Our sweet nephew, Will, was born December 18th, weighing in at 6lbs, 3oz. There was a serious problem though. He was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries of the Heart--which means that his major arteries were switched. He had heart surgery on the 28th to correct the problem, and all went well. He should be able to come home and join his sisters and brother in just a couple of weeks. It was scary at first--as anything involving the heart would be--especially since it was not detected before birth. We are so thankful that Will will have a long and healthy life, and we are thankful to God for the medical technology that saved his life. God is so Good.
Oh, I hope you have a very Happy New Year. The twins and I went to see a movie, and then to Chili's for supper. Now, we just plan to spend a quiet evening at home. A. and M. have got the second season of Andy Griffith out, and say they are going to watch the whole season tonight while eating popcorn and homemade chocolate chip brownies. We bought some sparkling grape juice for the midnight hour. I'm wondering if I can talk the twins into celebrating the new year with New York???
The new year is coming, and fast. B. and K. have gone down to the coast with a small group to participate in Eight Days of Hope--where people get together and rebuild homes for those who lost theirs in Hurricane Katrina. There are 1100 people participating this time-- An incredible opportunity for them. I have found myself very reflective since Christmas and especially since B. and K. left yesterday morning. What do I want to accomplish in 2008--what do I need to work on? In 2007, my biggest thing was to read the Bible through. I am glad to say that I did it. I also wanted to continue to exercise regularly (my big thing from 2006) and read a great assortment of books. I did those things too. I have a few things on my mind for 08--
1. I want to make a quilt. I don't even own a sewing machine, and haven't really made anything with a sewing machine since junior high (which would be 25 years ago). I don't know why the idea fascinates me, but it does. I am going to find the cheapest sewing machine, and the easiest quilt pattern, and I am going to do it. I have to save up for the sewing machine first. It is right after Christmas, and we are now broke!
2. I am also planning to do both of Beth Moore's 90 day Personal Reflection series (one on Jesus and one on David) and read through the New Testament twice. Beth is a wonderful teacher, and I have so enjoyed all the studies I have gone through. I highly recommend her--along with Joyce Meyer.
3. Continue my Exercise--4-5 days per week for 40-45 minutes. This includes going to Curves. My weight has gone up this year in spite of all the exercise though. I am very bothered by it. I am facing the fact that my eating habits will have to change. Ugh. I always heard this happened around age 40. Whatever will I do?
4. I am also going to work on materialism in my life. My goal is to not buy myself any unnecessary item this entire year, including books (yikes)--other than the sewing machine. That's necessary to fulfill one of my goals, right? I am only going to buy the necessary items for my whole family as well. Wow, my kids won't know what hit them!! and..
5. I guess I will be hitting the library to read the books on my To Read List for 2008 ( I'm sure I will add more as the year progresses. This should give me a good start though):
Secret Life of Becky Miller--Sharon Hincke
Safely Home-- Randy Alcorn
The Kite Runner--Khaled Hosseini (I've already read A Thousand Splendid Suns)
Captivating-- John and Staci Eldridge
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves-- Lynne Truss
Nothing To Fear--Jackie French Koller
It's a Jungle Out There--Rod Snell
My Sister's Keeper--Jodi Picoult (this is a possibility. She is a secular author and I have not read her before. I don't know if she is appropriate or not)
I will close this ridiculously long post with a few pictures from our Christmas holiday time at B's parent's house.
K. with a BAM card--a dream gift for her.
M. with the Scrapbooking kit she asked for.
A. with a new Lego kit. He enjoys these and has already, with the help of Dad, put it together. (His shirt says, "I Don't Do Mistletoe" I had to get it for him.)
M. and I had a lot of fun working on this Gingerbread House--from a kit. I think it's something we will do every year.
Welcome to our home. If you would like to meet our family, please go here. Thanks so much for stopping by this Christmas season. Jesus gives us so much to celebrate. I will warn you--I did not inherit much of a decorator gene, but I do enjoy the things I put out. I'm so glad Boomama decided to host again this year. I wasn't a blogger last year and wasn't able to participate. Without any further adieu--Here's a little peek:
Our Front Door
(I want new stockings for the kids, but they insist that we must keep these. They have outgrown them though.)
My husband bought these geese for me in the Smoky Mountains this fall. They look so cute on my refrigerator.
I love my Old World Santas.
Our Tree is very traditional with lots of Hallmark ornaments and other special memory ornaments. The sign at the top says, "Let It Snow"--something that almost never happens in our part of the country--much to my dismay! Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks so much for dropping by.
First, I'm having a hard time believing that my Impatiens are still blooming in mid-December. That's a new one for me. It's raining a little this morning, and I thought they looked so pretty. Much prettier in person than in the picture though.
Secondly, I had such a sweet (literally) surprise waiting for me on my front porch when I got home from taking the kids to school this morning. My sweet AWOL blogging and real life friend, Mandalyn, had left a gift for our family.
When I saw the package, I knew it was going to hold something yummy! Sure enough, it did:
Homemade Cinnamon rolls! There were six of them, and since we only have five in our family, and I was the only one home--someone had to be the one to eat the extra one! That would be ME! What a delicious surprise breakfast! (We'll just try to forget about how many calories were in the breakfast I just consumed). Thanks so much Mandalyn and family, we will all enjoy them very much.
My sweet sister, Kim, took quite the fall yesterday. She, along with her husband, had taken their little school to the roller-skating rink for a nice field trip before the Christmas holidays. They run a small, as in 9 students, private Christian school. She said they had 5 minutes before it was time to go, so she was having one last spin around the rink when her feet went out from under her, and she caught herself with her left arm. She broke it very badly. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday afternoon, and she went in for surgery this morning. She has to stay in the hospital until tomorrow. I feel so badly for my sweet sister-and she's more worried about how her 4 children are handling it than anything. This is, by far, her worst ever injury. She said it hurt worse than the child she had naturally--so it must have been horrible. I can't imagine anything hurting worse than that! I really hate that I can't be there--I would love to be sitting with her in the hospital right now. We lost our mother 20 years ago, when we were teenagers, so we both tend to feel a little motherly toward each other. She is a little stressed, as you can imagine, with Christmas coming up. If you think to, I'm sure she would appreciate any prayers.
My sister's kids with mine at the Memphis zoo, May 2007
80 degrees. I'm pretty sure that was the temp today. I ate it up. I will take all the sunshine I can get in the winter.
We have attended a couple Christmas parties recently. One was fun, the other--not so much. On Sunday, we had our Life Group Christmas party at our house. Can you believe that three, yes, THREE people threw up while in my home? I find that almost unbelievable. One of them was B. He was feeling better shortly thereafter, but, tell me, when have you ever had three people get sick at the same time? Crazy.
We had our Mentoring party last night. I look forward to this one every year. We always have such a fun time. We all wore crazy Christmas hats, and we were treated to a Prime Rib dinner. Yummo.
We took pictures for our Christmas card on Sunday. I was absolutely burning up in that turtleneck sweater. And what is up with my left eye--it looks like I have pink eye or something. I ordered our cards through Shutterfly, and they are on their way to me. A little late, but at least it is getting done. I wrote my holiday letter tonight and bought my stamps. Now I just need a little time to get them addressed!
Here's a copy of my Christmas letter, in all its boredom!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Another year has come and gone, and I continue to be amazed at how quickly they seem to fly by. I’ve learned that this speeding by of the years only gets worse as you get older.
We had a wonderful year. B did have a couple of surgeries again this year —his shoulder (again) and his knee. He has recovered very well. We are truly hoping that 2008 will be surgery free for him. I am certainly aging a little more gracefully than he. B is currently finishing up an Air Force course (ACSC, for you military types), and will be starting school for his Master’s degree in January. He is none too crazy about that, but it needs to be done for his career. Don’t you feel for him?
K is 15 and is such a wonderful kid. She is going to a private school for 10th grade this year. She hasn’t been in a school setting since she went for one year in third grade. K loves it and is on the honor roll. She is also playing Varsity basketball and says that basketball is the only reason she even wanted to go to school in the first place. She also got her driver’s permit this fall, but is somewhat of a reluctant driver. Go figure.
A and M are 11 and are going to school this year for the first time in their lives. They are in 5th grade and are both honor students. They really like it but have already asked to come back home next year. I will probably let them. This house has been a little lonely without my children. M started piano lessons again and really enjoys it. We’ve been listening to lots of Christmas carols lately. A shot his first deer this year. I’m sure you can imagine that he had one very proud daddy. The twins are both still quite involved in Junior Bible Quiz and are doing well. Upwards Basketball starts soon, and that is a highlight of winter for them.
I have stayed busy being Mom. It’s not very exciting or glamorous, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am definitely busier now than I ever was as a “home-school” mom. The big 4-0 is around the corner, and I am dealing with that the best I can!!
We enjoyed a couple of fun trips this year. B was able to go to Africa to video an elephant bow-hunt with R for his television show. They didn’t get the elephant, but it was still a great experience. The kids and I went to the Chicago area for Junior Bible Quiz Nationals, and our team took 17th place-- So proud. B and K went to Miami for an AIM missions trip, and they came back with lots of pictures and great stories. We went to Gatlinburg, TN as a family and really enjoyed our time there as well. A trip to Missouri ended our summer, and it was wonderful to see our family.
We hope you all have had a wonderful and blessed year. We look so forward to hearing from each of you every Christmas.
May God bless you, The Gs