Thursday, December 31, 2009

You Gotta Be Kidding

The day was going fine until my nalgene-type water bottle slipped from by backpack and fell to the ground. It cracked and started leaking water! These lexan bottles are supposed to be indestructible. I heard stories of people dropping them multistory buildings and they didn't break. This one dropped from a few inches higher than my waist. This was an older bottle and still had a large opening from which it is hard to drink. Joshua and I have splash guards to remedy the problem. So I get a spare bottle we have and find that the industry must not have a standard for the size of openings because the spare bottle's opening is too large for the splashguard to fit. All things considered, we are truly blessed and hope you have God's blessings on your new year.

Drivers License

Today I drove for the first time without someone over 21. I got my drivers license yesterday, and I decided to make sure it worked. Of course at the moment my license consists of a slip of paper, but it works. Well Grace and I returned safely from the first trip, and hopefully that will continue to occur.

A Simple Christmas (part 2)

Once there was a girl named Mary,
She was engaged to Joseph and going to marry.
God sent the angle Gabriel,
He appeared and said Hail!
You shall conceive of the Holy Spirit,
Just as Isaiah prophesied about it.
Mary said, I am the Lord's handmaid,
May it come to pass with His aid.

Then Caesar Augustus sent out a decree,
"Everyone shall pay taxes to me!"
Joseph with Mary went to his home town Bethlehem,
But when they got to the town there was no room for them.
They were forced to stay in a stable,
Where Mary gave birth to Immanuel,

Shepherds kept their fields at night,
Then angles appeared in heavenly light.
"Peace on earth good will to men!
Christ is born in Bethlehem."
The shepherds said" let us go see this thing,
And worship our God and King."
They rushed to the stable,
And knelt before the makeshift cradle.

Three wise men journeyed from afar,
Following yonder star.
They found Jesus whom they longed to behold,
And offered Him frankincense, myrrh, and gold.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Traditions

We were blessed by the annual visit of Mike and Jerilyn Malone with "Aunt" Sheila Lisman. I don't know when their annual visit started but they are as consistent as Christmas. I taught the Malone's children, Jenny and Mark, in the South High vocal music department as well as in musical theatre productions. This first picture shows from left to right Aunt Sheila, Mike and Jerilyn with Joshua Grace and Velda in the foreground.

Velda opens a gift while Jerilyn looks on.

Grace looks at the book "Because of Winn-Dixie" from Aunt Sheila. We also have a little bit of history with her. Years ago we painted her house in Hutchison. We visited at least one other time to affect some repairs. It was enjoyable to stay in her house while we worked.

Here's a picture of all three. Sheila and Jerilyn are sisters.

That same evening another tradition of sorts was continued. For years, again I don't know how many, we have received a monetary gift anonymously. In the past it was received by mail in the form of cash with a note. This time none other than Santa himself appears on our porch. He handed me a box of Hickory Farms cheese and sausage with a red envelope. Inside the envelope was a monetary gift in cash with a note. I feel that it was especially meaningful that it was delivered by a person dressed as Santa Claus because the historical Nicholas was a saint dedicated to giving.


What do you look forward to at Christmas? I love seeing the lights, reindeer, santa claus, snowmen, christmas trees...etc. I also love hearing the sounds of snow falling, bells ringing and of course Christmas Carols. We went caroling with our home school choir. There were about 37 of us including six alumni. We went to three nursing homes and one home. Throughout the evening we saw people's faces light up to hear our singing including the nurses. One nurse went running after Michelle Dennis to make sure she was okay after getting her wisdom teeth out. The people didn't really care what carols we sang just that we were there was great for them. Once I was walking with the Newcomer girls and we got separated from the group. Nara started up with "The First Noel" and we all joined in for the first verse and the chorus. On the start of the second verse I mainly hummed and put in a word or two. As Nara began the third verse Jenna said, "the end." Not many of us knew all five verses. Several times the back group of carolers got confused and started singing a different song than the front group. We eventually figured it out. I don't think anybody minded much. Knowing my personality does anyone have any guesses of my favorite Christmas Carol? Have a very Merry Merry Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Sharon Luka is a blind friend of ours. Lately she has been coming to dinner on the night of my Winter Concert and attending it with my family. This last time while waiting she and Grace decided to play a duet. Below is a link to a video of the event. It's not perfect yet it's precious.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Let It...

Snow! Even though we live "way up north" in Kansas we usually don't start getting snow until January or February. I'm usually okay with that and have gotten into a schedule. Well you can imagine my consternation when it snowed in October! Then to my relief that ground hadn't frozen yet and it didn't stick. Then last Sunday we heard we were supposed to get ten inches of snow and to my delight we got eight! Now you must understand that snow in October is not fun but snow is supposed to come in December so I'm excited. I've already got hit by several snowballs but paid them back in return. My cats weren't so excited. The kittens reaction to their first snow was hilarious. I called them and they came running toward me. Suddenly they stopped short and seemed confused. One began shaking off it's feet and the other sniffed tentatively. They wanted to come to breakfast but they refused to take another step. Just when I was getting ready to go rescue them they came up with Plan B. Walk on the bricks bordering our yard where the snow wasn't as deep. Have fun in the snow and don't be like the kittens!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

I praise thee Lord for your many blessings and misfortunes; for my loving family and the special relationships you have given us, for a warm home with heat that is available during our season of cold, for the challenges of broken appliances that help me realize how much I take these marvelous tools for granted day in and day out, for your wonderful variety of creation that often puts me in awe of your majesty and yet at other times makes me wonder why did you create these things Lord? Yes I will praise thee O Lord my God with all of my heart I will glorify thou name forever! Our Thanksgiving celebration has some unique twists this year. First of all we slept in a bit then prepared to go the Applebees' to serve Thanksgiving dinner hosted by our local Salvation Army for anyone who desires a home-cooked meal for the day. All of the preparations and servers are volunteers from the community. Meals are also delivered for any who are unable to come to the restaurant. It was an enjoyable time for all. Later we got together with friends for snacks and games. We celebrated again later on Saturday with worship and fellowship and of course the full feast again with the Reilly/Tieman families which was a great time of fun and fellowship

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A hectic Christmas

"Oh no! Look at the calendar dear,
It's that time of year.
Lights, Christmas parties, shopping,
It really keeps you hopping
The kids are more impatient
And they are in the Christmas Pageant!
What is Christmas all about?
Are we putting Jesus out?
He is the true meaning of Christmas!

P.S. I'll talk about that more in the second poem.