Monday, December 31, 2007

The Year in review.....goodbye 2007

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand............Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand! Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians: 6: 10, 13-18

This year, the Lord has taught us many things......and if anything He has taught us to STAND! To stand with the full armor of God and with that I make this end of the year prayer.

Oh, Dear Lord,

When this year began, we thought Russell's dad would be gone by now....he's here. We saw our brother in law retire, a few motorhome trips, many, many doctor trips, a scare with Russell's lungs, faced breast cancer with Russell's mom, watched our children grow and change....Paul started seeing his children more (our grandchildren), David doing well with his job, an anniversary for Tommy and Claudia, Matt's pharmacy school coating.

March a brother had a birthday. Thank you for brothers and sisters.

May brought a family wedding, births in our church. A sister's birthday...

June saw papa and mema's 59th anniversary! You allowed them another year together. A nephew turned 21. Ashley turned 15 and Adam 11....thank you for allowing me to be their nana....

July you allowed us a wonderful visit with Ashley and Adam and I turned 55! A brother had a birthday too!

August came and Russell turned 56 and I was ever so thankful for another year of life for my dear husband. Paul and David and Maria all had birthdays this month, along with a niece. Another brother's birthday.

September saw Katie's engagement, oh such joy! And always, there is sadness mingled with joy. Mama began to have a few problems and calls started coming in from the retirement center. Even one as I was in Disney Word with my sister, cousin and friends. But you comforted us through all. Another sister's birthday....Debbie turns 51!

October brought such sadness. Our dear friend and the mother of my dear friend, Carol, went to be with the Lord after a long struggle with illness. We stood together, many of us, to feel your comfort with that family. Mama started some regular doctor appointments that were not so much fun for her or me.

November brought two weddings! Both close friends! Also a very special 12th anniversary for Russell and me, and a Thanksgiving trip to Russell's sister's in North we never really expected papa to make! Thank you! Then a sudden shock, mama fell and was in the hospital, then rehab. Finally back home! Thank you!

December brought news that papa's cancer had not grown since July and that he's stable. We had another Christmas with him and he continues to do well. Thank you!
After the sadness of death, my friend's grandson was engaged! Thank you so much for mingling sadness with joy. Tears with laughter.....and most of all for the birth
of a baby in Bethlehem, long prophesied to come.....our Savior Jesus Christ! Thank you that you are Truth, that your Son laid aside His glory to come to earth and die for us......for the Grace you gave at such a high cost.

Oh, Lord you taught us that we know nothing....that you hold our lives in the palm of your hand and our names are engraved there! You taught us to believe you in Scripture when you said "I know the plans I have for you." We thought we knew what the year 2007 would bring, we didn't.

We had as many emotions as there were days in 2007. And so we thank you and say, in 2008 we will do our best, with Your help, to STAND! And to remember that You know what 2008 holds and there are no surprises for you. Thank you for being our God.

Thank you for 2007.....and in advance for the adventures to come with You in 2008.

Because He lives, we can face tomorrow and 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Oh, I almost forgot the scary!

I guess that's because it turned out to be not all that scary after all.....Praise God!

My mama lives in an assisted living center....which means she has her own two bedroom apartment with her own furniture so it is just like home, but not..:) She has been so happy there for the last few years.

During this past year, she has had more physical problems, especially with her shoulders, which makes getting around hard on her. Then she had that bad fall and since returning to her home, she has had to have round the clock sitters. This has been such an awful eye opener! If any of you need a job and want to make pretty good money, be a CNA and do private sitting! The ladies that sit are wonderful, but mama is paying a LOT of rent, plus a LOT of money per week for the sitters.

Now for the scary part. I know you're thinking that was scary enough thinking about all that money draining out of her account that needs to fund her for life! We were called for a meeting with the head nurse, 2 facility nurses and one of mama's sitters. Of course, I got all crazy, thinking they were going to tell us she had to move. But as it turned out, they were just making sure they (and we) are doing everything to help mama get better so that she won't have to continue having round the clock sitters.

Of course, as you can imagine, she HATES having people in her house all the time. She is used to her privacy and likes it! But for now, we don't know what else to do to keep her safe and able to continue to live there.

I feel like this has been the most rambling post I've ever written.

I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of the year 2007! I'm looking for a great 2008.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The good, the bad and the scary!

SURPRISE!!!!! My good friend Carol, our good friend Mary Grace, Carol's son, Aaron, his brand new fiance, Nicole, Russell and Matt and I all went to supper at our favorite little Mexican place. While we were there Aaron broke the news that he had asked Nicole to marry him and she said yes! There were tears and excitement all around! It was also Aaron's birthday so there was much celebrating! They plan a long engagement. So congratulations and many blessings on this happy time!

All six of us siblings at my brother's home on Christmas day! Mama, how did you put up with this crazy lot of kids?? From left youngest brother Steve, me, next to youngest Michael, big sister Cathy, little sister Debbie and the oldest Tommy. We are all very different, but all alike in our love for each other and for our family!

The three sisters with our mama and Debbie's mother in law. Taking pictures in such a big group is NOT easy!

Mary Grace came and spent a couple of days with us. We always have such fun with her and laugh like crazy! Or should that be crazy people??? She had to go home today....:( We miss her already!

Russell, his Uncle Hugh, me and Matt at Russell's mama's house on Christmas Eve, right before leaving to go to our church's candlelight service.

The two princes......on Christmas morning Russell cooked breakfast and we all had Christmas poppers and they all came with crowns. We thought it would be fun to have our pictures in our royal attire!

The princess and the queen mother!

The queen and her king!

That was the good! Last nite, Carol, Mary Grace and I were watching an old movie and just relaxing when I got a call from Paul saying he was at the courthouse for his court appearance saying he might go to jail and didn't want to be on bad terms with me if he did go. I told him I was so sorry and would be praying. I was thankful that he sounded like he really meant it......I went immediately into my bedroom then into my bathroom knelt and prayed for, I don't usually pray in the bathroom floor, but I was upset and had company and it made sense at the moment.

Later, he called back and said he wasn't going to jail, but has another court appearance next month...all this is a big mess that started because of anger, alcohol and drugs and a girlfriend. I guess all those don't go together. When he called the second time he was in a drugstore purchasing blood pressure medication and his attitude had drastically changed for the worse! It wasn't long before I had to hang up due to the cursing!

I think I'll have to talk about the scary tomorrow because it is late and I'm so tired! It's good to read everybody's Christmas stories!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And to all.........a good nite!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas day! We enjoyed the day, starting with our traditional Christmas breakfast. I picked up mama and Russell's parents came and David and Matt were here. Russell cooks every breakfast thing you could want! I always have bacon and pancakes because I don't eat them any other time....o.k. unless I happen to be at a Cracker Barrel. But not often! We had a great breakfast. I got mama settled in the recliner, Russell's parents and David went home and Russell and I took a short nap.

We then cooked our dishes to take to our family Christmas dinner at my brother's home. All 6 of us brothers and sisters, our spouses, some of our children and some of their children, along with friends, parents in law, and just for good measure, the Roto Rooter man! Yes, just as everyone arrived for Christmas dinner, the septic tank decided it had had all it could take, literally! Luckily, my brother's inlaws live right next door, so we could troop over and use their bathroom.

We had a wonderful dinner and good visiting! Finally, the roto rooter man got there, fixed all "that" and when he started to leave, his dog (this is a true story I promise) had locked himself in the truck! After a lot of deliberating, my brother took him to his house to get another key! I know he had a great Christmas! Full of, well,let's just say probably not good cheer!

After dinner, we came home and I put on my pj's and went straight to bed for a long nap.

I talked to the grandchildren :) I didn't talk to Paul, however, I text messaged him Merry Christmas. He did the same back! That was nice. I just felt with all the tension between us, that maybe we didn't need to actually talk. I'm too tired of the fighting and anger.

But, reading someone Else's blog, this scripture was brought to mind.......

Ephesians 6:13 talking about putting on the whole armor of God. "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, stand!" So tonight, Paul, if you read this, I'm standing on the promises of God! He will bring you back whole and healed. I love you.

I hope you all had a good day, and now, really, to all a good nite.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

And Mary Pondered all these things in her heart.....

Merry Christmas

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed....
The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky look down where He lay,
The Little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.....

One of my favorite songs. I sang this often when my children were little at church and at home during this season. I love the thought of what marvelous grace Jesus gave to us who are so undeserving. He set aside His glory and came to earth to dwell among us and to live a perfect life so that He could be our atonement for sin. He didn't have to do it! He loved us that much.

I didn't do the 12 random things about me and Christmas....but I just want to share one.

In the Bible when it says "and Mary pondered all these things in her heart", have you ever stopped to wonder what she pondered? I have. She had just given birth to her own savior.....what things must have been going through her mind? But in everything, she was obedient and simply trusted the One she knew to be Truth.

The first time I heard "Mary did you know?" I cried. Mary was just a humble girl who received an incredible blessing. Can you imagine raising God??? :) Maybe it was easier since He was perfect! Our minds just can't wrap themselves around such as that.

This Christmas I am so thankful that He picked me up and brushed the sin off and said you are my daughter. I don't deserve it, I can do nothing to earn it, I am just thankful for that salvation.

If you are reading this and you don't know Jesus, hurry to meet Him in God's Word, the only infallible source of truth and life.

Merry Christmas to you all and we will see you in a few days. Turn your sound up and listen to these sweet lyrics.

It looks like you'll have to copy and paste it to listen but I assure you, it is worth it!

No, this is not just a picture to show everyone how "thick" my waist has gotten. Due to me having the crud, I missed the two other parties we were going to.....including my husband's office dinner which is one I love! But, by last nite I was feeling so much better and so I dressed up and we went to a friend's open house party. It was really fun and we saw so many people that we only see at these kinds of functions.

No, it wasn't until I downloaded this picture that I said to the husband "Dear, we have to go on a serious diet, but I just don't think we can do it until after Christmas!" He just nodded!

I hope all of my dear blog friends are having a wonderful time leading up to Christmas! Our church service today just lifted me up so.....but all of you who are praying for my son, please don't stop! This is the worst crisis he's had for a long time. I truly, truly appreciate your prayers. I know I won't meet some of you until we meet in heaven, but I will know you immediately! I just know I will!

Friday, December 21, 2007

On a more reason for Christmas note!

For several years Russell and I have done the Angel Tree Project. This year I took a family, I must confess more out of guilt than love.

Yesterday was not a great day! I'm trying to shake this cough, upset about the son and then got rear ended at the bank! But it was the sweetest little woman, and she was so upset. She and her husband are missionaries in Honduras where he is now, so she is alone with her child. She had all her insurance forms and we got them together and got a police report. Then she walked over to me with a pen and handed it to me and said, "I have nothing else to give you for my sorrow (at hitting my car!) so please take this pen." I tried and tried to tell her she didn't need to give me anything, but she got more and more upset so finally I just said thank you and please don't worry about this. Later in the day I picked up the pen and saw that in small writing it said "we serve the Lord". I cried. I thought, that is Christmas.

So.....I went out and bought my Angel gifts and even spruced the basket up a little with candy canes and a small gift for the mother and did it with a grateful heart knowing that some have so little, and yet are so blessed by the love of Christ.

I delivered the gift to the mother's work place and she just hugged me and thanked me and said "Be blessed"......and I thought through trouble, trials and tribulations of all kinds, I am blessed. I am blessed that the one who created the world with his Word chose to love me!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

To My Son.......

Since I know my son sometimes reads my blog this is for him. I also know that I'm not the only mother suffering from a broken heart over a child. It seems as if holidays bring out the worst in those who suffer from mental problems.

You called today, upset, things gone wrong, no one to blame. You called and talked to me using words no mother thinks will ever come out of her child's mouth. You were frustrated, filled with anger at the world. You declared a war and wanted to know what side I was on. Our conversation didn't end well.

What was it about some will wonder??? That story is so complicated. If I had the energy (and i will one day), I'll post a picture of you when you and two friends were the three wise men in the Christmas play at church. Somehow the picture was double exposed and is somewhat blurred.....kind of like looking to the future. But you knew all about Jesus. You loved Him.....He still loves you, please turn to Him.

The problem you had today started with a fight with your girlfriend. The one you love one moment and hate the next.....the one you tell me is insane but yet you continue to stay in the situation. Your children were there as was her child. Things got out of control and the fighting escalated. The smaller child was crying and at some point, your sweet, peacemaking daughter pled with you to stop. And as I have been quite concerned about for some time, you turned that anger on her. Oh, not with physical actions, but with words.....words that stay and hurt long after you've forgotten them. Trust me, she will forgive because she loves you and wants you in her life so badly, but she will never forget. Little chips will form and she will have to put up walls to protect herself. My prayer is that she has enough self confidence not to pick a man with similar problems so she can "fix" him because she couldn't fix her daddy.

The thing about it is this. She's 15, an age where some girls are in total rebellion. She's not. She's as sweet as she is beautiful. She tries so hard to make everyone around her happy. She thinks of others before she thinks of herself.

She has had you in her life such a little bit of time.....let her have you sober and without rage. Resolve your anger issues without involving her or your precious son. You can never give her back all the years you weren't there, but you can make the ones you are there good. You can start by helping yourself. Getting help for you so you can be daddy to them.

There is no war, son, I don't need to pick sides. I lay you daily on the mercy seat of God, praying He will turn your heart around. I also lay your children there praying a hedge of protection around them, that they may not be touched by the ugliness that comes with the lifestyle you choose.

I must say this to you, those words, words you use to hurt. No mother should have to hear those coming out of a dear, loved sons mouth. I will always be here to talk to, but I will not under any conditions listen to that kind of talk again. I'll have to hang up. You know that.

Now, I beg you to go quickly and find help. Work through your issues whatever they are. Don't find people with those same issues to be with. Start new, fresh and be the man I know you can be. God can heal you, He can mend the broken hearts around you and He can make your way straight.

If you continue on this path, I am frightened for what may become of you. Run as fast as you can to God, grab His everlasting arms and cling to them. Be a man....for your children. And think of this, what kind of adults do you want your children to be. My love cannot heal you, but His love will.

Later last nite I talked with both grandchildren and in my feeble way tried to comfort them and make sure they didn't think it was there fault. My granddaughter said "Nana, it isn't your fault". .....the poor girl. I can see that I must rescue the world attitude growing in her heart. I pray she lets that go!

Still later in the nite, I got a phone call from one of Paul's friends telling me Paul had been arrested....I wish I could say I was shocked, but I was expecting it knowing the mood he was in. The friend said Paul asked him to ask me if he could "borrow" $1500.00 for bail.....This will sound quite cruel to some but I told his friend that he could relay two things to my son for me, 1...I just don't pay people for cussing at me.....2.I never, ever pay bail, been there done that. And furthermore I told him that if he was really his friend he would encourage Paul to seek help.

The phone rang once again at about 11:30 p.m. I answered to a recording stating this was a call from a correctional center would I accept collect charges. I hung the phone up, took it off the hook, turned my cell phone to silent and slept. I really slept. I haven't heard anything today. But really, he, at 37, must learn to love God and his children more than the drink and drugs.

I promise I will have some really light posts soon. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

That which goes down must come up?????? RIGHT???

After a really miserable nite last nite complete with those high fever kind of hallucinations where every time I looked at the clock I swear it said 4:44 a.m., I debated for 15 minutes about going to the doctor but man I'm glad I did! She said I was really sick :), I knew that! Anyway, here's to hoping the antibiotics kick in quickly and I'm feeling better soon. I also read over last nite's post and realized that I shouldn't type while feverish, half of what I typed was either not spelled right or I left out a word. O.K. so now I've been way down and I hope to be wayyyyy up in the next day or two.

I had to miss my husband's office party last nite, and that's about the only one I really like going to, maybe because I feel comfortable and don't worry about what to wear! I did forget to give him my camera so no pictures!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Officially sick

O.K. it's official, I have a sore throat, every bone and joint in my body hurts, and I'm coughing like it's my full time job! I spend a lot of the day today scrounging around to see if we could possibly have a small remnant of tussenex and I did.......a very small, tiny, bit. Hardly getting out the spoon for. I still casn't talk and unless I wake up tomorrow with a miracle and am completely well, Russell is calling the doctor and getting me in! Remember I can't speak louder than a whisper!

The funny (if any humor can be found in this miserabel thing) is that I never, ever, never have the flu! That's what it feels like....I'm burning up and I have a fever of 102 . The doctor talked me into in so that if I got it I wouldn't give it to my father in law. I think I'll remind her of that!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Home again, home again.....

Poor Russell, he was ready to go home! He's a good sport about shopping and even likes to shop when he's in the "mood". But at this point in the day, we were both ready for supper and pj's!

But isn't this a beautiful Christmas tree! I have been wondering what all the huge ornaments were for this year....but they go nicely on this tree!

Saturday we got a lot of much needed rain! But it stormed so badly, I was a little frightened in the motor home. As it turned out one of our sons told us he heard there was a tornado around where we were! We could be in Kansas right now. But the rain let up before we had to load everything to go home. I woke up this morning with NO voice! I don't ever remember having laryngitis this bad! I can talk at a whisper only! That's hard for me, but for some strange reason my husband is smiling like the Cheshire cat! His office Christmas party is tomorrow nite, so I'm hoping to be better or I won't be able to go! They are going to a restaurant I haven't been to yet and I want to go! Was that a whine in my whisper??? :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rain Day

We rode bikes for a bit this was overcast. We got ready, started out to eat lunch and the bottom dropped out! Storming! But, hey, you have to eat right? So we went to the Laredo Cantina and had wonderful fajitas. Then I had to do just one more store and we came home to nap in the storm. I mean we really need the rain and we're getting it. It was so great, this morning we rode our bikes down near the beach and the water was a light emerald green, beautiful. Sometimes when it is overcast the water will be a dull tea color, but today it was so flags flying of course, which means there was a bad undertow.

We went in a lot of stores this weekend and tried to avoid the Happy Holiday stores! Have you all seen the "ugly list"? Stores which don't allow their employees to say Merry Christmas or display Christmas in any way? I was in Coldwater Creek today and was telling the clerk about it and she said "well all I have to say is Merry, Merry, merry Christmas!" That brought a big smile!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Shopping day.....

We did get a lot done today....that is after we slept in, sat around and drank coffee that was so good. One of the missionaries from Uganda sent us some coffee beans and we bought a little grinder and had that for breakfast and I wish I could call Rashid and tell him how much we enjoyed it! Russell is treasurer of the African Christian Training Institute and this was a little gift that was unexpected but so good!!! But I digress.......

When I finally got ready, we went to do some Christmas shopping here in San Destin. We got a lot done....but loving bargains as I do, the biggest bargain of the day was a pair of $60.00 pajamas for Russell's Uncle for $12.00!!!! You gotta love a bargain. Russell's uncle is 89 and very spry! A little eccentric too. The other day he was telling us that before he goes to sleep every nite (at 6 p.m.) he recites the Lord's prayer, all the counties in Florida (67), the states and capitals and equivalent of the same in Canada....all the countries in South America and their capitals and all of the blood relatives of Russell's mother, his first cousin. He then recites the first, middle and last names of all of us.....our children, etc. OCD????? All I have to say is the man is a genius and a sweetheart on top of that! He never married, was in the army and was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, retired and lived with Russell's grandmother until she died at age 107. They have some good genes in that family! He's really hard to buy presents for, but I think he'll like the pajamas. If I were blogging at home, I would put a picture up, but I can't access my pictures from here.

I also found a pretty first Christmas together ornament for my surrogate daughter that just married.

Before we left, I got my California presents in the mail. Early for me!

So, we have decided that tomorrow is just a rest day. We'll just do whatever we want to! That will be nice.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The last hurrah!

Here we are in Henderson Beach State Park in the motor home for one last few days of camping solitude before tax season starts....oh, yes, if you didn't know, my husband is a CPA. So beginning in January, we see less and less of him.....take him supper if we want to see him before bed. Oh, now that we are an empty nest, I guess it will just be me the dogs and the cats. At first the long nites are o.k. cause I get a lot done that I can't get done during the day. But after a few weeks of not seeing him until I'm in bed that gets old and lonely. And poor man, he is a wonder....I have a friend who calls him superhero....when he gets home after a long, long day, he's just as sweet as he always is. And cooks supper every Friday nite.
Yes, I am blessed!

The weather here is beautiful.....I'm so sorry for those of you who are in those terrible ice storms. I'm amazed that we are at the beach in short sleeves and some are unable to leave their homes because trees are across their driveways and they have no electricity. For all of you, we pray you'll soon be back to normal.

Even though we have the internet and t.v. (o.k. I guess you can't call this camping!), we relax more here. And if a child looking for a mama fight calls, well I just may not answer the phone.

Thanks to my sister Cathy who is spending tonight and tomorrow nite with mama. She will watch her carefully and see if she thinks mama would do o.k. with less than 24 hour sitters. Having sitters is so expensive! She loves her home and we just pray she can afford to stay there for life. Thanks Cathy, I know you're tired and need to rest yourself.

I guess I should go rest,for tomorrow we shop. We have to get our Christmas shopping done! I did get the grandchildren's off in the mail today. Their's are the gifts I really want to get to them on time. Each year, I try to give or tell them something about the gift of Jesus. I so pray that God draws them. They haven't been to church a lot. We take them when they're with us, but they need to be with a good group of Christian peers. o.k. I realize I'm rambling now! So goodnite to all.

Truly only Because He Lives....

I am looking down and only seeing one set of footprints because God is carrying me through this crazy time!

I was just listening to the song on Angie's site "Because He Lives"....and thinking how appropriate! Without Him I wouldn't want to face another day!

We are trying to get loaded up for one last motorhome trip to Destin before tax season starts, and it has been "one of those weeks". I don't want this to be a place where I'm constantly being oh, so low, and I really do have a good sense of humor, but sometimes I'm laughing to keep from crying. I never cry.....I thought I was through with that part of my life, because I used to cry if I saw a possum dead in the road. But for some reason for the last year, i just don't cry much, not that I'm complaining,because crying just gives me such a headache. But yesterday, before I left home to go to a little volunteer thing I do on Wednesdays, one son dropped in 15 minutes before I was to leave. He got unreasonably upset with me because "I never want to visit with him". He stopped by because he was on his way to the doctor. ??? I tried to nicely say, maybe if you would call a day or so in advance so I'd have some idea you were thinking about dropping in, I would make time. By the time he left, I was crying!

After I got finished at the volunteer job, I returned a call to my older son in California....mistake. He was in, well, let's just say a would be inappropriate here to go through our conversation and besides you would then recommend that I go directly to the psychiatric ward and admit myself. I'll say he was having some anger issues and of course I'm the cause of world hunger so there you go!

I then took my mama to the doctor and that is something I'm happy to be able to is just an all day sucker! :) Gratefully, she was doing o.k. By the time I got home, it was 4:30 and church starts at 5:30.....I was sorely tempted to call the husband and say, you know, I'm just going to bed, then I thought if ever I needed to be in the house of God with believers, tonight's the nite! I'm glad I went. I always am.

Came home to send Christmas, wedding and birthday cards and was up late doing that and now I'm packing....well, sort of....

Did I say I didn't want this to be a downer??? O.K. changed my mind. Thanks to all of you who have become such friends. My sons stand in the need of prayer! If it comes to mind, we covet all prayers!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas in rounds....

We had a quick, but fun weekend with son Tommy and wife Claudia. They got in Friday nite and the men went hunting Saturday while DIL and I went shopping. We got a lot done! Later that nite, we had our Christmas with them. They will be with Claudia's parents and family for the actual Christmas time.

And congratulation to DIL's brother who graduates from college next week! We're proud of you Collis!

We had a meeting after church today, so we sent the kids to church and lunch with their grandparents....good thing, we're forming a pulpit search committee for our church and we with another couple got the job of counting ballots! We were there until 2 p.m. The kids had to leave before we got home. I got home ate a bite and crashed! I slept until just before time to go back to church! Our youth choir was singing tonight and they were just wonderful and so worshipful!

I called and talked to my grandson tonight....his sister was working at her dad's on a school project. It is always a joy to talk to them!

So now, husband is already sound asleep and I'm not far behind! Tomorrow starts another busy week! I hope it is good for all!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Back from the hunt!

Russell and son Tommy went hunting today and Tommy got a buck! He is so I am aware that everyone doesn't believe in/like killing animals but let me assure you that we eat the meat! Well, to be completely honest, I don't but the rest of our family does.

I didn't grow up in a family of hunters so I'm not crazy about it, but the boys are so what's a mother to do???

This is a picture of a buck killed a couple of years ago, I didn't see the one they got today because they dropped it by the meat market on the way home. So in a couple of weeks, we'll pick up sausage and hamburger meat.

Tommy and Claudia won't be home for Christmas this year, so they opened presents tonight. Tonja, I got Claudia one of those baskets you had on your blog and she loves it, she's a teacher and it will come in handy! So with that, goodnite to all!

Friday, December 7, 2007

The weekend

Sometimes, I have trouble coming up with the title of my blogs....In just a little while these two children will be arriving to spend the weekend with us....I also talked to two other of our children today and if I call the baby, I'll have talked to all my children! Oh, I still wish I could get them all together in one place! Just for 5 minutes to take a photo! Well, of course, I'd love to just get hugs all around. Russell's parents are coming too and we'll grill out. David might come if he gets off work in time. It's been a busy day, but we all ready to visit with children! Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Favorite things.....

Since the second year of our relationship, before we were married I started giving Russell (you know it is really for me) the Swarvorski ornament for each year. Each year, we added another ornament to this ornament tree and now there are 13....the first year we dated, I gave him a different ornament. I love the sparkle of these ornaments and I love the fact that each year when I put them on, I think about that particular year and the things that happened good and bad. Each year, we have grown closer together...we are growing into that one flesh that God ordained us to be.
Each day, I get a few more Christmas things out and I feel more and more like Christmas. I'm so thankful for all my family and friends, including you here who have become friends.

I'm most thankful that Christmas means that our savior came into the world!

P.S. Today my son called and we had the most "normal" conversation that we've had in a long, long time. I'm thankful for that too!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's starting to look somewhat like Christmas!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.....OOPS! I didn't hang the stockings this year. I thought, you know if we are trying to cut back on all the commercialism....why try to find stuff to stuff stockings with?? Besides I gave the piano away and that's what we put the santas on, so with stockings and all, well, it would just be too much.

But here's our tree! Russell put it together, I'm guessing you could tell it is artificial, Saturday and I had no choice but to start decorating I got out boxes of ornaments that go back for years, I began to enjoy the decorating. I have a beautiful little bell from Mexico that my boss gave me at least 35 years ago! It hangs near the top of the tree each year...and it is just a wonder that in 35 years, I haven't broken the thing! There are ornaments that were given from special people, things the kids made over the years and just lots of memories. The angel on the top I bought on sale at Eckerds when I was a poor, single mother with two children. She has held up pretty well, huh? The angel I mean!

Russell's mother gives us a santa every year. ... I actually have 6, but one is in a different place and one is having his foot glued on. He had a tragic accident!

And that's about all I got done this day! I'm not through yet, and I want to get it all done because one of our sons and his wife are coming this weekend. This will be a very strange year.....only two of our 4 will be in town for Christmas....they're growing up and have other people to visit!

p.s. a funny little story about the was an old turn of the century player piano that had not worked in years. I had tried to give it to everybody that I saw and just could NOT get rid of it, which I wanted badly to do as I had something else I wanted in that spot. Finally, in desperation I put an ad in the "pass it on" in the classifieds. Someone called and said he wanted it and could come the next day. Another woman called and said she wanted it, I told her it was already given away....she said in a very excited voice, "I'll double what they're paying".....I thought for just a minute before saying, it's free. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

And by the way....

I want to say a big thank you to my sister and her husband for letting the three of us stay at their home....we tried so hard not to trash the house and to be civilized and I believe for the most part we were, but at one point something really funny happened and I started to laugh and well I tried to get to the bathroom but, let's just say we had to mop up some wet spots on the floor. I also knocked a mirror off her bathroom wall and even though it didn't break, it broke a small piece of the baseboard off. I'm guessing none of you are planning on asking me to spend the nite anytime soon, huh? Anyway, thanks you guys! We had a great weekend.

Tis the season.....

There are two ways to come home from Pensacola. My husband prefers to go the interstate, but NOT ME. I'm Hwy 98 all the way.....yes, there is so much more traffic, but it's not dark and scary! Due to some problems during the day Saturday, we didn't start home until later than we planned. I don't see well in the dark. I was driving. Russell left early in the day so it was just Carol and me on the way home. Carol slept, I drove, I don't see well at nite...oh, I said that didn't I???

Everything was going just fine until we got to Navarre and they were having their Christmas parade crossing the highway! So there's Santa on the fire truck and there we were for about 20 minutes. I didn't get the spirit yesterday. But today in church singing Christmas hymns and remembering all the Christmas's past and the joy we have at this time, I suddenly felt that spirit light in my heart. So Merry Christmas all. And really, traffic isn't that bad, it gives you time to look at the pictures on your digital camera!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Weddings make me cry.....

This first picture is Carol and me with the girls before they started dressing.

All the children, Emily, Robin, Brian, Katie and Mary Grace. What a beautiful bunch of kids!

Brian and Robin Hatcher. Two married, two to go!

This was Katie's bridesmaid's BREAKFAST! From left to right, Carol, Cathy (my sister), Mary Grace, Emily, Katie and me. We had a good time and ate a big breakfast. Good thing because we didn't eat much at the reception and then just a bite when we got home. Oh, if you don't count the candy corn that I ate at my sister's house. She is so evil for keeping snack stuff around.

Mr. and Mrs. Beau Benoit dancing at their reception. They took dance lessons and they were great! I'm entering them for dancing with the stars!

Katie was the happiest I've ever seen her on her wedding day. She was calm (at least outwardly) and serene and so sure of this. It was so sweet to watch her that day.

At her reception, all the toasts were sweet, but when her sisters got up to give theirs we knew to get out our hankies! Mary Grace, the baby of the family, talked about Katie being the glue that held their family together and that if anybody deserved this happiness it was her. Then Tony, Katie's dad gave a charge and a blessing to them that was so perfect!

We danced and danced and then we went home to let the young people finish off the nite. It was a beautiful day, a precious, holy ceremony and a fun reception!

This is my toast to you both, May you always be as happy as you are today (on their wedding day).....