Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meet our new house

Some exceptionally good news came my way today at approximately 11:38 am…right during my lunch break of the sub job I got called for at 7:15 am: OUR BUYERS’ LOAN GOT USDA APPROVAL!!!!!!!

Which means…





is A LOT closer to being our new home.

Give thanks to God with us!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A little iPhone camera catch up!

It’s been a while since I unloaded the pictures from my phone…and some are pretty cute!



The Walk for Haiti that Bethany & her friend organized this past fall was in the GEMS Shine Brightly magazine in February!


In first grade, every 10th day of school is celebrated with a visit from Zero the Hero (a stuffed animal) who brings treats shaped like a 0 (with the help of a parent) as a surprise for the kids. The kids don’t know that a mom brings the treats because the mom who brings the treats sets them down, knocks, and RUNS before the door is answered by a student. I always sign up for day 100. This year, I spray painted a terra cotta pot with chalkboard paint and made this with 100 suckers and a poem for Elise’s class. I had the privilege of subbing in her classroom that day and so got to see the kids’ reaction to the surprise. Super fun! Inside the pot was a coffee gift card and two round chocolates for the teacher (the real teacher, not the sub!) as well. It would have gone off without a hitch, except for that this past weekend, Elise was looking at the pictures on my camera and stumbled across this one. She said, “How did the Zero the Hero pot get in our house?”

Um. Oops.

So, the secret is out. But she has been given strict instructions NOT to tell any other students.




Last week the 7th-12th grade orchestras put on a fundraising event called “Suites & Sweets” and it was great! I was in charge of table decorations, which turned out beautifully until I broke 6 of the borrowed vases when they fell out of the back of my van…fortunately this was AFTER the event! I felt absolutely sick about it, but the owner of the vases was incredibly gracious.




Bethany and another girl from the middle school orchestra played the “Bach Double” and sounded amazing! There were many small group “suites”, some solos, and a few pieces by the entire high school orchestra. Desserts were served by the orchestra students TWICE during the evening!


Our annual Valentine’s Day Chocolate Fondue!



Bethany and a XC teammate ran in a local running club partner 5K race this past Saturday – and placed second in the women’s division!


Consider this blog caught up. Until I take another picture…

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Moving on?

This past Wednesday our realtor called and said, “There’s a house, not listed yet, going to be for sale, that I think you should see it. Today.” So I went to see it about an hour later. I texted Ed, “This house is perfect.”

He was on his way home from work, so he came straight over. Sarah was with me and she was completely smitten with the house. The next night we took my parents to see it, and with their approval made an offer on Friday and yesterday came to a verbal agreement with those sellers. We hope to sign paperwork tomorrow and are cautiously optimistic and reservedly excited. We are still in need of one large miracle and that is the stamp of approval from the USDA on our buyers’ loan. Without that, we will not sell our house and will not be able to buy this one (or any house, for that matter). According to the USDA website, they are processing loans from 2/4/13 and ours was submitted 1/30/13, which means it has likely been processed. It’s supposed to take about a week for “fulfillment” of the approved loans, so we expect to hear this week. However, given the many times we have been told similar things (granted, we were told that from a bank and not from the USDA), we are skeptical, which is to be expected. We covet your prayers for that stamp of approval!!

Now, the house! It is by no means perfect…but it’s the closest thing to perfect we have seen since the house we lost. It is about as big as what we have now…but with a 4th bedroom instead of an office and an upstairs bonus room instead of a formal living room. More useable space for our lives for the foreseeable future. It also has an extra half bath and it is only 2 years old. It’s beautiful, the layout is good, and it’s in a great neighborhood that backs up to the local KOA, so the backyard is very private…fully fenced with tall trees between the yard and the “permanent camper” area of the KOA. It comes with a washer/dryer (which is great because we had to include ours in the deal on our current house). I LOVE the master bathroom…not too big, but with a separate toilet/shower area. The master bedroom is on the main floor and is quite big, so Ed will put his computer desk in there. The other bedrooms are all upstairs with the bonus room, which is a great layout for us right now. It needs some storage added, but my dad has some good ideas and we hope to get a shed built in the large backyard this summer. I love the style and design of the house and even most of the wall colors. Only the master will need to be painted soon. It will be a good fit for our family and I am so thankful to have found something that will work and that we can live in and enjoy for many years. I also especially love that we can move in and just LIVE and not have to do a bunch of fixing up. Our lives are plenty full without that. Will I do decorating and organizing projects? Certainly. But there will be no moving of walls or gutting kitchens or bringing plumbing to a basement (all things we had considered when looking at other houses) and so our time and money can be invested into US instead of into a building.

So, we will continue to move forward in faith, trusting that God will continue to provide.

Friday, February 15, 2013

God’s provisions

2012 was a difficult year for me in many ways that I won’t go into on the Internet…but there were many struggles and I felt hurt and lost several times. As I look back, though, one thing remained constant – God’s provision. Proof of His existence and care, despite my soul feeling downcast. This provision came in many ways…a husband who lets me feel sorry for myself and then demonstrates how to pick myself back up, a family who continues to stand by, support, and pray for me, friends who showed by example their unfailing trust in God in circumstances far more serious and difficult than my own, friends who listened and cared even when they were so tired of hearing my complaints, a support group at church where relationships and trust have been deepened and where I see models of the kind of woman God intends me to become, even extended family of friends who hurt with me and pray for me, Biblical preaching, opportunities to give to others when I would have rather crawled into bed…and I could go on.

This is not to say I am all the way back to “normal”, whatever that means. There are still struggles. But God is working on my anxious and hardened and hurt heart. I feel and see progress, and I am thankful. Pastor Koeman preached a sermon on spiritual depression a few weeks ago and I listened to a Beth Moore talk on our hearts and God used those two talks to begin to open my heart and brain up to the fact that He was still there and that makes things all right. No, He didn’t cause the bad stuff. But He allowed it. And He will use it. And again, like I have said before, He will receive all the glory for who He is and what He has done. And even if life continues to be a struggle in these ways or other ways, He will still be good and He will still provide. Through whatever this broken world throws at me or my family or my friends, He will provide.

Psalm 42:5

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


For the last half of January and the first half of February, Sarah was involved in the stage crew for our high school musical production of HONK! What a great show and a lot of fun for her! It brought back SO many memories for me as I watched her experience the same things I experienced working back stage for 5 productions while I was in high school (I was in the orchestra pit twice and was on stage only once…the fall play my Junior year, and I played a bookworm…I liked back stage better!) Some things have changed drastically (as in WAY more stage parent involvement and less for stage crew to do early on) and some things haven’t changed at all (the cast & crew STILL circle up, pray, and sing “Blest Be The Tie That Binds” before every performance). I just loved watching her be involved, have fun with her high school friends, learn from the examples of the Juniors & Seniors, and become part of another “team”.


Because “Honk!” is set on a farmyard (all the characters are animals, mostly poultry), the stage crew got to wear farmer-type clothes, rather than the typical all-black ensemble. Fun!


The stage crew gets to bow on closing night!


Friday, February 8, 2013

So last week was B.E.A.R week…

B.E.A.R. (Be Excited About Reading) week was last week. It should really stand for Bring Everyone Anguish about a Ridiculous costume. Truly, I’m a teacher and I’m pretty sure that this week was invented by teachers to see how much stress they can cause parents. It’s not really about reading or about not watching TV. Turning in those little slips every single day to verify no TV watching occurred is simply a test to see which moms are still asleep when they’re making their little ones’ lunches. The Book Character Dress-Up Parade? It’s a chance for creative moms to shine and non-creative moms to feel inadequate.

Oh wait. School isn’t about me. It’s about the kids. Well.

Honestly, I HAVE actually learned that over the years. This is about the kids. And that is why I do almost nothing to help with the girls’ costumes anymore. I did go on a hunt for a long dark skirt for Becca, but only because she asked me to. I think they did a great job by themselves and turned out adorable, but I’m a little biased.


Elise was Cam Jansen from “Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the UFO.”



Becca’s class was required to dress up like a character from their book report book, which I think is an awesome idea. This was a Dear America book, set in the 1890’s, I think. No smiling…they didn’t smile for photographs back then.



It’s always fun to go see my Kindergarteners in their costumes. They kind of think it’s Halloween again, except without the candy.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

It was a girlfriend weekend!

Way back on my birthday, when I turned 29 again, I bought myself a little to Arizona! You see, a sweet friend moved there about a year ago and I've been wanting to go and visit her see her life, to be in her house, to love on her kids, to do the fun stuff we used to do together when she lived here! Tickets were pretty cheap that day and the weekend worked for both of us, so the tickets were bought and the planning began!

I left last week Thursday, the 24th, and came home on Sunday the 27th. The weekend was too short and too wet, but it was a GREAT weekend for both of us - to be able to spend time together again and to do bunches of fun stuff together. I was planning on doing a breakdown of all our activities, but I'm sure I would get something wrong, and besides, my friend already did it on her blog! I'm just going to link you to Tam's Treasure Box and all the pictures and details can be seen there! Enjoy!