Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

This post is not for the faint of heart!  There are 41 photos---yep, 41!  But I figured it was my blog and I could put them all on here if I wanted to.  And the only order to it is that we celebrated with Matt's family on Christmas Eve--and they are posted first.  Christmas Day is in random order. 

Alexis--Matt's daughter

Caitlin--Matt's daughter

These girls are good receivers!  They are always excited about their gifts.

And I love that they still want dolls.

We were very impressed with Rapunzel's hair.

Caitlin's doll's name was "Alexis."  Sweet!

Blow drying Rapunzel's hair.

Dressing her doll.

Lisa helping Alexis open a gift.

Matt texting his dad--who was sitting right next to him.

Lisa opening her gift--the book "Redeeming Love."

I know it's hard to see...but this is the gift Santa brought Caitlin & Alexis!  Two pygmy goats.  Yep, that's right.  Goats!!

Alexis with Flower (left) and Caitlin with Faline.  Uncle Zach sent me this pic.
Which leads us to Christmas Day.... 
Addie--David's daughter

Ryan--David's son opening his Big Country Western Town.

Zach opening Dax's first Converses. 

Addie scanning food with her new cash register.

Ryan opening more gifts.

Uncle Zach & Aunt Shanna checking out at the grocery store.

David reading his card.

Zach reading his card that came with his book.

Lindsey & Shanna opening their gifts.

Me--opening my gift from Zach & Shanna.  EIGHT spots for EIGHT grandkids!!  Perfect.

Lindsey showing the Little House paper dolls to Addie & Ryan.

Zach opening Dax's superman outfit.

My camera strap cover!!  So cute!

Lindsey & Shanna reading their cards.

Shanna & Dax

This photo needs explanation.  I cleaned out a closet--I was so tired of all the crap in there!  And most of it was computer stuff like this that David had left behind.  So Andy took it all and wrapped it in a box and tagged it to DKText.  I think David was actually excited to see some of this stuff again.  Lindsey wasn't.  (FYI:  Great way to get rid of stuff--wrap it up!)

Addie giving Pops "Ekimo" kisses.

Happy Birthday to You, Jesus!

Addie & Ryan blow out his candles.

Ryan on the phone, talking to his cousin, Isaac.

Patiently waiting for Dad to get all of the toys out of the boxes. 

I could honestly say that I think Addie spent an hour in front of this fire.

Pregnant women can go from this.... this in a matter of minutes!  (Isn't she adorable?) 


Guh & Addie

David, Ryan & Pops

Zach & his new frap machine.  It made us all scream! 

The David Dietz Family

Andy & I spent our first Christmas Eve alone--ever.  Of course, we spent about an hour with Matt's family that afternoon, but for the most part, we were alone.  We went to the Christmas Eve service at our church and afterwards we went to eat at Bennigans.  I told Andy we should be at a Chinese restaurant in honor of all the Christmas movies.  We had a quiet evening.  Our morning started at 8:30 when Caitlin & Alexis called to tell us Santa had brought them goats!  They were so excited!!  They've moved out in the "country" and have wanted all kinds of animals--so goats are only the beginning, I think.  Later, Zach & Shanna and David & Lindsey & kids came and we had a great lunch together and enjoyed a full afternoon visiting and playing.  We talked to Jay & Amy and their kids around noon and heard about the gifts they had opened.  Then Josiah, their 5-year-old played "Joy to the World" with 2 hands on the piano--by ear.  He'd just learned it the day before.  We think he's a child prodigy!!  You can hear all about the Wright's Christmas here.  It was a wonderful Christmas---different, yet wonderful. 


Thank you, Jesus, for coming into the world to be the Light of the world. 
Happy birthday!

Friday, December 24, 2010


I would have brought this by to you this morning if I could have!  I was out early delivering them to some close friends.  It's my reminder to them and you to enjoy PEACE this Christmas and also to not take the bait of Satan he'll be offering you.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Simplified

I hadn't been able to put my finger on it...but then I imagine there are several reasons it just hasn't felt like Christmas this year.  The 70 degree weather probably hasn't helped.  Usually by this time, I've had several fires in my fireplace.  Andy lit a fire other night and I made him turn it off (gas logs).  I had to turn the air conditioner on for us to endure his fire!
Andy was sick right after Thanksgiving, so he never felt like getting up on our roof and putting up the Christmas lights.  That was a first for us.  (See sad, lonely photo above)
And then there's the whole shopping online experience.  Some of my earliest memories are of Christmas shopping with my dad and brothers.  One year, I found a $5 bill on the street that my dad let me keep after asking several holiday shoppers if they'd dropped it--and none had.  I'd hit the jackpot!!  It would be like having an extra $25 today.  But I digress.  (Remind me later to tell you the story of my younger brother and I combining our money to buy my Baptist mom a rosary one year.)  I have very strong, happy memories of doing my Christmas shopping.  But after doing most of my shopping online, I finally shopped at an actual store and it hit me!  I'd missed this adrenaline rush!!  I'm one of those crazy people out on Christmas Eve fighting the crowds and smiling like I'm one of Santa's elves.  I love that emotion and expectation of what's to come for my kids.  And speaking of kids...I've had none around yet...grandkids, that is.  Christmas is just more fun and exciting when there are kids!!
Plus there wasn't enough time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this you think?  It was CRAZY here the past 4 weeks!  We had one of the most fun Thanksgivings I think we've ever had--with most of our kids and a bunch of nieces and nephews here.  So. much. fun!!  But it just seems like yesterday.
Andy & I made a dash to Pampa tonight to try the Pampa Wal-Mart for an addition to a granddaughter's gift.  (Success!)  We went by mom's house while there and we were all talking about how it just didn't seem like Christmas.

...but then I read Lindsey's blog tonight and I realized God has simplified this Christmas (even my gift-giving) for a reason.  He's removed all of the distractions and is ushering in peace.  I receive this simplified Christmas...just as it is.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Missionary Photos

I stumbled upon this blog and was dying laughing.  I hope you'll take the time to read it.  And please...don't forget Part 2.  Hysterical!

I wonder if this one would pass the test, Janis?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Earth's Administration

I am so excited!!!  I am reading E Quake by Jack Hayford which is a different take on Revelation.  He says to understand Revelation, you have to understand the central focus of the book--which is worship.  That's good enough--in and of itself.
But on page 103, he talks about John weeping when there was no one to open the scroll.  But he was told, "Look, look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  Here is One to open the scroll."
Jack Hayford asks, "Why doesn't God Himself open the scroll?"  And he answers, "Because it has to do with the administration of earth's affairs." 
He goes on to explain that Genesis 1 and Psalm 115 tell us that God gave the administration of earth to man.  Man messed it up and a Man had to redeem it.  Jesus is the Redeemer.  So Jesus is the only One capable of opening the scroll.  No one in heaven, in earth, or under the earth was able to open the scroll.  There had to be a worthy human being--which is why He became one. 
He goes on to say....well, let me let him tell you himself:
"God has left to mankind the affairs of earth.  Why doesn't God do something?  He always will when He is invited.  But what takes place on this planet He has decreed will take place only when human beings will it to be so.  And we can will the will of God, will our own wills, or cooperate with Satan's will."
God immediately brought something back to my mind.  I was watching Larry King this week as he interviewed George & Barbara Bush.  They were discussing George W.'s new book.  Barbara was talking about how both George's were maligned when natural disasters took place under their presidency and they didn't send in troops to help.  But they couldn't.  The Governor of the state must ask for the help.  And if the Governor doesn't ask for help, the President's hands are tied.
Does it not excite you to understand this?  The earth is under man's administration.  And in order for God the Father to move and do something on earth, He must be asked!!  I'm excited!  It brings a whole new understanding to prayer and the way God works!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Heavenly Realm

Ephesians 1:3
"May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!"

Have you read a verse so many times before that it completely loses its meaning?  Or you just gloss over it and never let it sink in?   That's me and this verse.  I've never really considered this verse very deeply...until this week.  What are the spiritual blessings in the heavenly realm?  They're OURS!  And I want them--or since they're already mine--to appropriate them!

I just began thinking about what exists in the heavenly realm. Please add to my list as you give it thought.
  • LOVE
  • JOY
  • SONG
  • FUN
  • REST
  • HELP
  • HOPE
Wow.  All of this belongs to me through Jesus.  Ephesians 2:6 says that we're already seated together with Christ in the heavenly places.  It's mine---already mine.  A reality.  And I want to embrace it.

Laughable Moment

This is Addie.  She's my 5-year-old granddaughter.  She received this new apron and ran into her room and came out with all of these things in her little pocket.  We kind of understood the tools, but her mom asked her, "Addie, why do you have a gun in your apron?"  Addie looked at her mom in disbelief and said, "Well, I have to glue stuff!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


verb, -lat·ed, -lat·ing

to be made aggressive. to become hyperactive.

Interesting definition, huh?  The Christmas season is always a little overstimulating.  Everywhere you turn, there is noise... albeit music, Christmas programs, bell ringers, people giving good cheer, etc.  It's loud!  I can easily get overstimulated.

Recently, I was talking about silence.  It's tough to get still and quiet.  Imagine growing up in the early 1800's.  There was no noise except the noise you made yourself or animals who lived close by.  No telephones, no televisions.  Maybe a train coming through your town once a week!  I'm sure you've watched movies like "Emma."  The most exciting thing that happened in a person's day was cross stitching or visiting a neighbor.  Noise level?   1.*  (Ok..maybe a little too much quiet!)  But can you envision how your great-grandparents or grandparents' lives have transformed?   Most of them grew up in rural America with very little entertainment.  They worked hard physically and put in long hours.  Once a week (if they were lucky!), they might get to go to the movie theatre and see a very clean black and white movie.   There were large family radios that would broadcast stories in the evening.  A family would gather around the radio and listen to their favorite story hour or listen to the president make his address.  If they had time for any other entertainment, they might attend a dance.  The noise level was at a 2.

But in 1870, the telephone was invented.  Of course, most people didn't have them until the early 1900's.  But even with telephones entering homes, the noise level only rose to about a 3.  Enter the television in 1939.  You may not know this, but when television first entered homes, there were very few channels.  And television came on at a certain time in the day and went off at night.  Even if you had your set on, there was NOTHING to watch!!  (I remember those days)  But the noise level rose to a 4.5 with televisions entering every home. 

Twenty-four hour news came into being which ushered in 24 hour programming of all sorts.  Noise level goes up to 6.5.  During that time, cellular phones were invented.  Of course, most of them were in vehicles to begin with--attached to the cigarette lighter (and boy, were they powerful!).  The noise level went up to a 7.5.  And then...the advent of the computer.  I remember our first encounter with an Apple computer.  Our church began using them around 1989--we personally couldn't have afforded one.  There was no networking then...but it came a few years later. The noise level grew to a 10.

Since that time, you've probably seen the explosional growth of cell phones and computers.  And add in video games, head phones, Facebook, MP3 players, etc.  If the normal levels of noise are between 1-10, I'd guess we're bumping 15-20 most days.  Consider your grandparents and great-grandparents---even your parents!  Our generations have been a part of this progressive  overstimulation.     (The Frog in the Kettle Syndrome!)But my children's generation has never known the noise level between 1.0-6.5!!  And their children have known nothing less than a 10.  What has this done to us?

I believe we're all living in overstimulation.  And just like our definition in the's probably made us more aggressive.  The noise alone has done that.  But when you consider the images and messages that come with the noise, it's probably increased the aggression by 150% (probably more!!) from 1900.

So...what do we do with all of this?  How do we pull the noise level down around us?  It's going to have to happen family by family---and by choices.  Noise is addictive.  We get used to the stimulation--and overstimulation--and it easily pulls us back in.  I can tell you that we chose to go without a television one year when our children were still at home and, in my opinion, it was the best year ever for our family.  We learned how to communicate and enjoyed sitting and talking together in the evenings.  I believe too many children have televisions, electronic games, and DVR's in their bedrooms.  I personally don't even like noise machines.  I think it's stimulating our brains at night when they should be resting.  Of course, YOU are going to have to decide what's important to you and your family.  But I hope and pray you'll consider giving your children (and yourselves) quieter lives.  Give your family REST this year.  God prescribed rest for us---a sabbath rest.  He even took one Himself.  We all need it!

*Of course, you realize, these noise levels and percentages are my own guestimation!  But I think I'm a pretty good guesser.  ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Radical by David Platt

I can name about 5 books that have affected me so deeply that it caused a paradigm shift. This is one of those books.

David Platt challenges us in this book to examine how much of what we believe about the church is cultural and not necessarily scriptural. In fact, he states in the beginning of the book that he was the youngest pastor of a megachurch in America and began to see that what he was living was contrary to the example Jesus left us to follow.

He has also traveled extensively throughout the world and gives examples of how the church is surviving and thriving in places you would least expect. And many of those churches are duplicating themselves in a slow and steady manner.

David has a radical one year experiment that he encourages us to join. And through this experiment, he believes the American church will be transformed--one person at a time.  There's so much in this book to chew on and receive.  I wouldn't want you to miss any part of it--so get this book!
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to Multnomah  for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.