Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Parties waiting to happen

I'm a bit distracted today.  A new year is starting tomorrow.  I've just returned from a week away.  I'm supposed to be writing lessons.  All I can think about is a party.

A dear man from OPC has gone home.  Ken Bradley has been in a cancer struggle for over 7 years.  He's been fighting and suffering as his body has deteriorated.  His family has been with him praying and waiting.  And now, he's restored.  He's walking with a healed body.  He's breathing with healthy clear lungs.  He's in a state of no pain.  He's looking into the eyes of his Savior and seeing the depth of love held for him there.

And in heaven Ken is partying like never before.  What a way to start a new year -- walking streets of gold, seeing the saints who have gone before, knowing that it was real and worth it.  And being completely convinced of God's faithfulness.

We're not alone.  That sweet Savior has left his best friend to abide with us; and the Holy Spirit is willing to comfort, assure and provide us with hope.  

Dear Bradley family -- take heart.  God is near.  Heaven is rejoicing and crying at the same time for you.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."  Psalm 116:15.  That's a party I'd like to see.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunny Florida

I'm here, and I'm lovin' every minute of it!!!

Florida has welcomed me with open arms, friends. Mind you it was about 55 when I got here and we had to wear our scarves to Downtown Disney. But, I'm able to overlook that as I wore my shorts and flipflops today.

Hanging out with my nephews - 21 & 17 and my niece - 8 has been a hoot. The boys were about the girl's age when I was last living here. It's hilarious to find them enjoying time with Aunt Debby even though they block me on Facebook. Whatever. I'm not bitter. Well, I think I've mentioned it before on previous posts ... perhaps I am bitter! What's even more interesting is seeing the little one's new found intrigue in Aunt Debby. She's started to communicate beautifully after years of struggle and it's awesome. We went shopping today for family Christmas gifts. At the end of our adventures (you always know one is going to happen!) she says to me, "You're more fun than mom. You do fun stuff!" I did remind her of a mother's unending love, so the correct perspective was set in place. And then the boys and I giggled our way through "Napoleon Dynamite!!"

I'll be at OPC (yeah you know me) on the 28th. It's strange being back at a place where you know you're loved and your heart feels safe. The other day S asked me if I finally felt like I've gotten connected in Maryland and if this is where I'm supposed to be. I told her I just wanted to be where God sends me. My mom doesn't call me her bohemian flower child for nothing. Besides, it took me 3 years to feel I was supposed to be in Orlando. Truth be told, I'm missing Maryland. Maybe it's the adventure that calls to my heart to be where God takes me.

Total side note -- the other day we were traveling to Valley View Farms where a fantastic store of Christmas decor can be found. Along the country roads and tiny towns we were looking at Christmas lights. I gazed into one house and saw just a pole with lights on it.... it was a FESTIVUS pole!!! Festivus - for the rest of us! Anyone up for the feats of strength? Anyone?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things not found in Florida

As I was driving to work this morning, I realized I was seeing something I never saw in the Sunshine State. Freezing rain was coming down. I could hear it hitting the ground and window sills as I was getting ready today, but when I walked outside it was a new sensation. See, the ice, as small bits of rain, dropped on my head. I didn't get wet, but it landed, melted and made the roads slick. I walked across the street for my mail and didn't have a bit of water on me. It was amazing!!!

In that vain, I wanted to bring to your attention some other things I've never seen in Florida. It's quite interesting if I do say so myself.

The grocery store which is the easiest to get to is called Martin's. It's alright. It ain't Publix by a long shot. But, they do have a fun feature which draws me in:

The hand-held scanner is super cool. It's like registering for wedding presents but getting them instantly! And you have to pay for them, but it's so cool! If I work it right, I remember to bring my reusable Publix bags to add into the fun. You simply shop, scan it all in, bag it in your cart, and then you check out at an "easy scan" lane and get out of there in a jiffy! Of course, it never is a jiffy when I shop because I find too many interesting items. Like this one:

A new meaning behind crabcakes!!! Marylanders are very proud of their crabs and crab cakes. This just isn't the type that everyone is so eager to make sure I try and enjoy. I've had the real ones. They're alright. This just made me laugh.

My final observation really sent me over the edge. Just before Thanksgiving I found the sculpted Turkey. And to carry on the tradition, here's the tree:

Exactly. Sculpted out of BUTTER!!! I thought that only happened in Wisconson - the dairy capital. But, you can find your very own Christmas tree ... in the dairy aisle of your local grocer.

Next week, I'll be in Florida, going to Publix at least 4 times!!! And oddly, that's almost as exciting as presents. Strange.

If I don't post before -- Have a very Merry Christmas. Remember the sweet, dear love that God has for you and shows to us in the birth of his precious son. He's here to be an tangible representation of that unending, never changing love for you. That's some Good News!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

For your enjoyment ....

So, I was in a bit of a mood yesterday. Two 3-year-olds asked me to put my hair in pig-tails -- how can one say no to that?!!? And, it was TJ2's b-day. In Orlando, there were some families where the kids became my "nieces and nephews." And in the process of being family over the past 9 years, I got to spread some cheer in a special way each birthday.

This was for TJ2's b-day. You know you're special when you get a video like this. It's the same from Facebook, but not all of my cool friends are on FB, so here's a special viewing just for you....


Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome to the 2000's, Mr. Banks

Living in the country is fun until it comes to the Internet. Every company I've called has said I'm too far from the server station. Grrrrrrrrr

Today, I have ventured into a new era by having an iPhone to use!! That is correct... This is being written by my thumbs and pointer finger on a touch pad. Not too shabby. So, I have a new cell number 410-292-3336.

I have been setting up my Christmas d├ęcor today. As I put up my 3 different nativities, all I can do is wonder at this little baby coming to be a king and Savior for his people. We are so blessed and loved to have been given such a sweet gift. Even looking at my 1.5" plastic nativity brings tears to my eyes.

On my kitchen window sill -- the angel is balancing on my screen's rim! This was my grandma's.

My latest addition, sitting on my desk. That is one big sheep!

We serve a good God.

He sends us Jesus and Internet service. What more could we ask for?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Down for the count

I've been sick. I know, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. But, I'm really sick this time. I've got the cold of death. The congestion, the sneezing, the aches, the pains, the need for more sleep and lack thereof, and the reality that I have too much to do is settling in for the winter!!!

Last week, while off for Thanksgiving, I got to orchestrate the Christmas Decorating at CPC. I know, I should have been sleeping. But, I was here, at work, not off, during my vacation!!! ARGH. It does look nice. But, after decorating 7 trees, I don't think I'm going to do my own. And I love my ornament vomited Christmas tree. It is pretty and festive. And sometimes, just to be happy, I bring down my ornament box early just to look at all my pretty ones. I know, it is a little bit odd... but those little things are often needed to put the smile on your face.

On Thanksgiving, my co-worker/friend Erin and I headed on a tour de force of Thanksgiving dinners. I started at my friend Sundee's house, eating b-fast and helping cut up the crudites. (I'm in an odd/big word mood, use a dictionary if needed!) As they began to eat at 1:45, I was waiting for Erin to arrive for our next stop. But, I got really sleepy and the cold started to take a drowsy grip on my body. I headed home for a nap -- before any turkey was consummed! Erin came to my house as I napped and did my dishes. She needed some cathartic therapy and doing the dishes helps. HELLO!!!! Any time anyone needs to relieve stress by doing dishes -- you call me up and I will help you with that!!!

We headed to house #2 and enjoyed homemade Kahlua -- getting that recipe to share! They were so kind and graciuos to hear our silly stories and feed us delish food. Off to house #3 by 5pm. At AM's house, we enjoyed the spread of spreads - for 8 of us, there was enough food for 15 -- at least! I had made Sweet Potato Casserole (Senator Russells for those in the know) and sweet potatoes with marshmallows. The one with the pecans won out! It was all so good, but having eaten at 3:30 at #2, eating at 5:30 at #3 was a bit much. Howdy, heartburn! Pleased to meet you! To fill out the evening, we headed back to Sundee's for the post indulgence drink and dessert. It was such fun.

Now, I'm in death throws concerning this cold and our upcoming play. We're performing the Christmas Schooner -- a musical about the tradition of Christmas trees coming to America. It's really fun, really good, but really hard work. I totally forgot how much work goes into these productions. But, I get to get a bamboozler, so what more in life is there? I asked the director, "Am I basically the 'Master of House' character for the play?" Yes I am!!!! How cool is that!?!?

Alright -- off to have the school nurse take my temperture -- too concerned it's turning for the worse.