Monday, December 29, 2008

New Years Resolutions

I don't think I'll make New Year's resolutions this year. I use too, but I kept disappointing myself because I never seemed to achieve them. By the time the cold dark months of winter melted into the warmth of spring and summer, I couldn't even remember my new year's resolutions. I then decided to make "goals" instead of resolutions. This past year I met one goal out of several. I guess thats a little better than in past years.
For this new year, I feel the need to just keep my options open. I think alot lies in store for me this year so I'm keeping my stress level as low as possible. Don't you know those new year's resolutions/goals can just be another layer of something that you have to do. I think I'll just keep striving to be better at the things I feel are important and give my attention to the people who need me. Self improvement, yes, thats it! To be better at what and who are most important in my life.
Here's to new beginnings. Happy New Year!

I have some wonderful pictures from Christmas. I'll post a few this week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good News!

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:9-11)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Good news indeed! This may be my last blog entry before Christmas. My sisters and brothers are due to arrive home within the next couple of days. I'll be readying my home, running last minute errands, and joyfully awaiting the upcoming week. This next week will be filled with laughter, love, and fellowship with those I love the most. Let me not be too busy, lest I forget about the One I love the very most, and the gift He has given to me. Never have I known such love. Never have I known such mercy. I am awestruck at the enormity of Him.

I wish for you all a season of joy and celebration, filled with all those people and things you love the most. Merry Christmas!

P.S. Wanna hear some more good news? I talked with Judy this morning. She sounded like her old self. This is a true gift, considering the last few weeks of nausea, weakness, pain, and just pure suffering. We had begun to doubt that she could make the trip home and even wondered how much longer this could last. But today she has turned a corner. She's hungry, restful, perky and says, "I feel better than I've felt in weeks." Praise God for his loving mercy. He will fill our holidays with joy, strength and peace. Hold your dear ones close this holiday season, and give Him thanks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baking Day

So this will be me on Saturday. Its time to do my annual Christmas baking. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I'll be doing my annual baking, of any kind. My lovely pink KA mixer has been in the box since I last used it. That would be last Christmas. I love to cook, and enjoy making pies and a few other sweeties. But baking cakes, cookies, bread has never really been my "thing." Sometime late last year I decided to give in to my urge to purchase a KA mixer, having all these grand ideas that it would turn me into a talented and accomplished baker. And that pretty pink one was on sale! I think I've used it about 5 times. I'm scared of it.

Anyway, Saturday's the big day. Here's what I'm planning:

Iced Ginger Cookies (a yummy cookie from my friend Jeannine)
Chubby Hubby Cookies
Kathi's Mom's Melting Moments (find this fantastic recipe on Kathi's blog )
Sea Island Bars
Cheese Wafers (for a little something savory)
Brin's Crock Pot Christmas Candy
Kathi's Peanut Butter Balls (you'll find those on Kathi's blog too)

I think that will do for now.... wish me luck!

I have been young and now I am old. Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging for bread. Psalm 37:25

Praise God His descendants aren't counting on me!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Other Good Gifts

On my side of our extended family, we decided not to shower one another with christmas gifts this year. I suppose this is for a number of reasons, one of which is that I have such a large family, 5 siblings, plus spouses, neices, nephews, and now the children are having children. So for the last few years gift giving among all of us has almost become a monumental event. I'm sure the state of the current economy is coming into play.

I think another reason may be because we're all putting into perspective the knowledge of what this Christmas means to us as a family and the time we have left with Judy. Her cancer is progressing and her energy is waining. I know she worries that she is not up to shopping, spending hours picking out just the right presents for each of us. It will be difficult enough for her to travel to Georgia for Christmas. The journey will not be easy, or light this year. She comes in spite of pain, weakness, and fatigue. But she comes. She wants to be home for Christmas. I'm sure she feels the importance of this particular Christmas holiday. As for me, I struggle with trying to figure out how we'll get through it. Knowing......

I've been so blessed with a large, loving and devoted family. God has been good to us. Mama left us way to soon, as least too soon for my liking, but I have been blessed to have two loving parents, who taught us to love unconditionally. Sometimes I look around and see that not everyone has had the kind of love that I grew up with. Or, somewhere they lost it along the road to becoming an adult. Thank God He granted me the blessing of a strong and loving family. And whats so cool is that now I'm old enough to see that the blessing was extended from generation to generation to generation, even now to the youngest generation.

So this year, there will not be the large bustling noisy crowd ripping open gifts around my daddy's Christmas tree. But just those presents will be missing, nothing else. We'll still be a large, noisy, laughing, loud bunch cutting up and teasing one another, eating until we pop, or fall asleep, celebrating my daddy and baby brother Jason's birthday (yes, they are both Christmas day babies so an afternoon birthday party is in order) and generally having a grand time. What better gift to one another?

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby, age 7

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Best Gift

For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Real Things

"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tis the Season

I feel like I lost a few days of Christmas decorating, with Thanksgiving being so late this year. I spent all day Saturday decorating. I love Christmas decorating and do a ton of it around the house, but other than hubby getting the decorations out of storage, and putting up the tree, I do all the decorating by myself. I just don't understand it. My children LOVE the house decorated, and love to hang out around the tree. But since they have gotten older, they just don't seem to care about helping to decorate the tree. I'm amazed at that because when I was a child, even up until I moved out of the house, I loved helping my parents decorate for Christmas. Now my older kids are out of the house, or partially out, or working and going to school...too busy. And my 14 year old? He just doesn't really care about the decorating part. Oh, he likes hanging "his" ornaments on the tree, but thats about it. He loves his advent tree, which he started last night, but other than that....He loves to "watch." :) But...when my oldest son came home on Sunday night, I saw him start smiling as he walked up the walkway, seeing the small trees on the front porch decorated for the holidays, and our wreath on the door. And I watched him smile as he came through the door, his eyes bright and dancing around the room, finally landing on our Christmas tree. A few minutes later he said, "It feels good to be home at Christmas. It feels good in here." Ahhh, the spirit of Christmas has arrived.