Monday, December 29, 2008

My Kids Will Remember

After my 4 hour nap on Sunday afternoon....
yeah... seriously... FOUR hours..
(thanks to Chilly who just let me sleep while
he cared for the boys)...

I realizing that Christmas was fun,
and we did so many things together,
made memories,
shared the love of Jesus with many,
and used our collective creative juices often! BUT...

Now... I'm looking at the house.
It's a mess...
it's unorganized with a thick haze of craze hanging over it.


But that's OK.
My kids won't remember the dust monsters
(they're WAY past "bunnies")

My kids will remember the crazy laughter and silly fun we had
making new stockings together.

My kids will remember singing on the stage at church on Christmas
Sunday morning, and that their parents were super proud and
our next door neighbors were so kind to come watch them, too.

My kids will remember tromping around after a huge snow-storm,
jumping from the swings into huge snow mounds.

My kids will remember making gifts for each other this year...
using fabric, supplies and materials we already have to
invent a present that the other brother/sister will hold dear.

My kids will remember dancing around to Christmas music and
making a ridiculous amount of yummy desserts and treats to
consume and share with others.

My kids will remember that Daddy read them the story of Baby Jesus
on Christmas Eve before they went to bed... and we all enjoyed it.

My kids will remember having 23 people crammed in our small house
and playing the new games we opened that day.

My kids will remember the chocolate mint cake we made for Jesus
and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus before we ate all those desserts.

My kids will remember that they made gifts for their friends this year
and had a blast doing it.

My kids will remember staying in our jammies past noon on the day AFTER
Christmas just to play games & have fun with the new toys.

My kids will remember that Jesus loves them; that Mommy & Daddy love them;
that they have amazing siblings; that their family, friends & church are awesome!

Dust monsters.... who cares.

Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women
By Susan Hunt

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh, the horror!... and huge MIRACLES!

Oh... the horror!
This is Hershal... and he just embarrassed me... AGAIN!
You just never know what that guy is gunna say! :)

Yesterday was so much fun... kids' Christmas program... and
Hershal went downstairs to talk to the kids afterwards! I LOVE
REAL CHURCH ... and I wanna post a few pics from that
later. My husband has some great updates & a pic on his
blog today!

and the MIRACLES!.....
Our offerings this weekend were, um... well even less than our
usual inner-city church offerings. But then, a young lady told a
friend that she didn't want to receive a Christmas present from him
but would rather have him donate it... and yeah... so he wrote a
check to the church in her honor! God knew!

ALSO... despite our efforts to be frugal, creative and wise, money
has become kinda scarce. On Saturday I received a Christmas card
from my Aunt and cousins.... it said that they decided to forgo presents
to each other this year in order to bless our family/ministry! Needless
to say.... I cried as I read it.
I cried several times that evening.
I cried yesterday during church as I thanked Jesus.
I'm crying now!
Thank you, family!

It's so humbling and wonderful to have family members who are willing
to change their plans and give... that's so like Jesus!

Thank you, Jesus..... Thank you for thinking of us during YOUR
BIRTHDAY! I'm honored to serve Him!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Give'n away the book

So, I have to admit, it feels kinda weird to give
away a book that's #3 in a series, but hey, that's
what the publishers sent me... and I truly enjoyed it.

Mary Beth said her daughter likes books like this,
so ... she wins. Marybeth, I'll be mailing out the
book to you.

Thanks for reading my blog.... it's cool. It's an honor
that you wanna read what I have to say.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It was Snow Fun!

Our afternoon in the Winter Wonderland...

aka.... The Backyard!

See yesterday's blog to win a free book...
AND... my husband is giving way a great book that i just
started reading, too. Click here!

Currently Listening to...
Handel's Young Messiah

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frame It

This season we're trying to make more gifts and
be more creative and personal. It's fun... and to be
honest it can be a little stressful. But it's still better
than the stress of over-spending & angry malls.

Although I can't show you all that we've made,
(the recipients don't have them yet..shhhh)
I will show you the picture frame we made as a B-day
gift for Max's friend, Amir. Max helped with the cutting
and gluing.

We used cardboard from a box, an old pair of jeans and
school glue. The result? A picture frame that holds a happy
memory of two good buddies!

Also, I'm still giving away this Book:

If you're interested, please tell me how you're expressing
love for your family/friends this season. I'll give it away
on Thursday, Dec. 18th.

Happy, creative Christmas!

Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women
By Susan Hunt

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I grew up with several friends who were at one time
part of the Mennonite Community... their families moved
from Kansas to Colorado when they were young.
They left their Grandparents, many Aunts & Uncles,
cousins, friends, church, traditions.

After arriving in Colorado, the ladies/girls worn only dark dresses
with little prayer caps and the men had beards and dark pants.
Over timethe dark dresses turned into cheerful skirts with not caps and
eventually they dressed like all the rest of us "Englishers."

Some of these girls were among my closest friends and I
have a few memories of their conversations about rarely
getting to see their Grandparents...
and when they did see them they weren't allowed to eat at
the same table as them because they'd left the church long ago.
It's so sad because they all loved Jesus... but there was so much
hurt, sorrow and tradition that separated them.

I recently read a book I received for FREE that was along
the same topic. Although the book is fiction and deals with
the Amish community, not Mennonite, it portrays the hurt
and pain that family, traditions and "religion" can inflict.
And shows the beauty of God's grace, forgiveness and mender
of torn relationships.

The cool thing for all of YOU is this...
the publishers that gave me the book also gave me copies
to give away!

This book, WHEN THE SOUL MENDS, by Cindy Woodsmall,
is the third book in a series called Sisters of the Quilt. I hadn't read
the first two books, so when I got a little confused I just referred to
the list of characters in the front of the book. No biggy. I enjoyed
reading it and couldn't wait to get to the end to see what choice
she would make.

If you'd like to have a FREE copy of this book, please briefly tell me
how you're planning to express love to your family this Christmas

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sleigh Ride!

20 years ago this week I went on
the BEST sleigh ride ever!
My sweet man blogged about it...
click here

(and later this week I'll be giving
away another book!...
so stay tuned!)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Cookies, Please!

I have a soft spot for cookies...
well, I guess it's just for sugar in general!
ha... ugh.

Last night some of the ladies from our church had
a cookie swap... (really just an excuse to get together!)

Several magazines have recently featured Jam Thumbprint
cookies and it took me back to childhood... making them
with my Mom, who used to make a zillion cookies every
December! So, I made a few batches of them. mmmmm

Then, feeling creative, I changed a recipe
for Oatmeal Cookies
and turned them into Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies with
a Cranberry Cream Cheese filling.
(They tasted yummy but looked kinda... um... different!)

It made me think about my relationships with friends and those
around me.... many I've known for several years and find such
joy and safety in your friendships.
And there's others around me who are future friends...
someone new,
someone who has a different combination of experiences,
someone who can add something wonderful to my life!

I want to keep adding friends to my life -
never getting tired of
reaching out,
opening up,
being vulnerable
and enjoying to thrill of "new & different."

I don't wanna always be the same... as temping and secure as it feels.
There's new cranberry walnut cookies out there!
There's more people that should be moved from "acquaintance" to FRIEND!
I'll have more cookies, please!

Connecting with God's Family
By Brett Eastman, Dee Eastman,
Denise Wendorff, Todd Wendorff,
Karen Lee-Thorpe