Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Image of God

I've been thinking about the image of God a lot lately. Most of it is because I am doing a Catholic Bible Study right now on Pope John Paul II's teaching Theology of the Body. Let me tell you, fellow Protestants, this teaching is RIGHT ON. I know many Protestants are quick to shy away from anything in Catholicism, but I beg you to check out this study. Christopher West is the chief teacher of this study and has written several books expounding and unfolding the Pope's teaching for the laypeople in the Church. You can check out his website here for downloads, articles, speaking engagements, and books to buy. You can also check with any local Catholic church for class schedules.

This study is based on Scripture. It unfolds the mystery of Christ and the Church as depicted in the marriage of man and woman. It is beautiful, amazing, and life-changing. This study has made me want to take my marriage to a new level and see it the way God does. It's just so awesome!!! I can't even begin to write a blog post on what I've learned from this introductory study, but I hope I've piqued your interest enough that you'll want to check it out for yourself.

Here are few bullet points of things that I've learned:
  • Our bodies don't make sense by themselves.
  • Our very body speaks of the truths of God's image.
  • Lust is NEVER okay in marriage. It is a twisted form of a God-given desire. It is selfish and not sacrificial like love.
  • Christ, the Bridegroom, gives a total gift of His body to the Church, the Bride, and fills her with Eternal Life. Our spousal union should look the same.
  • "The human body whispers the innermost secret of God--that God himself is an eternal exchange of life-giving love, and that we are destined to share in that life and love as male and female."

This teaching has HUGE implications. I think it is beautiful and worth every bit of time you give to it. C'mon, Bride, let's make ourselves ready for the big day!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Real Estate and the Rapture

I had an epiphany sometime last week.

Keeping your house clean when you're trying to sell it is an awful lot like being ready for Jesus to come back! It could happen at any moment, and you want to be prepared!

My house is staying clean. I'm not sure how I got to this point, but I'm here, and I'm thankful. I'm doing a load of laundry every day. I make sure the house is ready to show before I go anywhere (this only happens about once a day). I keep clutter away. I make the kids put their toys back quickly. I'm into a rhythm, and it's nice. I hope this industrious spirit follows me back to Arkansas. :)

We received an offer yesterday on our house. But, it was totally insulting. They offered $6500 less than our asking price and also asked the following:
  • Pay their $5000 in closing costs (For realz?--our closing costs in AR on a more expensive house are only $3500!!!!--comparable real estate market too!!!)
  • Pay to repaint the exterior of the house in a color of their liking (Sorry, charlie. That's a couple thousand bucks.)
  • Pay 1 point of their interest rate (hello!!!!! interest rates are at an all-time LOW!!!)
  • Buy a home warranty (we're not completely opposed to this)
  • $1000 home repair addendum (this is pretty standard)

We rejected the offer without even countering. They submitted a new offer later in the afternoon, but the only thing they changed was the purchase price. It was still not enough to compensate for their closing costs. We can't tack their closing costs onto the sale price without either chancing that the house won't appraise at that amount or without us being upside down on the loan. We said, "No way, Jose!" It felt good, too. Our house is still getting a lot of attention and showings, and it has only been on the market for 1.5 wks. We're not desperate.

After some discussion, I believe they are out of their price range if they need THAT much assistance on our house. So, anyway, that was crazy, but we're hopeful that the real buyer will come along soon.

Lucykins is 6 months old. Where has the time gone? She's my lightweight baby. Her weight is in the 15% but her head and length are both 50%. She's looking great though. She has rolls, and that's good!!! Maryn is 50% for everything. Nice to know. I need to take some pictures...

My parents are coming over today to play with Sam and Maryn and take Maryn to Build-A-Bear for her birthday. That was their gift to the grandkids this year for their birthdays. I think it's really cute. Maryn most definitely will choose a princess bear...it'd be fun if she surprised us!

Well, wish I had more interesting things to talk about, but I don't. :) Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Developments and Things to Do

You know I like lists. Here's a couple.


1. Our house was shown twice last week by other realtors.

2. Our realtor had an open house here on Sunday and had a dozen families come through. A couple were very promising. She hopes to hear something this week.

3. I saw Wolverine and Star Trek in one week, and they were both amazing. I've been pondering why I like Sci-fi so much. No conclusions yet. Except for the obvious nerd factor.

4. We went to Mayfest during the Open House. It was nice to be out with the kids. Sunblock is now a must-have for the season's fashion.

5. I discovered a new chocolate bar that I love. Ghiradelli Luxe Chocolate--Duet. It's milk chocolate on top and dark chocolate on the bottom. And velvety. Smooth. Delicious.

6. My older children both commented on my weight this week. Time to cut out the chocolate.

7. This just in!! We have two back-to-back showings this evening!!! Yahoo!!!!

To Do List:

1. Hem my two skirts that I made on Saturday (don't laugh, Katie.).

2. Finish making the third skirt (again, don't laugh, Katie.).

3. Get the house straightened up.

4. Don't forget to go to the bathroom at some point.

5. Drink the rest of the yummy coffee I made: Dunkin Donuts Dark with SF vanilla creamer, lite whipped topping and ground cinnamon. Mmmmmm....

6. Finish my book.

7. Begin book club book for June (my last book club meeting). :(

8. Look through all the free magazines I've been getting. "Mothering", "Parents", "Woman's Day"...all free.

9. Put clothes on the baby.

I think this list is neverending, so I'm going to defy the laws of nature and end it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our Two Tiny Ladies

Our oldest girl just had her 3rd birthday. THAT is hard to believe. When we moved here, she was just 2 weeks old. Now, we're getting ready to move again. Time is flying--a bit too fast if you ask me.

She requested a white cake with pink frosting (a princess cake). I used the trusty bundt pan. However, I took the cake out when it was completely cool (big no-no! should be mostly cooled, but not completely), and the top stuck inside the pan. Boo. So, I covered it with frosting best I could. It still tasted yummy, and she didn't notice.

Trying to blow out the candle

Her brother picked out a very thoughtful gift--a Mrs. Potato Head! They like playing with it together. It was much better than his first idea--trains. :) Dave and I bought her a Fancy Nancy tutu to add to the growing collection of frilly, fairy princess clothes. It's so fun watching her run around in her princess get-up.

One thing we were worried about was that Maryn would be jealous of Lucy after having been the baby for 2.5 years. Thank God! We were wrong! She never acted out any jealousy, and only recently has taken an interest in her sister. She talks about her more and definitely is becoming more nurturing. It's so sweet to watch.

I pray these two will enjoy their sisterhood. I always wanted a sister growing up. I love my brother, but we couldn't really share clothes and secrets and play together the same way sisters do. Although, I did dress him up like a girl more than once. He usually went along with it until Dad made him take it off. :)

I much prefer to see Maryn smiling and laughing because we've had our fair share of tears
(and then some).

And how about a silly baby face? Babies+silliness=our family.

Had to put this one as our desktop background!

I also like to see chubby baby legs. You too? I thought so.

Knee dimples...it doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two Teeth

Sam started getting his first tooth at 5 months, and it was in by 6. Sam then started getting teeth four at a time! It was crazy, but at least he got them over with. Maryn got her first teeth at 7 months. She still only had two teeth on the bottom at one year...I can't remember if she had any on top.

Lucy started getting hers at 5.5 months, and ended up getting TWO. She'll be six months on Saturday. Here's her sweet teeth (excuse the crusty nose...):

Gotta love those cheeks. Just scrumptious.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The I Did List

I've not had a lot to say lately. A rarity, to be sure! What have I been doing? I'm assuming you're on the edge of your seat.

I like lists, so here goes:

1. Reading my book club book--Goodnight, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian. This book is fabulous, and I'm sad I didn't get to talk about it with my book club on Saturday. It's sad and wonderful all wrapped up into one.

2. Playing a video game--"The Legend of Crystal Valley". I'm down to playing in five minute increments courtesy of Yahoo! Games. It's okay. It gives me good reasons to stop playing. I've mentioned before on my former blog that I enjoy video games. I know this is weird for a lady. It's fun.

3. Watching movies--I watched "Tootsie" the other night. I remember watching it on TV as a kid, but I didn't even remember the plot. Well, I got it from the library, and it is rated PG on the box. I swear (no pun intended) that it would be rated R now b/c of the language. The "F" word was used more than once, and I know that you can only use it once in a PG-13 right now and certainly NOT in a PG. Maybe our movie ratings are better than they used to be? I also have "Ladies in Lavender" waiting for me. Dave is not thrilled. LOL. I also watched "Bridget Jones' Diary" instantly on Netflix while Dave was gone. It's pretty raunchy, sadly. The thing I loved the most was that it is a trashy parody of Pride and Prejudice...and the character of Mark Darcy is played by none other than Colin Firth! For those of you out of the loop, Colin Firth played Mr. Darcy in the BBC production of P&P.

4. Wearing my hoodie in the mornings. It has been a tad chilly.

5. Wanting to sew badly and refusing myself the luxury. I can't do it right now. It makes too much of a mess, and I don't need to be doing that! I've run across some delightful ideas, though. I hope I don't forget them...

6. Trying to savor our last little bit of time here. I'm going to miss our church family so much. It's home, and it will be sad to leave. I will miss the folks from residency too. Trying not to think too long or hard about graduation.

7. Praying for lots of babies, but especially THIS ONE.

What are you doing?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Yes and No

What I'm saying "Yes!" to this week:

1. A realtor. We're thankful to have a great one. She will serve us well and earn every penny. :)

2. Maryn's birthday on Sunday! My baby girl is going to be three tomorrow! I can hardly believe it. She was just 2 weeks old when we moved here. She's changed so much. We'll have a small party for her tomorrow night (Dave has to work in the morning).

3. Mother's Day!!! This will be my fourth Mother's Day (unless you count the one when I was pregnant with Sam), and I'm so thankful God has given me three beautiful children. I don't take it for granted. I will be sharing this day with Maryn (for her birthday) giving me three important days shared with my children this year: Lucy and I shared a birthday, Sam and I shared Christmas Day (also his birthday), and Maryn and I will share Mother's Day. I am blessed. Truly.

4. A little sunshine! The constant rain and clouds have been quite depressing. I'm thankful for each little bit of sun I get!

What I'm saying "No!" to this week:

1. No more events. Keeping it simple. Sometimes you just have to say, "No more!"

2. No to Book Club. I really wanted to go. I just got the book on Wednesday and really just started reading it last night. I don't want to hear how the story ends before I read it for myself, so I'm not going to get to go...boo. Next time....at least I'll have read the book in time (I hope!).

3. No to Open House! We don't have to host another Open House. The realtor is planning one for May 17th. All I have to do is clean.

4. No to saying "real-a-tor" instead of "real-tor". Folks, there's not an "a" in the middle.

What are you saying "Yes!" and "No!" to this weekend?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

70x7 Chances

I find myself in a state of failure more often than I would like. The same things tend to trip me up over and over. I'm fully aware of what will cause me to fall, but instead of avoiding that thing, I just careen over the edge...again.

I am learning who God has created me to be. Thankfully, it's not the person I've been most of my life. I really struggle with being opinionated and speaking my mind with little regard to the consequences of doing so. I say what I'm thinking and feeling instead of praying about it. This causes problems, friends.

Wise Old Solomon had a lot to say about this (and my comments will be in parentheses).

Proverbs 8:8, "All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse."
(I'm pretty sure I can't say this without lying...)

Proverbs 10:11, "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked."
(How often do my words bring life?)

Proverbs 10:19, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
(I just keep talking and talking and talking and digging a bigger and bigger hole.)

Proverbs 11:9, "With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape."
(I've destroyed my neighbor far too often with my mouth, however, thankfully, God has let me have knowledge of this and provided a way out!)

Proverbs 15:28, "The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil."
(Hmmm...weighing answers instead of just gushing...too true too often).

Proverbs 16:23, "A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction."
(To be wise means that your mouth is guided not unbridled and free to say anything.)

Proverbs 21:23, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity."
(Yikes. I bring a lot of calamity on myself with my own tongue.)

I know I'm not alone in this struggle. But as Jesus' brother teaches--no one can tame their tongue. I'm guessing that this is something our Father has to do for us. He's working on it. I have to submit to His transforming work.

So, with that, I must apologize to my husband who is the unfortunate recipient of many of my words. Sorry, babe. Forgive me and my stinkin' mouth. I love you. Victory is in sight. I will get it, and I will change (because He said He would complete what He started--Philippians 1:6).

And to you, dear readers, you've put up with my verbosity. I pray my words will bring life and healing to you not destruction or division. Forgive me if I've discouraged you. Be encouraged today that God is still in the business of purifying and transforming us into His likeness.

Monday, May 4, 2009

No clever title...apologies.

We had a sweet reunion. I even got butterflies in my stomach on the way to the airport. It was SO good to see the man I love.

I'm so tired right now. All three of my beautiful children decided to get up at six this morning. Thankfully, I only got up with Lucy once last night.

I didn't tell you, but she is getting TWO teeth! She hasn't been too fussy, but she has been more restless at night. That makes me sleepy. I also trimmed her hair in the back. She had a nice little rat-tail goin' on. I had to make it disappear. I kept all her hair and put it in a ziploc. I've never given a baby their first hair cut at 5 months before! At five months with Sam and Maryn, they were bald from rubbing off their skiff of hair. Lucy still has a full head of hair with a little rubbed off on the back of her head.

We have to take Sam to the doctor today. He has a bunch of weird bites on him. He's the only one who has them too--I'm guessing it's not something too gross since it isn't contagious. My first thought was flea bites, but Woodrow didn't miss any treatments, and if he has fleas, I ALWAYS get bitten. And I haven't, so I bet it is something different. Spider bites are usually more disgusting and large. Even Dave was baffled, so hopefully, Dr. M will be able to point us in the right direction and get this child some relief from the itching (hydrocortisone cream isn't even helping much).

I showed the house to two couples this weekend. I would love to sell it to one of the couples (not the other one--I got some bad vibes from them). We'll see if we hear anything. :) We're praying about what our timeline should be and what kind of help to enlist in selling our home. We're not panicking. We have a realtor in mind if it comes to that. We know God has a buyer for our home; we just have to wait for that person to come!

Well, I am off to get some caffeine in my worn out body. In light of that, check out this post on Gwyneth Paltrow's blog--GOOP. I thought there were some interesting ideas there.


Friday, May 1, 2009

I figure...

...you probably wouldn't mind a real post.

...you wonder what in the world has happened to me.

...you think I must be too tired to blog (probably true).

But the truth is, I actually haven't had anything I could talk about...not that I didn't have plenty TO talk about...I'm just choosing NOT to talk about it. If that makes sense!?!

We've had a very crazy week. We've had a very serious family issue (our little family of five is okay--it was in the extended family). It was quite scary, and to tell you the truth, it was just downright horrible. I wish I could blog about it just to get it off my chest, but instead, I've saved that for my nearest and dearest who have listened to me so patiently. Thank you.

Dave is in a plane right now. He just left Uzbekistan. Next stop: Istanbul. Then Munich. Chicago. and HOME.

I love the feeling of all of us here under one roof. It's so calming to know that everyone is snug and accounted for. If you've ever had a member missing for awhile, you know how nice it is to have him/her back with you.

The kids and I have stayed pretty busy to pass the time. We have eaten out FAR too much. But, I guess it's sort of okay...I know I must have some stories to tell...I should anyways.

My favorite Sam-ism of today was:

Me: "Sam, do you want to come snuggle with me?"
Sam: "Nooooo...I like you....buuuuuttttt, I don't like to snuggle."

So glad to know he likes me...lol.

Tried pottytraining with Maryn again...still a no-go. We'll just keep pluggin' along.

Well, I've gotta get some resty-rest. I am worn out. I admire single moms so much. I don't know how they work outside the home, inside the home, parent their kids, help with homework, cook, clean...it's amazing. They deserve medals.

And after these two weeks, I think I do too....the kids may disagree! :)