Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Newsletters, Journaling = my life (right now)

This morning I am finishing up the school's newsletter - 2,400 labels, 1,200 staples, 1,200 envelopes, and about 100 rubber bands... and over 12 hours (so far)!  I am always so relieved when I finish this task!  This time it was a little more difficult due to little fingers and BIG desires to rearrange anything the little fingers can grab a hold of!  Sometimes I wonder how I manage two full-time jobs (mommy and MWSB staff)  - lately I have merely been surviving instead of living - and thankful I know that it is just a short season!  God has been teaching me so many new things - that having this mindless task of preparing a mailing is great "thinking/processing" time. Although,  I feel more of a pressure to finish up the newsletter because I am teaching class on Thursday.  It is a morning class about the spiritual discipline of journaling - how fun is that!  I love to journal!  I love it that I can process my thoughts about God and life through the tip of a pen (or the click of the keys). Hopefully this afternoon, I can get my "thought notes" on paper and feel more prepared.  I am excited, so for now... I really need to go..... rubber bands.... stacks of newsletters... here I come!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another BEAUTIFUL fall day!

On Saturday, Micah, Ethan and I went on a drive to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Micah has been giving me photography lessons and I am slowly beginning to understand ISO and stuff like that (don't give me a quiz, because I will fail!).  I am thankful that he is a patient teacher.  I love the pictures he takes and can't wait for him to buy a new camera so that I can get his old one!  His camera is a few steps UP from my trusty point and shoot.  Taking pictures is definitely something Micah and I love to do together - it is a fun, artistic outlet!  

The weather was gorgeous.  Ethan and I had fun playing in the water, looking at leaves and pine cones, and getting really dirty.  Something that REALLY made me laugh was when we first got there Ethan took off into the creek and got up (almost) to his knees before I could get him out.  He sure does not do anything half-hearted - he has such a zest for life and I love that. 

It was a great fall Saturday and I am so glad we were able to get away and get outside!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Forget the pictures!

Okay.. I have some pictures for you all, but after a couple hours of trying to download... I am giving up... maybe tomorrow!

Micah and I are preparing to teach the 2nd year students.  And as we were studying last night Micah read me a quote that I wanted to share with you!

"The situations in which we find ourselves are never as important as our responses to them." (Dallas Willard)

I like that... and must continue to think about it.  Hope you do too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Girls Night... Cowgirl Style

Last night at MWSB we had our guys and girl nights... and they were a blast (at least the girl's night was).  They were both a western theme.... and it was pretty sad - I have NO western attire.  The only thing I could find in my closet was a pair of tight jeans... 

Here is a picture of the staff women at MWSB and Ethan!  It was so fun for us to see all the girls having a blast!

There was a GIANT game of twister... it was really funny to watch... I should have gotten out there!
There was a wild bull pinata... full of candy!
Then there was line dancing... that spontaneously broke into a wild dance party with a strobe light... I could not stay - cuz it was way past Ethan's bedtime and he was not to into the strobe light, but it was great fun!

I love how guilty my little candy thief looks.  Notice the candy stuffed in his top pocket... Ethan you make me laugh. 

These are the girls responsible for this incredibly fun night... thanks so much!

New Members of the Family

Last night after Bible study I was getting Ethan ready for bed when I heard a knock at the door.  Some of my Bible study girls had returned holding tiny little kittens they had found in the ditch at the end of our driveway.  In the back of my mind I knew that my cat was pregnant again, but already?  Didn't SHE JUST HAVE KITTENS!  Well to make a long story short... I discovered 2 more this morning and YES they are Twitch's babies (one was already dead).... so after working so hard to get back down to 2 cats... we are back up to 5.... again! I guess it is my destiny!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Wonder Why Ethan is Having a Hard Week?

I have been beside myself wondering what is wrong with Ethan.  Should I take him to the doctor?  Should I feed him more?  Does he need a longer nap?  And then I saw the rosy cheeks today... and I am no longer wondering.  Pray those nasty teeth poke through quickly... maybe tonight (I write this late because Micah is holding Ethan... after a hour of screaming!)  Not fun!

Reflection during Writing Thank-you Notes...

This morning while Ethan slept, he constructed and wrote his birthday thank you cards… ah the life of a child!  Writing thank you notes is something I have always enjoyed, because I really feel like I am a thankful person.  It blows me away when I receive a letter or card or what is even better… a package.  I have been asked what I think my love language is and I honestly answer by saying… ALL of them.  I am a love hungry person. 

With that I have to be seriously honest… so if you aren’t one who cares much for raw honesty… please… oh please stop reading.  God has been opening my eyes to little hidden pockets of "stuff" in my life that I like to conveniently label… hurt or rejection or pain… or you name it.  I said before that I love to write thank you notes and I do, but do you want to know what I think about everything I sit down to write….??? I am unlovable.  A comment was made about me over 10 years ago… it was something like if Christa ever wants to survive in ministry (which is a support raising income) she needs to learn how to be more grateful.  I have an idea who said this, but I am not sure… but that comment is what I think about every time I sit down to write.  As I wrote this morning I could not help reflecting on that comment because lately something else has been stirring in my heart.  Last week I finally figured out that somehow… years ago I programmed my brain to think that the only way I could be loved is by being perfect (oh... let me tell you how often that happens... hum... never!).  When I fail someone or even make a breakfast coffee cake that Micah does not like (com’on I know it had butternut squash in it… but it is still yummy… right?) I am instantly undeserving of love.   I wish I could just turn a switch and not think that way anymore, but we are talking about a serious brain pattern of thinking.

It is kinda silly to me that little lies can become thought patterns.  It is hard to type... but I know I am love-able... because God loves me... I know I have my minutes, hours, days, and some times even months.  Hopefully little by little I can believe that more!

But for today... I am telling myself that I AM a thankful person and whoever made that comment... I forgive you for saying that untruthful thing about me.... I honestly don't want to think about it again.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Colorless Days...

There are those days.... and today is one of those days....  It is hard to imagine it would be one of those days - especially being fall-time, but it is one of those days.  It is hard to describe these days... isolation comes to mind - colorless - sounds even better.  

I live in a beautiful house, in the mountains - much to be thankful for, yet today has had it feelings of just being alone.  There are 60 students within "spitting distance" of my house - yet the journey of being a young mom... I walk alone (the closest young mother is 30 minute drive from here).  It has been 4 days of ridiculous grumpiness, with moments of fun... but the moments have been brief.  

Is it teething?  
Is it a reaction from his 12 mo shots?  
It is his sin nature?  

Not sure, but the little boy who has been hanging around has been incorrigible.  In these moments - I would love to just be able to share this experience with someone... to vent - to see if I am doing something wrong - to bounce ideas off of... to have a distraction.  

So... I write.... this has been my colorless day.

ps.. like I said it has not been ALL bad.. this morning Ethan and I had fun playing "dig in the pinto beans... cuz it is too chilly to go outside".  There were beans EVERYWHERE, but at least there was a little smile.... and no crying!

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall Photo Shoot

Harvest Soup

Welcome Fall... today we are celebrating the first day of FALL... I love this season... everything about it is wonderful.  Inspired by all the wonderful harvest veggies and a definite need to find more creative ways for Ethan to eat veggies I made a pot of "Harvest Soup".  I really did not follow a recipe... I just used a couple boneless chicken thighs, about 4 cups of water, and a handful of cut up carrots, and about a tablespoon of sliced garlic for the broth.  I let is gently boil until the chicken was mostly cooked.  Then in a skillet I put 2 T of olive oil, a cubed potato, a cubed carrot, and sliced garlic and sautéed until tender.. then I added a small yellow summer squash, a small zucchini, and the cut up chicken from the broth (in the broth I put 1/4 cup split peas and 1/4 cup of lentils and let boil).  After a couple minutes I added 2 cups of spinach and let it steam for about 2 minutes.  Then I added all the veggies to the lentils and broth and let simmer for about 45 minutes. (oh.. I added a little chili powder, garlic salt, and salt- to taste).

My main motivation for doing this is because it has been a struggle to get Ethan to eat any veggies... I have purchased The Sneaky Chef (Lapine) and Deceptively Delicious (Seinfeld) cookbooks in hopes to learn more creative ways to sneak in veggies and have tried a few recipes... but this was a spur of the moment... lets use the veggies in the fridge attempt.    I put the soup in a fun bowl with a fun spoon... and IT WORKED... Ethan ate the whole bowl... YEAH!  So happy fall to you and to ME!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Pics from the Weller's visit

Our Sunday Drive

After a delicious lunch at Mel's Diner in Augusta, we drove up to Cataract falls.  I had never been there, but have wanted to go for many years.  It was nice to have the excuse of showing Micah and Daniela around.  Even though a storm was coming in, we still managed to hike up to the falls, play in  the water, take a few 100 group pictures, and get back to the car before the rain started to sprinkle.  On the way home I was thinking about how much I love being outdoors - with my camera and those I love.  Now I am off to take a little Sunday snooze!

Favorite Pics of the Day

My beautiful geranium flowers.... still in bloom. 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Touches of Fall

This weekend is our one weekend off this month and my brother (Micah) and his wife are here for a visit, so we took them up the canyon for a little hike. It was so beautiful.  The weather was warm, the sun was bright, and the canyon was "on fire" with color.  I just love this time of year... it is most beautiful!  I am glad that Micah and his wife got to drop by on their way to RI.  It is fun to see them.  Hope you are having an enjoyable, fall Saturday.

Ethan, Micah, Micah, and Daniela

These cute Aster flowers are still blooming... I love the color they add to the land-scape.

The Aspen leaves are starting to turn colors, welcome fall!  

Friday, September 19, 2008

Morning Activities...

Sometimes I struggle with being critical of other people and what they do or do not do... well.... God has really been convicting me about that.  Micah and I often talk about erring on the side of love instead of judgment... and that is really what I want to be about... love.  God has given me a way to love one of my friends.  The last few months have been such a tough time in her life.  Without much detail - money is tight and you know how much stress that creates.  She is having a garage sale tomorrow - so I spent the morning sorting through my house looking for things to donate to the sale ... I figured cinnamon rolls and cookies would work too... it is really a joy to be able to love through the work of my hands.  Please pray for my friend... for peace for her heart.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rock Star Night at Mdub

Once a month (at MWSB) we have a fun dress-up night for dinner.  Tonight was rock star night.  It is always pretty funny to see what the students come up with.  They get way into it and it is very CREATIVE.  
Micah and I had a lot of fun dressing Ethan up.  We did not attend the dinner (only long enough to drop Ethan off and snap a few pictures) because we have been working on establishing our date nights again... so Eli, our single guy on staff (who has been begging us to let him babysit Ethan) watched him while Micah and I got a chance to just hang out for a few hours.   We did the dishes (can you believe it!!!!), and then played dominoes... it was fun!

Micah's Backpacking Trip

Last week Micah led a group of 11 students 70 miles across the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  Thankfully they all returned in one piece.  It started to snow the morning after they reached Lake LaVale and so instead of taking a day to rest they hiked out a day early.

They had a really good time and every once and awhile I get to hear another story.  I heard that there was the curse of the flying hatchet - which Micah called their infatuation with using the hatchet to hack up anything and everything when they reached camp (let me explain... it was not bushes, trees or wildlife... just the firewood...).  They also had contests of holding very large rocks and walking into the freezing cold lake until they would drop the rock and come up screaming...weird... I am pretty sure this was ONLY a guy activity (I guess they did this to earn extra pop-tarts... hum).  I heard some pretty gross descriptions of their food... burnt-uncooked noodles?  And something about refried beans? Yum! Also, Micah said every time they had a break he would come back to find them sound asleep under tarps or just laying on their packs - he said it looked like a battle field...  a long trip to make.. that is for sure!

Hope you enjoy the pictures of the snow... and the group.