Friday, January 30, 2009

Cribs and Other Happenings

New/Noteworthy: We got a crib for the baby!

Kymberly got 250 points out of a possible 240 on her science poster that we did a couple weeks ago. The teacher said, "WONDERFUL!"

Andrew went to youth group last night for the first time. He had a good time. We were really early (thought it started at 7; it starts at 7:30) so we sat and chatted with the woman who hosts and helps lead. That was nice.

Interesting Activity: We rearranged our room and put the crib together in the corner.

Biggest Accomplishment: We found a crib, brand new, 20% off, and paid cash!

Where I went: All over town looking for a crib

What I learned: Burlington has some really good deals on baby stuff.

My chemistry student that I tutor failed her final. :( But the class average was a D+, so it was a really hard test. I think her mom is making too big a deal out of it. At any rate, I started thinking about how she can better prepare so she's not so flustered when it comes to taking tests. She understands the material when we do the homework together. Something happens when she sits down in class though.

Plans for the Weekend: I want to sew on Saturday, and Sunday watch the Super Bowl. Josh's birthday is Tuesday, so we're having our fun food and stuff for the superbowl. And I'll make him a yummy cake. The kids are with us this weekend, they won't be with us on Tuesday, so we'll do his present and cake and stuff on Sunday.

Fun Photo(s): The crib and nursery area!

Putting the headboard cover in.

I'm trying to assemble the mobile ... those are teh directions in the crib.

The whole nursery area. Remember: the crib set was only $20!!!

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Our car is in the shop. We'd been hearing a rattling sound from the rear for a few weeks, and it started getting worse. We only heard it when we coasted after barely pressing on the gas. Under 10 mph.

So we took it in last night when it just got to be too much to deal with.

It turns out the rear differential needs to be replaced.

The car is under warranty. And that's what we're thankful for. Apparently I bought an extended warranty on the car too, which I didn't realize.

Monday, January 26, 2009


As I took my walk this evening, I encountered a little boy (3-4)playing with a cardboard tube in his front yard. He was swinging it as a sword at the imaginary pirates and chopping down the tree, and throwing it across the lawn - probably imagining the bad guys getting away and throwing his weapon as a last resortm

This short scene brought a smile to my face. I wonder, as I type this on my Palm Treo, what simple pleasures do I have. What small things do I ignore that could be my imaginry sword? How many times have I passed up the opportunity for something free or small only to be disappointed with the overpriced piece of technology?

Here's to enjoying the simple things in life, being content with what God gives me, and not searching for the next BIG toy that will make me happt.

Contemplations on a Sermon - 1/25/09

Text: Luke 15


We had a guest speaker in church yesterday. He spoke on the three parables of the 'missing items' in Luke 15. Before he began, however, he talked about why Jesus taught in parables. 3 months ago, Pastor Barris spoke on the prodigal son and also mentioned why Jesus spoke in parables. 

We are like the Pharisees; we try to control our environment to suite our needs.

We also have a distorted image of God because of our view of our parents and our view of God as a cosmic rule enforcer. We need to let go of our baggage to view the REAL God. To help us, Jesus taught in parables. 

The three parables, lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son, have increasing value. The sheep was 1 in 100, and the shepherd went looking for it. The coin was 1 in 10, and the woman kept searching. The son was 1 of 2, and was flesh and blood. The father never gave up hope. He RAN to his son when he was still a long way off.

These three parables teach us that God will do ANYTHING short of invading our freedom to find us and bring us back again.

Think of how much you rejoice when you find your missing keys or wallet. Now imagine how much heaven rejoices when a lost soul is found.

He showed a copy of a painting. Rembrandt: The Prodigal Son. Since “they” say a picture is worth 1000 words, I’m not going to comment; I’ll just post the photo and let you draw your own conclusions.

Key Verse:
The key verse this week doesn’t come from the text of the lesson. It comes from the scripture reading prior to the sermon. 

Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

This spoke to both Josh and me. We both feel like we have a tendency to let the fear of the unknown creep into our lives. We need to remember, however, that we are children of God and He will uphold us and take us and lead us through the tough times. We won’t be abandoned and left alone in Egypt; No! We will be led through to the Promised Land and bask in the riches of God and his mercy and grace.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Contemplations on Current Happenings 1/23/09

New/Noteworthy: ummm ..... not a whole lot. We had a longish chat with a woman from church on Sunday. That was nice. She's the host for the Thursday night HS home group; so that was good for Andrew to meet her. We're starting to make connections and such in the church. It feels good.

Oh yeah .... And a new pillow arrived from Gordon Foods. Well, not really Gordon foods, but that's who shipped it. Thank you Michelle. It's soooooo cool. It's sitting on the couch right now waiting for some company.

Interesting Activity: foolishly went shopping with Becky on Saturday and got a KILLER deal on a crib/bedding set for the baby. Got an 11-piece set for $20; plus 10 different outfits for less than $50.

Biggest Accomplishment: On Sunday after church we spent about 3 hours doing yardwork since it was so warm. We got all the weeds picked, the rose bushes trimmed back, the grass mowed.... It looks so much better; dormant and brown, but better.

Plans for the weekend: Josh and I are going to drive all over creation looking for a good deal on THE crib. We have enough saved up we think we can afford a new crib and not have to buy used. We'll also rearrange our bedroom to make room for the new crib. This will require trading dressers with Andrew ... he doesn't know this yet. Church on Sunday, then just hanging out. I'm working on a quilt for an online hand-made baby shower gift exchange thing. I want to get everythign cut out this weekend and maybe start piecing it together.

Where I went:
went to church, went shopping with Becky .... that's about it.

Fun Photo:
Belly pic took this morning. 23 weeks and 2 days.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for my husband. He's a rock. We've had a rough week with fears of finances with upcoming taxes and baby coming and other personal things that have me just totally flustered. While he is concerned and we're taking strides to improve our financial situation, he's really been great for me in helping me stay grounded. He's reassurred me on my personal fears and struggles. He's been a support for me all week long when I feel like I just want to collapse and hide away.

Thank you baby. I love you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Contemplations on a Sermon - 1/18/09

Sermon Series: The Jesus Life
Sermon Title: Inhabited By God

John 7:37-38  37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"

John 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my kneeBolds before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

We can't be transformed into disciples of Christ if we don't allow God to inhabit us.  We aren't responsible for our transformation, that's up to God.  We need to open up our lives to the power of God working in us.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Phillipians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

God is at work in me.  He has plans for MY life.  He wants HIS good purpose for ME.

How do we allow God to work in us?
Just like dear friends influence our lives by being a presence, so does God.  I need to make God/Jesus my friend ... my dear friend ... and allow Him to have an influence in me.  To challenge me, to love me, to listen to me.

If I recognize God inhabiting me, then I allow His power to work in me.  God chooses to be a part of my life and share me.

Eph 3:16-19 tells us that we are to be filled with the fullness of God.

The Jesus Life: Being open to the power of God.  What would it look like???

The Big Idea: Transformation into the likeness of Jesus happens because God inhabits us.

Read Phil 2:13.  What does it take for you let God work in you in whatever way He desires?
Releasing my worries to Him and listening for His leading.

Read Eph 3:16-10.  How is this prayer meaningful to you personally?
I need God's strength and power every day to make wise decisions.

What does it mean for you that "your life is God's project"?
God wants better things for me thatn what I myself am capable of doing.  I need to let God take control.

Prayer for this week:
Give our heavenly Father thanks that he makes each of our lives his personal project.  Pray for each other using Paul's prayer in Ephesians.

Key Verse
I liked Eph 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.

This message really spoke to me as Josh and I are figuring out how to pay our income taxes and buy the last of the baby things we need to buy.  We are really trying to give these things to God, and we can't do that fully unless he fully inhabits us.  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weekly Happenings - 1/17/09

New/Noteworthy: I only gained 3 lbs between my last doctor visit on Dec 18 and this one on Jan 15.  This is a big deal for me since we had Christmas (with loads of junk) and every other check-up has been 5+ lbs.  I'm still happily under 160; 165 is the most I've ever weighed.  

Interesting Activity: Certainly catching the bad electrical situation before the house burnt down was interesting.  And a "fun" day for Josh waiting for the electrician.

What I learned: It's only going to cost me a grand total of $180 to have this baby!!!  Praise God for health insurance!!!  :)  That's all my office visits, delivery, hospital stay, and post-pardem check up!  YAY!!!!!!!

And the student that I tutor in chemistry has raised her grade from a D to a C.  Her mom is very happy about that.  Next week is finals; so if she can do really well on her final, she may be able to raise it even more.  I wonder if a B is possible......

Biggest  Accomplishment: With the assistance of her father and me, Kymberly finished her science project with no arguing, complaining, whining, etc.  It's not due until Jan 27th!  She even did the extra credit!  YAY!

Plans for the weekend: SIL Becky is coming up to hang out today.  Josh and Andrew want to jam a bit on the drums and guitar and maybe write a song.  I'll hang out and video them and we'll have a fun day.

Fun Photo: 

Kymberly working on her science project.  The balls are cells that are going through mitosis.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thankful in All Things

Last night in our family devotional we talked about prayer.  Well, we started another series on prayer.  In the past we've discussed The Lord's Prayer, How to Pray, What to pray for, and now we're talking about how God answers prayer.  Last night we discussed asking according to His will, and walking with Him before he answers.  In this, I found 1 Thes 5:12-28.
12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
 16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
 19Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.
 23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
 25Brothers, pray for us. 26Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
 28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
I really liked vs. 16-18.  But I read the whole thing.

We just barely touched being thankful in all things.  It's hard when money is tight, grades are low, work is frustrating, school is boring, kids are misbehaving, etc.  But God says to be thankful.  Josh and i are thankful that we have jobs - in this economy, it's a HUGE thing.  The kids are thankful they have parents (and step-parents) who love them and support them and help them with school.

Fast forward to this morning.

I went to turn the light off in the hallway and realized the switch was already in the off position.  It's not a mult-switch light.  So if it's off, it's supposed to be off.  I flipped it a few times and it still didn't turn off.  Josh grabbed a screwdriver and took the plate off.  Then started to take the switch out.  The light turned off.  Then put the screws back in, the light turned on.  Hmmm .... is the screw pinching a wire?  Is there a short?  There's smoke coming from the box.  Uh oh.  Not good.  Find the breaker and turn it off.  (Now half the house is without light.)  Pull it all out and we see bare wires, melted insulation, and just bad stuff.

We took photos and called the landlord.  Josh is home today to wait for an electrician (who is supposed to arrive around noon).  

Josh said to me as I left for work, "Be thankful in all things."  

Yes.  We are thankful that we discovered this before the house burnt down.  We are thankful that we have a landlord who is MORE than accommodating and understanding and will reimburse us for the electrician.  We are thankful that we have the means to cover this before our landlord reimburses us.  We are thankful that we are all safe and the house is in one piece.

I wonder how many of our wires are like this?  Do we dare take them apart and inspect them all?????  I don't know.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Contemplations on a Sermon - 1/11/09

I'm starting a new weekly (I hope) entry; thoughts, reflections, notes, etc on Sunday's sermon.  I am doing this mostly for myself to force myself to sit down and truly reflect on the sermon, not just take notes on Sunday morning and forget it until the next week.  It's a step in the direction of one of my New Year's Goals to improve my walk with God.

Sermon Series: The Jesus Life
Sermon Title: I Want to Be Like Him
John 10:10b "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher

Matt 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even tothe end of the age."

Matt10:24-25a 24"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25"It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.

We started a new sweries in church this week about living as Christians vs. living as disciples.  The series is titled "The Jesus Life," and asks the question, 'How might the life of Jesus transform how I live?'

Pastor first started by asking us to imagine someone who we look up to and emulate or want to be like.  An expert in our field, a loved one, an athelete of some sort.  If we were to be like that person, it would only change our life one-dimensionally.  But if we strove to be like Jesus, it would transform our whole life and our whole being.

A Christian is someone who proclaims Jesus as Lorda nd savior, goes to church and does the "church" thing; a disciple is someone who commits to fully experiencing Jesus with his/her whole heart, soul an dmind.  Jesus wants us to have a full and abundant life.  We can live that full life by becoming, growing and living as disciples.  

Matt 10:24 calls us to be like our teacher in every way.  How do I become like my teacher?
Let's start with:
  • daily time with God
  • scripture memory

Disciples are constantly shaped and formed.  Applying a growing understanding of Jesus' life to every aspect of their lives on earth.  Jesus' connection to the heart of the Father allowed him to know God fully in His love, kindness and steadfastness.

The Sermon Notes in the bulletin had three main points:

The Big Idea:
Jesus does not intend for you to live the Christian life in name only; he invites you to be his constant apprentice so that you may gorw to be like him.

The Problem:
"There is an obvious Great Disparity between, on the one hand, the hope for life expressed in Jesus - found real in the Bible and in many shining examples from among his followers - and, on the other hand the actual day-to-day behavior, inner life, and social presence of most of those who now profess adherence to him."  Dallas Willard

Applying it to your life:
Discipleship is about seeking hard after the quality of life that Jesus makes possible through intimate connection with him.  It is not head knowledge alone, as good as that is.  It is living engagement with our master teacher in day-to-day walk of trust and obedience.

Personal Study Guide
1) Read John 15:1-8.  What are the implications of this text (especially verse 8) for your life as a disciple?
We are constantly growing and changing through Christ.  If we break away from Him, our spiritual life will fade away; but if we live through Him, God will be glorified.

2) Read Luke 6:40.  What is Jesus saying?
We can be like Christ if we commit to being trained fully by Him.

3) In real life ways, how is  Jesus to be our teacher and master?
by reading his daily word and committing his word to memory, we can live like Him and for Him.  Christ's example is the best example.  For starters, remembering how He fought Satan and temptation by quoting scripture and having a God-heart.

4) Do you agree or disagree with Dallas Willard?  Why?
Agree.  Because I've lived it.

5) What does it take for people to move from being Christians "in name only" to being disciples of Jesus?
A committed heart.
A desire to be Christ-like
A willingness to forego the things of the world.
Daily committment and focus on Him

6) How does the "applying it to your life" quote apply to you?
It's time (yet again) to get away from the head knowledge and get into a day-t-day walk of trust and obedience.

On the surface, this seems like a very simple message.  One that I think all longtime church-goers have probably heard many times.   While it seems simple, it was deep and meaningful, and yet again, exactly what I needed to hear.  God never ceases to amaze me with his ability to speak through my pastor in exactly the way I need.

I think the Key Verse from this message isJohn 10:10b.  However, I'm still hung up on a verse from last week's message; I just need to get it written on a verse card so I can memorize it.

1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

Random Thought...

How long are you a visitor at a church (or any function with regular meetings), before you are considered a regular attender???

Friday, January 9, 2009

End of a Long Week Happenings.....

New/Noteworthy: Josh's car is in the shop - the check engine light was on on Tuesday morning.  Luckily it's under warranty.  

Interesting Activity: Stayed home sick on Tuesday, am feeling better now, still coughing occassionally.  I think it's allergies, so I'm taking my Claritin.

What I Learned: When I declined my health insurance and went on with Josh after we got married, I lost my Flexible Spending plan also.  So all of my medical expenses have to come after taxes out of pocket.  My paycheck is bigger (very slightly), but I liked having that account seperate for co-pays and such.  I'm really annoyed.  At least we can make changes to our flex account when the baby is born in May.

Biggest Accomplishment: Am totally caught up on about 50% of my job at work.  The other 50% is reports that I'm trying to catch up.

Plans for the Weekend: Going down to San Jose to pick up Josh's car; grocery shopping; pay bills; 

Fun Photo:

Josh, Andrew, and Kymberly all have studed belts.  This was a fun photo of the three of them wearing their belts.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

studed belts

studed belts
Originally uploaded by Christsstar

Josh, Andrew and Kymberly all have studed belts.

We thought it was fun.

Late Happenings...

I was supposed to do this on Friday, but didn't for reasons I don't know.

New/Noteworthy: I just signed up for a Twitter account.  My handle is biochemtine.

Interesting Activity: Josh's mom visited us the weekend after Christmas.  That was fun.  We had our neice visit us for the week and she had a great time hanging with Andrew and Kym.  On Saturday the 5 of us went shopping with our Christmas gift cards.  I got new maternity clothes, and went to babies r us and registered for some more baby stuff.  I am feeling like I need to delete some things from the registry, it's a little long.  But am not sure yet.

What I Learned: The Old Navy closest to me now has a maternity section.  YAY!

Biggest Accomplishment: Took down Christmas and cleaned the house and garage on New Year's Day.  It was pretty much an all day project, but it felt really good to get it done and the house feels back to normal now.

Fun Photo:

Kids playing their new guitars.  

(All my new photos are at work; silly me left my SD card on my desk and I'm home sick today.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Belly Pic

Here I am, 20 weeks and 4 days. I'm wearing maternity pants almost exclusively because they are so much more comfortable. I can still fit into a couple pairs of pants that were super big on me before, but they are uncomfortable after a few hours.

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