Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look what MINE can do!

* Caution: Mother's bragging post*

I am using this blog as an avenue to brag about our children. I have never been one of those parents who always had the most up to date photo of their children when they bumped into old friends while at the grocery. Which is odd because I am a photo fanatic, but regardless I have one picture in my wallet and it is one of Leslie when she was in first grade. I have no clue why this is the only picture in my wallet... it just is.

I now have a blog, and I choose to brag about my kids here.... maybe I will make little cards to carry around with my blog address on it for when I bump into old friends. "Hi, great to see you again... no, sorry, I don't have any pictures of my children.. but HERE take this card and you can read my blog and know everything there is to know about me AND see all kinds of pictures of my kids...... Kinda creepy actually... never mind.

On with my bragging...... Nick and Leslie both took creative classes this year during their first semester in school. Leslie was in ceramics and Nick was in
wood shop.

Around Christmas time I became very excited when both our children told us we would be getting our Christmas gifts late this year because they were not finished with them. I could not wait to see what they had been working on.

Before Christmas Nick made this rocking horse.....

His class made them and then gave them to needy children in the
Centerville area. They were given the chance to purchase one if they wanted which I jumped on right away (not the horse, but the opportunity to purchase one). How sweet will this be for him to give to his children some day?

Leslie teased us as well with a hand made salsa bowl before Christmas. We eat salsa and chips a lot so this will be used continually in our home. We loved it and were very excited to see what else was to come.

This is our Christmas gift from Nick. It is a small table/chair/stool.

AND it has its own handle when it folds down. Very cool.

We have used it so much already just in our front room alone. We use it to set our laptops on it... food on it...
TV remotes on it. It is so cool to use it and think of Nick making it with his own hands.

This is what we
received from Les. It is one of the most beautiful tea sets I have seen. So original
and creative. The leaves and vines are so pretty and she did a great job making the cups so smooth. I cannot wait to sit outside this summer and drink some lemonade with our new hand made pitcher and cups that our daughter made for us with her own two hands.

Les still has one more item she has been working on. I will post pictures later after she brings it home.

Greg and I could burst with pride over our 2 kids. They are great kids both inside and out. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for them. Each time I get sad a little thinking about the days of when they were little being so far behind us, I get a little glimpse of what their future holds. Seeing them grow into the young lady and young man they are now makes me excited to see the adults they will be before long.

We know they are not perfect... as we are not perfect in raising them, but we sure have been very blessed as parents. We were dealt a very good hand. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This weekend at Southbrook Charlie talked about achieving excellence in everything we do and everything we do to be done for the Lord. I started out listening to the service thinking "Ah ha....finally something I am good at......I am on track with this one... I work really hard to do things well"

Further into the service however , I realized my achieving to perform at a level of excellence was not at all what I thought it was. I was achieving perfectionism. I have always known I was a perfectionist, but never thought about how corrupt this characteristic is.


For perfectionists, life is an endless report card on accomplishments. A one-way ticket to unhappiness, perfectionism is typically accompanied by depression. What makes perfectionism so toxic is that while those in its grip desire success, they are most focused on avoiding failure, so theirs is a negative orientation. And love isn't a refuge; in fact, it feels way too conditional on performance.

Me operating in perfection mode is exhausting.

If I allow an endless circle of those limiting thoughts to ramble through my head for even just a few seconds, I start to believe it and shut myself down.

I am organizing my thoughts tonight (of course I am...being a perfectionist and all) I use this blog as a therapy tool at times and tonight happens to be one of those times.

A few things about me:

I am a very task oriented person. I like to "do" things. If I am focused on a task I sometimes ignore all other responsibilities until this task is done. I like to make lists and I like crossing things off my list even more.

Accomplishing tasks makes me happy. I feel joy after cleaning the kitchen, finishing the laundry, completing all there is to do at work in one day or planning a kick butt vacation. I can look back upon those tasks and feel good about my accomplishments... I have affirmation.

Having a lot on my list of things I feel are important to do will stress me out to no end. Most of which are not at all important but I feel they are, therefore I feel they need to be done. Sometimes I feel I overlook opportunities to grow emotionally to grab onto a task to cross off the list.

I am not always in this task mode... not sure where the light switch is and how to turn it off.

I feel I have a big heart. I have a lot of love in my heart for people, however I struggle to show it with my heart. I am fantastic showing you I care by "doing" something for you. I can DO all day long. I feel the reason I "DO" so easily is because I can rate or grade my doing. Especially if it is something I do on a regular basis for my family. It is like a check list and I work my way down the list. I do these things on my list out of love because I love my family, however while working my way down my tasks of love sometimes the feeling of love is lost in the mix. I fall short showing I love with my emotions. Myself (or tasks) can come across as passionless, uptight, and uncaring.

This is weighing very heavy on my heart this week. I cannot express in words how much my family means to me and to think my actions could tell them anything other than "I love you" troubles me. Plus, if my family gets this vibe... what on earth am I showing to those who don't even know me? Certainly not God's love.

My faith hasn't been the strongest recently... a lot of doubts have crept into my mind and have reeked havoc. I will not waiver from what I know to be truth. I know that through Christ all things are possible and if I have any hope at all in letting go of this toxic characteristic it is through Him.

Wheew, Ok I am going to shut up now. I can now begin to work on these thoughts to turn negative, toxic, perfectionism into Godly excellence.

I pray God works through me to allow me to show all the love I have inside me not only through deeds but through my words, attitude and my actions. I want to have a messy house and not care, I want to sit and watch a movie with my family and not think about 101 things I feel need to be done. I want to replace the joy of accomplishing tasks with the joy of sitting lazily talking and spending time with those I love more.

This will be a long road.... a very messy road indeed. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentines Day

Well, for those of you who know me, know I am a sucker for the holidays.... any holiday. From the time Leslie was almost 1 year old we have been celebrating Valentines Day the same way each year. I glue conversational hearts to the outside of our glasses and we drink red or pink Koolaid out of them. I make spaghetti and meatballs (like Lady and the Tramp) for our meal and we usually eat by candle light as a family.

Here is a picture of how our table looked last year.....

and the year before that......

This is how our table looked THIS year......

Our table was a Rokenbok world and there wasn't room for even a candle.

Soooooooo, this is how we ate our Valentines Day dinner of 2010.

I must say I was proud of myself because several years ago this would not have worked. We would have HAD to take down the Rokenbok in order to have our "traditional" dinner. Traditions are only as special as the people you share them with and I would eat a Valentines dinner anywhere with these special people. :)

I remember certain holidays where I have had complete melt downs due to things not turning out as I had planned them in my mind. One year I rushed and rushed to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmothers house when Leslie was a baby.... you know how hard it is to get ready with a baby who inevitably vomits or poops themselves 12 times before you get out the door.

We were nearly late and I was a nervous wreck.... I felt everything needed to be PERFECT and I had all these grand ideas in my head of some kind of Thomas Kinkade holiday. We pulled into the driveway late... I rushed out of the car carrying my green bean casserole and dropped it in the middle of the driveway. Green beans, mushrooms soup and glass splattered all over the driveway and all over me. I burst into tears, ran into my grandmothers house and sat on her bed for nearly 30 minutes crying while my mom calmed me down. I then came to dinner with very red eyes and everyone staring at me like I was an idiot... which I was.

I feel God has a great sense of humor..... I think he was looking down on me that day and was thinking to himself " this young lady has no clue how blessed she is... she is missing out on the entire meaning of this day. Have some busted up green bean casserole.... relax and enjoy your family."

He probably didn't REALLY think that... but I think it would be funny if he had. Either way I learned a valuable lesson.

Greg and the kids have tolerated me dressing everyone up like dolls for Easter, coloring eggs, making Christmas cookies and even coloring our mashed potatoes green for St. Patricks Day. I must say we did none of the above this past year and surprisingly enough our holidays were still just as wonderful. (St. Patricks Day is coming up though)

Here is a picture of a cupcake my dad made for me. He brought us all over cupcakes with our faces on them... super cute.

I am blessed with many wonderful valentines .... AND we had a wonderful Valentines Day dinner.... tv trays and all. Hope yours was too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Today while in church we sang a song which made my heart soar. It is one of my favorites and it brings great joy to me each and every time we sing it. You can hear the song on You Tube if you click HERE.

Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?

Did you feel the mountains tremble?
Did you hear the oceans roar?
When the people rose to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

Did you feel the people tremble?
Did you hear the singers roar?
When the lost began to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

And we can see that God you're moving
A mighty river through the nations
And young and old will turn to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring your hope
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice

Did you feel the darkness tremble?
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokeness

And here we see that God you're moving
A time of Jubilee is coming
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

This song makes me move both physically and spiritually. I will be one of those people dancing in the streets... God gave me the joy of dancing. If there is music playing.... I am moving. I can't see Him giving me this desire only to dance while I clean the house or to only dance once a year at the 107.7 Retro Prom. I WILL be dancing in heaven and it will be explosive.

This song gives me hope... hope of a place where all are happy. No hunger, no pain, no suffering or sadness. A place where loved ones will reunite and enemies embrace. A place where there will be no judgement or condemnation from people who have no right to condemn. This song makes me smile and rejuvenates my Hope.

I watched a very dear friend under go breast cancer surgery this past week. As I sat with her family in the waiting room while she was in surgery I was in a constant state of prayer. Prayer for the doctors, prayer for my friend, prayer that God would find it in His timing to allow us to hear good news from the surgeons. I had Hope.

As the surgeon came out of surgery I watched her son and husband walk over to hear the news. I am sure it felt like an eternity walking across the room to the surgeon. Those of us waiting behind watched the reaction on their face to find out if it was good news. We saw smiles and felt a rush of emotions. Surgery was a success and she was going to be OK; tears of joy were shed.

We all need hope. Hope of hearing good news, hope of the interview going well, hope of our families staying healthy, hope of a lasting marriage, hope of finding that special someone, hope of a lasting job, hope of being accepted, hope of tomorrow being a better day.

God gives us the ultimate hope.

Titus 1:2
A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time....

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

During those times in our lives when things are not going so great He reminds us this is not all that there is. We do not have to wait for the surgery to be over to know the outcome. He has gone before us and our hope is in Him. We are free to live life because we know how the story ends....

...... If we are free to live for Him shouldn't there be a lot more love amongst us? Shouldn't we be living our lives grateful for the price of eternal life? Shouldn't there be a lot more grace?

Today I choose optimism, I choose forgiveness, I choose love and I choose hope over anything this world can try to give.

Some day I will dance upon injustice, I will sing songs that bring me joy and I cannot wait to feel those mountains tremble. How 'bout you?