Monday, December 26

Christmas Recap

Do you remember my Christmas to-do list?  Well, I thought I'd give you an update of how it all turned out.

Here's what my original to-do list and what it morphed into.

1 dolly made from mis-mate socks did not happen- was for Shiloh, who loved more than anything her $1 set of water colors.

1 blue linus blanket from the yarn stash (almost done btw) finished and Jenna is currently using it on her bed

2 ruffled fabric scarves for Anne and Belle became two pieces of art.  A horse for Anne and a lighthouse for Belle.

3 fleece beanies  these were for Ashton, Chris, and Jason.  It didn't happen.  Ashton instead got a video game we found on super sale, Chris got a large bag of M&Ms and Jason got a quart of home canned jalapenos since he's not a spicy food officianado.

2 large works of art (made by yours truly) these I remarkable pulled out at the last minute finishing them Christmas Eve.  One for my M-I-L and the other my my own mom.  Then one for my mom will grace my home until she is moved into her new digs in South Dakota in a few weeks.

I also added another piece of artwork at the last minute to my list.  Randall's step-mom, Cheryl, had been away caring for her mother and was not planning on us being able to visit them in NC.  But, as it turned out, her mother quietly slipped onto the other side of the veil just before Christmas and that meant we were able to spend a few days with them just before Christmas.  So, for them I made a painting of the ocean, one of Cheryl's favorite places to be.

And all of this without pictures.  I need to be better about that.  But, I think what warmed my heart this year was the comment Jenna made after what few presents we pulled together for them were all opened Christmas morning.  She said, "Oh , mom!  This was the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!".  I couldn't say it any better myself.


Tuesday, December 13

To say that these last six weeks have been an emotional roller coaster is an understatement.  But, what's more extreme than a roller coaster? A hurricane? A tsunami?  I feel myself slipping into the deep end some days.  I can't see how there could be a miracle coming out of all this.  And feel like questioning what God's plan for me and my family is.  We're standing at a crossroad, or maybe it's more like a fork.  We have two very possible plans for the future.  Job and house here, job and house there and everything hinges on being patient and waiting for someone else to make up their mind before we can follow through and put things into action.  You see, we had decided to move to North Dakota.  Randall can make double the pay he was making here and we could finally afford the house that we need for our family.  And almost as soon as we decided that moving would be our best and only option, a job opportunity here popped up.  And the pay is the similar to what he'd make there.  So, he applied.  It seems like he's a shoe in for it, but we have to wait for the man hiring to go through the applications and choose his candidates.  Which could take a while as the job won't even start until January, so it's not it the urgent pile.  So, we've mapped out on paper, what we'd do if we stay here and what we'd do should we be going elsewhere. And now, were just twiddling our thumbs waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.

Now, my hubs can attest to this, waiting for anything is not my forte.  I hate waiting for even water to boil.  So, my emotions run the gambit from day to day.  I dream about "life A" and I dream about "life B" and I wonder what the Lord has instore for us.  Either way, we'll be moving so I've been packing and praying and hoping that my body won't give out and land me on bed rest for weeks on end with this pregnancy.  Yesterday I packed five boxes, did 3 loads of laundry and took out the trash and by lunch time I had searing pain in my belly and was down for the rest of the day.  So, today is cleaning grandpa's bathroom and doing his laundry and I've enlisted  3 strong children to help with the work...See, I'm learning...I have to give it to them, they buckle down and get to work when it's time; which might be the only way I'm going to make it this time.

Through out the day, I've been praying for peace to enter my heart.  Praying for the stress to melt away and what keeps echoing in my head is the quote "Come what may, and Love it!"  So, right now I'm choosing to find joy in the moment.  I can't control the future, no matter how much I wish that I could.


Monday, December 5

Christmas just got an extra dose of Christ

I'm sure you probably figured that Christmas this year for our growing family is going to be much different than ever before.  We've never had oodles of money so our tree has never been gorged with presents, but we've always managed to buy a few less expensive items on the kids Christmas lists just in time to surprise then Christmas morning.  But, this year, the number on the bank account summary just dwindles with no income in sight.  It's left me grasping for other options for Christmas this year.  Buying anything from the store would put us in a bind and prices no matter how "new" and "low" they are, really add up.  We typically spend about $50 a kid and about $80 on ourselves, including stocking stuffers.  But, as sad as it is to say, we don't have $310 to spend on gifts and that's just with us, that 's not all the extended family here, too.

So, all this to say, I'm initiating an old fashioned Christmas.  A "Christ"mas if you will.  Nothing can be store bought.  Just giving at it's most natural and simplest form.  It all has to be hand made from items around the house and in the garage.  I think my fabric stash and yarn stash are going to get hit pretty hard this year, but what's a years supply of craft items worth if you can't dig into them every once in a while!

Here's what my to-do list looks like this year.
1 dolly made from mis-mate socks
1 blue linus blanket from the yarn stash (almost done btw)
2 ruffled fabric scarves
3 fleece beanies
2 large works of art (made by yours truly)

I'm sure that when I tell the kids all this today, my list will grow exponentially with all the projects I'll be ask to "help" with, too.  But, I'm excited.  It's a challenge that I think might just wake up my creative juices.  They've been hibernating while i whined about Christmas being here already.