Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Saturday

It's late Saturday night, and I'm waiting for Faith to come home from a friend's house.  Joy and Grace have been asleep for a while, and so has Paul.  The friend that Hope has over tonight is sleeping on the couch, and Hope is waiting for all to be quiet to try to sleep.  It's nights like this that not having to be at church as early comes in handy!

After hearing so many good things, we went to see Secretariat today.  And we were not disappointed.  It really is a great movie!  I knew Paul would like it, and I was confident that Faith and Hope would enjoy it.  But I wasn't sure if it would be able to keep Joy and Grace's attention.  I needn't have worried; they LOVED it!  We don't see many movies as a family.  With four kids, that would be too expensive, but this movie was so worth it!  And I really enjoyed seeing a movie the whole family really enjoyed and that was so inspiring.  

This evening we were pleasantly surprised by a group of young singles from our church displayed a row of jack-o-lanterns that spelled "Go Jesus!" in our front yard.  Today is Paul's spiritual birthday:  twenty-one years ago he began his relationship with Jesus.  To mark that occasion, these great people decided to gift us with one of Paul's catch-phrases in such a fun package.  It was so much fun!  (Except for the mosquitoes;  those were no fun at all!)  I'm so glad our friends love us so much!

And to top it all off, Baylor won!!!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Why People Have Two Dishwashers

Somehow Fridays have turned into "Try Cooking Something New Day."  Two weeks ago I tried my hand at Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls.  They weren't that hard, but they were messy to make.  I realized that I need a silicon mat for rolling dough.  I had an old Tupperware one that melted when a certain daughter, who shall remain nameless, set a pan from the oven on it.  I made the first batch of rolls on Friday but didn't put the icing on.  Saturday morning I warmed the cinnamon rolls in the oven and made the frosting.  YUM!  I only used half the dough, so I got to perfect my cinnamon roll making skills on Saturday.  (We actually decided we like less butter and cinnamon than the recipe calls for.  And we like the cinnamon and sugar mixed first.)

Last week I finally made PW's Mozzarella Sticks.  I remember wanting to make these at home years ago, but I couldn't find a recipe.  These were also very good.  Except we didn't eat them right away, so they weren't as fabulous as they could be.

Today I made PW's doughnuts.  Hope has been begging me to make them ever since we saw the recipe.  And she was not disappointed.  They're really good.  And easy.  I had to stand in front of the fryer for a while, but it wasn't difficult.

And I've even tried a couple of new recipes during the week:  oven-baked Panko breaded chicken tenders and a barbecue chicken tender dish.  Both were very good.  

And with all this cooking and with six of us eating all this cooking, I've come to understand why people have two dishwashers!  Because, lately, mine is always behind.  But we sure are eating well!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Signs of the Times

A group of us are having a "Retro Prom" themed costume party at the end of October.  So today, in the interest of retro research, the girls looked through my old high school year books.  Joy and Grace just like looking for pictures of Mommy.  Faith, however, was amazed disturbed by all the big hair!  And the high pants!  And the tucked-in shirts!  (I guess the shoulder pads weren't as obvious.)

And really, those pictures do look so dated.  "Why?" I ask myself.  "Why the big hair?"  (OK, that one's easy; there were no flat irons, and I have curly hair.)  "Why the baggy jeans, especially when I was so thin?"  (No answer for that one!)  "Why the puffy sleeves?"  (Maybe we needed them to balance out the hair!)  "Why didn't my hair dresser prevent me from getting bangs?"  

And I comfort myself with the fact that in twenty years, Faith will be asking herself similar questions.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Day in the Life

I woke up tired this morning.  Maybe staying up to read just one a few more chapters of the book I was reading wasn't such a good idea.  I had to wake up all the girls so they could get something to eat before we started school.  Usually Hope is awake before I am, but this morning she was tired, too.  (I blame the extreme silliness I heard from her and Faith at about 9:45 last night.

We were reading about John the Baptist this morning, and the girls were quite grossed out by the eating locusts thing.  We ended this morning with enough time for me to spend half an hour on the exercise bike before lunch.  Faith cooked the frozen pizza for her and the twins.  Hope cooked herself a waffle.  I made a meatball sandwich from the leftover meatballs I made Sunday night.  YUM!

I showered after lunch, and then we had a leisurely afternoon of reading and a nap for me and reading and play for the girls.  I did science with Joy and Grace, and all the girls listened to part of a Haydn CD for music time.

I made a big pot of chili last night, so dinner planning was easy!  I did make Pioneer Woman's cornbread (Scroll down for the cornbread recipe.)  And I even figured out the secret for keeping it from getting too brown on the bottom:  don't melt the butter on High!  Not all the girls like chili, so I also "cooked" some chicken nuggets and fish sticks.

Then we were off to the 4-H Pet Show.  Rebecca entered our cat, who did NOT enjoy it!  But Patches did win Coolest Cat!  Of course, we've always known how cool she is.  Hannah helped out with running the pet show.  All the girls loved seeing all the cute pets, and we had to exercise some serious willpower and resist taking home the adorable Miniature Australian Shepherd puppies that were for sale!  I also got to visit with a sweet friend from our former church.

We got home, watched the new David*Crowder Band video, then the girls asked to see this one, and the girls got ready for bed.  Paul went to help a good friend install floors in the house he is building.  

All is quiet now.  Netflix is calling!  (But the dirty dishes are silent!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Movin' On Up

Last Sunday, we had our first worship time at our new location!  We are now meeting in an apartment clubhouse.  We had recently been to an event there, and both Paul and I thought that this might be a better venue than our living room.  The apartment manager was very kind and gave us a reasonable rate to rent the clubhouse each week.

The room is much bigger than our living room, so we can more comfortably fit more people.  Paul also thinks that a new person wanting to check us out might feel less intimidated here than at our house.  It includes a kitchen with a great counter for serving coffee or snacks.  There's even a large TV that we hope to use to display the lyrics for the songs we sing.

Our first Sunday went pretty well.  We are still working out a few glitches.  It was way too COLD, for one thing.  I also discovered that fans and florescent lights are a bad mix for me, particularly when I am perpetually on the verge of a sinus headache.  But these things are easy to fix.  (But, just in case, I am seriously considering bringing a blanket!)  

We also have a new guitar player, who has led his youth band in the past.  We may even have a keyboardist and a keyboard!  It's fun to see our church grow!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When Our House of Woship Is MY House

I've never been part of a house church, so I really didn't know what to expect.  It's been an interesting experience.  We all gather in our living room, sitting on our couches, dining room chairs, folding chairs, the ottoman, and patio furniture.  If we have a lot of people, we make the children sit on the floor.

We begin with music.  Paul plays acoustic guitar, and we have another guy playing bass guitar.  We sing a few songs.  Then Paul may ask someone to share something about their walk with Jesus.  I really like this part of our gathering.  At the large church we left, it was more difficult to know people's stories.  Then Paul will give a talk.  We then pray and go eat.  

What I like about doing house church:

*Getting to sleep late!  
*How personal it is
*Everyone worships together (No separate place for children) 
*It's very laid-back
*It forces me to have my house relatively clean once a week!
*The freedom to pray over those who have a specific need

What has been tough about doing house church:

*It's kind of odd doing church in my own living room
*I get distracted making sure my girls are not being distracting
*Cleaning my house!
*We usually get a late start and therefore end later  (when we're hungrier!)
*We have to wait until the last person leaves before we can go get lunch

But our season of house church has come to a close.  We have moved to the next stage of Sunday morning worship...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The City Church Meets

Back to our story...

When Paul and I were discussing how the transition from being part of the staff at a large church to being a church planter would work, I realized that we would need to continue to have a worship environment on Sunday mornings.  I knew we would need it, and so would the people who were coming along with us.  And our girls and the other children would really need the continuity.  I didn't think they would do well having a season of sleeping late and making delicious breakfasts with occasional interruptions for grown-up meetings, and then have to get in the rhythm of going to church again.  And I knew our group needed a time to corporately connect with God.  The single adults, many of whom are college-aged, already have a worship/Bible study time with Paul on Wednesday nights.  But that isn't a good environment for families whose children need to be in bed before that time is even halfway over.

So we decided we would have a Sunday morning gathering.  And, since we're just starting out, we realized we would have to gather in our living room.  Which has been an interesting experience.  I've learned we can fit way more people in our living room than I ever thought.  We've had to learn to keep our house cleaner.  I've learned to buy paper cups for coffee or be behind on dishes for several days.

Our first Sunday we had about our family,15 young singles, and one other man, whose wife wanted to give our old church a month to find a replacement to teach her Sunday School class.  In the next few weeks, that family was all able to come, and we had another family come.  We've had a few more twenty-somethings check us out as well.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One Is the Lonliest Number

One thing I don't think I was really prepared for as we began this adventure was how difficult the lack of meaningful interaction with other people, especially my husband, would be.  Even though I came into this venture with few people I felt comfortable baring my heart and soul to, I did have a small group who I could talk to about many things.  I still see many of those women, but in a different context.  We laugh and have fun and maybe share about our kids or families.  But we really don't share about our struggles or what God is doing in our lives.  Which is not really a new pattern of interaction.  We just don't have our small group study time to spark the deeper issues.

And my husband is busier and tireder than I anticipated.  It's so hard to find time when we can talk- when he is home and awake and the girls are asleep.  (Their rooms are close enough to our living room to eavesdrop!)  This journey is taking so much out of him spiritually and emotionally that he is always tired.

And I miss group Bible studies.  I used to do Beth Moore type studies on Sunday nights until we began our small group.  Then I tried going to a morning study.  That was too hard to work out with homeschooling, so I didn't continue.  Then I tried the Wednesday night study.  This was a good fit until Paul began a college Bible study on Wednesday nights and couldn't help with the girls.  

With our crazy schedule, I hate taking another evening off from family time.  And mornings I need to be home to teach my girls.  I've not heard of an afternoon study in my area.  (Actually, I've don't think I've ever seen an afternoon Bible study.)  

I don't know where that leaves me...I don't know that there is an easy answer...I know the right answer is that I'm going to let Jesus be my best friend and trust Him to provide for all my friendship needs either directly or by bringing people alongside me.  That's the right answer, but right now I don't know if it's the REAL answer.  But I want it to become the real answer.  Maybe that's enough for now.