My Husband "Subvet" says that when our first son "Sonshine" was born the sun rose on our world, when our second son "Gator" was born the sun laughed and when our daughter "Sugars" was born all the flowers bloomed. That says it all.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."
Anonymous

Your mind is the garden, your
thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds. — William
Wordsworth

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Advent Calendar

Each December we put together our own Advent Calendar. First we make a large poster and decorate it to hang on the wall. Then each day in December we open a door of our calendar box and tape that day's scripture to our poster. Rereading the story as revealed so far.

I thought I would share our calendar with you. Thanks to this tradition both of my boys can recite most of the Christmas story...straight from the Bible. Feel free to add this to your family's tradition in the coming year!

Here's our box.......


And the 25 verses are:




In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth
Luke 1:26


To a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary
Luke 1:27


And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
Luke 1:28


Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
Luke 1:30


“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”
Luke 1: 31



In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.
Luke 2:1






And Joseph, too, went to the city of David that is called Bethlehem. To be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Luke 2:5


While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,

Luke 2:6






And she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7






Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.

Luke 2:8



The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.

Luke 2:9



The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

Luke 2:10



“For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.”

Luke 2:11





“And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:12






And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

Luke 2:13


“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:14


When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:15





So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.

Luke 2:16



When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,

Matthew 2:1







Saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

Matthew 2:2







After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.

Matthew 2:9



They were overjoyed at seeing the star,

Matthew 2:10





And on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11



And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Matthew 2:12





I hope each of you have had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hello There!

I'm still around and kicking!

I have finished all 40 Christmas gifts!
I have ensured Gator wasn't ignored by the tooth fairy when he lost his first tooth last Thursday....or when he lost the second one Friday!
I have diligently moved our Elf on the Shelf every night so he'll keep the magic that allows him to report all behavior to Santa.
I have obtained an adorable picture of my 3 hooligans with Santa.
I have printed 30 (of the 60 needed) copies of said Santa picture.
I have played a bazillion games of Bejeweled Blitz.
I have thoroughly tested out all of the Christmas gifts my hooligans have gotten so far.
I have decided that when they aren't looking I'm stealing the Hotwheels racetrack with tricks and setting it up in MY room.
I have taken a zillion pictures that I haven't had time to post here.
I have eaten waaaaay too much food.
I have decided that the words "diet" and "exercise" are forbidden till after the New Year.
I have been through a gruelling 2 hour interview at Children's Medical Center's Sports Medicine Clinic.
I have scheduled a SECOND interview with the doctors at the Sports Med Clinic for Monday (PRAY PEOPLE, PRAY!)


All in all, I have really enjoyed myself lately. How about you? Are you having a Merry Christmastide??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'd love to shake his hand!!!

Secret Santa spreads joy, disbelief in Kansas City

– Tue Dec 14, 9:45 pm ET KANSAS CITY, Mo. –

Secret Santa II hit the streets Tuesday in a long-standing Kansas City tradition of handing out $100 bills — sometimes several at a time — to unsuspecting strangers in thrift stores, food pantries and shelters.

Some people gasped in surprise. Some wanted to know if the $100 bill the tall man in the red cap offered was fake. Others wept.

Secret Santa II has seen a lot of reactions since taking over where his mentor, Kansas City's original Secret Santa, Larry Stewart, left off when he died in 2007 at age 58. Like Stewart, who gave away more than $1 million to strangers each December in mostly $100 bills, this Secret Santa prefers to stay anonymous.

A fake white beard taped to his face, Secret Santa II handed out about $10,000 in total Tuesday. Recipients included a police officer with terminal cancer, a homeless man pushing a rickety old shopping cart, an 81-year-old woman who had recently told her 27 grandchildren she wouldn't be able to afford any Christmas gifts, and Bernadette Turner, a 32-year-old unemployed mother of two.

"It's hard to come by," Turner said looking in disbelief at the $200 Secret Santa had given her.

Then one of Santa's "elves" — another tall man in a red cap — sidled up to next to Turner, asked a few questions, and handed her an additional $100. Turner, whose children are 3 and 8, was overcome.

"I can only afford one gift for each child. But now ...." she said, wiping tears from her cheeks and reaching out for a hug.

"Do you believe in Santa Claus?" Capt. Ray Wynn of the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department, asked from a few feet away. Wynn had followed Stewart on many "sleigh rides" around the country and now follows this Secret Santa, providing stories, memories and amusing sound effects.

"I do now," Turner said. "I do now."

Secret Santa II took over from Stewart about the time the recession hit and the economy went into a tailspin. Like Stewart, this Secret Santa doesn't talk about his own finances, where those $100 bills come from and if — like for so many people now — they've been harder to come by.

Come December, he just fills his pockets with money, dons his red cap and heads out looking for people to make really happy.

He will likely hand out about $40,000 this December. He says he'll go "till the money runs out."

"The recession, unemployment. This is the time you don't want to stop. You don't want to back off," he said.

He walked up to Peggy Potter, 59, of Kansas City, Kan., who was looking at some framed prints at a thrift store. He made some small talk, put his arm around her and within minutes she was crying. Her son died about a year and a half ago. Her husband died in July and her daughter died soon after that.

"I'm just ... today's been a rough day for me, just thinking about my loved ones," she said. "I've been having a hard time paying for all the funerals."

Santa gave her $200, listened more, hugged her, and told her the poster she was holding had special meaning. It was a photo of two hands, one large, one small. Words printed at the bottom could have been written by Secret Santa, the original or the current one.

It said: "Kindness in giving creates love."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

shew!

Where'd the week go?

12 thousand toys bought
11 cups of coffee
10 kiddo snuggles
9 snowmen built (from playdough)
8 zillion "singing" lights
7 pics with Santa
6 ladies lunching
5 Presents Done!
4 toy shelves cleaned out
3 stockings stuffed
2 horseback rides
And Harry Potter on the Big Screen!

So, how was your weekend?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

:-)

I'm sooo excited!!


oh my goodness this is going to be a GREAT 4 days off!!!

yesterday - lunch with my favorite group of ladies!

today - extra snuggles with my sweetheart this morning and lazy day with my girl, then sewing tonight while Subvet's off at a meeting.

tomorrow - finish ALL shopping and then HARRY POTTER!! (for free! I found a gift card HA.) then after dark going to see the lights here. It's very much worth the long drive believe me!

Sat - horse riding, then pictures with SANTA, then a date night with my sweetheart!!


a sneak peek of a light show done by the same guy who does the one we're going to see.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 1941

this is a repost from 12/7/08....it will continue to be reposted every year....







At this time last year I got very caught up in the attack on Pearl Harbor and all that happened that terrible day. I spent hours reading and learning and crying. I posted quite a bit about it during the week of Dec 7, and this year I am going to repost all that was posted last year. Just in case you missed it, or need a reminder of it. If you happen to meet a WWII vet this week, thank him or her. I have had the priveledge of taking care of several WWII vets at work. Most recently on Thursday. I too will be going out of my way to say thank you.

TAKE TIME TO REMEMBER.

"The attack at Pearl Harbor sank four U.S. Navy battleships and damaged four more. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer, destroyed 188 aircraft, and caused personnel losses of 2,402 killed and 1,282 wounded."
Wikipedia



The wrecked destroyers USS Downes (DD-375) and USS Cassin (DD-372) in Drydock One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, soon after the end of the Japanese air attack. Cassin has capsized against Downes.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) is astern, occupying the rest of the drydock. The torpedo-damaged cruiser USS Helena (CL-50) is in the right distance, beyond the crane. Visible in the center distance is the capsized USS Oklahoma (BB-37), with USS Maryland (BB-46) alongside. Smoke is from the sunken and burning USS Arizona (BB-39), out of view behind Pennsylvania. USS California (BB-44) is partially visible at the extreme left.
This image has been attributed to Navy Photographer's Mate Harold Fawcett.





Destroyer USS Shaw exploding after her forward magazine was detonated



USS California sinking


USS West Virginia took two aerial bombs (one dud) and seven torpedo hits; of the seven at least five were from aircraft and one from a midget submarine






As I am writing this it is the Saturday before Labor Day. September first. We are trying to spread the word to get everyone to fly their American Flag on September eleventh in memory of the tragedy that took place 9/11/01.

However, you won't be seeing this post until December. December seventh to be exact.

Because 9/11/01 reminds me of 12/7/41.

The day that the American Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was bombed by the Japanese.

My Grandaddy fought in WWII, he lost his only brother in that war then was sent home as the last surviving male member of the family. He flew cargo planes for the US Army Air Corp....perhaps my love of flying and desire to be a (fighter) pilot is genetic.

I remember the sadness and frustration he expressed when we kids couldn't tell him what day Pearl Harbor had been bombed, or the names of the ships lost, or even how many ships, or what impact it had on WWII (The BIG 'un). I remember him saying that the world stopped that day...and when it started moving it was never the same again. I remember wondering what on earth he meant by that. I remember his anger when he went to the VA, that is Veteran's Affairs, hospital for a doctor's visit and found out that his assigned doctor was "a damn Jap!!" This wasn't a man given to fits of anger, but boy he got hot telling me about THAT! I remember wondering what the big deal was.

Then came 9/11/01 and I understood.

I understood the sadness and frustration when the people around me forgot to take note of that day. I remember how the world stopped, how my husband kept saying over and over that nothing will ever be the same again and I understood exactly what he meant. I understood the anger at any member of a specific group of people who were responsible for so much unprovoked bloodshed. I understood exactly what the big deal was.

In light of this understanding, I will never again forget 12/7/41. What it cost our countrymen and how it changed the world.

Do you have an American Flag?

Do you fly it at half-mast on Pearl Harbor Day?

YOU SHOULD!









The USS Arizona. ".... and as you can see from the picture, she still mourns her dead...." Cookie

For more information about the effects of the attack on Pearl Harbor.






After posting what you see above I got curious.

I started reading everything I could find on the attack at Pearl Harbor. That's when I went back and added all the pics. I read and read and cried and cried that night. Well into morning. I don't know (or care) if you believe such things, but I felt like this room was full of soldiers urging me to learn...then to teach. So that they should not be forgotten as another generation comes of age.

Here's what I learned.

1) The United States of America is the BEST damn country in the world.
2) You may knock us down, but you'd better watch out when we get back up.
3) We ALWAYS get back up.


We had 12 ships "sunk or beached" and 9 "damaged" in that attack.
Not to menton all the planes and buildings.

Now, to this city girl, "sunk" means dead. Sitting on the bottom rusting. But "All U.S. Ships except Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma were salvaged and later saw action."
Most of those ships were saved and sent back to war within the year. And the cleanup was dirty, oily work.

Follow the links folks, look at the pictures. This is an AMAZING story that you won't soon forget! And remember that no matter how bleak the scenery looks, there's always a way to rebuild, and strike back.



Monday, December 6, 2010

arrrrgggghhhh.

Here I sit......TRYING to make my Christmas gifts and being reminded why I put this picture in my little sewing corner...



You know, not a single thing with the gifts this year has gone right.

Not.A.Single.Thing.

From not getting started working on them on time....to not getting them finished on time....to glue not doing what it's supposed to do...to kids not doing what they're supposed to do....to thread not doing what it's supposed to do....to sewing machine not doing what IT'S supposed to do......to dropping the iron....to running out of ribbon...and thread....to....

you name it, it's gone wrong....

need a closer look at that picture??



can I get an "Amen!"







since it took me over 2 years to finish the cross stitch on this it's also a reminder that perseverance pays off!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Still Sewing Furiously......

We've already built our first snowman of the season!!

How about you??


The Children’s Hour
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!


(I'm furiously searching for a framed or framable print of this poem...can anyone help?)



The reason I'm so far behind in my sewing......



I'm still trying to get all the Christmas presents finished. I'll try to get around to say hi to everyone this week!

In the meantime, PLACE YOUR VOTE for this year's Christmas Card picture!

the header pic is choice A

choice B



choice C



choice D

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa Claus

This is a repost....I repost it every year at the beginning of December. And it is my first Acts of Generosity post for this year!



OK, when I was a child we lived in what I now know was poverty. However, because my then step-father was going to SMU to seminary (he never finished) we lived for a year and a half in the richest part of Dallas. It was very hard to be "the poor kid."

Well, during the second of those Decembers we got an envelope in the mail that said "To the parents of Sarah ....." return address was Santa Claus. Inside were $100 in gift certificates to the local grocery store. Our Christmas was not big, but we did have one. Because of the former step-father's poor spending habits, we would have had Christmas regardless...but then wouldn't have had money for food. Those gift certificates were perfect. A month's worth of food (give or take) that can't be spent on anything else. (This was long before you could get groceries and "stuff" like clothes and toys at the same store.)

I have a younger brother with a different last name. Why was it addressed to my parents? Who sent it? How did they know that just sending money wouldn't be as helpful as the gift certificates? Did they know? How can you accept a gift when you don't know who to tell thank you?

These questions have no answers.

But I do know this. I was 12 years old and very depressed. Ready to lose hope in everything. My Mom was in the process of kicking out the former step-father with poor spending habits. The world as I knew it was falling apart. Out of nowhere Santa sent me a gift. Not just a gift of money for food for the family, but a gift to me of hope, an example that people aren't all hateful and snide, and the assurance that I could and would make it and be able to move on to a better life. Also, the knowledge that there'd be help along the way through the Grace of God.

Christmas is about the Birth of Christ. However, Santa Claus is about spreading hope and joy to those most in need. And every December I celebrate BOTH. Yes, I DO believe in Santa Claus and I DO believe that he still lives.

He lives in our hearts every December when we make a point of spreading hope and joy to someone else.

"And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night."