Monthly Archives: November 2007

Is This What I Look Like?

Wow.  I am truly pondering life at the moment.  We opened our 2007 Christmas ornaments Monday night. 

Usually, Kenneth and I pick them out for everyone, however this year we let the girls pick out each other’s, and also our own. 

Typically, the ornament chosen is supposed to reflect something about the person’s character, or events that happened during the year.

So…I was horrified to find this when it was my turn to open the ornament:

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Hmmmm…….they said it was a joke.  Verrrrrrrryyyy Funnnnnnyyy Girls!!!!!  Very. Funny.

Both of the boys received Nascar ornaments.  They are really into hot wheels now, and particularly cars with numbers on the side of them.  They have even recently taken markers and added numbers to all of their toy cars.  Varoooooooom!

The youngest sister is known throughout history for her special….well,….umm…..let’s say “ability” to burp the entire chorus of “Jingle Bells”.  So….this was her ornament:

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Dad has always dreamed of flying an airplane.  Consequently…..

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Finally, the younger sister thoroughly enjoyed presenting the older sister with her version of the “Ultimate Christmas Ornament”:

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A GI-NORMOUS icicle.  I’ve already had to explain what it is to one visitor to our house.  (Did I mention that it was BIG?!)  This should be an interesting year!!

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Christmas, Family, Family Traditions, God, Humor, Joy, Life, Love

The Case for Claus.

  

I know I’m most likely opening up for all kinds of interesting and critical comments, however, we’re talking “Santa” today and I would love to know your thoughts.

In the age of commercialism, parents continue to respond to the question, “Do we or don’t we participate in the Santa tradition?”  No matter how you answer this question, it seems that everyone has a passion-filled answer.  Those “for” Santa are often seen as lying to their children.  Those “against” Santa are often seen as depriving their children.   

So…let’s tackle this  (in a loving manner) and speak our hearts, sharing the decisions each of our families have made regarding the jolly old elf.

Santa’s history:

From what I understand, Santa arrived as a result of the legacy of Saint Nicholas, a 4th century Christian bishop in Turkey.  He was very rich and devoted his life to Christianity.  He was known for his missional acts of helping the impoverished, even going as far as donating dowries to three daughters so that they would not have to become prostitutes.  He also threw gifts through windows into homes of impoverished children. I read one site that said he spent his entire inheritance helping others in need.

Much information about Saint Nicholas is filled with legendary tales of good deeds done in the name of Christ, and seem overwhelmingly to sustain a reputation of goodness and Christ-like behavior.

Although his image and characteristics have evolved into the red coated, white haired, slightly overweight, and infectiously happy old elf, the continuous reputation for goodness seems to have not faltered through the years.

My position:

As an adult who grew up in the Santa culture, it was never a question whether I would pass along this tradition to my children.  Many, many fond memories flood my mind when I think back on past Christmas mornings. 

I remember waking up to find my stocking filled, a few gifts, and the feeling of love, warmth and surprise all at once as I curiously sifted through my Christmas goodies.  We didn’t always receive alot, but it was enough to know that it was a special day, and that “someone” cared enough to secretly deliver gifts. 

I know there are instances where children were really devastated to learn the truth of Santa’s legend, but honestly I don’t even recall my parents telling me.  I have good memories of Christmases as a child receiving the affections of Santa, and then my memory skips to good memories of Christmases with the knowledge that came after. 

Both ways, I just have good memories of Christmas.

My parents did not particularly place extraordinary attention on the real meaning of Christmas in my younger years.  We went to church, regularly worshipped and proclaimed Jesus as Lord, however, I don’t have memories of consistent focus on the message of the first Christmas.  That could be due to the fact that my father wasn’t a practicing Christian during my childhood.  Thankfully, my mother continued to raise me in the church and affirmed the necessity of faith in God.

So…when I became a parent I made two choices:  1) to continue the participation of my children in the Santa legend, but 2) to focus Santa’s efforts and gifts toward Christ, rather than away from it. 

We chose to continue Saint Nicholas’ drive to show others that Christ can love through him (and us).  Just as we are to provide for the impoverished at Christmas time and all through the year, we use Christmas time to show our children that a special effort can be made to show someone you love them. 

Our “Santa” lives on in the spirit of the acts of Saint Nicholas and through the commands of God to live as Christ lived. 

Our “Santa” knows who is on the nice and naughty list because Jesus tells him, not because Santa has a magical all-knowing power.

Our “Santa’s” mission is to spread love and goodness to all the world each Christmas Eve, and then strive to continue those same traits through the year.

Our “Santa” prays at the cross.

Is it a lie?  I don’t believe so.  Saint Nicholas lives on in the hearts of Christians all over the world who want to please God.  Our participation in this traditional act provides fun, a little mystery, and excitement at an already wonderful time of year.  Our grown children seem to have enjoyed it, and exhibit some of the lessons we learned through Christmas’ past.

I’ve seen the older girls be especially concerned for others at Christmas time, participate in food drives and Angel Tree efforts.  There’s been much discussion about the gratitude and contentment for the awareness of blessings God has provided our family.  Although the two girls now don’t believe “Santa” is still living and breathing in bodily form, they understand that his acts were commendable.

Christ’s position:

WWJD?  What would Jesus do to end this debate?  Honestly, I don’t know.  Each one of us must choose the path we feel like our family is to follow.  In my feeble mind, as long as the path begins, follows, and ends with Jesus, it’s the right path.  If Santa, in all his goodness, and through all the television commercials, mall pictures, and parades, becomes anything more than a servant of God, it is the wrong path. 

Only Jesus is the true giver of gifts worthy of receiving.  Our material things, clothing, housing, food, and yes….even our toys are blessings from the Lord.  May we all remember to never take them for granted. 

God be glorified through you, a disciple of Christ, whose mission is to spread the gospel of Christ, the good news of salvation through Him, and in a manner that provides for those less fortunate at Christmas time and all throughout the year!

Spread the Love of the Lord in your stockings, through your yard decorations, in your checkbook, and beneath the bows of your Christmas tree.   After all… the first six letters are what’s it’s all about.

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Filed under Children, Christ, Christmas, Evangelism, Faith, Family, Gifts, God, Joy, Santa Claus

Hearing Sleigh Bells.

It’s here!  My most favorite season of all has arrived!  As I sit here typing, I look on the counter and see a pumpkin, and a dried fall flower arrangement waiting to be placed in the box with the other fall decorations, and next to them both…..two boxes of candy canes! 

Tomorrow, we plan to decorate the house for Christmas.  We’ll put up the tree, sort through the years of “homemade-only-a-parent-could-love ornaments” and hang them on the tree.  The two youngest will carefully place the candy canes on the tree, probably bunching them anywhere between two and four feet from the ground since that is about as tall as they can reach!

We’ll end up with a tree, filled with years of memories and clumps of candy canes, but it will be the prettiest tree of all! 

The homemade decorations that have faded, broken, or been glued back together again will remind us of times past and the blessings God has given. 

We’ll also open this year’s ornaments (we add a new one for each person every year), laugh at the discovery of them (I’ll explain later!!), and begin to settle in for another holiday season.

Christmas carols are already playing on the radio, the malls are full, some in our neighborhood have already adorned their houses with lights, and that yearly craving for smells of cinnamon and spice, hot chocolate, and homemade chili, are present.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! 

It’s just a fun and warm time of reflection, and a time that I know our families will be together, celebrating what’s most important about the season…the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

I give thanks to God for bestowing the special gift of Christ’s birth, and continuing to bring years of special Christmas memories to our family!

I’ve decorated my blog page, as you can see, and we’ll be talking about Christmas alot this month, so stop by often and join in!

If you feel like sharing, how about answering the question, “What things tell you that Christmas has arrived?”

  

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Filed under Birth, Blessings, Children, Christ, Christmas, Family, Gifts, God

Our Thankful List.

Over the last month,our devotionals included an opportunity for the boys to name things for which they are thankful.  Since it is the “official” week of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share their lists with you…

Four Year Old:

  1. My stomach so I can put food in it.
  2. My family cause they love me.
  3. My toys.
  4. Texas egg hunts. (?!)
  5. My eyes so I can see.
  6. My Daddy cause he loves me.
  7. Jesus told me to do school in “that” book this day and learn about skin and my body and pookie.
  8. The sky.
  9. Making walls with blocks.
  10. Kenya – she can make anything, even race cars and pirates.
  11. Rainbows.
  12. Candy.
  13. Rescue Heroes.
  14. Jesus on the farm.
  15. The whole wide world.
  16. Numbers.
  17. Poodles.
  18. The letter “H”.
  19. Sunny days.
  20. “Cresiation” (creation)
  21. Will’s hat.
  22. Shaker cup.
  23. Fire trucks.
  24. Coloring books.
  25. Hot dogs.
  26. The ceiling fan.
  27. A lamb.
  28. My two pencils.
  29. Eggs.
  30. Erasers.
  31. Mom.
  32. Houseshoes.
  33. Coke.
  34. A boot.

Five year old:

  1. My eyeballs so I can see.
  2. That my family is Christians.
  3. Our roof that it keeps water out.
  4. Our town’s water tower.
  5. My bones so I can move.
  6. My Dad – he’s smart and teaches me stuff.
  7. That I get to learn about God and things I don’t see in the future and in public and the solar system.
  8. That it’s not raining.
  9. That I have good toys.
  10. My sisters are Christians and they don’t get bad toys or Pokemon.
  11. Good stuff we like to eat like tomatoes, “pasghetti”, onions, and okra.
  12. My special family.
  13. Our home.
  14. Having a good day today.
  15. Water to drink.
  16. Air to breathe.
  17. Numbers to count how old we are.
  18. We’re starting out with a good day.
  19. It’s getting warmer.
  20. Our car.
  21. Living creatures in the sea.
  22. Fish to eat so our brain doesn’t get smaller and we can think.
  23. For God who understands me.
  24. I have grown legs and I can do stuff that’s hard.
  25. God changed my bad attitude into a good attitude.
  26. I’m big enough to get my own breakfast.
  27. God changed my attitude last night.
  28. That I finally know what the Trinity is.
  29. My Mom spends time with me.
  30. My good attitude right now.
  31. Julia’s coming over today.
  32. My teacher.
  33. My Mom taught me how to know the date.
  34. Kisses from Mom.
  35. Mom loves me always.
  36. Adam & Eve were part of my family.
  37. I have a good family.

What are you thankful for?  

By the way….I’m thankful for each one of you! 

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Family, Friends, God, Grace, Homeschool, Thanks

Duct Tape Doesn’t Stick.

” When you pass and come back to let me know that I am not on the list to get into heaven then I will have a problem with my life and do some things differently

Such heartbreaking words.  Heartbreaking because they were received by a sister in Christ, from her sister in the world.  Such bitter, angry, words…from the unknowing, from the natural, and the carnal.

We are all called to tell of the love of Christ.  We are to make concentrated, purposeful efforts to reach those around us. — Our friends, our neighbors, our daily contacts, but perhaps the hardest ears to hear continue to be our blood relatives.  Continue reading

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Filed under Bible, Children, Church, Evangelism, Faith, Family, Family Relationships, God, Heaven, Life, Love, Prayer, Priorities, Reaching the Lost, Reputation, Wisdom, Witness

Total Randomness.

For this post, I have decided to follow a friend’s blog technique and just post totally random news and thoughts.  While rather light on the creative scale, and I’m sure a little unenlightening, I hope you will enjoy seeing what goes on inside my head…(oooh, scary!)

  1. I dreamed about someone chasing me last night.  All night.  All. Night.  It makes me think of the time that I “fought” the Russian military in the middle of our town’s streets.  Yes, I do this often.  My husband makes fun of me!
  2. Did I spell the past tense of dream correctly on #1?  Maybe it should be “dreamt”?  I don’t know?
  3. I now belong to an elite group of people “enjoying” the diagnosis of asthma!  While I’m not necessarily excited about it, it does explain alot as to why I’ve been struggling with illness so much.  As a result of the diagnosis, I have discovered the need to buy a bigger purse — one to carry all my regular stuff, AND my new “rescue” inhaler!  All I need is a “help-I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up” necklace to wear around my neck, and I’ll be set!
  4.  My kindergartner son does not believe the part in the bible where the donkey talked!  Even with our attempts at supporting the truth with “Mr Ed” movies, he still refuses to believe the inerrancy of the bible on such matters!
  5. A new frugal discovery….if you turn off your air conditioner, the electric bill goes down!  (Woo hoo!)
  6. Some guy missed the turn to a street in front of our house tonight, and his truck landed on it’s side in the ditch.  He wasn’t hurt, but was so embarrassed that he asked my husband to please explain to the policeman that he wasn’t the only person to miss that turn!  (We’ve seen two so far.)
  7. My recent doctor’s visit revealed that I am nine pounds heavier than I was at nine months pregnant with the kindergartner.  Hmmm…..
  8. Is it bad when your husband asks to move the television out to the carport so he can watch the Dallas Cowboys game AND play basketball with the five-year old?
  9. I wonder what Dreama’s going to post about on Wednesday night of this week?
  10.  Speaking of Dreama, I think loving paybacks are due:  (for explanation, click here)  

dreama.jpg  (We all wanted Dreama’s hair…she had the best “wings”!)

dreama-2.jpg   “Gone with the Wind” Dreama

dreama-3-2.jpg  I forgot she signed my yearbook alot!

dreama-4.jpg  Is this Amanda, or what?!! 

(Love you, Dreama!!)

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Filed under Blogging, Children, Family, Friends, God, Health, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Random Thoughts

Laughing 10.

(The Three Year Old playing “I Spy”)

Three-Year Old:  “I spy something black and red.”

(Sister #1 points out an object)

Three-Year Old:  “Nooooo”

(Dad points out an object)

Three-Year Old:  “Nooooo”

(Brother points out an object)

Three-Year Old:  “Nooooo”

Sister gives up.  Dad gives up.  Brother gives up.

Three-Year Old:  “It’s that picture of us on the wall!  See?  Blue and White!”

Sister:  “Wait, silly!  You said “black and red”, not “blue and white”!?”

Three-Year Old:  “Oohhhhhh!  ……Sorry!”

(Next round….)

Three-Year Old:  “What’s big, blue and has rings?”

(Everyone guesses again, incorrectly, and then gives up…)

Three-Year Old:  “It’s Momma!”

Okay…time to quit playing “I Spy”!

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