Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas!!

Good morning, interweb peeps! We're getting ready to attack the stockings, and start cooking after that. Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas, filled with good friends, holiday cheer, and lots of love.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Wednesday, December 17

Catching Up

Oh, my, I'm tired. Been busy, busy, busy! Finally got the tree up and decorated. Sang in church on Sunday, even ended up soloing one verse, and didn't throw up everywhere. Had lots of people here for lunch afterwards. Sent the kids home with my mom for two days, which was awesome!

Had brunch with a friend from XanGo, learned lots of great new stuff, can't wait to start using my new-found knowledge. Then went over to Kristie's after.

Got the go-ahead to buy a ticket to Ohio for the first full weekend in February (I'd love to discuss this trip with a certain friend who lives there that I'll be visiting, but apparently she's forgotten how to use her phone and hasn't called me back). (You know who you are.) (When you read this, please call me.) (Yes, SARAH, I'm taking about you.)

Drove into Houston yesterday to have lunch with my awesome grandfather, dropped off a mix of herbs for my under-the-weather little brother, went by the Fudge Shop on my way home, and fell asleep on the couch at 7:45. Which, like many other things in the last few days, was awesome.

Received the Greatest Christmas Letter Ever from a very funny and sweet gal that lives far away from me and is becoming a very dear friend. I also got to talk to her last week on the phone, and it was one of the best and easiest conversations I've had in a long time. And her Greatest Christmas Letter Ever was, well, awesome.

Staying at home today, doing housework and school and some limited cooking. And I think I see a nice cozy nap on the couch in my future, because I really haven't been sleeping well the last week or so.

Going to the Nutcracker tomorrow evening, after possibly FINALLY GETTING A NEW STOVE!!!!!!!! But we'll see about that.

I'll have something far more interesting to post tomorrow, I promise. In the meantime, let me introduce you to a few people:

This is John and Che's blog. They have a daughter that I kind of want to meet. I went to high school with them.

This is Mari's blog. I also went to high school with Mari. She's a military wife, and lives in Japan right now. How cool is that?? However, she's tired of being startled by tentacles every time she turns around. She said so.

Most of you know P-Dub. And she truly rules. But did you know she's got a new homeschool section on her website? Ree doesn't write much of it, but Heather at OMSH does a wonderful job, and I keep wondering it if would be inappropriate of my to ask to be adopted into her family.

So. There you go. Please tell me (because I'm momentarily tired of talking about myself) what you're doing for the rest of the week! Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?

Saturday, December 13


Well, the decision has been made. And now that that's out of the way, I can tell you what was going on.

John was offered a promotion. I know, you're thinking, 'Yay, John! Good for you!!'

But not so much. The promotion that was offered was in Plainview, Texas. Which is, as my dad put it, 'not the end of the world, but not too far from it.' If you cut off the panhandle of Texas where it stop being straight on the Oklahoma side, Plainview is about a county below there, right in the middle. The middle of nowhere, that is!

Yes, it would have been more money, and a chance to do something new. But really, it's only money. We're doing fine financially, and we're more than happy out where we are. And we like our trees. The only trees near Plainview are the ones people have planted in town. And we'd end up living in town, and I don't like living in towns. (We're 15 minutes from Bastrop right now, and that's about as close to a town as I plan on living!)

Actually, I was far more willing to go out there than John. Part of that is because I have more of a restless spirit, and you only live once, right? It wouldn't be forever. Maybe 5 years. But I love my life out here. I love my church, and my friends, and my family, and I know I wouldn't lose friendships or family, but right now my parents are less than two hours away. So is all the rest of my family. And John's family. And all my friends.

Except Sarah, who did something ridiculous and MOVED TO OHIO. But that's an old rant that you've heard before.

Sarah, I miss you and I can't wait to see you in February!

Anyway. We'd be at least 8 hours from my life here, and 9+ hours from my family in Katy and Houston. I'd really miss everything out here. John told me that he didn't want to leave, because 1) he thought he'd 'shrivel up and die in that part of the state' (I'm not kidding. He said that several times), and 2) he's never been happier in his life than he is right now.

It's just money. And what's more money if you're not happy?

So after lots of taking and a ton of prayer, we realized that we had made the best decision for our family. And, best of all, we have complete and total peace that we made the right choice.

Thursday, December 11

Prayer Request

Will y'all please pray for us? We've got a big, big, BIG decision to make, and it has to be made by tomorrow morning.

We're asking for specific prayers:
*That we would have open hearts.
*That we would consider each others feelings without being too influenced by emotions.
*That we would be able to take all factors into account, the tangible and non-tangible ones.
*That we would have total and complete peace once the decision is made.



Wow, it's been cold! Yesterday morning, we woke up to some COLD weather. It had sleeted and snowed the night before, and there was lots of white when we got up for the day.

Ok, there was a lot more sleet than snow, but we're from Houston. And we live in Central Texas. We don't get much of either in these parts. It stayed cold enough yesterday to never melt all the ice on the rooftops around here. We never even made it past 38! But it's supposed to be in the mid 60's today, so life is back to normal.

Anyway. Enough about the weather.

I've been BUSY! It's a big week for us if we've got two things in the evenings, and we've got a whole week's worth right now. Saturday was my XanGo Christmas party in New Braunfels. My friend Tana came with me, and it was awesome (Kristie watched the kids). Sunday was church, then potluck, and then I had my book club Christmas party, which was a total blast. I love my book club, not so much for the books we read (although I do love those), but for the lovely ladies that I get to see and know better each month.

Monday, Kristie and I went to IKEA and the Outlet Mall up in Round Rock, and had a lovely time. It's been years since I went shopping with another gal (I'm not a shopper!), and I forgot how much fun it can be. I got a new dress to wear to the Nutcracker next week, new black boots (I love a good bargain. These boots are normally $90, and I ended up paying $32. Woohoo!), a cute pair of really nice jeans, a green and blue top, and a beautiful watch. And not including IKEA, I only spent about $70!! Hello, gift cards and Christmas sales!!

On the way home, Kristie convinced me to sing with her and Johnna at church on Sunday, so Tuesday evening we met over at Kristie's house to practice our sing, after we had picked on out. We decided on a beautiful hymn I hadn't previously heard, In the Bleak Midwinter. I'm scared out of my mind, but also looking forward to it.

Last night, Kristie (yes, I've seen her every day for the last 5 days!) and I took out our friend Melissa, who just had a baby. Melissa and her husband are having a hard time. New babies are wonderful, but they can be ... um ... difficult, to say the least. Can I get an amen, moms? In my experience, the first baby is the hardest, because you have no idea what you're doing! Add a total lack of sleep, and enough hormones to knock out an elephant, and it can be a very hard experience for the first few weeks or months. Melissa's baby is two weeks old, and other than doctor visits, Melissa hasn't been out of the house, so Kristie an I decided to kidnap her and go up to Chili's for food and desserts. Despite what Melissa thinks (she was kind of down, and had lots of questions, and kept insisting that she wasn't good company), we had a great time.

Today, we're getting a tree and pulling down all the Christmas decorations, then going out to a friend's house for supper this evening (they've got 10 kids, but only 7 are still at home). I'm super excited about that. Friday, Tana and her kids are coming out, and I'm teaching Tana how to make toffee (it's such a fun recipe!), then she and her husband have a Christmas dinner on Saturday, so we'll be watching her kids then. I love her kids!

Sunday is church and the special program, and my mom is coming up for that, then she and some other friends are coming over for lunch afterwards. I'm meeting with a friend, Robert, on Monday to learn how to market Glimpse to spas and salons, and I'll spend the afternoon and evening getting all my materials together and ready for Tuesday, when I'll be going to said spas and salons.

On Wednesday, I'm going to sit on the couch and stare at the wall.

And we're going to the Nutcracker in Austin on Thursday.

I'm tired from just writing all of that. I think I'll go and take a nap before John gets out of bed. :)

Monday, December 8

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For more fun, check out

FOR TODAY Monday, December 8, 2008...

Outside my window... It is icky and gray and not very chilly, and all the leaves are turning gold and brown and falling off the trees.

I am thinking... that I love this band I'm listening to, Over the Rhine.

I am thankful for... always having enough.

From the learning rooms... I need to get back on track, cause I've been a total slacker for the last few weeks!

From the kitchen... we're cooking a brisket this afternoon, and I'm getting everything together to make chili tomorrow.

I am wearing... my fav denim skirt, a blue tank top, and a green sweater that I would probably marry if I didn't like John quite so much. :)

I am creating... a pretty blue and while blanket for my cousin-in-law, who is having a little boy in about a month.

I am going... to IKEA this afternoon and evening with dearest Kristie while John stays here with the kids.

I am reading... The Great Influenza, one of the most fascinating books I've read in years.

I am hoping... to have time for a quick nap before I leave this afternoon.

I am hearing... my lovely music, and the kids playing with John outside in the leaf piles we've been making.

Around the house... there is stuff everywhere. Someone really should do something about that!

One of my favorite things... is my HEB Texas Pecan Coffee Beans that I grind each morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week: getting the house under control, and getting out the Christmas stuff.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, December 3

goosebumps and a gun, part two

Sorry, I've had a cold and been in bed the last few days. So here's part two ...

My grandfather was on a security detail in Germany in 1945, and was sweeping an area for the arriving VIP. Under a culvert, he found something wrapped in fabric, like someone had stashed it until they could come back and get it. It was a great find, and he had it shipped back home the next day.

It was a Mauser 98, the basic German rifle. The equivalent of an M1 that the Americans used. This particular M98 was Gestapo issue. It was a good gun. Mauser knew what they were doing. Still do. They made excellent guns that had been around for a long time, guns that got their reputation originally, not through war, but for being good and reliable hunting guns. Big game in Africa. Deer hunting at home. That sort of thing.

My grandfather was home soon after that. He spent the entire next winter working on a new stock for his gun. It's a beautiful one, too. Hand made over a few months from one piece of mesquite, sanded and shaped to perfection. Used it for hunting for many years. My dad hunted with it, too. My granddad doesn't hunt anymore, so the gun has been sitting in the back of our gun cabinet since I can remember. I didn't know anything about it when I was a little kid; I just knew there was a 'German Gun' in with all the rest (we had 10-20 guns, depending on the time. Dad used to love to buy guns at pawn shops and refinish them, make them all purty, and resell them. Some, like my .410 shotgun that I LOVE, ended up being so nice that we kept them. But I digress.).

John's dad was over last month, and he and John got to talking about WWII, and the Mauser versus the M1, and how they'd love to have one of each. I told them that I remembered there was a German Gun at my dad's house, and I thought it might have come from the war, but I didn't know much else about it. I called my dad and he told me what he knew, and told me he'd bring it up next weekend when he and Wesley came to visit.

So my dad and brother got here. They went out to get lunch, but brought the gun in before they left so we could look at it before we started shooting it. (I love living in the country, by the way! I can shoot anything I please, at any time of the day, in my 'backyard.') John and I were looking at, commenting on how pretty it is, and how heavy, and we were laughing about how hard we just knew it was going to kick. John turned it over to look at the underside, noticed something and took a closer look, and stopped cold. I asked him what was wrong, and without a word he handed the gun to me and pointed at something. I took a closer look, and saw what he had seen. And knew right away why he had stopped. I got chills just looking at it.

The Nazi Eagle was stamped into the metal of the gun in three or four places. It was probably about a centimeter high, maybe even a little less, so you couldn't make out a ton of details, but there was absolutely no mistaking what it was.

Let's think about some facts for a second. This gun was made in 1940. My granddad found it in 1945. It was a Gestapo gun. It was worn and had been hidden. This was not a gun that had sat around in a case for people to look at. This was a gun that had been used, probably frequently, probably for its intended purpose.

I was holding a gun that had almost certainly killed Allied soldiers, if not Americans, during WWII.

That's a sobering thought. Seeing those eagles was creepy as hell.

I wasn't able to go out and shoot it with John, Dad, and Wesley. I was just too freaked out. And I'll tell you what ... that gun is LOUD. I mean, LOUD. John got to shoot it several times, and kept laughingly saying over the next few days, 'Oh, man, I've got Mauser shoulder! That thing kicked like a mule!'

So it's a very fascinating thing to have in my family. I asked Dad the following day if I can have it once he dies or is otherwise unable to use it anymore. (He said yes, I can, as long as I don't poison him to try and get it early.)

But until then, the next time he brings it out, I'm looking forward to shooting it. But I'll never be able to forget where it came from.