Thursday, January 9, 2014

Car Accident

     You know what is NOT rejuvenating? Getting in a car accident on the way to work. Today on the way to work, my car was hit at full speed by a young girl. She was coming off a side street and her brakes apparently didn't work. She slammed into the back passenger seat. The car spun around and landed in a snowbank. I whacked my head and shoulder against the window but I'm alright. The doctor said that the next few days will be really sore but I'll be okay.  Reasons I'm grateful:

-I'm grateful that I have a God who loves me and protects me. I don't think it's realistic that a Christian will go through life unscathed by anything, but I know that God is with me all the time and that's a HUGE burden lifted off of my shoulders. (If you've ever had questions about faith in Jesus and you've wanted to ask anyone, feel free to message me. I'll be glad to share.)
- I'm grateful that I have enough money to have a car, car insurance, health insurance and to possibly rent a car.
- I'm grateful that I am healthy enough that I didn't break anything.
-I'm grateful that I saw her coming and was able to brace for impact a bit.
-I'm grateful that I have friends and family who called or wrote to check in on me.
-I'm grateful that the girl who hit me was not hurt.
-I'm grateful that my kids weren't in the car.
-I'm grateful that I know my car is just a possession so I'm not horribly upset.
-I'm grateful that I have a husband and kids who prayed for me when it happened.
-I'm grateful that I was able to rest a bit today.

      I hope you all take a moment tonight to just count your blessings. You never know when something like this will happen and what the outcome will be. Be grateful and aware of the conveniences you have and mercy you have been shown. Be kind to others and show forgiveness. All of these things are extremely rejuvenating to both you and the people you associate yourself with.

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mail 1/8

366 Project:

Sent: 12 
Received: 9 

Incoming...

     Another great mail day. Here's the loot:
     Thank you note from my sister-in-law. You're welcome :)


     A somewhat funny story from the 3 pictures above. As I was walking toward my mailbox today, I got this sweet smell that wafted through the air. When I took my mail, I realized that the smell was my mail. It is a lovely card from my penpal Miera in Malaysia. She also sent some goodies- beauty samples and a ticket. You know me well- the Lancome cream has SPF 50. Unfortunately, it looks as if all of the samples were squished so all of the shampoo and lotion was all over the envelope and the bottom of the card. Thanks for sending them though.
    This card made me laugh today. This is a postcrossing card from Germany. The children talking to Santa Claus are saying "We regret nothing." Ha ha ha!!!

Outgoing...
US-2585313 to Russia


Ornaments and Nenga Hagaki

Mail!

Incoming...
     I got some great mail today. (I know most "normal" people are not this excited about mail but most snail-mailers are.) I love when I get mail that I learn something from so I'll start with my "Nenga postcard" from Kenshu, a Chinese student studying in Japan.
     Since I don't speak Japanese, this postcard looked a little plain and I had no idea what it was until I researched. In Japan, apparently it is a tradition to send New Year's postcards to send greetings and wishes for the new year. I looked at a few pages to tell me about these cards. Check them out. Interesting.
Japanese Culture and Daily Life- information about the cards, history of the cards, messages, samples,     information about the new year's lottery.
Nengajo- Japanese New Year's Cards- general information and nengajo ettiquette
Yen for Living- Explains prizes associated with new year's cards.

    Part of the reason I am so interested in penpalling and postcrossing is that I am able to learn about different people, traditions, cultures, etc. I have a penpal in Japan, Akiko, who has taught me a lot about Japan.She has also sent me some gorgeous gifts from Japan and some tasty Japanese snacks and tea. It has been a while since I've mailed her so maybe I will send her a late New Year card, which apparently would be known as a winter greeting if it is sent after 1/7.

     This is my card:




    The second piece of "good mail" came from a Postcrosser from Austria, ChristinaB. A while back I signed up for a Christmas Ornament Tag. (Wrote about tags in yesterday's post )  I sent an ornament to the Ukraine and to China. I received my first ornament(s) today from Austria and am still waiting for my ornament from China.
     Here are the ornaments and card I received. I love the reindeer one especially!



  I also received a nice thank you card with pretty gold foil:



Outgoing...
US-2581850 to Russia


US-2581853 to Germany

US-2581854 to Germany

US-2583571 to Russia

366 Project:

 Sent: 11
Received: 6

Monday, January 6, 2014

Incoming 1/6



Incoming Mail:  

     I got 2 nice postcards today. The first one is from Russia.It is a picture of The Main Shaman of Oikhon (Baikal, Siberia). He is dressed in traditional clothing and has a "national shok musical instrument."(It also has a really cool Olympics stamp.) I looked up the shok and found 1 reference that said it was a type of whistle. I thought it was the drum. Not sure. Any readers from Russia want to help me out?
RU-2227038


     The 2nd card is from a US-US postcard tag. (A tag is when you sign up to send a card to someone and then someone chooses to send a card to you.)  This card is from Postcrosser, hootnoodle.  It is Ruby Beach on the Washington Coast. It is in Olympic National Park, which is a UNESCO world heritage card. I collect UNESCO cards so I was really excited to get this. Thanks, hootnoodle! I had also never seen these stamps.


366 Project:

Sent: 7
Received: 2 (Annagoman, hootnoodle)

Rejuvenate

     The day I've returned to work after a few weeks vacation (extended because of the snowstorm) doesn't seem like a day that should feel rejuvenating but:
      1) I started my new Chorale today. This is my auditioned after school chorus.  It's a young group   and the ability level is more varied than some other years, but it went really well. I look forward getting to work with this group and hope that the rest of the rehearsals are as good as today's way.  
     2) I started a 5 day Bible study on Colossians through Hello Mornings  Again, renewal of my spiritual life and study of the Word will be something that will rejuvenate me more than every other option out there.
     3) Matt has the night off and we're just going to have a sweet, stay-at-home and do nothing night with the boys. I have really enjoyed our family time lately. (Maybe this rejuvenate so you're not an absolute stress case has something to it!) Oh, and Matt is cooking my favorite dinner while I blog here. Super cool!

     I hope you are all having a blessed day and that 2014 is still going well for you and your family. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quick update

Mail...

    Did some writing last night. Have 3 more outgoing- letter to Rosie in Canada, letter to Eluvi and a letter to Jon (two of my soldiers).

Sent: 7
Received: 0 

   Patiently waiting for some incoming mail and preparing to go back to school for the first week of 2014. 
 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

     Happy New Year! I've seen many more readers from Finland and a few places that I haven't seen before (Serbia, Pakistan, etc) on my blog. Welcome! I'd love to get to know you all. A large snowstorm on the East Coast delayed the end of my winter break so I got an opportunity to stay home a few extra days. Here are some pictures since I last wrote.
 The boys dressed up for Christmas. Sorry the lighting is bright and you can't see how nice the tree looked.
 He was slightly excited with his new tablet.
 David and I and the ornament he made me at school.
 David at Grammy's.
 The boys and their cousin. We took a series of pictures. This is the least awful- and David makes me laugh.
 Tin can robot. I'm sure he'll love putting this together.
 Our most recent snowstorm provided many opportunities for the boys to go play. David is by the telephone pole, buried up to his shoulders. He is throwing snowballs at Tim, whose head you can see on the right and is also in a big pile.  They were having a blast.
The dagger icicles hanging from the house. They were huge.

Resolutions?

    How do you feel about resolutions? Every year, I pretty much make the same ones- get in shape, get the apartment organized, etc. This year, I have read many posts from bloggers about how they picked one word and focused on that 1 word for the entire year. Rather than fail at a list of resolutions, they chose something that would help guide their decisions. I have decided that this is something I'm going to try this year.
     I sat down and considered which word I would choose to focus on. The first word that popped into my head was "Declutter." I have had so much going on this year that I felt kind of frantic for a lot of it. Anyone who knows me well will know that I'm a pile person and frequently my apartment (and my car, classroom, office...life)  gets pretty cluttered because of it. However, declutter does not really have positive connotations in my head so I decided that I would like another one. I decided to go about this in a backwards way. I thought about what I wanted to change and why I wanted those things to change. Ultimately, what were my real goals rather than the superficial ones?
     This year was tough. There were a lot of events that slowed me down to think about life, and quite honestly, there were things that really made me extremely concerned about the world my children are growing up in. (Not like I haven't felt this before, but it was one thing after another this year.) The Boston Marathon Bombings is one of the events that I'm thinking of. After some praying and thinking, I realized that this past month I have been pretty burnt out and anxious. I have let some friendships get weaker, stopped writing, been somewhat content in the messiness and gotten used to feeling stressed and frantic. I have also felt like, since I have not felt 100% myself, I have not been myself in my relationships with people.  So, I'm choosing my word: REJUVENATE.
     Good ol' Merriam Webster defines rejuvenate: ": to make (someone) feel or look young, healthy, or energetic again, 2 : to give new strength or energy to (something)"

   Ironically, as a Christian, I don't think I can rejuvenate myself so one of the major things I'd like to focus on this year is my relationship with God. As Galatians 2:20 says "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I think if I concentrate this year on strengthening my faith, renewal and rejuvenation will come. 
     There are things I can work on though- getting healthy, making my life less cluttered so I can do things more effectively, investing in my relationships with friends and family and reconnecting with some of them as well. I guess the main reason I decided to choose one word is that I can use the word to help me in my decisions. How often do I say "yes" to things I don't really want to do or things I feel I have to (that aren't actually things I HAVE to) and then feel more overwhelmed?  I actually started considering this in late December. It led to me accepting invitations that I would've turned down normally and resulted in some nice times with friends. My kids are also enjoying me being a little more relaxed. 
     I'll be joining the community at oneword365.com to encourage others and keep myself accountable. I'm sure I'll blog more about it during the year.  If you were going to choose one word for yourself, which word would you choose? What are your goals this year?
 

Mail..

    Speaking of the blog, should I try the 366 challenge again? I will eventually succeed at this. Since writing is a huge stress reliever for me (when I'm not making myself anxious about not getting back to people within a certain time frame), I will continue the challenge. If I don't reach my goal this year I will probably not try again. I will not stress about it. If you don't know what my challenge was, I was hoping to send and receive at least 366 pieces of mail within the span of one year. (That year had was a leap year.)  I was doing fairly well this year and then my laptop broke and I lost track of everything.This also affected my blogging.
     So far I have a letter out to Katherine in Australia and Larry in Minnesota. No mail received yet. NOTHING at all, not even a bill.  If you'd like to send me something, or start penpalling, leave me a message and I will get in touch with you. I would like to get caught up with all of my normal penpals before I take on any new pals but I'm hoping that I can do that fairly quickly.  If you'd like to correspond, please add your address to my postable.  If I see anybody new added, I'll send you a postcard :)

2014 Mail Challenge:

Sent: 4- Letter to Katherine- Australia,  Letter to Larry- USA, Postcrossing card  US-2570859     to Germany, and a US to US postcard swap headed to Washington.

Received: 0