Thursday, December 31, 2009

Au revoir 2009

God is always faithful! We experienced so many wonderful things in 2009. There were also some unpleasant things to happen as well. God was faithful - as he promised.

My prayers for 2010 is:

  1. Draw closer to Jesus.
  2. To find what God's will is for my life for this year.
  3. To find balance.
  4. Simplicity
  5. To focus on:
    "... whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8

I have so many other things that I would love to achieve in 2010. Like lose weight, excercise, get more organized, less tv & computer, sew more, etc. I am trying to not be overwhelmed by needing to adjust so many things. I am trusting that if I can achieve my 5 goals (listed above), that God will guide me in the other areas.

Bonne Annee 2010 (Happy New Year in French)

We had a fabulous time with our friends Logan (far left - in the back) and Carson (in purple) today.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve & Day

Tony had to play at a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. So the kids and I drove around looking at Christmas lights.

One of our friend's house has lots of decorations in their yard. We get to walk around looking at them.

Afterwards, we came home for the kids to open the presents from each other. I hid them in the Christmas tree. They had fun being on a present hunt. Build-a-Bear gift cards. Yea!After they opened presents, we put out sheep food for the Shepherds following the star to Bethlehem. (Oatmeal & gold glitter).

The boys woke up at 5:45am ready to open presents. Tony asked them to go back to bed until daylight.

I got up at 7:15. At 7:30, I heard Will's alarm go off. I could hear him open the blinds and then call out to Collin that it was day light outside ~ time to open presents. After they woke up Faith, they came into the den. Collin confessed that they had come into the den earlier that night and checked out the loot. (I did this as a child many times, too.)

Faith saw the huge present that was for her. What a face! (We didn't get a pic.) A dollhouse. I don't know who was more excited about it- Faith or me.

Will's favorite gift was his digital camera.

Collin loved his guitar, remote control R2D2, his Nerf gun, bow & arrow- basically everything.

We are going to the beach next week. The place where we are staying, has indoor pools. The kids wanted me to make them a bathrobe so they could take it with them. (To keep them warm when we walk from the pool to our room.) They were very surprised that they got them.

Why do we buy presents, when all the kids really want to do is play in the box?

After our Christmas brunch (waffles and beacon), we played with the toys. Then we snuggled on our bed to watch one of their new DVDs. Tony & I fell asleep- for a short nap. Then we played with some of the their new board games.

Then off to the grandparents. The kids loved playing with their cousins- Ashton & Nathan, as well as their friends Carson & Logan. (Faith & Logan above)

Present time- mass confusion, but a whole lot of fun.
Will & Ashton gave us a Christmas concert. I'm so proud of those two. Faith sang a little song. Faith kept giving me hugs and telling me she loved me until she could get her nerve up to sing. What a Joy!

With our tummies and hearts full, we headed home. We decided to let the kids stay up late. Collin started cleaning the den for me - finding homes for all the loot. Before Will went to bed, he came to me with tears in his eyes thanking me for his presents, for making his robe and for being his mom.

My cup runneth over as well as my tears.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

We celebrated Jesus' Birthday today. I don't have it together enough to celebrate His birthday on the same day as the events on Christmas Day. 2 years ago, we started celebrating His birth on Dec. 23.

This morning, I woke up to Will playing Christmas Carols. What a marvelous thing to wake up to.

The early bird catches the worm. Will got to make the cake by himself since he was the only one awake. After everyone woke up, the cake was ready to decorate.

It's round to show that there is no end to God's love. (John 3:16)
The cake is dark to represent our hearts filled with sin. (Rom. 3:26)
White icing- Jesus washes our sins white a snow. (Rom. 6:23)
Angel- to remind us of the good tidings that were brought to the shepherds that
night (Luke 2:10)
Star - to represent the star they followed to worship Jesus.
12 red - Candles. Red to represent the blood that Jesus shed for us (Rom. 5:8)
The light - He is the light of the world. 12 candles to remind us to celebrate His light all 12 months of the year.
Evergreen- something living and growing. If we accept Jesus, we'll grow closer to Him and live for evermore. (John 15:5)

We played a game about Jesus' birth story.

We enjoyed reading books about His birth.
The 12 Days of Christmas by Robert Sabuda
The Candymaker's Gift by David & Helen Haidle
The Christmas Lizard by Cory Edwards
The Story of Christmas: The birth of Jesus
Georgie The Frog in A Christmas Surprise by Glorianne Gibbs

We acted out the Christmas story. We had lots of visiting animals. Not sure if an iguana was really there.

We enjoyed doing the Adorenament Tree. It explains 12 of Jesus' names. Emmanuel, The Door, The True Vine, Living Water, The Light of the World, Bright Morning Star, The Lion from the tribe of Judah, The Lamb of God, The Good Shepherd, The King of kings and Lord of Lords, and The Bread of Life, Savior. Our Pastor's wife, Mrs. Ann does this with the Sparks at our church. She let me borrow it. Hopefully, next year, we'll be able to find real ornaments that goes with each name.

We sang and listened to Christmas Carols all through out the day. We had such a good time praising our Savior.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Slow Me Down Lord

I love turtles. They just go at a slow pace. They look like they have all the time in the world. Perhaps, we can learn something from these funny little creatures. I have a few turtles on my kitchen window seal to remind me to slow down and reflect on Him.

This time of year, I have to remind myself daily or should I say hourly to slow down.

This poem was a great reminder of slowing me down.

Slow me down, Lord;

Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me amid the confusion of the day the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations,
of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend,
to smile at a child, to read a few lines from Your book.

Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
deep into the soil of life's enduring values,
that I may grow toward my greater destiny.
Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift,
that there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward to the towering oak
and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.

By Owen L. Craine

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Brandenburg Concerto

I am so proud of my husband- Dr. Tony. He played the Brandenburg Concerto at our state museum. He didn't have a long time to prepare. Most trumpeters want a year or more to prepare to play this. He only had a few weeks.

After the concert, the kids and I explored the museum.

We love nutcrackers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gifts in Abundance

We just finished our Children's Christmas program. Jesus- The Light of the World. Will- Native American, Faith- Celtic & Collin- from the islands.

I am still counting my many blessings.

29. Wonderful people to help with the drama. I've been blessed to have worked with the children's Christmas play for many many years. Once you find people that are willing, dependable and creative to help, you hold on to them.

Donnie & Debbie, Becky, Tonya,Cindy, Ronda, Lisa, Kim, Dr.Tony Roebuck- my hubby, Mr. G. Boatwright, Deborah, Beth, Mr. Bob, JB, Kim & Joe, Nathan, Tucker,Seth, Mike, Lee, Heather, Mrs. Fleming, Mrs. Hallman, Mrs. Cindy, Mrs. Ann and JW & Judith. What a huge Blessing! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

30. A special young man at our church, Tucker. He holds a special place in my heart. He always has a kind spirit, he loves the Lord and will do anything you ask of him. If you know Tucker, you know what a blessing he is to have in your life. I am so blessed to know him.

31. Thirty one amazing children in our choir. Anna, Ashlyn, Mary, Collin, Campbell, Laural, Kendell, Adam, Brayden, Katie Ann, Amber, Brianna, Makenzie, Daniel, Jordan, Kaytlynn, Hunter, Chloe, Will, Mia, Makayla, Allyson, Faith, Callie, Allyssa, Alaynah, Eli, Noah, Caitlyn and Daniel. What a joy to teach these children.

32. Nancy Knight- a wonderful lady that plays the piano for the children's choir and who is co- "director" with me for the children's choir.

33. "My Favorite Things" song. It just makes me happy. The children & I love to sing it.

34. Collin surprising me by dressing up without me asking. My, he's handsome- just like his daddy.

35. Will waking up singing. It brings joy to my heart.

36. Our friends and missionaries to the Philippines coming home on furlough. Can't wait to spend time with them.

37. Camping out in the den.

38. Blue Belly Buttons. Or should I say washable markers on blue belly buttons. You never know what your children will come up with.

Thank you God, for showing me so many of the gifts You've given me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

God's Many Gifts

It's amazing to see how many gifts God has given me. When I finally start looking. Some are huge and some are small. Sometimes the small gifts are the best.

15. Poinsettias. They are so bright and happy. Just looking at them brings me joy. Our church uses them to decorate during the Christmas season. I love them.

16. Good godly men that can fill in for our preacher when he's away. (Which isn't often.) Our preacher went on vacation last week. Then this week he had to go out of town to preach Andew Smith's funeral. We've enjoyed some good preaching. I am ready for him to come back though.

17. A godly preacher that preaches the Word without "sugar coating" it. A pastor that loves his Lord and his "flock".

18. A preacher's wife that has such a sweet spirit, loves her Creator and His people.

19. Good bluegrass Christian Music. My favorite - The Rochesters. Not only do they have a wonderful sound & voices, but their love for the Lord shines through.

20. My favorite Christmas song of all time. "The Greatest Christmas Tree" Written by Becky Rochester Matthews.

"Shepherds came to worship Him. Wise men came from afar, but the light that they were seeking, was more than just a star. It was heaven's gift sent down to earth, Mary's little boy. Wrap there in swaddling clothes was peace, love and joy.

There's never been a greater gift, God gave His only son. To whom extended mercy and grace to everyone. The reason why this King would come to be born within a stall, was to die for me on Calvary, the greatest Christmas Tree of all.

From a stable in Bethlehem, to a cross upon a hill, praying Father, please not my will, but thine to full fill. From the safety of a virgin's womb to be hung on Calvary. Where the light of the world decorated the Greatest Christmas Tree.

The soldiers that nailed Him there, no beauty could they see. Yet an ornament of love, they were hanging on that tree. No ribbons, no angel tops, just a thorny crown. And the gift to all the world was His blood flowing down."

21. Christmas lights. Our county really knows how to do Christmas lights.

22. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What He said in His Word never changes. Just because the world's ideas of what is right and wrong change, His does not. Which means that I don't have to decide what "I think" is right or wrong. He has it clear in His Word. If it was wrong when Jesus walked on earth, it's wrong now.

23. Snuggling with my family on a cold night.

24. Listening to my children giggle in the car.

25. Christmas Cards. My favorite are the cards that have family letters and pictures in them.

26. My 2 sets of china. I didn't have any for the first 12 years of our marriage. Then I was given two totally different patterns by 2 wonderful ladies- Mrs. Ann and Mrs. Yvonne. I love elegant. I just can't afford it. When it's given to me, I treasure it.

27. Kids and my hubby laughing at "America's Most Funniest Videos."

28. A new book that I've been reading. It has helped me to look for God's gifts. The God Hunt by Karen Mains.

My cup runneth over!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Frosty, Christmas Tea and Gingerbread Houses

We had a fun day yesterday. We went to see the Frosty ballet with our homeschool group. (Sorry for the blurry pic. It's hard to get good pictures when people are moving and you can't use flash.)

After the ballet, we had some dear friends over for a little Christmas tea. Even the boys liked it. They were excited to be able to serve one another. A good life lesson.

Then we made Gingerbread houses. It was a lot of fun. Each child had different ideas.

I love Christmas time. It makes spending time with friends that more special.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Multitude Monday: A Thousand Gifts

Lists, lists everywhere. It seems like I make so many lists (but then can't find them). This week, I have a list of groceries, list of this week's menu, list of Christmas program costumes I need to make, a list of things that need to get done for our program, list of Christmas gifts we are planning to make, list of Christmas presents to get. It keeps going on and on.

I came across this The Thousand Gifts and wanted to record a very important list. Things that have been given to me. Things that I am thankful for. God has blessed me far beyond anything I can imagine. Sometimes, life is so busy that I forget to look at the small & big things.

1. My Salvation. Even if there was no one else in this world, He would have sent Jesus, His only son to die - for just me. He loves me in spite of my faults.

2. My amazing husband, Tony. He is my best friend & the love of my life. He is a wonderful daddy to our children.

2. My 3 blessings. Will, Collin & Faith So many blessings. Watching them grow, learn, love, laugh- what a miracle.

3. The free piano that was given to us.

4. Music. I love music. I love hearing Will playing the piano, Tony playing the trumpet, good Southern Gospel CDs, Jazz, bluegrass & silly love songs. My favorite music to hear - my children singing.

5. The freedom to worship my Lord and Savior.

6. For God's Holy Word.

7. Good Christan movies. I've watched all of the Love Cometh Softly DVDs. I highly recommend them. I can't wait to watch this one sometime this week.

8. Collin's art work. He really enjoys creating. It seems that art maybe one of his gifts.

9. God allowing us to homeschool. What an honor to have to teach my children, spend time with them all day, watch them learn & grow. I am forever thankful that God allowed us to do this. It may not be the easiest road to take, but it is full of joy and blessings.

10. For only having 4 of the 5 senses. I can't smell. I have never been able to smell. I've heard of the wonderful aromas of food, fragrances, flowers, baby's breath, etc. If you've never had it, you don't know what you're missing. Have you ever tried to explain to someone who can't smell, what something smells like? (This perfume smells like roses. Well, what does a rose smell like. It smells sweet, what does "sweet" smell like. It could go on forever. ) I find it very funny when there is a BAD smell & people are fussing, coughing & sputtering from it. One time we were riding down the road and we passed a skunk. The smell got in the car & Tony was flipping out. It can be a blessing not to have the 5th sense.

11. For a Karate studio that loves children & teaches the word of God.

12. For a clean house. (For today, anyway.)

13. For a young man named Andrew Smith that was such a blessing to so many people. He had diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (inoperable brainstem cancer). We had the honor of knowing him and his family. He went to be with the Lord on Dec. 4th this year. He had such a wonderful testimony and spirit through out his journey. I am so thankful that He was saved and is now with his Lord in heaven.

14. A fun new book we just got Georgie The Frog In A Christmas Surprise. A great book to read to the children. I like it too.

There are so many more gifts that God has given me. I am looking forward to finding them and to be reminded of them.

My cup runneth over!