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Luke 2:10-14
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; 
he is Christ the Lord. 
This will be a sign to you: 
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, 
praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on 
earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends remembering that without the manger we wouldn't have the saving grace of the cross! 

Christmas Eve

The above is a picture of my family a LONG time ago. 
I'm the one holding the doll. 
Don't worry, my sister is only upset because she couldn't get her doll for the picture! 

Growing up we always opened our gifts Christmas Eve. 
It was always a fun time in our household. 

Most of our "work" was done. 
My mom directed the Youth Choir in which my sister and I sang. 
My mom also sang in the Adult Choir and by Christmas Eve both musicals were over and the only thing for my father to worry about was Christmas Day service. 

My father would begin delivering the Christmas presents to the 
various people who worked in the church in the morning. 

A few times he would take me with him. 
I never really enjoyed going with him. 
I wanted to be home to smell the wonderful cooking. 

My mom would be working away in the kitchen getting ready 
for our big Christmas Eve dinner that night. 
It was always just the 5 of us, which made it special.

During the afternoon she would have cookies and eggnog set up 
for people who would drop by to wish us "Merry Christmas." 

And there was always someone dropping by!  

After dinner we would get to open our presents. 
But first we had to put the Yule Log on TV. 
Watching the fireplace from Gracie Mansion, the home of the 
New York City mayor, was a tradition in our house! 
The music was always so beautiful.  

It seemed it would take us hours to open our presents, 
no rushing, no ripping through the packages.  
Everything was done slowly and we all had to "watch" each other open their gifts. 

When we were first married and started our own family, 
the Colonel and I always opened presents on Christmas Morning. 

However, we found we were rushing through it too often. 
I was always trying to either get a dinner together for company 
or get us in the car to make the long drive to someone's house. 

We decided two years ago enough was enough. 
We were opening presents on Christmas Eve. 

And it was so nice. 
We went to Christmas Eve service and then came home 
and spent as much time as we needed to open our gifts. 

Then, the next morning, the kids slept in and 
I didn't worry about having to get a house cleaned up before our company came! 

The only difference between now and when I was growing up is that 
the fireplace we watch is now in our house...not on TV!

This year will be quite sad because my dad won't be with us.
I still can't get use to that! 
We are going to my mom's house for dinner and then to Christmas Eve service and then home to open gifts with Olivia and Michael.

I'm especially thankful that the Colonel will be home.  
There's already quite a few presents under the tree.  
I'm excited!

Whether you open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, 
I pray that you will take time to remember the greatest gift given to us...
the gift of Jesus, our Savior...I know I will! 

Merry Christmas!
My 10 favorite Christmas songs. 

Mary Did You Know
Breath of Heaven
The Messiah 
Silent Night - I especially love it in German
Emanuel, God With Us - Point of Grace
Oh Come All Ye Faithful - Josh Groban
Ava Maria
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Andy Williams
Oh Holy Night
Mary's Little Boy Child - The one we did as teens in Youth Choir

You may be wondering why in the world I have Andy Williams as one of my favorites. 

Well when we were first married, I asked the Colonel
(of course he wasn't a Colonel then!) 
to please pick up some Christmas music during the week 
so when we put our tree up we would have something to listen to. 

He came home with the entire collection of the Messiah. 

He noticed the look on my face and asked, 
"What's wrong with the Messiah?" 
Well, I told him that I thought he would purchase something 
a little more "Christmasy." 

That's the word I used. 
He looked at me and said, 
"You asked for Christmas music and this is the best there is." 

He then really noticed the look on my face and said, 
"Okay, let's go pick something out that's a bit more Christmasy." 
We then went and picked out the Andy Williams CD that we play 
every year when putting up the Christmas tree 
and we have a laugh over our definition of Christmas music. 

Although I have come to love The Messiah as much as he does! 

So how about you?
What's your favorite 10 Christmas songs?

Leave a comment so I can come and check out your favorite songs!

Deck the Halls...

Today I am joining Susan at Thoughts From Over the Rainbow for her Deck the Halls Party and sharing with you my Christmas 
Department 56 Village Collection.  

I have seven lighted houses.
I love each house, but especially the "Apple Valley Schoolhouse." 

When Olivia was just 5 years old, 
the Colonel took her shopping and 
had her pick out the house to purchase that year. 
And since she was in kindergarten, she picked the schoolhouse. 

They had it wrapped at the store and she placed it
 under the tree when they got home.
I could tell how excited she was! 

On Christmas Eve when my family was over and 
we were about to exchange gifts 
she ran and brought me "her" present to me. 
I told her, "No, we're going to open those presents in the morning." 
Well, the look on her face could have broken any one's heart. 

My husband said, "Oh, please open it tonight, she's so excited." 
I opened it and, of course, she helped and was so happy for me 
to have the house she picked out all by herself. 

With the Colonel gone, I didn't put up the village this year.
These are pictures from last year.

Olivia's choice...Apple Valley School House

I hope you enjoyed my little tour!

She Finally Passed...

Her driving test!

Yes, my Olivia is now a licensed driver.
It only took 3 times but she passed on Saturday.  
And now my real worrying begins.

There are so many accidents these days with teenagers.  
I think it's because once a teenager gets their driver's license they get a car and forget everything about being careful.  
They forget all their parents told them about being safe 
and just drive as if they're going to live forever.

Well, I'm about to become a very unpopular mom.  
But that's only because Olivia is my life and 
I couldn't handle anything happening to her.  

Now, don't worry.  I will let her drive.  
But I need to have her take it slowly at first.  
Or maybe,  I need to take it slowly at first!
I remember reading the following when I was just a teenager myself.  
It made a huge impact on my life.
And now that my daughter is going to drive in a car alone I need to share this with her.  Maybe we all need to share it with a teenage driver.    

The day I died was an ordinary school day.

How I wish I had taken the bus. But I was too cool for the bus. I remember how I wheedled the car out of Mom. "Special favor," I pleaded. "All the kids drive." When the 2:50 bell rang, I threw all my books in the locker. I was free until 8:40 tomorrow morning! I ran to the parking lot, excited at the thought of driving a car and being my own boss.......

It doesn’t matter how the accident happened. I was goofing off going too fast. Taking crazy chances. But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun. The last thing I remember, I was passing an old lady who seemed to be going awfully slowly. I heard the deafening crash and felt a terrible jolt. Glass and steel flew everywhere. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out. I heard myself scream.

Suddenly it was quiet. A police officer was standing over me. There was a doctor, and my body was mangled. I was saturated with blood. Pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over. Strange that I couldn’t feel anything.

Hey, don’t pull that sheet over my head! I can’t be dead. I’m only 17. I’ve got a date tonight. I’m supposed to grow up and have a wonderful life. I haven’t even lived yet, I can’t be dead.

Later I was placed in a drawer. My folks had to identify me. Why did they have to see me like this? Why did my mother have to face the most terrible ordeal of her life? Why did Dad suddenly look like an old man? He told the man in charge, "Yes, that is my child."

The funeral was a weird experience. All my relatives and friends walked toward the casket. They passed by, one by one, and looked at me with the saddest eyes. Some of the boys were crying. A few of the girls touched my hand and sobbed as they walked away.

I wish someone could wake me up and get me out of this casket! My mom and dad are so broken up. My grandparents are so racked with grief that they can barely walk. My brothers and sisters stare ahead like zombies, and move like robots. No one can believe that this happened to me.

Please don’t bury me! I have lots of living to do! I want to run and jump again. I want to laugh and sing. Please don’t put me in the ground. I promise if you give me one more chance, I’ll be the most careful driver in the whole world!
Please, God, I’m only 17!

Holidays: Christmas Fun

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? 
Well, the Colonel usually wraps the gifts and he does such a great job!  
I tend to use gift bags.  
I just don't have the patience. 

2. Real tree or Artificial? 
Artificial again, patience.
I want the tree up the day after Thanksgiving and if we used a real one, 
it would be dead by Christmas.

3. When do you put up the tree? 
Usually the day after Thanksgiving, this year, a few days later.

4. When do you take the tree down? 
Usually New Year's Day.
Ever since I was pregnant with Olivia, I have that tree down 
as soon as I can after Christmas. 
I must have been in that nesting phase that first Christmas when the tree 
was down and a few days later I went into labor with her, 6 weeks early!

5. Do you like eggnog? 
Oh my I love eggnog...YES! 
But I only just discovered it about 6 years ago. 
I grew up with eggnog at Christmas time, served it for my guests but never tried it until 6 years ago.
What I was missing all those years!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? 
This is hard, but I love that designing set my brother gave me when I was in 6th grade. 
I had a dream 0f being a fashion designer. 

7. Hardest person to buy for? 
Well, it use to be my dad...would give anything to buy him a tie this year!

8. Easiest person to buy for? 
Probably my husband...he prints out pictures of what he wants.

9. Do You have a nativity scene? 
Yes and I love it!
Purchased it the year I was pregnant with Olivia and it cost around $50 
and I remember thinking that was so much we didn't have, but I wanted to have one now that we were ready to have children.

10.Mail or email Christmas cards? 
Mail...but not this year, sorry.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? 
A basket full of Easter soap at a Ladies Christmas party gift exchange at church. 
Don't even ask.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? 
Its A Wonderful Life...watched it for the first time 
last year with Olivia...she loved it!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? 
December 26th, does that surprise ANYONE??

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? 
Well...see #11, just kidding...NOT.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? 
My mother's rouladen...hadn't had it in years.

16. Lights on the tree? 
What a silly question...of course!

17.Travel at Christmas or stay home? 
This year, our house!

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? 
Christmas Eve...we started doing this 2 years ago 
because I hated rushing through opening them 
on Christmas morning, packing up and leaving the house 
to get somewhere or having to hurry up and clean up because company was coming. 

Let me know if you want to post your answers on your blog.
I promise to come for a visit.

I'll probably come for a visit anyway!
I love my blogging friends!



God is So Good...

I really think Monday's post was a test for me.

Would I really accept God's will even if it meant 
the Colonel had to be on that plane?

I know I would.

Would I be happy?


But accepting God's will isn't always easy.  

But God is good.  He's so good to me.  He really is.  

I was so worried about being without the Colonel for Christmas. 

Not that we haven't done it before. 

We have, 2 other times.  

So I know how much "fun" it can be.  

We THOUGHT he would be leaving last Saturday. 

THEN we THOUGHT he would be leaving this Saturday.

But as of yesterday, he needs to be at Ft. Benning, GA on

December 26th.

Yes, that's right.  

He'll be home for Christmas!

It seems the area in Ft. Benning that processes all the soldiers heading overseas 
is closing for Christmas this Saturday until the day after Christmas. 

Isn't God good? 

He really does give you the desires of your heart.

Will I be happy when December 26th comes? 


But I know that my Lord will watch over the Colonel and keep him safe. 

Thank you for your prayers!

Never Question God's Will...

Growing up in a pastor's home I heard those four words all my life.

All my life.

My father always said them.  

And the older I get, the more they mean to me.

Even while he was lying in the hospital after his fall,  
my father told us not to question God's will. 

And guess what?

I've learned not to question.  

I've learned to accept God's will.

I haven't always wanted to.

It hasn't always been easy.

But one thing I know, God's will is perfect.

God's will is perfect.

My father always said that too.

I believe it.

The Colonel waited all week for his orders to come in.  
If it's one thing we've learned, they always wait for the last possible minute to send them.  
And the same thing happened on Friday.

His orders came around 1:00 in the afternoon.  

One thing they forgot to include...his traveling orders. 

After spending quite a bit of time on the phone trying to figure out what to do, it was finally decided to push back his arrival to Ft. Benning, GA to this coming Saturday.  

That's right.

He's still here!

We have 5 more days together before he leaves.  

I don't know why these things happen.  

But one thing I do know... 

God's will is perfect.

And I believe that!   

Enjoy your day!  

I'll be here all week, hopefully!


A Break...

I really hate to take one, but I need to.

I know you'll understand.

The Colonel leaves in 5 days.

5 Days.

He's home this week and I want to spend as much time as I can with him.

I'm about to do something I don't know how to do.

Say "Good-bye" to someone I love for a year.

I really could use your prayers.

I'll be back next Monday.

Thank you!


Yes I am relieved to find out that I'm not alone in my obsessive ways!

After I posted Monday's post, I actually thought of 

I thought do I really want people to know these things about me?

But life got busy and when I came back to delete 
the post a few of you already left comments.

And told me you ALL have certain ways of doing things as well.

Makes a girl happy to know she's not alone 
in her peculiar ways!

Hope you all are enjoying decorating for Christmas.

I am almost done.  

I just need to put the candles in our windows...

If I could FIND the box that has the candles!

Doesn't sound too good for someone who claims to be organized! 

Enjoy your day!

I'm a Little Off

Okay, well maybe a lot, BUT there are some things that I just can't handle.
If I see a crooked picture, I must fix it!
 If someone has a tag hanging outside their shirt or jacket, same thing. 

I'm obsessed with the way I use certain things and 
I know you've heard me complain about this before, 

When our church switched out the piano to an electric keyboard, 
I never for the life of me thought I would have such a difficult time with it! 

First of all, the only way to hear yourself play 
on the keyboard is through the sound system.

I'm use to just bending my ear down to the piano keys and hearing music! 
Not relying on the sound man in the back of the sanctuary to adjust the level of sound for me! 

And let me tell you, sometimes he is not paying attention. 
I have been known to, after the song is over of course, let the sound man know from way up front where I'm sitting to please make the piano louder. 
How do they expect me to play the piano...keyboard...if I can't hear what I'm playing?

I need the chair at my computer a certain height 
when I'm working, you know, transcribing. 
Same thing with the monitor screen. 
My son has learned to stop messing with both or 
at least put them back in their original position. 

I also like our towels folded and placed in the linen closet in a certain way. 
When the kids or my husband put towels away, 
VERY RARE in this house, 
I go and rearrange them...they never get it right!

Now don't tell The Colonel this one, 
BUT I like the dishes loaded a certain way in the dishwasher.
I always rearrange things when he puts dishes in the dishwasher. 

I mean, whoever heard of putting plates on the top rack? 
And don't we all organize our silverware, you know, forks with forks, 
spoons with spoons, etc?

I was thinking of these little irritations of mine that I'm sure must aggravate quite a few people and I remembered how particular my father was about certain things. 

We had this table in our entry way at home that was referred to as "Daddy's Table" because the only things that could go on that table were things that related to my father. 
Heaven help us if we tried to put our school books there! 

This table was used ONLY for mail, my father's keys 
and anything that he had to take with him to church.

And our family car...if you had the privilege to be able to use the car,
you HAD to put the seat back to the original position for my father 
and adjust the mirrors and REMEMBER to turn off the radio when leaving. 

He hated coming into the car and adjusting the seat and 
hearing the radio blasting as he started up the car. 

But you know what? I'm the same way! 

Don't mess with my seat in the car either! 
The best thing about our car is that it has this magic button 
that remembers different drivers. 

You can program the position of your seat and like magic it remembers 
and adjusts the seat for you the next time. 

Now if I could only find a magic button to rearrange the dishes in the dishwasher 
or fold the towels, life would be perfect!

Enjoy your day!  Let me know if you're a "little off" as well!
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