Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Can't Believe I Get To Do This

Seriously, my job is the greatest in the world. It isn't always the easiest, but I still don't understand why more people aren't lining up to do it. This week at club I got to teach a couple of guys I've known for 3 years now how to do a classic Young Life skit, and then sit back and watch them perform for their friends.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Please Pray

My dear sweet friend Anne shared this story recently with me and the family set up a blog to follow along. Sara is a young friend of Anne's. The same week Sara found out she was expecting a baby, she found out she also had breast cancer. They have been treating the cancer the best they can while she has been pregnant. Last week, she gave birth and were able to bring their healthy little girl, Chloe, home. A couple days later Sara collapsed in her home with seizures. Read their story here. She has been in the hospital since last Friday, and she is not doing well. Their family could use a ton of prayer.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I wish I could write and sing and play

Just watched this and began my Saturday morning in tears. I know most of you have probably seen this, and it's not new to you, and it is just another Taylor Swift song... But man, I miss my Mom! ...and when I stop and think about it, it is still fresh and raw. One day it won't be, and the blogs about missing her will space farther and farther apart. But for now, I love that missing her is a emotion that is so real and impacts my heart everyday. My conversations are richer, my empathy stronger, and my desire to know others more sincere. Perhaps one on the greatest gifts through this whole season has been the impact on my heart.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you, I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. --Ezekiel 36:26

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

disturbing thought about the crap we hang on to

I was reading on recently and came across this in a blog about the self storage industry...

A Self Storage Association study showed that, by 2007, the once-quintessential client — the family in the middle of a move, using storage to solve a short-term, logistical problem — had lost its majority. Fifty percent of renters were now simply storing what wouldn’t fit in their homes — even though the size of the average American house had almost doubled in the previous 50 years, to 2,300 square feet.

I am disgusted. Mostly because lately as I spend more time at home, I have sensed my walls closing in on me. At first (and I'm sure it still is part of the reason) I thought that it was just because I'm getting stir crazy...seeing the same walls day in day out, while not having much on my agenda. But, I am also realizing that I am becoming quite lazy with my inactivity. Laziness breeds...well, more laziness and procrastination. I see a mess and though I may have time to deal with it, I convince myself that "I'm just too tired to deal with it now, or I'll just get to it later." ...and nope, I don't...instead I settle into a daily habit of avoiding cleaning, organizing, and throwing out. Why? At this rate my walls really will close in on me. In 30 years I'm afraid that I will own a space for self storage because my home has become too cluttered with boxes and trinkets covering every inch of tabletop, sitting, shelving, and closet space...I'll stub my toe on random items lying in the middle of the floor or cluttering every corner while their waiting for a home (when in reality, it's home should be the garbage!)

I don't want to live a life of clutter. A life of "hanging on till it comes in handy". A life of mementos. A life of dirt and filth, of laziness. I don't want to start walking down a road of hoarding. So, before it gets heading that direction...
It is time to throw out, donate, and put away my crap....and put into action "if I have not needed it or looked for it in the last year...then GET IT OUT OF MY HOUSE!" So, if you call me and I don't answer...I'm cleaning out my closets and going through my piles. Feel free to stop by and claim something you like. But, If you don't REALLY need it...Leave it for the dump. Thanks

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Lawn Man My Wife Always Wanted

I thought about making the title for this "Man-scaping" but I was afraid that my friends would avoid it and too many strangers might read it.

When Leigh and I got married, she used to fondly remember lawns of her childhood, meticulously cared for by Chuck. She also complained quite a bit about the work it required from her and her brothers every weekend, but that's a separate post (but if you ever want to rile her up, just say the words (poison potato). I told her that I would never become that man, that lawn care was not something that I cared deeply about and that she would just have to deal with it. I was wrong.

When Leigh and I moved into our house, this is what the front of our house looked like:

Notice the dead tree in the front yard, the patchy, weed ridden grass along with the poorly mulched bed completely devoid of any shrubbery, perennial, or annual. Also, if you look really close, you'll see the pride of new homeowners, completely oblivious to the painful new world we are entering into.

Shortly after this, the previous owners cut down the dead tree and ground up the stump as a condition of the sale. We were glad to have the tree gone, but the mud/wood chip pit/pile that remained was pretty ugly. After living in our house for a year, letting the weeds, erosion and decomposition have their way with the yard, I decided to lay down the law. Acting upon the encouragement of my wife and father-in-law, last spring I sprayed round-up over everything and tilled it all up. Then, with the help of my parents, we raked it all out, planted grass seed, and watered diligently. In a few weeks, our yard looked like this:

A lush, green lawn that any home owner would be proud of. Once I saw this, I was hooked. Suddenly, I cared about what my lawn looked like. I loved the feeling of walking across it barefoot. It gave me so much joy to watch Leigh and Miles play in it. This is what it was all about.

But this joy was going to be short lived.

You see, I reseeded in the spring. Weeds came up the same time as the grass. In the heat of summer, the weeds won. All of that hard work was lost. But I had not given up; after all, I was a converted lawn man. I'd hung a picture of Karl Troyer on the wall in my basement and kept a candle lit beneath it. There was no going back.

I decided to give Leigh a "Landscape Design" for her birthday. We had someone who knew his stuff come out and walk around the yard with us, ask questions about what we liked, and then draw up plans for us. After getting the plans in August, re-killing, re-grading and re-tilling, we purchased the first round of plants, 11 yards of mulch, and some grass seed and went to work. It all went something like this:

Today we came home from visiting my folks to see green sprouts popping up through the straw. That together with the magnolia, carpet roses, decorative grasses, gardenias and nandinas makes for a pretty thrilling front yard. Hopefully there won't be any updates on how it didn't work out, just pictures of Miles and Leigh having a picnic in the green grass later this fall.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jabba diaper dream, Brad and I are like the poster children of hippie here in statesville. Which is actually really hilarious. We are not big on recycling (Statesville only "sort of" recycles) I can't stand the smell of patchouli. I do reuse ziploc bags and maybe I am a little more passionate about "hormone free", "natural", and "organic" than I need to be. Oh yeah, I have my own grocery bags, but doesn't everyone these days? What puts us in the "hippie" category is actually just the fact that I LOVE...I mean LOVE cloth diapers. We get the strangest looks when people realize that we actually are okay with scraping poop out of diapers and rewashing them for use again. Why is this crazy? Outside from the initial set up of buying the diapers, its so stinking cheap.'re actually not really even supposed to dispose of human waste into landfills...which is where your rolled up turds in disposable diapers end up anyhow. If we were all being
responsible, it wouldn't be that uncommon or uncomfortable to scrape poop into the toilet everyday whether using cloth or disposables!

So, saying all that, I was super excited in Ikea when I discovered this! It is the Jabba hanging dryer. And...I was even more excited when I saw Real Simple highlight it in their October issue! I've been using it for about a month now and drying cloth diapers could not be easier! I no longer have them draped over a typical drying rack in our bedroom which makes not only me, but my husband extremely thankful to the clever designers at Ikea. If you cloth diaper, you need this!