Sunday, July 27, 2014

Demolition Preview!

It's finally time to fill you in on the BEFORE and AFTER of phase 1 of residing our log home! WAIT. WHAT? If you're totally confused you can catch up HERE. :-D 

These are the official before pictures of our previous facade-Log Cabin & Garage.  

Time for DEMOLITION! :-D Okay, so it wasn't really anything that I contributed too...All I did was provide moral and nutritional support for our amazing work crews! 

Here are the guys in action:: The Demo took just over a week which is far quicker than we assumed. These guys were monkeys crawling all over the house tearing off those old logs and getting things ready for the new look. Thank you!! 

Read The Bible With Me:: 

Friday, July 11, 2014

What to Do What to Do?

Oh there are so SO many wonderful things to fill our time and energy with- there are many not so wonderful things that we often choose instead; why do we do this? I don't know and I'm not going to spend time today trying to answer that age old question but I am going to fill you in on some things that have been on my heart recently for ways you can fill your life with purposeful activities.

The backstory of this post is that post-surgery has really had me thinking about "what's next" for me. I don't know when or if I will ever be able to get back on the roads again or if I will be completely seizure free (of course that is the hope!) but we know that all things have purpose and God's plan is woven through it all even if he chooses not to 'heal' me. Regardless of what happens with that, I'm recovered now, and I'm ready for action! I can't sit around twiddling my thumbs dreaming of ways to get involved in the great things that are happening around me. So for now here are a few things I'm doing and you can totally join me in it! :-D

-Write to a high school or college student working at summer camp/ Write to a camper

The Idea here is to ENCOURAGE someone else. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what's going on in our own lives that we forget about the lives around us. I worked at camp as a Freshman in College and it was one of the best and hardest summers of my life. You are pouring yourself into others' lives day in and day out and the letters you receive with encouraging words are like honey- little reminders to keep going. 

If you need some ideas about camps to think about sending letters to here are some: 

Good News Camp in Gladwin, MI. For More Info you can visit their Facebook page. 

Pine Ridge Bible Camp in Cedar Springs, MI. 
They also have a Facebook page Here

-Befriend an Elderly Person

Some of my most favorite people in the world are over the age of 70 and they are also some of the spunkiest men and women I know too! I had the pleasure of working for Porter Hills at Harvest Way in Sparta just before I took my leave to stay at home with my kiddos. My days there were so filled with laughter and good conversations with the residents and it always baffled me that so many of them hardly ever had a visitor other than their neighbors across the hall. If I am ever able to drive again you can bet I will be taking trips to the elderly. They have so much fun there and they know all the best games which makes for great chit-chat activity! 

For now-while I can't drive I'm enjoying getting to know some of my elderly neighbors on our street. As I take my walks, I try to make conversation with them when I see them out in their yards or like tonight, one spunky elderly man was taking a stroll on his bike. (that's a more enjoyable activity than watching TV!) :D  

-Learn a Second Language

I know what some of you are thinking…tried that. Failed. Never going to happen. 
Let me encourage you to try again. There are so many opportunities to reach out to others cross-culturally or inter culturally when you reach outside of your "norm" and you do something uncomfortable like learn a language that you are unfamiliar with. 

Here's where I'm at with this. I've studied Spanish since Elementary school but more seriously since High School when I was determined to prove my Teacher wrong and show her that I could learn it after she told me it just "wasn't my thing." :D Well, in honest, I really struggle in the oral department of practicing my Spanish and would have done much better in an immersion setting but that didn't happen until I got out of college and started using my TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) degree with the Sparta School's Adult ESL Program. I learned far more Spanish during my time teaching them English than I ever did in the classroom. Go figure! 

So I'm not teaching ESL right now, nor have I been practicing my Spanish so I'm pretty rusty in that area. I have hopes to continue teaching ESL in the future in some capacity if I start working again. For now, I cannot stay immersed in Spanish but I still have a love of languages and there are other languages to be learned and some that can be extremely helpful right in my community so I am going to dust off my ASL (American Sign Language)! 

This is a fantastic language. It is extremely simple to learn and it is so useful in and around your community. You can find all kinds of websites online for free video tutorials to learn-you don't even need to go to class! Or choose another language!

There is much to learn but much more to gain from the source of true wisdom-God. We can use these experiences and these tools for our own benefit and for our popularity but if we don't know the one who created the hearts of the college camp counselor that's struggling, or the lonely elderly person down the street, or the people we're trying to reach out to with a second language then we've missed the point of living and loving the life God gave us. 

We can waste our time in life "doing" all sorts of fabulous things in the eyes of people. Or we can thank God because he made each day an opportunity for growth in and through the things He places in our lives. 

Read The Bible With Me
Ephesians 2:1-10
2 Timothy 3:1-17

Friday, July 04, 2014

Life Lately…

Sorry it's been SO long since my last post. :{ Honestly, I've been in  a completely strange world these past four weeks. Some kind of weird mix of emotions, post-surgery healing, and parenting challenges. 

This week was supposed to be our week "away" camping with my family and we were so excited. I know right. Call us CRAZY~ 19 month old twins, an '84 truck camper, a dog, and a weather forecast for rain. So this was year 2 of using our camper and if you remember This post, JW and I were so pumped about our retro camper and all the detail we were putting into it. This year we had to do another renovation to it so that it would be once again safe for the kids. Jared put up a new divided bed for them and I wrapped the center piece with double thick cotton batting and then fabric so if they moved around it would be soft.

So this was about the only thing that did work right with this trip. :D The kids slept great and they loved their bed. 

We ended up cutting our trip short and heading home for a couple of reasons. First, I really was in no shape to be there. I over estimated my physical ability going into it. Because of all the extra activity and the crawling in and out of the camper I ended up with the cords from my DBS unit running from my chest to my brain being tighter than usual and pretty uncomfortable. Bummer. We sent some pictures to the Dr. and so far it sounds like it's nothing to worry about. 

The second reason for leaving was more simplistic, It was just a little much to be chasing around the kids with them at the stage that they're in and me not at 100%. We had plenty of people there that were willing to help watch the kids but at the end of the day I didn't want babysitters; I wanted to be enjoying my kids with my husband during his time off and that wasn't happening. So we'll try again another time. 

Since being home we've already done some fun things together enjoying the slow pace. Today we went to the John Ball Zoo in GR and we enjoyed watching the kids squeal with excitement watching all the animals. They especially loved the monkeys and the fish! Here are some pics from our day… 

We hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July!! 

Blessings friends!