Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

A snowstorm did not keep us from celebrating Christmas together up at my Mom's in Hayward, WI. It is the first time in a long time Mom and Ray were home with us and not in Arizona. My Aunt Gail, Uncle Chet and Grandpa also join us. We had a wonderful time playing games, eating, and just being together. Ribeye steaks on the grill can be our new tradition as far as I'm concerned!

Here are some of gang waiting to play
the dice game. I think Andy liked the
dice game better than the Auction!

Mom, Rhonda, Sheilda, Derrick pose
with Grandpa

Grandpa all bundled up ready to head
back home. Glad you could join us Grandpa!

My two beautiful nieces with
messages to Shane

Ray and Mom with another message for their

Group Shot!

We celebrated Christmas with Natalie, Zack and Becky on Saturday. Natalie learned a new trick. They call it her Popeye face. Becky said she made this face in almost all the pictures she took of her over Christmas.


Here she is digging into her Stocking

She's playing with her new radio

Here is my husband out shoveling our driveway.
When we got home on Friday someone had plowed
us out. Praise God because the little shoveling
Kelly did almost killed him. It great to have
such wonderful neighbors!!

Less than two months ago we were standing here
having a going away bonfire with Shane.

It's hard to believe Christmas is over and we are rounding the corner to 2010. Our flights are booked to San Diego so we at least get to go somewhere warm for a little bit this winter. The best part is we'll be bringing Shane home with us even if it's for only two weeks.
Have a Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Letter

This is a story of how God hears prayers and feels our sorrow, and how He also shows He cares in ways we never, ever would dream of.

I was having a really hard time this week and I spent a lot of the week crying. There were things going on at work that made me feel bad, and each day when I came home I was hopeful for a letter from my son Shane. It has been over three weeks since his last letter and Kelly and I really want to know that he is doing okay. I told God that all I wanted for Christmas was another letter from my son.

Well, after a really stressful day at work on Tuesday, I came home and checked the mailbox and when there was no letter again I broke down and actually sobbed. To top everything off there was a major snow storm predicted for Christmas Eve and Day. That certainly didn't help my mood. I just wanted and needed to be with my family, and the thought of spending Christmas at home without Shane or them made me even more sad.

On Wednesday, Kelly and I were both able to leave work at Noon so we could get on the road up to Hayward, WI before the storm hit. When I got home that day I got the mail and as I thumbed through it I saw an envelope with one of Shane's friend's name on the return address. I was thinking Nick sent us a Christmas card. Nick is one of Shane's best friends that he met playing football for Anoka High School, and they hung out together all summer. They were pretty much inseparable. Nick is such a nice kid and right now he is going to college up in Bemidji.

I opened the letter when I got in the house and after reading it I was crying again. It was the nicest letter I have gotten in a long time! Here is this 19 year old kid telling us that Shane is his best friend and that we did a great job as his parents. He also said if we need anything while Shane's gone to just let him know (he'd even shovel our driveway!). Nick will never know how much his letter meant to me. It came on the right day at the right time. Now tell me that God wasn't involved in this!!! I feel God was telling me that Shane can't write to us right now because of his training and used Nick to write my Christmas letter!

I know my letter from Shane will come soon, but I'll always cherish the one I received on Wednesday. My God saw my tears and He cares!

God's Blessings to you in 2010.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tree is Up

I was finally able to get our Christmas Tree up this weekend. Just in time for a visit from Zack, Becky and Natalie. They came over on Sunday and we had lunch together. We had not seen them since Shane left on November 1st.

I put some Christmas music on and got busy on Saturday
getting the tree up and decorating the house. I love
having the tree lights on at night.

Here is our little dumpling Natalie. She is such
a happy girl. She entertained herself with her
slipper and it entertained us watching her.

Grandpa is feeding her dessert...Angel
Food cake. She is a very good eater.

Happy girl playing with her toys and slippers.

What a cute family!!

I had a video of Natalie clapping but my camera just died and I am not able to insert it into my blog. Next time! How can one little girl be so cute!!!

Have a great week. Hope everyone has their Christmas shopping done. I don't, but I took Friday off so hopefully I can power shop and get it done. Remember...Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Truck

On Saturday, Kelly and I went to Target's Kids Christmas Movie Party and saw the show "The Blind Side". I will say it was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time! After that we went over to Forest Lake to look at some new trucks. Wally McCarthy had some Chevy Silverado work trucks that were in our price range. Yes, we ended up buying one! It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, because we looked at a truck that had them and it was $4,000 more. We reverted back to the stone age and have crank windows and manual locks. But hey, we saved $4,000. I think of it as two less things to go wrong!! Here are some pictures I took at the dealership. It's a 4x4 Extended Cab with a side door that opens and only 24 miles on it.

The truck is black with gray interior. It has rubber carpet to try and keep clean. It's a beautiful truck! Now we have two black vehicles. And...Zack will never, ever get behind the wheel of this one!!!!!!!

That was enough excitement for one weekend. We haven't gotten a letter from Shane in over a week. He is in Phase II of his training which will end Christmas weekend. I know for this part of it he is now at Camp Pendleton. I still keep writing to him every other day, but pray for him 24/7.

Have a blessed week. Christmas is coming fast and we will soon be together enjoying fun and laughter with our families, celebrating Jesus birthday!!!!