Wednesday, December 31, 2008
We really enjoyed our visit with my friend from, what is it, Katie? About 35 years?! (Ouch. That is hard to admit!) Katie has three of the cutest little boys in Ohio, and all of our kids had a blast together! It was great to send them off to play while Katie and I caught up in person, for a change, instead of communicating only over e-mail or Facebook or blog comments. What a blessing it was to be with her. I wish we lived closer.
We moved on to the Schley side of the family after a visit with Richard and Margie. We had our annual Schley family Christmas Dinner Contest. This year we did chili. We had nine entries and only three winners. That was hard to judge, but we loved the chili and we loved the fun and visiting!
Spending the rest of the week with my family was a blessing. Sometimes I just need that Schley fix and then I'm back on track again. It was nice to just sit and laugh with Liz and Laurel and Taylor about wee boxers, or was it Wii boxes, or was it Diet Dr. Pepper? I had fun shopping with Liz and Dianne and getting and giving those suggestions and comments that only sisters can give to each other. I enjoyed watching Mom and Dad interact with the kids and the kids sure enjoyed being at Grandpa's house where there are trucks. (I'm not sure where those trucks are, but Christopher always talks about Grandpa's house and trucks in the same sentences.)
Yes, Christmas this year was wonderful. It was not about gifts and glitter. It was not about commercialism or perfection. Sometimes it was about food. It had to be because we had Bocka's Buckey Bars, salmon (Timothy's favorite), the all-important Chex Party Mix, the handcrafted gingerbread houses and everything else that was available. I have to say that this was a wonderful Christmas because we were together because we were family, and we were celebrating the birth of Jesus. This is what made Christmas beautiful this year.
Now we're at the brink of a new year. We're going to brave the snow tonight and go to a family New Year's Eve party for a white elephant gift exchange. The boys are all excited to stay up late. I'm not as thrilled with that, I'm getting older, but I catch their excitement and then I'm ok about it again. What are you guys doing tonight to celebrate New Year's? How have the celebrations changed for you over the years? Who's going to bed early tonight?! (Lucky you!)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Well, almost enough to fill her order. I just finished baking 81 more shortbread cutouts and I'm passing them on to Connie to finish decorating since we're leaving in the morning for Ohio! We have two or three leftovers of all the other cookies, but this customer wanted a special platter of the cutouts, soooo ..... that's how I spent my evening tonight after the boys were in bed.
The Cookie Kitchen is temporarily closed as we both celebrate Christmas with our families. Once again, we thank God for the customers that trusted us with their Christmas cookies this year. We're also thankful for the wise ones who came late last night to pick up their cookies before the blizzard hit, and we're thankful for the brave ones who ventured out today in the middle of it all to pick up the rest. Ok, so today's were all neighbors who just had to walk a few houses down, but hey! It was cold and blustery and snowy today!
Since we'll be spending Christmas with our family in Ohio, I don't know how much time I'll have to blog while we're there, so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas as you celebrate JESUS!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The only glitch in the program was when Victoria and Ashley T. were playing their flute and violin duet and the breeze in the sanctuary blew their music right off the stand! Those troopers kept right on going even after several attempts by others to get that music back up there!
The boys' school program was last week. For some reason my camera wasn't working too well and this is the least blurry shot that I have. Timothy is the only one with no Santa hat on. He was so pleased with himself standing up there singing away! He kept looking out at us and smiling and giving us a wave every once in awhile.
Watching my kids in their Christmas programs made me think about all the programs I had been in as a child. I have such specific memories from a few of them that it amazes me that I can still remember them. What do you remember about your Christmas programs as a child?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I do know that there is a devotional I read this past week that I can't seem to get out of my head, so I will share it on here. Our Christian book store is going out of business, so when I was there last week, I picked up a mother's devotional, you know, the short one-pager type because that's the extent of our time most days. I eagerly picked it up to start reading it and had a few laughs and a few insightful thoughts as I read the words of the author talking about Proverbs 31 and how different perspectives on women's lives could cause individual responses to this "wonder woman" that is talked about. She commented that her mom's description of her would be totally different because of the perspective of her mother as opposed to her own description of herself. This description of a woman in Proverbs 31 is from God's perspective, and that's why there are so many positive attributes mentioned.
Well, here I was, enjoying this little devotional and the author's humorous comments, and then I turned the page to the application question and it stopped me in my tracks. I mean, it not only stopped me in my tracks, but it made my heart race and my eyes start to tear up. I had to close the book because I couldn't answer the question: "Write at least a dozen nice things about yourself from your heavenly Father's persepctive." I couldn't do it. I couldn't even think of one thing that I could write. When I'm feeling overwhelmed with life, I can't always see the good that may be in me. All I could think of were the unkind things I had said to the boys that day and the fact that I was impatient with some of the tasks I wanted Fred to do. I could think of the mess that the house has gotten into, the cookie orders that I was behind with, the Christmas letters that still weren't done. I thought of the judgement I had cast on someone because of a comment made (even if it was only in my mind), and the guilt I felt because of ignoring the prompting of the Spirit in another area because it was more convenient (read: selfish) for me.
My page is still blank. I can't answer this question right now. I know that there are nice things that God says about me, but for some reason, I'm struggling with actually identifying them and claiming them as encouragement from the Lord. Maybe if I could hear some of your comments, it would help me to be able to hear the same from God. You don't have to write a dozen nice things God would say about you, but tell me one nice thing that God would say about YOU from His perspective. How do you think God brags about you? It's not YOU bragging about you, but GOD bragging about you! Please share!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
I'm also thankful for the sweet little teenage girl who babysat for us this weekend because she not only played with the boys, but she cleaned up my house, too!!! I was almost dreading coming home because I know how the boys can be with a babysitter, but I was shocked and impressed and thrilled beyond words when I walked in the door! You can be sure that I'll be asking for her services again ... the only problem is that she lives an hour away and is only in town on special occassions like the baptism weekend we had at church. Bummer. She's GOOD!!!!