Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Reno/Cahill Cousins...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
It's weird...just yesterday morning, we sat around and discussed (hypothetically speaking) where we'd like to move. We talked about all kinds of places: Iowa, Minnesota, Idaho, Montana, Canada, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, California, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota (I nipped that one in the bud REAL QUICK.). Since we have been married, we have lived in the same area....covering about 5 square miles!! Our apartment we lived in as newlyweds is 3 miles north. The only other home we've owned, besides the one we are presently in, is 2 miles south! We do love this area...
We do not know what the future will hold, but we know Who our Provider has been and will continue to be. So here's to new beginnings and big adventures! Scumps!!
/ædˈvɛntʃər/ [ad-ven-cher] -tured, -tur⋅ing.
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
5. peril; danger; risk.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Lord has called my name. How can that be? He has drawn me and made me His own. If I did not know it to be so, I would think it was too good to be true. I am being changed and transformed into the person I was created to be by the One Who made me. Whoa. That is amazing.
My mom is here visiting...so nice to have her near. She is wonderful. (even if she DOES beat me regularly at cards...) She just jumps in wherever needed. Right now she is sewing a beautiful dress for Kristin, who will be in our friends Mindy & Ken's wedding next spring.
Our kids are doing great in school...Kristin is having some very slight issues w/chatting a bit and being easily distracted, but this is minor in the big scheme! Dan has adjusted amazingly well to middle school. Elly is having the time of her life, working on her second play of the fall at school. Bree is enjoying and being challenged by her job. We are just savoring these days of having them all living at home with us, knowing these days are numbered!
Even though there is a possibility that David's job could be eliminated by the end of '08, we are amazingly peaceful. This is truly the peace that passes understanding...makes no sense! Sometimes I pinch myself and wonder if I am just in denial. Shouldn't I be freaking?
We have begun to meet with some amazing folks in a small group-type setting...wanting to be accountable, wanting to be the Body of Christ to one another. We are so very excited about this part of our new church family. =)
We are very healthy people. Other than the short-lived, annoying colds and such, we are strong and well. We do not deserve it! So many are struggling with chronic illness. We are blessed with our health.
We have a warm, toasty house that we can afford to pay for...unlike so many who are struggling right now with keeping up with the basics. We are snug and well-fed. (possibly too well-fed)
We have extended family that we love so much. We have many friends that are so very special to us. And we have recently been blessed with re-connecting with many from our past through Facebook. What a wonder!
I think I need to make every month 'Thanksgiving Month"...what it does for my spirit and my emotions to sit and think of all our blessings...I cannot easily describe. What comes to mind is the phrase 'incredible lightness of being"...which until a moment ago, I did not know comes from a book called 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. (Strangely enough, I don't recall ever even hearing of the book until this morning, when a friend [from Facebook!] suggested that I read it! ...and now a phrase that I've heard before, but did not know was from that book comes to my mind! Weird.)
I think that we are meant to live as grateful people. May I live as I was meant to, in this thankful state of counting innumerable blessings and not just BEING, but SHOWING my gratefulness...
THANK YOU, LORD!
"Give thanks to God. Call out his name. Ask him anything! Shout to the nations, tell them what he's done, spread the news of his great reputation!"
Isaiah 12:3 The Message
"Give thanks to God, His love never quits." 2 Chronicles 20:21 The Message
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I am sick again for the third time in three weeks....three different illnesses. First it was a vertigo-type thingy. Then it was strep (on the tail end of amoxicillin for that!) and now I have this nasty cold...with a smoker's cough. (No, I do not smoke.) Nice. Tomorrow I will have to postpone my dentist appointment to fix my cracked tooth for the THIRD TIME! I am feeling so selfish and so mad and so worn out: sick and tired of being sick and tired. But wait...
What is the truth about this situation? Is God in control of this? Could He heal me if He thought that was best? Am I stuck here for a purpose? Do I need to be treating my body differently so I am not as susceptible to sickness? What about people who are chronically ill...is it possible to be content when faced with a barrage of sickness? I was pretty sick last year during this time, but I thought it was because I was teaching and my body was exposed to a lot of germs/viruses that I was not accustomed to. So what's the excuse this year? Do I need to be concerned about something I am not aware of?
Nearly our whole family has had something. Will we all be well to host Thanksgiving dinner like we are planning?
This situation is so inconsequential compared to so many...I think of my friend, Nancy, who is going through treatment for her second bout of breast cancer and whose house is in the path of the crazy fires that are scorching California right now. Or I think of our friends K & E who are in a very dangerous part of the world to tell people of Jesus' love. I need the perspective of these situations or I sink into pity-party-mode....and that's so ugly and isolating and non-productive and self-serving.
In my runny-nosed, hacking state, I am mistakenly thinking that the most important kind of healing is physical, but I know that God sees so much more than I do. And that His ideas of goodness and wholeness are beyond what I can understand. What are You working in me, Lord?
Lord, teach me the secrets of asking for what I desire, but allowing You to help me to be content no matter what Your answers are to what I pray. I know Your Grace is sufficient for me and that when I am weak, Your strength can be shown through me. I choose to trade my dis-ease for Your Peace. And I choose to think on You over thoughts of myself that threaten to consume my mind.
Exodus 15:26 He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Our society deifies youth to such an extent that most of us often don't give our older years any thought (realistic ones, anyway.). Other than deciding what percentage of our income to sock away in the 401K, we don't want to consider the possibilities of aging. I watched some of my friends that preceded me into the 40's lose their 'close-up-vision' and get glasses, but I really didn't think it would happen to me. It has. And I've been disappointed that my body betrayed me like this! I think I have 14 pair of reading glasses around here. (And I look good in them, too...)
David and I are on the brink of having our first kiddos leave the nest....and I've never given too much thought (until very recently) of what life will be like when they all fly away. I'm thinking I need to savor our children when they're here, but also, dream and plan and look forward to those years in a realistic light.
I think I've written before regarding the comment my friend, Norma, made when we were conversing some months ago about how time seems to escalate as we get older. She said that she thinks it's not so much time speeding up as it is that our ability to process is getting slower. That gave me pause! I was downhearted about that for a short time and then I thought: this getting old thingy is part of The Plan! Since Adam and Eve, EVERYONE has aged. If it is part of The Great Design, then who am I to dread or question it?
(Okay, for all you Moral Government devotees, I acknowledge that it may not have been part of the original Eden Plan, but when A. & E. chowed on the fruit, aging became part of the deal...hmmmm...maybe aging is hard because the Original Intent/Purpose was for us to live obediently and stay young eternally???? Not to stir up a huge theological debate about the Government of God, but I just had to include those thoughts.)
Reminds me of my birthday...I LOVE my birthday
(321 shopping days left after today, people!!)
and I attempt to enjoy it as much as I can. I have never, until recently, had a clue why people did not milk their birthdays for all the fun, fellowship, cake, cash & prizes they could. Now that I am feeling my age a bit more, I'm seeing how many dread that yearly confirmation of "maturity".
I shocked a checker in a store recently by asking at what age they granted a senior discount (some stores around here give it as early as age 52.). (I'm 46.) The lady asked me why I'd want to know! I told her that if I am going to get old, I might as well look forward to the perks there are in aging!
Until the lately, I have thought of myself as looking MUCH younger than I actually am. In my twenties I hated my youthful appearance with a passion (talk about youth being wasted on the young!). I wanted to look like a mature woman, and I resented people looking upon me like a kid. Seems like I got carded FOREVER...into my 30's. If I got carded now, I'd probably kiss the cashier. I used to be quite critical of people 'getting work done' (botox & plastic surgery and such). I am still philosphically opposed to that kind of thing, but man, as I look in the mirror these days, I can sure see the rationale!!!
I wonder if part of the problem with us not knowing what to realistically expect when we age is that we don't choose to hang out with older people enough. Back in the Little House on the Prairie days, families often lived multi-generationally under one roof. Everyone experienced by first-hand-observation the whole 'circle of life', day-to-day...the joys, the pains.
Am I growing older? Of course. What might that include? Aches and pains? Will I be able to tell the weather forecast by how my joints are feeling? Will I have illness? Will I be less ambulatory? Will I lose brain power? Will I lose my independence through no longer being able to drive someday? Will I be alone? Amidst the losses (adjusting reading glasses...), I hope that I'll allow myself to grieve the things I lose and I hope that I will take the grace given me to be thankful for my wonderful youth and for my (God-willing) fabulous golden years! (And I hope I won't make my bodily functions the main topic of conversation....oh, wait...do I already do that?)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
This is Beast sleeping with a toy in his mouth. He does this often. He uses toys almost like a baby uses a pacifier. He is soooo funny (except when he chews on Bree's sunglasses.)
"Beggar Beastie" He is a 2 y/o Boxer. (he says, "Got any crunchies?")
Joojy looking out the window at his friend and neighbor 'Sandy', the Labradoodle.
Bella in repose. She thinks she is the queen. (Maybe the queen of barf.)
Monday, August 25, 2008
Don't get me wrong, I am going to miss working with the fabulous ladies that are there at school. They are a bunch of very wise, encouraging, godly women. They are the REAL DEAL. I learned a TON from them last year. It was a gift from Jesus to be there with them. They got me through a very, very tough year! I'll always be grateful for that.
(I'll miss the paycheck too. It wasn't a huge amount, but it helped!)
I've been reading a bit about Rosh Hashanah...I learned that there are several 'New Year' concepts in Judaism, Rosh Hashanah being only one of them. The Sabbath that falls during the 9 day period during Rosh Hashanah is called the Shabbat Shuvah: the Sabbath of Return.
I sure do like that. I'm so grateful that the Lord specializes in new beginnings!! And fall seems the right time for another new start: for some reflection, for repentance before God, for reconciliation before the Lord and before people, for counting blessings, for being thankful, for looking forward to all that the next season will bring. This year, Rosh Hashanah begins on September 29. I hope no one minds if I begin celebrating early.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
Let us know the LORD; let us press on to know him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
- Concoct the dough and flatten into portions. (recipe follows)
- Heat the grill - we use a gas grill and heated it on the 1/4 power setting.
- Take sauce (I use our leftover spaghetti sauce - my mom's recipe), toppings, cheese, dough, & a dish of olive oil out to the grill.
- You'll need a long basting brush to apply the oil to the grill and to one side of the dough. You'll also need one or two long-handled spatulas for turning the dough.
- 'Baste' grill w/olive oil.
- Place first piece of dough on grill and brush dough lightly w/oil.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes w/lid down.
- Flip dough & add as quickly as possible the sauce (1-2 T.), toppings & cheese. Don't get too heavy on the toppings or they won't get warm.
- Close lid and grill another 3 minutes or so....check the underside of the dough to prevent burning. Reminder: the cheese may not be completely melted before the underside of your dough is getting dark!
- Enjoy with your favorite beverage!
Grilled Pizza Dough (www.italianchef.com/grilledpizzadough.html )
- 5 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 T. sugar
- 2 t. table salt or 3 1/2 t. kosher salt (I used kosher.)
- 1 t. yeast
- 1 1/2 t. olive oil
- 1 3/4 c. warm water
I combined all ingredients in my kitchenaid stand mixer. (You can do this by hand too.) Mix 'till combined with mixer beater. Change to dough hook and knead in mixer for 4 minutes. Let dough rest 15 minutes. Knead w/dough hook 4 more minutes. Divide into 6-10 portions. (For instructions on storing this dough in the freezer, go the the website above.) Flatten by hand or with rolling pin in to individual portions. Separate w/waxed paper. (Do not stack them more than 4-5 high or the bottom ones will adhere to the waxed paper and not look as pretty when you grill them!)
Saturday, August 2, 2008
- 2 T. warm water
- 3 t. white glue
- food coloring (optional)
Mix in bowl #2:
- 2 T. warm water
- scant 1/2 t. Borax (found in the laundry section @ the grocery)
Add Bowl #1's contents to Bowl #2. Mix until solution becomes rubbery and forms a ball. Knead until smooth. Drain any excess water. Store in airtight container.
These are similar, but the blubber is more stiff...we think the Silly Putty is more fun! Now I am on the hunt for more out-of-the-ordinary, inexpensive projects for this next week!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Earlier in the day there had been 'No Swimming' signs because of rip-tides. We were thankful the signage was gone. Don't worry, Grandma, we did not go in very deep. We had A BLAST body surfing & boogie boarding. Kristin (7)and Alison (5 1/2) sat on opposite sides of a large inner tube at the edge of the water and the waves gave them rides in and out of the shore. Diane got some good video of it that I cannot wait to see! They had some cool wipe-outs. Kristin caught some great waves boogie boarding too. The big kiddos were out in the water the WHOLE time, tumbling and swimming and yelling and cavorting. It was great fun watching them and then joining in the craziness.
When we'd been out there for an hour or so, the moon started coming up...Huge, orange and unbelievably gorgeous. We joked that we'd forgotten to put on our moonblock! Beautiful seems like such a lame word to describe it. It was breathtaking. (my camera was out of batteries...)
We came home and showered and ate peanutbutter pie (I'll post the recipe later...) and are now all readying to fall into beddy-bye. We had so much fun tonight that we are all going to try to pack our things tomorrow morning and get our beach house cleaned up quickly so that we can do some more shopping and then go down to the beach again tomorrow night. We are motivated! Only one more day in paradise! We head homeward on Saturday, hopefully arriving in Omaha on Monday evening.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Since we have been on the road my skin has gotten REALLY bad...before we left, I knew I should have gone into the doc to get my quarterly dosage of steroids to keep my silly issues under control, but I kept hoping I could handle it myself with the topical meds I have. Last night I got really bad...or maybe I just realized that I was really bad. Sometimes I don't really let myself grasp that I am spiralling down until I am feeling desperate for help. Anyway, I decided that I needed to try to call my doc today and see if he would call me in a prescription. He is not one to give out meds willy-nilly (which I am thankful for...), so I didn't know if he would. I decided that if he wouldn't/couldn't I'd get online, find a preferred provider in the OBX area and try to get seen by someone here.
Well, may the Lord bless him, Dr. Greg consented to call CVS and I started taking the meds @ about 1 pm. It usually takes two doses for me to start feeling a bit better. Tonight I just took my third one and whew, what wonderful relief.
When I have a severe outbreak like this I look somewhat like some burn victims might look when they are healing: kind of vivid reddish-purple blotches that cover most of my face and usually only some of my neck. I get very self-conscious. People stare. I don't think most people mean to do it. Sometimes when people look 'different', you just can't help it. Sometimes, not too often, people comment..."what happened to you?" "isn't there anything you can do for that?" SO embarassing. Today when we went shopping (I did not want to go, but sometimes it is good to just press through and DO IT.), I wore my big floppy hat and sunglasses most of the time, even inside the stores. It is just easier knowing people cannot see my eyes...why is that, I wonder? Maybe I think that if they don't see that I know they are staring it is less difficult...if that makes any sense....
ANYWAY, after supper Jeff (bro-in-law: Diane's hubby) suggested we all go 'Ghost crabbing' on the beach at dusk. (more facinating info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_crab ) I thought it was going to be like a 'snipe-hunt'....looking for something that does not exist or something we would never really find.
I was exhausted and at first said I would stay behind and go to bed early. Then I decided to go for a short time (I hate to miss a party!)...I was planning to walk with everyone to the beach and then take the short cut home by myself and still have the chance to turn in early. Thankfully, I changed my mind.
Good thing I did because we ended up finding about 25 or 30 crabs! You all who have hunted these little guys know...they are so well-camouflaged that when you see them running on the sand, you wonder if you are really seeing something or if it is your mind telling you that you are seeing something! They are FAST! And fun to catch. The kiddos were running everywhere (10 out of the 11 kiddos came with us, ages 18 down to 4 y/o!) and catching crabs ("I got one!") ("Gotcha!") ("Come back here, you little...!") and depositing them in a cooler we brought (that I thought we toted along just for show!). It was such a great time. Most of the crabs were an inch or two big, but some were 4 or 5"! The sun was setting and the clouds were glorious. We saw a double rainbow from our front deck as we left the house and then another rainbow on the beach just before the sun went to bed.
I had a solitary minute on the beach as everyone was running and exclaiming and rolling in the sand and capturing the unsuspecting little crustaceans! As I was alone, I thanked the Lord for a great time, for the beauty of this place and for our family being together. I felt as if He whispered to my heart, "Aren't you glad you came? I helped you through. I AM here. I AM with you." I wept. I was reminded of other special times at dusk on the beach (Beach Camp with First Family Church youth group at San Onofre, 3-Arch Bay adventures in high school with my dear friend Jerbi, Laguna Beach in 1986 when David proposed...) I wept some more.
It was pretty dark when we headed for home (probably a 10 minute walk). We did let the crabs go before we left! Elly even took a short video of their exodus to the sea! =) (Posted below!)
We arrived home and were looking at the many photos we took of our Ghost crab excursion and Elly asked me how I was feeling. I told her that I'm much better and asked her if I looked any better (mirrors are not my friends when I get like this!). Jordan, our 11/y/o nephew, was listening and asked what we were talking about..he went on to say that he doesn't even notice my trouble much. That made me cry AGAIN.
I was reminded that David and others that love me (Dawn, Mom, Diane, and others) have told me that they hardly notice...and I was again undone by the fact that I really am loved for who I am and not what I look like. I need that reminder because I so easily buy into our society's appearance orientation (It is SUCH a Babylon mentality!). Looking good sometimes seems like it is SO important and because of my health it is not always possible to look good (from the world's standards). I was crying and all the kids were saying, "What's wrong with Auntie?" Lisa gave me a big, LONG hug and I bawled some more! I assured them that the tears were happy ones. My wonderful m-i-l, Karen, said that she rarely notices my skin troubles and reminded me that "man looks upon the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart". She told me that I have a beautiful heart. I think I'll 'take that to the bank'. I end this amazing day with a full and thankful heart. Life is so hard, but our God is SO good.