Sunday, November 30, 2008

"We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto..."

Remember in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy looks at Toto and says the above line? Well, it has become quite evident this week that we are now living in a strange land!

First of all, I got off work on Wednesday, came home and made about 10 dozen homemade crescent rolls. I believe it was shortly before 1 am when I dropped my weary body into bed! Thanksgiving dawned bright and early and we headed off to Westfield for the Fulton Family Thanksgiving/Christmas get-together. We opened tons of presents which gives us picture number one! My niece Sarah was trying to help her Uncle Dave appear more festive but the bow would not stick!!

We had one of the biggest Thanksgiving meals I think I have seen in years! I honestly cannot remember when I have seen that much food in one house! There was no possible way that anyone could have walked away from that table hungry!
Then Dave's brother Steve set up the Wii and oh my goodness, the fun we had!! Even Grandpa played and he was better at bowling than anyone in the family!!!

For the record, this little girl TOTALLY gets into the bowling!!

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the boxing matches but let me tell you it was the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life! Especially watching my niece Whitney beating her Uncle James and ANYONE else she went up against! I am so disappointed that I did not get a picture of that!!
Probably the biggest attraction that day was this:

A baby goat had been born that morning around 4am and her mommy was not taking care of her so my niece Rachel had her in the house keeping her warm and fed. She was the center of attention from just about everyone! We had a wonderful time with the family but I must admit that I sure missed my kids growing up and not being there! It is quite evident that things are changing and that is one of those bitter sweet things we deal with!
So - then yesterday after I got home from work, we began the Christmas decorating process. Dave and the girls had worked hard to get stuff done before I got home and then the "fun" began! After a trip to Wal-Mart, this is the finished product!! This was Ashley's creation that I thought turned out real well!

She also came up with this and I love the way it looks!

For the first time, I took my hands off my village and Carrie took care of it and did a great job!

She was also of the opinion that this corner in the dining room needed some help so her journey through Wal-Mart produced this:

About the only thing I refuse to take my hands off of is my bears so this is the handiwork of yours truly!

The tree is a huge story all of its own but I will spare you the details surrounding the million scratches on my hands and arms and tell you that Carrie and Ashley decorated the tree and I am quite pleased with the outcome!

Then this morning - I realized that I am no where CLOSE to Florida when Ashley's "friend" Andrew called her to let her know he had snow out at his house and she bounded out of bed, threw up her blind and was quite delighted to find...................SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! I took this picture out our front door this morning and realized that some things never change no matter how many years pass!!!!! I still CANNOT STAND SNOW!!! Yea - it is pretty and the novelty lasted about 30 seconds before I remembered that we are not in the warm sunny south anymore!!!

This is a picture of the outside of the house that Carrie took when we got home from church this morning. Snow and some Christmas decorations!

I would say that this has definitely been a week of interesting events!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some Holiday Thoughts

This past week my husband has been away in a revival and each evening when he called, he would remind me that I had not updated my blog yet so I thought I would surprise him!

There is really nothing new to blog about right now! Life is just going on! I do not worry about the stock market dropping since they do not have any of my money anyway. I am not panicked about the new President - thankfully he is NOT God so he does not deserve the energy it takes to worry! I am freezing but then everyone already knows that so there is no reason to keep complaining about Indiana's nasty weather!

So - what is this week about anyway? One of my major pet peeves is that we tend to go from Halloween (which I can't stand to begin with) to Christmas and skip right over Thanksgiving. It would be a shame if Christians were actually thankful right? My husbands family is getting together for our Christmas on Thanksgiving day so that should be fun! Family is something I am definitely thankful for!

My thoughts about the holidays are somewhat different this year than normal. I am somewhat conscious about the financial aspect of things as I am sure many others are. I despise spending money at Christmas time unless you are my husband or one of my children. I know - that makes me weird but since this is my blog, I can be that way if I want!! :)) Anyway, the question begs to be asked....just what is too much to do or too much to spend and where is the "line" that we can cross into too much?? First of all, you have to remember that my family has changed. It is not just us 5 anymore - we have added Christa and Josh and now Ashley has a ......... friend. I am completely accepting of this but I think I am being a bad mom and picking a "favorite". Let me explain. Anyone remember where David Jr was last year through the Holiday season? If you know me at all, you were fully aware of where he was since it was my main topic of conversation. Since I am a list person, I already have a list made of gifts I need to buy, the menu for Christmas week and the grocery list to go along with it. I am determined that my favorite son (which is okay to say since he is my only son) will have whatever he wants to eat while he is at home to somehow make up for the fact that last year his holiday meals left much to be desired. However, in my quest for the "perfect" Christmas for him, I am wondering just where is "too much"? I don't believe I have raised spoiled children. They always had pretty decent holiday times between both sets of grandparents and their own parents "gift-giving". But - things are a little different and I am thinking that maybe my kids and "kids" in general of all ages, need to be reminded of what is really important and that is that we are all alive and we are all together and what can be better than that?!?!?!

For now, the lists are still in my notebook and my plans have not changed but I am pondering the thoughts about what is "too much". I love my family - ALL of them and I can't tell you how excited we are about getting to be together for the week of Christmas. My little house will be full and running over but I am sure none of us will care. Why? Because we are all alive, happy, healthy and blessed beyond words!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Memories and "Stuff"

I am sitting here all tucked into my chair with more than one blanket over me, "borrowing" my husbands laptop and trying desperately to recover from the stomach flu. It has not been a blessed day and a half but I did manage to lose a little over 4 pounds in a very unpleasant manner!! And so --- I blog!
This past Saturday we went and spent the day with my brother, his two girls and other family. We were trying to help Jim become a little more organized and make their house seem a little more like home to him and the girls. They had moved in I think in April and had just not been able to hang curtains or pictures and do those little things that make a house a home. While driving through town, we took a short trip down memory lane for Dave and I.
I was born in Ohio and lived there for the first 15 years of my life. If I tried to go find all the houses I lived in and take pictures of them and blog about them, there would be no memory left at all on either computer!! When I moved to Indiana in December of 84, this is the house we moved into. There was originally Dad, Mom, brother Jim and myself I think but now that I think about it, I am not even sure about that! Anyway, this is the house where we lived! I left there a couple of weeks later to go to Union Bible Academy for the rest of my high school, met Dave and the rest is history!

Right across the street from that house was this little house that became our very first home. If you turned around once, you saw it all!! It was a one bedroom, one bathroom but it was home for us and the house where we brought David Jr home to for the first time!

The first window on the left was in the living room and we eventually had David's dresser and changing table (all in one thanks to the handiwork of Dad and Mom Fulton) right under it! The next window doubled as the hallway and dining room! Yes I said that right!!! The last window was in the kitchen! The bedroom and bathroom was right off where our little table sat! Oh the memories!!

This is the house that my parents moved to some time later. We had already moved away from Bluffton I think. This is the house where they lived up until the time my Dad passed away! It looks a little different now but I just could not seem to stop the flood of memories that came over me!

I cannot believe the time that has passed and all the things we have been through and the places we have been in the last 21+ years! The thought that has stuck with me though is this: "Look what the grace of God has done for my family!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For the record.....


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our New Church

The other day I said I would blog about our new church so here goes but first --- a little history. Moving from Florida was not a decision that we made lightly and we prayed for quite a long time and spent some agonizing moments over the decision. If our girls would have been little, we would not have had near the struggle that we did. Younger kids can handle the change much easier than two girls that were 19 and 17. We prayed and cried and prayed and cried some more. Then it became not about should we move or should we not move but about where should we move to? We have several friends that live here and attend this church and Ashley had met several of the young people at our youth camp and so we began the process of asking questions and searching for answers to whether or not this was the place for us. We would be close to family - Dave's family is about 30 minutes away and mine are all between 1 and 2 hours away. It would be a more central location for Dave to travel to his revivals and not cost so much! There was a church here and a good school for Ashley to attend. Dave spent some time here and talked to Pastor Mowery and then "it" began to happen. God started working things out and opening doors that only HE could do. It still wasn't easy and at times it still has its challenges but God set things in motion that brought our family to this place.

We have a wonderful Pastor in Mark Mowery. I am not sure that I have ever met a more caring, compassionate Pastor since my Dad and trust me, that is saying an awful lot. His compassion shows through in his preaching and the tears he sheds and the care and concern he has for his church! For instance, within 15 minutes of me receiving the news that my sister-in-law had passed away, he was at my front door. My girls were impressed that he arrived so quickly and have related that story more than once in the past few weeks. Then he drove TWO hours to the funeral home for visiting hours "just because that is what Pastors do". His wife has to be one of the most gracious people I have ever met in my life! She is so sweet and kind and compassionate and carries a true burden for the people of her church, especially the ladies! She is one of those people who just wears her relationship with Christ on her face and I LOVE to see it in action! I don't know if they read this blog but several people from the church do and so I am saying for all to hear that we have a wonderful Pastor and wife and I am thrilled to attend this church!

This is Travis and Jody - our Associate Pastor/Youth Pastor. I just can't tell you enough about them! My girls have been so impressed with Travis and his dealings with the young people of our church. They have enjoyed his messages in their Sunday School class and then they have a small group two Wednesday nights a month and they are really enjoying it. The young people are blessed beyond words to have a Pastor who loves them like he does. I think it also helps when his ADHD kicks in! :)) Honestly, we are very blessed. And Jody - oh my - there is so much to be said for this steady, loving, caring Pastors wife! I think she learned so much from her mom and yet she is very much her own individual! By the way, she is the Mowery's daughter! I am really impressed with her and her life and am thrilled that my daughters have someone like her to look up to!

The move was not an easy one for us to make but in the past two months, God has brought about circumstances to let us know that we are in the center of His will and there is no better place to be. I have really enjoyed getting to know the people here. Angie is a great person to bring cookies to cheer me up, Catrena is always ready with a smile and a "how are you?", Kim looks down at this short little person and pays me the highest compliment every by telling me that I have raised "GREAT" kids, Beth is planning on teaching me to enjoy the snow I think (at least she is going to try), Julie just makes me smile for some reason, Jenny has taken my youngest daughter under her wings at school! I knew when I started naming names that I was going to get into trouble! Let me just say that I am blessed beyond words! Now the only thing that would make it better would be if Tara were here!!!!