Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas JOY

Christmas was so unusual this year with daddy being in the hospital.  I have not been sad or disappointed as I thought I would be.  It is what it is and I'm grateful we are here w/him.  I'm feeling joyful despite all that is going on around me. 

Last night our oldest and his fiancee' came over and gave their presents to us. We gave them 'stocking stuff' as we'll give them real presents in January.  We do this b/c of financial difficulties and they understand.  Grateful for that too.

  Below #1 Son's and fiancee's 'stuff'. 

They got Stephen a special cup and ammo. ;-) 

Yep, another stuffed animal (at my age lol), the coloring book (mentioned in another WP post), wax for the birthday gift they got me (which I love), candy and an ornament from future daughter in love's brother. 

Stephen and also gave each other stocking stuff.  My stash :-) and close up of my ornament

Stephen's stash and ornaments--yeah a lot of sweets which he will have to eat at intervals :-)

Hope the holiday season brings you joy and blessings. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Every Christmas Eve in the past we've had treasure hunts w/the boys and with my lover/husband. We make sugar cookies and ride around looking a lights.  Wonderful traditions , I listen to Christmas songs all night..waking up (usually b/c of pain like normal) but with the anticipation of what the morning will bring. In the a.m. the fun begins with watching the boys open presents and stocking, seeing what my lover/husband has gotten me, enjoying him opening his presents, a great big brunch and then a movie with the family.

This year, it's all different with my daddy being in the hospital. We knew it'd be different not only b/c of daddy's surgery but b/c of having two more in our home (that's an entirely different story)  We planned on my lover/husband and me opening stocking stuff tonight--maybe even looking at a few lights, waking up together and heading to the hospital with mama to get ready for 'check out'.   We thought he'd be able to be by himself tonight and come home in the a.m. The knee replacement surgery was more intense than anticipated, his 'sick' kidney is still giving him problems and pain.  He hasn't been able to get up and walk as needed.  His mindset isn't all that great.  My lover/husband stayed with my daddy (isn't he awesome?).  

We'd also planned on Stephen going back home tomorrow after spending some time with Son #1 and his fiancee) and having the two youngest (22 and 19) open their stockings while S took pictures.  Then we planned on having our Christmas Eve/Christmas when I return on Tuesday.  NONE of our plans have been what we thought they'd be.  I (we) had/have NO control over any of it.  

I started out sad tonight b/c this is the first Christmas Eve since we married 32 years ago that my lover/husband and I have not been together.  Sad, b/c Christmas will be spent at the hospital, and blah, blah, blah ;-) But,in the end I remembered Sara Frankl's words:

Maybe instead of looking at mind over matter as a way for us to control our environment and create desired outcomes, instead of looking at it as a way to force the universe to conform to our wants, we could see it as an opportunity to use our minds to make good choices regardless of thematter.

My mind has chosen, regardless of circumstance, to find joy in the little things. I cant control the physical, I cant control the outcomes, I cant control others actions but I can control my response.

I guess thats my version of mind over matter

Yes, letting Abba control me in circumstances.   I choose to be content and grateful that my lover/husband is a great SIL, that he has already written me to say he misses me terribly and loves me, that I have friends praying for my precious daddy, mama and me and my family, that I can celebrate Jesus' birth with just me and Abba, that I have a diet dew and left over Chick-Fil-A nuggets.  I choose JOY and I feel better already. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Little Cutie's 2nd Birthday

Little Cutie's 2nd Birthday. Thanks to a Bible study group, she had a great day with awesome presents 

 A much needed great in the rain.

She loved this.

And she loved the boots

A princess and a horse...does it get any better?

Her mama made her cupcakes

In an outfit my oldest and his fiancee' got her. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Too and Joy

Lately, I've found myself thinking I'm 'too' ______for this chapter in my life.  Too old, too exhausted, too overwhelmed, too financially strapped, too much in pain, too overloaded,  too this and that.
 I'm 'too______to be 'raising' this 2 year old who belongs to our middle son's fiance'.  I'm too_______ to be 'raising her immature mother (who is also bipolar) to have two more in our house to feed, watch, care for, buy for etc.  I'm too______to help out my parents like I need to when my daddy has his surgery.  I'm too__________to continue dealing with all the drama at karate. I'm too______to deal with this chapter in my life.  
There is so much pain now, lack of sleep, lack of fiances, lack of time.  It's like raising my own child again.  I can't potty, shower, or dress in private.  I get less sleep than normal (and normal isn't much). I'm in a lot more pain and I'm exhausted.  I'm just 'too'. 
 But I'm reading a book called, Choose Joy by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver.  Sara died of complications from AS (the auto immune disease I have) and other things it led to and I 'met' her originally on a blog. When she died, it broke my heart.  She was such an inspiration..a hero to me really. Her definition of joy resonated with me but I never knew how to obtain that.  She made it seem so simple (and yet I know it wasn't and, it was ;-)  ) While reading her book though I'm come to realize it really is simple and difficult at the same really is just that...a choice.  
Sara's definition of joy is the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.
An internallightness that can't be touched..who doesn't want that? 
And Abba has given us blessings: a Bible study group that 'adopted' "Little One' for Christmas, left over presents from a family we were helping for "Little One's" Birthday, money in a Christmas card, and a gift from a friend for a year's membership to the "Chattown" Zoo, a husband who listens to me 'vent', and calms me down ;-), friends who pray for me, a friend who made me peanut butter fudge and the opportunity to read this book coming out in January by Sara. 
Sara, despite immense pain, suffering and hardships, chose joy..every day.  I am working on that because despite the fact that I'm 'too'...for all this in my life lately, I'm choosing..I choose joy.  I choose to continue to do the best I can every day to 'shine' for Him.  I choose to be grateful for my family, my husband, friends, blessings and this "Little One' that now calls me GiGi.  I choose to help her mom and our son the best that I can.  I choose french fries, cheesecake and fried chicken (without worrying about my weight ;-)  ) .  I choose lovely skies, wild turkeys, Christmas decorations, enjoying tutoring, and karate.  I choose helping my parents with all the energy I can muster.  I choose joy.  So, for you Prayer Warriors please remember me to the Father...Please pray I choose wisely and choose joy daily. 
A link to the upcoming book:  Reserve your copy. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Tutoring today included my student finishing a book he
was writing and an M & M experiment. We melted M & M's (you don't even need warm water).  As it turns out those little M's just come right off the candy.  Imagine what it does in our stomach.  We still ate them. 

Monday's tutoring included my student reading "The Polar Express", doing similes associated with the book and writing his favorite part.  My first grader worked on sight words, played a reading words game with me as well as a number game.  She is really improving. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bouncy Ball

Three times is a charm.  We FINALLY made a bouncy ball. Our first attmept was just plain sad.  Our 2nd attempt was close but I think we used too much water.  Our third time,... SUCCESS.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thankful (produced by my nephew)

So for those who know me, the first couple is my younger sister and brother in law, then their oldest son and wife and youngest son. Their middle son is the very last on the video since he is the one video taping.   Next is my younger brother and sister in law, then two of their three girls.  Following is me and my lover/husband, our oldest and his fiancee', our middle son and his fiancee with the cutie, and then our youngest.  After that is my oldest brother and his wife, then their son.  My parents are in the car almost at the end.  How cool is this to do? 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The cutie

We decided to make a felt tree, ornaments, lights and presents for the cutie.  I used the felt board when home schooling the boys and kept it ;-) It folds up so that we can put it out of the way.

Here she is looking at me and repeating 'ornament' ;-)  She would get the snowman ones and hugs them.  Too cute. 

She loved the stars because we have a book here that has the noon and stars in it.  We read it a lot. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christmas at my house.

Above Christmas tree in upstairs bath--You can see my hand made wreath on the door.  Below..other areas of the bathroom.  Yes, that is a toy dino toothbrush holder and a bath box my lover/husband made. 

Upstairs hallway

Bedroom door

Jordan's door

Top of stairs and next picture upstairs outside our room

Outside bathroom upstairs

The next two pics are outside our bedroom upstairs

Our door--made this

Our tree 

In our room

Painted this and the next one

Next two--our bathroom--so small

Made this and painted the small trees

One of my favorite snowglobes--lights up

Painted this for the boys when they were little.  I have a matching one ;-) 

Our room

I made the box for my Christmas jewelry. Next two our room

Our room

Painted these old world Santas

Beginning of my Christmas Bear collection 87-93

94-95 and one of my lighted horses



Going up the stairs 04-09

Going down the stairs 09-14 with room for 2015 on the last step

One of my favorite decorations made my Mom (MIL)

I painted the shirts for the boys when they were little.

Mom (MIL) made the stain glass nativity scene.  I don't have a picture of our stocking that I made.  This is downstairs in the family room

Tree in family room

Kitchen/dining room and kitchen/dining room tree and decorations

Early bday gift from Trevor

Door to tutor room/'playroom' (use to be living room). Boys made this when they were little..Oldest two handprints and youngest finger prints.

All these are tutor room/playroom..I don't have my hand painted village pics yet.