Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Crafts!

Here’s some pictures of my paper crafting efforts over the past few weeks! 

This is a gift card box I made for Kenny

This is a gift card holder I made for Lauren, Wesley’s friend.  I saw the idea in a video on you tube! 

Cute, huh?

 

Christmas crafts and giftbags

This is a tray.  I saw this idea at Archivers and began thinking that  it would make a cute gift for Jo.  She knew right away it was a “tea par-ty”

Christmas Eve 2010

I made lots of salsa this fall with thoughts to give them away as gifts.

 Christmas crafts and giftbags  Christmas crafts and giftbags

These are some of the gift bags…

Christmas crafts and giftbags  Christmas crafts and giftbags

Christmas crafts and giftbags  Christmas crafts and giftbags  Christmas crafts and giftbags

I took this picture when I stopped to clean up at one point.  Rolling on the floor laughing

Christmas crafts and giftbags

Thankful Thursday

It’s 11:35 pm so I have 25 minutes to have a Thankful Thursday post on Thursday!  I better get going because my typing and writing often takes me a bit.  Today it finally snowed in Denver.  Here in Aurora where we live we probably have three inches on the ground.  They were forecasting five to ten inches.  We are just glad to have at least three as we have been so very dry.  Wally was actually watering our yard on Christmas Eve.  While I do enjoy the snow, what I am thankful for today  I don’t have a word for,  maybe just kind of nesting  (without the pregnancy)!   This morning I made stew and put it in the crock pot.  Then I dug out my bread machine.  I can’t tell you how many years its been since used it but Andrea kind of got me motivated!  I hoped I remembered how it worked!  I was really looking forward to suppertime!  I had to go out and when I came back home, it smelled so good in the house, the stew and the bread.  The cold day outside, the warmth inside,  looking forward to Wally and Wes getting home safely,  all very contented feelings for which I am very thankful!

Maybe we’ll have oatmeal for breakfast!!!Winking smile

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve

 

Christmas Eve 2010

  Every year all of the Paul family that lives in Colorado, or is here visiting, gathers at Mom and Dad’s house.  I can only think of one Christmas Eve since we returned  to Colorado that I missed because I was really sick.  It is just tradition!  And although it is usually a late night it is also a lot of fun.   What I have always liked about my family is that we laugh a lot when we get together. 

Christmas Eve 2010

JoEllen, Dad and Mom

Christmas Eve 2010                                             Christmas Eve 2010

The Solomon’s…Nathan, Terry, Robin and Aaron….and Kyle and Krista

Christmas Eve 2010

Carol, Scott, Nicole and Michael

Christmas Eve 2010

The Godby’s… Wesley, Sherry and Wally

Every year my Dad asks a different family member to read the Christmas story.  This year it was Terry.  He actually has a very good reading voice.  He probably should have taken his hat off but there was such a glare  when he did that we had a hard time seeing!  So he put it back on!

Christmas Eve 2010

                                                                                                    Christmas Eve 2010

I’m not really sure who is telling who, just what here!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Savories of the Season

Before Christmas slips into a memory, I wanted to savor some of the things I enjoyed over the past weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

My advent devotions---just such a blessing to me this year as I thought not only of Christ’s first coming to earth to be my Savior but looking forward to His second coming when all of the world will finally acknowledge Him as King!  I suppose the study in Isaiah has whetted my appetite for this event as well. 

The Christmas Tree---I have always thought the decorated tree was the most beautiful Christmas decoration.  I have enjoyed just sitting with a cup of coffee and looking at the ornaments in the lights.  I enjoyed reading my Bible by the tree and thinking on the nativity scene underneath it.

Christmas Music---The perfect ingredient to the day, listening to it, singing along and having the message of the carols in my mind!

Candles---I like candles most of the year, but there are more of them at Christmas time.

Christmas projects---this year I put together a calendar of Wally’s Dad for his Mom.  That was very special to me, thinking of her delight in it when she saw it and will get to see it all through the year.  I also did a desk top calendar for Wally of Elaine.  I made a cute tray of teatime for Jo and lots of gift bags and jar toppers.   I will post pictures later.

Christmas videos---These kept me entertained while I scrapped.  My favorites are “A Season for Miracles” “Little Lord Fauntleroy”  and “The Story Lady”

Revive Our Hearts---I also listened as I scrapped to podcasts of Nancy’s teachings, some with a Christmas theme but not all.

Starbucks Christmas Blend---I got in on one of their bogos and kept my coffee cup full at home and when I was out!  And aren’t Christmas mugs fun to drink out of?

Christmas Cantata---I think this was the very best cantata our church has ever done!!!  The music was wonderful, the choir did a great job!  And the story in the drama touching.  Our Sunday School Kids sang one of the songs and they also did a really great job!  Of course the little ones always add “cute” in a big way when they are on stage!  Our church was packed!  Even Wally has commented several times about how good the Cantata was this year.

Kenny and Becky’s visit---It was just what my Mom heart needed!  I know the travel ended up being a huge hassle but I am so glad you guys could come!!

Wesley---Also good for my Mom heart to still have one of the kiddos home.  And how thankful I am for God’s protection over you on the road each day as you drive many miles in your job!  This past week particularly it was nice to have a few more meals together than  we normally get to share! 

Christmas Eve with my family---We had a great time laughing, as usual.  JoEllen was in rare form, making every one laugh!!  At one point when Wally did fall asleep, Kyle (my nephew) got Jo (my sister) to slip skittles into his mouth when it dropped open!  I’ll have pictures of Christmas Eve posted soon too.  I love my family!!

Sype on Christmas morning---We watched Elaine open her gift from us, a baby doll.  They sure make it difficult to get a toy out of its packaging these days and Elaine was really wanting that dolly that Dad could not get released from the box!  This dolly came with a pacifier and it was funny watching Elaine try it out and also compare it to her own!  Oh she is so cute! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Birthday Cards

Here’s some Birthday cards Wally and I received for our Birthdays.

B-day cards for Wally's 50 and Sherry 2010

Andrea made this for her Dad.  I thought it was so cute!

B-day cards for Wally's 50 and Sherry 2010

This was my card for Wally

B-day cards for Wally's 50 and Sherry 2010

Here is my Birthday card from Andrea

B-day cards for Wally's 50 and Sherry 2010

I loved this card I received from Leah. That’s Wally’s sis if you do not know.  I loved the little clothes pin that holds the tag on!

Birthday Boy

Perhaps I should say, “boy oh boy, oh boy”!   Wally is now a half of a century old!  Unbelievable!  Surprised smileNyah-NyahWinking smile!  I know he will do fine with this added year of age, because I did it last year!  Well, I really wanted to give him a surprise party.  If you know anything about Wally, you know party animal does not describe him!  But sometimes you help people grow in the areas of life where they are lacking!  We grew Wally a whole bunch!  Since we had gone out to eat on Tuesday, Wally, pretty much was moving on, thinking the birthday was behind him.  Little did he know!

Andrea created and sent out the email invites for me.  Wesley thought the perfect ploy to get Wally out of the house was for Wally to go watch Kenny and Wes play soccer together.  Well they didn’t get out of the house too early for me to change clothes and throw up some decorations.  Thankfully some people came early and helped me out, thanks Mom, Alethea and Bakers!  I must say I did not know so many people could fit into our house…pretty much standing room only!  I was a little overwhelmed, but everyone seemed to be happy, even though most of them stood for the entire time!  Of course every plan has a hitch and the boys did not return with Wally on time.  But finally I began getting text messages as to their coming…turning onto Quincy, passing the lake, in the neighborhood…And finally

SURPRISE!!!

Then Wally came in with that “deer in the headlights look!”Then

See the bright lights reflected in his glasses?

 

And did I mention he got nailed with silly string?  Sorry about the pics, I must have been nervous!

Wally was thoroughly surprised.  Know how I know?  He didn’t know what to say!  There was a point earlier in the evening when I thought he was on to us.  He said things like, “do you want me to vacuum up for tonight?”  Then there was the panic moment when he was in the shower to get ready to leave with the boys and he said, “tell the boys to go on and you and I will come over later.”  Not to worry though, he never had a clue.  Several times over the next couple of days he thanked me for the party and couldn’t believe how many people came!  So thank you friends for coming and sharing the evening with us!  There were many gifts brought, but your friendships are irreplaceable gifts in our lives!

Plenty of hot air to blow out all of those candles.  He must be a salesman!   Don’t worry, we removed the batteries from the smoke alarm before we lit the candles!

Mission Accomplished!

Happy! Happy! Birthday Wally!  May this next year of life the Lord has granted you, find you growing in His likeness, abundantly blessed by His goodness, and serving Him!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Last week Kenny came home with his fiancĂ© Becky.  We had a wonderful visit together.….and entirely too short!   We had met Becky twice before, at Kenny’s graduation and this past June at the Godby reunion.  It can be kind of scary when your children grow up and choose a mate.  That new person added to your family can certainly change the dynamic of your family, for good or bad.  And have you heard that little poem, “When you have a daughter you have a daughter for life.  When you have a son, you have a son until he takes a wife?”  I do think there is some truth in that.   I have sort of dreaded the day the boys would grow up and find their wife.  That is why I am so thankful this week for Becky.  I know it is called Thankful Thursday,  but I have been thanking the Lord for bringing Becky into Kenny’s life all week long.   She is easy to talk to and likes to laugh and have fun.  She plays the piano and it was nice to hear ours played again.  I enjoyed that she and Kenny were content to just hang out at the house and visit while we played games or worked in the kitchen.  Most of all, it is obvious that Becky loves and trusts the Lord.  Becky seems to complement Kenny perfectly!  It will be exciting to see how God used this couple in the future.  Thank you Becky for making it easy to welcome you into our family!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I got this picture from Becky’s camera card…it was taken after the Christmas Cantata at Kenny’s church.  Kenny directed the choir and Becky accompanied  on the piano.  Don’t they look beautiful together?

Here’s some other things we did together while Becky was here.  She has also posted on her own blog, Life in the Big City,  pictures and stories of her visit to Colorado.  You can read all about it here .

Last Tuesday we went to the Buckhorn Exchange for dinner.  It is a fun restaurant and a bit pricey.  But they have a Birthday club and they give you the percentage of your age off of your meal.  Wally and I both have December birthdays so it works out well, especially now that we are 50 something off!  It is a unique restaurant, serving a lot of exotic game meat.  The walls are covered with mounts of all kinds, even a two headed sheep.  Also on the walls are pictures and memorabilia of well known people who have visited the restaurant  Being the oldest restaurant in Denver they display liquor license number one and JFK’s fishing license when he visited Colorado.  Our table was near photos signed by Bob Hope, James Cagney, Ronald Reagan and Mike Nelson.  Yep, Mike Nelson the channel nine weatherman signed his photo to be hung with the other “notables’! 

After dinner Kenny went to play soccer with Wes.  Wesley plays on a 3 on 3 indoor team on Tuesday nights.  Becky went to watch.  When they all came home, we decorated the tree.  It was late, like 11:00 pm and I was tired.  But it went pretty fast with Becky opening and unwrapping ornaments and Kenny helped me hang.  Yes, Wesley went to bed and Wally dozed in the chair.  Then on Thursday night, we opened gifts with the kids. 

I am thankful for you Becky and you too Kenny for making a good pick!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Serendipity

Isn’t that a fun word? Webster’s says it means, “the faculty of finding valuable, or agreeable things not sought for.”  That’s kind of a fancy way of saying, what a pleasant surprise!  I got a “serendipity” in the mail last week.  A card and a little package from an old friend.  Debbie and I met at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, MN way back in 1978!  We were both freshmen and she lived across the hall from me!  I believe Wally and I visited Debbie and her husband Steve on one of our cross- country moves in the Air Force.   Through the years we have been good about exchanging Christmas cards and watching each others kids grow up through the pictures that came in them each year.  In 2004 we drove Andrea and Kenny to Ambassador Baptist Bible College in North Carolina.  On the return trip we went through Indianapolis and I popped in on Debbie at her workplace. That is where the picture below was taken.

scan0001

Most recently Debbie and I caught up with each other on fb.  How fun to now share a peek at each others grandchildren! I've recently deactivated my fb account and Debbie was one of those connections I thought I would lose. But her note said she had been keeping up with me on my blog and she also follows Andrea’s blog!  How fun!! Thank you Debbie, for being a faithful friend all of these years. Thank you for the unexpected surprise in the mail last week that I do consider to be of value and that I treasure!  You are a blessing to my life!

I had one other “serendipity” last week.  A phone call from Wesley.  He wanted to know if I wanted to go to lunch with him.  He came by and picked me up and took me to Chiles!  Thanks Wes!  I love those moments!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

 advent

The reason why I wanted to do this Thankful Thursday post is to cultivate  my heart in gratitude.  I know am so blessed in so many ways and yet I quickly get distracted from those blessings when I get overwhelmed with life.  One thing that is kind of over whelming me now is just the approach of Christmas with all the added activities,  and getting my house ready for Kenny’s visit next week, and completing some projects I want to give as gifts, and... I guess that is more than one thing.!  Also my heart is not quite in the spirit of Christmas.  Partly that is due to the fact we won’t be together as a family this year and I think I am dreading that.   Yesterday I got most of my house decorated.  We haven't done the tree yet as we are waiting to decorate it when Kenny and Becky come next week.  And I have been listening to Christmas music, which I love!  But the thing that is helping the most and the thing I am choosing to be thankful for this week, is Advent. 

I did not grow up in a church that celebrated advent.  As kids, we had this felt strip that hung on the wall and you counted down to Christmas by eating a tootsie roll each day.  [And I kind of remember my brother Marty eating off of more than his felt strip!]  Its not that I was without teaching about the Christmas story.  I just never prepared for Christmas in my heart.

I think I  discovered what Advent really was when I wanted to make Christmas more meaningful for my kids. A woman in my homeschool group shared how they had made an advent tree and had devotions and put up a different ornament each day.  So I made the tree and the ornaments and we began having Advent.   The book even came with questions to ask and a carol to sing.  We had a hard time with the singing part, but we tried.   My kids probably have more memories of me moaning “how behind we are in advent”, but I still like it.  It is an accountability for me.  It is a tool to get my mind thinking about Christ’s coming, both at His birth and now as I am waiting His return.  It turns my heart from the decorations, the projects, and the missing family members, to the reality that Christ came to bring me salvation!  Yesterday I read how He changes my identity.  According to Isaiah 62:10-12, He calls me Holy, Redeemed of the Lord, Sought After, and my life is No Longer Deserted!  Truths like that are what I want to overwhelm me rather than my circumstances or “to do” list.  So,  I am going to work on one of those projects now but with a grateful heart!

christmas for blog

By the way there are fifteen days left until Christmas Smile

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to…ME!

It was my birthday on Saturday.  I may as well just confess up front that I turned 29, yet again!  So my birthday started out early, as most Saturdays.  Our leader’s meeting for Bible Study is every Saturday morning at 6:30.  The admin team and I arrive at 6:00 to unlock and set up.  Just as we were about to start, Wally steps inside the door and has a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses.

They really are beautiful and smell good too!

Kind of a funny story.  Wally pulled up along side the curb near the door where we enter for leaders meeting.  I tis in front of the church’s dumpster.  Our class secretary stands at the door to greet our leaders as they enter.  She said to me, “I think someone is wanting to use the church’s dumpster.  He  is just sitting by them and waiting.  I think he knows I am watching him too!”  So I stepped outside to investigate.  I said, “I think that’s my husband’s truck!”  Well, Wally knows he has been had and pulls up and says, “you weren’t supposed to come out.  I can never surprise you!”  And it’s true.  I have always known when he was up to something!  But honestly, I thought he was just going to leave  a sign on my car or put something inside it.  So he did surprise me by coming inside with the roses!

On Sunday, we went out to lunch with my folks and Scott after church…Did you know you get a free burger from Red Robin if you join their birthday club? 

  

Nice picture of us, I thought.  I also thought I should have run a comb through my hair!Smile

 

Great picture of my parents also!  I love these two so much!

Pretty good picture of Wally and I with Wes.  Scott was trying to take it low because there was so much light coming in through the windows, that he got mostly glasses and straws!  I cropped it as best as I could!

And this is not a very good picture of Scott and his friend Carol.  I did not even notice that she had her eyes closed.  (So sorry Scott and Carol!)

In our family when there is a Birthday, Western Union always calls with singing telegram!  It’s a little shocking the first time someone newly added to the family gets that call.  But for those of us who have received it many times over the years it is part of your Birthday!!  Can’t imagine a birthday without that call!  I was blessed throughout the day to get birthday wishes by text, ecards from some family and Scott left a singing “Happy Birthday” on my voice mail!  My friend Kathy Huryk in DC always calls me on my birthday, and we had a nice chat.  And can you believe the celebration is not over?? Wally’s birthday is on December 14.  Kenny and Becky come in another week, so we are planning on a family dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange for both our Birthdays then.  (S-o-o wish Ben, Andrea and Elaine could come too!)

Thank you family and friends for being a special blessing in my life!

 

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