Sick of being sick

>> November 26, 2008

It appears that we are all finally healthy again.
This one was a doozy. Poor Mason had a fever over 100 degrees for over 3 days straight. Molly got an awful rash, but no throwing up for her. Merritt however managed to stay well through it all. Maybe that flu shot was helpful?

This is what our home has looked like since last Friday...


A gift for Jesus on his birthday...

>> November 14, 2008

We have been having a conversation around here about Christmas.
It is going to be here before we know it.
Every year Bruce and I make efforts to keep Christmas focused on Christ, but kids will be kids and mine still love Christmas because of presents.
They are already working on Christmas music at Epic, and when the leaders asked the kids what Christmas was about, Mason was quick to announce that it was PRESENTS.
Don't get me wrong, my kids understand that Christmas is celebrated because Jesus was born. They love making a birthday cake for him every year, but presents are still their priority.
So this year our conversation is about what present Jesus will get.
About how upside down it is that we are the ones who get all the presents for someone else's birthday.
(They didn't like the idea of doing that for their birthday.)
We are reading in the Bible and talking about what kind of gifts Jesus wants (and what a gift for Jesus even could be on tangible terms.)
We have talked about the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
That when we do things for others that have needs, we are doing things for God.

This is something that God has been doing in MY heart.
I have been challenged with what loving God really looks like.
He is showing me how to love him in tangible ways.
Showing me that loving him is bigger than having a quiet time with him and trying to obey his commands, by not ____ (there’s a huge list of nots. You can fill in the blank.)
I am trying to teach this to my kids too – in small bits that they can grasp.
It is my constant prayer that my children will love God with all their heart, soul and mind. I am doing my best to model that for them and include them in the tangibles whenever I can.

So as for a birthday gift for Jesus, Merritt suggested we make muffins and coffee and take it to the homeless people in Hanford on Christmas morning.
And we even talked about doing it before the gifts under our tree get opened, so that Jesus gets the first gift.
We are still having the discussion. I want it to be their ideas not mine so that they never feel like this takes away from their Christmas. I want them to be excited about it and look forward to it.

Check out this video (that I found on Scott’s blog) about Christmas...


Another Advent Conspiracy video


The video from my previous post was made by Advent Conspiracy Indy.
This is what their mission statement says:
Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption.

Here is another video they made:

On their website, their challenge to Christians is to give $200 of your Christmas budget for the sake of worshipping God through compassion.
Something to think about.



>> November 10, 2008

I love Dhalias.
I think they are absolutely beautiful.
This one particularly is a reminder to me of the gift of God's beauty.
(It came from my grandmother's funeral)

God's beauty is all around us.
Where did you see it today?
I saw it in my children's eyes as they told me they loved me.
I saw it in the beautiful clouds that were displayed across the sky.
I saw it in my friends as we laughed together.
I saw it in my husband as he cuddled with my daughter.

I often encounter God's beauty in a certain smell, or refrain of music, or a smile.
I have had such a season of sadness in my spirit (not sadness for my grandma getting to be with Jesus though. That is beauty!), but even in sadness God's beauty is there.
It is never far from us. It resides within us and surrounds us everyday.
And I've learned that my experience of God's beauty is directly related to my perspective.
Today I choose to place my eyes on God (off of me), and let God's beauty prevail.


Halloween fun

>> November 2, 2008

I can't believe it's November already!

We almost missed going to the pumpkin patch this year. But we promised Merritt, so we squeezed in an hour on Wednesday.

This was the whole reason he wanted to go...

He did a pretty good job, with only a little help from dad.

We had a rather uneventful Halloween (compared to last year). Bruce and Molly stayed home and passed out candy, while the boys and I joined the Parsons and the Gillums for some trick-or-treating. I love it when Halloween falls on a Friday, because the late night doesn't affect the next school day.

Here are some pictures....

Mason started out the morning wearing a Mr. Incredible costume, which he decided was too itchy before he left for school.
So after some hard decisions for him, he went to school as Batman (the costume he actually asked for this year).
When he got home, he changed into Peter Pevensie (from the Chronicles of Narnia) for the evening trick-or-treating. (He got this costume last year some time and it still fits.)
At one point he asked me if he could just not dress up and be absent for the day.
I am including this picture so you can see Mason's evening costume...

Here is our whole trick-or-treating group
Thanks Parsons and Gillums. We had a lot of fun!
And here are the cupcakes I made on Thursday night and Friday morning, for Merritt's class party...

On to November...


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