Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ramblin On

I guess it was such a busy week with Christmas, and the kids being around, grandkids, etc., but Jim and I both forgot our 13th wedding anniversary on Friday, December 29th.

Ethan, our 4-year-old grandson, goes back to Alabama tomorrow. It has been such a joy to have him here...especially when he says "I love you Grannie" (yeah, we've gone from Gannie to Drwannie to Grannie now.

Cody, our 14-year-old grandson, has been here all week too. He has been hanging out with his PawPaw and me a lot this week.

Most would recognize this as a heat register.

This is a hole at the bottom stair which should be covered by previously mentioned heat register.

This "innocent" looking young boy may have been responsible for removing said register and depositing a lovely orange down the heat/air duct work. (Only to rot and be warmed by heat at a later date). Thankfully his Uncle Lonny voluntarily crawled under the house to the duct work and retrieved orange....along with additional objects such as balls which obviously shows us this lad had done this in his even earlier years.

As I was standing around the hole saying things like "Oh Ethan, this is not good" and "Lonny, we have got to get that orange out of there", etc. Ethan comes up to me and grabs each side of my pants, looks up at me so sweetly, shaking his head up and down, and says "It'll be okay Grannie".

Oh the joys of children! I sure do love that little boy!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It is 8:00 Christmas morning and I've been up since 5:30 am. I am the only one up so far.

It has been raining most of the night. They were calling for a possibility of snow mixed with rain later today. It's pretty wet so it probably won't stick.

This morning I have boiled two chickens for my MIL to make dressing with. I've washed a load of clothes, made a pitcher of sweet tea, a pot of coffee, ate a bowl of cereal, and read some blogs.

Now I'm anxiously waiting for Kyle to call me from Georgia after they have opened their gifts. My granddaughter is only 20 months old so she doesn't know to be excited and wake up early yet.

I'm really anxious for my almost 4-year-old grandson Ethan to arrive too. He should be arriving about 3-3:30. It's been a little over a month since I have seen him and then it was only for about an hour.

We aren't actually having our Christmas celebration until Tuesday. Since Ethan won't be here until later this afternoon and Lisa and Danny can't be here until about 10:00 tonight. We decided we would have ours tomorrow morning.

But things will be going on around here all day. I've got some pies to make still. Lisa and Danny will be here about 12:00 to open gifts with Lonny (he has to work tomorrow). Then they have to be at his folks at 1:00 for a birthday celebration for Danny's mom, before they do Christmas tonight. They always have a separate celebration for her birthday and Christmas because they are both today. Danny's brother will be flying in this afternoon.

Then Ethan will be arriving a little later on. And from that point on our quiet little corner of the world will be in a whirlwind! And I.can't.wait!

So for now I'm just waiting on things to start happening. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!


The Truth of the Nativity
John MacArthur

The story of the first Christmas is so beloved that singers and storytellers across the centuries have embellished and elaborated and mythologized the story in celebration. However, most people now don't know which details are biblical and which are fabricated. People usually imagine the manger scene with snow, singing angels, many worshipers, and a little drummer boy. None of that is found in the biblical account.

Christmas has become the product of an odd mixture of pagan ideas, superstition, fanciful legends, and plain ignorance. Add to that the commercialization of Christmas by marketers and the politicization of Christmas in the culture wars, and you're left with one big mess. Let's try to sort it out. The place to begin is in God's Word, the Bible. Here we find not only the source of the original account of Christmas, but also God's commentary on it.

We can't know Jesus if we don't understand He is real. The story of His birth is no allegory. We dare not romanticize it or settle for a fanciful legend that renders the whole story meaningless. Mary and Joseph were real people. Their dilemma on finding no room at the inn surely was as frightening for them as it would be for you or me. The manger in which Mary laid Jesus must have reeked of animal smells. So did the shepherds, in all probability. That first Christmas was anything but picturesque.

But that makes it all the more wondrous. That baby in the manger is God! Immanuel!

That's the heart and soul of the Christmas message. There weren't many worshipers around the original manger-only a handful of shepherds. But one day every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess He is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). Those who doubt Him, those who are His enemies, those who merely ignore Him-all will one day bow, too, even if it be in judgment.

How much better to honor Him now with the worship He deserves! That's what Christmas ought to inspire.

Unvarnished Truth
Luke 2:7 sets the scene: ?[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.?

That verse is explicitly concerned with a lonely birth. There were no midwives, no assistance to Mary at all. The Bible doesn't even mention that Joseph was present. Perhaps he was, but if he was typical of first-time fathers, he would have been of little help to Mary. She was basically on her own.

Mary brought forth the child; she wrapped Him in swaddling cloths; and she laid Him in a manger. Where usually a midwife would clean the baby and wrap Him, there was no one. Mary did it herself. And where usually there would have been a cradle or basket for the baby, there was none. Mary had to put Him in an animal's feeding trough.

When Christ entered the world, He came to a place that had some of the smelliest, filthiest, and most uncomfortable conditions. But that is part of the wonder of divine grace, isn't it? When the Son of God came down from heaven, He came all the way down. He did not hang on to His equality with God; rather, He set it aside for a time and completely humbled Himself (Philippians 2:5-8).

Unlikely Testimony
Luke 2:8-20 describes the experience of the shepherds when Jesus was born. Think about that for a moment. Out of the whole of Jerusalem society, God picked a band of shepherds to hear the news of Jesus' birth. That's intriguing because shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups.

The very nature of shepherds' work kept them from entering into the mainstream of Israel's society. They couldn't maintain the ceremonial washings and observe all the religious festivals and feasts, yet these shepherds, just a few miles from Jerusalem, were undoubtedly caring for sheep that someday would be used as sacrifices in the temple. How fitting it is that they were the first to know of the Lamb of God!

More significant, they came to see Him the night he was born. No one else did. Though the shepherds went back and told everyone what they had seen and heard, and though ?all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds? (v. 18), not one other person came to see firsthand.

Scripture doesn't describe how the shepherds' search for the baby Jesus actually unfolded, but it's not unreasonable to assume that they entered Bethlehem and asked questions: ?Does anybody know about a baby being born here in town tonight??

The shepherds might have knocked on several doors and seen other newborn babies before they found the special Child lying in the feeding trough. At that moment, those humble men knew for certain that the angels' announcement was a word from God. After their encounter with Joseph and Mary and Jesus, the shepherds couldn't help but tell others about what the angels had told them. They became, in effect, the first New Testament evangelists.

The shepherd's story is a good illustration of the Christian life. You first hear the revelation of the gospel and believe it (Romans 10:9-10). Then you pursue and embrace Christ. And having become a witness to your glorious conversion, you begin to tell others about it (Luke 2:17).

May God grant you the life-changing spiritual experiences and the ongoing attitude of enthusiasm and responsiveness that causes you to tell others that you, too, have seen Christ the Lord.

Adapted from God's Gift of Christmas, © 2006 by John MacArthur. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Wishes for You!

May you have a blessed and joyous Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

New Christmas Decorations

Saturday I took my MIL to town to do some shopping. We ended up having lunch at Cracker Barrel, and who can go to Cracker Barrel without shopping!! Well they were having a 40% off sale on most of their Christmas items and I found this adorable quilted church for only $3.20. They also had a "Toy Shop", "Candy Store" and a "Post Office".

This beautiful set of angels was $29.99 and I got it for $17.99. The larger angel will begin singing "Silent Night" and then the other two angels will come in so that they are singing 3 different parts. They are also fiber optic and as each one sings the wings light up. They also sing "Angels We Have Heard On High".

You might want to check out your local Cracker Barrel, if there is one near you!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Tour of Homes

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWelcome to the Christmas Tour of Homes hosted by BooMama! Be sure to visit the other homes as I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

And you can do it from the convenience of your own home! No getting in and out of your car! Trudging through snow or siree, not on this tour! No bundling up and still being cold! That's right!

So grab a cup of coffee, flavored or regular; or a cup of hot chocolate, maybe even a Diet Coke, pull up a chair and enjoy! But don't forget to comment and thank all the hosts you visit!


Would you like some coffee or hot chocolate?

This year I am trying to keep Christmas simple so I decided to put up our 6' tree instead of the 12'. Believe me that was much simpler!

We top our tree with this beautiful angel given to me by my mother several years ago.

On my buffet I have displayed a wooden family caroling, a antiquish (I'm not sure that's a word, but it works for me) tin row of buildings. There is a place for the candles in the back which allows it to look as if the lights are on in the buildings. The picture didn't demonstrate this very well. And I also have a another centerpiece that I spoke about on this post, only this one belonged to my mother.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I have about 3 different fiber optic snowmen like this, but I only put one out this year. These wooden ornaments on the right are ones given to me over the years.

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The tall soldier was one my oldest son, Lonny, gave me when he was 8. It has his name and the year on it.

This little car ornament was one that my mother gave me in 1988. I had been divorced for 6 years and had just purchased a house that August as well as a new Dodge Omni car. This wasn't exactly a replica of an Omni but it symbolized it just the same.

This is a tree I have in my office. This tree and the little white ceramic church belonged to my mother. You can set a candle in the church too.

These little wooden signs are hanging in my office too.

In the half-bath downstairs I have this little tree. It does have lights on it but I turned them off to take this picture.

This is my kitchen tree. I have so much fun decorating with those tiny little ornaments.

There would be no Christmas celebration if it weren't for this....Baby Jesus. In honor of your birth and all that you are we wish you Happy Birthday!

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Thanks so much for stopping by. Our hope is that you and your family have a joyous Christmas celebration and a Happy New Year!

I have this christmas ball wreath on the inside of the front door as you head out. I purchased it a couple of years ago from ABC Distributing for just a few dollars. I really love how it is so colorful.

Now head on over to BooMama's and enjoy the Christmas Tour of Homes!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Just rattling on......

Has anyone else accepted the upgrade for Internet Explorer 7? Well I did late Friday afternoon on my computer at work. I'm still trying to figure some of it out. Sometimes I think they should leave a good thing alone. I think I like the tab feature but I didn't have any complaints about the previous version.

I haven't made the switch yet to Beta Blogger. I was so frustrated when I first using Blogger that I'm a little nervous about changing just yet.

I had a very nice calm weekend. Unusual for me. Jim was working and I had decided to put up the Christmas tree and decorations. So I was alone until about 4:30. While my husband doesn't like to be alone, I cherish those moments. And since I had decided to do a simpler Christmas this year, everything went very smoothly and I was able to enjoy the day.

It was just such a calmer, relaxing weekend that I long for more.

I need to start my Christmas shopping this week. I kind of know what I what to get everyone so it's just a matter of getting it. I'm planning to do that on Wednesday.

Jim and I watched "The Christmas Box" video last night. I had read the book by Richard Paul Evans several years ago and purchased this video last year, but we had never watched it. I also have "The Timepiece" which is a sequel to The Christmas Box. I have read that book also.

Tonight we may watch "Christmas with the Kranks" or one of my favorites, "One Magic Christmas". My boys and I have enjoyed that one since they were real young.

I pray that next year my youngest son and his family will be living here and we can celebrate Christmas with all of our kids and their families. It has been several years since we have been together for this holiday. For that I will decorate the 12' tree!

Just a Reminder

Just a reminder that BooMama' hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes on December 15th. If you would like to join in you can find all the information here.

Get those decorations out, take those pictures, and be ready for December 15th!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Tree Treasures

I hadn't unpacked my Christmas decorations until yesterday, so I wasn't able to participate in Morning Glory' Christmas Tree Treasures until now.

This is how it works:

What memories are unpacked each year as you decorate your family tree?

You are invited to post as many photos as you want, of the special ornaments that you hang on your tree each year. Share with us why they are special to you. Maybe they are family heirlooms, things your children made you or you had as a child, or special theme collections -- whatever it is that you put on your tree that brings you pleasure each year as you decorate it. Here are a few of the ornaments that have special meaning to me.

We traveled in Florida frequently as we sang gospel music and met some wonderful friends along the way. This angel was given to me by one of those dear friends.

I'm sure Barb has made these at some time!

I really don't remember where I got this snowman, but I have had him for a very long time and he is just a favorite of mine. I always try to display him next to one of the lights so that the glitter will sparkle.

The picture really doesn't do him justice. I guess with all of the lights on things want to glare.

This is actually a centerpiece that my very best girlfriend gave me years ago, so it is so special to me. I believe it was the first year she was selling real estate and this was the gift that she was giving her clients.

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The boys and I made these wooden ornaments one year because we didn't really have the money to purchase any other kind. It was a good memory-maker for us.

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Between 1989-91 I collected teddy bears of all kinds and sizes. So the boys bought me this teddy bear for the tree.

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This was the first ornament that the boys actually walked to town by themselves (we only lived a few blocks from "the square" and it was safer then) and bought this all on their own. Although it usually aggravates me somewhat because the cube is so heavy it wants to pull the tree limb down. But they were sooo proud and I cherish it just the same.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis is another ornament the boys bought me one year. Notice the chocolate on the end of the spoon.

This is something I just prop in the tree. It was a name tag that was on one of my dad's presents years and years ago. I'm not sure why my mother kept it for so long, but now that he is gone I cherish it even more.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis is a wreath with a house on the bottom of it. In August of 1988 I had purchased our first home since my divorce in 1982. This was a big step for me and my boys and I loved the house and that is the one they remember the most about growing up.

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My grandma painted this ornament many years ago and gave it to my mom. Now that they are both gone it is even more special to me.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Kyle, my youngest, gave this to me when he was only 3. It was something he bought with play money at his preschool and the teacher put his name on it. It has always been one of my favorites.

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This collection of gold 4-sided ornaments belonged to my grandmother.

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These are a few of the older christmas balls I have that belonged to my mother. There is the blue, red and silver ribbed ornament with a smaller silver ornament above it that looks like a berry. Then the gold ball with silver glitter on it, as well as the little silver one on the left with a red star in the middle.

And there are several more that I didn't use this year on the 6' tree. But every year I enjoy seeing all of these ornaments as those memories come back to me. One day my children will inherit them and I hope they enjoy them and have memories of their own to share with their children.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Getting Behind


Last Thursday night after I got off work we headed to Florida to do our annual Toys of Love Benefit. This is a benefit that our promotor personally started in his area and I think this is about our 11th one we have done with him. It is similiar to the Toys for Tots program where you bring an unwrapped gift for a child. In addition they take up a love offering to donate for food baskets, etc. that are needed during this Holiday season.

According to our carnal time-frame, it was "just in time" that the Lord blessed us with a motor home to make the trip. We usually take at least 2 vehicles and pull a trailer for the equipment. So it was very nice that we could all travel together in the motor home. By all I mean, Paul, Cody, Lisa, Danny, Kyle, Leslie, Raylynne, Mark, Jim and I. Even though it was much better than riding in cars, when you get that many people in a space, there is never enough room. LOL

It is a wonderful experience to be a part of such a worthy cause. Not only are the children able to have Christmas but we are so blessed just by all of us being together, and seeing old friends that we have met through the years. It is all such a blessing to each of us.


Needless to say when you travel 18 hours straight with 9 other people, have a lack of sleep, setup equipment, practice for a short time, then perform, then visit friends until almost 2 am, rise again at 6:00 and travel 18 hours again, plus saying goodbyes that you don't want to say, and arriving home at 5:30 am, and Jim and I being in our 50's, we just don't recover as quickly as we use to. So Monday we are moving at a slower pace.


I had also taken Monday off from work so I did laundry and cleaned out the motor home.

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

However I'm behind reading my blogs and I haven't had much opportunity to write until now!! But I am trying to catch up, so bare with me.

FRIDAYS FEAST - One Hundred Twenty One

APPETIZER: Which language would you like to learn and why?

Spanish. I have always wanted to learn it and now there is more of a need to know it.
But I would like to learn Italian because I would love to visit Italy.

SOUP: What's the funniest thing you've heard or read so far this week?

I honestly can't think of anything right now.

SALAD: Which movie was so bad you couldn't watch the whole thing?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

MAIN COURSE: If there were a holiday in your honor that didn't use your actual name, what would the day be called?

Choice Day - It would be the day I could choose to do ANYTHING (or NOTHING) I wanted to do. I could choose to be by myself, no pressures to accomplish anything I didn't want to do, or I could just lay on the couch and watch videos if I wanted, or go shopping, or just anything I wanted.

DESSERT: Name one movie which is coming out soon that you would like to see.

The Nativity Story and Happy Feet. I know that's two but I couldn't help myself.

Click here to visit other Fridays Feast participants.