Friday, February 29, 2008

okay, here's the scoop.

The furniture.

The hair.

I realize it may be difficult to distinguish the subtle differences but you'll just have to trust me on this. Though both are similar to the old style, the shape and feel is different.

Interestingly enough, this reminds me of my relationship with Christ. It is not what you see that defines my walk with God (going to church, reading the Bible, being fluent in Christianese) - really knowing Him comes through experience as He reveals Himself to me. This relationship is transforming; though I may look the same, the shape and feel of my heart is different.

Imagine if I were studying to become a brain surgeon. What if I were to learn every fact, read every book, and listen to every lecture concerning brain surgery but have no surgical experience... would you trust me to operate on you? Highly unlikely.

Experience without knowledge is blind and uninformed. Knowledge without experience is incomplete. The truth of the matter is - we need both! There is no substitute for either in your walk with the Lord.

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Here's a hint for the March Faithbooking Lesson:

Our next Faithbooking Crop will be on Saturday, March 8 from 9:00 am-4:00 pm at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville. The crops are FREE and include snacks, beverages, and make-and-take supplies. Feel free to work the crop around your schedule, just let me know if you plan to attend and I'll be sure to have a spot ready for you.

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doo confessions

"Hi, my name is Tina and it's been two weeks since my last haircut."

Unfortunately, I couldn't help myself and had to have another one today. I feel much better and will share photos of the new doo (as well as a better photo of the new couch) tomorrow! Have a great evening.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

they say it's my bou day...

And what a wonderful day it was! As we were getting ready to head out the door, my 7-year old presented me with a lovely "Happy Birthday" poster he'd created earlier this week (kept hidden in his room). The sweet and thoughtful deed brought tears to my eyes.

It was also our last day of the current Bible study - always a special event. We feasted on veggie pizza, brownies, chips & salsa, bacon-wrapped weinies, and other yummy treats while sharing stories from our time together. Mom had a special gift for me as well :-)

Then there was the surprise visit by my sister-in-law Amy and adorable nephew who were waiting for me after the study with the cutest gift ever - a secret for now...

Lunch with two other ladies followed. Jen introduced me to Leah last fall when I had the privilege of creating three albums in memory of her 2-year-old daughter Heather. We played (with Jen's kids), ate (yes, another feast), and spent the entire afternoon socializing.

Afterwards Tilly stopped by with a decadent sweet treat and the biggest Bou Card ever. Then there was Stacey's Bou Card. And the hubby's Bou Card. Wow, it really was a Bou Day!

Thank you all for the funny cards, warm email wishes, and telephone calls. It really took the sting (I almost said STINK!) out of turning forty.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

turns out I have mixed feelings

I just finished reading the book Parenting With Love & Logic by Foster Cline/Jim Fay and have mixed feelings about it. The theory behind it sounds great but it doesn't really jive with our parenting style. It involves completely relying on natural consquences vs. parent-designed consequences that relate to the offense - a tad adventurous for me. Granted, this is glossing over much but one example would be to allow my elementary-aged children to set their own bedtimes, trusting that after several days of sleep deprivation they would learn the value of getting to bed at a decent time. Yep, a little too adventurous for me.

Respectful Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell is more up my alley. If you're interested in that book, just click on the cover above to find a link to Amazon.

I realize it's been quite some time since I've done a journaling post. Or a prize drawing post. Or a post that causes you to reflect deeply on the meaning of life. I've been quite dehydrated and it's possibly affecting my brain. Or it could be that my ?th birthday is fast approaching and I'm a wee bit preoccupied with wrinkle cream, camouflaging highlights, and age-appropriate hair bling. Whatever the reason, it will pass.

I'm off to rehydrate. Have a great day!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

coffee w/the Amys

Webkinz hurdles. On being introverts. Rejection. God Moments. Where's a good babysitter when you need one? Hannah Montana. Panini bread. My large Pumpkin White Mocha. The joys of a midday coffee break with the Amys. The place... a hidden gem in Eagan - Ambrosia Coffee.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one." ~C.S. Lewis

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

jamming, whipping, blocking & bruising

The hubby and I had a double-date last night with longtime friends, Craig and Doree. The evening began with a delicious meal at Genghis Grill and ended with karaoke at Market Bar-B-Que in Minneapolis. That alone would be considered an adventure-and-a-half in my book but the crème de la crème was the two hours between... when we went to a roller derby!

Our friend Chris is one of the North Star Roller Girls and we thought it high time to show our support. Boy, was it fun! The bouts were extremely absorbing and highly entertaining. We were shocked to see such a large crowd (does everyone know about roller derby but us?) and the various ages represented. Surprisingly, we bumped into three more friends which allowed us to create a big ole' cheering section for Chris.

As I mentioned before, the evening ended on a karoake note - with the derby girls! There were many good laughs and a surprising number of people who could actually sing (as most of you know, this is not the usual karoake experience).

Despite the fact that we had to walk the entire perimeter of the Minneapolis Convention Center to get to our car, I'd have to say the evening was one jamming, whipping, blocking & bruising success.

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guess what we did last night...

I'll be back later with all of the fun details from our action-packed evening!

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

my kids say the darndest things

We were just finishing up with dinner when the hubby began instructing the boys on homework. Meeley was feeling frustrated and just wanted to get on with it. (My hubby has this need to really explain things and it always causes Meeley to react defensively.) I interjected with, "Just listen to him Meeley... his way of explaining has nothing to do with you, it's just the way he is wired."

Our youngest chimed in, "Then can we pull that wire out?"

By the way, do you remember when I was caught up in the whole personality test thing? If so, you might be interested to know that the same site now offers a "Kid Personality Test" (for parents to take on behalf of their children). I did it for both of mine and found it very interesting. Not only will you find information about specific strengths/weaknesses, you'll discover just how they are wired. The link to the kid home page is HERE. Just scroll down and click on the tab marked, "What's Your Child's Personality Type?"

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Friday, February 22, 2008

bye bye Webkinz

My boys have really gotten into Transformers as of late. The eldest even "converted" an abandoned Rescue Heroes robot into a Transformer and a huge battle for power ensued. Though the Webkinz outnumbered Transformers 10-to-1, the fuzzy critters never stood a chance.

In this day and age of electronic overstimulation, it's nice to see them using their creativity and imagination... even if it is to declare world war.

With many weeks of cold still to come, I thought it might be fun to share survival tips. Cooped-up-in-your-house and very-much-on-a-budget survival tips. Here are some of mine:

Do you have any tips or ideas to share? If so, just add a comment to this post!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

some really cool stuff

I'd forgotten how GOOD this book is (it would even make a great Bible study). The author's intention is that it be a catalyst for growth and in deepening your relationship with Christ. His prayer is that as you read the pages you will be able to:
  • Hear when God is speaking to you.
  • Clearly identify the activity of God in your life.
  • Believe Him to be and do everything He promises.
  • Adjust your belief, character, and behavior to Him and His ways.
  • See a direction He is taking you in your life and what He wants to do through your life.
  • Clearly know what you need to do in response to His activity in your life.
  • Experience God doing through you what only God can do!
I've read it several times, often referring back to it during spiritual dry spells. It hadn't even come to mind until I prayed, asking God to direct me in our time together this morning. I am excited to get back into it again!

Speaking of excitement, I have a great offer to share with you. The Apple Store is selling iPod Shuffles for only $49 (with free shipping and engraving)! It holds 240 songs and is a teeny weeny little thing that can clip onto your shirt. You can find all of the important details HERE.

While surfing the net for sore throat information, I stumbled upon this interesting baby thing the other day and thought it too cool not to post. It's called the "Amby Baby Motion Bed" and is fashioned much like a hammock (I really wish I'd had one back in the day). Here's a review written by an Amby user, sharing pros and cons about the device.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

chocolate only goes so far

I have not been spending enough time with God this week and the side effects are unmistakable... I've been crabby, discontent, short-tempered, impatient, and spittin' out complaints left and right. (And in an effort to self-soothe, I've been consuming lots and lots of chocolate.)

One of my many rants was about a recent haircut gone awry. Listening to my emotionally-charged reiteration of events, you would have surely sworn the stylist had cut off an ear. What God pressed on my heart today was that a negative, selfish attitude was far uglier than any haircut could ever possibly be.


It's not that I purposely veered away from my God time, I simply let other things cut into it. Instead of reserving that hour for Him alone, I found myself using it to catch up on tasks in an effort to jumpstart the day.

Big mistake.

So today, I am working to get back on track. In doing so, I came across this awesome stress-related article by Joyce Meyer and this extremely relevant devotion. I also found this great article about surviving a spiritual dry spell. Too, someone shared this free resource with me just the other day... click here to register for Bible Tutor, an interactive online study resource.

The children are calling... have a great evening!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Let's Tea Party!

This tradition is my Christmas gift to several special ladies each year. The 4-course luncheon at McHatties Victorian Times is DIVINE and gives us plenty of time to visit. To give you an idea just how good the food actually is, here's the entree I chose:

Yep, fish... and I chose it! To truly understand the magnitude of this selection and my complete culinary surrender, refer to this post (specifically, item #4).

I was not disappointed.

Rarely do we make time to simply hang out. We check in periodically by phone or see each other occasionally with kids underfoot, but really - that's not enough. I'm thankful for our tea dates which give us the time to take our time!

We shared many laughs and I returned home with several colorful family stories to share with the hubby... and an Apricot White Chocolate Chunk scone... with a side of Devonshire cream. (It's the gift that keeps on giving :-)

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

more w/the couch

It was quite difficult choosing which couch potato photos to post! I decided to begin with one of Tilly's cool shots - our family on the couch.

Followed by my goofballs, hamming it up on the couch and...

...working hard to stay warm on the couch.

Here's a shot of Tilly's girls (upside down on the couch) followed by a shot my handsome hubby (not on the couch).

Believe it or not, I'm having second thoughts about the couch! It would make such a lovely prop for future photo shoots, especially next fall. Unfortunately, my hubby isn't so keen on the idea (it is an awfully big prop).

Speaking of future photo shoots... I'm working on a new photography website! I'm hoping to have it ready to unveil by March 1st; I'll keep you posted!

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all in the name of photography (and new furniture)

Tilly and her family joined us for an evening of fun with an impromptu photo shoot and take out from Ole Piper Inn. We hosted this intimate "Couch Warming Party" to celebrate the much anticipated arrival of our new furniture (I'll share those photos later). In the interest of the children, I thought it best to give our old furniture a proper send off (they are having trouble saying goodbye). Thus, the unique photo shoot.

Boy, was it fun!!

I'll have some more photos ready to post later...

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Friday, February 15, 2008

it's not even noon and I'm ready for bed.

It's been one of those days... a very hormonal, can't-get-enough-chocolate sort of day. The kind where even the teeniest weeniest thing could (and did) trigger an avalanche of emotion. There was something about my family's response that reminded me of this interactive Flash presentation (if you're at work, you might want to turn the volume down before viewing).

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

did you see it tonight?

So what's the deal with Ben and Sayid? And what about the Oceanic 6 - four have been revealed but who are the other two? The show is driving me nuts! Every week I swear I will not return but inevitably get sucked back in. Oh, the stress of prime time television!

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this makes me laugh SO HARD!

My first "real job" was as a legal secretary at a Minneapolis law firm. And, as I'm sure you already know from this post, it was my childhood ambition. (Not so much the actual job part, but being in the city and having an excuse to order all of those JCPenney outfits.)

Problem was, I was nocturnal. Hopping on a bus at 7:00 am was not very appealing but the new-and-improved paycheck was. So I took the job. Bound and determined not to let the job change me, I continued whooping it up 'til all hours of the night. Bound and determined not to let the band scene hinder my job, I faithfully stepped on that bus each morning.

It wasn't so bad. As long as I had plenty of coffee. And sugar. I was pretty much living in denial until the firm's Christmas party six months later. To my horror, there was talk of head bobbing. My head bobbing.

I was so sure nobody had noticed.

Apparently, several of the attorneys had even mastered my move... head bobbing followed by a wild flailing of the hands. (After being lulled to sleep by transcription, I would wake and hit the keyboard.) They revealed this to me in good fun but I was horrified nonetheless.

Needless to say, that was the end of my nocturnal ways.

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for you.

My Child

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad.

Almighty God

Use by permission Father Heart Communications Copyright 1999-2006

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

grab a tissue and take a peek

Shaun is one of the Compassion bloggers... his photos will melt your heart! Just click here to hop on over to his blog.

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