Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Something

So I've got this urge to do something crafty...something spring-y...something that has to do with bright colors and flowers and new curtains and deep cleaning and....

Tomorrow is Saturday.  I get paid today.  Spring decorating, here I come.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One project down, a million to go

A few weeks ago I finally figured out how to thread my serger and actually do some serging with it.  This past week, I learned how to apply it to super-fun project.  I have a fetish for vintage patterns from the 50s and 60s, and every time the Hospital Auxiliary Rummage Sale comes around, I go digging through the cardboard boxes full of patterns make out like a bandit (hey, even one or two good ones makes it a success, right?).  This McCalls pattern from 1967 is definitely a keeper:

I had some fantastic maroon fabric already on hand as well as a neat-o rhinestone button, so I just needed to get the underlining, thread and a zipper.  Out came my sweet little 1956 Singer sewing machine and the serger, and away I went:

I know that serging is old hat for some folks, but it was a thrill to actually get it to work.  I was tickled to be able to produce a tidy, professional finish to my seams.  Whee!

 A few days later, behold the dress!


Things I love about this pattern:
  • simple, no nonsense instructions (they write the instructions assuming that [wow] a person can sew
  • the simplicity in fitting the dress due to the slimming princess-line seams
  • the underlining of everything but the sleeves (this made the hemming process amazing - no obnoxious hemline to try to steam out)
  • the elbow darts on the sleeves
  • the snappy stand up collar and groovy button
Things I could live without:
  • the strange technique for sewing the interfacing to the neckline facing.  I know that this pattern was made before the days of fusible interfacing, but the instructions were like no other I have ever experienced.
  • the sleeves had way too much extra fabric to ease into the armhole.  I definitely think a bit of that could have been done away with and the sleeves would have eased in just fine.
So there you go.  One project least four more to go before I can allow myself to buy new craft/sewing supplies.  Since Baby Rodgers refuses to make himself/herself known these days, I guess this gives me one more month to whittle down the previously started projects before making baby things.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good morning, good morning....

(Can I just say that I love the fact that it isn't pitch dark outside when Steve goes to work?  That gentle bit of blue creeping in makes all the difference in the world.)

Mornings are just better these days.  It's easy to forget that just a few weeks ago, I had to eat all night long (that's what it felt like) and was still unable to keep anything down for more than five minutes when I dragged myself out of bed.  It's easy to have the memory of excessive fatigue swallowed up in my current morning energy level which declares: Get up!  Eat breakfast!  Read your Bible!  Exercise!  Start your happy little day!  (Ping, ping, ping!)  I'm grateful for how things are right now.  I want to manage the morning's time wisely.

What about time management?  I was thinking about this a lot lately because I have always been self-righteously wonderful at managing my own time and being a remarkable Holy Spirit for everyone else and their time management.  During high school, I would diligently attack my studies, making the most of every moment...and take quite a bit of time informing my siblings that if they didn't get up at 7am and launch right into their Saxon math, they would have a blank future.  (These comments and their accompanying glances were not well received.)  It was easier in a college environment.  I could do my own thing and I didn't have the weight of managing time for everyone else.  First of all, I didn't care about them as much as I did my siblings.  Second, there were consequences for rushing around to finish a paper (bad grades for them, good grades pour moi).  Third, I could go into my own room and surround myself in time management utopia when the socializing got rough.  And finally, I was convinced that God would take hold of their hearts sooner or later and show them "the better way."

Then I got married to Steve, also known as Mr. Procrastination.  Mr. All-Nighter.  Mr. What-is-a-Routine?  And it has had its sticky moments. After all, I thrived on routine and knowing that God smiled on me because I would make the most of my day or die trying.  At this rate, Steve was bound for some sort of serious consequences.  Or not.  Somehow, someway, he still manages to get things done responsibly and well without stressing about time management from the moment he wakes up.  How can this be?

I may be on the obsessive side in time management, but in talking with friends and relations, I noticed a bit of a similar trend: the girls would get freaked out about time management and getting things done, while the guys just sort of let life happen and just did things. It reminded me of a book I received called Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti.  Now, I haven't read it through, but the general premise is that guys see life in boxes (waffles) while girls tend to see how different facets of life touch and effect everything else (spaghetti).  This may not apply across the board (God didn't make us into guy and girl robots, after all), but I can see how it relates to Steve and me.  I wake up with a mental list of things to do and a mental schedule laid out which tells me when I need to do what by what time and what will happen if I don't.  Steve gets out of bed, drinks some coffee, wakes up, thinks of things that need to be done in the day and decides that as long as they are done by the end of the day, all is well.  Everything touching verses boxes.  Hmm.

I can see why, perhaps, God designed us differently.  Steve's main job after loving God and loving me is to provide for our family.  It's in the box Go To Work.  It stays in the Box.  My main job after loving God and respecting Steve is to manage the house.  And everything relates to everything in managing a house.  It's a job that lasts all day long.  So we're programmed for our different jobs and we have to manage our time differently.  This can result in me being a better mom (I hope) and Steve being a dad who actually (oh my goodness) has time to spend with his kids.

This is pretty rambly, but in getting back to my morning routines, I do want to manage my time wisely.  That means doing the dishes and putting clothes away...but not freaking out if it's not done by a certain time.  It means seizing the opportunity to exercise while there isn't a husband around to laugh at me.  It means not becoming so time management oriented that I don't have time for the things that really matter, like spending time enjoying the Lord and the people that he has put into my life.  Maybe it's letting him manage my time.

(It probably means getting off of the computer....)

Monday, February 22, 2010

The New 'Do and Other Things

I get these urges to do something and that usually means doing something to the rambunctious mop that situates itself upon my head.  People ask, "Are you scared to get your hair cut?"  Yes and no.  Yes, because I usually get these great ideas of how it is supposed to look and rarely does the finished product match those imaginations.  No, because the tendency of the hair is to grow back at a furious rate.

So on Wednesday, I went and got quite a bit lopped off. 

Overall, it's easy to care for, but it requires a good straightener for the bangs and my little $5 purchase from Rob's 2.5 years ago just doesn't do the job anymore. 

In other news, we're ready for spring.  I keep thinking about seed catalogs and gardens, but it's much to early to start that project.  I'm also thinking about gluten-free diets, how guys and gals view time management (maybe I'll take a poll), and trying out a new cookie recipe each week (no, that doesn't exactly work with the gluten-free idea, but whatever).

But this afternoon includes Greek with Mr. Wonderful, making a menu, and finishing a project.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Something happened... year ago today-ish.


We got engaged.

(I say "today-ish" because I'm not sure when it was.  It went something like this: Steve and I met in the middle at my parents' house when my mom was recovering from serious complications following surgery.  It had been a rough day with hospitals and babysitting and cooking meals and such.  Finally, everyone was in bed...except for Justin [the future best man] who was snoring in our living room recliner.  Steve suggested that we go outside.  It was 11-something at night and the middle of February, but we got bundled up and out we went onto the porch.  After talking for who knows how long, Steve said, "I think we should just get married."  And I said, "Okay."  Therefore, I don't know if it was the 21st or the 22nd of February.  But on the 22nd, we went to the hospital and make a pros/cons chart of an appropriate wedding date on the wipe-off board in my mom's hospital room.  We went to the Bonfire and shared a burger because we only had $20 between the two of us.  And then Steve bought me a wonderful plastic engagement ring at Alco which I wore for the next five months.  The end.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010


(I'm supposedly "on-call" for work today, so I'm sitting here on the couch with the phone next to me, attempting to make some use of my time whilst I wait for the danger to pass.  Steve is reading and sniggering at what he is reading.  Florianus is in a half-nappage state and occasionally wakes up to lick the air and look sleepily at us.  Silly creatures.)

Explaining the gospel has always been a struggle for me, especially as I have taught at various and sundry after-school Bible clubs, Good News Clubs, VBS and 5-Day Clubs, and so on.  Somehow, I want to understand the truths of the gospel message so clearly that I can translate them to kids in a way that they will be able to grasp.  Of course, I know that it is the work of the Spirit in their hearts that will awaken them to their sin and need for salvation.  At the same time, I do not want to be slack in any way and just give the "pat answers" so that I can feel better.  As Steve and I have delved further into Calvinism and I begin to see how this system helps me organize and understand the gospel truths that I already know, explanations to kids have been easier and I feel like I am actually sharing the truth...and not some nebulous concept.

But, I still get hung up on the whole believe/receive thing.  What exactly is that?  I know that believing is ultimately trusting someone, and in this case, trusting that Christ is the Son of God and that his sacrifice on the cross is sufficient in atoning for my sin.  But receiving?  So many times, the line is "Just receive Jesus as your Savior," or "I received Jesus when I was eight," or something like that.  How do you really understand what that is?  How do you explain that to somebody else?

I was listening to a really great sermon by Piper last night and he helped me:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes . . .” Four observations about this believing.
First, it means that not everybody will benefit from what Jesus came to do. But “whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The rest will perish—and not have eternal life.
Second, the word itself means to embrace something as true; and when it’s a person, it means to trust them to be what they are and do what they say.
Third, John 1:11-12 shows that another word John has in mind to explain believe is receive. “[Jesus] came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” So receiving Jesus and believing Jesus explain each other.
Fourth, if we ask, “Receive him as what?” the answer would be, “Receive him as what he is.” For example, in John 6:35, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” So here believing means coming to Jesus and receiving him as the food and drink that satisfies our souls. That’s one of the reasons I talk about receiving him as our Treasure (Matthew 13:44). And this is why faith is so transforming.
Aha!  Something tangible.  Something explainable.

(It's 12:30pm.  Maybe I won't get called in for work after all.  Let the Saturday chilling begin!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bits and Pieces

We toured the new birthing rooms at the hospital last night.  They are nice.  Not only are they enormous, but the ceilings are high making them feel less claustrophobic and hospital-ish.  Half of the room is the patient's area with a chair, shelves, etc, and half is full of the doctor's stuff.  I remember cramming into the hospital rooms after Mom had babies and feeling like we were tripping over everything and constantly getting in the way of something Important.  We had 12-14 people in the birthing/post-delivery rooms last night and there was loads of space.  It helped to be able to visualize where everything will happen.  That makes me less nervous.

(I also had the slightly freaky realization that Somebody is going to be calling me Mom.  Weird.) 

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and we felt it at Emily's.  I was beginning to wonder why people were coming to eat at a soda fountain/ice cream shop when they were giving up things like...oh, you know...sugar. And meat.  That made life for this little waitress rather challenging at times.  The best Lent discussion happened in the afternoon.  You see, we have between 4-8 "coffee ladies" come in at 3pm and stay for an hour.  One of the ladies is a thirty-something non-smooth thinker (i.e. she functions on a ten to twelve-year-old level) named Brenda.  Brenda is super-sweet and is always asking about what we're doing and always gets an extra-large coke.  The other coffee ladies are generally very kind to Brenda, but one (EmmaLou) is, unfortunately, particularly snooty towards her.  Yesterday Brenda was chatting with us about her difficulty in deciding what she was giving up for Lent.  Her sister was giving up talking on the phone, but that just wouldn't work for Brenda ("What if someone called me?  Or there was an emergency?").  Then Brenda had an epiphany:
      "Maybe I could give up talking to EmmaLou."

I'm waiting for an shipping estimate from IKEA.  We have been wanting to organize our living room/dining room, and this was unbelievably perfect.  Now there will be a spot for the computer and its various appendages, and plenty of room for the mountain range of books that is constantly collecting on our coffee table.  I did not know IKEA's online ordering process, which afforded some confusion, but all is well.  Time for it all to start heading our direction.

We have been married for seventh months today.  Does time fly, or what?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Electricity Mystery

I'm definitely a girl who likes a good mystery story.  Agatha Christie, A.A. Milne, and Dorothy Sayers (!!!) make me a happy camper.  (Yes, I cried at the end of Busman's Honeymoon.)  But, I am discovering that I am not so fond of mysteries when they occur in my own home.

It was a dark and stormy night....

Well, not really.  It was a normal evening.  We were sitting at the dining room table, eating something crockpot-y, when the kitchen lights flickered and went out.  We had been using a number of appliances, so we figured that the breaker had flipped.  Downstairs we trotted, flipped the kitchen breakers back and forth and went back upstairs.  No success.  This went on for about twenty minutes, with "is it working yet?" and "okay, I'm doing the stove one now" and similar hallooing.  In frustration, I turned the knobs on our electric stove, just to see if maybe it would come on.  Lo and behold, it did.  And so did all of the kitchen lights, the coffee pot, and the rice cooker.  Problem solved.

But not really.  The next morning, as we were up and about making breakfast...poof!  There went the lights again.  This time we noticed that when the lights in the kitchen went out, so did the lights in the bathroom.  And the breaker hadn't budged from its normal position.  When we turned on the stove burner, all returned to normal.  I was getting pretty creeped out.  I mean, we're dealing with electricity here.  We called the landlord and he said that he would try to come by and figure out what was going on.

Three weeks later....

The landlord came on Monday checked some stuff, said he had no clue, and told us to call when it happened again.  Now we know that when the lights go out in the kitchen, electricity no longer goes to the bathroom, our bedroom outlets, the internet router, and the furnace thermostat.  The loss of power happens totally randomly: we can be busily cooking, or sitting on the couch, or sleeping away (I know it goes out in the middle of the night because our "white noise" fan goes off...and then I'm no longer asleep).  As I type this at 8am, the lights have already gone out four times.  Flick of the burner knob and all returns to normal.

I could make up a ghost story if I could manage to keep a straight face when I told it.  I think I just need a Lord Peter (but maybe Bunter would be better in the long run).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day

This was my second Valentine's Day with A Guy.  Last year we were both plugging away at school, praying about where our relationship was going (maybe I was...Steve seemed to know where it was going as revealed less than ten days later), flirting with text messages while I did dishes in the dining hall.  This year we are married and loving it.  Crazy.  There weren't dozens of roses, or chocolates, or sappy cards this year, but I will tell you what my husband gave me:
  •  He did cleaned the kitchen and tidied up the living room while I was having a crazy Saturday morning at work so that I didn't have that extra responsibility when I got home.
  • He enthusiastically helped me plan and execute not only one but two Valentine's Day dinners (for Mom and Dad, and Tim and Sheree), plus a party for the kids.  This included shaping orange gummy candies into hearts and shoving them into half-congealed jello, providing perspective when the chocolate mousse decided to adhere itself to the whisk, and making four totally amazing filet mignon steaks.  And running to rent two movies for the babysat heathens.  And doing...something...with the massive pile of clean clothing that we didn't have time to put away before guests arrived.  Genius, I tell you!
  • He made time to sit down with me and hold me while I cried from the sheer exhaustion of the past week.  (He never gets crabby with my emotional train wrecks.)
  • He dressed up all snappy for church, even though it made him feel silly (I thought it was great).
  • He made reservations at the Sandstone Bar and Grill for dinner.
  • He canceled the reservations and took me out for Chinese food when we realized that we were too tired and cold to drive over an hour for dinner.
  • He read four chapters in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as we tried to digest our exorbitant amount of Chinese food.
  • He made sure that I was warm.
  • He snuggled up with me as we watched three hours of the Olympics together.  Just us.
  • He kept telling me how happy he is, and how beautiful I am, and how wonderful is this silly little life of ours.
Yep, I'm loved and I know it.  Thank the Lord for Steve!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thoughts on Birth Class

Last week was rather nutty so I never wrote down my thoughts on the birth class.  Now another week has gone by with yet another class.  Time to jot down some things:
  1. It was definitely not as awkward and embarrassing as I was anticipating.  There were seven other couples besides us, most of which seemed just as newbie as we are.  I felt silly for being the smallest person there with the most distant due date, but who knows if the hospital is going to have another class before July?  This is Broken Bow, after all.
  2. It's exciting to see and have someone else reiterate all of the material that we have already been reading.  No, it's not a Bradley class, but I was surprised by the similarity of many of the exercises, breathing techniques, and labor positions.  
  3. For being hyper-sensitive to gross things, I'm finding the animated clips of physical changes, and the live videos of labor and birth to be fascinating and exciting.  God designed our bodies to do incredible things.  (Yes, we watched the dreaded "live birth" video last night.  It was so fun.)
  4. All of that said, it is somewhat discouraging to notice how terrible everyone looks while they are in labor.  Seriously?  We all have to look that bad?  Even the husbands look terrible.
  5. I have a really fabulous husband, you know.  Even though he was super hungry and super tired last night, he participated fully in every practice scenario and every exercise and really aimed to do things just right (while still maintaining a sense of humor).  I am so grateful to have someone who cares so much about this whole process and throws himself wholeheartedly into learning about it with me.
  6. I have discovered the latest greatest distraction for labor: a wounded fly.  I was sitting there, practicing breathing while Steve was squeezing the stink out of my shoulders (a pretend contraction?), and as I was attempting to think wondrously relaxing thoughts about Monterey, a wounded fly began to gimp across the floor in front of me.  Where was he going?  What was he doing?  Why was he wounded?  It was great.
  7. Probably my biggest concern about everything (even though I am well aware of the fact that I have months to get used to the idea) is being in pain and having people bumbling around looking at me and trying to do things and talking to me.  When I'm sick, I pretty much want to be left alone.  If there is a problem, then I'll talk.  Being talked to by nurses and doctors is the worst.  I guess it's just going to be part of the growing experience, right?
In conclusion, it's all going well.  Part of me wants July to hurry up, while another part is desperately glad that we don't have to put all of this into action for a few months.

Okay, time to clean the house.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Piper on C.S. Lewis

If you haven't listened to Lessons from an Inconsolable Soul yet, you should carve out about an hour from your day and do it.  As a die-hard C.S. Lewis fan, I was amazed and encouraged by Piper's masterful treatment of the life and spiritual experience of Lewis. 

One part of the message particularly struck me and that was "the perils of introspection."  It's a long quote, but I think it's worth reading.
"Lewis’s experience in the pursuit of Joy and the mistakes hemade has had a huge effect on the way I think about the assurance of salvation in relationship to introspection and self-examination. What he discovered is that the effort to know the experience of Joy by looking at Joy is self-defeating. He wrote, “I saw that all my waitings and watchings for Joy, all my vain hopes to find some mental content on which I could, so to speak, lay my finger and say, ‘This is it,’ had been a futile attempt contemplate the enjoyed.” 41 It can’t be done, for the moment we step outside ourselves to contemplate our enjoying, we are no longer enjoying, but contemplating. The implication of this for knowing that we are believing God by trying to look at our believing is enormous.
This is our dilemma . . . as thinkers we are cut off from what we think about; as tasting, touching, willing, loving, hating, we do not clearly understand. The more lucidly we think, the more we are cut off: the more deeply we enter into reality, the less we can think. You cannot study Pleasure in the moment of the nuptial embrace, nor repentance while repenting, nor analyze the nature of humor while roaring with laughter. But when else can you really know these things? 42
You cannot hope and also think about hoping at the same moment; for in hope we look to hope’s object and we interrupt this by (so to speak) turning around to look at the hope itself. . . . Introspection is in one respect misleading. In introspection we try to look inside ourselves and see what is going on. But nearly everything that was going on a moment before is stopped by the very act of our turning to look at it. Unfortunately this does not mean that introspection finds nothing. On the contrary, it finds precisely what is left behind by the suspension of all our normal activities; and what is left behind is mainly mental images and physical sensations. The great error is to mistake this mere sediment or track or by product for the activities themselves. 43
What this has meant for me is, first, that I see now that the pursuit of Joy must always be indirect—focusing not on the experience but the object to be enjoyed. And, second, I see that faith in Jesus, in its most authentic experience is suspended when it is being analyzed to see if its real. Which means this analysis always ends in discouragement. When we are trusting Christ most authentically, we are not thinking about trusting, but about Christ. When we step out of the moment to examine it, we cease what we were doing, and therefore cannot see it. My counsel for strugglers therefore is relentlessly: Look to Jesus. Look to Jesus in his word. And pray for eyes to see."
 Bam.  Here was something that applied so thoroughly to me, especially lately.  How often do I spend more time thinking about if I'm loving Steve enough and in the right way and if I'm being a good wife and what makes a good wife than focusing on Steve or just on living my life?  How often do I evaluate how I feel about doing the dishes and the laundry and convincing myself not to feel bad about it instead of just doing the chores?  And even more importantly, how many times do I declare my spiritual life a failure because I insist on focusing on how I'm doing spiritually instead of looking to Jesus?

Convicting?  Yes.  Encouraging?  Definitely.


I found this grape:

What a disgusting little puppet.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


We finished reading The House at Pooh Corner last night. We are suckers for sentimentality, so we have been putting off the inevitable. I knew it was going to be sad and sad things plus Amelia just aren't a good thing these days. Steve was brave and started reading, "Christopher Robin was going away...." I braced myself and forced myself not to cry through the whole chapter. Then I ran out to the kitchen and got a granola bar to distract myself. Okay, I know that pregnancy hormones probably contribute to the chaos, but why this hyper-melancholy reaction to endings?

Endings of Good Things are getting to me these days because I apply the scenario to my own life. Everything is so jolly right now: I love being married, I love our little house, I love looking forward to having a baby, I love our funny little adventures and the random jokes and stupid misunderstandings and tickling matches and everything that makes life with Steve so splendid. When we read Winnie-the-Pooh, or watch Up! or anything that depicts a simple, happy time between people (or stuffed animals who are like people), I think about us. And when it ends, I think about us ending someday. Hopefully, that someday will be 80 years from now. But life as we know it will still end. That is unbearably sad to think about.

But is it? Does our enjoyment of each other really end? As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the hope of a glorious eternity with Him. That is something in which we should rejoice daily. Still, we have only glimmers (wonderful as they are) of what our eternal life will be like. We don't know if our earthly relationships, even the closest relationships of marriage and/or parenting will have the same bearing on ourselves. Maybe it won't even matter.

Maybe it will matter. C.S. Lewis wrote in "The Weight of Glory" that "if a transtemporal, transfinite good is our real destiny, then any other good on which our desires fixes must be in some degree fallacious, must bear at best only a symbolical relation to what will truly satisfy." The relationship of God the Father with His Son will continue in eternity. The Church will be as a purified bride to her Bridegroom. Maybe the glory of these truths that are shown to us in human relationships will be all the more glorious and deserving of worship because we have experienced them on earth. Maybe our worship of the Lamb will be all the more unthinkable because not only are we joining with those from every tribe, tongue, and nation, but because we are with those believers who we loved so dearly on earth. We are together doing at long last what God intended for us to do.

This is all speculation, of course. But whether the Endings really are Endings, or if they are the Ends to a Beginning, I know that this is true:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:10
Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given him a gift that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

I hope that I can sing praises standing next to Steve for eternity. I can't imagine anything better than being able to do what we ache to do together now.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Le Creuset

Last night, after birth class, Runza, and watching part of A Gentleman's Agreement with Clevi, we all noticed a very strong burning smell. It was obviously coming from somewhere outside, but it increased and increased as the night wore on. Later, Steve and I were smelling it as we attempted to go to sleep.

Steve: I hope someone knows that something is burning. I mean, we could be the only ones and we won't have called the fire department because we're lazy and we want to go to bed.
Yeah. I don't want to be burnt to a crisp.
Steve: It's nice not to have any real attachments to our possessions, though.
I've often thought about what I would grab if we had a fire.
Steve: I say we just grab the pots and go. That's easy.

Yes, we are both madly in love with our set of Le Creuset pots and baking ware. As I pondered our insufferable infatuation today at work, I made a list of ten reasons why we love Le Creuset. Here goes.
  1. They come in adorable colors. Who wouldn't want to cook with such cheerful colors staring back at you?
  2. They say "Made in France" on the bottom.
  3. They clean up beautifully. Seriously, I had this meatloaf crusted in the bottom of this little fellow and without even giving it a chance to soak, the nasties came off with the Octopus Scrubber. Right away. Joy.
  4. They can be used as a weapon. The enameled cast iron would definitely succeeded in laying someone out if it met their head. I feel confident in my kitchen.
  5. They are featured on Julie and Julia. We love that movie, and the Le Creuset sealed the deal.
  6. The enameled stoneware/cast iron does away with all of the fumes and contamination of Teflon. It's environmentally friendly! (Okay, that's cheesy, but whatever.)
  7. There are tons of matchy-matchy accessories. My personal favourite is the most recent addition of Le Creuset to our kitchen: the Utensil Crock in the Dijon color.
  8. They double as exercise equipment, for much of the same reasons as No. 4.
  9. It was Steve's idea to put them on our wedding registry.
  10. They make food friendly. And that makes us happy.
Hurrah for Le Creuset(!).

Pardon the messy stove.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Once I get my exercise clothes and my tennis shoes on, I actually enjoy exercising. Of course, I have to convince myself of this every day (for, at the time, it's easier to believe that I like sitting under the covers in bed and reading a book much more than becoming a clammy out-of-breath disaster), but it's worth it. Thankfully, I have been able to be fairly consistent with exercising since the discover of the Wee Munchkin. Walking when the weather is nice, walking with Leslie (and Clara) on dreary cold days, doing a really funky salsa routine with FitMama and, most recently, going back to Jazzercise three times a week.

The hardest thing for me is to keep from going "all out." When I'm exercising, I like to give it my all and push harder and harder and...frankly, I can't do that right now. Jazzercise was a little frustrating last night because I had to modify so many of the routines to be low-impact that it was getting boring and stupid (or maybe I was just was Monday, after all). At the same time, I sometimes worry that I might mess something up when I exercise, or eat (like eating tuna on the wrong day and the Baby showing up without any ears, or something), or look in the mirror funny. That's being melodramatic, but possessing an active imagination can easily lead to undue worry. God's truly in loving control. So, I keep trusting and resting and living and exercising and eating.

In other news, we go to our first of three "Birthing Classes" at the hospital tonight. I wish that I lived in a town with 50 million people so that I could be anonymous for once. Or, in a city like that, someone would surely be offering Bradley Method classes. Oh well. Steve says I'm doing well with being married in the place where I grew up.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Knowing God

I have been reading sections of Psalm 119 this past week and have been amazed by how frequently the psalmist asks God to give him a desire for His word, to show Himself, to give him understanding, etc. The psalmist is not approaching the Lord and His word with a conjured up spirituality, as if he has to be emotionally prepped. He is earnestly dependent on the Lord for even the desire to love His precepts. This was convicting to me. How often do I deem it necessary in my prideful flesh to be "ready" for be mentally psyched to "meditate"? And when it doesn't feel like it's "working," I get frustrated and depressed. In reality, the desire to know God and love His word is just as much a gift of His grace as everything else in my life. Reading through Romans, especially chapters 9-11, have brought home again the doctrine of election and the reminder that there is nothing that I have done to deserve or accomplish any means of grace. It is all a gracious gift from a loving God...for His purpose and to His glory.

Then I read this interesting quote from Packer's Knowing God:
We are, perhaps, orthodox evangelicals. We can state the gospel clearly, and can smell unsound doctrine a mile away. If anyone asks us how men may know God, we can at once produce the right formulae - that we come to know God through Jesus Christ the Lord, in virtue of His cross and mediation, on the basis of His word of promise, by the power of the Holy Spirit, via a personal exercise of faith. Yet, the gaiety, goodness, and unfettered spirit which are the marks of those who have known God are rare among us - rarer, perhaps, than they are in some other Christian circles where, by comparison, evangelical truth is less clearly and fully known.

How true! We can become so wrapped up in facts and methods and routines that the true delight of knowing God is diminished. True, we do need the disciplines of daily study in the Word and time in prayer, but these are the means to an end - it's about knowing God, not just saying that I haven't missed a day of Bible reading in a month. Dependence on God for the knowledge of Him and the desire to know and enjoy Him will hopefully do away with the, as Packer says, "dried-up stoicism" of being a Good Christian Girl, and will replace it with "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8).

Like the psalmist, I'm praying for this in my own life and in the lives of others.