Monday, July 17, 2017

Family Olympics

Megan trying out archery
 On Monday nights we like to have family time at our place. We have that night set aside where we try not to schedule anything with anybody else and we just have fun together. This family night we were missing Mara and we do have my niece and nephew staying with us so they got to be in on the fun too.

  Last week somehow in our visiting we came up with the idea of having some competitions on Family night. So the plan was that everybody could choose 3 events and then we would all compete in them. In the end we didn't have 3 events chosen by each person as we didn't have time and a thunderstorm came up before we managed to do our water sports. We did however have a fun time.

  The competitions that were held were:
- Chase Kitchi (our dog) and get item away from him. This is a challenging game that he loves to play. Megan and Jonathan had to split this point as Megan was the one who tackled him and then Jonathan grabbed the item out of his mouth.
-Tomahawk throwing
-A sprint
-The game of lightening (shooting baskets)
-Hopscotch (timed)
-Racing while balancing a book on our head.
- Doing a gymnastic bridge (I can't - I tried) and holding it the longest and the highest.
-Spelling bee
-State Capital bee

It was the night for 13 year olds as Aaron won with 4.5 points and Beatrice came in second with 3 points.

Gregory throwing the tomahawk.
 The events that we didn't get to were:
- Kayak race (timed)
-Holding your breath under water the longest.
-Swimming race
-Drawing a house while holding the paper on a book on top of your head.
-Racing while carrying heavy weights.
-Tree climbing
-A don't get wet challenge that requires the contestant to stay in a certain area while all the others have one bucket of water each to throw at him/her.


The scoreboard
And I was kicked out first on the spelling bee. How horrible is that!!!?

We had a lot of fun. This might need to be repeated some other time.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Holy Spirit in the Lives of Christians

I am working to study about the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. I would love to have you join my as we look and see what God's Word has to say about it.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not  your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 17

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in  you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." Romans 8:9-11

That is super straightforward. We need to be controlled by God's Spirit if we are truly following Jesus Christ.

I have tons more verses that I want to share on this subject but this was at least a start. I will look forward to sharing more with you later. Meanwhile I would love to hear your thoughts on the Holy Spirit and his work in our lives. If you have any favorite verses on this subject I would love it if you share them!

Pictures of Our Life in the Last Week Or So

 While DJ was here we enjoyed some fishing. I didn't catch any of DJ and Aaron did. This was the big one that DJ caught but it had to be thrown back because I think it was breeding time or something like that. We did get to keep some others and enjoyed fish for a couple of meals.
 We are loving some of our flowers that are blooming!

 We had to take Mara down to the cities to catch a plane to go on a mission trip in Mexico. We stayed at my sister's and went to the Ramsey County Fair with her and her family. They had a marionette show there which was fun.

 Beatrice and Megan working on projects.
 We have been a little tired around here. Yesterday morning we were down in the cities and got up around 3:30 am to take Mara to the airport (she had to fly out early!) and then drive home. So Aaron, Megan and I along with Beatrice and Gregory got back home in good time in the day since we got such an early start. We were also tired but I had bees that were swarming and I was trying to capture them and then I had a lot of wedding flowers to do so I didn't get a whole lot of rest. Jonathan also got home yesterday from 2 weeks of camp. His granddad picked him up and he got home a while after us. Afternoon came and both Gregory and Jonathan were very tired. We hadn't gotten a bed set up for Gregory yet so he crashed on Jonathan's bed. Later Jonathan laid down too and slept as well. Ken got home for supper and looked in the boys room and asked if we were starting to require Navy style sleeping. Anyway- we found it cute.
 Today and yesterday were focused on wedding flowers.

After all the wedding set-up I visited a quilt show that Ken had been given a complimentary ticket to give to me. The pretty embroidery above was there. It was fun but I didn't stay very long as I was tired and ready to be home.

That is some peeks into our life. Have a wonderful new week - we plan on it. :-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Seeking To Simplify - The Garage Sale Edition

First I will quickly report on my goals and how I did these last 2 weeks since I last reported.

- I got rid of 60 items (exceeding my goal of 50).
- I cleaned out 10 spaces (right on track)
-I sold over 100 items (in addition to the other things we got rid of)! That was with the help of the garage sale and that caused my to complete my selling goal for the year but I do still want to try to sell some other things anyway.
-My house is doing pretty good with my working to get rid of clutter. My computer however has been a little neglected in the decluttering lately as I neglect to weed out e-mails and photo files. Hopefully I can work on that again before long.

It was an exciting couple of weeks for making good progress! And now Ken just put up storage shelves for me down in the basement so I have been going through more stuff down there and getting organized and ready to get rid of some more things.

And now....

Let's talk about garage sales.

Somebody commented and asked if I could share how we had a successful garage sale. I don't think I really have much if any in the way of new ideas nor do I think I am an expert but I will gladly share what tips I have....

  • I prayed about it. Okay, so I do like to pray about most things I do. I also regularly pray for God's guidance as I have been working to go through and get rid of things in our house. I ask Him to help me know what I should keep and what should go, etc. With the garage sale I did pray that He would just guide according to His will. That we might be able to make whatever money that He knew we needed and that He would guide concerning who came, etc. I believe that He truly was working in our garage sale. I felt so very blessed and thankful, not only for money made and excess gotten rid of but for the people that I could spend time with and meet.
  • We made a bunch of matching, simple signs. I made them by using the plain side (inside) of box cardboard and painting "Sale" and an arrow on them with some dark wall paint. I did also write our address with permanent marker on the bottom of most of them. Ken has been telling me for years that simple is better when it comes to signs. I think he is right. I do also think that matching is beneficial for a garage sale. Mine weren't all identical in size but they were all dark blue writing on cardboard. I have discovered that making signs with paint for the big letters is so much easier that using permanent marker that stinks and wears out. Paint goes on so much faster. You just have to allow for drying time.
  • We set up in a clean garage and we tried to move things that weren't for sale out of the way so it wasn't confusing.
  • We put up as many tables as we had with bright tables clothes on them. It is nice to be able to spread out quite a bit. Having stuff crowded isn't so nice.
  • Have things priced as much as possible. To keep things simple don't be afraid to make signs that say things like "Clothes - 50 cents each unless otherwise marked." Have plenty of those signs. Most people like to know how much something costs and not have to ask all the time.
  • Don't charge to much. That is my theory anyway. People go to garage sales to get a good deal. They expect prices to be less than going to a 2nd hand store.
  • If you really want to make money sell baked goods too. I mostly sold whole wheat bread and it went pretty fast. I sold nearly 20 loaves and could have sold many more if I would have had them made. Cookies also sell well.
  • Be friendly, visit with people and ask them if they are interested in.... whatever it is that you have. Sometimes they have noticed your bread or the books, etc. 
  • Use Craigslist and Facebook rummage sale sites for free advertising. That is all I used and it worked well. I know that many came from seeing my sale mentioned there.
  • Use any down time during your garage sale to do more decluttering in your house or garage and look for more items to sell. I set a goal for looking for stuff every hour. That didn't quite work but I did find quite a lot of things to get rid of while the sale was going on. It did help that I have kids old enough to watch the sale for me while I ran inside.
  • Hang up clothes that you have for sale as much as possible. I think people generally prefer looking at clothes hanging rather than spread out over a table. They stay neater too. Be creative in figuring out things to hang them on. Set up a step ladder or so and prop a big ladder between them or just run a rod from ladder to ladder. Tie up rope somewhere. Think outside the box!
  • Use balloons or streamers or whatever to attract attention to your signs and also to the garage sale itself.
I would love to hear any tips or suggestions that you have as well! If you hold a garage sale I hope you have fun and success!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

More verses on the Holy Spirit

Just a picture that I took recently.
Matthew 4:1 says: "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit in to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

Jesus obviously followed the direction of the Spirit - even to such a place and conditions as that.

Jesus cast out demons by the Holy Spirit's power: "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." Matthew 12:28

"And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district." Luke 4:14. Jesus is being led by the Spirit here as well.

The Holy Spirit was active in Jesus' resurrection: "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:11

The Holy Spirit helped the apostles as He glorified Christ: "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you." John 16:13 & 14

The Holy Spirit was obviously very involved in the earthly work of Christ.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Independence Day Party!

 We held our annual Independence Day Party on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun and I thought I would share some pictures from it.

   My girls and I love to decorate so the evening before found Megan and I working on a new patriotic bunting to use with our other decorations. It was so fun and simple to make. First of all though we were amazingly blessed to have things that worked perfectly for it. We had been given the blue shirt with white stars on it but the sleeves had been cut out of it and so it wasn't wearable or pass-onable either. So I figured it would work for a project. Then I had this strip of red and white striped fabric - perfect! I did also use some red and white polka-a-dotted fabric.
 We cut or tore strips to desired sizes and then tied them on a piece of twine.
I thought that the end result was pretty cute.
 We also used extra fabric strips for decorating elsewhere.
 The table where people were supposed to start. They could sign the guestbook, sign up for float decorating and canoe racing and check out the schedule.
 Ken's parents tried out their new kayak at the party.

 The babies from our "B" shower earlier this year along with their pretty mamas. These guys are growing up!
 They are working to get a float decorated. We enjoy having a parade with real floats at our party.
 Mara dressed up for her float.
 The parade is getting started.
 After the parade we enjoyed supper of hamburgers, hotdogs and brats and all sorts of other yummy food. Each family brought a dish to share.
 Then it was boat racing time! We had two different heats and then a final. I believe a fun time was had by all.

 We were blessed to have a lot of good friends and family come to our party. The people are who really make a party fun and special. We were totally blessed by all who came.
    We did have one set of guests that gave us a big and very fun surprise. Our very good friends who live in Louisiana came and "crashed" our party. Soon after the party had gotten started Ken and I were discussing the parking situation (our driveway can be a little tight but we had quite a bit of room down by the house and we were trying to figure out why people weren't parking there). As we were talking another vehicle that I didn't recognize was coming down the drive put looked like they were going to back up again so I went over to wave them on down so they would know that they could park by the house. I got them waved down but didn't clearly see through the window to see who it was. When they pulled in I saw the Louisiana license plate and was trying to make sense out of that when Michelle jumped out. I hadn't gotten to see them for several years and I got pretty excited. Anyway it was a super fun surprise to have them come. They had already been as far a Iowa for a wedding and decided to come up the rest of the way. They found out from a mutual friend that we were having a party and so they decided it would be fun to crash it. By the way, friends are welcome to crash our parties anytime.

    Jason and Michelle both come from Iowa and I got to know them first when I went to Bible camp down there as a teenager. Then Ken (who was from Nevada) and I (from MN) went down there to Bible college and Jason was also attending and Michelle did part time as well (and it was in her hometown). I have such fond memories of college days and all of the other students there. We were so blessed to be a part of a group of students who loved the Lord and encouraged one another in their walk with Jesus Christ. I was able to come away from college with no regrets but rather having grown in my knowledge of the Bible and made great friends with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

   After Jason and Michelle left I was thinking back on all the different memories we share, things like....

  • Michelle and I having a Bible study together. Just to grow in our understanding and to be better equipped to share God's word with others.
  • Jason and I working together at a Florist shop. We both like to talk and we would chatter away while working until sometimes our manager would want a little peace and quiet and would tell us to shut up for a while.
  • Sunday evenings going to a little church out in Albia, Iowa. On Sunday mornings many of us students would scatter all over helping out small congregations (I was in Abingdon along with my brother and some others, Ken went to Centerville - until we were engaged, Jason was in Albia and Michelle went with her parents in Ottumwa) but Sunday evening many of us students went to Albia. We loved singing and hanging out together. We helped with a youth outreach program for a while and we often went out to eat pizza together afterwards.
  • Going on canoe trips up here in MN. Dealing with rapids and with a swampy upper Mississippi where it was super easy to loose your way.
  • Long trips from Southern, Iowa to Northern, MN (beyond where we live now) to go to a weekend camp. We would drive through the night often to get there. We would stuff as many students as possible in each vehicle and away we would go.
  • Jason, Michelle, My brother Peter and I putting on a Christmas Concert one time when a church in Ottumwa asked if our college had a singing group that could come. They were going to send a boys quartet but not all the boys were available so Michelle and I ended up doing it with Jason and Peter. It went fine but I laugh every time I think of it because Michelle and I for some reason decided to put our hair up on curlers before the event and we end up with the most bushy hair ever. I wish I had a picture to look back on because my memory of it was that it didn't look to good. We also very carefully did a steam treatment so our voices would be in the best singing condition possible.
  • Singing around the piano - Southern Gospel, Old Hymns, Praise Songs, 4 part harmony. It was so much fun to praise God together and just enjoy music.
  • Going exploring out at a place near Ottumwa (I think it was called camp Arrowhead or something like that). It seemed like we tended to go when it was rainy or getting dark and so we have fun memories like getting badly stuck and having to walk for home but thank-fully Michelle (who hadn't been able to go along because she was working) had gotten concerned about us and so my dorm dad had gone to check on us and she and my dorm mom made supper for all of us. We were grateful for the ride as it would have been a long walk. Those were the days before any of us had cell phones. Another time out there when it was raining cats and dogs I found this perfect muddy hillside and I was wearing a rainsuit and thought it looked like fun to slide down. The guys along thought so too and we had a wonderful time sliding down the mud (Ken was not along that time - he had to miss out on a lot of evening outings as he worked then - and he was appalled later at my unladylikeness but I did have a lot of fun - and for the record we weren't even dating yet then). I believe Michelle and another friend Jessica were both also along on that outing but did not join in on the mud slide fun.
  • Michelle spending nights at the dorm (she lived at home with her parents) and we being the only morning people there. Most would drag out of bed in the morning but Michelle was always up early and very cheerful.
There are tons of other fun memories that we share but this post would get way to long. I am just so thankful to have had such good friends during some very formative years of my life and I am thankful to continue to be friends with such neat people. I also just want everybody to realize how much fun can be had doing what is right. Truly, life as a Christian is the best!!!


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