Sunday, March 10, 2019

A New Pantry

One thing I am blessed with in my condo is a really big kitchen with a lot of counter top space and cabinets.  And on top of that, I have a big pantry. But I have always been a little frustrated with the pantry because the space was not utilized very well and the shelves were ugly metal.  No matter how much I tried to organize the pantry, it always looked like a tornado had gone through it.  One of the things that stressed me out about home ownership is that I do not have a single handy bone in my body.  And I don't have a desire to learn handy things (some of my friends have loved this about home ownership, but it's not for me!)  So, I asked a friend if he could add some new shelves into the pantry.  It is amazing what two extra shelves does for a space!  And we put in pretty white shelves rather than ugly, metal shelves.
 Quincy, of course, felt he needed to be a part of the process!
 Above is a before picture.  I forgot to take the picture before I started unloading all the food, so the shelves are normally much more full than that!
 After.  The shelves are a little deeper and the top shelf is about half the size so that I could put a shelf up higher to store things that I don't use as often, such as the crockpot.
And it's full.  At first I was shocked at how full it became.  I thought I would have empty space since I have two new shelves. But I think the shelves just allowed me to spread things out a little and not hide things behind other things.  

I am humbled by the people in my life who are willing to do things for me that I cannot do myself.  This simple project would never have gotten done without help!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

"Thank you for being a part of my mess."

I said it flippantly as a joke, but my friend was really struck by my statement.  Today at church, led by the Spirit, I shared a prayer request with a friend.  It was a convoluted mess of a request that I didn't really want to share, because I didn't really know what I was asking prayer for.  But I shared all of that and my friend said she would definitely pray and then she said, "Thank you for trusting me with your request."  And I said as a joke, "Thank you for being a part of my mess!"   But she just stared at me and said, "That's good!"  And I couldn't get it out of my head.

Isn't this just what the Body of Christ is all about?  Joining with other believers to point each other toward Christ, who is sufficient to take care of all our messes?

Then I was driving home and the song, O Church Arise, came on.  This lyric struck me: "When faced with trials on ev'ry side, we know the outcome is secure."  The trials I face, whether known or not, already have a victory in Christ!  The outcome is known and I am secure in Christ.

A few Scriptures that keep coming to mind when thinking of this beautiful mess that is our life in Christ:

Romans 8:26--"Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

1 Peter 1:22--"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart."

That is what my friend did when she agreed to pray for me, loved earnestly.  So, again, thank you for being a part of my mess!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Books I have read

One of my friends shared an image on Facebook of a printable page where your children can write in the spines of books each book they have read for 2018.  I thought it was such a good idea!  I love to read, but I have never actually tracked the books I have read in a year and I thought it would be interesting to see the list at the end of he year!  I didn't print the page, but am just going to keep a list in the notes on my phone so it is easily accessible.  Maybe I'll share the list at the end of the year.

Happy reading everyone!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Peaking Over

This phrase, "peaking over," was in one of the Christmas letters I received and I loved the image it portrayed.  2017 is done.  It is like I am on this journey to climb a mountain with lots of peaks along the way (38 so far).  I'm at the peak of 2017 and can look back and see the whole year, January way in the distance and December just within reach.  But now I face the next journey and I'm just barely peaking over into 2018. 

2016 was a rough year for me with lots of changes, with a big loss, and with lots of little trials along the way.  2017 was much calmer, less emotional, and more even-keel.  I needed a year like that.  It started with a significant loss, my cousin.  But then I feel like I sailed through with hardly any bumps or bruises.

I always like to take the beginning of the year to take a breath and think about the next year.  A couple of days ago, I started re-reading a book, None Like Him, by Jen Wilkin.  I HIGHLY recommend it!  It is a book about how we try to attain to the attributes of God that only He can possess.  She says, "We are capable of bearing [God's] image as we were intended only when we embrace our limits.  Image-bearing means becoming fully human, not becoming divine.  It means reflecting as a limited being the perfections of a limitless God."  I want to rest this year in the knowledge that I don't have to be perfect.  I don't have to live up to the expectations of others.  I don't have to be afraid of what others think.  I only have to seek to glorify a limitless, perfect God and to bear His image to others.  This is my goal for 2018. 

I also want to go on more adventures.  I really want to take a vacation somewhere other than on my couch!  My vacations the last two years have been staycations, which are great, but I have felt this need to get away for almost a year now.  I don't want to keep putting off doing something.  The big problem is, I'm a horrible planner.  So, if anyone wants to plan a vacation for me, you would be my friend for life (and you could even go with me if you want!)

Happy New Year to all of you!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Chicago Trip, Girls Only

The first weekend in December, when it was a balmy 60 something degrees, my friends and I took a day trip to Chicago to see White Christmas and do Christmasy things in Chicago.  It was such a fun trip!  And I wouldn't have traded the weather for anything, except maybe less crowds.  Because apparently great weather in December equals everyone in a million mile radius being in Chicago.

The play did not disappoint.  Not the same as the movie, but you can't really mess with a classic.

After the play, we moved on to other Chicago must sees.
I believe this was my first time seeing the huge tree in the park.
Above, the requisite selfie.  Below, someone took pity on us and took our picture.
And we saw the bean.  This was also my first time seeing the bean at night.  I tried to teach Emily how to take a picture of yourself without having your phone in the way.
The buildings all around were lit up for the holiday season

Ice skating outside!  We did not do this, but I decided it deserved a picture!
Pretty city lights reflected in the bean.
Macy's all decked out for Christmas.
Our hot chocolate mugs from Christkindl market.  The extreme crowds made it difficult to enjoy the market, but I was glad to get a new mug.
A lady took expert pictures of us at the bean!

We attempted Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo, but because of the above mentioned millions of people, it was pretty impossible to move around and it was getting late and we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us, we took some selfies to prove we were there and then headed home!
I love this group of ladies that I get to do life with!  We have had many adventures together and I hope we get to continue this tradition and add some more in the future!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Setting up Christmas!

I don't know why I always feel the need to post pictures of setting up Christmas. It looks the same every year, but I like to reference the blog sometimes to answer questions like, "where did I put this last year?"  So really, this is for me, not for you :)  But I'll let you look if you want!

The main difference this year is...the cat.  He made decorating an interesting (and sometimes stressful) experience.  Stressful mostly because I didn't know what to expect from him.  Christmas stuff has been up for over a week and I still check the tree first thing when I walk in the door to see if it's standing.
"helping put up the lights"
Above: He really just wanted to nap and was a little perturbed that I was not sitting in one place for him to do that.  So he forced his way onto my lap anyway.
Supervising the efforts!
This year I stressed about where to put the nativity.  It's pretty expensive and took several years to collect, so I don't really want the cat knocking over the pieces.  Last year I put it in the bay window, but that was most definitely out of the question this year!  It's on my side table.  So far, I've only seen the pieces moved around once or twice.
One of the sets of decorations on one of the bay windows.
The tree with all of its lights.  I waited a couple of days to put the ornaments on.  Someone suggested letting him acclimate to the tree and it would be less likely he would pay attention to the ornaments.  I put the lights on Friday and ornaments on Monday.
My new 2016 ornament from Mom.  I always hang my new ornament first!
All the ornaments on!
The glow of the tree with no other lights on in the room.
The tree sans lights.  Sometimes I like to leave the lights off so I can better see all my ornaments!
The decorations on the TV stand.
The bay window.  I "had" to buy a few new decorations since I couldn't put the nativity set in the window this year.
The centerpiece on the table.  I bought the wheelbarrow for fall decorations but realized I could use it for Christmas too!
Pretty kitty in the lights!

I also have a little two foot tree that I decided to put upstairs in my spare room.

It was a little too much temptation for Quincy.
After three knock overs I took some drastic measures!  Actually, I don't think he was purposefully knocking it over.  I mean, technically he was messing with the tree, but it is small and fairly unstable, so it was falling easily.  The funny thing is, I don't have a skirt for this tree, so if you walk into the room, this is really what you see!

The other reason I share all my decorations is because I realized that I spend all this time putting it up, and hardly anyone comes over, so not very many people actually sees the decorations.  Now, I can share with more people.

Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day started very differently for me. I woke up in my own home. It was the first year in a long time that I didn't have to travel for Thanksgiving. Unless you count driving across town as travelling.  I got to Dad and Amy's about 11 and hung out with Amy and talked for a while.  There were two "kids" (they are all actually adults, but of the just-barely-adults variety) from Arizona and Caitlyn (also an Arizona kid, but she's going to school in Peoria).  Amy and I talked about doing a puzzle and were surprised when everyone wanted to join us.  It was like my dream come true, everyone sitting around doing puzzles (we actually finished two!  A 500 piece and a 1,000 piece).

And of course we ate lots and lots of food.  This is the only picture of the food that I took!
Daynah and Hayden came later in the evening and I was able to meet Nahla, their new kitty.  If anybody wonders, it did not make me want another kitten!
And of course Elleigh, the monstrous puppy, hung out with us too. 

It was nice to be close to home.  I left their house around 10:00 and had to drive past the mall to get home.  Traffic was almost worse than a normal Saturday!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Time flies...

Where did the 2.8 pound ball of fluff go?!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Visit Part 3

We ended the day at Dad and Amy's house. Again, the weather cooperated fully. The rain stopped as we were leaving the musuem, the temperature dropped, so we were able to have a fire outside as planned.
We made and ate caramel apples (well, John and Amy made them and the rest of us ate them)...

We did dot to dots...

And colored...
And cooked hot dogs and roasted marshmallows...

And played with sticks...
Don't ask me why his jacket was on his head.  I really have no clue.
And played football...

And played with more sticks...

And ate marshmallows...
And played with a flashlight and a fence...
High five! And a heart (awww...)

And played with the kitty, of course!
I loved the time I spent with everyone!  I hope we can do it again!