Thursday, July 30, 2009


Not that you were holding your breath or anything....but I'm better now. I still like my house. I still think it is silly we're spending so much time and money on it. But I'm ok with how things are and the path we've chosen. The kitchen floor is done, the house is put back together, my husband has pampered me, and I can now cook in my kitchen again. Life isn't so bad.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Therapeutic post

I don't know if I am cut out for this.

I don't know why I bought a fixer-upper house. I'm still not sure why I bought a house, period.

I don't even care about it. I'm leaving this crumbling place soon. Very soon, in the big scheme of things. I'm not emotionally attached to it. I'm not going to raise a family here. I get minimal satisfaction out of completed projects--because there aren't any. I started painting a year ago, and still have more to go. I started working on the yard several months ago-and it's still an ugly jungle. We started re-doing the kitchen back in the dead of winter-and it's still going.

I'm tired of running to Menard's or Lowe's every other day. Or every day the past week. Or twice a day today. I'm tired of adding more and more dollars on the tab of money I've spent on this house. It's ridiculous. Probably not a large amount of money as far as home improvements go, but too much for me. I've got better things to spend my money on.

Like trips to Honduras. I'm dying to go.

It just seems stupid. People are starving all over the world, churches beg for funds to help the homeless, my own friends can't get to Africa to work with the poor because of funding, and I pour money into a tiny, odd conglomeration of wood.

I'm tired of things like hearing the stair rail rip out of the wall. The fridge leaking water in the dining room while it's displaced out of the kitchen. Window frames breaking in my hand. Starting one project to discover three others. Decorations peeling paint off the wall. Stripping screws. Rotten wood. Broken bits. Torn up hands. Dust everywhere. Mediocre results. Making mistakes that cost time and money.

And yet, I can't stop. I (and now, Bob) have started trying to salvage this house, and we've dug ourselves holes we have to get out of (or should I say, patch over) if we ever want to have hope of selling this house to at least recover the money we've put into it.

And I have a hard time looking over the imperfections. I know the guest room closet is still purple even though I never go in it. I know the outside spicket in the front doesn't work even though I've never had to use it. I know there are at least two torn window screens, even though most people would never see them.

Pathetic, aren't I?

I know, I know. I know all the good reasons to have a house--it's financially smart, you have a place to host others, it's a ministry tool, I'm learning useful skills, etc. I've repeated them to myself and so many others enough times to make you nauseous. But right now, with summer passing by with me spending most days working on projects that are only going to look so-so, it seems absolutely a waste of time.

And this is the mood I'm in.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Week of New Things

Sometimes change is nice. Here's a few new things in our life from the last week.

New tile in the kitchen

New haircut #1

New haircut #2

New flowers from the yard

New tomatoes peeking out

New vehicle in the drive

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blast from the past

I first did this two years ago. Here's the 2009 version.

What's on my desk:
a list of places where I need to change my name
a whole bunch of thank you cards that need to be written
the second book in the Mark of the Lion series

What's in my fridge:
Fuze drinks
leftover homemade ice cream

What's on my floor:
a considerable layer of dust from the kitchen project
the charger for my new Blackberry

What's on my mind:
If I am capable of successfully completing previously mentioned kitchen project
Ways to save money, water, and electricity
my husband
the start of my last year of grad school looming in the near future

Friday, July 10, 2009


We have a big group of kids who hang out with my friends and I every Wednesday night. We love them. However, most of them come from not-so-ideal home situations. They're loud at times, rowdy, and fairly undisciplined. But they are ridiculously cute and after a few months of seeing us pretty regularly, we've all started to have a lot of fun as our lives have become more intertwined.

Here's how a conversation went with me and one of my favorite kiddos (that's just between you and me ;-) ) before we were to take a bunch of them to see Ice Age in 3D a few days ago.

(Kid hanging on my leg for quite a while)

Me: What's wrong? Are you tired?
Kid: No.
Me: Do you not feel good?
Kid: No. (grips my leg tighter)
Me: Then what's wrong??
Kid: I miss my daddy. (sniffle)
Me: Well, where is he? (stupid question)
Kid: In jail.


What do you say to that? I didn't say anything, just helped her put her seat belt on so we could go see a movie and eat gummy bears together. That dad is missing out.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Honeymoon Highlights-Bloopers

"The joy is in the journey, not the destination...."

We found ourselves in a few amusing situations during our week in Colorado.

I saw some property of distant relatives:

We went on a crazy drive and even though we saw this sign...

it didn't register that we were traveleing so slow (that is, 10-15 mph and feeling like we were flying down the mountain). We were blown away when we got out at a rest stop and saw we were only 1/3 of the way down the road after 30+ minutes of driving.

And we ran into the father of Bob's brother-in-law, who had been at our wedding in MN, along with his daughter and and her husband, at a church we randomly searched online.

Another day, we had just left the zoo when we saw "a shortcut" on the map we thought we could take back to our cabin. After 1.5 hours of driving down a mountain, through tunnels and canyons, we were confused and asked for help from a hiker......

only to find we were just a few blocks from where we started.

Good times, good times.

Monday, July 06, 2009

11:15pm on a Monday

We finally have time. Time to sit and talk, time to not get out of bed until 10am, time to painfully jog after 2 months off, time to sort through the ideas running though our heads. Bob and I finally have time to figure out specifics concerning the type of life we want to lead, what we are going to spend our time and resources on, and the like.

So here's a few of our rambling thoughts, in my words.

We want to be open, transparent people. We want to disciple others. Neither of us is particularly gifted in this. But lately God has been throwing new neighbors, homeless people, aimless kids, and others into our path. We have heard a distinct call from God-"Get ready." We have prayed for these chances, and now we're praying even more fervently for help and guidance.

We want to be financially responsible, as well as generous. We're trying to find that balance between being prepared enough to be effective and living open-handedly enough to be faithful. We glanced at setting a budget and determined it wasn't for us--neither of us has trouble living within set limits. We're pretty cheap. We don't need something to tell us how much we can get away with spending. But we do need some structure as to where and how to give. We don't want to look up a year from now and see we were just living for ourselves.

Along those lines, we're going to do whatever small things we can to save money so we can give more away. So we're jumping on the frugal bandwagon, throwing around ideas likes rain buckets and unplugging things and getting rid of non-essentials. It's overwhelming to think of all the things you could do, but we're pretty committed to doing something to cut costs.

And we're getting back into the Word, settling down into studies and routines. My favorite part of the day right now is him on one couch across from me on another, studying the Bible and sharing truths and thoughts with each other from our various points of discovery and reflection.

Thank the Lord for time. There is 1.5 months before we both start back at school, and time will become as precious as diamonds. But until then, I'm relishing every moment.

New Cell

After 3 years of living in the state of Minnesota, I've finally gotten a local number. 507-226-4078 for all those who wish to talk to me.