Friday, December 26, 2008

It's Christmas; it's Christmas!!!!!`

So, here it is, the 2nd day of Christmas, and all is well. All "children" are happy; and soon to be not a creature stirring. On account of, it's 8:15 on December 26. We should all still be celebrating the birth of The Child. I know I am. Enjoy the season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Twas The Night Before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Clement C. Moore, 1822

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Miracles

Before I finish introducing you the the rest of my wonderful family, I feel driven to tell you a true story. This is the season of miracles, yes. Some have happy endings (c.f. MckMama), some have different endings (c.f. Bring the Rain), and some endings break my heart (c.f. Sponbergs). THIS ending is truly a Christmas miracle, and she's 16 years old this year.

When I was pregnant with HRH, lo these 17 years ago, I was the tender age of 34, and still thought that I knew better than God. (Note to everyone: you NEVER know better than God!) We had had a friend from church, about my age, who had given birth to a little girl (their only girl of 4 kids) with Down Syndrome. So, I thought, in my infinite wisdom, that if that's what was in store for me, then I jolly well wanted to know about it in advance - so I could "prepare" (translation, cry a LOT).

Enter prenatal testing: a simple blood test, which screens for elevated levels of 2 proteins, one of which can indicate spina bifida, the other which can indicate Down Syndrome. Of course, when the results came back, one of the levels was high, suggesting a risk of birth defect - Down Syndrome. This was in September, 1991. The doctor's office immediately referred me to the local teaching hospital, as they had the latest technology, the most doctors, and the longest waiting periods I've ever seen. The hospital was all in a rush, because I was already at 16 weeks, and if I were to choose to terminate the pregnancy, time was wasting.

Note to followers: abortion was NEVER an option. So, we went to the hospital for ultrasounds & amniocentesis, worrying more about the results than about the process. Well, during the ultrasound (which was VERY high-definition for the time), the doctor discovered two cysts in one of the ventricles of our baby. Not a good thing - it could set the baby for hydrocephalus, mental retardation, and more. They went through with the amnio, tell me it would be a month or so for the results. In the meantime, I had this baby in my belly, who might or might not survive. This is what's known in the Christian world as a "storm."

I had to go back each month for more ultrasounds, checking on the size of the cysts, looking for any defects, etc. In October, we got the results of the amnio, which were perfectly normal - I even got a copy of my baby's DNA. But the cysts were larger that month.

In November, it looked like they were shrinking some, but I still had to go back in December for another ultrasound. Along this time, I had been doing some serious "talking" with God. What finally happened is that I had to verbally, mentally, and spiritually submit to God's will, and tell Him that whatever He chose to do would be all right.

Now, we're to the December ultrasound - did I mention that it was done in the week before Christmas? Doctors have SUCH a good sense of timing. Well, guess what! NO cysts! Nothing! They couldn't find any evidence of the baby ever having had any. Healed? By golly, YES!!! My Christmas miracle.

What did I learn from all this? I will NEVER think that I know better than God (well, I try to think that, I'm not perfect). I always try to pray in God's will, rather than in what I want (and think is best). I've learned to turn everything over to Him, and He will work it all for good (Romans 8:28). He does, and He will.

Monday, December 15, 2008

'Twas the week before the week before Christmas...

So, here it is, 11 days (I think) before the big day. The day which always ends too quickly. The day where everyone behaves as I wish they would all year. The day for peace on earth, to men of good will (check the original translation). The day of unlimited thank-yous, hugs, and CHOCOLATE! Good times.

I still need to introduce you to some more elements of my mid-life family - today, at long last, I bring you my oldest: He has the best sense of humor, a great humorous outlook (there's a difference), and is oh-so-cute! His girlfriend agrees with me. So does his puppy. His name? Let's see, how about BBE - Big Blue Eyes? Does that work? I'll wait for all my followers (all one of her) to weigh in. He's big brother to PWTH, nameless brother, and HRH. Very cute. Smart. Funny. And growing into one heck of a man, thankyouverymuch.

If ever you need cheering up, just start telling him about some situation, and he will put a spin on it that will get everyone laughing. And not at the expense of someone else - he's not sarcastic. Just funny.

BBE, welcome to the blog. I'm sure Party Waiting To Happen & Her Royal Highness were getting a little anxious about hanging out there alone on the blogsphere. Now they've got him for company.

And Christmas? Well, let me put it like this: yesterday I did a shopping blitz, hitting 5 stores in 1.5 hours. I ended up with about 1/2 of what I need still. Hmm, it'll happen, ready or not. And, of course, I'm watching the mailbox/driveway like a hawk, trying to intercept packages before the kids see the return addresses. Just my luck, they probably X-ray the packages before the pkgs. hit the doorstep. Smart kids. NOSY!

Don't forget the Rebel for a Cause on my sidebar. The ending date is today, at noon. Give to a good cause. Enjoy the day! It's Christmas, it's Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This is one of those moment immortalized in "Home Alone" (YOU know - the hands on the cheeks, screaming AAAAHHHH!) I realized this morning that there are only SIXTEEN days until Christmas. Of course, my daughter, HRH, doesn't help, changing the countdown days in our kitchen Santa. She's all about service, that way. So, shopping kicks into high gear "real soon now." At least this weekend. If not sooner. (not)

Time for another introduction of family: daughter #1, who shall be known as PWTH (Party Waiting To Happen). She's one big source of joy. Blonde, green eyes, always happy (unless there've been 3 consecutive days of rain, and then she's S A D). So anyway, PWTH is in college, in her 3rd year. She's about 200 miles away, which is far enough to escape, but not too far not to come home every month. She's about 5'2" tall, and will stand up to ANY guy, no matter their attitude or height (I don't know WHERE she gets this). Good stuff.

So, 2 daughters, 3.75 years apart. And, there are boys on either side of PWTH, just begging to be introduced. Soon. Soon.

Don't forget to donate to the Rebel For a Cause on the right. Don't forget to stop, drop, & relax. It's Christmas. You know, the season of joy. Be joyful.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Waiting on the Lord

I must tell you this: within ONE hour of updating my last post, the entire situation of "turmoil" to which I referred last post had totally resolved. All is well once again. At least, until the next time Satan decides to pester push my buttons again. And he will, of course. He knows what gets to me, and he does it frequently (gets to me, I mean). BUT, there is One... "He knows my name. He knows my every thoughts. He sees each tear that falls, and hears me when I call." If God is for us, who can be against us?

Plug time again: don't forget to donate to the Rebel for a Cause on the right. Worthy causes, all. And most people can spare $10 for a really worthy cause. The total is up to almost $10,500 as we speak (Sunday afternoon). Excellent!

My 16 yr. old informs me that I should be mentioning my children in my blog - after all, why not? They may make me famous, some day! So here goes: our first mention of not-so-small-fry will be about the last-born: her given name shall remain anonymous. We shall refer to her as Her Royal Highness, the Queen. She is smart, clever, funny, sarcastic, and empathic. She also has NO tolerance for her mother's trying to be any of the above - even though she got all of those characteristics from her mother. Example: I work for the local school system, in Special Education. I work directly with kids "from the 'hood" some of whom are true hoods. But, when I try to be funny & "throw down a gang sign" HRH informs me "Throwing down a gang sign? You look like you've got Tourette's Syndrome." Nice. VERY respectful. Such a sweet child. But she comes by it honestly, I'm afraid - although I've grown out of such sarcasm.

So, there you have it: the first installment of introductions of my NSSF (not-so-small-fry). Have a great day, and celebrate the Child!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Followers? Anyone? Anyone?

Update: after I posted this, I checked how it looked on the screen. The FIRST thing I saw was my "verse of the week" which reads "They that WAIT ON THE LORD..." So, OK, Lord, you don't have to shout! I'll wait. Again.

Everything I just wrote and disappeared into cyberspace! I hate when that happens! I shall endeavor to reproduce verbatim everything I lost, but don't hold your breath....

Plug time: don't forget to click on the "Rebel for a Cause" linky thingy on the right & donate to 3 very worthy causes. We (bloggers) get nothing, but the sense of helping others. See post below for all the details.

It's been 4 whole days since I started blogging, and I have nary a follower to show for it. So, how about an incentive? IF you "follow" my blog, there will be a little something extra in your stocking this Christmas. How can I do this? Easy: Santa! Santa makes magic happen each and every year at my house. Children are helpful, my son doesn't fight with his younger sister for 24 hours, the house is clean for those same 24 hours (coincidence? doubtful).

Or, it's a God-thing. Yeah, that's probably what it is. "For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37. If God can impregnate a virgin by saying so, and have all that turn out for good, He can do anything. I believe that. Can he give me 10 million bucks? Sure. But He won't. That's not what I need. What I NEED is to depend on Him for everything I have: food, shelter, clothing, peace. And right now, I need a lot of peace. Home is in turmoil due to circumstances beyond our control, and I'm getting about 4 hours of sleep a night - in bits & pieces. I'm supposed to be celebrating the season of joy, and all I can do is worry about our turmoil. Yes, I do trust in God & depend on him for all things, but the what-if monster (Satan) knows each & every button I possess & is pushing ALL of them right now. I'm button weary. I need peace. Send me peace, Lord.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rebel for a Cause

OK, so I'm a sucker for a cause! This one is most excellent. You can see by my new linky thingy on the right that there is a benefit drive for String of Pearls. It's easy - I just did it: you click on the linky thingy, which will take you to PayPal, so that you can make a $10 or more donation ($10 per ticket), which goes directly into the raffle fund. The prize package is most excellent: A Canon SLR digital, two lenses, strap, bag, AND a memory card. Go here: & check it out. McMama does a much better job describing, with pictures! The money benefits three very worthy causes, which I am quoting here:

All proceeds of this Raffle-Way will be donated. Proceeds will go to String of Pearls, a beautiful ministry that offers a nurturing and safe place for families as they navigate the path following a fatal prenatal diagnosis that will result in the death of their baby prior to, or shortly after birth. String of Pearls provides guidance, compassion and practical suggestions as plans to honor the life of pre-born babies are crafted.Proceeds will also go to benefit No Hands But Ours. No Hands But Ours is a China adoption resource site, specific to special needs adoption. It was created to provide information, encouragement and support for families of the children who wait and for those who wait no more. It is their hope that God would use this organization to encourage and equip ordinary people to do an extraordinary thing in the life of a special needs orphan, to give the gift every child needs and deserves...a family.The Elison Project helps to provide grants to families adopting special needs children from China, and collaborates with No Hands But Ours. Proceeds of this Raffle-Way will allow families to make an incredible difference in the life of a child. Your donation will help to bring His children home.

SO, give $10.00. It's Christmas. Babies & their families need you.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Just for the record, pink is NOT my favorite color! I grew up in a family of 11, surrounded by boys on all sides. I was a tree-climbing, mud puddle-jumping, stick-throwing tomboy. I didn't even LIKE boys until I met my now-husband. But something happened around the time I turned 45. Pink started happening. When I SCUBA certified, I got bright pink air hoses on my regulator. My wetsuit has pink on it. I even own a pink dress (it's technically dusty rose, but you get the idea). All these things are NOT normal for me. So what happened? Maybe it's my second childhood, in which I get to do all the things I didn't do the first time.

So, let's see. Since 2003, I've been to Mexico (Riviera Maya) 5 times. I snorkeled the first time, then we got certified, & SCUBA dive every time we go. I've gone to San Francisco. I've dabbled my toes in the Pacific. (it was COLD) I've been to Honduras & Venezuela on mission trips. I've FINALLY seen the Grand Canyon. In the snow. On my 50th birthday. I've completed 8 years of voice lessons.

What haven't I done? (Insert dream travel here) I haven't borne any more children - 4 is enough! I haven't divorced my husband - which is a good thing. I haven't been hospitalized (for longer than day-surgery). I haven't broken any bones. I HAVE totalled my car (flipped on the highway), which I hadn't done in quite some time.

The moral of the story? Live. Love. Laugh. Enjoy life! I certainly am.