Friday, October 30, 2009

Can You Feel It?

I've been using a video (yes I said video-we've had this for at least six years and had varying degrees of success-largely dependent on the amount of time we actually do it-doesn't that stink?) exercise series called "Slim in Six". I usually get the chance to do it before Mator gets up but this last time, she got to "obseve" for a twenty minute workout. She didn't appear to be paying that much attention but suddenly Debbie Siebers commented on the tape "I'm feeling it, you should be feeling it too!" and Mator asked, "Are you feeling it Mommy?" Was I ever!

I was really tempted one late night by this "Ab Circle Pro" which promises a fit and healthy body in three minutes a day. Well, I've been around the block enough to know that THAT is a bunch of hooey but what if I did it for FIVE minutes a day?????

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The End of Me...

I've found myself saying it over and over these past couple days...."I am at the end of me." There is no more left of me. It is wasted and gone. I want to give up. Crawl into bed and yell to my three children and husband, "I am finished! Fend for yourself!" This month has been amazing and yet I cannot wait until it is over....

**Andy was ordained as a Deacon in our church [PRAISE GOD!] We do not have elders in our church so this is a revamped ministry with increased responsibility.
**Andy recently joined the personnel committee at our church [PRAISE GOD] so now he gets to participate in the hiring and evaluation of staff. I truly believe that when he listens to the Holy Spirit he has major giftings in the line of encouragement and challenging people in a loving way. But it is more time too.
**Andy took over a new job at his school. He went from teacher / department head to Dean of Students (this is what used to be called an assistant principal). It is an extra two weeks before school and two weeks after school but for the first month this year he had to continue to balance his former teaching job (as a replacement was found and then hired), former dept. head job (same thing) and his new job (more meetings after school, more money, etc.) [PRAISE GOD]
**Andy finished up his last month as the Sports Director for our local radio station. He has been there two years and mostly LOVED this job but it is too much to do that and the Dean and do them both well. Football season is particularly crazy since they broadcast three games a week, have a daily sports report, pregame shows, Monday night sports show and the occasional volleyball game too. It has been a lot. This job has been a huge blessing for Andy but it will be over this weekend and will provide more time to so the other things (see above) [PRAISE GOD for providing this job, and the friends he made there]
**We all got a stomach virus that erased about a week from my memory. [Um, PRAISE GOD for healing!]
**Andy ran in the Columbus Half-Marathon while I managed the donations that came in. Over $8000 and over 100 donors were thanked and still continue to arrive. [PRAISE GOD!]
**We went to an Ohio State game Saturday (vs. Minnesota) and then to see one of Andy's students as she tried to defend her state golf championship. It was about 40 degrees out.
**Andy got sick again. This time it was the flu. Mator got it too. We're still waiting...[PRAISE GOD for healing and that it wasn't much worse!]
**I've had six photography clients this month and two last. That is insane for a part time job. This is the busiest month of the year because everyone wants their family pics taken outside since it is so beautiful. I also took our family picture (Andy's side) [PRAISE GOD]
**Our photography business also did the pictures for a local preschool / daycare. Two days of shooting and about 100 order to fill.
**I gave a midterm and collected a paper from the students in my online class. In addition to the regular weekly assignments that need to be graded.
**We had our county fair and I got to attend a teacher's workshop with the teachers from our children's school.
**We attended Cirque du Soleil.
**My nephew had a birthday!
**I've been homeschooling Muffin in science, reading and social studies.
**I lead Doodle's AWANA club at church (it's basically Christian scouts where they can earn badges for memorizing scripture)

That's all that I can remember right now. But I am tired. And I am at the end of me. There, I said it again. But then do you know what happens? I hear that still small voice of my Lord, Jehovah-Jireh (God our Provider). The God who provided all the good (see list above) and the not so good (see list above). And I hear Him saying, "Awesome. That's right where I want you to be!" Why would He say that?

"And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9 This is Paul talking here. About the three times that he begged God to take away his afflictions, his pain, his sorrow. And this was God's answer.

When there is nothing left of me, all that gets me through is HIM. Now I can see Him more clearly. Now I know that any good that comes from within me is REALLY from God, cause I am empty. It's exhausting, but so worth it. His grace is sufficient for you too. I know it is. Hang in there.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Moving back through the month of October, one of our annual highlights is a trip to Pigeon Roost farm which is about 25 minutes from our house. It is one of a few traditions we have so I feel quite obligated to keep it up! This is the first year we had to pay for Mator but she probably had the most fun too!

First of all, since some of my readers live in the frozen tundra and I'm not really sure how pumpkins grow elsewhere, I thought I'd show you one of the locally grown beauties with Doodle, my five year old:
Now, I know this doesn't compare to the prizewinner in nearby Circleville which topped out at over 1600 pounds but hey, it's still fun to see! And here is the annual group shot with the heads through the animals (always preceded by "I want the horse!" "I said it first!" a dispute which always lends itself to wonderfully natural smiles):
Here is a clever game set up to race rubber ducks down a PVC pipe:
See that corn cob next to Doodle? SHHHHHH don't tell her that there are seven million more in the adjacent corn maze. The three that she found are unique treasures and cannot be misplaced! Or replaced, it turns out. Here she plays in the corn box.
Daddy and Mator as we walked through the corn maze. Isn't that a cute princess sweatshirt around his neck? Real men wear pink (especially when their daughters refuse to wear said sweatshirt!)Here are all three girls in one of several tube slides. You can only see Doodle's feet but Muffin was a good sport about helping Mator on all the new things.
Here Muffin crawls through a much smaller tunnel.Here she acts as the magic carpet so Doodle and Mator can have a fun ride!A rare shot of me with all three girls:Sometimes, after a long day, it doesn't take much to CRACK me up...
Here's a much better side of my three year old cutie...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Andy's Race

With all that October has brought, I am way behind on blogging. This post is a necessity so even though it gets out of chronological order (I'll go back and fill in details from before) I wanted to post it now...

What a wonderful experience! We left the kids with Andy's parents at lunchtime Saturday before heading up to Columbus. We went to Easton to get some necessities (you know, golf gloves and kitchen canisters!) Next we headed to the convention center to get suckered into buying unnecessary race items pick up Andy's race packet. It was amazing to see the number of people and all the things you could buy to improve your race. We did buy a couple of $3 t-shirts from previous races because they were nice Nike shirts.

From here we checked into our hotel, the Columbus Athletic Club. This was great for a lot of reasons. First, it was less than $100 which is $60 less than any other downtown hotel we could find. Second, we ended up in the EXACT same room we were in our wedding night! Of course, there are only ten rooms so the odds were good but anyway...Third, we were one block from the start of the race. Finally, I asked the concierge if there was any way I could get some roof access to take pictures of the race. He said, "Meet me in the lobby at 7:00 when I take up the press." What!! So I got to go up to the roof for the start of the race and had the best view in town!

After getting settled, we had dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse and I had my first meal since Tuesday. Yeh. We had a bout of stomach virus that ravaged our household this week. Knocked me out for 48 hours. Everyone else had a slightly lesser version but I am convinced that it was only some fervent prayers that allowed Andy to get the 12 hour version. Otherwise I don't think he could have run the race. The bad part is that the food I ate Saturday night at dinner was more than the previous four days combined. Needless to say, that is not good for the stomach...but SO worth it!. We had a really hard time sleeping. The rooms were comfy (although it was one of things that you think you have the heat adjusted but wake up at 2:00 AM sweating as if you had already run the marathon so you adjust it again and by 5:00 AM little ice crystals of sweat have hardened all over your body). No matter. We were up at 5:30 and took our time getting ready. We headed downstairs at about 6:45 and then it was just a blur.

As I mentioned, I got to see the sunrise and the race start from the roof of the Athletic Club. It was an awesome sight to see 15,000 runners and thousands more volunteers packed into a one block area. From Andy's perspective: he mentioned that he overheard someone say that as tight as things were down there at the starting line, that conception could have occurred. When the race started at 7:30, it took over twenty minutes for all the runners to cross the starting line.

I took my time coming down and walked down two blocks to mile 9 of the race. I have to say, it was EXHAUSTING just watching for Andy. I knew he was running about a ten minute mile and that adrenaline would probably lower that, but I didn't know when he had actually started so there was a thirty minute window where I was entirely focused on trying to pick him out of the runners. Then I saw him! I yelled and waved and almost forgot to take the picture so that by the time I did they were all blurry and horrible. So I sprinted almost two blocks to try to catch him again and it was too crowded so I totally missed that chance to take pictures. I walked up to about the 12.5 mark (in front of the statehouse on High Street) and waited. This time I didn't take any chances. No waving, no screaming, just focused on getting the picture.

I knew there was no chance of me beating him to the finish line and furthermore, the other 10,000 spectators would all be there too. So I eventually made my way to our meeting place about a block from the finish line-Chipotle. Andy finally made his way there and it was an emotional ending to a fantastic morning.
God is so good-let me count the ways:
*Andy finished the race.
*His time was 2 hours and 1 minute (a 9:15 mile pace) which was great for him
*We had great weather. It was about 39 degrees at the start but it was sunny and apparently perfect for running
*The illness that swept through our house allowed Andy to take Friday and just totally rest up which he otherwise would not have done
* As of today, over $8000 has been donated to help the family that he was running to benefit! More donations continue to arrive every day.
* This was something that Andy and I did as a team which is a great marriage builder. He did all the running and I did all the paperwork. I like that format (I think he does too!)
* Andy's parents were a big support too. They watched the kids for us so we could better enjoy the experience and Sue also mailed out all the support letters!
* We have been so blessed by all the support. It says so much about the Beavers family that so far we have had over 110 different donors. It just blesses our hearts to see the love that has poured out from so many people.

A big thank you to all who wished him well, sent a donation or prayed for him! Here is a highlight film: