Happy 7th Birthday to Eden!

Posted by theresa | Feb 23, 2012

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I shared earlier today that it's Eden's birthday. She turned 7 today. And I posted a few baby pictures of her.

What you can't see in the pictures are the thoughts in my head as I watched her get those pictures taken. The picture of her in the basket was taken at the Picture People, just days after we were told that Eden had a brain tumor. I made it a priority to get her picture taken before surgery and chemo ravaged her tiny body. I scheduled the appointment just like a million moms do every day, but I didn't mention the morbid thoughts swirling through my mind. A few days after the basket picture was taken our doctor called, shedding the light of doubt on the original diagnosis. Maybe it wasn't a tumor after all, but instead a less life-threatening vascular malformation (a mass of blood vessels all mumbled and jumbled together in a way they shouldn't be).

My amateur photographer friend, Michelle, offered to take the black and white picture (click for more). She took many. I don't remember what we talked about at the time, probably what poses I thought would be cute. But I know what I was thinking. Would my precious baby girl even live to see her first birthday? I wanted to have as many pictures of her as I could. I wasn't sure there would be a lifetime of photos. (More)

Don't miss Naptime Inspirations on-line or in person (10/8 Etown Library Craft Fair)

Posted by tom | Sep 29, 2011

While sharing the news about the upcoming Christian Author Series presentations

AND renewing library books for a family of readers . . .

POW!

I came across the PR video for Elizabethtown Public Library's Annual Craft Fair (10/8). Note: If the video doesn't upload, click here.

All the materials are so good! But as you know, I particularly appreciate seeing Theresa's Naptime Inspirations pieces coming from "the family room studio" during naptime . . . to being photographed . . . to being posted on the web . . . to being gathered and displayed at such venuses as Elizabethtown Public Library's Annual Craft Fair. If you're in the area, please come out to support the library and all involved.

A sampling of what from Naptime Inspirations will have available is posted on the library's website, click here. Whether or not you're in the area, the Etsy shop is always open. . . . and don't miss the Appliqued Onesie Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Alien or Heart :)

PS. A big thank-you (from me) to all involved in the process enabling Theresa to give time, attention, and energy to Creative ReUse specializing in clothing and accessories. What a joy to see her continuing growth in this trade/craft alongside generations of family and the generous gifts/interest of a growing circle of friends who likewise desire to invest in (and wrestle with) the hard task of incarnating God's call to "care for the creation" through a passion for the exploration of and soaking in the blessing of Simple Living. . . . To God be the glory!

PPS. In case you didn't pick it up, When Thrift is Chic: Living More with Less in a Real Simple World (10/27) is part of the train of thought. More on this another day. Must run to campus.

Recipe: Microwave Popcorn Au Natural

Posted by tom | Aug 27, 2011

Did you know you can make microwave popcorn au natural? Recently Theresa shared the below recipe on Facebook. I thought I'd post it here (with some edits). . . . and yes, it will end up on Facebook again, but this time on my page ;)

Recipe: Microwave Popcorn Au Natural

Just put 1/4 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag, fold over the top (2x) and microwave for a few minutes. I'm still experimenting with the perfect timing for my microwave (1000W). I burned the first batch and the second batch was delicious but had quite a few unpopped kernels. Melt the butter in your iron skillet while it pops. Mmmm.

On-line recommendations from friends:

  • You can also sprinkle a little ranch dressing powder mix over it for an extra kick!
  • Alton Brown's DIY microwave popcorn recipe:
    • 1/4 c. popcorn, 2tsp. some kind of oil, melted butter, etc. and salt or seasoning as desired (during or after popping.) Popcorn salt is finer and sticks better. We like garlic salt. One could also choose to add a little sugar before popping, for that kettle corn flavor.

On-line endorsements:

  • That's awesome. And much cheaper!
  • Cool, just folding over the top keeps it closed? I would be afraid it would open up. I am going to have to try this.
  • I am very interested to know your final results. . . . [My spouse] and I were just talking about popcorn options on Sunday! 

Confession and Disclaimer: My preferred popping method is my "whirley popper". But this is good for a smaller quantity and easy clean up! Interestingly, when I was looking through my microwave manual to find its wattage it said not to pop popcorn in the microwave unless it's in a special popcorn contraption or its commercial microwave popcorn. I just add that so you don't blame me if something goes awry!

Tom's comment: I likewise prefer the "whirley popper," but please no toppings (including salt) or as little as possible (e.g., oil, butter) . . . unless we're talking about caramel :)

God at Work Testimony (6/19/2011)

Posted by theresa | Jun 20, 2011

On 6/19/2011, Theresa shared the God at Work Testimony  at both services of Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church. May you find her words a blessing. Note: also in PDF.

God at Work

May 2, 2011 (written)/June 19, 2011 (delivered)

Theresa Grosh

When I was asked to share the God at Work segment I admit I was surprised and had to think on it for a day.  Typically what is shared in this segment is a story of God at Work through a particular experience or situation and it’s inspiring and encouraging to the rest of us in the Body of Christ.  I quickly wracked my brain but didn’t come up with such an experience in recent memory so my first thought was that I didn’t have anything worthwhile to share at this time.  I certainly didn’t want to fabricate or pad a story to make it sound better than it was.  My life is pretty mundane according to most standards.  And then it hit me—God at Work in the Mundane!  At the risk of sounding heretical or settling for mediocrity I propose that God is indeed at work in the mundane events of our lives and those things need to be recognized and celebrated as valuable Kingdom work.

Although we all at times have a mountain top experience or even a dessert or valley season, most of our lives are lived on the plateau.  And to discount those times as of lesser importance to our walk with God does a great disservice to God and to ourselves.  I first learned this lesson about 10 years ago.  Some of you know that Tom and I lost our first child, Elise Faith, when she was born at just 23 weeks. 

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There had been some complications in the pregnancy but nothing that indicated her imminent birth.  She was with us for 8 days before she preceded us to heaven.  Understandably this was a very sad time for us.  One way that we worked through our grief was by reading books about grief, suffering and the goodness of God.*  So although it was a time of great sadness it was also a time of great closeness to the Father.  A few months later I found out I was pregnant again, this time with twins!  I was thrilled, but very scared throughout the pregnancy.  And those months too were marked by intimacy with God.  Now, any of you parents know, that as soon as you bring that precious bundle home (or 2 precious bundles as the case may be) your time is no longer your own.  And for the next year and half I struggled with feelings of guilt.  Here I finally had the desires of my heart—2 beautiful, healthy babies!—and yet I felt distant from God and my Bible was getting buried under mountains of laundry, diapers and burpcloths!

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"Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity" Discussion: Chapter 2

Posted by theresa | Jun 12, 2011

“Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” (Matt. 11:28 MSG)

Today the Disciples Fellowship Group at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ discussed Chapter 2 of Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity (Keri Wyatt Kent. Zondervan. 2009).* Building upon "Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity" Discussion: Intro/Chapter 1, Theresa prepared the below material (also in PDF). Feel free to share your thoughts with us by comments, email, personal conversation ...

Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity. Keri Wyatt Kent. Zondervan. 2009. Cover.

 

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"Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity" Discussion: Intro/Chapter 1

Posted by tom | Jun 5, 2011

“Like study or solitude or prayer, Sabbath-keeping is a spiritual practice.  Some weeks are better than others, but we continue to practice it because in it, we encounter God in life-changing ways.” (Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity. Keri Wyatt Kent. Zondervan. 2009, p.11)

Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity (Keri Wyatt Kent. Zondervan. 2009) explores what it means to live in “Sabbath simplicity” by focusing on 6 aspects of Sabbath as spiritual practice: resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, & praying. Readers learn to slow down and find joy and meaning in the midst of their hectic lives. ...

Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity. Keri Wyatt Kent. Zondervan. 2009. Cover.Last Sunday the Disciples Fellowship Group at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ began a discussion of Rest.*  Any interest in an on-line book discussion?  Maybe a Facebook group?  Let us know.  Below's the material which Theresa prepared, but first I wanted to thank Kevin for his FB Wall reminder.

By far, the best book on the Sabbath is THE SABBATH by Rabbi Heschel. Too many Christian books on the topic are formulaic "how to" guides, and the better ones I've read are derivative from Heschel. Heschel grapples with the issue of holiness and time. At times it is almost Rudolf Otto-esque in its treatment of the theological, spiritual and mystical dimensions of the Sabbath.

As I shared on my FB Wall:

The Sabbath: It's Meaning for Modern Man. Rabbi Abraham Heschel. Farrar, Straus. 1951. Cover.I likewise have found Rabbi Abraham Heschel's The Sabbath: It's Meaning for Modern Man (1951) a great encouragement. Do not fear, I have referenced Heschel's work on campus & will do such in 'the church.' In addition, in her chapter on "Playing: An Escape from Workaholism," Keri Wyatt Kent explores Rabbi Heschel's thoughts on the joy of becoming 'attuned to holiness in time' through the practice of the Sabbath. Today I introduced our Fellowship's Group's discussion by highlighting "Living in Sabbath Simplicity,' i.e., the freedom of rest and rhythm in life. Theresa & I have very much appreciated Kent's conversational writing style. Furthermore, we've witnessed a number of mothers/families (including our own) blessed by what we took away from discussing her earlier publication God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos: Bringing Peace Home (InterVarsity Press, 2000).

An inspiration for a follow-up series? Click more for the notes on Intro/Chapter 1. If you desire the notes in PDF click here.

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Making Memories: The Saga Continues

Posted by theresa | Sep 23, 2010

Apparently we're not a big biking family. It has literally been 3 years since I was on my bike, but I enjoy the idea of biking on the rail trail, so I thought I'd take the plunge. And for good measure I thought I'd invite the twins along. They were enthusiastic about going. We got started a little later than I had planned, but all was well. We arrived at the trail, I gave them a few trail biking etiquette tips and we were off. We stopped a few times for E. to wipe bugs off her face. After a few minutes I told the girls to tell me when they feel like they're halfway done, because at that point we need to turn around and go back. And as if that was a cue, H. tells me she's tired and wants to go back. "WHAT????" was my compassionate reply. And for good measure I checked the time. 12 minutes. Yes, we had only been riding for 12 minutes. Which sparked a conversation where E. noted that this was indeed the longest they had ridden. Geesh. We truly are not a biking family. But we don't allow the girls to ride on these crazy country roads (unlike I did when I was younger than they, but we won't go there). So I had to agree with E. However, I was not about to give in after only 12 measly minutes! I took the lead -- my strategy was that they would have to follow me and therefore they couldn't wimp out on me. I managed to eek out 5 more minutes before I heard, "I have to go to the bathroom." Well, that pretty much trumped everything. Besides, it was getting dark there in the woods (did I mention we got off later than planned?).  (More)

Theresa on "The Art of the Apology"

Posted by tom | Aug 14, 2010
Don't ask me how Theresa had the time to email her thoughts on "The Art of the Apology" to Thursday morning's Smart Talk.  But as it's a topic she has a passion for, she did. Follow the link, http://witf.org/news/smart-talk/4657-art-of-the-apology-. Listen to however much you desire to, but her email is read at ~17:20 with affirming comments afterward. Way to go Theresa!

Theresa's Surgery Update

Posted by theresa | Jan 5, 2010

Thomas has been faithfully posting updates on my progress but here's the whole story in one place, straight from the "horse's mouth."

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Amanda, discovered a lump on my neck while practicing a health assessment for her nursing class.  That sent me to the doctor the next day where I had blood work done to check my thyroid function and an ultrasound on the thyroid the next day.  The bloodwork came back normal but the ultrasound showed a significant sized lump on the right side of the thyroid.  I met with a surgeon a few days later and after he presented the options to me I felt most comfortable deciding to have surgery to remove the lump.  Which is what he did yesterday (1/4).  The pathologist in the Operating Room examined the tissue and declared it benign which also meant that I was able to keep the entire left half of my thyroid.  I'll have blood work done in a few weeks to check thyroid function but the surgeon feels pretty confident that I won't need medication.

I'm feeling pretty good, one day post-op.  It's certainly an easier surgery/recovery than a c-section.  I have some swelling which makes swallowing painful and I'm moving slowly.  I didn't sleep well in the hospital so I've been trying to catch up on sleep since I arrived home today.  The kids seem to be doing very well.  They came to visit me in the hospital Monday night and Eden was quite unsure about entering my room.  She stayed in the hallway with daddy until she was confident enough to venture into my room to play with the buttons on my bed.  My mom took off work yesterday and today to watch Eden and Lily and others are helping us out the rest of the week.  Tom has been mom, dad, and nurse and will surely need a break too soon :)  But he's been great.

Thanks for all the prayers and offers to help.  We've been well-cared for and are much relieved to have a good report.  Praise God!

Jeopardy

Posted by theresa | Jan 29, 2009

Last night I came as close as I ever expect to come at being a Jeopardy contestant.  I took the Jeopardy online test which is only given at specific times, i.e. you can't just log on and take it whenever you want to.  It was 50 questions and you have 15 seconds to answer each one.  No going back.

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Mom my ride

Posted by tom | Mar 31, 2007

I can't stop laughing, thanks Karen Cool 

This is for all you moms who try not to "look like a mom".  Shayna, you'll especially get a kick out of this.  It's funny because it's so true!

VP: Integration of Faith and Parenting

Posted by tom | Mar 29, 2007

Integration of Faith and Parenting (Theresa Grosh, 10/01)

Note: written for the Graduate Christian Fellowship's (GCF) vocation project (VP).  Now that the GCF site has been taken down, over time I'll post the pieces for your blessing.  Thank-you to all the alum (and in this case my wife Theresa) who participated in this work.  Would love to have to hear your current thoughts on the topic, time for an interview with Theresa Wink Hope to see some of you at the alumni reunion on April 21.  We'll have a 9am breakfast at the Seigfrieds, a 1pm reception most probably at the Adamson Wing, and an evening opportunity yet to be confirmed.  Email me for more details.  Current GCF activities can be found at http://www.u-connectpgh.org  

How does my faith impact my parenting? I ask myself that question every day. As a parent of one-and-a-half-year-old twin girls I face the awesome challenge of modeling Christ to them and laying the foundation for their future understanding of God. It is important for me to reflect on this responsibility daily.

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Theresa's Book Review

Posted by tom | Mar 6, 2007

 In the 30 seconds that Eden allowed me to choose a book for myself from the library last week, I picked up Born on a Blue Day: A Memoir by Daniel Tammet.  It's a quick read and a fascinating look "inside the extraordinary mind of an autistic savant."

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So what's life like

Posted by tom | Sep 7, 2006

in Mount Joy? Now that we've been here for 6 weeks and school has begun, I thought I'd share some random thoughts for anyone who may be interested :)

We live in a rural area in the sense that there's a lot of farmland and not a lot of businesses. But we have neighbors (though we each have about .5 acre of land) and shopping is less than 5 miles away. The closest business is actually about .2 mile up the road

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Persuasion

Posted by tom | Sep 3, 2006

My mother [Tom] finds Persuasion a good film to regular fall asleep to, what are your thoughts on it after watching it this eveing Theresa?

It's ok. I'd watch it again once I forget what happens, that takes about 3 weeks :-) Well I must go to bed darling.

From Tom: Maybe we'll get more tomorrow, even some on Horatio Hornblower as Mr. Eliot was played by the same actor as . . .

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God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos

Posted by theresa | Apr 9, 2006

Since we're mentioning book endorsements, don't miss mine for Keri Wyatt Kent's God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos: Bringing Peace Home (InterVarsity Press. 2000). It's on the book's webpage (scroll to the bottom).

Gods Whisper in a Mothers Chaos cover

"Rare is the book I would call 'life-changing,' but God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos qualifies for me. I remember the exact moment when I was reading the chapter on guilt and realized that all those little, seemingly insignificant things that I do for my family--things that no one notices or even knows about--matter to God. And rather than condemning me because I can't find thirty minutes every day for a quiet time, God is teaching me how to grow closer to him, i.e., how to be more like Jesus, in the midst of the chaos that is my life. I've a long way to go, but I have begun to look for Jesus in my daily life rather than see my responsibilities as a hindrance to my spiritual growth." —Theresa Grosh, MOPS Coordinator, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Narnia Spoiler

Posted by tom | Dec 3, 2005

Hey there, Theresa had the opportunity to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe this morning. I can't wait to join members of Church of the Ascension for a Saturday showing, but none-the-less I wanted to set appropriate expectations. So Theresa, what's your initial reaction to the film. Did it meet your expectations(note: if you don't want to read the spoilers ignore more)?

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Twins update

Posted by tom | Aug 25, 2005

In other news, the twins are looking forward to Kindergarten at Pittsburgh Urban Christian School. They start next Wed. (8/31) but only go until 10:30 am for the first 3 days. The full day schedule starts 9/6. Ellen mentioned that she was a little scared, so we visited her teacher and classroom at the school briefly. Hopefully that will squash some of the jitters. I know they'll enjoy it once they get there. I'm more concerned about getting them onto the bus! I wish we could do a trial run of that. That's about it here.

We're madly trying to cram fun stuff into this last week of summer, so life's rather crazy. But then again, isn't it always???

Flubber . . .

Posted by tom | Aug 13, 2005
Have you tried Flubber? Hayley and Ellen love it, they brought home the recipe from a friend's house . . . It's really cool!

What Episode III Character are you most like?

Posted by tom | Jun 21, 2005

According to quiz farm (note: a few of the questions are not edifying) . . . Tom is Anakin, w/Darth Vader close behind. The chosen one, father of the twins, lover of Padme, and Jedi Night . . . or is it . . . Sith Lord?

But there is hope as . . .

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