These are some of my favorite gifts I received this Christmas...
Clockwise: 1. Sonicare toothbrush. 2. Clinique perfume pencils. They are seasonal and come in packs on three. My sisters and I each got one. So genius! No spills or messes. Just fresh smelling! 3. All You magazine subscription. Always filled with tons of thrifty things, which we all know I love! 4. Cold Tangerines. I heard this was a good book. Sounded intriguing! 5. Starbucks gift cards. These make me so happy! 6. Food processor. You know you're an adult when an electric toothbrush and a food processor are on your list of favorite gifts!
We have tons of family. Between my husband and I we have FIVE families. I think when people hear our story, they feel sorry for us. And most people don't get, which I don't expect them to. For example, I mentioned how we have all five of our families in Houston, so even when we go in town for a weekend, we are constantly trying to see everyone - just to make time for at least one meal with each parent. To this, my friend responded that she understood because when they visit her husband's family, they have to split time between his parents (still married) and his brother... People don't get it. But that's okay. I've accepted that. And I know my friend meant well. Maybe it's better that people don't quite get it. I don't want people to feel sorry for us. This is just how life is. I've never known differently. In college, I came home for a weekend and tried to divide my time between three parents.
So yes, Christmas is crazy... and sometimes a bit stressful. When Four Christmases, with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, came out last year, I thought this was going to be our movie, showing the reality of divorced families and having so many Christmases - in a humorous light of course. But in actuality, this movie treated marriage as an institution to be avoided. Reese and Vince's characters had decided never to get married, and the movie actually ended with them vowing to stick to this decision. It made me sad because this was the perfect opportunity to promote marriage by having these characters vow to make a generational change and show what divorce is doing to society, but of course, Hollywood missed this opportunity...
With Christmas two days away, I am reminded of this movie because even with RMom out of town, we still have four families, rather than five, to see on Christmas. Like I said, at times this is overwhelming, but at other times, I am amazed at the many families that love us and that we love. I would never choose to be a child of divorce, but I would say we are blessed with how things have worked out. Everyone gets along. SMom actually invited my dad and his siblings and Brendon's parents and extended family over on Christmas eve! I am so thankful for the way things have turned out. We couldn't ask for better families.
I am done! I am finished with school for the semester! And I am completely finished with Bible and theology classes! Yea!! I love both of those classes, but they are a ton of work. So it's nice to have those out of the way. Only counseling classes left. And now I am actually on to my internship at Grace Community Church, Plano, where I will actually be counseling clients! So exciting, yet so scary, right?! I'm excited to finally be using my degree.
It's one of those seasons... prayers are needed left and right... for grieving, for healing, for comfort, for good prognoses. None of it directly affects us. But many of those we love are affected by the hardships of life now and in need of prayer now... therefore it does affect us. We hurt with them.
A friend sent me this verse. Much appreciated. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
I just sent an email to friends for prayer. Rather than retyping, I'm copying and pasting. I'm drained.
I just wanted to send you a quick update on Ian, Tarryn's dad. He's not doing well at all and is back in the hospital. They are looking into hospice care, if he gets to come home. It's all just really sad. I know they aren't expecting it to be much longer before he dies. So I would just ask for your prayers over the next few days for the Macpherson family. Pray for comfort and for God to use this to bring them all closer to Him.
And on another note, I also wanted to ask you to pray for my friend Holly. She was pregnant and due in March but went into labor this week and had the baby at 25 weeks, which is the (I believe) the week that doctors say if the baby is born, it actually has a chance of living. While that's a praise, 25 weeks is incredibly early, and there is a ton of developing that still needs to be done. So please keep Holly, Ryan, and baby Sophie in your prayers as well.
Sorry this couldn't be a more uplifting email, but I appreciate your prayers so much. It's comforting to know that even when we don't know how to pray, the Spirit does and will intercede for us.
Thanks for being such great friends that I can share this with you.
The latest update is that Ian has passed away. I would appreciate it if you all would keep the Macpherson family in your prayers.
With so much going on, I am finding it hard to concentrate on school... final papers, finals... I just don't have the energy. Sometimes life is hard, and this is definitely one of those times. But I have confidence knowing that God is sovereign. Thank You, Lord, for being a God we can trust, even when things are difficult. I don't understand Your purposes or Your ways, but I know I can trust You. And for now, that is enough.
It's been forever since I have posted on this blog I know, I know. Bad blogger! Halloween, then birthday (pics to come), then school, the holidays, and now finals... I've been busy. But I wanted to share what's been on my heart lately.
As graduation is drawing near (May, yea!), I feel like people are constantly asking me what I am going to do next. The truth is I have no idea. I am not even sure if I will counsel. Maybe I'll work at a church or parachurch in a ministry position. Maybe I'll teach. I have options but no clear direction. And I am completely okay with that. DTS has been amazing for me (hence, the many other posts on the topic). It is up there with the best decisions I have made so far in life - becoming an HP YL leader in college and marrying my best friend. I have been blessed to go to DTS and to sit under biblical teaching with other committed Christians. And counseling is a bonus. Whether I counsel or not, people-skills are valuable skills to have in life! So while many people go to school as a means to get a better job, for me school is an end in itself. I will be better prepared spiritually and interpersonally for whatever comes next, but regardless of what comes next, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go to DTS.
I am sitting in the cafe at DTS trying to work on my paper. I'm completely overwhelmed because I have a ridiculous amount of assignments due next week. But I can't help thinking how much I love being here. As I sit here trying to get motivated to write, I can't help but overhear people praying, talking about Jesus, and sharing their testimonies - ALL AROUND ME! Where else in our country does that happen? It's moments like this that make me grateful for these years at DTS. And sometimes it makes me sad that I'm graduating.
Just thought you all might want to see this. Sammy has a sore on her nose that she keeps messing with so the vet put her in a cone... it's one thing after another these past few months! But really this is hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing my whole way home with her in the car yesterday. She tried to jump in the car and fell back because her cone hit the seat... sad but funny. It's taking some getting used to... she keeps bumping into things. We're only making her wear it when we aren't around to supervise her though. Just thought I'd share!
Oh and by the way, our battle fleas... it's not over... Ugh. But we just got Comfortis - the latest oral flea medication that kills the fleas, as opposed to just being a flea birth control. We saw at least 40 dead fleas on her blanket after giving it to her. I haven't seen more fleas on her since we gave it to her Friday - a good sign. And luckily, there are still no signs of them being in our carpet. Come on, Comfortis!
We helped with a middle school youth retreat with our church from Houston this past weekend. It was so fun to see our old friends! We hadn't seen them in so long! Brendon's dad was there also. And Tommy led worship! Julie and I also had 6th grade girls - precious!
It was so fun to see sweet friends that we rarely ever see. It almost made me want to move back...
The best new show on TV this fall is FlashForward. The first two episodes have already aired, but watch them free on Hulu or ABC.com. The third episode will air this Thursday at 7 PM on ABC. Check it out!
Ugh. I hate fleas, and I never want to see another one again. Earlier this month we spotted a couple on Sammy, so we bathed her in flea soap and then reapplied Frontline. Only we didn't realize that you don't get rid of fleas that quickly... it's a process. So a couple weeks later we realize she still had them. I have washed tons of blankets, slip covers, etc. and vacuumed (with flea killing dust) about 10 times in the last 2 weeks. We also treated our yard and kept her secluded from her best dog friend. Finally the vet gave us some medicine that kills every flea on her for 24 hours. Then you start anew with the Frontline, or whatever you use. Why did the vet not give us this product sooner??? Seriously! Luckily, I think the battle is over, and we have come out victorious!
But for your enjoyment, here is a picture of Sammy being defiant after one of her flea baths. She was tired of flea baths, so she went and sat in the flower bed (minus the flowers). She showed us!
Most of you all know that I LOVE Real Simple. Absolutely love it. Earlier this summer they posted a recipe for a watermelon-mint cooler. Essentially it's lemonade, mixed with pureed watermelon. I do half of each. Then you top it with mint. Simply delightful! It's really become one of my favorite things to make. It makes me feel like summer's not quite over.
I don't go exactly by the recipe, but if you would like to, their recipe is here. Enjoy!
This has become one of my favorite recipes. I am actually making it tonight!
6 skinless/boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter
2 (0.7 ounce) packages Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing Mix
2 cans Golden mushroom soup
1 cup dry white wine
8 oz tub Cream Cheese Chives and onions, optional
In a medium saucepan melt butter. Stir in salad dressing mix, soup, wine, and cream cheese until combined well. Pour over chicken in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. I actually cook it less because I think my crock pot is too hot. Serve chicken and sauce over angel hair pasta or rice.
We truly had the best time in Colorado. The weather was fabulous. It was wonderful to escape the heat. It was also wonderful to be surrounded by such beauty - rivers, lakes, mountains, thick grass... Speaking of which, I should say that I LOVE the grass they have there. I have been to Colorado (and north of Texas, for that matter) tons of times, but I had just never noticed how amazing and thick the grass is elsewhere. So green, soft, plush... like carpet! Love it.
We stayed with Brendon's grandparents, and yes, as you saw, we brought our dog. Sammy and his grandparent's dog, Daisy, played the whole time. It was wonderful! And it was so fun to see his grandparents. They took us into Aspen and Red Stone. We played cards, went on walks, picked crab apples and strawberries, and even made apple sauce!
A bear was stuck in a tree outside the Aspen courthouse.
We picked crab apples from his grandparents' backyard to make apple sauce!
Ice cream with grandparents. PaPa was acting silly for the picture.
I just got this forward and thought I would share.
Many of you have probably already heard about the BUYCOTT @ Whole Foods tonight, but just in case you haven't, here's the details:
(I asked if we were shopping from 7 PM to 9 PM or carrying signs in support of them. Ken from the Dallas Tea Party said, "both").
Begins: Tuesday, September 1 2009 at 7:00 PM Ends: Tuesday, September 1 2009 at 9:00 PM Location: Whole Foods Market Address: 11700 Preston Rd., Dallas, Texas 75230
or for those of you in Collin County: Time: Same as above Location: Whole Foods Market Address: 2201 Preston Rd., Suite C, Plano, TX 75093
As you may know, Texas-based *Whole Foods Market* is being subjected to a nationwide BOYCOTT by SEIU and other left-wing groups after its CEO John Mackey had the courage to speak up against the Administrations health care reform plan. They're trying to kill Whole Foods sales and oust John Mackey as CEO. [This is terrible. I heart Whole Foods.] There's a group of us who are not prepared to leave our fellow Texans to stand alone in their battle with SEIU, and were asking you to join us.
Were organizing a COUNTER-EFFORT to let SEIU BULLIES and the rest of the left-wing radicals know that we STAND IN SOLIDARITY with John Mackey and Whole Foods Market. The NATIONWIDE kick-off for our BUYcott will begin on September 1. The St. Louis Tea Party will kick off the show at 6:00 pm. Well be following their lead here in Dallas at 7:00 pm. This call is going out across the nation and we expect NATIONAL COVERAGE for this event.
Please JOIN US in standing up AGAINST the SEIU BULLIES and FOR LIBERTY!
School has started back up again, and I have mixed feelings about it. I have loved summer and the freedom that came with it. And honestly, I am not so much looking forward to all the reading and papers that accompany my classes. That said, I am excited to graduate, so excited, in fact, that I signed up for 6 classes! Crazy, right? The good news is that the beginning of the school year means I am at the beginning of my last year! So this week I have just been reminding myself, as I look at my syllabi - One more year.
But as I sit in class each day, I am just in awe that I get to experience being in such a wonderful environment, sitting next to and being taught by fellow believers. Why am I so anxious to get out? Never again will I have this opportunity. I get to learn about God's Word from those who treasure it. As ready as I am to get out of school, the truth is I love my classes. So instead of thinking One more year, I should be absorbing as much as I can and enjoying every minute of it. I am so blessed, and I take it for granted.
This past weekend, my small group from college reunited at a friend's ranch in East Texas. It was such a wonderful time together, especially since now only 4 of us are living in Dallas. I forget how much I miss that sweet fellowship with such Godly women. Love you girls. Thanks for such a fun weekend.
Today Brendon and I drove down to help his family move his youngest sister, Meredith, into her dorm at Baylor! I was amazed at the hospitality there! Baylor had a team of 1500 students there to help move freshmen in. His parents pulled up their cars, and the students unloaded it. All Meredith had to do was walk up to her room, and all of her stuff was there. We didn't have to carry a single box! Amazing. Love that service! We did get to help her arrange all of her things though, go on a Target run, and eat a wonderful lunch. It was a fun day in Waco!
I walk the dog every morning. That, or she has a play date with a neighbor dog. Though she doesn't always show it, Sammy has a ton of energy, as most Aussies do. While I was in NYC, she sat in the backyard alone for three days straight, and I am pretty sure she was only walked one of those evenings, leaving her with bounds of energy each day.
This is what I came home to:
We learned our lesson. She must be walked at the beginning of every day.
This week I attended a party sponsored by Gap, thrown by moderneve, and received a free pair of Gap's new 1969 line of always skinny jeans! I have never had a pair of skinny jeans before. They've always intimidated me. Extremely trendy. Really tight. But I tried some on, and they're great! I can't wait until it's actually cool enough to wear them!
Picture courtesy of Gap Click on the picture to order your own.
I'm still not sure I'm confident enough for these heels though. For now, I'll stick with Rainbows.