Hello, Goodbye

Goodbye 2014:

This year has come and gone. What a year I have had. I've learned and grown in God and, man, is He amazing!

2014 was eventful in many ways:

30th birthday
10 year marriage anniversary
The girl turned 5
Grandpa is 90 and married 65 years
First day of Kindergarten
BD trips to New Zealand & Austria
Life altering books read
Closer friendships made
We read the whole Bible (I think this is my 4th time through in a year)
Many more events, some painful and some joyous but through it all, God is good!

Hello 2015!

Things I look forward to in 2015:

Memorizing Romans chapter 8
Memorizing Colossians 3:12-17
Grace through whatever God gives
To be Christ-exalting in all I do and grateful for His grace, mercy, and forgiveness when I am not.

This new year, may you draw closer to God our Savior, the One who takes away the sins of the world. (Jn 1:29)

Tea Sets and a Birthday Party

J was invited to a birthday party for a friend and the invite mentioned a "Dress up Tea Party." Well we (yes we) were sold right there. My girl loves to dress up and I do enjoy a good Tea Party. She was even asked to bring a doll or stuffed animal along too. Here are a few pics from the festivities: 

J with the birthday girl. 

One of many outfits she tried on. Her baby having tea

Dancing to the music

Luncheon and Tea (punch for the girls)

She was loving the whole thing!

They got to have their nails painted too

After-party burnout. She was so tired when we got home.

So the party ended but she was pretty excited about the little tea sets that she could use for her doll at the party and I just had to let her in on a little secret. I had been waiting until she was older, but now was a good time: I collected quite a few mini tea sets in my younger days. Yep, I was the jr. high kid and now 30 year old with a tea set collection. So I went in the storage box and unwrapped a few of the not-so-delicate variety for her to try. 

The resin sets I have - the sunflower just screams 90s and it's one of my favorites (I actually put it back in storage for now)

All the friends, enjoying some tea

Some of the collection - for another time

More tiny sets - I did let her keep the set on the left in her room for a while. There is also a larger set in the box back there that we didn't bother unwrapping just yet. 

This was my first tea set. I am pretty sure we bought it on a vacation somewhere but I can't quite remember. Maybe when we visited Tiny Town in Colorado? So many memories when I look at it but not as clear as they used to be. 

I love that I could share this moment with my girl today. It is fun to enjoy the same things and give a bit of my childhood to hers.

Party time

We attended the BD Christmas party this weekend. Because we had a few car issues to take care of earlier that day; I had to meet Pete at my parents' house and get ready there. It was like we were getting ready for the prom - with a 5 year old and 3 year old in tow. So my mom took the "obligatory picture" and off we went. My parents were also generous and watched the kids for us. 

While it took us a long time to get to the party, because of an accident in Centerville, we found a parking spot and walked to the McCune Mansion. I cannot imagine living in a house that size, let alone during the early 1900s. It is a beautiful place. The food is good and I meet some of the same people every year, once a year. So for about an hour and a half (maybe a record for Pete) we talked with his co-workers, walked around the house, ate food, drank wine and coffee (not together) and ate delicious mini desserts - pictured below because they were so pretty and cute. 

We didn't participate in the free gambling or dancing upstairs but I did manage to get one photo booth picture out of him before we left. I love that I can dress up and have fun with my man, even though he would have rather been home.

He has been blessed with a good job that he enjoys and I'm very grateful. We returned to my parents' house to find both kids asleep in their bed. We carried them to the car, still mostly asleep, drove them home, and put them right to bed - still asleep. It was a great evening. 

P.S. I found out that B is much much heavier than J when he is sleeping.


I am trying to slow my thoughts and desires this Christmas season and focus on Christ and His Grace. Grace! Man, oh man, do I need grace. This week has been full of internal struggles and outward "failures" as I strive to be "perfect" as I mother and love my children, keep my house, and live with and love my husband. I know I should live in God's grace and surrender my will and words and desires to Him. But really, most days I think, "How?" I need a button, like my computer, that I can push to restart when everything is frozen or not-responding in my heart.

 I have turned my life into things I should be doing and the joy has shrunk down. I should be cleaning, I should be nicer, I shouldn't be frustrated when the 3 year old acts like he's 3. I shouldn't bicker with my 5 year old "teenager." I should desire to cook healthy meals for my family. I should meet my husbands' needs better. I should read Ezekiel - and finish the Bible by the end of the year, I should read more books/Bible and watch less TV. I should watch my 3 year old at all times instead of sleeping in because he terrorizes the house and puts himself in danger. I should love on my friends and pray for the needs of others. I should..... my list that I created only gets longer! But here's the deal, I created it! God does not mandate those things from me and I need to give up on becoming who I think I need to be and do what God requires of me:

He has told you, O man, what is good: and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

Now, maybe that verse does not encompass everything God wants of us. But Christ has paid the cost and we are not required any payment! We should LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS. Much of how we should live is summed up in the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5-7. So, I'm done with this "pity party of my failures" and I will go forward in Christ's grace! I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) He has called me to live for His glory, right now, in all I do! "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him." 1 Cor. 7:17

So I am using the season of Advent to restart. I am going to pray and seek God. I want to fill my life with His Word and give thanks for all His grace and mercy. How can I change if I don't fill my life with His goodness and rid it of my sin and selfishness (easier said than done in the past but I am trusting in Jesus to carry it out this time.)

We are using two books this year to guide our Advent celebration; along with a few printable ornaments from The greatest Christmas site:

I could go on and on about advent. We don't have an advent wreath yet, but we do have 4 candles that we'll light each Sunday (no, they aren't the pink and purple colors.) We set our tree up, we will read the story at bedtime while the kids color the ornaments that correspond to the Jesse Tree and we'll hang them on our Christmas tree with the other ornaments.

I really want this season, and my life, to be focused on Jesus and who He is. Praying that my family will reflect His love to each other and to our community.

Time to restart! Pray with me, and for me, that we can be a community of believers known for our trust and dependence of God and our abundant out-pouring of His Grace!