Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The One Where I Yap...

I wasn't going to post today, because seriously...there's just nothing new to report!  Life is good, and fun, but it's all the same stuff going on that I've already yapped about.

But obviously that doesn't stop me from yapping on...

Which I think is probably only interesting to me.

Things like:  
  • It is WARM here.  In the 50's...YAY!  The snow is melting and everything is a muddy sloppy mess...which if you live in Iowa happens to be the most beautiful sight ever.  Ever.  There's chances of snow the rest of the week, but none of us care.  We are basking in the glory that is 50-some degrees.  
  • I met with the high school guidance counselor today about classes for Julie.  I think the counselor (who was WAY younger than me, by the way) may have even been overwhelmed with my sheer enthusiasm.  That happens.
  • It's a weird phenomenon lately...the shifting of feeling older.  I used to group myself with the twenty somethings, knowing they were younger but considering us roughly the same (deluded, I know)  But today, in the counselors office...that would have been a stretch.  But ya know what...I kinda like it.  
  • I'm having a fairly good hair day today.  And dang it, that counts for something.
I love the days that loving life is so easy.  Many days are like that.  Many are like that and I don't even notice...I'm thankful today that I know it.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Sit down, take a few minutes and have some coffee with me.

It's mocha mint today, I bought it at a cute little tea room on Saturday night where many of us from our little church had a Valentine's dinner.  It's delish.

Pardon the green bathrobe and crazy hair.  I've been wearing it curly again because it's just so much easier that way, but curly hair is not very forgiving after being laid on...it's unfortunate really.  

I overslept this morning.  It's Jack Bauer's fault.  Ben and I stayed up till midnight watching the first season of 24.  I'm not ashamed to admit that we watched 4 or 5 episodes in a row last night. We're completely hooked.  Junkies, I tell you.

I have all three of my boys home today.  Jake was sick last week and he passed it along to his big brothers...no barfing involved, so I can't really complain.  

Have I mentioned Julie?  :)  I don't think I've had one conversation with anyone this past week that I have not managed to weave her in...and whip out some more pictures for them to see. We've only been communicating for a week now, and already I feel like she's a part of our family. It is really quite amazing.     I can't wait for her to come to tiny-town...but I've got some stuff to do first. 

Which leads me to painting.  I've got some big painting plans.  

Alright, your turn...  

Friday, February 6, 2009


There are times when I hear something and it just HITS me.  Sticks with me.  Changes me.

Beth Moore is hitting me hard lately.  I love watching the DVDs that go along with this study.  Her passion for God's Word is inspiring and contagious, and what I love most about her is that everything really is all about Him.  

Here's what I scribbled down Tuesday night during Bible Study as we watched her DVD.  I feel like I can't write fast enough to catch all the good stuff, and if I don't write it down...*poof*  it's gone!

  • Peace and ease are not the same.
  • Many times we don't have a knowledge problem, we have an obedience problem.
  • Part of being spiritually mature is ceasing to equate hard with bad.  Just because something is easy doesn't mean it is good.
I can't get these out of my head.  I have a feeling I know why.  There's a theme going on...

I love that God loves me enough to keep leading and guiding.  Not because He needs me, but because He wants me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

3 Winners & Cute Jeans...

You should know that Ben and I were quite entertained at all your comments. You should also know that we are both easily amused.

Two things come to mind.
  1. I am not the only one with a desire to get my house and life in order. I'm in good company.

  2. "Ain't too proud to beg" also comes to mind, which is fantastic because we all know pride is such an ugly thing. :)

Random. org will be choosing the winners because I, of course, could never choose between you.

Winner #1: Commenter #62 : Jennifer @ Perspective From the Parsonage

#2 Commenter #131: Laurie M: Self proclaimed lurker :)

#3 Commenter #194: Beth @ Preserved By a Promise

See all you lurkers out there, it totally pays off to make yourself known. :) Winners, email me your real address so I can send them to you!

On a completely unrelated note to anything having to do with organizing and cleaning...last weekend when we had our little get away we found some good deals shopping. I mean cheap stuff.

My favorite by far though, was these jeans I got for Eli for $3.97 plus an additional 25% off at Gap. They are so him.

Gap calls them skater jeans. We call them rock star jeans ;)

Rock on friends, rock on.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bring On the Comments...

It's been about a month since I began my cleaning/organizational tangent.

That little tangent began after picking up this cute little book at the local Christian bookstore.

A month later I can still say that I really love the principals this book lays out. It has motivated me and helped me to tweak areas of my home and areas of my own thinking in order to make things run more smoothly.

I'm not talking perfection, here. After all, the book is not called The House That Cleans Itself and Stays Perfect Without You Doing Anything Ever Again...although I would have totally bought it if that were indeed the title.

Organization requires maintenance. Dang it, but it's true. I have to make a point to put stuff back in it's newly labeled place. I have to remind my boys, pretty much every day, to hang up their coats. But at least we all know where the stuff now belongs, and that is huge!

Is everything perfect? No way. Perfection is not my goal. My kids would hate me if I required perfection...I would hate me too.

The key to an organized house is not that it looks super clean all the time...the key is that when you pick up, it goes QUICKLY, because

  1. There's not a ton of extra junk around that you just don't know what to do with (because you've sorted, pitched, and donated)

  2. Everything has a place...basically.

I love this book. I have picked it up dozens of times to re-read certain sections. There is still many ideas that I haven't implemented yet...baby steps.

I'm telling you, no matter how neat and organized you think you already are, this book has more ideas. For real. And if you're feeling overwhelmed, this book has ideas. Really good ideas.

The author Mindy Starns Clark sent me three autographed copies...all her idea, I didn't ask her to do it, she's just generous like that :)

Leave me a comment, about anything you'd like and you'll be entered! I'll pick THREE random winners tomorrow! Leave me different comments and enter yourself as many times as you like...why not?!?

Happy Organizing and Thanks Mindy! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Two Things...

So the title of my post yesterday was sneaky, I'll admit. Shame on me ;)

I think I could start a new blog series called "Why it's better to have a pretend teenage daughter than a real one" For example, yesterday was our first day we were able to communicate and one of the first things Julie wrote was, "You are so young." I'm pretty much positive this is not something a real teenage girl tells her mother.

It made me love her even more. Of course.

And I think when she gets here, we should all talk her into doing a regular guest post on Life in the Parsonage: The teenager from Norway version...good stuff.

Here's some stuff I learned about her already:
  • Her English vocabulary may be better than mine. She used the word flabbergasted. Which impresses me beyond belief. Nice that I need to have a foreign exchange student in order to expand my own English. By the time she lives with me for a year, she'll be using made up words and improper grammar like no one's business. :)

  • She is not a "pink person" which is good, because I'm not either. No pink bedroom walls in this house. But I've got a girlie plan that is cute as all get out, and I'll share it with you when it's complete in its perfection.

  • She is sweet. And charming. I can tell she's charming already...I just can. And witty! Go check out the comments on my post yesterday, she commented at the end.

I have one picture of her that I got from our exchange student coordinator...wanna see her?!?

Bloggy friends, meet Julie:

In other news: Remember that book The House That Cleans Itself that I went on and on about?!? Well, the lovely author of that book, Mindy Starns Clark sent me THREE autographed copies to give away to ya'll! Thanks Mindy!

Two things:

  1. The give away is not until TOMORROW! So you have time to tell your bloggy friends OR be selfish and keep the news to yourself in hopes of increasing your odds of winning. It's between you and the Lord ;)

  2. Comment on the post tomorrow and then on Thursday I will randomly choose THREE winners!

See ya tomorrow!

Monday, February 2, 2009

We're Expecting!

Friday morning Ben and I left tiny-town for a couples retreat in an actual city. The first session didn't actually start until 7:30 Friday night, which means we left are home as soon as humanly possible in order to make the most of our time.

Friday was also THE day that I was to hear from the school. We we're hoping to know by around 10 AM. Every time my cell phone rang my heart raced. I jokingly said to Ben, "You wait, that Principal will wait till the END of the day to call."

And...he did.

I was standing outside Banana Republic when I got the call. And we got the slot! Which means in August we will become pretend parents to a lovely 17 year old girl from Norway, named Julie!

YAY! Did I mention she's adorable? And smart? And friendly? Well, at least I think she is from her application ;) We now have the all clear to communicate with her, so we're awaiting an email. We'll have six months to communicate before she arrives.

I've very distracted with girlie bedroom decorating plans.

I do want to share some of the stuff I learned while waiting (other than the fact that I really don't enjoy the waiting)

  • Knowing God is in control of the situation, and acting like He is are completely different. Knowing is easy. The other: Not so much. I found myself continually handing it back over.
  • I spent a lot of time copying down different Psalms because it brought me such peace...calmed the anxiousness that I could not calm on my own.
  • God does not make we wait in order that He can see how I'll react. He already knows. The waiting is so that I can see my own heart.
  • I have learned that no matter what I think should happen, I ultimately want to be in the center of His will, not mine. No matter what.
  • God is in the details.

I can't wait to share more with you all on this journey. I sent Julie my blog address. Hopefully she doesn't change her mind about coming ;)

Now...I have about 30 loads of laundry to do. Exciting stuff.

PS - Ben and I had a great time on our short getaway...the topic was Love and Respect...more later.

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