Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Chaos & Joy

My family has always opened presents on Christmas eve, but my hubby's family usually opened presents on Christmas morning so when we got married we had to pick a tradition to follow.  Because my parents like to be at our house when presents are opened, we ultimately decided to follow my family's tradition.  The kids stay up late on Christmas Eve playing, and Christmas morning is more leisurely.  The kids sleep while we are up early starting Christmas dinner.  They have small stocking gifts waiting on them; then breakfast; get dressed and play some more before dinner!

Christmas Eve this year was especially chaotic.  The twins had clogged the downstair's bathroom's sink, played in the water and left the water running until the wet family room carpet was discovered sometime later.  So around noon, Mr. Workman started intensive clean up with the wet vac and using every fan in the house.  As you might guess, this is the same carpet that I JUST had professionally cleaned two weeks ago and NO it was NOT dry by the time we opened gifts in the evening (or even yet this evening).  So gift opening was restricted to the dry side of the family room, which made picture taking angles difficult.  

We usually take turns opening gifts in an orderly fashion, but with three 3 year olds and a 4 year old running on crazy-high octane-Christmas-grandparents-candy-adenaline...well, orderly wasn't going to happen!!!  So with paper ripping, screaches of joy and lining up for Grandpa to free their new toys from the packaging...the boys opened their own gifts AND each others gifts AND came to help each of us open our gifts in all of 10 minutes.  (The clean-up took forever!  But they didn't care or know since they were playing with their new toys.) 

Antonio & Pauline with their 2 kids &
our kids from Haiti

This year, a big dinner and church, were pitted against each other so we had a big turkey dinner with all the fixings last Saturday with friends and our special guests Pauline and Antonio who worked at "our" orphanage in Haiti.  It was so nice to see them.  They are currently living in Tulsa, but they will be moving soon to Florida.

So today on Christmas Day, we decided to go with something easy for lunch after church.  We went Italian.  All the kids ate great except the twins who each fell asleep on sofas in different rooms during the brief 20 minute prep-time.  When they woke up an hour or so later, they feasted too.  I got a long nap.   Mr. Workman kept working on drying the carpet.  The kids played with new toys or read new books, and it was a VERY good Christmas Day!

For to us a child is born, to 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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Spirit

Salvation Army Band in front of the Fox Theatre.
This year I have been determined to take time to feel and live the Christmas Spirit.  The last few years, our Christmastimes have included surgeries and doctor visits and hurry and rush and stress.  However, I promised myself that would not be the case this year.  I would take time for friends and family, for celebrations, for decorations and if we get any, I may even play in the snow!   

So the first weekend in December, Ed & I headed to St. Louis for an overnight stay and to see "A Christmas Carol" at the Fox Theatre.  We are so out of practice with these get-a-way things that we forgot to take cash for parking, but disaster was averted after a complete search of pockets, bags, and floorboards yeilded the $8 we needed.  THEN, we had the "fun" of handing the change to the attendant and wishing him a "Merry Christmas".  He didn't want to accept it, but his boss assured him that it was legal tender and they accepted it!  The show and the Fox Theatre were as awesome as when I had visited last and I especially enjoyed the details and personality that actor Jeff Horst injected into his character Scrooge.   Then after the show, the Salvation Army Band was playing on the sidewalk outside the theatre.  It was positively Christmas perfect, except I had left the 11 cents of "extra cash" on the dash of the car and didn't have even a penny to put in the Kettle!  The group still insisted on taking a request and it was wonderful! 

Live Nativity by our friends John & Nancy Young

This year I have taken time to enjoy hosting a get together, which we hadn't done since July 2008!  Our whole family has enjoyed time with friends and special projects, the parade, a live nativity and Christmas lights in Carthage and Monett.  For the first year ever our Annual DVD is not yet done, but it will be soon for those who are thinking that I forgot you!  My Christmas shopping is not done.  My celebratating is just not finished, and I'm not worried because I have almost 5 days to enjoy the process of finishing Christmas preparations. 
Corrine enjoying the "Way of Salvation"
 light display in Carthage.

 If you are needing a little help feeling in the Christmas Spirit, then I have two small project suggestions for you that are less than a dollar and would really improve someone's day.

PROJECT 1: Write a note and/or send a card to Ashlea Burkhart.  She lives in Joplin and was severely injuried in the tornado.  The recovery and rehabilitation process from the brain injury has been especially tough for this mother of two and her husband.  Her mother has had to quit her job to help with Ashlea's care, but Ashlea IS improving, especially since a group of friends took on a project to get cards of encouragement sent to her.  Since November 15th, she has received over 1,000 cards and these are used as part of her recovery is to go get the mail everyday and read the cards aloud.  You can mail the card to the following address: 
Ashlea Burkhart
3609 E. 13th St.
Joplin, MO 64801

PROJECT 2:  Send a Christmas card to and pray for Troy and Angie Jensen.  Troy had a bone marrow transplant in Oct. and under normal conditions would have been able to leave the hospital in November. Unfortunately he has had many set backs and is still in the hospital and will not be leaving before the holidays. Angie has put a small Christmas tree in his room and plans to fill his window with the Christmas cards that are sent, so that when Troy is able, he can see the evidence of all the people who care for him and have been praying for him.  Angie's St. Louis address is below.

Troy and Angie Jensen
4555 Forest Parkway
Apt 301
St. Louis, MO 63108

   "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!"~~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Twins are 3!

Luke waving bye.  Mark already up the bus steps.
 The twins turned 3 today and took the big step of going to their first day of 1/2 day preschool.  Mark was ready to ride the bus, but Luke was a little less sure about this new adventure.  In the end, they both rode the bus without tears, and they returned home ready to go to school again tomorrow.  Here are some pictures of their BIG day.  Could they be anymore cute?!  I don't think so!
Present time!!
Cake with REAL candles for the 1st time.