I counter your doubt with today’s example

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Welcome to our month long buy less plan! Read here to get caught up on what’s going on.

Day: 28

Product: When we bought our cabin we got a very, very run down place. It’s been over a year now and, as much as we love to come here as much as possible, we’ve been repairing it very, very slowly.

The countertop had this huge crack right in the middle of the sink, front and back. The sink itself sprayed water everywhere when you turned on the water.  And we’ve been living with it for over a year. We are finally getting it fixed and boy am I excited.

We’ve been looking at new countertops for awhile but now we’ve finally decided that we’ve earned the new countertop/sink.

Yesterday Mr. WW headed to one of those warehouse/flea market places for building supplies. There were huge buildings full of scraps/incorrect special orders/damaged/reclaimed goods. He found a countertop that would work with a big bubble right in the middle. Since our sink would go in the middle, that bubble doesn’t bother us a bit.

He then brought it home on a trailer borrowed from a friend. See, he and the friend took the trip together so the friend could haul some of his scrap to the dump. We supplied the vehicle, the friend supplied the trailer. Both got something they wanted out of the trip as well as spending time together.

When it arrived home our ten-year-old was keen on watching and learning how to install the whole deal.

Mr. WW pulled the sink from the shed he’d bought almost a year ago. It’s extra deep and a nice style so when he saw it for cheap at a thrift store he had picked it up.

While they where figuring out how to caulk the new sink it was the 10-year-old who had the idea to put it in then turn it over and caulk from underneath so that’s what they did. They then recruited the 7-year-old to help by moving things out of the way and the mom (me) to lift the whole shebang high enough to get it onto the counter. All in all it was very much a family affair.

Now there were some issues. There were boards that needed trimming, the faucet that came with the sink ended up being kaput, and the sink had an extra hole than what we needed. But we worked through them. The wondrously weird clan used their noggins and figured things out.

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Here’s the eldest trying to recapture the cord to the refrigerator I so flippantly tossed aside as we were placing the counter top. He had to hold the flashlight in his mouth but he got it. 

The bottom line? The counter top that normally would have been at least $150 was only $50. The sink that would have been $250 was only $8. I have no idea how much it would have cost us to pay someone to put it in for us and we got to keep that experience for free. We also kept good things from going into a landfill somewhere.

When it comes to building supplies there are tons of ways to minimize. Think outside of the box. A lot of things are made for others and they can’t use it like our counter with the bubble in the middle or the leftover tiles after a job is completes or a door that the distributor put the handle on the wrong side or a 2-year-old off-white microwave after someone decided they want their kitchen to have black appliances.

For those do-it-yourself projects your problem solving skills are already getting a much-loved workout. May as well flex that muscle a bit more and see how you can save your wallet some money as well.

Reason to buy less: It’s hard to focus on small quiet things when a house full of clutter looms large.

Suggestion: I don’t know if I’ve made this clear yet: a manufacture’s job is to make as much profit as they possibly can. Everything they do, EVERYTHING, is with the point of making more money.

You can’t blame them, that’s their job. Just remember that that’s their job.

They don’t have sales or deals to help you out. If they can convince you to buy something of theirs it is for their profit, not for your benefit.

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How did we get here? Part 2

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This is part 2 of a series. Find the first and second parts here and here (yeah I see I can’t count, you’ll see why when you visit those posts.) It is highly recommended that you read those parts first so you understand what’s up here.

The situation

After an encouraging time of exponential growth in his career, Mr. WW found that the plant that responsible for the growth was shutting down. We lived in Michigan and this was a plant that made auto parts and the automotive industry was in crisis. Remember that? If you live in Michigan you do. It crippled the entire state for a while.

It was not as discouraging a situation to us as it was to many of the other employees. Thankfully Mr. WW had good relationships with his superiors and had received many glowing letters of recommendation.

Not only is he great at many things, he is also confident and extremly handsome even when dressing goofy. When dared to out like this-- he did!

Not only is he great at many things, he is also confident and extremly handsome even when dressing goofy. When dared to out like this, he did– including steel toe work boots!

Yay! We have good options and this one is great for us!

His potential was further encouraged by the fact that the company was going to take a handful of employees on at their corporate office. We were not against moving the four hours south for such a job and we were told by both the plant manager and the HR rep that they had listed Mr. WW in the top of their recommendation list.

When the first person who went in for the interview for this job, he walked out of the meeting room with a big grin. The news quickly spread that the new plant was offering positions with much higher pay rates.

We waited expectantly for Mr. WW’s interview and were excited at the opportunity for the change as Mr. WW saw one after another the people coming from their interviews smiling.

But then the flow of people stopped. He curiously went to HR and asked if his interview would be soon. The response was not encouraging. “Um, yeah. I guess we can do that.” The interview itself was even more discouraging. The people interviewing for the new plant were totally disengaged. The interview was over with, “I’ll let you know” but sadly we had a good guess at what the outcome would be.

We found out later that the corporate office plant had strictly chosen the five with the most seniority and did not consider anything else. Mr. WW would not be asked to work for the corporate office plant.

That's cold corporate. Cold.

That’s cold corporate. Cold.

We have good options and something will come through!

Thankfully we had many other irons in the fire. Unfortunately there were not any jobs closer to us but the world was our oyster. Mr. WW used our newly acquired internet connection to our benefit and we carefully filled out applications and sent resumes waited to see where we would be accepted.

But we weren’t. One by one, even after promising phone interviews, we were not chosen. Time moved on and it came closer and closer to the final door closing date.

We can do this, maybe? Or no. Let’s go with no.

We had one other option. It made the LEAST sense. Many other people were jumping on this option because it was a good deal but it scared us. Due to some political moves that had been made, employees displaced by the plant closing could choose to get a paid two year degree and extended unemployment benefits for those two years.

It was not a good deal for Mr. WW because he did not have a good track record with school. It was bad enough that memories of school were full of bullies, there were also some serious shortcomings in the grades department.  He NEVER did well in school. Most of the years were spent in a special education class and he still struggled. Then after 6th grade he was supposed to do his learning at home but he made very little progress.

Going back to school was not something he wanted to do. He hadn’t been in a classroom environment in 10 years and when he was he was not good at it.

But we had little choice. I reassured him that I would help him with homework. I pointed out that we at least needed to try. That, although each phone interview went well, he obviously needed a little push to make him a more desirable employee.

“No, no, no!”… I guess “yes” it is?

So he headed to the community college and stood in line for a few hours with our two year old to register. Since it was a community college they did provide a basic test that showed he would have to take some remedial classes first, but he was signed up for the CAD/CAM program. So when the day came, he put on his backpack with his highlighters and #2 pencils and headed out for the hour and ten minute drive to the closest college.

What happened the next two years was jaw dropping.

For all except some basic re-typing, Mr. WW refused my help. He translated that drive and passion to school and he took it very seriously. He NEEDED to do it all himself and somehow he kept coming home with A’s. A papers turned into A tests, A tests let to A midterms and A finals and all of that turned into A final grades. He took hard classes and he aced them. Not only did he get his Associates in Applied Science he also got a certificate in manufacturing technology and another in advanced CAD/CAM and he even made huge strides toward becoming certified in welding as well. When all was said and done, his GPA was 3.98, he graduated the top of his class, was voted as most likely to succeed, and was respected by instructors and students alike.

It was an amazing thing to witness.

I shamefully admit that even I, his wife, never expected that outcome.

Not surprisingly, Mr. WW was a much more desirable candidate after the schooling. In less than a week out of college, Mr. WW had a job.

So what does it all mean?

So what’s the moral of this story? Probably something clichéy like, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” The interesting thing is that everyone who meets Mr. WW notices that he is special. But we had a hard time seeing it when it came to education. I told you that he was not good in (or even IN) regular school much of the time. As a kid he was perceived as dumb by many. Even now he still has terrible spelling.

In fact, how much did those years of school really help his value as an employee? Mr. WW did learn a lot during his college years but he didn’t learn much that he has used that he couldn’t have easily learned on the job later on. The more and more we see of the traditional education path the more we’re learning to doubt it.

If one of those hiring managers had given him a chance two years earlier without the degree, they could have had a good employee that much earlier. (Interestingly, this is what the last job had done, did you read part one yet?)

How about this: Mr. WW didn’t even stay at that job long. (That’s another great story but for another day.) When he moved on he became an engineer.

Signing the job offer-- yes, please company!

Signing the job offer– yes, please company!

He is an applications engineer and his job is to go to companies and, knowing the product inside and out, train employees how to use the machines to their company’s highest benefit. He now walks into many factories in North America and is immediately respected as the most knowledgeable guy for the process and efficiency of whatever they’re building.

This guy that they respect and trust with their company’s manufacturing power went from a 6th grade education level to engineer in just four years. Let that sink in.

This should be encouraging to everyone. Your potential is not as limited as you would think. (I crossed it out simply because it’s so important that I wanted you to go back and process it again. See, while you were wondering why it was crossed out, I tricked you to read it again. Gotcha! Here it is yet again: your potential is not as limited as you would think.)

We are currently finding this especially encouraging to us. Our son is a sweet kid with a kind heart and a desire to learn… and a learning process that is quite difficult. We often find ourselves getting discouraged by poor grades, by spelling tests that are failed, and handwriting that is often totally incomprehensible.

But then we sit back and realize that these are the same things that Mr. WW struggled with when he went to grade school.

He thought he was dumb back them.

Our son has an amazing amount of potential.

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Also interesting to note: Apparently all 5 of the guys who were accepted by the corporate office were let go within a year and found themselves back in the unemployement line– but without the benefit option of the schooling. I don’t know what was up with that company but I like to think that they’re just stupid. Yep, who’s the dumb one now? ; )

How did we get here? Part 1b

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It may surprise some people to know that we were NOT sitting so pretty a decade ago.

Our introductory post lists some things that make us wondrously weird; but those things were not just handed to us. We have some built in characteristics that have helped us. We have had some desires and thoughts that have worked for us. We’ve kept a Biblical view of our lives which has helped us a lot. We still had to go through a lot to get here.

Ten years ago we were two years into our marriage and still working out the kinks. We did know that we wanted to follow Biblical principals; and that meant that the responsibility for the family fell to Mr. Wondrously Weird and that the support of Mr. Wondrously Weird fell to Mrs. Wondrously Weird… me.

The Woman

I was 22 at the time and doing my best to be a supportive wife. I cleaned the house and did the laundry and made sure the house was stocked with edible things (even if I didn’t cook very well that that point.) Our budget had gotten pretty fancy. I had really learned to love Excel and had a spreadsheet that doubled as both registers for the accounts as well as a budget.

While Mr. WW worked second shift at a factory, I worked at the Credit Union helping others to dig out of debt by providing more debt. We rarely saw each other. I would sleep on the couch until Mr. WW got home from work but then we’d head to bed and I be up and gone in the morning before he ever woke up. But things wouldn’t be lasting that way for long.

Once you’ve been together two years, there’s lots of pressure from all around to have kids. And everyone knows the traditional family way: once you have kids the mom stays at home with them.

So I was working at socking away as much money as I could, while I could.

The situation

We had decided that we would try to have kids three years in. We had it carefully planned. At two years and 11 months my body had its own plan and got pregnant early. I got to tell Mr. WW that I was expecting the very day he had been rehearsing at work what to say to me to convince me that we should wait longer.

Those next few years were some of the craziest.

Mr. WW decided to start a huge remodeling project (since apparently a three bedroom home wasn’t big enough to house three people.)

He also, in an amazing feat of trust and perseverance, changed jobs to one that was more sustainable for raising a family. (If you haven’t read How did we get here Part 1—the first version—you really must. It’s Mr. WW’s version of events. It’s amazing.)

And I just practiced my “yes, dear”’s. Nothing made sense while we were going through it but I knew that my job was to be supportive and to grow a baby. So that’s what I did.

Don't I look SOOO happy?! Nothing says confidence like posting bad pictures of yourself on your blog for the whole world to see.

Don’t I look SOOO happy?! Nothing says confidence like posting bad pictures of yourself on your blog for the whole world to see.

The truth

I was getting ready to adjust to being a mother and a stay at home one at that. I don’t think I fully realized how hard things would be.

Sure, I knew that taking care of the baby would be hard work but I had no clue how hard it would be to be at home all day and not have the purpose that paid work gives you. No challenging mental tasks. No paycheck. No friends. No anywhere else but home.

Mr. WW was often working 16 hour days. I was home with the baby and (supposed to be) loving it.

You and me both brother, I mean, son.

You and me both brother, I mean, son.

But the baby had colic and on top of it he didn’t even like to be held. He screamed and screamed and I felt like a total failure. Mr. WW had seemed to figure out the path that he was supposed to be on and was making great strides and I was treading water like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic.

Let that sink in. (Bah-dum-bum. Wow, am I hilarious.)

So I took on a job. It wasn’t much, just a few nights a week I made pizzas and subs at the local deli.

It was quite opposite of my husband. I wasn’t driven. I was just bored and did what I was told. My truth was not so amazing as having a drive and a passion. I found purpose in faithfulness and reliability.

You see, I remained faithful and reliable to Mr. WW and his purpose. I did my best to not complain about his schedule. I asked him nightly about work and was genuinely interested in his stories.

I remained faithful and reliable to our son. If he needed something, I was there. I learned how to wait out the crying spells. I learned how to rock him while touching him as little as possible. Sure he smiled and laughed at the dog and at his toys, but not at me; but no matter how discouraging things were, I was there.

06-8-19Andrew and Spike cropped

I did the same at work. Was it a huge job? No. But I did it. I always made sure I went to work when scheduled and always went in if they were short when I could. And I didn’t do it for the paycheck. I didn’t do it because I was afraid that I’d lose my job if I didn’t. I just did it and did it as well as I could because I said I would.

It’s not all that sexy, does not seem all that amazing, but there are benefits. Let me tell you. Those benefits came in handy soon enough.

The change

Two years in Mr. WW discovered that his plant was closing. It was a huge problem and change for us (seriously, if you haven’t read the first part yet, you really should.)

All of the sudden it looked like I would be providing the sole income for the family. It’s not possible to support a family on a deli girl’s 2 day a week paycheck.

But don’t forget: we skipped two years there.

You see, after the first year of simply being faithful reliable I was asked if I could manage the deli. Then, after the second year I was asked if I could manage the finances of both the deli and the convenience store.

When the time came, I could easily work full time hours. In fact, my hours had already been bumped up with hours from work that I brought home.

I brought my work home because I did not stop doing everything I could to be reliable and faithful to our son. I was home as often as I could be even though I had a son that clearly was not all that interested in me anyway.

This picture was taken in front of my workplace. A huge group of riders was passing through and I was able to take our son to enjoy the horses.

This picture was taken in front of my workplace. A huge group of riders was passing through and I was able to take our son to enjoy the horses.

But I so clearly remember the day it happened. He was about 18 months old and we were building with blocks. I had been used to giving him space. I stayed on the outside and built towers on my own that he would come and knock down when he was ready. I was stacking blocks when all the sudden he came up behind me and gave me a hug.

It was quick. It returned to normal in a flash. But I will never forget the day my eldest finally decided to trust me with his love.

07-6-21 Mom and Andrew at home

And here was Mr. WW in a time of major transition. He had learned what it was like to use drive and passion to move forward but now there was nowhere forward to move on the current track. It had run out. The brakes had to be thrown and it was time to re-evaluate.

So I did what I always did. I supported him faithfully and reliably. I would not freak out. I would not demand that he go out there and do anything he wasn’t ready to do. So I sat and trusted him to make the right decision all the while letting him know in all the little ways I could that I would be behind the decision faithfully.

Was a scared? (Of course.) Did I think that it was possible that Mr. WW could make the wrong decision with what was really best for our lives? (It was 80% likely he’d make the wrong decision.) But no matter my feelings, I used my learned truth and just supported. He could do whatever he felt we needed to do and I would faithfully and reliably raise our son, work, and squeeze every last penny out of our budget with no complaints.

When it looked like college would be our only option (it takes out the possibility of making the wrong decision if there is only one option) I reassured him. I’d help. He would be fine and I would help him in any way I could.

We had both learned a lot along the way to get here and we were ready; but it looked like the next few years were going to be the scariest ones yet.

To be continued…

And it was continued here.

*Let it be known that our eldest son is now THE MOST touchy-feely “let-it-be-known,-I-love-you” boy I have ever known. He tells me he loves me at least twice a day. I know if he comes into the room because when he does he is rubbing my back. I have no clue what happened but that boy shows love, let me tell you. Interestingly he does not like anyone else to touch him (even a hand on a shoulder from a teacher is weird for him) but with me he no longer shies away from affection. In fact I have to bump up my natural affection levels just to keep up with him!

How did we get here? Part 1

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I may surprise some people to know that we were NOT sitting so pretty a decade ago.

Our introductory post lists some things that make us wondrously weird; but those things were not just handed to us. We have some built in characteristics that have helped us. We have had some desires and thoughts that have worked for us. We’ve kept a Biblical view of our lives which has helped us a lot. We still had to go through a lot to get here.

Ten years ago we were two years into our marriage and still working out the kinks. We did know that we wanted to follow Biblical principals; and that meant that the responsibility for the family fell to Mr. Wondrously Weird.

The man

Mr. WW is a super handsome man with a beautiful tone deaf voice*, a confident presence, and a crazy amazing work ethic like no other… if I do say so myself. ; )

Bending over

He knows how to work!

*I found out later that as Mr. WW was reading this portion of my post he was singing along to my guitar playing. He got a little self-conscious… and then moved on thank goodness! I love when he sings!

Mr. WW worked second shift at a factory doing boring physical labor. (While I worked at the Credit Union helping others to dig out of debt by providing more debt. *sigh*) We rarely saw each other and, being together two years, we were getting the pressure from all around to have kids.

The situation

We had decided that we would try to have kids three years in. We had it carefully planned. At two years and 11 months my body had its own plan and got pregnant early. I got to tell Mr. WW that I was expecting the very day he had been rehearsing at work what to say to me to convince me that we should wait longer.

Those next nine months were some of the craziest months because it brought a few things to light.

Mr. WW decided that a three bedroom home wasn’t big enough to house three people. He tore apart the front of the house to make for ourselves another bedroom.

Demolishing the porch 6-15-04

This was obviously a testosterone driven desire to adequately house the family; but there was also the manly desire to adequately provide everything else for the family. It’s a good thing, but in our situation it left Mr. WW reeling.

You see, his job was one of the best paid jobs he could ever hope to have—and it was killing his body. The repetition of the job that he was doing wears out the wrists. It had gotten to the point where it hurt for him to drive his stick shift car (in his early twenties!) Whenever he used his hands to work on the house his wrists screamed in pain. A scream that said, “this is not a sustainable way of life.”

And we had a baby on the way.

I begged him to quit and get a job in fast food if that was what it would take. We’d live on love or some such nonsense. Let me tell you again: Mr. WW is one of the most devoted and hard-working men you will ever meet. He does NOT let up. When he is struggling to tie his shoes without crying in pain, you will say anything to make it stop.

So, in the midst of a tumultuous time of life, Mr. WW did the unthinkable. He applied for any job that he could that met two criteria, #1 It didn’t hurt his wrists, #2 It paid at least as much as what he was already making.

Why is this unthinkable? I already told you. He was already making as much as he could ever hope to make.

You see, Mr. WW didn’t even graduate high school. He had a homeschooling diploma but he had never done any schoolwork that surpassed about 7th grade. Also working against him was the fact that he could not spell. He could read adequately enough but if he ever had to put anything on paper it would immediately give away his lack of education. And we could not afford for him to go back to school for however long to get him caught up. We needed an income.

So in this situation it seemed that he was eternally destined to work a job that caused debilitating pain.

But he applied. He applied for jobs that required more seniority (Remember: small town. Most all of the jobs that paid anything decent where tied up in the area factory.) He applied for jobs that required college degrees. He applied for jobs that were way beyond what he was doing. And we prayed.

A job in maintenance, his best shot, was given to someone with less seniority than he had. Another job didn’t even bother calling Mr. WW for an interview. The job in CNC programming that was most unlikely because it required an associate’s degree and more seniority, led to an interview with a guy with one raised eyebrow. Later, we were to find out that that guy conducting the interview said that he put his job on the line in order to hire Mr. WW. But he did hire Mr. WW, with a short leash, and we were ecstatic and terrified at this opportunity.

It was then that our eyes were opened to an open but somehow hidden truth: Your life is not dependent on your circumstances. It is dependent on your drive and passion.

The truth

That situation revealed it for us. Suddenly NOTHING was out of reach. Mr. WW had that drive and passion. He struggled and worried the first few weeks. He would come home not knowing if he could ever adequately do the job but he’d go back to work the next day and try some more. Day after day. Push forward after push forward.

Then one day it didn’t seem so hard anymore. But is that the end of the story? NO! Because Mr. WW had learned that truth and he still had more drive and passion. He started learning about the next machine. Not because his boss said to. Not because it got him more money at the end of the week. He just had the drive and passion to do better.

And it didn’t stop with just work things either. There was a man who worked at this shop that was deaf. The people who worked with him naturally kept interactions with him to a minimal because it was difficult to communicate. Not Mr. WW.

I still can’t figure out to this day how that friendship worked. Mr. WW couldn’t sign and this man couldn’t speak or read lips– and neither man could spell!

But they became good friends with their odd form of charades and slips of paper not decipherable by any other human being. Although I knew some sign language and could spell, if this man ever came to the house I was dependent on Mr. WW to translate for me. Odd stuff right there.

This friendship led to Mr. WW as the obvious choice to learn his friend’s machine and be back-up for vacations and sick days. One after the other Mr. WW worked his way around the shop learning anything he could learn in the CNC business.

The next obvious choice should not have been a surprise but it was to us. The plant manager came up to him with a wink and a smile, “Keep an eye on the job posting board and apply for whatever you see there.”

In a few days a posting appeared looking for a floor supervisor. We were excited. This position came with a pay raise and was a perfect fit.

Mr. WW brought a copy of the posting home so I could help him put together a good resume and cover letter. Imagine his surprise when he went back to work to find the posting removed when all job postings were to be up for 7 days.

He went to the plant manager. “Sorry, no job openings right now. I can’t talk about it.”

We waited. No job postings. We waited some more. There was one posting: Mandatory plant-wide meeting.

The change

Mr. WW purposefully positioned himself in the back of the room during that meeting. He looked over the faces of his co-workers. Grown men were crying. This job was more than they could ask for too. But when a plant closes too many people are unemployed to have much hope. Plus, where else was there to go anyway in this small town?

All middle management positions were immediately done. (For example, if someone was the floor supervisor, he would no longer have a job.) The rest of the positions would work for about a year and then the doors would close for good.

There were so many emotions for the WW household. We were scared. We were confused. We were okay. It had been less than 2 years since our lesson. We hadn’t forgotten. Our life was not dependent on these circumstances, no matter how grim. We’d be fine. We had no idea what we’d do, but we’d be fine.

There were options.

  • #1 Go back to original plant that killed the wrists (um, no.)
  • #2 Take another different job in town (most likely would pay much less and I couldn’t stay home with our son.)
  • #3 Be picked by corporate to move downstate and work at the company’s main plant. (It meant moving but was a good job and Mr. WW was told by several people in management that when they were asked who should be taken, Mr. WW was high on the recommendation list.)
  • #4 Find a job elsewhere (also required moving as well as a whole new company.)
  • #5 Use the period of unemployment to go to college (um, have you been following along? How would college work if you’ve never been to high school?)

We prayed hard. Mr. WW prayed that God would shut the doors that He didn’t want us to pursue. That’s when things got even scarier. Opportunities seemed to evaporate before our eyes. Promising interviews called to cancel. No one from the corporate office ever even bothered to take a second look at Mr. WW. No matter the recommendations, they simply took the handful of people with the most seniority.

As the time eked closer and closer to the spigot being turned off for good with were left with one option—college.

A government program allowed those affected by the plant closing to get a two year degree with extended unemployment benefits. If no jobs became available, it appeared that we would be led down this very new and terrifyingly foreign option.

To be continued…

…And continued it was! Find my version of the above story here and the next part of Mr. WW’s story here.

Why Wondrously Weird?

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So, why Wondrously Weird? Well, because this way I will finally force myself to spell weird correctly every time.

Or maybe a better answer is…

When I was young, I got a ride home from a friend I hadn’t seen since we were kids. I invited him in to show him my apartment and we caught up for awhile. When he went to leave he told me it was nice to talk and then… “You’re weird.” To which I replied, “You’re weird too.” We’ve now been married almost a dozen years.

And we are still weird. Of course we’re normal in a lot of ways. I get too frustrated with my kids too often, we always seem to have a ridiculous amount of unmatched socks, we love tacos, but we’ve found that we’re weird in other ways:

  • We are weird because we’ve never had installment loan debt, credit card debt, school loan debt and by 33 we own 3 houses free and clear (with thoroughly, and I mean thoroughly, mediocre paychecks.) We are financially funky.
  • We are weird because I can count on one hand how many temper tantrums our oldest kid ever had. We have some kooky kids.
  • We are weird because we try to base our life on the Bible alone. We love and learn from lots of Christian teachers but we refuse to follow anything just because anyone else is doing it. In fact, we’ve made the decision for our family that we don’t celebrate Christmas anymore. We’re spiritually set apart.
  • We are weird because our marriage comes even before our kids. Because we thoroughly enjoy each other and have stuck it out even when times were very, very hard. We’re still growing and changing every day, learning along the way. We have an eccentric espousal.

Oftentimes people have commented on our everyday weirdness. We do things like:

Bicycle for commuting purposes (snow and ice doesn’t even slow us down.)

Plan dinner menus for a month at a time

Attempt to repair or remodel anything, even if we have no clue how to do it when we start out

Garden and can the produce

Not use a dryer

…and none of us has any desire to ever go to Disney Land.

Those things seem odd in today’s day and age but nothing is crazy or hard. In fact we’d choose to do it no other way. These things just make up who we are. Hopefully I can share with you a little of my weird way of thinking and you can be inspired because I truly believe that those little, everyday weird actions are what have produced the big results listed above. We have nothing spectacular. No special or secret trick. We are simple and basic and average. We just use the little we have to be wondrously weird.