Sunday, December 23, 2007

From our home to yours...



May you have a blessed and Merry Christmas!


May your heart rejoice in the One whose birth we celebrate...
God in human flesh.

He did not stay the babe in a manger
He was and is...

Jesus
Emmanuel
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
Savior

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6


"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11


"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Luke 2:14


Christmas blessings to you and yours...

~~~~~~~~



I will be taking a bloggy break until after January 1st. See you next year! : )


**Image provided by allposters.com

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I must be losing my mind....

Or I misplaced it somewhere in the midst of wrapping paper, Christmas cards and dogs eating popcorn off Christmas trees.

So yesterday morning I was busily trying to get out of the house to do the numerous errands on my list and get back for a 4pm hair appointment and a 6pm Christmas dinner at church. (A little overbooked, don't you think?!) Ashleigh called and we were laughing and talking as I was rushing around gathering the last of the Christmas cards to be mailed out and paperwork to be dropped off at our church's Christian school.

I kissed my guys goodbye and rushed out the door, still talking to Ashleigh on the phone. I hopped up into my hubby's jeep and took off down the street--but as I got farther from home, Ashleigh's voice was breaking up. I thought it strange because my cell phone never has problems in this area. That's when I realized I was not on my cell phone, but on the house phone! Ashleigh's trying to talk to me and am trying to tell her what's going on, but of course I was out of range, so she couldn't hear me. At the same time, I was laughing so hard, I could hardly turn the jeep around to get back home. Once I was able to tell Ashleigh, she started cracking up and we had a good laugh. And yes, my guys thought it was pretty funny too. : )

We were supposed to go to Knott's Berry Farm today. We've gone every Christmas since 1993 when Knott's started allowing firefighters and their families in for free or a discounted admission price. Unfortunately, Ashleigh's husband John was up all night with a stomach bug, so we are going to try to go tomorrow instead. If you think about it, please be praying for my sweet girl and her family. They've had a rough week with illness, getting ready for John to leave for Iraq in a few weeks and they received heartbreaking news yesterday from John's sister that added to an already difficult week.

So today we are home. Zach is practicing his fiddle for a memorial service at church on Saturday, Rande is trimming the bottom of the bedroom doors--and as soon as I finish this post, I have ten different things I could choose to do--obviously not doing all of them at once, lest I leave the house with the portable phone again. : )

Hope y'all are having a happy and blessed Thursday!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Popcorn for breakfast and other Sunday happenings...

Remember in my last post I mentioned we strung popcorn for the Christmas tree?

See this face? Isn't he cute?



Well, we weren't thinking he was too cute when we came home from church this afternoon and discovered Brodie had decided he wanted popcorn for breakfast. He had eaten the entire bottom strand of popcorn off the Christmas tree!

Of course I just had to get a picture of him by the tree--notice the strand hanging down? Uh, yeah. Guess he was thinking we had strung that popcorn just for him!


Thankfully, there was one leftover strand from the other day, so I was able to tie it on and you'd never know about our beloved border collie's rebellion. : )

On to other Sunday happenings--we enjoyed an excellent message this morning at church followed by the annual Christmas cantata. This year's presentation was Born to Die by Ron Hamilton. It was very moving and I believe the Lord used it to touch hearts--I know it touched mine. Zach sang in the choir and had a speaking part, which was actually fun to watch because this was a boy who when he was little, would never want to take part in any holiday church specials because he was so scared. Once he even cried his little eyes out and ran down the isle back to where we were sitting. Isn't the Lord good to help him overcome his fears? Rande and I were very encouraged.

As I type this, my dear hubby is taking a nap because he worked his 24 hour shift yesterday. Zach and his good friend Thomas are playing the Wii and drinking Starbucks. Thomas is home for Christmas break from Pensacola Christian College. He just got home yesterday and the boys couldn't wait to get in some Wii time.

And for the record--our couch is not tomato red. I love red, but not tomato red. It just comes out this way in pictures. It's actually this color (Cardinal Red), which is a deeper red. I will say though--I *love* my red couch! : )

I hope you all are having a blessed Lord's Day! Hugs to you all!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stringing popcorn...

Yesterday afternoon, Ashleigh and her little family stopped by on their way home from Colorado. We all went to church, came home, had cherry pie and ice cream--and I promptly fell asleep while Ashleigh was talking to me. I have been running like a crazy woman these past two weeks and just couldn't keep my eyes open a second longer.




Troy is really into snowmen right now, so I had this little Frosty waiting for him. You push a little button and it plays the Frosty the Snowman song. Troy loved Frosty and we had to listen to him play his little song over and over. : )






It was so good to see little Merritt too--he's getting so big! It's hard to believe he's already six weeks old. Being a Grammie is the best!











But the real reason for John and Ashleigh stopping by, was so we could carry on a tradition we started many years ago: stringing popcorn for our Christmas tree.

Putting popcorn on the Christmas tree is something Rande always did growing up and I loved the idea. The first time we strung popcorn, we invited a bunch of friends over and we made a party of it--complete with dessert, hot chocolate and hot apple cider.






We make a new batch every 3-4 years (we air-pop the kernels) and it's always fun to see who will join us. This year it was Troy and Merritt! All Troy wanted to do though is try and eat the popcorn!






And even though John was so tired from all the driving he did the past two days--he was a trooper and helped string popcorn.









The only bummer was Rande had to work and couldn't join us. This was the only time we could do it though. Normally we would have our Christmas tree decorated by now (we'll do that tomorrow night when Rande is home) and the outside lights up, but we've been so busy trying to get the house in some sort of order to be able to actually enjoy the holiday in a house that's not a mess. It's been exhausting, but good.

I think the only things we have left to do are the baseboards throughout the house, trimming the bottom of the bedroom doors (once the carpet was installed they no longer closed), installing closet doors in all three bedrooms and some other minor things. Rande and I were saying it feels like we've been on one of those t.v. shows where they re-do a room in two days--or whatever it is. It's been fun and stressful at the same time. It's all good though! And we have much to be thankful for--our house is starting to feel like a home again.

I'll leave you with a picture of Zach's bathroom. Well, it's not a full picture, but it will give you an idea of what it's starting to look like. Plus I think the people in the picture are really cute! : )


Monday, December 10, 2007

Good morning!

Did y'all have a wonderful weekend? I sure hope so!

On Saturday, Zach came home from a youth retreat at Camp Ironwood. It's called the Ezra Retreat (based on Ezra 7:10) and it was very different from the teen camp he attends in the summer--this had less "fun" (although it included that too) and much more intensive Bible study and personal evaluation. It was intense, but he thoroughly enjoyed it--and it was exciting to see how the very things the Lord was showing him over the course of the retreat, were confirmed through the messages at church yesterday. Don't you just love how God does that?! I know it was a great encouragement to Zach.

Rande worked Friday and Saturday and was home yesterday. I am so thankful that even though my husband comes home completely exhausted from going on calls all day and night (he works at a very busy fire station) he still wants to go to church. Granted, there are times when I'm sure he'd like to lie down in the pew, rather than sit in it! ::smile:: Really though, Rande is such an example to me in this area.

When we awoke yesterday morning there was a light dusting of snow. I know it doesn't even compare to the snow Ashleigh and her little family are enjoying right now--but it was beautiful! And with the cold weather outside, it seemed fitting to make chili and cornbread for our Sunday meal. My guys were thrilled! They love a good, hearty meal.

This weekend was also spent praying for those who are facing difficult circumstances: two families in our church lost loved ones on Saturday. Both were dear, older saints. Homegoings are bittersweet for those of us left on this earth, aren't they? We are thankful our loved one is now in the presence of their beloved Savior...but our hearts miss them so.

Also if you would take a moment to pray for this precious little girl. She fell from a tree--20 feet-- and it's a miracle Morgan is alive. Please pray for her family too--especially her mama. Alyssa is a wonderful mother (when Ashleigh was 14 she spent time with her) and this is one of those things that can happen to any of us.

On a much lighter note: Rande and I stayed up until after midnight (he did get a nap in between church services) hanging the curtains in our family room. Unfortunately, when we went to hang the last panel (there are two on each window), something was not quite right. It was in the same packaging as the other three, and the SKU numbers all matched, but the color and texture were slightly off. (The curtains are a chocolate brown chenille.) We were tired and delirious, so at that point all we could do was say, oh well!

So guess what I'm doing today? Yep, making the long drive to exchange one curtain panel. The nearest store that carries them is just over an hour away. I do have some other things to get and will make the most of it. Such is life when you live out in the boonies! (But hey, we do have a Home Depot!) ::smile::

Oh! And our bedroom furniture arrived! Woohoo! We've had our clothes in plastic containers since July and it's bliss to have actual drawers to put them in. I'm telling ya'--these are exciting times!

Have a wonderful and blessed Monday!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

These are the moments...

Precious moments. The kind you know are completely from the Lord...etched in a mother's heart and mind. Forever.

Sitting in my car this afternoon--in the middle of the grocery store parking lot--I listened as my son shared his heart. As he talked, I took in every word he said--fully realizing this was one of those moments. It was a gift from the Lord, to me. Answered prayer. Thank You, Lord.

There we were for at least a half hour, sitting in the car. Talking. Listening. Mother and son. Two sinners saved by God's amazing grace. Thank You, Lord.



"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13




May you have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On a mission...

I'm still here! Although I am a little distracted as we continue the final stages of our remodel.

Ashleigh and John were quite surprised when they arrived on Saturday. The "surprise" was how very different our family room looks now--with the new flooring, new paint color (the house was painted months ago in a neutral color, but I decided to paint this room in a khaki) and new furniture--the whole room has been completely transformed. I promise to post pictures when it's done. Today I'll be hanging the drapes and we still need to put the baseboards on. : )

Monday evening Zach and I went to pick out a shower curtain, towels and rugs for our front bathroom, which is the bathroom he uses. You would think a teenage boy wouldn't be interested in that kind of thing, but we actually had a lot of fun and I appreciated his input.

Yesterday was spent trying to find things like towel rods, cabinet hardware (knobs and pulls), bath accessories, a shower rod, accent pillows for the couch, drapes, lamps--and I ordered our bedroom furniture, which should be delivered this weekend. What an ordeal that has been! The master bedroom is not very big and it's been a challenge to find pieces that will work as far as storage and size. We finally settled on a headboard, two nightstands and an armoire (instead of a tall dresser). I truly wish we could have kept our old dresser because it was my grandmother's. It is beautiful maple, very well made, with a matching mirror--I loved it! But it is huge! It was much too large for our bedroom and we had to set it at an angle because it wouldn't fit along the wall. And our nightstands were actually end tables that belonged to my grandmother--again much too big for our room. So we gave the dresser to Ashleigh and John, with the promise to keep it in the family--and the end tables we'll just hold onto and see if we can use them somewhere else.

Can I be honest with you for a minute? As thrilled as I am about finishing our house, I really don't enjoy the process of decorating. It's very stressful and overwhelming to me because I don't have an "eye" for it and I have a hard time visualizing how things look. I have been relying on a certain catalog for ideas and inspiration. But what I really would like is for my mom or my friend Julie to fly out and do it all for me! ::smile:: They both have impeccable taste when it comes to decorating.

I also realize that while it's fun to decorate and purchase new things--it's all just "stuff". While I was out yesterday I received the sad news that an acquaintance had died. She suffered a brain aneurysm and within days was gone. She was a Christian, wife, mother and grandmother. The news of her homegoing caused me to reflect on what is truly important in this life--our relationship with Jesus Christ (and sharing the Gospel), our family, serving others, our health, ect... Don't get me wrong--I am very thankful to the Lord for providing the means to get our home back in order. It's just that in the midst of all this "house stuff" it's easy to focus on things, rather than that which is eternal.

So, we continue on! And I will post pictures--we seemed to have lost the battery charger for our small camera and I just got my Nikon back after loaning it to a friend.

Happy Wednesday everyone!! : )