Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sing... Sing a Song, Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Strong

Well, before anyone assumes I can sing (which if you have been around me long enough, you know I cannot) I need to tell you I absolutely LOVE to sing but I cannot carry a tune to save my life. I love singing at church because we love our music loud at Southbrook and I can sing loud and out of tune and no one knows the difference. :)

I love to sing in the shower with my parrot ( shush Greg... he STILL is not my prize possession) Doby kinda likes it when I sing off key... he just sings a long with me and pretends that is how the song is supposed to sound.

I love to sing while driving and it is just me in the van. I turn the music up loud and pretend I too could be an American Idol. :)

I also have a song for everything. This sometimes annoys those who live with me or have to spend much time with me. For example... in the morning I will walk out to the front room and open the blinds and sing " Let the sunshine .. Let the sunshine... the sun shine in" When I wake the kids sometime I will sing "Rise and shine and give God the glory glory" (they REALLY don't like that one) If I hear a trolley I will sing "ding ding goes the trolley... ring ring goes the bell" This song drove my friends crazy while in Hawaii because everywhere you turned there was a trolley. The ocean was rocky in Hawaii and while in the ocean I would stand on a rock... well that one is really tempting.... and I tried REALLY hard not to sing it because no one there with me would recognize the song. At church in the children's ministry we would sing "I'm gonna stand on the Rock, I'm gonna stand on the rock, I'm gonna stand on the rock, of God's word. I'm gonna try to obey, I'm gonna try to obey, I'm gonna try to obey.... Obey God's word." Needless to say everyone else also knew the song by the time we left Hawaii, I couldn't help myself.

Last year while on vacation in Florida (I guess I am proving just how crazy I am with this one) I decided to get up before sun rise one day so I could witness the sun rise on the beach. I was all alone, I walked out of our condo quietly with my flash light and chair and onto the beach. I situated myself at the waters edge so I could feel the waves crash on my feet. The sky started to turn a brilliant color of orange and pink and it was breath taking... just as the sun was about to peek up over the horizon I sang " Here comes the sun... doo doo doo doo... here comes the sun and I say it's alright." Am I stupid or what??? Please tell me you all think of songs too???

As the kids get older and have learned more songs... (especially the older ones) they can now see it coming in the conversation. Leslie has gotten to the point that she will actually pause while talking to give me time to get my little song clip in before continuing our conversation.

You know... it does say in scripture we are to speak to one another in song... I know, I know, its not the same KIND of singing... but hey it's a start. :)

Eph 5:19-20 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.

I saw this video on you tube yesterday and it hit home for me so I thought I would share it here on my blog. :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Liquid Crystal High Defilicious

Greg and I typically do not purchase Christmas gifts for one another .... maybe a few little things here or there but nothing big. We try to be smart with our money and only purchase things out of necessity. Which is why when we saw 52 inches of liquid crystal high defilicious (as Greg calls it) we decided the price was right and we owed it to ourselves so we bought a new 52 inch flat screen for Christmas. (I like to think of it as boosting the economy)

I have to say I LOVE our new TV. I never thought of myself as a TV person much less than a HDTV person... but WOW is there a huge difference. I want to watch every movie I have ever watched all over again so I can watch it in HD.

Now, when we purchased our TV we did not have cable. We have not had cable for years because we were not watching much TV and we thought we would be frugal and not waste money. Well,...... we couldn't have a brand new 52 inch TV and only watch PBS... what a waste. So, we recently had Direct TV installed with the new HD package. (which by the way we did some calling around and we were able to get our local calling, long distance, DSL AND Direct TV through Cincinnati Bell for the same price as we were paying for phone and DSL through AT&T. I felt much better because we didn't step too far out of our frugal mentality)

Watching TV has now gone to a new level in our home. Watching American Idol we can see every pore on everyone's face. (not that it is a good thing to see each pore, but you get the idea) It feels as if everyone is standing in our front room performing for us. You can see each blade of grass on the football fields.

All of this is really good stuff.... but I have to say that the BEST part.....and this is something a lot of people have been enjoying for quite some time now (which shows how long we have been living in the stone age) is the DVR. I absolutely LOVE the DVR. I am recording shows left and right and I watch them when I am ready to not when the TV tells me I am ready. I love to fast forward through commercials and rewind if I didn't hear something quite right.

I hope it is the winter blahs that is making me watch so much TV recently... or the fact that American Idol, Heroes, Lost AND Survivor are all new and just started back up in full force. If you haven't heard from me in a few weeks you may want to come looking for me.... (hint: I would check my couch before hiring any scent dogs).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

I personally felt we actually had a Valentines Day this year. Not that we don't typically do the normal "out to dinner and movie date night" each year for Valentines Day, but this year it was a little different.

It started out a few weeks ago when we started to do the Love Dare study together as a couple. Although we are working on our 18th year together as husband and wife there is ALWAYS room to grow. We have definitely grown together as a couple over the past couple weeks. This study has made us take a deeper look at how we treat one another on a daily basis. Everyone knows you should treat the ones you love with utmost respect and love, however in reality sometimes that isn't the case. Even if your heart is in the right place, and your road is paved with good intentions, if respect and appreciation falls away from a relationship there will be consequences to follow.
Greg and I have studied one another and are re-visiting places in our marriage we have not visited since we were dating or newly married. Sometimes you lose sight after being married for a while of how important the simple things are. Such as greeting each other at the door with a kiss and a smile, TELLING your spouse you love them and why, doing little things for your spouse to show you were thinking of them, and the biggest one of all is to not speak negatively to one another. It is amazing how much negativity is spoken when you are not paying attention. Long story short we are enjoying our study as well as enjoying the time spent making one another feel loved.

Greg and I also participated in a "not so" Newlywed game at church this weekend for 3 services. I was a nervous wreck for nearly 2 weeks prior to our debut, however now that it is over I can honestly say we had a great time. We were on stage with two other couples who are friends of ours and we had a lot of fun on and off stage. Mike Roop was the host of the show and he made the experience feel like a fun game amongst friends. (being played in front of thousands of people) :)
Here are a few of the questions asked:

Wives: what is your husbands dream car? I wrote "Mustang" and Greg wrote "AC Cobra". Little did I know the AC Cobra was made by Mustang and we got the answer right.

Husbands: What is your wife's prize possession? Greg wrote "Bird"...... I was rather surprise because although I do love Doby I am not so sure he is my PRIZE possession. I wrote my photos. :)

Wives: What is the best gift you have ever given your husband? I wrote "our son which I gave him on his birthday".... Greg wrote "dog". We got a pretty good laugh from the audience on that one.

Wives: what is your husbands favorite meal? I wrote "Chicken Enchiladas" Greg wrote "cheesy chicken roll up things".... more laughs and the judges let us have it. :)

Husbands: What is the first movie you and your spouse saw together? We both wrote Bird on a Wire.

Husbands: What time is it when your spouse leaves the house? Time to clean? Time to party? or time to nap? Greg and I both wrote nap.

We won 2 out of 3 services and it was a lot of fun. I think our luck came from the shirts we purchased from the Christian Book Store... mine said "I love my husband" and Greg's said "I love my wife" :) This game gave us the opportunity to reminisce about our first date and when we first met. I couldn't think of a better way to spend Valentines weekend.

Due to our crazy schedule this weekend we were not able to have our traditional Valentines Day family dinner until Sunday night. Every year since Leslie was very young I have taken conversational hearts and glued them to the outside of our glasses to decorate the table for Valentines Day. It is something that has stuck (literally) and now it just isn't Valentine's Day if we don't drink red Kool aid out of our glasses with hearts glued to them. We had our traditional Lady and the Tramp romantic meal of spaghetti and meatballs by candle light with our conversational glasses :). This year my dad joined us since he and Greg went gun shopping together earlier in the day. We were blessed with his presence at the table this year which made it all that more special.

Here is a picture of our Valentine's Dinner last year... this year looked very similar. :)

To top it off Greg and I have reservations at the Melting Pot tomorrow night for our romantic dinner for 2.

I sat this weekend during prayer with the worship team before the services and thanked God for the blessings of Love He has given me. I am married to a wonderful man whom I fall in love with all over again each day. I have watched my grandmother's and my father lose the love of their lives not to mention numerous friends who have lost their spouses and yet I still have mine. (Today would have been my grandpa Hoff's 86th birthday) I never want to take Greg for granted or to think or speak an unkind word to him. I have been to funerals for friends who have lost their children, some before they were even born, and yet I have 2 beautiful loving children whom I love with all my heart. I never want to take my time with anyone I love for grated. Life is so precious and 0ur time here on earth is so short; all God asks of us is to love one another. I believe this Valentine's Day has been a soul searching Valentines Day for me.... I have many in my life that I love and I thank God every day for each of you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Definition of a snow storm

Since I wrote my last blog entry I started reading this book. In the first chapter of the book I read a paragraph I think should be the definition of snow storm if you were to look it up in the dictionary.

Here is the paragraph:

There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry.

Isn't that perfect?? I knew I loved snow days, but I couldn't really put my finger on why. I knew I loved the kids being home with me but there was always more to it. Now I know it is because my heart is giddy and merry due to the release of expectations, commitment and schedules. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2009 Winter Storm

This is a photo of our deck in our back yard. We had quite the snow storm last week here in Ohio. We had two snow days for schools as well as two days of delays. Even Greg was home with us, we were amazed Wright Patterson Air Force Base was closed. He had one day of a delay as well. It made for a fun week of kicking back and watching the snow fall as a family.

Here is Greg hard at work clearing off the drive way. We received 3 inches of snow and then about a half inch of ice with another 4-5 inches on top of that. Greg had his work cut out for him even with a snow blower.
Murphy at first didn't like the snow. We had to push him out the back door to get him out to potty. After a little while, seeing the snow was not hurting the rest of us, he decided it wasn't all that bad.
This is Nick's favorite part. He LOVES ice cycles, the bigger the better. He had fun going out and pulling them down after the storm had ended and the temperatures started to warm up.

Here Nick is with his big ice cycle.

We enjoyed the time off and the nice break from school and work however it makes going back to the regular schedule all that much harder. We have a full work and school week this week. :( Although there is a silver lining to all of this. We are out of calamity days in our school district. If we get anymore snow days we will have to make them up at the end of the year. Sooooo, although we love the time off..... I would MUCH rather have the time off in June when the sun is shining and it is warm. :)

These pictures have nothing to do with the snow storm .....but I like the pictures, they make me smile so I am going to share. :)

Although winter can be long at times in Ohio I wouldn't change it for the world. I think living in Ohio has helped me appreciate each season God has give us. Just as a season is about to end I get restless and long for the next season to be upon us.

Very similar to life in general... I get restless at times in the seasons of my life and I want to push God to move me along to the next season. Sometimes I move to the next season without a hitch and sometimes God feels I need to stay in some seasons longer than others. Sometimes there are seasons of financial hardships, seasons of suffering the loss of loved ones, seasons of endless days of "can something please go right today?" but just like the long days of winter.... the sweet smell of spring is just around the corner. God is always there to remind me that He loves me and He would never leave me. This too will pass... you can do it... hang in there. Most of the time these words are spoken through my family or friends, and sometimes He is so clear through His word that it is as if He sat in my front room and spoke them to me Himself.

I embrace some seasons more than others.... but if it were not for the long days of winter...I wouldn't appreciate all the sweetness that comes along in the spring.

King Solomon wrote it well: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Thank you Lord for all my life and in this wonderful state I call home. OH.....:)

This is a video of others who have been through their own seasons of suffering and God pulled them through.