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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Guilty as Charged

I was charged with being non-traditional. I was charged with being negative. And I'm guilty on both counts. You see, I already sent out the Christmas letter, but I sent it out as a PDF to those for whom I had email addresses. Hence, the "non-traditional."

Then I was charged with being negative, because, well, 2008 had some pretty negative things happen - more so than previous years. So, yes, it did sound negative.

But let us not grieve like those who have no hope... that's a quote from Scripture. And I believe it, but sometimes my head and my heart aren't exactly lined up. Rats! If only I could be perfect.

So, here is the offending letter: Begins with...

Can you gift wrap 2008, please, and send it somewhere else???

Maybe that’s a bit strong, but I believe that 2008 has been a trying one for much of the world. So much so that we are looking forward to Jesus’s return even more! Joy to the World, let the Lord come again!

Good news and bad news in the Elfstrand household for 2008:

Mark and Rhonda still have their jobs...yea! And for the most part were healthy the whole year! Another yea! Travel for fun and profit included. Pictures can be found at We are hurting (and praying) for our kids - does that ever stop??? Find Rhonda on Facebook.

Marshall and Lara have had a stressful year, but are first to say that God is sustaining them through it all. They moved from Boise back to southern California, but couldn’t sell their home, so are losing money on renting it out. Shortly after the move to southern California, they began to notice developmental problems with Timmy (16 months old at Christmas). Just before Father’s Day, they got the diagnosis of Leigh Syndrome (Leigh’s Disease), a rare and incurable mitochondrial disease. Updates can be found at

Adam and Britany have had a stressful year in other ways. They finally were able to move into their own place and were grateful that both of them were fully employed, but then the other shoe(s) dropped. Half of Adam’s office was laid off, including Adam. Just previous, Britany had postponed back surgery for a herniated disc so that their new year insurance could kick in. Not to happen. Oliver (21 months at Christmas) is a cute and active redhead. They keep some pictures and fun blogs going at and

Ingrid and Andy have had their share of stresses, with the housing market going south, and Andy wishing to go fulltime with CEF ministry, but not having the income to go with it. Shortly after moving into a home in Naperville, their basement flooded. Ashley (3 years, 9 months at Christmas) is now attending preschool and loving it. And Amberleigh (16 months at Christmas) is just the most lovable little girl ever. Find Ingrid on Facebook (a lot!) with updates and pictures.

Mom and Dad Sawyer have had some health issues this year, but are currently doing well and appreciate the friends and relatives that live near them. Grandma Nelson celebrated #99 on November 1!

So, there you have it. Guilty!!! Lord, help my unbelief.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Random Thanksgiving

And here are just two of the reasons why I'm thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

According to the quiz, we are celebrating Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday as of the 1930s (?) or was it 40s? Oh, well.

The appetizers are about ready to roll over to Ingrid's house. And we'll be rolling out of their house later today if we're not careful. The chocolate chip pecan pie is out of the oven. The spinach dip is ripening in the refrigerator and hawaiian bread torn for its merriment. The Macy's parade is playing in the background. Sausage has browned with peppers and onions for the wonton bites. Veggies and fruits cut. Meats and cheeses and crackers in their respective platters.

Will there be room for turkey and smashed potatoes and sweet potato pone and green bean casserole, etc? You bet!

Oh, and I forgot those cute little Pilgrim Hat cookies I found on made with shortbread cookies, marshmallows, melted chocolate, and I substituted a square of Life cereal for the buckle rather than frosting.

But I could get lost in all this, and very nearly did. I'm really thankful. I can see the keyboard. I can smell the food. I can pay the bills. I feel the warmth of a house. I will see my two grandgirls, and know my two grandsons will be together today. No one in our family is in the hospital (today!). And as far as the Lord has revealed, our family will all be celebrating the Lord for eternity. Now THAT is something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Did you ever want a twin?

As I was perusing catalogs and online offerings for Christmas glut, I came across the My Twinn doll (there is probably supposed to be a registered trademark next to that name).

I always thought this would really be cute: a doll that looks (almost) exactly like its little owner. Hair color, hair style, eye color, skin color, and matching outfits. You can even pay to have freckles put on, or a particular birthmark.

But then I got to thinking, what if the child is creeped out by this? Do you think they would be? Or would it be fun to have a mini-me?

Friday, November 21, 2008

And the winner is!

Looks like I could get just about any kind of pizza and someone would like it. So much for that poll. Perhaps we should vote on the best "chicken crossed the road" joke. I was just sent a whole chicken-yard full of them, and I was laughing out loud, which isn't kosher in a cubicle. If you'd like to see some of them, let me know.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What's Your Favorite Pizza?

I'm trying out a poll on this blog. Let me know what your favorite kind of pizza is... stuffed, thin, certain pizza house, what toppings? This could get huge, because we are all loyal to certain pizza, I think. Okay, so you can either comment or you can take the little poll on the sidebar or bottom of page (assuming it's working.).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Pain

I'd prefer to run from pain. I'm a wimp. I've always been a wimp. When emotional pain gets too hard, I prefer to get far away from it.

So I was thinking on my way home...I'd like to go to heaven. Now. But then another thought hit me like a ton of bricks (well, so to speak).

If you aren't praising God now, what makes you think you'll want to praise Him for eternity?

Ouch. The Pain.

The Big versus the Little Picture

Complicated...that's what personal and national economics are...complicated!

Since I don't allow anonymous comments on this blog, I got a personal email regarding something I said about voting. I wanted whoever may read this blog to see the comment and my response. Again, this would be a very looooooong blog if we were to discuss all the historical ramifications of bail outs, personal responsibility, self-government, etc. So this is just the tip of the iceberg.


I was just reading your blog...and since it won't let me comment (no anonymous or "name" option), I just thought I would write you an email...
I noticed on the day before voting day, you were saying all the things to vote for.
One of them you mentioned was to vote for independent, not state run, healthcare.
That kinda stung, especially since you know that my family and [others]have both been on (and are currently on) public aid. You voting to not have health insurance for us is just painful to think about. Not to mention all the other people that can't get jobs or healthcare.
What we SHOULD be voting for is for the insurance companies to lower their ridiculously high rates for independent purchasers. Because right now, my family can not afford 500 dollars a month for insurance that doesn't even cover everything!

just food for thought....

My response:

In general, a person’s individual autonomy is to be respected above the government having control over your life. I, too, was on state aid when [our firstborn] was born. I appreciated it was there, which is a two-edged sword. And yes, the economy needs to cause insurance companies to be more reasonable with their premiums and payments. Doctors are having a hard time (ask Sue Claydon) paying their own bills. So it is a really hard thing to think about.

There are also Christian insurance companies that are more like co-ops, where people pay in what they can, and then draw out when they need it.

We really should be taking care of each other, rather than depending on the government. In the meantime, and in the day to day, you do what you have to do to take care of your family, and that is what you’re doing. But in the big picture, the more we depend on the government, the more the government will control our lives from the cradle to the grave. Not a good picture.

More food for thought…

What Happens in Vegas...

You'll never guess what my husband asked me the other day. Well, maybe by virtue of the title of this post, you will guess.

He said he'd been thinking about what we should do for our 32nd anniversary (wow, that doesn't seem possible)and suggests that we get a package to Las Vegas and see Donny and Marie Osmond! Is this crazy?

Vegas does have some good deals, and incredible architecture. We really aren't tempted by gambling. So maybe it would be a good thing to do in Mid-January.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Just when you thought there was nothing to worry about...

Wait to introduce peanuts... don't wait to introduce peanuts...

Man, I guess we might as well jump in at any point and just not worry about it, huh? Now they are saying that your child is more likely to get a peanut allergy if you WAIT to introduce peanuts.

Just where did all these allergies come from anyway? I don't remember them when I was growing up. So perhaps today is a good day for the grandkids to get a peanut butter sandwich.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm over it...

It hasn't been quite 48 hours, and I've gone from disbelief, to anger, to depression, to ... acquiescence.

I've been getting all kinds of emails from other believers and, no, they have not been hateful or hurtful, they have been a call to prayer. I have to agree.

God has a purpose and a plan. May He be merciful to us as a nation, and bless us as we turn to Him.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Please help me, we're falling...

And will we get up? Will the polls be right? Or will God be merciful to us, a sinful nation?

Yes, God is sovereign. But I've read the Old Testament, folks. I know what happens to people who don't listen to God. I've read the sin/slavery/repent cycle. We are in the sin cycle. The very selfish sin cycle.

"Change"? We need change, all right. But it is a grass roots change we need. A heart change. How long will it take for this nation to wake up?

Answer: when Jesus returns.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Vote for LIFE
Vote for Liberty
Vote for the founding fathers
Vote for individual responsibility
Vote for less government
Vote for freedom around the world
Vote for freedom to worship God anywhere and everywhere
Vote for the constitution - you do have freedom of speech (ideas), freedom of the press, freedom to bear arms, freedom to assemble
Vote for localized, not nationalized, government
Vote for independent, not state run, health care
Vote for the platform of the party that represents these American ideals
Vote McCain and Palin

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Aye, chihuahua!

You know you're losing it when a dog story makes you cry. I guess I've always been a sucker for a story where the "underdog" makes good. Where someone is acknowledged, and surprised by the acknowledgment.

So if you haven't seen this cute movie, I don't want to spoil it for you. Just watch for a German Shepherd named Delgado.

Mi corazon es su corazon...