I appreciate so much your encouragement and prayers. We have been in far worse situations but this one definitely gave us a shock. We knew our payment would go up a bit but it nearly doubled. Yikes...
We are in one of those proverbial Catch 22 situations. Since the government makes the decision based on your last twelve months income, they won't reconsider it for another year. Which means I may have to work extra to pay to make the payments (which would mean they would stay higher for the following year). Sigh... I know God will give us wisdom.
Christopher and I are no longer insured but (thank God!) my husband is now on Medicare, he became eligible last year. He is also now in the Veteran's Administration system since he is a Viet Nam vet. That took a lot of work and doctor's appointments over summer but it is well worth it.
I have reminded the guys that we have seen God work amazing miracles in our life and He isn't out of the miracle business, yet. This is far better than the two different years we had no income at all. Life did not turn out as we expected when we sacrificed for him to finish two degrees. However, when I read about my heroes of the faith in God's Word... I can't complain. I'm reading through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians a few times right now. At least I'm writing this in the comfort of Christopher's comfy (if messy) room and not from prison as was Paul.
Since I continue to have fever and chills, I spent all of Thursday on the sofa. I decided to take it very easy, not even throwing the load of laundry I had washed into the dryer. I only made salads for dinner. I watched a couple episodes of Christy and the one of the Christy made- for- TV movies (on library DVDs). I also watched a couple Last of the Summer Wine episodes (also a library DVD). I find them to be funny even if I know much of the humor goes over my head since I am an American... more so with this British comedy than any of the others.
I think I overdosed on TV! I'm not used to watching that many DVDs in one day. I am enjoying reading in my living room in the evening with the lights of the Christmas tree in the dining area. It turned out absolutely beautiful, much nicer than I expected. Sometimes change is good. I've long decorated my tree the same way, something I learned many years ago from a decorating show.
When one uses different kinds of ornaments (as I do with my collection which started as a teenager), it is best to place the lights on the tree and then place colored balls throughout the tree (all the same color). I hung them toward the center of the tree mostly. Then hang the various collected ornaments. The single color of the "ball ornaments" helps bring everything together. It really worked and made it possible to have country style, primitives, handmade, as well as beautiful reproduction vintage ornaments all work together. I used to love tinsel but with cats in the house, couldn't use it so I would string the long strands of wooden cranberries around the tree instead.
This year I placed the various vintage ornaments I'd found through the year on the tree right after stringing the lights on it. Then I added some of my old favorites (including the Popsicle sticks sleigh Stephanie made when she was little... do we all have one of those?). All I had to do was add a few of the red ball type ornaments here and there (last instead of first) and top the tree with my elegant angel (as opposed to the primitive country style I made in the 90s or the folk art angel Stephanie bought for me while she was still in college). It still didn't look complete so I searched through a couple boxes until I found the strands of gold beads I used to put on the live tree in our living room back in the "bigger house". Beautiful!
Our family room is decorated with my snowman collection and a couple small table top trees. I have a few items in the living room, including a silver bowl which contains beautiful and sparkly Christmas bulbs... simple but pretty. It has one large vintage bulb that is missing the top (so I can't hang it) and all the remainder are bulbs purchased for just a couple of dollars (the entire package) after Christmas two years ago... from my grocery store! Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures soon.
The week of on again-off again snowfall certainly adds to the picture as I look out our windows. It has been cold enough that the snow is still on the tree limbs. Beautiful to look at even if it is difficult to drive on (as both my son and the UPS driver found out yesterday when he was delivering a package to my neighbor). :)
So... for today I'm continuing to take it rather easy. I'm going to make a nice dinner since Christopher will be home for dinner before leaving for a church meeting. I'd better put that laundry in the dryer and get it put away! When I finish writing, I'm going to take some of the Homemade Mounds candy from the freezer and dip it in chocolate as a dessert for the guys (my husband LOVES it... and he is usually very careful with his diet so it is a treat).
Thank you again. I appreciate so much your prayers, comments, and e-mails (I hope to answer some e-mails soon). I wasn't sure if I should share the challenges we are going through right now but I decided it was a good idea. I'm always encouraging you to hold fast the faith, live graciously in difficult times, and remember to take time for tea and cookies... even when facing difficult situations. I will definitely practice what I preach this Christmas season. :)
Next week I hope to do a couple books reviews that are really, really late... and a give away I'd planned for November but time got away from me. It seems to have a way of doing that!