Friday, December 30, 2011


This fall quarter, I have had the privelge of leading our teenage women's Bible class ~ GRITS~Girls Raised In The Son.  I so enjoyed this class and these great young ladies.  The class was basically to "train" our young ladies their responsibilty in the church.  We talked about a wide range of topics.  Some were very uncomfortable, some made us cry, some made us laugh, but all helped us to grow in His grace and light. 

On Friday, December 16, 2011, the young ladies hosted a dinner for their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts.  They did a wonderful job!  And I had a HUGE surprise for them.  One of the topics we spoke about in our class was purity and God's plan for marriage.  Being a Woman whose heart is so lost in God that a man must seek Him to find her.  So each family was asked to present their young lady to remind them of the lessons they had learned and the promise they have made to God and themselves!  The evening was so special and such an honor to share this special moment with these young ladies!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

After getting home from taking mom and dad home for an afternoon outing, I remembered that there was a picture of daddy and I taken last year at Christmas. I guess you could say, a picture speaks a 1000 words.  I am proud of all I have accomplished this past year!  I am thankful that I got to spend another year with my Daddy!  I am grateful that God has made me uncomfortable in my transformation! I know that I still have a lot of work to do, but I am SO MUCH CLOSER today than I was a year ago!  
Not long ago, I read 
 excuses are just lies we tell ourselves so that we feel better for not putting up the hardwork it takes to reach our goals and dreams.
Failure is always an option, it is the choice we make when we believe the lies we tell ourselves.  In 2011, when my path was blocked with obstacles, it would have been so easy to make an excuse and go back to the old way.  With every obstacle, I had an option.  Some I walked thru with no little problem and some I turned around and regrouped then found another path.  There were a couple that put me flat on my butt, but when I was able to get back up and climb over them, I realized those were the ones that made me stronger in my faith. So in 2012, there is still much work to do!  Even when I feel like giving up, I love that God never gives up on me! 
December 25, 2010
December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

In so many ways, Christmas of 2011 is in the record books for our family.  A Christmas Story on TBS for 24 being over is a clear indication that we are smiling at our memories.  In one way it is not over~ my Christmas cards are NOT done!  Normally, I would have really stressed over that, but this year stress in our lives was redefined.  So hopefully, they will be in the mail before the end of the week. 

Family Christmas picture 2011
(just in case) 
This is Pearl Moody!  Such a sweet little baby that we got to puppy sit Christmas Eve!  Can't wait to watch this sweet girl grow up with Olivia, Meredith, and Griffin!
This picture is for my sweet Utah friend~ Gwynne.
The Minatra's Charlie Brown Tree!  We usually do not do a live tree, but this year the girls talked me into it.  It was not too bad.  BUT we have not taken it down yet, so I foresee the mess! Oh Well!  It brought us many hours of enjoyment!  I think Snoopy would have been proud!

In our house, Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles held THE BEST PRIZE!  Mary Lane and Katherine thought they had out smarted me.  I kept telling them it would be a small Christmas.  So I had to get real creative about how to "hide" their Christmas.  When they become teenagers the gifts get small with a big pricetag. So this year, I wrapped all their "liittle" stuff and put it in a big box.  So under the tree the girls had two gifts~ one was toliet paper cause we all need a little TP and then the "big" box.  In the box was a few little swim items, gold fish, wallet, some money, and a box of Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles.  Thanks to Aunt Ann's idea of how to hide the ipod~ it became the "prize" in their cereal box!  It was pretty funny.  I had TOTAL got them.  I had even glued the box flap back.  Now here is where Clay and I differ~ Clay would have let them go all day waiting for them to find it!  ME not so much.  I asked is there a prize in the cereal.  Don't think so.  I left it at that kinda, Mary Lane noticed that if did feel rather heavy.  They both looked at each other and opened the boxes to which screams followed!  It was pretty funny and they loved that I got'em!

We had a lot to be thankful for this year!  In 2011, our health took on a how new meaning!  Changing my health, kicked off our year which lead Clay, Honey and Big Daddy to making some changes.  June, trying to keep my sweet daddy healthy became priorty for my sister, brothers, and I.  Someone asked me what I wanted for Christmas....could not think of anything really cause I felt like we had been given the best gift this year~ more time with our daddy!!! 

So from Rockvale, from our family to yours, we pray that all your Christmas wishes came true!  We hope that 2012, God provides you opportunities to grow in His love and grace. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Some Childhood Memories

Mary Lane told me that I needed to blog.  I laughed and said well maybe I do.  There has been a lot going on and had put it on the back burner.  A conversation that the girls and I had today sparked this entry.  There was a conversation the girls overheard Saturday about my childhood and how another family member was very "well that is not Biblical" about a lot of stuff.  I told them that there were celebrations in my childhood that were done with some of our family that was and still is very important to how they celebrate the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.  I don't pretend to be a scholar, so those of you are reading this for that purpose~ I feel sure you are trying to quote book, chapter, and verse....Sorry, this is more to help my children understand some of my  childhood memories.

The Season of Advent ~ Advent means coming.  The Season of Advent in many Christian churches begins the 4th Sunday before Christmas.  This is the celebration of the birth of Christ.  Now according to the Bible, no, there is no date as to when Christ was born.  We know that they were in Bethleham because of the census.  Many scholars have studied calendars but one thing I understand is that our calendar that we use today did not exist 2011 years ago.  Does it really make that big of a difference~ I don't think so.  I believe that if God had really wanted us to know the exact day that Christ was born...He would have put it in the Bible.  BUT it is wonderful that during this time of year, Christians around the world are like minded and are putting the focus on Christ.  Funny, leading up to Christmas, we go shopping, wrap gifts, tell our children that "Santa" is coming, decorate our homes, put our elf on a shelf, etc., we are saying Merry Christmas and  Happy Holidays.  So if we are teaching our children about an elf on a shelf or Santa, I think we are ok to talk about our Savior too and celebrate His birth.  (and for those shaking your head....YES, I teach my children on a daily basis about Christ and His word) 

Christmas Day ~ To many Christians, this is the day set aside for celebration of Christ's birth.  AGAIN, according to the Bible it does not say that Christ was born on December 25th.  BUT AGAIN, if we are going to put the pagan spin on it with gifts, trees, weaths, ets then to me it seems like a perfect time to put our attention on the birth of Christ.  I celebrate my birthday, my husband's birthday, and of course my beautiful daughters' birthday, so why not put aside one day when as a Christian, I can celebrate Christ birthday?  And yes, again, I live my day to day life with Christ at the forefront.  But I don't think as a Christian, if I want to bake a cake to serve at dinner and call it a birthday cake that I am teaching my children "against" the Bible.

Then there is Epiphany ~  The word epiphany means “manifestation”.  This is the 12 days after Christmas that leads up to January 6th.  It is also known as Three King Day.  Remember in the Bible about the three kings coming from afar bringing gifts to the new born king.  Also, I think there is a song about the 12 Days of Christmas and my true love gave to me.  My grandmother LOVED Epiphany.  I remember one year, I guess I was in college, because I was still there for Epiphany and we went to Tarpon Springs.  She lived in Clearwater and Tarpon Springs is a town close.  It is a large Greek community and on January 6th, there is a huge festival.  The Greek Orthodox Priest blesses the waters and the boats (huge sponging community) then he throws a cross in the water.  Teenage boys, I think 16 to 18, dive in the pretty cold waters to catch cross.  It is believed that the young man who gets the cross will be blessed beyond measure.  It is very neat to witness.  A few years ago, maybe in 2006, Pope Bartholomew came to lead the Epiphany service and blessings. 

As for me, yes, these are things that I share with my children as traditions of my childhood  that I celebrated with my grandmother.  I believe my grandmother to have been a wonderful Christian woman.  And to her, these were important ways to show and share her faith.  She opened up her home and heart all thru the year but during Christmas, she made a huge to do over this time of  year.  I find it very ironic that she passed away right after Epiphany. 

So on Christmas morning, my children will awake to find that Santa has come and they will open presents.  They will eat and share time with family.  And at some point in our day, we will pray and give thanks for the birth of Christ.....just as we do all year round, but on December 25th, many around the world will be doing the same thing, and I am sorry, but I just don't find it to be a coinedence. 

(Ash Wednesday, Lent, Good Friday, Easter.....well, I will save that for another post but yep, they were as much of a part of my childhood as my grandmother was!)