Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas RUSH

It's not Christmas yet, and already we have celebrated it twice.

I'm not complaining, they were wonderful celebrations with precious family members. I'm looking forward to putting pictures up.

Why I am writing is more for my own focus then anything else. I'm getting all caught up on making sure the presents are wrapped, the girls presentable, me functioning. I've taking little to no time to focus on the true meaning.


It has helped to read the Christmas story to Karis every night. My mom gave us this wonderful

book that has flaps that open and tells the story in a clear, concise manner a four year old loves.

I've read it, almost every night since Thanksgiving.

I've read but not contemplated.

I've read but not listened.

I've read and yelled at Karis not to rip the flaps. Yep, true spirit of Christmas there.

I've rushed through the most amazing story in history because I'm tired, or coughing, or hurting, or impatient, or have presents to wrap.

I'm determined to not rush through the story tonight.

I want to savor the events so long ago.

I want to feel the sacrifice Christ made leaving everything to be born in a manger.

I don't want it to be old hat, something that gets lost behind the hustle and bustle. Though I want to enjoy the hustle and bustle because it means family and friends. Which I love.

I want Him to know that I appreciate the sacrifice He made for me, leaving His home that I'm sure makes our gazillionairs homes look like rubbish, and going through the agony of the Cross for me and everyone else on this planet.

I speak only for myself when I say I can be an ungrateful little pipsqueak.

So this Christmas I say "Thank you Jesus for loving me, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here's to Humble Pie!

A couple of thoughts have been going through my head today.

First, I'm feeling better.

Not in superb health, but good enough to function.

That is what I ask for this Christmas.

Well, if I could get rid of the cough, my remaining symptom, that would be even better, but still, I'm content. I can sit and listen, smile, observe, and enjoy life. I'm not a huge talker, anyway, so the loss isn't as great as it could be for some of you out there. ;-)

It is teaching me to sympathize with those who are mute all the time. At least I can talk, I just have to be ready to hack at the end of it.

The other thought that is going through my head is what caused my title of humble pie.

Many summers ago(makes me sound slightly Native American, doesn't it?) I spent some time in Europe.

Part of that time was spent in Sweden. I remember distinctly visiting a lady with three little kids.

I look at having three little kids ALOT differently now than I did in my early, kick up your heels and do whatever you very well please, twenties.

Through my eyes I saw a tired looking mom, not very stylish, a kitchen piled high with dishes.

I had never seen plates stacked so high, really.

And then I went to use the bathroom.

I turned up my nose in disgust. I don't remember it being particularly dirty, but what I do remember was about five used diapers just scattered on the floor.

That image stuck with me.

I swore I would never have used diapers lying around.

You know what was on my bathroom floor this morning?


A used diaper.

It hadn't even been folded up and sealed.

Just left where Gabi discarded it before her bath the night before. I hate to admit it, but this wasn't the first time, either.

You know what I thought of?

Yes, that poor mom in Sweden.

Well, and the fact that Gabi's changing table has had more than five used diapers piled up waiting to be put in the garbage. Never stinky ones, mind you. I am very dedicated about putting those in the garage right away. Besides the couple of times I get distracted, but my nose doesn't let that last very long. One of the advantages to a smaller house. :-)

It's taken a few years, and I'm sure there is much more learning to do, but you had better believe I would never turn up my little judgmental nose at that poor, overworked mother today.

I think I'd ask if I could do her dishes for her.

Take the kids out to play.

Wonder if she has had much encouragement lately, or how she is feeling.

But never, never would I judge. :-) Well, I'd try not to. I have this nasty little thing inside of me called the sin nature that tends to creep up and get the better of me.

God has a way of teaching us what He needs to. Like before I moved into this house and saw the little dust lines along the walls.

I remember righteously telling a friend that I would never let that little space between the carpet and the wall, the ones the vacuum can never quite get, fill up with dust.


Can I laugh in my self righteous little face?

The previous owners little dust lines make mine look like a California mud slide.

See, humble pie.

I'm sure God has many more slices yet to feed me.

I'm also sure that He is making a better person out of me for the eating of them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My girls are playing contentedly on and around our downstairs sectional.

I'm having one of those, "aw... they are so cute" moments.

I'm also having one of those, "I wish I would have listened to my mom when I bought the couch before I was married.

She hesitated when I said it was white.

But no, I loved it, had to have it. Surly moms aren't still always right when you have grown up and are about to be married.

It's uncanny.

They are.

Always right, that is, but don't tell her I said so.

That is why the microfiber I had upstairs is now leather, as she predicted I would like better.

And why I know I will probably get darker furniture down here when I eventually replace this, if it ever happens.

It is also why I hated the vinyl floor I put in. "Yes, Mom, you were right, it was too light, it showed everything."

It might be why I love my wood floor, she said it would be great.

I know.

She was right. :-)

It's why when I look at my hair now, and back at it when it was shorter, I realized that in this, too, she knew. It's looks better long.

I could probably make this a mile long, but needless to say, I'm learning to listen a little more.

I wasn't planning on making this an Ode to my mother, but mom's have a way of creeping up into your life, even when they aren't there. I wonder if my girls are going to have one of these moments in the future.

I hope so.

It will do wonders for my self-esteem.

It's rather disheartening to be wrong so often. :-)

I also wonder if now I have a little bit of this secret "mom power"?

Does it come all at once or does it grow little by little?

Thanks Mom for continuing to tell me what is good for me, even when I don't always listen.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A little better....

The pain is pretty much gone, praise the LORD. Now if it will just stay away until at least after Christmas.

I'm having a slight problem with insomnia. I had this same thing after Karis was born, and I'm not exactly sure what causes it. Last night was better, but still not great. At least I got more than 2 hours of sleep, which was a blessing.

On the other hand the pain and lack of sleep has had it's benefits. :-) A lack of appetite does have a way of shrinking ones size. :-) Those stubborn last pounds are slowly coming off. Now if I can just keep it that way.

Last night my sisters and I, plus a friend, had the privilege of playing some background music for our church plants Christmas party. It was so fun to see how they have gone from a few people to an autonomous body of believers in the last five years. God has done great things.

Our second church plant has been a special blessing to Dustin and I. One of his highschool friends met up with the pastor of the plant while playing basketball and started attending services. Dustin has witnessed to him over the years so was thrilled when he walked into Verizon last week and the first words out of his mouth were "I got saved last week." Makes me tear up even now as I think of how God works. One waters and another reaps. :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

I broke down...

and made an appointment at Mayo Clinic this morning.

I'm just tired. I'm tired of feeling great for a month then having a couple of days, like today, where I want to jump in a tub of pain medication just to be able to sleep and move like a normal human being.

I hate hearing my four year old say,

"It's ok mommy, I'll take care of you because that is what big girls do."

She shouldn't have to ever even think that. She shouldn't hear an anti smoking commercial on the radio talking about the dangers of smoking for your lungs and turn to me saying, "That's what wrong with your lung, mommy, you've been smoking." It worries her more than I know...

She shouldn't have to eat a frozen pizza at ten thirty in the morning because that is all I have the energy to scrape together...

It is effecting their lives more than I realize.

So... the 29th is the day for my next appointment. I almost got one for Monday, but wasn't quite fast enough getting my records together. A half an hour is a long time up there, I guess. :-)

Pray for me.

Hopefully the pain will go away like it always does, but I'm feeling like a little complaining wimp right now who just wants it all to go away and be better NOW, not later.

So once again pray for me. Pray that the Dr. will either have a new alternative or agree that surgery is the best option. Pray that we will have a peace about the decision. Pray that it will indeed take care of the problem and not just create new ones. Pray that I feel ok for Christmas... So much to do, so may presents yet to get, so little energy or motivation on my part. And Karis is so looking forward to Christmas this year.

Thank you for letting me share this, and thanks for caring...

Friday, December 4, 2009

No quiet time, yet...

As I'm typing this, thinking I should have done my devotions, I'm listening to Steve Green's Hide'Em In your Heart Bible Memory Melodies. My mom gave us these CD's and Dvd's (The styles of the dvd's are clearly late 80's and early 90's, but the content isn't hurt by this) when Karis was born. I LOVE them. Some scripture memory cd's are corny, but he has done such a good job with these. The melodies are catchy, not monotonous, and teach great truths. Plus it is pure Scripture, no add ins. I have apologized more than once to my kids because of these convicting me. And my heart is thrilled when my little one goes around singing, "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies." or "Hosanna to the King of Kings, Hosanna to the Highest."

What does this have to my devotions? Well, I almost feel like I've had a full dose of the Word just cleaning my basement and checking my e-mail. So, if you want something uplifting for your kiddos to listen to, check these out. You will be blessed, as well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Sorry, this isn't the best after picture. I gave up on having it perfect. It just isn't happening. So I just snapped the camera, and here it is. Maybe at some point I'll do better, but the Christmas decorating pictures below show different sections a little better.


Just so you are forwarned, these pictures are dreadfully out of order. So don't be confused.

See that awful backsplash, or lack thereof?
My wall before it was finished and orange.
The ceiling it getting there, no nails sticking down like a midevil torture chamber.
No more silly window to the garage. :-) All it did was collect cobwebs.
If we had known how long it was going to take us to get from these pictures to the after ones we probably wouldn't have made that first hole in the wall. Remodeling isn't for the faint of heart, and I think we are the faint of heart. :-)
Glad the floor isn't this anymore.
I can't believe the kitchen used to look like this.
Our steps before they became beautiful. Looking at this makes me want to go up and kiss my upstairs all over the place.

Pictures and more pictures:-)

Even though I have a pile of laundry a mile high in the laundry room calling my name. Even though I probably should be cleaning something or sweeping my floor, I am going to ignore it all and post these pictures.

Aunties are the bestest!

Karis has turned into my big helper. On this particular day she finished washing my dishes, even wiping down the sink. This, after sweeping the floor, dusting, cleaning her room, and generally picking up. I might add that she handed me a duster and told me I could help. I felt like my cleaning skills were really lacking when my four year old tells me it's time to clean. The ceiling fan did get dusted for the first time since being installed, though.
My job was to bake pumpkin pies this year for Thanksgiving. I was reminded of how little I bake when my nose began to catch wifs of pumpkin pie coming from the oven and my first thought was, "wow, that really smells like my pumpkin candle." Yes, I am aware that the candles are supposed to remind us of the sents of our baking not the other way around. What can I say? I prefer lighting a candle anyday to actually having to bake the real thing. I like eating the real thing, just not baking it.
This picture is to redeem myself. I do occasionally spend time cooking. See? Onions, peppers, and garlic. :-) And I'll have to keep cooking it bcause I have yet to find a candle that has this particular smell. :-)
This poor girl desperately wants to play the violin. She pulled this out of our Christmas decorations and started playing it.
Yes, I am still in my p.j.'s, no I haven't combed my hair or even pulled it back, and no I most certainly haven't showered yet, and yes the living room is a mess, BUT, I am swallowing my pride so you can see my orange and semi yellow walls together.
Our smallest decoration. A very little angel.
Our tree. Sorry it is fuzzy. Notice the wall corner behind it? Hard to believe it was once icky nails and exposed 2X4's
You can kind of see my backsplash. The outlets still need covered, but otherwise it is done.

Sorry about the dishes in the sink. My kitchen is hardly ever perfectly clean, so if I waited for it to be you would never see pictures of the finished, well almost, product. And the curtain has yet to be sewn, I might add. I put it up there with the ribbon and safety pins to check out the length. I had the best of intentions to take it right back down and sew it properly, it just hasn't been done yet. :-)
Here is my famous door. Another unfinished project. Maybe I'll leave it that way and call it modern art. :-)
Our stairs. I'll put some before pictures up next to remind us all of how horrible they were for such a long time. Now they are so beautiful. I almost feel like I live in a log cabin when I come up them.