Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: Life, Love & Laughter

...everything in between and what happens after."  Donavon Frankenreiter

I am so happy to see a new year roll around!  Not that the old one was bad; but I sense a corner turned, a new chapter beginning. ...and I love new beginnings of any sort--even Mondays.  The end of the old year and start of a new one has always held a special place for me.  I much prefer to stay in and quiet, eat good food and be contemplative rather than take in parties or fireworks.  What I loathe is starting a brand new year with a lack-of-sleep-hangover--no alcohol required.  Yikes. --Not that I'm opposed to alcohol--but let's make it good stuff and imbibe early :)

In retrospect, some of the highs and lows of my 2010:

High:  all the quality AND quantity time I got to spend with my daughters, sons-in-law and eight grand kids!

Low:  all the time spent apart from Randy last year.

High:  my trip to Cambodia by myself.  Amazing and empowering. 

Low:  Working my way through the Hormonal Upheaval--thank you, Lord, Dr. B, & Lianne.  The question still remains, though:  was my life affecting my hormones or the other way around?  I suppose the answer is both.  Looking back from this shore, I'm OK with that. 

High/Low:  Nikki and family moving out of our Colorado home (low) in order to move into their own home (high) 10 minutes away from our home (double high :)

High:  Reclaiming said home for two rather than 7.

Low:  Dealing with contractors to achieve the above.  Mercy.   Truly a tale of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."  I would list and rate them but I am afraid I would be sued.  ...and, admittedly, there were stars.  The Chappel's come to mind...:D  "This is going to cost the owners more, but in the end it will be worth it"  This Old House.  Indeed.

High:  My trip to Buffalo to meet with a dear Canadian sister (met in UB) to drive into Pennsylvania to meet up with some other dear Christian friends who had recently retired from Mongolia.  Excellent.

Low:  An extreme heartache.

High:  God's wonderful presence and tender leading to a better, stronger place of heart, mind & soul.

Taking a 3-month, 4-5 days-a-week Dahn yoga class.  Very healing in so many ways.

High:  A 2-week trip to Israel with Randy.  The trip of a lifetime.  Will change the way my Bible reads forever.

Low:  The ton of good-byes said in Mongolia.  Very transient place as far as foreigners go.

High:  The friendships forged in order to say the good-byes. 

All in all, the highs far outweighed the lows--even overshadowing the heartache which I thought would surely  consume me.

Enough looking back--onward ho!  On to the new year.  No fear (a theme the Lord hammered into me this last year :)  So, a fond farewell to 2010 and

"Lookin' for LIFE, LOVE & LAUGHTER and everything in between and what happens after"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Very Merry Mongolian Christmas

Yet again, it's been soooo long since I've blogged.  Last week I even debated continuing to blog or not and came to a decision:  my target audience will be my family and close friends.  Period.  If others take a peak, they're more than welcome, but my primary goal is to share my life which is so far away from home with the people who matter most to me.  Whew!  This decision has taken a great deal of pressure off me for some reason--after all, it's not like I have a huge blog audience just waiting for my next post.  Anyway, I do enjoy the technical challenge and creativity involved.  So, all that said, grab something warm and yummy to drink 'cause there are lots of pictures.

Here's a peak at my December in Mongolia.  Expats start leaving the country en mass to their home countries for Christmas.  This year I decided to stay and keep Randy company--though I have to admit I wasn't very good company as I tended to mope much more than I should have.  However, there were good times to be had...
like holiday baking & cooking...(that's pumpkin for soup and pies cooking in the crock pot)

 ...the party with my Bible study sisters at Nancy's place (that's the hostess herself yukking it up :)...

holiday sewing...including backing 16 knitted baby blankets with flannel to go to a needy maternity hospital next week (no, I did NOT do the knitting--you know me better than that :), and a Christmas table top quilt.  The table runner I bought from a local shop--it's from silk and not quilted at all.  I think it is gorgeous!

...the Notre Dame Orphanage Christmas program--note the little sheep's behind--he was quite an unruly sheep :D

...our Christmas Eve buffet dinner with as many remaining expats as we could find plus two Mongolian friends, Shagai & Ulzimaa & children Tselmeg & Enkhmaa--my Kenyan friend, Jane and her Dutch husband, Jon, as well as the Mongolians had never seen or tasted turkey!

finishing up with the Wagner Holiday party on Christmas night....can you recognize the moms above in a group picture below?  Oh, and the young guys from Wagner, Chris, Josh, Derrick & CJ, all dolled up?!  OK, Randy & I are probably hard to recognize, too--hint:  I'm the one dressed like the Queen Mum :)

...that's our December festivities.  One more week of the month left and I am hoping it will be a quiet one :)