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Organizing and Repurposing

The family is hanging out in Michigan and we decided to do some DIY via cleanup and organizing the basement in Matt’s parents house. We knew there was some vintage things and wanted to showcase them. We thought that it would be a good Christmas gift to honor Mike. Mike served in the military and so we reframed some of his medals and other framed memorability and hung them up. We also decided to get all the records out and have them accessible to play by putting them on the shelves. We were able to repair one of his old record players and now he can relive the good olé days. We did some other organizing and got rid of old boxes and a few items that were no longer being used. Hopefully it was a good gift and it will be a space that can mix old and new allowing for an open place for the grandkids to play and for some memories to be shared.

I love to organize and try and utilize the things that we hold dear. I never have liked to keep things and then never get to enjoy them. I also am trying to live minimalistic and this is a very hard balance. You want to keep memories to share for generations to come but you don’t want them only to be seen when you have died and they are going through your stuff. I am going to try and figure out ways to keep items of sentiment available to share with others and preserve them so they don’t get damaged. I also would like to have some tangible items but also some items can be stored via the ever so amazing seemingly endless storage capacity on the computer. I was given the idea to store pictures of the artwork of the kids so you don’t have so much stuff. This is all good in theory but when downsizing it sometimes get hard to let go of that stuffed animal or the trophy you won. The point is that if de-cluttering your life allows for you to partake in something that is beneficial to you and or to your family then it is definitely worth the work.

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The time of year…

This time of year we are usually reminded that it shouldn’t be all about us. However, it ends up being just that all about how many gifts we give our kids, what we get for Christmas, how much money we can save by getting a good deal and so on. Some will go to church more than usual or give to a charity. For some it will be a time where they are stressed about seeing family or depressed about missing family members. Decorating the house, hosting parties and going to parties. Buying gifts for people they were forced to buy for and for ones they truly enjoyed shopping for. What is Christmas for you? Are you representing what you want it to be or have you let it get the best of you.

Christmas should be about reflecting on Jesus on our Savior. I was having a conversation with someone and we brought up the thought, does Jesus like Christmas. I think the answer might be no.

Christmas is bitter sweet for me. I think because I don’t always keep my attitude right regarding the real reason for the season. I get caught up in memories of family traditions and gift giving. I lost my grandmother on Christmas eve which will be eleven years ago this year. My other grandmother passed away this spring and so this will be the first Christmas without her. The things I do enjoy and look forward to are the new memories I make with my kids and Matt. The fun things we add each year to what we want our kids to remember. It puts a bit of pressure though on me as I try to balance the fun and silly make believe of the season with the truth and reality of Jesus.

The answers I do have are that a babe was born and His name was Jesus, the Son of God. He was without sin and had a ministry of teaching, preaching and healing the lost. I was created to continue to tell that story, to share with anyone that I come across. It is my duty and responsibility and it is also yours, once you believe in the truth. I know that regardless of others I will fulfill His promise and desires and that is to go and share the Good News. The cool part of the story is that not only was Jesus born he also overcame death to heal us from our sin and grant us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. That is what I will always try and remember not only during Christmas but everyday year round. Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year.

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Travels

We went on a nice long trip out of the country to Mexico. It was Parker’s first flight and overall they both did great. We had our share of good and challenging moments. The mini vacation was a nice break and it was great weather. We went to share in the commitment and renewal of vows for my little brother Clark who met his wife in Puerto V. was married in 2012, one child later before their third anniversary they were able to celebrate with both sides of the family. It was a nice little beach ceremony and it was nice to see them both so happy. The big perk was we got to enjoy several days with family and swim and play in the sand before going to the tundra of the Midwest. We just got to Michigan last night as we decided that getting home from Mexico at midnight and driving the next day to Michigan with two kids was a great idea. So we are here, semi back to reality but still a vacation as we are with family we don’t normally see during the holiday season. This trip was a reminder of several different similarities of what we will encounter in Uganda. There was a long flight, although the one to Uganda will be much longer. There was a language barrier, different food, warm weather and tourist rates on everything 😉

Through it all I was reminded of several things, the bond of family, God’s beautiful creation and the need to break away from the world every so often. I was disconnected from the world via the television and the internet, and I didn’t miss it because I had plenty to enjoy. I did enjoy getting to get back into the “know” of things via social media when we were traveling yesterday as I was forced with boredom and crazy kids in the car with no escape. So all this randomness to say I had fun and I hope this holiday season you can take a break and “unplug” spend some time with family, and enjoy the little things.