Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ski Day!

He knows when you are skiing...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wrapped Up

Gotta love that Creative Kidstuff giftwrap!
Since I spent the entire day finishing up my shopping and getting the out of town gifts mailed (just in time, I hope), I didn't have time to take any pictures.  But Anna took this one.  Nice, huh?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String

This morning, I took a rare-for-December outdoor run, since it was only 31 degrees and we still have no snow to worry about!  This afternoon, my new treadmill was delivered.  You can see in the photo just how far from the front door the 300 pound box has been moved.  Getting it to its new home in the basement and assembling it will be a bit of a workout in itself.

So the story of the love-hate realtionship I have with the treadmill has come full circle now.  I am ready to face the indoor running again as soon as the real winter comes (as it surely will, even if not before Christmas).  And I hope the "hate" part of the relationship will lessen, since I now have a nice treadmill instead of the scary, it-might-throw-you-off-any-time one I used to have.  I know I will still be glad to run outside when spring comes, but for now I am pretty excited about being able to do some more specific training because of the speed and incline control, as well as the easy distance measuring. 

Should be fun!  As soon as we get that huge box down the basement stairs, anyway!

Yes, my foyer tile is that ugly!

Yes, this picture is upside-down!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Brown Christmas...

Just Like the Ones I Used to Know!
I'm afraid it's starting to look a lot like Christmas in Alabama, give or take a frozen pond or two.  And I must admit it is disappointing to have our first brown Christmas in Minnesota; I'm actually hoping for some snow!  I didn't realize how much the snow adds to the wonder of Christmas when driving around (though I do remember that it sometimes adds to the pain of driving around).  I also didn't realize how much time my children spend playing in the snow, time that is now spent inside, desperately searching for something to "do."

So far, we have been tempted to fall into complaining: the weather stinks, the kids have been sick, plans have changed, Edwin has been travelling, the Christmas tree even fell down.  But these are the moments that have been given to us for our good by a loving God.  (Reminds me of this.)  So we repent and move on, trying to glorify God in all things.  Tonight is our Children's Choir concert, and there will be no blizzard to cancel it this year.  And no blizzard for driving to the company Christmas party afterward, either!

He has given us advent, snow or no snow.  He has given us Jesus to take away our sins.  He has given us everything.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 ESV)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Before the Super Glue
Last night, for an unknown reason, our Christmas tree fell.  This morning I entered the family room to water the tree and turn on the lights, and I found it horizontal on the floor, ornaments everywhere.  This is a photo of some of the aftermath.  As soon as David and I got the tree standing again I realized I should have taken a picture of it!  Oh well, live and learn.

Sadly, the only ornament smashed beyond repair was a Precious Moments "Our First Christmas Together" ball, a wedding gift.  Bummer.

By the way, the Christmas bears have denied any wrong-doing, though I think they do look guilty, don't you??
Anna took this picture!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's Cooking Monday?

"Waffleized" French Toast
I know, I used to ask what's cooking on Wednesday.  But today is only Monday and this is the only picture I took. I am trying to stay ahead caught up on the December Photo Project, and that is not easy for me right now!  (Careful readers may have noticed that there is currently no December 9th, but it will one day slip in, probably unnoticed.)  Also, I couldn't bear to leave that pitiful picture of John at the top of the page any longer.  So for now we will discuss what I cooked for dinner tonight.  I cook on Mondays, too, after all.

First the set up: we were supposed to spend the entire day skiing on this, the first home school ski day of the winter.  We were unable to do that due to a certain traumatic illness that is improving (and thank you for your sweet concern and prayers!), but is not at all ready for that kind of activity.  So instead we stayed home, except for a doctor visit for the sick child.  And Edwin left for a business trip. It was a bit disappointing for all involved.  I made homemade hot chocolate.  Yum.  And then we had waffleized French toast for dinner.  Cheer them up with food, a recurring theme.

What is waffleized French toast, you ask?  In this case it was French toast made with that chunky cinnamon bread they make in the grocery store bakery, (the stuff that they sometimes {today} put right in the doorway so you can't even get in before you have to pick up some), cooked with the waffle iron.  I promise, this idea came right into my head unassisted.  But I was not totally confident I could do such a thing, so I typed "other uses for waffle irons" right in the Google box, and guess what popped up?  The Waffelizer Blog: 30 Answers to the Question "Will It Waffle?"

How great is that?  Of course my French toast idea was there, and there were a lot of other great ideas that I barely had time to look at.  But you better believe I will go back there soon.  And maybe one day in the near future I will waffle something else and tell you about it here.  Maybe I will even waffle on a Wednesday.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Change of Plans

Well, it's been a weird weekend.  There was a whole day of shopping with my husband on Friday.  Amazing, and really fun.  All day Saturday was supposed to be spent at the FLL Regional Tournament with our Cavemen.  That went really well, with the Cavemen (and women) winning first place all around.  But John was sick and had a lot of trouble breathing, so he and I left the tournament for the Urgent Care clinic.  And then there was that ambulance ride to Children's Hospital. Ugh. It's never a good day with an ambulance ride involved.  But he was treated for some big-time swelling in his throat, along with strep, and he is doing much better now.

Proud of me for making a long story short?

In the Ambulance

Feeling Better

God is our refuge and strength,
  a very present help in trouble.
 “Be still, and know that I am God.
  I will be exalted among the nations,
  I will be exalted in the earth!”
 The LORD of hosts is with us;
  the God of Jacob is our fortress.
(Psalm 46:1, 10-11 ESV)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pictures on the Wall (!)

It's a pretty big deal when folks like us finally hang pictures on the wall.  Edwin worked on them this weekend, and he also hung the huge mirror in the living room!  Now when you walk in our front door it looks like we live here.  If only we could just find those perfect chairs...

P.S.  I just realized these picture frames are the ones mentioned in this post, which is, for some reason, the most-read post on my entire blog!  But the curtain rod is still lying around...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

For the Beauty of the Earth...

Valley of Fire State Park
For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Light into Darkness, Yet Again

I think I have taken this picture each year for the December Photo Project.  I just can't help it.  When reflecting on the advent of Christ, a main theme is light into darkness, and this is what I think when I see the sun going down and the Christmas lights turning on.  I did, at least, take a new picture.

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

(John 1:1-5 ESV)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December!

Happy December!  We woke up to a white dusting of snow this morning, just enough to make it feel more like December 1st should feel.  The temperatures have been all over (60 on Thanksgiving??), but it seems to have settled into cold now so there may as well be some snow to make it prettier.  There, I said it.

Our Christmas tree is up and decorated, and the other decorations are slated to be finished today.  Edwin got our outside lights hung in mild weather the day after Thanksgiving; it was probably the first time he wasn't miserably cold doing that chore - a huge improvement over last year's job, which came after our mid-November blizzard.

I am not sure where November went (along with the entire last 6 months!), but I am happy to see December.  There is much to do, but we are looking forward to time spent with family and friends, contemplating the birth of our dear Savior.  Here at the beginning, we pray that we will keep our focus properly, and not be thrown around by the business and busyness of the world. 

 I waited patiently for the LORD;
  he inclined to me and heard my cry.
 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
  out of the miry bog,
 and set my feet upon a rock,
  making my steps secure.
 He put a new song in my mouth,
  a song of praise to our God.
 Many will see and fear,
  and put their trust in the LORD.
(Psalm 40:1-3 ESV)