Stranger in the Earth

thoughts on the way to zion

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Yankee Adventures

I believe I have a condition that I have dubbed “Absentee Blogitis”. If you’re reading this, it’s likely on accident. And if you follow me and for some crazy reason you actually subscribe to this blog, you likely never truly believe I’m a real live person. I post a new this or that about twice a year (on a really diligent year), and it’s nothing short of a miracle when I get something posted that I’m happy enough with to actually click the “Publish Post” button. I have loads of half-started posts just laying around on my dashboard, but I’m pretty sure that’s where they’ll stay.

Anyway, we just moved to Upstate New York- I know, right? Insane. It’s a blast. I love the countryside, I love the people, I love the wings. So far, no negatives except that my husband got struck down by scarlet fever when we rolled into town. Okay, maybe it was the just the flu, but it felt like it was scarlet fever.

So I was all unpacking the house by myself because I didn’t want to invite anyone into our germ kingdom and spread around sickness, and with an invalid husband moaning on the couch and two kids, it meant I would unpack half a box, tell one of them to stop playing with the bleach bottle, cutlery set, or other hazardous items, while trying to outrun the other one before they escaped out the back door. Childproofing doesn’t just come with any house, so clearly I had my hands full. 

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for the last couple of weeks already. Time flies when you’re out of breath, but now that my Main Squeeze is feeling healthy again, and the house is moderately safe for the Littles, I started to realize that I have some serious tasks ahead of me. With all of the insanity of getting here on the front end of a virus, and getting to know our new incredible church community (which, for the record, has to be one of the most genuine, loving and welcoming group of people I have ever encountered), it’s dawned on me that I have to make some serious efforts toward organizing my life. 

And not just that I need a routine and all of that. That’s important, but I mean literal organizing. No joke, I unpacked boxes that were packed by an individual who shall remain nameless, where half the stuff should have wound up in the trash can back in Kansas City. I hate trash. I hate trash almost as much as I hate the fact that I am terrible at getting stains out of laundry. 

As a type A person, having half-unpacked boxes sitting around with no pictures on the walls and stacks of dozens upon dozens of books all over the living room with no bookcases to put them in is enough to send me to my dark place.

So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to go on one of my kicks. Now, if you’ve followed me or know me at all, this is something that I do at least once a year. I find something I really care about learning or doing, and then attempt to document it here. It usually starts because I get all fired up to learn a new skill- like with gardening. Or because I’m on a creative rampage- like with cake making. Actually, the cake thing is more than a kick. I really did turn it into what could have been a very successful enterprise….and I still might. 

Anyway, I’m going to post some pictures, write some blurbs, and throw a new category on here (because that’s how I roll). And you can see the progress of how things unfold to make Carrie’s World a more organized and fluid world. 

Stay tuned…

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Lessons, lessons…

The solitude of being a mom holds in itself the supreme opportunity for either the formation of meekness or carnality, day after day, and moment after moment. And one minute you finally feel as though you’ve obtained a measure of meekness, and the next you feel as though you grabbed meekness by the shirt collar, shook it, and chucked it out the window! And then there are those moments when you have every reason to let the carnality have its way, but instead you lean into the grace of God and choose the way of kindness… and oh, those moments are so valuable to the Lord. At times His pleasure over me in those moments make me laugh at how often I preferred the public pat on the back from a man or woman of influence to feel valid. It’s not as often as I want it to be yet that I experience that kind of awareness of His gaze, but I know there’s gold to be had in eternity when I cooperate with His grace.

Triumph

As I mentioned, this weekend was set aside to test my skills and guts in the task of doing a little cake dChocolate Cake7ecorating for two separate birthday events. I came away from the experience having learned a great deal, and now have incredible energy to continue to perfect this hobby with the intention of turning it into a trade. Although, I still find it  hard to believe that people do this for a living!  This has to be one of the most enjoyable things I’ve put my creative eye and hand to in a long time. Truthfully, I found myself shrieking with delight and beaming with pride throughout the whole process.

I can’t say it was easy- far from it. In fact, the two separate projects each required three days in Monster Cupcakes22order to be perfected both in flavor and beauty, so not only am I learning to hone a skill, I’m also learning how to dial down, take my time, and enjoy each moment as it comes and goes without feeling as though I have to prove something by rushing to the end. My husband can tell you how rare that is for me to say.

It was when I was pouring cupcake batter into a pan on the second day, that I realized I had to slow down. It was as if the Lord was reminding me I was not in a race, my “deadline” was only a goal, and that the whole point of this project was for fun. Suddenly I was methodically scooping batter deeply engaged in prayer, and telling the Lord about all the gratitude that was in my heart for allowing me to do this. I pray often, but I haven’t prayed like that in a while. It was such a sweet time…. literally.

AMy First Cake5t the end of the weekend, I came to bed after editing the pictures Zack took of me, and sighed “That was so fun!” My feet were throbbing from the shocking lack of sitting I had done for three days, the muscles in my back felt as though they were on the brink of collapse, I had a blister on my finger from chopping chocolate, and sore triceps from kneading fondant, but for the first time in a long time I felt so proud of myself.

So… onward and upward. I’m delighted to report a triumphant weekend, and can’t wait to see what comes of all of this.  The pictures included here are just to give you a little taste of the fun I’ve had.

Hands Washed in Cacao

“The Cake Experiment” has officially commenced. No more testing or researching, at least for now. Today is the real deal. As I said in my last post, I have two events this weekend- two birthdays to be specific. I won’t divulge exactly what I am busy creating because one of these birthdays happens to belong the Posse. Perhaps after the weekend is over, I will post some pictures to show you all what I’ve been up to. For now, suffice it to say,  I have been sifting, beating, whisking, greasing, tasting, stirring, pouring, boiling, chopping, giggling, and dreaming all day.

My hope is that I can get as much done as possible before date night tonight. So far, no disasters!! I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. I feel like kid today.

Boldly going where… ??

Well, it seems I am crazy enough to make this whole cake thing happen. I have two events this weekend for which I will be attempting something delectable! Tonight I tried a cupcake recipe to see where that could take me. However, cakes hold for me a certain degree of allure that cupcakes do not. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have way too many of them and am now on a sugar high… BUT we shall see where all of this leads.

destination: unknown

I do plan on adding my part 2 to the “Career Change” post, but for the moment I thought I would share my latest venture. I am going to try my hand at an art form completely new to me. My husband and I are in full time ministry raising our own support for years, so I have been praying for several months, asking the Lord for creative ideas to supplement our income. With many of our supporters having financial struggles we have hit our own patch of difficulty, though we have been amazed at how God has provided for us.

For two days I have been in a swirl of excitement because I’ve had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I just stumbled upon a good idea that may prove to be a great idea. I am going to take up cake decorating. I have no idea how it will all turn out, and I’ll probably have TONS of mess ups, but I’m diving in regardless, daring to believe that I could be one incredible cake artist. Thankfully I’m right-brained and love to bake, so that’s half the battle.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve Got a Hankering for iPod

This past weekend my husband and I took a strole through the mall to see if we could score some free stuff. A couple of major department stores were giving away free sample cosmetics, and after the week I’d had, I was up for some free pampering. After I scored a free sensational, salubrious, and soothing facial, Zack and I bummed around the mall again, mostly for the people-watching and change of scenery.

Upon wondering into one of the more pretentious stores, we saw to our right a gathering of young people, likely about to graduate high school this spring, around a large machine in the clothing section. We turned to see what all the brouhaha was all about, and to our surprise, one of the young gentlemen was swiping his credit card, not in an ATM or snooty soda machine, but in an iPod machine.  That’s right, an iPod machine.

Now, tell me, Posse… if America is in the worst economical state it has ever been since the Great Depression, with no sign of a rebound… *pause for dramatic effect*   …I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Things I Learned This Month

-Shocking fact: I’m supposed to put on approximately 35-40 lbs during pregnancy. I’m also told that I am to put on only 2-5 of those pounds during my first trimester, but I’ve beat that statistic like it stole something! … In other words, I have a few pounds to spare… quite a few, actually. 

-Did you know that by 11 weeks, a baby in the womb can already hear? In fact, babies at this stage are 1 1/2 inches long and can move on their own.

-For those sporting long hair, cutting one’s hair in the first trimester is a great idea. Yes, it helps for a self-esteem boost, but primarily gives you breathing room when you’re hugging the toilet day and night, ruing the fact that you still haven’t nailed down exactly what your body wants to eat, but reminding yourself that not eating is too close to child abuse to be an option.

-Everything smells bad. Everything.

-People’s advice about what to do during the toughest nausea is well-meant. It doesn’t help, but it’s sweet of them to offer what they can (smile and say things like, “Thanks, that could work.”)

-No matter how you feel, complaining is useless, especially considering the fact that you get a kid out of the deal. What could be better than that?

Yes, Please. I Love Humble Pie.

As humbling as this is, the motivation for my post today is purely mercenary. My husband and I are in financial jam and we need help.  Aside from the fact that we’re raising our own support as full-time missionaries, a good chunk of funds that were supposed to head our way never actually did. But as it always happens, the bills never seem to forget, and thus we are in the hole.  We have a goal of raising about $3,000 in the next month or two, and have chosen to be faithful with what we’ve been given and then trust the Lord to provide.

If you are able/willing to help at all, we would greatly appreciate it!! How? My husband has a paypal account, so you can easily click here. 

Thank you.

the rumors are true

A serendipitous turn has occurred in my life… savoring a hint of irony. I am pregnant; sixweeks pregnant to be more precise, though every online due date calculator seems to have a different idea about how many weeks I am along. I have to say that I am thrilled beyond words to be a mommy, but let me tell you, there’s nothing quite as nauseating as the thought of broccoli or onions. Ugh… even typing those two harmless little words makes me nervous I might have to put this post on pause to take a quick vomit break. In fact, the word vomit doesn’t gross me out nearly as much as those two words that I won’t attempt to type a second time.

I’ve been home all day, which is good since I can scarcely do more than sleep, and bad since my dog is super energetic and assumes that I am going to take her for a walk every time I move my foot to the right or the left more than an inch at a time.  I took her out for a brief stint in our ginormous back yard just to see the psychotic look on her face when she has space to run in as many circles as she can. She’s now gratefully planted at my feet, leaking with satisfaction.

My husband is now rescuing me from cabin fever, so I’m off. Buy me stuff if you want! I have a universal wishlist at amazon.com!!

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