Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just In Time

My best friend, T, sent me the link to this online bible study. Thanksgiving day seems like the perfect day to answer the first question to the first chapter of the study.

I am SO thankful for the Lord and the life he has blessed me with. I cannot express in words my thankfulness and gratefulness. It overflows my heart and swells my eyes to tears.

1. Are there any circumstances or relationships in your life where you can see God has intentionally placed you?

This might not be the direction the author wants me to take with this question, but being "intentionally placed" brings up a huge chunk of my life.

The most important moment in my life took some planning... but not my planning. I had no idea where I was headed when this road started, but it certainly was a good road to follow and I'm so glad I did. This post is going to be long, but I really want to start at the beginning so my boys will have a record of the story.

Over 15 years ago, while in high school, I dated a guy that I (and many others) thought I would eventually marry. We dated for two years in high school and continued to date into college, about three more years. But now I am ahead of myself.

During my junior year of high school I was going through college brochures, trying to decide on the school and where I wanted to go. Because of no clear answer and financial restraints, I went to a local college for my first two years. I majored in mathematics. I love math and I knew that whatever I did I would need the math, so I started there.

During that time... and out of the blue, my Dad's brother, Jim, invited me up to Minnesota to take a tour of the 3M plant and talk to a man whom I was told, "His job is to know where the market is going and what jobs will be needed. He'll give you good advice for picking a major." Of course I went.

After answering some of his questions, I was directly pointed to the Georgia Institute of Technology for a degree in Chemical Engineering. I was also directly told to get involved with the Co-op program where I would get experience working with a company every other quarter. It all fit together perfectly. It was an in-state school. I had a full tuition grant for instate schools as long as I kept my grades up. The money I would earn as a co-op would pay for housing, books, food, etc. I applied when I got home for the next school year and was accepted.

When I got to GT, I went to the co-op office and would you believe that I only had one more quarter before I would be ineligible for the program? I don't remember why they have the time constraint, but I do remember feeling like I just made it in time.

Once I was accepted into the program, I still had to choose which companies to interview with. Now if that isn't a needle in a haystack! What companies don't want engineers from Georgia Tech? {grin} Somehow I chose my six. I interviewed and I was hired by one company because they said my computer skills out-weighed the other applicants.

My computer skills? What? I took one programming class at the local college and a high school class called "Intensive Office Procedures". It was designed for "future secretaries", and was the only computer class offered at the time in my school. (I'm showing my age here aren't I?) In that class I learned the basics of spreadsheets, documentation, the number keypad, and a few other things that we just take for granted these days. Glad I had the insight to take that class.

A quarter before I left to work for this company, my boyfriend and I decided to see other people. The long distance just wasn't working and neither was most everything else in our relationship. I felt terribly alone as we had been best friends for 5 years, but I knew it was time to move on. We remained friends, but of course it was never the same.

So, I moved out of my dorm room, loading down my Honda Civic hatchback with all of my belongings and headed to the unknown state of Alabama... alone. To work in a stinky paper mill. On computers... of which I had been trained on to be a secretary. Talk about scared and lonely, but excited all at the same time!

My first Monday was spent getting acquainted with my surroundings and meeting lots of new people, including the engineer that I was assigned to for the work quarter. He wore a horizontally striped polo type shirt, had broad shoulders, jet black hair and eyes, and a smile that lit up the room. Throw in a southern accent and let me just tell you, I was glad to be in Alabama. (It was later pointed out to me that he also "wore his Wranglers well"... and I agreed.) But wait... I'm talking about my boss for the quarter! By now I'm sure you've figured out that it was Jeff. :)

We hit it off immediately and he asked to show me around the town that Friday night. Since I had nothing better to do (haha), I accepted. It was never really said that it was a "date", but what a rush when he took my hand at the movies. And then when the movie was over, he stole a quick little kiss. I had no choice I tell ya. NO Choice. (I'm ok with that.)

The next week, was a whirlwind of flirting and smiles. There was one conversation we had that second week where we were talking about our families. It came out that my mom has aged well... very well. Anyway, after I told him that, there was a strange look on his face and he said, "Don't be surprised if I ask you to marry me one day." Ummm... ok. How 'bout now? :)

Turns out, as I learned sometime later, that about three months before I showed up in that stinky paper mill, Jeff gave careful thought and created a list of attributes he wanted in a wife. He took that list and he prayed. One of the (superficial) attributes he prayed for was that his wife would grow old gracefully (and you know that can be a hereditary thing). Apparently, there were other attributes that he had already recognized before he made the marriage statement.

To him, it seemed pretty clear that I was the one he prayed for.

Now, when I started this story, I mention the most important moment in my life. As much as I love Jeff, he was not the most important moment in my life, so let me continue the story...

Jeff was an established Christian and I was pretty much a blank slate. I believed there was a God, but had no foundation and no real knowledge. To be truthful, the Bible scared me because I thought I wouldn't be able to understand it and would be ridiculed for my lack of knowledge. Jeff set a good example and always left the door open for questions. There was always an open invitation to attend worship services with him, too.

One Sunday morning I finally took him up on it. I was amazed in the Bible class. It was a fantastic starting point for me. They were just beginning a study of the book of Matthew and the class was being taught by an elder of the congregation. During the class, someone mentioned how they thought that Matthew is one of the best books of the gospels. I don't remember their reasoning, but I remembered the name of the book and went home and read the book of Matthew (which isn't a short book). Matthew is a very good place to start because it's at the beginning of the New Testament.

About a year later, I finally decided that the Lord's church is something I wanted to faithfully be a part of. I had heard the word of truth and I believed it. I made confession that I believe Jesus to be the Son of God and repented of my sins. I was baptized for the forgiveness of my sins. I came up out of the water a new creature and continue on the walk daily. Sometimes I deviate as I am not perfect, but I know I'm forgiven.

A couple of years later, Jeff did ask me to marry him (obviously). We were married in the same church building where I learned about my Savior. We were married by the elder that taught my first bible class. And now we're back living in the same town where Jeff stole our first kiss.

So, if you made it this far, you see that there were A LOT of "Just In Time" circumstances that not only brought me to Jeff, but more importantly to Christ.

Had I decided not to take the secretarial class


had I said "no" to the offer of a trip to 3M


not shown up in the GT co-op office soon enough


not chosen the right company to interview with


decided to stay with my high school boyfriend because it was expected


not taken the journey to Alabama


not agreed to join Jeff for services one Sunday morning

then I probably would not be where I am today.


I can't forget prayer. Had Jeff not prayed for me, it may not have been so obvious that I was the one for him. There were A LOT of spiritual and emotional walls he had to get through to find the real me and I am so thankful he had the patience and understanding to do it... so that I could find Christ.

God had a plan for me to come to Him. It took me years to find Him. It wasn't an overnight find. It was a series of choices and circumstances laid out before me. I'm so thankful that I chose the path he set before me. I pray that I will continue to choose the narrow path and bring my family with me through the small gate that few will find.


I will finish the remaining questions another day... :)
Part 2 of Question 1: What do you perceive may be at stake if you do or do not speak out for Him?

2. Can you honestly describe yourself as a woman with a 'yes' in her spirit? If not, what keeps you from this?

3. Do you recognize any circumstances in your life which could be described as an 'unrecurring event'? Have you ever said 'no' to one and watched God use someone else instead?

4. Are you in an emotionally and spiritually healthy place? If yes, how are you using this freedom to minister to others? If no, what do you feel is holding you in your Egypt?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cooperation is Not His Middle Name

He's done this before, too. What a goof! :)

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Just lovin' 5 Minutes for Mom!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a sleep number bed!

Wouldn't that be an awesome present!?!

If you swing by, please be sure to vote for my picture, too. :) We're #10 of the 20 finalists!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Nathan, age 3, is my featured Tiny Talker this week:

Grabs my hand and says "Fow Me" - "Follow Me"

Last night at supper, we had mashed potatoes with our meal. Nathan took a bite and very plainly said, "Good potatoes!" Although he's speaking more, we are going to be looking into some speech therapy for better enunciation.

Every morning we have "hot chocolate". One day Nathan decided he didn't want hot chocolate anymore, he wanted just right chocolate. So now that's what he asks for each morning, "NayNay want just right chocolate."

He's such a sweetie lately, always hugging and kissing with a, "Love Mama."

"Q" - "cute" ...Everything is cute these days.

He doesn't want the big piece, he wants the little piece. "Lil piece" and of course, it's "Q".

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Monday, November 24, 2008


We were in charge of decorations for our church visitation meeting and I decided we'd do a little turkey craft for some centerpieces. We then combined this week's Unplugged Project, Thankful, by adding some cut-out leaves with thankful thoughts written on them.

The turkey really isn't a hard craft, but the youngest boys just wanted to eat the gum drops. Then Will poked himself with the toothpick and that was then end of it for him. I should have gotten rounded toothpicks. Hind sight...

Will did complete one turkey, but Jeff and I finished the rest by ourselves.

I was thankful when it was over. :)

For more Thankful projects, head over to Unplug Your Kids.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dairy Free Recipes

Just a head's up for those of you that are Dairy Free - I posted a few new recipes on my other blog that I've tried out lately. I know it's been forever since I've shared something, so I thought a quick promo might be helpful. :)


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Breaking Free

Anybody have this book that would be willing to let me borrow it for a few months? It's not available on Paperbackswap and I don't want to purchase it right now. Our bible class this next quarter is going to be based from it and I'd like a copy to reference from home. Thanks! :)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love Mama Bug

Each morning the boys get a cup of hot chocolate when they wake up. It's really just warmed soy milk with some chocolate Nesquick. One morning, Nathan was in an especially grumpy mood when he woke up and told me, "NayNay no want choc milk." I replied, "Well then do you just want plain milk?" His eyes lit up and a smile brightened his face as he nodded. When we got to the kitchen, though, that all changed as he saw me pour just the milk and give it to him.

He started tearing up and replied with, "NayNay want play milk." I asked him, "You want play milk" while signing "play". He said, "No. Play milk" while signing PLANE. He was excited about "plane" milk! It sure is hard explaining plain versus plane to three year old!

Nathan has always been a cross between a terror and a lover. Very stubborn and hot tempered one minute, but then just a sweet little man the next. When he turned three it was like a switch went off and he has become more sweet than stubborn. It's been so nice!

One morning he hoped into bed with us and snuggled in close to me with the sweet statement, "Love Mama". I pulled him closer with a hug and asked, "Are you a love bug?" He replied, "No, love mama bug!" So cute!

Conversation with Will in the car:

Will: What does a mayor do?

Me: He runs the city.

Will: Is that all he does?

Me: Well, he does more than that -

Will interrupts with: Maybe they make promises.

Me, laughing: Yes, I suppose they do.

Will was searching for his compass one evening and came in asking, "Do you know where my map and compost are?"

Will handed Jeff some coins. Jeff told him, "Thanks, but I don't want to take your money. You keep it."

Will replied,

"But I wanted to give you some cents (sense)."

New words from Witt this week (18 months):


Bang - as he hits me. oh joy.




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Monday, November 17, 2008

Photo Finalist!

My picture made the TOP 2o for FUN with FOOD!!!

PLEASE go vote for us; we're picture number #10! And tell your friends to, too! I'm not ashamed to beg for votes! We're talking about $500 in groceries! ;)

Oh, this just made my day!!!

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Spinning Out of Control

NOTE: Rant worthy post. Certainly lots of misspellings and incorrect grammar. Probably not in any coherent order either. I just typed. I just got it out. You don't have to read... I wouldn't blame you! :)

I feel like the Tasmanian Devil has hit me and taken me along for a ride and I don't see a stop coming soon. Do you ever feel like your world is just spinning out of control and all you can do is watch? Well, right now, that's how I'm seeing things. Oh, and I'm feeling quite inadequate about getting everything done, too. My list is a mile long and when it reaches this point it's hard to decide what to do first and so many times I don't do anything out of sheer shock and denial.

My house is ATROCIOUS. Let me spell it out... at least three loads of dishes in my tiny kitchen piled up on the counters (we're even using the mud sink to hold dishes!), Jeff couldn't find blue jeans to wear today because they're dirty, the dogs are lucky to be fed every other day, my beautifully organized desk is hidden, I need to mop... NEED TO MOP!, our food that needs to be composted runneth over - big time, we have no groceries in the house, etc. etc. etc.

I just got over a cold and now Jeff is coming down with the same symptoms. The holidays are fast approaching and with all the food a little extra stress for me at the family gatherings with Witt's allergy on top of it all. Bills to pay. Letters to write. Coupons to clip.

Hunting season is going to be on top of me soon. More time with just me and the kids. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind Jeff's hobby. I knew about it from day 1 in our relationship. It's just a little stressful knowing that he's going to go sit in the quiet of the woods enjoying nature and I'm at home wrangling three bouncing boys. We've made a plan to sit down with the calendar and pick good weekends and days for him to hunt so we're not hashing through it each time he wants to go (yet another thing to do on my list). And let's hope for a successful season for Jeff!

I need to shop. The boys don't have proper Sunday pants; Will's winter coat is from last year and it's really too short in the arms; I need some new heels; and then there is all the Christmas shopping coming around soon.

Oh, and then there is the blog book that I want to get started too. That's a huge time taker. Hopefully it will go easier this year since I've already worked with the software from last year.

It's just feels never ending. Even just the daily routine of dishes and laundry. I seriously wonder how moms that work outside of the home do it all. They amaze me. Maybe I would get more done if I had more of a time constraint on me. I don't know. I do know that doing dishes and laundry every day gets VERY OLD VERY QUICKLY and I don't want to do it and so I put it off and then I'm in a spot where I am today... with more on my plate than I can handle.

Will is whiny. I don't know if it's the time of year or what, but we're finding objection from him in everything we do. He's pushing his limits and I'm trying to reel him in and keep my composure at the same time. I'm feeling really inadequate and harsh in the mommy department these days. This parenting thing is rough. I need to remember that they are 6, 3, and 18 months. They aren't teens that can do everything for themselves. It's just hard to be at everyone's beck and call and not get a little frustrated and feel like I'm doing more than my fair share. (Jeff does a fantastic job of helping me out, that's not what this is about. It's just the pull of the kiddos and only one of me.)

My personal bible study is nil. Nothing. Haven't gotten up early to read in a long, long time. We have some exceptional bible studies going on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, though. I am so thankful for them because they are thought provoking and nourishing. I need to be giving myself more time in the book on a personal level, though.

There are half read books on my night stand. Books I really want to finish. More books that I want to start. What do I do with my time!?! Where does it go?

I have lots of blogging to do, too - which may sound like something I should put last on my list, but I love keeping this blog. I love the priceless memories that I've been able to put down in writing. So, you'll still be seeing me here around the blog, but you might not be seeing me at your place. sorry.

I want to spend more time with my kids. I know I'm home with them during the day, but too much of the time we spend our time doing our own thing. Yes, even at 3 years old he has his "own thing". I'm not saying I want all consuming time with them. Just more quality time and better interactions.

AGH! I have so much disorder in my life! I need to bring order to this chaos!!!

Can you see that I want to change so many things? Where do I start? Do it all at once and hope the changes stick? Take one at a time until it's routine?

It's so easy to say what I'm going to do. It's even easy to see it on paper and make a schedule of things to do. The hard part is actually DOING IT. Follow through is not my strong suit. I'm fantastic at starting something new, but terrible at finishing it up. Another thing to work on.

Anyway, thanks for the vent. It's motivated me to get to work.

Now, where is that apron?

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Internet Issues

We're having internet issues with our home computer so I won't be blogging anytime soon. I am accessing the internet through Jeff's work laptop right now and should be able to do that from time to time until we get our problem fixed.

Thanks for being patient and if I don't get a chance to say it before the holidays roll around... Have a great Thanksgiving!!!

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Friday, November 14, 2008

FUN with FOOD entry

5 Minutes for Mom is holding a photo contest with the theme of FUN with FOOD (and FAMILY).
My entry is this picture of my middle son, Nathan, feeding our family dogs while dressed up like a dog himself!

No, this picture was not taken in October and no, it wasn't staged. Nathan found the Halloween costumes one day and begged to put it on. He wore it all day and when I found him feeding the dogs some apples slices I saw the irony of:


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FUN with FOOD contest

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that voted! Nathan in the Dog costume received the most votes, so that's the one I entered. Thanks again! :)


Ok, so I'm entering a photo contest that has to show FUN with FOOD and is FAMILY oriented.

#1: FUN with FOOD and our church FAMILY at a fellowship meal

#2 Eating Cookie Dough while doing Christmas Cut-out cookies

#3 Daddy being silly with Witt's FOOD

#4 Brothers sharing FOOD (powdered vanilla rice milk)

#5 A "Dog" Feeding Dogs

(No, this was not in October, and NO, I did not stage this) The rules said it could also be a picture with the FAMILY pet(s)

#6 Will harvested his FOOD that we planted TOGETHER

#7Big Brother Feeding Little Brother

#8 Sharing a Popsicle with Daddy

So, which one is your favorite for FUN with FOOD?


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Will

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Go Ahead... Make My Day

More bloggy catch-up going on. Found another award.... I am such a bad bloggy friend.

This award is from MommyK @ The Great Walls of Baltimore.... from back in JUNE. {hanging head in shame}

I am supposed to pass this on to 10, yes TEN, bloggers. Whew.... Ummm... I'm going to do what I really don't like to see done, but I'm going to do it... oh. yes. I. am.

If you think you make my day, then go ahead and pick this award up for yourself. Go ahead, make my day! :)

(See how old this is.... even my signature is old...)

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Beary Sweet Blog Award!

Julie @ Blessed with Five bestowed this award on me some time ago. I have yet to graciously accept and pass it on. Today I am doing some big time bloggy catch-up and I realized how late I am in accepting. Sorry, Julie! :)

I received this "BEARY Sweet Blog Award" because of one or all of these reasons:

Has an Inspirational Blog
Blog is updated at least 2 times each week
Shows faith
Has a positive attitude on life
Makes mistakes
Share real life stories/experiences
Enjoys Blogging

Now to pass this award onto six other bloggers that meet at least one of the criteria on the list:

A Quest for Relevance
Life and Times
The Adventures of T and Super B
The Great Walls of Baltimore
Unplug Your Kids

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