Saturday, December 31

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!

This message is one I can’t repeat enough.

Choose to bring in this New Year with a blast but please do it responsibly!

You never know whose life you will save!

I hope you all have grown a bunch over the last year and plan to use your new knowledge to make yourself another great year!

Mistakes and all, bumps and all...they help us grow into who we are meant to be!

Cheers to a New Year!!!!

Saturday, December 24

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy being with your loved ones!

Soak it all thankful for the little things.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22

puppets, the circus and dancing

I am sewing little, animal hand puppets right now. I have never sewn a puppet before in my life. I am not sure why I thought it was a good idea, on December 22nd, to “whip up a couple puppets” for the nieces and nephews. They are turning out really cute and challenging my beginner sewing skills at the same time so it is a win–win.


Both little boys are sick and I am not feeling very jolly myself. My house seems to shrink each day I stay indoors tending to their hot-as-lava fevers. We did get out for a bit today to the lovely pediatricians office to test the boys for Strep. The waiting room….I am not joking…was standing room only. I literally felt like I was in a crazy, clown car at the circus. People were trying to push their way in as others were spilling out. I know I heard clown music somewhere off in the distance.

We were squished in there like sardines: sick, hacking sardines. I waited over an hour in the circus/sardine waiting room, all the while trying to hush my kid’s awful hacking and micro-managing where their fingers were landing. Between the anti-bacterial, hand wipes and the I Spy books, we made it out of the waiting room half-alive….only to find out that we won’t have any hard results back for the Strep test until Tuesday. Somehow that doesn’t help me over Christmas.

Joy in times of trials is a mysterious dance that doesn’t have exact steps.
Some days the dance goes well and other days I trip over myself.
What helps me the best is to keep looking up, not down at my feet/circumstances but off in the distance:
the backdrop.
Through faith, I believe the backdrop of my life is Eternity.

When I realize that a trial,
no matter how painful,
no matter how long,
no matter how completely exhausting...

is temporary,
is what God has allowed for me,
is what He is sending me along with His strength,
the joy returns.

The dance slowly becomes easier.
I resist less, let go and begin to follow.

There are others that do the dance better.
I watch them and learn.
They have danced the dance much longer than me and some of their trials, to me, seem unbearable.
And yet, there they are…dancing…one step at a time: crying…one, two, three…praying…four, five, six…trusting…seven, eight, nine…

So jolly or not, sick little boys or not, exhausted or not….I am going to put on some music and dance.

my mother going to a dance

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas/Holiday. I will post our family Christmas photo sometime over the weekend.

Wednesday, December 14

Slow down…focus…breathe

“Breathe…stay calm….relax…”

I have quietly repeated this to myself over the last week. I was sick over the weekend and now I am trying to play catch-up. I was a bit behind before I got sick. So, I am making some adjustments to get through the laundry, phone calls, lists, errands, baking and so forth.
So far, I have added more caffeine, cut out an hour of sleep a night, said, “no,” to some people (sorry), delegated and let my kids watch an extra show (or two, gulp!). It seems to be working. I am making baby steps in catching up.

The kids and I decorated the inside of the house for Christmas and my husband and the kids hung up lights outside. Some of the decorations are old….

and some have been added recently…

I like hearing the kids saying, “Oh, I remember this!” as they scamper to hang the decorations in some oddly placed fashion always below eye level. I don’t mind. My two youngest are little. They are healthy and energetic and enjoy helping me decorate. My oldest is busy with college, work, church and giving back to others what he has learned.

What is there to fuss about, really?

‘That the Christmas Nutcracker should really be placed up here’ or complain ‘That I would much rather have the pretty, white lights gracing our house.’

Isn’t it all just fluff when you stop and think about what is really important?

I know of two women that are currently passing away. They are leaving behind spouses, children, grandchildren and many loved ones. Many are lifting them up in prayers.

- Who cares about a Christmas Nutcracker? -

I think of my friend, Jeannette, who has buried a husband and two of her four children. She lost her last one just this past January. She is facing this Christmas with fresh pain but not without hope. The hope that is sometimes lost in the decorations, the lists and the stress of this time of year.

And that is the hope of Jesus Christ.

This hope keeps me going through some of the toughest times I have ever faced. If you are overwhelmed, facing difficulties, illness, loss or recovering from a stapled finger (wink, wink), I encourage you not to lose hope but search for it. You don’t even have to move away from your computer screen. Just click here or read below.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2

So please forget about the “Perfect” Christmas/gift/house/dinner/decorations/cookies/music/candles/card/wrapping paper/outfit/kids/impressions and enjoy the fact that you are alive at this moment, enjoy those who you are with, be kind and patient and be thankful for what you have.

Enjoy the little things.

They are so more important then all the fussing.

Don’t lose focus on the reason we celebrate; true Joy, true Hope!

So, I smile when I pull in the driveway and see my colorful bulbs clinging to the side of the house. It means I have a husband who cares enough to help and build memories with our boys and that we have electricity! I smile when I walk down the hallway and notice a tiny Christmas decoration way out of site because I know it was carefully placed by little, helpful hands that grow up so fast. Too soon, those hands will be asking for the car keys, and one day they might carefully place a ring on a woman’s finger.

But for now,
I stop and smile.

I am thankful to be alive and blessed with so much love and hope.

“Honey, you can put the Christmas Nutcracker anywhere you like! Yes, it looks perfect right there next to the recycling!”