Friday, December 31, 2004

Balloons on the side of the highway

Last September Michael Martin, an ACU grad, lost his wife, three precious sons, and mother-in -law in an instant when a 18 wheeler plowed through their Expedition on I-75 outside of Sherman, Texas. (I have blogged about this before on September 24. ) The resulting fire was so hot that only portions of the license plate were recognizable. I have been thinking about Mike Martin a lot this holiday season, praying that God will somehow comfort this young widowed man in a way I can not imagine from a grief I can not fathom.

Rob's parents live 20 minutes from the scene of the accident. A few days ago we made the pilgrimage to Denison for a late Christmas. As we came to the northern tip of Plano the Martins suddenly invaded my mind. We drove through McKinney past the High Point Church of Christ where I watched news crews cover the prayer and funeral services. A tear or two slipped out as I tried to think of other things.

The stretch between McKinney and Sherman is only about 50 miles but dragged on and on and on. In Howe I started looking for some sign of the wreck ... I can't explain why. Melissa, Anna, then finally Sherman. There it was. On the left side of the road just after the cement barrier that divides the highway ended, someone placed a flock of Mylar balloons. If there was a sign I couldn't read it, but I knew that that was it. That was where 5 lives in the Martin family ended in an instant. For some reason I felt so much better knowing the spot had been marked, at least temporarily. I said a prayer, shed a tear or two and let it go. I needed to acknowledge that grief and see someone else acknowledge it.

As I see the tragedy unfold on the other side of the world I wonder how all these people will recover. How do you move on past this type tragedy..... But then again how do you not? Life goes on. Sometimes we think life will stop for our joys and sorrows, but it just keeps going on and on then in an instant it is gone.

I doubt I ever completely grasp the mysteries of the gift we have called life. But, I have come to believe that whether I am grieving or celebrating, rich or poor, down-and-out or up-and-adam, one thing remains.... God is God and I am not. When I see the tragedy others face this year I realize how good God has been to me and I am overcome with gratitude. Gratitude mixed with grief for all those who mourn. Like it or not, life goes on for them and for me. Life has a way of reminding me that this world and this life is not all there is, Praise God!

Jesus said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have great sorrow. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33

Dear Lord, Please help all who mourn this year, all who have lost everything, and all who are broken. Help them to turn to you, the only true source of hope and comfort in this world. Please heal these people. Heal their hearts and their land. Give them hope and let them feel and see your unfaltering love. Help us to show your love to all who need to see it. Help us reach all who can be reached so that we may all come home to you Lord!

For all those reading this, thank you for letting me vent and express myself. I think of this blog as my way of marking and remembering what needs to be acknowledged in my life ... sort of like my own bouquet of balloons on the side of life's highway.

God bless us all in 2005!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Asian Disaster Toll Could Top 100,000

Read that headline again. Asian Disaster Toll Could Top 100,000 -- Red Cross My goodness. 100,000 people gone. Dead. In an instant. That would be like our whole city vanishing. That would be like everyone I ever knew and then some all dieing at once. All those lives taken.

Millions...Literally millions of peoples lives disrupted, hearts broken, spirits crushed.

No words, just tears.

What can we say that does this tragedy justice?

Lord please help these people. Please provide what ever measure of peace and comfort is possible. Heal the wounded. Heal their many lands. Heal the hearts of those who have lost so much. Thank you for my life Lord, thank you for my life!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Happy Anniversary...Almost

Tomorrow will be my six month blogging anniversary! ( I was a blog lurker and commentor for six months before actually posting on my blog.) Just six months and it has become such a big part of my day. I love my blog family! All of you are such an encouragement to me. I wonder what the next six months will bring?

The house looks as if Christmas exploded inside. Well, it sort of did. The kids got tons of great toys and clothes. Santa came through with a bike for Rhett and an American Girl Doll for Kolby. Rob and I were also very blessed and guess what...It is only half over. Today we are heading to Rob's parents in Denison, Texas for Christmas with the Grosz side of the family! :) We plan to stop off in Dallas to see the trains at North Park. Rhett is such a train fan, so it should be fun. ( The Cheesecake Factory is also just across the street!) I really should get going... but I feel the need to ramble and reflect this morning. This will drive Rob to distraction as he is in "go" mode.

Exactly how long is too long to leave the Christmas decor up? When does it just become repulsive to see red and green? It took so long to get it all out and up this year, I don't feel the slightest bit motivated to pull it all down. Humbug!

Rob and I have three huge projects to do before he heads back to work....OK I have 3 big projects and Rob shares one of them. 1. We are going to paint our room... walls, ceilings, moldings everything!!!!
2. We have to clean and box up our room so we can paint. The Christmas stuff has to find it way to the attic and presents have to find new homes in our house. And finally...drum roll please.....................
3. I volunteered to completely redecorate the teachers lounge at school over the holidays. I have until January 10th. Yes we are painting, putting in new floor, hanging curtains, framing art, making art.... The whole nine yards! I know, I know what was I thinking!

So if you don't hear from me for a while, you know why. If you are gifted in a painting kind of way and want to help, just give me a call. I will be farming my kids out too if you want a turn:) Cheap plug huh? -On that note I think I will stop.

Happy After Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Midnight on aisle four

After Cheerleading Practice, after supper, after the PTA committee meeting, after two phone calls to dear friends, and after bed time medicines and kisses, I found myself driving to Wal-Mart to get the last things I needed to finish up Christmas projects and "beat" the crowd. (I'm not sure if you are "beating the crowd"if you get there after the crowd has left but, you understand, right?) Anyway I expected the crowd at Wal-mart to be quite thin at 10:00pm. I was wrong.

I ran in to lots of people I know. As I played shopping cart derby trying to navigate the aisles I thought "Why are all these crazy people here so late?'' Just then I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror (that incidentally, was marked down to $24.98). Now that is one crazy lady, buying M&Ms, spray paint, a phone card, a DVD gift set, baggies and a gallon of milk at 10:30pm!

The craziest thing about the holidays is that we wear our selves out trying to make the season just right! Personally, I think the flu season hits hardest in January because our resistance is down from all that crazy hustle and bustle. Please don't think I am a scrooge. I love buying and wrapping presents. To a point, I actually enjoy the hustle and bustle and late night trips. I love this season.

But last night as I made my way to the check out stand I had an "Ah-Ha" moment that sort of put the season in perspective for me. I accidentally picked up The Passion DVD gift set. I thought I had grabbed the Gone With The Wind Gift Set (same color box and right beside each other on the shelf). I was agitated when I realized I would have to go all the way back to electronics to make the exchange. I grabbed the DVD out of my basket and started to huff back to the back of the store. As I passed a little black woman, Passion in hand, she remarked "Oh now wasn't that the greatest gift we could get, Praise God!" I smiled and nodded somewhat startled by the sound of God being praised in Wal-Mart. Then I looked down at that man hanging on the cross on the back of the DVD and I realized how right that little lady was.

The greatest gift ever was not Christ's birth, which was miraculous and wonderous to be sure, but his death. His horrible, painful, agonizing and brutal death. Remember when "The Passion " came out how the nation was completely gripped by the movie? Didn't it turn your stomach to see him beat? Didn't it make you want to hurl when they whipped him? The greatest gift ever came without wrapping paper and bubble wrap. There was not a big satin bow nor a card enclosed. Just blood, sweat, tears, and a life sacrifice. He did all this for me. Nothing could ever top that gift. May I never ever gripe about what I go through to give these temporal, insignificant trinkets to the ones I love. My Savior gave it all for me.

Right there in Wal-mart I had a little change of heart. I decided not to exchange the DVD. I started thinking about all the fun and frivolous gifts I will give and get this year and suddenly wondered what all the fuss is about. Really?

I 'm not sure how this ah-ha moment will affect my Christmas spirit. I was already trying to think of ways to really give something of significance this year. I decided to write letters to add to the gifts I give a few people. I want to tell them how much they mean to me and how I feel Christ has used them in my life. Our little family had also already decided to add a Christmas Eve Service to our tradition... Something Rob's family has always done as they are catholic, but something I have never done away from them. There are several Baptist churches who selflessly offer such services. And most importantly, I am going to sit down tonight and read the story of the crucifixion to my kids and tell them again about the greatest gift ever given.

This year as I make my last minute mall-runs and trips to Target at 10:30pm, I hope my "ah-ha"moment (courtesy of an angel parading as a late night Wal-Mart shopper) will help me to remember the greatest gift ever given and live accordingly.

Merry Christmas my sweet blog family! I hope you and yours take every opportunity to come closer to the Father during this and every season! See you in blog land next week!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Red Velvet Cake

Thank you for all the birthday greetings blog family! When your birthday is one week before Christmas it is hard on your friends and family. I know this as I have friends with Christmas time birthdays. It is hard to get past the holly-daze to celebrate. btw HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN !!!

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the season it is hard to carve out a little time to just celebrate a birthday. My family and husband have always been very good at this though. They always pull something together even though life is crazy. For the past three years my family has bought a red velvet cake as my birthday cake.
I like Red Velvet cake, sort of. My cousins Ashley and Maria LOVE red velvet cake. Ashley makes the best and prettiest I have ever eaten. I like HER red velvet cake.

Saturday morning Kolby asked me "Mommy do you really like Red Velvet cake?"
I thought to myself...What do I say? Did they already buy a Red Velvet cake? Do I tell her the truth?
So semi-selfishly I said "I like red velvet cake. "
"But is it your FAVORITE CAKE?" she asked wide eyed
"Uhhhh, welllll it's not exactly my favorite cake."
Gasping in disbelief "It's not your favorite???? Daddy said you loved Red Velvet cake!"
Before I could respond, at the top of her lungs Kolby yelled "DDDDAAAADDDDDDYYYYY! Mom doesn't even like Red Velvet cake." and runs out of the room.
"Kolby I didn't say that....."I said as I attepmted tocatch her before she crushed my husbands sweet attempt to honor me.
Too late.
On the kitchen counter, beside a vase of a dozen long stem pink sweetheart roses, sat a Red Velvet sheet cake with "Happy Birthday Stephanie" piped in red on the cream cheese icing.

There are moments in life that define us. That moment, I hate to say, defined me in a very unflattering way. Once I saw that the cat was out of the bag and the cake was again Red Velvet, I hastily made the wrong decision to stand my ground.
Rob "You don't like Red Velvet Cake?"
Me " Well no, not really."
Rob "I thought you loved Red Velvet cake!!! You make them all the time."
Me "Honey, I have never in my life made a Red Velvet Cake"
Rob "Are you sure? I thought you made one every year!"
Me "That's Ashley who loves them and makes one every year."
Rob, deflated and confused, "How in the world did I get you and Ashley confused?"
Me "I don't know, but I love the fact that you get me a birthday cake every year and the roses are beautiful!!!"
Rob "I couldn't find yellow roses"
Me "Why would you want yellow roses? Pink are my favorite."
Rob " PINK are your favorite? "
Me " Yeah"
Rob " So what is your favorite cake? "

Eight years later and Rob and I are still discovering new things about each other every day! Ain't life grand!:)

And to answer that last question... I love carrot cake (especially from McKays in Abilene). I love Swiss chocolate cake with divinity icing. I love butter cream cake or chocolate cake with butter cream icing. AND I love cookie cakes from the mall! How about you?


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Today I believe...

Today is my birthday.
I am 35.
Both my parents called me today (from across the street) to say it seems like just yesterday that they got a two week early Christmas present in the form of a 7 pound, pink, bundle of non-sleeping, wide-eyed girl! (That was one of my few early arrivals in life!) Sweet to think about my parents having me as a baby all those years ago.

I got the following from a friend recently in a forward. Despite my loathing of forwards, I liked this one. It is pretty "Chicken Soupish" but, I now know how I'm going to answer my kids when they ask about Santa. I hope you all enjoy! This season is so much brighter when we believe. Merry Christmas!

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!" My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true. Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.
"No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go." "Go where Grandma?" I hadn't even finished with my second cinnamon bun yet.
"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.
The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker.
He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma drove to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.
I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95. May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care... And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Christmas CARD

Ok. So, I said I wasn't going to do Christmas Cards this year. But last night we got this priceless shot of our two angels and I couldn't resist. Here is our 2004 Christmas Card Picture... NOT! (I feel so 80's saying that) Though it was tempting to use this shot, I didn't want to hear the Grands rantings!
Actually, I scanned my real Christmas Card picture into the Digital Photo Center at Walmart and my cards were done in under an hour! WOW!!! And just $32 for 80 ...REALLY WOW!!! I think I will procrastinate every year! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Degrees ...

"I'm usually a 69 girl myself, but lately that's not good enough. I asked Rob to crank it up, but he just says 'put a blanket on it'. I need more than a blanket."

Yes, I said those exact words in mixed company. I was participating in a conversation about how cold it has been at night lately. My friend said that her heater is always on 72 degrees at night. I made the above comment. Apparently it was during a conversation lull at the other end of the table and only my comment was heard. No amount of shock or commands to "Get your mind out of the gutter" could erase the image my words painted nor silence the laughter that followed. 69 degrees I meant, 69 degrees!!! I had to laugh at it myself .

If you ever visit us and hear "Hey, 69 girl!", the blushing one who turns to answer will be me.

Tuesday night Rhett had a few degrees of fever. Alain decided not to bring McKenna Wednesday. I called and got an appointment with our beloved Dr. Kemper at 4:30 PM and we had an easy going day. I almost called to cancel the appointment because Rhett's fever was gone and, besides a nasty cough, he was his old rough and tumble self. But at the last minute, I decided to go. Imagine my shock when Dr. K ordered a blood /oxygen reading, and a chest X-ray... Yep, Rhett has Pneumonia... the "walking" kind (what ever that means). Guess I'm glad we went ahead and went in.

Nothing brings me crashing back down to reality faster than my child being sick. Instantly the calendar clears as my role in life becomes crystal clear... I am a professional Mom. So today I am not worried about Christmas cards, or wrapped presents. My only agenda is to make homemade chicken noodle soup, get all the breathing treatments in, keep the sippy cups of orange juice flowing, and make sure my little boy is rapidly on the road to recovery.

In a way, I cherish these days even though I HATE that Rhett is sick. Days like this make me feel very, very blessed. First and foremost, I am blessed to have a heavenly Father who hears my plea to heal my child. We are blessed in that our children have always just had temporary illnesses, nothing terminal or long term. We have a great doctor who we adore and who adores us. (Dr Kemper is the BEST!) We have good medicine, a warm comfy house, plenty of good food, and I have the privledge of staying home with our kids. For all that, I am thankful to the nth degree! Rob and I are truly blessed.

Nothing makes my days brighter nor my heart fuller than to know and see how blessed we are. It motivates me to do better and be more... Not from guilt, but from gratitude. God is very good. I hope to do some degree of good in my life to thank Him for His unfailing goodness.

Blessing to you blog family! May this season bring you many degrees of hope and gratitude!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Slackers Rule...


Really! Somehow it just kept slipping my mind. Today is December 15th. Is it too late? Should I even try? Maybe I'll just post some pictures on my blog and e-mail everyone a link? Somehow I'm not sure that would fly with the grandparents. Besides I have this huge photo album of all the Christmas card pictures we have received over the last eight years. I would hate not to be able to add my own kids to this years pages. So maybe we will do "Happy New Year" cards instead.

I used to have all this holiday stuff done by Thanksgiving. It seems I enjoyed the Holidays a lot more then. What happened to that super organized girl? I want to be her again! It all started when I slept in the morning after Thanksgiving and skipped all the sales, it's been down hill ever since. I am learning the hard way that Christmas comes whether you're ready or not. I think next year I will try to do all this a little earlier!

Hope all of you are leaps and bounds ahead of Christmas. If not...take heart new mantra is "SLACKERS RULE THIS YULE!" Care to join me in that?

Monday, December 13, 2004

The old songs

Yesterday morning I did not go to church. This sinus infection is just not lifting. On the days I miss church, I find myself trying to have my own church of sorts. Sometimes it is an unconscious thing. Yesterday, I was doing some laundry and unpacking the Christmas village when I realized I was singing "When I survey the wondrous cross." I think I was four when I first remember singing this song. I don't think we have sung it recently at Crestview. But there I was in my PJs in the dining room singing it.

The old songs eventually surface no matter how long they have been dormant in my mind. "When Peace like a River" and "Earnestly Tenderly Jesus is Calling" surfaced yesterday morning to. Now, no one loves the "new" songs like I do! Zoe and WOW and many others blare from my speakers in the van, the living room, eveywhere... But sometimes the old songs are just as good at centering my soul. Reminds me of an old girl scout song. "Make new friends but keep the old, some are silver and the other's gold." The older I grow, the truer these word ring.

Listen to a golden friend today, and go give it your all!

When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the Vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did ever such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


I have butterflies in my stomach tonight.... Sadistic cramp causing butterflies at that! (maybe it's Z-pack side effects)

Rob's first day at L3 is tomorrow. He is sleeping like a baby, but I am a ball of nerves! You would think that I am the one with the new job. I am nervous for him. Things will be very different, at least for a while. Rob is used to being the boss with the big corner office. Now he will be a worker with a desk. He is used to coming and going at will and working 60 hour weeks. Now his hours are from 7:30 to 5:30 with every other Friday off. The weight of keeping the branch afloat is off his shoulders, which makes this career move completely worthwhile. It was time for Rob to leave the bank and I know he will do great. I'm just nervous for him.

So say a prayer for Rob in his brand new career. Pray that the transition to L3 is all good and that he can quickly tie up some loose ends with his broker licenses. Starting over again . . . Here we go!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Thank you for...

Thank you for Z packs, Robitussin DM, Allegra, and Saturday hours at Dr Ralston's Clinic.

Thank you for my parents living across the street and watching my kids so I could go to the doctor.

Thank you for the nice young man at Hobby Lobby assigned to me by the manager to "assist me" in the store after Rhett knocked our shopping cart on it's side in the midst of his worst melt down ever.

Thank you for the guy at the Cingular Store who switched my brand new cell phone that dropped all my calls, even though the rude lady at customer service (who had me on the phone for over an hour today) said it could not be done.

Thank you for Rob finally getting home tonight at 6 after being gone for basketball since yesterday.

Thank you for Kolby not being hurt beyond a little bruise when she accidentally did the Nesttea plunge off her bed today. It scared me.

Thank you for letting this day/week finally be over!

So, how was your day??????????

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Bright lights, Big Pity

This is an open letter to whomever it is that manufactures C7 and C9 Christmas Lights....

Dear Sirs, (women would never make purple string holiday lights)

I want to congratulate you on another successful season. You must be very proud of yourselves for it is only December 8th and 98% of your products have disappeared from the store shelves. Being that your product is seasonal, this must be great news for you.

I am writing to make a small suggestion. I have noticed that by December 1st many stores have completely sold out of Clear or White size C7 or C9 lights, at least all the stores in a 50 mile radius of my house. However, the multi-colored lights and the purple lights are still stocked by the truck load. You may not know this but, purple really isn't a Christmas nor Hanukkah color. It may be a Kwanza color, but I am too old to have studied such things in school. When I was little we just studied Christmas... You know, that holiday we aren't allowed to study in school anymore. Even so, I have never seen a house decorated with purple lights for Kwanza or any other event. It just might save having your product clearanced for fifty cents if you cut down on the purple light production.

Speaking of production... You know those clear or white lights I mentioned? You might double your profits and sales if you doubled you production of those! For three years I have tried to by clear C7s for our house. This year I broke down and bought the last 5 boxes of clear C9s at Walmart on November 28th. And you might want to make a few more replacement bulbs too! One of my 5 boxes had a broken bulb. Six stores and two weeks later I am to the point of thinking I should borrow a bulb from someone else's yard! AND if you would make more replacement bulbs, we could by the purple strands on clearance and replace all the bulbs with clear. (I actually have a neighbor who did this last year. )

And speaking of neighbors... Many neighborhood associations only allow white or clear lights to be hung from the house. Yes, I know it is creatively stifling to some, but such is life. Because of this you would think white or clear lights would out number the other lights 2 to 1 in the stores...but no. Have you ever heard of a neighborhood association demanding houses be lit with purple lights, or even red or blue or green or even multi-colored lights? If there is such a place, could you send us all their white and clear lights? We will gladly fork over all the purple ones littering our stores. Just a thought.

Thanks for your consideration of this matter.

The grumpy Wife of an un-lit house!

PS If you would get together with the people who make those little clips that neatly attach the lights to the house and the people who make the little light stakes for the could make a killing by making sure they up there production too!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

An addict?

"Honey, I think you are becoming addicted to the computer."

That is what Rob said Monday night before last when I left the dinner table to use the rest room and he found me in our room on eBay thirty minutes later. I laughed it off at the time and he did too. However, there was enough truth in what he said that it bugged me. I kept asking myself ..."Am I addicted to the computer?"

Between blogging, eBay, ordering on-line, doing invitations and announcements as a little business, and all my church and PTA volunteer computer generated projects, I do log a hefty amount of computer hours. I am to the point that the computer is my newspaper, my mailbox, my scrapbook, my journal, my recipe book, and my phone book. I never hand write anything anymore. I have become very dependent on my trusty old Gateway! So, I decided to test my computer dependency remembering Pam Money's wise words (though it was in reference to kids and TV) "The easiest way to see if there is a problem is to try to give it up."

So I didn't blog for a week. I did read a blog here and there and make a few comments, but I limited myself to 15 or 20 minutes at a time on the computer with the kitchen timer. I have to admit the first day or two I caught myself sliding in the chair in front of the computer just out of habit. But after that, it was actually easy to stay away because this is truly such a busy time of year. I got a lot more done around the house. I don't think my computer habit is a true addiction, but it is something I will be limiting more in the future.

Have any of you had that happen? Suddenly realize you were spending far to much time and thought on something? It happens so easily. I think it is really easy for a stay home Mom like myself to get a little computer happy. It is an "always on" outlet, an escape, a way to shop in your PJs, a way to connect with others without leaving the house..or the children. All these things are good, but could be bad. Too much of a good thing (aside from God and his redemptive love) is usually bad.

We like to think that some things we do don't matter and that our time is our own. Truth is, really everything we do matters. In "The Five People You Meet in Heaven"Mitch Albom wrote that "there are no small decisions in life." I loved reading this book because it so brilliantly showed how one ordinary mans life was deeply and extraordinarily woven into the lives of so many. (The movie shown on ABC last Sunday was great, but I still liked the book better.) As of late, I have not been good at budgeting and spending my time wisely . Thankfully, my husband's playful comment reminded me of this. There could have been less kind reminders.

So after today I will aim for quality over quantity on this blog. I would love to hear all of your thoughts on this subject. I'll be in and out of blog world this week as I still don't have all the Christmas decorating and wrapping finished. Christmas is lots of work, but it's fun work. :) I hope all are enjoying this season and being able to reflect on the God given blessings of this wonderful thing we call life. Blessings!