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

Sunday, December 22, 2013

This Could Really Be Three Different Posts

If you have come to my blog looking for our Christmas letter, please click on the picture in the sidebar just to the left!

We have had a crazy three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas...

L got sick within an hour of returning from Albuquerque (think 10 hour car trip).  I am so thankful it wasn't in the car this time! M was only sick once in the wee hours of Monday morning and managed to drag him himself to school for 3rd-7th hours. The rest of the week was somewhat normal.

On Tuesday of the next week, Hubby decided he would have his wisdom teeth taken out the next day (the next opportunity would be while family was visiting and it really needed to be done since they were starting to cause some problems.)  Tomorrow?  Well, we're normally not that spontaneous, but ok.  Thursday, M had a doctor's appt. and Aunt came to the rescue because Hubby was still quite dizzy from anesthesia so she drove.  Before the three of them returned it started icing so what would have normally taken them 20 minutes to get home turned into two hours.  And we were out of school Friday. And Monday. And Tuesday.

Hubby's parents arrived Wednesday (did I mention Hubby went on a business trip Tuesday - Thursday of this week?) and his brother and fam arrived Thursday.  Brother graduated Saturday morning and we had Christmas Saturday night.
From Hubby's Trip

Brother with mortarboard, Hubby in other regalia - he sat with faculty
Everybody was gone by Monday and Tuesday Hubby started saying he didn't feel so well. (Thank goodness I had already planned to have a sub for Wednesday morning for M's other dr's appt.).  Back up just a sec - in the midst of these three weeks I had my second official observation at school and evaluation.  I also had terrible shipping woes (a friend said I should blog it) - I ordered my grandmother's present and right when I hit "submit" I realized that I hadn't put her address in.  I called right away (and waited a long time to actually talk to someone) and got that fixed.  Phew!! While all our family was visiting I got a box delivered.  I guess I didn't make that same discovery when ordering my sister-in-law's present!!  And I had been so excited to get free shipping!!!  Too bad it was free shipping to me and we still had to get it to Colorado!!!!!!!

The nice people who have our last name and live around the corner with the same house number and street number (I kid you not - everything is the same except we live on "Place" and they live on "Avenue".  Well, our first names are different, but I guess Fed Ex doesn't take that into account) called us to let us know they had our box from Omaha Steaks.  I'm sure they were returning the favor for me delivering their box of fruit to them two years ago.

Hubby's brother (not the one who was just here, but the one CO) called to say his box from his Mom had arrived and all our presents were in it.  "Our" box with his family's presents in it is scheduled to arrive today.  See I'm not the only one in the family who does this kind of thing.

Back to Hubby not feeling well.  Wednesday afternoon, he tested positive for flu.  He did not go out of the house from then until this morning for church.  Even then, we quickly made our way to the balcony so not to expose people to any lurking flu germs.  M was in the Christmas choir so I'm glad he felt like being there.

The whole reason I actually started a new blog post was this picture.

I took it before I talked to the good friend who suggested I write about the shipping hilarity.  We had a bit of an ice storm this weekend.  Just bit - no power outages (for us) and no slick roads - just beautiful crystals on elevated surfaces.  I was amazed when I saw that the ice formed on these leaves blown to the side instead of dripping down.

Amazing.  We got a Christmas letter from a friend who said their year had been one of contentment.  My heart was so warmed to hear that because this friend has been through some difficult years.  The craziness of my three weeks pales in comparison to her (and many of your) difficulties.  My heart was also "checked" - this craziness was definitely only ordinary life.  Am I content in the craziness of ordinary life?

Amazing? Content?  I think I'm on to something for a Word for 2013.  And this verse....normally I see people quote it during difficult times, but I think it is applicable always. Even in the ordinary.  I think our Amazing God does this and as it is happening, we can have great contentment.

Zephaniah 3:17

New King James Version (NKJV)
17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

From my desk I can see the snow has tapered to light flurries.  With a snow day from school, it seemed like the perfect time to write a Christmas letter.

Last year I did a month by month photo recap, this year, you get a family member recap...

Hubby - Hubby completed two marathons this year and will start training in January for a half-triathlon.  (L. shares Hubby's love of running and has done cross country this year along with some 5ks.)  Hubby was promoted in his job from a director to a "dean".  He also continues to keep busy with the boys and has started a remodel project at my Dad's house.  Our whole family fell more in love with our new niece this year, but ultimately she's the apple of Uncle Debbie's eye.

A (me) - I was able to enjoy a couple of weekend trips at the beginning of summer with my bestie and with my sister (Aunt).  It was actually one of the best summers that I can recall - mostly because of cooler temps and normal everyday stuff.  While I didn't make a job transition this year (I was very thankful that our new principal extended my temporary contract.), I moved from second to first grade.  I work with a team of veteran teachers who take wonderful care of me and I absolutely love my class!  I am amazed at how much first graders can do and understand.  As there is so much controversy surrounding education standards right now, I just do my best to love and teach each individual student.

M - M. started playing tennis in the spring.  Even though he switched schools (local public to a private Christian school), he will be able to keep playing.  He continues to be interested in leadership - in his church youth group and at school.  He is the freshman class vice-president and attended the district and state Student Council conventions.  I just can't believe he will be making college plans in a few short years!

L - I mentioned L's running love and cross country earlier.  In the spring he raised a large amount of money (this year was his turn - M. has done it in the past) for Relay for Life (thank you friends and family).  I don't think he ran at the Relay event, but had fun for the evening with Aunt and then flew by himself the next morning to join the rest of us for our niece/cousin's dedication.  L. also continues to be involved in Scouts- he loves camping and is about to earn his next rank.  Currently, he is on Senior Patrol as the Chaplain.

We were so blessed to spend time with far away family so many times this year. We made our annual Hockey trip to Dallas in February, family has come to visit (and will be again soon!), we vacationed with family in July in Virginia and the Outer Banks, the boys spent time with their grandparents before school started, we camped in Colorado, saw more fam in OKC, and just spent Thanksgiving in Albuquerque. We are also blessed to see Aunt often. She even picks the boys up at school every Wednesday and takes them out. L's new love is Starbucks!

That's about it for the Smith family.  I'd love to hear what your family has been up to this year - please use my blog or FB to exchange a greeting.

We hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son 
into the world that we might live through Him.  I John 4:9

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One Thousand Gifts - Vacation and End of Summer

1596  Family trusting us with their son, my nephew, for a week of vacation
1597  The taste of salt
1598  A beach to go with the humidity
1599  A complete night's sleep
1600  Running and screeching from little ones as the waves roll in
1601  A breeze
1602  Discoveries
1603  Little hands
1604  Nephew saying something was wrong with the crabs because they were walking sideways
1605  Entertaining dinner conversation from the cousins
1606  L and J driving on the beach
1607  Watching the pelicans fly just off shore
1608  My teenage son holding my hand walking from the boardwalk to the van
1609  Watching the lightning bolts striking just beyond the Sound
1610  Family to help guide our boys
1611 Transportation down the coast
1612  Photographs
1613  Being well enough to sleep
1614  Ice cream truck stopping RIGHT in front of the beach house
1615  History and learning new things - the person who took the famous photo of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flight was a surfman at the life saving station we visited.
1616  A less stressful start to the school year
1617  90% of summer bucket list complete
1618  Everyone pitching in to have the house ready to be shown
1619  Both boys having friends to do something with on a Friday evening
1620 Hubby's help with beginning of the year craziness
1621  Perspective
1622  God's hand
1623  Watching the sailboats framed by the trees at the lake

Monday, November 4, 2013

One Thousand Gifts - From Summer

Still counting my blessings - updating from summer (at least until vacation) and pressing on to reach a goal of 2000 by my birthday next April.

1571.  Stretching
1572  Air pop popcorn
1573  Cold creek water
1574  Christmas cards
1576  Beautiful color in the front and back flower beds

1577  Relying on God
1578  Time to read a book
1579  Help in the kitchen fro a five year old
1580  Sunday School parties
1581  Hubby's leadership
1582  Safe return from Scout Camp
1583  Much cooler temperatures
1584  Blog posts
1585  New book
1586  Sunday afternoon
1587  Amazing life
1588  Love is amazing
1589  Visiting with old friends
1590  Visiting with new friends
1591  I will take this humidity any day!
1592  Cabos and fireworks
1593  The floor wasn't as bad as we thought
1594  Fun finds - old reading group t-shirt
1595  Very fun 4th of July with family and friends

Sunday, November 3, 2013

One Thousand Gifts - It's Been A While

A while? It's been a year!!  I've written some in my journal, but I was shocked to see that I hadn't posted them on my blog in a whole year!  I'm not even sure if Ann Voskamp links them on Monday's at A Holy Experience or not.

I've decided I'll list everything from when I stopped through the end of the school year in one post here, I'll put everything from summer in another post and then I'll be able to start anew.

1541.  Oklahoma skies
1542.  A walk with Hubby
1543.  No bake cookies
1544.  Aunt being with us
1545.  Improvement
1546.  Similarities
1547.  Goodwill
1548.  Sleeping til I wake up
1549.  A Romo jersey for six years
1550.  God is still patiently teaching me
1551. Teaching on margin
1552.  Learning to use digital Bibles
1553.  Birthday Love
1554.  A clean classroom
1555.  Supportive Words
1556.  Lunch, walk, and other time with MIL
1557. Amazing answers to prayer
1558.  The "envelope system"
1559.  Meeting new people
1560.  Room for growth
1561.  Indian fry bread
1562.  Needed refreshment
1563.  A evening with a child
1564.  New columbine
1565.  New mulch
1566.  Nephew's remembrance (Aunt Winna - baseball tournament to benefit cancer research)
1567.  Finding what M needed - suit for cotillion at a good price
1568.  Looking forward to something
1569  New framed photos
1570  Fun of an online jewelry party

A New Chapter for Dad's House

Almost two and a half years ago, I ended a blog post with this " I am very happy to have this done though. There are some odds n ends left in the house, but it’s mainly cleaned out (but not clean!)."  It was in reference to cleaning out my parents' house. (You can read the whole post here.)

Now we're doing the odds n ends and the cleaning!  Really cleaning.  Hubby (with some M & L help) has taken out two closets and part of a wall, pulled up part of a floor and replaced it, made a water line to the fridge, moved the hot water tank out of the bathroom and moved the washer and dryer from the kitchen to its' new spot. 

We have a new dumpster, but not as big as the first.  All that demolition is going in - in with all the things we saved before and now aren't quite sure why.  After I left yesterday to pick up M., Hubby and L pulled up all the carpet and threw it away.

What's left? Well, Hubby would know better than I - he's good at this!  Replace some windows, take some furniture to an antique store if any family doesn't want it, sell the deep freeze, maybe move a doorway, replace the front door, fix some more floor, add in a kitchen cabinet, majorly clean, clean the cabinets and paint them inside and out (my job), have the fireplace checked, put in carpeting and linoleum, and anything else that needs done!

This project is perhaps physically and financially harder, but not quite as emotionally difficult as the first.  The hardest parts - picking the coins up in Dad's room and knowing they were ones dropped out of his jeans pockets behind his bed and cleaning out all the scraps of papers in Dad's spice rack.  The rack had absolutely no spices, but it was a good holder for all those papers written in Dad's handwriting - the four of us and Aunt's birthdays, our phone numbers and Dr's numbers, a recipe or two - and a few business cards from people who had fixed things for Dad.

It does make me wonder why we didn't do this for Mom and Dad ten years ago.  Dad probably wouldn't have let us!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ranger Lakes Family Getaway

(I know this post is mostly pics. Please bear with me.) About a month ago, we met Hubby's Mom, Brother and Family at his other Brother and Family's home outside Denver.  After some preparation (but not much - Bro 1 and Sis had outdone themselves getting ready for this trip), a dozen of us made our way to our camping destination. (This picture is missing Mom and Bro who were in "town" getting supplies and Another Sis (Pink) and Babe. Well, me too - the photographer.)

We camped at Ranger Lakes and spent quite a bit of time there fishing.  Even though at times it felt like all it did was rain, we really did have nice breaks to get outdoors. Pink, Babe, M and I went for a short hike on the last day. A squirrel pelted us with acorns!  I really had wanted to see a moose - there was evidence at the campsite and on trails.  We had to settle for just hearing them.  My disappointment didn't last long.  How could it, with all this gorgeous scenery?

A "real" Christmas Tree

I know it doesn't look like it by the picture, but L. caught lots of fish.  I love this candid picture below.  It doesn't get much better than fishing in the mountains with all your cousins!  I do hope they do something like this together when they are adults.

Hubby loves to fish and loves his family!  This was a much needed reprieve for him (well, everyone).
I didn't actually get a fishing license.  I was completely content though sitting here, watching my family, taking pictures, thinking and just being.

Babe celebrated her first birthday on our trip!  It was tricky getting this part done around rain and napping!  We gave her a Little People van.  I have bought so many vehicles for my sons and nephews, it just seemed fitting that she have a pink one.  Later in the day we were all excited to see an amazing birthday gift given by God...a triple rainbow! (Sorry no picture here.)  We had seen doubles before, but never a triple.  Since our elevation was so high, the bow seemed like it was RIGHT THERE in our campsite! We could see end to end of the first one - even sent the littles out to find the pot of gold!  Ok, I know that's silly.  We truly marveled at God's promise of the rainbow and our Wonderful Creator Who still makes and keeps promises. How wonderful for a 1st birthday and for our family to share!

All that fish we caught has to be cooked, right?  This picture shows fried-the night before was grilled.

M & L are really growing up quickly!
Can we go back next weekend?  I prefer the mountains over the beach any day, but I'm glad my family can enjoy both in one year.  I love being together!  I love my family!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

On the Home Front - August 24

A peek through my window…. well, um, our lawn is kinda scalped.  I forgot to tell M. to raise the deck of the mower before he mowed.  Hubby is watering it right now in hopes of saving it.  We had such a mild summer that we had green grass ALL summer long.  First time ever I remember that happening.

What’s going on this week… “Be your student night” at one school.  I went to L’s last week.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay late at my school one night and get things organized.

What “the boys” are doing… L’s at a Scout campout/float trip.  M is doing geometry homework.

And...they are definitely growing!  When we take first day of school photos, Hubby gets down on one knee. It used to be so he would be closer to their height.  Now, it's to show how much they have grown!

On my mind…  we leave in two and half weeks to camp with Hubby’s family in Colorado.  I am so looking forward to it and hope we get to see moose!

Of course what’s on my mind before all that is finding a substitute and preparing work for my class.  Hopefully by then, they’ll have their routine down!

On my bedside table…  It’s clear because the house is on the market.  I read over a dozen books this summer, but am not reading anything right now so I’m not distracted from the things that need to get done.  If I start reading a book I usually have to finish it in a day – maybe two.

I am richly blessed…  even though there have been changes at school (new principal and I am in a new grade), I am blessed because we love our new principal and my team has accepted me well and been so helpful.

In reflecting back at what a difficult beginning of school I had last year, I am blessed to not have the same stressors this year.

I’m praying for…  an opportunity for Hubby and also for family – a dear second cousin lost her husband to a stroke Friday. 

I’m still praying for God’s will in our housing situation.  We’d like to sell our house, live in Dad’s while we fix it up to use as a rental and build a new house for us.  We’ll see what His plans are.

Our home…  smells like roasted Hatch green chilies!  We haven’t gotten any since Texas and Hubby was so excited when I found a local place that had them.

Menu planning… Green Chile Burgers, Pork Loin, Cube Steak and Bumblebee Mac n Cheese, Potato Soup.

A photo or two… 

1st Day - 7th grade
1st Day - Freshman

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Bucket List Wrap-up

Although the calendar doesn't say it yet, summer is over....the picture above even shows it.  I decided since I made a summer bucket list, that I would give the update.  The ones in italics are done!

1.  Sleep in...a lot!
2.  Go to a drive-in
3.  Read a book with paper pages
4.  Flint Creek with friends from school
5.  A conference or two
6.  Sell our house
7.  Pick blueberries and blackberries
8.  Pick other fruit too
9.  Fly a kite on the beach
10.  See the wild horses
11.  Snuggle with my niece
12.  Go to a museum (or two)
13.  Eat breakfast at the donut shop
14.  Connect/Catch up with friends
15.  Do something with my blog
16.  Restart my gratitude journal
17.  See fireworks
18.  Make something homemade
19.  Finally go to the Flying Pig
20.  Celebrate our wedding anniversary

Some were a little different than I envisioned.  Different good:  I thought I'd end up running over to a local museum to catch number twelve, but we were able to stop at Nauticus in Norfolk on the way home from the beach and saw the Wild Horse Museum when we were in Corolla.  Also good: We saw fireworks more than once.  The ones we saw from a rooftop downtown with friends were especially enjoyable. Different not so good:  Flying kites on the beach wasn't what I remembered!  I had to run more than what I cared to while on vacation and the sand was hot!

Mermaid outside of Nauticus.  You can see the Battleship Wisconsin int he background if you look closely.  I have a picture of one of the boys behind a mermaid cutout (the kind you put your face in) and the other boy buried in the sand at the beach and maid to look like a mermaid.  I will spare both of them from having those pics posted!
We celebrated on 18th anniversary by going to dinner and looking through our wedding albums.  We still plan to go to Eureka in the fall.

Our house is still on the market.  When we put it there, our family was three "list it" to one "love it".  Now that months have passed we are two to two and there's a little indifference even there!

So summer. is. over. It has been one of the most enjoyable summers that I remember.  This is largely in part to our cool temperatures.  It made just normal every day life wonderful.  Usually, we have multiple days (20+) over 100 degrees (and of late, pushing 110). This summer we had maybe two days over 100.

I'm thinking I should be making a fall/winter bucket list!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Things I Learned in July

1.  I learned that I shouldn't take notes for this kind of thing as I go along because I'll lose them.

2.  I am at the age where I can't remember all the log ins and passwords to everything.  In my defense, I think it must be because there are waaaay too many things requiring such things. I have started a collection (all in one spot - not lots of pieces of scrap paper!) of log in information.

3.  Half of July was spent on vacation where I learned many things.  Some are:

  • Sand crabs that come out on the beach at night are about five times larger than the ones that are out during the day!
  • Smaller "day" crab - look in the very middle
  • There is a charter school meeting in the old Corolla School House (circ. 1800s - 1950s).  The school is Water's Edge Village School.
  • It is no fun for almost everyone on vacation to get a stomach bug (I knew this without having to experience it first hand.)

4.  The blog where I had been finding links to free books just wasn't delivering much any more, but I learned of a new one - eReaderGirl.  I love how she separates fiction, non-fiction and kids!  I just followed her on Pinterest too and she has so many fun reading pins!

5.  I learned about Sidetracked Sarah!  I am not a homeschooler or do I have a large family, but I tend to enjoy those blogs most.  Since school will be starting soon (by the way it's 1st grade this year for me) I was looking for freezer recipes and Sarah's got several menu plans for freezer to slow cooker meals.  They all seem like "real" food (not funny things I've never heard of or that no one in our home would dream of eating) and more like things I normally cook.

6. I learned the hard way that when you don't link your blog post in time that Mr. Linky does in fact close.  So this time I will link with Emily at Chatting at the Sky as soon as I'm done!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dreams in Bloom

This is beach post, but how could I resist this title or face??

On our beach vacation, some or all of us went to the beach every day.  We went several times a day at all different times of the day.  I'm not much of a beach person, but I must say, I enjoyed it the most this time out of any times ever!

When the kids weren't playing in the surf, they were burying each other in the sand making characters - a skeleton, hockey player, body builder, even a mermaid!  For the adults - it was easy to entertain the kids, it was done for us.  So we relaxed and read.  Not all on the beach, but I finished four books on vacation.  I also enjoyed collecting shells and watching hundreds of giant sand crabs on the beach at night with Hubby.

Since we went to the beach often, I got to experience high tide and low tide for the first time.  At low tide, I collected shells.  At high tide, my sis-in-law and I kept moving our chairs back until we were sitting in water anyway!!

It was a wonderful time away and with family.  I especially enjoyed watching my sons, niece and nephews enjoy themselves so much!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A New Home for Banjo

October of L's 1st grade year, he finally talked me into a critter - he purchased a leopard gecko entirely on his own!
L. found Banjo on Craig's List.  We met the owner at a gas station close to Lewisville, Tx.  Banjo was four months old.  Yes, that's my Dad sitting in the passenger's seat.  He was visiting for Fall Break.
Since that time L. has cared for Banjo completely on his own - switching out lights, feeding him, cleaning the cage.  He's paid for everything out of his allowance.

This past spring, L. decided he wanted to sell Banjo.  I "advertised" - meaning I mentioned it to a few people.  Finally, when we had a garage sale in May - I advertised a little better.  Someone I knew from college who still lives in the area contacted me via facebook because she was interested in a pet for her classroom.

Once L. knew she was a teacher, that I actually knew her, and that her 6 year old loved animals (we saw pictures from Sea World!), L would not entertain the thought of a different buyer.

We finally connected last week - L. took great care in showing her everything she would ever want to know about Banjo!

L. was pleased with the new owner, also.  He mentioned to me several times how nice she was.

Sigh. I remember every school project L. has done where he had to tell "his" story - autobiography, timeline, etc. - he mentioned when he got Banjo.  So far there's been no seller's remorse.  The gecko has a good home and a chapter in our ordinary life has closed.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

7 Things I Learned in June

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.   
Anthony J. D'Angelo 

Emily, at Chatting at the Sky, has invited us to share what we have learned during the month of June.  So here goes (I just love random ramblings!!)

7 Things I Learned In June

1.  I love summer!  I rarely say this.  I've never been that fond of summer - I'm more of a fan of fall.  This summer though, it hasn't really been that hot (yet).  We've gone places, but we've been home a lot too and I've enjoyed the ordinariness of doing things around the house.  I've enjoyed doing a lot of nothing and only what I want.  I've also enjoyed cooking (some).  PT (Prior to Teaching) I spent a lot of time menu planning, preparing and cooking.  During the school year, that just doesn't fly!
One of my family's favorites is this sausage and broccoli bake.  It's a Weight Watcher recipe, but I un-WW it because I don't use turkey sausage.  I think when I figured out the points it wasn't that different and I really can't stand food that tries to act like other food (i.e turkey acting like sausage or worse, beef!)
2.  My kids really are too old for some things.  I've seen this coming for a while now.  It became more apparent when I took my oldest, M (age 14) and a friend to a creek with friends to swim, jump off the falls and picnic.  The falls weren't as high as fourteen year old boys (at least mine) would like.  I had a lot of fun anyway! And no, I never jumped. Said boys did accompany me to the Dayspring Outlet in Siloam Springs right after the creek time.  So THAT is impressive!

3.  There is something (good) to be said of children getting older.  I learned that dead animals of any kind make me squeal (I already knew I would jump on the couch for live mice, etc.).  When the dog brought a bunny in (I'm sure she found the bunny unresponsive and after unsuccessfully attempting mouth to mouth was bringing it to see if we could help.) it was really nice insisting my fourteen year old son handle it (his Dad was gone at Scout camp) since it was after all, his duty.

4.  I learned that I stay up waaaay too late when Hubby is gone.  I already knew I slept with the bathroom light on if he's not home, but 2 am is way too late for me to stay up (I'm one who requires sufficient beauty rest!) reading.  Once I do turn the light off I sleep horribly too.

5.  June was conference time!  I went to a four day one and an afternoon one so I learned many new classroom ideas - way too many to write about.  I'll just mention a couple - I learned that Dr. Seuss books contain a high amount of Dolch words.  So having a student read a book to you is way more exciting than reading a list of words!!  I also learned to take existing games (Twister, Jenga, Candyland) and make them in to sight word (or letters for early years) practice games.

I can't wait to figure out which grade I'm teaching so I can start working on some games!!

6.  I finally found a study at church that works for me to attend!  I've been going to Beth Moore's lecture series "The Law of Love".  It's so beautiful to see the fulfillment of the law in Christ (I love to see the fulfillment of Jewish customs in Christ too).  Our Promised Land is Christ Himself.  Every part of my listening guide is covered in my writing and each time I reread it to try to write something down I've learned, I just get overwhelmed that I couldn't possibly write everything down!!

7.  I also learned every time L. and I get a chance to go eat together we usually choose barbecue!  He doesn't like Chic-fil-a and I don't like sushi, so that's what we agree on.  Also, M. doesn't usually choose it because he doesn't like to SMELL like barbecue when we leave!  L. and I were in "the city" doing errands a couple of weeks ago and we ended up at an old favorite and last night when it was just the two of us for dinner, a different BBQ place was our choice.

Thanks, Emily, for the encouragement to write.

I'm looking ahead to July - Beach vacation and to August - I will kick getting ready for school into high gear!