Thank you for visiting my blog

A casual blog highlighting my life with kids, grandkids and kitties...Also an avenue to show some items from my etsy shops.

**Please note..The other half of my life is dovoted to helping feral and free roaming cats in Walnut and the surrounding areas. You can learn more and follow our activites there at Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program! **

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Dose of Reality?

Week of December 26

The Arrival
by Max Lucado

God had entered the world as a baby.

Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold.

The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor.

A more lowly place of birth could not exist.

Off to one side sit a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor; perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him--so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds.

Near the young mother sits the weary father. If anyone is dozing, he is. He can't remember the last time he sat down. And now that the excitement has subsided a bit, now that Mary and the baby are comfortable, he leans against the wall of the stable and feels his eyes grow heavy. He still hasn't figured it all out. The mystery of the event puzzles him. But he hasn't the energy to wrestle with the questions. What's important is that the baby is fine and that Mary is safe. As sleep comes he remembers the name the angel told him to use ... Jesus. "We will call him Jesus."

Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of Joseph's saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in history, the human being who best understands who God is and what he is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can't take her eyes off him. Somehow Mary knows she is holding God. So this is he. She remembers the words of the angel. "His kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:33)

He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.

Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter.

She touches the face of the infant-God. How long was your journey!

This baby had overlooked the universe. These rags keeping him warm were the robes of eternity. His golden throne room had been abandoned in favor of a dirty sheep pen. And worshiping angels had been replaced with kind but bewildered shepherds.

Meanwhile, the city hums. The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And the people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility.

Those who missed His Majesty's arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren't looking.

Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?

Cast of CharactersFrom
God Came Near
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006) Max Lucado

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Just Fabulous Cookies!

Christmas is about memories! One of my favorites is when the kids would help me "bake". These little bite sized yummies is one of the treats we would annually put together, together. I remember one Christmas when I made sugar cookie dough and let the kids have a hay-day with it and we made cookie sheets full of these little "cookies" . I video-taped the escapade and asked the kids what they were doing. Jeff ( just 5 ) turned to the camera, holding a sheet-load of these and said. "We are makin' cookies...just fabulous cookies!" So that became their official name. Jeff, I wish you were here to make cookies with me, but in my heart I know that if you were here, you wouldn't be making cookies with your mama!

Fabulous Cookies

Round Pretzels
Almond Bark
(Fancy Cashews are good too!)
  • Line cookie sheet with wax paper
  • Lay out pretzels
  • Melt about 3 blocks of bard at a time, so it doesn't get hard before you are done
  • use a teaspoon, put a dollop of bark in the center of the pretzels
  • place an M&M in the center, be sure you squish it enough so that all the bark is touching the inside edges of the pretzel.
  • Allow bark to dry before putting them on a plate or in a tin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Gifts!

Pictured above is the ornament I received today as a my part of an exchange we did on Navy Moms USS George Washington discussion group. Isn't it beautiful? It came from Sheryl G. in California! I love it, love it, love it! This little ornament symbolizes the unique relationship we ladies on Navy for moms have. We very well may never meet each other, this side of heaven, but there is a bond because of what we are going through with military kids. Thank you Sheryl! This will be sparkling on my tree for years to come!

As I grow older, it seems its the little things that touch my heart the most. My love language has always been"gifts" and Ive always loved packages, cards and surprises. Some of the things I have loved the most are gifts from the heart, not gifts that have broken the bank! Except of course the beautiful diamond ring my darling husband bought me 3 years ago for Christmas! THAT was the gift of all gifts, never to be topped! But when I think of the gifts I really remember, they are the ones that weren't on my "list", things that most times cant be found in a department store or gift shop...

  • I have a stack of those little cards you get with flowers and computer home made cards that have come from Larry. He has always written the sweetest love notes. He says he isn't creative, but these written words from him are precious to me. I don't remember so much flowers as I do the words. Larry's gift are always the greatest, but it's the love letters that really stick with me!
  • I also have a small stack of birthday and Christmas cards from my Dad, who we lost last February. He was never really much for words, but in his last years, he seemed to soften some and even ended our phone conversations with " I love you, honey". He also gave some final gifts that were more than the normal Christmas Check...earrings, bracelet and a necklace that I consider priceless.
  • I have two pictures that I got from Lauren each talking about the unconditional love of a mom etc. I have them in my sewing room and each time I look at them, my heart warms. Looking at these remind me what we have gone through together. Watching her grow into a mature, beautiful young woman and awesome mom, has been a blessing to me. To say that my daughter is one of my best friends is a great gift!
  • I have photos on the fridge that were made especially for me by my grandchildren for valentines day and other things. I look at them each time I open the fridge ( which is way too often) and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
  • Then I have the gift of Jeff's annual letter. I wont even go into that today. I will wait for another time when I have the time to sit and share...maybe even on Christmas Day.
So, as I age, I think I'm becoming less of a gift person and more of a "encouraging word" person...What I find I am valuing is not things, but people! We are so blessed to have a family of four children who love and respect us and that we in turn, love and respect. We are enjoying watching our 7 grandchildren grow. We are enjoying each other. I am enjoying the time to spend with friends and family and being involved in things I've always dreamed of being able to do.

My life is a gift. I thank the Lord every day for his provision of health, wealth and happiness! As Christmas gets nearer, I hope you, too will think about what is important in your life and not only be grateful, but show gratefulness for what you have.

Quilting Tip of the day...
Take the rest of the week off from quilting and enjoy your family!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Navy Moms Rule!

Today has been a virtual whirlwind! Nationally the weather is horrible! We have frigid cold weather with dangerous wind chill temperatures hitting -30 and more! There is ice and snow both on the east coast and west coast and blizzard conditions in the upper Midwest. Needless to say air and auto travel is more than nasty, it is near impossible.

I sat glued to my computer today watching our Sailor Rescue List go nuts trying to help young men and women who were trying to get home for the holiday. Many kids were and continue to be stuck in airports in Milwaukee, Denver, Seattle and even San Diego! The moms are worried sick, but the kids are frustrated. They just want to get home and instead they are spending days of their leave time sitting in airports.

Navy Moms have come to the rescue in several instances. Just watching the forum's comments coming in was like watching an active game of ... what? I don't know, but my head was spinning. These women swung into gear like a special ops unit! It is amazing to me that a complete stranger would leave their home in crazy inclimate weather to pick up a kid, take him/her home, feed him and give him a place to stay until they take him back to the airport when the planes finally decide they can fly. I even saw an instance where a mom was going to call the restaurant and give her own credit card number so another mom's kid could eat! I guess it isn't so amazing, because all I could think of was how I wish I could be one of the moms driving to pick up a Sailor in need. And how grateful I would be if someone helped Jeff if he were in trouble. Its comforting to know that someone would!

This is what Christmas is about. Its giving of oneself unselfishly and unconditionally. Just like Jesus did for us...the true meaning of Christmas...Christ...these women are behaving in a Christ-like manner and it blesses me to be part of it!

Quilting tip of the day!
Giving a quilt for a gift this year? My recommendation is to wash the quilt before giving it away. It makes it nice and soft and ready to use. Also some of those sneaky threads you thought you got all trimmed off tend to show up and you can get em! Also enclose a note card with washing instructions. I always tell my gift recipients that the quilt is intended to be used and then how easy it is to wash and dry!

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