Little kitchen addition

My favorite appliance has become her favorite appliance.

Today, Hannah was playing in her little kitchen when she turned around and announced to us, “I need CrockPot.”

We laughed, but she was totally serious and repeated her statement emphatically. Luckily, I remembered something we had tossed in a box headed to Goodwill and ran to retrieve it – the “Little Dipper” that came with our large CrockPot. It is small, has an attached bowl and a plastic lid, perfect for kids, right? We tucked the cord behind the kitchen, and voila

Hannah has a CrockPot, and she is delighted. I’m so proud.


Today was my due date. Last spring, we lost a baby at only six weeks along. It was an incredibly painful experience, physically and emotionally, and it’s still a little surreal that it happened at all.

I had been so excited when we found out the due date – right by Thanksgiving, what a symbol of all we had to be thankful for. But here’s the day, and there’s no baby.

In everything, give thanks. I Thes. 5:18

Give thanks? No, thanks.

Of course, I’m incredibly thankful for Hannah and so many other things. But I’m pretty sure there’s an asterisk in my Bible that says, “Give thanks* … *except in the hard stuff, or the stuff that makes you sad, or the things you don’t understand.”

Oh wait, there’s no asterisk, no escape clause.

I guess I could start by being thankful for the gift of life, however short it might be. And I’m thankful for the many amazing friends who said, “I’ve been there. It’s awful, but you’ll get through it.” And those who prayed, hugged, shed tears and sent flowers. I was so encouraged by their kindness and comforted by their shared grief for the loss of a life.

So there’s no new baby this Thanksgiving, but there is hope. There is an increased thankfulness for our support system, and a greater appreciation for each life created. And with hope and thanks we move forward.

There’s a song by Aaron Schust that has been encouraging lately: My Hope is in You.


Mystery box

One of the resources we have found lately is Vision Forum. They have a variety of products that line up with our values of family and faith, and since they’re right down the road in San Antonio, shipping is fast.

One of their fun offerings is the Daily Deal. Each day one of their products is offered at 40-50% off. Last week, they were doing some clearance clean-out and offered a Mystery Box as the Daily Deal. For $30, you could get a box of items worth $100 retail. The catch – you don’t know what you’re getting! Vision Forum sells everything from Christian books to gardening kits to hatchets to classical music to handwriting curriculums, so any combination of things they chose to toss in a box was possible. I couldn’t resist the Mystery Box (and I had a $10 off coupon!) so with a few clicks, a box of unknown items was on its way to our doorstep.

What fun! We knew it would be unlikely that every item enclosed would be applicable or interesting, but we knew it would be a bargain nonetheless, especially including the entertainment value of ordering mysterious things online.

We opened it as soon as it arrived. Our Mystery Box contents: a book on Puritans, a book for stay-at-home moms, a book of short stories for girls, a political adventure novel, a historically styled girl’s nightgown and a butterfly garden.

We calculated, and it is indeed a retail value of $100. I am excited about most of the books. The adventure novel teaser mentions something about a senator and a lady in a coma which sounds kind of corny to me. The nightgown is way too big for Hannah, but it will find its way into the dress up box. I’m really excited about the butterfly garden. We had those when I was teaching preschool, and the kids thought it was amazing.

So that was our random fun for the week. :)

There are lots of sales and blog giveaways going on for Vision Forum for Black Friday, so check them out if you have the chance:

Generation Cedar

Life in a Shoe

Grown-up problems

My heart is heavy. As I get closer to 30, and most of my friends are past that point, I’m having somewhat of a Peter Pan moment. I don’t want to grow up; grown-ups have too many problems. Real adult problems.

These were the things that I’ve always known can happen, things that sometimes used to affect my friends’ parents, but now they’re affecting my friends. And I don’t like it.

I have friends who have had multiple miscarriages, friends who have been divorced, friends who have gotten cancer, friends whose husbands had affairs, friends whose husbands have been deployed…

These are not things relegated to a storyline in a book or movie any more. These things are affecting people I know and love.

I guess I had somewhat bought into the lie of “We’re young and invincible! We’re in charge of our destinies! Just stay in school and don’t do drugs and everything will be ok.” And even “If you’re a good enough person, hard things won’t happen to you.”

I have learned from watching my friends go through hard stuff. Most of them are Christians and have acknowledged the complete suckiness of their situations but have also shown faithfulness, trust, patience and hope. I admire their strength as they face some seriously difficult life seasons. My heart hurts for them, and I always feel at a loss of what to say or do to show support or encouragement.

Getting older stinks.

However, while getting older, I see friends have these adult problems, but I have also gotten to see friends make exciting decisions and rejoice with grown-up situations. I have friends who were surprised with twins after being told getting pregnant would be difficult, friends who are missionaries, friends who started successful businesses.

I know the highs and lows are just part of life, and there are (hopefully) a lot more to come. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am praying for a truly thankful heart for the gifts with which I am surrounded. I’m praying for protection over my family and loved ones and for words of encouragement for those who are in a difficult season.

God is good.

Thankful for a rainy day

It rained! This has become more of a big deal than I ever thought it would. So when Hannah said she wanted to go outside to play, I said, “Sure!”

She ran around, splashed in the puddles, laid on the wet driveway and informed me she was swimming. After a while, she got a little cold and joined me in the garage for a snack. We just enjoyed watching the rain.

We could hear happy birds everywhere, and a giant raccoon ran across the road. We also found this little guy in the yard.

He was so cool I had to run inside for my good camera.

Then we headed inside to change into dry clothes. Hannah has been talking about the snail ever since.