Monday, December 31, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I feel like this has been finals week of college. For work, I had to write two grants - one was due today by midnight and it was finally finished and submitted online at 7 p.m. The other one is due January 1st, so I've got to finish it before I leave tomorrow. My brain has been so wrapped up in statistics, budgets, program planning and writing... the one grant application had over 2400 words (yes, I used Microsoft Word's handy-dandy word count to check). Yikes! It has been like college all over again - got to get these "papers" done before I can go home for Christmas!
Today marks the 10th anniversary of my college graduation from Western Illinois University!
I worked in Sherman Hall (pictured) as the student assistant in the Vice President for Student Services office for 3 years...
7 days from now (December 27th) marks the 10th anniversary of my wedding day! (This is one of our engagement pics...) Yes, my only wedding. Yes, to Tommie. It IS Tommie in the photo. I understand that it doesn't look much like him... but it IS him! :o)
Tommie received disappointing news today... his brother's family is not coming to the family Christmas. Tommie only has one brother who is about 2 years older than him. They have completely different personalities & interests and have not been particularly close over the years. However, they have not had a disagreement or strife to the point of disliking each other. The last time we were home to Illinois for a visit was 2 1/2 years ago. We had a family gathering and Tommie's brother did not come. To his credit, he does work nights and had worked the night before and needed to sleep. Then, we met some friends & Tommie's parents for dinner in the SAME town his brother lives in and he chose not to come. So... it has been 3 1/2 years since we have seen his brother and it looks like it will be several more. My husband is not an emotional man, but I can see that this really bothers him. It is pretty sad to not drive across town to see your only brother when he hasn't been in town for a couple of years. Apparently, my sister-in-law planned her family Christmas event for the same day. I don't think that either of us will "miss" Tommie's brother's company (he's a difficult person to enjoy), but it's the principle of the matter. Especially when you only have one brother...
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This has been a very slow blogging week... too much to do before the big trip to Illinois... and so little time! Work is stressful, home is stressful... I need a vacation!
THREE MORE DAYS! I can do it!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Why is it that patience is so hard to come by? I get annoyed by our "I want it & I want it RIGHT NOW" society, yet I find myself impatient with myself, my kids, my husband, traffic, the postal service, the drive-thru worker and anything or anyone else that keeps me from immediately receiving whatever it is that I want. I justify my opinion and attitude by saying that the person or process should be more efficient - especially in "this day and age".
Most of the time, the problem is not with my external circumstances, but a problem of the heart. My heart. I am full of sin. And I don't even recognize the problem half of the time. I blame others or get irritated and I forget to look in the mirror. Today, this morning, I'm aware. In times that I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that the only reason I'm breathing today is because God, in his ultimate grace, has chosen to save me... I stand corrected and grateful. I need that Holy Spirit poke now and again (more often than I notice it, I'm sure) to keep me on the right path. I need to write God's Word down and post it in every possible nook and cranny of my life, so I remember it at times when I am tempted to be impatient or let any sin rule my heart. I am reminded of these verses...
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
- Shop for everyone, except my mom & dad, co-workers & teachers (I start with the easiest first.)
- Order Christmas cards
- Write letter to insert into Christmas cards
- Buy stamps (who uses stamps anyway?!?!)
- Prepare & mail Christmas letter/cards
- Decorate the Christmas tree (it has been up since Saturday, but hasn't been floofed or decorated)
- Put lights up outside
- Bake some sort of holiday treat
Monday, December 3, 2007
I HATE spending money. If I need or want to buy something, I nearly always use a coupon if possible or try to get it at a discount. I've tried bargaining with the associates at Wal-Mart (note to self: don't try that again). I even have a hilarious story about getting my $3 worth at a fair (ask Tommie about that one!). Maybe I'll post it someday... One thing that I hate spending money on more than anything else - my van (well, insurance is probably a close 2nd)...
Thursday, I was driving home from Harrison's surgery, stopped in at the pharmacy and when I drove away from CVS, my check engine light came on. Man! Could we add insult to injury? I had just spent way too much money traveling to Iowa earlier in the week, it's time to buy Christmas presents AND we've got to save money to travel back to Illinois for Christmas this year. The last thing I needed was to spend money on car repairs.
Well, I took the van to the shop and listened (not so politely) while the service guy told me that it would cost $92 just to figure out what was wrong (and another $92 to figure out what is wrong with my power locks & windows - they have been out of service for over a month). YIKES! After much fretting, he recommended that if I am tired of constantly repairing my 2005 minivan so much, I should trade it for another vehicle and purchase an extended warranty next time. Thanks, pal... just what I wanted to hear.
So, I went home and looked up vehicles on the internet for 4 hours. We just owe too much on the van to make it worthwhile to trade it right now. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. You have to understand that we've been doing the Dave Ramsey thing & trying to pay off debt (including vehicles) as quickly as possible. The next morning, Tommie told me to call the guy and have them fix the check engine light (which I didn't want to hear). I knew that Tommie was speaking with wisdom - even though I didn't want to pay the money to get it fixed. So, I called him. (I did tell him to ignore the power problem... I'll just suffer through until after Christmas).
Later that day, the service guy called me to report that they had found the problem and that it was part of a recall... so they fixed it at no charge to me. WHAT?!?! No charge to me! Thank you, Jesus!!!! God knows how to take care of me, even when my stubborn self resists wisdom.
I think the lesson that I'm supposed to learn from this is to quit wasting time on the internet and spend more time asking God for wisdom. :o)
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Belly button pre-surgery
Belly button bandage post-surgery
- 11:30 pm: Phone call from dad. Grandma passed away.
- 5:30 pm: Arrive at airport. Fly from Dallas to Denver. Fly from Denver to Omaha. Pick up rental car. Drive to Aunt S's house in Omaha.
- 2:00 am: Go to bed!
- 12:30 pm: Lunch with Grandma W; Aunt S/Uncle M; Uncle G/Aunt K; Uncle G/Aunt J; Cousin J & family; Cousin K & family; Cousin E & family; Cousin Z (all on my mom's side of the family)
- 5:00 pm: Drive to LeMars, Iowa
- 7:00 pm: Arrive in LeMars - visit with my Mom & Dad & about 10 other various members of my dad's family
- 11:30 am: Brunch with Uncle B/Aunt P; Uncle N/Aunt M; Mom & Dad; Cousin A & hubby; Aunt P's DIL & baby
- Visit to Blue Bunny gift shop
- 5:00 pm: Grandma's Visitation - open to the public (she didn't want a funeral or anything, but the family insisted on having some sort of event that others could attend). I met a TON of 2nd cousins & great aunts/uncles that I had never met before that all live within 30 miles of LeMars.
- 9:00 pm: Cousin gathering at Aunt M's house - about 20 people in attendance, including my brother R who arrived from Illinois this afternoon
- 10:30 am: Grandma's funeral. Open only to her immediate descendents & there were over 50 people in attendance. Grandma & Grandpa had 5 kids, 14 grandkids, and 29 great-grandkids so far...
- 1:30 pm: Left funeral home to catch a plane - drove to Omaha. Flew to Denver. Nearly a 3 hour layover. Flew to Dallas.
- 11:30 pm: Arrive at home - whew!
When one grandparent dies, it is not easy... but when both are gone, there is a ton of stuff to deal with. My grandparent's house will be sold soon, so I took a lot of photos of things in and around their house that I want to remember. Silly things, mostly... but things that made my grandparents who they were. Losing Grandma brought up the pain of Grandpa's death all over again. Because she is now gone, we will lose the little things that reminded us of him when we visited her.
Grandpa's Tools were all very organized. Every drawer was labeled in detail. I think Grandpa would have made the label maker companies rich, if they would have been around when he was alive.
Grandpa even labeled the souvenirs they kept on shelves in the basement. Each item had a date and location and sometimes who went on the trip with them. Most items were labeled with a piece of masking tape or a small manilla piece of paper.
Grandpa & Grandma's basement looks like a set from "That 70's Show". No joke! All of the furniture, the wood paneling, the wonderfully colorful striped carpet - all of it. It's like the basement that time forgot. Oh, how I loved visiting their house. The funny quirks and crazy artifacts are unlike anyone else's home I've been to.
Grandma's hair brush & mirror set. I remember watching Grandma put her winter white hair into curlers while her teeth sat in a glass on the bathroom vanity. She combed & brushed and looked in the mirror. I remember the first time I realized Grandma had false teeth. It was such a shock. I was probably 7 years old at the time.