"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Who knew you could feel sore and stiff after painting 3 walls???  Seriously, my body is showing its' age, and not in a very nice way.  I actually have bruises on my legs from where I leaned too long on the ladder!  Sheesh!

Anyway, it's done...at least the painting part.  The fun part is ahead of us, the arranging and hanging...that I will not dread.  The nightmare is over!!!  It's a little bright for me, but she loves it....and as soon as I can get the big pink smoosh off my left wrist it won't really matter to me. 

I hate that it took me so long to get it done...I could have felt this relieved a long time ago!  Someone recently asked me in an interview if I was one to get right to a task or procrastinate until the 11th hour....you can assume the answer I gave.  Not sure I'll be getting that job!  I might have to write him an email and let him know I finished my painting project...HEY, IF YOU'RE OUT THERE, CHECK IT OUT....I FINISHED IT BEFORE THE 11TH HOUR!!!!!!!!  HOW BOUT THAT JOB??????

Actually, it was a good time all around...I spent two days trapped in a room (albeit it filled w/fumes) with my daughter.  That's worth it's weight in pain killers.  She finished the day up the way any 13 year old girl would...a photo shoot...which I am happy to include below!  Enjoy...
more "finished" photos to come in time, I'm sure!

Ready to get started..again...

FINALLY FINISHED....and on to the fun stuff!

"mom, take a picture of me holding the frame...."

adding the frame and the jewels...

"my work is done for the day....let's finish the rest tomorrow!"

"I'm hungry...see, my stomach's empty.."

"That's a wrap!"

Another day's project...

PLEASE....I don't want to see these things again for a long, LONG time!
(*Insert smiling face here*)

Day 2

You'd think that painting three walls PeptoBismal pink would only take one day.  You would think....But apparently painting taupe walls pink takes at least three coats.  Coat #3 is happening this morning...as soon as I finish my coffee...as soon as I put my painting clothes back on...as soon as I stop finding reasons NOT to go in there.  I fear there will be a coat #4...in which case there will have to be an unplanned trip to Lowes.  Just like yesterday there was an unplanned trip to the hardware store down the street when I discovered the paint rollers had been hardened like rock after the last use and "cleaning".

You see....if I don't go in there, I'll believe that it's almost done.  I'll believe that in just a few strokes the streaky walls will be beautifully covered over and complete.  But, something tells me that's just wishful thinking.  So I'm better off not even going in there.  Except then Emma will be sleeping in my room again tonight and I won't be able to lay in bed reading the book I've been trying to finish.

getting ready...

prepping the walls...notice the bad cat under the ladder-
(we woke up this morning to an upside down bird cage in the livingroom...with only ONE bird inside it, not the usual TWO.  Emma ran to Zoe and opened her mouth- expecting to see a Looney-Toon-like discovery, I guess.  We found it peculiar that there seemed to be no mess, no signs of a bird fighting for her life...about ten minutes later she appeared out of the Christmas tree!  Poor thing...she definitely had her life flash before her!  We had to wake one of the boys from their mid-morning sleep to help us catch her!  She's home now...a little shaken up, but back behind bars.  The cat is in the dog-house.)

there's not very good lighting in this picture...if there was, you'd see that there are streaks everywhere
...totally depressing.

Ugh...ok, I'm going, I'm going!
(*Insert whine and big shoulder-heaving sigh HERE*)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

promises shmomises....

Poor girl...I've been promising her for many MANY months that we would paint her room.  There are always really good reasons why it has not been done...good ones..like I hate to paint.

but...there's a whole week of Christmas vacation ahead of us, and I have run out of excuses not to do it.  Emma even removed everything off of her walls and started spackling so that I can't change my mind...

so, I'm posting "before" pictures on here so that I don't back out.

The chalkboard walls stay...leaving only 3 walls to paint. 
You'd think I'd be more excited about that.
Tommorrow's the day....I promise, Emma.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I've been thinking alot about Mary this week.  Every year around this time I pick up a book by Francine Rivers called, "Unafraid".  It's the story of Jesus life, from his mother's perspective.  And, every year I try to put my mother's heart where hers was and just wonder what it must have been like....

She gave birth to the one who created her.  She nursed and cared for the one who would one day sacrifice Himself to save her from death.  She stood by while her husband taught the one who wrote the words how to read the scriptures.  She anticipated, year after year, the moment when He'd reveal to the world what the angel revealed to her before He was born.  She agonized over her people's lack of recognition of Him.  And then the tables were turned, and she was taught by Him....

How many women could stand by and watch their children be made fun of without striking back?  How many could remain humble while the child of our own bodies grew to be a man of wisdom, honor, love and perfection.....and not want secretly to take at least a little of the credit?

She was a child...about the age of my daughter.  What did she know about raising the Son of God?  She was a simple girl with an obedient heart.  Not a woman of greatness who had proven her worthiness....she was just a poor, uneducated girl.  And that's the remarkable thing....she was plain and simple...unworthy of knowing how to raise the Messiah.  She had no previous experience, no "What to Expect When You're Expecting" reference available.  She had only one thing on her side.  God's promise that He would raise His child through her.  That was it...

She stood close by and watched prophecy after prophecy fulfilled by her Son's birth and life.  And knew without a doubt that He was the Messiah her people had spoken of for generations.  She waited many years for Him to reveal who He was...probably thinking that when He did everyone would immediately bow and worship Him...but they didn't.  The Creator of the WORLD, the Savior of each of our souls stood in the flesh...and yet they didn't believe Him.  From a mother's perspective...that's too much to bear.

But, even though I feel her pain, her agony....I think it's a mistake to think she's the hero of the scene.  Many worship her because of her role in Jesus life.  I highly admire her, but recognize the greatness was not hers, rather the ONE who gave her the Gift and the Strength to raise Him.  The glory goes to the Father...to the Child.  The mother was just the instrument that brought Him into the world. 

Whew...as a mom, that's hard to hear!  As the song asks, "Mary, did you know....?"  I don't think she did.  I think she had no idea what Jesus was capable of, no idea what kind of man He would be, no idea how far He would go to save the world.  Because if she'd known way back then, in the manger, I don't think her heart could have survived...I don't think she would have made it long enough to kneel at the foot of her Son's cross.  If she'd known that the same nails He pounded alongside His father as a boy would someday pound in His own flesh as a man.....she could not have withstood the pain.  She signed on with no idea what the future would hold for her Son.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss....until reality sets in, and then only the grace of God will see us through...

The Mary in the manger is blissfully unaware of the future's heartache....she's contently rocking her newborn, loving Him with all that she has in her.  She's the mother of the Messiah....the Savior of the world.  And for that brief moment in time, all is well, and heaven rejoices.

"She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet,
Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel--which, when translated, means, God with us."
Matthew 1:21-23

Jesus, "The Lord saves."
Immanuel, "God is with us"

That tiny child is our Saviour....His mom...just a simple girl who pondered all these things in her heart.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Up to something...

Another week goes by...and still no posting for me.  I've sat more than once...actually started a post more than once, but never to complete a full paragraph!  Partly because my mind is full with a cluttered amount of stuff and I'm good at thinking about the list I should write....just not good at actually grabbing the pen and paper to complete it.  Wow...sounds like a theme, even to me!  So this time, I will not get up until it's finished and published.  Or at least I'll try..

Maybe I should start by making a list of all the things cluttering my brain, then I will have accomplished several things at once (and possibly prove to myself that I actually CAN stay on task)

1.  Pick up Christmas cards at Costco
2.  Address, send, hand deliver cards
3.  Start/finish making a few gifts
4.  Finish my Christmas shopping
5.  Wrap gifts
6.  List a HUGE pile of things on ebay (preferably BEFORE the shopping trip)
7.  Buy milk TODAY (FINALLY!)
8.  Put air in the tire that has a nail sticking in it..again.
9.  Make Christmas cookies
10.Eat Christmas cookies.
11.Get on the treadmill
12.Throw some laundry in
13.Return "Julie & Julia" at the Redbox before 9. (I'm in LOVE with that movie!)
14.Check/delete/return emails

I'm sure there are more....SURE of it.  But I'll save them for another day.

Overshadowing all of these things is an idea that's been brewing.  A temporary idea most likely, but it's something.   I've logged on more hours at my computer this week than ever....maybe why I never got to writing THE LIST before now.  And, here's why:

(I know, the writing is small...try clicking on it to make it bigger...did it work?!?)

Maybe this will show up bigger....

So here's the gist:  "Shop Girl" is starting a little Personal Shopping Service business.  The details are still being worked out, hence the hours on the computer.  The brochures and the business cards just arrived in the mail, and now the work begins.  I think the real work is in finding customers...so that's the next step.  I'll be contacting several local Retirement Homes to see if I can leave a Poster there, as well as a few local establishments who post local services.  Beyond that, I'm at a loss....ideas welcome!  Along with the brochures and business cards, the box held a HUGE cling-on advertising piece for my car.  It is MUCH BIGGER than I anticipated and my children are MORTIFIED!!!  So it might not come out of the package...or, depending on how nice they are to me....maybe it will!

I'm amazed at how many shopping services there are online....some of them are totally out of my league or area of "expertise".  I will not be an "Image Consultant" nor will I do "Consierge" services.  And, "Escort Service" is out of the question.  (Seriously, they overlap somehow, but I don't know how.)  I'll stick with Gift shopping/wrapping for any occasion, grocery shopping and I'll be flexible with other ideas....but I'm not budging on the "Escort Service".  Prices will be reasonable and dependant on the job. 

Not sure where I'll go with this business...it's most likely a temporary thing, but maybe not. 
It's something, and that's a start.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Outside my window...

I've been otherwise occupied this week and found it nearly impossible to sit down and write.  But today we had our first snow....and since I was snapping pictures, I guess it's time to get back in the groove.  I LOVE the first snow of the season...love the view outside my windows...love the glittery snow-capped trees.  It's magical...at least for a few hours, until it all starts to melt and my piles of brown leaves start peeking through.

Through my bedroom window...

Through the kitchen window....

Out the back...

From the front... 
(notice Nick's orange hunting-gear on the porch looking like a beacon)

I guess that's a good segue into the other news of the day...

He is a proud murderer of one of these...
and I will soon have a freezer full of gamey meat to disguise in a gillion pots of chili. Emma and I are not lovers of Bambi meat....I gag everytime I pull a package out of the freezer, and have to quickly hide the evidence of the butcher paper so that she does not ask if I'm hiding deer somewhere.  The boys...manly as they are, prefer Bambi to be served up in multiple ways.  First choice would be beef jerky (aka Bambi-jerky), second would be bologna, third choice is sausage links (which are a very odd dark brown color and carry a strong gag-reflex-provoking scent when cooked) and lastly, the ground up version mixed w/REAL beef.  I am holding back vomit in my mouth as I type...
Dear Lord, you have such a sense of humor giving me these boys! 

(*DISCLAIMER:  I am truly trying to understand why it's not enough to shoot one deer per lifetime.  Seems to me that once you've done it, that should carry you through...but apparently that's not the case.  I guess it's the need to provide for their family...to be a hero...to bring home the bacon so the family can survive the harsh winter that provokes men to keep going back for more.  I'm starting to get it....but I'd be more excited if it were swine season.)

The Christmas season is upon us...again.  Did it really come 12 months after last Christmas???  Seems like we were just lugging a tree in the door and sweeping up needles.  I'm sure it was last week that we were fighting with the treestand, trying to convince it to keep the tree straight.  I love it when it's all done...but the process...it makes me feel a little Scroogey.  We were mighty close to buying a tree in a box this year.  I shopped all day while the kids were in school, looking for the best deal....I sent pictures from Target to Alex, hoping he would help me make a long-distance decision.  He laughed at me.

In the end, I just couldn't do it.  It was the price-tag dangling from the branches.  I thought I could be happy with the $99 deal at Target...until I went to Lowes and saw one for twice that that looked like the REAL DEAL.  I just couldn't make do with the nylon one when I saw the mother of all trees at the big L.  So we left it there, hoping it will wait for us til the after-Christmas Clearance Sale....and drug an already cut number home with us in the back of the FIT.....leaving a trail of dropping needles in our wake.  The kitty thanks us daily for bringing home a bright, shiny, ball-filled playtoy for her endless pleasure...

Emma sorting the piles of ornaments...putting Alex's aside til next week

Adding the tinsel

The Stable centerpiece...

The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:12
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