Saturday, December 29, 2007

EMBRACING LIFE IN 2008.....

Okay, when I first saw this stamp set I jumped for joy(metaphorically speaking for anyone who really knows me I am really not the "actual jump for joy" type) at one that really looked like I would LOVE it!! Ordered it as soon as we could, all the time thinking, word stamp,Embrace Life,,,what were they thinking? Like hmmmmm, who do you give an embrace life card to anyway?? (as if I ever send 1/2 the cards I make ANYWAY....)but I was thinking I wish they would just make more HB and Thinking of you and Thanks stamps and lay off the EMBRACE LIFE stamps, or the Delight in this or that stamps......but hey- upon deeper thinking and further reflection I stand corrected. The stage I am at in life right now, I should send MYSELF an Embrace Life card everyday!! And I could also send one to all my menopausal, empty nester friends as well on a daily basis!!
Look at my life with me for a bit......I am living hundreds of miles from most of my family and friends......I am working really long hours, I am separated from my husband all week who I worked side by side with for 23 years.....and the list COULD go on....but I will stop there, isnt' that plenty enough to feel sorry for myself about?? BUT, if we turn it around and look at it THIS way, look what happens.....I live in my beautiful little dream house in a beautiful little town surrounded by potential new friends, my daughter and her husband and our grand dog Moseley live right across town, I work hard at a new job I find challenging and FUN, I am temporarily separated from my husband so he can get a job locally after doing over the road time for experience,(meanwhile we talk on the phone a gazillion times a day thanks to verizon to verizon free minutes) I have children who live far from me but love me and stay in touch with me, I have 5 beautiful and HEALTHY grand daughters and a golden retriever who is faithful and loyal and loving and keeps me company on lonely nights......AND I HAVE AN AWESOME STAMP ROOM TO BOOT......I have so much TO BE THANKFUL FOR!! So, as Mary Engelbreigt says, Life is 10 percent about what happens to you and 90 percent about what you do with what happens to you.....I love that!! I work with a young girl right now who has suffered with health maladies since she was born prematurely....Her latest battle has been with cysts on her optic nerves that cause her to go blind....one eye is pretty much blind at this point unless she takes large doses of steriods, the other eye has temporarily gone blind on her two times. Her attitude has taught me so much......her standard answer to any situation where she could feel sorry for herself is, "It's only an eyeball and I still have one that works". So much wisdom from a 22 year old. Her standard line to me if I am feeling sorry for myself about something is "At least you have 2 eyeballs that work" - Very true.....at times it has taken an extra measure of grace not to fire a smart remark back at her when she says that but you know why? Because she's RIGHT......We all have so much to be thankful for, and yet I for one find myself focusing on the half empty part of the glass too often. I had a nice long talk with a friend in my DL who called last night - as we talked on, and we don't know eachother really well, have just always sensed a kindred spirit in eachother, we discovered that our lives are pretty similar. We both love to stamp, we both love Mary Engelbreigt, we are both Christians who try to love and follow God, we are both big worriers and we tend to focus too much on worrying about our adult children. We both miss our grand children a LOT. As we talked we both realized we need to focus on the positive at this stage in life and to really EMBRACE LIFE!! I really enjoyed that nice long chat SUE!! :) I think this is going to be my New Year's Resolution!! Last year it was to lose weight, and I now attend Curves regularly and have lost the post Ohio weight that crept on(about 10 pounds) when I ate my way thru loneliness and probably an additional 6 or 7 pounds after that - So hopefully I will be equally as happy with my resolution to COUNT MY BLESSINGS MORE next year!! I do count my blessings, but I feel like I live on the edge of sadness alot, and I want to move. :) :) Perspective is everything. Last year Keith and I cleaned models every Friday night and I used to say to him, I really enjoy Friday nights.....we would always go out to eat, then go clean models, which is great as far as cleaning goes, if you have to clean, it's better to clean stuff that never actually gets used......but Keith would always say, I can think of lots of things I would rather do with you then clean models though, and then this year I said to him, "Wouldn't it be great to clean models on Friday nights again?" and he chuckled and said yes, since now we don't SEE eachother till sometime on Saturday........and there you have it- perspective. We should not complain about our present situation cuz comically, we need to realize our next could be WORSE. And if we are really just passing thru this life and I believe we are and our purpose is to grow closer to and more LIKE JESUS, then we should really and truly EMBRACE LIFE and count our blessings and enjoy the ride!! That's what I intend to do in 2008....Happy New Year everyone - Hope you enjoyed the cards and the blab, and don't forget to read on for the Christmas blog.....it's pretty funny and not so heavy!! Happy New Year!!

I've Found the BOOTS, now where are the BONES?

Okay, so I am making time to blog right now.....I have at least a million other things I SHOULD be doing, but I have so much blog material overflowing my brain that if I just take the time to get it OUT, I may have time to do some of those other things. IT ALL STARTED, when I lost the boots. How does one lose an entire pair of BOOTS that one just purchased as the main Christmas gift for one's daughter? But alas, they were lost. I spent the entire Saturday before Christmas turning the HOUSE upside down looking for those boots, doing the necessary cleaning as I went along. I combed our 4 stories counting the attic bedroom TOP to BOTTOM. I found lots of other stuff I wasn't looking for, like little bird poop deposits from the bird who got into our house the week before, (I hid in the basement until my neighbor Linda showed up with her husband's fishing net, and then her husband later scooped the bird up and took it out for us....I thought it was a BAT, that's why I was hiding in the basement but that's another story altogether) BUT how HAPPY one is to FIND the poop BEFORE the Christmas house guest, my dear friend Annette found it.....Annette and I have so much in common, but having a kitchen floor you could EAT OFF OF is NOT one of those things......so imagine my delight that I found the poop before she did!! :):):):) In case you haven't guessed from reading the above, it is not I who has the floor you could eat off of!! Okay- so back to the boots, I did NOT find them and I finally came to the conclusion I would have to buy another pair, but since we haven't switched gifts with Rebekah and Jon yet, I won't need to. :) Read on.....They (bekah and jon) went to Chicago for Christmas, so our two Christmas guests this year were Annette Horton, our friend from AIM days.....AND of course, the beloved and angelic Moseley, Bekah and Jon's golden retriever. We usually make both dogs sleep in our bedroom at night, but Moseley has had an inflamed knee and when he protested climbing the stairs earlier that day, we decided we would trust him to sleep all curled up on the living room rug where he looked so compfy. The first night was uneventful, he slept soundly and no mischief was he up to. :) :) Now to back up a little, after ALL my shopping was done and the gifts were tucked under the tree, I remembered that in my haste and thoughtlessness, there were no gifts for Luca and Mosley. Another of a myriad of last minute trips to Kroegers was in store....so off I went with Annette, one more time. It soon became apparent that everyone else in Miamisburg had the same problem as the dog toy selection was pretty pathetic. I ended up with two very interesting looking toys, they had a stuffed tiger head with a huge rope hanging out of his mouth with a ball on the end of it......not exactly cute, but it was the only one that had two the same, and everyone knows you can't play favorites even if you do love your own dog the best......Moseley is our KID too when he's here and we treat them equally. I found two roast beef bones, and off we went. I wrapped these also and put them under the tree. I remember thinking at the last minute, roast beef bones under the tree.....hmmmmm, not smart and I THINK I took those BONES and put them in a safe place, but ALAS, I still cannot remember where. (okay, so I just wiped out my favorite card, DARN IT! - there will be more then one post today cuz it's one of my favs and I am going to go and add it later.....Will I EVER learn how to do this right???????????????)Back to the bones........The next morning, which happened to be Christmas, I vaguely remember being awoken from dream land with Keith whispering, HEY, DO YOU HEAR THAT?? And I was like, yeh, someones opening our gifts.....in my head,,,,but I was in that strange land of dream world where you know you need to wake up and DO SOMETHING but your brain and your body aren't on the same page......gosh, gee, sounds like the noise of ripped paper,......KEITH bounded up in his boxers, and got to the door and realized he was in his boxers and we had a female house guest so he stops to get dressed, but me, upon fully waking up, I ran to the top of the stairs in my UNDERWEAR and yelled, very loudly, MOSELEY- BAD BOY - NO - STOP -WHATEVER....and then I bounded DOWN the stairs in my undies and chased him away, he sort of slinked off toward the living room, and then I saw it, he had that stupid tiger head with the bouncing ball on it hanging out of his mouth.....and he sheepishly sat down on the living room carpet and I just lost it laughing. About 1/2 of the gifts were deposited all over the floor, but he had found what he was looking for. Most of what he unwrapped were gifts for my coworkers, we had a gift exchange yesterday and some of the YANKEE candle boxes had Moseley bites taken out of them but the contents were in tact. Okay - so NOW, the question is....and the question remains......did I put those bones in a nice safe place.......or had I put them under the tree after all and then if so, did Moseley devour them paper and all like he did the three chocolates that were in my coworkers gift? (Moseley is living proof that chocolate, dark, or milk, with nuts or without does NOT kill dogs) AND - the final part of this story is this.........when I bent over to pick up my coworkers gifts that were strewn all over the dining room floor, there to my utter amazement, tucked away on a DR chair under the table, were those elusive BOOTS - in a nice safe place. I had LOOKED under the dining room table for those BOOTS at LEAST 10 times on the Saturday before Christmas.....but upon investigating I discovered that if you walked into the DR and looked under the table at just the natural angle......the rungs of one chair blocked out the boots and you never saw them at all!! They were hiding there so I had to at least be grateful to Moseley for something in that whole charade!! And that is how we started Christmas morning.... which they say is boring without children, so if you have no children left at home and life and Christmas has turned boring.....I suggest two large golden retrievers to keep you young!! Keith was able to make it home for Christmas, a bonus that we did not expect and really, the best Christmas gift of all and one that this trucking job has taught me I will NEVER take for granted again.......and it was wonderful having Annette here all weekend and catching up with her......we got to talk to some grandmas, my sister, and all four kids on Christmas which was a real bonus.......had a nice long conversation with the Davis family in Kenya and mostly what I heard was they anticipate coming home in July instead of August, YIPPEE....and we talked to Tovah who sounds more and more like a little lady and we at least heard Lami cry, Talked to Mike and Jenna and Layla - Layla is 2,1/2 but talks like a 20 year old....and told me all about the "pitcher mommy bought for daddy where all the guys had their hands in the air and gramma, they are freakin out!" (which was actually a picture of the RED SOX winning the WORLD SERIES......We talked to Bethany and Brian who were on the way to get Madyson and Chloe, and spent their CHRISTMAS weekend looking at houses and they now plan to close on a townhouse on Jan 17th.....and we also chatted with Bekah a bit as well in Chicago with Jon's parents....All in all a happy Christmas, cuz at least we live in a world where when we can't BE together we can at least TALK together......and we thank our GOD for that!! Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR in store!! I guess for me, I will always wonder if the bones are in a nice safe place, and if so will they turn up one of these days and make Luca's day!! Now, I am off to add the card I wiped out and maybe a couple more too! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Merry Christmas to All......

Hello Friends~ Since I never ever get around to sending Christmas cards, I decided to send them this way!! Take your pick - I have posted several here and you can pick the one you like and consider it my card to you and your family!! That's sad, that ever since I became a demonstrator I never seem to get Christmas cards out!! Every year I at LEAST design one in my HEAD.....and the one with the Christmas tree bulb design down a couple of cards I actually have 100 half made cards of......isn't that pathetic?? Maybe some year I will actually finish them and send them along with the Christmas letter that I have also written in my head, but it actually never makes it to paper and then gets sent out.....so here is what I would say if I DID write a Christmas letter,,,,,I would say, we have been in Ohio now for over a year and a half........
and this is already our SECOND Christmas....we love so much about it, we love that after 23 years of apartment living we actually have a house of our own.....it's warm and cozy and beautiful.....when I walk thru the door at night it just hugs me....and no matter how long and hard my day has been, my house welcomes me, along with Luca who practically attacks me with JOY to see me after a long day at work.....so this aspect of Ohio we love, our spacious yard... our hot tub...also very welcoming at the end of a long day....we have sweet neighbors.....I came home the other day and they had shoveled the snow off my walk....so sweet. We love living close to Bekah and Jon, we have our usual Sunday ritual of eating out after church and then crashing at one of our houses for the afternoon....I love my job at Dr. Sato's office, although it is all consuming I still love it, and I love my nice spacious stamp room which I retreat to every chance I get, Keith is starting to enjoy his trucking job and has finally found a connection to his boss that makes the job more enjoyable....and so therefore the separations more bearable...At least he is getting home on weekends now consistently. We even got to spend Thanksgiving together - which was an unexpected bonus.....and we are praying he'll be home for Christmas.... eventually after a year or so of working this trucking job...he can get something local and then be home on a daily basis.....but you need a year of experience for that....Let's see - in a Christmas letter you give family news too.....Jen and Davis are getting ready to go to France for language study before spending time in the Congo....Tovah and Lami are growing fast - so adorable and we miss them so much,,,,,but we get to talk to them on a pretty regular basis on the phone and we send email regularly and we happily anticipate the next time they will be home which will be late next summer Lord willing...... Bethany and Brian are doing well in Minneapolis with Madyson and Chloe, they are trying to buy a house right now - we talk to them lots and miss them lots too.......Jon and Bekah are very busy in the church, and with their jobs....and we live about 10 minutes from them which is a blessing, ( and makes us anticipate more grandchildren) We do get to babysit for Moseley on a regular basis since Jon is the youth pastor and they spend lots of time with the youth so we take Moseley to keep Luca company..... and then Mike and Jenna are in NY with Layla girl and we talk to them lots on the phone and Mike has a very good union job in the city now....and Jenna has been babysitting for a little boy with autism and has found that challenging and she gets to take Layla with her....Layla is a chatterbox and so adorable - we get to chat with her a lot on the phone now and that is such a treat as well.....so that's the family news....Of course we wish with all of our hearts that they all lived around the corner....but this is life, and we thank God for the chances we DO have to see them and we just pray for them and love them long distance when we can't see them. This weekend we finished our Christmas shopping and I just got through wrapping it all, I actually I decided that instead of doing Christmas wrapping this year I would do Christmas dumping.....I went and bought a bunch of those bags and did it that way....much easier!! It is
so much fun to shop for FIVE grand daughters... and then so much fun to wrap it all.....I could shop for TEN grand daughters, girls are so much fun to buy for....so I lovingly "dumped" it all into bags tonite, haha, and Keith will go to the post office tomorrow and send it on it's way with LOVE and hopefully next year some of us will be together for Christmas! Mike and Jenna want us to go to NY, but we don't know if Keith will even be home and with Mike's new job he has to work Christmas eve, and then it's Jon and Bekah's year to go to his parents, so we may have a quiet Christmas but that's okay too....we have the memories of last year when we saw them all during the holidays and JOY knowing we will have other years when we are all together again........last year we had the gramma's here too.....it was awesome but this year they both decided to stay put too.....so we will all have a quiet Christmas, and give thanks to GOD for HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT........and for friends like you and family and grand daughters, warm homes, good jobs, all the blessings that we have to be careful not to take for granted.....Thank you Lord, for all these blessings that we do not deserve. Thank you for sending your SON to die on a cross for me.....help me to remember that you are the reason we even celebrate Christmas, JOY TO THE WORLD~ the LORD HAS COME - LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING~~~ Merry Christmas everyone!!