Wednesday, January 28, 2009


God is restoring me to my proper place within the home. And it's so strange, really, I didn't expect it to be like this.

I have worked continuously since I was sixteen years old, save the eight weeks after the Firecracker Princess was born. I have worked from home since then, and have apparently had some sort of pride about being a "work from home" mom who made her own schedule and still mothered her children. Well.

So God, in His wisdom, decided to remove that pride from me. As of January 1, I no longer worked for The Company Which Must Not Be Named. I saw it coming, and couldn't have been more thrilled, really. I so hated that job, but I felt tied to the paycheck. The Music Man assured me over and over that we were fine without it, but I wouldn't relent. I looked for jobs, I applied for position after position, hearing literally no response. So not like me, since I have a solid work history and good references. Heck, last night at the Disney Store the store manager offered me a job if I wanted one.

Anyhow, so I thought I'd totally languish without a job. God spoke very gently and told me that I felt like I needed to have a job because I didn't trust Him or the Music Man to provide. Ouch.

But you know what I've noticed? There's a LOT to do with three little kids! I thought my house was messy because I'm just lazy and don't care, but since I don't have a job, my house is noticibly cleaner. I make those recipes that have to sit and soak and stew all day. Best of all, I mother my children instead of babysitting them. It's so wonderful, this not having a job. It still stresses me out, but I really, really love being with them, truly WITH them.

Now back to my cleaning... :D

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Doesn't Love Pearls?

I've talked about Tara before, but she has a totally amazing giveaway right now. is giving away a piece from their Freshadama line. Personally I'm a fan of the classic pendant with a lavender pearl in white gold, but that's just me. Go see Tara, tell her what you like from the line, and leave her a comment, among other things. She's a cool chick, and this is a cool contest.

Well, go on now. What are you waiting for?

Nothing to see here...

No really...

Moving on...


I'm an Ingrid

Mitzi took a quiz called "Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?" and, while I wouldn't particularly care to be either of them, I've been up for 4 1/2 hours already and figured I should do SOMETHING today, and this seemed as good as anything.

I'm surprised at just how much like me this is. If you take it, what did you end up? Is it like you?

You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"
Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

* * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
* * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
* * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
* * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
* * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

* * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
* * my ability to establish warm connections with people
* * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
* * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
* * being unique and being seen as unique by others
* * having aesthetic sensibilities
* * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

* * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
* * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
* * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
* * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misunderstands me
* * expecting too much from myself and life
* * fearing being abandoned
* * obsessing over resentments
* * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often
* * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
* * are very sensitive
* * feel that they don't fit in
* * believe they are missing something that other people have
* * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
* * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
* * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

* * help their children become who they really are
* * support their childrens' creativity and originality
* * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
* * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
* * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take the quiz here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It Is Finished (Sorta)

Last night was my last night of Elijah House. I watched my last video, sat in my last small group. It is over...

WOOHOO! Praise God! I did it, it's over , and now I have Wednesday nights back to go to the gym and chill with my kids and just generally bum around. We still have graduation on January 31 with a time of worship, testimony, lunch, and prophecy, which I'm looking forward to, but the learning part is ova.

I am so thankful for the experience. I feel like I've learned and grown and changed a good deal, and that's wonderful. But I couldn't be more ready for a break, some time to shift gears and focus on other people instead of all this navel gazing.

Did I say woohoo?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Admirer or Follower?

The senior pastor at my church preached on Sunday, and in part was talking about Koinonia Farms. The story was amazing, and he recounted a conversation Clarence Jordan had with his brother. Apparently his brother had some political aspirations, as a lawyer, and Clarence needed some help. A utility provider cut off their service because of their integrated status (remember, this was Georgia in the 1940s and 50s), and Clarence knew that if William called and spoke to someone with his clout, it would be taken care of. William said he'd LIKE to help, but it could cost him everything.

Then Clarence asked him if he was a FOLLOWER of Christ, or simply an ADMIRER. It's a good question, yes? I think about my life, and how I want to follow Him, but then I start thinking about the wrong things. Instead of asking Him what to do and sitting and listening, I busy myself with the stuff I could do FOR Him.

Let me clear, both with you and myself. God doesn't NEED me to do anything. A woman at my church once told me that God would love me just the same today, tomorrow, and forever if I did nothing for the rest of my life but sit and eat bon bons.

God is breaking through in me. I feel it, it's leaking out of me. Five friends affirmed something similar within a 48 hour period, but one said it so sweetly. He wrote (in part): "You've not only 'endured to the end', but grown remarkably. I read it in your notes, but I also see it in your look different. There's a peace and Kingdom confidence that absolutely radiates from you. I would not be surprised if that's not some of the powerful traits that He uses, not only on the ministry team, but in amazing ways in ministering to women who desperately need to 'see' His love and willingness in a human face....yours."

Isn't that about the sweetest thing ever? What a good guy. What a good God.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Grey Makes the Sky Fall

Grey makes the sky fall
Atmosphere, ozone, peet
Grey makes the sky fall
Violence, retreat

Grey makes the sky fall
Mocking morning dew
Grey makes the sky fall
Saturates anew

Grey makes the sky fall
Weeping its lament
Grey makes the sky fall
Satisfaction spent

Grey makes the sky fall
Gasping yet for breath
Grey makes the sky fall
Hidden life in death

Grey makes the sky fall
Dappled, piecemeal clean
Grey makes the sky fall
A moment crystalline

Grey makes the sky fall
Still, perfected dance
Grey makes the sky fall
A quartertime romance

Grey makes the sky fall
Passion yet in pain
Grey makes the sky fall
How quickly goes the rain

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is the birthday of three people special to me. First, my grandma is turning 70 today. Happy birthday gram! Next, my therapist from my younger days, Michele. Michele got me through some crazy stuff in late high school/early college, and I just love her. Finally, Tim Lautzenheiser. He was a mentor in high school, and the Firecracker Princess' middle name is Lautzen. He is precious to our family, and is love by many thousands.

And a final note, those jeans are going to fit by the trip after all. They fit with a teensy bit of muffin top (blech) right now, so I plan to drop another 5 lbs or so before the trip and wear them a bit around the house (since they were dried in the drier, not smart) first. I believe they'll be pretty comfy, at which point I'll have to retire the jeans I bought when I was 20. Oh well, I'm sure I'll have to bring them out again if we have another munchkin!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Paid the Stupid Ticket

After perusing the county courts page, I realized that the Music Man would have to take another day off of work because if I pled not guilty, they'd set another court date. Then I was talking to ElleBee about it, and she said that in her home state, if you're found guilty of speeding in a school zone, it's automatic points and a hefty fine, plus court costs. It just didn't seem like it was worth it.

I went to the dentist to get impressions made for my crown, and it was the single easiest dentist appointment I've ever had. It was amazing, no pain (except the cold ickiness of the impression material, blech). Three more weeks and I'll have a full mouth of healthy teeth for the first time since I was nine. Twenty years, sigh.

I'm finally losing a bit of weight, and my big push is to get below 140 before the Music Man's birthday trip in three weeks. Three pounds to go to get there, it seems reasonable.

That's about it for now. I graduate from Elijah House on January 31, and I'm really looking forward to getting that night of the week back!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Still Here

Things are interesting right now. I'm in the home stretch in Elijah House (last day is 1/31). God is working in some crazy ways, including having me minister to someone on Sunday who I had never laid eyes on before. This wouldn't be terribly interesting, except He told me that she had had an abortion, too. I asked a friend for confirmation before approaching her, but I was nervous. When Kate said, "Go forth, obedient one", I knew I had to do it. I told her that she was forgiven and that God wants her to walk in that forgiveness. Asked her if she had children. She shook her head no. Then I said, "Can I ask you a personal question? Did you have an abortion?". She looked me in the eye and nodded. I went on to tell her that the Lord sees her repentance and wants to bless her with more children, that she's not disqualified because of it. She hugged me tight and we worshipped together until "Sanctuary" was over. It was so surreal, the whole thing.

Yesterday, a boy I dated (if you call it that) briefly in high school passed away. He'd had a heart attack, at 30. Thankfully, he didn't have a wife or children, but he's one of eleven children in his family. Thirty years old. Sigh.

Also, I'm not with BzzAgent anymore. They didn't renew my contract, and I'm really, really thankful. I can't believe how much there still is to do without the stress and drama and high-school attitudes in my life. I'm enjoying my children so much more, enjoying studying for my Pilates certification and baking and even cleaning more. It is good, God is good.

I spent some time thinking about why I "needed" a paying job so badly. This is the first time since I was sixteen that I haven't worked, save the 8 weeks after the Firecracker Princess was born. Then it (He?) came to me: I have never been comfortable needing anyone else to provide for me. God is showing me that I have to learn to abide in Him, to allow Him and the Music Man to be my source(s) and rest knowing that I'm not in control. This is hard. I freak out and look for jobs, willing to sacrifice my rest and time with my family to make more money, when we're acutally just fine without it. Again, God is good.

All the time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Music Man... has his own blog. He thought, "She calls me the Music Man, I should have my own notes"! He's just getting started, but this is his new blog home.

Speaking of the Music Man, have I told you all that I'm taking him away for his birthday next month? I have lots of surprises built into the trip (hopefully). He has no idea where we're staying, what we're doing, where we're eating, etc. Yesterday, I was working on one of those surprises and, without giving away too much because I know his eyes reach this page, it was all drama.

Suffice it to say that I'm willing to pay many times what a product/service combo is worth on that particular day. Were we home I'd do it myself and, if not better, probably as well for what I'm asking. The first woman I spoke with was so rude that I actually hung up. I can count on one hand the number of times I've done that. The second one wasn't much more helpful, but then transferred me to a third who, while curt and reluctant, actually gave me what I asked for. I'm spending $100 on something I could literally do myself for $8-10 max (and that's counting stuff I have. Were I not, it could be done for about $4). I actually had to say to the woman, "I don't care how much it costs, I know what I want, I'm just asking you to do it for me. That's all."

On getting into those size 7 jeans before the trip, I'm not sure it'll happen. But I'll keep working on it!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Buche De Noel--The Daring Bakers December Challenge!

And the Challenge this month is…

A French Yule Log!!!

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand

OK, so I'm a week late (almost), and I almost didn't finish this puppy. My ganache didn't turn out, and the whole thing was generally a mess, but I'm not a quitter, so I'm posting the fool thing. Here's my attempt at a buche de noel (French yule log). The recipe is here, and it's L-O-N-G (18 pages in Word).

This was a crazy recipe, and I LOVE to bake. First was the almond biscuit. Mine was hard. Then the creme brulee, which baked TWICE as long as they said to in the water bath (do I need to check my oven's temp, I wonder?). Next was the ganache, which was ruined b/c I burnt it, so I threw it away. The mousse was deelish, the icing was easy, and the crisp would've been good except that I didn't have any more chocolate, so I used cocoa powder and butter in the double boiler. Can you guess what I forgot? Oh yeah, the SUGAR. So it was bitter and ick. But since the rest was relatively sweet, you couldn't tell a heck of a lot. I can't wait to do January's challenge.

Since I can't tell you what it is unless you're a Daring Baker yourself, you'll just have to wait until the end of the month. But it's good!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Year In Review--Part Deux

I stole this from Mindy on her Facebook page. :)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Got below my high school weight.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any for 2008, but this year I will read through the entire Bible and earn my Pilates certification.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Just me!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Let's see...Norway, Italy, Morocco, Mexico...all at Epcot because I don't have a passport!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Hmm, I'm pretty set. I think I lacked quality (though there was plenty of quantity) time with my kids and especially with the Lord.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 2, My Look Alike was born. :)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting below my high school weight.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Definitly spending time on my relationship with God, though it picked up closer to the end of the year and is going strong right now.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just some minor injuries as I strted running, super bad knees. They're not good, but getting better as I get stronger!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Blendtec, hands down.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hmm, I'll go with the Music Man. He and I had some serious discussions (which he HATES), and he's been working hard at giving me the things that I need.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Bush Administration

14. Where did most of your money go?
Paying off debt.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting really, really, really in shape.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"Undeniable" by Mat Kearney.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?

ii. thinner or fatter?
Thinner (by 70 lbs).

iii. richer or poorer?
poorer - I don't have two jobs anymore.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying. The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord!

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2008?
We were at WDW until 12/24, then came home and cooked for the in-laws to come over. The joy of marrying an only child.

21. What LJ users did you meet for the first time?
Min, LJ is LiveJournal. I don't think I met any!

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Totally! My Look Alike is amazing!

23. How many one-night stands?
none, I don't roll that way.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I didn't watch much TV, but I love the Biggest Loser.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope, quite the opposite. I love a lot more than I did.

26. What was the best book you read?
Let's go with Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Tenth Avenue North.

28. What did you want and get?
My Blendtec, a car.

29. What did you want and not get?
Nothing really. Oh, I did sorta want a birthday gift from the Music Man, but he got me, ahem, gum. A three pack of gum.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I think I only saw Indiana Jones in the theather, but I did finally see, and really enjoy, THe Notebook.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was a Sunday, so I went to church then out to dinner with my in-laws (who DID get me gifts, not gum). I was 29.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't think anything.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Updated classic.

34. What kept you sane?
My kids, they remind me to play.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I still sorta love Owen Wilson.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Lots of them, but mainly the strife between Evangelicals and the Democratic party.

37. Who did you miss?
Lots of friends who live close by but I never seem to see.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Pam, my Pilates instructor. She's amazing, and way more than my instructor. Friend, substitute mom, confidant, mentor. Did I mention that she's wonderful?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
That God designed my exactly the way He wanted me. Sigh.

40. BONUS YUPPIE QUESTION What were your best meals of the year?
Hmm, let's think. We ate at the Wave at Disney World, and the lamb shank and lentil stew was amazing. Seasons 52 was super great, too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Blog Year In Review

I "borrowed" this from Kimi at See The Blue Sky. I'm pretty excited to say that I started blogging in March, and, including this one, am at 195 posts. Not too shabby!

My blog year in review... or the 1st sentence of my first post from March until December. They're not good like Kimi's, I've noticed!

March-Welcome to my new space.

April-I've decided to try some new recipes this week.

May-My posts are a little Jesus-heavy this week, I've noticed.

June-OK, so I know I haven't blogged yet this month, forgive me.

July-*Body and weight talk, please avoid if it's a trigger for you*

August-You want to fight the frump, you say?

September-Wowza, this is tough.

October-So I've been reading Robyn's blog for some time, and the iodine thing really got to me.

November-ElleBee roped me into this, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

December-"Aslan is on the move--perhaps has already landed."

What did I learn? I've learned to be more me this year. More the me God designed. He taught me that sometimes, using my voice is using His voice.

He reminded me that if I complain about my body, I am in spiritual rebellion, as He made each part of me FOR me, to do what He designed for me to do. Taken from an earlier post, He, "chose the slope of my nose, the curve of my hip, the arch of my foot".

I learned to eat better, and that drinking my greens is tasty. I learned to make bread from wheat I ground myself, and to be a bit bolder making new friends.

I learned to let it hurt when it needs to. I learned to lean on others, and that God gives us substitute parents, even with the same name as your real parents.

I learned to love a new baby, and to love the space between babies.

I learned that MOPS is not my thing, that my job doesn't define me, and that I need discipline to stay in God's word just like in my diet and exercise regimen.

I learned that you don't get three baby grace until you have three babies. I learned that old friends will forgive you, if you ask. Husbands will too. And God already did, you just have to let Him know that you want Him to do surgery on your heart.

I learned that I have work to do. And I learned that I really can't wait.

God bless.