Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about Christmas this year. Maybe it is because I have so little to give my girls and have been dealing with my feelings about that. Maybe it is because I am working retail this Holiday season and now I can see what Christmas has really become all about. Or, it could be that I am far from home in a place vastly different from where I grew up where Christmas is warm and there is ZERO chance that it will snow!

Probably it is all of these things combined. I can tell you, though, that I have become so sickened at the way people treat one another at Christmas. I was raised that Christmas was about the birth of our wonderful Lord Jesus and that it is a time for family. Don't get me wrong, we gave and received presents, too. One year I got a horse! That was AWESOME! But, you know the reason I remember that so clearly was because of the way she was given to me. My mom took the time to plan a surprise the night before Christmas. We had gone to church where Mom sang for the Christmas Eve service. When we got home, I carried her guitar into the house and when I got inside, she was already standing at the back door with the back door opened. When I walked out, there was Sally with a big red bow tied in her tail and a sign hanging from her back saying "Merry Christmas Heather!" It was awesome! I remember how excited Mom was by my excitement.

Well, as usual, I got off on a rabbit trail! I guess it just makes me sad to see how people can be so ugly to one another over stupid things. Things that will just break or be thrown under the bed before they can even be fully enjoyed. Things that will, in some cases, not even be "good enough" and will bring guilt and sadness to the giver. The only gift worthy of being given at Christmas, is the original Christmas gift, Jesus. And, if only people put as much worth in relationship and each other as He did, not only would Christmas be a happier time, but so would every day.

One night I had a mom come through my line who was grumbling about how much money she was spending on her son and she just couldn't believe she was spending so much, blah, blah, blah. Through the course of her checkout, I discovered that this child was her youngest and only 3 years old. She spent over $600 on him just that trip and from what she said, she still needed to pick up a few more things. I was just appalled! I am glad to say that I haven't seen that kind of extravagance again for just one child. Most people this year seem to get that there is a financial crisis going on. I hear some people talk about it like, oh well, we'll just spend what we have and figure it out from there. That too, is sad. It is just sad that we, American's who are living in a "Christian" country, have lost the true meaning of Christmas.

I know that I haven't rocked the world with my thoughts on Christmas and that what I see is nothing new. But, this year I am just hugely impacted and saddened by what I see. For Christmas this year, I got the girls just a few little things. On Christmas day, I plan for them to open their gifts and then we are going to go spend some time on the beach. After that we will probably just come home and spend some good, solid, quality time together over mugs of hot cocoa. My desire is to make THIS a tradition with my girls. A legacy of time well spent and memories made. Things that will not break or be thrown under the bed.

Merry Christmas to all and God bless you this Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have been dealing with a lot of difficult choices as of late. I feel that I have followed God in a direction that He called me and my family and now that we are here, nothing seems quite right. I have been struggling with that idea, wondering if that means that I didn't really follow God, maybe just my own desires. Then I reflect back to when I heard the calling (this is all about a move to FL, by the way) and Florida was the furthest thought from my mind. Now, I can believe that the enemy would take full advantage of my desperation for an answer at that time and knew that I would be very interested in coming to Florida. I won't say that was the case, but I am open to the possibility. I even prayed at that time that I was hearing from God and that it wasn't a trick of Satan. Okay...

So, here we are in Florida, staying with my brother and sister-in-law who have been more than gracious with us in their home. They are helping me with the girls when I am at work by picking them up from school/daycare, feeding them, putting them to bed, etc. All of the things that I find to be the most exhausting and taxing part of my day. I feel completely blessed by their kindness and generosity. However, it is becoming clearer and clearer that things cannot continue on this way. I know that they must be getting anxious to get their life back and, as much as I am grateful to have a place to rest my head, I am desperate for my own private place.

The problem with needing my own space and giving "M" and "T" back their lives is the financial aspect of it. None of us expected this transition to be THIS hard. I knew it would be difficult and it would take some time to get everything switched over and secured. I just had NO idea that nearly everything I put my hand to would crumble. I only recently got a job at WalMart - that is only officially a seasonal position - and only just got my second paycheck. With daycare and after school care (extended day), that takes the majority of what I make. (I realize that this is not a new or unique problem, nor is it new or unique to me.) To find a place that I can afford to rent has pretty much proven to be impossible. The waiting lists on subsidized homes are crazy long.

I have spent much time asking the question, did I make the wrong choice? Aren't things supposed to at least be a little easier when following God's lead? I mean, why would God call us to Florida and then just leave me hangin'? The whole point of coming was to stay in school for this year and keep on track for finishing up my degree. Well, I'm not IN school? What the Heck?!

So, then I start asking someone who is very wise (you know who you are!) some of these same questions. While I don't expect, or even want, her to have the answers, I know that she seems to have this knowledge and insight into God and His (very strange) ways. As we are talking and I am researching possibilities, I am starting to ask another question. Was I supposed to be out of school this year for a purpose? Is there something that I am to do or learn that couldn't be achieved while I was in school? Because, as I look into getting back in this spring, that door is closed all over too. I won't be getting back into school until fall. Bottom line.

This thought makes things just a little easier, even as I am starting to plan a probable trip BACK across the country to Montana. Oh! Just the word sends longing through every cell in my body. And, it isn't that I don't love Florida and want to stay. I just really miss home. But I digress! I was talking about how maybe, even though this all looks like failure, maybe it is a huge success. I'm not sure really what has happened to make it a success, but I am feeling less like I have failed. And trust me, I was feeling like a HUGE failure face not 2 days ago! Now, even though I am still just as clueless as ever, I am at peace. I have had no revelation of whether I am to go or stay or how to get there either way. I guess the best part of all of this struggle is that there is no easy answer. I say that because if there were an easy answer, as unsettled as I have been, I would have jumped on the easy boat just to get comfortable. Even if I was pretty sure it was the wrong answer. See, I'm a little dumb that way. Maybe that is part of what God is teaching me...

I'm pretty sure that another thing he is teaching me is HUMILITY. (Yeah, thanks Mindy for that confirmation) Oh how I cringe when I type that word! I always thought that in a lot of ways I was/am pretty humble. But, it has been many years since everything I have was provided by another human being (and that would have been my mom and I was still living at home and in high school!). It has broken me. Trust me when I say that it hurt like, well, like hell. Painful as it has been, and I'm sure will continue to be, I am grateful for it because through all of this I have been put in a position to get to know my Jesus more and to experience just the smallest part of what He went through here before he was slaughtered...by selfish, PRIDEFUL, greedy jerks, just like me. I am humbled and I am grateful.

May God's blessing be on you all this week as you prepare to celebrate His birth next week!

Oh yeah! To all of you at home...I'm going to work in capris today! Love you, mean it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas pictures

Last Friday as the sun was preparing to set, I took over 70 photos of the girls hoping to get just one good one for a Christmas card. You will see that I got MANY good ones! Hope you enjoy sharing in our shoot!

Bath Day with Roxy

Roxy Lou

Holy Smokes! It has been more than a week since I last blogged! I did get on and start a new post on Monday but then accidentally closed the window and just decided to try again later!

A lot has happened in the last 9 days. One thing I thought I would share with you was the day that Roxy got a very short hair cut. Naturally, the day after I cut her hair, it got cold here and she was freezing. Poor baby! But she was getting too long for me to keep groomed with all that I have going on so I clipped her. I even trimmed her face hair short because it gets so smelly so fast when it is long. It certainly has taken some getting used to seeing her with so little hair! But she is still my cute little Roxy. My brother says she looks like a little old lady...He's kind of right :~)

Now, we have a little routine around here when it comes to bathing. Usually I am nice to my clippers and clip her AFTER she's bathed, but this time I did it the other way around. Roxy always acts like the world is coming to an end DURING her baths. AFTER her bath is a totally different story. She loves it and it is so obvious that she feels GREAT! She loves to rub and roll around after I release her from the towel and prefers to do it on some sort of furniture. Since I'm not crazy about the idea of her shedding water all over the furniture, quite some time ago I decided that I would much rather have her on the floor doing it. Suffice to say that a towel is NOT an acceptable place to roll. She prefers my quilt, which is fine by me, she sleeps on my bed with me after all! So, I turn her loose, spread the blanket and she goes to town rubbing, rolling and shaking!

As I said, she was very cold for a few days and I think she was feeling a little violated to be so naked. But, the weather has warmed up a bit here - it got to about 80* here yesterday! - so Roxy has warmed up a good bit! Meanwhile, home in MT it has been -20*. That I DON'T miss! :~)
She has also adjusted to her new "do" and it is starting to grow out just a little bit. Hair or no hair, she is forever our Roxy and we love her!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Teeth and Music

Already today I have been to the dentist and had a tooth pulled. SIGH! But, I know that once my mouth doesn't hurt anymore from the actual extraction, I will feel much better. And, the dentist also delivered some GREAT news. One tooth that another dentist was sure would need a root canal, might just need a filling. That would be wonderful, because root canals cost somewhere in the $2200 - $2500 range. The filling would be $140. I think I could actually manage that.

The tooth came out all in one piece and it was really cool to see. It looked just like an animated picture of a tooth, only this one wasn't dancing around and smiling! lol Of course, for those who are less into gross, bloody, bodily things, it probably wouldn't have been all that cool to see. Truth be told? I would probably have brought it home if they would have let me! Isn't that just sick?!

I was just visiting Mindy over at Ladybug Farm and she was talking about her passions. She invited others to comment on their passions as well. I confessed that I have become totally addicted to purses/bags and that I also love shoes. But, my biggest passion is most definitely music. The right melody can soothe my soul when it is hurting, perfect harmony boosts my spirits when I they are low, and a favorite CD adds just the right touch to even the most perfect day.

What I have discovered, is that I have put my passion on the back burner. And not just a little, like I don't listen or play as often as I used to, but A LOT. That makes me so sad. How much brighter would my days be and lighter would my burdens feel if I would just spend 30 minutes indulging in my passion? I desire to create music and am quite successful when I try. But, I have been refusing to give this beautiful art the time and dedication that it so deserves. I believe God has given me this amazing gift and talent and it seems such a shame not to be using it even if it is just for my own entertainment. And, at least He will be blessed by the noise I make!

So, I would like to invite all of you to indulge in your passions this week. Can't find 30 minutes? Fine! Take 10. But, I encourage you all to try it and let me know what it does for you. I intend to give it a shot and see how it improves my life. Good luck and have FUN!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kylee's Christmas Program

Well, as you can see, we have moved to a Christmas theme. I'm sure that I will regret it simply because I don't know how to keep all the buttons to the other blogs I follow as I change my template. But, since I don't have my own apartment/house to decorate, I figured I might as well decorate the one place that is MINE.

The Christmas program at Kylee's school was fun. It was outside and all the classes did fun things. The 3rd graders even had a group of kids that had learned to play the bells. I got a video of it and I am soooo glad that I did because not only was it cool, but it turned out to be pretty hilarious too! Kylee was very reserved and serious during the 2nd grade's performance, but that has become normal for her. And, just like last year, Laynee was desperate to be with her sister. I also got a video of her watching them set up for the bells which was absolutely great because she thought she was being really sneaky edging closer and closer. I couldn't resist the opportunity to get it on "film".

I still haven't figured out exactly how to get the videos to play right here on my blog, but will include the links to youtube. Enjoy everyone and have a good weekend!

Angels We Have Heard on High
Jingle Bell Rock

P.S. Guess I'm not going to get the 3rd graders playing their bells uploaded today...computer is being cranky.

Trial video

Well, I am trying to figure out how to upload video to my blog. I have managed to get my video onto youtube and for now, I guess I will just have to include that link. I will be posting more video, or at least links to them on youtube, this afternoon of Kylee's Christmas program at school. So, check back later to see Kylee in her cute outfit! This is a video of Laynee's birthday and us singing happy birthday to her. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Hello all! Thanksgiving here was fabulously quiet and relaxed! I got to hang with my girls and Trixy and I took turns preparing our dishes in the kitchen. I thought that really the best way to tell about our day would be to share photos with you. Our day started off with Laynee wearing Uncle Papa's boots...
As you can see, she has to hold them up just to keep them on!


Roxy also wanted in on the fun, but before you think, "Aw how cute, she's posing," don't be fooled...I was holding a toy as well as the camera!

She REALLY wants that toy!

And here is Kylee in her mangled hat!

See how big their muscles are?

I REALLY want to get dooown. (Laynee, by the way, ate maybe 6 bites of Thanksgiving dinner and you can see how she entertained herself while the rest of us ate!)

Don't those cheeks squish up great!?

Beautiful Kylee

Mikey, the girls and me