Saturday, November 29, 2008

Create Your Own Christmas Station On-line!


I LOVE listening to Christmas music & this year I discovered something new on-line. If you go to Pandora.com, you can create your own Christmas music station. Just enter one of your favorite song titles like "Silent Night" & it plays songs similar to the one you entered. Love it!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Thanksgiving Means To Us...

video
"A's" Thanksgiving Video

(not completely factual or chronological, but cute!)

video
"M's" Thanksgiving Video

Happy Thanksgiving!

Advent Calendar From Muffin Tins

I'm thinking I need to make one of these with my girls to countdown the days to Christmas! Very cute...




Monday, November 24, 2008

Girly Girl Sports Party

As I mentioned in a previous post, "M" just celebrated her 9th birthday. This year she decided she wanted to have a "Girly Girl Sports Slumber Party". We made the invitations on the computer and asked her friends to meet at our our Sports Complex (a.k.a. our house) and to wear their favorite sports uniform. (The party was this past Friday.) My friends think I have officially crossed over into senility because 14 girls were invited and all were able to attend. We had about 5 more close friends we wanted to invite but I just didn't think our house could hold one more little girl!




The girls looked so cute in their sports uniforms - everything from basketball to soccer to dance and cheer. They started out the night coloring placemats I had made with their names on them. Then they decorated a coozie for a waterbottle and made a bead "necklace" for it. After that, they made mini-pizzas out of biscuit dough, sauce and toppings. After eating their yummy creations, we played a few games, opened presents and ate delicious cupcakes that my girl's grandmother (a.k.a. "Nanny") made.

After the "party" was over, the girls changed into their pj's then spread out their sleeping bags in our living room. They ate popcorn and watched Disney's Mulan. After that, I gave them about 30-45 minutes to play until lights out. Can you imagine 14 little giggly girls laughing, dancing, screaming and being so silly?!?!

video

Poor Steve locked himself in our bedroom and was probably re-thinking why he ever married me! The girls must have wore themselves out, though, because miraculously, most of the girls fell asleep by 11:00! That has to be a world record! The next morning, the girls were up by about 7 and wanted to watch Mulan II before going home. So they got to eat a pancake breakfast while watching the movie in their sleeping bags.

This was "M's" first slumber party and I have to admit I've been putting off having slumber parties just because of some concerns I have with them but I thought back to slumber parties I have had in the past and they bring back such good memories - so I caved. The girls seemed to have a fun time and it was all worth it to see the smiles on "M's" face.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Should Christians Get Into the Twilight Series?



I was recently asked by a friend if I read the Twilight series. I said, "No - I don't really get into it." Then I was later asked if I wanted to go see the recently released movie, "New Moon". My reply? Again, "No thanks - I don't really get into it."


So why don't I "get into it"? My friend didn't press me for an answer but I later thought if she or anyone else did, I need to be prepared to explain why I feel the way I do. I have sooo many friends who looove the series and honestly I feel like a fish out of water because I haven't heard of a single person who shares my view. Of course, this is not a "You're wrong/I'm right" matter. In fact, I was very leery about writing this post because I do not want to come across as judgmental or "better than thou" - I would never want anyone to think that of me! I just want to share my personal opinions, convictions and thoughts on the subject. Some would say I have no right to speak because I haven't actually read the books or seen any of the movies; however, I have read enough reviews, prayed about it, searched the Scriptures, discussed it with my husband and heard my friends talk about it enough to form my own opinions. Again, I am not trying to sway anyone to my way of thinking, nor am I trying to "preach" or "nag". Most of all, I am not judging anyone on their beliefs - while I do believe we are responsible for our actions, I leave the job of "Judging" to the Creator. I just want to encourage open discussion and to share my personal thoughts on the matter...



* My #1 reason for not getting into the series is that I just have a VERY strong conviction that as a Christian, it would not be pleasing to Jesus. Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." While I am soooo far from perfect and I have MUCH improvement to do in this area, I do try to hold true to that standard in whatever I listen to, read or watch.

* Vampires?! Werewolves?! Hello?! Not godly. Period.



* I believe it grieves the Holy Spirit. An article on GotQuestions.org says, "the Holy Spirit is a fire dwelling in each believer. He wants to express Himself in our actions and attitudes. When believers do not allow the Spirit to be seen in our actions, when we do what we know is wrong, we suppress or quench the Spirit. We do not allow the Spirit to reveal Himself the way that He wants to." It goes on to say, "Both quenching and grieving the Spirit are similar in their effects. Both hinder a godly lifestyle. Both happen when a believer sins against God and follows his or her own worldly desires. The only correct road to follow is the road that leads the believer closer to God and purity, and farther away from the world and sin. Just as we do not like to be grieved, and just as we do not seek to quench what is good—so we should not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit by refusing to follow His leading."


* I believe it promotes lust and impure thoughts. I hear from my friends, "Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?" or quotes from the movie like "Which is tempting you more? My blood or my body?" PluggedInOnline.com says of the topic of sexuality on New Moon, "Revealed cleavage and short skirts are occasionally on display here, but the more significant sexual issue in New Moon revolves around the guys. Edward and Jacob repeatedly peal off their shirts to dazzle their dates—and moviegoers—with their "stunning" physiques. Just because a guy shows up shirtless in a movie doesn’t mean it’s a sexual issue, of course. But in this case, the way these boys’ bodies are presented is little more than an excuse to ogle."



I know I sound like an old lady when I say this but as Christians, we just have to be so careful with our thoughts or we get led astray. EternalChoice.com says, "How do godly men and women control their sexual desires and stay true to what the Bible says? There are many things one can bare in mind to fight lust, but sometimes the desire is too strong to be foiled by rules and ideas. The only thing that works... and I can testify personally that this is the only thing that is guaranteed to work 100% of the time... is for a Christian to get to the point in his life where he wants to please God more than he wants to fulfill his own desires. James 1:14 (NIV) says "each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." All the devil has to do is get a Christian's sight off of what God wants and onto what his flesh wants. Then, the next time he is tempted by lust, he will start to be so strongly drawn in that he feels he can't escape, then he will start to rationalize giving into lust, and the next thing he knows he's so deep into lustful sin he's ashamed of himself."


* I don't feel it's appropriate for my children to get into, either. As Christians, we are called to bring up our children in the ways of the Lord. This is such a huge responsibility and calling on our lives that we should not take it lightly. Joshua 24:15 says, "But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." and Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."  I just don't know that we are doing our kids a service by allowing them to read Twilight books or watch the movies. And if we don't allow our kids to get into the series, why do we think it's okay for ourselves, as Christians, to get into it?


* What if? What if we shared the same enthusiasm about God as we do about Twilight? Just sayin'.


* If I was into the Twilight series, I think the potential would be there for me to be a stumbling block among others, especially non-Christians. On one hand, they would see me do my "church thing" and on the other, they would see me play around with the "dark side"of Twilight. God warns about being "lukewarm" - Revelation 3:15 says, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." I think that is playing with fire and I sure don't want to lead anyone astray because of my actions.


* Garbage in - garbage out. The old adage is still true today. I think we need to stop justifying what we think is "okay" and allow God to speak truth into our minds. Jesus is quoted in John 10:10 as saying, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.


I leave you with the lyrics to a new song called, "Garbage In" by Tal and Acacia. As Christians, may we consider it's message and follow the Holy Spirit's leading in our lives...


Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you, whether you agree with them or not. I would now love to hear what you think, as well! If you love the Twilight series, please leave me a comment and tell me what attracts you to it. If you don't like the Twilight series, also leave me a comment as to why you don't like it. I look forward to reading some interesting remarks :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our Annual Branson Trip


Last weekend, our family took our annual trip to Branson. We go this time every year with Steve's parents, his sister and her family. We usually get a 3 bedroom condo at The Thousand Hills Golf Resort so we can be all together & eat most of our meals in. We always celebrate Steve's sister & "M's" birthday there because they both have birthdays in November.

video

While the grandparents watch the kids and go look for golf balls on the grounds, us parents got to go shopping ;-) Our favorite place to shop is Tanger Outlet Mall although I do like Branson Landing, too.

We went to Silver Dollar City on Saturday and it was SOOOO miserably cold! The kids were very bummed because it was so cold the rides had to be shut down. We got to see some really good shows, though, including Christmas Carol, Frosty the Talking Snowman and The Live Nativity.

We ended our stay at the Grand Village Shops and got to see Santa. Going to Branson this time of the year really puts you in the holiday spirit because the entire town is decked out with Christmas decor & all the shows typically have a Christmas theme. Can't wait to go again next year!

Flashback Friday

Even at the age of 1, I knew there had to be another use for clipboards!!!

I finally discovered it 37 years later! Here's a few more altered clipboards I made last week...


This one was for my sister-in-law who teaches in Collinsville.

I made this clipboard for my mother for her birthday. She loves anything Victorian so she really liked this paper that I found at The Scrapbook Store. I added her name this time and gave it as a gift along with a pen, small pink notepads & a book light.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Field Trip: Kids' World International Festival

Kids' World International Festival
November 13th, 2008

Happy 9th Birthday to "M"


Dear "M",

I can't believe you are 9 years old today! Nine just sounds so old! I can still remember being pregnant with you in my tummy like it was yesterday. I loved knowing you were inside me and feeling you kick around (except at 2 in the morning!). I loved trying to guess if you were going to be a girl or a boy. I loved imagining what you were going to look like.

After you were born, hearing your first cry was the most beautiful sound I could have ever heard. I was in awe of such a miracle taking place. God blessed your Daddy and me that day with the most amazing, precious little baby girl. And now look at you - you are nine years old! Time has passed so quickly. It makes me a little sad but at the same time I relish every moment of watching you grow up.

Your sweet, cheerful, kind, thoughtful and fun-loving spirit is such a blessing to me and everyone around you. I thank God that He placed you in my life and I pray that He will continue to grow you spiritually. I pray that you always put Him first in your life and others second. I pray that you will rely on Him through all your trials and difficulties - through the good times and bad. May God continue to work through you to serve others and to help accomplish His will.

Love you, sweet girl, and know that I am always here for you. There is nothing you could ever do that would keep me from loving you. Happy 9th Birthday ;-)

Love, Mom

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tea Anyone?

"M" took a crochet class last weekend that was for girls 3rd grade and up - so "A" wasn't able to go. Poor girl - she's so lost without her big sis around! So she asked Steve & I if we wanted to have a tea party. Of course, we said "yes" & she said, "Great! I'll go pick out your clothes!" She quickly ran to our closet & picked out "lovely" outfits for us to wear to the big event. She then fixed my hair and make-up and let me tell you, I was looking "good"! Sorry - no pics of Steve & me but you can just imagine how "gorgeous" we looked ;-)

Then she escorted us to the kitchen where she had set the table all by herself - complete with cheez-its, goldfish crackers, nuts, Cheese Nips, M & M's, apples, water and cell phones. I said, " 'A', why do we have cell phones at our tea party?" She said in case someone called, we wouldn't have to get up from our seats and disturb the party. She then proceeded to open in prayer then served us "delicious" treats. It was a very fun party and I'm so glad I was invited ;-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flashback Friday

My grandfather would be celebrating his 84th birthday (I think!) tomorrow and has spent the last 18 years in heaven. In his honor, here's my Flashback Friday pics...
My grandfather served in the Army (2nd from the right)

He sang bass for the OBU quartet (farthest right)


This is a picture of him holding me when I was 1 1/2

This is my grandfather at a volunteer appreciation ceremony for my grandmother

I miss him greatly and look forward to the day we can be together again ;-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy 60th Birthday to my Mom!

Today is my mom's 60th birthday! She has been through so much during her lifetime but God has made her a stronger person for the trials she's been through and today she's a living testimony that God does give you strength during tough times.
Happy Birthday, Mom! Love you!


This is a picture of my mom holding me
after I was born ;-)

1990-ish

Mom with 4 of her 6 grandkids

Summer 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

VETERAN'S DAY LINKS:

My Two Little Monkeys

My two sweet, girly girls who love dress-up and dancing have turned into little monkeys lately! I'm trying not to let it bother me but they are climbing on EVERYTHING - and they aren't two years old anymore! Their latest thing they like to climb is the wood trim inside our doorways. I guess it doesn't hurt anything and they are getting a little exercise so I'm trying not to let it DRIVE ME NUTS! I even saw "A" reading a book the other day while carefully balancing herself up high inside the door trim. I suppose I should go ahead and apologize if my girls happen to be at your house and start climbing things. Now that I think of it though, I'm sure this is going to be one of those things I look back on in a few years and get a good giggle from, and maybe even a little sad that those days are gone.




Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall Festivus


Fall Festivus at Discovery Bible Fellowship

video
Hilarious video of "A" participating in the pie eating contest. (She doesn't like whipped cream!)

Fashion Frenzy

So we survived the Fashion Frenzy last night. The girls did a great job and thankfully I did not fall flat on my face!

Before the show, the girls got their hair done at Great Clips - they thought they were so big. I thought it would be a fun part of their "girly" day. Then I got my hair and make-up done at Uptown Salon. I wouldn't normally do that but it was free and one of the "perks" of modeling in the show. Even though it was way more make-up and poofy hair than I would normally wear, it was kind of nice being pampered ;-)

The Fashion Frenzy had a really great turnout and was able to raise a lot of funds for Meals on Wheels. I was very impressed by all of the hard work the four ladies of Community Footprints put into planning the show. Overall, I think it was a good experience and the girls had a blast!
video

It's Time to Feast!

Our homeschool Co-Op had a Thanksgiving Feast this past Friday. It's hard to believe November is already here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner! The kids had a great time making pilgrim hats and Indian headresses. We also had some AWESOME food including ham, chicken, turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, dressing, mashed potatoes, bread and pumpkin pie. No wonder I'm already putting on those holiday pounds!!!


Tis the season to pass along educational Thanksgiving links...

The First Thanksgiving by Scholastic (this is one of our favorites)

Colonial Kids

Kid's Thanksgiving Crafts

Thanksgiving and Pilgrim Links

Thanksgiving at A Kid's Heart

Thanksgiving Theme Learning Ideas and Resources

The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving

Pilgrim/Thanksgiving Unit by Cindy Downes

You Are the Historian - Investigating the First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Crafts, Decorations, Worksheets, Activities, and Printouts at Enchanted Learning

Thanksgiving Lapbook Links

Thanksgiving Links Listed By Subject

The Sky Angel Cowboy

Friday, November 7, 2008

Flashback Friday

1987 - hence, the bolos, shiny shirt, light pastel make-up and big, wavy hair
My sister, Angela, mwa and my brother, Eric

Wednesday, November 5, 2008