Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Mark

Last night one of my son’s said, “Mom, take a picture of my bald spot. I want to see it.”

You see when he was not yet a year old he had a playing “incident”. It was my normal routine to gate his room and let him play there safely while I got ready in front of the mirror that was about five steps from his doorway (small house). One Sunday morning while Hubby was already at church my son would not stop standing in his doorway crying. I lifted him above the gate, held and comforted him and safely deposited him back in his room so I could finish getting ready for church. As soon as I made it back in front of the mirror I saw blood on my shoulder. Of course I panicked and ran to my son’s room where I could see him crawling under his crib. I quickly figured out he had scraped his head on the metal spring of his crib. He and I went to Urgent Care instead of church that day and now 11 years later he bears a scar or “mark” on the back of his head (no stitches needed just an over-reacting new mom). There’s no hair growing in that scar so if my son’s hair is short you can see the white smooth reminder of the spring scrape.

It got me thinking…do I have the marking of a new creation? When someone looks at me can they see more of my old self (which looks a lot like today’s culture) or can they see a new self (looks like truth)?

Culture: indulge in impurity, greed, falsehood, stealing, unwholesome talk, grieving the Holy Spirit, bitterness, rage, slander, malice (Doesn’t sound familiar? Glance at the headlines at the checkout stand or turn on reality TV. Ummm, no, thank you.)

The new self (the one we have to PUT ON – meaning take action): in your anger, do not sin; truthfulness; talk that builds others up; work and sharing with those in need; kindness; compassion; forgiveness.

See Ephesians 4 (which happens to be what my pastor preached on Sunday).

It is Christ who creates righteousness and holiness in us, but if I keep on the old self (engaging in all the things that culture does – or be entertained by them) will anyone see those things I profess to be?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Daybook - March Number Three

Outside my window… Very cloudy and light rain all day. What happened to my beautiful spring?

I am thankful for… that D. is home safely from being in Kansas, for upcoming family visits and for sitting at my cousin’s house last night visiting – she’s my Mom’s first cousin and it was so nice to see her pictures and hear her stories.

I am wearing… jeans, purple ¾ sleeve tshirt, fleece jacket, slippers!

Some plans for the rest of the week… dentist appts. for the boys (Hubby is taking), getting ready for company, delivering cookie dough.

I am hoping … it get’s warmer and stays warmer!

On my mind… L playing soccer, M – camping right now and instrument for band next year.

Hearing…. J scratching on the window for me to let her in (now she’s barking).

I am praying for…….some kids at school who are having a rough time.

From the kitchen…..out to eat waaaaay too much. Tomorrow after church I’m making BBQ sandwiches from the leftover pork loin for sure!

Around the house… All my spring/summer clothes are out and Hubby just called that they’re coming home after the soccer game instead of going to tinker around at the airport – I better get busy!

One of my favorite things… naps and time to read.

From my picture journal… I need to take some current pics. To be posted soon.

To view more daybooks visit Simple Woman's Daybook.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Counting My Blesings 3.23.11

133. My family. My kids have been so responsible lately. I sure hope it continues through the tween/teen years!

134. Hubby - he's such a good leader (home and elsewhere). He's our small group leader and Sun. night gave us all time to work on one of our love dares. So appreciated that.

135. We rode bikes Sat. by the river. Even though it rained, it was a blessing to be together, to be getting exercise and to have such a beautiful location to ride.

136. Somewhat under control allergies. It's already been a better season and I'm hoping it lasts all the way through April.

137. After mentioned bike ride, it was a blessing to find a restaurant with $1.50 kid meals. Got to dine in front of windows overlooking many beautiful flowering trees and watch rodeo on tv (L. likes rodeo).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Daybook - March Number Two

Outside my window… it’s not as cold as it looks – the grey skies make it appear much colder than the 64degrees that it is. From my window I can see one of the “evil” trees that is responsible for my allergies.

I am thankful for… accomplishing some of the things I wanted to during break, abilities and provision, when my children are responsible and a little allergy relief.

I am wearing… jeans, Relay for Life tshirt, green sweatshirt, Smithsonian hat. I’m waiting to shower after the bike ride.

Some plans for the rest of the week… working on some of Dad’s stuff more, picking up all the cookie dough M. sold, weather unit at school, oh yeah, and a dentist appt.

I am hoping … to get to school early Mon. morning to finish some tidying up and planning, to finish the week strong w/WW instead of binging and that M. has a good campout next weekend (his first with the new troop).

On my mind… summer plans

Hearing…. the washer and J. snoring.

I am praying for…….a friend whose brother passed away suddenly.

Pondering…"Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff." ~Catherine M. Wallace

From the kitchen…..spaghetti, broccoli, and garlic bread Fri. night. I have plans for pork loin on Tuesday, but other than that, I really need to get busy planning!

Around the house… we still have a puzzle on the dining room table! Pink and fam had better come quickly and help finish it so we have a place to eat dinner when everyone is here!

One of my favorite things… my rocking chair-it is newly fixed. Hubby surprised me with it under the tree the Christmas before M. was born. My Dad went with him to get it.

From my picture journal…
This blanket was my Dad's. About the time he got the most ill, it had disappeared at the VA. Everyone on his unit was looking for it. Another Cowboys blanket was located and put in his room, but finally one of the aides moved it. She was adamant that it wasn't the right one and they'd keep looking. I was so disappointed because I knew how important it was to M. that he have Grandpa's blanket. I even blamed myself for not taking it sooner for safe keeping. I prayed about the situation each time I was in Dad's room and other times. After Dad passed we didn't go for his things right away because of all the snow. Finally, Hubby went and got the box. When I opened it, there was the right Cowboys blanket! Thank you God for caring about little things that mean so much to us.

To view more daybooks visit Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break

Yesterday was my favorite day of break so far. We met Hubby for lunch and gave the boys an early birthday present. When we got home, the boys played outside a bit. I was so pleased that even though we had just given them a pretty substantial electronic item that they still wanted to be outside playing ball! I'm so thankful for my family and for the time I get to spend with them.

Cleaning the game closet has been on my "to do" list for a while now and I finally did it yesterday late afternoon!

There's one more shelf that this picture doesn't show. I'm still in the habit (from when my kids were younger) of putting all the paint items on the top shelf. The car rug has found a new home in the closet. Sigh...sometimes I miss the days when the boys lay on it for hours at a time and drove their their hot wheels all around.

L. and I flew kites. I love flying kites! The one we got in Kitty Hawk is just like the others (very small and nylon-folds up tiny), but it was quite challenging. There's space, no trees and no electric lines right behind our house in the "green space" (code for funny shaped field that everyone's back yard backs up to). Yay! I'm also looking forward to dropping a couple kites in my beach bag and flying them on vacation this summer.

For dinner we had nachos (um, definitely not a WW item), grapes, and root beer floats - all on the back porch.

We finished the evening upstairs playing a game and watching HGTV. Do we really have to go back to school on Monday?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Twirly Skirt Giveaway

My blog friend Tamara at A Homemaker's Heart has a fun giveaway going on. Please click here or on the side button to check it out. There are multiple ways to enter. If you know that I have two boys, I bet this is something you never expected to see here. I really do have someone in mind if I win!

Counting Our Blessings 3.15.11 - 100th Post!!!

This is my 100th post of "Our Ordinary Life". My 100th post on "Butterfly Wings" was last May. Click if you'd like to read 100 things about me.

122. It is a blessing to be participating in this meme. Focusing on our Blesser and gratefulness is so encouraging.

123. The online friends I’ve connected to through this (thanks to Tamara) are a blessing.

124. The snoring little puppy (ok, she’s an old dog) curled up between Hubby’s and my desk.

125. That Hubby hasn’t gone into the office yet – he’s sitting at his desk behind me.

126. Summer vacation already booked – thanks Hubby.

127. I love my church!

128. God answers prayers – He’s already guiding re: my Dad’s things.

129. A friend from Texas visited us Saturday night/Sunday.

130. A bike ride with the boys and walk w/L. while he did three holes of disc golf.

131. Spring Break and the time I have because of it – I can finally get some of the errands I need to done. Car registration, passport, mail order meds, birthday planning/shopping, and find a belt so my pants don’t fall down!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weight Watchers

I was so inspired by Aunt's almost 80 pounds of weight loss that I joined. The way I figure it is that if I hit the big 4-0 (in another year and a few weeks perhaps) on the low side that that would be a good thing. I've lost close to 12 pounds and am down a size (or two depending on what it is). (Now, during the snow break and dad's funeral I gained, but lost again. I'm sure it was all the no bake cookies and chex mix I ate!)

So my purpose for writing this is twofold: To say eating on Weight Watchers isn't as bad as I thought. It's done two amazing things for me - I actually like eating salads for the first time in my life and I stop eating when I'm full. Even if it's yummy steak or just vegetables, if I'm full I stop and save the rest for later. I've tried many new recipes. This one for Sausage (turkey) Broccoli Bake is one of Hubby's new favs....

Before baking - 75% reduced fat cheese

Add a salad and we're ready to eat! (Pts. per serving = 8)

Second purpose - to tell you that for me to lose more weight I'm going to have to make a jump. I will either have to stop drinking sweet tea (yep, I still have it every day, I just count the points) or actually exercise. It's not that I'm inactive. I wear a pedometer almost every day so I can see how many "points plus" I earn (it covers some of the tea you know). Some days I walk close to five miles just in the course of a regular day! I can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can walk in the park --last Spring Aunt and I spent a lot of time doing that when she first joined WW. My goal is to work up to running. I'll have to let you know how that goes!

I guess my writing was threefold - this is post 99 on "Our Ordinary Life" - my blog take two. I wanted my 100th post to be Counting Our Blessings tomorrow so I had to add in something quick!

Spring Has Sprung

It is definitely Spring here! My allergies can attest to it too - it seems no matter how I try to stay on top of it that I suffer, sigh!

There are some other signs of Spring too....

Hubby is getting the lawn ready. He also took the bird nests down. Please, hear me out...I know that doesn't sound very springlike or even kind. We had not one, but two nests right above the front door all last spring and summer. I'm not a bird lover, and I especially can't stand them diving for their nest as I'm walking out the door (I hated even more the time one came inside the house!) It's spring and we've had new? (who knows?) birds on the front porch. Hubby loves all creatures and couldn't bear the thought of taking down a bird's nest. It was an act of love for me.

There are new flags on the metal baskets at the disc golf course in the park, state testing is looming around the corner, spring soccer has started, people are starting to get ready for graduation and of course - birthdays - we'll have three in the first 19 days of April!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Daybook - March Number One

Outside my window… it’s dark now. Today was sunny with just a few clouds and a light breeze. I noticed that the tree in the front yard is fully budded! Many in the neighborhood are blooming.

I am thankful for… Spring, dinner with family, and an almost plane ride.

I am wearing… my new (smaller) jeans and my This Shirt Frees Slaves t-shirt (

Some plans for the rest of the week… Spring Break! – haircut, cleaning out Dad’s fridge, lunch with Hubby, a day trip, shopping, and cleaning the game closet.

I am hoping … to have everything of Dad’s taken care of by mid-June.

On my mind… finishing my book review and wanting to catch up with my daily Bible.

Hearing…. Hubby and M. doing dishes.

I am praying for…….a friend whose Mom passed away and a couple of friends who are in crisis.

From the kitchen….. grilled teriyaki chicken, sweet potatoes, green beans, and salad.

Around the house…It got dusted today! Nothing like houseguests to make you get a little cleaning done.

One of my favorite things… going to the library, blogging, sitting at Chic-fil-A visiting with my sister.

From my picture journal…
Both boys got new desks. Here L. looks on. M. put a lot of his desk together by himself - Impressive!

To view more daybooks visit Simple Woman's Daybook.

Plain Wisdom - A Book Review

Plain Wisdom is a collection of life insights by Cindy Woodsmall, a novelist, and Miriam Flaud, an Old Order Amish woman. All of the insights are grouped in seven categories: The Rhythm of Life; Timeless Beginnings; Challenges Great and Small; Laughter in Odd Places; Beauty, Ashes, and Things Between; In His Hands; and The Shape of Tomorrow. Each category starts with a glimpse into the Amish way of life that Woodsmall has gleaned by her friendship with Fluad and each chapter includes Scripture. Speaking of friendship, Plain Wisdom made me long to spend time with my best friend who lives in another state.

Both authors do an excellent job with transparency and both come at topics from different perspectives. Still, commonalities we share as women are evident despite cultural differences. Many family recipes from Flaud are shared. Of particular interest to me was “Amish Friendship Bread”. Before we had children, I kept the starters and bread going for several months. I’m looking forward to starting this again and was even given the idea of baking all the bread to give out to friends instead of passing along starters. Although, slowing down and enjoying simple things in life such as baking may be what is needed for many of us!

Honestly, when I selected this book, I thought I had chosen a fiction book because I recognized Woodsmall as a fiction writer whose characters and plots are usually Amish. When the book arrived, I was pleasantly surprised! As a full-time working Mom of two tweens, fiction is difficult for me to read because of time (and sometimes preference). This book can be read in small spurts or all the way through and even has a discussion guide if you’d like to read with a group or a friend.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Amish, those whose hearts are stirred by friendship, someone wanting a light refreshing read and those who need to be reminded of how much God cares for and works in every area of our lives.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

**Please go to the Blogging for Books site to rank my review:

Friday, March 11, 2011


It's been three weeks now that I paused in my blog to allow more time with God and family. I don't think the time was as monumental as I expected, but I have experienced some fruit. While Hubby and M. were away for one weekend I helped (mostly did myself) L. clean out his closet and drawers. I bought a couple of packages of hangers when I was out and then had to call Aunt to bring more! We also enjoyed laying in bed reading and sometimes L. drawing.

Hubby and I are enjoying "Love Dare". It's the book that our small group chose. It's the movie Fireproof - Love Dare is done for a marriage that is on the the brink of ending. The book is written in a way that it's applicable to only one partner completing the dare even without support of the other spouse. However, since the book is based on I Corinthians 13 it is sweetening an already good (I don't like using that word) marriage. I am also focusing more on the meaning of love (kind, patient, etc.) in all my relationships. I haven't always been perfect in practicing this though. Both boys being injured during this time has challenged me in some ways.

Even though I have had all this "time", I'm still behind in my yearly Bible reading plan. I know I have several blog friends out there who are reading it in 90 days, but I've never even done the year so I thought I'd start here. I've tried before, but always laid it down by the end of Jan. - I found what worked for me....start mid January (and catch up) and use NIV instead of the Message or a different version. Without the long drawn out (and perhaps boring) version - my one year Bible arrived in the mail on the day we learned of my Dad's cancer diagnosis and it's what I read out of to Dad while I sat with him before he passed. It's a treasure to me in many ways.

I also learned that I missed writing. Blogging is a great outlet for me. It's my family journal - I remember what's happened in activities and my thoughts by going back and rereading my blog. So now, it's Spring Break (glorious time for a teacher) and I have a whole week to write. I am so excited about doing my Daybook this weekend and Counting my Blessings on Tuesday. I've also got plans for a blurb on Weight Watchers and a book review of "Plain Wisdom" -- a book that will be released March 15! Stay tuned.

M. exceded his cookie selling goal. Hope our small group is willing to eat cookies for a while since I bought so many tubs!