Sunday, November 30, 2008

what if Christmas became a world changing event again?

I ran across this here and was totally captivated. I can't help but think that they might be on to something. Whether we participate in this project or something else, I think it is time to refocus our thoughts and actions about Christmas.


Worship more. Spend less. Give more. Love all.




Give Presence...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

a Christmas game...


Because I love games. I found this one at my daughter's blog and Patty's.


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I think...both. Because you can find really cute paper and really cute bags. Except sometimes I like the little cute bags so much that I want to keep them and use them for other things. Or I save them for really special people. Because I am weird like that.


2. Real tree or Artificial? Mostly artificial. I'm not sure why. We did "real" for two years but the last time, "real" fell over and scared the kids half to death. Because one does not expect a glass laden, pine scented instrument of torture to come hurtling toward your person.



3. When do you put up the tree? It varies. This year we might be putting it up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The year we were first married, we put it up in October. Because we are Christmas people.


4. Favorite gift received as a child? Either my Chrissy doll and the handmade clothes my grandmother made for her or my easy bake oven.


5. Hardest person to buy for? There are certain members of the family that we do not see very often because of circumstances. It's hard to buy gifts because we feel like we don't really know them and aren't really a part of their lives.


6. Easiest person to buy for? The Boy. Give him a video game of some sort and he is a happy camper.


7. Do you have a nativity scene? Multiple ones. Some how I apparently have started collecting them. I'm not sure when it happened but at the moment I have 8 or so.


8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A very interesting sweater. Unfortunately, my dad happened to take a picture right as I opened it. My facial expression was rather...surprised.


9. Favorite Christmas Movie? Argh. Too many. Tradition dictates that we watch Christmas Vacation and Christmas Story. I love the Muppet Christmas Carol. I also enjoy TranSiberian Orchestra's Christmas movie thing. I must confess that I hated Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as a child because I was terrified of the abominable snowman.


10. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Um...everything? Sausage balls, pumpkin roll, cookies, candy...I could go on...


11. Lights on the tree? Yes, we do put lights on the tree. We have done all white lights, all purple lights and multi colored lights. I can't remember what color lights we have at the moment. I guess I'll be figuring it out soon.


12. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sleepy, sneezy, dopey...oops, wrong movie. Flotsam, Jetsam...where's a little kid when you need one?


13. Favorite ornament theme or color? Most of our ornaments have a story behind them. There are a few that have just showed up, but we have lots of ornaments chosen for baby's first or series ornaments and so forth. I personally am enjoying my penguin ornaments at the moment.


14. Favorite Christmas song? All is Well Tonight by CeCe Winans. There are probably a host of others but I just love this one. (I suspect that I will be doing a Christmas video to this sometime.)


15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Well, we travel in between houses on Christmas day. My parents come over Christmas morning for breakfast, we go to Josh's parents for lunch and to his sister's house for supper. It's a long day sometimes.


16. What do you want for Christmas this year? I never really want anything. I have everything I need and it's hard for me to make a list of things that I want. More books, maybe? Purses? Fuzzy socks? (Outback cheese fries?)


17. Most memorable magical Christmas memory from adulthood? I'm not sure if this counts. The year that Amy Grant's second Christmas album came out. I was not a fan of the CD. It had such a different feel than the first one. However, that particular year, Jonathan was a baby and I was sitting in the living room in the dark, with just the tree lit up, rocking him and giving him his bottle as he drifted off to sleep and that CD came on the stereo. As we finished the CD with Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and I looked into that sleeping little face, lit by the tree lights, I felt such contentment and peace. So now, when I hear that song, I remember that moment. It's a pretty sweet one for me since my babies are too big to be rocked and so forth.


If you decide to play along, let me know. And have a most wonderful Saturday!

Friday, November 28, 2008

the other side

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." Charles Dickens

shopping Pictures, Images and Photos
This is the most anticipated and most dreaded day in retail. It is the day that we plan for months in advance. We plot strategy like a general plots military moves for an all important battle.

We wonder if we'll have enough staff, too many staff, the right sales items, not enough of the right sales items, a welcoming atmosphere, enough change from the bank, enough bags and toilet paper, bright smiling faces, a servant's heart.

All of these things factor into your visit on black Friday. It's like we are inviting you to our house for the day and we want to be sure that you get what you need while you are here. We don't want anyone to leave disappointed. Or angry. Or offended.

So I hope to see some of you visiting our house this Friday. I'm praying that we might be able to serve you in some way. And if you get a moment, say a little prayer for us. After all, it can be "the best of times or the worst of times."

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wouldn't it be funny...

If today, on the first day of Thanksgiving break, somebody forgot that there was no school and proceeded to wake her son up at the crack of dawn?

And, since there really was no school and he was up anyway, she might have suggested that he go ahead and clean his room? Not that anybody around here did anything like that. But if they did, wouldn't it be funny?
Floor Laughing Smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


There are times when I am so proud of my children that I could just burst. (and...um...in the spirit of full disclosure, I suppose that I must confess that there are times when I am not so proud. However, we are not talking about those times.)



Jessi has finished a video for one of her classes and has it posted here. (scroll down to the bottom...and if you get a second, pray for her as well.) I got so tickled at this little project but I must confess that I preferred the one with her "social commentary" attached. I suspect that would not have gotten her the best of grades, however. (You'll have to let me know if the song sticks in your head. It continues to roll around in mine.)



Jonathan's play was OUTSTANDING. (and yes, a mighty shout of relief was heard across the land when Saturday night concluded.) They all did a fine job with The Mousetrap and were very well cast. Thank you for praying. (believe it or not, we are already talking about the spring play. sigh. rumor has it that we might be doing a musical. And I'm using the term "we" very loosely.)



And now I am off to think about Thanksgiving food. Specifically...pie. (you saw that one coming, didn't you?) And dressing. My mother-in-law makes fantastic dressing. In addition to having a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, we are also having a lasagna dinner at my moms. (with my favorite green beans. And if you think green beans don't go with lasagna, they probably don't. However, my mom is making them for me. Just me. Nobody else. Because they are my favorite. )



Enjoy the day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cover to Cover: thankful...part 2


Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

video

I am so blessed. How can I keep from singing His praise?




I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

2 Thessalonians 1:2

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thankful


One of my more annoying characteristics is that I can be a bit of a pollyanna sometimes. (Just ask Mary Jane. She tells me that sometimes she just wants to be mad, not try to look at the "bright side.")


With that in mind, let me just say that I am not a big fan of winter. I don't like being cold. Certain "issues" that I have practically guarantee that I am cold a lot. My hands and feet stay cold constantly during the winter. (Since I can't sleep with cold feet, sometimes I have to soak them in hot water just so I can go to bed. And we won't even discuss the fact that I wrap myself up like a mummy with a fuzzy blanket before I get under the covers...because the sheets are just too doggone cold.)


However, despite my lack of love for the cold, I can find happy things about winter. (Here's where I would say that if we didn't have winter, we wouldn't appreciate spring.) I love snow. I love it indoors, looking out. I don't mind driving in it. I don't like getting from the house to the car and from the car to my destination, but I don't mind being out in it. I like the feel and smell of winter. No, not the cold. The crispness of the air. The warm fuzzy feelings that the holidays bring. (winter smells like evergreen and pumpkin pie. what's not to like?)


However, probably the thing I am most thankful for in the winter is a warm bed. (at least at this moment. Tomorrow it might be all the pies that get baked during the winter.) There is something very comforting about crawling into a bed that is weighted down with a multitude of quilts, blankets and throws. I love snuggling down into the covers, pulling them up to my ears and drifting off to sleep. (It helps if you add a few big dogs lying on the bed to warm it up before you get in. Sort of like an electric blanket without the electricity.) Now if I could just figure out a way to stay in bed whenever I wanted...


So, how about you? What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's finally here...

After what seems like eons of drama practices, the moment has finally arrived. The fall drama will be running the next three nights. If you have a moment, would you mind praying for them?

(and if you hear a loud, jubilant sound over our way on Saturday night, don't be alarmed. It's probably just a herd of drama weary parents, relieved that the fall drama is finally over.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Question of the Day #5

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make the bed with the "help" of three dogs? (I'm pretty sure they were minding their own business until I decided to make the bed. Then, suddenly, everyone must be on the bed. It's like they decide that the floor has cooties or something.)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I love a good game. I found this one here and thought it looked mentally challenging. (Some days everything is mentally challenging. So if you think this is easy, we'll pretend like it's one of those days.)



Crazy Eights (I did this on Saturday in case any of the answers seem strange. Not that doing it on Saturday might explain why the answers might seem strange. )

8 TV shows I love to watch:

The Closer
NCIS
Big Bang Theory
Eli Stone
Boston Legal
Ace of Cakes
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Law & Order (all three to some degree)



8 favorite restaurants:
Outback (cheese fries!)
Macaroni Grill
Olive Garden
the Pancake Pantry
No Way Jose's
the Melting Pot
Colorado Fondue Company (and the only one I know of is in Florida...and I am not!)
Cheddars

8 things that happened today:
I did laundry.
Jonathan had dress rehearsal for Mousetrap. (it went better than Thursday's practice. No one went to Immediate Care this time.)
I put up some Christmas decorations.
I ate pie.
I heard a song that made me cry.
It got much colder and is still rainy/blechy outside.
I contemplated wrapping Christmas presents.
Um...I did more laundry? (My life really isn't this dull. We just have a lot of laundry.)


8 things I look forward to:
Christmas
a clean house
going back to Hawaii some day
my trip to Tuscany (someday!)
being thinner (might happen about the time I get to Tuscany)
grandbabies ( a long, long time from now...please God)
spring
warm feet

8 things on my wish list:
calorie free but good tasting cheese fries from Outback
a manicure
the ability to dance like Dancing with the stars
the body to go along with the ability to dance like dancing with the stars
warm feet
clean laundry
a house that's already decorated for Christmas
world peace (isn't that what every beauty pageant contestant wishes for?)

let me know if you decide to play along!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cover to Cover

Bev always asks us what lingers in our readings for the week. Most of the time I read, make notes, ponder a bit and then move on to the next day, not really thinking about what came before until time to pull it all together for Cover to Cover.

But not this week.

I have several passages marked (the first three chapters of James could provide blog fodder for a week at least) but one passage has lingered all week, tugging at my soul.

Repent, then, and turn to God; so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the LORD. Acts 3:19

times of refreshing...doesn't that appeal to your heart? I cannot think of anything more comforting than the thought of my sins being forgiven (not just forgiven but wiped out) and a time of refreshing (a gift from God) beginning. It just makes my heart sing!


My prayer for you is that you experience His gift of refreshing this week.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Everything to me

I heard this today for the first time. (I don't know how I missed it.)

It touched a part of my heart and brought me to tears...twice.

Perhaps it's a beautiful answer to a difficult time.



Friday, November 14, 2008

rumor has it...

that it might snow a bit tomorrow. (Pass the woolly socks, my feet are already cold!)

In honor of that, here's a clip from one of my favorite Christmas movies. (because snow means Christmas is right around the corner, right? Plus the fact that we have been busy with a capital B at work today. By the way, LifeWay is having a HUGE sale right now. Well, maybe not right now because they are getting ready to close. But they will be having it again tomorrow!)

So put on some fuzzy socks, pull up a chair and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moments

I've decided that in addition to Cover to Cover Mondays, Works for Me Wednesdays, Wordless Wednesdays, Thankful Thursdays, and God stop Fridays, we need to add Blonde Moments of the Week. (although my real fear is that I could have blonde moments of the day.)

So, for your consideration, here is my blonde moment for the week. (hopefully it is the only one this week.)

I mentioned that I would be getting up very early to fix some sort of casserole for the big veteran's day program at my son's school today. Something like 5 am because the thing takes an hour to cook and our oven is temperamental and goofy and could take 90 minutes instead of 60. Yesterday at 7:00 I decided to reread the letter that came with the gargantuan casserole pan and see if I could put the ingredients together the night before. (because the idea of cracking 20 eggs and frying 2 pounds of sausage at 4:30 was particularly unappealing.) Well, I scanned over the list of ingredients (which I had read before) and read the top part of the letter (which I hadn't read before.)

Imagine my surprise when I noticed that they wanted the casseroles at the school on MONDAY. And did I mention that it was already 7 and everybody leaves the house by 7:30? Or that the casserole takes an hour to cook? After the ingredients are assembled? Ack!

Fortunately, God knew that I'm blonde. Even though we were normally going to be a little shorthanded (because my boss is at the state convention), we actually were blessed with an extra person (because someone who was supposed to have moved to Utah over the weekend had been delayed.) So I was able to fix the casserole and deliver it to school in a timely fashion with no one the wiser. Sigh.

Here's what I've learned:

Under no circumstances are you to pick your child up early from school. (Jonathan called home from school sick one day and when I went to pick him up in the office, the school secretary cornered me.)

Under no circumstances are you to read any letters from school until you are ready to deal with them. What you don't see, you aren't responsible for. (Jonathan helps with this by carrying most information from school in his backpack until the last day of school. )

(Nathan spent the night last night so that only one set of parents would have to drive over to school at the crack of dawn. Next time, it's Becky's turn. Notice the paper taped to the cabinet? That's the infamous letter. I should have burned it. )

May you have a blessed, blonde-free day!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cover to Cover: we too may live a new life



There have been many times along this journey when I haven't known what to say or how to express it. Sometimes the passages have been too complex and sometimes there have been too many choices.

But this week...I am without words.

I feel like nothing I say could in any way express the feelings I have had as I read through these scriptures.

The overwhelming sorrow and despair at His crucifixition...the profound joy at His resurrection.

So, I'll leave you with this: a verse and a song...

"but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!"
Mark 16:6





Join us at Bev's for other recaps from the week.

Blessed Sunday


Watch this: God's eye is on those who respect Him,
the ones who are looking for His love.
He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times;
in lean times He keeps body and soul together.
We're depending on God;
He's everything we need.
What's more, our hearts brim with joy
since we've taken for our own His holy name.
Love us, God, with all You've got—
that's what we're depending on.

Psalm 33:18-22

Friday, November 7, 2008

The week in review...

Oh my, am I glad to put this week behind me. Not only for election purposes. (although as far as the election goes, I suspect that it's not really behind me but looming out ahead of me...but I'm not going there. ) I have spent four out of the last five days singing "it's not easy being green" as I battled a nasty virus (and yes, I did make it to vote. No death defying, toilet hugging bug will keep me from doing my civic duty, by golly. I'm sure the poll people were happy to see my little green self.)

I did make it to work today. (actually, I made it to work yesterday but came back home. See picture of death warmed over and put my name underneath. Gee, doesn't that make a girl feel good?) And now, it's the weekend! Where piles of dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and giant hair balls (did I mention that the dogs are shedding because our weather keeps fluctuating?) await me. I'm so excited. Add to the mix one grounded teenage boy and we have a recipe for nirvana. :)

Wednesday night, after Jonathan got home from church, I happened to pass fairly close by him and inhale. Then I sniffed again. He smelled like...girl! (at least his shoulder did.) I commented on it and he got this grin on his face and said, "yep." That's it. No explanation. No exposing the culprit, no nothing. When I told his sister to smell him (because we are a goofy family. and right now Jessi is saying, "speak for yourself, mom."), Jonathan said, "I smell like girl lots of times. I just change my clothes before you notice." This is not why he is grounded.

Thursday night, after drama practice, Jonathan reminded me that he needed his permission slip signed so he could leave school early next Tuesday. They have a HUGE Veteran's Day program at school every year and the Junior class sponsors it. So he has to be at school at 6:30. AM. And his mom has to be up at 5, baking a breakfast casserole. Anyway, since they come in early and they are all responsible and stuff, they get to leave early if their parents give their permission. So I'm sitting here, thinking that I need to have his grandfather pick him up early when he says, "Yeah, me and Giselle are going out to lunch." Um...what? "then she can drop me off at my house." Um...what? We're still negotiating the outcome of Tuesday. Because I am not entirely comfortable with aspects of this little adventure. But this is not why he is grounded.

He is grounded because he is currently failing two classes. And while I know that his grades fluctuate on a daily basis, he has had a failing grade in history for over a week now (but mom, the class is really really hard. Yes, son, I know. That's why we study.) His most recent addition to the failing grade express is an F in Bible. Because all students at christian schools should fail bible, right? (but mom, I didn't even know that I had a doctrinal statement due. Yes, son, I know. That's why we pay attention in class.) And let me just take a moment to insert here that spending the weekend with a sullen, grounded, bored teenager who needs a hair cut is as much a punishment for the parent as it is the teen. (I hadn't been home more than ten minutes when I heard my first, "I'm bored. I don't have anything to do." Might I suggest studying? Or cleaning your room? Perhaps a load of dishes, or some laundry. Let me tell you, little boy, you do not want to go there with me. )

Also, in all the excitement, I somehow missed celebrating my one year anniversary of my hysterectomy. Ick. Or hooray. Depending on how you look at it. (It's funny. The thought of being pregnant and having a baby at 44 seems a lot more appealing when it's a physical impossibility.) Anyhow, that whole surgery/neverending recovery period is what really started me down this bloggy adventure. So I guess it is something to be thankful for. Although after this neverending post, we might not be too sure.

well, the weekend is waiting for me so I'm off. I hope you have a wonderful one!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It appears that everyone is exhausted from all the election stuff going on...










Um...all except Wolfie.
But Wolfie pretty much marches to his own drum.






Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33


"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
Isaiah 55:8


Don't forget to vote!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

cover to cover:we interrupt your regularly scheduled program...




Maybe it's because the elections are this week. Maybe it's because it seems like that's all that consumes my mind at this time. But I found some "political" tidbits in this weeks readings. Which just reminds me that God is NEVER late. He always has a better plan.


Political tidbit #1:
Jesus continued teaching and said, "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing fancy clothes, and they love for people to greet them with respect in the marketplaces. They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues and at feasts. But they cheat widows and steal their houses and then try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. They will receive a greater punishment." Mark 12:38-40



Doesn't this remind you of the 45 bazillion political ads that you've seen lately? Let's surround ourselves with pretty, prominent people and say anything we can to make ourselves look good and get elected. Then, once we're elected, we'll do whatever we want...as long as it increases our power base.



Political tidbit #2: (while this is a warning against being unprepared for the endtimes, I thought it was relevant to election day as well.)





"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." Luke 21:34

The dictionary says that dissipation means to have a mental distraction. I certainly feel that I have been distracted by all the promises, lies and so forth that have gone on during this campaign. And I know that I have been weighed down with a dark cloud of anxiety on many occasions as I have fretted over the outcome. But let me ask this. Have my worries affected the race? Will it get anyone elected? Will it save me? Nope. It's funny but another definition of dissipation is a process in which energy is used or lost without accomplishing useful work. Kind of sounds like worry, huh?



We then move from political topics to taking a closer look at ourselves:


“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:25-28


Ouch! Too many times I am more concerned about what other people will see rather than who I am on the inside.



Finally, this week also focused quite a bit on the second coming. Some things that stood out were:


You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Matthew 24:6
Sounds like today, doesn't it?

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Matthew 24:30-31
Elect-to select for divine mercy or favor. I'm praising Him for being His elect!

Be on your guard [constantly alert], and watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. [Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep. Mark 13:33,36


So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” Luke 21:28
Doesn't that just give you chills? Our salvation is near! Rejoice!

Take a moment and join us at Bev's for this week's cover to cover. You won't regret it!



Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him." Luke 20:38