Good Bye 2011

The fireworks have started and the girls are fast asleep.  I'm watching the countdown on tv and reflecting on what 2011 brought.  Some good and some bad, but I'm thankful for it all.  Every bit of it.  I am most thankful for my amazing hubby and my two beautiful girls.  I'm thankful for our families and for our friends.  Most importantly I am thankful for His grace. 

I am praying for blessings abundant in 2012.  Thank you for taking the time to check in and read what I have to say.  I so appreciate it.  Thanks for sticking with me through the ups and downs.  Love and blessings to you all.

I must go wake up my hubby who is asleep on the couch and give him a kiss. 

Christmas Recap

We had a wonderful Christmas.  We opened presents at our house early that morning and then headed to Indiana around lunch time.

The girls love their new cardboard house.  We have slowly, but surely, been coloring it.  I think it might take use awhile.  If you have the room, they are great and inexpensive.  Only $20.
I made this Lego table for the girls.  It's super easy to do.  I found the idea on Pinterest.  I just glued 4 large Lego plates to an Ikea Lack table and they know have a lego table for their Legos.
The only bummer about traveling on Christmas day is that nothing is open.  Well, except for a few McDonalds and Waffle House.  Two of my favorite restaurants ever.  (Note the sarcasm).  We decided to stop at a Waffle House right over the KY border and we didn't realize that KY still had smoking in their restaurants.  TN did away with smoking in restaurants a few years ago.  By the time we were done, we smelled awful and we still had 5 hours to go.

The girls did great in the car and it's getting more fun to travel because they are so good.  We finally made it to Indiana that night.  We had a great time with Brian's family.  Unfortunately, his grandma got the stomach bug so she had to cancel her party on Tuesday night.  We got to see her for a few hours on Monday morning and I'm thankful for that.  I hope you are feeling better grandma.

Here is the whole gang.  Brian has 2 brothers and a sister.  His sister Kelly and her husband Dave have 8 year old twins and 1 1/2 year old triplets.  Brian's mom is in the middle and his two brothers are right next to him in the back.  I love when we can all get together.

The girls were so excited when it snowed on Tuesday.  It was time to go sledding.

A Time to Rest

I had to take another glance at the date of my last post. Has it really been 17 days? This is the longest break I have ever taken. Even when we lost Jonathan, I still blogged.  I guess it's the busyness of the season and I haven't been feeling well. I still don't know what is wrong, but I've been having really bad lower back pain and pelvic pain. I've had ultrasounds on everything imaginable and all looks fine. I went to a new chiropractor who took an x-ray and he said my L4 and L5 are degenerating. Fabulous. Has anyone else ever experienced this? I still don't know if that's the cause, but for now, we'll go with that diagnosis.

The dizziness is still really bad, so we've decided to fly to Tampa next month to see a specialist. I'm hopeful that they will be able to help me. I'm also excited because we decided to take the girls and make a Disney World trip out of it. They have no idea. We are going to tell them the morning we leave. I can't wait. I will be sure to get it all on video.

I'm just about ready for Christmas.  I just got done wrapping all the presents while the girls and Brian are fast asleep. On the girls wish list this year was a Fijit and a Perfect Petzzz.  I can't wait to see their little faces light up.  We have plans to go to church with my family tomorrow and then enjoy the festivities at my sister Stacy's house.

If you are still reading my blog, thank you.  Thanks for hanging with me this long.  I am really going to try harder to keep it updated. 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! May you remember the true meaning of the holiday. A babe who came to save the world. He is the reason for the season!

Tuesday's Tip- Are your Smartphone pictures luring predators?

I haven't done a Tuesday's Tip in forever, I apologize.  However, this video made me realize I had to post it for all of my readers to watch. If you have a smart phone, and take pictures with it, and then post those pictures onto your blog, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else on the internet, you MUST watch this video.  You could be luring a predator straight to your doorstep and not even know it.

After I watched this video, I grabbed my iPhone to see if my camera GPS was turned off. Thankfully it was. Is yours? If not, please switch it off immediately. Please share this video with your friends and family members. If your child's grandparents take pictures of your kids and post them to their Facebook page and their GPS is turned on, they are potentially putting your child in harm's way. Please help me spread the word. Let's practice safe photography. :)

Will you choose Joy?

I wrote this on the chalkboard I have hanging in our kitchen.  I've been learning alot about joy these last few weeks.  Maybe it's because we are entering one of the most joyous times of the year. 

It got me thinking, what is joy?  Webster defines joy as "the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight"  This is what the world say is joy.  Notice it says success, good fortune, getting your desires.  Those are all things that are temporary.  One day you can have all of those things and the next day, it can be all stripped away.

What does the Bible say about joy?  In James 1:1-8 it says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 

I believe that true joy comes from the Lord.  The world cannot bring me joy.  Sure, there are things in this world that can make me happy, but happiness is fleeting.  It's dependent on my circumstances.  Only the Lord living inside me, can bring me joy.  Being joyful is a choice.  I can choose to be joyful or I can choose to be sorrowful.  Which will I choose?  I have to say that most days I miss the mark.  I don't choose joy.  I wallow in my self pity and focus on what I don't have instead of the blessings that I do have.  I focus on my physical ailments instead of praying for the Lord's healing hand upon my sick body.  This sign reminds me daily that it's up to me.

Maybe you are in the same boat I am in tonight, having a hard time finding the joy through your trials.  Afterall, what is so joyful about the loss of a child, a spouse, your health, or your home?  The holidays can be a tough time when you are in the middle of the desert.  You are desperate for rest and water, but there is none to be found.  Call on the name of Jesus.  Look to the only one that can quench your thirst and bring rest to your weary bones.  Drag yourself to the feet of Jesus, where He is waiting with open arms to love you and refresh you.  My joy and my hope is found in Christ alone. It can never be taken away.

So, what is joy to me?  Hearing my girls say with a smile, "I love you mommy". That is Joy. To hold the hand of my husband and know he loves me unconditionally. That is Joy. To know one day I will live forever with my Savior. That is Joy. The hope that I will hold my sweet babies again. That is Joy.

I can choose to have joy now, even in the midst of my pain and tears. The choice is mine to make.

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