Monday, October 29, 2007

My Birthday Weekend

Well, it's finally official. I'm 30. As I type this, my stomache drops and tears spring to my eyes. Ok, it's not that bad, I don't feel really very different. The birthday I have been dreading since I turned 26 (which made me officially closer to 30 than 20) has come and I have survived. I'm sure it is because I had such a great birthday weekend, which I will share with you in pictures and commentary.

Although my birthday wasn't officially until Saturday, the celebration started on Thursday evening when Dan brought home a German Chocolate Cake from the store. I love German Chocolate and it was a truly selfless gesture from him because Dan doens't really care for chocolate. He presented me with a wrapped bag containing a beautiful wooden salad bowl and serving utensils, which I had commented in passing that I thought would be nice. The bowl also contained a couple of gift cards, 3 Frappuccinos and a French press for making coffee, and a Newsboys DVD and 2 videos of their concerts. Does this man know me, or what!?!?!?
We finished the evening carving pumpkins, which excited Elijah immensly and which bored Allison quickly.

Friday evening we went on a date - out to dinner at Panera Bread (I love that place!) shopping for some new clothes and then ended the evening with raspberry custard.

Saturday evening we went to our friend's house for dinner and took the kids trick or treating afterward. Elijah is quite competent in asking for candy and Allison was just along for the ride, enjoying walking down the sidewalk on her own and loving the pumpkin outfit she wore. At one house, however, she got an individual sized bag of crackers, and she finished out the evening proudly showing off her treat and screaming in delight. As any mom will say, seeing my kids have so much fun made my birthday even more wonderful!

Sunday morning as we drove to church we saw 2 beautiful hot air balloons floating over the fields that surround our church. One passed right over the roof and the other landed in the grassy area between our church and our parking lot! It was a blast to stand around and watch the balloon deflate and the kids loved it. I only wish that I had my camera to capture the moment!

Sunday night we had a great time with our small group and I came home that evening thanking God for good friends and the blessing of another year of life.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Idol Factories and the Debtor's Ethic

I was at my parent's house for most of last week, enjoying a more quiet visit than is typical when we do a "two day run." Dan had to stay back home and work, so it was just me and the kids. On the way home, after tiring of the music I had been listening to, I remembered that I finally downloaded the sermons from the NA conference back in May and I decided to listen to some again.

This would be the 3rd time I listened to Piper's last message of the conference. I have been meaning to blog about it, but it is too full of truth to summarize here. Besides, it would take as much time for me to try to explain it to you as it would for you to listen to it yourself. He spoke on obedience that pleases the Lord and addressed perfectly the idea of future grace and the faulty logic of the debtor's ethic. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to listen to it. I will never sing the line, "Oh to grace, how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be!" the same way again.

Then I listened again to CJ Mahaney's first sermon on discerning your heart. He spoke eloquently, but simply on the topic of idols in our life. He quotes Calvin in saying that we are little "idol factories," capable of conquering one idol, only to be replaced by another. It calls on us to constantly scour our hearts to search for idols that threaten to destroy us. I cannot recommend a clearer, or more focused message on the topic.

On Saturday, after I returned home, we started a new Ladie's study on the book by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Idols of the Heart. The sermon was the perfect appetizer for a book full of the meat of the Word. Taking the short hour to listen to this sermon will be time well spent and your heart will be challenged and blessed.

I don't often recommend sermons to listen to. First of all, because I understand how hard it is for all of us "stay-at-home-moms!" But please listen to these two. Download them onto your iPod, or if you don't have one, and live close to me, give me a call and I will gladly watch your kids while you take a long walk and feed your soul. I mean it; I'm that passionate about these messages.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Apple Picking Adventure

Last Saturday we went apple picking at an orchard in Northern IL with our small group from church. It was a blissfully warm day (almost hot!) and the apples were crisp and delicious straight from the tree. We picked about 25 lbs., which I made into 6 pies, 2 batches of applesauce, and there are still enough to eat for the pure pleasure of it!

We intended to come home with a few pumpkins, but after strenuous effort, Elijah decided we didn't have room in the trunk for this one.

You can see pics from others who were with us here, here and here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


We had a really busy weekend, but it was full of fun outings and great teaching, so I am not complaining! This week looks to be as busy as well, so I will do my best to post about the pictures of all the fun we had.

On Friday evening we went to see the Go, Diego, Go! live stage show. If you don't have toddlers, you may not be familiar with Diego, but he is Dora's cousin, if that helps! It is a fun show that teaches the kids about animals, while incorporating Spanish. It's cute, like I said, if you have toddlers.

Since State Farm sponsered the show, we were able to get 8 free tickets! So we invited another couple, with their 3 year old, and then invited 2 other kids to join us. We figured that 4 adults could handle 4 kids, and luckily, we had no problems.

The show was a blast. Elijah was really involved and growled out loud when the actors asked the kids to act like a baby jaguar. It was fun to watch him enjoying the show, and being a fan of the stage myself, I enjoyed watching all the technical aspects of the show.

So that was the start of the busy weekend. I will post pictures of our apple picking adventure on Saturday, as well as post about the weekend Bible Conference we had with Jerry Bridges.