Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Faith and Works

I don't have a lot to say today, but have been pondering this quote that I came accross in last weeks study. Maybe it will give you something to think about on this snowy Tuesday.

To trust Him means, of course trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted someone if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you. - CS Lewis

Monday, March 30, 2009

How did it go?

As you all know, I "unplugged" for 24 hours. I have to confess it was only 23.

It began Thursday night. I tidied up all the loose ends, scheduled my blog to post the next day, checked my email and one last status update on Facebook.

I slept well, which was fantastic because it took up so much time. B woke up an hour earlier and we had fun playing after breakfast. I was amazed at how much fun we could have when all my attention was on him alone. I wasn't trying to get something done and annoyed that he was being whiny or trying to grab the mouse. I realized that my son is so much more rewarding than whatever blog I would be reading, picture I would be looking at, or email I would be checking.

My super cool brother-in-law was coming to visit, so when B went down for a nap, I went to work. I swept, mopped, vacuumed, folded laundry, showered, and did the dishes. I realized I am very efficient when the hum of the computer does not distract me.

Nap time was over and lunch was prepared. Yummy. We headed to the bank and to check on the summer home we house sit. Then more playtime a little tidying up and back for another nap. That went by fast. I realized that checking all the things off my "to-do" list is possible when I am not seeing if there were any "updates".

I worked out and read a little. It was around 3:30. I started wondering what I could do. I was bored, but I didn't cave. I texted my sweet hubby. Fortunately, he was coming home early anyway and saved me from the lure of the mac. The evening progressed nicely, Bjorn arrived, we had dinner, chilled, bath time, baby to bed... now what? The guys were playing the wii and I caved. Only an hour before my 24 hours were over I hopped online to waste some time. I realized that pretty much anything I needed to do on the web took about an hour and that I really can live without it for a day!

This is the first time since college that I have had Internet access in my home. I survived 8 years without it, but now realize that I have been wasting too much time on the computer. This little exercise has motivated me to unplug, until my daily duties are finished and perhaps even once a week. I don't want my child to remember the times I was "too busy" behind the keyboard to play with him and I want to honor my husband by giving him a sanctuary to come home to, instead of giving him the excuse that I was too busy. Thanks Kimba for the nudge to make the main thing, the main thing, again!

I am looking forward to fewer hours staring at the screen and more time being purposeful. How are your priorities?

Interested in more stories from people who unplugged? Click here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bad Glasses - SFMTY

There once was a period of my life, a three year long period, when I left home, went to college, left college, got married, and went to college, again, that I was really poor. SO, poor that I kept postponing my eye exam. A period of my life when my glasses filled most of my face. A time I'd like to forget, but then I would have to burn these pictures.



Wow, I don't know which is harder to look at me in those giant glasses or that creeper car in the background ?!


Here I am on my honeymoon. We decided that we would take the "cruise" around Waterton, it would have been nice except that it was FREEZING cold, in August! Good thing I had those HUGE glasses on to shield my eyes from the wind.


By this time I was only wearing my glasses when absolutely necessary. It was apparently a must wear moment because I was missing something. Doesn't my sweet hubby look annoyed? He was probably thinking - "I sure wish she would break those glasses on "accident"."


Finally here I am looking over the glasses. Why did I even wear them at all? Someone please tell me.

I hope you got a chuckle at my expense. I know I did! Find more embarrassing pictures here.

I am the problem... and so are you.

Republican, Democrat, Independant or other fringe group affiliation we all have moments when the government invokes the desire to flee the country in hopes of finding something better elsewhere. I have recently been trying to avoid too much political information, because I find that my emotions get the best of me and I become anxious about the future. I don't want to be uninformed, but I do feel the media can invoke either hope or depression. It is pretty obvious what they are reporting these days.

While I may not have voted for our current president, I still want him to do a good job leading our country. Often I think the Commander in Chief takes the fall for the fruit -loops that write his speeches, tell him what bills to look over, and what things to campaign about. It really is a mystery why anyone would want that job.

In my current readings I have come across some thought provoking statements:

"The genious of the American system is not freedom; the genious of the American system is checks and balances. Nobody gets all the power. It is as if the founding fathers knew, intrinsicaly that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse."


I agree (which is why this path of bigger government frightens me, but we won't go there). I am thankful for the differing parties because then we can have constructive debate, it is however debateable if our elected officials ever do anything that is constructive. This is a broad generalization and I do know that there are probably a few "good" politicians, so don't take me too seriously.

I also think that while we can, at times, believe that our elected officials are making positive change, they really aren't the ones that are going to accomplish much since...

"I am the problem. I think every concious person, has a moment where he stops blaming the problems in the world on group think, on humanity and authority, and starts to face himself.... The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest"


Hmmm... what would happen if instead of trying to change the whole world, we each started working on changing (or better yet, letting Him change) the person who looks back at us in the mirror.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but no matter how much you rail at the Dem's or GOP - the real problem is you (and me). Thank goodness I know someone who can take my heart and make it new.

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2Cr 5:17

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Work

If you haven't guessed my sweet husband is a man's-man. He hunts, fishes, hikes, butcher's his own meat and used to work on a ranch. He has even tried his hand at a rodeo, but that will have to be another post.

He is a Montana man. He works as a carpenter, which is great because he is a perfectionist (I am not sure how he ended up with such an imperfect spouse), so math really is power in his field.

The current project he is on is the biggest home that he has built and has tons of steel in it. Here he is in action and all I can do is swoon. Nothin' like a man in a welding helmet to get the blood pumping.



I just have to brag on him a bit, so here are a few more pics of what he has been up to for the past year.







You can find more about his company here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party

Guess what? Over at 5 minutes for moms they are having the BIGGEST blogging part-ay!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

You should join the fun. It is a great way to increase your readership, make new online blogging friends and see what other great blogs you've been missing out on.

If you are stopping by to check out my blog for the first time, you can take a peak at why I blog here.

I hope you stay a while and check out some of my recent posts. I love to blog about my silly son, handsome husband, and the things I am learning, about living in relationship with Jesus. You'll also find some of my attempts at crafting, cooking, designing and domestic life in general. I am fanatical in my support of Big Sky Bible Camp and life here in Montana. This city girl has come a long way and hopes that you will be encouraged by her ramblings!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The new table

I have been meaning to post these pictures of our new table! I am pleased that we were able to give our old table away to a friend of a friend. I am just sorry that the chairs that went with it were so uncomfortable (we sat on them for 4 years though, so they must not have been that uncomfortable).

Here is what we had:



Here is our upgrade:

I am so glad that now we can fit more than 4 people around our table and look forward to inviting friends over soon (or friends, just invite yourselves over).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Preparing to Unplug

I have been feeling for weeks that I would be much more productive at home if I were able to show a little more restraint in checking my blog, other peoples blogs, and Facebook every 5 minutes, all day long. Luckily for me, someone in the blogging world is making it cool to unplug for a day. So, I am unplugging- the computer that is - so don't try to find me here next Friday.

This also presents a challenge since I hate housework - maybe you want to go have coffee that day? I would hate to spend my entire 24 computer-less hours that day, cleaning. I am counting on you friends, help me. :) Just teasing. I am looking forward to a day to regain my focus. I hope you'll join me, but only if it would be a benefit to you too!



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Legwarmers - SFMTY

Just another addition of Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - now hosted by The Glamorous Life. I may have a blogging hiatus, but the 'fro always brings me back. One can never be too busy to post a potentially embarrassing picture on the Internet.

Here you will find me already cultivating that sexy pout, while I strut my hot stuff. Actually, I think I just have my mouth hanging open while I think about something. I am probably wondering where I left my Strawberry Shortcake doll. I am 2 1/2. (Sorry about the poor picture quality, it got a little sun damaged, being that it didn't make the photo album.)


Before we even get to my amazing outfit, lets take a moment to admire the brown plaid armchair. Niiiice.

OK, now the outfit. Grey, stripes, ruffles and legwarmers. It really doesn't get any better than that when you are almost 3. I wish I had a picture of my ET themed workout suit, it even had a headband!

Check out more pictures and funny stories of the photo's that you only wish you could forget here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

For the Married Folk...

I am sure most of you are super cool and totally hip and/or taking The Challenge, so you have probably already seen this video. However, if you are like me and a little behind the times, you might have missed it. I will rate it PG-13, so you don't have to explain to your children what foreplay means, but it isn't nasty. C'mon people who do you think I am?

If you have been married more than two weeks at least some part of this ditty will make you smile. Enjoy and have a great weekend, maybe even mixing a little "business" with pleasure.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Family Vacation 2003 (SFMTY)

Did I ever tell you about the family vacation we took? It was over the Christmas/New Years holidays almost 6 years ago. My sweet husbands mom decided that before we were all so spread out and busy, we would take one last family vacation together. Please note I was the only in-law at the time, thus the only one who had never experienced the family vacation before. We headed to sunny Florida!

Only to be stuck on the plane in Salt Lake for 9 hours, because of a major snow storm. Thankfully we were one of the last planes to make it out of Utah and we eventually landed in Florida...





Without our luggage. Please note the exasperated man with his arms in the air, shouting at the baggage carousel with no baggage on it, yep, that's my father in law.

We enjoyed our time at Daytona, because we were some of the only people to be swimming. Apparently, when it is 70 degrees in FL, people think that is cold. We thought it was summer.




Isn't Norse so handsome? Yummy, even if he is a white-boy! That is his momma and his lil' brother, who has grown into a very handsome college freshman.

The time in Florida went fairly well. I did have an ICEE machine explode all over me, but I thought I handled it pretty well. What else can you do but laugh when you have red sticky ice stuck all over your white legs and khaki shorts? Too bad we didn't have a picture of that!

This is me on the beach.



I know what you are thinking and no, I did not photoshop myself into this picture. Also, no need to worry the boat was able to navigate past my giant head. I am sure Sports Illustrated will be calling me any day asking if I will do their swim suit issue.

Things got really interesting when we went to leave the island. Here we are after finding out the ship we rode in on, was docked in FLORIDA, because they had gone bankrupt.



Fortunately we were able to stowaway on the "booze cruise" and make it back to the mainland. If only I could tell you that was the worst of our trip, but think 15 people in a 12 passenger van, 3:00 AM, rentals cars locked behind fence (and may I remind you I was with my in-laws!). Mom and Dad in-law left yesterday for another trip similar to this one, but now without all of us annoying kids. I hope there trip goes much smoother than the last.

For more funny pics check out Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - now hosted at The Glamorous Life.

Friend? Guess not.

Let me give you an example of two people...

The first person knows when to give good advice (i.e. Emmy, Lori)
The second person does NOT know when to give advice (i.e. Me)

I recently made the mistake of giving (what I thought was good) advice to someone whom I care about. This person is going through a really rough time. I felt that I truly needed to tell her what was on my heart, especially, after pondering a few verses that led my sweet friend to give difficult advice to one of her friends.

Proverbs 27:9 - "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel."

Proverbs 27:17 - "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Proverbs 27:5,6 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
"


I am thinking that my biggest problem was that I wrongly assumed that this person and I were "real" friends. But, she was confiding in me, right? I see now (hindsight is always 20/20) that we probably had not reached that intimate point where you move from being acquaintances to friends.

I also feel torn because I honestly believe that I needed to say what was said, but was it, really? Did I mistake the need to vent my opinion for the nudging of the Holy Spirit?

I am the first to admit that I am not always 100% tuned into the voice of God, which is why I never say things like "God told me" until I am absolutely positive it really was Him. Now I am just confused because I thought I was doing the right thing; but it certainly didn't open up the honest dialogue I was hoping for.

How do you give godly advice, knowing that it may be taken wrong? Do you still give it? Is there a huge "plank" in my eye? (Please, let me know if there is, I would hate to impale anyone else with it.) What is my responsibility if what I think I did was right, but in doing it have caused offense to my sister in Christ?

I must also weigh the issue that maybe I was right! Maybe she is having the wrong response...

Proverbs 10:17 - "He who heeds discipline shows the way of life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray."

But, that seems pretty self-righteous to impose judgement on someone, just because they bristled at my advice.

Perhaps, you can see the conundrum I am in. Please pray for this situation if you have a moment and I welcome any advice from you, wise reader.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Safety Inspection

We purchased a new (to us) table at the auction last week. I have had a dining room set on my wish list for a few years now. It is almost impossible for us to buy furniture because we want quality (and Norse knows what that looks like) at bargain prices. I was a little shocked that my dear hubby called to tell me we had "won" the bidding. I had to wait until the following evening for Norse to take it apart so we could get it through the doorways, but I hauled in the chairs. B reminded me so much of his dad as he performed a safety inspection.


"A kid could get stuck between these chairs. I am gonna have to mark you down for that."


"The seats look pretty sturdy"


"Let's take a look underneath."


"Hmmm, it looks like a screw is coming loose under here, you are gonna want to have dad tighten that up."


"It'll do mom."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lucky Me!

I had entered to win a prize at this blog a few weeks ago. Fortunately for me the first person picked had a bogus email and I was the redrawn winner! I was able to pick out my choice of something from The Vintage Pearl.

This was what I picked and I was so excited to receive it a few days ago.

I don't normally wear necklaces because Boden likes to rip them off and I am just not a big jewelry person. However, this piece is dainty enough for me to like it and it goes with my normal apparel (jeans and t-shirts). I absolutely love it! I am trying to save my money to buy one of her sweet things to send to my momma for Mothers Day.

Please, check out her store and support this stay at home mom!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Givin' it up...

Since lent is in full swing, many people are giving things up until Easter - meat, TV, caffeine, blogging...As little as I have had to say this past week, maybe I should have given up blogging for a few weeks, then I would have had an excuse for my lack of creative thinking and writing. I digress. My hubby and I were discussing the concept of lent and how our initial reaction is negative. This probably stems from feeling like lent has become more of a legalistic thing to do (for some people) than an actual matter of fasting, for prayer or for a specific need. Have you ever felt like you had to give something up because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Something that wasn't "bad" (like killing people), but was maybe bad for you?

I have. When I first became a Christian I decided (with the encouragement of my future husband) to pawn all my CD's. I had a LOT of music. I remember feeling the tug on my heart, my flesh wanting to keep all of them because I paid good money for them, and my spirit telling me to get rid of them because of what they represented. I see in hindsight how the Lord wanted me to purge, some things, for a season.

Me and music have a very emotional bond. Norse and I joke about the soundtrack of our lives because music takes us right back to where we were when the song first played. I see now those CD's, at that time, would have only caused me to think about how great those moments were, when really, those moments had been destroying me. I needed to be free from the temptation to "return to Egypt" and press on to greater freedom. It has been 9 years since I traded in my music for cold, hard, cash. The last few years I have been able to listen to the songs of my past knowing that I am a different person now. I can listen to a song now and not glorify those past times, but be thankful that they are behind me (and forgiven). I have a great god who has given me new life (and my old tunes back).

With that said, I am not giving anything up for lent. Are you? What does lent mean to you?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

And then perhaps we could joust?

I don't have much to say, but when searching craigslist for some furniture I found this site. It isn't for everyone, actually I am not sure who it really is for, but to each his own. I hope I don't offend anyone by thinking this is somewhat ridiculous. What do you think?