Today Michael was at home and we decided it was time to finish the tree clean up. I am not for sure how long the pine tree has been in our front yard, but we decided that today was going to be the finish of the yard clean up. (Who wants to put Christmas lights up on the house with a huge pine tree sprawled on the front lawn)? We finally got the tree removed, and our yard looks MUCH better. As we were cleaning up the branches, Michael asked me if I would like to learn how to use the chain saw. Now if you knew my husband you would KNOW why this question surprised me so much. He likes to be in control of everything...Especially things that can cut off body parts!! I am thinking that teaching the 15 year old to drive has gone to Michael's head or something. I decided it was a good time to learn how to operate a chain saw so I told him yes. He lovingly instructed me how to lay the saw on the branch and angle it to cut through the tree. Well, you see I am not used to angles so I did what was natural to me...I started sawing back and forth just like I was cutting bread. He kindly pointed out that I was not using the right technique, and he once again showed me how to correctly use the chain saw. After many different reminders on his part, he finally said, "Julie, I shouldn't have to tell you so many times"! I noticed his tone changing, and his loving voice changed to exasperation. I got so tickled because I have cut so many loaves of bread by "sawing" my knife back and forth that I just automatically went to that same action. I am proud to say that after many reminders from my husband and more than several lessons, I now can operate a chain saw. Mind you I won't be running out to cut up firewood anytime soon, but it felt good to learn something that has always seemed scary to me. After the chain saw lesson, he didn't offer to teach me to drive the truck up the steep incline in 4 wheel drive. I guess he figured he had done enough teaching for one day!!!!
I was at WalMart today buying my groceries. (Yes, we still buy a lot of groceries at a store). I noticed that Wilton Cake Decorating Company had a prebaked gingerbread house that was already assembled. It was a kit that included the icing, candies, and house neatly packaged for under $10. I ended up picking up 2 houses so that our 9 yr old and 8 yr old could enjoy a craft. We will not be eating these houses so I wasn't worried about the quality of the cookies. I just wanted my kids to experience decorating a gingerbread house. I was amazed at how much fun the kids had with this project. They spent the whole afternoon icing and decorating and designing. It was such fun to watch them "build" their house. My daughter asked if we could decorate a gingerbread house every year, and I told her that maybe next year we could bake our own and do a real gingerbread house. She was very excited at the prospect.
I am so thankful that I acted on the prompting of the Lord to purchase the houses. I get so caught up with being frugal that times I miss what the Lord would have me to do. I also feel that EVERYTHING must be homemade, and I make many things too complicated. It was so peaceful today to enjoy a simple store bought craft kit. It wasn't complicated at all, and the memories that were made were truly priceless.
grace and peace,