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Friday, December 31, 2010

FIRE!! and the reluctant house guest

I was awakened in the night by a desperate plea for help......................

Two fires had roared in both our wood stoves last night as the bitter cold brought the thermometer to his knees displaying an astounding 20 below zero. Safe and snug in my bed, I was sleeping peacefully in the strong, capable arms of my beloved. Suddenly, a shrill ring interrrupted the serenity of the night. I rolled over again for the 3rd time. "Why won't that phone quit ringing?!" I wondered. I had already turned down a day shift for today - yesterday and I imagined that maybe the message didn't get passed down. After what seemed like an eternity of ringing, my husband drug his carcass out of the bed and stumbled out to get the phone. Two different lines were simultaneously ringing in. I knew this couldn't be good. A bad feeling settled in the pit of my stomach and I braced myself saying "hello" all the while wondering what kind of Emergency I might be plunging into on this bitter cold night.
"Do you have a pumper truck?" asked a desperate voice on the line. It was the new bride and her house was on fire. Her husband had awakened to seeing sparks on the ceiling, miraculously. After seeing her to safety, he, soon along with the help of their extended family began fighting the flames themselves. They don't have running water there, so it had to be painstakingly hauled in buckets from the house near by. In the relentless cold, the fire radios had some how gone down. No one had responded to the 911 call. I promised her that I would make sure the fire department would respond and gave her my word that I would personally start making phone calls. My husband and son threw on their yellow Nomex and headed out the door. Before long, I had located a few people who had mostly already been called and even jostled out of bed by neighbors. It was a 45 minute drive to the fire department alone, and then to the house. Hope for any structure with those kinds of distances and times is slim. Thankfully, the family had gotten the fire out before they arrived. Mostly, they hosed inches of water onto the roof and tore down chunks of sheet rock. The bitter cold froze water in its hoses as the men tried to draft and prevented several from even starting their trucks to get to the fire. After the men finished, the family began the difficult task of sorting through waterlogged belongings.
A rather unusual house guest has come to visit. My husband agreed to...er... baby sit a pug so his parents could go on a cruise. At first I didn't know what to think of the idea of sharing my home with the odd looking creature. But his mother came bearing chocolate, so my heart softened a little to the creatures odd looking features.... My husband and children are quite taken with the beast and are surrounding it watching as it makes odd snorting sounds. Earlier today, Art Dog was told to put "a coat, mittens and ear muffs on him" before taking him out to pee. After putting the coat on, he looked around for the mutts accessories (it was just the coat). Then my daughter showed him a drawer full of steak that the parents had sent along telling him that it was the dog's meals. Really, the steak was a gift for us, but by then Art Dog didn't know what to think. Though the pug appeared rather reluctant at the idea of staying, he seems to be enjoying his place in the center of every ones attention.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chillen' Wit My Home Boy "B"

Its been a week of ups and downs. It started with me working on-off-on-off-on (12 hour nights mind you) and then finally I got some days off in a row. I'm slowly emerging from the thick fog that had enveloped me. The children seem no worse for the wear other than a mounting load of laundry, and the fact that I am wearing a pair of running pants because nothing else is clean.
My brother-in-law, also known as "The Ninja" and "Uncle Hat" loaned me this incredible cheese cake recipe which I have constructed and is currently in the refrigerator cooling to optimum temperature. The Sock Fashion Expert made a lovely huckleberry sauce anticipating its near arrival to the table. Since I am gearing up for a big start on the New Year, I figured I'd better get ideas of that cheese cake out of my system :-) I'm thinking on doing "365 days of sit ups/other abd work" starting on Jan 1.
Yesterday started out really stressfull. Super Catman was in tears because the corner of his brace had burrowed its way into the roof of his mouth causing a big sore there. We couldn't just leave it there digging in and the Orthodontist was not only 5 hours away, but inaccessable as he is "out of state visiting family". It wasn't something that could wait and so my husband tried bending it a little to get it from digging into his flesh. In the process, the whole thing popped off his back tooth. I was sick to my stomach imagining a livid Orthodontist. Surgeons are infamous for their testy behavior when their work is interfered with. They are so abominable, in fact, that no Doctor will touch another's work for fear of invoking the full force of their fury. Fearful in my mind that another specialist might be the same way, my mind began reeling and I thought I might throw up. It was one of those "no win" situations. In the end, my husband some how got the brace back on, but it is a bit crooked looking. That whole thing just set me off. I was nervous and edgy the whole day rehearsing what I could possibly tell the Dr. come Monday. Worse yet, I am hoping it doesn't mean another trip there this coming week. That would be terrible.

Once I get that way, it just seems to go down hill. I chat nervously and incessantly and end up saying the wrong thing. Before the end of the day I had sufficiently done irreversible damage. Its just so hard starting over trying to be a good wife and mom when I get myself into trouble oh so often. Thank heaven there is "Vitamin B". That seems to mellow me out some. That and cheese cake - LOL!!
Hmmm.... maybe another New Years Resolution will be saying supportive things to my husband and kids.... yeah, that sounds like a good one!! Maybe I will blog 365 days of abd work on my fitness blog and try 365 days of affirmations on this one :-) Maybe that's getting too complicated. I don't know.
I got a good ski in. The kids got school finished. I made pizza for lunch and tacos for dinner. Okay, today was more productive. I guess the horrors of yesterday are through now and today I'm Chillen' Wit My Home Boy "B". That infamous PamelaMichelleSarah seems to be planning a visit.
What ARE YOUR New Year Resolutions? Please Share them!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

03:52 AM

Here are a few posts from my other blog.

Our Carbon Copies (AKA Kids)
(Self Explanatory Title)

Merry Christmas, Have Some Fudge
(Don't beat yourself up for a little holiday eating)
(My recent injury, though i'm much better now)
Just thought I'd link back to them as my new blog is a month old today :-) I always swore (well since I started my first one) that I'd never be one of those people who had more than one blog. Hopefully I won't get myself into too much trouble with it.
The Dreadful Dead Deer Drama LIVES ON since my husband said that there actually was damage to the truck. I suppose the violin sound it was making wasn't normal. Maybe I was just wishfully thinking that it was all okay. Yesterday, I had to tell the insurance lady the whole exciting story over the phone. She didn't seem all that impressed with my animated story telling effects, though she approved the first phase of the claim. Now we have to take it in to get an estimate. If i'm lucky, maybe I can get to a second hand store or even steal away a few hours with my husband.
I made some business calls for my husbands new idea yesterday as well. Most of the banks want 20-25% down on business loans - UGH! Well, as always, if its a God thing, which I believe it is, a window of opportunity will surface somewhere, even if it only cracks.......
Until next time, I will be working on my New Years Goals. What will you be doing?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and The Dreadful Dead Deer Drama

Allot Going On!! Sock Fashion Expert is picking up, Art Dog Spent HOURS putting together Moonbeam's "Tinker Bell Cafe", Moonbeam Fighting Him for The Parts, Stockings, Gifts Every Where!

This Morning Moonbeam couldn't wait to get out of bed!! She ran straight to her Tinker Bell Cafe and cooked us all breakfast ;-)

The Boys tried out a little ice fishing Christmas Afternoon while Moonbeam napped with Archer Baby Sitting, SFE Hiked and................

While Kevin and I took a Snow Mobile Ride :-)

Thanks Everybody for your encouragement. I was a little melancholy with that last post ;-) Last Night The Sock Fashion Expert whipped up an incredible dinner of pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, corn and peas and even cherry and plum pies!! Whoever marries that girl will be a happy man ;-) I'm so blessed to have such a virtuous young woman in my home!! She even surprised us with home made peanut butter cups she'd had hidden away, right before my husband read us Patrick McMannus's "Christmas Goose" and she read from Luke 2.
Surprisingly, the boys all preferred to play with Moonbeam and her "Tinker Bell Cafe" than play with their own Christmas stuff this morning. Miss Moonbeam, following in her big sisters steps, cooked us all "breakfast". It was a peaceful day.
On my way to work, I listened to corny Christmas carols on the radio. Just as I made it past the state line, a deer, like a bat out of hell came bowling out in front of my truck. I slammed on my brakes, but Bam!! I backed up to go check on it. I found her right away because there was this crazy fur flying all over the road. Not 10 feet from where she lay was another deer's gut pile. I would have ended her suffering, but upon investigation, she died with the impact. I looked over the truck and it seemed okay. Just when i was thinking of a scary movie I saw about a dead deer, a car full of drunk people stopped by. They seemed nice enough, but it always creeps me out meeting drunk strangers in the dark next to dead deer - lol. Cautiously, I rolled down the window to tell them I was fine. Over and over they kept asking me the same questions. My mind raced back to the scary movie. There were no drunk people in the scary movie, only creepy poky things that got animals and people. I eyed the nearest drunk lady for poky things. She didn't seem to have any. I still found myself wishing they would pull away, as they had boxed me in. A drunk lady was trying to relay my responses to the driver who couldn't understand what she was saying because she was profoundly slurring her words. This went on and on until I began to think the poky things might be better than the drunk people, but eventually they did leave. Really, it was nice of them to stop. Thankfully, I made it to work safely and thankfully some one had neglected to eat the last piece of Ed's Fudge. I guess that's about it :-) I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Working Mom Blues and Another Year of Holiday Cheer

I didn’t get as many wreaths made as I originally intended to. Usually by now, I’ve given them to all the nurses and some of the Doctors I work with, mail/UPS persons, etc . I never made any Christmas cookies, (but the Sock Fashion Expert did). I didn’t ever get the Christmas cards hung on the wall like I usually do. I haven’t even managed to organize myself enough to buy presents for anyone except for the kids. I’m planning to do that some time in January. That is a good start to my confession of not being ready for Christmas.
Last year, I worked Christmas, and it was a really unusual day for me. I blogged about it and then I deleted it because my husband suggested that not everybody who reads my blog would understand. Its shaping out to be another one of those kind of Christmas’s for me already. I can feel it. For some reason, I just can’t do things like normal people do.
Just like last year, I’m working yet another 12 hour Emergency Room night shift. I’m working tonight too which really breaks up the holiday. I worked Thanksgiving and I’m working New Years. Its an odd way to live - working the times most people are off, celebrating with their families.
The power was out at home, and I drove through a darkened country side. It was quiet, still and cold. I felt dreary and gloomy. My snugly husband and kids were far away now. As I drove to work I tried to think of things that would cheer me up. Its really not so bad – I should be grateful I was able to pick up a shift this pay period, since I hadn’t had any yet. Not only that, I get to give a nurse an extra day with her only child who she only sees once a year. “You probably have your yearly hospital gift card there” I reminded myself. Soon I was thinking of all kinds of ways to spend the cash. Hmmm….. I could buy a special dinner to surprise my family with. I could buy MYSELF cool stuff  How about my husband? Yeah, he deserves something good. On and on I thought as I drove closer and closer. Soon I was in cell service and catching up with my sister feeling a bit more cheery.
It wasn’t long before I’d gotten to the hospital and before I greedily tore into that envelope, disgusted there were no plates of cookies laying around. I stuffed the gift card into my purse and went on with my shift. To my great fortune (or maybe to Miss Belly Fat's), a big bowl of fudge miraculously appeared. Life in the Emergency Room over the holiday season is anything but mundane. It seems to intensify the best and the worst in humanity. Depression, heartache, family dynamics, failing finances due to a failing economy all find their way in. At the same time, giving, loving, joyful people can be found, excited about the Holiday season. I wish someday, that I could write about so many souls who have crossed my path, but of course I can’t. I can’t tell about the hurts and pains. I can’t tell about life and death. I’m bound by confidentiality never to tell the heart wrenching stories of terrible terrible sadness or miraculous, incredible victories that would bring tears of joy to your eyes. Sufficient to say, within me are many stories crying out to be told of which I may never tell.
It wasn’t long before I was busy. It also wasn’t long before that still small voice claimed my gift card for somebody who needed it much much more. I stalled, imagining that I was missing God, but I knew all too well I wasn’t. Grieving that still small voice is never worth doing what I want and so my gift card left, clutched in the hands of a person who knew more poverty, suffering and anguish than I could probably imagine.
What is Christmas really about anyway? Is it reading The Christmas story or a candle light church service? Is it safe at home with your family with a Christmas tree, a turkey and presents? Is it holiday cheer? Giving? The Nativity Scene? No, I guess that I am cursed and blessed with never being able to be like everybody else. I’m the one who forgets to make cookies and doesn’t get everybody’s presents until January sales. I’m the one who says “goodbye” to her children on Christmas Day and the one who hasn’t even planned out a holiday meal. I’m the one judged by those who say a woman’s place is in her home and others who don’t understand why I don’t work more. Some how, though, Christmas reveals Himself in me and Holiday Cheer can be found in a Doctors crazy light up Santa Hat, evil delicious fudge and a smile from the destitute.

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daddy's Angel

Daddy's Little Angel

Check Out Our Super Catman's New Braces!! No, the Orthodontist didn't punch him to keep him still ;-) He and Sock Fashion Expert had a harrowing sledding experience the day before.

There were a lot of significant things that happened this week. One, Super Catman got his braces. Two, a truly significant break through happened in our family.

Three, I got to meet my new friend and Kindred Spirit Mama Bug - check out Mama Bugs Blog She is such an incredibly gifted artist. She's a virtuous mother and wife. She's for sure a treasure of depth and conviction that few can match :-) It was so much fun to meet a bloggie buddy!! We had coffee today in town and she blessed us with a big bag full of dresses for Moonbeam and other treasures along with some of her artwork. In the pictures above, Moonbeam's dress, beads, bench and bear all came from generous Mama Bug :-) I'm so looking forward to developing our new friendship.

Even more than that, maybe five or six things happened. It was for sure "a God sighting week".

The trip to the orthodontist was quite an interesting one. I dressed Moonbeam in her cute green velvet Christmas sweat suit with pretty candy canes and snowflakes on it after her bath. She loves pointing out the candy each time she wears it. We loaded into the car. After the 5 hour drive, we jammed in an hour of Christmas shopping at Walmart. That was a marathon in itself. Then the hour and a half at the Orthodontist. I managed to grab some stuff and Wendy's and we scarfed down some frosties and burgers while running to the next store. It was about that time that the horrible terrible trouble happened. We had all been smelling a bad odor. Sock Fashion Expert changed a wet Moonbeam. Super Catman claimed responsibility for the uh...wind. My husband dropped us off at Target. Something still smelled. I frowned at Catman. We made our way into the store. I put Moonbeam into the cart and began pushing it deep into the clothing section. That's when I noticed something brown on my hand. It smelled. Then I looked at my sleeve. There was something brown all up the arm of my coat. My stomach lurched. Ever-so-slowly, I crept around the side of the shopping cart (please imagine back ground horror music) to look at Moonbeams back side. She looked up at me and said "Moona Did A Poona". She sure did!! Hoping not to attract any attention, I slid my coat off, turning it inside out and phoned my husband begging him to HURRY BACK NOW!! Miss Moona returned home with a beautiful new fluffy princess coat, minus one green velvet sweat suit. I, donned with a new ski jacket. I'd eyed them both at Costco before before but hadn't wanted to spend money frivolously. On the way home, I was marvelling at how we'd found so many things for the children's Christmas in such a short time. I was feeling thankful for the new coats, the groceries, the braces, and everything else. We stopped at a little grocery store half way home for a few other items and amazingly, the sled I'd wanted to get Super Catman was there in front of me at the check out line. It was another item I'd searched hard for. None of the big stores had had any. Again, I marvelled at God's great provision.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Church Christmas Program AND Give Away Winner

Sock Fashion Expert and Archer Sang "Sweet Little Jesus Child"

Super Catman recited Luke 2 with the other kids. He had his own verse memorized and did it well.

Moonbeam remained unimpressed with this little boy's affectionate advances.

Today was our church Christmas program. The Archer and The Sock Fashion Expert played and sang "Sweet Little Jesus Child". They did such a great job!! I was so proud!! I thought I was recording them and planned to put the song up but all I got was a second clip by accident :-( I got a new camera and haven't gotten it all figured out yet. I did capture them practicing from behind last night, which sounded beautiful but it would look weird to put that up.
Super Catman was a part of the kids reading from Luke 2. He recited by memory "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field watching their flocks by night." He did real good too :-) As we settled in to listen to the speaker, a rather unpleasant odor wafted in my direction. I crinkled up my nose. I began feeling trapped in a group of people, assaulted with an odorous aroma. I shifted a little, imagining my entire family wearing gas masks and pondering whether or not there were any germs in inhaled flatulence. I distracted Moonbeam with her stuffed tiger and my red, shimmery scarf. On and on she laughed and somebody thanked God for happy children. Just when I started to settle in, the offensive odor began wafting in again, this time stronger. Oh the agony. "That's it!" I thought to myself, time to play "the baby is getting restless out maneuver". I picked up Moonbeam and the diaper bag and began making my way to the back of the building. Before I knew it, I was sitting in back with the baby, smiling about how I'd eluded the terrible smell. Just then it wafted up to my nostrils again. I groaned silently, looking in the back of Moonbeams diaper. Nothing there, but it was not long before there was. Who would have thought?!

The rest of the service was uneventful - then communion - then a big pot luck dinner. It was also a 50th birthday party and so afterward there were games with cake and ice cream. That was all well and fun except for a strange man who insisted on kissing Moonbeam which was a little disturbing to her rather protective siblings. Also, there was a small boy who chased her around wanting to give her a hug. That was kind of cute, but she was rather perturbed about the whole ordeal.

BTW BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Sturberry who won the Porcupine Quill Jewelry Give Away!! It will go out in the mail on Tuesday :-)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Somebody Stop The PACK RAT!!

Archers 1st Birthday Stuff (I later dug some of it back out)!

Audios to Letters from Old Beaus

After While Crocodile to Christmas Cards and multiple copies of the same dance program for a recital I was in.

After while Crocodile to more cards and Archers baby shower bows

I said "goodbye" to all these guys a long time ago for SOMEBODY MUCH BETTER!! SO GLAD for the choice i made!! I picked the best one ;-)

Good Bye to : Balloons from one of my boys birth, a moldy birth certificate I made for one of my dolls, a blanket I started crocheting for "a future baby I might have someday". Covering from the Mennonite school I attended for a few months.

More stuff thrown - fan from Bible camp, lock from my first locker, favorite bookmarks, sucker ring minus the sucker from a boy but i don't know who!! Excess copies of my prom program.

Misc trash - extra copies of my college graduation program, VERY MOLDY wedding guest book, pg 4 from an old beau - ugh!!

How I stored my "memories"

The can rolled on my back when I was in back labor with one of the older kids.

This blog post represents the end to an era. Its the era of my horrible, terrible, compulsive trait of SAVING EVERYTHING!! After my kids cleaned out the closet week before last, they assigned me the task of "dealing" with my "memory boxes". These boxes have travelled from house to house, move to move until they began and continued to fall apart. Water damage and mold had gotten into them, yet I stubbornly refused to throw any of the stuff away, instead, stuffing them away in a corner for "another time". I knew I had a problem, but I just couldn't bring myself to going through the masses of papers and artifacts I'd been hauling around since childhood. The boxes sat in the middle of my room until one day, that still small voice prodded me toward them.

In an instant, I knew why I dreaded them so very much. It wasn't just the mold, or the messes of papers and cards. It was in part, the past I'd lived- that for some unknown compulsive reason, I insisted on dragging along with me. Some of those things would have been better left buried in the trash long ago.

The first thing I surrendered was the pop can that everybody took turns rolling on my back when I had back labor with one of the oldest kids. I couldn't throw it away myself, I let my husband put it in the recycle bag. Next it was some old Christmas cards from the 1990's. Next, I opened a big bag of pictures. I started panicking! There were a lot of pictures of me with old boyfriends. Why on earth would I have saved that stuff?! At first I shoved it all into a Manila envelope, and went on, but my still small voice prodded me on. "Why would you save those?" I had no idea. Just looking at them overwhelmed me. The whole pile of mess overwhelmed me. I escaped out for a walk and formulated a plan. When I got back, I went through the pictures again and weeded out old boyfriends and non appropriate ones. It felt good. I no longer felt overwhelmed. Next time I look into the envelope I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed. I felt good about putting it away. Next it was the Christmas cards from 1992. Then my oldest son's 1st birthday party cards and decorations. Then I took some of the cards back out of the trash. It was a process trying to weed through it all.

I found about everything you could imagine - a valentine from my Kindergarten teacher, dance recital programs from my childhood, old love letters from boys I didn't even remember, baby shower items, cards from Christmas - birthdays - graduations - thinking of you!! I found notes I passed in school, favorite book marks from books I read ( I was a big reader as a child), even a lot of old reports I'd written. Oh it was fun but at the same time hard to know what to keep and what to throw away. In the end, I threw away the moldiest, but still saved some. I threw away all the "other boy" stuff. I threw away most of the Christmas cards. I just couldn't resist saving my "sweet 16 cards".

I also looked up some of the old girl friends on face book for fun. Maybe I'll get better about keeping in touch. I went to a lot of different schools, so it was hard to hold on to special friends for long. Its funny looking back at all those old notes. I could definitely see a war going on for my heart. Not in the romantic sense either, though I did throw away a ton of letters from suitors. Some girl friends I chose were true, with deep character and integrity. Others just wanted to hit the next party with me. A few girls wrote me many many letters trying to persuade me to live for God. I was just laughing over one where I had been suspended for skipping school and the friend told me that it was okay to make mistakes but I needed to consider my example for God to others. I can see now, even more clearly that there were a lot more people praying for me than I ever realized. No wonder why I always felt convicted when I ran around and lived wild. Looking back, that part was good to see. I don't want to throw away who I was, because its why I am who I am. I just wanted to throw away things not necessary to drag up. I'm glad I did. I feel better about the boxes now and I won't dread them next time I decide to go through them and sort more.

All in all it was productive even though it took me a day and a half to get it "sorted" through if you could at all call it that. It was hard to throw sentimental stuff away so I decided to take pictures of some of it and blog as a sort of "farewell" to my era of pack-rat-hood. What do you guys do with all your "stuff"? Do you still have valentines from your Kindergarten teacher?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perspectives in Christmas Spirit

Super Catman's Last Week of Having "The Funny Front Tooth" Here he is trying to impress me.
Last Night He Got To Hold Baby for The First Time
Moonbeam "Shopping with WallyPop" and Sister

My Husband Traded Mechanical Work and Some Stuff for a SNO-MOBILE!! VROOM VROOM!! He got it running here and is offering the boys a first ride!

"Shopping with WollyPop" Moonbeam said proudly as her sister guided her through the parking lot, furiously sucking the "wollypop" the bank lady had given her. As we began looking at clothes, Moonbeam heard a lady point and say "cute" to her friend. Moonbeam pointed to her own pants and told me "cute pants". Soon I was taking her down the toy aisles where, wide eyed, she gawked at row after row of dolls. She recognized Strawberry Shortcake from the cartoon. Then she pointed to a glittery doll and said "put some sparkle on". She loved it!! After that, we went to the Christmas decoration section where she took in all the pretty lights and glimmer. Even though I didn't have much money to spend, it was a lot of fun just enjoying Moonbeam enjoying the merchandise.
We had driven 5 hours to the big city where Super Catman was to get preliminary work done for braces next week. Part of me dreaded the appointment. I really really like the Orthodontist. He seemed to be a good, Godly man with conviction, something quite rare these days. Its that every time I walk into a clinic of any kind, I have this fear of being judged. Nobody does anything rude most of the time. Its mainly me. I've worked in health care related jobs since I was 16. I've heard attitudes of different health care workers over the years. I understand that they're frustrated with all the taxes they have to pay. We all see people who abuse the health care system who don't have to pay for it and it is frustrating. All that is true. Having my kids be a part of the state system, just makes me sensitive to the fact that now I'm the one who might be judged.
The clinic seemed quiet. Nobody came to the desk to acknowledge us. They were still on their lunch break. Finally, a lady came and had me sign some papers. Nervously, I brewed myself some of the fancy coffee that was in the waiting area. In my imagination, I could see somebody telling me it wasn't for HMK patients - lol!! I sat quietly with my head down looking at a magazine. Sock Fashion Expert sat quietly reading a magazine. Moonbeam grabbed a glass mug. I told her to put it back. Again, my over active imagination took over. What is the front desk lady thinking?! "Some welfare lady with a bunch of unruly hillbilly kids comes barging into this ritzy office and upsets all their fancy stuff." "Stop it!" I chided myself. Then I remembered that I had made wreaths for the Orthodontist and his staff. Fear gripped me. I felt frozen to the seat. Why I go through this, I just don't know. Slowly, and patiently, the voice of conviction told me to bring the wreaths in. I asked the front desk lady every body's names. She told me as I wrote them down - 5 to be exact. That was just how many wreaths I'd made. Then I stuffed each Christmas card into their respective envelope and each wreath into a big plastic bag. I borrowed the stapler and stapled a card to each bag. I kept fighting the fear the whole time. Moonbeam was fussing again and Sock Fashion Expert took her out to the car for the diaper bag.
Then I gave the front desk lady the wreaths and thanked her for all the good care Super Catman would be getting. I really am grateful that they took his case. As a nurse, I understand that HMK pays what they pay. I doubt they probably pay what the Orthodontist could charge. Not many Orthodontists take HMK. That's why we had to drive 5 hours to get there. Of course I didn't say all of that, I just said "thanks for all the good care". The Lady's face changed. She couldn't believe that I would make wreaths for them. Soon the entire staff was going on and on about how nice the wreaths were. The Orthodontist came out to personally thank me for "being a light" to his staff. I suddenly felt a little embarrassed, but happy. I was glad everybody was so happy. "People just don't do this sort of thing" the front desk lady said. I had gotten a similar response when I did the same thing for the dental people last week when I got Super Catman's cavities fixed. I don't think clinic workers feel very appreciated. Probably a lot of people are ungrateful and rude. Showing appreciation elicited a response I wasn't at all expecting. The front desk lady even came out to hug me before I left. I just couldn't believe it. I went from being paranoid about being judged to being the reason for an office full of joyful people. It felt good.
I tried hard to have a good attitude about shopping the rest of the day. The dollar sandwiches are Arby's were disgusting. Everything seemed expensive and I didn't end up buying any Christmas presents at all. I got minimal groceries at Costco. I wondered how I would ever come up with nice presents for all my kids, but I still felt good for making somebody else happy. Moonbeam had a good time in town. Sock Fashion Expert seemed happy. My husband joked about us being "white trash" and I got mad and yelled at him. All in all it was a pretty good day. Maybe I'm closer to being ready for Christmas than I think I am.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Christmas Bear

In recent news, a diabolical villain busted into Super Catman's creature making program file and surnamed all his creations "Artsy Fartsy". No terrorist group (or siblings) have taken credit for this crime.

Art Dog announced to me that he had an idea for making "the perfect Christmas gift". He is planning to "Brain tan" a weasel hide. "Who wouldn't want a brain tanned weasel hide?" he asked me............

Yesterday, Super Catman got his cavities fixed, sealant on, and is now all caught up with the dentist. He's now ready for next weeks orthodontist appointment. I am still amazed and thankful that his braces were approved. Art Dog got his teeth cleaned and checked but didn't have any cavities.
After that we ran a gazillion errands. I am amazed the boys were so patient. They even gallantly loaned me their spare dollars at the laundromat until I made it to the bank that day. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is asking for dollars from your kids in front of the laundry service worker because you don't have ANY cash?!? There they were doleing out dollars to their disorganized mother - lol!! The same thing happened at the second hand store when I was $2 over my credit there. The most frustrating part of the whole thing was not that I looked like a horrible mother, but that I spent HOURS getting ready for the trip the day before. I had a box for the consignment store, 2 boxes to donate to the thrift store, movie returns to a friend, Christmas letters and wreaths for some of the nice clinic people, lists, mail, etc. etc.. I had even loaded some of the stuff into the transport truck the night before. Then I go looking like a chump scabbing dollars off my boys the next day in public. Oh the agony!! Well anyway, I did pay them back :-) Now that you have laughed sufficiently at my horrible confession, I will leave you will a recent work of art by Art Dog :

The Christmas Bear
One day in a land far, far away, there was a sleeping bear deep in his cave. Then something strange happened, just a hint in the air. Something so pleasant even a bear might care. Something in the air shook all his hair. So he huffed then he puffed. Then he stood up on hinds to sniff another whiff. Now it was clear, something was near. What he did not hear. He had to know so he headed off through the deep snow.
He then found a house, in it were colorful lights on a big bushy tree. Surely some event. Then he started to walk on, then something made that big old bear freeze in his tracks, he heard some one say Christmas! Surely this was it! He jumped for joy! How he knew we may never know. Every year on out he wakes up for Christmas. So he called him self "Christmas Bear".
Not only was he Christmas Bear. He was also "Santa Bear"! Every Christmas he tip toed into every bears den and left a present, on it would be a note that read; "Merry late Christmas". For Example "To: Pooh From Christmas Bear". To some he gave a picnic basket to others he gave honey and to others he gave books, but that is the story of Christmas Bear!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Divine Inspiration

Most of the major things we do are completely out of character for ourselves. It started almost from the beginning of time and just kept on going. As a young girl, I had no plans of marriage or children, in fact I'd planned otherwise - lol. I was also planning to be the first woman president ;-) As a teen I had the idea of playing the field, then I met my husband at 16. In our 20's we planned on going our own way with careers and dreams, then we decided to follow God and ended up doing years of ministry work. Just when we thought we'd stay at what we were doing forever, we moved to Montana. When we planned to keep doing ministry work, God opened the door for us to start a wild land fire fighting company and suddenly we were cutting edge entrepreneurs in a brand new specialized field of service. We never planned on missionary work, but it happened. We never planned on a big family, but every time we decided we wanted another one and we love every minute of them all. I could go on and on and on about how every time I think things should be going a certain way, they change, but it would be useless, you get the point. Just when we get comfortable or think we're headed one way, God seems to turn us yet a different direction. People look at us and scratch their heads. Sometimes I wonder, but in the end I am laughing. Serving God is exciting that way. Its as Steven Curtis Chapman once said "This is the Great Adventure". If you haven't tried it, you should. You'd never be the same. Life would go from boring to extreme and worry and sorrow would be replaced with peace and joy. Anyway, I wasn't wanting to preach or anything, I was just expressing myself, kind of like Moonbeam here in the picture.
Lately we've been thinking about doing this crazy thing that is completely out of character again and I have ZERO desire to do it. Then theres this crazy excitement in me wondering if its really Gods plan. Hoping it isn't, but wondering how awesome it could be if it really is? Mixed emotions - joy, terror, dread and giddiness all mixed up, but still pouting over Hawaii a little too ;-) There is just no dispute that when we follow the whispered direction, incredible supernatural occurrences follow. Its almost as if we're in a different plane and there are no regular boundaries. Some how that step of faith and obedience is rewarded in ways we couldn't fathom. That's when the head scratches become the gawking, amazed and even jealous and I am smiling from behind a large shadow covered in feathers again, laughing. Is a plan finally unveiling again?

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (New King James Version)
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Lot of Happy Things!

Snowflake Art Project Today

As you can see, after all our years of fervent prayer, Mist has her miracle :-) Welcome little one!!! What a Special Little Miracle HE is!!

Another happy thing to share is that Super Catman has been approved for his braces!! We are all just thrilled. We have to make 2 December trips far away for them and also get all his cavities fixed prior as well. It also puts the final kibosh on any idea of travel nursing, but that's okay. Its just not God's timing right now I guess.

Theres also been a lot of dreaming in the house lately as my husband spends each day sketching out plans for a secret thing he is seriously praying about undertaking. I probably won't reveal that for a while as it is in "praying about phase". Regardless, he's a brilliant man and when he gets one of his "ideas" going, it excites me. I just can't help it. You just never know what will happen!

Just a little bit ago I was feeling overwhelmed with sadness. A recent community tragedy hit me hard. When it overtook me, I listened to worship and it broke the heavy feeling in the air. Worship music is a good way to escape the clutches of despair. So be happy with me and put on some CHRISTmas music today :-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Community Wreath Making Party

Working at the Wreathing Table

SFE and Co

Miss Minnies Wreath

Giving some instruction on cutting

Bow Making Lady Giant Womens Club Wreath

On a cold snowy morning, The Sock Fashion Expert and I packed up the chained 4wd truck and made our way down the steep, slippery driveway only to move it all into the other truck waiting below. It was the day of the 2nd Annual Women's Community Wreathing Party. Slowly, I drove down the slick, snowy roads, not wanting to end up in the ravine below. As we arrived at the community center, I saw a truck driving away. A kind man volunteered to start a fire in there so it would be warm upon our arrival. Sock Fashion Expert and I hauled in my wreathing table followed by rings and other supplies. I parked my truck near the door, as it was filled with a variety of evergreen boughs - enough for anyone who couldn't bring some. Mrs. Nice Lady hugged me and said a prayer for the event. Soon women were arriving with excitement and smiles. Many brought holiday snacks and treats. Sock Fashion Expert made incredible gingerbread cookies with cream cheese and vanilla frosting - yummy :-) Over the next few hours about 18 women clipped boughs and readied them for my wreather. Each took turns bringing them up as I ran them through the wreather. Each women smiled and had a story to tell. Many came up a couple of times since they were making one for somebody who couldn't be there. I loved it that they were thinking of others. Then we made a giant one for the local women's club to sell at a bizarre. That felt good too. As Christmas Worship softly played and I made contact with each lady, I couldn't help but feel joy in the fact that I had something good and worthy of sharing with others. At the end of the day they presented me with a tip jar to offset the cost of the rings I'd donated. They were very generous. One presented me with a bar of sweet smelling hand made soap. Another shared a loaf of freshly baked banana bread. It was a rewarding day.

Christmas Blog Give Away!!

Allow me to introduce an incredibly talented entrepreneurial woman to you!! Her name is Kiana, and she is generously giving away any set of her hand crafted authentic porcupine quill earrings to one of you lucky readers!! Here's how to enter this give away :
Some time between Dec 1 and Dec 14th, go to her blog Kiana's Kreations and pick out a pair of earrings that you like. Enter a comment on this post telling which set of her porcupine quill earrings you would pick. *For an additional chance to win be a follower of her blog. **For a third chance to win, put up a link to her blog. Must be in the USA to enter this contest