Thursday, November 29, 2007

Help Choose the Pic for Our Christmas Card!

Which one should we use? Leave a comment below or email me to let me know which one you like best!

Card #1: This one's a little dark (I would have to see if it could be lightened up), but it's with the cool, lit up Christmas tree.

Card #2: I really like this one - so Christmasy!

Card #3: We're all laughing here because someone joked how Frosty was such a good replacement! ;o)

Card #4: This one's funny because it's obvious we stole those words right off the tree!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jumpstart on Christmas!

After a subdued Thanksgiving here with part of my family, the girls and I headed off for Branson, Missouri (about a four-hour drive) with some friends to see the Christmas lights and decorations at Silver Dollar City. It was a fun and relaxing weekend. Silver Dollar City turned out to be top notch. It was much better that I had expected (I had only been there once before.)

It was wonderful that everyone got along. The five girls stayed in their own hotel room (and we never got any calls from security!) Left to right: Emily, Leann, Brittany, Katie, and Marcie.

The decorations were so cool! There were so many differently decorated trees. I took a ton of pictures. At night the light show was comparable to Disney World (really!). That tree at the top of this entry had computerized lights that changed with music. There was also a light parade that was great. It was a chilly day, in the 40s (Fahrenheit) (about 4 - 7 (Celsius) for my European friends!) I took pictures of the lights, but of course they didn't come out as they appeared when we were there.

Why buy overpriced novelty items when you can use them for fun photo op props?! ;o)

Sue and I decided we could make some tips singing Christmas carols, much to the embarrassment of our daughters! The only tip we got was, "Please stop singing, Mom!" ;o)

Not to leave anyone friend, Patty, was also with us on the trip. Unfortunately, the pics with her did not turn out very clear. Hopefully I can get a good one to post here.

After this weekend, I've decided (and am determined!) that I will not stress out this Christmas season! Next step--decorating the house!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

That's what friends are for!

I'm very grateful for all the friends God has blessed me with:
those shown below and those of you not pictured!

Kristen, MJ, Patty

MJ, Stephanie

Katie and Mom

Mom and Emily!

What's wrong with this world?

Yesterday I went to Jackson, MO with a friend of mine to meet her cousin who is going through almost the identical situation as me. This makes Couple #6 (not counting Mike and me) that I have met since August who are going through this. What's wrong with these men who were at one time good husbands and fathers who have traded faithful, loving wives for something cheap and temporary?

Some of these men were even at one time very involved with church, having a deep relationship with God. Every one of them has traded faithful, devoted, attractive wives for unattractive, hardened fluezies! And who are these Jezebel women who have left their own devoted men AND their children?

I just don't get it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Coffee Talk!

One of my favorite things to do (and something I don't get to do often) is to have a good "coffee talk" with a friend. This is my friend, Kristen. We've been meeting regularly for some pretty deep discussions on, well, everything. It's been very healing for me with my recent life changes. I'm learning so much about myself through this. A good coffee talk involves the give and take of ideas, thoughts, advice, and encouragement. Not to mention, lots of laughter!

New things, new attitudes

Here's the new door! Sorry for the late post. It doesn't look too exciting, but it works and that's what counts. It was just in time for our first cold snap here in St. Louis.

Check out the leaves! I'm waiting until they ALL fall down before we start raking. Plus they're so pretty. I was looking out the back window the other day, watching the leaves rain down. The old MJ would stress out over all that raking that was ahead, but the new me just laughs and enjoys it. Life is way too short!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

**YOU** are beautiful!

Yesterday I went to visit a friend who lives in a nursing home. I met her next door neighbor, a tiny, sweet, white-haired woman with eyes as big as saucers. I shook her hand as I was introduced. Her eyes grew even larger as she said, "YOU are beautiful!" Her face filled with enthusiasm. "You are just gorgeous! In fact, you both are beautiful!" I laughed and said thank you. My friend stage-whispered to me with a smile, "She says that to everyone!"

I took the sweet lady's hand and thanked her. She said, "I am only Sylvia Zimmerman, but you are beautiful!" I replied, "Sylvia Zimmerman, YOU are a beautiful lady!" With that a nurse came down the hall. Sylvia's face lit up and said, "Look at her. She's beautiful!" With that Sylvia burst into her own rendition of "You are my sunshine!"

This sweet, old lady has such a gift of God--making people feel special about themselves. It didn't matter that I was dressed in my most comfy, "slop" clothes and that my hair was pulled back haphazardly in a pony tail. I laughed again with joy when Sylvia told me, "Really! You could be a model. You are gorgeous!"

As we walked down the hall, I laughed and told my friend, "That lady just made my whole day. I need to have her at my house, so on those days when I dread looking in the mirror, Sylvia will be right there telling me how beautiful I am because she sincerely means it!"

So I pass it along to you, dear reader......YOU are beautiful!.........really!! :o)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mum's the Word!

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day! I brought my camera along and got some great shots of the beautiful mums I had noticed last week. Katie had her fiddle class. Those kids are SO good. It made me want to get up, grab a partner and do-si-do! ;o)

The teacher on the left is Maggie, Em's teacher, and the teacher in front is Laura, Katie's teacher. (Em's still too new to be in the fiddle class.)

Look at the adorable beagle pup we saw on the way. Altogether now: "Awwww!!" It was a challenge to stay on the road while I got this little guy's pic. Hee! Hee!

This morning we forgot to set our clocks back for Daylight Savings Time. Doh! So we ended up at church an hour early (better than an hour late, I say!) So we had a relaxing breakfast at St. Louis Bread Co. I had to endure the girls' "Mom, we could have slept another hour!" But it was a nice time anyway! :o)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Back to the Blogging World....woohoo!


I know the non-travelers will not be able to relate, but I got this world map in the mail recently and just had to display it at eye level in the sun room. I never knew my girls had such an interest in the world as I do. Katie has always wanted to see Ireland. Emily's favorite class is World Geography. She recently learned about Brazil and would like to go there. Me? The list is too long to mention here! ;o)

Here's another page out of my Bangladesh album I did a few weeks ago. It's slow going as I only work on it when my friend, Brenda, has a crop at her house. It's progress nonetheless!

Stay tuned.....I'm getting a brand new garage door on Monday! It's been broken (and rotting) for seven or eight years and now that I'm this "new" woman, I'm taking the bull by the horns and getting some things done around here on my own. First step......time to stop parking out in the cold driveway in the winter when there's a perfectly good garage right there! Here's the "before" pic. I'll have the "after" pics on Monday, so check back later!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I'm still alive!

Hello everyone! Long time, huh? Just wanted to let everyone know I'm still here! Life has been extremely busy and I've had a lot going on. Thanks for all the emails of concern and support. We're moving along with the divorce procedings and hopefully it will come to a quick and peaceful end.

I have to say as we approach the 3-month anniversary of the end of my marriage (although legally I'm still bound to Mike, finding his journal was the final straw mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for me), that I'm enjoying a newfound freedom. I feel released from all the underlying tension, doubt, fear, etc. that I suffered with the last several years. It's like this huge door is opening before me toward a bright future where dreams WILL come true, where "That could never happen" has been shifted to "Oh yes, it could!"

I'm so grateful to God for providing me with all the strength and support of my family and friends. Love and blessings and all that good stuff to you all!