Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Card

One of the joys this year with my new husband, was sending out Christmas cards. Since we are trying to live on a modest budget, we opted for Christmas postcards. I tried to get to everyone but I'm confident I missed people. If you didn't recieve one and you would like one, just e-mail me and I'll drop it in the mail.

I have also attached the picture and short note for those who just want to view it via the blog.

If you didn't want to have anything to do with our Christmas apologies are extended.

Greetings and love from Georgia,
As we approach this holiday season, we remember the many blessings of the past year. As you all know, we were married on September 24th. We had a wonderful wedding. Many thanks to our family and friends who worked to make the day special. It is a memory we will always treasure in our hearts.
Married life has been a joyous adventure thus far. Laura is adjusting to south quite well, enjoying her sweet tea and grits. She is still working for Press Ganey out of a home office. Mark is busy at CAT in addition to studying. He has been very diligent with his classes despite his busy work schedule. Our church family in Atlanta and the Mennonite Church in Meigs have welcomed us with open arms. We love working out at the local YMCA and grilling out on our back porch. Unfortunately we are unable to return to central Illinois for the holidays, but trust God will bless their holiday season. We are looking forward to holiday time with the Lindberg family here in Georgia.
Please let us know if you are ever driving to Florida or in our area. I-85 is only about 45 minutes away. Visitors are always welcome. We miss ya’ll and love you always.
Love ~ Mark & Laura

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tragic Pet Deaths

"Today we gather together to celebrate the life of..." Death is one of the few certain things in life. Ironically it is a personal favorite of man-kind to try to fight and/or ignore. It seems our own mortality (especially those who are lacking the promise of eternal life) makes people very uncomfortable.

Now many of us will experience death prior to our own. Family members, friends, acquaintances, and of course beloved pets remind us of our own demise.

It is even a greater struggle when these deaths are a direct result of our actions.

My beta fish, Samson, died a tragic death in an unfortunate incident with a garbage disposal. I was replacing part of his water, a traditional method of bowl maintenance between cleanings. I was pouring it into the sink/garbage disposal my hand slipped a bit. Before I knew it, he had followed the current directly out of his bowl.

I tried in vain to retrieve him but my efforts were futile. To insure he wasn't just sitting at the bottom, I flipped the disposal on and my fish met his untimely death.

Another tragic story is when my husband's grandmother was cleaning out her canary cage. Birds can be awfully messy. Grandma decided that vacuuming out the bottom of the cage would be the most efficient least disgusting way to clean out the cage.

Well one thing lead to another and the poor little canary was sucked right into the vacuum cleaner. They quickly shut it off and opened the bag. The bird was dusty but still alive. He sadly though died the next day as a result of the trauma. It truly sucked the life out of him.

Nothing like the tragic deaths of our pets to remind us of our own mortality.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Mark and I attended Victorian Christmas in Thomasville this past weekend. It is a holiday festival with food, song and dance performances, a living nativity, and host of other booths spread down 3-4 blocks of downtown Thomasville.

You can always tell which food vendors are the most popular by the length of the line at their booth. Mark and I enjoyed a bloomin' onion with sweet tea. We were going to get some pita chill packets but decided it wasn't worth the wait. We settled for a corn dog and a sausage with onions and green peppers.

After our meal, we enjoyed a lovely living nativity presentation with Matthew. Our seats were excellent, right in the front row. It was truthfully an accident as we just sat down on some empty bleachers to enjoy our dinner when we realized that soon the show was starting.

We decided to walk down the last block to see what else was offered before heading home. At the end their was the incredibly long line, even longer than the one for carriage rides through downtown. Upon closer inspection, it was a circle about 50 ft in diameter of fake snow.

SNOW in Georgia is as exciting as it gets apparently. Now to a Northerner it looked like pretty pathetic snow cone-ice type snow but to a Southern child, this is as close as they may get. Kids were running around, throwing it, making shapes with their feet etc...

We kind of giggled at the excitement of the people but realized Mark's youngest sister, Rachel, probably hadn't ever seen snow either. Different perspective isn't it?

Well as we still have our air conditioner on as it rather warm outside, it is the only snow we are going to see this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Think your life is "Dear Abby"

As an advice-columnist addict, I'll admit to gaining a bizarre pleasure reading the issues of others. I'm vehemently opposed to gossip but I do have that inherent human interest in the lives of other people. This fulfills this needs but since the writers volunteered the information and it remains anonymous, I avoid the evils of gossip.

I use this medium as an inexpensive form of therapy. Anytime that I'm worried my life is lacking direction or that I'm in a troubled state, my daily dose of these columns cures me almost in an instant. The concerns many of the writer's have I couldn't have even dreamed of, let alone experienced in my own personal life.

I'll concede many of these people are in these situations due to poor choices on their own part, but not always. Either way it is oddly enticing to read. Most of the issues deal with romantic relationships or issues with children, which of course has mounds of opportunity for disaster.

As far as what I'd recommend for reading the Chicago Tribune provides an excellent daily assortment

Now I often don't agree with the at least part of the advice given, so don't think I'm recommending this as a source for solving your own personal problems. Rather a study of the Bible will provide far more sound advice.

These are recommended for uplifting entertainment as you realize- "it's really not that bad."