It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

24 11 2009

Don’t hate me because I’m organized.  Haha.  Okay, that was funny.  I’m not normally this ahead of the game when it comes to Christmas preparations, but this year I’m trying really hard to focus more on Jesus and less on the craziness and stress that comes with the holiday season.  Believe it or not, my shopping is done!!

And to make it even more sickening, our tree is up and our house is decorated! And that means I get to just sit back and enjoy this time of year without the added stress.  I have already spent one evening wrapping gifts, sipping peppermint tea and listening to soothing Christmas music.  Love it!

I took a few pictures of some of my favorite Christmas decorations:

This is my all time favorite Christmas item (I’m having a hard time categorizing it as a decoration).  My friend Hayley gave it to us as a wedding gift.  I loved it then and I love it still.  Too bad I’m such a horrible photographer.  If I was any good at taking pictures, you would see the detail in this piece is amazing.  Take my word for it; it’s all around lovely:


Why hang stockings when you can hang mittens?

These mittens are made out of sweaters we bought at a Goodwill.  With a little supervision from my mother, The Amazing Seamstress, I made them all by myself.  I am extraordinarily proud of that fact.  If you know anything about my sewing skills (or lack thereof) you understand.


We bought a new nativity set last year at Christmas.   I love this one for its rustic features and for the “dirtiness” of the stable.  I can almost smell the manure that must have been present that first Christmas night!

The girls keep asking why Jesus is laying on a dirty blanket.  I tell them it’s probably quite realistic that it was dirty, if there was a blanket at all.


And finally, this little guy just makes me smile!


And just in case you think I really am organized, let me just be real for a moment.  I am sitting in our office as I write this.  When I look around, here’s what I see:  The Jungle Book dvd, a pair of shoes, a pair of socks, a bottle of peroxide, scissors, craft paper, rubber stamps, a plastic gorilla, 2 coffee filters, Minnie Mouse, a scarecrow hat, a marker, a pair of sunglasses, 5 q-tips, and various papers that should be in the trash but instead are scattered throughout the room.  And that’s just in this room.  The rest of my house has been declared a national disaster and is completely inaccessible by foot.  I need military assistance to bring it back under control.  I’ll let you know how that goes.



And Then the Sky Opened and God Looked Down and Laughed at Me

11 11 2009

I am an optician.  I love my job.  But every now and then, something stressful happens and it makes me a little crazy. and jittery. and twitchy.

Two years ago, a patient walked in our office to pick up her new glasses.  I got them all adjusted, made sure she could see okay, and complimented her on how nice they looked.  She was all ready to go and she said, “Oh, before I leave, do you mind straightening up my old glasses?”  Sure, no problem.

I took her old glasses, heated them up, went to do a slight adjustment and felt a pop.  I looked down and her glasses were broken in half.  Ugghh.  It’s a sickening feeling.

Now, breaking glasses used to be part of my life on a fairly regular basis.  When you spend a good part of your day straightening, repairing, or tweaking a  pair of glasses, you’re bound to have a few snap.  Well.  I’ve gotten better over the years and I rarely break glasses anymore.  In fact the last time I broke a pair of glasses was in the story I just told you about.

Fast forward two years.  The SAME PATIENT walked in the door to pick up her new glasses.  The temple needed some adjusting, so I walked back to my tools, heated the frame, and . .

(You’re all cringing because you can feel this coming, I know)

snapped the temple in half!  I am not joking!  I uttered a four letter word (did you know pastor’s wives do that every now and then? I think I’m allowed something like two 4-letter words a year, after that I’m not sure what happens.  I’ll have to dig out my theology books), felt my face get bright red and then turned to face the patient.  How do you explain that to somebody??

Well, I was half laughing- despite my great embarrassment- and when I told her what happened she started laughing too.  When I was convinced that she was being a good sport about it,   I explained to her that breaking her glasses two times (and no one else’s in between) was clearly all her fault because she was bad luck to me and well, what other explanation is there?  The crazy thing is that she made her way to the front desk to pay the rest of her bill and as her receipt was being printed the printer stopped working!

Crazy.   It gave us all a good laugh but I’ll be surprised if that dear patient lets me anywhere near her glasses again!  Can’t say I blame her.

Catching Up is Hard to Do

10 11 2009

I spent the weekend in Gatlinburg, TN with a group of women from our church. We had a great time!  The scenery was gorgeous, the shopping was plentiful, the coffee flowed freely, and the laughter was refreshing.  I loved it!  I missed Conrad and the girls, though, and I was very happy to get back home and spend some time with them.

I was greeted by this letter from Bryn:

Dear Mommy,

I missed you when you whent on that trip.  You should of ben home.  We went to Dragon Buffet!  Then we went swimming!  We had lots of fun!

Your child,


I’m not sure if that was her attempt at making me feel guilty or not.  The reality is I don’t feel a bit guilty about it, and I’m really ok that they went to Dragon Buffet without me (a local Chinese food buffet that totally grosses me out, but Conrad and the girls love it).

On another note, the mountains of TN are gorgeous, no question about it.  But I grew up in Michigan where the land is flat, the miles are square and the driving is easy.  But, this weekend, I drove my mini-van around some treacherous turns on steep, narrow roads, and well, I didn’t really like it.   Roads like that make my armpits sweat.  I’m discovering that I need my flatland scenery close-by at all times.  Just keepin’ it real.

Even though Conrad did a great job at keeping the household running, there were still a lot of things waiting for my when I got home.  The laundry is underway, school papers have been sorted through, and the kitchen is restocked.   So it’s back to reality. . .it felt good to escape it for a few days, but it feels good to be back too!