Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas recap

Got an email from my friend Rainy regarding the Meyer clan Christmas hoopla. I'd be more than happy to comply with her request and provide photos and insider information on the par-tay.


Rainy,you are so right when you say it seems like we always have a fun time together. I realise how blessed this makes us that we just enjoy being together.



Here is a picture of Janae and her new squeezy cheeked baby girl, Eliana. They are keeping their eye on all the yummers.







Adam and Becki Meyer and their two rascals, Isaac and Caleb. (Amy told me she wants Isaac for Christmas. Becki readily agreed. Hmmm.)




Here are a bunch of the guys chuckling over our newest member, Malachi Meyer. We loves our babies!




Three girlies that I adore to pieces. Kaitlyn, Ashley and LummaLoo Amy.






Winner of the best Christmas shoes! No doubt. They are bright red underneath. As cute as the feet that are in them! (Amy)







Hark! Angels appeared and we were blessed by Christmas carols they sweetly sang to us. And we didn't even have to watch sheep out in the cold!













Christmas chaos.





Hollie and Macie Meyer.













Rachel recently agreed to join our family by becoming engaged to our Andrew. Our family just keeps growing. Welcome, Rachel!







Look at all these young people. Celebrations are so much fun with all these guys.












Two Aunties with babies. Reader Brenda is the pretty one. I'm the smart, kind-hearted one.
Eliana and Malachi are the real babes, though.








This is just plain fun. And funny. Hollie "Mary" Meyer and her husband Luke "Joseph" Meyer reading us a paraphrased version of the Christmas story. Hollie can't see worth a hoot and so borrowed Eric "the Shepherd's" glasses. Which seemed to make things worse for poor, blind Mary. She stumbled through her reading. Luke didn't help as he thought reading in a Middle Eastern accent would heighten the entertainment value of the Christmas story. When his accent slid into Latino territory and then just stayed there, we all died laughing. It was hysterical, amigas. Seriously funny. (Cheila and Renick are supposed to be wisemen. Yes, Renick scares me,too.)

It was almost as funny as the following little scenario. Here's the back story: We all knew we wanted to do some sort of Christmas "program". But some family members voiced some concern about putting others on the spot, say, if we were to go around the room and ask everyone about the best present they ever gave, or something similar.
Not everyone likes to be the center of attention. In fact, they run away from it with as much panic as if a pack of rabid cocker spaniels were chasing them down.
So, rather than focus on family members, Tambry got the brilliant idea of focusing all our attention on the NON-family members present that evening. Our guests.
Here is where she brought them all up to be questioned, poked and prodded. Have you ever seen a more relaxed looking group? NOT!
I'm sure our guests were grasping the true meaning of the Spanish Inquisition Christmas spirit and can't wait to return next year when we will probably have a pirate theme and make them all walk the plank. Which a few of them would look forward to more than being grilled by the Meyer clan.


Matt and Janae Meyer Wolf and sweet baby Eliana who is showing that she is indeed Number One.








Cousins Macie and Caleb playing with new toys. Okay, Macie is probably trying to grab it away from Caleb, but it is a still photo and we can pretend they are playing nice.






All in all, it was a fun celebration. Being a part of this family is getting better all the time. As we looked around and saw all the young people, young married families, and oh my goodness, all the roundy-eyed babies, we are grateful and excited to be here. Right where God put us.
Thank you, Lord.















































Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmastime Feasting


The weather outside is frightful and has stopped my wogging in its tracks. So when my friend sent me this email it is as though a glorious light shone all around and the universe made perfect sense once again.

I will embrace this plan.


1. AVOID carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. If you see carrots, leave immediately, go next door where they're serving rum balls.


2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You can't get it any other time of year; who cares if it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not like you're gonna turn into an eggnog alcoholic or something! It's a treat! Enjoy it! It's Christmas!!


3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on! Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes (or stuffing), fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano! Repeat.


4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission!


5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. And lots of it. Hello??


6. Under NO circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's! You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet carrying a 10 lb. plate of food and a vat of eggnog!


7. If you come across something really good at the buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies, position yourself near them, and don't budge. Eat as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. If you leave them behind, you'll never see them again.


8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Pecan. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or mix it up, but have more than one! When else do you get more than one dessert? Labor Day?


9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted it's loaded with the mandatory calories, but avoid it at all costs! I mean, have some standards!


10. ONE FINAL TIP: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention! Re-read these tips, but hurry! January is just around the corner!


LIFE SHOULD NOT BE A JOURNEY TO THE GRAVE WITH THE INTENTION OF ARRIVING SAFELY IN AN ATTRACTIVE AND WELL PRESERVED BODY, BUT RATHER TO SKID IN SIDEWAYS, CHOCOLATE IN ONE HAND, WINE IN THE OTHER, BODY THOROUGHLY USED UP, TOTALLY WORN OUT, AND SCREAMING " WOO-HOO, WHAT A RIDE!!"



Monday, December 22, 2008

Lucy, you got some 'plainin' to do


Maybe you've noticed that I'm not Lucy (but I do Love Lucy), and I don't have 'splainin' to do, but 'plainin.'

As in "complaining."

Snow falling from the sky is pretty.

Snow that makes it difficult to live my life? Not so much.

We have around 3 feet. Of snow.

This amount of snowage buries your vehicles, knocks out your power, which then freezes your water pipes. The horses still need food and water, which now must be hauled from the creek. In buckets. Through snow drifts so deep I can't see my big dogs in them. This is getting to be hard work.


I can't make cookies, or wash anything, or make coffee. I know. COFFEE. (I'll leave the memorial service details at the end of the blog.)

And do you have any idea how many cords of wood I hefted into the house in the last few days?

Also, I may be hormonally challenged today. Good timing, don't ya think? Just sayin'.

I was supposed to get my hair done today but had to cancel that appointment and now my shaggy hair keeps hanging in my eyes and face and until I want to scream.


Bad hair does happen to good people.


I haven't been taking this trial in stride. Not even close. I'm sure I'm a doll to be around. Just ask Rod. Or pray for him. That would be appreciated.


I haven't been turning to the Father who loves me and replenishing my quickly dwindling supply of peace, joy, patience, grace or love.

I've been letting the snow win.


So I give up.


I give up our electricity. I give up my idea of my Christmas celebration and the worries of traveling to relatives homes. Big sigh of relief. These are not my worries after all. I'd just forgotten.

Back to the foot of the cross to lay it all down again, and in return replenish my dwindling supply of peace. Joy. Patience. Grace. Love. Jesus.

What a deal.
I am more than thankful.

Merry Christmas, all.

(added: Power is back on, pipes are fixed. I love LIGHTS!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do you see what I see?


If you look at my pictures here, you will. We are in the middle of what our local media is calling "The Arctic Blast of 2008."



I call it "Winter".


It gets cold up here in the mountains, so we are keeping our wood stove stocked which means lots of chopping wood (for Rod) and lots of hauling wood (for me.)


The pipes in the barn froze, probably around the same time the temperature dipped to 7, so we have been hauling warm water out to the horses. That's lots of fun. Really. Lots of fun. Here is our new mare Duchess, who looks like a fuzzy bunny right now. A bunny with four hooves and a penchant for whinnying. Cute, right?


Here is Pa Ingalls getting ready for a walk with me and the dogs this morning. Notice the jeans and flannel shirt. This is the SAME THING he wore last spring when we began wogging together. What is up with this?

P.S. Yes, he does have a ski coat, pants and boots.

Here is Ma Ingalls. The New and Improved model. She can haul water and wood while wearing her Columbia Omni-Tech 3-in-1 parka and ski pants as well as her Columbia Titanium snow boots.



HA! I laugh at the snow and cold.



And at Pa Ingalls who thinks he'll stay warm in his Wrangler jeans. Cotton flannel runs away and cries at the snow and cold we've been experiencing this week.


Seriously.


Can you say "hypothermia?"


I can.



I can also say "hot chocolate" which is sounding just about perfect right now.
Hope you are all enjoying all the moments of your Christmas season where ever you are.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Volition

I thought for a second or two about not posting this video that my pal Randy sent me yesterday.


Right now, in the middle of the Christmas season, it didn't seem appropriate somehow. I want to think happy thoughts about reindeer and wrapped presents and SNOW!


Then I realized the truths in this video tie in with the Christmas season perfectly. Better than my decorations and cookies can do.

I don't want to fill my mind with visions of sugar plums and figgy puddings at the expense of the truth and the things that really matter. Know what I mean?

And because he came as


a Jew


a servant


a baby.



Go, click on this link and watch the video. It's important.




And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,


"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,


"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Giant Pot 'O' Pancake Soup


I've got troubles. Big troubles.

I made a turkey Monday night with all most a couple of the trimmings. But the crowning touch on this bad boy was that I laid nice fat slices of bacon across the turkey and then basted the whole masterpiece with pure Vermont maple syrup (or SIR-UP, as Reader Brenda likes to enunciate) every 30 minutes while it roasted.
I know, right?
Yes, it smelled divine and tasted great, too. Salty-sugary heaven. Just call me Diana Deen. Or Butter-Girl. Or Zocor-Woman. Yeah, that.

Fast forward to today. Soup sounds good. Think I'll use the leftover turkey.

I chop up veggies, the leftover turkey meat and the juices from the turkey that I saved.Sprinkled seasonings. Made a huge pot of soup. This should last for days.

I let it simmer for a while before I tasted it.

As you probably figured out before I did, our soup kinda tastes like breakfast. It tastes like we were pretty liberal in our use of the MAPLE SYRUP from VERMONT.

It is making me gag. And tear up a little bit.

But Rod came home a minute ago and I guess I had hoped he wouldn't notice. Yes, that is what I hoped. I fed him raw meat in a tortilla once(it was an ACCIDENT!) and he didn't notice until I mentioned he had dog-breath. I've done lots of stuff that he didn't notice. I hoped this was one of those times.
Now I wish I would have had the camera ready when he tasted our Breakfast Maple Turkey Vegetable Soup. Breakfast in a bowl. With vegetables and turkey. And syrup. Yummy.

He noticed.

So, any ideas? Any help? I put in turkey gravy mix and sage and more salt.

I prayed. This was going to be dinner for TWO DAYS people.

P.S. If anyone wants to come over, no need to bring dinner items. Or dessert.
HELP!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why so glum?

We were told by our unreliable weather people that we wouldn't be getting quite so much rain today. Judging by the cows and other farm animals drifting by in the currant, they were WRONG.

Chopper is not amused. He was rather glum as he looks forward to runs on the wooded trails, not dog-paddles across flooded areas.



Because it is a soggy Sunday, I may have spent more than a little bit of time on the interweb looking up little known factoids to entertain you, the masses Reader Brenda with.


As I was perusing the pet section of Craigslist (WARNING! WARNING! STAY AWAY FROM THE PET SECTION OF CRAIGSLIST!!) I was muttering under my breath about the abysmal regard people seem to have for spelling. I am no perfectionist, not even close, but the mistakes seen here often make it difficult to even understand what they are trying to communicate. Take the title of this ad:

"Dog pasted away"

Was it a horrible Elmer's glue accident?


Could the dog have been a closet scrap-booker?




I read the whole ad, and to be honest, I'm still not sure what happened here, if the dog passed away, or wasted away. But, regardless, I went away.


Next, I found this ad:




"guini pig with cage and fairy costume - $10 "



I didn't even care about the misspelling at this point, or the fact that I abhor rodents of every size and shape.

I was intrigued with the idea of someone wrestling a costume onto their Guinea pig. Seriously...I am making little choking, hacking noises right now. But here is the rest of the ad:




"Give the gift of a rodent this christmas! She looks adorable in her fairy costume! She comes with her cage, extra food, ect. If you want, you can even have her fold-up play pen. I'm moving and she can't come. She has shiny black hair. She's a year and a half old. She's a good girl and will let you hold her, especially if you feed her a carrot stick. NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL DECEMBER 23RD, which works great if you want to give her as a Christmas present. We want her with us for our Christmas celebration, which is on the 22nd. "




Are you screaming, too?


Give the gift of a rodent? Nothing says Christmas like beady little eyes and bubonic plague, I suppose.

I would move away, far, far away and not only not let her come, but not leave a forwarding address. OR a cell phone number. Just in case. If she wears a costume, she might be able to dial a phone.

Shiny, black hair on a PERSON is nice. On a rodent? Not so much. In fact, pretty creepy.


They want her with them for their Christmas celebration? Are they doing a Nativity play? With their Guinea pig in her fairy costume? Are they afraid her new "forever family" won't let her be a part of their Christmas festivities or sit on Santa's lap for the picture?


Unfortunately, this ad did not come with a photo, but because I care about you, I did a search and came up with a couple Guinea pig pictures. Not in fairy costumes, though. But still, enjoyable.


I'm a giver. Merry Christmas.





FYI...There is a Guinea Pig Festival in Peru where they spend all year making cute costumes for their pet Guinea pigs(Look at that poor little girl in the picture above. Grandma is forcing her, saying "Give Pedro a kiss, dear.")

The townspeople dote on their pets, hoping for a prize in the festival....pampering them...fattening them up...

...because then they are apparently tasty little buggers, too. Seriously. They eat them.

Anyway, I need to go tell Rod my idea for our next adventure-vacay.

Oh...and you're welcome. :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bam!

Just finished watching the latest installment of Top Chef which I recorded yesterday because HELLO. I fall asleep around the time the sun goes down. Which is unfortunate as sunset is at 4:27 pm for the next three weeks, according to the local meteorologist.

While I watched Top Chef, I did six sets of leg (butt) lifts. Ouch!

Then I whipped out six sets of ab crunches. (Underneath my Costco-muffin-top are abs of STEEL.You'll just have to trust me on this.)

Finally, I cranked out 3 excruciating sets of push-ups. (yep, they are the knee ones) But my arms are still shaking as I type this. No upper body strength what so ever. My arms are like noodles, I swear.

When I was finished, I hauled myself right over to the island in the kitchen and plowed down three honkin' chocolate oatmeal raisin cookies.


*****DANGER !!!DANGER!!!*****
Do NOT watch cooking shows while working out!!

Lesson learned, grasshopper.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I almost wish I had been a leper

Leprosy (n) a chronic infectious disease affecting the skin and peripheral nerves which causes loss of sensation, paralysis and deformities.


I think I may have had something like this condition for about a decade and didn't even know it. An actual medical professional didn't diagnose me, but as I look back on my symptoms I'm pretty sure this is what it was.



It began innocuously enough. With a small spot of anger at someone that totally deserved it.Seriously. You can ask anyone that was there. It was justified.


Because I was right in my anger, I held on to it. To be honest, I didn't feel it growing. But it did. It's claws dug into my heart and mind until I couldn't put it down even if I had wanted to.


So I tried to ignore it instead.



Memories surrounding this relative who had rejected me, shamed me and humiliated me when she should have loved and protected me started out painful and became numb. Kind of like a leper whose nerve endings are damaged.



When other people mentioned their close, happy relationships with their certain relatives, stinging pain would strike, unless I shut it down with my practiced numbing techniques. I tried hard to keep my emotions in a deep freeze.




I began searching out replacements for this person who I felt had rejected me so terribly in the past, hoping for and settling for scraps from others who already had complete families and weren't searching for more. Like I was. I was trying to make myself feel better with substitutes.




If this relative was going to be at a family function that I would be at, I froze in fear and then reacted by running and hiding. Or I acted as though I were above it all; as though white hot hatred weren't bubbling just below the surface, lava-like, waiting to explode. With a plastic smile on my face I tried to pretend like I didn't want to scream "How could you?!" or "Why?!"


Sounds healthy, right?


Many times I have rejected people before they could reject me. This anger I carried was deforming how God meant for me to be.



Years have gone by. I have taught bible studies which have included chapters on letting go of anger and bitterness. (I tried....really.) Also, chapters on forgiveness. (I did...it didn't stick, I guess.)



One week ago today,I going through my study of "When I Lay My Isaac Down" by Carol Kent God was gently nudging softly making me aware holding my feet to the flames so I knew it was time to lay this down.



So I did. My girls prayed over me and I snuffled, sniffed and prayed too. And I did the ugly cry. U.G.L.Y.



But I laid this heavy, ugly burden down because I don't want to carry it around anymore. God has forgiven me! I want to forgive. God gave me grace! I want to extend grace. I am tired of having this place in me that is not His place. Please take it from me.


Later that day, I was spent and exhausted. Imagine that.



Something brought this person to my mind. I felt no pain in the memory. Hmmm. I went further. Another memory. Again no pain. But no numbness, either. What was this?


I jumped full on into my sea of ugly. I visited them all. I touched on everything. I felt nothing. Wait, not nothing. I felt....comforted. Soothed. Held. He was with me in my place.



Universe away from numb.


I left the past and moved to the potential future. I began weeping when I realized....I could call this person...I could visit this person....I could talk to this person! I can and do pray for this person!


I am free! God has healed me from my disease!



Do you know how completely weird it is to have lived with a thing for so long and to have the Lord remove it from you? I cannot explain this except to say, I almost wish I had been a leper, so I could show you and shout, "Look! My spots! They are GONE!"


I must be honest here and mention that I did wake up periodically throughout that first night, then in the morning and check myself with the memories. Just to see if it was still true. If I was still clean.


But I bet the lepers that Jesus healed checked in the morning to see if their skin was still clean, too. Just sayin'.

Psalm 103 1-5

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!


1Peter 2 9-10

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
“Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people.Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
 
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