Wednesday, November 29, 2006


It's just not right when the temperature reached 63 today, is sitting at 56 at 7:04 pm, and a winter storm watch is in effect.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

reoccuring theme

I had written the following a while back and I keep coming back to it, so I thought it would be worth sharing as it is an area in my life that continues to pop up.

I seem to have a reoccuring theme inside of me. A theme of "not good enough". Where it comes from, I know. It's the enemy trying to ruin my heart. To ruin the image of who I believe I am. A daughter of God. This theme comes and goes each month. It could be a sentence, a phrase that flits before my eyes. Something someone says or doesn't say. It's usually something I assume. I have learned that assuming is not that great of an idea to do. Emotions come flooding back. Emotions of I'm not liked because I'm not like so and so, or think like this person, or do what this person does. That I'm not good enough based on what and who others are. Over the past months I've beaten myself down because of this, or should I say, have allowed myself to be beaten down. Weeks out of every month have been spent in tears, sorrow, self pity and truly believing I really am not good enough for any one. Why is this so important to me? Is life based soley on this aspect? No. Funny, that after months of being told that I am worth something, that I truly believed those words. All these emotions came flooding back today because of what I assumed. I started being beaten down. Ground into the earth. Then a small, little flicker, a hushed whisper came to me. "God loves you. He thinks you are so very important. He LOVES you! You are assuming again and letting the enemy grab your heal and pull you down and I am here to hold you. You don't have to feel this way. I made you and love every aspect about you because I knitted you together and you are exactly who and what you are supposed to be. My child." All of this came at me in a split second. And after these thoughts flitted across my mind, very softly, I was ok.

This past Sunday we were visiting a friends church and the pastor spoke about being the unique person that God created you to be. To not pretend or wish you were someone else. To just be you. He talked about a conversation between Jesus and Peter (John 21:15-22). Jesus asking Peter three times if he loved Him and Peter answering yes all three times. Then Peter asking Jesus about John, who was following behind these two during their conversation, "What about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You should follow me." I need not try and be or wish to be someone I'm not. My focus should be on following Christ, not on who/what others are.

One step forward and I'm sure there will be steps back in the days to come, but letting this truth break through, has been a giant step. No matter how tired, beaten down or how many times I fall, I need to keep stepping, crawling, moving forward and continue being who He uniquely made me to be.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

coming to you...

From balmy Ill.

We made it today to our friends' place around 11 a.m. our time, 10 a.m Ill time. (The road trip was split up into two days). Our friends weren't home, so we sat on their front porch ready to surprise the husband. Within 5 minutes, they pulled in the driveway and he exited the car slack jawed. "Happy Birthday!!" He was absolutely shocked.

We had lunch out and then went to the park. With it being a nice 70 degrees, we took advantage of every moment outside.

Excellent conversations, excellent weather, all around an excellent day.

Tomorrow is church, lunch in St. Louis (another surprise for our friend's 40th birthday weekend) and then heading home. The time here has moved way too quickly.

Bedtime is approaching. Kids have had a hard day playing with their friends. They even tried out the oversized jacuzzi tub in our room (which went better than last night in the hotel pool when Alina drank too much water and threw up all over the pool deck. Her little belly and pool chlorinated water don't mix well).

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

eight blind mice

The mouse population has grown in our home. The population, that is, of dead mice. Yesterday and this morning were the clinchers. Yesterday I asked Sam the usual morning question. "Would you like to go and check the mouse traps?" He really enjoys dead things. Morbid, I know. He was yelling for me to come downstairs to see the trap that sprang, was licked free of peanut butter, and beheld no objects in the shape of a small rodent. So I rounded the corner and was heading back upstairs when I saw a movement. There, peeking up at me was a cute little mouse. The kids started yelling, "DON'T KILL IT MOMMY!!!". So what is a mother supposed to do? Secretly kill it behind their backs? Let it roam free so as not to squish two little hearts who are looking adoringly at the beady eyed invader? I quickly looked around to see what I could squash it with and found nothing. I came up and called Ed. "How do you kill a live mouse?" I was armed with a plastic cup to capture it, went back downstairs and it was gone. I picked up my exercise mat and tapped it on the floor, out jumped the mouse, me following it with a cup and it leaping to safety under the couch. DRAT!

Sam was even so considerate to peel off all of his crust from his toast and leave it on the floor to feed the mouse. Thank you my son.

This morning I awake to this: "jean" in a hushed whisper. "JEan". "JEAN!". I was then awake. Came downstairs and Ed said, "Look". There in the middle of the kitchen floor was my small little tin tub that is usually on top of the washing machine, upside down. My mind was still a bit foggy and was asked, "do you know what's in there?" I squeemishly replied, "a mouse?". Bingo. He said he saw it running around the dining room was able to cover it up and right before the tub went over it, it just gave a little innocent look at him. What to do next? I suggested putting a mouse trap under there with it and let that kill it. So downstairs I went to get the mouse trap I had set for yesterdays live mouse, thinking that was the mouse that managed to make it upstairs. I yelled up to Ed, "It wasn't the mouse that was down here!" I still need to empty that trap. So we tried to set the mouse trap, but it went off right when Ed put the tub over it. Paper bag with a little tub and jumping mouse inside worked wonders. Then transfered to a plastic bag. Then like a grape juice stomping party, but in pajamas, the fun began. Three out of four of us were outside on the back deck making a quick demise to the rodent who wasn't so smart to show its face in our home. I sat inside hoping I was going to be able to eat today.

So now, death blocks are strategically placed all around the perimeter of the house. Death food. Lucky mice. Talks of getting a mouser are more and more now.

Now as dusk falls I sit here and think I see running things across the floor and hear rustling, scratching sounds. Ahhhh the imagination does wonders.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

what about you?

1. A God who loves and forgives, no matter how many times I fall flat on my face. Pursues, offers life, breathes sustinance. Lifts me up when I am deep in despair or depression. Is patient in my relationship with Him, in learning how I fit into His ultimate story, and seeking out who He made me to be. Promises to always be there and has been there through dark valleys and sunny peaks. For this I am thankful.

2. A man who puts the twinkle in my eye. Is my best friend. Holds me when life is crashing by so hard and breathing is next to impossible. Accepts me despite my faults. Listens to my heart whether it is crying or laughing. Encourages me to try new things and climb out a bit further on the limbs of life. Takes my hand and doesn't let go through the adventures that are placed before us. For him I am thankful.

3. Two little people who forgive at the drop of a hat. Have smiles that radiate with joy and the youthfulness of life. Are reminders that living CAN be fun. Exude health and are vibrant. Fill our home with laughter, screams, stomping feet and noise. Give hugs full of love. Cause silliness and tears. Bring joy that no other can fill. For these two I am thankful.

4. Friends who listen and nudge. Cause stomach cramps from laughing so very hard. Remind me to be myself and no one else. Are authentic. Encourage spiritual growth and depth. Despite miles of separation, are always a phone call or e-mail away. For all of them I am thankful.

5. Family. A warm home. Music. Sounds of the ocean, birds, leaves rustling. Seasons. Books. A growling stomach as a reminder to eat. Imaginations. Each person's uniqueness. Hard times causing growth. Needs being met. And so much more.

For all of these I am thankful. What about you?

Friday, November 10, 2006

of mice and woodpeckers

When we were looking for a house to buy back before our daughter was born, we really weren't looking for a fixer-upper. Funny how what .

A new septic system due to the 60 year old one, a new backyard due to the new septic system, a new bathroom due to a rotted floor and leaking toilet seal, new insulation in the ceiling, service call for the water heater going out due to a red squirrel going down the chimney and stopping the air flow to the water heater (it met its demise as it got stuck), a new water softner system as the old one didn't work and turned all our clothes yellow. A new dishwasher because the other one rusted and broke due to the water.

There is still a lot we need to do to the house. Some things are taking a higher priority as the days go by. Take the siding for instance. We had in the long range forcast to put new siding on, oh, in maybe 10 years. Yesterday found me outside trying to figure out what the thunking noise was I heard inside. I thought it was a mouse in the walls chewing and scrambling around on some wood (the mice in the basement have delighted in several meals off of the mouse traps due to me just realizing that I was setting them wrong!). Then I listened more carefully and noticed that the noise was too consitant to be a mouse. So I opened up Sam's window and he and I came to the conclusion that it was something outside. So out I went and low and behold, a woodpecker was on the side of our house working away at a hole in our siding. It's amazing how such a small little bird can cause so much damage. A nice quarter size hole was drilled out from this woodpecker. I must say though, that it did its job very well. God made woodpeckers with quite strong beaks.

Because of this woodpecker, it was also discovered that our siding boards are starting to rot. So siding the house has moved up in priority on the house list.

I struggle with this house. With everything that has gone wrong with it, that continues to go wrong with it. I try to keep a positive attitude. I try to keep trusting that He will provide exactly what we need. But it's hard. I really am thankful to be in a place that is warm, that is in a good school district, that has a yard where our kids can play, where wildlife (other than mice) can be seen daily, for the beauty of the huge trees changing colors, that is a safe haven for our family. I don't want to become old and bitter because of the way life has gone, but grasp each moment, situation, and challenge that falls before us as an adventure and learning experience and be thankful despite the house falling apart.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A piece of skin



Thanks to my determindness and the one last piece of skin that I just HAD to get off the apple, I instead am missing a portion of skin off the top of my finger. Thanks to my man who bandaged me all up. Good thing I don't faint when I see blood because there was a whole mess of it.