Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Third Child Syndrome?

This is Jacob.

Eating breakfast this morning.

Microwave popcorn.

Just keepin' it real.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Sometimes life is just hard.

The past couple weeks that seems to be the case for many of those I care deeply about.

Several friends have shared with me that they are struggling in their marriages, some more seriously than others.

Another friend is in conflict with a friend from her church.

More than one family is dealing with unemployment and all the stress that comes with it.

Mark's beautiful, nineteen-year-old cousin, Taylor, lost her courageous, almost five year battle with brain cancer.  Taylor's precious mom, Kathleen received news that her twin brother had died the evening of Taylor's funeral.




Maybe you are in a similar situation or facing a different, but equally impossible situation this very moment.

I pray God would move in a way that is unlike anything you have ever experienced and when He does, you recognize it for the unthinkable, unbelievable, unimaginable victory it is.

He has already overcome the world.

The. World.

May that truth sink in and bring you comfort and peace.

John 16:33
I (Jesus) have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


They say human beings can adapt to almost anything.

This morning, with the temperature at 19°, I stood in my flip flops pumping $100 worth of gas into my 4WD SUV and realized they may very well be right.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Highlights

Just a peek into my day today here in North Dakota.

First of all, six-thirty is painfully early when you have spent the night before indulging.  No, not that kind of indulging.  This kind . . .

Ummmmhmmmm....we are late to the party, but thanks to recently acquired Netflix streaming I have discovered Friday Night Lights.  "Just one more" has been uttered too many times to count and this was not the first time I had stayed up far too late into the night morning watching the Panthers.  

Darn you Tim Riggins.

Anyway, today is Wednesday and that means we have muffins and smoothies for breakfast....yes, I am a total freak and have a breakfast schedule.  I had made Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins for the past few weeks and the kids were ready for a change, so today I made Doughnut Muffins.  It was a good call...

Pardon my bite . . .

Satisfied that the kids were sufficiently sugared up nourished, I dropped them off at school and came home to finally enjoy a cup of coffee.  Sadly, it was further delayed by a deep and lengthy conversation with our drywall guy about the pros and cons of football and various other contact sports among kids.  By the time I bid him adieu until tomorrow and poured my FIRST cup of coffee, it was 9:30.  

The good news is that we actually have a drywall guy and he is actually finishing our 5th bedroom so I will soon have a GUEST ROOM!!  That means we have a cozy little space for any of you brave enough to venture to North Dakota for a visit!  I am having so much fun decorating!  In fact, the bedding for the room came today.

The room is going to be shades of gray with turquoise accents.  I got a GREAT deal on Amy Butler bedding at an online designer discount store RueLaLa.  Lots of high end stuff at low prices.  Check it out.

Yesterday, I found a skinny brown lamp on clearance at the Walmart for $6.  I bought it and a can of turquoise spray paint and gave it a makeover this afternoon.  Not too bad!

I think it is going to be adorable with the $5 Walmart shade I am dressing up with some matching turquoise ric rac.  I LOVE ric rac!

While painting the lamp, I let Lucy out on the back deck.  She loves to sunbathe out there almost every day.  As I came in, I heard a racket coming from the deck and worried she was trying to escape.  She wasn't.  She had taken it upon herself to lick every greasy morsel from the grate of the grill.  Don't worry, it wasn't hot!

Nice face, huh?  I can't get that filthy mess off and I am still trying to figure out how she got those big lines across her head.

Next on the agenda was picking Jacob up from school and driving him to hockey practice.  The pick-up line at his school is horrendoushell on earth, full of self-centered people who don't think the rules apply to them a great opportunity for me to grow in my love, patience, and compassion for others.  Well, it always involves a lot of sitting and waiting so I usually try to take something with me to do in the car.  I worked on a new knitting project today.  It's just a dishcloth, but I am liking the pattern.

I was home for all of 30 minutes before getting a call to head back across town to pick up the older two kids from volleyball and football practice.  

It's now 5:45 and I don't know what's for dinner.  Breakfast?  

Still to come this evening: a piano lesson, a drum lesson, a hockey practice pick-up.

Oh, yeah, and a date with the Dillon Panthers.  

I'll never learn . . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Long Version

One year ago, we were a family divided.  Mark, Katie, and Jacob were living in a hotel room in North Dakota while Sam and I were trying to get our house sold and finish out the school year in Zionsville.  It was a tough time for all of us.  I know people thought we were crazy. Frequently, I agreed with them!  We were nervous and sad, but also felt certain that we were doing the right thing.

Unbelievably, only a year later we are divided again, but this time it is our hearts that are torn.  We will be returning to Indianapolis in the VERY near future.  As difficult and scary as it was to move to North Dakota, the decision to return to Indianapolis has been gut-wrenching.  To everyone’s surprise (mine most of all) we really like it here!   Again, I am pretty sure that those close to us think we are crazy.  Not for moving back, but because it has been such an agonizing decision.  On paper, Indianapolis beats out Dickinson every day of the week.

But what makes sense on paper doesn’t always make sense in the heart.

Please don't misunderstand; there are things about living here that drive me absolutely crazy.  Train whistles blowing at all hours of the night, the sounds and smells from the cattle stockyard on Tuesdays and Thursdays, crazy-expensive groceries, and a serious lack of restaurants could all top the list.  And don't even get me started on the school pick-up/drop-off lines!

But none of those things can overshadow the blessings we have experienced living here.

Sam has been embraced by a close-knit school community that has welcomed him with open arms.  It has been pure joy to see him grow and flourish in such a supportive environment.  For the first time, he realizes it is okay to do well not only in sports and music, but also academically. True confidence has replaced the shaky trying-to-seem-confident-but-I-am-pretty-sure-I-can’t-measure-up bravado he once wore.

Katie has remembered who she really is.  A year of living here has soothed the hurt and eased the pain of a previously difficult school situation.  She has rediscovered the spunk and sass that make her so special and she has tried things she never would have before.  She now plays softball and volleyball.  She has learned to sew and how to play guitar.  She has learned what true friends look like.  She is leaving here with a new maturity and understanding of her value.

Jacob has had the unique pleasure of being enfolded into a family that is not his own.  He has experienced what it means to have friends that are the “family you choose” and the comfort they can be when your own family is far away.  He, too, has been able to participate in a variety of activities that would probably not have been possible had we stayed in Zionsville.  He now plays baseball and hockey and the guitar and even gave Cub Scouts another try.

And all three of the kids have learned that the size of your house has NOTHING to do with the size of your heart.  They have witnessed and been the recipients of selflessness and generosity and compassion.  As a quick example, Sam has been attending a Catholic school and at the beginning of Lent, the students were headed over to the church for a time of confession.  One of Sam’s friends realized that this might be somewhat awkward for his Protestant friend and asked Sam what he was going to do. He didn’t really have any ideas and so his friend suggested that he talk to the priest and then went with him to speak to the priest before the mass began.  Seriously, this may not sound like much, but what 14 year old boy thinks of something like that?

And, as for Mark and me?  We've had some learning experiences, too.  And we have definitely been shaped and molded by our time here.  But, that, my friends, is another story for another day.  Let’s just say we are eating some spicy ice cream these days!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just the Facts

This is just going to be the Cliffs Notes version of the last month six weeks.  I have been doing a lot of soul searching and there will be much rehashing of this decision in the future, but for now, I thought you all might be wondering just how this whole move back to Indiana came about.

Back in March, Mark received a call about a possible position back in Indianapolis.  IF it hadn’t been something he has always been interested in doing nothing more would have come of it.  BUT, he began a conversation about the position and his qualifications and interest.  After a couple of phone calls it progressed into a full blown offer.

Which we turned down.
And went on with our lives at peace with our decision.

Until they called back.
And sweetened the deal.

At which point we had an unbelievably difficult choice to make.  We truly like it here.  And our kids like it here.  And we just moved here.  And we had almost survived our first winter.  And it hadn’t been that bad.  And, and, and....the list went on and on.

So we talked.  We prayed.  We cried (okay, that was just me).  We begged God to give us direction.  We talked.  We prayed.  We cried (again, just me).   We had others pray for us.  We actually wrote out a pros and cons list!  We wrestled and agonized over this decision more than probably any other in our entire marriage and then took the job.

End of story.

But it’s really not the end of the story.  It’s just the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.  And while I am so sad for this one to be coming to an end I do have hope in the chapters that have yet to be written.  And through the process I grow closer to the Author and continue to place my trust in His loving hands.

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This is the verse that we clung to on our way to North Dakota and this is the verse we will cling to on our departure.