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

Monday, August 29, 2011

God is a Preparing God

Do you ever get a “no” when you want a “yes”? Do you ever not understand? That has happened to me recently, but I’m happy to say that God is a preparing God. I knew that before of course. Hubby and I have said that for years. Whenever something difficult is going to happen (unbeknownst to us of course) God prepares us through His Word, impression, words of others, whatever He chooses. The preparation helps give clarity, comfort, and guidance. He does the same for good things too!

These are the things that have been everywhere I look:
On Bethany Hamilton’s facebook page – she posted the other day something about when a wave knocks you down, are you going to let God bring you back to the surface?

The devotional this morning in This Day with the Master by Dennis Kinlaw: “God will never let you get into a situation in which he is not in perfect control. When you find yourself in circumstances that seem to be full of chaos and confusion, look to Christ. If you belong to him, you will find him there in perfect control of your situation.”

From Chocolate Diaries, the book I am in process of reviewing for Blogging for Books (see sidebar). “But I had caught a glimpse of a potent truth. Sometimes you lose things and you grieve. You think the things you lost are gone forever, and in some cases they really are. But sometimes things that are lost can be found again.”

Over the weekend Hubby was offered two more classes (financial provision).

This was on Ann Voskamp’s blog:” He had told her what he lived — the real weather forecast for the weekend: When Christ is seen in the clouds, there is contentment — but when Christ is missed in the sun, there are storms even in the clearest skies. So she stood there with him at the kitchen sink, rinsing off the potato pot, waiting for what they both knew was coming– a steady rain of somehow grace…”

And finally, (but I’m sure there were many more) this morning on my fb homepage from incourage was Isaiah 43:19 “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun."

The Word God gave me at the beginning of 2011 was “Grace”. Is this what it was for? What is the new thing? I’m certainly open and expectant for it. Leaning in to Him…

Multitudes - August 29

I have permission to share from one of my son’s thankful journal:
9 Ripstik
b. rolling, riding, and getting exercise with it
10 Grass (although allergic) smooth texture to lay in
18 Popsicles
20 My devotion book on Abraham
26 A swimming pool
30 Seeing friends in Texas
31. Watching cousin play hockey
36 Humor and laughter
38 Eating Taco Bueno and Charlie’s Chicken with Dad
40 Heaven is for real
44 Air conditioner
47 The Bible
51 Rain
59 Running with Dad
64 Mom giving me a coupon for my hair highlights
66 A cruise we could go on together as a family

I’m so thankful he let me share and I’m so thankful he’s keeping this journal. We shared our 1000 gifts together last night and chatted about them. My son is so funny too. When I asked him what number he was on, he told me 1000 something. I’m sure it was to get my response of “What? How’d you get that high so quickly?!”

Mine continue here:
604 Lawn mowed. Dog walked.
605 Day at home
606 Dinner in the crockpot
607 High heels that I don’t have to wear very often
608 An interview
609 Kind words and thoughts
610 Familiar faces
611 Hubby’s help
612 Hubby’s prayers
613 Solutions
614 Dinner with family
615 Prayer service
616 Adult youth leaders/role models
617 Things work out
618 A free manicure
619 Phone calls
620 Beautiful morning
621 Beautiful dog
622 Seeing Pastor P. and wife in the park
623 Weekends
624 Space to play
625 Walking with a new friend
626 Kindnesses
627 My small group
628 Time at small group
629 Finally getting my book downloaded
630 Someone to share thankful journals with
631 Permission to share
632 Seeing the Mom of a friend from youth
633 Grass being mowed
634 Llamas in the field by the park

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On the Home Front - August 27

A peek through my window… S – 95 S – 91 M – 89 T – 92 W – 93 The rest of the forecast through the first week of September looks the same way. That’s a ways out so I’m not holding my breath! It would be a welcome relief though. (However another site says 99, 99, 96, 95, 100 which is a far cry from the other!)

What’s going on this week… I’m wearing pink on Tuesday in honor of a local hero who died from cystic fibrosis a few years ago. This week is open house for 7th grade and the end of the week will be a Labor Day soccer tournament.

What “the boys” are doing…L. scored a goal at the scrimmage last night! Today he’ll go to his volunteer job (one hour) at the pet store to walk/play with dogs and maybe do some fish feeding or cleaning. I’m so proud of him for doing such a great job of this! This morning it was so cool out that M. and I sat in the porch swing studying for his spelling test. M. is a great student and doing a good job of keeping up with classes, band and football too.

On my mind… salsa. I talked to a friend today and we are going to get together after Labor Day to make it.

On my bedside table… Wild Things, The Art of Nurturing Boys. Still. There’s other books there too: Grace for the Moment devotional by Lucado and Power Prayers for Women. There’s also my alarm clock, photo of Hubby, hair clip and pictures from Colorado.

I am richly blessed… Hubby has been so wonderful to me. He’s so understanding and goes out of his way to talk with and encourage me.

I’m praying for… for an old friend from high school I know is hurting. Wed. night I went to the youth prayer service and will be mindful to keep praying for the youth leadership and kids at our church..

Our home… Have quite a few things that need to find their way to the attic. The problem is there is no more room until we do some cleaning and rearranging. Can’t do that until the temps are much cooler.

Menu planning… After I buy celery and onions I’ll make chicken salad to eat for lunches or when we don’t quite make dinner. Sports schedules have made it extremely difficult to catch bites to eat. I do have meatloaf muffins in the freezer and plans for chicken on the grill and Italian bow tie pasta. L. also has sausage, egg & cheese tacos in the freezer for breakfasts.

A photo or two… <

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zoo Visit

What kind of mama takes her kids to the zoo and doesn’t take a camera? A scattered one of course – I couldn’t find the camera! Later Hubby let me know where it was - in the carry-on I hadn’t unpacked from uh, almost two weeks ago.

Last Tuesday, a mere two days before school starting I asked the boys what they’d like to do – we were leaning towards visiting an animal sanctuary until finding out it was open only on weekends. I said “Let’s go to the zoo!” (I knew they both had coupons for free admission which didn’t hurt the case any). M. didn’t want to go, but once I said I’d go and just take L., he changed his mind. This was our end of the summer after all.

On the way there, I marveled at how spontaneous this was for me to do. They didn’t know what spontaneous meant! That’s probably my fault since it only happens with me once in a blue moon.

We leisurely looked around the zoo seeing what we wanted for as long as we wanted or didn’t. We saw the zoo this time in a much different way than any times before. Highlights to me were all the time we spent watching and laughing at different kinds of primates and the elephant presentation. L. even got sprayed by one of the elephants! Perfect for such a hot day (also thankful for all those “cooling stations”).

We all had such a good time and I so enjoyed being with my boys. I know a time is coming soon that spending an afternoon walking around a zoo with Mom might not be too fun! This “youth” thing is happening…just last night I went to the youth group’s beginning of the year prayer service with M. Mind you, I kept my distance. Near the end M. said “Mom, you’re the only parent here!” He insisted all the other parents were actually volunteers. I told him that no one would ever know who I was or that I stayed if he’d stop coming and making comments like that! Anyway, it was a wonderful service. I’m glad I stayed. I’m glad we went to the zoo. I know this is “normal” and we will make it through the teen years!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Multitudes - August 22

579. A poverty meal
580. An involved Hubby
581 Photos on the 1st day of school
582 A couple of errands for Aunt
583 God’s plans
584 A great first day of school
585 Hand bruised but not broken
586 Continued talking and understanding
587 Barking
588 New football jerseys
589 Cheese sticks
590 New posts
591 No ants
592 Soccer
593 Gentle rain
594 Taking them to school in the morning
595 Pitter patter of feet
596 Finally finding shoes
597 Ironing
598 New pictures of old friends
599 Dog hair
600 A warm shower
601 Starbucks with two friends
602 One of the friends is a four year old
603 Exchanges

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I started Our Ordinary Life a little over a year ago. Happy Belated Anniversary to me! -- I debated about the title because ordinary sounded so plain. I even explained it in an early post. The title came from the Romans Scripture on my blog that directs us to present our every day life before God.

We do have everyday life of course and most times it's pretty ordinary yet at the same time life is pretty extraordinary (especially life raising boys!). We also strive to be extraordinary for God.

extraordinary defs - a : going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary b : exceptional to a very marked extent
So because of my orginal debate and several recent comments (thank you for the encouragement), I have decided to add "extra-" in front of my blog title. I'm not changing the address though, because I don't want to!

On the Home Front - August 20

A peek through my window… S – 101 S – 100 M – 95 T – 99 W – 102
I’m hoping October gets here quickly!

What’s going on this week… football and soccer. The boys have drs. appts. on Monday and they will get out of school early. I don’t like to schedule it that way, but with specialists, you take what they give you!

What “the boys” are doing…wow, 7th grade looks like it is going to be “rigorous”, that’s all I can say! We have family math homework this weekend (I sure hope I know how to do it!) M has a scrimmage Sat. morning and L. has one Sunday night.

On my mind… teaching is still on mind. I’m wondering if anything will work out this year or I have to wait til next.

On my bedside table… Wild Things, The Art of Nurturing Boys

I am richly blessed… Both boys have to be at school at the same time so they can ride the bus together or if I take them, it works out perfectly. We’re blessed with a great school system and good first two days for both boys.

I’m praying for… L’s hand is badly bruised from being kicked with a cleat (he was the ball holder). I’m praying it gets better quickly and for an injury free year.

Our home… I still haven’t unpacked my carry-on from vacation. I promise as soon as I post this, I’m going to do it AND clean the bathroom!

Menu planning… I’m going to get an already cooked chicken at Walmart and use it for a casserole tonight and sandwiches tomorrow. It is soooo hot that I’m going to have to change up some menu plans to not use the oven this week (again!)

A photo or two…

M. with his scorpion towel friend. Last night of cruise.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

On the Home Front...Coming Soon

I did it! I created something for my blog that I want to use. Now, that may not sound so wonderful to you creative bloggers, but it's an accomplishment for me! I don't have a lot of fancy software or time to create, but, Tamara at All of a Kind Family pointed me in the right direction for some clip art. I had some time after I got the boys off to school so I made something to try-out this weekend. It's not perfect, but it will work!

I have participated in Simple Woman's Daybook for almost a year and half now, but I have been wanting to do my own - no linking up, just a weekly journal for my family. So.....this weekend I will unveil "On the Home Front". The under-a-dozen friends and family can check back and always see what's going on with us!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'll warn's a long list! It reflects our trip to Colorado, cruise, a few days in Maimi and about five days of being back home.

483. It’s okay that I don’t know
484. Lower humidity
485. Reading to a therapy dog
486. Walking w/L while he plays disc golf
487 The front lawn mowed
488 Carpet cleaner
489 Snakes “snaking” in the mud
490 Many interests
491 Using things from long ago
492 God’s sovereignty
493 Library days
494 Field after field after field
495 Rain dancing on the windshield
496 On a road I’ve been, but never with my family
497 M. did a great job loading the car!
498 Books spread across the table
499 A semester mapped
500 I’m on vacation. With my Hubby and boys.
501. The cool air on my skin
502 The boys traveled great!
503 Hugs and love from a five year old
504 Petunias
505 An amazing morning outside
506 The Lord is good. His love endures forever. (Ps. 118:29)
507 2 year anniv (at Hubby’s job)
508 Looking around the 4th floor with the boys
509 A peaceful place
510 Lions, tigers, and bears
511 Popsicles
512 All you can eat Italian restaurant
513 Mountain views
514 A train ride in the mountains
515 Clear water
516 A cousin wanting to be in the middle
517 Learning in an old mine
518 A dog waking you up
519 Farm machinery
520 Corn all in a row – a single corn stalk
521 Aunt taking care of home and dog
522 A perfect Love
523 Snow still on the mountains!
524 A super fun local water park
525 Seeing the snow from the water park
526 The gift of photos
527 Sitting on the porch all four mornings of Denver
528 Downtown Denver
529 Seeing where Uncle J works
530 Knowing people care
531 Ms. Tracy
532 A few moments in the park
533 The trek to Rudy’s
534 Eating outside
535 Finishing before the rain started
536 Watching a thunderstorm from the fourth floor
537 A window seat (“my office”)
538 You can see the train from our window
539 Fleeting conversation in the window seat
540 Mountain vistas
541 Changing mountain vistas
542 The wonder of M as he sees the sun peak out from the clouds around the mountains
543 Best interests
544 Honesty
545 New sunglasses
546 Relatively stress free prep for the trip
547 Playing a game while waiting
548 Seats on another flight
549 Flights over
550 Shuttle service
551 Comfy bed
552 Family
553 Lounge chairs
554 Medicine
555 Meeting people from other places
556 A balcony to watch the water
557 The mighty rolling sea
558 Just the right taxi
559 Wild iguanas
560 Strong arms around me
561 Internet access
562 Trusting God
563 The Florida Keys
564 Marine life
565 Having fun together as a family
566 Touching a nurse shark
567 A forecast of cooler weather
568 A new school year ahead of us
569 Great hotel rate – thank you to Uncle
570 Challenges
571 A break in the heat
572 Good transition to a new pediatrician
573 A friendly greeting as I leave
574 Water in the creek
575 Shoes
576 Help
577 Escaping the worst of the heat
578 Groceries

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Restless in Carolina

Restless in Carolina is a great summer read. I purposely chose it to have along for summer vacation and I wasn’t disappointed. Bridget Pickwick, the main character is believable and a well-rounded character. She has several story lines to face – how she feels about being a widow at thirty-three (especially when so many family members are marrying), what “happily ever after” really means, finding a “green” buyer for her family’s estate, and learning to trust God again.

This book is a romance, but not drippingly so (thank goodness!). Bridget can spot a “widow sniffer” a mile away. Although she has feelings being awakened, she’s not so sure she’s ready to give up her “widow’s weeds”. The book is an easy read – but, not in a bad sense. It was light enough for an enjoyable beach day, but, not shallow or predictable. It kept me guessing and had some surprises too.

I’d recommend Restless in Carolina to others – I like Leigh’s writing style and would like to read some of her other books. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing for this review.

Daybook - August 14

Outside my window… it almost looks like fall because of how dried up everything is – excessive heat and no outside watering allowed

I am thankful for… new neighbors – the ones I have been praying for

I am wearing… khaki shorts and navy tshirt

Some plans for the rest of the week… I need to make a run to Sam’s Club and L. still needs shoes, then school starts Thursday!

I am hoping … to get really settled in this week

On my mind… what God has for me teaching-wise

Hearing…. doors shutting – M. getting ready for football and Hubby coming in and out from grilling

I am praying for… our military

From the kitchen….. burgers, corn and zucchini/tomatoes/red peppers tonight. I put together honey mustard meatloaf muffins for the freezer and boiled some eggs for Hubby and L to have for breakfast

Around the house… helped one son clean under his bed. Oh, my! Who would have thought all that was under there????

One of my favorite things…. walking with J., I’m sure I’ve said that before. I also love being at home. Where did the weekend go?

From my picture journal… Next to M (walrus) is Cousin M and Hubby. I'm reflected in the sunglasses.

To view more daybooks visit Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I must confess, I'm not much of a beach girl. History,! One of the ports on our recent cruise vacation was San Juan, Puerto Rico. We visited the two fortresses in Old San Juan and I was fascinated with the garitas, or sentry boxes. I've included several pictures - the boxes, three of views out of one and a pic of M. and me. A sentry in a garita would keep watch and "detect attacks from foreigners".

In Scripture, there are many references to keeping watch. A few are Luke 2:8 where shepherds are keeping watch over their flocks on the night Jesus was born; Mark 14:34 (and Matt. 26:38) where Jesus asks his disciples to keep watch with Him in the garden and Matthew 24:42 Jesus instructs us to keep watch because we don't know the time or hour of His return.

I reflected some more on keeping watch and an internet definition I found for sentry was "a guard posted at a given spot to prevent entry of unauthorized persons". As parents we are a sentry for our family, especially our children. While in our care we are posted in many "spots" to prevent the unauthorized entry of anything contrary to our family's Christian worldview.

This summer has been quite a time for Hubby and I as M & L's sentries. God has strongly shown us to be on guard. In normal every day situations, in culture, whenever we take flack for it, in unexpected times, as our boys are growing and making more of their own decisions and we teach them to keep watch - we have to keep guard.

I Peter 5:8, The Message: Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.