Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Looking forward to what 2010 will bring!
Wishing you God's endless blessings, joy, and prosperity!

(LRN....I know you are reading...143)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Heart

Through love, through friendship,
A heart lives more than one life.
~Anais Nin
Yes, this is true.
My heart has been through a few lifetimes already.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Project 365 Week 32

Christmas week!
Preparations begin for Adam and Thien's arrival and for the Christmas celebration.
First, I had to finish the second project that I worked on...
a blanket for Aaron to use in his apartment.
Not quite as time consuming as the quilt for Josh,
but full of love and warmth!
Monday, December 21
I finished the fleece blanket for Aaron.

Tuesday, December 22
Adam and Thien arrived safe from Washington DC.
There had been a huge snowstorm that closed the airport in DC just days before,
but they made it on time to Texas!

Homecoming dinner

Video gaming....

Wednesday, December 23
We went to the Korean market and the Vietnamese market to buy the ingredients for Pho'.
While we were there, Adam asked Thien if she would make her kim-chi soup for lunch.
She agreed.
Boy, oh, boy, was it ever good!
Somehow it has happened that my entire family loves authentic Asian cuisine.

Thursday, December 24
I decided that I would try to make homemade beef Pho' for our Christmas eve dinner.
I woke up early and started the broth.

By mid-day, it started to snow.
Texas has not had a white Christmas since 1926!
And it snowed about 2 inches on Christmas Eve and there is still little bits of snow outside as I type this on December 27th!

Thien and I are finishing up the Pho'

The table is set

And here is my bowl of Pho'!
It was not quite as good as when Thien made it two years ago, but almost!
She and I evaluated everything I did, made some notes and I will be trying this again in a few weeks! Even though it was not perfect, it was still very good!

Christmas eve night...
I am the last one to go upstairs to bed.
This is a photo that I took with my phone after Santa made his visit.

Friday, December 25
The early morning stocking opening!

Adam and his new pipe....

Aaron with his new blanket...and hat...

Rebecca opening presents...all smiles.
This was a cool calendar.

Thien got some dishes that she has been looking at...

And Fred took photos!

Everyone got a copy of the movie "Up"
We watched it the next day, and I cried again!

Saturday, December 26
The snow is STILL on the ground in Texas...

Rebecca and Thien spent a good part of the day in their new pajamas!

I got to use my new toaster oven that Aaron gave us!

And Thien cooked dinner for us,
another wonderfully, fabulous, soup!

Sunday, December 28
There is still a little snow on the ground.
I am feeling sad because tomorrow is Adam and Thien's last day here...
and my last day of vacation.

And I spent most of the afternoon doing this...

Thien's coaching lesson on job hunting via internet.

What a wonderful, wonderful Christmas week!

Joy to the World!

Melting Snow

My house is busy this week. My son and his girlfriend are here from DC, my mom has come and gone, friends are popping in and out of the house...and the cooking and cleaning never ends!

So, this morning when I woke, it was quiet. All the house was asleep. I jumped at the chance to get up, fix my coffee, and spend some quality time with God.

Ignoring the dishes that needed to be unloaded from the dishwasher and the sheets that needed to be folded from the dryer, I made my way to the place where I meet Him most mornings. Cup of coffee in hand, tissues in the other...I knew I had some serious talking to do. I spent a little time reading notes in my devotional book-My Utmost For His Highest. Some time before today, I had made a little star on the page for today's reading. This is my way of marking a lesson that God had taught me, so I flipped to the back of the book to read what it had been. The words that I read were these:

"Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time."

Immediately, the lesson I learned in December of 2006 came right back to me, loud and clear, reminding me of the reason I needed to slip away during this busyness and sit with God; me, Him, and my tissues. I was in a battle and had spent the last few days hiding behind trees and in ditches, like I was playing a game of cowboys and Indians. But I lost this morning. A dream last night got my attention...funny, God used the exact situation that I battled in 2006 - in my dream last night - to get my attention today.

As I got up from my chair for a second cup of coffee, out of the corner of my eye through the window, I glimpsed the snow still on the ground from a snowfall on Christmas Eve. In Texas, it is unusual for snow to remain on the ground for the entire day after a snowfall, much less for three days. The temperatures had been well above freezing for the last two days, and I was surprised the snow was still there.

And then I thought about my heart. I thought all the coldness had melted when I fought this battle a few years ago, Lord. And you searched me and found a little bit of snow still hanging around and I am surprised it is still there. But just like the snow outside of my kitchen window, I am certain it will melt.

Thank you, God for the sun. You always melt the cold away!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The 411: battle plan and team

Matt's most recent update.

The 411: battle plan and team

They are here!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Today is finally here.

My son and his girlfriend are scheduled to arrive for their holiday visit. We only see them a couple of times a year since they live in Virginia and we live in Texas. And every time they come, I am just as excited as the time before. I ready the house by cleaning, shopping, buying all their favorite foods and thinking of all the fun things that we can do while we are all together. Christmas is the best, though. Adam (my son) seems to enjoy holiday traditions as much as I do and it is fun to introduce his girlfriend, Thien, to our fun little family practices around the holidays.

But as I wait today, I think about what God must feel like when He waits. When I am too busy doing the hustle and bustle of what I call life, when I move away from Him and don’t visit with Him as often as He would like. Especially, during this season, as we are celebrating the gift He gave us – Jesus – and then we get too busy to even talk to Him. Does He eagerly wait, like I wait for Adam, for when I come back? I think so. Is He gathering up all my favorite things, just waiting to bless me when I am in His presence? I think so.

Let me take time to visit with my Heavenly Father and thank Him for all He has done!

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zep 3:17

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Project 365 Week 31

What a week!

Monday, December 14
After work today, I made candy for 16 people at work (gifts for doctors, and nurses), prepared a stew for the crock pot (my dad & his wife are coming for dinner tomorrow - to visit and watch Rebecca's band concert), and I worked on "the project" which can now be revealed. Rebecca made her boyfriend a quilt for Christmas. She needed help though, as she has never sewn a stitch of any sort before!

Tuesday, December 15
Christmas party at work, just my department.
This is some of us lining up to get our breakfast!
It was potluck and it was wonderful!

And we exchanged gifts....

Then we assembled goodie-trays for the doctors and nurses we work for.

Tuesday night - dinner with my dad and Glena, then the Holiday concert at the
High School. Here are Rebecca and Josh.

Wednesday, December 16
Rebecca and I have been working fervently on the quilt she is making for Josh.
This is the assembly.

It is all sewn together....

Snipping the edges to "rag" the quilt....

And finally....
on Thursday, December 17
Rebecca and Josh exchanged gifts!
The quilt was beautiful and he liked it very much.

Friday, I caught a horrible cold, probably from staying up too late quilting!
No photo.
But on Saturday, I kept on going.
Lori, (BFF) and I went out and finished the Christmas shopping!
She helped me with another project I decided to do for Christmas (more later)
and then she and her husband and Fred and I went out for dinner!
How nice to relax with our best friends!

Sunday, December 20
Finishing up the preparations!
Adam and Thien arrive on Tuesday.
I took Rebecca up on her offer to help me wrap presents (after all the time I spent helping on her quilt, it was fair game!)

One of Adam's favorites - Sauerbraten.
(German marinated roast)
It marinates for 36 to 72 hours.
I got it ready for Tuesday night's dinner...

Candy making will happen on Monday night!
Here are the ingredients, waiting....

This time of year is so fun.
I love all the preparations, and I especially love all the smiles and memories that will
take place over the next few days while the entire family gathers,
enjoys one another,
exchanges gifts,
but mostly, celebrates the birth of our Savior, Jesus, who gives us all of the wonder and joy of this season!

Hark, the herald angels sing,