Snapshot Christmas Memories

Congrats to Jenny Mullins. You won Mary Snyder’s giveaway from last week. Send your home address to [email protected] to claim your prize.

When pulling out some past Christmastime photos for a decorating idea I had a few weeks ago…..well, what should have been a ten-minute task turned into an hour long trip down memory lane, complete with both chuckles and crying.

It isn’t just a cliche. It is the truth.

Time flies.

This past summer, my beloved boyfriend from college and I celebrated 25 years of wedded bliss.

Okay….so only about 23% of it is actually bliss. About 17% is “He/she drives me so bonkers I wanna move to a desert island”, about 39% is just doing regular old life–carting kids, paying bills, keeping up the cars, house and yard–and the remaining 21%?

Laughing until our sides hurt.

Todd and I really are great friends and we joke and prank and see humor in everyday life. It really helps any “knock-down, drag-outs” resulting from the above category number two to be short lived. We try to stay mad at each other, but end up laughing!

Well, while perusing the pictures in my antiquated photo boxes, what I cried most about was the news that this might be the last time our 20 -year-old Kenna’s boss lets her have time off to come home for Christmas. (We live in Michigan. She in Charlotte, NC)

Seems salons are mighty busy on Christmas Eve with up-dos and such. However, with her aunt’s stage four cancer, her gracious boss let her have a few days off before Christmas so she could fly home.

So, not only to spend time with Kenna (who arrives home in two days and we’ve STILL not got the outdoors lights up yet. Think Christmas With The Kranks :-)) but to hang out with the boys, and my hubby for the next two weeks, I am going on a blogging break.

My laptop will be here when I return.

My time with all five Ehmans sipping homemade hot cocoa, eating apricot jam-laden, melted brie with Ritz crackers Ritz (recipe here) and fighting over a “hearty” (code for cut-throat!) board game are numbered.

What days are numbered in your life?

I challenge you too to focus for the holiday season that remains on the face-to-face relationships in your life.

While I ADORE my cyber friends and the community we share weekly, I never want to let them trump time alone with my clan, experiencing worship and service with my church or reaching out to those whom God puts in my path (with Spence’s entrance into public school this year, lately that has been many Saturday overnights with hungry 13-year-old boys whom we then take to church with us on Sunday mornings :-))

So, I leave you with some of those Christmas pics that made my heart stop and my eyes leak. I’ll see you back here in January.

Have a blessed Christmas and giddy New Years!!!

Our very first Christmas tree 1986. Three Rivers, Michigan apartment on Thomas Lane. We purchased it for 5 bucks on a corner lot the Lions club ran in a little town about a half hour from there. Todd was totally rockin’ the Steven Curtis Chapman mullet that year. :-)

The kids in 1998. Kenna 7,  Mitch 3 and baby Spence (now a 200 pound plus offensive tackle) 10 months old.

Oh buddy. 2006. The year I tried to “capture” the perfect Christmas photo. None of them would cooperate. Kenz fussed too much with her hair and lip gloss. Mitch wouldn’t smile and Spence kept clowning around. Finally, I gave up. I told them each to go grab something that uniquely reflected their personality and this is what we sent out that year! Favorite. Picture. EVER!!!!

Our snowman circa 1998. After fretting because his eyes were too small when we tried to use buttons and such, our genius, dyslexic son Mitch dashed into the toy box and grabbed huge black wheels from his tinker toys. He also gave him firewood for arms and something that acted as his cigar. (We couldn’t find the corn-cob pipe I’d gotten at a garage sale that year.) Best snowman on Traver Street that year. :-)

Have a wonderful celebration of Jesus! You are loved and appreciated by me and all of us at Proverbs 31 Ministries!!!

As my Christmas card to you, watch the most AWESOME rendition of the Hallelujah chorus by the winning gospel choir from a recent Verizon contest “How Sweet The Sound”. Unlike any version you have ever heard! Turn up the volume and CLICK HERE.


  1. Loved your pics & memories. I recently found your website on accident looking for a book for a customer but I enjoy it very much. I will pray for your sis-in-law. We lost ours 6 years ago to Cancer (a terrible disease) & she was the best person ever. On the other hand at our church we had 2 ladies who lived many years after Cancer was supposed to have taken their lives. Praying she can be strong & glad she has a good support group. Please pray for my cousin, Linda who is also fighting Cancer. Thanks. Blessings to you in the New Year.

  2. Ahhhh this holiday has been laced with tears as I have had many trips down memory lane. I’m missing my dad and my stepmom. This is our third Christmas without Dad and fourth without Jane. I don’t know? Do we ever stop missing our beloved family? And I’ve been very saddened by my mother’s fading memory as her Alzheimer’s progresses, thankfully very slowly, but still it’s tough to experience. And then there are my children. I have one left at home full time, one in senior year of college, one who’s on her own, and one who is married. How did we get here? I am thankful, but miss the mess and noise and joy of a houseful of kids. Being a mom was the big dream fulfilled…and now well, in the blink of an eye, they are all flying the coop. Every one loves to tell me “they come home again.” But really, it’s not true. Even when they do come home to live and save some money to make the next move, it’s not the same…it’s not again. Still, I know there are wonderful times ahead and I’m sure the next phase will be just what they’re supposed to be. And if my past is any indication, the challenges will be overwhelmed by the beauty. I confess a little fear of the future. I am blessed with a man I love…we too have had bliss about 23% of the time. Glad to know we’re normal. And I look forward to continuing the journey with him. God has been faithful and I know He will continue to be…still help me in my unbelief!
    Christmas blessings to you and yours.

  3. Thanks for sharing the pics. I would love to do some scrapbooking over the holidays – as long as I don’t get stressed about it, that is! Anyway, your snowman story reminded me of our snow “woman” from four or five years ago. Having three girls and girlfriends here building, they all decided that our snowperson should be female. On a lark, we added a bra, a wrap-around skirt, and a very fancy ladies’ hat. We laughed till we were rolling in the snow and our sides hurt – best snow person we ever made. (But when hubby got home, he was less enthused about the bra on the snow person. Hey, at least we live in the woods and have no neighbors to see it.) We did take a picture, and maybe one day, when I get around to organizing those photos, we’ll find it again. :)

  4. Hey, my parents live in Three Rivers along with two of my aunts! I recently found your blog through Proverbs31, which I also just recently found. I am really having fun with it all and enjoying the encouragement you ladies give. Time to buy some of your books! Merry Christmas!

  5. Karen I wish you and your family a wonderful Christ filled Christmas. Thank you for all you great blogs…..I have entered many of your contests throughout the year and sad I have not won, but on the other hand happy for all those who have. I just love contests:) Maybe in 2012, my name will appear as one of your lucky winners. I would love to have the inspiration for a blog that would encourage and help others. I am praying 2012 will be the year that can come to pass. Any suggestions for a sister in Christ?

  6. Great pictures – I really like the one where each child gets something that reflects themselves and that you let it go . . . great. This Christmas my youngest cousin and his four children (the youngest two being a junior in high school and one in 8th grade) are spending what is most likely their last one with his wife – their Mom. She is at home with hospice care due to a brain tumor. Your family is often in my prayers as they are often in my prayers (and I think of your family). My God give grace and His overwhelming love to you all.

  7. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Gret pictures! Have a ver Merry and Blessed Christmas! Enjoy those moments with your family :-) Your sister-in-law is still in my prayers.

  8. Michele–
    Good catch! I had picked it, sent her an email, but never announced it. here I want to send you a copy of Mary’s book too for having a keen eye. Send your home address to me at [email protected]

  9. Hi, great pictures, great memories. I had a question though, who won the giveaway for last Thursday? Did I miss that. I hope that you have a very great Christmas!

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