."I'm making bierocks because daddy loves it when I do". This may sound like a no-brainer to some people but I'm not a hugely verbal person so I need to get ideas of how to communicate from other people.

I cook meals my husband likes, keep the house in order because I know he likes it, pay the bills because he hates that job...but I rarely say to my kids or myself "I'm doing this because it makes Eric feel loved". Just saying it out loud or thinking it, would change your "work" into a deliberate act of service for someone you love.  These simple words could change your whole perspective and attitude about work and service.

But why is it so hard to deliberately do things for the people we love?  Why do we war against this?  Fear of not getting recognition?  Fear we won't be appreciated?  Fear it won't be reciprocated?  Fear.

I tried it out on Rylie today when she asked why I was making ribbon bridles for her horses. I said "because I love you and I want to help you out." Her response was an excited smile. This was good. We haven't had a whole lot to smile about lately....4 has been a hard age. The other day after I told her I loved her she said "except when I'm naughty." I assured her I love her at all times, but I find it hard to get across to her exactly what love means. So thanks, my neighbor, for giving me another way to communicate to my family that I love them!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Mom Visit

My mom came for a visit over the last few days. I love when she visits. She's from South Dakota so these moments are few and far between, but precious as all get out. We pack more in the days when she's here than most people do in a month.

First event, Austyn's birthday party. Her birthday isn't until October 2nd but since mom was here I thought we'd celebrate early.

I made this cake:

Two days and several Christian curse words went into making this cake. I suppose love for my little Aussie drove me to make it, but when I was frosting it I was actually thinking more along the lines of "she better appreciate this cake or I'll #?!.". I now hate Dora.

This is what I looked like after I made this cake:

I'm not kidding. I literally had to go to my favorite massage therapist followed by a visit to the chiropractor yesterday.

Austyn was so excited when she got her new Dora doll.

Not so excited when sister took it away:

Sharing the limelight is a bit of an issue in our house.

Main Event: Arts and Crafts Fair. This is how I lured my mom into coming. She's a sucker every time. Once she's taken the bait I then plan everything else around her visit. While I'd love to say it's me and my kids she comes to see...we'd best be truthful about it - it's the love of a unique find at the craft fair. I've inherited this love from her. She found lots of great treasures.

I found this beauty:

I'm verging on the brink of having too many flower arrangements in my home...I'm going to be the 80 year old lady who has fake flowers in all my pots outside and randomly stuck in decorations.

Worst event: State Fair. We thought we'd go visit the State Fair in Hutch. It sounded like a great plan at the time but when we got there on Sunday it was overcrowded and hovering around 90 degrees. I was instantly cranky. Even before my kids! We stopped at the petting zoo, rode rides, visited the butter sculpture, saw the biggest pumpkin exhibit - it weighed in at 771 lbs in case you're interested. I wasn't, I was too sweaty and hot. I was holding it together until I stopped to get my favorite snack at the State Fair: fried cheese curds. But they were out of them! I get these every year and I was just sure they would bring me out of my depressing! Remind me not to go on the last day of the fair next year.

Thanks for the great visit mom....miss you already!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Creation and Oprah

Last night I watched the season premiere of the Oprah show (yes, Eric was at a meeting so I could get away with it) and I'm feeling a little sad. Is that weird? This is her last year. The ending of an era. There is no replacement for Oprah. I hardly ever get to watch her anymore but just knowing she's there at 4:00 if I turn on the TV is comforting. Should I ever feel the need to give in to my lazy side...there's always Oprah. She's been on since I was 5. I have laughed with her, cried with her, been annoyed with her (if she says v-jay-jay one more time!!) and loved her over the years.

While watching the episode last night it made me think about what a gifted person she is. Let's face her or hate her, she is amazing at her job. There will never be anyone quite like her. God gave her such a unique gift that very few people have. She knows and understands what entertains, encourages, comforts and intrigues people. What a gift!

On our drive to Missouri last weekend we listened to another Matt Chandler sermon. He was speaking about the unique gifts God has given us and the awesomeness that is Creation. Every single gift comes from the Father above. Each time we are in awe of Creation or in awe of someones talent or gift we should give thanks to God. He created these things to bring glory to himself. Matt said the problem begins when our worship "terminates on creation." Meaning when we worship the person or object "the creation" instead of the Creator God.

I kind of had an "aha moment" after hearing this (a little nod to Oprah). This makes complete sense I had just never heard it put that way before. I think we're all guilty of worshipping creation at some point. Whether it be ourselves, a band, a job, our children, nature, Oprah...whatever we elevate above God we are worshipping instead. God created these things and people with these gifts to be used only for his glory.

Eric and I were kind of brainstorming about people's gifts and wondering if all of them really are from above. Abortion doctors, people who found new religions, Hitler. We came to the conclusion that gifts all start out good (a good set of brains, good motivational/persuasive speakers, good leader) but they just get distorted when people get in the way of God's work. Singers, actors, athletes, many people with amazing platforms using them for self worship. After we got to talking, we realized it's actually pretty sad how many people are given awesome gifts and are using them for dark purposes instead of for worshipping the Lord. What a fallen world we live in.

Yes, all that out of an Oprah show....what am I going to do without her?

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Visit to Missouri

We went to Branson, Missouri this weekend to visit my cousin Sara. I love Missouri. Not only is the landscape gorgeous, the people and things you encounter will give you water cooler conversation for a good year. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so I will just give you a run down of a few things we happened to see on on our visit.

1. We stopped at a gas station and there was a new sign on the door that read:


No Shoes

No Shirt

No Service

2. Saw this sign also:

3. We saw a "houseboat" almost identical to this one:

4. Saw a lot of these types of houses:

With this view:

5. But this is the very best thing to see in Missouri:

We love you guys! Loved your precious new baby Noah too....oh, Sara....wish we still only lived 3 miles apart instead of 300. Happy 30th!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Still reading A Woman after God's Own Heart. Still being convicted. Yesterday I was reading about time robbers. Things we do that are a waste of time. Here are some things the author listed:

- Procrastination

- Inadequate personal planning and scheduling

- Interruptions by people without appointments (this includes interruptions by way of the telephone. And please note, your children are not interruptions - they are your greatest work and the best investment of your time!)

- Failure to delegate

- Poor use of the telephone

- Reading junk mail

- Lack of concern for good time management

- Unclear priorities

There are a few things I don't wholly agree with here. Interruptions by people without appointments is just life and I welcome it...but I do realize there is a limit. Also, parenting is important, but my greatest work...not sure. However, I did come to a hard conclusion. I realized that I really do view my kids as an interruption in my life. They interrupted my life when they were born... my time with my husband and my time for myself was obliterated. They interrupt my phone conversations, well, all my conversations actually. They interrupt my thoughts, my dreams, my prayers. When they wake up early in the morning they interrupt my sleep. When they wake up early from naps I am irritated by the interruption of my free time. This obviously isn't a good way to view my kids.

It took me a good 3 years after Rylie was born to adjust to my new life. I kinda felt sorry for myself a lot. I hated how much having a child tied me down. All the sudden I couldn't do anything I used to do without a babysitter or dragging my girl with me. I missed having a job and feeling needed. I missed my old life....a lot. Still do sometimes. But, I've adjusted now. I do like staying home with my kids. I love them and have amazing moments with them. But, I realized I'm still in this mentality that my life was interrupted.

I find myself wishing for the school days and wanting to get on with my life. Someone once gave my friend great advice "just let life be what it is." Sounds simple, yet it's not easy at all. I just told some of my friends the other day that the main reason I don't want to have another baby is the interruption of my schedule. I can get up early have a little time before the girls wake up to workout and do devotions. If I had another baby this would be gone for at least a year. I love this time...I don't want another interruption. Sounds horrible when I put it that way though.

I'm gonna have to get a handle on this, but the jury's still out on baby #3.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The American

When I was growing up I wasn't allowed to watch rated "R" movies. My sister and I were once caught watching Braveheart and spent the entire next day chopping musk thistles in the pasture. I'm sure this worked out well for my dad because he didn't have to do it himself. He was nice enough to hire a guy to help us though. We later found out he was fresh off a prison term for statutory rape. Clearly watching movies rated R is the worse offense.

Actually I still follow this rule fairly closely in my home today. Besides the occasional shoot 'em up thriller or Braveheart type movie (sorry dad) we don't watch many movies past the PG-13 rating. Garbage in garbage out, right? I recently refreshed my memory of exactly why we don't do this. Two words. The American.

Eric and I decided on a date night of dinner and a movie the other day. We probably have the typical guy/girl types of movies we like. He was in the mood for something with action and of course I always go for the romantic comedy. So I took one for the team the other night and we decided to see the supposedly action packed The American. George Clooney had absolutely nothing to do with me being so easily swayed toward a guy movie. :) It was, however, rated R but we had seen the previews and thought it looked like your typical thriller.

Not so. Oh, how do I say this.....this movie was horrendous from start to finish. It was beyond boring and had no action, no plot, no morals, no redeeming qualities whatsoever....not even George. I don't think I've ever been so ticked off after leaving a movie theater. Ticked off that I spent money on this bad movie, ticked off that I had some woman's big boobs staring at me half of the time, and ticked off that my date night was ruined.

I have a verse sitting downstairs by my TV from Psalms 101 that says "I will walk in my house with a blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing." This is to remind me to not watch some of the vile shows that can so easily suck me in. I'm apparently going to have to stick this verse in my purse as well.

I hate to be a movie spoiler but if you still want to see this movie here are some things you can expect:
*expect to be bored out of your mind
*expect to feel bad about your body afterwards
*expect to never want to watch another George Clooney movie
*expect to be left wondering "why make a movie with no point to it?"
*expect the worst because that's what you're going to get

Monday, September 6, 2010

Birthday Cash

Nothing like a little birthday cash burning a hole in my pocket when a big Labor Day sale comes around. Found a few things I couldn't live without. First stop: Express. I love Express...sometimes I go in there and pretend I have a high powered job and try on pant suits and camisoles. Then I have to put everything back because I'm a stay at home mom. Found this little tank top and sweater combo though. It looks a bit old lady in the picture but it's pretty cute in real life. Decided to go out on a limb and veer away from my normal "solids only" wardrobe.

Next stop: yes, Maurices. Told you I'm not gonna stop shopping here. Gotta find a good pair of jeans before winter sets in. Must find something that doesn't scream "mom butt." Found them. This is me putting out the vibe. (I know, I think I have a future in modeling too...guess it has to take a back seat to staying home with my kids for now.) Now I'm worrying that these scream "trying too hard to be young butt." When does one go to the the solid dark denim jean only?

Had to buy a solid grey shirt. I wouldn't feel completely comfortable if I didn't have something to fall back on.

Last stop: Sofa Mart. Looking for an end table. Found this in the clearance section. It has a crack on the bottom so I got it 1/2 price. Haven't decided if I'm going to use it as an end table yet but it will look great as a bedside table too. Ahhh decisions. I love these kinds of decisions.

Thank you to my mom and dad, in-laws, and grandparents....never too old to get excited about good old birthday cash!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life of a Mom

Rylie was pushing me to my limit today....and I mean to my limit. I remember having a speaker in MOPS that said one day she told her kids that she was changing her name. She would no longer answer to "mommy." Then she wouldn't answer her kids when they called because they didn't know, nor would she tell them, the name she was going by that day. At the time I remember thinking it was funny but wondered "why would she do this?" Okay, now I know. I have never been so annoyed by the word "mommy" before in my life.

"Mommy I need a snack, mommy I need to go potty, mommy sit here, mommy do this, mommy do that." Arrrrggg! So I was cleaning up the kitchen today after our snack time and Ry was really getting under my skin. I asked her to do her job which is unloading the silverware out of the dishwasher. She whined about this and demanded for Austyn to help her. By the way, if you ever eat at our house our silverware has been handled and played with and licked by two different people before it actually makes it in the drawer. Just may want to request a quick wash before you dig in. After finally finishing her job she just started getting into everything! I could feel my temperature rising and it finally erupted when she climbed on the counter and started flipping the garbage disposal on and off.

I dramatically slammed my fist down on the counter and said "Rylie why must you irritate the crap out of me? Why are you not listening to anything I keep disobeying me and whining and throwing fits. What is wrong with you!?"
"I don't know," she said and then started crying because of my outburst.
I hate when I lose control like this but sometimes I feel like I have no choice but to lose it before I get her attention. So I said, "let's just go sit down and talk for a minute."
I sat on the chair and put her on my lap and said "Why do you keep disobeying me Rylie?"
"I don't want you to clean anymore."
"What do you want me to do?"
"Just play with me."
Oh brother, okay I'm officially the worst mom in the world. I clean my house instead of play with my child. Of course I feel bad about this, I apologize to her for losing my temper and then play with her for the next 45 minutes. I hate being the anal person I am. Why can't I let the dishes sit for a few minutes? I know why, because they'll still be waiting for me when I'm done. They have to get done....things have to get done. What's a mom supposed to do? How can I be everything for everyone? Is being a mom not the hardest job in the whole wide world???

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Desiring to know God

The other day I was listening to a sermon by Matt Chandler. (By the way, if you want to hear a powerful preacher, download anything by him and you will not be disappointed. We were introduced to him in Sunday School and I can't get enough of him now.) He said that he has yet to meet a believer that hasn't said "I want to grow, I want to be discipled, I want to know God more deeply." He then goes on to say that if a person who says they believe doesn't have these desires "he is lost, he is not saved." He hits pretty hard sometimes but I like preachers who push. This sort of stuck with me for a while and I wondered if that were true. It is true for me personally. Even when I wasn't reading the Bible I always felt like I wanted to be close to Him I just didn't know how. But, I was curious if all Christians feel this desire to know God more deeply. Because I think we all know a lot of "saved" people who look a lot like the world and seem not to care.

Then this morning I came across these verses in 1 John 2 "I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit - just as it has taught you, remain in him." To me, this verse confirmed what Matt said.

When we are saved the Holy Spirit (the anointing) comes to live within us and remains in us. The Holy Spirit can teach us from within. He whispers to us...tells us what we should and shouldn't do. The less we listen to him probably the less he speaks to us, but he never leaves. He's always there prompting us toward the work of the Lord. Telling us how to live, nudging us to do good in the sight of the Lord, giving us the desire to learn how to follow Christ.

What a cool thing - to have a built in Jesus. We don't need anyone to teach us how to be a Christian. He will teach us how to live and remain in him. Others can definitely pull us and point us toward the right (or wrong) direction. But ultimately, it's the Lord that is speaking to us from within and through others. When others try to lead me astray, He will call me to come back to Him. When I say something I shouldn't, He gives me shame and remorse and repentance. When I do something I shouldn't, He exposes my sinful ways.

When Pastor Chandler asks Christians what they are doing about their desires to know God more deeply. The answer is usually "nothing." As someone who used to be in the place of doing "nothing," I feel saddened by this answer. Because I know now that there is so much you can do to act on your desires. It's the starting that's the hard part. Chandler also says that "no one stumbles into godliness." It's all in the self-discipline. Discipline is such a dirty word....from the time you are a toddler to just never gets any easier. - website to Matt Chandlers sermons

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prudish Thoughts

So I was reading the paper and came across this picture. I know I run the risk of sounding like a prude...but are these shorts really necessary to play volleyball in? What were the baggy shorts of the 90's not doing that these shorts are? I've never really played volleyball so I guess I seriously want to know.

Some random thoughts about these shorts:

*This is now why every boy in the high school is suddenly interested in volleyball.

*I've seriously seen these underwear in Victoria's Secret.

*What happens to the girls who want to play volleyball but feel super uncomfortable sporting a pair of hot pants while doing it?

*I can maybe see a case for the track team....but volleyball?

I am gonna have to get over this by the time my girls play volleyball. But, by then they'll probably be playing naked....why even mess with the friction.
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