Monday, June 30, 2008

It Has Begun!

Well, today marks week three of my training...I am training to run the Chicago Marathon! I am pumped! What makes it doubly excited is that I am running it for Team World Vision. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that works with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The focus of this year's Team World Vision fundraising is to provide clean water to the communities in Africa. I am so excited to be a part of this! My prayer is that I will raise so much more than my goal of $1,500.00. To see my fundraising webpage, go to or click on the feed to the right.

The morning of my first official day of training, I did my bible study before I did my scheduled run. The focus bible verse for that particular day was Isaiah 40:31: 'but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.' This verse was the exact verse my sweet mother in law gave me to pin onto my shorts when I ran the Derby City mini marathon two months ago. It is so like God to give you just the right verse exactly when you need it! So, this has officially become my 'marathon' verse. God has been such an encouragement to me during my training so far...I am going to attempt to write about all the lessons He has been teaching me as I train--that is, if I can find the time! So, be watching for more to come....

Some Things Are Worth Fighting For--even for a four year old

This morning my eight year old girl wanted THIS four year old boy to play with her. My four year old informed her that 'he really just needed some time alone and some space'. Their conversation, which really turned into an argument, went on for ten minutes as she tried to convince him to let her play with him and he insisted that he 'really really just needed some space'. Oh, Jeremiah, you crack me up! :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

One Heart, One Life

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do" Helen Keller

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

God's Silence in the Midst of Suffering

I have been thinking a lot lately about faith--mine, in particular. There is so much suffering in our world and it seems so dark at times that sometimes I wonder where God is in the midst of it all. And where is God in the midst of some of the difficulties I personally have been enduring lately? I know that my faith is being tested and I am reminded of this scripture: 'Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.' This scripture reminds me that my suffering is a gift and that God wants me to find pure joy in it. It reminds me that I am coming to know Jesus more. And in a miraculous Holy Spirit kind of way, I am thankful.

I came across this article today and it is just another eye opener to me of how much I still don't even get what it means to suffer. I have such a cush life and my cush life makes me so unaware of all the suffering that is going on around the world in the name of Jesus. It reminds me that faith is not always a 'feel good' kind of experience. Maybe that feel good kind of experience is for the weak of faith? Maybe strong faith is when we seek him wholeheartedly even when he is silent or seems distant.

Friday, June 13, 2008



It's date night! I. Can't. Wait. :)
It's the little things in life that excite me...can't you tell?

Famous Person Sighting

We had our first famous person sighting at the wedding we went to last weekend. I am so proud of myself for spotting this person without my husband's help! We, of course, did the obnoxious: 'can my daughter have her picture taken with you?' So do you know who this person is? I'll give you a hint: college basketball.


Jeremiah had a pool party for his birthday. Cousins were there and 'all his friends' came. Summer parties rock! Pizza by the poolside with friends and doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Yard Sale Tales

Thursday night I traveled to my old stopping ground--my home town in Indiana. My sister and I--along with help from the three bro's--were having a yard sale on Friday and Saturday at my mother's house. It is sad to see my mom's house almost completely empty now. I definitely had some sad moments. I have to say, though, the weekend was also gutwrenchingly funny and some of the best times I have spent with my siblings. Yard Sales. Call me crazy, but I love them. My family and I had some 'yard sale' bonding--ain't nothing quite like it, I tell you. Once you do a yard sale together your relationship goes to a whole new level. Just so you can experience the thrill and feel of our yard sale weekend, I'll give you a play by play:

Thursday night, 5:00 pm: We began setting up tables in the garage and pulling things out to price.

5:15 pm: Family member of my brother-in-law's stops by to do some 'early' shopping. She buys $27 worth of stuff.

5:30 pm: We rummage through a whole stack of 33 record albums, finding many classics, such as the Beatles, the Supremes, Ray Charles, including several others. We get excited, wondering if they are worth any money.

8:45 pm: Bro's Brian and Jeff bring by two more tables.

8:50 pm: I see a spider that I am sure is a brown recluse. Brian throws it at me (brothers never change).

9:00 pm: Julie's mother in law calls us, reporting that she looked the Beatles album up on the internet. It said it is worth $15,000 - $20,000! What????

9:00 - 9:30 pm: Now we're getting excited. We have a stack about two feet tall of old records. We just might have $200,000 here! We sneak the records out to my van and lock the doors...we don't want the goods to get stolen. We're trying to get a grip as we are about to hyperventilate. We're rich! We're rich!

9:30 pm: Jeff calls us from home. He just saw the same exact Beatles album selling on ebay for $9.99. Darn, I guess we won't be vacationing in the Riviera after all. Back to 'yard sale' reality.

9:45 pm: We call sister-in-law Reagan and coerce her into coming and helping.

10:30 pm: Reagan arrives with 64-ounce fountain cokes, nerds and sour apple blow pops from Casey's General Store--YES!

2:00 am - I am hearing birds chirping--I start to get worried; what time is it anyway!???

2:30 am - We find some long plastic tubing with a wide funnel type opening--is this what I think it is? Reagan confirms my suspicions by exclaiming, 'I think that's a beer bong!' Hmmm...which brother could this belong to? We decide to price it for 25 cents and see if anyone buys it.

3:30 am - We drag our weary selves to Julie's house and go to sleep.

Friday morning, 5:30 am: Rise and shine!

6:00 am- I go hang our signs on telephone poles around town and go to Casey's General Store for a 32 ounce coffee.

6:30 am-I meet Julie at our mom's house. Three people are already waiting for us to open for business.

6:35 am - first item of the day to sell: fishing rod reel minus the fishing rod for $1.00.

7:00 am - Police car pulls up... Hmmm, he doesn't really look like he wants to shop.

"Sorry, ladies, but it appears you've put some signs on the utility poles and you have broken the law. You are not allowed to put anything on utility poles. It is a $25 fine per pole. I am going to give you 30 minutes to get your signs down."

7:05 am - I leave to take signs off of the utility poles.

8:00 am - the sale is hopping with customers. We are in demand...our stuff is wanted...we begin to tighten up on our negotiating. "Will you take a dollar for this weed killer?" "I'm sorry, I just can't come down a dollar; I'm going to have to stick with $2 on that."

8:15 am - I sell a pink, ceramic mouse for 50 cents to a lady with big hair.

8:30 am - "Excuse me, ma'am, would you take $5.00 for this cuckoo clock that doesn't work?" "Well, let me consult my sister on that." We talk amongst ourselves. "No, sorry, but we can't go lower than $10.00--it is a collector's item, you know."

8:45 am - We sell the cuckoo clock for $10.00 -- kaching!

8:50 am - Man approaches us with plastic tubing (a.k.a. beer bong) "Excuse me, could you tell me what this is?" We bust out laughing. "Do you really want to know? We are not 100% sure but we think it is a beer bong--it's our brother's" (you gotta always blame it on the brothers :) ) The man looks intrigued and decides to buy it.

9:00 am - Reagan shows up. We fill her in on selling the 'beer bong'. Suddenly, her eyes get huge. "Oh no! It just hit me what that thing is! We bought it last year to suck all the water out of our fish tank." Oops. I hope he cleans it out before he bongs a beer from it. Can you picture him bonging a beer from aquarium tubing? HA!

9:15 am - silver cobra with red eyes bracelet is sold to the woman in black for 50 cents.

10:00 - My cross country coach, Mr. Tubbs, comes and visits. He catches me up on all the fellow teammates whereabouts. It is so fun to see him. He is 65 and still runs every single day.

10:30 - Oldest bro, Jimmy and his kids come and help out.

12:00 - We pack it up. AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE WEEKEND. My sister drove her husband's truck so we could haul some stuff to the Goodwill. This is no ordinary truck. IT IS A 1977 BLACK CHEVY WITH THREE FOOT TALL WHEELS. I am so excited because I get to ride in it. Picture this: Riding down the road in the '77 Chevy, windows down, wind whipping through hair, seeing the farm land for miles on either side of us, Merle Haggard playing in the background...ugghhh, what is that smell!??? I think it's a hog farm gone bad. Now we are driving with our shirts over our noses.

12:30 - Drop off clothes.

12:35 - Pull through Starbucks to order coffee. They can't hear our order due to the roar of the engine. We pull up to drive-through window to pay. Every single employee comes and checks out our truck.

12:40 - We park in front of Starbuck's so I can throw away some trash. Eyes are still on our truck. I feel proud. I hurdle my leg up to get back in. My arm slips as I'm pulling myself up. I fall out of the truck.

12:45 - We are laughing so hard our guts hurt.

Friday night - Grill out with brothers and sister--too fun! We end the night with Tastee Freeze ice cream. Yum.



6:45 am - Drag myself to Casey's General Store for my 32 ouncer.

7:00 am - Open for business. No one is standing in line today...where are all of our customers???

9:00 am - Okay, finally some stragglers pull up. One of them has a shirt on that says "IF FOUND SOBER RETURN TO JAY'S TAVERN". Too bad we sold that beer bong yesterday.

10:00 am - Crickets are chirping....I run and get another 32 ouncer.

10:30 am - We hear the whistle of the train. I comment on how lonely and sad the whistle sounds, kind of like our yard sale today. Julie responds:

"The long, drawn out whistle of a train, makes me lonely

not by day but nighttime only,

Heartache, separation, a yearning to cry,

Deep within my heart I wonder why."

How profound. My sister is not characterized by reciting poetry at a moment's notice. "Where in the world did that come from?" I ask. "Lit. class, junior year. Mr. Stilwell. He made us recite it three times in class and said we would never forget it. He said for the rest of our life, every time we heard a train whistle, we would remember it." Ahhh. Good old Mr. Stilwell; I remember him. For the next ten minutes, she teaches it to me (at 37, it takes me a little longer than three times to learn it). Now, I can be profound every time I hear a train whistle.

I know, I know...we are really bored...

10:35 am - We announce to no one in particular: Everything over a $1.00 is half price!

11:00 am - Nosy neighbor comes by and asks 1,000 questions.

12:00 pm - We close up shop. Today we made a mere $30.00. But I did learn a poem.