Moving

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Nope, the laundry is never finished…but it’s still the finest kind of life!  And that’s the sentiment I want to portray from here on out, so I’m even moving blog platforms.  Fresh start.  Spring is in the air.  Even in cyberworld.

I’m not anywhere near completing the look of my new blog, but I figured I wouldn’t keep draggin’ my feet on the whole process if I sent people there right now.  So from here on out, you can find me at www.thefinestkind.wordpress.com.  I’m haulin’ all of my posts over there, too; might have some broken links in the process, but we’ll get them sorted out eventually!

See ya there!

Like Historical Fiction?

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One more book review before before a change of blog plans; I’m stickin’ around, but have been working on a new format (thus the lack of posts lately…I’ve been exerting my efforts behind the scenes!)

My latest offerings from WaterBrook were a “grab bag”; meaning they sent me a couple of random books from a selection of 5 or 6.  Here are my thoughts on the latest:

I don’t think there is a book that I haven’t enjoyed by Angela Hunt.  The Golden Cross is actually 2nd in  The Heirs of Cahira O’Connor Series, and it was good enough to make me want to start at the beginning.  Written from the perspective of modern-day Kathleen, she delves into her past to research stories on some pretty fascinating women.  Here is the lowdown from Waterbrook on Aidan, our heroine;

Aidan O’Connor was raised among pickpockets and prostitutes in a Dutch colony on Java, Indonesia. But when a world-famous cartographer discovers her natural artistic talent, she is given a chance to leave her troubled life behind. Disguised as a boy, Aidan joins her benefactor at sea and begins the work of drawing the flora and fauna of the new world. This fresh beginning leads her into adventure–and to a great love. But can this love survive the force of Aidan’s past…and her ambitions for her future?

One of my favorite lines in the book comes from Aidan’s benefactor, an artist commenting on the sunrise;

“Look at that!” he whispered as they approached.  “Feel that, Aidan!  Can you see the majesty of the Creator?  Can you sense his whimsical mood this morning?  He has placed that single streak upon the horizon to delight my soul, to bring his majesties to mind.”

Mmm.  He could have stolen that line right out of my thoughts.  :)

The second book is by Al Lacy.

The Faithful Heart is also the second in a series, and turns out it’s a spin-off on another series, so I was definitely beginning a little late!  To be completely honest, it wasn’t my particular type of writing style, but Al is absolutely doing something right because he has written  around 100 novels and is still going strong.  Obviously he has a fantastic readership, and you might very well enjoy this book if this Waterbrook description peaks your interest;

Dottie Harper fears for her children’s safety. Her husband, Jerrod, is struggling with dementia brought on by shell shock during the Civil War. It’s as though there are two Jerrods locked inside him: the tender and loving Christian man she married, and a harsh man given to unpredictable fits of violent rage. Dottie loves her husband with all her heart, and with God’s help, she’d determined to remain steadfast.

Dottie’s sister, Breanna Baylor, is a certified medical nurse. She’s headed west with a wagon train, planning to visit Dottie in California and meet her family for the first time. Along the way, Breanna meets up with wounded soldiers, contagious townspeople, and injured outlaws. Compassionate and highly skilled, she tends to their physical hurts and shares the gospel whenever she can. Litlle does she know that a life-or-death meeting awaits with her own brother-in-law.

Happy Reading, and I’ll be seeing you soon with a little something new!

Hear No Evil

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If you grow up in a church that believes Sandi Patti’s music is evil, you are more than likely going to end up with enough fodder for a book.

Matthew Paul Turner did, and his results are hilarious.   In Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost, Matthew shares his passion for music actually pokes a bit of fun at Christian subculture, although his love for Jesus is definitely evident.  It might be cringeworthy in a few places but his honesty and humor is refreshing, and it makes you think…I love books that make you dig a little deeper into your own thoughts and and actions.  One of my favorite lines is toward the end of the book; it’s a bit like the journey that I’ve been on over the past few years:

“But by that time I was beginning to rethink what it meant to be Christian.  My faith was becoming less of a get-out-of-hell-free card and leaning more toward a way to live.  Because of Jesus, I wanted to love people, which meant I didn’t want to engage in relationships with an agenda.”

Any book that encourages me in that pursuit is absolutely a book I would recommend.  He also authored Churched:  One Kid’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess, which is now on my “to be read” list!

Matthew’s book can be purchased here and this book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Laugh Right Out Loud

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It’s the Murray luck, you see.  We tend to have stretches of “fine”…then are hit with the funniest oddball stuff right in a row.  Our first year in Virginia was full of insanity but we came through it gloriously blessed in the end.  So I have no doubt that we are going to weather this stretch as well and have a pretty great story to tell in the end!  I hate to be posting another “bad luck” post, but I DO want a record of this; someday we’ll look back and just laugh.

Erick had to put something in the basement this morning and was greeted with a leaky boiler.  Not a good sign.  Call into the oil people results in the news that;

  • The boiler is cracked and needs to be replaced
  • The oil tank needs to be replaced
  • The pipes, which need to be replaced, are wrapped in asbestos, which will need to be professionally cleared out, and
  • The chimney is unlined, which will have to be remedied.

Oh Heavens. Oddly enough God has given me a phenomenal peace throughout this despite our lack of funds; one answer to prayer that we had almost immediately was that the boiler itself will be no charge since it is covered under the “Presidential Plan”; thankyouthankyouthankyou.  We have no idea what the remaining cost will be; it WILL be large, but God has come through time and again.  We’ll just take it one day at a time; one piece of information at a time.  And no, we aren’t considering moving back to the house that we currently have for sale; even if we did that, all of the changes would still have to be made at this house.  And we love it here.  It’s definitely “home”; we have no doubts about that.

On a completely unrelated note, I had a GREAT birthday on Saturday.  Erick and I spent the day together in Portland and Freeport and ended up with a movie in Waterville.  After the movie we came home to a family party which was beyond excellent.  Oh, how I love a day out, and oh, how I love to come home to my family!

Jack could not WAIT to open my gifts!

Ryan and his wonderfully goofy grins

Chocolate Mousse Cake covered in ganache...from Whole Foods...YUM doesn't even come close to describing it!

I love this picture-it's blurry but sweet.

After that Chocolate Cake, Jack was a kid possessed…by sugar.  He was just so funny and uncontainable.  Erick and I were in the kitchen with our arms wrapped around one another, content.  After awhile, Jack shouts

“Why are you Huggin’ so LONG?”

(“Because we want too!”)

“Get offa your hug!  That’s enough huggin’!”

(“Are you jealous, Jack?  Do you want a hug too?”)

“No!!!”….”Yes!!!!”

Oh, I guess you just have to know him. He had us in stitches.

Anyway, I’m wrapping this post up in smiles rather than tears, which is an EXCELLENT sign.  I’ve grown alot over the years; even over the last month!  I’m so glad that our trust, our hope, our joy is rooted in Jesus; not in earthly things.  That’s something to be phenomenally thankful for.

Oh, deer…

Oddly enough I have another post with that same title, but it was in regards to deer wandering through our yard partaking of the goodies they could find.

This one is in regards to the deer that hit our car this morning.

Doesn’t bad luck come in 3’s, or something?  If so, by golly, this is the end of our run!  The house closing fell through 2 weeks ago, the boys got sick, and the car that we have owned for exactly one week today is now awaiting repair.  That sounds a bit gloomy on my part, but you know what?  I’m so filled with joy today.  Erick was NOT injured, thank goodness!  Our deductible will only be $100 as opposed to $500 (if he had swerved and hit something else instead…ditch, tree, whatever, the deductible would have been $500.   So hit those deer, y’all!  It’s better on your finances!!)  The boys are now fine, our house will sell someday.  Erick was going to take me on a birthday date in the new (to us) car tomorrow, but my parents will let us borrow theirs, so that is still on.  And the timing couldn’t of been better; Erick is on vacation next week, and although we haven’t driven the car to the shop yet, they said they could probably work on it asap, so he won’t be stuck driving the gas-guzzling truck back and forth to work; instead he can just stay home.

So praises instead of sadness today.  I am SO thankful that Erick is ok!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Snippets of Conversations

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Used to write down the crazy things my kids say-haven’t done that in awhile and need to start doing it again!

Jack:  “When I grow up, I want to be an athlete.”  (Af-a-wete)  I guess he wants to do it all!  Boys are such strange creatures-lately they’ve been taking off their shirts and boxing each other.  Good ol’ wallops, too, but they just laugh.  Last week we went to the library and there were quite a few girls there.  Just watching the differences was mind blowing!  Despite the crazy energy they have, and the constant tough guy stuff, I’m so glad I have boys.  :)

Ryan:  “But mom, since you are tired and we aren’t, YOU should take a nap during nap time and Jack and I can stay up.  That makes perfect sense.”

Jack:  “Are you coming to Grammy’s with us today?”

“Nope, I have to stay here and get some work done around the house”

“Work?  You don’t work!”  (Bwahahahahahah, I think to myself)

“Well, cleaning up the house IS work, and besides, I DO work.  I take care of you and Ryan; that’s my job”.

“Well…a job is something that you do when you leave the house.  I think you should get a job like Daddy, and Ryan and I can take care of ourselves”.  (Said with much thought and contemplation.  Can you imagine the fun he was dreaming up thinking they could have the house to themselves?)

And overheard last night from the living room:

“I love you Ryan”

“I love you, too Jack”

(then hugs, lots of hugs)

(best kind of conversation there is!)

Cheerfulness

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That’s what I’m shooting for!  Actually, I’ve been feeling pretty good the last few days. Counting the blessings.  Still up and down a bit, but I feel ridiculous to be “down” when our minor irritations are nothing compared to what they could be.  Good grief, get over it girl.  Although I do have to say, this experience has taught me even more about true compassion for what others are going through.  For that I’m extremely thankful!  Sometimes when a thing doesn’t seem so BIG in the grand scheme of things, it IS big in your life, in the moment.  And it’s so nice to know that people truly care about your big things.

This will be a good month!  It’s a milestone month for me; I’ll be turning 30 on the 13th.  And partially because of that, I was able to do some pre-birthday browsing to give my family gift ideas a few days ago.  On Saturday, mom, dad, Erick and I went out car shopping (big fail, cars are more expensive than the last time we shopped around for one!)  But it was a fun day nonetheless.  We ended up at LL Bean, and I’ve gotta say I’m impressed with their new line of spring clothing.  It’s usually hit or miss for me, but they have some great new stuff that is cute, fits well, and the prices are really pretty awesome.  I spent time trying on clothes for the first time in…I can’t remember when.  I’ve been wearing the same clothes for such a long time;  all my tshirts (standard fare) are stretched out of shape because I’ve worn them for…well, years.

This is just a sampling of the things I like; I actually tried on quite a bit.  The colors made me smile; the fact that I was able to enjoy the experience without having to rush made me smile (thank you patient hubby and dad).  Good job, LL Bean.

Ok, I have sick kiddos I need to tend too.  Sick means cranky.  And impatient.  So time to sign off!  And may YOUR week be filled with cheer; mine most certainly will be.  Blessings abound!

The Last 24 Hours

Holy Cow.

First of all, thank you blog friends, and FB friends, for all of your prayers and encouragement.  They are much needed and appreciated!  I’ve never been prone to wild fits of emotions, but the last 24 hours have been hilarious.  I’ve gone from sobbing to complete trust and excitement…to sobbing again.  This picture threw me into fits of giggles yesterday; it was the only way I could get decent reception on our radio.  The sock worked, and it just cracked me up.

I’m so glad that a sock could make me laugh.

During the evening, I started to feel a little blue again, so I suggested a family game of Wii Golf.  It was great, I was feeling good, Erick and I were neck and neck.  The boys were having a blast.  We were in equal parts drowning our blues in video games and chocolate fudge brownies.  And then…and then…I somehow lost it on the last hole.  Blew it.  Ran out of chances to try and make it in the hole.  And it made me SO MAD.  (Obviously, in the midst of it, realizing it was so NOT about a silly golf game).  I was crying, the boys were making funny faces to try and cheer me up.  And it worked! I fell into a wonderful, deep sleep.  Then I woke up at 2 am and spit nails for the rest of the morning.  I don’t often spit nails.

It hurts, after all.

I’m exhausted this morning, but back in that happy, trusting place.  Mourning the fact that we still have work to do on the house when we thought it would be completely out of our hands today.  That we still have two sets of  payments to make.  And praying, desperately, that someone else falls in love with the house before the oil tank runs dry again.  (I’m still human, after all).  But it truly is such small beans in the grand scheme of things.

Thanks again…you guys are great!

Wanna buy a house? (Second Go-Round)

Hmppphhh.

Honestly, posting this will make me feel MUCH better; writing always does, so just bear with me if you don’t mind!

Closing was set for today at 3; last evening we received a call that the buyers were nervous.  This morning, a few minutes ago, we received a call that the deal was off.  Nothing like bad news when you had planned on celebrating, right?

It was really just a case of cold feet for the buyers.

So back to square one!  I’ll admit to my share of tears this morning, but I’m fully trusting, fully confident that God has our best interests at heart.  I don’t know what the plan is, and making plans and then telling God what you WANT to happen NOW isn’t the way it works.  :)  But if you would pray that things would come together soon for us, that would be fantastic.  It’s kind of financially imperative for us, at this point, that we sell soon.  At least that’s the way it looks on paper. God has a grander view, though, one we can’t see.  That most definitely  is what  is keeping me smiling through the tears today!

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