Monday, December 29, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 days to Christmas


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These yummy little guys were delivered to our house from Germany - from our Julia. Thank you Julia!  I feel so guilty eating these cute little Santas...but that won't last long.

I may not be blogging for a couple of days.  Our internet doesn't work at home right now so unless my husband has some superhuman hours to get the washer fixed, the office cleaned, the garage cleaned out, the shelves hung, and then, the computer modem fixed, you won't be hearing from me no sireee.

Things I'm looking forward to over Christmas break:

1. witnessing my big brother Todd beat the pants off of everyone with his sweet pool playing skills (i live for this because normally I am the loser... you know... big brother doing my dirty work for me).

2. singing 80's karaoke mercilessly while my children listens with jealousy that they do not know all the words to the songs.

3. screaming ball-room blitz at the top of our lungs while returning from shopping (oh wait...that was last night... and Abbie's sweet friend was saying things like "I have never heard this song before...and your family knows all the words to it, even your little sister") **** The girl in the corner says boy I'm gonna warn ya it'll turn into a ball room blitz...ball room blitz **** I fear I should look up the meaning of this song before I proudly exclaim that my 9 year old knows all the words.. hm...

4.  the decadent dessert that I will make for Christmas day. (I always get to make the dessert and it's almost more fun searching for the perfect dessert than it is eating it. okay...that's a lie.)

5. Opening the spectacular gifts from my darling brother in law, Shelly.  One year he gave haleigh some shoes from the second hand store that had dog poop on the bottom of them. it was awesome!

6. lots and lots and lots of pictures. and lots and lots and lots of pictures. and then lots and lots and lots of pictures.

7. Shawn's aunt shari's appetizer tree

8. pajama pictures (every year I get the girls pajamas and then we take photos of them in them on Christmas eve... some time I will have to post them all.  I have only done it for about 5 years or so)

9. the new guacamole recipe that I have is KILLER. I can't wait to claim it as my own at all of the holiday gatherings! ;)

10. movies, movies, movies... I know of a few movies some people are getting in my family... and they are ones I want to watch.  I am pretty sure one weekend will be movie weekend.

11. cranium cadoo, balderdash, huggermugger, things, what's yours like, to name a few.... we're big gamers here oh yeah.

Well, have a super great fantastic and merry Christmas... and a happy happy happy new year!  May your days be filled with family and fun, and your evenings with laughter and joy!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

3 days to Christmas

There are 3 days to Christmas.  And I'm not ready.

All of our events from our busy week were canceled this past weekend due to inclement weather.  Which freed up a lot of time to do NOTHING.  Because we couldn't leave our house.  These pictures really don't do it justice.  We had about 10 inches of snow.  It took my husband 4 hours to blow the driveway open.  Then, the following night, we had high winds, and it blew shut... another hour to clear.

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We did, however, have the concert on Friday night.  Emily sang so sweet.  I was so proud of her.  They wore their pajamas and sang a song from the Polar Express.

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Lindsey made it home.... we're still waiting for Haleigh to show up.  Weather was too bad.

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Tonight, I'm going to brave the below ZERO temperatures and go to Target.

I have to. HAVE to.

Tomorrow after work, I will wrap. and wrap. and wrap. and wrap.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

7 days to Christmas

Tonight, 7 days before Christmas... we're all bracing for a snow storm. It's supposed to be a big one. But, so far, nothin.

Tonight, 7 days before Christmas, my 9 year old will sing a duet at the HS Orchestra concert - a song from the Polar Express... and she's praying there is no snow storm (until after the concert).

Tonight, 7 days before Christmas, my 16 year old will also sing in the same concert.

Tonight, 7 days before Christmas, my 19 year old is coming home.... hopefully before the storm hits.

Tonight, 7 days before Christmas, my dad's train rolls in from California.. hopefully before the storm hits.

My 21 year old comes home in a couple of days... there is something about having all of your loved ones home.

8 days to Christmas

8 days to Christmas and this is what I'm doing...

I made these cute little cookie gifts. They are filled with eggnog spritz cookies. I bought the containers at a consignment store for under a dollar and baked cookies to put inside them...

And then THIS... this is something you have NEVER seen from me before....

Yes, dear internets, it's a home-made Christmas! I'm right proud of myself.

This is my dear mother-in-law and sewing mentor Marge. I'm glad she doesn't read my blog or she'll kill me for posting this picture. She has helped me so much with my little sewing project. She's been real encouraging at all my crooked stitches.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

9 days to Christmas

Yesterday I wasn't panicked. I was great. Because I knew that today I was going to get in a vehicle with my husband and drive to a city nearby. We were going for other reasons, but I knew there was a mall there... and a fabulous TJ Maxx (oh TJ how I love you), and I could finish my really-close-to-being-done Christmas shopping.

But, for some reason, the weather man had to deliver bad bad bad news. To the tune of 4 to 6 inches.

Therefore, no shopping will occur. none. zippo.

And it's 9 days to Christmas. 9 days. 9.

(((( sigh ))))

Monday, December 15, 2008

10 days to Christmas

A few years ago, we began implementing a new family Christmas tradition in the form of an advent calendar similar to this one. Ours is a bit different but the same concept.
Instead of candy, which by the way is a great idea, each slot is filled with a note. The note is a family activity that we get to do together. Sometimes our schedules are a bit hectic so we don't always do it ALL together.
I usually put the notes in and before I do, I look ahead at the holiday calendar to see which days will be crazy and which can accomodate more time.
Some of the things that have been done this year include
"Subway Eat Fresh for supper!"
"Call a Grandparent and sing a holiday song"
"say a prayer for someone in need"
"bake cookies"
"watch a Christmas movie"
"play a family game - Dad's choice"
"play a card game"
It's a fun way for us to be purposeful at spending time together when the days and nights seem to be filled with so much activity.
Tonight - it's "see a fun holiday concert" because we are going to the HS choir concert. But, due to the crazy week, it will only be half of us. The other half will go to dance practice for the recital on Saturday.
What ways do you celebrate your family at Christmas time?

Friday, December 12, 2008

13 days to Christmas

Last night we went to the annual downtown Christmas Greetings Windows in our town. We have a business on the main street so this Jolly fellow was in our window. 13 Days to Christmas. The schedule is full and crazy.
Tonight - Santa Sing at the Bank
Tomorrow - kids sing at church service
Sunday - sing at church service again
Monday - HS choir concert
Thursday- Orchestra concert singing
Friday - Christmas party
Saturday - Dance Recital
All of those things have practices and rehearsals all over the place... it's making me dizzy.
But, truth be told... I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

cute and sassy new look!

The previous post was the "before" and this is the "after".
She got 8 inches taken off and sent them to Locks of Love.

she's so crazy

Monday, December 08, 2008

2 Corinthians



This morning in my daily Bible reading, I started reading 2 Corinthians.  I really needed to hear from Paul this morning!

This verse really hit home:

6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.

I took some time and meditated on this verse.  This idea of comfort.... I realized that there have been lots of times in my life that I have looked back on something and realized that God had used a particular set of circumstances in my life to give me compassion and be available to comfort others going through the same thing.  Lots of them.

However, I didn't always know it at the time I was suffering.  It was some time... hours, days, weeks, months, even at times years later that I would realize what I had gone through was useful to pray for and minister with and alongside another brother or sister in Christ.

Today, I needed to be encouraged that even in the midst of sufferings...times of great despair... God is ministering to me in this present moment that I too can comfort another later.

So, instead of crying out in anguish this morning, I chose to rejoice and to take time to pray for whoever it is that will experience loss or heartache in the future that I can share God's incredible love and grace and mercy with.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

All State Choir




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Before and After






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Monday, November 24, 2008

my brother todd

This is my brother Todd.
He's one of my heroes.

Usually, I can find him in the garage with his head under a car. We've had some pretty serious talks with him in this position.

He's building a car. It's the second one he's built.

a meme

Chrysanthemama, at Chrysanthemama, tagged me in this meme. I promised to post it last week on Friday, and of course, didn’t. So, I am doing it now. My coffee is steaming hot and this might take me a while.

Rules of MEME:
1) Link to the person who tagged you. Chrysanthemama
2) Post the rules on your blog (you are reading them).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

AHEM! Random things. My entire blog is pretty random so I may be repeating myself. As if you haven’t heard that before.
1. I want a dog. I think. I say I think because, well, I want a dog…but then my husband always reminds me that dogs make doo doo and have long fingernails that click and scratch wood floors. So, really, most days I fluctuate somewhere between wanting a dog and not wanting a dog. It’s pretty much the emotional reasons that I want one and the practical reasons I shouldn’t. Would this just be one more thing to do? I am a bi-polar dog wanter.

2. I want to adopt children. One of my personal goals for being debt free is to save money to adopt a child. Now, considering the amount of debt we have, we may be almost dead before we do it. I don’t care where the child is from or anything. One time I found a child on our state’s hard to place adoption site and I fell in love with him and his sister. Shawn did too.

3. These are the things I want to be when I grow up: a counselor, a nurse, a photojournalist, a doctor, a writer, and a chef. More to follow I am sure…

4. When I can’t fall asleep at night, I pretend I won the lottery and dream up all kinds of ways I would spend my money. It’s especially fun when I win 238 million. You know the saying: You have to play to win. I don’t play.

5. I have a thyroid disease. There’s some bit of information I’m pretty sure I’ve never shared before. I was diagnosed 6 years ago with Hashimoto’s Disease. And it’s a constant battle… I am always having to change medication and manage this stupid disease.

6. I don’t like long blog posts. I don’t read them. I don’t think many people do. I usually skim them. My last one was too long…and this one probably is too…sorry long post haters. I’m with ya! But, hey, congratulations if you made it to this sentence, you’re almost done.I don’t think I’ll tag anyone… so I think that’s breaking the rules. But, if you want to play along, consider yourself tagged.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Honest Award

I have two different tags that I haven't gotten to for the last couple of weeks, so today is the tag day. I will post twice in one day. Now that's amazing.
(first of all... pretty tricky calling it an award let me say)
When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you - which would be my lovely darling truth telling friend Mel. , and link them back, which I did, but I'll do it again here.
Choose a blog that you find to be totally honest in content and visuals. There are a lot, but since she chose me in the next meme I will do after this one, I choose Santa's Daughter. Show their name (okay... it's chrysanthemama? and link and leave them a comment (I will) informing they were prized with ‘Honest Weblog’. List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. And then, pass it on.
Okay... ten honest things about myself. Do they have to be honest things that I haven't already told you? Like, can't I just say I love coffee? Okay, I will try new ones.
1. I don't know much about bloggy things. I want to learn but I haven't taken the time to practice and figure it all out. So, I really do settle for mediocre. I know...that's not a very exciting truth thing. I'll try to get increasingly more interesting with the rest of these. AND even though I put spaces in between these lines, I hit "preview" on blogger and it showed no spaces. So, I added more spaces and it showed too many spaces. So, I deleted them all and now I have no spaces. What the heck is that????
2. I love being home alone. Don't get me wrong. I love my family. my kids. my husband. But, there is something about being home all by myself that is so relaxing and free.
3. I don't have many secrets. I am what you see. Oh...don't get me wrong. I have evil thoughts from time to time and often open my mouth more than I should. Probably way more than I know. But, I don't have a lot of hang-ups and secrets and shockingly misunderstood personality disorders or anthing. Hence, this really boring list of truths.
4. I sometimes swear. Okay... strike #3.... I can't count that because in some people's eyes, this might be a big secret. I might have just told you something you don't know about me. I know it's bad. I do. But, there are times that the word "Junk" just doesn't describe what you're going through in life like the alternative swear word. And "darn it" just doesn't do justice to what is inside my heart. And the thing is ... sometimes I feel bad, and sometimes I don't.
5. Life is hard right now. There are a lot of changes in our lives and a lot of big things that we are either going through or praying for others through. But... God is good. And I have grown more in my faith in Jesus in the past year than any single year in my entire Christian life. That's the truth. I recently talked to a complete stranger and he said "don't you find that in those valleys, God miraculously pulls you up and you find that you have grown closer to Him than any other time in life?". I agreed. emphatically.
6. I love my husband. We've been married for 20 years. He is the only man I have ever loved. He is the only man I ever will love.
7. I worry. I know I shouldn't. I believe God is bigger than anything the world has that is fearful. But, I still worry. I worry about things like the economy and money and if Starbucks will go out of business and that something bad will happen to my girls. I worry when I haven't talked to the oldest girls for a couple days and I hope that something hasn't happened to them and nobody told me. I hear ambulances drive by when I am at work and I check to see what direction they are going and then I mentally check which direction my loved ones are at and even sometimes call them to talk to them to make sure they are okay. I know... .that's dumb. But, it's truth so it counts here.
8. My heart aches for Mel and Amie. No...literally bleeds actually. Aches isn't strong enough. They have both lost loved ones in the past year. Mel, her brother, and Amie, her baby. I can't even fathom their pain. I have never lost someone close to me like that and I know that someday I might (I often pray that Jesus will return and take us all to heaven before that because I don't know if I can handle it). But, just the mere thought of one of my children or brother Todd dying is enough to make me cry. And I do. Often. Just ask my husband. He always says it's dumb of me to mourn before they die, but I can't help it.
9. I cry. At lots of things. And here's the truth. I grew up in an alcoholic family. And as a teenager, I became very hardened to loss and pain and hurt. I tried to shut off tears. And I did it successfully for a lot of years. But, a woman (who has now gone to be with Jesus) named Becky was a pastor's wife. She had the most tender heart I have ever seen and would cry at a things. I admired her heart of love for people and I began to pray that God would give me a tender heart to care for people ... a heart that was not hard, but make me someone who could feel... and mourn... and cry. I'm not an emotional person really. I don't have mood swings. But, God answered that prayer. And today, I am a cry-er. No... I don't cry at everything. I don't cry at that "time of the month", I don't get overly cry-ish. But, when something hurts, I cry.
10. I love almonds. The raw kind. I wrote so many deep truths, I can't bring myself to write one more sappy thing so I'm saying I love almonds for #10.
11. Because I can't count #3, I have to do 11. I don't exercise enough. Okay, that's a half-truth. At all. But, I'm starting. Just last night I actually got on the elliptical machine for 7 minutes (and yes, I exercised, not just stand on it this time). You laugh... but 7 minutes is hard work people!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

look up

This morning, I had some dishes to wash. I was standing at my kitchen sink washing dishes and thinking about all of the things I really needed to accomplish.

All of the sudden, I looked up and saw the sky. It was amazing. I have no idea what made me look up. But I did.

I wondered ... how often do I bury my head and think about tasks and chores and my to do list, and neglect to appreciate the things God puts right there before my very eyes?

Take some time today to LOOK UP!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

busy weekend plans

I'm really looking forward to my weekend. I just had a day off work yesterday, and already I'm looking for the weekend! Crazy!

Friday night I'm going here. I am really looking forward to a night of worship.
Saturday night we're going to church and out to eat. I think I will make my family let me choose the place. :)
Sunday is Em's dance recital at a Festival of Trees. We're going to get into the Christmas spirit already!! Whoo hooo!

On another note, I did some Christmas shopping yesterday. I know... don't faint. I am usually the manic shopper on Christmas Eve trying to finish up. But, I actually purchased some gifts BEFORE Thanksgiving this year.

I've been reading the book of Esther - a chapter at a time - the last week. Absorbing it and really sinking my teeth into this woman. It's been good. This morning, I also read this out of 2 Chronicles 20 and I've been meditating on it all day.

2 Chron 20:12 " O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

That last part is what gets me. They don't know what to do, but their eyes are on God. I keep asking myself all day. Tina, where are your eyes?

And ask yourself today...where are your eyes?

Monday, November 10, 2008

my weekend - in pictures

I should add "not-so-good" pictures. And don't worry. I won't post a whole lot of my bad photos.
I will get the hang of it. But, why is it that it LOOKS like it's in focus when I'm taking them. But, when I get them on my computer screen, they aren't.
Friday Night - she wanted to get her nose pierced but the piercing lady wasn't there. (She did it the next day instead without me and my camera)

Saturday morning coffee - my best friend Mary. I love our Saturday morning coffee time. I love Mary.

I was waiting with my camera when she woke up - I needed a subject to practice on.
Our kitty Gucci was the victim of much picture practice this weekend.
My husband is a bass player. I haven't heard him play for a few months. It was nice to hear him on Saturday.
He taught Abbie a couple of chords.
Abbers was in "Les Miserable" High School Musical on Saturday.

Aunt Shera and Shanda came with us to the musical.

We were running a bit late for church on Sunday morning.
This is what happens in the car when we're late.

This was our Sunday morning coffee because we were running late.
The windshield on Sunday morning - dang. Winters coming.
Sunday afternoon Em had a dance recital. And we went to the World Vision Africa Aids Exhibit.
Sunday night we had some friends over for a new dessert I tried out. I left the camera put away because I think my family had enough of it by then.