Something to Remember

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Yesterday I talked a lot about what I DID in 2013.

With all of the driving and activities and people and excitement, there's also a lot going on behind the scenes.

I love people and I'm glad for all the practical things that I learned as well as all of the things that I enjoyed....but there's something else.

Each year stands out marked by whatever season you're in. I look back on my life and remember each year because of SOMETHING. 

* * * * * 

1992, the year my brother was born.

1994, the year my parents got divorced.

1995, the year we moved from SC. 

1996, the year of MAJOR snow and moving to another new town and starting school.

1997, the year we moved to town.

1998, the year my sister was born and Terry moved next door and my Ghidu died.

1999, the year I struggled a lot, but nothing like I WOULD struggle over the next few years. I had my favorite teacher this year.

2000, the year my brother was born, the year I got saved at VBS, the year 9/11 happened, the year we moved into a house I had always wanted (next door to my best friend). 

2001, the year I got my first camera and started writing a lot more and played volleyball on a team at school. 

2002, finishing "the herbst", public school, and the year my Grandma died. 

2003, the year I read my Bible A LOT and discovered Jane Austen. My last year of volleyball and basketball. My first year of home schooling. My first "mission trip". 

2004, a tough year deciding to say goodbye for good to a lot of old ways - especially in the hopes and dreams department. I started listening to a lot of preaching radio.

2005, the last year I visited my dad in SC. The year we had a foreign exchange student and I took driver's ed. I got my first John Piper book from the Billy Graham Association - "Don't Waste Your Life".

2006, the year we started home churching at the G's house. The year I went to that life changing conference and learned that I existed for the glory of God and what that RELLY meant. The year I  started my job at the coffee house and turned 16. 

2007 the year we moved to this house and  I got accepted to college. The year we went to Jamestown (and New Jersey) and met so many FRIENDS. 

2008 the year I graduated high school and started college. 

2009 the year my brother moved away. 

2010 the year of "dreams come true" (travel dreams) and the year I moved to MA for student teaching. 

2011 the HARD year where I struggled with "now what".

 2012 the waiting year, (ie LIVING by FAITH year) as we knew Heidi's husband would be away but we didn't know when, turns out it didn't happen until the next year. The year where there was always a "next thing", but I never knew what it was going to be. 

* * * * * 

And now 2013 is over and I'm trying to figure out how I will remember it. 

I think I'm going to have to come back in a few months because I just don't know yet.

 Will it all blend in and it will be the year of Heidi and her kids and my sister's accomplishments? Will it be the year I finally got it together and ALMOST finished college? The year of DRINKING? 

I don't know yet...Maybe just simply, "one of the best years"? 

I'm reminded of the theme from my 31 Days series (that I really slacked on)...

2013 was a year my soul was very quiet and calm and peaceful. I did a lot of stepping back and drinking God's Word and LOOKING and LISTENING. 

I saw life in an eternal perspective. A lot of my fears STOPPED. I became really okay with not having answers and not having a life that looked like I thought it would. 

So maybe that's it. The year of verbs...I helped, I drank, I looked, I listened, I learned, I believed. 

I was surrounded by so many of the people I love most and so many good times were added to my memory bank. 

2013, thanks for being all that you were. I'm not disappointed in the least bit. 

Any ideas of how you're going to remember 2013?

2013 in Review

Monday, December 30, 2013

 The last Monday of 2013.

With all of my excitement over CHRISTMAS, I kind of forgot that the year was getting ready to end. A few days ago it hit me all at once. 

With the end of the year we all think about what we had HOPED to find and experience in the days that we have just lived. We think about the good memories, the disappointments, the successes, and maybe even the devastation that will serve as markers for the year. 

And then, we start dreaming up HOPES for the year that is getting ready to happen. 

2013 is packed with so many good things. 

It's marked by growing a lot closer to my friend Heidi and meeting her brand new son. I spent February through July living with her more often than not. We cooked, cleaned, shopped, organized, sewed, gardened, hauled junk, watched movies, and took care of her two children together. 

She taught me more about crocheting. She taught me about ordering cheese dip and red ranch from Arby's to dip your fries in. She taught me about GIVING to people and SHARING with them. She taught me about taking even the worst of what life has to offer and PRESSING on in spite of it. 

We learned to make artisan bread , granola, and gumbo together. We learned all about cloth diapering, jaundice, helping a certain three year old overcome her temper, trimming back grape vines, and how to get your vehicle into gear when a safety feature forces it to stay in park. 

We baked countless cookies and muffins to stuff into care package after care package to her husband while he was away. 

We discovered Talenti Gelato and peanut butter cookie dough topped with a mini resee's peanutbutter cups topped with brownie batter. 

I am sure there are sooo many things I'm forgetting, but these are the things that come to my mind....A few years ago, I had no idea that I would be spending six months of my life alongside my friend Heidi and her kidS in 2013. Just five years ago I had no idea that a shy lady would become one of my best friends. 

August through December was spent gearing up for the county fair and then for the big get together at our house and then beginning my math class and then Thanksgiving and then Christmas. 

I read a lot of books. I set some goals for the end of the year (and kept them). I tried some new things and went some places I was hoping to go. I picked geocaching back up and found quite a few new caches. I finally have a Christmas cookie repertoire, complete with yummy sugar cookies AND frosting. 

2013 was about DRINKING. I drank in the Word of God and I have a year of growing in faith and humility to show for it. His grace became so real to me as I spent the year doing a lot less worrying. 

 * * * * * * 

Sprinkled throughout the year: 

(The lists that follow are more for me than you. You may read them if you're that bored!) :) 

Jan.// Celebrating Epiphany at home with just the family. Celebrating Jay's birthday, my brother's 13th birthday, and Ron's birthday. Hanging up a few things on the bathroom wall. My sister also broke her arm this month.

Feb.// Turner was born. Celebrating my Mom's birthday. Going on a whirlwind trip to South Dakota to see my brother. Moving in with Heidi. 

March//I came back for a weekend during the first part of March. I put together some busy bags to help keep Heidi's daughter occupied. Heidi went back to work this month so we agreed that I would keep the house and the kids while she did that. I tried corned beef on St. Patrick's day (I liked it!). Celebrating Heidi's birthday. My brother had THE LEAD role in a school play and my sister had a LEAD female role as well. 

April// Alice turned 90. She's been with her daughter so I haven't seen her since Christmas time. The highlight of this month was a homeschool conference. I met up with my friends Lauren and Anna and had  brief visit with my friend Mikaela. John and Teresa visited and I think this was the month that they took us to Heidi's favorite restaurant. After hearing about it for so long from so many people, I finally got to find out what it was all about. Other than that, I'm not sure that there was anything else worth taking note of. 

May// Celebrated my sister's 15th birthday this month. I learned to make a new pb/chocolate dessert for it.  Her cat had ONE kitten. MOTHER's DAY happened. We potted seeds for Heidi's garden, built a brick "porch" by her side door, and I did some major clean up in my flower beds. The rock climbing craziness begins. My friend Jeremy got married. 

June// My sister got her permit and started DRIVER's ED! I made a trip to a living history exhibit in Walla Walla with my Mom and brother and sister. We butchered a batch of chickens. Celebrated my Dad's birthday and Father's Day. My siblings went to another music camp. 

July// This year we went to see Despicable Me 2 and watch a public display of fireworks on the 4th (something we've never done). Then, that weekend, my Mom, brother and I helped my other friend Heidi and her family MOVE.  My Mom got to meet up with a bunch of Mom's she's been e-mailing for years and I got to go to one of my favorite parks. I got a new dresser and a desk from a lady in town. Heidi's husband came home!!! Her daughter spent a week with us. We hosted a cook out. My Mom broke her foot. My sister's cat had five MORE kittens. And we went to the water park. 

August// I was pretty lonely this month. I didn't know what to do with myself without a shadow and baby's schedule. I was giving Heidi and her family space to readjust to having her husband home. I did go up to celebrate their daughter's 4th birthday and then the next day we had a "welcome home" party at the ranch. I ran out of time to be lonely because there was preparing to do for the county fair.

September// I spent the first Labor Day since 2008 at home. We've spent that weekend at the ranch for so many years that I felt like something was missing!  I participated in my second MUG SWAP. The rock climbing continues with a campout. Jay, my Mom, and I drove over for the day and "toured" the country side and got dinner at my favorite mexican restaurant. We went to the circus. My sister started taking piano lessons with Emma. I turned 23. I "developed" a smores cake. Our house was PACKED with people and food for the big get together. My Mom finally got to go to a living history exhibit at a nearby museum. My brother stole a horse and got shot - okay, it was part of the living history thing! :) His friend Zachary came to stay with us for the weekend and they all went to an amusement park on the coldest, wettest day of the year. 

Oct.//We traipsed out on another cold day for a counry auction. ALEKS courses begin. We heard a lecture by Eric Metaxis and discovered a very yummy Chinese place (that feels just like "Cheers" because EVERYONE knows everyone). The rock climbing crew did a backpacking trip in the WILDERNESS. Attended an awards banquet for my sister's 4H accomplishment. 

Nov.//My brother turned 21! Operation Christmas Child happened at church. My sister finished her ALEKS credit. We took my Grandma out for Olive Garden. I learned to love Fiddler On the Roof even more thanks to a live play! I won a turkey and a dollar from Bingo at the turkey carnival. We celebrated Thanksgiving but my sister was sick so no one stuck around. Ron and Julie and Jay enjoyed the meal with us though. I designed some cards to go with John Piper's "The Good News of Great Joy" Advent readings. 

Dec.// Auditions for the school play happened. My brother got THE LEAD again and my sister got a leading female too. Julie had a birthday so we surprised her with cupcakes at work. The midnight premiere (of the latest Hobbit movie) complete with costumes happened again this year. My sister had her first piano recital with Emma and also did a duet on her violin with Jonny. I got my math credit!!! The night before, the night before Christmas tradition continued. Alice (and Velma who moved in this spring) had prepared cookies and hot chocolate. We found the pickle and listened to the story one more time. Christmas was different with my Grandma and an Uncle staying the night on Christmas Eve. We came home from the Christmas Eve service at church (where my brother and sister were narrators) to find my Grandma's car in the driveway. Presents happened first thing in the morning with Ron and Julie presents. Then waffles and then the stockings (which are now fancy boxes). Our simple lunch turned into a simple dinner. The goose just wouldn't cook so we sat down around 5 instead of our 2 or 3 target time. oops. 
* * * * * * * 
What were some of your hopes for 2013? 

What were some of the things that happened in your life this year? 

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Now and Then

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What midnight looks like...

Hello, ladies!!! How's life?

A week ago today I was just getting started on a little getaway. The premiere of The Desolation of Smaug was the catalyst for several days of Christmas shopping. I knocked MOST of it out. There were two items I NEEDED to find, which I found NOWHERE. I'm sure that Amazon will be more than happy to solve all those problems. 

On Monday I headed off to deliver a kitten to his new home. I have been TERRIBLE about taking pictures lately. I need a chaufeur. (This is the part where my Mom says I need a husband...)  There were trees and fog and it was GORGEOUS. But, I needed to keep my eyes on the road and I wasn't about to pull over. 

My next stop that day was to see my friend Heidi and her family. We crocheted the day away, cleaned her kitchen, broke a plate, and laughed until it hurt. Her daughter and I colored and practiced letters (she picked them up FAST). 

Yesterday evening I got to spend some time with Alice. I have been TERRIBLE about visiting her this year. She's 90 now and healthy as ever. When I got to her house she was cutting out sugar cookies. She must have had at least 10 dozen cookies ready to decorate. After a while we moved into the living room. Her gold tree stood by the window in all of its glory while she told me the Christmas story again. 

Though she has been around, Alice is not "old". Her eyes are failing her and she moves a little slower, but everything else works just fine. Years ago she memorized Matthew and Luke's account of Christ's birth and she tells them like she was THERE. 

That doesn't quite explain my absence lately, but now you know what the last week's highlights have been! 

By this time next week, the wrapping paper will be torn off and Advent will be over. We'll be getting ready to say goodbye to 2013 for good. But now is the time to enjoy these last few days leading up to the big celebration! 

Wherever you, whoever you're with (or missing like crazy), make some good memories! Enjoy what's yours because of all that Jesus became for us and share that JOY with those around you....

After all, tis the season!

The MOST Wonderful Time of the Year

Sunday, December 01, 2013


It's the first day of Advent! I never realize how much I have been looking forward to this part of the Christmas season until it is HERE. 

This year I'm going through a study called "Come Lord Jesus Come" that I found over at Gospel Centered Discipleship. 

Check it out, download your own FREE copy, and be ready to have a wonderful time with God this Christmas season! 

I've just finished the reading for Day One and I'm already super excited for the the next 24 days!!! 

How are you celebrating advent this year?

Are you doing any particular study? I'd love to hear about it!!!