Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Silent Night Tale

Sunday is Christmas Eve Eve. It's the Eve of the Eve of Christmas day. I learned that one from Silent Night a Mouse Tale. It was the story about a mouse who fell into a pump organ and the only way to get him out was for his family to knaw a whole throught the pump to get him out. Because of the ruined Organ, the choir director, of the church where the organ belonged, didn't know how he was going to be able to lead his choir for the Christmas Eve service. With no musical instrament there would be no real music.
That day the choir directors friend went to see a new born baby. He was so inspired by the birth of this child that he wrote a poem about it. He showed the poem to the Choir director and the director took it and put words to it. On Christmas Eve with only a guitar for a musical instrament a little town in Germany heard the words to one of the most beloved Christmas Carols of all times.
"Silent night, Holy Night,
Alll is calm, All is bright
Round yon Virgin mother and child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Now I don't really think about the part with the mouse falling into the organ is a true story, but I do know that that day when the mice ate through the organ it was a gift from God to do so so that we could be given a wonderful and very beautiful song.

"Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia;
Chirst the Savior is born!
Chirst the Saviour is born!

How well do you know the Christmas story?
So often People have forgotten the fact that Christmas is so much more than finding people Christmas gifts. As I work at my story, I see people coming in daily going crazy because they have this that and the other thing going on and they have completely lost sight of the fact that 2000 years ago a young woman was promised to be the mother of the Messiah and that Her soon to be husband took on himself the burden of proclaiming himself the father of this child even though he knew he was the Messiah. This Child was God Himself.

Silent night, Holy night
SOn of GOd, Loves' pure light
Radiant beams from they holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth

Presents don't really matter. Turkey dinners, Christmas Parades, cleaning house for all the family that is coming over shouldn't take the place of the most important part of Christmas.
It's the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. It's the reason we have presents and Stars or angels on the tops of our trees. It's the reason why at Christmas time there is just something special about sitting back and enjoying the day and remembering the story of Shephards and angels and Wisemen and stables with a smelly manger. It's because we have a God who loved us so much that when we turned our back on Him, the only way we would actually look His way was to send himself as a tiny, fragile, very independant baby to be born in a smelly barn with smelly animals to be visited by smelly shephards so that one day he could die on the cross to take away our sins.
Silent night, Holy night,
Wonderous star, Lend thy light,
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.

Can you say as the last verse of Silent Night says this night Christ the Savior is Born Christ the Savior is Born in you life?
May you receive the most wonderful gift of all tonight. The one that was given first so that we could Celebrate Christmas today.
"For God so Loved the World, that He gave is only begotten Son,
That whosoever believeth in Him Should not Parish,
But have Everlasting Life."
"And you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Searching for a special Christmas Present

I have decided to give myself a Christmas Present this year.
Now before you go laughing at me or telling me that I am crazy or something like that let me tell you a little about what I am about to do.
First of all I am going to tell you a story.
About Fifteen years ago (man that makes me feel old) give or take a year or so I became best friends with a girl who was very much like me. We thought a like in a lot of different ways. We loved everything for playing Murder Mystery (our own made up game) to Tigers. Silly thing is we both decided on a career in writing.
One day my friend and I decided to become sisters. My brother wanted to be in on the action so the three of us put our bare feet in a puddle of water and proclaimed each other siblings. Mud Siblings for Life!
My friend and I even promised each other that no matter what happened in our lives and we grew apart we would find each other and be in each others weddings. What did we really know we were 12, 13 years old?
Then it happened! As is the call of many pastors and their families they were called to another church. What devistated me was the fact that she moved to a totally different state leaving me behind. Then when she moved to Florida it was even worse. We had both become teenagers and were really bad at writing letters. Then I moved. And we lost contact with each other.
I never forgot her. She was always on my mind. I would tell people about my Best Friend from way back and say how much fun we had together. I even went so far as to ask people who had been near wear she lived if they had ever heard of her or her family before, one person thought the name sounds familiar, but nothing positive.
Then the other night I was really inspired when I discovered that you can pretty much find anyone on the web. So I tried and wouldn't you believe I hit the jackpot. There was a face of a woman that looked so much like the 14 year old girl I had a picture of. She was doing something so similar to what I was doing I couldn't believe it. It was amazing to me. I made for sure that she was my long lost mud sister. I had no doubts about it when I was done.
Now I am about to send a very special letter to her. And pray that it will be a really neat Christmas present for her and for me.
Odd isn't it. When you're little you don't really think a whole lot about what is going to happen to you or your friends when you grow up. You know what you are going to be when you grow up and you assume everyone is going to grow up with you and you will never lose contact with them. You never realize the people you miss until you really start naming them off. I still think about a lot of different friends I had and wonder what has happened to them. All the way back to Kindergarten I had friends that I think about and pray that they are alright. Maybe it is just my nature. I don't really know. I don't really think that I am the only in this world that does that either. I hope not because then I would feel weird.
But one thing is for sure I hope this is the year I gain back a friend I never wanted to lose in the first place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Excitement in the air!

I did it!
I really never thought I would do it, but I have successfully written my story. Okay so it's only the rough draft and there is a lot that I have to do to make it readable, but still the fact that I finished this story after almost three years of trying to write it. It's just amazing.
I normally put things off and never finish them, but this summer when my friends from my Writers conference encouraged me to finish writing the story I knew I had to try. So I made the goal of December 31. Now I will just put it way for a few weeks, actually until after the New Year, before I will read it on paper, find mistakes, put discriptions in there places, clean up the conversations. I am really bad with conversations for some reason. They sometimes feel forced.
So anyway. Here I am finished with a story and let me tell you I feel great about it. You should try this sometime. You might be suprised at how awesome it feels to set a goal and get it done.
I'll keep you posted as to how to comes along. My next big goal is to have it completed by July and the Writers Conference. I will probably make myself littler goals in between now and then.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snowmen introductions

I have several new snowmen this year. As a matter of fact I am expecting some new ones to be coming in very soon. I did well this year, I only had to buy three. The rest of them were either given to me or in the case of my very first one of the season I bought some Christmas Presents and got a snowman free.
The three that I bought are a family of snowmen with rhinestones on them. A small tag along I got for my birthday looks just like them except it is smaller. My very first one I got this year is a Hallmark Ornament. A very cute one that I got free because I bought my nieces Christmas Presents at Hallmark. I got a snowman head that sings Jingle Bells and lights up. The rest are on their way. They just haven't made it off the kitchen table of the person who is supposed to give them to me yet and into the car. Once I have all of them I will take a picture of my entire collection.
I have 19 now. 20 if you call the salt and pepper shakers seperate snowmen. My only real concern is were I am going to find room to put them at the end of the Winter season, because yes I don't think snowmen are just a Christmas decoration. I keep them up until Easter. My Hope chest is offically full with room to stuff only the smallest of things in it. I have had to resort to my barrel from school I brought home with me.
SO I know talking about my snowmen collection is deveating me from my recent inspirations, but that's ok. Snowmen still remind me of snow and winter and Christmas.
As a matter of fact as I am sitting here thinking, I have started to ponder on snow. I know a lot of people don't really like snow because it's cold and it means that you can't go outdoors as much, but Think about snow for a moment.
Isn't it a beautiful thing? I am sure I have mentioned snow before and the beauty I see in it. The sparkle from the sun after a fresh layer has fallen. The clean whitness of it. The clean smell it leaves in the air.
Snow really is an amazing thing. All it is is frozen shavings of water. Really. It isn't really frozen water because frozen water is ice. No it is shavings. Every one of these little shavings has a different size and shape then the next one. It can come in all kinds of forms. Big, Small, Clumped together, tiny little ball like things that look like styrofoam. It can come down just as soft as you please or it can come down so hard you can't see more than your hands in front of you and sometimes not even that. And yet inspite of it's smallness you can make things out of it. Snowmen for one, snowballs, snow forts, igloos, Amazing sculptures. It also has the amazing properties of insolation. It keeps plants covered from the winter frost and can save a persons life by keeping him warm if he buries himself in it (and it's wet and cold too). It has nutrients in it that for some reason regular rain doesn't have that helps the plants grow in the spring. It can make the ugliest landscape sparkle with little diamonds and it provides water where there isn't any. You can go skiing, sleding, boarding, sliding on snow and not care if you get wet.
And to top it all off snow is just a reminder of what God can do for a person who has excepted Christ as His Savior. He can wash away all of their sins and make his heart as white as freshly fallen snow.
Now isn't snow beautiful?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tag Your it.

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper although when I want to be lazy I use bags.
2) Real tree or artificial? Artificial..I would prefer a real tree. But then money doesn't grow on trees.
3) When do you put up your tree? Usually the weekend after my birthday, this year it was the day after.
4) When do you take the tree down? The week after Christmas, just as long as it is down before the New Years Eve Party.
5) Do you like eggnog? Don't even thing about putting that stuff near me.
6) Favorite gift received as a child? I have no idea
7) Do you have a Nativity scene? My mom as several, but I am looking for my own family heirloom.
8) The hardest person to buy for? My Dad
9) The easiest person to buy for? Caylin and Katiann
10) The worst Christmas gift you ever received? Cheap O toys that are worth a dollar.
11) Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail. Even though I love emails, Christmas cards are so much more personable.
12) Favorite Christmas movie? The Miracle at Bourex
13) When do you start shopping for Christmas? End of October, Beginning of November
14) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think I have other than from the White Elephant Christmas Party.
15) Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Ginger Cream Cookies and Homemade Fudge.
16) Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored.
17) Favorite Christmas song? I Wonder as I Wander and What Child is This
18) Travel at Christmas or stay home? Usually end up at my Grandmother's house.
19) Can you name all Santa's reindeer? Sure Can and I don't have to sing the song to do it.
20) Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21) Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas day
22) Most annoying thing about this time of year? When people say Happy Holidays and write Merry xmas. Grrr!
23) What is the "corniest" family tradition you do or miss doing?We through Wrapping Paper at each other.
24) Ugliest Christmas decorations ever invented? Totally the Blowup Lawn Decorations hands down.
25) Which looks the best...theme trees or homey trees? Homey
26) What does Christmas mean to you? A God who was willing to come down to earth as a baby and grow up knowing that he would one day die for the sins of the whole world.
Who ever reads this has been tagged and most either write the answer in their own blogs or send an answer on this blog.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

One Little Candle

"You are the light of the world, A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick: and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify you Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16

Candles are a very special part of Christmas. If you notice they are everywhere right now. Most are the battery opearated ones that sit in the windows of houses. My own church has them in the windows of the Sunday School building. It's amazing the difference those little lights can make. I remember the year we didn't have those lights because the lady who provides them every year was called into active duty. It was dark and almost sad to even look at it.
But how important is one candle compared to a whole lot of them?
My sister-in-law remarked the other day about something that got me thinking. Every year she went to camp as a girl. One year they did an expierement by turn off all the lights and them lighting one candle right in the middle of the room.
Now you would expect that the candle would make enough light to shine in the middle of the room, but the amazing thing is dispite the fact that it was a small candle in a large room, everyone in the room could see no matter where they were.
As Christians are we shinning our light in the middle of the room?
DO we think that because we are the only light of Christ in our work place or home or even class room we can't help others around us see in the dark room?
Just as that little candle in the middle of the cabin that summer night shone brightly casting light on all four walls, we as God's Lights to the world should shine our lights so that everyone can see. And the most amazing thing about letting your light shine is that while you are willing to shine your light, others will see that same light and start to shine their own lights that they have hidden.
If you have ever done an expierment with fire, you know that if you put a fire in a glass jar, it will quickly poof out because it has not Oxygen. The same with our lights. If we cover our lights so that no one can see them, they will sufficate and disappear.
I love the illustration my father gives every year on Christmas Eve about on light shinning in the world. As we sing "Silent Night" at the end of the Candle light service, we all stand in a circle around the church and light our candles. Then we turn out the lights and sing while our candles are burning. Then while the lights are still out we blow out the candles leaving the original candle that helped light all the rest of the candles still going. Then we are remind about the Light of the World and how before Christ came into the world there was now hope, but when he was born in the stable and laid in a manger and visited by both the poor and the rich, he brought with him hope by being the Light of the World.
And as he trained his disciples and they in turn introduced others to Christ, the used the Light of Christ to bring light and hope to the rest of the world.
This Christmas let's be a candle shining in the middle of the room introducing everyone else to the Light of the World so that they can light their own candles spread the Light of Christ.

Monday, December 03, 2007

You can blame it on me!

I Love Snow.
Mostly I love the first real snow storm with lots of beautiful white, sparkling snow.
I really love it when the snow storm comes around the week of my birthday.
Every year I wish for it and most years I am disappointed with just mud and brown grass.
This year I got my birthday wish. Snow and lots of it.
It's beautiful! I just love it because it gets me into the mood for Christmas. Okay so I have been in the mood for Christmas since Thanksgiving, but really If you know me you know that I love to sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" It's just a natural thing in December. Of course everyone thinks that Snow shouldn't come until the day before Christmas. Pooh on them! Any time after December 1 and before December 5 is good by me.
So with that said. If you don't like the snow we are having (and any of you who are reading this and aren't from the Northeast will not understand) you can blame it completely on me because I wished for it. As for anyone who might be in the Northwest. Don't blame me for your weather. I didn't wish for that. Someone else who is having a birthday wished for that one.
And for those who are in the Southeast and Southwest who aren't worrying too much about this weather, just which short sleeve shirt you are going to wear tomorrow, I hope that maybe some time before Christmas you will be blessed with a snow storm like ours.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why the Shephards And the Wisemen?

I could never figure out why God sent an angel to lowly shephards and a star to Wisemen.
There is such a contrast between two groups of people that it is very strange that they should both get a moment as strange as meeting the Messiah of the world.
And yet it fits so beautifully with the rest of the story that the meaning of the whole thing is lost to the cute little shephards and the ornately decorated wisemen.
So let us examin the two of them and see what we come up with.
First of all we have the shephards. They were amazing Jewish men living most of the time by themselves never really having much to do with the outside world other than the other shephards in the area and the temple servants that would come to find the perfect lambs for sacrifice. They lived a little stone caves and had to keep an eye out for preditors and other creatures human and animal that might take the sheep. Not only that, but they knew every last one of their sheep and had names for every last one of them. They were a special people and yet they were lowly people also. I am sure they didn't smell the greatest and I am sure their social manner was that of street people today.
So why is it that God sent such a beautiful sign to these dirty, smelly, lowly men who took care of stupid sheep every day? Why did he proclaim the birth of His Son the Messiah when he could have announced it to more important people?

And then there are the wisemen. They weren't even Jewish and Jesus was prophesied as the Jewish Messiah so why in the world God direct these men to the star? These men were scholars and observers of the heavens. They had study the Jewish Scriptures and seemed to know that when that star came it ment that something spectacular had just occured.
But why is it that God choose them rather then Priests or Scribes of the Jewish faith who study the Scripture and knew it as well as the Wisemen did?

Personally I would think those are good questions to ask when investigating the strange stories of the shephard and the angel or the wiseman and a star.
It think it all wraps up into a very simple and beautiful explination. The Shephards were a symbol of three kinds of people. One they were Jewish and Jesus had been promised for the Jews. Secondly they were poor symbolizing that Christ not only was born for the rich, but for the poorest of poor. Thirdly Christ as for even those who had not training of any kind and were very simple minded in the ideas.
Then we have the wisemen and they are also symbolized as three different kinds of people. First of all they were considered Gentiles and although Christ was prophesied for the Jews, Christ came to save even those who were not Jews, but Gentiles. They were rich which meant that God didn't just send his son to die for the poor or the middle class, but also for those who had all the world goods they wanted. Thirdly they were scholars. They could read, write and study the stars and know of things that those of us with simpler minds could never even think about. They could be compared to Bill Gates who is both a very intellegent man and very rich. But dispite it all God still loved them enough to come to earth as a baby and to die for their sins.

And now we understand why God choose these men. Because He wanted us to realize that Jesus had come to earth for all man kind and not just for a specific group of people.
The more and more I think of the Nativity story the more amazing it becomes to me. There is so much depth in the story that no one thinks about that we should recognize as a beautiful expression of God to mankind. What an awesome God we have!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thinking about Joseph

When we think of the Christmas story we think of Mary, the Shephards, the Angels, the Wisemen and even Jesus himself, there is a very important person that we miss when we name off everyon. I mean we don't miss him, he's there, but I don't think I have ever heard his story before.
If you were Joseph what would you think of all the things that went on?
Here Joseph was preparing a home for his betrothed Mary. As a carpenter he loved to work with his hands. He probably worked night and day making things for their little house to be. Then he hears that Mary is home from visiting her cousins. He runs to see her and realizes she is pregnant. How could she do this to him? Thinking she had been with another man, he has the right to divorce her and even stone her.
All of his friends are calling on him to stone her, but dispite it all he desides that maybe he should do everything quietly. He loved Mary and inspite of the fact that she had done this to him, he still loved her.
I wonder how many nights Joseph was wake in his carptenry shop working at this project or that trying to work through his feelings. How many days people would come to him and tell him he needed to deal with Mary.
How about when the angel came to him in his dream? What did he think or feel? He must have been horribly afraid and maybe even a little confused. Why was it that God had picked his Mary for this task. For that matter why had God picked him For this task? I wonder if he got up after the angel left him and started to carve or plain something. I wonder if he paced up and down in his shop wondering if the dream was real or not.
When he finally went to see Mary and tell her that he had an angel speak to him in a dream relief to know that Mary really had been unfaithful to him must have shown on his face.
It couldn't have been easy for Joseph any more than it was not easy for Mary. People probably stared and talked behind both of their backs. Joseph must have wanted to protect Mary all he could, but when the call came to be taxed in the city of their family, Joseph must have had a hard time debating on whether he could get away with not taking Mary.
When he finally realized he couldn't leave Mary behind, he must have made sure they had everything they would need incase something should happen on the way.
Or what about his stuggle to find a place for Mary to have her baby? In desperation he went from inn to inn to house to house looking for anything. And when all he could find was a animal shelter I wonder if he was thinking about how he wished had something better, or if he was just relieved that Mary could finally have the baby.
Whatever the case with Joseph's story and the fact that the last time we hear about him is when Jesus was 12, I can just imagian as Mary gave birth to Jesus and Joseph held that baby in his arms for the first time he must have felt joy, pride, praise, exilhiration, fear, reverance, shear panic as he held his Messiah in his arms and realized that God had choosen him to be the earthly father of the Savior of the World. As a new parent fears to let anything happen to their tiny child, it must have been doubly true for Joesph becuase he knew that he had a task before him to bring this child up ready to do whatever it was God, His (Jesus) Father wanted him to do.
Wow that really brings Joseph unto a whole new light.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thinking about Mary

One month from now is Christmas. And this happens to be the time of year I start thinking hard about Christmas. We aren't talking about Presents and all that stuff. I'm talking about Christmas it's self and all the symbolizim and just the story about it.
There is one person I usually start thinking about because no matter what, she was probably the most effected by Christmas.
If you are thinking Mary you are right. I was watching the movie The Nativity Story last night and I was really suprised at what I discovered. They showed Mary just the way I have always thought her to be.
And as this is what I think about it, I will just say that you are entitled to think differently because no one really knows.
Mary lived a hard life. How could she not? Israel at that time was not an easy place to live because of the Romans. Ceaser, along with Herod were coniving men. They murdered themselves right to the top leaving anything and everything desolate. Mary's family was no exception. They lived on the land. Purhaps her father was a merchant, but more than likely he was a farmer or even a shephard. Nazareth very well could have been a small out of sight little village that no one really cared about other than to collect money no one really had.
I expect that when Mary was betrothed to Joseph she either had known him all her life, or her father had decided that a carpenter would be a fine husband for his daughter and arranged the marriage. (As I have seen what they did in Fiddler on the Roof I would suppose that an arranged marriage was not unlikely.)
I don't believe Joseph was an old man. I think he was a man purhaps around 30 years old because that according to custom of the time was the age that a man was established and considered a man.
Mary really could have been any age. I think her age was between 16 and 21 years old probably more younger than older, but that part really doesn't matter.
The thing that I really like about the movie I watched last night was the fact that Mary was not perfect like so many people think her to be. Almost as if she were God himself. But that is not true. She was a regular, every day, ordinary person working to help feed her family. And as Jewish women hoped that purhaps God would pick her to be the Messiah's mother. Because even back when Eve gave birth to Cain she had the hope of being the mother of the Deliverer.
What must Mary have been thinking when she was visited by an angel? I know what I would have done. I would have fallen to me knees in fright and yet Mary actually started asking the angel questions.
Then the angel said some of the most wonderful words "But with God all things are possible". I think that must have been the kicker that made Mary agree with such a frightful concept.
What could she have been thinking as she walked away from the conversation knowing that she was about to carry a very beautiful gift for the next nine months with the likelyhood of being ostrosized and purhaps even stoned to death.
And yet the girl had faith that God would protect her dispite everything that people would say. And Joseph.
God purposly told Mary about Elizabeth. I think he knew that she would need to get away to really think about what was happening to her and to learn from her cousin just who it was that she was now carrying.
How many sleepless nights did Mary have while she was at Elizabeth's house? How many people starred at her? And to be the cousin of a priest. Shame Shame!
And when she went back home very likely by that point showing around the middle, what did her family and friends think of her?
They shunned her. So shocked because dispite the fact that she was a normal human being, she was always known for her purity. And now for her to come home pregnant.
It must have broken Joseph's heart knowing he would have to throw the first stone at his beloved Mary.
Was Mary scared with the prospect of being stone, forgetting the promise of the Messiah who was growing inside her womb?
Even after Mary gave birth and then came back many years later with a young son to her hometown, I am sure those who knew Mary looked down on her as a sinner. Unclean.
It must have been very hard to continue on, but dispite all of that she had Joseph who believed in God's promises and she had the promise of her Jesus as being the Messiah.
What faith this woman must have! This must have been the real reason why God had choosen her above the thousands of other women God could have picked.
Oh to have Faith like Mary.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

Nothing irritates me more than when someone says that to me. Just like when someone tells me Happy Holidays or Merry Xmas. It sticks under my craw like a pebble in a shoe.
People are so set on changing things from what they should be that they take the emphasis off what is important and put it on something that is petty.
And today I am going to dedicate this one to all the petty people who wished me Happy Turkey Day.
Thanksgiving over the years has really changed. Because it is one of the only uncommercilized holidays it happens to be my favorite Holidays. It also has nothing to do with Turkey's. As a matter of fact I would be sure that Venison was probably the main meat and not turkey so why is it not really called Deer day or Venison day. Easy Turkey just tastes better.
Unfortunately people have forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about just as they have forgotten what Christmas is all about.
So I am going to tell you a secret that is no longer in public school history books because of being politically correct.
Thanksgiving wasn't about football and parades when it first happened. No as a matter of fact football didn't exist and the only parade they probably saw were the Natives and the Pilgrim Men coming back with food from the hunt. Sorry no balloons there!
The Seperatists (they weren't puritins at the time) felt that they need to leave England and the church because they did not believe the same as the church of England. The church had started to rule them, telling them what they could and could not do. So they left. First going to Holland, but soon percecution followed them. At last they decided that it was time for the new world. Of course many adventurers wanted to go along as well so after a lot of trouble and several false starts and going from two ships to one ( a ship that was too small for the amount of people) they headed for a new world and Jamestown. Only a wind blew them completely off course and they ended up near what is not Massachusettes. By that time sickness had hit, killing many on board. They landed and a search party was sent out, but the land was found to be inhospitable. That wasn't all. It was getting cold and because of all the false starts they had summer was over and fall had set in. Little did they know that they were also being watched as they stole corn from burial grounds to feed the starving people.
When they finally landed on the ground that they felt sutable they all gathered together and gave thanks to God.
But that is not the end of the story for you see that winter because it was cold, and people were sick, and they were also starving only a small handful of them were left over. And yet that Spring when the ship left they continued on, making friends with the Indians there and learning their ways. More families came over and together with the Indians they were able to plant food and hunt game and fish.
And five years after they had landed, they did not sit around a big table with the Indians to thank each other for all that had taken place. Indeed not.
Instead they gathered around probably on many tables and even on the ground with family and friends and yes play games and have compition afterward, to thank the One they knew to be their Salvation. The one they knew had helped them through those long tough days of starvation, disease and death. God himself.
And yet all we can think about today is turkey and football. How foolish we have all become for getting our Creator and protector for everything he has done for us.
And so I want to wish to you a very Happy Thanksgiving and remember to wish everyone what they should rightfully be wished.
A Very Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What are you Thankful for?

I don't know about you, but so often I go through my days and totally forget to be thankful. When I was in college I would get up every morning when the bell rang and at the time we all had to be up with our feet on the floor by 7, and I would have nothing positive to say.
I am not a morning person by any means and having to get up so early in the morning every day just made things worse. I would go to the breakfast table every day and complain. Finally a friend of mine couldn't stand it any longer. She looked at me and said "Don't you do anything, but complain in the morning?"
Ouch! That hit me hard.
Then she suggested that when I get up in the morning that before my feet even touched the ground I should think of something to praise God about, even if it was just being able to open my eyes in the morning. She said that it would actually help me in the morning and throughout the day.
So I tried it. And you know what? It really works. I was shocked. So I started to do it every day and the days I forgot I could see the difference. One thing is for sure, I never had to worry about my friend yelling at me for being so negative at the breakfast table again.
But I pose the question. What are you thankful for?
Okay so it's Thanksgiving on Thursday and right now everyone is trying to think of things that they can say they are thankful for. Right off the bat you have family, friends, job, roof, food. You know the normally stuff people say when they are asked to say what they are thankful for in church.
But what are things that you should be thankful for that you don't notice. What about green grass because if it wasn't green, but brown all the time, it wouldn't be pretty. The sunset and the beautiful work of art God makes in the sky every night. How about the bees and the wasps? Did you know that with out those nasty little creatures we wouldn't have the beautiful flowers or the delicious fruits and vegetables that grow in our gardens. How about medicine? How about our comfortable furniture. What about the rain and floods or even the fire that wipes out half a state? For that matter hurricanes?
Everything that we see here on earth is for a purpose. Amazing isn't it just how much you can be thankful for. It's no wonder Paul told us to be Thankful for everything. It's because you can be thankful for everything even if it seems like a bad thing.
Being thankful is not really hard to do. It really should be a daily routine like brushing your teeth. SO when you get up in the morning tomorrow, before your feet even touch the ground on your way to the bathroom thank the Lord for that Noisy truck outside collecting garbage or the annoying squirrel chattering on a branch right out side your bedroom window. Or maybe even for the warm blankets that you used last night. Or the warm shower you know you will have.
Then throughout the day when you start to get a negative attitude because your boss once again didn't trust you to do something, thank God you can be there as a testimony to your boss and that even though your boss doesn't trust you, you can still go on in life knowing that you have never done anything untrustworthy.
Try it! It's addicting and you will want to start doing it every day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good news

I have a goal to finish my story by December 31. Good news. I just went over the 100 page and the 30,000 words mark.
I have hit the major turning point and it seems that there is more working under the surface then what meets the eye. For that matter even more than what I had expected.
A lot is going to happen in the next few months. I'll be going on my cruise to the Bahamas (that's up in the air as to the date now), a new family member is in the works and maybe more. Thanksgiving is next week. My birthday in two. Christmas in a little more than a month not to mention New Years. Easter will be coming up in March also which I will probably be singing in the chior.
All in all it looks like a very bright and busy year ahead.
Oh and did I mention the fact that I will be offically signing off on one of my school bills by the summer. Very exciting if you ask me.
Okay so if I seem a little hyper it is because I am on a writing high tonight. I just wrote somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty pages in my story and because it is at a high point in the story, it has me bouncing off the walls.
Those pumkin seeds are rattling, but I haven't turned into a pumkin yet.
I really need to go to bed now. I think I might sleep just from exhaust.

Monday, October 22, 2007

She's a real Gem

She's beautiful isn't she?

I never thought would be able to expierence going on one of these

ships or for that matter a cruise of any kind in my entire life, but as it is shaping up to be, I am going to be on her in April.

That's right. I have been invited to go with a friend to the Bahamas. I am really excited about it. I get to do several things I never have done before. One fly, two go to New York City, three sail on a ship, four go on a cruise, five go outside of the country, six go that far away from home with out family. Oh did I mention I have to get a passport. I've been taking passport pictures for a year now and it is now time for me to get my own picture done. Wow!

I am really exicted about being able to take pictures of God's beautiful creation. I have only seen pictures on sea life and Islands, now I get to see them for myself. I am really hoping to go snorkeling at least once. Something I have always wanted to do, but I have to convince my friend to go with me. I think I might have to get another memory card just so that I can get all the pictures that I want to get. I am also looking forward to spending time with Laura. We haven't seen each other since I graduated and because we live on opposite worlds email and telephone are the only real ways of communication. It is nice to see the whites of a persons eyes once in a while.

I told her there was too much going on in March so we decided to try for April. April is good, very good. Just as long as it doesn't snow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Failure and Airpockets

I have been talking to a friend tonight about failure. And while I was talking about it some interesting things dawned on me that really struck me hard.
Do you realize that we are so afraid of failing in front of our friends and family that we don't give ourselves the chance to grow or for them to help us? Every day I fail, but I am too embarressed to tell anyone that I do fail. I just try to flub it over and pretend it didn't happen. I am so worried about what everyone else is thinking that I have forgotten the One who is really important and really the only one that I need to be worrying about seeing my failures. But even then I don't need to worry because when I fall Christ is Always going to be there to pick me up and help me stand on my two feet again.
Little children haven't a care in the world when it comes to failing. When is it that we change from not caring that we fall flat on our noses as a baby in front of a crowd of on lookers to being too afraid to go out of the house without first making sure our blemishes are covered with make up. A little child doesn't care if he falls down on his bottom while he is learning to walk, sometimes it may hurt a little, but how often have you seen a baby stop trying to walk because he or she fell down. It's a funny concept because I am more than positive you have never seen that before and never will.
When we are willing to give over to God all of our potential failures, aka all of our bumps and blemishes that is when he can turn around and use those failures for His glory. Amazing.
It's no wonder we are always likened to clay in the Bible.
While in college I learned pottery. I learned just how hard it is to balance the clay on the wheel, pushing down, pulling up, waiting for the clay to balance just right. I also learned that if there is an air pocket in the clay when you make the pot, it will explode in the kiln. Imperfection of anykind causes the entire pot to be ruined.
That's where we come in. We have lots of air bubbles and imperfections in our "clay" and we try to hide it by putting more clay on it hoping the potter won't notice, but our Potter is a professional and right away he can see that you are going lopsided because the hair bubble is starting to colapse. So he has to push you flat once more before he starts to bulid you up and make the beautiful vase He had planned for you in the first place.
Be willing to give up your airpockets to the Potter so that when the fire gets tough you won't explode from the heat.

Friday, August 31, 2007

September

I am going to start a new series. Last year I did a series on the four seasons. This time I am going to attempt months.
First of all I have to say that September reminds me of Birthdays. My Dad (25) My sister (30) my youngest niece (3).
It reminds me of school and apples. It reminds me of fall and the fact that by the end of the month most of the trees will be exploding in color.
It's kite weather time. And curl up with hot chocolate time. You sleep with a blanket once again. And if you are not strange like me who uses her fan all year long, you will think about putting away the fan and air conditioning for the year.
Swimsuits and shorts are packed up once again in your attic and long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts are brought out again. Don't forget the jackets!
The end of the veggies in the garden are picked. The last corn of the season is eaten. The BBQ is fired up one last time before the gas runs out.
Mums start to grow, grass doesn't grow as fast.
Labor Day comes just in time for one last weekend at the campgrounds.
Apple Picking, Apple Pies, Apples Cider and Hayrides are on peoples to do lists.
Indian Corn and Indian summer. Bondfires and marshmallow roasting are not far from peoples thoughts.
What can you think of in the month of September?
It really is a beautiful time of year don't you think?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

School And Lightening Storms.

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't believe that School has either already started or is about to start next week.
I just doesn't seem possible. What happened to August? What happened to 2007?
Someone told me the other day that as soon as the State Fair was announced Everyone knew summer was almost over. How right he was!
Clifford, Heahter, and I went to the Fair on Saturday. It ended up being one of the Hottest days of the year. It was well over 90 and the three of us drank a lot of water.
The animals all looked so hot and some of the smart horses were standing ass close as they could get to the fans in the stalls. I took around 250 pictures of the fair.
Speaking of pictures, I got the coolest picture the other day. I have always wanted to get a picture of lightening and on Friday when Cliff and I went to get My sister-in-law at the trains station we headed home in a Nasty lightening storm that had lightening every 5 or 10 seconds.
Talk about opportunity. I had taken my camera with me because I was going to see if I could take pictures of the trains (that didn't really work too well) so I took pictures out of the window and Got an amazing picture of lightening.
Once I down load the pictures I will put the picture on my blog. All the rest of my pictures of the fair I am planning on putting them on my snapfish account. If you want to see the pictures let me know and I will send you a link to my picutres.
I have offically taken around 1400 pictures from my camera since I got it. Pretty cool don't you think.
Don't worry I haven't printed all of them off, but I have ended up with almost a full album plus half of another.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Crazy Thought for the Day.


Did you know that Americans on average eat about 100 acres of pizza every day?

That's a lot of cheese and tomatoes if you ask me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Nature's Fireworks

Happy 4th of July!
Although today was not hot like most people think it should be on the 4th of July, it still did not turn out too horribly bad.
I pretty much worked all day which I am not glad about because I am sure I would have been board watching the rain drip. More than likely a few fireworks displays were put off because of the rain, but that is all well and good.
Mom and Dad went to see my grandmothers this week so I have this whole big house to myself with all it's creaking boards and imaginary humans walking around. I was very glad that Cliff and Heather came over and we watched Yankee Doddle Dandy, Sky High, and the Boston Pops fireworks.
But I think that what set the whole nice mood was last night when I came home late from work. It was just after 9 and there was still a little bit of light coming from behind the mountain. I was on my way into my house when I saw Natures first flash of fireworks I have seen this year.
No I am not talking about lightening although that is a nice grad finale sometimes. No this was a little flash of fireworks. One that I had to stop and turn around and watch to make sure I saw what I thought I saw. I did. A Lightening bug. Although it is a tiny creature, it is still a beautiful sight to see and one that I rarely get to see around here because special bugs don't really show themselves around here. That little flash of firefly and then another until a whole chorus of them started to show off. It was the perfect beginning of Independence Day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A New Life


This is a post to welcome a new little life into the world. Lillian Gayland Miller was born June 24 around 12:40 am. She was 7 lb. + 4 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long with Dark brown hair.

It looks to me like her two big brothers are pretty proud of her. It's kind of scary to think that eight and a half years ago Matthew (right) was a new born that my family came to visit right here in this town before we moved here. And Christian (left) is already almost 6.
Okay so you are asking me who these people are. Danny is my cousin and Matthew, Christian and Lillian :) are my Second Cousins. M and C are my two favorite little boys. I baby sat them when they were little, and got down on the floor and played with them which they always thought was cool and Even though Matthew is 8, anytime he sees me he still throws his arms around me and gives me a hug while Christian follows suit.
Welcome to the world Little One!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What Kati did!


This is the closest I can get to showing you what Katiann was doing during the wedding.

You had to be there to really get what she was doing, but it is one of my favorite memories and I will always cherish it because very few even saw it happen.

Notice all the petals on the floor?

I know, I know, It's been a month since the wedding, but it just doesn't seem like all that much time. When you get more pictures you just go through all the memories all over again.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It's my half birthday!

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice meets up with some very strange characters. The Mad Hatter, the March Hair, and the Dormouse are all having a tea party to celebrate their unbirthdays. It is quite the exciting thought until Alice realizes that indeed all three of them have gone Completely mad. But wouldn't it be fun to celebrate your unbirthdays as well as your birthdays. It's would be crazy and Hallmark would continually run out of unbirthday cards because everyone would always be celebrating each others unbirthdays. SO in reality that would a bad idea and something that would get very tiring.
SO where is this going?
When I was a little girl I loved to celebrate in my heart my half birthday. It made me feel like my birthday wasn't So far away. I mean having a birthday the last month of the year take longer to get there then any other month right? Okay so in my little child mind that is what I always thought, But that's okay I was little then.
So those of you who know me also know that once in a while I like to revert back to childhood for just a few minutes and enjoy the amazing wonder of a little child. Today is one of those days.
So Today is my half birthday. And although my birthday doesn't mean quite as much as it used to, it is still fun to know that 6 months ago I had a birthday and 6 months from now I will have another birthday.
Yet another thought provoking post to let people know that although it is almost midnight right now I am still using what little of my brain that hasn't turned into pumkin yet.
You mean you didn't know that at midnight I turn into a pumkin? :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Five Senses of the Seasons Part IV

Summer.
It has to be everyones favorite time of the year just simply because the windows are opened, the fresh breeze is blowing in, and the water is warm for swimming. Oh and I forgot the most important part, kids get to be out of school. So I don't get to have summer vacation like the good ole school days, (wouldn't wish it back upon me), but I can still enjoy summer with all the senses.
In most of the Seasons I can pinpoint on sense that is more than the rest of them. I struggle with summer. But maybe feeling should be the one.
You can feel the warm air. You can feel the fans blowing trying to keep the warm air to a minimum. You can feel the warm soil between you feet as you walk barefooted (There's nothing like walking around without your shoes on in the garden just as long as the stones are at a minimum.) Cool water that you are about to dive into to cool off.
Hearing is pretty easy. The wonderful sound of thunder and the rain drops betting on the window. You did close that window right? The sound of motorcycles and screaming kids playing and riding thier bikes. And it wouldn't be summer without the sound of lawn mowers. Did I mention if you listen very closely you might hear the sound of baby birds in that tall maple tree not far away? Fans and air conditionings running all night long.
Sight. The warm sunshine high in the sky. Greeen grass, flowers, the garden full of vegetables, the movement of leaves as the rain drops gentlely on them, lightening that flashes in the night sky, or was that a few fireworks for a celebrations I see?
Smell. Freshly mowed grass, Smell of fresh fruit at the lunch table. Mouthwatering. The fresh air after a rain or the smell of rain to come. Smoke from the grill. I can taste the chicken now.
Taste BBQed chicken, nothing like my mom's recipe, fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly squizzed lemonade, strawberry shortcake. Your first ear of corn on the cob. I so can't wait for July and corn season.
I love summer, but then didn't I say that about the other season too.
Purhaps it is because God made all of the season to show us His power and His amazingly artistry. What better way to bring glory to himself, but through all four seasons.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Up on the roof top, Alicia Sits.

I really should take a picture some day just to prove to people that during the summer one of my favorite places to sit is on the roof of my house.
Yes that's right. The roof.! Okay so it is only the roof of our porch that I have access to through my bedroom window, but still I shock people when they see me on the top of the world. Err I mean the top of the porch.
When the weather hits mid 80's, sitting on the roof is a little hot, but if you know just when to sit you will end up with shade and a nice place for reading or just watching people go by. Which is what I did today after work.
This evening I was invited to a softball game. Although the team I was cheering for didn't win, it was still fun. It was still really warm at 8 when I got back from the game.
This weekend my store is having a really awesome fund raiser for Children's Miracle Network. It is called "Where the Sidewalk Ends" (BTW that is the name of a book and a poem in the book for kids.) so far my store has raised the most money in the region. We are all pretty excited and we even won a ball that has the signature of a very famous college basketball player for the area which we are going to auction off that Saturday along with other rather valuable items. We will also have a garage sale, games, and hotdogs with all the money going to CMN. And that's not all. We have a wishing well for people who want to watch money plop into the water And we have about 20 jars with baby pictures that customers and vote on to say who they think is the cutest. Almost all of them are pictures of the employee's when they were babies. Some say they were too old to have pictures taken when they were a baby so they gave their school picture instead. Maybe they shouldn't have even bothered with their pictures.
Well midnight is actually upon me and I need to put the sheets on my bed. Although I am not so sure I will be inclinded to use them tonight. Ya for fans!

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Highlights from the Wedding and an Urgent prayer request






I decided it was time to put more pictures of the wedding on my blog. I just loaded over 450 pictures onto a CD for Heather's mom. Don't worry I'm not going to put that many on here, just the highlights.
Also My brother-in-law Tim called last night and said that my niece Caylin is asking all kinds of questions about Heaven and Salvation. We have been praying a long time for her Salvation and we feel that it is very close, but we also know that Satan may try to hinder her. At 6 years old many children are ready. Let's pray that this is her time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Bride and Groom


This is my Favorite picture of the Bride and Groom.
More pictures are to follow, but only when it is not late at night and when I have more time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Here Goes!

I feel like I should be skipping down a yellow brick road. "Follow, Follow, Follow, Follow, Follow the yellow brick road!"
Okay Dispite all of that I really am rather excited. It's just that I have been at a meeting that was two hours long and very boring as well as the fact that I have been packing. I get going on packing and I remember I need to take this and it might be a good Idea to take that because I might need it and I always have extra of everything so that I have a choice of what I want to wear. Can't blame a girl for that.
I can't forget to take the most important things, Dress, Heather's going away dress, shoes. I could say the makeup is important too, but I don't want to sound like those girls who think they will die if they are ever seen out in public without makeup on. They weren't born with makeup on.
Well I guess I can't think of anything more to say.
C and I leave tomorrow. Hopefully early. With my brother you don't know how long it will take. All I know is that Sleep is going to call my name after having to get up at 6 in the morning.
Now I think it is time to go to bed. Sleep may never come for me tonight. Maybe a bit more than Heather and Clifford will. :)
Next time I write it will be with wedding pictures.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Two Amazing Friendships

I was watching one of my favorite movies the other day (ahem) Lord of the Rings and I had an interesting thought.
I think Frodo and Sam have to be one of the most amazing best friends in literacy. You could say they were modeled off David and Jonathan in many ways.
Here Frodo is about ready to embark on the hardest job of his entire life when his nosie gardener informs him that he is going with him. Not matter what Frodo does Sam won't let him out of his eye sight. Despite the fact that Frodo almost kills Sam more than once and is on a mission that may very well end in death, Sam sticks close to him like super glue.
At one point at the end of the second book Frodo and Sam are walking along getting ever close to their doom when Sam pipes up trying to cheer poor Frodo.
(paraphrasing) "I wonder if we will ever be put into stories. I can just amagine the children saying to their grandfathers, "Tell me again the story about Frodo and the Ring. That's my favorite story."
Frodo smiles, "Ah, but you have forgotten a very important character in the story Samwise the Brave. I want to hear more about him."
"Ah Mr. Frodo, I was bein' serious."
"And so was I. If it hadn't been for Sam the Brave, Frodo would never have made it."

The story of David and Jonathan are very much the same. David was given a mission by God and Jonathan knew that his end would be death because God had chosen David to be the next king. And yet he kept close to David and almost losing his own life to his father and ultimately dying while fighting for his life.
David could have done anything he wanted to. He could have figured a way to get rid of Jonathan any time he wanted to and yet because of everything that happened their friendship grew stronger. David wept when they told him Jonathan had been killed.

I wonder do I have a friendship like that. A friendship that no matter what happens even if I knew It could end in death I would stick to that friend like glue.
It always amazes me the lessons you can learn from stories such as Frodo and Sam the Brave and David and Jonathan. I hope that I can be a friend just like them.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

One Week and Counting!?

Can you believe that this time next week my brother will be married? I can't believe it myself. It is kind of a scary thought. I don't really think it will all sink in until the pastor says I would like to introduce you too. (Shivers)

It has been a beautiful week. It's warming up quickly and soon it will be summer. The Town is starting to look alive again after all the cold weather we have been having. The flowers are coming out and I know that it has to be spring because dandilions and violets are popping up everywhere.
I went to my first dance recital last night. Have you ever watched 3 and 4 year olds trying to "dance" to "I'm a Little Tea Pot?" Too cute. I will have to post some pictures to show you.
I went on a four mile bike ride yesterday. I really thought I wasn't going to make it home. I needed water. I should have stopped at my cousins and gotten a drink, but I didn't. I went a couple of weeks ago and I was in a lot of pain after that. Not so bad this time. I hope eventually I can go often, I am just not going to push myself and then be in too much pain. Especially seeing as tomorrow is church. It would be way too painful to sit with a little baby on your lap. Although it would be better then having to actually sit on a pew. On painful days or days when I am really tired it is good to end up in the nursery. And this weeks my week.
I have to laugh. This is a story that is too funny to keep out. My dad went for a test yesterday morning and he was put under. When he woke up around 4PM he couldn't remember leaving the hospital, eating the food mom had for him in the car, turning on his cell phone, eating toast, or much of anything else. It was the best sleep he has gotten in ages and he doesn't remember a thing.
It's no wonder doctor's won't allow you to leave without someone there to drive you home. You wouldn't remember getting into the car much less running a stop light.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Crazy Life!

It seriously has been a crazy life in the last few weeks. Everything from snow storms last week(have pictures) to 80 degree weather this week. Heather Lynn came to visit us last week and brought a 10 foot truck with a lot of her stuff. We also had a couples shower for them.(have pictures) Clifford also found an apartment to live in. It's small, but at least it is a place to live.(have pictures) He got me to come on Sunday and clean his bathroom. It was nasty too. I guess my bathroom cleaning skills paid off because it looked a lot better when I was done. Tonight he moved all the rest of his very important stuff over, got the furniture that he bought and is now offically Not a member of this house anymore. (although he still has a lot of stuff).
Besides all of that we had our Easter Contata at the beginning of the month, finished brides maid dresses for the wedding(have pictures), went to Caylin's 6th birthday party(have pictures), having new doors installed in all three doors ways(have pictures).
I started bike riding on Sunday. I haven't been riding in probably 3 years. My knees are screaming bloody murder on me right now. I have to do it more often so that I can get used to it.
I think it is about time for me to go to bed. Tomorrow Mom and I plan to look for white sandles for the wedding. I am really hoping to find something. All that I have found so far have been really high or really thin heals and I am not spending the day in shoes I don't feel comfortable in.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My New Plaything

Ok, First off I have a good excuse for getting this new play thing. Hello I need it when I take picutres at my brother's wedding.
I have been thinking about getting a new camera for sometime, but I just wasn't sure what one I wanted and when I would have the money to buy it. Well Cliff pulled my arm the other day and I ended up going on Kodak and buying a new camera. It's so much better then my old one. I even got it on sale and with free shipping. It was sent out Tuesday morning and I had it by afternoon. Now tell me that isn't fast! I am now the brand new owner of a Kodak Easy Share C875 with 5x optical zoom with 21 different picture scene settings, and PASM. I can now see my pictures when I take them and if I like them I keep them, if I don't I can delete it right away and try again.
I have been playing with it ever since I got it yesterday and I can't seem to put it down. Now I can take more pictures and put them on my blog for everyone to see and when I get those fabulous wedding pictures I can put them on here and now that I actually got a picture that it is going to come out.
With that all told we are preparing for an April Blizzard. I can't believe that winter is coming back with a vengence to bite us after we have been walking around for days in lighter jackets and some have even thought it was shorts weather. A little too crazy there for me.
I guess everyone ones spring like Easter attire is going to be covered by wool and fleece. Hey and I have a camera setting to take pictures in the bright snow. How cool is that!
Whatever the case may be as long as it doesn't snow on May 12 that is all I care about.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Taxes

I know I really shouldn't be complaining about Taxes and everything, but I just have to vent. I hate taxes. I know, I get money back every year, but that's not the point. First you fill out this line and then this line then you add the two lines then you fill in the next 6 lines before subtracting from the third line and the fourth line in that one needs this forum and by the time you are all finished you have no real clue who or what taxes are all about.
Okay so I did my taxes today how could you tell? Last year it was pretty easy. I just filled out the EZ form and I was done with it. Right, this year I did the long form. I can't really complain. I have more money coming back to me because I used the long form instead of the short. I was able to calculate me school bill interest this time around and that gave me more money back.
I just hope that I did it right because I literally was at it all day stopping only for a walk to the PO and lunch and no nap. I finished around 3:30 I hope I sleep tonight because now my mind doesn't have to think about the fact that I still have to do my taxes.
Now I just have to worry about my car.
Hey I learned something new though threw all of this. I learned that if you are looking for a tax form just go the irs website and you can get any form you can't find at the post office. And trust me, if they can tax you on it they will have a form for it. EEEKK!
I was very happy to find them there and not have to look in a million places for it.
And I am so happy that it totally over for the year. I hope whoever I marry likes to do taxes because I will do them kicking and screaming for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Five Senses of the Seasons Part III

It's that time of year again!
Time to put our five senses together once again to see if the next season has come.
Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, but if you were to look outside my window right now you would think it was still January.
I think Spring is the season you use all five of your senses the most. Of course I have all ready proven that we use all of them in every season.
People describe Spring as magical. And I suppose it came seem that way. I think it was really cool that Christ died in Spring because Spring represents His resurrection and newness in life in Christ. Hey God new what He was doing when He made the four seasons.
Hearing is usually the first sense that I use when it come to Spring. I hear the birds. Robins and Red wing Blackbirds have always been the birds that I hear that make me think of Spring.
Smell- Just like the Fall Spring has that smell to it. Almost like the air is warming up, but not only that but you also have the smell of fresh rain and flowers and green growing things. It's this sense that is very dangerous to me. Once I smell just a hint of Spring in the air I get Spring Fever so bad it isn't even funny.
Sight -Last week the snow pretty much melted away showing us the green grass that was hiding underneath all that snow and in some places crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils and other flowers pop up every where. I think this is everyones favorite sense during the Spring because it's amazing to watch these teeny tiny little green things popping up out of the ground and the little leaves that start to grow on the trees. It means that summer will be in full swing in about three months.
Touch- The warmer air. Even if it is snowing sometimes that feeling shows you that it really is Spring and the snow is just a pain that will go way quickly. How about the dirt in your hands as you turn it and plant those seed you bought in January when the store started to sell them. I know some people all too well. It was amazing to see people buy seeds just after the new year in preparation for Spring.
Tasting- Some people might laugh when I tell them that I can taste Spring in the air, but I can't describe to you what it is. So we will say that Tasting most of the time is one of the last things we use because of the fruits and veggies that grow at the end of the season.
Once again we have put our senses together and touched, tasted, smelled, felt and heard spring. Maybe I am crazy, but if God gave us five senses why shouldn't we be using them in every aspect of our lives even if it does give you Spring Fever :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Flower girls


This picture is just cute all the way around. The dresses look so adorable on the girls and I can just imagine what they will look like walking down the aisle on May 12. Now if we can just keep them angelic we will be doing good.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Drum Roll Please!



In honor of my future sister in law's birthday, I present to you what I like to call "The Princess Dresses." Sorry the picture didn't come out clearer, but I hear from a reliable source that pictures of the two little princesses with fallen crowns who will be wearing these dresses in May may be on display soon. (That is if I can get the reliable source to actually send them to me.)

I also took a picture of all the netting and skirts underneath.
I should also put in that Mom and I both agree that the color and the pattern match perfectly with each other. In other words Heather Lynn you (and whoever helped you pick it all out) have awesome taste. I can't wait to see it on the girls.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Spring Fever



My fingers haven't stopped iching from Christmas. I still have the crazy desire to decorate. So I did. Take a look at my newest creations. I thought we needed a little bit of color considering how cold it has been here lately.
I was actually looking for the grapevine wreaths for sometime and my mom had to go to Joanne Fabrics last Friday and there they were two for $5. So I bought them.
I even used lace and Easter grass to give it character.

Monday, March 05, 2007

In tribute to an old friend.

I got a sad suprise today. I found out that an old Sunday School teacher of mine had past away. I guess I always figured she would live to be 100, but even 92 is a long time. I think the thing that really shocked me with the impact it had on me. I haven't seen Aunt Laura about six years or so, so I haven't really had contact with her.
When I felt that catch in my heart and tears in my eyes, I realized just how much of an impact she made when I was a little girl. She was everyones Aunt Laura. She was an unmarried woman who took every child and treated them like they were hers. She walked around with a four footed cane for many years because of the effects of pollio when she was a child. (we called it her lion tamer.)
She always taught Sunday School for as along as I can remember and she was in her late 70's early 80's then. Not only did she teach Sunday School, but she also taught Junior Church and the 3's and 4's during VBS.
Her classes were always the same. We start out with the pledges to the American Flag, the Christian Flag and the Bible. We all faught to see who would get to hold what. We also sang about 5 or more of our favorite songs, listened to stories, and colored.
When our church fell when I was 8, it was Aunt Laura who took all the kids out to Junior Church and told us the story of Winkie the Bear.
It's kind of funny, but every time we kids played Sunday School we always mimicked Aunt Laura. She was a godly woman that was always doing for others. If it had something to do with kids Aunt Laura was in it and all the kids respected her.
I don't think we will know until we get to heaven just how much of an impact She has been on people. There is a Song called "Thank you for giving to the Lord" It talks about a person getting to heaven and people coming up to him and thanking him for everything that he had done for them. Everything from being a Sunday School teacher to handing out tracks to giving money to a missionary. The chorus goes like the "Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed. Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave." I hope when Aunt Laura got to Heaven someone sang that song to Aunt Laura because it would be perfect for her.
Aunt Laura Gifford Died March 1, 2007. Thank you for giving to the Lord.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Valentine's Day Snowfall Part III



I should take a picture to show you what it looks like outside now. The snow is so piled up that when you walk out the door you feel like you are in a castle or maybe even a fort. People were out and about today, but not for very long and not walking too far. Dad and I drove the car down to get the mail today because it was too cold and windy to even think about walk. 5 minutes was too long to be outside today.

The Valentine's Day Snowfall Part II






These are random pictures of my next door neighbor using his snow blower. It was funny to watch the snow shoot up in the air. Also some of the local kids were having fun on the plowed snow banks across the street.
They finally decided to come in after the wind picked up.
If you look at this last picture you can see the wind just whipping the snow around. This was around 4 in the afternoon. I was out for no more than 10 minutes and I came in feeling like I had been out side in the cold for hours. Thank the Lord for Blankets.

The Valentine's Day Snowfall






They say a picture says a thousand words, well I have 12 pictures which means I have 12,000 words for you . Let's see If I can write them all down. This may take more than one post to do it.
These are pictures of my family and neighbors at around 8:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wove, Twue Wove!



This is a picture of the flowers my brother sent Heather. Aren't they pretty? He has pretty good taste if you ask me. At least she got them in time for Valentines day. The news had a flower shop that said they had about 100 deliveries on Wednesday and they didn't know what they would do. If I had been them I would have delivered them a day early that way they would be there by Valentines day like my smart brother did.

Well It's offical. It is snowing like . . . Well I don't know what it is snowing like, but it looks like we are in for the long haul. With the possibility of 3 feet of snow I am thinking it is a good thing I am not working tomorrow. Watch this I'll be called in to work anyway.

Hey the Wooly Worm Did say that it would be a middle winter followed by a nasty February and March. Well here it is! Looking back I remember someone saying that it would be February when we got all the snow. I do believe they were right all a long.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

AH Snow!

Yes well Okay you can blame me for wanting snow. Of course I don't have the snow like North East of here. Talk about a lot of snow. Some Places have over 100 inches of snow and still coming down. Wednesday there is a call for two feet of snow here from the Arctic Blast that is coming this way. I may not be going to Tburg on Wednesday. I refuse to drive 74 miles in the snow by myself. Not happening.
But I can look on the bright side. I live snow. As I said in a much earlier post there is something about the freshly fallen snow that really makes me sit back and look. Unwalked through snow can be some of the most beautiful snow. Sparkling in the sun light like little diamonds. There you go. Valentines day is on Wednesday and there is snow in the forecast and the snow looks like diamonds. If you are a guy and you want to give your girl diamonds, but you don't have a lot of money, you may want to opt for a walk in the "diamonds".

Speaking of diamonds. Mom was looking for a dress yesterday for Cliff's Wedding. I can't believe that we have 3 months until the wedding.
Mom and I are starting to do our own planning for the special reception. Something Cliff and Heather thought up for all the people who can't come to the wedding. A very simple affair that I think people will enjoy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Surprise!

It's been a rather busy couple of weeks. I have been traveling 74 miles a day on Tuesday and Wednesday to help set up a new store. It did it last week, this week and I am doing it again next week. Phew! At least I get $.35 a mile.
Last week I was tired. (Just like I am this week). I worked on Friday at my store and it seemed that nothing was going right for me. My machines were not doing what they were supposed to be doing and I was getting a build up of people wanted everything done right now. So I was in the middle of helping someone when I got a call to come to the office at my convenience. Of course it wasn't at that point so I continued with my customer.
A few minutes after that someone came in for a Western Union. Now I can do Western Unions, but I was so busy at that point, I called someone else up to do it. The next thing I know All three of the Managers that were in the store where coming up to the front.
I noticed them and commented on the fact that there only needed to be one person to do Western Unions.
They all came walking up to me with big grins on their faces. They were hiding something and told me they wanted to present me with something. Out came a frame with a certificate naming me employee of the quarters. Then they asked if I knew because there is a little spot on my pay stub that tells me that I have the award and was just playing dumb and I said I didn't know even though I had seen the spot and it didn't connect.
SO after that bad day, I ended up with something I have always thought would be cool to have and made my day just a little brighter. Now I get a day off with full pay. Now that is what I would call a good surprise.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

God's Snow Globe

I woke up this morning to a wonderful site. Beautiful blue-white snow falling softly to the earth. It was soft and fluffy and not heavy and wet. Much better for making snowangels rather than snowballs.
When I got to work I heard someone say that the world looked like a snow globe that someone shook. And throughout the day I realized that it really did look like a snow globe outside. We would have heavy snowfall for several hours followed by the snow stopping and the sun coming out for about ten to fifteen minutes before it would start snowing again.
It really did look like God was shaking up the world and then watching the beautiful snowflakes fall to the earth before shaking it up again.
We were blessed by the beautiful snow here. In other places not far away people have no electricity and a half inch of ice on their trees and wires. We have a little ice put not much.
No matter what people say or think about the snow I still love the first real snow storm. We have been blessed this year with less snowfall then normal, but it is still good to have the snow. People are already complaining about not wanting the snow, but I really don't think they understand what it would be like here in the winter without the snow. Maybe it's just me I don't know, but I am ever so thankful for those tiny blue white dimonds in God's snow globe that is glistening outside my window.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Long Live ICE!

Have you ever noticed just how beautiful ice is while it is hang down off of the trees and wires?
I learned something very interesting today about Ice. Did you know that just a thin layer of ice on a tree branch is equal to 300 pounds? Now if that Isn't amazing I don't know what is.
Also saw something very interesting today. After church a bunch of us were standing around talking when all off a sudden we saw what looked like a piece of plastic fall from the sky. Someone went out to investigate and discovered that it was a very thin sheet of ice that had fallen from the roof of the church. It was so thin that when it fell it floated in the air just like a feather or a leaf.
I keep wondering if I am going to be going to work tomorrow. Everyone that is a manager lives half an hour away or they live on a hill that would be too dangerous to come down. As a matter of fact the only way to get to our store is by going down a hill. The weather man is predicting ice and snow for the next few days and we may be getting a Denver right here in the NorthEast.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ping Pong and White Elephants

My Dad likes to have a White Elephant Christmas party every year. This year is was just a little small. 11 people came to it verses sometimes we have 40.
So we did something really fun afterwards. We played Ping Pong.
Now I will tell you right now that I am really bad at Ping Pong it's self. I play because It's fun not because I will win. After a few games of regular ping pong we played Polish Ping Pong which is much better then regular any day. You can have as many people as you want to and it can bounce as many times as it wants on the table, but only once on the floor. You have two paddles and every one gets a turn at hitting the ball as they go from one side of the table to the next. If it either doesn't bounce on the table or the floor you are out. The less people you have the faster you have to run. We tried it with teams and it was hard then too. It was a good work out and a whole lot of fun.
It's been a long time since I played ping pong and it was good to play it again. I am really hoping to be able to play it again soon. I even suggested to my family that we go over to church pull out the table and have a slamming good time at ping pong.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Long Lost... License?

So it all started about a year ago when I went to help another store set up for its grand opening at the end of January. It was a cold snowy week and at one point I really thought I would get stuck in the snow. But of course that did not happen and I happily made it home in one piece.
It happened not too long after that that I discovered I had lost my drivers license. I couldn't find it anywhere. I looked everywhere in my house and at my own store finally giving up hope of ever seeing it again. Ireally knew deep down someone may have stollen it from me. I finally broken down and got a new license. I was personally tired of walking or hitching a ride to work.
I spent about $20 on a new license resigned to the fact that I would never see my old license again and promptly forgot about it.
Until Yesterday . . ..
I came in to work yesterday and I was talking to my manager when she said "Oh, remember when you lost your license last year?"
First off she wasn't my manager at that time so what she said startled me. Second of all it has been almost a year since it happened and I had all but forgotten about it other than a few fleeting moments the day before when my license looked as if it would fall out of my wallet. (Strange)
"Ya, that was like a year ago though." I replied.
"Well they have had it at ...(The place where I helped set up the store) all this time and John P. (the quality control manager) had told them to send it to you, but just found out they never had and is sending it to you in the mail."
"You're kidding, right?"
"Nope!"
What a blessing that was!
All this time I figured someone else had it and I might have had Personal ID theft and my credit rating would never be the same all my life and it was in a nice safe place where God was protecting it from harmful theives.
Isn't it amazing how God works when we least expect it?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The New Chair


I am very excited to announce the Arrival of the new Chair. It

has beautiful fake black leather. And it has arms. Unlike our old one that had no arms and looked as if it was going to fall apart when you leaned back into it. I have been trying to remember when we got the old chair. If any one knows what year Jamesway went out of business then I would be able to tell you when we got that one. My family bought it for me for school that year and when we got it home we discovered a part broken on it. When we went back the next day we were told we couldn't exchange it because they had declared bankrupcy the day before. The guy snuck us a part from another chair so that we would have the part.

For those of you who are interested and I know of at least one, we got the new Chair at Staples. :)