Monday, December 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 28, 2009...

Outside my window...looks like we might get a shower this morning. It's in the 60's, but the weatherman says it'll be in the upper 40's tomorrow. Brrr!!!

I am thinking...of all the packing up of Christmas decorations that I'll hopefully start today. It's so much stuff, and I've enjoyed having it out, but it's time to go back to the attic till next Christmas.

I am thankful...for the lovely Christmas we enjoyed, remembering the birth of our Savior, and for my 2 precious children who had birthdays yesterday: my daughter A turned 20 and my son E turned 10.

I am going...nowhere today. Too much stuff to do at home.

I am wearing...a red housedress for now, will change after posting this.

I am daughter's face when she opened her present. I'd wrapped a keyboard stand in red paper with a big gold ribbon on top, and it reminded us of the Red Rider BB gun in the movie "A Christmas Story". She looked at it and wondered why we would give her a keyboard stand if she has no keyboard. I brought out the large box from my bedroom and her face lit up as she understood.

I am creating...a list of things that need to be done around the house.

I am reading...Genesis for morning devotions, and Puerto Rican Cuisine by Oswald Rivera, which my son R got me for Christmas. He loves giving me cookbooks because he loves my cooking.

I am hoping...the weather stays cool but not cold.

On my mind...decorating the home.

From the learning rooms...we've taken it easy these last few days of celebrating, but reading needs to start again.

I am noticing that...I'm getting more and more forgetful. If I don't write things down I forget to do them. Old age?

I am pondering these words..."Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content." - Helen Keller.

From the kitchen today...pot roast in the crock pot.

Around the house...laundry to fold, and Christmas decorations to pack up.

One of my favorite my new camera, although I'm still having trouble getting the card read by the computer. It works when my son puts it in but it won't work for me. Hmm....

A few plans for the rest of the week...New Years Eve is on Thursday, and we'll be going over to grandma's again. Other than that, it should be pretty quiet.

From my picture journal...sorry, couldn't get it to work this morning. I'll try again later. :-(

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Humorous Picture of Christmas

From Church Laughs at

A little girl came home from Sunday school waving a paper for her mother to see. "Look Mommy," she exclaimed, "Teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she ever saw!"

Her mother took one look and had to agree with the teacher. Hoping her daughter could explain her creation, the mother asked, "Why are all these people riding in the back of an airplane?"

"Well, Mommy, that's the flight into Egypt."

Accepting that, mother asked another question: "Who is this mean-looking man in the front?"

Her daughter answered quickly and knowingly: "That's Pontius, the Pilot."

Looking at the picture even more closely, the mother said, "I see you have Mary and Joseph and the baby. But who is this large man sitting behind Mary?"

"Can't you tell?" the little girl asked, beginning to shake her head in disappointment. "That's Round John Virgin."

Kids are funnier than any comedian! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mid-Week Review

My son keeps telling me, "It's almost time, Mommy." I finally told him he'd reminded me enough. But I can understand his excitement. Today is Wednesday, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, then the big day. Time sure has flown!

Monday was spent doing some laundry and running errands. I picked up the turkey at grandma's in the morning, and E stayed when he realized his two cousins were there. JC is almost 12 and Jr. is 11. E turns 10 on Sunday so they're all in the same age group and love playing together. That was fine with me, because it meant I was able to spend some time alone with my daughter A. We had some nice conversations. Later, when I went to pick up E, my daughter and I stopped to visit with the newest member of the family, little Nicholas born Dec. 10. He's such a precious little thing! I'm glad we were able to stop by and see him, since his mommy won't be taking him out for awhile yet.

Tuesday I started cleaning up floors, dusting and vacuuming. E helped alot, since he wanted me to finish early and take him back to grandma's for another day with his cousins. I wasn't too sure about taking him, though. He woke up with a nasty cough and stuffy nose. I gave him some medicine and he felt better, so I took him over to get a much needed haircut, then over to grandma's. I returned some books to the library and continued my cleaning. I was able to get alot done, which was nice.

Today is baking day. I baked a pecan coffee cake and 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes. I also marinated a pork shoulder and I'm getting ready to brine the turkey. I washed and styled my hair today, because tomorrow I'll be busy making pork, turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, rice with pigeon peas, and bread. We have Christmas Eve dinner at my mother-in-law's house with my hubby's brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, etc. It's a lively time and my kids so look forward to it.

I don't think I'll have time to get on the computer the rest of this week, so let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas: May God bless you with the joy of the season, which is the knowledge of the One who left His place in heaven to be born a baby so that you and I could be saved. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 21, 2009...

Outside my's 53 degrees which is cold by Florida standards. Overcast with a bit of a chill, it feels like Christmas to me.

I am thinking...about all the last minute details as we prepare to celebrate that wonderful event, Christ's birth.

I am thankful...that we can celebrate our Savior's birth freely. I think of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in countries where this is not possible. :-(

I am pick up a few things at the grocery store, run over to grandma's to get the turkey, and hopefully get my youngest son a haircut.

I am wearing...a Florida Marlins t-shirt and light blue capris with blue and white striped socks my sister got me for Christmas last year.

I am beautiful the children looked as they sang "Happy Birthday Jesus" in church yesterday.

I am creating...a warm home environment for my family.

I am reading...Genesis for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions (though I've slacked here a bit, shame on me), and finishing up Anne of Avonlea. Such a sweet book.

I am have a restful and relaxing Christmas with my family.

On my mind...wonder if this cooler weather will stick around long?

From the learning school for 2 weeks, so we'll just be reading which E and I both enjoy.

I am noticing son is reading on his own more often. Thank You Lord!

I am pondering these words..."The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." - Matthew 1:23.

From the kitchen today...spaghetti and meatballs, always a favorite.

Around the, laundry is close to caught up, and time together.

One of my favorite the days right before Christmas. The cooking, baking, laughing,'s just so much fun!

A few plans for the rest of the week: We'll go to the library tomorrow to return some books, then preparing for Christmas Eve which we have at grandma's house. Hispanics celebrate "Nochebuena", which literally means good night, and we open our presents to each other at midnight. Then Christmas day we have just our family at home.

From my picture hubby surprised me with a Sony Cybershot in hot pink for my birthday which is so cute, but the computer isn't reading the memory card and my son is still sleeping. Guess it'll have to wait till he wakes up.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Upgrade Mentality

"But strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today."
Matthew 6:33-34

Recently during the morning news program, I noticed that many furniture stores had commercials running. I figured since the economy is so bad, people aren't shopping for furniture for the holidays like they used to, and the furniture stores are getting desperate. Offers for "no payments till 2012" flooded the screen, along with pictures of beautiful sofas, dining tables, and bedroom sets.

This got me thinking about my own living room furniture. We purchased our living room set a year and a half before we moved into our house, when we lived in our condo. The living room in the condo was smaller, so we bought fewer pieces. Since the furniture was new when we moved into the house, we weren't going to get rid of it even if the living room looked a little empty. Now, though, my furniture is almost 11 years old. Maybe it was time for a fresh new look. I began scouring the Internet looking and drooling over gorgeous modern pieces that made my furniture look so old and worn.

This morning it hit me. The media is always making us feel as though we're inadequate if we don't upgrade. Unless we have the latest in technology, and that means phones, computers, television and media equipment, and unless we've spent thousands of dollars bringing our home up-to-date, and unless we purchase new furniture every 5 years and revamp our wardrobe at least every six months, we will be miserable because we aren't enjoying a fully upgraded life. So we look around and feel like absolute failures if anything we own isn't following the current trend or the latest fad. We become depressed, and the only way out of that depression is to do what the media tells us, and upgrade.

The Lord reminded me of the verse in Matthew 6:33-34. He had me look at everything I have with different eyes. God has provided for my family this past year despite my being out of work. Not only has He provided what we need, He's gone and given us a bunch of what we want, too. Let's face it: our needs consist of food, water, clothing, and shelter. Anything more than that is icing on the cake. It's wants. No one dies for lack of a 60" flat screen TV. If you don't have all 10,000 channels on your cable or satellite network, you're not missing out. No one is less of a person just because they don't own the latest everything.

As I looked at my home, I realized every room is furnished with comfortable furnishings in good or very good condition. Each of us has a bed to sleep on (well, Mommy and Daddy share a bed, but it's a big one so we don't complain ;-). There's a large dining room table that's 10 years old, but it looks brand new and is large enough for family meals or family game night. We have sofas in two rooms, the living room and the family room, so we have plenty of seating for a family of 5. But what's most important in our home are the intangibles. We're healthy. We love being together as a family. There's joy in our home because the Holy Spirit is here with us, guiding and making sure we lack for nothing. We have peace in our home. We treat each other with kindness and work together to keep everything running smoothly (even the stuff that's outdated).

I was deeply convicted as the Lord showed me that I was being ungrateful. I'm thankful for all He has given us, even what the world or the media would say is worthless because it's old (not that 11 year old furniture is old). I'm thankful for His sacrifice, which provides me with more than a store ever could. I'm thankful that this life is not all there is, and that He is preparing a room for me in His Father's house. The furniture there will never grow old, or faded, or out-moded. The upgrade that Jesus offers is eternal life in heaven so long as we put Him first. Now that's an upgrade I'll trade everything in for.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today (My Birthday!), December 14, 2009...

Outside my's a balmy 73 degrees, cool, not overly humid, just a lovely, sunny South Florida day.

I am thinking...I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that it's my birthday. Didn't I just have one of these last December?

I am thankful more year of life with my family in which the Lord has taken such excellent care of us. I'm thankful for my husband who bought me a cool Blackberry phone over a month ago because he was getting ready for my birthday early. I'm thankful for my children who are all home right now, right where I want them to be. I'm thankful to my oldest son for the collection of classic movies on DVD (including some Jane Austen which I absolutely love), and my youngest son who got me the book "Sense and Sensibility" with his own money. I'm thankful my little girl got such good grades this semester (2 A's and 2 B's, including a B in physics which was a difficult class). I am so blessed.

I am finish up Christmas shopping today, I hope. I try to never go this far into the month with loose ends but one gift had to wait till my daughter was back home.

I am white and one purple tank top (the layered look), a pair of brown shorts and sandals. I'll change out of this in a little while.

I am remembering...the Christmas program at a local church this past Saturday. Even my son, who hates sitting for long periods of time, was fully engrossed and loved the songs and messages.

I am creating...well, nothing today. I get the day off 'cause it's my birthday. :-)

I am reading...Genesis for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, and I'm halfway through Anne of Avonlea.

I am start baking this week. My neighbors get baked goods for Christmas which they always receive with a smile.

On my mind...the Christmas show the children will be putting on this coming Sunday. We rehearsed yesterday, and the children sound like angels. Even one of the teenagers, a young man about 18 years old who helps us out, was in tears because it was so beautiful. I know the Lord will be pleased to hear the children sing Happy Birthday to Him.

From the learning's the last week of school, then 2 weeks vacation. My son is so excited!

I am noticing that...birthdays aren't nearly as exciting in my 40's as they were in my teens and 20's. I hope that's not a trend.

I am pondering these words..."Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm." - Proverbs 13:20.

From the kitchen today...boneless turkey breast in the crock pot. It's like I'm cooking, only it takes 5 minutes to throw everything in the crock pot and have a delicious meal 5 hours later, so it's like I'm not cooking!

Around the house...I'll take it easy today and allow some pampering. ;-)

One of my favorite hearing my 9 year old son sing Happy Birthday to me. It went like this: "Happy Birthday to you, you're a hundred and two. You look like a monkey and you smell like one too." How can you not love that?

A few plans for the rest of the week: baking for the neighbors, Happy Birthday Jesus party at Awana, Christmas party at Cub Scouts, library has Holidays Around the World this Friday, so as usual, plenty to do.

From my picture journal...roses I received from my lovely daughter.

Motherhood is the hardest, most rewarding job anyone could have. Thank You Lord for giving me the blessing of being a mom.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 12, 2009...

I am seeing...overcast skies, some rain though very light, and the sun doing it's best to creep out from under the clouds. I think the sun will win.

I am feeling...thankful because my daughter is home, because our cousin gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and because one of my dearest friends is rejoicing now that her son is home from Iraq. Praise God for our soldiers, and thank You Lord for bringing Tony home safe.

I am tasting...bacon, egg and cheese biscuits. Homemade, not the fast food stuff.

I am oldest son snore. He worked last night so he's sleeping in.

I am smelling...bacon throughout the house, which is one of my favorite scents. :-)

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Week in Review

It's been sort of a prep week, since so many things were going on, preparing for Christmas. Of course, I feel like my week is always about lots of things going on!

Monday was an errand day. I bought my son's teachers scented candles so he can give to them next week when they have their Christmas parties. I like being done with my shopping and decorating, but it always seems like there's just one more thing to do. I think that's why so many people stress at Christmas time. I try my best not to, otherwise the enjoyment of the season is gone.

I stayed home Tuesday to do clean up and laundry. My oldest son R took his car in for an oil change since it was his day off from school and work. Hubby had noticed the car was leaking oil so R had the dealer take a look at it while they were doing the oil change. Turns out there was a part in the transmission that had cracked, but thankfully it was covered under the extended warranty. I picked R up from the dealer, picked E up from school, ran over to the library to drop off some books, then thought about how easy it is to plan things our way but God has other ideas!

Wednesday I had to take both my boys to school. I take E to school everyday, but R's car wouldn't be ready till Thursday and renting a car seemed like an unnecessary expense, so I drove him the half hour to his school. Thankfully one of his best friends goes to the same school and was kind enough to drop him off at work after school. Hubby picked him up after work at 11:00pm. It seems like a hassle, but I'm glad my family has the ability to help one another. Wednesday night was Awana and Bible study. Pastor Dan was on a roll - I know many people like going to church to have their ears tickled, but I prefer to hear where I need to improve and what I need to change. It's those challenges that get my heart pumping as I understand God's will for my life more clearly.

Thursday was special in 2 ways. First off, our cousin gave birth to her third child - we have a new little baby boy in the family! Praise God, the little one and his mommy are both doing well. I spoke to my hubby's aunt (the baby's grandma) in the morning to congratulate her, then to our cousin in the evening when she was feeling better. Can't wait to meet the little guy! The hospital is a bit out of the way, so I'll wait till they get home to see them.

The other reason Thursday was so special was because my daughter came home! She actually arrived while E and I were at Cub Scouts, so it was even sweeter to come home and find her here. I just cannot express the happiness I feel when my family is home. It's an overwhelming blessedness.

Unfortunately for my son, his car was ready Thursday but not until 5:30pm. He had to be at work at 4:00, so he had no choice but to wait till Friday to pick up his car. That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Friday morning my son R accompanied me grocery shopping, since I had to drop him off at the dealership to pick up his car and it's just a few blocks from Walmart. We had a nice time together; my son is 22 years old, a quiet young man, but I enjoy his company because we have lots of fun conversations together. After we were done I left him to get his car and came home. A little while later he came with his car and a big grin - not only was the repair under warranty, but since he had to wait so long to get his car back, the dealer decided not to charge him for the oil change! God is so wonderful! It reminded me that when things don't go our way, rather than complain we need to wait and see what God is up to. He loves to surprise us!

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are back in town this weekend, and the kids in Children's Ministry will be preparing for their song that they'll be singing on Sunday December 20. As usual, plenty to get done, but oh, thank the Lord for the busyness of my life!

God bless, and have a great weekend.

Prayer Request

Michelle Duggar, mom of TLC's "18 Kids and Counting," gave birth yesterday prematurely to their 19th child, a little girl they named Josie. The baby wasn't due until March and had to be taken by c-section. You can read about it here. Please lift this precious baby and their family in prayer, as she only weighs 1 lb. 6 ounces and is in the neonatal ICU. May God bless them and give them strength through this difficult time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby, It's WHAT?!?

I love compilation CD's. I can listen to one type of music by various artists without having to buy each individual CD by each performer. I especially like Christmas compilation CD's. I have several: all Christian artists, all children's versions, Disney, modern songs, traditional carols, etc. Last year I purchased Now That's What I Call Christmas 3, which I like because it's got 2 CD's, one with traditional music by original artists and one with today's artists singing some newer and some traditional songs. It's a nice variety.

The other day, as I was driving to pick up my son from school, I popped the CD in and began listening to the songs. One song in particular caught my attention. I've heard it many times before, but I never listened to it. The song is called "Baby It's Cold Outside" and it's recorded by Dean Martin. Here are the lyrics, for your evaluation (the words in parenthesis are sung by a girl and the rest is sung by Dean Martin):

(I really can't stay) But baby it's cold outside
(Got to go away) But baby it's cold outside
(This evening has been) Been hoping you'd drop in
(So very nice) I'll hold your hands they're just like ice
(My mother will start to worry) Beautiful watch you're wearing
(My father will be pacing the floor) Listen to the fireplace roar
(So really I'd better scurry) Beautiful please don't hurry
(Well maybe just half a drink) Put some records on while I pour
(The neighbors might think) Baby it's bad out there
(Say what's in this drink) No cabs to be had out there
(I wish I knew how) Your eyes are like starlight now
(To break this spell) I'll take your hat your hair looks swell
(I ought to say no no) Mind if I move in closer
(At least I'm going to say I tried) What's the sense of hurting my pride
(I really can't stay) Baby don't hold out
(Both) Baby it's cold outside

(I simply must go) Baby it's cold outside
(The answer is no) Baby it's cold outside
(The welcome has been) How lucky that you dropped in
(So nice and warm) Look out the window at the storm
(My sister will be suspicious) Gosh your lips look delicious
(My brother will be there at the door) Waves upon a tropical shore
(My maiden aunt's mind is vicious) Gosh your lips are delicious
(But maybe just a cigarette) Never such a blizzard before
(I got to get home) But baby you'd freeze out there
(Say lend me a comb) It's up to your knees out there
(You've really been grand) I thrill when you touch my hand
(But don't you see) How can you do this to me
(There's bound to be talk tomorrow) Think of my life long sorrow
(At least they'll be plenty implied) If you caught pneumonia and died
(I really can't stay) Get over that old doubt
(Both) Baby it's cold
(Both) Baby it's cold outside

Now, I have to be totally honest. When I listened to the lyrics my first reaction was, "That's sexual harrassment! This guy's nothing but a predator! How can they play this stuff at Christmas?" So I looked it up and found that the song was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and was originally performed at parties with his wife. His wife was called "The Mouse" and he was "The Wolf" who tried to get the girl to stay with him based on the fact that "it's cold outside." It occurred to me that at the time these lyrics were probably fairly innocent (I wasn't around yet so I can't tell for sure). Yet in today's lingo this could get a guy arrested.

What did this song say to me? I realized how times have changed. Yes, this song is played all during Christmas (though it doesn't ever refer to the holiday) and throughout the winter months, yet most people haven't really paid attention to the lyrics. I skipped the song altogether once I started listening to it because I found it offensive, yet no one in the 1940's thought anything was wrong with it. The song was composed just 65 years ago. That may be a long time for some, but it's less than a century. Yet our minds decifer this very differently from how our parents/grandparents did. Times are a-changin', and sadly not for the better. We have to be alert to what we listen to, and what our children listen to, because even the golden oldies aren't so golden anymore.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 7, 2009...

Outside my window...the sun is trying to peek out from behind the clouds, but it looks like there won't be much success today. It's overcast, which hopefully will keep the heat index down.

I am thinking...of my son's possible solo in church. The children will be singing "Happy Birthday Jesus" and my son E is hoping to get the solo. He has a very sweet voice and loves to sing. It would make me so happy to watch my little boy stand before the entire church to sing.

I am thankful dear friend who stopped by yesterday afternoon. I haven't seen her in a couple years even though she lives just a half hour away. She's hardly ever home, running around doing errands for others or working with her son. It was wonderful to see her again.

I am the post office, then to pick up some stocking stuffers for my kids and presents for E's teachers. I usually have all this done by now, but really all I need are a few last minute items and I'm done.

I am wearing...a purple 3/4" sleeve shirt, jeans and sandals.

I am remembering...the Christmas movies I was watching this past Saturday on Lifetime channel. I typically don't watch this channel because the movies tend to be depressing, but at Christmas they have some very nice ones.

I am creating...nothing today. Too much other stuff to get done.

I am reading...Revelation for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, just finished Anne of Green Gables yesterday (what a lovely book!) and hope to get Anne of Avonlea from the library tomorrow. I'd borrowed it before but since I hadn't read Anne of Green Gables parts of it didn't make sense. I hope to enjoy it more now.

I am find everything I need this week so I don't have to go shopping anymore other than for groceries.

On my husband's cousin is going in for her c-section this week. I'm praying everything goes well. This is her third child, and we don't know what it is yet. I'm kind of glad, it's always fun to be surprised. My daughter is due home this Thursday, the same day as the c-section. Makes it all the more exciting.

From the learning rooms...E got 5 B's for his science fair project (Woot!!) and his progress report shows he's doing well also. I'm so thankful.

I am noticing that...the air is filling with the joy of Christmas. You know how everything just feels different this time of year? It's a change, sometimes subtle, but definitely pleasant. It's the reason we wish it were Christmas all year long.

I am pondering these words... "It's always wrong to do anything you can't tell the minister's wife. It's as good as an extra conscience to have a minister's wife for your friend." - Anne of Green Gables. Talk about accountability!

From the kitchen today...steak, fries, veggie, salad.

Around the house...since my friend was coming over yesterday I pretty much cleaned everything up. Just some laundry, vacuum the rugs, and that's it.

One of my favorite things...the smell of the air in the morning after it's been raining and a cold front has come in. The air is crisp and clean and delicious.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a little more shopping to do, Prep and Landing tomorrow on ABC, Awana and Bible study on Wednesday, daughter and new baby cousin due to arrive Thursday. Mother-in-law and sister-in-law due back from their trip on Saturday. Busy week, as usual.

From my picture snowglobe collection.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 5, 2009...

I am seeing...a cloudy fall day. It doesn't feel a whole lot like fall, because the latest cold front hasn't come in yet. It's due tomorrow, so we'll probably see rain today.

I am feeling...good after last night's growth group study. It was the last for the year, and great to get together one last time with these ladies whom I love.

I am tasting...the pancakes and sausages we had for breakfast. Yum!

I am hearing...the Phineas and Ferb marathon. Later I hope to hear Christmas cartoons.

I am smelling...well, I'll tell you what I'm NOT smelling, pine tree. It's what I miss most from not having a real tree, but then again the smell of the real tree gave me a sinus headache, so it's not so bad.

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Week in Review

This has been a slow, relaxing week. I don't get a whole lot of those! I love when I'm ahead of the game and can take it easy.

Monday I had to do a lot of grocery shopping. There was hardly any meat in the freezer, nothing for breakfast, cupboards were bare after all the Thanksgiving day cooking and feasting. My daughter had gone back to school the day before so I went and got much grocery shopping done. I also got some laundry done Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday was bathroom cleaning day. I tidied up a bit too, looking forward to watching "Prep and Landing" on ABC with my boys. Then the awful news: our Christmas cartoon got pre-empted because President Obama had a speech to broadcast. I was so upset! I had looked forward to that cartoon for weeks, and now it was bumped to next Tuesday. My son was bummed too. So we did the next best thing - we put in our Charlie Brown Christmas DVD. When I say I wanna watch cartoons, I mean it!

Wednesday we had Bible study and Awana at church. I was glad to be back at church; it's how my batteries get recharged. During the day I swept the floors and kept everything neat. Dinner was in the crock pot which made life easy.

Thursday I baked oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies. They are sooooo good!! My son doesn't know it's got all this "healthy" stuff in 'em, otherwise he wouldn't want to eat them. He loves my homemade cookies :-).

I've taken advantage each day to read Anne of Green Gables. What a sweet precious story! I feel like a little girl reading it. Today I did more grocery shopping because Winn-Dixie had some good buy-one-get-one-free sales. After putting everything away I sat back down and read a couple more chapters :-).

After I pick up my son from school today I'll review for tonight's growth group study. It's the last of the series and of the year. Studying the book of Proverbs has been a great learning experience. I'm glad we did this awesome study.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! God bless.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Nativities, I believe, are an essential part of the Christmas landscape, whether inside or outside the home. My pastor always harps on the fact that today's Nativity scenes are inaccurate. The manger where Mary placed the Christ child was not a little bassinet; it was a feeding trough for the animals. The "barn" was actually a cave carved into a mountain. And as for the wise men, the Bible never mentions them by name or even tells us how many were there. We just know there was more than one because it's in the plural. They didn't show up to see Jesus till much later, when He was toddler. Still, I love my Nativity scenes and the remembrance they give of that very special day when God came into the world.

This is the first Nativity I ever purchased. I ordered it by catalog so I didn't know exactly what it would look like. I almost cried when I saw it. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. It's now been with me about 18 years.

This large Nativity is my favorite. I got it from my House of Lloyd sales. Only hostesses could get them, so it was very special to me. I didn't realize when I saw it in the catalog that it was 15 inches tall. It has so much rustic detail, it's just lovely. The small Nativity in the corner I've had for 14 years. It was one of the first items I bought from House of Lloyd, and I've treasured it for many years. I used to put it with my Christmas village, but now I put it next to my favorite.

Now in my village I have my acrylic Glistening Chapel and an acrylic Nativity to match. This Nativity is actually an ornament for the tree, but I love how it's the same material as the church which makes it look like a set. It looks very elegant in the village.

This is the largest one piece Nativity in my collection. It was the last Nativity I got from my party plan sales. It's a full 18 inches tall and weighs a ton. It has a prominent spot in the bookcase in the living room.

This is my only musical Nativity. It plays "Silent Night" (another misconception, since anyone who has given birth knows there's nothing silent about it). It's only about 8 inches tall but it's got a solid wood base and the figurines are very well crafted and detailed.

Here is my newest Nativity, a gift from my sister last year. I call this the Gold Nativity; I think it's easy to see why. Not noticable in the picture are the colored stones in the individual pieces that makes them look even more elegant. I put this Nativity in the dining room next to the china cabinet.
Of all my collections these are my favorites. Yes, the snowmen and the penguins and the Santas are all nice, but only these Nativities are reminders of the true Reason for the Season.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Worship, Unplugged

My daughter and her best friend were at one of the pastor's house this past Thanksgiving weekend, and an impromptu worship session broke out. They were recorded, and the performance is now on youtube. Check them out here. JB is on the left, the pastor's daughter is in the middle, and my daughter is on the right. The song is He Loves Us as recorded by the David Crowder Band. Enjoy!

'Tis The Season

This year it took all day Friday, most of Saturday and some of Sunday to get the house decorated for Christmas. So much work, and oh, so worth it!

First things first, our Christmas tree. We've had an artificial tree for the past 3 years, and it has been wonderful. It's not that I don't like real trees, they just don't like me. My allergies would act up so bad around Christmas time, and finally I realized the problem was the tree. We got this one at JC Penney one Black Friday, the price was reduced from over $300 to $119, and it has paid for itself. It's prelit, which I'm very thankful for. It used to take a couple of hours just to get all the lights on the tree, then go back and make sure there were no spots that weren't lit, and by the time it was done I didn't want to see the tree anymore! Now it takes 10 minutes to get it up and lit. My daughter puts the decorations on; all I do is add the ribbon and the angel. We positively love our tree!

For 10 years I sold Christmas decorations through party plans, first with House of Lloyd (Christmas Around the World) and later with Kingdom Treasures. I was able to amass a very large amount of decorations, which I like to set up by collection.

This first is the Freezeman Family. Actually, the littlest one isn't part of the original Freezeman's, but we needed an extra so that it would represent our family. They're all decked out for skiing, but they stay indoors thanks to South Florida never getting any snow!

I love Christmas villages. This is part of the village that is in the living room. It goes around the corner and has houses, bridges, a lake, lighthouse, and about 5 churches.

The village in the dining room is my favorite. It's all gingerbread houses and snowmen. We call this Christmas in Orlando because it reminds me of a theme park!

Another collection: The Lloyds. House of Lloyd did this family over a period of several years, first releasing Floyd and Flossie. When these became popular, House of Lloyd came out with Grandma Flo, Grandpa Lloyd, and finally the kids, Hip and Hop. I purchased the chairs at Big Lots. The heads are porcelain, while the bodies are mostly fabric, though there's some porcelain on the bottom to help them sit up. Everyone who comes into my home falls in love with this family of Christmas rabbits.

Mind you, this is just a sampling of all the decorations in our home. Amazingly, I paid very little for all these pieces. Since I was a hostess and later a demonstrator for the company, I was able to get these pieces free. All I paid was tax and shipping. It was an easy and inexpensive way to decorate my home. Not only that, I helped decorate the homes of several family members - these pieces made excellent gifts! I miss those days, but sadly with mass retailers like Wal-mart it's very difficult to do these types of parties anymore. Still, I enjoyed it while I could, and now I have a beautiful home and lovely heirlooms for generations to come.

I'll be posting more pics later on, so stay tuned!