Monday, December 31, 2007

Some Musical Fun

Enjoy this video of a performance by a men's a capella group from IU. These guys are pretty fun. This is their Sitcom Medley.

I Should Not Be Up

It's 2-something in the A.M., and I'm awake. I hate it when that happens. I used to absolutely, flatout refuse to get out of bed if I was unable to sleep. I feel like I deserve sleep, and nothing was going to deprive me of my due bed time. As I'm entirely influenced by my friend Judy, I have taken up her sleeplessness ritual of getting up and going to the kitchen for a bowl of cereal.

I had Berry Krispies tonight.

I've already perused my blog subscriptions, and I doubt anyone else is going to be writing tonight. Although, I guess if someone lives in CA it's only 10:00 out there. It's a possibility. And of course, I'm here blogging in the middle of the night, so it's entirely possible there is someone else out there who's blogging in the middle of the night.

I went browsing on Facebook, and I happened to see one of my former classmates had made an album of our senior trip. Oh my, was that ever a trip down memory lane! Kind of scared me. We were just kids. I really do feel young at 35 and can't imagine that I'll feel any differently at 40 in just five short years. But seeing me and my friends at 18...whoa! It feels like eons ago. It just makes one ponder.

Sorry for the 2:00 A.M. ramblings.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007... A Look Back

I found this meme on and tweaked it just a tad for my personal use. I'm amazed at the perspective it has given me in just this short time of answering questions. It's such a good evaluation, and I'd love it if you answer these questions on your blog. If you haven't got a blog, just leave a comment here. I'd love to hear from you.

1. Compared to 2006, was 2007 better or worse for you?

2007 was better for me for so many reasons, and I am thankful to be able to say that. It has to do with growing spiritually and taking on new physical challenges. I learned in 2007 that I can do things that I never thought I was capable of.

2. How did your year rate?

I've had an excellent year.

3. What moment do you remember as being the most emotional for you of 2007?

This is such a tough question. I am an emotional person, and I cry about everything - good and bad. There are several moments that stand out in my mind. Here are the highlights in which I laughed or cried the most (in no particular order):

  • When Judy told me her daughter was going to have a baby
  • When I was able to achieve a running goal that I never thought I'd be able to
  • When I got to see Judy for the first time after being gone to be with her daughter for 4 weeks
  • When I teed off on hole #5 at Studebaker Golf Course, and the ball landed on the green.
  • When I went fishing for the first time and caught 5 fish (I think it was 5) and then got caught in a torrential downpour. (Such a funny story!)
  • I discovered Starbucks Peppermint Mocha (I am not kidding!)

4. Do you feel that you accomplished any major goals during the year?

Wow, do I! I learned how to golf. I have almost read through the Bible in a year, minus a couple Books. I've memorized Romans 8 and will continue memorizing entire chapters of scripture. I have become more spontaneous. I've made new friends.

5. Compared to your feelings last December, are you more or less optimistic going into 2008?

It's funny that before I started answering these questions I kinda thought I was less optimistic about the new year. That's because I see my failures, where I'm falling short, and I know the yuck that is still in my life. Upon remembering all these really terrific things that the Lord has done for me, though, I am feeling SO optimistic now. How can I not go up from here. There is more to be changed in my life and more challenges to be met. That's pretty cool.

6. Will you keep your new year's resolution?

I don't have any resolutions, per se. I do look ahead with hope that I will be different at the close of 2008, but only as I continue down the road I'm on. It's a daily choice to die to self and live for Christ. Sometimes a moment by moment choice. It's only by His grace that I will press on and become the new creature He has made me to be. Thank the Lord!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Know & Tell Friday

To Know Him hosts a "Know & Tell Friday" every week, and since I'm addicted to I enjoy blogging I'm going to answer these questions for yet another blog post in one day.

Question 1: What is the name of your very first friend?

Becca - We grew up together practically from birth. We have home movies of my 3rd birthday when she tried to steal my new baby-doll stroller. Aren't best friends great?

Question 2: Do you believe in love at first sight?

No, not really. I don't think it's true love if you don't really know a person.
Question 3: Clean Freak or Total Slob?
I don't think I could be considered either. I like to be neat and hate clutter, but it doesn't bother me if there are dishes in my sink, the floor hasn't been vacuumed in a month, or the toilet needs to be cleaned. I'm more of an "everything must be in its place" kind of a person.
Question 4: Last book you read?
I just finished reading Forever Christmas. It's a bit of a "fluffy" read, but it's been fun to read during the holiday, being off work and all. I'm in the middle of another book Boo Who by Rene Gutteridge, which is hysterical if you're looking for something funny to read. Quirky characters in a small town. The main character reminds me very much of Kristin Chenoweth, the actress/singer. If they made a movie of these books, she would fit the character perfectly.

Bonus Question: Give me one word that would sum up your goals for 2008?

Growth - Spiritual growth, that is. I hope I can become more loving, patient, long suffering, merciful and glorifying to God in 2008, and that will only come as I read the Bible, pray and apply Truth to my daily living.

What Are You Into This Month?

I don't often find memes that I can answer all the questions on, but someone posted this one today and I thought I could do it. So here is What I'm Into This Month...

The Thing I've Been Working On The Most: Probably trying to lose weight by sticking to my "First Place" live-it plan.

TV Show Worth Watching: I don't know if there's any TV show worth watching. I did enjoy Kid Nation when it was running, though.

The Christmas Present I'm Loving: My sister gave me a blue sweater, and I love it.

My Favorite Blog Entry From This Month: I really enjoyed Big Mama's entry about putting up the Christmas lights on her house. Cracked me up!

Blog I Am Always Visiting: OhAmanda! is my FAVORITE.

Movie I’ve Seen (In or Out of a theater): "Christmas With the Kranks" I didn't see it until this Christmas, and I thought it was hysterical.

What I'm Most Looking Forward To Next Month: Call me crazy, but I'm looking forward to starting a new calendar. I'm also excited and maybe a little sentimental that my niece *M* is turning 10 YEARS OLD! Where did the time go? (Sniff. Sniff.)

If you want to participate in this little meme on your blog, visit Adventures in Babywearing and leave your Mr. Linky.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas With the Family

Well, folks, I managed to get through every Christmas practice, church fellowship, and family gathering by indulging in only ONE sugar cookie. I can't believe I did that! People said it couldn't be done (people=ME), but it really can be. So to celebrate such a feat, I devoured an entire package of Oreos today.

I'm kidding.

My family had our traditional "Finger Food Christmas Eve". That's when we gather on Christmas Eve at my parents' and eat... well... finger food. Shrimp, meatballs, BBQ smokies, cheese & crackers, veggies & dip, little pigs in a blanket. Stuff like that.

In my earnestness to stay true to my First Place commitment, I prepared (or attempted to) several low-sugar low-fat treats like no-bake cookies (2 kinds), rice krispie bars, and a pecan and graham cracker thingy. Would you believe that NONE of the recipes were any good?!? Totally inedible. Translation = YUCKY! I really tried. :(

I took my guitar this year, hoping to sing carols with my nieces and nephews. I wasn't sure if they'd be game because we've never done that before, but they were great. They named a song, and we'd all sing. Dad sang as he passed through the living room. Mom was singing from the kitchen while she continued to prepare the food. It was a really nice thing, and I'm glad I did that this year.

Another enjoyable part of the evening is when I got to give my sister her gift. This was the big surprise of the year. Since I took up crochet this summer, she thought that I would be crocheting her something. I totally threw her for a loop, though, and I made her a no-sew fleece throw. She's been wanting one for a looooong time. There's a story behind that. There is a lady at church who has been making these fleece throws for several years for every new baby that is born into our church. They are THE treasured gift at every baby shower. We all sit with bated breath, waiting to see the throw unveiled and find out what motif she used for the new one. Every time Kathy sees one she says, Hey, when am I gonna get one? They are so warm and soft and snuggly good. We've heard of some new dads who steal the coveted baby fleece throw from their infant and to cuddle up in front of the TV. Can you imagine? So somehow during the weeks leading up to Christmas it dawned on me that I should make her one. So I did. And that was the big handmade gift issue I had last week. They're not as easy to assemble, if you don't know exactly what you're doing.

I only took a couple pictures, and none would be worth sharing. My sister, though, had some fun ones that her hubby took. My favorite out of all of them is a picture that my niece *K* took of me. She's 6 years old and may have a career in photography in her future. I think she captured my best feature... my cheekbones.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Candle Giveaway - Hurry!

If you're reading this prior to midnight (that's tonight Sunday), you still have time to enter to win a wonderful candle set from A Frog in My Soup blog. Visit her site and leave a comment, and you will be entered. That's it! They sound wonderfully fragrant. The gift set includes one 16 oz jar candle (your choice of Spice Shoppe or Pumpkin Cheesecake), 2 Votives and 2 votive holders - a $35 value!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Shopping? Check-Check!

WOOT! WOOT! WOOT! I'm doing the happy dance! (in a very Baptist fashion, of course.) You know that Christmas shopping thing? Got it done!! Oh yeah!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas, Puppy!

I've got a story to share today. It's sure to break your heart, especially if you love animals. Rich works at a superstore/supermarket, and as he was leaving work this afternoon he witnessed a peculiar thing. He said that because of all the snow we've gotten, there's a big pile that's been plowed over to the side of the store. He watched a car drive up next to the snowpile, a person get out, place a puppy in the snowpile, and drive off. He yelled after the guy, "Hey! What are you doing?!?" Another man and his two children were walking toward the store and also saw what was happening. He called after them, asking what they were doing. He yelled that they didn't want the puppy anymore, and the petstore wouldn't take it back. He cursed at the man then drove off.

Rich went and talked to the concerned father. He told him we already have a dog and couldn't take it in, but he'd be glad to take the puppy to the Humane Society. His kids were like, "Oh Daddy, can't we keep it?" He told Rich there was no need to take it to the shelter. They would take it home with them. He asked where he could find a good vet, and Rich recommended one up the street.

Can I get a collective "Aaaaaaw"? Can you believe this man chose to take that puppy home right then and there? At Christmas? How precious is that?

This poor little puppy was going to be abandoned in a snowbank today, but a very kind man saved him. How could I not share this sweet story?

Merry Christmas, puppy!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Blog Look... For Now

Yeah, I couldn't take the pink anymore, so I am trying the dots for awhile. It's got a little more personality to it, but I still don't think it screams "Liz". At least it will break up the monotony for me, and you all will have to bear with me while I try to find my way through the world of blog templates.

I Just Get Bored So Easily

Is anyone else getting tired of all this PINK on my blog?!? (big sigh) I'm not lovin' any of the blogger templates, and I've been searching the internet for a new template as I have time. I haven't been able to find anything yet that just says "LIZ!" Something that's just got my name written all over it. Ya know? So the search goes on. I'll let you know when and if I find the perfect one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

This is me, Mom & Kathy at our church Christmas banquet a couple weeks ago. It's very rare to get a picture of us all together, so this is particularly nice.

By the way, I got my personally handcrafted Christmas gifts finished today. They turned out great, and I'm just so excited!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Things Just Got a Little More Exciting

I've kinda felt...uh...just a tad panicked when Sunday rolled around because Christmas is next Tuesday. Aaaagh! The reason behind that is mostly due to the need to still shop for gifts. Thanks to my husband, we are tackling the nieces' & nephews' gifts. What isn't purchased already, is soon to be. The important thing is that we know what we're getting them. Of course, I can't help feeling like Aunt Liz has totally lost touch with her kids that she can't determine what to give them for Christmas. I've ALWAYS gone out and found the perfect items, but not this year. I was clueless. Believe me, I scoured the aisles of Walmart and Kmart to no avail. So I recruited help, and Uncle Rich came through for me.

The other major obstacle is that I am personally making a few of my gifts. I have really enjoyed making personal gifts for people. There's something special about creating something from the heart, almost like part of you is in that handcrafted treasure. I started working on one of them yesterday, and it turned out to be a little bit more effort than I initially realized. Things were tense there for a little while. (Yes, I even sinned and...uh...lost my temper.) But hope springs eternal, and I got that project nailed today. Check it off. One more to go! wOOt!!! :D

So having got that project completed (and I am so excited about the recipient who is getting it), I can't wait for Christmas! You know that feeling you get when you know you have the perfect gift that that certain someone is just gonna love? Elation. I love it!

It's gonna be so great...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Special Morning

It's been an interesting day. First Place was a good study time, and it's always nice when the girls share what they're learning. We have a very small class, so it's intimate. I had another weight loss this week, too, which makes it a very good day. Yay!

Afterwards I transitioned to our outreach ministry called Sowers & Reapers. We are in the process of doing neighborhood canvassing just to get the people in our community to think about spiritual matters, but ultimately hoping for the opportunity to share the gospel with anyone who would be open to that. We have a questionairre of 7 questions we try to ask at each home, the last question being a means to cause the person to consider their eternal destiny... If you were to die today and stand before God, and He should ask you 'Why should I let you into My heaven?' what would you say? Often this stumps people. They have no idea how they would answer that.

Today I was teamed up with my dear sister in the Lord, who is an 80-something year old lady. You have to understand that it was freezing temps and snowing, but we were all bundled in gloves, hats, and ear warmers going door to door. We went to 20 houses. And I think she fared better than I did. I was frozen and just kept praying with each house we walked up to that God would give me the strength to continue on in very uncomfortable conditions.

I was so blessed to have her with me. She edified me all the way. She spoke the truth of the Word as we encountered many who did not want to talk and would not even accept our free gift. As we'd leave a house feeling dejected she'd say, The Lord knows all about it. This is not about results. This is about getting the gospel into their home, even if all we give them is our gift packet. I love her. As we continued walking we would talk about the Lord and different scriptures He's been giving us recently. It made me think about Malachi 3:16 where it says,

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name.

I love that He writes these moments down in a Book of Remembrance. It means this is precious to Him, so much so that He is recording it for all eternity. Maybe the time we spent today was just for me, my friend, and the Lord and to rejoice in who He is and His faithfulness to us as we pressed on in the cold.

Now that I'm at the end of this post, I realize that it's not even what I had planned on writing about. I guess maybe this was the more special thing on my mind today.


Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Been a Full Friday

I thought I would just tell you about my day. It's been a pretty full one, especially as I have marked a very important victory in my life. It's something I would like to share.

First, of course, I worked at the church office this morning until noon. Fridays are "iffy" because it's the day to publish Sunday's bulletin, and you just never know what might hit. It depends on the amount of phone calls that come in, if the pastor (that's Dad to me) gives me a last-minute project, or if there just happens to be a plethera of announcements that need to be put in the bulletin - all of these things factor into how easily Friday mornings will proceed. Today was a pretty easy day, but it became a cruncher there in the last hour. Last-minute things arose, and normally I could just stay a little late in order to complete them. Today, though, I needed to be out the door at noon.

That brings me to the next part of the day. I got to meet a friend for lunch, someone I only see about every couple of months. We have much in common, particularly our fastidious nature of organization. We're pretty much perfectionists, and we enjoy laughing at some of the crazy things that we think "have" to be perfect in our worlds. So we had a fun time catching up this afternoon.

Afterwards I went to Starbucks. Now before you get after me for indulging in my peppermint mocha and feeding my ungodly addiction, I'll have you know that I did some checking at and found an acceptable beverage to "put on". (You know, the put off-put on principle of the Bible? If you're going to put off an ungodly behavior you need to replace it with a godly behavior. And yes, drinking is a spiritual thing.) I ordered a Short, Non-fat, Vanilla Creme, No whip - a.k.a. steamed milk with flavored syrup. It was the best thing I could find at 100 calories. It does have its flaw of 18g of sugar, but it's a much better choice than the 310 cal. peppermint mocha that has slowly resulted in my demise. So I was an overcomer today. I conquered that Starbucks beast. Woot!

(As a side note, have you heard this word "woot"? I just heard about it the other day on the news... something about how it is a new word that has been added to the dictionary. Its definition is like a victory cry in celebration. Hopefully, I am using it appropriately. I get tired of using the same old words like "cool" and "yay". )

Okay, now back to the rest of my day. I came home and made dinner, which was okay. Nothing spectacular. After that I finished up my First Place Bible study and then decided to run back out to try that Christmas shopping thing again.

This time I knew where to go and what I was getting. I got exactly what I needed, and I was really happy. Woot! (See, there it is again.) I even made an extra stop, and I found another Christmas item I had been looking for. I guess these things need to be done in phases, or so it seems.

So now I've been home and unwinding from the day. I've been reading blogs, but I'm not all caught up yet from all the afternoon posts. I see I have a few comments on mine, and that's always fun to see. Thanks, you guys!

Can't wait for tomorrow morning. It's time once again to attend First Place, and I get to do that weigh-in thing. I've already taken a peek at the scale today, and things are looking good.

That's all for today...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Shopping?!?

Who's idea was this anyway? I thought when I left the house this afternoon I would get all my Christmas shopping done at Walmart. Well, it seems I have no idea what to get for the nieces and nephews. It's a jungle out there. I waded through RC cars, Barbies who I don't even recognize anymore because Barbie is not just Barbie, My Little Pony in 15 assorted colors, Dora the Explorer, and a lot of scary characters that I would never put in the hands of a child of my own. So needless to say, I came home empty-handed on gifts for the kids.

After a bit of a search, I was able to nail down my sister's gift. I cannot divulge what it is, as she reads my blog regularly. (Sorry again, Kath.) All I can say is, I think she's gonna love it.

As I drove home I felt like pulling my hair out. Yes, it was that bad. Especially knowing I'm going to have to go back out and do it all again sometime within the next 11 days. Mercy!

A Themed Gift Basket

During this season of giving, you might be thinking of a unique and personal gift for your BFF, mother, daughter, or any girl on your list. In response to a request over at OhAmanda's blog, she has asked people to either tell about a themed gift basket they have received or to describe a themed gift basket that they would give. (This is for a special giveaway she's having during her oh! ho! ho! bloggy Christmas event. Feel free to enter, too.)

I really, truly, and honestly did not think I could come up with anything. I've never received a themed gift basket, and I really didn't think I was creative enough to think one up for someone else. Crazy how your mind goes to work, though. I've suddenly come up with a theme that I would enjoy putting together, so here it is.

I would create an Anne of Green Gables gift basket. It would include the DVD set of all three movies, an Anne of Green Gables book, a dictionary, a book of poetry, a framed picture of Prince Edward Island, the CD soundtrack, and a box of black hair dye. I would place it all in a white wicker basket and tie it up with a green check ribbon.

I kinda like it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Temptation Running High

So, it won't be a completely wordless Wednesday. I decided I just have to post and get this off my chest. If you read Saturday's post, then you know I am trying to lose weight in the First Place program at church. I can report that I've been doing very well with my food choices for the last 12 days. I wasn't even experiencing any cravings because I felt very satisfied with all the food I was getting to eat, and I even planned out my special snack each night with these little low-cal cookies and my sugar-free cocoa. (Yummy!)

But now the cravings have started. They began to come on yesterday, and today they are full-blown. I've denied myself at every turn, knowing I don't NEED to eat half a bag of Sunchips, even if they do have fiber. And I don't NEED a Starbucks peppermint mocha, even though it is Christmas and they're really good...and it's Christmas and I love them...and did I mention that it's Christmas and I LOVE THEM?!? Nope, I don't need those things. I'm doing what's good for my body.

But do you know what my dear, sweet, loving, precious husband did today? He brought home...


No, not these exactly. The actual frosted, green & red-sprinkled, fat-filled, sugary cookies of death are up in the cupboard. Now. They were on the kitchen counter all afternoon. I made him put them up high and out of sight. Ugh! As they sat there ALL DAY, I would look at them and think about them. My tastebuds were whispering, Must. Have. Cookies. Now. My heart was saying, NO. NO. NO. Don't. Need. Cookies. So I did not succumb to temptation.

I just wonder what tomorrow will bring. (sigh)

Wordless Wednesday

Bailey is our oldest boy. He's 11.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Some Things to Think About

I got this in an email yesterday, and I think it's pretty funny and very true.


Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Best-Laid Christmas Plans

I guess it's about time for another Christmas memory, having taken a few days off from this venture. I'm starting to wonder how many more of these I can post. Some of my memories may be a tad uninteresting to anyone who doesn't know me personally...and maybe even to those who do know me personally. I probably would bore you to tears. But I digress.

I remember one particular Christmas - I don't remember how old I was - when I decided it would be fun to go looking for the presents. If I had to guess, I was probably 10 years old. Now in order to understand the humor of my idea, you must know that I was the "good" daughter, meaning my sister was known for sneakiness and mischief. (Sorry, Kath.) It was totally out of character for me to go sneaking where I knew better than to be going.

I knew where Mom hid the presents. Up in her bedroom closet. I don't remember how I knew that, but it's not like we never went in their room. So how could that be such a big secret? But you see, this is evidence enough that I was known as being the good girl because they assumed I would never go up snooping in the gifts. My sister would be much too short at the age of 5 to reach the shelf in the closet.

So I dragged a chair into their bedroom and got it situated for the best access to the presents. Then I went and got Kathy and told her to stand on the chair and tell me what she could see. So you see, I was NOT the actual one snooping. She was. My plan was brilliant because I had not stood on the chair, and I had not looked through the packages. Yes, it was brilliant... unless you forgot to make a solemn pact with your sister that required her death upon divulging any information to the parents.

She gave us up! And yes we were threatened with the, "We're taking all your presents back, and you're getting nothing for Christmas." I don't remember if we got spanked for this offense. Most likely we did because it was a pretty big deal, especially for ME. That was the first and last time I went snooping for gifts. Really, it was.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Random Events of the Day

This is yet again another post that is not about a Christmas memory. Sorry about that. I guess I'm memory-ed out these last couple of days. I know I have some other stories to share in days to come. Today I'm just going to tell you about my day, if that's alright. I knew you would feel okay with that.

I went to First Place this morning. I was dreading it, just the weigh-in. This is the 3rd week into the program, and I didn't get serious about it until last Saturday. The diet plan, that is. This week I wrote everything down on my little food record, sticking to it the way I should, and it resulted in a loss. Hooray!

Immediately following First Place there was a dress rehearsal for our children's Christmas program, which is tomorrow night. I have a small part in playing the piano, what I'd call transitional music. I play music while the children march down the center aisle to the front, where they deliver the lines of their little poems. I also play for a soloist. That was a 3-hour practice. The biggest challenge was dodging all the food, though. Krispy Kreme donuts and many, many, MANY cookies were available at the snack break. I took a handful of pretzels and put all those lovely baked goods out of my mind.

I came home for lunch and visited with my husband, who had to spend his day off work alone, without me. Then I headed for the computer and read up on my favorite blogs.

I was ready to run by 1:00...either that or take a nap. No, I knew I wanted the run because I haven't been able to in over a week, and I've got all this energy just waiting to be burned off. I've been feeling so stifled because we got snow several days this week, and it just wouldn't be easy (or wise) to run on ice...or fall on ice, which is the part that I'm really concerned about.

So I got myself all layered up to go out into the cold... 2 pairs of pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, and two pairs of socks... and I headed to the park. Thank goodness there was no wind. I don't know what the temperature was, but I know I've been out there on colder days than this. After the first lap, the cold is manageable. It was good for me to get back out there.

I made a great dinner - shake 'n bake pork chops. We love those! (Okay, I love those. They're a no-brainer to prepare.)

I think we're gonna watch a Christmas movie tonight. We've been into those since Thanksgiving. Rich had to go upstairs and look through the boxes to try and find the rest of our movies. We still don't know where everything is after our move in May '06. He did manage to find the Christmas movies that were missing, so we're all set for tonight.

Well, that's my day in a nutshell. (Where did that term come from, anyway?) Hope yours has been a good one.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm Singing Tonight

We're getting ready to go to our church's Christmas banquet tonight. It's at a dutch-themed restaurant/bakery/gift shop, and they serve fried chicken, noodles, mashed potatoes & gravy, and a different flavored slice of pie at each place setting. It's very enjoyable!

I will be singing with my bosom friend J as part of the program. I sing lead, and she sings harmony and plays the guitar. She's written a song especially for the occasion. We've been memorizing Romans 8 together, and many truths from that scripture passage are in the song. We agreed to make it the theme of the song when we were conferring on the songwriting process. It's about the glory of Christ that is being revealed in us now as we are being sanctified, but also the groaning that all creation has in waiting for the full glory that will one day be revealed when Christ redeems our bodies. That's possible because of the hope Jesus brought to us when He chose to humble Himself to become a baby born in Bethlehem, that He might one day die on the cross for our sin, so we could be reconciled to the Father.

I guess that's what will make it very special for us. Not only did J write the song, but it's written for speaks our heart.

I'm looking forward to a fun evening. Maybe I'll have some pictures or something to share afterward.

Here We Go Again - Update!

Well, if you read my post yesterday, you know our dryer broke down. The repairman has come and gone, and the only problem that needed repairing were two thermostats. It cost under $150 for the service call and repair, so this experience has been quick and painless.

Thank you, Lord!

So I guess I can do laundry now. I mean, if I really WANTED to. :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Here We Go Again

There's this thing that happens most every year, usually about this time of year. It's a strange thing - a phenomenon, you might say. What happens is that we have a major appliance, electronic device, or vehicle break down on us. One of those "can't hardly live without it" sort of things.

So guess what happened yesterday. Our dryer broke down. The other day Rich realized that the timer was not working when the load he had thrown in the previous night was STILL RUNNING at 4:30 AM. Everything was dry, of course, but I'm concerned about the fire hazard that it might have been. Then yesterday he went down to check on a load, and everything was still wet. So now it's not heating at all. It's about 10 years old and has never needed a repair, but now it does. Yep. Right now. In December. At Christmas.

Just like clockwork...

Now typically what would happen is we'd discover that the "thing" of the moment is unfixable, and we'd have to limp along without it until about February when we receive our tax refund, and then replace it. I automatically jumped to this conclusion with the dryer because we've got a pretty tight budget. But this year is different, thank the Lord. We have enough money in our emergency savings to call the repairman, and we should be able to get it repaired or even replaced.

I'm thankful that it wasn't too hard to get our laundry dried today. My parents live about 3 minutes away, and we can drop off our stuff and go back later to pick it up. That's about as convenient as it gets when you're in a pinch.

The repairman comes out tomorrow afternoon. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Christmas Secret

Okay, I'm going to reveal a secret about my childhood Christmases. I don't even think my parents know about this, and yet I'm sharing here on my blog. On the worldwide web. Practically with the whole world. Or at least the 3 people who read this. (You know who you are.)

Anyway, it is a little-known fact that my sister and I are underground entertainers, meaning we did it subversively, and Christmastime was the time when we would go nuts. The reason our parents may not know is because while Dad was at work and Mom would head to the grocery store, we would wait until the car was out of the driveway and then make our move.

I'd go to the family room, move the furniture out of the way, head to the record player, find our favorite Carpenters Christmas album, and pop that baby on the turntable. Next thing you know, we were variety show stars. At least, in our own minds. We had this wonderful fireplace that had a brick ledge all the way across the front of it. It was perfect for standing on and singing with a microphone. (This is a picture of the room. Don't ya love the red shag carpet?) Oh, the shows we put on! And we danced around the room to I'll Be Home For Christmas, Sleigh Ride, and Jingle every good Baptist girl would. :) It was the time of my life.

So now you know my biggest Christmas secret. You won't tell anyone, will you?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Photo Tag

This is just for Amanda. I'm trying to win a Christmas giveaway during her oh, ho, ho! event.

This is a Hallmark ornament I bought several years ago when I worked at a Hallmark store. I just think it's cute... mice and a Hershey Kiss. Do you know that mice actually love Hershey Kisses? Yes, if you're using a mousetrap, you might try baiting them with a Kiss and see what happens. Mice love chocolate.

Blast From My Past

Does anyone else get a kick out looking through their old photo albums? Since I'm scrounging for my Christmas pics, I'm going through everything. I found this school picture from the 4th grade, and I realized that my hair is about as long now as it was then. It's rare to find me with long hair because I've worn my hair short for many years.

Just thought I'd share....mostly cuz I'm addicted to blogging.

Anybody Have One of These?

So it's on with the Christmas memories...

Ah, yes! The aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel. This was one of my favorite things. I was so disappointed when I went looking for a picture. I couldn't find ours. This is at my grandparents' house. I'm pretty sure this was during the time period that my dad took a zillion pictures on slides, so I don't have a snapshot. This is the best I could come up with.

Anyway, back to what I was talking about... I always loved when Dad got out the aluminum Christmas tree. It always went in our living room. (The real tree went in the family room.) We could help put the branches in their little slots and decorate it. I think we used satin ornaments, if I recall. The color wheel, though...that was the BEST! It changed the tree from red to green to blue to gold. It was absolutely beautiful.

A very funny thing about this tree is that I thought it was special, rare. I truly thought we were the only family who had one like it. I'm not kidding. I didn't know that other families had these until several years ago when we visited in the home of an elderly couple, and they had one. I flipped out! Guess our little, aluminum tree wasn't so special after all, but I guess you'll never be able to take away that happy feeling I get when I see that picture of me standing in front of it right before going to my school Christmas concert. I miss it now. :(

So... Did anyone else have one of these gems? Please post a comment and let me know.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Memory

Today is December 1, and this is the beginning of my blog series on Christmas memories, as I promised. This first memory is one of my favorites from when I was a kid.

The Muppets were big stuff when I was young. We watched every Saturday night, usually while eating pizza and drinking an orange Nehi. One year they did a Christmas special called A Christmas Together with John Denver, who we were also big fans of. My grandparents had one of those new-fangled things called a VCR. Beta, in fact. They had recorded this very special Muppet program, and we got to watch it at their house. It was awesome, and it became a yearly tradition. It really wasn't Christmas until we went to Grandpa's house and watched John Denver and the Muppets.

So here we are - me on the left, my sister Kath on the right, and our cousin in the center - wearing our matching Muppet robes at Grandma & Grandpa's. Probably the Christmas of 1981. I would've been 9 yrs old. I wish we had a picture of us standing up because they had little kangaroo pockets with characters on the front. Funny thing is, as much as I loved my robe because it was muppets and had a hood, I remember it was very uncomfortable because the inside material was scratchy. It was somewhat of a sacrifice to make this fashion statement.

I would love to see that video again, but the beta machine is long gone. As far as I know they haven't put that show on DVD or VHS yet. So I have to settle for listening to the CD. There's nothing like The Twelve Days of Christmas sung by the Muppets. Can you hear Miss Piggy singing? -

Five gooolden riiiiiings! Bada bum bum...

Yep, those are good memories.