Friday, December 31, 2004

A tale of two letters

Disclaimer: the following blog contains the name of a politician, but this writing is not intended to campaign, gloat, offend or otherwise upset any reader. Thank you.

Yesterday in the mail I received two letters. One letter and one card, actually. The card was hand addressed to my husband and myself--a Christmas card. It didn't have a return address, so I eagerly opened it to find out who sent it. It was a beautiful Hallmark card of the three wise men, with this printed inside: "The King who was sought was found." "Wishing you the perfect joy that is found in Christ the Lord." A handwritten note followed: "Hope you have a great holiday and a great new year." But it was unsigned.

The postmark was Carbondale, IL--but the handwriting was not of my aunt who usually addressed cards from that part of the world. So, if you are the sender, thank you so much for the lovely card, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

The second letter did have a name on the outside, but no address. It simply said, George W. Bush, President. (I suppose it's like when Billy Graham was in the Twin Cities--he used to say, "Just write to me at, Billy Graham, Minneapolis, MN--it's all the address you need." Now that Billy's headquarters are in North Carolina, I suppose they need at least a PO number....)

On the second letter was this handwritten note: "Dear Suzanne, (handwritten, remember)

Thank you for your great help on my campaign in Minnesota.

With your help, we achieved an historic nationwide victory, winning a record total of over 61 million votes.

I am honored by the trust of my fellow citizens, confident in our purpose, and looking forward to continuing to lead this nation for four more years.

Laura joins me in thanking you for your steadfast support and in wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday.


George W. Bush"

I know this letter from W was simply a photocopy, but I was impressed that it was handwritten--and my name (although not my familiar nickname, Suzi) was handwritten, too. It must have taken some time to do that, copied or not.

So, as the year ends, it's nice to get greetings from friends and the famous alike, signed or unsigned. Happy new year to all of you who have muddled through my blog at some time or other this calendar year. I thank you for your readership and wish you a blessed 2005.

Till next time,

Suzi, friend of the unsigned as well as presidents (well, one president--well, I got a letter from his staff, anyway.....)


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Slip slidin' away.....

It's a nice warm, gray December day. But even as the temperatures go up, the streets and sidewalks remain hazardous. Today Raven and I walked along ice-coated sidewalks and watched as cars did a little spin as they came to stop or turn at intersections.

It's supposed to get up to 40 degrees F today, so the ice should all melt, and the little snow we have with it. We may get heavy rains after that. Ahhhh well, it's better than a snow storm. (???)

Till next time,



Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Regulating heat

Last week, during a particularly nasty cold snap, the heat in the garage went out. This was the day before Christmas Eve, so we were unable to get it repairs until today. It needed a regulator of some sort to keep the proper amount of gas flowing out.

Now the gas in the fireplace isn't working, so I suppose we should get a regulator for that as well.

Yesterday, a huge explosion killed three people in a suburban area north of here. The culprit is probably a gas leak.

I can see the importance of regulating heat--and how the loss of that, for us, is merely an inconvenience, but for others, a loss of life.

When we fail to regulate our lives, we can be inconvenienced, or inconvenience others. By not keeping to schedules, not keeping track of important papers, we can mess things up.

But the most important thing is for us to keep in regular contact with God. And by doing so, we can turn over the daily disruptions we face in life. If we allow him to be our Chief Regulator, life can be so much better. He wants to be in charge of our lives--to give us all the good gifts he longs to give. As we give him control, he amazingly gives us freedom--the freedom to trust and follow him.

With God as my Regulator, I am always warm and snug in his arms.

Till next time,



Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Mall

I'm not really a shopper. I know it kind of goes against my gender, but I'd rather be home and shop on line than face crowds at the mall.

My daughter, however, loves to shop. Yesterday for her birthday we went to the Mall of America, where there were sales galore and shoppers up the wazoo. I spent a lot of time on benches or chairs as Christina perused the stores and got some good items on discount.

Still going strong, Christina decided to go out with friends for supper and had a friend spend the night. So much for family time on her birthday. Oh well, we'll have a family party this weekend. And if Christina wants to go shopping with her birthday money, I think I'll drop her off at the door and wait for her call.

Till next time,



Monday, December 27, 2004

Fifteen years

Fifteen years ago today I was not in labor, but another woman was. She was the birth mother of our adopted daughter, Christina. Fifteen years ago, I was gathered with my family after Christmas in Tennessee for my brother's wedding. (His birthday is today, too--happy birthday Rog!) On Christmas day, 15 years ago, I watched CNN with my family as the news of the Romanian dictator's execution was broadcast over and over, complete with video of the bodies of he and his wife on the ground, dead by firing squad for their unspeakable crimes.

My parents were home from Romania for my brother's wedding. My dad was on an overseas stint there, working for General Electric. We had no idea how the events that were transpiring would affect our lives--not just because my parents worked there, but because our daughter was being born there.

She was one of the "iron crib" babies we watched months later through our TV screens. Tim and I had two boys, 3 and 5, but were thinking about a third. Wouldn't a girl be nice, we thought--since there were no grandsons yet on our side of the family. How would mom and dad like to help us adopt one of those precious Romanian orphans?

Well, I wasn't sure they would take us up on it, but eventually they did--and my mom threw herself into the task of achieving a granddaughter. (At one time during my "terrible twos" she said, "I hope you grow up and have a little girl just like you!" Little did I know she would hand deliver her to us! ;) ) Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and my mother and her faithful friend Mia traveled to an orphanage in northern Romania where they found our Christina. Through myriads of paperwork, tireless days and nights, determination and prayers, my mom brought our Christina to us on May 18, 1991. (Maybe I wrote about this on an earlier blog, too........but I think it bears repeating).

I am so grateful to my parents and their friend Mia, and the others who prayed and helped us meet our new daughter. Today she is 15 years old, teetering on the threshold of womanhood. These teen years aren't the easiest, but I'm sure they are worth it. Our beautiful baby has turned into a lovely young woman.

Happy birthday, Christina. We love you and are proud of you and so thankful to call you our daughter.




Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

This year, Christmas feels a little different. Our first born son, Luke, "came home" for Christmas. He just moved out this past summer, and he only lives a few miles away, but it was a little strange saying good-bye to him Christmas Eve night and welcoming him home Christmas morning, to open stockings with his sleepy siblings.

I remember our first Christmas with Luke. His name means "light"--so I think of Jesus, the light of the world, and how he told us to be his lights in our dark world. We read from the gospel of Luke at Christmas time. At our first Christmas with our baby, we were asked to be Mary and Joseph in the Sunday school Christmas program, and Luke played the baby Jesus. Instead of swaddling clothes, Luke was dressed in a blanket sleeper, covered with little lambs.

Our "little lamb" was very good--I remember being nervous that he might make a fuss, but like the Little Lord Jesus in "Away in a Manger," "no crying he made." Tim and I didn't have any lines, we just looked down lovingly at the baby (I don't think we put him in a manger.)

Now, 19 other Christmases have come and gone. Yesterday, Luke brought two movies for us to watch, and after our Christmas Eve dinner, Tim watched football while the kids and I watched "Elf." After church, Tim joined the kids and me to watch a second movie Luke had, "Big Fish." Both were delightful. Even Raven joined us for the second movie--crushing his weight on me and Christina as we snuggled under blankets on our sectional sofa.

Our gifts have been opened, and the wrapping paper that was so carefully cocooned around each present has found its way to the garbage. The work and anticipation of the morning is behind us. But the memories will last. And the most important thing, the love of our Savior, will be with us past our lifetimes. This is the one gift I wish for my family and for everyone--to know Jesus Christ and have him in each heart.

I would like to wish a merry Christmas to my family--my immediate family, Tim, Luke, Mark and Christina, my in-law family, and my mom, dad, brother and sisters and their families. Wish we could all be together! And to our exchange student children in countries around the world--Carla in Bolivia, Marcelo in Ecuador, Mai in Japan, Noh in Thailand, and Inga in Moldova--Merry, merry Christmas! We love you all and pray for a wonderful and safe new year.




Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas competition

Today Christmas is competing with football. Oh, not the usual thing you think about--after the gifts are unwrapped on Christmas day, the guys (and sometimes gals) gather around the tube to watch their favorite gridders knock around the pigskin and each other.

Nope, this year football in Minnesota and Wisconsin is competing with CHRISTMAS. Today, Christmas Eve, the football central division championship is being determined at a 2 pm game on Christmas Eve. Instead of worshiping in their churches, unfaithful parishioners will be at the altar of their TV screens.

Well, at least the game should be over by 6. Many churches have worship services later than this, including 11 pm or midnight services, of course. Then football and church can co-exist.

My dinner plans have been altered to accommodate the football fans in the house. I was trying to decide if we should eat before or after the 6 pm service--turns out I need to have dinner before the game, so everyone can sit and enjoy it with full tummies.

If it weren't such a rivalry--the Vikings and the Packers--it might not matter so much. I just hope thoughts will quickly turn from the game to the real reason for this day. It would be nice for the focus of this day to be Jesus and not Randy Moss or Brett Favre.

I hope there are no football games on here tomorrow........

Till next time,



Thursday, December 23, 2004

Walking in a fog

Today is a beautiful, sunny day. It's 10 below zero. Raven and I (well, I) bundled up for our daily walk outside. Two layers of pants, plus snow pants, check. T-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket, check. Gloves, covered by mittens, check. Hat/scarf ensemble? Check. Tennis shoes (there's not enough snow to warrant boots yet), check. Raven's leash, check. His food and water dish filled for his arrival home, check. Plenty of plastic bags in my pocket? Check. Cell phone in zipper pocket? Check.

We headed out. I let Raven guide me as my glasses fogged up. I tried to clear them up a few times, always unsuccessfully. I could still sense cars around me (I don't think we ran into any other walkers or dogs), so I didn't worry about getting hit.

I was grateful to get back home, though I hadn't been cold, really. (Well, maybe my fingers got a little chilly.) It was nice to shed the layers and take a warm shower, drink my sugar-free hot chocolate, and sit and blog.

Today's high is supposed to be zero. Thank goodness for warm clothes, a warm house, and the warmth of Christmas coming.

Till next time,



Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Home sweet home

Today I'm home. Raven and I did venture out for our usual walk--even though it is below zero. Really, if I am layered enough and there is no wind, it isn't too bad out there. I only feel for Raven--not because of the cold so much, but when he walks on the salt his feet get sore, and every once in awhile he limps a bit or stops to lick his feet. By the time we're home, he's fine again. Maybe I'll give him an Epsom salt soak later to sooth his paws.

I believe I'm done with my shopping. I purchased food for Christmas and for baking, and enough groceries to last us till after Christmas. Even the things I was planning to mail today were scooped up by Tim, so I don't have to go out anymore. So, I can get busy cleaning, wrapping, and maybe even baking.

I think it will be a good day.

Till next time,



Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Errand girl

Today I'm Tim's errand girl. I brought him and the boys some drywall screws from home that had been forgotten. They're doing something a little different than their usual taping work--today they are actually hanging sheetrock. As I arrived, Mark was perched on a ladder cutting holes in the ceiling for the canned recessed lights.

My errand was not finished. Tim gave me his Home Depot card, and off I went to buy yet more screws--this time they were ceiling screws. I was able to follow his directions for a short cut (I was very proud--I often get lost or turned around if Tim doesn't draw me a map) and return promptly with the requested item.

I decided to stop at Cub Foods on the way home. I did shopping that I hope will last us for the week and bought some more little stocking stuffers. As I was carrying in groceries, Tim called and asked if I could meet him to put a check in the bank. I told him I'd call back when I got the groceries in the house.

When I called, he was already on the way to the bank. Whew. Maybe now I can finish putting away the groceries and get a shower in before dark. Oh, yeah, I need gas, gotta stop at the library--and sometime I need to pick up Christina, who is at a friend's house. Ho, ho, ho--away I go!

Till next time,



Monday, December 20, 2004

Chosen by Uncle Sam

Saturday was a cold, windy day in the Twin Cities. So, mid-afternoon when the doorbell rang, I rushed to open the door and usher whoever was there inside the house.

There stood a strange man. Raven greeted him with an incessant bark, and I stood there surprised as he flashed a badge of identification from the US Census Bureau.

"Did you get our letter?" he inquired. "Maybe--" I stuttered. "My husband's been in a tossing mode lately......." Usually anything from the government is related to taxes for Tim's business, so I just toss those envelopes on Tim's desk without a second thought.

We had been chosen to represent 150,000 Americans "just like us." We are to record all our spending/expenses for the next two weeks. Fortunately, this doesn't include business expenses, but it does include everything else for the four of us who live here. Eating out, groceries, bills we pay during that period of time, even vending machine snacks--are all to be recorded in a big calendar-sized booklet that the Man At The Door left behind.

He graciously added that if I want to just include a grocery store receipt, that he would take the time to itemize each purchase. Ay caramba.

So, we and 399 other Americans are busy recording all our purchases this Christmas season. They seem particularly interested in any alcohol purchases we make (which will be none). I suppose they are not only trying to get figures for Alan Greenspan for consumer spending, but also see the drinking habits of Americans, especially at this jolly time of year.

This may be a good exercise. I just need to make sure I save receipts and keep up every day. We're in to day two--just 12 more to go. Uncle Sam, you'll know one more thing about me and mine!

By the way, today my Daddy is turning the 3/4 century mark. Happy, happy birthday Dad! We love you lots and hope Uncle Sam and everyone else is good to you this next year!

Till next time,



Saturday, December 18, 2004

Faxing can be vexing

We've have this printer next to my computer for months--maybe even a couple of years. It has a copy function, which we use quite often, and a fax capability.

Since we don't use the fax function often (at all, although we planned to), the book that explains how to hook it up is not handy (it's in a stack somewhere). We are able to send faxes from our computers, of course, and the ones we've needed to received have been waiting for us over at Tim's parents and his mom's fax machine.

This morning Tim decided to try to figure out the fax. We have to numbers to our house, but one line. The second number, we figured, could be our fax number. The ring is different, so everyone can know that it is an incoming fax, not a phone call.

Well, a couple of trial and errors later (Tim asked his parents to try to fax us something) and things still aren't right. I guess e-mail will have to do for now. Or, people can always leave comments on my blog...........

Till next time,



Friday, December 17, 2004

Last day of school--2004

Today's the last day of school for the kids in this calendar year. Today they are finishing up their semester tests, and enjoying a different schedule that allows them to go out for lunch.

I'm so glad that Mark and Christina have the opportunity to go to a Christian school--even if it may only be for a short period of time. Even though they may not know it, through chapel, religion classes, hymn singing and the influence of Christian teachers, staff and students, they have grown and learned.

Luke has had a good semester at his community college too. He was surprised to find he enjoyed his speech class, and on Monday gave a talk on muscle cars, illustrating with some model cars he had built in the past. He may take a lighter load next semester, as he'll be working more and helping out at the tax office.

It will be nice to have a break from school. Now, what can I do to keep Christina occupied for two weeks????????

Till next time,



Thursday, December 16, 2004

Late start

Mark and Christina have semester testing today, but they don't have a first period test, so they don't have to be at school till 9:45. It was nice not to have to crawl out of bed early to wake them (often at different intervals--the first time never seems to take, especially for Christina). Raven and I got our walk in and now as I blog they are getting ready for school.

One more day after today, and then they will have Christmas break. I'm sure Tim will want Mark to work with him next week, and I'm thinking of taking the bus and the new train (to take advantage of our tax dollars) to the Mall of America sometime next week. The Christmas cards are almost done--so I need to order a food tray for Christmas day, do some more shopping and wrapping, and bake some goodies.

We're in the home stretch--Christmas, here we come! I hope we can all relax some and enjoy this special season as we think about how much the Lord did for us, coming to earth as a baby and giving himself to us. In turn, we can give of ourselves to others.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Living with labels

Yesterday's frustration was labels. No, nobody was calling me names. I thought I would save a lot of time with Christmas cards by making labels this year--to be on the computer for years to come, and with just a click of a mouse, I would save my cramped hand from writing out addresses.

Well, it turns out I selected the wrong size labels to print the addresses on. Therefore, none of the labels fit. Tim asked me if I had printed out a test page before using a label page, and of course, that simple question sent me off the deep end.

Today I have corrected the problem. The labels, printed in green (so hopefully receivers of our cards will forgive the fact that they are not hand printed this year since they look so festive) are finished. Now, I just need to stuff envelopes and affix labels and stamps. Thank goodness for self-adhesion.

Till next time,



Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Wrapping and mailing

Well, I got all my wrapping and mailing of packages done for my side of the family. I can't believe it took me all day long, and then a trip to the post office, lugging garbage bags filled with boxes to mail. When I finally got to the front of the line, I finished filling out a slip to send something overseas, only to find out an item in the package was unacceptable. I got the rest off, and then went back home, removed the "offending" item, and returned.

I got home for supper, in time to eat with my family, iron Mark's shirt, and with Tim's guidance, help him put on a tie for the evening Christmas concert at school. Christina didn't need help getting dressed, but she chose to wear open toed sandals and froze her toes off as she was looking for Mark's truck after the concert. Tim and I drove separately, and offered to take her home, but it was more "cool" to ride with Mark and his friends.

Today I plan to focus on Christmas cards. Tim put them together this year, doing most of the writing and layout, with a little input from me. Now I need to get them addressed, stuffed, and out the door.

In the busy-ness, it is still fun to think of each friend or family member as I wrap or address items. I pray that all of them are well and experiencing the joy of the season in the midst of what can often be chaos.

Till next time,



Monday, December 13, 2004

Windy weekend

Mark and I heard a loud crash yesterday morning as we waited in the truck (in the garage) for Tim and Christina to come out for church. I thought maybe Tim was moving some things outside, because we'd had strong winds--and Tim got up at 5 am to move some Styrofoam insulation inside. When we opened the garage door and backed out, we saw that the cover of Mark's pickup bed had blown off--landing right in front of the front tires, flat on the ground.

We were thankful that Mark wasn't driving when this flew off--it could have been devastating! Many homes were without power for a time in the Twin Cities yesterday--and all we had to worry about was recovering our garbage/recycling cans that had blown down a hill. (Also, Tim secured our awning and cranked it up so it wouldn't keep flapping in the wind.

We left for church, where our whole family went in front of our church to light the Advent candle of Joy. Our reading was from Luke--the story of the birth of Elizabeth and Zechariah and the birth of John. It was wonderful to be in a warm, safe place surrounded by Christian friends, as our family read the Scripture. Christina read of Christmas memories and lit the candle.

Today, it's still breezy but not like yesterday, when the winds howled from early morning to late at night. I'm going to try to wrap packages and get to the post office. The wind may not be strong today, but I hope to be propelled by the wind of the Holy Spirit--remembering Jesus as I hurry about all the tasks we give ourselves at this season. As I huff and puff through my to-do list, I want to take time to breathe in the Breath of Life and remember what--and Who--is really important.

Till next time,



Saturday, December 11, 2004

Still stilting it

For the past few days, I've been helping Tim out at an office site not too far from home. The boys have been working too, but Tim has taken on so much this past week that he needed the additional "help" I could provide.

I have to say that spotting nails (really screws) is more fun than doing clean up work. With clean up, you are never sure if it is really good enough, yet you don't have the time to mop the floors or clean the carpets till they are shiny or spotless.

I finished the lower nails (screws) and then Tim asked me to do the high ones. This would require me to get on the stilts. I found a step ladder, and perching upon it, I strapped on each stilt and began to work. Though 47 years old, I can still go about a room at the seven-foot level. (or at least 6 1/2 foot)

Today my right hand and forearm are sore from using the broadknife. I guess I'm getting older. Tim says it's because I should do it more often, to get myself back into drywall shape. I am just happy to have some rest. Well, maybe not rest--Christina and I are planning to hit the mall today. I'll be using different wrist action as I hand over that credit card.........

Till next time,



Friday, December 10, 2004

The new tool

Over the years, I've become accustomed to watching Tim buy new tools for his drywall finishing business. Sometimes they are rather expensive and large, and other times they are small and inexpensive.

His collection includes ladders, hoppers, trowels, knives, hawks, stilts, and a variety of "boxes" that attach to poles (for doing corners, taping seams, etc.) He has fans and heating units, brooms and scrapers.

So I realized when my mostly hairless headed husband (very handsome, I might add) bought something usually used for styling hair, that it was probably another tool for work. His purchase of a $19.95 hair dryer was to help dry small areas on remodeling jobs he's doing--when he doesn't want to blow a big fan if there are furniture and other objects in the room and lots of sheetrock dust.

I never thought our daughter would be covetous of any of Tim's tools, but she wanted that hair dryer! She borrowed it this morning, but I think she may have to purchase her own (or put it on her Christmas list).

So, if I ever have to join Tim at work when I'm just out of the shower, I'll know that at least I can dry my hair at the job. Only problem is, I don't think he's got a mirror in his tool box.....

Till next time,



Thursday, December 09, 2004

Meeting neighbors

Yesterday nine ladies came over for lunch from my BSF class. Some of them had never been to Robbinsdale before, and one of them got lost (despite my attempt to give amazing directions) and was about 30 minutes late. Even though she brought dessert, we managed to wait patiently for her and were rewarded with heath bar pie and holiday cupcakes.

At the church before lunch, I was passing out directions. Two ladies said, "Okay, where do you live in relation to Lakeview school?" It turns out their two boys attended the elementary school across the street from my house, and were there the same time as our kids. I knew they wouldn't get lost. Robbinsdale is rather a small town (14,000), so it was fun to meet some new friends whom I'm sure I've seen at school events or even around town. How wonderful to find out that they are sisters in Christ, as well as neighbors!

Perhaps one of them will host a fellowship luncheon before the year's end. Maybe by then the gals from outer suburbia will feel comfortable finding and re-visiting our historic little suburb.

Till next time,



Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Walking in the dark

This morning Raven and I headed out for our walk early--I'm having ladies over for lunch, and I want to put finishing touches on the house and make sure everything is ready--because after my Bible study they will all be coming over, and I won't have any time to prepare then.

I was hoping to find homes decorated with Christmas lights to welcome us on our journey, but most houses were dark at 6 am. A few had outdoor Christmas lights on evergreen trees, but I didn't see any fantastic displays that are so evident in the evening. I guess people are trying to save on their electric bills.

Well, the true light of Christmas can't be captured around trees or windows or roof lines. As I get ready for Bible study, I need to remember the reason we celebrate and look to him for light and peace.

Till next time,



Tuesday, December 07, 2004

O Christmas Tree

I have been working to prepare for our ladies' BSF luncheon. It isn't really a lot to prepare--everyone brings their own lunch and I just provide the house and the beverages. However, I have wanted to have the house decorated for Christmas before the ladies arrive, and of course, I've been trying to declutter and make things clean and presentable.

So I was dismayed when we got the Christmas tree down from the attic, and found that one of the poles to form the trunk of the tree was missing. Tim had sworn he had seen it recently, and we searched high and low. No pole. I had all the decorations out and ready, but no tree to trim.

Well, we went to bed, (that was Sunday night) and yesterday I continued the search. Nothing. So, after dinner Tim went out to buy a live tree. Christina has been asking for a live tree anyway, and we haven't had one for a long time.

Tim cut the tree so it would fit in our living room. We put it in a new gallon stand, filled it with water, put the tree skirt on, and decorated the tree. When we were all done, we put the ornament boxes and the artificial tree back in the garage. As Tim was putting the old tree back in the attic above the garage, I heard him holler. "Here it is!" There, in the attic, not far from where we had gotten the tree down, was the other pole.

At least we didn't buy another artificial tree! And we can enjoy the scent of pine this season. Tim was even talking about setting up the old tree outside or in our back porch.

It never fails, whenever we go to buy something to replace something we can't find, the lost object turns up. I just got a new paring knife to replace my missing one--so I suppose that will turn up soon, too.

Is this part of Murphy's Law?

Till next time,



Monday, December 06, 2004

Serving communion

Yesterday Tim and I were asked to serve communion in our church. It's rather a small church right now--a growing church plant of our parent church, Plymouth Covenant. We were to hold the elements--Tim held the bread and I held the cup, as the members of the congregation came forward to take the bread, then dip it in the cup.

It's been a long time since I've served communion--and it was in our old church where we passed a plate of pieces of wafer, bread, or cracker, and then later passed a plate of small cups of juice. It was more like taking an offering. But in this setting yesterday, I could see each individual as he or she participated. Tim said, "God loves you and gave his body for you," and I said, "The blood of Christ, shed for you." It was so moving to see people's response in such a simple act. I felt the presence of the Lord as people came forward.

At the end of our service, the guest pastor came up and offered to help Tim and me serve each other. Later, a friend of ours who is going through a difficult divorce said he was moved to tears as he watched us serve each other.

I hope never to take this act of worship as a mere ritual. I am thankful that Jesus gave himself for us, and that we can remember his sacrifice through this special sacrament. And I am thankful for a husband who shares my faith and with whom I can serve the Lord, side by side.


Saturday, December 04, 2004

The missing phone

It is amazing how dependent we have become on our cell phones. We are almost ready to give our daughter Christina a cell phone, although frightened that our almost 15-year-old may not be ready for the responsibility (read: go way over her allotted minutes). Last night she got a ride to a friend's house with a friend from school I did not know. I thought she was going to get a ride with her brother. I called her friend's cell phone (the friend whose house she was going to), and she wasn't at home or with Christina. I called the house where Christina was waiting for her friend, and no one answered. Growing steadily concerned, I drove to the house to pick her up. She was there, safe and sound, sitting with another friend and chatting with the dad who lived in the house. They were discussing church, and Christina was inviting him and his family to our service.

Relieved, I took Christina home and explained my anxiety to her. She was very apologetic and there were no blow outs. Later we let her go to the Christian coffee house she had been planning on attending, and Tim and I went out to get a bite to eat.

After dinner, I thought I'd give Tim the opportunity to walk Raven, since he seldom has that privilege. The next morning (today), he was looking for his cell phone. I tried calling it, but couldn't hear it anywhere in the house. Mark went outside while I rang the phone, and found it under a tree. Tim has at least 50 friends and business contacts on his phone--numbers that may not be recorded anywhere else. I was very glad it hadn't rained or snowed last night. I recall the time last winter when Tim lost his phone on the lake (it was frozen) when walking Raven. We managed to find it by walking out there--me with my cell phone, and Tim, searching and listening for his familiar ring. Fortunately, we did find it then too.

I wonder if I should sew some kind of magnet onto Tim's belt and glue one to his phone. Apparently the inner magnetism that attracts me to him isn't enough to keep his cell phone attached. But then again, we would miss out on all these missing cell phone adventures.

Till next time,


PS My sister Lori commented below that magnets and phones do not mix. Just in case anyone else thought of trying that....


Friday, December 03, 2004


This week my job title has changed from homemaker/homebaker/turkeytrimmer to courier/cleaner. I have been diverted from my homemaking duties to fetching furnace parts, cleaning office space, and picking up and delivering corner beads. Yesterday Tim asked if I could come help clean up a job--it'll be about an hour of vacuuming--so I agreed. When I got there, I started up the new upright Tim had bought, only to have it die on me. After giving it a bit of a rest (and Luke cleaned it out--we were vacuuming up sheetrock dust after Luke had sanded the walls), the vacuum started up again, only to die moments later. So, I resorted to the shop vac--going around the rooms on my hand and knees to get up all the white powder (again, sheetrock dust, not some other white concoction!). Tim came to my rescue (he was at a nearby job) and fixed the vacuum. I worked for awhile, then quit. Tim came back, and fixed it. It quit again. After 4 hours, I left Tim to finish the job. Sigh.

This morning, he called me with a different mission. Can I pick something up for him--a box of 8-foot corner beads. Will you be asking me to work once I get there? No, he promised. So, I left, and I finally managed to find Wallboard after driving around an industrial area for a few minutes. No parking was available, so I pulled right into their large warehouse garage. I think it helped to look like a helpless female, because I got service right away and someone helped load the corner beads into the truck.

I drove to the outer regions of the metro area and arrived at the job site. Tim told me to call him when I got there, and he would carry in the order. I called, he answered, but he didn't get outside till I had dragged the box to the doorway.

"I'm not asking this, but Luke is," he said as he greeted me. "He wants to know if you'll help him with the nails. I told him no way, Mom needs to get going, and I promised her that she wouldn't have to do any work."

Well, feeling for my son, I decided to help with the nails. Besides, I hadn't done that work in awhile, and it is kinda fun. So, Tim gave me a hawk, knife and some mud. I proudly whipped through those nails (really screws) in no time, only to discover I had gotten drywall mud all over the front of my shirt. Ah well, I was able to wash it off in the bathroom and then be on my way. I stopped off at the grocery store on the way home, and so I'm finally blogging, late again, at 1:20 pm.

I wonder what hat I'll wear next week?

Till next time,



Thursday, December 02, 2004

Cold and dark

This morning it was hard to get out of bed. Here in Minnesota, the days are very short and the nights are long. Some of us trick ourselves into thinking December 21 or 22 is actually the first day of spring, because after that date, the daylight gets longer and longer. The dark and cold make it hard for me to get moving.

But I should probably try to get out of bed and walk while it is still dark. Some people have their Christmas lights on in the early morning, and it is certainly a cheery sight on these dark days. One of my favorite discoveries this year was a house with a little lighted ladder up to the roof. Four stuffed characters are perched on each rung--a snowman on the bottom, an elf, a reindeer, and on the top, Santa himself. Another favorite sight is a Santa clinging to a chimney, with his arms stretched up, hanging on for dear life.

Still recovering from Thanksgiving and now in the middle of installing a heater in the garage, we have yet to decorate for Christmas. But Tim does have the decorations down from the attic, so I think we'll begin very soon. And more than the heat and lights will warm our hearts as we prepare for this marvelous season. The warmth of the love that Jesus gave at Christmas will bring a glow to our spirits--and I think that is reason enough to get up in the morning.

Till next time,



Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Blogging late

I had hoped to blog this morning, but I ran out of time. (It's now after 2 pm.) Tim is having his friend Phil install a heater in our garage, and even though we got up earlier, I was rushing about the kitchen and helping the kids get up and going out the door to school. I needed to get my things ready for Bible Study Fellowship. And, when I did finish at BSF, Tim needed me to run up to Ham Lake (on the outskirts of town, next door to cow pastureland) to pick up stuff that Phil still needed for the heater.

Still to come today: picking up stuff for the science project that is due tomorrow (but I told you about it last week, mom--Christina said), and getting our pointsettia order from AFS. When I called Tim to say that I was home with the heater stuff, he suggested that Christina and I come help clean up at a job site.

I tell you, the old adage is really true, a woman's work is never done. What's a bloggette to do?

Till next time,


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