“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”~Ernest Boyer, Jr.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might.~Deuteronomy 6:5

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas at our house

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I'm so excited!
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It's Lego
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watching in great anticipation
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I thought we were keeping it simple what happened?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Preoccupation

This is Chirstmas week and everyone is a buzz trying to finish up the last minute details before the BIG day. This week I want to share with you an article from John Mc Arthur at Grace to You about some people that missed Christmas.

Luke chapter 2 and verse 7. Now I want you to think with me as we look at this truth. This is the story, of course, in Luke 2 of the birth of Christ and I just want you to look at verse 7 and we're only going to pick out some highlights to illustrate this matter of the people who missed Christmas. Verse 7, speaking of Mary it says; "And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloth (really, they weren't clothes really, they were just long strips of cloth) and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn." Now the first person who missed Christmas was the innkeeper.

The innkeeper missed Christmas. It was right in front of him but he missed it. He had to confront a pregnant woman and her husband but he had no room for them. And so he missed it. Look back at verse 7. He not only missed it by not letting them in to stay with him but he missed it by being so indifferent that he doesn't even appear to have called for any help for Mary when she gave birth because verse 7 is markedly concerned with a lonely birth, a lonely birth. We don't even know where Joseph was. If I know anything about fathers at the time of births, especially young fathers like Joseph who could have been as young as 15 or 16 years of age, he would have been little help at all, at this time. And so it writes, she brought forth her first born son.
Mary brought forth her own son. And then it says, she wrapped Him in swaddling cloth. Mary did. Where were the midwives? Where were the people who were supposed to care for things like that? Where was the innkeeper? Didn't he know anybody who could help? Didn't his wife concern herself with this? Or, wasn't there some source of assistance to Mary?

Ah, but after all hadn't the prophets said He would be despised and rejected? And wouldn't it be true that this could be the case at His very birth? And it says, she laid Him in a manger. An animal feeding trough. Swaddling cloth, by the way, were long strips of cloth and when an infant was born, immediately the infant was wrapped, its limbs and its body in this swaddling cloth. And then, of course, in an outer blanket. That was the tradition. And certainly there would be a midwife to clean the baby and to do that. But, no, Mary did that. This was a lonely birth.

The loneliness of it that in that hour of all hours when womanhood should be surrounded by the tenderest care Mary was alone. She with her own hands wrapped the baby around with those swaddling cloth? and laid Him in a manger. There was no one to do it for her. And again, I say the pity of it and yet the glory of it to the heart of Mary.

The innkeeper missed Christmas. And what amazes me is that he missed it even though it might have happened on his own property And I began to think about why he missed Christmas. Simple answer. Preoccupation.
Preoccupation. You say ‑ What do you mean? Well, he was so busy. I mean his inn was full or his guest room was full or all of his little lean‑to's were full. Why? Because it vas the census in Bethlehem and the city was literally bulging with everybody who ever had any ancestry there and they were coming; to the city and since it was the city of David those who were in the line of David were there. And that's why Joseph and Mary were there coming from the line of David, one through Solomon and one through Nathan. So, there they were. And the city was bursting with people. And he was busy caring for his guests in his house and whatever situation he was involved with and he wasn't hostile and he wasn't unloving and he wasn't unsympathetic and he wasn't really indifferent he was just busy. Just real busy.

I guess there are a lot of people like that. The chambers of their souls are filled with needless things, filled with human interests. They're filled with the stuff that doesn't matter and they miss the Christ of God.
It was an ignorant preoccupation on the part of the innkeeper, he didn't know. He didn't know. Ignorant preoccupation. I look at the world and that's what I see, they just don't know. They don't know who Christ is. They don't know who He is, they don't know why He came. They're just ignorant. And ignorantly preoccupied with the mundane and the meaningless. Oh how ridiculous it is to live your entire life in mundane, meaningless activity, wake up sometime in eternity without God and look back over all of the waste.

The innkeeper missed it. He was too busy. Look at your own life. Did you spend more time shopping then you did adoring Christ?
Did you spend more money on stuff then you invested in His kingdom?
Then maybe you've been in the trap. too. Where the innkeeper was.

Read the whole article at Grace to You

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just in case anyone is wondering from the content of the last few posts I DO LOVE CHRISTMAS but this year I really feel a need to focus on Christ without whom we would have no Christmas. No I'm not becoming some fanatical who can't have any fun at Christmas so here's a few pictures to let you know I am having a lot of fun in this season.




Our little Santa baby!
Making Gingerbread Houses Hard at work assembling the house
Now time for a marshmallow break our favorite part!
So proud! the master at work

Caleb decided to use a few less of his decorations on the house and save them fior a yummy snack

On top of these fun things we have decorated cookies with the church kids and delivered while caroling to some of the shut in's of our church.

So I am not anti-Christmas I just have decided this year I'm not getting caught up in the "craziness" of the season. I don't want to miss the great JOY this time of year holds for me as I celebrate the birth of Emmanuel-God with us!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent

Two years ago we bought an Advent calendar you know the kind with little drawers you open each day in December with a candy inside. We thought it would be a fun way for the kids to count down to Christmas and yes they love it. Well this year I decided to take a new look at Advent...what is Advent and why do we have it. Here is what our family is doing for Advent this year I think it is a GREAT tradition. Instead of filling our children's heads with all the lies (i know that's harsh but it is lies.) of Christmas join me in teaching our children the wonderful truth of the Christmas Season! IWhat's more exciting than celebrating the birth of our Savior?

What is Advent?Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas season and the Church year for most Western churches. The word "Advent" means "arrival" or "coming" in Latin and represents the approach of Christ's birth (and fulfillment of the prophecies about that event) and the awaiting of Christ's second coming. It is composed of the four Sundays before Christmas day, starting on the Sunday closest to November 30th and ending on Christmas. Because Christmas is on a different day from year to year, Advent may last anywhere from 22 to 28 days.

Celebrating the Season
For Christians, Advent is a time of reflection about the amazing gift that God gave to us in the person of His Son who came to live among us on earth. It is also an opportunity to restore Jesus to His rightful place as the center of our holiday celebrations! Advent is, appropriately, both somber and joyful!The focus continues to be the great news that the Messiah was and is coming and how we live out our heartfelt longing for both.
Here is a list of small gifts you can give as you countdown to Advent:
1. Quarter--A quarter! That equals 25 cents. But 25 also stands for the number of days till Christmas, when God gave us His best present. Jesus told about one woman's gift and the way she gave it. Read: Mark 12:41-44

2. Grape Gum or Candy--Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to perform His first miracle. Read: John 2:1-10

3. Smiley Face--Here's a smile! A smile usually expresses happiness. Jesus gave us many instructions to keep us happy. Read: Matthew 5:1-12.

4. Swedish Fish candy--Well, if you were surprised to find these fish, wait till you read the story today! Others were surprised to find fish, too. Read: Luke 5:4-7.

5. Birthday Candle--As you know, we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. However, Jesus talked about something else that is related to this candle. Light! Read: Matthew 5:14-16.

6. Small Bell--You could make some noise with this. But it would not have bothered a certain man--until he met Jesus. Read: Mark 7:31-37.

7. Goldfish Crackers--These would not go very far if you were really hungry! But Jesus could make much out of little. Surely He knew how to multiply! Read: Matthew 14:13-21.

8. Cotton Balls--These cotton balls would be helpful in a thunder storm, wouldn't they? We could use them for ear plugs to muffle the loud noises that thunder makes. But we know someone who doesn't need cotton. Jesus can control the weather. Read: Matthew 8:23-27.

9. Piece of Map--People needing to use the other parts of this map are in trouble! Don't you get lost today! Read: John 14:1-6.

10. Soap--Do you like to wash? Behind your ears? Washing turned out to be a happy time for a man who met Jesus. Read: John 9:1-7.

11. Heart Candy or Sticker--Hearts. Wordlessly, they speak of love, don't they? Jesus spoke some commands about love. Read: Matthew 25:17-41.

12. Small Cross--We use the cross as a symbol, representing Jesus. Do you know why? Read: Phillipians 2:1-11.

13. Packet of Salt--Ordinary salt. Yes, Jesus related salt to us and our behavior. He also gave us some advice. Read: Matthew 5:14 and Colossians 4:6. (Notice that He doesn't recommend pepper!).

14. Sand--Don't try to eat this! It's sand. It reminds us that Jesus knows something about architecture, about buildings--and building lives. See His instructions: Matthew 7:24-29.

15. Silk Flowers--Flowers are pretty, aren't they? Jesus used flowers to teach us a reassuring lesson. Read: Matthew 6:28-34.

16. Raisins--Raisins! Many children are given raisins instead of candy for a snack. That's because they are a health-promoting and delicious fruit. Jesus told us how we can produce good fruit. Read: John 15:1-5.

17. Seeds--Jesus told a story about seeds that man planted. Then He explained it, revealing its deep meaning. Read: Matthew 13:3-8 and Matthew 13:18-23.

18. Christmas Carol--Christmas is just about a week away. And here is an appropriate song. Sing it loudly! Read: Psalms 100.

19. Rock--A hard stone! Can you change this stone into a piece of bread? Do you think Jesus could? Jesus was asked to do just that. Do know how He handled it? Read: Matthew 4:1-4.

20. Crumpled Foil--Try to smooth out this piece of aluminum foil and use it as a mirror. It's hard to see your reflection plainly, isn't it? Many circumstances are hard to understand, but someday everything will be clear. Read: 1 Corinthians 13:12.

21. Mustard Seed (or packet of mustard)--The mustard seed is the smallest there is! When it sprouts, it grows into one of the largest plants! See what Jesus said. Read: Matthew 17:20.

22. Dove--We've learned that the cross represents Christ, but do you know what the dove stands for? Read: Matthew 3:13-17.

23. Scrap of Wool Material--The threads that compose this fabric came from the wool of a sheep. Jesus called Himself the good shepherd. Do you know who His sheep are? Read: John 10:7-18.

24. Marble--A marble! Do you know what is sometimes called the "Big Blue Marble"? The world. God made the world for us. What does God continue doing to the world? And who is the world? Read: John 3:16.

25. Picture of Baby--Isn't this baby cute? When he was born, he made a whole family happy. Jesus was born a baby, too. He came to make the whole world happy. Read: Luke 2:1-20. Enjoy your celebration today. Continue to learn about Jesus--and love Him forever!
*This comes from www.daniellesplace.com (among other places on the web)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving







May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Saturday, November 22, 2008

video

Ki yi yi yi, Ki yi yi yi indian beats his drum

Ki yi yi yi, Ki yi yi yi beats his big red drum

First Grade

Oatmeal can drums, macaroni necklaces and cupcakes...this must mean one thing I am a first grade mom. This week was full of fun and excitement as Caleb's class got ready for their Thanksgiving presentation. Caleb took it all very serious practicing his Indian drumming every afternoon, thank goodness an oatmeal can is only so loud but the KI YI YEA sometimes made up for any lack of sound in the "drum". His Indian name was Jumping Fish he picked that one himself.





Jumping Fish at his feast
Mr Gobbler cupcakes, Caleb's request

The Feast



It's so fun to be in the first grade...again :)


Monday, November 10, 2008

Tiny Dancer

video

Ella's dance "performance" it is very short but gauranteed some laughs! Ella adds a little of her own flair to the dance moves, I think she may have a furture on Broadway pay close attention to her "jazz hands" and her improve kicks at the end.

She loves dancing and is sooo cute, I love my girl

Turn off the mp3 music to enjoy the video

Friday, November 7, 2008

Uh-oh spaghetti-o


I clearly remember that jingle from my childhood and oh how I thought I would love spagetti-o's if only mom would buy them.


About once a year my kids decide they want spaghetti-o's and about once a year I let them get a can, they always promise they will eat them. So last week was that time of year while at
Wal-Mart Caleb made the plea and I gave in. So lunch time rolls around and we crack open the can Ella refuses but Caleb is ready, I heat them up and he sits down about 20 minutes later they look untouched. "Do you not like them I ask?" Oh no mom I like them I'm just done. A little later on Caleb says "those are not so good, I think there is something besides tomato sauce in them" Oh how hard it is to be a kid with a discerning palate!


See ya next year Mr Spaghetti-O

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More from Halloween

I know this is late but this year Halloween (Fall Festivities for all my non-Halloween people)was a very busy time for us. As always we went to the Garvich House for our trick-or-treating fun. This year was a great crowd and most everyone dressed up, I say most because Dan and I were the losers that did not:) Caleb and Ella had a great time just running around playing with friends we don't get to see often enough not to mention all the candy!



Ella was a Fairy this year mainly because she wanted to wear glitter makeup
Caleb was Boba Fett from Star Wars for those of you who just said who?

Zoey is the unicorn...very cute costume especially when she was running from house to house with the legs flopping.

Can't believe I didn't get any pics of the babies at the party...there were many and all girls!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fun Fall Festivities

This past weekend was a whirl wind of Fall Fun Festivities beginning with our annual pumpkin carving party. The pumpkin standings:
1st Place- Matt and Jessica's Mouse with the special pink candle helped sway the judges
2nd Place- Dan's Funny Cat Ella's choice
3rd Place- Caleb's Skeleton
New Category this year MOST INAPPROPRIATE Jimmy for his "Floyd"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lillian Clair


Monday Lillian Clair my new niece made her debut into the world. She was born around 9:45 and weighed 7lb 6oz 20 inches long. She is a beautiful little girl with big kissable cheeks. Ella just loves her and is so excited about her new cousin and about being a BIG cousin, Caleb just want to know when somebody is going to have a boy!


Friday, October 17, 2008

I came across this passage in my bible study today and it made me think of the current economic problems America faces today. We can not trust in any man to solve our problems but in the Lord our hope is not in the stock market but in the Lord alone and in Him we will prosper. We will not be anxious in the year of drought and we will not have fear because God is our strength. The riches and hope that comes from putting our hope in the world economic market can (will) leave us in a day making us a fool for putting our hope in them but God is eternal and His riches last forever no one and nothing can take them away! I will put my hope and trust in the LORD!

Cursed is the man who trusts in man. And who makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs form the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreadsout its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But it's leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will it cease from yielding fruit.

The heart is decietful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even give to every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doing.

As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, So is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool

Jeremiah 17:5-11

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the Table

Here's what will be on our table this week:
Monday-Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice and steamed Broccoli
Tuesday-Porktenderloin with Raspberry Port Wine Reduction and Mashed Sweet Potatoes Black-eye pea Okra ragout
Wednesday-Chicken Tetrazzini
Thursday- Wine and Cheese Night
Friday Pizza Night

Caleb Monster


I know it is only the second week of October but Halloween has come early here on
47th ST. The Caleb monster has been seen lurking around the back yard, ok so he's not as scary as it is funny but that is one fierce face!

Humm who can we thank for our monster make-up?....Jimmy

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Flour, sugar, eggs, and love

I had the pleasure of doing a baby shower for my sister R last weekend along with here sister-in-law J. For her cake I decided to make a prego lady sitting atop the cake with cupcakes to serve to the guests. I wasn't quite sure how to make the prego lady so I just worked at it until I figured it out. I think it turned out pretty well, you can't really see from this pic but she was complete with a belly button.

The cupcakes were cute and everything turned out very well but the cutest thing by far was Ella. She was sooo funny, not being the least bit shy she was showing off her ballet skills. Helping R open presents it was clear this was her party! She had been to other baby showers where other little girls got to help out and now this was her person and it was her turn to be the helper.






Ella giving R her present, Ella had planned from the day she found out R had a baby in her tummy that she would give R's baby her Glowie (glow worm) she was so excited she blurted out it's my glowie before R could even look in the bag.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where did they go?

Monday marked 7 years of marriage for Dan and me and I just have one question where did they go? As I look at my 6yr old and my 3yr old I know, but still can't believe it. It seems like just yesterday that we were married at my parents farm on a beautiful fall evening. Since our anniversary fell on a Monday we just had dinner at home but of course I made a special dinner.
Gordon Ramsey's Beef Wellington
Sauteed Fingerling Potatoes
Wilted Gem Lettuces with Mustard Vinaigrette
My fear is that I will look up and it will have been another 7 years and I will have teenagers, but since I can't stop time I will just make the most of each day we have and enjoy this moment because it will be gone oh to soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The ballerina and the pigeon

I have been such a bad blogger 1) life has just been going on like normal 2) I just haven't taken the time to sit down and document our life. I realize I haven't posted a menu in weeks but don't worry we are still eating just less planned I call it eating by the seat of our pants.

Ella still loves ballet class and would love to go more than once a week. This week she came home and told us she learned to do a Tondu, never having taken ballet I thought for sure she was saying this wrong but lo and behold it is an actual position (gotta love the internet, such a wealth of information)
ignore the boy behind the curtain!
So yesterday I am in the kitchen and I hear Caleb coming to the back door talking very excitedly as he opens the door I see he is holding a pigeon. Slightly loosing it because I know pigeons are dirty birds I scream" put that down!", he almost cries and explains that it is hurt. He tells me how he found it and that it can't fly it just kept falling down and we have to help it.

As I get the bunny cage I am thinking why me why do I have to deal with hurt pigeons, as a child I never felt the need to pick up a hurt bird.

Understanding that Caleb is a tenderhearted animal lover I get the bird all set up in a cage with some water and promptly call R who answers all my animal questions. She confirms my fears that the pigeon may not be hurt, but may be diseased ( by the way it was acting I believed this to be true) and will probably die...GREAT! I made C wash his hands...twice all the way up to his elbows.

Yes when we checked the pigeon after dinner he had in fact died, nothing like a lesson in dying after dinner. Caleb took it well

Friday, September 19, 2008

Baby Bree

Monday at 2:36 Mel and Donnie gave birth to Baby Bree (as she is referred to in my family) a beautiful little girl weighing 8 pounds even and 21 inches long. We went to see them Monday night and Caleb and Ella were so excited. At the hospital Caleb and Ella both held her and thought that we should get a baby like that.
Tuesday after school Caleb couldn't stand it he had to go back to the hospital and make sure Mel and Bree were OK. It was here that he declared he was going to marry Bree...shew glad to have that decision made. He is such a funny kid as he waked into the room he said "you look good Mel" it was so funny and unprompted. He can't wait to visit them at home he asks every day but I told him we needed to give them a little room and time. Maybe next week

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kids in the kitchen

My kids always want to help cook, I guess because they see me do it so much it is just a part of our lives not to mention that they both love food. I remember my mom giving me scraps of pie dough that I would roll up with cinnamon sugar and bake still such a fond memory. I want my kids to have basic cooking knowledge and these fun family memories so I try to let them "help" from time to time. You never know what kind of talent you are fostering...Caleb made us all rotisserie chicken sandwiches for dinner a while back and stated "I'm a GREAT chef" he was so proud of himself. He has learned how to cook an egg sandwich all on his own...ok so he has burned his arm on the hot pan but lesson learned, pay attention to where your body is.

A few weekends ago I was making cupcakes for a baby shower and Ella just wanted to help. Not really wanting to be bothered and just wanting to get done I almost said no but then was haunted by the pie dough and let her help me cut out fondant flowers. I had plenty of time and so what if I had to remake a few, she took her job seriously and did a great job and the cupcakes turned out fine. So I would encourage parents take the time out cook with your kids and give them a little freedom to experiment you may have a "GREAT CHEF" in the making.
Not to bad for the flowers that Ella made

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Princess Ballerina

Excitement has been mounting in our house since we signed Ella up for Ballet class last week. She has talked about it constantly on Saturday she said Mom I just can't wait. Monday finally got here, the day of the class, and by about noon she couldn't wait any longer and just had to put on her outfit and practice her ballet. I said to her "you are Ella Bella Ballerina" she replied "no I'm Princess Ballerina"






Finally 4 o'clock got here and it was time to go to class, she merrily skipped out the door. Once we finally got there the nervousness set in and she wasn't to sure about mom leaving, I think she thought she would be there like all day. But I said I will be right outside and I left. As I peaked in I saw the smallest girl in the class following in step with the teacher not even looking to see if mom was watching. What a big girl! Now she can't wait for next week when she get to go back to ballet class.

No pictures from the actual class, maybe next week