Slide Show

Friday, December 26, 2008


Bud and I came to Jana's and Bruce's home for Christmas. We attended a Christmas Eve Service and their Pastor Roger Raymer gave this Benediction:

The Lord Jesus Chris who we exalt a Christmas is not jusst a baby in a manger. He is not a character in a children's story. He is far more.

The first time He came, He came veiled in the form of a child. The next time He comes, and we believe it will be soon, He will come unveiled, and it will be abundantly and immediately clear to all the world just who He really is.

The first time He came a star marked His arrivl. The next time He comes, the whole heavens will rol up like a scroll, and all the stars will fall out of the sky, and He Himself will light it.

The first time He came, wise men and shepherds broght Him gifts. The nex time He comes, He will bring gifts, rewards for His own.

The first time He came, there was no room for Him. The next time He comes, the whole world will not be able to contain His glory.

The first time He came, only a few attended His arrival....some shepherds and some wise men. The next time He comes, every eye shall see Him.

The first time He came as a baby. Soon He will come as a Sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Are you ready? The next time He comes He will come as a thief in the night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Will the Christ Child Come?
Written by Gaye Willis

One Christmas we had an interesting experience that I would like to share.
Halfway through December we were doing the regular evening things when there
Was a knock at the door. We opened it to find a small package with a beautiful
Ceramic lamb inside. We looked at the calendar and realized that the 12 days
Of Christmas were beginning! We waited excitedly for the next night's surprise
And only then, with the gift of a matching shepherd, did we realize that
The lamb was part of a nativity set.

Each night we grew more excited to see what piece we would receive.
Each was exquisitely beautiful. The kids kept trying to catch the givers
As we slowly built the scene at the manger and began to focus on Christ's birth.

On Christmas Eve, all the pieces were in place, all but the Baby Jesus.
My 12-year-old son really wanted to catch our benefactors and began
To devise all kinds of ways to trap them. He ate dinner in the minivan,
Watching and waiting, but no one came. Finally, we called him in to go through
Our family's Christmas Eve traditions. But before the kids went to bed, we
Checked the front step - - no Baby Jesus! We began to worry that my son
Had scared them off. My husband suggested that maybe they dropped the Jesus
And there wouldn't be anything coming. Somehow, something was missing that Christmas Eve.

There was a feeling that things weren't complete. The kids went to bed and before
I went to bed, I again checked to see if the Jesus had come - - no, the doorstep was empty.
In our family, the kids can open their stockings when they want to, but they have to wait
To open any presents until Dad wakes up. So one by one they woke up very early and I
Also woke up to watch them. Even before they opened their stockings, each child
Checked to see if perhaps during the night the Baby Jesus had come.

Missing that piece of the set seemed to have an odd effect. At least it changed
My focus. I knew there were presents under the tree for me and I was excited
To watch the children open their gifts, but first on my mind was the feeling of
Waiting for the ceramic Christ Child. We had opened just about all of the presents
When one of the children found one more for me buried deep beneath the limbs of the tree.

He handed me a small package from my former visiting teaching companion.
This sister was somewhat less-active in the church. I had been her visiting teacher
For a couple of years and then, when she was asked to be a visiting teacher, she requested
To go with me. I had learned over time they didn't have much for Christmas, so that
Their focus was on the children. It sounded like she didn't get many gifts to open,
So I had always given her a small package -- new dish towels, the next year's Relief
Society lesson manual -- not much, but something for her to open.

I was touched when at church on the day before Christmas, she had given me this
Small package, saying it was just a token of her love and appreciation. As I took
Off the bow, I remembered my friendship with her and was filled with gratitude for
Knowing her and for her kindness and sacrifice in this giving me a gift. But as the
Paper fell away, I began to tremble and cry. There in the small brown box was
The Baby Jesus! He had come!

I realized on that Christmas Day, that Christ will come into our lives in ways that
We don't expect. The spirit of Christ comes into our hearts as we serve one another.
We had waited and watched for Him to come, expecting the dramatic "knock at the door
And scurrying of feet" but He came in a small, simple package that represented service,
Friendship, gratitude and love.

This experience taught me that the beginning of the true spirit of Christmas
Comes as we open our hearts and actively focus on the Savior. But we will most
Likely find Him in the small and simple acts of love, friendship and service that we
Give to each other. This Christmas I want to feel again the joy of knowing that Christ
Is in our home. I want to focus on loving and serving. More than that, I want to open
My heart to Him all year that I may see Him again.

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name esus,
Because he will save his people from their sins."
Matthew 1:21 NIV

May the spirit of Christ be with you and yours
This Christmas and always.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Partridge in a pear tree

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge that won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas pass it on if you wish.'

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookie Rules

1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you are making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calories free - rule #1 applies to your friend.
It would be rude to let your friend sample alone, and being the friend that you are makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have 3 and green ones have 5 - one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. Cookies eaten while watching Miracle on 34th Street have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!

And finally...

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Food for thought

“The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”
Proverbs 16:33

This was my Bible reading today. What do you think about it?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

After two hard days at work I thought I needed to give an update on James. I got an email from Shari and she says they are having more good days. Seems like he does have more problem with nausea during the middle of the night. I wonder if lying flat could be part of that problem...I know people who have reflux have that problem and if they prop up on pillows it helps. Anyway, Shari says James gets up late but puts clothes on. He was getting outside to walk some most every day but she said they have had some snow and cold weather which has hindered him some. They have tried to get out and do a few things most days. He has a good attitude which always helps. Dirk has been to Hawaii on business (who believes that???) so she has had to take care of a few medical things that Dirk had been doing and was really proud of herself. We can do some things we don't like...can't we Shari. So good to hear another good report.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Remember the Lord

I received this from a friend today and couldn't resist sharing it.

As I was studying this morning, I came across a passage of scripture that sounded as though I was reading from one of America's national newspapers. Should we be surprised that our country is in such a turmoil?
God was reminding the people of Israel what would happen to them or any country that forgets the Lord . Deut. 8: 10-14
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws, and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
verses 18-19 "But remember the Lord your God, for it is HE who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. "If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God."
America prides itself on how far we have come, but has forgotten who brought us.

I would just have to say Amen and Amen! Forgive us Father.

A true Conservative

Sanford: Stop raiding TARP funds for private enterprise

Mark Sanford continues to add to his conservative credentials. After penning a refusal to request bailout funds, Sanford has written the White House to add his voice to those opposed to a bailout of Detroit’s automakers. The chair of the Republican Governors Association calls this a tipping point in American economics:

“I believe this would be a very great mistake,” Sanford said in a letter written to the President on Monday. “It would open the floodgates of federal monies for every distressed industry across this country–and there will be many in this economic slowdown.”

“I believe we are at a tipping point in moving from a market-based economy to a politically-based economy, wherein one’s success can be determined not by good decisions and good work, but by the size of one’s voice and connection to Washington,” Sanford wrote. “The real economic stimulus of this country lies in the daily work and effort of millions you have seen across this land. These bailouts not only represent an enormous cost they are left to carry, but a shattering of the rights and responsibilities that have historically been linked to achieving the American Dream.”

Sanford hits the nail on the head. The American government does not have a mandate to select winners and losers in the market, apart from buying products for its own use from the private sector. People on the Left talk about crony capitalism, but this is nothing less than crony socialism — the government subsidy of selected private enterprise, based solely on their political impact.

Even as “investments”, as bailout advocates describe the package, the loans make no sense at all. None of the automakers have a problem selling cars; they have a problem showing a profit. Why would any lender, private or public, invest in that failing model, let alone lend money on its basis? They can’t pay back loans when they lose money on their car sales, and nothing that management and labor have yet produced shows any serious attempt to solve that problem. This is exactly what Chapter 11 bankruptcy exists to resolve.

The first time I heard Sanford speak, I wondered why he hadn’t thrown his hat into the ring in the 2008 presidential sweepstakes. His leadership on limited government and refusal to throw away money we don’t have should put Sanford in the first rank of candidates for national leadership in 2012, if we’re bright enough to recognize it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Hogan

Happy Birthday to Hoggie Bear:

This is a picture of Hogan and his dog Sparky. Sparky was part of the family long before Hogan and he wasn't very happy when Hogan was born. Sparky doesn't like noise and he would just go crazy when Hogan would cry but he got over it and they became friends. Whichever room Hogan is in you can bet Sparky will be there too. He has ridden his back, pulled his tail, kicked him and Sparky just turns the other cheek so to speek. We all need that kind of friend.

Hogan is 4 years old today. He is a special baby. He was prayed into this world and he has been a blessing to all. Know what Hogan???? I love you Darlin. Hope you have a very happy birthday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Jana Lea

25 years ago today God sent us a beautiful baby girl who has been a joy for all these years. Our first grandbaby. I can't believe she is all grown up. She is a working woman now and has joined the world as a taxpayer. Yea, Jana I hope you can help pay mine and Poppy's Social Security for years to come.

This is Jana when she graduated from Tarleton University in Stephenville, Texas last December. She worked really hard getting through college sometimes working 2 jobs but she did it. Jana you are a beautiful young woman and we are so proud of you.

Poppy and I wish you a Happy Birthday and hope it is a wonderful day. We love you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santa Christ

I am still caught up in Emmanuel...God with us and found this article from a friends blog.

One Christmas Eve in my teenage years, I opened a book a friend had given to me as a present. I found myself so overwhelmed by its teaching on my recently found Savior that I began to shake with emotion at what had dawned on me: the world had not celebrated His coming, but rather had crucified Him. Go read the article here.

Why are we surprised when atheist don't believe there is a God when Christians don't seem to understand that Jesus birth has nothing to do with all the hoopla we make it. God forgive us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Gift

"He will save his people from their sins...and they will call him Emmanuel, which means 'God with us'." (Matthew 1:21,23)

Just think about it....The reason for the season...Jesus came to be "God with us"...

If you have Jesus in your have the joy of Christmas..."Emmanuel...God with us"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another reason not to bail out auto companies

I don't know who wrote this but it is typical to Many American Companies today. Thanks to my friend Jack.

American management

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford Motor Co.) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses.



Why should WE bail out the American car companies? There have been years of mis-management, poorly made cars which are constantly being recalled for some gross and dangerous defects. All the while they continued to big bonuses to the top executives.

When Bud worked in the corporate world they only paid bonuses when the salesmen and the company make a profit. What has happened to this country?

Friday, December 5, 2008


I just talked to Shari and she said James said he felt better the past two days than in a long time. When she ask him how he felt he said, "With my fingers". Sounds just like Daddy. Thank God for good days.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for...most of all Jesus. We always put up this sign in our front yard at the beginning of November. We left town on Wednesday before Thanksgiving for several days with our children for the holiday. I had a wonderful email from Shari sharing her thankfulness this year. This is just a part of it.

Two days before Thanksgiving this year 2008 I told myself that I was just going to be thankful. I tried to think of all the blessings I had received throughout my life. Even way back when I was very young. All through my life.
I wanted to show my Heavenly Father gratitude for so many blessings. I decided for 3 days I would not ask for one single thing in my prayers. He knows my needs and desires before I ask. So for 3 days my prayers were of Thanksgiving to my Heavenly Father for all the blessing that came to my mind. So many that I can not count them. Each day I would think of even more. I had never done this before. It seemed that I had always had something I needed to ask for. But I made up my mind that this year I would only be thankful for blessings. I did it.
Even though James had to go to the ER the night before Thanksgiving. I just gave thanks and had faith that all would go well. It did.
I thought of things that I had not even thought of for years. I wanted Him to know that I see His hand in my life and in all things. It was a blessing to me to do this also. My prayers were prayers of Thanksgiving only this year!

Isn't that a beautiful way to spend Thanksgiving? I love her thoughts "that we always have things to ask for" Isn't that just how we are...always asking and rarely giving Thanks. Thanks Shari for your thoughts. James did go to ER the night before Thanksgiving. He had a knot come up just above the tube but they said it was just a little fluid that had accumulated and was not serious. They had a good Thanksgiving with Dirk and his family as well as Shari's sister Sue. Thank God for family.

We went to Lana's for Thanksgiving and enjoyed the day cooking and eating, visiting, going to see "4 Christmases" at the movie and a little football. The movie was funny and we could see a few of the disfunctional people we know but of course they do not include our families. Haha. I am afraid we could see a little of all of us but anyway we had some laughs. The Texas/A&M game was not so good so we ended up playing a little joker. Kelsey, 19 was home from Texas A & M where she is a sophomore. She works and goes to school and has only been home once since August so she was happy to be home with the family

On early Saturday morning we drove about an hour to watch Levi who is Lana and Greg's baby play in a basketball tournament.

That was a lot of fun. This is the family watching...Jake and his wife Crystal and their little girl Kaylee are with us. As you can see Levi is taller than his Poppy. He is about 6 foot tall and a very good little basketball player. His gran sure hopes he continues to improve and forgets about baseball and football because I love basketball.
Here he is making his free shots. Levi got a concussion his last football game (that is why I don't want him to play any longer) and he didn't get to work out with the basketball team for a week. He only got to practice his free shot. Must have worked because he hit 6 of 8 of his free shots. The other team beat him up pretty good. He got hit in the eye.

Here is a shot of the the last play of the game and he hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer.

All of Lana's family drove to the game as well as a couple of their friends. We had a lot of fun. Here are some random pictures.
Levi turned 15 on November 19th. He is a lot of fun and very competitive. His older brother Jake claims to have taught him all he knows and it is really pretty true. Jake is 23 and he has always helped Levi with everything. They are very close and it shows. He also taught him to be tough. Bud had to leave for work on Saturday afternoon and I drove on the Jana's for a few days. The traffic was terrible. It took me 3 and a half hours to drive what usually takes about 2 hours.

Jana's baby girl Ella had her 2nd birthday on Thanksgiving day. Hogan will be 4 on December 12th.

We even took the kids to the mall to see Santa. Ella wasn't too excited about him but Hogan got right up in his lap and told him what he wanted for Christmas.
Jana had to get into the picture with Ella if we had a picture. Don't know if she told Santa what she wanted.

When we got home from Jana's this is what we found in our yard. Side by side:

We live on a cult-t-sac and many years ago one of our neighbors built a "Snoopy" sign for every yard on our street. It just made me realize that our biggest thanks for Thanksgiving is the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ. Hope you all have begun a Wonderful Holiday Season and remember: