Monday, December 29, 2008

Recovery and A Hymne

Can you say "Pooped"?

Today I am recovering from all the late nights this past weekend. And also recovering from our daughter's recovery from all the late nights ;) So much fun & family, so many gifts, so many luscious, high-caloric desserts, so little sleep. Doesn't it make for a great holiday?

Soon I will post pics of our huge, fun and WHITE Christmas!

But today I also wanted to post the words to a beautiful song that truly raises Jesus UP! (and no, it's not just because it has my name in it ;P)...

Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flowery meadow, flashing sea.
Chanting bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living, oceandepth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother - All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward in the triumph song of life.

I was feeling a little down last night about Amelia, and these words really encouraged me. It seems whenever I am sad, praising God and basking in His goodness, along with thanking Him for what He's given (and taken away), brings me back to where I'm supposed to be. Thank you, Jesus, for Your peace. In the valleys, and even on the mountain tops, we need Your grace.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And yes, I've changed my blog to give it the mood of Christmas!

Winter pics

Merry CHRISTmas to all!

Jackie and I. What you can't see is that I'm wearing my RED sweats

that do NOT match the rest of my outfit. Long black coats are good for that.

This girl loves eating snow. Keep it white, girl :)

Having fun with our neighbors. B and Tommy are throwing snowballs!

Our front yard covered in record snow!

Brilla's Christmas performance at church.

* Her Christmas picture*

Brilla eating said sucker.

Snowflake Lane in Bellevue. There were soldiers on stilts, princesses, animal friends, and peppermint suckers (which are horrid if you have a toddler). The atmosphere and music were wonderful. I think we'll go again next year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dashing through the Snow!

Let it SNOW!!!

There are tons of ice and snow on the ground! Finally we are going to have a white Christmas. Hopefully we can make it to the in-laws and outlaws' :) homes' safely. But I wouldn't change a thing about this wonderfully cold weather.

Today we hermits came out of our shell and shopped at Fred Meyer. Not only did I have to buy groceries for Christmas dinner, but I was also getting cabin fever. I'm not used to being cooped up like this! Yes, I enjoy being at home, but I'm not what you would call a "home body". So it felt like I was on cloud nine, simply walking through the grocery aisles. Brilla was also beside herself. I've haven't seen her quite so jumpety-uppety as of late than she was in the toy section. She was playing with the plastic swords, talking to Elmo, and yelling at the top of her lungs. Woohoo! Can't you tell we've been inside tooooo long? Ha.

Anyway, being snowed in has had its perks. I have cleaned my house, baked many goodies, and been creative about exercise. And we have a snow fort almost completed! M and I have taken some beautiful long walks, and sledded several times down the infamous, HUGE hill by our house. Snowball fights have been pretty fun, too! I've also had plenty of time to crochet, do my hair and actually put make-up on.

Hubby and I have also committed to getting in shape. It started today. Yes, I know Christmas is only 3 days away...but we really wanted to jump-start ourselves. M did a much better job than I. I ate at least 2 rice krispie treats and had a chai latte (at least with water). However, I did follow through with my work out and crunches regimine. But it's REALLY the eating I need to watch. I know it and and M knows it. I won't even discuss poundage and my goals right now. But let's just say I have a bit to go. I'm really motivated, though. Watching Biggest Loser motivates me every Tuesday. If they can do it, so can I :D

Tomorrow is baking day! I plan to get the rolls and cookies done. Perhaps I'll work on the cake, too.We shall see. I also need to wrap all the gifts and send out last-minute cards.

I recently checked out a super good book, good for all you moms! It's called the ADENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. Front says "Helping children find Jesus in our holiday traditions". It has several cool ideas that are incredibly meaningful.
Check it out. I want to incorporate some of the traditions and activities with B and our future kiddos.

As with the rest of my library reading..."My Grandfather's Son" by Clarence Thomas, is the only thing I have time to put my nose in. Awaiting me are some great organization and storage books. Can you tell I have some New Year Resolutions?

Perhaps tomorrow I can post more about our exciting adentures in The Snow. Maybe we'll have to rent a studded limo, like they were talking about on the news, to get to where we want to go. Wouldn't that be glamorous?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas is so busy and it's not even here yet!

I decided to write about the past few days...I've been so stinkin' busy and haven't had tons of time to write, but this morning, all has slowed with the snow and now I have time.

On Saturday morning, I headed to a Christian book store and bought the girls at Bible club some pretty Princess Bibles. They were on sale for only 12.50. That's half off! I didn't notice the pink and purple were different versions. So I was able to find another purple, but was still left with one pink. Oh well!

Next, Bri and I headed off to Violet and Aidon's 2nd birthday party! I kept pumping up B about it...."you'll have lots of fun, and you can draw pictures"...etc., ad nauseum. I think B was thinking, "maybe you should just go, Mom!" :D Truth is, she had a grand time, and wouldn't you know, I forgot my camera! Always happens. Thanks Susi and Desi for a great time at the Children's Museum. Our family will have to go again just by ourselves. Daddy would get a kick out of all the activity. Next, we headed to Ben and Susi's for food, gifts and talking! Susi made a mean homemade pizza along with yummy cupcakes. At the end, the oh-so-prepared hostesses gave the little guests goodie bags. And Brilla took home 4 balloons. How cool is that! All makes out for a tired mama and toddler. So afterward we headed home for naps.

And woke up just in time for an adult Christmas party! Yay...a night out for Mom and Dad. Matt and Tara hosted a great time. There were lots of decadent desserts and evil appetizers: peppermint rice krispies topped with chocolate, apple pie, lemon bars, Starbucks cranberry bliss bars, avocado & corn salsa (made by me, it actually turned out super good), cranberry/mandarin salsa, baked brie, and there are probably other things I haven't mentioned. It's a good thing I hadn't eaten dinner because all the yummies more than made up for it. Ode to food and friends!

After all the talking and eating, we sat down and sang Christmas carols, while mainly Tara accompanied on the piano. Earlier, Kari and I played a couple impromptu duets. That was so fun!
In fact, we were enjoying ourselves SO much, our sweet, sweet babysitter, Britta, had B until 11 PM! ACck! Obviously, she'll be rethinking the offer to babysit again ;P

Oh, and it SNOWED! Yes, snow in Washington. 'Twas a splendid surprise! Yes, we were extra careful, but very excited, too.

We went to church early the next morning since we teach high school Sunday School. There weren't a whole lot who braved the weather to come. And I don't blame them, really. Snuggle down in bed in warm jammies while snow is just outside, or get up early, dress up, do you hair and come to a freezing cold Sunday School classroom and learn about God? Hmm. Put that way, I guess I'm grateful we did come to church. There are those who would go to great lengths in other countries just to hear God's Word for themselves. But we were definitely desiring to sleep in! I also had nursery duty. And wouldn't you believe that more kiddos in normal were there! Don't the crazy parents know they're supposed to slack off and stay home? I say this tongue-in-cheek. I loved having all the little guys!

That night was also Brilla's Christmas program. It was short, but very cute. Many kids didn't show due to snow and busyness, but the ones who did come made for a precious program. Brilla sang Away in the Manger with the bigger kids, and was surprised she didn't fall over with all the rocking (swaying) she did with the singing. Unplanned choreography is always a nice touch :)
Then she sang a surprise "solo" (solo because she was the only one available) of Jesus Loves Me. She knew it well. Except at the part where I whispered the words to her...she whispered them back thinking she had to be quiet. Then, quit confident in her performance, she felt the need to show everyone her jumps. 1-2-3! Thank you, dear. Uncle Sean and Brian were there, along with Grandpa John. She loved that. Afterward, there were Christmas cookies to munch on.

Though the weekend left us sleepless and fatter (I speak for myself), we had a glorious time!

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008

The day Amelia Goheen was predicted to join our family.

Just stopping in to say this day has been so good for us - a day to mourn, remember, pray and rejoice. We stopped by Amelia's grave this morning and placed a dozen white roses by her spot. The snow made it prettier than normal.

Though I know my daughter's in heaven with God, I couldn't help but remember the day we were so excited we were having another girl, only to find out nearly 7 months later, September 22, 2008, that she had left us. Such disappointment. Her death is a reminder that the earth is not our home. In the meantime, we are not despairing, but joying when we can, crying when we must. And always, always, remembering Amelia. On this day, I thought I would be in major depression. But thank God, that's not the case. I'm able to hold up my head because God holds the future, He gives me hope and He is faithful. I'm doubly child is safe and secure in heav'n and I will get to see her again! Today, I'm giving my beautiful 2 year old, Brilla extra kisses and love. I can't tell you how I grow more thankful for her every day.

A few verses from His Word:

The Finality of Death

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root wax old in the earth, the stump dies in the ground; Yet through the scent water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.

But man dies and wastes away: yea, man gives up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters disappear from the sea, and flood decays and dries up; So man lies down, and rises not: until the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. Job 14:7-12


For I know my Redeemer lives, and that HE shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; Job 19:25-27


Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ. 2 Cor. 1:3-5

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My daughter's delivery date was to be December 15, 2o08. This is in tribute to our beautiful Amelia Goheen...

For quite some time we walked around
In fogs of darkest grey,
Wanting you to snuggle close
Inside our arms to stay.

Your departure was abrupt,
A rug pulled from our feet.
All the dreams we had for you
Were gone in death's defeat.

Instead of coming home to us,
You were born in Jesus' arms,
Free from old sin nature's tug,
Safe from mischief's harm.

Though we'd like to kiss your cheeks
And put you down for bed,
You are resting in God's heav'n,
Feasting on His Bread.

See, life with us seems better than
What you're experiencing now.
We wanted you to thrill and thrive...
Yet, God will teach you how.

While we battle sickness, pain and grief,
You've conquered in the fight.
And though you'll miss our earthly joy,
Naught compares with God's delight.

We will miss you, precious gem;
Amelia, Driven One.
But your days ahead aren't sad;
They're soaking up the Son.

As our transient path leads on
We'll treasure what's above.
Disappointment in this life
Can't keep us from His love.

We hope you know that Mom and Dad
Are oh, so proud of you.
Dancing, bowing, praising God,
A perfect girl, 'tis true.

We haven't seen or heard quite yet
Of what He has in store.
But one day it will include
Joining you on Glory's shore.

Until then we'll thank the Lord
For a fresh day to breathe air.
A chance to share the light of Truth,
To laugh, to give, to care.

Thank you, Amelia, for your life
Left us not the same.
We still question why you left,
But because you came...

You've brought us closer to His heart.
You bring us to our knees.
God's promises our dearer still;
His grace has met our needs.

Better to love deeply and lose
Then to not have loved at all.
Your place behind our heart remains;
Engraved upon its wall.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In This World

I have blogged a lot lately. Maybe 'tis the season. There is so much going on, yet I'm not as out and about these days. (That is a good thing for this shopaholic, staying home is the cure for spending money!) But there are many activities to attend and prepare for. Amidst it all, we can lose our time with God. The times of quietness alone with Him. Or we can bury ourselves further and deeper into Himself. The choice is ours.

Anyway, doesn't it seem the needs of this world are so overwhelming? There is so much death, sickness, so many hurting marriages, hurting hearts and depravity. I guess as long as we are in this world, there will be tribulation. But God says not to fear because He has overcome the world. But just because He has overcome doesn't make it any easier. Still, we can boldly come before His throne of grace and receive help in our time of need. The one spot of solace amidst our world's craziness.

Continue to intercede for our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those still don't know Him or have not surrendered to Him. Don't grow weary in your prayers. Just wanted to let you know I'm pleading, thanking and interceding right along with you. And if you have any needs, please post them in a comment and I will pray for you.

My requests:
  • Peace during this time regarding the loss of our 28-week unborn baby, Amelia. Her due date was Dec. 15th. We are remembering her and sad moments come upon us.
  • Continued work for our construction company, Verity Contracting.
  • The girls in Bible Club would receive Christ as Savior. And those who have, would grow spiritually.
  • My Grandma Louise's spinal nerve has narrowed and is causing her pain. She receives shots tomorrow. Please pray that God would restore her and she wouldn't have to have surgery. Also, that God gives the doctors wisdom.

Thank you!

God is Good

Just posting to say that God has answered our prayers about getting more work. He is so good.

I also wanted to say that I am sad because a friend's brother-in-law just passed away last night. He was only in his 30s and died of cancer. His young wife is going to have a hard Christmas this year. My prayers and tears are with them this day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas decoration and the best gifts

I've finally about got my whole house decorated :) I like to talk about my Christmas decorations because they weren't bought in a mass of several hours, but rather, over several years.

First, our nativity scenes. They are all miniature. Just this last year I was SO tempted to buy the nativity water globe at Costco. But wouldn't you know, I found it at a garage sale for 5 bucks instead! It's my favorite. A friend from church made a nativity out of mini flower pots, with wooden heads on top. They are too cute. Next, I have a wooden scene, beautifully made with 3 separate figures: Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. I also have a small glassy one that I usually put on the coffee table because the pieces are not easily broken. Lastly is a tea light holder. It's a single base with Mary, Joseph and Jesus all melded into one. The base is widest on the bottom, where you can place a tea light in the back. Very perty.

My Christmas tree lamp is special. A little girl from ballet lessons gave it to me. So sweet.

I also have a tree, um, blanket? What do you all those? Anyway, I purchased this one from CAMA services. Women from Kosovo make several crafts by hand and sell them to receive an income. This is one of their fine works.

My dear friend Sarah gave me a tea light holder/fragrance lamp. The heat from the tea light heats up the dish, which then releases the liquid fragrance. When lit, it cheerfully gives off a design of reindeer.

The kissing bears. My students and other kids always love these! "OOOh, they're kissing!"

I also have a neat Christmas photo album with Scripture inside that I found at Ross. I keep pictures from Christmas' past in there. Also I have the Advent devotional "Let Every Heart" sitting up by the tea light lamp.

A couple holidy trays sit up in the corner. They are vintage and I love them. Usually coupled with some silver beads and other stuff, they look homey and rustic all at once.

I have some lighted candy canes to place in the lawn. Those will be wondrous once I actually find them. Another thing I place in front of the house are holiday sacks that light up. They look like small paper bags with candles inside. But they're actually electrical and thick plastic.

I have two little banners on the window. One reads "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and the other is a nativity scene. Also by the window is a lighted angel.

I have several other bittys here and there, but not grand enough to mention, or bore you with. You should be grateful I'm not showtelling each of my ornaments :D

Last night at Bible club we talked about the wisemen and the gifts they gave to Jesus. We talked about what Jesus gave us. He gave His very life so that our sins could be washed away. A couple of the girls did not like the fact that the innocent Lamb of God had to be slain. I explained that He was not murdered, but He gave His life willingly. That didn't help, they were still upset. So I backed up and explained to them about the Old Testament sacrifices, then how Christ took our place on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice. "He shouldn't have had to do that!", one of the girls cried. And she's right. It's such a grievous thing that Jesus had to die for our sin. How He died was awful. Sinless Jesus carried the dirt and filth of the entire world on His shoulders. And we should be sorry for our sin.

The girls' eyes lit up with understanding. "He died so we wouldn't have to", the oldest piped up. Yes, isn't that the most amazing love? While we were still yucky with sin, He died for us. Yes, their had to be a shedding of blood for forgiveness of sins. But the good news is, Jesus didn't stay dead. He rose again. And that is why we can go to heaven when we die. Because though our shells give way, our souls live with Him forever. "Only good people go to heaven and bad people to down there", one of them said signaling with her thumb. "Only those who believe that Jesus died for their sins go to heaven," I corrected her. Even our good-looking actions don't get us to heaven. Jesus is the only way. But I know what she's getting at. This little 9 year old girl is bitter at her dad. He is in prison because he's a bad person. Someone God couldn't forgive. Truth is, he's someone only God can forgive. An issue to ,unfortunately, be discussed another night.

"What happens when we believe Jesus died for our sins, but we still make mistakes?" Very good question. Those girls don't know what a spiritual exercise they give me every Monday night.
I explained that since we are human, we will make mistakes even when we try not to. Jesus says if we confess our sins, He will make us clean again. Every day. Not just once a year like the Israelites. And this should make us so humble because without Jesus, we could never be looked on by God with all of our sin. But now when God looks on us, He doesn't see us in our sin, He sees Jesus Christ's righteousness.

For the craft, we each cut out a heart. "What did the wise men give Jesus?", I reviewed. They tried to recite the funny words of gold, frankincense and myhhr (sp?). "What can we give Jesus?" "Our hearts!" Jesus wants us to follow Him. That's all He wants. He doesn't need money or fancy cars. He wants us to walk in His ways and obey His commands. This Christmas, there will be 3 little girls who are giving their hearts to Jesus, wanting to follow Him. Isn't that wonderful?

We will be putting our hearts under the tree for Him, too. It's a wonderful lesson of the true meaning of Christmas and the best gifts of all.

Monday, December 8, 2008


If you or your children are interested in learning to play the piano, this is the place! At Joyful Sound Piano, I teach music from a traditional approach, which includes piano theory and technique. Each lesson is tailored to your child! Your child can begin lessons when he or she knows his alphabet, can count, and has a good feeling of rhythm. Usually, that age is 5 or 6. But I also teach adults! It is never too late to learn!
Lessons are $15/half-hour lesson. We have recitals in Spring to show everyone how the students have met their goals. I am located in the Federal Way/Kent area. Let me know if you are interested at Or even just comment on this website with your contact information. Hope to hear from you soon!

VERITY CONTRACTING - New home construction, Remodeling, Decks, Siding

Mike, and the rest of the guys who work with Verity Contracting, are incredibly skilled and have solid integrity. They are the top of the line. That is a blessing in the economy because while builders and homeowners want to a great result, they also don't know who is reliable and who will do a good job. I want to give the shout out that if you have a project you want done, check out our website at Mike's cell is 253-312-7873. New homes, remodels, decks, siding, Verity Contracting is available. This team does stellar work, keeps their word, and brings satisfaction with the finished product.
It is Monday again! Yay...time for paying bills and cleaning my house.

I'm also supposed to work out. Heh. We'll see if that happens. I guess if I want to get any skinnier, it's going to have to happen. One day at a time. If it weren't for the wonderful tv screens that are viewed from the treadmill and ellipticals at my gym, I probably would be bored out of my wits. And this is coming from a girl who has played soccer and volleyball competitively her whole life, who actually has enjoyed fitness and running. I guess I am just so burnt out lately on the whole getting-in-shape scene. I need motivation. So I have decided to get with a personal trainer, or at least a work out plan, and track my calories again. That is the only way it has worked after I've had a baby. I have to be aggresive about it...or all my good intentions fly away in the wind!

I rest in the thought that in heaven our bodies will be perfect.

Which reminds me. I was at a ladies tea on Saturday morning. It was beautiful, with each table decorated differently. The chamber choir (made up of young people) came in to sing at the beginning. They're voices blended perfectly; they sounded like angels. One girl in particular caught my attention because she looked like, in my mind's eye, what Amelia might look like in heaven. Worshipping God. Tears immediately sprang up and had to step out to the restroom. It's little moments like this that take me off guard. It's hard, but it's sweet to know Amelia's "right behind my heart" at all times. Especially these days, with her -what was to be due date- looming one week away. December 15. That will be a hard day. Please pray for me.

Yesterday, Sunday, we stopped by Amelia's grave. We surprisingly hadn't come by in a long while. We didn't bring flowers; we're saving that for next week. Oh, I wept. I hadn't had a good cry in a long time and just wept. Michael held me and let me cry in his arms. I know you read this over and over again...but I miss my daughter SO MUCH. I cannot stop missing her. She is apart of me and forever will be. The ache always subsides eventually with the busyness of life. But her existence was a fact and I'm glad we are different because of it. I'm stronger for it, but also more sensitive and compassionate. My Brilla was so sweet while I was crying. She said quietly, "Mama lose the baby?" I said yes, then held her tight and loved on her. It will be neat when Brilla's old enough to tell her about the beautiful baby sister that she has in heaven. When Amelia was inside of me, Brilla used to feel my stomach and called her "Baby Tummy". Sweet memories...

On Saturday night (I know I'm going back and forth here), we went to listen to and watch Handel's Messiah, sung by a local Korean choir. It was wonderful! The soloists were incredibly talented. The Messiah always inspires me because it is one of the few oratorios written soley for the glory of God. Brilla did amazingly well through most of the whole thing. We had to leave early because of bed time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Casting out fear and other afternoon chat

My Wednesday started out and ended pretty unexciting.The middle part - that was the best.

This afternoon I able to chat with other women from my Bible Study group. We gathered around with our lunches and coffee and talked about...what else is better?...God! We shared answered prayer. Our God is so mighty! He answers in ways that blow our "options" for Him to answer our prayers. His ways are so much higher and wiser. So outside the box.

We also cried together. I honestly do not consider myself a woman of strength, but another gal thanked me for my strength amidst my trial, that is has encouraged her a lot lately. When she thinks of me, she said she sheds tears. I can't tell you what a balm that was to my heart. I'm just feebly peddling along day after day, trying to do what I believe God has for me to do...even though deep in the background, the loss of my daughter is still pretty fresh. Truth is, I am NOT a strong woman, but I serve a STRONG GOD!! Amen and Amen. Truly when we are weak, He is strong. I shared that the reason I love studying God's Word is because during the last couple months in my life, I've only wanted to be with God. I didn't want to listen to my usual cd selection, didn't want tv, no shopping, no hanging out with friends. Just God, my journal and a hymn cd by Chris Rice someone gave me at Amelia's memorial service. And in hindsight, that is where I have needed to be. At God's feet, reading His Words, daily needing His strength, longing and begging for His peace, crying tears, surrendering and continuing the cycle over and over.

I was graced today by these 4 ladies. We all have kids and all have struggles as parents. We continue to pray for each other in matters of discipline, heartache and keeping a home in this economy. Especially when you're husband is in construction! ;) We talked about trusting God and not fearing. Not making decisions based on fear. One woman was afraid to take her child out of private school to put him in public school. But another woman pointed out that God is in public school, too. Lesson being - God is in control. We just have to meet with Him and ask Him for wisdom, which will continually drive out our fear. I mentioned that lately I have struggled with fear. I'm not a big worrier. I don't usually take unnecessary burdens on my shoulders. But since Amelia's death, I have been pulled toward worrying about my husband's and daughter's safety. I've just had to give that to God and ask, "God, please take away me fear and give my heart peace. You are in control." Satan can use fear in our lives to place a wedge between us and God. We think we're doing the right thing, but really, the right thing is to let go, surrender to His will and bathe the situation in prayer. Even if things hit rock bottom, maybe that is what God has planned.

Anyway, I am such a blessed girl to meet with these women every Wednesday!

Can I also say I am super thankful that my mom watched Bri basically all morning/afternoon so I could meet with this group! Thank you, Mom. Your kindness goes noticed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The weekend

Is anyone else completely exhausted after the Thanksgiving weekend, or is it just me? 'Cause I am pooped! I officially have an awful cold to boot. It's not a runny nose thing, but went straight from sore throat to lung and cough yuckiness. I lost my voice, too!

Of course, Thanksgiving dinner was AMAZING. The menu:
  • Turkey with baked squash and potato coins
  • Ham (with pineapple sauce)
  • 3 pans of homemade stuffing!
  • Praline sweet potatoes
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole
  • Homemade rolls
  • Cranberry sauce (Costco makes the best!)
  • Salad
  • Apple pie
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Caramel apple pie
  • Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting
  • Chocolate Cheesecake (cheesecake factory)
  • Regular chocolate cake

Don't think we had enough food! You have to understand, there were 22 of us at my sister-in-law's. That included lots of kids. So basically, there was nothing left to take home, which I greatly appreciated. Don't need all those calories tempting me. Before eating our feast, a bunch of us played soccer. It was a blast! Complete with many, many laughs because of all our goof-ups. Makes me miss the good 'ole soccer days.

After eating, Mom, Rosa, Michelle and I scanned the sale ads. Don't know why. We weren't buying half of what was on our lists since money is tight. And even if we get there early, only about the first 10 people will get the cool stuff!

The next day, I was busy prepping for a financial meeting in the afternoon. Yes, exactly the thing you want to do on T-giving weekend. But really, it is worth it in the long run...hopefully I can post about that before Christmas comes. Anyway, I was done with the mtg around 12.

All the sales were over.

But I headed to Old Navy since I was in the South Hill area anyway. Thank the Lord for Old Navy! That have bunches of cute, inexpensive gifts! And they weren't even door busters. Skip Penneys...nothing there. Target didn't have anything either. We skipped Bri's nap. Only way this Mama could ever get any shopping done, especially with Daddy gone at work. Anyway, after my daughter had an emotional break down at Target, I braved the time and headed to Michael's and Ross.

Lots and lots of yarn on sale at Michael's! I also bought a huge frame collage for Amelia's photos when they arrive. It was half off. I should have gone to Ross in the first place...they had the best prices and nothing was even on sale! It was good I had gone to other stores first because I was able to compare numbers. The same gloves at Penney's for $25 were only 6.99 at Ross. And they were genuine leather. In the end, we were both happy, for I got all my Christmas shopping done and B got an ICEE and cookie.

I forgot to mention that I bought the most beautiful little ornament in memory of Amelia. It is two golden lacy ballet slippers, reminding us that she is walking on streets of gold. Such a precious addition to our collection. Oh, I will miss our baby girl like nothing this Christmas.

On Saturday, we went to Mt. Ranier with our dear friends...the Watsons, John Anderson, Edie, Caribelle, Matt & Tara, Eric & Rachel, Mike & Jana and all the kids in those families. Mike went down into the valley to get the tree (I really wanted to!), but I had to watch Bri. He got a perfect one. The ladies chatted by the bonfire (thanks guys!) and ate yummies, because we didn't have enough on T-giving already :) Though fun, we were all tired by the end. Mike was soaked and dirty, so we headed back home. That night, we also went to Mike's parents' house for some after holiday fun, and to visit with Uncle Don one last time. We also watched the awesome, and I mean awesome, movie "Planet Earth", which included scenes of snow-capped mountains, leopards, elephants under water, wild dogs, impalas, pumas, and many other wild animals and wild life.

Sunday morning, I stayed home with Bri, since our colds were in full force. I was supposed to play a piano special, but I'm sure everyone is thankful I didn't spread our germs. It was a nice day to rest up.

In other news, my brothers will be coming home Dec. 13th. We are all looking forward to it, especially Brilla. She hasn't forgotten her uncles. And they haven't forgotten us. Last night, we received a sweet Thanksgiving card from them, included was a senior photo from Brian, in his tux. Can it be he's already 21? I have this policy that any girls interested have to get through me first ;P Goes for Sean, too. Anyway, when they guys get home, we will be having lots of laughs and mochas, I am sure. I'll prolly help decorate their house, too, seeing my mother says she doesn't have a decorating bone in her body...and it's a little weird for the guys to be doing it all. We'll Christmas carol until we're hoarse, playing piano and violin until our fingers are sore (I know mine will be sore, haven't played violin in forever since mine's in repair), and staying up so late, we'll be exhausted and get another bad cold.