What I Learned in July

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 19, 2014

July has been hot and exciting and frustrating. Sickness went through the house and then there were activities and cook outs and spur of the moment shopping trips and then the trip of the summer that I was looking forward to. I am finishing out this month feeling a little overwhelmed, a little weary, and so not ready for fall. 

Let's look back on the good by thinking about some of the things that I learned this month.

* Spending my summers in the south, I would always go outside to paint my nails. Over the last few years, I've been trying that here and it always ends up in chunky polish. This epiphany dawned on me: Does the humidity of the south allow the polish to warm up without getting totally chunky? 

* The corn husking trick that's going around on FB is genius! How many hours of my childhood could have been spent so much differently?!?! 

* Shauna and I read "I Never Had It Made" this month. It taught me that Malcom X was a Muslim (how did I NOT know that?) and that Martin Luther King Jr. was once stabbed by a black woman in New York and that Jackie Robinson had quite an interesting life after baseball. 

* During a little summer cold that I caught, I resorted to watching strange things on Netflix and Amazon. "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl" happened to be one of them. I remember seeing her in the catalog and wishing those books were still in my "reading level" at school...Now I know two things: I would have LOVED reading her series and that she DID NOT grow up in New York like I had always imagined. 

* Also due to my little cold, I had some extra time to read. I finally know why To Kill A Mockingbird has been my Mom's favorite book. It IS so much more than the sad story about the black man that is being charged for a crime that he did not commit. Read it!  It is soooo worth your time!

* I also learned a TON about geocaching thanks to a little geocaching101 workshop. We got an ETrex and have been finding so many caches! 

* That a man with a racquetball racquet can bring me to tears without saying a word. And that a man in speedo shorts can make me laugh and think of my Grandma in the very next instant. (I think I'll be posting about this one...)

* At the Hudson's lunch counter, I learned a quick way to shape hamburger patties. Put a hunk of meat on a board (or whatever) and use a large spatula (the pancake flipper kind) to press it down moving the spatula around as the patty grows. No more finger marks and they are PERFECT. Genius, I tell you!

* No matter how hard you fight, anxiety does not ever just "go away". You think you have it licked and then, BAM, it's back with a vengeance. Don't take it out on the ones closest to you. You need them. 


ps - Don't forget about the chance to share a post with your testimony this coming Tuesday! Jenna and I would love to have you join us. Find out more by clicking HERE.

Room Reveal pt. 2

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Earlier this month I finally got one corner of my room exactly the way that I want it! It felt so good to get these books out of their boxes and know where they are again.  

I'm ALWAYS fiddling with things and moving them around, but the bookshelf is where it's going to be and the three main shelves will stay as they are. I've had this particular bookshelf for seven years and I really like that it adds a bit of height and gives me a "mantle" to use. 

The art is from a makeover that my Mom gave to my childhood bedroom. It was in my sister's nursery after that and then it ended up back in my hands. I'm sentimental. I'm hanging on to it.

The top right shelf has some cookbooks and a stuffed animal that my brother and sister got me during the Webkinz craze! It's a hippo and it's pretty cute, so it tends to float around my room cheering up little corners.

After I took this picture, I also realized that my journals (on the bottom shelf) need a new home.

Here you see a book I'm REALLY looking forward to reading this fall along with one of my favorite things about my room. I've had some of that nailpolish for WAY too long, but I just love that giant vase that I picked up to store them in!

The tattered books on the reference shelf were gifts from my Grandma and Ghiddu when I started school. That's my favorite corner of the shelf and those few books are some of my favorite possessions.

So, there's ONE tiny corner. So, things ARE moving along.

Grace Upon Grace pt. 2

Monday, July 28, 2014

She Who Fears || Grace Upon Grace

I'd just really like to get right to God's grace today!

1. I know that getting home safely on Friday night was by God's grace alone. It was a long day, an even longer drive, and I was barely awake. After one 15 minute nap on the side of the road, I was only a little better, but we had to get home.

2. My Mom and I decided to go geocaching yesterday afternoon. We ended up running into some friends who don't get to see often. Lauren and Mikaela, our visit was fantastic! Thank your family for waiting so we could catch up. :)

3. At some other friends' VBS program, I was reminded of the time the Gospel became real to me. It was precious and made me even more excited about "Victory in Jesus" (click HERE, if you missed the invitation to link up!).

4. I'm grateful for the future grace that I know God's got for me over the next few months (read: my LIFETIME). I'm an anxious little monster this morning!

5. Time to go to God's Word and then His nudging me to pray. You'll be hearing more about 1 Peter this week. I feasted on a few more verses this morning and found some great weapons to use on that anxious heart of mine. For now, I'll share the words with you:

"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for

'All flesh is like grass 
and all its glory like the flower of grass. 
The grass withers, 
and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.' 

And this word is the good news that was preached to you."

1 Peter 1: 22-25

Tell me about God's grace in YOUR life lately! 

June 365

Friday, July 25, 2014

June 1 - Spent the weekend at Heidi's house. We made a trip to town, made a batch of caramel corn and some snickers bars, and emptied out the "room of doom". As I drove home today it was a perfect day and it just hit me that "it feels like SUMMER"! I fixed one of my favorite salads and a blt to celebrate.// Turns out this was all the last of "my trips" I would ever make in my first car...I sold it suddenly on July 4. :)

June 2 - I bought four peony bushes two years ago at a plant sale. This year they have finally bloomed!!! I'm starting to plan a few day trips over the course of the summer and doing laundry today.

June 3 - Iced Coffee making began last night. 1/3 c coffee to 1 1/2 cups water is my current ratio. Today was a good mail day - Mary Higgins Clark's latest book (I've Got You Under My Skin) showed up! This evening my Mom and I took a walk to find something to trellis my cucumber plants with.

June 4 - I'm getting into my summer routine. My mornings have to look different during the summer because I like to get my plants watered before it gets too hot.  I made a couple of bouquets "just because" even though things looked a little pitiful. This evening I'll do some weeding.

June 5 - Went to some Mackenzie's to get some tomato and eggplants...Turned into a garden and house tour and then we patio chatted the morning away. Small town people can be fun.

June 6  - Went shopping with my Mom and then Julie took us and a few other ladies out for a "thank you" dinner. I ordered a salad (I NEVER do that) all because of the avacado that came on it. I'm terrible. (My brother and sister had snacks outside and took today's picture. :) )

June 7 - Today my family took the boat out for the first time and I stayed home. It was the perfect day to read, lay out, sleep, and enjoy an iced caramel latte.

June 8 - Impromptu hot dog roast with Ron and Julie which turned into "spend the afternoon in the shade visiting". This month, a lot of unplanned, unexpected things have been happening. I think God (and my Mom) are trying to teach me to RELAX.

June 9 - Pancakes for breakfast just because and maybe because today was a little rough.  My brother had a couple of brothers who are friends over for more hot dogs and a few hours of summer fun. For dinner, I made more comfort food: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I also got in more weeding...Getting behind on that is no good!

June 10 - Started another morning out with pancakes just because. Got a call that we had to bring something to my Dad which turned into a trip to Costco to get some much needed supplies for summer living.

June 11 - The morning was a slow one...I made some progress on my weed patch and cut the last of the peonies. Then there was laundry to fold and dinner to prepare (chicken enchiladas with mexican rice and beans) and my Mom and I filled in at the library. This may or may not have included a plate of fries and onion rings...

June 12  - It was my Dad's birthday. This year my sister asked if she could make the coconut cream pie...I was happy to let her have a go at it! Ron joined us for a dinner of BBQ ribs, asparagus, beans, cornbread, and sweet tea. In the meantime Stu dropped by, we had Drumsticks (the ice cream kind), and lots of tetherball (my brother officially beats me nearly every time and my Mom even jumped in for a few games).

June 13 - The clouds rolled in today, but the birds are still singing. My Mom and I are going to the office to do some work and then I've got some writing to do for this blog!

June 14 - After a quiet Saturday morning at home, my Mom and I filled in at the library. We got lunch out (I had a chickenwich and curly fries and she had chicken strips and fries). There was a big wedding in town today so there was a bit of excitement buzzing on the streets which kept the library pretty slow. This gave me plenty of time to read Jen Wilkin's "Women of the Word" book!!! I'll be ready for a Downton Abbey this evening.

June 15 - We had a little Father's Day cookout with Al, Jay, and Jerry and Kay. Al played the harmonica for a good long while (which was fun for him and us). The menu for the afternoon was: hamburgers, coleslaw, crock pot mac and cheese, watermelon, sweet tea, Jay Juice, my sister's raspberry pie, and Kay's Chocolate Cake with PB frosting.

June 16 - Today was definitely a Monday. My Grandma sent me a monster package, it was rainy, and there was laundry to be done. I chatted with my Grandma on the phone for a bit and  brought Al a dinner of baked potato soup with some salad and sour dough bread.

This is his "That guy is taking a picture of my Lego creation which is sitting precariously on a stool and YOU are taking a picture of me?!?!" face...:)
June 17 - Today we took an unexpected trip to town to run some errands. The Lego Movie released so there was some fun because of that. We stopped by a "new" (it's been up for a while, but we've never figured out how to get into the parking lot) thrift store to look for something to trellis my cucumbers on. We came out with a board game, a vase, and maybe something else that I'm forgetting.

June 18 - After a very productive morning, we set aside some time before I fixed dinner to try out one of the games we picked up yesterday. Remember "The Series of Misfortunate Events"? Well this game is Olaf vs. The Baudelaire Children that involves a fair amount of thinking and strategy. My Mom joined us for a second game after dinner.

June 19 - Today the rain is gone and the sun is BACK. I made Berger Baltimore Cookies and began the "I'm going on vacation soon" preparations. Today's tasks included weeding, trimming roses, and starting to get a watering schedule written down. My brother and sister had some chicken to shred for the freezer so I kept them occupied by reading "As Ever, Gordy" to them for a while.

June 20 - Today was butcher the chickens day...My job is to process the meat by giving everything one last rinse, wrapping and freezing the breasts and tenders, and putting the wings and thighs in pots to boil. This involved texting my brother to remind him what he was missing out on and some pictures of the operation.

June 21 - When I'm getting ready to go away, I always guard my time at home. Today was full of laundry and weeding (I'm telling  you, it never, ever ends) and reading. We had bacon sandwiches for dinner and watched The Soloist. This movie was soooo good and is on my favorites list! Watch it.


June 22 - I finished a great book called "Navigating Early" today. It was young adult fiction, but you'll be hearing more about it, I'm sure. Soooo good! I also learned about a game called "Smoke" or "Essences" and tried it out with my Mom and brother. John Gardner wrote about the game in "The Art of Fiction". You try to guess who someone is thinking of by asking them questions like, "If you were an animal, what animal would you be?" and they answer accordingly. They are good at the game, I am not...

June 23 - VACATION TIME is almost here!!!! We didn't hit the road until after 4 o'clock. We had a stop to make at Heidi's and then it was onto our destination!

and this would be MY "Here, YOU try to get a picture of an arrow being shot from a bow the instant it's shot, wait, why are you pointing that camera at me?!?!" face...
June 24- 29 -  I met several new friends this time (most of them young moms...these friendships are always interesting, I have so much time and they, they are running on none). We made soap and bows and arrows and went to the river and talked and heard more from Polly. Life on vacation is always so good especially when you're at a place with so many other Christians!

June 30 - I hit the ground running with all of the post vacation chores to get done. I expected the day to be super "ugggh" feeling, but it really wasn't. I am refreshed and ready to do "life as usual" again.

What were three of your FAVORITE things about June 2014? 

I haven't done a 365 project in a  while.
 It took me a few days to get into the groove of things!
And then I had days where I was taking sooo many pictures 
and others where I took none.  Funny how that works!