Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Of the past 48 hours, I have worked 25.5.  That is all. 

My job is not nearly as part-time as I want after a holiday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas, 2011!

Since I have not planned well enough to include Christmas cards in my holiday festivities this year, enjoy our family newsletter here in my little corner of cyberspace. 

This Christmas is bittersweet. On August 27th, Erik’s father, Jerry, passed away. No one loved Christmas more than Jerry, so his absence during this time of the year is especially heavy on our hearts. I hope this letter finds you holding your loved ones close to your heart. Many of you have also lost family and know that time does not heal us, but it does soften the sharp edges a bit.

Erik is still caring for all the vehicles at the post office(and at home!). For all of you that worry about his job security, he is affiliated with mail carriers, not mail processors-so for now, his job remains safe. We covet your support in keeping the post office viable. Keep mailing letters and ask your politicians to loosen some of the regulations that strangle the United States Post Office. He still drums every time he gets the opportunity. Lew Jetton and 61 South, Adam and the H-Bombs, Vintage Alley and a few other bands make up his resume’.

Janice is working for American Greetings. She is the ‘card lady’ at 8 different stores mostly in the mall area. The job is totally flexible and allows her to run her side business of taxi cab to the family. Her hobbies include laundry, dishes and cooking. She dreams of lying on the beach reading a book.

Erika is loving high school. She ran cross country this fall, joined FFA and FCCLA and anticipates playing tennis in the spring. She is also involved in Teen Court again this year. She does all this and still maintains A’s and B’s. Or maybe she maintains the grades to be able to do all this...that sounds more like it. She looks forward to taking some art classes next year and finding a place for her creativity to thrive.

Kayla is also loving high school this year and is delighted to be taking AP Psychology as a freshman. She really hopes to pursue psychiatry in some way and analyzes everything. She has also found a love of public speaking in her classes, which helps her in Teen Court as well. She is also participating in a computer club and can’t wait to compete through TSA club in the summer. She ran cross country until an ankle sprain cut her season short. She obsesses over her grades regularly and tries to pursue that much desired 4.0.

Lilly has always loved to sing and this year had the privilege of being involved in honor choir and was chosen as the soloist to represent her school in the region. She also joined 4H, Junior Beta Club and works hard to maintain all A’s. She is extremely excited about going to middle school next year. We are not ready for our baby to be growing up so fast!

Our children are growing up fast and making us realize how quickly time marches on. We, like so many of you, seek to make the most of the time and influence we have left. When the going gets tough, we cling tight to this encouragement we have heard from so many: Grandchildren are the best thing ever!

We hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season, but most of all that your Christmas is merry and bright. Love to you all!

Our Family

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Day in the Life

While listening to Elvis's Greatest Christmas Hit, the following conversation took place:

Child: How old would Elvis be if he were still alive?
Me: Old.
Hubby: Early 70's.
Me: But with his lifestyle he would not still have 'it'.
Child: What do you mean by 'it'?
Me: His giftedness from God.
Child: The pelvic thrust?
Me:  I do not believe the pelvic thrust is a gift from God.
Hubby:  I do!

We could be a reality show.  Our reality is funnier than most of those shows.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Perfect Husband

I spent a few years of my marriage lamenting what a horrible choice I had made in my husband.  I went from thinking he was Mr. Wonderful to wanting out.  OUT!  I was done.  I was pretty vocal about what a terrible person he was.  Then one day, while we counseled with two other couples from church(trying to fix our horrible marriage-AKA, my horrible husband), one of them loved me enough to tell me a cold hard truth.  He said I never said anything nice about my husband.  He went on to say I never let an opportunity pass to speak ill of him and let it be known that I was unhappy to anyone who would listen.

WOW.  How dare he say that.  That wasn't me.  Even Erik tried to soften the blow by telling me it wasn't the truth.  Sadly though, it was the truth. My hobby was b*o*tching and complaining-a hobby I was so good at that I could've turned pro.   Happily though, I was able to know it as the truth...not deny it and keep on with the behavior.  And so, from that day forward, the tide began to turn.  It wasn't quick.  It has taken many, many years.  During those years, I have been shown some amazing qualities that my husband possesses.   I have been oft reminded what a good man he is.  I have been given tangible ways to see his heart and his love for his family.  I have also been able to see some of my flaws, work on them and become much more like the person God wants me to be.

The funniest part of this story is that Erik and I are neither one alot different than we were then.  I wish I could tell you some sort of miracle about how the struggles we had then no longer enslave us...but that would be a lie.  We each have a vice(or two) that keeps us firmly in its grip...but we know the God that holds us tighter than those vices.  The main thing that has changed is our love for one another.  Our perspective...our focus on each other's good qualities.  We have alot and when we look at those, we like each other an awful lot.  It is only when we focus on the faults that we get off track.

I am so thankful for my family...even when I am disappointed by the fact that we are not the perfect family I have in my head.  That perfect family in my head couldn't make it through 1/10th of the crap my actual family has had to endure.  AND the real family just keeps improving with age.  So, I guess that whole perspective lesson keeps on giving.  It IS all about perspective.  There is nothing wrong with a nice pair of rose-colored glasses.  In fact, if used correctly long enough, the world is still rose-colored when you take them off.

If you find yourself complaining alot about all the horrible people in your life, I suggest you buy yourself a pair and enjoy a new perspective.  Rose is a very nice color indeed.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A Ripple Runs Through It

It is funny.  We think that our life is ours to choose.  We often forget how intertwined everyone is, whether we want to admit it or not.  But my oh my how we are intertwined.  Even our thoughts and attitudes have an impact on those around us.  It's like something deep within us can pick up on someone else's bad mood and we respond with a matching one.  Infectious.  Fortunately, the same can be true of good moods.

One of the many lessons my children have taught me is just how much I am passing on to the next generation...unintentionally.  Do as I say, not as I do.  I never dreamed that I would pass on my temper and yet I never really pondered where my temper came from.  Indeed, apples do not fall far from their trees.

My circle of influence on the world as a whole seems small, but that is an illusion.  Smoke and mirrors.  Everything I do, good or bad, creates a ripple that will affect people I don't even know.  I want to create good ripples that effect good changes in the world.  I don't want to add to the malcontentedness that is so pandemic these days.  I want to laugh, smile, love and spread that to others. 

It is a battle, being joyful.  I don't even have to think about making a snarky joke.  In fact, I know you will be shocked at this...I don't make 50% of the snarky comments that float through my brain.  Sometimes they are too colorful, other times they are mean.  I HAVE A FILTER, finally, Praise God.  (The filter isn't perfect...just barely adequate, but still an improvement.)  Being funny comes natural to me.  Been making jokes to get people to laugh since...well, it is kind of like reading and cooking-I don't remember NOT knowing how to do it.  Being joyful though, that is a different skill set.  I have to be purposeful about smiling and waving when I see someone I know.  My natural inclination is to walk the other way if I do see or not even notice cause I am focused on a task.  Such a small thing to say hello and smile at someone you know.  AND, it feels both people.  So why?  Why is hard to make ourselves do it?

Why does it require such fierce training to notice good qualities about people...instead of picking them apart.  Why do I automatically like 'pretty' people until they prove themselves unworthy...but the same does not always hold true for 'not as pretty' people.  How come some of my favorite people were not beautiful until I got to know them, but now they are in a MOST beautiful category? 

I am thinking deeply tonight.  And it's late and I am tired.  I need to rest up because this apple will be spending an entire day with its tree tomorrow.  I am praying up and gearing up for JOY.  I do believe it is a choice and I want to choose it and allow my ripples to bless and not curse.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Random and Odd

  • My kitty cat loves the Christmas tree.  She has decided the play is worth the occasional 'spray bottle episode' to bat at the ornaments.
  • I've been sending out Christmas cards complete with a newsletter for as long as I can remember.  Not sure either is going to happen this much on the to-do list!
  • David Baldacci is the best author ever.  I haven't read a dud book yet.  They are all good. I am sad though, almost listened to all of them.
  • I still love my job.  It is almost perfect.  Flexibility is awesome and critical to me being able to have a job outside the home.  I do kind of wish I made more money, then it would be perfect.
  • I have started cooking Wednesday night meals at my church.  I love it, it is so much fun.  I've always liked cooking and who doesn't love cooking for a bunch of folks that appreciate it and make sure you know it.  Win/Win.  It is quite a bit of work, but lots of people kick in to help and many hands do make work lite.
  • Harry Potter's last movie is released for rent today.  I hope so much to get one!!!  I love the Harry Potter series.  The girls and I have listened to all the books and seen all the movies.  Good times.
  • I guess that is all I have.  I have a bajillion other things I SHOULD be doing.