Monday, December 31, 2007

A belated Christmas card! Or a Happy New Years card?


A belated Christmas card! Or a Happy New Years card?


Here's to another year

I've had so many thoughts racing through my head that I wanted to share about the end of this year and the coming of the next but as I sat to type I can't seem to form a sentence. One that says what I want to anyways.

I'm not one to form New Years resolutions but I have had some lifestyle changes I want to make in mind and now seems like as good of a time as any so I think I will write those down. They are more things that I would like to see happen in the next year that require some pro-activeness on my behalf than anything.

Yeah, I'm giving up on the writing for now. Happy New Years everyone!

Oh yeah, Rod and I have started a Photography Blog, there's really nothing there yet. But there will be. Check it out here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Got this in an email today. Usually I roll my eyes at the forwards but I quite liked this one.

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I

had cut back on nonessential obligations -- extensive card writing, endless

baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself

exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true

meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season

for a six-year-old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's

"Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the

production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She

assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All

parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately,

Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found

a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several

other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students

were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat

cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday

as Christmas, I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial

entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my

son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its

bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens,

red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front

row-center stage -- held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of

the song. As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold

up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child

holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small,

quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down totally

unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W."

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's

mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall,

proudly holding her "W." Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the

laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it

together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant,

we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the

first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:


And, I believe, He still is.

Amazed in His presence...

Humbled by His love.

May each of you have a Merry Christmas as you reflect on His amazing love for us.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Haven't been blogging much

I'm still around, just busy busy with the girls and Christmas preparation. Hopefully come the new year I will be more frequent with my posting. For lack of anything interesting coming from me here is a link to a wonderful post by DaMomma about Santa and Christmas Spirit.'s worth a read!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Birthday!

28years ago today the best husband and father in the world was born. I can't say enough about how blessed I am to have him in my life, I am so excited to get to spend the rest of life with him. I never tire of having him around. We love you!

Happy Birthday Rod!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The dark side of Christmas

Before I start I want to state that I LOVE Christmas!! I love the lights, the music, the decorations, everything really. It makes me happy. When I became a Christian Christmas became even more significant. I hope to pass on my enthusiasm onto my girls.

That said, Christmas has become very very stressful financially. We knew when we chose to have me stay home with the girls there would be sacrifices. We had debt to pay on top of regular monthly bills that were going to stretch us tight. And they have. Yes we were "helped" into debt in the beginning but somewhere along the way every "emergency" made it ok to dip into the available credit. I hate hate hate where we are financially, it makes me feel inadequate, like I can't take care of myself. I think though that I have to forgive myself for the past, let it go and quit beating up on myself. I send myself into overwhelm when I start the hate on myself.

It seems that even while we can be financially responsible during the year at Christmas everything seems to go out the window. I don't want to deprive my girls of anything. Really though what do you remember from Christmas? What is it that makes you all happy and warm around Christmas? I remember decorating the tree, going for a drive and looking at Christmas lights, decorating sugar cookies, making a gingerbread house, visiting, and feasting. Sure I remember the wonder at waking up Christmas morning to a full stocking and gifts under the tree, but it didn't have to be excess, and it wasn't what it was all about. I am not helping Payton learn about Christmas when I am stressed out and distracted. The damage has been done this year as far as the spending goes and truthfully I really enjoy the giving. The choosing, wrapping, and gifting. But I rarely feel like I can live up to expectations.

Next year, and onward we are not going to be doing expensive gifts, birthdays or Christmas. I am going to get creative with what we have and I'm sure our finances will thank me. For the next couple of years we are going to be playing serious catch up. I will not feel sorry for myself when we can't have or do something because sometimes this is what it feels like to take responsibility. I want to teach my girls responsible spending, living within your means. The only way to do that is to live by example.

I hope everyone out there is enjoying the Christmas season!