Monday, July 28, 2014

Multitude Monday, Take 328

Thanking God this week for...

6299. grace to get up with my early alarm
6300. encouragement from Steve
6301. 99-cent iced coffee
6302. boys being the most spectacular shoppers ever in the history of Kroger, on a day when I really, really needed that
6303. husband washing me with the water of the Word

6304. this book free in the mail, uncomfortable though it may be

6305. first bruschetta pizza of the summer
6306. first bruschetta chicken of the summer
6308. grace to model confession and repentance to my boys
6309. time in the gospel of Mark with a friend

6310. Microsoft Office for free through Steve's work
6311. five gallons of organic blueberries (plus all the berries we ate while we picked :)

6312. zinnias (at least I'm pretty sure that's what this is...)

6313. boys asking theological questions, talking about God and Heaven
6314. a date with my favorite six-year-old

6315. the way he leans over his handlebars to go faster
6316. the fact that he still wants to hold my hand
6317. grace to ask for help when I feel weak and full of despair
6318. Steve's ability and willingness to preach truth to my unbelieving heart
6319. being a God who remains faithful when I am faithless

6320. the (intentionally) muddy play area at Edwin Warner Park
6321. little boys getting dirty and having fun

6322. both boys' recent enthusiasm and gratitude about the meals I cook
6323. time spent working on the house with Steve
6324. progress, slowly but surely
6325. blueberry cheesecake flapjacks for Saturday morning breakfast

6326. answered prayers
6327. a dear friend's incredible beauty and strength, exalting Christ in the midst of trials
6328. grace to pray when I don't feel like it and have only a mustard seed of faith
6329. the thunderstorm coming before we went to bed, so we could find the bathroom window leaking and fix the problem instead of waking up to a flooded mess
6330. Jesus' perfect obedience in my place

Monday, July 21, 2014

Multitude Monday, Take 327: Ohio Gifts

Lots of gifts to count from the past couple of weeks! My awesome parents took the boys--both of them! at the same time!--for a few days, then Steve and I joined them in Ohio for a family reunion in honor of his grandfather's 90th birthday. After that, Steve and his younger brother came back here, and the boys and I stayed in Ohio for the rest of the week. I've been thanking God for so many blessings, including...

6255. safety on the road over hundreds and hundreds of miles driven
6256. my parents' desire to spend time with their grandsons and bless us
6257. a lunch date with my future SIL
6258. a wrong turn that led to a serendipitous meeting with my brother at his fire station

6259. an afternoon with a dear friend
6260. streaks of lightning in the sky, reminders of His power and majesty
6261. a quiet house and a break from mothering responsibilities
6262. anniversary date at Tin Angel

6263. these gorgeous eyes

6264. seventeen years of walking with Jesus
6265. seventeen-plus years of friendship with my BFF who was saved the same night
6266. accountability for prayer with two dear friends, helping me grow
6267. rich theology skillfully packed into poetry
6268. a road trip with no kids, uninterrupted conversations

6269. big hugs and snuggles from little boys after a few days apart
6270. excited stories of what they did with Grammy and Pops

6271. an evening spent catching up with old friends
6272. a bike ride around the neighborhood where I grew up
6273. Paige Benton Brown's powerful preaching

6274. longevity in Steve's genes

6275. my nephew begging Aunt Amy to push him on the swing
6276. getting to watch my niece's t-ball game
6277. Grandma building Lego with the boys
6278. an evening spent catching up with my BFF
6279. getting to snuggle her brand-new baby

6280. a bike ride and an ice cream date with my niece

6281. quiet afternoons to sit on screened-in porches and read/write during naptimes

6282. the REAL train at the Toledo Zoo//cousins sitting together and behaving!

6283. these little Cindy-Lou-Who pigtails :)

6284. orangutans, gorillas, spider monkeys
6285. unbelievably cool and pleasant weather (whoever heard of going to the zoo in long sleeves and jeans in JULY?!)
6286. gorgeous flowers in my parents' yard

6287. Jude's guilty conscience and tender heart
6288. my dad's homemade ice cream, best there is

6289. no mosquitoes in my parents' backyard
6290. a tour at the Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books

6291. the legacy of a love for books and reading that my mom has built into me and my sons
6292. an ice cream date with Grammy and Pops
6293. boys being the BEST little travelers they have EVER, ever been when I had to do the trip home with them by myself--seriously specatular!
6294. sweet reunion with Steve
6295. this gourmet dinner he had waiting for us

6296. the work my brother-in-law did on our house while I was gone
6297. quality time Steve got to spend with his brother
6298. a home and a family in Heaven that must be beyond spectacular, to outshine all this :)

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Things I Learned in May and June

In the chaos of kindergarten end-of-the-year and preparing for our vacation, I forgot to get my "Things I Learned in May" post up--now here it is July already. WHERE is our summer going???

A few random tidbits I've learned over the past two months: 

1. The word "berserk" comes from Norse warriors called Berserkers, whom ancient Norse literature describes as having fought in "a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury."

2. It is liberating to click "unfollow." I tried to pull back from my Facebook usage during Lent, with minimal success--it is so easy to get sucked back in. In the meantime, a friend posted a "farewell, Facebook" blog post, and her words challenged me to try harder. I decided that while it wasn't realistic or necessary for me to completely log off, I could pare down considerably. It was hard, but I went through and "unfollowed" a huge number of the people on my news feed. I didn't want to unfriend people altogether; this way, they can still see my stuff if they want, and I can always pop over to their page and check in to see how they're doing. But their daily updates don't show up on my feed, making a lot less new material for me to scroll through when I log on. It really isn't necessary for me to know what's going on with people I really wasn't close to in high school or college and wouldn't be in touch with at all if not for FB! And keeping up with their lives meant less time for keeping up with relationships that really are important to me.

I so need to learn this lesson at a deep level: EVERYTHING I say "yes" to means saying "no" to something else. Am I saying "yes" to the right things, or am I inadvertently saying "no" to more important things because I don't want to make choices that seem difficult in the short-term? Sigh...

3. At her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II wore 45 pounds of crown jewels, robes, etc. My full review of her biography Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch is on Goodreads.

4. Related: I can listen to audiobooks at double speed on my phone. LIFE. CHANGING. My whole life I have found it depressing that I will never be able to read all the books I want to read. The more I read, the more books I find out about and add to my list--and new ones are published daily! But now I can get through twice as many books. It's probably a little insane how excited this makes me.

5. Every language has phonotactic rules--restrictions on vowel sequences, consonant clusters or syllable structure. And because of these rules, the closest you can get to saying "Merry Christmas" in Hawaiian is "Mele Kalikimaka." Fascinating little video here--if you're a word nerd like me, you'll love it (just a few minutes long, and fast-paced). 

6. There are three different ways to pronounce "banal." I always thought it rhymed with "anal," and was thrown for a loop when someone in an audiobook pronounced it differently. Turns out both ways, plus another yet, are acceptable. Whew.

7. After months of wondering how people were getting all those smiley faces and other miscellaneous icons in their Instagram comments, I finally figured out how to install the Emoji keyboard on my phone.

8. James A. Garfield was an incredible man--my new favorite president. I loved Candace Millard's Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President. So tragic that he was in office such a short time!

9. Nail polish that's 2-3 times more expensive as other brands does not actually last any longer than the cheap kind. *cough* I'm looking at you, essie *cough*

10. Don't leave important paperwork on the dining room table, ever. Let's just say this was learned the hard way on a morning that involved an overturned water glass, a birth certificate, signed forms and the intention of registering for first grade. 

What have you learned recently?