Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Today is the Day

December 30 is the day, another day in my life but it's my birthday - a birth date that I share with a couple of my friends. That has made it more fun. I had lunch with one yesterday and today I celebrate a decade mark for another friend.

It was fun to go back through old photos and find the ones here. My ringlets in my hair were made by my mom...I believe she wound them around cloths at night. I wish the skipping/hopscotch photo were clearer. This is probably a typical young photo of me....dresses and ringlets in my hair. Pleasant memories of my young years.

Not sure I have ever really dreaded a birthday or the aging process. As everyone says these days, "It is what it is." Of course my body says,(sometimes softly, sometimes screaming) that I'm getting older.

My young memories included the request for a buttercream cake for my birthday dessert choice. As I got older, french fries and shrimp are my birthday dinner choices and chocolate dessert of any kind. Of course a bread pudding with a candle it would make me grin ear to ear! I seem to remember my mom did have a birthday party or two for me but mostly just family. One year when I was just out of high school, I hosted a birthday party until it got out of control...people invited people I didn't know!! NOT a welcome surprise!!!

I know my parents followed guidelines that I prefer even today  - birthday and Christmas are SEPARATE! If you buy something for me for Christmas, don't say you'll wait and give it to me on my birthday ...arggghhh!!! Don't wrap my presents in Christmas paper!! Bossy, aren't I? I think most of us with birthdays around a holiday feel the same way.

I've had some crazy birthdays back in my single years,  a  terrific surprise party on my 40th, and alone time on other birthdays...each has been a special memory.  Each birthday, each DAY is such a blessing. As we get older, we realize how fast the days fly by.

Sometimes I do grumble about the appearance of a wrinkle, the extra weight, an aching back or joint, but I am here. I am loved by family, friends and most importantly by God. I try to wake each morning by personalizing this quote, ""This is the day the Lord has made, let me be rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

My wish for you on my birthday is that you welcome each of your days with joy and thanksgiving!

Blessings in the New Year.......

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Luke 2New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Glory to God for the gift of his son.

Wishing you the Christmas blessings and a
Exceptional New Year!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Matthew 1:20-22 NIV

" angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[a] because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20-22 NIV



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wishing you a Merry, Magical Morning

We used to entertain a lot, and I enjoyed decorating our home. We still entertain a bit, but on a smaller scale. The decorating is a little less, but probably much more than most. I love the sparkly changes to the rooms we are so used to seeing.

 Backtracking to when I was young. My parents continued a tradition that I believe began with my father's father.  My parents TOTALLY decorated the house (inside and out) and the tree on Christmas Eve AFTER we went to bed. Can you believe that?? I always wondered why my mother got laryngitis on Christmas Eve......she was exhausted. By the time my youngest brother came along,  my other brother and I helped decorate but still kept the tradition for the youngest one.

It's difficult to explain how magical Christmas morning was because of this tradition.  Just picture going to bed with only a tree in the stand in the living room. Parents and kids having a snack, kids off to bed with nothing else out of order. The next morning (probably shortly after my parents just fell asleep) we were bounding into their bedroom to have my dad go see if Santa had arrived.

After a bit of grumbling (and probably being sent back to bed a couple of times), my dad would go downstairs and announce whether Santa had been there. He would turn on all the Christmas lights (it was still dark outside), start the train under the tree and then say we could come downstairs (I imagine he got the coffee going too!)
I believe my mother went downstairs first then the three of us to a magical transformation of the house. EVERYTHING seemed sparkly and bright and cheerful. You see, Santa not only brought gifts but he decorated inside and out!! Yes, my dad did the outside lights on Christmas Eve as well! Amazing gift they gave to us - a magical morning!!

My brothers and I continued some of the traditions but not decorating the whole house on Christmas Eve - at least I don't think they they did. I didn't!!! :) I still liked to make it magical for our daughter on Christmas morning....only thing we added was music.

May each of you who celebrate have a Merry Christmas, remembering the gift of Jesus whose birth we celebrate. To all of my friends, may you have a magical New Year!


Saturday, December 5, 2015


This first week of December certainly has flown by - arrived back in Michigan from my road trip to and from Corpus Christi, TX, and YES, I did the Horses on the Beach activity. Notes: It was fun, the guides Chester and Adrian were terrific, the other riders were nice, the day was lovely and one hour of horse back riding after many, many years was enough!

I rode out on Cash - he decided when we got to the beach that he did NOT like the white, fluffy foam that was blowing across the sand, sooooooo, he raised his front legs and then made a jump to the right and I was heading to the left, and OFF of the horse. Fortunately, I pulled back on his reins, grabbed the saddle horn and held on, breaking several nails in the process. He decided to test me like this about 4 times. My wrists, hands and legs were strained to the max with tension, but I held on. (Patting myself on the back!)

When we reached the half way point down the beach, Chester offered to switch and give me his horse while he tried to get Cash used to the blowing foam. I didn't hesitate, but I must admit it made me feel a wee bit good when the horse tried to do the same thing to him.

So I rode out to the beach on Cash, and rode back to the ranch on Fiona. I wasn't quite as sore as I thought I'd be the next day. Actually my back hurt worse after driving almost all the way back to Michigan in pouring rain --- talk about tension, whew!

So, now it's time to get teaching proposals submitted, finish decorating the house for Christmas, design our Christmas card (yikes, I don't have much time!), and get caught up with my Advent Bible Journaling. Of course there are lots of other activities with friends over the next few weeks! It's a busy but fulfilling time of year. The only bad part is that our daughter and her family won't be able to come home this year.

Our town of Rochester is lit to the max - each storefront looks like a jeweled gift box - it's something to see! Tomorrow I will spend the afternoon/early evening in downtown Detroit for Noel Night activities - there are storefronts that are lit like the Rochester ones and so many people walking around enjoying all of the activities....carolers, bands, carriage rides, etc. It's all very special!

May your December be filled with memorable events.

Blessings and Merry Christmas!