Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good-bye 2008...

It's been a wild ride. Considering everything that has happened, it's been a great year and one that I will never forget.
I listened to a song yesterday on my run, "Your Going to Miss This". The title pretty much sums up how I feel about 2008. As I stand and take a look back, I have had the time of my life this past year...especially the second half. I been able to see God's hand more than ever in my life, seen my marriage grow, strengthen, and change for the better, pushed myself and run two 10Ks and a ten mile race (all with a wonderful friend who I am so thankful for), enjoyed the change as our kids turned another year, discovered new things about myself, and made many changes. The good far outweighs the bad this past year. My Heavenly Father has taken the best care of us and continues to show me that man is not my provider, He has been, is, and will forever be. I pray that I never forget the lessons that I have learned this past year, the miracles that I have seen, the changes that we have made. I am forever changed because of this year.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Michigan

My beautiful family
Rich & Melissa, Dan & myself, Adam & Amber (due to have their first child July 2009!)

Kaitlyn and all the boys (there has been a kid born every year since 2004!)

Kaitlyn with her Aunt Amber (who she absolutely loves!)

My sister and me

My Dad and me

Collin with his cousin (partners in crime)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Craft

Last year we made these cute reindeer using the kids' hands and foot. I decided that it would be a tradition and I would make a book out of these reindeer and stick their Christmas picture from that year along with them. Yes, we will still be doing reindeer until the kids turn eighteen (jk).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Creative Sneak Peak

I am so thankful that God has provided all of our needs over the past three and a half months. Not only has he done that, he has also given us some of our wants.

Every year for the past...humm...three or four years, I have made a scrapbook calender for my Mom for Christmas. It's always fun to go through pics from the year and choose my favorites. It's even better to watch her open it and go through month by month and see the look in her eyes. This year, I thought I would have to break the tradition. But, I remembered how I had gone overboard with buying supplies last year. Heaven forbid that I would use the same background paper two years in a row. Wouldn't you know, I got out my tub of scrapbooking stuff and I found everything I would need including the calender! So, because I know Mom reads my blog I can only give a sneak peak, but I am so happy that God has allowed me to be able to continue on the tradition and used my previous overspending for something beautiful:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Way Back Wednesdays

September 1st, 2004
We had lived in our houses for about three weeks. I was watching Kylee. Kaitlyn was just over three months old. Man, how time flies. Two thousand four...it's when it all started. :-)

Mayday, Mayday!

Let me first say, to anyone who works outside of the home, has kids, and manages to find time to stay in shape, hats off to you!

I told myself that I would never go back to being 140 or more. I am not surprised that I am just a couple pounds away from 140 now. I was in great shape over the summer. I was training and because of that, I could eat like a pig and not see any results. One hundred and thirty three pounds felt great! Well, I am lucky if I get on the treadmill three times a week now, but it's been hard to change my eating habits. Running was my outlet...so was shopping. The first is difficult because of the schedule that I keep and the second is out of the question. My outlet has seemed to shift to snacking. I am sure it doesn't help to have a diet that consists of a lot of carbs...it's cheaper that way.

It's not like me to just sit back and watch my waist size (or for me, it's more like my thighs) increase in circumference. I made a pact with Hol and I figured that if I write about it for all to see, that would be added accountability. Gotta get rid of these pesky four extra pounds!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday

My Princess ~ December 2006

My Little Man ~ December 2006

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Stuff like this doesn't happen everyday. To top it off, it's been one thing after another lately...good stuff. I am guilty of having "little faith" time and time again over these past three months. When things seem impossible, I tend to give up. I should know by now that nothing is impossible with God. God is so good!

About two weeks ago, I felt like the message in church was being spoken just for me. It was about enduring. It was a reminder to me that no matter what struggles we go through in life, whatever losses we encounter, God tells us time and time again that He will be with us...He will never leave or forsake us. It has never been so evident to me in my life. I also have never sat in a service and cried so much. It was such an encouragement.

That week we found out that with driving our car in the snow, we desperately needed new front tires. Dan's Mom had slipped us a check before the service (I had no clue what was in the envelope). I opened it the next day and found a check to cover part of the cost of the tires!

Dan was able to work a little bit over at a friends house on deck he has been building. It was not only good for him to get out of the house, great time to talk to old friends, but also was wonderful to be able to have the much needed money!

With Christmas coming up, it's been hard for me to hear about all the gifts everyone is picking out, getting for their kids, their spouses, etc. Honestly, I have been fighting with some jealous feelings. I have cleaned the "stuff" out of my life, but part of me still longs for that new pair of shoes or that really cute shirt...even that new rug for my front entry way. I want to give my kids multiple gifts to open, be able to buy my Dan something special, or give to people that have meant so much to us. I can't and it hurts. Well, last Sunday after church was over, I was introduced to a lady who said she has been praying for our family. She continued on to tell me that she had chosen us this year to be the family that she gives gifts to. So, this Monday, I am heading over to her warehouse to pick out books for the kids for Christmas. God knows and understands my heart and it's such a comfort to know that he still provides some of our wants.

Lastly, but surely not least...it's with many emotions that I announce, WE ARE GOING TO BE SPENDING CHRISTMAS IN MICHIGAN THIS YEAR! I admit, I had given up hope. It wasn't so much that I didn't believe that God could do it, I just thought that He had other plans for us. I didn't want to get my hopes up and be a sobbing mess on Christmas Eve when I realized that it wasn't going to happen. I have never been patient and I have never been good and just sitting back and letting other people do things for me...God has asked me to do both of those. I was told this morning that my sister and her husband paid for a rental car! I guess it was supposed to be a surprise but Dan couldn't contain his little secret any longer. Also, Erin called me up and told me that she would cover the rest of what we needed to get to my parents! Thank you isn't enough! Thank you all for letting God use you to bless us.

I am so many things right now...most of all, I am thankful!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Artist

Kaitlyn is quite the little artist. Her artistic abilities seem to be advanced for her age. We go through an incredible amount of paper (yeah, not so green around here) but it's well worth it.

This is a masterpiece she drew this evening. Notice in the middle of her drawing are the words, "No boys allowed." She cracks me up.

This is a portrait of Rudolph that she drew earlier in the week.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Okay, so I have been thinking that my blog is in serious need of a not so serious post. With the help of some events at work last night, here it goes:

First, some background...

I work at Walmart. I am mostly in the back unloading trucks, moving pallets, and recently learned how to work a power jack and walkie stacker...not the most feminine job, I know. Gives some insight as to why I am SO excited about my new job. Anyway, after the freight is unloaded, we stock shelves.

Last night, I was asked to go help someone who works the meat wall. Well, she had a ton of stocking to do and didn't have the time to do all of the scrapping that needed to be done. She told me to go get my coat because I was going to be in the meat cooler the rest of my shift. Wasn't looking forward to the cold, but change of scenery and change of job would be nice. I got my coat on and then put on a white lab coat, gloves, and grabbed some scissors...I felt like I was getting ready to perform a medical procedure. This was anything but that. I was going to be scrapping meat (properly disposing of the expired or about to expire meat). She warned me and prepared me for the worst: the smell and touching the old, stinky meat. I told her that I have three kids and I am used to unusual, disgusting smells, besides, there was a trash can back there that I could always throw up in if I needed to. She said that if that happened, to just throw some meat over it. :-)

Let me tell you, I think it's the most fun I have had there in the past two and a half months! The smell was unusual, but by the way it was described, I was thinking it would be much worse. For an hour, I was in the meat cooler cutting apart packages of bacon, lunch meat, sausage, and hotdogs. Juices were splashing. I was laughing. It was kinda sad to see all of the waste, but it was hilarious to look in when I was done and see a huge trash can filled almost half way with a mixture of meat. She walked in when it was time for me to leave and was happily surprised to see all I had gotten done in the hour I was in there. She said that I was way faster at scrapping than she was...that was something I had never heard before...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Big News!

Starting January 5th, I will be a working as a phlebotomist! I interviewed for the position a few weeks ago and have been waiting with my fingers crossed ever since. I got the call a little bit ago and I am excited. Perks of the job:

  • the pay is awesome...*correction*- Instead of just shy of 12 bucks, I will be making 12.21!
  • it's about 8 minutes from home
  • it's a pool position, which means they call me when they need me
  • it gets my foot in the door when something more guaranteed opens up
  • drawing blood is something I LOVE to do and I can't wait to get back into it

If you would, be in prayer for a couple of things:

  • Dan tests tomorrow AM for the PD in town. Pray that goes well for him.
  • Dan is waiting to hear from the PD he tested for and interviewed with. He should know where he is at on the list next week
  • Pray for wisdom in what I should do next as far as my other job.

O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! ~Psalms 34:8

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mommy Understands

I am a first born girl. My little princess is a first born girl. Although, I wouldn't say that she is as strong willed as I was (or heard that I was :-) ), everyday she reminds me more and more of myself. I feel as if I am talking to myself when I was younger. Daily I would hear, "Bethany Lyn, it doesn't concern you", or "Bethany Lyn, you're not the boss." Twenty years later, I am inserting my daughters name into both of those sentences.

It's a constant struggle getting her to mind her own business and stop being so bossy. It makes me smile and feel sorry for her all at the same time because I see so much of myself in her and I know what struggles she will face because of it. She is a natural born leader. Give her a chance to lead and she will take control. Last week, during our family filled week, it was so evident. I want to be ever so careful not to crush that quality in her but I also know that it could be her biggest weakness if not handled correctly. You can't be a good leader unless you also know how to follow. It has taken me almost six years of marriage to finally be able to willingly submit to my husband...something I hope she gets sooner.

So, my precious baby girl, I am so thankful for the first born girl that God has given your Daddy and I. You may not know, but Mommy understands you and knows before you will, the struggles you will encounter because of these traits God has wired in both of us. I pray that God will give your Daddy and I the wisdom we need to shepherd your heart. May we not provoke you to anger or crush your spirit, but nurture you in to the fullest that God has for you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Three Months

Three months ago, on September second, we got the news. The beginning of each month following has been rough (I just happen to be PMSing around that time every month also...an added plus!). This month, it seems even harder for several reasons...one being that Christmas is right around the corner. December is supposed to be a happy month, a month filled with festivities and get-togethers. Jobless is not the way anyone wants to spend a holiday. What about all the stuff? A little voice in the back of my head reminds me of what is important...

In November of 2006, I had a miscarriage. It was a hard time and it made the holiday season difficult because I was hurting. I remember not even wanting to put up a tree. God had a big gift in store and the middle of December, we found out that we were pregnant with Collin. That night, the tree was up.

This year, feels similar. I am hurting again. This year, though, I want to be different. Even though I would love to get great news before Christmas, I don't want everything I do to hinge on that. I think that God is telling me what I must do. Just when I think I cannot possibly learn anything else...stretch anymore... because it's so incredibly painful, my God tells me that I must. My reply, "God, you know what I can handle. I don't think I can take one more step, go any further, but here I am. Carry me." He's done just that.

This Christmas will be different for us. Gifts won't fill the underneath of our tree. Traveling to spend Christmas with my family might be out of the question. Once again, all the "stuff" is being stripped away and all we have left is eachother and our God who is crazy about us and has been faithful to provide our every need.

I hope that December will bring news that we have been waiting for. But, if not, my heart will chose to say, "Blessed be YOUR name, Lord."

P.S. The tree is up. :-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Family Filled Week

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

With Thanksgiving...

I am weary with crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes have failed, looking for my God. ~Psalms 69:3

Contrary to what others may think, this blog rarely contains my inner most thoughts. It's only a snapshot of my life...a tiny piece of my puzzle. We all have our days. I am learning quite well through this road we are walking that we all can't imagine what someone's life is like, what it's like to walk in their shoes. It's not even about, "You don't know until you've been there" anymore. It's more like, "You don't know because you are not so and so". We are all human. We are all judgemental to some degree. I have become less through this.

Well, Psalms 69:3 sums up the past few days for me. We are one day from three months...halfway through our unemployment...the sand in the hour glass seems to be moving so very quickly now. Every week it's something new. Our lives have been turned upside down. God is showing me that nothing should bring me comfort but HIM. Basically, everything has changed right down to our life insurance policy. :-) I asked Dan last night, "Do you ever look around and ask yourself 'is this really my life?'" I actually feel like sometimes I am living someone else's life.

Psalms 69 has been a comfort to me:

Psalm 69
1Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
5O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
6Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
8I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
9For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
11I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
12They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
13But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
19Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
20Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
21They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
24Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
25Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
26For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
27Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
29But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
32The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
33For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
34Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
35For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
36The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

With Thanksgiving coming up, I have more to be thankful for than ever before...or rather I realize now, just how much I have.

First and foremost, I am thankful for everything God has been and is to us. He is my COMFORT, my PROVISION, my SHELTER, just to name a few that are so evident to me right now. As Hollie sang on Sunday, HE is the maker of beautiful things.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Silly Saturdays

Kids are hilarious...my kids are way hilarious. I have a special note book just to jot down the funny things that they do or they say. My number one girl has been especially hilarious lately:

"Mommy,look! I am a dog!"

I guess this is what happens when a princess spends her evenings with her Daddy and two brothers. She stuck her head in her bowl and was lapping her ice cream out like a puppy. My poor girl!

Friday, November 21, 2008


It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than love people.
~Henry Nouwen

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eleven Weeks...

...yep, eleven. I can hardly believe it. It's been eleven weeks since my husband lost his job.

It's been a hard adjustment, but we are making it. I still have my days where I just don't think I can do this anymore. They aren't as frequent as in the beginning of all of this, but they are still there.

Dan and I have walked through some difficult things in these past eleven weeks. Some days it has felt like I have been walking through a refining fire...somedays I feel burned...mostly, I feel as if I am being molded and shaped into something new.

I have never liked change all too much...unless it is change of decor in my house. New situations, new people, new places get my stomach all in knots. My sister in law thought I was crazy when I shared with her a few years back how I even hate going to different gas stations. When I lived with my parents, there was a certain one I always went to. The day I talked myself into taking the leap and going somewhere else, I locked my keys in my car. I am not as bad anymore because I have been forced to overcome that fear. :-) I have had a lot of knots along this road Dan and I are walking, but with each step, the incline is seeming not so steep and I am learning how to follow and not try to run up ahead of my Jesus. He knows where I am going and what path is best for me. All I gotta do is move my feet.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I finished this tonight for a *little* special someone. I made it without a pattern...super easy...with some fabric, ribbon, and buttons that I already had. It was so much fun, I am going to make a few more!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas a Little Early

My parents arrived this weekend with our Christmas present...wood floor for our dining room and entrance from the garage! It was a long project and my Dad and Dan worked very hard, but it's finally done. It looks beautiful and it will be great for spills with my three little ones.

Landon woke up this morning and pulled out his Bob the Builder outfit. Then he found his tool belt and hammer to help Poppy finish up. He was so happy he could help.

Both boys were curious and more than willing to help.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Boys

My little Zaiah is 15.5 months old but is looking so much older to me. I looked over today and saw him playing his fork like a guitar. The kid is way in to music. He likes to join in with the big kids and has begun to expand his vocabulary. What an angel boy!

Lastly, blackmail. :-) This is what happens when you want a playmate so desperately that you are willing to let your older sister make you over like a princess, complete with manicure, rhinestone shirt, and a crown. Lookin gorgeous...I will hang on to this one.

For the winter months...

Last night, at work, I read an interesting fact that you might want to keep in mind as we go into hibernation mode during the winter months:

Studies have shown that gaining just 4 extra pounds during the year increases you risk for cancer by 50%!

That, along with my new issue of Runner's World (thanks to Hollie), will give me the motivation I need to spend some time on my treadmill.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More on Financial Peace

Okay, I just gotta say, again, that I am totally lovin this book! I am learning things that I never had an interest in before such as IRA's, Mutual Funds, the financial differences between life insurance policies (which we will be changing after reading this book), and a whole lot more. So, people, if you are not already educated on how to take control of your financial situation then start with this book by Dave Ramsey.

I loved this paragraph:

Guarantees Are for Children (p 146)

If you grow up in a safe environment with love and nurturing, then you make a pretty decent adult. If you don't, then you have to learn how to trust everyone, including yourself. If you were lucky enough to grow up safe, then you have had some guarantees; but as you became a teenager you went out a little in that cold, cruel world and found it isn't always safe. As we grow up and become functioning adults, we spend all our time in that cold, cruel world. Soon we learn that they only guarantees are our Lord and our own ability to kill something and drag it home. If we keep being an adult, we find that we would have it no other way. The lion at the zoo is a pitiful sight- the king of beasts is eating processed food. You can see deep down in his soulful eyes that he misses the thrill of the hunt.

Man, I love that paragraph! I think there's nothing more to be said.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Christmas has been like a ticking time bomb in the back of my mind. It will soon be here, thus begins the talk of Christmas lists. I was thinking the other night about how we are going to pull this one off for the kids or more likely, how are we going to break it to them that presents are the last of our worries. So, do you think they would be forever scarred if we broke it to them this way:

"Kids, we have called this meeting to inform you that Santa is broke this year and Mrs. Clause is working overtime to make ends meet so they can keep that cute little cottage they have in the North Pole and put food on the table for the little elves. On top of all that, Santa lost half of his reindeer in an accident and is now using his down sized sleigh and is unable to fit anything else in there other than his little helpers. Maybe things will turn around in time for next year."

Think it will work on a four, three, and one year old? :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


We are coming up on week 10 of this whole unemployed thing. The past couple days have been not so good ones.

Work has been something close to awful. The beginning of my work day yesterday was no exception. I will list them out:

  • found out that third shift supervisor that treated us like dirt a few nights before was scheduled
  • spilled 4 gallons of white paint all over the floor
  • looked at my schedule to see that Thanksgiving week, I was scheduled for 47 hrs in one week
  • found out that I was working Thanksgiving
  • overheard that everyone that I was working with decided they weren't coming back after lunch except for this other guy and myself (which is a regular occurrence).

So, Dan arrived to pick me up for my hour lunch break and I fell apart right there in the car. The words, "I don't think I can do this anymore" came out of my mouth. But, I knew that it wasn't possible to quit. First, I am not a quitter...it can be my biggest fault. Second, that would make us about $600 short every month in our budget. Ouch! So, I am basically stuck. Maybe that's why I feel pinned up against a wall most days.

I tried to forget about my impending doom while having a fun time with the family on my lunch break. The kids always seem to cheer me up and Dan had whipped up some guac as a special surprise for me. But, time flies when you are having fun and it was time to head back.

I got in the car and immediately began to talk to my God who is bigger than the list mentioned above. I told Him how I wanted to quit so bad but I needed to know what He wanted me to do. I told Him that I would follow whatever, wherever, but I just needed Him to make it ever so clear.

I wiped the tears from my eyes, got out of the car, and walked back into work. I punched in, took a deep breath, and whispered, "three more hours." An assistant manager walked up behind me and asked, "Are you ready to change your schedule?" Of course I was all over that. He said that after looking it over, the head honchos had agreed to give me Saturday off. I explained that I appreciated it but that still leaves me with an extra day. He said, "Well, what other day do you want off?" It was my chance. "Could I have Thanksgiving Day?" to which he said, "Sure." So, three and four was taken care of. I walked back to start work again after thanking him two or three times and found everyone came back but one guy. Check five off the list. Then, the third shift super didn't utter one word to me the whole night. I think I got my answer. I am relieved. I would like to be out of there, but I am where God wants me for now.

I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber. ~Psalm 121:1-3

Friday, November 7, 2008

Financial Peace

So, after finishing From Fear to Love, I knew the two that I had to get my hands on next. Last night, we took a family outing to the library where I picked up, Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. I can't put it down! Has anyone else out there read this book?

I have never thought that what people do with their money is who they are but this makes total sense...

"Personal finance is who you are. The personal, philosophical, and emotional problems and strengths that you have will be reflected in your use of money. If you are very disciplined,you can be a good saver of money. If you are very selfish or self-centered, you will surround yourself with things you cannot afford."

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy" ~Martin Luther King

To be completely honest, I am actually surprised at how much I have changed and grown through this whole situation. It's a great feeling to know that we are never going back to where we have come from and for once we are handing over complete control to God. We have a long way to go and are really praying that Dan would get a job soon, but in the mean time, we need to make the best of this and soak up as much knowledge as we can.
If you have read this book or are reading, let me know what you have taken away from it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Attempt

Well, I worked on this project for two hours. It has been retired to be a dress up skirt, but at least now I think I will have the kinks worked out for the first "good enough to wear in public" skirt. It's the first skirt I have made that I have had to do the whole gathering thing. I bought the fabric a while ago and have plenty more stashed down stairs. I think next time I will break it down into three different sessions...it might be more enjoyable then. At least Kaitlyn doesn't notice each flaw. She is happily spinning around in her new skirt in the living room announcing that her princess party has just begun. Oh to be 4 again....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My neighbor, my very best friend...

Back in our before lives, Dan and I went out a lot. We are quality time people and with three little ones, quality time can be scarce. Movies, concerts, amusement parks, a walk in the park, we like to have fun together. It was so important that we carved out that time together. Well, now, sitters are too expensive and a night out is just outrageous on our budget.

Tonight Dan and I are going out...without the kids...on a date! What can I say?! We have some best friends that ROCK and are giving us a whole entire night out.

Four and a half years ago, we did something pretty neat. We bought a house right next to Dan's highschool friend and her husband. We didn't know eachother very well at the time so I didn't know just how fun this was going to be.

I live hundreds of miles away from my family. Hollie and Jeremy and their kids have become our family. I never thought that could have a friendship as true, as close, or as real as the friendship that two sisters share. Hollie has become my sister. I truly don't know what I would do without her. We have shared many tears, she's let me cry on her shoulder many times, the laughter is constant, the accountability is great. I know she accepts me, loves me, and has my back through this life.

So Hollie, I just wanted to tell you that you that you have blessed my life more than you will ever know!

More Than You'll Ever Know

Something brought you to my mind today
I thought about the funny ways
you make me laugh
And yet I feel like it's ok to cry with you
Something about just being with you
When I leave I feel like I've been with God
and that's the way it ought to be, yeah


Cause you've been more than a friend to me
you fight off my enemies
cause you have spoken the truth over my life
And you'll never know what it means to me
just to know you've been on your knees for me
Oh, you have blessed my lifemore than you'll ever know
Yeah, yeah, yeah, more than you'll ever know
Yeah, yeah, yeah

You had faith
when I had none
You prayed God would bring me a brand new song
When I didn't think I could find the strength to sing
and all the while I've been hoping that I'll
do the kind of praying for you that you've done for me
and that's the way it outght to be, yeah


You have carried me
You have taken on a burden
that wasn't your own, yeah
may that blessing return to you
A hundredfold
oh oh yeah,
a hundredfold

Love you, Hol!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Well, this morning, I got up and made a stop on my running route. I stopped in at the township hall to vote in my third presidential election. Remember to vote today if you haven't already!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
~Hebrews 13:5

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Two Gallons

Just when the feeling starts to creep back in, I am reminded by my Heavenly Father, through someone that He has called, that we are not forgotten.

This road is a lonely one. I struggle day to day with feelings of being forgotten, be it by people or by My God. It's mostly in the quiet times or when I am alone at work when my mind starts to wander. I have a lot of time alone at work to think...haven't figured out if it's a good thing or a bad thing yet. It's not what anyone has done or hasn't and my feelings might be totally unfounded, but still, it's how I feel.

I have begun to realize when I am most vulnerable to the negative thoughts but haven't quite figured out how to totally bridle them altogether. Scripture helps, certain songs keep my thoughts focused where they need to be, emails from people help me feel remembered. Yesterday it was two gallons of milk.

Anna, if you read this, thank you. Perfect timing...God's timing.

Friday, October 31, 2008


My Little Princess
My Little Superhero

My Little Pumpkin

The Rock Star and the Princess

The Super Heroes

The Clan (minus two)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Living For

I mentioned in my last post that I have been reading the book, From Fear To Love. This book has been so helpful and has really taken some of my thoughts and feelings and put them right out on paper. I find myself reading along, nodding my head, or thinking, exactly! Page twenty-two:

Learning What's Worth Living For

Our circumstances forced us to evaluate what as most important in life and what was worth living for. We reminded ourselves the God does stand as a sentinel at the gate of our lives, knowing exactly what comes in. We grew to realize that God is more concerned about or relationship with Him than all of our material and earthly pleasures. He came to bring us life in all its fullness. He allowed everything we had placed security in to be stripped away, so that we would find security in a way no earthly pleasure could satisfy.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3

In the past eight weeks, life has been nothing close to easy...nothing about it has been "normal". It has been just the opposite of joyous. Something clicked recently though. It's been one thing after another. God has given me no other choice than to throw my hands up in the air and look to Him for EVERYTHING. The only way I know how to describe it is I feel as if I have been involved in a wrestling match and I have finally began to realize that my opponet is much bigger and stroger than I am. I have chosen to stop fighting and allow myself to be pinned. I have no idea when everything will end, but I do know Who is in control. It's not worth it anymore to worry about tomorrow. My God has told me that today has enough worries of it's own and tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew 6:34). I just need to make sure my eyes are on the One who has and will continue to supply everything we need.

Fear is one thing. To let fear grab you and swing you around by the tail is another. ~Katherine Patterson

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Week Eight - Learning

*Warning: This is very long. My eyelids are beginning to feel very heavy so I am going to skip my usual proof reading. Please remember while reading that this was written after a long day, little sleep, and an empty stomach.*

Well, it's Tuesday and week eight of this learning experience of our lives here. The weeks just keep getting better (written with much sarcasm). Without going into detail or telling you how stupid I am, yesterday I crashed our van on the way home from work. Yep, add another thing to our list. I am beginning to think that people should stay away...this may be contagious. :-) I did a lot of damage, more than it's worth. So, yeah, not so good way to end the week (or start it). Enough of that.

Through this whole experience, I have been repeating over and over to my God : Increase my faith, Lord and help me to learn and grow from this. I decided at the beginning of the week that I was done throwing tantrums. I am tired of the tears and although I did a good crying yesterday, it's God's and He will fix it.

Learning #1

I find it very ironic now, the title of my blog. Every day I am totally living that...feeling more content than ever and clinging to the promise that God will never leave me or forsake me.

Back when I started this and picked the name out, I thought I was content...or at least heading in that direction. Now I know that I was no where near content. Through the events of the past eight weeks, I have learned what being content feels like. Believe it or not, this has stripped away the layers and I have finally gotten real with myself. I have heard Suzie Orman say several times that we are liars when we go into debt to buy things that we cannot afford. Translation for me: I was living a lie. Dan's previous job afforded us so many extras. I didn't have to be on a strict budget and it felt good to live that way...for a while. We live in a house we can afford. Our debt has been racked up on stuff. In the past three years, we began to make purchases with our credit cards and couldn't pay off the balance every month. I craved stuff but didn't like the way the debt felt hanging over our heads. When Dan lost his job, I saw my lifestyle crumble before my eyes. I thought of all the stuff that I wouldn't be able to buy...the starbucks that I wouldn't be able to have, the clothes I wouldn't be able to buy for my kids, the dates I wouldn't be able to go on. But, it was all a lie.

Week two of this thing, we cut up all our credit cards but one. Amazingly enough, since then, we haven't racked up any debt and been able to pay some of it down all on 40% of the salary Dan was making. I am changed. No more lies. I have my sights on being debt free and this time I know it will actually be a reality.

Learning #2

My Father-in-law gave me a book called From Fear to Love (I plan on posting more on this book later). I don't have much time to sit down with a good book lately but I have been plugging along when I can. If I let Satan have his hand in this, he could totally ruin my whole marriage.

If we didn't have money to worry about, Dan and I would be the happiest couple on earth. It has been a huge struggle for me to be nasty to him through this experience. This is probably the hardest we have ever had to work on keeping our marriage on the right track. I am not the most merciful, gracious person. It's black or white with me and I expect near perfection. After my accident on Monday early AM, I was beside myself. I was afraid of Dan's reaction because I knew what my own would be. I walked in the door and through tears told him what I did. I truly saw Jesus in him. He showed no anger at all. He was actually trying to joke about it with me. I was, and still am, blown away by his reaction.

I have always known I have been given a gift in him. In these busy 5.5 years, it's been really easy to forget. Words cannot even express how in love with him I am. We don't need our nights out every week. We are down to the basics and I am seeing that when we cut out all of the stuff, we are left with no other choice than to focus on eachother. Dan, I thank God for you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another one to add to the list...

Today, after just four hours of sleep (I worked last night) and in the howling winds, I ran my second 10K. My only goal was to beat my time at my last 10K. The course was awesome...the wind however was terrible! It was great to be out running again! I haven't run more than 4 miles at a time since The Crim so I was kinda nervous about this one. I set out to have fun and it helped that Dan and I were running this with Jeremy and Hollie. I felt great the whole way through the race and finished middle of the pack once again with a time of 1hr 3minutes and 31 seconds. I beat my previous time by about 4 minutes. I have fallen in love with running all over again! Now off to nap time!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Spaghetti Dinner Night!

I didn't have to work Wednesday or Thursday so we tried to pack as much fun in as we could. Thursday night was spent with Dan's brother's family. We had a spaghetti dinner with Red Lobster Biscuits, green beans, and pineapple. To top it all off, Dan baked one of his apple pies. He has it perfected now! Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carving Fun

We look forward to carving pumpkins every year! It's been a tradition for the past 4 years that I usually go out to Michigan with the kids and we carve them out there. Because of our circumstances, we weren't able to do that this year but we had a great time as a family. Pumpkins at our Super Walmart dropped from $4.98 each to $1.98 so I couldn't pass them up. I pulled Dan's car out of the garage (yes, we have both cars in there now!!), we turned on some music, and got to work. It was a team effort this year. The kids did the beginning work of cleaning out most of the seeds. I finished them up by scraping them clean. Dan got technical this year and had the kids choose a graphic online. He did a great job carving them all. It was a great family fun night!