Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the night before Christmas...

And some of the children are snuggled in bed (not to mention their daddy). Emily is still up, and Jake is killing bad guys on Xbox. The house is very quiet, though... so peaceful. I know it certainly won't be in the morning!

It has been a truly wonderful year for us. We have a new son-in-law, a granddaughter on the way (just 4 more weeks!), the school-age kids are doing well in school, and the blessings of family and friends.  Add to that the gift of Christ... Emmanuel, God with us... we are blessed to overflowing.

Tomorrow we will open gifts and eat our traditional cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Later in the day we will visit family at the home of one of our nephews (newly-married this past Sept.). Following that, we will go to his brother's house, where he and his girlfriend will prepare a dinner for all of us. This will be the first Christmas in MANY years that I have not had to cook. Feels kind of strange, but also nice that my kitchen will be clean tomorrow. We'll enjoy what is becoming a yearly tradition of "Dirty Santa" (gift exchange that involves "stealing" presents from each other). Hopefully we'll make a little music together as well.

Five days later, it will be time to celebrate Emily's and Noah's birthdays. Em will be 21 and Noah, 17. Again, we'll fall back upon tradition and go to a Japanese hibachi restaurant to celebrate. Seems like this started around 10 years ago and just stuck with us.

Funny... In the last 2 paragraphs, I mentioned 3 traditions. I wonder how many more we have? I've never stopped to think or count. I wonder if there are any traditions we should discontinue... (I can think of one tradition we used to have that is gone: the traditional fight-while-putting-the-lights-on-the-Christmas-tree. Got rid of that one by getting a pre-lit tree!) Are there any traditions we need to institute?

Such are my deep thoughts in the quiet of Christmas Eve... Praying blessings on all my friends and family this season.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall is coming

Time moves quickly on the ol' blogstead when you only post once every month or so! We made it through August, the wedding, and Joel and Halle's first month at their new school. The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch. We were so blessed that the extremely hot weather we'd been having decided to take a break that weekend. I don't think it got hotter than the low 80s during the ceremony, and by the time we headed outside for dancing, it was a very comfortable 70s. Such a relaxing day (except for the mad rush to get to the church, wherein I backed my car down the drive... something I rarely do, since I usually back out of the garage and head nose-first down the driveway... and into the fire hydrant at the end of the drive. Felt the thud and it took me a minute to figure out what had happened. Then I said, "Oh, well," and kept on going.)  Here's one of my favorite guest/family-snapped photos of the day:

Things are cooling off around here, which means we may soon get to turn off the A/C and open the windows. This morning was very fall-like. I had forgotten what it feels like! Will be good to see cooler temps and save a little $$ on the electricity bill. Keeping 2 floors of an almost 5000 sq. ft. house comfortable can be a bit draining on the bank account.

Appears that our plates will be as full as ever this fall. I think it's a good kind of full, though... I guess time will tell. The kids seem really happy with their new school. They're both doing very well. The school and their teachers are great about communicating. They embrace technology (email, school website, online assignment and grade reporting) so it really makes it easy to keep up with what's going on.

Tomorrow the kids will be checking out of school early to attend a funeral with me.  A couple from our church (who both teach at the school) lost their 9-day-old daughter this past weekend. It is the worst kind of tragedy, the kind that can totally shake someone's faith. Thankfully, all who are touched by this are choosing to trust God's promises and know that healing will come in its time. We don't have to understand, we don't have to utter empty platitudes that we don't really "feel." We can be honest with our pain and our questions. God can handle that and he accepts it. As long as we can still say, "You are God; I am not.  I will trust what I don't understand. I will hope when I don't feel hopeful. I will still stand with you when I feel shaken," He will sustain us.

Monday, August 06, 2012

An August Daybook


Outside my window... it looks cooler than it really is. But thank goodness it's still not as hot as it was!

I am thinking... of the "to-dos" I have waiting for me this evening. I zeroed out a long list earlier today, but it has filled back up again. One is to take my youngest shopping for jeans; he has outgrown his old pairs. 

I am thankful... that God has held me up through this summer of overflowing bathtubs, ruined bathroom floors and leaking kitchen ceilings, the repair of said floors and ceilings, a front-end collision that left me in a rental car for a month, strep throat, a 2 1/2 month notice wedding to plan, and the abrupt loss (unable to attend, not death) of the bride-to-be's attendant just one week from the wedding. 

In the kitchen... baked spaghetti is in the oven. Thankful to Noah for helping get it started while I worked on some wedding stuff on the computer.

I am wearing... grey pants, a "One Nation Under God" t-shirt, and canvas slip-ons.

I am creating... cards to put on the guest book table to ask guests to download a photo sharing app to their smartphones so we can enjoy their candid shots of the wedding and reception.

I am going... to Target after dinner. Thankful for my RedCard. Actually, the first thing that came to mind when I read "I am going" was the song that says, "I am slowly going crazy, 1 2 3 4 5 6, switch; crazy going slowly am I, 6 5 4 3 2 1, switch." The song gets faster and faster until you can't keep the words straight

I am wondering... nothing at the moment. My mind is too full to wonder.... or wander. Or maybe it is wandering and that's why I can't wonder.

I am reading... The Witness, by Dee Henderson.

I am hoping... my future son-in-law finds the job he is seeking soon. I want him to be happy in his work and I want my daughter to feel secure.

I am looking forward to... the wedding this weekend.

I am learning... what it is like to have kids in a "real" school. Halle and Joel started a new school last week (Thursday) and I'm learning the ins and outs of navigating the protocol. I will be getting involved in a ladies' group that does fundraising for the school and hope I'll connect with some folks there.

Around the house... nothing much new. Just trying to keep it as uncluttered as possible; hard to do with Emily's wedding shower gifts taking up one corner of the dining room.

I am pondering... when I can take a day and just do nothing.

A favorite quote for today... "I'm not hating; I'm stating." (Overheard on an episode of Randy to the Rescue on TLC this past weekend.)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Meeting with our wedding photographer tomorrow, having my eyebrows threaded for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, Emily's final wedding dress fitting Wednesday evening, church directory pictures Thursday afternoon, wedding rehearsal 2 hours later, our friend/minister from Omaha coming in to town Friday night, mani/pedis with Emily and Halle on Saturday, and seeing other out of town family members Sunday for the wedding.  What a slow week, huh?

. . .

What are you doing today?
the simple woman's daybook
...where every day is a blank page

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Daybook for May 27, 2012

Outside my window... The sun is shining ever so brightly. It's a HOT day for May; over 90 degrees out. The lawn is freshly mown from a few days ago and it gives me a feeling of peace to not see tall grass in the front yard.

I am thinking... about all the "to-dos" I have. We are planning a short-notice wedding for August and there are so many details. Never fear, I am not stressed at all. It is actually fun, and things amazingly seem to be falling into place for us.

I am thankful... that the wedding planning is going smoothly. Seems like our first choices for venue, photos, DJ, and cake are all available and doable budget wise. Need to talk to florist and caterer still, but since we are doing a Sunday evening wedding (one concession made because of the proximity of the wedding), I am hopeful they will be as readily available as the other vendors.

In the kitchen... there is absolutely nothing going on. It is blissfully clean and hopefully will stay that way until I have to cook again.

I am wearing... grey pants with a white surplice top, no shoes.

I am creating... LISTS!

I am going... to our special end-of-the-month instrumental service tonight, followed by fun in the park with the youth group to kick off summer.

I am wondering... what the coming year will bring

I am reading... Homefires, by Emily Sue Harvey.

I am hoping... we have a fun and relatively stress-free summer.

I am looking forward to... being a grandma.

I am learning... joy in all circumstances.

Around the house... it is quiet. Halle and I are the only ones at home, since the 3 guys are on their way home from a guys' weekend in Atlanta.

I am pondering... the goodness of God.

A favorite quote for today... Desire God, not his gifts.

One of my favorite things... a good book and a quiet house. (OK, that's two...)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Headed to my sister's house in the country tomorrow for food and fun. The rest of the week will probably be spent firming up wedding plans, paying deposits, meeting with caterer(s), florist(s), DJ, etc.

A peek into my day... 

Go here for your own daybook.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bullets before bon voyage

Just 4 days till hubby and I head out for the KLOVE Friends and Family Cruise... This will be our first pleasure trip (I don't really want to call it a vacation) sans kids in the 20 years we have been parents. Excited doesn't begin to describe it. We're meeting 2 other couples from our old church in Omaha. I am counting on it being a great time. I plan on doing a lot of reading, hitting the gym a bit, some water aerobics, relaxing, catching up with our friends, and of course... listening to and meeting the musicians!

My big sis Pam is going to move in with the kids while we're gone and take over the parenting duties. I expect she'll have the entire crew whipped into shape by the time we get back. Emily will probably help her with some of the transportation issues (getting kids to/from school, classes, lessons, etc.). After all, Pam will be trying to carry her usual medical transcription workload at the same time. I don't have such a thing to deal with.

Before I go, just some things that have been on my mind lately:

  • My new best friend. These are the bomb-diggity! No more soaking and scrubbing the crock pot. I will never make a meal in the crock pot without these again.

  • One of my new listening favorites on my iPod. He is what I remember country sounding like when I was a kid. Great songs on this album. I rarely buy whole albums on iTunes, but I got this one. Still hard to believe he isn't even 19 yet!

  • Brian and I have started couponing. It's a little labor-intensive at first, but I can see that it will be less so after we get used to the whole thing. We will not become extreme couponers, however! It is neat to see the savings. We attended a class held by a local couponing expert, Kristan Stanford.  She was full of really great info. Any local folks who are interested should look into her classes; they are held several times a month by the local paper.

OK, my list wasn't as long as I thought it would be. Should have taken notes in the car when all these things were going through my head and maybe I could remember the rest of the bullets. Oh well... for another day, I guess.

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