A Glimpse!

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I’ve had the winter blues. That’s all there is to it. I haven’t lost my joy, my happiness…just my motivation! And the irritability factor has also skyrocketed. (My poor children). However, we had BUCKETS of rain yesterday, and high temps to boot, and today the weather was grand, so mom whisked me away from cleaning my house and took me to the ocean. *Fabulous Sigh*

What a glimpse of spring! The birds were singing, the snow had melted in vast quanities, and the air was fresh. Although we hit a snow squall on the way to Route 1, eventually the blue sky broke through. In many places, it appeared we had experienced a snow storm mid-summer, because the lawns were washed clean and the grass was a wonderful healthy green. I know this won’t last, it’s January in Maine for goodness sakes, but it’s exactly what I needed.

This is the path from our house to mom and dads, formally covered under a pile of snow.

In Searsport, the birds were perchin' as high as they could! (Love the seagulls on the chimney!)

I took this zooming by in the car...love that broken ice!

I wish I had some blue sky pictures for you. It was so happiness-inducing to see it peeking through the gray.

Oh! And we had our “last hurrah” at the house on Sunday; went up to clean out the remainder of the garage. Took the boys-poor Ryan was wandering around the house saying “I wish it still had all our stuff in it!” He is such a sensitive kid; he always astounds me with this little observations. Very in tune with his emotions (can be a good and bad thing, let me tell you!) But this sign made mommy and daddy very happy, at least!

"Sale Pending!"

So there. Good few days, especially today. I’ve got my motivation back, so I better sign off and clean this house while I can!

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Our World, Lately.

I came across this picture in the back room of our house, included with a ton of Marietta’s school supplies.  It cracks me right up.  The quality isn’t great because I just took a picture of it…I need a  good scanner!

Doesn’t his face just say it all?  I LOVE it!  While the guy on the tractor thingamajig joyfully plows away, blocking his driveway in…

We’ve had some significant snow build-up the last day or two.  The lovely thing about this winter so far, however, has been that the temps have stayed high enough that the snow always melts quite a bit after we’ve had a decent storm.  According to the weather, next Monday it will be so warm that the precip will come down as rain (further melting the snow), which makes me happy.  Actually, I don’t mind the snow; keep it coming.  Soak into that earth, give us a green summer!  That’s what I say!  Just stay above freezing every now and then so we don’t have to live among mountains of the white stuff!

Speaking of the mountains, I spent a good while this afternoon trying to reduce those that are at the end of OUR driveway and sidewalk.  Erick was able to conquer them coming home yesterday in the truck, but today has been so nice that I donned my snowgear and shoveled away to reduce them to hills.  I have to admit, when I first moved to Maine, I was a little shocked to see women out doing the hard-labor stuff.  I’ve come to realize, however, that it really is a “must”.  Maine, for all of it’s beauty, is certainly no New Mexico.  It’s hard work living up here.  (This winter has been harder because our snowblower has spent the majority of time in the shop; I believe we have only had it for one snowstorm so far!)  Anyway, I’m determined to start getting outside to help Erick more.  Isn’t it interesting how many pills are available today to help us sleep?  I’m pretty sure we all just need to start physically doing more. I chipped ice in our driveway and shoveled it away a few weeks ago; I was only at it for about 30 minutes, but I slept better that night than I had in a long time.  I bet I sleep well tonight, too.  And I love that I can excercise without really “exercising”.

In other news, our friends Jed and Amanda that I had mentioned earlier are *prayerfully* going to have their babies next week; the ones that they have been in the process of adopting from Haiti.  SO exciting!!!  I would imagine that they will probably be holding their breath until it’s a reality; I know I would be.  I had also mentioned Diane, who works in the medical field there.  She’s been busy, obviously, but has had the chance to get a few blog posts in.  It’s really something to get the first hand accounts from someone you know. We haven’t  heard word on  our Compassion Child, Magdaline, yet, but continue to pray she and her family are ok. (Oh, what I wouldn’t do to fill up my house with cots…wall to wall, and host as many Haitians as I could right now).  We were able to buy some supplies, which were gathered and sent to Haiti on Tuesday, I believe.  It was neat to do something a little more tangible than just sending money (although that’s wonderful as well). I think Delta made room to ship, for free, about 5000 pounds of supplies.  Awesome.

That’s about all that has gone on here lately!  Oh, I just received a call from our realtor…looks like things are pretty much set to close on the house Jan. 28th…next Thursday.  EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!  Another one of those things that will feel “real” once it’s done.  We’re awaiting the payoff amount on our house-one thing I’m not so much looking forward to getting.  We had in our minds that the principal balance was the same thing as the payoff amount, which is very much NOT true.  While I had a 30 second freak out mindset about that, I mentioned it to Erick and he very calmly said “God is going to give us exactly what we need”.  Amen to that!

Supply Drive for Haiti

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Hey Locals,

This is a last minute deal!  We are trying to fill up a van of supplies; a couple from our church (Amanda and Jed, who by the way would seriously covet your prayers because their babies are in Port-Au-Prince, waiting for finalized adoption to go through) will be driving it to Boston this weekend; a local missionary will be heading to Haiti on Monday, and Delta has given free space for supplies.

Some needs:

Peanut Butter, Power Bars, Granola Bars, Formula, Medical Supplies (face masks, bandages, stitching stuff, etc).  Formula, dry cereal…I think I’ll be purchasing some bottled water to send (that should be ok flying, shouldn’t it?)

We’ll have a supply box at church on Sunday, but if you can’t make it then, we live right across the street and would be more than willing to keep it at our house before then.

If you have any questions, email me at mrsmurray16@hotmail.com!  If I don’t have the answers I’ll find out for ya!

Thanks so much!

My Big Boy, and Happy News!

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I’m a bit delayed in this; I procrastinated and then the earthquake happened…and it just felt weird even thinking about anything other than Haiti.  But this is a post I just can’t pass up…our Ryan turned 5 last week.

Oh, you should have seen him hauling around that gift last Saturday.  Hilarious.  Wouldn’t let it go…it was a big yellow bouncy ball, which is exactly what he wanted.  A Yellow Bouncy Ball.  Isn’t this age easy?  The boys are even thrilled to get pajamas as gifts.  I love it.

His birthday was Friday, so we took him out for pizza and bowling, then Grammy came over the next day for lunch and gifts.  Aunt Margaret and Great Grammy came, too.  So the kid had an extended birthday celebration which he was extraordinarily happy about.

5!  Isn’t that a milestone?  Time just flies way too fast.  I want to stunt their growth, turn the clock back, do whatever I have to do to keep them from growing.  At the same time, I can’t wait to see what kind of men my boys will grow up to be.  Sigh.

In OTHER news…y’all…I’m just about speechless.  Our house had been on the market for a couple of weeks with no bites (NOT surprising at all for our area) when our realtor called (literally MINUTES after I heard about the earthquake Tuesday evening) and said we had a showing Wednesday morning.  It was exciting, but whatever, it usually takes showing after showing, right?  Anyway, yesterday we got the news that there was an offer.  And not only an offer, but a CASH offer, no inspections wanted, and they would like to close in 2 weeks.

What?

What?

Our Realtor was just about as speechless as we were.  Coming from a town of about 2000, with a market inundated with homes for sale…pushing 70 right now.  Homes have been on the market there for years. Years.

This will sound crazy, too, but one thing that makes my heart happy is that they want to know what paint colors we used; they like them so much they want to keep it as is and have some extra just in case they need to touch up.  Nice thing is we still have the “extras” at the house, so Erick is just going to plop the correct can in each room.  OH, and the best part?  Even though we haven’t finished  all the details of renovating, they don’t care.  They just want in and will finish the job.

The only downside is that the offer was, ironically, just about as much as what we paid for the house originally.  And we have put so much money and effort into that place.  Luckily we don’t have any renovating debts, and at this point we are ecstatic to have an offer at all.  We are blessed beyond imagining that we’ll be able to sell and pay our mortgage; that’s all we could hope for at this point, so we are at such peace with the whole thing.

As in all real estate matters, there could still be a hitch or two along the way.  Nothing is a given until the closing has come and successfully gone; I guess the only factor now is the buyer being able to obtain title insurance…that’s all foreign speak to me but I suppose it could make things fall through.  So we’d appreciate your prayers that things would go smoothly on their end and ours.

Wow.  6 days of peaks and valleys.  Life is like that, though.  I’m so grateful we have an amazing God to see us through them!

Pray

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Earthquake in Haiti…I’m sure you have heard by now. If you could just cover them in prayer…that goes without saying, really. Our church recently got involved with HIS Home for Children in Port-Au-Prince, because a dear family here is in the process of adopting two children from that orphanage. We are currently planning a mission trip to visit this year. Also, an incredibly lovely lady, Diane, just returned to Haiti to continue her work at a hospital there; I met her in Virginia years ago; her blogs on her work there are so uplifting! No word yet on Diane and her situation, but we do know that the kids at the orphanage are at this moment standing outside the building waiting for the aftershocks that are sure to come. Also, our sweet Compassion child, Magdaline, lives in Haiti.

Ugh.

I’m going to be brainstorming the next few days; keep in touch because it goes without saying that they’ll need worlds of help in the next few months and years to come. Maybe there is something we can do.

I’ll be back!

*Diane is fine.  Whew!*

We have a hill in our backyard…

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and it’s perfect for sledding!

Dad stood “in the line of fire” and took some great shots. I had fun antiquing them a bit. Actually, I believe this was on New Year’s Eve, which ended up being a lovely day.  Sledding, naps, (and I watched my annual Christmas in Connecticut, albeit a bit late), homemade pizza and Wii tournaments with Papa and Nonnie.  I went to bed at 11:00pm…the boys made it to something ridiculous like 12:30.  I climbed out of bed to sleepily watch the ball drop then gladly fell back in.  The New Year roared in with a multiple day snowstorm, but things are already melting.  So far, so good, for 2010!

A Look Back, A Look Forward,

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At the end of every year, Erick puts together a DVD of pictures and videos and has them running to some really great music-it’s a lovely way to look back at our life and count our blessings.  Here are just a few highlights:

Our camping-on-the-beach trip

2 out of 3 of my lovlies...at Moose Point State Park

does my heart good 🙂

date with mom at the river

Ok, so those are a VERY few highlights.  I could go on for ages!  What a year…my babies are growing up.  Ryan is officially into Big Kid clothes…out of the “T” sizes.  Blew through 5T in a matter of minutes.  He’s turning 5 next week…Next WEEK!  Fortunately Jack is still a snuggle-bug momma’s boy and continues to climb into our bed in the wee hours of the morning.  I welcome it because it certainly won’t last forever.  They are so amazing my heart just wants to burst right through my chest at times.  And how fortunate I am to have Erick, and to have “had” him for a decade this year.  He’s my prince.  And to live next to my amazing parents, and to glory in the fact that I have the best mom-in-law ever.

My Cup Overflows!

And as to that look forward, I’m inexplicably excited about 2010.  I turned on the tv this morning, to a morning show, and they were talking about the frustrations of the public…with the government, with healthcare, with the economy.  But y’all, I’m excited!  God is going to do great things.  Let’s not dwell on frustrations, but look forward with expectancy, with anticipation of good things to come.

I love the way the Message sums up Philipians 4:6-9.  It’s one of my favorite passages in whatever translation, but this is a nice paraphrase:

“Don’t fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.  Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.”

I’m convinced that instead of being frustrated, we need to put our energies into being grateful for what we have, and giving whenever we can.  Giving words of encouragement, giving of our time, giving of our resources.  To our family, to our friends, to our community, to those across the globe.  That’s my goal for 2010.  I’m not exactly sure what course it will take, but it’s what I feel compelled to do, however it comes about.  So I’m excited!  And I hope you’ll join me in the excitement…

Happy New Year!

Long Winter’s Nap

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I think the excitement and joy of the season has about worn me out…but it’s a good worn out!  I’m sleepily contented, albeit a bit bleary eyed.  Yesterday morning I was cleaning up after making Jack a pb&j.  I grabbed the jelly and put it in the cabinet-fortunately remembering that it went in the fridge instead.  So what did I do?  I put the jelly down, picked the peanut butter up, and proceeded to stick it in the freezer.

So I need a nap.

But I’m just not good at napping!  I wake up terribly disoriented and have a hard time falling asleep at night if I nap.  But lately I’ve been having a hard time falling asleep at night anyway…Oh darned if I do, darned if I don’t.

…..

Did everyone have a good Christmas day?  I’m loving that we are still in the midst of Christmas…day 4 in fact.  8 to go.  Right now I’m debating the whole taking-down-of-the-decorations.  I love them, and at the same time I’m ready for a fresh start.  Clean slate.  But I’ll miss the lights on the tree in a terrible way.  So I’m just not sure!  Might give it another day or two.  Or 8.

….

Santa bought our family a totally unexpected gift this year in the way of a Wii.  I’ve always been anti-video game, but I have to tell you that I’ve had a change of heart with this doo-dad.  Cold Maine Winters equal stir-crazy children, and this particular system is going to go a LONG way in getting that pent up energy out of the way!  And we’ve already had some terrific family tournaments-it’s actually bought us all together in a really enjoyable way.  And it is excersize…let me tell you!

(scuse the Christmas aftermath in the background there...)

I’ve worked up quite a sweat myself…between the Wii and the hula hoop that I received (totally requested, mind you, and terribly fun) this momma is going to get into a shape of some sort!

….

One gift that I would like to share is a picture of my grandfather that my dad made a frame for, so I can proudly display it on my eventual “gallery” wall.  (And Grandma…that’s a reminder to you to send those pictures mom mentioned to you!)  🙂

Grandpa was at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933; he played trombone in the Texas Tech band.  I love so many details about this picture!  I couldn’t get a decent “full on” shot, but here are some snippets.

Grandpa is the trombone player in the middle. And look closely at the background-aren't the clothes spectuacular?

I think the drum major is great...and the people coming out of the building behind the band.

Anyway, my current plan is to gather  family black and whites, and maybe a few pieces of colorful art, and fill up a wall in my dining room.  I’m quickly realizing that I need more wall space in this house-there are too many good things to adorn my house with!  It’s hard to pick and choose!

Well, time to wrap this up and tackle a bit more of the Christmas aftermath.  And debate a little more on those decorations.  We’ll see what happens. 🙂

Getting Closer!

And the stockings were hung on the chimney with care…

in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there!

*Oh the anticipation!*

Actually, I believe that I enjoy the season more than the actual day.  Of course the day is wonderful, but I love having a continuous celebration; Thanksgiving through Christmas is such a joyful time for me!  An extended time to really focus on thanking God for…everything.

(And aren’t the stockings pretty?  Mom made them; I uncovered an old, beautiful coverlet, but it was too small for any of our beds.  So mom and I are  putting it to good use, and will spread the “pretty” around.  Stockings, scarf, maybe a throw or two.  Creating is so much fun!)