It's been a while - I know! We have been busy, and we had some computer issues, but we're still around!
Today has been one of those days that life gives us - full of blessings and sorrow. We have one family friend who is out of work recently, the fourth friend to have it happen this year. Another friend who I spoke to today is going through a huge transition, she said, "I never thought it would be like this!", and what could I say? I just tried to remind her to hang on to God. Then this evening, my mother told me that a girl I had grown up with has died. She was just a little older than I am. She was the one, when I was 14, that I would have loved to have traded places with - beautiful, popular - she seemed to have it all. And yet she of all people could cry out, "I never thought it would be like this!", with sorrow upon sorrow... and now an early death herself.
On the blessing side, we have four happy and healthy, and very active children. Tim has been pestering me today to get out the Christmas decorations, and I have been steadfastly refusing. Then, as I was putting towels away in the linen closet, I found a Christmas hand-towel, and got it out. A little while later, I noticed he was in the bathroom, and I pointed it out to him. The towel has a polar bear and a penguin in Santa hats on a sled. He looked at it for a moment, then he turned to me and said, "A polar bear and a penguin.... they'd be very unlikely to meet." He thought a moment then added, "If the penguin went north, it would be a very hot trip [through the Equator]." And that was it! Not a word about Christmas! What a crazy little guy!!
So that's a bit of life from here, as the days get shorter and darker, and the light and hope of Advent glows again in our hearts!