Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Update

I know it's been forever since I've updated this blog.  Thank you to all of you who emailed or Facebooked me asking about it.  Your kindness swells my heart!

WARNING:  This will be a long post since I have so much to catch you up on.  Grab a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or eggnog....

We are enjoying Alaska very much.  This is the 3rd day in a row that is has been snowing and snowing and snowing.  We are suppose to get 7 more inches by 4 o'clock this afternoon.  It's beautiful.  I fear if I were to lay down to make a snow angel I'd disappear for days.  LOL


  Here is a view of Tom's drive to work this morning.

I decided last Friday I'd drive in the snow for the first time.  Bonnie & I ordered a pizza and drove down the street to go pick it up.  It wasn't so bad.  I thought, "I can do this."  Keep in mind, I've NEVER driven in snow before.  Tom has been taking me everywhere I wanted to go because he really didn't want me driving in it either.  And that was fine by me, but I had gotten a little stir crazy, so Bonnie and I ventured out.

On Saturday, I told Tom I was going to go to the craft store.  It was barely snowing, so I thought, "I did it yesterday, I can do it again."  Well, leaving the parking lot with a short incline (not even a hill) and my 5 speed little toy car, I was spinning and fishtailing after the light turned green.  OK!  That's enough snow driving for me. :)  I mean, really, why drive anywhere when I have a personal driver willing to do it for me?  LOL


You all know Tom bought me a Cricut Expression several months ago.  I have not been able to buy any additional cartridges since then because, well, we do live on a budget.

Considering this, I hope you can understand how excited I was when I was able to buy "From My Kitchen" last weekend.  I mean, to me, this is a BIG deal!

Remember I said I drove myself to the craft store... I was looking at the Cricut cartridges and noticed "FMK" was on sale.  This is one I have had on my Wish List since I saw all the fun things my friend, Mary had created with it.  (Check out Mary's blogs!  Click here. She has more than one blog, so be sure and check her sidebar for the others.)

As you know suggested retail on Cricut carts are $99 which I think is ridiculously high.  (When asked to participate in a Cricut survey, I conveyed my dislike of the high price in a very nice way.)

The particular store I was at normally has it carts for $69.99.  And guess what?  The ONLY cart it had on sale the day I was there looking at them, was "FMK".  It was on sale for $39.99.

I called Tom and asked him if we had $40 I could spend.  He said sure.  So I grabbed that sucker!  I also had a stack of 300 pre-cut and pre-scored cards in various colors.  There was a store coupon hanging there for 20% off, which I also snagged.

I practically giggled my way to the check out and since I only had 2 items I swaggered into the self checkout.  Only the scanner wouldn't scan my 20% off coupon.  So I trotted over to the docking station with the little guy there to help, and he scanned it for me from his machine.  I swaggered back over to my checkout lane and noticed not only did it take 20% off my stack of cards, but it also took 20% off my Cricut Cart!!!!!  I was practically dancing in the store. :)

Here's the cutest little rooster I made with it that you've every seen.  I just love this cut!!

And of course he has a googly eye!

Remember when I said we didn't bring a lot of extra stuff on our move to Alaska?  That would explain why we don't have a Christmas tree up this year.  I wish we did, but that's OK.  I cut out some different size and shapes of snowflakes from the Cricut Home Accents.  Bonnie and I used glue dots and stuck them to our window.  So festive.  So pretty.  Tom's comment was, "It wasn't enough that there is snow outside?  You had to bring it inside too?"  LOL

Our photographer daughter, Kati, did some experimenting with her new camera.  Here's my favorite of the pictures she took of her Christmas tree.  It's my new desktop background:

Wade & Heather are good friends of ours back home.  Very nice people.  They are gentle, kind, and always smiling.  We miss them a lot.  We got a surprise package from them this week.  They sent us the South Carolina symbol in the form of a Christmas ornament.  They said they wanted us to have something to remind us of our friends back home.  How sweet is that?  I told them since we didn't have a Christmas tree to hang it on, that I hung it in the kitchen from a coffee mug hook.

As you know, our oldest daughter, Keri, is expecting her first baby in February. 

I hope no one is offended by this picture.  Keri is 32 weeks now.  She has had several trips to the hospital having contractions and they have had to give her medicine to stop them.  At the last visit on Sunday, the doctor told her it was time for her to quit work.  And we all agree.  Working at the restaurant kept her on her feet all day long and when she worked double shifts, it was even longer. 

He told her she didn't have to stay in the bed, she could still go shopping and do things, just not be on her feet all day long.  He said the baby was growing perfectly and everything looked really good.  :)

Our son, James, is currently on U.S. soil!  Unfortunately, he's in South Carolina where all our friends and family are, so we don't get to see him, but that's okay.  I'm glad he is able to visit and relax for several days before going back to the desert to chase bad guys.

He has decided to extend his stay there for an additional year.  I think that will put him in Iraq for 3 years now.  Please continue to pray for him and all of our military.  They live a sacrificial life for us.  That is love.

Thank you to all who sent Jimmy goodies!  I don't know who you are, but I know he said he got a few boxes while there.  Please don't forget him over the next 3 years.  If you ever have the time, continue to send him cards or goodies once in a while.  It doesn't have to be much at all, but if it is, he'll share with his buddies.

Tom's aunt has been in the hospital for weeks and weeks.  We heard yesterday that the doctor didn't expect her to live through last night.  Again, another prayer request... please pray for her husband who lives for her.  We are very worried about how he will react and live without the love of his life.  Their son is also in the military in Iraq and is trying to get home to her.

My Mama has gone from a wheelchair, to taking a few steps with lots of help, to walking with a walker, to walking with a cane, to be able to take a few steps around the house unassisted.  YEAH!  She still has a ways to go, but progress is progress and all of your thoughts, prayers, and cards have been so encouraging.  She has fallen a few times and it scares my daddy half to death every time.  But her attitude is good, her mood is positive, and we are all in a much better place than we were a while back when this tragedy first occurred.

I pray for you guys.  I think about you even when I'm not on the blog catching up with you.  Sometimes I get very lonely.  And then there will be an email in my box from someone I haven't heard from in a while (thanks, Lizzy).  Or I will get a beautiful message from someone on Facebook (thanks, Erin & Terri). 

God is good.  He knows what we are struggling with, what our hopes and dreams are, what our fears are, what our needs are.  And He helps us.  He comforts us.  He provides for us.  He opens doors for us.  He protects us.  He empowers us.

I can't explain to you how very relaxing and soothing it is to sit here at the computer or on the couch and watch the snow drifting down from the sky.  It's like a blanket of love from heaven.  It fascinates me.  I have never in my life experienced snow like this.  As much as I used to love rainy days in the South, I love the snow in Alaska.  It's beautiful.  Peaceful.

It's snowing so heavily today that it almost looks foggy outside because of the dense snow coming down.  We don't get much daylight these days.Sunrise is at 10:10 today and sunset is at 3:41 this afternoon.  When the air is filled with clouds and snow this heavy, it really doesn't get too bright outside.  It's like dusk all day long.

Because I know how much it means to me to hear from a friend who asks about me and my life, I encourage you to reach out to a friend of yours today.  Someone you haven't heard from in a while.  Not to tell them your latest adventure, but to hear about their's.

There are people who are hurting but would never say a word of it to anyone.  You just might be the light in their day.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Jingle Bells,


  1. so glad to hear that things are going well for you. I can't believe you drove in all that snow never having driven in it before. I'm impressed.

    If you need any cuts at all just holler and I'll make you whatever you need.

  2. Oh I'm so happy now that I have heard from you. I have been worried and today I thought I'm going to email her, I imagined all kinds of things that could have happened to you, sorry my mind works overtime most of the time.
    I can't believe all that snow, wow,not sure if you said the temp, I 'll go back and read.
    Certainly, I was not offended by your Daughter belly picture, it's beautiful to me and February is fast approaching Grandma!
    I bet it's a different world for you this Christmas not being with all your family,huh?
    I hope you come back often Janis, I miss you girl!
    Hugs, Lizzy

  3. I would be happy to send you some cuts! I have the following cartridges that have baby related images:
    - New Arrival
    - Stretch Your Imagination
    - Simply Sweet
    - Pooh Font Set

    Check them out and let me know what you want :)