Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I Learned At The Eye Doctor

My pupils are finally starting to look normal again. For awhile today, my entire house was in the dark. The shades drawn and the lights off. It's ironic that just yesterday we were wishing for the sunshine and today, as I drove into the light, I was wishing my sunglasses were 3 shades darker.

I went for my eye exam today. Every three years I go to have my eyes checked from an Ophthalmologist. For a girl who has worn glasses since 5th grade, it's not traumatic or scary; just necessary and normal. Eye drops don't bother me. It's the after effects of the big pupils and the squinting that drives me crazy.

My grandfather was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration months after he retired at 65 from years working as a buyer at the Stockyards. He had big dreams of driving his Mustang around town, traveling, and playing lots of golf. His dreams were cut short by vision that eventually only allowed him to see peripherally. He must have been heartbroken. It didn't stop him or slow him down though.

My grandmother, who had never learned to drive, started driving at 66. Only on wide roads, clear days, and during the morning with little traffic. She had her routes figured out to only make right hand turns. It was amazing the places she could go.

I got to take the Light Green Mustang to college. My grandpa's pride and joy. He loved when, on breaks, I would come to their house with the car and take him for a spin. His homemade lemonade on the green AstroTurf front porch is a fond memory I keep in my heart.

Grandpa didn't let the near blindness stop him though. He played Golf every week, sometimes twice. He played the same course most times and had memorized it's layout. He knew his club strength and knew approximately where the shot would go each time. His buddies would watch and direct him to the ball afterwards. He dressed sharply every day, mowed his own lawn, and kept a daily journal.

When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we went to him and asked him to research the dates we liked and the normal temps, weather on that day. He was right on with his prediction for a November Saturday with 50 degree temps.

As a result of all this history, Eye Sight is not something I take for granted. Sure I could probably go to one of the shopping mall "eye doctors" and get the same exam for less, but I figure I go to the this doctor as a tribute to my grandfather. I honor the courage he had to face each day without his vision perfect, but his heart and soul right where they should be.

Grandpa loved God, his wife, children and grandchildren with all his being. I know he would have been crazy about my kids. His wife, my grandmother at 96 years, is still a part of our lives for which I'm grateful.

A and I made a stop on the way home for lunch after the eye appointment. I was wearing my sunglasses and she was wearing her big smile. She loved that we were sitting next to each at the tall tables. We had a great conversation about how fun it would be to work in a restaurant. She must have thanked me 25 times and asked if we could go to the Eye Doctor again and wear sunglasses and have lunch.

I learned a valuable lesson today. Seize the moment. No matter what your condition. Be thankful for the moments to just share life together with those you love.

My eyes are in great shape. My heart today is too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WFMW Cold Day Boredom Buster: Bedazzler

For Christmas this year, I received my first ever "As Seen On T.V." product from my in-laws. I've never purchased anything from a infomercial or tried any of those fabulous Ginsu Knives or Sandwich Makers. I have seen some knock offs at Walgreen if that counts.

Don't think I haven't been tempted by their outlandish claims and promises. I have, but am afraid it will be like those items I use to order off the back of the cereal boxes when I was a kid (think Sea Monkeys). All talk (and freezed dried shrimp / plankton).

Now, I am the proud owner of a Bead Magic Machine. Think Bedazzler. My mother-in-law is really trying to stretch my crafty self. First knitting, now home fashions.

I must admit that, when I first opened the present, I thought maybe it was a joke and inside the Bead Magic Box would be the real gift. It was the real gift!

My girls got so excited. They started dreaming up things to Bedazzler. M thought of fancy hats, purses, and headbands. A thought Ruthie our AG Doll would love a new outfit all beaded up fancy-like. Guess she thinks I can sew too.

Funny thing is it is pretty cool. I'm not into glitz and glamour and the tool itself takes a little bit of work to figure out, but the end result is fun.

So, on MLK day when the kids had no school, we got out our t-shirts from Hobby Lobby and our Bead Magic Tools and got busy. It was what they call a family moment. Or, it's cold and we've nothing to do, mom so what tricks do you have up your sleeve.

I will not admit if all three kids were involved. I'll only say that only two pink shirts were decorated. Bedazzling is a lot like math I've been told. Precise. Looking at the end result I think it's obvious that my math skills are lacking and my assistants skills are right on every time.

I made M's; he made A's. I blame it on the fact he had the hand held model and it's much easier. There is not any evidence that he is more skillful than me.

Too bad he doesn't want a beddazzled Texas football jersey, Burnt Orange beads are so cute.

Cold Day Boredom Setting In: Find your own Bedazzler and get Busy!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baby It's Cold Out There or Otherwise Called "Let's All Jump for Jesus"

January can be a very long month in the heartland. By very long, I mean one month can seem to drag on for decades. No kidding! I'm sure that every January I add a year to my life, even though my birthday is not until May.

One day it's cloudy and grey with temps in the 30's. The ground looks like yucky mud, the leftover snow from weeks ago looks like piles of coal, and the sky looks like it has tears falling from above.

Then a bright and sunny day with temps below zero. The sun is so bright you have to wear sunglasses to drive, but your hands are so cold you can barely put them on your face. No recess outside today as the kids might get frostbite.

Then, just when you think of giving up on going outside your house, you'll have an almost 60 degree day. It's sunny, no coat needed, and you actually see people out and about. By out, I mean the neighbor kids come out of hibernation to play and life seems good.

Thursday was that day here. It was 54 degrees. My kids were happy, my kitchen floor and entry way were not covered in snowboots and gravel, and the backyard was filled with playing kids.

Friday the temp was 16 degrees. It felt like -30. Thankfully, our church had a family fun night scheduled for Friday from 6 t0 8. Big Blimpie Sandwiches, Three Huge Jumpers, Hula Hoops and Fun Fun Fun. We thought that maybe only 40-50 people would come. 140 plus showed up! Why you ask, because parents are going crazy with kids trapped in their houses. They were looking for a place to run off steam. To be crazy and have fun. It got loud and crazy. There were kids everywhere. All having the time of their life.

Isn't that what the Body of Christ is suppose to be for the world. A place to let down your hair. Relax. Be yourself and still be loved. We are to be Jesus with skin on, and Friday night I think that is exactly what we were to a group of jumping kids for Jesus.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WFMW: Planning Meals for Grieving Families

My Works For Me Wednesday Idea involves planning meals for friends/families who are going through grief or a family crisis. It works equally well for good news events such as a family welcoming a new baby.

In the last two years, I've become a kinda "Family Crisis Coordinator" for our school. We've had a number of families who have experienced grief through the loss of a child or one of the parents.

Because I love to organize, I've volunteered to coordinate meals for these families.

In the last few months, I've also taken on this job at our preschool. too.

It is a job that I pray is never needed, but it is such a blessing to be able to do this small thing for those families. When one of my best friends suffered a recent loss, I was glad that there was something meaningful that I could do to help.

Walking through grief with a number of friends has taught me a valuable lesson. Often people want to do something to help, but don't want to say or do the wrong thing or just don't know what to do. Making a meal for a family is a simple but loving gesture that allows them to "help out" without being a burden.

I've come up with a Meal Planning Protocol for Grieving Families. First, I give the grieving family a week after the loss. Meals flow into homes at these times. They will be so busy with the details of the funeral and the raw grief that accepting meals every few days would be overwhelming. In fact, they will have so many leftovers and jello salads they will be swimming in food. A balanced, warm meal will be a welcomed treat at the end of this time.

Step One: Ask the Family or a Loved One close to them if they would be open to having meals delivered 3 to 4 times a week to their home for the next few weeks. We normally do either Sunday/Tuesday/ Thursday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday assuming that most meals will provide leftovers.

Step Two: Confirm that there are no allergies or diet restrictions. Ask how the family would like delivery done either hot and ready to eat or cold for reheating (or if they are flexible).

Step Three: Send out an e-mail to friends, co-workers, church members, school classmates, etc. asking them to provide one meal over the course of the next month to six weeks.

In this email I give suggestions, include a calendar with dates I've planned, ask them for the dates that work/don't work and what meal they would like to bring. I also say that if they would prefer, they can volunteer to give a gift certificate for a pizza/takeout that will fill one of the dates.

Step Four: Create a Calendar from the volunteers that includes the dates, meal and person's contact information. Make sure each volunteer gets a copy and the family receiving the meals has one to reference as well.

I like to make sure the family is not getting two chicken dishes in row, etc so I try to set the calendar in such a way that there will be a variety.

Step Five: Have the first person delivering bring freezer Ziploc bags or storage containers for leftovers. ( This was a great suggestion from a grieving friend)

Step Six: If the giver is willing, ask them to share the recipe for the food they are delivering for the family. This a great gift for the family. Recommend that they use disposable dishes so that the family doesn't need to worry about return, cleaning, etc.

Step Seven: Be willing to step in at the last minute with a meal in case one of the planned meals falls through due to illness, etc. Often I will not put my name on the list of people figuring that I will bring a meal at the last minute. I always have Frozen Ham and Cheese Sandwiches ready for such an occasion.

Coordinating and planning meals for families in crisis has been a big blessing in my life. It has allowed me to share hope and love with families hurting in a practical way with a warm meal. I've also been able to show my children that grief, while a long and weary road, is one that is best shared with others.

If you would like a copy of the email I send out looking for people to participate let me know and I will email it to you.

For More Works For Me Wednesday Ideas go to Shannon's http://http//

Matthew 5:4 (New International Version)
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted

Monday, January 19, 2009

Random Confessions

I think that my kids have only gone to school one Monday in the entire month of January. Do you know how hard it is to keep your New Years Resolution to exercise more when the one day you count on going to the gym, you can't?

Here goes some random thoughts for the week...

1. I remember on Election Day 2000 that we made a homemade sign for the front day cheering on George Bush. My husband and I stayed up to watch returns and went to bed thinking he had lost. When I woke up a few hours later, it was the crazy to see that he had won. M was a little baby and I have a picture of her with the sign. Where have those 8 years gone?

Thank You President and Mrs. Bush for your service to our country.

2. I'm trying to teach my kids that you respect the office of the President no matter who is sitting in the oval office. I wish the Obama's the best and pray that he will be guided by Godly wisdom as he leads us through some tough times, but I know I will have to watch my tongue in the next few days and weeks too.

God please Bless Our Country and Our Leaders.

3. I'm getting tired of cleaning up the sandbox that was my entry way floor. If you live in snow or winter country, you know what I mean. Every day I sweep up the equivalent of a sandbox of muck from our floor. Shoes traipse in this gunk and no matter how many rugs I have out, the sand keeps coming.

We went to a party last week and the line of shoes at the front door from guests made me laugh. It would have been fun and cruel to mix up pairs. (No I didn't do it)

4. Lost starts in 2 more days! I watched the season finale from last year this weekend and I'm trying hard to put the pieces of the story back together in my head. This is my all time favorite show. I can not wait until Wednesday Night. It's written on my calendar with big letters. Thank you in advance DVR for being there for me as it is on during in the middle of church.

5. Last week my husband and parents were both in Sunny California while my kids and I were suffering from temps at -15 below. I tried hard not to hate them. Let's just say I might have confessed the sin of coveting and murder during Church on Sunday. Love You Guys really, but next time remember poor little me and don't talk so lovingly about the sunshine and 70 degree weather when I can hardly breath outside due to the ice forming in my nose.

I promise some more creative and less random thoughts in the days ahead. Or at least attempts.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chopsticks, Tatame Sitting & Traditons....

As a young child, we were allowed a birthday party with friends every other year. On the off year, you could go out to eat. Your choice. My brother would choose King's Restaurant with their great burgers, malts, and, most importantly, the phone in the booth that you used to call in your order.

I would always choose Mt Fuji Inn which was a traditional Japanese Restaurant with Tea Rooms.

You have to take your shoes off and sit down at that table on the floor. It was my all time favorite food, setting, and experience.

When my husband and I were dating, I mentioned one time that maybe we should try out this Japanese Restaurant in town. We did, but without the Tea Room. Halfway through the meal, he said that next time we should reserve a tea room. I think that's when I knew he was the "one".

It's a special occasion restaurant for me. Not because it's fancy or the latest trend, but because it stirs up childhood memories and the consistency of this place in my life. The food is so yummy, you are made to feel special, and there is something about eating out without shoes. The hot tea and the chopsticks just add to the charm.

Our family had a contest in association with Amazing Race. You choose a team of two and the restaurant on your choice. If your team won the finale, we'd go to eat at your team's restaurant. My son and I both choose Mt Fuji. I've been thousand of times, he'd only gone one time and loved it.

Nick and Star won Amazing Race which was his team. When my team lost, I was rooting hard for Nick and Star so we could still go to Mt. Fuji. So last night off we went to Mt. Fuji to celebrate. Our first attempt was sidetracked by an ice storm that had unexpectedly occurred a few weeks back.

Let's just say it was thrilling and frustrating at the same time. I was thrilled to share this experience with them, but I kinda forgot they are still kids. While my husband and I enjoyed all the traditional Japanese favorites; Shrimp and Sweet Potato Tempura, Beef Sukiyaki; Egg Flower soup and sticky rice, there was fighting over the hot tea, kicking under the table, lots of getting up and down to go to the bathroom. There was our little waitress slaving over the Sukiyaki pot and our kids jumping up to go see the Koi Pond. There was talk about Japanese culture and the fact that they stay thin because it's so hard to use chopsticks!
A, the 4 year old, just had rice. M had sweet and sour chicken. C had udon noodle soup with Tempura. They tried a little of ours, used cheater chopsticks and overall, loved it too. I'm thinking my parents must have cringed a few times with me as well when I would beg to go. But now I only remember how wonderful it was. How thrilled I was too take my shoes off and go sit with my little tea cup.

Here's to tradition and passing on the experience. God, remind me of these special moments when I get frustrated and bogged down with life. Everyday can't be a Mt Fuji Mountaintop Experience, but it just might be.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

God Is Good All the Time: Even When It's Hard

Today has been a sad day. Lately, it seems like every time I turn around, I am hearing another heartbreaking story.

My daughter's preschool teacher is busy today making plans to bury a teenage child. Not seeing her today at the door to the classroom with her bubbly smile and take charge attitude was hard. Her team teacher looked defeated today; bogged down with worry and concern for her friend and co-worker.

Another friend is remembering 5 years ago this week when her mother lost her battle with cancer. This week always brings back a flood of memories, not all good. I know her heart is hurting. She still misses her mother.

A good friend who desperately wants a baby is having complications with her pregnancy and might well lose this baby, too. My heart is breaking for her. For the raw pain and the broken dreams. It reminds me all too well that babies are not an easy thing to bring into this world. While I pray for the health of the baby and mother clinging to hope, it's hard not to wonder why God, why.

Knowing that mother's hearts are breaking and daughter's heart are longing for their mother is hard on this mother's heart.

Wishing I could take the pain away. Knowing that only God can.

There are days that the news just isn't good. That the promises of God seem so far away. When it's hard to believe that in the midst of our pain God is right there.

But He Is. He is there for my friends. He is there for the grieving parents. He is there for the lonely daughter. He is there for me. He is there for you.

One of the ways that He is there for them is with hope. Hope that today's sadness will one day be overtaken by joy at seeing their loved one again; whole, healthy, safe in the arms of Jesus, in Heaven.

Steven Curtis Chapman's Song, With Hope, has always been a song I cling to in times of sorrow or grief. It speaks so clearly of the everlasting hope we have. I pray that this song will bring my friends Comfort, Peace, Hope.

With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman
This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope'
Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope'
'Cause we believe with hope(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor'
Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

So we can cry with hope
And say goodbye with hope
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

Monday, January 12, 2009

Praying on the Spot

I'm trying to be deliberate in praying for others. I think about praying about others. I promise I'll pray for them and really mean to, but sometimes I feel like my own prayer life gets so bogged down with stuff that I don't always remember.

I don't always know why, but it's easier to pray for others when you are not sitting in parking lots waiting for pick up at schools focused on my own "Stuff." That's a great time to pray for my family, our needs, but, for some reason, not such a great time to pray for my friends and neighbors.

Oh sure, I can rattle off a prayer for a peaceful day, for my "to do list" to get down, for the safety of my children and the current state of our nation. However, to think about "others" needs and to place their needs before the throne takes more concentration.

Lately, I've decided to just pray on the spot. When someone asks me to pray for them, I just do then. Right then. On the phone, in the hallway at school, wherever we are right then.

The other day a friend called to tell me a heartbreaking story about a family whose child had died at birth. My friend had just lost her own baby the same way three months prior. She was boldly going to the hospital to offer them hope, comfort and knowledge. What a brave and courageous move to walk right back into the same environment where she had experienced deep loss.

Rather than say I'll pray for you as you go; I did it then on the phone. I prayed and offered up my concern and love for my friend. I took it to God right away rather than make a promise to do it later. Yes I did pray that entire night whenever my thoughts turned to the situation (which it did a lot).

Today, the same opportunity presented itself to pray for a friend going through a health scare. I prayed out loud for my friend on the phone again. Why, because I knew my next few hours would be hectic with Girl Scouts and family responsibilities filling my day. I didn't want to forget and I wanted my friend to know that I was praying for her.

I don't say this to toot my own horn or to say I will always be so bold. It's just that I want to remember how impacting this move has been on my own life. It felt powerful to just stop, drop, and pray. To just take it to God right away.

It's also encouraged me to pray more for that person throughout my day. It's freed me up to just pray for others.

I've never been afraid to pray in a group, to pray at a restaurant with my family, but I've not always been so bold as to just pray with the person in need at the time the need was brought to me. Why? Because of my fear.

Amazingly just doing it this week has made me feel bolder, stronger, and more encouraged to not just promise to pray but to do it. Whenever. Wherever.

Maybe that will become my 2009 slogan: Stop. Drop. Pray. I'm thinking it could save as many lives from harm as the fire safety motto I've repeated time and again to my children.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shopping Thru Her Eyes

I went shopping today with my four year old to an outdoor upscale shopping center. Yes, we went for Fun.

A had gotten a gift card for Christmas to Justice. The Girl Store with the Monkey as she calls it. Her sister had already gone the week before, but being the smart one, we waited until the big kids were back in school.

We had so much fun. Most of the clothes there are too big, too old and not the right style for a four year old, but if you are choosy and smart you can find some downright adorable things. M had come home last week with two cute purple numbers. One had fur and you can't get better than fur for an 8 year old. That is high fashion.
A had in mind exactly what she wanted. Skirts and a Monkey. Maybe a few Webkinz. Candy. You name it!
OK, so maybe she was open to discussion and "suggestions". Smart mother that I am, we headed to the back of the store, pass the spring collection, and the cruise line for young girls and right to the "Sale Rack". It will be winter here in the heartland for two/three more months. What do we need shorts and tank tops for?

We found a cute top, make that two, but I could not find skirts. We found a few pair of cropped leggings with sparkles for a small fortune. Not one to give up do easy, the little darling kept asking for skirts. Ta Da.

In the far corner of the store, skirt racks. Lots of skirts. Two in her size. Pink and not pink. We chose pink. Then we found two tops to go with them. Did we walk out then. Of course not, we had to take off all our clothes in the dressing room and try them on. You know that we had to try on both Tops Please.

Too bad the static in our hair from the dry air made us look a little frigthening in the mirror. Oh, that was the mother.

It's perfect mom. I told you we'd get a skirt. Can I wear it now?

As our shopping continued and we went looking for an appropriate outfit for the mother to wear to the Office Christmas Party tomorrow night (yes tomorrow night!) we both got to try on new clothes. That's right, A tried on all her clothes again.

"Still perfect," she said.

We topped the morning off with a trip to Burger King. Her favorite. She told me over and over again that it was the best day of her life. It was fun shopping with mom.

It was fun shopping with my favorite four year old in the whole world, too.
( Notice the cute socks too, they were a surprise in the mail today: Bestemor knitted them.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday:Photo Backup the Easy Way

My wonderful Works for Me Wednesday Idea involves photo storage. I am not the world's best photographer, nor do I have the top of the line digital camera with huge lens (although I would love one) but I take lots of photos.

I scrapbook once a month with a fantastic group of ladies from church and enjoy capturing the moments of life before they are gone.

As a result I have lots of pictures stored on my computer. I have an HP Computer and use the HP Photosmart program to download and store my photos. However I don't stop there. I download photos to Walgreen' and use it as a backup to my computer. Easy as can be.

I tend to forget to put the photos on a disc backup and I've never had the heart to really edit the photos before I store them on my computer so I have lots. My computer has plenty of memory, but like it's owner sometimes things can go wrong, parts will die out or a virus could strike.

Walgreen's Photo will keep your photos forever at no charge as long as you buy two prints a year. Seriously. Two prints. I have an order ready to go for Saturday for 50 prints. Buy 50 prints, for $5.00 is their coupon this week.

I also use Walgreen's photos because I can store certain pictures there for the world to see. I have dance convention pictures I share with the other dancing families, girl scout camping trip photos for the parents and of course I can send photos to my in laws and out of town families too.

This is a simple way to ensure that my photos don't go away if my computer crashes or if I forget to back them up.

Now I'm off to send off my latest Christmas photos before I forget.

Come back again and I promise even more insightful ideas...or maybe not.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In Knitting: Pride Cometh Before the Fall

I've discovered this weekend that pride comes before the fall in knitting as in life. You see I thought that my newly acquired skill (6 months old) of knitting was going pretty well.

In the past few months, I've made 3 scarfs that I've ripped up or otherwise made into doll scarfs. The practice ones. 4 scarfs for nieces for Christmas gifts. One for each daughter. Two for good friends for Christmas and one I made in just 3 days for our children's piano teacher. I also made two baby blankets. One already being used and one on the ready for a baby coming any day.

Not bad for a non-crafty person whose knitting teacher lives 500 plus miles away.

However, after my goof yesterday, I now will never put a picture of my skill on the Internet or send it across the country. I will not share until the project is off the needles and the yarn put away. I now know that it is a recipe for disaster to "brag" on my new skill prior to completion.

A few months ago, I posted a picture of my first baby blanket. I was a few rows into the start. I was feeling confident, boastful really. I said how much fun I was having with circular needles. and how easy they were to work with. How 122 stitches was easy to count with stitch counters.

Two days after that, I had to rip the whole project apart and start over. I was into the blanket to far to let the slip go. I had last my count. I had started knitting backwards. I then tried to pull the stitches off and start over on the next row. Impossible to do with 122 stitches! Too many to keep them straight. My neighbor told me the truth. You'll have to start over. No, I thought, but she was right. Weeks later, the blanket was complete, a few mistakes hidden within, but done and not too shabby. Unfortunately for me, I did not learn my lesson.

Last week, I went to my favorite knitting shop. They have a sale in January with 20% off everything. I wanted to make a scarf for my husband in Texas colors (burnt orange and white), a baby blanket for American Girl Doll Ruthie, our newest family member, and then I asked about a hat for my son. I told them I'm a newbie. They gave me confidence and set of 5 double pointed needles.

One of the fabulous ladies at the store cast on the 90 stitches and talked me through how it works. I came home and called my mother-in-law. She laughed, but was confident I could do it. I just needed to take it slow, send her the pattern, and she could walk me through it. So I did. I took a picture yesterday of the beginning, said it was good, and then fate took over.

I was driving in the car yesterday and knitting. Fear not, I was the passenger. I dropped a stitch at the crucial turn from needle to needle. I thought I had recovered. Hours later I saw the hole between the two needles a few stitches down. You don't want a hole in a hat.

I'm starting over again. I've watched the knitting help video three times, another You-Tube on double pointed needles, and read and re read the instructions.

Pride has taught me a valuable lesson. I'm still learning and need to take it slow. I shouldn't take projects "on the go" that need my attention. Finally, it's OK to start things over. It's OK to goof up and start all over again. I'm not perfect and that's OK too.

Just for kicks I've included pictures of a few of my finished projects. All off the needles and all in use today. Nothing in progress today, you'll have to wait for them to be done first. I'm no fool.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Resolutions. Reality. Recharge

Happy New Year. I'm not sure where 2008 went. In fact, I'm not sure where the month of December went, but I'm ushering in the New Year and a New Month with anticipation.

I've made a few goals for the new year. Nothing exciting or huge, just little incremental changes I'd like to see in myself. I'm being realistic about my time and commitment and about where I can make changes that will impact my life and those around me.

The most life affirming goal I've set is that I've signed up on Beth Moore's Living Prof Blog to memorize two scriptures a month. Not a lofty goal, but one that is manageable and less likely to fall by the wayside of kids, activities and other stuff. On the 1st and the 15th of each month, I'm going to start committing to memory a new verse. You choose the verse you want or copy Beth's suggestion. Here is a link to Beth's fabulous blog with more information.

For this first memory verse, I'm going to go basic. Psalm 111: 2-3 NIV
2 Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,and his righteousness endures forever.

My second goal for myself is to listen first without responding. To not jump in with an answer and to be comfortable in the silence. I want to make sure I hear what people are saying and to try to then react with full knowledge, grace, and love. Too often, especially with my own family, I respond before I think. I react without giving it much thought or attention to the feelings of others. I think if I can accomplish this listen first goal, it will greatly impact all my relationships.

My third goal is to enjoy life more. In these tough economic times, with the world in turmoil, I know that God is still in control and His desire is not that we, His people, sit around and worry or toil over what's happening. He has given me a wonderful life; just as it is. I have a great husband, fantastic kids, opportunities to minister to others, and a healthy body and mind. Blessings abundant that I should be enjoying more.

To enjoy life more ....I'm going to tackle tougher craft projects: knitting, scrap booking, decorating on the cheap. I'm going to rest and rejuvenate on Sundays with my family instead of doing chores after church. I'll enjoy more books, less junk TV, more time with the kids and hubby and just enjoy my life.

So welcome 2009. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us this year. As my son would say, "Bring It On". ( I know that "Great are the works of the Lord" and I'm going to ponder them this year...excuse my paraphrase.)