Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

To all our friends and family.
Merry Christmas, may you remember the birthday boy this Christmas day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Take

It was getting to be dark when they arrived.
Fortunately there was enough light to guide them into the city and begin their search for a room.
It had a been a long journey and while thankful for the donkey Mary was ready to get off and walk around.

"Sorry, we're full"
"No room here"

Door after door and no room for them.

Finally a nice old man and his wife lead Mary and Joseph to the back of their home and showed them their stable. It was all they had and the young couple was thankful to have a place to stay.
The animals were already bedded down for the night as darkness had overtaken the town. Mary thanked the couple as she made her and Joseph's beds. They talked about the journey and got a kick out of the fact that they were sleeping in their own private "suite" with a beautiful view of the night sky through the stable window.

The sky was extra clear that night, each star seemed to jump out of it and twinkled it's way down to earth.

Mary woke up sometime after midnight.
Joseph heard her stir and knew something wasn't quite right.

She had a quick labor and even quicker delivery.
It was a boy! Just as the angel had said.
They named him Jesus and wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Mary held her baby close, smelling him, touching his little features and unwrapping him often to peak at his toes and knees, fingers and hands.

Silence filled the stable as the animals turned in their beds opening an eye to glance at the wonderful event that had just occurred. A baby sheep made his way to sniff at the new baby boy in the stable and mama sheep bleated a sound of joy!
Just as Mary lay her precious baby in the hay-layered manger the woman of the house led a handful of young ragamuffin shepherds to the stable.

Words were few, tears were many and a sense of a victorious life and a changed world filled the air.

The young shepherds, overflowing with excitement, scurried off singing, dancing and clapping the whole way back to their watch in the fields. The inn-keepers wife slipped back into her bed, the animals settled back down and Mary sat quietly reflecting on all that had happened. Joseph nodded off to sleep and a smile appeared on Mary's face. Her heart was warm with love with peace and that new sense of expectancy, joy and surrealness that comes to a mother when she stares at her baby those first hours.

Finally after feeding her little one Mary slips off to sleep.
All was quiet and calm when daybreak came.
All were sleeping, except this little baby.
This precious little one lay in that manager taking in the sights, sounds and smells of this world and He instantly fell in love.
As the world slept He was loving it already.
A love that remains today.
A love we can all experience.

That is how I imagine the first Christmas Eve to have been.
May your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day be filled with love, joy, peace and a renewed sense of what our Saviour was sent for.
Luke 2

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Never Read About This In Any Parenting Book

Holiday traditions are fun and my kids always loved them.
Until this year.
Neither boy wants to go on our annual Christmas lights drive, sniff, sniff.
Sure, they are ready for the Christmas Eve family and Christmas Day traditions but this one has fallen by the wayside.

We are choosing to not make them go but instead make it a date night for Steve and I.

Yet another thing omitted from all those darn parenting books I've read.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm Not As Grinchy As I Say I Am

Making ornaments with the home school group. Please notice it's just the moms. The kids crafted for the shortest amount of time they have ever crafted. We have been together for 5 or 6 years and combined our 13 kids are all teens and no longer craft like they use to. We had a blast!
At the local Christ ms parade with Jess. Love her. Nuff said. Although gotta be honest we've had better pictures taken.
Justin dressed as a shepherd in the parade.
See I do like the holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tell People You Have No Christmas Tree Up 7 Days Before Christmas, It's Fun!

I have never had so many people think I'm a mess than right now in my life.
Apparently not having Christmas decorations or a tree up 7 days before Christmas is sacrilege and a way to get people to think you're an emotional mess.
It's also fun to get a rile out of people *smile*
Here are a few random thoughts I've had about the Holiday Season this year:

Thought #1: Why the heck do we talk about having the Christmas Spirit all year and wish it would be so, yet we move along after the tree is down and forget all the fun "wishy stuff" we said? maybe we don't forget about it but we certainly talk a lot less about it. Does the tree and music and cookies and garland really make everyone want to be kind and loving? Honestly it makes me want to puke sometimes. I would guess my total cost of Christmas, gifts, food etc costs what it would cost to rehabilitate and repair a well in Liberia or Haiti. When I see the crap all over the place I think of that. What are we spending our money on that has lasting value?

Thought #2: What is the purpose of decorating a month before the actual day of Christ's birth? My mother-in-law keeps her nativity scene up all year round. That's makes a little more sense to me.

Thought #3: why would I decorate for Christmas when December birthdays precede the holiday? How about we do one thing, then move on to the next? Just sayin'.

Thought #4: Why is alright to eat and gorge ourselves all in the name of Christ's birth. I'm sure Jesus is looking down from heaven all happy that we're drowning our Christmas Spirit in the "white devil" itself= SUGAR! or maybe for you it's eggnog with rum. Gluttony, one of the more accepted and maybe even promoted "sins" in the church.

Pics of my favorite "white devil" cookies packaged for friends this year.

Thought #5: Why is it alright at Christmas time to spend money on stupid gifts for a white elephant exchange that will just be thrown into the trash. Yeah, for real I can not bring a "real" gift to the gift exchange this year. I am having trouble with this and quite frankly will probably bring something practical. I don't want to win a funny booger throwing gizmo that was made by child labor in a sweat shop of Asia. Again if this season is about our Savior, why are we exchanging crappy gifts?

Thought #6: It is more fun to not decorate and hear all the advice you get when not doing so.

Thought #7: Have we been brainwashed to think we have to decorate early? I remember the days when Christmas decorations were rolled out the week of Thanksgiving, this year I was looking at ornaments in mid-October. What is that about? Oh I know, it's about commercialism. The advertisers are not stupid, they know advertising is a lot more than colorful colors and shiny packaging. It's about emotion and getting your/our money.

Thought #8: Back to the Christmas Spirit. While it is a lovely time of year and I do enjoy Christmas, let's not forget this is the time of the year when depression escalates and suicides soar. Is that the Christmas Spirit we want to continue throughout the year?

Thought #9: I need to stop biting my nails. Sorry that had nothing to do with Christmas just thought I'd throw that in.

and lastly thought #10: It is our family tradition to not decorate before Steve's birthday on the 16th of December. It's just what we do. My tree will go up, the decor will come out and after 2 weeks it will all go back in the box with the other plastic and wait for it's grand entrance next year. I love the holidays and couldn't ask for a more wonderful family (immediate and extended), I enjoy Christmas music and Christmas movies. Our family has tons of traditions packed into this time of year and it really rocks! I am thrilled that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday- even if we are probably several months off on the date. I love Christmas, Thanksgiving, gift giving, cookie making, tree decorating and driving around looking at the pretty lights.

I just think of a lot of other things as well.

Love you all, will post tree pics when it's up.

In the meantime check out last years tree set-up. The music was removed, due to copyright, thanks youtube; but enjoy it anyway!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Post with Links to My Other Blogs

Wow, it's Tuesday already, where did the days go?

Funny thing is I haven't been too busy.
I have been spending more time at home focusing on Justin's studies and the dishes and laundry and even a little fit one sfternoon- oops.

I have also been avoiding a much needed office organize and my Christmas boxes are still in the attic.

Steve is doing much better, his back still aches but it's an ache that's been around since pre-accident. He goes back to the dr next week.

Well not much to say, I've posted on my kitchen and gardening blogs today and have been working on the tangible side of Vintage Sheet here at home.

Hopefully I'll have some Christmas pics to post soon- not sure why the lack of Christmas excitement this year?!
Have a great day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Accident & Recovery Details

When I arrived on the scene of Steve's accident I must have already been in adrenaline mode cause it wasn't until yesterday afternoon that I recalled what he looked like and my heart sank.
There he was dressed in his rain gear, when it rains your paper boy, or girl, gets wet so for Steve it was a nice set of rain gear!

As I drove closer to him I saw it.
Running down the side of his face.
Like in the movies.
Only real.
Only real on my "Hottie".

It was 2 hours later before we finally had a chance to sit down. No we didn't go to the ER, we didn't call a doctor, it's just not how we function. We took care of business, picked glass out of his head, treated open wounds and applied heat to his back/neck.

Then came the time when Steve wanted to sleep.
We had ruled out a concussion, believe it or not he had no headache, no slurred speech, according to the internet- I know scary- according to the world wide web he did not have any signs of a concussion.

After he had slept for and hour I called our BFF from high school, Justin, a nurse and yes our youngest son's namesake.
Justin was an ER nurse for 3 or 4 or so years!

"Tell me what you'd do if he had come into your ER?"

I did everything he said (except the xrays and ct scan, and yes he said take him to the hospital), I even had plans that day and worked around them to make sure Steve was being woken and tended to.

Saturday afternoon- he was still sleeping; if you call me waking him every hour and a half sleeping.
Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night: in bed.
Still pretty sure it was muscle only injury.

Then on Monday morning we made the short trek to the Veterans Hospital. What a wonderful experience that was. In and out in 4.5 hours. Here's all we did:
-intake lady
-triage nurse
- Doctor
-1 hour lunch break
-x-ray tech
-ct tech

It really was a miracle that we made it in and out so quick.
The intake lady said, " God is on your side, I've never seen this" as she booked us a triage nurse appointment immediately.
Then the triage nurse said, "Someone is on your side, I've never seen this" as she sent us to the appointment with the doctor: immediately.

Two things helped me through this time.
Both from Psalm 118
"His love endures forever"
"in the name of the Lord I cut them off"

I struggle with feeling loved/accepted/favored/rejected, blah, blah, blah so you can imagine what my self talk sounded like.

God brought this Psalm to my attention on Friday BEFORE the accident and I stood firm on the fact that God's love for me endures forever.

I read the chapter over Steve as he lay in bed and as we were sitting in Waiting Room C I looked at Steve and said, "'His love endures forever'- it's gotta be personal and it is for me and for you, right now we are in that forever!"

I also claimed, as the Psalmist did, that when the enemy, in our case Steve's injuries and our "oh no, what's next, doomsday" mindset, would be, in the name of the Lord cut off.
Over and over in my head I went over these two truths and it was a peaceful day.
I love how God's Word does that.
It does what it says.
Every time.

So here we are.
Alive and well.
I did stay on my adrenaline high until Tuesday when i slept real good and on Wednesday when I think I finally crashed.
Any adrenaline junkie knows that coming down off that kind of high takes it toll.
Good sleep comes after not-so-good times.

So that's it for today on the accident.
and one more thing:
wear your seatbelt- all the time!

accident pics here.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Green Christmas

I really am one of those people who get Grinchy over the holidays.
For whatever reason I can hate them, and by them I am referring to the time from Thanksgiving until December 30th. I love wishing in the New Year!

I'm not much of a gift giver,
I rarely do Christmas cards- and if I do I send out 10 or so;
my kids don't get much gift wise, a few Legos go a long way on Christmas morning.

I do hate the commercialism of this time of year and try to avoid the stores, maybe my lack of mood stems from my lack of advertising face time. huh?

I also think it's hard when family is far away and fond memories are attached with those people. New holiday traditions have been made, don't get me wrong we love our Florida Christmas but the heartache is still there.

Here in Florida, the green,
the warmth,
the lack of ice
or snow
or frost.
These all add to my Grinchy mood.

We have no tree up, no decorations.

I gotta be honest though: I can't throw out my fall decor, the gourds are all still in good shape and the flowers still nice.

Don't worry we will decorate, after Steve's birthday in mid-December, it's what we usually do.
Until then you can find me trying to fix my broken sewing machine, sniff, sniff grrr... while listening to Green Christmas by the Bare Naked Ladies.

p.s. date tonight, very excited!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Accident Pictures

Here are the pics to go with my last post. You can read about the accident here.

One part of the whole thing that hurt the most was that Vaughan now does not have his own set of wheels, here he was driving off to work for the first and last time in the van. Guess my taxi days are not as short lived as I thought.
Oh and always wear a seatbelt.

Saturday, December 05, 2009



I woke up to this:
me: "Hello?"
steve: "I hit a frigin' tree, come and get me."
me:" what? where are you?"

I then experienced a strange series of events that consisted of swaping cars with my mom, getting gas, doing a full 360 degree turn in the middle of the road followed by another 180 degree turn, a utility knife and lastly falling out of the side of the work van. And all this before 4:30am.

Good times around here.

I arrived on the scene to find my man looking very nice in his rain gear, I mean, I arrived on scene to find Steve and the van.
He hit a tree that was right up against the side road he uses when delivering the newspaper to a local clubhouse.

Looks like she's totalled. The front left is crushed to heck and the body work alone would cost more than the car is worth.

Steve is alright. He has been in bed all day, his back is a little sore but he's healing and recovering as we speak. I have confidence he will be ready for work on Monday.
Oh and did I mention it was his last night delivering papers before a 1 week vacation? Well it was.

Also, Vaughan and Steve were suppose to go on Vaughan's birthday trip to Busch Gardens but decided against it - just not a good idea.

Now if you're an adult you're glad Steve is OK and you'll also be glad to know we had just brought our new to us car home last night.


...if you are 16 and newly licensed you're thinking, "This sucks! My car and my birthday present gone in 2 seconds."

I am happy to say that Vaughan was ticked, in a Vaughan sort of ticked way.

I prayed for him, texted close friends and had them pray for him and after some time he was more positive minded and beginning to have a change of heart. He has spent the rest of the day with his best friend and, from our texting conversation, that's a major way of talking when you have teenage sons; from his texts he has worked through some mindsets.

So it's 4:07pm time for me to start dinner, hmmm? What should I make??

Have a great weekend and I'll check in with pictures hopefully by Monday.

Friday, December 04, 2009

2 full Days Down

He's been driving by himself for 2 full days.
He's been 16 for 3 full days!
Last night he went to a movie and met a friend there.
That friend was a girl.
They have been friends since age 7;
so that makes it a little better,

Thursday, December 03, 2009


I can't help but think of that song as I type this post.

As many of you know Steve owns his own business.
He also has had a second job for 2 years now as a newspaper delivery boy.
The newspaper job really came to us in October 2007 when our last entrepreneurial adventure had begun. We needed the money and the time frame of the job fit our family.
Well, it fit as much as a 3am job can fit a family.
Steve has been faithfully getting up each morning at 3am for the past 2 years, 7 days a week, delivering 3 different newspapers to over 300 homes, then returning safely home shortly before we all wake up to start our day.

The newspaper business is a failing business, with online news it only makes sense.
It is also a high demand business. Ha! I know, but it is. The paper expects NO misses, well I think they allow Steve 1 paper mistake a week.

So this morning after some crazy events it looks like Steve will be receiving his 2 week notice.
This is fine with us, and when I say fine I actually mean fine, OK, we are at peace.

We have held this job with an open hand, trusting that God brought it to us and that He would/will take it away when the time is right.

Of the two weeks Steve has left he has already bartered for a sub to deliver one of those weeks and of course we actually have to wait until Monday to see if he actually gets his "termination" notice.

He is relieved,
ready for normal sleep patterns.

We will still get to benefit from Christmas tips !$!$
And we fully know things will go on just fine, we may need to tighten the belt a little more and I have some business plans in the works,

until then
Ch-ch-ch Changes!

*update, Steve got handed his 2 week notice when he walked into work today, Friday Dec 11th, so he actually has 2 weeks from Monday, with 1 week of paid vacation--excited for the future!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Vaughan's 16th

We always have family over for our birthdays. This year Scott was over, Yiayia made Vaughan her yummy chocolate cake, Papou, my mom, my grandmother, Justin, Steve an I rounded out the party.
He blew the candles out so quick and stood up right after for effect! This is the shot I got!
With is great-grandmother.
We usually have a friend party as well as this famiy one, but as the boys get older,
things change.
This year Vaughan wanted to go to Busch Garden in Tampa with his dad, his best friend Scott and Scott's dad. So the four of them will head out for that adventure this weekend!
Day one down of him driving and I'm liking it already. Today he made a bank run for me!
Where does the time go? Where ever does it go?

Waking Up

Monday morning after Thanksgiving.
When the boys were little we didn't do school at all in the month of December and any at home job I was working, I took December off.

Well, not anymore. Today I am back at the duties of managing my home.
Since I'm not all that great of an expert at "doing" household things, I turn to the pro I love best: Martha Stewart.

She says there are 6 thing we should do every day:
1. Make the bed
2. Manage clutter & insists other do too!
3. Sort the mail
4. Clean as you cook
5. Wipe up spills when they are fresh
6. Sweep the kitchen floor

Wow, those are so simple; now for me to put my nose to the grindstone and do it!

I had a great Thanksgiving weekend. After cooking and cleaning up on Thursday I did nothing until Sunday after church. I was so relaxed, it was so much fun!
We ate on paper plates,
we ate leftovers,
I made meatballs enough for two nights dinner,
I sat by the fire,
we went to a rockin' party,
I napped, I sewed, I didn't watch any tv,
we just had the most relaxing time.
That I am thankful for!

Well, now that it's December 1st I can pull out my Christmas CD's, I have a rule: no Christmas music until December 1st.
Here's my Christmas CD collection in no particular order:
the Regis Philbin Christmas album
Barnaked Ladies, Barnaked for the Holidays
Carlos Whittaker, A Ragamuffin Christmas
Wow Christmas

I need to go I have to finish doing the 6 things I should do every day to maintain and manage my home. So far I've done #'s 1 and 5, now on to the others- oh and my Christmas music, can't forget that; I think I'll start with Barnaked Ladies song #2: Green Christmas.
Ahh... the Christmas Season has begun.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I asked my friend...

"so, when they get their licence we just let them drive places by themself?"

with long pause she said,

Monday, November 30, 2009

week five

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
We are blessed to have a loving family; sure we've been through our hard times but we have learned that above all, LOVE each other.

I only made it through 2 days of my homework so I'll go right ahead right now and say that I'm doing the other three days this week.

So if you're behind, or not even keeping up join me.
I will be going through workbook pages 59-66.
I know more of you wanted to join but couldn't and for others this format has not turned out to be your thing, I want to encourage you to be seeking God daily through some time in His word; memorize some scripture, read a Proverb a day but keep your eyes on His Word! Your holidays will be much more peaceful!!

Back to the study:
I can always use a refresher in loving my husband.

We've been married 16 years and it amazes me how I still have to chose to love him each day. Some days or even weeks it's harder to do, but I have found that when I make an effort things turn out alright. Just like our extended family Steve and I have been through some rough times, but we've learned that loving each other always works out. When I put him first somehow I love him more, so not only am I thankful for Steve this season but I am also desiring to love him more, to love him like Christ loves me. I wanna be "my man's #1 fan!"

For today:
Proverbs 12:4
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

1 Corinthians 11:7
A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

In the comment section below do the following:
1.) name
2.) read the above verses, Prov. 12:4 and 1 Cor. 11:7; What do these passages say about a woman's great value and blessing?
3.) click on this link and read Philippians 2:1-8 How does the example of Jesus Christ serve as a model for women?

Week 1 days 3-5, or 1-5 pages 53-66

book peps: continue reading the chapters on loving your husband

questions came from the workbook

See you next Monday!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Making New Friends

So we went to a birthday party for a close friend of ours at a third party friends house.

It was an amazing experience because when we walked into this house of strangers we felt like home. Steve, the boys, me... we all felt like we knew these people.

They were like family.
We laughed, we ate, we cooked, we connected.
Perhaps they are in our "soul group"- a concept I know nothing about beyond the term. They are defiantly people who are super similar to us.

I look forward to getting to know them more.

Have you ever had that experience?
Where you met someone and instantly connect?
What about a family, ever had your family meet another family and they all instantly connect?

I'm sure we're not the only ones.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

For about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving day we thought it was going to be a small event, 6 of us. With family not coming into town, family moves out of town it looked like our annual hosting of Thanksgiving would be our family and Steve's dad and step-mom.

Then, the day before Thanksgiving I get 2 calls, our numbers had jumped up to twelve. Steve's brother adn girlfriend, his sisters and 2 of her friends and a friend of Steve's dad would now be joining our table.

Here are our pre-guests activities:
I had made the pita already and Steve made the mashed potatoes.
I set the table

Justin was ready to eat right at 2pm when we had planned, the only thing was NO ONE was here at 2pm. Yep. Steve's family always runs very late. The plan was to start coming over at 1pm and then eat at 2!!
Finally everyone arrived between 2:30 and 3:00, and when I say everyone I mean the 7 of us that actually showed up! Not only am I thankful for my family but I am thankful for the love and grace that is extended within the family during the holidays!
It has become a tradition for Steve to make a campfire on Thanksgiving and we all sit around it after dinner.
Vaughan and Uncle Chuck.
Steve and I, boy do I look wasted? I wasn't.
Steve, brother , dad and step-mom.
So that was our Thanksgiving day! Good food. Greek food. Family and fun!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week Four

OK, so I didn't even pick up my workbook this week.


I did however, read chapter 16 in the book this morning.

Oh it was good!

A Heart That Weaves a Tapestry of Beauty

Titus 2:4-5

Train the younger women...
to be busy at home...

Younger women will know...
to keep a good house...

I don't know why but I often struggle with making my home my priority.

I think I do a decent job making my family my priority, they are my favorite people, but I don't do that great making my home a priority.

I really enjoyed this chapter and am putting as much of it into practice as I can today.

If you get a chance read this chapter, it's short and was so worth it for me.

So, due to my lack of study time this past week in A Women After God's Own Heart it's up to you.

In the comment section below:

1. name

2. whatever stood out to you, however you saw God this week, how you have been challenged by God's word this week... whatever you share!

This Week:
workbook week 4 pages: 53-66

book: chapters: 7-8

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Am Still Saying the Word Cute Over These

These are the cutest dishes. I love my Fiestaware but if I were getting married today this would be on my gift registry.
Called: Chirp
Super cute cake made to match these dishes, check it out here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Greek Fest Daytona 2009

This past February we went to the Greek Fest in Orlando, this last weekend we went to the Greek Fest is Daytona Beach.

We entered and immediately got some food, gyros, spinach pizza, Greek beer, Greek wine and some ouzo; not the kids they had soda.

Picture of the food, very yummy!
The popular Greek glasses...
We always like to have our friends and family around. The Greek's are very close and so at any Greek fest you'll see large groups sitting around food, laughing and enjoying one another.
We had 2 sets of friends meet us there.
The girls took the tour of the church.
I love the paintings and stories on the walls of a Greek church. An older lady with a thick Greek accent moved from one fact about the church to another as if she did the tour weekly.

On our way back to the festivities we found all our men, along with a little baby girl, sitting at the handicap entrance in the shade. Here's what we saw:

Why the handicap entrance?
To be near the ramp so this little guy could run up and down it.
Up and down.
Up and down.
After the Greek kids danced we decided it was time to leave.

And of course we now have a designated driver!!

Until the Spring, or Christmas or Greek Easter-


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