Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
DH is home on break until January 10th. He'll be busy working in the new shop. His teenage nephew is supposed to be helping today - - DH decided to put OSB (chipboard) on the wall instead of drywall (OSB will take more abuse and it's a lot cheaper). The 4 x 8 sheets of OSB are heavy and cumbersome and not a good job for one person. So, hopefully, his strapping young nephew will be a blessing.
DD desperately wants to stay home to "help" Daddy. Alas, she's going to play all day with her friends at daycare. DH picked her up early yesterday so they could spend some time together. He made the BEST scalloped potatoes & ham for supper last night. I had two helpings and took the leftovers to work today (I don't need to refrigerate them, I can just sit them in my office - - hee hee).
I made bread pudding for Christmas day brunch, but no one really wanted to try it. I even had mixed berries and homemade whip cream to go on top. So, we've been enjoying that treat for a couple days - - YUMM! I also tried a new egg casserole recipe (that calls for 18 eggs!) and it was light and fluffy; I added diced ham, shredded monterey & cheddar, and shredded smoked swiss on top. It was a hit!
Monday, December 25, 2006
This morning, DH and I were up before six and sat in front of the fire sipping coffee before the chaos started. DD woke up and opened presents from Santa, Mommy & Daddy & Grammy D. Daddy made her an easel - - she loved it!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Illustration: “Let There Be Light” sung by Point of Grace
I compare the verses of this beautiful song to a story in Isaiah (Chapters 8 and 9): The horizon looked dark and bleak in the eyes of Isaiah, wondering if this would be the end of his people as he voiced a message of doom and destruction. Darkness as black as pitch prevailed upon the land through the sin of the people and the coming judgment by the hand of God.
Isaiah 8:21-22 They will pass through it hard pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward. 22 Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness.
Our hope at Christmas time is usually built upon the tangible things we expect or want to happen. But the Bible never allows a person of God to build their hope upon the likes of man but upon the unchanging nature of God Himself.
Where is your hope today? Is it wrapped up in the expectations of the holiday happenings or a gift under the tree? Or is it lost in the darkness that surrounds your life?
By all appearances there was no hope in the days of Isaiah. The nation was quickly coming to an end. But out of the darkness a voice was heard that spoke of the light of hope that would touch the very soul of man. It was the hope of Christmas!
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
A Child would be born and given to bring hope into the hearts and lives of the hopeless. This Child was the "Light of the World" and He came to pierce the darkness that we might live. The Child of Hope is Jesus! The One whose birth, our hope, we celebrate at Christmas.
It was Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, who prophesied of the light of the Christ Child.
Luke 1:79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.
The coming of Christmas is filled with the wonder, counsel and peace of hope that exceeds our expectations and lifts us from our darkness into the Light of Christ.
Christmas Hope is Wonderful
Christmas is wonderful! In other words Christmas is full of wonder. And it is more than, "Wonder what I'm getting?" It is a wonder that exceeds the minds of men and women for it is composed in the miraculous.
This wonderful hope comes to distinguish itself from the empty hope in the world.
This wonderful hope comes to accomplish in our lives what man cannot.
This wonderful hope is incomprehensible but available.
It is the psalmist who expresses to God that His works of wonder are many (Psalm 40:5). Today we have in our world and hopefully in our hearts the most wonderful work of God, salvation through Christ. This is the wonder of Christmas for Jesus came to save us.
He came to save us from . . .
The wages of sin ... death. (Romans 6:23)
Everlasting punishment ... hell. (Matthew 25:46)
He came to save us for . . .
A heavenly home ... heaven. (John 14:2-3)
A heavenly inheritance ... reserved in heaven. (1 Peter 1:4)
The apostle Paul reminds us that we were once people without hope . . . but we are people who need to know the hope of the calling of Christ to save us from our sins and know the hope of our calling to salvation. The wonderful hope of Christmas comes to accomplish what we cannot ... salvation. Christmas is wonderfully hopeful!
Christmas Hope is Counseling
It seems like never before a greater number of people are seeking out a counselor of one sort or another. You can now attend counseling sessions and self help groups for most anything that troubles you. It is all a sign of hopeless lives in need of the good Word.
Jesus as the Counselor and the Hope of Christmas comes to give . . .
Counsel that is deliberately designed to resolve our problem.
Counsel that is good advice for everyday living.
Counsel that guides and gives us purpose in life.
Jesus has the Spirit of Counsel upon him (Isaiah 11:2) and He speaks the words of eternal life. We must seek His counsel concerning the issues of life.
The hope of Christmas comes as the Counselor that speaks to us in our moments of despair to look to Jesus.
Christmas Hope is Peaceful
Fear, stress, confusion and heartache are the trademarks of our day because of an absence of peace. And they seem to be enlarged in this season of hope, love, joy and peace.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Through the wonder and counsel of Christmas Hope we find peace through the Prince of Peace.
Real peace . . .
Peace that brings healing and health to our fragmented lives. (Isaiah 53:5)
Peace that brings about a prosperity by the hand of God. (3 John 1:2)
Peace that brings the assurance of the past-present-future of life. (Hebrews 6:11)
Peace that brings restoration by making amends. (Acts 3:19-21)
When we have peace with God through Jesus Christ, we have peace with ourselves (Philippians 4:7) and others (Romans 5:1). Christmas peace is a great gift to give and receive through Christ.
This Christmas, wrap your hope in the wonderful counsel of peace that Christ brings to our lives by the hand of our Mighty God and Everlasting Father. I invite you to know the wonder, counsel, and peace that only Christ can give. Today, I want to give you the gift of Jesus Christ, the Savior. Will you invite Him into your heart and accept His gifts of mercy and salvation? Will you turn from the darkness and seek the light of Christ?
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Last night was "give each other crazy hairstyle" night and I conveniently had a late meeting in town. Here's one hairstyle:
Yes, those are pipe cleaners and jingle bells in her hair! We get quite creative with the art supply box.I've been forbidden to reveal DH's darling 'do (he stated it was grounds for the big D) . . . I'll just let you use your imagination and tell you that I about peed my pants when I found the picture he took of himself!
Saturday, December 02, 2006
(Blogger won't show the "add photo" button - - will try again later) Edited: the buttons finally mysteriously re-appeared! Woo hoo!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
2. Christmas in Conrad celebration
We've had some really crazy weather here lately - - 64 and sunny on Monday. It was great because the chickens thought they needed to lay eggs again (you go, girls!). Today it's 28 and overcast and wet - - yuck! And, you guessed it, the hens have not laid one egg today! I would love to just get some real snow! You know, "the weather outside is frightful/but the fire inside's delightful/but since we've nowhere to go/let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" kind of snow? Bring it on!
Very sad news today. Our long-time (14+ years) Main Street director passed away after two years battling with cancer. She was well-respected and loved in our little community and I hope you will pray for her family.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Warmth . . . togetherness . . . home
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Go ahead, give one a try. You might actually enjoy it!
I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to pick up the knitting needles, ball of yarn and two pages of instructions my mom gave me two years ago. I'm hopeless when it comes to written instructions and diagrams. I need someone to show me. My mom's a wonderful crafter (she knits, crochets, cross-stitch) and she passed down some of those crafty genes. But I lack patience (and a full-time private tutor). So I asked some ladies at work to show me how to knit and/or crochet. That's next week's project!
Obviously, I'm already missing gardening season. I've been working on next year's garden plan, studying the ISU Extension website for hints and ideas, and trying to remember all that I've learned (*mistakes I've made*) from my previous years' gardens. Because my garden will be substantially smaller next year - - due to DH's new building being located on top of 70% of my previous garden and because I just don't have time to maintain a huge garden - - I need to grow more efficiently and effectively next year. I'm planning more successive crops (after the peas are done, I plant tomatoes in their place, and then peas after the tomatoes are done), much more mulch (put all the grass clippings to good use), and installing a water collection and drip irrigation system (less water waste). I also need to be more open minded about actually eating the food I grow (still haven't convinced myself to cook the butternut squash that is sitting out in the garage). The challenge of eating locally and in season has actually been more fun than chore. Even though the potatoes we froze were awful, the potatoes that I put in the garage are wonderful, so I use those when I can. It absolutely kills me to buy frozen corn, beans & peas!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
What a lazy weekend. This is the first time in a VERY long time that we did absolutely nothing! We had a birthday party Friday night. I slept in Saturday and I did not clean a thing, nor did I do one stitch of laundry (I'll pay for that later this week). DH was in bed by 8:00 pm Saturday night. To church this morning and "visiting" relatives this afternoon. Very boring we are...