Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting Settled

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Life is grey… the sun peaks out from time to time, but we mostly see grey skies. I feel like I am in the country of amazing food, and I don’t know how to make or acquire any of it. I did find a good bakery this morning and brought home a baguette that made great lunch sandwiches. Even regular staples don’t taste the same. The eggs have a unique smell and taste. There are three isles of yogurt at the grocery store. I don’t know where to begin! Peanut butter is rare. It costs about $8 for a small jar. Luckily I have gone shopping with American friends who have been a huge help in figuring it all out.

Our home needs some sprucing up. I should have asked for IKEA gift certificates for Christmas. I think we will get some curtains and we need something on the walls. Maybe a few throw rugs to help things feel homier. Some candles would be nice too. We also need a few plastic cups and maybe some that hold more than 4 oz of liquid. My new friends Hilary and Michelle stopped by and said they would take me to IKEA on Saturday!

We have learned a few good tips. The French don’t do garage sales, but once a month everyone throws out their goods and you can go dumpster diving for used but good stuff. (We might look for a new couch and dinning chairs.) Mimolete cheese tastes the most like cheddar. You need one euro to ‘use’ a shopping cart.

So we are getting acclimated. I think we will all feel better when we start sleeping through the night. Jet lag is hanging on for dear life. I am not used to the kids being awake in the middle of the night. It is almost 6AM in California and already 3PM here. Or should I say 15:00.

We still have five days till school starts… hopefully we will be ready!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

From Massy France

Well this is my first morning waking up in France. It is a good day. I was going to blog yesterday and it wouldn't have had such an encouraging note to the blog. Though our trip was uneventful and everything went well. The affects of sleep deprivation on top of culture shock upon arrival did not bring out the best in us. The kids were wired and we were sleepy, not a good combo. We were homesick for the familiar and the predictable. We were homesick for our beds and the ability to send the kids outside. We were homesick for family and friends to lean on for support and help. We were homesick for the predictability of knowing how to get a good meal for the kids. But today is a new day. Although sleep was sporadic and choppy, there was enough of it and we are feeling much better. I woke up to a breakfast of pain au chocolate and hot chocolate. What could be better? We will be moving from the hotel to our apartment today and hope to start making it feel like home. I will try to blog more while we are here and upload some photos.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Wow it has been too long since I have blogged. I know this because I usually read others blogs around the same time I blog myself. And I have 61 blog entries to catch up on. Probably wont get that done tonight! I just wanted to share the joy in my life of homeschooling. I was given a lot of homeschooling material by a sweet lady in Monterey. Most of it was Sonlight curriculum. We are anticipating a departure for France sometime in the fall. And since I wanted to try out homeschooling while still here in the USA with resources for help, I decided to give it a try now. Yes... actually now. I am going to give Drew and Joe a week off after they are through with school, and then we are getting started on Kindergarden and 3rd grade. The cool thing about homeschooling is you can make your own schedule. Then if we want to take a week off for VBS or vacation, we can do that too. I did ask the boys if they even wanted me to teach them and if they wanted to do school this summer, and they both said YES! I will also be attempting to teach some preschool to Harley. (Pray for us there!) Anyway... I'm excited to give it a try and will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last one... it's a good one... :)

Project #5

Text or E-mail Some Sweet Nothings

“I turn on my computer. I wait patiently as it connects. I go online. My breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words, “You’ve got Mail.” I hear nothing, not a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart… I have mail, from you.”
Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kennedy in “You’ve Got Mail”

Your Project
Send a flirty text or e-mail to your husband.

Getting Creative

  • Use an e-card service ( or to send a cute and flirty note.
  • Don’t know how to text? Ask any teenager in the general vicinity.
  • Most phones have a camera feature where you can send a photo message. Be sure to keep it G rated so that he doesn’t get in trouble at work.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This is the 4th out of 5 of these...

Project #4
Heart vs. Stomach

A Treat Just for Him

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.”
Ronald Reagan

Your Project:
Get a food treat for your husband that he’s not required to share with you or any other family member.

Getting Creative
Stumped for ideas? Here are some thoughts:

  • Get his favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s and hide it behind the frozen chicken. Even if you buy it on Tuesday, you’ll have it ready and waiting for his special night later in the week.
  • Is there a certain cut of meat that your husband loves? How about having the butcher cut something just for him? Most supermarkets will even do the marinade for you – one less thing to think about.
  • Is there a certain candy that your husband loves from his childhood? Check out They have all the nostalgic candy you could want (Black Jack Gum, anyone?) while also carrying any modern favorite you could be looking for.
  • My husband’s family loves something called “noodles and mashed potatoes” (we lovingly refer to it as “The Starch Fest”). I learned how to make this special dish just for him.
  • My guy loves the smell of baking almost as much as he enjoys eating the treat. Have some brownies in the oven when he gets home from work or working out. (I know, it negates the workout, but isn’t chocolate always worth it?)
  • Our friend Scott mentioned that he loves cranberry sauce, but eats it only at Thanksgiving. His wife intentionally made the holiday treat for him this past July.
  • Are you a wife who is an expert at low-cal salads and other forms of chick-food? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at for ideas

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An amazing weekend...

Jeff and I went to a marriage enrichment conference this weekend. He did not think it was a good conference, I thought it was good. How's that for a united front? :) I do totally see his point and agree they could have challenged us more, but I really appreciated the time to reflect and learn some new ways to approach and support Jeff. I was actually able to confess something to Jeff that I was not sure how to do before this weekend. Scared out of my wits would be a better description. It gave a good opportunity to discus things that would not have come up without the structure. So I am thankful for the time with Jeff, thankful for his understanding and forgiveness, and thankful for the passionate and unconditional love he offers me. (Even though he drove me crazy with his constant dialogue about how the conference could be better, I came away from it with a better and renewed understanding of who he is.) Two of the things I took away were...

1. The perfect wife does not expect the perfect husband.
2. Strengths pushed to extremes can become a weakness.

There was a whole lot more, but I'll leave it for now.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Project #3

Project #3
You da’ Man

Spreading Great Gossip About Your Guy

Your Project:
Say something nice about your husband to someone else. Make sure you tell him what you said, and to whom.

Getting Creative
Who are the important people in your husband’s life? Your kids, his parents, his friends? Be intentional about who you chat with when you brag on him – it’s almost as important as actually doing it.
Having a hard time coming up with something? I still brag on my guy for things he did years ago. He loves when I tell the story of how brilliantly he proposed (there were waterfalls and stuffed portabella mushrooms involved…).

Here are some other areas to think about when crafting your brag:

  • His parenting skills
  • His patience level
  • The way he treats your mom
  • His culinary ability
  • His job
  • His loyalty to you

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Project #2

Project #2
Back in the Day

Do Something He Enjoyed Before You Got Married

“Lust is easy. Love is hard. Like is most important.” ~ Carl Reiner

Your Project:

Initiate an activity that your husband used to love. Whether it’s his favorite hobby, sport, or pastime, it’s time for you to get involved – be his buddy today.

Getting Creative

  • Many a man’s hobby has gone by the wayside due to matrimony. Is it possible that it’s time you learned to golf or fly fish? Don’t try to beat him, just join him.
  • Possibly the only thing your husband would enjoy more than playing chess with you is teaching you how to play chess. Ask for a lesson so he can teach you something that he is an expert at (or really loves). Just your willingness to learn will be a huge boost to your guy.
  • Pick up a magazine about your guy’s now dormant hobby. Ask him questions about why he loves it so much. Learn a couple of technical terms so that you are better able to discuss it.
  • Do a little research. Find out what the definitive website is on your husband’s favorite subject. Maybe there’s an event in town, a lecture to attend, or a game to watch.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Project #1

Project #1

30 Minutes is All it Takes

Create Some Free Time When He Gets Home

“There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Your Project:

Focus on your husbands transitional 30 minutes today. Would he like to be left alone to rest and rejuvenate, or does he want some undivided attention from you? The point is to let your husband know you value what he does out in the world, and that he has a safe loving place to come home and get refreshed at the end of the day.

Getting Creative
There are plenty of reasons why it might not be easy for you to give your husband some transition time at the end of the day. You need to look at what can work for your relationship. Be creative, like the stories listed below. Brainstorm with your friends until you find a situation that will work for you and your guy.

  • My friend, Joann, purposely scheduled her daughter’s dance classes twice a week at the same hour that her husband gets home from work. That way, her hubby comes home to an empty house. He gets some quiet, and she gets a more peaceful man.
  • One husband has his workshop out in the garage. His wife encourages him to go and hang out there for a while before dinner. (Since starting this arrangement, her husband has started helping out with the after-dinner clean up. Nice side benefit.)
  • Crockpots are The Husband Project’s best friend. Set your crockpot to be finished thirty minutes after your husband gets home from work. Let him know that you don’t need anything until dinner is ready. Don’t know a crockpot from a flower pot? Check out the recipes in The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at
  • Does your husband already have a great transition routine after getting home? Find some other little thing to bless that time. Maybe it’s making sure the TV is available, his favorite sweats are clean and ready to be changed into, or there’s a cold soda waiting for him in the fridge. It may be so small that he doesn’t even notice. That’s okay – you’ll know what you did.
  • What if your husband works from home? Maybe the best way to help him relax is to ask what he would like the schedule to be. Does he want dinner before or after he gets some time to recharge? Ask him what would make his night better.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

bragin on my hubby

OK I just have to brag on Jeff sometimes... he is so sweet and good to me. He is an awesome dad, husband, lover... you get the idea. He has been so good at helping out around the house lately and being an encouragement to me. I have been working real hard at loosing weight the last couple months. So he said to me this morning... 'I didn't think I would like you as much if you lost weight, but you are looking really good. ' (He is so good at loving me just the way I am. I have told him that is part of the reason I had no real motivation to work at losing weight! Ha!)

The Husband Project

I recently saw the movie Fireproof and have been thinking of ways to encourage my hubby and keep our marriage strong. I ran across this book on a friends blog and there is a five day challenge that I will post on here. So come back every day for the next challenge and lets see if we can encourage our husbands and bring some intimacy back... (if it's missing for you-maybe you don't need any help) So here is some info about the book and the author. Tomorrow I will post the first challenge. Let me know if you do this and how it goes.

Do you feel like your marriage has gone from "I do" to "What did I do?" Recapture the romance that made you and your husband fall in love in the first place. The Husband Project provides 21 days of fun activities to show love and honor to your husband. Kathi Lipp will help you discover:

  • Proven ways to return fun and flirting to your marriage.
  • Inner assurance to meet your husband’s unspoken emotional needs.
  • Increased confidence when it comes to meeting your husbands sexual needs.
  • New levels of warmth and tenderness in your relationship.
  • A deeper sense of security with your husband.
  • A greater ability to boost your husband’s belief in himself.
Q&A with Kathi

Kathi, why did you want to write The Husband Project?

When my husband and I got married, I was determined not to be like so many other couples who turned from romantics to roommates in a matter or months. But, like everyone else, we got back form the honeymoon and had kids and bills and home repairs waiting. It wasn’t long until I packed away the lingerie and was wearing sweats to bed. I knew that if I wasn’t intentional about keeping my husband a priority, it would be easy to let him fall to the middle of my to-do list. I had to get desperate and creative – that is how The Husband Project was born.

Tell me, how does The Husband Project work?

The Husband Project is like a workout program for your marriage – only with less sweat and more chocolate. You commit to do fun and flirty things for 21 days to raise the temperature of your marriage – everything from flirty notes on the bathroom mirror to more lingerie in the bedroom. It is a little bit of work – and a whole lot of fun.

How did you come up with the Projects?

All of these projects are husband tested and wife approved. First I tried things out on my husband, and then I had a group of over 200 women try some of those projects out on their own men. We took the projects that had the highest flirt factor and put them into the book.

Don’t most women want to do nice things for their husbands? Why do you need a book to do them?

Oh, I totally agree. We all have great intentions, but blessing your man is like making dinner: The hardest part isn’t the cooking, it is deciding what to fix. It is the same with the husband project – all the ideas are pretty simple, but the Projects just lay it out so that it is easy to do.

Give me an example of what a project looks like.

Most of the projects take less than 5 minutes or 5 dollars. One woman made her husband’s favorite brownies and put one on his nightstand every evening for five days. Another wife just casually mentioned to her mother-in-law what an amazing man she had raised in front of her husband. That man lived off that compliment for two weeks. We also collected some of the best low-cost dating ideas from the women who have done The Husband Project and have those up on the website at under Free Resources to give you even more ideas than what are found in the book.

What are Bonus Projects?

Bonus Projects are the PG13 part of The Husband Project. They are once a week assignments to have sex with your husband. (I know you won’t be surprised to find out that these were the husband’s favorite projects.)

Besides the Bonus Projects what were some of the husband’s other favorite projects?

The second most popular category of projects was definitely food. The guys loved it when their wives made something just for them. In fact, it was such a big part of the Project that we had the wives send in their favorite recipes that you can get free on my website It’s called The Ultimate Guide to Man Food and it is all the guys favorite recipes in one collection.

Why do you want women to keep The Husband Project a secret from their guy?

Look, I would never tell you to keep anything from your husband – that is just bad marriage management. But I think The Husband Project should be the exception. I wasn’t upset when my husband threw me a surprise party – this is the same type of situation.

Friday, April 3, 2009


So you should be getting our newsletter in the mail any day now. They just went out today. But I already have a new update. We had a new Church come on today to support us and our percentage is up to 61%!!! We are very excited about this new partnership. They are a huge encouragement. This newsletter was the second in a series of four designed to get us out the door by August. Keep praying with us!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


So I had to go to the dentist today. I had broken my filling in the tooth that had a root canal... Yuck. So I am sitting in the chair waiting and my chair started rocking and it felt like a big truck was driving by. I wondered what equipment the office was using to create such a ruckus. Then I thought, Oh No! Its an earthquake! Then I was scarred for one second and then is was over. Wow... my second earthquake to feel. And at the Dentist to boot. It is such a crazy feeling. Life feels so totally out of control in those few seconds. OK, I need to go work on dinner... just wanted to share...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sing, Norah Singh

Here is a video we made at youth group for our dear friends Deep and Michelle whose beautiful daughter Norah Singh went home to be with God.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Promised Photos

There are a few things we started as seeds, so those are not pictured yet. The boys really enjoyed this and so did I. One extra thing we found to plant was rhubarb. Yum

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Planting my Garden

I am excited once again to get my hands dirty and get some veggies and herbs planted in the garden. The boys and I really enjoy the work of getting the dirt ready and putting in our seeds. This year I am going to try a few new things. A yellow squash, potatoes, romaine lettuce, parsley, chives, thyme, lemon balm and peppermint. As well as my norm... tomato, lettuce, carrots, basil, onions, and our staple, strawberries. I haven't investigated the acidity of my dirt yet. I imagine that would help my plants grow better. Does anyone else have experience with that? Sometimes I get a good crop off things and others don't do very well.

So anyway... I will take photos this afternoon as we plant and let you all know how it goes...

PS... do you like my springy new blog look?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trois filles ont accepté Jesus Christ dans leur vie aujourd'hui.

Today at kids club I had the joy and privilege of being used by God to pray with three third grade girls to ask Christ to come into their lives. It is just a mystery to me how we come into a relationship with Christ and how our lives grow in Him. But I am excited about being sisters in Christ with these girls and now having the opportunity to help disciple them throughout the rest of the year. Please pray for me to have wisdom on these Tuesdays when I meet with them and do my best to share what I know with them. I feel so feeble and incapable sometimes in my ability to share Christ, but I know He does the real work and we just have to be wiling...

Joe was with me at kids club today and then went home with his Lulu. At bedtime I guess he asked about praying to have Jesus come into his heart. He had been listening at Kids Club also and knew something big was going on. (He was very attentive to the lesson, which was hard to do with 150 or so kids that were not all being so quiet!) So pray for us also as we talk to him about his understanding of Christ and what He did for him. This is what it is all about... Praise God for opportunities like these!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Dentist

I took Harley and Joe to the Dentist this week... finally, I was feeling a like a bad mommy for neglecting their teeth. They were both good sports and did not cry a bit. They had no cavities so I am pleased with that. Here are a few photos... Oh and pray for me tomorrow... it is Drew's turn and I already know he has one cavity. Last time he went they didn't do anything about it because they thought his teeth would start to fall out soon. But that was almost two years ago and he has lost NO teeth yet!