December 29, 2008

Memories from an older generation

Yes, I's sad, not to mention unpredictable.

I'm sorry. =)

I thought this was a sweet holiday picture. While going through an old box trying to find something....details always escape me....Bethany came across some old holiday cards Charles and I used to make for each other. We met while in seminary and we were quite poor, so we used to make each other cards for Christmas or Valentine's or birthdays. I worked at the seminary day care center, so art supplies were on hand. We were also QUITE sappy and romantic, (and so is Bethany) so when she found them she thoroughly examined them and oooed and ahhed and giggled over them. Hannah snapped her in action.

December 20, 2008

So bless somebody will ya?

I got my shopping DONE!!!!! W00t w00t!! At first I was very annoyed about having to be shopping instead of enjoying my home and family this close to Christmas. Then an adam alert came over the intercom of Walmart. My heart just sunk for that mom. They said it over the intercom at least 3 times before he was found. (I saw the little 3 yr old boy with a red shirt with a 07 on it as I went to the registers.) It made me perk up a little to realize they had a happy ending and to get my mind reoriented onto the important things in life. I had just been 'discussing' this with one of my daughters this morning in fact. Important things in life are relationships and treating others with kindness and respect.

So I started smiling at the people in Walmart who were in my way and not moving as I would try to go down the isles. When I asked the fabric department woman to cut some fabric for me, she sighed (she was stocking a shelf). When she came to do it, she THREW a sewing machine box across the fabric cutting table. I guess I had a shocked look on my face, because she appologized and said it wasn't me she was frustrated with, but a coworker. When I left, I wished her a Merry Christmas and hoped she had a better day. She actually looked right at me, paused a few seconds and said, "Well thank you. I really appreciate that....I really do." I said a sincere "You're very welcome." And went to finish my shopping.

And I actually started having a better day myself. ;) It was pretty cool.

Then I went home and was so tired I could just go to bed now and sleep til morning. But I'm not. I have work to do yet. ehn

I need to stop complaining. All my kids are safe, we have all we need and we're all healthy and blessed.

December 16, 2008

Just when you think you're gonna pop....

It seems like the holiday rush has once again taken over my life. I am not sure how to make it more smooth and less busy. With working now as well as trying to fit in our traditions and keep up with church events, I think something is going to give whether I cause it or not. Wish me luck. ;)

I went Christmas shopping for the first time last night. We already have our gifts to the girls, but now I am buying for the grandmothers. It's fun when I am actually out doing it, but thinking about it is giving me a twitch in the eye. Tonight is cookie baking and watching a movie while writing our Christmas letter, as well as working on a project for my kids for Christmas. We are making each other gifts this year. (I can't say what it is because my kids sometimes come here and find out secrets)

Our weekend at my brother in law and sister's cabin was wonderfully relaxing and needed. I wondered how wise it was to go for a weekend away when there is so much to be done. But it turned out to be just what we get away from the bustle and stress for 3 full days! Here is a little slide show of our weekend.

I hope you're not too busy to enjoy the season of celebrating. =)

December 9, 2008

In which you shine like stars in the universe

My husband was preaching Sunday morning from Philippians on what may have been an early Christian hymn about the Incarnation (Christmas). Paul quotes it as if it is a familiar song or reading. Maybe he was a little like Charles in that he would break into song during his sermons too. ;) They really didn't celebrate Christmas yet, but they certainly did know what it was all about.

A Christmas Card from Philippi:

Philippians 2:1-16

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

December 5, 2008

Hope in the Season of Advent

Isaiah 9:2 (New International Version)

2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

The Light is no longer a curious star in a Bethlehem sky. The Light now shines from within us and through us to the the people who are living in the shadow of death.

Have you ever been talking to someone who is seriously discouraged, when all of a sudden you are saying things that did not come from within you? It's as if you are listening to the Truth being spoken as well as the person you are trying to help.

Just one example of the Light (Christ) shining through you. He brings truth and sets people free from burdens as they turn their eyes not onto the dreariness of life, but onto the Hope of salvation, the peace that comes from casting our cares on Christ, who gave His life for us....that we might let Him minister to the hurting through us.

Where is the Hope? He is within us. Let your Light shine.

December 3, 2008

See how much He loves us?

Here is something fun. We were gathering Sunday night for a class at church when Kelly comes prancing (yes, she was) and saying God had a surprise for us, come quick!

Knowing Kelly like we do (and we love her) we just looked at her blankly. "Come on! You have to come and SEE it!"

We obeyed and it was so cool. Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon had portrayed a brilliant smiley face in the sky! I immediately thought of the SHMILY story. If you haven't read it, click the link. It's a very good story.

In short, it is a love story of a couple who were elderly but who still played a little game with each other. They would write SHMILY in different places, to surprise each other. It stood for "See How Much I Love You".

See how much God loves us?

Things to share during Advent

When I read the following gift list over at Chrysalis, I loved it instantly and knew I needed to post it here too. What perfect ways to show God's love and the spirit of celebrating the Incarnation, than to bless others with gifts of love and care. Read through and choose the ones you'd be willing to share. ;)

Inexpensive Gifts for the Season of Advent

1. The Gift of Listening
But you must REALLY listen. No interruption, no day dreaming no planning your response. Just listening.

2. The Gift of Affection
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. The Gift of Laughter
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you."

4. The Gift of a Written Note
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. The Gift of a Compliment
A simple and sincere, “You look great in red", “You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal” can make someone's day.

6. The Gift of a Favor
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. The Gift of Solitude
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. The Gift of A Cheerful Disposition
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank you.

9. The Gift of a Phone Call
Pick up the phone and call (or e-mail) an elderly relative that you suspect might be lonely.

10. The Gift of Gratitude
Notice and appreciate the loving gestures of even the youngest in your circle.

11. The Gift of Song
Sing (or whistle) a few bars of your spouse's favorite song.

13. The Gift of Story
Watch for big smiles as you relive a family outing by telling a short descriptive story of the memorable event. (eta: this could include breaking out the family home videos one night too)

December 1, 2008


The Advent Conspiracy. Have you heard of it? Curious? Watch this....

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

The Advent Conspiracy.

In a nutshell:
Worship fully
$pend less
LOVE all

Are you in?