Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekend fun...

This past weekend, we took off on a mini road trip to visit Letha and friends(of whom I never got any pictures of)!
Entering Virginia!!
We felt it was necessary for Doug to get his first picture with the world while we were giving him a tour of ILC.
Letha had some fun surprises for us while we were there, the first thing we did was go for a yummy desert...
Before the sugar high...
Excited about the sugar high...
Evidence of the sugar high....(we went next door to FiveBelow and had fun choosing our Christmas stocking stuffer stuff fun from Letha)

At the mall, we were checking out all the cool stuff at Build.a.bear and Doug was entranced with the stuffing machine...
On Monday while Letha was in class, we went to Richmond to tour the Capitol and some other fun old building. Here is a statue of George Washington, apparently the only statue that he ever posed for.
Outside the capitol...see Doug?

Across the street is this other cool looking building, so we went on in and checked it out too...

Our favorite gas station...mainly because the name is fun to say, there isn't much inside.
We had such a fun time visiting and getting a break from school. Now we are enjoying a weekend of relaxing before school starts back on Monday. We are ready for this semester to be finished and just have a few weeks left to get all of our last assignments done and tests completed!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Post #500

Just have to post a special blog post is my 500th post!!!! I feel like this is some sort of milestone in my bloggosphere so to honor this very special post (and to get into the Thanksgiving spirit) I am listing some things I am thankful for (I know, really original) these are not in any particular order.

~Transportation. We were especially thankful for this over this past weekend as we drove up to Virginia to see Letha and visit friends. (next post will have more pictures...)

~ Warm water. I love being clean and the fact that I can stand under a nice hot shower or sit in a hot bath is something that I daily am thankful for.
~Skype. Being able to keep in contact with friends and family and even get to talk to them face to thankful.
~Healthy bodies. Doug and I have both been able to be in class and get to work every day since we have moved here. We are thankful that we have been healthy enough to do these things and enjoy them.
~My bed. We spent a few weeks on an air mattress so each night I am thankful to climb into my very cozy bed.
~Free clothes. When we got home from our trip this weekend, we found in our living room, five trash bags full of clothes. I was able to find some new pants and dresses that I have been
needing, I am thankful for free clothes that fit!
~Clean laundry. We do not have a washer and dryer but we have friends who let us use their's when we need to, I am thankful to have all my clothes clean and put away tonight.
~Music. Doug and I enjoy many different styles and genres of music, I am thankful that we have the ability to listen and enjoy music. And I am thankful that I am starting to hear Christmas music on the radio!
~A place to stay. We are always thankful when we can get rent paid at the beginning of each month and have a nice apartment to live in. We were especially thankful this weekend that we could stay with friends while we were visiting Letha in Virginia. Not only did they let us stay with them, they fed us, took us to church, prayed for us and encouraged us while we were there...and even sent us home with some yummy gifts!
~Jobs we enjoy. Doug is thankful that he has a job where he is not only able but is encouraged to study and do homework assignments while he is at work. I am thankful to have a 'job' where I can enjoy children and be a source of comfort and support during a difficult time in their lives.
~Electricity. This is one of my favorite things, I am thankful for the many items I use that need electricity. The computer I am typing this on, the fridge that keeps my food fresh, the hot water heater, the lights, the heater...this list could get very long!
~My Bible. I am reminded how I need to appreciate the fact that I have a Bible and how many in the world to not have the privilege of owning or even having access to one. I especially love my Bible with many of my favorite scripture verses underlined and special bookmarks throughout it's pages. I am thankful for the constant source of encouragement, wisdom and conviction it provides.
~Scent. I am thankful for the ability to smell. I am often told that I have a very strong sense of smell and can smell things that others can't. Today I spent a great deal of time with a nine year old girl as she meticulously chose a small bottle of hand sanitizer. She smelled each and every scent and had me smell each one the end I felt like they all smelled the same! When we walked out of that store I noticed the smell of coffee and cookies baking...I am thankful for my sense of smell.
~Sleep. I need lots of it, my body demands it. As I head to bed now, I am thankful that I can close my eyes and sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I wrote it, you read it.

Lately we have been given lots of lessons. Fun lessons, hard lessons, lessons meant to teach others that in turn teach us and visa versa. Lessons are not usually easy to learn, especially when you are like me...stubborn and most of the time not very open to learning whatever said lesson is being taught.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to serve at Secret Church here at a local church, on one of their boards they had take home papers and on one of the breaks I grabbed one titled "How To Pray For Your Husband"...feeling as though I needed to step up a bit in that category and, well, who doesn't need a little extra prayer support?
Anyhoo...I have been focusing on each of the daily verses listed and little prayer topics focused on helping him be a better man in a variety of different ways. While it is nice to have a pointed topic to pray specifically for, it can also be a little convicting too. Each day I have enjoyed not only praying these things for Doug but taking a look at my own heart condition on each topic that is covered. Elementary right? Ya, I know, just not something that I have done on a consistent daily basis in this way for a while .

Today is Doug's Monday and for this day, the prayer is that he might learn to take captive and not be conformed to the world's thinking and that he would learn to not depend on his circumstances for happiness but on God alone. I read that and was like, "uh, I am happy to pray this for him but there had better also be someone out there praying this for me too!" Because, I think I need it!

Now, I know that I am not living in a great deal of stress or very difficult circumstances however my heart likes to lie to me (they say it is supposed to be pretty deceitful, so it's not like I haven't been warned). It tells me that we could have it better than this, that we (gasp) deserve better, what? Did the word 'deserve' just come out of my brain onto my blog post!? That is SO not my normal way of thinking but it has started creeping in there and I have no idea why.

Now I wouldn't have come right out and thought to myself that I was having to combat being conformed to the world's thinking either but that one is sneaking in there too! I have found myself feeling like I need to defend our decision to come here, to go to school, to struggle each month to make bills and still eat, mainly, to obey. Many who I at one time gained a great deal of support from are the ones who question our decisions and doubt our sincerity in why we are here.

Then I am reminded- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12:2 ESV)

Oh, and that part about learning not to depend on our circumstances for happiness but on God alone? Sure, I'll cover that too.

We may not be dinning as 'fine' as we used to or enjoying some of the same comforts that we had before this move but for what we do have, we are so very grateful.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength

he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
(Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Cafe' and he's on his way...

Doug didn't get a ton of sleep today so before he left for his night shift, I made him some beautiful cups of cafe...Thank you Portugal, you make our lives better.

(You can see that they didn't last long enough for me to get a picture of the cups full...but the evidence is just as magnificent as the real thing.)

a lack of news...

Sometimes I feel the need to update my blog, even when there isn't much to update on. Now happens to be one of those times, so here is what I've got!
Doug has been working hard each night from midnight till 8am...Here I made him practice to become the next poster boy for the company:

In other news:
*I am chasing a few leads on job opportunities but so far nothing substantial has worked out.
*We have been looking at classes for next semester and trying to decide which ones to take/hoping to get into the ones we want. We had some help with Doug's tuition for this semester but for next semester we are working on some options to help get some of his classes completed.
*Rent is due...apparently they want us to pay this every month.
*We miss our pets...I got out the camera to post the picture of Doug in his uniform and found a series of photos like this one:

Thanks for the rhino dad...Doug keeps it there by the fish because he feels that the fish is lonely...let me not fail to mention, this bowl is the fish's second house since moving in with us because Doug felt that he wasn't 'happy' in the last comment