Thursday, December 17, 2009

She Let Me Ring the Bell!

I spent an hour this afternoon at Hobby Lobby with a red bucket, ringing a bell. I was one of the infamous Salvation Army bell ringers. I volunteered to do it, because I believe the Salvation Army is a great minstry. I also did it to get away from my job for an hour.

I wondered just how slowly the time would drag on, and how annoying the sound of that bell would get.
It's fair to say, I didn't know what to expect. This was my first go-round.

So, how did it turn out? It was such a fun hour.  It went by pretty fast.  I smiled and greeted people, I told them "thank you" when they dropped their change in the bucket, I wished them a Merry Christmas.  I was constantly smiling, and most people gave a little something.  But, the best part, was the kids! There's just something intriguing about putting change in that pot, apparently.  As they walked in and saw it, they would stop what they were doing, and whisper, "Mom, can I do that?"  I know it's more about doing something fun than actually understand what they were doing, but we can really learn something from them.  Maybe sometimes we should just GIVE, even if we don't know why.  Those little dolls were such cheerful givers. 

My favorite was a little blond haired boy about two years old.    He dropped in his pocketful of change, one coin at a time, jabbering the whole time about dropping in his money, and me ringing the bell.  When his change was gone, he looked up at me and smiled, and I said "You want to ring the bell?"  He rang it, handed it back, asked Grandma to put him in the cart, and took off jabbering about how "She let me ring the bell."  That little exchange, and the excitement in his eyes brought me so much joy.  The whole thing would've been worth it just for that, even if I hadn't enjoyed the rest of the hour. 

Lucky for him, and strategic, I'm sure, on Grandma's part, they paid cash.  So, on the way out, he had more change to give.  We went through the whole exchange again.  On the way out, his Grandma said, "Tell her Merry Christmas."  His face lit up, and he exlaimed, "Merry Christmas! YAY!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!" 

And that concluded my bell ringing.  It warmed my heart.  I would definitely do it again, and would recommend volunteering to do it.  It was an hour well-spent.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Disclaimer:  The pic taken with my phone does not do this tree justice. 

Unfortunately, my hubby and I are in the middle of construction and currently live in a camper, which means no Christmas tree for us this year.  It's too bad too, because I love our Christmas tree.  It was our gift to each other for our first Christmas.  I'm contemplating the idea of stringing lights on the only permanent structure we have right now...which is a well house. 

Since I have no Christmas tree of my own this year, this will be the tree I admire day in and day out for the next few weeks.  I spend most of my time in a cubicle, my little black box as I call it.  Across from me, is an empty cubicle, and today my creative coworker erected a 4.5 foot, silver Christmas tree.  She tied a wonderful pink & green ribbon into a bow on top and another on the bottom above the shiny pink fabric she used as a skirt.  It is decked out with sparkly pink and purple and green ornaments.  It reminds me of a Dr. Seuss story.  One thing is sure:  it has brought lots of smiles and cheer to all the women in the office. 

It's not something I would have come up with on my own, but I'm loving it.  When I get tired of staring at my gloomy black, sparsely decorated cubicle, I turn around and gaze at the bright, sparkly tree. 

Oh, Christmas it time to go home yet?

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Hubby

There is a slight possibility that I'm prejudice, but I think this baby is ADORABLE.   By the time this picture was taken, he'd come a long way from the 5 lb premie that spent the first few months of his life in the hospital, looking like an alien baby.  Fast forward twenty-some years, and this is the man I married.  And yes, he's still as handsome now as he was then. 

I wonder if his parents knew he'd grow up as handsome as he did?  Did they know he would be strong, independent, confident, and a little stubborn?  Did they know he would be a man's man, working on his own cars, being a great shot with a gun (although not quite as good a shot as the wife -hehe), doing his own construction?  Did they know he would be a thoughtful husband, getting up on Saturday mornings and cooking breakfast for his wife or stopping by her work on an icy day and scraping the ice off her windows so she wouldn't have to? (I won't list all the sweet things he has done or continues to do, we'd be here forever)
Did they know he would love the Lord with all his heart, and seek to be more like him? 

They couldn't have known what an amazing guy they were raising.  I think they know it now.  I think they know he has great taste...he picked me didn't he?  :)  I thank God everyday for the husband he blessed me with.

And, if he ever decides to bless me with a son that looks like his daddy, I'll be doing well. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Kind of Animal Would You Be?

When I was 3 years old, I was in my hometown's "Little Miss ____" Pageant.  I had a blast.  It must've showed too, because I got 1st runner up.  One of the questions they asked me was, "If you could be any kind of animal, what would you be?"  My answer was...."I don't know."  I've never been good at questions like that.  In fact, if you'd asked me that same question on Monday, my answer would probably have been the same. 
That's all changed now though.  I had an epiphany on the way home last night.  It may have something to do with the fact that my life has been a little (okay, A LOT) stressful lately.  I finally came up with an answer to that question though. 

If I were an animal, I'd want to be a BEAR.  Yes, a bear. 

Maybe a black bear

And, I have reasons...

* I could hibernate through the winter.  Sounds good to me.  I hate cold.  And lately, the idea of sleeping through the winter and starting fresh in the spring has sounded really good too. 

*My hubby says I'd have to eat a lot of fish.  I'm ok with that.  I like fish just fine.....
but I might have to swipe a pic-a-nic basket or two.

*I'd have plenty of fur to keep me warm.  Maybe roam around the mountains in the summer, and sleep through the winter.  ( I keep coming back to this sleep through the winter thing)

Or maybe I would be a grizzly bear.
Do you know they can smell things 10 miles away?  And look how tough I would look.   Nothing would mess with me. 

And yet, they're still adorable enough that children everywhere curl up with their likeness....

Yep.  I think I would want to be a bear. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

With Christmas a little over a month away, I thought it only appropriate to post my Christmas list.

Rachel's Christmas List

That's right...a HOUSE. Only, not necessarily red.  And not cartoon.  A real house, please. 
Placed right here, would be fine: 
Heck, I would settle for our tiny little building/apartment, as long as it's FINISHED and I don't have to pay rent. 

Who doesn't want a new car?  I think an SUV would suit me just fine.  GMC Acadia, Ford Escape...something of the sort.  Classy, but efficient. 

And for days, when I just want to look good: 
I haven't decided what color.  Black, perhaps. 

New boots!  My old ones aren't very versatile.  Very cute with jeans, but what if I want to wear them with a skirt? 

A new, nice replace my cheap (but cute) Target watch

A new casual coat.  I love my wool peacoat, but it just doesn't work with sneakers. 
Sherpa lining, perhaps. 
A new niece or nephew.  One just isn't cutting it anymore :)  One of our own eventually, but I'm going to leave that one up to God. 

oh yeah, and one more thing...


An airplane would make traveling to see our parents much easier.  Especially the times we try to cram both siides of the family into one trip, (i.e. Christmas) and spend about 14 hours total in the car. 

I chose this pic because it looks similar to the plane we were in when Dean proposed. 

Friday, November 6, 2009


I love to reminisce.

I love looking back on good times, and happy memories. One of my favorite things is sitting around the kitchen table at my mom's house after a good lunch, talking with my brothers and laughing about past memories.

Yesterday, I started thinking about thoughtful things people have done for me over the past years.
Here are a few of the things that came to mind...

1. Last week, my mother-in-law who lives 5 hours away, made us cookies and sent them to us via UPS.
2. One year in college, my roommates and I were headed home for Christmas. I was the last to leave. When I got home from class, I walked in my room to find it covered in flower petals and a Christmas letter laying on my bed.

3. While we were dating, my husband spent a semester in his hometown. Throughout those few months, he would drive the 5 hours and take me on dates. The day before one of his trips down, he sent me flowers at work (sweet? yes) with a note that simply said: "Can't wait to see you on Saturday." I'll never forget that note, or the way it made me feel.

4. After high school, I worked at a local bank. Every Friday, we were allowed to wear jeans if we paid a dollar. At the end of the year, all the money collected went to a family in need that we all agreed upon. I left the bank and went to college almost 3 hours away, where I didn't know a soul. A year after I left, I was struggling a bit to work few enough hours to keep up with school, and still make ends meet. About a week before Christmas, my mom called me. She had gotten home from Christmas shopping and found an envelope on the door with my name on it. Inside was a money order from the bank, signed "Santa Claus." I knew immediately what had happened. And I was absolutely speechless.

I am amazed at, and grateful for, the thoughtfulness of others. I am blessed by how God uses those in my life to provide just what I need when I need it.

Thank you, Daddy, for always taking care of me!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

That's right. This post is dedicated to my grandpa. I thought it only fitting, considering he turns 90 years old on Saturday.

What does a man of 90 typically do with his time? I have no idea. I don't think he's typical of his age. He still drives (albeit slower than he used to), mows the lawn, goes fishing, goes trapping, goes hunting...pretty much anything he feels like. Now, when I say he still hunts, I don't mean he sits on his porch & watches for deer. He drives a few hours to the opposite side of the state to hunt for Turkey...and insists on sleeping on the top bunk. He was planning to go on a bear hunt this fall, but didn't get his registration in before the deadline. Seriously, a BEAR hunt, at 90! Pretty sure that is not typical.

What else can I tell you about my grandpa?
  • He knows about 20 times more people than I do. He has special permission to hunt on peoples property from all over the state. (I once told someone I'd just met that everyone knew my grandpa. She asked who he was, and said..."oh yeah, I know him!!")
  • He owned a bait shop for over half my life, and was pretty well-known. Many people came just to visit, and would sit and talk for hours. He gave away TONS and TONS of bubble gum.
  • He fought in World War II, and participated in many big battles (i.e. D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge)
  • As a child, he lived for awhile in a tin building with dirt floors & a roof over only half. He and his sister killed every bird they could find, afraid it was a stork bringing another sibling they were afraid would go hungry.
  • He has 4 daughters, 10 grandchildren & 12 great-grandchildren (with one more on the way)
  • He was the oldest of 9 children- one died as a baby, one was killed at 17. His oldest remaining brother (who is several years younger) looks exactly like him. When he comes to visit, he gets mistaken for my grandpa everytime.
  • He was given a high school diploma (along with some other veterans) in 2002 by the local high school...and was SO proud. He quit school in the 6th grade to help support the family.
  • He's a professional trapper.
Gosh, I love that man!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy

I haven't seen much lately. It's been raining a lot. I don't mind rain (at least when it's warm), and I quite enjoy a rainbow...but for me, nothing compares to the sun. Sunshine makes me happy, particularly when it's coupled with warm weather.
I've self-diagnosed myself with a mild case of SADD (Seasonal Affected Disorder). It's not a full-blown case, because it's not as if I fall into a fit of depression when the sun isn't shining, but it definitely has an effect on me.
Seeing the sun just makes me happy. Being warm also makes me happy. I HATE cold weather. I don't think hate is a strong enough word. Words cannot describe how much I disklike the cold. It's miserable. It's literally painful at times. And, contrary to popular belief, I cannot just put on more clothes. It doesn't fix the problem.
My mom once told me that when the weather starts warming up in the spring, my mood lifts. My hubby told me just the other day that he can tell a difference when I've taken a really warm shower as opposed to one not as warm.
So, there you have it. Sunshine & warm weather make me happy. More evidence that I should live on the beach.

Maybe the sun will make an appearance tomorrow.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And so it begins...

This is my experiment to see if I will keep up with blogging, or if I even want to.

If you'd asked me before yesterday, I would have told you I'd never had a blog. Yesterday, out of the blue, I started having flashbacks of the layout I had used for something...but what? I racked my brain to figure out what that picture in my head was, and it finally occurred to me: it was my blog, from college.

So, I figure, I'll give it another shot. We'll see where it goes.