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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year - No Resolutions




JAN 2016
New Year - No Resolutions

Hey there swappers and pals!  If you've been following my blog or YouTube channel, you're probably wondering where I've been. Still here, freezing in northern Minnesota. It's been a crazy ride for our family the last half of 2015.

My oldest son had a surgery which led to complications, which led to him being in the hospital (he's ok now, but is having trauma/anxiety issues which stems from this medical emergency).

We took a family trip to South Dakota (no, not Mount Rushmore, we went to Sioux Falls since that is where my husband's job sent him). We stayed in a beautiful hotel and while we were there, they experienced record rain/flash floods, the power went out in the hotel (no generator), and it was mass chaos. The hotel didn't flood luckily, but many cars out on the road were going everywhere. It's a trip that we will never forget.

My husband has had some multiple health issues going on, and then a pharmacy here gave him the wrong pills in his bottle, which he took for a week before realizing why he was feeling the way he was... and then ended up in the hospital with stroke symptoms, and his whole one side being back at 50% strength. He is still doing physical/occupational therapy. He currently isn't able to do his job (precision measurement), but they found other things for him to do there, so at least he didn't lose his job. He is having more hours away from work due to Dr. appts, etc. so that paycheck loss kind of stung us for awhile. 

Then in the end of October, our youngest son started feeling ill. One week after my husband was home from the hospital, on Nov. 2, our youngest ended up in the hospital for 5 days. He was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1 (sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes) and also had a staph infection.  We are now living a "new normal" since Diabetes Type 1 is a lifelong disease (still praying for a cure.) 

The end of 2015 has been a HELL of a year, to put it mildly....

Then... we got a call from the school saying we were nominated to be a family to receive a Blessing Bag.  They wanted a wish list from us for gifts the kids would like (and us, too).  I also saw something in our church bulletin about the community collecting gifts for a family and it was a local organization called Best Christmas Ever (http://www.bcemovement.org/).
The family sounded a LOT like us... hmmmm.... so a lady from church asked if she could stop over one Sunday afternoon.  We said sure. Since she also works at the school, I thought she might be bringing over the Blessing Bag.  Well lo and behold, several cars pulled into the driveway, and our livingroom was full of people delivering presents and more presents, gift cards, etc.  It was the Best Christmas Ever!  Literally!  I was doing everything I could to hold it together, but yes those tears did fall.
(Here's a news clip of this wonderful organization, a month before they showed up at our door.)
 (Here's a video of another family that received gifts from BCE.)

The next day, I still had to go to the school to get our Blessing Bag... but it was not just ONE bag... it was several.  They gave us gifts, cleaning supplies, household goods (that stuff adds up you know), food, and a wreath.  The kindness of our community has just blown us away.  I don't even know how to begin to say thank you for it all!  Words can't even express it!

So... instead of being bitter and angry at all the BAD things that happened to us in 2015, I am choosing to be GRATEFUL that I still have my sons and my husband here. We still have our pets. We still have our house. We still have electricity and internet (we all know it's a necessity...lol). We still have food to eat. And we are stocked up on Toilet Paper for quite awhile!  LOL.
The people here have shown us how much God loves us, and have given us HOPE that we CAN survive through the suffering, with the help of His people.

So... now here we are in the new year. 2016. I am SO happy to move on to a new year and I have HOPE and DREAMS for myself and my family. I am doing something small each day for myself, and CREATING ART is one of those forms of therapy that I really need. (See my art blog HERE). I haven't done any art or crafting for a LONG time. My craft room misses me. It has become a dumping ground... I can't even SEE my desk right now. I just stack stuff and walk out. And say someday, I will get around to cleaning that desk off. I have all my mail organized for each month from Oct-Dec., and am still contemplating doing one mass Mail Call video to get caught up. 
I have decided to stop swapping FBs, and concentrate more on my art.  I am not quitting swapping anything else... only friendship books.  I will still swap Decos, slams, any bags, postcards, happy mail, exchange slips, etc.   Just not FBs.  If I get any in the mail, I have people that will take my excess, so don't worry, I'm not one of those people that tosses them in the circular file (trash).

  * RELATED POST: What is a Friendship Book? Deco? Etc.

 Now, let's talk GOALS, not resolutions.  Who really sticks to those silly RESOLUTIONS every year anyway?  Definitely not me. Lord knows I try. Maybe for a week or 2. And then we go back to our old habits, or life just gets in the way.  What are your goals/resolutions for 2016?  Would love to hear about them in the Comments section below.
Not necessarily in any specific order, here are a few of my goals for 2016:
* Read Bible App daily
* Get caught up on mail
* Organize craft room
* Sell more on Listiaebay this year
* Create more digital stationery and maybe even start selling labels again
* Walk more  (hoping to get a treadmill soon for these long winter days)

  I look forward to sharing my mail journey here with you on my blog on this new year. Thanks for commenting, watching my videos, and just being here for me. Cyberhugs to you all!


Friday, January 1, 2016

International Swappers

ATTN: International Swappers

Many of our swaps are open to everyone in the world!  Please remember if your swap partner lives in another country, sometimes it can take weeks, sometimes even up to a month for mail to arrive overseas.

We try to announce themes in advance to allow plenty of time for you make your swap items, but please try to ensure that you allow plenty of time for your swaps to reach your partner.

If a swap asks to include return postage, we ask that instead of sending stamps from your country, to please donate via PayPal or send US$ cash in your envelope to cover postage.

Also, if there is something you don't understand, PLEASE ASK.  Thanks!

Happy swapping!