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Outside in Kansas City~Sunny and 37 degrees.  We have been enjoying record highs lately and the forecast predicts 60 degree weather again this week!

I am thinking~that I would like to blog on a regular basis this year. I am also hoping to start training for a 5k and am entering into a new discipleship relationship.  Excited about new things in 2012.

I am thankful for~family time over the holidays.  It was such a blessing to have all our children and grandchildren with us on Christmas.  I know there will be years that this can’t happen so I truly appreciate it.

In my kitchen~I am planning to eat from the current fridge, freezer and pantry offerings this week.  It will help to clear things out before they go bad and save some money after the Christmas spending. After that I am planning to try out Once a Month Mom’s real food challenge and the Whole Food’s Menu.

I am wearing~My new fleece pullover from Land’s End, Jeans, Nike’s.

Last creative endeavor~is to regularly entertain, distract, and care for a nine month old 😉

Sleeping Sweetie!

I am going~to travel to El Salvador with a group from Faith Community Church for 10 days in March.  My daughter, Gaubri, will be going too. We are very excited about going to serve others and share the love of Christ.

Gaubri

Can’t wait for~tomorrow, every day is a new adventure. Longer term I am looking forward to a trip to Europe in spring 2013, Lord willing.

Family News~We are down to five people at our house right now.  Our foster son who has been with us since last January transitioned to his new home the day before Thanksgiving. He is being adopted by a family member who really loves him so this is a great ending for our placement with him.  We really need prayer about future placements, if, who, when, we take in more children.  Initially we were just focused on having a “break” and even though we have gotten several calls about placements we have told everyone that is what we are doing.  We still have our foster daughter, and she is spending three nights a week with her birth mom so we are in a very doable place right now. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that internal nudging that there is such a need and the constant reminder from the calls and the postings looking for placements on the foster care email loop keep me pondering what our next step should be.

Current Read~I am starting Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lynn Severance.

I am hearing~The hum of the computer, Brent took Gaubri and Shakur to basketball practice and baby D is taking a nap.

I am hoping~to keep the household organized with a new app I purchased for my Iphone called Motivated Moms 2012. It also comes in printable versions and breaks household tasks down into daily lists, similar to the old card system that the Sidetracked Executives used or Flylady without the deluge of emails.

Around the house~the dead Christmas tree has been taken to the woods and the living room is back to normal. The house seems very empty and quiet after the holiday invasion…

Simple pleasure~quiet time to blog and meal plan.

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Outside in Kansas City~ It is already hot and muggy at 7:20am this Saturday morning. According to Weather.com:  The common weather themes this holiday weekend are what you would expect them to be during the first week of July: heat and thunderstorms.

I am thinking~a lot about Biblical Counseling, biblical change; especially how it needs to affect my life, and about anger specifically.

I am thankful for~God’s grace and mercy and the insight and dedication of his people. On another note I am grateful that I got a full night’s sleep last night for the first time in months, both babies had a super good night, no dog barking, no husband snoring, and no older son coming in late. Bliss!

In my kitchen~there is a happy, well-rested three-month-old playing happily in her bouncy seat and a 13-year-old boy munching his way through a big bowl of cereal.

I am wearing~Gray capri sweat pants and my Faith Christian Academy Walkathon t-shirt.

Last creative endeavor~was to start writing my first biblical counseling certification paper.  It may be a very challenging and painful endeavor because I have not written a paper in years. My book choices are Why Christian’s Can’t Trust Psychology which I read months ago and really loved and Competent to Counsel which I am currently reading.

I am going~to attend the IABC National Bible Conference in Colorado the first week of August (Lord willing). Julie Ganschow will be one of the conference speakers.

Can’t wait for~school to start…I know weird.  I will miss the some things but I really prefer for the kids to have the structure of school.  In our neighborhood there are not a lot of good options and it is hard to provide recreational opportunities that work for 3 months to 16 years.

Family News~My son, Nicholas and, his wife, Staci, graduated from Dordt College this spring and moved to Holland, Michigan where he is working for Gentex and she is working in a shop that sells wine from a nearby vineyard.

Current Read~Getting a Grip: The Heart of Anger Handbook for Teens by Lou Priolo. This book was recommended to me recently and I am so glad to have it. It is written in a really practical way.  Lou Priolo is a newly discovered and appreciated author for me.  The church I attend, Faith Community Church, recently had men’s book studies utilizing his book The Complete Husband and his writing and heart for Biblical counseling is refreshing.

I am hearing~our little foster son babble from his stander.

I am hoping~to get lots accomplished over this holiday weekend.  I may use the 15 minute approach because I have such a variety of things that need to be done.  We will see how that works-15 minutes of decluttering my bedroom where every stray piece of  paper and clothing seems to congregate, painting on the ongoing woodwork project as we move from brown trim to white, etc…

Around the house~still working on the trim throughout the interior of the house and I love the change to warm white so much.  It’s amazing how there are constant repairs to do to any house you own.  We have a list right now that includes replacing the garage doors (unfortunately a necessity), mudjacking the driveway, rebuilding a crumbling brick area in the front of the house (caused by the need for mudjacking the driveway) among other less pressing things like finishing the exterior painting started last summer and repainting/staining the deck which was just done last year but because I chose the wrong stain has to be done again already.

Simple pleasure~Iced Coffee

I have no decorating sense whatsoever, as anyone who has visited my home can attest.  If I had a big, bigger, unlimited, budget I could happily duplicate something I have seen and loved in a magazine or on a blog but alas that is not the situation. So I have taken pictures of the first room in my home and am going to ask for lots of constructive input.  I just got the go ahead to shop for carpet because my hubby found out he will get a bonus in March, yippee.  Carpet input is my priority request.  I am posting pictures of my very small living room and as you will see it needs help.  I love my fireplace and clearly it will stay and be the focal point.  I need some ideas for the mantle since it is still bare after the post-Christmas/Winter clean off.  The brown couches will stay but that is pretty much it.  Have at

it creative friends and family!

I do love my fireplace. Should I paint the gold surround flat black?

Inside front door which goes right into the living room.

Living Room window. This whole wall seems like wasted space...would love to eventually have built-in bookshelves here. Any other ideas for this space?

Outside in Kansas City~28 degrees with freezing drizzle…gloomy and gray outside.  Forecasts for this week include record snows and low temperatures so everyone seems to be preparing for the worst.

I am thinking~that I will be glad to have all my family home safe and sound tonight before the bad weather hits.  Brent home from work in Topeka and the kids home from school.  I kept our newest edition home from his daycare today.

I am thankful for~The safe arrival of the dental team and Emily Duffey back from their mission trips this past weekend.

In my kitchen~I’m ready to start whipping up some comfort food to keep us warm through this frigid weather.  I think I’ll start with a batch of Hamburger Buns in 30 minutes, these make such great bread for a variety of uses. Some simmering soup seems to be a logical second step.

I am wearing~Paint clothes-jeans and one of my husband’s comfy long sleeved paint shirts along with warm wool socks to keep my feet cozy.

Last creative endeavor~ Worked on some embroidery  a few nights ago and just ended up pulling it all out, just not feeling the needlework thing. Dining room wall will have to be my “creative” outlet for now.

I am going~to introduce J our newest household addition.  He is a sweet one year old boy who is operating at the same level as a pretty newly born infant in a lot of ways.  He has brain damage from a lack of oxygen and it affects his vision as well as his control of/use of his whole body.  Sweet J is fed through a G-tube and takes nothing orally.  He is on a strict schedule but otherwise has moved pretty seamlessly into our household.

Can’t wait for~a visit from Taylor, I’m missing him!  Got to see Nicholas unexpectedly this week and it was a blessing.

Family News~Nicholas and Staci will be graduating from Dordt College this spring.  Nicholas has a job interview in California in February.  Please be praying for wisdom for them as they make decisions regarding their future.

Current Read~What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp it is really very good.  Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill so far so good, I’m trying to tighten my food budget which has gotten out of control in the past few months.

I am hearing~The humidifier in J’s room, very quiet here today.

I am hoping~to finish my dining room project before the day is over…

Around the house~the refrigerator is restocked as well as the pantry, prescriptions refilled, firewood stacked, necessary paper goods double checked, sidewalk treatment restocked and broken snow shovel replaced.  Bring it on!

Simple pleasure~Big mug of hot sweet tea.

    Second coat of Rustoleum Chalkboard paint rolled on and cured for three days. Ready to paint the bottom half and recoat the trim. I’m lovin my black wall so far, can’t wait to add the weekly schedule. 

    Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Quick, easy recipe that I love.
Serves 4+ Prep time:  10 minutes  Cook:  12 minutes

1 lb. dried whole wheat spagetti or linguini
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
3+ lg. cloves of garlic, minced
1t. dried basil or 4 T. fresh chopped
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. toasted walnuts, chopped

Cook pasta.  Saute’ garlic and basil in olive oil over low heat for three minutes.  Do not brown the garlic.  Add salt and turn off heat.  Set aside while pasta cooks and the walnuts toast in toaster oven or in a dry skillet.  Drain pasta, chop walnuts, and toss with olive oil and garlic.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday night I came home from a two day symposium to a backlog of laundry and a washer that wasn’t spinning.  This was the third washer since we moved into our house around six years ago, two used and one new, so we were both ready to quit messing around and go for a good one.  We went to Home Depot and talked to Ron, who I recommend, about the front loader washers and dryers.  Within fifteen minutes we had  a set ordered and scheduled for delivery on Saturday.  The newest members of our household were delivered Saturday around 4:30pm and Sunday morning I had our laundry caught up.  I have to interject here that I did do 10 large loads at the laundromat but still this was a full load of each variation; towels, a set of bedding, socks/pillow, two darks, one really full lights, etc….  I could really rave on and on about the features like the delay start that can wash a load right before I get up in the morning and go freshly washed into the dryer, or the pleasant chimes instead of the awful, annoying buzzing, the lower water and detergent usage, consistent cleaning/spinning out excess water/complete drying before stopping.  Okay I am stopping now, suffice it to say that I recommend getting the best appliances your money will buy.  I told my son that the Proverbs 31 wife had servants and we have appliances!


She rises also while it is yet night, gives food to her household, and portions for her servant girls. World English Bible

I had mentioned to some of you that we heard from our homestudy contractor that we might not be able to take more than two kids for the first year.  At class last night I talked with our trainer, Susanne, and she said there is no guideline to that effect.  It can be a recommendation from the person doing the homestudy but it is not a requirement.  So we are going with the original plan and have six weeks to get the two bedrooms set up appropriately.  Which means some closet space free, at least two drawers per child available in a dresser, bunk beds in each room along with bedding, linens, etc. To make all this space work we probably need to build as many shelves as possible.   Please be praying. we really need to be working steadily toward this goal and need provision of the items on our wish list to complete the rooms.  Nicci mentioned a set of bunk beds she has that needs work so I will be touching base with her.  Alicia mentioned that they might be able to send their futon for Taylor to use.  We have one set of bunk beds but will need a new bunky board for the top bunk of that one. 
 
We have  a “two-to-three” hour homestudy meeting at our house this Saturday, a required full-day medication class Saturday the 18th, and a full-day CPR/First Aid class on Saturday the 25th so please be praying about those things.  We really need wisdom on managing the time we have left and the energy to utilize it well.
 
Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement and support.  I can begin to focus on the inadequacy I feel, the lack of preparation at home, how uncomfortable I am with the training styles (not my learning style at all…just give me a good book), and a dozen other things and get discouraged.  Then I  remember the desperate need, the call God has given us clearly in scripture, the repeated call I have felt for many years, and my gratitude for all that I have been blessed with and there is no question whether to proceed. 
 
We hope to have good news soon about a new development that will free a substantial amount of time up for Brent! Stay tuned…
 
“Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute.”  Psalm 82:3
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