Sunday, November 22, 2009


Pablo Picasso said “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money”. Me too! I long for a simple life, a simple budget. It is that time of year again, where William and I both have what is termed Open Enrollment at our places of work. This is a time when we look over our work benefits and decide what we need and which combination offers the best advantages at the best price. A time to think about those things we never really want to think about such as life insurance, health insurance; basically all the ways in which things can go wrong in life. Like everyone else, we try to find the balance between adequate coverage in the event of the unexpected, yet not over buying on things we might not need. This is a time of playing “what if” for the year ahead. What if one of is laid off? What if Jacob needs glasses? What if someone gets really sick? How much do we want to save? Tithe? Spend on Christmas? All of this has me thinking about the parable of the talents, Mathew 25:13-30, where the returning master says to the servants, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.” So often I think I fail in doing small things rightly, I think who will see? Who will notice? It’s just this once. It isn’t that any one choice is some huge sin, for instance buying more expensive convenience foods or letting a lot of receipts and trash build up in my purse. It is the attitude of laziness in me, just an unwillingness to deal with things because I don’t “feel like it”. I don’t feel like entering all my benefits data into a spreadsheet and doing an analysis with Will over what is best for our family next year. A) It is boring and B) I don’t like thinking about all the things that could go wrong. But this parable shows that Christ Jesus calls us to do the most with what we are given, and only then can we be entrusted with more. I am mindful of times in my life when I had none of these decisions to make, because I had no money. I remember when I had a grocery budget of $50 a month and no car and standing in the rain and cold waiting for the bus. “New” clothes came from Goodwill and I came home each night to an answering machine full of messages from bill collectors. I also remember a time later when I had plenty of money and yet I cannot to this day tell you what I spent it all on! I actually don’t feel any shame about being as poor as I was; in truth I am more ashamed of those early years in my career when I had money but spent it unwisely. In ten more years, when I look back to now, I can only hope that I have chosen wisely with the resources God has provided.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Um, Anybody know what happened to November?

I look up and all of the sudden it is nearly Thanksgiving and I can't for the life of me figure out how we got here already! It's a mystery! What isn't a mystery is why I haven't been blogging, that would be because my dear husband has discovered Mafia Wars on Facebook. Insert wifely sigh. Honestly, I don't mind other than he hogs the laptop. I could use the PC, but it doesn't have all our pictures on it. So if you want to know what we've been up to this month here it goes - Renaissance Festival, as always it was wonderful, we had great weather, albeit just a tad warm. Bella really enjoyed wearing her fairy costume, it wasn't until later in the day that I realized she was systematically biting off all the beads along the skirt. I managed to stop her, but I'm not sure if any were actually consumed. Note this is another example of how you relax a bit on the second child. I wasn't happy about the beads but didn't feel like we needed to leave Faire to find the not-so-near-est ER either. They were very small beads. Gives a whole new meaning to "This too shall pass" doesn't it?

Jacob spent his day at the Faire as Keeper of the Map. He is really into geography and maps and globes these days. Google Earth is just a wonder to him. He did a fine job directing everyone, I can only imagine how he will do once he can actually read. When I see these pictures I can't help but reminisce a little bit. So bear with me while I walk down Ren Faire memory lane... Bella in 2007 -you can't tell it's at Ren Faire but it was!

Bella in 2008

Jacob in 2004 (Sling)
Jacob in 2005 (hat) and 2006 (on Daddy's shoulders). Aw! I love Ren Fest, and it was even more special this year to have my Mom and Randy and Aunt Leaf, Uncle Bob and cousin Luella, join us. I know my Mom has more awesome pictures on her good camera, so be prepared for a few more later!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

One thing I'm learning is that holidays are a big deal when you are five. Jacob was really into decorating the yard this year, so we picked up a couple of family-friendly decorations.
We also carved pumpkins. Actually, I carved pumpkins. Neither of my children were as excited about it as I thought they might be, they did not want to get their hands messy! Jacob is quite fastidious and Bella took one look and said "Ew, that's yuck!".
At school on Friday they had a big party, wore costumes, marched in a parade and ate a lot of junk food. Naturally, the children were rather tired and, um, horrendous on Friday night. I gave them a warm bath, a bowl of cheerios and then put them straight to bed.
(Sidebar, I am supposed to write down words of advice this week to a couple at our church that are having their first baby. I think I would tell them, when your child is really tired and grouchy, give them a warm bath, followed by a bowl of cheerios and then pop that baby into bed. Even if it is 6:30 PM. It is OK every now and then. They will not be off-schedule or malnourished. Really. They will wake up rested and pleasant the next day.Trust me.) Here is Jacob with his school pumpkin, and his afternoon teacher.
Halloween day was bright, crisp and lovely. We cleaned house, took naps, rode bikes and I went to market. In the afternoon we played outside in the backyard. Jacob was feeling photogenic, Bella, not so much. She's been dealing with allergies, not sick sick, just enough to not be at her best. (I'm sort of in the same boat myself!)
After an early pizza supper we got ready to join some family friends in Trick-or-treating. Our village within our neighborhood was pretty disappointing last year as far as families participating in Trick or Treat. So this year we met the Ruckers and let the kids all go together. They had a total blast. The first few houses Will went up to the door with them, but after that they had the hang of it and even Bella would march right up on her own while we waited at the end of the sidewalk. We brought a wagon and Jacob kept leaving his candy bucket in the wagon, he would ring the bell, yell "Trick or Treat!" and then have to say "Hold on!" and come running back to the end of the sidewalk for his bucket. Jacob was Scoobie Doo so there were so many grownups that would say "Hey Scoobie!" and he kept saying "Zoiks" when he saw something scary!
It is hard for me to get the camera settings right for Trick or Treating and kids who are running; my sports setting doesn't have flash and my nighttime portrait setting is so slow that they turn out blurry. So, the ones up by the doors Trick or Treating didn't come out great (maybe Theresa got some?) but here are the kids in their costumes.
Scoobie Doo
Mini Mouse

And here is one of Will, in his King costume (ahh back when I had time to sew!) and me. Can anyone tell who I am supposed to be? Hint: My shirt says "Stupid Lamb". LOL, it was totally a last minute thing, but with my hair style I was suposed to be Bella Swan from Twilight! The Scream character is Theresa's neice, she's 13, she "got" my costume....

Family shot:

Kids on the way home, totally worn out.

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