October 31, 2008

Meet Our Money Saver



and more of this

for the Simpletons!

We love our Nespresso Le Cube

October 30, 2008


Healing. I love that word. It makes me feel lighter and stronger. It makes me remember that there is a God and that He longs for us to be made whole in Him and that He is, and always will be, the ultimate Healer.

I don't know a single person who has not had to heal from something in their life. We may not all look alike, act alike, eat the same things, or vote the same way, but we all have the sweet comfort that is healing in common.

I once had a broken heart. Before Simple Guy and I began dating, I had dated someone else a few years before. I loved this person, or at least I thought I did. I could not see my life without this person. He was, for a period of time in my life, everything to me.

Then one day he told me we needed to break up and I was beyond devestated. I was crushed. I was breathless. I was hurt to the point of physical pain taking over my entire body. I slipped into a deep depression for almost a year after we broke up.

Even as I type this, I can feel small pings of pain in my heart, not because I long for this person (Simple Guy is my one and only for forever!) but because that experience turned me into a ball of hurt and I ache for that younger self; she was hopeless and ten months of her life were spent just trying to find a little relief from the pain.

I needed friends or family to tell me they love me, and they did. I needed my counselor to walk with me through those dark valleys and reassure me that the valleys are not what destroy you, it's never climbing out of them that does, and he did. I needed space to reflect and try to figure out what the source of this pain was, and I did.

I needed relief. I needed hope. I needed healing. And I got it all from my Deliverer and my Healer.

Something indescribable happens when healing sets in. It's funny how you don't realize it when it is happening, but healing has a way of creeping into all the nooks of your heart and then one day you are reliving your story with someone and after you tell it the sting of pain is no longer there, but maybe just a dull ache. And further down the road, the dull ache may subside all together and all that remains are bandages of healing.

I don't know about you, but I could use a little more healing in my life. I know a few people right now who could use it, too. Maybe you need some healing as well. I know where you can find it.

"Think of it- the Lord is ready to heal me"
Isaiah 38:20

October 24, 2008

My Buddy

I guess I am just in the mood to share pictures these days, so here is one of me and Naomi taken the weekend we met in MN for homecoming. Isn't she lovely? I just lover her!

October 21, 2008

Just A Sweet Little Reminder of Where We Met

This, my friends, is a "racy" photo of Simple Guy and I at "The Rock" on our alma mater's campus. The Rock is where engagements were announced, truths declared, or pranks made known when we were students. I suspect it's still used that way today.

But for a few fleeting moments at homecoming two weekends ago, The Rock belonged to the Simpletons.....it was our small way of trying to recapture our younger selves.....our wild, and crazy selves!

Notice how I am giving into the wooing of SG by lying on The Rock.......notice how SG is just laughing, and laughing, and laughing. Oh, how silly I felt when we shot this for the official homecoming photographer.....but how glad I am to have this!

Calling All Illinois Voters

Perhaps you have heard of this already, but we just learned of this tonight.....

On Tuesday, November 4, all Illinois voters will be able to vote yes or no to a Consitutional Convention for our troubled state (we are $80 billion in debt- just our state alone!). A Constitutional Convention (CC) offers a once-every-twenty-year opportunity to change how Springfiled does business. A CC offers the easiest and quickest way to insure for more accountability, electoral and judicial reform, a fairer tax system, and priority funding for education, health care, housing, and mass transit, amongst other things that are important to we, the voters.

If the CC passes, then 118 delegates will be elected by the voters to serve as pasrt of the CC. The role of the delegates is to comb through the Illinois constitution and propose a series of amendments to the current constitution. Who are these delegates? Well, they are regular people like you and me- they are not career politicians.

To me, the answer is clear- I am voting "Yes" for a CC. Here are some facts about our state and the people who run it:
-A former Illinois governor is sentenced for crimes that he committed while in office;
-A current governor who cannot go more than a week without speculation of his shady dealings and ties to shadier people
-There are enough FBI agents probing corruption in the state of Illinois that they'll be renting out entire floors underneath the capitol's dome
-The Illinois Senate refused to give voters a way to recall our current governor- you know, the one who can't go more than a week without speculation of his shady dealings and ties to shadier people

For more information, click here

October 14, 2008

Ask, And You Shall Receive?

I just read an article written by someone who sends e-mails to companies whose products they purchase asking them for coupons, samples, or other promotional gifts. I just sent out quite a few e-mails to some companies and already heard back from one company and they are sending me some coupons in the mail!

I'll update you on my success, but in the mean time, you may want to try it, too!

Five Things

I'll tell you 5 things that may or may not be of interest to you:

1. We went to MN for our homecoming this past weekend and Naomi drove down from ND and stayed with us.

2. Simple Guy is back at work after his two-month sabbatical came to an end on Monday. I went grocery shopping (to 4 different stores!) alone today and I have to admit, I was pretty bummed to not have him with me.

3. I am going to start reading this book by Dr. Kenneth Bock:

I started reading it this past winter but did not get very far. I know it may seem weird that I am reading a book about childhood diseases, but I feel like it is never too early to start learning about these things. Besides, I know a few kiddos!

4. I went to this conference yesterday with three other women from our church. E-mail me if you plan on attending this in the future, as you may want to hear my thoughts on it before registering......or you might not!

5. I am meeting up with my small group tonight- we will be going through this book together over the next 12 weeks:

Looks interesting, huh?

That's all from here.

October 5, 2008

Casting My Vote

So much is being said about both presidential candidates- what they have or have not supported; how they voted; where they've come from and where everyone seems to think they are going.

For some, this is an election based on the economy and how the ramifications of the declining markets and stocks have come quickly knocking on their mortgage-burdened homes.

For some, this is an election about change (I am so tired of that word- can we have a one year moratorium on that word after this election?). They feel it is best to get rid of one party and bring in another.

For others, this is an election about making history, which will be easily done for either party that wins the election.

And for others still, this is an election about all of those things and all of the other issues we are facing in this country.

For me, this is an election about the sanctity of life that must be preserved and fought for and that is why I am voting for John McCain.

This is not a post to attack where you stand on this election.

This is not a post to slander or ridicule Barack Obama and his ideas for our country. I applaud anyone who is willing to subject themselves to the rigors of a presidential election and I'll be the first to agree that he definitely has the ability to deliver a speech well and rally his supporters.

Actually, this is not even a post to toot the horn of John McCain.

This is a post to tell you why I believe in the necessity of preserving the sanctity of life. I am opposed to stem cell research and I am opposed to abortion. Barack Obama supports both of these acts and has relegated the act of abortion as a woman's "reproductive choice."

We are nothing more than savages as a nation if we allow the lives of unborn children to be ended by elective procedures. Yes, I understand that some abortions happen after the mother is a victim of a crime of rape or incest. As a woman, I can imagine nothing more devastating than having either of these things happen to me and my body. But please, please do not tell me that it is still okay to murder (yes, I said it- murder) an innocent baby under these circumstances.

There are many couples who are eagerly, if not desperately, waiting to adopt a baby into their family. We have friends at church who are in that position right now- they are waiting for a birth mother to pick them to raise the baby she is carrying.

Click here for an article written by John Piper, the pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN- both Simple Guy and I attended this church when we lived there. In this article, Pastor Piper states that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position in public office. Please give it a read even if you hate the fact that it is written by a pastor.

For an overview about stem cell research and the plausible alternative to it, please go here.

I cannot, in my God-given conscience, elect someone to the highest office in our nation- a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian values- who thinks it is okay to take the lives of those who have no voice.

I am not naive- I know that our economy is weakening and that the housing market is plummeting. I know that some of my neighbors are losing their jobs and that powerful and important companies are closing their doors. I get that.

I get the fact that we, as Americans, have bought into a lie that we deserve anything we want, regardless if we cannot afford it or not. I get that there some real greedy people running powerful companies have been brokering bad deals just so they can pad their pockets with a few more bucks because they too, believed they deserve anything we want. It's a vicious cycle, really.

I know that some people are worried sick about what will become of them when retirement comes or are in need of health coverage.

There are so many issues of which to base my vote on, but as I said, God has impressed upon me the need to vote for the person who believes in the sanctity of human life. It would be difficult for me to profess Christ if I knew I was not doing everything in my power to ensure that those who have no voice are being considered and treated with the same rights and respect we enjoy as those who got a shot of being in our mother's womb and then made it outside of the womb.

October 3, 2008

The Residue of Christ

Rewind to a couple of months ago: Simple Guy came home and told me about a woman he knows at work that was expecting a baby in the late summer and how in talking to to her at a work function, he was compelled to ask her,"Do you like lasagna?" I'd imagine most people do, and she was no different. So Simple Guy asked me if I'd make a lasagna for her once her baby was born.

Rewind to five weeks ago: The baby is born and we deliver a homemade lasagna, salad, and chocolate chip cookies for the momma and her sister and mother, who are in town to help her. We weren't able to vist because the momma was very sick and wasn't up for company- she asked to take a rain check.

Fast forward to today: We were invited to visit the momma and her new baby boy and it was a delightful visit. This time we came bearing gifts of onesies. Our time together was nearly two hours and the funny thing is that Simple Guy did not know this woman outside of the occasional hellos they would exchange if they ran into each other in the office.

In our time together, we covered a myriad of facts and stories, laughed a lot, and we got the chance to talk a lot about our church and extended the invitation for her to come. Here's what's so neat about that: we weren't the first ones to invite her.

It turns out that someone else who goes to our church lives upstairs from this momma and a few weeks before she delivered, she was out to dinner with he and a few others from the building. As he was talking and she was listening she was led to ask him, "Do you know Simple Guy?" Our friend was surprised and thrown off- how did she know Simple Guy and what made her think to ask him if he knew SG?

She just figured that since our friend was so much like SG, then he must know him. How unsurprised she was to hear that he did indeed know SG and that they went to the same church.
When I asked her today why she thought they might know each other, she simply replied "It was just something I felt- it was the way I felt in their company that made me think they were somehow linked together."

I truly believe it was the residue of Christ exuding from SG and our friend that this momma was detecting. How else can you explain her thinking they must know each other?

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
And together we'll spread the news that God is in our land
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

October 1, 2008

We're Going to the Zoo- You Can Come, Too!

Today Simple Guy and I did something that every 30-year-old, childless couple does when they don't have to work.....we went to the zoo! The air was so crisp you could hear it crackle and the scent of wood burning mixed in with baked apples was everywhere- it truly was a day for the zoo.

Here I am blowing kiss to the apple of my eye......the MONKEY!

I love monkeys; they are my favorite animal. It is my dream to hold a baby monkey some day, but until that day comes, I settle for visiting them at the zoo.

While simply being a bystander to their silly shenanigans is never enough for me and always leaves me wanting for more, today I studied them long and hard only to discover that they are filthy and if the glass wasn't so thick and ceiling-high, I am sure they are stinky, too! Here a few photos to share with you, that fortunately, are not scratch and sniff!

This guy had a smile for me the whole time I was watching him......he seems a bit sassy and I like that!

In goes the stick into the tree......

and out it comes to go into the mouth- an afternoon snack of sap.

If you have seen the movie "Return to Me" then you may recognize this "little" fella- he played Sydney in that movie. He was enjoying his snack of sweet potatoes, celery, and carrots when we got to his place- just add chicken broth and you have a nice soup!

Hey, I know a Nana! She is the grandmother to my two beautiful nieces....but I don't think she does somersaults like this Nana does. I can't blame her though, the Nana I know is little bit older than this Nana!

And the day ended well, for what is an afternoon at the zoo without a stop at the city's newest organic bakery, Bleeding Heart. Simple Guy and I give high marks to the Take a Hike vegan scone and thought that the cupcakes and tartes looked excellent, but we passed on those today.