Quick, before I get Sidetrack'd

Archive for January, 2008

A few short (and probably disjointed) thoughts

Thoughtfully penned on January 31st, 2008 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:5b-7

On Wednesday mornings I attend a community Bible Study known as BSF. Every week we sing three hymns during our time together. It has been years since I’ve regularly sung hymns (as printed in song books); which really has little to do with what I’m writing, but, for what it’s worth, there it is.

Yesterday we sang the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, and I was struck by the line “oh, the peace we often forfeit…all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” It brought to mind the passage in Philippians (quoted above) which states that the peace that surpasses all understanding is available to us, that peace which is only from God. And how do we receive that peace? By praying in and about all things.

Then our study for the week (Matthew 14) included the passage about Jesus walking on the water. And Peter walking with him:

[Jesus] said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind , he was afraid and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Matthew 14:29-32

As soon as Peter stepped out with his eyes on Jesus he was able to walk on water, but when his vision strayed to the wind he began to sink. However, as soon as he called out to Jesus, the Lord immediately reached for him and took his hand, and Peter was able to return to the boat walking on water because he was holding on to Jesus. And when they got back into the boat the storm quieted and peace reigned; all because of the presence of Jesus. (This is also the case in the Matthew 8:26 when Jesus calmed the storm.)

In my life I have experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding, and it is a truly wonderful and blessed state. But these passages and the hymn yesterday made me wonder – how often do I forfeit that peace just because I’m not being intentional in prayer or because I let my eyes stray from Jesus to the wind that is blowing around me?

I know that in all things the hand of Christ and the peace that reigns in his presence are available; am I reaching out today to take hold of “the Lord [who] is at hand”?

Ladies’ getaway weekend

Thoughtfully penned on January 29th, 2008 and generally concerning Friendship, Of games and good things, Winter

This weekend a group of 13 ladies (including me) were able to get away from everyday life and take a little retreat. It was a weekend filled with girlie activities, girlie food, girlie conversation, and staying up way past my bedtime.

We were fortunate enough to be able to stay in a lake house owned by the parents of one of the ladies. I wish I had pictures to share of this beautiful house, because my words will not do it justice. You entered into the main level of the house which included a living room, dining room, kitchen, and powder room. The floor throughout the area was gorgeous tile, a huge gas fireplace with stone hearth and chimney anchored the living area, and the kitchen was filled with granite, tile, and stainless. Upstairs to the right were 2 bedrooms and a full bath; upstairs to the left was a “grandkids bunkroom” with 4 sets of bunkbeds, a full bath, bookshelves, toy boxes, a game closet with about 150 board games, and lots of room to play. The downstairs (3 stories total) had a nice big television viewing area, a pool table, an air hockey table, and a theater room with a 400 disc DVD changer. Other amenities included beautiful views from the back deck, a hot tub, and lake access (though it was a bit chilly to be on the water this weekend). And one of the neatest things about the house was the scripture used throughout the decor; there were scripture tiles in the floor inside the front and back doors, scripture in the wall decorations, and scripture on knick-knacks all over the house. It was truly an amazing house and such a blessing that we were able to stay there.

We spent the weekend watching movies, gabbing as only a group of ladies can, and eating delicious food. On Saturday my friend Lindsey set up a “salon” area downstairs and did haircuts for several of us and practiced wedding hair with our soon-to-be-bride. A group of us stayed down there pretty much all day watching TLC (What Not to Wear and Miss America Reality Check), watching others get their hair done, and making bead crafts (the lady of the house makes bead jewelry and has a bead collection so big it overwhelmed me just to look at the boxes); others stayed upstairs and worked on scrapbooking; and still others just enjoyed good company. That evening about 10 of us piled into the theater room to watch the Miss America Pageant on the projection t.v. It was such fun to watch the pageant with other women – we talked about the contestants, we critiqued, and we laughed hysterically at the lipstick all over Miss America’s face when she was crowned.

It was so wonderful to have a weekend like this where we had no agenda, no plan, and no commitments. We were free to spend time together, spend time alone, and spend time with God. I am grateful to Matt that he was willing to stay home alone with Little and allow me to go. It was refreshing and relaxing; and even though I came back tired from the late nights, there is a feeling you have after a time like this that transcends the tiredness.

Sometimes it is good to have a break. And as Lindsey told her husband, “it was so girlie it would have made you gag.”

A quick week in review

Thoughtfully penned on January 25th, 2008 and generally concerning E, Family, Friendship, Sidetrack'd, Wii

This week has flown by me, thus the lack of posts all.week.long.

We had a wonderful weekend last weekend with our friends from Knoxville. We didn’t do anything very exciting (ate, shopped, talked), but it was great to spend time with them. Matt introduced their 5 year old to the Wii and the joys of Wii bowling. We had a lot of fun Saturday afternoon and evening playing games and competing against each other.

The only un-fun part of the weekend was a hand-foot-and-mouth disease scare. Little woke up Saturday morning with small red bumps all over the backs of her hands and tops of her feet and swelling in her hands. A call to the after-hours nurse produced an over-the-phone diagnosis of HFMD, but I began to doubt that was the problem when we got home and did a bit more research in some of the medical databases we have access to. Turns out it was just an allergic reaction and had cleared up totally by Sunday morning. Our best guess is that she was reacting to the laundry detergent that our friends use on their son’s blankies.

Monday was a holiday for Matt, so we enjoyed some family time and celebrated MLK day with a trip to Home Depot, lunch at Olive Garden, and some grocery shopping. Tuesday and Thursday didn’t see that much activity, but my blogging time was directed to other tasks. Tuesday was spent catching up on my Bible Study before class on Wednesday, and Thursday’s time was spent cleaning and napping.

The other news of the week came to my attention on Wednesday, and I spent the afternoon talking to my mom and my aunt, giving Little a few extra hugs, and thanking God for her health. My cousin’s son, who is 4 years old, was diagnosed with a cancerous mass on his adrenal gland. He has been in the hospital since Sunday, and today he underwent a procedure to put in a permanent IV port. He will begin his first round of chemotherapy this evening; it is possible that he could be in the hospital for 4 months, but right now it looks more like he will be able to go home sometimes between rounds of chemo (total treatment time looks like it will be 6 to 12 months). We are grateful that he is close to a wonderful children’s hospital, that it was caught quickly, and that he is expected to make a full recovery. Your prayers for him and his family would be greatly appreciated.

Which brings us to today. Today I have been preparing for a ladies’ getaway that I’m going on this weekend with several friends. This will be the first time I’ve been away from Little overnight, so I’m feeling just a tiny bit anxious, but I know she and Matt will be just fine here by themselves. And I’m really excited about spending a couple of days with girlfriends.!

And that, friends, is the excitement for this week. Maybe next week I’ll be around a bit more. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Company’s coming

Thoughtfully penned on January 18th, 2008 and generally concerning Friendship, Sidetrack'd

I don’t have a long post in me today because I’m just too excited.  Our good friends Jason and Nicole and their two kiddos are coming for a visit this weekend!  It has been a year since we last saw them.  I’m sure it will be a few days of late nights, lots of laughs, and good times catching up.

Happy weekend to you all!

Coffee Snobbery

Thoughtfully penned on January 17th, 2008 and generally concerning Coffee, Sidetrack'd

Early in my blogging career I mentioned (here) that Matt and I are self-deemed coffee snobs. I bring it up again now because the level of snobbery just keeps increasing.

For Christmas Matt received a French press coffee maker and coffee grinder. The French press makes the best cup of coffee EVER. And when the coffee is made with fresh ground beans of our favorite locally roasted coffee? Mmmm…a little taste of heaven.

This coffee is so good that our weekly (at least) Starbuck’s visits have decreased to a couple times a month. Snobs? Why yes, we are.

[Disclaimer: this coffee brewing method is not for the faint of heart; it makes a strong cup of coffee. However, if you like it strong I would definitely recommend trying it.]

All this to say I cleaned my pantry

Thoughtfully penned on January 16th, 2008 and generally concerning Goals, Housework

Last week I learned from my friend Diane that Wednesday is anti-procrastination day at FlyLady. Now FlyLady is not a site that I’ve frequented in the past; although, I have visited several times in the last few years with good intentions. But I digress; today is anti-procrastination day, so I thought I would not put off (again) until tomorrow what could be done today. I think you could all guess that I have not accomplished all of the things that I’ve been putting off (that would take more than one Wednesday and probably many of the days in between those Wednesdays), but I did make a start on the pre-Boo to-do list.

Today started with getting up a bit early to get a shower, dressed, etc before Little woke up. This is something that I’m finding makes the day flow a bit more smoothly; especially if we have somewhere to be (which we usually do). After eating breakfast and getting Little ready for the day we had about 20 minutes before we needed to leave for Bible Study Fellowship. But, because we’re not procrastinating today, we left early and stopped by Kroger to pick up the items that I didn’t get at the store on Monday. BSF ends around 11:15 and we headed straight to Target to pick up a few things, like laundry detergent, that weren’t urgent but would be soon. While Little ate lunch I mixed and kneaded this week’s batch of bread (we also sang and talked about the birds in the backyard while she ate her applesauce).

And then during the first rise on the bread I conquered the task that gets marked off the to-do list: cleaned and organized the pantry. I still have some work to do in there, such as getting spice racks to go on the back of the door (so that I can actually find my spices when I need them instead of digging through the entire shelf only to find that I’m out of something), but the biggest part of the work is completed.

Now the bread is finishing it’s second rise, I’m finishing up this blog post, Little is still napping, and I think I’ll rest a bit. It feels good to have one thing off my list. Happy anti-procrastination day!

Boo and the to-do’s

Thoughtfully penned on January 15th, 2008 and generally concerning J, Pregnancy

Yesterday was Boo check-up day. Everything is going well: his heart rate was good, my glucose and iron numbers were good, etc; so the doc is pleased with our progress. We will see the doc again in 3 weeks.

Yes, that’s right, yesterday marked the last of the every 4 week appointments. Around here that’s a frightening big milestone.

When the doctor appointments get closer together it’s like a light goes off that says, “This baby is really coming, and it won’t be long until it gets here!” There is a new recognition of how much we have to do to prepare and how little time we actually have to get it done. But, as I always say, we seem to function best on a deadline; at least the things that must get done will.

So here we sit with approximately 13 weeks until we welcome baby Boo. And here we sit with a pretty big to-do list. And, actually, I probably shouldn’t be sitting at all but be up getting something accomplished. But, Little is resting and so shall I.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Menu Plan Monday – week of January 14

Thoughtfully penned on January 14th, 2008 and generally concerning Good Eats, Menu Planning

I’m running a bit late publishing my Menu Plan Monday post. At least it’s still Monday!

Having my menu planned and posted really did help last week. We went through the whole week without eating out! (Well, except for the two days I stopped and got me and Little something for lunch – still working on the lunch thing.) Anyway, here is our menu for the week; there are breakfasts listed for the weekend because we will have company.

Monday – burritos, black beans, chips & salsa

Tuesday – ravioli casserole, corn on the cob, bread

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursday – baked potatoes with broccoli & cheese

Friday – order pizza or eat out

Saturday – breakfast: biscuits, eggs, sausage, gravy (assuming it turns out edible) / lunch: sandwiches, chips / dinner: chicken & rice casserole, salad, crescent rolls

Sunday – breakfast: cinnamon rolls, fruit / lunch: leftovers or eat out / dinner: Life Group meeting

Hope you have a great week filled with good eats!

More fun with bed-rails

Thoughtfully penned on January 11th, 2008 and generally concerning E

Or, why Little is sleeping in her crib again.

Yesterday evening we ventured out after dinner in search of a bed-rail. We found a couple at Wal-Mart and bought the one we thought would work the best. (aside: We hadn’t looked there yet because I don’t like shopping at Wal-Mart. Not for any reason having to do with the company as a whole, just an issue I have with our local stores. But that’s another tale for another time.) When we got home Matt began doing the necessary assembly to get it onto the bed.

While assembling the rail, Matt happened to read the warnings; one of which was “Warning: Never use bed-rail on toddler bed.” Whaat??? Despite the warning we were going to risk life and limb and use the rail because, really, aren’t toddlers the ones who need rails the most?

Anyway…Matt put the rail on only to discover that it really wasn’t going to be any different than having the crib side on the bed. It was a quite a bit lower than the crib side but took up the full length of the mattress.

We were now confronted with a new decision: put the crib side back on the bed and leave her in a crib a bit longer, put her crib mattress on the floor and let her sleep there until we get her twin size bed, or leave things as they were and continue getting up in the night to put her back in bed.

Ack! The crib won’t fit through the bedroom door without taking it apart or taking the door off the hinges. Not a task we were up for last night.

Thus, Little is once again sleeping in her crib with the rail-side on it. The funniest part is that she seemed very excited to see the crib-rail back on her “nite-nite” when she went to bed last night.

Change is in the air

Thoughtfully penned on January 10th, 2008 and generally concerning E

It would seem that we are entering a season of change around here. There are cosmetic changes like the Sidetrack’d reindeer dashing away to make room for the lovely new wintery look. There will be changes around the house like cleaning out the storage room (bedroom #3) and creating a room for baby Boo. Then there are the life changes to come like welcoming a new child into our lives and home.

We began this weekend with a pretty significant transition: on Saturday morning Matt converted Little’s crib to a toddler bed. She is really pretty young (17 months) to move out of the crib, but with baby Boo on the way we decided to move her sooner rather than wait until he arrives.

Overall, she has done very well with the change. At naptime and bedtime she lays down in her bed with her pile of “dees” (blankets), stays in bed, and goes to sleep with no problems. The problem comes with keeping her in bed.

Her convertible crib doesn’t have a rail on the fourth side when it is made into a toddler bed. Therefore, when she wiggles to that edge she falls out. [aside: I know that bed rails are the solution to this problem, but we are having a bit of trouble finding them locally.] On Saturday night she was out of bed by 10:00 when Matt and I went to bed; I was able to put her back on her bed and she slept there the rest of the night. On Sunday night she fell out of bed sometime between 9:00, when I checked on her, and 4:30 Monday morning when Matt got up for the day; she was sound asleep on one of the pillows in her floor when Matt found her so he left her there. She slept all night long in bed Tuesday night.

Monday night and last night she required middle of the night assistance. On Monday night/Tuesday morning I heard her cry out and say “uh oh” around 2:00. When I went in to put her back in bed she was standing beside her bed with her head laying on the bed sucking her thumb; she was grateful to get back in bed and quickly went back to sleep. Last night Matt heard her say “da-da. uh oh.” about 2:30 and went to check on her. She was once again standing with her head on her bed, a dee under her head, and her thumb in her mouth. Matt said she looked like she was resigned to sleeping the rest of the night standing that way.

So, only one night out of five has Little has made it the entire night without falling out of bed. She is capable of climbing back in by herself; I think she must be disoriented and still asleep enough that she either doesn’t think about it or doesn’t have the energy to pull herself back up there.

I know it is something she will get past pretty soon, but she sure looks pitiful standing there in the middle of the night sucking her thumb!