Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bye, Bye House

Friday was the end of a chapter for the Pearce family. My parents closed on the house we had lived in for 50% of my life. Mom and Dad moved to their new house (just a block and a half from my grandparents) in December, but the house was officially no longer ours on January 29th.

I had always teased Dad that he couldn't sell the house until I was married and had a home of my own, and he didn't waste a minute. They put a deposit on a new house near my grandparents while Isaac and I were on our honeymoon.

Since we've had nearly 6 months to get used to the fact that 'home' would no longer be where it had been for 12 years, this week wasn't tragically dramatic for me, but it was still sad. There were so many fun family Christmases, birthday parties, pool parties, and Bible studies held in that house throughout middle school and high school. I could type story after story of humorous and sweet events that have occurred within the four walls of that house. To not be able to walk into those rooms and remember is hard, but memories travel with us. We can all say that home is where your family is, but I think a bit of each of us has an attachment to the place as well.

The worst part about my parents moving is losing the pool. Mom had always, always wanted a pool. We lived in the water growing up. There were very few days during the summer when we weren't Mom's water babies. My freshman year, Dad finally decided to put in Mom's pool. I got to pick out the tile with the dolphins on it, and David made sure there was a hot tub. Granted, Dad was maybe in that pool 5 times in the past 9 years (no joke), but the rest of us adored that plaster pit of water. On hot days, it was bliss! On the cold evenings when bones hurt from the weather, it warmed us up, at least until time to run back inside! It gave us a reason to invite friends over, have shrimp boils, and host parties (this goes back to my hospitality side). Mom and I would float for hours and read books. That pool always seemed like God's little piece of paradise tucked in the corner of our little lot, away from whatever else was happening in the world. And, I planted this tiny, $2 hibiscus in the corner of the plant bed by the garage when I was in 8th grade. It is now a 10 foot giant with more blooms than can be counted. I'm going to miss those pink beauties!

On Thursday night, Isaac asked if I needed to go tell the house 'bye' one last time. At first, I said I was fine. After being in bed for about 10 minutes, I asked if he'd still take me. Being the sweet husband he is, he popped up, grabbed his shoes and the car keys, and took me the three minute drive to the old house one last time. Isaac let me inside, and I simply wandered from room to room, opening all of the closet doors, and praying for the new family that would soon be living in them (they are actually acquaintances from church...another answer to prayer). When I made it back down stairs, the tears started. Isaac just let me cry, and then distracted me by asking for favorite memories from different rooms. He's so sensitive to my needs and knows how to help me through it! After about 30 minutes, we left, and I knew the chapter in that house was closed. I have a peace that we'll all be moving on, that Mom is going to make her new house feel like her home soon, and that I'll find a place to go swimming this summer. Change is never easy, and usually not fun, but God knows how to lead us, and so on we follow, trusting Him that the best is yet to come when we finally reach our forever Home.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


David and Laura came for dinner tonight! For those of you not up to date on my family members, that's my brother and his fiance. To Isaac and me, this is big stuff because despite the fact they only live in the Med Center, we don't see them but a few times a month. Ridiculous, I know. So, I tried to bribe them to visit with a promise of dinner, and they took the bait. Yay! I cooked an old enchilada recipe of Mom's, and we sat around and talked for 2 hours. What a treat! It's exciting watching them talk about wedding plans and prepare for their future.

I don't know if David and I were typical siblings growing up or not. If 'typical' can be described has a "love-hate relationship, with only rare moments of pure agreement on any given topic", then we were pretty typical. Many conversations in our household when David and I were in elementary school went something like this:

Me: "Mom, I never asked for a brother! Why did you give me one?"

David: "Well, I never asked for a sister!"

Me: "I was born first, so your opinion doesn't matter!"

David: "I didn't ask for you to be born first!"

Me: "You don't make sense!"

Mom: "Gene, you had siblings. When do they stop fighting?"

Dad: "Oh, around age 25."

We managed to get it under wraps before age 25, thank goodness! Now we know how to be friends and just talk. He's never said, but I hope David is now glad he has a sister. I sure am glad to have a brother.

I digress. Hospitality. I love it! I crave it! Ok, most of the time I crave it. Some days I'm too tired, but I plan around those days. To me, there is such joy in the simple act of preparing a meal and sharing it with others. Perhaps I enjoy this act so much because I'm blessed with the finances to buy enough groceries to make a large enough meal for more than Isaac and me. We all know I like getting to sit, listen, and talk with others. My Nanny's passion for cooking has thankfully been passed down to me, and while I normally cook nothing that comes close to being elegant or fancy, the task of preparing the food agrees with me. Sometimes what I cook turns out less than par, so it's certainly not pride that drives me to want to feed others. I think part of the fun comes from having my own kitchen and my own home in which I can invite others for the evening. And, maybe it's just me, but it seems people open up more about themselves as they talk while eating. I love hearing the stories people will tell when they are comfortable, or giving them a safe environment to share their hearts. I love getting to then pray for them, whether then and there or later in my own time with the Lord. Regardless, hospitality is a blessing I'm thoroughly enjoying, and I praise God for each opportunity He grants for people to walk in our door (or for me to take food to others...that's fun too!).

Many of you have been asking for some recipes from Monday's meal listing. I'll get to them, I promise. For now, I need to go plead with my Daddy God for wisdom. I have a new student who is so angry at the world that he's just quit on himself. I can't imagine being 12 years old and so mad at everyone. He did have to be removed from my room today, but not because I wanted him to go. He simply wasn't allowing me to teach the rest of the students, and that's not fair to them. Tomorrow is a fresh start, as is every day, so we will all try again. In the mean time, God is already leading the way with this child: for those that have known me for years and years, it's no secret I have the hottest, quickest temper out there. Despite every defense the kiddos threw at me, today, the firecracker did not explode. Amen!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Several of my blogging friends post their weekly menus on Monday, and since I meal plan on the weekends before grocery shopping, I thought I'd do it too, at least for this week. Hopefully I can keep at it, giving you new recipes to try, as I've enjoyed trying recipes friends post.

Monday night: Dinner with my parents. :)

Tuesday: Chicken enchiladas, Mexican rice, salad, and Coca-Cola Cake (David and Laura are coming over, hence the dessert!)

Wednesday: Left-over steak, fruit salad and potatoes from Isaac's birthday dinner (church nights are always quick)

Thursday: Meatloaf, steamed broccoli with cheese, and fruit

Friday: Sloppy Joes, chips, and fruit

Saturday lunch: sandwiches

Saturday night: Left over meat loaf or go out...that's our one night we like to go out sometimes.

Sunday lunch: sandwiches

Sunday dinner: Leftover Sloppy Joes

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Isaac!

Isaac turned 24 today! We've been celebrating all weekend!

Friday was family dinner night at my grandparents. David and Laura came down from Houston, and my granddad's cousin Mary Sis was also in town for this weekend's Oakridge Boys concert in Galveston. Mary Sis's mom was my great-great-great aunt Una Mae, and she lived to be 105, and was as sharp as a 30 year old when she died, so we have good genes. My parents and grandparents spent lots of time with Mary Sis BK (before kids), so we enjoyed listening to all of their stories. Isaac didn't have to twist Nanny's arm too hard to get his favorite key lime pie for his birthday treat!

Last night we had friends over for a birthday party for Isaac. We ordered pizza, and I made a green salad, fruit salad, and a Coca-Cola cake. Isaac had a blast with his friends playing Wii while we girls passed around Megan and talked about antiquing.

Isaac bought a new printer with some of his birthday money today after church. The Hashes brought by a birthday treat for the both of us, a game called "Loaded Questions". We have a lot of fun playing this game with the kids and are excited to get to play it with some of our friends! After bells, Isaac grilled super yummy steaks I bought, and we had a salad and baked potatoes. I also treated Isaac to some of his favorite cupcakes from Miss Ginny's bakery.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Revolutionary Holocaust

Glenn Beck did a phenomnal broadcast this week that exposed the truth of 'too much government'. Not much was a huge shocker to me, but I've been reading history books for years. Yes, there is bias in any news broadcast, but the interviews with survivors from various regimes are quite enough to enlighten even the coldest heart to the true terrors of communism. It's worth the hour to watch.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Desperate to be a Housewife

Yes, I did give up watching Desperate Housewives. No, I don't want their drama. But, I DO want to be a stay-at-home wife (not Mom, mind you!).

I don't know what it's been lately, but maybe since Thanksgiving, I've wanted nothing but to stay at home. I enjoy being a teacher. I adore the kids I teach. I love the opportunities given to me by the district and outside sources to learn more and more about history and geography. I like lesson planning and watching the students enjoy most of those lessons as they learn about the world around them. I think it's fun to be with other adults who enjoy middle schoolers and sharing ideas with them.

All of that is great, but my heart seems to be less and less into teaching lately. As I've evaluated the past 5 months (we've been married sooooooo long, I know), I see that I already don't like how my job affects our marriage. We both come home tired, and many days don't want to do more than sit and stare at each other. I love cooking, but most evenings I don't have the energy to make something creative and fun. Those meals have to wait for weekends. Isaac helps me so much with house chores, but that makes him even more tired, so by the time the house is dusted, mopped, vacuumed, the bathrooms are cleaned, and the kitchen is shiny, there isn't much time for us to have fun, or the energy to want to have fun. Our weekends are full of family events, teacher trainings, and time we want to set aside for friends. None of these things are bad, but they make me tired.

I want to stay at home so that the house can be taken care of during the day. I want to stay home so that Isaac doesn't have to worry about helping with anything more than yard work. I want to stay home so that I can make fabulous dinners and use my cooking talents to please him. I want to stay home so our evenings are spent doing fun things together as a couple. I want to stay home so that when all of these awesome day time volunteer opportunities our church provides arise, I can participate. I want to stay home so that our weekends are more relaxing because we won't have to worry about house chores. I want to stay home so Bailey isn't alone all day, every day. I want to stay home so that my quiet times can be done truly in quiet, without my husband at home, simply so that then in the evenings, I don't feel torn between the Lord and Isaac.

However, we can't afford for me to stop teaching...yet. I'm still paying on school loans, and while NASA is nice to Isaac, they aren't that nice. What we pay extra in rent having a house, we save in gas money because we're so close to work and church, and the cheaper apartments are farther from both of those places, so that doesn't affect much. I'd love to find a part time job in a ministry somewhere, but don't know where to start. At least part time would be a start to full time house wife while still giving us the financial boost we need at the moment. I'd love to keep children in our home the way Isaac's mom and a couple of my friends do, but then there is the issue of finding small children to watch and the question of if that still allow me the time I desire to do things at home.

All of this to say, the Lord knows the desires of my heart. Hopefully, they've been put there by Him, and not out of selfishness by me. So now, I pray and wait, and learn patience, because we all know I need lots and lots of lessons in patience.

And, if you know of ministries wanting part time help or babies who need a loving nanny, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shannon's Giveaway

Shannon is my super crafty friend from high school youth group. Visit her blog to enter to win a make up bag or snack bag made by Shannon just for you! Thanks, Shannon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Haitian Earthquake

My sophomore year in college, my roommate Kim traveled to Haiti for a mission trip over Spring Break. Kim worked in an orphanage, and fell in love with the people, language, and country. After she graduated, she made the bold, brave decision to follow God's calling for her to move to Haiti to work and teach with orphans and other children in Haiti for the next 4 years. I've learned a lot about the nation and its people as I've followed Kim's adventures, and have developed a strong respect for the resilience of so many in possibly the world's poorest nation.

I came home tonight from dinner to the news that a 7.0 earthquake hit the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. The pictures of collapsed concrete are horrifying. Please be praying for those caught in the ruble, those who have lost everything, the injured, and those who have lost family and friends. Pray for the rescue workers and for giving hearts around the world to step up to meet a huge need. I'm already trying to figure out how to get my 6th graders involved. They love these opportunities to help.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quarter of a Century

Today I turn 25. It's a bit odd...I don't feel that I've been around long enough for 25 years to have passed, but they have. I am one blessed lady to be where I am in life at only 25 years old. Isaac is a phenomenal husband, I have the best child one could hope for (the kind that never grows up and leaves home and doesn't back talk!), my family lives near us (most of them anyway...there are a few in Kentucky and Canada that need to head south), most of the time I adore my job, and I have a close knit group of friends that love on me and encourage me (and tell me when to shut up and stop screwing up when needed!). While I don't think any of us enjoy the idea of an aging body, I'm excited to be at a place now where there is enough freedom to be able to jump when God says 'jump', and to be used by Him in ways that adolesence didn't allow.

Friday was the party with my family. Paula was in town to go to the Bridal Extravaganza with Laura, David, and my mom, so we got to visit with her too! It made my family birthday extra special! Mom got carry out from Gingos, so we feasted on fajitas and sopapillas. Yum, yum!

Last night a few friends from work, Allison, and Kelly and her husband Adam, Sean, Deborah, Isaac, and I went to Icibon for super yummy hibachi! I was in food heaven! Our chef put on a great show. He certainly kept us laughing, and what he made was delicious.

Sean, Deboarh, Isaac,Kelly, me, Adam, and Allison

After dinner, we all came back to our house for cake, ice cream, and a Wii tournament. It was a great night, and I had a blast celebrating with some awesome people!

Super cute butterfly cake Isaac made me.

After church this morning, Isaac took me to the mall to spend my birthday money on some things that I was needing. I didn't manage to escape my weekly trip to Kroger just because it was my birthday, but that is ok. Bell practice was fun tonight, and then we went to Fuddrucker's to celebrate our friend Jeff Doi's birthday. We share the same day, just one year apart. It's pretty special to get to share a birthday with a friend. :)

Jeff and me, birthday twins!

Dinner was extra special for me because three of my favorite ladies were there too! Michelle, Megan, and Ashley.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sadie James Hamon

My sweet friend Kristin and her husband James had their first baby this morning, a little girl named Sadie James Hamon! I'm so excited to meet this 6lb 9oz, 19" bundle of joy. Kristin and I have been friends since I was four, and have loved watching her fall in love and marry James. She's a great example of godly womanhood, and is an awesome high school teacher! Hopefully I'll see Sadie soon, but for now, enjoy pictures from Kristin's wedding and my wedding. :)


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!

We flew back to Houston today from Ohio, and had another smooth trip. We've been home less than an hour, and there is already a load of laundry in the wash, but the productivity is ending there for tonight. I'll have the last of our pictures up soon...they are some cute ones! I hope everyone had a fun time ringing in the new year and a great first day of 2010!
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