Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket End of the Day

What a great night we had! There's a new leaf on our Thankful Tree. It says "opportunity to share the gospel on Halloween".

We had a blast. We were overrun which was perplexing...but that's o.k. We usually have 10 - 15 visitors. We prepared for 30. We made an extra 30 bags, then we had to turn the light out. Next year, we'll prepare for more.

Zander has found his calling. He LOVES to greet people.
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He was full of Zander comments and most took it well.

He did tell some older boys they were supposed to say "trick or treat" if they wanted candy. He also told Spiderman that he'd already been to our house before. ::snort:: Note that people don't care if you wear your clothes backwards (tag issues) if you smile big enough and give them bags of candy.

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We played Ruckus.

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We played Twister. The game begins with lots of tangles...

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Then the field begins to narrow - this round ended up being a match between Jared and Michael.

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They even talked me into giving up my role as spinner....I didn't win but I DID discover new ways to stretch muscles I'd forgotten I possesed.

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We are discussing how to mount our twister on to some sort of foamboard....maybe double it too....They began to envision Grandma and Grandpa and the girls and Nicholas....but really the twister board is simply not big enough - someone will get seriously injured. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket "Southern Blessing Mix?"

Remember that Blessing Mix? Some of the pieces are proving hard to find. For instance the bags, the candy corn...and well....the bugles. The Bugles are supposed to be a symbol of our nation's abundance. Nothing says blessing like a bag of pork rinds? I was convincing myself that I could change the tag to say "Pork Rinds are a symbol of our nations over indulgence - I mean abundance." This is the south - it could work. Pork Rind is a treat down here. I was about to go for it - when I FOUND the bugles. Shew.

I still need to find some fall bags...not sure where else to look.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWe're Ready - for the night!

I never did FIND all the yard decor for fall. I'm sure I put it "somewhere" and I'm sure the "somewhere" is NOT where Mike stores our yard decor. I bet we'll find that we didn't pack things the same way last year at Christmas when we unpack those too. Ah well.

Hobby Lobby and Tractor supply had things 50% off yesterday so we bought a few things for the yard. I had a chuckle at BUYING fall colors. It does cheer me up to see red leaves in the yard. ::snort::
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For years, we've either ignored today's "holiday", hid in the basement with the lights out, or tried to be GONE..... This year? We're staying home, we're trying to let our light shine in the middle of the goings on in the neighborhood.

Our Jesus pumpkin will be shining, our Lord of the Harvest flag flapping....
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We've prepared tracts and goodie bags to give out.
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Arielle has become my holiday buddy - and I'm thrilled! Those first holidays were lonely to plan after the girls left.
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Our goodie bags:Christians like pumpkin paper, tract we downloaded and folded, 2 boxes of raisins, organic, juice-colored lollipop, play dough and a few pieces of cheap candy. Unfortunately, with Shop Natural not taking our order we weren't able to find the "good" candy. I'll plan better next year. I hope. ::snort::
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Yeah - we know that most will toss the paper without reading....but then they'll remember that the house with the Jesus pumpkin gave out good gifts...maybe that will plant a seed? We're praying it does. After all, though we could argue the current church practice of trying to "sweeten the gospel", GOD DOES GIVE GOOD GIFTS! Maybe it won't plant any seeds - but we like shining better than hiding, that's for sure. ::snort::
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket WooHOO!

Trish showed me how to put my signature in the formatting of the blog so that I don't have to remember it EVERY time I write a post! YES! Next - a graphic or icon. LOL I'm learning.Just in case there are others pasting the code into EACH blog's the simple instructions: Go to your blogger dashboard, click settings, click formatting, scroll down to post template box (bottom), copy and paste your code from My Live Signatures or whatever code you have in there....and BAM! It takes small victories to make my day!

OK - I loaded a graphic - not happy with the size or really the look - and I'll need to figure out how to do the linkware to the site that has free graphics...but I'm working on it.... for the time being I found the bread graphic here and when I figure out exactly which graphic I want and where I'll also learn how to do the link thing..... or someone tell me how to link to that ladies site in my sidebar so that it's all spiffy and legal while I figure out how to uncompress the country graphics I downloaded from another site to see if there is something there I like better. ::snort::Test, test, test.
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Nine children and I've NEVER seen this. THIS is what met me when I got home from Curves this a.m.



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Um.....I think she needs to fine tune her technique.
Free Tract to Download

Are you looking for a way to give out a bit more than candy this evening? If you give out candy, you may be interested in this LifeSaver Tract. It's cute. It presents salvation. It isn't condemning in any way - at least non that I've found yet.

Ideally, you attach a role of Lifesavers to the tract. I may not do that as I bought candy already. We shall see. THIS site has three "tracts for children" if you scroll past the more well IN YOUR FACE tracts. They have: Ooo Yuck, Kids you are Special, and God Knows My Name. These will take less paper, I think.

Halloween for us? The kids love passing out candy to those who knock on the door. It's usually a game night - typical family night for us. We don't celebrate Halloween, but we have started passing out candy because I didn't want the "Christian" house on the block to be the "grumpy, no -fun" house to those who do go out on Halloween. ::snort::
We don't really kick off our Season of Thanksgiving tonight. When the mummies go up in the stores, we begin our focus on intentional thankfulness. Thanksgiving is a holiday that tends to get short changed here in America. We've done this for years and reclaiming Thanksgiving from "turkey day" has been a huge blessing in our home. It worked for years for us to just IGNORE Halloween but in the past 4 or 5 years we began to pass out candy and really we get lots of opportunities to explain why we don't celebrate Halloween when folks come to our door. Shoot - what other time of the year do they COME to your door any more?????
I have a REAL problem passing out candy since we learned how bad it is for folks...but we will nonetheless this year. LOL

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BUST- ED!!!!

This girl is so busted. I came into the living room and there she was - with this face. I snapped a photo and she did her typical "me see". She popped her head around, checked out the photo, and had a shocked expression on her face. Evidently, she hadn't realized the evidence of her crime was easily viewable. THIS will preach.
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She eventually went and showed me the bag. I guess *I* don't have to worry about the temptation of home-made, dark chocolate dipped, peanuts! ::snort::
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I wish I could have caught a photo of her face when she saw the picture I'd taken and realized she was covered in chocolate. It was priceless.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Marginless Day

6:30 a.m. - Curves

7:30 - 8:00 - shower etc

8:30 - 8:45 - Oral Surgeon for Jamin

9:15 - 10:00 - talk with OS wife about United Concordia ::blah::

10:00 - fender bender

10:30 - drop off meds for Jamin

10:45 - Oops - OS forgot to sign perscriptions

11:00 - pick up paperwork from chapel

11:15 - 11:45 back to OS for signature; postoffice; drop off Jamin - pick up Nolan

12:00 - back at base pharmacy

12:30 - meet Mike for lunch

1:30 Speech

2:30 - Bank

2:50 - 3:30 Sam's Club - find friend to put cheesecake back that nice ole man was selling - I'm SUCH A SOFTIE!

4:30 - 5:30 read, made dinner

7:00 - off in search of pumpkins while Mike bought stuff to fix the dishwashwer at Lowes

7:45 - start pumpkins

Well, that's how most the day went...and here's some random photos that didn't fit below....

Kids at our local pumpkin patch - church parking lot
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Stacia insists on saying "CHEESE" when she sees a camera - hard to get a natural smile
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One in every crowd
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Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin!

(I've seen this for years on many yahoo lists, message boards etc. Last year EMILY showed us how to make the little poem come alive for our family! We've been trying to find a time to do this when we'd all be home. We THOUGHT that would be tonight but Cy got called in to work. I've not found an author - did a google search and found this repeatedly. Here's shots of our session last year. Mike added EXCITEMENT (see photos) to our evening this year. )

Let me try to explain, I brought this pumpkin here to help me illustrate what I mean. (Proceed to carve the pumpkin.)

First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.
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He then washes all the "dirt" off the outside that we received from being in the pumpkin patch. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.

Then, He carefully removes all the "yucky stuff" called "sin" out from the inside. Look at this! Yuck! It smells too - just like our sin smells to others.

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He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His presence. He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God's love in your life.

{Here I divert from the internet poem}. Jesus carves His name on your life. His character becomes my character. And/or

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Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!

Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. "Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven."

{I divert again}This light will shine brighter in the dark tonight. In fact – look all that we can see from a distance is Jesus’ name. Jesus’ character often shines brighter in my life when things are dark and hard. Then people see HIS light and HIS character on my face the brightest.
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So you see, we Christians are really like this pumpkin! We will never be the same with Jesus inside of us.

I've not seen an author listed for this anywhere and I've added to the basic "structure" to fit more with what I wanted to teach the children.

Here is another poem that I repeatedly came across after googling "christians like pumpkin".

{cut off top of pumpkin}Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.

{remove innards}Remove the things in my life that don’t please you.Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.

{cut open eyes}Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.

{cut out nose}I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.

{cut out mouth}Let everything I say please You.

{light the candle}Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do. Amen

(One site attributed the poem to Liz Curtis Higgs - the rest gave no author)
The J Family

Thanks for your prayers for the J family. They went to court on Friday in the Ukraine and are now Julia's parents. I'm not sure how all this works but they still have 10 - 14 days waiting for paperwork, birth certificate, and passport. THEN they must also deal with the American embasy.

Pray for this all to proceed smoothly and on God's timetable. Thanks!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Super Sunday

I am so blessed to be able to attend two or three diverse "churches" each week. I missed everyone last week and it was FUN to be back this week. We only did two services today. Mike preached from Matt 7 - Judge not...and it was good, convicting, challenging and encouraging all at the same time. We are NOT to set ourselves up as judge, jury and sentence enforcer....we are to be tools of grace and mercy - leading others to the author of salvation. Good stuff.

The day began early. Mike and I teach a Sunday School class for "elementary" (actually the ONLY one ::snort::). It's been a blast to do together. I've really LOVED seeing Mike teach the young ones. Mike also usually does children's church in the Traditional Service but since he was preaching, I volunteered. I really did. What a hoot! I've avoided RE since MT when I was asked by the RE coordinator to stay with adults where my "gifting" was.

We arrived today and I went to make a few copies for Children's Church while Mike settled into class. There was NO adult teacher. I got to teach. It was GREAT. They've been studying Ephesians and happened to be in Eph 4. We didn't finish the chapter but we discussed the first 15 or 16 verses. Awesome to me was the fact that I've been thinking a lot about the Body of Christ and why God would set it up that we need each other - when so often we think we do better on our own. Read the verses and laugh. We had a great discussion time...and I chuckled all day that God encouraged my thoughts with this "coincidence".

Children's church went well. Stacia ran up front during the children's sermon and stole the show. She stopped and said "hi" all along the way. She kept saying "I have money" when Mike was speaking to the kids. Then she ran back down the aisle stopping to say hi along the way...back up again....and THEN she took off her shoes during the prayer. She came back DOWN the aisle, headed for children's church telling all, "I have my shoes". ::snort::

Fellowship Time was sweet. Emma made some YUMMY Good Morning muffins. I need to make these - though the kids weren't as impressed as I was. Debbie and her boys joined us for lunch at Burger King. Debbie's dh is about 1/2 way through his deployment! Go Debbie.

Mike and I went to the Gospel Service. Sweet time. The children came home.

When we arrived home, Josiah drove to pick up Debbie's boys and Shannon's boys, and Mike met them all over at the local school for a rousing game of football. Both families have Dad's deployed and Mike enjoyed being there for a bit of Dad Rough housing with them.....paying his friends back for their care of us last year.

The younger boys played play station. The girls helped me work on Thanksgiving decorations. We STILL cannot find our yard decor. I'm sure I put it some strange place. Mike has set spots for these things but he wasn't home last year at this time. AND most importantly, we made chocolate covered nuts to go in our homemade ice cream which Mike is dishing up NOW!

I'll write more posts with photos as time allows...
Thankful (Or Thanksgiving) Tree

Each year, for years, we've made a Thankful tree. Most years we've made a tree or used a branch. I've cut out about 100 leaves. I place the leaves in a basket and hang the tree on a wall or bulletin board, or stick the branch in a pot of dirt....

Throughout the season any and all who enter our house are welcome to grab a leaf, write what they are thankful for on the leaf, and stick it on the tree.

THIS year I ordered our tree from Oriental Trading. It comes with a few leaves. I needed more leaves. I found packs for $1.99. I decided it was worth the price this year to save the time. I didn't realize that they were WREATHS (because once again I don't read close enough when I'm ordering) but that is o.k.

Our stuff arrived earlier in the week - a HUGE box.
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Arielle and I hung the tree tonight while the boys were playing football.
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Stephanie (an MHO sister I met in real life) made this quilt for me one fall. We moved it to where the moose quilt usually resides in our living room.
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I ordered these as well - didn't realize there were 12 of them!If any local friends want some - ask. They are going to be little Thanksgiving scenes....I am really going to have to start reading the fine print when I order online.
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UPATE: I've meaning to say, and forgot last night, that Yvonne had a great idea for all these leaves after Thanksgiving. It's always bothered me to throw them away. She suggested putting them in a scrapbook. I'm going to do that this year. Actually, go here to read some really wonderful thoughts by Yvonne on Thanksgiving.