Wow! I just found 5.00$!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Christmas view

My beautiful view is even better with my Christmas lights!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday in Advent

I recently read- not sure where and that makes me sad- that there is great significance in the unlit candles on the advent wreath too. They represent the darkness of this world. As we prepare our hearts this Advent, we thank Him for the light we have and beseech Him for those still in darkness.

I hope we sing this today!

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Hymn Lyrics

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

My day after Thanksgiving breakfast!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Prayer

Scotty Smith prayer for Thanksgiving

My favorite line

So rise up in us, O living water, unto eternal life. Artesian springs of grace, come forth with such compelling and propelling force that our thanks will overflow the banks of our hearts—like a tsunami of worship and redemption. 

Thank you God, Pilgrims and A Lincoln

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day
October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.  In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.  Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.  Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.   And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
A. Lincoln

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are you a grandfather?

 On November 9th John and Marisa found out that they are having a boy.  Atticus Thomas should join us in March.  We all knew, somewhat the the baby would be a boy.  In Carl's family he is one of six children, one daughter and five sons. Each son had a son first and Carl's sister had a daughter first.  Every family has only one daughter except one.  There are 15 grandchildren-10 grandsons and 5 granddaughters.  As the great-grands are appearing, the males are out numbered 3-2 now but Atticus will make it even, but each firstborn great grand has been a boy.
I was excited, Carl was Carl.

Marisa had a blue onesie in the bag for us to see.

I almost made my facebook status on Wednesday "Today I find out if I will be a grandmother or a grandfather"  but a few weeks ago when Andrew got on my account and ranked my children some folks thought that that was really me.  Really, Really?!?  So I refrained incase that would rock their world or they would try to explain it to me but any way... a grandfather it is  :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do you see needs?

...make a meal for someone, write a thank you or two or three to folks who do things that make your life better- from the garbage man to the piano player at church-the note just needs to say thanks and why you are thankful, make a booklist for a shut in, then get the books they like for them from the library,  pay for the person behind you in the drive through at Starbucks, babysitting, tithing, getting to Sunday School early and helping set up the chairs, take time to speak to folks you usually brush past, let someone get in front of you in the grocery line, make bookmarks for all your friends that read... 

 I could list here a million ways for us to give this Thanksgiving month and some would spur you on and we all need that.  But what we really need is Situational Awareness.  Our hearts and eyes need to be so in-tuned with what is going on around us that the needs of others are so apparent to us that we can't help but be aware of them.  When you are really in-tuned with the needs of others sometime that is a very heart heavy place to be.  I also believe that a need doesn't always mean a call, we need to be discerning, but it would be better to err on the side of giving too much than not enough.

Pray today that the eyes of your heart will be open to see all the needs around you and also for the wisdom to know which ones you are to meet.

Today is the half way point in this month.  I have seen several blogs that are participating in a 30 days of giving challenge, it's not too late for us to start.  Just do two a day!

...give someone who is late to church your hymnal so they don't have to take the time to look it up, let someone in front of you in traffic, smile at all those you see today, rake your neighbors leaves, pick up all the trash on your street, get the email address of a missionary and ask them what they did today and tell them about your life, do another family members chores for the day-without telling them...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Beauty

Kaitlin and I ran some errands recently and she brought my camera.  I love fall.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

do you forget?

The Bible Study that my church has done this fall and will finish in the spring is Maximum Impact by Wayne A, Mack. It is a study on I Corinthians 13.  Honestly, it is not my favorite book that we have studied but the discussion that we have during our small groups has been some of the best ever.

We start our study with a lecture on the topic and then we discuss the questions from that chapter in the book.

Yesterday the lecture was given by Carrie.  It was on the topics of 'Love is not provoked' and 'Love keeps no record of wrongs'.  Outstanding.  She shared many wonderful things but the one that I have been pondering is that-if love keeps no record of wrongs and we should forgive, do we forget?  Her thoughts were, that no we don't.  And her answer to our tendency to keep reminding ourselves of the wrongs done to us is to keep remembering all that Jesus has done for us.  Her tag line was 'to forget, keep remembering'.  I love that.  I need that. It made me think of putting on the full armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-20.  I need the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace on my feet, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of truth.  Her talk made me realize that but putting on the armor of God, it will protected me from all the 'wrong remembering' that satan wants me to do.

Get yourselves ready for the day.

Grab your Sword.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Something to think about!

I love reading newspapers.  If we travel and they pile up, it is heavenly to me to sit down with a stack and read through them.

I was recently reading in the USAtoday about things that are left in motel rooms.

Do you know what is the most frequently left object in a motel room??

cel phone charger-  I understand that

Do you know what is the second most frequently left object???

Are you ready?

False teeth.  False Teeth?

Wouldn't you know if you didn't have your teeth in????

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Luther's doctrine of vocation  by Gene Edward Veith.  Great article.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time for reflection

Reflections  we all need.  This really challenged me.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chopped, Project Runway and Fences

This was my view as I sat in Andrew and Taylor's house working on their scrapbook.  You are looking through their Savannah room (aka screened-in back porch) out to their back yard.  Their yard backs up to green space.  As I sat here for a few days and savored the view, I pondered life with a fence or without.

When my mother was living and able she would often come and stay two weeks at a time with us.  She usually came with an agenda for how she wanted to help me.  She would dust all my ceiling fans and base boards or take care of all the laundry for two weeks.  On several occasions she mended everything in my mending pile.  For every visit she would bathe the children and put all manner of baby powder on them.  She even had special towels that she bought, I think they were called bath sheets, so she could get powder on the grandchild and then cover them all up to get them warm.

She set a high bar for visiting motherness and grandmotherness.

Because of my back I will not be able to follow exactly in her footsteps.  Sometimes that makes me sad.

Limitations- I don't like them.

As I sat looking at the beautifulness of A and T's backyard, I realized that the fence next door is really beautiful also.  It limits some of the view but there is protection there too.  I can't see into the backyard next door, there could be a wonderful junglegym or swingset or a tent or a picnic table with a party going on.

What am I going to do with my limitations?   I need to stop banging up against the beautiful fence and stop and see the beauty around me.  I need to take stock of all that I have been given and not complain about what I don't have or can't do.

There is a TV show on the Food Channel called Chopped.  The contestants are given a basket with four, usually unusual, ingredients.  They must cook a meal using their four ingredients in a limited amount of time.  They also have a well stocked pantry at their disposal.  It is interesting to watch the thinking process of the contestants, some get panicked, some know about their ingredients, some know similar ingredients and some when they don't know what to do they make excuses.

The series Project Runway also reminds me of Chopped but with clothes designers.  They are given limitations with their garments and we watch to see what will they be able to produce.

I think we like these shows is because they, to a point, mirror life.  We are all given limitations- health, money, jobs, surroundings, singleness, rough marriage, family that doesn't get along, and the list can go on and on and on.

What are you going to do with your limitations?   We all have them!  Some folks don't think so.  They are quick to tell you about theirs but don't believe you when you say you have them too. The people I enjoy the most don't complain about theirs all the time.  Sometimes we need to share our struggles but just not all the time!

One antidote for our limitations I am realizing more and more is gratitude. When I stop and realize all that I do have then I get my eyes off of what I think I don't have. Kaitlin and I were talking about our limitations and she was struck with the story in Acts 16 about Paul and Silas.  They were in jail, they had unwashed wounds from being beaten, their feet were in stocks, I mean talk about some limitations and yet what were they doing...singing hymns and praying. Wow!  God the creator can use our limitations to bring salvation to others.

 Count your blessings, name them one by one!  I am thankful for so many things

My Salvation
My husband-he is amazing
My children that I birthed and others that are in and have been in our nest
My friends
My back- I am having to be like the designers on Project Runway working with my limitations and what am I going to produce?  Do I want you to say oh yea, Ellen, she had the back problem or Oh Ellen, didn't she embrace life?!?

Here's to embracing life- go make something beautiful today!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Random thoughts

 Some good thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street  movement

Putting good and right things on your to-do list

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Roswell, New Mexico

picture of hot stone massage but not me because of the hair, you will learn about that soon enough.
While Kaitlin and I were in Santa Fe, we got a hot stone massage.  Oh, my! I got chills as I wrote that down.  It was wonderful.

We made our appointment on Sunday and were given a tour of the spa area.  Monday at 220 we made our way down from our room to the spa.  Soon we were wrapped in thick robes and resting in the relaxation room. Picture a room where the lights are dim, lavender is a faint but wonderful smell, the sounds you hear are a quiet water fall and enya music being played.

 We saw a woman that looked really strange, her hair and her eyes, there was something not right about this woman. She was wandering around the relaxation room. I thought that since we were in NM that maybe she had wandered in from area 54 and had seen an alien.  No lie, she looked really spacey!

We soon met our masseuses and were ushered back to our room.  Our massage lasted an hour and a half.  It was a hot stone massage plus we threw in a scalp and foot massage.  Words can't describe.  My only complaint was that I had to walk when it was over.  I needed a gurney to wheel me right up to bed.

I do have one more complaint.  My hair.

I didn't brush out the hair spray before the scalp massage.  As she massaged my scalp, my hair grew and grew and grew.  It didn't help any that I was on my tummy with my head face down in the loop that holds your head on a masseuses table.  Kaitlin gasped when she saw my hair.  The masseuses took a step back from me.  There is no picture on record of it because we were encouraged to not bring any valuables down with us.  Let me just say you are either very sad or very happy there is no picture.  When I finally saw myself in a mirror I died laughing- it was wild.  When we got back to the dressing room we were looking for a bag for me to put over my head because we had to walk back into the motel to get on the elevators to get to our room.  We found brushes and other accoutrements that we might need after a massage and did as much as we could with my hair, inbetween fits of laughter.

When we calmed down just a bit and saw ourselves in the mirror, we also noticed that our eyes looked just like area 54 lady.  She hadn't seen an alien but was just really relaxed.

As we walked out of the relaxation room for the last time we saw a lady in a big comfy robe.  We knew what she was in for.  We told her that we had just had a massage and that she was in for a treat.  We realized very quickly that she didn't make eye contact with us and hurried past us.  Yup!  We had the area 54 look plus my hair didn't help any either.  In a few short minutes she will be joining our ranks, she just doesn't know it yet.

Below is what my hair looked like!

picture from google images of Phyllis Diller

I didn't have on a head band but you get the idea!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Funroes in Albuquerque

 Albuquerque is just a fun word to spell!  So after several days of meetings we left and drove the hour down the road to Albuquerque.  We had about 24 hours here.  This first picture is out our motel window.  Beautiful mountains.
 One thing Kaitlin learned on this trip is that my camera has an auto timer and will take three pictures in a row.  I won't bore you with all the pictures but here is one we got Carl in.

Kaitlin and I were sitting in the lobby of our motel in Santa Fe, just enjoying the beautiful architecture when someone told us to go outside and have a good time.  We smiled and then said to each other we can have fun in a mud puddle.
 There is lots of sky in NM and we took a million cloud pictures.
 Carl travels a lot.  When you travel with Carl you don't check your bags.  You just don't.  Also, he doesn't like to eat at chain restaurants so he finds places on or urbanspoon or food network link to driveins, diners and dives.  My brother Charles' rule is at least 7 cars at a restaurant before he'll eat there and I have a new one- windows-, It must have windows!  Some places Carl picks out I refuse to eat at so he usually presents me with options.  I'll soon do a whole post on where we ate but here is one place.  It was good Southern food.  We had breakfast there.  We were the only tourists.  How do I know that?  Everyone in the place knew everyone else but us.  But they were welcoming to us.  They didn't even ask if I wanted chillies in my eggs !!
 After breakfast we went to the Balloon Museum.  Below are pictures made in a photo spot inside.  I think they portray our personalities well.
what am I doing up here!

look how cool it looks from up here!

yawn, oh well, another day in a hot air balloon

 Have you heard about the balloon races in Albuquerque?  Have you ever wondered why they are there.  This pictures tells you why.  I never knew.  The mountains from the first pictures are the mountains that help make up the box.  Very interesting!  The museum was very fascinating and I highly recommend it.
 When the big area is not used for balloons it is a putting green.  Here is a big picture window that looks out on the staging area for the balloon festival.
downtown Albuquerque

There are a few tall buildings here.  
It was a great trip.  It was fun to laugh with Carl and Kaitlin.  It was good to see Carl's world so I know how to pray for him.  It was mind blowing to think that the terrain changes so much just a few states over from us.  Travel is fun but I agree with Dorothy 'There's no place like home'

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Santa Fe or Red, Green or Christmas?

Kaitlin and I went on a business trip with Carl to Santa Fe.  If you are flying to Santa Fe, you generally fly into Albuquerque and drive to Santa Fe- who knew?  So we flew into Albuquerque and drove.

I love State Capitol buildings and here I am at New Mexico's.  It is rather hidden and doesn't announce it presence like most others. 
 This is the fall color in NM we saw no red.
 Carl and Kaitlin in front of the capitol.  See how hidden it is?
 boots from NM
 Our motel.  Doesn't it look cool?  It is five stories high.  There are no tall buildings in Santa Fe.  This was one of the tallest.  It was very cool.  Some of you know that our room had two bathrooms!  Did you really catch that? TWO bathrooms!  Kaitlin and I were very impressed, although I felt a little like the Clampets.

Next are pictures of the group we got to hang with for some of our time in Santa Fe.  They are some of the spouses that also came on the trip.  Here is Kay from Connecticut 

Kathleen from Dallas and Dan from Oklahoma 

Kaitlin with Marleen from Florida

Here is Kaitlin with her Hot Dog Mike shirt on by the sign marking the end of the Santa Fe Trail.  This marker is in the Plaza in Santa Fe-the heart of the city.  Just this year I have been to the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail and now here is the end.  Do you know where the beginning of the trail is?
Just to the north of The Plaza is where the native Americans set up their wares.  We had a great time looking and talking to the artists that made all the beautiful articles that we saw.  Very neat.

We had a great trip and saw lots of very interesting things.  I don't think I could live in NM because I don't eat peppers on everything.  Red, green or Christmas-mixed- is how one waiter asked if we wanted our peppers.  I finally learned to ask for them on the side even at breakfast!  My most interesting meal was for one breakfast we ate at  Cafe Pasqual's  I had Huevos Motulenos.  It was a corn tortilla with feta, black beans, egg, banana and green peas.  It was very good!

More on Albuquerque tomorrow
Santa Fe trail starts in Independence, MO  as does the Oregon Trail- do you have that tune stuck in your head from the computer game about the Oregon Trail now?  yea, me too, sorry


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