A Little Update on the Branch

We just had our fourth Sunday. Each Sunday has gone really well but each week has had its own little dose of drama.

Our launch week was awesome. I was really nervous but things went really smoothly and we were all very excited. It kind of felt like a celebration and it was so fun having so many people there to support us. It was a pretty packed house.

The second week was such a different feel from the first week for me. We had a little bit of drama amongst some people on our team which is never fun. Miscommunications, hurt feelings. Ya. Bummer. So, that sucked a lot of joy out of the week for me. But it still ended up being a great service.

The third Sunday, we were driving back home from Gresham and got a $260 speeding ticket on our way. Awesome! So, that Sunday turned into a time of being stressed about money and again, took away some of my joy from the service.

The fourth Sunday (2 days ago) our fridge decided to stop working! Yay!!! Josh’s parents were in town and I’m not kidding, I feel like every time they come and visit, something goes wrong with our house. Remember how I said that speeding ticket caused stress over finances, well, ya, great timing for the most expensive appliance in our house to go out! I looked on Craigslist for fridges and was amazed we would have to pay around $350 for some 10 year-old fridge that could go out at any time. Dave and Debbie so amazingly blessed us by buying us a new fridge!!! Wow. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without that gift. We are extremely thankful.

So, ya. That’s the drama. I love our church and am daily thankful that we get to be doing this. It’s just interesting how stress always arises on Sundays. I think it is a very good indicator of some of the Spiritual warfare that is going on. God is good in protecting us.

‘Tis all for now!

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Fall Wreath

I made one of these wreaths last Christmas in red. I really liked it, so, this fall I was thinking it would be fun to do a “fall one”. Originally, I thought it would look cool to make one out of burlap. But after cutting one circle of burlap out, it was obvious it would all just fray and end up looking really bad. So, I went back to the fabric store…and well….what do you know….I picked mustard yellow. I have nothing in that color =)

Anyway, here are some pictures of the process

I have seen different suggestions of how to quickly cut out 200+ circles. I just fold my felt in half so that I can cut them out twice as fast and trace a bunch of circles with a fabric pen

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Perfect craft to do while watching a movie. Or in my case, catching up on Parenthood

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Fold each circle in half twice

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Put a pin through the bottom

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Pin onto wreath and twist into any direction you like

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And here is the end result:

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Just in case that wasn’t enough angles, here’s one more: =)

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I think it’s such a fun wreath! The most time-consuming part is definitely cutting out the circles.

If you would like a full tutorial, just search for “felt wreath” on Pinterest.

The Past Week

I haven’t really been inspired to blog lately. I don’t know why. Maybe after blogging pretty consistently for 5 years, I just needed a little break.

Anyway, our church launches this coming Sunday, so, I thought I should give a little update.

Last week was a sad, challenging, exciting, nervous week.

It started with the horrible and startling news that one of our small group friends (35 year-old mother of 2 little boys) had drowned while she and her husband were scuba diving. The whole situation was surreal and I spent half the day wondering around my house crying and not sure what to do.

At almost the same instant, we got news that our other friends (also in the same small group) were in the hospital giving birth to twin boys! What a hard shift between the grief over the loss of life and the joy over the birth of life.

The next day, Tuesday, we found out Josh was going to be opening for Kye Kye on Saturday. The older I get, the more nervous I find myself getting. Stomach in knots, feel like I’m gonna throw up. It’s annoying. So, I’m always getting nervous for Josh. Not that I don’t think he’ll do a good job. He always does a good job. It’s just I could never do what he does, so, I internalize that and the end result is feeling like I’m gonna puke when he’s the one on the spot. Ha! So, that was one more emotion to add to the mix.

Wednesday was my 29th birthday, which started out a little rough but ended well.

On Thursday, we decided to have a BBQ at our house on Saturday for Kye Kye and 9 students who were coming down from Resonate church in Washington to help us with the concert. 

In addition to all this craziness, we have had our church’s first intern (and his 2 dogs) living with us for the past 2 weeks. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve really enjoyed having him but we’ve never had anyone live with us, so, the normalcy of day-to-day life has been lacking.

So, on Saturday morning we had our friend’s highly-emotional memorial service, followed by prep work and cleaning for the BBQ. What a shift in emotions. A memorial service to a party. We had 21 people through our house for lunch. It was so much fun to meet Kye Kye and welcome them into our home. And then about 45 minutes after they all left, my mom and 3 sisters arrived. Which was great. Then, me and the sisters headed to the concert. When we walked in, there were people there but not tons. I thought, well, doors open at 7, I’m sure as it nears 8, a lot more people will show up.

Josh played from 7:30-8:00 and did a great job but there still weren’t too many people there and I was honestly flabbergasted by it. This was an extremely legitimate band we were bringing in for a FREE concert to CORVALLIS, OREGON where hardly any musicians ever come. I had been confident a few hundred people would show up.

Anyway, Kye Kye got up, put on an amazing show and we probably had 100/100+ people who came. I was bummed at the low number. But Josh made a good point in saying that we need to get used to the feeling of really putting a lot of work into something and it not always being as much of a hit as we had dreamed it would be. It’s so true. I think one of the main requirements for church planting is being okay with rejection.

So, when Saturday was over, I was kind of relieved. It was a lot of fun but I hadn’t realized how nervous and somewhat stressed I had been about it.

And then yesterday was good, we got to hear Ken Wytsma (pastor at Antioch church in Bend, who is amazing) speak at a church here in town and his message was just what I needed to hear. But then we got the news that our friends (and fellow team-members at the Branch) parents’ house burnt down. Ahhhh, what a week.

So, yes. Here I sit on Monday, a little overwhelmed but nevertheless so extremely excited, honored, humbled, scared, blessed and happy to be doing exactly what we’re doing and to be in a place where we get to watch God work and change people’s lives. Ours included.

Here are some pictures from the concert.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

I hope to be blogging more often, again. Thanks for reading. Peace out.

 

Pretty In Pink

I was looking at a random blog the other week where the author posted a picture of her little girl in a lace romper. I thought it was so amazingly cute and had never seen anything like it (since then, I’ve seen numerous pictures of little girls in them, so, maybe I’m just late to jump on the bandwagon). Anyway, she shared the link to where you could buy the lace romper, so, I went and checked it out, wondering if it was something I could just make myself. But after going to the website and seeing that I could buy one for $8.99 (!!!!) I decided it wasn’t worth my time to try and buy all the supplies and make one myself. (And probably make one poorly) So, here’s the link for you all. I loved all the color options!!

If you know me, you know I’m not super girly, so, this may be the most “girly” you’ll ever see Eden =) Enjoy!

Parade

I have been the worst blogger lately. Changing to WordPress has kind of messed me up. I no longer have my blogroll….which means I’ve barely been looking at friends’ blogs (fellow word-pressers, is there a way to do a blogroll that immediately shows you when friends have updated their blogs like I had on Blogger?) I guess I just need to study up on WordPress more.

So, I’m enjoying the look of my blog but I actually kind of miss the user-friendliness of Blogger. I feel like posting pictures on WordPress is a lot more time-consuming than it is on Blogger. Hmm. Maybe I’ll go back.

Anyway, in the meantime, we have been actually getting some sun here in the PNW. I am loving it and I am loving that it’s still light out at 9:15pm. This Thursday is the longest day of the year (and also my big sis’s 32nd bday!! whoop whoop!) and I love these long days so much I could nearly write a little diddy about it and dance a little jig over it. In other news, my missionary sister, Sarah and her adorable little fam landed on U.S. soil on Saturday night. We have not seen them in THREE AND A HALF YEARS. Which means they have never met Tucker or Eden or Brynn and we have never met their little Maya. It’s so sad but so awesome that they will be living in Oregon for a year!! Right now they are in California visiting my brother-in-law’s family and we will get to see them in a few weeks!!

Last weekend we spent in Portland so we could go to the Grand Floral Parade. Afterwards we shopped at our favorite store (H&M) and got to go see my sister’s new studio apartment in one of the most idyllic neighborhoods in Portland. We had lots of fun. Here are some pictures.

Brynn-ee-booTucker was sick all weekend (as you can see) but I think he had just had something blue to eat, making him look all the sicker =)

Lukey

Eden

Little fashionista, Peyton

Tucker napping on Daddy

Bekah’s beautiful neighborhood

At the park

Cousin pic

I love how all the Hardin kids are having fun with it and my kids…aren’t 🙂

 

Patio Makeover

Our patio has been an eye sore since we moved in two years ago, September. With how much it rains here, working on our outdoor space hasn’t really been a priority.

But finally, with the motivation of Eden’s birthday party, we decided it was time for a makeover!

This is what our patio has looked like since we moved in (with all those toys in the grass on it) Toys, junk, disorganization…for a lack of better words: pretty white trash.

Someone at some point painted the patio. You can see remnants of what looks like red/pink paint. Lovely.

After doing some research, we decided to paint the patio with a concrete stain. Here it is before:

And after:

The color we got was called “Wet Cement” so we thought it would be a darker gray but that’s ok, we still LOVE it and it cleaned the area up so much.

And here it is with our new patio furniture. It honestly is like having a second living room. Now we just need 3 straight months of sunshine =)

I found these chairs on craigslist for $5 a piece!! (They sell brand new for over $100 each) I considered salvaging the cushions and re-upholstering them because they were super-comfy but thought that would be too much work. So, we just bought new on-sale cushions for them

Oh yeah, I also spray painted them, just to give them a little lift

Check out the little stalker in the doorway

Eden’s First Birthday

Exactly one year ago right now I was in labor!! Praise the Lord I am now sitting comfortably in my home, having no contractions, with a little fat girl asleep in her crib. We celebrated her birthday this last weekend. Here are a lot of pictures from the day’s activities! Sadly, I didn’t take many pictures of the actual people who came to her party!! =(

Birthday board showing Eden every month of her first year

Lovely streamer job done by Aunt Christie!

Eden’s smashcake

The cake with a surprise inside

The birthday girl ready to party

Opening presents

Ready for cake (or so she thinks)

Not sure what all the bright stuff is

She HATED it!!! Haha!! It was so funny. This is her gagging on it. Poor thing.

All done

And here is the cake that took a really long time to make but I thought it turned out so fun!

I kind of couldn’t stop taking pictures of it! If you want to make a cake like this, I got the idea from whisk kid

Our little birthday girl (and no, Josh and I did not color coordinate our outfits!)

My dad and sister Faith

Owen and Jackie

Tucker kept telling us he was done in the pool. This was the third dry outfit he jumped into the pool in.

My mom with her oldest and youngest grandchild! (but not for long!)

Eden giving her new dollies kisses

So sweet

Eden and her big cousin Brynn. They are too cute together. We tried doing a little reenactment of my sister and I when we were around their ages

Happy Birthday, Edee!!