Iraq Journey

Young Ladies Christian Fellowship

Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ February 4-6 2010

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O Christmas Tree

December 23, 2006

When John said we were going to hike up into the hills nearby to cut down our own tree, I almost didn’t believe him. I mean, isn’t that only done in movies and books? :grin: Nope. Up here in Colorado, at 10,280 ft. elevation, people do it more often than not. So on Monday, we all bundled up and went over with five people, three dogs, one saw and a tree cutting permit and came home with a Christmas tree. Of course, I took oodles of pics of this historic event… so here they are. :)

Warning: lots of snowy pictures!

John and Troy, all bundled up with Daddy wearing Troy in the sling :)

Troy laying in the snow–yes his little fingers came out of his snowsuit for a moment, but were quickly put back in :)

Sweet blue-eyed boy

John and his mom, looking for the tree

the view behind us

Pretty Belle

John told me to make a snow angel ;)

John and his dad cutting the tree, after a while of searching for the “perfect” one

Me and my mother-in-love after sliding down the hill we had climbed up, not realizing we wouldn’t be able to get back down ;)

Pulling the tree


Grandma and Troysie

Um, not supposed to be playing with the ornaments, Troy!

Mama and the Little Man


December 15, 2006

I’m writing in a flurry as we scurry to get ready to leave at 4am tomorrow morning for our Christmas in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We’re gathering all of our “bundle up” clothes and preparing for lots of cold weather and snow! (The hi temp today in John’s hometown is 33. Yikes!!) I’m also very, very excited to see two of my dear online friends from over on LiveJournal, Chantel and her sister Jennie in their home on Sunday, and possibly my friend April (who I met through a friend online, but it turned out John knew from when he lived in Japan) at some point on the trip. What fun to have good friends along our route! :smile:

We celebrated “Christmas” with my family yesterday. They gave Troy the cutest baby rocking horse (with a little “seat” so he doesn’t fall off), and after the initial ride in it, he decided for a while that he preferred to laugh and giggle at it from about two feet away while sitting in someone else’s arms. :) He’s warmed up to it now and has been happily bouncing and rocking away in it all morning. We said goodbye to them last night and drove away, which was much harder than I thought it would be, this being my first Christmas ever away from my family. They were wonderful and said to have fun and that it was good we were going to be with John’s parents… but I still cried while we drove home.

I don’t know if I’ll be online much on our trip (once again, because I just don’t know if dial-up is worth the effort :grin: ), so have a very blessed Christmas filled with the love of Jesus, and wonderful memories made with family and dear friends!

Isn’t there a Christmas song about not peeking?

December 8, 2006

Yesterday morning, I left Troy on the floor of his room for a moment, intently playing with a board book, while I went to rinse his diaper in the toilet to do, uh, something. When I walked back in about 45 seconds later, this is what I saw:

Yep, the Little Man playing with his Christmas present. On December 7th.

Pushing the buttons, smiling at the sounds–having, of course, pushed back the bag to get to it in the first place.

And being the wonderful, not-so-with-it mom that I am, I, of course, grabbed the camera from the other room before taking him away from the offending spot.

So, what are ya gonna do?

I know, the thing to do would have been to not store

his gifts in the corner of his room, and to put him in his crib while I did what I had to do, but, like I said, I’m not that with it. It’s a good thing he’ll have forgotten in eighteen days. Since it matters, you know. ;)

Christmas… "Nothing but Him"

December 7, 2006

If you read her blog, you may have already seen this post by Sarah over at In the Midst of It. I read it a couple days ago and I seriously sat in front of my computer, completely silent, for five minutes.

As Christians, we’ve all heard to “remember the Reason for the season,” and we can become pretty complacent believing that, unlike the rest of the world, we are doing just that. But are we really? Are we really more focused on the wonder of Jesus and His amazing, unfathomable love and saving grace… than we are on all of our favorite aspects of Christmas? Not just the sweet, mushy feelings of baby Jesus in the manger, shepherds and wise men, but on who Jesus is to us personally, today, now.

Sarah said it so much more eloquently than I could ever hope to, so I’ll leave you with these two little bits of what is an amazing post that has caused me to reevaluate my own heart and see Christmas itself through completely new eyes.

And I wonder if, on Christmas evening, I’d still feel that vague, unsettling unrest of soul I usually feel as I look around the spoils of the day and know that I missed something. That I spent the month trying to achieve and accomplish
and attain, and that in the end it’ll all be long gone, anyway. I wonder, if I spent the day in stillness before Him, would Christmas turn into something truly magical? Something satisfying? I think so, but I’m afraid I’ve become too saturated with this world to try it. That alone takes away a lot of the lustre of the gold ribbons and twinkling Christmas village lights, and I realize that somewhere along the way I missed the point. And I wonder, on this December morning, if it’s not too late to start over? Because that would be the best gift I could receive this year. . .

(from a later comment she wrote)

What I mean. . . is that I far too often use all of these things as tangible ways to make myself feel good, feel comforted, “feel” Christmas. And even though many of our Christmas traditions point to Christ, they are not Christ. Only He can fill my soul, and sometimes when I’m surrounded by all the stuff, I have a harder time finding Him. That first Christmas didn’t have anything but Him, and it was the best one ever.

Linked with permission

Love is Silly

December 5, 2006

“Hey, John, I was thinking…” I began absentmindedly while we dried dishes after dinner. “I know, scary, huh?” We smiled as I used one of my brother’s usual lines.


John looked at me. “A dangerous pasttime…”

“I know!” I sang back.

We started. cracking. up.

“Where does that phrase even come from?” John asked with a grin.

Beauty and the Beast. Ah, yes, that was it.

So I broke out into melodious song–”Lafoo, I’m afraid I’ve been thinking!”

“A dangerous pasttime!”

“I know!”

This was utterly hilarious to us. Why on earth, I have no clue. But, we could hardly dry the dishes.

And I have no idea what I was thinking in the first place.


Later in the evening, John was laying on the floor playing with Troy and I stopped as I walked by and knelt down to give him a kiss.

Just as I leaned my head down, Troy reached over and started trying to climb up onto my back. The dog, who had been laying nearby, began licking the top of John’s head.

You know you’re a parent when these things don’t really bother you and you go for the kiss anyway. But, the dog–that did it. The wet, sloppy sound of her licking his head was just way too much.

“Romantic, huh?” John whispered, oh so softly.

“Yes, my dear husband, what a sweet moment,” I replied just as tenderly, gazing into his eyes… and trying not to move so the baby didn’t topple over.

Ridiculous laughter ensued, with both the dog and the baby looking at us like we’d lost our marbles.