Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Tears

It has been a bitter sweet Christmas.  Sweet because Tim and Lisa came from Arizona for 9 days and the whole family was together to be able to call Jordan in Brazil on Christmas morning, but bitter because on Christmas Eve Day Tim's father passed away after his short battle with lung cancer -- diagnosed in August and gone in December. 

Early Thursday morning Tim and I will be on our way to Minnesota for his funeral on Friday.  Tim and Lisa graciously offered to stay with the kids at home and that will make our travel time shorter and less expensive.  Because we won't be home to get Tim and Lisa to the airport in Louisville for their flight home on Saturday some great friends offered to get them there for us -- thank you Bunn Family! We so appreciate your kindness in doing this for us.

 A visit to Minnesota in August 2010
Tim, Jeff, Dad Don, Peggy and Ron
(*missing from this picture is Pam who could not be there when this was taken)

This was the last picture I took of Tim's dad as we were pulling out of the driveway of their home headed back to Kentucky. What a sweet moment to have captured. He will be missed.

When we are back home and things have settled down I will update the blog on our Christmas happenings. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

We wish you a wonderful Christmas that brings love, joy ,hope and peace. 
That is what this time of year is all about -- the love of  Jesus Christ for each of us, the joy His presence brings in our lives, the peace in knowing he is our Savior, the hope of the world. 

Tim, Loretta, Andrew, Jacob, Abigail, and Annah

Merry Christmas!

*Missing from the picture is Jordan who is serving as a missionary in Brazil until October 2011 and Young Tim who is married and living in Tempe, AZ. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Life is too short for matching socks

A package came in the mail last week. It was from my sister. For a split second the thought crossed my mind that we should just put it under the tree and open it on Christmas morning. But that thought went as quickly as it came and we opened the package.

Packages from Cretta, always are exciting.  She has an knack for gift giving whether it's things she makes herself or the things that she has bought. This year was no exception.

This is what she sent to us......

We each got a pair of wonderfully, colorful socks called Solmates. They are knitted in the USA at a family owned knitting mill, hand finished and then "mismatched with care." The woman who owns Solmates Socks says, "Life is too short for matching socks."  :)  I agree!  I LOVE my socks! 

Even Jacob tried his on!  He's good sport!

And if our wonderful socks weren't enough, she also sent this...
This is more true than I can express.  She has been there through the downpour and she always went with us for a walk in the rain. 
Thanks Cretta :) Our feet and our hearts are happy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread House 2010

It was that time of year again...time to make our annual gingerbread house! We do cheat and begin with a pre-made house.  Only a few years ago the kit came with pieces of the house and you had to begin by using the frosting glue to put it together but now the kit comes with a fully put together, naked house to begin decorating.  That is all fine and good except this time our house was broken in 3 pieces when we took it out of the box!  After a little "gluing" together it was good to go and we began creating. We didn't even need a drill this year to hold it all together! :)   

We made our family (the ones living at home) -- Mom, Dad, Jacob (complete with headphones and an iPod!), Abigail, Annah and Ella, our dog. We didn't do the two cats much to Jacob's dismay.

After making the gingerbread house the kids each made a creation all their own. Jacob made a house that he kept together with a C-clamp till it dried enough to stay on it's own! In the end the house was shaped like a coffin with two Gothic looking people standing outside that were meant to be missionaries! :) 

Abigail made a maze that was inspired by our October trip to a corn maze!  I loved her Christmas tree with the angel on top!

Annah made a two story house complete with bench and a side pool!  Her roof did have to be reinforced with tongue depressors but the building was saved from collapse!
It just doesn't feel like Christmas until we've been creative AND totally trashed the kitchen! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kentucky Ice

Last week it was snowy and icy in Kentucky. 
First came the snow and then came the ice. I think all the neighbors could hear the jubilant cheers from inside our house as school was cancelled four out of the five days last week! 
I cheer too -- I love snow days!
This week begins the kid's "official" Christmas vacation from school.  Their two weeks off has now become three with a little help from Mother Nature! Even winter haters have to admit it is a beautiful season to behold!
What's not to love about the transformation from brown to white and from matte finish to glossy?  
Welcome winter!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

O December!

Oh I do love December!  Of course I think I also said that about September. And October.  And November. But I do love the cold and the days that are filled with hopes for snow and December brings that ever closer.

How fitting that on December 1st it was cold here in Kentucky and it was spitting snow!  I knew it wouldn't cover the brown grass that lays matted till spring let alone stay, but, it was thrilling to see white flakes floating in the air! Then days later more fluffy white trailed form the sky and this time it came to stay a little longer.  And that really made me smile!

Decembers have become somewhat of a milestone in our family.  It was two years ago this December that Tim was diagnosed with throat cancer.  Often it is so hard for us to believe that two years have passed since that devastating day the doctor confirmed our worst fears.  That December was a blurr.  Dealing with the shock of the news, trying to be engaged in Christmas preparations all the while trying to figure out how to keep life "normal" for our family. It seemed an impossible feat but somehow, with means beyond our own, we were able to do what we needed to do. We were aided by angels, seen and unseen, to get through those very dark days.

Just last week Tim had another CT scan (it's been 6 months since his last one) and then this week he saw Dr. Arnold, his oncologist.  She was happy to give us the report that all is well!  She thought Tim looked great (aside from him being a little skinny -- something I am pretty sure we knew already) :)  Tim often comments on how he wished that he had all these people around him telling him how great looked back when he was in high school!  hahahaha!  

We talked to Dr. Arnold about tests -- how far in between, what kinds, which of all of the "ologoists" to see and when.  After the questions Dr. Arnold said to Tim, "You want me to tell you that you don't have to come back, don't you?" 

It wasn't really a question but a statement.  She was right.  When she said that to Tim I choked back tears and avoided eye contact with her so I didn't cry right then and there.  Dr. Arnold knew what Tim's true desire was but the reality is that he will continue to go back, although less frequently. That is progress and something that we are really happy about.

So December brings a remembrance of that dreaded diagnosis but December also reminds us just how far we have come.  And we know in the journey we were not alone.  We weren't alone then and we are not alone now. 

O December.....