Monday, July 17, 2006

Stretching ourselves.

Thanks to an early morning phonecall (Dan!), I am blogging again. Really, it wasn't that early, and sometimes I forget how much I love the quiet in my house before the kids all awake and life starts happening in my house. I feel much more centered after some time with God, my thoughts and focusing on my tasks for the day. Including this!
I think it's funny that some of you have checked back here the last couple of days and have actually "missed me". You don't even know me, and yet a part of you cares about what I do and say. I do it too. I've been away from the computer a bit more than usual and now I'm looking forward to catching up on some of my usual reads. Chip says, "people aren't clicking on your blog wondering where you are or what you're doing". I say, "Yes they are...they're my regulars". So, if you're a "regular Nitty.Gritty. reader", tell Chip "hi" in my comments today and he can see for himself that I'm right and he's wrong on this one. =) He thinks I simply have an inflated ego. I'd like to dispell that myth here today.
I ended up not get too many pictures while my sister, nephew and Mom were here, because we decided to throw together a last minute garage sale. How's that for a fun vacation?! They did most of the work and I made a couple hundred dollars cash, and got rid of some things that have taken up space for a few years. We actually had a good time doing the sale, and the kids had a blast playing with all the toys and kid stuff that we set out on display. I don't think any of them even missed not going to the beach. I've got a good 50 cent gargage sale lesson that I plan on putting into words here in a day or two, and I'll probably make a scrap page of it too. Don't let me forget.
The pictures posted today don't really go together when you look at them, but one is the visual for stretching your mind, and the other for stretching your waistline. One we can never do enough of, and the other it seems we overdo more often than we should. I made that cake last night when we had some friends over for ribs. Chip's the master of fine ribs, I must say. He may not totally get blogging, but he makes up for it with his culinary skills. I love this cake...simple and delicious. The biggest problem with this cake is that you can eat two pieces of it in one sitting. It's that good. Sometimes it's called "Turtle Cake" and in other circles it's referred to as "Better-than-sex cake". Since that last title is actually a debatable topic, I'll just leave it at that. I don't want to cause any unnecessary controversy here. But it is really good!
The other picture is of Wyndham just before she headed out to therapy the other morning. She was signing "train", because she was getting ready to go on a field trip to a train. I just thought she looked so grown up and I realized how much of what she is learning each day is something I must learn too. She is doing very well with sign language, although we still aren't giving up on her speaking at some point in her life. She makes lots of different sounds, she can say a few words- very occasionally when she is prompted, and she expresses herself in lots of ways that we understand. Still, we are working with her at home and in therapy to learn sign language and she does wonderful with it. In fact, I am getting behind in all the words she can sign and understand. I am a busy mom, as you know, and learning a new language can be a challenge even when a person has the desire, interest and good reason to learn it.
I was thinking about all the things I have had to learn or force myself to do since Wyndham received her closed-head injury. I never dreamed I'd give her a shot every night. I never dreamed I'd learn so much about brain functions and medicine. I never dreamed I have to learn sign language and use it in my life everyday. If I had dreamed my future five years ago, I'm certain I would have laughed or been overwhelmed. I would have fought it every step of the way. Instead, I look back and can't believe all that has transpired. We've all come a long way, and although it's been rough at times, it's been managable. Without really realizing it somedays, we were stretching ourselves and growing and learning together.
What is something you have dreamed about or want so badly in your future? Does it seem totally ridiculous to you when you imagine it coming true? Do other people support you or laugh at you when you share your ideas with them about your far-fetched dreams? Have you put some of your crazy ideas on hold because they seem too crazy for you? If so, I challenge you to take one tiny, bitty step toward your silly dream. And then another one after that. Just see what happens for a little while. A little bit of reaching and stretching every single day will bring you closer to your goal, and it's likely you'll hardly feel the effects of your efforts along the way.
I believe that more of us need to stretch ourselves more than we do. Maybe not with praline chocolate cake so much, but in other really beneficial areas of our lives. I just might start waking up a little earlier each day for starters. On my own- not from an unexpected phonecall. =)

76 comments:

Melissa Adak said...

HI chip!!! Your wife does NOT have an inflated ego.. she is a wonder of words that speaks volumes to me and many others. I enjoy reading about her thoughts, struggles, daily life. I am a regular here.. and I do miss her when she is MIA.

{change in plans} said...

Hi Chip!
Not an over inflated ego here, she does have blog fans!
And better-than-sex/turtle cake is devine! so yummy and rich.

mommygoingcrazy said...

Hi Chip! I too am a regular. I love to read the thoughts of your talented, thoughtful, spiritual wife. I check here everyday to read what is going on in your family, and just to see what Jody is thinking about. She is an inspiration to all that read her blog, and has quite the following, but all the want to just be her friend.

Keep blogging Jody, we love it and miss you when you are gone!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip....random reader from OH.

Mrs. Blackberry said...

Hi Chip. I am a regular too.

Portia said...

Hello Mr. Chip!

I'm one of many regular readers of Jody's Nitty.Gritty.

She's an inspiration to sooo many people.

My "wish" is for a little girl... I have two boys and boys were never in my mind. I laugh. My friends laugh. Obviously, I'm destined to be the mother of boys and someday... THE MOTHER IN LAW.

I loved reading about Wyndham signing. I have some signing skills and I miss having someone to sign to/with. Do you sign ASL or SEE?

gigglesandgrins77@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

7 comments in less than an hour!

Go Nitty.Gritty.

Oh, hi Chip!

Brad said...

Definitely a Nitty Gritty regular - although I don't always comment! :)

Carrie was just telling me the other day how she mentioned you to my sister, who mentioned you to one of HER friends, who is now also a "regular" -- ahhh, the power of the internets! :)

Julie said...

Hi Chip! I too am a regular reader. I rarely post but look everyday for new wisdom from Jody!
Keep up the inspirationally good work!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jody (and Chip)!

I'm a new Nitty.Gritty fan, but I must say I'm hooked. Thanks, Jody, for your positive, yet "real world" outlook on life.

Your blog entry today made me smile, as we "stretched" ourselves on peanut butter brownies while welcoming good friends to our home last night. As a result, today would probably be a good day to do some stretching at the gym. :) But thanks for the reminder to keep stretching toward priceless dreams, as well!

One of our pastors reminded us last week that God is a God of the miraculous, and no matter how challenging our circumstances, or how impossible our dreams may seem, He loves to "trump" our reality with His miracles. Can't wait to see the blessings He has in store for each of us as we walk in Him and remain faithful to the pursuit of our dreams!

~Laura in Ohio

Jackie Carl said...

Hi Chip !
I am from Marion, IN.
I started reading your wife's blog a couple of weeks ago, after linking on it through Whitney Cerak's blog. I even emailed her immediately after reading one of her blogs. She was gracious to email back to me. I have become a regular, also. She is on my "favorites" list on my computer. I just have to do a simple "click" and I am there !
She is awesome w/ her way w/ words. She is extremely inspirational & she lifts me up each time I read her entries.
You are blessed to have her for your wife.
Much love & many prayers are lifted up to you & your family.
P.S. Hello to you, too, Jody.
Have a great day !
Jackie Carl
Marion, IN

Dawn Oberholtz said...

Hi Chip! I missed Jody! I really did. Her blog to me is like a daily devotional. It always leaves me wanting to do something good. And to do it not for myself but for God!

Also, the turtle cake recipe would be appreciated! ;0) Thanks!

And thank you for all that you do even without recipes! Blessings, Dawn Oberholtz

Queue_t said...

Hi to Chip

I too am a regular reader, don't post as often as some. Interested in your wonderful family and great wife, writer and mom Jody!

Thanks for being here jody, miss you when you are gone a few days.

Crafty P said...

Hi Chip!

Jody- I love stopping by and have been a regular over here for awhile now.

Still working on my dreams one day at a time and moment by moment. I appreciate all the encouragement though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip and Jody!
I just happened upon your blog from the Ceraks a couple weeks ago and have been a devoted fan since! =) I am also a "stuck at home mom" and love to hear other moms stories of life at home but yours for some reason seems to be much more informative, interesting, entertaining and delightful to read than most! Thank you for sharing your life with us~
God bless~
Tammy in Michigan

Cris said...

Add another regular to the count...Oh... Hi Chip. :P

Anonymous said...

Hi, Chip and Jody!

I just have to say that I don't just pop in daily, but several times a day! This weekend about did me in!! Jody is an inspiration of the type of mother and woman I wish I could be. I love reading about her normal everyday activities and seeing the pictures of your beautiful family (the cake isn't hard to look at either!!). Take care, Jody, and never quit blogging!!

Anonymous said...

Hi CHIP!!! Hello Jody!
I love this blog, and your wife is a true blessing! I keep reading and checking for new post, and YES Jody you WERE missed!
Christal Miles :)

Jolene said...

Hi, Chip!!! I've recently become a regular and hardly ever comment. I usually check every other day to see what has been happening.

shawnna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Becky R.T. said...

Hi Chip. Just another regular here
This is also my first time commenting. Hi Jody.

shawnna said...

Hi CHIP!!!

wanted to say thank you jody -- sharing your story so openly it has helped me begin to share mine also - i think i am starting to get that if God is nudging you to do something - YOU SHOULDN'T WAIT to do it -- ;)

Anonymous said...

Could Chip BE more wrong? lol. Have a blessed day!

Keri Tate said...

Hi Chip!

I read every day from Springfield, IL.

Kerry said...

Hi Chip! Sorry you're wrong on this one! I'm one of the regulars! Sometimes I check back twice in one day to see if she's posted again! lol She inspires me to be a better person an parent daily!

Keep on bloggin' jody!

:)

angie said...

HI Chip-

from a regular silent reader.

Cathy K. said...

Hi Chip (and Jody) -

Your wife has a fan here in NYC - she's an inspiration at times, a good laugh (or cry) at others, but always entertaining.

You have a lovely family and it's a joy getting to know you all through Jody's blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip! I'm a regular Nitty Gritty reader. Your wife is an inspiration to so many people. I check her blog everyday.

Sara said...

hi-
i can't remember how i found your blog. but, it is fantastic. thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip!!

I am a regular who has never posted before. I started reading after seeing one of Jody's posts on the Cerak blog. I so appreciate your wife's inspirational thoughts and ideas!!

A mom in Indiana

Suzelle said...

Hi Chip and Jody :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip! (from another regular reader with Jody's blog in her internet favorites list!)

Jody - do you have the signing time sign language DVDs? My daughter really likes them. I bet Wyndham and her siblings would enjoy them...some info is at www.signingtime.com.

Amanda said...

Hi Chip...another regular reader here! :)

stephanie said...

chip chip chip chip chip....you have no idea what your wife has done for so many without knowing them...

Laura said...

HI CHIP!!!!! And we have had Better-than-sex cake, but ours looks a little different . . . soooo yummy either way though! how funny, never heard anyone else who's heard of it!!!

Claire Smith said...

Hi Chip!

I live in Wellington, New Zealand and I am another regular who has a link to Jody's blog in my favourites! I miss hearing about your family's adventures when there's space between blogs, I do! This is my first comment so Hi Jody as well - Wyndham looks so cute with pigtails!

Claire in NZ

Anonymous said...

I bet he just said that so people would "talk" to him for a change! So, yes Chip we all love to read her blog and don't always post anything when we 'check in'. Stay cool!

Anonymous said...

Chip.....I'm another reader.
Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip - I have been without a computer for a week and the first site I went to was Nitty Gitty! I hate missing a day!

Kelley

Anonymous said...

Chip...your wife is super...I check in several times a day....she inspires me...

~annette~

Anonymous said...

Hey Chip & Jody,
I read Nitty Gritty everyday and am upset when she doesn't post, so guess what big guy, YOU LOST THIS ONE. WE LOVE HER!!!

KathyG said...

Hi Chip and Jody!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello!

I have never posted before but I am always game for guiding a misguided husband :) Jody....I was introduced to your blog from Whitney Cerak's blog. Your life story and your words have touched my life in ways I can't begin to explain! I appreciate your candor and life perspective!

So Chip.....I have to say....I miss your wife when she does not share herself with us via her blog :)

Laura

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip! I am a regular from California!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip!
We love Jody and her wonderful, crazy, sincere, and inspirational blog. She is a true gift to all of us.

Anonymous said...

Hello to Chip!
I am a regular reader and look forward to Jody's posts!

amy j. said...

Hi Chip! You'd get along great with my husband who thinks no one reads my blog because I hardly ever get comments...though I get tons of hits a week. Nice move on getting people to prove your husband wrong Jody...wish I'd thought of that to bring out the lurkers on my site, lol! Glad your back.

Carrie said...

Hi Jody (and Chip!). :)

As always, thanks for the words of encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular too, Chip. I find encouragement and strength from your wife. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip! I read all the time! Jodi is an inspiration to us all
:)

lauren said...

hey chip! i check in every week! :) you have an amazing wife--but you already knew that, right?

Tracy said...

Hi Chip, Love your wife's blog! She has an inspiring and contagious faith!!
Tracy

Anonymous said...

Wow, it seems like Nitty.Gritty fans are EVERYWHERE! I'm another up-until-now-silent follower. Jody, your posts are always so fun and inspiring...DON'T STOP! :-)

Oh, and HI CHIP!

~Laura in Lansing

Cris said...

WOW! 54 comments! Are you convinced yet Chip? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Yup I missed the nitty.gritty!!!

Hello Chip! Your wife brightens my day and I always feel inspired to strengthen my relationship with God & to try to live each day like it was my last after reading her blog.

A fellow West Michigander :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip! Jody's blog is bookmarked on my computer, and I check for new posts every morning. It's always either entertaining, inspirational or both! So, if she has a blogging ego, she's earned it, and you can be proud of her!

Christy said...

Hi Chip,

Hey howdy all the way from Ontario. Jody's blog comes to me in my e-mail in-box every day. It is a part of me. Jody- can't you just feel the love?

:)

Deb Berger said...

Hey Chip!! I am a regular too!! I check Jodi's blog all the time to keep up witk the Ferlaak clan. Now if I could just have the motivation to blog as often as Jodi. The difference is Keith would definately win this argument. I only have maybe 5 readers and Keith and Jodi are 2 of them!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Chip! First time commenter, regular reader, and big-time fan of this blog here. (And I checked a few times to see if Nitty.Gritty had been updated over the weekend!)

Jody, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog... Keep up the amazing work!

Jennifer said...

Hi Chip!!

I am a nitty.gritty addict!

Jackie Carl said...

OK...I commented yesterday...but, forgot to say that not only do I check Jody's site on a daily basis, but several times a day. I have become an addict ! Thanks, Jody !
Also, was curious how Chip was feeling today ? Is he convinced that you have a HUGE fan base ? :)
Have a great day.
Jackie Carl
Marion, IN

Dani Brown said...

Ooops- I accidently put my hello to Chip on the picture comments.

Dede Warren said...

hey chip, whats up big guy? fore!!!! and yes we are regulars, the little lady is right, we are vouyers into your life {spell check, please!}so... hi chip!

Anonymous said...

Wow Jody I didn't know your were kind of a big deal! It was really great to see you guys at the wedding and tell brock man I said hey!

Chad

Nicole said...

Hi Chip!
Your wife is amazing and inspiring... well, your whole family is (you included!:) I love my daily dose of Nitty Gitty!

Becky said...

Chip, We are regular readers, we do read her Blog everyday, maybe you should post for Nitty Gritty tomarrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip...from someone your wife does not know in Iowa!!

Joy said...

Hi Chip - regular reader from Ohio checking in here. I appreciate reading about parents of a special needs child who also love the Lord. It can be a lonely, difficult road to navigate with so much worldly advice out there to sift through the Bible. Great to hear that Wyndham is doing so well with signing!

Anonymous said...

Hello to Chip - another one who found you through the Ceraks. Also, Jody, your challenge about taking a step toward the crazy dreams in our future was written for me today - thanks for that!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chip, from N. California.
I read your wifes blog on a regular basis! She can inspire people with her thoughts, make us laugh, and best of all be an example of what a Godly, wife, mother and friend is!

Erin said...

Hi Chip! there are many of us out here... I enjoy reading the blog regularly!

Brenda said...

Hi Chip,

Jody even has a regular reader from up in Canada. I don't think that I have ever posted, but seeing this post.........how could I not? Jody is wonderful with her words, and her faith in God is a inspiration to me! You go Jody!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chipster... Yep, regular lurker, first time poster... Wives are always right, you should know that by now! ;)

Kari said...

Hi Chip!!! Your wife inspires me in so many ways. She is amazing, talented and strong and I love her. I don't even know her, only through reading her beautiful messages. I am a regular here as well. She has more fans than she knows.

Jenny said...

HI Chip!

This regular was in withdrawl while on vacation! I gotta get a laptop!

I love reading what your wonderful wife has to say everyday!