Sunday, July 28, 2013

Auction Week

Growing up, my family always made their way to Gateway Woods every August for "The Sale."  This giant auction spans 3 tents with all items being donated and all proceeds going to benefit the running of Gateway Woods.  I loved going and seeing all the different things that were being auctioned off.  Handcrafted furniture, electronics, handmade quilts, camping tents, canoes, trampolines, and the list goes on.  It seemed like a pretty big deal when I was a little girl.  And now having lived in the heart of it for 5 years I can tell you:

It's a pretty big deal. 

A few thousand people flood the campus on that day, enjoying seeing friends, eating delicious food, and knowing all the money they are spending is going to a good cause.

Although we only see the physical aspects of preparation a couple weeks before the Auction, there are people who are preparing for this day months in advance.  In the last couple days we have seen the signs of the upcoming event.  As a houseparent, this may be one of my most favorite weeks out of the whole year for me.  I love seeing all the willing volunteers and donations being brought in.

And to see the throng of people that show up on Sale Day?  Pretty cool.
The ice cream booth is moved from it's corner by the woods, out by the crab apple tree for it's one-day-out-of-the-year debut.
A couple of the tents are put up
The view from our front door
And although our Ultimate Frisbee field has been reduced in size...we will carry on

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A thought on being authentic

Those who are authentic are relevant.
Those who compromise authenticity to be relevant become corrupt.
Author Unknown

I think of myself as a fairly easy going person.  I don't get offended real easily.

But I do have a few pet peeves.  A few strange ones, but the one that gets me most often?

Fake people.

I try to be as real with people as possible.  I will tell you like it is.

I'll try to use some tact, but you are still gonna get the truth.

Sadly, I come across fake people quite often.

Like, daily.

We keep preaching to these kids to be real.  Be real about your struggles.  Be real about your faults.  Be real about what you actually like, not pretending to like something because someone else does.

Because you can only hold up the disguise, the fakery, for so long.  And either you get tired and it all falls down, or the truth finds you out in the end and there you are staring at a lap full of consequences.

I think we can all fall into that trap, though.  Putting up the front that all is good.  Because, well, that is what is expected.

Everyone who does evil … will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light. John 3:20-21, NIV

Truth is, we are all sinners and we are all doing something wrong at some point in every day.  Are you willing to admit it?  Are you willing to confess this to a fellow Believer and look for accountability?

Or will you choose instead to paste on the smile, act like all is fine, and fake your way through this life?

Let's live life's of truth!  Admit when we are wrong or when we don't know.

How can we be a light to the darkness when we are living behind a filter of something that we are not?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Second time around

I'll have to ask my mom to get a better story, but I vaguely remember loving to put my own outfits together, and the thought that as long as the top and bottom were both stripes, it didn't matter what colors they were.

I loved coming up with new outfits and would often change a few times a day just so I could try out all my ideas.

Well, it seems I have bred a mini-me.

I was going to take a picture every morning for a month to chronicle all the outfits, but some days I was delinquent.  But, I have still managed to capture a few doozies.


*My favorite, by the way.*

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

June Lookback

 June, oh the lead in to summer.  It began with a graduation, a little soccer, led into a family vacation, a celebration of fathers, precious moments of enjoying friends,and finally falling asleep - exhausted on the couch.

Catch your breath, because summer is just getting started...

So hard to believe we have a 1st grader!
 Final day of soccer - Owen was awarded the "Best Defensive Player" award
 Vacation in the Smokies = Love.
 Father's Day - they are all crying...Yea!
 The countdown continues on, and we tried to get as much time with the Wiegands as we could

Summer is wearing her out.  She has done this multiple times while Owen is reading her a book.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

30 days without accessories - a link up

A blog I follow put up the challenge.

Here were the rules:

Remove from your living space:
Stuff that’s sitting on surfaces like photo frames, decorative bowls, stacks of books and magazines (unless I’m currently, truly reading them), vases (unless they are holding live, fresh flowers), baskets o’junk on the surfaces and floor, pillows, throws, random cute stuff that I have sitting all over.
What you can keep:
Lamps that I use daily, stuff my husband sits on his man-station, plants that might die if I pack them away. Books that are stacked neatly on bookshelves.
Additional rules:
Pack it away for a month. IF you realize you need something you can take it out and use it. For example, if you are having company over and want to light a candle, pull it out and light it. If you are cold, go get your cute throw. If your children need the jar of colored pencils, go grab it.

I love to live with less anyways, so I thought this would be a fun thing to try.  It seems whenever I come back to our apartment from being out in the main house with residents, the place is just blown up, clutter everywhere.  Some stuff I just can't control (ahem, children) but some things I can.

So I took down all my random knick knacks (mostly a collection of pitchers and pottery, picture frames) and packed them away.  I didn't think I had a whole lot because I can't stand clutter, but I discovered something in the removal of my things.

Things just looked cleaner.

Despite toys on the floor and random shoes not being where they were supposed to, the whole living room seemed....quieter.

I seem to be able to clean up a lot quicker too, because random papers laying around stick out like a sore thumb which means they get dealt with quicker.  I think I will probably leave it like this for awhile.  I recommend trying it out yourself.  

You might just surprise yourself...and like it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

When I think about freedom

This song has been going through my head today (click on the link, please.  Ignore the commercial and skip to the song. It's a good one!).  It began while I was out on my morning run.  I heard it on the radio and felt that it was a very appropriate song for today, a day we celebrate our liberty.

This country isn't quite what it was when we first celebrated our independence.  In some ways we've improved, but in many ways we have fallen away.

But God is not dead.  And He still has children left in this country.  May His church be "set on fire" and "win this nation back."  The atmosphere needs changed, the true Kingdom needs built.

May His citizens show others who Jesus really is.  So that they too may desire to be a part of this Kingdom we are striving for.

Today thank God that we still have freedom in this country, although at times it may feel like the noose of tyranny is closing in.  Thank God He is still in control and he has "determined the exact times for each of us and the exact places where we should live.  God does this so that men will seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:26-27)

Today as you celebrate freedom for this country, thank God that we all have a chance to be free from sin.

Happy Freedom Day.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Something different around here...

Well, he left this morning.

He went to court and it's official.

He is no longer a resident in our house.

For two and a quarter years he has lived with us.

Over 2 years.

I'm sure you can understand that if someone lives in your home for that long they pretty much have become a part of your family.

Although he was officially a resident at Gateway Woods, his personality, his life experiences, his approach to us, was more like a foster child.

Our kids saw him as a big brother.  Owen actually told him once that his last name was Suvar.

(My apologies on a not so great picture.  I can't show a full face picture, and this is the best I could find.)

Now, he didn't leave here perfect, with everything figured out.  We weren't expecting that.  We never expect that.

But he did leave here a more mature, grounded, respectful individual.  He isn't moving too far away and I suspect that we will be seeing him around.

I sure hope so.

So, right now I work through a feeling of melancholy.  A little let down from 2 years of a certain "norm."

Another kid will come.  Will fill that bedroom.  Sit in that chair at the table.  More lessons will be taught, consequences given.

But I will not forget these last 2 years with him.  And what he has taught me during it.