Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Thanks to hand-me-down costumes for the boys, $5 kitty ears for Kate, and some face paints the kids had a blast this year for Halloween!

Checking themselves out in the mirror.

Kaitlyn didn't want Macy to feel left out and also wanted her in the Halloween spirit. So, she decided the old girl needed to get dressed up. Macy was a good sport.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wanna Be Mistaken...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pretty Cat

Isn't this the cutest cat you've ever seen? Kaitlyn has her Halloween parade tomorrow at school so we did a little dress rehersal today. All we did was go out and buy the ears, tail, and bow tie for $5 at Walmart and there we go. She loves it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Blessing in Disguise

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:28

It was 1 AM on October 27th. I was working at Walmart and had just completed my shift. I was exhausted from hardly any sleep the night before and a 10K race follow by work on the 26th. I had that foggy feeling in my head as I headed to the van. I sat there for a minute to let the van warm up. Put it in reverse, backed up, and then put it in drive. The rest is history. I don't remember much except for wondering why all of a sudden I was pushing the gas and the van wouldn't go anywhere...and the smoke. Where was all the smoke coming from?

Well, I had hit a light know, the ones that are buried in the concrete the parking lot of Walmart. The light is still leaning a bit to this day...I feel a sense of pride whenever I see it. I totalled the van...totalled it. My husband was jobless and I crashed the only vehicle that I was able to drive (his car is a stick shift).

The story gets better. I wasn't all there and my cell was dead. So, I had the bright idea of running home to let Dan know I had done. It was the fastest mile I had done in a while. I got home and knocked on the door. My husband informed me that I had just left the scene of an accident...I guess you aren't supposed to do that kind of thing. It was a wild night, like I said, most of it was a blur. But, one thing I do remember is how Dan made me feel. He wasn't upset with me at all. His display of love and acceptance was amazing that night. He made me feel safe.

Crashing the van was a blessing in disguise. I questioned why this, why now. God works everything for good. It was a car payment we couldn't afford...a money pit with problems. The six months we went without a second car and crammed (all 5 of us) in Dan's Aveo taught me to be thankful for what we have and that we can do without a lot...more than we think. It also was an eye opener as far as taking out loans for vehicles goes. It forced me to do something I never thought possible, I learned to drive a stick. God is so good and six months later, after saving, saving, saving, we paid cash for a van.

So, today is a reminder. Sometimes we don't understand...and maybe we never will. But, God's ways are higher than our ways. I think I just might take a drive and lay a wreath by the light post in memory of good old Bessie and an accident that I will never live down or hear the end of it. I am able to laugh at myself and chuckle when I think of the kids, months after, telling me to be careful and not crash the only car we had at the I was a bad driver or something.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Fest 10K 2009

Some give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before.

This race started with a goal. I have never run a 10K in under 1 hour and I set a goal that this would be the one. Since last June, my 10K times have consistently gone down every time I have run one. I came so close to getting under an hour in the Milk Days Run this past June. I was upset to see that I missed it by less than a minute.

This morning I felt great. I set a goal to keep my pace under 9:30/mile. It always takes me a mile to warm up, so my first mile is usually my slowest....10:30 feels more comfortable to me during my first mile. Well, I ran my first mile in 9:15 and the rest pretty much followed suit.

The last mile was painful. I played a few mind games with myself, going back and forth between, "You've got to stop and walk." and "No, you will not stop and walk! This is your last race and you are not a quitter!" I pushed through it, felt as if I was having an anxiety attack, and passed several during my sprint across the finish line.

My official time: 58:49 (I knocked 5 minutes off of my time for this course last year)!!! I am very pleased with it...yet saddened that this will be the last race of the year. It's been a wonderful season.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Song for Saturday

I am really excited about running a 10K tomorrow. This is on my 10K playlist:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A boy and his toy...

I work with a great bunch of people. At the beginning of this week, a co-worker of mine asked if my boys would like a couple of toys to play on...for free! All three kids have loved them. Yesterday they rode them until they died...and then rode them til they died again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday's Time to Rewind

One year ago, I was reading From Fear to Love:

October 29th, 2008

Learning What's Worth Living For (pg 22)

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

When I posted the paragraph above almost one year ago, it was real to's even more real to me now.

One year later, I find myself satisfied...not in material things, but in God alone.
There have been times, when this road that God has chosen for us has been anything but, at times, has felt like it's gone forever. I am so glad that God never gives up on his children, because it's through trials like these that God, if you are willing to follow, leads you to the deepest joy you will every know amidst the deepest pain. God is good like that.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
~Psalms 34:8

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bending Your Heart

Here's a paragraph from The Praying Life by Paul Miller that really spoke to me:

When you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching. You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life. Instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realize you are inside of God's drama. As you wait, you being to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder. You are learning to trust again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Sister

The lovely Calist and me after finishing The CRIM.

The lovely Calist and me before running our half marathon.

I posted this same post last year on her birthday. It still fits:
She's been a constant in my life. I don't remember life without her. I actually didn't live much life without her. She has always been there, always been dependable, always listened, always been honest. We are total opposites but we get eachother...even though, I do think we are more alike than we were 10 years ago.

Most of my greatest memories from when I was younger include her. We were always paired together....twins when we were younger then as the "Farmer girls" when we got into Jr High. We were going to live together forever, do everything together. If we did happen to find someone to marry, they would be brothers so that we could have a double wedding and live right next door to eachother.

I would wake her at night to take me to the bathroom. She did it without complaining. She would sit outside the door, half asleep, until I was finished. Somehow, I thought that she could rescue me from the boogie man. As we got older, we would stay awake for hours talking about anything and everything until one of us would drift off to sleep. She was my other better half.

Well, sometimes life doesn't go as planned. I miss her dearly. We live many states apart, see eachother only a few times a year. We didn't marry brothers, our kids don't get to see eachother for weekly playdates, and we don't have the privilege of doing Sunday dinner. The bond is still there though. There will never be another like her.

Happy Birthday, Calist. I can never fully express what you have meant and continue to mean to me. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to race with you this's been a blast! I miss you so much and love you even more. I am still holding out hope that one day we will be a short car ride away.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Day to Remember...

Tomorrow, October 15th, is National Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day to acknowledge babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, prematurity complications, neonatal death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome-SIDS, illness, accidents, and other tragic causes.

It will be three years on November 5th since Dan and I lost a baby. It seems like forever ago. We named her Madelyn meaning magnificent...magnificent because of what God taught us through a baby our earthly eyes will never see or our earthly arms will never hold. I will be forever thankful for the blessing she brought for the few weeks that we knew of her. I will forever praise God for how it brought Dan and I together, made me realize what a blessing my earthly children are, and made me thankful for how Magnificent my God is.

My heart goes out, today, to those mothers who have lost babies...for their aching hearts and their longing arms. I pray that if you are one of them, that God will fill that heart and those arms with His love, peace, and joy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday's Time to Rewind

I am going to start doing a rewind post every Tuesday where I will be going back through my blog and picking out something from a previous post.

Novemeber 7th, 2008:

"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."
~Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace

Monday, October 12, 2009


I joked occasionally about our unemployment benefits being our "security blanket". In many ways it was. I knew exactly when it would be deposited in our account each month and knew the ball park range that it would be. As long as we had that, we would be okay.

At the end of August, we received what would be our last snuggle from that "security blanket". When Dan would call and certify two weeks later, we would find out, unexpectedly, that it was gone.

When you hit rock bottom, do you know? Or do you not realize until you are on your way back up? Every time that I feel like we couldn't possibly fall any further...this has got to be our rock bottom...we fall a little further. Everytime, it hurts a little worse...could it possibly hurt more?

While cleaning out a drawer of paper clutter last week, I found an old budget. It was from before Dan lost his job back in September of 2008. I sat down and looked over it and got a little chuckle out of it. Our budget before Dan lost his job was about $3600 a month! Back then, I thought I could not possibly live on anything less...we could not possibly cut out anything more. It's funny what you find out when you have no other choice.

Currently, I am working between 16-24 hours a week and Dan is working about 16 on the weekends. It doesn't pay much in our stack of bills, but we are so thankful for what it does pay! God has been faithful in these past 8 weeks to provide the rest to take care of our needs.

It blows me away the things He has done in these past weeks. On days that we are feeling discouraged or like we can't take another step, He sends something or someone our way to encourage us on this road. Last week alone, we were blown away by what was given to us.

On Sunday morning, our cupboards were bare...literally...we had a few boxes of noodles, a tub of oatmeal, and a loaf of bread. Our fridge didn't look much different. I had decided that I was going to go to Aldi and pick up a few things to make it through another week. We went after church and I ran into someone that I hadn't seen in about 8 months, but knew what was going on. We talked and then finished up our shopping. I went to check out and pay for my groceries and the cashier told me that it had been covered by and pointed to the someone. It was amazing. I didn't want to make a scene so I fought back tears as I hugged the someone. It's moments like those...and we have had a TON of them...that boost our faith and make us believe that we CAN go another step further and He hasn't forsaken us nor has he forgotten about us.

Saying that this road is hard would be an understatement. I wish that when we lost our unemployment the road would have ended and we would have gotten our ticket saying that we passed. But, instead, we were taken to a different road...a more difficult road. For some reason, a reason higher than our understanding, God has chosen this road for us. For some reason He is testing us, teaching us, and pruning Dan and me. Let me tell you, I have continued to retreat to my closet to cry, to lay on the floor of my bedroom beside my bed and weep, and to stand in the shower and let the tears run down my cheeks. But, I will not, I will not, let this time pass in my life and not learn something from it, not grow because of it, and not allow myself to be pruned.

If you haven't read the book The Praying Life, you need to get your hands on it. It has really encouraged me in my prayer life.

My security blanket is my Heavenly Father. Without His covering, I would be nothing. I rise every morning and ask Him to give me my Daily Bread...nothing more, nothing help me get through the day. Every night, I am thankful for what He has provided and the grace and love He has shown to me.

Lord, give me this day my daily bread, for You alone are my Security...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Great Read!

We have been taking advantage of our library lately. The kids get so excited when we go. This past week, I tried to pick a few fall books out. I found two that had a pumpkin theme. This was by far my favorite:

It's a great story about an old lady who doesn't like pumpkins because she was really poor growing up and it's basically all she ate. So, she vowed that she never wanted to see another pumpkin. One day, a pumpkin truck drives by and a huge pumpkin falls out of the truck on to her property. She freaks out and buries it. The next spring, the vine starts growing. She tries to kill it many times but just settles for looking the other way and even using another door in her house so she didn't have to walk by it. The plant got a little out of control while she was turning a blind eye and she had a ton of pumpkins. She decided to make the best of it and made pies, breads, and whatever else you can make with pumpkins. She was making it for other people. To draw attention to her baked goods, she carved faces in a few other pumpkins and set them out in front of her house. The people started coming and she was able to feed them all and decided pumpkins were okay and she was going to take a few left over seeds and plant them for next year.

I thought the book had a really good story that even I enjoyed. So, go find this book at your local library!! Happy reading with the kiddos!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forget the Mix

4 cups milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
Heat in a sauce pan and then add a few (or a bunch) of marshmallows.
Perfect on cold mornings like these (at least here anyway).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Prosperity Gospel

Wordless Wednesday- We *love* our hand-me-downs!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


a painful road i walk
beckoning me to give more
convincing me to finish last
demanding that I love
i am walking the path to humility.

Too many times, words don't come out the way that I would like. I can't do justice when trying to verbalize feelings. It's in writing that I find that...that I can express myself...describe how I am feeling. It's also great therapy in times like these.

The poem above is and ABC (this time I did end up using ABC):

A poem that has five lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines 1 through 4 are made up of words, phrases or clauses while the first word of each line is in alphabetical order. Line 5 is one sentence long and begins with any letter.

Increase My Faith

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A New Blog

Hollie and I have launched out new project! Check it out and tell us what you think.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Song of my Heart

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thirteen Months

Ugh, I hate that number.

Here's my monthly update. I was hoping not to have to go past the one year mark with this, but we have been chosen to walk this road a little longer.

Thirteen months ago, my husband lost his job. Each month, I don't think I can take another month, week, or day of this. Each month, by the strength God has given us, we march on.

We got our last unemployment check six weeks ago. We had no idea it would be our last. Currently, we have been living on my part-time paycheck (I thank God for my job) and Dan's two day a week job. If not for the money we were given over a week ago, the stress would be even greater.

I have been trying not to look farther in to our situation than past today. The fear, anger, and frustration can become overwhelming if I think about a week from now, two weeks from now, or a month from now when the mortgage is due. I continue to look for little reminders in God's word that tell me God has been faithful and He will be faithful again.

I keep turning to Matthew 6:25-34 (which I almost have memorized)

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I changed out the kids' closets yesterday, taking out all of their summer clothes and replacing them with fall/winter clothes. I dreaded doing this because I knew it would be one more reminder that we are struggling and I hate when the kids are affected. Well, we were packing Kaitlyn's clothes up. I was going through them and setting aside the clothes that were too small. Kaitlyn said, "Are those to give to poor people?" It was confirmation to me that they have no clue. We are doing our best to explain to them that we do not have a lot and we need to not be so focused on material things. We also emphasize giving to those less fortunate. But, we also try not to worry them with out situation and do our best to shelter them from knowing just how desperate it's becoming.

So, we got all of her clothes packed away and it was time to bring out her winter clothes. I had been given a few bags of clothes for the kids over a year ago. The clothes were too big at the time so I sorted them out and tucked them away. Along with stuff that Dan's Mom has sewn for Kaitlyn and things that my Mom has bought, this was the end result looks like:

All I could do is praise Him while hanging everything up. I stood back and almost started to cry. So do not worry and say, "What should I wear?" Along with all of these clothes for her, there were also two pairs of shoes (a brown pair of boots and a black pair of dress shoes) just her size in the tub.

I am desperately praying for a job for Dan that brings our total for what we need to make budget. I asked Him to provide a job for him by October 1st, but my Father knows what's best for us and while I was very disappointed, He gently whispered to me yesterday on my run, "Just hold on a little longer, my child...just a little longer."

I am praying that it's just a little longer.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


to cherish a desire with anticipation

Almost daily, I am reminded (or seek to remind myself) of how fortunate we are. We may be dirt poor and struggling to pay our bills, but we are all healthy and for that I am extremely thankful.

Not long ago, I read an article in the paper about Hope, a little girl diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. I do not know her, but I have been thinking of and praying for this little girl...that her and her family would be lifted up and given hope.

On Sunday, October 18th, there is a 5K race benefiting Hope and her family. I got an email today saying that because of the lack of interest, this race is in danger of being cancelled. If you are a runner in the area, please sign up for this race. If you are unable (I actually think everyone has a runner inside of them somewhere) to run, please think about sponsoring me in this race. I am collecting money and hope to be able to bring well over my $20.00 entrance fee to the race with me.

I have created a donation button at the top left of my blog. Please consider and pray about donating to help this little girl and her family. Before you click "donate" pray for this family and thank God for all he has blessed you with.

Click here to read about Hope.