Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prom Dress for Sale

We have a BEAUTIFUL [hardly worn 12 hours] prom dress for sale!!  

It is a Sherri Hill, with slightly altered length, and an absolutely stunning dress!!  Molly tried it on first then tried on four or five others that didn't even touch it.  

You can send me an email if you are interested:

We are asking $400 but willing to negotiate.  



Monday, December 22, 2014

Joy! Unspeakable Joy!

[Shhhhh...don't tell the school system where we've been and why we all missed school on Friday.]

We have been on a mini-vacation.

A Shortie Sabbatical.

And it has been GLORIOUS!

We needed this time together.

Since graduation on June 7th we have not stopped!  At all. For anything.

We went to Disney World.  It was such a fun trip but no vacation [more like a military exercise] and since we returned it seems like we, as a family, have been stretched more and more thin.  Craig worked three summer camps, Molly and Cooper both went to camps, and all three of the went on separate mission trips.

I know some of you are rolling your eyes, mumbling things like, "Well you're a teacher.  You've got it made.  You have holidays and summers off.  How are you so busy?  Bless your heart."

[You can't see me sticking out my tongue so just imagine that part.]

Here is the thing...we've had some serious stuff that happened within a matter of a few weeks....

  • Molly had the accident in the kitchen.  I still cannot allow myself to think about what could have happened.  The only reason her whole head was not engulfed in flames or Gabe and Emma were not burned is because God provided a hedge of protection around her.  There is no other explanation.  I don't believe in luck. She should have been burned and she wasn't except on her hand.  God. Is. Good.
  • Craig, Molly, and Cooper were all out of the country at the same time which left Emma, Gabe, and me to deal with all the fire clean up.
  • Craig and Molly returned from Honduras on Friday and the next Monday Craig had what turned out to be major surgery.  He went in for a routine appendectomy and ended up spending four days in the hospital. [I keep telling you people that nothing is easy with Craig!]  
  • While Craig was recovering, football was starting for Cooper. [And Cooper gets super ill when he is tired.]
  • All during this time I am trying to prepare Molly for college.  Craig wasn't able to help at all. And for the first time, as we packed her car, I was realizing how tough her moving out was going to be. I cried a lot of tears behind closed doors.  
  • Gabe and Emma were just forced, during all of this, to just deal with it. They were stressed out too. 

No. None of us are facing life threatening illnesses.  We have good jobs and we don't need for a thing [well except some exercise but that's another day].  

But my family has had some extenuating circumstances that have created stress in our lives that has just built up and up and up.  

This little vacation has given us some much needed time to reconnect.  We've done just what we wanted to do [and a lot of eating] and a whole lot of nothing too. 

We rode through a Christmas light show at the Pelican's ballpark.  Craig and Cooper took selfies and Emma and Gabe stood in the sunroof.  [Molly and I acted like the normal ones in the family.]  We shopped at the outlets in the rain [and bought nothing]

Craig and I found this fabulous popcorn place. [We are simple people.  We love simple things. Popcorn is simple.]  We bought the Chicago mix and some Ho, Ho, Ho mix [it is Christmas].  We also spent some time talking to the owners. Of course, she left teaching to make popcorn.  He walked away from being an accountant. Hmmm....sounds like a plan....

We found an outdoor drama about the night Jesus was born at a local church so we visited.  It was awesome!  Gabe was so amazed.  I love his innocent spirit. He flinched at the Roman guards, he listened intently as the merchants in Bethlehem shared their skills, and he was in awe when he saw baby Jesus in the manger.  We also visited this same church for Sunday service.  As we sang Chris Tomlin's version of Joy to the World I just looked down the line of Shorties in awe.  

Unspeakable joy! 

This life, right now, is just where I want to be.  

I love my family. 

I love the time that God has given us to just be together. We've watched movies and eaten popcorn.  We played Heads Up and laughed at each other.  We've taken naps, stayed up late, and sat in our pajamas all day.  And yes, we found the best local Mexican dive for our one dinner out. [We love Mexican food.]

This is what Christmas is!

Unspeakable joy!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

You surprised to see us Clark?

Ahhhh...the joys of Christmas.  

The Christmas tree.

We got our tree the night before Thanksgiving and decorated it Thanksgiving night.   [I use "we" loosely. I decorated while the others watched.] Gabe was put in charge of watering it.  Little did we know, the tree stand [that I am pretty sure we've had since the better part of forever] had the slightest crack in the bottom.  

Gabe wasn't watering the tree [sometimes 4 times a day because, in his words, "that tree must be drinking a lot of water"] but watering the carpet.  And the subfloor.  Now, almost three weeks later, that same area is bowed up.  

Water is not our friend.  Remember the bathroom incident with the leaking pipe [behind the wall] that caused us an entirely new bathroom floor and vanity? And the pipe under the kitchen sink that popped at 7:15 on a school morning?   

The stockings.

When we moved here I was thrilled to finally have a mantel on which to hang stockings.  [I'm simple.] For years I've wanted to make us matching stockings. My family nearly had [what we call in the South] a conniption.  

"What about our old stockings?"
"How will Santa know?"
"I won't use the new one."

Geez!  Can't a woman have a Pinterest moment and just make some new stockings out of the burlap and chevron she has without someone throwing a rod?  

Yes, in fact, she can.  And she did.  But it was not without some what I like to term "small issues" [AKA I-really-can't-sew-and-it-takes-me-three-times-as-long-as-the-average-sewing-lady]

I couldn't get the heel patch matched up on the first one. 
I couldn't get the two to close on one of them.
I sewed one shut. [That one is Craig's.]

Finally, after a week [and more than one ripped seam] I did manage to complete them.  

And the others are hung on the weird banister we have in the living room.

With care.

The elf.

[Usually not on the shelf but sitting where I left him the day before.  Or three days before.  I lost count.]

I like the elf.  
My babies think it is cool.  
Molly and Cooper thinks it is creepy.
Craig doesn't care if it ever gets moved.

Buddy [we thrive on originality in this house] has been in the fridge, a kitchen drawer, a mason jar, in the ceiling fan, roasting marshmallows, and a few other places.  

Thank goodness Molly is home.  She has elf duty. [Ha ha ha! I just said duty.]

The cards.

We are so over cute Christmas cards [and that would be mainly because my kids hate to actually pose for one].  

Last year we did a redneck Christmas and used some lines from Merry Christmas from the Family. [It wasn't really hard for us to act be redneck.] 

This year we....
[I can't tell you. That would ruin the surprise. Or add extra nightmares with the anticipation.]  Once I get them mailed out I will post them.  But lets just say that we were All Shook Up....

My Jesus.

The Birth of Jesus Luke 2:1-20 
"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

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

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

The Son of God.
Sent to save a wretch like me.  

Billy Graham wrote this about Christmas: 
Visitors to our home at Christmas are sometimes startled when I read the tragic story from the Old Testament before an evening of carols.
“Aren’t these grim thoughts for this happy time of year?” they ask. “The season of Jesus’s birth is no time to talk of death. What do Adam and Eve have to do with Christmas?”
To which we answer: Everything. Without the story of sin in the Old Testament, what can the Good News of the New Testament say? Without sin, we have no need of a Savior. We cannot separate our joy at Christ’s coming from our desperate need for Him. Unless we have witnessed the tragedy of man’s separation from God through the millennia before Bethlehem, then the birth of a baby in a stable is just that for us, no more.
Nor can we separate His birth from the work He came to earth to do. Without His death, His birth has no meaning. The birth without the Cross is a gift half-given. Many would rather not think of the Cross at Christmastime. They take the angels’ song, but reject all that it implies. In doing this, they rob themselves of the full joy of Christmas.

My Thoughts
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel.
I am not ashamed to defend my beliefs as a Christian.
I choose to put up a nativity scene [or three] in my house because it reminds me that Jesus came as the propitiation [He took the wrath of God] for my sins. 
I choose to recognize that we celebrate Jesus' birth on December 25th but I know that the true date of his birth is thought to be months later.  Why does that even matter to people? 
Here is a comment found on Facebook: If you want to be technical about it, Christmas was originally a pagan holiday and is NOT the date of Jesus' birth. The Catholic church hijacked the holiday. [Hijacked is such a strong verb here. Was there specific rights to this date or something?] 
I did a little bit of research [have I ever mentioned how much I detest history?] and I did find some interesting information from this website:
In the end we are left with a question: How did December 25 become Christmas? We cannot be entirely sure. Elements of the festival that developed from the fourth century until modern times may well derive from pagan traditions. Yet the actual date might really derive more from Judaism—from Jesus’ death at Passover, and from the rabbinic notion that great things might be expected, again and again, at the same time of the year—than from paganism.

Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.  That's cool if you and I do that whole proverbial "agree to disagree" thing.  I get it.   
Revelation 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
Be one way or the other.  Don't proclaim to be a Christian then throw your support for things that are not scripturally sound.  
1 Peter 3:14 "But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;"
Yes. As Christians we are called to extend mercy and grace and compassion and love to everyone.  That doesn't include judgement over differences.  
We are also called to make a defense for why we have the hope in Christ that we do. And we are asked to do that boldly.  I cannot do that by supporting things that go against what the Bible says just because the world says I should. 
   I John 4:4-6  "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood"   
I've seen the word "offended" a great deal when I've read statements about Christians and our apparent sneak attack on Christmas.  
I'm not offended if someone says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."  
I'm not offended if you choose to support removing the nativity scene from Dallas. 
I'm not offended if you don't eat at Chic-Fil-A anymore. 
For those of you that are so convinced that us Christians have this attitude, do you really think that Christians just walk around with hurt feelings because you defended your position [as the Facebook trolls that love to bash the holier than thou leave mega comments and epistles on all the reasons why them religious nuts have it wrong]?  
Oh that's right...I forgot that when Christians do defend their beliefs then we are being overbearing, pretentious, and generally close-minded because we disagree with others who do not share our beliefs.  Those huge windows of peace, love, and freedom of speech, religion, etc. seem to close when the "Bible thumpers" bring it.      
Hmmm..pot please meet kettle.  It seems that generally close-minded, overbearing, and pretentious can apply to anyone.     
I make my choices and you make your choices.  
You choose to stand on one side of the fence and defend your cause while I choose to stand on the other and defend mine.  
But, as a Christian, there is no sitting on the fence.