Thursday, October 22, 2009


The house is coming along well. I was glad to see the rain back again today because 3 or 4 days without it and I start missing it. Please hear the sarcasm dripping from that. Anyway, luckily most of the outside is done, with the exception of the roof being finished, a few windows, and some paint. So even when it is raining they should be able to get a lot done.

I am really enjoying the process, I know there are moments that are frustrating and I will probably run into more in the future but for now I have enjoyed building another home.

This past week my growth group Bible study was on focusing on things that are eternal and not temporal. I struggle with that. It is just so easy to see things here on earth and get caught up in them because they are tangible and we can literally see them. The study was a good reminder that our life is fleeting and most things only last for a moment.

I heard about a man yesterday who is 84 years old, still works 3 days a week and is currently in Uganda leading a dental clinic. Talk about a life not wasted. I think he gets it for sure. It would be the norm for him to be retired, enjoying doing nothing, traveling for his own pleasure, sitting in a rocking chair on a front porch somewhere, and I don't think anything of those things are wrong from time to time. But I do believe we are called to live for eternity and not for now. David Montague likes to say live for the line, not for the dot. Meaning all of our lives are a dot on a line, the line extends from the beginning of you life through eternity, the dot is your 70+ years on this earth.

Our new home will be an old home 100 years from now and possibly not even be there, it's temporary. But the relationships we build there, the way we share our faith, how we give ourselves away is eternal. I want to invest my time, resources and life wisely so that I live for things eternal and not temporal. I want to live for the line and not the dot.

What are you doing in your life right now that will make an impact in eternity? Is your focus on eternal things or temporary? I am going to start asking myself those two question more often.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.

Double Whammy

Wednesdays are in general pretty good days. Busy and I try to cram everything I can into 5 hours, because this is when I am completely childless for a day, but a good day nonetheless. Yesterday started out pretty normal. I dropped Emma off at her PDO program, went to work out and then to run a few errands. I stopped to look at paint colors for our house and what I thought would take me 30 minutes ended up taking me almost an hour. Then I rushed down Poplar to pick up Emma, as I did I was running late, which at her PDO program they charge you by the minute if you are late...those three dots back there are my comment on how I feel about that.

Anyway, I got there and was informed that a babysitter of another child had picked up Emma's bag. So we did not have a cup, paci or anything on us. I wanted to ask if they could credit my minutes running late since they gave my child's bag away at the very least. She did have her "night night" on her which saved much blood shed. We then went to pick up Bennett where he greeted us with a big smile, he had received a DOUBLE WHAMMY Happy Gram. Now, I was not educated on the double whammy happy gram but he quickly caught me up to speed. Happy Grams are what the teachers at PDS give if you have had an exceptional day. Like if you have done something out of the ordinary, done really well in a subject, etc... Well, a double whammy is like receiving two of those, they are much coveted and rarely given out. Bennett received his DWHG for being the best vocalist in music practice for the grandparents day program. On a side note, I have no idea where he gets his singing voice, I cannot carry a tune in a bucket and Braxton is not that much better. So we were elated for him!

Here is where it starts going down hill. We get home and I am tired, the kids are hungry, Emma Sanders is in a horrible mood, Bennett has a melt down about a happy meal toy, and then it gets really bad. I start cooking supper. That is not the bad part :) My mom walks in and decides that I should not cook on the front burner of the stove but on the back. She picks up the pan and places it on the back burner (I keep wanting to say eye, but I am not sure if it is really spelled eye). I then walk in the kitchen a few minutes later pick up a pot holder to check on the tenderloin in the oven, then put the pot holder on the eye, the one that is still on, but I did not realize it. I walk into the den and about 5 minutes pass. I start to smell something burn. I head back into the kitchen and see smoke bellowing out from under the pot holder. I literally stand there for a few minutes in shock then proceed to pick up the smoldering pot holder and run out the back door. My throat was burning and I was coughing, no joke, that is how much smoke there is. All I could really think is, great, I am burning my mom's house down. Now we all are going to be homeless.

My mom comes running from the back, semi-freaking out. She grabs every box fan she owns, which is 2, and turns them on high. I am still outside hacking. She then opens the back door for air to flow, because none, and I mean none of the windows in her house open. The cat runs in the back door, now this is important because we have spent the last 6 weeks keeping the cat outside due to Preston's allergies and asthma. Braxton and Preston walk in the door about the same time all of this is happening. Braxton starts chasing the cat, my mom's kitchen is still covered in smoke, and I am trying to decide whether I should laugh or cry.

We manage to get everything under control, get the kitchen aired out and still had dinner by 8pm. It was at dinner that I really laughed out loud because Preston goes hey, guess what? I got a Happy Gram today for the best vocalist in the 5th grade! I think God just knew my night was going to be hard and since he has a great sense of humor, both of my children got vocalist of the day yesterday.

I felt like yesterday was a DOUBLE WHAMMY in more ways than one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gimme A Break

I used to love this show growing up. It was one of my favorites, I remember thinking that I wished Nell could come live at our house. I still wish she could :)

The Bradys took a break over fall break. It was amazing. We traveled to the Great Smokey Mountains. We enjoyed fresh air, blue skies and gorgeous mountaintop views. It was a good getaway for us as well as for my mom. I think she enjoyed having her house to herself.

We spent one day in Gatlinburg eating, playing, riding an Alpine slide down the mountain, riding a chair lift up a mountain, etc... We also walked along downtown and as we did we came upon a magician. He was set up in front of his magic shop and doing shows every hour or so. We decided to take a rest and watch.
Preston was chosen from the crowd to go up on stage and help with one of his tricks. The particular trick happened to be cutting Preston's head off. Preston was such a great sport. At one point as he has Preston's neck in this contraption he said, "Is there anyone that objects to me performing this trick?" Then without being told to do so, Preston raises his hand. It was hilarious, the crowd went nuts. The basket you see in the picture here is one that he placed below Preston to catch his head, he took off the top and a fake head popped out. Poor Preston, he jumped up and lifted that entire contraption with him, once again, he was a great sport, he just smiled and laughed with everyone else.

It really was a good break. All of my pictures are up at www.bradybunch2.smugmug.comWe were excited to get home and see the progress on the house. It really is coming along. The siding is going on this week along with the roof. We are continually amazed by God's provision and grace.

Please continue to pray for our family as we build and prepare to go back to the hood. We really do miss it. Our friends, the Parkinson's, moved in a couple of weeks ago and now my kids are really excited to get back and have friends on their street.

Hopefully I will get by there this week and take some updated pictures.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Purpose = "Going Back This Way"

Yesterday Bennett and I were on the way to check on some things at the new house. I had picked him up from school and we had discussed the events of the day. He had a great day with the exception of telling me that he did not like the pizza in his lunch. Might I add here, I told him not to take pizza in his lunch because he would not be able to heat it up, he disagreed and I decided to let him see for himself. There are lessons best learned by experience. Needless to say I don't think he will take pizza again.

I was driving back towards our neighborhood and he got really quiet. I noticed because the child is usually NEVER quiet. After a few minutes he said, "Mom, I will be glad when we are going back this way." It took me a minute to understand what he was saying. I said, "Oh, Bennett you mean when we are coming home this way everyday?" He replied, "Yeah Mom, I miss it."

He went on to tell me how he misses his friends, Ms. Freddie Mae, Dennis (two of the greatest next door neighbors ever.) I told him that we missed it too.

It made me start thinking, I think if he could verbalize it well he would say that he misses what our life is about in Binghampton. How everyday is filled with a sense of purpose and wonder. How each day we live there we talk to our kids about what it means to step out in faith, to share Jesus with others and to build relationships that go beyond the surface. About forgiveness, mercy and grace. We are all created with that deep longing for purpose, for our life to mean more than just mere existence.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think you have to live in the hood to have purpose. But I do think we are all called and challenged to find purpose each and everyday regardless of where you are. We were created by a loving creator who created us with a "work to do." A purpose in this life, one that is filled with excitement, challenges, wonder and gratitude. That is why our family motto is "Taking Initative for the Benefit of Others"

I am glad my kids are getting opportunities at young ages to understand their purpose. This life is not about us. We were made for so much more. Even my six year old gets it and can't wait to be "going back this way."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Movin' On Up

When Braxton calls my cell phone his ring is the theme song to The Jeffersons "Movin' On Up."

Well we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.Movin on up
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.

Fish don't fry in the kitchen;
Beans don't burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin'
Just to get up that hill.
Now we're up in the big leagues
Gettin' our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it's you and me baby
There ain't nothin wrong with that.

I just got that song stuck in your head didn't I? There are actually several reasons for this. There are a lot of little inside things to this song that mean something to me. I will give you a few. One is that there are two sides to Binghampton, a East side and a West side, we live on the East side. Another is that what the world sees as movin' on up and what the Bradys see as movin' on up are two completely different things. (Matthew 6:19-20) I have never really understood the whole fish fryin' or bean burning thing so there is nothing there that has any meaning but I like the song nonetheless.

This week we literally started movin' on up on our house building. It has been so fun to watch. In fact I am a little on the obsessed side and every time I even get near the street my car has some sort of strange magnetic pull that forces me to go look at the house. Weird. Anyway, it has come a long way in a week but I am not naive' to think that it will all go this fast. I am very aware of how the outside goes up really fast and then the inside moves somewhat like a slug.

And if I did not know, I would have figured it out this week because everyone that I have told that they started the framing has said, "Oh, let me tell you this part goes so fast and then the inside takes FOREVER.(they literally say that word like that)" Thank you encouraging friends. Don't call me, I will call you the next time I need a reality check.

There is a spider that lives in my mom's backyard. A huge spider I might add. A couple of weeks ago my mom was outside at like 0 dark thirty (5:30am) and saw his huge web that goes perfectly with his huge body. She commented on it and said we needed to show my kids.
Well that night we walk in the backyard and it is gone. About an hour later she is back outside and she comes in and says, "you have got to come see this." So we walk back outside and this same spider is spinning his web. It was amazing how big it had gotten in such a short amount of time. So I run back inside and grab my camera.

Now this picture does not do justice to the size of the spider or his home. It literally spanned about 8 feet wide between two trees and his body was about the size of a quarter, no lie. And he literally spun this baby in about 5 minutes. It was really cool to watch. And a little bit on the scary side, I mean should this dude decide to come inside, not even going to go there. Just know that this blog would end because I don't think you can blog from heaven.

Now I say all that to say, wouldn't it be awesome if our house could go up that fast? It is here where my very witty husband would say the chances are "slim to none and slim has left the building." Hopefully with the spider :)