Friday, December 28, 2007

I've Been Browsing

on Amazon...and found these things that interest me today (in no particular order...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Summing up Christmas

One hand-carved Santa and Deer from my amazingly talented father, Steve…

One Christmas Eve – house clean, quiet and finally, finally feeling like Christmas

One plate of cookies waiting for Santa’s arrival…

One quiet and peaceful, enraptured 14 month old listening to The Night Before Christmas and the amazing story of Jesus’ birth in Luke chapter two for bed-time stories

One amazing tree lit up and gorgeous just after Santa’s arrival…

One surprised little boy, whose face registered the awe and surprise of a beautiful tree, free of the gate and surrounded by brightly wrapped packages..

One present unwrapped entirely by they boy – the ONLY present he really unwrapped…he lost interest after this…I guess he felt it was too much work!

One joyful expression at the surprises it held…

One magnetic sketcher, one tiny stuffed monkey, one musical centipede, several new books…

One brand new boy-sized chair…

one easel and many art supplies, a Paul Bunyan wool jacket, one Cars boy-sized sofa that pulls out into a bed...

A Bob the Builder cell phone (Heeewwwooooohhhh?)…

Many new outfits…

And one Gingerbread house made solely for the boy to pull apart…

And these are just a few of his plethora of gifts!

Many, many wonderful gifts for us “big kids” - amazingly generous gift cards, books, my longed for new coffee cup, a gaming chair, a beautiful perfume bottle, new slippers, new Christmas ornaments…

A new rocking chair for the boy’s room,

The list of our Blessings goes on and on as well!

One amazing meal – roast turkey, dairy potatoes, green beans, corn bread stuffing, cranberries (the boys favorite AGAIN this Holiday meal!) and Holiday Bread Pudding with Amaretto sauce…really MUST share that recipe sometime.

Truly, truly, an amazing Christmas.

I pray yours was as blessed!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Joy of the Day

Today's Joy of the Day is something I've had for a few years now that just floats around on my PC until its time for Christmas.

It's supposedly by Dr. James Allen Francis and is titled One Solitary Life.

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home.

He never wrote a book.

He never held an office.

He never had a family.

He never went to college.

He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.

He had no credentials but Himself...

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves.

While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat.

When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

Never underestimate the wonder that God can do with one simple and solitary life!

Peace, everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Joy of the Day

Santa Is Alive & Well - And We Are On His Team

I remember my first Christmas party with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill , wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about though, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's second grade class.

Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes," I replied shyly. "It's ... for Bobbie." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it -- Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie.

Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

Author Unknown

In the Krech and Kleeberger households, we're on his team too!

Peace, everyon!

Joy of the Day

Today's Joy is this neat little Christmas Trivia list I found in The Matthews Record :

1. Who yelled "Stop" to Frosty?

2. Who lost $8,000 in "It's a Wonderful Life"?

3. On every street corner you hear what song?

4. What was Scrooge's first name?

5. who wrote "A Christmas Carol"?

6. Who wrote "The Night Before Christmas"?

7. What "Saturday Evening Post" artist was known for his whimsical pictures of Santa Claus?

8. What does Alvin want for Christmas?

9. What is the last ghost in "A Christmas Carol"?

10. What as Rudolph's punishment for his red nose?

11. Who plays the dusty innkeeper in Charlie Brown's Christmas play?

12. What is the last line of "A Christmas Carol"?

13. What is the #1 Christmas single of all time?

14. Who starred as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life"?

15. What "sad" Christmas song did Elvis Presley record in the fifties?

16. In "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," what biological shortcoming made the Grinch so mean?

17. What is Charlie Brown's complaint about Christmas?

18. What Emmy Award winning cartoon was based on a newspaper editorial?

19. Name the two reindeer whose names begin with a "C".

20. In what city did "Miracle on 34th Street" take place?

21. What did Harry Potter get for Christmas in his first semester at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

22. What American state was the first to make Christmas an official holiday?

23. What legendary actor narrated the TV special "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

24. What shape is the candy cane modeled after?

25. What was the name of the dog that belonged to the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

26. What was the name of Scrooge's dead business partner in "A Christmas Carol"?

27. What brought Frost the Snowman to life?

28. At Christmas, its customary to exchange kisses where?

29. What was pictured on the first stamp printed for the Christmas season?

30. Which star led the Three Kings to Jesus?

31. Electric Christmas lights were first used in what year?

32. In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," how do you know that an angel has received its wings?

33. When and where did the Salvation Army Christmas collection kettle originate?

34. The stat songs of Maryland and Michigan use the melody of what popular Christmas song?

35. What was True Love's gift on the second day of Christmas?

Answers in the Comments section....How'd ya do?

Peace, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Joy of the Day…

Today, these are the things making me happy:

#1 THIS MOVIE is now a go…and I’m SO happy about it! Although, Jay will be 4 years old when the first movie is released…mmmmm…maybe this will be his indoctrination into my life-long love of Tolkien.

#2 The word du jour for Jay is “HEWOOOHHH?” with a little cell phone attached to his ear. I wish I could accurately convey how cute it is…and hysterical.

#3 This holiday Polo I got at Children’s place for $7!!! I love that my son will have on a little holiday outfit and that it won’t cost me a fortune!

#4 We are going to dinner and the Bobcats game tonight…love a little outing!

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


And other Joys of Today…


I’m experiencing a little Holiday Season blues…

And a little bit of feeling overwhelmed that another year is coming to a close…

And, well, a little bit of I-don’t-want-to’s…


I vowed to find the joy in TODAY…

To focus on the things today that make me happy and touch my heart.

Joy of Today #1 – I love hushpuppies – those that come with the Cod Fish Platter at Showmars , to be exact. And while I’m at it, I love the fries and Ranch too…healthy lunch, no?

#2 – the Christmas wreath with the red berries on my red front door.

#3 – Ms. Mary – because she is thoughtful, kind, generous, and HYSTERICAL!

#4 These two…who I miss from the moment I walk out the door to the moment I arrive back.

What are YOU joyful about?

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Before & After, New Skill and Christmas Fun

To get things started, cuz I’ve been gone so much, some fun Jay stuff:

Thanksgiving – Before the cranberries:

And After:

Christmas hat 2006:

And 2007:

For good measure, this was the Bug’s first Christmas cookie…he enjoyed it thoroughly.

And, I’m so proud to report, he is very good at sharing his Christmas bounty…

He gave the dog nearly ½ of the cookie MOST willingly and with a huge smile!

And our little boy has gained a new skill…brought on specifically by the desire to reach the Christmas tree, which has been gated…

So…at 14 months…

And with SIGNIFICANT determination and attitude…

Drum roll please…

I give you…

Our little climber (everyone cheer…cuz he LOVES it when you cheer for him!):

The step ladder:

The Christmas ornament boxes:

And the WAGON ON ITS SIDE, when all else was made unavailable to him:

The Christmas season is upon us…I decided that the majority if not all of our gifts would be handmade. Some of them I made my self and others I’ve purchased through etsy and other sources. I’ve found the BEST things…can’t really show a lot right now, because the recipients might see…but I can show you the things for the little one’s that I’ve gotten. Just click on the links below.

Some things I found there:

superhero cape

little red riding hood cape

child-sized messenger bag

chalk place mat

crayon roll

And that is just the awesome things I got for the kiddos!

We did some volunteering at church for Project Angel Tree this year. It was FABULOUS! I was in a HUGE room surrounded by toy after toy after toy. The number of toys and the number of volunteer was really significant. Though I was working in a comfortable room with other church members, it was really an amazing and life-altering experience. I absolutely love volunteering!

I’ve got more Christmas-y things to post…but we’ll start that tomorrow!