Friday, December 28, 2007

Appetizer: Name 2 things you would like to accomplish in 2008.

I would like to lose 15 more pounds and I would like to start a women's life group (Bible study) in my home.

Soup: With which cartoon character do you share personality traits?

Okay, I don't have a clue. I just took two cartoon character personality tests online and one said I'm Tweety( I did not relate to the description of Tweetyness though). The other said I'm Charlie Brown(again, the traits they listed did not really match me). My best guess would have to be Velma from Scooby Doo, so who knows????

Salad: What time of day (or night) were you born?

I was born at night. I don't remember what time. I just know that my Mom was downtown with my oldest sister getting gloves for the prom when she went into labor.

Main Course: Tell us something special about your hometown.

Just listen to John Mellencamp's Small Town and you've pretty much got it. It's every Midwest, Bible belt, small town. A little to the east is the "big" town that is home to David Letterman's Alma mater, Jim Davis (Garfield), and Ball jars.

Dessert: If you could receive a letter from anyone in the world, who would you want to get one from?

I would love to receive a letter from any (or all) of the four children that we got really attached to when we were at an orphanage in Kazakhstan. Also from Mariah whose dad I was engaged to when she was born (long story) and I got very attached to before her dad and I split up. Three of the four children from the orphanage would be adults now and the other little girl would be about 11 or 12 as would Mariah. I would love to know how they are, where they are and how their lives are going.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

For Christmas I gave some candles as gifts. I also received some. I like candles. They are a great gift. Almost everyone can use them and likes them. They come in a variety of sizes, styles, prices, and scents. I do wonder why they haven't made the follow "scents" into candles. (I've never seen them anyway.)

THE THIRTEEN (in no particular order)
  1. Chicken & Noodles
  2. Turkey & Dressing
  3. Jelly Beans
  4. Circus Peanuts (the orange marshmallowy candy)
  5. Violets
  6. Chocolate Covered Cherries
  7. Baby Magic
  8. Leather
  9. Vegetable Soup
  10. Cotton Candy
  11. After the Rain
  12. Bacon
  13. Coffee

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas break - random thought

So, along with my break from work I took a blog break too. Christmas shopping, Christmas wrapping, Christmas eating, Christmas eve services, Christmas unwrapping, more eating - that pretty much covers the last several days.

Hope all of you had a wonderful, joyous, and peaceful Christmas.

I was going to do a "late for dinner" Friday's Feast but the chef took time off for the holidays too.

In a previous blog I said the goal was to get through the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's) without gaining any weight because attempting to lose any during this time would be both discouraging and futile. I am happy to report that as of this morning I have only gained one(that's right,1) pound! I can live with that - and with a little luck I might even lose it and break even by New Year's Day!

If anyone wants to share their New Year's resolution I'm wanting to post yours along with mine on the Thursday Thirteen on 1/3.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here is my self-indulgent list of the 13 things I want for/about myself for Christmas to make me a better person. (Ya, okay, there are a couple purely superficial things).
  1. I want my husband's outgoing, "doesn't know a stranger" personality.
  2. I want my mother's strength and consistent faith.
  3. I want my daughter Christy's helpfulness (she can always just see what needs to be done and jumps right in).
  4. I want my son Justin's confidence and sense of self.
  5. I want my daughter Shantelle's beautiful eyes and her enthusiasm.
  6. I want my son Bradley's humor. He says and does some of the funniest things!
  7. I want my friend Linda's ability to write things people really want to read. (visit her blog at )
  8. I want my friend Debbie's calm kindness.
  9. I want my friend Jackie's inquisitiveness.
  10. I want my daughter-in-law Amira's eye for decorating (houses, cakes, you name it!)
  11. I want my nephew and his wife's heart for the innercity.
  12. I want my old body back- like it was at 18 or 22 (not 21, I was very pregnant) okay, or even at 39! Back when the scales weren't my archenemy and everything was still in it's rightful gravity unaffected place.
  13. I want someone else's hair. You know, the thick, full kind that you can wear up or down and in several different styles without ever visiting the beautician ( a far cry from my thin, fine, limp stuff - I do like my color though, well, at least the color those nice Clairol people let me make it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two for Tuesday

  • At Christmas time it is important to remember that our value, our real worth, is not determined by the presents we receive or by the presents we give. It is determined by God thinking so much of us that he gave us the gift, the future sacrifice, of His own son so that we would not be separated from Him. No one has any more value or any less value than that.
  • Take some time this season to really consider The Nativity. Choose one of the people involved - Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, a wise man, the inn keeper - and try to look at the events from their perspective, in their culture, in that time. How did they feel? What did they think?

Two of my favorite songs of the season are ones that look at Mary (Mary Did You Know) and Joseph (It Wasn't His Child) from a different perspective. Check each of them out below.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It is yet another Monday and although the predicted and anticipated blizzard of December 2007 did not occur it did cause an extra frenzy of activity.

Saturday's fun trip to Indianapolis for some shopping and lunch became Friday's frantic rush to get the necessary things only available in "the big town", pushing dinner back to well after 8:00 p.m. and arriving home at nearly 11:00. This was followed by an impromptu trip to Meijer after realizing we were likely to end up with overnight guests (our kids) battening down with us for the storm in case power was lost. We have a fireplace & kerosene heater - oh, and a well stocked pantry! So at midnight we were standing in line (six people back) waiting to pay for the sheets and blankets for the bed that just transformed my husbands office into the office/guest room.

The "storm" started several hours later Saturday morning than predicted allowing us to pick up some orders that had come in and finish off a few more people on our Christmas list. Couple #1 joined us at our house after the snow started and couple #2 decided not to venture north to potentially stay at our house too since the graduation party they were planning to attend was postponed. (by the way - CONGRATS CRISSY!)

The first wave of the storm left a measly two inches of snow- not near the 4"-6" predicted for round one. By evening they were reporting it was the calm before the storm and that the worst would come in the overnight with 6" to 10" of snow and 40mph winds.

The reality was some rain, a little ice and, then, about 2"-3" more snow. The wind came and the roads were pretty tricky Sunday morning for anyone without 4 wheel drive but by late afternoon things were pretty normal for wintertime.

Now, I'm not saying it was a conspiracy or anything, but by the end of the weekend I couldn't help remembering the words of the lady behind us at Meijer at midnight saying she thought the grocery store owners had a deal with the weather men so that when profits were down the predicted a storm causing a mad rush on things like milk, bread, eggs, and the completely decimated soft drink aisle! Yep, they were reporting lower than expected profits for retailers this season - but the grocery stores were cleaning up this weekend, as were the home improvement stores - selling shovels, ice melt, kerosene heaters, generators. Well, maybe? Hey, the guys on the street department could be in on it too. I mean, I'm sure they can use a little overtime money during the holidays.....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Make up a word and give us its definition.

My son would be so much better at this!

After years in various forms of retail sales I would probably mutate the word customer. Cuss is appropriate for some of them as I have been sworn at more than once. There would also be:

  • kindomers
  • understandomers
  • graciousomers
  • flustomers
  • frustomers
  • grumpomers
  • tantrumers

and the one I see way to often, the whycan'tyoucreateamiracletofixmyproblem/mistakeomer.
I think they're pretty self-explanatory.

What is currently your favorite song?
This time of year it is "Mary Did You Know" - I think it is the Christmas song that most touches a mother's heart.

What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

The new Eagles cd.

Main Course
Name a scent that reminds you of someone special in your life.
Baby lotion/powder reminds me of my wonderful granddaughter.

Who is someone on television that you feel probably shouldn't be, and why?
I'm having trouble picking any one person - so many choices! There are programs and entire channels/networks that I don't think should be on TV.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Thirteen things I love about Christmas/winter.

  1. Christmas lights at night
  2. Snow ( yes snow)
  3. Nativities (the ones I collect & seeing unique ones other people have)
  4. Eggnog
  5. Stockings
  6. Christmas cookies
  7. Christmas candies (especially Mom's cinnamon roll candy)
  8. The crowds (I know, I'm crazy)
  9. The Salvation Army bell ringers
  10. All the fun food events!
  11. Fires in the fireplace
  12. Sledding
  13. Building a snowman and making snow angels.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas

Tuesday's thought #1. Rather than do my own "holiday" rant, just visit this link. It says it better than I could and in a much more humorous way.

Tuesday's thought #2. The Christmas season is all about hope. That is part of why I love this time of year. Even in areas, situations, or with people where things may have seemed hopeless just a few weeks ago, this season brings a presence of hope that you can feel. It both offers proof of just how loving our God is and gives perspective on the importance, or triviality, of some of our difficulties. The historical event of Jesus' birth defies human logic- it doesn't line up with how we would do things. It was, however, conceived by an omniscient God who knew the whole picture and provided the perfect sacrifice. How often, especially when we are feeling hopeless, do we need to be reminded that we can't see the big picture. Christmas is the perfect reminder that God will provide the way in His perfect time and by His perfect design. It is not our job to understand, but to have faith in a God who has proven Himself over and over.

I like this idea of hope as an acronym.


Monday, December 10, 2007


It's that time of year when the weekends go way faster than my ability to get things done. It seems I have so many things I want to do, so many good intentions and plans, and so little time to accomplish them. We finally got the rest of the front porch decorated this weekend and finished shopping for two more of the kids. I love the Christmas specials on TV - Rudolph and the Grinch (the original, true to Suess, cartoon version - not the adult humor and story altering, creative license taking, Hollywood version). I love the lights and the parties (okay, especially the food). I love any time I get an opportunity to lovingly remind people of the real reason for the season. I love finding winter screen savers and wallpaper for my computer and I love taking fun, silly quizzes like this one.

I do love eggnog!!! So, what treat are you?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Appetizer: What was the last game you purchased?

I'm pretty sure it was Checkers games for my daughter's classroom. I love to play games but hubby does not so I don't buy games for my house anymore.

Soup: Name something in which you don’t believe.

I don't believe in protecting children from normal disappointments or consequences. They are part of life and part of maturing. Parents who let "little Bobby" win every game of Candy Land and don't keep score in T-ball or don't make "little Susie" finish the season because she made a commitment to be part of a team are the ones who wonder what happened when Bob goes to jail for beating up the pitcher who struck him out in high school or shooting the guy his ex-girlfriend is dating. And they don't understand why Sue has such a hard time keeping a job for more than a few months at a time. You can't learn to be a good loser if you're always "protected" from losing or to make a commitment to anything if you're never held accountable for your actions and decisions.

Okay, I'll get off my high horse now but, keep in mind, the Chef handed me the reins!

Salad: If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?

Oprah! My guess is she treats her employees with respect, fairness, and generosity.

Main Course: What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?

Almost all of them!!!!! Some of them I still seem to have trouble really learning so I occasionally have to repeat "the hard way" lesson. Seriously, it would take hours......

Dessert: Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.

The room would be in a modern log cabin in the middle of the woods away from all traffic. There would be large, unadorned picture windows overlooking a large porch and then a small lake (small enough you could see the deer drinking on the other side) and it would be snowing big, fluffy snow flakes. There would be a fire in the huge stone fireplace and overstuffed leather furniture with soft, warm throws to snuggle up in and plump throw pillows for napping - or pillow fights. The coffee table, at one end, would hold a carafe of hot cocoa and a sugar bowl filled with mini marshmallows. There would be a plate of fresh baked nut breads (I'm thinking pumpkin, banana-walnut, and cherry-pecan) to snack on. A large three wick candle would sit in the middle, lit and emitting a "safe at home" type scent like cinnamon roll or sugar cookie, and a multi-translation Bible would sit at the other end. There would be no bright, glaring overhead lights but the end tables would hold lamps for reading. There would be no TV, just a radio/cd player. Opposite the fireplace would be a desk area with plenty of paper, pens, pencils, and markers for writing or drawing. Much of the rest of this wall would be bookshelves lined with books of all kinds organized into genres' and then alphabetically either by author or title. There would also be shelves for cd's and books on cd. There would be a nook area next to the door with a small table(about the size of a card table) and two chairs for working jigsaw puzzles or playing games. The room would have a minimum of knick-knacks, just a few souvenirs from various travels and family photos. Over the fireplace there would be a large family portrait with everyone in jeans so they looked relaxed and like themselves. There would be a dark, thick pile rug between the sofa and the fireplace and another one , runner style, in front of the window for the dogs to sleep on. Opposite the windows would be a small, well-appointed kitchen separated from the room by a half wall with a bar top so you could eat and enjoy the view out the window. At one end of the bar would be a closet with an assortment of puzzles, board games (Scrabble, Yahtzee, decks of cards, Uno, Cranium, chess, Chinese and regular checkers) and classic toys (wood blocks, Tinkertoys, Etch-a-Sketch, jacks, coloring books and crayons, etc.). There would be a small cabinet near the windows with lots of film, special lenses and three cameras - a digital and two manual 35mm's, one loaded with color film and one with black & white. A closet near the door would hold hats, gloves, scarves, and coats for playing in the snow and ice skates in various sizes in case the lake gets a good thick layer of ice. I think I'll take a camera and go outside and look around now but since the Chef only asked for a room, I'll have to leave you here......

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I'd Rather Be......

This is the time of year that business is really slow where I work. Most people are not building a house in the middle of winter or shopping for a new toilet as a Christmas present for Aunt Sarah. So, while I'm doing "busy" work or waiting for a customer to come in, I spend way too much time thinking of all the other things I could be doing if I weren't at work. Thirteen of them follow. The first ten I could really be doing. The last three, while not realistic, are fun to dream about.
  1. Playing with my granddaughter.
  2. Finishing the Christmas decorating.
  3. Wrapping Christmas presents.
  4. Addressing Christmas cards.
  5. Shoveling the snow off the sidewalk.
  6. Taking a hot bubble bath.
  7. Building a fire in the fireplace.
  8. Reading a book by the toasty warm fire.
  9. Toasting marshmallows in the fire.
  10. Making Christmas candy.
  11. Catching a plane to New York to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

  12. 12. Catching a plane to Hawaii for a Mele Kalikimaka

  13. Catching a plane to visit Bethlehem at Christmas time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter Wonderland

************************************************ Wow! Winter has arrived. The snow is flying. I love it!

I love looking out the back of our house into the woods at all the snow covered trees. It creates such a quiet and peaceful scene, especially early in the morning.

I think I like it so much because "quiet and peaceful" are so far from my normal life. But, if I can make myself stand still for just a few minutes, the peace will cover me like the blanket of snow is covering the ground.

In the hecticness of the Christmas season the snow slows us all down one way or another. For me, in addition to slowing my vehicle, it causes me to take a deep breath and remember the peace that the season is really about. The flakes float down and land on my ears like whispers from Heaven saying "peace, be still" and " I bring good news of great joy". ************************************************

Monday, December 3, 2007


WHAT a weekend!!!! It started wonderfully and peacefully. I went to "The Gathering" * at our church. It is a wonderful women's event they do for Christmas each year. It was fun and festive and relaxing. I'm pretty sure God knew I was going to need that calm before the chaos of the rest of the weekend!

I pride myself on my multitasking abilities, but seriously! Grandbaby spent the weekend since her parents had to travel out of state to a funeral. She was very, very good and we always enjoy having her. However, she is a baby and requires attention and feeding and changing. Add to that that Mercy, the puppy, went into heat for the first time and, therefore, also needs changing which can be pretty challenging with a 70+ lb. rottweiler who really doesn't like those "pants" you just put on her. Did I mention that she is pretty smart and managed to figure out how to unhook them herself in less than 20 minutes. Plus you can't just put her outside without risking the possibility of ending up with black labweillers (the neighbor's dog who's proven he can jump our fence) or, worse yet, coyotweillers (eek!). I saw three coyotes run across the corn field this morning. Then add that hubby was very sick all of Saturday- fever/cold chills, etc. - and trying to stay away from the baby.
Sum total = one exhausted, frazzled me! I was quite ready to come back to the routine of work this morning. So, how was your weekend?

*If you'd like to see more about "The Gathering" visit my friend Linda's blog at You'll find pictures and clips or part or her talk.