Sick.

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Y’all, I’m so sick. I haven’t been this sick in a very long time. Grateful that I was sick over the weekend so my husband could watch the kids. Luckily, the pink eye is clearing up! Still have the nasty productive cough and the headache and achiness though. Hopefully over it soon!

WhedonCon!

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I’m so thrilled to be invited to be a vendor at this year’s WhedonCon! I’ll be there all three days with my awesome husband selling my handstamped stuff. I’ve watched (and loved) a ton of whedon things, but I never had time to watch Dollhouse or Agents of Shield. I’m super excited Netflix has them because I’m catching up! I’m also looking for quote suggestions if you have any!

Blackout

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We had some crazy rain on Friday. Some flooding in our area. Lots of trees and branches down. The last time we had rain, we discovered a leak in the ceiling, and this time we found another one. Looks like we’ll need to contact the roofing company we used a few years ago. 

One of the surprises was the blackout, caused by a down tree nearby. I had just washed both kids’ lovies, and something told me to just put them through the drier, not the entire load of clothes I’d washed. The power went out just as the lovies finished drying. Thank God for small favors! Our power went out just before 5pm and wasn’t on until 8 the next morning. 

On the plus side, we have tons of candles! First, we put on bathing suits and headed upstairs to our giant tub. There’s great light in our bathroom, so we played in the tub until the sun went down, then we had a candle light dinner. Fun times!

Birthday

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I had a super fun birthday! We headed to downtown Disney for dinner at one of my favorite places: Goofy’s Kitchen. I absolutely loved going with my daughter, but it was the first time with my son. It’s a great family place – buffet food (and lots of it kid friendly) and a few characters come around to your table to take pictures and sign autographs. I am incredibly impressed with their cafe for food allergies; a chef walked me around and pointed out all the different food I could eat, and despite it being a bit, I didn’t have any reactions!

The one thing I really wanted to do was take the kids to Build-a-Bear. It’s am expensive stop, so we’d never been. Our daughter was super excited -huge huge eyes. They had a deal on the My Little Ponies – 1 for $28 or 2 for $35. So, unfortunately, I just *had* to get one for myself since it was such a deal. So, one Luna, one Twilight Sparkle and one Pikachu later, we headed to the stuffing station, then went looking for outfits. Our daughter picked the matching Luna cape and crown, and we found a Batman outfit for Pikachu. (Oh it is so cute!) After naming them and paying, we headed home. It was a wonderful day.

 

Dietbet

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I’m embarrassed to say that because of the stress of the past year, I’d gained approximately 20 pounds (and I wasn’t light to begin with!). So I challenged myself to another round of diet bets, which is a great motivator for me. I don’t need to win money, but I certainly can’t lose it! So after one month, I’m down 8 pounds and richer by $32. Yay me. Now on to another one for next month!

New Head Deaconess

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Not sure if I mentioned this at any point, but I’ve been serving as Head Deaconess at our church for the last few years. I’d only been a Deaconess for a few months when I was elected (partly because there were a lot of interpersonal issues between deaconesses before I got there and partly because I was new and naive and had no idea what the position entailed. 

More background: I started off by immediately having a one on one time with each last so that I could get their take on the team, the problems, and the hopes of each person. It was invaluable!  

Following those responses, the first year I spent getting the basics down (starting on time, cutting the prayer request time out so we just did ‘popcorn prayer,’ making sure we had a devotion at every meeting, and getting the team to share a bit about each other for bonding. The following year I tightened up problems and started regulating things – standardizing memorials, seeing up a prayer chain email address (Target than a private person’s email), coordinating with Deacons (super easy since my husband is Head Deacon), and detailing how major events (like vision dinner) should proceed. This helped us clarify our jobs as a team. 

Finally, the last year I’ve spent having deaconesses write out their job descriptions and compiling then together into a Deaconess handbook. The last time this has been done was more than 20 years ago, and many things had changed since then. As we clarified or roles, we were able to pinpoint problems and confusions and hone our tasks.

At this point, I got burned out.  Since I’d been working hard coordinating the Deaconess team for a few years, I’ve become more adept at praying for them, and during one of my prayer times, I (thankfully) was told it was my time to leave one day while praying. Honestly, I’m extremely glad because I am not sure what else I can contribute other than maintaining the status quo. And since I’m a doer/fixer, that’s not my style. So I was upfront with my team – I told them I’d be leaving the deaconesses the next year and was looking for an assistant for this year so I could train them and they wouldn’t be as woefully unprepared as I was. It took six months before I got a taker – and that included taking a vote and putting two ladies in the spot, neither of whom felt called to the job. So I’m incredibly thankful for my new assistant/future head! 

Mission Trip to France

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We were super blessed to have our mission funded! We traveled as a family with 5 other members of our church to Toulouse, where we connected with the local church, spent time having meals with new friends, did some sightseeing, and threw 2 awesome events: CA Cafe (a big party with trivia, food, and other things) and Thanksgiving Dinner (a full meal for 100 people with presentations about Thanksgiving as well as a testimony by one of our team). It was incredibly challenging with the kids, but it was so worth it. Our daughter made some friends there – she even had a playdate without us! Our son was a bit harder, but we thought it was important to go, showing that there is no ideal time for a mission; when you are called, you go, no matter the difficulty.

Ten year anniversary

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We celebrated ten years of marriage with a short trip up to San Luis Obispo. Despite the recent pain, it was nice to get away for a bit and just rest. We didn’t have any specific plans, which was nice after the recent stress.

We actually started a day early for our daughter’s birthday – we took the kids to a nearby hotel with a great pill (and slide!) And spent the night before dropping them off with my parents in the morning. The hotel was a ton of fun and a great deal since it got us into a fun pool too!

After we dropped off the kids, we took the couple hour drive to SLO. We found a great stop along the way for lunch – a bakery called “our daily bread” with yummy sandwiches (and they even had GF bread for me!).

Once we arrived in SLO, we checked into our hotel. We stayed
at the famous Madonna Inn – known for its random, bizarre decor. Each of the 200+ rooms are decorated in a different theme – and all are gaudy. Is a silly place. We took a dip in the pool, then got ready for a fancy anniversary dinner overlooking Morro Bay.

Bed of flowers (get it?) at Apple Inn

The next day we visited Moonstone Beach – after lunch we searched for moonstones (found a few) and looked on tide pools. Once got back, we switched hotels (only one night was open at the Madonna), so we moved over to Apple Farm, which was amazing: our room had a personal hot tub out the back door!

Bubble Gum alley

After a dip in the hot tub, we headed to a drive in movie theater. We had trickle getting the sound to work, and it was freezing, but it was fun.

The next day we went to downtown SLO, where we checked out the mission, visited bubble gum alley (ewewew) and found a store that sold all kinds of soda (cactus fruit, bubble gum, chocolate, etc). Then we packed it up and headed home. It was a wonderful trip!

Deciding to go on Mission

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About a month after my brother in law passed, we were faced with a decision about going on a mission trip to our sister church in the south of France. We’d been discussing it for a few months, but were too distracted with family circumstances to make a decision. But once we hit June, we had to make a decision. I was pretty sure we were called to go, but every time I went to pray, I just heard “let him make the decision.” So I just kept asking my husband, without pushing. Finally he said, “ugh. I don’t want to go, but I feel like we need to.” He later compared himself to Jonah – being called to go somewhere and do something he really didn’t want to do. Ultimately, he divided to be more like Ananias, who got a direction he didn’t like, but followed through anyway. With my husband’s approval we agreed and started the fundraising process!