Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sitting in the Orlando airport with 1.5 hours before our flight and free wifi!!! Wooohoooo!!! God is good.

We had a really nice visit with Grandma. I sure wish she'd move back to Michigan where we could see her more often, help her when she needs it, and be sure she stays safe. She falls with some frequency. Fortunately, she does wear an alarm button thing. Still, what if she hit her head or fell on her arm and couldn't hit the button? Not to mention that the fall itself is dangerous. She hasn't broken anything yet. But her mind is sharp and she wants to stay where she is. I guess it is her right to live with that risk. God bless her and keep her safe.

Four of our guys stayed at a local hotel on the beach, and the rest of us stayed with Mom. (the girls, Mike and me). The hotel pool was very warm and was a great and welcome relief to the daredevils who swam and frolicked in the very cold ocean. The girls always wear goggles at home when they swim but did not bring them on this trip. Liz's eyes were apparently very sensitive to chlorine.

Her eyes were so irritated one night she was in tears. Someone had already left to buy her some drops. Liz is often a little dramatic about physical pain. "My eyes hurt!!!" She moaned as if in agony. (I'm sure they did hurt a lot.) "Honey, the drops will be here soon. Do you want a wet paper towel to put over them while you keep them closed?" "That won't help!"

"OK," I said. Well there's nothing else I can do.

"I can't see!!!!" she exclaims. "Everything is all blurry!!!"

"Sweetie, that's because you're eyes are all teary and the tears are blurring your vision."

"I'm going blind!!!

I'm chuckling. "You're not going blind."

Nurse Anne arrives with the drops. "Anne, I'm going blind!" Liz pronounces.

With all the authority of her one year of nursing experience Anne says definitively, "You're not going blind." Thankfully, this prognosis was believed.

Within minutes of getting the drops and 5 or 10 minutes of ribbing by a brother, she was fine. Vision restored!!!

We could not resist an occasional "little blind girl" joke for the rest of the evening. Liz thought they were funny too, now that she could recognize she may have overreacted just a little.

May the Lord keep safe all those who are traveling this Christmastime, especially those dealing with the blizzard conditions.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We made it! Florida!

Well, we made it. After waiting for takeoff for an hour on the runway in Detroit, we made our connecting flight in Atlanta with only five minutes to spare. It was a little tense but happily we boarded just in time.

I finished all my Christmas shopping before we left and have wrapped all but a couple presents.

My three sons, who came on a flight a few hours later than ours, successfully organized the thirty some items from the giving tree we hosted at our church and delivered them all to the needy family along with everything they'll need for Christmas dinner. A woman is blessed to have sons like these.

Florida is so beautiful. Grandma is doing OK. She was very happy to see us all. We will celebrate our Christmas with her tomorrow. It's good to see her.
She is a few miles from the beach and that's where we spend quite a bit of our time. This year, because of numbers, the young guys (18-25 year olds) are in a hotel and the rest of us with Grandma.
Anne's fiance Zach was able to come along and that makes the ENTIRE family down here. I absolutely love it. For four days we are all together!!
Walking the beach is one of our favorite activities....
And there are always a few adventurers who will brave the ocean regardless of the outside temperature. I think it was about 65 here. No complaints about the weather here!

A congratulatory high five!
Then my rugby playing future son-in-law wowed us with this awesome cannonball in the hotel pool
Here they are--my six, and the seventh-to-be, Zach, on the left.

I have a few minutes now on the hotel wifi to catch up on my blog reading.

God bless you all in these last few days before the great celebration of our Savior's Birth!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Busy, busy

Oh boy. It's not going to all get done. It's OK. I'm tired.

I'm looking at a pile of Christmas cards. I have not finished one of them. And it's a photo card. Liz has put all the return addresses on and stamped them all. But I have yet to write even one.

However, I am ALMOST finished with all the Christmas shopping and the wrapping is about 2/3 complete.

Tomorrow I need to call all those who signed up for the giving tree we're hosting and ask them to please bring their gifts in on the 20th so we can deliver them on that day, before we all leave. I'm trying not to think too much about what to do if they aren't all there. I guess I should have a contingency plan. After all, those kids need to get their presents.

The tree is up and there are lights on it, but no ornaments. Most of the other decorations are also not up yet. Oh dear.

Liz has a music ministry rehearsal tomorrow. She and I have just finished writing in a cello line of music on several of the songs.

Two of my children are in the Christmas play at their high school. Jim has a main part. Three performances. God bless my husband for running to Meijers at 10:00 PM to get the two liter bottles of pop they need for the cast meal.

But I am relatively calm. God is giving me peace (relative to the stress, if you know what I mean.) Lord, may I finish what you want me to finish. May I not neglect my time with you. May I let go of what simply won't get done. And remember to love. (And ask for help from my family---which I have been doing :-)

I am preparing for the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. May I never forget that. Come, Lord Jesus.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's SOOO cold

Oh my goodness. It is so cold here. It snuck up on us. It was so mild up till now we were unprepared for the blast.

It's 14 degrees on my porch. The local mall says 7.

It's your breath freezing in your nose kind of cold. Chilled to the bone kind of cold-- even in the arctic parka. LOL

It's so cold I actually RAN from my car into Meijers. Weather that can make me run? Now that is REALLY COLD.

Stay Warm!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The pressure's on...

We worked for hours online yesterday trying to get reservations for 9! to fly to Florida for a few days to see Grandma over the holidays. You can only book 6 at a time so we tried to coordinate it on 2 computers. The reservation for 3 went through and the one for 6 did not!!

It took 3 hours to get flights for the six! Finally we got it several hours apart and different airlines. Fortunately, we booked the three boys together, including Mike who has a lot of traveling experience.

I guess we'll meet there!

Then, while trying to calm down from the stress of wondering if only a couple members of the family would make it to visit Grandma, I suddenly realized how little time I have to get everything else done. Yikes, I was up for another couple hours thinking of how I was going to make this happen, how things could be simplified, etc.

Somehow it will work. Not everything will be done. It's OK. Preparing our hearts for the Lord, loving Him and loving each other is what it's all about, right? Yup. I'm OK.

Friday, December 04, 2009

His mercy is new every morning.

I love the color of twilight and predawn skies. This window is in my living room and I was so enjoying the hue of the sky the other morning. (The "Michigan" tapestry is over the piano. We had to get one of these when John started at U of M. And the piano did need some warmth.)

This is the view from my bedroom window. I know it's not much of a view. but I don't see the rooftops. I see the sky. Sometimes I am reminded of the Canticle of Zechariah.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. (Not sure where the Scripture reference is :-)
Have a blessed day!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sam's Club Shopping

Yesterday, in spite of my feeling rotten, I had a pleasant trip to Sam's Club.

First, the Lord blessed me with a great parking spot right nest to the cart corral.

I did not forget my list, thanks be to God.

I found everything I was looking for. I noticed the lemon juice which I needed but did not have on the list.

John called right while I was there and so I was able to get him a few things he needed. Lots of mom satisfaction there.

And when I had emptied the car and put everything away I didn't feel a lot worse than when I started. Good day. Good shopping trip, especially considering the headache, the fatigue, etc. God is good.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The President's speech at West Point

I just finished watching the President's speech while blogging. OK. I was mostly blogging and the President was speaking in the background.

I don't understand the dog and pony show of speaking at West Point. Well, I think I do understand. He wanted to capitalize on the image of the military clapping for him, which of course they would do out of respect, regardless of what he said. Do you think?

Why didn't he speak from his desk in the Oval Office like a serious commander in chief. Instead, he wasted the taxpayers money by flying to West point for what looks like nothing more than political grandstanding. We shouldn't have to pay for that.

It's very transparent and almost embarrassing.

Thanksgiving Pix

We had a really fun Thanksgiving this year. We had 20 people for dinner (including us) and everyone was looking forward to it.

All my children were home. Doesn't get any better than that.

Below: A family game of Settlers of Catan. Fun game!!

Our kitchen/dining area could stand a little more room! It did work though. And the Cousinos and Simkins didn't mind a bit. It's so pleasant to celebrate with easy-going people.

Anne with fiance Zach whose family joined us.

Dear friend Patti came with some of her kids.

Zach's parents on the far left....I love great conversation with strong pro-life Christians.

And what was really amazing and delightful about this group was the predominance of young people. Fifteen of the twenty here were under about twenty-five. That made for lots of energy, lots of laughter, and lots of fun.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you all did too.