Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas was not exactly picture perfect.  On the 23rd, we had planned to see Christmas lights on the way to Grandma's house, but the thick layer of ice on the side windows of the bus would not melt fast enough.  It was blocking our little passengers' views.  Therefore, we had to postpone this annual outing to Carthage.  Then Nate sat in front of french doors that caused most of his photos to be overexposed so there is virtually no photographic evidence of his Christmas gifts. Hannah ate too much Christmas candy and had it suddenly revisit us at Christmas dinner.  We arrived at the farm and the propane tank had been turned off so there was no heat. We all huddled around the oven and ate pizzas while waiting for the whole house to heat up.  Each of these non-photographed items will probably be more memorable than most of the photographed events.

Below is a collage of a few of the 2013 Christmas highlights.   This is the first year that Vanessa had something that she desperately wanted for Christmas.  She has been asking for months and thanks to grandma and grand-dad, she got it...a Nintendo DS.  Everyone had more fun, just because Vanessa was so excited!  Plus I got a picture of my folks that proves that my Dad has a ton of fun when he is annoying my mom. (I hope you can see his big his smile in the photo on the collage.  If you double click on the picture, it will make it bigger.)

Like most families, challenges are all around us.  Owning multiple houses and trying not to let multiple mortgages rule us, having what seem like "the usual" unexpected stresses and most importantly knowing that God has it all under control gives us reason to celebrate His amazing love and sacrifice.  May He help us to remain faithful and may we be better examples of His love during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Reflect upon your present blessings,
of which every man has plenty;
not on your past misfortunes,
of which all men have some.
--Charles Dickens

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Spirit Challenges

Not only have I been neglecting my blog, I have been neglecting Christmas.  Oh, I have made cookies, sent cards, received cards, put up a couple Christmas trees...but my heart and spirit are just not embracing Christmas this year.  This failure on my part to feel all the joys of the season is only intensified by one our of children, who I am sure could easily hold and defend the title of "Miss Merry Christmas".  (You can probably tell which child from the photos below.)
Christmas cookies are NOT a dieter's best friend, but they are a must in our house!
Decorating one of the Christmas trees.

Christmas isn't complete until we ring the bell!

Stamping the special postmarks in Noel, MO
The Postmaster's Elf

Like many people, I am going through the motions, but I simply feel too unsettled to really feel the extra peace and joy that Christmastime brings.  As many of you know, we bought 2 homes in Kansas and have been in the process of transitioning to Kansas.  We were in the process of widening doorways, adding bedrooms and building ramps when we learned that our new community's school will be closing.  As a result of the closing, the kids will be bused to a school with three unconnected buildings and many steps.  (I cannot even get into the office or lunch room.)  The buildings require frequent trips outdoors to get between buildings and this setup will not work for three of our children.   We are researching our options including out of district placements which Kansas allows, but so far no district has committed to taking our whole family.  Due to these situations, our Kansas house is not home; our Neosho house is not home and the Ava property which does still feel like home is too far away to visit regularly. 

Please be praying for us as we try to ensure that Kansas is the right place for our family before we complete this move. 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and
do not be afraid. ~~John 14:27