Friday, December 31, 2004

It's...

my birthday today. Officially have entered the mid-thirties. Hmmm . . . not sure what to think about that. :-)



No big birthday plans, that I know of. We're actually going to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family today since we were all scattered last weekend.

If I don't make it back here today, have a wonderful New Year's Eve and be safe!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I Should Be in Bed!

It's late for me . . . almost 11 p.m. But we've been on a tear of staying up late this week with our insane home improvement project. What started out as "let's get a new tub and toilet" has turned into ripping out the entire bathroom and starting from the bottom up . . . meaning replacing all the pipes under the house and beyond. Suffice it to say we are broke, broke, BROKE and may have to sell a kidney or two to make it. But, the toilet is installed now and I don't have to drive down to our church every few hours to go to the bathroom. It's a good thing. :-)

Before I crash, I'll answer Lara's questions that she asked in the recent questionaire challenge. They are:

1. Do you like winter?

Love. It. Five years in Canada while my Dad pastored a church there and I was hooked. Love snow, loved being bundled up, love eating warm comfort-y food like soup in the wintertime, love it.

2. Have I commented on your blog before and just don't remember it?

I don't think so, but I'm glad that you stopped by! :-)

3. Art or writing?

Writing . . . I can't draw my way out of a wet paper bag to use a wonderfully Southern phrase.

Some of the movie recommendations that I've gotten are:

  • Kate & Leopold (by 2 folks no less) ~ which I have seen and enjoyed, but it's been awhile.
  • Holes ~ we watched this at the hospital one night after I had Noelle. It is a great kid movie although at first I had a really hard time following along . . . must of been post-delivery exhaustion. :-)
  • Much Ado About Nothing ~ we rented this fairly recently, too. Very good. We were on a Shakespeare kick for a few weeks when we would rent videos from the library.

    Any other movies ya'll think we should see?
  • Tuesday, December 28, 2004

    The Christmas Post

    Complete with photos. :-)

    We had a nice Christmas. It was quiet, but very enjoyable. As I explained more here, our jaunt to Ohio was sidelined by the wintery weather they had. Christmas was just the three of us (5 if you count the doggies) and we had a good day. Noelle is still not understanding the whole opening presents thing so we helped her open her new Veggie Tales car and it sang and drove all around the family room. I took advantage of the holiday to wear pajamas all day (shhhhh!) and read a book almost the whole way through. I haven't relaxed that much in who knows how long. Travis worked some around the house - he loves that kind of stuff and that's how he relaxs, and so we did do some cleaning . . . like moving all the furniture in the family room to vacuum under it. I also made my very first Christmas dinner. It wasn't grand or fancy since I had just one day to find out that I needed to feed us, but it was most yummy. The highlight as voted on by all was the homemade mashed potatoes. We never have mashed potatoes and I think this was only the 2nd time that I've ever made them from scratch in my life. They turned out sooooo good. (I think because we only had Noelle's rich whole milk to put in them and butter). I may need to make them again very, very, very soon. (The rest of the menu included ham, green bean cassarole, and corn, but it all paled next the wonder that was the potatoes! Hehehe!)

    We spent Christmas Eve with a family in our church. Their traditional Christmas Eve dinner is shrimp and pizza. Our family has joined theirs every Christmas Eve since we moved to Tennessee and it was wonderful to go over to their house and spend the evening with friends. That was one thing I was going to miss when we had planned to be gone. Our hostess always has a beautiful Christmas tree set up and, of course, I utilized it as a backdrop for some photos...

    Here are pictures from our Christmas Eve.

    And, here are pics from our Christmas day.

    Noelle also got to play in the snow some this past weekend. She had experienced her "first snow" last Thanksgiving in Ohio, but since she was 7 or 8 weeks old, I'm sure her memory of it is rather fuzzy. :-) Please note that I did dress my girl with pink pants and a red coat. Do not adjust your monitor!





    Cheri asked me three questions so I will answer them before getting back to some housework:

    1. Where do you see yourself/family in 10 years?

    I would love to still be home and be homeschooling our children. I would not be surprised if we didn't move at some point so that Travis could get some graduate education - whether seminary or something else.

    2. How did you like moving around while growing up?

    I don't know that I really thought much about it at the time. It just seemed like the way our lives were and people were supposed to move every few years like we did. Now, looking back, I think it was good for me in that I am more confident about being in new situations - not necessarily the most outgoing person - but I can go to something new by myself and survive. I would wish for my children, however, that they have a little more stability growing up that I did. Moving so much, I made few close childhood friends and that is one thing that I have really struggled with as an adult . . . opening up to folks and having to learn how to make and be a friend.

    3. What do you hope 2005 holds for you...it doesn't have to be deep or anything...but is there any goal you want to acheive or craft you want to tackle etc.

    Hmmmm, one of my goals is to get back into a routine with my scrapbooking. Noelle is getting to an age where she loves to look at people she knows in pictures and I want to have something I can show her. I also hope to spend more time in the Bible over the next year and set some patterns for many years down the road. Just off the top of my head...

    I have some other questions, but I've typed long enough for today. I'll tackle them throughout the rest of this week. :-)

    Monday, December 27, 2004

    Just for second...

    Edited to add: The dogs were found this evening by the local sheriff's department and animal control called to let us know! They had gotten VERY far from home and are exhausted. We are so thankful they are back!




    Two things and I'll make a real post maybe later this evening on in the morning. Noelle and Christmas pictures are probably a given. :-)

    One, pray for our puppies. They ran off today around noon and we haven't seen them since. They have gone on short run-aways before and have always come back quickly, but it's been almost five hours now. We have to spend the night at my folks' house because we are doing some major plumbing overhaul here (another loooong story there) and so we won't be home to get the dogs if they come back later.

    I'm very, very bummed. I miss my dogs.

    Second, stolen from Cheri, who is known for stealing from other people's blogs . . . :-)

    A) Recommend to me:

    1. a movie.
    2. a book.
    3. a musical artist, song, or album.

    B) Ask me three questions. Ask me anything you want.

    C) Now go to your blog (if you have one), copy and paste this, and allow everyone to ask you the same.

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    Home for Christmas

    Or at least it is looking that way.

    Travis' mom called this morning with a weather report from up north. Fourteen inches of snow thus far with more to come. Blizzard conditions have been pronounced. We are going to reassess the weather this evening, but it doesn't look like we will be leaving town for Christmas. I'm so thankful that the storm came before we headed out and we didn't get stuck somewhere on the side of the road or in a motel for Christmas. (Although we would have cable TV to entertain us at a motel!) :-) Many prayers for those en route.

    But I am a little diappointed that Noelle won't get to see Travis' folks. I'm sure we will make some kind of plan to get up there soon and celebrate Christmas, but she is changing so much and I don't want them to miss it. Two more words have come out this week . . . "shoes" and "toes" (a theme here).

    It's very quiet around the house this morning. I've been keeping my nephew and my neice this week and they are both home today because my sister didn't want to get out on our semi-icy streets. So it's just me and Noelle and the puppies. Noelle is playing in her pack-n-play (I put here in there when I shower for safety issues!) and is "reading" some books. Travis made it into work and since I'm home carless, I have no choice but to curl up with a book once Noelle goes down for her morning nap. I haven't had a chance to do that in a while. Now that I think about it, I actually may pull out my Bible study stuff and work on it for a while first. I have been so slack about spending time in my Bible. Especially this week with the extra kiddos about. I know that if I would open my Bible in the morning, first thing, it would help me keep my temper and exhibit patience with all three. But I have been relying on my own strength and there have been some not-pretty Mama moments. Time to make some changes along those lines.

    So, what's the new game plan now that we are probably not leaving town? I'll have to get to the grocery store at some point today. I've been trying to clean the fridge out and have done a good job of it. :-) Noelle needs her milk and we need to figure out a plan for Christmas dinner for the three of us. This is the first Christmas that my side of the family is sort-of splitting up for the holidays. My parents are driving to Oklahoma to check on the grandparents and my sister and family will be with her husband's family. My sis, et al, are only about 45 minutes away and we could get together with them, but she does NOT like to drive on ice at all. Truth-be-told, I'm a little excited about it being just us on Christmas day. That's not something that we'll be able to do for probably many more years because of our far-away family so I'm going to enjoy having a quiet day at home with just my husband, my daughter, and, of course, my dogs. *sigh* The dogs are huskies - do you think they could make their way to Ohio to visit the grandparents on their own? :-)

    Noelle and I had a little photo shoot this morning just for fun. :-)





    Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    All Done!

    The Christmas shopping is done. I would have been done a few weeks ago except for the gift for my brother-in-law. He is so hard to buy for and when I asked my sister for ideas she said that he could use some new underwear because he's "hard on his shorts."

    Really. Besides the fact that that is waaaaay too much information, I'm not buying my brother-in-law underwear for Christmas.

    However, one quick trip to Best Buy this evening and he's taken care of. Then a stop at Target for a few things like detergent and back home for the evening. Travis and Noelle went out and bought a new tub for our house. That is our Christmas present to each other - we (read Travis) are remodeling the bathroom after Christmas. Before visions of granduer rush through anyone's head, it is a very small bathroom with some serious floor rotting issues around the tub and behind the toilet. He's going to go in and replace some of the wood in the floor, put in a new tub, toilet and sink and replace the flooring. (The bathroom is so small that we can buy just a remnant piece of linoleum for it). It will be nice to have a fresh bathroom to look forward to in 2005 . . . and nice to have Travis home the week between Christmas and New Year's while he works on it. :-)

    Tomorrow I am hopefully going to finish up some laundry before our trip to visit Travis' family. His mom and step-dad haven't seen Noelle since May so it's going to be fun to watch them with her. They won't believe how much she has changed. She has added some new words to her vocabulary just this past week. "No" and "good girl." When she says "good girl" it sounds like "gooooo guuuurrrrr" and is so cute. That's what I say to her after she has obeyed me, and every now and then, when she does something I've told her to do, she will say "goooo guuuurrr" and prompt me! :-) She is loving having her little boy cousin here this week - it's "bay-bay" this and "bay-bay" that when they are around each other.



    I also had my neice some this afternoon and I'll have her again Thursday morning. It's kid central over here! I had hoped to get a little more cleaning done on the house before leaving, like mopping the kitchen, but that may take a backseat until after our trip. One thing I'm looking forward to on our trip is the drive . . . time in the car to read, maybe journal (although I really don't like writing in the car b/c I can't be neat), visit with Travis and read out loud to him. That relaxs me more than anything when we go somewhere. The time away from the phone and regular day-to-day. (I can't say time away from the computer because I usually try and check in with email at least once or twice while gone in case something comes up at church that I might need to handle). But there will be time away from writing here and checking up on my SIR.

    I'll close with a review of 2004 that I've been wanting to work on...

    What did you do in 2004 that you've never done before?

    Was a SAHM for year, went white water rafting with the youth group, planned a PROM for our church. :-)

    Did you keep you New Years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?

    I did make some in 2004, but as for keeping them, read here for a belly laugh. I have some that I have been thinking and praying on for 2005 and will write up later.

    Did anyone close to you give birth?

    My sister and Melissa!

    Did anyone close to you die?

    No

    What countries did you visit?

    Uuuuum, none. Unless Texas and Ohio count.

    What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

    Contentment with where I am in life; a deeper longing to be in the Word.

    What date from 2004 will remained etched in your memory and why?

    I don't know that I have one in particular. August was a hard month overall and that will probably stay with me for a while longer.

    What was your biggest achievement of the year?

    Learning to be slower to speak and quicker to listen.

    What was your biggest failure?

    My selfishness in my marriage.

    Did you suffer illness or injury?

    Nothing other than colds and stuff.

    What was the best thing you bought?

    Our new couch and loveseat that we got back in February . . . we were able to pass on a sofa couch that was MOST uncomfortable.

    Where did most of your money go?

    Car repairs, home repair, diapers & formula!

    What did you get really, really, really excited about?

    Noelle crawling. Noelle walking. Noelle eating "big people" food. Noelle saying Mama - oh, wait, she doesn't do that yet. :-)

    What song will always remind you of 2004?

    Trading My Sorrows

    Compared to this time last year are you:
    a. Happier or sadder? Sadder, but in a good way if that makes sense. God is refining.
    b. thinnier or fatter? Ahem, baby weight still stuck around.
    c. richer or poorer? Poorer, but learning true contentment.

    What do you wish you'd done more of?

    Scrapbooking, reading my Bible, journalling.

    What do you wish you'd done less of?

    Fussing with Travis, reading fiction, being busy (having more margin in my life).

    How did you spend Christmas?

    We'll spend it in Ohio with my husband's family.

    Did you fall in love in 2004?

    Yes! With my husband and my daughter.

    What was your favorite TV show?

    This has been a year of no TV. I can't say I watched any TV show . . .

    What was the best book you read?

    Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson

    What was your greatest musical discovery of 2004?

    Re-discovery of classical music.

    What did you want and get?

    To be a stay-at-home-mom.

    What did you want and not get?

    A minivan!

    What was your favorite film this year?

    Probably the Harry Potter movie . . . just well done.

    What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?

    I haven't had my birthday yet . . . it's New Year's Eve. I'll be 30-mumblemumblemumble-something.

    What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

    To end it expecting another baby!

    How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

    Wash and wear!

    What kept you sane?

    My women's Bible study (just the accountability to be in the Word); my husband.

    Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

    Ummmm, did I mention that I don't watch much TV?

    What political issue stirred you the most?

    Legalization of gay marraige.

    Who did you miss?

    My friend Danni. My friend Laura.

    Who was the best new person you met?

    The W@H women!

    Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

    You're a little piece of heaven
    You're a golden ray of light
    Ad I wish I could protect you
    From the worries of this life
    But if there's one thing I could tell you
    It's no matter what you do
    Hold to Jesus - He's holding on to you

    ..::Erin O'Donnell::..






    Monday, December 20, 2004

    Another List...

    Am watching my nephew all this week until we go out of town. I had so many things I wanted to get done before heading out of town, but they may not happen. Anyway, I did this little questionaire thingy I stole so thought I would go ahead and post it.

    Photo for Cheri . . . eat your heart out. :-)



    Snatched from Cheri, who snatched from Heather:

    1. Name the last four things you have bought...

    Gas, Diet Dr. Pepper/Dr. Pepper, cough drops, dinner @ Macaroni Grille

    2. Name four drinks you regularly drink...

    Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper, coffee, decaf iced tea

    3. Last time you cried?

    Last night.

    4. What's in your CD player?

    Chopin (or some other classical CD); in the car: Phillips Craig & Dean

    5. What's under your bed?

    Two Rubbermaid storage bins - one with wrapping paper & gift bags and one with photos from my parents house that will eventually be scrapbooked.

    6. What time did you wake up today?

    About 6:30 . . .

    7. Current hair?

    Long, brown (natural color) with a few layers in it.

    8. Current clothes?

    Comfy, WARM pants and a striped pink shirt.

    9. Current desktop picture?

    Some piece of abstract art that Travis found online.

    10. Current worry?

    Our dogs' new trick has been to get out of the backyard so I'm constantly stressing about them getting hit by a car or running off and getting lost and not coming home.

    11. Current hate?

    Reality TV . . . I'm sorry, but I'm just NOT into it. Actually, most TV shows in general. But that's another soapbox for another time.

    12. Favorite places to be?

    Home (in our big family room), riding in the car (doesn't matter where I'm going, I just like to ride and look out the window).

    13. Least favorite place?

    Right now . . . the mall! :-)

    14. If you could play an instrument?

    I play several, but wish I had practiced more on the piano (and/or remember more of what I learned in 12 years of lessons!)

    15. Favorite color(s)?

    Purple, chocolate brown, and apple green - but not necessarily together.

    16. How tall are you?

    5 ft., 4 in.

    17. Favorite expression...

    "Buzz."

    18. One person from your past you wish you could talk to?

    My friend Danni who lives far, far away. Same with my friend Krista...

    19. Favorite day(s)?

    Mondays & Thursday are good. They are my for sure "at-home" days.

    20. Where would you like to go?

    Anywhere in the US I haven't been before - Alaska, New Mexico, California, northeastern states. Or England. Or Israel.

    21. Where do you want to live when you get married?

    Ummm, past tense. :-) I like where we are right now.

    22. Favorite food?

    Currently (because this always changes) yummy soup in a bread bowl, sausage & egg breakfast burritos, biscuits hot from the oven, guacamole & chips.

    23. Color of most clothes you own?

    Does the color of my dog's fur count? (hehehehe) I don't think I own any one color - one thing I don't have is much white. I am too messy to wear white very often. :-)

    24. Number of pillows you sleep with?

    2

    25. What do you wear when you go to sleep?

    Summer, usually just a long t-shirt. Winter, same t-shirt, but with a pair of Old N@vy sleep pants.

    26. What were you doing 12 a.m. last night?

    Snoozin'...

    27. How old will you be in 10 years?

    44. Ugh.

    28. What do you think you'll be doing in 10 years?

    Hopefully homeschooling my children, involved in ministry somehow.

    29. Do you have braces?

    No, never.

    30. Are you paranoid?

    Sometimes, why do you ask?!?!

    31. Do you burn or tan?

    Burn, baby!

    32. What is the brand of your wallet?

    Vera Bradley in apple green.

    33. First piercing/tattoo?

    Ears pieced at 15 or 16. Late bloomer... :-)

    34. First enemy?

    I really don't know...

    35. Last person you yelled at?

    Noelle. *sigh* She pulled a stack of stuff on my desk.

    36. Last crush?

    My husband. Still crushin'.

    37. Last thing you ate?

    I haven't yet today. Getting ready to figure out something for lunch. Last thing last night was a little popcorn before bed.

    Saturday, December 18, 2004

    I'm Not...

    Expecting. Anything. You know. That might arrive in several months all red and squishy and preciously adorable.

    I Am...

    Bummed. Still tired. More bummed.

    Just sayin'...

    Friday, December 17, 2004

    Snoooooooooze

    If you are looking forward to the Chronicles of Narnia movies that are coming out in about a year, an online look behind the scenes has been made available - very cool if you are into that kind of stuff.

    Trying to get a little work done for church and all I want to do is take a nap. :-) (It always seems that the days that Noelle fusses and FUSSES about taking her nap, those are the days where I am dying for one . . . you know what I mean?) Working on our music team calendar for January with plans to hopefully have it posted on our music team website by Monday. I want to have that off my back before all our team is travelling and exited the state for Christmas.

    I need some energy. I think I am still in my post-Christmas program slump from Sunday. I just can't get fired up about anything. I really don't think it's any kind of depression related slump (have done that before). I'm just worn out and ready for some refresh time. The last few nights I've crashed out on the couch and slept hard the whole night. This morning I didn't wake up until Travis went and got Noelle about 7:45 . . . that's very unusual for me. Probably just means I need more sleep that I'm giving myself. I am normally a 10 p.m. to bed person and very regular about that. Lately it's been 11 or later before I even head that way and I'm probably just all off schedule.

    Since this post is getting more boring by the moment (!) a small questionaire lifted from Dana's site, but seen elsewhere as well. :-)

    1. Egg nog - yum or yuck?
    I like it, but in small quantities. It's so rich that I can take about 2 drinks and be satisfied. :-)

    2. Stay up until midnight on New Years?
    I try. :-) I normally slump about 11:30 p.m. and struggle to make it to midnight.

    3. Prefer white or colored lights?
    Either is fine, just not mixed together. Colored lights remind me of my tree growing up and my tree now has just white - probably because that was what was on sale.

    4. Favorite holiday song.
    There are lots I like: O Come All Ye Faithful, I Am, You Are by The Martins, and I love to listen to the instrumental version of Sleigh Ride.

    5. What is your tackiest holiday decoration?
    I don't think I have anything tacky . . . yet. My Dad does have one of those dancing Santas that blow bubbles that someone bought him from Cracker Barrel. I'm sure I'll end up with that "family heirloom" someday. :-)

    6. Do your kids have too much and you wonder just WHY you are getting more??
    Thankfully, no. We've really worked on not buying Noelle a lot of toys and just rotating the few that she has. We'll see how I answer this after Christmas, though, after we've visited both sets of grandparents.

    7. If you celebrate Christmas, when does your tree go up and come down?
    Normally goes up around Thanksgiving - no set day, just whatever is convenient for me to get Travis to get it out of the attic. This year we put it up the weekend before since we were going to be out of town over Thanksgiving and I didn't want to have to come home and put it up right away. It will probably come down after the first some time. When I was little, my Mom always took the tree down right after Christmas. My birthday is New Year's Eve and she wanted to have all the Christmas over with when it came time for birthday. I'm enjoying not being so rushed in taking down the tree.

    8. Open presents on Christmas eve, morning, or other?
    Christmas morning. This year, we are leaving Christmas Eve to go to Travis' folks, so we will probably have our Christmas with Noelle on Christmas Eve morning.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    Picture Day

    It's been some time since I shamelessly promoted my family in pictures so here goes.

    My neice Jordan - her 7 year old birthday picture.



    My mom wanted a picture of her three grandkids in their Christmas finery this past Sunday. You will note that Jordan is getting quite a workout as she is having to hang on to the two littler ones.





    Just to clarify, my child is the one with the pale, ghost-like appearance next to her deliciously carmel colored cousins. :-)

    (If one wanted to see a small photo of Noelle playing with her friend Ty, click here).

    In other news, my child gets more precious every day. It's amazing how many little things she is picking up. She has now learned nose - "dooooose" - but only will point to mine or Travis' nose, not her own. She was playing with a big sparkly Christmas bracelet I have and learned how to put it on over her wrist. Last night she and I were sorting through some clothes trying to find some jammies that would fit her. She found a pair of little pink sandals that were about two sizes too big. Noelle plopped down in my lap and stuck her food out for me to put those shoes on her. She wore them all evening, too.

    Last night was our Christmas women's get-together for church. Very fun and loads o' good food. I'm glad I went although about a half hour before I was supposed to walk out the door I had a big sleepy spell and was tempted to stay home and relax. But, as I even predicted for myself, I knew that as soon as I got there, I would enjoy myself. Tonight we have our last small group get-together until after the holidays. Then a free Thursday where Noelle and I don't have to get out at all and no evening plans and a free Friday night. I'm hopefully going to back some bread tomorrow and get some work done around the house - packing lists for our trip to Ohio next week, sorting through Noelle's clothes that she is too big for, stuff like that. Oh, and looking for the TV/DVD remote which has been missing all week . . .

    One more picture of Noelle, I can't help myself. It's amazing what you can pick up at Lowe's this time of year!

    Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    Pot Pourri

    Got this quiz from Pattie. Love the choice of book, not sure about the rest. :-)




    You're Anne of Green Gables!

    by L.M. Montgomery

    Bright, chipper, vivid, but with the emotional fortitude of cottage
    cheese, you make quite an impression on everyone you meet. You're impulsive, rash,
    honest, and probably don't have a great relationship with your parents. People hurt
    your feelings constantly, but your brazen honestly doesn't exactly treat others with
    kid gloves. Ultimately, though, you win the hearts and minds of everyone that matters.
    You spell your name with an E and you want everyone to know about it.



    Take the Book Quiz
    at the Blue Pyramid.


    The rule of threes


    Stolen from Cheryl

    THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
    1. Stephanie
    2. Auntie Nef
    3. Someday, maybe, my child will learn to say Mama so I'm counting that one.


    THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD:
    1. herdofsteph
    2. auntienef
    3. stephds


    THREE THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
    1. My hair
    2. My left handed ness
    3. My hands


    THREE THINGS YOU HATE OR DISLIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
    1. My *ahem* baby roll
    2. My eyebrows
    3. My legs


    THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
    1. All-American
    2. Depression tendency
    3. I can't think of anything else...!


    THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
    1. My dogs getting hit by a car
    2. Heights
    3. Sin


    THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
    1. Diet Coke
    2. My Palm
    3. Socks


    THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
    1. White long-sleeve shirt
    2. Blue comfy pants
    3. Gray sweatjacket w/ hood


    THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS (or artists(at the moment)):
    1. Phillips Craig and Dean
    2. Chopin
    3. Point of Grace


    THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS AT PRESENT:
    1. You are God Alone - Phillips Craig & Dean
    2. Anything classical right now
    3. My Jesus I Love Thee (hymn)


    THREE NEW THINGS YOU WANT TO TRY IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS
    1. More stamping in my card making
    2. Writing an Easter program for church
    3. Cook a whole chicken


    THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP (love is a given):
    1. Faithfulness
    2. Accountability
    3. Steadfastness


    TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE:
    1. I would like another dog.
    2. I would like to pierce my belly button
    3. I would like a minivan.


    THREE PHYSICAL THINGS ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX THAT APPEAL TO YOU:
    1. hands
    2. eyes
    3. hip (don't ask) :-)


    THREE THINGS YOU JUST CAN'T DO:
    1. Watch my carb intake (Ditto!) :-)
    2. Cross my eyes.
    3. Do much of anything with my right hand.


    THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES:
    1. Scrapbooking and cardmaking
    2. Reading
    3. Music related activites


    THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
    1. Be pregnant
    2. Have two cars that are running well consistently.
    3. More involvement in a certain ministry area at church.


    THREE CAREERS YOU'RE CONSIDERING:
    1. Event planning
    2. Custom invitations and gifts
    3. Professional purse shopper :-)


    THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
    1. England
    2. Israel
    3. Anyplace in the US that I haven't been before - California, Northeast US, New Mexico, Alaska!!


    THREE KID'S NAMES
    1. Noelle Joyce (taken)
    2. John "Jack" Lewis
    3. Will Tanner


    THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
    1. See my grandchildren
    2. Write a book
    3. Travel

    Monday, December 13, 2004

    Where's My Motivation...

    Five p.m. and Noelle just laid down for a late afternoon nap. I need to get to work on something for dinner but have little motivation at this point. One reason being that Noelle and I had lunch after 1 o'clock and I'm not even hungry for dinner yet. And, two, I have no motivation. :-) I think I'm just suffering the let down of a very busy and emotional weekend. On Friday we found out that my neice Jordan has a small heart murmur that the Drs want to keep an eye on. She just turned 7, and they want to recheck her in 3 months, but have given her no restrictions as far as diet and/or exercise. My sister, understandably was pretty shook up. She lost one baby at birth and I'm sure the emotions from that experience come rushing back when you get frightening news about another child. If you think of it, please keep my sister in your prayers as well as my sweet neice.

    Most of the weekend was consumed with church. Travis and I had a staff meeting on Saturday morning, and then were at the church all day finishing up the set up for our Sunday morning program and having the music team's final rehearsal and the final rehearsal with the children. We also had Christmas parties both Friday and Saturday night - Friday night was with good friends from church - and Noelle went to Grandma's for the evening - and Saturday night was at the home of a couple that Travis works with. It was an open house/Christmas party in this couples' brand new home so I was kept busy following Noelle and making sure that she didn't get into anything or spill anything. As far as that went, it was a successful evening!

    This week is going to be another busy one. Tomorrow night is our women's Christmas party for church. I'm making this fabulous smelling Eggnog Bread to take (recipe from Monika!) Wednesday I have a birthday lunch for a friend and that night we have small group at our house and it's my night for snack for that, too. (Double batch of Eggnog Bread possibly??) Thursday night I need to prepare for music on Sunday morning and on Friday I'm having lunch with another friend that I don't get to catch up with often. Saturday is caroling with church. All good things, but hard to have any margin in my life around the holidays. The last few months, I've been practicing saying "no" a bit more and revelling in being home more with Noelle. Slowing down and choosing to do a few things well instead of many things sloppily has been good. Looking forward to doing more of that...

    Sunday, December 12, 2004

    Sunday Brunch

    From Sunday Brunch...

    Our Christmas (music) program was today. I'm tired. It went well and the kids did great. Tomorrow is errand day to get caught up on a few things now that I'm past our church's big event - food for the dogs, buy us a new phone, bank deposit, and a few groceries. Maybe even a real post here. :-)

    1) What is your favorite color?
    Current favorite is chocolate-y brown. Just barely above my all-time favorite of purple.

    2) What colors are your cars?
    Red and green.

    3) What color are your eyes?
    Brown.

    4) What color do you like to wear most often?
    Brown - deep rich brown. Actually any deep color looks good on me - I can't wear kacki or pastels without looking like I am very ill. :-)

    5) Name your favorite possession of each color of the rainbow:
    Red: My '93 Honda
    Orange: I don't have anything orange ... maybe a highlighter?
    Yellow: My Sam dog
    Green: Any green pen - I love writing in green especially at Christmas time. Also my blog because it is green.
    Blue: my sweatsuit I just wore yesterday! :-)
    Indigo: I'm not really sure the technical difference between blue and indigo and purple, so I'll just move along to...
    Purple: my 12 year old American Eagle sweatshirt with Lake Louise on it

    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Quote

    Am rereading Little Women for book group. This quote stuck out at me as I was reading last night:
    " . . . but it does seem as if the more one gets the more one wants, doesn't it?"

    Very true and especially timely to think about as we are in the Christmas season. Travis and I were talking about what to get Noelle for Christmas. Last year she was just barely 3 months - all we got her was a "baby's first Christmas" ornament for the tree and The Beginner's Bible. She'll be 15 months this year, and still not really old enough to "get" the whole gift thing. I want to set a precedent this year though for the years to come on not going nuts on gift giving. We're going to do the 3-gifts thing. Only three gifts at Christmas. I want to start now teaching her that Christmas is not about gifts but about Jesus. And even though it starts with that tiny Baby in a manger, He is now so much more than that.
    Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
    Rev. 1:12-16

    Thank you Lord that you didn't stay a Baby but are risen and gloriously awaiting us in heaven!

    Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    My Wednesday...

    ~ up at 6:30-ish.
    ~ at the church to check on the wet carpet . . . it smells!
    ~ cancel Awana by 8:30 a.m. and get email out the church.
    ~ rehearsal for our trio song on Sunday from 9-11.
    ~ the song went really well - sigh of relief as I had not even had time to LOOK at the music until this morning.
    ~ off to the grocery store for juice and whatnot
    ~ take husband a drink from Sonic by the office
    ~ mailed Christmas cards!
    ~ get a call to go to lunch w/ best friend, her treat, and wonderfully, fabulous, restaurant.
    ~ Yeah!
    ~ completely forget about mall traffic and that we would have to wait for-ev-er with three kiddos.
    ~ waited outside in beautiful 60-something degree weather and enjoyed sunshine.
    ~ came home and put sweet girl down for nap.
    ~ got sweet girl up from nap soon after because bad dogs got out of the back yard.
    ~ got sweet girl loaded into car seat just as bad dogs come to side door of house and ask to be let in.
    ~ bad, bad, bad, bad dogs.
    ~ but I gave them both a bone for remembering to come home.
    ~ put sweet girl down for a nap again.
    ~ am now making a pot of coffee.
    ~ we're having pizza for dinner.
    ~ then I have to go to Kinko's and photocopy some music for our rehearsal tomorrow and for Sunday's service.
    ~ I'm kinda glad that Awana (and our small group study) were cancelled for tonight.
    ~ I have a lot to do for our Christmas program on Sunday.

    So, does this count as a day in my life for my Swonderings post?

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    After the Storm...

    I have the back door open and it's a fabulous 66 degrees outside. The dogs are wrestling on the patio and not in the house - a good thing. :-)

    Today has been a busy one. I woke this morning (or sometime in the middle of the night) to a huge thunderstorm. We've been having problems at our church with flooding so Travis ran down there before work to see what the status was. It was wet. I've been on the phone quite a bit this morning trying to coordinate and juggle some building stuff, work on our Christmas program for Sunday and entertain my 14 month old.

    >Breaking News Bulletin: Dogs are no longer wrestling but have scooted under the fence and run down the street. Be back after I retrieve them.

    Dogs now trapped in kitchen, no longer at liberty to enjoy the 66 degree weather outside. Anything that I was going to write about is now gone from my brain. :-) Such is life.

    However, this new picture of my nephew. Cheri, I thought of you when my Dad sent it to me. Click here to view.

    Update:
    (You can see the picture bigger by clicking here. As Jamie asked me to clarify, it's one baby, three photos, stitched together.)

    Monday, December 06, 2004

    At Home

    Today is our at-home day. Other than a quick run to the church to check for water damage we are in for the day. We've had some serious water leak issues in our building the last month or so and it's been raining since last night. At the moment, all is dry! :-)

    Busy weekend around here. Had a surprise birthday party/church crop night that I went to on Friday. Very fun to hang out with friends although I got very little done in the scrapbook department. (Mental note: check scrapbook supplies more carefully to make sure that we don't run out of important things like, ummmm, things to stick pictures to our scrapbook pages! Duh!) Saturday morning into the afternoon was back to church for a Christmas music rehearsal. Our special service is this coming Sunday so we'll be out and around a bunch this week with extra rehearsals and stuff. Yesterday, we celebrated my neice's 7th birthday. My Dad bar-b-qued ribs on the grill after church - fab. u. lous. And sent us home with two bags of leftover. You'll never guess what is for dinner tonight. :-)

    Travis and I had a major fight discussion on Saturday night. I hate it when that happens on Saturday night. I am never able to sleep well after we talk and, consequently, feel like I've been run over by a truck on Sunday morning and most definitely don't feel like getting up and leading in worship. That's when God really has to take over so that I can get through the morning . . . as well as the rest of the day. Anyway, things are better now that we have a few things out in the open.

    Today feels like a day I need to be thankful for my blessings...
    ~ My husband, who is my favorite person in the whole wide world.
    ~ His new beard which I luuuuuuuuuuuuuve.
    ~ Amazon.com and any other manner of online shopping for the holidays
    ~ candy that you can only get at this time of the year . . .



    ~ leftovers from my Dad's grilling
    ~ an evening to curl up in front of a Christmas movie with my husband. I think tonight's viewing is going to be A Christmas Story.
    ~ My sweet girl, who is currently napping away like an angel, and who has been in such a giggly mood lately that I can hardly stand it. :-)

    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Plugging Away...

    Note: Leann posted her last entry or two in green and it was so Christmas-y I'm going to try it. :-)

    Working away here this morning on my church printing - prayer sheet, bulletin, etc. At the moment I'm waiting for the printer to catch up with me. :-) We are home almost all day today - yeah! Travis and I have a music/Christmas rehearsal this evening and my Mom is coming over to watch Noelle for us. We've done too much running around this week. Tomorrow we have our Friday trip to the library and we have been invited to lunch at some friends' house, then in the evening I am off to our church's monthly scrapbook & craft night. I'm looking forward to that. I haven't been to one of our monthly nights since August, I believe, so I'm hoping I can get a lot done.

    Noelle note: She can now say the word "go." Sounds something like "gaaaaaah" and she gets what it means, too! If I even mention that we are going to go somewhere, she is pulling and squirming until she is in her carseat ready to go.

    Last night was our first sit-down meal since we've gotten back from Thanksgiving. (Sit-down meaning at the table as opposed to sitting in the family room on our comfy chairs). We had BBQ keilbasa, squash cassarole and green beans for dinner. It was so yummy. I love cooking and the squash cassarole recipe was from the new Mitford cookbook that was published a few months ago (Puny's Squash Cassarole). Literally, melted in my mouth! I asked Travis what he thought about it and it said that it was good except for the squash! I didn't realize that he's not a big fan of squash so unfortunately, that means all the leftovers are for me. :-) Right now, I have chicken stewing in the crockpot and am hoping that I can make some form of chicken noodle soup with it later today. One of my resolutions for 2005 is going to be to learn how to cook a whole chicken, whether in the crockpot or roasting it. I've been balking at that for a couple years now, and it's soooo much cheaper to make it that way that buying the boneless breasts just to stew it.


    Speaking of resolutions, I went and pulled out what I had written down for my 2004 resolutions. Had quite the chuckle when I saw how I had not kept any of them. In review:

    1. Spend time in the Word. My goal - to read all four gospels this year.
    Sadly, did not even come close. I managed to keep up with the women's Bible study at church, but that was about it. I think this was directly related to the fact I did NOT keep resolution #2.

    2. Read only 1 fiction book a month.
    I am trying to cut back on my fiction reading . . . I think I'm going to try and stay in Dana's Coffee and a Book group for 2005 and that will give me a fiction book to be reading and it will make me go slower and savor it. I read too fast and plow through books rather than enjoying the time snuggled down with one.

    3. Write down one thing every day that I am thankful for . . . and then give thanks for it!
    Did I even put this as a resolution??

    4. Less carbohydrates, more fruits and vegetables!
    Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha

    5. Serve my family with joy, doing ALL things without grumbling!
    I may have actually made some progress on this one! See yesterday's post. :-)

    And so, because I can't stand his cuteness - a recent picture of my 7 week nephew.