Thursday, May 21, 2015

Getting Our Hike On

Monday's Hike at FO.























Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bible Musings

It's been interesting reading the Bible through in chronological order. Right now I'm in 1 Samuel/Psalms, and it's neat to read the psalms David wrote after stressful situations. I would imagine that being hunted as much as he was, would bring the feelings out.

And yet, how God used those stressful times in his life to inspire him to write the psalms, which have helped countless individuals get through tough times in their life.

I love how the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword! There really is no better book to read.

1 Samuel has been a favorite starting point of OT reading for me, although sometimes I start at Joshua or Judges, and then read through to the end of Chronicles, or sometimes Esther. I like the action!

It was good to start at the beginning and read through what I normally don't gravitate to; getting that full picture this time. Excited to get to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and the minor prophets, it's been awhile since I've visited those.

For the NT, I really enjoy the epistles, although I don't always go through Romans. I probably read Acts more. I feel like I should read through the gospels more than I do. I like Revelation, and this may sound weird, but I try not to read it too much.

Have to now confess failure, or at least failure for now, on the Psalm 139 memorizing project. Kids and I started off strong with verse one the first week; by week two we were fading, and week three never happened, nor #4. Plan B sometime! Thinking of how I could better implement it.

Slightly on a Biblical topic, I've seen both Noah & Exodus (the movies). Well, not really Biblical at all; let's say, with a Biblical starting point or a Biblical flair. Both, admittedly, rather ridiculous on so many points it's too numerous to dive into. Not sure where I was going with the start of this paragraph. I liked Exodus better for two reasons. Slightly less ridiculous on a whole, and also, Christian Bale.

Russell Crowe is a good actor, but he doesn't have the tall, dark & handsome thing going for him like CB & KR. Or Jeremy, who has TDH pegged to the nth degree.

Every time I see a golden field I do think of Gladiator though. First date with my TDH man! We're nearing on our 12th anniversary now. That seemed so oldish when we were back in the lower single digits. Just like the 20s seem so old when you're in HS, and every age above yours in grade school. Perspective.

After 25, I've been chill with getting older. And I hope part of that has to do with more focus on life beyond the now. Some reality might be just less time to think, haha. Life got busy real quick after I turned 25 and had Ada! Full speed ahead.

Right now I'm in a couple of books: JJ Virgin's Sugar Impact Diet, and Praying in the Spirit. Body and soul, baby, body and soul.

I can't think of any "diet" book that I have read before so I think this might be the first, but I picked it up after being impressed with a podcast I listened to of hers. I do believe sugar is a HUGE, if not, the BIGGEST, culprit of American society's downhill health spiral. That being said, I read it with a grain of salt (haha, sweet & salty) and to me a couple of things that she brings up I think are just "her thing" and not actually scientific, but most of the book so far I've been good with, and have learned some things. A lot of it Jeremy had already taught me, through his journey of running & dieting.

The Praying in the Spirit book is a tiny little thing, but packs a punch. I appreciate that. No excess wordage--very to the point. Identifiable. He writes in a comforting manor that doesn't seem judgy, but is a come alongside and be a help type.

That's how I feel Peter Brandon is on voicesforchrist.org. He's become one of my favs. Old guy that is gentle in the Spirit, you know? Full of understanding, yet, here is what we need to work on.

The more I get into the diet book, the more she ever so slightly mentions her diet products for sale; the more I get into the prayer book or into a message on vfc, the more I realize how much I need Jesus. Not going to buy anyone's diet products when I can choose what to eat and how and when to exercise and sleep, but I will take the narrow path to the cross. Pilgrim's Progress! There's an old story for ya.

I will never stop needing to get my feet washed while on this earth.

That's kind of a hard thing to think about sometimes. No matter how hard I try, I am going to stumble and fall. Praise God He works through our weaknesses! And praise Him for loving kindnesses that are new every morning. I know I need them. What a Savior we have in Jesus!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mom Day. Because Momhood. Mothering Moms. Mums. Mamas. Muthas. Mothers.

I forgot to take along my camera to the beach today. It was ok.

The day started out great, and I got some running jaunts in with Hays. Church, beach, home. Nice day.

In the morning the girls presented me with several wonderful cards they had made--two of them they had each made a month ago! Hayley had organized that because she thought MD was last month so she wanted to be prepared. Then she found out it was this month. They had time to make more, plus some in school.

I love my kiddos so much!

Jeremy asked what I wanted to do today, so I picked the beach. Funny thing, one of the kids made a comment with beaches & Kansas in the same sentence, while we were at the beach. Something like, they were trying to figure out why there weren't beaches or waves like what we were seeing, in Kansas. I had to explain that KS is in the middle of the US...

Something got lost in the travel. (As in, maybe they don't really pay attention when we drive back? Or maybe they just figured they haven't seen all of that state, so there must be oceanfront somewhere?) Kids are curious creatures.

Or maybe growing up here, they figure everyone has access to a beach where they live. Logical, right? You go with what you know.

Anyways, a lot of moms were apparently wanting to go to the beach, as it was a happenin spot. Beautiful weather. Each of us paired off for a ride. First Jeremy & Ada did bumper cars together; Hayley & I went on the new ride for the first time for both of us, the one Ben was too tall for last time he was out; boys did helicopter.

We ate first thing when we got there, and the hostess seating us asked me, "Are they all yours?" Oh, you teenager, you. LOL. I think it's a funny question.

Maybe it's one of those starting point questions. It's Mother's Day, here is a mom-looking type with a dad-looking type, and four kids. I should ask if they're all theirs! Maybe they picked up an extra accidentally whilst strolling into the establishment. I should check.

I'm a goofball.

And really I just wanted to use the word 'whilst'.

And because I don't think four kids is a lot! If I had, like, 10, then maybe. And I'm only picking that number because I saw a picture of a family with ten kids the other day, and I was like, I want more kids.

Anyways.

Jeremy just strolled in. "I forgot to take along my camera today. And that is why none of you will read this post." I laughed hysterically and asked if I could put that. He said I can put whatever I want. Which is true, but I'm only doing it because it's MD. Jeremy is always so on point, I love that guy! I do do the blog for fam back home, but also so I can remember at least a tiny bit of what I did with my life back in the day, you know? Memory is a fading thing.

Anyways.

Happy Mother's Day to the world, because without mothers, none of us would be here. Except for Adam & Eve, and we don't want to be like them, the sinners. Oh wait, we are. Praise God that He loves us more than our mothers! Hallelujah. And I've got a good Mom & MIL too. Thankful for them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blake, Babies, Psalm 139


At first glance, nothing seems out of the ordinary. But these boys, especially Blake, look a little younger.

Oh my heart, as PW says. Baby face!

This is two months shy of a year ago. How time flies.

The pictures are still the same in that frame. From when Ada was 6 months old. I keep meaning to change them out, but apparently that is something hard for me to get motivated about. I had other framed pictures from that summer trip in the kitchen, but they got taken down for a spice rack and shelves years ago.

Baby fever hits in the spring, when new babies are popping up out of nowhere and the air has a hint of change & anticipation.

I remind myself of how we half-joked, when I was pregnant with Blake, that if it was a red headed boy that would complete our set and we were done. A sign from God.

It still tickles me that that happened!!!

And I need to be content. It's been hard in some ways moving out of the baby stage; I miss a lot of things about it. Not so much the hard things about it, but that comes with the territory of babyhood.

It has been fun keeping up with the kids.

Still, I miss the snuggles and smelling my baby, and watching the stages of growth they go through.

And the boys, they'd be such cute older brothers!

But someone has to be the end of the train, and Blake is holding down that position well.

Very thankful for my crew, I love them all so much!!!

We started memorizing Psalm 139 this week, the kids & I. At the retreat we talked some about sowing seeds, and one of the aspects of that concept being with kids.

For well over a year, maybe longer, I've felt it would be cool to learn a verse each week with the kids.

When I saw Joy's chalkboard wall with the verses, I felt more motivated, as it's good to feel confirmation through others as they have the same thought and actually do it. Not that I needed confirmation that it was a good idea, but you know what I mean. See it implemented.

I had written H&A notes with a little present and hid them on their beds for when I was gone, and in them I did mention I'd like to start memorizing that chapter.

Then the retreat, and then Hayley talked to me about it when I was back, and she wanted to write out the verses. So she wrote out the first verse on Sunday, and she's taken on the responsibility to write out the next verse each Sunday. Love her helpfulness!

I had her calculate when we'd be done with the chapter, and it looks to be at Jeremy's birthday. I said that's cool, then you guys can recite the whole chapter for Daddy on his birthday! So hopefully we are able to stick with it and get that done.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Women's Retreat, Awesomest Workout Place Ever, Roomies

Went to my first Women's Retreat this past weekend. Our church here puts it on every other year, taking turns with the Men's Retreat. Jeremy's been to one of the guys' weekends, and now I've been to one of the ladies'.

The awesomeness factor was very high!

First, the longest time away from family by myself. With friends. At a pretty sweet hotel with a rockin work out facility. And some delicious bites. And really good messages on seasons of life and talks with the discussion group (I really enjoyed the group I was in!), and a workshop on friendship.

Workshop leader Shelly also demonstrated some TRX moves on a behind the scenes tour with myself and KV, after we ended up in the laundry department. Good times!

The roomies were fantastic, and we had some good convos, especially at the breakfast table, haha.

Also in the car too though. And at other meals like dinner and lunch.

KV & I swam some laps Friday evening before scattering the college/twenties & one 30 group out of the hot tub/spa/what do you call it when it's hot and it's outside.

Saturday there was a spot of free time in the afternoon and I went back for some more laps. I realized how much I missed swimming!

I did feel a little guilty in that that would have been a time I could have talked with more people I didn't always get time to talk to, but the pull of the pool was too strong. I did contemplate using a machine there, but the pool won out, and it was perfectly non-crowded and with the sun, very nice.

On my way to the shower, I gave in to the flesh and stopped for a dip in the inside whirlpool (I knew I didn't have time), but it felt so good. A fleeting thought of staying there the rest of the day, but knew I didn't want to miss the last message, and I'm pretty sure that would have been frowned upon!

I, however, was late, and that I was sorry for. Being that rude person walking in--didn't feel respectful to the speaker.

Learning hurts sometimes.

Overall great retreat though, and it was great conversing with people of all ages and getting their perspectives on things.

Speaking of, this morning I talked to a walking friend. (Sometimes we walk the same way home in the morning from school.) She's in a different season of life, and I learned from her this morning that health directives are a wonderful gift from parents before they start ailing from health, for when they are in a state of not being able to communicate as well. Noting that here for all the parents and Jeremy & myself and pretty much every adult I know. Health directive filling out party sometime this year?

p.s. Jeremy did a lot of fun things with the kids while I was gone, and they had a fun time! I am thankful that he is such a great dad!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Camping, Day 3

Saturday morning we got going on banana bread, bacon, and then I cooked the yams from the night before in the bacon fat. Oh, and I did cut up one potato and cook it in the bacon fat after I scooped the yams out.

Before and after breakfast Ada played with her friends, and Hayley was with them for part of the time. We packed up camp and loaded the van. The boys played around the tree a good bit. Hayley helped me roll up sleeping bags and such in the tent. I wonder if she secretly regretted it though, after she learned Ada's friends shared their juice with her. (It had been her choice to help or play.)

Our kids think juice is a big deal, since we hardly ever have it at home. We eat fruit. 

After getting the cooking stuff & tent innards (personal items) into the van, the rest of the kids and I joined Ada & co. for some kicking of the soccer ball while Jeremy finished with the tent. The boys really got into kicking that soccer ball! Ours and the friend boy, whose name was Owen. Not the "real" Owen, the kids pointed out. 


Then we set off to find the "big log" before we left. First we went through the amphitheater.






Ada snuggling with my hair. She hid her face; she's a little iffy with the camera lately. (Wanting or not wanting her picture taken.) 


Next to the water to throw/skip some rocks. Jeremy is a good skipper. 



This part of the trail freaked me out last time we traversed it. With Seth older and Blake not being a baby in the carrier, it was less worrisome. And the water level was lower, that helped [Mom] too. 


The older three are very nimble climbers. On this part you have to hang on to the roots. 


Banana slug!


On our geocaching hike with Johnny & Kara, Kara saved a lot of banana slugs from getting stepped on. I think it made an impression on the girls, to be less fearful of little creatures, and also to pick up the banana slugs! Kara has a way with all animals. Definitely a good influence for the girls! 

(I don't think I blogged about that trip, but I put up pictures on fb.)





We found the big log! You can climb in & through it, and on top of it. Although I did freak out a little bit when Ada led Blake up to the top; I told him to stop and I climbed up there to spot him. Maybe I baby him more, I don't know. Sometimes it seems he likes to keep up with the big kids but isn't quite able to do everything they can yet. 







My attempt at getting the four in the log made the lead redhead run away, and the other one followed.




Hahahahahahahahahahaha. This pic needs a good caption! 




We returned to our campsite a little after the time we were supposed to check out. I made sandwiches for the road real quick while the crew went for last potty breaks and buckled in. A ranger drove by and stopped to talk about us checking out, but she didn't seem too bothered that we were late; just mentioned she had someone coming in after us. 

And then...... the van wouldn't start.

I doubt anyone likes to be in that situation. Jeremy set out to the ranger station to see if they could jump us. Here's the story he was told: apparently (I don't know how long ago) they used to jump campers' vehicles, until one day someone hooked up the cables incorrectly (not sure if it was a ranger or a camper) and it blew up the ranger's battery. 

Classic case of someone screwing it up for the rest of us. Because since that incident, it is "policy" that they are not allowed to jump vehicles anymore. They did, however, let us borrow their jumper cables. Neither the ranger that Jeremy talked to at the guard shack or the lady ranger that drove past again seemed mean about it, and in fact seemed a bit conflicted in that they would like to help but were constrained by the "policy". 

I'm wondering why the "policy" couldn't have been to train the rangers and have them in charge of the cables. 

It was what it was, so Jeremy asked our neighbors (the new ones from last night), who just happened to be at their campsite, if they would be willing to help us out. 

(The rangers had said they could call our GM Motorclub for us (it's kinda like AAA), but I wanted to save that as a last resort as I knew that could be a good wait time being out in the country.)

Our neighbors thankfully came to our rescue! One of the guys brought his car over, and he and Jeremy arranged the cables and bam, back in the business just like that. Never does the sound of an engine starting up seem so sweet as in that moment. 

We thanked him a lot and then got out of dodge. We had been thinking of going to the beach again before we headed home, but then we decided we had just better go home and call it a day. 

We forgot to turn the light switch off in the van, basically. It's so the inside lights don't come on when the doors get opened; since we were in and out of the van a lot during unloading and loading, it became drained--even though the lights do automatically shut off after a certain amount of time. 

Overall, a good camping trip!

It was funny, at dinner that evening Jeremy was asking everyone their favorite parts of the trip; when it was his turn, he said, "My favorite was when I went to turn the key and the van wouldn't start." Seth, who was sitting right across from him, looked SO confused. Like, why would dad think that. Hayley gets his humor now though, and followed up with, "My favorite thing was having eggs." 

Jeremy was impressed and laughed.

I was laughing pretty hard, and Seth looked even more confused. Ada looked somewhat confused, and I don't think Blake was following the conversation at that point. 

That's our family, and this has been: Camping Johnson Style.