Friday, January 29, 2010

Publish His Glorious Deeds

"Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; bless his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!" Psalm 96:1-4a NLT

One of my goals for 2010 is to journal more about my life and thoughts. This genealogy album had me thinking about recording more for my family. So, for those that are interested, stick with me on this post. I have had quite a bit on my heart to share for the last two weeks and I wanted to make sure I got it down tonight. I have noticed that if I don't, I won't and these thoughts will be lost forever.

You may know that we have had a rough three years. At least when we look back at the last three years it sounds like we had it rough. I stopped teaching to become a mama, had a hard post-pregnancy and I got so sick that Dave missed some work to help care of Ethan. I am sure there was also post-partum depression added to the mix. Dave's lung then collapsed three times and he had to have lung surgery. Dave was out of work for three months. I went back to work for six months teaching part time but we never really got out of that hole that we had dug ourselves into. We were treading water for so long until we made the decision to sell our home. We both agreed that it was time to down size, move closer to town to help with Dave's drive, and be closer to family.

We have been praying about where God would have us move. We knew if we were to down size that we wanted life changing things to happen. You know... save, be debt free, and live wiser lives. Dave and I are still young to change our living habits for better. This week our prayers were answered!

Our friends that direct Aldersgate Conference Center had a part time position open at their camp. I applied at the camp and got the job! We will be moving there by the end of February to the camp! We are so excited about this new adventure. I have been praising God for giving us this opportunity to start again, strengthen our hearts in the Lord, and to bless Aldersgate and those that stay there.

Don't you ever worry about what kind of legacy you are leaving behind? Is that a strange thing to be thinking about at 32? Maybe... maybe not. I think about it all the time. I guess when you have had experiences like mine, you tend to... on my application there were a few questions I wanted to make sure I have preserved.

When did you accept Christ as your personal Savior? What led to this decision? I accepted Christ as my personal Savior when I was three years old in my Sunday School classroom. I grew up in a Christian home where I was raised to love God. It wasn’t until twenty years later when I was disciplined in His Word, learned to love, fear, and obey God that I then realized that I needed to give my life entirely up to Him. I asked Him to use me in all that He could for His work and not my own. I was baptized and my life changed from that moment on… serving Him.

Describe what your Christian experience has been since that time: Although I grew up in a Christian home we never read the Bible together as a family or learned basic Christian discipline (read the Bible, serve in church, tithe, etc). When I surrendered my life to Christ, I knew that He wanted me to begin serving in my local church in the children’s ministries. I began serving as a Sunday School teacher and from that position the Lord opened a door for me to work at Sonshine School, in Salem Oregon. My boss, Mrs. Dorothy Read, disciplined me in spiritual things. I was taught how to respect, love, read God’s Word, and obey others. Since then, I have been involved with many different church ministries, learning from God to let Him use me as He needs. I have been involved in teaching in children’s ministries, directing children’s ministries, leading vacation bible school, leading Christmas programs, serving on the worship team, assimilation, and helping support my husband’s assistant pastoral duties.

During my time of teaching at Sonshine School, my teaching assistant and best friend, Maria, (Dorothy Read’s daughter) passed away from cancer unexpectantly in one day. She had collapsed at home one evening and passed away the next. I sat with her at her bedside that day as she reminded her father where she was going soon. During the mourning process, I looked everywhere in my school videos of Maria and I couldn’t find her. I looked at church event videos and couldn’t find her. In fact, her parents didn’t have many adult photos of her. Where was she? She was the one in the kitchen getting snack ready for 100 kids. She was the one that everyone depended on to babysit during women’s events. She was always serving… Maria taught me to be selfless. She went to be with the Lord before her twenty-first birthday; I think of her often and know that I am still striving to have the servant’s heart as she. Her life and death showed me how to live life with love for God and not ourselves.

At the end of my ten years of serving in the local church, God has placed on my heart the need to focus on my son’s spiritual growth. This year, I have stepped down from many of these duties that I have grown comfortable in, for God to use me in mighty ways this year at home. I have been homeschooling my two year old son. In doing so, I have been able to see my son grow in knowing who Jesus is and learning those early disciplines that I never received as a child. It has been more rewarding learning how to be the mother that God wants me to be.

Today, when I look back at these last three years I don't see the entire negative. I see how Dave is now able to breathe. I rejoice at being healthy. I can stay at home with Ethan and watch him grow and learn by teaching him myself. I can see how God has redeemed us through it all! God does amazing things. He has given us a new beginning and a chance to make a difference through service.

So needless to say, I have been packing. It is exciting. If this is what January is like, I can't wait to see what God has planned for the rest of 2010!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Little Bit of Sunshine

This week has been filled with quite a bit of excitement. Besides Ethan being sick we have been keeping home working on several projects. I will share more of that later. Today, we have been playing all day. After waking up with the sun shining, Ethan and I got dressed and took a walk. The light was so beautiful that I had to share some of the photos. All these were done for fun and I wanted to capture the beautiful light that was shining everywhere.

I got so excited about the weather and new life growing along the side of the road that I went home and worked in the garden all morning. It was lovely!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Project 365: Week 3


Ethan (to Dave): Dad are you a man?

Dave: Yes, I am a man.

Ethan (to me while patting me with his palm): Mom, are you fragile?

Me (and Dave while laughing): Yes, I am fragile.

Blessed Weekend

It was a relaxing weekend. It started with Ethan saying all Saturday morning and afternoon, "I want to go to the parking garage, Mama." I had no clue what he was talking about until about 2pm. It hit me! So, I asked him, "Ethan, do you want to go to the mall?" He yelled, “YES! I want to go to the mall to the parking garage!" So, I knew Dave just got off of work and so I called Ethan and for some reason when Ethan told Dave that he wanted to go to the parking garage he knew exactly what he was talking about. ;)

It was funny. Dave drove all the way from Woodburn, picked us up, and we drove all the way back into Salem so Ethan could go to the mall and ride the exca-vator (aka. escalator).

Sunday, we spent the morning in church enjoying worship. Leia was subbing for Ben who was out of town. Leia brought some friends, who are amazingly talented, to lead worship. Which meant that Dave and I got to worship for the first time, since before Ethan was born, with the congregation. It was such a blessing and touched me more than knew it would. Plus she sang all my favorite songs that I miss her singing and so it was lovely... the Holy Spirit was there and we were totally blessed.

Today, we went into town with Ethan to Costco. Ethan just sat in the back of the cart with his bag of books and read them all before wanting to get out and walk around. Costco has a sofa for sale called "Ethan." I think Ethan thought that meant he could take it home. ;)

I also got pictures of the boys today. I am learning more about our camera and trying to do things "on my own." I am looking forward to a free photography class online at Paislee Press every Friday. I hope I learn a lot about making my photographs more heartfelt.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mr. Style

Ethan was so happy that we found his sunglasses. He has to wear them every time we go outside, when he remembers. I love this hat. It is from my classroom boxes for winter. We changed out all his toys and now he has winter items on his dress-up rack. It crackes me up. Sometimes he is even wearing ear muffs. I can't wait to show you that picture!

Earlier in the week we went out for a walk when the rain stopped for half an hour or so. ;) We walked down to the lawn down the street before you get to the mill parking lot. They have a Christmas tree drop off site and I wanted to show Ethan the HUGE pile of trees. Did he care? No. It was like he hadn't seen it. Maybe he couldn't with those glasses on. ;)

My garden still has beautiful textures. I wish it was spring already...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grandma's Tea Cup

A few years ago, Mom was clearing out her cupboards and had this little blue cup, along with two others, in a pile of items she was going to get rid of. I flipped out at how awesome they were and she told me they were Grandma's. Grandma use to use the trio of unmatched tea cups to dye Easter eggs. I couldn't believe that Grandma used them like that. But, I guess if I had something for so long and it was unmatched, I might use it for the same thing. But, today, these are little treasures! In fact, I will share a little more later with you about one of the tea cups. Mom gave them to me.

Back to our story... Ethan saw this little tea cup in my cupboard and asked if he could use it. Why not? Another antique being used by my son for his milk. ;) So, he feels so special using Grandma's tea cup.

The tea thing isn't going like I planned. Actually, it is very hard. Not the drinking part. But, it goes straight through me and if I drink it after lunch I am up all night! I need to re-think this. It is nice to have a hot cup in my hands during a meal, though. I never thought I would be the blanket-and-a-hot-cup-of-tea-with-a-book kind of gal. I like it.

I also took this picture of Ethan in the tub today. Super cute!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Unexpected Day Out

Let me just express how absolutely wonderful our vacation was this year. Dave has never had Christmas Eve through New Years off and it was heavenly. We stayed home and only ventured out into town when we needed to or just for fun. It was relaxing and just what we needed. Dave played with Ethan everyday with their running, wrestling, and tickling games. I fell in love with Dave all over again this week... {sigh!}

As our vacation was getting closer to an end, (Monday was our last day) we started to realize that life was going to have to go back to normal. It put a little damper on our moods for sure! Becca called on Sunday to see if we wanted to go to town to hangout. Since we hadn't seen them all week we were excited to be asked! I mean I didn't expect to see Becca until the end of the week.

Dave and Josh hung out and Sarah, Becca, Ethan, and I went to Macy's. Becca needed to look for some new boots. Afterwards we stopped at the Riverfront Park, in Salem for Ethan to run some energy off! Macy's and a two year old don't go together!

I am thankful Becca brought her camera. She is becoming quite the photographer. She has a good eye for what she wants in a photo. Then, I get to steal her memory cards and take it home to crop and enhance what she was wanting.

Now, if we could just get her an SLR camera and we can hire her when we do weddings. ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Little Bit of Sugar

Today Susan Bain called me to tell me that she got the genealogy album in the mail. I walked from the kitchen to the living room (literally yards away) and talked to her for only about five minutes when I heard a crash. I turn around and Ethan is on top of the table. There is my new sugar bowl (yes - from my new set of dishes) broken on the floor. Ethan is covered in sugar from head to toe! The table is also covered in sweet goodness.

"Why was the sugar bowl even out on the table?" Glad you asked. Starting at the beginning of the week, I took sweets out of my diet. That includes candy bars, chocolate, Auntie K's fudge, ice cream, did I mention Auntie K's fudge?... and POP! Yes, the habit that I started when Ethan was born and kept me up all hours of the day. We don't ever buy it when we go grocery shopping, only when I am out and about. Dave even would bring me home one for a sweet gesture. So, what am I drinking instead? Tea! Black tea at that! A small teaspoon of sugar in my cup is all the sugar I get for the day. Let me tell you, it is hard. Maybe the hardest thing I have done next to childbirth.

Enough about my cravings and back to the story... I was still talking to Susan when I took Ethan's clothes off and had him wash his hands. What was I thinking? The bathroom was filled with soap and water in less than two minutes! Then he ran around me in circles in his underwear flying a clean pair of overalls behind him. Man, he sure does know how to try and get my attention while on the phone.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Becca's Home! (Picture Heavy Post)

It was a very good day! We all got to hang out with Becca, Josh, and Sarah (don't forget Cocoa dog) today. Becca said that she was frustrated with how her photos turned out this week and I told her I would edit them in Lightroom. Three and a half hours later (she took a lot of photos!) they are done. Here are a few of my favorites... ok, more than a few...

Glad to see Sarah "loves" her ring that Ethan made her. ;)

Ok, blue is my new favorite color! When is summer? After looking at these photos for the last few hours I wonder why Becca moved here (was that my outside voice?). I am so thankful that Becca has Josh's family. They are amazing to say the least. But, next time I am in Santa Maria visiting, I want Bill to take me out in the Jeep! That way we can hang some of these views in our home to help us get through wet weeks like this one.