We are determined to make it a lovely holiday season and to enjoy the goings on without too much sadness. Frankly, it's a big relief to know we are almost done with this year. Sadly, after the new year arrives-we will have to journey through the one year mark of that dark day of my brother's passing. I don't expect any of us to get through that very well. But thankfully time does heal a bit, soothing over the rawness of losing a loved one. The Lord has been holding us up in His love and we have become a lot stronger.
That said, we also have lots to be thankful for this year and we will focus on those things. Thought I would share, especially since I want folks to know that even though you may be walking through a terrible valley you can still have much to be grateful for. I have purposely sought out those 'good things' this year. And boy has it been a year!
(these are but a few of the good things)*My mother-in-law recovering nicely from her fall last November . It's been a long road for her but she is doing much, much better. (This happened just before we went to Portugal, and the care/healing process was also during the time we were dealing with my brother)
*My husband's early diagnosis of skin caner and subsequent removal of it. Since it was caught in the very early stage, it was removed completely. He was given the all clear. All of his other biopsies hence have come back benign as well-so a mega PRAISE GOD moment there. (Again-this too was during that same time. Actually got the diagnosis during the holidays. Yes, talk about a triple whammy)
*The end of the season. Our youngest was on a cruddy baseball team this year, and the weather did not cooperate all season long! It made it hard to want to go to the games. But he played well and improved his skills and I guess we'll consider that a big win. Actually, we were all relieved when it ended. That was a very happy day.
*Our oldest son purchasing his first home. It was a big step into adulthood for sure. He also switched to a different company/job and is now up for a nice promotion. So obviously, we are very proud of him. And to think-he was homeschooled from K-12th. Huh. Guess we didn't mess him up too badly. He certainly seems to be able to function in the 'real world', far better than the dire predictions we heard over the years. Yes, I am being a bit snarky there. If I had a dime every time I heard that one.....
*Both of our older kiddos entering serious relationships with two very wonderful people. My mom intuition thinks these relationships may actually lead to marriage somewhere down the road here. We'll see how things work out but that is definitely a great thing to ponder.
*A 'Tag-a-long' work trip with my hubby that resulted in us being able to stay a beautiful cabin on a lovely lake in Wisconsin. That also resulted in our seeing a very handsome bald eagle whose residence was literally across the lake from us on a wee little island. I mean that beauty actually put on a show for us. It was truly amazing!
*Getting the classroom ready, and curriculum mostly purchased prior to the beginning of school. That has been a big challenge for me these past couple years. I was quite pleased with myself on that one.
*Getting a daily/weekly planner to try to organize our life and goings on. I have been OKish with being consistent but need to be more diligent. That is why I started with a $10 one, but I really, really want an Inkwell Press planner. Maybe next year after I have tested my ability to stick with it first.
*Finally getting the nerve to do some YouTube videos of our classroom, and various other things that I have long pondered filming. I need to do more but it's just been kinda hectic, so that is my 2016 goal for sure. Baby steps here.
My YouTube channel:
*Positive results that at first were a bit sketchy. After my initial lady check-up in September, I began a three month odyssey that was rather nerve racking and down right scary at times. I ended up having some not so good results that lead to ultrasounds, tests and more tests, and even a biopsy. The "Let's rule out cancer." was mentioned here and there too. Damn scary! Trying to ignore those "what if" thoughts while trying to keep the home running and educating the boy was a real challenge while we waited for the results. I also had some bleeding issues (after the biopsy) which left me very exhausted, weak and probably anemic. Yah, it was that bad. Anyway-the thankful moment came when the uterine biopsy/mammogram results all came back negative for cancer or problems. Hallelujah! I may have to consider another procedure to alleviate some issues I still have but for now-I am not messing with it.
House decor-check. Village set up-check.
Big cookie bake and frosting day-check.
Xmas shopping-mega fail...working on it.
Christmas cards written out and mailed-double fail, soon though.
*Finding time to research/begin the Trim Healthy Mama plan. Talk about confusing at first. But I have been trying to follow it. I am what they call "a turtle" but I am determined to give it time. It's hard. But I have had some good results and hope to see many more. And now I have a YouTube video up with two more coming relating to the THM plan!
Check them out!
*Finally, finally getting a real Xmas tree. For many years past there has been so much going on, including but not limited to: traveling out of the country too close to the holidays to warrant one, traveling in early to mid-December to arrive home only days prior to Christmas, illnesses, family issues, not being able to budget a spency real tree, not wanting to deal with the 'needle gate' that occurs with real trees, or just being grumps. Which if you ever have a year from hell, you can relate- it's very hard to be in the 'spirit' of it some times. BUT this year-we have a gorgeous Douglas Fir that is like 9 feet tall (probably 10' in the stand) that makes the house smell wonderful and looks so pretty.
*Being blessed with a wonderful daughter who likes to decorate and do some of that for me esp. since I have been ill. She also was the one who decorated the home for us while we were at the hospital with my family last year. Her loving heart and willingness to create something beautiful has been such a huge blessing. In fact, our boy has also really jumped in and helped too. His 6'1" frame makes decorating much easier! He has been a real trooper picking up slack while his dad is traveling.
*For a husband that is a great provider who works very hard, long days/weeks and still takes time to dedicate time to the kids/me/fam and the home. I am also thankful he has made the effort to show our boy how to fix a few things things. Esp. since I have had to call on him (the boy) to repair broken stuff lately. Like the garbage disposer.
*For my wonderful blog readers. Thank you for visiting and your kind/encouraging words.
*For the Hope and Grace and Shelter only the Lord can provide. So very glad I have Him as my Rock and my Provider. No one else could have walked me through this year, lifting me up when I could barely stand, answering prayers and filling my broken heart with his Mercy and Love. So very thankful for that!
"Leave me 'lone!"
She loves the heat from the cable box.
Well that is about all for 2015. Have a Blessed Christmas,
may the Lord be ever present in your lives
and may the coming year be a good one!