Disclaimer

The content of this blog is the author's personal view. I am not a theologian, writer, or photographer. The views in this blog are based on personal experiences and not a judgement of what others are doing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Roadtrips, dogs and... boring

Daddy's Girl Tazer
After our trip down to Nashville blog last week, I figure I would follow up with the trip home.  I suppose it went so boring that there is nothing much to write about, so this will be short. Maybe.

I didn't know how to inform my husband that we were in no uncertain terms going through Chicago on the way home.  I didn't have to because he beat me to it by stating in no uncertain terms we would be going home by way of Rockford IL.  An hour longer, but much more peaceful.

I felt a lot better too.  I thought I might take more pictures, but I still feel like a mother traveling with two toddlers when the dogs are along.

The dogs were good while down in Nashville.  I think they are happy just hanging out all together. If they were to write for the blog they would say:


On vacation we went cat watching

...and watching
We played with our pack cousin Opie
Got my heart checked

and something else 

and watched someone playing in an indoor pool... it looked like fun

The dogs seemed to get the routine on the way home and especially since we took the trip earlier in the year.  They settled down right away and understood when we stopped, it was time for a little run and then back in the car.  Turk is stressed about getting back into the car and so doesn't walk too well- kind of drags me back to the car.  Then I make sure they have a drink.  Turk  always drinks on command, but Tazer will only drink when her daddy gets back to the car and encourages her to drink.

We stopped in Arcola, IL for lunch and chose Dairy Queen so we could get the dogs ice cream.  We had a picnic (aka: sat on the curb of the parking lot) outside in 30 mph winds.  Ha ha but it was all good.

We only hit a little slow down with a few orange barrels and some confusion with someone wanting to merge.  So the lady (the person was really short) ahead of us came to a complete stop on the freeway to let the guy merge.  She was being nice.  But really, lady I don't care how nice you are -- it's not nice to kill people on the highway.  All we heard was a loud car horn behind us.  I couldn't look.  It was one of those instances that happen so fast you don't really grasp it at first.

The only really bad drivers we hit were as soon as we got to Wisconsin.  I have noticed this before.  People make stupid moves up here for some reason.  Chicago traffic is just fast and too close for me, but up here we are impatient and rude and stupid.  Hmmmm....

It may take an hour longer than the Chicago way, but I would rather not have all the excitement.

I'll take boring.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Choosing Thankfulness





“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18




I have found it hard to be thankful in difficult times.  Hard but necessary.  Life can bring you down fast and when you are not thankful, I believe we suffer even more.  I think we are instructed to be thankful because it is for our own good.  But really, what is there to be thankful for 'in all circumstances', especially hard times?

As I get older and experience more ups and downs of life, I learn by looking back on how my life has been woven.  Have you ever looked back and been thankful for some hard time in the past?  Because you see how things turned out and if you hadn't gone through that hard time, things would not be as they are now.  As I see those times, I have thought to myself that if I am thankful for them now then shouldn't I also be thankful for those times while going through them?

If I truly believe that God is in control and wants the best for me, then what do I have to worry about?  If I know that for those who love God all things work together for good (Rom 8:28), then what is there to fret about?  When we are not concerned about life, I believe it is hard to not be thankful.  I can then be thankful that God is taking care of things and I don't have to figure it out.  Thankful that he has created me with a plan in mind.  Just plain thankful that God hasn't struck me dead which is what I deserve.  Thankful that God sent his son in my place so I could have new life in him.  Now that's something to be thankful for!  Thankful for our life that we will have in heaven and all our tears will be wiped away!  Not a trace.

I just witnessed a commercial during the Sunday football games.  It was someone who was extremely thankful for being alive because of the medical intervention they received.  They saw how much they had to be thankful for having gone through this life-threatening ordeal.  So much to live for.  As Christians, we should have the same outlook.  We have so much to be thankful for just because we are alive and don't have to die in our sin.  Really, just that knowledge should be enough to live a thankful life 'in all circumstances'.  I think that when you come to a point and realize this, your life is reflected in thankfulness.

That all makes sense in my mind and I agree whole heartedly in my heart.  The hard part is stepping out in faith to believe it.  Faith to know without a doubt that God will make it all work out should bring me into thanksgiving for having done it -- even before I see it.

I have not always been thankful in all my circumstances. But I am beginning to see how God's hand is in everything and it makes me realize that I have so much to be thankful for. Just thankful that I don't have to figure it all out.  I may become discouraged about certain circumstances, but just knowing that God is there for me to help me through is reason enough to be thankful.

 I don't know about you, but I am so thankful I don't have to know ahead of time how it's going to be all good in the future.  I simply don't understand my life in the past or even currently what is going on.  But I AM excited and thankful for the future and my new body without any aches or pains, either in this life or the next.  When I look back, it really won't matter because it's all good already!

So much to be thankful for!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Game On! The Aziz Ansari Face

The Aziz Ansari Face

My daughter Sam posted her and her friends Aziz Ansari Face (Parks & Recreation).  We challenge her faces.  I think Coraline personally did the best face.





Granddaughter Coraline


Daughter-in-law Christy

Son Tony Jr




Mr Tony


Me

Son Kyle

Song of the Week: Sing Along: Little Bunny Foo Foo (with lyrics) by Hannah Heller



I've been spending time with my granddaughter Coraline and after 4+ days I am running out of material.  Last night, as she was playing with playdough in her highchair I made a bunny (a blob with two ears) and started singing this song.  The 'bopping them on the head' part I would splat my playdough bunny.  I got a laugh out of that one.  The second time I sang it, she was anticipating each part (gramma's hand motions) and by the 3rd time through, she was singing along.  I don't know, but I think she's got a little music in her!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Playdough

I came to visit our family in Nashville and decided to bring playdough along.  The old-fashioned homemade stuff.  I used to make it with our kids and I wanted to introduce our Granddaughter Coraline to it.  I love playing with her and talking with her.  She didn't really know what it was, and I was trying to get her excited about it.  I told her we were going to make it after her nap.  I googled 'playing with playdough' and showed her some pictures. 





She wasn't too interested in making it.  It only took about 10 minutes to make

I made a little snowman to get her interested

The color got darker as we played with it since we added the color right to the dough

We need more playdough tools!


 

creamoftarterCream of Tarter Playdough Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups of plain flour
2 cups of coloured water
1 Tbsp. of cooking oil
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup of salt
Directions:


Place all of the ingredients in a medium size or large pan. Cook slowly on medium-high and stir it until the playdough thickens. Keeps best in the fridge in plastic containers. This is simular to the traditional playdough recipe.
This recipe takes less than 10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Turk's Weather -- A good day to sit in a pile


A good day to sit in a pile by the fire... with someone you love
 
This actually may be 'the weather according to Roxey'.  But Turk is game for my weather forecasts too.

Actually, today Turk and Tazer celebrated the artic blast by wrestling outside this morning for about 15 min.

He also predicted a little rain on our walk by picking the short-short walk again.

Stay warm and dry!

Obedience

Turk practicing obedience
I see a neurologist for my headaches I have had my whole life.  Last year I went off migraine prevention meds because of side-effects and did ok for a little while.  I was looking for a way to manage them without having to take anything.

Yoga, I found was helping me with the pain of the actual headache.  When I get a migraine it goes down from my right eye to my right neck, down the right side of my back to my butt.  Sometimes I even have sciatica along with it.  So yoga will iron out all the muscle spasms I get.   Chiropractic, acupuncture and massage all play an important part in managing the pain. 

I also found that magnesium although not stopping my headaches completely helped me enormously.  It helped with the foot cramps I was having daily and shoulder pain and calf pain.  It helped with anxiety which I seem to have more of with hormones going awry. It helped with sleep that I am getting very little of as it is.  There are other supplements that I have found extremely helpful, but maybe another time.

Six months ago, my neurologist offered me a different migraine preventative.   They will only give you 9 migraine (abortive) pills a month and I was close to abusing that, so the next step is a preventative.  He knew I was concerned with side-effects and told me to go home and look it up and call him if I chose to take it.

I decided to wait at the time.  I upped yoga to every day and that seemed to keep things from getting out of control.  And then things changed and got out of control again.  You may have your mental list in your head of what I need to do, but believe me when I say I have tried them all.  If it were that easy.

Six months later and I have decided I can't live like this anymore.  Pretty much 50% of the time I am dizzy and nauseous.  Sometimes there is just nothing you can do about it, but manage it. I know this is a season that will pass and if I have to take this medication for a season, then so be it. When I called the Dr's office to tell them I had given in, the nurse called me back and gave me the directions.  And then she said:  You have to go off of ALL magnesium.

I almost started crying.  The one thing that I have found most helpful in all this mess and they are taking it away.  Do they even care?  I paused for a long time and asked her in so many words if she really meant it.  She just repeated: No magnesium.

I hung up and got the prescription and let it sit for 3 days before I started taking it.   A few days into starting the prescription, I decided to google magnesium and this medicine.  Turns out I could have worse side effects when you take the two together.  And then it hit me.  That my doctor was really looking out for me.  That he wanted the best for me.  He knew my concerns (side effects) and was looking out for what was best for me personally.  What he was telling me was for my own good.

And then it hit me how I am like that with God.  God tells us to do things (love others) and not to do things (don't eat the apple) and we think that maybe that just doesn't apply to us.  Maybe that was for all those other people and that we are more special.  Maybe he means what he says, but with exceptions.  Like 'love one another' and we take it to mean 'love one another, if they treat you exactly how you want'.  We make exceptions quicker than we catch on.

Pure obedience is hearing something and then just doing it.  No questions asked, no room for interpretation.  No 'I think I'll think this over and see if I agree with it before I obey'.  Or 'let me see if this feels good before I do it'. 

So many times I think we believe we are being obedient because we have the book and went to the seminar.  In our minds we think we are obeying because we know it.  But this hit me when my Dr. gave the orders.  It was one of the hardest things I've done lately  - doing exactly what the Dr. ordered.  And it gave me insight into how I percieve my obedience verses how I actually do it. 

Lord, send your Holy Spirit so I will be pushed into obedience without thinking it over. In Jesus name, Amen

  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. 

Do what it says. 

-James 1:22



Friday, October 14, 2011

Little Miss Sensitive

Little Miss Sensitive
Today I changed my lip balm.  It's usually Carmex that I use, but Walgreen's must have had their brand on sale and I thought I would try it.  I came up from my shower and Tazer was strategically at the top of the stairs.  That way she can keep an eye on the top floor and catch me coming up the stairs.  As I went to sit on the couch, she came up to me and sniffed me all over my face.  Finally she settled on my lips, took a whif and then walked away.  It's like she takes notes.... ok, my mommy now smells like Walgreens lip balm instead of Carmex.  She will do this if I change face lotion too.

I think that part of her being so sensitive is really cool.  The other side of her being so sensitive I don't like.  She, being a German Shepherd likes to be with us all the time.  She gets used to what is normal and will accept that, but if you change the routine when she knows how it's supposed to be she will get so upset that she poos in the back bedroom.  It's not that she isn't potty trained, she just works herself into a tizzy.


Waiting for her daddy to get back from fishing. Why didn't he take her?
 She did that yesterday.  I couldn't figure out why she was so upset and then I figured that she was upset because she was sure that her daddy forgot her.  He will bring her with him sometimes and then all of a sudden she thinks that is how it should be all the time.

The stuff that makes a German Sheperd cool are the same things that can backfire and make them very annoying at the same time. 

She is the most loyal dog ever, but is afraid when my husband does yard work and moves big things.  She is afraid of the wind blowing our awning.  She doesn't like snow in her face and isn't too crazy about water.  If we raise our voices she hides in our bedroom.  Same if I am mad at my computer.

But... don't ever come into our house un-announced.  She will protect the 'pack' until the end.  She has even lunged at my husband in uniform coming in the back yard.  She didn't know it was him and was just protecting the turf.  She was very embarrassed when she found out it was her daddy.


Tazer's spot under the piano
 It is amazing to me that she can be so sensitive about some things and then at the same time be totally oblivious to others.  During piano lessons, Turk will leave if there is a new student or small kids.  He puts himself 'out'.  But Tazer will lay right in the middle of the floor and curl up in a ball and literally sleep (eyes closed and all).  I have noticed she will especially do this when another student is waiting for a sibling and playing on the floor (talking while they play).  She seems to thoroughly enjoy being close, but not being petted to death).  They have even set her up like she is reading a book and she will just sit there.

Getting some loving at piano lessons


With the super sensitive qualities of German Shepherds, I will take the good with the bad.  The annoying with the awesome.  If I think about it, even the annoying are pretty awesome when you think about how loyal they are.  She is waiting for me after my shower, in the evening she waits for me to put my jammies on, she is waiting for me when I come out of the bathroom, she watches over me while I garden.

Tonight my husband called me from up north (deer hunting).  When I answered the phone and said 'hi', Tazer started whining and went to the window.  She even knows how I sound when I say 'hi' to my husband.

I love my Tazey

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Weather According to Turk - It may be Fall, but today is a good day to run in the sprinkler

Kaukauna Utilites had the sprinklers going today.  They must get free water?

 It may be Fall, but Turk knows a good water day when it's here.  Had it been a little cooler I think he would have opted out.  I asked him if he wanted to go run in the water and he took off running as soon as I unhooked him (I didn't want to get dragged in).  Tazer didn't beg to go in - she doesn't like getting her face wet.
He is there behind the water spray

The harder I laughed the more he rolled around



When he was done, he came back to get hooked back up

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit

I got a bracelet the other day.  It has the 'Fruit of the Spirit' written on it.  When I wear jewelry I usually camp out on the same piece for a day or two.  Kind of like a 'song of the week'.  So wearing the bracelet and reading it whenever I have a minute of downtime this week is making me think about it.




The Fruit of The Spirit
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Gentleness
  • Faithfulness
  • Self Control

I think when I was younger, I used to think you had to try really hard to do each of those things.  That if you tried hard, then you would have all these things they call the fruit of the Spirit.  So this week made me think about how different I see this verse from the Bible now.

If you look at a fruit tree, you know what kind of tree it is by the fruit it produces.  But the tree doesn't just produce fruit in any condition.  In a drought, you probably won't get any fruit.  Same with a late frost and on and on.  But if the conditions are right and the tree gets all the nourishment it needs, it makes it looks so easy!

So I've been thinking this week about my fruit.  Am I trying really hard to make fruit appear?  Or am I just assuming that I have fruit because of course, I go to church.  And as I think more on this I realize it is called 'The Fruit of the Holy Spirit'.  So really my question would be do I have the Holy Spirit?  And how do I get the Holy Spirit so that I produce that kind of fruit?

So just wearing this bracelet this week has made me think about all of this and I realize that being humble has a lot to do with the Holy Spirit.  Being humble enough to say, I don't know everything and I need You to guide me.

There are many verses written on the Holy Spirit.  It says you can get the Holy Spirit by asking (Luke 11:13 ), Repenting and being baptized Acts 2:38, praying Acts 4:31 , obeying God Acts 5:32 , hearing the Word of God Acts 10:44 and more.

But as a Christian, one thing I can do in my daily life is from Ephesians:

 Ephesians 4
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, +by whom you were sealed for the day of( redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

As a Christian, I recieved the Holy Spirit at baptism, but throughout my life I can grieve the Holy Spirit by all of the above.  Hmmm... have I ever done that?

One way to have the fruit of the Spirit is realizing what God has really done for us.  When you realize how much you have been forgiven, then your love will be genuine and not forced. Your joy will be weird because you won't be able to put a finger on why you are so joyful because your circumstances aren't dictating it.  And you will have peace that passes all human understanding.  Kindness will be a reaction of the love that God has given not a forced act.  Goodness will flow out unintentionally.  And faithfulness... I don't know if I could be faithful in anything without the Holy Spirit. At the very least I think it would be an almost impossible feat.  Gentleness is the opposite of vulgarity and anger, which the Holy Spirit hides from.  And I don't think I have practiced self-control very well in my life, but the Holy Spirit has put a hand over my mouth in recent years (more than once).

Galatians 5:22-26:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

I love the last part: against such things there is no law.  I remember thinking about that sentence once (meditating) for a good week or two one time.  There is no law against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  I think I was thinking about all the laws and rules we have in society and how upset we get about whether or not we agree with them.  But there is no law against the fruit of the Spirit!  We are free!