Monday, December 31, 2007

My "To Do" List

In just a little less than 8 hours, 2007 will come to a close. Another year has passed, and I find myself thinking today "What will I do differently in 2008?". What is it that I missed out on? What did I do right? What do I need to do better? What can I do without?

I don't really believe in new year's resolutions. But, I do believe in goals. I think it's important that we have a plan for ourselves. I haven't always been good at that, but I think I am getting better at it. At least, I hope I am. Anyway... Jeff and I have been talking about some goals that we want to accomplish for ourselves and our family this year. I thought I might share a few here.

1. Memorize more scripture. There is really no excuse for me not to do this. I just don't make it a priority like I should.

2. Read no less than 36 books this year. That's only 3 a month, and I should be able to do this easily. Actually, most years, I have done this without even thinking about it. But lately, I have found myself wasting time watching tv instead of reading. I have only completed 2 books in the past 2 months, and for those of you who know me well, you know that is strange! I miss the books. So, if you have anything you would recommend, send it my way. I will be reading a lot in 2008.

3. I will run a 5k in 2008. I know that's not a long distance for you marathon runners out there. But I hate to run. I detest it! This isn't about a fun time for me. It's about making a statement that my health is important to me, and if I can run a 5k, I will have made progress in my health. Bryan says he will run with me too, so that's a bonus!

4. Stop complaining that I "have" to go to work. This is serious for me. You see, I don't really look at my work as a job, but a calling. I know that sounds hinky to some of you, but it's true. I need to change the way I talk about my work sometimes. I have become negative in the past few months, perhaps because of some changes in my job. But.. it's still a good job, and I am thankful for the opportunity to do it.

5. Have more friends in our home. I am sometimes reluctant to do this because I think I can't cook well enough or my house isn't clean enough or whatever. Truth is, my friends don't love me or my family for my cooking or for how well I can keep the house. I want to value time with friends and family, and that begins at home. This year, I pledge to open my home more to friends.

6. Play more games with my family. Jeff, Bryan and I enjoy sitting at the table playing Rummy, and this year, I intend to more of that. We learn so much about each other at the table, and I love that time together. This year, I want to sit together more, along with other friends. This will be easier for us since most of our money will be going towards the adoption of our daughter. Games at home are free, so I imagine we will do a lot of that.

7. This year, I will finally decorate a little girl's room in our home. I realize that our girl may not physically be with us in 2008 (adoption processes are long), but my prayer is that we at least know who she is in this year, and can start planning specifically for her to be here. I can hardly wait to paint something pink! Jeff and Bryan- you can get ready for a trip to the Cabbage Patch Factory!!!!!! (that's a little inside joke there)

8. Go on more dates with Jeff. Let me just tell ya- I have one HECK of a husband, and after 14 years of marriage, I STILL love going on dates with him. This year, we will take dance lessons (FOR REAL), and I vow to take him out more- alone. I value every minute that we can get together, and I want to make that more of a priority this year.

There are many many more that I could share, but they are more personal and I can't tell all of my secrets! What are your goals for 2008?? if you haven't made any, I encourage you to do so.
There's still a few hours left for ya!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

When you can't give a gift...

To My Little Girl,

I don't know where you are in the world today. I don't even know if you are born yet. I don't know if your hair is curly or straight, or if your eyes are deep set or not. I don't know if you have dimples in your cheeks. I don't know if your fingers are long and straight or short and pudgy. There seems to be so much that I don't yet know about you. But I know that I love you already.

I have prayed for you for years. I realize that may sound crazy to you or to others, but it's true. I have prayed that you would be a part of our family, and then I have waited until God said it was time for this to become reality. And I continue to pray.

Today, I pray for you, my precious little girl. I pray that if you are already born, that you are safe and sound. I pray that you have plenty to eat and water that is safe to drink. I pray that you are cared for by people who know of the love of Jesus and that they show you His Grace daily. I pray that you are growing in a place where you know that you are special and that you are loved. I pray that there is peace around you.

I pray for your mother. I am so grateful for the sacrifice that she will make so that you can be in our home. I pray that she has strength and courage. I pray that someone around her loves her unconditionally and is showing her of the love of the Savior who makes all things new. I pray for courage to make the ultimate sacrifice so that her child can be cared for in a way that perhaps she is unable to do. And I pray that she rests easily. I pray that if she is carrying you right now, that she is healthy and always concerned about doing what is healthy for you, her unborn child. I pray that she knows how much of a debt I will forever owe her because she is giving to me what I could not do myself.

I pray for those who will care for you in an orphanage. Maybe you are already there, and they already know and love you. I pray for endurance and patience to care for you lovingly day in and day out. I pray that they sing to you, sweet lullabies at night and fun, silly songs during the day. I pray that they know how much of a difference they are making in your life and in our lives too because they care for you.

I don't know what it will be like when I first get to hold you. I dayream about it all the time, but I know that none of my dreams will compare to that actual moment. I don't know when that day will be, but I pray that it is soon. I trust God's timing to bring us together as a family at just the perfect time. Until then, you can rest assured that I am praying the Almighty's protection on you constantly. I am praying already for the day that you will ask Jesus into your heart. What a celebration that will be!

I love you already, little girl. I wait anxiously for you to be with us. You are already a part of us. Merry Christmas to you baby, wherever you are.

Your mommy-to-be

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas is all about love...

Last night, Bryan asked if we could open our gifts at 12:01 "because technically that it Christmas Eve". Jeff and I figured "why not?", and so the fun began. You have to understand that Bryan has been begging to open gifts for 3 weeks now. He is a bit like his dad in that he can't stand to wait to see what's in the packages under the tree (that's a whole other story I will tell some other time though)

Bryan had asked for clothes. He is the fashion King! But, the 'big' gift was a total surprise. Jeff and I got Bryan a cell phone this year. He is growing up, and we thought he was ready for it. But, we couldn't just wrap it up and let him get it that way. We sent him on a "great adventure"... clue after clue to lead him to the actual gift. After being taken to several different places (the freezer, his sock drawer, a stocking on the door, his email, etc etc), his final clue simply said "Go to your room". He did. He sat on the bed waiting. And then it happened. The phone rang. It was hidden in his room. But the best part was that he didn't get that it was his gift; he thought it was just another clue waiting for him! When he answered and Jeff said "merry Christmas", he was thrilled! He even shed a few tears. It was worth it all to see that look of absolute joy on his face. (jeff has some great pics on his blog here)

You know... As much as I love giving Bryan gifts, I have to say that I get so much more out of it than he does. And this year, he is healthy and whole. No tubes in his body. No treatments to do at home. No meds because he has just had surgery. No pain. No infections. That is my gift this year, and I know who it's from. Scripture says that everything good is from the Lord. And there is so much GOOD in my life. God has blessed me tremendously. I don't deserve; I could never earn this. He just loves me and He gives to me beyond measure. Most importantly, He has given His son- as a baby, but yet a King!- for me! Did you hear that?? God gave up His only son- sent Him to earth to live among us, so that we could be free.

Ultimately that baby we celebrate at Christmas grew to be a man- a PERFECT man. In His perfection, He went to the cross, and sacrificed everything for our sins. Now THAT is a Christmas gift! But like Bryan didn't get that the phone was actually his at first, some of us don't get that Jesus is for them! He is. JESUS is the perfect gift for everyone. Let's not forget that this year. Let's savor every minute of time with our families and friends. Let's have a blast opening gifts and watching others open gifts, but let's not forget whom we really celebrate... "for unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord".

Merry Christmas to you all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holly: defender, protector

I took a personality quiz at this site

According to this site, I am an ISFJ...


The characteristics of an ISFJ are as follows:

"ISFJs are characterized above all by their desire to serve others, their "need to be needed." In extreme cases, this need is so strong that standard give-and-take relationships are deeply unsatisfying to them; however, most ISFJs find more than enough with which to occupy themselves within the framework of a normal life." - ISFJ Profile (TypeLogic)

"ISFJs have a rich inner world that is not usually obvious to observers. They constantly take in information about people and situations that is personally important to them, and store it away. This tremendous store of information is usually startlingly accurate, because the ISFJ has an exceptional memory about things that are important to their value systems. It would not be uncommon for the ISFJ to remember a particular facial expression or conversation in precise detail years after..." - Portrait of an ISFJ (The Personality Page)

What do you think? I think there is some truth in here about me. It was kind of fun anyway. Take the test.. let me know what kind of person are.

35 is the new 20!

This past Sunday, I celebrated my 35th birthday. I know.. you can't believe it, right? Just kidding. I don't mind saying that I am 35; truth be told, I have never really been bothered by the number of a birthday. I figure it's better than the alternative.

This weekend was filled with celebration. It started off with the greatest gift Jeff could ever give me. Get ready for this one girls, because it will knock your socks off. No, it's not diamonds. It's better than diamonds! HE CLEANED THE ENTIRE HOUSE TOP TO BOTTOM ALL BY HIMSELF SO THAT I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO A THING ON MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND! In my eyes, that gets the "husband of the year" award! Jeff and Bryan took me out for hibachi grill (YUMMY) on Friday night. We followed that up with some Christmas shopping at the mall, which I absolutely love this time of year (seriously). Saturday was a day at home, baking goodies for our Couple Time get-together at our house that night. That was a lot of fun. I love hanging out with friends, and these guys are great friends!

Sunday was my actual birthday. Sundays are really busy for us, and this one was no exception. But it was good too. Busy isn't so bad when it's fun, you know. And I happen to think the things I am involved in at church are really fun.

So, to Jeff and Bryan, I say a huge THANK YOU for my celebration.You always know how to make me feel like a queen! Jeff, you are the love of my life, and Bryan- you rock my world! Thanks to the rest of my family who called me and loved on me over the phone. It was really cool how the phone rang all day from you guys. I love ya'll.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad. They celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary today! that's a lot of years.
I love you guys.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

As I Was Saying...

Last night was our 12th annual "Prosser/Osborne Cookie Bakeoff". Over the years, we have progressed from a double batch of dough to a triple batch (we blame it on the kids). That adds up to a LOT of cookies over the years. But as good as the cookies are, the real reason we do it is the friendship. These guys are awesome!
Here are some pics of the whole night...

That's Michelle and Bella

This is Bella (aka Minnie Mouse) getting in on the fun of licking the bowl! YUM

Even the guys get in on the cookie action. Here's Doug, Jeff, and Bryan making some cookie creations of their own (the more non-traditional Christmas cookies)

Here is Bryan with his finished product... "the Gansta snowman". I told you they were "non-traditional". Yes, that's a gun he is holding. He's a gansta... what else would he hold?? What a hoot!
As you can see, we had a great time. We love ya'll Doug, Michelle, and Bella! Thanks for the gifts, the laughter, the fun... thanks for the tradition we have shared for the past 12 years now. Can't wait til next year!

Oh yeah.. I promised in yesterday's post that I would add a pic of my favorite ornament. Well, here it is for you to enjoy too.

I love this ornament. Bryan made it in 2002 in Sunday school or some other church class. Other kids came out with their "thumb people" just plain and simple. But Bryan made his into a viking warrior! Notice he is holding a sword, a shield and he has the viking helmet too! Typical Bryan stuff right there. Nothing was complete without a sword at that time in his life! I guarantee that this ornament will be on my tree every year of my life.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Faves

There are a lot of things that I love about the Christmas season. I love the weather. To me, the best kind of day there could ever be is one of the blustery, freezing kinds of days. You know the kind where the hairs in your nose start to freeze when you breathe in deeply?? And life can't get much better than a good snow. That's a favorite of mine.

I love the music of Christmas. From the goofy songs ("I Wanna Hippopatamus for Christmas" comes to mind) to the more serious/spiritual songs (think "The First Noel" or "O Holy Night") to those oldies but goodies we grew up singing ("I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and "The 12 Days of Christmas")- I love it all.

I love the sights of Christmas. I love driving home in the evenings and seeing houses lit up, some in multi-colored lights, some in all white. I love the festive decor in the yards (with the exception of the gigantic, blow-up things that never seem to be able to stay afloat). I love seeing the Christmas trees lit up in front windows, wreaths on the doors, candles in the windows. I love the poinsettas in our church sanctuary. It makes me smile to walk in and see them arranged so beautifully each week.

I love the time with family during the Christmas season. We will have Jeff's family at our house the weekend before Christmas. I will cook a feast, we will laugh, play cards, exchange gifts, and just hang out. Then, we will do it again Christmas Day with my family in Louisville. I love that time spent with each other.

I love the memories of Christmases past. One of my favorite days of the year is when we put up our Christmas tree. While doing so, we look at the ornaments, and I can remember where almost all of them came from. I remember what was happening in our lives at the time we received them, and it's good to look back at that. I especially love looking at the ornaments that Bryan made when he was small. Wow... he's really growing up!

And finally, I love the traditions of Christmas. When I was growing up, we went to see a movie on Christmas Eve before coming home to open presents. Just before opening them, we read the Christmas story from the Bible together and prayed together. For some reason, my brother and I laughed out loud during that prayer every year. And now that we are adults, we still laugh out loud during that prayer every year. It's a tradition. Christmas wouldn't be the same without it. We have traditions ourselves now. One is to ride through the Ky Horse Park and see the lights they have displayed. We go every year, and I never get tired of it! We watch some of our favorite Christmas movies together as a family every year. No matter how many times you have seen it, "A Christmas Story" will always be great! Tonight we will take part in another of our Christmas traditions... the annual Prosser/Osborne Christmas cookie bake! We have been friends with Doug and Michelle for 14 years. Our families have grown together and shared so much through the years. This tradition started off with just the 4 of us adults making cookies together 12 years ago. Now, our children (they have a beautiful daughter Bella) are in on the fun too. So, tonight we will gather at the Osborne home and bake cookies, eat together, exchange gifts, and laugh more than you can imagine. It's a favorite Christmas tradition. I can't wait to get there tonight! I will post pics soon of the whole thing!

So, to recap my faves..
Favorite silly Christmas song... I wanna Hippopatamus For Christmas
Favorite spiritual Christmas song... The First Noel
Favorite "other" Christmas song... Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
Favorite Christmas movie...toss up between the Grinch (original) and Christmas Story
Favorite Christmas tradition... cookie bake and KY Horse park lights
Favorite Christmas treat... Christmas mice (YUMMY)
Favorite Christmas ornament...homemade ornament from Bryan during his kindergarten year (I will post pics of that soon too)
Favorite Christmas memory... Bryan's second Christmas (the first one that he really understood that he was getting gifts and was SOOOO excited!

So, tell me... what are your faves of the season??

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving continued....

This weekend, my family got together to celebrate Thanksgiving. We were all in different places on the actual day, so we made plans to celebrate a little late this year. What a great weekend!

My mom had a feast prepared, and Shelly (my sis-in-law) and I added a few recipes of our own to the meal. What a spread! There's something really beautiful about sitting down to a meal all together. We really talked. There were conversations about everything from politics to what God is doing in our lives right now. My dad and I had a little blast from the past where we sat down at the piano to sing some old favorites. When I was growing up, he used to take me to piano lessons every week, and we would sing our hearts out together in the truck on the way there. I must say that Dad had the bass thing going this weekend :) It was hard for me to sing with him doing that, but it was a lot of fun. I have missed those times with him.

No weekend with my family is complete without poker though. No, we don't play for money. We play for something much more important than that... bragging rights! Hats off to my brother Chris for having all the chips and bragging rights for now- that is, until we are together for Christmas. By the way, that's him in the picture pickin' and grinnin'. Mom must be proud.

I must say that one of the highlights for me is getting to hang with my niece for a while. What a beautiful young lady she is! I love that girl. She is one of the most loving and sincere girls I have ever known, and I have known a lot of teens over the years. Kristin is a Godly young lady with a great sense of humor, the heartiest laugh you will ever hear, and a heart as big as Texas. She loves like no other, and I love her! Kristin, if you are reading this, I love you girl. You make me proud to be your aunt. I love seeing how God is at work in you, and I can't wait to see what He is going to do in your life!

I have a great family. I love them dearly. We should do this more often.