Can’t Find Jesus!

Our playskool nativity set was dusted off last weekend when we took down our Christmas decorations.  Gran gave this set to Ruby when she was one year old.  She used to carry the whole thing around all day long when she was younger.  Mack and Ruby realized Jesus was missing, so Ruby told Mack to go look for Jesus in his room.  Mack ran off on a mission….however, he came back with two dinosaurs.  Ruby told him that NO, NO, NO that is NOT going to work and that Jesus is the most important part of the manger scene and to go back and look again.  Mack said, in a serious voice, “Yeah, but we really need the dinosaurs, too!!!!!!!”

Really?  I don’t recall that they were there.

Only his sweet little four-year-old boy brain.

This same sweet little four-year-old boy has also broken the tail off of a donkey on my favorite nativity.  And he broke off a gift from one of the wise men in another nativity set that Josh brought from another country.  I finally had to draw the line and give them permission to play with two nativities in the house….the rest are MINE.

But if I were to contemplate this little exchange long enough, I am sure I would see how many times I rush around making sure I have the tree decorated, the gifts bought, the parties planned, the cards in the mail and more….and then in the silence I realize that I cannot find Jesus in all of my hustle-bustle.  It really does take effort to keep the main thing the main thing.  If we aren’t working towards keeping Jesus at the center of all we do, then He surely won’t be.

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On Sunday at lunch we were talking about what we could give Jesus for His birthday.  I love buying gifts for my kids and for others and decorating and baking and all that goes along with Christmas, but I SO DON’T WANT MY KIDS TO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!!!!!!!!!  We have some ways of teaching them this that can be quite controversial, so for now I will just skip that part, though it may come up later since my convictions in this area seem to be growing stronger….we’ll see.

Anyway, back to the lunch.  Molly whispered to Ruby that we should give Jesus our heart (which Molly has already done, Praise the Lord!).  Ruby said, “Oh, you gotta say that out loud.  That is such a good answer.”  So Molly told us that we should give Jesus our hearts, which we said is so true….but then we asked if there was a tangible gift we could give Him.  “What if we get less gifts so we can give to Jesus by giving to others?” was the questions Josh asked.  There was a little bit of silence and glances among the children.  Molly said, “I wouldn’t mind that at all.  I don’t care if I get no gifts.”  Ruby piped up, loud and clear, “HUH!!  Wait and see—when it happens, you’ll care!!!”

My gracious.

We’ve got a long way to go.  And when I say WE, I am totally including myself.  🙂

Getting Ahead of myself

I seem to do this every year–jump head first into Christmas right after Thanksgiving, which I guess is what usually happens to all of us.  However, I tend to cut myself short on time for posting Thanksgiving pictures!  I’ll share some more of our Thanksgiving pictures and show a few from our Saturday run to the local nursery to pick out a wreath for our front door.  I love getting a live tree, but it seems I am allergic and had a miserable December a few years ago….so we moved on to a pre-lit tree, but we replaced the tradition with buying a wreath!

And there I went–getting ahead of myself again.

What I wanted to say is that this morning I was reminded in God’s Word of how important giving thanks is to keeping my perspective clear as we head into a very busy, full, often-times self-absorbed time of year.  So even though we’ve all checked Thanksgiving Day off of our calendar, I won’t be checking off the act of giving thanks in all things.  Psalm 107:21-22 “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for the human race.  Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and announce His works with shouts of joy.”

All the grandkids put their handprints down in the shape of a Christmas tree….Cacy will fill the red “ornaments” in with names and ages of each kiddo.  It turned out super-cute.

As you deck your halls, I hope thanks-giving will be in your heart and on your lips!

Grateful

I am so grateful for the time that I spent with my family in Augusta for Thanksgiving (though the jury is still out as to whether we all ‘inherited’ a stomach bug that seems to be taking down other family members one by one).  Seriously, I am so glad that I got to spend a few days with my mom and dad and my sisters and their families.

My mom always does a great job at making holidays extra special.  She loves to decorate and make things festive!

She gets into details that I would be sure to overlook if I were in charge of setting the table.

But more than just the special decor on the table, there were very special people all around the table.

The kid table…they crack me up.  They did really well this year.  Everyone can eat on their own–now that is something to be grateful for!

So thanks Mom and Dad!!  We all had a great Thanksgiving at your house.

And just keep it to yourself how grateful you may have been when all of these little turkeys were out of your house!

In the spirit of giving thanks…

Tonight our Sunday School class went out to a local mobile home park and served Thanksgiving Dinner.  There was a great turnout from our class with food and hands ready to serve.  There was also a great turnout from those who live in the park; we served over 100 plates of food!  It was a great reminder that we have much for which we can be thankful!

And you can’t eat turkey and dressing without throwing a football around, right?

I hope everyone has a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Molly in the Middle

Molly.  Molly, Molly, Molly.  Since my kids can read and sometimes read the blog, I best keep this in general terms.

There once was a child that talked most of the day…asked more questions than one could begin to answer…followed one around like a shadow…had one repeat oneself over and over again…insisted on “helping” bake a cake only to double up on the question asking…..

And yet, I cannot help but remember how very far we have come.  You’d think as a middle child myself that I would have a heart as big as Texas for her, but there are just some days when I can’t seem to figure her out or deal with her in the most loving, selfless of ways that I need to.  But a little trip down memory lane really does remind me that my 6 year old has matured by leaps and bounds.  I have much to be thankful for….let me think on these things.  🙂

Yes, all of those books were supposed to be on that empty shelf behind her.

Mascara…lipstick….same thing, right?

Molly on her 3rd birthday….this is when I started saying, “I bet when she is 4 years old things will make a turn.”

Oh, sweet Molly.  I love your inquisitive, determined spirit.  I pray often that I won’t squash your persistent nature, but learn how to direct you to be productive and passionate about things that matter.  I love you and thank God that He gave me a determined middle child.  You will not be overlooked—it ain’t gonna happen if it’s up to you!  Love it.  And I love how you holler at Ruby regularly, “YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Stand up for yourself, girly.

Moments with Mack

Oh, my four year old cracks me up and makes me laugh all the time!  I love his chubby face and his squishy hands and all of the freckles on his face.  He’s learning a lot here at home during our school time.  I know most four year olds these days know their letters, sounds and even how to read; however, we move at a different pace….and we’re good with that.  Because he can now recognize his letters, he thinks he’s ready to read.  He just asked me (on this rainy, lazy, pajama day) to let him read one of our favorites: THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY.  He’s heard it a plenty from his sisters and me.  I thought I’d record his version, which he “read” with great precision and pride….and even confidence.

“There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.  I don’t know why she swallowed a fly.  For haps she’ll die.
There was an old lady who swallowed a spider.  It wrickled and tickled and jickled inside her.  For haps she’ll die.
There was an old lady who swallowed a bird.  It hurt. (long pause as he searches the picture)
HOW EGGZURD!  She swallowed a bird.
There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.  She swallowed a cat to catch a bird who swallowed a fly to catch the spider.  HOW EGGZURD!  For haps she’ll die.
There was an old lady who swallowed a dog–HOW EGGZURD!  It tickled and tickled and wickled inside her.
There was an old lady who swallowed a cow—I don’t know HOW EGGZURD!!!  For haps she’ll die.
There was an old lady who swallowed a horse.  For haps she did die.”

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We also had a little art project going on this afternoon.  I told the kids that they would need to start with a DRAFT.  I asked them if they knew what a DRAFT was.  Ruby shook her head no….Mack piped up, “I know!!!  A giraffe is a big animal.”

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We also had some popcorn this afternoon.  Mack didn’t want popcorn; he wanted fruity gummies.  Seeing how he’d already had several packs today (some approved by mom and others snuck out of the pantry), I said no to the gummies and offered him popcorn.  He, of course, ate a good amount of popcorn.  At the end of his enjoyment, he told me that “someping is stuck in my teef…and that’s why I told you from the start I didn’t want to eat popcorn.”

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So, after a very busy couple of weeks, I would say we were due for a lazy day.  We did school—math, english, history, writing, spelling, and reading—but we did it at a slow pace.  I didn’t make up any beds or wash any clothes today.  The extent of my cooking was popping that popcorn I told you about.  I needed  a day like this!!!

Meme

Million Dollar Pie

KitKat and a dollar bill at Halloween

Hershey’s in a bowl at her house…always

Letting us rearrange her furniture when we would spend the night with her

Homemade Vegetable Soup

Fabulous Dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas

Writing songs and recording them on her tape recorder and then letting my sisters and I hear them

Bayvale Baptist Nursery

Trips to Sky City

Easter Egg hunts

green carpet

heater in her hallway

Always making us wear socks at night in her house

Kitty Blue

never used garage area

Mrs. Pharr

swinging on her front porch

Reader’s Digest

a “french” bath

hearing the train when we spent the night with her

Hollering out ” g’night John Boy” and on and on we would go–Cacy always slept with her.

Sissy

light post in her yard

wall of family pictures in her eating area

the kids table with Bentley and my sisters

Wheel of Fortune

Rice Krispie Cereal with spoonfuls of sugar

“Aggavation,” the game

Silver Tinsel on her tree at Christmas

As sure as I am sitting here right now typing, I know Meme is in Heaven, enjoying Jesus.  She was a sweet grandmother who lived a great, long life and only got sick right here at the end.  Lots of folks loved her….and lots of us will miss her.

 

 

First we must rehearse

Here are some shots of Friday night.  The church looked fabulous for the wedding.  Merrilee wanted a sit down brunch/lunch, so she had the tables sat up at tables and that is where you watched the wedding.  Everything really was so pretty and the details were all taken care of so amazingly.  I don’t remember many details being in our wedding at all, but it has been almost 11 years ago.  The details probably get a little fuzzy over time.  And every part of the wedding helped me reminisce back to our wedding.  I felt the most pretty on the Wedding Rehearsal night…I don’t know why that is, but it is so true.  And Merrilee looked so pretty that night, too.

Merrilee, her mom and brother

Mack and PawPaw standing in the room where we had the rehearsal dinner

This was set up in the wedding chapel…Mr.& Mrs. Dorminy’s wedding pic is on the left and Merrilee’s mom and dad’s pic is on the right.  I loved seeing their picture there.  As happy of an event this wedding was, there was a profound sadness without Deb there to witness it.  I don’t know what heaven is like and if she got a front row seat to the event from there, but I sure hope she did.  She would have been so happy and had so much fun!

This was Jason’s cake….there’s a story behind it, but I am not sure I should expound.  Basically, he’s always opened up his heart and home to other folks, but the time for that is over.  Merrilee is moving in, so everyone else can move on out.

Ruby was sure to check everything out.

My crew before the rehearsal

Josh and I, the old married couple.

More wedding day pics to come…but just be forewarned that I have only one pic of the Bride, and I am afraid it isn’t a great one because it is on my phone.  😦  I was videoing the event, so I didn’t get to snap pictures.  She was beautiful!

Boys vs Girls

This past weekend was full of wedding stuff!  We had a rehearsal dinner for Jason and Merrilee Friday night.  We came home, crashed for about five hours and then got up to get back to the church that morning for pictures and the wedding.  It was a great wedding.  All three of the kids were in the wedding…the girls were able to hang in there from start to finish:

Mack, however, had his limits.  When asked to take one picture with me, he said, “But I’ve already had too many pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

More pics to come…….