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Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This year for Christmas, my beloved hubby got me Wii Fit. Unfortunately, due to various events, I haven't had the chance to really try it out until today. And try it out I did.

And lemme tell ya, my thigh muscles will never be the same.

The game has a lot of handy features, including an activity log, a body mass index indicator, and the ability to unlock various exercises and games. It's the perfect work-out option for me because I like to be at home, and I don't like working out in front of people (like at the gym). So now I have the option to work out in the privacy of my own home! Including aerobic exercises, balancing skills, strength building exercises and even some yoga positions.

But one thing I learned from today, is that I'm unbalanced. Every stinking time I did one of the balancing exercises, I would get the lowest ranking and it would proclaim to me that I am "unbalanced".

Well pooey on you, Wii Fit! I'll show you unbalanced!! Just you wait!!

Broken Promise

My my last post I said I would be sharing some Christmas memories each day leading up to Christmas.

Today is December 30th.


Oh well...I'm just trying to get in the spirit, you know, with New Year's resolutions and all that rot...gotta break 'em sometime!! But do forgive me. I'll try not to make empty promises in the future...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Always check the button

With Christmas Eve right around the corner, I can't help but think of a few poignant Christmas memories. I'll try to share some each day as we approach Christmas...

Today's memory is dedicated to my Uncle John. :)

Several years ago, when our church was still meeting at the Marion Community Center, we planned a Christmas Eve service. It included special music, white lights, and a special Christmas message. Included amongst the other musical numbers was "O Holy Night", a solo sung by my Uncle John. He had asked me to play the piano accompaniment for him and had mentioned that he needed the music transposed down a step and a half.

No problem. We had a nifty keyboard that had a nifty transposition button. All I had to do was set it to the right key, and make sure the light was lit before we began playing. Piece of cake.

Or so I thought.

Then our big moment came. We approached the front of the room, with twinkling white lights and our Christmas outfits on. I pushed the transposition button. I played the introduction. And my Uncle John began to sing.

Hm...I thought to myself, I don't remember him singing that high before...

I glanced at the transposition key. That's right, it's on, I thought to myself.

Uncle John continued to sing and we got to the closing line, "Oh ni--ight, div-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine O night, when Christ was born!"

Wow. I didn't know Uncle John had a falsetto voice... I thought to myself.

As we closed the song and walked back to our seats, he leaned towards me and whispered fiercely, "You didn't change the key! It was too high!"

Hm. I knew I had pushed the button. How on earth did that happen?

Afterwards, I went to the keyboard and double-checked -- yes, I had turned on the transposition feature. So how were we off? Then I checked the distance I had the transposition set at. Rather than being a step and a half lower, it was set at a half step higher.

Hehe....that would do it!

So here's to you, Uncle John, and your falsetto voice. I'll never forget that year! And I've never had so many jokes made about me forgetting to "hit the button"! I think I'll forever be paranoid about that button. :) However, he has given me second chances as we've done "O Holy Night" several times since then, and I'm proud to say, they've occured without a hitch. :)

Aw Shucks.

Today our Christmas party at church got cancelled. Which means we can't do the skit our Bible Study has been working on for the past 3 weeks. *sigh* I was so excited about doing it! But now it's delayed....makes me sad....

Meanwhile, the snow continues to pile up and they're predicting wind chills of -40 tomorrow! YIPES!! I'm hoping...and praying...that everyone can make it to church tomorrow...we're supposed to do the children's program then!! Oh well. God has a purpose in this, right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Welcome to my (Liz's) blog! If you haven't been here before, this is the place I visit occasionally to share bits of news in our life, things on my heart, or funny circumstances that seem to happen to us often! I hope you continue to visit here in the future, as there's always something happening in our lives! This year proved to be an eventful one for both of us, with many "firsts" happening. I went skiing for my first time, and though I was convinced I'd end up with a broken leg or be the guest of honor at my own funeral, I survived and even enjoyed it (somewhat). I'm still deciding on whether or not to try again in 2009.... :) I also had my first bout with pneumonia, and hope to never have it again!

In March, to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, Joe and I went to Washington, D.C. for a week-long vacation. Though I had been there when I was younger, it was Joe's first visit, and we had a wonderful time! My cousin, Megan, is stationed as a chaplain's assistant at Arlington Cemetery, so we got a first-rate tour and had the opportunity to spend some quality time with her. (Several of our favorite posts we made while vacationing there can be seen here, here, or here.)

In August, after much prayer and thought, I made the decision to go part-time at the bank in order to pursue teaching piano more actively. But I'm not just teaching piano! I am now offering basic guitar lessons for the first time ever! I simply had too many people ask me if I would teach their children guitar, so I decided to offer basic lessons and see where the Lord leads! So far, I have 3 guitar students and 6 piano students. I have also been asked to accompany for an event at the high school in the spring, which will be another first for me! I am so thankful for the students the Lord has provided and look forward to seeing what He has for me in the future!

Joe has kept himself busy this year by creating some of his
first inventions! One is a coin map book, featuring several pages of maps from various areas of the world. Specific countries feature a coin from that country, embedded into the map. He did a great job and is currently looking for more coins to put into it. Any offers anyone? :) Joe's second invention has been hand-carved, hand-painted Christmas ornaments that hold the presidential dollar coins. So far he has sold over 100 of them! We both brainstorm on different ideas for shapes(snowmen, animals, etc.) and after he's done carving, I help him paint them. They've turned out really great, as you can see from the picture below.

While we're talking about Joe, I should mention that he returned to college this year to pursue his first official college major. Joe is attending Minnesota Southeast Technical School in Winona, MN and pursuing a degree in Electronics. He already had some of his classes out of the way (due to taking college classes while in high school), and his work will pay for the classes as long as he gets a passing grade. He has done well this semester, and will be taking 2 more classes next semester. It can get kind of crazy with working third shift, though, so pray for his alertness as he drives to class!

We continue to live in our little home in Nelson, WI and haven't done much in areas of home improvements this year. That's probably a good thing, though, as we experienced our
first broken furnace and first replacement refrigerator. Thankfully, the Lord provided us with the money we needed to fix and replace both of these items. He is always faithful, isn't He?

Our church remains an important part of our lives, as we continue to help with the youth group and music ministry. Joe created Bible game shows for the
first time this summer, and tried them out on some of our youth. They seem to be a hit and we continue to play them once a month or so. Some include Family Feud, Jeopardy, Pyramid, and Password. As for me, I have jumped into the music ministry even more passionately this year. I am currently compiling a Church Music Survey to poll the talents and opinions of our church. I am also stretching myself by playing guitar more often for Sunday services and creating power point slides for weekly services as well. Joe is such a help to me and I think we've both learned a lot!

Here's a few more random
firsts we encountered in 2008:

  • I began learning how to knit for the first time!
  • We experienced our first mailbox smashing. The funny thing about living in a small town is that everyone and their mother knows that your mailbox was smashed -- almost before you do! For pictures and more information on that story, go to this post.
  • My sister graduated from high school in May (hooray!) and is now living in a group home -- her first experience in living away from home. She's loving it though and we are sooo proud of her!
  • My brother is about to get his driver's license! I just wanted to make sure I warned everyone to stay off the wouldn't want to be involved in his first accident!! :)
  • We are expecting a new nephew! He won't be our first, but it's still an exciting event! We're hoping to meet him in late December or January.
  • Joe was involved in his first hair-raising experience when the grill flared up in his face one summer night. Fortunately, he escaped with only the smell of burning hair for 3 weeks, as most of his facial hair got singed. (Again, to see pictures and read more, go to this post.)
Thank you for taking the time to read our Christmas letter. We hope you enjoyed it and pray that you focus on Christ this Christmas, the only source of true Hope and Joy. God bless!!


Joe & Liz

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For my Dad:

You know what the worst thing about Minnesotan milk-in-a-bag is?

You can't drink it straight out of the jug. :D

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Which would YOU chose?

For those of you who don't read my parent's blog, check out this post about our Christmas tree hunting adventure over Thanksgiving weekend. Which tree do you think we ended up choosing??