Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One book, two book, red book, blue book

I have mentioned before that I'm a little bit book obsessed.  It started when I was little, grew with accelerated reader and an hour long morning bus ride and I just can't seem to stop it from growing.  I prefer music, painting, and reading so much more than television I actually removed the t.v. from my room when I was in high school.  Since then, and with the addition of Zac to my life, it's slowly snuck it's way back in the t.v. seems to be on most of the time, but I ignore it and read away.  

Currently I'm stuck in the middle of a series.  Well, the tail end of the series really.  What series you ask?  The Left Behind Series.  It starts with this book, Left Behind.  It's the story of a group of people that are left behind on Earth after God raputures his church.  It's the story of how they find salvation and live throught the 7 years of tribulation.  It's fiction, mixed with fact and I've loved them.  
I know this series may not be for everyone, as it does sensationalize a bit, but that's the purpose of the fiction in this story.  It contains a lot of scripture, which we all know can be a bit dry, but it applies it in a completely applicable way and I've learned quite a lot about the book of Revelations.   It does leave me asking, what if this is really what things will be like?  And it does encourage me to make reading the Bible a habit, not only to satisfy curiosity stirred up by prophecy, but to develop the kind of faithfulness you feel from the characters.  

I started reading the series years ago (I think the first book was published in 94' but I don't think I started reading them til 99') but had to wait for the 12th book in the series to be published and then never made it through.  There are 13 in the series (and 3 books written later that precede the first book in sequence, so 16 total really) and I'm on the 12th now.  For the last 2 months it's been all I seem to want to read.  
I know 13 books seems daunting, but as I mentioned before, there is a lot to keep you interested and it's so much biblical knowledge that I feel more equipped now in case the author's "fiction" actually happens in my lifetime.  

For everyone out there that believes that all you need to do is acknowledge that there is a god and then "be a good person," this book will make you uncomfortable.  It makes a very strong point that it does not matter if you are good, if you attend church, if you have morals, if you are not saved, you will not be ferried up to heaven when you die.  For that reason alone, I encourage you to read it.  It's clearly written, "For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast."  Enough of me badgering, just read it for yourselves.  And if you also find it encouraging and entertaining, please tell others.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The ugly duckling

Also known as our office.  I posted blogs showing the rest of the trailer from start to finish, but our office was ugly.  It served it's purpose, but it didn't look good doin it. 
 I hastily took this picture when I was moving in to show my husband where I'd put things (or was in the process of putting them considering there is still stuff all over, including the handy drill).  This, was clearly our wall of movies.  As you all know by now, my husband is a media hoarder.  It's his job and his obsession and it keeps growing.  Thus the need for ugly bookcase, well, moviecase.  
I, on the otherhand, hoard books.  My textbooks and references are mostly hidden in this little guy cabinet.  I hate it, and it will soon be replaced also, but that's not the point of my little post today.  Like I said, our office serves a purpose for us, it holds all of Zac's movies, my books and my adjusting table for my family.  The only problem was, it was full and Zac started stashing movies with my books and we simply needed more storage.  So....after a long week away on family vacation (which I will eventually blog about) we decided to build more shelves.  

We kept this guy mostly the same, but added trim and facing on all the shelves to make it look a little more finished.    
(and yes, I know, the amount of movies we own is beyond ridiculous)

We then built a matching, but narrower cabinet for the otherside.  After that was just a matter of building and installing 3 shelves in the middle to hold a few extra things, we painted it all, and done!  Now our office looks a whole lot better.  

And, I have have room for my table.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the next degree I earn :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

From boring to bright

I tend to collect an eclectic mix of furniture.  This was the case, especially in my bedroom.   I had a waterfall style short dresser, a modern side table and a buffet that we used as a second dresser.  It wasn't too long before I got sick of the mix and match look.  
I liked the dresser wooden, but it was fairly cheap and I had put a candle warmer on the top that de-laminated a small part of the top and made it look all dried out.  
This little guy I also liked, but was a boring. I did, however, hate this piece.  I painted it orange but it seriously took like 6 coats to cover and never fully cured, so it felt permanently tacky.  
So, this summer the sisters and I finished a dresser for one of our Ethel Edith shows.  It didn't sell so I claimed it for myself and hauled off that orange one with a quickness.  Viola!  Great turquoise dresser.  
 After that I started to dislike the other two pieces more.  I debated about what color to paint them and decided just keep a little continuity.  A few days later I drug everything outside, annoyed my neighbors with lots of sanding, and before the end of the day, had a whole new bedroom set.  
Dresser, check, sidetable, check.  You can't see the side table very well, but it is still the same look, just poor picture taking on my part.  

You may also notice, the bedding is completely different.  This is because we now have a king bed, which is an excellent reason for new bedding!  I love this set from Kohls.  It's called Thyme and it is really cute.  I want to get the matching sheets, but we will have to wait for another 30% coupon for that.  Anyway, hope you love it because I do.  Yay to turquoise!  Now all I need to do is fashion a headboard and I will be set!

Where, oh where, can anything be?

I honestly believe that by nature men are slightly blind.  At least this is the case for my dear husband...that can never seem to find things even though I KNOW they are where I tell him (I shouldn't have to tell him, we both live in the same house, I mean come on) and I can find it for him in the spot I say.  This was the case awhile back when Zac got a little thirsty.  He was at home and wanted to make tea.  He had to call me at work to find out where it was.  I told him, "In the cabinet where it always is.  Did you look for it?"  To which Zac said, "(scoff)Yeah, but I am not searching through every cabinet to find the tea."  I replied, of course, with "Seriously, we keep food in FOUR cabinets.  Just open them up!" The tea is just one example.  I just have to laugh because this happens on a regular basis with everyday items, like extra toilet paper, his work shirts, and tooth paste.  He is ridiculous and I love him because it is that ridiculousness that cracks me up on a daily basis :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dance magic dance!

Tonight I am hosting one of the most ridiculously awesome parties I've ever been privy to attend.  It's a (get ready for it) LABYRINTH PARTY!  When my sisters and I were little we watched this movie all the time and it blew our minds.  Just look at this poster.  See how David Bowie is drawing you in with his cat eyes....he wants you to watch Labyrinth, and you want to, he can see it in his crystal ball!
Just incase his look alone isn't enough to convince you, perhaps you'd like to take a peak at the original trailer for the film.  That's right girls, the imagination of Jim Henson, the wizardry of George Lucas, the excitement of David Bowie (in super tight pants with big hair no less)!  It's amazing.  Just check him out here, can someone say seduction (hahahahaha classic). 
Basically the girl in the picture above is forced into watching her little brother Toby.  She resents it, wishes him gone, and David Bowie, as an evil king comes and steals Toby away to the Labyrinth.  She must then find her way through the maze to find her little brother before he is officially an evil prince.  On the way she runs into many crazy puppets and a bog of eternal stench, talking hand faces and characters of all types.  My mom claims she's never seen it (apparently it shut us up and kept us busy so she took that time to get things done around the house).  I was shocked and that made the sisters and I wonder who else might not have been witness to the glory that is Labyrinth.  Before you know it, I've got a party planned and it's not just mom and the sisters, but my cousin Ellen and her two girls, Aunt Jamie, our friends Melissa, Jamie H. and Jamie M. that will basking in the Bowie tonight.  Jealous much?  I thought so.  Especially since there will be popcorn and brownies and cheese dip.  
I encourage everyone out there to buy this movie.  Invest in your happiness.  Just do it, after all, David Bowie wants you, just look at him and try to deny that!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Update on Baby Ollie

My sister and her husband have been traveling a lot this week.  Yesterday was a trip to Peoria to meet the Cardiothoracic surgeon there and get to know the team that would be taking care of Ollie.  Today, they are in St. Louis doing the same thing, to figure out which hospital/doctors they are most comfortable with.  The doc in Peoria provided lots of answers and Annie wrote a big ol' blog o keep everyone up to date.  Keep praying for all of us over the next few months as Miss Ollie continues to grow!

Monday, December 6, 2010


A while back my family and I attended a church service (it was part of a series actually, but, I must confess, my attendance can be spotty) about being "in the zone."  The preacher claimed that part of being in the zone, being on purpose, was tithing.  More to the point, recognizing that all that we are and all that we have is a gift from God.  That it's not my money, or my career, it's the career that God led me toward so I can serve them with talents I've been blessed with and the money that he allows me to manage.  That service changed my entire perspective on money.  Now, don't get me wrong, it's still important to me, mostly because I'm in sooooo much student loan debt and so many goals I need cold hard cash to accomplish (like building a house and being secure enough to have kids), but the pastor made a good point.  Would I rather be working with 100% of "my" money or 90% of what I've earned that is being blessed by God.  Seems like a fairly simple choice to me.  Decision made.  New budget including tithes made.  It was shocking to see how much we would be "giving away."  It was kind of disheartening to see the dates for paying off our car and trailer and etc shift back by months and subsequently years, but I did it.  I took the leap of faith.

A couple weeks later my husband and I attended church again, this time, with two checks and a bunch of cash for tithes.  Zac looked at me and said immediately "We can't afford that!"  and I told him, "Yes we can, it's our tithes. "  After we got home, we argued about it (Zac didn't attend the "in the zone" service with me).  In all fairness, I didn't talk to Zac about it before I made the change to start tithing because I handle our finances and I do it well.  I should have at least told him so it wouldn't have been a shock, but it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission right?  Zac is not willing to give tithes yet and I believe you have to have your intentions in the right place, so I will give him time to decide for himself but this is a whole different tangent about our beliefs that I don't need to get into in public so I digress......So, we argued,  I told him I would continue my tithes.  Zac's tithes (which he didn't know he'd given) totalled $120 that week.  Lo and behold, I get a call later in the day from a lady that is interested in baskets.  She came to our house, looks over the Longaberger baskets I'm selling for my mom and buys exactly $120 in baskets.  Tithes just slapped Zac in the face!  He chose to ignore it, siting the fact the had the baskets long before we started tithing, but that's enough about my Doubting Thomas.
God made a pretty obvious point there I'd say.

That was just one example as tithing continues to prove to me it's worth.  As some of you know I earn a percentage of the service I provide at my office.  So, the more patients I see, the more I make.  I have a bonus check each month where I am given anything I earn above and beyond my small base pay.  In November, my bonus was nearly 3 times my October check.  Zac has also been working lots of overtime, making his checks bigger by about 20%.  This is a big blessing as we work to get out from under out debt.

After the basket deal, and the suprize refund check I got from Verizon on an account I ended a year ago, I didn't need too much more convincing, but what happened today is what solidified things for me the most.  My family and I just got back from 1 week of vacation at Disney.  I didn't work for an entire week, which would undoubtedly affect my bonus check for December.  But, Zac has been upped to working 6 days/week through the rest of the month AND!  my boss decided that because I've been working so much by myself this year, I deserved to be paid for a week of vacation!  Paid vacation is definately not in my contract, it was what he decided to do.  I am so excited.  I haven't gotten a chance to tell Zac yet, but I am curious to see what he says.  I am also curious to know when I give him his tithes from his last check and tell him he can do with it whatever he sees fit, where that money will go.

The moral of this story is pretty clear.  Tithes serve a purpose.  It's not just to "prove" your dedication to a belief system.  It's about furthering your trust in God and his ability to care for you in every way.  It's about recognizing that we really can surrender our worries, emotionally/spiritually/financially, and we will not be let down.  You may even end up surprised at the pride you had, believing you knew better how to manage your money.  For those of you who do not tithe, I don't have any intention of guilting you, but if what you are looking for is a personal relationship with God, tithing does help to open lines of communication to Christ you might not realize were closed.  Think about it, 100% to manage on your own, or 90% supernaturally blessed.
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