Posted in Change, Church, Family, Holiday, Kitchen Reno

Christmas Time Is Here…

If you read that title in the Charlie Brown chorus singing it, you are not alone!

It’s a strange holiday season. We’re having ups and downs and weird weather and I’m left feeling a little muddled.

I have a beautiful, gorgeous perfect little brand new niece. She was born 2 weeks LATE on December 3rd. I got to hold her today. So little! So sweet! The newest-born baby I’ve held since my own. So very, very weird to look at my teenagers and shake my head at the fact that they, too, were once that small and sweet.

We visited for a third time a new church. While we were in a bit of a rush on the way out (to go and see aforementioned baby), it was still a lovely service. The pastor preached on Luke 2. Never, ever an easy passage simply because everyone (even those who only do church once or twice a year) has heard messages on it forEVER. How to put a new spin on it? He managed! I’m tentatively hopeful about this church–it feels like home already, and I like the people. They are SO friendly! We’re going to continue to visit for the time being, so that’s great.

On the not-so-great front, which I have been fairly silent about, my sister has breast cancer. Originally it was thought she could get a mastectomy and be done, but the pathology report was much more severe and now 12 weeks of chemo is in her future. As is her daughter’s wedding on April 8. My heart hurts for her, and I’m scared. I love my sister and don’t want this journey for her. She is facing it with grace and faith, but doesn’t really want to do it, either.

The kitchen planning continues. We received the first draft of the plan from the designers, but it had some errors in it (missing a soffit, forgot to figure in the new door), so I’m getting the 2nd draft tomorrow. What I saw that was correct I really liked. A LOT. We still have a lot of conversations and decisions about specifics ahead of us, but having the design in hand will be a good foundation.

In Southeastern PA, typically, it would be in the 30’s and 40’s now. Probably not snow, although on occasion it would be, but it’s heading towards winter and it will be feeling like it. Not this year, though. Today was 71 when we visited the baby in Philadelphia. Weird! It doesn’t FEEL like Christmas!

With the baby and my sister’s treatments going on, planning is up in the air. Now, any of you who have read me know, without a doubt, that I am not only Planner Extraordinaire, but also that I like things written down in pen on the calendar. Nothing is in pen. Not even in pencil. I have not one clue what is going on. And I’ve just got to suck it up and deal with it! 🙂

This week coming up is the beginning of the Great Fudge Making. This year (as was last) I’m making 12 pounds of fudge for gifts. Yes, 12 POUNDS. That’s 24 containers. Work, but so worth it!

Thanks for dropping by. I hope your holidays are peaceful, joyous and healthy.

Posted in Change, Church, Me

It’s Always Good to Make New Friends

(for those who don’t get it, that’s a reference to Disney’s Enchanted)

So….we’ve visited a new church for three weeks now. The original plan was to visit 3, maybe 4 churches and then settle down in one of them. But, as Jim put it:

1. This church is really (as in really, really, really close. Like 2 minutes maybe if I drive slowly)

2. The kids like the youth program/kids program.

3. The sermons are good.

4 The music is good (which, coming from where we came from, is actually pretty important)

5. We met two couples that we had previously attended church with two churches ago. Like, before kids. FRIENDS!

So, why, exactly, would we go visit any more churches?

So we’re not. We are going to stick with this one for the time being.

I was thinking about this fact this morning. Outside of three families (the two mentioned above and another one from our neighborhood), I really don’t know anyone there. They don’t know me.  They don’t know us. SO WEIRD!

We’d been at our previous church for 8 years. And the one before that, well, Jim was a teenager in, we dated there, got married there and were young married there. (part of the problem, as we weren’t allowed to grow up and be adults in the adults’ heads, but that’s water under the bridge by now!).

Now we are in our mid-40’s–FULLY GROWN UP, thankyouverymuch, with four kids. Jim’s been an elder, I’ve been a deacon, we’ve both been worship leaders. We’re coming into this church very, VERY differently from where we came into our previous church–mid-30’s, four very little ones, very disillusioned with God and only there because we knew the kids needed church. Our old church nurtured and loved us back to God. Now, obviously, things changed and we left and there’s definitely some hurt there. But it was also something I was ready to do. I wish they hadn’t made the decision they made, but it certainly made leaving a LOT easier.

So, all that said, it’s just interesting to me that I’m going to be meeting and making new friends with people who will know me as I am and where I am NOW. They won’t see that person I was 10 years ago. Well, sure, I’ll talk about it. But I’m in such a different place than I was, am a different person than I was. It’s just something that struck me.

Posted in Change, Cleaning, Clutter, House, Me, Organizing

A Door Makes a Difference

I’ve been in the new “school room” for four weeks as of today. Yes, it has it’s downsides (e.g. when Catie decides to sing along with Adele’s Skyfall with headphones on–for the 14th time), but there’s one HUGE upside that I didn’t anticipate.

I’m tidier. Really!

My desk used to be in the office (still the office, it’s just now Jim’s and not mine). Lots of reasons for moving, but I’m fine with it and mostly don’t begrudge Jim his locking door. Being in the office,  I knew I could close the door on my mess. I could shove mail in there and forget about it. I could not file for six months and still be fine BECAUSE OF THAT CLOSED DOOR.

Enter life change of desk in the VERY open school room. No doors in the two doorways. I even bought a new, smaller desk with some Christmas money. LESS ROOM FOR JUNK.

This has, thankfully, forced me to organize, declutter, file, put away and generally be much more tidy. I don’t have a huge Ikea desk to sprawl paperwork all over. I want to keep the floor neat and not full of “to do” piles.

And after four weeks of living in here, I’m finding I’m mostly keeping on top of things. I have a clear hanging file thingy with three slots (long term, medium term and keep on looking at this because it needs to be dealt with!) It keeps stuff off the desk, but easily accessible. My printer is on a low filing cabinet with paper in a special 6-drawer organizer under it.

I’m LOVING it. Organization ROCKS.

Posted in Change, House, Jim, Kids, Me, Money, To Do List

We Made Us Some Goals, Yes We Did!

I can hardly believe it, but Jim and I actually talked about and decided on some goals for 2013. That’s still hard to say. I was JUST getting used to 2012!

Finances: 1. Cut debt in half. 2. Save up for vacation in August.

School: Decide about cyber school for Bennett & Laura by May.

Church: Find a new church home.

Vacation: Go to Beaver Island, MI in August.

Dog: Get her some training!

Family: 1. Go through Cleaning House together and do what it says. 2. Fancy dinner at home once per month. (dress up and use company manners)

Kids: Cook at least one dinner per month. (I’m sure we’ll come up with more for the kids, but that was just what we came up with yesterday)

Tina: 1. Go through the recipes I’ve bookmarked and either make them or delete them. 2. Do Friendship outgrown sale in spring. 3. Hopefully find a job until the summer. 4. Read 2-3 non-fiction books (I’m not a big non-fiction person, but I want to read Cleaning House and Vertical Church). 5. Find local women’s bible study 6. Visit Celebrate Recovery now that they have an official SA small group.

House: 1. Finish painting den/office and move the furniture in. 2. Put wallboard on other side of basement and paint. 3. Build wall and closet on playroom side of basement (along concrete wall). 4. Fix drywall and paint hall bath. 5. Fix drywall and paint master bedroom (we’ve lived here almost 13 years and it’s never been done!) 6. Fix closet organizer in MBR closet (needs a section taken out so we can hang longer things). 7. Fix backyard fence where it fell down. 8. Pour concrete apron in front of garage going over to the front porch.

In the interest of privacy, I’m skipping Jim’s.

It’s a lot, isn’t it?! It is to me, too. The kids don’t know about their yet. And I haven’t started reading the Cleaning house, although it’s a 12 month project so I’d better get on it.

I’m excited about 2013, aren’t you?

 

Posted in Change, Church, House

It’s a New Year

Well duh. You knew that.

2013 is about 12 hours old as I type this. And already it is full of changes. Life-changing changes. Small changes. But CHANGES.

In the small changes category, I’m now typing from the new school room instead of the office. The next step in the room changeover. I’m more than slightly leery about being in the same room as four children’s desks and three other computers (and one Braille typewriter), but am willing to give it a go.

In the Life-changing category, Jim and I have chosen to look for a new church home. The reasons for this were varied, but suffice it to say it was just the right time to do so. It was somewhat heart-wrenching, as we have been at our old church for the past 8 years and have many dear friends. And no matter what anyone says, not seeing someone on a weekly basis eventually changes the friendship.

So we look forward to 2013 with open arms, ready to embrace where God leads us. Jim is no longer an elder, I am no longer a deacon or a church secretary. We aren’t the worship leaders. This leaves some very large voids. It also allows for  healing of some major burnout. Both of us agree that we will take some time to “sit in a pew” for a bit. It’s not in either of our makeups to do it for long, but I think it’s a good thing for a short time.

I hope and pray that 2013 has some good challenges and growth for us all.

Posted in Change, Kids

End of School–Finally

Bennett, Laura and Catie finished their school year on Monday. Ethan finishes on Friday. As of Friday afternoon, I will have three fifth graders and one third grader.

WHAT???

I remember starting kindergarten with Bennett and Laura. I remember how tiny they looked in comparison to the “older” (4th and 5th grade) kids. And now, somehow, we have those kids. At field day last week I looked around at the kindergartners and they were so…well….TINY. It doesn’t seem possible that that was us just a few short years ago.

I promise I’m not going to get maudlin. Really. They won’t allow me. They are still so much stinkers, not all “grown up” and mature. On the last day of school, thankyouverymuch whoever you were, someone wrote in permanent marker on the playground the ‘F word” and “s word”. Up until that day we had escaped that. They didn’t ask what the words meant, but I know that’s coming any day.

Today I survived the first of 10 times of grocery shopping with them. I’m not overly fond of grocery shopping with my kids. “Can we have this?” “I want that!” *rolls eyes* like they were three year olds. I’m always so grateful when school starts again and I get to shop in peace.

See, I’m not getting maudlin!

But they sure have grown a lot in the past four years.

Posted in Change, Me

Upgrading

Now, everyone knows without a doubt that I hate change. HATE IT.

So how am I doing now that my husband has upgraded my computer from Win XP to Windows 7, from Firefox 3 to Firefox 4, from MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2010?

Ugh. I can’t find ANYTHING. And my Roboform, which is an amazing Add-on that remembers passwords and personal information (name/address/etc) , isn’t working so I’m having to type everything by hand.

Want a little cheese with that whine? 😀

I’ll survive. By June 2nd (a month), things will have smoothed out. Right? But right now I don’t even have Solitaire in my taskbar! ACK!