Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Long Weekend

Happy Labor Day weekend to you all! Hopefully you have something fun, or, at the very least, relaxing planned. We started our day out with hot pancakes around the breakfast table - full of chit chat with our children. Throw in some hot coffee sprinkled with cinnamon... dynamite start to the day!

I don't want to sound complainy, and I know the bitter cold winter days will be here before too long {grin}. But, it's still horribly hot here. The children and I have spent most of our days indoors and when we do try to go outside - it's just uncomfortable. Last night we went to the 1st of the season football game for one of our local high schools - we have a teen in the band, one a cheerleader and a few other who we thought might just be hanging around. While it was great to support them and share a smile, I was melting, literally. I felt bad for the guys wearing helmets and pads :/ The bleachers registered a toasty 100 even after dark. Seriously!?

Anywhoo, during this long weekend I have great plans of enjoying the "cooler" the 80's and spending time with my family. Hubs is preaching Sunday and I always enjoy what he brings to the stage. :)

We have about 4 more weeks until we can move into our new home. I will remain as positive as I can on that topic! So in the meantime the girls and I have been discovering our new-temporary city and finding all sorts of fun and FREE things to do. This week we ventured down to the local library and I was blown away with how age appropriate it was! Aside from the anticipated books and comfy reading pillows there were texture walls, manipulative boards {zippers, chains, etc}, a puppet booth and the usual kids computer. My girls were in kid glory and it gave me a lot of time to browse the cookbook, DIY, and crafty aisles. I came home with these two gems -

Can you tell what's on my mind? Good old fashioned, sit down, family dinners :) I have been pouring through Amish cookbooks most of the summer - and found this Mennonite one this week. It's a little different and I have to admit I laughed when one of her main ingredients was, "MSG". I didn't even know you could buy MSG! But this cookbook has awesome ideas, in detail, and I am so enjoying it! This momma is weary of frozen pizzas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and all things "easy". Although, I am thankful for the calm of it at the same time. Weird.

Speaking of sit down dinners. I thought I would share a few more pics of our new home, as I'm kind of wanting to see it again anyway. :)
This is a view of the kitchen - I like how simple it is! And I have BIG plans for it. {including not having a green counter} I'm really, really, excited about the window overlooking the deck/back yard. I've never had a space where the kids could play outside alone for even a minute! I don't plan on putting them out there alone all the time - but, it'll be nice to know I can if I need to for a second or so. :) 

And, I'm excited for our dining room which leads out to the deck. 
I really like the parquet floors! And, I even like the gray paint! Normally I'm a dark and nature-y colored girl...but, this might just stay gray. :) 

6672 NW 4th Ct, Des Moines, IA 50313

We have an old and kinda shabby brown table and chairs that I found at Salvation Army a few years ago. And I'm debating doing this to it - because I love it! The dark top and creamy colored legs are so nice..and I wouldn't need to paint all my chairs.
 You can get these wooden dining tables so cheap, add some paint and antique it and voila, character and beauty back to an old plain table, love it!
Here's another pic with the same idea. Seems pretty easy, right?
 Dining table redo? leave top brown, legs and surround white?
Next, the basement. Partially finished and just exactly the extra room that we'll need! This is the big room down there. This place will be the play room and a guest room when need be. I love the windows and  I think I remember a closet just around that left corner.
6672 NW 4th Ct, Des Moines, IA 50313

What a blessing it will be to have a place to do our preschool and put all our toys :) Ah, I'm so eager to get in! 

Well, enjoy your long weekend whatever it is you choose to do! I'm going in for another cup of coffee :) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Now let's all just be honest.

It's HOT. Heat index of 110 today, and, even living in central air all day... I'm sweating. People think I'm nuts when I yap about how Summer is not my fave. I get gasps and looks and eye rolls. But, folks, let's just be honest... 110 is no kind of fun. For anyone.

Let me show you what is. {grin}
God I love autumn. I'm going to go ahead and finally say that it's my favorite season. :-)

This is absolutely my favorite time of the year! i'm now more determined to move somewhere where this season exists (not GA) 

 fall bucket list.
So for all my fellow yearners-for-all-things-Autumn...

I do love summer. I really do. But I am finding myself longing for autumn once again. :] 
Good riddance, and good bye :)  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday Catch-Up

Weekends. {sigh} Aren't they such a blessing? We are having a laid back Saturday here and I'm loving every second of it. I have my cup of Snickeroo coffee, the girls are watching "Seven brides for seven brothers" in the other room and I have The Pioneer Woman on the TV in the room I'm sitting in. (note: the family we are staying with has tons of space...we are enjoying speading out) Add to that - I'm working on gathering Christmas ideas on Pinterest. Ah, what a Saturday.

So, what's been new here with us? Well, we had our youth kickoff on Wednesday night complete with Laser Tag and a cookout. We had around 80 some students and leaders! Praising the Lord for a great start to our school year and Fall. Sometime I'll take more - but for now, here's a peek at our newly renovated/painted/decorated youth room. :)

Leaders in Laser Tag training!
For our family day yesterday we took the girls to "The Bass Pro Shop" for some cheap family fun. Now, that might seem a little strange a location... I blame my 4 year old. She LOVES that place. Note that neither Momma nor Daddy are hunters/fishers/etc. She just loves the aquarium, hunting game and FREE fudge samples. So, maybe I have rubbed off on her - I love her hunt for FREE fun. :)

Our splurge of honey roasted cashews :)

Life. It's a gift. Even during these semi-stressful days of waiting for our home to be open for us to move in - We see the hand of God working in our lives. An extra blessing to us this week was to find an envelope with our name on it and inside was a 3x5 index card that read "Go on an anniversary date please", with cash included. Seriously?! Isn't that just the stuff of stories or things we'll tell our grandchildren someday? I'm so thankful for the people around us who love us and show it.

The last report we heard on our home was that we may not be able to get in until the end of Sept. As you can imagine, it's not ideal, but we will wait and trust and keep asking the Lord that His will be done. In the meantime, we are so thankful for family who lets us bunk up with them! There are blessings everywhere if we are willing to see them! 

Happy Saturday wherever you are, thanks for checking in. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Keeping Sane.

It's been a rough couple of days and my pounding headache at 10:30am proves that. I'm tired and my kids seem to have endless energy {and naughtiness} and we seem to have no norm at this point. Hubs has had a busy weekend and week getting ready for our fall ministry kick off, we had a death in the family so there were funeral processions, etc. and I don't think the girls have been to bed before 10pm in over a week.

It's okay to admit when you feel like you have slipped beyond the end of your rope. I'm there, too. I admit it. And I praying and asking the Lord for strength for just one more day.

I know that our transition will not last forever.
I know that in these difficult days I'm being molded and changed.

During nap times I've been diving into books about female missionaries through the ages and gleaning such wisdom and strength from them and their testimonies of faith in the Lord. Noel Piper put out a great book called, "Faithful Women and their extraordinary God" which has really changed my whole concept of "comfort".

Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God    -     
        By: Noel Piper

Oh what a spoiled housewife I can act like some days...when I forget my mission. And when for some reason I am living for COMFORT rather than living for GOD. 

Perhaps later when I have more then 5.89 seconds to myself I'll share a few of the other things I've been learning. God is faithful and I continue to see Him in new ways during this time. And to those sitting there today who, like me, are just trying to keep sane an hour at a time... I'm with ya. His strength is perfect, hang in there!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Annnnnd... we bought a house.

6672 NW 4th Ct, Des Moines, IA 50313 
Just like that we have closed one chapter, turned the page, and opened another. 
Folks, the Lord is faithful and He is good.

Sometime in the next few weeks we'll move in and call this our NEW home.
In the meantime we are living with some family a few towns over - for which - we are SO thankful. 

And, I'll be dreaming of our autumn evenings around the fire our new backyard.
Who wants to come over? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day after Day

Life is never predictable. We can write things down in our planners and set dates and expect this and that from to time to time - but, ultimately we are not in control. This has been my constant lesson these last few weeks since my last post. Our house closing date came and went 3 times and day after day we lived in our boxed up home waiting to move on. This past Saturday the reality of moving actually started happening as we moved everything out of 1st street. We had tons of help and within a few hours all of our earthly belongings were packed neatly in a friends basement for temporary storage. I barely had to lift a finger - we have awesome friends and church family.

The next day, Sunday, we took our last stroll through our empty 1st street house - just my husband and I. Surreal to wait so long only to find it finally happening. I, of course, being the sentimental, got choked up several times. This was the house that my babies learned to walk in and where we measured them growing up on the wall in the kitchen. Our first home was no longer ours and it almost seemed like those 4 years didn't even really happen... such a blur. Life is quick. I wrapped my arms around my husband and we praised the Lord for his Faithfulness to us as the chapter closed. The familiar would be gone now as we began our transition.

Today we close on our new house and then in the beginning of September we'll be able to move in. To say that the Lord has provided would be an UNDERSTATEMENT. The Lord has reigned seems more appropriate. Times have been tight, no doubt, but what an amazing time in our lives when we are totally dependent and waiting on the Lord. I know all of life is that way, but I have sensed it more in these days. I could tell you story after story of all the millions of little ways the Lord has shown himself to this Momma...

Like, getting a card in the mail from another Mom friend who says, "I didn't know why I had this much $ left over after grocery shopping this week. Now I do, it's for you." Or, how extended family here has taken us in and given us free reign in their home. Or the day I found $100 check in our mailbox - kind of out of nowhere. The memo line just read, "gift". And I cried and cried and poured the praise back to Father God who gives us all Good things! {James 1:17} A gal offering a bag of winter clothes for my children and friends stepping in to watch our children during all the appointments and meetings tops my list, as well. The Lord is good to His children. Every day I'm reminded.

But it hasn't just been in the material that I see Him working. In my quiet times alone in the word I have seen His love and Grace...the books of Judges and Ruth, of all places. And in the reading of this book, by Margaret Jensen - a story about her mother and how she held things together during their slim days. I was so moved, challenged, and convicted. It was a random choice for me from our church library, and I'm so glad I read it. Story after story about how "Momma" was able to stretch a soup, mend clothing to wear again, wait for God to provide, all while loving her children and honoring her husband had me in tears more then one night. I want to be like that! I want to have the unwavering faith of Mrs. Twetin {Authors mom}.

Then we have my children, 2 and 4. They have transitioned beautifully for the most part. {wink} Though my biggest girl seems to enjoy the volume of her voice more often these days. Even though they are in new temporary rooms, don't have their own toys, etc. they are doing so well. Napping like champs and going with the flow. I am so thankful for this. And because most of our life is packed away in a friends basement - it leaves ample time for me to be with them without distractions. I'm computer-less during the day so we play dress up, read books, watch cartoons, go on walks, have snacks and sometimes drive each other crazy. True story. But it's good! We are learning about all the parks in our current area and per my usual, I'm discovering all the "free" things to do until our next big move. It's a new challenge.

Yesterday was our 8th anniversary, hubby and I. Because of where we are in life there were no roses or fancy dinners or even time out alone. But it was life. He worked all day while I tended the children at home and we ended the evening with our girls at a local park. I couldn't help but count my blessings as I sat on that park bench - it's thrilling to me to see how God is working out and writing our story. I rest fully believing that the next 8 years will have just as many adventures.

Day after day we continue to wait on the Lord and to see His goodness.
So, that's where I've been and where I will be for another half a month. I so value your prayers and look forward to sharing pictures and stories from our new home, here soon.