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what does abiding mean?

What does it mean to abide in the true vine of Christ?  
Here's just a little of John Piper's answer that I found to be a very encouraging reminder about abiding:

"Jesus says in John 15:1–2, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
   "As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”   (John 15:1–4)
Now pruning means cut. The branches are being cared for (to make them maximally fruitful) both by internal life flowing to us from the vine and by a vinedresser, who with his very painful scissors or saw cuts us and hurts us, so that by these painful providences in life we experience the fullest possible impact of the inner life of Christ.
We are being cared for both internally by Christ’s life coursing into us by the Spirit and externally by the providences of a loving Father who knows how to discipline his children to make them very, very holy."

miracle naps, sweaty sunsets, + sunday meal prep

Today was a mixture of rest and work- a great Saturday in my book. :) We slept in and took it slowly for a while, then cleaned a little, went out for lunch, then the boys worked while the girls took an afternoon nap. :)

Four out of five of us slept for 2.5 hours! That's a miracle around here. :) I took a nap with this cutie pie:

I came downstairs to find out that Isabella (the non-napper) had rolled the rug up, moved the chairs, and started sweeping the downstairs without even being asked. She's quickly becoming my right-hand girl!! I am amazed by how wonderful it is to have older kids to be extra hands. People told me it would happen someday, but it's awesome to see it with my own eyes! :)

After a cup of coffee, we went on a run: 

It was hot (still in the high 80's), but the sunset was beautiful.

We got back and went to mopping since we were already sweaty: :)

Then took baths and ate a late dinner of leftovers and broccoli:

And this rarely happens, but I was excited to get something made in advance for lunch tomorrow:

The highs may be in the 90's, but it's officially fall now so we are allowed to eat taco soup for lunch. We'll just be sweating a little while we do it. ;)

eats lately (travel + fast foods)

It was almost back to life as usual in the eating department after the excitement of having other people prepare your food for 7+ meals. :D

For lunch at the conference, they served us boxed meals like a turkey sandwich with a pretzel bun:

There were other people at the table with us (business people), so I felt super weird taking a picture of my boxed lunch. :) I didn't tell them I take pictures of nearly everything these days, I just let them think I was weird. ;)

The second day we had chicken pesto sandwiches on ciabatta bread, and they were so good they made me want to recreate them at home:

One night after the meetings were over we ventured out for Indian food and this place was yum:

We ordered Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Biryani, and lots of naan bread:

I loved it, but we ended up eating in rotation because the baby wouldn't stop screaming, and the restaurant was tiny. (I hate to make others endure that, so we ended up taking her outside alone in turn.) The food wasn't cheap, but I thought it was great!

When we got back home, we were totally out of groceries so I kept it simple with things I had in the pantry for lunch:

We were out of sandwich supplies, so one day I threw together a pot of mac and cheese:

We were out of butter so I used olive oil and a little flour to make a roux and added 1/2 and 1/2, lots of cheese, and salt, and garlic.

Today we ran a few of our errands on my to-do list, and we stopped and got bake-at-home pizza for family night (plus 2 more not pictured):

Thankfully, we finally made it to the grocery store last night so I'm looking forward to making regular meals again soon. We are so blessed by God to have easy access to all kinds of food for crazy weeks like these! :)

thursday thoughts

These are just a few random thoughts from the last couple days... :)

(Par for the course around here, right? :P)

1. We were waiting to get a hinge for this cabinet for over a week, but my handy man (ha!) was able to fix it without needing the expensive hinge after all! 

It surprises me how even new houses need repair more often that you would think! Plus, we need to repaint the doors again for the third or fourth time since we built the house 2.5 years ago. This is the side of the life that's not so pretty to share, but hey, now you've seen it too. :)

2. I love two things about this picture from yesterday afternoon- #1, she fell asleep in my arms which never happens, and #2, her Batman paci:  :D

3. Both boys were studying hard for their tests well after 5 p.m. last night which makes this homeschooling mama's heart happy: :)

They want to do a good job, and that alone is exciting!

4. Never try to break a stainless tumbler's fall with your foot:

A child dropped his big cup while I was cooking last night, and I decided to quickly stop it with my foot because I thought it was my water bottle. Not the smartest. :)

5. When I was growing up and my Granny would come and stay, we made yellow cake with warm chocolate icing. It was so delicious. I tried to replicate it last night with what I had on hand and it was not quite as good as hers, but it did the job and the kids were happy. :)

6. We had an entire day without leaving the house and it was wonderful! :) I took a long nap with the baby, worked on a project, made dinner, the kids and husband washed the car, and then we all went on a walk and went to bed early. I felt a ton better! Staying home and getting a few things back on track really helped our day feel less chaotic. :D

two kinds of people in this world

There are two types of people in this world: the people who like to keep their hotel room neat and tidy, and the people who stay for one day and make it seem like they've lived in the room for years and never cleaned a single day in their life.

You can clearly see which camp I fall into:

And it can't even be the kids' fault this time. :)

We only spent a little time in the room over the three days, but when we were there, we were 100% on vacation. :P