To all my blogging friends - I pray you all have a very Merry Christmas, filled with love, laughter, family, and friends. May the joy of Jesus live in your heart, not only through this holiday season, but throughout the entire year. We will be celebrating with the kids tonight, and, weather permitting, with Brad's family tomorrow evening. We will get together with my family next weekend.

Blessings to all of you this holiday season!
I've had this button on my sidebar for a couple of months and have tried very hard to keep this family in my prayers. Andrew joined the Lord yesterday and lost a courageous fight against cancer. But his victory is in Jesus.

His life has touched me profoundly as I have a soon to be 12 year-old. Days are short, my friends. Love on your family as much as you can.

In Him,

Yesterday, our beloved dog, Baxter, passed away. He had been failing slowly over the past months, but took a big turn on Saturday and before we could stop the downhill slide, he died Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, he was in our house, in a nice warm environment, and we don't feel he suffered too much. He was a beloved fixture for the past 11 years, and I already miss him more than I thought I would. I told my sister that it is the "familiar" and "routine" things that I miss...him scratching on the door to come in the house, his happy greeting when we drive up the driveway, even his howling when he wants to make his presence known. Most of all, it is sad to see your kids grieving the loss of a friend. While they are handling it well, they question if they gave him enough love and attention over the years - a great lesson for us all that time is fleeing and we need to love our loved ones in the here and now.

We are still figuring out how we will lay him to rest, but today we are looking at old pictures and reminiscing on our fun times together.

Thank you, Baxter, for the eleven years of joy and fun you brought into our lives!

I just can't believe how time is flying by. In less than three weeks, TJ will be Gladys Herdman in six performances of The Best Little Christmas Pageant Ever. In four weeks, it will be Christmas. In six weeks, it will be JD's birthday. In ten weeks, we will be going on vacation. From my experience, those ten weeks are going to FLY by. My goodness, it takes my breath away just thinking about it! It's going to be hairy! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

Kind of like this past week! Here's a summary:
-Enjoyed time and work with my mom, who came out for Thanksgiving
-Hosted 14 people from Brad's family for Thanksgiving dinner - yummy!
-Played, ate, and relished the company of my sister and her family from Friday until Sunday
-Eased my sore muscles after flag football with my mean old nieces and nephew
-Took two walks as the weather was gorgeous
-Put up the tree, decorated outside and in
-Watched the Vikings win
-Thought about Christmas shopping
-Contemplated Christmas lists

Seems like more, but that is the nutshell. Now, we are in the push to Christmas. I don't want it to be a push. I want it to be a gentle stroll with lots to look at, enjoy, and ponder along the way. It's going to be a challenge with all that we have going on, but I'm bound and determined to not let Christmas pass us by. We're still going to have school, but I'm going to significantly limit my computer time. As much as I like to blog and write to have an outlet, I will PLAN on having it be intermittent over the next few weeks. That way, if I plan to be intermittent, I won't have an expectation to get 'er done, kwim?

So, I'll be hopping back on here now and again, so don't completely forget about me. :) In the meantime, I pray you can focus on the true meaning of Christmas and take time to enjoy the season.

Until next time...

(Oh, and I didn't forget about my promised Proverbs 31 follow up...thanks to all of you who responded! I will definitely be posting my thoughts someday soon)