Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone...

Wow, haven't thought about paula cole
in ten years...

Anyway, here is a brief (ha)
update on our comings and goings...

Aly: Rockin' out in CA right now with the entire fam, sportin' the "denim" romper daily, hanging and working with the youth, playing fris, boot camp, makin' hummus....

Dan: Working at the Loft a bit, finished her FINAL FINAL this week, watched this weeks Lost and Parenthood, looking for a job, graduating at the end of the month...
Kitty: Studying like a beast, taking her last final at the moment, heading back to the Hoosier State mañana to see her fam, going to the beach to babysit at the end of the month...

Mans: Nannying, babysitting, packing her room, going to FLA USA for a wedding at the end of the month, getting wedding cake at Jerry's, walking a lot...

I have been working, went to Chatt for a few days (which was awesome), playing outside, going to boot camp at church, getting ready for camp and summer...

I'm daily reminded that I am not in control and that God has everything in control and is faithful. We signed up in January for 25 people to go to SOS this summer for our Jr. High trip, 21 kids and 4 leaders. March 1st passed, which was the deadline to drop spots and not lose any money, and we had no one signed up. We were locked in to paying over $7000 for these 25 spots plus $1300 for van rentals (so, a grand total of $8300!). Holy cow. We have been feverishly promoting the trip and unabashedly harassing kids to sign up (ok, not completely unabashedly bad). With April passing quickly, we only had a few 'nibbles' and no commitments. With the sign-up deadline of May 2 rapidly approaching, my nerves and anxiety levels reached a new high. I tried to cast all my cares on Him daily, and of course peace would take their place. I have learned to relax and relinquish my "control" because, what do you know? Sunday, May 2nd came around and we were full by the end of the day! We have 21 Jr. High kids and 4 leaders. God is faithful and continues to show me that. He is showing me, not only that He is constantly 'covering' my ass (because SOS was my idea and would have been my head...) but that He is confirming that the ministry we are doing is really His. I'm not here, by myself, but He is my constant companion and is working in the hearts and lives of our kids.
HAZAA for God's unchanging, never wavering faithfulness!

Oh, and there's Kristen. She's practically a roommate. I'm her's...not!
We will be leaving the Poplar House at the end of the month. Kitty is moving to Danielle's parents' for the summer because her nannying job is in that neighborhood and Danielle is job-hunting and doesn't know where she's going to end up. So, Aly, Mans and I will be packing up and heading North...(hopefully to the house that is just around the corner and down the street!). We are sad to leave, but excited about new...

And, I'm ready for this...


Thursday, April 15, 2010

encouraging run!

so today, i called my poopy roomie at work and asked her to map me out a run...a 10 mile run from poplar and back. WELL, this was the pathway:
l on poplar
l on goodlett
r on walnut grove
l on mendenhall
l on princeton
l on perkins
r on walnut grove
r on waring
l on sequoia
l on n graham
r on walnut grove
r on high point terrace
l on mimosa
l on highland
l on poplar and back to our humble abode.
i wanted to blog about this because of the parallel i sortof drew to the long run and our walk with Christ...and i told my other roomie about my deep thoughts about this and she said BLOG ABOUT IT! so here i am.
here are my deep thoughts in a nutshell: so about halfway during my run i started thinking about this little path that was planned out for me. and i had NO clue where i was but i had to trust all of these directions that em had given me for the run. i came to different obstacles---stoplights, trees in the sidewalk, trashcans, etc...but i kept on pressing on. i got really impatient at the obstacles, thinking, OK i want to just finish without all of this hard stuff in the way! well i'm treading down mendenhall, breathing pretty heavily, and i'm thinking to myself- how much further is sequoia? should i call em or just trust this little journey? should i ask this lady i see ahead of me who looks pretty friendly and is carrying a plastic bag which i'm sure was full of her cute dog's poop? YES- i'm going to ask her. so i stopped to ask and make sure sequoia was on the left- coming to realize that this is how i am in my walk with Christ---so doubtful that His plan is actually best and that people are in our lives for a reason, for advice, and for encouraging words to build us up in our walk with Him. anyway, as i kept going, i was comparing my run with how untrusting i am of the plan God already has ordained for me. and although there are little obstacles and places where we have to be patient, He is still sovereign and knows the ways that are best. even though there may be a million different turns and "trash cans" and other sticks and trees in the road, He is faithful to bring us to HIS abode. what a cool picture i had while running...and needless to say, i was successful in not bursting into tears during the run. how cool.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

safe in HIS arms

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong and never let you go
oh you're not alone
Chorus:You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms- phil wickham

if you haven't heard this song on should probably go download it from iTunes this very second and listen to it. are these lyrics not awesome? they seem so simple, but they are so meaningful.
well as you know from emily's posts, we have all been super busy. i feel like everyone is just on totally different schedules, but we still are able to keep up with each other and have quality time together. right now i am sitting in our den on the foof with my pajamas on at 8:45, can i just tell you that i have become an old woman? what has dental hygiene school done to me?
can i also tell you that i passed my boards?! what a relief off of my shoulders. now i have to graduate (get through projects and papers and finals) and SRTA (our clinical board exam) and then i am a licensed hygienist.
after i found out about my passing score on monday, i felt like a new and refreshed person. for the past few days before finding out i passed, i had reoccurring dreams that i opened up the letter from the dental board and found out i failed. ahhhh.
today i went to boot camp with aly at aly and em's church. it was super intense and definitely surpassed all of my expectations for the terms "boot camp". it was fun though and the lady that leads it is so encouraging!
well the poplar 5 have not had many exciting adventures lately...last friday we went to a cookout/bonfire, this weekend is our friend echamb's birthday party! and next wkend, katie's and mine's auburn friends are coming for a visit! yay!
i have been applying for jobs and sending out resumes...kind of overwhelming but exciting!
that's all for now-------

Romp! Romp! Romp It Up!

So, we have been pretty busy around here these days, but the fun never ceases when we take a family trip to Target...well, at least with three of us. Aly, Mans and I went out last week to pursue our Easter attire for this year, and of course we made Target our first stop. As we were searching with Mans to find that perfect, "hot" dress that she so desired ("hot" is definitely the
appropriate adjective to describe one's Easter dress), Aly and I pulled a few things for ourselves so Mans wouldn't be lonely in the dressing room. We came upon this "rack-of-a-gold-mine" filled with adult rompers. Now, granted, we first saw these attractive get-ups and were extremely judgmental and sarcastic with them, but boy did our opinions change once we tries these babies on. After picking a few different styles, cuts, and fabrics we excitedly went to the dressing room to begin our romping fun. We tried on a few rompers, one being strapless, red gingham and another, being made out of a train-conductor-esque fabric and our hearts flew. The immediate comment that was made was, "This will be perfect for RED NECK DAY 2010" (more details to come about that glorious day in the near future!). Along with the hopes and dreams of the upcoming event, we also were fascinated and impressed as to how comfy and casual a romper could be, but also how one might be able to dress it up. The romper, is in fact, quite versatile. Granted, when I think of a "romper" I usually am picturing an infant in a onsie, playing in the dirt.
After we left Target, with the hopes of the rompers being our new summer attire, and going on sale in the near future, we headed to Burlington to check out their jewelry.
Once we found a few things, we ventured to the clothing section, and to our surprise, we met our new found friend, the Romper. There were SO many more colors, styles, and textures! From the "stretchy jean overalls", to the "neon green mesh vest on top of black knit", to the classy, "white knit top with ruffle collar connected to knit jean bottom connected with a large black waistband." It was too good to pass up, so we tried them all on. Little did we realize that we were in the Juniors section (aka a "medium" in juniors terms is actually smaller than an infants 2T). So, once in the dressing room, we were flabbergasted at how AWESOME (sarcasm implied) everything looked, perfect for a night on the town or just hanging with the girls. Super tight, the rompers exceeded our expectations.
After our excursion, I was curious as to what "romper" might be defined as. Here are a few definitions:

Pronunciation: \ˈräm-pər, ˈrȯm-\
Function: noun
Date: 1836

1 : one that romps
2 : jumpsuit 2; especially : a jumpsuit for infants —often used in plural

3: A loosely fitted, one-piece garment having short bloomers that is worn especially by small children for play.

a loose, one-piece garment combining a shirt or blouse and short, bloomerlike pants, worn by young children.
a similar garment worn by women and girls for sports, leisure activity, etc.

I knew it! Of course we love the romper. Comfy, casual and something to play in, it is another item of clothing intended for an infant, but made for an adult, like footie pajamas. Perfect. Now, I do hope that bubble suits (similar to the romper) and maybe, just maybe, adult diapers will be "in" soon. How convenient would that be.

Take a gander at these fine garments. I know you will be envious, but it isn't until you try one on that you will definitely be converted into a romper-lovin' fool...

Can you guess which romper is an infant one?!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

turn, turn, turn...

The Byrds shared, with the world, Ecclesiastes 3.

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

What an incredible reminder of how up and down, and back and forth our lives are. But at the same time, a beautiful reminder that the God who made us, who chose us, and loves us more than we can imagine, never changes. He doesn't have seasons. We can have times where we laugh, cry, hate, and dance all at once, but our Lord remains the same. A Constant; an absolute Truth. I like being reminded of that.
My time right now is just a season, and Lord willing, at some point in time, something will change. We are all in different places right now...Danielle studying, getting ready to graduate/job hunting, Kitty working super hard in the middle of nursing school, Aly working and wanting to finish school, Amanda working and toying with the idea of continuing grad school, and me, working and trying to figure out where I need to go and what I need to be doing with this life.
I was reminded on Monday that God has a great plan for all of us. That He is making us all into who He wants us to be, to go where He wants us to go. That is refreshing to hear. Feeling stuck, burnt out, and having no direction seems to fall to the wayside when I hear that. Remembering that I am here, in this season, because the Almighty has me here, wrapped in a love that I will never comprehend, is a relief. Why am I fretting over this? His timing is perfect, He is perfect, and my own selfishness is what gets in the way. Knowing that He never changes, that He has a plan for me, and that He is making me into who He wants me to be is beautiful.
Psalm 51:12..."Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
One more thing...I read this today. It was a great reminder that even though there are times when I don't "feel" like Jesus loves me or that I love Him, or times when I doubt or that I don't trust Him, He never changes His affection for me. My heart is deceiving, and left alone, it ruins me...but Jesus has given me hope.

1 John 3:21-24
"21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."


Thursday, March 4, 2010

long time no read...

This is blow up doll, Wayne. He lived with us for a while, he posed with us, and he attended our holiday festivities. He was viciously stabbed and deflated a while ago, but he is slowly healing, and might be back to his old self soon. He now stands guard at our front door to ward off the un-welcomed ones. He's a nice guy.

So, life is busy for us all. It has been a long time since we have written, so here is a brief update on the going ons of the Poplar 5...

Dan has been dutifully and relentlessly studying for her boards that are coming up. Along with being in school with clinicals, she is still working a bit at the Loft. It's unbelievable how hard she works, it wears me out. I will be thrilled for her come May when she graduates.

Kitty, meow, has been at the grindstone as well, studying night and day, day and night. One of her favorite study spots is the 'bucks of course. And of course she saw Doc there with his "lady friend." Kitty always seems to attract the neighbors. I don't think I've seen Bert up close, ever, but Kitty is consistently telling us of her awkward, weird conversations with him.

Mans has been working her tail off, as well. Nannying from the wee hours of the morning till early evening on most days, then working in the Mound on other days. Exhausted everyday, she still is willing to stay up, watch a movie, and have a nice glass of wine with us. She's been helping out in Jr. High small groups all year on Sundays, and has started coming on Wednesday's too! It's great having her around, and she pays such sweet attention to the girls.

Aly has been working at the church, studying and hanging out with kids. She's always on the move and sometimes we don't know where she is. She got 2 new pairs of glasses and contacts are on the way! Mabel has been running strong, and lately has been decorated with tissue paper and toilet paper...of course when Aly gives kids a ride anywhere, they find some thing in her car to hang out the window or decorate the visor with. She has gotten to play with the babies recently, and is going to CALIFORNIA to visit all her family this semester. I am so excited for her.

I have been busy working as well. It seems most of my time these days is spent in the office, working on calendars, mail outs, e-mails, phone calls, etc. etc. etc. But, I will say that this week has been a good one for contact. I love writing notes to encourage the girls. I think letter writing is a dying art. What feels better than coming home from a hard day and rummaging through the mail and finding a letter with your name chicken scratched on the outside by a long lost pal? Ok, so a lot of things might feel better, but you get the point. ANYWAY, I wrote a few of my girls a note last night with a verse that I thought might encourage them specifically. After breakfast this morning, as I dropped them at school, I handed each of them their letters. One of the girls has been struggling with having horrible friends and feeling like a horrible person. I told her in the note that my prayer for her was that she would know who Jesus was, that He came to save the sick, and not the healthy, or the "good" people. On my way home, I got a text from her telling me "thank you" for the note. She also said that she didn't know if she loved Jesus, but she wanted to! Joy of my heart! Oh, my insignificant wretched self can be used by the Almighty to help someone see who Jesus is! I cannot even begin to explain the longing and heartache I have had for this girl who is so hopeless and downtrodden, and for her to see that Jesus is hope and joy and want to love Him is the only thing that matters in this job, this life.
Our Spirit is on the move in our church, in our families, and in our kids. I want to see more.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Old and Spicey...

Ok, so at our house we have been laughing hysterically at this commercial. I mean, just watch it and I feel for certain you will whole-heartedly agree.

Enjoy. Watch them all. It's ok if you cry. We all have.