Monday, December 31, 2012

Bigger than me days, in a row!

Now normally when I have a Bigger Than Me Day, I share it with you. I believe that talking to others does help, plus I think it is good for everyone to know... that we all have those days that seem bigger than us! My problem for the past week or so, is that I have had a few of those Bigger Than Me Days in a row and I feel in some way that I am under water and not able to come up for air. I keep waiting for someone to grab me and get me to the top for air...when in reality...I realize I have to get there all by myself!
Some of the things I have been struggling with...I really can't blog about. Usually I can share some of it as long as I don't get too personal but some of it, I still can't share. Some of it can, and that is the little bit I will talk about tonight. I have recently found out that in a family( that I know), has had abuse in it. One of the children ( now adults ) came out with it over the holidays, and I have been in close touch with the victim and the family members.
Now you may be thinking...but Lynn, don't you counsel quite often with victims of abuse? Yes, I do. But normally I don't really know the people very well, they are usually friends with someone that I know. This time was different, I know this whole family and it breaks my heart. I had suspected it for years but...when the reality really hits, it is hard. Why is it hard for me this time? Well, sometimes there are certain things in their stories of abuse that are very close to what I experienced. When it hits too close, those are called triggers and.... some times I get my nightmares back, or other physical illnesses that I used to have. Isn't it amazing that the mind is that powerful, to trigger those things with our bodies? This definitely proves the whole MIND/BODY connection!
Then on top of all that I got hit in my new car, not a lot of damage to the car... but enough. Plus, my neck hasn't stopped hurting so...being in pain hasn't helped my perspective either. But I know that there is something to learn in each of these experiences....so that is what I am going to try to do...understand and learn more. Thanks for your patience, for those of you who kow a bit more...thanks for your prayers. It was a tough Christmas, beautiful in many ways and  yet tough. I think I am ready for a New Year to start! :)
Good night dear friends!
( These are some quotes I need to have taped on my mirror )
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Friday, December 28, 2012

A few Bigger than Me Days in a row!

The past week has been really tough, I can' talk about it right now.
 Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you!
 Life is tough sometimes, and some times we have to go through multiple things at the same time. That is the hardest for me. But I am not giving up...just wishing things would change for the better soon!
Good night dear friends!
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas memories!

I have promised myself for the past year, to let our family take more photos. In the past, I have always avoided them and realize that those are our memories and good or not...we need to document them. So here we go, this is what the Woodards look like first thing on Christmas morning. Half asleep, no make up, bed head hair and some funny outfits but... hey it's Christmas morning. Here are some of our highlights
 I recieved from Jeff a movie called Dolphin Tale... it is a story of a dolphin who gets a prosthetic, it made us all laugh. I actually heard it was a great movie... I am sure I will be able to relate!
 Lauren had her two roommates come for Christmas. Neither could make it home for Christmas, and so we had a couple more stockings that appeared ( plus presents ) on Christmas morning! Look at those cute stockings! ( I didn't make the 2 on the left but a dear friend did )
Jenny had more fun opening Lee's gifts than her's. She opened Lee's ping pong paddle from his brother Brad. It is an inside joke ( those guys are always competing ... in a good way!)

Here is Jenny kissing yet another dinosaur that she got from Lee. How many dinosaurs can a kid want?


Here's Poppa and Angie. Poppa is sure proud of his Christmas tie Angie and Jenny got him, it even plays music ( that will go over well in church )! :)
All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. We missed Brad, Krystal and Kai, but we were grateful that they arrived safely to Michigan and got to spend Christmas with some of her family. The rest of the day was watching movies, reading books, phone calls to family and friends and just vegging! 2012 will be a Christmas to remember in many ways...some I can mention and some I can not. Still we are grateful to have enjoyed such another wonderful Christmas season. Grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, for His Life and His Example. That knowledge is what brings us happiness every day!
Good night dear friends!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Love this story!

Merry Christmas dear friends! Loved this sweet story. Children seem to understand the real meaning of Christmas more than many of us! Good night dear friends!

I Hope Someone Will Love Her

When my son was three years old and my daughter was four, they were part of a neighborhood preschool group. That winter those of us in charge of the group decided to do a Christmas project that included having each child donate a toy to a needy family. We taught many lessons in the preceding weeks about how gratitude and sharing with others make us happy. I told my children to start thinking about which toys they would like to give, wanting them to have the experience of choosing what to give. Our family finances were limited, and I was curious which of their few toys they would be willing to part with.
One Saturday morning I told the children it was time to select their donation. I helped Hunter wrap the truck he had chosen and then went to see how Mikelle was doing. The scene I witnessed from the doorway of her room brought tears to my eyes.
Mikelle was holding her favorite doll, Mella, dressed in her best doll clothing, and she was singing to her. Then she tucked a small blanket into the bottom of a gift bag. She smiled at the doll, hugged and kissed her, and lovingly placed her in the bag. Seeing me, she said, “Mella’s all ready, Mom. I hope someone will love her.”
Knowing how my daughter felt about this doll, I was stunned she was giving her away. I almost wanted to tell Mikelle she didn’t have to give up her favorite doll, but I stopped myself.
“She understands giving,” I thought. “She is giving her very best.”
Suddenly I recognized that part of me was willing to give and share but not at too great a personal sacrifice. I had placed limits on my charity, and I knew I needed to change.
I thought of how Heavenly Father gave up His only perfect Son and allowed Him to suffer and die for me. I pictured a loving Father in Heaven kissing His Beloved Son and sending Him to earth as a baby, hoping that we would love and follow Him.
The Savior Himself held nothing back and gave everything He had to give.
I wondered if Mikelle would change her mind before the Christmas program, when the toys were to be donated, but she did not. I wondered if she would later regret her choice and feel sad, but she did not.
Seeing my daughter’s Christlike example, I decided that whether I have much or little to give, I would always cheerfully give my best when I have an opportunity to share.
Brittney Pyne

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A stronger Power



"With the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment—a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. This child was to become the King of kings and Lord of lords, the promised Messiah—Jesus Christ, the Son of God."— Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A little child should lead thee...

Loved this story...so true! Good night dear friends!
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It was just a few more days until Christmas in San Francisco, and the shopping downtown was starting to get to us. I remember crowds of people waiting impatiently for slow-moving buses and streetcars on those little cement islands in the middle of the street. Most of us were loaded down with packages, and it looked like many of us were beginning to wonder if all those countless friends and relatives actually deserved so many gifts in the first place. This was not the Christmas spirit I'd been raised with.

When I finally found myself virtually shoved up the steps of a jammed streetcar, the idea of standing there packed like a sardine the whole way home was almost more than I could take. What I would have given for a seat! I must have been in some kind of exhausted daze because as people gradually got off, it took me a while to notice that there was room to breathe again.

Then I saw something out of the corer of my eye. A small, dark-skinned boy, he couldn't have been more than five or six, tugged on a woman's sleeve and asked, "Would you like a seat?" He quietly led her to the closest free seat he could find. Then he set out to find another tired person. As soon as each rare, new seat became available, he would quickly move through the crowd in search of another burdened woman who desperately needed to rest her feet.

When I finally felt the tug on my own sleeve, I was absolutely dazzled by the beauty in this little boy's eyes. He took my hand, saying, "Come with me," and I think I'll remember that smile as long as I live. As I happily placed my heavy load of packages on the floor, the little emissary of love immediately turned to help his next subject.

The people on the streetcar, as usual, had been studiously avoiding each other's eyes, but now they began to exchange shy glances and smiles. A businessman offered a section of newspaper to the stranger next to him; three people stooped to return a gift that had tumbled to the floor. And now people were speaking to one another. That little boy had tangibly changed something, we all relaxed into a subtle feeling of warmth and actually enjoyed the trip through the final stops along the route.

I didn't notice when the child got off. I looked up at one point and he was gone. When I reached my stop I practically floated off that streetcar, wishing the driver a happy holiday, noticing the sparkling Christmas lights on my street in a fresh, new way. Or maybe I was seeing them in an old way, with the same open wonder I felt when I was five or six. I thought, "So that's what they mean by And a little child shall lead them...."  Written by Beverly M. Bartlett
"Somehow not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to make you glad."
John Greenleaf Whittier

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Family Christmas Dinner!

I think I am just going to share the photos from my Family Christmas Dinner I had, while in Utah with my family. Today was a Bigger Than Me Day so I don't have a ton of positive thoughts running through my head, to be honest with you.
This morning right after my adjustment from the chiropractor...(which I badly needed after the trip) and then a massage...(which I also needed badly...) someone backed into my brand new car and did damage. Not to mention made my neck start hurting again. So I really shouldn't write when I am hurting... I am not bad, it wasn't a serious accident at all but still...I don't want to hurt any more, and my I had only driven my car about 3 times!
Anyway, let's just talk about the dinner...
   
        
   We were able to get all 5 of us kids and most of our spouses together. Plus, my cousin and his wife came too. (He is on the left of me.) My youngest brother and sister-in-law brought 2 of their kids, so they and Aunt Lynn got to hang out together. I really feel like they are my grandchildren. These two kids were born after my Mom passed away so ...I have tried hard to fill the void that she left. That is tough to do, because she was an amazing grandmother.

It was fun seeing everyone and afterwards we did a White Elephant Gift Exchange, that was a lot of fun. So the food was catered in and wonderful, the Christmas music was playing  in the air and it was snowing outside...what a wonderful night. I am grateful that they sent me a ticket to come for the Christmas festivities. I felt blessed to be there. It truly was a great Christmas gift this year!
Of course any time Shirley and I are together...it is just like Christmas!
Christmas Fulfillment

This Christmas,
may you have the fulfillment
of seeing around you
the people you love the most.
May you have the satisfaction
of giving the best gift,
special memories that will last forever.
This Christmas,
may you feel peaceful and contented,
knowing what Christmas means to you
and celebrating it your way.

By Joanna Fuchs

 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I am still the Light!

I recieved this poem from a dear friend and was so touch, thought it was a wonderful thing to share tonight!
Good night dear friends!
 Newton school shooting: Cheryl Girardi, of Middletown, Conn., kneels beside 26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. IMAGE
Powerful poem….
Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring:
Those children all flew into the arms of their King,
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe,Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!
May this country be delivered from the hands of fools
I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

There is Christmas in the Air!

I loved being in my sister-in-laws house for Christmas this year. This is a new home for them and she had fun decorating it. I thought you would enjoy the photos. I also found a great Christmas story for tonight.

It’s Christmas Night

It’s Christmas Night
By Max Lucado
It’s Christmas night. The house is quiet. Even the crackle is gone from the fireplace. Warm coals issue a lighthouse glow in the darkened den. Stockings hang empty on the mantle. The tree stands naked in the corner. Christmas cards, tinsel, and memories remind Christmas night of Christmas day.
It’s Christmas night. What a day it has been! Spiced tea. Santa Claus. Cranberry sauce. “Thank you, so much.” “You shouldn’t have!” “Grandma is on the phone.” Knee-deep wrapping paper. “It just fits.” Flashing cameras. It’s Christmas night. The girls are in bed. Jenna dreams of her talking Big Bird and clutches her new purse. Andrea sleeps in her new Santa pajamas. It’s Christmas night. The tree that only yesterday grew from soil made of gifts, again grows from the Christmas tree stand. Presents are now possessions. Wrapping paper is bagged and in the dumpsite. The dishes are washed and leftover turkey awaits next week’s sandwiches.
It’s Christmas night. The last of the carolers appeared on the ten o’clock news. The last of the apple pie was eaten by my brother-in-law. And the last of the Christmas albums have been stored away having dutifully performed their annual rendition of chestnuts, white Christmases, and red-nosed reindeer.
It’s Christmas night.
The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I’m awake. I’m kept awake by one stunning thought. The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed. The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stop watches and weapons. We stepped off our racetracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the star of Bethlehem.
It’s the season to be jolly because, more than at any other time, we think of him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips. And the result? For a few precious hours our heavenly yearnings intermesh and we become a chorus. A ragtag chorus of longshoremen, Boston lawyers, illegal immigrants, housewives, and a thousand other peculiar persons who are banking that Bethlehem’s mystery is in reality, a reality. “Come and behold him” we sing, stirring even the sleepiest of shepherds and pointing them toward the Christ-child.
For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him. People who have been accustomed to using his name in vain, pause to use it in praise. Eyes, now free of the blinders of self, marvel at his majesty. All of a sudden he’s everywhere. In the grin of the policeman as he drives his paddy wagon full of presents to the orphanage.
In the twinkle in the eyes of the Taiwanese waiter as he tells of his upcoming Christmas trip to see his children. In the emotion of the father who is too thankful to finish the dinner table prayer. He’s in the tears of the mother as she welcomes home her son from overseas. He’s in the heart of the man who spent Christmas morning on skid row giving away cold baloney sandwiches and warm wishes. And he’s in the solemn silence of the crowd of shopping mall shoppers as the elementary school chorus sings “Away in a Manger.” Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near.
It’s Christmas night. In a few hours the cleanup will begin — lights will come down, trees will be thrown out. Size 36 will be exchanged for size 40, eggnog will be on sale for half-price. Soon life will be normal again. December’s generosity will become January’s payments and the magic will begin to fade. But for the moment, the magic is still in the air. Maybe that’s why I’m still awake. I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld him today will look for him next August. And I can’t help but linger on one fanciful thought: if he can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could he do if we thought of him every day?
So true, what a wonderful thought!
Good night dear friends!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Light of Christ


Oh Little Town of Bethlehem


'Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem' was penned by a priest called Philip Brooks. He was inspired and overwhelmed by his visit to the town of Bethlehem in 1865. He wrote the song three years later for his church. The organist of his church, known as Lewis Redner, composed its music.

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

“He who gives money gives some, he who gives time gives more, and he who gives of himself gives all."    ― Thomas S. Monson


Where was God?

This is soooooooooooo worth watching .... go HERE: to see Where was God during the tradgedy last week?
Good night dear friends!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Candy Maker's Witness

 

Just got home from my trip to Utah, to visit with my family. What a wonderful 6 days it was. I think it was just what my soul needed. I have been missing them and that feeling always gets stronger during the holiday season. So I am very grateful for that early Christmas gift!
Another gift that I recieved today, was that of meeting a new friend on my flight home. We sat next to each other and the two hour trip home, just flew by. I was amazed at her strength and strong spirit. Her life had not been easy or fair, and those things could have truly made her bitter and sad... but she wasn't. She was definitely one of those half FULL type of people and within that 2 hours together, she made me want to be a better person. Now that is the type of friend that everyone should have!
It was good to get home and go on my Date Night with Jeff, we missed last night since I wasn't here. I do love that guy. Almost 35 years since we first met, and still I could hardly wait to go out with him tonight!    
Found this sweet story about how and why Candy Canes were made. I wonder if I do enough in my life to let others know how much I love and honor my Savior? I admired this person's testimony.
Good night dear friends! 

A Candy Maker's Witness

Author: Unknown
A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; and hard to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Saviour. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scouring Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as a candy cane - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear". I pray that this symbol will again be used to witness to the WONDER OF JESUS AND HIS GREAT LOVE that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominate force in the universe today.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Spirit!

Tonight was our family Christmas Dinner and Party. I don't have the photos yet, so I will share with you one of my favorite Christmas poems. This is why I want Christmas to be celebrated all year long. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we did?
Good night dear friends!

I am the Christmas Spirit

I enter the home of poverty, causing pale-faced children to open their eyes wide, in pleased wonder/
I cause the miser's clutched hand to relax and thus paint a bright spot on his soul.
I cause the aged to renew their youth and to laugh in the old glad way.
I keep romance alive in the heart of childhood, and brighten sleep with dreams woven of magic.
I cause the eager feet to climb dark stairways with filled baskets, leaving behind hearts amazed at the goodness of the world.
I cause the prodigal to pause a moment of his wild, wasteful way and send to anxious love some little token that releases glad tears--tears which wash away the hard times of sorrow.
I enter dark prison cells, reminding scarred manhood of what might have been and pointing forward to good days yet to be.
I come softly into the still, white home of pain, and lips that are too weak to speak just tremble in silent, eloquent gratitude.
In a thousand ways, I cause the weary world to look up into the face of God, and for a littlee moment forget the things that are small and wretched.
I am the Christmas Spirit!  ~ E.C. Baird

"The real Christmas comes to him who has taken Christ into his life as a moving, dynamic, vitalizing force. The real spirit of Christmas lies in the life and mission of the Master....

"If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments" ~ Howard W. Hunter

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Polar Express Cousin Party

The reason that I didn't write last night was because we were working all day and nearly all night to get everything ready for the Polar Express Cousin Party at Shirley's house, with her kids and grandkids. I don't know who had more fun, the kids or Shirley and I preparing it. We all got new and matching Christmas PJ's. So when the kids arrived they got to get one package  under the tree and open it...you guessed ...new PJ's.



Then after everyone got on their PJ's, then it was off to the kitchen for a Christmas Brunch. Which was mini pancakes, fruit and juice... on Christmas plates of course.


Then we had the girls line up and we gave them a ticket for the Polar Express, then I put on the conductor hat, they came down the stairs and I punched their tickets and lead them down the path to the movie theater room. There they sat and ate their little cheerios necklace that we made them. Then new the end of the movie when Santa gives the little boy a jingle bell...we gave each of them a jingle bell of their own.




This was the best little party ever. I love my nieces and nephews... now to be a part of their children's lives is a great blessing. What a wonderful Christmas to me this trip was.

Here are all those sweet cousins...how I hope that some day I can do the same for all of my grandkids. Cousins can be a great help in life. Yes, what a great Christmas season this already is!
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."  ~ Burton Hillis

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Santa's Team!

 
I know I have shared this story before but...this is one of my favorite Christmas stories! I hope you
 enjoy it.
Today Shirley and I got up early and headed for SLC where she had a tennis match with her Tennis team. I wore my sweatsuit and tennis shoes like everyone else, except everyone else played and I just sat on my cushion and watched! At one point I started to feel sorry for myself. When some of the ladies wanted to know what team I was on and when I was playing, I realized then that it made me feel bad. I used to play tennis in my late teen and early twenties years. I loved playing tennis. I never had a lesson or anything, but still I was able to keep a decent volley going, when I did play.
Not long after I got that sad feeling in my heart, I noticed my thoughts. I couldn't believe how down I started to feel and how sorry I was feeling about not being able to play tennis. I quickly realized that I had a choice...to sit there and continue to feel sad, or I could count my lucky stars AGAIN that I am here in Utah, with Shirley and having just a wonderful break away! I realized how many many things I had to be thankful for and guess what....? I started feeling better. Positive Mental Attitude...is no small thing! But it sure is one VITAL thing.
So after the matches, we went and spent the rest of the day shopping...what fun! I love to look at all the Christmas decorations in all the stores. I love that they are all playing Christmas music, everyone just seems to be so happy! I love it! I love my Sis!
Good night dear friends,and please take time to read this neat story!
On Santa's Team

My grandma taught me everything about Christmas. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," jeered my sister. "Even dummies know that!"
My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.
"No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun.
"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.
"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.
I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough; but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat.
I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. I didn't see a price tag, but ten dollars ought to buy anything. I put the coat and my ten-dollar bill on the counter and pushed them toward the lady behind it.
She looked at the coat, the money, and me. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" she asked kindly. "Yes," I replied shyly. "It's ... for Bobbie. He's in my class, and he doesn't have a coat." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it ... Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.
Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.
Suddenly, Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."
I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell twice and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie. He looked down, looked around, picked up his present, took it inside and closed the door.
Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: Ridiculous!
Santa was alive and well ... AND WE WERE ON HIS TEAM!
Author unknown

Monday, December 10, 2012

You have my heart for Christmas!

Big snow storm hit last night, it was beautiful to wake up to this morning. Not to mention that they had stero surround sound put throughout the whole house. Waking up to that Christmas music in the air was great. Jeff told me we can have that in our house too, if I was willing to carry around my radio where ever I go. He is too funny!
Shirley and basically shopped most of the day for a Christmas Party they are having tonight. The roads were bad but she got a new car and seemed to have a lot of confidence...maybe too much. There is a road close to her home called SUICIDE hill, and there is a good reason they call it that. She almost took us down there, until she saw a car going backwards as they were trying to come up the hill. I convinced her to be daring and adventuresome ( after I left ).
Below is  a link to a sweet Christmas story on line. It is only 2 minutes and so worth it!
P.S. Go get the tissues first!
Here:

Good night dear friends!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Without Ribbons and Bows




Well, I arrived in Utah a few hours ago, my family was here to pick me up. Shirley and I both got teary eyed when we hug. She truly is like a sister to me. We stayed up a bit late, just talking and her showing me all the Christmas decorations that she had made and put up for her new home. It is beautiful, it feels like home... I guess this is my 2nd home. I even  have my own room and my own bathroom here, yes...this is my 2nd home.
Since it is late, I will finish with this sweet article about the true meaning of Christmas! Good night dear friends!

Without Ribbons and Bows

You will recall from Dr. Suess’s holiday “horror” story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, that the devilish Grinch determined to rob Who-ville of every holiday treat. In a nefarious scheme in which the Grinch dressed as Santa himself, he moved through Who-ville taking every package, tree, ornament, and stocking.
He stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise.
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming!
IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”
(Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, New York: Random House, 1957.)
Part of the purpose for telling the story of Christmas is to remind us that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Indeed, however delightful we feel about it, even as children, each year it “means a little bit more.” And no matter how many times we read the biblical account of that evening in Bethlehem, we always come away with a thought—or two—we haven’t had before.
I do not feel—or mean this to sound—like a modern-day Scrooge. The gold, frankincense, and myrrh were humbly given and appreciatively received, and so they should be, every year and always. As my wife and children can testify, no one gets more giddy about the giving and receiving of presents than I do.
But for that very reason, I, like you, need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that sacred, unadorned child of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why “tis the season to be jolly” and why the giving of gifts is so appropriate.
At the focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched—none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen. Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family,without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began.
It is for this baby that we shout in chorus: “Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King! … Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth”
Perhaps recalling the circumstances of that gift, of his birth, of his own childhood, perhaps remembering that purity and faith and genuine humility will be required of every celestial soul, Jesus must have said many times as he looked into the little eyes that loved him (eyes that always best saw what and who he really was), “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).
Christmas, then, is for children—of all ages.
I got this article from HERE:

"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart." ~ George Matthew Adams

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Miracle!

When I was a little girl, I remember getting on my best Christmas outfit on and standing in line with my Mom to see Santa at the Sears and Roebucks store. I think we stood there for a long time, because I remember my Mom saying her back was hurting. It felt like forever for me too, because I wanted to get the Christmas ring that changed pictures when you turned it certain ways. I remember seeing it at the store earlier, and then when they said that Santa was going to give them out... I knew I had to go see him.
Of course as kids sometimes do, as soon as it was my turn I turned shy and did not want to go sit on his lap. I remember my Mom being so frustrated with me. I finally started crying, I am not sure if the tears was because I didn't want to sit on that strangers lap ( I knew he was one of Santa's helpers... he didn't really look like Santa). Or the tears could have been because I felt guilty that we stood there so long and then I didn't want to go. Whatever, I remember an awlful ride home without the ring or candy cane. Finally a day or so later...Mom gave it to me. Finally I had the magical Santa Ring!!!
When I saw this phot of Kai's first time visiting Santa... I totally understood!
Angie and Jenny came today and played the whole time with Santa's Reindeers, we even had to make a new collar for Rudolf. Maybe if Kai could have held one of the reindeers, he would have done better! But he is still so stinkin cute, even crying! Love and miss my boy!

Why is it that when this wonderful season comes around, my heart gets to hurting because all of my family isn't near? Just would love a Christmas miracle, where we all could be together for Christmas!

Well, part of my Christmas wish came true yesterday when my brother and sister-in-law called and said that they bought me a ticket to come see them and the rest of the family for 6 days! I leave tomorrow! YEAH! Can hardly wait and then by the time I get home ... Lauren will be coming soon! Thanks Neal and Shirley for making my Christmas wish come true! Now I need to go pack! :)
Good night dear friends!
" The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree; the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. "  ~ Burton Hillis 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A child at heart!

When a friend of mine came over the other day to look at my Christmas decorations,I explained all the things that I had up. Like the Old TV Night light with Rudolph on the screen. I told her that when I was a child, that movie was the first one we would see on TV after Thanksgiving, it was my favorite Christmas movie ( now I have many favorites). Then we walked around and talked about all the other things that meant so much to me. She then said " Lynn you are just a child at heart aren't you? " I guess I am. I just feel because I missed so much of my childhood, I promised if I ever grew up and had a family...that I would make sure my kids and my grandkids would have the best childhood ever! That has always been my goal! I am so thankful I was able to achieve that!
It was important for me as a new Nana to have a nativity that the kids could not only touch but really play with. This Fischer Price Nativity is something I got on my first Christmas as a Nana. When you push the angle on top of the manger ... a light shines down on baby Jesus and it plays Away In A Manger. Love it, and so do the kids!
My bear collection has now advanced to bears for all the different holidays. These cute Elf bears proudly sit in the living room and help bring the some Christmas Cheer. I also have 6 Christmas mice that are hidden all over the room and the kids try to find  their new hiding places each time they come over!

Each year when I was doing my business, I painted a new Santa Claus, so here is my Santa collection. Look really hard, because I believe I see another Christmas mouse near the Santas!

Everyone has a handmade quilted stocking by Nana. You can see the spot that is open for Kai's when I get it finished ( which needs to be soon  ), and we need to put them even tighter together, when Miss Audrey gets here ! If you look real close under the stockings on the right hand side near the Santas, you will see 9 stuffeReindeers. We have all of them named ( of course they are the same names as Santa's reindeers! ) Even Rudolph is there. Oh my goodness, I think I found another Christmas mouse too!

Yes, I love Christmas and everything about it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Christmas can be about for kids!

Like the movie on Miracle on 34th Street.... I believe! It was perfect when Lee brought me home this wooden sign, for an early Christmas gift the other day!
It made me think of all the ways Christmas can be wonderful for our kids. I love this video that you can watch ...
HERE:
It is a great reminder on what Christmas can be like for our kids. In a world where it is GET,GET,GET...I think we can instill in them the desire to GIVE,GIVE,GIVE!  One tradition that Angie and I have done since she was old enough to understand, is to make and buy gifts to take to the homeless. There are quite a few stores that have drop off boxes, and they take and deliver them to the kids in need. It makes my heart feel good to see how excited Angie gets to make and wrap these gifts to look beautiful for the little kids that have so much less than her. I hope that Jenny will be able to start that tradition soon, and  even Kai when he gets older. I love Christmas, I love the feeling in the air! Yes, this home truly believes!
Good night dear friends!

“Christmas magic is silent. You don't hear it---you feel it, you know it, you believe it.”


Kevin Alan Milne, The Paper Bag Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Where is Mary?

Years ago when the kids were little, I used to tole paint and sell my creations at Craft Shows to make extra money for birthdays, holidays, shoes and sports. Living on one income for 30 years was tight, but my creations seemed to help us out a bit. One year in the midst of all my orders, I thought it would be wonderful to paint a nativity that was out of wood for the kids. That way there would be no fussing or reminding them to be very careful, as they arranged the nativity. I found this book that had patterns for one that was of children dressed up like the nativity characters. I loved this because... every year our kids did a live nativity with their cousins, and we all have wonderful memories of that.
I then decided I should do 3 sets ( 2 more of Lauren and Amy when they had families ). That is because at the time, I thought they liked them! I won't go into that right now! :)
 I am not sure why I decided to do Mary last, but maybe it was because I didn't want to rush on painting her...for some reason I have always had a warm place in my heart for her. What a great example of courage and faith she is.
Not long after I had finished all the pieces except for the 3 Marys... I went down in my back. This time was much much worse than ever before. After being taken to the hospital and after all the MRIs and X rays we found that I had 2 discs herniated and 2 stress fractures near the tip of my tail bone ( the rest of that story needs to be a blog post in and of itself! )
I was in a wheelchair for a year, stuck in the house doing absolutely nothing  and very limited in my activities and ALWAYS in constant pain. Needlesstosay...here we are years later and every time I put out my wooden Hand Painted With LOVE nativity set, some one always asks me where Mary is?
My reply has always been the same  " She is out having a little ME time". We all know that Mothers need that! So today when I looked at my wooden nativity... I laughed. I laughed because I did just like Mary did today....I had a little ME TIME! I was beat from all that I have been doing and I knew that I had over done it, by all the way my whole body was hurting. So when things get tough, what do you do? Take a little ME TIME, I did for the whole day and gratefully tonight....I feel better!

"She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along." ~Margaret Culkin Banning

"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease."  ~Lisa Alther


Our home was full tonight!

Tonight was our Open House, that is why I haven't written much lately...trying to get ready for it. I will tell you more about it later, but this picture says it all... dear friends and neighbors came by with gifts of love and friendship. Our home was full tonight...in many ways! We are certainly rich with friends!
Good night dear friends, only wish all of you and the rest of our family could have been here.
Pinned Image

Monday, December 3, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Too funny!

In My Next Life . . . . . .


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