Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve to Everyone!

I finally wrote our Christmas newsletter a few days ago and I'm finally getting it out. I had to give up on sending it the old fashioned way and instead spreadour good cheer via the internet. I hope this finds all of you having a wonderful holiday season.

Since I wrote theletter, we've added more wonderful memories to our family's history.

OnFriday night, we went looking at Christmas lights with 2 homeschool families fromchurch. Our HUGE 15 passenger van was big enough to hold ALL THREE families! ;) We then came back here and had hot chocolate and cookies with one of the family. Saturday was busy with gift wrapping, cooking food for Christmas Day, and practicing music for today. And at today's church service, we made some musical well as some fun ones. ALL of us participated in the special musical program. Hubby, the youngest 6 kids, and I sang AWAY IN A MANGER accompanied by our oldest daughter on the electric piano. Our 3 year old son led us in singing JESUS LOVES ME (he LOVED his voice overthe sound system!) after we quoted John 3:16. "A" sang a solo, A STRANGE WAY TO SAVE THE WORLD, and then did a closing duet with an 8 year old girl. They sang a version of HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS just before we celebrated communion. I sang a solo, JESUS BORN ON THIS DAY. Having the whole family participate in this way truly blessed my heart. We were sort of a funny yet a sweet mix of The Von Trapps (you know... SOUND OF MUSIC), LITTLE RASCALS, and THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER! ;)

Speaking of THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, the kids are watching that right now(all except for "T" who has been bugging me for a snack the whole time I've been typing this (and WHY can't he go "bless" Daddy with his presence?) while hubby washes the lunch dishes. When I'm finished here, I'll be laying out the Christmas Eve spread....fancy cheeses, nice cold cuts, special breads, and gourmet chips...and then we'll share Christmas stories from our past and open one gift. Tomorrow we'll be heading to H'burg for more Christmas love and fun. I hope your Christmas Day is filled with many reminders of how much you are us and by God!

Grace to you all-----

Elysa and Family


Here's what our CHRISTmas newsletter said this year:

Merry CHRISTmas from The MacLellans!

Its 3 and a 1/2 days til Christmas & I’m just now getting our annual Christmasletter written. Who knows WHEN I’ll actually get them mailed & you’ll read it, but hopefully its better late then never?! Seems like the story of my life lately.

My life is filled to overflowing with good things...including 7 active children & a husband who actually likes to spend time with me! With lots ofgood things comes a lot of busyness! But people are more important than stuff (thestate of my house attests to that!) & spending time with my family, the friendsGod has given me, & keeping in touch with those far away is something I refuseto let slide! I’ve even started a blog to make it easier to keep in touch:

Our year has been a mix of the extremely wonderful & the painfully difficult.Jim gave me a new diamond in my engagement ring (the original one was lost) as we celebrated 15 years of marriage this past February 1.

March 3 found us throwinga big shindig in honor of my 4oth birthday! Hard to believe I’m officially middle-agedwhen I still feel so silly & giddy in many ways, but hopefully with those 40years of living has come a bit of wisdom and least I HOPE so! I knowthat my 40 years of living have definitely brought me a wealth of relationships...andthis year we’ve been reminded anew that friends & family truly are our greatesttreasure & the best gift we could ask for.At my 4oth party we announced that I was once again expecting a baby. I was thrilledwith another precious child being given to not only our family, but the world. But sadly, we lost the baby at 12 weeks & due to life threatening complicationsthat resulted, I’ll not be able to have any more babies.

We spent the next severalmonths hurting, healing, & seeking God. It was a very painful season in ourlives compounded by saying sad goodbyes to our dear church, Calvary Chapel of Jackson.

After a busy spring & summer highlighted by David’s 9th bday, a trip to SanibelIsland on the Florida Coast(and a visit to the Tampa area to see Sherri Jaynes &Busch Gardens), Jim’s 41st birthday, Vacation Bible School at 2 different churches,Anna & Betsie attending Camp Garaywa for the 1st time, Betsie clogging at ClearBranch Baptist Church, Fabulous Fridays for the kids at Calvary Chapel, Betsie’s11th bday, our 1st trip to New Orleans & the zoo there since Katrina, & Merry’s 1st bday, our fall found us ready for new beginnings.

David and Patrick have started scouts. Anna joined a homeschool teen book club thatmeets monthly. Travis turned 3 on Sepember 25 (though he insists he’s really 2!).Laura Grace turned 5 on October 3. I was able to travel to the Boston area to visitwith my “African” friend Denise Bouchard & her family. Anna turned the BIG 13 on November 5. We celebrated her bday with around 30 friends & family membersat a local church’s gym. Thanksgiving was spent at my cousin Melissa’s home withher husband & children along with my mom & step-dad, my brother’s family,my Grandma McElhaney, my cousin Melanie, & my Uncle Johnny & Aunt Nell. We spent the Saturday afterwards in Mobile with my cousin Beth’s family.

Though the middle chunk of the year was a tough season for us, we’re now in a seasonof renewed joy. Patrick turned 8 on December 9 & we’ve enjoyed our Christmasseason immensely.

We’ve had fun times at various Christmas parties including theannual homeschool one, Betsie’s clogging party, the homeschool moms’ party, &the church women’s get-together. We’ve gone to see the lights & Christmas museumson the historic Canton Square. The kids & I have made our traditional foods---2 batches of orange balls and 2 batches of Chex Mix—and we’ll need to make more as those goodies have disappeared like CRAZY! David had a narrator’s part in his& Patrick’s scout program & they both earned their neckerchiefs. We’ll be going to see more lights this weekend & if we hope to take the older kidsto see THE NATIVITY movie before Christmas Day arrives.

On Sunday, some of the kids & I will be singing seasonal songs in the church’s Christmas Eve service.And then we’ll go down to Hattiesburg on Christmas Day to visit with the Mississippiside of Jim’s family. We’ll spend the end of the week in Gautier with my family& are hoping to have a New Year’s Eve party at our house (wanna come?).

We look forward to a year filled with renewed love & passion for the Lord &life. God has placed us in a church here in Florence & it already feels likehome. Restoration Church is a smallish church of around 120 on Sunday mornings but its growing & has many families with lots of kids including about 15 homeschoolfamilies--- many that we were already friends with through our homeschool group.The kids are loving all the activities & Jim and I are involved with a small(cell) group & will begin team teaching the 4-6th graders Sunday School classstarting in January.

Jim still serves the state as dam safety engineer & our community as a volunteerfirefighter.

I’m leading the Florence-Richland Homeschool Group & continue to love my life as wife, mother, homeschool educator, & grateful friend of somany wonderful loved ones around the world.

2006 was not always an easy year for us. But through it all, God was faithful touphold & direct us. His loving presence made all the difference. And the loveHe sent our way through our family & friends was so immensely appreciated. Christmas time reminds me that He loves us passionately & will work ALL thingsfor the good of those who love Him & are called according to His purpose. NOTHINGcan separate us from the love of the Father...and He sent us His precious son Jesusto ensure that we could always be in fellowship with Him...our Creator, our King,our amazingly faithful Father.Praying that you’ll experience His love & passion in a very real way in 2007.

With much love,
Elysa, J, A, B, D, P, T, L, and M

(Please excuse the spots that need to be edited...when I copied and pasted it the spacing got messed up. Its getting close to midnight and I've still got gifts to wrap and food to fix so the fixing will have to wait! )

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A SNEAKY Christmas Story

One of my love languages is "gifts". I love to think about gifts, buy gifts, wrap gifts, give gifts, and of course, receive gifts. ;) As a child, looking forward to Christmas also meant looking forward to the gifts I would get from my mom and dad plus all the other relatives and close friends.

Every year my brother and I would pour over the Sears and J.C.Penney
"wishbooks" as we pondered the top things we'd put on our wishlists. Mine almost always included dolls while my brothers was filled with violent things such as soldiers, toy weapons, and books about war...pretty funny considering he's one of the most gentle people I know....rather prophetic when you consider the fact that he is now a doctor at a veteran's hospital.

We always HOPED we'd figure out what we were getting for Christmas, and I look for clues even now, but deep down I really DON'T want to know as I truly DO enjoy the surprise involved when the wrappers are torn off and the gift is revealed.

One homeschool pal of mine, Sheri, not only dreamed about what she'd receive one Christmas, but she took matters into her own hands (and the hands of her brother) to discover EXACTLY what they'd be getting one year. Here is Sheri's story:

It was an accident...really and truly.

See, I had been at my friend Tammy's house a few days earlier and she introduced me to the art of snooping. It was Christmas break, all of our parents were at work, and armed with a razor blade and a roll of tape we went into her parents room trying to stifle our giggles. She dropped to the floor and army crawled under their bed where she pulled out a huge box, in that box were a multitude of presents. She smiled and handed me a blade and we set to work. Ever so gingerly I would slice the tape under Tammy's watchful eye, we would gently pull back the wrapping paper and exclaim "It's the Rick Springfield Cassette!!" or "It's a Strawberry Shortcake doll." at each exclamation she would promise I could come over the day after Christmas to listen to Rick on her new cassette player (yeah, we found that too) or play with her new dolls. Once we had opened every present we set to work rewrapping them, ever so carefully refolding the wrap around the boxes and measuring the tape to alarming exactness. Eventually all of the presents were rewrapped and placed back where they belonged...and it was time for me to go home. Tammy went to sleep dreaming of Christmas in a mere week...and I went home jealous as all get out over the fact that she knew what she was getting.

So the next day I did the only logical thing. "Hey Ken...wanna do something really cool?" I asked my brother impishly. He knew that grin already. Being around me for 10 years my brothers knew I could come up with some pretty hare brained schemes, but they were usually willing participants. After all, Ken and I dreamed of one day being on American Bandstand and it was MY dance moves that were gonna get us there! He looked up from his Louis L'amour book and eyed me as I danced around the living room. "What?"

"Let's SNOOP!!!"

He looked at me, "Why? So you can tell mom and get me in trouble?"

"Geesh Ken no!!! So we can play with our toys early!!!"

He looked back at his book, "If you want to snoop go ahead, but I will have no part of it," he called over the top of the paperback.

I grinned, not allowing myself to be deterred and headed down the hall anxious to see what I could find. I walked into my parents room and was met with a blast of cold air. I held my breath, there was something about there room was that forbidden. Possibly it was the fact that we weren't allowed to enter it. I slowed my paces and tiptoed past the bed. I stepped quickly to my dads dresser and opened the top drawer. This was their typical hiding place for small things. I shifted his underwear and socks around and was disappointed that there was nothing at the bottom of the walnut drawer. Quietly I closed the drawer and turned to my moms closet.

The doors slid easily as I scanned her top shelves, nothing looked out of place and nothing stood out as if it had been recently moved. I was really upset now, I slammed her closet door and thought. I was not allowed to open my dad's closet, I knew that. So I reopened moms door and stepped through the opening into dad's closet, there on the top shelf was a large Montgomery Ward bag I hadn't seen in the past. I stretched as far as my 10 year old body would allow me to but I couldn't quite reach, forgetting the rules and opening dad's closet door I ran down the hall "Kenny!! Kenny!! Come here quick!! I found 'em!"

Kenny was now in the kitchen pouring himself some orange juice. "I told you I want no part of it."

I thought quickly, "But the one I found is really big and says "to Kenny" on it!"

That did the trick. Ken dropped his cup of juice in the sink and followed me. I ran ahead and circled back "Come on!! Come on!!" I whispered.

He stopped at the doorway to our parents room. "You know we aren't allowed in here!"

I stuck my tongue out at him. "Are you gonna tell because I'm not!"

We stepped into the room and I led him to the closet. "LOOK!!" I pointed at the bag on the top shelf.

"I thought you said my name was on it." he mumbled.

"Kenny! I had to get you in here! Now get it down for me!"

He hesitantly reached up and pulled the heavy bag down. There were a few presents wrapped in the bag. "They're wrapped Sher...put 'em back we'll find out what they are on Christmas."

I smiled and reached into my pocket to pull out a roll of tape and a set of scissors. "Stand back! I know what I'm doing."

I grabbed the first package and gingerly cut it open while Kenny gasped in horror. "Don't worry!!" I shushed him. I pulled the wrapping paper away. "Berzerk? What's that?"

"It's an Atari game!" Ken answered, you could hear the excitement in his voice now.

He handed me another gift "OPEN IT!!" I smiled and sliced the tape. "OH MY GOSH! It's DONKEY KONG!" Ken jumped up, "There's got to be an Atari in here somewhere!" he started digging through the bottom of dad's closet and finally pulled from the depths a very large wrapped box, shoving it at me he practically screeched "OPEN IT SHER!!"
I took the box and fairly shook with excitement. Gingerly I cut the tape and pulled the paper back, we both began to scream. "AN Atari!! OH MY GOSH!"

I looked up at Ken a light in my eye "Let's play it!" I whispered.

Ken thought for a minute, and being the brilliant one he instantly deduced that we couldn't play the factory sealed games, our parents would notice. I sighed and began to rewrap the Atari and then went on to wrap the two games we had unearthed when Ken interrupted me, "Hey Sher...there's one more gift here, want to open it?"

"It's the same size as the other two, it's another game, one for each of us."

He handed it to me, "at least we can figure out WHICH game it is."

I took the package from his hands and ran the scissors across the tape. "It's Pac Man! How fun!"

Ken picked it up and I watched a grin spread from ear to ear. "And it's NOT factory sealed, LOOK!"

I grabbed the Atari System and untaped it. "Let's go!" I barked out at him.

We ran down the hall giggling and didn't stop until the system was set up. I jumped up and down with glee while Kenny warned me "If you tell we found this we are in BIG trouble Sher, you have to swear right now that you will never tell!" I rolled my eyes, "I can keep a secret!"
I sat on the floor by Ken and smiled at him as he handed me a controller. "You first." I hesitated. "I don't know first." And thus began our Christmas vacation adventure.

Every day we would wake up eagerly, kiss our parents goodbye and sit on the couch giggling over our plans. We would stand at the window and wave goodbye. I am sure our parents thought we were so loving and caring, kissing them goodbye, carrying their items to the car for them...sometimes we would even start it so it would be warm...but in reality we were just waiting for the brakelights to go around the which point it would become a maneuver General Patton would be proud of. Ken would yell "GO TIME!" and run to our parents room, I would slide of the kitchen counter and grab the scissor and tape, rushing to meet him on the floor of their bedroom. Quickly and quietly we continued daily to unwrap the system and play games for 8 hours straight, then half an hour before they were due home we would fold the system back up and rewrap it. They were none the wiser.
We even began having friends over to play. I remember Tammy playing. We were getting away with the ultimate con. We were on a complete drug free high. Ken prayed every night that I would keep up my end of the bargain and not tell. In the end...I didn't.

On Christmas morning we all ran out excited over the prospect of a new Atari that didn't have to be wrapped up each day. We quickly located it and unwrapped it. Our father sat back in awe at how professional we were at hooking it up. I realize now we should have at least looked at the directions. He made a comment about how technical we obviously were. I felt guilt bubbling up in my chest. We weren't technical, we'd been doing it for 14 days straight!

Then we popped in PacMan...We instantly beat several levels. My mom was heard saying "Oh my gosh...they are SO good at this!" and the guilt worked its way up to my jaw.

I wavered back and forth, I had promised Ken I wouldn't tell but I felt so guilty. Our parents were sitting on the couch completely oblivious to our devious ways and were prepared to tell everyone how enormously talented we were...but we really weren't. I stood up, "Mom, dad...I have to tell you something."

And with that Ken's head snapped to the left. "SHERI NOOOOOOOOOOOOO" he screamed out.

I started crying.


Mom looked questioningly at Ken then at me, then at Ken. Charles sat in the corner wondering what in the world his little brother and sister had done this time. When I blurted out "We've been playing the game every day of Christmas break, we unwrap it every morning when you leave for work and re wrap it before you get home."

My mom sat there with her eyes wide open, her chin hanging to her chest in stunned silence while my dad held a pillow over his face to stifle his laughter.

"I'm so sorry," I muttered.

"You BRAT!" Ken yelled.

"You guys are brilliant," Charles high fived Ken.

"Oh...and Charles," I started to say.

Kenny started yelling again, " promised"

"Ken let me play with the stuffed Garfield you got me in exchange for letting him read the book you got him."

You know it's funny...ever since that day my parents kept their gifts at my Aunts house in Cottonwood, a good 20 miles away and Charles never told anyone what he got someone for gifts again. And to this day...Ken won't trust me with a secret.

I can't understand why.

Kinda puts a new meaning to the concept of "home alone", doesn't it? ;)

For more of Sheri's witty writings, you can visit her blog at .

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


But this one is appropriate for the season! :)

CHRISTMAS much do I know?

Your Christmas lights are glowing 98%.

Awesome! Your Christmas tree lights up the whole room! You are a true lover of all things Christmas, and a joy for those around you!

Christmas Trivia
Make Your Own Quiz

Just confirms what my family will tell you...I'm loving this season! Now to just make sure I don't let myself get too frazzled so I STAY a JOY and not a GRINCH!

Monday, December 18, 2006

And now for a break from our regularly scheduled Christmas programming....

Okay, I admit it, I'm a sucker for quizzes. I've been doing those silly things since I was old enough to read and answer the questions in juvenile magazines and then later on, periodicals geared toward teenage girls and their peer woes, crushes of the week, and fashion frenzies. With the onset of the internet, I now have a new venue for indulging this guilty pleasure. It seems that my oldest two daughters have inherited this gene from their mom (they SURE didn't get it from their DAD!) and frequently take quizzes to determine such profound outcomes as which High School Musical character they are the most like, what their fashion personality, or which Lord of the Rings character they should marry!

The latest one concerned READING! Now, anyone who knows me KNOWS that I'm a book-aholic! I've got more books in my "to read" pile than I can count. My darling husband is convinced that he'll return home one day only to find me buried beneath an avalanche of books. Well...if one has to go, I guess that's a winner. I think that death by chocolate might be the only other means of passing that might be more preferable...definitely a SWEETER passing!

Here's how today's silly quiz characterized me and I must say, it was pretty spot on! :)

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

The link highlighted on the quiz doesn't work for some reason, so here's the link if YOU want to take this quiz:

"The crucial significance of the cradle at Bethlehem lies in its place in the sequence of steps down that led the Son of God to the cross of Calvary, and we do not understand it till we see it in this context. The key text in the New Testament for interpreting the incarnation is not therefore, the bare statement 'the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us', but rather the more comprehensive statement 'ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich'. Here is stated, not the fact of the incarnation only, but also its meaning; the taking of manhood by the Son is set before us in a way which shows us how we should set it before ourselves and ever view it...not simply as a marvel of nature, but rather as a wonder of grace." J I Packer, Knowing God

I am blessed to know Barb Cash, a homeschool mom who is also involved in full-time sports ministry with her husband. Barb is beautiful in appearance and in spirit. She serves many thru her life, including the Five in a Row families who she ministers to through moderating The Prayer Place at .

Barb recently posted a thoughtful Christmas message at her blog, . I thought it was very insightful and she said I could post it here for my friends and family.

"An empty manger!

Okay, I am sure the title of this entry may not make any sense to you, but bear with me!

Have you ever wondered why so many people can accept the reality of Jesus being born, but never see their need for Him as their Saviour? I have been pondering this lately and the Lord, I believe, showed me one possible reason why...

Some people have never taken Jesus out of the manger!!!

Think with me for a minute...Even with the attempts of some to remove Jesus from Christmas all together, there is still ample opportunity to see a manger scene in stores, in front of churches and in many of our homes. We, ourselves, have one out front of the house and at least 5 or 6 displayed inside ~ some all year round. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it gives the illusion to some that Jesus was merely a baby who was born amidst much hoopla. End of the story!

The reality of his birth is not hard for them to grasp, but they stop short of acknowledging that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and favour with God and man. They can't accept the crucifixion and they certainly don't want to mentally entertain the thought of the resurrection. Why you may ask?

Well, as long as Jesus is tucked safely away in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger He is no threat to them and the "safe" little world they have created for themselves. To allow Him to grow up, suffer unimaginably and then raise Himself from the dead requires something from us! It requires us to search our hearts and come to some tough conclusions...either Jesus is Who He says He is or He made the whole thing up!

When our children have a birthday we have a lot of fun remembering their birth stories and laughing about how each one made their grand entrance into our world. We don't stop there, though. We also celebrate who each child has become and what they mean to each of us now! We don't just look at pictures of them as a newborn, sing them a song and then go on with our lives until the next year when we pull out the birth pictures again! To do that would be to deny the reality of who they have become to us and how our lives have been forever changed because of the privilege of sharing this journey with them.

So let me challenge you as you celebrate the birthday of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Enjoy those mangers and, by all means, remember how God came to earth wrapped in flesh, but once the 26th of December rolls around ~ put Baby Jesus away. Let others see an empty animal trough and ask you what happened to Jesus! It may just be the opportunity you've been looking for to share the hope we have in Christ! Share the rest of the story! Not only is that manger empty , but that tomb they placed His tortured body in is, too!

My life has forever been changed because of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! If yours has, too, then join with me in letting others know that our mangers are empty and we serve a resurrected Lord!"

Saturday, December 16, 2006


One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to watch the animated HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. Well if you're feeling in a bit of a grinchy mood yourself, or perhaps one of your loved ones is being a bit of a miser today, then go to this website and find out just the name to suit you during this grumpy time:

Who knows, going by the "Grinch Name" might actually cause you to giggle yourself OUT of that persnickety funk!

AKA Frownymonster Rottenhead (but only when I don't get enough sleep or chocolate)

P.s. I'm married to Crabbyfrown Rottenhead (known to his close friends as Grumpcrab). And our lovely children are (starting from oldest to youngest) Bleakwhiner, Moodymonster, Crabbygrinch, Moodygrinch, Crabbypout, Crabbygloom, and Miserlygrinch. Though I can honestly say that I'm thankful that my wee one is definitely more of a merry "Who" like Cindy Lou than a green ole stinker and will rarely need this new moniker!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Do you have "too many children"? Or maybe someone you know is expecting "another one"? Perhaps you'll find this article by Elisabeth Elliot to be of interest.

Off to comfort my wee hobbit baby who is not pleased about her morning nap. :)

Monday, December 11, 2006


We see now what it meant for the Son of God to empty Himself and become poor. It meant a laying aside of glory; a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill treatment, malice, and misunderstanding; finally, a deaththat involved such agony--- spiritual, even more than physical---that His mind nearlybroke under the prospect of it. It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely men,who, through his poverty, might become rich. The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity--- hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory--- because at the Father's will Jesus Christ became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear. J I Packer, Knowing God.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


As posted previously, I LOVE Christmas and seasonal songs are a wonderful part of the holiday mix. And of course CHILDREN are another element that make this season so special. Well, when you put these two together, you can get some beautiful results...but more often than not, some FUNNY results, as well! :D

I remember that my brother Edward used to think as a child that the famous "three kings" were from a place called "Orientar". Of course, he was not the only one in our family who misheard lyrics. I thought for the longest time that the patriotic song we learned in kindegarten went like this: Our country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of the ICEE! Yes, getting one of those frozen treats from a convenience store was a BIG deal to me!

Over on the Five in a Row Family Room forum, there's a thread going on about other misheard lyrics. They made me smile and added even more cheer to my holiday season. Hope it does the same for you!

Suz in Frogpond shares this story about one of her children:

[Here's] darling daughter's current rendition of "Silent Night" - "Silent night, Holy night, All is calm, all is bright, Round young version of mother and child, holy infant so tenderly mild. Sleep in Heavenly peace. Sleep in Heavenly peace." Best of all, she'll argue with you that SHE'S right!

Suz also relates this ancedote:

We had dd's dance concert last night. (She's in a Christian dance company.) The littlest ones were dancing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and while we were backstage before the show, one of the tiny girls was sitting on a bench in the dressing room practicing her "song"........get ready for this one...
O Come O Come Emmanuel,And prance on Captain Israel....

Tricia O heard her 5 year old daughter singing about "a cartridge in a pear tree."

Must end for now and do some stuff around the house, will add more to this later! :)

Monday, December 04, 2006


Aaahhhhhhh....Christmas! I LOVE this holiday. Its my favorite time of the year. I love the parties, card sending and card getting, carols, yummy foods, sentimental videos, red and green, buying gifts AND getting them ;), Christmas trees, lights, decorations, the smell of cinnamon and cloves, ribbons and wrapping paper, newsletters, special church services, packing gift boxes for the Samaritan's Purse Operation Shoebox, the Salvation Army bellringers, holiday-themed books, and most of all, the message of God's love that is interwoven through all the expressions of joyful celebration during this most wonderful time of the year.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son [Jesus], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Because of His love, I'm filled with joy and freedom...a joy and freedom that overflow this blessed HOLYday season.

My prayer for you this Christmastime, is that you will know and experience in a tangible way the profound love the Father of us all have for you His blessed and beloved child. If I could give each one of you a gift this year, it would be that you would dance every day in the security that you are greatly loved by the author of love Himself.

"On with the dance!
Let joy be unconfined."
---Lord Byron