Month: December 2008

  • Merry Christmas! [and a few other tidbits]


    All is quiet tonight… The whirlwind that we’ve been living in the past few weeks has ended. At least for a few days. Or is it minutes?? I have so been enjoying the several days at home. They are  busy days at home, but at least I’m able to be at home!

    A run-down of the past 1.5 months:

    ~ 3 – 12 hour one way road trips (24 hours round trip each) in the month of November. Need I say that with work being slow and unexpected trips, our budget is suffering??

    ~ being able to see my sister, Claudia, star as Anne in Anne of Green Gables!! She was simply fabulous. I couldn’t have been more proud!!

    (I was there all three nights, and I sat so enraptured the entire time that  this is the only picture I have of Anne and Gilbert. It was a posed picture after the show…)

    ~ realizing (not very happily) that because Ben is on the School Board, I am on the School Board Ladies Food Committee by default – thus resulting in 4 days in one week involving schoolfood/decor one way or another. And I thought I was going to have a slow week…

    ~ being youth leaders, and planning a Progressive Christmas Banquet for the youth

    ~ having a Cookie Baking Day with Linda - just for fun!


    In Linda’s new kitchen! She made all the adorable cute cookies you’ll see below, while I just made some of the usual! :)





    ~ seeing friends in Ohio I hardly ever get to see while Ben went deer hunting: Dora, Janelle, Shirleen, Carmen, Bethany… ‘Twas ever so lovely. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of everyone in that grand week… Oh, and there was snow!

    The four of us were at Bible School together, and at least a few of us have gotten together every year since! I love these dear ladies…

    and we went to this amazing coffee shop in Sugarcreek…

    and just to show that we saw snow! [man, I really sound like we never get out]

    ~ returning to the south, and to 80 degree weather. I adore cold winters with snow that comes in blizzards, so it’s quite an effort for me not to be grouchy with this summer-like weather.

    ~ decorating for Christmas. buying a Christmas tree only to cut it to pieces to use for wreaths and greenery around the house. at least it *smells* like Christmas inside even if it’s 80 degrees outside. I decorated with a little more rustic touch this year instead of the more traditional that I usually do…

    just a few pictures to give you a glimpse of our home…

    the desk, which sits off to the side of the living room.


    the rest of the living room


    the nativity set we found last year after Christmas


    the sled with some of the old trunks I seem to collect


    and mistletoe with boxwood, of course!



    on the piano, looking into the dining room




    in the kitchen



    in the dining room


    ~ running after my 16-month old daughter, whose delight these days is throwing anything and everything in either the trash can or the toilet. Shoes, her bunny blanket, my prized vintage Fisher Price toys… I literally have to dig through the trash can by hand before I throw it into the dumpster! And many a treasure I have rescued doing so.  It’s well worth the effort, I’d say.  Oh, and she likes to spill bright red candle wax on brand new carpet [not my own; my friend's brand new house!!] and her white linen dress… I have literally been carrying a “husich lefle” [spanking tool, for those who need  German interpretation!] around with me the past week because she has been so naughty! Today was the first day where only two spankings were needed, and I felt like I was on vacation!

    ~receiving countless joys from the same 16-month old daughter, who is so affectionate and comes up to me many times a day just to give me “tiiiiiiigggght hugs.” She started saying “I love you” as she squeezes too… We’ve started getting the giggles together before bedtime, often while I’m rocking her and singing to her, and sometimes we can’t stop because we just get each other giggling so hard! I can’t help but be in love with her!

    [just had to grab this picture - Zoe' heard Daddy talking on the phone, so she had to find a phone and go join him!]


    ~ reaching 20 weeks with this pregnancy, and I’m so excited because I finally have a Baby Bump! I haven’t been sick one day this pregnancy, for which I am so so thankful. I’ve heard so many horror stories of other pregnant women… The only time I get queasy is when I brush my teeth, and I am an avid tooth-brusher. But thankfully, if I need to, well, throw up, at least I’m right there by the sink and don’t have to make a run for it. And I come away with no one knowing that is the worst part of my day. I have been incredibly fatigued this pregnancy though… Sometimes I wish I would be sick so I’d have an excuse to sleep all day and night, like I want to! Or have an excuse to cut back on some of the activities… I’ve tried resting during the day, but the one day I attempted lying on the couch with my eyes closed, Zoe’ came up and bonked me on the head sooo hard with the cordless home phone that I couldn’t do anything but lay there and cry.  I had no idea a one year old could hit that hard. And that was the end of resting on the couch while she is awake.

    ~ and now, we’re looking forward to another long road trip to spend [a white??] Christmas with my family!

    I’m so thankful this year for a God who became as one of us, to bring compassion, healing, and forgiveness to my life… He is a God not only who knows our joys, but who also carries our burdens and  cares for us so deeply! What a Precious Lord we have!

    Merry Christmas to one and all!




  • Always learning…


    …about life, about God, about relationships…

    It seems like there are times in life when I think I know something about a particular subject, or character quality. I usually think those thoughts at times when life is going as smooth as can be, no bumps in the road. But hand me a painful situation and I realize I am in kindergarten when it comes to knowing about how to respond.

    There have been some difficult situations in my life the past little while, and the following writing has spoken to me and ministered to me. When I read it several years ago, I didn’t agree and it made me mad. Now I read it again and something in my heart knows the Truth that is spoken in it. I am greatly comforted by the realization that Jesus has been through whatever pain I am experiencing, to a much greater degree than I have, and understands me and my heart. There is something so healing about knowing that He can relate…

    So without any further comment, I simply type the words that were written by Mr. John Collinson.


    “Sometimes it is asked what we mean by brokenness. Brokenness is not easy to define but can be clearly seen in the reactions of Jesus, especially as He approached the cross and in His crucifixion. I think it can be applied personally in this way:

    WHEN to do the will of God means that even my Christian brethren will not understand, and I remember that “Neither did His brethren believe in Him” (John 7:5), and I bow my head to obey and accept the misunderstanding, THIS IS BROKENNESS.

    WHEN I am misrepresented or deliberately misinterpreted, and I remember that Jesus was falsely accused but He “held His peace,” and I bow my head to accept the accusation without trying to justify myself, THIS IS BORKENNESS.

    WHEN another is preferred before me and I am deliberately passed over, and I remember that they cried, “Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas” (Luke 23:18), and I bow my  head and accept rejection, THIS IS BROKENNESS.

    WHEN my plans are brushed aside and I see the work of years brought to ruins by the ambitions of others and I remember that Jesus allowed them to lead Him away to crucify Him (Matthew 27:31) and He accepted that place of failure, and I bow my head and accept the injustice without bitterness, THIS IS BROKENNESS.

    WHEN in order to be right with God it is necessary to take the humbling path of confession and restitution, and I remember that Jesus “made Himself of no reputation” and “humbled Himself… unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:8), and I bow my head and am ready to accept the shame of exposure, THIS IS BROKENNESS.

    WHEN others take unfair advantage of my being a Christian and treat my belongings as public property, and I remember “they stripped Him… and parted His garments, casting lots” (Matt. 27:28, 35), and I bow my head and accept “joyfully the spoiling of my goods” for His sake, THIS IS BROKENNESS.

    WHEN one acts toward me in an unforgivable way, and I remember that when He was crucified Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), and I bow my head and accept any behavior towards me as permitted by my loving Father, THIS IS BROKENNESS.

    WHEN people expect the impossible of me and more than time or human strength can give, and I remember that Jesus said, “This is My body which is given for you…” (Luke 22:19), and I repent of my self-indulgence and lack of self-giving for others, THIS IS BROKENNESS.”