Thursday, January 28, 2016

Going Home To Mom

I'm hanging out doing Kat's Writer's Workshop tonight. Sure, it's a bit late in the day, but why not.

Her writing prompts today are:

The Prompts:
1. Share the last five items you pinned, choose one and let it inspire a blog post.
2. Talk about something you learned this month.
3. List 7 things you would rather do than clean your bathroom.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: frosty.
5. Write about what you miss most about living at home with your parents.
6. Write about what you love most about not living at home with your parents.

Mama’s Losin’ It

I moved out when I was 18 yrs old, and never looked back. I became a mom of four kids. I had my own home finally. I was settled. And then life happened. I decided to move to Virginia with my boys to live with my mom. To be honest, I'd been on my own for 25 years. The last time mom and I lived together, let's just say it wasn't a very good situation. I had a lot of trepidation about us both being under the same roof again.

Mom and I had a strained relationship for numerous reasons. Now we both had our own families and we were going to be sharing a home, her home. The first week was stressful, transition always is, but after living with her for 8 months two years ago, I'd totally do it all over again, and SO would my boys!

Now that I've tasted the sweet life of living with my mom, let me tell you why.

1. Mom and dad have a HUGE house with every comfort you can imagine! They have awesome furniture, the temperature is always perfect, there are enough floors for us all to be spread out, and there's never a lack of food.

2. Mom has a housekeeper who comes in every other week! We just sorta maintain.

3. Dad has every kind of electronic you can imagine, and he can fix any of them. He's got a fabulous, large, flat screen tv that we all love watching tv and movies on. Dad loves to wow us with gadgets. He loves when he updates his tablet or mom's Kindle. Hey, there's a smartwatch? Dad's got one on order.

4. Let's go out to dinner. Mom and dad are love going out to eat, and they always bring everyone along. I can't tell you how many times we ate out when we lived with them. They wanted to love on my boys, and they really liked eating at Glory Days, so we went there on a regular basis.

5. Need something, you've got it. It was incredibly different living with my mom this time. When I was younger, we couldn't afford to shop at Kmart, and back then it was waaay worse than now. Now, my mom would come home with my boys, and their hair would be cut, and wearing an entirely new outfit. For my mom, I was so glad she was in such a different place financially than she was when I was living with her.

My boys are constantly asking to go to grandma & grandpa's. They know it's good living when we're over there. I'm thankful that our lives have all changed so much, that if we ever needed to go live with my parents again, we would rush there with excitement instead of apprehension. They're only a couple hours away, and we get back as often as we can.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ice Castles In Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Sometimes you get the coolest opportunities, when you're least expecting it. Then it turns out you can't go, but your daughter can!! Last week, I was innocently working, and glanced at my Inbox. There was an super fun event that I was invited to called Ice Castles, but I wasn't able to go. When I found out my girl could go, we were both so stoked!

There's a company based in Utah called...Ice Castles. It is the craziest, coolest thing. They sent us tickets so she could go with friends! Since neither of us had ever been, we had no idea what was in store for her. She said it was Ah-Mazing!

Before we get to that, here's some tidbits about Ice Castles:

  • You can find them in Midway, UT, Eden Prairie, MN, Lincoln, NH, and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Each Ice Castles weighs about 25,000,000 pounds!
  • They grow at least 10,000 icicles every day and place them throughout the ice castles
The Eden Prairie location will be open Jan 23rd – March 5th. The only day they're closed is Tuesday. From what I saw online, it's cheaper to get your tickets online than as a standby.

One of the things Brieanne kept saying was how beautiful it was. The colors kept changing, and the music totally set the mood. Not surprising that she was super excited to see the characters from Frozen. Yes, music from the movie was playing. =) The Frozen sisters are there on the weekends only, and their appearances are subject to weather changes.

There were different caverns you could go into, and one even had fire performers! They're at the MN location Fridays & Saturdays. Fire and ice, you can't go wrong with that combo!

As they entered, they were met by a tour guide who explained how the ice castles were made and answered all of our questions. They said they have been growing the icicles for 3-4 weeks. Once they plant an icicle, they run water off it and it continues growing. The ice is so strong that one of the guides was walking over us on the ice!

It's really cool because they keep the sky visible from inside the castle. It makes it really magical at night! Do you have a star gazer in your family, or do you love it yourself? January 28 & Feb 24 they have Winter Star Watch Parties with Mike Lynch from WCCO! Bring your lawn chair, and get to know the constellations!

Don't worry if you get hungry or thirsty while you're there. They've got you covered with coffee, cappuccino, apple cider, cake pops, cookies, and more! How cute are the treats they got?

Did I mention, they even have slides?

Have you ever been to an Ice Castle? Be sure to visit if there's one near you! And don't forget to dress for the weather!

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Shock of Night Book Review

I decided to start a book club at church because I love reading. I absolutely LOVED our Bound Together book club back in Minnesota. Wanting to get to know more ladies, I figured starting a book club would be a great way to go. Because I started the book club, Bethany House now sends me a book to share with my group. I read this newest book in 4 days, and can't wait to share it with them.

The Shock of Night
The Darkwater Saga (Book 1)
by Patrick W. Carr
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 3, 2015)
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764213465

When I first started reading this book, I was really confused, and didn't understand what I was reading. Of course my first thought was, "this doesn't bode well." I'm a trooper, take one for the team, so I kept on keeping on!

I think through the first chapter I was still trying to figure out what was going on. There were a lot of words I didn't recognize, because it's a new world to me. I should've read the prequel By Divine Right. You don't have to, but it probably would've helped with the prologue and the first chapter.

We're introduced to Willet Dura. Who the heck is this guy? Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy who seems like a good guy? There are things that make the water a bit murky on him. You want to like the guy, but there's this niggling in the back of your mind. I think that's exactly what the author wants the reader to feel.

Now, going into this book, I know it's supposed to deal with PTSD, and from what little I know of it, it's interesting to read from Willet's experience. He'd gone into the Darkwater Forest, but he can't remember anything about his time there or how he got out. I'd imagine men and women who have gone into combat who have locked away the painful memories so they can deal with the here and now.

Something happens at the beginning of the book, that Willet spends the entire book trying to figure out. I love the characters we meet along the way. There are actually so many, I don't want to go on too much about each of them. Gael, the woman to whom he's betrothed, is a young woman with spunk, and deep devotion to Willet. One of the men he turns to for wisdom is Custos. Just everything about this character makes me love him: his wisdom, his intelligence, his way of understanding what Willet needs, and his sense of humor. Yo, Patrick, can we get a novel just about him?

Can I say my favorite character in this book is Bolt? Trust me. Read this book, and you'll understand why. He's got a saying for everything. The role he ends up playing in Willet's life makes me wish I had my very own Bolt! I kept waiting for us to learn that he was an angel of the Lord. Of course, Willet is the main character, and you can't help but like him. He's fiercely devoted to his king. He protects the "least" of Bunard, and really cares more about others than he does for himself.

I think by chapter 15 I started feeling that urge to turn to the end of the book just to take a peek at the ending. For the rest of the book, 42 more stinking chapters, I had to force myself not to look. I was so intense into the story, I just needed a glimpse. I didn't do it! So proud of myself. haha

There's danger and intrigue through every chapter. Always rooting for the good guys to win, but the author shows us, that not all of the good guys make it through every time. We also see how sin is so infectious. All it needs is to take root, for us to listen to that whisper, for the sin to overtake us if we let it. And if we feed it...just really nothing good comes from that. The other part of that darkness is, Satan can lie in wait, for that time when he wants to use it against us as well as others (even those we love), and then helps unleash it all.

This is a fantastic book for those of you who love Christian fantasy fiction. I don't know that I'd say this is a good book for younger kids. It's a dark story, and there are a couple of very intense scenes that children might find overwhelming. I'd recommend this book for teens and adults!

Oh, and did I mention what I don't like about this novel? Having to wait for the 2nd one!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hosting Children Of The World

When we were building our house, I'd go out to it, and think, this is really kind of small. Perspective when building a house, when you don't have the ability to see the finished look in your mind's eye, can definitely taint things in your imagination.

After the house was finished, I thought, "holy cow, this house is big! What were we thinking?" hahahaha

We've only been in the house for two months. There are still a ton of my boxes from Minnesota in the garage! I've sorta lost my fire to go through them, and get rid of them. I want a fairy godmother to come along, and poof it all into place so we can park our cars in the garage. Unfortunately, I guess I'll be relegated to doing it myself.

About a month after living here, I told Fred that I wanted to be able to use the house to bless others. If missionaries needed a place to stay, if someone was in need, having as much extended family here, etc, then we could open our home! He was totally on board. Thank goodness!

Probably less than a week later, he told me he'd found out our church was going to be hosting a children's choir. That totally piqued my interest. When my girls were little, and we lived in Washington, the Vineyard Church we attended hosted the African Children's Choir. Close friends of mine had a couple of the girls stay with them. I remember we all went swimming in the river in Duvall. So much fun.

I totally wanted to host someone. I hadn't ever heard of Children of the World, and had no clue how many kids there would be. At first we were told we would have an adult and two boys around our boys' ages. Worked for me!

See, we have two bedrooms that are set up for Fred's kids to come over, so they were available during the week since his kids live with their mom. Then my youngest has a bunkbed in his room, so that gives us room for one or two more. If it were two more, he'd go up to my oldest son's room and stay on an air mattress. In reality, we could've had 4 kids and 1 adult! Isn't that awesome?

As it turned out, we ended up with four boys and no adults. lol They were supposed to be around my boys' ages, but they were a lot younger. One of the boys said he was 8. Can you imagine? lol I can't imagine sending my 12 yr old son on a month long mission trip in the summer let alone an 8 yr old around the world for a year or so. I'm not actually sure how long it is, but I'm pretty sure it's a year.

When we got the boys, we found out 2 were from Nepal, 1 was from Uganda, and 1 was from Honduras. I fell in love as soon as I saw them! We picked them up from church around 5:30 and they sure were squirrely! I mean, hello, 4 young boys who'd been traveling in a bus for surprise. I really wanted to take them to Chick-fil-A, but they wanted pizza. lol Ok, so we stopped and picked up pizza. Then we got home and watched Cars.

I could tell their personalities by the end of the night. Lale (la-lay), the oldest from Nepal was the older brother kind of boy who made sure things were getting done right; Saroj (sah-rōj)  was also from Nepal and had a bit of mischief in him and he readily admitted it (and he actually looked a lot like Fred's son); Marcio was from Honduras and completely stole my heart with his cutiepatootie personality; and Isaac from Uganda was the youngest we think and he was a joker.

The next morning I made breakfast. As in real food. Not pop tarts. I really enjoyed it, and should really do it for my boys, too! Hey, novel idea, maybe I'll ask them. From breakfast, Fred took them to church, where we met up with them to watch their concert.

Oh my gosh, that concert was fabulous! They were so stinking cute. Singing their little hearts out for the Lord! It was so funny because my reaction in my heart was, "there are my boys!" I probably took as many videos and pictures as I would have of my own kids.

After the concert everyone wanted to take pictures with the kids, and again, I felt like the proud mom (house mom that is). It was late, so we got home, let the kids have snacks, and then they each had showers. While two were showering, I helped pack the other two's clean clothing, and then they swapped. We all finished up the night watching Mickey Mouse.

I couldn't believe how quickly our time had gone. We'd only had them in the evening for bedtimes pretty much. lol Long enough for me to want to hide them all at my house until the rest of the choir headed off to their next destination. Hey, they stole my heart. What can I say?

In the morning I made breakfast again. After they finished Fred packed their suitcases into the car. While he was doing that, I finished writing in each of their journals. The kids put a lot of ornaments on the tree after it had fallen down the weekend before.

I also made their lunches. I used to love making my kids fun lunches for field trips so I treated their leaving like a field trip. I didn't have a lot of time, so I wrote their names on lunch bags, and let them decorate them. Isaac had zero desire to do anything with his, while the other boys, I pretty much had to take the pens out of their hands to get them out the door.

I'm excited to open our home up as much as possible! So many opportunities, I can't even begin to imagine how God can use it!

Have you ever opened your home up to others?

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.