Monday, February 27

Week 2

Week two on Weight Watchers went pretty well. I lost two pounds and dh lost three. I am hoping to increase my water intake this week. I was not drinking nearly enough last week. I also hope to exercise more. I only did it three times last week. So here goes another week...

Thursday, February 23

Looking and Praying

Now that we've moved over an hour away from our former church, we have the unenviable task of looking for a new church home. We have been praying the Lord will lead us where He wants us to attend, where we can minister and be ministered to. We haven't attended any yet that instantly said "This is home" to us, but last Sunday's service was very good, especially the worship. It's called Warren Community Fellowship, and it's a medium-sized church. Both hubby and I loved the worship, but then we found out the worship pastor is only an interim pastor. Both kids seemed to enjoy Sunday School too.

When we got home we walked across the street to meet the new neighbors that moved in last week, and their little girl who just turned five said, "He was in my class," pointing to Ryan. It turns out they have been attending WCF for two years and really like it. There's also another family a couple houses down the block who attend. It was nice to find other Christians in our neighborhood, and it definitely makes us think harder about making WCF our church home. It would be wonderful to fellowship with neighbors! But until the Lord makes it more clear, we're still praying and looking.

Tuesday, February 21

Weight Loss

Well, here I am again at a weight I swore I would never get back to. Sigh. There's nothing else to do but to get back on the weight loss path again. My hubby and I started back on Weight Watchers last Monday. Last time I joined the online version, but money is pretty tight and I know how the program works, so we're just going it alone. Our first week went really well. I lost six pounds and hubby lost eight. Hopefully we can persevere long enough to get down to more healthy weights. I had made it a goal two years ago to get down to a "normal" weight for me (according to standardized weight charts) by the time I turned 40. That's not going to happen, but I can still get down to what I weighed when I got married, which is a big improvement on where I am now!

Cold and Windy Adventure

Last Friday I had to take our van in for some routine servicing, and I had several hours to kill before we could get it back. I thought instead of just waiting for hours in the waiting room (have done that before too), I'd take the kids on the bus and go to the library. So we crossed the street and stood waiting for the bus for about 15 minutes. It seemed like an eternity though. It was about 30 degrees outside and the wind was galing, bringing the wind chill temps down to the teens or lower. I told myself that it would be fine once we got to the library because we could just browse for hours, read books, and eat our lunch that we brought with us.

At last the bus arrived, and I paid my $1.95 fare for the very short ride up the street to our stop. The ride wasn't nearly long enough to warm us up, but off we went to walk three blocks to the library. It was incredibly cold, and I was glad Abby had mittens on. Ryan didn't have mittens, but his coat was long enough to cover his hands. Mine, though, were freezing! As we walked to the library, I had this horrid thought that maybe the library wouldn't be open. They have changed hours after the last election, blaming budget cuts for their shorter hours. Sure enough as we rounded the corner to the front door, I saw that they wouldn't be open until 1:00! It was now 10:30.

We walked two blocks back to a different bus stop we had passed, and we huddled in the shelter while I decided what to do. The busses on this route go to the transit center where we can catch the Max line (Portland's light rail). Since the kids love riding the Max, I decided to catch another bus to the transit center which isn't very far away. We waited about 10 minutes for the next bus, VERY grateful for the shelter this bus stop had.

We got on the bus for another short ride, and as we exited the bus I was hurrying the children along because the Max was at the stop and we could catch it if we hurried...or so I thought. As we got closer I realized that instead of the usual "Gresham" sign, it said "Not in Service." Ugh. Because of the high winds, a substation had lost power and they were bussing people downtown. We were freezing cold so I just hopped on the shuttle bus headed for downtown. It took me about five minutes to soothe Abigail and get her to stop crying because she was so disappointed that we didn't get on the Max.

The kids enjoyed looking out the window though, and while they looked I decided to call Eddie and see if he was available for lunch. We ended up catching the Max line downtown and meeting him for an impromptu lunch at the mall food court. It was nice to see him during the day, and the kids were having a swell time. After Daddy left to go back to work, we walked the cold, windy three blocks back to the Max. Actually we ran the last block so we wouldn't miss the train. Made it just in time!

They still hadn't gotten the train up and running, so we caught another bus downtown and then transferred once again at the transit center to the bus that took us back to the Kia dealership. Whew! I was never so happy to get into my gas-guzzling minivan and crank up the heat in all my life! Public transportation is great if you have no other way to get places, but I'll take my own vehicle over it any day, especially cold and windy days.

Thursday, February 16

Just Thinking

I've been pondering a couple things the last couple of days. The first is very near and dear to my heart...adoption. A friend of mine just found out they will be adopting a 21-month-old little girl, and they will be getting her this weekend! It's been interesting to watch the process as an outsider this time instead of as the participant. The emotions and fears are often so intense, then, strangely, the next moment there's ambivilence, giving rise to the sensation of being on a roller coaster ride of unknown duration.

But the amazing and precious thing to me is how I heard the change in her voice the day she told me they were chosen to be her parents. Gone was the ambivalence, gone were the fears (for the moment, anyway), and all I heard in her voice was excitement and love for this new daughter whom they have never even met! How can people not believe in God when you see that kind of capacity for love? Surely, only the Lord is able to make love flow from hearts of mere men in such a powerful way.

I am so grateful to have been adopted into God's family and to have been blessed to adopt two beautiful children. I know my friend and her family will have their ups and downs with this little girl, but what a blessing she is to them...and them to her!

The second thing that's been rolling around in my thoughts lately is marriage. I've watched marriages come and go, I've witnessed couples pull their marriages back together after devastating actions by one or both spouses, and I've seen others who have frittered away their marriage giving it less thought than they give to their wardrobe.

What's the key to a successful marriage? I don't mean successful in the sense that a couple manages to tolerate each other enough to stay married, but successful in the sense that both husband and wife are growing and love each other's company and work through conflicts instead of ignoring them.

After over 12 years of marriage, I certainly know there's no formula, but I am becoming more and more convinced that next to an unwavering committment on the part of both spouses, selflessness is paramount to a healthy marriage. Duh. I'm as selfish as the next person, but starting today, my goal for this year is to learn to be as selfless as possible, particularly in regard to my hubby. I am grateful that I have a Lord who can enable me to do this as I trust Him to change me and mold me into His image! I love you, Eddie!

Monday, February 13

What Not To Do

My hubby and I have moved five times in our marriage (counting our first move to Tennessee right before we actually were married), and of all of those moves our last one had to have been the move unorganized and chaotic of all. In the spirit of wanting to spare others from the mistakes I've made, I've put together a list of the top five things NOT to do when you're moving:

1. Don't move during the rainiest winter in ten years. I guess there's no way to know when this is going to happen, but if you can avoid it, I recommend doing so. Living in the Pacific Northwest, rain is part of the equation, and usually we all take it in stride. A few weirdos (myself included) actually enjoy the rain. However, moving soggy boxes and tracking mud and water throughout old and new house is not ideal. "Can't you just pull the moving truck up to the garage door?" you say. Yeah, you could if they had poured the concrete more than a week before! But since our concrete driveway was so "green," and it had been raining ever since the day they poured it, it was recommended that we allow it to cure another couple of weeks before driving a vehicle on it.

2. Don't give boxes that you've been saving to a coworker to use for his move first. My dear hubby (dh to those of us who use cyber slang) saved boxes at work for use during our move. However, a savvy coworker took note of that and asked if he could use the boxes for his move which was a couple weeks earlier and then bring them back after he was done. Sure, dh said, if you promise to bring them back. Well, after prompting he did bring some back. Of course he didn't bother to flatten the few he brought back and they were all squashed and almost useless, but who's keeping track. Also dh's assistant decided to "help" and threw out a bunch of boxes Ed had been saving as well. Needless to say, when it came time to move, we were short on boxes and had to go on a desperate search for the increasingly rare commodity...the unwanted, unrecycled box!

3. Don't find out the day before you're going to move! Again, probably not always something you can predict, but it is usually best to have at least several days advance notice that you are going to be moving. Don't misunderstand, of course I knew we would be moving sometime soon, but we didn't actually know until the day before that indeed we would be able to move into our new house the next day. When we set our closing date back in September, our realtor and builder said January 1st would be allowing plenty of time. Well, rain delays and other issues pushed our closing out another two weeks, which really isn't too bad in the scheme of things. Of course our neighbor with the bright blue house (whom the builder said had a gazillion addendums to be done) got to move in weeks before the rest of us though his house was on the same time schedule as ours. Hmmmm...what's up with that?

4. Don't allow one family member to contract a highly contagious stomach flu the day before you move! As I reflect on this list, I can see that these things are largely out of one's control. Still, I have to earnestly advise you to avoid this one if at all possible. Thursday evening (we moved on Friday) my sweet little boy came into the kitchen and was acting strange, but couldn't tell me what was wrong. Just as I was about to panic thinking he was choking, out it came...his entire dinner, all over the floor, me, and him. I am ever so grateful he came into the kitchen and got off the carpet! After cleaning everything and everyone up, my poor baby spent the rest of the evening sitting on the toilet. So began our family flu epidemic. Friday evening, hubby said he didn't feel well, and sure enough, that night saw him running to the bathroom every half hour or so. My dad who graciously flew up to help us move (and ended up unloading the bulk of boxes on Friday due to Ed's illness), had to have the truck pull over to the side of the road so he could empty his stomach. I started fervently praying that I would escape this illness and sprayed Lysol and broke out the hand sanitizer, but Sunday night was my turn. We skipped Monday without further breakout, but Tuesday my mom (who also flew up to help) came down with it. My dear daughter never threw up but had horrible diarrhea for days. Though the illness only last about 48 hours, our unpacking came to all but a standstill.

5. Don't schedule a surgery if you have any idea you might even remotely think you're going to move! I have no one to blame but myself for this one. I thought for sure we'd be moved and settled in, but I should have known better and scheduled Ryan's surgery for the next month. With all the stress of buying a new house, trying to schedule flights for my dad to be here when we moved, packing and moving, none of it compared to the stress of knowing my little boy was going to have surgery. We moved on Friday, and Ryan had surgery the next Wednesday. Fortunately, he was fully recovered from the flu (can't say the same for Gramie), and his surgery went just fine. I'm so grateful we have a faithful Lord. I prayed for about 45 minutes the night before his surgery and at last I had peace that he would come through just fine, but adding this stress to all the others was almost too much. It took us weeks to physically recover from the sickness and just the stress, I think. Even the kiddies were sleeping much later than usual, and we all just seemed exhausted for the first couple of weeks.

As we were going through all these unpleasant things, I kept telling myself that this would all be a funny memory one day. Sure enough, now that we've lived in our new home for a month, I have almost forgotten how miserable we were. I'm blessed to have such a beautiful home and wonderful family! I thank God for his blessings both big and small, and I look forward to making our house a comfy retreat for all who enter!


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