Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

I felt shaken today when I saw the news of Benazir Bhutto's savage assassination. Despite the accusations that hung about her like flies over the years, I believed her to be an incredibly bold and brave woman in a land that places little value on women in general.

Her loss is felt throughout the world.

Now I hold my breath to see the repercussions of that violent, senseless act of cowardice.

Every Day Should Be Christmas

"Every day should be Christmas"
I've heard people say.
They like the presents, and cookies and Santa's red sleigh.

Well, those things are nice,
I have to agree,
But I think every day should be Christmas for other reasons I see.

Christmas, the true meaning, should reside in our hearts -
the celebration of His birth is an event set apart.
It brought Hope into a dark world,
Hope that wipes away sin, that gives all a new start.

Hope and new beginnings should have no restriction
But always there for the asking,
Not limited to holidays aswim in pretty fiction.

Every day should be Christmas,
I have to agree.
Every day should be Christmas
So we all can be free.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve!

Tomorrow's the day - the BIG day! It's HIS birthday!
Think about it: the chance for eternal salvation, unconditional love, a great light in a dark world, the defeat of Satan - oh, and no more of that messy sacrifice of animals on the altar!
And to think, His earthly existance began in the womb of a humble young woman.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Free Christmas Sheet Music

Another page with free Christmas sheet music - enjoy!

Christmas Carol Sheet Music

Free, beautiful sheet music to print and use in your Christmas celebration.

Christmas Carols

Christmas carol, midi and word files. These are all carols considered to be in the public domain, so they are free for your use. Enjoy!

Thank God It's Saturday!

It's been a tough week, and that's not because of scrambling for Christmas, because I'm not. Emotionally I am wrung out.
Little Erik went to be with the Lord - his service was Monday and it was very emotional for my daughter, Katie, and her friends. School was dismissed at Noon that day to allow students to attend the funeral and many were there. They held each other and cried. They reached out to students they had barely noticed before this event. They held each other up and held each other's hands. They looked one last time upon their friend's body before all of him was gone from this earth forever. They greeted the family with tearful smiles, hugs and handshakes. Everything they did was salted with tears. My heart ached for the family and for these loving and brave students, many of whom were facing death for the first time as adults.
There was emotional strain in our household as well. I don't like airing my dirty laundry, so I won't go into details, but suffice to say, a close family member is an alcoholic who is falling off the wagon hard. If you have had an alcoholic loved one, you know everything that goes along with it. If not, Google alcoholism.
I'm just glad it's Saturday morning, calm and quiet. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Gift Revealed To Jesus

Another Jesus "partier", Joyce said...
"I plan to give Jesus the total me. I do not have a camera so I will talk about my English background with poems and other interesting items."
What a wonderful thing - to give Jesus our "total me". What is your "total me"? How much of you is hidden, or rather, you think is hidden from Jesus?
Luke 8:17 For nothing is hidden, that will not be revealed; nor anything secret, that will not be known and come to light.
Psalms 69:5 God, you know my foolishness. My sins aren't hidden from you.
God Bless You this Christmas season as you decide upon your gift to Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesus Party . . . more

I have received some great responses to the Happy Birthday Jesus Party invite. Here are some of them:
Greatfullivin said...
I am always up for a good bible study. My gift to Jesus is kind of the same gift every year I don't think He ever tires of it...Sharing with others how much He loves us, and the gift of salvation he brought to us.
Once Upon a Cottage said...
I'll join you in recomitting to the study of God's Word. I want to do a "Bible in a Year" study starting Jan. 1st.Love the nativities around the world. Thank you for participating in Happy Birthday Jesus Blog Party!
Join the party! Tell me what you are giving Jesus for his birthday. Also, if you have a photo (jpg) of a special nativity or CHRISTmas celebration, please send them along!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Are Giving Jesus For His Birthday?

What are you giving Jesus for his birthday? That's the question I ask as we launch the "Happy Birthday Jesus" Blogparty. Post your answers and I'll add them to the blog.
Now - I should probably answer that question myself...
My gift to Christ for his birthday is a renewed commitment to study His Word. It's there as an instruction manual, as spiritual and practical guidance, yet I neglect to study it daily. Is anyone else interested in that gift/commitment? Would you like to join with me to study together?
Post your gifts. If you have a picture of a nativity to share, email it to me at and I'll post it on the blog too.
Let's all share in His birthday!

Erik Update

I cannot sleep. I've tried. I've laid and prayed. Now, here I am at 2:45 AM. We received disturbing news last night about my daughter's friend Erik, for whom I've asked you to pray. The pressure has increased in his brain - this is the translation from 13 year-old to 13 year-old. He is not expected to make it through the night. I cannot imagine losing my child. I cannot imagine sitting there, grateful for every minute he's still alive, yet in agony for what he's going through. Only God can help. Only God can heal. Only God can comfort.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I'm learning to quilt! Okay, I know the basic concept, having watched Grandma Thomas for years, and have made a little project or two of my own over the years, but now I am learning from a great lady named Susan. She opened shop in an old brick storefront here in spacious downtown Bremen called Main Street Quilters. Lovely shop and she's a lot of fun to be with. We are making a Bento Box wall hanging - I'll post pictures of my own when I'm beyond piles of neatly cut squares and rectangles. Since my livingroom is dark (cherokee red walls, pine green trim), I'm using pale parchment colors, lighter greens and some reds. Lennea and I are doing the class together.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Our family visited Erik today. Today is Erik's 14th birthday; he is in the hospital after suffering from a brain aneurysm the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Subsequently, he went into kidney failure. He is a sweet young man, and I don't say that just because he's ill. My daughter Katie, soon to be 14, has known Erik since they were toddlers. At a summer outing for preschoolers, I was laying in the grass with the kids looking at clouds when Erik decided the most comfortable place to lay was on my legs. That's what kind of kid he still is - physically affectionate, cheerful, unabashed, blonde-haired, with an impish grin and he plays a mean trumpet. He and Katie are in band together and challenge each other back and forth for first chair.
Erik is making progress. The dialysis is draining his body of excess fluid, the cat-scan looks good and he is responsive, thought not totally awake. The meds and the strain on his body keeps him mostly sedated, although he knows you're there. The strain on the family is great, but their faith in God and the support of family and friends keeps them going.
The kids at school have rallied to his cause; Katie and another classmate have made and passed out countless necklaces with painted bottle caps, with an 'E' on them; the students have also made and are wearing t-shirts that say 'Pray For Erik' (this at a public school - they're not all bad!). Teachers and students have visited, sent hundreds of cards as well as balloons and gifts. Erik is a well-loved and deeply missed young man.
Please pray for Erik and his parents, siblings, and the physicians and staff at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Husbands Shopping For Christmas

I love this! I found "What To Get Your Wife For Christmas" & "What Not To Get Your Wife For Christmas" at . Jan has a nice blog - check it out! While you're at it, post your own 'what to...' and 'what not to...' lists! How fun!

Top 10 Things NOT To Buy Your Wife For Christmas
10. Clock radio

9. CHEAP chocolate

8.Santa mug

7. Bath stuff

6. NASCAR jewelry

5. Gift card to Kroger's

4. A house robe like your mother's

3. Vacuum cleaner

2. Crocheted potholders

1. Anything with geese, cows or pigs on it

Top 10 Things You SHOULD Buy Your Wife For Christmas

10. The perfume she always stops at the perfume counter to smell (ask her best friend or sister!)
9. Belgian, German or French chocolate

8. Gift card for a massage

7. Sexy negligee (check her favorite nightie for correct size!)

6. Make (yes, 'make') a coupon book of personal & household services you will perform for her and be creative!

5. What music does she sing along with in the car? Buy her the CD!

4. The movie you watched together when you were first dating.

3. A love note you wrote yourself

2. Warm AND pretty slippers

1. Finished "Honey Do" list

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snowy Ohio Day

I wrote this on a summer day when I was in high school. We lived on Paradise Rd. and it was truly a green paradise in the tree covered hills. I was home alone and it was early morn as I looked out upon the stretch of green grass that was our yard. It was supposed to be a poem about the green, the hills and trees, but it turned into a Christmas poem. I think God wrote it instead of me.
As I looked upon the snow so white,
Glistening in the moon's soft light,
A thought reflected in my mind
About a Babe born in a manger kind.
A Babe born on a cool Bethlehem night,
A Babe born to bear the name Jesus Christ.
Deborah Berry

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tiny flakes are flying 'round,
Clinging in crevices,
lightly dusting the ground.
A preview to what's to come tonight,
Full winter is on the horizon just in sight.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Monday, December 03, 2007


Weather like today's reminds me of a very chilly high school football game a few years ago. We were sitting next to the band (at our school, we have as many band groupies as we do football fanatics!) when one of the trombones started a cheer. It's one of those "give me a..." kind of cheers that the crowd responds to, often mindlessly as not to lose track of what's happening on the field. It was a perfect example of mindless crowd mentality - we should have known something was amiss when it started with "give me a 'B'" (we are the Fairfield Union Falcons, always an 'F'), but we went along.

"Give me a 'B'" - "B!"

"Give me an 'R'" - "R!"

"Give me an 'R'" - "R!"

"Give me another 'R'" - "R!"

"What's that spell?" "Brrrrrr!"

The stands cracked up laughing!
So, that LONG story said - 'brrrr.....rrrrr...rrr!!' - it's COLD outside!
Here in Ohio, winter (technically late Fall) has only flirted with us. We have had 60-70 degree days, intermingled with frosty mornings. The mercury has been everywhere but normal, until now. Which is to say it is typical Ohio weather, as we say: 'if you don't like the weather, wait a minute, it will change!'
Shopping in Amish Country on Saturday was fun. We never set foot inside a touristy craft store, nothing like that. We hit the bulk food stores, shopping alongside the locals, buying all sorts of wonderful goodies to feed our families and ourselves, stocking up on baking supplies. We hit Heini's Cheese (the BEST cheese), had an awesome fried chicken lunch, went to Zink's and gorged on yards and yards of fleece, fabrics, trims and other sewing goodies (fleece at 2.99 a yard!), do another bulk food store and lug out 50 lb bags of flour, hit Lehman's (you should see the awesome woodburning stoves and all the cool cookware and the books and ....) and finally, Breitenbach Winery. It was a fun day of almost guilt-free shopping.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Off To Amish Country I Go - Hi Ho!

Today's the day: I'm heading to Amish Country with a pair of ladies who introduced me to it this past Spring. They couldn't believe that I had never been. In Ohio, Amish Country is up in Holmes Co. and the immediately surrounding area, north of I-70, just west of I-77, in case you look at a map. We justify our "mom's day out" by shopping for food. Yep. Grocery shopping is fun there. Big bulk food places, chocolatier, cheese factory, winery, oh, and the big fabric place. Gotta get a shower and get dressed, we head out at 7 AM!