Friday, December 25, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 25

Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


Give thanks for Christ today.

Enjoy Christmas with your family.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa's Progress

Track Santa's progress here.

On a sad note, we've been tracking Santa's progress at our house, and as he approached Africa, Jameson informed us that, "Santa doesn't go to Ethiopia because they only believe in Jesus."

While I don't want her to think that we don't also believe in Jesus, I also don't want to hurt her feelings about where she came from and the traditions they held dear there.

Perhaps it hurts less to think that is why Santa never came to Ethiopia. I just agreed with her and said that probably was why she hadn't seen Santa before.

Another one of those adoption things I never quite know the answer to. She has been so excited for Christmas this year. She's driving us all mad with the constant counting down and "if today was tomorrow and tomorrow was today, it would be Christmas..." WHAT?

And so here we track Santa's progress over Africa. I wonder if I should show her when Santa's in Ethiopia or just let that one lie...


Project Christmas ~ Day 24

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Say a prayer for family.

Go on a family drive to see Christmas lights.

12 days of Christmas

Did you guys know this?

In the traditional 12 days of Christmas song, which we all learned many, many years ago, each number stands for a symbol relating to Christ.

I thought I'd share what we're all singing about!

In the song, the true love refers to God, me refers to the baptized, and the partridge in the pear tree is Jesus.

Here are what the other symbols mean:

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.

6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments

8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments

11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Happy Singing and Merry Christmas Eve!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 23

Luke 2:20
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Give thanks for electricity.

Spend the whole day by firelight, candelight and flashlight.


Oh yeah and this one too...

I forgot to mention two of my other Sedaris faves......



Wordless Wednesday


As you may remember Justine is a part of an arranged marriage/engagement to Cooper "Wilks".

Don't feel too bad, she loves him. REALLY she does. As she was discussing her future for children, she indicated that she wanted 20 children and a house with 20 rooms. I told her that was going to cost a lot of money.

She told me, "Don't worry. Coops gonna make it big on the hip hop scene..."

For her sake, I hope so. She deserves a nanny.


Book Review

I received the book Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris this Christmas.

Well actually it was a pre-Christmas gift.

I want to recommend this book only if you enjoy hysterically funny short stories about the holidays. It's pretty dark and sadistic, so don't expect a feel good, Chicken Soup kinda aura.

There is the occasional vulgarity thrown in every once and again, and it's definitely not a holiday book for children. But it made me laugh A LOT.

My favorite story so far is SantaLand Diaries written from the perspective of Mr. Sedaris, a starving writer willing to take any job he can find, which turns out to be Santa's Elf at Macy's in New York City.

An excerpt:______________________________

"This afternoon I worked as an Exit Elf, telling people in a loud voice, "THIS WAY OUT OF SANTALAND." A woman was standing at one of the cash registers paying for her idea of a picture, while her son lay beneath her kicking and heaving, having a tantrum.

The woman said, "Riley, if you don't start behaving yourself, Santa's not going to bring you any of those toys you asked for."

The child said, "He is too going to bring me toys, liar, he already told me."

The woman grabbed my arm and said, "You there, Elf, tell Riley here that if he doesn't start behaving immediately, then Santa's going to change his mind and bring him coal for Christmas."

I said that Santa no longer traffics coal. Instead, if you're bad he comes to your house and steals things. I told Riley that if he didn't behave himself, Santa was going to take away his TV and all his electrical appliances and leave him in the dark. "All your appliances, including the refrigerator. Your food is going to spoil and smell bad. It's going to be so cold and dark where you are. Man, Riley, are you ever going to suffer. You're going to wish you never heard the name Santa."

The woman got a worried look on her face and said, "All right, that's enough."

I said, "He's going to take your car and your furniture and all the towels and blankets and leave you with nothing,"

The mother said, "No, that's enough, really."

I warned you it was a little dark.



Check this out... Springfield Missouri has made the national news!

For what, do you ask?

Best place to raise kids? ? ? ?

I won the lottery? ? ? ?

An 18 year old, baby-faced girl, stabbed a man 6 times in the Chili's parking lot because he stole her parking place.

Merry Christmas and watch your back. It may not just be Santa who's watching what you do.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 22

Luke 2:19

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.


Give thanks for your family.

Family game night!

Text Message Tuesday

Enjoy some of my favorites this week. You know it's a good week when the messages are prefaced with public service announcements.

Yep. This is my life. It's quite glamorous isn't it?

Message: "We're roller skating."

Message: "It's much harder than I remember. So much for muscle memory... my legs are killing me."

Reply: "Don't fall on your butt..."

Message: "Loosened my skate. Much better now. Jameson is actually crawling off the floor... hands and knees."

Reply: "Safest for her. I'm sure."

Message: "They're playing billie jean and the disco ball is on and its dark. I feel like I'm in junior high."

Reply: "Slow skate's up next..."

Message: "Oooohh. Journey. I'm slow skating with Jack. Strangers walking down the boulevard..."

Reply: "Don't stop believin'"

Reply: "Told ya so..."

Message: "OK breaks over. Everybody was kung fu fightin'"

Message: "HAHAHAHA. Josh is doing the limbo."

Reply: "Fun."

Message: "I think you are underestimating the hilarity of the situation."

Message: "OMG. Justine just tried. She did the splits, put her hands in front of her on the floor and pulled herself all the way across the floor... using her hands. I am crying."

Message: "She looked like the dog when he wipes his butt on the carpet..."
Message: "I'm sending you a pic..."
Reply: "I am crying too..."


Message: "Thanks for the runner's cookbook."

Reply: "Did you recognize the two of us at the front of the pack on the cover of the cookbook?"

Message: "I thought we looked familiar."

Reply: "I recognized you by the tan line on your quads!"

Message: "You're gross."

Reply: "That's so funny cause gross is exactly what I was going for. It's the word I thought of to myself as I sent that."

Message: "HEHEHEHE."


Message: "Holy crap. I just Marsha Brady'd justine in the face with a basketball. Her eyes rolled around just like a cartoon and she fell down. Oops."


Message: "Josh went to subway with my f-i-l. He said he knew what everybody would want on their sandwiches. He got everyone warm meatball subs with lettuce, mayonnaise, cucumbers and peppers..."

Reply: "Mayo on meatballs... yummy."

Message: "Jeff made everyone scrape off their peppered balls and eat them anyway. Josh is a popular guy around here today."

Message: "I want to make a snow village next year. I want to do an east side and a west side. Nice pretty traditional houses on the west and across the tracks on the east side a ghetto. Is that wrong of me?"

Reply: "I absolutely love it! I have a snow village. I wonder if they have ghetto houses I could add..."

Message: "I was gonna google it. I can't imagine who would make them but maybe somewhere sick invented them and then a person with a delightful sense of humor mass produced them."


Message: "How's work going?"

Reply: "Oh it's OK. I just got told off by an 84 year old with an attitude..."

Message: "Did you tell her, Oh yeah? Well at least my hips are real?"

Reply: "No sadly I didn't think of that at the time."


*warning... this work related conversation deals with the subject matter of colostomies and exploding colostomy bags... It may not be appropriate for those with weak gag reflexes or loved ones with a colostomy. This conversation is in no way intended to make people with colostomies feel bad. Clearly a colostomy is a wonderful thing when you need it. But not so much when it's erupting like Mt Vesuvius all over you at work.


Reply: "How's it going now?"

Message: "Colostomy volcano just exploded. OMG."

Reply: "Sounds messy..."

Message: "I am ill."

Reply: "Sorry."

Message: "I have colostophobia."

Reply: "Me too. I wonder what the word is when you hate them too..."

Message: "I don't know. I'm racking my brain but can't think of the word... colostorepugnation?"

Reply: "Turns out it's a prefix, it's miso or misos - misostomist. I think we invented a new word."

Message: "We are so smart."

Message: "I asked Justine who loves her. She said you do but mom does especially. That hurts."

Reply: "True True"


U2- I Believe In Xmas

Christmas song to benefit product (RED) and Africa for World Aids Day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

Does it feel like it's been the shortest day of the year?

Today is the Winter Solstice, the official start of winter in the northern hemisphere.

It is officially the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

During the Winter Solstice because of the earth's tilt, the northern hemisphere receives less direct sunlight.

Fear not, my winter fearing friends, starting tomorrow, the days will begin to lengthen again and the nights will become shorter.

But around here, it's certainly felt like the longest day of the year.

I awoke to a cacophony of muffled coughs and sniffles. Several hacking away at many different octaves; some dry and hacking, others moist and chunky.

Merry Christmas and pass the Kleenex!


Xmas 09

If I ever get my Christmas cards in the mail... this is what you'll be getting...

Project Christmas ~ Day 21

Luke 2:17-18

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what has been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.


Say a prayer for others.
Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" together.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sideways Energy

It was my sincere desire to make this Christmas as low key and low stress as possible this year. Last year was Josh and Jameson's first Christmas here, and we felt this huge stress/desire to do everything "traditional" and to make up for all the Christmas' they have missed before. It was exhausting and stressful for them and for us.

This year, we decided to not go all out crazy with the decorations. Usually decorating the house for Christmas involves major furniture moving and several days of rearranging. But not this year!

For the first time since 1997, we got a real Christmas tree. I wanted to actually go to the forest (or Christmas tree farm) and use our saw to cut it down. (Think National Lampoon's Christmas vacation... "she'll see the tree when we get home Clark, her eyes are frozen shut")

Jeff coerced me into settling for a trip to the Community Farm near our house and picking out our very own, already cut down, ready to be packaged, very real tree.

We bungee corded that tree on the top of the family truckster and slowly made our way home without launching the tree into traffic.

The kids were at a level of excitement not generally brought on by trees and or landscape material.

We didn't get all the beautiful homemade ornaments the kids have made over the years at Sunday School. We didn't get out the boxes and boxes of Christmas balls. We made popcorn strings with glass beads. We tied on raffia bows and threw on a couple of strands of lights.

And it looks absolutely beautiful. The rest of the week we spent watching movies, hanging out and totally being lazy.

Really ... half of you would be so proud of me and the other half would be totally ashamed of me. What an unproductive little elf I've been this week.

But we have also focused on the real reason for Christmas. The awesome gift we have all been given in Christ.

As our pastor says it's easy to get distracted by all the sideways energy surrounding Christmas. The decorations. The parties. The gifts. The shopping. The food. We are determined this year to not be distracted by the sideways energy.

I am usually such a perfectionist about every holiday, every birthday, every little stinking thing we do. I am enjoying a freedom this year that I haven't had before. I see another week of laying in bed watching movies and reading because this year, we've got enough. We've done enough. We're focusing on our advent adventures and on the reason for the season.

Project Christmas ~ Day 20

Luke 2:16

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.


Say a prayer for your siblings.

Go to Chesterfield Family Center and enjoy playing with each other.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 19

Luke 2:15
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."


Go shopping and donate the food to a shelter for the homeless.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 18

Luke 2:14

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.


Donate a present to Isabel's house. (a crisis nursery in our community)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 17

Luke 2:13
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God...


Give thanks for others.

Make homemade gifts for friends and family.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 16

Luke 2:12
This will be a sign to you; You will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger.


Give thanks for the weather.

Make paper snowflakes and decorate the house.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 15

Luke 2:11

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.


Give thanks for having a job.

Go to the dollar movies with your family.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Project Christmas ~ Day 14

Luke 2:9-10

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 of great joy that will be for all the people.


Give thanks for books.

Read your favorite Christmas book with hot chocolate.