Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Best Christmas Present!

Well my friends, Christmas Eve was a good day. Let me share... we got up slightly late, but not too much, because we knew we had a big day ahead of us. I cleaned up the kitchen (it was a MESS) while Scott prepped the living room. Then I made us a big french toast and bacon breakfast, which we ate in bed, because that was the only place we could find to sit in our home!

After cleaning up breakfast, the fun began. We began installing our new laminate flooring in our living room. For those of us who know us, you know that we've been working on this remodel for several months (4 years actually, but this past 4 months we've been doing the living room and dining room). So it was really exciting to actually be able to put the flooring in. Amazingly, Scott and I didn't argue the whole time. We worked together and got it installed in about 3 hours! Then, we took a lunch break and relaxed a bit. After that, we got back to work with arranging furniture. It was hard to decide where to put everything, but we finally decided - for now.

Of course, the room is not completed. We still have to paint the top border and paint and put up the trim. But, it is SO WONDERFUL to be mostly done the room. We can now actually sit and relax in the room, and it looks so good! Anyway, here are some before, during, and after pictures:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Christmas Song

Two days away from Christmas... wow, I can't believe this year has gone by so fast. I am so excited for Christmas - I love this holiday. But as our pastor pointed out this morning in his sermon, we have to remember why Jesus came to earth: to die. When you think about that, it makes you even more appreciative of the gift He gave us. In that light, I want to share some song lyrics from a song I heard this past week. It is becoming one of my favorite Christmas songs. It is by Flyfleaf, but it's one of their softer songs. Here it is:

Christmas Song
A frightened virgin teenage girl
Receives a message that defies the laws of this world
All she can do is weep and nod
She's to bring into this world the Son of God

God's angels sound their trumpets
And blow their horns
Tonight the long awaited savior is to be born
The goodness bound by Satan it has been torn
With this baby's precious brow ready for thorns

A star appears fulfilling ancient prophecy
There's an ounce of fear as wise men follow faithfully
The Virgin Mary brings forth the human savior
And this future king sleeps soundly in the manger
Soundly in the manger

God's angels sound their trumpets
And blow their horns
Tonight the long awaited savior is to be born
The goodness bound by Satan it has been torn
With this baby's precious brow ready for thorns

Tonight He is born so one day He can die
To heal hearts that are torn and live the perfect life
So He hang upon a cross and we can take His life
So we can live as sinners
And He can pay the price
Tonight He is born so one day he can die
But He will rise again

God's angels sound their trumpets
And blow their horns
Tonight the long awaited savior is to be born
The goodness bound by Satan it has been torn
With this baby's precious brow ready for thorns

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Virtual Christmas Letter

As opposed to sending out a letter to every family member and friend on earth, we decided to write a virtual Christmas letter here online! Enjoy : )

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings from snowy Maine! This year we've had more snow than usual, and now we're in the midst of another snowstorm. Today we're supposed to get 5-8" plus sleet and freezing rain. Oh the joys of living in Maine! We hope that wherever this letter finds you, you and your family are happy and healthy this year!

Scott and I have had a very full year. One thing that has kept us quite busy is Scott's job as the youth pastor at Church of the Open Door in Hampden. In March, we had our annual Winter Retreat for the teens, and this year we combined with another local church and went to Fairhaven Camps for the retreat. That was a lot of fun, despite being snowed in at the church for the first night (and sleeping on the floor). Later in the year we went to New York with 3 teens on a Group Workcamps missions trip. Although we had a small group, God still taught us a lot on that trip. The theme was "Renovate", and while we renovated other people's houses, we were also learning about how God wants to renovate our hearts and lives.

In the past few months, we also did a trip to a local farm, Treworgy Orchards, and did the corn maze there with the youth. That was followed by a large bonfire at one of our volunteer's house. Finally, we had a Christmas party for the junior high and then one for the senior high the following day. We had the traditional Yankee Swap, but instead of having the kids purchase gifts, they had to find or make something. Then, we collected donations from them to put towards a gift through World Vision's Christmas catalog. Our group chose to donate some chickens and a goat to families in developing nations. We raised over $200 between the two groups!

Scott is still enjoying his job a lot and is often amazed that he gets paid to tell kids about Jesus! We have many students coming from the local public schools. We also have many students who come from other churches that do not have youth group programs. We are very blessed to be a part of their lives, and we learn a lot from them. In the fall they surprised us with a bunch of cards and a gift certificate to Dysart's. Thank you guys!

As for me, at the start of the year I was still working full time and had just recently started a new home business as well. This has been an exciting year, as I have been able to cut back to working part-time. I am now at Families & Children Together as a Family Advocate, which is a fancy way of saying I'm a case manager for foster children. I enjoy the job a lot - it's 20 hours a week, flexible hours, great co-workers, and wonderful families to work with.

My new business has been going well also. I've been helping others get safer, healthier products for their home, and also earn some extra money if they want to. In October, I advanced to Director IV, which is much more than I originally thought I'd do last year at this time. However, it has truly been a lot of fun, and I feel blessed to be a part of such a great company and support team. In August, Scott and I went to Altanta, GA for the convention. Mom and Paul also went with us. We had a lot of fun despite the 90+ degrees weather every day (we were inside most of the time).

One other exciting event of this year is that we added a new family member. No, not a baby... we got a puppy! His name is Moxie, and now he's about 8 months old. He is a black lab, and we got him from our friends when their dog had a litter of puppies. He's been a spunky addition to our home. He's still learning how to behave appropriately, and I often find him with laundry strewn about the bathroom or licking out a pan on the stove. However, we do love him, and he and Mia love to play together.

Another thing that has kept us busy this year has been renovating our home. Most of you know that we bought this house 4 years ago with hopes to renovate. We did a lot before we moved in, and have continued since then. But the living room and dining room have been neglected as it was such a big project. We were able to start tackling this project this fall thanks to my business income. We are in the middle of painting the two rooms, and soon we'll be putting down the flooring! We'll be sure to post photos here when we are done, so be sure to visit often.

Thank you all for being a part of our lives. We pray that God blesses your family this Christmas as much as He has blessed us!

With Love,
Esther & Scott
(and Kira, Mia, & Moxie)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Loud Ones Get All the Attention

I've noticed that most of my photos on here are of my dogs. So I thought I'd share some photos of my beautiful cat, Kira. She's not as loud as the dogs, but don't worry, she still gets lots of attention. Plus, she gets the privilege of being upstairs when the dogs are downstaris...

This last one is my favorite! Tell me what you think.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Long Overdue Post

Ok, I know it's been a while since I've posted. I've been busy, and our internet keeps going on and off. The most exciting thing that has happened recently is that we have a new front door!!! YAY. On Saturday (while I was at the church warm and cozy working on Christmas crafts), my hubby and his friend put in our new front door. It was probably like 10 degrees with 30 mile an hour winds... but they got it in! And not a moment too soon! We got hit with a huge snowstorm on Monday, so it was great to have the new door and not be getting a huge draft into our downstairs.

So, thank you Steve! And Scott! Now, on to finishing the mudding so that we can finally paint!!! I want to paint.... yes, I'm strange, I enjoy painting. I am still hoping we might get at least the dining room done so that we can put up a tree before Christmas. My house is not looking festive at all!

That's it for now. It's 11:30pm and once again I am up way to late.