Max & Erma’s

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Max & Erma's

The first time Jim and I attended our church Institute class together we hit it off. We talked, and talked, and talked, without the usual awkward silence when you go out for your first long car ride.

When the class ended, we drove back to Cranberry Twp and ate at Max & Erma’s. Jim was different than anyone I’d ever met, and I felt so comfortable around him, like I already  knew him.

While we were in Pittsburgh working on our investment house, we drove back to Max & Erma’s on a Friday night, and we enjoyed our date as we talked and talked.  It brought back so many fun memories of a younger, less complicated life.

Oh how I ❤ this man!

Investment House

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Jim and Seth are in Pennsylvania again for a few days working on our investment house. Yesterday our kitchen cabinets were delivered, but they did NOT include the two counter tops that I bought back in October.

Ugh.

Home Depot’s special orders and delivery department has been awful. When we lived in Pennsylvania and remodeled our bathroom things seemed to go a lot smoother.

I’m hoping that Jim and Seth will work on the removing the last of the kitchen tiles in the kitchen so they can begin installing the cabinets. They are coming home on Sunday afternoon, and I can’t wait to just enjoy spending Christmas and New Year’s with all of us at home. As much as I love rehabbing this old house, it will be wonderful to spend time together creating Christmas memories and the smell of delicious food as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Millie

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millies-voting

This is my friend Millie. She grew up in Chicago and now lives in Western Pennsylvania, and is a good family friend. Her husband Gary was friends with my dad, and they played golf together with my brother and cousin Kevin. His wife Christine is actually Gary’s niece. Guess that makes us family.

Millie is fun and makes me laugh with her cute sayings, and how she has a voting outfit complete with beads and a scarf to show her patriotism. She’s a talented piano player, and blew my breath away the first time I heard her play! She loves to play cards, and we often play one called Scat, where she always wins all my quarters.

Anyway, I stayed with her this fall when I bought my investment house in Ambridge, and my mom and I will be staying with her again in January as I finish rehabbing the house so I can sell it in the spring, and although I hate when the weather is freezing ( I live in Houston), I’m really looking forward to seeing Millie again.

She’s very blunt and just says whatever she’s thinking, and sometimes when she tells people things they don’t like, such as your kids are acting like brats (she once said told me this, though it was true), they stop talking to her. It makes me sad that she will be alone on Christmas. And today’s Light the World theme is that “Jesus visited the lonely, and so can you,” but since I can’t visit her, I’ll call and let her know we love and miss her.

My Mother-in-law

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My sweet mother-in-law and I in February, 2009 at my son’s 8th birthday party. She died ten months later on December 26th from pancreatic cancer, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.

She is one of the most loving, caring, and understanding women I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. I’m grateful that she’s my husband’s mother, as he inherited her divine nature. If she were on the earth today, she would continue to light the world with her beautiful spirit. It helps to know that she is waiting for us in the Spirit World, and at times I sense her presence in my house, especially when I stay up late.

I knew when I moved to Houston that I’d miss her and asked my husband to take this picture of us to remember this special daughter of God, Mary Louise McFadden.

Christmas Season

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My dog Kakes as a reindeer a few years ago.

December is one of my favorite months of the year. Between the Christmas decorations in our home and celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, life seems better.

Even the Hallmark channel has one Christmas movie after another where the characters often start out either depressed or self-centered, and then have a life changing experience where they are filled with the Christmas spirit by the end of the movie.

I have been trying to #LighttheWorld this month with small acts such as praying for others as a family and on my own, reading scriptures more often, give food to shelters to help feed the hungry, etc. and have found that this really does keep Christ in Christmas.

Seth and Thian

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Seth and his friend Thian are best friends and consider themselves brothers. Thian often comes over here and they listen to music, and even calls me ‘mom.’ Tomorrow night our family and Thian, his dad, brother (who is Noah’s best friend), and his little sister, Patrice, are going to the movie theater to see Batman versus Superman.  I’m hoping we will enjoy watching this; the critics have given it bad reviews.

 

Seth and Thian

Leaving to ride their ‘trick’ bikes.

Thian standing with bike

Thian likes Seth’s new trick bike.

 

Thian