Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

I started this last year...It's fun to read from year to year!

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

It's really easy to keep your New Year's Resolutions when you don't make any! For next year, I have just one: to water my plants more often, like maybe even regularly so that my plants have a chance to live beyond the brink of death!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My SIL gave birth to my newest nephew, Isaac David. Gorgeous little man, isn't he?!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My husband's granddad, Paw.

5. What countries did you visit?

Again no overseas travel for me this year...but not for the year to come!!!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A stronger, deeper faith...It's not that I didn't have a strong or deep faith this last year, it's just that I want a strongER faith and I want to go deepER with my Lord than I ever have before.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

My Baby's 1st Birthday...

Summer Vacay/General Council
It started in Savannah, GA...

Then we headed to St. Augustine, FL to see the Ralls!

Then finally to Orlando with the Romines for General Council!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

HOMESCHOOLING KINDERGARTEN...may not seem like much "bee-kas" it's Kindergarten but it was a huge deal for our family and for me.

9. What was your biggest failure?

The Great Snuggie Debacle of 2009

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

There was the whole RSV thing back in February when Natalie got so sick she could barely stand up for days. Jackson was sick then too. Oh and did I mention we had flown to WI for the weekend. Yeah, that was nice. She sat on the platform while Scott preached on Sunday morning and didn't move a muscle...the whole time!

But we did have Pastor dedicate Jackson like he did Natalie years earlier. (He married us, too...awwww.)

And we ate some of these...

And had one of these...

Pastor tried so hard to get Jackson to crawl. He wouldn't for a few more months.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Music Man bought me an iPhone. Does that count?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Jackson---for FINALLY eating solid foods, walking, and talking!!! Way to go Big Guy!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


14. Where did most of your money go?


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I probably got the MOST excited when I found out Scott was taking me to Wintuk in NYC and then when we saw it. That was pretty much awesome!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Same
c) richer or poorer? Same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Going to the Doctor's office and the walk in. Could have done without all of that!

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly at home with ourselves.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Over and over again with the same three people.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Well, the Real Housewives are always entertaining as is Biggest Loser.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

God Smuggler by Brother Andrew. HANDS DOWN...the best book!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?


26. What did you want and get?

An iPhone.

27. What did you want and not get?

To see my family enough or even at all. Major regret of 2009.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I really, really liked Julie and Julia, but that may be because I went to see it with a great friend of mine and was without children for 3 whole hours!!!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31 and had planned to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival with friends, but for the 2nd year in a row, the plans fell through at the last minute. SO instead my friends through an impromptu, but AWESOME birthday party for me. I laughed harder that night than I think I laughed all year. I had a serious case of the giggles.

My DebbeyDew...


Sandy...It was while this picture was taken that I got the giggles that lasted the rest of the night!

We played some game that had to do with music and I WAS AWFUL!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

To be 100% debt free.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Casual Chic Mommy minus the whole I-haven't-showered-for-3-days-and-I'm-still-in-my-pajamas-when-I-take-my-girl-to-ballet thing that a lot of stay at home mommies sport.

32. What kept you sane?

My Jesus, I love thee...

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Beth Moore

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The H1N1 induced panic attacks of normal, sane human beings.

35. Who did you miss?

My parents and sister whom I haven't seen in many, many months and my brother and his family whom I haven't seen in YEARS!!!

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Technically I haven't officially met him, but it would definitely have to be Isaac David, my new nephew.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Letting go of tradition is liberating and makes room in your life for God to do new AND BETTER things!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"OH what I neeeeeeeed..."

39. 2009 in one word.

LET GO...I know that's really two words, but it's one concept that sums up my year pretty well.

40. Hope for 2010.

To continue letting go and moving forward into what lies beyond what I see. To respect my husband more than ever and encourage him as he treads new water with the Lord. To continue training up my children to love and fear the Lord. To live a life full of 1st Century Faith.


Happy New Year, 2010!!!


In the Music Man's words...

Dear Friends and Family

I sit here this morning completely overwhelmed. Its been 2 weeks since I made the appeal for funds for our two missions trips in the new year. I have been on the receiving end of God's blessing in the past, but never quite like this. Our need was GREAT! Our God IS GREATER!

I had spoken personally with some of you, and when asked how the Africa trip was coming, I said, "well I don't have the funds, but I was willing to God, and God sees my heart." I had pretty much counted out the Africa opportunity. Well, yesterday at 4:30 PM was my deadline to raise 2700.00 before the plane tickets HAD to be purchased. I had in my account 1950.00 at 3:59PM.

The short story is, at 4PM yesterday afternoon, $750.00 came in to cover my trip. Yes, you read correctly, with 30 minutes to spare. So, thanks to you I will be able to GO and minister to a people that in my wildest dreams I would have never thought I would have the opportunity to minister to, lead worship in nations I NEVER thought I would be going to, and take the NAME OF JESUS to the uttermost parts of the earth!

You guys are awesome! Thank you for your faith-filled support. We still need your help raising another 3000.00 for our Spain trip in April, but thats for another email!

So this means, I have 13 days to: get immunizations; learn music from a band that I have never played with, much less EVEN MET; get the music department of First Assembly ready for my 2 week absence (I have 1000% confidence you guys will handle it! You wont even know I was gone); and pack!

The whirlwind has only just begun, but as it begins I wanted to say a humble THANK YOU for your overwhelming support of Melissa and I. In tears this morning know I am overwhelmed at your love for us and your support for our ministry.

Thank you!
PS and Melissa Ball


I gave him a new journal for Christmas.  He asked The Girl to write a note to him in it for when he's gone.  What she wrote is beyond precious! 

If you can't read it here's the translation:
To: Daddy
From: Natalie
I heart you.
I hop that you
have a varvr Good
tom at Afrcka
I wat you to
say her bee kus
I heart you.
What else could I possible say after that?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Star Bright

The cave of Christmas
Is hidden
In the center of the earth.
You will need a lamp for the journey.
A man named John
Is a step ahead of you.
His torch sweeps the ground
So that you do not stumble.
He brings you
At your own pace
To the entrance of the cave.
His smile is complete,
Lacking nothing.

There is a sudden light,
But it does not hurt your eyes.
The darkness has been pushed back by radiance.
You feel like an underwater swimmer
Who has just broken the surface of the Jordan
And is breathing in the sky.
John is gone.
From whom the light is shining,
Beloved child.

-taken from Andrew M. Greenley's Star Bright

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why We Cancelled Services

This is a lot of snow even by WI standards!

My kids are loving it!

That guy's worked hard this weekend.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Two Kosher Pickles....*

The Music Man has been working on a surprise for me since August. If you know him you understand the magnitude of that statement. For him to plan and KEEP a secret this long goes against every fiber of his fine being! From time to time he'll ask me if I want to know and I always say no. He's worked so hard on this secret and has been so proud of himself or keeping it that I just can't take that from him.

So Saturday night we were headed to his work Christmas party and he once again asked me about the secret and if I really had no idea what it was. I really didn't. I could not think of anything that I would be so excited about that he would be willing to keep a secret for 4 months just to see my face when I saw it. What could it possibly be?!?!

So we're sitting at dinner chit-chatting with some friends and one of them says, "so are you excited for Cirque du Soleil on Friday?" I was all "whaaaaaat???" And my man was all "months and months of trying to keep this a secret down the drain." Needless to say there was much disbelief and sputtering as everyone tried to salvage the botched secret.

I. Was. Thunderstruck. You see I have a special place in my heart for the beauty that is Cirque. I have wanted to go for YEARS, but living in central Wisconsin doesn't afford one many opportunities to see such an elaborate display of acroatics, dance, and plain and dimple awesomeness. When we moved to the East Coast there were chances here and there but by then we had kids and a mortgage and more important places to spend our money. To be honest I had kinda forgotten about going at all. Don't get me wrong, I still get the newsletter every month and know what the new shows are all about.

So when this sweet, well-intentioned woman spilled the beans of my man's hard-fought-for secret he was devastated! SIX days to go after months and months of building up the BEST, LONGEST KEPT secret of all time and it was gone in an instant. I felt terrible. For him. For me. For the months of anticipation.

BUT I was beyond thrilled! I gave him the most honest an heart-felt reaction of my life. There were shrieks and squeals and laughter and tears and hugs and screams and woo-hoos. I think it was all he had hoped for and then some. So even though the method of revealing his secret was not at all what he'd been planning months for, he was still pleased. I didn't get off the train at Penn Station, see the signs, and beg him to bring me back ASAP, but I can hardly sleep for the excitement I feel for Friday.

My man is amazing. I'm so tickled that he has kept this secret for so long AND that he made everyone who knew about it keep it as long as he did. He is simply the best.

Four more days....


*For the Music Man...
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