Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas from Our House!

     Everyone who knows me, knows that I have good intentions, but my follow-through is sadly lacking these days.  I have Christmas cards...still sitting in the box that they came in.  I have paper that I bought to print our Christmas letter...still wrapped in the package that it came in.  So here is the Predmore Christmas letter to all our family and friends.

     Dear Family and Friends,

     Did you know that six chickens produce an insane amount of chicken poop?  We sure didn't, but we have discovered that fact, along with many other chicken facts this year.  Delainey saved her Christmas and birthday money to buy a chicken coop.  We are now proud chicken farmers.  Bugger, Rosie, Fluffy, Einey, Meeny, and Miney provide hours of fun for us along with keeping us (and our friends) well supplied with eggs.  We miss Big Momma, but decided that we didn't want a rooster as part of our flock.  Delainey has become the chicken whisperer...they all seem to enjoy being held and petted by her!

     In spite of Delainey breaking her arm at church camp this summer, we were able to take some fun trips in 2016.  Delainey went to 4H camp for a weekend in June.  Nancy and Delainey went to Camp PYOCA in July for a mission camp.  As part of our camp experience, we went to several places to serve others while still enjoying camp activities.  Jim and Delainey went to Perryville, AR to Heifer Ranch in October.  They went as part of a youth trip and spent the week learning about sustainable farming, world hunger, and how we can be part of the solution.

     Jim, Nancy, Shane, Dylan, Delainey, and Princess spent a week in a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN.  It was a beautiful week full of creek hiking, hot weather, shopping, and a short trip on the Appalachian Trail.  We had to skip the white water rafting due to a little girl's cast, but it was still a wonderful week.  We are so happy that we were there this summer and we continue to pray for the area as they deal with the aftermath of the fires.  We have been there before and we will definitely be back!

     Jim is still working at Tractor Supply.  He works hard, but enjoys his free time.  He doesn't have nearly enough free time, but likes to spend it with his family.  Nancy just had her 24th anniversary at Wal-Mart.  She loves her new store and the team there.  The best part is that she is able to drive home for lunch!

     Shane and Dylan are still living in Indianapolis.  They are both working hard and we don't get to visit them nearly enough.  Delainey is loving 5th grade.  She did riding lessons again and has been swimming as well.  One of her highlights was swimming at the same pool where Lilly King swims. Jim's parents, Kenny and Sharon, moved in our home this month.  We are working on the bumps, but will all adjust to a three generation home.  

     We hope to get out and about more often in 2017.  We have one trip planned to Chicago in July with our youth group, but other than that, nothing is definite.  If you are in southern Indiana, please come visit.  Our house is crowded and loud, but we will always make room for friends and family.  We wish you all peace, love, and joy for the upcoming year.

     Love you all,

The Predmore family

     Next year I will have cards and letters sent out on time....Don't give up on me!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Making it work

     The last few months have been all about change at our house.  It  hasn't been easy, but I keep praying that it will become easier as time goes on.  We have had several huge changes and I think that we are all struggling to go with the flow.  I know that the changes are the right ones for our family, but change is never easy.  I am trying to keep believing that these are the changes that God has planned for us.

     My job change for the most part has been good.  I love being close to home, but finding the balance of home and work is rough.  I am so used to having three days off, that it has been hard to get my household chores done.  Laundry is a struggle as is cooking at home.  Delainey wants us to have some freezer meals handy so that we can use our crock pot more often.  I agree with her, but finding the time to make the meals is my current struggle!  I have more changes at work that are hard emotionally for me, but again, some how I have faith that it will work out the way God has it planned.

     Jim's new position is requiring him to be away from home more...and that's a huge struggle for all of us.  I know that he doesn't mind the drive, but we do!  We miss him being so far away.  We miss being able to stop in to see him while we are in town running errands.  But again, we have faith that this is how things are supposed to be right now.

     The biggest change happened last week.  Jim's parents have moved back in with our family.  They are at a time in their lives when they need more help than we were able to give from two hours away.  We have adjusted rooms, schedules, and everything else.  There will be bumps in the road, but family helps each other.  I spent time as a child in a three generation home, so it doesn't seem abnormal to me.  There are still things that we need to juggle...laundry time, meals, expenses, tv time, but I know that they will work out.  Again, faith!

     Delainey seems to be handling the changes pretty well.  She misses her dad in the mornings.  It was their time together.  They need to work out a special time for just the two of them.  She also misses quiet time in the afternoon with just she and I.  We have been blessed to have a friend who takes her to school in the mornings and picks her up in the afternoon.  Without that help, we wouldn't be able to function with our new schedules.  She has her ups and downs with it all, but she is resilient and I know that she will be okay.

     Change happens, whether I want it to or not.  I am getting better about accepting change in my life and going with it.  I have to keep faith that God has a plan for all that we are going through right now and that He will guide us through all the bumps.  We just keep on making it work the best that we can!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Square Peg

     When Delainey was little she had this toy.  I bet that many people had one similar to this.  She would try and try to make the shapes fit.  Sometimes she would make one fit into a hole that wasn't truly its match by putting it in sideways, but it was a struggle.  The shapes went in to their homes easiest if they found the matching hole.  Lately, I have been feeling a lot like this game...struggling to find my place.  

     To be honest, I have always felt this way to an extent.  Maybe it's because we moved around when I was younger.  Maybe it's because I have moved around so much as an adult.  Maybe it's just the way that I am wired.  I am not sure.  Sometimes I can go along and not notice the feeling, but other times, like now, it's almost overwhelming.  I know that I have my place with my family, I don't question that.  What I question is my place within my various groups of friends.  Do I belong in those groups?  Am I a valued friend?  Am I being a good friend to people?  I wonder how many of us question ourselves like this.  Why do we question ourselves like this?

     I love social media, but it is a blessing and a curse.  I love that I am able to keep up with friends that I haven't seen in years.  The flip side of that is seeing all the people who get together with each other and I am not included.  Much of that is my fault.  There are times that I am invited to get together with friends, but either the timing doesn't work for me or there is too much distance to cover for me to attend.  And heck, sometimes, I just don't have the finances to make it happen.  But there are other times that I am not invited, or invited as an afterthought.  It hurts and it makes me question the strength of those bonds.  And I know that sometimes, I just over think things.

     I know that my worth doesn't come from the people around me.  I know that, but we all want to be included.  We all want to be accepted for who we are.  We don't want to have make ourselves fit by turning ourselves around.  Well, at least I do any way, I guess I shouldn't use the term we.  I don't know the solution for me.  Maybe I need to limit my use of social media.  Maybe I need to strengthen the bonds that I have already created in my life.  Maybe I need to spend some time looking within to see why I feel this way.  

     Please don't think that I wrote this looking for sympathy or reassurance.  I have had this in my head and heart for a while and it helps me to put things in writing.  I just want to be honest with my feelings...and since this is my blog, this is where it goes!  I know that I am loved, but I don't always feel that I belong....and I am not sure that makes any sense at all!  Just like Delainey did with her shape toy, I will keep working until I am able to fit into my space easily.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


     When did something so natural, so essential, become such a difficult thing for so many people?  Without sleep, we can't function.  Our bodies need sleep.  Our minds need sleep.  So why are so many of us struggling to sleep through the night?  And even when we sleep, why are so many of us waking up each morning just as tired as when we went to bed.

     I have always been able to fall asleep quickly and easily.  Sleep has always been easy for me.  I don't suffer from insomnia like so many people I know.  But, for the last few months, I have been struggling to stay awake.  I go to sleep any time of the day or night.  But when I wake up, I am still exhausted.  I can't make it through the day without a nap.  Jim has told me that I now snore.  I don't think that I used to snore, but some nights he has to sleep on the couch because I am so loud.  He has also said that I jerk throughout the night, almost as if I am waking up.

     I know many people who need to take medication at night to sleep.  What is causing them to not be able to sleep?  Many of them have told me that they can't get their mind to shut off.  How do you quiet the thoughts in your mind?  Many have tried meditation and relaxation techniques before bed.  Sometimes they work, other times they don't.  Others try reading until their minds stop focusing on all the little things of the day.  Again, sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.  Why are some people able to calm their brains and others cannot?

     I know other people who swear by yoga or other relaxation techniques to calm their minds and bodies.  Again, it works for some and not for others.  Delainey and I sometimes play the relaxation game before she goes to bed.  I talk her through a series of relaxing her body and letting all the tension leave, starting with her toes and working all the up through her body.  Sometimes it helps her, other times she struggles to sleep. She has been this way since she was little.  I hate that she struggles to do something that should be natural.  I know other parents who have the same struggle with their children.

     Then there are people who sleep easily, but wake up throughout the night.  Menopause can cause many women to have this problem.  There are medications to help us go through menopause, but it is a balancing act to find what works for each person...there is no magic formula that is one size fits all.  Sometimes we wake up soaking wet from night sweats and have to cool off before we are able to get back to sleep.  Other times, we can't cool off and get back to sleep at all.  And I won't even talk about new parents who get woken up all night long because baby needs feed, a new diaper, or just misses mom and dad!

     I will be seeing my doctor soon to discuss the results of a sleep study that I did a while ago.  I hope that he will give me some answers for my exhaustion.  I am sure that Jim is tired of hearing me snore and kick him throughout the night.  And Delainey would be happy if I didn't feel the need to take a nap every afternoon.  Me...I just want to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning ready to start the day.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Change is Coming....

     Everyone who knows me knows that I hate change.  I am pretty sure that I have talked about it more than once on this blog.  I know that I have said it over and over.  But I am getting better at adapting to it.  Maybe it's because I am older and wiser (ha!).  Maybe because I know that it is going to happen whether I like it or not.  Or maybe, just maybe, it's because I know that in the long run, change is good for me.

     For the last five and a half years, Jim has worked ten minutes from home.  He has been in charge of Delainey's morning routine...getting her up in the mornings, taking her to daycare, and being the parent closest to school if there is an emergency.  Starting Tuesday, that will be changing.  Jim has taken on a new challenge with his company.  He is leaving the store that he opened and going to a bigger store about forty minutes from home.  He will be gone from home a little more now due to the longer drive that he has...he is looking forward to being able to "read" books on cd again!  It will be a change for him, but I know that he is up to the challenge.  There will be some adjustments for all of us with his new position, but I know that we will adapt...that's what we do!

     For the last five and a half years, I have worked an hour from home.  I have been in charge of the afternoon routine with Delainey...homework, chores, time to relax.  During times of school cancellations, I have been able to stay home because of the distance that I drive to work.  In the next month or so that will be changing as well.  I have accepted a position in the new store that is being built in our town.  The job will be similar to what I am doing now, but in a bigger store.  I will go back to working five days a week and I am not completely sure what my hours will be, but they will be changing.  I am looking forward to my new drive to work...ten minutes as opposed to an hour each way.  I could actually go home for lunch if I want!

     Delainey is going to be going through some transitions due to the changes that Jim and I are making.  Her mornings will change because Jim and I are pretty different with our morning routines.  We are blessed to have a friend who gets her to school in the mornings and loves our girl.  She will also have to go to an after-school program most days.  We are lucky in that there is a good after-school program in our community.  She is not looking forward to that, but she knows that this will be best for our family in the long run.  Hopefully, she will be able to do her homework then and we can focus on other things when we get home.  Delainey is a strong girl and I know that she will do well!

     The next month has the potential to be the roughest of our transition.  Jim will be in his new position, but I will not.  We will have to juggle his schedule for a while.  He will have to work more closing and midshifts until I am in my new position.  It won't be easy, but I know that we will make it happen.  I am sure that as we go through this time of transition, there will be other changes that we aren't even thinking about right now, but I know that the three of us can handle it.  There might be days that we struggle, but we made these choices as a family, knowing that in the long run, they will benefit and make our family stronger.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Summer that Slipped Away!

     I had such grand plans for our summer.  Delainey and I were going to take a week to visit family and friends.  The week that Delainey went to church camp, Jim and I were going to spend time with each other...a romantic before kids week.  Vacation was going to include white water rafting and horseback riding.  I was hoping to take Delainey kayaking for a day.  Swimming trips were planned now that Delainey is able to swim without stressing out.  And I hoped to go to at least one amusement park during the summer.  It was going to be an epic adventure!

     And then life happened.  Delainey was invited to attend an enrichment summer school program...the same week as our girl trip.  She wanted to go, and who I am to tell my child that she can't go to school when she really wanted to.  She had a great time and I am so glad that she was able to enjoy the week.  Every day she was excited about what she was learning, so it was well worth the time!

     Next up was church camp.  Jim and I dropped her off for her third year of camp.  She was so excited.  This was the year that she would be able to pass her swimming test.  She would see several friends from previous years.  We gave her hugs and kisses as we left, knowing that she would be in great hands.  We never expected to get a phone call that evening from Nurse Cody telling us that D slipped in the shower.  He didn't think it was broken, but thought that we should meet at the ER just to be sure.  He was baby broke her wrist in two places.  She was a trouper though, not much crying though I am sure it had to hurt.  Delainey and I spent the rest of the week at home, adjusting to her new cast and staying on top of the pain that she was feeling.

     Delainey and I did attend a mission camp in July.  We had a great time reaching out to others and learning more about Jesus.  Delainey wasn't able to do everything because of her cast, but again, she was a strong girl and made it through!  Our family vacation was wonderful, even without rafting or riding.  We hiked a bunch, did some touristy things, spent time as a family together and just relaxed!  I even got to hike for a mile or so on the Appalachian Trail.
     We didn't make it to an amusement park, we didn't hike the way we normally do during the summer.  Our outings were fewer than we had hoped.  We spent time as a family, we watched our chickens grow, we spent time just hanging out in our home.  It wasn't the epic summer that I planned...but it was maybe the summer that we needed this year.  It just slipped by much to fast!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


     Three years ago, I was picked up by a friend, taken to dinner with several people that I didn't know, and then dropped off at the Indiana State fairgrounds, without my phone, for the weekend.  I was ready to go on an Emmaus Walk.  For lack of better words, it is a spiritual retreat, but it is so much more than that.  For those three days, I was surrounded by people who showed me the true love of God.  I wanted for nothing that weekend.  At one of the meals, I wanted a Coke to drink, but there was only Pepsi..  I said no thank you and had something else to drink.  At the next meal, someone handed me a Coke.  That's how much people went out of their way to love on me.  I listened to talks, prayed, laughed, cried, and learned just how much God loves me that weekend.  I made friends with women who were strangers.  I came home a changed person.  I wanted everyone to have the experience that I did!

     I started to pray that Jim would want to attend a Walk.  Each spring and fall, I would ask...and the answer was no, until last fall.  I was so excited.  I got him all signed up and ready to go in Indianapolis...and the Walk was canceled.  Luckily, there are Walks just like this all over the world and I was able to get him signed up for one closer to home.  And it was exactly where God wanted him to be and the exact right time for him to go.  I tell people now that when I went, it changed me, but when Jim went, it changed our family.  Jim came home wanting more.  Since his Walk, he has been seeking more God, more family, more of what God has planned not only for himself, but for our family.  It's been exciting to see him grow in his faith each day!

     I also prayed for another dear friend.  Each spring and fall, I would mention it to her, but it wasn't the right time yet.  When Jim came home, she spoke to him and was ready to go.  I was privileged to be able to sponsor her.  We haven't talked in depth, but when I picked her up Sunday, her always beautiful smile was even more so.  I could see the love just flowing from her...more than usual!  I can't wait to hear about how God will be working through her even more than He already does!  

     I was lucky enough to be able to serve a meal to both the men and women who were on this journey the last two weekends.  I could see God working already with these men and women.  For some, there was fear and anxiety about being away from families for the weekend, but it was also early in the weekend.  For others, I could already tell that they were open and ready to hear all that God had planned for them.  I prayed for these people, that they would be able to feel and know God's love just as I did three years ago.  

     Since I have been on my Walk, I seem to have found more and more people who have been a Walk of their own.  God keeps putting people in my life who have had this same experience.  I feel a bond with these people...they are more than friends, they truly feel like my brothers and sisters.  When we get together to pray, I feel that we are stronger and more than we are alone.  We have this shared experience that really is like nothing else I know.  I truly wish that everyone would be able to experience a weekend like this.  If you are interested, I can tell you more.  I would love for you to be part of my Emmaus family!

Monday, April 18, 2016


     The other day I was driving a friend home.  She told me that there was a shorter way between my house and hers, but it was over gravel roads, so she didn't take it very often in her car.  She commented that she tries to keep her car clean and in good shape to show respect to her husband who bought the car for her to use as a nice family car.  I loved the way she said that...she was showing respect to her husband by taking care of something that he bought for her.  I have never looked at things this way, but it is changing my thought process.

     My first thought was how am I modeling that kind of respect for Delainey?  I have talked before about the fact that my house is not always neat.  Putting my things away and keeping them tidy is a show of Jim and I both who work hard for what we have.  I get upset at D for not keeping her room clean and tidy... but, she is following my example.  I have talked to her a little about how not putting things away is being disrespectful.  I think that this will be a new way to talk to her about keeping things put away in our house.  She understands respect...hopefully this will be meaningful to all of us in our house.

     Next, how am I showing respect to Jim?  I know that we both work full time, but he easily works 20 hours a week more than me...including my drive time.  Do I thank him when he takes the trash out?  Do I spend time with him, just the two of us?  He does the yard work at home, what are some simple ways that I can show respect for the hard work that he does...I try to make sure that he has cool drinks, is that enough? I will have to think of keeping my car show respect to him.

     Am I showing respect to others?  Do I roll my eyes when someone talks to me?  I need to show others respect by listening to them.  I need to be fully present when talking to people..not thinking about what else I could be doing.  If I want respect from others, I need to give respect first.

     I know that I am not respecting myself lately.  Taking care of my body is the best way to show respect to myself, and I haven't done that lately.  I am working on eating better and trying to exercise. I don't get enough sleep or spend time doing the things that I enjoy.  I need to start doing better for myself.   I deserve respect as well, so I have to act accordingly.

     So in my best Aretha Franklin voice,"R E S P E C T...find out what it means to me".  I will be spending some time thinking about what respect means to me. And then, how can I show respect to my family, my self, and others.   It is definitely food for thought for me!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Year of Mercy

     Let me start by saying that I am not Catholic.  I listen to a lot of Catholic radio, I have family members and friends who are Catholic, but I am not.  So with that being said, I love that Pope Francis has called for a Year of Mercy.  I love that so many people, both Catholic and others, are focusing on mercy.  There is so much anger and bitterness in the world, that we all can use a good dose of mercy.  But what exactly is mercy?

     A quick search of the Internet says that mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone.  It also means kindness or help given to people in a bad or desperate situation.  Martin Luther said that mercy is the first work of God.  As a member of a Methodist church, I am called to do "Works of Mercy": doing good works, visiting the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, and giving to others (see for more information).When I think of mercy, I think of forgiveness.  I think of kindness.  I think of a lack of anger.  I think of peace.  

     I think that I am pretty good about forgiving others.  It takes to much energy to stay angry.  I don't have enough energy to hang on to the bad things that have happened to me and go forward.  I am not sure that you can go forward if you allow the anger to grow inside.  I have people in my life that I have had to forgive in some really big biological father, my ex husband, a former boss, a close friend.  The hurt that was in my life has healed, because I forgave them.  Not because they asked for forgiveness, but because I needed to release the pain and hurt for myself.  

     I am not sure that I am as good about doing works of mercy though.  Jim and I did take a youth group to work at a soup kitchen in December (and we hope to do it again).  We are also going on a mission trip in the fall with our group.  But those are big things...where can I focus on doing smaller things that will show mercy?  We give often to Mountain Mission through our church.  There is always of box of donations in our home waiting for the next pick up.  When I am at the grocery store, how much will it take from my budget to buy a can or two of food for our local food bank?  If I can't go visit the sick or those that are home bound, can I send a card with a chatty letter?  I need to find more ways to do actual works of mercy as my faith calls me to do.

     Dynamic Catholic says that The Year of Mercy is an invitation to love, kindness, and generosity.  This is an invitation that is open to all of us.  Mercy has no limits.  We should all show mercy, do mercy, give mercy.  How much better can our world be if we were all focused on mercy...not just this year, but always?!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring Break!

     For the last two weeks, my newsfeed has been blowing up with pictures of people on spring break...beaches, mountains, Disney, and deserts...all sorts of fun places.  I didn't have pictures of those things to share...and I am okay with that.  I have been able to watch everyone having fun and I am so glad that they are enjoying their time.

     I have never really been a big spring break trip person.  In college while others were going to Ft. Lauderdale or South Padre Island, I went home to northwest Indiana.  One year I did take a Kansas City MO.  I stayed in during the day while my then boyfriend worked all day.  I cleaned his apartment and watched tv...not exactly the party destination of so many others!  So, when I think of spring break, I really think of a more laid back time at home, with no schedule, no rushing around, and no fighting crowds.

     This year, Delainey was supposed to have 2 full weeks off, but thanks to snow, ice, and cold weather, she had classes for the first 3 days of break.  Jm and I were able to work our schedules such that we all had a little time off together here and there.  Jim and Delainey spent part of their time in Indianapolis visiting family, while I got to have some solitude after work each day.  Jim and D went horseback riding, shopping, and enjoyed city life.  I had a 2 night movie marathon, watching all 4 movies from the Hunger Game series, with popcorn for dinner!!

     Jim and D came home in time for D's riding lessons.  We let her stay after lessons so that she could clean stalls.  The child won't clean her room, but she will clean horse poop all night long!  Thursday was a gloomy day, perfect for sleeping in, which we all were able to do!  We did our housework for the day and then we were able to go out and about without feeling guilty.  We did some shopping, had a nice lunch, and then went to the movies...something we all love to do, but we don't do it often.  Friday was a chilly, but sunny day.  We were able to spend the day walking around the campus of IU and then hiking at Hardin Ridge. We walked about 4.5 miles throughout the day...and we were tired.  We finished off Friday by playing a few games of Clue.

     Our spring break wasn't wild and crazy.  It wasn't full of travel and adventure.  But is was a wonderful break from our daily routine.  We were refreshed and relaxed after spending time together..and away from work and school.  Maybe next year will bring our BIG spring break, but if it doesn't, we will still enjoy every moment that we are able to spend together.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Country Girl

     I am not a country girl.  I grew up in small town and have moved to another smaller town.  We live in the country outside of our small town.  I don't have a green thumb although I can keep a few plants alive once in a while.  We have a dog that is part of our family, but really, I am not a huge animal person.  I do say that I want goats, but other than keeping our grass cut, what would I do with a goat?  I love fresh food, but I can go to the farmer's market in the warmer months to supply what I want/need.  So imagine my surprise to find that my daughter has embraced country living to it's fullest!

     Delainey's first embracing of country life was learning to love horses.  I will confess that I love horses as well, but D has actually learned to work with horses.  She has taken riding lessons for a few years now at Cedar Ridge Farm.  Not only has she become comfortable riding horses, but she knows how to care for them as well..  After her last lesson, she asked to stay so that she could clean a stall, just because.  She has asked for a horse several times, but this is not the right time for our family to own a horse.

     Delainey's next step into country life is something that is not exclusive to country life, but I always associated country life with it...4H.  Delainey (and I will admit that I love it as well) has completely embraced her 4H club.  She has been busy planning and working on projects for the fair this summer, I think that she has 5 projects this year.  She will be attending camp this summer.  I love watching her confidence and leadership skills grow through 4H.  She is planning on doing a demonstration at a meeting and holds an office in her club.  I also love that her club has a wide age range (k-12).  She gets to learn from the older kids while being able to help the younger ones!

     Delainey's immersion into country life will become even stronger this spring with a new addition to our family.  D has decided that she wants to raise chickens.  She has been saving her money to buy a chicken coop.  She and Jim will be building the coop over spring break.  Delainey has been researching all things chicken.  One of my classmates has sent her some chicken books.  Jim and I have never raised chickens, so this will be an experience for all of us!  I love that she wants to do this enough that she is using her own money and doing the research to be successful.  Stay tuned for our chicken farming adventures.

     I am a misplaced city girl who is learning to embrace the country.  Delainey just happened to be born in the city, but she is a country girl at heart.  I wouldn't have my life any other way right now!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sowing the Seeds

     Today is the first day of spring.  We have had a short taste of spring here, although it has turned chilly again.  My thoughts have turned to planting flowers, vegetables, and all things green.  We have space to have a garden, but between my lack of time and my non-green thumb, we generally don't do much.  Last year we had success with some tomato plants and a small flower bed, so this year we might branch out just a little, maybe a pepper plant or some leaf lettuce.  Time will tell as the weather gets warmer.

     Lately, I have been thinking about other types of seeds that I can sow.  I have been doing a Bible study on the book of Ruth.  I realized that I have been like Naomi.  Rather than focusing on the good things in life, I allowed some seeds of bitterness to creep into my life.  I had a night a few weeks ago when I was just feeling down and out.  I was feeling left out of several things and rather than find ways to be part of the groups, I wallowed in my bitterness.  Naomi had reason to be bitter, her husband and two sons both died. She was angry and bitter, so much that she wanted to be called Mara, which means bitter.  She didn't think about her daughter-in-law who left everything behind to follow her.  She forgot to trust in God, that He would take care of her.  She allowed her joy to be taken from her...just I had allowed mine to be misplaced for a few days.

     Since that evening, I have tried to focus on sowing different seeds around me.  I have tried to spread kindness...even when I wasn't really feeling kind.  When I have wanted to respond with a nasty comment, I have taken a breathe and tried to be kind.  I have smiled when I really wanted to stick my tongue out.  There have been days when I have been grumpy, and I have tried to share joy instead of the grumpiness that I really feel.  A smile and a kind word go much further than meanness.  Right now, it seems that there is so much hate and anger in our world.  Some days it seems to be growing.  I want to choke out those weeds with the stronger seeds love and peace.  I can't change the whole world, but I can start with my corner.  I can show love to those who are spreading hate.  I can be calm and peaceful in the face of anger.  I want to sow the seeds of hope to those who have lost all hope.  I am a work in progress and thankful that each day is a new day!

     As I head into spring, I want to find more ways to sow the seeds that are pleasing to God.  I want to be able to say that even though I have troubles, I continued to trust in the Lord, I did not allow bitterness to take root.  I want to be able to spread the seeds of kindness to those who need a kind word.  I want to sow the seeds of joy to those who are unhappy and need a smile.  I want the seeds of love to chock out hate.  I want to spread seeds peace to those who need the calm.  Most of all, I want to make sure that I never allow the seeds of hope to die within me.  I want to be able to say what Ruth's great-grandson David says:

"But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more."
Psalm 71:14


Thursday, March 3, 2016


     Joy...such a small word, but what a powerful word.  This morning as I was catching up on my morning adorations, the first two Bible verses for March were about joy.  I realized that lately, I haven't been joyful in all things.  I haven't been horrible all of the time, but I sure haven't been sharing much joy, I have been letting little things get to me.  Rather than taking action about what has been wrong, I have been complaining and doing nothing to fix the little things.  This morning, I am claiming joy for myself, my family, my home.  I am taking action instead of letting things get me down.

     The first step that I am taking is one that I have started and stopped several times.  I am going to bed early.  I know that I don't get enough sleep.  I have talked before about the fact that I love late nights.  But late nights and 3am wake up calls don't work.  I have started to go to bed by 9:30.  I know that isn't "early", but for me, who was staying up til 10 or 11 each night, this is a huge change.  I can feel it already this morning.  I woke up at my normal 3 instead of getting to sleep in until 7 today.  And truly, I feel good.  I might need a little nap later today, but for now, I am rested and recharged.

     The next thing that I am doing to reclaim my joy is taking care of myself.  I have been seeing my chiropractor again (that is a joy in and of itself).  I have an appointment with my medical doctor later today.  Not something that I am looking forward to, but I have some issues to discuss with him.  I know that he will recommend some things that I don't want to do, but I need to do them if I want to be healthy. And for me, if I am not feeling good, I am not able to feel much joy.  I also need to get back to eating healthy and some sort of exercise.  It's time to jump back onto the bandwagon...again!

     The biggest thing that I am going to do to find my joy, is to spend quiet time with my Bible.  I started a new plan in 2016 and did really well for a few weeks.  I have a reading plan for each morning and evening.  And then I stopped.  I got to busy.  I had other things that were more important.  And I didn't open my Bible for two weeks.  I became cranky and letting the little things bother me.  I miss that quiet time with God, His Word, and my devotions.  So I started the day reading....and joy was in front of me.

     I don't make promises often, but I have to promise myself that I will make joy part of my daily life.  I know that there will be times that joy doesn't seem to apparent to me, but I need to find joy in all situations. I need to make joy part of me, so that others can see the joy that I have.  I need to share my joy with others...starting with my family.  I want to be that person who makes others feel joyful.  I want to end with the verses that reminded me about joy this morning. I hope that they remind you to feel joy as well!

"Let me hear joy and gladness..."
Psalm 51:8a

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete."
John 15:11

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Decade with Delainey

     Ten years ago, there were four Predmores in our little family.  I doubt that any of us had any idea idea how much one more would change everything for all of us!  Dylan was 12 and not sure about a baby at all.  If we had to have a baby, it better be a girls were needed in our family.  Shane was 15 and really excited about the thought of having a long as he didn't have to change diapers.  Jim and I just couldn't wait to meet this little person that we had been praying for and dreaming about for so long!  We all had our own ideas about this baby that was about to be born, but from the start, she had her own ideas about everything.

     Through the past 10 years, I have watched Shane and Dylan with their baby sister.  From the moment she was placed in their arms, they were in love with her.  Those boys wouldn't put her down, I was afraid that she wouldn't learn to walk (no worries with that, at 10 months she was up and hasn't stopped since).  They still carry her on their backs when she asks.  They have played dollies, had their hair put in pony tails, sat for tea parties, gone to dance recitals and horse shows, all for the love of their sister.  They draw the line at allowing her to practice her make up skills though.  They have gotten just a little taste of the love that they will some day have for a child of their own.  She makes them want to do better and be better.

     During the last 10 years, Jim has come to embrace the color pink, know more about about Disney princesses than he ever wanted to know, and has been wrapped around his little girls' finger from the start.  I watch the two of them together and am overwhelmed.  They created a bedtime routine of Pirate Daddy that I couldn't even begin to explain, but makes my heart happy.  Last night, they attended a Daddy Daughter Dance.  Their eyes were shining when they came home and their joy was radiating from them.  There is a special bond between a father and a daughter...and it is a strong bond with Jim and Delainey.  She might make him crazy sometimes (probably because she is so much like me), but you can see the love that is always there.

   During my tough times, it has often been Delainey that has motivated me.  With our move to Salem, I followed her lead and put myself out there to meet people.  I have become friends with the parents of her friends that she has made through school and other activities.  I watch this child, this young lady, handle things with so much grace, and she gives me courage to do the same.  She isn't afraid to stand up for herself and her friends.  I watched with amazement as she stood up in front of her classmates and their parents to sing an a cappella solo at a school concert...she had no fear at the microphone.  She did the same at church during Advent when we were asked to share a reading with the congregation.  She faces her fears and teaches us to do the same.

     Delainey was baptised when she was 4.  There was a moment in the service when our family, friends, and members of our church all came up and laid hands upon Delainey while our pastor prayed.  I felt the Holy Spirit that day filling the church and blessing Delainey.  She told me once that Jesus was her best friend and lives in her heart all the time.  I know that the seeds were planted at her baptism (she was old enough to remember), for I see His hands at work in her life all the time.  Our family has been blessed for the past decade with Delainey and I look forward to seeing what the next decade brings.

"For I know that plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Our Miracle Journey

     One thing that I always knew I wanted in life was a family with lots of kids.  The timing of my life was never right and babies didn't happen.  Jim and I got married in June 2003.  It was a second marriage for both of us.  Right away, I got the family that I always wanted in Jim's boys.  Shane and Dylan welcomed me as part of their family.  We never had the ugly stuff that so many blended families go through.  I was lucky enough to avoid that.  Jim's ex wife and I have always gotten along well and the three of us always put what the boys needed before any issues that we might have had.  I know how lucky I am that I was not treated as the ugly step-parent.

     Jim and I really wanted another child...and nothing happened.  I saw my doctor who said everything looked great and gave me a fertility medication to take. It didn't work.  In January 2005, I saw another doctor who did some more testing...and that testing told a different story.  He told me that medically I would not be able to get pregnant without surgery or IVF or something.  I was upset to say the least, as was Jim.  Insurance didn't cover treatments, so that was the end of that dream, or so I thought.  God had other plans (like He usually does).  

     I called Jim during the Superbowl of 2005 and asked him to stop on his way home to get a pregnancy test, in spite of what the doctor said, I just had a feeling.  And I was right, I was pregnant.  For 12 weeks, I was so sick...not just morning sickness, but all day sickness.  It was horrible.  And then in March, I lost the baby.  I was devastated, as were Jim and the boys.  The one thought that kept me going was that I was able to get pregnant, something the doctor didn't think I could ever do!  So I tried to stay positive.  I prayed and kept living, although there were some dark days mixed in.  

     In June of that same year, the year that I turned 40, I became pregnant again.  Jim and I were quietly optimistic.  We kept the news pretty much to ourselves, just in case.  The boys knew, as did our bosses at work.  After 12 weeks, we started telling people.  We began to plan for our baby that we called Odie.  We didn't want to know the gender and we wouldn't tell the names that we picked (Owen James or Delainey Kaye...I was not a huge fan of our boy name).  My pregnancy was carefully monitored by my doctors, who were well versed in high risk pregnancies like mine.  Two weeks before my due date, the doctor felt that my blood pressure was getting to high (even with the medication that I had been taking through the entire pregnancy) and it was time to induce.  I was able to pick the day, time, and doctor that would deliver.  Jim and I picked February 28, early in the morning, with the doctor that first told us that we would not be able to have any children.  

     When I say that Delainey is our miracle baby, she truly is a miracle.  Only God could have given Jim and I such a precious gift when medically there was no way for her to be here.  Every day, even on days when she is driving me crazy, I thank Him for her.  Tomorrow, I will get up and write more about my girl, but today, I want to remember the miracle of her creation.  I want to say thank you to the One who gave Jim and I this child that we call Delainey...our miracle baby, whatever her age!  We are truly blessed beyond all that we could ask for with this little girl, she teaches us things every single day!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Out of the Blue

     While I was wasting time on Facebook Thursday, a friend posted a link to a blog by one of my old classmates' mom.  She is an artist and I wanted to see more of her work.  I clicked over to the blog and saw a post that she had written about her son, my classmate.  He had cancer.  We haven't been in touch in the years since I left my home town, other than once at a benefit for another classmate who had cancer.  Sunday morning when I got on Facebook, the first thing that I saw was a post by his mom saying that his journey is complete.  I am just at a loss on how to express my sorrow and why I feel so much sorrow.

     I don't want to make this post about my classmate.  I don't know him well enough to tell you all about him. He was a good guy.  He was a great basketball player back in the day.  We went to church together..which means we went to Sunday school together, youth group, and catechism.  From everything that I have seen, he was a great dad and grandpa, son and brother.  He will be missed by his family and friends.  He left here much to young, 51 is not a long life.  At 51, I have a lot of things that I still plan on doing.  I am sure that he had things he wanted to do as well.

     I think under the sadness of the loss of classmate, I am feeling my own mortality.  He was just six months older than me.  I will be 51 this summer.  I hope that I have many years left and I want to make the best of them.  I don't want to continue to put things off until tomorrow.  When the weather is nice, I need to get off my but and take my family out hiking.  I need to dance with Delainey.  I need to make time for dates with Jim.  I need to take time for myself to be creative, to read, to exercise.  I need to make sure that I am at peace with my past.  I need to forgive where it is needed.  I need to show and share love whenever and wherever I can.  

     I would ask anyone reading this, please take time to say a prayer for peace for families that have lost a loved one.  Then, I would ask that you give your loved ones a hug.  Let them know that you love them. Forgive others, forgive yourself.  Don't wait until tomorrow, next week, or next it now.  None of us are promised tomorrow.  In the blink of an eye, life can change.  Don't let it change without making sure that you are being the best you possible.  Make things right in your life with your family, your friends, and God. Consider yourself hugged from me...unless your not a hugger, nah, who I am kidding, I would still hug you right now.  Embrace every moment today and every your best life all the time!  I truly love you my friends!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Delainey's Best

     This morning as I was driving Delainey to school, I looked at her in the review mirror and saw my baby girl.  Only she isn't a baby any more.  She is becoming a young lady.  In less than two weeks, she will be ten.  How on earth did that happen...I swear only yesterday she was a toddler.  I told her that I couldn't believe that she was almost ten.  I asked her what some of the best things are that she has done in her life and I honestly was surprised at how she answered.

     Her first response was taking dance classes.  She hasn't taken a dance class in five years.  The response might have been because we just saw a Facebook memory of her last dance class that she had before we left Indianapolis.  But if she truly loves dance that much, maybe Jim and I need to look into dance lessons again.  She loves to dance and spin around the house all the time.  Dance is one of her passions.  I want to support her in doing what she loves.

     Delainey's second response took me by surprise...moving to Salem.  The thing that has been hardest for me has been one of the best things for not only my daughter, but for my entire family.  Delainey feels connected to Salem.  I have struggled with the move a lot, but am finally at peace where we are.  It was hard at first, but now D is happy here.  The times that we have talked about moving, she has voiced her opinion quite loudly.  Unless we are moving to Maine (or possibly Michigan), she doesn't want to go any where.  She has grown roots here, it's where she is growing and blooming.

     Her third response was learning to ride a horse.  I expected this answer because she is my child and I love horses as well.  She is getting to do something that I would have loved to do at her age.  Three years ago, we found an amazing place for riding lessons, Cedar Ridge Farm.  Delainey has learned not only to ride horses, but how to take care of them as well.  Her instructor expects the best from Delainey and usually gets it (everyone has an off day, D is no exception).  D has made friends not only with the horses, but with the other lesson students.  Her confidence has grown so much around the horses that she is able to get onto any horse and know that she can do it.  What a life lesson she has learned from one of her best things!

     The last thing that Delainey said was one of her best things that she has done was making the swim team.  Again, we were lucky enough to find a swim instructor in Salem who expects the best from Delainey.  When D started lessons, she was afraid to be in water over her head.  Jim and I kept Delainey in private lessons for several months.  When lessons stopped, Delainey was asked to be part of the "pre-team" and we said yes. At the final pre-team practice, she was invited to be part of the team.  D has learned so much about working hard and not giving up from the team.  She has been supported and encouraged by her teammates and coach.  Last weekend, she was in her first swim meet.  She enjoyed the meet so much and was quite sad that swim season is over for her. Again, such life lessons that she has learned!

     The things that Delainey said were her best things were not easy things.  She didn't talk about our family vacations (and I think that we do some pretty cool vacations), those would have been on my list.  She talked about things that pushed her out of her comfort zone, that make her work hard for the end result.  The conversation with D this morning makes me think that Jim and I are doing something right while raising our girl.  It also makes me realize that I have a lot to learn from my little girl about working hard, getting out of my comfort zone, and pursuing my passions!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fat Tuesday!

     I love to celebrate special days and events.  From St Patrick's Day to Christmas, we acknowledge the holiday in some sort of way.  I have towels, window decorations, table cloths, and wall hangings for many holidays.  We do crafts for holidays, have special meals, and silly traditions.  It should come to no surprise then to learn that we celebrate Fat Tuesday in the Predmore home, with our own special twist.

     Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Mardi Gras celebration, which for some places start right after Christmas.  Traditionally, it is the last hurrah before the season of Lent begins.  People used to eat all the foods that they did not consume during Lent (sugars, meats, fatty foods...all the good stuff).  Foods like pancakes, paczkis, and king cakes are traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday.  We generally have bacon and pancakes, along with our version of a king cake (one day I want to try a real king cake until then we have regular cupcakes with purple, green, and gold sprinkles...and a baby hidden in one of the cupcakes).  Some years we have a jambalaya type meal, but whenever I can have pancakes for dinner, I am there!

     Last night Delainey and I (Jim had to celebrated Fat Tuesday in a different way.  Our church decided to have a Fat Tuesday Dinner.  A few of us cooked things like biscuits and gravy, waffles, sausage, and pancakes for anyone who wanted a good meal along with some fellowship and laughter.  We had whipped cream to top the waffles, blueberries and strawberries in the waffles and pancakes, coffee and Coke for everyone to share.  We passed out some beads to the guests and enjoyed the evening!  We didn't have a huge crowd because it was cold, windy, snowy, with a chance of ice under it all, but everyone who came, went away with a full belly and hugs all around!

     The serious side of Fat Tuesday is that it leads to the season of Lent.  Lent is the forty days before Easter.  In earlier times, people used this time for fasting, repenting, and sacrificing.  Today, some people give something up, others add in extra prayer time, and still others do a service project.  In our home, we don't force anyone to do anything...although last year when I gave up caffeine, Delainey wasn't happy that she didn't get any coffee (really, she only gets enough coffee to turn her cream and milk a light tan...I am not feeding the child a pot of coffee).  This year, I plan on giving up soft drinks...including my beloved Coke.  Jim is giving up chips of all kinds (which means he won't bring them home and I won't eat them-a win for me).

    Fat Tuesday is just a fun day in my life.  It doesn't have serious meaning, if I couldn't celebrate it one year I wouldn't be heart broken.  Going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras was always on my bucket list, but I am not so sure that I would enjoy it as much now as I would have in my twenties (or even my thirties), but maybe someday.  Until then, I will keep my simple Fat Tuesday celebrations with my pancakes, beads, and most importantly, my family!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


     There, I said it, the emotion that has been hanging over me for a while now.  It's not a good emotion, it's not healthy, it's ugly, not nice, and just plain wrong.  I honestly don't know why I have been struggling with envy recently.  Maybe I am spending to much time on social media, seeing what people want others to see about their lives.  I know that social media is deceptive and often times people only post the positive things that are happening.  Maybe I am just over thinking things and overlooking the wonderful things in my life.  I don't know why envy has had such a hold on my lately, but this morning, I have declared war on this emotion in my life.

     During my devotion and prayer time this morning, I stopped and listened, really listened, to the things and people that I was praying about.  I prayed for Flint, MI....the whole situation there is just so maddening and sad.  And I realized that I have clean water in my home.  I was praying for the health of several people.  And I realized that I am mostly healthy (other than a few minor aches and pains)...and I have health insurance that will allow me to see a doctor when I am not.  I prayed for a dear friend who is looking for answers about her child that is struggling in school and with her health.  And I realized that I have a daughter who does well in school and who has no major health issues.  I stopped praying and realized that God was speaking to me.  He was showing me my blessings as I prayed for those who didn't have the very things that I have.  He has given me a plan for this war I am fighting on the emotion of envy.

     The first thing that I am doing is to restart my gratitude journal.  Each day, I will be making a list of three things that am I thankful for.  I know that each day I will be able to find three things that make me happy, that I take for granted, that are blessings to me.  I won't be doing this publicly, because the intention is not to brag or make other envious.  It is to remind myself of all the good things that I have in my life.  Because I know that I have so many good things in my life.

     The next thing that I will be doing in this battle is spending time looking up and reading Bible verses about envy.  I will be reading about what God has to say about envy and how I can fight this negative emotion.  This morning I found an article with verses about comparing myself to others.  It will be going in my faith binder to read as part of my devotional time.  I also found another article talking about habits of people who don't get jealous.  I will be reading and working on ways to incorporate them into my life.

     The last, and strongest, thing that I will be doing in this battle is praying about this emotion in my life.  I don't like envy.  I don't like the way that it makes me feel.  I feel ugly and petty even admitting that I am struggling with envy.  But I feel like the only way to fight this emotion is to admit it, to say it out loud, and then to give it to God, really give it to Him.  I have tried, but it hasn't been working....because I have been fighting alone.  I haven't wanted to let Him fight this battle for me.  I keep thinking that I can do this better than anyone, including God, but it hasn't been working.

     In writing this, I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me.  We all have our struggles, this just happens to be mine right now.  I don't want anyone to not tell me about the great things going on in your life.  I really am happy for you!  I want nothing but great things for my family and friends.  I just need to work on counting all of my blessing each and every day.  The one thing that I ask of you, is that you pray with me as I work on overcoming this green-eyed monster.  I am tired of my joy being taken by such an ugly emotion!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Messages to Me

     A few days ago while listening to talk radio, the host asked people what advice they would give to their younger selves.  It's not a new concept, but it started me thinking what I would say to my younger self at various stages of my life.  The messages wouldn't go away, so I thought that I would share them.

Dear High School Nancy:  Be yourself.  You don't have to be loud to fit in.  Everyone else has the same fears and insecurities that you do, they just don't show it.  You are an awesome person, just the way that you are.  Be proud of who you are!  Learn to crochet when Grandma tries to teach you.  You will regret not doing this some day.

Dear College Nancy:  Stop rushing.  Enjoy this time of your life.  These people that you are getting to know see you as you are...the good, the bad, the ugly.  Many of them will be there for you the rest of your life.  You don't need to make all the decisions about your life right now, take time to explore all the options that are open to you.  Don't tie yourself down to one person so soon.

Dear 20's Nancy:  Be Independent.  Don't make decisions based on other people.  Do want you really want to do, not what you think that you should do.  Don't think that you will be able to change people that don't want to change.  Do what you love and don't let others lead you away from that.  You are really good at what you do, don't ever forget that.

Dear 30's Nancy:  It gets better.  You are only as old as you think you are, so don't let thirty get you down....after all twenty-ten still equals thirty.  Get the tattoo that you want for your birthday.  Listen to your gut.  When you know that something isn't right for you, change.  Don't stay in situations that are not good for you.  Think about what makes you happy and pursue it!  Be bold!

Dear 40's Nancy:  Trust God.  There will be some darkness, but there will be so much more joy.  Spend time with the ones that you love.  Invest time in your marriage.  Shut off the computer and get out into the world.  Explore your surroundings.  Stop worrying because worry can't change things.  Get involved with something, anything, that makes you happy.  It's going to be okay.

     Hindsight is always 20/20.  It's easy to sit now and give myself this advice, but I know that I wouldn't have listened.  I made the best decsions that I could make at the time.  The mistakes that I made, the choices that I made, have brought me to where I am now.  And really, I like the person that I have become.  I like the life that I have now.  It isn't perfect by any means, but it is perfectly me!

Saturday, January 9, 2016


"Ask and it shall be given to you;
Seek and you will find;
Knock and the door will be opened to you"
Matthew 7:7

     As I have been  thinking about my word for the year, an old word kept coming back to me, seek.  A few years ago, I was sure that seek was going to be my word.  Instead, Jim suggested a family word for us and I knew that balance was what I needed at the time.  I wasn't sure until this morning when I sat down for some quiet reading and praying what my word would be for the year.  Four different verses that I came across in various readings used the word seek.  How do I argue when God is putting the word in front of me pretty clearly!

     The dictionary defines the word seek as to search or try to find someone or something, to ask for help, to try to get or achieve something.  I do feel that I am searching right now...seeking my purpose, my role in many things right now.  I know that I am always seeking direction for my career, such as it is.  I have been going through some transitions at work and there are many more to come.  Am I where I need to be or do I need to seek some changes there?  As always, I seek balance in my life.  That word, that state of balance, seems to be something that I continually reach for.  Sometimes I am successful and other times not so much,  but it is always the goal.    Asking for help is not always one of my strong points, I like to do things on my own.  Maybe my word will lead me to reach out to others more often when I am struggling.  

     I don't know where exactly I will end up with the word seek guiding me this year.  That's one of the things I love about having a word, I don't know exactly how it will apply to my life, but is always seems to in some way.  Today, I received a pretty clear message that 2016 will be a year for me to seek out new things.  I don't know if I will be like Star Trek, seeking out new life and civilizations, but I do hope to go boldly into the year as I seek!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Back to Ordinary

   Today I woke up and got Delainey ready for school, packed her lunch, made breakfast, and fixed her hair.  We made it to school on time with minimal fighting!  I made a pot of coffee and planned my day off.  I have dinner in the crock pot, the dishwasher running, and laundry in the washer and dryer.  I might go see Jim on his lunch break to visit with him.  Nothing special, just ordinary times at our house.

     Later today, I will be taking our Christmas tree down.  I usually take it down the weekend after Christmas, but this year I wanted to leave it up for the 12 days of Christmas.  Last night after dinner, I gave Jim and D a small gift to celebrate Epiphany.  The gifts weren't elaborate, just a drawing book, ink pens, and highlighters for each of them to put in their "war bags" as Jim calls them.  As I take down the tree, I want to take my time this year.  I want to remember the Christmas's of our past as I look at each ornament.  I want to savor the memories that each one brings to mind.  I want to reflect on why my family really celebrates the season the way that we do each year.  Of course, my least favorite part will be hauling it all out to the shed to store until next Christmas!

     Then it will be time to put the house back in its ordinary order.  Time to move the furniture back to it's ordinary places.  Delainey has been asking me to teach her to sew.  When the sewing machine gets moved back to its home, her first project will be learning to hem the curtains that Santa brought (not sure why he didn't just measure first).  Again, nothing special will be happening, just back to ordinary.  It will be nice to once again have family pictures out that were put away to make room for the Christmas decorations.

     I love the ordinary times that we have in our life.  I love the season of Advent...a time of preparing.  I love Christmas...a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I love the rituals and celebrations of those two seasons.  But mostly, I love the ordinary times of life...the times of making breakfast, spending time with family and friends, being quiet, reading, watching tv, just living life as it comes, day by ordinary day.