Wednesday, July 18, 2012


We applied on a whim yesterday to get Pre approved for a house. There's no word yet but we are 99.9% expecting a no! Followed by Cruella Deville laughter. If you've heard the phrase long shot.... Yes indeed this would be that. We fully embrace where we are in life and what we have been through and the debt we acquired. Our educations are important to us and valuable even if they make home ownership seem like something only other people get to have. Really we are ok with that. We've moved so often that it's a good thing we've rented so far, and renting has helped us know what we want when that elusive dream can become a reality.
In the meantime though I struggle with contentment. Not owning our home puts most choices out of our control such as That dripping faucet... That weird color on that wall... Why THIS tile?...That stupid shower door..( whoever invented impossible to clean -horrible with children - sliding shower doors should get their own special punishment. Seriously. I couldn't hate them more. ). Anyway... It's easy for me to get caught up in what I don't have, which would be a problem if I owned my house too I'm sure. The reality is even when we "own" our homes, if we trust the bible then we know nothing really belongs to us. It's not permanent. We can't take it with us.
I long to be like Abraham. To abandon the worldly stuff and trust God to set my feet in the land he provides. The closest old Abe got to owning his place in the promised land was the cave he was buried in. But he was ok without a mansion here on earth. The verse I'm hanging my hat on these days that helps me align value with our temporary living situations is Hebrews 11: 9-10 "By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Issac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. (10) For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, who's architect and builder is God. " Oh that God would be my architect and that my dreams of blueprints would be for building his kingdom, not my earthly dwelling.

Monday, July 16, 2012

If home is where the Heart is what happens when your heart is torn?

Tonight I've spent what feels like the last 20 years browsing homes to rent online. It's been frustrating finding some we like but are not available and then feeling like we just really need to be there to get a better understanding. I even came across a friends home from when we lived there before. It's kinda my dream house. It's blue. It has dark cabinets and a giant bathroom. It is directly across the street from a pool and playground In a super clean community with sidewalks.( It is also well above our price limit.) It's such a strange feeling though having this giant question mark over our heads and then seeing that home... The one where we dropped our boys off early in the morning on our way to the hospital to meet Silas. The home we spent every Wednesday night celebrating great community and fellowship. We spent a Seder there and our last evening before we moved sat in that living room and cried over our transitions away from there as we were prayed over by a room full of Jesus loving college students. It was a home full of grace and a sweet place for us in our memories. It will be strange to not return to it to visit our friends, but I have faith God will bring them a buyer or renter quickly as I am sure they are praying for that fervently. It makes me wonder what else will have changed and where will we fit? I was limited when we were there before being pregnant and Lucas being away with work so much. This will be different. I'll be able to reach out more, serve more, love more with our home. This waiting part is difficult. I know He has a plan. I know there are options. I guess I'm just eager to begin. I wonder who I'll bring over to fellowship with first. Who will I make coffee for? Who will be sitting at that table and what will the wall color be, and will it be as sweet as before? As sweet as now? Will my heart ever accept its many homes and places? Could it be a home is something more than walls and tables~A sum of a persons joy over years and miles? I imagine heaven and the banquet table. How wonderful to have all the pieces of my heart together and feasting in our Lords presence. For now I'm just squeezing in a few more chairs at this moving table.
Thank you for reading this blog. I feel like my readers are a true part of this story. You are welcome at this table as I flounder though the journey He has written. Thank you for bearing witness to His work in me and for sharing and encouraging me through this journey.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Cow appreciation day that is. Chik-fil-a's annual give back to loyal customers who are willing to dress to like cows when they come in to eat. The reward? Free. Food. It costs us around 30$ to feed our entire crew dinner at chik fil a. So to do so for free, yup, totally worth it. The first year we participated was a tough year for us. Lucas had just been laid off. I had no job. There was no savings. We threw balin the best cheapest birthday ever and invited our friends to join us in costume. I made cow party hats and tails to ensure that our guests received the full prize. We had a blast and now enjoy cow appreciation day with tender memories of a blessed birthday.
Today we drove home from our trip and got in late afternoon. We have spent our money and eaten way too much so dinner at chik fil a sounded great. Lucas and I got wraps which are in the fridge should we ever actually get hungry tonight. The kids all got fruit with their meals and ran off some energy on the playground. Even Silas chose tonight of all nights to climb to the top of the playground all by himself. Such a fun, cheap, tradition. An compared to the queso we've eaten vats of this vacation... Not such a bad choice nutritionally. Note- they may eat broccoli three times a day this week.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We escaped our life today for a whirlwind adventure. My sister, brother in love and their four kids came to tejas and we decided to meet up in San Antonio. We spent the day wandering the city and eating. Oh and we took a few fun pictures too. I'm looking forward to her sending me some better shots from her real camera, but I got a couple I love on my phone. After seeing the Alamo, walking the river and shopping El Mercado they daddies took the kids swimming and the mommies hiked to Starbucks. Perfect, sweet time alone with my sister. Such a rare and special grace in this life that has taken us across the country from one another for the last twelve years or so. I am loving seeing our kids so naturally fall in with one another. On our way to dinner both of the littles ( almost 2 and 3) fell asleep. I took this snapshot on my phone while walking behind the daddies carrying them in. Only later did I notice the cousin love happening in the background. Loved this day and the memories it made. Looking forward to tomorrow

The Last Homely House

Ayden, Lucas and I are reading The Hobbit this summer. The movie comes out this winter and I wanted ayden to experience the book first. Written for children as an accompaniment piece to his Lord of the Rings series, Tolkien does magic with words in this book. The adventure begins right away and by chapter three the thirteen dwarves and Bilbo the hobbit have experienced enough excitement that they need a short rest. Gandalf, the wise wizzard, leads them to "the valley of Rivendell where Elrond lives in the Last Homely House." in describing their stay Tolkien tell us

"Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable , palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyways. They stayed a long time in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave. Bilbo would gladly have stayed there for ever and ever... Yet there is little to tell of their stay."

I feel like our stay here in this sweet community; in this blessing of a house has been our visit with Elrond. It was not by chance we found this home on this street with this layout and these rooms and these colors in this school district in this city. We've been able to host parties and watch children and love on our community with our hospitality- my most favorite way to love Gods people. I may not be able to give you answers, or fix your car, or find you a job, or explain theology, but I can make you a cake and pour you a cup of tea and pray. The laughter in these rooms will stay with me like the Elven songs stay with Bilbo. And like Mr. Baggins, I could stay here for ever and ever. The adventure calls to us though so with longing hearts we pack up our ponies. If you've been a part of our story here know that you were part of the refreshment for us. The rest we needed before God sets our feet on what will be a long climb before us. We take you with us in our hearts, in our song as we travel " over the Misty Mountains to the land beyond."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The cake that made me happy.

I am too exhausted from our big big big day to write a full post. BUT I've waited two days to share this with you... Pictures of my first for reals for money cake. Granted it was for a friend. But a five year old little girl can be tricky to please so I was nervous! She was happy :). I was happy. I absolutely love how it turned out.*in an effort to be fair and honest and unfabled. This cake was a 7 hr cake.this is my hobby though an id rather be elbow deep in powdered sugar than anything on this planet. But I understand not everyone feels that way. There is no shame in buying the lovely cakes at h.e.b :)!! They are quite yummy!

Birthday for a 5 year old

Our sweet Balin turns 5 (!) on Friday. We share this week full of birthday with many friends so in the planning stages we realized we needed a unique theme with a less than usual time slot. While pondering themes I came across some Curious George themes and was reminded of one of the boy's favorite little books Curious George Makes Pancakes. In the book George goes to a carnival that raises money for the local childrens hospital. While there he takes over the pancake griddle and becomes the best ever pancake maker. Pancakes. BINGO. A Breakfast pancake party, to which we decided to add pajamas to make it even better. Here are some photos and details in case you want to throw your own!

Invitation: I scanned the book I was using into my computer. Then using Paint shop and Power Point I covered all the words and then added the info for the party in a similar style as the book lettering. As this is art and published it is copyrighted. This was for personal use only and I have no sponsors on this blog. Just FYI. I also purchased 9 copies which you can do here.

Food: The pancake theme was the easiest ever and inexpensive. We bought a large bag of pancake mix, grapes, strawberries and bananas at Sams. We also had leftover blueberries from blueberry fest in the freezer. Next to the fruit we served syrup and whipped cream. Cocktail sausages in the crock pot provided some protein and we were set. I served two types of juices, milk, coffee and water. We set up a griddle station in the kitchen and my sweet husband spent the entire party flipping pancakes.

Decor: I wanted to go with the carnival theme as much as I could, and surprisingly there was very little in the way of curious George merchandise available. We used red and white streamers from the dollar store to cover a wall in red and white stripes. I then (thanks to a string of blue balloons across the wall. We lined two tables up so they would center Balin against the balloon wall and covered them with dollar store picnic themed plastic covers. I also found yellow paper tickets there which i tore apart and scattered around the table. I set the places with a yellow paper plate and yellow cup turned upside down. A Black piece of construction paper turned it magically into a yellow hat! In the center of the table I placed a banana hanger basket and filled it with bananas. Along the length of the table I placed Curious George Books and voila! Table and background done.

Along another wall I made a string of lights fancy with cupcake wrappers and hung another string of balloons. The way they hung around a white Adirondack chair made a perfect photo corner so we staged the presents there.

Favors: To thank our guests I packaged up easy, sweet little cupcakes in dollar store favor boxes (from the wedding section). These got dropped into a carnival striped cello bag and finished with a George Sticker. The guests (each family) also received a copy of the book Curious George Makes Pancakes That I added a special cover to. I used the same blank template as the invitations but the type read "Here is a book for you to read that says Thank You for celebrating my birthday with me!" This got printed the same size as the book and double sided tape holds it on, but can be removed if the family wants.

All in all we had a great time! The birthday boy was happy, the guests left smiling and there were no major faux pas. We did forget to hang/ decided to hang the little carnival pinata we bought a little too late and some guests already had left, but it was not a very exciting pinata so I forgive myself that one, ha! We are now happily enjoying a quiet afternoon playing with his loot and not having to clean cake crumbs off the floor. I can not wait to show you the cake I made for our friends party this evening! See you later!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The announcement... And no, not a baby


We got the news a few weeks ago, but needed to wait for Ayden to get home before going completely public with it. I could not be prouder to tell you that after seven years of marriage, five moves, two births, and a layoff .... Lucas was just promoted into a district management position with his company :). While this means some changes to his day to day work we are most excited that this position means we can look longer term. We can expect a five year stay in this position. Can I hear a woo-hoo?! Or maybe let's make that a whoop! Because we are moving.... Back to where we moved here from! College station, Texas. Otherwise known as Aggie land. We are broken hearted to leave the sweet sweet family we have here in Victoria. I turn into a sopping pile of what used to be Meme whenever I think too much about the goodbyes. But we know we serve a good God and his plan for us is best. This is a situation where we either take this transfer or suffer the consequences. We are happy to take it :). It feels great to not question the open door in front of us.

Our next steps involve waiting on HR to get their act together and then finding a place to rent. Again, trusting God to take care of the details. However things turn out we are expecting This to all happen by about August 20th. Hold on to your hats y'all!

Let's remember on of our favorite places... Free birds. Can't wait for the yummies.