Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Christmas without Snow

Of course I KNOW the real reason for Christmas. And I'm so thankful that God sent his Son to live on earth and ultimately take the punishment for my sins. But I guess I'm just a nostalgic at heart.
When Hannah was younger she use to think that snow meant Christmas. I still think that snow means Christmas. Sure, there were many years that we didn't have snow at Christmas whether we were in Colorado or Vermont, but there was always hope. And it was always cold. When "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" came on the radio, it was true. You could dream and hope for a white Christmas. Living in Southwest Florida pretty much puts the kabosh on any hope of snow.
I spent the day Christmas shopping today...6 days before Christmas (I'm a little behind this year). I did it in my flip flops, capri pants, and short sleeves. Passed several garage sales on my way into town. (Yeah, people were actually shopping at garage sales in the middle of December.) Summer hasn't ended, how can it possibly be Christmastime.
So this year, the best we can hope for is weather under 80, and maybe a little less humidity. Perhaps we'll drive out to the Gulf and walk on the beach. Maybe we can pretend that the sand is snow.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A 7 y/o's life plans

This was Hannah's conversation with Micah and me the other day. As with many conversations with Hannah, it came out of the blue...wasn't anything we had been talking about!

Hannah: "When I grow up I'm going to marry a guy so he can make all the money and do everything."
Micah: "Well, you can't marry me."
Hannah: "I know that! Maybe I'll marry Daddy."
Micah: "You can't marry him either. He'll be retired by then."

Baby vs. Violin

So, who do you think can be louder a baby crying or a 10 year old boy screeching, I mean playing, the violin?
First the details: I work with Micah as he practices everyday. Somedays we get in practice while Sarah is sleeping, but most of the time she hangs out with me while Micah plays. A lot of our practicing is done along with a CD. One last minor detail: Sarah cries (that's putting it mildly) a lot.
Let the competition begin: Friday we sit down to practice and Sarah hasn't been happy. After a couple warm up pieces we get ready to work on a new song and Sarah is in a full blown screaming fit. Sarah's screaming; the CD is playing; I'm telling Micah which notes he's suppose to be playing; and finally Micah puts down his violin and in exasperation says "Mommy, I can't hear anything over Sarah!"

Baby wins! The prize is a trip to her crib so we can sort of hear ourselves think. The amazing part is Sarah quieted right down, and laid there contentedly for quite a while.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

God's Plans

Ever wondered why God's plans are not the same as our plans? Or better yet, ever KNOW that God has His perfect plan for your life, but still try to make your own plans? Seems like that's what I'm always doing.
This past Sunday at Summit Church, Naples, one of the pastors, Orlando Cabrera, talked about not dwelling on where you were right now, but looking at God's greater plan. Then at the Starting Point class I attended Sun. evening we read Psalm 139 about how God created us perfectly and with a perfect plan. It's such an awesome chapter, and it sounds so good... So why is it so hard to remember when push comes to shove...
For Example:
I hate that we are living in Florida. I want to cry when I walk out my door on the 2nd to last day of Sept. and it's over 90. I want to cry every time I see a picture from last fall, of our family hiking in the mountains. For that matter I want to cry everytime I see a picture of mountains... I've even taken to thinking about people back in Michigan, and how Sarah will never get to know their love...and I don't even WANT to move back to MI. I plan on how we are going to move in about 2 years, down to almost, but not quite making a countdown the month calendar. And the list goes on.
But then I remember that God has a perfect plan for my life and that my family. That God brought us to this place for some reason. I know that I need to focus on God and not where I am living. On God's plan and not what I have or don't have.
And so I try to remember that when I'm hating Florida or missing fall. Can't say that I'm very good at taking it to heart yet. But hopefully as I keep telling myself and reminding myself, and letting God control things, it will become easier.
In the meantime, I think I'll still put in a special request that His plan lead us back to Colorado in the not too distant future :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Nomad" dwellings

This summer, because of the direction I am heading with the kids school in the fall, we are doing a quick review of the Ancent Times (5000 BC - AD 400) of History. We started on Monday and the first lesson was about the Nomads, who eventually started to settle in the Fertile Cresent, around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The kids learned that as they started to live in one place these people made houses out of whatever materials they had on hand. So, the kids' project for the day was to use whatever materials they could find to build a hut for their littlest pet shop animals that they always play with. They both came up with very unique and different houses using bark, shells, stones, and things they could find around the camper. This activity went over so well, that they've spent all their free time since then building "huts".
Last night when Brian came home I told him what they had been doing. He said "so they've been playing that they're in the Fertile Cresant?" I told him that I didn't think so, that they were just having fun building houses. Which Micah overheard and instantly corrected me! He explained that they were building houses in the Fertile Cresant, and even showed us where the Tigris river was and where the Euphrates river was!
And now their house are homes to lizards, toads, and lizard eggs, along with all the little play animals :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

2 Chronicles 20

The other passage of scripture I've been holding onto this week came from the message at the church I went to last week, The Fisherman's Home Church (fun website name: In short, this chapter is about Isreal's king, Jehoshaphat, receives news that there are armies coming to attack him. He seeks God's guidance and help, and God fights for him. By the time Jehoshaphat's army reaches the invading army, all the dudes from the invading armies have killed eachother and God gives the plunder to Jeohshaphat, which takes them 3 days to collect.
The points made in the message, that I have been taking to heart this week were this:
1) Seek the Lord through prayer and fasting. God will answer you when you seek him. When you need help with something in your life, don't try to do it on your own, go to God. (I've been going to God with this house, and with what the heck I'm doing in Florida.)
2)Declare the Magnitude of God. Jesus teaches us in the Lord's prayer to start our conversations with God by declaring his glory and holiness. This is often easy to forget, at least for me, when we're so focused on our problems.
3)Resolve to stay the course! God doesn't promise it will be easy, or that things will happen instanteously, as I so often wish it would. We have to keep focused on God and what he wants us to do, not looking at back.
4) Worship with all your heart! When we worship God it brings his presence. Mighty things have happened when people start to worship God. Paul and Silas worshipped God in prison and an earthquake set them free. The walls of Jericho fell down when the people made a great noise to God. When we worship God and give everything to him, He goes to war for us. He does the work and gives the victory.
5)Have Faith. Verse 20 says "Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld." Two little words, that are so easy and yet so hard to do. But when we let God have control and we have faith in him, he will give us so much plunder that we won't know what to do with it all.

So, in our house search, and in my life in general, I"m trying to follow these things, to let God be in control, and to not worry, because I know He will fight my battles.
And that's easier said than done....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jeremiah 29:11

There are two passages of scripture that I have been claiming and thinking about this past week. The first is Jeremiah 29:11. This one I've actually been holding onto for the last several weeks. It is, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disastor, to give you a future and a hope." In the last 8 months I have often wondered what God's plans were, especially since about February. The only thing that has kept me sane sometimes in the last month has been remembering this verse. Knowing that whatever God's plans are, they are for good, and not for disaster (which is what they tend to seem like from my vantage point at times).
Earlier this week I read the whole chapter (Jer. 29) to get a better context of what whas happening. Then I REALLY started to feel connected to this verse. The Isrealites were in exile and God was promising them that he would free them from exile and bring them home. I can definitely say that I feel like I'm in exile! While I'm not sure where our "home" will be in the next 5 years, I have renewed my faith that God will lead us and put us where he wants us, and that he will give us a home, not just a house, but an area someday that we can call home again. (And I suppose that could even be Florida, but at this point in time, it's not at the top of MY list.)
I also discovered in reading this chapter that the verses following 11 are very significant as well. In Verses 12 - 14 God promises that those who seek Him will find him. That He'll listen to our prayers. He will restore our fortunes and bring us home. These are the verses that I have been praying over and claiming this last week.
And it's amazing. God is working to give us a great house. His plans, His timing, not mine. And while all the details and a signed contract are still in the process, God is giving us a hope and a future.
Later, (maybe tomorrow) I'll write about the other portion of scripture that has impacted me this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gypsie Life Continues

Since the end of April the kids and I haven't spent much more than 2 weeks on one place at one time. We have been in Kansas (at Brian's parents), at our friends' house in Orlando for 1.5 weeks, at the RV park for about 2 weeks, then to my brother's in South Carolina for 9 days counting driving time, and now we've been back at the RV for a little over a week. This is our longest stretch. The kids and I will be here for almost a whole four weeks before we fly to Vermont to visit my parents for 2 weeks. (Only 2 1/2 weeks left and I'm counting the days). Maybe, just maybe, when we come back we'll be getting into a house a couple of weeks after that. Since we haven't been in our own place for over 8 months now, I can hardly wait.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hill Obstructs View

On Tuesday I drove from Florida to Greenville South Carolina.  Following Google's directions I went cross country through Florida at one point.  I saw the most hilarious sign... It said something like:  Caution:  Hill obstructs View.   So what?  Florida has so few hills that they have to warn people about it?  Coming from driving in the Colorado Rockies every week for the last 6 months, I had a good laugh at the sign.  
And it is a very sad commentary on the landscape in Florida.

Friday, April 24, 2009

House Hunting

House hunting has become much more of a chore than we ever expected it to be around here. When we first looked at houses there were a lot at a really good price. Fortunately we got hooked up with a really good realtor, who let us know that most of those were in an area that we really didn't want to live in. However the first time we went looking at houses with him, when we were here for the interview, we found one that we liked pretty well. It was a bit smaller than we had hoped for but had an awesome yard. We couldn't make an offer at the time because we still had to wait for the official offer from Brian's job to get financing.
When we finally got moved down here that house was gone, but we had 5 more to look at. Two of those were GREAT and within a day we had pre-approval for a loan and were ready to make an offer. We decided which house would be our first choice and our realtor called about it. We had looked at houses on Saturday. THAT house had already had an accepted offer on it on Friday.
So we decided to go for choice number 2. As our realtor looked into that house he found out that it was a bidding process. This was Monday. We went ahead and filled out the paper work to put in our "bid" on Monday. The bidding wouldn't close until Wed. night. Tuesday we had to go into the Realtor's office to sign or initial literally over 20 more pages of contract junk. He said he'd never seen such a thing. And then we waited. Thursday afternoon we found out the bank selling the house hadn't accepted any of the bids and we would need to rebid, higher. Which we did. At that point the almost impossibility of getting that house seemed to gain a glimmer of hope. Maybe we could get it after all. Well, tonight, Friday, we found out that we were not the winning bid. Guess that wasn't the house God had planned for us.
So it's back to waiting. Waiting to see what else comes on the market, waiting to see how long we "get" to live in our borrowed camper. Waiting to see what plans God has for this period of waiting.
I should have known none of this would be easy. Apparently we haven't learned our "waiting" lesson yet...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Living in an RV Park

Is an interesting experience to say the least. Most everyone is very friendly, and actually the majority of the residence are packing up and heading home. The "snowbirds" are picking tomatoes, cleaning closets, and loading their cars...these are the conversations I overhear.
The first morning that I took Jinx for a walk I discovered where all the guys hang out fist thing in the morning...the Horseshoe pit. But even that has been quiet the last few days.
Yesterday while we were at the pool (the best part of living here) we say a screened gazebo type house driving down the road on a bucket loader. Apparently our next door neighbor is now the proud owner of it...where ever it came from. His name is Less and seems to have quite a crowd around his table everyday. Usually a bunch of women in the morning and a bunch of old guys with beers in the afternoon. But even crowd seems to have dwindled in the last few days.
Our most interesting and friendly neighbors are in back of us. Foster and Edna. Foster brings me yesterday's paper every morning, and on occassion both of them have brought the kids little treats.
All in all it's not a bad place to live, under the palm trees. But being a stay at home AND homeschooling mom in a 26 ft (30 when it's cool enough to have the pop out tent bed part down) trailer with no promising end in sight with 2 kids and a dog, is definitely NOT my ideal living conditions. Today we are going to "clean" up the camper. Why do I have a feeling it's going to take longer than cleaning our house in MI???

Life of a Gypsie

I'm not entirely sure where I live anymore... It's been a crazy year, well more like a crazy 9 months...can't even say it's been a whole year. Last summer Brian and I started to put in process a dream we've had to live in Colorado. That was in June/July. 9 months later we have are living in Florida. In Brief:
  • Brian got a job at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and started in the beginning of Sept.
  • I finished my job in Michigan the beginning of October, along with packing the house, homeschooling the kids, and getting ready for a marathon.
  • Kids and I moved to Colorado, with a brief side trip to Chicago to run the Marathon in the middle of October.
  • In November we decided to have a 3rd child and got pregnant.
  • At the end of November Brian found out the Rocky was up for sale and the reality was it would probably close.
  • At the end of February the Rocky closed and Brian had not found a job, even though he'd looked since December
  • Only job that had been offered was at the Naples Daily News in Florida
  • In March we figured God must want us in Naples and began that process.
  • That process to WAY longer than we had hoped. But Brian finally started work in Florida on April 13.
And that is where we are...I think. Except that I didn't mention we are now looking for a house in the Naples area and while we are doing that we are living in our friends 26 - 30 ft. camping trailer at an RV park...but those experiences will take up their own posts :)