Posted in Family


I have made mention of the Family Drama–which has died down a bit because we aren’t actively talking about moving–in previous posts. I have not gone into detail out of obedience to my husband’s wishes. I don’t regret that one bit. I sometimes go back and read posts and don’t really think I need to be reminded of this particular thing.

Anyways, the Family wants to see us for Christmas. And I’m swimming through deep waters, trying to get to the shores of forgiveness. Because, I guess, I’m still not there.

I haven’t struggled this much with forgiveness ever. EVER. If it were any other people, I could walk away and just not have anything to do with them. But this is some of my husband’s family, none of which are believers in God. This doesn’t excuse the things they said or did, but it DOES put the onus on me, a Believer, to show them God’s love.

Which I’m finding isn’t that easy for me. As the bible talks about, even the heathens are kind to those that are kind to them. But loving your enemies, well now, that’s the way that God works. I know that forgiveness is not something ones has to FEEL. It’s a decision ones makes, in ones head, and then abides by, to not make the other person pay for what they did to you. It doesn’t make it right or ok. I think I make that decision, but then find myself still HERE, not moving forward and certainly not wanting to share any farce of Christmas with them. There is no admittance of wrongdoing on their part, no willingness to find a middle ground. So it’s up to me to come the whole way. Which forgiveness would allow me to do, I think.

I’ll be spending a lot of today in prayer and ask that you would join me on this particular topic.

Posted in Christmas, House

Finally Coming to the End

I’ve been going like gangbusters since early Christmas Eve. This afternoon (27th) is my first chance at serious downtime. I watched Julie/Julia and thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Definitely worth it. I remember wanting to see it in the theater, but never got around it (the story of my life with movies in the theater!)

My hosting of Christmas dinner was successful, but I admit to being glad it’s over. When you are in charge of dinner it’s definitely harder to relax and enjoy it–you are much more aware of what everyone wants and needs and it’s your responsibility to take care of those wants and needs. Which, if you think about it, is what I do as a mother anyway!

Jim finished painting the stairs and hallway, so that’s one less thing on the “get the house ready” list, which is depressingly long still. I’m guessing that February 5th is going to turn into March 5th. Pbbbbbtttt.

Posted in Christmas

Christmas 10

A Holiday Meme (copied from One Thing who got it from someone else who got it from someone else…..)

1. Best childhood gift from Santa: A Barbie house that my parents and next-door neighbors made from a stereo cabinet. It had four rooms and two porches (for the speakers). I LOVED IT. Except that I went downstairs at around 4am and saw it. ‘Cuz I regularly did that as a kid. I was obnoxious as a kid, and have only slightly grown out of it since!

2. Best childhood memories: Probably getting up at the abovementioned wee hours of the morning and just looking at the tree and the unopened gifts.

3. Favorite Christmas cookies: I don’t think I have one! I’m not much of a baker, so I make fudge every year and give that to teachers and bus drivers.

4. Icky Christmas memory: The year that I apparently looked through my parent’s closet and found a Ken doll and told my sister what she was getting. I wasn’t a popular child that year!

5. It’s not Christmas without: The annual embarrass everyone at dinner stories. You never live anything down in my family and the same stories are trotted out year after year. Oh, the humiliations!

6. Our Church Service: Hah. I was supposed to be there this morning, but as we had two feet of snow dumped on us on Saturday they postponed until next week. It’s music, both by the worship team, a song by the little kids (which they are doing kicking and screaming, believe me), some other numbers by members of our congregation (including an older gentleman who plays a harmonica), with a shorter message and then a fellowship dinner together.

7. Christmas Pet Peeve: All the pictures of Three Kings visiting Jesus in the stable. Um. NO, PEOPLE, NO! They didn’t get there for a LONG time!

8. Favorite Christmas CD: This is too difficult. I looooooovvvveeee Christmas music (have 659 Christmas songs on my iPod right now!). If I absolutely HAD to pick, I guess it would be Nat King Cole.

9. Real or Fake: Real. Sigh. Needles all over the floor. I like the idea of a fake one, with its lack of searching high and low for the perfect tree while freezing outside, but somehow we keep on with real ones!

10. I spend Christmas Eve: Eating Chinese food with my husband, and wrapping up all the presents. We had Chinese food our first Christmas married, back in 1995. This will be our 15th straight Christmas to have it!

Posted in Snow


Well! I’m not sure where y’all are in the country, but here in Southeastern PA we got slammed with two FEET of snow yesterday. Oh my word! And the drifts are even deeper! The kids are loving it, and Jim is actually ok with it as well because he got to go out and buy a snow blower this morning. What a difference THAT makes! We live on a big hill with a long driveway that is seriously annoying to shovel. The snow blower just eats it up in big gulps.

Christmas money is so very nice, don’t you think?

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday


2. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, have you seen our weather forecast? 3-6″ tomorrow, with a possible blizzard for Christmas. It’s going to be an interesting winter, folks! We RARELY have snow before January, and if we get it, that will be three times already!

3. I woke up this morning feeling no-so-great. Upset stomach, headache, don’t like the smell of the living room (incense stick)–it actually feels like morning sickness! No, there’s NO chance, barring a miracle of course, that I could be pregnant. But that’s how rotten I felt. Laying on the couch for awhile, taking a couple of ibuprofin and waiting definitely helped.

4. If you haven’t heard of, I heartily recommend her and her daily emails. She talks about lower-fat/calorie options, makes up interesting recipes and is just generally fun. However, her taste buds and mine apparently aren’t close friends. She heartily recommended Kashi’s Mayan Harvest. On her advice, I finally bought it today for $3.18 ($2 more than my usual cheapy low-cal lasagna). Um….YUCK. I ate it, but that’s about as far as I would go with it. It did NOT look good (kind of like throw up, sorry!), the flavors were either just weird or didn’t appeal to me, and I just didn’t like it. Lean Gourmet’s Lasagna remains my favorite Lite lunch fare, sorry Kashi!

5. I’m so looking forward to having Jim home over the holidays to get some stuff done on the house! Our goal, if I haven’t said it before, is to have the house For-Sale-Ready by February 5th, when our Realtor returns from her RV travels.

6. Given the weather forecast for tomorrow and how amazingly cold it is today for mid-December (low 30’s!), I’m making Easy Chicken and Dumplings tonight. YUMMMMMMMMM! It’s the ultimate comfort food!

7. Ethan is getting his psych eval today for his in-home services. I can’t wait to see what the guy asks him and how he responds. πŸ˜€

Posted in Holiday, Me

So I’m Not Crafty

But you all knew that by now, didn’t you?!

I emailed Wilton today–that’s the company that puts out the gingerbread house kits. I bought one last year with the greatest of intentions.

See? Over there! There’s the road to hell, and I’m paving it!

So this year I’m going to do my darndest to actually put the thing together. Wilton said it’s fine–just that the candy might not be as fresh as if it was newly made. Like the children will care!

I just got out the directions and am grimly reminded of why I didn’t do this last year.

Join one side wall to one peaked wall. Attach other peaked wall and side all panels. Press together. LET DRY AT LEAST 1 HOUR BEFORE PROCEEDING.


And all this time you have to keep the icing moist.


That’s, like, a whole day between setting the stupid thing up, letting it dry (while keeping little hands away from it), putting more on and letting it set up some more.

I AM NOT CRAFTY, PEOPLE! I don’t ENJOY this kind of thing. I do it for the kids so they have some sort of happy memories of their childhood, that’s it!

Pray for me!

Posted in Thankfulness

26 Blessings

26 Blessings of December (Thanks to Theresa for the idea!)

A: Autumn, when leaves turn, jackets appear and school starts again
B: Bennett our wonderful son, and Becky my terrific niece and Bethany my niece in law and Books, which make my life happier
C: Catherine our beautiful youngest daughter and Connor, whom I wait impatiently to see again in heaven
D: David our nephew and Daddy, who does such a great job
E: Ethan, our blessing of a son
F: Friendship, which sometimes is what gets me through
G: God, who has never given up on me.
H: Heaven, the place I look forward to seeing both my son and my Savior
I: Interests, which I’m figuring out only now in my 40’s!
J: Jim, the man I married 14 years ago, and Jesus, my Savior
K: Kelly Belly, my sweet niece
L: Laura, my feisty daughter
M: Being a MOM, one of my goals for my life.
N: Nancy, my mother, whom I love to talk with every morning
O: Operations, which have fixed a number of problems in me and my children over the years
P: Piano playing, one of my joys in life
Q: Quilt on my bed given by a friend, quilt under my bed made by my sister
R: Robin, my sister and one of my dearest friends
S: Snow falling (when there’s no school the next day), Showers in the morning, Spring–my favorite season, Spelling Bees where I can be proud of my daughter
T: Tom my nephew, who is 20 this month!
U: Uncle Russ, Uncle Mark and Uncle Lindsay, all of whom my children love. Uncle Russ holds a special place in my heart as the man who married my sister.
V: Violin recitals where I get to be proud of my son
W: Walter, my dad, who played catch with me by the hour
X: X-rays of my children’s feet and elbows that have shown no broken bones!
Y: You, my readers, who have stayed with me
Z: Zoe H., who passes down clothes to my girls

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. TWO WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! My shopping is done, so now it’s time to focus on wrapping, making fudge, getting cards done (maybe) and pictures out to family.

2. Went house hunting yesterday. I found one that was a possibility if the owners would accept our offer. We’re going to look at it again next week. If, however, we opt to not put in an offer, we’re taking a BREAK from it.

3. I was a grumpy, crabby, not-nice person last night and put myself to bed early. It helped.

4. BIG weekend for us! Tonight is movie night at church (The Nativity Story). Tomorrow is date night with hubby–dinner and going to see a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sunday is going to the Chester County Book Company and meeting Pioneer Woman and getting my cookbook signed. I’ve never done this before and am VERY excited! And then Jim has Monday and Tuesday off, which will feel like another weekend!

5. I’m struggling with my youngest believing in Santa. We’ve never encouraged it, and never even talked about it. But when they hit school Santa was just pushed at them. Bennett and Laura know the truth. Catie keeps talking about Melf the Elf, who is doing mischief in their classroom. She goes on and on about Santa. While part of me thinks it’s cute, the greater part of me really doesn’t want the true meaning of Christmas to get lost in a fat guy with a red suit.

6. I’m reading Sandi Patty’s autobiography, Broken in the Back Pew, right now. What a story of redemption! I knew some of what she had done–broken up her own and someone else’s marriage–but that was about it. I highly recommend reading it–she is right out there with the awfulness of her sin as well as her journey back to a loving and forgiving God.

7 is a video from an acapella group that I love. THIS is what Christmas is all about!

Posted in House

HH Day 2 Results

So it was, um, interesting! We looked at five. Four were, for various reasons, NO WAY JOSE’s. One was on the “maybe but probably not” list.

We head out again on Thursday to check out five more homes because it’s supposed to POUR tomorrow and I’m not going out in the rain unless I have to!

Jim keeps telling me I’m obsessed about this. Sheesh! Just because I check the MLS periodically, and craigslist, and and google and…..