Wednesday, February 18, 2015

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday


Why yes, that IS frost that has formed on the face of our fireplace doors!  And that is WITH our heat on.  So thankful for a wonderful working furnace!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Super Bowl Party!

Blue and green!  Guess which team we were rooting for???!!

Since I am originally from Washington State and the Seahawks were my first professional football team loyalty, we were super geeked when the Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row!  And since we barely need any excuse to have a party, we partied. ;)


Daughter G decorated our dessert cake with the hawk logo.  Didn't she do a fantastic job?!


 I made all new food for the party.  Tried four different recipes for the first time.  They were all hits!  Yay.  New food to add to our meal rotation.  This one is a crescent roll spicy Italian ring.


Cheesy meatball "sandwich."  (you eat them with the Italian bread on the sides)


 Our delicious buffet!

Daughter H even painted her nails blue and green.


So we were very disappointed when the Seahawks lost.....especially the way they lost, in the final seconds of the game.  But, it has given the christian believers on the team an incredible platform from which to speak of God's bigger plan, and it is just a football game!

But wow....what a GREAT game it was!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reposted from February, 2011 (because I need to be reminded!)

What's in a Valentine?

Do you know the origin of Valentines Day? Contrary to the complaints of some, it is not a holiday created by Hallmark just so they could make more money selling cards. For hundreds of years Valentines Day has been celebrated as a feast day in the Catholic Church. I am not catholic, and certainly do not claim to be an expert, but I do know that St. Valentine was a real person who was martyred for his faith. There were several "Valentines", but the one commonly referred to was a Roman priest who was executed by Claudius II around the year 270 A.D. Claudius was at that time persecuting christians, and Valentine provided assistance to them. Claudius considered this a crime and ordered his execution. He is said to have penned the jailer's daughter a farewell before his death, signing it "from your Valentine."


So, what should Valentine's Day stand for? Doing the honorable thing, the right thing, even when it's unpopular. Serving God wholeheartedly. Trusting Him in the face of death. Loving others from a pure heart.


The modern American trappings of Valentine's Day bear little resemblance to the devotion and sacrifice that started this holiday. We've made it into something else.


But it's good to remember the beginning.


Is my heart set on following God no matter what? Trusting him when life falls apart? Praising Him in the midst of trial and storm?



If it is, then my life is a valentine. A love letter to God. One that He delights in.



We love because He first loved us. ~ I John 4:19

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ice Festival!





Sea serpent





Olaf!


 It was c-c-c-c-cold but f-f-f-f-f-f-fun!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Discipline

I have a secret.

About 8 weeks ago I started training to run a 5K.  I have been reluctant to say it out loud because that makes it real, and I am afraid of failure.  Of not training enough to make it happen, or not finishing the race.  But I have been running at a gym in the early mornings before the children are awake, thanks to a friend and accountability partner who drives me to and from!   I am still in the early stages of training my lungs and my legs to RUN, but.... I am doing it.

It is both getting easier and not getting easier.

Last night my friend did not text to confirm a workout for this morning so I wasn't sure we were going.  I set my alarm for 6:15 anyway.  When my alarm went off, I lay in bed and prepared to text her to ask if she was planning on going to the gym.  My fingers were seriously about to type "sorry, but I'm cancelling this morning" when instead they typed "are we going to planet fitness this morning?" Every ounce of my body wanted to stay in bed.  But I didn't!  I am actively striving to "discipline my body and bring it under strict control."

During these past weeks of exercise I have been pondering these verses in I Corinthians 9:24-27:
"Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.  Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.  Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air.   Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified."
I have read these verses many times over the years, but they take on new meaning when I am in the midst of physical training.  Getting out of bed, going out in the cold, taking that first step on the treadmill....it is not fun.  Not even a tiny little bit.  But in doing it I know that I am "not running aimlessly," but rather for a goal, a prize.  For the sake of the prize, I discipline my body.  Make it do what it does not want to do.

In light of that, what does it mean to discipline my spirit?  My mind?  My will?  Make them do things they don't naturally want to do? And what is the prize?  It is a "crown that will never fade away," which means eternal life with Christ!  For the sake of that prize, what discipline am I willing to endure?

I don't want to just run.  I want to run in such a way as to win the prize.

Teach me, Lord.  And help me to run both the 5K and the race of life in such a way as to win!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fun with Family

A few days after Christmas, my sister in law and her three children came from out of state to celebrate a late Christmas with us.  They stayed at our house so the cousins got a lot of great cousin time in, and we all had a great time.  We played a lot of card games.  This was the fast paced "spot it" I have mentioned before.  I crashed and burned on this one, but had fun anyway!




This was our first Christmas without my father in law, and we all felt his absence pretty acutely, none more so than my mother in law.  She is doing well adjusting to life without him, but it is HARD.


My sister in law with two of her kids.


Probably the most fun we had together was playing "Just Dance" on our new xbox.  Even *I* danced!!  And what good exercise, wow!  I was panting and huffing and puffing like crazy.  I should do that every day and I would soon be a skinny minny. ;)





Just after midnight on New Year's Eve.  Happy New Year!!  My mother in law was talking to her other son on the phone, so even though he was away at work he was in the picture too!


After sleeping in very late on New Year's Day, we later had a family sharing time where everyone gave an update on their lives and told us what we could be praying for them throughout this next year.  Before sharing time, everyone's phones had to be relinquished. :)


Just as our little friend admires son C's piano playing, son C admires his older cousin's playing! Even though he is a sophomore in college, he wasn't too old or too cool to play with C. They played numerous duets together.  Music to my ears.  Literally!


Proof that my sister in law can dance!