Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas part deux

Meant to show this picture of the Tree, snow babies and special globe--but couldn't figure ut how to load it. Ugh, still need lessons in blogland. Anyway love ya and blessings!!

Merry Christmas one and all

I finally have my house decorated for Christmas. Normally, I would have it done by the first week of December because it always has to be down by Sen's birthday...it is not coming down this year before his birthday-since I "JUST" got it up. He is 20 now so I think maybe he knows his and Christ's birthday aren't the same?

Anyway, I wanted to show everyone how we decorate. Since we have been here at Elim, in our itty bitty but very cozy apartment, we have had a little tree. Ok, 'little' is giving it more tallness than it really is. Our tree is no more than 2 feet tall if that. But it is very cute, in its primitive way. Last year I decided to snaz her up a bit and took away her primitive look. This year she is still dressed in her silver, gold, and metallic blue and green. I like her this way.

I decided this year to place my snow babies under the tree along with an angel musical globe which was a special gift from Gramma Neitz. Shawn and I think of Gram when ever we look at this globe. She is so dear to our hearts. We are praying we have her around for many years yet. She is the only grandparent left for either of us, and we love her to pieces.

I think my favorite of my decorations is the nativity that a special friend, Lori Ayres, painted for me. She lives in the Canton area and blessed me one year with this nativity. We bartered a bit for it, and now I have this to remind me of her and our friendship. It is so beautifully painted. Every year when I bring it out, I feel my mouth turning up in a smile. It is not hard to imagine Jesus as this happy little babe.

Lastly, I want to show you how a friend blessed my socks off when we first moved here. She and her daughter and neice came to help me decorate back in 2005 the week following our move. I had always wanted to decorate above my cupboards but never had the gumption or ideas on how to do it. Well, she knew just how to, and went about it. 3 years later it is pretty much the same, (although this week I got up there and cleaned and put it all back again). At Christmas we add the Christmas decorations, then take them down later, leaving the lights and everything else there as decoration. I have had many compliments over the years on how nicely my house is decorated. It is mainly due to Robin and the girlies...they are awesome.

One last thing keeping our household busy--We are in the Christmas Eve production at Elim Gospel Church. If you are going to be in the area or would like something to do--it is at 6pm and 8pm with a beautiful play and candlelighting service. Sleigh/wagon rides, a live nativity, and hot cocoa for all. It would be wonderful to see you here.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from our home to yours. May Christ be the true reason for the season in your heart.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Everything Goes Blog

Ok, so it has been so long since I have blogged, I have to make this a catch up blog and hopefully it will be entertaining as well, not just a boring list of all that I have done since I blogged last.

So last when I was talking with you I shared that I had gone on a hike (first in for as long as I can remember), trekking to find my beloved's surprise for me. What I found was a beautiful carving of my name, so as a surprise for him I carved a heart and his initials underneath.

Sorry that I never finished the story. Chalk it up to blond? or age, whichever makes me look better...

I have been quite busy keeping up with the cafe at church. Scheduling and making sure things are running smoothly from week to week is fun. Mostly the cafe ministry runs itself, because the host teams are so fabulous. They all know just what to do. There has also been some additions to our team, a new host team and a new assistant. That has been fun training and it is such a blessing to have these people on the ministry team. I thoroughly enjoy heading this ministry and getting to interact with so many people in the church. God has really been stretching me in incredible ways through this.

Shawn and I have been taking a Financial Peace University class this fall. It has been an eye opener for us. We try to live very frugally, but we realised that if we are ever going to have an emergency fund or any savings, things have to be different. We are praying that God would show us what we need to do. We both feel I am to still be concentrating on painting. My job is to not keep letting other "little" things distract me. FOCUS is the key word, but it is very hard for me to 'let' myself paint-because for so many years I viewed it from others eyes--as a hobby. But that was never how I felt in my heart about it. I have always wanted to do it full time. I have felt released by God and Shawn to do it full time, now maybe if I could release myself to do it. I have a wonderful pastor friend named Jerry who is putting a web site together for me to sell and promote my artwork. It seems a shame that he do all that work and I have nothing to sell right now.

Thanksgiving holiday was wonderful. We spent most ofthe time with Shawn's family, but squeezed in some other friends and my family at the tail. A highlight of the trip was getting to see Don and Laurie Frey; friends from way back. They are a wonderful couple, with an awesome testimony. Don was a childhood friend of Shawn's. We met Laurie when they began dating and realised right from the beginning she was going to be a tremendous match for him. Laurie recently went through a battle with breast cancer and wrote a book about her journey, it is called Unbeatable [the whole story]. A very good read, Laurie comes through the book as witty, bright, and a fighter. She shares how the Lord moved her heart to focus solely on Him and the fight for her life. Laurie also has co-created a musical from the book, which has been in a few cities. Quite the amazing woman and awesome witness of God in her life. You can purchase the book through Amazon and Barnes and Noble bookstores. It is very inspiring and worth the read. I am so glad we got to talk with them, it gave me a new love for this couple and their son Andrew.

We also went visiting with our friends the Weibley's who are UM pastor's in the Jersey Shore area. That was fun to catch up. Cathy and I got a chance to share our journey's of letting go of our precious boys and how we are praying for them, as they are away at college and making choices of their own. It is really difficult to just let them choose--ugh! At 40 I see some things so differently than I did at 20... God is there with him though, and he has been taught and encouraged to walk with his Lord. Our prayer is that he will keep his eyes on the prize-which isn't heaven, but a relationship right now with the God he loves.

Super Duper highlight of the time was TRENTON, also known as Squirt. He is so darn cute, I could not keep my hands from hugging him and squishing his cheekers. He spent the night with Shawn and I for Wed and Thurs. and we got to play Twister, and Trouble and cars and all sorts of stuff. He colors so well...a budding artist? No way, he can't sit still for 10 minutes straight--which neither can I really, so well, maybe! Anyway, we went to the playground to walk off some of the good food we ate, and I played on the playground equipment and in and around and with Squirt. It was so much fun! We went down the slide and I actually went fast til Shawn tried to take the picture--I had to hold myself there. In the past I could have easily been wedged in there-tee hee. We had a blast.

I had a checkup with my Endocrinologist who takes care of the pituitary tumor I have, and also the diabetes stuff, and thyroid. Well, all the reports were phenomenal but one and it was my fault. First the bad--7 weeks ago I stopped taking my tumor med by accident for a week and thought-well I am going to see him next week, so I won't bother and we'll just see where my levels are. Well, they were bad-124 from 26. Basically what that means is the tumor started to grow again, and I have to take my meds again for it to stop. Bad thing is that they make me really sick when I start them-and I don't have time to hurl with all that I am trying to do. Grace, Grace God's grace... Good news--at this point my thyroid is working without meds, so he is going to let me go a month and test again to see where I am at for a whole month without medication.YAY! Also...drum roll please...it is officially official (do to the proper A1C test being done) I absolutely positively no longer have Type 2 diabetes. Can we hear a collective Wahoo!! I know I share before that I no longer had it, but he kept testing me to see if the numbers were right, and this particular test, tests over the course of 3 months so it is very accurate. Happy Dance!! Also, my blood pressure was again very much in a normal range. So that is 6 appointments in normal ranges, hopefully soon I can get off that one last pill.

Okay, so that is much of my life but here are a couple of fun things I have been doing too. The sign for Mt. Zion took me 99.5 hours to do. It is double sided with reflective beads on the letters. I enjoyed doing this, but it was alot of work. Please, before you get any sweet ideas of asking me to do this for you---I will charge you lots of money to do it. So you probably don't want to ask. Sorry, it just isn't in the range of "I loved doing" it. But the other picture, is for a sweet couple and their baby boy, that used to live under us, but moved to the other side of the building. This kind of thing--"I loved" doing it.

I am looking forward to the holidays. Cooking and baking for ourselves and friends is one of my favorite things to do. Keep an eye out on my blog for recipes--I have taken pics I just need to put the recipes up too. That part takes time.

Blessings to all who read my blog, please leave a comment so I know you have been here.