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Archive for January, 2010

Last Wednesday, January 20, 2010 I was in a really bad mood.  Have you ever had one of those days that it seemed like nothing was going right, the kids pushed you to the limit, your dreams seem to be on hold.  Well, that was me last Wednesday.  I was pretty grouchy.

It was almost time to get ready for church and I had a huge desire for ice cream (It always seems to make me feel better.) I decided it would be even better to share it with a friend so I called up a good friend of mine and proclaimed that I would have my husband put the kids to bed after church so I could go out for ice cream (Can you believe I made that decision without even asking my husband if it fit his schedule.  I am really living on the edge! 🙂 )

Anyway, my friend said she would be able to meet me at Braum’s around 9 pm.  Now all I had to do is keep my attitude together through church so I could then vent over ice cream.

The service was unusually good for a Wednesday night and the Lord started softening my attitude.  (He was probably having pity on my friend!)

By the time I made it to Braum’s I had already started working through my frustrations but I was glad to have someone to visit with and help me even more.  Because we both had busy lives we weren’t able to stay out long. We said good-bye, got back into our cars around 10 pm and then the most wonderful thing happened!

Have you ever turned on the radio and the song that was playing was exactly what you needed to hear at that moment?  That is what happened to me.  I couldn’t have turned the car on at a more perfect time!  The next song was also for me.  I decided to sit in the car in the garage to finish listening to the second song when all of the sudden I realized what the date was….JANUARY 20, 2010!

In all my pouting over having to wait for a second adoption, I almost forgot to be thankful for the beautiful adoption that I was already living out!  On January 20, 2005 I met the most beautiful little girls and their Nana for the first time.  (It also happened to be the date of their Nana’s birthday too!)

(This photo was taken this year when the girls were able to see their Nana again after 3 years.)

I am so thankful for God’s gentle reminders.  I would have been so disappointed with myself if I had allowed the day to go by without wishing Nana Happy Birthday and just taking a moment to thank God for the gift of my daughters.  Instead I was able to chat with Nana for a while and go to bed with a smile on my face because I have so much to be thankful for!

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Others

With the start of a new year, our Pastor shared with us his one-word “theme” for the year and the word is OTHERS.  I am so enjoying this theme already.  It is amazing how your thoughts and ideas can shift if you take your mind off of yourself and place it on others.

I have decided to make it a personal challenge to do at least one small thing each day to benefit someone else.   I am also getting my kids involved.  Here are a couple things we did together last week…

First we made COOKIES!  Lots of cookies!  11 dozen to be exact.  Our local private college has a pretty great basketball team that we have grown to love.  We learned that they would be taking a long road trip and the girls and I thought they might need some COOKIES!

The girls helped make the cookies.

They decorated the cookie bags with stickers.

And they created beautiful posters.  It was a fun project.

We had a few cookies left so we decided to share with someone else.

When my grandma was alive, she so cherished this simple cross given to her by her friend and neighbor at the nursing home.  Knowing that my grandma’s death was very tough for her friend Marie, we decided that returning this special token of their friendship would be the best thing to do.

Of course, adding a few cookies and a nice visit would make our gift even better!

That simple 30 minute visit meant so much not only to Marie but also to us.  The girls enjoyed reading  a book with her as well as feeding the birds from her porch.

I’ve discovered a couple things in the beginning of this “other” adventure…

1) It is fun to wake up each day wondering just how you should help or be an encouragement to someone else.  (Even my kids asked me Sunday…”Mom, what do you think we could do for others today?”)

and

2) Taking time for others has been such a great reward.  Just like with our visit with Marie, I went to be a breath of sunshine in her world and she became one in mine!

I can’t wait for this week!

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I love my husband!  He is a protector, a solver, and an engineer.  Anytime I see him in this particular outfit during the winter, I know that he has a project in mind.

Yesterday was no exception.  He looked just like you see above minus the zero hood and the boots.

You see, since December 23, 2009 we have had ice and snow.  This is very unusual for our area.  The accumulation of snow and ice on our roof and in our gutters has been a silent concern of my husbands for over a week now.  Actually I did notice a large ridge of ice, but didn’t worry too much.  I figured it would melt before long.

Notice that the ice is as thick as the gutter.  I guess he might have reason for concern.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon after church and lunch, I decided to take my regular Sunday afternoon nap.  It is an occasion I look forward to each week.  I left my husband in the garage preparing to check a few things out in the attic and then I thought he would be joining me.

I was sleeping so soundly when all of sudden, Big T opens the door and turns on the light.  In a very loud voice he proclaims…”I need your help.  If you don’t get up we could have gallons of water coming in the house every where!  Hurry up.  The girls need to get up too!”

I am in a complete daze and am having a flash back to another time several years ago when he woke me very similarly.  I thought…”here we go again.  Could it possibly be that bad?!”

I have learned that when such proclamation is made, there is no time to ask questions or doubt.  The best response from everyone is to get up, get ready and ask questions later.

Just as quickly as he stormed in to wake me up, he stormed out.  He was getting right to work.  I was still dazed and confused and decided to not go into panic mode.  Instead I opted to follow him outside and ask a couple questions.  My first and main question was…”Should everyone in the neighborhood be doing whatever we are about to do?”  As you could imagine, he wasn’t too impressed with my question.  He simply informed me that we were going to be different than everyone else because we were NOT going to have gallons of water coming into our house!

I wasn’t impressed but I knew better than to argue so I went inside to get ready.  I did tell him that it was easy for him to expect the girls and I to come out into the cold, especially when he had such a warm suit to wear and we didn’t.  He quickly volunteered to shed the suit for me so I decided I could play along.  (Yes, I did wear the suit displayed above.  No, there aren’t pictures! :))

After getting the girls up and dressed, I went to receive my marching orders.  His first command…try to thaw out the outside faucet with a hairdryer.  I followed instructions and attempted to unfreeze the faucet for about 5 minutes.  It was probably a good idea that I kept myself busy.  It gave him enough time to come up with a better idea.

You see, what we needed to do was create trenches  in the thick ice so that when the snow began to melt it would have a pathway to flow off of the roof instead of going behind the ice and into the house.  His great idea…attaching a water hose to the hot water heater in the garage.  The warm water did the trick.  In no time we were able to work through quite a few spots in the thick ice.

I am sure that many people drove by yesterday wondering what the crazy family was doing with a water hose attached to a paint roller extension with duct tape watering their roof, but hopefully our efforts will not be in vain.

Once we finished and everyone came in to warm up, my husband decided to lay down on the sofa.  Since he was no longer stressed about the situation, I decided to share my feelings with him.  My first comment to him was how similar I felt today’s events were to the time he woke me up on a stormy night to tell me water was pouring into our attic and I would have to get on the roof with him and cover it with a tarp.  I had never been on a roof top and a storm didn’t seem like the best “first” time!

He laughed and let me know that he had thought of the same thing.  He said…”I waited as long as I could to wake you up but when I saw on the internet how bad everything could get, I got a little stressed!”

Now if I could just help him come up with a gentler way of waking me up! 🙂

Oh, and in case your wondering.  He has some pretty creative solutions for giving patio covers extra support until ice melts too!

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Empty Chair

On the afternoon of January 1, 2010, my sweet grandma took her last breath on this earth.  I had the honor of being by her side as she passed away.

Now she leaves behind an empty chair and an empty place in my heart.  I miss her deeply and look forward to the day that I will see her again!

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About 25 years ago my favorite activity immediately after enough snow had fallen was to sled down the hill on Amherst street.  It is probably the best street around for sledding and lucky for me it was only steps away from my front door.

Today I had the opportunity to share this fun adventure with my children using my dad’s sled.   This sled is about 60 years old and was used by my dad and myself and now my children.  I was very excited that my parents not only had the sled but had some idea of where to find it!  Here are a few photos from our day…

Hailey tends to be my more cautious child.  I was so proud of her for volunteering to go all by herself!

She made it all the way down beautifully!

Ready,

Set,

Go!

The way down is definitely much easier than the way up!

Believe it or not, I too went down the hill several times.  Unfortunately I have no pictures to prove it.  But my kids were there and I think they were pretty impressed with their momma!  What a fun trip down memory lane!

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