The JL Weekly Round-Up

365 Project: Days 82-87 Six days of photos in this one. Everything from: 1) running with my Garmin 2) jigsaw puzzles 3) work meetings 4) mace & creeps 5) peeling kiwi fruit…and 6) Saturday morning cookies! I’m determined to get caught up on my life today. I hope you enjoy catching up with me. 🙂 *** I LOVE data! Here’s some screen shots of the information I get from every one of my runs with my Garmin Forerunner 110 sport watch with GPS and heart rate monitor. It’s AMAZING! This was my first run with it, so I just did a 5k around the neighborhood. I didn’t push too hard, but was just trying to get a feel for using it for the first time. When you plug it into your computer, it gives you a map of where ran, the distance, your pace, your heart rate at any given moment during the run (average, max, and percentage), calories burned, lap times (which I messed up by pressing buttons), elevation, and so much more. I love the ability to run reports and compare my runs too. It’s been so fun to use this each day I run. It has been very motivational for me, and it’s helped me to know exactly what I need to work on. It removes all the guesswork. We measure the things we do in life and gather information so we can do what we do better and reach our goals. That’s what this does for me! I love it! Day 82 *** Jon and Hannah put the final pieces of the puzzle together. They started a new one the following day. 🙂 Day 83 *** Our Wednesday Small Groups Department meeting… Here we all are, crammed into Renee’s office. It’s cozy. We like it. This is where the magic happens… if we believed in magic, that is. You know what I mean! 🙂 Here’s where we do business, put our brains and hearts together for the good of the ministry and the people of LWCC, and where God never fails to remind me why he has knit our team together. I love my department so much! L to R: Charlie Houle, Me, Renee Burt, John Stanton, Jim Ferdig. (Missing from photo: Justin Phad) Day 84 *** Whenever I run outside, I carry mace with me. The mace I have is about 10 years old, and I don’t know if it loses its potency or goes bad, but I just felt like it was time to buy some new stuff. I didn’t buy this only because it’s pink, but because it has a hand/wrist strap. It doesn’t do me any good if it’s in my pocket! Another reason is because it’s the SABRE brand, and that’s the kind the NYPD uses. I guess that piece of their marketing worked on me. On this particular day, I almost maced a creep in the face at the park. As he approached me, I knew something wasn’t right. I held my mace up, and I know he saw it. At the same time, I felt God supernaturally protecting me. I kept running, and got out of there just fine. I don’t live in fear when I go running, but being a woman, I always want to be wise when I’m out there. The next day, I got chased by a big, scary, barking German shepherd. I almost had to use my mace on him too. The day after that, I got cat calls from a bunch of teenage guys in a car. I’m going to try and look as ugly as possible from now on. All of this in three days! SERIOUSLY, it’s a crazy world out there. I just believe it’s wisdom to equip yourself when you’re out there. I will never go running alone without being armed in some way. I thank God for the angels He has watching over us at all times and that I don’t ever have to be afraid. The Creator of the universe has my back. Day 85 *** One of my favorite things to eat lately is kiwi fruit. I love it even more after America’s Test Kitchen taught me how to effectively, efficiently, and safely peel one. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to peel one with a vegetable peeler, but you could lose a finger doing it that way. Once the flesh is exposed, it is SO slippery. Maybe you all already know the best way of doing this, but for those who don’t, THIS is how it’s done:  1 – Cut off both ends of the kiwi. 2 – Hold the kiwi...

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Baby shower festivities

365 Project: Day 81 My little brother Bryce is not so little anymore, but even at 26, he’ll always be my little brother. He and his wife, Dawn, are going to have their first baby anytime between today and a few weeks from now. I am so excited for them! This was the day of Dawn’s baby shower in Lakeville, and I was so happy that Hannah and I got to go. Allison had to work, so that was a bummer. It was fun to see everyone. I haven’t seen my mom, siblings, niece, or my grandma since Christmas, so it was a good day to celebrate the soon-coming arrival of my new baby nephew, and get to see all of them too.  Me and Hannah with Bryce. He just stayed for a few minutes before the shower got rolling.  *** Me and Hannah with Dawn. She’s super cute pregnant, but she said she’s READY. 🙂 *** Peggy (mom), Missy (sister), Betty (grandma), Dawn (sister-in-law), Brianna (sister), Hannah (daughter), Me… and then that’s August (niece) in front. *** Me and my mom. 🙂 *** Me and my sisters. 🙂 *** Brianna with August. 🙂 *** Me and my grandma. 🙂 *** Me, my mom & my sisters. 🙂 I really love this one of us. We have little to no photos of the four of us (recent ones anyway), so I’m glad we got this one. I didn’t get any pics of the food… or the punch… or the cookies and cake… all of which were delicious. And I didn’t get any of Dawn opening up her gifts, but she got such cute, adorable, and fun stuff for the baby–and for her and Bryce. Things have changed SO much since I had kids. There are so many new gadgets and fun things. Hey, whatever can help being a mom easier, I’m all for that! What a happy day it was… as you can tell by all the emoticons. 🙂 And then Hannah and I drove home, which took us almost an hour an a half. It was worth it, of course… and I can’t wait to see everyone again VERY soon. I sure do love my family. I wish we saw each other more often....

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A whole lotta love

365 Project: Days 80-81 On Saturday, February 18th, all the kids and my father-in-law, Royce, came over for lasagna and root beer floats for Jon’s final birthday celebration (a week late). Birthdays are a good reason to make time on the calendar to get everyone together, so we don’t care if it’s on the actual day–or even a month late. It’s just nice to have all our kids home and together. Almost everyone grabbed a chair and crowded around the card table to do this puzzle while we waited for Anders to get here. It’s amazing how much bonding takes place doing a jigsaw puzzle. Seriously, you should try it. Puzzles have become a permanent fixture in this room at our house. *** Allison sat in the opposite corner, devouring The Hunger Games on her Kindle, while everyone else puzzled. She’s not much of a puzzle gal anyway, so this gave her a reason to lose herself in a book for a bit. (She LOVES this Star Wars t-shirt Nathan gave her. I guess this is more proof that Jon was successful in having the girls grow up to be well-rounded and not too girly. :))  *** After dinner and root beer floats, I got my laptop out so Hannah could show Grandpa how to add a contact in his email. 🙂 *** Back row: Amy, Hans, Allison, Nathan, Anders, Jon, Royce | Front row: Hannah, Me Anders has been out of the hospital for a week in this photo, and we continue to lift him up to the Lord and plead the blood of Jesus over his whole being… spirit, soul, and body. We are so thankful that God continues to heal his body, and we know the He has a bright and wonderful future and good things planned for Anders. (If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you can read about it here.)  After a rousing game of Citadels and Jon opening his presents, everyone had to get going. It’s so unfortunate that the kids have lives outside of us… and that they have to leave home to live them. 😉  I love my family so, so much… and am so thankful for every time we get to be together. God is...

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The girls’ sleepover

365 Project: Days 78-79 The current play is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and there are nearly 30 people in the cast and crew for this production… 20 of them being girls. 🙂 My 16-year old daughter, Hannah, is the Stage Manager for CB Productions, and she asked me a few weeks ago if we could have the “girls’ sleepover” at our house, which is tradition for every play. It helps them bond and all that jazz, and it’s a very good thing. I didn’t have to think too hard about it. Of course I said yes! I love these kids, and who doesn’t love a girls’ sleepover!? *** Well, I guess Jon doesn’t. He actually got a hotel room in the town next to us. Here’s his overnight bag. Oh, forgive me… I guess a more manly thing to call it is a duffle bag. He’s a man who needs his sleep, and he knew he wouldn’t get it here. That’s for sure. Haha! *** I love how people always squeeze into this room just outside our kitchen. It must just have the right amount of cram-appeal. (I stood on the counter to take this pic.) Aren’t they beautiful girls? *** …and funny and dramatic too. *** Not everyone was able to come, so there are 5 people missing. Boohoo… we missed them. Lots of food, girl bonding, piano-playing, singing, laughing, and chatting. *** For some reason, whenever I have lots of teenagers over, I always have to take a shoe pic. Won’t this be fun to look at when the styles have changed so much, 20 years down the road? *** They were surprisingly alert the next morning, after not getting hardly any sleep. I think some of them went to bed at  5:30 a.m. I slept with headphones on in my bedroom because I didn’t tell them they had to be quiet. I made some egg dishes and cut up lots of fruit for breakfast, which the girls heartily devoured. After a little digestion took place, they decided to go for a walk to the park, along the Mississippi River. *** They linked arms and set off for the park. Most of them didn’t even wear jackets, but I think when they got to the river, they may have regretted that. I tried to tell them, but some things they just have to find out on their own. 🙂 They had fun. *** While they were gone, I went downstairs to assess the state of things.  *** I love everything about this mess. No, really… I do!  *** I got all the angles, just for fun. This represents so much of everything good there is about good friendships. *** I told the girls I was so excited to have them over and that I was looking forward to it all week. Hannah said, “Yep, that’s my mom!” 🙂 *** And then the inevitable happened. The sleepover drew to a close, and they all had to leave for rehearsal again. But before they loaded up in their vehicles and headed out… *** I had them assemble on the steps for one more pic. By this time, two more people had left, so now there’s seven people missing. I love everything about being a momma, and days like these two are some of the most fun I get to have with my teenagers… and I love that I have the opportunity to help create a place where good memories are made with their friends....

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