Monday, March 29, 2010

My next knitting project

My sister, Liz, is having a sweet baby in October.  Can't wait to start kntting on this.

Found this pattern on one of my favorite knitting blogs, Uncommon Grace
I guess I'll just knit it in white since I'm not sure if he is a she.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Every Need Supplied

My friend, Worth, sings a beautiful song "Every Need Supplied".  I love the part in the song that talks about God supplying our needs from His huge supply.

This morning I was thinking about lots of things like taxes, plane tickets to Kenya, furlough days, and in the recesses of my mind, this song came to me.  I've been humming it and thinking about Philippians 4:19. No worries, His supply is endless.

You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need,
his generosity esceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity.
Phil. 4:19 (the Message)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

All in the name of frugality

Recently I started clipping coupons. I guess it depends on how you define saving money, but I realized that I am buying a WHOLE lot more groceries for the same amount of money. My dogs are excited that I am getting name brand dog food for the same price as store brand.  It is tedious and has become somewhat of an obsession for me. It is a healthy outlet for my OCD and best of all I have learned to score free items every week.  Not quite sure how the family is gonna use all the free Arrid Extra Dry deoderant I now have stockpiled thanks to Krogers $1 sale and my $2.00 off 2 coupon.  You do the math. I have gotten multiple free deoderants for the last six weeks at Kroger.

So imagine my frustration when Wayne complained about my hair appointment and the $75.00 it took to keep me as gorgeous as I am.  I tried reverse psychology on him, but somehow he could not understand how the 942 deoderants in the bathroom closet offset the money he forked out for my hair.  Anywhooo....being the wonderful man that he is, he realized there was no winning this argument.

His latest money splurge has been getting the yard mowed every other week.  He started it last summer when he could not keep up because he was always working late. After destroying both the push mower and weedeater with regular gas (how ridiculous is it that they expect you to mix oil with gas before you put it in the tank???) he banned me from any attempts at landscaping and decided to bite the bullet and pay someone to do it.
 The pleasure of freshly mowed yard (or you cold say weeds) has put so much love back into our springtime.  He no longer hears me compain about the knee high weeds.  It has made him a happy man not to worry about the grass, and put him in such a good mood, he told me my hair looked dazzling...ok well he actually said "oh, your hair looks good." but to me it's all the same!

Some things are worth splurgin on...on some things give you sweet satisfaction by saving.....
Where do you splurge and where do you skimp in life?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not a bad Tuesday at all.....

....Starbucks had "free pastry day" hair turned out better than I had even hoped.
.....Mom made my favorite birthday dinner...lasagne and chocolate cake
.....Awesome mohair yarn and knitting book from Mom and Dad
.....spring break at work, oh I was there, just no students.
.....found out my "real age" is 34. Gotta love it...worth the miles I run.
.....sitting outside with my honey in the cool spring air,
....Biggest Losers

Monday, March 22, 2010

I think the 40's are where it's at!

Well, I celebrated my 41st birthday on Friday and I gotta tell you there are many reasons why I am liking this decade.

 I left my girls at manage at home by themselves while Wayne took me camping.  No babysitter arraingments, just a kiss on the cheek, money on the counter, and milk in the fridge, oh and a threat to cause bodliy harm if they did not show up on time at school on Friday morning. Couldn't do that in my 30's! 

Wayne picked the most beautiful campsite in the entire park. We were right on the edge of a huge lake and that morning we woke up and heard the geese squalking and the mist was rising over the water. I sat there forever just drinking my coffee and soaking it all in.  I could kick myself for not taking pictures, but you know, I really was just loving the moment.  While Wayne fished all afternoon, I read and knitted. He made me lunch and then we explored the campground a little.

That evening, some friends of ours came over with the girls, and we grilled hamburgers and made smores. Wayne got me the most delicious birthday cake EVER!  Our friend Tori Roberts made me the prettiest cake with about a jillion layers and homemade old fashioned chocloate icing. It really deserves an entire post itself! :)

Saturday came around way to soon, Wayne informed me that my birthday was over, and I had to get up and help him break camp.  It was wonderful.  I'll try to post some pictuers Leslie took...she's much better at capturing the moment than I am.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A full day of Celebration

I started off the day is a relly happy mood. Maybe it was the fact that I was wearing my new "springy" green top I got at Goodwill for $1, or maybe it was the fact that I love rainy days, but on any account it was a good Wednesday.  The day only got better.

Work was not nearly as chaotic as it has been in recent days, and all the girls took me to Buffington's for my birthday. Oh yeah baby, I splurged and knew that there was a really good reason I had put in 5 miles on the treadmill yesterday, I cashed in my fat burning chips on a huge chili cheddar burger with cheese fries.  Angie, one of my sweet girls at work made me a caramel cake that was perfect. I'm not kidding you, the caramel icing was light and delicate, but at the same time rich and creamy.  The cake was tender and moist. 
As we sat around laughing and eating, I got a little teary when I thought about how much I love the girls I work with. We are like family. We have seen the best and worst of each other. We share hard times with each other.  When one of us is hurting, the others mother her and love on her.  When something great happens in our lives, we all celebrate.  They loved me last year when I thought I was going to lose my mind.  We tease each other, know what each other loves to snack on.  We have a million private jokes....Yes Britt, "functionable" is a word, and  no, that was not a fake laugh.  I just taught them all to knit, and we all pledge to grow old together at dear ole student health.
 If you have a job these days you are blessed. If you have a job you like, then you have a good reason to be thankful. If you love your job, and have a great relationship with your coworkers, then you can agree with me that God has been extra good to you!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Old Friends, New times

Tomight we had dinner with some old friends.  Rick and Pam Hollis moved away about two years ago. I missed them alot.  We logged in so many hours at Compassionate Care Clinic.  I realized tonight while talking to him, that I'm one of the only originals left.

Tonight, we talked about an exciting mission project that their church in Pensacola is involved in.  Our youth may join them this summer and who knows? There may be a long term mission project that grows from it.

Here is the cool thought I had while sharing old times, and planning new.......I am so thankful that I belong to the family of God. I was thinking about how glad I will be to spend all eternity with some of the most interesting and sweetest people I know.  I was thinking about how there will be no time or space limitations in heaven.  I will be with people I love forever. No goodbyes.  I guess that means I'll also share eternity with believers that aren't my favorite people on this earth.... Have you ever thought about that?

Seriously, don't be pious, you know that there are people in God's family that you would just rather avoid.  What about them?  Will we have to dodge people up there that drove us crazy down here?  Will our new bodies and minds love each other better than we do now?

Does it seem strange that the things that separate the best of friends here on earth will seem so petty and insignificant in heaven?   Living in light of eternity means so much more than we understand.  Tonight God spoke to me and said, "Stephanie, it's really not about you.  It really doesn't matter what people think about you.  I've got so many plans that you need to get done before you get home.  Live in light of eternity."

Regardless, I'm glad that one day, I'll spend all day chatting it up with Rick and Pam.  No "see ya' next time". No "When are y'all headed back?"  I miss you a bunch now, but it won't be long, we'll be going home.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The tale of the lost cell phone...or getting back to the good ole days

Somwhow on Wednesday night, I lost my cell phone.  I didn't realize it until that night when I got ready to charge it.  I mentally retraced my steps that evening, and decided it must be in the church sanctuary or the clinic where I volunteer.  Thursday morning revealed it was in neither place.  After  deactivating it, I decided to just suck it up and live without it, until it turned up, or I could talk Wayne in to forking out $100 for a new phone. 

The first three hours were really hard. What if my kids needed me?  What if Wayne wanted to call me and tell me of his undying love? Reality check... neither of those situations where in the realm of possibility on  Thursday morning.  By lunch I kinda liked the peace and quiet.  No text messages, no one calling me in the middle of my work day.  I got alot done, without stopping to check my phone every hour.  By days end, I felt like I was totally old school....and loving it.  The drive home was quiet, I listened to Paul Simon on the radio and the realized that I never drove off the road one time since I wasn't texting and driving.

By this morning, I decided that the 80's had more than big hair, Rubics Cube and Air Supply going for it.  Before cell phones, life was quieter, simpler, and in less of a rush.  I realized that my kids really have missed out on the freedom of sneaking around without a parent endlessly texting and calling to check on them. 

This new found freedom has come to an end.  My little friend Brianna found it in the ladies bathroom.  Maybe I'll leave it on vibrate for a few  days....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

all dogs go to heaven

According to Randy Alcorn and his book "Heaven", Ginger is gonna make it there. I was so happy to read his opinion that indeed God will allow animals into heaven. Although they have no soul, they are part of His creation and bring us joy.  Ginger was Wayne's solution to my desire for a third Welch baby.  We treat her like a baby, spoil her rotten, but no daycare or college costs!  She will definitly have a doggie door in my mansion.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is it OK if I brag for just a minute?

Leslie won second place for this picture in the Eatonton-Putnam County Arts Alliance Photogrpahy Contest. I am so proud of her!  Please stop by and view all her photographs this month at the Eatonton Chamber of Commerce.  They, along with other entries, will be on display all this month.  There will also be a "People's Choice" award that you can vote on.

Tomorrow we will go and listen as the professional photographers give her feedback on all her pictures, then she gets her picture in the paper.  Yeah, I'm just a little proud!

Sounds of the Spirit

Do you sometimes forget that as believers in Christ, there is a whole world going on around us? This world is as real as the oatmeal and coffee I am having for breakfast, but not visible with my physical eyes.

It occured to me last night (at 4:20 am to be exact I've got insomnia...again) that all over Scripture, God tells us  this spiritual world is audible if we listen with spiritual ears.  There is a huge world that you can tap into if you listen closely........ can hear the encouragement of the saints ( Heb. 12:1)  They are rooting you on. "Don't quit now! Keep on going!  You are almost there! It's so worth it!"

.......the angels are continually praising our God in a song that never ends.  Think about it....the voices of angels....."Holy, Holy. Holy is the Lord God Almighty" (Isaiah 6:3)

.........the very voice of God as He sings over you.  (Zeph. 3:17)Yeah, thats what it says, He sings over us.  What does the voice of God singing over you sound like?  Perhaps the most beautiful sound that our ears could imagine.  Maybe that's why physical ears can't hear it. It's too pure, too sweet. It takes us to a place that is reserved for His children. A place of no worries.

Sounds of the Spirit.  Listen closely.  Beyond the sounds of alarm clocks, honking horns, fighting children, there are sounds that are reserved just for you.  What can you hear?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

and so the running begins

I have reached the limit of what my good conscious will allow in laziness. Every year it's the same routine. I begin the year off in a bit of a post Christmas running slump. Around mid-January I try to rally a  effort to run which lasts about 2 weeks. I decide that it's too cold and the treadmill is way too boring and I decide to "rest" until it warms up.
It's warm, and I'm out of shape. I hauled my lazy butt into the road on Saturday and huffed and puffed my way through 3 miles at a snail's pace.  I'm not sure, but I think the neighbor dog was giggling at me. I guess I was moving so slow, there was no thrill in the chase and she just yawned.
I hate the first two weeks of spring running. I'm out of breath and, however strange this sounds, it hurts when the fat on my hips jiggle. Seriously, that fat was not there in December, the last time I ran.

I was so lazy I totally skipped the Bobcat ramble this year, which is usually my welcome back to running race that kick starts my season.  So I find myself a little behind schedule this year. I also am realizing that the day is not too far away when I will not longer have the lesiure of taking 2 months off.  I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that I am 40, nearing middle age, and running is as much about my heart and lungs as it is about my hips.

This year may be the year that has no end. I think it's time to lace up my shoes and keep on going.  One day, that break is gonna break me and I may not be able to get motivated to ever start back.  It could happen. I've run ever since I can remember, but life changes, and I am changing.  My body doesn't bounce back like it used to and I think I've hit that mark. I'm running for health and that requires more perseverance.

Happy trails fellow's gonna be a beautiful spring, especially after I get through the next two weeks!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Congratulations Matt and Heather

Wayne and I have know our friends Matt and Heather, for so long, it's hard to remember our married life without them there. Today their son Adam is marrying the girl of his dreams, Cason.   She will love being their daughter. I know I have loved being their friend all these years, and they love me like family.

I guess that's why I love them so much. You know, in this life, you only have a few friendships that are that deep and strong.  We have so much fun together! You know it's hard to find a couple that you and your spouse both love. Of course I'm not saying Matt and Wayne love each other, oh no, I'm just saying they really resepct and admire one another! :) Me and Heather....we love each other. :)

M and H have been our friends in the worst of times.  They have seen us go through the ugly stuff of losing jobs, losing family members and losing our own sanity. In those times there is no fixing it, there's just loving you through it. They are the kind of friends I can call at 3 am if I need help. I could ask for money, and they'd empty their account for me. I can have the peace in knowing they would finish raising my girls exactly how I want them raised if I die.

So today, in the best of times, I celebrate a wonderful day. Today their son Adam takes a wife and makes a home.  We share all their joy, knowing that every good and perfect gift is from above.  We celebrate  the new gift of family. Welcome to the Schulze's Cason, I think you'll love it! 
And we celebrate the gift of old friends. Congratulation Matt and Heather, thank you for loving us, and thank  you for letting us share in your joy!
It's gonna be good day!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


In the circus that is my brain, there us a place that identifies "my favorites".  However, this place is a bit of a revolving door which is apt to change at any given moment in time.  Those who know me and love me know that I am allowed to declare "my favorite" from a song to a flavor any time I'm in the mood.......

Coffee: Folgers with a glug of milk, no sugar.

Ice Cream: Ben and Jerry's Brownie Fudge Chunk

Time of day: 7:30-8:30- when everyone leaves the house and I'm all by myself, Sirrius radio blaring and getting ready for work.

Deep theological thinker and writer: John Piper. Thanks Andy Hall for introducing us.

Ipod selection when I am busting my behind to run just a little bit further than yesterday: Toby Mac

Color: the deep red hue of my firstborn's hair when the sun hits it, and she lets me wrap it around my fingers. It looks like pennies.

What is your most absolute favorite?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

in praise of average

I have come to realize that most people think that they are pretty special.  If not them, they think their children are God's gift to the universe. Don't get me wrong. I love my children.  I think God has blessed me with the two most wonderful girls in the world, but is it wrong to embrace your childrens "averageness" ?

In our culture, American parents insist on their child competing with every other child in the classroom.  Most people begin this process of fine tuning their child's skills when they are babies, to develop a niche where their child is "the best".  This carries over into high school. My sister Heather is just beginning to get a taste of this.  She talked in her last post about how high school registration includes a life plan for a 15 year old kid. Gimme a break!  What kid has a life plan ready in the ninth grade?

What happened to just making your way through your adolesecence and enjoying life?  What happened to trying new things with no pressure to be the best. it?  Why can't my kids feel successful just getting through their high school years taking "normal' classes and hanging out with their friends?  Why do we feel it necessary for them to complete a year of college before they ever get there?

You know, average people are spectacular. Most average people I know are pretty well adjusted.  They don't have as many hang ups as those who "know they are special".  Average people work hard, they know that they have weaknesses they have to overcome.  Average people love their wives and kiss their children.  Average people are usually loyal, and faithful. They not be the smartest, the fastest or the funniest, but that they can be there.  They are the people that fill the pews year after year at your church, They show up and help out without special recognition.

I love average people, I'm married to one. I am one, and we've produced two beautiful average girls!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cakes and Kenya

What do these cakes and Kenya have in common?  Alot if you bought a cake at our auction Sunday night!  Our mission team is heading to Kenya this summer. I can hardly wait. I've never been to Africa and this is a chance of a lifetime.  We are all trying to raise our $3,000 for tickets. The cake auction raised about $1500.  I love it when God does far beyond what we can ask or imagine....Eph. 3:20-21

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hey Stephanie, what's for supper?

Country ham
collard greens with pepper sauce
pinto beans with chow chow and vidalia onions
sweet tea

Yum! Yum!

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