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Monday, December 17, 2012

Making Sense of it

We try to make sense of one can make sense of it.  Evil has always existed, but that's why He came one Christmas morning, to give us a hope of a new tomorrow, a hope in a place of no evil for those who just accept and believe.  These precious babies are with Jesus more hurt or fear.  Our hearts go out to the families who have lost so much in a senseless time as this.  I saw this prayer by Max Lucado   Here is the original link

Dear Jesus,
It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Your Children

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Going Fake

Christmas trees...those beautiful, wonderful smelling, green things we bring into our homes every year and decorate with sparkly lights and glittery ornaments.  Ours usually gets picked out the day or so after Thanksgiving and stays put until the branches are stiff and half the needles have gone missing!  For many years, my hubby has tried talking us girls into a fake tree.  Oh, you know...
less mess, 
no clean up, 
won't die, 
save money
...the list goes on.  Traditions are hard to break, so we've stood our ground and not given in.  Well, with both girls gone this year, I lost the battle and gave into the fake tree.  Then came home and cried over the fact that 46 years of tradition just flew out the window.
 The week before everyone was coming home for Thanksgiving, I wanted to have the decorations all up and the tree decorated.  Our first Christmas hauling up the huge box of Christmas tree "parts."  We got it together and I unfolded all the branches, still pouting about the fact there was no pine smell filling the house and threatening to take it down, pack it back up, and take it back.  I put the garland and the lights on and waited for Beki to get home to help tradition I didn't have the heart to break.  It's together, it's beautiful and I can, honestly say, it's kind of grown on me the past couple of weeks.  It actually, almost looks real.  But just in spite...I might leave it up until Valentine's Day!!!  HeeHee!

I played Santa Claus and traveled 3 hours to see Ari and deliver their Christmas presents since they won't be home this year.  While I was there she said she had to give me part of my present so she could explain.  She handed me a small tissue wrapped gift.  Inside were a couple green candles.  I could smell the pine needles before she had the chance to say, "Do you know what it is?"  She knew how disappointed I was and bought me pine scented candles to burn so I could still enjoy my fake Christmas tree. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas is all in the Heart

 This Christmas season has been really different for me this year.  Oh, I've done all the usual...
decorated the house, 
put up the tree, 
baked cookies, 
wrapped up gifts.  
But, the difference was not having my girls here to help.  This is the first Christmas my oldest will not be home for Christmas as she will spend the holiday with her new husband.  I got to thinking about our first Christmas away so many years ago.  John and I, on our first Air Force assignment in Sacramento, couldn't make it home for Christmas and I'm sure, now looking back all those years, that our parents were heartbroken as well and maybe a tear or two was shed when they missed our voices and our laughter.  I will miss her, but change must happen and I know that she will miss us too.  Our children will start their own traditions just as we did and I will have to learn to be content to just hear their stories.  No matter where we are, no matter where life takes our children...
Christmas is all in the heart! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cherry Delight Cookies

I was in the mood for baking today and so, decided to make my third batch of these cookies of the season.  They are a family favorite and we make them every year.  They make a great tea cookie.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we have over the years. 

Cherry Delight Cookies

1 cup of butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white Caro Syrup
2 eggs yolks (save whites)
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
7 oz. fine ground walnuts
1 carton of candied cherries
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg yolks and syrup.  Keep beating, slowly add in flour.  Chill 2 hours.  Roll into small balls. Beat egg whites.  Dip rolled balls into egg whites.  Roll in walnuts.  Place on greased cookie sheet or non-stick cookie sheet.  Press in 1/2 cherry.  Bake 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

 One very used recipe card!!



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Greetings

Dear Friends and Family,

It's that time of year again.  Thanksgiving has passed and it's a mad rush to get everything done on our holiday lists.  And we're no exception.  The past few days have been a flurry of browsing and buying and card making.  In all the busyness of this time of year,we hope you all take time to relax with your families, make memories, and enjoy the season.

It's been an incredible year for all of us.  I'm not sure we could have squeezed in any more major life events! A lot of you started the year out with us celebrating Ari and Anthony's wedding on January 1st.

 Everything came together beautifully.  It was a wonderful wedding.  They are quickly approaching their first anniversary!  The wedding was followed by Beki's Show Choir competitions and performances which were amazing and very high energy.  Senior prom was in April and that was bittersweet as it was not only Beki's last prom but ours as well.  
 John and I also snuck away for a little R and R at our favorite getaway, Sedona, Arizona.  We can't get enough of this place.  It's our little piece of heaven here on earth. 
In May, we watched with pride as our last walked down the aisle to receive her diploma with honors. With tears in my eyes, I realized that life was never going to be the same...we were at a turning point that all parents face as their kids are about to embark on their own journey.

In June, we put our house up for sale and had it sold within 6 weeks.  We moved Beki in at Missouri State in August.  She is attending the university on an academic scholarship.  She currently is studying Math Education with a minor in Spanish.  That was probably the hardest thing I had to do all year...say good-bye to my baby girl.  John and I spent a month in limbo living the city life in a very urban apartment in the Central West End of St. Louis enjoying the city life.  Though as much as John would have loved to continue living like that, I was ready for my own home.  In September, we moved into our new house in Missouri and a week later, we took a ten day trip to Zion National Park.

John also applied for a promotion within his agency and we recently found out he got the job.  So, we are now settled into our new home, trying to get used to the new area, finding a new church and just adjusting to the idea of being empty-nesters. It's been quite a year of transition and I think we are both ready for things to settle down and become "normal" again.  

May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  God Bless.

John, Aimee and Beki

 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
                                                                                                                                   Luke 2:8-12

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