Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas from our family to you, may this day bring you a renewed understanding our Creator and his love for us in giving us His one and only son!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What is a friend?

A friend is a person of great understanding
Who shares all our hopes and our schemes,
A companion who listens with infinite patience
To all of our plans and dreams.
A true friend can make all our cares melt away
With the touch of a hand or a smile,
And with calm reassurance make everything brighter,
And life always seem more worthwhile.
A friend shares so many bright moments of laughter
At even the tiniest thing -
What memorable hours of light-hearted gladness
And pleasure this sharing can bring!
A friend is a cherished and precious possession
Who knows all our hopes and fears,
And someone to treasure deep down in our hearts
With a closeness that grows through the years.

by: Katherine Davis

We are blessed by these friends!

Christmas crafts

Each year the girls do crafts for their Grandparents and Aunts & Uncles. This year I struggled with ideas for Syrah as I don't want to duplicate anything Sadie has done in the past. So, I came up with a great idea that turned into a huge flop! I had all ready purchased many of the items needed and since we are on a budget I didn't want them to go to waste. I finally thought of a way to use most of what we had purchased and found a craft that also taught a lesson.

Here you can see the front idea of the craft. The Christmas tree is stitched on a piece of card stock paper and then glued to either a backing or to a card (we only made one card). You can find the Christmas tree template at the site Skip to My Lou (one of my favorite crafting sites)!

The idea is to make them into cards - similar to what Syrah did for Valentine's Day. However, I had purchased all these charms and beads and intended to use them in the first craft, so we attached them to strings and glued them between the two card stocks to make an ornament.

On the back we placed this card which explains the meaning behind each charm, bead and the evergreen tree.

Syrah did a great job working on these (99.9% all her own work) and it was fun to go from something that didn't work to finding a solution that did!

Friday, December 18, 2009

challenging questions

I found some questions earlier this week that are intended for a small group setting that I thought were very challenging and hopefully helpful to evaluate heart issues. I thought I would share them as I go over them and find myself at the Mercy of the Lord!

1) Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2) Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3) Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence?
4) Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
5) Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
6) Did the Bible live in me today?
7) Do I give it time to speak to me every day?
8) Am I enjoying prayer?
9) When did I last speak to someone about my faith?
10) Do I pray about the money I spend?
11) Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
12) Do I disobey God in anything?
13) Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
14) Am I defeated in any part of my life?
15) Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
16) How do I spend my spare time?
17) Am I proud?
18) Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
19) Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it?
20) Do I grumble and complain constantly?
21) Is Christ real to me?

References: Village Church – “The Path” sermon 2 in series. Village used from John Wesley’s Class Meeting: a Model for Making Disciples, by D. Michael Henderson, Evangel Publishing House, 1997, pp. 118-9

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prayer for our pastor (part 2)

I hardly have words for how heavy my heart is over the health of Pastor Matt. I ask that you read this update and continue to lift him in prayer, his health, spirit, his wife, his kids, the church, his friends and his family.

On Tuesday, Dr. Barnett informed Matt and Lauren that the findings of the pathology report revealed a malignant brain tumor that was not encapsulated. The surgery to remove the tumor, the doctor said, was an extremely positive first step; however, because of the nature of the tumor, he was not able to remove all of it.

Today (Thursday the 17th) Pastor Matt is meeting with several doctors for several options. Please pray for wisdom and for clarity on the path in which they are lead to take for future treatment.

Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. ~Psalm 139:16

Monday, December 14, 2009

Things going on...

Here is a quick snapshot of the happenings in our world over the last week or so...

The girls had a winter concert for their school.

Syrah's class performing one of the many songs....

Sadie's class preforming... much harder to capture on video (we were pretty far away from where they were and I will spare you the zooming in and out and many heads that pop in and out of the picture).

We celebrated Billy's birthday. Sadie is to the age where she has been creating gifts for loved ones all on her own... she was very excited to give her gift to daddy!

Some dear friends gave Billy a gift card to go to dinner, so we all went to PF Chang's - the girls LOVED it and it was a fun night together! What a treat!!
The cold weather never agrees with Sadie's hands. Each year she gets chapped from the cold and this year it seems to have gotten a little out of control!

Saturday we were able to make it to see Samuel's piano recital. He did an awesome job and it was a really fun to see him. He is an amazing pianist. Here he is with his mama!

Sadie has been super busy creating some holiday gifts. This is a big year for her... sewing gifts all on her own!

Each night the girls read from the new advent calendar we got from our friends in Medford, the Laws.

This is what the advent looks like; each day is a piece of the story leading to Jesus birth.

The story's are intended to hang on your tree, but we just haven't had the room, so we have been placing the read stories on the mantel with our nativities.

Sunday was Jingle Bell 2009; you can see more pictures at Sadie's site!

After Jingle Bell the girls always ride the carousel with their cousin Carissa (not sure how she isn't in this shot!).

After the carousel we meet up with my dad and Kelly who were down town doing some shopping. We had a good lunch with them and then we headed on the westlake balcony to see a view of the Christmas tree and the streets below!

We ran down to get a cup of hot cocoa. This picture makes me smile... my girls were goofing around with each other and making each other laugh. Love those moments.

On our way out of the city we decided to add in one last treat and that was a trip back and fourth on the monorail. It has been years since we have been on there (I don't think Syrah even remembers). The girls were able to sit in the very front seat. It was a great way to end the morning!

In all of Sadie's sewing projects she surprised her sister by making this special little pouch for her animal!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Billy

Happy Birthday!!!
I feel so blessed to celebrate you each year! Thank you for grabbing hold of my heart and for loving me through all! Your patience, care, grace and love are bigger than life and I thank you for guiding our family and leading our home! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and you know how loved you are each day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...

A day downtown...

Last Saturday we got to spend part of the day in downtown. The arthritis foundation was given some passes for a viewing of the movie Princess and the Frog before it opens later this week and we were grateful that they shared some of those passes with our family.

The girls didn't know what we were doing until we were searching for a parking spot. They were excited. It is a huge treat to go see a movie and one that isn't out yet was a treat too!

After the movie we went to the Sheraton Hotel to view the Gingerbread Village. These always amaze me and this year through the link above you can get a view into how they are created (clue... it takes patience!)

One of our family favorites was the Snoopy House! There is SO much detail and creativity into each one of these!

Family shot at the Gingerbread Village

One of my favorites was the Polar Express train mountain... inside the mountain was entire views from the movie!

Just had to show a close up of the snow man making a friend!

Downtown has TONS of these Nutcrackers and we captured many fun shots, but Syrah really liked this one and though of her friend Micah who enjoys collecting and viewing Nutcrackers!

It sure was a fun day downtown!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Prayers for our pastor...

Although our family are members of a local body of believers in which we feel extremely blessed to have been lead to by God we have another pastor we call ours. His name is Matt Chandler and he unknowingly Shepherded myself during the transition from our last church to the place where are now and continues to minister to me today.

Pastor Matt has an amazing gift from God of speaking God’s truth without any bend by the world. A gift of speaking God’s truth that grabs hold of your heart and truly helped me understand the size and magnitude of His love for each of us. A gift that helped me understand the weight of the responsibility to listen to God's calling in life and to be obedient to Him as He molds and refines.

Pastor Matt is facing a trail that could use our prayers - he has a mass in the front lobe of his brain that will be surgically removed Friday. Please pray for him and his family as they cling to the knowledge that God can use all things for his glory regardless of our understanding. I personally feel a loss for words. Please pray as there are many avenues that need to be prayed around... pray where God leads you!