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A very Merry Christmas Eve

It’s been a good day, though long. We had a family Christmas today, just the 4 of us. Maybe I’ll get around to posting about that soon. ( I do miss the blogging thing , I don’t mind saying. ) It’s really pretty tonight, as we go to sleep.  It snowed all day today and left a beautiful blanket on things.  Not too much to deal with, but enough to be fun to watch fall and nice to see around. These are pics of my front yard and my back, right now, 11:43 pm. No flash or added light than what you see.  And no, I don’t live in Alaska.  But I do live in the city, and though it rarely gets really dark, it’s generally not quite like this.  City lights plus snow equals pretty amazing night views. We head a bit south tomorrow morning bright and early. Christmas at the in-laws’.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Free is good

(We’re still in the midst of the station break . But I must fulfill my duty to Shutterfly . They gave me free cards, after all.) There it is, your sneak peek at our Christmas cards.  For those of you privileged enough to receive one to actually hold in your hands and enjoy, you’ll see that there is also more of the cute and clever inside. Now don’t you wish you’d have joined us for the Happy Bloggy Holiday card exchange ?? Thanks, Shutterfly , for the great bloggers promotion!

We now pause for a station break...

I keep thinking I'll catch up. I keep thinking I'll somehow get time to sit down and write about some of the things I want to document or think about "outloud." But it's not happening. I'm not managing everything like I need to. So for now, we're gonna give Just RK a break. I am going to step away from my computer and the addiction that has apparently absorbed too much of my days. I'm not going to chuck my laptop or anything, but I have to get out of the "I must blog about that" mindset that is always in the front of my mind. I'm also going to clean out my Google Reader subscriptions. I'm going to have to make some tough choices there. I'll not be removing everyone, of course, and those of you who have become more than just a random blog somebody-out-there will not be lost, don't worry. But the choosing...That will be PAINFUL because I kind of have a thing about keeping up on everybody all the time. But it's not possib

Elmo loves cupcakes

My someday-she-will-be-a-sister-in-law Cheryl has found quite a fun new hobby/side job in cake decorating. She makes some pretty neat things, as shown on her cake blog . When it came time to do Braska’s birthday cake, I thought it would be fun for Braska and I to go to Cheryl’s place and do something fun with all her tools and tricks. (Check out Braska’s narrative of her part of the day.) I decided on Elmo largely because he is still one of Braska’s favorites, and I figured it would be pretty easy. Cheryl found some neat pics online and we collaborated a bit to come up with our final design. We went with a cupcake cake plan, and I think it was the right choice. First, it should be noted that I was supposed to bake the cupcakes and take them with me when I went down. I also picked up some items at Hobby Lobby to help the process be a bit easier…especially with the dark icing coloring. And I found come cute Elmo paper cupcake cups. But I found that I didn’t have proper cupcake t

40 years

Happy Anniversary to my parents.  40 years! Congrats Mom and Dad!

Fastest week. Maybe.

This was a crazy busy week. The good part is that it seems to have flown by. The bad part is that it seems to have flown by!  I wonder why…. ************ My sister and her husband moved into a new house last Sunday. As they both have very busy jobs, and I’m largely more flexible (as long as I can juggle the girls) I have been helping with unpacking and receiving deliveries (though not with 100% success…thanks Home Depot).  I managed to get the kitchen somewhat usable and looking like it should, which is important, I think, because they are doing renovations in much of the rest of the house.  So chaos is king over there.  I thought if the kitchen felt a little more like a home, it might be nice.  Of course, they’re going to be ripping out the whole kitchen and re-doing it next year, but for now, it’s doing it’s job. I’m glad they got to enjoy the Bears win last night in some semblance of comfort, even lit their first fire.  (The living room is almost done.) I’ve thoroug

Welcome, Arden Mae!

My brother Jody and his wife Skye had a lovely little girl this morning. Arden Mae. 5 lb 14 oz. It's surreal seeing my (younger) siblings get to be adults. Means I must be one too.

Christmas card exchange??

Do you do Christmas cards? How many do you send, if you do? Can I be on your list? Anyone interested in doing a Christmas card exchange? I’d be happy to organize a list of addresses to share. How fun would it be to get bunches of cards next month to have a physical piece of each of our blog buddies in our homes for the holidays?!? Spread the word…invite your friends. The more the Merry(er) Christmas! (You do NOT have to have a blog to participate.) Copy and paste the code below to post this button on your blog! <a href="http://justrk.blogspot.com/2010/11/christmas-card-exchange.html"><img src="http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x198/wish4rk/89c95877.jpg" /></a><br/>Grab this button by clicking the image above.<br/> Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to be included and CLICK HERE to send an email with your snail mail address! Leave your blog link here so we can see who is participating! *********** Can it actually BE that ti

The teens

As I was looking through pictures of our wedding the other day, I found one that kind of tickled me.  It seems like it was so much more than 10 years ago, and yet—like everyone says—it somehow seems like only a few months ago that they were this age. I’m the oldest of 6 kids. These are my two youngest siblings, Ryan and Julia, at my wedding, waiting in the back of the church before they walked down the aisle as ring bearer and flower girl.  Pretty snazzy little ones, don’t you think? But look at them now… still best buds. Ryan’s 19 and a sophomore in college in Oklahoma. Julia turned 15 on Thursday and is already picturing life “on the outside” after she graduates. Both of them were born after I’d left home, Ryan during my freshman year of college and Julia after I’d graduated from college.  So I haven’t really been around for their growing up as much.  Maybe that’s why it just amazed me to look at the picture from the wedding and realize it was just 10 short years ago.

If you have a cute baby…

I just saw an internet ad for a baby photo contest.  The last line read… “If you have a cute baby enter now!” Here’s the thing about that: I’ve seen plenty of babies and kids in my time who were, in the words of a friend of mine, “unfortunate looking.” But there’s not one of their parents that doesn’t think they are “so cute!”  Isn’t that the way we’re set up?  We’re built to think our kids are adorable because they are OUR kids.  Makes sense to me.  But it makes me wonder if photo contests shouldn’t be designed for non-parents to submit cute kids.  That might narrow the field quite a bit, make life easier for those who are making the first round cuts. Sorry, my brain just thinks like this sometimes.

One Decade. Check. Bring on the next one.

It was 10 years ago.  The day we walked down the aisle in Salem, Missouri.  The day we committed to spending our lives together.  We promised each other we’d be around for better or for worse.  And we’ve had both. We promised each other we’d be around for richer or for poorer.  And we’ve had both. We promised each other we’d be around in sickness and in health.  And we’ve had both. We made promises that day that have taken every ounce of determination and sheer stubbornness not to give up on. But we made it.  And I can say without a doubt that I’m better now than I was then.  Than I’ve ever been, actually. I’m a better person. I’m a better wife. I’m learning how to be a better mother each day.  Heck, I think we’re even better looking than ever, too! For all the doubt and the challenges that these 10 years have brought, I hold no resentment. I refuse to be bitter. I refuse to let the enemy have one ounce of control in this area.  We fought hard, with each other

I won a new kitchen!

Ok, that might be a fib… but wouldn’t that be SO nice?!? I do kind of FEEL like I have a new kitchen, because my “eat in” kitchen that has never been used that way because we’ve not had a functional arrangement that included a table and chairs for more than a year, almost 2 actually, has the ability to host a family of 4 for dinner.  How novel! This was my goal to get done while M was out of town for a couple of days. The girls like it, they like to be able to climb into the chairs, and we did a test run of coloring to initiate the table back to real use. There are pictures of what the kitchen/”waiting room” used to look like in this post . This table has been with us for over 10 years.  And it was purchased for $10. With the chairs.  Not a bad deal at all. Granted, there are a few extra screws in the chairs to hold them together and keep them more reliably stable.  It’s not really all that appealing to look at, but it holds items and four people, and that’s all I’m really

Speaking for their little sister and so many more

These two very neat videos were done for a PTA project by a 9-year-old and a 2nd grader who have a 2-month-old sister with DS. I’ve recently come to know of this family through one of the forums I frequent. I think the fact that they wanted to do this for their project is wonderful, and I’m happy to share them for you to enjoy as well. (Two embedded videos below.)

Kinlee-isms #2

Braska started crawling down the hall following a ball she had kicked. (Side note…she is supposed to be crawling some for core strength per her PT. She still walks, don’t worry.)  Kinlee said, “Braska’s kicking the ball. She’s crawling!” ****** Our fave lately…After we left our Fall Festival at church on Sunday night, Kinlee was chattering in her car seat about this and that. She stopped for a moment. Then said simply, “I need chocolate.”  M and I started to giggle but before we could reply she said, in the same calm, matter-of-fact tone. “I need veggies.” ****** With Jack here, Kinlee’s got another party to announce play-by-play for their actions.  I walked into Braska’s room for a diaper change for all three, and Kinlee said, “Mommy!  Jack’s jumping on Braska’s bed!”  ****** There are three car seats in the van since Jack is with us when we’re out going to school and such while his parents are away getting to know Dashlyn.  They’re all the same but two are pink and one is

Fun at the tire store

Kinlee and I are at the amusement park that is Dobbs Tire and Auto. She has a couple of toys, including her web ball, and the rows of stacks of tires are great for running around. Thankfully the only other person waitng is a grandpa who is amused by her. I had our regular state inspection on Monday and they mentioned the tires were in bad shape. And since I am carrying three tots (counting our favorite tagalong Jack) several times a day, it is not something to put off. We knew they were due but hadn't kept a close eye on them. I am choosing to be thankful for this downtime instead of upset about the unplanned expense and schedule change. I am thankful that there is a tire store with a great deal going. And I am thankful that it is right next door to the school. And I am thankful that even with all the car buying and selling and expensive repairs we have had to do to cars we no longer own that we still have funds to pay for needs like this without incurring debt. Be thankful! Th

Apria Schmapria

I'm not one to publicly rant on a particular company, as a rule. And I won't go quite to that extreme here, but come on... Apria drives me NUTS! I try to be polite, and I am never rude, though I can be a bit firm after talking to the 7th person on that one phone call, saying the same thing every time...but I always acknowledge the person I'm talking to and understand they are not solely to blame for the problems. I go in hopeful each time... Today I'll get someone nice, and knowledgeable, I'm sure of it. We have gotten our NG tubes, extension sets, syringes, g-buttons, etc, etc, etc, from them for years. They were the only option we had on our insurance. But I can NOT tell you how many times the bills have been wrong. (Well, I can, actually...EVERY time. Literally. I have them if you want to see.) Duplicates get sent that weren't ordered, then I have to battle to get them to accept them back or write off the charges. I call them regularly to tell them HOW to r

Slowest blog day of the year

Apparently everyone keels over after 31 for 21 and can't post another single solitary word! November 1 has to be the slowest blog day on the calendar, at least if you're in my Google Reader . I've been amazed all day at the peeks onto my iGoogle Homepage with my handy-dandy Google Reader widget (no, I am not getting compensation for this commercial) bringing no new posts from anyone. Sure, there have been one or two. But after getting hit with like 80 items in the Reader every time I checked, over 300 a day, it seemed sad today to have a lull. Not that I had time to really read, but still. It's comforting. I admit my addiction. For me the day was about " the trio ," safety and emissions inspection, need for 4 new tires, diapers x3, naps x3, and lunch x3. Throw in phone calls regarding an update on the recent IEP, scheduling the yearly review from the regional center, setting up an interview for a part-time job I haven't even been looking for but that

Naptime 11 . 01 . 2010

Usually “Naptime” posts are just pictures, but I’m loving this too much not to share the backstory. Today is the first day of the “trio” days. Jack is here with us from before school to after naptime. The girls are LOVING it, let me just say. Jack is having fun, but the poor guy is just about henpecked already. I tried to be a bit of a buffer, but he is quite enough boy to take care of himself, too. School drop off and pick up went well. I didn’t rush, just let it go as it went. (That’s new for me…I’m learning!) Lunch went well, and the kids played some before nap. Jack was VERY excited to get to Skype with his mommy and daddy before nap, though it would have been more fun for him if I had my webcam so he could SEE them. But he chatted and smiled a lot. And can I just say, I’m still pretty impressed with the tech availability in the world. It’s neat that I can just push a button, “call” Julie over there in Far Away Land, and we chit chat like normal. (Except Allan was listeni

31 for 21: The bigger bugs

The girls are way more what you want to see….trust me.  Click over here to see the rest of our day. And Happy Birthday to the best mother-in-law I’ve got! (I kid!!!  She’s good.  I’ll keep her.  And she knows I love her even when I tease.) And congrats to all of you who hung in for 31 for 21 for the whole month!!  Continue the awareness, people!

31 for 21: A bit more about feeding Braska

There are a couple more things I wanted to touch on, and I thought that Cate’s question regarding this post was an excellent place to start… I totally hear you on patience. It's hard to go at someone else's pace. Do you have something to do while she's eating? I read your post thinking that it would be good knitting time. That's my choice for something that makes me feel like I'm not just waiting, but I'm still engaged and paying attention. (Thanks for the input and the question, Cate!) One of the most difficult parts for me right now IS the waiting, but it’s a different waiting. Braska can feed herself with a spoon, but it’s very slow and she will only do one or two (rarely) bites at a time. And remember, we’re talking purees here… yogurt, mashed potatoes, blended meals…things that fall off the little spoon easily. So there is a lot of guiding, assisting with proper hand position so she doesn’t drop the spoon, helping her get the spoon back IN the little bo

31 for 21: Kinlee-isms #1

Kinlee is a talker. If you’ve spent much time around her at all, you’ve gathered this. At 20 months, she is continually surprising us with her conceptual understanding and use of her language. I don’t want to forget where she is at each stage, so I thought I’d jot some down for documentation purposes. These are things she has said in the last couple of days… no words added. No word tense changed. Phonetics used when she has her own little pronunciation. I want to eat cereal. Mommy’s eating turkey. My foot hurts on temp-a-chure. (She had stuck the digital thermometer down her pajama leg, and she was stepping on it.) My daddy go to work. Braska’s diaper 4. KiKi’s diaper 3. (Diaper sizes, with the number on the front.) I running around, Mommy. Purple octopus in da book. I ready get in the bed. Bunny, blanket, bink, please. Mommy cook some noodles please. My yogurt suh-tack-uh-ler! Thank you Mommy! (Spectacular is a fave lately. Thanks to Sesame Street’s Word on the Street . Go to park wi

31 for 21: Education without alienation

I have had the privilege of getting to know some super nifty blogger buddies “in real life” (IRL if you’re a fan of the acronyms, which I am) versus just communicating through blogs and comments shared.  I could list a whole bunch of them, but for today’s purposes, I’ll highlight one of my faves. Most of you are very familiar with Courtney, Justin, LC, and Jace and their ever-entertaining stories written in the dry, witty style that Courtney employs with ease. (And for what it’s worth, it’s not a show for the blog. That’s how she talks. It’s great.) I’ve been blessed to be able to get to know them better since they come over here to St. Louis Children’s for a chunk of specialists for the squibs.  We’ve done dinners out, visits at our house, and I’ve been able to provide some tiny distraction from the fun of hospital stays when they’ve been here for a few days at a time.  Trust me, I am always the one who walks away more excited and blessed by the interaction.  I’m still a tad st

31 for 21: 2 meals 1 day. Very good.

Braska took two of her meals today orally.  What’s up? You’re just sitting there looking at the screen like nothing’s happening here.  Let’s try this again… Ahem. Braska took two of her meals today orally!  Do you get that?? She consumed, by spoon and via her mouth, enough food to count for a meal. Twice. In one day. This is HUGE! Has she done it before? Yes. Can she do it regularly? Probably. If Mommy will get in gear and do it right. Is this a normal occurrence? Nope. Not at all. Braska CAN eat enough calories to be “a meal” if given the right combination of circumstances.  The elements are not often aligned to make that happen. Liquids are another story, but she did take almost an ounce over about 25 minutes of feeding time and 12 to 15 sips. The news is big. But it’s really largely because Mommy set aside   made the time to do it.  That’s big. I rely on the tube because it’s no hassle, no mess, super fast, and it gets the job done.  Those are all things

31 for 21: Better vision

Just a quick one… Braska’s not crossing as much with her new lenses. I’m hoping she’s adjusting. She hasn’t been taking them off, either, but she is still not sitting back from her shows as much as she used to. Maybe it’s just habit at this point. We’ll be doing some unscientific testing. But the eye center never called back. That doesn’t make me pleased. I’ll be calling them tomorrow to follow up. I’m pleased she’s doing better, but they don’t know that. And they still need to respond to calls. Simple courtesy. This isn’t like them, so I’ll check in again.

31 for 21: Trying to focus

Braska’s got glasses. We’re all aware of this, I think. On 10/11, we went in for a visit and got a new prescription.  I was hopeful that this would help her out, since Dr. S said that it was a pretty significant change. We ordered the new lenses to be put into her most recent frames, and they were ready for us this past Thursday.  We picked them up, and she promptly began taking them off. Braska doesn’t generally take her glasses off unless she bumps them and can’t get them back in a comfy position or if they are really dirty and smeared.  She’s been great since day one in leaving them on.  But not this time.  It was like she couldn’t see and kept taking them off to remedy the problem.  When she is not wearing her glasses, her eyes turn inward quite significantly, though just one at a time.  One of her issues is that her eyes don’t seem to work together as well as they should…partially due to muscular weakness.  We’re used to seeing the crossing when her glasses aren’t on, but

31 for 21: Cooking for the crowd

If you’ve been around long, you know that after church on Sundays, we drive down to the in-laws’ place to watch Bears football during the NFL season.  It’s a family event, with most of the family there each week.  We take turns doing lunch for everyone, and this week it was my turn again. I don’t mind doing it, especially since for the next few weeks afterward, I don’t have to worry about Sunday meals.  Today we had tacos. Always a hit with M, and since he’s the pickiest one in the bunch, it works well for everyone else, too.  I enjoyed my big taco salad.  Now if only I could learn to stay away from the cute orange and blue candies that are out and available… Don’t miss Braska’s super adorable football day picture on her blog … and I thought that kid would not be able to join in family events.  Wow. I have sure been wrong A LOT when it comes to what I thought those first few weeks…  Go Braska!

31 for 21: Speaking for awareness

Thursday I had the privilege of speaking for the O’Fallon Kiwanis Club at their lunch meeting.  I was asked to speak to them about what our county’s community group ( StC ) of our metro DS association ( DSAGSL ) does, as well as sharing our family story. It was great timing with DS Awareness Month upon us, of course. I was honored to be asked, even though the president of the club—who did the inviting—happens to be a certain female sibling of mine.  And it doesn’t hurt that I have a brother in the club as well.  This kind of nepotism can be a good thing. So I prepared a speech, made up a collage ( above ) VERY quickly in the middle of the night before (because apparently I didn’t plan to do a handout until the last minute), and after beefing up my confidence with an amazing Bible study lesson Thursday morning, Braska and I headed to the restaurant.  ' Yes, I took my own personal visual aid. I had also asked the interim executive director of the DSAGSL to come, to gi

Comments: #1

I’ve thought for a long time that there is alot of good in the comments we leave on each other’s blogs. And sometimes I have bits of something that I leave on someone’s blog and I think that I should share it with others, because it’s likely to apply to more than one person.  So I’m going to be starting a series that shares my comments.  Maybe that’s thinking too much of my own thoughts or cheating as far as blog content goes, but I think it might be interesting.  Feel free to join me in sharing your comments on your own blogs… I know many of you have left notes for me that held a lot of wisdom! Here we go….. Responding to this post , regarding my good friend Jen’s dream that she was offering up for analysis… Well, dear, you know me well enough to not be surprised at this...and I'm no dream analyzer pro or anything... but if nothing else,  I'd go with the one question.  Are you ready?  If not, get that way. :o)  Then you're good to go whenever and wherever. Be re

31 for 21: IEP 2010, Part 1

Today was IEP day.  (Individualized Education Plan—All students involved in special education have one of these.)  We moved Braska’s up a little earlier than her birthday in late November because I like it a little closer to the beginning of the school year.  It just makes more sense to me to be done with the new team soon after school starts.  So this year we’re in late October, next year maybe we’ll hit late September.  That’s probably a good time… about 6 weeks into the school year. Anyway, after a busy day yesterday, which I’ll have to tell you about another day, I tackled the important parts of IEP prep last night. The baking. Yes, that’s a very high priority on my list of IEP must-haves.  In my opinion, no parent should EVER go to an IEP meeting empty-handed.  Taking goodies, be it  pastries,  muffins, or coffee cake for a morning meeting or M&M’s, cookies, or popcorn for an afternoon meeting, it’s a huge tool in making the meeting less intimidating for all involved.  I

31 for 21: Anyone like Chevy’s?

If you’re anywhere near St. Charles, Missouri… OR if you’re willing to COME to St. Charles, there’s a great reason to eat at Chevy’s this coming Saturday, October 23.    There will be a fundraiser for Dashlyn’s adoption fund at Chevy’s on Saturday, October 23, ALL DAY!  What do you need to do?  Just come and eat at Chevy’s !  That’s it! They will donate 20% of your bill to Dashlyn’s fund.  YAY! This is valid at the St. Charles location on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway, near Zumbehl and I-70. (And you need a little mini-flyer thing to give them for verification… click here to be able to print one . Don’t forget to take it with you!)  If you have any trouble, drop me an email and I’ll send the document to you.  It can take a few seconds to open the file from the link. Julie and Allan have been given their SDA appointment in Dashlyn’s country, and they’ll be leaving to go meet their girl on 10/30.  So soon!  Woo hoo!!!!  Dashlyn will be home soon, so come on out and pre-celeb

31 for 21: Beautiful Baby Braska Part 2

Here’s a few more of the finds from years ago… Spring 2008. Pretty little bear… this one is interesting because she so rarely does the slack jaw thing. Especially at this stage of her life she was 100% opposed to things in her mouth, so she generally kept it clamped shut! These were taken the same time… I posted the one below here with some thoughts that really are cool to look back on. Now the little girl I thought would be so neat is here, and she IS pretty great. And the famous announcement shirt… the way her daddy found out about little sister… this was June 2008. She was 18 months old. Just scrumptious!

My Birthday 'Observed'

I was picked up and swept away by my friend tonight. So I am enjoying Macaroni Grill with two lovely friends and loving the corvina. YUM!!

31 for 21: Birthday roses

My flowers are opening up, and I do love neat pictures of flowers.  Handy, huh?

31 for 21: Beautiful Baby Braska Part 1

Yesterday I was looking for some pictures on my mother-in-law ’s computer, and as I was perusing her uniquely organized files, I came across some great ones. These are all pics that probably were posted long ago on Braska’s blog , but they’re definitely all worth bringing to the front again.  I smiled at each and marveled at what a pretty little one she was.  That she IS, of course. But her little round baby face was just too cute… So enjoy this little walk down memory lane. From the summer 2007, one of my all time faves. Hanging by the pool with Grandma C. Also from summer 2007, with Uncle Levi. Notice the marks on the side of her face.  That was one of our worst experiences with NG tape… she still has a scar from that one.  (I wish we’d have ditched that NG a long time before we did!) From Christmas Day 2007. Just so cuddly, isn’t she?  This was the DAY AFTER she got her glasses, and she was LOVING life.  She came alive in a whole new way. (Don’t miss t

31 for 21: Hope for the best yet

We’re hanging at the in-laws’ place, as usual, watching the Bears beat the Seahawks. (Wishful thinking…they’re currently behind by 10.) I’ve received some pretty cool birthday cards, some homemade, all very thoughtful. One even had a panda mermaid hand-drawn by Shay. Did YOU get a panda mermaid on YOUR birthday card? I didn’t think so! I received a generous gift card that I promised I’d spend on myself…the inability to generally do so is apparently a flaw of mine. And one-of-these-days-sister-in-law Cheryl made me a lovely carrot cake with some scrumptious frosting! I’ve been back on the super strict diet for a few days, with success, but it’s my birthday, for heaven’s sake, so I had cake! (See what the cake says? Happy Birthday RK . And some of you think I'm just being coy online by using initials... ) Here’s to another year, hopefully my best yet!

31 for 21: It’s not my birthday

Not for another 6 1/2 hours, that is. But today has felt like a birthday in a few ways. We went down to Clayton for a grand opening of a new universal design/adaptive playground. The girls had a blast, we got some yummy and healthy lunch as a perk, and it is a Beeeeea-UUtiful day outside. Plus M got to schmooze with a few co-workers in a non-work environment. Always a good thing to show off your cute kids, I say. Thanks, M, it was a very nice outing! This afternoon the girls and I did some shopping at Costco, and they were so good. Both in the cart without melting down. And with Kinlee on very little nap energy. I count that a win. Then this afternoon my lovely sister Rachel came by to drop off my birthday present… A dozen gorgeous white roses, and two tickets…for the two of us…to go see Michael W. Smith with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for his Christmas concert in December. AWESOME!!! My favorite Christmas album ever is Michael W. Smith’s Christmas . (Sadly, I don’t

31 for 21: Mom’s Car Exchange

I love cars.  They’ve been a hobby of mine since before I could drive.  Not like I work on them, but I like the pretty ones, I like the powerful ones, and I like to drive GOOD cars.  I really enjoy driving just for the experience when it’s a well-handling machine with spunky engine. But I’m practical, too.  And especially in the last 2 years, I’m also painfully frugal, out of necessity, mostly.  This creates a problem… Last year we opted/needed to get out of debt, and the only debt we had besides our house was the cars.  Two nice cars. Cars we loved.  I mean, we REALLY liked our cars. We were thankful for them, liked driving them, knew they were going to start when we turned the key and would get us where we were going in comfort and style.  They were “middle of the road” type cars in reality, but to us, they were perfect and we seriously loved our cars, though we NEVER forgot to be thankful for them every day. Used to be mine… Used to be M’s… In June of 2