Monday, November 28, 2011

GIVING THANKS and YET ANOTHER BIRTHDAY

 
Our Thanksgiving
It's that season of the year when we are SUPPOSED to give thanks, but I submit that we have so much to be thankful for that we should continually give thanks.  Every single day of my life should be a thanksgiving day!

My birthday was Friday, the day following Turkey Day.  Here are some pics of our day:
 
Clark and me with
sweet granddaughters



Happy chocolate faces!

The cooks

Somehow, son-in-law Philip managed to evade the camera, but he was there, all the same.  And I saw him enjoying the meal along with the rest of us!

Hope you had a blessed day as well.



Monday, November 21, 2011

. . . AND NOW SHE'S SIX!

Granddaughter Alexa turned six yesterday, and it is so hard to believe she's already reached that age!  We dubbed her "Smiley" when she was a baby, and now, she's blossomed into the family's social butterfly! 

Mama Holly (our daughter) made her a princess cake, all the little girls who came dressed as princesses, and even Mama was dressed as a queen.  What little girl WOULDN'T enjoy learning how to curtsy, wearing "princess" makeup, and being introduced as Princess "so-and-so"? 


Alexa holding gift

Saturday night, the family went to Alexa's favorite Mexican restaurant to continue the celebrations.  Although we couldn't be with them, they are coming in tonight for Thanksgiving, and we can hardly wait to see the family! 

Alexa is a ray of sunshine in our family.  She loves all things "princess," and she is such a blessing.  She's outgoing, friendly, a beautiful little girl, and we can't imagine life without our little curly-haired, fun-loving, and smiling Alexa.
Annika, Alexa, Asher,
Philip, Holly
May she have many, many more!

Friday, November 18, 2011

CHRISTMAS: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

I wrote the following post last year at the start of the Christmas season.  I feel it is apropos again this year, so I am reposting this entry.
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"Merchants gladly accept customers' money during the Christmas season, but hedge on calling it Christmas--"Holiday Shopping, Winter Shopping," etc. I submit that if certain merchants choose not to call this beloved holiday by its rightful name, then I choose not to patronize them."

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la. That, my dear friends, is not all there is to Christmas! Political correctness notwithstanding, "Jesus IS the REASON for the SEASON."

While this post is bordering on a rant, I stand my ground: Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Period. If folks don't like the fact that it is Christmas, then they should just clam up and get out of the way when we celebrate it! And, why spend lots of money on Christmas presents and decorations, celebrating the secular side of this holiday, but object to its raison d'etre, or its basis for being a holiday in the first place??

Merchants gladly accept customers' money during the Christmas season, but hedge on calling it Christmas--"Holiday Shopping, Winter Shopping," etc. I submit that if certain merchants choose not to call this beloved holiday by its rightful name, then I choose not to patronize them. Raking in the money from customers buying Christmas gifts during the Christmas season, but afraid and/or negative about rightfully calling the season Christmas? Talk about hypocrisy!

The giving of gifts is an admirable and enjoyable exercise; decorating the house with holly, greenery, red bows, candles, a beautiful tree, etc. is also enjoyable, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of that! HOWEVER, I take exception when various entities and individuals want to take the REAL Christmas away from Christians. Seriously, other faiths are allowed to celebrate their holy days unimpeded. So, I believe we should as well.

The birth of my Lord Jesus Christ is the essence of the of my Christian faith. He is the cornerstone--He was born, He lived a sinless life, and He died on that cross for me and for anyone who will accept Him as Savior.

I therefore want to wish all of you a blessed Christmas, and if you do not know Him as your Savior, I invite you to accept Him: Romans 3:23, 3:10, 6:23, 5:8,10:9, 10, 13. What a wonderful and enduring Christmas present that would be: eternal life!

Friday, November 11, 2011

THANK YOU, VETERANS!


My late father served during World War II in the Philippines and Guadalcanal; my hubby served in Vietnam.  Thank you, veterans, for preserving our freedoms then and continuing to preserve our freedoms today.  God bless each of you brave men and women!  We thank your families for their sacrifices as well.

God bless America:  land of the free BECAUSE of the brave.

Monday, November 7, 2011

JUST A PILE OF LEAVES?

Our grandson Asher, now 20 months old, is enjoying what children have done, probably for centuries--playing in a pile of fall leaves.  That big smile says it all!

Adults usually look askance at all the laughter and joy regarding that pile of leaves. Honestly, I don't remember why I loved doing that myself as a child, but the joy of jumping onto a pile of them must still be magical--I've seen a number of children in our neighborhood doing so this year.

I've determined that it isn't just about a pile of leaves--it's about the ability in childhood to enjoy total abandonment in something so simple, so without batteries, and so cost FREE.  You know, we really don't need expensive, fancy toys to entertain children, even in 2011.  As illustrated in the photographs on this post, going to a local park to find leaves or even our own backyards can be fun.

Have you ever given a toddler a few colorful plastic bowls and a wooden spoon to play with?  When our daughters were little, I saved margarine tubs in varying sizes and colors for just that purpose, and they loved them.  Young children enjoy stacking things, turning them various ways, even putting them on their heads :).  Those margarine tubs made a dandy noise when banged together, too.

There are just so many creative ways to do things with children that are not expensive--dressing up in mommy's clothes, adding lots of jewelry, then having a tea party with the dolls and stuffed animals they already have.  Scavenger hunts with things in your home.  Charades.  Putting on a puppet show from behind a couch, using sock puppets decorated with yarn for hair and buttons for facial features.  Being creative and pretending is still fun for me now with the grandchildren.  Share some of your ideas with us through the comment block below!

But I digress.  In any case, the proverbial pile of leaves still evokes fond memories of fall.  It also serves as a reminder that something inexpensive, or even free, can often create priceless memories, bring families closer together, and create memorable pictures!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

AHHHH . . . NOVEMBER!

Ahhhh . . . November!  You are the beginning of my favorite time of year: fall.  The colorful leaves, the nip in the air, frost, and snow, depending upon where one is living.

You contain three birthdays in our family on the 14th (Alexa will be six), the 20th (our son-in-law Philip), and the 25th (mine). 


Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, and its meal ranks up there as one of my favorites: roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, corn pudding, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and even fried okra some years.  Our family also enjoys squash casserole, pasta salad, or potatoes au gratin on other years.  Desserts can range from banana pudding, chocolate cake, or cheesecake, to fruit pies, pecan pie, or hot fudge pudding cake with mint ice cream. 

My hubby Clark returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam in November, unscathed, and we married the following month, 41 years ago. 

As a child, I recall the Thanksgiving programs at school, complete with pilgrims and Indians in costume.  When I was in college, one of my friends donned a huge orange sweatshirt, white tights, and stuffed the shirt to look like a pumpkin! 

We always visit the mountains to enjoy the beautiful views and colors during October or November.

This month ushers in cooler, even cold, weather, which is greatly to my liking. 

A truly American holiday, we pause to give thanks for the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us as individuals, families, a nation.  I thank Him for my abundant life, full of a loving family and blessings. 

May yours be a blessed Thanksgiving as well.

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