Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Help, I'm another year older!

Today was the day that I turned twenty-eight. That's all I have to say about that! Today was completely normal for this year. I did loads upon loads of laundry and I am battling whatever I have in my head, sinus pressure something awful with a touch of nausea! I did take two naps today, I hate to yucky on any day, but I kind of feel jipped when it's my birthday on top of it! Anyway, my sweet husband brought home a cake for me, it just happens to be my favorite, which is, for future reference, chocolate with raspberry filling and butter creme frosting. I dealt with all the normal "Mommy" things today, no day off for me! That's okay, I didn't expect that.

I feel a bit disappointed in myself this year for not doing our traditional "Christmasy" things, like sending cards, it just did not happen this year, and rather than kicking myself for it, I am coming up with another time to send cards to everyone we love.

I heard this poem on KLOVE today and I felt so much better about things this year.

Dear Children:

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks
are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that
I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was
some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on
what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do
appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most
easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with
children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you
want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town
in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then
just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small
Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did
that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town
square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a
holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all
trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a
grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching,
explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks
were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth, here
is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My
birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to
soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this
time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them
personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the
cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell
him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year? Then
follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford
and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of
My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in
your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take
their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless?
Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you
meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town
calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give
them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to
wish you a 'Merry Christmas' that doesn't keep you from wishing
them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't
make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees
spend the day at home with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary--
especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have
never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in
your town who not only will have no 'Christmas' tree, but neither
will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know
them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation
Army or some other charity which believes in Me, and they will make
the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in
and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in
secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your
actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me
and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest.
Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help
you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed
Christmas with all those whom you love, and remember I LOVE YOU,


Instead of all my normal "Christmasy" things, I have spent a tremendous amount of time with my kids this year, and I have helped others in need and I have been there for those that needed me, so while I did not check the things off my list that I ordinarily do, this year has been anything but ordinary. At our house there are no gifts under the tree yet this year, and previously, I would have panicked by now about so many things, but taking a deep breath, I know that blessed we are, and God is in control!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Grace's Boldness

Grace is not afraid to tell it like she believes it! Her most recent is a paper she wrote on Egypt. The first half goes like this...

by Grace Cole

Back in the time of ancient Egypt they would bury their kings when they died in pyramids with ancient possessions such as gold, silver, and bronze pieces and royal robes and necklaces and jewelry, and people now in times today go and search for the bodies and preserve them in exhibits and museums. They also would make shrines for them where people can only see the possessions not the person, and the Egyptians also would worship him instead of God and the people would call them Pharaohs and they would bow down to them. People that believed in God would call Pharaohs, idols, which meant evil one.

...she then goes on to describe how the Pharaohs living an evil life would die and be tossed into the lake of fire. I can tell you-she can preach it, can't she? The parts about idols, and the lake of fire, she learned from bible stories, she felt she needed to tell the whole truth in this report! And not just what her history book and her teacher told her. I love her boldness!

Previously this month she had written a letter to her music teacher as an appeal for a Christmas Music Program, she came up with it on her own too! She stated that she was "confident that the third grade class could get this together in time before Christmas and with God all things are possible". She included a list of her favorite carols, including Silent Night and Away in a Manger.
I would like to tell you that her appeal was met with an enthusiastic "yes", but we do live in America where we have "freedom of religion", and Grace was informed that they would not be singing about God in her school, and her request was denied. They did have a program earlier this fall, all about Thanksgiving, with songs about turkeys and cranberries, I think I got the picture, there will be no discussion about the real reason for anything in America!
Our nation, where the first Presidents and most of our forefathers were actually Pastors before they were in Congress, each men of faith and full of the Holy Spirit, yet please do not attempt to tell the truths related to these facts, we may offend someone, or, I don't know, introduce them to God, their Father (would that really be so bad?).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MVP in the Making!

Keith got to stay home one more day with Zach and me! This is something that Keith has been working on with Zach, it is so cute. I didn't realize that you could blog video until a friend of mine made her girls movie stars, so her it goes! You'll probably see lots more of this now. It's wild how good at football and soccer Zach is already, very good eye-foot coordination!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snow Days!

On a serious note, I know that a lot of people have lost power and still don't have power, well, it maybe only by power of prayer we did not ever loose power. We did loose some good size limbs but no damage, praise God! Even with all the damage to the trees, I can not describe in words the beauty all around us. The trees look like beautiful glass sculptures, and everything glistens, the few leaves that are left look like they are made of copper. The picture is the view from our front living room window. I don't know about you, but I have REALLY enjoyed the past two "snow days" the kids have had from school. I know I'll be lonely tomorrow when they go back. Have you ever heard of a mom praying for a "snow day"? What's not to love? We had to stay home and we even wore pj's all day yesterday and we played games. I taught Ethan how to play Chinese Checkers and Grace, Ethan and I played Chutes & Ladders, and we watched an American Girl Movie, Samantha together, oh, and drank hot chocolate with marsh mellows! Did I mention the Christmas Butter Cookies, yeah, I LOVE SNOW DAYS! Keith is such a wonderful big brother, he even let all his siblings in his "crib" for all kinds of "big kid" fun, which basically includes getting to look at his really cool football books, getting beat on the XBOX (and loving every minute of it!), or, getting to use his extensive marker collection or even better, getting to play with his finger boards, which apparently are miniature skate boards for your fingers (hey, I didn't know!). Grace and I were putting together puzzles tonight, we were missing the last two pieces though "OH, SNAP!", Grace said (I laughed so hard!). We all have found that we enjoy watching the occasional game show together, one that we have really enjoyed is Deal or No Deal, it's so funny to listen to the kids "coach" the contestants, they really get into it too, cheering and everything! Tonight, they were on their feet, yelling at the television! It was a hoot! A big part of today was spent at the Dentist's office, all three of the older kids had check-ups, thank goodness no cavities, and the very exciting event of getting a new toothbrush, Ethan got a red Power Ranger one, which was what he was for Halloween, he now thinks his dental hygienist is "the best in the whole world"! All this good hygiene was followed by a Spangles burger and fries for everyone, because, I, was out of my mind after 2 1/2 hours at the dentist office with four kids in an eight by eight waiting room! They actually did really well, PBS was on and with an audience of three other kids in the waiting room too, let's just say there was entertainment! Tonight it was Taco Night at our house, which the whole family puts away! Chocolate cake for desert because Mom is great, she feeds 'em chocolate cake! Sorry, Bill Cosby flash back! Now there are four very happy, exhausted kids in bed almost asleep, and I, their sorrowful mother, is not looking forward to a much quieter house tomorrow when they go back to school! Oh, well, 3:30 will not be far away, I'll just have to make Zach play with me till then!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mommy's Favorite Things

This is the "Mom" version, it's just a few of my favorite things about being a Mom.
  • The first time you see them, all slimy and gross and perfectly beautiful, and you just can't believe "THAT came out of me"!
  • Baby "morning breath", the way their breath smells in the morning right when you get them out of their crib (they loose this delightful smell when they start eating solid food).
  • The "Ma Ma Ma" cry- it's just for me and that just melts me!
  • Snot on my shirt-this one is a weird one, I'll admit- but, it's like a badge of honor!
  • Breast-feeding, I REALLY love that one on one time that only Mommy can give.
  • Did you know that my kisses can actually heal the sick and the lame!
  • I love that I'm the "best" at so many things now!
  • When they are sick or hurt, all they want is ME!
  • Getting to call someone "Mine".
  • Even sometimes when it's frustrating, I love it when they act a little like me.
  • Being told by my kids that they are never getting married and will live with me forever!
  • Having one or more of my babes climb sleepily into bed with me for a morning snuggle!
  • Waking up any of my kiddos in the morning and getting to see that sleepy stretch!.
  • Being woke up in the middle of the night, and all they wanted was a hug and a kiss and they're back asleep.

Serious Fun and Games

Out of serious frustration of not enough family time, we kind of fell off the radar and buckled down to reconnect. We have been spending almost every evening together, playing games, watching movies, reading, just something together, we just kind of just quit going, going, going. We were gone almost every night and it was all good things, but it was also too many things! No more, since Rob has worked on first shift, for, I guess it's been two years now, he gets off at around 3:30, and we have made it an absolute, family dinner time at 5pm. We do this, so that we get that face time with the kids every single evening. I really love this, it feels early sometimes, but if there is something going on, it's usually at 6 or later, so we've already eaten and we're good to go. Kind of reminiscent of "Leave It To Beaver", I guess, but it really works in our house.Since we have been spending so much more time together as a family, we have really seen some significant changes in each of the kids, their attitudes and general behavior is different-good different. I don't know why it surprises me, the more time I invest in my family, the more important they feel, the more cherished, I think. I know that I feel that way when someone invests time in me!The games we play? Family favorites are UNO, and the other night we played BINGO, let me tell you what a hoot that was! It's funny to me that I never could see how much kids learn from playing games too! Rob was our "caller" and he declared that the prize would be a big wet juicy kiss from him! The kids all screamed and laughed, I offered the kiss if they would rather, but then I won the first BINGO! I claimed my kiss! Ethan was the second to BINGO, and he very sweetly asked if he could have the kiss from me, I, of course granted his request! Such a sweetheart! We played with Cheerios instead of the standard markers which was a lot of fun in itself, Keith declared that he would reward himself with a Cheerio any time he did not have the number called, the other kids followed suit. Funny, how they kept running out of "markers" before they had a BINGO!
In my family, when I was a kid, and even now, when we get together we play together. Cards, board games, pool, catch even, whatever, just to spend time with each other. I have always loved this, but I didn't see it as something so important till I became a mom. This is a great lesson I learned very young, and one I'm happy to teach my kids.