Friday, March 25, 2011

33 Days / Packing Update

Also a picture fix for those of you who haven't seen the pics yet...

Well, after a couple of very busy days where I didn't get much done, I finally made a little bit of progress yesterday.  On Tuesday, I did start to pack up the kitchen, but ended up going through all of my plastic containers with lids (you know, the Gl*ad and Zip*loc ones that are disposable) and matching them all up.  I have no idea how it happened, but I ended up with a massive amount of lids that had no containers.  I expected to have a few, but not so many.  Anyway, into the recycling those went, and then I packed about half the containers, keeping out the ones I use the most.  Sounds easy, but was a little time consuming.  By the time I was finished, it was time to make supper.  And everyone knows that by the time I make supper, feed everyone, get the kids ready for bed, and clean up the kitchen, I am done for the day.  So that was all I had gotten done this week, until yesterday.

Yesterday, I finally had a less busy day.  After quiet time, when the kids were done with schoolwork and enjoying some play time, I was able to get a big box, a small box, and half of another big box packed with more kitchen stuff.  I couldn't believe how much stuff I had put away in the backs of cupboards, waiting for the day I would have a kitchen I could use it in!  Now I'm even more excited about my new kitchen!

And the deck off my kitchen and dining room:

And the Patio and Balcony:

Oh all right, and my living room...

And loft/library/office...

And Master Suite...

And while we're at it, I also can't wait for the kids to have their new bedrooms...
(Hunter and maybe Ryan - he's an indecisive 14yo)

If you hadn't seen these on FB yet, I hope you enjoyed this little preview.  

And now I am off to get ready to take my kiddos and my flowers girls from my wedding to the JELLY BELLY Factory! =)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

36 Days / Packing Update

This past weekend, Randy and I spent a couple of hours packing in the basement.  Well, I was packing; he was going through paperwork and either tossing or setting aside for filing or shredding.  I got about half of my craft items packed.  That is, candle-making supplies, jewelry-making supplies, cross-stitching: all packed; sewing and scrapbooking: not packed, mostly because they are all in their own containers or storage, and I'm not sure whether I should just transport them that way, or pack them into larger boxes so I can let the movers take them without worrying about them.  Still debating that one...

Yesterday I either packed or bagged for Goodwill all of Kaleigh's books except: our favorite, Where the Wild Things Are, 4 Care Bear & Rainbow Brite books my cousin lent her, and a couple of activity books (colorforms, magnet book, etc.).  Lest you think I am totally cruel and heartless, the top of the box is open; she's not allowed to get into it, but if she gets tired of the books she has, I can take out a couple at a time while still keeping the majority of them packed.

We also went through all of her toys together, throwing away some "garbage-y" toys (old happy meal trinkets, broken pieces, toys in rough shape that she never plays with, etc.) and organizing everything that was left.  I packed all of her games and more involved items that we keep put away anyway, and told her that if she doesn't keep her toys organized and put away, they will be getting packed.  This should be interesting.  I think her dress-up clothes will get packed soon.

The next few things I am mentally planning to attack are packing a few random items of clothing that are either too small or too big for Kaleigh, bagging some clothes that the boys pulled out for Goodwill, starting to pack up parts of the kitchen that we don't use regularly, and gathering up movies and CDs and packing the CDs.  Not sure where to go after that, but I think I'll take care of these steps first and see where that leaves me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Discussion on Church Hurt

Please feel free to join this discussion.  I am very interested in the thoughts of others on the subject.

I have read a number of blog posts on the subject of "Church Hurt" in the past week.  It kind of freaked me out that they all seemed to come out of the woodwork at once.  Then I realized that "freaked out" feeling was the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart.  

I have been thinking about "Church Hurt" all week, and it finally hit me this morning, while sorting out my feelings on a minor incident that resulted in hurt on multiple levels:  the church itself - the administration, the leaders, those in authority - allow the church to become a breeding ground for hurt when they create an atmosphere in which its members are discouraged from thinking for themselves.

Am I saying this is the only possible situation that can result in "Church Hurt"?  Not at all.  There are as many potential scenarios for hurt as there are people in a church.  But this is the one I have seen the most closely, and so what I am going to discuss today.

Pride may be one of the ugliest things I have ever seen.  When combined with the attitude of "I know it's true because my ___________ (pastor/deacon/ss teacher/highly respected Christian friend) said so," it sets a dangerous precedent in creating an environment not suitable for anyone with a strong desire to grow in Christ and His Word.

For those who don't know (or even those who do know, as I can almost guarantee that you "know" through what you have "heard," not through a personal discussion with me), I endured my own "Church Hurt" several years ago.  This occurred at a time when I was being particularly harshly lambasted by Satan as I grew closer and closer to God in my personal walk with Him.  Satan was doing everything he could to keep me from my Father, and as he has no boundaries and certainly no conscience, he even used members of the church to contribute.  Ultimately, I left the church of my own free will, probably much later than I should have, although in defense of that, I naively believed people would "come to their senses." 

My own experience with "Church Hurt" was a direct result of equal parts pride (I would never do anything like that!), refusal to study the Bible and think for oneself (the pastor says it, so it must be true!), a love of and to gossip, and outright lies (pride again? a need to be accepted by the larger part? I'm honestly not sure.).  ALL of these things, in this particular situation, resulted from a church environment where members were expected to take all teachings as absolute truth, were not encouraged to study and learn and enrich their hearts through their own studies in God's Word and conversations with other godly teachers and individuals outside the church leadership, and were strongly discouraged from any type of humble questioning and discussion, even when done with the right attitude - rather, if questioning occurred, the individual doing the questioning automatically had a bad attitude or was straying in his/her walk with God.

And by the way, yes, everyone was encouraged and expected to have individual time and studies in God's Word, but if this study resulted in anything not an exact duplicate of what the church was teaching, then the reader did not have the right attitude or was not listening to the Holy Spirit.

Where to even begin with that... it could be a blog post all on its own.  To determine that a person was not listening to the Holy Spirit simply because his/her Biblical studies do not match your own or question your own...  I shudder at the thought.  May God's mercy and grace help me each day to NEVER be that kind of wife or mother or teacher or friend.

The truth is, we are all sinners, equal in God's eyes, none of us worse or better than any other.  He loves us all the same, and all of our sins are as filthy rags.  There is no mention anywhere of rags any filthier than others. 

So why do Christians continue to judge others based on the severity of their (at times perceived) sins??  I just don't get it.  To behave that way does not proclaim to the world that you are saved by grace.  To behave that way shouts that you believe you have done something to make you more worthy, and that the person you are criticizing is somehow less worthy of God's mercy and forgiveness and love than you.

I learned A LOT from my "Church Hurt" experience.  Mostly I learned to be much, much more cautious with who I trust, which I will admit has been detrimental in some ways.  Because by "cautiously," I basically mean that I trust no one outside of about three people.  I also learned something very important about standing up for myself and my own beliefs, even when doing so makes me an outcast in the one place that is not supposed to have outcasts.  More than anything else, I learned firsthand the truth in God's promise to never leave nor forsake me.

I would like to end by asking - beseeching, even - any of you who have ever heard anything of anyone through someone not the subject of the conversation, that you 1) end the gossip right there by confronting the relayer of information and refusing to pass on the information, and 2) approach the person who is the subject of the gossip, if you have questions about the information.  Not doing so only hurts every single person involved, and often more than anyone else in the chain, the subject of the gossip.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Patrick's Day 2011 in Pictures

We started our day with green vanilla oatmeal... yum!

which we were obviously very excited about!

After doing some schoolwork (No, Hunter, this isn't a day off of school, even though we ARE Irish...) we had yummy Shamrock sandwiches and green milk for lunch.

After quiet time, we had green apples and shamrock cookies for snack...

...and Mom made us new Irish t-shirts!

We ended our day with corned beef and steamed red potatoes, carrots, and cabbage - YUM!

We hope you all had as lovely a St. Patrick's Day as we did!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Closing In!

Only 45 days until closing!

Why is it that yesterday I had 65 days until closing???

When oh when am I going finish all the packing???

Isn't there a packing faerie out there somewhere?  Surely she isn't too busy to lend me a hand!

Or a frontloader...