Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pictures at Christmas

Here are some photos from our Christmas. I hope that you all have a blessed Christmas and take time to praise our God for the gift of His son, Jesus!

The yearly family picture in front of the tree - with much arguing before and after.

I can't seem to get more pictures up - darn dial up. I will try to add more tomorrow!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fall into Reading wrap up

Well, these were the original book on my list, and I did not finish the non-fiction and have added to the fiction list. Surprise, Surprise!

9 things you simple must do by Henry Cloud: Finished

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by JoAnne Weaver: In Progress

Now Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham: Husband finished. On my shelf

Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels: On my shelf

Now on to the fiction:

True Light by Terri Blockstock: On my shelf - distracted by other fiction listed below.

Sunrise and Summer by Karen Kingsbury: Finished

Kingdom Come by Tim LaHaye: Finished

Other books finished not on my list:

The Watchers by Mark Andrew Olsen: Finished.

The Kiss by Danielle Steele : In Progress

Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins: In Progress

The Fly in the Cathedral by Brian Cathcart: In Progress

I see a trend here. Lots of books in progress. I am skipping around a lot, depending on my mood. I am almost embarrassed to have a Danielle Steele book listed - I just sometimes need a romance fix and some of her books do have a plot. I am planning on doing some reading over the Christmas break and maybe finish some of these books - there's an idea. Maybe my spring list will be a little more manageable with less non-fiction (even though they still sit on my shelf!).

My favorite was the Kingbury books. I keep looking and trying out new authors. Not fond of The Watchers book, but willing to give this author another try. The spiritual warfare idea intrigues me. I am also spending time reading with my 2nd grader , The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary - this is a classic and he loves it so far.

I so enjoy the challenge and keeping track of my reading. Thanks for stopping by. You can read specific reviews here


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ornament type

You Are a Snowman

Friendly and fun, you enjoy bringing holiday cheer to everyone you know!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Purpose and Power

Two sermon messages have come together in my life.

The first message I listened to was online last spring by Andy Stanley. He was talking about power and giving away the power that each of us has. Jesus had all the power in the world - He was the creator of the world and just by speaking He could wipe us off this planet. Yet, he submitted to being a finite being in a tiny world to save people that didn't even know they needed being saved - myself included. He used His power for those without power - mainly us.

The second message I heard was at our church this past week. It wasn't a new topic, but mostly God's timing. The message was about purpose and finding yours. It wasn't so much about finding God's Will - which always seems so ambiguous to me - but discovering what the Creator made you to do. Each item we use is designed for a specific purpose - the oven for baking, the dishwasher for washing dishes, etc. But isn't it odd when we hear these items used for something different? For example, I heard on the radio that you could use your dishwasher to cook lutefisk (like sardines - a Norwegian thing). Why would someone do that? Is that what we are doing with our lives? Trying to do things in our lives that God did not create us to do? Don't created things work best when they do what they were created/designed to do? I have been turning this idea over in my mind - hoping that teaching and being a good mom and wife is all in God's design for me.

I am grateful when I see what I believe is God speaking to me. This past week I had a student cheat on a test and the big cumulative project in my class. As a result, he would get a zero on both items and probably fail the class. This does not bring me any joy. It saddens me when I make that phonecall home and have to explain to the parents. The parents requested a meeting with the dean (principal). The meeting occurred last night. I wasn't sure what to do. I was fairly certain that this student did not do the work on the project - and I was positive about the test (student even admitted to copying part of the test).

This is where the past sermon messages and God's Word played a significant role. I had the power and even the support of the dean to give the student a zero. Yet, would that help this particular student? Sometimes the answer to this question would be yes. My original purpose for being a christian teacher in a public school was to be a role model. How could I do that in this situation? I want the young men in my classroom to leave with integrity and honesty. So, I am praying that I used my power to help and not enable this student. I offered him grace - the same grace that is offered me every day for my sins - to complete the project as if he never cheated. It was extremely humbling for me to step down and forgive, even though I had every "right" to punish. My heart is changed today by just glimpsing the power of that forgiveness. It helped me to see that I do have purpose in the classroom - it is in moments like this that can make all the difference. At least that is my prayer.

Thanks for reading

Monday, December 17, 2007

Size Fat

Just a quick story today. But is needs some background first. I get to serve in our coffee shop at church a couple of Sat. nights a month. That means that the husband is in charge of getting the girl where she needs to and getting the boy ready for church and meeting me there. So, they dropped her off at a friends house for a birthday party and headed over to Gander Mtn for an hour before church started. I am not much of a shopper, but 1 hour in one store doesn't seem possible. He found some long underwear for me - mine are more ventilation then insulation anymore. He wasn't sure what size - and I told him to get size fat. We laughed and moved on.

Then, last night we went out to dinner for our 13th anniversary (yea! we made it!). On the way home we thought we would stop again at the Gander Mtn together and get me some legitimate long underwear (I have been talking a lot about underwear lately - is this a trend?). So, we looked for size fat (I am really not - but some days...). We then went to the men's section. And out of curiosity I compared the size chart on the back of the men's to the women's. Okay, men are naturally bigger, but why is a women's size large and extra-large equivalent to a men's medium. Two sizes fit into one size. What is that all about? I think that it is a conspiracy to make women feel fat.

Anywho, we went to pay for the size fat long underwear, and while waiting I looked closer at the size chart. The measurements skip the waist size of 32". It went from 31" to 33". What does a girl do if she is a 32"? Buy the smaller size or the bigger size? Quandry. So I mentioned it to the cashier as we were laughing together (bonding time for me and the hubby). We had the same first name and thought alike - she said that you could get a belt? And what about women that have no bust? The smallest bust size wasn't that small. She laughed with us instead of rolling her eyes at us - this is good customer service.

We laughed all the way home. So, have fun in your size fat and enjoy the holidays. Maybe I will fit into the size extra fat by New Year's....


Sunday, December 16, 2007

A broken time in our life...

Have you ever had a time when it seems that all kinds of stuff is just broken? Our house was built 10 years ago and it seems that little things are starting to break all at the same time. As long as we own things, they are going to break. The only things that will last forever is people. But, knowing this, we still need to fix these "broken" things. Here is the short list:

*Leaking drain in upstairs bathroom (saving money to call plumber - my wonderful husband has tried to fix it, but it still leaks)

*The dimmer switch in the downstairs bathroom is going bad - flickering.

*The 15 year old truck is making an unidentified squealing noise. Cost unknown, but it is still better than a new car payment!

*The computer is going through some growing pains. We wanted to update the operating system on our Mac to 10.4. Turns out that it only comes on DVD - which our computer doesn't have. So, a superdrive was needed. Maybe it was nervous going in for updates and through a power supply. So, we now have a great working computer, but for much more than anticipated.

* I noticed last week that the gas stove was fluttering. The gas level would like pulse. Gas line problem. It hasn't been consistent enough to panic. We are thinking (hoping) it might be from outside our house with the high gas use this week with below zero temps already. We are hoping that January will be warmer...

In spite of this, we are grateful for all the things that do work and that our family is healthy. We just need to work through this broken time in our life... which led me to thinking about our spiritual brokenness.

We live in a broken world where sin has invaded our lives and causes us pain - either because of something we have done, or has been done to us. Our church has been having a series titled "It Would Take a Miracle", and the first Sunday was about It would take a miracle to heal this family. It seems that all of us have had struggles with someone in our family - parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, etc. Most of the message was about forgiveness and this whole idea of letting go of the pain and forgiving. Our pastor stressed that this does not mean that you need to be in relationship with the person - put to let go of the wanting revenge so that our own hearts can heal. The Lord will deal with each person's sin accordingly - it is not our place to seek revenge.

Thank you Jesus for your birth and saving grace!


Monday, December 10, 2007

To wear underwear or not...

Okay, like I have mentioned in recent posts, my family and I have been going to the local Y to get some exercise. I will admit that I am the least willing participant - when what I would rather do on a cold day is curl up on the couch and read a book with a bag of chips/pop next to me. My goal is to not gain any weight over the hibernation period, better known as Winter. With my whole family holding me accountable, it might work out.

Anywho...the locker room at the Y is just like any other. A couple of bays of lockers, a few showers (with privacy curtains - not like the group things in high school), sinks, toliets, etc. Locker rooms do not really allow for dressing in private and I don't have a whole lot to hide at almost 40. If you haven't seen sagging everything, well then you are not almost 40.

I try to keep my eyes averted, respecting people's personal space. But to me it is odd to wear jeans with no underwear - it is odd to me to wear anything but a bathing suit without underwear. I had a friend in high school that did not wear underwear with pantyhose - thus the name panty in the name. Why do I mention this? Well, as I am trying to keep my eyes in my own personal space, I could not help but see a very tan (everywhere) young lady put her jeans on without underwear. Does this help with the panty line issue? I would think that the seams and such in the jeans would be irritating. Is this the price for beauty? I am not one to wear attractive undies (more the cotton brief type), but at least wear something!

Then I thought - what a great thing to blog about. What do you in blog land think about the underwear issue?

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

December arrives..

with driveways and byways full of snow. The weather helps to make it feel like Christmas. I know that many of you that read are in the South where cold to you is 50 degrees - the high only got to 20 yesterday. That is why we are weathered Minnesotans - it is also why we put on about 10 pounds over the winter months - because of hibernating. There just isn't many people wearing bathing suits this time of year.

Just wanted to share a couple of praises for you today. I have been praying for a neighbor off and on to attend church with us. I am sure that she doesn't understand that being a christian is having a relationship with Jesus and not just going to church. I have been inviting her since last year. Well, she rode to church with us last Sat. night. It was great for me to see our church through her eyes. She honestly could not believe that this was church. I am glad that she had a good experience and I am praying that she will return. If you think of it, send up a prayer for her.

I am grateful for flu shots, but I will probably never get another one. I got my first flu shot this November. Because of where the shot was given in my arm I still have continued arm pain. The doctor is not convinced that it was the shot - but the pain started just after this and has gotten worse. It turns out after waiting over an hour in urgent care (my regular doctor was booked until next week) that I have a rotator cuff injury and need to attend physical therapy. I am not even 40 yet and the aging pains are already starting. It is such a minor thing compared to others struggles, yet God hears my whining and hopefully the pain will subside soon. The doctor said it could last up to 9 months - God, please give me courage.

I better post this now, or it will never get posted.