Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Memory of a Sweet, Special Girl

This is our Gracie. We found out a few weeks ago that she had cancer and wouldn't be with us much longer. We had to take her to the vet this morning before she began to really suffer.

Jimmy rescued her as a puppy and when he went through his divorce, I believe she rescued him right back. She was the biggest chihuahua ever! She wanted so badly to be a lap dog! As you can see...not happenin'! But she would just lean into you trying to get you to love on her. She was a sweetheart until the very end.

So if you read this, please say a prayer for us, especially my sweet Jimmy. He is having a hard time. We are drawing comfort in knowing that He cares about our hurts and that if He watches over the sparrow, then He surely must our beloved pets.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God." Luke 12:6 NIV

The words of two comedians seem to resonate...In the infamous words of Bob Hope, "Thanks for the memories," and in the infamous words of George Burns, "Say goodnight, Gracie."

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morn

Shhh...everyone else is still sleeping, but I just had to say,

"Welcome, Christ child! Thank You for coming to a little manger made from wood that You created. Thank You for coming to a manger that would lead You to a cross - made from wood that You created. Thank You for leaving a throne where You heard the praises of angels crying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy' and coming to hear the oohs and aahs of some amazed shepherds. Thank You for coming as a sweet little baby so that You could become my conquering King.
Thank You for turning the darkness of this heart into a light to shine for You.
This heart is all I have to give You this Christmas morn. Thank You for saying it is enough. Please be blessed by my simple adoration. Give me a Mary heart in all situations - Luke 1:38 'Be it unto me according to Your word.'
And I ask you this morning for the peace and comfort that You came to give in double portion for those who have a new empty place at their Christmas celebration this year.
I praise You, Lord. 'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' Isaiah 9:6 I love that a child was born, but that the Son was given. You have always been and will forever be!! I kneel in humble awe of You. - Merry Christmas to my Christ. Amen"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Time passes, things change, children grow...but He hasn't

A 20 year tradition is over. I've literally cried over this. I know I'm such a sap, but Santa has visited my house for 20 years!! I've been thinking that it was over, but I have new thought- more on that later.

So earlier I was throwing myself one world-class size pity party. Santa not coming. How can this be? He has come every Christmas for 20 years. (I know I'm so stinking old and my girls are too far apart, but hey, it wasn't MY plan!) So in the midst of my little meltdown of feeling sorry for myself, I started thinking about the whole reason we celebrate Christmas and then I felt very ashamed...So I began to talk to the Lord about my selfishness and sorry attitude and how horrible I was to have ever celebrated the season with anything other than Christ, but I didn't get very far. As we were talking, just the two of us in the Mom Mobile - I had one foot over the line into self-bashing mode- He helped me realize that it was OKAY to be sad about Santa- that it was okay to mourn the passing of childhood and the magic of it - and that I haven't pushed Him out of the season or the celebration. Before it was over, He had helped me to realize that He has become such a part of my everyday life that there is rarely ANYTHING that He does not have a major role in. WHOA! I mean seriously, WHOA!! This isn't the same girl of 24 trying to create magic for my little one. I know Truth and Truth has set me free. Pity turned to praise pretty darn quick. He is amazing. Truly the one who brings comfort in sorrow. He encouraged me and brought me the peace that He came to give so long ago. He is my great High Priest, and He is still my Emmanuel.

So as for Santa. Well, new traditions may start, but he is still coming to my house. Those who don't believe, won't receive! Simple as that. No more talk of him not being real. He may not be who McKenna and Chelsea thought he was, but the love and magic remains in the heart of the one who made that magic happen for them for all these years. And besides, my sweet Jesus told me it was okay. A little magic and a whole lot of praise - I think it is the perfect formula for a great Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Survey -
I answered this on the Living Proof Ministry's blog the other day and thought I would repost here. Leave me a comment and answer the survey and then you can copy and paste it into your blog and see what your friends say. Kind of fun!

What is your...?
1. Preference in Christmas tree? Fresh or Fake?
Fresh is my preference, but fake is my reality
2. Favorite Ornament - this one is exceptionally hard for me - HUGE collection, and I have a new one from my sweet Siesta Malinda that I will forever love and cherish, but I think if I had to pick one it would be one of my newer ones - of Linus standing on the stage...push the button...he says, "lights, please." The light comes on the stage and he tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about.
3. Favorite Christmas Song - Easy one...My man singing the Dennis Jernigan song, "Hallelujah! Christ Is Born"...I think seeing him sing it in church was the first time I felt my heart in my throat over that guy! Crying over the reality of my Jesus and weak-kneed over my guy...honestly, does it get any better?
4. Favorite Tradition - Making the ugliest Christmas cookies you have ever seen with my girls. Delicious...but hideously ugly. What's up with all that dough spreading when you bake anyway? Or maybe opening one present on Christmas is a tradition my mother always had with us. I can't wait to open a Heavenly present with her someday -what joy it will be!
5. Gift Received - too many to name...probably ALL of them the first year Jimmy and I were married. I had never had so many before...I felt VERY special!
6. Favorite Meal - Ham, Turkey, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry sauce, Green-Bean casserole/Broccoli-Rice casserole Broccoli & Cauliflower salad..Oh, and the cranberry sauce...canned, please. Pleeaassee do NOT make me eat a real cranberry. ewwww...
7. Favorite Christmas Cookie - Those really ugly ones I mentioned.
8. Favorite Place to Be - Home on Christmas morning with the girls and Jimmy.
9. Favorite Christmas Memory - The magic in McKenna's face when she was younger and "heard" Santa and the reindeer on the roof, thanks to my nieces and Jimmy.
10. Favorite Christmas Movie - Tie-Elf for fun, Miracle on 34th Street (new one) for sentiment.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SHHHHH...It's a secret!!

Here is the one big surprise I was able to pull off for my man this year. We have never done a picture with all of his girls, so we snuck off to do this. Within a week or two we found out our precious Gracie has cancer so our very sweet friend Toby came to our house, took some shots of her and cropped her in. And he captured McKenna perfectly!! Aren't my sweet girls pretty? I know I'm biased!!

The watermark is still on these proofs, but you get the idea.

Oh... and it was after we finished this shenanigan that the girls snuck back out to Toby's and had more done!!

I had him change the Scripture on this one to Ruth 1:16

Chelsea hates this one...Silly girl...she looks like a model!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Lies...we go way beyond secrets!!

Is this picture not adorable? My girls at their silly, funny best!! But there is a story...
The other night I am quite sure I was trapped in a bad Abbott and Costello routine. I had to go to Wichita Falls to do a few errands, and so McKenna stayed with her sister. Good...I could continue the Wii hunt that I have been on. And quite by accident - VICTORY!!! I found one! I sent Chelsea a text and told her so we could both celebrate.
I had also picked up a cobbler to fix for my board meeting the next day, so when I picked McKenna up I said I needed to drop it off at the office. She immediately said, "I'll do it for you." Now I'm not saying my child is not sweet and helpful, but the thought of her wanting to unlock my office and walk into a dark building just didn't make a whole lot of sense. And then, "AHA" - I think to myself..."that little rat knows there is a Wii in the back of this van and she wants to get a look at it!!" So I immediately said that I would do it; that it was sooo cold and windy I didn't want her out in the night air with her cold. So then she asked, "Are you just going to take it straight to the kitchen and come right back out?" Yes, I assure her...then feeling somewhat remorseful for my previous bad thoughts, I added, "Are you afraid to stay out here by yourself?" She tells me she is a little, but that she'll be okay. She then asks for my cell phone...I assume to play games. Then, another "AHA" she wanted me to stay in the office for a second so she can get a glimpse in the back of the van before I come out.

Well...I'll just show her...I pick up the cobbler which I had slid into one of those giant freezer bags that you buy to keep things cold in...and then I picked up the bag with the Wii and hid it behind it then carried them both in. I was feeling pretty smug when I unlocked the door then hooked a right into my office instead of going straight to the kitchen. I drop the Wii just inside my door, then out of habit flip the light on, then head to the kitchen. McKenna in the meantime has seen my office light come on. When I walk back into my office to turn the light off I see four little pictures taped to my computer screen. Oh my goodness! Pictures of my girls! I get a little closer look, but then realize that she would see the light in my office and get suspicious. As I look toward the front door of the building, sure enough, I see her headed for the door. AAAGGGGHHHH!!! I have to get the Wii covered up!!!! So I hurry and go grab the freezer bag and throw that over the Wii. When she gets inside the door she made a comment about me seeing the picture so she was going to go ahead and give me one of my Christmas presents and takes me to my secretary's desk...who apparently had been in cahoots with the girls to give me a surprise...It just wasn't supposed to happen until the next morning....That is the picture posted above. She had been in a panic out in the van calling her sister in near hysterics because I was about to see the surprise. Tooo stinkin' funny, ya'll. Oh, and one other little tidbit...that picture was taken after the girls and I had snuck out to have pictures taken for Jimmy for Christmas. We had to lie then, too. See what I mean...we go way beyond secrets!
Needless to say I ADORE the picture! But between her trying to hide the picture and me trying to hide the Wii...Who's on first!?