Dec 17, 2012

The War

Brace yourselves. I'm about to go on a major rant. But, this is my blog, so I guess that's allowed. And really, what better platform, right?

We are in a war. What happened in Connecticut last Friday makes it all the more real. It's not just a war of weapons, mental health or security issues. It's much, much bigger than that.

Since allllllllll those years ago when that slimy snake worked his magic in the garden, we have been in a war of Evil v. Good.

As I've scrolled Facebook the last few days, reading reactions to the tragedy of 26 lives gone in an instant, what most frustrates me is the dialogue that goes something like this:

"Dear God, Why do you allow so much violence in our schools?" -Concerned student
"Dear Concerned Student, I'm not allowed in schools." -God

Really? If you believe this, as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I think you might be confused.

The God I follow is omnipresent. He is God. He is everywhere, at all times. He is omnicient. He has complete, unlimited knowledge.

Laws and rules do not keep God out of schools. He. Is. GOD! He is in schools because we (believers) are in schools...
... opening our mouths to proclaim His truths...
... loving on others with self-less action...
... praying for the leadership of the school...

It's not a petition or rules that "allows" God into schools. He doesn't need an invitation.

Matthew retells a prophesy of Isaiah (about Jesus) in the 12th chapter of his gospel:
18 “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.
He is my Beloved, who pleases me.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not fight or shout
or raise his voice in public.
20 He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.
21 And his name will be the hope of all the world.”

People! God does not need human permission to be in schools!

Whether public school, Christian school, home-school, or any other time of educational facility (or movie theater, or shopping mall, or army base), there will be trouble/hurt/violence/thingsthatmakeabsolutelynosense! God warns us of this:

John 16:33 "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”


Ah ha! A different promise!

To me, the bottom line is this: I don't believe in a set of rules. I believe & follow a relational Savior, who loved me so much to die a horrific death on a cross by crucifiction! They'll know we're Christians by our love, not our rules... or complaining... or excuses.

 You want more Jesus in schools? BE HIM!

Nov 5, 2012

Shaking = Strength

Superman planks. Lunges & bicep curls. Dips. Wall sits... for 60 whole seconds. It didn't seem bad... and then the shaking started... and then Coach Cindy came and sat on my shaking legs.

"C'mon LADIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shaking equals strength!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Coach Cindy has a way of saying things that make you want to hug her and punch her at the same time. But what she said this morning had me thinking something all together different.

Shaking = strength.

What makes you shake? This morning, for me, it was wall sits. Physical.
What about mental shakes? Getting ready to tell your children about your cancer diagnosis? Mental.
Stressed over a new job? Emotional.
Running out of steam to fully-commit to the year-long ministry you're engaged in? Spiritual.

This mornings comment by Coach Cindy really had me thinking. (Good thing, because thinking about the burpees you're doing while you're doing them is really awful!)

We must be shaken to show God's strength.

Sitting on the couch watching TV all night? No prob.
Eating every single item offered at the tailgate on Saturday? Gladly.
Going through the entire day without ever hugging your spouse? Easy enough.


I think of Noah-- probably because we're studying the flood right now in BSF. His neighbors must have thought he was nuts. Hauling huge cypress trees out of the woods with his sons to build a gigantic boat? Nutso. I see physical shakes (heavy trees) and emotional shakes (being made fun of.) Where was his strength? God's promise! (Genesis 6:9-22)

How about little David and Goliath the giant? David had to have some shakin' going on. "What was I thinking?" One. Little. Rock. One BIG God. Strength. (1 Samuel 17: 48-50)

So how is God shaking you? Where are you going for strength? Are you volunteering for every organization on the planet, and yet getting no help of your own? Are you trying to break a bad habit, without asking for help?

2 Corinthians 12:9 "For my power is made perfect in weakness."

He needs us weak, so He can show just how strong He is. We shake, so He can show his strength.

So go on, get out there. Let God shake you up a bit. Then let Him show HIS strength through you... your circumstances, your life, your RESPONSE to Him.

Oct 22, 2012

The Recap

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
This weekend I ran the first-ever Purdue Half Marathon, my fourth such endeavor. It was freezing. I crossed the finish line and nearly tossed my cookies (literally, I had just stuffed a Famous Amos in my mouth!) So, as a committed citizen, I feel it necessary to give the organizers some feedback. Here's my $0.02.

Event Organizers- You nailed it. For the "first-ever" I thought most everything went splendidly. Sign-up was easy. Website was informational. Signage along the course was neat and clean. Course was AWESOME! (Okay-- running UP Northwestern for the last mile was slightly death-defying, but I understand why it went that way. And sprinting DOWN the hill to the finish line was just awesome.) Perhaps reconfigure the post-finish line arrangement for next year? A thoroughly equipped water station right away would be stellar, and having the food just a few steps past that would be ideal. But, I get that you had sponsors to recognize, and you did.

Volunteers- Y'all rock. I tried to thank as many of you as I could along the way, but I know I missed many. The fact that you'd give up several hours of your Saturday morning to hand out water (and have it thrown right back in your face), or stop traffic (and take the curses that I'm sure the citizens of Greater Lafayette were spitting out), was super. At one water station I hugged a very drunk banana.

Which leads me to my next thought...

ENGAGE THE STUDENTS! All of the volunteers were awesome, but the students were nuts, and I loved it. They were jumping, clapping, high-fiving, and generally just totally motivating. Perhaps some of the fraternities and sororities need community service hours? Why not some sort of water-station cheer-squad competition? Weaving the course through a campus community of 40,000+ undergrads, there has to be a surplus of volunteers, no?

Citizens of Greater Lafayette- I am sorry. Our course wound all around town, and I'm not sure how well prepared you were. Some of you we're stuck right in the middle. Thank you for your patience... for honking... waving from inside your windows... and even coming out to cheer while you sipped your coffee. I do have to say that The Organizers had signage out all around town several days before the event, but with this being the first time you might not have realized that 2,000+ people were committed.

Team Indianapolis- Can you even believe it? MONTHS ago an idea was born... and by God's Grace and ever-abundant provision, Neelu's needs are being met. May all the glory go to Him! What a privilege to know that there were others out there training, raising money, and Trusting Jesus!

As Our Own- Your organization is awesome. I totally believe it what you're doing, and I'm so thankful for your incredible ministry. I will be praying for you!

Neelu- You are beautiful. You are SO loved. Your dark eyes and bright smile were on the forefront of my mind as I endured some super-hot training runs this summer... and even Saturday at mile 9 when my knees said, "We're done!" I never stopped thinking about you, your mother, and the incredible journey I can imagine that God has you on. Oh the plans He has for YOU! I'm so thankful to be a little-bitty part of it. You can't imagine how much you motivated me!

Mark your calenders: October 19, 2013. Lets do it!

Sep 6, 2012

Good night, and good luck.

And just like that, 6:28 P.M. rolls across the clock and it's over. The day is done, the week is done, and a chapter is done...

Eight and a half years ago, The Hubby started at WSBT-TV as an intern. Tomorrow, he signs off as one of the main anchors for the evening news... a dream of his since he was in 5th grade.

If I had the technological know-how, I'd digitize and then upload the hours upon hours of VHS tapes his parents have of him doing the news from their kitchen table after school. Then again, maybe I wouldn't. (He forced his sister to volunteer to be the weather girl-- complete with a map of Indiana covered in Saran Wrap so she could draw on it-- and she might not want it made public!)

Over the years, I've always chuckled a little bit when people have uttered (without knowing The Hubby's trade) something about the "biased media" or how "the media is this or that." I tried not to let it offend me because I'm also good at stereotyping and blanket statements... but I want to tell you a different side of the news media.

I want to tell you about my Husband... the story teller...
... who agonized when he had to go interview you after your high-school aged son died on the football practice field.
... who covered the funeral of your daughter that was killed after a gun fell out of your pocket, and then sobbed with the photographer in the truck afterwards.
... who knocked on your door to tell the story of your husband that died serving our country.

My Husband, your news guy, carried those stories home with him. They changed him, and they are a large part of his decision to leave the business. As hard as they were, he loved those stories... telling the legacies of those people, those places, those moments... factual, unbiased, real. He cried. He prayed. He held our kids and me a little tighter. Your lives shaped ours, and we are thankful. I am thankful.

As he has been wrapping things up these last few weeks, the emails of encouragement, support and well-wishes have been trickling in. The few he has shared with me have been precious, beautiful, sacred.

In John 15:5, Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.”

I'm hopeful that his viewers and co-workers will remember him this way... as his other childhood dream... a farmer... bearing Fruit, divine fruit.

Did he get angry and lose his temper? Sure! And then he came home and re-thought his actions and words... and how he would or should "right" them.
He wrote cards to so many of the people he interviewed... who let him into their homes, their pain, their joy.
He even stopped by and prayed with interviewees, long after the story was over and the media stopped talking about it.

Dustin- You are nothing short of incredible. You have given it your all for 8 years, and I'm so proud of what you've done. You are so good at telling great stories, and equally humble in accepting accolades. You have enjoyed your co-workers, but never let them settle for being "okay" at what they do... always trying to push the "product" to the next level. You have been in more homes in Michiana than your Realtor wife, and have more loyal followers than you or I will ever really know. I have loved rehashing stories with you... rewriting them, reliving them. You have always been way too hard on yourself. So, sign off tomorrow night, Love, with confidence and joy knowing you've been a very Fruitful Branch.

And, just as Edward R. Murrow said at the end of a broadcast in 1940, "Good night, and good luck."

Aug 24, 2012

Running for HER life

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I'm a wanna-be runner. I look a fool when I run. I feel like I could die due to a lack of oxygen. I begrudgingly strap on my shoes and dream up any excuse I can to get out of it. I am not a runner, and though my Dad won a state championship that involved running while he was in high school, those genes skipped my body.

Luckily, for me, The Hubby is a runner. To him, it's a stress reliever. And, his "hobby running" is straight up motivation for my two-kids-have-been-carried-full-term-on-these-hips figure.

I ran my first half marathon when The Girl was 9 months old. I sort-of trained. My second half-marathon... well, I had no business running that one. I think I ran about 10 miles total in "training." My third half-marathon was fun. I did it with my sister. Enough said.

A few months ago some friends and I were talking about running a half-marathon together. We decided on the first-ever Purdue Half Marathon and then discovered an organization called As Our Own. In a nutshell, they rescue little girls born to women working in brothels in India... and raise them "as their own." We worked to get the Purdue Half Marathon on the list of sponsor races this year for As Our Own, and it now is! WOOT WOOT! And, we just met our girl.

We're running for Neelu.

"Neelu is 15 years old and is in the 9th grade. She has a knack for keeping things neat and organized. Neelu loves to spend time with her sisters. Here tender heart is hungry to know God through worship and the Bible, and she would like to attend seminary for a future in serving others. She is passionate to go wherever God leads her!

Once a child is rescued into our family, she becomes an irreplaceable member. She is not up for adoption, because she has a permanent place of belonging, right here with us. She's ours to love, nurture, teach, and enjoy. For life."

Neelu is a real girl. She is living a life that I cannot fathom right now, and I certainly couldn't have imagined when I was her age... headed into my freshman year at Harrison High School in West Lafayette.

I am still a wanna-be. I still look funny when I run. I still can't breathe, and I still run a 12 minute mile. But I no longer do it for me. It's not about my figure, my weight, or fitting into my "skinny jeans." Every time I put on my shoes, I think of a sweet girl on the other side of the world who needs to escape her current reality. I think of Neelu, a 15-year-old girl, whom I will likely never meet while on this earth.

She is real. I'm running for HER life.

Will you support Team Indianapolis?

Jul 18, 2012

Birthday Banner

There's a birthday coming, and with it comes my incessant need to create a tradition. I know. That's the dumbest thing ever. But it's true. With every event, or holiday, or moment, I find myself losing sleep over how to either a) capture the "moment" or b) to be able to recreate it. And, lets be honest, the best, most long-standing traditions are not ones that have been conjured up in someones head, or read on someones Pinterest board. They're sudden, spur-of-the-moment, not-intended-to-be-sacred, pauses in time. (Like my family's tradition to watch the very wholesome, family movie "Christmas Vacation" on the eve of the birth of our Savior every year. Don't judge.)

Anywho, as I was perusing FB a few months ago, I saw a photo of a girlfriend's daughter on her b-day, sitting in her highchair with a subtly decorated kitchen in the background. This stuck out to me because said girlfriend was preparing for the big b-day shindig... which was to be over the upcoming weekend. And then I realized, she decorated her kitchen (nothing over-the-top) for THE birthday. The actual day this precious girl left the womb was being celebrated by her Mama, her Daddy and her little sister. Oh yes, the party was to follow, but they didn't miss The Day.


It sounds so simple. It is so simple. But I've missed it. Don't get me wrong, we have b-day morning photos, and make a huge deal out of the entire day that the b-day party is taking place, but the D-A-T-E has been overlooked. Drat.

And then came the light bulb!

As I looked back through old photos of The Girl, I realized I have a great "cake" photo of her from all 3 previous birthdays. What fun! A birthday banner!

Each year, I'm going to take that sacred "cake photo" and add it on to this simple, I'm-not-a-scrapbooker banner. And, just to kick it up a notch, a few things will be included on the backside: How we celebrated; What she asked for; and Her own signature (or an outline of her hand if she's too young to write.)

This is a great, simple way for me to catch a moment, without having to maintain a scrapbook. It will also store easily, and make for great decorations (and conversation starters?) in years to follow. To make it extra-suspenseful, I'm going to bring out each "pendant" that many days before her birthday each year. (ie. 3 days before her b-day I'll hang up her 3rd Birthday Pendant, and so on...)

Time to go and make #1 for The Boy.

Nothing spells LOVE like B-B-Q

Since about mid-May, I've had the pleasure of putting many "Pins" to use as my sister-in-law and I planned a couples BBQ wedding shower for her brother/my brother-in-law and our new (almost) sister! The trickiest part of this whole deal was finding adorable things on Pinterest and attempting to  find sneaky ways to get them to one another to read/check-out-- without the Bride seeing what we were up to!

Anyway, here's how things ended up. It was a great evening with friends and family. And, as much as I wanted to pray against rain, I took one for the farmers and told the Lord we could squeeze the tables inside if need be. However, as you all know, that was not an issue... and we continue to wait for the rain.

As our guests arrived, we had each couple fill out a hilarious Mad-libs pertaining to wedding advice for the couple. They were read aloud as the couple-of-honor opened their gifts.

Apparently a few shower guests thought these were real "sliders." They're actually a yellow cupcake cut in half, with half of a chocolate cupcake stacked inside as the "burger." A little yellow icing (mustard)... a little red icing (ketchup) and a toothpick... and voila! (Props to my friend Mrs. R who made these for The Girl's 1st b-day and coached me along as I attempted to remake her art.)

This simple/inexpensive piece of decor was not a Pinterest find thankyouverymuch! I hijacked the Bride & Groom's Facebook photos. Then, I printed them at Sam's Club. Finally, with some hemp and clothespins I had in my crafting "stash," we hung them as a backdrop.

One of the main reasons we chose to do a BBQ (besides having an awesome park-like backyard) was because of this... S'MORES BAR for dessert! We hunted around our local grocers to find out what sorts of marshmallow flavorings they offered (strawberry, toasted coconut and jumbo) and then came up with the menu (see next photo.)

Thankfully, my FIL was thinking ahead and thought to call the police department who Embrace the Pace to see how the burn ban would affect this main-piece of our party. Luckily, we got the go-ahead. Phew!

I've decided when having a buffet, either a menu or placards in front of each "dish" are helpful to guests. We went with a menu. Pre-wrapped silverware with a "dig-in" tag was a fun, whimsical touch, too.

And, to keep with our theme, we labeled mason jars and encouraged guests to write their name on their jar and keep it "in sight."

The other hostess helped with putting pens in all the centerpieces so we wouldn't have to go on a mad-hunt when game time came around.

Centerpieces were: mason jars spray-painted with stained glass paint, aluminum cans wrapped in scrapbook paper, and sitting on a round piece of scrapbook paper. All were placed on a tablecloth of "butcher-block" paper, purchased by the roll at Dollar Tree.

And there you have it. Behind me (as I was taking this photo) were yard games: corn hole, ladder ball and horseshoes.

This was so much fun to plan. It was especially fun because: 1) I live with my in-laws and don't currently have a home/yard to manage. 2) I live with my in-laws and have help with my children. and 3) I live with my in-laws and am not presently working. So, what I'm saying is, I'll likely never in my life have the time I presently do to devote to an event like this. It was fun ;)

Jul 16, 2012

Marinated Green Beans

1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
3/4 C white vinegar
1/4 C sugar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1. Cook beans in boiling water to cover 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process, drain.
2. Whisk together vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add beans and onion, tossing to coat. Cover and chill 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Corn/Tomato/Avocado Salad

My sister-in-laws sister gave me this recipe about 8 years ago, and it has been a crowd pleaser ever since.

4 ears of corn, cooked & taken off cob (or 3 cans corn "nibblets", drained)
1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4C red onion, chopped
4 oz. Monterrey jack cheese, cubed
1 avocado, cut into chunks

Place above ingredients in a bowl together.

In a separate bowl, combine:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic

Whisk or shake together until well mixed. Pour over corn mixture and stir until covered. Chill about an hour before serving. Can be made the night before.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

When Mom used to ask me what kind of b-day cake I wanted, this was my request. OH YUM!

2 (3 ounce) packages instant  vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (16 ounce) package graham crackers
1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting

  1. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and 3 cups milk; mix well. Fold in whipped topping and beat with mixer for 2 minutes.
  2. In a  9x13 inch baking dish, spread a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the dish.
  3. Spread 1/2 of the pudding mixture over crackers, then top with graham crackers. Spread remaining pudding over crackers; top second pudding layer with another layer of crackers.
  4. Microwave frosting for 30 seconds. Stir carefully (It overflows easily.) Pour over top layer of crackers and spread evenly.
  5. Cover. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 12 hours before serving.

Jul 3, 2012

Journal starter

Reflect back to elementary school. You there? Okay-- did your teacher (circa 4th or 5th grade) ever give you "journal starters" to spark a creative writing exercise? The one I most easily recall went something like...  "On my summer vacation I..." We would then be encouraged to write without stopping... to let the creative words flow.

Okay. Back to present day.

This morning at my mom's I was reading a coffee table book she got from my cousin Hasso, who is raising support to go full time with Wycliffe Bible Translators. The book is called "Worship The Global Hallelujah" and it's infused with scripture, photos, quotes and ... journal starters!

This one caught my attention, and I plan to spend time pondering it: "If at the end of my life God showed me what my worship of Him looked like, here is what I'd want to see..."

I can immediately think of what I don't want to see. It's selfish. It focus on MY wants, MY emotions, MY needs. What I want to see when worshiping the Author and Creator of my life should have nothing to do with me.

In their book, Wycliffe suggest worship is:
-what we were created for.
-expressing our love to God.
-God's children gathering to proclaim His faithfulness.
-both quiet trusting and loud proclaiming of God's eternal Word.
-the flow of God's Spirit through lives of those who depend on Him.
-welcoming God to change us.
-surrendering our will to God's will.
-both a personal experience and a shared experience.
-proclaiming the victory of Christ in the midst of difficulties.
-praising God no matter where we are or who we are.
... just to name a few.

So I'll ask you again, "If at the end of my life God showed me what my worship of Him looked like, here is what I'd want to see..."

Boys and girls, you have 15 minutes to complete this task. I should hear no talking, and your pencils should keep moving the entire time. You don't have to write in complete sentences. Just jot down whatever comes to mind. You may stop writing when the bell rings.

Jun 25, 2012

The beast

There's an animal lurking around our home. It's not like the 20 in. corn snake found in my brother & sister-in-laws family room last week. No, this is much, much scarier than that. And, it rears its ugly head at a moments notice. There's no rhyme or reason... it's just untrained. And it's ferocious. Even without lungs, it is harming people ... sometimes daily. 

It's my tongue.

I'm working on memorizing Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Building up? Giving grace? Not even close.

Last night, mindlessly, I said something to The Hubby that was just rude, unkind, and completely untrue about him. I called him a name... and I was joking... but it was just unnecessary. My man knows me well enough to know I was joking, but it was another nail hole in his fence. (Ever heard that story... when you hurt someone it's like you put a nail in their fence... and though you may apologize and ask for forgiveness... and the nail comes out... the hole in the fence remains for a while. I like to think that eventually Jesus comes by with His wood putty and fills in the hole... but its rarely immediate.)

I love My Hubby. He's the man of my dreams. But what I said to him was a low blow.

When I started working on this verse I was thinking gossip. What I realized after last night's exchange is that it's not what I'm saying behind people's backs that's hurting them-- gossip isn't really my thing. It's the coarseness with which I'm saying things to people ... as I look them in the eye.


So, why am I telling you? #1) Beware if you're near me. This thing is ugly! It comes out at the most random of moments and it will chew you up and spit you out in nothing flat. Ask My Hubby! On second thought, don't. Please. I don't want to relive it, or have him relive it, ever again. #2) Call me out on this, people! This is not right. Shoot the beast! Kill the beast!

With all this said, I'm adding a few more verses to my "soon to be memorized" list:
"May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you..." -Psalm 137:6
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." -Proverbs 10:19
"He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity." -Proverbs 21:23

And the most painful, but most important ones as I attempt to kill this beast...
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." -James 1:26 (My testimony is at stake! I refuse to waste all that God has done in my life!)
... and James 3:1-12. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

So there you have it. Guns are blazin'. Kill the beast.

Jun 19, 2012

Our current reality

We have a really good gig right now. My gracious MIL & FIL opened their home to allow the four of us to move in while we hover between old life and new life. (By move in, I mean utilize 2 of 4 bedrooms, an entire playroom and most every inch of closet space in the house.)

About a week before we moved in, they started on a dream they had when they purchased this home... an awesome, gigantic family room addition.

Here's what it looked like about 3 weeks ago...

Last week, The Girl and I spent a few days in Lafayette, as she had a very important event.... "Pretty Princess Dance Camp." Before we left, The Hubby & FIL started dismantling the wall between the kitchen and the dining room portion of the addition.

Here's what it looked like when we left...

And this is our current reality...

There is no denying that this is going to be one SWEET hang out when all is said and done. However, there are some minor pains along the way. Namely... well... see that plastic wall in the photo above?

Check out what's on the other side of it...
That would be the oven and cook top. :)

Now, in God's sovereignty, this is all going down in the peak of grilling season. And, FIL loves himself some grillin'. I also happen to be very fond of my crock pot, so that's great. And, MIL woke up yesterday and remembered she has an electric skillet. SCORE! So, we're inconvenienced... for a 2nd week.... and all a little edgy when there isn't marked advancement at the end of a days work... but we're not going hungry.

And, we're starting to see the beginnings of many family holidays come to light in one, special room...

Jun 18, 2012

Crockpot Enchilada Casserole

3 Tbsp diced green chili's
1/2 C mild salsa
1/4 C chopped green onion
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
15 oz can- black beans, drained
11 oz can- yellow corn, with red and green bell peppers, drained
10 oz can- enchilada sauce
2 large eggs
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 1/2 C shredded Mexican four-cheese blend

1. Stir together chilies & next 6 ingredients in a lightly greased 4 qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 3 hours.
2. Whisk 2 eggs in a medium bowl, stir in muffin mix. Spoon batter over bean mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 1 hour or until cornbread is done.
3. Sprinkle cheese over cornbread. Increase heat to high; cover and cook 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Spoon into shallow bowls. Garnish with sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Layered Southwestern Salad

3 C torn lettuce
15 oz can- kidney beans, rinsed & drained
15 oz can- black beans, rinsed & drained
12 oz. can- no salt added corn, drained
1/4 C chopped red onion
1 C nonfat or low-fat sour cream
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 C shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Place lettuce in the bottom of a large, shallow clear glass bowl or baking dish. Add the following layers in the order listed: beans, corn and onion. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, cilantro, vinegar, lime, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over top of salad. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and chill for 1 to 24 hours.
Stir and mix well just prior to serving.

Jun 10, 2012

940 Saturdays

Friday night in my most-recent Readers Digest, I read this:

940: The number of Saturdays between the day your child is born and the time he or she turns 18. The phrase might serve as a reminder to cherish the time you have with your child and use it wisely.
-From No Regrets Parenting by Harley Rotbart, MD

Wow. Only 940? That doesn't seem like many!

When we got pregnant with The Boy, The Hubby started a Saturday morning tradition with The Girl in which the two of them went on a doughnut expedition. Each Saturday, they'd wake up and ditch me to go and find the most wonderful of puffy, filled, iced confections. Not only did I get an hour or so to myself, but they got their much needed one-on-one time and most of the time they remembered to bring me one, too ;) In the end it was a win for all parties involved.

Now, it's a family affair. Most Saturdays, no matter what city we're in, we get up, get dressed, and let the hunt begin.

I did some math after reading this statistic (don't worry, I used a calculator) and discovered that we only have 732 Saturdays left with The Girl. WHAT? How is that even possible? In four short years we've whittled away more than 200! (Hold in the tears. Hold in the tears. Hold in the tears.)

Immediately, I was convicted (once again) of my selfishness. Just that morning, The Hubby had been invited by my FIL to go play a round of golf. SELFISHLY, I wanted to cross my arms, stop my foot and say, "I've been here with these yahoos all week... the three of us REALLY need you here... for our sanity... and you want to go be away from us for 4.5 hours of swinging a stick with your Dad?"

And then it hit me.

"... with your Dad."

You see, the thing is, even though they've already had their 940 Saturdays, I had the opportunity to allow them both #941 or #1265, or #1560. It wasn't about "leaving us." It was about time away, not working, to unwind, exercise, laugh and talk ... with his Dad.

So ... what are you doing with the 940 "Saturdays" you've got with your kids? Are you making memories? Are you doing chores as a family? Are you realizing there are only 52/year? (Lets not get all legalistic here, your "Saturday" might very well be Thursday, or Monday, or whatever day works into your family schedule!)

The point is will your son or daughter one day want to come back to your home and continue to have that special one-on-one time? Will they crave the warm feeling in their heart when they think of the fun, silly, spontaneous, ritual, SACRED things you did together at least once a week? Will they want to build those moments into their family life someday?

I hope so... for both your kids and mine.

Peanut Butter-Banana Oatmeal Squares

Odds are good you already have everything you need to make this for breakfast tomorrow ;)

1 1/2 C quick cooking oats
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Add in:
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C milk
1 egg
1 mashed banana
1/4 C peanut butter

Bake at 350* for 20 min. in a greased 8 x 8 pan.

Onion-Butter Corn Packets

1/3 C butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ears of corn, husked, silks removed
2 Tbsp onion soup mix
4 Tbs chopped fresh dill

1. Preheat grill to medium-high (350-400*F). In a small bowl combine butter and garlic. Spread evenly on corn.

2. Cut 4 (6 x 18 in) sheets of heavy duty foil. Place 1 ear of born in the center of each sheet. Sprinkle evenly with soup mix and dill. Place one ice cube next to each ear of corn. Fold foil over corn;l crimp edges to seal, leaving room for expansion.

3. Place wrapped corn on the grill. Grill, covered, 15 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through grilling. Carefully remove corn from foil, and serve.

Serves 4.

Easy to stuff Manicotti

1 pkg (8 oz) manicotti shells
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
14 pieces string cheese
1 1/2 C (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook manicotti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce. Spread half of the meat sauce into a greased 9 x 13 in. baking dish. Drain manicotti; stuff each shell with a piece of string cheese. Place over meat sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

May 31, 2012

Embrace The Pace

So as I was running last week, I realized that the motto of the town we're currently living in is "Embrace the pace."

This is not a coincidence.

Then, I started to look around. Everyone really does "embrace the pace." (Did you know that was possible?) Maybe it's summer... maybe it's the average age of town residents... or maybe it's just small-town Indiana... but whatever it is, it's therapeutic.

Anywho, you know you're Embracing The Pace when you find horse and buggy parking at your favorite hometown grocer...

And anyone who has time to shingle their mailbox is certainly Embracing The Pace...

My Father-In-Law, henceforth known as FIL, delicately Embraces The Pace as he gives his grand kids "tractor rides"...

And I have found that the world's most gigantic playpen will allow me to Embrace all sorts of Paces this summer as The Boy is trapped in one location *insert evil laugh*...

I don't know if it's a Pace that we're Embracing as MIL and FIL do this gigantic addition on their house (aka Temporary Dwelling #1), but we're certainly enjoying watching the daily progress...

And, how can you not Embrace The Pace as you watch your laundry spin in the sun?

Life is good. I'm Embracing The Pace.

May 30, 2012

It is finished

It's hard to believe we've been living in our new digs more than a week already, and yet at the same time, it's hard to believe its only been a week. Youknowwhatimean?

Anyway, the move was quite eventful...

At first we were being cute and silly

Nothing like some Martin's doughnuts to energize you on moving day!

Then, The Hubby pulled in with the BIG truck.
(FYI- It did not have the air-brakes he was hoping for.)

At this point, the piano movers hadn't showed up, so there was still time for cute photos.

Fast forward about four hours. So many of our dear small group friends showed up and we unloaded the house in nothing flat! Unfortunately, we loaded the truck in nothing flat and realized we'd have to make two trips to West Lafayette. That wasn't on the weekend agenda, but we were thankful for unlimited mileage!

So, with tired kids ready to sleep their way to Memaw's, I took off in our fully-loaded van (not fully loaded as in DVD players and automatic doors... think over sized framed art). I was about 7 minutes into the 2+hour drive when Hubby called.

Hubby: The truck is stuck in the driveway.
Me: That's so funny. What did you really call about?
Hubby: I'm not joking. I can't go forward or backwards. It's wedged in.
Me: So..... what are we going to do?
Hubby: You need to come back here and we need to start unloading the truck.
Me: ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? We just spent 4 hours loading it with the help of ten people!
Hubby: I'm not sure what else to do. Just come back.

This is what I saw when I pulled up. An exasperated Hubby... and Neighbor Man with a jack.

 It wasn't looking good, no matter what angle one chose....

That would be the divots in our CONCRETE driveway from our weighty load. 

Well, in a short 6 minutes, one very wise neighbor came up with the idea of putting something under each rear tire to give it just enough lift that when Hubby gunned the engine the truck would come loose. (All I could see was the rear bumper coming off the Penske.) Luckily, Neighbor Man was much smarter than me and we were FREEEEE. On the road... again... for real...

I'll spare you ALL the details of the unloading in West Lafayette. There were three different drop off locations (everything is in storage) and minimal helpers. Needless to say, when our 14-hour day ended at 11:30pm we fell asleep quickly.

At 8:30 Sunday morning we were on the road again. We were on a mission to be at 11am church (our last time of worship with our peeps) and then to a sweet, sweet going away open house. I will never forget the words that our friends spoke to us. So much encouragement and truth and Jesus.

But enough of that... time for truckload #2 to be loaded. There's not much, I thought. Thankfully some dear (ie WISE) friends showed up to help us a second day in a row, and we packed the truck again... full.

 Meanwhile... the kids found places to nap...

And, for the second time in one day, I saw SR 25 from Rochester to Lafayette. Trust me, this is not something to put on one's bucket list.

Here's drop zone #2 of three...

The hilarity came at 11:30 Sunday night, as me and The Hubby made our way to Embrace The Pace at our temporary home #1. There was quite a lightening storm going on in the distant countryside around us (think summer storm, fun to watch on a porch.) It was super windy, but not raining hard. As we slowed on SR 25 to turn on to US 31, I asked if Hubby would mind taking over the wheel. Without hesitation, we did a Chinese fire drill. However, we forgot to establish who would be taking which route around the exterior of the car and then ***BAM***, we cracked heads. I'm talking full-on, no-time-to-stop, leave-a-goose-egg-or-black-eye contact. We both climbed back into the van with a hand over an eye, and laughed. We gut laughed. We could hardly breathe because of the hilarity of that moment... or that day... or that weekend... or that event.

God was faithful in providing help... safe travels... and moments to cling to Him.

He. Is. Good.

So tomorrow, it is finished. We officially close on our house and walk like the Israelites did. No home. No certain future. Just us and the Lord.

The Great Adventure is in full swing.

May 22, 2012

the Real me and the Purple Dress

I was invited to speak at our final MOPS meeting of the year last Thursday, and this is the message God laid on my heart to share. It's just a glimpse of the real me...

I am obsessed with time.

I am a planner, and I’m pretty sure I’m OCD- a lethal combination. But this year, God has been refining me in this area.

In August, after months of prayer, with a 3 month old and 3.5 year old, God called me into full time ministry as a full time mom This was not an easy decision to come to. Not only was our household income going to be cut in half, but … What does that even look like? I don’t know how to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. I remember calling a girlfriend and asking, “So, what do you do all day? What is your routine?” Some women are born to be moms. They’re cute, and crafty… they’re the ones behind Pinterest! And, though I like to be cute and creative with my kids, I often need an example of what or how.  

Ez 36:26 says, “ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” What I didn’t realize was happening this year was divine heart surgery.

I  had established myself as a Real Estate expert. I thrived on a full schedule of showings, closings, listing appointments, training new agents… and then came everything else… including my husband and kids. I didn’t realize how stony my heart had become until I was asked this question: For what kinds of satisfaction are you investing time, energy and money?

What kinds of satisfaction? Well, honor, name recognition, prestige… everything was about my three favorite people… me, myself and I. It was about the business I had built… the connections I had made… the clients I was taking care of… the money I was bringing in…  

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people will humble themselves & pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I wanted God to hear me and I wanted to be forgiven and healed, but I didn’t want to be humble, pray or turn from my selfish ways.

I decided I needed to make more of an effort in scripture memorization. The first verse I chose was Philippians 4: 4-8, which says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Let your gentleness be evident to all. I am anything but gentle! I'm not super compassionate, busy, forward-focused… no time to slow and certainly no time to be gentle.

Shortly after starting to pray about this decision to be home fulltime—before the actual decision had been made—I went to a conference in Indy with some girlfriends called “Women of Faith.” One of the speakers talked about the pain of staying same v. pain of change. I had never thought about that. We all think of the pain of change… like I mentioned… giving up income… giving up business suits… and luncheons. But what about the pain of staying the same? If I kept on, I would miss so much more… and things I had never even considered at that point in my life. Another speaker at that conference talked about “pruning your life.” Stepping back and looking at everything and then asking yourself a tough question… well, tough for someone like me who wants to be involved in everything and not “waste” a moment of the day. The question was: What is God calling me to end?

Okay, okay, Lord. I’m getting it. I don’t have it yet, but I’m getting it.

I had asked for a lot of people’s wisdom and advice as I was making this decision, and someone told me this: Watch out for compulsion, God’s ways are orderly. That was so good for me to hear, as I’m a very quick decision maker! Then I read Ecclesiastes 3:1, which says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”

Okay, Lord. I got it now. I have my whole life to work… and make contacts… and do what I’m passionate about outside of the home. But right now, there are two little people that are growing up and I’m missing it.

This decision to stay home was confirmed later into the fall as I started a bible study on Acts with a group called Bible Study Fellowship, or BSF. It has had a HUGE impact on my life this year—and my decision to be home full time. As the teaching leader gave her introductory lesson on the book of Acts, she said “Acts is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things for God, empowered by the Holy Spirit.” She then posed two questions: Am I so busy that I miss what God has for me? Um… yes! And, what am I busy doing that will last for eternity? Ouch. Not much.

2 Timothy 2:21 says, “If a man cleanses himself from the later, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” I had made my decision. I wanted to be ready to be used—can’t be tired, over committed or distracted.

So this last year has been incredible. God has used my husband, our kids, my girlfriends, our financial situation, my calendar, and so many other means to speak to me and remind me of His presence. I read this quote somewhere, and I think as moms it’s so true: Great opportunities may come once in a while but small opportunities surround us every day.

Let me tell you the story of the purple dress.
One day, I revealed to The Girl my stash of bridesmaid dresses, which I keep in our guest room closet. She absolutely LOVES to dress me up in them. She would pick out the whole ensemble and then we'd pretend I was going to a "ball" or we'd just dance around the room. This was fun for a bit, but tending to an infant in that get-up was nearly impossible, and oftentimes I cut the game short. One night she was insistent that I go and put on "the purple dress." Over and over she talked about "the purple dress." Well, I don’t have any purple bridesmaids dresses and just couldn’t understand her persistence. It ended in tears when I told her to stop asking me… it was time for dinner… then bed. We had had fun in the other dresses. End. Of. Story. Or so I thought....

That night I walked into my closet and saw this:

Shoes, necklace, headband and ring…. all perfectly laid out under my purple dress... in my closet.

All I could do was sob, and beg God for forgiveness. And the worst part was I couldn’t undo it with The Girl. She was asleep and by morning, being a 3.5-year-old, she would have completely forgotten it.

So, I’m learning. I don’t have the full-time stay-at-home-mom thing all figured out. I’m messing up daily, like I did with the purple dress, but I’m learning from my mistakes.

About two weeks ago, The Girl started begging to paint my nails. I was always finding something else to do that required dry fingernails… make dinner, change a diaper… clean the house. Suddenly, I thought of the purple dress. As soon as I got Jack down for a nap, I told The Girl to go get the nail polish. She was so pumped. And then, for 20 short minutes, we sat in the kitchen as she delicately held each of my fingers and toes and gave me a manicure and pedicure. I will never forget that.

Luke 9:23 says “Then he (Jesus) said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

What really matters to you? When Christ’s return is near possession, status, power mean nothing. It’s all about relationships. Who are you influencing?

May 16, 2012

The Influencers

Things are winding down. The "Michiana" chapter of our family book is coming to its completion. It's so deeply saddening, and yet so confirming as well.

This September it will have been seven years since we purchased our first home in this area. A home we planned to live in two or three years, not because we'd be moving a block away, but because we'd be moving to Indianapolis. But, God, in his infinite wisdom, had something far better for us here. And now, 6.5 years later, I can see it too.

Our lives have been deeply impacted by so many different people. Here, we went from young marrieds to a young family, and God strategically planted His people along the way to encourage and bless us.

Neighbors- Helen, Roger, Gary, Tom, Barb, Muff, Kim, Jason, Holly, Joe... I could go on and on. How is it possible that in owning three homes we could have been blessed by such amazing neighbors?? You cut our hedges that were on your property... made dinners for us as we attempted parenthood... mowed our grass just because... and showered us with free babysitting and endless children's clothing. In a nutshell, you taught us, mere children, how to be great neighbors. We will carry your friendships with us throughout our life.

Pastors- Rick, Brent, Kyle, Jay, Collin... you guys are so amazing! God put us under your wings to learn what it means to be members of a church. You shepherded us through periods of incredible growth in our individual walks with the Lord, and as we figured out what that meant as a couple. We are so thankful for each of you, and pray God's richest blessings as you continue in your various calls to shepherd His flock.

Uprising Class-  Our first friends as Mr & Mrs. We never treasured enough our short time together-- especially those days pre-kids. ;) Game nights, cross-country skiing, dessert at Yesterdays- we cherish the memories. And now, even as we're scattering to all parts of the country, we remain thankful in our prayers for you. Those that are still here, we've clung tightly to... and those that have already moved have given us hope for what's next for us on this earth. We love you.

Grace Church Family- You are our people. You are our family. What can we even say to express how much we love you. You have encouraged us, prayed for us, spurred us on, loved us. We have loved serving with you and for you. Granger is being touched by you. Blow the walls out. We can't wait to come back and worship with you. Pray for us.

Small Group Peeps- Past and present... our brothers and sisters who know our deepest grime, yet still love us and want to be in relationship with us. Tuesday nights have always been our favorite. Doing life with you all has blessed us more than words can express. Thank you for your prayer covering as we go forward.

MOPS gals- It has been a mere two years....not nearly long enough. However, you have taught me that I'm not insane. I walk into that room on Thursday mornings, and instantly I'm normal. Thank you for your willingness to come alongside me.

BSF women- How good is our God? I just had to look around my discussion groups to be reminded. All different walks of life... all different past experiences... all learning about the same God. God used you to teach me so much. Genesis, Romans, Isaiah, Acts of the Apostles... four incredible studies that rocked my world.

Cressy & Everett Associates- Why you let a cocky, young know-it-all like me in to those doors is beyond me. You are professional, courteous, educated, wise... I could go on and on. Six months ago I hung up my Michiana Real Estate hat, but it will forever hang on your hook. You taught me, and even let me train you. What a blast. And Sue, you're one in a million. There are no words to express how thankful I am for your leadership and example.

WSBT co-workers- In nine years, there have been many of you. Thank you for taking my Hubby in, allowing him to do what he loves, and sending him home relatively unscathed. He has been challenged and grown, and remains passionate about good journalism. Thank you for never making me feel like an outsider... and for trusting me to sell so many of your homes. ;)

Boyfriend, turned Baby-Daddy- You are my very best friend. We started this journey as individuals, and are on to the next adventure arm in arm, and with two beautiful Blessings in tow. How are we this deserving? Thank you for your encouragement as I've attempted to figure out what it means to be your wife, and the mother of our kids. I thank God for every single morning that I get to wake up next to you. My only expectation is that you please keep pointing me to Jesus. If anyone knows how desperately I need that, it's you. Okay? Alright. Lets do this, Love.

Michiana, you've been good to me. My life is different because of the 6.5 years I've lived here. Thank you.

May 8, 2012

The Adventure begins...

The new "normal" looks something like this...

A suitcase? No, no, no, my friends, that's The Hubby's dresser! It's taking everything in me to leave it as-is (and not fold everything properly), but alas, there are boxes to be packed.

In cleaning out said dresser, which had supposedly been recently cleaned out, The Hubby found this...

Yes, it's a sterile urine collection container... from a pre-natal appointment... from when I might have been pregnant... with our now 13-month-old. But, yes, I'm sure he cleaned his dresser out... about 18 months ago.

Meanwhile, I found some snow on top of our game cabinet in the family room...

Lets get serious. You should have been more concerned had I NOT found that much dust up there. I mean, really, when was the last time you cleaned the tops of your cabinets??

And just like that, The Great Adventure has begun.

May 3, 2012

Sweet sweat

Today I went for a run for the first time in 10 days. Between the thick, wet air and a gut full of a delicious MOPS brunch, I thought I might die... or puke... or just pass out. Of the many weird things about me, when I work out, I don't sweat until I stop exercising. I know, bizarre.

So, today was no different, except for the amount of sweat. It was rolling off me. My shirt was soaked. I felt legit in my efforts to be athletic.

The Hubby had to rush off to work, so we high-fived, gave a kiss, and off he went. It was just me and The Boy. And, my sweat. As I let The Boy down from his high-chair, I was surprised that even in my stinky, ringing wet state, he wanted to be held. And not just held, but he wanted to be snuggled.


"I know I'm your mom, and I'm thankful you love me no matter what, but Little Dude, I STINK!"

And then it hit me. It's just like Jesus.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28

When you stink, come to Jesus.
When you're sweaty, come to Jesus.
When you're struggling, come to Jesus.

No matter what. No matter when.

You don't clean yourself up to go to your Father.

I let myself lay on the floor, and I laughed (not in disgust) as my son crawled all over me. He nuzzled me. He wrestled me. He didn't give one care or concern to my odorous state of being.

Matthew went on to say this, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

So, where are you finding rest? Are you trying to clean up your sweaty-self before going to Jesus? Are you being honest with Him and yourself about the reality of your sin?

Thank you, Jesus, for using the sweet sweat and an adorable one-year-old to remind me of how much you love me.

May 2, 2012

Miss Independent

For weeks, I've been wanting a pedicure.
For days, The Girl has been begging to paint my nails.

So, yesterday I got what I hope will be the first of many precious in-house salon experiences.

I knew it was going be a little... imperfect... when the paint brush strokes went side-to-side on my nail bed.

I couldn't resist taking this next picture (below). In fact, I made her pause her work to go and get the camera for me. (My toes were still wet!) I just love her focus, and the way she so delicately held my aging finger in her tiny hand.

Then, my heart broke a bit. How many of these precious "imperfect" moments have I missed over the last four years?
... when the laundry seemed more important...
... or I had a contract to write with clients...
... or needed to get dinner started...
... or dishes done... or return an email...

I'm wearing these nails with pride... all 20 of 'em. (We had to count them as she blew on each, individual nail bed to dry them more quickly.)

They're messy. They're imperfect. But the time-invested in getting them this way is one of those little nuggets I'll hide in my heart for the rest of my life.

I love you, Sweet Girl. Thanks for your persistence in getting me to slow down.

Apr 27, 2012


UPDATED: Wednesday, May 9
It's purge time. All items are on a first-come, first-served basis, and we will update this posting as items are purchased and added ;)
Amish-made wide-seat chair (new 3 years ago): $100

Tile-top table with 4 chairs (set): $150
(That's the table.... see it there... look harder...)
 (A close-up of it's surface.)

Sofa, chair and ottoman (set): (They are super holey, but SO comfy! We just put blankets over the holes!): $40

Children's IKEA furniture- nightstand, dresser & wardrobe (set): $150




Bookshelf: $10

Lamps (set of 2): $30

7 piece bedroom set- 2 nightstands, long dresser, tall dresser, 2 mirrors, 4 poster bed: $250
4-poster bed

 one (of 2) nightstand- both have glass tops
long dresser- door is broken, but we have it

2 mirrors

tall dresser- includes glass top

Table with 4 leather-seat swivel chairs & 2 leaves- table extenders (set): $50

We also have:
Round wooden table- $30