Monday, December 31, 2012

Another End, Another Beginning

So here I am at the end of another year. And getting ready to begin a new one. Honestly, other than having to write 2013 instead of 2012, tomorrow will be much the same as today. But it is a chance to look at my life, where I've been, and where I'm going. I've had the same resolutions for far too long to write them down again. I know what I need to do...or not do. And hopefully being older, and wiser, will help in finally getting all those things taken care of so I can move on. On to bigger and better things.

But when midnight strikes tonight, it will not change who I am. Who I have been. Who I want to be. I am grateful to know that I can start over every day, not just tomorrow. Each morning when I open my eyes, I am given the blessing of another day. None of which during the last 40 years have been perfect. Nor will any during the next 40. As a matter of fact, some of my days have stunk. Some were full of fear and tears and pain. But even more have been wonderful. Full of laughter and joy and peace. And the older I get, the more of my days are of the wonderful variety. And fewer and fewer of the stinky.

For the last few years my family has been in a sort of limbo waiting for this and that and the other. And finally, finally we are enjoying some security and stability. We still have a lot to overcome, but there is a light at the end of a very long tunnel. And that light is what I've been waiting for most of all.

So as the old year ends and the new one starts, I will feel blessed. What else is there to feel when I am healthy and happy and surrounded by those I love more than life itself?

Happy New Year. May you be blessed to overflowing, too.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Vacation Ramblings

Christmas vacation started a day early, so we didn't get to have our class Christmas party. We will be having a New Year's party in my class in January instead. Then it's right back to learning how to read.

Saturday was date night. Arrty and I went to Red Lobster for dinner and talked and ate crab and solved all the world's problems. Date nights are rare...and nice.

Sunday night we put up our Christmas tree. (Do not judge me.)

Since we don't have a traditional Christmas meal at our house, I decided to start one...Christmas Eve breakfast. This year it included eggs, sausage, bacon, cheesy hash browns, and biscuits. Upon smelling the yumminess, Josh declared me "the best mom ever." Who says teenagers are hard to please?

Christmas Eve morning was spent baking and making treats. Then we made a few stops on the way to the Christmas Eve service to deliver goodie plates to a few special folks. We also waited in line at Dutch Bros. for $1 drinks. And Arrty didn't even complain too much. It was Christmas Eve, after all.

The Christmas Eve service was lovely and singing carols while all in the room were holding flickering candles was my favorite part. Even if the two little girls sitting with me came alarmingly close to setting the old people in front of us on fire.

Then it was time for Christmas Eve festivities at Mom and Dad's. Tons of food including the traditional WV sandwiches and homemade fries. Then we opened presents that weren't surprisingly at all pajamas. Mine are purple polka dotted.

Christmas morning I woke up before the kids and was showered and holding a warm cup of tea before they appeared. We opened stockings and presents and enjoyed each other's company. I was relieved that the boys were happy with their gifts. And I was surprised to find that I missed the days of being surrounded by Legos and Transformers.

Then I did some cooking in preparation for going to Arrty's grandma's house for lunch where we were served Cornish game hens and the best mashed potatoes on the planet. Then there were more presents. And laughter and Christmas cheer.

Then we headed to Mom and Dad's for dinner where I thought I wouldn't be able to eat another bite. I was wrong. There was prime rib cooked to perfection and several yummy side dishes. Then more presents. There are twelve of us and we open gifts one at a time. The kids were very patient waiting for their turn to open. It was busy and crazy and wonderful.

Since then there has been lots of movie watching and playing games and reading. Which makes for a perfect vacation if you ask me.

Oh. And apparently the BEST girl's night EVER at Kathy's. Which it kind of was.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blessed Sunday

I was blessed this morning at sit next to one of my very favorite people in the whole, wide world: my sister. 

And if that wasn't enough, we got to sing together. She with her beautiful soprano voice that matches perfectly with my alto. It was wonderful and natural and a perfect way to start the day and a new week.
 (Her birthday week, by the way.) 

I adore my sweet sister and count her among my blessings each and every day. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


Here I sit, in a room full of kindergartners, reading about a tragedy that happened in a kindergarten class thousands of miles away. My heart is breaking. My soul is crying out. My arms are aching to hold my own children.

All I can think about is those poor mamas and dads whose children won't be coming home from school today. How will they survive? How will they make it through this terrible, horrible, life changing tragedy? How will they tell their other children that they have lost one of their own? What will they do with the packages already under the tree for their babies?

And the teachers. How will they be able to walk into their classrooms on Monday or the next week or the next month and teach reading and writing and addition to the survivors? How will they be able to walk into a classroom ever again?

I know, without a doubt, that there is an army of angels descending on Connecticut right this minute to surround those families and provide peace and comfort in a time when it seems impossible. Angels whose purpose it is to clean up another mess made by Satan whose cruelty and hate and devastation never cease to amaze me.

And I know that in Heaven Jesus is surrounded by 20 new angels and he is wrapping each one in his holy embrace and whispering words of love in each little ear.

Because I have to think of how God, the Messiah, is taking care of his children. I have to.

And I have to remind myself that Satan tries, with all his might, to tear us away from our Lord. The Dark One uses some of us humans to hurt others. He tricks the weak and hurting. He targets those who are searching and gives them lies. Lies about how to make their pain go away. Lies about others in their life. Lies, lies, lies. And those lies lead to pain. Terrible, faith shaking, heart breaking pain.

So I will pray for those families who are hurting today. I will pray long and hard. And I will love on all the children I see today. And I will thank God, from the bottom of my heart, for His peace that passes understanding.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday WORD

Where you are right now is God's place for you. 
Live and obey and love and believe right there.
1Corinthians 7:17

Friday, December 07, 2012

Show and Tell

Soccer medal. Apparently E. scored "infinity" points during his soccer season.

Unicorn Dreamlite. "It glows on the ceiling when the light is off." (Kindergarten consensus is that Dreamlites would make perfect Christmas gifts.)

D's sister's "magic for kids" cards since he forgot to bring show and tell.

Knitted pink, beaded purse made by Aunt Vicki. (Teacher voted most special show and tell of the day.)

Plastic dinosaur and purple car.

Pink, sparkly belt. (More of a show and tell accessory.) (The belt went missing...and was finally found around the owner's waist.)

Julianna's brother's stuffed horse...that seemed much larger when her brothers were smaller.

Flower hair clip. Bought by Grandma who "loves is a lot. And so does Grandpa." (More accessories.)

Transformer toy won in the "Shining Star" drawing at school this morning. (He loves it so much!)

Little Mermaid book complete with explanation of each. and. every. page.

Red top (Also won in "Shining Stars.")

Teeny, tiny notebook with a teeny, tiny pencil.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

10 Things Thursday

10 words not allowed in kindergarten until at least December 17th.

1. Christmas
2. tree
3. presents
4. reindeer
5. Santa*
6. sleigh
7. jingle
8. bells
9. Batman
10. smells

*Santa discussions are not allowed at all. Even after the 17th. There is always a debate about whether he's real or not. And it always ends in a 5 year old wanting me to tell them the truth. And I do not want some parent mad at me for telling their kid that he's real.