Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Earth or Heaven?

Satan has made this world so alluring. He's been working hard from the very beginning to keep man's mind focused on the trappings of this world, rather than on Heaven. He's sneaky, cunning, and truly masquerades as an angel of light. Plus he often has lots of help from our own sin nature. Ouch. The thought of aiding him in his attempt to lure me away from my Master (just in focus, not in position), just hurts.
I'm finishing up a study on the book of John and came across a new thought. I don't think I've focused a whole lot in the past on this short little dialogue that Christ has with Peter at the very end of the book. Jesus tells Peter that he's going to die a horrible death someday, but still calls him to follow. Peter's reaction: but what about him? Peter points to John and wants to know if his friend's fate is going to be better or worse than his own. Jesus response is basically, "I'll do what I want with your friend. You follow me."
It's possible that we women struggle a bit more with this, but I think this is basically part of all our fallen natures to want what we can't have and be jealous of someone who has it. We do with everything. We wonder why someone else never has to diet, why they have such a good job, how in the world they paid for their car, why they have such easy kids, why they always get asked to teach or speak, why they're invited to every party, and the list goes on.
It seems so shallow to see it written down, but I think most of us fight these thoughts almost daily. It can creep in so subtly. Lately, I've caught myself accusing my husband of being part of some conspiracy against women: why do men get to wear baggy jeans and even carry a little extra weight and no one notices or cares? And we women are expected to wear nice-fitting jeans that show every extra pound that we're not supposed to gain??? While I think there is something to that, it's definitely not his fault I gained 5 pounds and my jeans are too tight. And if I were honest, my real problem is with the One who created my body and allowed its flaws and my attitude says, "it's not good enough."
Colossians 3 tells me to "set my mind on things above, not on earthly things." God says my life is hidden with Christ, even that He is my life. Philippians 3 warns me to be aware of those who don't love Him and whose mind is on earthly things. So, we should daily ask the questions, "Is my mind on things of heaven, or things of earth? Am I looking at someone else's path and situation, or am I following Christ?"

Friday, April 23, 2010

...and the table came tumbling down.

I guess Rich has told Allie a "few" times not to stand on the patio table. And I guess I was not paying enough attention, because she was standing on it this afternoon. Then I heard a crash. Then I heard Avery running and asking me to come quick. Then I saw a giant pile of glass in my backyard. The table had toppled and Allie slid right off and somehow managed to not get a scratch on her. UGGHHH! Now I have to buy a new patio table! Oh, and I'm very thankful that my crazy daughter did not get hurt. AND I have to clean it up and keep Raleigh from hurting himself... And who said the life of a stay-at-home-mom is EVER boring??

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Take your kids to work" Day

I figured it was not quite the year for just sending my kids to work with Rich for the day. Not sure the tax payers would approve, since I'm sure very little "accounting" would get done at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife with those two gals around. But we did make an appearance and bring Daddy two of his favorite candies (black licorice and Snickers dark). This picture is in front of the fountain outside of his office.
I love this picture of these two! Look at those crinkles between the eyes - like father, like daughter!

One of the favorite things for the girls when they visit their dad at work is all of the taxidermied animals throughout the office. It is the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife... Each animal has a description and explanation of how it was acquired (it was sick or whatever).

Allie liked the mountain goat.

This cougar is on the top floor right next to people's cubicles - so weird!

Rich put the girls to work at his desk. He had them circling entries or something. He explained later, for his benefit more than theirs, that he doesn't just circle numbers all day!
We are so thankful for Rich's job! I know God has provided amazingly through it. I have to say how proud I am of Rich, though. The guy went back to school so he could make sure he'd be able to get the kind of job that would provide well for his family and earned his CPA on his own (with flying colors, I might add), and worked hard to get where he's at. And that's where I leave it, because God is the one who gave him the intelligent brain he has, and has allowed the opportunities to use it. Thank you, Rich, for going to work each day and caring so much about your family!

Monday, April 19, 2010

got milk?

We got to go on one of our favorite field trips last week with Allie's preschool class - the dairy farm! Allie came last year when Avery's class went, so she was all geared up to get to feed those calves their bottles.
Fear is not in Allie's vocabulary. While most of the other kids hid behind their moms, my kid reached out to every cow she came near.

This is a classic Allie face. When you say, "smile for the picture," this is the face you usually get out of her, along with a really awesome dance move.

Now that's a face ANY mother could love! The kids get to climb on the giant pile of cotton seed that later will get fed to the cows.

We love to come to this dairy. It is family owned and they're so great to take kids on tours around the place.

This is Allie's whole class at Judson Baptist Preschool. Yep. 6 kids! They even have an assistant who wasn't able to make it. Ms. Wood is on the left and we just love her!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

that's the story of... that's the glory of love.

Silly title, I know. But I had to quote the song from "our movie" (Beaches), even though we didn't get to watch it together this time around. Leslie came last week to visit and it was wonderful! Our friendship has been through the wringer - including living across the country from each other for the last 15 years. This visit, she finally got to meet the daughters that we've spent so many hours talking about across the miles. Having three darling daughters of her own, I think spending so much time with mine helped her not miss hers quite so bad. Allie especially loved having a house guest for several days who was willing to spend every available moment holding and playing with her.
Leslie wouldn't say no to any requests for attention, so they put together quite a few puzzles!

We went out for desert with some of my girlfriends and snagged a picture together.

Ok, I happen to believe we live in a really great area of the country. The coast is close enough for a day trip and it's gorgeous, when it's not raining... Seattle is a major US city and a cultural icon and it's only a 4-hr drive... Even San Fransisco is only a 9-hr drive and you can see it in a long weekend. However, I had trouble deciding what we should do, since the weather at the coast sounded pretty dreary and we didn't have enough time to do a longer road trip. So I decided we should go to the tulip festival in nearby Woodburn. I happen to think it's awesome! Rich disagreed and said it was lame that we were taking Leslie there. However, I couldn't handle the pressure (brought on only by myself and a bit from Rich), and we went to the tulip farms. And I am NOT sorry! It was gorgeous and we had a great time together. And Leslie got to see me in my "relaxed mode", not caring that Allie got totally muddy in her rain boots. What's the fun in being a kid if you can't walk in the mud in your rain boots?? :)

And then my camera battery died. And I forgot to charge it the rest of the time she was here. LAME. The next day we left the kids with Gramma and Rich and Leslie and I had a great day in Portland. If you live nearby and haven't been to Mother's Bistro, you have to go! Our late breakfast was amazing and it's very Portland-esque. Then we wandered around Pioneer Square, which is one of our favorite Portland spots. We stopped in and got cupcakes at Cupcake Jones (I got my fav - peanut butter and jelly!!!) and then ended up shopping the Woodburn outlets. We closed the day watching on of my favorite movies, "13 Going On 30", since Leslie had never seen it.
What a great time! I woke up and took Leslie back to the airport on Sunday morning and we had a great conversation in the car, the last we'd have face to face for a while. I am beyond-words-thankful for the friendship God has allowed us to keep even though I moved away so long ago. It is very different than we had pictured years ago, and very, very different than it was when we were 15, but it's still so sweet! So then I decided to watch Beaches alone the next night and totally cried my eyes out. Why do I do that to myself??? I miss you already, Leslie!

one of those posts..

This is one of those posts that only family cares about seeing. I just wanted to get this year's Easter documented. I guess this picture is actually including all the Pierce cousins, since Jana's littlest one is hidden in her tum. :) Wish I had a better one of cute little Jeffery, who is sitting next to Roderick on the chair. This group is Nana and Papa's pride and joy!
Allie showing off her new Easter basket.

Avery has no idea how to pose for a picture and she really hates doing it... :)

After a lunch and egg hunt at Nana's, we had a relaxing evening at Gramma Ginny's and Grandpa's house. The girls had to pose on the bench.

I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to get away with matching them at Easter. When we walked into church and the comments started coming, Avery was immediately annoyed. I don't think she minds actually matching, it just seems to bug her when everyone comments on how cute they look. Not that she minds any other time!! I told her it makes me happy so just grin and bear it! Oh, a mother's vanity!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wow, what do you say to that?

Ok, I had no good reason to have a short fuse today, other than being just plain tired. The girls were being fine, but I was just ready for them to get to bed already! So, when I asked Avery for about the millionth time to stop goofing off and put on her pajamas and she didn't do it, I guess I started to sound a bit "frustrated". Please give me some credit - I sounded very nice and patient for the first 999,999 times. Then Avery started to complain that "it wasn't fair." When I probed her in my previously-mentioned "frustrated" tone about what she meant, she said, "It's not fair that you get to lose your temper and we don't." Bam. There you have it. I had no answer for that. I simply admitted that it wasn't fair and I am not allowed to lose my temper either. I apologized to her and asked for her forgiveness. She graciously forgave me and all was forgotten. One thing I notice about my kids is that they so quickly forget my infractions and are ready to hug and love all over again. I guess I still have some growing to do with the whole patience thing. Thank you, Lord, for the difficult reminder to make sure I'm setting a good example to my kids and holding myself accountable to the same standard I hold them to.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Boutique Experience

Next time you're driving around Salem and feeling the deep, burning desire for some new jewelry, you should stop by the Mission Mill.
You may just find yourself standing outside the big, white doors, opening them, and walking into an adorable store called Danner and Soli.

You would walk in and say to yourself about a million times, "that's so cute!" as you meander through the store full of home decor, handmade clothing and bags, and tons of seasonal items.

You would eventually find yourself at a gorgeous display of all kinds of jewelry (remember, that's why you're there). Then you would look closer and...

You'd see MY JEWELRY!!!

Connie had this cute apple crate and I hammered a bunch of well-placed nails in it. Each nail has a few varieties of a letter of the alphabet. The chains to the right are not the ones that will normally be sold with them. There will be some ribbons and chains in the future. Customers will be able to purchase charms individually and add a necklace, if they want.

I'm pretty stoked about this little adventure. The owner is a friend from church who stumbled upon someone wearing some of my charms and asked the lady about them, curious about trying to sell them in her shop. Turns out we're in Bible study together and I emailed her, and now here we are! Danner and Soli is seriously a great store. I came in today with 66 charms to sell and left with a new pair of earings that I had been eyeing for a while! There's even a bunch of awesome stuff on sale right now. Yay! I'm so excited I have some stuff I've made for sale in an awesome store! Thanks to all you friends who have encouraged me to pursue this fun new hobby.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Home Improvements

We've been doing some minor work around the house, just trying to improve it a bit. The biggest project we did was add wainscoting in the hallway. Two very good friends (thanks Russ and Ryan) came over and gave up their Saturday last weekend, helping Rich put up this very pretty addition to our home. I think they did such a great job!!

Our dining room is really just a dining nook. We are planning on putting the wainscoting in there, as well, but it didn't get done last weekend. So I painted all the walls, rather than just the top half and the wainscoting will hopefully get done a month or so. The color is "Chocolate Truffle" and I wish I had done it the day we moved in! I think it does the trick of making it feel like more of a separate room. This is the best picture I came up with..

Lastly, the girls' room used to be "Raspberry Fizz" and then I moved them to a different room and painted over it with grey for the guest room. I missed it too much!! This time we added a chair rail and painted the bottom-half white. It helps make the bright pink a little more palatable to the general public. We girls in the house can't get enough pink! Avery often quotes me, saying "you can never have too much pink." Gramma Ginny (Rich's mom) paints signs and custom-made this one just for us! It's perfect!

As I've said to many friends and family, we are not "project people". It was a big deal for us to take these on, but I'm so glad we did. Of course it's easy to say now that it's all over. And I'm really sick of painting.