Thursday, June 9, 2011

Children Help Simplify Life

This afternoon I had a fifteen minute phone call.

That's it.

I didn't leave the planet. Or even the house.

I sat on my floor (where I'd been cleaning) and had a phone call. My two toddlers were running around, pretending to be good.

I hung up the phone.

I walked out of the room.


"What's that?"

By the perfect shape of the circle cut out of the Children's Bible Title page, I could only guess that my 3-year old had been working on his cutting skills. Though not pleased with his choice of art material, I was pretty impressed with how well he'd cut out a circle.

Where did he get scissors?

He pulls a pair of kid scissors out of his pocket. CONFISCATED.

I finish the cleaning in my room, ignorant to what awaited me.

I casually walk into his room to put something away. I don't even remember why I walked in there anymore.

All I saw were shreds of yarn... and what looked like doll hair. Quick scan. The yarn belonged to my childhood cabbage patch doll. *gasp* Wait a minute. I'm living someone else's life! Haven't I heard this story before? Kid cuts your favorite childhood doll's hair. I'm sure I've heard it before... dejavu.

My son walks in. "Who else's hair did you cut?" I ask him. He whimpers. He picks up a little mermaid doll (also from my childhood). She sports a new fashionable look- hair cut nice and spiky-short toward the top, left long in the back. Hmm... doesn't look too bad in a pony-tail.

Son on timeout, I walk back to my room. What's that? A dollar-tree cowboy hat being shredded by the super-human strength of my 2-year old daughter. Or the weakness of the dollar-tree cowboy hat quality. Either way, it's in pieces.

Okay, there are two ways to look at this. Maybe more.

1. My kids are crazy, scissor-stealing thieves who are trying to destroy every precious thing in my house before they aren't cute enough to get away with it.


2. My kids are helping to simplify my life. Get rid of half the things in my house, right? Isn't that our goal. I can cross off "Get rid of cowboy hat." Yes! I can also cross off "Tear out title page of children's Bible." Shoot, while I'm at it, I can cross of "Cut half the hair off the dollies."

I've found that #2 has become much more my perspective these days. Oh, you broke that dish? One less dish to clean! You shattered my beautiful candle holders? Two less knick knacks to dust!

Apparently my children are entering the developmental phase of learning to cut. Hopefully from here on out I can pick what they cut... and what we get rid of!

In the meantime, thanks for simplifying my life, kids!

p.s. Here's a parent who encourages other parents to let their kids cut their doll's hair. Wish mine had asked first like hers did!!!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Heading to Germany

We had no idea when this blog began that we would be making this announcement today.

We are joining the staff of Black Forest Academy in Kandern, Germany- leaving June 2012. BFA is an international Christian school for children of missionaries, military families, business folk, and local Germans.

How ironic that God would lead us on this journey of living on used things, simplifying our lives, using our money more wisely... not knowing that He'd be taking us half way across the world to minister to His precious children!

How much more precious the theme verse of this blog is: Keep your lives frree from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you."

I'm sure the reality of those beautiful words will only grow into a greater treasure as time proves the love behind it.

That being said, here are more of the details I'm sure you are wondering about!

Kandern, Germany. The next
nearest cities are in
Switzerland and France!
Our church has a missionary family already there, the Carreys, who will be back in the states the very year we go! Jeremy will take the fifth grade teaching position and then potentially move into the Middle School in the following years. I will be raising our kids, writing, and supporting Jeremy and our mission in Kandern. Eventually, I hope to become the counselor for staff and students. This is only my aim once my young ones are in school. And yes! They will be attending BFA as well! Corban's first year (Kindergarden) will be in German!)

Our Pastor and his wife (and family) spent about 7 years at BFA, fulfilling various roles. This is how we were initially connected with BFA.

Now what? Well, we have no idea! We have a training with the sending agency, Teach Beyond, the third week of June. We imagine we will know much more then. We will be support raising soon- and trust that God has all of this worked out for us in advance. We plan on renting out the house, selling just about everything we own... and going for it! Jeremy will blog next about this process for him... how God is affirming this decision over and over... and all of the really neat things this has meant for him as the leader of our household.

Join us in praying through all of the details, PLEASE! And any great fundraiser ideas :) We will be putting together a newsletter, so let us know if you'd like to receive it!

Looking forward to sharing this journey with you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How the Pantry Challenge Went...

We did it! Today is the first of June. Payday was yesterday and I went grocery shopping!

Dorina's help with my pantry was so inspiring. I'd almost venture to say that we had more goodies around than usual because I had ideas. I made blueberry muffins (Simonian Farms had a BOGO on blueberries and then gave me an extra one with my total purchase!) and granola. The granola (pictured right) was a HIT! That's made a permanent place on my pantry shelf and for very few dollars! No more luna bars for us!

I made wonton chicken cups with Chinese Fried Rice. We had green bean casserole, home made pizza (with whatever variety of cheese I had left in the fridge, most of which were NOT mozzarella. The pizza had a cream of mushroom sauce which ended up being REALLY yummy!

I used left over wonton cups for lunch the next day. I filled them with peanut butter and served with sliced apples.

I also made bread for sandwiches since we were out. Saturday we ALL had pb&j on our home made bread. It was SO good. I finally found a recipe that my bread-maker can actually manage! Check it out here.

It was definitely rough to start- but such a fun challenge to figure out how to feed my family until payday! The last couple of days included a trip to visit my husband's sister in the Bay area. She was sooo generous! She let us crash her condo, made us breakfast, got a couple of our meals out on the town... and was just all around wonderful! She made our final days even better! Hopefully the small tokens of appreciation that we left behind will keep the invitations flowing! :)

As I said in my last post... Dorina would LOVE the challenge of giving you meal ideas for your pantry too! Just leave a comment on her blog (including your pantry's ingredients) and she'll send you a list of meal ideas too! I couldn't make every recipe with every ingredient... but I was able to make them with what I had. In fact, there are a couple of meals on my meal list for THIS week that carry over from our pantry week. Praise God!

Comment on Dorina's blog here: