Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mindy

I meant to do this yesterday, but didn't get to it. I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my sister, Mindy. She's one of my favoritest people, and she is also beautiful and kind.

A Very Special Sister
For many years we've shared our lives
One roof we once lived under
Sometimes we laughed, sometimes we cried
Through winter storms and thunder
The younger years have faded fast
We've gone our separate ways
But through all time our friendship lasts
Our bond in life remains
As summer brings the happy times
The autumn winds will whisper
A closer friend I'd never find
Than the one I call my Sister.

Love this quote!

Share your faith every day. Use words when necessary.

Also, our small group is going to be meeting until June, which I'm so excited about. I thought it was going to end next week, since we finished the book. But Pastor Paul said we'd go on until June, if everyone wanted to. I've loved having small group with Paul and Jini, so this makes me really happy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Ever Elusive Six Pack

I started working out with my good friend Shaun T. today. I figured I better get in shape if I'm really going to be a supermodel. You know, when Tyra calls for me to be on the top model show, I don't want to be one of the plus size models. Speaking of, those plus size models are probably about a size 8, which . . . come on! That's not plus size!!!

So anyway, not quite a year ago I bought the Hip Hop Abs DVD's, and I did them every single day for a month or so. I don't think I lost any weight, or any inches, and so I got discouraged and quit. But what I'm realizing now is that even without losing anything, my body was still in pretty good shape. My belly wasn't anywhere near as flabby as it is right now. Which means I don't know if I can blame the belly flab on Ethan anymore. Which also means that I need to think of someone new to blame it on.

I'm going to weigh and measure myself today, and then try again for a month. I'm hoping this time I'll lose something, since I'm starting off a few pounds heavier. I have a good excuse for that, though. For a couple months, my brain thought I was a bear. And bears hibernate. So it was sending me messages that I needed to eat. A lot. So I did, because you gotta listen to your brain. Now if the kids would just let me sleep it off for a couple of months, everything would work out smashingly.

I am so uncreative

For softball this year, we're getting new jerseys, and someone suggested we have nicknames on the back of our jerseys. I think this is a fun idea, but I have no nickname for myself. I've never really thought of one, and I can't think of one now. So help me! What's a fun nickname for me? Does anyone have any ideas? Anything at all? HELP!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Good Old Days--Address Books

My "Good Old Days" goal for this week, is to update my address book. This could be a big job, because there are friends that I've lost touch with, who I no longer have the correct address for, and will now have to find their address. I would like to start writing letters every once in awhile, and it's a good idea to have a nice, updated address book for this.

So, if you'd like to join me this week, you're welcome to think up your own "good old days" idea, or you can join me in mine. If you don't have an address book, go out and buy a pretty one, and then start entering in your friends and family.

For part two this week, I'm going to write a letter to someone who I haven't talked to in a few months, just to get started with the letter writing.

"Life's Not Fair"

I was reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and I had one of those "ah ha" moments. There was a part in the book that told this story:

There was a priest in a small parish who loved his people, and they loved him. He was doing God's work quite effectively. So effectively that two demons were assigned by Satan to pester him and try to derail his ministry. They tried every method they knew, but nothing worked. The priest seemed beyond their reach. So they called a conference with the devil. "We've done everything we can think of," they said. Then Satan offered his advice, "It's quite easy. Bring him news that the brother has been made bishop."
The demons looked at each other. It seemed too simple, but it was worth a try. Several weeks later, they gleefully returned. The priest hadn't taken the happy news of his brother's promotion well at all. The man's former joy had been turned to moping. His encouraging words turned to grumbling and gloom. In a short time, the man's vibrant ministry had been destroyed by the green worm of envy and the black cloud of disappointment. The bitter conclusion that "it's not fair".

As I read that story, I thought how very, very often this happens in life. When I focus on myself and the Lord, I'm happy. My life is exactly as it should be. It's when I turn and look at other people, and think they just might have it easier, or better than me. If I look at someone and see how easily they make new friends, and how they always seem to have something interesting to say. And then I can start to get discouraged, because I'm not like that at all. And then I could start thinking that life's just not fair. And I've gone from being happy with myself and my life, to being grumpy because things could be better--just look at her life!

I have a very dear friend, who has said a few times that if certain people can be saved and go to Heaven, she's not sure she wants to go there. This is a little more extreme than the day to day things, but I think it illustrates a good point. How often do we deprive ourselves of something because of someone else? Who would it punish if she decided she didn't want to go to Heaven because of others? Only herself.

Imagine there are two artists, who both very much enjoy painting and making beautiful art. One of the artists gets a lot of praise for their work, and everyone loves it. The other one goes along unnoticed most of the time. So the second decides that there's no reason to even paint anymore, because nobody cares anyway. They are depriving themselves of something they love, because instead of looking inward at the joy their art brings, they are looking at the credit or glory someone else is getting. And the jealousy monster rears it's ugly head. Just like the story in the beginning.

So my goal is to focus less on everybody else, and just focus on the great life God has given me. Because it is great. It may be very different from a lot of people I know. But that doesn't make it any less. Not in God's eyes, anyway.

Should I stop blogging because I'm not witty and fascinating like other bloggers? Or because compared to the hundreds who visit their blogs, I have one or two? Nope, cause I enjoy it. And that's all that matters.

Boys playing

Here's a video of the boys, playing on the floor. They do this all the time, when they're not fighting (mainly Ethan crying and hitting Kevin). You can hear Friends in the background. I don't know why we always seem to have the TV on when we do videos. It's a little embarrassing. You'd think we watch TV all the time, but we really don't. 6-7 at night is Friends time, though.

Pictures from the past couple weeks

Kevin climbed into Ethan's high chair, but unfortunately for him, he got stuck. Troy got a good kick out of this one.

The boys are always hugging and Kevin gives Ethan rides on his back a lot. It's so cute.

Here's Kevin in his new coat from J.C. Penney. (the one we got an awesome deal on) Isn't he just the cutest?

Ethan was all smiles in his high chair, blowing kisses and all that cute stuff. So I grabbed the camera, and this was his reaction. Stinker!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I am a weakling

Well, we did it. We finally moved our computer upstairs into our bedroom. We had to do some rearranging of other furniture to make it work. We moved the secretary into the living room, moved Troy's dresser where the secretary was, and then put the computer desk where his dresser was. And I realized, I'm not the muscle woman I thought I was. Every time I look in the mirror, I think "man, who is that buff lady?" And then I remember it's me. But apparently, all the muscles are just for looks, because bringing that computer desk upstairs just about killed me. But we got it all settled, and here I am typing without feeling the need for a coat, scarf, and gloves. And a blanket.

Troy and I (and his Dad and brothers) went target shooting today, so I could try out my new gun. I love it so much! It's really fun to shoot.

Okay, I have to come clean. I'll reveal my true mirror story. One time I was walking into Albertsons, and I saw a reflection of a woman in the windows. I thought it was a little weird that her outfit was exactly the same colors as mine, but then I thought (I don't know why, don't ask) that she was a bit heavier than me, so I was feeling pretty good about myself. And then I realized it was me.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I finally went in to get my Utah drivers license. Boy, what a good time that was. After sitting for 2 hours on their uncomfortable chairs, waiting for my number to get called, I finally got to go up. Then the lady sat there chatting with the guy next to her, instead of processing my application. No wonder they're so slow! When she said to do the eye test thing, I had to look in a little machine (instead of the one on the wall that I've always done). The letters on the right were really blurry. What in the heck? I've always had better than 20/20 vision. I guessed at the letters, and was right, so I at least passed the eye test. I'm wondering what's going on, though. It seems like lately every once in awhile my eyes will hurt and things will be a bit blurry. I haven't felt very well, so that could be the cause (I hope). I really, really don't want to have to get glasses ever, because I look like a bug when I wear them.

And then, as if the 2 hour wait wasn't enough, she told me I had to take a written exam. Troy didn't have to take one when he got his license, so I'm convinced this lady just thought I looked like a good torture victim. I got 100%, because I'm really smart like that, and also it was open book. Finally, after all that, she took my picture for my license. Who is going to look good after almost 3 hours at the DMV, I ask you? Certainly not me, but that's what driver's license pictures are for, right? To show us just how horrible we can look.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Marie Antoinette--review

Well, I must say I have some mixed feelings on the movie, Marie Antoinette. It had all kinds of potential. It could have been a wonderful movie. But there was no story there. There was no meaningful dialogue. No delving deeper into the characters thoughts or actions, which incidentally produces no caring about the characters. When the movie ended, I was still waiting for the point. They didn't even behead her, for heaven sakes! Which would have at least been something.
With all that said, I actually very much enjoyed watching the movie. The only reason I can think of is because it was pretty. So many pretty dresses. Such pretty scenery. Is that all it takes to entertain me? Maybe so. There was one particular part of the movie, where she was at her country estate (or whatever it's called) with her daughter that I thought was extra stunning. I had a hard time finding any pictures of it, though.

So, I would recommend this movie to you if you absolutely love period dramas. Or if you love pretty dresses from that time. That's really all there is to redeem this movie, and if that's enough for you, go rent it. I got my copy from the library, so I didn't even have to pay, which is the best way to do it (if you can avoid late fines).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

99 Balloons

This video is so precious! What a wonderful reminder that our children are a beautiful gift from God. And every day with them is a gift.

A Good Attitude

While reading Mansfield Park, I came across this passage:

"Their road was through a pleasant country; and Fanny, whose rides had never been extensive, was soon beyond her knowledge, and was very happy in observing all that was new, and admiring all that was pretty. She was not often invited to join in the conversation of the others, nor did she desire it. Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions; and, in observing the appearance of the country, the bearings of the roads, the difference of soil, the state of the harvest, the cottages, the cattle, the children, she found entertainment that could only have been heightened by having Edmund to speak to of what she felt."

I just thought it was a lovely attitude. Not only is she finding beauty and being entertained by everything around her, but she finds contentment within herself and her own thoughts.

Mrs. Winterbourne / Movies

After paying a $13 fine at the library today, I decided that method wasn't working so well for movies. It's a $1 per day fine when we forget to bring movies back, so when we have a bunch out, and I forget even one day, it all adds up. So I'm doing the Netflix free trial, and then I'll decide from there if it's worth it. Troy and I usually use Redbox when we rent movies for ourselves, but sometimes that's a pain, and they don't have the most wonderful selection.
So, with the Netflix plan I'm trying they have movies you can watch instantly on your computer. I watched Mrs. Winterbourne this afternoon. I had seen it a long time ago, but couldn't remember it. I thought it was pretty cute. It made me remember back to my teenage years when I had the hugest crush on Brendan Fraser. My best friend and I used to watch Encino Man so often that we had it memorized. I think he still cleans up pretty well. :D

Also, I'm trying to figure out how I could move my computer desk upstairs. It's just ridiculous having it downstairs in my freezing basement (which is probably in the 50's). When we first moved in, I thought I'd have it downstairs, and then it would make me not spend as much time on it. I think the first winter here, that worked. But now I just live with the cold, cause I want to use my darn computer! It's not pleasant. But I can't really figure out a good place upstairs for it. If we could just get the basement finished, that would solve everything.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good Old Days

I've been thinking lately about how much I like to look at old pictures, like the ones at the top of my blog. How much I love movies like Anne of Green Gables, and any movie based on Jane Austen's books. I love older time periods, and I was trying to figure out why, and I think it's because times were simpler. And I think the women back then made better use of their time. There were no TV's or computers (neither of which I could give up). They wrote letters, visited with each other, went for walks . . . It just seems like those things could bring more satisfaction in life than a lot of things that we indulge in today.

When's the last time I went for a walk, just as a form of entertainment? To look at the flowers, or the different kinds of trees. Or the last time I sat down and wrote a letter to someone on pretty stationery?

So, I'm going to start something new. Each Monday I'm going to post just one thing I (and you, if you'd like to join me) can do to bring a little bit of the good old days into my life. This isn't some huge goal where I'm trying to build up habits, and get rid of modern things, because I like the modern stuff too. I couldn't blog here without my computer, obviously. It's just one thing each week, doing some of the old things that seem to be falling by the wayside. If you'd like to join me, feel free!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jane Austen on PBS

We (okay, I) watched Northanger Abbey on PBS last night. I had read the book a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite by J.A., but I couldn't really remember much about the book (which might have been a good thing). I did find out that I've been saying it wrong all these years. I thought it was pronounced like Northanjer. But apparently it's like North anger (as in, I'm angry). These things are important to know.

Anyway, I decided before next week's show, which is Mansfield Park, that I'd read the book ahead of time. So we'll see if I can get through it before next Sunday. Good times! Oh yeah, I thought Northanger Abbey last night was pretty good. They obviously left out quite a bit of detail, but it was nice, given that it was only an hour and a half.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friends and family blogs

For all my millions of readers, this post is just for my own personal use, so move on down to the next post. Or, if you find me a little bit crazy, and want to know where that craziness stems from, check out the following blogs.

Howell Family
Dad and Mom
Jason and Dallas
Geoff and Belicia

Most excellent shopping trip

Today we went out for lunch at Astro Burger, and proceeded to eat probably about 3 hundred--- no thousand, okay, million calories each. So we decided we'd go somewhere to walk it off, and where better than the mall? We went to JC Penney, since they were advertising a clearance sale, and boy was it a good sale! We bought a bunch of clothes for Troy and the kids for less than $40. The cashier told us we had saved $179. Niiiiiiiiice. So as we were walking out we saw some newborn baby coats on clearance, and since I have a sweet, new little nephew, we had to buy that too. So we had to make another trip to the cash register for that one. After that I told Troy not to look at anything else! Eyes facing front until we get out of the store. But what do you know? Troy found an excellent deal on a coat for Kevin while we were on our way out. It was around $7 for a $70 or so coat. And then while we were doing that I figured I better get a coat for Ethan for next year. You know, while we were there. So after 3 trips to the register, we hurried out of the store, so as to avoid further tempation. Who knew JC Penney had such awesome sales? I did not.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Verse of the day

I was looking at my side things (here on my blog), at the scripture of the day, and it said this:

He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing. (Job 8:21)

I really needed that today. I feel like there are certain things (sometimes people) that are dragging me down, or pulling me back from God, rather. It's not a good feeling, and I know God has better for me. At small group last night, we were talking about a chapter about Heaven, and we went around the room and said what we were most looking forward to. I said just belonging. No more people telling me that I'm wrong, no more people telling me how disappointed they are in me. Just an utter sense of belonging, and being exactly where I should be, with Jesus. Sometimes I can't wait.

Pastor Paul said he imagines sometimes a big Italian wedding, where there's laughing and loving and lots of good food, and the guest of honor is Jesus, and nobody is worrying about anybody else. We're all just enjoying ourselves and happy to be there honoring Jesus. I kind of like that picture.

Ramblins on bein the mama

I was just thinking today how good I really have it. I love spending time with my kids. I love it when Kaitlyn is off school, and we all have the whole day together. It's so nice laying on the couch with Ethan, and taking a nap together. Of course, I always think I could be doing a better job. I could be more patient, I could be different. But I'm trying to get rid of that kind of thinking. I am exactly the kind of mom God made me to be. He's in charge, and He knows what He's doing. My kids know that I love them, and that I like to be with them, and I do my best to teach them about God, so I feel like I'm probably doing okay. I'm really looking forward to doing the Mary and Martha Bible study, cause I feel like that can help me even more.

I've also decided that I'm going to do a better job of keeping the house clean. Troy works hard all day at work, so that our family will have everything we need. We have our beautiful house, and it's up to me to keep it beautiful, and a haven for our family.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Having a Mary Heart

I just started going to a new women's bible study this morning. We're doing it with the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. I'm really excited about this. I love making new friends, and this'll be a great chance to meet some. My Knowing God small group has almost made it's way through that book, so it'll be over soon. I've met some wonderful people there, and I've loved it (and will definitely miss it), so hopefully this women's bible study will be good too. And also I'm just looking forward to reading the book and the parts of the Bible that go along with the study. I think it's a subject that will be really meaningful to me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Gun

Troy and I went with his Dad and some brothers to the gun show this last weekend. I showed Troy this Beretta Neo that I've wanted for awhile. He's got way more guns than me, so it's definitely my turn for another one. So, for what I'm going to call an early Valentines Day present, he ordered it for me. I should be getting it in a week or so, and then we can go do some fun target shooting.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Things I learned in 2007

I learned about unconditional love, or Christ-like love. It's about loving someone for who they are, not who you wish they were. It's not loving someone in spite of something, it's loving them because of everything they are.

I learned that even while feeling immeasurable joy, it's possible to feel sadness at the same time. I've felt joy beyond words for things gained, but sadness for relationships that will never be the same.

I learned that through everything, Troy is my rock here on Earth. He is everything he promised me he'd be 8 years ago. He is with me through good times and bad, for better or for worse. He has loved me unconditionally, and I know he always will. There are few things better than having that comfort. And that's enough for me.

I learned that God loves me more than I can fathom. If ever I feel completely alone, I can look to God, and He is there. If ever I wonder why things are the way they are, I can take comfort in the fact that everything is for His purpose and His glory. And that's enough for me.

I have learned that it's not about me at all. It's all about Him. I am, if God wills it, a mirror to reflect His glory. There is no glory for me. There never has been and there never will be. It's all His. I am for Him. I am His. If anything will ever give my life purpose, that is it. I have learned to pray each day to reflect the light and glory that can only be God's, and that someday I may kneel at His feet after I die. And that's enough for me.

I have learned the secret of being content in any situation. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Thank you Jesus, for this last year. Forever, thank you!

My husband

I recently signed some papers that Troy had from work, for life insurance for me (should I die). And then Troy asked me today if I'd like to go shooting next weekend. Should I be worried?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We are like the moon

From It's Not About Me by Max Lucado:

God does not exist to make a big deal out of us. We exist to make a big deal out of him. It's not about you. It's not about me. It's all about him.

The moon models our role.

What does the moon do? She generates no light. Contrary to the lyrics of the song, this harvest moon cannot shine on. Apart from the sun, the moon is nothing more than a pitch-black pockmarked rock. But properly positioned, the moon beams. Let her do what she was made to do, and a clod of dirt becomes a source of inspiration, yea, verily, romance. The moon reflects the greater light.

Ephesians 5:8-14 says:
8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

Holy Spirit

We had bible study tonight, and I just wanted to comment on something Jini said, because I thought it was pretty good. The first thing she said was "We have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn't have us." And then she gave a great analogy to explain what she meant.

Picture a room in your basement, that doesn't have any windows or anything, just cement walls on all sides. In this room, you've stored all your boxes. It's filled to the top with boxes. There's a single lightbulb at the top of the room that you turn on. The lightbulb represents the Holy Spirit, and the room is you. The boxes represent all your hangups, your weaknesses, basically things that keep you from being closer to God in your life. That lightbulb can only penetrate so far into the room, because the room is already filled with other things. As you remove boxes, the light can penetrate more and more into the room. So it is with our lives. As we remove those boxes, the Holy Spirit can fill us more and more.

Ephesians 5:18:
18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

If we want the Holy Spirit to have us, fully have us, we need to remove the other things from our lives. Make ourselves a vessel that can be filled by the Spirit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New word for the day

Today, while I was listening to music, part of the song said "Hallelujah" over and over. So Kevin started singing along. And it sounded just like this: How-wee-yoo-ya, How-wee-yoo-ya. It was awesome.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I Am Nothing

I was listening to one of my Jeremy Camp CD's today, and the song I Am Nothing came on. For some reason today, it just hit me so hard. It's not the first time I've heard the song, and I've loved it every time I heard it, but this time I couldn't stop the tears from coming. Here are the lyrics (and of course, it's so much more beautiful when you can hear the music and his voice):

He seems always in this place,
Where the things I seem to take,
Are the things I wish would fade
I always purpose in my heart,
Well to do things the right way,
Then I realize I’m still clay
And this piece that’s being shaped,
Will be a beauty you create
I am nothing without Your love
I’m unworthy but Your death has been enough
I’m completed by Your touch,
But I feel like I’ve been given so much so I thank You,
I thank You
I wouldn’t even face,
All the troubles of the day,
If it wasn’t for Your grace
Sometimes I even wait,
To see if I’m awake,
Seems so good I can’t relate
And Your every word I crave,
And I’m grateful for every breath I take
When I’m feeling all my shame,
You won’t let it stay,
I sail away into Your love
I’m taking every day,
To give my life away,
It’s the only way I know
I am nothing without Your love
I’m unworthy but Your death has been enough
I’m completed by Your touch,
But I feel like I’ve been given so much
I am nothing
You are everything
So I thank you. I thank you
Lord I thank you
I thank you

This is peace

Yesterday was just one of those days where everything comes together, and I can really see how good God is, and how good of a life He's given me. It started off with a wonderful church service. Being able to sing and praise God in singing is one of my favorite things in life. And I think that's the way God meant it to be. He gave us a heart to want to praise him. We also started a new sermon series, where we're focusing on 1 Corinthians. I'm really excited, because I love The Bible, and learning about what it says.

Then after we came home and had lunch, we started the fireplace, and the boys (including Troy) sat on the rug in front of it playing with blocks. I sat on the couch next to them reading The Bible. It's moments like this where you wish you could just hit pause. Life is so much more peaceful, and it's so much more easy to feel content when everybody's not running around all over the place, in all different directions. When you can just sit and relax, and feel the love of God and family.

So my goal for the week is to remember the feeling of contentment I felt yesterday, and then remember what Paul said in Philippians 4:12-13:

12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I have obviously been slacking in the blog posting department. I've been busy reading the Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers, which is so good it's hard to put down. That's about all I've got to say right now. Tomorrow I'll be more talky, maybe.