Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good-bye, 2013

2013 was a pretty significant year for our family. Here’s just some of what happened:

  • We sold our house and moved down the street into another house.
  • We remodeled a building on our new property to become our new business location and moved the knitting shop into it.
  • Rosie Girl graduated from high school (homeschooling), performed in her final dance recital, and performed in her senior piano recital.
  • Rosie Girl started college at UWSP.
  • Wild Man continued in the W-F Band and played in the percussion ensemble at Solo and Ensemble.
  • Wild Man was the leader of the Youth Band and well as being part of the adult worship team.
  • Wild Man joined the W-F Choir.
  • Rosie Girl and Wild Man went to Ireland with Grandma. (Yes, PWM and I were jealous.)
  • After a couple of months of using the laundromat, which isn’t really too terrible, especially since the people who own the laundromat are so nice, we finally got a washer and dryer!!!
  • Wild Man broke his arm.
  • I spent three weeks in Florida helping my mom recover from surgery.
  • My brother gave us a car!
  • LSU did not beat Alabama (but Auburn did!).
  • I got a gas stove!!! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!!)
  • Rosie Girl survived her first semester of college (with exceptionally high grades, too)!
  • My migraines aren’t any better, but they aren’t any worse.
  • A dear friend of ours, Gary, died a few weeks ago from a heart attack.

In less than half an hour, we move into 2014. Let’s see what we can make of this new year!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

It’s been a lovely Christmas week. In many ways. But not lovely in other ways. Did we celebrate the Incarnation? Did we give gifts and try to commemorate in some tiny way the massive gift that God has given us? Did we make small sacrifices for others to remember the sacrifice Jesus made? Yes. So it’s been a “successful” Christmas week.

Christmas Eve service was beautiful. PWM did sound while Wild Man played electric guitar. In several days, you’ll be able to watch it online at www.faithwaupaca.org. The cool thing was that Grandpa and I watched most of the 3:30 service live-streamed.

Rosie Girl and I made Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve morning, so PWM and Wild Man took some to church for the worship team to munch on between services.

Rosie Girl, Grams, and I went to the 5pm service which was also lovely. The Gospel was preached, the Incarnation was celebrated, and Jesus was present. What more could you want?


Well, I suppose it would have been nice if Grandpa could have come. Unfortunately, Grandpa had been having some headaches. Grams and I took his blood pressure starting on Christmas Eve and were getting scary high readings, despite his having normally well-controlled blood pressure. Grandpa had a headache, so he chose to stay home and watch the service (again) on live-streaming. (Ain’t technology grand?) And, since his daughter is an MD, Grandpa had a few medication adjustments for Christmas Day.

Even though the children are 15 and 18, we still only got to sleep in until 6:30 on Christmas morning. Naturally, they won’t sleep till noon when presents are involved. The funny thing was that they had things in their stockings to open in order. The first was a $5 bill, the second a $10, and the third $15 cash. They expected the fourth to be $20, but it was vouchers for downloads for games for a WiiU which we’d been telling the kids there was no chance whatsoever we’d be getting this year. Wild Man finally got the picture and started jumping up and down and yelling and ran in the living room to find the WiiU which was already set up and working. I really wish I had video of that moment!!

Grams cooked roast beef and rice and gravy for us for Christmas dinner which was wonderful. Part of the wonder was that I haven’t had to cook. That is my biggest Christmas present. Well, that and the stove/oven range!!

Grams and Rosie Girl have been obsessively watching Dr. Who so that they were ready for the Christmas episode of the new Dr. Who and the regeneration of the Doctor. After Dr. Who, we watched A Christmas Story.

Boxing Day involved lots of work for Wild Man and PWM. There had been lots of snow in the previous two days, so they were doing lots of snow removal. Patrick later worked the shop while both kids went shopping with their Christmas money. Grams and Grandpa and I, on the other had, had a lovely visit with an NP at the clinic. Grandpa’s blood pressure was already starting to come down and they did some lab tests that showed that his kidneys are doing fine. So, things are moving in the right direction. And I might sleep tonight.

The cats celebrated Christmas by getting some special canned food. They showed their gratitude by completely ignoring the humans.


How was your Christmas or other winter celebration?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost Christmas

We’re in that magical time of almost Christmas. Just about everything is ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The house is decorated. Grams and Grandpa are here. Grams has been cooking. Rosie Girl is home for a month. Christmas music wafts through the house. And Grandpa gives us regular updates about the temperature and snowfall.

It’s pretty fun watching the Floridian grandparents cope with our Upper Midwestern winter. It doesn’t hurt that we’re having more snow than usual either. We didn’t try to deal with yesterday’s snow to go to church. And then it kept snowing all day today, so Wild Man and PWM didn’t even get out till afternoon to blow and shovel snow. Grams and Grandpa are getting the hang of getting around outside in the snow. Thankfully, there’s not much ice. Nonetheless, we do try to keep someone next to Grandpa to help him with his balance. (And PWM and Patrick have the other person next to me since I tend to fall on my butt with alarming regularity. Although not yet this season.)

We don’t put our Christmas gifts out under the tree until Christmas Eve, so we’ve still got plenty of wrapping time. I’m not bragging or anything, but mine are all done except for one! Santa still needs to pick up some canned cat food and catnip for the kitties, but we’re otherwise ready for tomorrow.

Christmas Eve service is big for our family. PWM is doing tech this year, but Wild Man is playing electric guitar.  And then, of course, the candlelight portion of the service is so beautiful.

Since Grams is here to cook, we’re actually going to have Christmas dinner on Christmas Day!! What a concept! She’s going to make a good, old-fashioned, Southern roast beef with rice and gravy.

And it can snow all it wants because we’ll be inside, enjoying our family, celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The last few days have been quite a mixed bag. We seem to have lots of good and bad stuff happening, thankfully mostly small good and bad.

On Sunday, we lost a dear friend. He had a severe heart attack on Tuesday, so his passing wasn’t unexpected. We’ve been pretty stressed since last Tuesday, though. Even just not seeing Gary at church on Sunday was strange. Going on is going to be challenging.

Sunday night was the Wega-Fremont Choir’s Beggar’s Feast. This was a fund-raising dinner where we were entertained by the choir. Wild Man was not only part of the choir, but he sang a solo. It was a wonderful evening with great music!

Rosie Girl is in the middle of her two weeks of finals and the stresses that come with it. Not only that, but her car battery decided on Saturday morning that it doesn’t like frigid weather. Thankfully, the towing company got her jump-started. She’s been starting her car every day since then to help convince the battery that cold weather really isn’t that bad. Unfortunately, this afternoon, she got back to her dorm after driving around and needed to go back out and the car wouldn’t start again at all. The AAA will be coming in handy tomorrow morning when she gets it towed to the repair shop. Really bad timing for car trouble.

Apparently, car trouble is in the wind. I was backing out of the garage this afternoon and hit the edge of the garage and broke the plastic off the rear tail light. Yay. Soooooo, we get to have that fixed.

We are getting a new range!! Thanks to my parents, we are getting a gas stove/oven range later this week. I had almost forgotten that we have gas in this house, so I can have a gas stove!!! I love cooking on a gas stove! Hopefully, in a week or so, we’ll have it here and installed. Yes, I’m very excited.

We’re also excited that my parents will be spending Christmas with us. This also means a week of no cooking for me. I enjoy cooking, but my mom enjoys cooking for people more than I do, so I’ll take the time to knit more.

What’s up with you? How is your Christmas season shaping up?

Sunday, December 08, 2013


A dear friend of mine, Gary, “put off the body” and went to be with Jesus today. He had a severe heart attack Tuesday morning and was in critical condition all week. The family chose to forgo heroic life-saving measures today and Gary passed peacefully into heaven.

PWM and I have known Gary for at least 17 years. Within a year or two of our moving up here and starting to attend Faith Community Church, Gary and Violet moved from California to Waupaca (their hometown) for Gary to become our Pastor of Ministry and Maturity. PWM and I have had the great pleasure during these years of getting to know Gary and Violet. We’ve been through various ups and downs together – more ups than downs, thankfully.

Tonight, though, we mourn the passing of someone who truly knew how to “abide in Christ”. Gary, you will be greatly missed by many people. You were well-loved.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Life–Thursday, December 5, 2013

The big news around here is that it is COLD! Of course, we live in the Great White North, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. Yet, somehow, it seems to be shocking when it happens every year. This year, our first sub-zero temps appear to be happening about a month earlier than they did last year, but still within the normal time frames for the upper Midwest.

We had some snow several days ago, followed yesterday by rain, followed today by cold, followed tonight by “stupid cold” (as PWM says). And this leaves us with ice. Not ice, like an ice storm, thankfully. But, ice, as in ice on the ground. Wild Man is responsible for keeping the sidewalks next door at the apartment complex clean and dry and de-iced during the winter, while PWM takes care of our house and shop areas. Unfortunately, the area right outside our side door is a low spot and is perfect for water to pool and freeze (and where I fell on my butt twice last year). PWM is working hard to keep it dry and ice-free this year. My poor butt is still recovering from last year.

So, we’re breaking out the heavy coats and multiple layers. And hoping for just a smidge more snow before Christmas so everything looks nice and white and fresh. But not a blizzard. Please, God, no blizzards anytime soon!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

YouTube Series - December 4, 2013

PWM and Wild Man can become lost in YouTube. PWM likes things like The Voice. Wild Man watches video game walk-throughs or videos by his favorite musicians, like Pentatonix. Generally, I prefer blogs or other sites with articles or posts that I can read. I don’t have much patience for videos.

Except . . . Except for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This is a 100 episode video series on YouTube that is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice. It is funny and poignant and wonderful.

And tonight I discovered Emma Approved, another series by the same group. I am a happy woman! Each episode is 4-7 minutes long, so I can watch it in bits and pieces when it’s convenient for me.  The early episodes (so far) have been pretty funny. The characters are pretty true to Austen, but the plot is only vaguely Austenesque, so it’s not an exact copy of Emma.

Have you seen any of these series? Do you have any other web series that you recommend?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Putting Off the Body–December 3, 2012


2 Peter 1:14 has Peter writing the following: “ . . . since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.” Peter is writing about his death. What a lovely metaphor – “putting off the body”.

Some people choose to use the fact that we are body and soul as an excuse to neglect the body since our souls will live eternally. But, God clearly made us with mortal bodies that will be resurrected and live again in the new Heaven and new Earth. I don’t understand all of this, but I know that none of God’s creation is to be devalued, especially not these precious human bodies we are given.

This thought of putting off the body is especially poignant today as a friend of mine had a heart attack this morning and was close to “putting off the body”. Thanks, though, to modern medicine and timely care, he remains here among us on earth and we pray he will continue to do so (of course, as God wills).

I don’t want to be morbid, but this is something we all need to consider. At some point, we will be required to “put off the body”. What will happen then? For those of us who believe in Jesus, we know that we will have an eternity in heaven with Jesus. But, if you have questions about what you believe happens after life on this earth, it would be good to ask those questions of your nearest friend or family member who seems to have a handle on it. And, you’re always welcome to ask questions here on the blog.

Monday, December 02, 2013

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas–December 2, 2013

While I was having my multi-day migraine during the Thanksgiving holidays, my kids decided to decorate the house for Christmas. On Saturday, they put up all my Nativity sets (I have 15, I think). Later, when their friends came over, they all put the ornaments on the Christmas tree. Between that and the couple of inches of snow last week, it’s looking downright Christmas-y around here!


Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Thanksgiving Plan–And Aftermath–December 1, 2013

I love holidays. But I’m as likely to have a migraine on a holiday as on any other day. For this Thanksgiving day, I made a plan. Rosie Girl came home early on Wednesday afternoon, so she and I prepared everything for cooking, including the turkey. We had planned to make the desserts, but after I burned the pound cake, I didn’t have it in me to make another one and then make the pecan pie. All we had to do on Thanksgiving Day was to cook everything in the right order.

And on Thanksgiving Day, I had a migraine. During the Packers dismal game, I took a Maxalt and then a nap. After the turkey was done and while the side dishes were cooking, I taught Wild Man how to make gravy. Then everyone else got the table ready and we sat down to a delicious lunch!

I still have the headache – three days later. It’s been quite the doozy. But, I’m pleased to say that my plan to prep the food the day before was a success!! The dinner was wonderful and we have leftovers for at least another few days!