Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Turning over a new leaf

Literally. And we're so excited about it! Russ built a 6x6 foot vegetable box in the backyard! I've wanted to do vegetables for a while, but have always been a little nervous that I totally don't know what I'm doing. This year we just decided to give it a whirl even if everything dies.

So... today while the girls were taking a nap, I decided to go out and finally get these plants in the ground. We spent about $45 on plants and fertilizer, about $40 on dirt, and I can't remember about the wood, but I'm sure it wasn't that much. So, for about $100, we have a fun little project and hopefully a lot of vegetables!
Here's what I planted today:
Squash, Zucchini, 2 different kinds of Lettuce, Green Bell Peppers, Banana Peppers, Roma Tomatoes, Strawberries, Dill, Chives, Cilantro, Parsley, Thyme, Basil, Lavender, and Marigolds (to fend off pests).
Squash and Zucchini will grow pretty big, that's why they're taking up 1/2 the bed, but the rest should do pretty well in their little square foot lots. I recently read most of a book called Square Foot Gardening which suggests saving space by splitting your garden up into 1x1 foot plots and lets you know how many of each type of plant will fit in each square foot plot. So, I just followed his advice - except he proposes a 4x4 foot box so that everything is easy to reach (makes sense), but we had already made our 6x6 foot box, so we just started with that. I'm so excited to see how everything turns out! My biggest concerns are the Dill (was all wilty today - maybe we didn't plant it soon enough), and the lettuce since lettuce isn't a summer-lovin' plant like the rest of them. I also would like to get some cucumber seeds, beans, and more tomatoes, but we just got what we could in our first run and we'll add other things later. I also hope to be able to plant some flowers so I can have fresh cut flowers around when a few things are harvested and there is more space.

If you have any advice about keeping away pests (bunnies, deer, insects, worms, etc...) please share your thoughts! This is the one area I REALLY don't feel confident in and we definitely have lots of deer and bunnies.

What a great thing to be able to teach the girls! We're excited.

Noa and Ruthie
Last night a certain little someone was doing something exciting on her own... It was bound to happen sooner or later... Lipstick! She was going to Aunt Libbye's and wanted to get ready, I guess. She even asked for a "pony" (pony tail) before we went. :)
And Ruthie loves sharing Noa's "top teeth." :)

Update on the house
Well, we've had several people go through our townhouse on James Island. We received an offer on Sunday. Great! So, on Monday, Dolph (our friend and realtor) and Russ went over to the house to see if they could assess the attic before the house inspector came and they accidentally busted a pipe, flooding the house. The water was running for about 10 minutes before they could find the key (renters had moved it) to turn it off. UGH! That house drives me crazy! Sell, sell, sell at all costs!!! Anyway, the upstairs carpet needed to be dried out but ended up being o.k. The dining room now has a hole in the ceiling where the chandelier was as water was rushing through all the light sockets. Many other things happened to, but it is enough to say that you don't want that to happen the day you're sending your buyer a counter offer. It gets worse...

Yesterday their realtor called Dolph and said they were coming over to see the house in 30 minutes! Russ and Dolph raced over there and tried to clean up what they could, but it was definitely not presentable. The dehumidifiers (rented from a distaster place) were going all over the house, holes in the ceiling, carpet torn up... all taking away the leverage we had with our counter offer. Double UGH!

BUT! By God's grace, the buyer gave us another counter offer (which we thought she would anyway) and Russ signed the contract today accepting her offer. We just have to make it through inspections now and we'll be rid of that place!

Please pray that the deal goes through. Please pray that there's no more drama with this house and it is smooth sailing from here on out. Please pray that the inspections go well.

Thank you Lord for your lessons... but we are done with this one now. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Poor Chickies!

Sweet Chicks did herself in tonight. Russ had just come home from work and it was a beautiful day, so we were all out on the back porch enjoying it (Ruthie included) when Noa went back in the house and shut the door. Little did we know that she had pressed the button so that the door was locked! Russ quickly ran to the front of the house and realized the front door and the garage door were both locked. There was no way to get in any of the windows (other than breaking them) and by this time, Noa had started to break down. Ruthie and I stayed on the other side of the door (on the porch) and she could look through the window and see us, but of course, we couldn't open the door. It was so sad to see her getting scared and not being able to do anything about it! We sang some songs, which she quickly tired of. I told her that Daddy was coming to get her and she was crying, "Daddy working! Daddy working!," thinking he was gone and I wasn't doing anything to help her. I asked if she wanted to pray and she did. So we prayed and asked the Lord to help us get in the house and help her not be scared. The whole thing took about 15 minutes and during that time she was freaking out and asking to pray over and over. Poor thing! Every noise she heard was making her scared and she would back up against the wall and not move, so I kept telling her to put her hand up to mine on the door so she would know I was right there. I about cried 5 different times! I'm so thankful she never left the door only to get into something that could hurt her!

Anyway... There's a lock box on our garage because we're selling our house, so Russ somehow found a realtor in the neighborhood who had a key that would open the lock box and get our house key out. She was so hysterical she didn't want to be held and, you guessed it, only wanted to watch "Tales." So... she got a little extra Tales tonight, but we're all able to get in the house and nothing happened to her, so we'll let it slide. :)

We'll have to start teaching her about the doors now. Wonder how that will go... Too much training going on around here - potty training, big girl bed training - I'm over it already! But, I hear it never stops. :)

Give the Lord praise and thanks that we were able to get our Chicks out of the house and that the baby wasn't in there with her! Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Madness

Enough with the serious posts already! Here's a few pictures of what we've been doing lately...
Last week we were all sick. I had a violent stomach virus - 24 hour thing - and gave it to everybody except Noa. We were finally done with it on Sunday, but it was exhausting! Other than that though, it has just been pretty normal around here.

Noa's friend Lilly came over to play the other day! She is so sweet!
And tiny! Lilly is about 3 1/2 months younger than Noa, but a lot smaller!
Here's my Mac 'n' cheese girl.
And here's my cereal girl.
Ruthie's favorite teething toy is her index finger. She chews on it constantly and drools all over the place.
Uncle Dan hung out with all the girls at Melissa's shower just to see the girls. How sweet.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I don't know if you've ever known someone who struggles with insomnia. If you know me, now you do. I decided to get out of bed tonight (or this morning, rather) and take my mind off the fact that I've been trying to sleep for hours now. I just read a blog post (on a very helpful site for moms) about how to "maximize your mornings." This lady starts her day at 5:30 a.m., which is about 45 minutes from now. It is a great post about exercise and quiet times, eating healthy, etc., but I haven't even fallen asleep yet! And if I do, I'm sure Ruthie will wake up and want to be fed anyway. I wonder if she could help me "maximize my nights." :)

Anyway... while being exhaustively frustrated, I decided to simply ask for prayer. It can be quite discouraging to go one night without sleep, but adding night upon night is almost maddening. The exhaustion is absolutely terrible, but I think the worst part is simply not being able to sleep. It gets all psychological and crazy when you're lying there thinking, 'everyone else can fall asleep, why am I not able to do this?' After all, sleep isn't something you should have to know how to do, you just do it. You just lay there, close your eyes, change positions a few times and there you go! But, if that doesn't happen, do you just close your eyes harder? Do you change positions 15 more times? Do you put a pillow over your head? Do you cry until your totally worn out? See what I mean? It is crazy to even have to think about it. Sometimes it will be a bout 4 or 5 nights in a row that I haven't slept and I just can't wait until the next night because I know I'm getting to the point where I'm so exhausted my body just crashes. It has only been 2 nights this run, but that doesn't mean it isn't completely overwhelming to even think of getting up with the girls and trying to be a fun and attentive mommy and a supportive wife. Not to mention all of the other things you want to do... with a joyful attitude. Yeah right.

I've heard and read so much about it and can't come up with any rock-solid answers or things to do differently. So please, unless you are a serious insomniac and have walked through this yourself (I'm talking about more than getting up to nurse babies, although I know that is tiring too), I'm just asking for prayer. I have prayed for the Lord to lift this burden repeatedly. He hasn't chosen to yet, and so I'm trying to find some meaning in it. It is a journey the Lord and I are on together. Sometimes I am very open to the Holy Spirit providing me strength and insight. Other times I'm just frustrated and very closed off to His voice. My prayer is that I would always be ready to hear what He has to say, regardless of the time, how tired I am, or what I think He should be doing for me. It is a process of sanctification, for sure.

So, having said all of that, here are a few prayer requests:
  • To sleep... Through the entire night.
  • If there's anything I need to change in my lifestyle, I would be aware of it and by His strength be able to change it.
  • Even if I don't sleep, I would be a loving wife to Russ and a wonderful Mommy to my girls.
  • I would allow this problem to sanctify me until the time comes when I don't struggle with it anymore.
  • I would be open to whatever the Lord wants me to do while I'm awake at night rather than just laying there getting more frustrated (i.e. prayer, reading the word, etc...).

Proverbs 3:24 - "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."

Psalm 127:2 - "He grants sleep to those He loves."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring is coming!!!!!!

Not totally here yet, but coming!

Chicks and I have been playing on the back porch. We decided to pull out the chalk the other day (which she has never used) and had a great time getting really messy! I drew Bob & Larry (Veggie Tales) on the ground and every time she walked by them she said, "Hi tales!" Now she looks out the window at them all the time. :) She wouldn't give me a good smile so she looks kind of weirdo in these pictures, but whatever...
Zooooned out!

Same old, same old with Ruthie...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On a lighter note...

While I was drinking a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper today, I was reading the label. Check out this warning! Funny!

WARNING: Contents under pressure. Cap may blow off causing eye or other serious injury. Point away from face and people especially while opening.

House Shmouse

I feel the need to blog about our current house. Well, we actually have two. Why in the world do we have two?! But, I'm talking about August Road - the one we are living in. It is a beautiful house. Great wood floors, granite countertops, tile in the bathrooms, etc... We built this house about 3 years ago. It isn't huge - about 1700 square feet - 3 bedroom, 2 bath. We have great neighbors, live on a quiet street... Those are the details. It has been a great place to live and we are thankful for it.

More importantly though, this house has been a lesson from the Lord. I shudder to think what would happen to us if we viewed things as if they were actually ours and not His. Sure we make the payments, clean up messes, take care of maintenance, and keep up with the yard (mildly), but that is definitely all by his marvelous grace... especially since we bought this when the market was high - so we have premium mortgage payments for a very average house. Thankfully though, we are able to make them. That's not what this is about.

You see, we decided this week to put our house on the market. Everyone knows the market is terrible right now and we've received some pretty crazy looks and comments when people found out. "Just hold on to it and the market will jump back up - you'll be set in a few years." "I bet the Lord has something fabulous just waiting for you." And then the ever-popular explanation of why it is a bad time to sell right now - as if we are complete idiots and have neither sought wise counsel or thought of things from every possible angle. People are funny with their opinions. It is hard not to be swayed by them sometimes. But really, the only opinion that matters is our Father's.

There's so many details that matter to us and wouldn't really matter to whoever is reading this - so I'll leave those out. But, long-story-short, we have been going through Financial Peace University for the last two months and have one month to go. While sitting through these classes, we've been convicted about our spending and have felt the weight of debt. It has been interesting because for the most part, Russ and I are not wanton spenders. We're actually pretty frugal and sensible with money. For some reason, in this area of owning a house (or two!), the Lord is allowing us to experience what debt feels like, what bad decisions feel like, and also what it feels like to be obedient as he leads.

Oftentimes where the Lord leads you is directly opposing what everyone else thinks you should do. And our American minds can't possibly decide to do something that wouldn't eventually benefit us! As if our decision to follow Christ is only good for what we stand to gain from it. The god of self is alive and well in the U.S. of A! Sure the Lord does lead us into bountiful places - and loves to - but let us not forget that there are times when that doesn't look how we think it will, and the lesson learned far richer than what we imagined.

This is where we're at. Learning lessons and aiming for simple obedience - even when it makes no sense. The house might sell, it might not. We're not quite sure what to expect. Our goal is to "owe no man anything but love." Debt is a vice, a trap, a cycle that we return to over and over again, like a dog to its vomit. So what's wrong with us wanting to shed that at all cost? Apparently a lot, based on the comments we've received! Like we're crazy people who make crazy decisions! I might be biased, but I think our decision-making track-record is fairly stable...

So... just a few thoughts (a very small percentage of what our actual conversations and prayers have contained), but if you're in the market for a beautiful house on Johns Island... let the games begin! And if not, join us in prayer - not only that our house sells - but that our lives look like Christ, that every decision is brought under His direction and care, and that we would be a people who honor our Lord, who's hearts are close to His, and who's lives reflect that...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Daddy's Shoes

Noa loves to walk around in our shoes. She's just the sweetest thing ever!

At night, after we read her Bible story and pray, she has to say, "night night" to everyone and then she'll lay down. This week she started adding "Top Teeth" to her night-night list. So, we'll brush her teeth and then when she's ready, she'll put her top teeth (toothbrush) back in the cupboard and say, "ni ni top tee," and off to bed she goes. I love this little girl so much!