Empty

You know, I have started so many blog posts in my head this past week.

Obviously I’ve neglected to write them down.

But they were all great, I assure you. I even have a killer post on Chapter 3 of Radical that I’ll get to in a day or two. Just slightly behind. But it’s almost Thursday and that means I’ll have almost 4 full days to clean up this house, get organized for next week, and blog…duh.

And perhaps I should expand. Not only do I need to clean the house, I need to un-empty the house.

What does that mean, you wonder?

Well, our favorite little boy is into a big “emptying” stage. If he’s rolling on the floor throwing a tantrum, just hand him your purse (or diaper bag or tupperware cabinet or lotion collection) and he will empty them all out, put them back in, and take them all out again.

It’s hours of free fun, I tell ya!

And I let him because…well, life’s short. But this evening as I was leaving for class, I turned around and looked wistfully at the tornado he we created…

1) DVD’s and CD’s all over the living room floor (entertainment system empty – check)
2) Lotions, nail polish, q-tips, and more all over the bathroom floor (cabinets empty – check)
3) Tupperware bowls on the kitchen floor (more cabinets empty – check)
4) Laundry in various locations in the hallway (laundry basket empty – check)

And I’m beginning to rethink this “empty” policy I’ve created. Because when you don’t have time to clean it up, it makes for such a warm and inviting home!

I think tomorrow we’ll start singing to the tune of, “Back in the box! Back in the basket! Back in the cabinet!”…

Tailgating with the Ags

Ooooooh, it’s been a long week. This night school thing isn’t for babies. Seth and I have had to adjust our dinner schedule (nobody messes with me and my food!!) and usually sit down to eat around 9pm. Right when all of you are going to bed.

It’s lovely.

Anyway, I have pictures to share!

Jake and his daddy got to match last Sunday morning at church…

Precious boys!

Jake got to enjoy his first Aggie tailgate last weekend! Seth had been in College Station for the week on a work trip (which, by the way, BOO TO WORK TRIPS) so we decided to meet him up there and root on the Ags.

Hanging out with Nonnie & Popo

Poor guy has had his sleep schedule all messed up lately (Jake, not Seth) and was tailgating during his afternoon nap. He did great considering, but every once in awhile would just lay his head down on someone’s shoulders with a pitiful look…or just break down and cry. Ooh sweet boy!

Cuddling with Daddy


See? Pitiful :)

But don’t worry, he found entertainment in other ways…

We looked all over town for an Aggie hat that would fit Jake’s large head brains! We finally had success at one of the tent sales after a grueling search…and of course he wore it for exactly 0.2 seconds. Kids, gotta love ‘em.

Good thing there was a TV to catch the big games!

Aggie in training

Ok wow. Apparently I was taking a lot of the pictures. How many times do you want to see Seth & Jake? 50? Ok, good.
(Note to Seth: Take some pictures of your son with his mommy!)

Aunt Rachel was also nice enough to let us stay at her house on Friday night when we got into town. She had plenty of fun “toys” for Jake…like her coasters, DVDs, books…

I just noticed the jumper cables in the background…us Anderles are all about safety!

And just in case you wanted photographic evidence of how tough we have it over here:

It’s a rough life.

Feedback

Teaching college kids is funny.

I’m not sure I can technically call them “kids” seeing as their ages range from 18-60…but nonetheless, they are the kids and I am their mature adult teacher at the ripe old age of 26.91.

(Note to readers – that means I have a birthday coming up in approximately 4 weeks…)

You know how you always had to fill out a survey about your teacher at the end of the semester? I finally received feedback from this summer and though I’d share some that made me laugh…

“She goes over the material over and over and over again.” (Not sure if they thought it was helpful or annoying!)

“Summer school is terrible but if you have a good teacher it’s not too bad.”

“She is very very fast to respond to my emails.” (Not just fast, people. Very VERY FAST!)

And this one made me laugh out loud…

“The way she teaches is amazing and even though I’m not doing good she still makes class enjoyable.”

HA!!

Last week I also had a student draw some pictures on his quiz because it was “too hard”. So he thought the artwork might score him some extra points.

These are adults, people.

If they were good pictures, I might consider it. Or register him for art appreciation instead.

Uncomfortably Comfortable

Today marks the first day of the Radical Read Along I mentioned last week. Every week we’re supposed to read a chapter and post our thoughts…

I’m already failing at this task because it’s 8:55pm on Tuesday and everyone else had their posts up this morning! So even though I’m radically late (pun intended), I hope it still counts.

We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves… (Radical, p7)

I am sooo good at doing what is comfortable. At doing things I’m good at, things I’m used to, things that don’t draw any extra attention. Why try to be radical and stand out when it’s so much easier to just blend in?

I believe that God has blessed us all with spiritual gifts…and I definitely wouldn’t say mine is evangelism! I think I use that excuse a lot. Since it’s not my forte, I don’t have to ask others about Jesus. I don’t have to spread the good word, because I’m not an evangelist.

Well, to burst my own bubble, God doesn’t give us excuses like that in the Bible. In Matthew 28:18 it says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Unfortunately (for me), I think he was speaking to all of us. This Great Commission wasn’t given as an option, as a suggestion, or as a fun idea!

So when I reflect on my own life and see how I’m putting this into practice, I get a big fat F.

Because it’s not comfortable.

Part of chapter 1 asks, “Is He worth it?”

Obviously, the answer is yes….right?

On paper it looks good. On paper it’s super easy to proclaim the name of Jesus, to say you are a follower, to say you want to go to Heaven and do good and bear your cross daily.

But in practice?

Platt asks, “Do you and I really believe that Jesus is so good, so satisfying, and so rewarding that we will leave all we have and all we own and all we are in order to find fullness in Him? Do you and I believe him enough to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds in our culture – and maybe in our churches – turn the other way?

Wait, does he mean to NOT do what everyone else is doing? This is tricky for me. Someone who thrives on approval from others, who is afraid of making the wrong decision, and who is, bottom line, just plain insecure…

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him”

Matthew 4:18-22

It’s easy to browse over those verses but if you read them slowly, you realize what the first disciples of Christ truly did. They left their jobs. They left their possessions. They left their FAMILY.

All to follow Christ.

I won’t lie. If God in the flesh appeared in front of me right now and asked me to walk out the front door to follow Him…never looking back…

…never getting to say goodbye to my loving husband and precious BABY BOY…

…would I go?

This is why I’m uncomfortable.

There’s still time to join the read-a-long, so click on over to Marla’s blog and check out all the other awesome posts from today!

Rub a Dub Dub

Seth was gone last night and Jessie was so nice to come over and get Jake ready for bed while I went to class. I was checking email on our break and was pleasantly surprised with this picture:

See, I told you he smiled! I laughed out loud and almost showed the entire class but then that could’ve opened a can of worms and I would’ve been back tomorrow night with an entire Jake slideshow.

On second thought, they might actually enjoy it compared to what we’re learning in class!

I also came home to another surprise…

Do any of you have friends that salivate at the thought of organizing? Of cleaning things out? Packing up and moving JUST so they can put fresh shelf liner down in their cabinets?

I have 2 such friends.

It completely weirds me out. Why you’d want to spend time cutting shelf paper, laminating recipes, and alphabetizing your spice rack is beyond me. YET, I always find myself coveting their organization skills, their clean pantries, and their “neat” junk drawers. (Is that even possible??)

I had mentioned to Jessie that I’d started cleaning out my bathroom drawers yesterday. It was high time to go through our collection of sample toothpaste, extra floss, lotions, and more. I was so proud of myself for getting rid of that junk and said that I could probably use some shelf paper just so the drawers/cabinets wouldn’t get so dirty.

Remember those friends that salivate?

Well, I don’t have a picture, but when I got home, Jessie had shelf-papered all my bathroom cabinets and drawers and even organized them in the process! I was super embarassed because I hadn’t wiped down the cabinets and Lord knows what all she had to clean out, but let me tell you something…I can’t stop looking at them because it looks so nice! I’m afraid I’m tempted to add shelf paper in the kitchen and pantry now. I never did because we moved into a brand new house but OH THE POSSIBILITIES!

Thanks for the help! You’re all welcome to come shelf paper anytime.

Or dust.

Or mop.

Or organize the master closet…

11 Months Old

Otherwise known as…why can’t you just sit still so Mommy can take a decent picture???

Jake,

You are now 11 months old! I’m about to order your birthday party invitations. BIRTHDAY PARTY. At this time last year, I just knew I was about to go into labor. My bags were packed, Daddy was on standby, and yet you decided to stay warm in my tummy (as you should have). We just could not wait to meet you! We never knew we could love someone so much…

– you smile and giggle so much, but it’s another thing to actually catch them on camera. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

-you weigh around 18 pounds, according to our unofficial bathroom scale.

– you love balloons! We decided to blow some up to let you play with them and everyday they are the first thing you find. These are what enticed you to take your first steps the other night! So far you haven’t taken anymore so I might be blowing up some more balloons pretty soon!


- you are so independent. You can entertain yourself for long periods of time (except when you are teething and want nothing more than to be held!) and are so proud when you figure things out.

- have started saying “Uh oh” (it’s more like “Uh Uh”). You throw something on the floor, look down, and say “Uh Uh!”

-you love opening and closing drawers! We have been working on what “open” and “close” means and I think you have it down. It doesn’t mean that you listen all the time though…

– Are a MONKEY. On the day of this photo shoot (I use the words photo shoot loosely), you had 3 different falls and got a goose egg on your forehead, almost had a black eye, and got a knot on the back of your head. I think your Mama is in trouble!


See? You can’t even sit in the chair! But you did go down feet first which I appreciated.


- you pretty much eat all table food now. I’ll still feed you applesauce and yogurt if you’ll let me. You love almost everything except mashed potatoes and pasta. You eat your fruit and veggies really well and have tried a good variety of our leftovers :)

- you’ve been getting one sippy cup a day while Mommy is at work and have done really well! I hear nothing but good reports so I’m glad this was an easy transition. You gulp down that milk and also love ice water. You actually love anything cold!

- you love to give hugs!

– you are really good at putting things “in” and taking them “out”. This makes your basketball goal, the bathtub, and toy baskets really fun to play with!

- you have started standing on your own for several seconds at a time

- you are starting to wear 12 month clothes, are in size 3 diapers, and size 2 shoes.

- you still go to bed at 7 and get up at 7, sometimes 7:30

- you take two 2 hour naps when it’s a normal day

- of course you still love your dogs! (“Guh’s”)


- you also love my bathroom cabinet. On this particular day you just made yourself right at home. That couldn’t have been comfortable!

Jake, you’ve grown so much in the last month and I cannot fathom what you’ll be doing throughout the fall! We love to see you grow and learn…it literally brings tears to my eyes (the first of many I’m sure!) You are such a special little boy and we love you SO MUCH!

Love,

Mommy & Daddy

Labor Day Weekend

We decided to make a long overdue trip to San Antonio over Labor Day weekend. Jake has been doing a little better in the car so we worked up the nerve, loaded up the brood, and headed West!

One of the best parts of the trip…we woke up on Saturday morning to temperatures in the 60′s!

It was almost like we were on a vacation in the mountains! ALMOST being the key word.

Jake had a great time with his grandparents and even got to see Uncle Kyle and Aunt Emily. His Nana is a bit of a packrat sentimental and had saved MANY of our childhood toys. While they were so fun for Jake to play with, I can’t believe they’ve been in the attic for all these years!

We learned that batteries, lights, sounds, and action aren’t necessary to occupy a little boy after all…

What a little Mozart. I’m not sure I’d say his “songs” were music to my ears, but hey we’ll get there!

He loooved to stand up on this teeter totter.

As soon as he got on the horse, he reached down and pulled the cap off one of the legs. Slightly dangerous. We would bounce him up and down and he’d stay very serious and straight faced. But as soon as you stopped, he would start bouncing his head up and down like he wanted more!

Nicely petting the horse. Don’t y’all think he looks a little scary?

In heaven

We spent lots of time outside since the weather was nice. And of course Seth can’t resist a good tree…

Reminds me of another little monkey I know…

Playing with Nana

See? Always serious. You can get grins out of this kid but never when the camera’s around -agh!

Borrowing Grandpa’s Aggie hat. By Sunday, we were going on one nap a day (kiddo fights sleep when we’re out of town!) and he was exhausted. Jake rarely uses his paci outside of the crib, but it kept him content!

Nothing like a good book. He sat in Grandpa’s lap waaaaaay longer then he’s ever sat in any of ours! Very sweet.

Using Emily & Kyle as his jungle gym.

We had a nice visit and were sad to sad goodbye to our family and all the toys! I just wish it were a little shorter of a drive. Or that we had a private jet. If you have a fix to either, that’d be nice!

Steppin’ Up

So.

Remember that itty bitty 6 lb 7 oz baby boy I mentioned earlier this week?

He took a few steps tonight!

If you think we have video or pictures, think again. We were too busy trying to pick our jaws up from the floor and wondering how a little boy goes from barely standing on his own to walking from Daddy to Mommy.

Before we know it, he’ll be President of the United States.

Like, Radical Dude!

If you’re worried we just time warped back to the early 90′s, fear not. Today I want to talk about a different kind of Radical.

(I just broke out in a nervous sweat. Which is just what this book makes me feel…nervous!)

If you’ve been in a bookstore lately, you might have spied this bright orange cover that is attracting a lot of attention…


And if you’re like me, you might have been ignoring it. Who has time to add another book to their list? My nightstand is already piled with books I’m reading, have good intentions to read, and some I may never get to.

I knew I had to read this book after it was mentioned 5 bajillion times on my friend Marla’s blog.

At first I ignored her posts. Skimmed through them. Wished her well as she encouraged others to read another best seller. But after guilt and curiousity got the best of me, I decided to get my own copy and participate in her Radical Read-Along.

Also, when I mentioned to my friend, Paula, that I was going to read it she said, “Oh! I heard that book makes you want to move to Africa!”

Hakuna Matata, my friends!

The premise of the book is taking back your faith from the American Dream. As the back of the book says…

“It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily…”

Gulp.

Americans have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences…redefining Christianity, if you will. One of the things that really hit home was on p31 where Platt says, “Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator…until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, “No”.”

Powerful words, huh?

(This is the part where I was going to start typing quotes I liked from the book, but then realized I’d be retyping the entire thing. Maybe it’s just easier for you to get your own copy!)

Seth has joked for years that I’ve been going through a mid-life crisis (er…quarter life?). I’m always saying that we’re not doing enough…or that I feel like there’s something we’re supposed to do, but I’m not sure what. We pray for guidance, but sometimes a billboard (or email) would be nice.

DEAR SETH & MARY,

PLEASE GO LIVE IN AFRICAN JUNGLES AND TEACH THE NATIVES ABOUT JESUS.

THANKS,
GOD

See? That way I would KNOW I was doing the right thing!

But in all seriousness, this book makes me question how we go about many things in our lives. The petty things that fill our day. Who’s getting married on such-and-such TV show. What that person said and why they said it. The great sale at Old Navy last week.

Makes me feel super guilty for ever being disappointed with this:

When I could be coming home to this:

I want to do something radical.

There’s still time to get yourself a copy of the book and participate in the read-along Marla is hosting on her blog! Sorta like an online book club (did you ever think we’d see the day??).

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

Luke 9:23-25