Sunday, February 28, 2010 our home

God's been so generous with us. While we aren't quite to the point where Meghan can stay home (hopefully once we sell our rentals we should be able to do it though) God's blessed us so much. Recently we found out that not only are we getting a nice tax rebate but I also got a bonus which I TOTALLY didn't expect. Honestly, with layoffs and stuff, I just didn't think they'd be giving out bonuses this year. I was besides myself with joy when I my boss called me with the news though. One nice thing with both of those is that we always tithe off of each of them and we usually do something different and find some new charities (besides church) to donate. This is kind of fun cause I like the idea of helping people out and using that money we've been blessed with. Now its time for us to figure out where we want to give the money too...there are so many good organizations out there that need money!

The other fun thing is that we decided to take a big chunk of that money to finish our basement. We aren't going to put in the bathroom (yet) but we are going to have a finished bedroom and an additional den area down there. Luckily, the old owners did a LOT of the dirty work leaving us with a few smaller things to do to finish. Basically, we need to put down some carpet (the expensive part) and then paint, install a closet, and do some finishing touches. It will be nice to have the extra den so we can move the Wii and the other game systems we have down there so that if someone wants to play, they can at any time! :-) We rarely play though so we'll see if that changes very much.

A big step for us in this process (and probably the most fun step) was getting new furniture. We decided to move our current stuff downstairs and get some new stuff for the main room. This is really the first furniture that we've bought together. Almost everything else in the house was either one of ours from before our wedding or a gift at our wedding. I picked up the furniture on Saturday night and got it all set up, it looks SO nice. We decided to go with leather so our furniture is more "kid-friendly". It was tough to make a decision but we ended up settling on a couch and two recliners. The recliners are amazingly comfy, I think the couch is going to be jealous cause I don't see us using it too often! haha

I also started working on some new shelves in our storage room in the basement so we'll have a place for all our stuff in there! The first one turned out I just need to move it into the room, and secure it to the wall. Not something you can do alone! Since Meghan is visiting Beth in Missouri this weekend I had a lot of extra time so I spent most of the weekend organizing, cleaning, and building. It was quite productive but I sure do miss my girls. I am off to California in the morning for three days so I won't see them again until Thursday morning. Its going to be a rough 6-day stretch.

Monday, February 22, 2010 our hearts (The Micah Project)

Eagle Brook has a pretty amazing series, The Micah Project, going on that I think might have the power to really change the hearts and minds of the people of this church...and hopefully throughout the community. The staff has done an amazing job of giving us opportunities to open our hearts to those that are less fortunate than we are. Tonight our small group girls had the opportunity to volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, a group that puts together meals for starving children in poor countries around the world. Tomorrow (Tuesday), the guys get their turn (everyone in our group has kids so this allowed us to avoid babysitters)...I am really excited. The girls (along with the others that were at the Spring Lake Park campus put together enough meals to keep something 94 children fed for an entire year. What an amazing night of work can make such an impact! This really excites me for my chance to help.

We are quite fortunate. I think we often forget about this. God takes such good care of us...we do so little for others. I am a little ashamed of that. My heart yearns for this at times and I ignore it. Hopefully God will continue to stir my heart. I do now understand what the Bible was talking about in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34. Being married can be a real challenge to being able to freely give of yourself to God. Your priorities change...they have to as you have people depending on you which is something that is rarely the case when you are single. I wish now that I had realized how much more I could have done when I was single. I have to be careful though to not use family as a crutch to not do the things I feel God is calling me to...its a fine line!

Did I mention that I am really excited for tomorrow? We haven't been able to participate in everything the church has set up to work on our hearts. Last week they challenged us all to live for a week on a typical diet of the majority of the world (which entailed rice, beans, lentils, water, etc). Unfortunately, I was traveling most of the week and Meghan, being pregnant, really needs to watch her diet some. We, at least I, do hope to give it a try for at least a day though. I've heard it was quite challenging! Another thing that was set up for last week was the Step Into Africa experience from World Vision where you walk through a simulated AIDS ridden village in Africa. While we weren't able to participate in many of the activities this time around, it wasn't in vain as I think we can still make changes to how we do life. I hope we can raise our daughter to have a good world view and compassion toward those less fortunate. Its our job as parents to instill these kinds of values in our children...Lord willing I won't let my daughter down in this area!

Thank you EBC staff for creating an avenue for God to change our hearts!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's going on with the Rasmussen's

Well we are a little overdue on an update with what we are up to these days. Addison is now 15 months old. I remember a short time ago bringing her home from the hospital wondering what in the world we are going to do with this little tiny pooping machine. Its amazing how much changes in just 1 year and 3 months. She's walking, talking, winking, roaring, laughing, running, playing, and smiling now. She's burrowed into our hearts in a way I can't even put into words. Honestly, its hard sometimes for me to even enjoy being away from home because I might miss something funny or amusing. I remember the first time she "winked" at us. I put it in quotes because we call it winking but really its blinking. We were at the mall in Coon Rapids and we let her down from the table we were eating at. She wandered over to a table with a couple kids and one of the girls was smiling at her and winked. Addison laughed and blinked at her. It was such a precious little moment that I cherish so much. You can see some videos of our little girl here:

She's getting ready to visit her FOURTH country (not counting the one she lives in) in less than a month and it makes me think what a charmed life she's been able to have so far. I never left the country until I was old enough to vote and she's seen France, Grand Cayman, Britain, and now soon Mexico before she can even go to the bathroom on her own!! I can't help but be thankful for how fortunate we've been with all the traveling we've done in the past won't always be like this so we are enjoying it while it lasts (and while Addison can fly for basically free). God has blessed us amazingly...I can't lie there...we live a charmed life. Sure others have more, do more, its easy to focus on what we DON'T have...but what we DO have is pretty amazing.

Valentines Day is coming up, this year we are keeping it low-key again...following our past traditions. While its a fun day to remember how much we love each other, we try to not get too caught up in the whole thing. I usually buy Meghan a little something and we'll have dinner and then maybe relax by watching a movie together or something. This year, the Roelofs are coming by and we're having pizza (heart shaped of course) and renting a movie. Honestly I look forward to that as much as I do some extravagant dinner. I've learned to really enjoy the little things like that.

Our eBay business has expanded. We are no longer just a place to buy covers for your Wii Remotes. Our focus has moved more into selling clothes, books, movies, collectibles, etc. Anything around the house that we no longer use. Amazon and Craigslist have also been great places for us to unload stuff we no longer need! It started with our garage sale last summer. Our friend Rachel had a TON of nice stuff that just wasn't selling so we made an arrangement to sell it for them for a fee. Its worked out so well and we've both made a lot of money in the process. Then we moved onto our own stuff and even stuff from both of our parents. I actually enjoy it more than the our Wii Remote covers because every item that sells means a little more room in our basement and garage! We are finally getting close to fitting both cars in the garage which has truly been my goal. Once this is done, we hope to use some of this money to finish our basement and add some more value to our house. While eBay takes some time, its proven to be a great venture for us and we are thankful to our God for providing the extra revenue stream!