Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were so nice this year, very laid back and I was glad that Grace and I got to do several fun activities together to really enjoy the holidays.  I also got a lot of things done in the past two weeks with the extra days off.  (yea!)  Now I’m groaning that it’s back to regular schedule starting Monday, the nice thing is that it looks like I rearranged the classes I teach and it looks like I’ll have Friday’s off this semester!

So, I promised to keep you updated on the Green Tea pills I started taking to see if they really do help with weight loss and…….not only did I not gain any weight over the holidays, but the scale confirms that I LOST 3 lbs in the last 2 weeks!  I think the green tea is helping.  Just 2 more lbs and I’ll have another 5lb goal met!!!

Anyway, the tree is put away now for another year, so I guess it’s back to regular life now.


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I know that Christmas has passed, but I wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas. I hope your holiday was very blessed.  Our Christmas was a lot of fun.  Grace is such a good gift opener.  I wish I could be as good of a gift opener as she is.  She opens each present and makes a HUGE deal over it before moving on to the next one saying, “Oh, THANK YOU Grandma!” and running over to give Grandma huge hugs and kisses.  I tend to be a little bit more reserved in this area.  It’s not that I don’t say “thank you”  or make a comment about how much I like it, I just don’t get as dramatic as she does……..anyway…….

I know that holidays can be a tough time of year for single parents.  Not only can staying within a reasonable budget be a challenge, but things don’t always go as planned, you get sick, you split holidays, or you spend the holiday alone. 

I was reminded by a good friend of mine, who also is a single mom, that even though we’d like to have more money to spend on our kids, we’d like to celebrate a certain way, or we’d like it if we weren’t alone for Christmas, Christmas is not at all about us . (gulp) It’s all about celebrating Jesus’ birthday. (She’s good at putting things in perspective for me, even if it hurts for me to hear it.)

The day after Christmas, Grace and I went to check out some of the sales and have lunch together.  We also cleaned her room and donated books and toys that she doesn’t need anymore to a thrift store.

I’m contemplating my goals for the New Year, as soon as I finalize them, I’ll post them here so you can see what I’ll be working on this year.  In the mean time, I’m busy organizing almost every closet and drawer in our house.

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Grace and I made gingerbread men tonight.  We’re decorating them tomorrow and leaving them out for Santa tomorrow night.  She is getting to be such a great helper in the kitchen.  She puts things in the trash and sink for me, pours ingredients in after I measure them and stirs the dry ingredients.  Of course, I’m sure she only helps out in the kitchen to get a sample of the dough……

Here’s our recipe for you.  We also made my butter cream frosting to decorate them with and colored it red and green.

Gingerbread Men:

2c Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk

Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl mix sugar, shortening, and molasses until fluffy.  Beat in egg yolk and add dry ingredients.

Roll out dough to 1/4″ thick and cut into gingerbread men.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Have fun decorating them!

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On Tuesday night, I was so excited to have everything on my to do list done and get to bed early.  I climbed into bed and closed my eyes, and God put my good friend Patty on my mind. 

Patty has been going through some trials this last week.  She’s a teacher and one or her student’s parents is really trying to make life miserable for Patty.

I prayed for Patty as I laid in bed and I couldn’t get her off of my mind, so I turned the light back on and wrote Patty a note to give to her the next day.

I ended up not going to bed early after all, but it was worth it.  I needed to let Patty know what a good friend and encouragement she is to me, and I needed to be an encouragement to her in the middle of her rough and tough week.

Here are some things that I thought of that are easy ways to be an encouragement to other people.

  • Pray for them
  • Write them a note
  • Take them to lunch or buy them a coffee
  • Smile
  • Say positive things to them and about other people
  • Bring them a small gift or baked goods
  • Shovel their walk (for those of you who live in a winter wonderland)
  • Lend them a good book you just read
  • Volunteer to watch their kids so they can Christmas shop
  • Get together to bake or wrap presents
  • Give them a sincere compliment

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I’ve been asking Grace what she wants for Christmas every week for the last few weeks, just to make sure that’s what she REALLY wants.  (I don’t like buying toys that don’t get played with.)  Amazingly, her list has stayed the same since the first time I asked her.

Here it is:

A Scooter
A Helmet and knee pads
A “detective thing” (magnifying glass)
A Bicycle (she thinks she’s 8 or something…..)

These are the BIG things she really wants…I think she wants them for a couple of reasons, #1, Little Bill was wearing a helmet and knee pads on an episode last week when he was learning to skate.  #2, these are all things that she sees the “big girls” playing with, so I think she has the idea that if she gets them for Christmas, she’ll automatically be a big girl…….she’s already growing up too fast for me, and in her mind she’s just like the big girls.

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“Every day is Christmas. Some days you get to be Santa, and other days you get to open the presents.”

I don’t know if this is really a quote, but a man at the Post Office said this the other day, and he’s right……if we look hard enough each day, either we are blessed by someone or we bless other people.

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Mary, did you know, that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know, that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? 

This Child that you delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod, and when you’ve kissed your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know?  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.  The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is Heaven’s Perfect Lamb, and the sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great I Am?

This is a beautiful song.  If you’ve never heard it, one of my favorite versions of it is sung by Kenny Rogers on his CD  “the gift.”

I’m pretty sure that a lot of the questions that are asked in this song, Mary knew the answers to.  She knew that Jesus was the Messiah, she knew that He would die for us and perform many miracles…..the angels told her many thing about her Son before He arrived….I think that what this song is really saying “Mary, as you hold your new born son, do you really realize the magnitude of who He is and what He will do for the world?” 

In Luke 2, it says “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  I can’t help but wonder if she was pondering and imagining all of the wonderful things her Son would do one day, yet treasuring her baby boy all at the same time.  I wonder how long it took it to really sink in after Jesus was born that she was the mother of the Messiah.  That she was raising the Son of God.

 I cannot even imagine how it must have been for Mary, seeing first hand her own Son turning the water into wine, feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes, healing sick people, and raising people from the dead.

I also can’t imagine how it must have been for Mary to watch her Son die on the cross.  As she watched, was she remembering the night He was born?  Was she remembering when He was only 12 and she thought she lost Him in the crowd, only to find Him in the Temple with the Priests.  Was she thinking about His first miracle at the wedding in Cana? 

Even before Jesus was born, Mary knew that one day He would have to die for our sin, but still I don’t think it was an easy thing for Mary to watch. 

Mary, did you know?

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