Monday, December 22, 2008

The Storm

Once again, I am up in the "wee sma's" thinking of my upcoming week.

As I sit in front of my computer screen, I can hear the wind howling outside and am so grateful that we are safe and snug and warm in our home. There is a soft quiet throughout the house and the knowledge of my guys sleeping soundly in their beds satisfies me.

I have not been feeling great, there is still so much to do and it looks like we are going to have some trouble getting out of Michigan Wednesday morning because of another snow maker, but the Lord has given me a peace in the midst of the storm.

I had made plans to see my Aunt Friday morning, but with the snow storm and Lance's staff person not coming, I had to cancel. When I talked with her yesterday, she sounded so disappointed that we may not be able get together before I leave. That's when I started to think about what is truly important.
  • The gifts will get wrapped even if I have to wrap them down south.
  • We have enough cookies between my sisters and I, that baking another batch or two won't matter.
  • Dusting and vacuuming my house before we leave isn't important, even if my dear mother-in-law will be bringing in our mail.
  • That racing to leave at a certain time isn't as important as visiting an Aunt that I love and a dear friend who had surgery.
  • Calling my Dad and telling him I love him, even though I am still so hurt by his actions.

As I ponder all of this, I began to think about what I can give to Jesus for His birthday?

To make each moment count, to share His love with others as He would share it and to give of myself. I don't need to "do" all these other things, I need to experience peace only He can give and to be...

Besides, what would be better in a house full of laughing children, barking dogs and family all talking at once? An oven full of Chai cookies baked with the cardamom Phil is sending me, that way they will be fresh and eaten immediately, instead of sitting in a cold car that has traveled in snow and rain for 15 hours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Early in the Morning

It is five in the morning and I have been awake since three.

I have been thinking of all the things that need to be done before Christmas and it kept me awake. I didn't want to wake the guys, so I decided not to do anything around the house.

I couldn't ask for a better time to spend with the Lord. We sat together and I chit chatted about my worries. I shared how hard it is this time of year without my mom. We read His word together and just sat in Communion.

He brings me peace. He brings me comfort. He brings me hope. He gives me balance.

I need Him...

Yes, it was a blessing that I couldn't sleep.

Early mornings...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Five Minutes of Blog Time

So I literally only have about five minutes and I wanted to keep everyone in the loop.

Lance's birthday was yesterday, our little miracle turned 23. We celebrated with his Grandparents. They had pizza, Parmesan sticks and salad, boy do they know our Lance, that is his favorite meal and he could eat it three times a day. They also gave him the perfect gift, a gift card to Blockbuster's.

I had a crazy weekend last week and it looks like it will be the same this weekend. I have been working at the Disney Store and lots, I mean lots, of parents are coming in to take advantage of the holiday sales.

Oliver and I have been working very hard with his training. It is going quite well, thank you Lord!

I want to bake some more and finish my shopping over the next few days, but we will see what happens.

I have trying to make a family calendar for my father and that has been going so slow, I guess I will need to put some overtime into the project.

We have been praying for all the people who have been affected by the auto industry collapse, it is devastating our area.

My five minutes are up and I have to change for work. Blessings to you all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tentative Victory

I met with the trainer today.

It is so amazing when we get to see the giftings of people in action. Karen is incredible with dogs, not only does she come to your home if you need her to, but she takes in the hardest to handle and puts them through boot camp. I, on the other hand, am just plain afraid of the smallest of God's creatures.

She tested an e-collar with my little Pocket Beagle and wallah!!!, I think we have it. Oliver reacted the way he was suppose to. He growled at me when I got too close to his food bowl and Karen gave him a little tick and he pulled away immediately. After three tries, he let me put my hand in the dish while he still had food. YES!!! Once we got home, I let him out without his lead and he tried to sneak under the fence and all it took was one little prod and he no longer tried to get out of the yard. It's working!!

She told me that our little Oliver is very smart and really very sweet, he just needs to let go of wanting to be the one in control.

So obviously God is, not so very subtly, trying to use this lesson to teach me about not wanting to relinquish my control to Him. Why does He have use little prods on me? Am I that stubborn? How long will it take for me to let go?

I think Oliver is much brighter than I am.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


So it has come to this...

I am worn out every night, my blood pressure has gone through the roof and I am at my wits end.


He still is the cutest little doggie, but there is this streak... I have written about it in earlier posts. He doesn't like to be alone, EVER! So he whines and barks. He has nearly taken off a finger or two if I get too close while he is eating. He was trained not to go up to the second floor, but now he will not stay down if I am up. If I put him behind the gate, he carries on for what seems like hours (I am sure it is only 15 or 20 min. but it seems like hours). He is still having accidents on the floors and carpet. He jumps up on people when they stop in. Blah, blah, blah...

Kevin has said if these things don't improve soon, he's gone. (The dog, not Kevin)

I finally called the trainer I spent hundreds of dollars on when Oliver was only 11 weeks old. We talked for a while and this is what she said...Oliver is a very dominant dog (which she suspected way back when) and these behaviors will not go away on their own, they will only worsen.

So now I have a dilemma, spend more money or give the little monster away.

Karen was great and knows that money is tight for us, so she made a few suggestions and even volunteered to work free of charge for one afternoon. I am thanking God she had pity on me and is willing to help me out.

We are planning on taking the little guy with us for our Christmas trip to visit our daughters and they have three dogs between them. So there will be four dogs together for a week. I need to see an improvement with Oliver in the next two weeks.

Oh, by the way, there will be seven kids running around as well...

I guess I need to get my blood pressure medication refilled, have my checkbook ready and start praying for patience.

What is the old saying...never pray for patience? Hummm...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making a List and Checking all Day Long

This morning I had to make a list of the things I want to accomplish today...

Mix up a batch of cookies, put in fridge
Make beds
Wash wood floors
Vacuum all carpets
Dust the furniture
Bake the cookies
Go buy some chewies for Oliver
Pull out some more Christmas decorations (to be put up at a later time)
Put together the casserole for dinner
Do a couple of loads of laundry
Cook the casserole
Clean up kitchen
Get Lance ready for PT
Help Lance with PT
Relax and watch Biggest Loser Families
Make lunches for tomorrow
Go to bed

The funny thing is, I use to hate lists...really, really hated them. Kevin has always loved them, he does everything with lists. I always prided myself on being able to remember everything without making one. Well, three children, thirty one years of marriage, and a host of other distractions later, I cannot do anything without a list.

Without a list I get distracted and won't accomplish anything. Literally! I have to check off the item that I have finished and move on.

So this is my list for today and hopefully I will not have any of these items crossover to tomorrow's list.

Oh...I forgot to add blog to my list and now I am already behind. Go figure.

Noel Cookie Gems

I made these cookies last weekend for work and had tons of compliments and requests for the recipe. They are lighter in color and texture than their counterparts and freeze very well. I will bake a batch and put them into the freezer for the holidays.

Makes three dozen
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/3 cup seedless strawberry or raspberry jam

In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. beating well after each addition. Shape into 1-1/4-in. balls; roll in nuts.

Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Using your finger make a 3/8 to 1/2 in deep indentation in the center of each ball. Fill with jam.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks.