How are you?

thanksgiving

Why, in western culture, the phrase “how are you” is considered a legitimate way to greet each other positively confounds me. Very few actually answer the question. Fewer still answer with even the slightest form of honesty, and those who do, are generally considered less than pleasant people. Bless their hearts. I recently started working a bit in the retail business. For a people watcher such as myself, this is quality entertainment at its absolute finest. Dozens of times a day, the socially proper question of dubious meaning comes rolling out of my mouth to be answered in the expected, the unexpected, and sometimes the most downright shocking of ways. If I was not already convicted by my own lack of gratitude, I am now. If I was not already convinced, I am now thoroughly certain, that we, generally speaking, are not a thankful people. We are tired. We are … Continue reading

Nothing will be Lost

hope for the new year

Every mom ever to live in the history of mankind (well that’s my theory anyway) has sighed at least once in her life after walking into a room, stumbling over fifteen different toys and projects scattered all over the floor, and seeing absolutely no children in sight on which to pin the blame. While a half done art project makes my scalp itch, my children do not seem to be at all afflicted with any such sentiments. Partially colored papers, and a thousand pieces of paper cut up for no actual discernable reason seem to be all the rage at my house. Occasionally, I attempt to offer a more logical explanation (other than I might have a stroke in the next 60 seconds if this mess is not cleaned up NOW!) as to why half-finished games and projects are not fun nor conducive for future life skills…sadly my attempts seem … Continue reading

The New Year is Actually the Old Year

The New Year is Actually the Old Year

The baby was up all night. All four kids were sick. One of them in particular is worth at least six kids when she’s sick. I won’t mention any names, but she’s two, has blond hair, and handles feeling badly about as graciously as a cat getting their toenails clipped while being held under water. The car wouldn’t start when it was time for church. The dog chewed up at least ten things over night. New Year’s Day was…ummm. Great. Just really. Great. I did chuckle about it, a lot…because of course! Of course the old nasty Devil is going to come right out of the shoot with all sorts of dirty little tricks to immediately ruin our so called “fresh start”, “new page”, whatever you want to call it. As I sit listening to my little man laboriously breathing like a freight train, the oxygen consentrator humming, and sporting … Continue reading

Sing a song about Christmas all year long

let my life's song sing to God

Red shirts glittered and hair bows sparkled on bright eyed little girls. Short little men in plaid shirts and bright sweaters wiggled impatiently on the stairs of the church auditorium. The music swelled and one solitary sweet voice sang, “Happy birthday, Jesus, I’m so glad it’s Christmas, all the tinsel and lights, and the presents are nice, but the real gift is You.” The elderly lady sitting next to me reached over and patted my knee. With eyes shining with pride she whispered excitedly, “That’s my great grandson singing!” She didn’t know me, I didn’t know her, but what did that matter? We smiled at each other, and settled back to listen to the childlike voice settling gently over the crowd. I couldn’t help it, but her simple, spontaneous gesture of delight in someone she loved brought a deep pang to my heart. In one brief second I saw myself, … Continue reading

In Everything Give Thanks…the Value of “In”

In everything give thanks

It’s the month of November which means “thanks” is all the fashion until we move on to more pressing matters of black Friday sales and Christmas wish lists. I was thinking what I wanted to say about thanks the other night while doing an arobic activity we do daily around here called, changing trach ties. My daughter has a trach (tube in her throat to help her breath) and it is held in place by a tight velcro strap around her neck. This strap has to be changed daily and the skin washed to prevent skin break down and infections. Simple enough. Except that she’s two, and two year olds all seem have a basic need be terrifyingly unmanageable at the most inopportune moments. It’s all four of her extremities thrashing wildly against my very logical suggestions that she hold still. Never mind I’m trying to hold a tube in … Continue reading

Helping Kids Understand Christmas

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There’s no funner way to experience Christmas than through the eyes of a child. Everything is exciting in their little eyes. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to explain Christmas is only on one day…which is a very big concept apparently…because obviously, there’s a tree and stockings and people on the radio talking about Christmas, so it must be Christmas today. As much as I love to encourage the excitement and the anticipation of Christmas…there is one aspect of Christmas that I try very hard to discourage. That is the idea that Christmas is all about me getting lots of stuff. My kiddos are fairly little yet, but I’ve been brainstorming ways to help them understand Christmas for what it is. Here are some of the things I’ve come up with… 1. Find a plastic or wood nativity scene that they can play with as they wish. Set it under the tree and … Continue reading

Give a gift that costs nothing

This song is one that I always think of as a Christmas song, although it really isn’t. It was written by a man by the name of Robert Grant. Interestingly enough, he was a highly successful and prominent leader in his day. You wouldn’t know a bit of that though reading these words…which point solely to his admiration of God and His power. I think the words are beautiful, and could only have come from someone who truly knew what it meant to see God as everything in his life. He wasn’t a ” put my check in the box with my one trip to church a week” sort of guy. He knew God’s presence and power in his life on a daily basis in a very personal way. Although surrounded by royalty, he saw God as far more awe inspiring. Christmas is such a busy time, and our schedules … Continue reading

Holiday Food – Sausage Biscuit Balls

sausage cheese balls

In a rare moment, mostly only around the holidays, I have a very slight and fleeting interest in culinary pursuits. I’m especially attracted to recipes that contain four or less ingredients, and requires three or less steps. These sausage biscuit balls are simply glorious in that, for one, they are utterly delicious, and for two, they require no skill to make. Perfection. What you need: 4 cups bisquick 1 pound of ground sausage browned and cooled 2 (or more as you prefure) cups shredded cheese (any type will do) Approximately 1 1/2 cups milk (just enough to make the dough stick in balls) Heat oven to 450.  Mix all ingredients together. Mold into 1 1/2″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They turn out even better if you put a mini Christmas tree on your kitchen counter to keep you company while you work. Double … Continue reading

Edible Gifts – A popcorn roundup

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When I was a kid, the most exciting family gift given to us mostly every year by some friend or another was a tin of popcorn. You know, the big round tins that have pretty Christmas pictures on the outside? I had three older siblings to contend with, so the plan was very simple. Devour as much of the caramel variety as possible and move on to the cheese as quickly as possible. The plain butter variety was kindly left to the others. It rarely worked, but you can’t blame a kid for trying! Things apparently have gotten a whole lot fancier in the land of popcorn flavors since I was little…where were all of these back then I ask you?? (click on the pictures to see the recipes) White chocolate peppermint popcorn Honey Butter Popcorn Muddy Buddy Popcorn Reese’s Popcorn Peppermint bark caramel popcorn Garlic Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn S’mores Popcorn … Continue reading