Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! :)

Just so you know, I'm actually writing this on Thursday...really bored at work because I'm one of three people still working. I just figured in my boredom I would schedule a post, on the off-chance that someone will be checking blogs this close to Christmas. Hey--what do I know? You may need a break from your nagging in-laws or obnoxious uncles...who's to say?

So, I thought I would share with you some Christmas traditions as well as CRAZY things I used to think when it comes to this holiday. Enjoy! :)

* For the longest time I thought the song went, "We three kings from Orientar..." I thought there was some country named Orientar. Sounds like a country of dragons!

* I always think that Christmas is on the 26th. I made Scott & his sister calendars last year for Christmas, and I realized this year that I definitely put Christmas as being on the 26th! ha! Maybe I'll confuse them and I won't be the only one who can't get it together!

* I believed in Santa until 5th grade. 5TH GRADE! My parents had done such a terrific job making him believable...taking bites out of the cookies, writing me letters, even calling me on the phone...I thought I had ironclad proof that he was real. I insisted to all my friends at school who laughed at me about it. I remember proudly showing my neighbor something Santa had brought me and she was like, "You're kidding, right?" Nope. I finally asked my mom about it, begging her not to lie to me, and she beat around the bush with some crap about Santa being the equivalent of Christmas spirit. I know it's all part of the fun, but I felt so deceived.

* Around 3rd or 4th grade I decided I wanted to buy everyone in my family gifts for Christmas (or rather, my mom would buy them for me). Since there are so many cousins, uncles, aunts, grandmas, etc...we had to do our shopping at the Dollar Tree. I remember some of those first gifts... coffee mugs, cigarette lighters, I even got my dad a pack of door stoppers (you know, the rubber wedges that hold doors open). He still laughs about how no gift has ever compared!

* Growing up I got 3 stockings. We always went to my aunt and uncle's for Christmas Eve dinner, and they always bought us lots of presents and a stocking, bursting with fun little toys and candies. I got a stocking Christmas morning from my mom and step-dad (aka Santa), and then Christmas night I got yet another stocking from my dad and step-mom. [Funny that I never questioned why everyone else had to shop but my mom could sit back and let Santa do all the work!] Now I get 2 stockings. One from my husband and one from the rest of his family. No one in my family does stockings anymore.

* Secular things that are Christmas to me: light shows, my step-mom's Christmas goodies (bon-bons, haystacks, chocolate covered pretzels, sausage cheese balls, and decorated cookies), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...and quoting as many lines as possible with my dad and step-mom, all those old classic specials: Rudolph, The Grinch, and Frosty, the smell of department stores, hot chocolate, driving all over creation to see as many people as possible, cramming about 50 people into my great-grandma's den while one or two people walk around trying to hand out presents while tripping over toddlers and discarded wrapping and boxes, and waking up way earlier than I would ever choose to on a day that I don't have to work...just to open up presents that will be there all day anyway. :)

* Jesus, Jesus, Jesus...he didn't mean that much to me growing up, but now Christmas is a time to praise God for the birth of His son who came to die and save the worst of us. :)

* I'm bummed that I won't be able to spend much time with my sister this Christmas. Last year I didn't see my brother at all for Christmas. It's hard not having things the way they always were growing up. But things change, and I'm learning to make the best of how they are now. I'm excited to see the ones who I will see and I just hope that next year brings more happiness and fun times with all of them.

Merry Christmas, everyone! If you have crazy Christmas stories or fun traditions, please share!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More randomness

*I feel like I'm the only person working today. Although I suppose I should count my blessings that I get all next week off.
*I hate Christmas cards with glitter on them. As much as I love the thought, they drive me crazy! On the other hand, I suppose it's the gift that keeps on giving. Scrub as you may, that glitter ain't coming off your hands, clothes, and face for a least a month!

* My Christmas plans consist of: driving to Atlanta tonight to stay with Scott's parents. Tomorrow--going w/ Scott's mom to get my hair cut and colored (an early Christmas present). Saturday--We're celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve with Scott's family. Waking up early to open presents, making monkey bread, drinking hot chocolate and maybe some Baileys, etc... Sunday--Going to my grandparents' for lunch, where we will also see my dad, then to my great-grandma's for dinner. Then I'm not entirely sure where we'll be staying that night. Probably back at Scott's parents' again. Monday--picking up my sister and driving down to Tampa to stay with my mom until the day before NYE. New Years Eve--partying it up in Orlando with Scott's sister and her husband, as well as her friend from out of town who we all love! Yes, we will be BUSY! But not as bad as previous years when we also drove down to South Florida to see 3 sets of grandparents.

*We were going to use Christmas money to buy a fancy camera like all you super bloggers use. Then I realized those suckers are like hundreds and HUNDREDS of dollars! You are out of your minds! (But if I had the money I would TOTALLY join you!) So, since we don't have enough for that, we'll hopefully have enough to buy a new TV. We figured it's time to join the rest of the world and get a flat screen, plasma type situation. And hopefully we can also plug our computer into it so our Hulu times can be seen in all the big screen glory. PS--without the fancy camera, I realize I'm still way out of touch with the rest of blog-land. I guess people will have to just read my blog for content alone. Boring, I know.

*A question for my Christian readers with children-- how do you handle the Santa situation? Do you let your kids believe in him? Do you take your kids to see him in the mall? I'm still really torn on the issue. I don't think Santa is "bad" or anything, and I have no problem with kids believing in him. But I want to make sure they know what Christmas is really about, and don't get caught up in all the Santa business. I don't know. What are your thoughts? What does Christmas look like for your family? How do you keep Christ in it for the children?

*I can't wait to share with you some of the homemade gifts I made this year. But I can't do it now. Some of the intended recipients read this blog. And you will just have to wait, intended recipients! And so will the rest of you. I realize it would be helpful to share ahead of time so you can do it too. But let's just say...Pinterest is my friend. :)

*My weight has been fluctuating like crazy lately. Probably because I keep eating junk. Nothing but junk. And I take stomach medicine almost daily b/c of it. Yesterday I gorged on chocolate covered pretzels and cookies until I felt ill. When I finally recovered that night, I had hot chocolate and monkey bread. And then I was ill again. Fool! But I've resolved that there is no sense in worrying about weight during Christmas. I will just drive myself crazy or feel guilty for enjoying the treats that are so much a part of the season. I have no intentions of passing up on desserts and homemade candies. That's part of the joy of Christmas. (Well, that and Jesus, of course!) So, I'll worry about it after New Years. You know, I'll make a resolution like the rest of the world. :)

*I may be MIA for the next week or so. But what else is new? I'm sure the rest of you will be too busy with your own Christmas plans to keep up with reading blogs anyway.

Love you all! And MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just some notes...

1. Christmas is SO close! Christmas CDs--CHECK! Watch Rudolph, The Grinch, Frosty, Elf, and Christmas Vacation--CHECK! Decorate the house and burn seasonal candles--CHECK! Buy presents--CHECK! Wrap presents--CHECK! See Christmas lights--CHECK! Drink hot chocolate and make Christmas cookies--CHECK! Gingerbread houses--CHECK! I would say we're ready for the big day! :)
Our awesome, handcrafted Christmas cookies.
They were bland and not very tasty (I don't like sugar cookies).
But they were fun and look good on our Christmas dish in the kitchen! :)

2. Last night there were candlelight vigils in Statesboro and Atlanta, as well as people all over the world burning candles from home for this family. Scott & I couldn't make it, but we gathered all the candles in our house and burned them in the living room. We spent about 45 minutes in prayer and worship. It was such a powerful experience. I hope that the family could feel our love and support. 

3. I know I was feeling frustrated and confused with God about how things are turning out for this family. But God reminded me of something yesterday, as I was singing Christmas songs in my car. I've been asking for a Christmas miracle, but God already gave us the best and only Christmas miracle we'll ever need: Jesus Christ. Because of that one miracle, we don't need anymore miracles for our whole lives. Because of that miracle we can have peace and joy despite the circumstances of life. Because of that miracle, even in death we have eternal life. Even if Brian doesn't make it, he gets to be with Jesus in Heaven, and THAT is miracle enough. It was such a wonderful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas, and gave me such peace. I admit, I still pray that Brian will recover, but I feel much more at peace with the reality that he probably won't. And that doesn't mean God has failed us. He is still worthy of our praise. We sang these songs last night during our prayer time and I meant every word.

4. I got my first Christmas present from Scott yesterday, and it was SUCH a good one! I've been wanting some artwork to go on the wall, over the bed, in our guestroom. I've had a really hard time picking something that I like that's also in our price range. Scott had an art student who works with him at The University Store paint me something! He sent her pictures of things he knew I liked, told her what colors we wanted, and she painted something original from that! It was so awesome! And it looks perfect in the room! I'll have to take a picture to post b/c I haven't done that yet (bad blogger!!).

5. This is my favorite Christmas song this year. It's so beautiful and such a moving portrayal of the Christmas story. Sometimes it's easy to take it for granted and not think about the wonderful fact that Mary was faithful in trusting God as she brought a baby into the world as a virgin, Joseph staying by her side despite how it looked to others, Jesus being born in a BARN next to animals, and men and kings coming to bow to him. Beautiful! It brings tears to my eyes when I really think about it and sing this song.

Merry Christmas, bloggers! Love you all! :)


Monday, December 19, 2011

Please keep Praying...

Updates on the family I shared about....

While doctors had said that Brian would make it, he kept having one problem after another. This weekend they have decided that he cannot overcome the injuries. They've said it is only a matter of time, and have switched their focus to keeping Brian out of pain until he passes. The family is now asking for prayers for peace for them and Brian. God is still providing for them. They were informed today that Brian is stable enough to be moved from the hospital in Savannah to a hospice center in Statesboro. They will all be more comfortable there, and they have more family, friends, and support in Statesboro. Honestly, I can't stop praying for God to turn this whole thing around. And I want to ask you all to pray for a miracle. A miracle in whatever shape that may be. I would love for it to be a full recovery for Brian, but it may be something a comfortable room and his favorite movie showing on TV, peace for his parents who are emotionally drained, or just that this family's story would inspire the world. They have people from every state and countries all over the world praying for them and following their story. I pray that their strength and reliance on the Lord would encourage and uplift many. Please keep praying.

Honestly, and I hope I can be honest without it being misconstrued, I'm a little frustrated. With so many people praying for a recovery, I can't understand why God wouldn't provide one. We had such glimpses of hope as to think there would be a recovery for this family, and then it was snatched away. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not doubting God. I believe (or at least want to with all my heart) that His plan is perfect and whatever happens will yield good results for someone, somewhere along the way. But my knowledge and understanding is so limited. I can only see what is right in front of me. And my logic is self-involved. I know I won't be able to ever understand why bad things have to happen, especially to followers of God like this family. And because of that, when things like this happens, there is a part of me--sometimes a large part, sometimes a smaller one--that feels confused, hurt, disappointed, and even angry with God. And it's easy for me to say that good things will come from everything when things are going well. Or when the terrible things are outside of my experience. This family is only an acquaintance of mine, and I have a hard time fully believing and living in my words. I can't even imagine how I would react if something happened directly to me or someone close to me. I hope that I would be strong like this family. I hope that I would lean on God more and more, rather than pulling away in hurt and anger. But I just don't know.

What I do know is that God is made perfect in our weakness. And I hope that God will provide strength and faith for me in this time, and any who may be struggling as a result of this tragedy. And I pray, with all my heart, for peace for this family. But, I can't help it, I'm not ready to limit my prayers to just peace (as if peace isn't enough!). I'm still praying for a miraculous recovery. I don't care if doctors say it isn't possible. And I don't even care if that's not what the family is asking for. I'll keep praying for this little boy until God takes him. And at least then, even if I'm disappointed, I can find peace in knowing that Brian is safe, happy, and pain-free in the presence of the Lord.

Sorry if this rambling makes no sense. I realize I'm all over the place. But that's how I am spiritually sometimes. And I think if we're honest, maybe we all are. (at least I hope it's not just me!)

Thank you for the prayers.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recap in Pictures!

First of all, thank you SO much to those who have been praying for the family I shared about.  Brian is still recovering, but it's a slow process and they have set-backs nearly every day. Nothing is certain. They could still use all the prayers they can get. The prayer map literally has pins in every state of the US and every continent of the world! If you are praying outside of the US, or will be during the holidays, let me know from what country so I can share with the family. :)

Anyway, I have about 15 minutes before I need to head to my internship site to meet everyone. Next semester will be BUSY...what else is new? So I figured I would toss in a bunch of pictures from the past several weeks instead of talking about it all in depth. Sorry! Oh, and there is a severe lack of pictures of me. :( Oh well, here goes! :)

We made some "gingerbread" creations with friends.
Houses? No! International landmarks, please! :)
That's Big Ben, The Great Wall of China, and the Pyramids of Giza. 

Pyramid! :)

We had Scott's family at our house for Thanksgiving and we had lots of bonfires! :)

We celebrated my 26th birthday. That's my delicious Rainbow Chip cake he's making there. YUM!

We went to the beach for sunset. Too bad the sun set on the opposite side of the beach! haha! It was crazy windy!

Went to Fort Pulaski with some friends

Scott surprised me with this on my birthday, after already giving me two presents over the weekend. :)

We decorated for Christmas

Our friends and their amazing baby at the beach. :)

And we painted our sunroom...Gus helped... :)
WWell, I better run! I hope everyone is enjoying the season! I for one and so excited about Christmas and have been thoroughly enjoying having our house decorated, listening to Christmas music, and attending parties. :) Can't wait to see all my family in just a little over a week!

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Prayers, Please

I have so many wonderful things I would like to talk about since my last post. Thanksgiving, my birthday, visits from friends, wrapping up the semester... But unfortunately today I have a much heavier topic to discuss.

One of my old co-workers is suffering through a tragedy in his family. Last Friday night (Dec. 2) his dad was driving his 2 sons around looking at Christmas lights. So, in another words (to make this less confusing!), the grandpa was driving his 2 grandsons. The Grandpa accidentally ran a stop sign, running into another car, which threw his car into a spiral, causing him to hit yet another car. All three were airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Savannah, GA. The Grandpa was released the following day. The oldest boy (10 yrs old) had pelvic surgery and his spleen removed. The youngest boy (7 yrs old) is suffering from brain injury. His brain was swelling. They removed the top of his skull to allow more room, but at first it was not helping. The family's priest came in to do the last rites and discuss organ donations on Saturday night.

So many people have been praying for this family, including me and Scott. And I'm so happy to report that it's working! Ben, the 10 yr old, was released yesterday and is on a walker. He will have weeks of physical therapy to fully recover. And the best news is that doctors have determined that Brian, the 7 yr old, WILL LIVE! His most recent tests have shown brain activity and he is responding to everything. He is still unconscious, but he now kicks and resists when they mess with his breathing tube. They also pinch him to test his reaction, and he is progressively fighting it more and more. These are good signs! They expect 2-3 more weeks in ICU, and then recovering for several months at a rehap hospital in Atlanta.

I wanted to share this because I strongly believe that the prayers are working, and the more people praying...the better! Also, Ben has a map on his wall where he is putting a thumb tack in every location where he knows people are praying for his family. They have a FB page and people are writing in as they inform them of friends in different states and countries who have joined us in prayer. This is serving as a great distraction as well as encouragement to Ben and his family. They are overwhelmed by all the love and support of God's family.

If you plan to pray for Brian, Ben, and the rest of the family...please let me know via email or comment and let me know your location. I will inform the family so he can add another tack to his map. And here is a video of Santa visiting Ben before he was released from the hospital. He even put a tack in the North Pole on the map! :)

Santa Visits Ben from Joe Ruhland on Vimeo.

Thank you all so much! God bless! :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...