Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend Fun

So this weekend didn't start out so fun because my sweet husband left on Friday for a weekend camping trip with some of his guy was fun for him....but a little sad for me. It was our first separation since we have been married and I missed him so much! But he had a great time and I actually was able to have some good quality time with my sister Charissa who kindly spent the night with me Friday night. It's funny because I realized how much my sweet husband does for me on a regular basis.. so many things that often go in missing him I was reminded how thankful I am for him, and how much sweeter life is with him by my side.

When Lew returned on Sunday we began his birthday week (an idea borrowed from my sis-in-law Rachel) The idea is basically to start the week before his birthday, which is next Sunday the 6th, and spend the whole week blessing him, encouraging him, and doing all the things he loves! So, yesterday originally the plan was to go to the zoo, but that didn't work out so we went to South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland and had so much fun. My personal favorite was the little calves, some were only a week old and they were really funny! They just wanted to keep licking our was actually pretty gross, but they were too cute to resist ;) We also got homemade ice cream and fresh milk while we were there....yum!

They have the funniest tongues! You can see the corner of it in this picture. There really long and if you put your hand near their mouths they wrap their scratchy slimy tongues around your hand....pretty funny.....and gross at the same time!

This particular calf kept mooing really loud. It was funny because I think it wanted some attention.

Its funny if you enlarge this picture you can see this calf licking his nose...pretty cute.

To top off our Sunday we went to get fresh of our favorites! For only getting one day together we really enjoyed it! I will keep you posted on the rest of Lew's Birthday week.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Baking Soda....who knew!

So Lew and I were cleaning tonight and I was complaining about this strange yucky odor coming from the garbage disposal....I knew there were natural items you could use as deodorizers so I decided to google it really quick just to see what popped up....and I came upon this article about baking soda and not only is it good for deodorizing the kitchen but it has like a million uses! I included my favorites below and the link for your reference ;) So break out that baking soda ladies!

This website has all kinds of other "wacky uses" for other items around the house such as baby powder, bounce etc....
  • Clean a microwave oven. Sprinkle Arm & Hammer Baking Soda on a damp sponge, scrub, and rinse.

  • Remove tarnish from silver. Mix a thick paste of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda with water, apply the silver with a damp sponge, rub, rinse, and buff dry.

  • Clean a stainless steel sink. Sprinkle Arm & Hammer Baking Soda on a damp sponge, scrub the sink, and rinse clean.

  • Boost the strength of liquid laundry detergent. Add one-half cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda with the usual amount of detergent in your regular wash cycle.

  • Deodorize garbage disposals and sink drains. Instead of throwing out that old box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda that's been sitting in the refrigerator or freezer, gradually pour it down the drain and flush with water. Or better yet, pour two tablespoons Arm & Hammer Baking Soda down the garbage disposal every week.
  • Deodorize food containers. Mix one-quarter cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda with one quart water, swish food containers in solution, soak overnight, then rinse clean.

  • Clean coffee and teapots. Wash in a solution of one-quarter cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and one quart warm water, then rinse clean.

  • Deodorize kitchen garbage. Sprinkle a handful of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in the garbage pail each time you add garbage.

  • Soothe poison ivy rash or insect bites. Make a paste of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and water, and apply to the affected area.

  • Soothe sunburn, windburn, and prickly heat. Dissolve one-half cup baking soda in a tepid bath. Soak in the bath for fifteen minutes.

  • Take a refreshing bath. Dissolve one-half cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in a tub of warm water for soft, smooth-feeling skin and a relaxing bath.

  • Brush your teeth. Plain baking soda is a gentle abrasive that cleans like the strongest toothpaste. Apply Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to a damp toothbrush, brush as usual, and rinse. Note: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda does not contain fluoride.

  • Neutralize vomit odor. Sprinkle Arm & Hammer Baking Soda generously to cover the stained area, let sit for an hour, then vacuum up.

  • Soothe tired feet. Add three tablespoons to a basin of warm water and soak feet in the solution.

  • Use as a deodorant. Dust baking soda under arms.

  • Remove conditioner and styling gel build-up from hair. Wash hair once a week with a tablespoon of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda mixed with your regular shampoo; rinse thoroughly, then condition and style as usual.
  • Make baby clothes smell even fresher. Add one-half cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to baby's laundry.

  • Boost bleach. Use one-half cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda with your normal liquid bleach to boost the bleaching action and freshen the wash.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Laura's been up to...

It's so hard to believe that at this moment I have about 2 1/2 weeks left of this semester... and then only one more semester to go! This semester has been really busy along with being a new wife it has definitely been such a learning experience for me! I have had to really learn how to manage my time well....and let's just say I learned by trial and error ;) I am realizing more and more how very dependent I am on God for strength and perseverance. Lew has served me well during this time. He helps around the house: dishes, laundry, making the name it and if he knows it needs to be done he will do it....sometimes without even asking!

This is just a glimpse into my little world when I am in "school mode". This is pretty much what I have looked like 2-3 days per week.....surrounded by a number of different books.....keypad in my lap....typing away... different nursing diagnosis....medical histories....pathophysiologies... and not to mention all of the different information on all of the different medications we are learning about

I know I look kinda sad in this picture....but don't worry, I wasn't sad....just a little tired! There were moments that I was so weary and wondered how much longer I could take all the work of the semester, but God always supplied the strength I needed, and now the semester is almost at a close.

On another note I haven't had a lot of free time, but I did get to spend some time with my nephew Isaiah today while my sister went to have her 4 month prenatal visit (thats right she has another little one on the way Lord willing in October!!) It was so much fun to spend time with him and see how much he is turning into a little toddler ;) I couldn't take too many pictures because every time I whip out the camera he tries to take it away so the few pictures I could get were pretty funny. He got his hands on my sunglasses and decided he wanted to give them a try. It was so cute.

He insisted on me wearing them for a picture ;)

Well I don't have too much more to update on except for one more thing.....I lost about 8 inches....of HAIR that is ;) You can't see it too well in the picture above but after 6 years of growing my hair out I finally took the was just too much work! I now feel so free....5 minutes to wash it and 25 minutes to dry it...I am not quite sure how I ever survived with long hair before!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Grace notes

Most days when I get off the metro I don't usually take notice of the trumpet player who performs for spare change. As musicianship goes he's kind of average and definitely no Joshua Bell. Although this morning his music featured grace notes that made my heart sing. As I was coming up the escalator I was looking at the front page of the Express and saw the face of the killer from the Va. Tech shooting. As my eyes were confronted with this face, my ears were impacted with the sound of a trumpet proclaiming, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." This brought me back to the truth, this world isn't my home. One day I will be face to face with the One who has bought me with His blood and transforming me to His image. On that day there will be no more death, no more pain, no more sadness or sorrow, but everlasting rejoicing in the holy lamb who was slain so that all may know His all surpassing worth and glory.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Humility vs. sharpness

I had this funny exchange with my boss this morning. It was at 8:20 and he walks by and he asks me and my cubemate if we remember about 9:00. I thought about it, but nothing came to mind about 9:00, so I started to assume that maybe he was only talking to my cubemate. It didn’t take my cubemate long to think about it and reply, “they’re having breakfast for us in the conference room.” Being the type that gets excited about food I stated, “I totally forgot about that.” My boss being quick on his feet said, “Here is a lesson in sharpness, although at the cost of dishonesty. When I ask a question and one of you doesn’t know the answer, but the other one does, act as if you knew it all along. That way I am not standing here thinking, ‘Gosh, does this guy not read his e-mail?’”

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Glory Revealed

Lew and I had the opportunity to go to a concert with some folks from the small group that we lead. It was called "Glory Revealed" and it was so great! The tour was originally started with David Nasser and Mac Powell (from Third Day) because David was writing a book called Glory Revealed and really felt like God put on his heart that he should have a CD to accompany it with music that is mostly just God's word. So Mac Powell started picking artists that he thought would participate and ended up with artists like: Shane and Shane, David Crowder, Micheal W. Smith, Brian Littrell....and more! The concert was so good and the music was great! It was so neat to see all this artists come together and make beautiful music with mostly just scripture as the lyrics.

You can check out samples of the songs here

One of my favorites (which was a really hard one to choose) was based on Psalm 51
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

It's good stuff, so check it out, and if you register on the website they will let you download one free song and give you a $5.00 coupon for the CD.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

When the Lord Pays the Way...

Long time no blog....things have been busy! Lew's settling into his new job and things are going great. I have been really busy with school, we have a huge project once a semester called a "concept map" and seriously it's a 40 hour project....and we only get a week to do it. But I finished it and presented it Friday, did well, and then to top it off I had a test yesterday. So that's really all there is to update on ;)

Lew read me something very encouraging yesterday from The Minor Prophets by James Montgomery Boice. This is from the chapter on Jonah is such a good reminder of how our God provides for us when we simply seek his will and obey, something that has been quite a struggle for me lately! I want to have my own plan sometimes, I see an outcome that I desire and I think if I do this and this and that everything should go according to plan. Oh, but that usually is not the case, usually things don't turn out how I planned and it's then that I realize that God is the one who knows what is best for me, if only I would seek His will and obey. I am reminded every day that I am just a "work in progress"....just like Jonah...unfortunately he learned the hard way too....except his "hard way" was in the belly of a whale...I guess I should consider myself blessed!

At this point we find our first great lesson regarding God's sovereignty. Built into Jonah's first attempts to get away from God are two results that will follow anyone who tries to disobey him.

First Jonah's course was downhill. He would not have described it that way. He would have said that he was improving his life, just as we do when we choose our own course instead of God's. But it was downhill nevertheless. This is suggested in verse 3, where we are told that Jonah went "down" to Joppa. It is always that way when a person runs from the presence of the Lord. The way of the Lord is up! Consequently, any way that is away from him is down. The way may look beautiful when we start. The seas may look peaceful and the ship attractive, but the way is still down.

There was another result. In his excellent preaching on Jonah, Donal Grey Barnhouse often called attention to it by highlighting the phrase about Jonah "paying the fare." He noted that Jonah did not get to where he was going , since he was thrown overboard, and that he obviously didn't get a refund back on his ticket. So he paid the full fare and did not get to the end of his journey. Barnehouse said, "It is always that way. When you run away from the Lord you never get to where you are going, and you always pay your own fare. On the other hand, when you go the Lord's way you always get where you are going and he pays the fare."

Jonah illustrates one half of that statement. The story of Moses' mother, Jochebed, illustrates the other half. Jochebed conceived Moses during a time of great persecution by the Egyptions, a time in which Hebrew male infants were being thrown into the Nile River to die. When the child was born Jochebed and her husband, Amran, tried to hide him as long as possible, suspecting, I believe, that this was the one who had been promised by God to be the deliverer of the people. But at last the baby's cries grew too loud, and another plan was necessary. The mother made a little boat of bulrushes covering it with tar. She placed Moses in it and set it in the reeds by the riverbank. Then she stationed Miriam, Moses' sister, at a distance to see what would become of him. Though she wanted her baby more than anything else in the world, Jochebed entrusted the matter to God, allowing him to do as he wished with the child.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river, saw the ark in the water, and sent her maids to fetch it. When it was opened, she saw the baby. He was crying. This so touched the woman's heart that she determined to save him and raise him in the palace. But what was she to do? The child needed a wet nurse. Where could she find one? At this point, Miriam, who had been watching from a distance, came forward and asked if she could be of assistance. "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" Miriam asked.

"Yes" said the princess. Jochebed was brought.
Jochebed was about to receive back the child she most dearly wanted. She would have done anything to have kept him. She would have scrubbed the floors in the palace! In fact, if the daughter of Pharaoh had said "I am going to give you this child to raise, but I want you to know that I have seen through your stratagem. I know that this young girl was not up on that hill watching by accident. She must be the sister of this baby, and therefore, you must be the mother. You can have your child. But as a sign of your disobedience to the Pharaoh, I am going to cut off your right hand"--if she had said that, Moses' mother would probably have held out both hands, if only she could have had the child back. But that is not what happened. Instead Pharaoh's daughter gave the child back declaring, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you" (Exod.2:9).

"I will pay you." This is the point for which I tell you the story. Jonah went his own way, paid his own fare, and got nothing. Jochebed went God's way. Consequently, God paid the fare, and she got everything. I repeat it once more: When you run away from the Lord you never get to where you are going and you always pay your own fare. But when you go the Lord's way you always get where you are going, and he pays the fare."