Friday, December 17, 2010



Good morning, ladies! Pull up a chair and grab some hot chocolate (no coffee here, you know!) We have the beginnings of some holiday baking for you. Some fudge or a sugar cookie, or if you REALLY want to indulge, how about a coconut, chocolate chip macaroon? YUM!

We are fully in the throws of the holiday season...and I am exhausted! We have listened to our adult choir's music, the children's choir music, had parties at the tutorial shopped and shopped and shopped some more. And we are almost done! My hopes is that, other than a tiny bit of last minute shopping and baking, after this weekend, we will be able to slow down and enjoy Christmas week. We still have a busy weekend ahead. Starting with tonight when my sweet Tigerfan will take me to our local theater's rendition of my all time favorite Christmas movie:


I'm a little giddy just thinking about it! Of course, no one can replace Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, but it is still White Christmas and I CANNOT WAIT!!! We may even hit Olive Garden for a little date night before hand because one of my precious tutorial students gave me one of the most generous gifts I have ever received as a teacher...a gift card for $30.00!

Tomorrow, we will go to Bethlehem Breakfast at our church and then do a little more shopping...the kids have yet to get one another something and we are running out of time! Sunday, Tigerfan gets the opportunity to head to Nashville to watch the Titans play so I will be a single mom at church and then Sunday Night we are going to his parent's church to hear their Christmas music. My plan is by Monday to be mostly done with all the running around and enjoy the week. Do some baking, let the kids have friends over, maybe visit with one of my friends, go see Christmas lights...aaaaaah, sounds great, doesn't it?

As for other happenings. I am pleased to announce that B.B. took first place in the Elementary Biological division of the science fair, so it is off to regionals in March. F.B.'s project did not fair as well. BUT--his partner and he came up with the topic and all the experimentation totally by themselves. They did a FANTASTIC job and the main problem with their project was lack of data because a lot of their subjects dropped out before it was complete. They learned a TON and had fun doing it, so it was TOTALLY worth it. And because I am a complete glutton for punishment...we have already began looking into what we want to do next year...even emailed trying to get a scientist on board as a mentor...Ugh, I'll never learn!

So what about you...how are Christmas preparations going on your end? Of course, I know Mrs. Lea (CiCi's Corner) is finished and enjoying every moment...anyone else out there scrambling to just keep your head above water like me?

OH! And I almost forgot! Tigercub is potty trained (insert wild happy dance here)! Waiting until he was almost three was a very wise decision. Training was really a breeze and we are happily DIAPER free in the Tigerden...well, almost diaper free...although he wakes up dry every morning, paranoid mommy makes him sleep in one. Just think, no more diapers until I'm a grandma...and that is a long time off!

Have a great weekend and I look forward to visiting with all my sweet Company Girl friends. Be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Coffee Talk 12.10.10

Good morning Ladies,

I would love to chat about my week, but I have a ten year old boy that needs some cuddle time with mom this morning! Hope to visit with you this weekend. Blessings!

For Coffee Talk go to Home Sanctuary

Friday, December 3, 2010

Coffee Talk 12.3.10



Good Morning, Merry Christmas, and hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!

I was hoping to post a little bit throughout the week of our Disney adventure...that didn't happen. These days, I find that I just cannot carve out time for blogging except on Fridays, so this morning, you will just get the very brief summary because not only is it the holiday season and the end of a semester but it is also Science Fair time and if you have been around here for any length of time, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with Science Fair. I am its BIGGEST advocate...until a week or so before it is due...then I am cursing myself for putting us through the torture and wondering why I EVER THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA. This week...I am wondering why I ever thought this was a good idea! Because Tuesday is the day we bring them to tutorial and this year...I have two Science Fair participants. That means two projects, two papers, two boards and two nervous breakdowns! :) On a happy note, hopefully by the end of today, both projects will be complete and for the first time since Science Fair began, it won't be hanging over our heads over the Christmas holidays! HURRAY!

Do I have a gift for making a short post long or what?

Anyway...here is a little slice of our week at Disney:

Driving into the Magic Kingdom. Can I just say that, while it is fun, the true magic is probably that the children actually come out alive! Because, despite the claim of being the "happiest place on earth" there was much screaming and gnashing of teeth...by both children and parents.

One day as I was "lovingly" directing my precious angels to stop whining, stop touching each other and watch the parade because WE ARE HAVING FUN, another mother leaned over to tell me she was so glad to be beside us...it made her feel like a normal parent!

Our clan at Epcot...there is actually a sweet little Christmas vignette behind us...we are just too big (in more ways than one) and we cover it up. This is about the most decent family shot we got. We look happy...I think because everyone knows we are headed to go eat...food brings out the best in all of us!

And here we have all the kids and a couple of extras with the Monsters Inc. crew. We have about forty thousand similar shots to this with Pooh, Mickey, Goofy, etc. But my favorite picture is probably this one:

I think I may frame it to remind myself during the fits, accidents, screaming, etc. of the toddler years that he really is a prince. Notice the lipstick stain on his other cheek...that would be from one of the stepsisters.

We also did the American Idol experience for the first time. This was really neat. During the day, people audition and then they have shows similar to the TV show where the best perform, are judged and then voted on by the audience. The last show of the day is the finale and the winners from each of the day's shows compete against one another. The winner gets a ticket to go to the front of the line of the auditions for the real show in the city closest to them. Last year, apparently, one of the guys that made it pretty far on the show got on this way! It was fun!

And, of course, you can't mention a holiday trip to Disney without the lights. We got to see them light up the streets of Hollywood Studios, which was amazing and even included "snow" which thrilled the children to no end. But my favorite had to be Cinderella's castle all decked out for the holidays!

It was a fun experience, and a long experience and while it was fun...there really is nothing better than just getting back home...nothing like being away to make you appreciate the ordinary! Can't wait to visit all of you this weekend! Make sure to stop by Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet baby sister! I wish I lived closer and I could pamper you today. I am so blessed to have been given two AWESOME sisters and friends! Love you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Coffee Talk 11.19.10

Welcome to another edition of Coffee Talk! The only post I ever manage to do all week. And yes, I just kicked my 10 year old (who, incidentally, should still be in bed) off the computer so I could have MY computer time! It is sacred ladies....SACRED! So grab a cup of something and stay a minute.
I have a million random thoughts flying through my mind right now so we will do this in the ever so efficient list format today.

1. In approximately 5 hours, we will be heading out on the two day journey to DISNEY!!! My incredible in-laws are treating their children and families to a Thanksgiving trip to the "Happiest Celebration on Earth". I'm still a little on the fence about that. Don't get me wrong. I am totally appreciative and who can't have fun at Disney...but there is a strong willed two year old and a thirteen year old involved so the jury is still out on whether or not this is really a sane venture!

2. Which leads me to the next thought. I actually forgot to eat breakfast this morning. Now, for some of you non breakfast types that was a very unremarkable statement. But for those who know me well...you know how truly amazing that is. I eat IMMEDIATELY upon getting up. I just wake up starving. I ALWAYS eat and, although, in recent months I have learned restraint, I have traditionally eaten a lot. I might not eat much the rest of the day...but do NOT mess with my breakfast. So, this morning, I got up, made my oatmeal and began my Bible reading while I waited for it to cool a bit. I then got up, dressed, went for my run (3.56 miles) and came home. I did notice a feeling of hunger mid way through the run and I actually thought I had better eat a little protein when I got back. I got in, walked to the computer...and there sat my un-eaten bowl of oatmeal...no wonder I was hungry! On the upside...I ran my route without eating and LIVED! I know this is probably not the healthiest thing to do and I totally realize it shows how crazy my mind is right now, but somehow, I find a little victory in it!

3. Tigerteen had his Rock School performance last night. It was in a different location than normal (read that hot, crowded, cramped and uncomfortable). I must admit that Tigercub was more entertaining than the vast majority of the music. The highlight of the evening was after the last band performed one of their songs. The crowd cheered and got quiet and than Tigercub screamed, "Good job, guys!" The best part of all was that we had a completely drama free evening! Amen!

4. It is Science Fair time. I love Science Fair. And I hate Science Fair. I realize the amazing benefits and huge amount of learning that is a result and it is totally worth it. But I am TIRED! I am tired of recruiting help for Tigerteen's project, tired of taking him to research times, tired of getting all the data and writing it up. I am tired of B.B.'s project and would just like to thank my mother so much for giving us the fabulous idea of dissecting owl pellets (yes, you read that correctly). I am tired of owl puke...to put it bluntly. I am tired of having rodent bones sitting on my counters. I am tired of telling him that yes, he must dissect ANOTHER one...but we are almost through! Hallelujah! It won't be hanging over our heads this Christmas! I choose to find victory in this as well.



5. Okay, when I began this post...I had ever so much more to say...I have now forgotten it. I am thinking about feeding the dog and running to Walmart before we leave because I totally forgot to buy dog food to leave here. I am thinking about what else needs to be packed last minute and remembering that I totally forgot to get my little date snack bars to help keep me from totally blowing the diet at Disney. I am wondering if I should have packed my running clothes, just in case, and knowing that I know I won't actually use them. I am getting excited about 10 days away! No schedule, no teenage drama (I hope), no work, no technology to fight with! At the same time, I am wishing I was going to be with my sisters and parents for the holidays. We haven't spent Thanksgiving with my family in 8 or 9 years. I miss the thought of laughing with my sisters and hanging with my parents. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic wishing I lived closer and could share holiday times together with them.

6. **UPDATED**I totally forgot about this contest I wanted to tell you about. Okay, so this lovely lady, Erica, has written a children's book called "Two Silly Sisters". I heard about this on the Baby Bangs blog and had to check it out because I LOVE my precious sisters and miss like crazy getting to be silly with them. And believe me...we can be VERY silly. Anyway, Erica is doing a give away for one of her books, which is amazing and I highly suggest you enter. BUT, even if you don't enter for the giveaway, if you are a sister or have daughters with sisters, I totally think you should check out this book. It looks adorable...I haven't actually got to see it yet, but I love what I have read from her so far. She and her husband used most of their savings to help get this book published because they are so passionate about it. I love that. How many times have I wanted to do something big and wimped out because I thought it was impossible! She didn't wimp out! She followed her dream and accomplished it! She would like to write another book in the series, but they really need to make a profit or at least break even to cover what they took from their savings. So, I am telling you. Go check out her site and consider the book for a Christmas gift or something...I'm thinking about sending it to my sisters even though we are all grown! Check it out! NOW! :)


Okay...I must stop sharing random thoughts because Tigercub has joined the scene. He has begun his morning routine of emptying cabinets and has already thrown away two Poptarts and is now trying to get the Halloween candy. Life is just never dull, is it. I hope you all have a great weekend and for those in the U.S.A. a great Thanksgiving. I'll try to get around while traveling for a visit and will miss all you gals next week. Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, November 12, 2010

HELP!!!

Good Morning Ladies,

Hope all is going well. I missed being here last week and, frankly, am not sure that I will make it around this week...we have a crazy busy weekend ahead as we plan on heading out next Friday for the Land of the Mouse. We will be spending Thanksgiving with Mickey and Friends and I am not prepared. I will do my best to make it by, however.

I'm really just popping in for a little help. I am going through a bit of a struggle right now. School is...UGH! and raising a teenager is about to get me...and there are three more behind him! I would be lying if I didn't say I was praying fervently that Christ returns in the next three years before B.B. enters the teen years! Anyway, I am struggling, REALLY struggling. I know I need to just surround myself with scripture and pray through this time...but honestly, I don't have the energy to seek out that scripture (just being real, here). So, this is how you can help me. What are the verses you turn to when you need strength or comfort? My plan is to write them down and post them all over my house and maybe make a set to keep with my Bible. If you have some that have just given you a lot of strength at some point, would you just leave a comment and share it or them with me? Thank you my precious Coffee Talk friends. Have a blessed weekend!

For more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Coffee Talk 10.29.10

Another week gone? Really? Where is the time going? It is C-O-L-D, COLD here this morning...so grab something warm and let's chat a minute. Tiger teen has promised to whip me up a cup of hot chocolate this morning after my really cold run but I can' t let myself drink it until I drink my first round of water, ugh!

I took almost a week off from running due to rainy weather and Tigerfan being out of town. I know it sounds ridiculous because he is always at work when I run anyway, but it was so dark this week and all I could think was IF a car didn't see me and IF the unthinkable happened, Tigerfan was out of town and the kids would be home alone...maybe I was just needing an excuse. Anyway, I went this morning which felt good...but it was cold! I mean cold! I find myself dreading the next run because I know how cold it is going to be. Runners, any advice for staying motivated when you just want to crawl back into bed and pull the nice, warm covers over your cold little body would be appreciated.

Anyway...last week, I shared, okay vented, about Tigerteen. When I first started blogging, mostly to keep my family up to date, I took a blog and told about each kiddo. Tigertot wasn't even in the world yet and so much has changed. So, I thought I would dedicate this post to Baseball Boy, who desperately needs a new nickname but I can't come up with one I like, so for now, it remains.

B.B. has always been my strong willed one. He is precious and loving and stubborn as a mule! When I first began blogging, he loved to watch television and would immediately memorize half of the lines in whatever he was watching (including the commercials) and pretty much every conversation with him went something like, "On ______(insert show name here)____, this happened." followed by a complete retelling of the entire show or commercial. It was both endearing and completely irritating. At ten, he doesn't care as much about television...now we get sports recaps. Over and over and over. They usually involve a lot of sound effects, a lot of jumping around in the retelling and a lot of spit. They are usually accompanied by speech that is so incredibly fast and slurred that, at least three times a day he hears, "B.B., I have absolutely no idea what you just said." And that is from his momma. I can only imagine what strangers think, I wonder if they ever question what language he is speaking.

When young, he had the most kissable cheeks. So plump and soft and begging to have lips just sink into them. At ten, he is still cuddly and loving...although he doesn't appreciate the kisses nearly as much as he used to. Now, I like to rub his little Velcro head (he has the coarsest, curliest head of hair I have ever seen) and hug him close...and he will let me. For a moment. Then he decides to wrestle. He thinks he will be able to take me down. And someday soon, he probably will...but for now, I can still take him!

He is full of joy and fun and laughter. He loves to joke, loves to play with his friends, loves to play practical jokes. He is also the most maddening child I have yet endured. He loves to aggravate and gets complete joy out of making his sister and little brother scream, cry, or tattle. I have yet to figure out why it is so much fun to know you have made everyone in the house mad at you...but that seems to be a daily goal. He then cries because everyone is getting on to him and hurting HIS feelings!

He still loves to eat. A lot. I dread the teenage years just a little because I am not sure how we will afford to feed him. However, he will totally be ready for his college years because he thinks Ramen noodles are a food group (and yes, I am totally aware that they have absolutely not one ounce of nutritional value but sometimes, friends, you just have to pick your battles).

I cannot believe that in just the blink of an eye, he will be a teenager...and I will have two in the house (shudder). I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. In just a few moments, we will begin the school day cuddling...and in a few more, we will be fighting over the fact that he is once again distracted and not doing his school work. At lunch, we will have the daily discussion that he cannot eat until he has completed AT LEAST workbox six and then accompany it with the daily list of all the people whose fault it is that he is only on workbox 2. We will have the daily fight, um...discussion, over the fact that no, he cannot drink a soda at lunch, just like he couldn't yesterday, or the day before, or the day before. Before lunch is over...I will probably be discussing (okay screaming) the fact that he is aggravating someone else at the table. And by the time school is over...we will be laughing hysterically over the "treasures" he finds as he dissects owl pellets for his Science Fair project.

I think this "self portrait" of him this summer says it all. Isn't he cute! And can't you just see the mischief waiting to come out. That smile is just a preview of antics to come! Those eyes...trouble is lurking, friends, trouble is lurking!


Thanks for letting me capture this moment in time!

For more Coffee Talk go to Home Sanctuary.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coffee Talk 10.22.10

I thought I would hate it. I looked upon it with dread. I expected weeping and gnashing of teeth. And then, I became the mother of a teenager.

Ya know...it really isn't that bad! I thought little ones would be easier, I mean the worst that happens is you forget to tie the refrigerator up and you find a two year old scaling the shelves. Don't get me wrong, mothering toddlers and early elementary ages can be tough and totally exhausting...but they are little and cute and they say the greatest stuff!

Teenagers on the other hand...ugh. I thought of hormone changes and "the talk". I pictured the fights and power struggles. I prayed and hoped and researched military school (okay...maybe I didn't research military school...but the thought crossed my mind). Anyway. I now have a teenager. We have been traversing this path for about 6 months now...and I have enjoyed it! All of the sudden, the little boy who stayed little just a bit longer than most of his friends has blossomed into a young man. We can have talks that don't involve super heroes, shows from Nickelodeon, or weapons. He will sit and watch House Hunters with me and is genuinely interested in what that house will look like in the end.

I love that he came home from youth the other night and told me how amazing their speaker was and I love that he realizes FINALLY that if he gets done with school a little early, he can do an extra assignment or two and then Friday, he has an easy day! I have a little adult on my hands...and I LIKE it! Oh, we are still early in the game. I know there will be battles ahead, but I find myself really enjoying this stage of parenting and I didn't expect that.

Except for one thing. GIRLS! Don't get me wrong...I am fond of them. I am one, after all! Up until a month ago, they weren't even much of a consideration. Life has been hunting and school and hanging out with buddies. And then, a sweet girl entered the picture. Tigerteen (I am renaming F.B to something more appropriate) has been a little later developing an interest in girls and that has been fine by me. I have always known all his friends and had a few picked out for good first interests. I was FLOORED one day when a different girl came on the scene. They ran Cross Country together and became buddies. They like some of the same teams. She loves sports...all of a sudden, Sports Center is on constantly. She plays basketball, all of the sudden, he considers restarting his basketball career. She is a sweet girl from a sweet family...but I am NOT ready for this.

I am blessed, Tigerteen still talks to me. So far. And I feel I am balancing on this tiny rope between wanting to keep the lines of communication open and wanting to stick my fingers in my ears, sing, "La,la,la" and hand him an action figure! I don't want to start boy/girl stuff. I don't! I REALLY don't.

And yet, here we are. We have explained that they can be friends...but at thirteen, that is all they are...friends. We have explained that they can hang out with one another...with other friends or parents. We have met her parents and really like them...but thirteen? This is too young. It is too soon. I want to enjoy enjoying my teen a little longer.

We recently added texting to our cell plan. In 20 days, Tigerteen had almost 10,000 texts. No, that is NOT a misprint. We told him he had no privacy...as his parents, we had the right to all his passwords and to look at anything he does online or on his phone. So, the other night, we got out the phone and started going through. Just silly, teenage stuff. Kidding with buddies, kidding with his dad. And then...we got to the texts with "her". They had all been deleted. Every. single. one. What happened to talking to mom? I am sure the messages were innocent. I am sure he knew we would look and was afraid of Daddy giving him a hard time...but they were deleted. It was tricky, sneaky...and my trust has faltered just a bit.

So yesterday...we had to have a new kind of talk. One that involved rules about deleting messages, being friends and appropriate things to discuss with your thirteen year old FRIEND! I know there are heartbreaks on the horizon. I know that at thirteen, this will probably be only the first of many interests (although how amazing would it be if it was just a friendship that stood the test of time). I know that we have many other rites of passage before my young man becomes a young adult. But somehow, this one seems the hardest, at least so far. I foresee many hours on my knees and many tears yet to be shed...mostly mine.

Whatever happened to arranged marriages? Just asking?

Anyway, my sweet Coffee Talk friends, thank you for letting me vent...every week! I totally meant to rant about this earlier this week and just have a "normal" post...but I can't seem to get myself on this blog any other day. Also thank you to my precious friend from CiCi's corner. Do you know that she sent me the book, "Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad"? I have DEVOURED it and discovered that I have pretty much never done anything right. I have A LOT of work to do...someday I'll post before and after pictures and let y'all decide if it was worth it! For now, I have little ones who are expecting breakfast this morning so I must go. Hope everyone has an amazing weekend, look forward to visiting all the Company Girls. Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary to visit everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coffee Talk...Fashion Challenge Edition

AAAAAGH! Why is this thing typing like this? I do NOT know...I cannot make it stop! Anyway, last week I mentioned popcorn cake. We made it and it turned out really cute so I am including a picture. It was really sweet and fun for this time of year. I wish I could offer you a piece but I was forced to get it OUT OF THIS HOUSE! This post has the potential of becoming scary long, not to mention being typed entirely in blue and underlined...so grab a drink and visit a minute!

Okay, now down to business. As some of you know...I am fashion challenged and had a bit of a rant about it last week. I decided to do what I could (from Shari's advice) that didn't cost money. That meant cleaning my closet. I am a little embarrassed, but in the interest of full disclosure...this is what I encountered:

Hubby's side:



My side: I have no idea why this is typing this way but I am also computer challenged, so we are going with it!


After purging all things that were worn out, the wrong size or totally out of style, I began to attempt to purge based on color. I had, at one time, taken the color test on Shari's site and was a "clear" which totally excited me because it meant I could wear black and bright colors...Yay! So, I went back to check out the colors I should be using, decided to take the test again...and it said soft! Ugh, no black? I took it again...still soft! At that point, I threw in the towel in frustration because I can't even figure out what colors I should own much less what I need to buy.

Okay, so fast forward to Wednesday when Shari did her new post. She sent us to a new site by Amy Bayliss for a little challenge. So the challenge was put together three new outfits without spending any money. You could trade with a friend, shop in your closet, remake old pieces, etc. I decided to take on the challenge. I learned that a)I have pretty much no fashion sense whatsoever b) I am probably the most uncreative person on the face of the earth and c)that if I am determined enough...I can do it. Did I mention how fashion challenged I am?

So here are my "new" outfits and a little dialogue...because I cannot post without nonstop dialogue.

Outfit number one is casual. Not much dialogue except I would totally like for you to notice the BROWN, not black you will probably be seeing in all other outfits. The pitiful little earrings are my attempt at accessorizing. And yes...I am photographically challenged as well so you may have to turn your head into unnatural positions and squint your eyes to get past the blur...at least I can make popcorn cake!


I feel the need to add that the t-shirt has some cute little bling, my picture totally doesn't do it justice. I wore this to church Wednesday night...no one told me how cute I was...on the other hand, no one told me I looked sick, pale or washed out so I guess it isn't too awful.
Outfit two is work wear for tutorial days. I am totally aware that this is totally black which breaks the breaking up with black rule. But the challenge was no money...these were in my closet...I'll have to break up with black at a later juncture. My niece "passed down" the printed shirt and I was trying to make it wearable into fall.



Outfit three is church wear. I must admit...it took a LONG time to come up with this one. I'm not totally in love with it...but it met the challenge. And, while the jewelry is black...there are also non black elements as well which is a total bonus in my book.

Okay, so I am totally open to constructive criticism, computer advice or photography tips. Let me know how I could improve or accessorize or just get rid of all together. I must admit that Dancer and I did have fun even if I am not runway ready. Maybe we will shop in her closet next!

I look forward to visiting with all my Coffee Talk friends this weekend. Be sure to stop by Home Sanctuary for more fellowship. And, by the way, I got NO small things accomplished this week. I was too busy redesigning my wardrobe! :)

Oh--I forgot! Tigerfan started a blog, if you get a chance go visit him and leave him a comment, he would really appreciate it! Thanks!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Coffee Talk 10.8.10

Another week has flown by...how can it be? Grab some water or bring your own coffee and we can chat a minute! My two year old has decided to join us this morning. Instead of getting up for my morning run...I am bribing him with a donut (AKA Honeybun) so I can at least get a quick post in. We have already played a game and read three books and it is only 6:30 a.m....it could be a long day!

It has been COLD here this week. At least in the mornings. I must admit...it was hard to get out and run Monday in 34 degree weather...but I did it and it was actually a really pleasant run, you know, once the icicles fell off my nose!

We had a nice week. Schools were on fall break around here so lots of activities were cancelled which meant a low stress, stay at home kind of week. I LOVE stay at home weeks! We had friends over, got school done, went easy on homework...it was divine. Tonight will be a wonderful end because my Bible Study group is having a movie night. Tigerfan will take the kiddos to eat and I get to go hang out with some lovely ladies. I am going to try a new recipe and bring popcorn cake...I'll let ya know how it turns out.

Okay...so it is advice time at the Tigerden. I love to read a blog called A Beautiful Place. It is written by a beautiful lady named Shari Braendel who is a christian image consultant. Every week she writes an article giving tips or advice on women's beauty, etc. I love to read it and I love seeing all the trends, etc. 'Cause I really wanna be a put together momma...ya know. However, I have a hard time spending the money on fashion, accessories, etc. I know, in my mind, that we present a better image when we look nice. However, I also know that we have a bathroom in shambles, windows that need replacing and four children to put through activities, clothe and feed.

I struggle with this. I want to look nice and be put together, but I cannot seem to wrap my mind around that being more than just a want. I'm a mess, really. Our society says take care of yourself...you deserve it. But I remember once doing a Bible Study by Beth Moore where she said what we deserve is death and Hell...everything else we have is just a blessing by God. I really think I have probably taken that a little too literally...but every time I get the "wants", that comes back to mind and I think, I have so much more than most of the people in the world. Yes, my shoes may be wearing out...but I have many pairs of shoes. Yes, my clothes may be outdated and they might not even fit really well...but I have more than one outfit. My makeup may not be quite perfect...but what a luxury to be able to wear makeup!

This was really bothering me, so I sent an email to Shari Braendel and she addressed it in her blog this week. Her advice made a lot of sense. But I still struggle with this. Especially since reading "Radical", which has rocked my world. I just wonder, is my desire to look put together a product of "the American Dream", or is it a desire put in us by God? Would the Proverbs 31 woman spend a little hard to come by money to look put together or would she minister to her family and then give what excess there was to the widows and orphans? I know this might seem like a very shallow struggle...but it is where I am at and I would love to know what my sweet Company Girls have to say on this.

To that end, I have decided to do what I can that doesn't cost anything. So, if you went to the blog and read the post...I am going to start by cleaning my closet and getting rid of the stuff that doesn't look good, doesn't fit good or that I no longer wear and I am going to download the wardrobe planner to see what I "need". After that, I guess I will decide if I am going to go any further...but along the way, I am going to take pictures and maybe next week, I can show you the before and after.

So, what do think? I need some guidance! HELP!

I look forward to visiting with you all this weekend! Don't forget to check out more Coffee Talk at Home Sanctuary.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Coffee Talk~September Recap

Wow...I cannot believe it is October! How did that happen? That means another month of starting strong on Small Things and fizzling out as life got in the way. However, I can't really complain...'cause overall, September was a pretty good month!

We had homemade Poptarts, which by the way, I appreciated far more than my children!
I am not giving up though, we will be trying new flavors soon...I'll keep ya' posted on the response.

We had a great Cross Country season. F.B. runs with a local private school and they took first place in the championship last night. One of his best friends took the individual first place with a time last night for two miles of 12 min. 12 seconds...I was impressed.
F.B. had a great time, met lots of good friends and wants to keep running. He had his personal best time last night...not sure he cares, but I'm a proud momma. He also ran with me in last weekend's 5k.

We ran in the Bluebird Dash which raises money for Camp Bluebird. If you have been around here long, you have probably heard me mention it. It is a camp for adult cancer patients and Tigerfan serves as a counselor there twice a year and LOVES it! I was kidding with F.B before the race started and told him to get ready to go without stopping 'cause I wasn't gonna wait for him! Let me tell ya...he wasn't gonna be beat by his momma! He took off when that race started and never looked back. He came in at about 27 minutes which isn't bad for his first race! I came in about 3 minutes behind him at 30 minutes and some seconds (I forgot to actually look at the clock when I passed the finish line). My husband would like me to tell you that I came in first place in my division...brought home a trophy and everything! However, I feel compelled to confess that that is only because I was the only one running in my division. Tigerfan says I should keep that part a secret, but I just can't do it! We have no pictures of this illustrious event...Tigerfan forgot to take any, but I must admit that that is totally fine with me. I cannot really imagine a flattering picture of me as I try to lug this ole body of mine down that road. But I did it and I am proud of myself. This week, I am trying to figure out where to go from here. I still don't run because I like it...so it is hard to motivate myself without a goal. However, as I was reading this weekend, I found an article saying that you really shouldn't sign up for a race until you have been running for at least 6 months....oops! Now I feel I should be just developing that strength and endurance but am having trouble really pushing myself, especially since it is COLD in the mornings now and I dread going out there. So how do you all motivate yourselves?

Okay, we have a busy weekend ahead. F.B. has a kick off bonfire tonight for the Student Leadership Association and we are sending B.B. off on a choir trip...but next week, NO apartment ministry, NO Cross Country, NO dance because of Fall Break. I am practically giddy with excitement over the prospect of being home and low stress. So, what about you? Any big plans for the weekend ahead? I look forward to visiting each one of you. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Go to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Coffee Talk 9.24.10

Good Morning Ladies,

I know I ALWAYS say this and never come through, but this should be short and sweet today because I am running really late and have lots to do!

It has been a good week, with a few fun accomplishments. As you know, I have started running and have been doing my training. Tigerfan convinced me to sign up for a 5k that is sponsored, in part, by the telephone Pioneers. So, tomorrow I am running my first ever 5k. And I use the term running VERY lightly. My goal is to not die. This morning I did a short run...and it was TOUGH! Now I am a little worried about tomorrow...but I am determined. I will do hard things and I will survive! (sorry, needed to give myself that little pep talk).

I actually had a good run Wednesday. 3.56 miles with 5 minutes of it walking for warm up. So I have run the proper distance...just hope I can do it again!

We also made our home made Pop Tarts this week. I posted the recipe here, but originally got it from a fellow Company Girl, Sticky Cook. Dancer and I had so much fun! She was able to do almost everything and LOVED it. We made brown sugar and cinnamon but have decided that now we will play around with other fillings. They were really good, a slightly different texture that a store bought Pop Tart, but worth the no preservatives. Next time, I think we will use 1/2 whole wheat flour and see how that turns out.

I totally have pictures, but my IT man (AKA, Tigerfan) has not put them on the computer for me yet and I haven't a clue. Maybe someday you will see pictures. Because, really, who doesn't want to see blurry pictures of homemade Pop Tarts!

I also have pictures of F.B.'s last Cross Country meet. Because I am a great mom like that and finally remembered the camera on the last day. His team came in first place for the season and he is so excited...he doesn't even care that he never medalled...he is just happy to be a part of the team, I love that!

Okay, today we have friend coming over to work on Science Fair, yes, it is that time of year again...stay tuned for the mental break down, and I haven't even filled the children's workboxes yet, so I need to get moving. Hope you all have an incredible weekend...and feel free to virtually cheer me on tomorrow morning. If I survive, I'll be back next week!

For more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary.

Recipes

Okay, for those of you who requested recipes, here they are:

Pop Tarts (this is for Brown Sugar Cinnamon but with extra pastry dough, we added plum jelly to some and Tigerfan and Dancer loved it...we are going to play around with fillings next time).

This recipe is from Sticky Cook. She has a lot of great preservative free recipes so you should check her out if interested.

For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup really cold water
1 egg, beaten, for brushing on the dough

For the filling:
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

For the icing:
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon milk

In a large mixing bowl, cut the flour and butter together with a pastry cutter or two knives. Add the sugar and salt and mix well. Add the cold water and mix until just combined (if needed, add extra water, 1 teaspoon at a time). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pastry dough, as thin as possible, then cut with a sharp knife into rectangles (you will probably have to do this in batches). Brush half of the rectangle with the beaten egg, then top the center of the brushed rectangles with a generous amount of the filling mixture (don’t spread all the way to the edges). Top with the un-brushed rectangles. Using a fork, press all the sides of the tarts, sealing the edges. Prick the top of the tarts a few times with a fork, to allow venting. Brush with the egg. Bake on a greased baking sheet (I use cooking spray) for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Combine the icing ingredients, adding a little more milk if necessary. Spread on cooled tarts.


Okay, now for the Green Smoothie:

For a single portion size, I use:
1/2 cup cold water
1 large handful (about half of a bag) of spinach
Blend these together until well blended and smooth.

Add 1 frozen banana. My sister sometimes uses an avocado but I haven't tried this yet (I think I am going to today). This is for the creaminess. The banana will give it a banana flavor which I don't mind. My sister says that the avocado gives it the texture without adding any flavor so if you don't like banana, give this a try.

Then I just throw in whatever fruit I happen to have on hand. My favorites are apples, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi. I usually add a couple of different kinds and a little flax seed.

When I first started making these, I added a little sugar or honey for sweetness, but I don't do that anymore...I think they are perfect without it, but a lot of people do add a little sweetener.

Blend all together and enjoy!

I know for you non spinach people, this sounds disgusting but the fruit masks the spinach...I promise. If you add blueberries, it will take on kind of a brownish color rather than the bright green. If you can get past the look, it is really good and a nice healthy snack!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Coffee Talk 9.17.10

Good Morning! I've got my bottle of water and am ready to visit! It has been a week of mild weather, a grumpy momma, and little accomplishments around here. I look forward to seeing how the week has been for the Company Girls.

Okay...I'm sorry, I am going to revisit a subject I said I would stop talking about, but~I DID IT!!! This morning, I ran about 2 1/2 miles without stopping. Yahoo! I know, for you real runners out there, that is child's play but believe me, for this non runner, that is HUGE! I don't know the exact distance, I just know I ran for 25 minutes and the website says that is about 2 1/2 miles.

I knew when I got up this morning that today was the day. And to be honest, I was dreading it! In fact, Wednesday was actually the day, but I had been fighting a cold for a few days and when I got up Wednesday, my sinuses were congested and my head was ready to explode and after about 30 minutes of trying to talk myself into going...I realized I just couldn't do it. Afterwards, I was really mad at myself because that is the first training day I have missed since I started this program. I think I decided that I would have to just start over from the beginning because I missed that day. Anyway, this morning I did it. It was tough. There were moments that were great and I was feeling really confident...and then I would have to run up a hill, so much for confidence. So here is my spiritual connection today...because you knew there had to be one. Toward the end of the run, it was getting tough...the road was inclining and I was getting tired and my Ipod died so I was just listening to my brain telling me I was surely going to die! I had been praying for my husband who is in a tough job situation. It isn't that he hates his job, it is just SUPER stressful and he is held accountable to do far more than one person can possibly do in a month. He works ridiculous hours and is constantly told to do more, get it done, take it home, etc. He would love to do some kind of ministry, but also feels the burden of supporting our family. He is frustrated and tired. He is running out of breath and the road is going uphill! We have been praying about it for awhile now. And to be honest, there are days my faith wavers. It is hard to understand why, when your heart desires to do ministry...you are tied to a job that leaves you dissatisfied, frustrated and with very little time.

I thought of some other friends of ours that are in a very similar situation. He hates his job and they have been praying for YEARS for other opportunities. He is still in the job he hates. I admit, I don't understand. Perhaps both he and my husband are making more of an impact where they are than we think. Sometimes, it is hard to remember that we are not really on this earth for our own pleasure...but for the pleasure of God...someday, we will be with Him in paradise, but for now we are in a fallen world that brings trouble and frustration. Anyway~ that is what I was thinking about as I was trying not to die! And I realized that I was making it just one step at a time. In that moment, I was just leaning on God to take me that one next step...if I had looked to the finish, I probably wouldn't have made it...it would have seemed too hard. And so, I just asked Him for the next step...one at a time. Before long, I caught that second wind and was able to finish...maybe not strong, but at least without passing out! :)

This week has been a little rough. School has not gone well and I will probably not be receiving mother or teacher of the year. By Wednesday, I was ready to pull hair out. The thought of continuing like we have been for the rest of the year is unimaginable. I am tired. I don't really want to keep going. And yet...I know that my Father in Heaven, my Sustainer, my Redeemer will help me take that next step. I cannot look to next week or next month or next year. I just have to trust Him right now, this minute, this step. He WILL be faithful. He will pull us through. He will give us hope because He is hope and at the finish line...we will be there, in His presence...so glad that we ran! He is worth it!

I hope and pray that all of my Company Girl friends know Him today. My prayer is that you know the name of Jesus and can call upon Him when your strength is gone. He is the way, the Truth and the Life, the Hope of our Salvation, the Good Shepherd, my Friend! I cannot imagine life without that truth! He is calling out to you today. He wants to help you with each step...will you let Him? Do you know Him?

Hoping you do today, and if you do not...please let me share Him with you today!

For more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Coffee Talk 9.10.10

Good Morning Ladies! Come on in a sit a spell! I will be enjoying some nice cold water this morning, what about you? I am hoping to maybe replace my blender this weekend so I can again enjoy my green smoothies...it has been too long.

I missed visiting last week because we were on our way to Louisiana for some much needed R&R. It was a great trip...especially for Tigerfan who needed to get away after several greuling weeks at work. We went to the camp I have told you about a few times before. The kids got to swim, ride golf carts through the woods and we spent a good bit of time watching this little guy.
My very first "in the wild" alligator. He was searching for supper here, I think but the next day we caught him sunning out on a log. During this trip we also had a couple of break throughs with Tigercub. We forgot the pack and play and so we decided to just let him sleep in a big bed and hope for the best. He was so excited to get to be in a big boy bed that I think he just plumb forgot to ask for his pacifiers...I know, he is almost three and he still slept with not one, but three pacifiers...sometimes you just have to pick your battles, people! Anyway, he didn't ask and I didn't offer and other than one little incident since, he has never asked for them again. It is the easiest break from pacifiers we have ever had...just another one of God's little blessings. Now, if he would just decide to potty train himself, I think we would have this whole parenting thing all wrapped up!

The only thing I really hated about the trip is that we missed getting to visit with dear friends. One family there "adopted" me when we first moved to LA 13 years ago. I was 6 months pregnant with our first child, moving to hubby's hometown where the only people I knew were my husband and his sister and her husband. This family became my adopted parents. They cooked for us, took me to the doctor, babysat my sickly little one...such blessings. I miss them terribly and am still a little heartbroken that we didn't even get to see them. The other person I would have loved to visit was our very own Mrs. Lea, also known as CiCi. This is the second or third time we have gone to visit and I have missed out on a "live meeting" and it makes me sad...however, Tigerfan really needed the relaxing so I guess I'm not allowed to whine too much!

As for the rest of the week...Monday night we got home in time to watch MY team, Boise State. I really am not a huge football fan, but there are two teams that get cheered on around here. LSU and BSU. If you watched the game, you will know that Monday night...I almost had a heart attack! But my boys pulled it out...how bout those Bronco's! The rest of the week has been crazy busy. I am trying to look at our schedule and see what we can cut or tweak to make it more manageable. I'm pretty sure we shouldn't be this worn out this early in the school year. But it is so hard to cut...ya know, the things we do are good things, it is just hard to know if they are the best things.

Anyway, this weekend I have a brunch with my Bible Study ladies and we will be closing the pool and hopefully doing some major reorganizing as we have now moved Tigercub into B.B.'s bed, B.B. into F.B.'s bed, and F.B. into the guest room downstairs. There are closets to change up, a baby bed to dismantle, and dressers to change up. Oh, and I almost forgot that I totally want to attempt making homemade Poptarts from another Company Girl, The Sticky Cook. Ya know...in my free time.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, I look forward to visiting with all the Company Girls who join in to Coffee Talk! Blessings!

P.S. Please overlook any spelling errors my !@#$ spell check WILL NOT WORK!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Coffee Talk 8.27.10

Just wondering...how did it become the end of August already? Didn't summer just begin? Anyway~Hope everyone is doing well this morning. It is BEAUTIFUL outside this morning, maybe just on the nippy side which is wonderful considering the oppressive heat we have been experiencing!

Grab a cup of something and join me for a minute or two! I'll be grabbing my nice cold water because when I drink coffee, I want to gag and stuff! :) Today, I will attempt to put to rest two issues I know everyone is absolutely sick of hearing about.

1. Running, yes, I have been a good girl this week and even increased my distance a little bit. Now don't be getting all impressed, we aren't breaking any records or anything. I would guess maybe close to 2 1/2 miles and I'm not running the whole thing. I am using a program called couch potato to 5K to train myself, so I am doing a 5 minute brisk walk, run 3 minutes, walk 1 1/2, run 5 minutes, walk 2 1/2 and then repeat the run/walk cycle one time. See, not that impressive when you know all the details! BUT, I am doing it so I am proud of myself. Last week I said I had learned something and then couldn't remember what it was. Today I remember. Fridays are always my worst run. I couldn't figure out why but I was always feeling a little slow and sluggish. I think I figured it out and am pretty sure it correlates to the overindulgence in popcorn and M&M's the night before. Just sayin'. I will probably not stop eating the said popcorn and M&M's, but at least I know why it is harder to run on Friday. I like this running program because it is slowly training my body to run longer distances. It is pitiful how hard it was just to run two minutes in the beginning...but as I have consistently trained, the running, breathing, etc. is getting easier. Okay, back to that in a minute.

2. The other issue I am going to attempt to stop discussing is the opportunity that we were hoping for. The door was shut, locked and the key thrown away this week. I am disappointed but not surprised. The truth is...I want to be mad at God. I want to say how unfair it is and how good we would have been. But I just can't seem to be. God is God. He said no. His way is right, even if it isn't what I want. He can't be wrong, He is perfect so it is me who was on the wrong track.

Our verse we are memorizing this week just hit me right where I needed it right now. It says:

" Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the herd and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18

Okay, here is the Star translation for her current situation:

"Though you have an opportunity that looks great and it falls through, though your husband is completely stressed out and dissatisfied with his job, though the children you are trying to educate will probably flunk out of second grade and could possibly be incarcerated for killing one another in a fight over who has to clean the dog pen or vacuum the floor, though you aren't smart enough to teach an eight grader math and there isn't a single good school option out there to have...Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my Salvation."

He is still God...and this earth is temporary. It is not my home. Nothing we struggle through here can even compare to the glory that awaits His children. So, I want to be mad...but I can't. I have to just rejoice and know that His way really is best. He has something better, although I may never know or understand what that is. A few weeks ago, I couldn't have said that. At least not and mean it. A few weeks ago I would have pouted and cried and shook my fist at heaven and declared that it wasn't fair. If things weren't going to happen...why even be tempted by the opportunity...but, you see, He is training me. As I have spent more and more time in His Word and more and more time in prayer, He has been preparing me for a harder challenge. Make no mistake, I don't like it. Just like I don't like running while I am doing it. But when I am through, and I look back~I am glad I did it. I am glad I went through the struggle because I come out stronger and better than I was before.

So, let me encourage you today. Whatever trial you are going through today. No matter how big or small. You can rejoice...because we serve a God who is not taken by surprise. He is not scared, He can't be outdone. He loves you dearly. And while He may allow you to experience the pain of training...the reward WILL be worth it.

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend! Be sure to check out more Coffee Talk at Home Sanctuary.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Coffee Talk 8.20.10

Good morning Ladies,

It SHOULD be short and sweet this morning because we have started full speed ahead with school and I am late getting the kids up this morning. Not good since I haven't had a shower yet and, frankly...I smell. Even at 6 a.m., running with about 1000% humidity does not make for a pleasant odor!

On the topic of running. Dancer went with me Monday. She HATED it but is considering going with me again. I actually enjoyed having a partner, although it did slow me down considerably. B.B. said he wanted to start going but he keeps getting up in the middle of the night and coming to sleep on my floor. I told him that as long as he isn't sleeping well at night, I am NOT getting him up before 6 to run! I am so crazy that when I think of them coming...I kind of dread it. I won't get my "alone" time, I will be slowed down, but then afterwards I think, "Man, it would have been fun to run with a partner" and then there is F.B. who is on the cross country team for one of our private schools who BEGS me not to make him get up and run...he is the one who needs it! Do you know he actually WALKED during the mile of his meet last night! I groaned inwardly...we are gonna have to do some training at home!

I have learned a couple of things about running this week:

1. Although I still HATE it while I am doing it...I am so proud of myself afterwards and actually look forward to it...maybe there is hope for me!

2. I completely forgot number 2 while I was typing number one...maybe it'll come to me!

Anywhoo, as for the rest of t he week...crazy busy. Monday night we started volunteering at a local apartment doing Bible Study and meals for the residents. If it is a good fit, we will continue this throughout the school year as a local ministry. Tuesday we did a full school day and dance. Dance, ugh! Dancer has a class from 4:00-4:45 and another from 5:30-6:15. The dance studio is way out, so there isn't time to go home or do much. As a result, we are there, with Tigercub, for over 2 hours...Good times. This week it was INSANE. Hoping that calms a bit or I may have to start bringing Valium with me on dance days. Wednesday we did school, took F.B. to a physical and to have a recheck on his ear and had church, choir, etc. Thursday we took F.B. for a hearing test (due to his high number of infections and perforated ear drums) which he passed with flying colors, did school, picked up uniform for C.C. meet, went to meet, came home and had a class party for my tutorial class this year, which, incidentally, B.B. will be in. Today we have school, guitar, Dancer has a friend spending the night, and hopefully a little down time. And to think...Tutorial hasn't even started yet!

Oh! I did have a "Deep thought" I blogged about on Monday, feel free to go check it out...they don't happen often. AND, I was given a blog award by one of my sweet blogging friends, Four Little Penguins. She is my home schooling idol! She like actually has ideas and DOES them and takes pictures and blogs about them, Amazing! Anyway, the award was called the Sunshine Award and is super sweet, unfortunately, after far too much time trying to figure out this @#$% Mac computer, I have given up trying to copy the award. She also came up with a million or like 12 bloggers to give it to. I don't even read that many blogs anymore, so, I figure. If you have hung on here this long today...you totally deserve the award. Hop over to her blog, search around until you find it and give it to yourself!

I know, this is typically not short. But reading the above paragraph made me think, in Bible Study the last couple of weeks, our leader has been having us think about everyday objects that describe us. Some of the ladies said Swiss army knife (able to do a lot of things, organized), dark chocolate (either you love me or you hate me), etc. I said a pin ball. I am just being whacked around all over the place and I am about as scattered as can be! Ugh...it is too soon in the school year to be like this!!! So, what about you? What everyday object describes you?

For more Coffee Talk, go to Home Sanctuary!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Opened Doors

Yet another day of deep thoughts...don't get used to it, school has started and even with just a partial schedule, things are already getting crazy!

Teaching Sunday School yesterday, I had some new thoughts (for me) about an old story and what better place to share. This may just be my new favorite Bible Story for awhile. The story, Paul and Silas in jail. You know the one. Paul and Silas are imprisoned for sharing Jesus. Because they are such "bad dudes", they are put in shackles and placed in the middle of the prison. The part saved for the really bad criminals. They are put under guard. They don't whine or complain, instead, they sing. They praise God in the midst of imprisonment. And then, the floor starts shaking, the shackles fall off, the doors of the prison are opened. The perfect chance for escape! The guard, realizing he must have lost all his prisoners prepares to kill himself. And then...before he does anything crazy...Paul and Silas announce that all the prisoners are still there.

Okay, so I've heard the story a million times. I have heard lessons, and even taught them, about how they worshipped in the jail, yada, yada, yada. But yesterday, something else struck me. I know it is because of our recent circumstances, but I like it anyway. You see, in our culture, in our church, we always talk about open doors. If God is leading you somewhere, the doors will open. If you are headed in the wrong direction, He will close them. It is a lovely, comforting thought. The path seems so clear. And yet, in this story, the door opens...but Paul and Silas...they stay. They didn't walk through that open door. I'm sure they wanted to. I'm sure as they sat in that prison, they longed to be free. Maybe they talked about what they might have been doing. Maybe they had a strategy session for what they would do when they got out of there. I wonder if they felt frustrated that their ministry was being slowed down because of this little bump in the road. They may have wept for those they wouldn't get to talk to because they were "locked up".

I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the prisoners as the shaking began and the shackles fell off. And most of all, I wonder...why did they stay? Of course, Paul and Silas, despite that opened door must have felt the Spirit of God telling them to stay. But what about the others. There may have been some rough characters in there. Surely they longed to be free themselves...and what an opportunity. What held them there? Was it the darkness? The guard called for lights, but that was only after the prisoners told him not to kill himself. Was it amazement, did they think they had more time? Why did they stay? If I had been there...would I have stayed? Didn't that open door mean go? I am really fascinated by this right now. They stayed.

And I think about where we are right now. There was a door I thought was open, and I was ready to go through. Now, in our situation, the door seems to have closed and we are staying because, well, we have no choice. But sometimes, it seems, God calls us to stay. Even when we want to go. Even when it seems we have so much to offer on the other side. Even when we are frustrated because staying seems so fruitless. God called them to stay. God seems, for now, to be calling us to say. I can pout, I can fuss, I can cry and complain. Or I can sing. I can praise and maybe, just maybe I can have an impact right here.

Do you know the end of the story? The guard invites Paul and Silas to his home where they share the good news and the guard, along with his whole family believed and were baptized. I wonder, how many more believed after? How many people did the guard share with? How many ladies heard the story as they drew water from the well? All because they stayed. And so, while my heart longs to go...I will stay. I will try to have an impact, I will try to share the story, I will try to do it with a good attitude and maybe some one's life will be changed just because we stayed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Coffee Talk 8.13.10

Good Morning Ladies! I hope today finds everyone doing well. Grab a drink...I prefer something nice and cold since temperatures around here are something akin the the gates of, well, a very unpleasant place. On the bright side, I heard a report yesterday that next week things will be cooling off and we will get to enjoy a week of nice, cool 90 degree weather, UGH!

I am going to just list my rambling thoughts today because otherwise, no one will be able to follow the jumble that is in my head.

1. I started running...okay walking with an occasional run to make me feel better...again this week. I had started training for a 5K last winter and was stopped dead in my tracks by planter's fascitis. If you haven't had the joy of that little foot condition, thank God today! Anyway, I woke up this week and realized that while I still have some pain and soreness, the stretching, etc. has worked and I can actually walk around and wear cute shoes without wanting to scream! So, I decided to get back into training. I think one word can wrap up how I feel...OW!

2. We started school this week. Not because I wanted to but all the schools in town have started and we like to take breaks, etc. when they do so the kids can hang out with their friends. I am really beginning to think this whole school thing is overrated. If we were Amish, this would be my oldest son's last year. Hmmmm, something to think about!

3. I am making my oldest son read a book called "Do Hard Things" written by teenage boys to encourage teenagers to rise above low expectations. I have been reading along with him...ya know, so I can give him assignments, lord it over him and throw in the occasional, "son, you can do better than that...do hard things." Anywhoo, the book is kicking ME in the tail! In fact, it is reading that book that kept me going on my run this morning when I really just wanted to throw in the towel.

4. I HATE running. Runners always say how much they love it. I wonder how long you have to do it before you stop saying, "I would rather have a tooth pulled with no anesthesia than go out there and run again this morning." Cause, I really want to like it. I really want to get that great feeling of refreshment and satisfaction. Instead, I kind of feel like I want to throw up. And my legs hurt. I really don't enjoy running.

5. My baby is growing up too fast. He is so cute! I just love to hang out with him. He loves to play, and talk, and sing, and laugh. He is really a joy. But he is growing so fast. I want to cherish the moments I have with him being little. Although, if he wanted to just volunteer to start pottying in the toilet with no effort on my part...I would be totally cool with that.

6. If you read earlier this week, I had a minor breakdown. I am doing better. I am trying to accept God's will for us...but sometimes MY will just seems so good, ya know? Anyway, a lot of my frustration has come because of a ministry opportunity I thought we might have. Since reading "Radical" I have really been impressed that I need to search for opportunities to minister and share Christ with people. I need to be deliberate about it. So, I began praying and this opportunity presented itself. The timing seemed good and I was excited about it but it hasn't come through...at least not yet. As I pondered, okay pouted, about the situation, I realized that I have been so focused on this ministry that MIGHT happen but I am missing opportunities all around me that I can do RIGHT NOW. These words from Jeremiah really spoke to me this morning as I was doing my Bible reading,

"I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps."
Jeremiah 10:23

I may have been having a bit of a pity party because my plan seemed so good and right and had such good timing. But it is not for me to decide. And the fact of the matter is...God is good all the time, so if He says no to this, it is because He has something better in mind. I may not ever know what it is. I may never see it. But I know it to be true because of the nature of God. Don't get me wrong. I am still stubbornly praying that option one still happens. But in the meantime, I am seeking ways to minister and share Jesus right here where I am.

Well, I could go on with these rambling thoughts, I've got a million of them in me today...but, frankly, I need a shower and I need to start school and clean house, and do my Bible Study lesson...so, I look forward to visiting with you all over the weekend. Hope you have a great one and be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.