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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


 This is our Christmas card this year. We used and overall I'm very pleased with the company, (what really got my attention was the fact that they pay for ALL THE SHIPPING, including the stamps for all your cards~WHAT?)!!  That really adds up at .44 a pop!  

I won't go without saying that for some reason they hit a few glitches with our card. The front of our card was always correct, it was the back that caused all the trouble.  At first it was funny, then annoying....take a look yourself:

SHIPMENT #1: not the right text.

SHIPMENT #2:  not really sure what happened here! 
Pictures cut in half and all jacked up!

SHIPMENT #3: can you find the problem?
   hahaha!  Just a few extra words there, 
I just shook my head at this one and called the company again. 
This time I asked for a full refund and 30% off my next purchase. 
So, we ended up getting our cards for free, (with a little bother in there).  And the kids had packages of cards to play with, build with and "deliver".  So really, this is a completely pointless post that many of you could care less about, but I wanted to share anyway!  

Several of our friends and family did use the company and had NO problems.  I plan to use them every year because of the substantial savings in their designs are so cute.  And I have our addresses all uploaded which will make ordering next years pictures a breeze, (fingers crossed)!  

It's Christmas week, but I don't have to remind anyone of that.  I can hardly believe it's HERE; 
upon us, in us, around us.  

This culture demands intentional slowing down and I anticipate doing just that.  It's so easy to get caught up in what HAS to be done, even within my own home, (laundry, cleaning, cooking).  Stuff that keeps our little world spinning 'round.  Sometimes I feel myself getting lost in that, feeling it overwhelm me because it's NEVER truly done.  

Clothes get worn.
I share a bathroom with 3 boys.
Bellies leak. 

What does slowing down look like?  Propping your feet up for a bit?  Turning the TV off and grabbing a book instead?  Leaving the laptop lid closed for more than 24 hours?  Those are some practical things, but I'm on the lookout for INWARD slowing down that is manifested into outward actions.  A calm of the soul, (not necessarily my situations or struggles because they will ebb and flow).  Here's a quote that I felt summed it up for me: 

"As soon as we are alone…inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shuttering the door, therefore, does not mean we shutter out all our inner doubts, anxieties, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. 
On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distractions manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude even more important."
~Henri Nouwen~
Well said don't you think?

Dear friends, I will see you in again in 2012. 
A new year is upon us and what a gift it is. 
Fresh Hope.
Days unlived.
Treasures hidden within.

"I will go before you and level the mountains, to make the CROOKED PLACES STRAIGHT; I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron.  And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know it is I, the Lord, Who calls you by name."  
Isaiah 45: 2-3

MERRY CHRISTMAS FRIENDS, NEAR AND FAR. May PEACE makes it way DEEP into your heart and mind this week and always. 

Love, Janelle.


Dana said...

Janelle your pictures were beautiful and so perfectly Janelle. I loved all the color!!!! Our postcard was delivered, however, with a big black streak over Jakes head. I was glad to see from your post that he didn't go bald and still had all his hair. The card had me worried!! :)
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!! Take care!!

Jena said...

Crooked places straight... just reading those words brings tears to my eyes(of the joyous kind)... so deeply grateful to be on this journey with you... here's to a little more "straightening" this year...(or perhaps a lot more ;)

Anonymous said...

Ha - sharing a bath with 3 or 4 boys is totally for the birds! Just yesterday every bath in my house smelled liked poop...I mean seriously!


the Cottage at 341 South said...

Oh Janelle... I spent the last few moments perusing your blog, catching up from the last few months. I've often thought of you and missed catching up with you - though it be online! What a beautiful bit of space this is, one of the best, in my opinion. :)

And CONGRATULATIONS on the baby on the way! I am just thrilled for you! May the Lord grant safety and protection to that little child within you, and bless your home with much happiness upon its arrival!

I would have loved to see you as well when we were in Pennsylvania... Time is always much too short when we're there, and the holiday in the mix only made it feel shorter. Perhaps next time! :)

Much love, beautiful friend!

Tiffany said...

Oh, what a lovely blog! Your Christmas cards ended up beautiful - even after the bother! - I will look into them next year. I loved this post.