Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cliffnotes!...For Heather

So...for my avid blog followers, I apologize for the delay in an update. My dear friend Heather has brought it to my attention that I need to make another entry, and she's right! :)
However, I don't have much time at the momentand since I haven't posted in so long there is a lot to say, so I thought I'd make you some cliff notes, rather than writing everything out in my typically descriptive manner.
  • My son is hilarious! He has been hanging out with Lillian Weaver and now he scrunches his nose up like her. He has also started talking with his mouth closed, singing in the car, and giving beautiful little kisses (that he initiates!)
  • My husband is starting a job as with the U.S. Census. His fingerprints were denied by the FBI!
  • I am going the Vera Bradley Outlet sale on Saturday.
  • My house is a wreck and I'm so excited about SPRING CLEANING next week, since I won't be working.
  • I'm thinking about starting a bookclub (per Kayla's prompting) for some of the lovely ladies in Fort Wayne. 
  • I love my job, but I hate that my lack of experience and youth is constantly an issue.
  • My parents are amazing. We honored them for 14 years of service and leadership to TACHE on Tuesday night. It was beautiful....They're probably going to Scotland soon.
  • My family and I started geocaching as a pretend agency called the Secret Three (we have secret agent names to, but you can't know what they are....because they're secret)
  • Evan lovingly downloaded a game for my computer where I create and manage a spa with all-natural ingredients....I'm addicted to SPA MAGIC!
  • I really like some of the LUSH cosmetics.
  • Saving your family $300 with two phone calls is quite a rush!
  • I'm going to go to a cool vegetable stand and see if I can get anything good this afternoon.
  • AND LAST...we planted wildflower seeds and THEY ARE SPROUTING!!! :)
Thanks for reading! I'm post more tonight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day of the Blue Marble!



God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Genesis 1:28
I find it so interesting that God has given us the responsibility of "subduing" the earth. In common English dictionaries when referring to land, "subdue" actually means to cultivate, rather than conquer or destroy. What a joy to be stewards of cultivating the earth that declares the glory of God! I guess I have always thought about the responsibility of being a steward of God's creation, but not about the impact that cultivating it can have on others coming to know God more fully. Romans 1:20 says that "since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." So, I ask myself and those reading this -- As stewards of God's created world, ones that have been commanded to cultivate it, how are we doing? Are any of our actions, ultimately providing additional clarity to others' vision of God's eternal power and divine nature or are we just making that picture fuzzy?
I'm an advocate for doing little things throughout your life that can add up to big things. Just as working out 24 hours straight will not have nearly the impact that exercising an hour a day for 24 days would have, so one huge "earth project" will not have the same impact as several of us making wise decisions in our daily lifestyles about the stewardship of our resources.
If you think you're doing well with all of this, test yourself with one of the many ecological footprint calculators out there. These calculators aren't an exact science, but they attempt to measure an individual's demands on nature. I've done a couple and all of them have pretty consistently said how many earths we would need if every one lived a lifestyle like mine (I like this one! Check it out.) These website usually also have suggestions for how you can reduce your footprint, by just making small changes.
So...what are some changes we can make personally? Though somewhat overused, the old adage of reduce, reuse, and recycle is actually a good one! :)  Reduce the amount of electricity, water and gas used in your household (move your thermostat up or down a couple degrees depending on the season, wash clothes with cold water, etc.). Increase your alternatively energy options. Reuse items you already own by altering or customizing them (rather than buying something brand new, when you get tired of your same olds), shop at local businesses, eat foods grown within a couple hundred miles of your home,  reuse non-disposable shopping bags, plant plants!!!, recycle your paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum. The awesome thing is, these choices are actually economical. You don't have to be a millionaire to make a difference, and you don't have to be Al Gore to change the world. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seriously Now?! - 2


For those of you that don't know, one of my big dreams is to become a master gardener! I have my garden all planned out in my head. How it should look, how I want to feel when I go there, the vast amount of money it will save me to grow my own herbs and vegetables, etc. There is one problem. Currently, I am a really bad gardener. I don't really know anything about plants. Anyone that has worked with me in a garden will tell you.....that you don't want to work with me in a garden. I will be "helping" you weed your garden and dig up your great-grandmother's prize-winning rose bushes to throw in the burn pile. Not because I'm just completely an insensitive jerk, but because I probably thought, "Geez! What are these awful, thorny weeds doing here?!"
So, I buy these bulbs and packs of seeds thinking that if I just start with a couple plants I can learn about those individually and how they grow and then expand from there. But I think I get scared because if it weren't for my husband's initiative I would still have a pack of freesia bulbs, as well as lavendar, basil, oregano, and wildflower seeds under the sink in my kitchen. Seriously now?! That's ridiculous. I do now have the wildflower mix planted outside, an african violet growing in my dining room, and a bonsai plant in our bedroom. So watch out world! The master gardener is on the rise!
Here's the thing. I also like crafts. They help me chill out. So there's this site that I visit often (oneprettything.com), that collects craft ideas from lots of different blogs, and one of the most recent suggestions was a terrarium (a miniature landscape with plants and sometimes small animals - like an aquarium, only instead of water it's earth). I thought, "How cool!" especially for someone living in an apartment that is practicing to be a master gardener. Cool, huh? I thought so too, but guess what? It is absolutely retarded!!!
I mean a terrarium in all its glory, done the right way is probably cool, but the suggestion for making one by this lady is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen! I'm looking at it thinking, "Who in their right mind would put that on their windowsill?" People that see it would ask what the jar full of junk was and the lady would beam proudly, "Oh! Don't you know? That's my terrarium." Seriously now?!
I've included the link so you can check this out, but it is basically a Mason jar with pebbles and charcoal in the bottom, then a layer of soil, then a layer of moss, then she sticks in these plastic little deer and bunnies. The best part is she makes sure to tell you that you can put other plants in it in addition to sheet moss. "Like what?" you wonder. Like those "nice plants you can find between sidewalk cracks." ....Nice plants, between sidewalk cracks? Really? Even I know those are weeds!
I know that we're in difficult economic times, but I don't know that this homemade terrarium is the gift-giving solution. Sure, why not just grab some rocks off the road, some charcoal of your neighbors grill, and some mulch from the park. Plop it in an old spaghetti jar with some moss on top, but don't forget to rip up some weeds from in between your sidewalk cracks and rinse off that little plastic animal cake topper to make it extra special. Then put it in a gift bag, and well...."Happy Birthday!"...."Oh. Thank you. What is it?"...."Duh. It's a terrarium!".... "Oh. How nice."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shoes!!!

For those of you who have not yet bought a pair of Toms Shoes, check out their website here. Their motto is "One for One." For every one pair of shoes you buy, they provide a pair to a child in need around the world. PLUS, I think they look incredibly comfortable and cute. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter and Eggs


I love holidays! More specifically, I love celebrating holidays with traditions. So I'm generally not one that digs around looking to see if the origins of Christmas trees or Easter eggs or fireworks or valentines are pagan or Christian. I understand why other people do, and I actually respect their fact finding mission and appreciate the information that is found and the understanding that is then added to my concept of that tradition or holiday. That being said, Easter was this last weekend (or Passover or Resurrection Sunday, whichever label soothes your conscience more). And it was AWESOME!

For those of you that don't know, the Gilmore family Christmas this year was....well....let's just say not nearly what I had hoped for or planned. So Easter was kind of our first holiday as a family with Elliot that we were able to start our own traditions like I wanted and spend time together as a family on adventures and celebrating Christ's sacrifice and victory over sin, shame, and death!

Elliot and I had a little sunrise service with a candle that we blew out when Jesus died and lit again when he rose from the dead, then we all went to church at The Chapel (for probably the last time), then we came home and had Easter dinner and a little Easter egg hunt for Elliot in our living room (HILARIOUS!).
video
Then we did Easter baskets, and finally we went on a fantastic geocaching adventure around Fort Wayne and found a great playground. After Elliot went to bed Ev and I colored some eggs. Some speed-cleaning and a late night run to the drugstore made the festivities complete!

I am so grateful for my family and friends and for God's gracious provision for us during these tough times. As we continue to try to live our lives with simplicity and contentment, He continues to increase our love and joy! PRAISE THE LORD! Jesus Christ is Risen! (...He is risen indeed! :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New walls, New weather, New me

It really does constantly amaze me what a difference the seemingly small things in life can make! The winter months here in Indiana always effect me, and every year I forget how much the weather impacts me until the days start getting longer and warmer and I start feeling lighter, more free, and more me. Ever since the beginning of this semester, I haven't felt like myself at work, which is sad because unlike most people, I actually love my job and feel relatively safe to be myself there. But I believe the tide is turning, and it is so exhilarating!
ALSO, (thanks to the Heironimi and my lovely husband) the walls in my living room are now a pretty lilac rather than a stark white. This brightens my day when I come home...and it actually makes it feel like a home too. 
Because of the new weather and the new walls, the new me (really just the old me - rediscovered and revamped) can finally begin to emerge. Praise the Lord for the changing seasons, for challenge and reflection, for development and growth!

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
-Psalm 19:1-4-

Friday, April 3, 2009

Make a Personalized Gift Bag

Click here to check out how to make this awesome gift bag!
 
Also, for those of you that are mod podge fans (like myself). Click here to find a recipe for how to make your own. :) I haven't tried them yet, so I can't vouch for how grea they are...and I'm not really sure where to find cinnamon oil. :/ But it seems fun.

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