Monday, November 30, 2009

Straight No Chaser: The 12 Days of Christmas (2008 Version)

I LOVE listening to these guys. One of my favorite Christmas performances each year. Enjoy!

Update: OH MY GOODNESS, the last date of their Christmas tour is in Raleigh on Dec 23rd! That would be an AMAZING show!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rich people buying other rich people more riches

The title is how I've been feeling about Christmas. Something's very wrong with that. Very.

(and if you don't think you're rich, go here and find out exactly how rich you are. If you're reading this on a computer... and you are :)... you're one of the richest in the world.)

"In 2008, Americans spent about $460 billion on Christmas expenditures, according to IBISWorld. Some estimates show that the average American spends between $500 and $1,000 or more on Christmas gifts and decorations each year."

Our families are incredibly generous and love us very Christmas is big each year. But I just can't get this voice out of my head...

"You need nothing...and they need to live. They need water. They need food. They need a decent shelter. They need a mommy and daddy. They need..."

"Just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years."

(Water for Christmas)

What do you do with that?

I like this idea: Advent Conspiracy

Watch the video if you haven't seen it. It's 1 min 54 seconds.

I have some thoughts about what this means for our family, and while it's in the baby stages...I'm getting really, really excited about it! The creative juices are pumping through my veins!

It won't mean that we will completely stop buying any gifts for Christmas (at least not this year), but it does mean being more prayerful about how we approach this whole get-more-stuff thing. It means conversations we've never had before. It means an ever-weakening desire for the stuff. It means spending money to help others....and not the "others" who already have what they need to live. It means believing and rejoicing in the truth that "the Lord is my portion and my cup....I have a beautiful inheritance." And knowing " you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." It means simplifying things.

Funny how what I call "simplifying" could save a human being's life.

How slowing down the whole picking it out-ringing it up-taking it home-wrapping it up process could actually cause someone to live who would otherwise die.

I don't think we get it. I don't.

I have so many more thoughts and ideas about this that need to get out... so another more practical post is coming. :)

But in the meantime, I'd love to have your ideas and thoughts on this. Have you made significant changes in the past on how you spend money at Christmas? Are you planning to this year? Share! I would love the encouragement!

Tha rain and the birrds (somewhare) are very appreciated here

I've been talking to Isaiah a lot about being thankful and having a grateful heart, as well as trying to drive home the whole spirit of Thanksgiving.

("A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" has been surprisingly helpful in this.)

Anyway, we were eating breakfast this morning, and I took the opportunity again to ask him what he's thankful for.

And here's a look into the depth and profundity of our 3 year old's mind....

(Note: imagine a back-country red-neck in a small body and you'll get a better feel for our conversations)

M: Isaiah, what are some things you're thankful for?

I: --Mah rainy day.


--Tha sink.

--Tha new birrd.
The one outsiide....somewhare.
Thare's new birrds outsiide....somewhare.
I think thar in thar house so they won't git we-yut.

--Tha big gooose sleeping at the parrk down tha hee-ill.

--Mah saaaw-zaaaw!

(This is in reference to his toy saw.
Now imagine someone from "Hee-Haw" saying it and there you go)

--All mah stuuff....for mah rainy da-eez.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


A friend of mine posted this on facebook and oh, how it spoke to my weary heart. I needed this little nugget of grace as I wonder through the thick of this whole parenting thing. I OFTEN forget (and complain) that the two cute little boys that can absolutely drive me crazy are souls...and they are sacred.

In fact, each day filled with training, refilling sippy cups, saying no to constant requests for snacks, dishes, laundry, putting together puzzles and train tracks, scrubbing up spilled soup and coffee out of the carpet, disciplining, instructing on kindness and respect and obedience, figuring out the best schedule, getting through the hours between nap time and dinner time.... it's all sacred.

Could it be that while I dream of having a life of purpose like a missionary, a social justice advocate, a non-profit starter, a soup kitchen organizer, a refuge for all who hurt and are needy - oh how I do, and by God's grace will never stop - that the purpose I've dreamed of having..."has been right before my eyes..."

Lord, that I would "run to You like they run to me for every little thing."

(Caedmon's Call)

this house is a good mess
it’s the proof of life
no way would I trade jobs
but it don’t pay overtime

I’ll get to the laundry
I don’t know when
I’m saying a prayer tonight
cause tomorrow it starts again

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

the children are sleeping
but they’re running through my mind
the sun makes them happy
and the music makes them unwind

my cup runneth over
and I worry about the stain
teach me to run to You
like they run to me for every little thing

when I forget to drink from you
I can feel the banks harden
Lord, make me like a stream
to feed the garden

wake up, little sleeper
the Lord, God Almighty
made your Mama keeper
so rise and shine
rise and shine cause

everything is sacred
and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

Friday, November 13, 2009

pretty much one of the most interesting things I've ever read

MckMama tweeted about her husband hitting a deer...and then TAKING IT TO THE BUTCHER!.

She said that a bunch of other people had told her there were waiting lists in their states for deer road kill. EXCUSE ME?!?!?

So, being brought up shooting rifles, pistols, bow and arrow and then refilling our bullet shells...

(don't judge me, ya' was my daddy's fault. I was only 8.)

...I had to find out for myself if this was indeed true and what is really happening to those poor, unrecognizable heaps I'm always swerving to miss on I85.

Prepare your hearts, friends.

I doubt you've ever been in the presence of a conversation like this.

"ain't no law in NY bout that all you do is call a trooper he tags it ask if you want the deer then go to the store and buy some Stove Top Stuffin and you got some serious eatin's. Bon appetites"

I'm speechless.

Monday, November 09, 2009


My stomach has been in knots this morning. I don't even know this kid, but have read his mom's blog (along with thousands of others and maybe you too) for awhile now. As we speak, he is being prepped for very risky heart surgery. He's one month younger than Manny...barely a year old.

We knew this day would eventually come for him, and I'm just pleading with the Lord to heal this precious cutie that has won his way into so many hearts. But, more importantly, that God would glorify Himself mightily in his little life...whatever happens.

Please pray for Stellan and his family today.

*Update: It's 1:58 and Stellan went into surgery about an hour ago, and it looks like the surgery will take at least a couple hours. He was very unstable when he went in. He needs prayer.

It's November 20th...oops. Stellan came through surgery like a champ and the procedure was 100% successful!!! They are now home and you can read more about this amazing miracle on his mom's blog. I love being able to tell Isaiah that God healed the little boy's heart we prayed for!!! Praise God!!!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Aw Shucks

I am so grateful to be part of a church small group that loves to have fun together. Our little group is made up of our family, Terrance and Courtney (and little boy C in the oven), Keli and Caroline. We all are or have been teachers. We all live in the same area. After that, we're a pretty diverse group, which I LOVE. We're the newbies, but they have taken us in (and all our issues) with wide open if we've been there the whole time.

So, today we all (minus Terrance who had to work) went to Aw Shucks pumpkin patch and corn maze. Isaiah and Manny (and me, if we're being honest) each had their own things to overcome through the day, but all in all we had a lot of fun! The girls were so patient and helpful.

We walked through the (tiny and sad) pumpkin patch, made our way through a corn maze that looked like the Lowe's Motor Speedway logo in record time, took a hay ride, ate hotdogs, checked out the little general store, fed sheep, pet goats, gobbled at turkeys and Isaiah rode a pony. And the weather was BEAUTIFUL!

Manny, Caroline and Courtney

The General Store with an inflatable turkey
(I should let my neighbors know they make one)

The Pumpkin House

Just plain cool.


In little boy dream land.

Seriously? You call this a pumpkin?
(yeah, November is too late to get big pumpkins at
the patch)

Most of us were glad to be there.

Isaiah may have found his calling. He already talks like a red-neck...
to the point that almost all southerners who hear him laugh.
And now we know that this trait is matched perfectly with
how much he LOVED feeding those nasty, dirty, mangy sheep.
(not that people who feed sheep are red-necks. noooo.)


The girls: Caroline, Me, Keli and Courtney (and little boy C).
They were troopers to come along with our clan!
The day did not come without it's fair share of pit stops,
wet pants, spilled drinks and meltdowns.

The ticket!

First pony ride! I walked the 1st lap with him, but he decided
he wanted to do the 2nd lap all by his big-boy-britches self.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Go to the movies tomorrow night!!!

Now, I know this isn't a high traffic area, BUT, in the off chance that you're reading this today or tomorrow AND you can arrange to have a few hours to yourself, I think this looks amazing!

I heard about it on the radio today, dug around a little online and decided it's blog worthy, if you will. :)

I don't listen to Hillsong United (though many of my students do at their churches), but I think they're about to make a bold statement on the social justice front....and you can see it in the theaters tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4th ONLY.

Here's the teaser.

Oh, and if you're local, it's showing in 2 theaters in the Charlotte area. One of them being Concord Mills AMC (insert happy dance) @ 7:30. I REALLY hope I get to see it! Let me know if you do.