Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland



















Sunday, December 26, 2010

So this is Christmas...

This is Christmas:  Shopping the entire year, and still having a last minute gift to buy on Christmas eve. Being overly excited, because you have had your husband and dogs stocking stuffers tucked away and hidden for the past two months, and tonight is the night you get to sneak out and fill them.  Christmas is having a husband who goes all out on your very own stocking, filling it with treats and toys, and a horse stuffed animal, because you’re never too old to love stuffed animals.  All these emotions you never knew you had (or simply didn’t remember so much) for Christmas morning, come welling up as you open your bedroom door wondering what “santa” (or your husband) has brought you.  It is the memories of Christmases from the past 20+ years, of waiting at the end of a never ending hallway, waiting for Pop to get the video camera. Remembering different hunts Santa would send you on to find your big gift. Being so excited and filled with anticipation as if opening your gifts was "do-or-die", and then standing in complete awe, overwhelmed, not touching a thing because of the astonishment.  Christmas is calling your best friends to share stories about your morning, gifts, and silly family moments.

This is Christmas: Being so excited for the holiday, family, and friends, but feeling so saddened because your best friend is in Colorado, spending her first Christmas alone.  It’s no longer the need to open presents, but to comfort her because she is miles away from home. Christmas is crying as you write this post because you miss Hillary so much and want the best for her.  It’s wishing you could watch your “niece” experience her first real Christmas.  Amongst ribbons and bows and discarded paper you take in a roomful of warm, happy faces atop full bellies and eggnog. There are teary eyes as the money-pricey gifts are nearly ignored in favor of the heart-pricey gifts; hand drawn pictures of a father and son, and specialty quilts made by a mediocre seamstress. Gifts from the other side of the world, so full of culture and knowledge. Seeing a grandmother watch her posterity and reflecting on her full, full life.  Memories of relatives (and pets) long gone but still felt have been passed out, unwrapped, only to find the feelings and reminiscences come flooding out of your eyes. Suspended in moments of time, staring at what is in your hands. We are rich, is the unspoken phrase that hangs on every molecule in the room, whether or not there are presents to give and a table of food to be eaten from. We are simply fortunate that this is so. We are fortunate to have one another, this family.

This is Christmas: Knowing the greatest gift can’t be found under a tree and unwrapped. But it can be found in a manger, swaddled in cloth, and changing the world from the moment He was sent here.  Our Savior is truly Christmas.  This is Christmas. He is Christmas. The friends, family, presents, and the essence of life are all because of Him. Let’s rejoice in His world. 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Pageant

Last night was the Coalition of Churches Christmas special. And what an amazing experience it was! It was so nice to gather together as sons and daughters of our God to worship the Lord and Savior. Everyone put aside our differences and sang Christmas songs that glorified Christ as one.  After everyone sang their songs, and shared their messages, the adult choir joined with the entire audience and sang Silent Night.  It was the most beautiful thing about that night. 
I have always loved “O Holy Night”. It has been my favorite Christmas carol since I was young, and I had the opportunity of singing it last night with my good friend Nicole accompanying me on the guitar.  So, since I’m already slacking off on my “10 days of Carols” trend, I’ll post nothing more than the lyrics of these two beautiful songs.  I think they need nothing more than a simple reading, no need for interpretation.

O Holy Night
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, 
Now come the Wiseman from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!


  
Silent Night
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The 12 Days of Christmas"

We are on the official countdown to 10 days till Christmas. Everyone is scurrying around buy presents, decorating houses, stringing lights, and spending time with friends and family. But as every Christian knows, it is so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of December. With that being said, I figured for the remainder of Christmas time, I want to share something spiritual with my readers everyday. Instead of bible verses, or spiritual messages, I think it might be fun to share the true meaning of some of our popular Christmas carols, and how they truly relate to Christ. 

Every try singing "The 12 Days of Christmas" without the radio. You're doing pretty good if you can get up to 7 Swans of Swimming. But from then on it just seems to mumble in to "...eleven duumm dummm dumduming...ten...um...welll....NINE!!" ...And so on and so forth.  But let's get real. What the heck does partridges and and pair tress have to do with Christmas, much less the birth of Christ?? What do Lords of Leaping actually leap over? And just exactly what kind of dancing ladies are we talking about here?! Well, believe it or not, every gift of the 12 Days as a spiritual attachment. Here ya go:

1The 'partridge in a pear tree' is Jesus who died on the cross. In ancient times a partridge was often used as mythological symbol of a divine, sacred king.
The 'two turtle doves' are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible - another gift from God. Doves also symbolise peace.
The 'three French hens' are faith, hope and love - the three gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 13). The French hens can also represent God the Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The 'four calling birds' are the four Gospels in the New Testament of the Bible.
The 'five golden rings' are the first five books of the Bible also called the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses or the Torah.
The 'six geese a-laying' are the six days of creation.
The 'seven swans a swimming' are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4:10-11)
The 'eight maids a milking' are the eight beatitudes, Jesus' teachings on happiness. (See Matthew 5:3-10)
The 'nine ladies dancing' are nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22)
The 'ten lords a-leaping' are the Ten Commandments in the Bible. (See Exodus 20)
The 'eleven pipers piping' are the eleven faithful disciples of Jesus.
The 'twelve drummers drumming' were the twelve points of the Apostles'


See, so now that we know this fun bit of information, let's all try to put Christ back where he belongs. Because after all...Jesus is the reason for the Season! 

God Bless everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fle





    Meet Fle

FLE

Every year, on December first
He comes to watch us, unrehearsed.
His name is Fle, our family elf
He sits way up, high on the shelf.
He travels far from the North Pole
To decide if we get candy or coal.

Now every elf is silly and fun,
But Fle’s story has just begun.
He’s traveled with Santa, far and wide
Sat as his right hand man on the sleigh ride.
But Fle wanted a family to call his own,
So Santa sent him here to make this his home.

Just like all elves, he loves to play games,
He’s the best a hide and seek, he claims.
His favorite cookie is chocolate chip,
And very hot cocoa he loves to sip.

He loves to read stories, especially of Christ,
Because He is the reason for this special Night.
Fle loves to giggle and run and play,
Though you don’t see it, it happens all day.
Though he is very still when you are near,
But he is back to playing when the cost is clear!

He is good at sports, especially football
But he really loves skating most of all.
His favorite season is winter of course
That’s when he can ride his horse.
Fle has many talents too,
He can sing and dance, and play the flute!

Now we know all about Fle,
From what he likes to what he sees!
He will be here forever, to be with us
In him when put our Christmas trust.
He knows us best, because we’re his family,
Bub, Zelly, Zip, Tank, Frankie and now Fle.
















NEGLECT

Don’t get all worked up. I’m not beating the dogs or starving my husband. But I am more than guilty of blogger cruelty and neglect.  Which as of yet, I don’t think is a capital offense, but regardless I am blameworthy for my transgressions and accept full responsibility.  My punishment: blogging my little tush off.

Let’s see, last blog we discussed how absolutely amazing my Pop is. And although he is still just as cool and noteworthy, so many things have happened in the month and a half that I’ve left you hanging.

I had every intention of staying updated on my blog, but after writing all about the incredible adventures we had in Las Vegas and at the Grand Canyon and uploading a bazillion pictures, lovely blogger decided to crash and delete every word and every pixel of my post. I was a little turned off to blogging for a while. Sorry folks. But once the urge to erase blogging from my memory and implant a bug in to blogspot ceased, I’m back in action.

(Excuse me while I stalk my own Facebook to remember of my November happenings).

November in a nut shell:

Las Vegas was GREAT! Cirque du Soleil: The Beatles LOVE show. Margaritaville. The Strip and all it has to offer. The Mirage Hotel.  Hoover Dam. The Grand Canyon and all of our beautiful family memories.  AMAZING!






The whole trip really was an adventure of a life time. Brent and I are so grateful to have an amazing Mom and Pop to treat us to such an amazing trip! Love you both.

We returned home from one epic trip to some very anxious puppies; one of which got Kennel Cough while he was in a boarding facility. Poor little Tank. He spent a week coughing like a car horn, but made a more than full recovery!



Thanksgiving was spent with the Clark family here in Lyman. It was filled with a delicious meal followed by an outrageous game of Cranium, which consisted of my cute husband not knowing how to sing the ever-so-popular song “Pretty Woman”, inevitably loosing the game for us.  Just teasing, we make a great team in all that we do.

The morning after Thanksgiving, Brent and I participated in our first ever “Black Friday” experience. I insisted that getting there at 3:30 am was a full necessity, and so it was done.  Wal-mart before dawn truly brings out the worst in this cute newly-wed couple and let’s just say that we probably won’t make this a tradition.

This has been a horrible football season for us. The Cowboys were projected for the Super bowl but crashed those dreams with this horrible season. And the Florida Gators are having a hard time learning how to play football without my boyfriend Tebow.  I’m going to start watching golf. I won’t get worked up enough to start throwing TV’s I think.

Hillary wee-wee came to visit. On her way out to Crested Butte, Colorado for the winter season, she stopped in four a couple of days. This is the closest we have lived to each other in 7 years, and By George, we will take full advantage of a measly 8 hour distance.  Lots of miles to be put on my truck!

Remember Booger? Not the ones from my nose, but our super cool new cat? Ya, well, he is gone. MIA. Found a new home. Ran over. Whatever. But my poor little Boog is not in my arms where he belongs. I am heartbroken. He truly completed our little four legged family. Frankie has gone back to his comatose state of sleeping in his rocking chair, and the big kids (dogs) stare out the doggie/cat door longing for Booger to come waltzing in.  So, if you happen to see the cutest little black cat wondering around your yard, bring him back to me.

On other news! Brent got in the hiring pool at FMC! Which is completely God sent! He truly answered our prayers and things are on the up and up as far as jobs! As for now, he is still gone Monday through Thursday, and yes, it still sucks. As for me, I am almost done with my EMT class! I have been taking shifts on the ambulance and getting tons of amazing experience and LOVING every minute of it. I take my final on January 24th.


We are in full swing of Christmas here. I have been Christmas shopping since December 26th of 2009 and haven’t stopped. I just absolutely love this season.  I feel like Pre-Christmas happenings deserve a blog all on its own, so you’ll just have to wait.

But there is the update for you. I will never go without blogging again. 
It’s my therapy.

The boys are good. Family is good. We are good. Life is good. 
God is good! Amen!  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Service


My Pop has many loves in his life...But mainly a good foot massage and the Florida Gators...and my momma. He definitely loves my momma.


As a little girl I used to style his hair with various kitchen utensils, to portray the different boys in my elementary school class.  “This is how Kyle does his hair. And Michael does his this way. …I don’t like Ryan, but his hair looks like this.”  All said while mindless interrupting a football game, Nascar, or occasionally an episode of ‘Tales from the Crypt’. But he didn't mind.  I remember once as my pop sat in his lounge chair as I played with his hair from behind, I found a hard solid knot directly on the top of his head.  “That’s a bullet.” He said. “...got shot in Vietnam, and the bullet is still in my head. Now you can feel it trying to get out.”  Without concern I continued with his next modern day hair style, not blinking an eye.

It seems like every morning I would watch my Pop get ready for work.  He’d have on his underwear, T-shirt, and black socks. Then he would put on his slacks. He would do up his zipper, button, and belt. Put on his white collared shirt. Button it up. Undo his zipper, button and belt on his pants, tuck in his shirt, and re-do the pants process.  To this day, this is how I get dressed in the morning.

I learned to count backwards from crawling up in bed with my Pop and watching a boxing match. I picked who I wanted to win by the color of their shorts.  He always picked the opposite. We waited and as soon as the time clock appeared on the bottom of the screen, we started the countdown to victory.


The memories go on and on. Countless thoughts run through my mind of my family .

I learned a lot of things from my Pop, not from words, but from examples and actions. I have never looked at a man and felt more honor, respect, and integrity. Never have I seen more honesty, devotion, and appreciation than I do in him. Not because he demands it, but because he has earned it.  My Pop is the definition of the timeless rags to riches story on so many levels. He has made mistakes but has devoted his life to learning from them, and growing to be a better person. I wish every little girl could grow up looking at her Pop the way that I do mine.  

With Veteran’s Day around the corner, I know he will never expect the praises he deserves. He will probably brush this off as another day off of work to get chores done. But he did something so great for not only our country, but for the world. Down play it all you want, but my Pop is a hero. Not just because of his service in the military, but because of his service to our family.






Monday, November 1, 2010

Gears.

Sometimes....sometimes. ....Sometimes the only thing you can do is throw in the towel. Sometimes you have to just submit your surrenderer. Sometimes you have to admit defeat. Sometimes you have to bite your tongue and put your brain on mute. But sometimes you can't. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes, for the first time, you have to let it all out...and sometimes you can't. Sometimes I want the concept of sometimes to go away. Why can't things be all the time? No white, no black, no gray. I'd even settle for no color at all. Sometimes you want to open a blind eye, and shut the one with sight. Sometimes you want to give sound to a deaf ear, and mute the noise. Sometimes all of the time, I want to close a speaking mouth, and turn on their hearts and minds to the sights and sounds that need to be  felt. Sometimes all the time, I know that won't happen.
Sometimes I get tired of being vague and want to shout it from the rooftops.