Thursday, December 24, 2009

Drum roll please....

Why, yes, the grinchiest of grinches did, indeed, send out a photo card with a Christmas letter this Christmas season surprising not only herself but everyone else in blogland. (Especially after my behavior the past week.) It is a "Reader's Digest" version showing the good with the bad. If you are a follower of my blog, many of these things will not be news to you, but most of my family doesn't follow my blog, so new for them!

Drum roll please.... here it is.....

And the letter included:

Christmas Letter 2009
The Reader's Digest Edition

1.  Lisa turned 40 in April, which means she made it another year, and now officially has the gray hair to prove it.
2.  Ladybug's softball team went to the championship game; regretfully, they lost.
3.  KT & Lisa celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary with a trip to Vegas.  It was educational in a not so good way.
4.  Took the kids to visit Their Great Grandma in California with a side trip to Disneyland.  Still paying for that one!
5.  Miguel received his Eagle Scout Award in October.  Way to go Miguel!
6.  KT is still employed despite pay cuts and lay offs.  Some new technology looks promising, but if that doesn't work out, we always have the lottery...
7.  TJ took summer school so he can graduate early from high school.  TJ graduates and starts college in January.  Cha Ching!

We wish you and your family a very Christ centered Christmas.
May the spirit of the season abound in your hearts throughout the year.

**To all my blogging friends, I am taking a break...See you next year!**

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


"Each of us is an innkeeper 
who decides if there is room  
for Jesus"
~Neal A. Maxwell~

I'd like to add a little of my own commentary here. I have felt like Christ was knocking, and I wasn't letting him in. I mean I go to church on Sunday and make good choices most of the time, but I really wasn't knowing Him. I decided that this Christmas I would let my Savior in. I've been trying really hard to get rid of the grinchies and feel the true spirit of Christ. I simplified this Christmas. I didn't send out as many Christmas cards, I haven't done much baking. Extra programs and parties were gracefully declined. I wanted to feel His peace this season. With my daily scripture reading and time to ponder and feel His peace, I can gratefully say, the door is now open.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When the snow won't come to you...

You go to the snow. Our friends in Idaho City had some compassion on us and invited us up for some sledding. We don't have any of the white stuff ourselves, so we partook of their heavenly white snow. Their idea of sledding is to tow tubes behind the 4 wheelers. I officially became photographer...Nothing spells Christmas like S-N-O-W. And, no I never won a spelling bee...

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas from Hell

YES, you read that right, I said the word HELL as in h-e-double hockey sticks. There are so many heartwarming Christmas stories, I myself have shared a few, but everything is not always perfect.  We had a really sucky year once right at Christmas time. It seemed if something bad was going to happen, then it was going to happen to us that Christmas. I mean, what the crap? Instead of turning to Christ as I should have, laying my burdens at His feet, I just got pissed. It took several years before I felt the same about Christmas again.

I was four months pregnant with two little boys already in tow. We were a one car family and decided to clean out our savings to buy a used car for me to go back and forth to appointments and such. A week after acquiring our new, old car, my baby died. I had to have a D and C and needed to find a babysitter for my two snot nosed boys who were nursing a cold. Without family nearby, I called the people who are supposed to help you in said circumstances. Much to my discouragement, I got "No's" all over the place. I finally found a girlfriend willing to take my little bugs. Two days later a sister at church called me to babysit her kids because her husband was in the hospital. I said yes, of course, not wanting her to feel as forlorn as I had. She then proceeded to call me everyday to watch her kids. I was still nursing my own health issues and had family coming in for the holidays.

A week later car number one died on my dh right at work. On the bright side, it died in the parking lot at work and waited until we had two cars, but at that point there were no bright sides. He wanted me to drive out in a foot of snow 20 miles to his work to meet the tow truck driver. As a dutiful wife, I drove out with my babies. The roads were tricky and my jeep was all over the place. When I met the tow truck driver, he pointed to a flat tire on my jeep. Are you kidding? He noticed my exasperation and in the Christmas spirit, changed my tire for free.

Taking car number one to the GM dealer I listened as they calmly told me the diagnosis for my vehicle. A cracked head gasket something so foreign to my vehically inept mind, I didn't realize the seriousness of the situation until they told me they need $2,000 to get it running again. Standing there staring at the service reps and mechanics I crumbled. I had held in my frustrations and heartbreak too long, I was grieving and stressed and the financial burdens were too heavy, right there I bawled my eyes out hyperventillating and wondering what else could go wrong. The plus side, is that they felt so helpless at my crying they took 10% off and strongly suggested I go home.

I have never dealt with cars since. I still feel mortification over the thought of my melt down in front of a bunch of guys I didn't even know.  One important lesson I've learned besides the fact that I should have relied on the Lord more is now when something crappy happens I always tell myself it could be worse.

And that is why overly sappy Christmas letters can push me over the edge.  It started that dreadful year long ago...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Letters of the Past #2

In 2004, I wrote a personal Christmas experience down in story form for our Christmas letter. 

"One busy day during the Christmas season, I found myself hurriedly running from one store to another with three children in tow. The frenzy of the season and all of its activities were bearing down and had left me tired and exhausted. On one of our last stops, I quickly pushed passed the aisle of Christmas decorations, despite the protests of my children, so that I could soon return home. At that moment, I realized that my daughter was missing. A sudden surge of panic came over me, but as I turned to look for her, I heard her call out to me.

“Oh, Mommy,” she exclaimed “Look!”

There was my daughter standing before a light-up yard nativity scene. In the midst of busy shoppers pushing passed, she slowly knelt before the Baby Jesus. The shoppers, still passing by, did not even notice one small girl kneeling before the manger. I reverently watched as she looked on lovingly at the Baby and spoke quiet words to Him. It was as though time stopped for me that night. While the crowds thronged on through the store, there was only a mother, with tears in her eyes, whose heart swelled with love for her daughter and her Savior, and a little girl who took the time to stop, remember and admire the precious Christ child.

When she was through, Ladybug rose to her feet and walked back to join me. As she slipped her hand in mine and we turned to walk away, I said a silent prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for this wonderful gift of a daughter and this sacred Christmas experience. I was reminded of a scripture in Isaiah 11:6 “…and a little child shall lead them.” With all the wisdom of a six year old, Ladybug led me by the hand that night out of a busy store and into a more Christ filled Christmas.
" ~Lisa Hamer~

I had submitted this to a magazine but was rejected.  Apparently it isn't magazine worthy.  Now I haven't done one since only quick notes in Christmas cards, writing on the back of pictures...Pretty basic, boring stuff..I hear the e-card is going to replace all our personal greetings.  It would have saved me all this Christmas letter fretting as well as the postage!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Things that make you go "Hmmm"...

Last year's Christmas lights...

This year's Christmas lights...

Someone else must be a little grinchy, too!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


"We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. 
But there is a difference between presents and gifts. 
The true gifts may be part of ourselves—
giving of the riches of the heart and mind—
and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth 
than presents bought at the store."
~James E. Faust~

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Awards, Awards!

Oh my gosh! I am so freaking excited! Did I say freaking? I meant FREAKING!!! I have been honored with a couple of awards from my blogging friend over at Blog-Ignoramus.  She is such an awesome blogger.  I think we are like sisters in the snarkiness factor.  Our sarcastic personalities are a perfect fit.  Well, this is like a Christmas Miracle; A Festivus. Who woulda thunk it? She has bestowed upon me, MOI, The  Five Diamond Award because my blog apparently sparkles.

I love things that are very sparkly and very twinkly, don't you?

I have also received The Circle of Friends Award!  Amazing, Inconceivable.  I didn't even know I had friends!!!I think my grinchy heart has grown two sizes this day!  Thanks, Mary!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Letter's of the Past #1

A bit of corny creativity from my past.  I could send this out this year and just change the ages and dates.  Everything would be pretty much the same.

"T'was the year 2001 and all through the house
Not a person was resting, not ONE in the house.
We've all been so busy with activities galore
It's got us going right out that front door.
Ballet, Cub Scouts, Young Men's, and sports.
TJ is nine and thinks he's pretty fine
Miguel is eight and was baptized.
That's great!
Ladybug is three and what's there to say,
She's pretty happy, it just makes our day.
KT is good, he still has a job...
Micron's not hiring, they may start the firing.
We're praying and crossing our fingers, this day
They'll keep him around so we'll get some pay.  
We got a new car.  It's big and posh.
Our pay was cut...Oh my gosh!
I still have my job:  Home Management Specialist.
The pay really stinks!  But, oh what great benefits!
We're really quite happy and grateful to say
We're all feeling well on this fine Holiday.
Please remember to pray for our brave servicemen
And for their families who sacrifice them.
We are grateful for freedom they help to ensure.
"God Bless America" we hope will endure.
As we turn to Christ this Christmas Season,
We pray for your families and here is the reason.
You are our friends and family, we say,
Health, wealth and happiness for you we do pray.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We hope this season is filled with good cheer!" 
~Lisa Hamer~

Friday, December 11, 2009

A follow Up to Christmas Letters

Today I received some very lovely Christmas cards with a Christmas letter inside. They were fun to read and hear all the family updates. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on Christmas letters. In my defense, I was also trying to be funny...I think that it is the heart of the recipient how the letter is taken. Obviously my heart is hard and shriveled. and I deserve coal in my stocking this year. I will write a future post why my feelings lend themselves to a bit on the bah hum bug side.

Asking your forgiveness,

An Open letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I was hoping this year, if you have a little time, could you take my letter into consideration?  Could you grant a few wishes for a girl who is good most of the year?

I would sure love it if you could help my parents sell their house...They were crazy and impetuous and bought a new house before they sold their other.

My brother is real down on himself lately.  Could you help him to feel happy and know he is loved?

I would sure appreciate it if you could make sure that KT continues to be employed.  This seems to be a recurring theme, but money does make the world go around.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

To Christmas Letter or not to Christmas Letter

Sometimes I hate Christmas letters. You know the ones I am talking about. Everyone is so perfect and life is so rosy. You just dread those letters. "My husband has been promoted to Law Firm Partner, my son got a perfect score on his SAT's, my daughter has been chosen to model on the cover of American Girl Magazine, we've taken trips to Europe and Hawaii, THREE TIMES EACH!" Blah, Blah, Blah! Bah humbug!

I'd like to send one sometime that says, "Life sucks! My husband is a real douche, my boys have been arrested, my eleven year old just got her belly button pierced and I haven't gotten out of the trailer in months." You know, just to see what people would say...

But on the other hand, a Christmas letter saves you from writer's cramp. It provides a quick easy way to let people know what is going on in your life. It's nicer than just a plain signed card, I suppose. I have sent two very creative Christmas letters in the past. I've written a Christmas story and a Christmas poem about our family. Needless to say, I'm not feeling very creative at the moment and am leaning toward a traditional Christmas letter.

What are your feelings on a short family update with maybe a favorite Christmas recipe to share?
Or would you dread it all the same?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Photo Source:  ME

"This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols. 
But the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift -- the Christ."
~Frank McKibben~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dancing in the Rain

While living in the "arm pit" of America, aka Yuma, Arizona, I saw it rain once.  To have a cloudy day was a rarity, but for it to open up and rain was most peculiar.  It was like the heavens opened and dumped on us.  A sudden downpour, a gulley washer.  In most places, the rain cools things down, but the temperature remained the same, HOT.  I took my 18 month old TJ outside to witness such a miracle while leaving 3 month old Miguel in his crib to nap.  The rain was bathwater warm.  Friends and neighbors began to emerge from their homes, too.  We laughed, and danced.  We ran and jumped in puddles.  Our clothing was soaked through.  I threw my arms out wide, turned my face to the heavens and twirled.  Spinning like an airplane, TJ copied me.  The water was cleansing and invigorating.  At 24 years of age, I had never felt so young.  I was a child again.  It was soul cleansing.  When the rain began to slow, we held hands and walked toward the house.  We stripped inside the door of our soaking clothes, with hair dripping down our backs we changed into dry clothes.  Grabbing a blanket, we wrapped up and snuggled.  For me, this is a moment that will last a lifetime, it's like the warm rain seared itself into my memory. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Gummy Bear Chronicles...

It's hard to keep a straight face around my boys...even in Church. I'm sure I'm going to be struck by lightening one of these days because of my irreverent behavior in the Lord's house. Sometimes it is hard being a parent. When Kevin and I were first married, he was laughing at his young cousin's little antics when his Aunt scolded him saying he was encouraging negative behavior. What am I doing as a parent when I laugh at my kids little antics? Even in church?

Recently in church we sat next to TJ's best friend. She had brought a bag of gummy bears to share, much to her mother's dismay. We shared those sweet, chewy bears like a bunch of two year olds that can't go an hour without a snack. My boys began to play with their food like the two year olds they were emulating. Licking the bottom of a gummy bear so it would become sticky, my oldest, mind you, stuck it to the suit clad shoulder of the man in front of us without his even knowing. A snort could be heard coming from me as I tried to stifle a laugh. I scolded as I tried to hold it in, thus encouraging more negative behavior. A little girl sitting in front of said gentleman, was pointing at the gummy bear.  He mistakenly thought she was pointing at him.  As he leaned forward to see what she wanted, the gummy bear stayed planted and leaned forward too.

Have you ever tried to quietly hold a laugh in?  The harder you try the more you want to just bust out laughing?  The laughter was escaping my body through the tears that were running down my face and the sob that burst from my throat.  I'm hoping others may have thought I was deeply moved by the Spirit with my sobs and tears.  I mean Charity is a very moving topic.

I truly hope the Lord has a sense of humor, otherwise, I'm screwed!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Remember this December,
That love weighs more than gold!
~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon~

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