Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lesson learned: Angels are important.

Today has been a day of lessons learned.

I have potty trained three children in this home. My carpets could tell a tale that many would not care to smell. So with this in mind, I had my carpets cleaned before our holiday guests arrive. Yesterday was the day I had the carpets cleaned. I had them steam cleaned. I am not sure I am a fan of that process, since the carpet was still wet last night when we went to bed. The 1st One helped me move all of the furniture off the carpet in the family room yesterday morning. This morning, before the 1st One went to school, she offered to help me put the furniture back. I gladly excepted the help. The sofa table was the trickiest. I had Christmas decor on it I didn't want to take off just to move the table a few feet. She grabbed one end and I grabbed the other. We carefully started to move the table. I noticed that one of the nativity pieces was wobbling. Before I could save it, the angel took a nose dive and shattered on the hardwood. The lectures started from the younger children. "Mom, you need to be more careful. It wasn't our fault. Can we fix it?" There was no fixing this poor angel. She had taken her last flight. I swept up and we moved on with our day. It was just the angel, she couldn't be that big of a deal in the nativity set could she? She wasn't Mary or Joseph or heaven forbid the baby Jesus.

My days are filled with driving children to and fro. Today was no different. The 1st One goes to school at 8:15. The Little Jamaican goes to pre-school at 9:30. This is when I have a few hours to get stuff done and work with My Son. At 12:00 we leave to take the Wild Child to kindergarten. Immediately following dropping the Wild Child at school, I drive back to my neighborhood to pick up the Little Jamaican from my dear friend Wendy.

Let me tell you about Wendy. Wendy is the woman that when you meet her, you adore her. She is beautiful, funny, smart and incredibly compassionate. Everything I wish to be, but fall short of. Wendy picks up the Little Jamaican from preschool and keeps her until I get back.

Today when I pick up the Little Jamaican, Wendy hands me some beautifully wrapped gifts. I am a believer in waiting until Christmas to unwrap gifts. Especially when the wrappings are that beautiful. When I got home, I put the gifts on the kitchen counter and proceeded to go upstairs to make some calls and change the laundry. When I came back down stairs, I find the beautiful wrappings torn apart. My Son had decided he couldn't wait for Christmas, or his mother, to unwrap these red velvet and gold foil packages. The one was a family gift and the other one was for me. The family gift was still there on the counter, but the wrapper was all that was left of the one that was for me. I started looking throughout the house trying to find where and what the gift was. Several minutes later this is what I find:

Turns out angels are important. Though this angel is ridiculously large for this nativity set, this is where she will stay this season. Between Wendy, My Son, and a well placed gift, I am reminded how important angels are now, as they were for the birth of our Savior.

Luke 2:8-15
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Angels seem to be around whenever we need them. A friend, a sister, a child or the type that aren't so easily seen, have blessed my life countless times. Today a sweet anxious for Christmas child and a dear friend were the angels that reminded me that I am loved enough by my Heavenly Father that he has surrounded me with angels.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What I got for Christmas

This year my mom gave me a book she put together herself, (she may have had some help from an aunt.) that is honestly one of my most cherished parts of this Christmas. This book is a three-ring binder with a scripture, carol and Christmas story for each of the first 25 days of December. Every night before my kids go to bed, we read the scripture, sing the carol and then I read them the story. I love the way this makes my house feel. There is so much love in the air you can almost see it.

Last night's was exceptional. So if you don't mind......I would love to share it with you. If you are not interested......that is OK too, but now would be the time to quit reading.

Scripture: Matthew 25:40
"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Carol: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our trouble will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star
upon the highest bough.
And have yourself
A merry little Christmas now.

Now for the story...

The Sharing Session
by Marion Brenish

As a California tourist unaccustomed to single digits, the bitter cold of that December day in Washington, D.C., was dampening my holiday mood. Accounting for the windchill factor, the temperature was below zero. When I ducked into Union Station, I hoped only to get warm. What I got was a lesson in the real meaning of the season from a homeless person.

Warmth was slowly being restored to my hands and feet as I settled onto one of the public benches with a gleaming cup of coffee. Now I was ready to relax and do some serious people watching. I noticed a homeless man seated nearby and several tables of diners spilling out into the great hall from the upscale America Restaurant. Heavenly aromas from gourmet treats were tempting me to consider an early dinner. From the longing look in my neighbor's eye it was obvious the he, too, had not failed to notice the banquet taking place around us. I wondered how long it had been since he had eaten anything. Expecting he would approach me for a handout, I welcomed such a plea on his part. He never did. The more I look at this scene, the crueler his plight seemed. My head and heart were battling it out: the former telling me to mind my own business, and the latter urging me to make an immediate trip to the food court on his behalf.

While this internal debate was raging, a well-dressed young couple suddenly approached. "Excuse me, sir," began the husband. "My wife and I just finished eating and our appetite wasn't as big as we thought. We hate to waste good food. Can you help us out and put it to good use?" The kind stranger handed a large styrofoam container overflowing with goodies. "God bless you both. Merry Christmas," came the grateful reply. Feeling good about what I had seen, but dismayed by my own lack of action, I observed my neighbor's response to his sudden good fortune. First he scrutinized his new found bounty, arranging the soup crackers, inspecting the club sandwich and stirring the salad dressing. Then he slowly lifted the lid off the soup, inhaling the aroma and cupping his hands around the steaming bowl. It was obvious that he was going to prolong this the enjoyment of this miracle meal. Finally, he appeared ready for that long dreamed of first taste. Meticulously unwrapping the plastic spoon, he filled it to overflowing, lifted it towards his mouth and with suddenness that stunned me stopped dead in his tracks.

The reason for this unexpected behavior soon became clear. Entering the hall and shuffling in our direction was a new arrival. In his seventies (or so he appeared), hat less and glove less, he was clad in lightweight pants, a threadbare jacket and open shoes. His hands were raw and his face had a bluish tint. I wasn't alone in gasping aloud at the sad sight, but my neighbor was the only one doing anything about it. Quickly pulling aside his treasure, he leaped up and guided the elderly man to an adjacent seat. He took the old man's hands and rubbed them in his own. He tenderly draped the down jacket over the older man's shoulders. Finally, he spoke. "Pop, my name's Jack, and one of God's angels brought me this meal. I just finished eating, and I hate to waste good food. Can you help me out?" Placing the steaming cup of soup in the stranger's hands, he didn't wait for an answer. But he got one. "Sure, Son, but only if you go halfway with me on that sandwich. It's too much for a man my age."

It wasn't easy making my way to the food court with tears blurring my vision, but I soon returned with the largest containers of coffee and the biggest assortment of pastries possible. "Excuse me, gentlemen, but..."

My parents, like yours, taught me to share, but it wasn't until that day in Union Station that I truly learned the meaning of the word. I left the hall feeling warmer than I had ever though possible.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Another picture taken from my back porch. We really did do well to buy this house sight-unseen. I'm not a photographer so please excuse the quality. Still, I love the colors.This sunset happened sometime this past week. I love the sunsets this time of year. The warm and cold colors contrasting. What is your favorite part of winter?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A not so Me-me Meme.

Krista my dear friend has tagged me with this meme. Here are the rules

I say some nice things about the person who tagged me and one other person. Pretty straight forward simple. Here goes:

Krista - There is much to be said about Krista. To pick just a few nice things is going to be hard. I know her well. She is like a sister to me. Krista is witty and funny. Really.....if you haven't read this or this then you really have no idea how funny she can be and even then, it is just a glimpse into her funny side. She is a loyal friend. If you are her friend, you can count her every time. She is a world where that seems to be a dying trait. Krista is my life line when the kids have pushed me over the edge. She will listen to me whine about how frustrated they are making me and sympathize with me. In her blog, she mentions we have a good cheese and wine relationship. I "whine" and she says "cheez."

Shelly - Shelly is my SIL but for all intents and purposes, when you marry the brothers we did, you become just plain sisters, fast. The thing I most admire about Shelly is her ability to let things roll of her back. She has been through some craziness this past year, with her sense of humor intact. Now to be truly fair to Shelly, I have to say that life has thrown her many challenges over the years. She always moves past them without being bitter. And I mean Always!! One other note about Shelly, if she loves you, she is a strong advocate for your happiness. She will protect you, she will fight for you, she will kick butt. Thank you, Shelly for that.