Sunday, November 30, 2014

About That Tree

Almost all my stuff is in storage. My Christmas decorations, gift wrap, yarn, craft stuff, most of our movies (we kept out Christmas ones), recipe books (BIG MISTAKE) and well, everything.

The family we are staying with recently acquired a love seat and sofa set, they have never had 2 units like this, so they are debating about whether or not to put up their big Christmas tree. I tried to help out in the over-all "Hey we could do it like this" conversation, but the husband is convinced it is too big .  He is talking about a little 3 footer maybe. I hope some sort of agreement is made. I love Christmas, I love a house decked out for it and well, so very much is already so weird and different that I would be sad if there wasn't some sort of Christmas decor.

He did string up lights outside yesterday, YAY! I love the lights most of all.

He isn't being a scrooge or anything, it's a space thing, although they have both admitted they hate putting it up and taking it down. I offered help, and now I have stepped out of the on going conversation.

In other news today is the last day of NoBloPoMo.
I made it.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

One More Time!

The month is nearly over! I blogged (nearly) everyday! I honestly didn't think I could make it. With all that has gone on this month, including another (very fast) move, I honestly thought I would just fizzle out mid-month, but here I am! Writing this post, and one more tomorrow.

Can you tell I am tired?

I actually have a lot to say about life right now, but there is this privacy thing, because most of my stuff right now involves other people, and well, perhaps they don't want their lives all over the interwebs.

Also, some stuff in the works needs to be kept quiet, for the sake of others, we aren't out to hurt anyone, quit the opposite, we need to protect. Nothing is a done deal anyway.

I feel like I am juggling...
but not some "easy" three perfectly weighted balls, oh no. I am juggling a chainsaw, a raw egg, and a live cat, and maybe a wine glass too, just to make it interesting.
I think maybe I also have an eye patch on.

Just be a duck. Let it roll off your back.
Let it go.
Roll with the punches.
God's bigger than this.
Don't worry, be happy.


Friday, November 28, 2014

So This Happened

After finishing a long over night shift at work (she works retail) my daughter entered her home, where she found us, her mom dad and little brother sitting in her living room.  She said a slight swear word under her breath. I expected it, she startles easily.
Ryan handed Spencer his phone and said here, it's on video.
Jenelle was heading across the room, but Ryan gentle grabbed her, "Come here".
"We're going to do this right now? I have to pee"

It's on the video, it will live on forever.

He took a knee and pulled out something sparkly from his pocket and asked my daughter to marry him.
She cried before the words got out of his mouth, and she said yes.

The wedding is in a month.

Sometimes the formal asking gets waylaid by a job that takes you away from home, and also from a maturing money CD that you have to wait for to buy the ring, because he is wise with money like that. 

We are happy, she's is very happy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Moment.

Just a moment to remember what we have to be grateful for...
1. Situations that make me prove I am really an adult.
2. Life's curve balls that keep me on my toes ...
3. and using my brain
4. Circumstances that lead to total dependance on God. I know some people think that the only way to be happy is to be self reliant, I think it only brings disaster. No one can do this life truly alone.
5. Moments that I have to make a conscience (and sometimes really hard) choice to be nice.
6. Times of utter confusion, and not jumping to conclusions.
7. Painful events that remind me I am alive, and be thankful for my health.
8. Big problems that remind me that little things are worthy to be grateful for as well.
9. Growth. Think about it, water that doesn't move and flow is stagnant and smelly and gross, and well, who wants that?
10.I am thankful for the things that build my character and faith, even if I feel I should be done by now.

May you have a gratitude filled Thanksgiving, and may blessings of joy find you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Big Thank You

A big thank you and shout out to my parents that raised me.
They had some practice before me, and I appreciate those siblings that went before me so my parents could practice before me, which is probably a good thing. :)

Life is weird and interesting and a roller coaster, you know the kind, you are exciterd and want to puke all at the same time while laughing? Yeah, kinda like that.

I am very grateful to have a place to go tomorrow, to fellowship and break bread and give thanks to God for all the blessings we have and will be given, even the hard ones. Even when the path we are one doesn't make any sense to us. I know it will all work out, to His glory and for our good.

I hope you know this.
It's not an easy lesson. One would rather stomp a foot and demand better.
One would indeed.

But then one learns to quiet herself down, and just roll with the punches.


Here I go, rolling.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ten On Tuesday!

Long ago my main focus of this blog was gratitude. I did a Ten On Tuesday list every week, specifically of thanksgiving and praise and gratitude. Giving a moment to declare thanks to God for blessings.  Gratitude has gotten me through most of the hard parts of my life, so considering all that is going on here is a TOT list!

1. My husband, my rock. We are in this together and we are for each other.
2. My kids, and their lives and adventures.
3. Friends. Safe friends specifically, that I can word purge the deep dark stuff and they will still love me.
4. Traditions, and flexibility to let some go sometimes....this year is complicated, nothing will be what we would consider normal or tradition. But that's okay, because we can still have fun, enjoy the season and do new things. We can alwasy return to old things another time.
5. Cream puffs.
6. Paper, pens, books, and whatnot.
7. Figuring out gifts, and using them. As in what one is gifted to do...
8. Figuring out gifts, as in what to give someone. :) I love giving presents. I may not be able to give all I want, or to as many as I want, but I do love it when I get to!
9. Vision. To literally see, and to see what's not seen, or is yet to be.
10. Grace and Mercy. We all need it.

Monday, November 24, 2014


It is with deep gratitude to God and those He has surrounded us with ....


A warm place to sleep
storage units
mostly working cars
clean clothes
essential oils
borrowed trucks
new jobs

Sunday, November 23, 2014

MIssed One, uh, Make That Two

Apparently I missed a day posting. Oops. I just noticed yesterday, the 22nd, that I only had 20 posts, I had no idea I missed. Well, one day I did know, I was at a hotel with no way to do anything. But the other? Brain melt I guess.

I am not perfect.
Neither are you, nope it's true, you aren't.
I am working on some stuff, even the stuff I don't want to.
You know the stuff...the things you don't want to admit about yourself outloud because it makes it more real, not that it can really hide, because there you are, and there it is, where is it going to go?

I took on this challenge, and I am not even sure why. Peer pressure?
Yeah, that's it, (except it wasn't directly).

I wanted to be part of the cool kids?
They were all doing it?

Could be.

I miss writing like I used to. I miss having something to say.

Some days I am just trying to survive, and there is nothing more I can say than, I AM STILL ALIVE!

Thanking God:
A room to share.
Food to eat
Clean water to drink
and Family, whether blood or not.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

1 Box,2 Box,3 Box, BREAK!

We didn't bring much with us, or so I thought. Just a fraction of what we own, just a small amount of plates/glasses, small kitchen appliances and mostly just clothing, food and work /school related stuff. One very small box of DVD's that was never unpacked. But somehow, I am exhausted packing this time. Maybe it's the amazing rainy weather. We are grateful for the rain in this drought, even if it slows us down and makes this even more difficult.

When we pull the big borrowed vehicle with the trailer in, it will be through mud, at both locations. We are looking at our storage unit knowing we have to re-arrange to get all of this in. Very little can with us this time. Clothes, and computers/schoolwork, and Aaron's work gear. Even that sounds like a lot for one bedroom. It is.

Maybe that's why God had me so interested in small houses, tiny houses, and all that. Less stuff, more living.

But in the mean time, we just need to get what we have left here packed up and moved out and put away.

My brain knows it, but my emotions and my body are in rebellion.

I am exhausted.

I am fighting, fighting being bitter that our "gentlemen's agreement" has been broken. I understand the weird circumstances, but it was broken just the same. I am fighting to not take on an attitude of "can't trust anyone", fighting to keep my head above water and not just sit and cry or pull the covers over my head and not come out. I'd rather make a blanket fort and eat popcorn and watch movies. I'd rather color in a coloring book and chat with long time friends. I'd rather do many, many other things than pack these boxes, again, and move, again. But I will do it, and I will fight it all off.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On The Move

We are re-packing our bags and boxes.
Circumstances have changed for the people we are living with and they need the space we are occupying back.
So we are moving out.

I was going to do a post about where we were, but now it doesn't matter.
A post on how I don't really have a kitchen but with a few small appliances, I was still able to cook healthy meals.

A post about the wonders of an electric kettle, a toaster oven and my amazing rice cooker, it has a "saute and simmer" button. It was essential for cooking real food.

But now everything goes in a box. Most will go into storage as just clothing and computers (bills, schoolwork and Aaron's work gear) come with us to share one bedroom all together in someone's home.

Am I grateful? Oh yes.
I had two offers, but one is so far away from the places we have to be several times a week (17 trips minimum) that the gas would break the bank. Another option I thought might be available just couldn't say yes because of their well going dry and their septic failing. That is a sad truth, they have a lot to face. These friends,  have a small house, but big hearts and will have the space ready by Monday for moving in. So that's where we will be.

A few days before Thanksgiving.
A week off school but full of rehearsals because we only have 2 weeks as of tomorrow until the show. And no, not everyone has a costume yet. No stress there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I lifted this right off of my friend Lori's blog. See?

"Life is chaotic. We run from one activity to the next, sometimes never taking the time to quiet our souls and reflect. Do you want to slow down? Calm your nerves? Change the atmosphere in your house? Soothe your soul? I have the pleasure of offering you an incredible musical experience that is designed to do those very things.

My good friend and incredible musician, Aaron Gayden, created Katoikeo, a gorgeous instrumental album. Filled with beautiful melodies, Katoikeo is perfect for background music at a dinner party or event, unwinding at the end of the day, or entering into a time of worship. The album is simply stunning and Aaron's talent shines brightly through.

You can purchase individual songs for just 0.99 cents, download the album for $9.99 or buy the CD for $12.00. 

Aaron has generously offered "Just One Dollar" all proceeds from Katoikeo from now until the end of 2014. So if you'd like to support our fundraising efforts with something tangible and you'd like to listen to the amazing Aaron Gayden, please consider Katoikeo. Just click here!"
I have introduced this album before, and now you can purchase it with purpose.
This is only the downloadable version, but share the link with others, it is a worthy cause, and an amazing album. It is soothing and refreshing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pop, Pop, Pop

As a parent it is very hard to watch a kid do something in which they may (or may not!) get hurt. But our bubbled wrapped kids don't get to push their limits, they don't get to discover the things they CAN do, they are living in a world of can't. We spent hours unsupervised (other than checking in) exploring and creating and being active on bikes, roller skates or on foot. We created games, and stories, new food combinations and worked out conflict. We learned boundaries with each other.  Fear holds back progress and discovery.

I read an article today that in New Zealand they have lifted some rules in one school's play yard.  The kids can build forts, climb on things, and "rough and tumble", or rough house. 

I was going to link the article, but it linked to something else about how gender neutral parenting is failing instead, which is also an interesting article, but nothing to do with today's topic.

I guess time will tell, but I do think loosening up the grip on kids is a fabulous idea.

Monday, November 17, 2014


As a follow up to yesterdays post, here is another amazing rendition of a classic Christmas Carol, that I happen to love. This is fun and lively, and everything you hear is human voice. Love it,

Yes, I know it isn't Christmas yet. Yes, I honor and look forward to Thanksgiving first. Our world is topsy turvy, and I need seasonal high points ahead of time to help with mood and keeping focused on good stuff.

Don't be offended.

Sometimes we just need it a little early.
A little more traditional:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Did You Know?

One of the most requested Christmas songs for Aaron. Would love to add in som eof these other parts and sing it with him.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

As a Whole

Last night we were all together for a few hours.
We were busy working on wedding stuff, but we were together.

It crossed my mind that we have few of these moments left before some huge changes. Within the next few months, and the months following, this will be nearly impossible for a few years. I can not dwell on it as a negative, simply a change. It's all exciting, and amazing, and great things are going to happen, but our core unit of five, now six, soon to be seven with the addition of another son in law, well, we won't have the opportunities to be together like we do know.
It is a special thing, to be cherished.
And I am thankful for each moment together.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Miracle, for a Miracle...

Four quarters, ten dimes, twenty nickels, one hundred pennies.
A small hamburger, small french fries, super small plain coffee, one item from the dollar store, candy bar, or perhaps, a donation towards the adoption of a baby girl.

Alone it isn't much, but together it will bring her to a loving home.

Please watch this

and please consider one dollar given in compassion for someone else...
and then, please share this on FaceBook, Twitter, or your own blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Who's Your King?

We are doing a video Bible study on Wednesday nights. Right In The Eye.  It is a study on Judges. Powerful and scary and eye opening stuff.
Last night he made a simple statement that really hit home for the room...
If you aren't choosing to follow God (the  KING) then you automatically are following little kings...
This could include, but is not limited to: Consumption, fear, greed, lust, appetite, worry, you get the idea. This stems from a place of , "I can do what I want, when I want, whenever I long as no one gets hurt, but of course, someone always gets hurts. He said there is a rebellion that happens and we choose it, and eventually it goes from "I won't" to "I can't"

I don't want to be in the "I can't" camp.

Which King are you choosing?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's A...Revealed

In case you were wondering the end of the blog story I mentioned the other day...


So exciting.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dread Pirate Roberts

My title has nothing to do with this post. Sorry.
I am a big fan of the movie however and if you  want to talk about it, I am a willing participant.

I am leaving the house in a few minutes and not coming back until probably 9pm. I know a lot of people work crazy hours, I know a lot of people commute crazy hours every day. This isn't my norm. Worst part is, my on and husband are home today.

Should have planned better. But there really isn't a way to change any of the events happening today. Timing is everything. Special work, days off, and meetings. All good things in their own right.

I am helping a friend organize her house before the holidays, I have done this with her for several years now. I am also helping my daughter with wedding stuff, and still hunting costumes down for White Christmas, and then onto and essential oils class learning how to stay healthy this winter. All good things.  I am enjoying not having toddlers anymore. Sorry to all you toddler/baby, small children moms out there. I did it, I get it, and you will be here one day too! You really will! It seems like eternity some days, I know...but then poof, here you are. I promise.

Just took a glance at Spencer's pants, too short! Looks like he grew again, so I will add that to the list.

It's a different kind of busy.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Am DIsgusted...

Why is this okay?
Why, and more importantly HOW can something this horrific get so covered up that it possible...and more importantly, why isn't this bigger in the news?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Seeing You Across a Smoked Filled Room

Sitting with the sound man, watching you play, through the smoke of cigarettes and the air heavy with false hope and despair. The slot machine noise drown out by electric melodies, cutting through the thickness in the room. The early ones are here just to dance, a chance to shake it free, and enjoy an evening together. Others are taking a rest from droning electric lull.

I sit and enjoy the dancers, cowboys twirling their ladies about the floor, patterning , dip spin, scoot, step, repeat. A beautiful set of gals of all ages take the floor with their line dancing, perhaps newly learned for some. They laugh and fill the room.

As the evening goes on, the lightness of these groups fade, and exits and a different crowd emerges. Yes, it is true some are there for fun, a good time, but now good time means getting drunk and seeking to break lonliness.
The saddness thickens as well.

I am no better than anyone else, I also do not always cope with the tough stuff in good ways. I do not look down on them, or pity them, though I am sad. I want them to know there is something more, something better. I watch poor choices being made, I watch "Elaine" dance.

You take the lead on a song, one you usually sing right to me, but there is a woman on the dance floor that blocks our gaze. I worry she will think that look is for her.  The band carries on through the set lists, hour after hour, all while inhaling the toxins and giving their best.

You work hard. You practice hard, you commit. I love you for all of it.
Thank you.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Suspense, ugh

A friend is blogging over DAYS on what's going on in her life, which seems like it is leading up to the announcement of a newly adopted daughter, perhaps, we don't know yet, she hasn't gotten that far. KNOCK IT OFF AND TELL US.
This is a real life friend too, not just someone I randomly read...

If it wasn't something so exciting I might be upset. Suspense is hard.
But isn't it for most of us? Waiting to find out what's next? Waiting to see if it all works out?
Instant gratification anyone?
Yeah, thought so.

I know I can trust God with my life and all the up in the air stuff, because in the end, if we stay faithful, it will all work out for good. And I don't mean American dream good, just good. These past few months I have had the rug pulled out from under me, I have been slapped in the face(figuratively), I have had seemingly wonderful possibilities and good situations fall through and everything replaced with UNKNOWNS.

Yes, I am yelling.
And rightly so.

I want a spoiler! I want someone to spill the beans (Hi Lord), I want a sneak peak....

But how is that trust and faith?
It isn't, that is relying on answers, and information, and situations.

I will remember the promises of God and carry on...even into the unknown.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Something Witty

Here I am saying something witty about how even in the trials of life there is humor, and there is humor in the mundane too.

You know what? I kinda had a tough day. The hits keep coming. There is no room or time to stop and breathe, because we still have to focus on all the normal stuff, and the super special stuff going on, like school, teaching, working, and weddings.

Tonight my son is performing in a murder mystery dinner theatre production that he wrote himself.

And I won't be there.
Neither will his father.
Technically it is a youth event, but Aaron ahd a gig and I have a rehearsal.

It's weird.
It's his debut as a writer.

But today I am thankful:
I am thankful for good friends.
I am thankful for carne asada.
And I am thankful for mercy. And grace...yep.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Homework Music

Music and homework, like peanut butter and jelly, or for those with allergies um, whatever you put together on bread. Which is funny I couldn't think of anything since I actually am allergic to peanuts now. Go figure.
Back to the subject, playing music while doing homework is a pretty standard thing. In 8th grade I did a study for a science fair that tested kids for spelling tests with them studying while listening to different types of music, classical, medium beat pop and hard rock/metal I think. It was a long time ago. I do remember the classical music listeners did in fact perform better on the tests.

My son's classes have changed this year. Our school, like many others is going more virtual, texts on line as well as whole courses, so he is sitting at the computer even more this year. I keep walking by and seeing YouTube up;
"Spencer, that is not schoolwork"
"I am waiting for it to load so I am listening to music"
What are you listening to?


Have you heard them? Amazing music with piano and cello mostly.
Star Wars, excuse me, Cello Wars:

Here is an amazing Carol of the Bells!

And the only version of "Let it Go" my son will listen to:

I love my kid for so many reasons...this is just one more

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Life In These Hills

I have a daughter getting married, and due to his job the timing had to be quick before he was moved to a new location. So the wedding will be before the end of the year, SURPRISE.

This is on top of everything else in our life being turned upside down.

Some of this long tail involves other people and their lives, so I need to be vague to protect privacy, but I will try and sum it up for you three readers out there.

Our main source of income has hit an economic difficulty due to some issues (privacy).
Because of this our pay was drastically reduced, drastically.
At the same time gigs have also slowed way down, there is an ebb and flow to gigs, but overall they are fewer from a few years ago.
Our landlords also hit some financially issues and sold the house we were living in.
This coincided with us losing income. This is both good and bad, on the one hand we had to move out of a home we would longer be able to afford, but on the other hand, we didn't have an income high enough, nor the chunk of money needed for moving into a new place.
During this same time I was going to start working in the office of my Bowen Therapy instructors as a Bowen therapist with them, but long story short, that fell through. We still have a good relationship and she is trying to help me set up and work, it was a logistics issue

All the while we have been listening for God's word in all this. We feel like maybe we are supposed to be somewhere else. We don't know where and we don't know when but we are trying to stay open about it. Many people do not want us to go. They see the value of Aaron and his talents, we have dear's nice to be loved, but it doesn't change the fact that perhaps we are supposed to be elsewhere.

So far every door that would allow us to stay here has been shut. Not slammed in our faces, but gently closed with a not now, or no thank you.

We are living in the downstairs /slightly basementy part of a friends home. It's almost like having an apartment inside their house. They are wonderful people and this is such a blessing. We finally have great internet access, but now we are in a black hole with our cell phones...I guess we just traded those off.

So, I am grateful. So very thankful for the love and support and outright help of those here. I am trying to stay stress free, I know God has my back, I know He will guide us to what is next and what is right for us.

One daughter married, graduating soon from college and they will move away to start their lives somewhere farther way. Another daughter getting married and moving possibly across the world for a time (exciting and sad at the same time). Spencer is at an age that it would be hard to just move away from his amazing network of really great friends. These kids are really great kids. He is also in a great school/ISP charter.  It is not our desire to just uproot him, but I know God's plans are best.

Like I said, everything up in the air, uprooted, flipped over...

And amazingly, I am very calm.

Monday, November 3, 2014

About That Village

If you didn't read "yesterday's" post about my daughter's bridal shower, I mentioned how it took a village to throw it in less than two weeks.

There is a bigger village out there that helped me raise this kid, and her twin sister.

A very long time ago, even though I haven't aged a bit, I was a young woman who had a set of twins. At the very start it took extra hands to care for them, soothe them, rock them, care for them. It was a busy time of life learning how to care for not only a first child, but the 2nd as well all at once.

Not too long after this early time I became a single mom. The village of help grew.

I know that without a network of family and really good friends that stepped in and assisted that life would have been really terrible. Surrounded by people who serve each other, I was able to make it through, finished college, held down jobs, and still have time with my kids.

Now twin A has been married for over a year, and twin B will be married before the end of this year.
They have been adults awhile now, and live in their own apartments and take care of themselves, and now both will have their own families. I think the village needs to give themselves a pat on the back!
I pray the servanthood shown to us over those years will show up in their lives to help others.
 I feel it already has.

A big thank you to all that helped us over the years, especially those single years.
The journey was not always easy, but the company was always great.

Took a Village Shower

Today (Sunday) was my daughter's bridal shower. I know it's Monday, but I wasn't home all day so let's all pretend this was posted yesterday, shall we?

My daughter is not a typical girly girl. Oh, she likes fashion and some things, but she can act like one of the boys, and often sounds like some of them (siiigh). But I love her.

She is shocking our socks off with a very girly color palette and wedding plans.

When we first spoke to her about a wedding shower she flat out said No!
After some figuring out why she didn't want one, we convinced her we could pull off one she would like.
We did a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" slant to the party. She loves Tiffany blue, we had tiny tiaras and sunglasses for all. We served brunch, including some Jenelle Favorites, spam, and "church jello", you know the kind. Jello salad always shows up at church functions, and she loves some of them. She draws the line at cottage cheese or veggies being involved.

So far this sounds pretty typical I am sure, this is where it differs. Instead of shower games we played a game called Five Crowns. It is a card game with elements of rummy. Because of the size of the group we split up in groups of 4 and then played Bunco style. For those that have never played Bunco, you switch tables depending if you won or lost the hand. This let everyone move around the room and mingle naturally with everyone else. It was a total success. The game is easy enough to teach new people with a little coaching, we just made sure when we started that there were experienced players at each table.
This made Jenelle super happy.

We have a family friend that attended the shower and played a prank on Jenelle. She bought a "flannel gown" and wrapped it up beautifully. Some of us knew ahead of time so we were ready to oo and aah and make comments along the line of "that's perfect for the honeymoon". My daughter was so polite, and simply thanked her for it, until we all giggled. It's nice to know I did something right in her upbringing. We all had a good laugh. She followed up the flannel with some perfectly picked "woowoo" items.

All in all, it was a delightful day. My daughter Alyssa did a great job decorating and with invitations and getting this together in less than 2 weeks. Yes, that quickly. My friend Nancy stepped up to the plate and helped us with food, she's cool like that. Another friend stepped up to donate her house, even though she is terrible ill with an ailment (non contagious), and another came and cleaned that house for the shower because she knew I had to sing that morning on worship team. It's nice to be surrounded by people that know how to serve each other, to make something happen, and pour love onto someone.

I am proud of them and treasure all of these relationships very deeply.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November First, Again

Hey it's NaBloPoMo again...yaaay........................

Except, I am exhausted right now from stuff going on in my life, and the thought of FORCING myself to return to public writing for the next 30 days just doesn't seem like a good idea.
I could be wrong.
It happens.
A lot.

So for today I offer you this: