Friday, October 29, 2010

5 Questions for Friday

1. What's one of your earliest memories?

2. How many pillows do you need to sleep comfortably?

3. Current craving?

4. Favorite piece of jewelry that you own?

5. Current frustration (a silly one is totally allowed)?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Idea

So I'm toying with a new brilliant (maybe?) idea: Gluten Free Classes at my house. Would anybody be interested in this?

Some class ideas I have:

Gluten Free 101 - the basics - how to avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen, what foods have gluten, a couple of basic meal ideas...

Gluten Free Cooking - meal planning, recipes, ideas

Gluten Free Sourdough - how to do a starter, how to convert recipes, making bread...

Gluten Free Desserts - maybe I could convince a friend of mine to teach this one. She makes awesome frou-frou GF desserts. ;)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


John 15:4, 5 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

What does it look like to go through each day without getting short-tempered or discouraged, afraid or worried? Is it possible to do that? It must be, or else God wouldn't have given us the instructions that He did:

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

As far as I can tell, the only way to live this way is to Abide in Him. Here's the definition of abide, according to

–verb (used without object)
1. to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a small Scottish village.
3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last.

This is being constantly aware of Him. Not concerning ourselves with anything, but talking with Him about all of it. Being aware of His presence during the most menial tasks during the day (If you haven't read it, check out Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God). It amazes me that He cares about all the details of our lives, but His Word assures us that He does. This is the intimacy with God that I long for. This will make us unshakable, steady and calm in any circumstance, knowing the heart of our God and trusting that His hand is working.

And, like Paul said, "
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward." (Phil 3:13, 14)

Who's with me?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Five Questions (late)

1. What is your favorite vegetable?

2. The best use of pumpkin is_______?

3. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

4. Are you going anywhere during the Holiday season?

5. Does it feel like it's almost November, to you?

Getting Organized

Everybody seems to have a different opinion on how clean is "clean." Personally, I find this intriguing. We all spend way too much time worrying about whether our house will live up to other peoples' standards, in my opinion. If it makes you happy, be confident. If it doesn't, find a way to fix it. (Or wait until your children grow up a bit, that may be necessary as well?)

Anyway, any time I find my house out of control, and feel there is no way to keep up, I always default to using Flylady. I love that her stuff is free (unless you want to buy her cleaning stuff that she recommends, which is definitely tempting), I love that she's positive and encouraging, I love that she gives a step-by-step process by which you can get your mess under control. I do NOT love how many emails she sends so I generally do not subscribe to her yahoo list, and I also refuse to wear shoes in my house all day. But her principles of housekeeping can't be beat.

I tend to do her plan in spurts, mainly because I'm not a perfectionist by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't like to spend my entire life keeping my house spotless...but with her plan, I actually probably could. I generally use it to get things manageable, and then I'm able to maintain a level of cleanliness that I'm happy with, without doing exactly what she says.

I also found this iPhone app that really helps me keep track of what I'm supposed to be doing. It follows her "zones" and allows you to set up your own morning and evening routines. It even has a 15 minute timer built into it, and when time's up it plays this epic music, designed to help you feel like you accomplished something. :)

We're working on writing out morning and evening routines for each member of the family (well, Tess might get out of this), along with another 15-20 minutes of chores for each day. If all four of us work on the house, we'll get things fixed up in no time!

Do you use any particular method for keeping the house clean? Do your kids do chores? What household chores is each person responsible for? Do you hire a housekeeper? (Lucky! ~read that like Napoleon Dynamite) Do you WISH you had a method for keeping your house clean?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

More here.
FOR TODAY, October 21, 2010

Outside my window...wispy, light clouds that are filtering the sun and making it colder than it should be. Our big backyard - firepit that we've yet to use (marshmallow roasting, anyone?), natural high prairie, a few small trees, a handful of zucchini plants from our landlord's garden that are hanging on just a bit longer.

I am thinking...about what to do next. I keep reminding myself of the good advice that is often echoed among homemakers and homeschoolers blogs - just "do the next thing." One thing at a time, it gets done. But the hard part is deciding what that next thing is...lots of prayer in this area lately.

I am thankful for...for a home. We like the layout of this house better than the one we moved from. For Tess FINALLY deciding to take some bites of sweet potato for me last night. Being the sole source of nourishment for another human being, for going on 19 months (including pregnancy) was becoming quite a chore. A woman can only eat so much!

From the learning to pack a box, how to organize a dresser drawer, time in the backyard, exercise on the trampoline, reading together. The past weeks have been focused on moving, but these are needed life lessons as well.

From the kitchen...a fresh gluten free sourdough starter, and some gingerbread experimenting soon to follow. The newest lesson on the sourdough ecourse is gingerbread made with sourdough starter. :)

I am linen pants, flowered cream thermal shirt, green tee.

I am new home. I'm actually having a blast dreaming up decor and places for pictures. We put the kids to bed early last night and I worked until 11pm. I'm feeling much better about things today than I was yesterday. Caring for kids is a full-time job by itself, and trying to unpack and set up a house sure gets overwhelming. I sincerely hope this is the last time for a looooong time.

I am Denver for Audrey's allergy treatment tomorrow. Aside from that, our plans are to stick close to home...oh, and get the apartment cleaned out.

I am reading...a chronological Bible reading plan at Right now I'm in the Psalms of David. It's really interesting to read the Psalms he wrote, surrounded by the historical events that took place in his life. Helps you gain perspective about how he sought God during difficult times. And, it makes me wanna write worship songs....more than usual.

I am hoping...that everything works out to finally sell our Jetta next week. It's looking like a go!

I am hearing...Hannah and Audrey playing together, Tess objecting to being gated away from where they're playing.

Around the house...unpacking, decorating, unpacking some more...

(after a three hour hiatus, I'm able to continue this post. :))

One of my favorite things...that all three children are sleeping AT THE SAME TIME right now. :)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Dr P appointment for Audrey, grocery shopping, cleaning the apartment, church, more unpacking.

Here is picture for thought I am of the many faces of Tessa...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The House Report

The background:
We were living east of town, in a house that we loved, that we were renting. 23 days before our lease was set to expire, which technically means it had automatically renewed, our landlord informed us he had decided to rent-to-own the house (to a friend, we assume, since no one had seen the house). 2 days later, my grandfather passed away in CA. Two weeks later we returned from our trip there, with two weeks to find a place to live. There was NOTHING. June 1st, we moved into a 1000 square foot apartment - the five of us plus the dog and cat. October 16th, we moved back into the same neighborhood we were in before, with a better house and situation!

The stats:
3rd move in 15 months
To a house that God totally worked out
Owned by a wonderful Christian family who had to suddenly move to CA for a job
Who didn't have much time to clean and prepare the house
Who didn't even charge us a deposit (thankfully, since our last landlord has thus far disappeared with the last one)
3 minutes from our church that we love
5 bedrooms
1/2 acre yard

Favorite thing: bedroom that adjoins the master for Tessa. She's already waking up less.

Least favorite thing: carrying laundry down 4 half-flights of stairs to the basement. I've been spoiled with main or even bedroom-level laundry.

Most surprising: we ended up giving Hannah and Audrey their own rooms and we all love it.

Random project: yesterday I took the cabinet doors off two of the kitchen cabinets and set glass jars full of nuts, seeds, grain, etc. It looks so pretty!

Thanks: to Elizabeth and Karin, who spent most of their Saturday helping me deep-clean the kitchen.

Done: the kitchen and living room...mostly

To do: unpack the bedrooms and bathrooms, magic eraser the walls, clean the carpets, hang curtains, touch up paint in a few places

Need/want: to sell our big oak desk and buy a small one that fits in the kitchen, to sell the entertainment center and buy a tv stand that fits in the tv cubbyhole thingy, to figure out why one upstairs toilet doesn't flush, a garage door opener, bedside tables, a flat screen computer monitor for the small desk, to sell the two counter-top microwaves we have and buy a new over-the-stove one since it doesn't work

We are very blessed. And very busy. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five Questions for Friday

1.What's something you are good at?

2. What's something you are not good at?

3. What's the last thing that made you laugh really hard?

4. What is your dream gift, to give or receive, if money were no object?

5. What's your favorite flower?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I realize I am somewhat unique in this, but I thrive on change. Whenever I see people complain about how they hate change, I laugh to myself. I realize that sometimes there are things that you love, that are hard to leave behind. I do experience that. When we moved from our house to the apartment this spring, I shed many tears over that change. But I was still energized by a new place, a new home to set up. Nothing will drive me to depression faster than feeling like the way things are today, is the way they will always be. I want life to continually improve. I want to continually grow.

We're currently in waiting mode about our move. We know it will happen sometime this month, but we don't know when. And it's driving me crazy. Part of me wants to attack the packing with everything I've got, knowing that I can accomplish a lot of it and be ready to go. The other part of me says we might have three more weeks here and most of what's in the apartment, out of necessity, gets used frequently. Arg. And there's nothing anyone can do about it. Change, please come soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

5 Questions for Friday

1. How do you typically spend your free time, as infrequent as it may be?

2. Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

3. Why did you cry the last time? (be as general or specific as you'd like)

4. What's your favorite color to wear?

5. Tell us a favorite thing about your spouse/significant other.