This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mini Sermon- Jesus Shaves*

My mom is a pastor, so sometimes I find myself mimicking her. Other times, I find myself with my hand on my hip yelling at kids. Also a learned trait from that lady. Both are dangerous, and for neither am I qualified.

Anyway, I was reading my Bible, and I wrote a little something that seems worth sharing. Let's face it, I think everything I think is worth sharing. I try to filter for your benefit. Also, if I didn't filter, I would never get anything done around here.

I am reading through the psalms. Currently, I am on 96. The message in this passage nicely reflects what I feel God is asking of me and what the answers I feel I received during Sunday's teaching. Pastor talked about something, and I heard, "Be obedient in the little things." I wrote that down. Then this morning, I revisited questions I posed in my journal and realized this is indeed my answer. My questions have all been basically similar.

*How long can a human possibly wait for answers?

*When Joshua led his men into battle and asked God to make the sun stand still so they could win the fight as God said they would, they marched all night. What does walking all night look like for me right now?

*Can a person wait audaciously? hmmmm.

My answer- be obedient in the little things. Here is the list I want to press into:

faithful to tithe no matter how scary the job front begins to look.

pray, always

bible and study time, daily and with others

worship time, actual singing

serving, when and where are up to God. Then I just do it.

give glory to God and tell everyone I know everything God is doing in my life.

Then, today I read Psalm 96. Funny the way God works in encouragement and confirmation. Verse 7 begins:

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations (that means all of us. If you live in a nation, this is directed at you. The word "ascribe" is translated from the word "YAHAB" which means provide or give. So GIVE to the Lord. Do it. Give. Tithe, time, praise, GIVE. Ascribe. Yahab.)
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength (Give the Lord the credit for the good in your life. Especially if you are going to blame him and yell at him when things don't go according to the plan your pea brain came up with. I am not judging. We all have pea brains.

Give glory, THEN give him the room to be powerful in your life. If you enter every prayer or time of worship defeated, your worship is going suck and not be so pleasing to God. Picture your kids on Christmas morning. Could you imagine how irritated you would be if you worked so hard to coordinate this amazing Christmas for your children, up all hours shopping and wrapping, fighting through holiday traffic to get them exactly what they will love, and come Christmas morning you are met with grouching, feet sluffing, and gripes that your presents weren't exactly what they had in mind EVEN before they know what you have to give!? There is a good chance I would be so mad I would punch a kitten, but not God. He is patient while we are sluffing our feet, whining so loudly about defeat and frustration that we miss EVERY other thing he is doing in our lives. Choose to no longer be this guy. Make a list, visit a country where they have NEVER had the things you are whining about losing or that you don't have; learn to see the blessings surrounding you RIGHT now. I guess this means snow tires and a TV should not be what's getting me down. bah. Lamentations 3:22 tells us we will struggle and be frustrated, but we will not be consumed. God's pretty good at keeping his promises.)
Ascribe to the Lord glory due his name: bring an offering and come into his courts (Glory due his name seems something I cannot possibly give to God. Anytime I feel remotely close, I become speechless, overwhelmed with God's grace, and I cry. So good luck with that one. Ascribe him glory AND bring him an offering. That isn't limited to money. This giving applies to your entire life. Even the life you like to keep separate from church. I hate to tell you that there really is no such thing, but THAT is a can o'worms I can't get into. How's your offering looking? What is your output? your fruit? your greatest treasure? There your heart's focus lies.)

Later in this psalm, it says the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved. In addition to thinking of the giant in Princess Bride, I am thinking this means God wins, so we can stop worrying.
*This picture is dedicated to Erin Harrison and her brother Brian, who is the second funniest person I know. My bother still holds that trophy. This is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maybe You Didn't Know

*I do not love taking baths. I only take them when it kills me too much to put down the book I am reading. Then, I'll stay in there 'til I am pruny.

*When I was a kid, I wanted to have ten kids. Almost there. But, I only wanted boys. Girls were weird, and I had the coolest brothers ever.

*I do not wish on shooting stars. I just don't.

*I was seven when God impressed upon me to become a teacher.

*I wish I had more time to cook. I am pretty decent at it, and I completely enjoy blessing my family by filling them full of good food.

*Along those lines, I LOVE aprons. I especially love vintage looking ones.

*I do NOT think it is ever appropriate for men to wear sweats. They are terrible honestly for anyone, but when men wear them I gag.

*I love musicals. I want to see a real Broadway, in New York musical. I would fly there JUST to see one, but I figure why not throw in a romantic vacay with The Man while I am at it?

*I would have been good on Broadway. I mean, except for the fact that I have retched stage fright, can't remember lines, and cannot act remotely. If my life would take place in opposite land, I would have loved to be in musicals.

*I want to vacation in Alaska. They have a train there that takes you on a scenic tour for a couple'a days. They have sleeping compartments and food trains. I want to go ice climbing and hiking and take a boat out on the water and sleep in a super great cabin.

*I think photographs are the best decorations a home can have. They should be ever to show the stages and memories of family life.

*I know how to properly use a semi-colon; people who don't should learn or use a period.

*I think cruises are weird. I guess I would go on one with The Man, but I would prefer to skip the boat and fly right to the destination.

*I think vacations to third world countries is a bizarre concept. I don't want to rest up in a place where I can't drink the water. Or where you have to walk by a puddle of hepatitis water whenever you go out.

*I am a history nerd. Completely. It's why I prefer the Old Testament. I could read a history text book and call it entertaining.

Beauty. For Realz

Some people are attractive. Some people have a dynamic personality. Some people are pretty or handsome and simply pleasant to look at. Then there is Miss Layla Grace. She is beauty for realz. She is 8. Has feet nearly the same size as me. Has the height of many grown women. And she has the most attractive personality I have ever seen in a kid. She is the sort of kid who moves mountains with her faith. She is the sort of kid, who at four years of age, was found lying on the grocery store floor smooching a picture of Zac Efron. She is the sort of kid everyone wants to be friends with, even adults. I have to remind her that she is 8 because she regularly slips into circles of adult conversation. She wants to adopt every orphan, knit everyone she knows a scarf and hat, and go to Africa to help build an orphanage and play soccer with the children. She needs to snuggle with at least one person every day. When childless men, content to have zero responsibilities, are near her, they agree to have kids if they are identical to Layla Grace. She loves Jesus in an amazing way. She is beauty for realz.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sun Stand Still

This book I am reading is called Sun Stand Still, and it is written by a pastor by the name of Steven Furtick. Furtick, that's fun to say. ALMOST as fun as Francisco.

Anyway, he is challenging the crap out of my life right now. He says we need to have audacious faith. I love that word because it is an excellent throw back to my childhood. Here are a couple quotes:

-If the size of your vision for your life isn't intimidating to you, there's a good chance it's insulting to God.

-[Just like the Israelites] There is an exceedingly good land that you're meant to occupy.

- God isn't intimidated by long shot prayers.

I am halfway through this book. I started it yesterday morning, and I plan on finishing it by tomorrow, probably during my dentist appointment. Because of this book, and the words I feel God wants me to hear, I have made a few changes.

1. I have committed to run a 1/2 marathon with three of my closest friends in June, and I know without a doubt that God will give me what it takes to complete it.

2. No matter where I am, I will be content because there I have God. The end.

3. When it comes to provision, I have no fear. None. So you can (say it with me if you have heard this one before) suck it satan.

4. I am choosing to be content with wherever God has me- city, state, church, work- content.

5. Like Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy, I am going to shout it out and be bold in my prayers. I don't fully know what that looks like, but that's exactly what I intend to find out. I am going to do it, even if it means I pray to walk on water or ask the sun to stand still so I can rightfully claim the promises God has given me.

One of the chapter subtitles in this book is "The Audacity to Ask." That is what plan to have- the audacity to ask. I have only gain to look forward to because the Bible says so. Life to the fullest, standing on God's promises, plans to prosper me, Jesus loves me this I know: these are all reminders of my inheritance. I just have to stand up and take it.

word to your mother.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

And This Guy

I mean, we have already been over his hotness. I know what you are thinking. "What more is there to discuss?" Well, I will tell you. Here are a few things you don't know about this guy that make him more than lovable:

He gets incredibly excited about those free address labels that randomly come in the mail. INCREDIBLY.

He likes to eat a whole lotta junk food while he watches The Biggest Loser. Who doesn't.

He prays. I really like that about him. Especially when he begins his prayers with, "dear baby Jesus." sigh.

He is addicted to Craig's List. That man gets on Craig's List like that kid on Mall Rats gets on that escalator. I have recommended he join a support group.

He can paint a room without taping it off. It's like his hands are magic just like Heart said they are. Magic hands, Mamma. I keep telling him it would make an excellent side job.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Ghost Ride the Whip (Family Talent Show 2010)

So, every year our family has a talent show as our after dinner Thanksgiving entertainment. Some people bowl, some people watch football, but we have a talent show. Everyone is required to participate. Here is Kristopher and Melissa's contribution. They felt their talent could best be described in a made for YouTube video.


And by "another" I mean, there are a lot of weird people in my family. When the photographer says pose Eli hears, "Pretend I am the paparazzi and you are an exotic bird. Ready GO!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Clown of the Family

Something about this kid just seems naughty. It's a quality. When he poses in pictures, he seems to say, "You can relax; the party is saved; I am here now." Naughty. I will not be the slightest bit surprised when he gets coal in his stocking this year. Well, maybe a little, because he is also the sort of kid who can convince you of anything. Especially when it means he gets presents not at all made of fossil fuels.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Izzy Up Close

This is Isabelle's contribution to the family photo. Apparently she felt her job was to out beauty everyone in a ten mile radius. When does she hit her gangly, awkward stage? I specifically remember someone mentioned a gawky preteen would be taking her place for awhile. When will THAT girl show up? Instead I have a 25 year old 12 year old. I am grateful Mike Brewer owns a gun.

Monday, November 22, 2010


So, I realize my family is BIG. Our pictures are usually a fairly accurate portrait into our everyday lives: chaotic, but happy.
I thought I would break down one of the pictures, so you aren't an overwhelmed observer. Here is my first favorite face from one of the pictures Ms. Speckled Bird took of The Fam.
What does this picture say to you? Clearly she is freezing. Clearly she is small. Clearly she is part of a squirrel family who is no doubt missing her terribly since she went scavenging for nuts so many years ago. Clearly.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I Like Mike #26

The fam and I were sitting on the couch yesterday skimming through new pictures and old blog posts. My Husband, who I really like (clearly), doesn't read my blog. It's like his life is just sad. Anyway, I realized it has been almost a year since I blogged a Why I Like Mike post. So, in trying to keep consistent with being the better spouse, here goes....

I like Mike because he doesn't just TRY to be hot; he exudes hotness.

It's probably why he became a fire fighter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Geographically Speaking

I am not totally sure what life is like where you live, but geographically speaking, this is what we do in Reno.

Thanks for another great photo shoot Jessie The Bird.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Where'd They All Go

Remember the cast of Good Will Hunting? Where'd they go? Busy having babies and dodging paparazzi probably. But I really like all of those guys. Maybe they read my blog, and maybe they want to be in super great movies again to appease me. No? FIND. (Monica from Friends when she has a cold)

I get that celebrities want their own lives, but I have needs! I need to see Minnie Driver in a romantic comedy.
I need Robin Williams to be funnier than he has been in movies like Old Dogs cause that was a sad attempt.
I need Ben Affleck to crack me right up alongside his brother Casey, who is freaking hilarious without even trying. I still believe Jennifer Garner married Ben Affleck based solely on his suit-wearing scene with the "associates" in GWH.
Cole Hauser..remember when he was on ER. mmmhmmm.
I need Matt Damon to take off his shirt..I MEAN be tough in a movie. And take off his shirt.
I have needs. I am a movie girl.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sometimes It Sucks

I am reading a really great book called "Leap Over a Wall" by Eugene Peterson. It's a book I borrowed from The Pastor, and it blindsided me. Read it; it's good stuff. Be warned though, there are some big words in there. I actually have had to pull out my dictionary a couple times (and by pull out my dictionary, I mean I ask my friends Melissa and Jessica, as they are smarter than me).

As this week has progressed toward what is usually the second happiest weekend of my year (Halloween/a house full of friends/my birthday/chili..mmmm) my stress level has risen significantly. My stressful belly-aches are back, and there is a slight chance I have considered taking up closet drinking once or twice. (I stand by my argument that those people seem happy!)

Anyway, many of you have prayed loads for us for job security. Thank you. If you get a spare prayer, please do it again. God has been miraculous over and over, but the conversations have started again. My husband is number one on the layoff list. The results will be in just before or after Christmas. awesome. (Insert heavy sighing). And because I know loose lips sink ships (and give that rotten devil the foothold he is waiting for to sink said ship aka devastate my marriage), I am processing through this news rather than reacting and freaking out.

I don't think The Pastor's teachings on taking hold of our regularly scheduled God time are at all coincidental. So, I am listening. Twice this week, God has spoken audibly my name to wake me up to chat with him. Weirder still, his voice is that of Mike Brewer's when he is trying to get my attention over the chaos of our happy home. Shon-TELL!! Both mornings The Man was at work, so there is no confusing that it wasn't actually him yelling at me.

Anyway, I am never one to ask why something is happening. Never. Honestly, never. I trust God. The end. But, that doesn't take away the hurt that comes with the struggles. In fact, because I am so focused on not doubting, I don't know where to send my questions. It's as if they just sit inside my brain threatening to bust loose. Without asking, I got an answer.
Back to old-big-word-Eugene. He said,"When you hit your thumb with a hammer, it hurts just as much after you've accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior as it did before."

The only difference I can see is I am not the one swinging the hammer. I think that is what frustrates me most and raises the "why" questions. If this were happening because my husband were a loser it wouldn't be so hard to take. I would understand that natural consequences happen. But Mike Brewer isn't a loser. In fact, he is a really hot fire fighter. Every city needs one, and he is Reno's. It just seems unjust.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Coming on Christmas, They're Cutting Down Trees

Ah, the happiness that was once Joni Mitchell. Not a fan? My oldest brother is. This information was weird for me to hear as well. I digress.

It's the time of year for greatness:


tall socks

toe socks

short socks

Santa socks

hot drinks


handmade quilts draped across the arm of the couch

visitors, the kind you never want to leave (J.H & M.H. & R.H. & R.H)

anticipating snow

bundling in coats, hats, scarves, and mittens

boots (ah boots)

naked trees

these are a few of my favorite things.

I just love this time of year. I have a list of movies I save for this time of year. I will save that list for another post.

I have been reading a silly amount of books lately.

Here is a fast list of my seasonal favorites from various categories:

Drink: Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Tune: My Love by Sia

Socks: over the knee, striped

Shoes: tall multi shades of brown

Outerwear: grey cord knit sweater with large wooden buttons

Book: The Hunger Games Series. SOOO GREAT!

Movie: You've Got Mail and Little Women (I don't trust people who can narrow their movie pick to one no matter for how short a time. shady)

Free time (snort): quilting and scrapping

My little black heart and I just LOVE this time of year.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is It Weird...

That my couch is the number one culprit for my chiropractic issues, but I still sit on it?

That there are several songs I never tire of hearing?

That I have a poster of E.C.?

That Samuel colored his right nostril green tonight, and I didn't make him wash it?

That I absolutely love teen series books?

That I keep forgetting I have a job? :/
That I get absolutely irritable if I haven't had a chance to listen to music in my day?

That I never want my husband to go to work because I like him?

That I would rather spend my days in a t-shirt and jeans than any other clothing in the world?

That I have written "Lord, please use me as you see fit, but please don't ever send me to Africa. I am not that kind of missionary" about ten times in my journals over the last decade, and now I love all things African and would be on the next plane if the big guy said do it?

That I accuse people of being racist if they ask me to hand them something white? (giggle)

That EVERY time someone leans their head on my hair or tries on a hat that isn't theirs or shares a brush I wonder if lice will be involved?

That I am never without the color red on my person?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Because I'm a Child

I giggle when I hear the words:

do, do
tube, and
ball bag.

Who doesn't? Well, they are lying, and I don't like those people.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Recently I

coached my team to three wins in two days. Bazinga

Prepared a 26 slide presentation with Team Green at GCU.

Took zero headache medicine.

Was adjusted once by a very kind chiropractor.

Ate at least six cookies. mmmm.

Watched three of my favorite premier television shows.

Drove 13 hours for away volleyball games in six days.

Listened to six teenage girls sing the Hairspray soundtrack at full volume. LOVE it.

Lost my voice twice.

Drove with one good looking man to one away game. Goodtimes. The girls call him Mr. Coach.

Snuggled with five very cutie children, all my own.

Began reading four new books.

Said thank you at least six times to a very helpful mother-in-law for keeping the kids.

Taught six foreign exchange students rules about commas.

Received one thank you/encouragement card from the prettiest Korean girl at the school (she is the ONLY Korean girl at the school) tied to a bundle of four dry erase markers.

Opened one accurate fortune cookie that told me all of my hard work would soon be worth it.

I think it was right.

Now, I must sleep.

The end.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Too Busy To Be A Christian

Do you find that you are too busy with life? I do. I don't want to. In fact, every time The Man and I drive somewhere other than here, I am pointing out places that would make a great homestead for a commune. We have some of you picked out to join us. Obviously we are basing your invite on your skills, number of children, likeability, and of course, looks. I am just saying our children will need to procreate and I don't want no ugly grandbabies.

Anyhoo, I feel like I keep trying to find more time for this, that, and the other (why these things are always on my list of things to accomplish I have no idea!)but it isn't working. Some days I have time for this; for example, this morning I took a shower. Other days I have time for that; for example, I read a book this week. Not a whole book, only a part of one, but I read.
When I began analyzing further, I realized the first things to go seem to be anything regarding my health and well being and the attention I give to others in need. AKA I am too busy to be a Christian. I prefer to keep my head low, disregard other people's needs, and hurry and get through so I can get to the next event.

Let me say this clearly so you understand me (and then maybe it will sink into my shriveled brain):
The end.

Things I miss due to my stupid lifestyle:

Having others over to the Brewer House for coffee or otherwise
playing my guitar
reading for long periods of time and not wanting to fall asleep instantly
coffee and books in bed
dancing and singing showtunes with my kids across the kitchen
family reading hour
playing outside
clean bathrooms. They are just eh right now.
an updated calendar
empty email boxes
snail mail letter day (everyone should celebrate this)
nonsense phone calls with friends
bible study with my friends RB and ML

This last one is getting fixed. Actually, many of these will resume after October 24th, where I will be committing to more of the right things. But, Hillside Foursquare Church on Sutro will be hosting Ladies' Scrap Night on Tuesdays from 7-10pm beginning October 26th. I will be your hostess with the mostest.
As for everything else,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Over Extended is Over Rated


Sometimes I think something is going to be a great idea, so I say yes. Then I realize it is keeping me from the first great ideas I had. lame.

To deal with all of it, I am pushing through and declaring a day. A day to:

eat delicious breakfast with friends.

wake up at 4:30 to partake in the balloon races. Dawn Patrol.

return home to veg on the couch with the kids to watch Christmas movies.

Sneak in a little homework, which I did, and now I am done.

pee. Which I have to do a lot this morning because of the amount of coffee I drank because I woke up at....Why am I recapping this? Don't you read?!

Friday, September 03, 2010


A coach! Not this kind, but when I did a search for a picture, this pretty little number came up, and I can't seem to take my eyes off it.

I am also seriously cootied. Ick. I have infections and colds and ick. Feel free to pray for me or buy me this bag. Both are sure to help me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

We Are Homeschooling Again!

Thank you Jesus! THIS is exactly how school should be.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Look What I Saw When I Logged On...

Congratulations! Your degree/certificate has been officially conferred for the BSED/E program. Your complimentary diploma/certificate and transcript will be processed and mailed to you within the next few weeks along with any additional diplomas/transcripts you may have requested on your diploma/certificate application. If expedited shipping was requested they will be processed and sent as requested. Note: Diplomas and transcripts are mailed separately.

HEE Hee YAY!!! Today, I became a graduate student.

I submitted my first assignment. Then I realized my second assignment is a 4page paper and threw up a little in my mouth.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reach Out a Little

This weekend, our church hosted an outreach in the park hoping to simply love on others. Those are my favorite sort of out reaches. Where people don't understand what they are supposed to do once you give them something. On the way home, we asked the kids to share their favorite part of the morning. Here was my story:

This little boy (about age5-6) was dressed in his little shorts and wife beater, hair in a super awesome long pony tail. He was bowling on the side walk using a little set of pins. I offered to help him by setting the pins up so he could bowl and be amazing. He was hitting strikes and super excited. I say, "go get on that skate board and knock the pins over with your body."

With wide eyes and sheer excitement he asks, "CAN I!?"

To which I reply, "YEEES!"

So he does and he knocks them all down with whoops and hollars and happiness. He gets set for round two while I reload the pins, only this time he is sitting on the board. As he starts to take off, he sort of falls backwards, and I say, "WHoooah! maybe you should be wearing a helmet."

He says with a straight face, "I'm not wearing any underwear."

So I blink in confusion and promise not to look, and he ends our conversation with, "my dad never told me to put them on."

HAHAHAHA! Outreaches ROCK!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Stuck in the Middle

About January of this year God began talking to me about all sorts of things. Some good, some new, some reruns that I have not quite worked out, and some that are just plain scary, but ALL that are exciting. Let's face it; when God talks to you, it's amazing.

So, he kept saying these things to me, and about a two weeks ago, I realized he wasn't changing his tune. So I prayed and asked if I was missing out on what he was wanting me to hear. Nope. Loud and clear, I tell ya. He did add a little something at the end.

I looked around and realized I was already somewhere along in the journey I thought I was sitting still and waiting for. I kept thinking, "Man, when this starts, this is going to be awesome." or "I am so excited for this adventure to begin." or "I love that my family is going to experience something new, and God is going to use us." God said, "um...look around you Clown (he often refers to me as Clown, because my inabilities make him laugh in love). You started this journey months ago!"

It was like that story of Paul when the scales fell off his eyes. I was able to see so clearly! I have been working so hard at being at rest and waiting on God (which, if you have met me more than ten minutes ago, you know I am no good at) that I missed EVERYthing he is doing right now and a few minutes ago and a few weeks ago and for the last few months. I was able to look back in a healthy (not like Lot's wife) way and see that I have taken a number of steps in obedience and I am mid-process! I am not waiting for my work to begin! I am in it! God is using me! God is asking, very little things, but he is asking, and I am responding, in very little ways, but I AM responding.
It's also not unlike Bob Wiley's experience being a sailor. AHOY! I'M SAILING! I just let the boat do all of the work!

The end result of what comes of all of that is irrelevant all of a sudden. I am no longer living with my eye on the prize of what's in it for me (for at least 6 hours of my day HA!) and I am focused on living for just right now. This is a new way of living for a girl who exists in a world where only planners go to heaven. (Sorry for your luck)

So, I guess my question is, are you waiting for your journey to begin? Did you know that you are already on it? look around for a minute and take stock in what God is putting in front of your face. You are usable right now. You just need to be available to say yes.

It's true that your journey could be really sucky right now. So what are you going to do about it? I don't know about you, but I like to think God isn't a kidder when he makes promises. So I believe him when he says I am going to get double my reward for the troubles I see in life.

Pastor said something profound today (not limited to or excluding all the rest of the profound things he said today) that I heard already recently. He said, "the bible tells us we have not passed this way before." I don't think that passage means that we are in uncharted territory. I think it means we haven't gone through this crazy life and struggles with the faith in God that we could have had and now look how different it can be! That's encouraging to me, cause alone, I am pretty sucky. But with the teeny tiny faith I hold securely, God is gonna be right there to use it, double it, and give me more. GULP! BABY STEPS INTOOOO THE ELEVATOR!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Missing Church

We have missed church the last two weeks, and we are planning to miss again this week. I don't like it. I am not used to it. I really don't skip church. Not even when I was vomiting repeatedly during my Samuel pregnancy. I just sat nearer the bathrooms.
Don't get me wrong. A) going to church doesn't make you or me any holier or Christiany-er 2) I really enjoy my time with my family, and D) I have enjoyed the missing you/mocking your heatheness phone calls.
After my second week of missing, I was bummed. After telling my kids we were going camping this weekend, so we won't be at church this Sunday, they were bummed as well, which made me more bummed.
That's a lot of bums. We went to Reflect Church when we were in Sacramento, which was nice, but not our home. I heart Hillside. I don't trust people who feel otherwise. They are shady.

I have been hanging out with these people.

While I have been busy skipping church and spending time with the fam, I have managed to accomplish the following:

Sorted through all of the clothes in my household to become an emptier vessel.
Threw down a deep cleaning on my laundry room.
Had new friends over for dinner.
Traveled to Santa Cruz, and then traveled to Sacramento.
Camped out at Davis Lake.
Finished and sent out our very first Hands of Hope Missions newsletter! (praise God!)
Finished my bachelor's degree at the University. (another praise to God)
Registered for my master's program at Grand Canyon University!
Snuggled with my husband over countless movies.
Cried a little at the things God wants from me. Growing hurts.
Gave disappointed shoulders to NBC when Michael Scott confirmed his office exit.
Found a friend to put chords to my song.
Recognized I am less amazing than I want to be, but Jesus loves me anyway.
Realized God isn't surprised by how lame I am.
Purchased and planted a fantastic tree in my back yard (by me I mean The Man).
Prayed and heard more reassurance from God during this 30 day bible study than possibly ever before in my whole life.
Contemplated a new tattoo.
Wondered if Moses will be in the Truckee Meadows area.

I was thinking something like this....

Friday, July 16, 2010


If you need me before Monday, I will be here.

Just keep shouting. I am sure you will find me eventually. If not, it wasn't meant to be.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prepare to be Amazed!

So, maybe this guy doesn't exactly amaze you, but wait for it...just wait for it! The kids and I have been praying about creative ways to raise money for the Redeemer House. As I was weeding through the things we no longer need and things we could easily live without in order to be an emptier vessel, I began to notice the insane amount of uniforms we have here. SHEESH! Three kids worth of three years worth of uniforms from the same school could possibly add up to some moolah. I posted them on Craig's List for $2 each and said a little prayer. $140 dollars later we have about eight or so boys size ten slim pants left. UNbelievable, or believable if you think God can do good stuff when we step out to do good stuff. Which he did cause we did, jayehs. Now, whatever you do, don't look into that guy's eyes. HE is scary.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

um. what?

Widow lives with corpses of husband, twin
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press Writer The Associated Press
Monday, July 5, 2010 7:52 PM EDT

WYALUSING, Pa. (AP) — The 91-year-old widow lived by herself in a tumbledown house on a desolate country road. But she wasn't alone, not really, not as long as she could visit her husband and twin sister.

No matter they were already dead. Jean Stevens simply had their embalmed corpses dug up and stored them at her house — in the case of her late husband, for more than a decade — tending to the remains as best she could until police were finally tipped off last month.

Much to her dismay.

"Death is very hard for me to take," Stevens told an interviewer.

As state police finish their investigation into a singularly macabre case — no charges have been filed — Stevens wishes she could be reunited with James Stevens, her husband of nearly 60 years, who died in 1999, and June Stevens, the twin who died last October.

But their bodies are with the Bradford County coroner now, at least temporarily off limits to the woman who loved them best. District Attorney Daniel Barrett said Tuesday that Stevens plans to build a crypt on the property.

"If she does that, the bodies will be released for that purpose," he said. "Otherwise they will be re-interred."

From time to time, stories of exhumed bodies are reported, but rarely do those involved offer an explanation. Jean Stevens, seeming more grandmother than ghoul, holds little back as she describes what happened outside this small town in northern Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains.

She knows what people must think of her. But she had her reasons, and they are complicated, a bit sad, and in their own peculiar way, sweet.

Dressed smartly in a light blue shirt and khaki skirt, silver hoops in her ears, her white hair swept back and her brown eyes clear and sharp, she offers a visitor a slice of pie, then casts a knowing look when it's declined. "You're afraid I'll poison you," she says.

On a highboy in the corner of the dining room rests a handsome, black-and-white portrait of Jean, then a stunner in her early 20s, and James, clad in his Army uniform. It was taken after their 1942 marriage but before his service in World War II, in which he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, James worked at a General Electric Corp. plant in Liverpool, N.Y., then as an auto mechanic. He succumbed to Parkinson's disease on May 21, 1999.

Next to that photo there is a smaller color snapshot of Jean and June, taken when they were in their late 80s.

In many ways, Jean shared a closer bond with her twin than her husband.

Though June lived more than 200 miles away in West Hartford, Conn., they talked by phone several times a week, and June wrote often. The twins — who, as it happened, married brothers — were honored guests at the 70th reunion of the Camptown High School Class of 1937.

Then, last year, June was diagnosed with cancer. She was in a lot of pain when Jean came to visit. The sisters shared a bed, and Jean rubbed her back. "I'm real glad you're here," June said.

On Oct. 3, June died. She was buried in her sister's backyard — but not for long.

"I think when you put them in the (ground), that's goodbye, goodbye," Stevens said. "In this way I could touch her and look at her and talk to her."

She kept her sister, who was dressed in her "best housecoat," on an old couch in a spare room off the bedroom. Jean sprayed her with expensive perfume that was June's favorite.

"I'd go in, and I'd talk, and I'd forget," Stevens said. "I put glasses on her. When I put the glasses on, it made all the difference in the world. I would fix her up. I'd fix her face up all the time."

She offered a similar rationale for keeping her husband on a couch in the detached garage. James, who had been laid to rest in a nearby cemetery, wore a dark suit, white shirt and blue knitted tie.

"I could see him, I could look at him, I could touch him. Now, some people have a terrible feeling, they say, 'Why do you want to look at a dead person? Oh my gracious,'" she said.

"Well, I felt differently about death."

Part of her worries that after death, there's ... nothing. "Is that the grand finale?" But then she gets up at night and gazes at the stars in the sky and the deer in the fields, and she thinks, "There must be somebody who created this. It didn't come up like mushrooms."

So she is ambivalent about God and the afterlife. "I don't always go to church, but I want to believe," Stevens said.

Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a psychiatry professor at UCLA who researches how the elderly view death and dying, said people who aren't particularly spiritual or religious often have a difficult time with death because they fear that death is truly the end.

For them, "death doesn't exist," she said. "They deny death."

Stevens, she said, "came up with a very extreme expression of it. She got her bodies back, and she felt fulfilled by having them at home. She's beating death by bringing them back."

There was another reason that Stevens wanted them above ground.

She is severely claustrophobic, and so was her sister; she was horrified that the bodies of her loved ones would spend eternity in a casket in the ground. "That's suffocation to me, even though you aren't breathing," she said.

So she said she had them dug up, both within days of burial.

She managed to escape detection for a long time. The neighbors who mowed her lawn and took her grocery shopping either didn't know or didn't tell. Otherwise forthcoming, Stevens is vague when asked about who exhumed the bodies and who knew of her odd living arrangement. She blames a relative of her late husband's for calling the authorities about the corpses.

"I think that is dirty, rotten," she said.

State police haven't said who retrieved the bodies but will soon present their findings to Barrett, the district attorney. A decision on charges is expected as early as Friday.

Authorities are looking into several possible violations, including misdemeanor abuse of a corpse, Barrett said.

Stevens has talked extensively with both the police and Bradford County Coroner Tom Carman, who calls it a "very, very bizarre case."

But the coroner has nothing but kind things to say about the woman at the center of it.

"I got quite an education, to say the least. She's 100 percent cooperative — and a pleasure to talk to," Carman said. "But as far as her psyche, I'll leave that to the experts."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sometimes God Uses Movies

I realize I begin many of my sentences with the words so or sometimes. Go with it. So, sometimes :) God will give you a desire years and years and years ago and you just think it is a thought you had that sounds kind of cool. Then you keep having the idea and maybe you take a few steps toward that direction, but never really commit or feel a burning desire to rush after it. Other times all these ideas and what not will suddenly become relentless. Do you think they were the same level of intensity, but we were too busy to notice them? I cannot say, but for years (my whole life really) I have wanted to play guitar. Actually, I feel my feelings could best be described in a monologue from the made-for-the-big-screen movie Forrest Gump. I will reinact it for you now where I will be playing the role of Jenny.

Who wanted to be Joan

Here goes:

I want to be famous. I want to be a singer like Joan Baez. I just want to be on the empty stage with my guitar, my voice-just me. And I want to reach people on a personal level. I want to be able to say things, just one-to-one.

The end.
The difference between this monologue and the lived out monologue of my life as we know it is I don't want to be famous. That ship sailed a long time ago. Of course I would love to be more like Joan Baez, because she has lived an amazing life. Mostly though, I want to play guitar. I like to be alone, singing, just my voice, and if God puts me in front of people, fine. I won't like it, but fine. I just really want to play guitar. So I said all of this during my prayer today. Know what he said? "um. you may need to pick your guitar up and play. at least try. I can't drive a parked car." Or something to that effect. Funny. Who knew God made mock so much? Going to play my guitar now.

Also, this quote is the best.
Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?
Forrest Gump: I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.
And for those of you who don't know, you ARE supposed to be looking for Jesus. I bet he is closer than you think.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Right Now

I thought I would balance my flashback post with a current events.

Right now I am:
very sleepy.
Should be completing my homework or sleeping.
Having a sleepover.
Excited to be staying in the Minnie Mouse room at the Cross Family B&B in Sacramento.
Wondering if I will feel Minnie Mouse staring at me all night like she is right now.
Hoping I get to sleep a little.
Praying for confirming dreams for me and my husband.
Proud of my brother for stepping into the gifts God intended for him since he was little.
So grateful for my giftings.
Overwhelmed that God is answering prayers and giving me avenues to use those gifts.
Honored to know the Cross family.
Thrilled to be working with Jessica the pot stirrer.
So encouraged on my road less traveled.
Outtie like a belly button.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Speaking of Beef Jerky

(Yes, I realize the title has zero to do with my post,

but I couldn't come up with a different segue,

and one time a child neighbor said those very words

when we weren't at all speaking of beef jerky.

This has obviously affected my life greatly.)

One second ago I was working on homework.

One minute ago I was recounting how much junk food I have eaten in the last two days.

It wasn't pretty.

One hour ago I was at the grocery store with Miss Layla Grace enjoying her company and realizing for about the hundredth time how beautiful she is.

One day ago I was visiting The Man at the fire station wishing

he could be home for Father's Day, but grateful to God that he has a job to go to.

One week ago I thinking of Africa and wondering how God wants me to love all things African.

One month ago I was thanking God for confirming how little I want to work away from my children and counting the days until the evils of student teaching were over. I was also walking down the graduation aisle blubbering like a girl.

One year ago I was fighting a nervous breakdown as we faced what we thought was a pending layoff. I was addressing the City Council members picturing my self punching our mayor in the neck. I am better now. You can trust me with your children again.

One decade ago I was a mother of one little peanut wishing so much that I lived in Reno, that my husband would grow a beard and listen to country music, and that God would give us more children. BINGO.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tid Bits

I have so little to say and so much time-wait reverse that. I have LOADS to share, but I am on the last chapter of my incredibly tiresome teacher work sample which contains no less than 1/3 of my blood and a few hours of my tears. College Schmollege. Okay, I don't mean that, but these big projects schedule at the end of the four grueling years can wear a person right out.

Summer is in full swing and we have been lazy, oooh boy! I was going to transition us from life full speed ahead to a relaxing summer, but sometimes you just need to jump in. We spent a week watching nonsense television, running errands together, cheering on The Man while he finished the back patio, cleaning, decluttering, and getting on track in the house. My house is getting pretty. My closets are cleaned, my cabinets are organized, and my pantries are decluttered (that is NOT a euphamism). I mean to say there is nothing wrong with my pantries...never mind.

We gave the kids a Christmas present called the 12 months of Christmas. Each month we spend time together being a purposeful family. This month we took the kids on a shoe shopping spree. I got silverware. I was thrilled as I have wanted new, REAL, silverware since we got married.

I have felt challenged lately to live all of my life with more purpose. I do a lot. I accomplish much. I can make a list of it all and it will be full! The regularly missing element is my purpose. So, we are being a purposeful family.

Currently we are praying about how to give to the Redeemer House. Hands of Hope Missions is heading there in the spring of 2011, and we will be a part of that mission; we just do not know in what capacity just yet. For now, we are supporting them in prayer and choosing to listen to live a more purposeful life. Wanna join us? Who knows, maybe you have been created for such a time as this. I know I have.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Roads Less Traveled

Sometimes you know what the plan is.
Sometimes you think you know what the plan is.
Sometimes you tell people you know what the plan is knowing the whole time
you don't really know what the plan is.
And, sometimes you thought you knew the plan, but then people talk,
and God makes the tiniest wind blow, and as you look to enjoy the breeze,
you turn your head off of that self-determined path long
enough to see that road less traveled.
Sometimes you follow that path-rarely, but sometimes.
And then your life is changed forever.

The devil's greatest weapon is confusion.
We can become so confused in life that we forget to use the
common sense God gives us to focus on him.
His second greatest weapon is all things that sparkle.
If the devil can put enough sparkly things in front of us,
we will chase after those suckers like mice in a cheese maze.
But, let's face it. Cheese is stinky. Cheese isn't what God has planned for us.
I challenge you to avert your eyes from the sparkly.
Turn your gaze just long enough to see that road not taken,
enjoy the still small breeze, and take a step outside of the maze.
It's in this place that we begin to see the iceberg tips of miracles
God is conducting at every step.
It's difficult to see miracles when we are staring at the sparkly.
The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I— I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, June 04, 2010


This was Addison a year ago.

She is hilarious.
She has straighter hair, which makes me sad.
She is beautiful, not just cute.
She is willing to smile at our pastor. This is a big change.
She is graduating from preschool. Sigh.
She is incredibly smart.
She is able to read, add, write, and figure out much on her own.
She needs me less.
She makes me sad and happy all at the same time because
She is growing up.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Addison in Rare Form

Seriously, this girl gets weirder by the minute. Yesterday, her big brown eyes met me at the door full of tears of rejection and she claimed no girl anywhere would play with her! I asked if she wanted to come with me to run errands. She was instantly better and my eyebrows furrowed as I realized I was just duped by a five year old. First stop- Home Depot.

Scene- Garden center check out line. Beautiful weather, birds fluttering and chirping, flowers and shrubberies setting a melancholy scene.
Addison's voice cuts through everything: Mommy, why DID you take your shirt off in the car?
Mommy: (eyes wide stares blankly at clerk and mumbles) I had a tank top on underneath. :/
Clerk: hysterical laughter
Mommy: Thanks Addison. Sigh.

Second and last stop for the rest of our lives- Walmart.
Scene- Walmart check out line (sensing a theme?) Well, there isn't anything pretty about the inside of Walmart, but it was surprisingly quiet. (Of course it was.)
Addison: (looks at her mother, hands up as if she were surrendering) Sheesh Lady! You aren't even my mother. You are a stranger. Stranger Danger!
Mommy: blink. blink.
Addison: (laughs maniacally)
Mommy: (after realizing people are looking) Addison! You can't say that!
Addison: (nonchalantly) Why? What's the big deal?
Addison: (maniacal giggling then muttering under her breath as if she were threatening to say it louder) stranger danger. stranger danger (and she continues muttering all the way out to the car).
Mommy: Thanks Addison. Sigh.

Goodbye forever.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jesus is My Huckleberry

A recent (completely asinine but possibly true) announcement of someone I know having TB got me thinking of the movie Tombstone (obviously. When all of your thoughts come together only after relating the situation to a movie, you will understand me more. "So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?" This is me with movies)

I digress. The recent events and conversations I have had with my family, friends, children, co-workers and the out right miracles God has been conducting around me have me thinking that God really is interested in my life. He says it, I know-life to the fullest right? But I am so ignorant and unable to minutely grasp God's word that I shrug it off as helpful and encouraging advice for you, her, him, they, them..fill in the proper pronoun, just make sure it is describing someone else and not me.

The Man
The Man's job TWICE and now possibly three times.* see miraculous story below.
My family
My family's new church and every single thing you can imagine they would need to start a church just a hop skip and a jump from my house including (and especially) great people. People I will cry over when they are gone (okay so I did a little already).
Then my friends and the miracles of their adoption.
And my friend Jessie who God has spiritually thunked on the forehead and is now forever changed.
The miracle of me graduating. Because remember when I have five children? God is clearly at work here.
And now God is stirring pots I didn't even know I had inside me.

My pastor said he has cried much these past months. I concur and I raise my hand and say "I get you brother." Of course I could chalk it up to stress, emotionality (no, I do not know if that is a word), or the fact that I have clearly been in over my head for the previous four months. But that is just a fractional part of it. God has been moving, and my puny human brain cannot receive it all, so I cry.

I am beside myself with excitement at what I think God is attempting in my life. I have had such a long season of unmoving. Not by choice. My choice is to be superwoman, neglect my family (because let's face it, when we try to be superwoman the most important people get left in the dust), and try to do it all! I am so glad God reveals his choices to me. His choices hurt, and they are often unnatural, but they are always right. I just have to be brave enough to put one step in front of the other. Maybe my superwoman boots will come in handy after all.

Pray for our family. We need the support and agreement and clarity and this list could go on forever. Keep it simple. Say something like,"please give The Man and his lady friend clarity."

*Mike was supposed to be laid off a few weeks ago. Many of you were praying for us. Here is how it went down. The list came out with nine names. The department said get ready, so we prayed, took a day to snuggle. They said, they said...I hate They. Lay off day came and the phone calls were made, only we didn't get one. Mike called and They said, as casually as if we called to say we left our socks at your house last night, "oh, we only had to lay off 8. We promoted one guy, and someone retired. You are safe. See ya." I am sure they meant to say sorry for the stress we may have caused you while you waited hours and hours and hours and hours for this phone call. Awesome. And I do not mean that facetiously.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Am

happy to be a wife.

a good mom.

not extraordinary.

quite extra ordinary.

not finished with college even though I walked on Saturday.

finished with college in 65 days from today.

three days away from being finished with student teaching.

wishing the days would zoom a little faster.

tired of having a stressed out belly, out of place neck and back and ribs, and a near constant pain in my right kidney.

wondering if there is an over zealous organ donor reading right now.

apparently a singer/songwriter type of musician.

anxious to catch up with fake Japanese friends soon.

choosing to look for ways to serve the people around me.

starting with my husband.

incredibly thankful for this past weekend with friends, family, and a near pants off dance off at the bowling alley with Laverne, Lenny, Squiggy, Thebabysitter, Thebartender, Thephotographer, and Theweddingcrasher.

thrilled that I was asked to make a guest appearance as Professor Trelawny this Friday in my son's class.

even thrilled-ier that he has no idea.

jealous I did not think of turning my classroom into Hogwarts first.

still completely giggly that some friends of mine realized they were at the wrong wedding only after dropping their gift off at the gift table, got drinks from the bartender, had their picture made by the photographer, and the bride was walking down the aisle. SO GREAT!!

exhausted from working (up at 0530, dragged out of bed by 0600, out the door at 0700, home by 1600 to do more work until I fall asleep in my bed whilst finishing said stupid homework until no earlier than 2200.

unsure if military time makes things seem better or worse.

thinking worse.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Seriously, These Are My Kids

I will be so grateful when I get to be home with them again. This summer is going to be amazing even if the only thing we do is nothing. In fact, that will probably be the best part- the nothing. As long as we do nothing together, I am looking forward to it.

Jessica, thank you again for being such an amazing photographer. See you in Reno in no time :D

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Spring is trying to break through here in Reno. We have been getting two or three days of rain, sleet, wind, and snow, which turns into sunny 70s for the rest of the week. I love it. The cold weather makes grading papers and endless hours of homework more bearable. Our flowers and trees are doing so well with the rain water, which goes to show how gross tap water is. I think my kids are even growing because of the sunshine!

Aren't these pictures perfect likenesses of the kids? Artistic geniuses I tell you!

Sam added his nose. He said he wanted to be like Pinocchio.

I traced Addison and she added her details including her hair. Awesome.

My front yard flowers. So pretty.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Quick Catsup

Please don't get me started on the ketchup/Catsup fiasco. I have no answers.)

Here is a quick look at the life in the Brewer household over the past few months to make up for the lack of blog posts. Please forgive me my slacking. As soon as student teaching is through, I will be back to writing. For now, please accept these pictures as a token of my love.

Eli and Layla Grace were baptized at our church. Obviously I cried.
Addison became a hair dresser and decorated Ms. Jessica up real real nice.

We took the kids ice skating for our family day. In addition to Eli's hair being amazing, ice skating with five children is hilarious.

Eli got a haircut and was given some recreation clothes. Thanks again Harrisons.

We got a new jungle gym. These are the best sort of hand-me-downs.

Eli turned 9 and decided if Jeffro Harrison can wear pink, so can he.
Layla Grace turned 8. Sigh.

Mike is now 34 and still a fire fighter :)

And Eli allowed his sisters to convince him that he would look great as a girl. Double sigh.
And I picked up my cap and gown. CAN YOU STAND IT!! The excitement is killing me!
I realized my kids are all very weird. Again, I did not pose them. This is just who they are.
We took the kids bowling for family day. And I thought ice skating was entertaining!
And Miss Addison lost her first tooth. There are 6 more wiggling their way out at any second. No kidding. Someone pass me an apple!

Thank you for hanging with us through these crazy times. I miss being here. See you soon. Five weeks and counting!