Monday, December 31, 2012

Snow Day

Well, it's been snowing here since about 9:30 this morning.

For many of you reading this in different parts of the country, you may think it's no big deal, but you see, it never snows here.  I mean, every couple of years it may snow a bit.  The last time it snowed in our area was the week that Pennie was born.  I remember the mounds of white snow on the ground as I labored. And that was two years ago!

We're thankful for the snow that we get.

The girls went out to build snowmen and Daddy video'd (that's not even a word) them, all the while, he's standing out there under the umbrella to protect the camera! Genius, I tell ya!

I'm looking out the window right now.  It sure is the NW version of a winter wonderland out there.  It's pretty peaceful right now, with Pennie asleep in her cozy little bed and all of the girls out to the store with Daddy.....

I think I'll take a much-needed nap!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas

How was your Christmas?

Ours was so, so much better than I thought it was going to be! It was abundant.  It was beautiful.  It was peaceful.  It was humble.  It was fun.  It was full.  It was unexpected.

One of the highlights of our Christmas Day was that we got to go to a family's house to which we had never been.  It turned out to be so fun and so joyful! We got to tour their house, which is only about 3 minutes from us.  They tore their house apart 5 years ago, literally ripped it down to the studs and did all of the remodel work absolutely 100% themselves.  It was so homey and also so beautifully done.  I simply adore Mrs W and we had a great time talking.....not to mention that the feast they put on for us was AMAZING! Baked pepper ham, roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, sauteed carrots, homemade creamed corn, lovely gravy, and as if that wasn't enough, there was so much more munchie food like my famous cheese ball, spinach dip, ranch and veggies...I mean, that counter top island was GROANING with goodies.  She made some popcorn mixture with white chocolate, marshmallows, M&Ms, peanuts, and pretzels....ooooh, for this girl who doesn't really love sweet stuff, that stuff was incredible! We played Bingo (which I totally bombed at, like usual), the kids played Skip-Bo, and then we watched a movie downstairs in their family room.  In short, it was the perfect day.

Another precious thing was that, unbeknownst to me, Samantha went shopping for me one day and she got me some really cute clip-on tabs that I can put on the edges of my Bible! I was totally shocked and surprised because I was sure there wasn't anything for me under the tree.  She also had gotten a pin a while back that's a silver rose with a pearl in the center, and she gave it to me.  It reminds me of our Janie Rose and I wear it on my apron, which I wear almost all day every day, so she's always with me.  I was incredibly touched that Samantha had thought of me.

Today we're fixing things around the house, little things that need done, like the cupboard door under the kitchen sink that was hanging by one hinge, or the sink in our only bathroom that leaks fiercely....

Later we're going to watch the Celtic Woman special called Believe, while we eat yummy, warm home baked cookies and drink hot mochas! 

With Daddy home on vacation, it feels like every day is Christmas, and we want to kind of draw out the festivities this year, so we're taking it easy and the girls are playing and drawing and reading and we're loving a more relaxed pace.  We're taking time off from any schoolwork that we do until January, after Daddy goes back to work.  We love it when Daddy's off!

Just a few minutes ago, I noticed that there were quite a few pine needles from our tree on the floor around it, so I decided to move the tree skirt and sweep really well.....gracious, there must have been a small hay stack of needles in the dust pan when I was done! It's nice to see it so clean under the tree.  I love having a real tree, even if it means extra sweeping!

So now the little girls are down for naps and everyone else is tucked away doing their thing.  I'm going to sit in my chair with my heating pad and a cup of mocha and see how much reading I can get done.  I'm reading the first book in Michael Phillip's Caledonia series called The Legend of the Celtic Stone.  I LOVE his books and if you haven't read his stuff, I can recommend everything he's ever written.  I've read all of his stuff before and now, I'm re-reading his books.  I just got done with A Rift in Time, which my son and I read simultaneously, and he did a book report on it.  So fantastic!

Well, I hope your season continues to be peaceful and joyful and celebratory. I hope you don't give in to the let-down of the after season slump. Extend the party and do something fun and unexpected with your family today!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Everyone else is posting about their Christmas traditions, Christmas decor and the like, so I am too! And it's all part of my efforts to blog every day, or at least every other day. Let's say that if I can blog at least every other day, that will be my holiday and New Year's gift to you out there!!

 Christmas here at our house is usually a big thing.  Daddy likes to make a big deal out of it, and it seems that the children begin in April to anticipate the celebration that Daddy puts on! Now, to you out there, that may seem like we do a lavish and fancy party and tons of gifts and things like that, but really it is small and simple and homey, and it's just our children's innocence and child-like joy that makes our humble Christmas doings seem like glamour and fanciness.

We always have what we call a "spread" for dinner on Christmas, whether it be on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  In times past, during the holiday season, Daddy would get tons of goodies and treats each year on his route, and we'd save them in a high cupboard for Christmas. We'd bring out all of that sweet and mysterious goodness, along with things like meats and cheeses, and we'd feast! Our spread is the chief highlight of the season, and we will be doing that same thing this year.  I'll cook a ham, and we'll slice it real thin and then wrap it in assorted cheeses and munch on pickles and olives, apples and oranges. I'll also make my special hummus for Daddy.

As far as gifts go, this year we did something very different.  Papa (Dave's dad) came up with the idea of having our children draw each others' names and then, Papa took them shopping in groups of three to buy the gift for their sibling.  What's funny is that I was thinking of doing the same thing! It was a first for our children and they had a blast! They also got to go out for ice cream after their shopping trip.

Getting our tree is always a major adventure too.  We always go to a local tree farm and tromp all around the place, looking for that perfect tree.  This year I was unable to go, but everyone had just as much fun and the tree is so gorgeous! The children decorated it and as I said in a previous post, we love our homey, simple, lovely tree!

This year we will be doing something entirely different on Christmas Day.  We have been invited to a family's house to have an early dinner and play games and fellowship with them. We've never done anything like that and we are all so excited! We are getting to know this family, and I couldn't be happier, as I feel that the mom is a kindred spirit and I'm looking forward to some good, old fashioned Girl Talk! We'll stay late since Dave and Mr W (the dad of the family) don't have to work the next day.  We'll play games and probably eat ourselves into a coma!!

We always watch the traditional films during the holidays, such as White Christmas, the original Scrooge and especially It's a Wonderful Life.  It's another thing we all look forward to.  We do watch them every year, but it seems that we always love the films just as much as the first time we watched them.  I especially love It's a Wonderful Life, and I do cry at certain spots.

Well, there you have it! I think this post would have been 100% better with pictures, but our camera is busted and so, pictures are impossible, and anyway, our home decor would never make it in Better Homes and Gardens, and Martha Stewart would probably turn up her nose if she came in our home right now, but we don't care!  I do hope you have enjoyed reading about life around here during Christmas.  

I know Christmas can get very busy and stressful, and I know there's so much to do right now, but please don't forget the reason we celebrate right now.....Jesus.  Without Him, I would be nothing and nobody, and I'm so thankful He came to us as a baby so long ago!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More Thankfulness

I'm still thinking about all of the things I'm thankful for.

Yes, even in this shadowy forest I'm walking through, I remain thankful.

Some days I can't stop crying because I am so humbled and grateful and thankful.

I feel so sensitive to all of my blessings and the things around me that bless me.

So I want to share them with you!

  1. Perhaps it's a bit superficial and petty, but I'm thankful for chocolate.  Especially in the Christmas season, I'm thankful for fudge.  I've had a couple of pieces of exceptionally good fudge lately.  And if I start craving chocolate, I'll have a small bit of Guittard chocolate chips.  Their milk chocolate chips are really the best I have ever had.  And their semi-sweet chips? Heaven! I like to eat the really good stuff because the better the chocolate is, the less of it I want to eat.  Indulging in a tiny bit of the super good stuff is so much more satisfying!
  2. Our Christmas tree this year is absolutely gorgeous.  I'm so thankful to be able to look at it! It's a big event in our family every year.  The kids start talking about going out and getting our tree in early November.  We go to a tree farm near us in the hills.  We've gone to the same farm for as long as I can remember.  I wasn't able to go this year, but I waited at home in anticipation while the rest of the family was tromping around out there sizing up each tree to find just the right one.  And when they brought it home, it was beautiful.  And it is decorated to perfection.  Oh, it's not a designer tree.  It isn't chic or sophisticated.  All of the ornaments don't match and it's random, joyful colors.....but it's wonderful to me!
  3. Being able to get out and about again a tiny bit is refreshing.  I don't last very long yet and I get tired real easily, and riding in the car makes me a bit light headed still, but I'm glad to be able to participate in the fun things that my family gets to do this season.
  4. We went caroling with some other families from another church Tuesday night.  It was amazing.  There were so many families and most of those who were there were young people!! We went to some of the less swanky and elegant nursing homes and care facilities around here and it was a blessing to see smiles and light on the faces of those who usually get forgotten at this time of year.  
  5. I'm so thankful that our van is fixed.  It had to sit in our driveway for a couple of months and we drove Daddy's work car a lot.  You know, the car with no power steering and no speedometer? Yep. Hot! I took Dave to work every morning for a lot of weeks and when we'd go to church, we would take two trips to get everyone there! We couldn't go on any trips or events because we couldn't all ride together.  So now it's good to have my van back!
  6. We've had lots and lots of love and hugs and cards and meals showered on us in the past two weeks, from our church and from another church that we aren't even members of. The families at that church just love us, and they showed it by rallying around us during this last 6 weeks.  I remain deeply amazed and so humbly grateful for these people.  From heating pads to devotional books, to gluten-free pretzels and home canned pickles....there was a bottle of specially made essential oil to make my healing easier.....there was a dear friend who brought my favorite coffee oldest daughter made the very BEST broth I have ever had the day of my miscarriage.....and the friend who brought an emergency supply of pads and toilet paper when pay day was still 5 days away.....and the specially selected peanut butter cups.....and the hugs....and the shared tears....and the rides to the midwife an hour away.....I will never, never forget!!
  7. My husband's protection and care of me is so sweet and so romantic and so special.  He shows that he loves me in those ways.  From bringing me my favorite blanket in the mornings when I'm in the recliner, to mixing up my morning nutritional drink, to making sure I take my iron pills....he is one in a million and he's ALL mine!
  8. Seeing my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter playing together never ceases to make me smile and laugh and even cry sometimes! Hannah's going to be 16 this summer and she wants to play with her littlest sisters.  She's so fun and they love her!
  9. Pennie is sleeping SO good at night! There was a time when I just didn't think she would sleep much past 6 AM.  She sleeps so well that this morning at 9 I had one of the girls go check on her because I thought she should have been up by then! I'm thankful that I get to sleep at night.
  10. I finally was able to go and get a good haircut Tuesday afternoon.  I simply adore the gal who does my hair! She knows just what I like, and it felt so good because she really pampers me.  My hair was getting really long and bushy and my bangs were down past my chin! I felt slightly reborn after the nice haircut! It's interesting how little things like a $15 haircut (that should cost $40) can make me feel so thankful....
  11. I'm so glad my 9 year old daughter, who is on the cusp of turning 10, still wants to snuggle with me and have me tickle her arms and run my fingers through her hair! I will remember those moments always, and think of them when she stands before me as a 16 year old.
  12. And lastly, I really am thankful for my life and my breath and being able to put my hand on my chest and feel my heart beating.  I am so grateful that I didn't die on the bathroom floor two weeks ago.  I'm so glad I get to spend Christmas with my children! Everything's new and fresh to me right's almost like the innocent wonder of a child.  My life and the fact that I'm still living is not something I take for granted and I'm constantly thanking the Lord for sparing me.
I hope you enjoyed reading my list.  It's a good time to take stock and make tangible note of what you're thankful for!

Monday, December 10, 2012


Can I take a moment to thank all of you dear friends who left sweet and concerned comments on my last post?

For some reason, Blogger doesn't recognize that I've signed it, so I can never, ever leave you personal messages on Goggle Friendconnect.  This irritates me! I can sign in 10 times, over and over, and it still tells me I can't.  I'm not sure what the problem is, so I am forced to leave a message in a post for those who leave me comments whom I do not have emails for.

Moving on....Thank you all for your comments and your prayers.  I'm comforted by the thought that many of you are lifting me up.  I loved reading your comments and was so surprised and delighted to get so many!

I'm now out of the woods physically.  I'm waiting for my energy to return.  I went to church yesterday and it was a difficult experience! There are a lot of stairs at our church and I had to go down them afterwards, to enjoy Coffee looked like the stairs on the Mayan pyramids in Mexico!!! My husband was very dear and very kind to escort me down at my own pace.  He's a mailman, AND he's 6 feet 7 inches tall, so the man's legs go on forever and his pace is usually racehorse speed, so he was very considerate!!!

Please continue to pray for me! Although I am out of the woods physically, there are days which seem as dark as if I were lost in the middle of a dense forest where tall, old trees block out the blue of the sky and the light of the sun.  This will go on indefinitely, as it is the process of grief and sorrow.  I dearly would love several days linked together without the presence of the weight of anguish in my heart!

I'm so glad I started blogging.  I have made a couple of very close friends over the years, friends that I communicate with via email.  It has been so worth it to me! Blogging gives me a great outlet for my need to express myself via the written (or in this case, typed) word.  

So, be assured of how much I appreciate all of your prayers.  I'm so glad I am a part of the body of Christ!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I'm back.

How I've hesitated and stalled and balked at writing this post.

How I have so wanted to be merry and bright! How I've wanted to be light hearted and excited this Christmas season! How I've wanted so badly to embrace everything that the Christmas season entails.....How I have avoided posting such heaviness and anguish.

I guess writing it out will somehow cement its realness in my heart....

Today, December 6th, is the 10th day.

The 10th day after my body gave up that little gift that we thought was coming to us in the Spring.

My second trimester miscarriage is now complete.....

But the jumble of thoughts and feelings and emotions are just beginning.

I was 3 months pregnant when I found out our baby had died. Baby was supposedly measuring at 9.5 weeks "or so".

Upon further investigation and another ultrasound at a different place, Baby looked more like 12 weeks or more.  Baby was big.

At that point, 2 weeks after that 12 week ultrasound, my body hadn't realized yet what had happened.

And I knew from past experience that it was going to be a bumpy ride.

But I hoped and prayed and begged and beseeched the Lord to spare me from what my heart knew was going to happen.

I have had another second trimester miscarriage.  I was 16 weeks pregnant when it happened.  

I almost died on my bathroom floor.

I intensely petitioned the Lord to make it easy, make it fast, please do not let me die....

It was my focus during the last 5 weeks.

Monday November 26th was the day.

I was alone with the children.

And again, I almost died.

Thank God my son had the foresight to call my mother in law, who is a nurse.

I am recovering.

I guess the reason I write this is because I covet your prayers.  My heart....oh, my heart.  I just didn't know the human heart could sustain so much battering and shattering and breaking and crushing in one lifetime.

My body will mend.  My body is already mending.  Slowly but surely, my body mends.

But my heart.

I felt that, on that day as labor began and progressed, I felt that everything I was gushed out of me.  I felt that my essence was being flushed down the toilet and soaking into the tiles and running out of me.  I felt as though it was the death of me.

10 days later I still wonder who I am now.

When I look at myself in the mirror, I wonder who that person is gazing back at me.  I'm worn.  I'm pale.  I look bewildered.  I look puzzled.  I look old and done for.

I know that the Bible promises joy.  I know that Christ's mercies are new every morning.  I know that He vows comfort and healing and strength.

But oh, I could really use some of that right now, this moment....moment by moment.

When breathing threatens to further shatter my heart, when waking brings the crushing knowledge back....

Father, come!

And when my mind, against my will, flashes to what could have been, when my mind sees a baby in the womb, kicking and dancing and smiling and sucking her thumb.....

Father, come!

Conversely, I am deeply humbled at life.  I have my life.  My Lord spared me once again because my work here on earth was not done.  I praise Him daily for that. Everything humbles me! I am abashed by a sunrise, a warm blanket, a touch from Pennie.

I look forward to the day when the trauma will be forgotten, both for me and for my children, who witnessed the whole ordeal.  I am so proud of my children, who maintained their cool and rose to a very, very scary challenge with grace and aplomb. Still...I pray that the trauma would be forgotten and only everything that God has done for us will be remembered.

These are some of my jumbled, confused, weary thoughts today.  I ask that you would remember my family in prayer in the days to come.

Father, come!