Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The redneck in me..

A few things I hate at Christmas time.  I hate the lines, the push and shove, and the hubbub about the "perfect gift".  I hate spending money on STUFF.  So instead of dealing with all this I begin thinking about Christmas in January and do my best to find a gift that will bring the most joy to the person.  Usually for an added bonus it cost less money too.

For example one year my Dad's favorite soda was on sale so on Christmas day under the tree a six pack of opened, half drank cream soda sat waiting for Dad.  There's a short story that goes along with this:  Growing up it wasn't out of the ordinary for Dad to eat food I had left in the fridge.  One time he even ate part of my school project!  It was for my public speaking class.  Having been asked to do a demonstration speech I thought it would be a cinch to use my "Sandwich artist" skills from Subway.  My boss loved the idea and gave me enough food to feed the entire class.  Little did I know the hardest part would be protecting it.  My Dad arrived home from work in the middle of the night hungry, so he helped himself...Hence the Christmas gift a few years later with half empty cream soda bottles.  Each bottle had a note on it with some excuse as to why it had been drank.  He loved it!  He brought it to work to show it off and laugh with his friends.  Good times.  A gift that didn't cost much but is still laughed over and talked about years later.  In fact as we talked of this story around the Thanksgiving table I was reminded that I used to be one of the best "Welch Belchers" around.  Some parts of me should be left in the past I think...

Well, this year Jeff Foxworthy could use us in a joke or two.  Take a look:

Yep, Christmas lights made out of shotgun casings.  You couldn't get any better than that.

Oh wait!
Maybe you could.
How about this one for ya:

Yep that's me hanging out the window holding the tree on the top of the car with my strong man holding onto me.  Granted we were only a stones through from home.  But still...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


(If this Advent idea sounds good to you then jump over here for a copy of your own, Jesse tree journey.)

For the next 27 days school will be focused on the coming of the Christ Child. The Advent will be our only focus between now and Christmas. In just a few short years I'll have to make time for academics as well as things of spiritual value so until that time this is where our focus will be.

I chose this particular Advent celebration because it all starts in Genesis.  Just as the Christ story always has.  It doesn't jump to the birth where only a small portion of the truth is seen.

Each day we'll read another story from the Old Testament that will point to the Child Immanuel.  Not only that but we'll be challenged with ways to become more like him.  Some days it will be an act of service done for somebody, even strangers, while other it will be an activity to help us learn to focus on Him.

Here's what I did.  Along with the booklet came some paper ornaments.  So cut I them out; made them pretty.  Each with red, the sinless blood, for a frame, and green ribbon, eternal life, as a way to hang each one.

We gathered some rocks from out side and found a small tree that we cut down.

Using a mixing bowl as the tree stand we put the tree and the rocks into the bowl.

Found a safe place for it.

Put an extra tree skirt around the ugly blue bowl.

There you have it:  An advent tree full of surprises and hope.

And I will put enmity between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.
~ Genesis 3:15

1262.  Making my own Advent calender.
1263.  Starting and finishing a craft in one afternoon.
1264.  Hours alone focusing only on the Christ Child.
1265.  Old Testament scriptures fulfilled.
1272.  Tiny advent tree.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Setting pride aside

With this last bout of depression, where the tears and fatigue seem to control me, I have been brought so low that I have had no other choice then to put pride aside allowing myself to be helped. I've been brutally honest with any who want to hear how my world is. I have dozens lifting me up before the Creator, asking that His glory would be seen through my life.  Others dropping in just to see how I'm doing while lending me some extra hands to play with my hoolies. While still others are bringing meals. I am blessed. In fact so many are willing to give that I've had to turn some away, accepting only there prayers.  I'll say it again, I 'm blessed.

Wow! Isn't this what the body of Christ is supposed to be?  I wonder then in the 200 people at CBC why is it that so many say nobody cares? Could it simply be that we don't ask? If we don't say, "Hey I'm broken I need help." Why should we expect to get something. What makes us so special to think that others, those we only see a for minutes each week, would notice something was wrong with us. May I suggest pride as it is for me...

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.
~ Proverbs 8:13

1285.  Many standing before the Throne on my behalf.
1286.  The gift of friendship.
1287.  Listening ears.
1288.  Treasure of those who have gone before me.
1289.  Encouraging words.
1290.  My sin brought to the surface to be dealt with.
1291.  Grace
1292.  Redeeming Hope

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving day

As soon as we rose we headed out the door to my parents.

A three hour drive.

Strong man is a better story teller so I asked if I could drive while he told stories.

It took a while, but was a great day for driving.  It was nice to see my home land again.

The view from my parents Dinning room.

Because of this distance this was also the first Christmas celebration of the year.

Grammy hit the spot with cameras for each of the boys. 

It was a good time to catch up family.

Good food.

...At least most of us thought so.

Good naps.

1282.  Beautiful ride through the mountains.
1283.  Time with family.
1284.  Good food.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Needed rest

My three men just left for the day, the day after Thanksgiving, and the first time in months that we have three days together; we are separated. 

I'm broken.  The last time I spent more then one day with people I was a mess for over a week.  Tomorrow is our day to turn our house into a place of remember the Christ child.  I want to be well.  I want to smile because it's natural not just what I should do.  I want hug and love my boys not fight myself to get out of bed.  I want tomorrow to be a day of joy both on the inside and the out.  So today I rest.

My men are out getting Nana and Grandpa's tree.  It's something we do every year.  My strong man and his younger sister will search for what seems like hours trying to find the best tree and bicker between themselves as to why that tree isn't the right one until they both come to the point of being tired and cold ending in simply picking one.  That one will probably be the one they first saw.  They'll all go into the tiny shop to warm up with some hot cider and doughnuts.  They'll each pick out an ornament for the tree. 

This day full of tradition, is one of our favorite.  In fact this day is far more important to us then our day of opening gifts with this side of the family.  Here are some pictures from years past:

Once they all get back to Nana & Grandpa's house the tree will be set up with everybody being kicked out of the living room while the lights are put on.  Christmas music will be played all day, including a very veggie Christmas.  Again something Strong man and writer sister will squabble over; all part of the fun.  As the decorations go up at some point one of the sisters quietly drop tinsel on Grandpa.  The battle will begin...Chinese food will be eaten for dinner.  The night will be ended with a Christmas movie that even Laughter will enjoy.  It will be good. 

For me, I will rest.  It too will be good.

The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.  Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
~ Psalm116:6-7

1248.  Snow piles.
1249.  Trees swaying.
1250.  Clean floors.
1251.  Christ child music.
1252.  Decorations.
1253.  Tree hunting.
1254.  Memories.
1255.  Car rides
1256.  Tinsel battles
1257.  Chinese food.
1258.  Christmas movies.
1259.  Remembering our Hope.
1260.  Winter sun.

Thanksgiving 1

The weekend before Thanksgiving we had a feast with far away family.  It was good.

 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent;  O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
~ Psalm 30: 12

1245.  A feast made with love.
1246.  Excited little boys.
1247.  The joy of giving.