February 20, 2010

Giving Back

So this past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday which means that the season of Lent has started. I have been observing Lent by giving something up since I was in middle school. What I have given up has ranged from fast food to sodas to make up to meat. Probably the most common thing I have given up for Lent is soft drinks. I'll admit that in the past my motives may have been more about health that true sacrifice. But this year when I truly thought of what would be a big sacrifice for me, giving up soda is it.

Because I am not a coffee drinker, soda is my only source of caffeine, so when I have a long week I rely on them to get me through. I also find myself craving soda whenever I don't have them even for a few days. So this year I am once again giving up sodas.

Today Natalie Grant posted a link on twitter to information about 40 days of water. Basically it is a call to drink nothing but tap water from February 17 until April 2nd [Good Friday] (which is actually more than 40 days because the 40 days of Lent do not include Sundays). And more than just drinking only tap water, you keep track of any time you would have bought another drink (coffee, soda, tea, sports drinks, etc.) and at the end you pledge to donate that money to help Blood Water Missions provide clean drinking water.

I was very excited to see this and find a way to give back through what I am already doing this year. It does make my Lent a little more difficult because it goes beyond just not drinking soda to giving up all other beverages. But I feel like the sacrifice will be worth it to help out.

And I am even more excited because this year's "40 days of Water" money is going to provide clean water in Uganda which tugs at my heart, because that is where Isaac, the little boy I sponsor through Compassion, lives.

You can follow my progress through this season here: http://40days.bloodwatermission.com/laurareed

I have been so broken and humbled over to last few months as I think about how much I have compared to so many others and how much I still want more. I have been praying so much recently that I would be more aware of the needs of other people and as simple as this campaign is, it's a first step for me and I'm excited to see how the Lord changes me this year during this season of remembering His love and sacrifice for my life.

February 16, 2010

I'm a Big Kid Now

So today I went a little crazy...

blame it on a weekend cooped up in the house with 3 ridiculously crazy puppies

or on the very little sleep I got because of said puppies

or maybe on the fact that I didn't get home from work until 8:00 last night and I was worn out

But tonight before I left for BSF I did something a little crazy...

I decided to let Allie stay out of her crate while I went to leaders' meeting tonight.

Now consider that Allie has never been left out by herself for more than an hour long grocery store run or workout (well, never on purpose... there was the one time I didn't lock the crate and she had 8 hours out during the day, but that's a whole different story).

And these short hour excursions have not happened in months because she got to the point where she was getting things off the table and tearing everything up.

So why did I let her stay out tonight? I think maybe I really did lose my mind momentarily.

But I came home to a puppy curled up asleep on the couch and not a single thing out of place.

Guess who's becoming a big kid now? That's my Allie. She spent FOUR HOURS out by herself and did not destroy anything.

But even though tonight was a success we'll see if I ever am crazy enough to test it again... I may not be that crazy...

but I am very grateful to have a puppy who is ready for bed when I get home

February 11, 2010

Snow Day!!

So this has been one of the coldest winters we have had. It has already snowed (real snow, not ice) here in the Dallas area 3 times this winter, but none of them have been very heavy or been significant enough for closings, etc. So when the forecast for today said "snow" it was hard to know what to expect.

We were forecasted to get 1-2 inches of snow today. Well the snow is still coming and we have already gotten 8" of snow. Now I know my friend Nicki who is reading this from the midst of their millionth snow storm in Virginia is thinking big deal.

Except that 8" of snow set a record making this the snowiest day in Texas History!!!

I was very excited that my office closed at 2:00 and BSF was cancelled so I could stay in tonight. But then I remembered that I am housesitting for my brother and sister-in-law all weekend. And my excitement quickly turned to worry and frustration about the idea of constantly wiping off 3 sets of paws all weekend long.

Our dogs all got together at Christmas and it was a muddy mess when they went out to play in the snow so I was a little apprehensive. But it turned out to be no big deal... not a single muddy paw yet! (just some wet ones!!)

While Maggie May has been sleeping most of the evening, Allie & Sadie have been having the time of their lives playing in the snow together! I am SO GLAD that we were able to come over where Allie can have a backyard and a place to enjoy her first real snow day (and maybe the only one she will ever see!) I am excited about the rest of the weekend.

And crossing my fingers that work is out tomorrow so I can watch movies all day :)

February 7, 2010

Busy Week

Whew... I know it's been a while since I wrote anything, but I figured it was time for an update!

This past week has been a little insane. Last weekend I went on a retreat with our youth which was so fun, but also very draining and then I've had a busy week getting ready for Saturday's events: Lara's wedding shower & our youth's Valentine's Dinner

Friday I took the afternoon off work to come over to Mama Reed's to get everything ready for the shower. We cleaned and cleaned and cleaned all afternoon and evening on Friday to get things in order :)

Then yesterday morning we woke up and got ready for the 10:30 shower for this beautiful friend:

We enjoyed lots of yummy food and showered Seth & Lara with some great gifts. They got mostly kitchen gifts which Seth claimed he will be the one who uses them because he does most of the cooking. It was a busy morning, and luckily I am going to lunch with these 2 today so we can actually catch up! :)

I was also in charge of our youth's Valentine's Dinner this year, which made things a little more crazy. After the shower, we cleaned up and then mama reed and I headed to SAMs for last minute Valentine's Dinner things. We had to then wash 72 settings of silverware that someone had donated to the church but had never been used!

Then I headed up to the church to get things ready. Our theme was A Midwinter Maquerade. We had decided to do a Murder Mystery Dinner this year to give a little entertainment as part of the meal.

We were a little worried about set up because we have UPWARD basketball at our church on Saturdays, so the last game ended at6:00 and our dinner started at 7:00. And we had tables, centerpieces, ticket booth and a stage to set up while about half of our adults were cooking the food as well. Here's a glimpse of the set up:
some of our boys hard at work folding napkins and setting the tables!

A glimpse of the stage... with our set up and basketball stuff still up too!

One of our beautiful table centerpieces made by one of our creative & talented moms!

The dinner went very well! Our play came together well too (the kids spent a lot of time practicing and it really paid off!). We served Chicken Cordon Bleu, Baked Potatoes, Salad, Rolls, and yummy dessert tarts. It ended up being a huge success and we raised a good amount of money for our summer's mission trip!

It was a great weekend, but I was definitely grateful to sleep in this morning and finally catch up on rest from the last week!