Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chasing Daylight

What is the old tv show, "Grandma Knows Best"...well something like that. In this situation, it is Grandma.

Whenever I was about to take a road trip, during the winter time, my Grandma Judith always called to ask if I had packed boats and mittens in the car...readily accessible. I would sometimes roll my eyes...the boots she was talking about were not always the fashion statement I wanted to make. I loved my Grandma, with a passion. I always made sure to have them "handy".

Years later, as we are preparing for our trip home to Minnesota for Christmas, I made sure to pack all of our "winter wear" into a bag that is "readily access able". I also loaded up duvets for the kids...makes napping better on the long drive. Boy was I glad I listened to Grandma!

We first spent the night in Knoxville with Todd's dad and Mamo (grandma). They had an amazing dinner waiting for us. Todd's aunt and brother joined us as well.

The next morning we hit the road. The temperature gauge read somewhere in the 60s. We were heading to Chicago this night. Already the O'Hare airport was cancelling flights, due to snow (yippee!!!)

We hit snow in the evening, made it to our destination and got snuggled in for a good night's rest. We heard the wind howling all night. The next morning we were ready to hit the road again, heading for Minneapolis. It was time to get the ol' heater blowing, clear off the windows, and load up on coffee!

It was -4. As we moved north our gauge moved to -6. It was bitter cold, but we had snacks, coffee and Christmas music promising me that I would be home for Christmas. Funny thing was happening, the heater was blowing out only cool air...hmm.

Our van was purchased in Florida. A few years back, while traveling north, we discovered that rear heat is an "option" on a Chevy Astro van. (I guess the people who ordered it in Florida had no intention of traveling north of Jacksonville!)

Anyway, we rarely got out of the van. The wind was whippin. It actually hurt to be "out there." It actually hurt to be in the van as well...hmmm. We did tell the guys at the oil change place that we were headed to sub zero destinations WITH our van. Maybe they did not put in the right antifreeze...they certainly did not put in the proper windshield wiper fluid, which was no longer fluid!

As we continues to drive west/north west, I was asking the Lord to please let us have daylight until we arrived at Grandma and Papa's. I was driving across the river and through the cities of St.Paul and Minneapolis, teeth chattering, but my heart warm...we are almost there.

Warm hugs and tons of kisses were waiting, along with a warm meal and sweet candle light.

I thawed out the next day.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Oh, how I love Christmas time!

It is not just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but the whole season! Of course, it is filled with wonderful memories, and I am wanting to make wonderful memories for my children and others. It is the excitement and kindness in the air, the anticipation of something about to happen, the sense of wonderment. It truly is wonderful!

If I could, I would put up our tree before family simply says, "No." (They do not say no to me very often, so...the day after Thanksgiving it is! (I would leave it up until Valentine's Day, but the tree needles abandon me before then.)

This year we have celebrated the season in a number of ways. We have had the town Christmas Parade, Ashley was on her school's first float this year!

Then there was the lighting of the city's Christmas tree. Ashley is in chorus this year, and her school sings at the lighting each year. It is so wonderful. This year the songs were just beautiful, celebrating the birth of Christ.

After the tree is lit, a salutation from the mayor, the Christmas prayer given by a local pastor and the promised "snow" falls, it was off to have a carriage ride, some hot tea and coffee at Sweetea's. It was a wonderful evening. I found myself thanking the Lord for the community He has placed us in. It is His hand that has placed us where we are at. I am truly grateful.

We continued to celebrate with our annual Christmas Party and gift exchange, times with friends, choral performances at the mall, PTA and school, our traditional St. Lucia Day celebration, and so much more. We have been busy, and we have enjoyed every moment!

During much of the year, I hear about the absence of God in our world today. Now, I know we are living in a post modern society, but the Word says that "where two or three gather in His name, there He is in the midst of them." God isn't absent from us. We are to be His representatives, so to speak, in this world. We are His hands, His feet, His arms...

It shouldn't be just during this time of year that we are nice to each other, that we prefer one another, that we share a cheery should be all year through. Reach out to others. If you sense that God is "missing" somewhere, go and show that He is not.

We can make it the most wonderful time of the year, all year through.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So, I needed a break...

Okay, I been cruizin the blogs a bit on this overcast day. (Forget that I am teaching in an hour and have a million and one things on my "to do " list...that are not getting done!) I was at "A Girl Raising Boys" hoping there was something new there. There was. Here it is. It was super fun...well a bit confusing on my Iraqi name. If you can pronounce it, please call me!

Enjoy your day! I have to run...seriously!

My 9 Names:
1. Your Real Name: Vickie
2. Your Gangsta Name (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle): vicizzle
3. Your Detective Name (favorite color and favorite animal): Black Dog
4. Your Soap Opera Name (your middle name and street you live on/or your apartment #): Lynn Fourten
5. Your Star Wars Name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first): hedvi
6. Your Superhero/Criminal Name (your 2nd favorite color, and favorite candy): Red Chocolate
7. Your Iraqi Name (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your last name, 2nd letter of your mom's maiden name, 3rd letter of your dad's name, 1st letter of a sibling's first name, and last letter of your mom's first name): idhrljn
8. Your Witness Protection Name (parents middle name): Lee Hobert
9. Your Goth Name (black, and the name of one of your pets): Black Cookie

Monday, December 8, 2008

Frosty and Friends!

What an amazing day I had! I recently got to spend the ENTIRE day in my friend Tammy's craft room...making snowmen, or as her husband Al says, "A whole snow family!"

Tammy invited me over for a day of "play". She had sent me a photo from the magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors. I could not resist! I had a hard time sleeping for two nights before venturing off to her house. I had such anticipation. Oh...this was therapy. I love therapy!!

We started out with vintage bottles.

All of my bottles were from my grandparents farm in Minnesota. When I was young I loved to explore, and their farm was the perfect place! I could get "lost" in the groves for hours. When I was about 10 or 12, I loved going on "digs"...looking for treasures for another time period. I would find old toys, dishes and bottles. I started collecting the bottles. They have been in our attic waiting for this very moment! And boy, did they come through!

Tammy and I spent time altering our bottles into little snow personalities. We would get excited over every new creation, as they came to life.

These are just adorable little glass bottles filled with stuff...and love. I have had such joy creating!
As I was doing this, I was thinking of all of God's creation...the universe, the stars, the trees, animals of the fields and birds of the and woman! In Genesis it tells us that when God finished creating things He would look around and say, "This is good." When He finished with man and woman He said, "This is very good!"
We are made in the image of God...not the other way around, as we sometimes get it mixed up, therefore, we are creative. (Some of us have to dig a little deeper than others to find it!) So, imagine the JOY!!! that the Lord had in creating each of us.
Jeremiah 1:5 says that even before He created us in our mother's womb, He "consecrated" us. That would "consecrated" means, "destined with a purpose." Each one of us was created with a destiny, dreamed in the heart and mind of God! That just blows me away! Here, I get excited about creating these adorable snowmen, and seeing their "seemingly" personalities come about and they are mere clay!
God created man/woman in His imagine!!!...with a purpose!!!!...with a destiny!!! Can you say "Amazing"? Wow! What revelation comes to me when I get to be creative.
On this day, may you know the pure JOY that God has for He was creating you and as He watches you walk out in all that He has for you. May you know the dreams and destiny that He, Creator God, has desired for you.
I'm so happy just to be creating.