Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bringing our Requests to Christ


BRINGING OUR REQUESTS TO CHRIST


We sometimes fear to bring our troubles to God, because they must seem small to Him who sitteth on the circle of the earth. But if they are large enough to vex and endanger our welfare, they are large enough to touch His heart of love. For love does not measure by a merchant's scales, not with a surveyor's chain. It hath a delicacy... unknown in any handling of material substance.
--R.A. Torrey

Great News for 2009



A German scientist is prescribing aimless sloth as the antidote to professional stress and the secret to a long life.

"People who would rather laze in a hammock instead of running a marathon or who take a midday nap instead of playing squash have a better chance of living into old age," Professor Peter Axt, co-author of the newly published study, "On the Joy of Laziness."

Axt, who teaches at a college in Fulda, emphasised that moderate exercise like walking -- at least if taken at leisure and not snatched hectically from the working day -- and avoiding overeating were nonetheless healthy. But overdoing it was not.

"Research shows that people who run long distances into their 50s are using up energy they need for other purposes," said Axt, a health researcher whose previous publications include "Just Stay Young" and "Eat Yourself Slim."

"They suffer memory loss. They risk premature senility."

Committing heresy in a country where many consider waking after sun-up a sin, he also slammed early rising -- getting up too soon leaves people stressed for the whole the day, he said. And keeping down stress is vital to good health, especially at work, added Axt.

His prescription? "Waste half your free time. Just enjoy lazing around."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Finally...Home for Sale


The long awaited day....house is on the market!
It looks great, the remodel is total perfection,
and I have an amazing Realtor!
He is so thoroughly professional, and I know he'll get this home sold.
I tease him because he is the best-dressed
Realtor this side of the Mississippi!
The man is stylin! So is his wife who is also a Realtor!
What a gorgeous and very nice couple they are!


I admit when I saw the sign go up I had the melancholy set in
that soon I will be leaving Jeff's home.
What a blessing it was for me to be able to care for him here.


I have many wonderful memories of our time together.


Laughter cuz he was the funniest person ever
and I was his best audience.

Laughter cuz of the times he and his son Kevin played
and laughed so much in every room.

Laughter with all his very special friends visiting us here.


Thanks for the memories
and for the incredible blessing you always were to me, my son.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gingerbread Houses, Tears and Cocktails

The effort wasn't to produce extravagant Gingerbread Houses
for the holiday season!

No, just make a few simple gingerbread houses to give as gifts to
the children in our lives. Really!

Yes, something like this...
simple, pretty, festive and delicious.


Joann didn't know what she was in for when she said she would help Donna and me. She was an expert in all things baking, cooking, crafting. You need help? Ask Joann. She should have known about Donna's (in)abilities as they had known each other for eons. I was new to the mix but fit in with Donna quite well.

We received our instructions from Joann the night before. The recipe for the gingerbread and the patterns for pieces needed to assemble the houses the next day. Alone in our homes the mixing and baking began. I'm not much for detail so lo and behold I had a lot of pieces of gingerbread that were not exactly like the pattern pieces...actually they were similar in color and that was about it. We each were told what to purchase for the frosting and the candy decoration. We had a plethera of gumdrops, hard candies and cinnamon hearts ready to go.

We met up at Donna's early in the morning and began mixing the powdered sugar--that would be the cement that held these darling little houses together! It wasn't long before Donna and I were in deep trouble. Joann noticed that our gingerbread pieces were of different thicknesses, thus presenting the problem of a nicely squared house being stuck together with a minimum of frosting.

Joann had whipped up a few perfectly wonderful and very precise homes..a village in fact.

Suffice it to say I was sent to the store numerous times for two or three packages of powdered sugar EACH TIME. It was kind of funny at first, but that didn't last long. Picture in your mind the four sides of a little house.. .crooked. Now envision the roof being uneven so more frosting was needed on one side than the other to keep it all even...as even as could be, that is. There! You have the picture. And now we are a couple of hours into the process.

Joann's village was all set up in the living room on the floor...Could have been Switzerland. A few lopsided houses of mine were in the family room as well as Donna's. We were whacky by then...frustrated and then finding ourselves amused..much to Joann's chagrin.

At one point I was going to jump all over Joann's village so she couldn't have nicer gingerbread houses than we did. Joann who never drank in her life was found looking in the liquor cabinet!!!! Yes!!! We drove her to think the evil alcohol could help her state of mind! A bit later Donna, who is very short, was found trying to climb on top of her fridge to jump to her death. It was just all getting worse as the day went on.

At some point two husbands appeared (not the perfect Joann's) and did their best to hold back the snickers and sneers at our work! I cried, and that's not the first time I have cried trying to do a Christmas craft with Donna. One other time I had to do christmas sugar cookie decorating!
I think the husbands did help put on some candies...and we wrapped them in pretty cellophane with big bows and then I had the audacity to deliver them (I made 14) to unsuspecting children! I'm pretty sure a lot of laughs were had once that cellophane was removed, but nice thank you notes were received. I am laughing here remembering this fine day of baking and decorating and feeling very sorry for Joann and what we put her through!

I often have Food TV on in the background here...(why? never sure!!) Right now Sandra Lee just finished a baking deal that Donna and I should try soon! It's a donut tree. Joann moved far away to Boise ID so we would be on our own. The little donuts are those kind that you can buy premade,,,,,,but I read the recipe and it does involve powdered sugar frosting...
Then we can make the Glacier Cocktail which was on after the Donut Tree....and salute Joann!



MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Can you EVEN imagine?




And the angel came unto her and said, "Hail, thou that are highly favored.
The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him she was troubled at his saying
and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, "Fear Not, Mary; for
thou has found favor with God.

And behold, thy shall conceive in thy womb
and bring forth a son, and shall call his name
JESUS.
Luke 1:28-31

For with God, nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

And Mary said, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord;
be it unto me according to Thy Word."
And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:38



Can you EVEN imagine? For the life of me I cannot!!!!!


Oh that I would someday have the heart of Mary: one of true submission and trust in my Lord and my God.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Minute Gifts for children...BOOKS

I think the gift of a book is one of the best gifts ever!
I have two recommendations...



Three little trees disappointed with their lives being so mundane. Each had high hopes and dreams for what they wanted to be someday. But God had something different in mind. Eventually each gets their wish, but certainly not what they had dreamed. God has plans for each one of his creation and the trees realize their meaning and purpose through what God does with them. This is such a beautiful and moving story. I loved the illustrations too.



A beautiful story of a lamb who is different but finds encouragement from his friend, the cow. Another fine story beautifully illustrated showing God's unique purpose for his own. Get your Kleenex!

***<>***

Someone you love will really be blessed

by one or both of these fine books!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Began


Christmas began in the heart of God.
It is not complete until it
reaches the heart of man.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Luke 2:10

Ok I hope you don't think this is irreverant, but it made me laugh. Jeff Larson is a minister. I'm just sayin...


This is the non 'ish' version:

10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

MEASUREMENTS

That title might bring some chagrin thinking the blog would be about our human measurements which tend to increase at Christmas with all the holiday parties, food and fun! It could suggest the measurements needed to bring forth some fine Scottish Shortbread. (On my second try I did manage to use 5 cups of flour and not 3 which made for a much better and more firm cookie!) Do not fret, today's blog is a reminder that God's love for us cannot be measured. Dwell on the blessings given to us as written in this Psalm.


The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,

nor will he harbor his anger forever;

He does not treat us as our sins deserve

or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed,he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:8-14 NIV


*Fear = reverence and awe

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

GREAT GIFT CERTIFICATE IDEA!



Enjoy dinner out with your family for a steal!

Restaurant.com is offering a new code for 80% off the purchase of gift certificates through them. Pair this with the cash back deal through Cashbaq, and you can get a $25 gift certificate for just $1.40 (or free if you’re new to Cashbaq – they are offering a $5 signup incentive right now)!

Taking advantage of this offer is easy:
Sign up with Cashbaq and click through their site to get 30% cash back from any Restaurants.com purchase.
Add your gift certificates to your cart in increments of $25.
Enter the code SANTA at checkout.

Use the gift certificate code generated to select and print out gift certificates to the restaurants of your choice.

Thrify way to eat out, give a gift, or stuff a stocking!

Monday, December 15, 2008

CHRISTMAS COOKIE RULES


I like these Cookie rules, how about you?

Christmas Cookie Rules...

1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calories free, rule #1 is yours also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. It's a rule!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

CHRISTMAS QUESTIONNAIRE




Christmas Questionnaire:
1. Fresh Tree/Fake Tree? Fake with lights already on it!
2. Favorite Ornament- A small white ceramic dove
3. Favorite Christmas Song- O Holy Night
4. Favorite Tradition-Open as many gifts on Christmas Eve as the family will allow!!!!!!! I started begging at 3pm.
5. Favorite Gift Ever Received - A red Royal Portable Typewriter in its case!
6. Favorite Christmas Food - Prime Rib
7. Favorite Christmas Cookie - Shortbread, of course
8. Favorite Memory - Always having my parents, brothers and families over on Christmas Eve for dinner and sharing of gifts.
9. Favorite Place to be-Lake Tahoe
10. Favorite Christmas Movie-It's a Wonderful Life
Thanks Chachaneen for a fun idea...and good memories.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread Cookies


Today I'm really in the Christmas Spirit!
I think making Turkey soup yesterday, which turned out so delicious,
has made me go forth into the kitchen yet again today!

My grandfather from Scotland was a baker.
He had his own bakery when he came to the US
One tradition was the wonderful
Scottish Shortbread.

Each year at Christmas he would
make batches and batches of these wonderful treats.
The family mold was about a 5" circle
pewter I believe, which had an
impression of heather in it.

He would wrap up a couple and tie on a red ribbon
and give them to friends and family.
My uncle continued the tradition
I found a wooden mold exactly the same as the one my grandpa had
but I did pack it away so I won't be able to use that today.
Family members won't let me share the recipe, so I apologize for not including it.

Just know that today I'm filling the house with
a wonderful aroma and plenty of memories of Christmas past!

My girlfriends are coming up Sunday for a Potluck
and I'll have some Scottish Shortbread for them
all tied up with a red ribbon!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blog Award goes to....


This is the special "Proximidade" award.
This award is a fine one because it focuses not on the glory and fanfare of blogging, but in the PROXIMITY to one another through this on-line world (kind of a Six Degrees of Separation sort of thing).


"Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming' say its authors. This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!


Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."


Well when I received my award from Chachaneen http://chachaneen.blogspot.com/
I was thrilled...my first award. When I read the criteria I was even more thrilled. I do believe in relationships. I covet my old friendships and am always wanting more than a surface relationship with people I meet.


Now I cannot choose eight bloggers because I do not even know eight bloggers well enough to give the award...so since Janeen already received one, I have one person left who truly fits the category specifics. And therefore I give this Proxi Award to my dear friend, Lori. (who actually helped me set up my blog..and that wasn't easy!)

Hand-made Christmas Stockings!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

I love Christmas stockings. I've already shared mine with you in a previous blog. I think I've also mentioned that I am also a wanna-be crafter. I try, but not much turns out well. Ever hopeful, I never give up. I have many stories about such 'crafts'...from blue pickles, to moldy christmas dough ornaments, and we won't even get into gingerbread houses! Well, maybe I will share the gingerbread house story with you another day in December!

One year I decided to make Christmas stockings for my family. Why should I be the only one with a special stocking? For some reason I had a sewing machine (shocking and that's a whole other story). So off I went to a fabric store (shudder) and found some cute material and trim. I was so excited!

I had no pattern of course; how hard could this be? I just drew the patterns and cut! Easy enough...looked great. Sewed the material and boom, they were finished. All I had to do was decorate with rick rack, buttons and fringe. Three darling stockings. I was so proud.

Then I turned them right-side out to begin the decorating. WHOOPS! I had not allowed the inches necessary to have a nice wide stocking, thus I ended up with stockings that were about 3 inches wide!!!! I didn't buy extra material so I was stuck. I went ahead and decorated them (wish I had a picture now) and they turned out so adorable...except for the width, of course.

Let's just say, no orange ever fit into one of them. We had a lot of laughs because each and every year I put in a banana.

Unique, that's it!
The home-made stockings were adorable and unique!
We can spin anything to a positive!!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Memories

Kevin and Jeff ** 2004

Recently I was encouraged by a dear friend to start journaling memories of my son so that I could bind them all up and have them to give to his son, Kevin when he is older. I thot it a great thing for Kevin since he was only six when his daddy died. This morning I wrote the first one and I'd like to share it with you.

***

People love to hear my Jeff stories, of which there are many! Because you lost your father early in your sweet life I want to share some of his life with you, Kevin. I love you, Mimi
SUPERMAN

I think the funniest one is when he was about three years old. We all lived in our first home in Phoenix, Arizona. He had his own small bedroom…probably 9x9. It had two twin beds in it with a window in between with drapes…by the time you read this they probably will have stopped making these types of hardware for drapes, but they were these very sharp pointy deals about three to four inches long that fit into a pleat in the drape, spaced every few inches.

Your father was good about playing in his room by himself so it went unnoticed by me that it had been quite some time since I had seen or heard him while I was busy cleaning the house. At some point I decided to look in on him.

Upon opening the door I was faced with a room that was totally in chaos and undone, and I mean totally. The drapes were off the rod, the bedspreads, sheets and pillows on the floor and the mattresses askew! I literally backed out and closed the door to regain my composure. Having taken a deep breath I reopened the door and indignantly inquired of your father, “Just who do you think you are, turning this room upside down like this?” The proud answer: “Superman!” What could I do but laugh?!

I said, "Well I’m going to put the room back together, drapes and all and then I would like you, Superman, to show me how you managed to take the drapes off the window, if you don’t mind!"

Eventually (and it took a while) the room was back in place and I said, “Begin!” Needing no further encouragement, he got up onto one of the twin beds and started jumping, jumping, jumping…with each jump managing to get a bit higher in the air…at some point he flew across to the other bed but in the process, grabbed one of those pleats on the drapes and lifted it hardware and all!

He continued going back and forth until each and every piece of hardware was out of its slot and the drapes all on the floor. Quite satisfied with himself he said: “That’s how, Mommy!!!” with great enthusiasm for a task well performed.

All I could think is what I had thought so many times before…what child is this whose mind is so imaginative? and then, oh brother am I in for it!!!
-oOo-

Friday, December 5, 2008

Move outside


Move outside your present circumstances if this Christmas season is a melancholy one for you.

It is a difficult time of year for people who have lost loved ones or find themselves alone.


Try to concentrate on the blessings you do have like
shelter, food, a pet, an old friend or make a new one
by serving at the local rescue mission to those less fortunate.


You don't have to wait til Christmas Eve or Christmas Day
to extend yourself to people...
to bring a smile, a loving touch, a listening ear
or a secret santa gift.
Spend time with God in the Word.
Ask the Holy Spirit to minister unto you as you dwell together.
Peace will come.
Sing!

"A meaningful life will not be found in the next job or the nextcar.
The way you get meaning in your life is to devote yourself
to helping others and creating something that gives you purpose."
Morrie Schwartz in Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


"In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner
you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20-35


Be blessed ** Be a blessing

Monday, December 1, 2008

Come on In!

WELCOME!

THE PORCH IS DONE AND DECORATIONS INSIDE TOO!
IT'S ALL SIMPLE!


HAS EVERYONE POSTING THEIR DECORATIONS
DROP ON BY AND SEE HOW CREATIVE THEY ALL ARE!









A bit of potpourri. The apple-cinnamon smells so good. I put it in a low vase and plopped it into an old candy dish of my Mother's.










Amazing what a bit of free greenery from Home Depot can do!
Smells good too!







The Santas take the best seats!
















Joseph must have wandered off.....








This is my most favorite of all time decoration. This handblown glass set was a gift from my friend Patti. She brought it to me from Norway over eleven years ago.







EMMANUEL!

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son,
and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Matthew 1:23