Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa is Alive and Well...

And We Are On His Team

I had posed some questions about Santa on my Facebook page. Specifically, if I tell my kid that Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and God are all real, then he finds out that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are NOT real, why shoud he believe in God? I got some amazing comments - even one from my friend Damon who is a paster himself!. It wasn't that I was thinking that we would be doing away with Santa...it was that I was trying to find a good way to make our Christmas about the gift of Jesus and not so much about the gift from Santa. I've posted this a few years in a row on this blog...it gets me every time. I absolutely love it and intend fully to make my boy a Santa some day!

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, Kleeberger and Porter households, we're on his team too!



Peace, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My New Favorite Christmas Songs:

This has become a tradition on my blog…

This year, I’m liking this amazing and gorgeous song by Downhere. Its called How Many Kings:



And this one: I Celebrate the Day by Reliant K.



Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Solitary Life

This is something I've had for a few years now that just floats around on my PC until its time for Christmas.

The credited author is Dr. James Allen Francis.

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!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to the hospital for a BIRTHDAY!!!

Pray for my baby boy's safe journey!

We'll post pictures when we can!

Peace, ya'll!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How did the Shepherds Know Where to Look?

Because they followed a star? Nope....

I read THIS and found it fascinating!

I've posted this before, but it never ceases to amaze me how God perfectly orchestrates all the tiny details!

PS...The star was for the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12).

Have a BLESSED DAY!

Peace ya'll!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fill-In’s #155

ffi

1. No, we will NOT panic. It will all still get done.
2. Dinner to night with Grandma Barb and Grandpa Steve – Friday Pizza at the old kitchen table.
3. I watched the steam rising from the hot cup of coffee (or tea) and thought: I wish I had decaf so I could have another.
4. An un-perfect Christmas is still a perfect Christmas – its all going to be okay.
5. I'll take a couple of magazines, my Bible and the Christmas Stories by Dickens book to read in the hospital.
6. When Obama’s campaign advertising told us it was time for a change, I don’t think that the bulk of his voters realized just exactly how painful that change was going to be… at least from my point of view.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with mom and dad, tomorrow my plans include Costco, Target, and time with my big boy before the new arrival and Sunday, I want to pack my hospital bag and spend one last peaceful day as a family of three!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Fill-in #154

ffi

1. Good times: laughter, conversation, peace – wherever you can find it.

2. I adore and want to share my home as a place of peace and rest (of course I’ll have to kick the boys out to achieve that!)

3. Sleigh bells ring when Jayden shakes that jingle-bell bug-toy-instrument thingy…which he loves…and why I hide it often.

4. My 3 year old acts so much like he’s 10 that its sometimes hard to remember he’s still little.

5. Once more we are preparing our home to receive the gift of a child. How amazing!

6. Why does the kindness, generosity, joy and outpouring of understanding of the Christmas season have to end?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to wrapping gifts and watching a movie, tomorrow my plans include wrapping gifts and watching a movie and Sunday, I want to wrap some gifts and watch a movie!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Patience

I don’t apparently have a bunch of it when it comes to myself and my deadlines and my to do lists and my desires…

Huh…

Go figure…I’m type A!

But we all knew that, didn’t we?

So..babies and Christmas and work and home repairs and time itself (as in I can only be on my feet so much of it and there are only so many minutes in a day to cram everything) have all conspired against my plans and I’m now in a place where patience and kindness to myself are no long optional…

Firstly, Christmas shopping is more or less done – as I’ve already said. However the wrapping…not so much. I have tons to wrap and to box and to ship and…well…its just a big ole pile in the middle of my office. Patience...it will get done...even if mom has to help me when she gets here.

While I’m on the topic, piles of stuff are one more thing I have no patience with!

Secondly, babies…ours is coming. Whether or not I’m ready…so…I printed a list of things I will be bringing to the hospital…is my bag packed? Nope. Am I even sure I know where everything on that list IS in my house right now? Nope…so…I guess that is a mental pile in need of some packing to relieve it. Patience...it will get done...even if my husband has to come back to the house AFTER our little bundle gets here to pack my things.

Work…well…lets just say that I have not been as productive as I’d hoped…and that the project I’m working on has been more involved than I originally anticipated…is it done? Nope…Patience...it may have to be finished by somebody else while I’m out on leave…

And lastly – home repairs….Which sounds ominous and I guess is sort of. In an effort to help me out, my husband was in the attic getting things down and putting things up when I heard a crash…you guessed it, he put his foot through the ceiling accidently. Enter contractors. The hole is fixed…but I had hoped it would be completely fixed (aka, ceiling skimmed and painted) this week so I could have the housekeeping company come next week and deep clean my house before my mom and dad get here…cuz you know I’m not deep cleaning my house in my state! Anyway…the drywall is done, but the skim/paint part won’t be DONE until next week…and there is no point in deep cleaning when there will be construction in the house…sigh. Patience...my mom and dad don't care if my ceiling is a mess...and they also don't care if I deep cleaned as long as they have clean sheets and towels.

And lets not forget that I've embarked on a couple of scrapbooking adventures this December - most notably the December Daily album. December daily is being done in my notebooks…I will be updating the journal cards this weekend. BUT the pictures I’ve been taking will all be developed professionally (and not on my less-than-optimal printer), so the bulk of the picture pasting will have to happen in January. Perhaps I’ll share some of the pics and their accompanying journaling sans December Daily pages here…When I find the time…

Here's the deal.

I have been very excited that we knew what day our little bundle was going to arrive due to doctor’s recommendations. Its great to know when to call the insurance company, that you can plan around some things, when to have long-distance relatives arrive…you get the gist. Its much easier to know the date and plan around it than it is to hurry everything up and spend time waiting for the little joy to make an appearance.

But while God has allowed me to schedule some things, He has allowed other events in my life these last few weeks to make it clear that I am not in control. WHAT!?!?!? I'm not in control...huh...what a concept.

I guess He’s going to make sure I learn patience and how to be gentle with myself one way or another…

As if sending me two boy children wouldn’t eventually teach me that anyway!


HA!

Peace, ya’ll!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wreath Love

As I anticipate decorating my own home this weekend (I know…those of you who have known me for some time know my house is usually done by the end of Thanksgiving weekend!) I’ve been drooling over the amazing Christmas décor that is everywhere.

I am a wreath-on-the-door kind of girl – I have one for Valentine’s Day, one for Easter, two for summer, one for autumn…its sort of a fun thing for me to decorate that front door!!!

Now, I’m an extreme traditionalist with my Christmas décor – for me it means an evergreen wreath with red bows and berries on the front door and white lights on the Christmas tree…I try to keep it simple and uncomplicated…there is such beauty in that!

BUT I came across one very unique wreath…and being the obsessive that I am, I kind of went on a quest for unusual wreaths…there are so many amazing options out there! And some of them are SUPER easy to accomplish yourself!

Here is what I found:

Better Homes and Gardens is always a great place to start…they had this super cute (and kid-craft friendly) snowball wreath :



I also found a really cool Fish bobber wreath (Mom, this would be SOOOOO cute hanging on YOUR DOOR!)



This Ceiling Medalian Wreath is probably the easiest thing to make…and its so cute!



Sharyn Carlson has posted some gorgeous paper wreaths on her blog. You could so customize this idea to any color combo and style you wanted…and for the expense change it up every year!



Be Different Act Normal has posted a really cool picture frame wreath :



Apartment Therapy has posted several book page wreaths here . This is my favorite…but for the price of a cheap paperback, some hot glue and a little time, you could come up with something really amazing.



So, what are you doing for a wreath this year?

Peace, ya'll!!