Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008


I got to thinking about New Year's resolutions. I didn't make any last year. I figured why start something you know you won't finish...but then, I discovered that often if you don't make a plan you don't do anything.

The real reason I started thinking about it was due to church attendance yesterday. It was low...really low...but we had tons of visitors. At first, I thought they were mostly visiting family...but the more I listened and paid attention during was people realizing they needed to get back in church, going for the holiday, etc.

That train of thought led me to...what is a resolution anyway? What brings that on? Off to Webster's I go...
resolution-a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner; "he always wrote down his New Year's resolutions".

For me, resolutions carry a certain amount of regret. For example, you regret your bad eating habits and you resolve to eat a more balanced diet and exercise everyday. You feel guilty about your spiritual resolve to read the Bible and pray everyday. Maybe, you decide to take your family back to church, start doing more than just attending, etc. You regret the time you've lost with hubby and resolve to read more together, play more, enjoy more...

For myself personally, I need to make resolutions. I think they encourage and drive me to improve from year to year. I believe a key is to be realistic in my expectations. Maybe exercising three times a week is more doable!? As to what brings this all on...maybe it is just the sentiment of the season...but I wish it happened more throughout the year. This feeling...of unworthiness...humility...might just keep us going to truly change that which we resolve to do.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Advent Conclusion...

We just concluded our first year of celebrating Advent. We made changes as we went along and came out with something we really liked. We added a song to each night in addition to the scripture verse, prayer and candle lighting.
First Candle symbolizes HOPE--so we sang, "O Holy Night"
Second Candle symbolizes PEACE--so we sang, "Silent Night"
Third Candle symbolizes JOY--so we sang, "Joy to the World"
Fourth Candle symbolizes LOVE--so we sang, "Jesus Loves Me"
Fifth Candle symbolizes CHRIST--so we sang, "Away in the Manger"

A song was added each Sunday night...and by the last night it was a lot of singing. The kids really seemed to like this...Caleb grinned and bopped very cutely! Emma belted out Jesus Loves Me and Away in the Manger. It was neat. They loved the candles...and were very good while Daddy prayed and read the Bible! Overall, I'd say it is something we will look forward to eagerly next year. Every year we will be able to share more and more with them!

Here is a picture of our Christmas dinner table. We set a place for Jesus' and talked about it being His birthday. We talked about Him being in heaven ('cuz Emma wanted to know where He was, 'cuz His seat was empty) and we remembered His being born in the manger. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus too!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen...

Thirteen Things I Like About Christmas.... (okay, it's lame...but I can't think of anything else)...

1. This year I enjoy being HOME and not travelling!

2. Lots of smiles!

3. Snow...even if we didn't get any this year.

4. Playing with the stuff you've been looking forward to....especially since as an adult I usually pick my own gift out anyhew!

5. This year we are loving advent...CAN'T WAIT to light the final candle tonight. Pictures are coming!!

6. All the fun Christmas movies on TV at the same time!

7. Relatives close...and calling if they aren't!

8. Grams...she gets her own slot this year cuz she's here in person!

9. Good Christmas books to read...Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever!!!

10. The Bible story...from Luke...always is wonderful!

11. Time with my hubby. It feels like Saturday when he's home! The kids love that!

12. Lots of cookies. They are SOOOOOO good...for you!

13. Remembering the REAL reason for this celebration....the birth of JESUS CHRIST...our LORD...and SAVIOR!!!

Thursday Thirteen is ending...this will be my last one...I guess! This just figures... Everytime I start a new Meme they end it. Maybe it's me...just kidding! Here is their final case you are interested.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fall Into Reading Wrap-Up!

Fall Into Reading 2008 was great! To see my list click here. Since I only made it 10/15 I guess I should say my list was unrealistic but that's not quite what happened. I was sidetracked by some other great reads! I will be ready for next year...with only books I REALLY want to read.

Here are a list of some of the books that sidetracked me from my FIR books...

Rett MacPherson's Torie O'Shea Mysteries

Joanne Heim's Living Simply

L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and Emily series

Louis Lamour's The Sacketts

Keep's good for the 'ole MomE brain!

Memory Monday...Matthew 2:10-11

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
And when they came into the house, they saw the young Child, with
Mary, His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.

Well, close...I had entered instead of came into....forgot the young...and had His mother, Mary instead...oops!

I think I'm going to memorize the angels' speech to the Shepherds for next week!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my fellow MMers!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill-ins!

Fill in the lyrics...with the correct ones or ones of your own :-) Have fun with this, don't worry if you don't know 'em...just make up something silly or do a silly one and a serious one! The most important part is to have fun with it.Here we go!

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see what I see? Way up in the sky, little lamb? A star, a star. Dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite...with a tail as big as a kite!

2. The first Noel, the angel did say,Was to certain poor shepherds In fields as they lay; In fields where they lay Keeping their sheep, On a cold winter's night That was so deep. Chorus:Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, Born is the King of Israel.

3. Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere. Go, tell it on the mountain, That Jesus Christ is born..

4. It came upon the midnight clear,That glorious song of old, From angels bending near the earth, To touch their harps of gold: 'Peace on the earth, good will to men, 'From heav'n's all-gracious King. The world in solemn stillness lay, To hear the angels sing!

5. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light. From now on our troubles will be out of sight.

6. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas soon the bells will start And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing is right within your heart.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pizza and a christmas movie with just us, tomorrow my plans include Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa Wells, and Sunday, I want to take a long nap but I'm going to clean all afternoon in prep for my Grandma's visit!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen...

So, I thought I'd try something new...Thursday Thirteen looked fun and different...I had no idea it was so they say, "It's more than a Meme, It's a microcosm." I looked up microcosm for ya'll...according to Webster's it means A little world; miniature universe. A relatively small object or system considered as representative of a larger system of which it is a part.

Thirteen of my Favorite Christmas ranked order.

1. Springerlie (This is an old Dutch family recipe...anise flavored..ugly...and very addictive)

2. Raisin Filled Cookies (Jack and Mary Vaughn makes the very best!)

3. Molasses Cookies In our family we argue about Henry C. (my great grandfather's) or Mary V's (family friend family)

4. Jelly Jewels These have a blob of jelly in the middle. In my opinion they should be bite sized and made with jelly that tastes good...not looks NO MINT JELLY...yuck!

5. Snickerdoodles Cinnamon and sugar...yummo!

6. Frosted Sugar Cookies I don't want many...but they are fun...Can't wait to do this with Emma this year!

7. Apricot Balls (gluten free--I almost got really sick eating these last year. My Mom made me A LOT of them!)

8. Citrus Macaroons (gluten free--my hubby loves these. They aren't very citrusy...I wonder if I could add an extract.)

9. Pumpkin Cookies (another of my hubby's favorites..of course he loves pumpkin pie so...)

10. Chocolate Crinkles (cuz they are easy and quick to make)

11. Gingerbread Men (yes, have to have legs to bite off too.)

12. Peanut Butter Fingers (yes, I know...not really a cookie but work with me people!)

13. Pecan Pie (I think this is only fair...because should be a cookie!)

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Atheist to Theist Poetry...

This sign is posted in Olympia, Washington. It got me to thinking of a version of my own.
Here's is their version....

At this season of
may reason prevail.
There are no gods,
no devils, no angels,
no heaven, or hell.
There is only
our natural world.

Religion is but
myth and superstition
that hardens hearts
and enslaves minds.

by the Freedom from Religion Foundation

Here is my version...

At this season of
may hope prevail.

There is a GOD,
and nothing separates us from His love.
Not death, nor life, nor angels
nor principalities, nor powers
nor things present or things to come.

Not height, or depth
or any other creature
can separate us from the
Love of GOD
which is in

Religion is but a belief system.
Only by basing it on
Jesus Christ
the gracious gift of Christmas
can any one's
heart be saved
and mind renewed.

by Roberta Wells (and Romans 8:37:39)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Memory Monday...Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJ

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called,
The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
And of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end."

Some of my punctuation was off. I used shall instead of will...and added THEs were they shouldn't be. My biggest knowing Handel's Messiah too well!

Some deeper study....I used the Webster's dictionary...

Wonderful- exciting wonder; unusually good. Also, marvelous and admirable.
Counselor- giver of advice.
Mighty God- the sovereign Creator characterized by great power.
Everlasting Father- a man who has begotten a child who is lasting or enduring for all time.
Prince of Peace- the ruler of the state of tranquility and quiet. Giver of freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions. Monarch of harmony is personal relations.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Bethlehem Star

I was intrigued to hear this story on Fox News, "Scholar Suggests Sun, Moon, Planets Aligned to Create Biblical Star of Bethlehem." I am always fascinated when a Biblical story is proven by science. Evidently, I'm among the minority in thinking/knowing that December 25th held no Biblical significance. I'm afraid, I'm also odd in my belief that something can be supernatural and scientific. I guess that comes from believing in the Creator and His marvelous abilities!

I searched and searched for a picture of this nova, planet, comet, occultation, conjunction, whatever....but none are as great as my imagination. There was some pretty interesting stuff out there though! It was so neat to read this around this time of year. One article talks about how the wise men could have seen the "constellation" rise in the sky...and then followed its' movement. Fascinating!

On a side note, I'm a bit of a nut where the wise men are concerned anyway. I firmly believe that they weren't present at Christ's birth. In Matthew 2:11, it specifically called Jesus a "young child" upon their arrival. Other evidence would be the fact that evil King Herod has all babies killed under the age of 2 (Matthew 2:16). As a mother, that just makes my heart cry. All that to say, I don't like to see the wise men next to the baby in nativity scenes. In our house...they are across the room on the bookshelf. In case you're wondering the space between the piano and bookshelf is a span of a few years! Ha ha ha!
Also, any ideas what they did with the gold, frankincense and myrrh? I'd like to research what those things were used for in biblical times. Gold...easy enough...monetary. I wonder if they could be used in sacrifices. I was chit chatting as I got my teeth cleaned yesterday (already the wheels of this blog were turning) and my dental hygienist suggested that maybe they could use the spices to smell better...'cuz they didn't bathe as often back then. Interesting.
Hope this story comes alive to you this year. Re read the story if you haven't in a while. I've heard it a bunch...but it was different this year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Meme...

I decided to join this Christmas Meme because it is fun. Plus, I'm having blogger's block.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?Coffee

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?Santa doesn't bring us presents.

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white?White.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?Nope, but I have a plastic piece I think about hanging each year. I'm not quite sure how to attach it above a doorway.

5.When do you put your decorations up?It used to be the day after Thanksgiving but with advent it was week before.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?Uhhhh...pecan pie. Not only for dessert!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?Putting on the real records and decorating the tree together as a family.

8.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?I had a talk with my Dad in the car. I asked him if Santa was real. He, in typical Dad fashion, answered with a question, "How do we know if something is real or not?" I said, "Well, it would be in the Bible." He nodded. I was silent for a bit...and then asked, "Is Santa in the Bible?" He said, "No." And that was it. I was satisfied with that answer.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?Yes--pajamas.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?We use gold ribbon from our wedding as garland. All the ornaments we've gathered over time. Some are from my Grandma...and were made by my Mom when she was little! I'm so excited for them to start being made by my own babies!

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?Love it. Well, if I don't have to drive in it.

12. Can you ice skate?Ugh, ouch...NO!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?I remember dollies...and their names. I had Danielle Grace (a My Child), Ruth Ann (Cabbage Patch I named after my Grandma because she was in the hospital), Janet Louisa, Gregory James (he was bald)...I have some of my old stuffed animals and remember their names too! I had two Wrinkles names Samson and Boaz! Ahhh, the things you remember.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?Springerlie. Well, after Pecan pie!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Watching Charlie Brown's Christmas.

17. What tops your Christmas tree?A twiggy gold star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?Giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?O Holy Night.

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?I want about one a year. I like to suck them 'til they get a sharp point!

21. What do you want for Christmas?Snow...not a gray one!

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?There are always church parties, etc.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's?Dress up for church.

24. Do you own a Santa hat?Nope.

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Today, I had an appointment with my friend. We laugh that it is so much cheaper than real therapy! She makes a mean latte too...and always gives me my blue mug!

I've been reading Joanne Heim's book Living Simply and it's caused me to muse on friendships in my life. It is interesting to observe that I've always been somewhat of a loner in my way. I have been friendly with all (even now I have a million happy acquaintances) but only have maybe a handful of close friends. JH brought my mind back to Avonlea where Anne and Diana are "bosom friends" and "kindred spirits." I don't think I've ever had one person that fit that role. Maybe in my husband I find that kindred spiritness but not among women. I generally find women...especially in large groups to be trying! That's the nice way to put it...catty, divisive, cliquish...are other descriptive words. I'm very direct...maybe that's why. I've never been into the high emotion, girly girlness. I'd rather just tell it like it is. I was raised to not exclude anyone...and among girl groups that was seldom normal behavior. As an adult it is easier...but not everything changes.

I've been happy to watch my kids starting to be friends. They are close in age (22 months) and many people have promised me they'll be close. They are just now starting to play together. Granted they aren't always great at sharing but sometimes...they really play. They are friends! This just thrills me! It took me a long time to develop a friend relationship with my own brother...we are about 10 years apart in age...and I know it means a lot to me now! JH reminds us to model friendship for our kids. Do they see us making time for people? Do they hear us care for our friends?

Facebook is a very interesting measure of friendship over the years. Not to get too warm and fuzzy but it has meant a lot to me. Having high school friends that I'd all but forgotten, find me and renew friendship. Having past third graders willingly keep me in their lives as a friend...more than just a teacher. Seeing college friends expand their families and advance their futures. It's neat and surprising.

Friendship means a lot to me.

"As iron sharpens iron, so a woman sharpens the countenance of her friend." Proverbs 27:17

Monday, December 8, 2008

Memory Monday...Jeremiah 17:7-10

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."

I struggled with the NIV translation of this. I'm going back to my NKJV next week. I want to make it "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" I'm not sure what translation that is really but I have the right idea.

This passage was encouraging to me...that the Lord takes care of those who put their confidence in him. It's also incredibly humbling to remember that he sees my heart and mind and knows what I deserve...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Random Christmas Questions...


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags are part of the gift!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Right now, artificial. When I don't have kids that eat things off the floors and knock things over, etc. etc. I might try real! Maybe...

3. When do you put up the tree? Used to be the day after Thanksgiving but now that we are celebrating Advent it goes up just before, with the candles, etc.!

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years

5. Do you like eggnog? I try it every year...and every year I think..."nope...still don't like it."

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember being ridiculously excited about my first alarm clock. I must have been about 11 or 12. My parents have it on's really embarrassing! Okay, so I was always very interested in independence and control!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband. I just let him tell versa. That way, I'm sure!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Myself...does that count?

9. Do you have a nativity scene? A new one this year! We're soooo excited!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Email?? That's just wrong!!!

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Humph...I really, honestly...can't think of anything!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas. I love's a musical!!!!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December 26.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yeah...Hey...I'm economizing...Go Green, right?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Springerlie cookies. They aren't the prettiest but they are the tastiest. My husband thinks they are addictive!

16. Lights on the tree? What? People don't put lights on their tree?

17. Favorite Christmas songs? O Holy Night---right where it goes, "Fall on your knees...." I get goosebumps!

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Just starting our stay at home traditions!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? I thought I could do it with the song...but nope! Can't! Bummer.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? PJs Christmas Eve...Everything else Christmas morning. Exceptions include...Christmas celebrated early or late with relatives spread around.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Missing parties because of sick kids, or sick selves!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I'm partial to..... Jesus.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? A purse I ordered for myself...from Darren...ugh...WHAT? and yeah, Merry to the world...!

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Begins...

Our house is decked out for advent. Our little tree is for advent...the kids put one ornament on for each day. I'm cross-stitching some neat ones for next this year they are just using tiny balls.

Here are our candles and wreath. Hope, Peace, Joy, Love...Christ!

Here is our new nativity (an early Christmas present)--each year we will be adding some pieces. This year it is Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds and the animals. That still gives a LOT to talk about with Emma...and Caleb!
Here is the schedule we are case you're interested....
First Sunday of advent : Hope
light one purple candle to symbolize Hope
Read Isaiah 60:2-3
Extinguish the flame
Second Sunday : Peace
Light two purple candles - Hope and Peace
Read Mark 1:4
Extinguish the flames

Third Sunday : Joy
Light two purple candles (Hope and Peace)
and one rose to symbolize Joy
Read Isaiah 35:10
Extinguish the flames
Fourth Sunday: Love
light all four candles - Hope, Peace, Joy and Love
Read Isaiah 9:6-7
Extinguish the flames
Christmas Eve
After Sunset...Light all four candles
and add the fifth white candle(the light of Christ)
Read Luke 1:68-79 and Luke 2:1-20
Keep the candles lit a bit longer, or safely throughout the evening.

Monday Memory...better late...

1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (NASB...emphasis mine)
"Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heaven and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now, therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name."

I got home really late last didn't post. This notecard is tatered...and made it through car troubles and stress. It was great to be memorizing scripture. It is TRUE! Greatness, power, glory, victory, majesty, dominion....riches and honor...power and might...Praise His Glorious Name!

I did make a few booboos...I keep flipping "riches and honor" and "power and might" in various ways. Just an honesty check there! Haven't had a chance to think about this weeks' yet...guess, I'll go sit down and decide!