Wednesday, December 31, 2008




Happy New Year Everyone!!

Practice Makes Perfect

The secret - LOTS and LOTS of butter! Way more butter than you think is healthy!! In fact, they're swimming in butter! But they didn't stick and they didn't burn!
Next, we have to master the "filling thing-a-ma-gig"---so just plops a teeny, tiny bit of jelly...not enough at which to sneeze!!

This afternoon's project: Trimming Olivia's bangs!

But if your offering is a grain offering baked in a pan,
it shall be of fine flour,
unleavened, mixed with (LOTS and LOTS of) oil.
-Leviticus 2:5

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Today's Gifts

  • Waking at 5:00am - the house is quiet - time to spend with the Lord before Brillo Man and Olivia arise for the day.

  • Getting out the door and on our way to our adventure without me having ten fits about something.

  • Standing in the ticket line at Splash Lagoon...someone approaches us from behind and says that they have extra tickets which they're not using and would we like them?...saved us $140 in the admission price for four tickets!! God you are so good!

  • Spending the day at Splash Lagoon with Stephanie. She drove from New York just to join us in some fun!

  • Sitting in Splash Lagoon's hot tub most of the day...relief for my aching knees!

  • Eating dinner at Steak n' Shake and laughing so hard that my sides hurt while listening to Brillo Man's comic relief!

  • Brillo Man driving home the hour-long drive so that I could sleep in the van. I rarely am able to sleep in the van. Tonight, I was exhausted. I slept!

  • Carrying home a cargo of gifts sent from my in-laws...can't wait to open them tomorrow!

  • Arriving home to find that the wood stove was still smoldering and it didn't take much to get the fire going again...the house is now toasty warm!

  • Donning my flannel PJs and crawling into bed for a long night's rest! (that's what's about to happen just as soon as I click "PUBLISH POST")

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
-James 1:17

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa's Gift she sits on Santa's lap...."All I want for Christmas is (my two front teeth? Not.) a Pancake Puff Pan!"

She has been talking about the Pancake Puff Pan for MONTHS! She's been saving her change so she could purchase her very own Pancake Puff Pan. She walks around the house quoting lines from the infomercial..."Kids like them too! They make great snacks!"... For months --we've been hearing about the Pancake Puff pan.

Several weeks ago, we walked into K-Mart and there it was. The Pancake Puff pan. Oh my gosh - you would have thought that the world stopped spinning in space. "MOM!!! IT'S THE PANCAKE PUFF PAN!!! CAN WE BUY IT??!! PUUUHHHLLLEEEEEZZE!!!!"

"No, Olivia, we're not buying the Pancake Puff Pan." "BUT WHHHYYYYYYYYY NOTTTTT?!?!" "Because Christmas is coming and maybe Santa is going to bring you the Pancake Puff Pan." "BUT MOM, I CAN'T WAIT THAT LOOONNNNGGGGGG!!!! CHRISTMAS ISN'T UNTIL DECEMBER 25TH AND I WANT THE PANCAKE PUFF PAN NOW!!!" "Olivia, we're not buying the Pancake Puff Pan and that's the end of the discussion."

Fast Forward to Christmas morning. She's opening her gifts....oh yes!!! She shoots - she scores! Santa brought the Pancake Puff Pan!!

This morning, we attempted to make pancakes. Brillo Man had even purchased buttermilk so we could make REAL pancakes...not the kind from the Bisquick box. Eggs. check. baking soda. check. flour....uh,'s got bugs in it. Unbelievable! I didn't store it in my Tupperware container and instead left it in the pantry in the paper sack. And since I do very little baking...who knows how long it's been sitting in the pantry. Perhaps since 2006. (I'm kidding.) Anyway - bugs. Let's go to plan B. Get the Bisquick from the back of the pantry. used before December 2007. (Obviously the Bisquick HAS been in the pantry since 2006.) I'm guessing there's bugs. Yep. Bugs in the Bisquick. Okay...plan C. "Olivia, how about we make blueberry muffins in your pancake puff pan?"... Grab a Jiffy mix of blueberry muffins. We always have a huge stash of Jiffy mixes because they're quick and inexpensive and easy to whip up. We don't often use them however. We have good intentions. So, the chances that there's bugs in the mix are pretty good. drum roll bugs. Success! (Or perhaps there are bugs and they're just too difficult to see amongst the dried blueberries. Whatever. We're using it.)

Add an egg and a little milk and wha-la - blueberry muffin mix for the Pancake Puff Pan! Which isn't totally against the rules since the recipe book which came with the Pancake Puff Pan even says that you can "use your own blueberry muffin mix."

I think it's going to take a little adjusting on my part to get used to the Pancake Puff Pan. Too hot. Burnt the muffins. We ate them anyway. Brillo Man even went so far as to say that they were tasty. ahem. (Have I told him lately that I love him?)

Olivia just walked by. She could be heard saying, "...No more dialing the phone to order pizza, just make your very own pepperoni pizzas in the Pancake Puff Pan!" Mind you...we live in the middle of nowhere. Nobody would deliver a pizza to us if you paid them triple. "Mom, how about we make a deal and go to the Amish bulk food store and buy some flour with no bugs so that we can make Pancake Puffs tomorrow for breakfast." "Olivia, tomorrow is Sunday. We won't have time to make Pancake Puffs before church, but we can make them tomorrow afternoon." "Okay, let's make a deal."
"Okay, I want what's behind Door Number One." "WHAATT??!!" "Nevermind."

So he said, “Then bring some flour.”
And he put it into the pot, and said,
“Serve it to the people, that they may eat.”
And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
(See...NO BUGS!) (parenthesis mine. ahem.)
-2 Kings 4:41

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Cry Holy Holy Holy

Four of the 20+ Little Saints: Annie, Olivia, Sadie and Garrett

The "Little Saints" at church performed to this song in the Christmas program.

I wish I had recorded a video to share --it just touched my heart right to the very core to see these precious kids worshipping the Lord and laying their crowns at Jesus' feet. Then they danced with Jesus. What a sight!

My prayer is that you all have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Awesome Savior!

...wishing I could give you each a huge hug....
I love you all and count your friendships as one of my greatest gifts!

"For God so loved the world
that He gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.
-John 3:16

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
-Psalm 32:11

Friday, December 19, 2008

Seven Things

Okay --gotta get those "seven things" done from that long ago tag. Besides, it was scary everytime I called up my blog and saw my face staring back. Creepin' me out!

Here's the seven things:

Seven things I did before I was a Mom:

  • Traveled to Italy and The Dominican Republic
    (one for vacation and the other for a missions trip).
  • Had season tickets to The Pittsburgh Symphony.
  • Went out to dinner at least once a week, probably more.
  • Spent a lot of time on my artwork.
  • Listened to praise music constantly.
  • Hiked through the Shenandoah Mountains with Brillo Man.
  • Spent way too much money on books (I've cut down - really - although Brillo Man may disagree...).

Seven things I do now that I know Jesus really loves me:

  • Sing praises at the top of my lungs when I'm alone in my van.
  • Pray at the top of my lungs when I'm alone in my van.
  • Forgive others more easily...still working on this one...but if I'm forgiven and He's extended so much grace to me, then I need to be extending grace to others.
  • Think about reading my Bible more...I don't read it enough...and I know that I should be reading more!!!
  • Make a conscious effort to tell others about Him - either through my words or my actions.
  • Spend time recognizing His many blessings toward me.
  • Get excited about worship.

Seven things I would like to do:

  • Learn to play the cello.
  • Sing more.
  • Walk into my completely clean house...knowing that I was the one to get it to that point.
  • Create more art.
  • Lose weight.
  • Be more in control of my emotions.
  • Vacation in Hawaii and Alaska.

Seven things that still attract me to my husband:

  • His completely hairy self (with the exception of that bald spot).
  • His warm, strong embraces...I feel like all the cares of this world melt away when he holds me...which is nearly not often enough!
  • His ability to dream big.
  • His creative writing mind.
  • His goofy, little, smirky smile.
  • His sense of humor - which most often appears in his writing.
  • His spontaneity.

My seven favorite foods:

  • Pasta in any size, shape or form with any type of sauce or no sauce.
  • Chocolate (especially DARK).
  • Peach Pie.
  • Brillo Man's homemade soups. He has been dubbed "The King of Soups" by Olivia!
  • Grilled steak.
  • Homemade bread fresh from the oven with butter (which I buy from the bakery and microwave to simulate that fresh-from-the-oven-warmth!--no energy to bake bread at my house).
  • Sausage and Black Olive Pizza from Pizza Joe's.

Seven things I say most often:

  • Oh, for cryin' out loud!
  • That's not anything you need to worry about.
  • Give me a break.
  • What's up with that?!
  • You're all pitiful.
  • Go jump in a lake.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked,
"Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother
when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times,
but seventy-seven times."
-Matthew 18:21,22

New Specs

Here's the new specs....a bit more bold than others I've worn in the past. The chick at the glasses place said that they were "trendy." I'm not usually one to be "trendy"...but I thought I'd take a chance this time.

Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
-Proverbs 4:25

The eye is the lamp of the body.
If your eyes are good,
your whole body will be full of light.
-Matthew 6:22

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Two weeks ago, I took full advantage of my employer's vision plan and had my eye's examined for new glasses.

After trying on many, many, many pairs of frames, I finally narrowed my choices down to two.

Dawna came with me a couple of days later to confirm that the frame I really wanted was going to look okay. She gave the thumbs up - I ordered my glasses.

On Monday, I called to see if they had come in yet. "Yes, they're here."
Wonderful. Tuesday morning, I dragged my tired self out of bed and drove Olivia to school rather than let her ride the bus so that I could swing by the glasses place and pick up my new glasses. When I got there - no glasses. "I don't know what's going on - the envelope is in the "they're here" cabinet, but there are no glasses." After a phone call, it was determined that they indeed had not yet arrived from the lab. "No problem," she said, "they'll be here first thing in the morning." Great.

This morning --enjoyed a wonderful visit with Dawna. She made a dress for Olivia which she needed to deliver and she also brought with her some delicious, homemade breakfast muffins and bar cookies. Yum. She had coffee. I had Cherry Pepsi and sat in my flannel PJs chowing down the breakfast treats. We laughed, talked and had a great time - as we always do. 9:00am - the phone rings. It's the glasses place --my glasses are in. Wonderful. I'll be in to pick them up.

10:15am, Dawna leaves to go home and I headed for the shower. Afterwards, I made a list of some things that I needed from StuffMart. Then I spent some time talking with Brillo Man. Eventually, I donned my coat and headed out the door.

Got to the glasses place. Tried to get in. The door is locked. WHAT?! Hours of Operation on Wednesdays: 8:00am-12:00pm. I looked at my watch...12:05pm. UGH!!! Now you'd think that the chick who called to tell me that the glasses were in would have also informed me that they don't stay open on Wednesdays?!

I headed across the road to StuffMart with my list of five items and promptly went and drowned my disappointment in a spending spree. A cart full and many dollars later....I still don't have my new glasses.

Everything happens for a reason right? So there's a reason that I still don't have my new glasses....just trying to figure out what that reason is!

But if we hope for what we do not yet have,
we wait for it patiently.
-Romans 8:25

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Venting....

me: "Can you put some more wood in the wood stove? It's getting chilly up here."

him: "Uh, yeah."

Five minutes later, he comes up the steps and walks behind me into the bedroom and then into the bathroom.

(The horrific sound of a power saw...)

me: (thinking) WHAT is he doing?!...then saying, "Do you need some help?"

him: "no."


me: (thinking) I'm not even going to go in there and see where he's cutting. I'm just going to sit here at the computer desk and continue to work on my etsy orders. I'm not even going to worry that he's cutting a huge hole in the bathroom floor...

him: (walking by) hymmmf. cough. ahem... clomp, clomp, clomp (down the steps.) clump, clump, clump (up the steps - back into the bathoom.)


him: "this is hard."

me: ...still not in a panic. very calm.... as things are literally falling off the wall behind me...


him: (walking by) hymmmf. cough. ahem... clomp, clomp, clomp (down the steps.) clump, clump, clump (up the steps dragging the shop vac - back into the bathoom.)


me: ...he's cleaning up? hmmm?

him: (walking by) hymmmf. cough. ahem... clomp, clomp, clomp (down the steps.)

me: ...waiting a respectable amount of time before I could no longer stand it...
...went into the bathroom...(although I really DID have to go...)

Wow. A register vent. On the floor right in front of the shower. Ah...heat from the wood stove radiating up through... Oh look, you can see right down into the basement. Remind me to close the vent before I step out of the shower from now on....

me: (calling downstairs...) “The vent looks good in the bathroom.”

him: "I couldn’t put it anywhere else because along the wall there were wires."

me: (glad I didn’t have to ask why he chose that spot...) “Well, it looks good. Thanks.”

Tip of the day: Remain calm and stay focused while your husband suddenly appears from the basement and begins sawing a hole in the floor because it all works out in the end. Had I gone in to “help” him –it would’ve been ugly.

He knew that. Which is why, when asked if he needed help, he said, “no.”

The noise of battle is in the land,
the noise of great destruction!
-Jeremiah 50:22

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Tree... finally up!

My sister and I recently commented to each other that we're becoming more like our mother in that we almost dread decorating the Christmas tree. Dad was the festive, merry maker when it came to Christmas in our house. He was just like a little kid at Christmas. I have memories of him dragging all the boxes down from the attic and making a big production out of decorating the Christmas tree.

Mind you, it wasn't just any old Christmas tree either. It was one that was hunted down and tagged and cut after many minutes of traipsing through the cold fields looking for "the perfectly shaped tree" - with not too many 'holes' but with enough space to showcase the many dozens of ornaments that had been collected over decades of celebrations.

Then it was brought indoors and since I was the oldest of my siblings, after Dad had hefted it into the tree stand, would hold it and turn it and lean it and adjust it as Mom sat on the couch and said, "a little to the left, no, turn it that way, no, it looks better this way". I could eventually be heard saying, "Come on, it's heavy, my arm is itchy, it looks good just like it is." All the while Dad was lying on the floor under the tree ready to tighten the screws whenever he heard the official proclamation that it was "perfect". Then we’d all stand back and look at it and decide that it was leaning too far one direction and the whole process would start again!

Then the lights. I hated the lights. They were tangled - no matter how much time we spent the year before placing them back in their boxes with each light attached to it’s little cradle, they were still tangled. And then there was always a red one that was too close to another red one, or a blue one too far away from the other blue ones. The same with the ornaments. That round one with the red stipes is too close to the round one that’s solid red. Invariably, sometime during the day (and it was a day-long process), Mom would state that we should just take the boxes back to the attic and forget the whole thing. We accused her of being a scrooge until she would suddenly be all interested in decorating when it was time to adorn the tree with tinsel. You know the kind...the foil (probably made of lead) kind. It was draped over our hands and strung over a branch –one or two strands at a time. NEVER, EVER, EVER throw the tinsel at the tree!!! What were we thinking?! And I shared my Mom’s perfectionism. In fact, after I went away to college and missed the annual family tree-trimmings, Dad commented that it didn’t matter how they decorated the tree because I was just going to come home and rearrange everything. And I did.

I have since learned to “let it go” when it comes to lights or decorations or ‘themes’ or tinsel. This year, we tried buying a pre-lit tree from StuffMart, hoping to avoid the whole light issue. After fifteen minutes of trying to make that ugly tree look like anything close to a Christmas tree, it went right back in the box and back to StuffMart and we headed to the next town to Kraynak’s, home of Santa’s Christmasland - a winding trail of animated Christmas displays which Olivia has dubbed “the moving guys...I call them the moving guys because they move.”

In addition to the moving guys, Kraynak’s has a huge and I mean HUGE selection of everything Christmas. From trees to ornaments to toys to candy to lights to...EVERYTHING Christmas. We searched the aisles and aisles of everything Christmas until we chose a small, live tree. A Douglas Fir. Small because we want to plant it after Christmas and because had it been large it would’ve been way too heavy for Brillo Man and I to maneuver from the van to the living room. Besides, we drove the van, not the truck. Vans don’t hold large trees - at least not inside!

Last night, Brillo Man stacked some galvanized tubs, lined one with a garbage bag (just in case the tub leaks) and placed the tree. Then we added the lights and the star. Beautiful. Too late to decorate....must wait until today.

This afternoon, I calmly sent Olivia to her room for a nap since she had been up way too late the night before and gotten up way too early this morning for church. Little sleep + 6-year old = cranky, cranky, whiny and cranky. Whiny, cranky 6 year olds make for whiny, cranky Moms and I was determined that we were going to have a good day. I told her she had to take a nap - or no tree decorating. She complied - I think. I’m still not completely convinced that she slept, but she did at least rest and she and I had a pleasant time together decorating the tree.

I let her choose everything –from the star tree topper she picked out at StuffMart all the way down to the strung popcorn garland. I strung - she ate. And while it may not have been all the ornaments that I would have chosen - she did a pretty good job on our little tree. And the best thing about it...there were no scrooges in site!

There was one ornament which I chose --Brillo Man's favorite - The Armadillo. If you don't know the armadillo haven't been reading my blog long enough!

And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground
—trees that were pleasing to the eye...
-Genesis 2:9a

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Best Kind of Gift

In response to Sara's post:

Deep down inside we know
that the best gifts
don't come from catalogs
or shopping malls
They don't come in brightly-colored packages
or fancy envelopes
and they're not sitting under a tree somewhere...
The best gifts come from the heart.
They come when we look at each other
REALLY look at each other
and say 'You mean a lot to me'
or 'I'm so glad you're a part of my life'
A gift like that
will never go out of style
or be forgotten
or be returned for a different size.
A gift like that can change the world.

-Ron Atchison

And if that doesn't work,
Give them cash.

Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah;
he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
-Genesis 24:53

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Deliverance, not of the banjo kind...

....but of the spiritual bondage kind...

Sunday in church, we declared it Healing Sunday. I wish I had a nickel for everyone who told me that I needed to be sure to be in the prayer line to be prayed for regarding the MS that keeps attacking my body. Not so. I needed to be there for another reason altogether.

For months now, whether it be the start of menopause, the stress of my job, symptoms of MS, the addition and subtraction of different medications and their side effects or just the change in the weather, I have been a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. Big time. In fact, I'm convinced that it was none of the above which caused me to go off in a rant every other day (or every other minute on some days!), but I do believe that the enemy had oppressed me with a spirit of anger.

I was lashing out at Brillo Man or Olivia for no reason other than stupid things like "I can't find my layway slip!!!" The enemy was winning. I was losing.

So, on Sunday morning, I decided that I had had enough. I don't know if any of you know that the original root for 'healing' in the Bible encompasses not only a physical healing, but salvation and deliverance as well. Bingo. Deliverance. I wanted it - and I wanted it now.

I stood in line --for a very long time --in physical pain from my knees and MS junk --many times wanting to sit down -- but knowing that this was God's appointed time for I pressed on.

When it was my turn, Pastor Kent and the prayer team annointed me with oil and began to pray. Honestly, I have no idea what they prayed because I was transformed in my mind to another place --being blessed beyond belief --praying in my heavenly language --expecting a miracle!

...After church, it is customary for the people greeting at the door to offer a sweet treat. There is always someone standing with a huge basket of dum-dum lollipops and it is Olivia's chance to pick through until she finds the coveted grape one.

Lollipop in hand, it's time to don the winter gear and head out into the cold...."Olivia, please be responsible for your lollipop. Put in in the bag so that you don't drop it in the snow when we go outside." "Okay, Mom."

Upon entering the van, Olivia suddenly cries out, "Mom! My lollipop! I dropped my lollipop!" I calmly replied, "Why were you carrying your lollipop when I asked you to put it in the bag?" At which point, my sweet, cherub daughter transformed into this raging child..."I NEED TO GO BACK INSIDE AND GET ANOTHER LOLLIPOP! YOU NEED TO GO WITH ME TO GET ANOTHER LOLLIPOP!" ...still remaining calm, "Olivia, we're not going back to get another lollipop, I have to get home to get some sleep." ( I had worked the night before and needed to return to work that night and hadn't yet slept and it was already 2 pm as church had gone way over time.) By now, Olivia is not just screaming but had gotten out of the van and was kicking and punching my door, screaming that she hates me at the top of her lungs and pretty much causing the disturbance of a lifetime. Olivia? no. ...the enemy using her to push my buttons. yes. But guess what? I had just been prayed for to be delivered from a spirit of anger.

Ha! Satan - you're defeated! I very calmly got out of the van, walked over to Olivia, took her by the hand and led her to the van door where I asked her, ever so nicely to please get in. Normally, I'd be screaming at her and stating that there would soon be consequences for her actions if she didn't shape up. Especially since I was exhausted after having been awake all night. My fits of rage were always worse when I was tired. But this time, not a word from my mouth. She got in the van and continued to scream as we drove away --all eyes of all the folks in the parking lot on us. I turned on the radio and began to quietly sing along to a Christmas carol. Olivia screamed some more. Louder. (Which I didn't think was possible since I was sure she had achieved the maximum decibel level possible for a six year old!)

I continued to sing. And then I looked at her in the rear view mirror and smiled and said, "Olivia, you better be careful, with all that crying and carrying on you're doing, your face is going to crack." Then - a smile. And soon a giggle. And what a pleasant ride we had the remainder of the way home.

Today - a trip to StuffMart --where again, I was tempted to lose control as Olivia started behaving in ways that were completely not becoming a happy six-year old. Again - I remained calm.

Coincidence? Nope. Miracle? Yes.
With God, I am victorious. The enemy will just have to stuff it and go bug somebody else. I feel a change coming...and it ain't menopause!

Her she is - the cherub -
before church and the dreaded "lollipop incident"
looking all cute in the new dress that Grandma bought her!

But as soon as they were at rest,
they again did what was evil in your sight.
Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies
so that they ruled over them.
And when they cried out to you again,
you heard from heaven,
and in your compassion
you delivered them time after time.
-Nehemiah 9:28

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Painting Pictures....

not of art...but of Egypt.

Are you all familiar with that song by Sara Groves?

Lately, in all the hectic moments of my life, I have found myself longing for moments in the past. There have been moments recently when I find myself out-of-control with frustration. I know that the person I become in those moments is not really the person I am. I long for the days when life seemed less demanding. When I thought I had my head on straight....when obviously, if you know me and have been following my blog and you've read my testimony about my'll know that I was FAR from having my head on straight (no pun intended.)

Last night, in the midst of the chaos, I was able to share Jesus with a woman in the Coronary Care Unit who believes she is dying.

And tonight, while screaming at my daughter because she's misplaced her shoes - AGAIN and is going to be late for Brownies - AGAIN... there was an instant when I wondered why I chose this life over my past.

How ridiculous is that?!

God forgive me for painting pictures of Egypt. I for sure, do not want to go back.

Several years ago, when I dusted off my Bible, took it down from the shelf and opened it to this verse from Jeremiah 31:3...
"...Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."...and I realized that the Lord had not given up on me. That He would never give up on me...that His love for me was everlasting...that no matter how much I tried to avoid Him or run away from Him because I knew that I couldn't possibly live my life of rebellion and still be in His presence...He was wooing me all the while. When I finally listened and repented and started the long journey back to Him, He has blessed me beyond belief by giving me a husband who loves me whom I love in return. He's given us a beautiful daughter - when one time in my life I thought I would never have the opportunity to be a Mom. He's blessed us with a beautiful home in our (as Pat would say) "State Park." And so many other things both tangible and intangible too numerous to list.

So yes...Lord please forgive me when in the midst of the storm, I'm painting pictures of Egypt. Instead, may I be reminded of your many blessings. Remind me that I'm still engraved in the palm of Your hand. Remind me that your love for me is everlasting. Remind me that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness.

And help me to be a better Mom and a better wife...for without You, I can do nothing.

The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.
-Psalm 29:11

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Some of us...

Here are some of us girls at my sister's for our annual holiday celebration. We were missing my Mom, my nephew's fiance, Nicole, my niece, Ashley and my sister-in-law, Berta. Those four would have completed "the girls" photo --but it was not to be this year....maybe next year.

There's no denying that my sister is my sister! In fact, she walked by and out of the corner of my eye I did a double take and tried to figure out how I was walking by... ...doesn't take much to confuse me these days! You can click the photo to enlarge it.

Left to right:
Olivia -age 6
Aunt Carolyn (my Mom's sister and Pam's Mother)
Maggie -age 2(Pam's daughter)
Pam (my cousin)
Makayla -age 5(Pam's daughter)
Julia -age 9(Lori's daughter)
Rachel -age 13 (Lori's daughter)
Lori (my sister)

Spread on the table are the Suubi beads that I heard about via Margie's daughter, Phyllis. I submitted an inquiry and the next thing I knew, I received a box of them to sell! what? I have to come up with a creative way to move the merchandise so that the African women who made them will earn some money to care for their families. It's a blessing to know that I'm helping a village in Africa - even in such a small way as selling their jewelry!

Since all were not able to attend the annual gathering this year, we're hoping to get together around Easter time. I think that Nicole and Michael's second child will have arrived by then --perhaps another girl to add to our family group!

Each year you and your family
are to the presence of the LORD your God
at the place he will choose.
-Deuteronomy 15:20 (omission mine)