Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 2011 Highlights.

As we get ready to cross over into the new year, I thought I’d do a quick recap for the month of December…

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Dollie & BFF before their Tinsel Ball.  This was Dollie’s first High School Formal Dance.  Oi Vey where does the time go?

Anna & Rissa SOS Dance wm
Here is Dollie dancing at the Christmas Service at church.  I just love how the two girls are perfectly in sync and the light looks like they are dancing under the star!

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Drummer received an award for Attitude at school.  Each month they award 5 students in each grade in various areas.  Drummer’s science teacher nominated him for the 7th grade Attitude award.

CMSAT Winter Concert 2011 wm
Here is Drummer on the drums at the Middle School Christmas Concert.  He does such a wonderful job!  Looks like a pro!!!

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Chris and I went to my Staff Christmas Party early in December. 
It is always a blast and we are always blessed to be able to attend!

tree

Well, that’s it, our December highlights!
See you in 2012!!!
Lori

Monday, December 12, 2011

…a few of my favorite things…

These are a few of my favorite things…can’t you just hear Julie Andrews singing that???

I decided to join JoLynne over at Musings of a Housewife for a post about my favorite things.

My favorite new song – You Are More by Tenth Avenue North.  This plays and it’s stuck in my head for hours…really.  Here it is.

My favorite new toy – that would have to be my iPhone!  Got it a couple of months ago when the camera on my Blackberry drove me just a little too crazy.  I love love love it!!  It has been a bit of a challenge learning it, but I’m doing ok.

My favorite new app – I’d like to agree with JoLynne and say InstaGram, but honestly, it drives me a bit crazy…I’m still trying to get it...  I really LOVE the Calendar app that actually came on the phone!  I’ll tell you what, that there app is worth the whole phone!  Literally, everything in one place!  Literally!!!!

My favorite (old) Christmas story – Gotta go with The Nativity Story in the book of Luke.  I like lots of the Christmas stories, but this tops them all for me!

My favorite new snack – Caramel Corn!  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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My favorite new recipe – Tough one.  Most recipes are new to me at this point, since Dollie and Hubs are now gluten-free and I have to alter so many of the old stand-by recipes.  Some work better than others, but it’s usually edible.  Cannot wait to try the bread JoLynne shared!

My favorite new TV showLast Man Standing with Tim Allen.  Loved him on Home Improvement years ago, and this is a close second!   The story of this family and each one’s drama just keeps me laughing for the whole half hour.

My favorite new lipstick – Buxom Lips by Bare Minerals.  I am a big BE girl, and I just love the tingly feel of this gloss! 
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My favorite new accessory – My Kathy Van Zealand bag…I have been wanting one for quite awhile, and when I found this one at TJMaxx, I snagged it.  Love it!  Though I wish it had a bit more structure to it.  I’ve been thinking about one of those “organizer inserts” – any thoughts?  Epic fail on that photo!  Sorry about that…but see what I mean about the structure?  Oi Vey!
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My favorite Christmas Tradition – We’ve actually created a couple new traditions in the last couple of years.  Probably my favorite is the Stocking.  Around October 1, we each draw a name out of a hat and we get a set amount of money to fill that person’s stocking.  It has proven to be a great tradition that everyone looks forward to.  I especially like it because I was always the one to do everyone’s stocking, and I always ran short on time, money and creativity….now everyone enjoys the challenge and it’s cool to see what each person comes up with!

My new favorite beverage – the Dunkin Donuts Latte with cinnamon or mocha peppermint!! Mmmmmmmmmmmm!  Drummer really likes the Mint Hot Chocolate!

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Well, that about does it….wanna join us?  Hop on over to Musings of a Housewife and tell us about your favorites…
Lori

Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent–{What do you call Him?}

Savior Subway ArtBW border                                                       Photo Credit
What do you call Him? 

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6, NKVJ

As I was reading this passage today for the Advent study, I started to ask myself what those names really meant.

Wonderful – marvelous, astonishing, unusually good, astounding
Counselor – a person who gives advice, adviser, consultant

As Wonderful Counselor, Jesus is the Living Word.  Jesus is the Way, The Truth and The Life.  He is an infallible source of guidance and inexhaustible wisdom(Note from my Bible – I loved the wording!)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:6

Mighty – powerful, extraordinary

As Mighty God, Jesus is our hero, who triumphed over sin and death by way of the cross and resurrection.

O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is
your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Everlasting – lasting or enduring through all time, eternal, indefinite, tediously persistent.  Synonyms: ceaseless, dateless, deathless, endless, immortal, permanent, perpetual, unending.

As Everlasting Father, that is Jesus’ fatherly care for us…unending.  He is present everywhere and sees everything.  He is tediously persistent in His pursuit of us!  I LOVE that!!! ♥

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9

Peace – tranquility or quiet, freedom from civil disturbance, state of security or order, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.

As Prince of Peace, Jesus provides that safe place for us to feel freedom within our souls.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

And oh my!  There are so many other names – Messiah, Lord of lords, King of kings, Lamb of God and the list goes on.  I was going to ask the question – which is your favorite?  But as I read the list, I can’t pick just one!! Jesus is everything to me!  I love that He is always there when I need counsel, whether I want  it or not.  And who better to go to for “fatherly” stuff, than the one who is called Everlasting

And oh my – how many times I have trusted in Him as my Prince of Peace to quiet me in the midst of the storms of life?

So, what do you call Him?

Lori

 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent - {Announcement}

Advent Pic wmIn effect this has become my Advent journal.  That’s cool huh?  Anyway, today’s reading was about The Announcement.  Not to Mary, but to Joseph.  The account is found in the first chapter of the New Testament, Matthew 1.  Read it here.

The first 17 verses recount the lineage of Joseph.  It’s kind of like what they did over and over in the Old Testament, but this one traces Joseph back 42 generations.  I wonder if he knew this.  I can only go back about 3 generations, and I get stuck.  How about you?  And I thought it extra interesting that this was Jesus’ lineage, but he was adopted, right?  Joseph wasn’t his biological father, but by adoption Joseph’s lineage became Jesus’ lineage.

Anyway, when you think about it, there are kings and priests, prophets and even the founder of the Jewish Race (Abraham) in that line.  Wow.  I read it before, but never thought of it quite like that.  Well, duh….that’s Jesus’ lineage – kings and priests, etc.

Then the chapter describes Joseph as a just man – upright, blameless, conforming to God’s laws and mans, and when he found out Mary was with child, he was protective and still wanted to take care of her.  He didn’t jump right to the divorce option that was available to a bethrothed couple.  So he “put her away” – hid her until the birth of Jesus.  What a lot of pressure that must have been on him. 

The dream was obviously a turning point.  Ever have one of those kind of dreams?  The angel confirmed that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus had Destiny!  The situation also fulfilled prophecy, which I’m sure Joseph had studied.  Yikes more pressure!!

But it says in verse 24, when he awoke, he took her as his wife and she had Jesus, and then he knew her (as his wife).  Have you ever just done something seemingly crazy that God had instructed you to do?  I have.  I need to write the story sometime, but suffice it to say…in 1994 I had a dream.    I was 23 years old, just out of college, working my first real job, and enjoying life with a group of friends from church.  Then I had this dream.  It was my wedding. Wedding?  I was the bride and when I came through the door – I saw the groom.  It was one of the guys from out “group”.  Not one that I was particularly close with or even knew very well.  And I knew that other girls had their eyes on him and he on them.  But him?  I asked God.  Kind of like Joseph, I worked through the process.

A year later I was married – to him!!!  That was nearly 17 years ago.  And the man I married was the one for me!  I thought that was CRAZY!  I can only imagine how Joseph felt!!!  Savior of the world???

How about you?  Any seemingly crazy dreams that God has used to fulfill destiny in your life?  I’d love to hear about them…

Lori

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent–{Expectation}

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In years past, I’ve wanted to do an Advent study leading up to Christmas.  You know, to bring more focus and meaning to the season.  And always, if I started, the studies were never finished.  See I have a penchant for not finishing things. 

But this year it’s different.  Not sure why, but it is. 

So when I came across this Advent devotional on the You Version Bible App I have installed on my iPhone, I thought “hey, maybe this year…”  So today I started it today.  I read the verses and the study section – each day includes Exposure, Exploration, Expression and Experience.  It’s short and sweet yet very touching…

Today the passage was Luke 2:21-40.  Read it Here.

I was really touched by the fact that both Simeon and Anna spent their lives WAITING for the Christ child. And both of them were sensitive to His arrival.  And I had to ask myself – what am I waiting for?  What am I expecting?  And will I know it when it comes?

When it comes to this time of year, what are we expecting?  What are we focused on – the hustle and bustle, or the Savior – THE Reason for the Season.  I know that in my world, we tend to get caught up in it - the shopping, the festivities, the gatherings, the gifts, etc. and we tend to lose sight of what is really important.  Remembering the Christ child.

Won’t you join me in taking a minute (or maybe a few) and pausing to reflect on what this season is really about?  I’m personally doing the YouVersion daily devotional and as a family we will be lighting an Advent candle, but really, you could do any number of things…

Blessings to you this CHRISTmas Season!
Lori